Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Camden James

*note: I write this Jan 17 and just realized I never posted it. Better late than never

World, meet Camden James. Camden James, meet the world. 

My sister's first baby was born yesterday (two weeks early, the lucky duck!) and he is just perfect. Actually, the whole experience was pretty dang perfect. Not a complication to tell of. And the more babies I have, the more years I live, and the more stories I hear- the more I realize that's a pretty spectacular tale to tell. 

So I'm filling my moments with sister-to-sister-story-swapping, baby snuggling, and sleepy sighs of the baby kind. It's pretty grand. :) 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

and one time i had daughters

I'll tell you what, it's totally different having two girls around than two boys. But I'll take it!!!

Sunday afternoon we met at our church parking lot and picked up two girls from a Teen Mania team. Our church was providing host homes for their group of thirty or so for a few days until they were ready to head on to the next Acquire the Fire event. Dude, it was a little bit like I won the lottery. All of a sudden I had females to girl-talk with, hands to buckle kids in car seats, shopping buddies to gallivant beside (twice!) and company for meals. It was a blast.

If only I had photos...but alas, the photo shoot that occurred was starring Liam and was on one of their phones. But they were great fun and rumor has it that we were the best host home they have had yet, beating out VEGAS. That may be the only time a visit to my house trumps a trip to Las Vegas. Understandably so!  Excuse me while I do a little victory-butt-bump with myself. I'm blaming it on the Hot Cheetos I bribed them with treated them to. 

I'll tell you what, though. I have been skipping through life feeling pretty young and immature, convinced that I had no more wisdom behind these green eyes than I did in my college days. You know what I mean. Raising children blindly reminds you hourly of the plethora of information you just don't know, and the confidence of doing a job well done is more elusive than a rainbow-maned unicorn. Well, nothing will prove you're no longer 20 like hearing two 21-year-olds say, "It's just so nice to talk to you because you have so much wisdom. I mean, you're 30. You've lived so much more life than we have!!!" bahahahahahaha

Fooled them.

No, but seriously, this just in: turns out I've learned some stuff. And maybe being 30 really IS a whoooole lot different than being 20. And maybe that is actually a really cool thing. Because seeing the road you've walked and identifying the lessons you've learned is a pretty rewarding feeling. And I traded that knowledge for new knowledge- like what the heck Snap Chat is.

But let's just call a spade a spade:

Now where is my bed? I'm exhausted from keeping up with 21-year-olds.
(that means "shake my head."

If that is new information to you,
it's time to find yourself a 20-something, too.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

when snow days come 'round again

I can die a happy woman. I can say with confidence that I have passed down my love of snow to my offspring. My job here is done. Obvi.

And that love looks a little something like:

Except it's an even greater love, because the snow gets points but the three men IN the snow.... well that bumps the "love meter" just plain through the roof. ;)

And the rules are very strict in this here neck of the woods. Hot chocolate must always, ALWAYS succeed a frolick in the snow. Complete with the freedom to choose any mug you like and hopeful with the promise of marshmallow-and-milk mustaches.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

snow day plans

Ah, snow. :) When the weather men got serious about precipitation amounts, we got serious about preparation. Most people go out and buy milk, bread, and shovels in the face of impending doom.... we went to Ikea the night before the storm. (Is it bad that we don't own a shovel?? Maybe that should have been first on our list instead?) Hey, if you're going to spend a day inside and off work, you might as well put it to good use, no?

And so, snow day numero uno consisted of playing musical beds for Becker boys.

Roman drew the long straw, so he got the new bed, Liam got his old one, and Henry gets the crib. It was a day of power tools and boys jumping on mattresses many times over. I thought my favorite part of the day was going to be the satisfaction of having Henry's room a step closer to being ready for him. No. Maybe my favorite part of the day would be getting to rearrange furniture? Nope. Not that either. As lame as it sounds, my favorite part of the day was watching Jerr let Ro and Liam help. Not pretend help. Not "hand me that screw" kind of help. But taking the time to let them painstakingly deliberately put the power drill in exactly the right spot to line up with the screw, to then gain the reward of pushing the button and watching the whir- and just like that, again and again, the frame was constructed. It took forever. But the boys were really helping. And learning. And hopefully we not only raise good helpers, but men who are able to build things and enjoy doing it, to boot!

