Today Sucks, & That's OK

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Ten years ago today, I was getting ready to go swimming when my mom got a phone call. I was supposed to be spending the weekend with my dad, but a party came up that I just had to go to. So I stayed home. And when my mom answered the phone, I immediately knew that something was wrong.

It was a fear I’d had for years. After I realized that the “drink” in my dad’s cup wasn’t just water. After numerous trips to rehab always ended up in relapse. After he’d failed to sober up to spend weekends with me on a disappointedly regular basis. My love for my dad was, and is, infinite, but there was always a part of me that knew this day was inevitable.

So as I stood next to my mom, and I heard my sister utter those two words, “dad’s dead,” it wasn’t shock that overtook me. It was relief. It felt like I’d been holding my breath for so long, for years, and then I could finally let it out. I could breathe. The grief came soon after, when I’d moved from the foyer floor to my mom’s bed and wavered between sleep and tears. People say grief is powerful, but it isn’t. It’s omnipotent. It took me away from friend groups and passions and swallowed me up, turned me around, spit me back out a different person.

At first, I couldn’t stop being angry. It wasn’t fair, and I was mad at myself for not going to see him when I was supposed to. Since then, that anger has turned into despair and then into a hollow pain that I can’t even begin to describe. Now, I’m mostly nostalgic. I was 13 when my dad died, so I don’t have as many memories of him as my older sisters do, so I try and go back to find memories I’ve forgotten.

But when I go back, I don’t just find memories of me smiling up at my dad. I find pain and regret and disappointment. I find an 11-year-old girl waiting patiently after dance lessons to be picked up by her dad, but after an hour had passed, she had to call her mom and they traveled to his hotel room to find him passed out on the bed, an empty bottle of tequila on the floor. So, I shut out this part of my life most days, pretend like it doesn’t exist.

But today I can’t do that. Because today marks ten years since my dad left this earth, and ten years of me desperately clinging on to any piece of him I could find. I ask my sisters what music he liked, I ask my mom what his favorite food was. And that makes it so much worse. That I can’t answer these things for myself, because I didn’t actually know my dad all that well. What 13-year-old does? I know he loved westerns, and Jesus, and Mexican food and golf. I know he loved to watch me dance or sing (badly) and hold me close. For me, that has to be enough.

Ten years without a dad isn’t something I would wish on anyone. And while some people may find peace in the old adage, “he’s in a better place,” (which, don’t get me wrong, I know my dad is in heaven), for me, the peace comes in knowing that I was once loved beyond reason by the best man I’ve known, and that I’m still forever loved by the best heavenly father a girl could have. In that, I find rest.

But today I can’t do that. Because today marks ten years since my dad left this earth, and ten years of me desperately clinging on to any piece of him I could find. I ask my sisters what music he liked, I ask my mom what his favorite food was. And that makes it so much worse. That I can’t answer these things for myself, because I didn’t actually know my dad all that well. What 13-year-old does? I know he loved westerns, and Jesus, and Mexican food and golf. I know he loved to watch me dance or sing (badly) and hold me close. For me, that has to be enough.

Ten years without a dad isn’t something I would wish on anyone. And while some people may find peace in the old adage, “he’s in a better place,” (which, don’t get me wrong, I know my dad is in heaven), for me, the peace comes in knowing that I was once loved beyond reason by the best man I’ve known, and that I’m still forever loved by the best heavenly father a girl could have. In that, I find rest.

Current Skin Care Crushes

 For whatever reason, I've been seriously getting into skin care products lately. I love feeling my best, and taking care of my skin is one of the easiest ways I can do that.   All of these products are amazing, in my opinion, and they all help me feel more  with it , which is saying a lot. Being a writer and freelancer is  awesome,  don't get me wrong, but it's also kind of...complicated. Working from home certainly has its perks, but not getting dressed up to go into an office every day has a tendency to make me feel a little  blah.    So, establishing a skin care routine helps me feel like my life is together, even when I'm spending my day in Nike shorts with no makeup.   That being said, I bring you my current skin care favorites that have been serious game-changers for me, and I hope they can help you as well! 

For whatever reason, I've been seriously getting into skin care products lately. I love feeling my best, and taking care of my skin is one of the easiest ways I can do that. 

All of these products are amazing, in my opinion, and they all help me feel more with it, which is saying a lot. Being a writer and freelancer is awesome, don't get me wrong, but it's also kind of...complicated. Working from home certainly has its perks, but not getting dressed up to go into an office every day has a tendency to make me feel a little blah. 

