The Random Writings of Rachel: August 2012

Better than a Romance Novel


I’ve heard, and read, many warnings on the dangers of reading romance novels, both for women who aren’t yet married as well as for married women. The general consensus seems to be that the romance portrayed in such novels is so wonderful as to be unrealistic, and sets expectations too high for women who are still waiting for their man, and inspires married ladies to become dissatisfied with their husband after seeing that he doesn’t compare to the men in the books they read. 

What I hear is that real guys don’t act the way that the heroes of romance novels do, and that it’s unhealthy for women to get too invested in such an unrealistic picture of mankind.

I have a totally different view. I’ve read some 'inspirational' romance novels in my time, mostly when I was in the mood for light (very light) reading between college semesters or just because I was bored. I’m not a big fan, for the most part. I’m sure there are some well-written ones out there, however, in my opinion, the recent crop of inspirational, Christian romance novels are largely of little literary quality.

So, yes, the awkward dialogues, unlikely situations, and unnecessarily repeated words make me want to grab my red pen to mark up the copy and send it back to the author (maybe I’m just evil, but I think editing would be the coolest job in the world). But the less-than-stellar writing isn’t the only reason I don’t like them.

To me, the cheap, paperback romance novels aren’t nearly as good as real life.

 I don't believe that romance novels are dangerous to our relational health because they portray unrealistically wonderful relationships. To me, the relationship stories in most of these books simply aren’t as interesting as the stories I hear in real life. For argument’s sake, this is the synopsis of a typical Christian romance novel: The hero is tall, with wavy hair, piercing blue eyes, and muscles. The heroine is an independent woman, either living in the old west, or, if the novel is set in modern day, saving up money to quit her job and become an entrepreneur, opening the business she’s always dreamed of. At first, the hero and heroine are at odds with each other over something, but they are secretly and undeniably attracted to one another. They manage to see beyond their differences of opinion and come to love one another. In the end, all important characters get saved and the couple gets either engaged or both engaged and married.

Now, I probably missed a few bits, but doesn’t that sound like the pretty standard storyline, to you? 

My problem with inspirational romance is that sometimes your hero is short, Mexican, and has a smile so big that it scares small children.


Sometimes you wake up on your 20th birthday, decide that it’s about time you got married, and promptly find yourself a bride before the year is out (my Grandpa’s story).

 48 years later!

Sometimes this guy you met at college comes over to your house uninvited and makes Christmas cookies with your family until you get home from a date with your boyfriend, and you end up marrying him instead of the boyfriend (Mom and Dad’s story).

 The reason they look somewhat young but not super young is because this was after they already had approximately 4 kids. Give or take one.

I don't know about you, but I've heard some incredibly awesome love stories in my time, from friends and family. I'm talking about stories involving shipwrecks in the Caribbean, jail, car accidents, lifelong love, and broken hearts. In real life, the people you pray for don't always get saved, and they don't always get healed. Husbands might not perform grand romantic gestures every day of the week, or even once or twice a year. And wives sometimes don't get around to doing their hair, or cleaning the bathroom, and even more often, they don't start and maintain highly successful and profitable small businesses. Life isn't fair. Life is messy, sometimes tragic, and sometimes full of inexplicable joy. Real life or real romance might not be as 'picture-perfect' as the romance in the latest Love Inspired novel, but its quite a bit more interesting, and I'll take my flawed marriage and my too-short hero over anything a romance novel has to offer.

What I Won't Miss about Summer

What won't I miss about summer? That's a hard one.

Well, I know for sure I will miss the water parks.


I'll miss wearing short-sleeved shirts and seeing green leaves on the trees.


I'll miss having bonfires just for the look of it and not for the heat.


I'll miss vacation, and having lots of free time to blog and sew and do whatever my little heart desired (spoiled rotten, that I am!).


But...I WON'T MISS....The butter melting into a pool in its dish on my kitchen table. Keeping the butter in the refridgerator and having to saw off a solid chunk every time I want to use it is really not ideal.

