Locked Up and Liberated

DreadlocksKathleen

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It’s been over a year since I began the process of locking my hair into knotty dreads. A year! I think everyone assumed (myself included) that I would be over this “phase” by now but I’m still rocking it. I started my dreading my hair on a whim – but over the past year they’ve evolved into a declaration of independence, of sorts. I was sending a very bold message to The Man that I would not be confirming to his rules any time soon. I’m going to send out a Letter for Creative Entrepreneurs today talking more about breaking the old corporate rules society puts on us and making new ones (sign up in the right sidebar of my blog or sign up and see more of the kinds of exclusive content we send out in these letters over here at Braid).

So… aside from being a rebellious statement my dreads are a daily reminder to not take myself so seriously. And sometimes it’s simply just a hairdo. But I still get lots of attention (the youngest sibling in me loves it) and questions. So I thought I would take a minute to answer some FAQs. Feel free to ask me more questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Q: How long did it take you to grow those?
This is hardest question to answer. Because I’m still growing ’em. I’ve had my hair in dreadlocks for 1 year and 2 months. It took me about a month to dread my whole head (+ dread and weave in the extensions).

Q: Are those real?
We can get philosophical with this answer. Everything is real. Nothing is real. Lots of people weave their undreaded hair into pre-made dreadlock extensions. At any point they can take out the extensions without their hair being damaged or affected. I dreaded my hair – but it was only collarbone length when I started. So I dreaded some extensions myself and then wove those into my actual hair. It’s pretty seamless and all looks very much like my own hair. Over the past year about 3 or 4 extensions have fallen out. It’s kind of cool to see how long my actual hair would be (about chin length to collarbone length now).

Q: Did you dread your hair yourself? How? 
Yes. I did it myself. I basically treated it like a crafting hobby for a month. It took me about an hour per dreadlock (that includes the extension). I used the twist and rip method + crochet hook. I pretty much watched every single one of this girl’s dreadlock tutorials on how to actually dread my hair and do the extensions. In hindsight I’m glad mine aren’t as small as hers – I like ’em a little more wild.

Q: How many do you have?
At last count I think it was 63. But I always forget.

Q: If you stopped dreading them at the roots could you just grow them out? 
No. At this point my hair dreads itself. The locks at the bottom of my head are dreaded right up to the scalp – the dreads at the top of my head have about 1 inch, give or take, of non-dreaded roots. But they eventually start dreading themselves.

Q: How do you maintain them?
I wash my hair about once every two weeks with a concoction of baking soda, scent-free shampoo, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, and a few drops of essential oil. Sometimes if I have extra unruly stray hairs I’ll use a crochet hook to weave them into a dread. But these days I dig the more natural / wild look – so I don’t do a whole lot to maintain them.

Q: How long do you think you’ll have them? 
I get this question from my close friends and family. The answer is I don’t know. I could kind of see growing old and grey with my dreads. I feel more like me than ever before – so I don’t plan on ditching the ‘do anytime soon.

Q: How do you bleach them? 
If it’s not obvious I do bleach my hair. I go to a salon to have them done professionally (Adrienne at Revel8 in OKC is my gal- she used to have dreads herself) but you could probably do them yourself (the girl I linked to above has a tutorial on bleaching). I get the roots touched up every 6-8 weeks.
A note on bleaching while pregnant: I did some serious back-and-forthing on whether or not to bleach my hair while pregnant. I did my research and felt good about bleaching my roots after I was out of my first trimester. Adrienne, my hair stylist, was sure to use ammonia-free bleach on my hair and I washed it twice to make sure all the bleach was off my head afterwards. I’m also trying to extend my salon visits closer to 8-10 weeks vs. 6-8. If bleaching your hair while pregnant is going to stress you out than don’t do it. But if fixing your roots will give you a major self-esteem boost and your doctor or midwife says it’s cool than I say go for it. 

So that’s the big hair update! Let me know if you have any questions – I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments.

