I made a batch of cookie dough a week ago. It has since become rock hard, and surely should not be consumed. Today, I used all of my upper body strength to break a few hunks off. I put those hunks onto a cookie sheet and shoved them into the oven. I didn’t even attempt to roll them into balls. I then severely underbaked the dough. I ate all of it.

I ate it.

I ate week old underbaked cookie dough hunks while sitting alone and staring at my computer.


dear graham

dear graham,

This week we watched Home Alone together as a family. I am a ninny and did not preview the movie. It is definitely a little too mature for the three and half year old crowd. However, you handled it swimmingly. I, also, chose to make loud noises, block your view, and tickle you whenever Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) played that stupid movie on the T.V. with all the gun shooting.

Anyhow watching the movie is not the point. The point is that when I brought you up to bed that night, you rambled a mile a minute about each and every trap you would set to catch the robbers. You went on and on. You told me how you were going to use your humidifier with super hot water. Where you would put nails in the ground to step on. Trap doors were mentioned in a way I couldn’t understand. Door blockades came into play. It was a wild and wonderful and frantic conversation.

I soaked up every moment of this, because it is officially official. After this past Tuesday night, of all the nights of your life thus far, I can now whole heartedly say, ‘Welcome to the brotherhood.’ This life will be one of many late nights fantasizing terrible, if not highly unlikely, situations. Strategizing elaborate escape routes, as well as plotting booby traps and hiding ‘weapons’ amidst your surroundings are certain to be future (if not current) hobbies. It all comes with the territory of being a Vester.

I’m so glad to have you amongst our ranks. We could really use a guy like you,

Your Fellow Comrade,


beauty, emily makes

new hair, new tutorial series


^Previous Head^

If you follow my instagram you are obviously well abreast of my hair situation, but just in case I have non-instagram followers visiting (Welcome!) here are some photos of my new head.

IMG_6553 ^New Head Styled by Lara^

This is where things get funky…


^1” Curling Iron Head^

I’m learning to style it myself now. In the above photo, I believe I am behind the times. Had I looked like this in 1994,  I am certain that I could have made a guest appearance on Seinfeld as Jerry’s girlfriend*.

When I said this to my husband he just looked at me in shock. He couldn’t believe how clever I was. Who knew, I might not always be quick and witty, but ask me what about someone’s style, and I can hit a nail on its head. Thank God.

*Also, see: Extra in a Meg Ryan movie

IMG_6566^Making Waves Experiment^

Here is where things take an even wronger turn. Do not do this to your head. I did not take an after photo. I was feeling pretty defeated. It doesn’t take much hair experience for one to imagine the kinks and twirls that my hair had after this. Needles to say, it was a mistake.


Here is where it gets better.

I’m not quite sure why I forgot that every time a girl (and, sometimes a guy) cuts their hair, the third day is the day of regret. It isn’t necessarily a full on meltdown -although, sometimes it is- but the pangs of a sort of hair homesickness kick in.

If you don’t let this drag you too far down the rabbit hole, which you shouldn’t, it’s too late now and that bottle of red wine you’re drinking will only make things look worse in the morning, day four!

Day four is when you do something even stupider than day three, and then you recover from it and pull it into an adorable, tiny french twist and you can hear the angels sing. Thank God. Again.


All this to say, my blog might be changing a little bit, but, also staying the same. I might try my hand at some hair and makeup tutorials for you few, but ever so lovely, readers.

I have essentially demanded that I receive a camera with video capabilities this Christmas, so.

I can do many a winged eyeliner tutorial, if you are interested. I also am getting the hang of making waves with a curling iron. I have finally- FINALLY!- nailed down bronzer for the pale girls. And don’t even get me started on blush. Are you interested? I am. I hope you are, too. Don’t forget to leave requests and/ or questions in the comment section!

X, e

an essay, dear graham

dear graham,

Today is September 11, 2014.

13 years ago, I was in eighth grade. The teachers at my school, as at many schools, had conflicting opinions about sharing the tragic news of the falling of the twin towers with their students. Because of that, I didn’t even know what had happened that day until around 11:30 AM CST, about four hours after the attacks took place.

I was part of the ‘Gifted Accelerated Program’ at my middle school. All of my classes, apart from electives, were held upstairs separate from the rest of the school. To the best of my knowledge, the teachers for the GAP program had conferred and agreed that it would be best if they didn’t tell us, the students. We should find out from our parents, they thought. What our teachers didn’t take into account was that during our music and lunch periods we would be launched into the thralls of the entire school population, where other teachers had not made the same choice.

