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That one time I put food in my hair... on purpose

So my hair has seemed really dry lately and I wanted to see if I could try and revive it. I had seen some ideas for a hair mask on Pinterest (and of course everything on Pinterest is a great idea), so I thought I'd try one. 

Now a hair mask is where you take a bunch of food that you would normally put in your mouth, mash it all up, and put it in your hair instead. I can't decide if it's brilliant or a waste of delicious food.

After extensive research (AKA 5 minutes on Google) I chose to do a banana and avocado mask (1/2 avocado and 1 ripe banana). 

I chose to do this particular mask for several very scientific reasons

1. I had an avocado
2. I had a banana

So I began by blending it all together. At this same time I put a warm towel on my head- I read somewhere that this helps open up the hair follicles. {I guess helping the food later ooze into my scalp? Not sold on this theory.}

Then I proceeded to mix the green sticky mess into my hair and ended up with it looking like this. 

Shower caps are for poor people who steal them from hotels (never done it myself), so I went with the high class spa option and used a plastic grocery bag and headband instead. I left the mashed food in my hair for 30 minutes.

I then hopped in the shower and spent the next 30 minutes rinsing out food from my crazy thick hair. 

I wish I had a beautiful "after" picture to show, but I don't. But I did make a pro and con list of my first experience with a hair mask.

1. It gave me something to do besides clean the house
2. My hair had the faint smell of bananas

1. I didn't really notice a difference. I've read up a little more on the mask and I think I need to add a couple more ingredients (i.e. olive oil and/or honey)
2. My hair had the faint smell of bananas... for 3 days. 

I wouldn't call this particular endeavor a success. 

BUT I'm willing to put food in my hair again if it gives me red-carpet-worthy-hair. 

Anyone had luck with a DIY hair mask? Do tell your food-in-hair secrets!

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A Memorial Box & My First Job

Graduating college was a scary thing. A scary thing that no one really ever warned me about.

One week I was focused on studying for my final exams; the next week I crossed a stage and realized that 401k’s, high deductibles, and April 15th now actually meant something to me.

I had a lot of jobs leading up to this point—basketball referee, waitress, campus tour guide, tutor… but the prospect of a full time job with benefits? A job that didn't have regards to summer vacation, holidays, or weekends? That scared me.

What scared me more than the prospect of sacrificing my life to a 40 hour per week job was the prospect that I couldn't find a job at all.

Nursing school had been stressful for a lot of reasons, but probably the main one being that the general consensus was that there were no jobs for a nurse fresh out of school.

Word on the street was that you would finish nursing school, send out 150-200 job applications (I kid you not), and not get a single call back for an interview. After all this work you’d land up in either home health care or a nursing home, hate your job, endure the first year, and then transfer to your dream job.

This is the kind of talk that I heard in nursing school day after day after day. It was really really hard to not become anxious, stressed, fearful, or all of the above.

ENTER… God’s provision and his faithfulness. And my Memorial Box.

A blog that I have been reading for a couple years now introduced me to the idea of a Memorial Box. You can read her wonderful explanation of this item at “A Place Called Simplicity” 

My own explanation of it is as follows…

In Joshua 4 the Lord commands Joshua to pick twelve men to each choose a stone and place it in the middle of the camp as a symbol. Future generations and their children would see these stones and then ask “What do these stones mean?” And a story of God’s faithfulness, represented by the particular stone, would then be told.

“These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” – Joshua 4:7

(read the full passage here).

In the same way that the twelve stones served as a reminder to the people of Israel to God’s faithfulness and provision, so serves a Memorial Box.

By adding visual reminders to a box (more like cabinet) of God’s faithfulness, I am reminded of his provision. It increases my faith and helps me remember God’s promises during the dark times.

And so enter… one of the items in my Memorial Box. It's my first "RN" badge that I received when I got my job at Children's Hospital Colorado. You can read more about the details of getting this job here and here.

I had gotten a job against all odds. It wasn’t a lousy job that I was going to hate—it was a job at a nationally ranked hospital that had the reputation for having great employee satisfaction. I was one of the 40 nurses chosen among the 500-600 that applied for the job. And it wasn’t my resume. It was God.

As I talked to fellow nurses that had been hired, I truly realized how much it was God and not me. My qualifications paled to other colleagues.

Like the nurse who graduated nursing school from Duke.

