Friday Night Lights…at the Fair

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Long ago–before the Raptor, Millenium Force and the Magnum–the most thrilling ride at Cedar Point Adventure where our family periodically took a summer trip, was the Gemini. Conquering the Gemini was a rite of passage for me and my siblings, each at different points in our life and met with different reactions, but for my brother–the first born and bravest–the conquering came early, before he even qualified according to the “You Must Be This Tall to Ride” sign. He wanted to ride it, and my dad believed in his bravery and saw no danger in the fact that he wasn’t tall enough, so he executed some brilliant ingenuity that would go down in the history of family stories as a move of fatherhood valor–of crossing hurdles that get in the way of your dreams. He took a large stack of napkins from a hot dog kiosk and crammed them in the inside heel of my brother’s tennis shoes, enough to lift him an inch or so to Gemini status. The rest, as they say, is history–my brother surmounts the roller coaster and crosses the threshold into greatness, under the height limit and ahead of schedule.

I couldn’t help but recall this story this past Friday night as I watched my dad again take the hand of a brave little boy who didn’t quite make the height limit but wanted to attempt the ride, and stealthily slipped him past the entrance and on to the glider where he could prove that he could indeed fly.

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And he did. Under the height limit and ahead of schedule.

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Once again, our annual fair tradition delivered the usual–dirty shoes, grimy hair, and a small chunk out of our wallets–but beyond that, another year of family memories, measured against past years in this same place. For the first time, we weaseled through stands without a stroller. And no one peed their pants or lost a tooth or collapsed to the ground in a fit of tears.

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(but seriously, can we talk about those hair clips? In love with everything Giddy up and Grow makes.)

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The “Can I have some?” hand…and her “Nope” face:

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We left the fair far past bedtimes, as we always do, and as we made our way through exhaustion and attitudes the following morning and I recalled our fair experience to my friend, she laughed and noted that a night at the fair was surely her idea of hell. Brett and I agreed, admitting we both got sick in the night after fair food and couldn’t believe how fast we blew through a handful of cash. We were dirty, and our kids were spent.

…but it was never about the fair. It’s about us, and how our return to this place marks how far we’ve been growing as a family. We commit to the important things in life like sugar and rainbow colors and breaking rules to test our bravery.

Watching Dash this year was so much fun. He wanted to conquer every ride, every slide, every height. And even though it sometimes meant holding hands or burying his head, he was all in.

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…especially when it involved sugar.

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…and Nella, from the moment she saw the ferris wheel from the parking lot said, “My tummy is so excited.”

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More colorful moments from the fair:

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Nothing like a game of Flip the Bottle from the main fair aisle, at 11 p.m.

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And yes–this bubble maker broke 2 hours after we bought it. But we knew that going in.  photo the fair 41_zpsr6xwuc4z.jpg photo the fair 19_zpspg8ohjr6.jpg

Another year of memories tucked in our fair belt. Happy Monday!

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Hair Diaries

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This hair diary is sponsored by 2-Minute Club featuring PURA D’OR.

I colored my brown hair for the first time in sixth grade. Well, technically I didn’t color it because my mom would have never allowed it, but I did convince my mom that this box of hair brightener I bought would do only what it promised–accentuate the hair color I was born with and make it shinier (does anyone remember that 90’s product? I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called). I was convinced my hair looked different when I was finished though, and I was hooked. By my twenties, I was blond–well, Garfield orange with ends that resembled a dry broom if we’re going for accuracy–but in my head, I was Claudia Schiffer, so it didn’t matter. What was important was that I could change my hair–when I was feeling bored, when I didn’t like who I was, when I wanted to shake a feeling, or sometimes simply to scratch a creative itch–or as Brett calls it, “when the phase of the moon shifts.” I’ve had blond hair, red hair, brown hair, black hair (I loved it, everyone else hated it), and once–for about 45 minutes before a frantic trip to Rite Aid–lavender hair that stretched like elastic. I’ve played with lengths, styles, color, fried the ends, skipped hair cuts and convinced myself I was too busy to do anything the right way. But now, nearing 40, I have one main goal for my hair…take care of it.

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How does one who used to swap out hair color like nail polish colors take care of her hair while still having fun with it?

1. Home spa and daily care.
The older I get, the more I value self care and make time for daily rituals from skin to hair care. I have super fine hair that gets oily if I don’t wash it every day, and yet I hate the idea of my scalp getting doused with chemicals every day and the build-up it creates. Plus, ever since having babies, there’s more hair going down the drain and being pulled out with my brush. We just discovered the PURA D’OR (we as in Brett and I because he steals all my products ;o) hair therapy line aimed at preventing hair loss with a 100% natural preservative system–no sulfates, no parabens, no harmful chemicals, manufactured in the USA and cruelty free. We love it. With fine hair, the thing that I want most in a shampoo is one that leaves my hair light and volumous as it can easily feel weighed down. This shampoo and conditioner leaves my hair feel super clean, light and manageable. And it smells so good!

