"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. "
-Albert Einstein

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby Steps

Today I went to visit my mom and step dad in St. Louis.  My step dad is still recovering from brain trauma and has now been moved to a rehab hospital.  My mom hasn't left his side since the accident on Nov 11.  It is amazing to see the progress he has made from then until today.  He is going to both physical and occupational therapy to re-learn the simplest things.  Today I was in the room while his speech therapist was working with him.  He can't speak yet, he still has a trach in, but he can comprehend and nod/point to his answers.  He even 'wrote' a little with his right hand.  It was so surreal to watch him barely answer questions that were so simple, but to his mind, so difficult. 

Life happens so quick.  Here is a man who is extraordinarily talented musically...can play guitar, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer...struggling to answer questions like 'is it 2010?'  I can see in his eyes he knows but doesn't understand why.  Mom told me today that he wrote in his physical therapy on a piece of paper two words.  "Why"  and "Can't"...she broke down at that...and reassured him that in time he will be able to do all the things he used to be able to do.  He is so courageous and strong.  He keeps fighting and he is such an amazing example of perseverance.  I am so proud to be his daughter and to know that each day he gets stronger and stronger.  My mom is a strong woman who hasn't left and most likely won't leave him for a minute.  She knows that he has it in him to fight through this and she won't miss one minute of his recovery.  He gave her a thumbs up after his therapy this afternoon.  He knows he has to celebrate the baby steps...right now, they are the only steps we have.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Salon Atmosphere

Today was my first day in the salon.  I love it!!  I didn't do any actual hair work, but I did get a chance to get involved with the other staff, learn some product info and get a feel of how the salon works and operates.  I can't wait to do this on a regular basis!!!  I am so fortunate to have a job immediately after school! 

The salon I am working is a great place!  The atmosphere is one of learning, growing and most importantly FUN!!  I am thrilled about being part of this team and growing with them and the salon!! 

I received my itinerary for my upcoming New York trip for Matrix.  I am so thrilled at this opportunity still...I haven't stopped smiling!  I'm finding myself not being too nervous for this part of the experience.  The thought of traveling for six months and learning and sharing all I've experienced still amazes me and makes me so eager to get my feet in the water!!  I feel that this new career path of mine is something I was meant to do and I'm simply thrilled to get it going and explore all the new exciting things that lie ahead of me!!

Mark my words....I will become a household name!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


There are so many things going on ina my life for me to be thankful for.  I have an amazing family who loves and supports me in all my endeavors.  I have wonderful friends whom I love dearly.  I am a graduate of cosmetology school.   I have a new career that I am excited about!!  I am a FINALIST in Matrix Spread the Love competition!!  And the list goes on...

The next few months in my life are going to be a whirwind of activity and new experiences.  I will be traveling to New York City for the final interview for the Matrix Spread the Love.  I know this 6 month opportunity was made for me!  When I think about it and being involved with it, I never think of NOT being chosen to be one of the six.  I can't imagine not experiencing everything this opportunity has to offer!!  I'm so thankful to be this far into it!!   This is my dream and I am so fortunate to be given the opportunity to potentially live my dream!!  I'm excited for the next few weeks/months!

I know that everything happens for a reason.  I know that I moved back to Missouri at just the right time to start cosmetology school when I did so that I would be eligible for this opportunity, so that I would meet the amazing people I have, and so that I would gain the confidence and know-how to be a  successful cosmetologist.
I am so thankful and grateful beyond measure!  I know that ..'all things work together for good to them who love the Lord..'  I am believing that this isn't the final step for me!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Three days till Graduation...so, the end in sight!

My graduation is nearing ever so close...three days to be exact.  This moment is surreal actually...I'm a bundle of emotions.  I'm super excited to be finished, somewhat sad to leave my dear friends, and nervous about actually starting my new career.  The last year has been quite a journey....

