Falling in love.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010






















Falling in love.

It is rather well named, that whole process.  "Falling in love."

Falling into his arms. Falling into his gaze.  Falling into his affection.

Much like literally falling, there's really not much to it, this "falling in love".  Not much work, that is.  If you fall off the edge of a mountain, once you take that first step, there's not much left for you to do but.....fall.  And when you fall in love with someone, there's not much you have to do beyond taking that first big, scary, hesitant step of acknowledging the general idea that "Umm....I think you're incredible....beautiful even, inside and out...." and then hoping the feeling is returned.  After that first nervous step, there's not much to do but just....fall.  Not much work involved.

And just like I imagine a free fall must feel.......exhilarating and free......so feels falling in love.   The realization that someone on this planet gets you.  Really sees you.  Instinctively knows your heart before you've fully revealed it.  Knows your strengths before even you do.  Dreams your dreams with you, and somehow reshapes them and gives them clarity until it's no longer "my" dream or "your" dream but "ours."  Exhilarating.

My love story began at 15 years old.  Not an age that comes with experience or any real wisdom, but it was love nonetheless, I assure you. I would argue my naivety and youth and my never-broken, fully in tact and unscathed heart made me fall particularly hard.

I look back on that time with a sweet nostalgia.  I wouldn't trade falling in love with Jonathan for anything in the world.  It's a time I look forward to telling my kids about, when they have an interest in such things.

But as I think back on that happy time, that sweet "falling in love" time....it really doesn't compare to living out that love in real life.  Having a marriage filled with passion and love requires respect and consideration and selflessness. Consistently giving and receiving those things doesn't feel very much like falling.  No, not nearly so easy as falling.  Instead of falling off the mountain, often it feels like climbing up.

Those feelings of "He really sees me", those are still there. But at some point you realize that being seen, being known, means he knows your weakness as well as your strength.  You realize that there's no hiding your imperfections.  When your heart is revealed, the unlovely is seen right along with the lovely.  The trials and frustrations that marriage inevitably bring reveal your weaknesses whether or not you're ready to acknowledge them. You can hide anger or hurt or pride or selfishness from many people, but not from a spouse. And that loss of control can be maddening. 

It's hard work - yes.  To learn to consider another over yourself.  To freely accept love when you least deserve it, because that's when you most need it.  To give up the right to hold grudges.  To learn to give someone the benefit of the doubt. To be quick to listen and slow to speak.  It's work, certainly.  But work that yields such sweet rewards. 

So yeah....for me....climbing a mountain is a good metaphor.  Because climbing in itself isn't bad.  People do climb mountains you  know.  They do it for fun even.  They do it on purpose.  With purpose.  A goal in mind.  Maybe for some people love comes easily, and never requires any more effort than falling off a mountain.  For me, it takes a bit more work than than.

But it's not bad work.  It's a mountain climbing kind of work:

Treading lightly when required.  Being careful about where you take that next step.  Holding on with an unrelenting grip with the wind blows.  Committing to making it to the top no matter how difficult it seems sometimes.  Knowing that your strength will be tested and proven.    

I'm learning than an impasse isn't a reason to get discouraged.  It's a chance to work even harder to get beyond that impasse, knowing the perspective I'll gain on the other side will be sweet. 

I know I'm blessed beyond measure that I have a partner in this adventure who is just as committed to the climb as I am.  I recognize there are women and men who, sadly, get abandoned mid-climb. So I don't take it lightly, his commitment, and I don't take it for granted.

We're having fun on this adventure, that's for sure.  In the middle of the work and the effort and sometimes even the exhaustion, we stop to enjoy how far we've come.  To be grateful we have someone with whom to share the beautiful view.










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SpringTime! Perfect time for fun family pics!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I know you'll love the photography of my friend Danielle of Jubilee Photography!

Danielle has been a close friend of mine since we were wee little sprouts finding trouble in the neighborhood we grew up in together. She is a talented photographer who is building a client base in Lubbock, and I expect great things for her company!  I'm excited to help her get the word out about her photography business.

I would recommend her based on her skill and professionalism, but in addition to those things you can't beat her prices.    A flat fee of $100 provides a 2 hour outdoor photo shoot at the location of your choosing (a consult with the photographer is available if a location recommendation is needed); following your session you will receive a CD containing the edited images from your photo shoot. The high-quality images will then be yours to download, share, and print as you wish! 

The photography shoot...the editing....the electronic images....all for $100 bucks.  Call and schedule with her!  Go on.  Do it. You know you want to.




You can see the rest of our photo shoot by clicking here!  


Danielle is also currently scheduling Senior Portrait Sessions.




Danielle offers her $100 dollar deal (detailed above) for Sr. Portraits and Maternity Portraits as well.  You can visit her website for more examples of her great work.  (Seriously - $100 dollars for Sr. Portraits??? That's a crazy, crazy good deal.  Please pass on the word to friends with HS age kids!)  


Remember:  You can visit her website for more of her portfolio.









I just realized why I'm not crazy about my new haircut.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I look like my favorite childhood fictional character.  I feel like Ramona! 