That's about it.

A Wife/Student: How I Get Ready for School to Start

I've noticed that many people in my generation successfully juggle marriage and school, which makes me wonder why so many that I knew were shocked and slightly appalled when I announced that I was getting married in college. Oh, wait, maybe that's because I planned my wedding to occur during the semester rather than in between semesters like most people. I see.

I attended college for three full semesters after I got married, which makes me feel rather experienced at the whole balancing school and marriage thing. Now I'm starting cosmetology school, which will be 10 months of 40 hrs. per week at school. And this time, Angel is still working full-time, as he always has, but he's also recently started his grad school program. That program is only part-time, so he's only taking two classes, but this means that both of us are going to be pretty busy for a long time to come.

Here's what I do in the weeks before school starts to make the transition to being much more busy a little easier.

1. Cook! I hate browning hamburger. I don't usually mind cooking, but this is my least favorite job. For this reason, I always cook my hamburger in bulk, rather than just what's needed at each meal. What's pictured here is enough ground beef to make six meals (chili, tacos, casseroles, etc.) for us and enough pork sausage for 2 meals. We actually eat chicken most of the time and beef rarely, so this is a couple months worth of meat pre-cooked, and ready for the first few months of the school year.


2. Clean! I clean on a regular basis...but there's certain jobs that don't get done nearly as often. I've been on a bit of a cleaning/organizing spree, getting rid of junk that collects in odd places, mopping floors, scrubbing the stove top, organizing cupboards and bookshelves, and emptying drawers that look like this:

Oh look, there's Angel boutonniere from our wedding! And a wrist brace, Norman Rockwell 2011 calendar, sunglasses, and way too much more random stuff!

3. Exercise! In college I started experiencing severe back pain nearly all the time. The doctor said (the audacity of her!) that I needed to exercise regularly. The problem was that my usual and preferred lifestyle is that of a sedentary scholar, but my back was rebelling. I started exercising more, and the pain went away. The problem is that I hate exercising so sometimes I start getting back aches again because I've been lazy. With cosmetology school approaching, I know that I need to be in better shape for my body to be able to handle standing 8 hours a day, so I've kicked it into high gear for exercising. Starting two weeks before school starts, I made it a goal to bike 2-3 miles a day or else do pilates. For me, that's a lot of exercise, though I know it isn't for many people. In case you don't know, I hate doing pilates and biking is pretty much the only exercise that I do like, so mostly I'm picking biking. I'm just trying to get in good shape to start with, and we'll see how often I continue to exercise after school starts, but it should be at least 2-3 times a week after that.


Now what am I forgetting that I ought to do? And I'm starting to feel a bit intimidated about cosmetology school. I don't even own a hair dryer, people. I wouldn't know how to use one if I did. My hair is always short and I just let it have its own merry way most of the time. Do any of you hair experts have any advice on what I should try to learn in the six days before school starts?

Icebreaker Tuesday: Lesser Known Truths

It's time for Icebreaker Tuesday again! I'll go first, but make sure you answer the question too, in the comments. It's not really breaking the ice if I'm the only one talking. Here's a question that I heard used a couple years ago an event that I attended:

Today's question: What is one thing that you don't want the rest of us to know about you?

I remember that this question produced some hilarious responses, including, "I have extremely hairy legs" from this one guy who was then forced to roll up his pants and display his furry legs. The strange thing is, that I can't remember what I said at the time, so I just have to make up a new one.

Here's something really honest for you: I typically don't want other people to know that I have a bad cough, pretty much all the time. It's the kind of cough that sounds really bad--the "You're coughing your lungs out!" type. It's not as serious as it sounds, though. I think it was about 10 years ago that I first got a cough that didn't go away for six months. Since then, at various times I have coughed more or less, but for the past few years it's been pretty consistent.