This time last year, I had just moved 1200 miles across the country from Leesburg Virginia back to my hometown of Potosi Missouri.  I was living in Virginia working as a manager for a grocery store...overworked and overstressed.  I was ready for change...I was just going through the motions in my life and wanting something new, something I could be passionate about.  I kept going back to something I had always dreamt about doing and loved...cosmetology.  After toiling over it for weeks/months, I finally decided to make the change.  I knew a change this drastic would require some relocating on my part.  A move this big meant some big time family support. 

So, here we are...a year later, new state, new city and now...new career.  I'm so glad that I finally made the change to pursue my true passion for art and cosmetology.  I've never been this happy in my career...EVER!  I'm so thankful for my family who have been amazing during this year of transition.  If I hadn't had them, I don't think I could have ever made this change.  I think of how things would be if I hadn't moved...I'd be miserable in Virginia. 

I'm so excited to see what the next chapter in my life holds.  I'm thrilled about making it in the semi finals of the Spread the Love and I'm anxiously awaiting to hear whether I move on or not.  I am thrilled at my career that lies ahead of me and can't wait to start in the salon!!  The sky's the limit on where I can go in this industry!!  Now...its full speed ahead!! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Full, Rich, Day

Well, I finally submitted my Spread the Love semi finalist videos, blogs and other materials today.  Whew...finally!  I'm feeling a sense of relief and slight panic...second-quessing my videos, my blog writing...everything!  I can't seem to get over the feeling that this is something that I'm a perfect fit for.  This journey would be an amazing one.  One that I would gain so much from.  I would hope that I would gain knowledge, skills, friendships, career opportunities and so much more from this 6 month endeavor.  I am thinking positively now and know that it's up to the powers that be.  I know this for sure...I have given 110% in all parts of this process and I feel good knowing that. 

Well, an update on my step dad.  He had his ventilator tube taken out today because he has been breathing above it the entire time, so the doctors and nurses decided to try a trial of tests to see if he was able to go along without it, he passed the tests so they took it out.  Once it was out, however, his breathing became labored and there was more mucous than originally thought.  The neurosurgeon was not involved in the decision to take out the tube, and when he found out, he wasn't happy that it was taken out.  He ordered it to be put back immediately.  He didn't want Mike to have to deal with a lung issue...he's already had enough thrown at him.  They got the tube re-inserted and got him all settled back down and he is resting nicely. 

So, its been a full, rich day for me and my family.  We are strong though and we know that we can handle anything thrown at us because we have an Almighty Comforter giving us peace.  We know that we are not in control and that we just continue to have faith and take each day as it comes. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Miracles DO happen...Daily

Well, today is day 2 of being in the hospital with my mom and step dad.  I'll give everyone a quick synopsis of what happened.  Wednesday he complained of a horrible headache, bad enough to not go to work.  Thursday he still had the headache but it was worse.  It was so bad that he couldn't even play music.  Later the evening, he ate a small dinner and decided to lay down for a nap.  He evidently passed out and went out.  After getting him to the hospital via helicopter, he was rushed into brain surgery.  After 2 1/2 hrs of surgery, he came out and they had drained all of the excess blood that was in his brain that caused him to pass out.  According to the neurosurgeon this bleeder in his brain was inadvertently caused by medication he has been taking for his heart.  The doctor was non committal in his feeling of how things were going to go after surgery.  He said the next few days could be critical because the brain is so unpredictable. 

So....here we are.  There have been armies of prayer warriors sending up prayers in our behalf.  Today when the neurosurgeon came in he was now encouraged by the progress seen.  He said that based upon the condition my step dad was in, he should be dead by now.  But instead...he is raising two fingers when asked, he is raising his arm on command, he is smiling....he is NOT dead!!!  There is NO other explanation other than God.  We have fully put our faith in Him and know that He is in control and no other.  God has bigger and better plans for Mike and isn't ready for him to come home. 

