Monday, September 15, 2014

what it was like growing up "a child of divorce."

When my parents decided to divorce I was in 4th grade. I guessed it before they told me. I was not shocked, I was actually a little bit relieved. Their divorce started off pretty rocky as almost all of them do, with plenty of fights and drama. Somehow though, after not too long, they really decided to stop playing games and just move on, their only common concern being my brother's and my well-being.

My dad wasn't going to settle for the every other weekend visitations, and my mom was happy to let him share custody with her. They created a schedule for our life. Monday & Tuesday with one parent. Switch. Wednesday, Thursday Friday with the other. Switch. Saturday and Sunday back with the first. Switch. Repeat. It worked out to be exactly 50% of the time. My mom stayed living in the house we'd all shared, and my dad decided to buy one in the neighborhood directly across the street, part of the same ward boundary (aka LDS congregation - which in Utah means they were very close together!)

My dad & me when I was a bald baby.
Did he want to live in that neighborhood? Not really. People wouldn't wave at him anymore. Instead, they whispered. He didn't care. What he wanted was for us to be able to walk or ride our bikes to his house whenever we felt like it. For us to be able to attend the same ward on Sundays with our mom (he's not religious) instead of having to go to a different one or miss half the time. For our commute to school to be as it already was. Basically, they both worked to make sure our lives were as unaffected by their separation as possible. They nailed it.

After not very long, both parents were remarried to wonderful people who each also had one girl and one boy. I went from having one sibling to five in a year. BAM. I was really pumped about it. Getting used to the new family units was definitely not without its bumps and bruises, though. It's one of the hardest things people can attempt to do, and many blended families fail. We didn't fail, but some of us had an easier time than others.

Though I always had my own bedroom at each house and plenty of clothes, toiletries, etc. at both places I got super good at living out of a duffel bag. I always had to have my curling iron, flat iron, makeup, favorite jeans, and favorite CD's with me. You know, teen girl essentials that I didn't have double of. Living half the time in two different homes was actually really good for me, as a teenager, because it's hard to get along with parents when you are sure you're way smarter than them and they are way too strict. We got to see each other a lot but in smaller doses, if we were mad there was already a planned break for a few days and we could come back refreshed. I think it really made things easier!

My parents would not let us get away with anything, though. They talked to each other often about what was going on with us, making sure they were on the same page with how we were being raised, what the current discipline was, what we needed to do for school, etc. Nothing got past them. If we were mad at one parent, we were not allowed to go to the other house and start speaking ill of them. No, that was forbidden. We had to exercise the same respect for them as we would in their own homes.

My mom and stepmom got along super well, and since they both did go to church at the same place they just embraced it and were friends. The people in the ward were pretty confused by it, I think. My brother and two stepbrothers were all within 2 years of each other in age and would hang out together. They all are tall, blonde, blue-eyed kids. No one could keep straight which one belonged to which parent. A row of us in sacrament meeting looked like this: brothers, stepdad, mom, stepmom, me, sisters. All of us mixed together.

I always really loved my stepparents and got along with them. They both were really nice to me and went above and beyond helping take care of me without trying to be the parent. I have learned almost as much from them as I have from my actual parents over the years and I know I am so lucky to have them in my life. Since all of us kids were, you know, kids when we all started living together we had typical brother-sister kind of relationships. Sometimes we got along and played nice, sometimes we didn't, but in the end we had love for each other. I may not be super close with all of them, but I consider them my "real" siblings and love them as if we were blood.

Me, my husband and four out of five of my siblings.
This is what it was like for me, growing up as a 'child of divorce.' I kind of hate that term but it is an accurate way to describe the situation. Like I said in this post, I don't come from a broken home but from two fixed ones. What my family went through to find greater happiness in life was hard but I think we all came out better for it in the end.


Friday, September 5, 2014

budget girls' makeup faves.

I have never been really "into" makeup, but I have favorite items that I stay loyal to because as long as they are working I'm not gonna go looking for something new! If it aint broke, don't fix it. Right? I'm also so cheap when it comes to makeup because I just would much rather spend an extra $20 on a fun dinner out than something for my face, so everything here costs less than $10. Most of this stuff has been in my makeup bag for almost ten years. I like to keep my routine simple, but I guess in some ways I am high maintenance because I will absolutely not leave my house without filling in my brows. I present to you everything that I put on my face on a daily basis:

Step 1: Fill in the brows. Lately I've been using the ELF eyebrow kit. It's $3 and I only use the left side. I like it and the little brush is sufficient for my needs.

Step 2: I apply Maybelline yellow concealer stick around my eyes. I have naturally darker skin there, but am pale in general, so I find this helps balance my face out. I've been using this since high school.

Step 3: I put on a layer of mascara - you know, the Great Lash stuff that everyone has. I wait for it to dry then I carefully curl my lashes. Then I apply another layer or two of mascara. I think this is abnormal? My friend taught it to me in college and I find that my lashes stay curled this way.

Step 4: Revlon liquid liner. I put a thin line around the top top and bottom. I think this may be a beauty faux pas but I like how it looks. I can't use pencil liners because my eyes are naturally really watery and it smears... I prefer not to walk around looking like a raccoon.

Step 5: Ponds' BB Cream. This is one of my friend Meg O.'s recommendations and I love it. I've always had pretty clear skin so I don't wear foundation. Just this year my skin started to change a little and I added this BB Cream (which as far as I can tell is basically tinted moisturizer) to the mix and I can't go back now. It's great. Another of Meg's recs is the Instant Age Rewind Dark Circles Eraser. I just love this and I put this around my eyes now too, sometimes in place of the yellow stick, sometimes on top of it. I like that it brightens up the skin around my eyes.