At times in the past, I've been on as much as five medicines at once while they were trying to figure out what was causing this cough. Pretty much none of those have worked. I have had a TB test and that was negative, so it's nothing serious like that! Our best guess is that my throat is just a little over-sensitive. Things like being around smoke and eating ice cream or drinking cold drinks often lead to a fit of coughing. But bonfires are fun and ice cream is tasty so I don't avoid them all the time. Still, I apologize in advance in case I don't remember to offer you ice in your water, I never put ice in my drinks, so sometimes I forget that much of the rest of the world does!

I don't prefer people to know that I have a chronic cough because, for one thing, I'm very uncomfortable with medical stuff myself, and second, because they might be scared of my germs. I believe most people who I only see from time to time will just assume that I catch colds occasionally, like many people. I can assure you that even though you now know this, you should still be my friend, however, because the cough isn't contagious. I know because I've been kissing Angel quite frequently for the last few years and he never coughs.

Show and Tell Monday: My Wedding!

Since I woke up sick today and have no motivation to do anything useful, I thought I'd add an extra post for the day and join this link-up from Mrs. to Mama. But make sure to check out my 'fashion' post from earlier this morning too!

1. Are you married? If so when did you get married, and tell us about your special day.

Oh yes, I'm married all right. I got married on December 4, 2010, at the ripe old age of 19. The most important things to know about my wedding are: 1) That it was what is fondly known as a budget wedding--Sam's Club wedding cake, faux flowers, and all. 2) My parents and siblings lived too far away to attend, but I know they wanted to be there. Because of that, the only time I cried during the ceremony was when they played a surprise slideshow of them that my brother had put together. 3) The last important thing to know is that I married my favorite guy that day, in spite of the fact that both my matron of honor (my aunt) and my grandpa told me minutes before the ceremony that there was still time to back out if I wanted to and that they would help me run away. (They love Angel too and had nothing against the wedding, I guess they just wanted to make sure I knew that I could escape???)
2. Show us some wedding pictures. 




 
 More wedding pics here if you're interested!

3. How about the engagement? Tell us your story. If not engaged, what's your dream proposal?
I wrote all about his proposal here, but the gist of it is that Angel proposed to me two days after meeting my entire family for the first time on his first visit to my hometown. All of my siblings and my parents knew he was going to propose while the two of us went out for breakfast that morning and waited not-too-patiently at home for our return, and then mobbed us.
4. Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo! If not engaged/married ... show us your "dream" ring.
 
5. Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many? What can we do to make things last?
In my opinion, the thing that poisons many marriages is plain and simple selfishness. People who place their needs, wants, and desires above those of anyone else aren't enjoyable people to be friends with, let alone be married to! I believe that what we can do to protect our marriages is to truly put others first, to "Consider others more important than yourself" at all times (paraphrase of Philippians 2:3). I think marriage is a great tool to teach us how to be unselfish, too!

And by the way, Angel thinks marriage is easy. I just think he got a great wife.

I'm Rachel, and I Name my Clothes

So, I discovered last week when I mentioned my Clown in Cowboy Boots outfit in a post, that several people found the concept of naming outfits to be something totally foreign. You know how you get so used to yourself that everything you do seems normal, and you don't realize that some things you do may be weird to other people? I was surprised that what what stood out to several of my readers on that post was the fact that I name my outfits, because to me....naming outfits is normal. It serves the practical purpose of providing an organization system for tried-and-true outfit combinations in the back of my mind, and it's also fun!

I thought I'd dig through some of my picture files and show you some of my favorite named outfits from the past. Unfortunately, I found that I don't have pictures of a couple that I really like, for example, the Jack Sparrow and the John Wayne. But both of those are cold weather outfits so I'll have to wait for fall to snap some pictures.

Disclaimer: Before you continue, I want to note that whatever I so happen to name my outfits is not meant to imply anything about who I am. I do not think I am Audrey Hepburn, an Indian, a cowgirl, a guitar player, or a construction worker, so please do not be offended by any perceived presumption towards such groups on my part. I just like getting dressed, that's all.