  (The trunk- aka that short thing down in the corner to the left of the pillows- worked great as a night stand when he had a toddler bed. I think I'm going to get two wooden crates to stand side-by-side underneath. It will lift the trunk high enough to still be used and provide more storage for bedside lasers and masks, of course.)

  (funky light, but snow days aren't bright- and what else do you expect from a bedroom primarily decorated in reds??)
Since Liam's and Henry's rooms (Liam and Henry's rooms?) are still works in progress, aside from their "new" beds, I'll keep the pictures limited to Roman's room this time.

It was long and work, we did. But we're calling the day a success. This is all the proof you need:

And in closing, this picture must go down in the annals of Becker history, because the relationship between Roman and his superhero masks is something that I want to hold on to forever.He may be forced to take it off while he goes to sleep, but his Papa's flashlight and green mask cannot be out of arm's reach, even in slumber. Stay this age forever, sweet boy. If not in this world, at least remain here in my mind.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

so if you could just...

23 weeks pregnant and starting to get "the itch." Not an itchy belly. Not even the desire to have Henry. But the itch to dress a non-pregnant body again. In honor of that, I thought I'd write a post that included some of the items I wish I was buying and wearing these days. So go, get, wear, and let me live vicariously through you......m'kay?? Links to all of the items are attached to the title below each pic.

But least these are a part of my world:


Monday, January 13, 2014

All in a day's work

I'll set the final scene of the night for you and let you decide what the rest of the day may have been like... 

As Liam lays on the floor of his room, Jerry changing his diaper and dressing him in pajamas... Roman is running in naked circles around the both of them yelling, "This is for you!!!! This is for you!!!! This is for you!!!!!" 


Hi, my name is Lauren. I have two (almost 3) kids and life is rarely elegant... but also often very entertaining. 

On Facebook last night I shared about how my preschooler didn't realize there was a lucite dining chair in his way until he was bouncing off of it like birds do when your windows are clean enough to cause the Windex company to call you repeatedly, begging you to star in their next television commercial. Let's be honest here, and admit that the real star of the story here is me! ME, whose lucite dining chairs were somehow miraculously clean enough to be mistaken for thin air. Don't worry, that's completely ridiculous and will probably never happen again. But in the meantime, let's call a spade a spade, and a tidy housekeeper the eighth  freaking wonder of the world, shall we? 

And since lucite chairs never cease to amaze and bring pleasure to the souls of mankind, let's also talk about the toddler of the house who, this very same evening, decided it was a wise idea to stand behind another one of the chairs and push, slowly lifting the back legs from the ground causing the chair to place all of the weight to the front legs. Not to seem cruel or unaware, I'll include that at this moment, the young child's father cautioned him strongly against the wisdom of this decision... Explaining the traumatic fate that was surely to follow. The young buck, not willing to heed the advice of his father, pushed the chair all the way to the brink of balance as smudgy little fingers made their own unique print as they crept up along the back of the chair.  When suddenly, the child let go! This act of disregard released the chair plummeting to the ground, and,  being unable to reach the ground due to a blockade preventing it's descent, thus preceded to smack said toddler in the forehead, smartly. The belly laugh that followed- by the diapered boy, no less- can only be described as insanity. The belly laugh offered by the father, however, can only be described as completely logical and a necessary part of ethical parenting. 

In other news, Henry's second ultrasound provided good news! That darned femur is measuring just fine, four weeks after the first concerning ultrasound we had. His noggin is now measuring large, though, and the tech wants to see him back one more time to make sure things continue to measure within parameters. At this point I think they should just let the poor guy grow as he will, but I will never fight a chance to stare at the sweet babe on screen and get acquainted. 23 weeks in, and I'm already excited to squeeze his stuffins right out. You know, mom privileges and such. 

storing the crown jewels

Okay, so remember that one night where I was having a dilemma about jewelry storage? I think I have a game plan.

Since we left HI, I haven't seen all of my jewelry in one place at one time. Not even once! I know, it's tragic. I have trouble breathing some days.... And I'm ready to change that. But here is the thing: 1)I have little people who are very curious and would be more than happy to destroy my pretties. 2)I don't have room in my closet to hang them all on the wall. 3)I have to do it in a way that the man who shares my bedroom will approve.

