Monday, June 12, 2017

Reverse : R+F Review

When I was young and into my early twenties, I would get compliments on my skin all the time. Even random strangers would comment on how beautiful my skin was. Then one day, it stopped. I think the years of tanning, dehydration and, of course, age took their toll. Then pregnancy. Let's just say I'm not so radiant anymore. Wrinkles and spots and weird blotchiness (that I guess I can blame on Ronan?) are a big concern. 

My skin regimen was mediocre. I washed, exfoliated and moisturized about once a day. Nothing special. But, I needed more. I needed something to reverse some of the damage and get me glowing again! So, I got to try Rodan + Fields to see what all the hub-bub was about. With R+F, there are no parties, you just try their products! That's why you probably see those before and after pictures all over the place. Their products work. Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me walk you through the super-easy process.

I started with a quick CONSULTATION on Rodan + Field's Solution Tool (literally 4 questions) and was paired with the "Reverse" regimen. I liked the sound of that because I would like to age in reverse a little bit and get back to, like, the skin of my 24-year old self. The package arrived super quick! Possibly faster than Amazon. I got a Deep Exfoliating Wash. It's a gritty cleanser that makes my skin instantly smooth. Then, Intensive Brightening Toner and dual active brightening complex which is a tube with retinol and a tube with vitamin C that you put on last. Then, I put on coconut oil but only at night because my skin is COMBINATION AF. Like, if I dont moisturize my skin will flake off and if I do I am greasy. It's a bit intense with the exfoliation, salicylic acid and retinol so you have to ease into it. I only used it every other day for about two weeks and then once a day for 4 more weeks before using it more.

No Make-up. No Filters.  No Edits. 10 Weeks after starting Rodan + Fields Reverse.

I love taking a few extra minutes to spend time on myself. Those 2 minutes of skincare are about all I have most days. Ha! It only took me a week to notice the dramatic results. I'm 10 weeks in and I'm wearing less and less make-up each week. My pores are smaller and my complexion is more consistent than its been in years. I feel fresh faced and confident again. It's worth the investment. The kit was around $200 but I'll probably only need to purchase it every 4 months (3x/year). #worthit

Click here to read about the Preferred Customer program for an extra 10% off and free shipping with a one time $19.95 enrollment fee.

Follow Annie on Instagram!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Even Though He Looks Like Me

Ronan is almost exclusively wearing Liam's hand-me-downs these days. I've been having flashbacks. Dan and I were following Ronan yesterday as he toddled around the neighborhood in Liam's blue sandals, grey shirt and khaki shorts from 2013. We were commenting on how surreal it was; how familiar. The boys really do look so much alike. 

top: Ronan at 18 mo, bottom : Liam at 20 mo.

This past weekend, I took a solo trip up north to run a half marathon. On that trip, I listened to podcasts while the boys napped and watched movies. One podcast, Adoptees On, was created by a college classmate of mine. She is an adoptee who has an extraordinary story about connecting with her birth family as an adult. As a result, I've been digging into adoption these past few days. 
Quick plug for Adoptees On podcast. If you're an adoptee or adoptive parent, please take a listen! These stories will reshape some of your ideas, inspire and heal you. 

Through this process, I keep thinking about my boys and how much they look alike! I keep thinking about how Liam has my temperament and I totally understand his little idiosyncrasies. When we brought Liam home, we knew he would fit in. We knew that if we adopted him he would never have to tell a soul if he didn't want to. Not all adoptees have that and I figured it was a good thing. But, the more I listen to the adoptees stories, I am realizing that no matter how much he looks like us or acts like us, he may feel adopted for his entire life. I'm learning that adoption is trauma. No matter how abusive or brief, a child is connected to his flesh and blood. Adoption takes a child from its mother, the person that this child LIVED INSIDE OF. Is there anything more traumatic?

I'm realizing that Liam needs to know where he came from, no matter how much he fits in with us, no matter how broken his origins are. So, I'm reaching out to his mother a little more. I want him to know her someday. I want him to meet his father - if I can ever get a hold of him. Am I afraid? A little. I'm afraid that his origins are so, so broken that he will associate himself with that and it will hurt his identity. I'm not afraid that he will like them. He probably will! And who am I to decide that that is unnatural or not okay? It's perfectly natural. I raised him as a my own and I love him but he's not really, truly mine (and neither is Ronan). My children belong to God. Liam is allowed to feel however he wants to feel and if he ends up meeting his mother (whom he hasn't seen in 5 years) and feeling connected to her, I wont be threatened by that. (If he rejects me and Daniel, I will! But that's a whole other blog post for a later date.) I am preparing my heart for it. For him to love his birth parents. I hope that he does. I hope they get their lives together and become better versions of themself.

Adoption is complicated and messy but my brilliant, simple, impulsive, loving boy tells his story like this just yesterday, "I was alone and I lived with other parents and they didn't know how to take care of me and now you're my mom and dad!". Then, happily goes back to eating his orange sherbet and laughing at Ronan.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Love Others

I found this photo. It's from about 1 year ago. Ronan was about 7 months old. I was still nursing and I had just run the Music City half marathon. I was still feeling a little chubby but all my clothes fit and I was in great health. Sure, I had a little baby weight but I dont see it now. I'm still about 8 pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant but I'm about 10 pounds lighter than I was in this photo. In a few days I'll run that same half marathon and I anticipate I'll shave about 30 seconds off each mile this time around. My mental health is great, despite a mountain of stress that is : 3 jobs and buying a house. But when I stop focusing on myself and my own "probelms", when I pour into my family, friends and neighbors, I am full. I am happiest when I'm not thinking of myself.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Loving and accepting myself has allowed me to love and accept others more fully and readily. What a trip, right? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...