 This is the "Purple haired, left-handed guitar playing rocker cowgirl"
This one's claim to fame is the sheer length of its title. And yes, that is a normal guitar and yes, I'm just pretending to play it backwards.

 The "Cowboys and Indians"
It's hard to see in this picture, but it's a traditional Indian tunic and shawl paired with cowboy boots.

 The "Ginger Grant"
This was a costume party, but I always feel like Ginger in that dress. Three points for anyone who knows who Angel is supposed to be!

 The "Domino"
Note: This outfit is still the Domino, even when I don't have a paper domino pinned to my back.

 The "Undecided Apple"
You know, both red and green and anti-doctors. This was at a costume party, to be fair, but I've also worn this elsewhere, minus the sign. Because doctors are necessary.

 The "Audrey Hepburn"

 The "Bruise"
Get it? Black and Blue all over!

 The "Sequins are totally appropriate for a hiking trip"
'Cause that's what I think. I also think that sequins match with Keens, and you might as well not attempt to convince me otherwise.

 The "I'm always cold!"
This has variations, but it always involves wearing a jacket and gloves at places that other people are not wearing jackets and gloves, like, say, the beach.

 The "Duchess"
A rather toned-down outfit for me. I'm not sure if a duchess would wear denim, but I'll just say she would.

 The "Minnie Mouse"
I don't know, this dress just feels like Minnie to me!
 The "Flower"
Green stems, and either an orange or pink shirt/bloom.

 The "Working Woman"
Steel toed shoes, a tool belt, AND a compression glove? Hardcore.

The "Abominable Snow-Rachel"
Needs no explanation.

Darius Rucker Concert

Angel and I went to a concert on Wednesday--the first real concert that I've been to. By real, I mean a concert that we actually had to pay for, plan on going to in advance, and featuring a singer that other people have actually heard of. I've been to many wonderful church concerts, but never to something on this level.


My favorite picture from the night! We tried many times to take our picture, always ending up with the camera pointing at the wrong angle, therebye photographing the people seated around us, or else our faces were in shadow because of the bright sunlight. That explains Angel's worried look. He's thinking, "Will this one finally turn out good enough that Rachel won't make me take another?"


And there's Darius Rucker! The guy with the fancy red microphone and the guitar. He played my favorite song of his, as well as lots of other good ones, so I was happy. Angel was happy when he played songs from Hootie and the Blowfish.


See? He really liked those songs. I didn't know any Hootie and the Blowfish songs, though, so I was confused, but everyone else was very excited. I also learned that at concerts you pretty much stand up the whole time. At least that's what Angel, my more concert-experienced half, says. 

This is my favorite Darius Rucker song. I first heard it shortly before I got married, and I sent it to my parents, who have a whole bunch of daughters growing up rather quickly, and who weren't able to be at my wedding. It made me cry then, and it made me cry at the concert, too.

Cooking without Nuts. Or Margarine. Or Bell Peppers.

I've been quite the cook lately, if I do say myself. Last week I made cookies and whole wheat bread from scratch, and a few days ago I made pizza and strawberry shortcake from scratch, for the first time in my life. If this keeps up I'll be making pies and canning jam pretty soon.

Only I don't eat pies or jam. And I have a very strict rule about not making food that I don't eat. That's why it was imperative that I not marry a man who loved lasagna.

This cooking streak is very unusual. I think it may be a semi-conscious effort to feed Angel lots and lots of good food before I start attending cosmetology school and therefore have significantly less time to create elaborate dinners.

I've written before about my blatant disregard for following recipes with any measure of exactness. I mean, I use my measuring cups and spoons when they are appropriate to the situation, but I don't go overboard. I have noticed lately that there's a pretty distinct pattern to the ingredients that I completely ignore in recipes and what I tend to replace them with.

For example, I never use margarine. I wasn't sure why, until recently, when I had to eat margarine on something, and it was gross. It's real butter for me, every time.

If a cookie or bread recipe calls for nuts, I just keep on reading, because to me that line in the recipe simply doesn't exist.

