Archive for January, 2012

January 23, 2012


I am in LOVE! Saturday morning marked my first date with the pretty, little Clarisonic Mia. I have been waiting/wanting/wondering about this beauty maker since July and could hardly handle the recommended 24 hour wait while she charged. Surprisingly, the charging system was the first feature that attracted me to Mia. There’s no “plug in” to the actual Mia (because it is shower friendly and waterproof) but instead this genius little magnet sticks to the front and charges ‘er up! AWESOME!!

Saturday morning my Mia was all charged, so I did what anyone would do and watched a few You Tube videos (Mia tutorials obviously). I can’t believe I actually thought to do this, but the tutorials I watched were super informative – more informative than the instruction manual I read.

Here’s a quick snapshot

  1. Remove all of your eye makeup before doing anything else.
  2. Wet your face and the brush head with warm water.
  3. Put your face wash all over your wet face with your finger tips, avoiding the eyes.
  4. Click the power button to turn on the Mia.
  5. In a GENTLE circular motion, begin cleansing your face; I start at my right cheek – 10 seconds, then chin – 10 seconds,  nose – 20 seconds (*WARNING: Tickles!),  left cheek – 10 seconds, and finally forehead – 20 seconds.
  6. Once your 60 – 70 seconds of cleansing is up, turn off the Mia and rinse the brush head clean with warm water; once a week you can clean the brush head with antibacterial soap to keep it extra clean and long lasting.
  7. Rinse the remaining face wash from your face with warm water.
  8. Pat your face dry, don’t rub! Your pores will be open and breathing, so it’s better for you and your face to be patted.
  9. Apply face lotion if needed or keep it bare and let your skin enjoy the cleanliness!

Aside from loads of positive reviews, the most common question surrounding the Clarisonic Mia is what face wash to use. From what I’ve read (keeping in mind that I’m not an expert), you want a face wash that is gentle and/or foaming. I am using Aveda Purifying Creme Cleanser which is a very mild face wash and has been working perfectly. You don’t want to combine the exfoliating power of the Mia with an exfoliating cleanser – too harsh. And usage totally depends on the face – sensitive skin should err on the side of caution and use less frequently (1 – 5 times a week), while no face should use it more than twice daily.

I have been using the Mia morning and night (for just 3 days) and have noticed a difference in the way my skin looks and feels. It is WONDERFUL and so so soft! I can’t wait to see what a month will bring. Watch out – I might even go makeup free (yea, right!).

January 18, 2012

don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears

I write the same thing every January 18th – it seems impossible that nearly an entire childhood has passed since the day we had to say goodbye to my extraordinary mother.

11 years ought to mean I miss her less. With Amy’s adventure into motherhood and my journey into marriage, I will say that this year I have missed her close to most. I have been fortunate to have many wonderful women in my life – Lisa, my Aunties, Nana, the girls, and many of my Mom’s long-time friends never fail to show us the motherly love all kids need – but as I venture further into adulthood I can’t help but wonder how we would be. What would it be like to dive into dating and breakups, marriage and babies with her here? These are the things we’d play and dream about.

I feel like yesterday I was talking about the cutest high school boys, learning how to wear makeup, and riding in the yellow Jeep with her. So maybe part of me will always be 15.

“You have all come here today to celebrate my life, and oh such a great one it was. Possibly I knew it might be short, so I tried to live each day to its fullest, smashing everything I could into 24 hours. I did not want to miss anything. I wanted to go everywhere and do everything. I wanted to touch all of you. I wanted to go for it, and I did, and then God decided I could best serve Him, beside Him. Don’t be angry, just carry on my dreams.

Al, the love of my life. I will miss your touch, the special way that you would look at me and the way you could read my mind. You are my soul mate, my knight in shining armor. I can leave knowing the kids will be fine. You will have each other, and when you look at them you will see me. Al, listen and you will hear me.

Amy, Ashley, and Joe. I am so proud of you. You are everything I would have wanted you to be. You are the loves of my life and every waking moment of my day was dedicated to you. Take care of Dad, Nana Shirley and Papa Rich, do good in school, stay out of trouble, and keep God in your life. Teach your kids what I taught you; to give of yourselves unselfishly, to see the best in people and to forgive willingly. What I wish for you is happiness and the fulfillment I received from you. My hope is that you will find someone like I did in your Dad who will love you unconditionally and who you can share your life with. My spirit lives within you. “Celebrate your spirit” is what Oprah would say, and you know how much I liked Oprah. Stay close to each other. Your brother and your sister will be your best friends. Lastly, listen to your Dad. He will know what is best for you, and when Auntie Anne tells you to go to the doctor, go, and when Nana tells you to go to bed, go. Be good examples for your little cousins. They look up to you. Play my CD’s in the house and in the car really loud, and sing! You inherited my energy, so run towards your dreams, don’t walk and don’t be afraid. Listen and you will hear me.

