Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Rosacea is not pretty. It's not fun. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it sucks. It doesn't suck like migraines suck, or anything like that, but it still sucks. No one really knows why rosacea exists, but it is thought to have to do with the dilation of blood vessels under the skin (which makes sense since the bright red tomato face is one its hallmarks). I won't go into it a bunch here, but I will say this: if you happen to be younger or less confident than I, my best advice if you suffer from rosacea is to get over it and learn how to put on makeup. Also, tell people upfront that just because you flush/blush does not mean you're embarrassed. Not only am I not afraid of or intimidated by public speaking, I enjoy it. Therefore, when I am giving a talk somewhere, if I forget to mention it upfront, the first time I feel my face to start to turn red, I pause to inform people that I am not embarrassed, that I am aware that I am turning red, and that it is happening because I have rosacea. I then continue where I left off. Just because I know how to deal with it doesn't mean I like it, though.

So, not letting it bother you is the first part. Not letting cheeks that look like someone has been slapping your around define you is the second. For that, I suggest the following easy routine:

1. An awesome concealer: I love Nyx. It's cheap, but has great coverage. I dot it on and then use elf's small stipple brush to lightly blend it in. If you care, I am fair.

2. A great foundation. I have super dry skin (thank you, Hashimoto's!), so I need a moisturizing foundation. I have recently fallen in love with Lumi. I use the elf Studio flat powder (I know it says powder, but trust me - it is a killer foundation brush) brush to apply it. This foundation is very buildable, which is great on really red days.

It does not do the dry cakey thing, which is really important if any part of you wants to set your face with powder. We dry-skinned people don't really like to do this. We people with rosacea who *really* don't want all that red to come through sometimes do it anyway. I go really old-school with the powder and use Coty Airspun Translucent - just a touch. Sometimes I only set my under eye concealer. Regardless, I usually finish with a spritz of elf's finishing spray. That really helps set the whole thing and keep it from looking dry.

Know what the best part is (apart from the fact that elf is so darned cheap, *and* that you can often get 50% off on their website)? I can wear blush when I do this! Counter intuitive? Not even remotely? There is a world of difference between a lovely pink/peach/coral shade of my choice on my cheeks and siren red. This baby is an elf studio blush that retails for $3.00. I have five, I think. I have never paid more than $1.50. They dupe NARS colors like crazy and I think the pigmentation is great. On my wish list? Coastal Scents Forever blushes, but that will have to wait for their 50% off sale at the end of the year. 

So what does any of this have to do with homeschooling? More than you think. Homeschooling can seriously wear us down. It is demoralizing in the extreme. If you're anything like me, some days bring you to tears. Makeup can be a huge confidence booster and a really cheap pick-me-up, though. Honestly, going into the bathroom and putting on lipstick (and, I'll be honest, I have a million of them - but I get great deals!!) can be just what I need to go out and face the, I mean kids again. 

As to my rosacea, sometimes I think that's a blessing in disguise because it forces me (in my own mind - everyone makes their own decisions about such things!) to put on makeup before I leave the house. I don't want people to look at me and ever think I'm the stereotype of what they have decided a homeschooling mom looks like. A bunch of people I know don't care about that, but I do. 

So, did you know that elf stands for eyes.lips.face? I didn't for a long time. I always wondered what santa had to do with cute inexpensive makeup...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Father's Wisdom

This morning as we were sitting down to school for our first day back in a while, my Dad called to ask if he could stop over. This is not a usual occurrence at all. The perfectionist in me screamed, "But then we'll get behind!" The daughter in me (and all of my kids) was, like, "Yes!" My Dad is about to start his second retirement job and he was scouting out traffic. Traffic was being uncooperative - crazy public schoolers don't start back 'til tomorrow. So he brought my kids donuts.

Anyway, my Dad has come a long way. I value his journey because I am stuck where he was 30 years ago - angry, perfectionist, expecting the world of myself and my kids. Having been there, he understands. Heck, he helped make me who I am (which is not to say that I am not responsible for the way I am and behave today). Anyway, he reminded me today of words that he has told me before - words that are hard to believe at my age of 38, but words that have a completely different perspective at his age of 68. Very few things are really all that important. They are certainly not as important as we make them out to be at the moment. Health, of course, warrants the importance we give it. The broken window? Henry fixed it. The stained carpet? We don't notice it and no one comes over anyway (and if they do, they can cope). We'll replace it when we can. There are so many things about which I freak out and none of them matter a bit. Not really.

It's like I remind the kids all the time - this is not our destination. We were not made for this world. Our job is to live in it and grow through it so that we can, through the grace of God, spend eternity with him in heaven. Put in the perspective of eternity, so few things seem to matter at all! What matters? Making sure my children know who made them and why. Making sure they love God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind, and with all their strength, and that they love their neighbors as themselves. By that metric I think I'm doing okay. I don't use my doctorate. I'm not known or recognized in my field. I'm not on anyone's "up and coming" list. As I frequently remind myself, though, my job - my only job - is to get my children to heaven. And I don't need perfection for that. For that I need to do what I've been doing. For the rest I need to listen to Dad and let go and let God.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Spring 2014 at Salve Regina

So tomorrow starts our new semester, sort of. Since we school year-round, that's not really accurate, but since we do take off a couple of weeks at Christmas, I tend to think of it that way. The kids are so excited to get back. In fact, Michael has been doing grammar every day, and Therese has been prepping for the SAT, working on debate, and doing Zane Education through the break. Nicky and MC, well, not so much. As for me, I truly have been sick or had a severe migraine almost every day this break. The guilt factor has been tremendous. I'm telling you right now that if you live with someone who deals with chronic pain issues of any kind, deal with them kindly. The pain they feel is one thing, and it compromises every aspect of their being. The guilt they feel for cheating their families of their full presence is something else -- and it hurts more.

If I only had to deal with getting back to school, I would be thrilled. I love doing school with the kids. It's funny, though. The thought of having to begin working, going to dance and TKD, and going to debate again almost makes me nauseous. The less I see of people, the less I want to see of people. Sometimes it just seems very difficult - almost too difficult to deal with. I'm guessing that my defenses are just very down from being so sick and tired. I have to find the energy to give myself the necessary pep talks to get myself up and at 'em. It will be strange to have Henry gone after having him home for nearly a month!

I have been resisting the whole "One word for 2014" phenomenon. I don't like things like that. I don't like things that force me into yet one more box that I know I'll come out of. It's just one more thing at which to fail. However, after giving it some nights of insomniac thought, I have realized that I actually do have two words that I hope will define 2014: health and thrift. If you have gone either the Goals and Resolutions route or the One Word route, best of luck to you in seeing it through. I have control over 1/2 of my first word and all of my second. I'm giving both of them over completely to God, especially the first, especially as it pertains to my children.

Oh, and Wendy, I promise that the Kindle and Audible posts are almost ready to go! ;-)