After lunch, when we returned to the upstairs wing, the whispers were too loud to focus. The teachers were unable to teach any longer. We all wanted answers. The stories were not cohesive. Was the US in a state of war? Should we still be at school? Was this some small event that had been blown to massive proportions through a game of middle school telephone?

Mr. Brown was my English Literature teacher. I suspect he had been on the side of sharing the truth with us during the vote our teachers had quietly organized that morning. When our questions came, he shook his head. He told us he didn’t have the answers. What he did have was a television with access to cable. We watched the attacks play over and over again on the news, as they would for the next few weeks, for two hours that day.

I went home after school. My mom couldn’t answer my questions any more clearly than Mr. Brown. She looked exhausted, I remember. Her eyes were red from tears. There was even an air of physical pain brought on by the situation to be revealed in her clenched jaw. Over the next few weeks, as my mom stayed glued to the television, I became irritated. I would snap and tell her to turn it off. It wasn’t doing anyone any good, I would say. She would tell me that there were people with stories to be told. Those people deserved to be heard, she said.

I didn’t realize it then. I’m not sure if I even realized it a few years ago, but my life, and the life of an entire generation changed deeply that day. There is a fragility attached to life that so many of the millenials, myself included, had previously been unaware of. A fragility that in an ordinary* situation reveals itself slowly. We had seen glimpses, someone’s father passing or a house burning down, but never the whole picture. Most of us had never witnessed a true tragedy like this.

That day on September 11, 2001, we all took a huge step toward growing up together. A communal loss of innocence that cannot be recreated. We, also, witnessed the strength of our nation firsthand. Nothing stopped. Life continued. We were so lucky in this way, and I’m sure we were not appropriately grateful for it.

Today I hope after all the time that has passed that our generation in a very particular way can appreciate our place in the United States of America, and the security that thus far has come alongside it.

Ask me in ten more years, I’m sure I’ll have a different perspective then,

Love, Mom

*Ordinary as in what we as Americans have been sold to be ordinary. I’m aware that my version of ordinary and a child raised in Iraq’s version of ordinary may be very different. I don’t want these words to seem insensitive. That is not my intention here. This is simply my individual experience.

a day in the life

of bravery and state fairs

up state fair 2013

It deserves to be noted that Graham and I owned the U.P. State Fair this past August. If I am remembering correctly, Graham made it to the fair four times of seven. Not bad for a two-year-old.  I made it five times.

Now what I tell you next may seem like an embarrassing admission, but nay. I am not one to shy away from the silliness of my existence. I am a former county fair queen. It’s true. I know.  The livestock, the rides, the fried food, the bizarre displays of American culture (monster trucks, demolition derbies, rodeos, country music concerts), I eat that stuff up. I LOVE it. Plus, there’s always something about a good fair that lures the crazies from the woodwork, and isn’t that just a sight to see in and of itself? Obviously, I think so, I went five times.

Much to my pleasure, Graham loves the fair just like his mama. I swoon over these likenesses. He rode the ponies at least three times. He would watch the Giant Drop style ride go, ‘up, up, up, up…’ ‘DOWN!’ over and over. The french fries were his culinary highlight of the year. Although, cream puffs came in second by a narrow margin. The ride-on lawn mower display was a big hit again this year, as was the carousel.

2013 up state fair

However, much to my dismay the carousel was promptly left to dust upon the discovery of the teeny tiny truck ride that ran on a loop around a train track. How could those paint eroded horses compete? They couldn’t. The ride operator was even kind enough to let me sneak on and sit behind Graham in the truck. Parents weren’t aloud, but Graham was just over two and not a member of the ‘See you later, Mom’ Party yet. I asked as nicely as I could, and since there weren’t more than a few other kids in line, the man looked the other way. I was so thankful.

There are a few special moments like these in parenthood. When the kindness of the universe, and the people in it, allows your child to grow at his own gentle pace, so that he can find his own bravery in his own time. He rode alone nearly 10 times after that! It was so thrilling for me that most everyone in my vicinity must have thought I’d lost my mind. I have ten thousand pictures and videos to prove it.

We had so much fun last year. I’m not sure how we’ll top it come August, but lately I can’t help but  daydream of ferris wheels.

P.s. Videographic evidence of said displayed bravery to be found here.