Oh well. It'll grow.

Maybe I'll go for a Harriet the Spy look next......




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Say goodbye to flakes, clumps, smuges, and oily make-up remover!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I know that title sounds like a badly written commercial.

But I am in love with this wacky and wonderful mascara!




"Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Technology Mascara"


This stuff is delightful in that it washes off with plenty of warm water.  The white layer you apply first creates a "tube" on your lash; then you apply the black mascara layer.  

It stays put all day with NO smudges, and requires NO oily makeup remover when you're ready to take it off.  A friend recommended it, and it's possibly my favorite beauty discovery in years.   

It's kinda wacky when you wash it off - the whole "tube" just kind of rolls right off with a little light rubbing and plenty of warm water.  (The first time I washed it off I was temporarily a little freaked out that maybe my entire eyelash was coming off; it wasn't. So have no fears. But the whole "tube" just kinda sloughs off your lash.)   And it takes plenty of water to wash it off - so no worries about black smudges streaming down your face when you have watery eyes or tears.  At less than $10 bucks a tube, it's worth giving a try!

I recognize this post doesn't speak at all to the actual "beauty" aspect of this product.  I'm much more excited about the utilitarian aspect.  I'm totally not qualified to speak to what makes a great mascara as far as how it looks....but I think it looks great!








Is it still Spring Cleaning if the house is dirtier when you finish?
Monday, April 12, 2010

My friend Tina recently blogged about her Springtime Cleaning ritual.  Tina wrote,


"I remember my mom opening the doors & all of the windows, exclaiming this house has been closed up all winter & needs fresh air”.
I’m afraid the dust in West Texas keeps me from following her Spring routine."

My friend Cheri then commented,  

"I’ve never been one to spring clean – maybe because I grew up around here…with the dust."


I then flippantly and oh-so-self-assuredly commented,


"I have to open the windows in spite of the dust. Breezes blowing through the house is the only thing CERTAIN to put me in a Springtime state of mind!"


But then.  Then.  Then I actually did it.  Throw open all the windows and doors that is.  I was a cleaning machine - invigorated by those nice cool breezes blowing through the house.


Then I looked on my windowsills.

This is just a few hours worth of dust accumulation.  Gulp.






I think it's time I adopt that West Texas mindset of keeping the windows and doors shut up tight against the dust.  Oh the dust.  A chronic battle which I am always losing. 


I should adopt that mindset...but probably won't.  Cool breezes are too hard to resist!   Plus, I can hear my mom's voice echoing the same refrain as Tina's.....this house has been closed up all winter & needs fresh air!!!  



I guess I'll just have to clean again after I clean.   


 








room redo (Cheapity McCheapster style)
Saturday, April 3, 2010

We've lived in our house nearly 2 years, and until last week the boys have had nothing decorating their room.  Nothing. Their room consisted of a bed and two mismatched dressers.  Accented by a huge laundry pile in the corner. 

We are faithfully working our FPU plan (Yay for Dave!) and as such, bedroom decorating does not have a place in the budget line. But I wanted to do something for them, so I undertook a bedroom redo on a $20 budget. Here we go!

It began with this light-up globe my mom bought the boys at a garage sale:

 

Cost to me, zero dollars.  Since the globe was literally the ONE decorative item in their room, and I had a lot of maps I could use (my grandma sent me her supply) - voila!  A map theme it would be!

For $6 dollars I bought three canvases. For $3 dollars I bought some green and blue paint, and just started painting with no real plan.  (Not recommended.  Ruined one canvas. Big shock.) I ended up using modge podge ($4) and decoupaging the boys' names onto the painted canvases with letters cut from maps.  Cost:  $13 dollars. 



Next I set up the boys with some blank paper, and blue, gold, and green paint.  They got to work creating some art for the walls.


 Ryan painted a monster and a globe.  Dylan, a waterfall/mountain scene.  (He explained it was the same scene - one view is from close up, one is from far away.  What artistic interpretation.)  Cost to me: zero dollars (Full disclosure: A friend gave me a huge supply of these glass clip frames from Ikea.  So I was spared the cost of buying any frames.)   

Next I used maps as a background for the boys sports photos. Poor quality glare-y pic.  Sorry.  Cost to me:  zero dollars since I had already purchased the sports portraits and had them in a box under the bed


Lastly, I went online and searched for images of silhouettes of different planes, and then painted them onto maps and framed them.  (Thanks to my friend Anne for the suggestion.)  Cost to me:  zero dollars



The boys asked if they could hang maps up beside their bed.  Why not? One got Oklahoma (lucky!) and the other had to settle for Texas (ya know I love ya Lubbock!).  They both study the maps before going to sleep and are becoming quite the TX/OK geography experts. Again, zero dollars.


Lastly the boys made some paper airplanes out of maps and hung them from the ceiling in the corner.  Zero dollars.  And there ya have it!  Likely this room redo won't be featured in any home decor magazines, but I have a happy little 7 and 6 year old.



For a grand total of  $13.00!


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Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)

 







 



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