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After and 8-week clinical study, 9 out of every 10 PURA D’OR users noticed measurably improved volume to their hair–and there are over 13,000 reviews of people who agree.

I love how it smells–enriched with essential oils and a nice lather too.

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2. No more D.I.Y. for major changes.

Thankfully, my hair dresser is also my good friend, and friends don’t let friends drastically change their hair without a little thought. Every time I have an itch to do something crazy, I text my hair dresser who usually calmly texts back…”sleep on it.” And by booking an appointment to have changes done in a salon, it gives me time to wait and think about it which almost always leads to changing my mind. I didn’t deliver my own babies because I’m not an obstetrician; the same rule applies to hair: Leave it to the experts.

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2. Regular hair appointments.
With three kids, I have less time now than I ever did. I find that gives me even more reason to get away for self care time. And that little trim might not seem like a big deal, but it makes my hair look so much healthier after so many years of ravaged ends. Plus, my hair salon offers wine. Let me spell that out for you: no kids, a glass of wine, a head massage. I never miss a hair appointment.

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3. Can’t resist the urge? Get crazy with bangs.
When I’m feeling a serious urge to change something up, and I’m not willing to wait for my next appointment, I let loose with my bangs–a small enough area for harmless D.I.Y., and they grow back super fast.

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4. Play with fun styles.
With a little creativity, I can achieve that big change I’m going for with an up do…

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…or ponytails…

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…or braids. While I’ve been tempted to cut my hair short again, I can’t give up the fun braids, especially now that spring and summer are around the bend.

If you want to make your own home spa and try PURA D’OR, you can order PURA D’OR on 2MinuteClub.com where you’ll find the lowest member only pricing + free shipping. Plus, the first 100 readers who order will receive $20 Off + Free Delivery off your first order of shampoo and conditioner. Click here and enter in the code KELLE (offer valid only on the shampoo/conditioner sets).

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I have a hair appointment tomorrow and one day to think about any major changes (Short cut? Blonder? Dark? So many choices!).

In the meantime, I’ll be taking care of what I’ve got.

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Enjoying: Spring Preview

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It’s spring break and I haven’t caught up on the blog, but I did get notified that our demolition job on our floors got moved up from next week to Monday which means I have to move everything that’s standing in most of our house to two rooms, and I have two days to do it. Brett walked in my office this morning, glanced from piano to desk to piles of shit all over the floor and just started laughing that weird nothing’s-really-funny-but-I-don’t-know-how-else-to-respond laugh. “How are we going to do this?”

“We can do anything,” I answered. “We’ll make it happen. We always do.”

So we’ll be busy for the next few days. But we’ve had a lot of fun the past two weeks, so we’re stocked up pretty good.

We’ve been enjoying…

Weekend Farmer’s Market
In season, our little downtown streets host the best farmer’s market that makes you feel alive and in love with everything. Especially the beignets.

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One of my favorite things about our poppa and Gary? They are adventure seekers. They never say no to an art show, a farmer’s market, an early morning beach excursion, a bike ride, a day trip, a memory.

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(my first baby niece was here last week, and we LOVED having her)

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Welcome to Naples. Where tiny dogs are treated better than tiny children. We quite possibly have more dog boutiques than coffee shops.

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We can walk right from the farmer’s market to the pier where they sell frozen chocolate-covered bananas. Dash calls them something else that I don’t really feel like typing, but if you really want to know, it rhymes with “boop-on-a-stick”

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The Annual Grandma Stay
My mama was here last week, and every time she leaves, I’m left a little stunned at how the beginning of this love journey so quickly turned to the middle. So many of my favorite memories of my mom that make her who she is to me happened at the same place in life that I am now. Desperately loving my parents and kids at the same time feels overwhelming sometimes and can make me anxious. I am learning to stop viewing that love in terms of an hourglass losing sand but rather an eternal gift–every year, every change makes it better and stronger and more beautiful. No fear of scarcity in moments or memories or love. Just open arms, open mind, open heart: there is more, there is more, there is more. There is always more.

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Florida Lovers
I posted this picture on Instagram and a reader who used to live in Naples but moved away and misses it wrote the following comment: “I know exactly where you are. Wiggins. 4th entrance, middle boardwalk. My favorite spot in the world. It’s my locked screen wallpaper.”

 

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…and I was astounded. There are multiple boardwalks on all our beaches, and we have beaches aplenty. To have a secret place you love so much that you’ve memorized its view–the exact height of the sea grass, the knots in the weathered wood of the boardwalk planks, the way the sky and sea and grass and boardwalk all magically combine to make it stand out from every other beach boardwalk in town…well, I want to be that kind of observer.

She was right though. It’s special.

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Spring Preview
We Floridians take one for the team by testing out the spring vibes before they get to the north. We take that job seriously. So, dear bundled up northerners, you have much to look forward to. The flowers are coming…

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…and the waters are getting warmer.

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Spring fashion offers many colors this year…

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…and nautical is so in.

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Forecast: Sunshine. Hope you find lots of it this weekend.

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