My Car Crash

 

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I am so blest to be alive and writing right now.  Lately, I have been really all about makeup in my last couple of posts, but today I have to address the elephant in my head and heart.  I am holding my living and breathing baby as I write this, and I am incredibly blest.  Because after what happened two days ago, this current moment could be oh so different.

My friend and I wanted to get together, despite the tornado warning.  (And why again was I surprised when the day went all wrong?!)  But the thing is, I HATE driving.  (sorry, little side note here–I HATE DRIVING.  I didn’t learn to drive until my husband taught me my senior year of college.  And I got my license just 3 days before our wedding…and ONLY because he was going to Basic after our wedding and I would be on my own for 4 months.  And did I mention I had already failed the driving test twice?… back to the story).  My friend lives a half-hour away and I told my husband I was really bad at following a GPS and driving at the same time.  So being the wonderful mounted infantryman husband that he is, Jared offered to “do a convoy” and drive his SUV in front of me.  Such a trooper!  <3 That way he could show me the way, but I could park there and hang out with my friend while he went home to relax.  A great plan!  At first.

I followed behind him in our compact car, with my baby tucked asleep in the back seat.  For the privacy of the other drivers involved, I won’t give the specific details of the road or where we were.  But that’s okay because honestly, that’s the least important part of my story.  We were going 50mph and the light ahead turned red.  The SUV in front of my husband came to an abrupt stop, breaking a little too late at the light.  But Jared squeezed his breaks hard, and was able to stop.  I was surprised at how fast they both had stopped, and panic set in as I began squeezing, and then eventually stomping as hard as I could to get my car to stop.  The tires started squealing, the smell of burned rubber began billowing up.  I stopped just in time.  But a horrible, terrible thought hit me, just before the SUV behind me did.  I knew whoever was behind me wouldn’t stop.  And they didn’t.  At all.

My body flew forward at the steering wheel as the sound of a train attacked my car.  I could feel the blood coming from my nose.   Glass started flying as my car was shoved into the back of my husband’s SUV.  My head flew back against the seat, and I saw my airbag erupt from my steering wheel as the horn sounded and my legs began getting crunched.   I was hit by someone going 45mph, and hit so hard that my car hit Jared’s SUV hard enough to send it bumping into the car ahead of him.  It happened so fast, and yet, I knew what was happening.  And I couldn’t hear my baby.  As the glass pummeled the back of my headrest, all I could think about was her.  I must have jerked the steering wheel to the right, because my car started rolling into the lane beside me.  My heart had literally stopped.  I needed my baby in my arms.

And then, I heard her cry.  It was more of a scream.  She was wailing, and it was the most beautiful and perfect sound I had ever heard.  At this point, I could hear my husband shouting at the top of his lungs too.  I looked out my window, and saw him running to me, still shouting.  It couldn’t have been done better in a movie.  He was in his uniform, with the hardest look of love and devastation I had ever seen.  He had no idea what he would find in the ruins of our first car.  I turned to him, throwing open my door.  I looked into his panicked eyes and said, “I’m fine, I’m okay.  GET THE BABY.”  But my car was still rolling and he tried to tell me to stop it.  I just kept thinking baby, baby baby, over and over in my mind.  And I finally managed to pull the emergency break to stop the car.  I stumbled out of the car as he threw the back door open and leaned in for our daughter.

I peeked over his shoulder, with my heart dropped to the bottom of my feet.  She had glass on her dress, and had her little hands bunched, screaming.  He pulled her out and I didn’t breathe until he handed her to me.  She looked at me, confused and awake and scared.  But then she buried her little head against my sweater and let me console her.   I knew she was okay.  She looked beautiful.

By this point, everyone was running towards us, out of their cars.  Everyone was asking how the baby was.  Luckily, an EMS team was a few cars ahead and saw the whole thing through their mirror.  They examined my baby there on the side of the road, and asked me if I was okay.  I said I had glass in my fingers, but that I was okay and that my baby was okay.  I knew she was.  It was a miracle, that much was clear.  I couldn’t stop stroking her head and I kept repeating myself.  I was in shock of the accident, but I was so much more in awe that my baby was okay.  The medics offered to check her vitals and I said I wanted to.  They helped me get the few remaining glass shards out of her hair, and dry the blood off my hands. I was holding my baby, both of us completely unharmed, in the back of the ambulance.  They shook out her clothes and I held her there in her little diaper.  Nothing could take the sigh of relief away from me.

