Firsts, Seconds, Pick-ups, and Poses

After my girls' bath tonight…WAIT! It wasn't bath, it was a shower. Their second shower ever. Their last bath was a shower too. It's weird…and not weird all at the same time. 

So, after my girls' shower tonight, and after I combed their hair, I decided to blow-dry Cora's hair before bed. I think that was the second time I've ever done that. We had about three inches cut off of the length of her hair on Monday. It looks so spectacular and lovely. And she looks older. And it's weird…and not weird at the same time. Magnolia got a trim too, and now their hair is about the same length. I would LOVE for Magnolia to sport a chin-length bob. It isn't going to happen. I blame Rapunzel and Tangled for that. It would just be so cute because of her cute round face. I think she has a vintage look about her. 

While blow-drying their hair (I went ahead and did Magnolia's too), I thought about how I've never purchased foundation before. Ever. Not once in my whole life. I'm 29, and I've never purchased a staple make-up item in most women's make-up collection. I have owned it and used it. My mother-in-law sells Mary Kay, and she hooked me up with some. 

I think the first time I became aware of the fact that I'd never purchased any was during the Joy to the World music event I participated in. Two women sort of took charge in the "how to do your makeup for the performance since it will be televised" department. Their number one suggestion was that we wear foundation and powder. I went home, dug through a bag of makeup, and found some very old MK foundation, slathered some on, and realized it was not at all good anymore. I wasn't going to go buy new foundation since I never wear it anyway, but I couldn't help but feel weird that I had no idea where to even start on such a routine thing. I didn't wear any foundation for the performance. I've seen the television recording, and I think I was just fine. Phew!

Why did I think about all of this while blow-drying my girls' hair? I'm not sure really. I think it has something to do with how I'll be the one who teaches them how to do their makeup and hair, and stuff like that, and I just sort of fake it all. Wait a second. Rather than fake it all, I'm going to look at it as keeping it really real. That's what I do, I keep it real in the makeup department. :) 

Super glamorous eye make up? I have no idea. But I do know that mascara gives my blonde eyelashes a little oomph, so I wear it almost every day. I wear a peachy pink blush a little less than I wear mascara, and lipstick about half as often as blush. And it's always some shade of red. I wrote a poem in college called "Lips were Meant to be Red." I guess I really meant it. When I'm not wearing lipstick I'm wearing Burt's Bees or Pangea lip balm. That's it. That's the extent of the makeup knowledge I'll have to pass along to my daughters. Less is more? I hope they'll appreciate that. 

I was supposed to pick my dad up from the airport about three hours ago, but his flight was delayed. He was supposed to get here at 5:30. Now it's 11:30. He's coming out to do the Dirty30 Mud course with me, which is tomorrow. I really wanted to do it, but not alone. I called him up and asked if he wanted to do it. He did! I'm excited about it. We're going to Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals tomorrow night. I'm also really excited about that. I need the Thunder to bring it. He'll be here until Tuesday morning.

This morning, I went to a yoga class at the Mitch Park YMCA before open swim in their fun pool. The yoga class was really good. I've been trying to practice yoga every day. I've gotten out of my routine. After my months of dealing with a running injury, which was really all about my IT Band, I can definitely feel a difference in my practice pre and post injury. I worked on a pose I haven't done much, Parsva Bakasana (side crow pose). I got into the pose just fine, and then I attempted to straighten my legs out. Whoa. I think I tried to scissor my legs out first. That's where I realized how tight my IT bands had become, and how stiff my hips felt. My legs weren't going anywhere. And that's okay. I think it's really valuable to learn limits. I don't like calling this a "limit," even though it currently is. I'm thinking of it more as a starting point. I will get stronger. And I will rediscover my flexibility. Um…I will work really hard and very patiently for the flexibility I had before all the injury.

Also in yoga, we did a modified Camatkarasana (Wild Thing) with one knee down. I haven't done this pose in so long, I'd almost forgotten about it. Every since I got home, I've been randomly getting into [unmodified] Wild Thing. It feels so good. Sooooo good. I always love feeling the power that moves through my body when I move it certain ways. This pose makes me feel so light and alive. Not just while I'm in it, but for quite a while after. I love what I learn from my body - what being in tune with my body teaches me about so many other things.

