Friday, February 6, 2015

From Beautiful to Beautiful

I am at a loss for how to begin this post. I am overwhelmingly blessed with 5 sisters, and 4 sisters in law, and I could easily write pages about how beautiful and amazing each one of them is. But today I will just share about one sister and one reason.

Rachel. My one and only big sister. She is 5 years older than me, but since we have both began walking the journey of marriage and motherhood, the age gap has all but disappeared. 

About 20 years ago, she did what most mixed and black girls do. She chemically relaxed her hair to make it more manageable and subtle. Years later, when I was about 15 she helped me by doing mine- I would've done anything to be more like her, and my hair was out of control so this seemed like a good place to start. But after a few years I started growing mine out and chopped the relaxed ends off when I was 18. For me, straight hair took away my one feature that let people know I was my dad's little girl. I can't count the number of people that told me I wasn't black. So back to curls- it just made me feel more like myself. 

Anyway, Rachel swore she would NEVER grow out her relaxer. And why should she? Her hair was glorious and sleek and beautiful! And it was her. 

Fast forward a few years, Rachel is 25, married and something changes. She has a daughter. 

Fast forward a few more years. Lael Monet is a spitting image of a little Rachel, with enough personality for 10 three year olds... Beautiful, inquisitive, sensitive and head encased in the most delicious honey colored curls that you will ever see. 

Something happens when you become a mother. You become willing to do and give up things you never thought you would. As Rachel recounted conversations she'd had with Lael, and questions L had been asking, I started hearing a change. Where I used to hear, "I could never stop relaxing my hair" I started hearing, "I coulnt stop could I?" And "that would be insane of me right?" And "what if I did?!" 

Like any mom she wants the world for her girl. She wants her to know that she is beautiful the way God made her. Could she do that while keeping her own hair straight? I believe she absolutely could!
But she saw the opportunity to walk a journey with her daughter, in the same shoes (or curls). She saw the opportunity and she took it. 

I couldn't be more proud of her. I can already see God blessing her for going outside of her comfort zone to love her girl in this special way. It has only been a week and I can't count how many times she has called me just to say, "this is ME! I can't believe it!" 

I can believe it! From beautiful to beautiful.

Here are some pictures of "the big chop"! Lael stayed home from school for "curly hair day" and she even got to take the first snips! 

Rosemary, next younger sister after me, and the one talented with scissors: discussing the best way to chop!

Lael took her job very seriously!
stunning moment!
It's sinking in, this is really happening!

no time for second guessing now.

Rose was confident and never worried that it wasn't going to be amazing
Rachel's face here. 
deep breath. almost done!

her first good look. no tears! just smiles!
such beauties!
I almost can't remember before the chop! suits her SO well!

Sugar Detox: Wrapping It Up

This is a little bit delayed as we finished our 3 week sugar detox a bit ago. It was a very interesting journey! After a week of following the detox's strict guidelines (no processed sugar as well as no natural sugars like honey, and most fruits, and no grains except wild rice and quinoa)- we decided that I needed to add more carbs in (oats, brown rice etc and some fruit) because I was not doing well. So even though we modified our guidelines, we were able to finish 3 weeks of no sugar (or honey etc). 

As the end approached I realized I was keeping myself disciplined not for the sake of the detox, but I just needed to know that I could discipline myself to follow through with something. So for that reason I am glad I did it! 

Here is my personal assessment of doing a sugar detox, I know everyone will have a different story and experience, but here is mine:

- detoxing was helpful in that I am satisfied by much less sugar than before.
- it pushed me to be creative and experiment with cooking with more whole foods

- it did not seem to improve my skin, or effect my weight at all
- it did not make me feel any different, in terms of energy or general wellness

Although I am glad I stuck with it for three weeks, this is not something I would chose to do again. I think it's wise to watch the amount of sugar you eat in general and I try to be moderate. The biggest downside to detoxing for me personally was the amount of preparation and mind space it required. I think it's important to take care of our bodies and nutrition plays a huge part in that- but I don't want it to become my identity. I want my girls to feel encouraged to take care of their bodies and see me taking care of mine, but not getting consumed with them. I want to be able to have the mind space to teach them how to love the One who made them, love who they are, and love others. 

I love that their are people passionate about nutrition, so that I can pick up their bits of advice and wisdom without having to dive full in. Maybe one day I will have the ability to multitask that extensively- but right now I am thankful for the resources I have access to, my gut instinct and GRACE.