Half and half. I come across this in quite a few of my frequently used recipes. Cream of broccolli soup and chicken curry for example. I never use it, not that I have anything against half and half itself, but because I never happen to have any in my refrigerator. It just doesn't occur to me to buy it. Normal milk works pretty good as a replacement.

And I don't understand why people suggest adding bell peppers to recipes. Onions are a perfect substitution for these.

In fact, onions are a pretty great add-in for every thing. I always have onions on hand because I buy them off the street in huge bags for a dollar. Black market onions? They're great in enchilada soup, brocolli soup, taco meat, hashbrowns, breakfast casserole, birthday cake, you get the picture.

Angel's favorite food is onions. I learned long ago to just add onions to all of our dinners, regardless of whether I'd ever seen the dish made with onions before, and that extra ingredient would guarantee his appreciation of the meal.

Yeah, I work the system.

Anyways, if you want a Rachel-style recipe, here's my favorite vegetable in the whole world, cooked my favorite way: Stir-fry baby bok choy with however much or little you want of garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, tumeric, and cayenne pepper. Feel free to add any other spices that you desire.

It looks like this before you cook it:


And It looks like this afterwards:


Okay, that doesn't look terribly appetizing, but let's not kid ourselves...when do vegetables look appetizing? Still, they're delicious!

We're Really Not the Same Person

Here's a Public Service Announcement for ya: My sister Lizzy, and I, despite common assumptions to the contrary, are not the same person.

You'd think it would be obvious. I'm two years older, and she's two inches taller. I have crazy hair, and she has straight hair. But we get mistaken for each other all the time by people who know our family, but clearly don't know us all that well. In 2008, Lizzy was repeatedly congratulated on her recent high school graduation and on all the scholarships she won. She was only about 14 at the time, but whatever. During a recent visit to her church, the pastor struck up a conversation with me that made it clear he thought he knew who he was talking to, but I'd never met him before. I was just going to roll with it, but Lizzy walked up after a few minutes and introduced me, to his great consternation. I occasionally meet people who take the time to clarify rather than assume. "Are you Rachel or Lizzy?" they ask. I'm not sure if Lizzy's been asked yet about how she likes married life but when that happens it will be hilarious.

I have to cut people a little slack, I know. After all, we're both brunettes of similar sizes and shapes, and, after all, we're only two out of the seven kids in our family, and it pretty much takes a genius to match names to faces 100% of the time.

Still, I'm going to give ya'll a clear-cut way to tell us apart. Look at the outfit. Here's pictures that, I think, demonstrate the difference pretty clearly.

This is what Lizzy thinks is a perfect outfit for attending the county fair. She pretty much only wears browns, greens, and blues....earth-tone type colors.


And....this is what I think is the perfect outfit for attending the county fair. Did you know that I name most of my outfits? I asked Lizzy to guess the name of this one and she said, "Genius," trying to be nice because the first thing she thought of was Clown. Turns out, she should have gone with her instincts, because this is the magnificent "Clown in Cowboy Boots" outfit.

If all else fails, you can always resort to the seaweed trick. Trust me, I would never look this happy about that much seaweed.

Icebreaker Tuesday: Breaking the Law

Okay, ya'll, if you're new here, here's the deal with Icebreaker Tuesday. I tell you my story, you tell me yours in the comments. Got it? I love cheesy icebreaker questions and how they sometimes bring up the most interesting stories--I love to read all of your stories so make sure to comment!

Today's Question (suggested by Angel): Have you ever gotten a ticket? If so, what was the situation?

Here's what happened when I got my first ticket. I headed out of my house, off to school for the last day of the semester. A mile out from my house, I arrived at an intersection where I needed to make a left turn. I saw a police car parked near the road, and thought, "Oh, they're waiting there to catch speeding cars," and confidently made the left turn that I've made nearly every day that I've lived in this neighborhood.

