Three Sleeps

With three sleeps left in Dot, I've had laundry detergent on my mind. It makes perfect sense to me because I won't be able to use my favorite detergent anymore as we switch from having our own washer and dryer to a communal laundry room. (But I'm getting my very own dishwasher!)

I've been a loyal user of Charlie's Soap for the last two years. What I love about it:
- all natural
- biodegradable
- unscented
- it leaves our clothes super soft without fabric softener
- for something unscented, it makes my clothes smell fresh and clean. I always sniff a piece or two as I'm switching between the washer and dryer. That's my favorite "clean scent."

I would continue to use it, but for Charlie's to be optimal, you must have a washer free of residue left by other detergents. It suggests running a load or two with towels and rags and double the amount of Charlie's to "detox" the machine. Using shared laundry facilities, there is NO way I'm going to go through the extra effort.

In the last two years, I've grown to dislike scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners (I think they're overwhelming), so unscented is a must. I also think that clothes that have been washed/dried with fabric softeners/dryer sheets feel funny on my skin. I used to ALWAYS use Downy. And I used to love how my clothes would smell and feel, so this is new for me too. It's a lesson in less is more.

I also prefer powder to liquid detergents now. Charlie's! How could you do this to me?

As I've been researching brands, I think that Nellie's Laundry Soda is in the lead. Are there any other natural, biodegradable powder detergents that leave my clothes soft without fabric softener/dryer sheets I should be looking at?

Swimsuits, Yoga, and Dandelion Wine

It all started when the swimsuit I ordered came in the mail. I tried it on, and I loved it. 

I've tried on about 30 swimsuits since March. I bought one, and then returned it because I realized if ever I bent over, the top wouldn't stay put. No good. 

I was nervous about ordering a suit I'd never tried on, but one of the reviews said that she had trouble with one-piece suits because she had such a long torso. DING DING DING! That's my problem too. After hearing that someone else with super long torso syndrome thought this suit could be a winner, I took a chance. When I put it on, it was perfect. See how I don't have a wedgie, and my chest is covered. This is a miracle, I tell you.
After a celebratory, I FOUND THE ONE, picture, I decided to move along with some yoga. I passed my camera, and one thing led to another, and today's yoga practice ended up being well documented. The focus of my practice today was arm balances. Let it be known that I got my swimsuit at 9:00 this morning, put it on immediately, and I still haven't taken it off. 

The following are a series of shots showing the progression into a headstand:

I overshot it. I think I saved this one, but it's a good example of why I don't stray too far from something to catch me on the other side. I'm still working on a solid core. Proof:

But sometimes practicing too close to a wall (in this case a door) can get in the way. See how my left leg needed to move farther than the door would allow:
I moved back a bit on my mat.

I concluded with "Wild Thing," which is one of my favorite poses right now. I like opening up my heart.

I'm off to change out of my swimsuit. I think seven hours without the prospects of swimming is enough, though if I didn't have anywhere to be, I might just keep it on. Dandelion Wine is begging me to start reading it, and it's just about time to go pick up my girls from Summer on the Farm at Keystone.

PS: My swimsuit is the Haute Wave one-shoulder one-piece by Kenneth Cole. I got it here. And it's the first one-piece I've purchased in over a decade.

Three Weeks

When I wake up in the morning, it will be exactly 3 weeks until we close on Dot. That means that in less than 3 weeks, we need to be packed and have all of our stuff loaded and on its way to California. Now seems like the right time to get packing. I've been waiting for it to feel right.

I've felt my anxiety bubbling up a bit. It started on Sunday. One way I can tell I'm entering into a place of more anxiety is that my thoughts get all scrambled, and I get obsessed with things. Random things. Like swimsuits and dishes and new shoes for my girls. It's so weird. We're getting rid of our Fiesta (basically all of our dinnerware and bakeware). I started looking into replacement options and couldn't stop. Hours and hours and hours. Bone China, Stoneware, Porcelain, modern or traditional, patterned or not, where do the companies manufacture their products, etc. And all I want is simple white everything. I'm making a move toward simplicity really complicated.

I think these obsessions are distractions from the task at hand. I'm idling away so much time on things that don't matter to try and avoid what I need to be doing - packing up this chapter of our lives in this place. I noticed yesterday that my heart was racing. I spent much of today with my hands shaking slightly.

I'm in the middle of transitioning. I still have a fair amount of time in Oklahoma, but because I know the move is happening, I'm really just wanting to get it over with. And in the middle of wanting to move already, I don't want to miss out on the precious time I have left here. I'm hoping that because I realize this, this little brush with anxiety will be short lived. I've had three days of stalling out, and I'm ready to get moving again. I also haven't been sleeping much. That isn't helping.

I'm making a little plan to get rid of the stagnancy.

1. Take a walk everyday.
2. Detach from electronics as much as possible.
3. Perfect my side crow with scissored legs.
4. Engage in as many good conversations with my Oklahoma Lovies as possible.
5. Make it to the temple thrice.
6. Go to bed earlier than I have been.
7. Read Dandelion Wine
8. Get packin'.

Baby Rose [and a Pregnancy Announcement Photo Shoot]

My friend Ashleigh is having a baby. I've written about her more than once, but here is a post from a while back that is a good summation of her and our friendship.

Jake and I have done some major life events a little ahead of the curve of our peers, namely getting married and having kids. So it's so fun when friends who have been there all along the way take their turns in these events. I am ecstatic for this new person to come, and so sad that I'm going to be about 1,300 miles away when Baby Rose makes his/her debut in the world. 

[May I interject something? Of course. For all of the things we've done ahead of the curve, I think it's so funny, and kind of awesome (and a little terrifying) that after having been married for 10.5 years, 2 kids, and a dog, we are embarking on a PhD program in the school year where we'll both turn 30. Yep. That's us, too.]

Ashleigh asked if I would take some pictures of her and Andrew to announce their happy news. Of course I said, "YES!" But please know this: I am a huge lover of surprises. I love when I'm surprised, and I love when other people are surprised, but not being able to openly discuss the whole "ASHLEIGH'S HAVING A BABY!" news with anyone was so hard. I was admittedly "Freaking Excited Sue." Since the good news has been shared with family and friends, I'm happy to finally share a few of the photos from the shoot we did. 

We chose OCU because it's a special place for them. It's where they met, the university from which they graduated, where Andrew proposed, and where they were married. 


They were married in the chapel at OCU, and the lighting inside was both tricky and beautiful. The chapel has four large stained-glass windows that represent the four seasons. They are lovely when the sun shines through them. The day of our shoot was overcast, so Ashleigh and Andrew would be in perfect position, and then the sun would either come out just as I was taking the picture, or go back into hiding. Their sign was also a little tricky because perfect light on Ashleigh and Andrew often meant a glare on their sign. The shots in the chapel are all without post processing and in natural light. I love how warm they came out. They had their "first look" before the wedding on the stairs in these photos, so they have photos from their wedding day and photos announcing Baby Rose in the same spot. Andrew worked in the Gold Star Building, which is the Law Library, while he was a student at OCU. I love that they switched the message on their board to match the mascot and most iconic building on campus. 

I'll leave you with two photos where the sun got the best of us in the chapel. They're both when the sun came out just as I was hitting the shutter button. I majorly messed with the exposure on the first one (I think the graininess gives it a vintage-y feel, and I like it, despite its lack of clarity). I like the dark one for the colors of the "summer" window outlining their silhouettes. 

I wonder if my journey in photography will be much like my journey in pottery - where what is unintended often pleases me more than what is intentional.


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