I'm thinking:
Sorry, I know she's a little blurry. I tried to blow it up so it was easier to see. But here is the link to where I found it through Pinterest. Heck, while we're at it let's just go plum crazy and say here is the link to my Pinterest page! Getting wild up in here!! (why do I always find myself wanting to say "#amiright" after literally every sentence i write!?)

I even have a little wall bump out thing in my bedroom that is the size of this mini-wall here, so that's where I'm going to build her. Now, let's be honest. Those necklaces that low are ASKING to be used like the chimes in a great symphonic work. And I only have a pair or two of earrings (I know..what happened there?!) So I'm thinking sections get switched around a little bit. Necklaces go to the very top- and definitely get color-coded like these are. That is so pretty. Makes them look like art. #amiright  (See!!!! It totally works!!!) Bracelets stay in the middle. And can we puh-lease talk about how gorgeous/genius it is to use vases and cups to hold bracelets?! Thrift store trip happening STAT. White spray paint when necessary. And then at the bottom where the necklaces are, I'm thinking I'll find some way to put art or a picture of our family? Large and colorful enough to balance it all out visually, but safe enough that the only thing I have to worry about is finger smudges on glass instead of beads in a baby throat. Lovely picture, that.

So anyway. That's the plan. And I'm sharing because it's different that the usual ideas I have seen floating around. And beyond a rack, some vases, and two shelves, it won't take much to make happen. If this isn't you, though, and you are still looking for the perfect way to organize your own stash, here are some other ideas I saw and thought were pretty:

May you be inspired! 

What do you use to organize your jewelry?? I'm especially curious to know what those of you do who have a tremendous amount of statement pieces like I do. They take up waaaaaay more room than the pretty armoires can handle. 

#amiright? ;)

Friday, January 10, 2014

and one for henry

Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl. Oh yes I did.
Yes, she is real. Yes, I saved up for her. Yes, she is vintage. And yes, I feel like I'm living in a dream. 

For the sake of appreciation, I realize not everyone gets their hoots from purses. If that's not your thang, ain't no thang! Just picture something else sitting on my chair that you have eyeballed for years and never thought you'd really own. And then share with me what that thing is! I love to watch/listen to people love what they love. :)

So why did this little lady make her way into our lives? Because I save up for something that is precious in my eyes during each pregnancy, in order to commemorate it, to make the fact that I'm not spending my monthly shopping money on clothes feel a little less painful, and ultimately to pass it down to the child (or in all three of my cases, their wives!) it was purchased to celebrate. Click HERE to read about the mementos I have chosen to mark both of my previous pregnancies.

It reminds me of the alters that the Bible talks about being constructed to mark the times God was faithful. And that is what was remembered again, each time someone passed by. We do that with other things in our lives, too, actually. Not just pregnancies. It's a neat thing to be able to look at something that you love and instantly know the story of faithfulness and victory behind it. :) think of a name. And no, Gertrude is not even on the table.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

when ultrasounds get scary

I posted on fb this past Friday about our experience during Henry's 18-wk ultrasound, but I'm going to decompress a little more... I want to have this to look back on. So forgive me for a little self indulgence? It's probably going to be long and you're more than welcome to excuse yourself if I get too wordy. ;)

We were settled in, enjoying the ambiance of a dimly-lit room and having a blast watching Henry hang out on the screen. Meanwhile, the ultrasound tech was measuring every finger bone and counting heart chambers. It's crazy what science allows us to do. Our fun lasted until the end, when she brought up a summary screen and said, "Okay, so everything looks great....except for one number that concerns me. The measurement I have of your baby's femur is 2 weeks short. By itself, that can mean he is just a small guy! (she wouldn't suggest this, but my obgyn told me later that the measurement can also be off if the tech doesn't get the view just right, since we are really talking about MILLIMETERS of distance, here.) But it is also one of seven markers for Down's Syndrome. So I'm going to have you walk down the hall to speak to our genetic counselor to see what this means and what your options are from here."

In that terrifying walk of no more than 25 steps, thoughts collided in my mind. Things like, "No baby should ever be sick." "How can I protect my baby?? He's supposed to be safe inside me!" "This can't possibly be happening to us!" "Our life could change sooo much....." But mostly just repetitions of "Dear God, HELP." Once there, we are met by a tall, lanky counselor with dark hair and glasses, and she tells us that he's probably okay, but there is a chance he could have Down's Syndrome. Amniocentisis (where they enter the uterus with a needle and pull out some fluid from around baby to look at his DNA and count his chromosomes- that also comes with a risk of miscarriage since they are going in next to baby) is not an option in our eyes, and the blood test she tells us about isn't very reliable. And so we choose to wait and pray.