Within seconds, the policeman had pulled into the road and his lights were on. He was pulling me over. I had no idea why, at this point, but I pulled over, and hands already shaking, searched for my car's insurance and registration papers. I'd never been pulled over before, but I knew the drill. The policeman marched up to my window, and said, "Did you know you just made an illegal left turn?"

Flabbergasted, I said, "No, I didn't. Why is that turn illegal?"

"There's a sign there, it says No Turns, I'm going to write you a ticket," he said, and left.

I was trying, really trying, to be brave, but I was already crying by the time the policeman came back to the car with my ticket. I took it, without saying thank you, and went on my way. I cried nearly the whole way to school. I know, not very mature of me and perhaps a little too dramatic...but if you knew me, you wouldn't be surprised at my response. By the way, did I mention that I was on my way to a final exam? Exam days are hardly good days, and the ticket didn't make it any better. I calmed myself before the test, and made it through.

At the end of the final exam, my professor handed my back my final paper, saying, "Rachel, I had to take off a few points for forgetting your married name."

I looked at my paper, and sure enough, I'd typed my maiden name on the top page of every sheet in the paper. For a few minutes I was sad, thinking, "What else could go wrong today?" and then I saw my professor's grin, and realized he was joking. I wasn't in quite the right mental state to handle jokes at the time.

 The Fatal Corner

Angel went back to the corner that day and took pictures. Notice that the new sign was clearly so new that they hadn't even taken the old sign away yet. He also did a little research and found out that according to street records, that sign had indeed been placed only a couple days before. No wonder that I had no idea that I wasn't supposed to make that turn! I mean, yes, there is a sign, but how closely do you look at the stop signs you stop at five times a week? We thought we had a bit of a case for extenuating circumstances, so we tried to fight the ticket on the grounds of: when you reside in a neighborhood, you don't expect the rules of the streets to suddenly be switched up on you with no prior warning. But no, we had to pay the ticket and I had to get the points on my license. I would have preferred mercy, but wouldn't we all? I did make an illegal turn, after all, and I got my due punishment for it.

I'm not sure if our attempt to fight the ticket caused this or not, but shortly after my ticket, a huge sign with blinking lights was placed about thirty feet ahead of the intersection, warning, "No Left Turn". The lighted sign stayed there for months. But by that time, I really didn't need it. I hope it was placed in time to save other locals from a surprise ticket, though.

So, what's your ticket story?

BBI Vacation!

It doesn't surprise me if you've never heard of Bois Blanc Island. Few people have, in spite of the fact that it's as close to heaven as you can get on this earth. In fact, if you would, do me a favor and forget the name of the island after reading this post. Don't want it to get too famous and start getting all uppity.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to BBI last week, minus Angel but in the company of other relatives. Since, most likely, you're unfamiliar with the location, I thought I'd share a bit about what Bois Blanc Island is.

It's 13 people sharing 1 and a half bathrooms.


It's Grandpa and Grandma playing Big Badminton. Note the size of the shuttlecock and rackets.

It's walking into the living room at night and being told by Grandpa that there's a bat in the room so keep all the doors shut so that it doesn't travel to the other part of the house.


 It's wading in Lake Huron while wearing a jacket over your swimsuit in an attempt to not freeze to death.

It's waking up four times a night to a flat air mattress and flipping the switch for the motor to pump it up again. Until the last day of the trip when your cousin finds the hole in the mattress and your uncle patches it with superglue.

It's teaching your younger cousins how to play Euchre on a rainy, stormy day.


It's deciding to go for a walk when you think the rain is over and getting drenched on the way to your destination.


It's eating meals cooked on a stove that looks like this! My Grandma's guess was that it's from the 1920s.


It's roasting marshmallows on wire hangers over charcoal. Mmmmmm!

 
It's climbing big rocks in the middle of the woods.

It's someone saying that they found the bat that was seen in the house, only to discover that the supposed "bat" is a brillo pad stuffed into a hole in the wall, for reasons unknown.