Step 6: Bronzer and blush. Because of aforementioned paleness I like to warm up my face with bronzer and blush most days. I used to have a MAC bronzer that I loved and it lasted me about five years, suddenly ran out and I didn't want to spend $30 on a new one so I tried this NYX Matte Bronzer which was supposedly a great dupe for the MAC. It's a pretty good match and only cost me $9. My favorite blush is Cover Girl's Soft Mink.

Step 7: Maybe, when I'm feeling like getting really dolled up I'll put on eyeshadow. I used to have a Stila shadow called Kitten which is supposedly one of the most popular eyeshadows of all time. It looks good on everyone. I looked up a dupe for Stila Kitten and found Revlon Infallible in Iced Latte. It's pretty much the same in color, but the texture is off, which is fine. It does the job and costs $4-ish as opposed to $18.

Step 8: Lip balm. Burt's Bees is my top choice, but I also love just the plain old Chapstick brand. This flavor is to die for, but seasonal and very hard to find.

So, that's what's in my makeup bag. Do you use any of the same things? Or do you know of a better budget-friendly product that I should be using instead of one of these?! Spill!



Thursday, September 4, 2014

throwback thursday: leo and me


In 1998 I saw Titanic and fell into a deep, teeny-bopper kind of love with Leonardo DiCaprio. I'd had crushes on boys in my neighborhood and at school before, but this was different. I mean, I could not get enough of looking at his handsome mug.

Around this time, the disney channel was airing re-runs of Growing Pains, and there was an entire season where Leo was basically their foster kid. I taped all of the episodes on VHS and watched them over and over again. I rented other movies he'd been in - What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Man in the Iron Mask, etc. I collected those Teen magazines with all the fun facts about him that came with fold-out posters. I still remember his birthday (November 11th!) and that his mom took him to K-Mart and bought him a baby blue turtleneck before his first big audition. After a while I had 12 posters of Leo on the walls of my bedroom. Twelve! The infatuation was REAL.

leonardo dicaprio on growing pains

I was only ten at this time, and of course I didn't know how weird I was. I'm sure my parents got a kick out of the whole thing. Or maybe they were worried? But the obsession lasted probably a year before it fizzled out and was replaced with less-intense crushes on certain members of Backstreet Boys and N*Sync.

Who was your first celebrity crush? Were you as obsessive as I was? Maybe it's a phase lots of kids go through... or maybe that's just what I will tell myself!


Monday, September 1, 2014

a challenge: blog every day in september

I'm excited, you guys! I have a brand new name and design for this blog and I've been trying to blog over here more consistently. So, I am happy to announce that I'm going to participate in this "blog everyday in September" challenge that my friend Whitney is hosting! She has come up with a prompt for each day - which makes it easy for me. I even got to add one of the ideas to the mix (Monday, Sept. 15!)

So, a re-introduction:

I'm Sarah. I'm 26, am approaching my five-year wedding anniversary and expecting my first baby in or around two months from now. I am a blogger both for fun, and for work. Yes, I am lucky enough to get to make a part-time income blogging at and running Pretty Providence, so that's my current gig. I get asked all the time "but how is a blog your job??" so I'll have to write an entire post on that another time. It's a lot to explain to those unfamiliar with the idea!

I love pop culture - movies, music, celebrity gossip, etc. and I am constantly quoting funny movies or TV shows. If you get my references, we're automatic friends! I even make an effort to fill up my house with funny references, like adding this "Live Every Week Like It's Shark Week" poster to my living room. It's from 30 Rock, but I also like that it's a nod to Shark Week and to my friend Adrienne whose art I've been collecting since we were tweens.

I also come from a really interesting family background... my parents were divorced when I was in 4th grade - but it was a good divorce. They co-parented me and my brother like champs, moved into the same neighborhood so we could see each parent as much as we wanted, and made it basically as if nothing had changed. They both were remarried to awesome, more compatible people who had two kids each, so I went from having a family of 4 to a family of 10 within about a year. It was the best thing that could have happened to me! I am so glad to have all the siblings, four awesome parents, and the perspectives I learned from each of them. When people looked from the outside and considered my home "broken" they were wrong. I come from a fixed home (or two fixed homes, however you look at it.)

I'm also a Mormon. Y'all might know all about mormons, or maybe you just think you do? I have realized lately that just saying I'm a Mormon could still explain pretty much nothing to someone so here's a little about me and my faith. The church is actually called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" - you might have heard us called Mormons, but we usually refer to ourselves as LDS. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I worship Him and try to be more like Him every day. I'm conservative in that I've never had a drink of alcohol and saved myself for marriage. I also don't drink coffee or tea (gasp!) but I do drink Dr. Pepper like it's going out of style and listen to rap music so... I'm somewhat liberal in my church. I have lots of gay friends and family and wish for them the same rights that I have. This perspective is shared by a good chunk of LDS people but not that many on the outside know that. It's an important difference for me to bring up, because I want to be understood. Jesus taught us to love everyone, so I choose love. First, and always.

As I mentioned before my favorite person ever and I are coming up on our 5th anniversary! Jacob is really smart, a talented musician, and is always making a joke. ALWAYS. I love him, and I will leave it at that because I don't need to get super gushy. Y'all can believe we have fun and I can't wait to see him a dad to our little girl, who I'm sure will have him wrapped around her tiny finger.

That's a little bit about me in a nutshell. I can't promise I'll be perfect at blogging here every single day in September, but I'm going to try, and am excited to read along with everyone else participating!