Friday, January 4, 2008

Locks of Love

As of this afternoon, my head is 10 inches lighter! It's been over a year and half since I have had a significant length of my hair cut. I began growing it out because I was ready for a change, but once it reached a certain length, I decided to continue growing it out in hopes of donating to Locks of Love. There have been many times that I've been *so* tempted to chop it off, but the temptation would taper and I'd let it keep growing. Just a few trims here and there. About a month ago, I found a special reason to donate this month and was excited when I took a ruler to my hair and it was long enough to meet the 10 inch requirement and leave me with some to style!

Meet sweet Noah Graves & his mom Adrienne, dad Jason, and sister Emily. I first met the Graves family during the 5 months that they were "living" at The Children's Hospital in Denver. They were a part of my Red Rocks Church Family and our church community was providing them meals at the hospital. I was blessed to take a meal to them on December 13, 2006 and had a chance to visit with them and share dinner together in Noah's hospital room. We spent some time getting to know each other and we prayed over little Noah together. I was so touched and inspired by this amazing family and how marked their lives were by God's hand. The grace and transparency with which they live their life, especially their journey with Noah, has touched my heart and impacted my life. On January 12, 2006, at 7 months old, Noah went to be with the Lord. But, in his short little life, he touched more lives than most do even when they live to be 100. Adrienne recorded in detail the family's incredible journey on her blog and continues to share her insights into God's love and grace in their lives, after they were forever changed by their son, Noah. I have to warn you though, if you start reading their story, you probably won't be able to stop! Be prepared for your heart to be changed too!

On January 12th, the one year anniversary of Noah's arrival in heaven, Adrienne and 8 of her Denver friends will be donating their hair to Locks of Love in his memory. She invited others across the US to join them, and I decided it would be a perfect time for my cut, to honor Noah with my donation. Since I am leaving tomorrow for Daytona, FL for my 6 week long New Staff Training with Campus Crusade for Christ, I decided to cut a week early.

Here are some before shots:

The cut!

My new do!

This was the first cut I've had in Austin, but I went to a hairdresser highly recommended by my sister in law Carita and friend Jocelin. They both always have awesome cuts, so I trusted their stylist to take me short! My sweet and very cooperative hubby shot some pics for me of the cut. I'm so happy with my new might just be one of the best cuts I've ever had. It feels great to have a lighter head of hair and a little more bounce. It was time for a change! I'm looking forward to experimenting with different ways of styling it, especially since I have naturally curly hair.

I'm even happier to package up my ponytail for donation and drop it in the mail tomorrow. Sweet Noah, in your memory, may another precious child of God have a tangible need met in love.

A Bit of France

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior! Several times throughout the holiday season, I intended to post, but just never got around to it! I guess I was having so much fun enjoying quality time with friends & family that I was too busy living life to write about it! Truman and I had a wonderful first married Christmas! I enjoyed some much needed time at home with my family, and all of the Christmas tradition that came with it! I am thankful that I was blessed to grow up in a family with many traditions, especially around the holidays, that hold sweet memories for me. In addition to all of the fun Christmas festivities like driving around town to check out Christmas lights, baking Christmas cookies and watching some of my favorite holiday movies, we ate a lot, played my brother's new Guitar Hero until our fingers were tired (mine at least, not Trumans!), and pulled out some old family movies (which Truman got a real kick out of!)

Another fun and unexpected surprise came of my time in Ohio! Back in 2001, I spent part of my summer studying in Europe. I saw 5 countries and numerous cities and loved every second of it! Paris was one of my favorite parts of the trip, though with only a couple of days, my stay there seemed much too short! The afternoon that I visited Notre Dame, I spent some time wandering along the River Seine and checked out some of the local artists that set up along the river to paint. I purchased a black and white oil painting on canvas from one of the artists to take back home. Since I was living with my parents at the time, I didn't have a place to hang it and we stored it in the basement with some of my other belongings until I moved out and had my own blank walls to fill with art. When the time came for me to pack up and move, we were unable to find my painting. I knew it was somewhere in the house, but even after several years it hadn't turned up. While I was home for Christmas, my mom came up the stairs and said, "I have a surprise for you...guess what I found?" It didn't even occur to me until I saw the rolled up canvas tied with a black ribbon that she had found my painting. It fits perfectly with the colors and decor of our new house and I can't wait to frame it and find the perfect spot for it!

The same day that my mom gave me the missing French painting, I headed out to finish up some last minute Christmas shopping. While searching for gifts, I happened upon this t-shirt and it was too perfect to pass up. This girl loves all things French & vintage, so it was an obvious must-have, on a very appropriate day!

I have some fun things to share coming up this weekend. I took a few before shots today and am looking forward to sharing the "after" shots tomorrow! I also have a little project I've been working on this week that I'm looking forward to blogging about. Stay tuned...