The Perfect Day Off……

Every once in awhile I will take a day off during the week, just cuz.  Last week we had the fourth of July holiday on a Wednesday, which was nice to have a little break mid-week but because I had to reschedule my massage for July 5th at 3:00pm, I thought why not just take the whole day off? And so I did Image result for clip art smiley face.

My hot bf and I had decided to go on a hike that day. Living in the Pacific Northwest there is no shortage of wilderness hikes along lakes, streams and rivers with gorgeous views.  I don’t know if she knows it but I am following one of my cousins on Instagram and she had posted a few weeks ago that she had gone on a hike on Hamilton Mountain.  It is near Cascade Locks near Stevenson Washington.  Have you read the book or seen the movie Wild? She comes to the end of her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Bridge of the Gods.  To get to Hamilton Mountain from Portland, you cross the Bridge of the Gods and its just a few miles west (just so you have a point of reference).

The other great part of the day was that my son and his girlfriend joined us.  I love my time with my kids so I was so happy he and his gf wanted to come with us.  Before the hike I read a little bit about the details of the trail and I will say that it was rated as “strenuous,” but that’s relative, right?  Wrong! Oh my gosh, it was a hike all up hill!  We made lots of pit stops for the views ( a few of the views below):

We took snack breaks and I took many “slow down my heart rate” stops but eventually we made it to one of the tops of the hike that had an incredible view.

A pic of my son and his girlfriend (left) and my significant other and I (right).

 

The hike took us two hours to get to the top and only 45 minutes to make it back down.  I was exhausted, dirty and enjoyed every minute of it and couldn’t wait to get my massage!

I was way overdue for a massage and thanks to Groupon I got a great deal on an hour full body massage with Magnolia Massage and Reflexology. I decided to give it a try since the price was right and it was close to my house.   Samantha, the massage therapist did a wonderful job. I was comfortable, the atmosphere was relaxing and my tense shoulders and neck felt so much better! I highly recommend her!

Every summer I put up our above ground pool.  It can be a lot of work with the maintenance of keeping the water clean, changing the filter, scooping out leaves from the trees, etc. So far this summer the weather here has not been all that great to take a dip in the pool, but on July 5th it was finally hot enough to take that first plunge into the non-heated water.  So as soon as I got home from my massage I put on my one piece and slowly stepped into the very cold water.  You get used to the cold water after awhile and it was actually very refreshing :).

 

The day ended with a beverage, a yummy dinner made by my hot bf and then watching one of our favorite shows (Justified with Timothy Olyphant) and then falling asleep early.

It was the perfect day off Image result for clip art heart

 

P.S. I went to work on Friday and all day long wondered why I didn’t take it off also.

 

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Some of my favorite hairstyles…….

I am currently growing my hair out so I have been looking at a lot of hair styles lately. For the longest time I wore my hair just past my shoulders and straightened it.  Then about three or four years ago I felt like I was getting too old for that style so decided to go a little bit shorter and went a la natural.  Now once again it is time for a change and I decided to go longer and straight again. This is the hairstyle that inspired me, so cute isn’t it?

Shoulder Length                                                                                                                                                      More

I am getting close but still have to grow out some of my layers and I will admit styling my bangs has always been a challenge, a cowlick always splits them in two sections.  Below are also some of my favorite hairstyles I have saved over the last few years.

Medium Wavy Hairstyle: Summer Haircuts for Women Over 30- 40

So cute, right?  This is Jennifer Nettles from the duo Sugarland. Check out her video Stay, it is a tear jerker.

A little bit of a sexy look, don’t think I can pull it off but love it!

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I would never grow my hair out this long but I think it is such a cute hairstyle and I love her bangs.

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Love her red hair.  I think this is how my bangs would work the best.

the cut!

And last but not least……….

So those are my faves. Would love to know what you think and would be interested to see pics of your favorite do’s (that’s short for hairdo’s).

Alisha

Sex Trafficking:

Sex trafficking.  It’s sad. It’s ugly. It’s real and it’s closer to you then you may realize.  For so long this horrific exploitation of children and women has been swept under the rug in an attempt to be ignored and forgotten.  We as a society tend to think that it only affects marginalized populations AND there is definitely the stereotype of the trafficker or pimp as a young black man driving around in a fancy car.  It’s true, children with a history of sexual abuse, physical abuse, involved with the child welfare system are more susceptible but the reality is children from all walks of life are vulnerable to sex trafficking.  It should also be known that traffickers are not just young black men portrayed in the media, but traffickers also come from every ethnic background.

Sex trafficking is a complex issue.  How does a child or young person get pulled into sex trafficking? How do you know if a child is being trafficked? What are the signs? Several years ago I wrote a resource guide to answer these questions. The guide is specific to Portland, Oregon ( for years known as the “hub” for trafficking on the west coast) but the information pertains to everyone.  There are pictures of tattoos that indicate trafficking both on victims and pimps.  There is also a letter from a victim to a pimp describing how she got involved in trafficking and basically asking the pimp if she can work for him.  Educate yourself and others, we need to be aware of the issue in order to eradicate it.

Please click on the link below to view the guide.

The CSEC Reference Guide-Mult (1)

Bryant, Erica 011812 001    Bryant, Erica 011812 002

Arnett,Luther 122712 001

Motherhood: A Conversation

Image result for a mother and child

A conversation between friends…

We are sitting at lunch when my friend casually mentions that she and her

husband are thinking of “starting a family” “We are taking a survey,” she

says, half-joking. “Do you think we should have a baby?”

“It will change you life.” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

“I know” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends no more spontaneous

vacations..”

But that is not what I meant at all.

I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know

what she will learn in childbirth classes, I want to tell her that the

physical wounds of child bearing will  heal, but that becoming a mother will

leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking “what

if that was MY child?” that every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when

she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than

watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no

matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to

the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “mom!”

will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment’s

hesitation.  I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in

her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.

She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an

important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to

use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home,

just to make sure her baby is alright.

I want my friend to know that everyday decisions will no longer be

routine-that a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather

than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right

there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of

independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a

child molester may be lurking in that restroom. However decisive she may be

at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure her that eventually she

will shed pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about

herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once

she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also

begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child

accomplish theirs. I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will

become badges of honor My friend’s relationship with her husband will change, but not

in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man

who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitate to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons  she would

now find very unromantic. I wish my friend sense the bond she will feel with women

throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she

understands why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily

insane when I discuss the threats of nuclear war to my children’s future. I want to

describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to

capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for

the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My friend’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

“You’ll never regret it.” I finally say. Then I reach across the table, and squeeze my

friend’s hand and off her silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal

women who stumble their way into this most wonderful callings-the blessed gift of God

and that of being a mother.

Please share this with a Mom that you know or a future Mom you know.

“Author Unknown”