check her out!

Today I have a gift for you. Not in a give-away... actually why not? Sure, with a give away. But the real gift here is sending you over to a sweet blog. I met Denise on my very first day of college. I drove by myself one afternoon in August many years ago to a place I'd spend the next four years. Only an hour and a half from home, but a whole new world for me. A few of us had to be there a day early, to take a test... can't remember what it was or why now, but I moved into my quiet dorm room and then met the few others on our floor (which was called "Circus Hall". Love that name). We were all new and a little nervous, but excited. I remember being drawn to Denise. She was warm and friendly and there was something so reassuring about her. I was quiet and boring, I'm sure, but I was wide-eyed and soaking it all in. As the year went on, we all discovered other friendships, boys and activities. Our lives moved on and we didn't stay in touch after she left the school. I thought about her over the years and wondered where she was, and then... Facebook! After finding her, I found her blog, and have been hooked ever since. She's so genuine. So full of beauty and love. She's silly and dreamy. She's a new mother, a wife madly in love with her husband, and a photographer who really gets in touch with her photographees (?) to bring out their most beautiful selves. (Someday I will have a photo session with her. Someday.)

Today her post titled "red tent" made my day. I think you'll like her too. I can imagine her having a red tent retreat, where we could all go and just be who we are and laugh and cry together.
And recently she's been blogging about dreads. Yes, dreadlocks. I've secretly wanted them since those college years in Santa Cruz. And since my hair is so unmanageable these days, it could be a good solution. But I'll sit back and enjoy Denise on her journey with dreads for now. I told myself (and Joe) that if I still want them, maybe I'll treat myself for my 40th birthday. So I have a few years to research, imagine and decide. In the meantime, I told a friend who is a hairdresser, and she said she could tame my locks, so I'll set up an appointment with her and see if there really is hope.
So go check her out! I think I'll wait for tomorrow for the give away. That way you can spend as long as you want, just soaking up all the goodness of her blog and not have to rush back here to enter. You can come back tomorrow. I'll try to make it a good one.