On this first day of summer break

We put Dot on a real estate website Wednesday evening. We put a sign out in our front yard on Thursday morning. Calls and emails began flooding in. Our 1 PM showing laid out an offer in my very own backyard before they left. We showed it a few more times, and I waited to hear whether some friends of ours thought it would be the right time to pursue buying a home in our neighborhood. We got the official backyard offer in writing around 6:30, gave a quick counter, and I was crashing by 8. My brain could not keep up with the crazy whirlwind that had just happened (my girls' last day of school, a birthday party, and swim lessons all happened in there too). I woke up at 5:30, got up at 5:44, saw that our friends were going to pass, and went straight to the offer we'd received. We were under contract by 10:30 this morning.

Here's the kicker. It was a cash offer. Do you know how much easier cash offers are than any other kind of offer? Like a million times easier. No inspections. No appraisals. No anything. They want our home and are fortunate enough to have the money upfront. I know it isn't really over until it's over and the money changes hand at closing, but I just can't believe it. One of the best parts is that we're set to close July 30th. They would have closed ASAP, but I really didn't want to move anywhere else until we move to Los Angeles. Jake is contracted to work through August 1st, and we're rolling out August 2nd, so we'll still have a few days where we'll be living out of suitcases, but everything fell together so nicely. [AND SO FAST!]


So, after 10:30, we headed out for our First Day of Summer Break adventure. We ran to my doctor's office to get something signed that we needed for UCLA housing, and then went to food truck we've always wanted to try. Are you ready for this? It's called The Loaded Bowl. If I had a list of worst names to go along with anything selling food, The Loaded Bowl would be on it. Name aside, all of the food is vegan, and everything we had was good. So good that we wish The Loaded Bowl was a restaurant by almost any other name. Jake had "The Gardener" (lasagna), Cora and I had enchiladas, and Magnolia had mac 'n cheese.

We took our vegan fare to Kite Park in Nichols Hills (the playground is all sand) and had a little picnic. The girls played for a bit, and then we headed to Whole Foods. Sometimes I think there's something sort of wrong with me because Whole Foods is like a destination for me. Some people love wandering through Target alone on a Saturday night (or any night, and by "some people", I mostly mean moms). Me? I like wandering through Whole Foods. And today was nice because Jake was there, and I wasn't worried about anyone falling a part. Don't you just love the bulk aisle? I think I could scoop thick rolled oats into bags all day long? I should just stand there and offer to scoop things for people. My real point is that we stocked up on some yummy food, came home cleaned out the fridge, and put all of our new food away.

Then we were going to head to Myriad Gardens. I had been sending a few extra things to our buyers' agent to send to the title company, and I was almost a little relieved when Jake said, "Why don't you stay home?" I took him up on it, and vegged out on my bed looking at places to live in Los Angeles as a potential alternative to grad housing. Grad housing just has the best price tag. Hands Down.

My little family rolled back in from the park and the library as I was finishing up dinner. I haven't cooked a real meal in days between painting and crazy cleaning and showing. They also showed up just as the rain started coming down. Good timing. Even though they were already wet from playing in Thunder Fountain. The girls took a warm shower, we had dinner, read stories, Jake left for rehearsal right before we read scriptures. We said our prayers, and our goodnights, and after a while of reading a "few more drinks," I think my Little Loves are asleep.

So, to sum it all up, on this day we:

Entered into a contract to sell Dot.
Finalized our moving plans.
[We don't know where we're moving to, but we know how our stuff will get to the general vicinity.]
Had a fabulous family day.
Enjoyed some much needed rain.
Ate a home cooked meal.


Last day of school photo. I only almost cried when we were picking them up. I forced those tears to stay in because I don't think I would have been able to stop had one breeched my eyelids.

PS: As I was typing this, I saw the person who will be the new owner of Dot do a slow drive-by with a relative following behind him. I waived at him when he was passing our living room window, and he waived back. I really like the family who bought Dot (almost - the almost applies to the buying, not the liking - I'm keeping it real). The mom and dad (the slow driver-byer) live in the 'hood, about three blocks away, and they're buying homes for their daughters in the neighborhood so they can all be close together. They were a sweet family, and I think it's neat when a family can live so close. When a family can and wants to live so close. One of the first things "the mom" said to me, smiling, was, "So your house's name is Dot?" I could tell that she loved her, and that "the daughter" loved her, and that "the dad" loved her enough to try to write me a check in my backyard. And they all knew about lovely historic things like Frankoma clay tiles in fireplace surrounds. They "get it." I feel okay. 