The rest of the story is a blur of unimportance.  My totaled car.  My husband’s dented SUV.  The swarm of police, medics, and witnesses talking to me.  I didn’t care.  My body didn’t even feel the shock it had gone through.  And looking at my smashed car smeared across the road didn’t even upset me.  Yes, it was a little hard.  I was looking at the car, that my husband and I had bought together in college, completely in shambles.  The back window that our wedding party had written “Just Married” on with whipped cream for our wedding getaway drive was smashed into a million pieces.  But for some reason, it truly and honestly didn’t matter.  My baby was in my arms, and my husband was by my side.  I only had blessings surrounding me.  I had so many things to take away from the experience, and that’s what I’m sharing with you today.

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I learned:

  • Nothing is beyond God’s Power.  He protected my family that day, as He always does.
  • Nothing is more important than my family.  The feel of my baby is something I will never get over.  The sound of her cry is something I will always love.  The closeness of my husband is something I will always cherish.  I have them in my life forever.
  • Driving is overrated.  I love being a SAHM, blogger, and writer.  Only bad things happen when I leave my house.  <– Only kind of kidding.
  • I hate compact cars.
  • I hate driving.
  • I don’t want to “get back up on that horse” any time soon.  (I recognize how immature that sounds.  Oops.  Still said it anyway).
  • Car accidents sound so vague and like a looming possibility, but once you are in one, you realize how real and devastating and actual they really are.
  • And you ask yourself how you walked away, completely unharmed.
  • You don’t have to be a terrible driver to get wrecked.  There are worse drivers out there, and accidents can happen to literally anyone.
  • My husband saw the most horrible scene of his life in the review mirror.  I might have seen my life flash before my eyes, but so did he…because my baby and I are everything to him, and in that moment, he thought he lost us.
  • If I ever follow (convoy) someone’s car, I will pay even better attention to WHERE I am going and HOW I am going…not where THEY are going and HOW they are doing it.
  • The silver lining here was that I got to see my husband running in full speed in uniform like the hero that he is, coming to rescue is wife and daughter.  Heart throb.  <3
  • I will eventually drive again.  But I won’t forget how important it is to be careful.  I’ve always been a cautious driver, but now that I carry the most important cargo in the world, I will be an even safer and more prudent driver.
  • I will thank God every day for sending His angels to protect us.  And I will continue to rely on Him for everything, because in the end, I know it is all in His Hands.

My dear readers and friends, this was not the easiest story to type, but it was a lot easier to write about than to experience.  And I wanted to document it.  Most importantly, I wanted to share what I had learned.  Because I honestly had a shift in perspective after this traumatic occurrence.  I love more and live better.  I truly have an insight into what people who almost lose their lives feel about.  Probably because I almost did too.  And I deeply hope my story can kindle in your heart an even clearer awareness of how important driving safety is, and how one afternoon in the car can make a lifetime of difference.

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Drive safe and love a lot.  Don’t wait until you almost die to start living your life the way you want to.  The rest of forever starts right now!   Go!!!

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Beauty Review: Bronzer

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Even though eyeliner and mascara are my two favorite makeup products (okay and c’mon eyeshadow is LEGIT), there is a special place in my heart for bronzer.  It was my first “face sculpting” product and I wore it when I felt “grown-up” for the first time at my graduation dinner at college. *let’s ignore the fact that I didn’t feel grown up until THE VERY END OF COLLEGE*  *we all mature differently* *some of us, not very much at all*  *this is a judgment free blog, people*

Saturday was one of those Army days when my husband had to go in at 5:30am and he came home around 11pm.  Airborne.  Whoo-hoo.  But we love it.  So, my daughter and I spent some quality mommy-baby time doing shopping on Saturday to distract us from missing daddy. I was at Tuesday Morning in the bath aisle when I discovered Physician’s Formula bronzers for only $4.99!  Totally felt like Christmas.