A week later at our OBGYN appointment, my doctor suggests another type of blood test that is 99.9% accurate and we are on board. So the waiting continues for two more weeks until we get the phone call that says, "Hey. We can tell you that we are 99.8% sure your precious babe is healthy and happy and doing just fine." And I have an ultrasound this coming Monday to re-measure his femur and make sure that it is still 2 weeks short or less. As long as it is staying the same, proportionally, they are no longer concerned.

Sigh of relief.

What is surprising to me is the gratitude I have on this side- not specifically about his health (though don't get me wrong here, I am BEYOND grateful and relieved about that. It's just not what has been occupying my thoughts Now that it's been answered a little bit, I am able to rest in that.) but about the growth I was able to see in my Walk. Crazy? Perhaps. It's certainly not what I thought I'd be thinking about. But in light of the past year, this was the encouragement God knew my heart needed.

With each of my pregnancies, I had a specific fear that I had to work to overcome. When I was pregnant with Roman, and this is by FAR my most embarrassing fear to admit, I was so scared I'd have an ugly baby!!! Seriously. I was convinced I'd deliver him and they would lay this swaddled little bundle of alien-like joy in my arms and I'd think, "But he's so ugly!? I don't want the baby only a mother can love!!!!" To answer your question, YES. I knew this was ridiculous. I never voiced it to anyone. But it was terrifying to me in the quiet of the night.

With Liam, I let people convince me that he would be a terror. "Roman is too easy, too content. Just wait. Liam is going to be the exact opposite. Get ready for torture!" people would say. And so this kept me awake my second pregnancy.

And now, as Henry "bakes," my fear has been about his health. We have two healthy boys. What if this one is handicapped in some way? What if this drastically changes my assumptions about the kind of life we'll be living. What if we never get to go gallivanting across Europe and enjoying our marriage as two best friends again, after our last kid is in college, because we will be taking care of our child until we pass away? And these were the fears that threatened to creep in when thought life wasn't disciplined the last few weeks. How ironic, then, that I was asked to face that very fear. Right???

And oh, how encouraged my heart was when we were in that office- figuratively standing there in front of the scariest thing my heart could imagine, and I heard my heart say, "Okay, Lord. If that's what you have for this family, then I trust you to give us the grace to live it out. I believe you picked Henry- whoever he is!- because he is the best fit for us, and is exactly what this family needs. Because he is a part of the story you have for us to tell as we reflect YOU. And I am determined to bless You as we walk." Now, let's not pretend there weren't tears. Because there were.This isn't an easy thing to think about. These aren't the dreams a mother has for her son and the things his life will hold. But I'd say that I was able to live in the land of peace about 86-89% of the time. But that felt huge because a year ago we went through the scariest thing I could imagine for our family, in terms of jobs and finances, and I bailed. Dude, I bailed hard. I lived from a fetal position, crying and terrified. And I was so frustrated all year because the only thing I could think is "I thought I was made of more than that!! I know God better than I showed!!! Dude, I faced a time of trial and I was weak." And it was laaaaaaaaaaame. So lame.

But this is where God has grown me. This is the 100lb weight I just bench pressed because I have been lifting all year, actually all my life but specifically this past year, increasing the weight of the challenge. And I just victoriously benched a personal record in my faith. Not because I'm strong, but because my God is. And because He and I are growing closer. And because I'm more practiced in surrender and laying "it" down. And as I wipe the sweat from my brow and wait for my breathing to return to normal again, I am glowing. Boo-yah!!!!

And now, Lord, we can be done with trials of any kind. Because this was a victory. And we can just leave it there. ;) That's how it works, am I right?????

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"i deserve..."

I married a wise man.

We were having a conversation- it was months ago now- but I remember making a comment that went something like, "Babe, I'm so sorry you are carrying so much on your plate during this full-time, school full-time, raising little kids that require so much time and energy and patience... you deserve to sit down even ONE night a week to relax and watch tv and relax." To which he responded with, "That's dangerous, Lauren. When I start thinking about what I deserve, it's a slippery slope."

And I have thought about that concept at least weekly since he said it.

