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beauty is pain. and expensive.

A few weeks ago, at Sunday dinner, my dad asked why my legs looked so tan.  This spurred an entire conversation about how high maintenance I am.  I am a firm believer that you cannot serve from an empty cup.  Therefore, I am not ashamed to admit that I LOVE doing things for myself--pedicures, working out, hair, nails, lashes, massages, you get it--but over the years I have decided that there are some things I refuse to pay for, and some things I refuse to do myself.

Everyone, meet Maria.  She is practically a dream come true.  Six years ago she gave me lash extensions, then went ahead an moved to Boise because she is rude.  You can´t just dangle the carrot! She finally came to her senses and moved back, and I've been a thorn in her side ever since.  Just kidding.  I´m like her favorite person.  Maria is a certified esthetician, and a lash wizard.  I send everyone I know her way, and many of my friends--back me up here--see her regularly.  She is professional, hilarious, and just a true gem of a human being.  Funny side note--I taught her now husband when I was an aide and he was in fifth grade.  I was basically the highlight of his elementary school days.  Lashes are a must have for me, and definitely not a DIY.  I have had them on for years, and thanks to Maria and her expertise, my natural lashes are thick and healthy still. Maria took a lash break for a minute--which we will refer to as the dark ages--and I went to a few different gals.  This experience taught me that we don't let just anyone do those.  Kind of like a dentist.  Or an OBGYN.  I'm religious in my care for these lashes--which is easy--and they save me a boat load of time when I get ready for work. 

When I was in college, and ward hopping because of all the farewells and homecomings I attended, a good friend of mine grabbed my wrist in the middle of sacrament meeting and inspected my nails.  He then tossed my hand over his shoulder and wiggled as a signal for me to begin ticking his back.  After sacrament meeting was over he said, ¨Amber... if you love me at all, you will never get rid of your nails." Now, as much as I adored Jason, that was hardly a reason for me to keep nails on.  Funny side note about me... I do not like my hands.  Like, at all.  I think they look like little kid hands, so I like having my nails done because I feel like it makes my hands look more... what is the word? Adult? Womanly? Grown up? I don´t know... but you get it, right?  Lucky for me, my mom does nails, so I grew up watching her do them in our house.  Barb was always my favorite client of hers.  Gary, Barb´s husband, and I would pick out her nail color together.  Prince George´s Passion was our favorite, but mostly because of the name.  Anyway... that means that nails are DIY for me.  I learned how to do them from my mom, so this is a luxury I save money on because I do it myself.  Do not ask me to do yours, cause I'm not gonna.   All my nail tech friends are falling off their chairs right now.  

Tanning.  Oh the joys of falling asleep in a tanning bed.  Until it shuts off and gives you a mini heart attack.  Nothing cures the winter blues quite like melanoma, right? I was an avid tanning bed enthusiast for years, and then I was introduced to the spray tan.  I am all about instant gratification, so the immediacy of a spray tan spoke to my soul.  I wasn't a psycho though... I only got them before major events.  Family pictures, birthing a child, Friday... One time I went and got a spray tan before Dewy and I spoke in church.  Now, I have no shame, which means there are a handful of people privileged enough to witness Amber Hodges in all her glory...and somehow I was always the one paying them. So there I sat, on the stand at church, when in walks the girl who two days prior gave me a spray tan.  She was there for a baby blessing, and I--after almost having an aneurysm--leaned over to Dewy and pointed her out and explained how I knew her.  Of course she sat smack in front of the podium.  "'s seen you naked? That's sure comfy." He said with a smirk.  That is when I decided it was time to invest in my own equipment.  So I bought a spray tan machine, tent, solution, all of it.  Spraying yourself is a breeze and the beauty of it is I can be tan whenever I want, without the threat of frying my skin off.  Plus, it means my dad can make fun of me, and I can make him uncomfortable when he asks if I spray other people and what they wear when they come.  You. Are. Welcome.  

Growing up, my best friend's name was Haulee.  Her family was my family and vice versa.  That actually still applies...Her dad will tell you that I am his favorite daughter.  I vote. I understand the "replacing a beverage in the fridge with one from the garage" system.  I call him "good looking"when I see him.  He loves me.  Her mom, also loves me.  But she tries to hide it more.  She also colors my hair.  Whenever I sit in the salon people ask if I'm her daughter--because I always park in the family parking zone--and she is a little quick to reply no.  Don't worry.  I correct her.  My hair is my most high maintenance feature.  Julie is my colorist, and she keeps me ice queen blonde.  This is no small feat since I am a brunette.  She just had a heart attack because I confessed my real hair color.  Pull it together Jules.  Now, you ready to find out just how high maintenance I am? I have a different gal cut my hair.  Tesha is a wizard, and a dear friend.  If you want to know how we met, you can message me and I will bore you with all the embarrassing details.  Suffice it to say that I dated her brother.  Anyway, Julie colors my hair.  Tesha cuts my hair, and occasionally puts extensions in my hair.  Sometimes I put extensions in my own hair is a work of art apparently.  It takes a village, people, and I will never skimp on this aspect of life.  I will not box color my hair, nor will I cut it myself.  Leave that to the professionals.  

One time Dewy was complaining to my friends that it takes me forever to get ready--which is false.  I can get three kids and myself ready in about the same time it takes him to get ready.  It takes forever to wash, dry, and style my hair, but I do that like once every ten days.  And only after a major pep talk.  Or when things start growing in it.  Anyway, as he was complaining, my dear friend--famous for her backhanded compliments--said, "Dewy! It takes a lot of time and energy to look that good!" Um, rude.  I'm clearly a natural beauty.  Cue a hair extension flip and batting of the fake lashes.  This is also the friend who when talking about how you can gauge a person's personality based on their clothing said, "Except you Amber.  You dress classy." But that is another story for another day.  




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