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This winter, I have been a big fan of sweaters and cable.  So I obvi had to get the cabled bronzer.  Cabled bronzer, was that even a thing before this product??  I don’t know, but what I do know is that I love it.  *excuse me while I get my inner-knitting-nerd on*  You see, there is a super cute basket-weave pattern on each end of the palette.  Running down the middle is a cute stripe of bronzer in a stockinette pattern, and beside that is a goldy-sparkle tone cabled stripe. *nerdy knitting snort*

And if that weren’t enough, let’s talk about the actual product.  The Physicians Formula Cashmere Wear bronzer.  In Light Bronzer 7337.  An Ultra-smoothing Bronzer.  With 100% Pure Cashmere Extract.  In case you haven’t heard of perfection before, let me explain what this means.  Your skin is softened and conditioned when you wear this bronzer because of the cashmere extract.  As in, your makeup nourishes your skin.  NEED I SAY MORE.  I will.  There is also Sodium Hyaluronate in it, which also moisturizes and smooths your skin.  Moral of the story: this product is a wonder product.

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The color.  The bronzer has an attractive brown color that is tempered with a slight grey undertone.  The fancy word for that apparently is “pearlescent” and that it helps diffuse fine lines and wrinkles.  All I know is that its the perfect color with that bronze-grey combo and creates a more natural looking shadow than those orange-based bronzers.  Side note: Don’t feel bad if you have worn a bronzer like that before.  We have all been Miss Pumpkin-Cheeks at one point or another.  (not just me…right??! halp).  There’s a time and place for everything.  Except pumpkin cheeks.

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Moving on.  The packaging is thoughtful too.  It’s a dark brown board box with a clear film and decorative tassel.  The palette is tightly fixed in the box, and so there are no issues with it popping out.  The bottom of the box opens up to reveal a mirror and bonus brush.   But back to the main point–THE TASSEL.

Bottom Line–This is my new all-time favorite bronzer.  Even though I will always have a special sentimental attachment to Maybelline’s Fit Me bronzer (first bronzer ever!…the one that made me feel grown up…that one)  I now have a new go-to bronzer.  I can’t imagine liking any bronzer more than this one.  But if you think you know one that could rival it, I’d love to know so leave a comment below!

Stay bronze my people!

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Update That At-Home Mani

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When I think of manicures, I think of luxury, comfort, beauty, and style all wrapped up into 10 tiny little works of art.  But as much as I love getting my nails done…LIFE HAPPENS.  Life=showering and dishes and cute babies and giving said cute babies a bath and doing laundry and just in general doing aquatic activities that strip the polish off my nails in a heartbeat.  So I almost always paint my own nails.   Not because the nail polish comes off slower (it doesn’t, I lost my at-home manicure super quickly) but because it’s cheaper so I don’t feel so bad when 24hrs later, my nails look as bare as before they were polished.   I’m not great at giving myself professional designs (that’s something I want to get into!) but I do like to make my polish look “salonified” with two simple products.

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Before I begin polishing my clean, filed nails, I like to put on a base layer.  It helps fill in the natural ridges of the nail bed, giving your nails a smoother finish when polished.  It also protects your nail beds from the paint, and can even hydrate or strengthen your nail beds.  You can use any brand, but lately I have been loving the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Smooth and Strong base layer.

After that dries, I apply my two coats of colored paint, as usual.  *insert story about favorite nail polish*  <–  That is something I can’t do, because I don’t have a favorite nail polish.  Which is really sad, because my collection is massive.  I have some SERIOUS affection for my Charming Charlie polish and my Ulta Glitter.  Hmm…maybe a separate post about those guys?!?  Eeep!

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Then, to finish off the manicure, I like to use the Strengthening Top Coat from the Sally Hansen line “Advanced Hard As Nails.”  Again, there is a variety of top coats to choose from, but I like this one because it adds a professional gloss to my nails and helps my polish stay on WAY longer than if I polish without it.  Once that dries, the look is complete and your manicure is “salonified!”

An added bonus to using a base layer and top coat:  it is SO MUCH EASIER to take off your polish if you have the paint sandwiched between a base layer and a finishing top coat.  Especially if you have a habit of peeling off your polish.  In your husband’s car.  When you’re wearing dark purple polish and the interior of his car is light grey.  And he just recently vacuumed.  Recently as in yesterday.  Okay, I need to stop talking now.