The Day We Put Dot on the Market

This is a day I knew would have to come. Not for a lack of trying (a lot), I couldn't quite come up with how we would live in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles at the same time. I really want the opportunity and adventure that will come from moving to L.A., but oh how I love my Dot and my girls' sweet school.

May I interject?

My girls' last day of school is tomorrow. I've been feeling all along like a good cry is hanging out just below the surface. The last day of school is usually celebratory for me - no more schedules for a while (the first day is just as celebratory because the schedule begins again). But this time, they're not going back to their school in a few months. Magnolia went to play at her friend Zadie's house after school so we could show Dot. These two have been stuck together like glue at school since day one, but this was their first official playdate. M and I were coloring as dinner was cooking, and she looked at me and said, "I'm Zadie's best friend in the whole world." It was so genuine. She means it - and knows what it means. Westminster has just been so good for and to us, and I hope I'm not bawling my eyes out in carpool line tomorrow.

And I don't know why, with all of this emotional rawness, I thought it was a good idea to put Dot on the market the day before school gets out, but it's done. And we wait. I'm sending out positive vibes, and many prayers that someone will love Dot and this corner and this neighborhood as much as I do. I'm hopeful.

I'm creating this post as the the final one on the "Meet Dot" page on my blog. Did you know I have a "Meet Dot" page? I do. And it has documented various projects and some before and afters in our time with her. How we found Dot, and how we're leaving Dot. [I hope that not too many of the tears leaking out of my eyes will fall into the keyboard.]

Dot on a Sunny Day in May

Living Room

 Dining Room


Laundry Room

 Our Bedroom

Looking down the hall to the girls' room from our room


Looking down the hall from our girls' room to our room

The Girls' Room

Sun Room

Original Doors and Hardware




 Our Street with the three Chinese Pistache Trees we planted

On a Lovely Sunday Afternoon

Jake had just left for a Senior Follies rehearsal. It was a little after two o'clock. I was enjoying a few minutes of quiet time, and my girls had just started watching the Little Mermaid. I was looking at a swimsuit on-line when I heard a car coming down our street. I could tell that it was going quite fast, but I could also tell that it was still pretty far away. We live on a corner lot, and admittedly, there aren't enough stop signs in our neighborhood on the streets that run north and south between the major streets at either end of Mesta Park and Heritage Hills. There have been many times at night where I try to guess how fast a car is going, and it's maybe 40 miles per hour, with the exception of a few that were closer to 50 mph.

As the car got closer, I could tell something wasn't right. It sounded like it was going faster and faster, and as it went through the three intersections leading up to our cross streets, I could tell its tires were leaving the ground and coming back down because they would screech as they rejoined the pavement. My heart was pounding. I turned to look out my bedroom window to see a flash of black moving north. And within an instant, I heard the impact. I ran for my phone and out the back door. My street looked like a small tornado had hit.

Right across the street from my girls' bedroom was where the black Tahoe clipped the first tree, and the telephone pole next to it was no match. It took out another tree, snapping it at its base. The telephone pole and live wires were laying down our street and across the sidewalk between our driveway and our neighbor's. As I was looking at all of the damage, one thing was missing: the SUV. It had continued on for another block, taking out two more trees before rolling and landing on its side in the parking lot behind Orange Leaf, Pizza 23, and This Land Yoga.

Neighbors were running down the street around me. They'd all heard this car barreling down the road, past some of them as they mowed their lawn, past cars parked in the street. Some reported it going 60, 70, 80, 100 miles per hour. A neighbor one block south of me had already called 911. Several people had as the car went past, before the accident ever happened. I don't know exactly how fast he was going. The average of the guesses is 80, and I believe he was going every bit of that, if not more.