I am so pleased and happy for the progress and know that each day brings new baby steps and new signs of improvement.  I will keep my blog updated on his progress and I will continue to give all praise and credit to God Almighty!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Inspiration Comes from Many Places

Where Do I Look for Inspiration??  There are many places I draw inspiration from.  Most of the places I am inspired by most are within nature.  A brightly colored fall leaf, a sunset, a dusk evening when the sky is going from blue to gray to dark blue, the tree tops on a windy day and even the cool look of icicles hanging from a roof or ledge.  I think nature is our biggest source of inspiration whether we are dealing with cosmetology or any other art form.  I draw from nature not only when dealing with hair color but also hair cuts and styles.  Once I get a vision of how I want something to look, I then communicate this vision to my client to help her better understand my inspiration behind her look.  Like in any art, when lacking inspiration for a project, go outside, see what is happening in nature.  By doing this, one won't be hard pressed for inspiration.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Inequality Part II

If I could change one thing in the world what would it be???  I read a great quote this evening in a tattoo magazine of all places.  The quote was featured on a t-shirt that was being advertised.  The quote read, "I'll promise to avoid being offended by your closed mind if you'll promise to avoid being offended by my open one."  That quote says it all.  I see so many examples of close minded thinking where I live, which is a small rural area.  A common misconception is that small, rural towns are filled with close minded citizens.  I've experienced it in the larger cities where I've lived as well.  Close minded thinking is evident everywhere.  It's sad to see just how many people are so closed to different ideas, ways of thinking, ways of living and ways of expressing oneself.  It's not that I am wanting acceptance for the different ideas, it's more that I wish others wouldn't pass judgment just because the ideas are different or not necessarily the norm.

A perfect example was in my town's local high school.  The students were given an assigned issue and what they had to do was argue the opposite of how they truly believed.  The issues were all highly volatile issues that ignited deep arguments.  Well, one young man didn't want to do the assignment as it were assigned because he couldn't possibly argue for this issue when he was so adamantly against it...so he said.  The sad thing was that he couldn't open his mind even just a small bit to gather what the other side of  the argument stated, what they believed and why they believed it.  He had his mind closed tight and there was no compromise to loosening it to becoming more informed of other perspectives or points of view.  He didn't pass the assignment because of his own chosen ignorance and small minded thinking.  The teacher ought to be applauded because she challenged the students to get out of their comfort zone and small boxes and see things bigger and from the opposing sides of arguments.

Close minded thinking is something I despise because of its divisive and stereotypical nature.  I think when a particular idea or person doesn't 'fit' into a given society's nice, neat box, that makes people uncomfortable.  Different isn't bad...its just different.  I think when we fully realize that, then we will begin to see close minded thinking start to open up. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ted Gibson...Tabatha Coffey....Nick Arrojo...

Now, the question has been asked...Which celebrity industry icon would you like to sit down with for dinner??  There are some amazing industry icons out there to choose from, but I know I can only choose one, so I would pick Ted Gibson.  Ted Gibson has such a remarkable story of how he got to where he is today.  He has gone from the smallest of towns to working on celebrities such as Angelina Jolie.  He has been behind the chair, platform artist, educator, salon owner and entrepeneur.  To me, Ted Gibson embodies so many characteristics that I admire and respect, that I would be in awe to sit with him and see how his mind works and how he sees the industry.  Its funny but I sometimes tell my family and friends that I'm going to be the next Ted Gibson...unless one is familiar with cosmetology as an industry, one usually doesn't know who I'm referring to, but its a great goal, nonetheless!!  I think the number one reason I look up to him is because he has conquerred it all...behind the chair, platform artist, educator, salon owner and entrepeneur.  He is everything I aspire to be and I know this opportunity of Spread the Love will help me begin my journey to becoming the next Ted Gibson. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Who Is My Biggest Inspiration??

