So sore!

This isn’t a very exciting post as I’m saving all my extra energy this week to get through Combatives Level 1.  It is a workout!  I love the physical challenge of it although the fighting doesn’t interest me as much.

We conduct “mat drills” twice a day, which involves us doing some crazy exercise from one end of the mat to the other end (length of the armory floor).  Your head is never more than a foot off the ground.  It is tough!  It amazes me how one exercise I can come in first out of the class and the next I’ll come in last.  This definitely reminds me how weak I am.

Tomorrow we have Clinch drills.  Basically we will be getting punched by someone (with gloves on) and we need to establish one of our clinch positions.  I was nervous before but we did multiple exercises today that made me feel more confident.  It will still suck, but I know I’ll make it through.

Three more days and I’ll be through!

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Back with the results!

OK!  So, as I wrote in my last post, I had a permanent eyeliner “procedure” almost 2 weeks ago and I am back with the results!  I should note that total “post-op” for this procedure was 2 weeks, hence waiting until now to give the final word.  I am excited to be able to take a normal shower again with water hitting my face (as it was not advised for the first 2 weeks). 

Here we go with the pictures… brace yourself – following images are NOT pretty!

(Note: the dates are labeled at the top of each picture.  So I have a before, first 3 days, then several days after.)

Overall, I am very happy with the results.  It looks like I might have a few light spots on the bottom that may need some touching up but they are only noticeable if you are really looking for it.  That is why they have “touch-ups.”  I tried to be very good at following directions and not messing with my eyes but maybe I rubbed one of them prematurely that caused the break in liner.  I am just glad it is on the bottom and not the top (as the bottom was much faster, thus putting me through the pain for a shorter amount of time).  I don’t mind having to go back for that portion again!

Luckily, I have a discounted price that I can use anytime in the next year so I may do that when it gets closer to the expiration date.  This way if any other areas need touched up, they will be visible by then. 

Let me know what you think!  I’d be interested to get some more feedback!  Thanks to everyone who has been interested in the process!

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The Painful Side of Beauty

As some of you saw on FB today, I revealed that I underwent a permanent makeup “procedure” today.  I have had a couple different experiences in this area so I figure I might as well pass along what I know!

Yes, it is basically a tatoo on your face.  Yes, they do use needles to inject pigment into your skin.  Yes, it is painful uncomfortable… but not as bad as you may think, depending on what area you choose.  No, it is not necessarily “permanent”.  (You’ll see why below).

I’ll begin with my first experience from early 2006 (pre-Tim days).  This was when I decided to utilize the art of permanent makeup to fix (what I felt to be) a flaw in my smile.  That fact that my upper lip seems to disappear when I smile.  I felt that lip liner was the way to go but after consulting with the experts, I decided on Full Lip Color. 

Luckily, being the lower-than-amateur makeup artist I am, I did have a color lip liner I loved and it was this that I took in to match as a full color.  Picking a color can be a little tricky because what you see is darker than what will turn out when it comes through your skin.  There is a little bit of faith that goes into it.

Seeing as most permanent makeup artists are only esthetician, they cannot inject a numbing solution into your skin.  SO, you only get the topical kind.  The esthetician that completed my lip color was not very good at tolerating pain so she was very liberal with the topical cream.  She would tap me a few times with the needle, then stop to add more, even though I felt fine.  The good thing is that after they start opening your skin with the needle, it is much easier for the numbing cream to penetrate and enter your bloodstream. 

I felt that my lip procedure when very well and I was not beside myself with pain.  I felt lucky, and also a little proud to say that my first and only “tatoo” was on my lips!  I’m so tough 😛

To me, the roughest part of this area is the healing.  It is EXTREMELY  important to keep the area moist and not peel the skin if and when it does flake.  This will remove pigment before it is able to set in the skin.  During this stage, the lips are also VERY bright in color and somewhat swollen.  It is not attractive.  I have pictures of my post lip portrait but I can’t bear to show them right now!  HA! 

Due to the detailed care involved in the healing phase and the fact that I immediately had to go back to work marketing for the National Guard, I don’t feel I gave my lips the attention they needed.  I believe this is why the color is barely noticeable today.  I even noticed in some recent pictures how my upper lip is disappearing again.  Although, my esthetician today said she could see some of the pigment when looking close.   

OK!  Now moving on to my latest permanent makeup venture – Top and Bottom Eye Liner!

Along with my obsession with Craigslist, I have also become somewhat addicted to Groupon and Living Social, two sites that offer daily coupons on various goods, services and restaurants.  I have purchased many in the past year and was ecstatic to see a permanent makeup coupon pop up!  I had been waiting for that day!

