Happy Anniversary!!

When I was 5 years old I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser. It was a dream I held in my heart for over 25 years.

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My barbies always ended up with the same cuts, I had a few failed attempts at cutting my own bangs, and I gave several not so great haircuts to friends and sisters over the years. But one year ago today that dream became more than a reality when I opened my very own salon!

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It’s truly a gift to go to work every day to do what I love. The last year has been full of moments of joy and gratefulness to everyone that has made this possible. Countless friends and mentors have supported me every step of the way. And I am especially grateful for my clients, who have become my friends that have made this dream possible day by day.

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Thank you for joining me in this journey that is still only just beginning.

So this month we celebrate together! All new clients booking this month will receive $10 off their first service and I’ll have some fun treats available as you come in this month. Whether you’re scheduled for an appointment this month or are just in the neighborhood and want to stop by, I hope to see you soon!

www.keturahkennedy.com

Run a Marathon. Check.

Old Man: “You don’t look like a runner.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Old Man: “I said, you don’t look like a runner.”

Me: Well you don’t look like a very nice man. What exactly do you mean by that? I don’t look fit enough? I’m not skinny enough? 

Why can’t I actually say the things I want to in situations like this?

This was a brief exchange I had the night before I ran my first marathon 6 weeks ago. Not exactly the pep talk I was looking for but motivating nonetheless to prove that you don’t have to “look” like a runner to run 26 miles.

One of the things I love about running is the variety of people who do it. The old man who runs…or more like scoots every morning. The lady with crazy hair who runs Back Bay earlier than anyone should ever be up. The couple who looks as if they are starting to get in shape. The barefoot man who runs with his small dog. The dad with the stroller. The super-fit triathlete. Every one of them waving and saying “good morning” as you pass. I love runners, I think we might be the nicest people in the world.

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Run a Marathon has been on my bucket list for years. But after running 2 half marathons in 2010 and 2011 I felt like I had basically achieved this goal and never needed to run more than 13 miles, ever. I still can’t explain exactly what happened but it was one morning in December as I was reading Shauna Niequist’s book Bread and Wine. She was recounting her marathon experience and how it came out of a time of pain and loss and determination. Crying at the end of her chapter, praying for my friends who just got pregnant after the loss of a baby and feeling grateful for life I said to myself, “I’m going to run a marathon.” So I did. Four weeks later I started training and 4 months later I crossed the finish line with my people to cheer me on. (watch here:)

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It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I did it. 5 hours and 52 minutes of it. At mile 24 I decided I wanted to run another one. Maybe I was delusional or maybe I just really love to run. What I really love is that I don’t have to look like a runner to be one. Go ahead, get out there and run – who cares what you look like!

25 Hours in Mexico (from May 2011)

*This is a re-post from a blog I originally posted in May of 2011 after a 25 hour trip to Mexico. As I head to DC this weekend to fast and pray for immigration reform on the National Mall I’m reminded of this story and many others as we continue to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.

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Sometimes I wouldn’t believe my own stories if I hadn’t lived them.

One week ago I left an “American” 18 year old in Mexico.

Gio was on a bus to the Palm Desert when border patrol picked him up in Indio, CA.  His bus was boarded and the riders were asked to prove their citizenship.  Gio was brought to the US when he was 5 years old, attended California schools and for all intents and purposes was an American by everything except his papers. Gio is one of the best kids we’ve ever had come through our programs at Mika.  He attended our after school program, has been mentored for the last five years and volunteered diligently tutoring elementary students through his last few years of high school.  He currently attends Orange Coast College and helps support his family as the man of the house.

Last Friday when boarder patrol boarded his bus as he was headed to visit a friend, he was asked to produce his papers and he was detained when he couldn’t prove his citizenship.  After he was intimidated and coerced to sign a voluntary departure form he was deported to a country he didn’t know at 3 o’clock in the morning.  He was alone and scared.

At 3pm on Friday afternoon, myself and 3 other people drove to Mexico to help get Gio from Mexicali to Tijuana to a safe home where he could stay until further arrangements could be made.   What was intended to be a 10 hour trip turned into a 25 hour adventure that included wondering the streets of Tijuana at midnight and diligently pursuing a safe place for Gio to reside.

I wish I could say everything turned out alright and everything is ok.  But what is ok in this situation?  I left one of my favorite kids in Mexico while I got to drive back across the border and show his mother the pictures from our journey.  Everything Gio knows about Mexico he learned from the movies.  Everything he knows about life took place in Orange County, California.  I want to believe that the government is interested in deporting criminals and those at danger to our society and yet my experience of walking with undocumented teenagers tells me otherwise.

When will we as the people of God say enough is enough?  Worshiping on Sunday morning was difficult in light of the fact that I left a child of God in a country that he didn’t know as home, and yet as a believer I have to trust that my God is greater and has a plan beyond what I can see right now.