As I was going through the questions posed to me by the Spread the Love contest, this one in particular struck a chord with me as one I was to answer on my blog rather than my video.  I find myself, as other artists I'm sure, drawing inspiration from many things and many people.  This may change as my season of life changes, but one source of inspiration remains constant with me.  My grandmother is by far my biggest inspiration in my life and in cosmetology.  She was an amazing, strong, independent woman who embodied strength of character in all she did.  Any of my artistic and creative skills I owe to her.  When I was younger, she was the the one who first taught me to oil paint.  I remember it because I was so nervous because I didn't want to mess up the painting.  She was so funny because she said that in art you can't mess up because no matter what, someone would see the beauty even in the 'mess ups'.  She taught me to see color for the beautiful gift it is.  She inspired me to be brave in putting otherwise questionable color combinations together in my clothing.  Yes, I did get teased a time or two because of my outfit and color choices but my grandma would always tell me, 'Hilly, they just don't see color the way you do.'  She inspires me to continue to try new and sometimes unconventional things still today.  All of the things I have done in my life and past career I see her as my inspiration.  I was strong and persistent in my management career.  I was compassionate and engaging in my human resources career.  And now, in the beginning stages of my cosmetology career, I am strong, compassionate, engaging, persistent and creative.  Just as she was.   Even though she's passed away, I still hear her saying to me, 'you can do anything you want...BECAUSE you are a girl'; 'don't give up, Hilly, you'll get there'; 'oh, just look at those beautiful colors!'  Thanks Gram! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all those who follow my blog!  Trick or treating last night was fun but so crowded.  The town I live does an 'organized' trick or treating to keep the kids safe and off the streets.  Well, its a good idea in theory, but it falls short of what it is meant to be, unfortunately.  It started at 6, but the line was so long...kids in line in the street...we went to other places and then came back at about 7:25...line was still there, not as long but kids still in the streets.  I guess I don't see how this keeps the kids any safer.  If anything, the parents are more lax at an event such as this and the kids are therefore less monitored than if they were going door to door in their own neighborhood. 

I found out that I am officially a semi finalist in the Spread the Love contest!!  Woohoo!!  I will be changing up my blog entries because of this.  Going forward, each blog will be themed based upon a given question that I will answer in the blog.  I think it will be good reading and hopefully it will get more people interested in following my blog.  The first entry will be tomorrow and each day going forward.  The questions are pertaining to cosmetology and my thoughts on the industry as a whole. 

Tuesday is my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me!!  No big plans in the works for me...except painting my house and working on the semi finalist work for Spread the Love.  This upcoming week and the next are going to be busy for me with the Dare to Be Bolder event with Sam Lavella, the Spread the Love semi finalist work and working on my new house.  Whew!!  Makes me tired just thinking about it all! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Portfolio, Spirit Week and other stuff

Well, my portfolio was last Thursday and it went amazingly well.  I'm excited to see how the pictures will turn out.  I hope they look as good on film as I thought they did in person!  I ended up only doing one up do, rather than two or three.  I'm getting better with them, but they still cause me grief!  I am working on them daily to just get a feel for how to do them and getting more comfortable with my hands....slowly but surely I'll master them just as I feel I have mastered other things.

This week at school is spirit week and its been fun so far.  Today was nerd day and it was hilarious seeing everyone in their nerdly outfits!!  The rest of the week ought to be just as fun! 

I had a meeting today with a videographer who is going to help me make my next video if I am chosen as a semi finalist in the Spread the Love.  I am hoping that I'm chosen!!!  I am still so excited about the opportunity to travel and learn and share what I've experienced!!  I've let everyone who needs to know about the contest know.  Now its just the waiting.....November 1st get here faster!!!  My school's owners have been so great to help me with this contest.  I'm so fortunate and I truly hope that I can move forward in this....I know I would be a great choice for them. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Equality and acceptance is so different depending on the part of country one lives.  I have always heard this was true, but never really thought there was such a contrast.  It is surprisingly so.  For over a year I lived in Northern Virginia, just outside DC, and living there was such an eye opening experience to new thinking and different cultures, something a girl from the mid west had never seen.  Now, I've moved back to the mid west and I'm appalled at the small minded thinking and opposition to different ideas and thoughts.  I suppose since I wasn't raised to be close minded, I assumed that everyone was like me. 

As Americans we assume that everyone appreciates and really understands the freedoms we have and enjoy, but that is not the case.  Too many out there take these things for granted and think that to be different means that one doesn't deserve the same God given rights and freedoms as those that are similar.  It breaks my heart to know people who are treated like second class citizens because they are different.  Where are the good people in the country??  What ever happened to love thy neighbor??