Or the nurse who already had her Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Or the nurse that had two different externships, one in a top pediatric intensive care unit.

My qualifications may have paled. But my God certainly didn’t.

His faithfulness extended past statistics, past odds on paper that didn't make sense, past my own human ability, and here is my reminder of his faithfulness, sitting in my memorial box.

Never let the statistics, negativity, or insurmountable odds define the box that your God can work in. He works beyond your own plans and beyond your expectations.

Let a Memorial Box remind you of his faithfulness over and over again.

More Memorial Box stories to come!

The Most Important Thing My Dad Taught Me

We celebrated all fathers this past Sunday and although your dad seems pretty cool, I thought I would write a post on why my Dad is cooler than yours just kidding, sorta.

My Dad has taught me a lot of things over the years and I thought I'd talk about one of those things. Aside from loving the Lord, the most important thing my Dad has taught me is...

To laugh

Seems trivial enough, but the ability to have a sense of humor has been one of my saving graces. I would consider a sense of humor in my top three character traits if you don't think I'm funny, please don't speak now and forever hold your peace.

When we were kids we'd all sit down at the dinner table and Dad would ask, "Hey Sarah, could you get the ranch from the fridge please?" While I was gone he'd snag my plate and put it on his lap so I'd come back to an empty place setting. The conversation would continue:

Me: "Dad, give me my plate back!"

Dad: "What plate? I didn't steal it, I was here eating my steak the whole time! It must have been your mother or one of your brothers!" (My Dad never had a problem blaming his shenanigans on his young children). 

Mom: "Oh Donald it was not me!" 

The whole time my Dad had a guilty look on his face (poker + my Dad = you'll get rich). 

As you can see, I had his shenanigans more or less figured out by the time I was say... five. 

Sometimes he'd get tricky (hiding my chocolate cake in the entertainment center behind the TV while I grabbed a glass of milk), but even then it was just a matter of finding out where my plate went. 

As my brothers got older and my Mom started realizing that she was going to be blamed anyway, our house became this giant game of Clue. Who did it, what room is it in, and what was their weapon (i.e. did they use their stomach to polish off the food for you or did they simply use their hands to hide it) ?

As annoying as it got much as I loved it, we always had a laugh. Hiding food turned into other serious matters...

~ Like the one time my brother hid at the foot of my bed under the blankets causing me to pee myself when I climbed into bed and felt a warm body at my feet. 

~ Enjoying a warm shower only to be interrupted by a cold splash of water coming from above 

~ Being hard at work on homework only to be tapped on the shoulder, turning around to find a horny toad being held in my face. 

You get the idea.{And for the record, I clearly did not partake in any retaliation efforts to any of the afore mentioned pranks.}

Goofy was (and is) the honorary middle name of all Boyle family members. 

(I think Dad was going for Bob Dylan in this game of charades. He hates this picture.) 

And I rarely remember not laughing.

I came to college and while I still laughed, it didn't seem to be quite as much. People found offense in pranks and suddenly I was meeting a lot more people who seemed to take life pretty seriously.  Neither of these are inherently wrong, they were just different than what I'm used to and five years later I'm still learning to adjust depending on who I'm around. 

I would be the first to say that life isn't a joke, and some of the situations in life are horrid and not worthy of a smile, much less a laugh. 

But I have found that a sense of humor can go a long way in stressful situations. Whether it's to diffuse a tense pause or lightly poke fun at a mistake I made, humor has helped me immensely in my life and in my job. Even if the humor of a situation is found after the fact (as it normally is at my job), it serves as a huge coping mechanism for me. 

The days I have felt the best are those in which I laughed really hard. Some situations at work are really heavy, but can be lightened with a bit of humor. 

I now treasure the times I go home and am around my dad's pranks, my brother's sarcastic humor and my youngest brother's quick, clever wit. We eat, we laugh, and all is well in life. 

I challenge you to find a way to laugh every day. Whether it's jumping out from behind a door and scaring someone (my personal favorite), or looking up funny Youtube videos, find the humor in this often way-too-sad life.

Choose to surround yourself with people that have a sense of humor and remind you to laugh when you don't remember. Read things that make you laugh. Watch things that crack you up. Listen to things that bring a smile to your face. 

Because as serious, tragic, and sad as this life can be, there's always a time and a place to laugh and smile. 

For all the laughs Dad, thank you. Here's to years more of belly-ache-crying laughs. 

Happy Father's Day! 
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