Chill Michigan

ChillMichigan

Bump

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Pelligrino

RoadTrip

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RainFerry

Sailboats

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This was our third time (in the past 4 or 5 years) to be invited to spend time up at Liz’s family’s cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior. The familiarity of the drive from the teeny tiny airport to the cabin, the cabin itself, the fireplace, and of course the people, made this holiday feel less like an adventure and more like home away from home – in the best possible way. It’s the kind of vacation that calls for 3 hours of chilling out upon waking to enjoy a cup of coffee (which I did, even after being coffee-free for 6+ months) – possibly spiked with Bailey’s (Jeremy). You can easily spend an hour meditating upon waves crashing into a perfectly crooked dock.

Liz and I met, about 7 years ago, when she interned at the ad agency I worked at. She was hired on as a designer right out of school. It wasn’t best friendship at first sight. No, this friendship was more like a balsamic reduction – acidic, sweet, and built on a slow simmer. It’s one that has seen many phases and mid-20s milestones. One of the many things I love about spending an extended amount of time with Liz is that we daydream in the same language – a language that includes texture and subtleties that only she seems to understand (and often translate when I don’t know exactly what I’m saying) – the kinds of reliable insights that often elicit the response “EXACTLY.” We also have enough history and inside jokes to properly reminisce. “Remember that time you sent me a copy of your divorce decree in an InDesign file across our company network so I could DIY my own too-young-starter-marriage divorce?” and “Remember that time in oh-nine when you got so beat up from slip-n-sliding in the park that your parents thought you were in an abusive relationship?” But we’re not just about relishing (or rehashing) the past. We’re all about moving forward. Big and little dreaming to design the kinds of lives we want to live.

But enough of my public love note to a very special friendship – and back to the cabin on chilly Lake Superior. Here are some of the highlights from this trip:
+ The Einstein Bros. bagel(s) I devoured in the Detroit airport – both on the way there and back.
+ S’mores. Fact: I didn’t have my first s’more until I was 15! And in the past few years it’s a treat I’ve only enjoyed while up at the cabin.
+ Gluten, cheese, sugar, and coffee. Yup. There was some serious nutritional off-roading happening here but it’s truly worth it for cabin cooking (and baking).
+ Sleeping with the windows open, under a full moon, to the sound of the lake lulling me to sleep.
+ Tackling a crossword puzzle (or five) with Jeremy and Liz.
+ Jeremy naming Liz the godmother to our bebe. I’m woo-woo, Jeremy is atheist, and Liz was raised Catholic so it’s the closest our babe will get to a legit godmother. Basically, we think it means she’ll give our kid it’s first drink. Either way, I thought it was a really sweet gesture.
+  Hanging out on the beach with Megan and Mike (of The Fresh Exchange and Wild Measure). Megan became my soul sister when we roomed together in Palm Springs last year – and then I got to meet Mike when we all shared a condo together at Alt Summit in January. I loved getting to introduce some of my favorite people to my other favorite people.
+ Jeremy and I practicing birthing techniques in Lake Michigan (okay, actually he was helping me pee.)
+ Making tasty homemade pasta!
+ Biking around Mackinac Island.
+ Making veggie lasagna for Liz’s mom and dad.
+ Watching the beach bon fire and a distant storm, under a full moon.
+ Speculating on spirit animals all week.
+ Riding on a ski jet with Jeremy (I felt like Lara Croft and P. Diddy).
+ Liz’s mom’s homemade cookies.
+ A Kanye soundtracked road trip.
+ A wild variety of weather. One day we were in bikinis – the next we were in sweaters and down jackets.
+ Swimming in Lake Michigan (Lake Superior without being able to sauna first was just a little too chilly for me).

You can see more from the trip on my Instagram hereand if you need more Liz visit her blog here.

Weekend Reading

WeekendReading

Hello friends! I hope you’ve been having a great weekend. Here are a few things that have caught my eye (and imagination) lately:

Creatively Living by Jason Hudson
If you’re not already reading Jason’s blog get to it. Just spend the rest of the day digging through his archives. Jason, a super talented photographer and writer, has been spending the better part of the year traveling the world with his long time boyfriend. He recently wrote this post about travel and being a working creative that hit close to home. Check it out.