I find myself caught up in the "I deserves" so often.
I deserve time to myself.
I deserve to finally buy that _____ I've been looking at forever.
I deserve to have the evening to relax. I don't want to fold laundry tonight.
I deserve to eat dinner out tonight. I cook every night, which means I wash dishes every night.
I deserve to go out with my friends.
And so on.

And darn it all if it isn't a very slippery slope. Because before you know it, that has become, "I deserve that house, those shoes, that car, that marriage, that life, that paycheck..." That whatever it is. And even more dangerous yet is when it morphs into "I don't know why THEY deserve that house, shoes, car, marriage, paycheck, etc." And the next thing you know, all the gratitude is gone from your own life and resentment fills your heart toward those in your life who are blessed with the things you don't feel they deserve.

At the end of the day, the truth is that we deserve NOTHING. No one does. Even the best attempt at the perfect life, filled with hard work and integrity, is empty and sinful unless God steps in and reminds us that we don't DESERVE anything, yet we are WORTH everything. Because He placed His name over us when we became His kid. And if we get one hundred pennies in our wallet, that's more than we deserve. And if we have a one-room shack to life in, that's more than we deserve. And when He wants to bless us, we say "thanks." And when He chooses to bless our friends, we celebrate with them. Yet that defies our very nature. Am I right??

It was Liam's birthday a few weeks ago and watching Roman struggle with the desire in his heart for the perks Liam was enjoying was hard. My mom-heart was simultaneously happy that Liam was opening gifts, and blowing out candles, and playing with his new toys first; yet sad for Roman because he didn't have those things. But Jerry and I have decided that in our house and for our family, we want to learn the ability (because we believe that isn't an unlearned behavior for humans) to be happy when others have blessings even when we don't. So when we saw Roman struggling with the desire to have those special moments for himself, we stepped in and taught him how to feel and how to show that to Liam.
Gee, Ro, isn't it awesome that Liam feels so loved by Mimi and Papa! 
Look how much he is enjoying riding his new four-wheeler! That is so great!
I'm so glad Liam gets to feel special by blowing the candles out for his birthday. How fun to celebrate him!
Isn't it great that Liam gets a special day to feel extra- loved??

And those are the messages Liam will be hearing when it's Roman's turn at it. Because that's how God works. Sometimes we are the one receiving the blessing and sometimes it's a turn for someone else. And oh, isn't it be grand to be able to celebrate with them.

And so, when I see that darned InStyle magazine sitting on the table belonging to the fabulous girl on Instagram I follow, and I think to myself, "You know, I'm going to just subscribe to a year of InStyle because it's only $20 and I deserve to spend that much on myself. I work so hard taking care of others that I'm going to take care of myself." (which, admission of shame, is how this whole post was inspired in the first place!) I'm going to hear, again, the words of my husband. "When I think about what I deserve, it's a slippery slope." And I'm going to to wait. Wait for another month when I have spending money again, or wait for someone to gift it as a birthday gift in a few months, or just grab one at the grocery store when I have a few dollars left of my weekly grocery budget. But I'm going to wait. Because the point has nothing to do with whether I have the cash to do it, but what my reasoning/motivation is for getting it.

Because I deserve nothing. And I have a whole heck of a lot. And my heart just told me it was time to sit on that for a while.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

radiant orchid

Blog readers, allow me to introduce you to Pantone's color for 2014: Radiant Orchid

Some of you have already met, but others may not even be aware that a company called Pantone is the one who chooses that "it color" each year, let alone what the blasted color is! So there she be, in all her glory. If you're bold, grab a cute tunic in the color and pair it with light aqua, orange, or camel. If you're mildly playful, find a scarf or pair of loafers. And if you're timid or just don't want to spend major bucks but want to get in on the trend, grab nail polish or lipstick.

It didn't hurt that I had the color from last year, so yesterday while grocery shopping I threw on some lipstick in that hue.

So get out there, grab it in the way you feel like trying radiant orchid, and rock it your way. And then of course share pictures, so I don't feel like the big, lonely goober sharing lipstick pictures all by her lonesome. ;)

 Wearing: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in "Lovely Lilac" and Stella and Dot "Paloma" Stacked Rings.

Monday, January 6, 2014

a weekend of greatness

This past weekend was probably one of the best in the books. My parents are saints and came down to hang with the boys at our house Friday through Sunday night and Jerr and I went off to DC to galavant and partake in general acts of merriness. It was WONDERFUL. We got to wear "hats" other than the partner-hats we often put on to make sure everything moves as it should.