I can't begin to express how unnerving it is to hear a car going that fast through your neighborhood, right past your house. It's like knowing someone is pulling a trigger, but not having any idea where they're pointing the gun. Everyone who heard any part of the vehicle's path down our street and then the impact was clearly shaken. Things like that shouldn't happen.

It was so unfortunate that it did happen. At last check, the two people in the car were in critical condition. It could have been so much worse though. Had he lost control at any other block, he would have ended up going through someone's home. It was a blessing that no one was on the frequently travelled sidewalks when he hit the telephone pole and trees. It was a blessing that he lost control as he was passing Dot, because the trajectory of the car after he lost control would have sent him ramping up the little hill Dot sits on and straight into our home. Had he not lost control where he did, he would have made it out to 23rd street, where it would have been very likely that it would have been more than a one car accident. And at that speed, it would have been even more devastating than it already is.

I've already said many prayers for those who were in the car, and I've prayed for the hearts of all who witnessed it. We've been through something in our 'hood today.


This was a great birthday. The highlight for me was my girls' dance recital. I thought my heart was going to burst with pride and happiness when I saw each of them on stage dancing with their classes. They were working so hard. I loved being surrounded by people I love in the audience.

I had a fried green tomato sandwich from Picasso's for dinner, and have spent the last hour practicing my guitar. When I thought I might attempt a song, I was led to Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind. I think it's coming along nicely. And at the very least, I have G, C, and D down. 

And one last tale. I planted a peony right after we moved into Dot. The first year it never flowered, and  I thought it was dead by fall, so I cut it back to the ground. To my surprise, it came back the next spring. It didn't do much during it's second year, and was taken over by a sweet potato vine somewhere in June or July. This year is came back again. With the will to survive. I walked out one day and saw buds. They've been swelling for the last month. And finally, on this 29th birthday of mine, those buds blossomed, and the beautiful peonies of my dreams are right off of my front porch. 

Birthday Eve

In addition to giving up Facebook for Lent, I also worked really hard at breaking the lifelong habit of biting my nails. Here's a picture of my nails from this evening:

I enjoyed looking down and seeing the product of my mind over matter efforts, which is why it seems crazy to say that I had no problem cutting them short again right after this picture was taken. Why?

So I could play this:

I'm not sure what her name is yet. A few have crossed my mind, like Ethel, Lucille, and Louisa. But I know she's mine. After Jake and I dropped our girls off with our friends, Ashleigh and Andrew, we went to the guitar store down the street from their house, and we picked up this guitar. A new pair of running shoes last week and a new guitar tonight. And it's not even officially the day of my birth yet. 

I love to sing. Never alone in front of people, but I love it for me. And I've always wanted to be able to accompany myself and work through music that pops into my head from time to time. I'm looking forward to all of the learning that will take place. This feels huge.

After we picked up the guitar, Jake and I went to dinner. When we were done, I wanted to go to the park, play a little music, finish reading a book we've been reading together, and spend some time looking at the stars. It was at the park where I realized my nails were in my way, and I was proud that I overcame the urge to bite them off right there. Jake actually knows how to play guitar, so it was fun to hear him strum through a few things. As day was fading into night, we read the last two chapters and epilogue of Good-bye, I Love You by Carol Lynn Pearson. I've cried every night we've read it. It's the story of a wife and her gay husband, and how she cares for him even after their marriage has ended, when he is dying from AIDS. 

When we closed the book and were still in the middle of Harn Park, I had to make sure I didn't wail too loudly. I curled up next to Jake, who was shivering because he was cold, and we looked at the Little Dipper right above our heads. 

After a while, we gathered our belongings and folded up the quilt that has been on our bed for as long as we've been married. After spending several hours working on our room this morning, I decided it was finally time to retire this quilt I love so dearly from its bed duties because it's starting to tatter and fray and stuffing is coming out in places. As I was lying on it in the middle of the park, I couldn't help but think about the babies I've brought to rest on it, how my girls come and snuggle with me under it every morning, how they were brought into existence under it. It's a sacred covering to me. I hope that whatever quilt takes its place will be part of such dear memories. 
(This was when our quilt was about 3 years old.)

Tonight was a good sendoff for 28, and when I wake up in the morning, I'll be stepping into the last year of my twenties. Whoa. I think it's going to be a good year.     


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