Oh yeah, one last thing, this post was not sponsored by Sally Hansen.  Though I wouldn’t mind if it was! haha

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My Current 10 Daily Products

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If you’re like me, you get hooked on a particular eyeshadow palette, or blush/bronzer combo.  Then of course there are THOSE makeup products that you only ever buy in that particular brand in that particular color (L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, I’m looking at you).  And then there are some “ooh, let’s try this!” products that make their way onto your face every few days.  Today, I am giving you the list of 10 products (makeup OR skincare) that I apply every day, whether I’m doing an ALL-OUT makeup look, or keeping it simple with a daily couch-friendly, baby-friendly, husband-friendly, trying-to-look-like-a-put-together-adult look.  Here it is:

  1. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow.  It’s shimmery and delicate, but has a few dark shades that can build up for enhancing contour and shadowing.  Plus, THE PACKAGING.  Need I say more?
  2. Elf Expert Liquid liner.  This is one I’m wearing every single day no matter what, but I can’t say that I’m happy about it.  LOL  The quest for the perfect liquid liner is still on, because this one isn’t perfect.
  3. Maybelline Define-a-Line Eye liner.  I wrote an entire post dedicated to this product, because <3.
  4. L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara.  Again, this one deserved an entire post dedicated  just to its perfect little self.
  5. Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm.  I have been loving the coconut pear edition.  To me, this counts as makeup, because I only wear balms.  I’m just not a big lipstick person.  So this is my “lip product” of every day.

Fear not, this is not the ONLY makeup that I wear.  haha  Sometimes I definitely throw some bronzer, blush, foundation, primer, powder, highlight, illuminator and nose contour in there.  But these are just my current dailies that I put on no matter what the situation is.  What are your current five?

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My Go-to Pencil Eyeliner

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I remember it like it happened yesterday.  My cousin and I hadn’t seen each other in a few years.  She walked into my grandma’s house and my makeup dreams burst into full-Disney mode and I was singing.  What was that GORGEOUS black smudging on her eyes??  She had put a heavy dose of silky black perfection on her eyes–it was dark, trendy, effortless, fab, feminine and TOTALLY gorge.  I had to have.  She wasn’t allowed to leave my grandma’s house until I had the name/brand/color…basically a CLUE as to where I could get my hands on that eyeliner look.

I stalked her and cornered her and popped the question.  “Girl, I love your eyeliner.  Where did you get it?” I asked casually.  Inside my head was screaming, “BECAUSE I REALLY NEED TO BUY IT.”  I smiled all calm and collectedly.
“Oh, it’s just Maybelline.  I get it in ebony.”   She said it just as casually, but she was actually nailing the casual-thing.  I said some kind of low-key response and then secretly died of happiness inside.  SOON, the makeup look would be mine.

And let me tell you, this was not one of those situations where it “seemed” like it’d be a good idea, but didn’t end up working out.  No, guys.  This crayon is AMAZING.  It is always a good idea.  I have basically been wearing it for 8 years.  Now I just made myself sound old.  Actually, I started wearing makeup at a young age.  Kinda.  I need to stop talking now.

Allow me to introduce you to Maybelline Define-A-Line Eye Liner.

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It is in no way a new product of Maybelline’s.  (see my above paragraph)  But it’s a timeless eyeliner IMHO.  It is creamy and glide-y, just like pencil liners should be.  It does have a sharpener, but since it is a retractable pencil, you never have to worry about sharpening it and than gouging your eye out with said sharpened pencil.  I wouldn’t say that this pencil ever achieves extreme pointy-ness (is that a word?) but it does sharpen and I think for a retractable pencil it has good shaping.  Sometimes it even self-shapes depending on how you tilt it and press it to your eye.  Yes, it is really that creamy of a formula.  You guys.

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It also has a smudger which is basically a little foam bauble at the end of the liner stick.  It works well to smudge your liner if you’re going for that look.  And the great thing is, this liner can either be precise, or effortlessly messy.  So versatile.  So trendy.  So NECESSARY.

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I literally can’t say enough about this eyeliner.  So instead, let me just tell you that you need this eyeliner in your life.  Right now.  Your eyes deserve it.  So do you!

 

 

 

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Less than Luminated Lumi

 

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It’s supposed to make me glow.  But it makes me look like I rubbed chalk on my cheeks.  Its powdery, cakey, and just plain white.

I bought the L’Oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator to do what illuminators are supposed to do–give me a fresh, dewy glow.  But it doesn’t do anything nearly close to that!   In it’s defense, I am not totally loving the NYX HD Finishing Powder that I use to set my face, and so I know that could contribute to the dissatisfaction.  But still, we can’t be blaming NYX for the L’Orral Lumi when no matter how I wear it, my “illumination” comes off looking like a chalkboard accident.  And you guys, ugh…I hate looking like an accident.