So, establishing a skin care routine helps me feel like my life is together, even when I'm spending my day in Nike shorts with no makeup. 

That being said, I bring you my current skin care favorites that have been serious game-changers for me, and I hope they can help you as well! 


  GlamGlow SuperCleanse & Daily Clearing Cleanser    This GlamGlow cleanser is perfect for pretty much anyone. It effectively washes off all of the dirt and grime from your day, while also leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean. It starts as a darker mud, then turns into a thick foam as you wash. It has a kind of interesting smell, but I think that's part of the magic. Buy it  here . 

GlamGlow SuperCleanse & Daily Clearing Cleanser

This GlamGlow cleanser is perfect for pretty much anyone. It effectively washes off all of the dirt and grime from your day, while also leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean. It starts as a darker mud, then turns into a thick foam as you wash. It has a kind of interesting smell, but I think that's part of the magic. Buy it here

  Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion age-defying exfoliator.    So, this scrub has completely stolen my heart. It's seriously intense, in a good way. You really only need to use it 2-3 times a week because it scrubs off dead skin  so well.  It smells amazing, and you only need a tiny, dime-sized drop to get the job done. Buy it  here . 

Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion age-defying exfoliator.

So, this scrub has completely stolen my heart. It's seriously intense, in a good way. You really only need to use it 2-3 times a week because it scrubs off dead skin so well. It smells amazing, and you only need a tiny, dime-sized drop to get the job done. Buy it here

  Mary Kay Clearproof deep-cleanising charcoal mask.     I know, I know. At this point, you're probably wondering how  any  charcoal mask can be that much different than all the ones before it. But, trust me when I say, this one from Mary Kay is on a whole new level. It doesn't painfully peel off your face, or strip your skin dry. It simply dries, and in the process, dries out any imperfections you may have, zits, blackheads, and cystic pimples included. It's literally my favorite mask of all time. You can order it  here . 

Mary Kay Clearproof deep-cleanising charcoal mask. 

I know, I know. At this point, you're probably wondering how any charcoal mask can be that much different than all the ones before it. But, trust me when I say, this one from Mary Kay is on a whole new level. It doesn't painfully peel off your face, or strip your skin dry. It simply dries, and in the process, dries out any imperfections you may have, zits, blackheads, and cystic pimples included. It's literally my favorite mask of all time. You can order it here

  Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner    I'm well aware that Kiehls is a super popular skin care brand, but this is the first time I've tried them out. And the verdict? I LOVE this toner. It is gentle, but effective, and a little bit goes a long way. My skin has a tendency to get pretty red, and after using this stuff for a month, my skin tone is much more even and smooth. Buy it  here . 

Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner

I'm well aware that Kiehls is a super popular skin care brand, but this is the first time I've tried them out. And the verdict? I LOVE this toner. It is gentle, but effective, and a little bit goes a long way. My skin has a tendency to get pretty red, and after using this stuff for a month, my skin tone is much more even and smooth. Buy it here

  ArtNaturals Enhanced Retinol Serum    So, for a while I'd been hearing about how important it is to start using anti-aging products in your mid twenties. But, since I still have the occasional breakout, I was afraid of giving up my awesome acne products. But then I discovered retinol. It works basically as a skin superhero, reducing wrinkles and fighting acne. This serum is my new favorite thing to put on because it feels amazing and I know it's working wonders. Buy it  here .

ArtNaturals Enhanced Retinol Serum

So, for a while I'd been hearing about how important it is to start using anti-aging products in your mid twenties. But, since I still have the occasional breakout, I was afraid of giving up my awesome acne products. But then I discovered retinol. It works basically as a skin superhero, reducing wrinkles and fighting acne. This serum is my new favorite thing to put on because it feels amazing and I know it's working wonders. Buy it here.

  Alba Good & Clean Pore Purifying Mini Peel    To be honest, this is the first time I've ever used a peel product, but I really like this one. It basically works to dig deep down to your pores to extract all the gunk out. You only leave it on for a few minutes, and it stings for a little bit, but when you wash it off, your skin will thank you. Buy it  here . 

Alba Good & Clean Pore Purifying Mini Peel

To be honest, this is the first time I've ever used a peel product, but I really like this one. It basically works to dig deep down to your pores to extract all the gunk out. You only leave it on for a few minutes, and it stings for a little bit, but when you wash it off, your skin will thank you. Buy it here