The only option was the eye liner, which was fine with me.  Along with getting my lips done again, I had also be interested in the eye liner.  I love how my eyes look with it but do not like putting it on, especially the lids.  And seeing as I’m still a lower-than-amateur makeup artist with little to no skill, I am all about getting help and not having to think about it again for a long time!

I tried to schedule my appointment for a few days ago but seeing as my family was getting photos taken while my brother was in town, I was advised to wait.  My brother and sister-in-love boarded their plane today and I headed to my appointment!

I was a little nervous about this procedure, less for the pain aspect and more for the visual.  Since I do not wear eye makeup on a daily basis, I didn’t want something that would stand out too much.  Thin lines, with maybe a little shape.  After picking a dark brown color, it took the esthetician and I a long time to come up with a shape for my eye lids.  It was a little frustrating but the lady was very patient.  She understands it is important to get it right!

Now on to the actual procedure that involves REAL needles on your EYES!!  Ok, read that sentence again knowing it has TWO exclamation points after it and you will know what my eyes though about this procedure!  It is very difficult to keep your eye lids from moving when they are being poked with needles, I’m just saying.  I kept telling the ladies, as they asked, it wasn’t so much the pain as how awkward it felt.  She had quickly shown me the tools but I didn’t look at them took closely.  I didn’t really want to know what was happening up there as I lay on the chair, pushing my head back into the cushion when felt what seemed like several needles piercing me at the same time.  When they were just on the surface you would think, “Oh, not too bad,” then they would break the skin and it was shocking.

Granted, they did continue to add the numbing cream  as they went back and forth from eye to eye but I didn’t notice much of a difference.  One of my eyes quivered more than the other but they both watered a good deal.  They asked if I was crying and I replied no, thinking, “Who’s eyes WOULDN’T water when you are sticking needles into their eyelids!”

After getting to a 90% solution on my lids, they took a break to add more numbing cream and cold compresses to my eyes, as they had begun to swell.  I used this time to relax, knowing that I still had lower lids to make it through but also that these would go much faster. 

When it came time to finish, the esthetician rotated and I had another lady.  I had been hearing good things about her.  I felt that she did a better job at holding my eyes in place to minimize the movement that I barely had control over.  She put the finishing touches on my top lids and moved to the bottoms.  The question I had (but didn’t want to ask) was how she worked through my lower lashes without ruining them?  Oh well, some thing best to left for the experts. 

The bottom lids did move much faster and that made me happy.  Still a very uncomfortable experience but do-able.  I want to make sure I emphasis that about all of this – it is uncomfortable but do-able; especially if you have good control over your eyes!  The whole process took me about 2.5 hours but a large portion at the beginning was shaping the top lids.  They said for both lids it takes about 2 hours.

OH, I do have to mention the part that was most painful – when some of the numbing solution got in my eyes.  This hurt A LOT but was quickly stifled by some eye drops.  Unfortunately, this happened a couple of times.  NOT fun.

When I was all done, I just wanted to continue laying there with my eyes closed (BTW, so grateful to not have to leave them open during any parts of this!)  Unfortunately, I had to utilize the facilities and that got me out of the chair sooner than I preferred.

We snapped some after photos and I was able to look at my color and shape.  So far, I think it is going to turn out well.  Right now, my eyes are still a little swollen and the color is very dark, as it will lighten during the healing process.  The biggest part to remember about the healing process is keeping the area moist at all times.  They sent me home with some ointments and a little of do’s and don’ts.  See their link below if you want the low down from the peps who did my procedure.  Again, I will spare you the after shots!

So here’s hoping to a quick recovery (seeing as I go to work tomorrow), and that I won’t have to go back for any touch-ups!

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So many updates!

I am super excited about all the updates we just completed on our house in San Antonio.  Although the extent of my help stopped with installing new outlet and lightswitch covers, I still spent A LOT of time prepping, buying, and supervising.  It was a little stressful but a lot of fun!  We knew we could trust the guys working for us as they have done several business related projects for my husband.  We even let them stay the night at our house several nights so they wouldn’t have to travel all the way back to Austin!

And the after

So what is new?  The obvious is the paint color – NO MORE GREEN!  And even though we didn’t ask them too, they even painted the kitchen, which was also GREEN so that completely wiped that color from our house!  Yippee! 

You can also see that we have an area of the ceiling that is short, making space for the heat/air ducts.  We opted to paint this lowered-ceiling area the same color as the walls to take emphasis off of it.  I think it worked!

