Summer Beauty Staples

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Summer in Kansas is hot. Like, really hot. Hot and humid and sticky and awesome, but definitely not a great time to be wearing a ton of makeup. Anything heavy or too dramatic, and you’ll find it sweating down your face in moments, so I tend to go for a super simple beauty routine in the summer. It’s quick, easy and tends to look good, even when it feels like a sauna outside.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
– I love this product and it’s one of the few items where I will spend a bit more money. I’m a huge fan of drugstore brands, but this is an item I don’t mind investing in. It has SPF 20, which, in my experience, protects all day. It is light enough not to get cakey, but has enough coverage to help with discoloration. It’s the kind of make-up that enhances, but doesn’t cover up your natural beauty. It also provides that awesome dewy look, which is so perfect for summer. ($43.00 at Sephora)

Tarte Cheek Stain - This has lasted me so long the packaging doesn’t even exist anymore! So, yes, more expensive than drugstore brands as well, but totally worth it as it lasts FOREVER! This stuff gives your cheeks a little summer glow and keeps that same clean, fresh look I love in the summertime. ($30.00 at Tarte)

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector – This is a great concealer for summer, especially for those of us who have any puffiness or darkness under our eyes. It brightens and covers, but isn’t too heavy. A great product for a good price! ($13.99 at CVS)

Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush – I hate spending money on makeup brushes, and honestly, don’t do it very often. One of these days I’ll invest in them, but for now I choose a few that I know help out tremendously and stick with those. This concealer brush falls into that category. My undereye circles are probably my biggest problem area, and this brush has lasted me a few years, so it’s worth the investment in my opinion. ($24.00 at Sephora)

Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara - The greatest drugstore mascara of all time! I have more expensive mascaras, but I always come back to this one because of it’s staying power. I wear contact lenses and have pretty sensitive eyes, so I need something that won’t run down my face when my eyes water. This fits the bill perfectly! ($3.99 at CVS)

Eyelash Curler
– If you don’t have one, get one. Even if you can’t do anything else, if you can throw on some tinted moisturizer and curl your eyelashes, you’ll look ready to go, especially in the summer! ($13.99 at CVS)

Dang, This Just Got Real

Oh damn, this just got real. #mommobile #minivan #toyota #sienna #motherhood #suburbia

A few days ago, I became the proud owner of one minivan. Now, I should point out, this is not a huge deal for me. There are many moms and dads I know that have BIG issues with driving a minivan. And I get it, I really do, but though I have many (MANY!) hangups in my life, driving a minivan was never one of them. I am silly excited for this grown up car. Yesterday I drove the kids to the pool and they sat far enough away from each other they literally couldn’t fight! When we got there they both hopped out of their seats and hit the buttons to open their sliding doors while we all yelled, “GO GO GADGET-DOORS!” Turns out geekdom is actually a genetic trait, lucky kids.

I think much of this comes from being a youngish mom (especially early on, not so much now!), and for a long time feeling like I didn’t quite fit in. Now, there is no denying it, I’m a mom…driving a minivan. A carpool mom. A soccer mom. All that jazz. It actually feels pretty dang good.

Now…what to name the minivan? Current ideas are the batmobile, the mom-mobile, gadget-van and the black stallion. Seriously, geekdom is definitely genetic. And awesome.

Storms Over the Plains

I’m finally going through the final images from our Western Kansas road trip and I found these of one of the several storms that pounded across the plains while we were there. While it looks pretty scary, this particular storm actually wasn’t that bad. One really amazing thing about spending time with people in agriculture, is how much the weather and our environment affects their daily life. In the city, when there is a big storm, we are all annoyed by the small inconveniences, whereas when your livelihood depends on your crops receiving some moisture, these types of storms are met with joyful smiles. Western Kansas has been in a drought for several years, and are behind on rain for this year, so a little rain is very welcome. To learn more about my in-laws’ farm, you can follow them on Facebook at The Coberly Farm.

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Schoolhouse Dance Camp!

When we headed off to Western Kansas a few weeks back, we were not only excited to spend time with family, but Lucy got to attend dance camp! Her sweet Aunt Ashley has her own dance school, and decided to offer a week-long camp this summer for the first time. Lulu was so excited! She had fun, made lots of new friends, and got to perform the showcase at the end in a shiny, gold leotard. Pretty much the best!

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For the finale, Ashley invited all the little brothers and sisters up on stage to dance along, and you know Tate and his cousin Brooklyn were ready!