It's sitting outdoors with a book and a cup of hot cocoa, looking back at the mainland, and wishing you never had to return.

Saturday Surprise

I returned from my vacation on Saturday afternoon. Well, really, I only halfway returned. My aunt and uncle drove back to their house and dropped me off to stay with my sister Lizzy until either Angel drove there to pick me up, or I convinced Lizzy to drive me back. (Remember, Angel dropped me off there the week before since my car was in the shop).

I was at her house alone most of the evening till she came back from work at 10:45, and I kept myself busy raiding her refrigerator, doing laundry, and catching up on internet. I talked to Angel at 8 pm when he got off from work and he told me that he didn't think he had to work the next day, Sunday, so he would be able to drive and pick me up tomorrow. I was pretty sure that he was working Sunday, because he's never scheduled for only half of a weekend, so I told him to call his work and confirm before making any plans to come get me.

Lizzy arrived at 10:45 bringing cereal and milk, which I'd asked for because even though I'd tried to raid the fridge, just about the only thing I could find was frozen fish. She'd barely been in the door two minutes, and was checking her facebook while I chatted with her when we heard what sounded like a door closing. I asked, "Did you lock up when you came in?"

"Yes, and I armed the alarm system too," she said.

I laughed. "Well, you know this house makes all sorts of weird noises when you're here alone."

She was just beginning to offer her hearty agreement when we heard a loud beeping. "The alarm!" Lizzy yelled, and ran towards the alarm to disarm it. "Ahhhhhh!" I yelled, and ran to hide in the bedrooms.

Apparently this is how we separately handle scary situations.

From my hiding place, I heard Lizzy says, "What are you doing here?" and a guy's voice responding, and then laughing. I didn't recognize the voice, so I warily crawled out of my hiding spot and approached the door. There was Lizzy, still frantically pushing buttons on the alarm system, and there was Angel!

He drove 2 hours after working a 12 hour shift at the hospital so that he could spend the night with me and bring me home in the morning.

No wonder I married him.

Together again!

And the winner of a copy of The Random Writings of Rachel is......Tiffany Johnson!

Genes

Plenty of different traits run in families. A strong trait in my family's genetics is the big hair gene. If we'd only lived in the seventies and eighties, we wouldn't have needed nearly the amount of perms or hairspray that others might need to achieve the coveted big hair look. My Mom has recently betrayed her curly roots by getting her hair straightened "permanently" (we all know how little permanent means in the hair world) but several of us kids are carrying on the legacy pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.


A couple years ago, back when I was still growing out my hair for the wedding--since then I've kept it pretty short so the volume isn't as impressive. How many times have the people who cut my hair told me, "We could fix this for you, you know!" By means of a Brazilian blowout, that is. I'm never giving in!


My little brother's hair is currently the longest it's ever been in his life, probably because Mom isn't around to make him shave it off. This was after he'd been wearing a hat for several hours, otherwise it would be significantly more fluffy.


This little girl's hair is bigger than her body! When I see her walk by in the background while I'm talking to my parents on Skype, sometime I get confused and think she's me. And then I'm really confused. Remind me to tell you about her sometime--Anna's pretty much my favorite person in the whole world, and my idea of perfection is to live with both her and Angel fighting over me.


And we can't forget Sarah, the baby of the family. Only this big hair photo is a few years old.


This is more recent. And technically, this was her style for crazy hair day at AWANA so that explains the glitter, but the volume is pretty close to her everyday style, at least by the end of the day, if not five minutes after Mom tried to tame it into a couple ponytails or braids.


For further evidence, check out the hair on my parent's "adopted" grandbaby! What the term adopted really means here is commandeered by means of close proximity to  and great affection for her real family. Because my mom really wanted to be a grandma, sooner rather than later. I think little Shiloh's hair is quite likely to carry big hair into a whole new generation!

Currently, four out of the seven kids in my family have curls. Anna's and my hair only turned curly once we were teenagers, though, so there's still hope for some of the younger ones.