Next, updated baseboards and the addition of crown molding.  Those white accents really make the room pop.  The other huge change, although less obvious in pictures is the removal of all the popcorn ceiling!  That stuff stretched throughout the entire living room and kitchen so we were happy to see it go. 

While we are looking at the ceiling, I also updated the fan.  Since it is Texas, we do enjoy having our ceiling fans but the shiny brass look needed to go.  I went for a oil-rubbed bronze version, which I also used on several of my new fixtures.  you can see it in the above picture of the revamped room.

So there is the first look at our house updates.  Now if I could just figure out what to do with the fireplace…

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Showers are wonderful.  Especially when you haven’t taken one for a couple of days!  Tim and I were finally able to take showers tonight after our contractors decided to demo both bathrooms at the same time.  Luckily the work in our master bathroom only involved removing popcorn ceiling/repainting, so it only took a couple of days.  Two days was long enough!  I know it isn’t the same as coming off a convoy mission overseas involving 19 straight hours on the road, but that shower tonight still felt SO good!  Never take the little things for granted!

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Welcome Home, Charlie!

Tim, Ben Dog and I welcomed the newest member of the family on November 28, 2010 and his name is Charlie!  Formally Banjo, we quickly changed it to something more fitting.  There was no way Tim and I were going to say the word “banjo” dozens of times a day!  Of course Tim was the one who came up with the name.  I’m not good at stuff like that.  He just came up with it randomly on our way to the vet on his first day at home.  We tried it out, and it stuck!

Charlie is another one of my MANY Craigslist finds.  I had been looking for another dog for a while now.  I went to a couple of shelters but just hadn’t found the right dog yet.  Then one day, Charlie showed up on the website I love so much.  Apparently, he was neglected while living with an elderly couple.  The couple’s caregiver took him from the home and gave him to another family – not really sure why.  They had him for less than a day before they posted him online.  They were just not interested in keeping him but wanted him to go to a good home. 

I contacted them almost immediately after seeing his picture.  I knew that a sweet looking dog like him would go fast and I hoped that he might be just the dog I was looking for.  I contacted the lady and quickly made arrangements to visit him. 

When I arrived at the home, the husband and sons were there.  Then I got my first glimpse of the dog that would soon be my new best friend and traveling companion.  He was small with sparse white hair over very red skin.  The hair on his face was long and in need a some serious trimming.  But through all that, I found the sweet face of a dog that let me hold him right away.  I was ready to make the plunge.

Of course there was no paperwork with him; no vet records or even birthdate.  With this type of situation in front of me, I was hoping to pay little, if not anything for this dog, knowing I would have to spend a good deal at the vet’s office.  I was ecstatic to walk out of the home without paying ANYTHING for Charlie!  We happily made our first of many trips together in the car as we headed home and I called Tim to let him know we had a new member of the family!

The first day I had Charlie, I immediately trimmed his hair.  After I hacked at him for a short while, he looked much less like an old man and much more like a cute puppy.  It was very hard for the first few days to call him a “he” because he looks so sweet and girly.  Eventually we got used to it.  I also tried to trim his long nails but he wasn’t having that, even with Tim’s help.

We were able to get Charlie into his first vet appointment the following day.  We got vaccinations and a heart worm test and everything was going well.  The vet said his red skin should get better and he should continue to grow more hair with a good diet.  I took a sigh of relief as my poor puppy looked sad with such a small amount of hair!

Over the next few days, his skin quickly changed from red back to normal.  He immediately began traveling with me to Austin and even joins me at work.  If he can’t go inside the office, he hangs out in the car, as the Texas winters are so pleasant on most days. 

So that is the introduction of Charlie into our lives!  I love my sweet and playful Little One!

Charlie on one of our many trips in the car!

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“Focusing” on a New Year

Here I am, sitting in our San Antonio house, beginning to write again.  It has been SO long since I kept my daily journal that it is hard for me to remember how I did it, or even the possibility that I could do it again.  I loved writing for a long time and then it became a struggle.  I just couldn’t do it anymore, mentally.  Then for another couple of years, I struggled with the fact that I wasn’t doing it and that took its toll on me.  I finally just had to let go. 

So, in this new age of “blogging” I though I might attempt this outlet as a way to get back into writing.  Maybe if it is more than just about Me, maybe it will give me a newfound focus.  I follow a couple of blogs regularly and really enjoy that glimpse into their lives.  It is like we are close friends, even if I’ve never met them before.  I hope that my blog will allow others to feel closer to me as well, whether I know them or not.

My thoughts often seem sporadic to me.  I’m hoping that writing some of them down will allow me to focus.  Allow me to continue before my ADD kicks in and I move on to something else…

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