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I bought it in Rose (N202).  There are four compartments: a pearl white, a cashmere light, a tea rose, and a dusty rose color.  I feel like they are pretty comparable to each other…I don’t see much of a difference at all between them when they are on the skin.  When you swatch them, they all look white.  And they have a sparkle to them, not a dewy quality.  But when you actually apply them on your face, you hardly even get a sparkle.  It’s just white dust.

And unfortunately, it ain’t pixie dust.

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To be fair, I think the packaging is pretty cute.  The colors look glossy enough in the box.  It has a double opening palette, meaning one layer opens for the illuminator and then a bottom layer opens where the brush is stored.  Cute!

But don’t be fooled by the cuteness.  It is not my friend, and I am warning you not to try to make it yours.  But, speaking of friends……. Friends, please help me find a good illuminator!

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Liquid Eyeliner Letdown

 

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I have to tell you how sad I am about writing this post.  I LOVE Maybelline’s soft crayon eyeliner.   The Define-a-Line.  It’s life.  I have been wearing it almost every single day for 8 years.  It is soft, blends out well, stays on for hours, is semi-waterproof (I can watch it and have a laugh attack and cry and still be wearing it by the end of that little episode).  It comes in a variety of shades and is at a good price-point.  Can I gush anymore?

But.  Their liquid eyeliner.  *Sigh* I have to tell you about it.

My BELOVED liquid eyeliner (the one I’ve been wearing for about 6 years) is now a discontinued product.  –it was a Mary Kay product, for anyone wondering– And my eyes were tossed out on the streets…jobless, eyeliner-less, afraid, and alone.  I had to save them; I had to line them.

Enter my favorite CRAYON eyeliner brand: Maybelline.  But enter this liner: Eye Studio Master Duo 2-in-1 Glossy Liquid Liner.  Disaster.  The brush was too odd of a shape.  It was paddle-shaped, so that if you turned it on it’s side it was thin, but if you kept it flat it was wide.  It was like writing with a calligraphy quill on your eye, one false turn of the pen and your font turns out 5 times thicker.  Also, the ink.  I hated it.  It was streaky, as in thin, and didn’t cover my skin nicely or flawlessly.  The worst part was definitely the longevity of the bottle.  After less than a week, my ink well already felt dry.  As did my spirits.

After a brief (read: YEAR LONG) stint with Elf liquid liner, I decided to go back and try Maybelline.  They are so good–I probably got a bum bottle with the Master Duo, I reasoned.  I should give them another try.  Enter: Maybelline Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eyeliner.

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Enter: Lingering, renewed disappointment.  Everything that went wrong with the Maybelline Duo liner happened again.  There again was the issue with the streaky ink…and the fact that it acts like a desert on your brush the minute you dip it into the ink pot.  It’s just a drier-type of product with thin coverage.  The color, despite being labeled as black, comes out as a weakly grey.

It’s ONLY saving grace is brush.

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The felt tip brush (pen) is the high note of the product.  It’s not amazing compared to every eyeliner brush out there, but in relation to the rest of this product, it’s not bad.  And it’s a vast improvement over the duo brush, but still too clunky for liquid liner.   IMHO.  I just didn’t like how thick the end of the pen is for creating winged eye looks.  Just a little too rounded.  Again, IMHO.

So anyway…does this give me an excuse to go makeup shopping??  Um, I mean, jusssst eyeliner shopping.  If you have a good liquid liner brand to recommend, PLEASE DO SO.  These are desperate times, people, and I need your help.

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10 Ways to Eat Apples

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It’s my least favorite season right now–when it comes to fruit.  Even though I LOVE pomegranates, and clementines are pretty good, I find myself missing summer berries like. crazy. bad.  But, lucky for us, apples still abound in the grocery store, and here are 10 ways to put them to use in your own kitchen:

  1. Apple pie.  Because, duh.
  2. Homemade apple sauce.
  3. Old-fashioned apple pancakes.
  4. Salad (because its basically the best topping you can use).
  5. Candied apples.  Because, life.
  6. Hot Cinnamon apples.  (Apples, butter, cinnamon, a stove…you get the point).
  7. Apple Crumb.  WITH ICE CREAM.
  8. Apple streusel muffins.
  9. Grated Apple and Carrot slaw.  We’re trying to be healthy, people.
  10. Apple Rings Layers.  (Skin/core and apple, and fill each ring layer with peanut butter, nutella, cinnamon, mini chocolate morsels…anything).  See?  Healthy.

How ’bout them apples?

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