We stayed right between Chinatown and the National Mall, just a few blocks from each, and ate to our hearts content. We took our good old time eating and s a v o r i n g every bite because we weren't entertaining two other people while trying to inhale without chewing. Heck, in a decision of plain craziness, we shopped at H&M. Together!!! I know. You need a minute, don't you? I do, too.

Minute taken.

And we relished in the chance to dress in outfits that were completely us while perusing museum after museum.

Then we capped off Saturday night at a pub watching the playoff games. Even though our Eagles lost, we had so much fun spending the evening together. One of my favorite things, and one of the main purposes in going for the weekend, was to spend Sunday morning together to pray and set goals for the year. For our finances, our family, our marriage, our spiritual walk, and our personal lives.

It is such a privilege to know the desires in his heart, to hear the areas he wants to grow in and tell him where I want to improve in myself. It feels good to have common goals for our family and income and really great to say, "Hey, we are going to be purposeful about taking a family vacation this year!" It was just GOOD, you guys. It doesn't hurt that we did it with Starbucks in hand. ;)

Aaaaaand just like that, the weekend of bliss is over and I'm back to my Monday list of chores: groceries and laundry. Mondays are much better than Tuesdays...I hate sweeping/mopping/vacuuming floors! But they're the most rewarding of the chores. And really, one HUGE benefit of being kid-free for 49 hours is that I'm enjoying every STINKING minute with them, and I have more than enough energy to do all I need to get done and more! Especially when that "and more!" means hanging out with one of my girlfriends from our time in Hawaii and her three kids.

Overall, Jerr and I had a great weekend away. I think the best part was getting to enjoy each other as the spouse and best friend that we are, without adding other elements into the picture. We just got to ENJOY each other. And you know what, I married a really cool man. In fact, I'm pretty sure the one I hung out with was even cooler than the one I married!! It's nice to know that in the midst of major career changes, moving all over the country, raising 2 (almost 3) kids very close in age, buying houses, and growing older we still continue to grow together. That doesn't happen without work, and purposeful intent. But it's nice to see that we are doing alright. :)

Get ready, Georgetown...our eye is on YOU for January 2015.

Friday, January 3, 2014

the steps of change

And just like that (well...4 hours later!), the ombre is back, baby!!!

This is the picture I took as soon as I got home from the salon, in the average lighting of my bedroom, so there isn't much to see in terms of color. I realize this. Here is the view from the back that my hairstylist took at the salon after finishing:

Oh, THEEERE is the color. Hello, ombre. Your caramel-y goodness is just what I needed. I was dying for some change, for some pampering, and just general color back in my life. Confession: the bangs scare the ever-living daylights out of me. See, I had these terrible bangs in elementary school (didn't we all?? i mean, really...) that were thick and blunt (and actually, now that i think about it, were exactly what I was doing to my bangs the past month or two. now i'm concerned about my perceived better judgement.) and so bangs in general always scare me because visions of bad bang days gone by dance through my head instead of what should be sugar plums.

So, as I sat in the chair and heard Tina say, "Hey, can I make your bangs shorter? It's just that you have these eyebrows that I think could really work with a shorter bang...think Zoey Deschanel." and as I battled the image that then flashed through my mind of Little-Lauren wearing brightl purple workout suits that swished when she walked, a collision happened. My brain said, "Oh, heeeeeeeeck no!" but my mouth said, "Sure! Do whatever you want!" (Uuummmm?!?!?!?! As a side note, my mouth is now in timeout.) But that's how the bangs happened.

And so of course the normal progression of the steps of change went through my mind:
Step 1- vehemently hate new change and promise yourself you're never doing anything like this again.
Step 2- decide you don't like them but you no longer want to throw up a little bit every time you see your reflection.
Step 3- admit that they aren't so bad, and maybe they don't have to be pinned back every day for the next three weeks as they grow out.
Step 4- start to think that maybe it WAS an okay change, since change is always usually a good thing....and actually maybe they will look reeeeeeeeeally stellar with a top knot or ponytail.
Step 5- learn to love it and how to wear it in the most flattering way possible.
Step 6- hear your mouth, now out of timeout, telling the stylist that you'd like the same thing again. (mouth is again in timeout. but this time it's only for two minutes.)