Mom and Dad. I would not have been me without you. Everything that I am or had hoped to be is because of you. You have always been there for me. You taught me the importance of family, commitment, and faith. Your unyielding love runs through me and flows from Al and the kids back to you. Al couldn’t be more of a son to you unless he would have been born to you. I know Al, and the kids will be fine because you will have one eye on them, and Mom, you hear everything. So, listen and you will hear me.

Anne, Bill, Jim, and Lisa. Take care of your brother Al. He might need your shoulder every once in a while. Be there for the kids. Even though they are pretty independent they will still need a little mothering sometimes. Keep celebrating all the birthdays and Christmas with lots of presents and good food. Take care of my nieces and nephews and when you come to my house they can have as much candy out of Auntie Linda’s special drawer as they want. Remember me every time you step on a “Lite Brite” in the middle of the night. Take care of Mom and Dad. Go to the cabin a lot. Dad likes that. Listen, and you will hear me.

All my cousins, aunts, and uncles. Thanks for being here. Stay connected with Al and the kids. They love California and being with you. I am with Grandma and Grandpa now. Grandpa always had a twinkle in his eye for me and you should see that twinkle now.

To anyone I have cut, curled, permed, styled, or washed. I will not miss playing with your hair as much as I will miss the time I spent with you. It never felt like a job, but an opportunity for us to talk. Thank you for sharing yourself with me. You enriched me life. No one else will be able to cut your hair like I did and that’s ok, but tell them about yourself. You will be giving them a gift, because then they will know you. Listen and you will hear me.

To Amy, Ashley, and Joe’s friends. My kids need you now. Encourage them to talk about me. Come to my house and have crazy parties. Not too crazy, because Al has to get up in the morning. Support them, and every once in a while, share your Mom with them.

To all my friends. The class of ’76 was the best and will always be. Stick together and support each other like you supported me. I loved growing into adulthood with you. We turned out really good.

Coffee girls. I will miss the lattes and the laughs. You are the best neighbors anyone could have asked for. Mary, keep walking. It’s good for you.

Swim team friends, hockey friends. You have been there for us, helping to keep the kids on track. They will especially need all of you now to be with them while they do the things they love so much.

To all of you. Exercise, eat Godivas, plant flowers, build something, preferably out of rocks. Laugh with your friends. Drink lattes, shop till you drop, tell your kids that you love them everyday. Go somewhere warm in the winter and build a house for a family, maybe in Mexico. Be the first one to help a neighbor. Commit yourself to a charity, go to lunch with your sister, hug your Mom, kiss your Dad. Ask your brother over for dinner. Go away for a weekend with your husband. Call your cousins. Send a card for no reason. Get up early. Paint. Sing. Dance. Run, don’t walk toward your dreams. Go for it. Believe in angels and listen, you will hear me.”

written by Auntie Anne in memory of Linda
(January 18, 2001)

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January 16, 2012

Finley William

Now that Amy has introduced Finley to the virtual world, I am taking that as a green light to share some baby photos! Little Finn was such a good sport! At just 6 days old, I was all over him with my big camera and baby props. He wasn’t a huge fan of the whole process (mainly of being cold and naked) but once we wrapped him up in his big, furry blanket he shared a smile and took a snooze. These are some of my favorite Finn photos from his very first (of many) photo shoot with Auntie.
After snapping so many photos of what I’ve decided is the sweetest baby ever, I was in a creative mood and decided to whip up a little something extra which resulted in this Finley poster (bad photo, I know). It’s a collection of all things that were happening the day/year Finley was born including a personal recap of 2011, birthday statistics, the cost of common items such as gas and groceries, headlines of the day, the meaning of his name, and some pop-culture hot topics. It will be fun to look back and remember all that was going on in our family and in the world when Finley arrived!

January 3, 2012

Auntie Ash!

Wow. I totally fell off the blog train – skipping over excuses, I’ll just say that I have thoroughly enjoyed and indulged this holiday season! Undoubtedly, my family received the most amazing surprise on Christmas with the addition of my very first nephew, Finley William. He is my sister and brother-in-laws first baby and is nothing short of perfect. Amy went into labor late morning on Christmas Eve, and Baby Finn arrived just after midnight on his due date – Christmas Day! I was lucky enough to be with Amy and Barret through the entire process which was nothing short of amazing. I have never seen my sister stronger or more brave. She was a literal rockstar and made labor look so simple the thought of making my own baby has crossed my mind a time or two .. no reason to be alarmed. 2012 won’t be the year of the Borntrager baby! I have promised my husband a few years of wedded bliss before we hop on that boat.

I have been lucky enough to spend an extended amount of time with the new little family (definitely worn out my welcome) and even managed to capture at least 100 photos of the little fella … but my sister is beginning her own little blog, and since Finn isn’t actually my baby, I better let her share those! Here’s one of my favorites from Finn’s first 24 hrs just to hold you over! Happy New Year everyone.

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