Monday, October 4, 2010


Today we had our first official portfolio class at school.  It was a great class!!   I am so excited about my portfolio and the styles I going to do.  My only nervous/anxious thing is doing up-dos.  They make me stressed because I'm not as comfortable with them as other things such as cutting or coloring.   I think I just need to practice a bit...this week I'll be doing just that!

The last few days/week has been super busy for me at work!!  It doesn't feel like I've had a minute to do much of anything but school and work!  Whew...weeks like that are draining and sometimes take me a minute to catch my breath! 

This week starts my 'overview' part of school...basically I'm on the clinic floor the remaining weeks until I graduate!  So far my first day was great!  I enjoy being on the floor so much and interacting with clients and other students.

November 1 is getting closer and closer and I can hardly stand the waiting!!!  I am so anxious to find out if I was chosen for the Spread the Love campaign.  I know it would be an amazing learning and growing opportunity!  I hope they choose me!  We'll see!!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Construction

Today my husband and I worked at our new home.  We spent most of the evening sweeping and cleaning up the drywall dust and scraps.  I had so much fun just being there, even though its not quite finished yet.  It is so exciting to me that we are able to build our first home.  It's amazing to me just how quickly it is all going up.  Looking at pictures from three months ago, it doesn't even look like the same construction.  It will definitely be an exciting day when we are able to move in and be home. 

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day for me at school.  I finalized my application and video interview for the Matrix Spread the Love entry and sent it in.  November 1st can't come soon enough!!!  This opportunity to travel with top stylists and learn from them is an amazing thing that doesn't come around too often!!  I know I would be a great choice and I hope they choose me...they won't be sorry! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Yesterday was my husband's birthday.  We spent the entire day together, it was great!!  He got so many great Birthday wishes from my family and several of our friends.  The saddest thing was that today we realized that his own sister and brother didn't wish him a happy birthday.  This just reaffirms just how much I am thankful for my great family and friends who always think of him as well as me.  Both groups see him as their friend and family.  I was sad for him because I knew it made him sad that they didn't even call or text. 

It just goes to show that the little things do indeed matter.  Those little things, simple as they may be, make or break someone's day.  I encourage everyone to remember the little things...the birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions that are important to your friends and family. 

Monday, September 20, 2010


Today I got my color done and it looks fabulous!  I also did my friends hair at school...a fellow student.  Her hair looks equally as fabulous!  When I do color, I almost have an out of body experience...I feel as if I'm painting a masterpiece in the hair.  I love that feeling!!  It hit me today that I'm still the artist, just that my medium has changed from oil paints to hair color and my canvas is no longer stretched over wood but its a clients hair.  I love that I made this career change.   I love that I have the ability to make someone feel great about themselves by creating a beautiful design with color and a new style in their hair!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fashion Show

Tonight was our school's fashion show.  The theme was New York Fashion Week.  It was so  much fun!!  I was a little bummed because I didn't place, but that lasted only a minute.  I had a great time working and designing my hairstyle for my model.  This sort of thing just gets me more and more excited about the field and my future plans!!!  I am so glad I made this change and career move. 

I realized today that I'm so focused on this passion of mine.  I wonder if anyone else is in the same boat...I go to sleep thinking about cosmetology and I wake up thinking about it.  I am so happy that I have this type of passion about my career and future!!

It's been a long day and evening.  I could do this every day!!  I love it! 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Blog

So, this is a new thing for me...a blog.  I'm kind of excited to get this started and a little nervous at the same time.  I have always wanted to get a blog, just never did because not really sure how many people, if any, want to read about the daily tidbits in my life.  I suppose I should start with who I am and what is in my life, etc. 

I am a cosmetology student at the moment and on the verge of graduation.  I am very excited to be finished soon and to be out in the field.  I have always loved cosmetology and the art behind it.  I am thrilled that I finally made the move and decision to pursue my passion! 

I have an amazing husband and family who support me in my dreams daily.  I know I couldn't have done half the things in my life without them.  They are my rock!

So, enough about me....what's new with you??  :)