Why Time Slows Down When We’re Afraid, Speeds Up As We Age, and Gets Warped on Vacation by Maria Popova via Brain Pickings
As I get older, I’ve noticed that time has become such a stretchy dimension. Under the gun, I can get as much done in two hours as I could in two weeks. Some days, weeks, and months, pass in the blink of an eye. Other days – moments and seconds even – seem to last a lifetime. This article is an interesting read for anyone interested in time, perception, and experience.

Meghan Currie’s YouTube Channel
Okay – this isn’t an article but rather a collection of YouTube videos of yogi Meghan Currie. I’ve fallen out of my yoga practice over the past few months – but Meghan Currie’s stop-motion videos always inspire me to get back on the mat.

The Goodwin Project
I got so many amazing responses and comments in this post in which I reveal my desire (and fears) around having a family but also wanting to go on adventures. A blog reader directed me to The Goodwin Project – a documentation of a family of modern-day nomads who use the world as their classroom. I’ll be spending my Sunday digging through the archives.

Let me know what you’ve been reading! I’m especially interested in finding new blogs to become addicted to.

15 Weeks | It Takes Time

15WEEKS

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Time is such a funny thing. It’s quite malleable, really – sometimes it stretches and other times it seems to contract and silently speed by. With that I can’t believe I’m already 15 weeks into this pregnancy – that in just over 5 months I’ll be bringing a whole new person into our family and into the world. Other times I can’t believe I’m only 15 weeks in – it feels as if this in-between phase of almost but not quite is going to be never-ending. I simply cannot wait to put some baby feet in my mouth (side note: one of my earliest memories is of my mom changing my diaper and kissing on my toes – it was total bliss). Then I find myself grateful that I have a whole 5+ months to get my act together – it’s certainly the longest deadline I’ve ever worked with. On the to-do list: gather all the baby things, decorate a nursery (it will be Wes Anderson Adventure Travel themed), read all the books, find enlightenment.

I’m learning that just like courage requires fear, patience takes time. It’s a lesson I’ve been needing to learn. This baby is already quite the teacher.

Field Notes & Observations: 
• Sometimes the bump is very much there. Other times, not so much. Fortunately, I’m not too anxious for it to be 100% obvious that I’m pregnant.
• I feel a constant kind of pressure / heaviness in my uterus. It feels almost identical to what I’d experience 2 days before I’d start my period. This sensation always leaves me anticipating blood – which isn’t cool.
• I’m sometimes legitimately afraid that I might poop or sneeze or orgasm the baby right out of my body.
• I sometimes feel fluttering in my pelvis. I’d like to think it’s the baby – but it could be a bundle of nerves going whack.
• Jeremy has named the fetus “Cletus”.
• I have a very strong feeling it’s a girl. We’ll hopefully be finding out at our next ultrasound scheduled for the end of August.
• I am moving forward with encapsulating my placenta. AND getting placenta art prints made. I’m mostly doing it (the prints, that is) because it makes my friends laugh when I tell them.
• I’ve scheduled a meeting with a doula who specializes in Hypnobirthing.
• With enthusiastic clearance from my midwife and encouragement from Jeremy, I enjoyed a small glass of red wine with dinner the other evening. I have to admit that I haven’t been as chill as I would like to be during this pregnancy – so it’s almost like having this one glass of wine was proof that I haven’t become a control-freak hormonal worry-monster. I plan on enjoying a few more glasses throughout this pregnancy – even if I have to pretend like I’m European to do so.
• I also eat other stuff on the “BAD!” list in moderation – like soft cheese and smoked fish. Even after being off coffee for over 6 months I’ve been indulging in a cup every morning while on vacation (being in 50F weather, in a cabin on Lake Michigan will trigger the need for a hot cup of joe). But I steer clear of sprouts… and crack.
• I think it’s time to invest in one of those belly bands that allows you to wear your normal jeans… but unbuttoned. Can anyone recommend a good brand?

A note on my outfit: The top is RVCA and the jeans are Fidelity. Both from Blue7 in OKC.

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty