Ever since going to


in Santa Cruz, CA and seeing all the dreaded loveliness around town I've had this desire to have my own dreadlocks. It was something I thought about and then dismissed for a while. Then the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe came out and I LOVED the white witch's hair. SO much!


I love love love this up-do. Beautiful.


And I thought about it some more and last year sometime I decided that I'd get dreads for my 40th birthday. My friend


blogged about a year ago about getting dreads and found out that there was someone in Portland who does them at a


. I told Joe about it and said I'd like to get them done there... they'll still go through a wild stage, but it will be a little more tame than if I tried to do them myself or just let them dread naturally (which, with my hair, a few windy days at the beach with no brush would be all it'd take!)...

Fast forward to last week. Joe told me one day to pack a bag and not ask any questions. I was very curious, but I love surprises so I didn't want to ask too much and ruin it, so I just asked enough to know how much to bring and what kinds of temperatures I needed to plan for. My bag was ready, and I made a list of last minute items that would need to be included in case he was planning to whisk me away before I had a chance.

This morning I woke up at 5am with a text message from a friend. It said, "Have fun! I love you!" I figured she must know something I didn't and went to ask Joe if I should be getting ready for some reason. He didn't really wake up, but said, "Just be ready by 6:30."

I got ready and blew kisses to the sleeping children. Brooklyn was the only one awake. She said she knew about it and assured me that they would be fine. I said goodbye and "I'll see you tomorrow!"... knowing that I was scheduled to work on Friday morning. We got in the car and there was an envelope with my name on it (not in Joe's handwriting)... it was a note from my boss saying, "Joe and I have arranged for you to be off on Friday. Enjoy your trip!" At that point, I was a little freaked out... as in nervous, excited, and mommy mode kicked in... "When will we be back? What about the kids?" Joe let me in on all the deets of where they'd be each day (three days, three friends watching them!).

We arrived at the Oakland airport and as soon as I found out we were going to Portland, I said, "Joe, am I getting dreads this weekend???" (which I later realized this is the middle of the week, not the weekend, but that's neither here nor there...)

So we went through security and sat down at our gate, and he filled me in. We were to arrive in Portland and get a taxi to the


. What a whirlwind! I guess instead of getting dreads for my 40th birthday (still over two years away!) I'll have nicely formed dreads by then! =)

Here we are on the plane:


When we arrived in Portland I took this last "before dreads" photo in the bathroom mirror!


I'm such a nerd... my first dread! We had to stop and take a picture!


They're coming along! It's such a cool process... she back combed the hair and used a teeny crochet hook to get them to dread together... kind of like needle felting my hair!


Stephanie was great! We had a great time talking with her and we even got to meet her little girl and her parents! Awesome family for reals.


All done! Stephanie rocks. If you ever want dreads in a day, go see her. Thanks


for letting me know about her!


This was taken right outside... I love it! She recommends leaving some of the front out.. you can always decide later to dread it, but it's more versatile (and dreamy) to leave some softness in the front.


Joe took this as we were walking down the street:


Now we're in our room at the

Kennedy School

. Joe is sleeping (all that secret keeping wore him out!).. I used my phone to get a few more shots. Dorky, I know, but I wanted to have several shots of my first day with dreads. It's a journey and they're going to go through lots of changes, so I want to capture it along the way.


It's a lot shorter all dreaded!


Thanks for putting up with my silly self portraits! I'm a (dreadfully) happy girl! =)