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Thanks for such a fun week, Aunt Ashley! You can follow Schoolhouse Dance on Facebook right here.

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Eight-Years-Old

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Dear Lucy,

A few weeks ago, you turned eight-years-old. How is this possible? I can’t explain it, but apparently when you feed and clothe and bathe a little human, they tend to grow and change and one day they are rolling their eyes at you while saying “Seriously, mom?” I don’t understand it, myself, but I’m not the smartest person you’ll ever meet either. I guess that’s a lesson I wanted you to learn later in life, but it’s already too late. We’ve reached the point in this parent-child dance where you teeter back and forth between thinking I am the greatest person on the planet or the absolute worst. I am learning this is part of the game called motherhood, and I’m trying to handle it with grace. There are days I succeed and days where I fail miserably, but I hope you can see I’m trying. For me, it is not “success” or “perfection” that is important, it’s the act of trying, again and again, even when it’s hard. I want you to see I’m flawed and I make mistakes rather regularly, because I don’t want you to think of your parents as infallible. But I do want you to see when I make said mistakes, I own up to them. It’s okay to screw up, Lulu, but you have to take responsibility for your actions, and I’m still learning this as an adult. Hopefully you’re a more apt student than I, and you won’t spend years learning this lesson, but even if you do, it’s okay. Just try again.

She looks like gold to me... #love #motherhood #latergram #mothersday #blessed #365grateful #blackandwhite #flare #light #daughter #peace #serenity

You are becoming someone entirely independent, someone outside of myself, which is an adjustment for me. Today I dropped you off for your first day of a week-long theater camp, and all morning you were nervous and full of angst. You went to this camp last year, but you were still afraid of not knowing anyone and didn’t want to wear your glasses because you were afraid of being teased. This broke my heart, and I tried my best to keep it light and fun this morning, but the cloud over your head wouldn’t lift. Then, we arrived at camp, and while I was filling out paperwork I saw you talking to a few other girls. When I looked up to say goodbye and take a photo of your first day, you were gone, over the hill with your new posse of girlfriends, without even a backhanded wave. I almost went after you, demanding a hug and a high-five, but as I strode across the way, I realized what a total dork mom I was being, and decided better of it. I gathered up your little brother and we left without our goodbyes, but inside I felt joyful knowing you were finding yourself in this group of new friends. My childhood theater friends are some of the best and most generous people I have ever known, and realizing you may build similar relationships this week makes me so happy.

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You are young for your grade, Lulu, turning eight as many of your friends are rounding up to nine. I think I am spoiled because of your young age, sometimes forgetting you too will keep having birthdays and growing into an entirely new person. All year I tell people, “She’s seven!” and then one day you’re not and I’m flabbergasted. Every year it happens and every year I’m caught off guard. I just realized I’m going to have to let you go off to college a year earlier than most of your peers and all of a sudden I’m furious with the unfairness of it all! I guess that’s part of being a parent, wanting so much for the years to go by faster so life seems easier, only to beg for them back once they’ve past. I’m grateful to have these letters to you, these little love notes I’ve been typing out since the day you were born. I can look back and remember that sweet, round face throughout the years, and still see her in the giant almost-third-grader who sits in front of me.

So grateful to be mama to this sweet soul. She is kindness embodied and joy in real life. Her name means "light" and she has certainly guided me home plenty of times. #365grateful #daughter #motherhood #lucinda #light #lucy #read #book #littlehouseonthepr

Lucy, I admire you. You are smart, funny and brave. You have great comic timing. You love to read and devour books the way I did as a child, all at once, with no stopping until storylines are resolved. You are methodical and creative. You are an artist, an actor, a gymnast, a fish, a friend, and a sister. You and your brother are partners in crime, enemies at moments, but mostly loving. You are so patient with his endless antics and you try to teach him the ways of the world. You are as an older sister should be, even as you yell, “TATE!!!” in that horrible, shrill voice when you find he has destroyed the Barbie Dream House you spent an entire day organizing just so. And yet, you still read him bedtime stories and sing to him when he’s afraid. You are the best.

She reads to him using lots of funny voices  #365grateful #reading #brother #sister #love #bedtime

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I know the upcoming year will hold new challenges for us, and even in those moments when I’m the absolute worst, I’m assured, deep down, you still love me to bits. You just may not realize it at the moment. My sweet Lulu, I love you to the moon, the stars and the supernovas light years away. You are my heart.

Love,
Mama

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