I imagine it to be sort of like the stages of grief, or the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous...except this is the steps of change. Right now, I'm on step 4. :) Tell me I'm not alone!

Alright, bring it in for a landing, Lauren. All of that to say- the change feels good. Four hours in a salon chair is like therapy. I'm super happy with it....maybe even all of it?! And life is going to smell like roses or look like roses or be like roses in whatever way things do when they just plain rock, because tonight Jerry and I leave for the weekend to go to DC and the grandparents are hanging with the kids. We are going to be free! Free like birds! And we are going to sleep in, and meander through museums, and eat long, leisurely dinners the like of which we haven't seen since 1995. Or a year that feels at least that long ago. And it's going to be grand

So enjoy your weekend. I can't wait for mine.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


there is something magical about snow. the way it sticks in your eye lashes or melts on your tongue. the way it makes the whole world sparkle. and as your eye catches one flake at a time and follows it the whole way down to where it lands, seeing its individuality for an instant before it holds hands to join the other flakes already sleeping, one can almost become convinced that the world is wholly and completely at peace.

and now, as my world slowly transforms into a real-life snow globe, i find myself sitting here. silently. the rest of my house asleep. they're snuggled in blankets up to their chins, breathing slow the deep breaths of sleep, and passing the night away. but i can't sleep. i don't want to sleep. i want to watch the magic happen. i want to share winter's secrets. but you have to listen closely, because the snow speaks barely above a whisper.

i remember being terrified to be the last one in the house awake as a child. i was certain that the instant my parents closed their eyes for the night, the monsters would open theirs. i remember occasional nights in middle school even, being inspired by an especially captivating book to reconsider an early bedtime, regretfully realizing my bravery left as quickly as the lights upstairs could turn off. and so my white, long-eared friend "bunny" would wrap her arms around my shoulders and back-to-back we would climb the stairs....her thread-eyes looking behind, and my wide, frightened ones looking ahead. and that way we climbed the steep stairs in the old farmhouse on more than one occasion.

but now.

now i find the house to be peaceful as everyone slumbers, tucked into their warm, personal pocket between the sheets. those are the golden times. those are the times i can steal hours from the day. those are the times i can hear the thoughts that the rest of the day was too noisy to let through. and so here i sit- toes bare, sweatpants loose, and hair hastily pulled back away from my face. just listening to the s i l e n c e. and watching the large, feathery flakes fall.

we have a page!

So here is a fun new adventure- I decided to make a Facebook Page for Its Becker Style. I'll give it a week or two to get up and running and then most updates about new blog posts will be made there. I know there are a lot of folks who aren't into the whole blog thing, or people who just don't care what outfit I wore or what the funny story of the day is. So I'm trying to make their newsfeed more enjoyable for them. Plus, I think it sounds fun to have a place where you guys can post fun outfits from the day and we can all inspire each other. Or maybe a new instagrammer they just found who has great style? Or a place to connect if you have a question about which jeans to buy! So let's try it! :) Come follow me at !

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

back on the pony

"Hello, friends." she says as she cracks her knuckles, stretches her toes, and breathes the air in deep to her lungs.

                   "It's been too long."           

I'm back. It was a good, much-needed break. I have thought of you often, each time deciding that I was not yet ready to go back to writing and sharing Sometimes I find myself wanting to suck in, and hold life close. Sitting on it, resting in it, and treasuring it in my heart. But here we go again. And I have missed you. 

Kiss, kiss. Both cheeks."How ya been, darling?"

Me? I've been fine! Belly is getting rounder, boys are getting bigger, house is getting homier, husband is rocking out, and I have a hair appointment tomorrow to bring back the ole ombre. That's right! I said it. I'm on the East Coast and it's winter, which means the acceptable/appropriate thing is to keep my hair darker to reflect the time of year, but I don't like following rules that make no sense and I miss my fade so bring it, Homeslice. Mama is not messing around.

Other than that, we're the same as we've always been.

Just a quickie post tonight to get us back in the game. But I'll tell you some of my favorites lately:
favorite instagramer: theteacherdiva
favorite blog:
favorite new leaf: trying out life as a Stella and Dot stylist
favorite way to take my coffee: heavy whipping cream with maple syrup drizzled in
favorite game to play with friends: pandemic 
favorite word for the year 2014: victory.
What are yours??

And hey- See you tomorrow. :)