Italian Summer Book Review

Now that I’m even more interesting (31) I figured I should do something really dramatic. Like quit my job and take off to Italy for 2 months with no solid plans for when I return. So I did. There will be plenty more blog posts to come about my trip but for now I thought I’d start with all the interesting books I read this summer. It’s amazing how much reading you can get done when you don’t have anything else you have to do. So in the middle of day trips through Tuscany, museum visits in Florence, and long afternoon naps, I was able to get through these gems…

(warning: I read a lot of books this summer)

It seems a little cliche to read a book about Tuscany while in Tuscany, but I found great joy in discovering the little quirks I was beginning to notice about the culture. It doesn’t take being there for long to find great humor in the sarcastic stories of Phil Doran. It was the first book I read on my trip and laughed out loud several times at his witty writing style. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in Tuscany.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) is a must read for all the women I know. Her honesty in her own journey and the stories she tells of other women are inspiring and challenging. I highlighted the heck out of this book and will definitely be re-visiting it throughout my life. She touches on the challenges of working and leading in a still mostly male dominated society. She discusses the tension between work and mothering. She encourages women to face the insecurities so many of us feel and be ok with all the things that are distinctive of us as women. Sandberg does not approach the book with the male-hating/feminist rhetoric that she has taken flack for. She is very honest, uses a lot of statistics and personal stories and makes a great case for why women everywhere need to “lean in.” Read it.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a fun novel recommended by friend Cindy’s blog for her summer book club.  It was a super easy and fun read. I finished it less than 2 days…which is pretty easy when you don’t have a job and hang out at Boboli Gardens all day. I don’t read enough novels in my real life so it was refreshing to escape to the far away lands of Seattle and Antarctica for a few days. The writing style is unique and its easy to love the characters. Definitely gets some thumbs up from me.

It’s interesting to me that most of the people I hear talk about this book have not actually read it. I didn’t want to be one of those people any more so I read it…and I liked it. As he always does, Rob Bell posed thoughts and questions that make the reader consider other ways to think about things. I didn’t agree with everything he said, but I didn’t disagree with it either. I won’t say much more. I liked it, I would read it again, and I would recommend it to anyone who talks about it but has not actually read it.

I’m a big fan of Andy Stanley so this was a no brainer for me. I guess I’m cheating a little bit because I haven’t actually finished it, but I’m almost done and its really good. Visioneering takes you through the story of Nehemiah and lays out a course of taking the vision that God has placed in you and seeing it become reality. No matter how big or how small you think the vision for your life is, this book is inspiring and challenging and a must read for anyone who has ever felt a stirring for something bigger than themselves. This summer was the perfect time for me to start reading it as I am in the process of discerning what steps to take next in my life and how they fit in the bigger vision that God has for me. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter help you break down the process he discusses in the book.

I haven’t figured it out yet, but somehow, Amazon knew that I had just gotten back from Cinque Terre and would totally buy a love story that takes place in my now favorite place on earth. “They” were right and I bought it.  It was a good story but I was probably largely biased by location so I’m not exactly sure who to recommend it to…probably anyone who has been to Cinque Terre. And now, I just want to go back…and fall in love…in Cinque Terre preferably.

The Rest of God was a perfect companion on my sabbatical. I went through it slowly throughout the summer and was able to reflect on each chapter individually. Much of the book comes down to trusting God to do with 6 days what we think we can do with 7. The timing of it was perfect for me. I came out of the most crazy busy season of my life and rest was definitely not at the top of my list. As I was praying and thinking about what I wanted my life to look like when I got home, it was a great context to help me process through that.  It’s a great book to go through slowly and digest as you go. I would especially recommend it to anyone going on an extended period of rest or sabbatical.

Classic. I know a lot of people who re-read this book recently. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it a lot more this time around when I didn’t have to read it. I still haven’t seen the movie though…

Following Jesus was never intended to be safe or predictable and yet for many of us, our lives are just that. “Upended” by definition is to “affect drastically or radically, as tastes, opinions, reputations, or systems.”  The main premise of the book is about being an apprentice of Jesus in everything we do – especially our day to day lives that can get so wrapped up in…well just about anything and everything. I found the book challenging but extremely encouraging. Probably one of my favorite chapter was on being present. This is something I’m trying to do well in my own life. Here is a quote that stuck out to me, “Presence conveys value to another like nothing else. It affirms that she, and not anything else in the universe, deserves your thoughts, gaze, and listening at that moment. Presence is the wellspring of influence, for it is the first step to loving well.” 

Women, Food and God is basically about how everything we eat says something about our lives, our spirituality and how we feel about ourselves. Pretty much every woman I know has struggled with food and/or weight at some point in their lives and for many of us its an ongoing battle. I thought Geneen Roth did a nice job of breaking down our relationship with food and how to change negative patterns and thought processes related to it.  She talks a lot about spirituality in a very open sense that one could apply to whatever specific forms of spirituality he/she believes in. I really enjoyed the book and got some good journaling out of it!

Shout outs: Orthodoxy, Celibate Sex, and The Land Between are all books I’ve read before or read partially and re-visited at some point over the summer.

There you have it, my Italian Summer Book Review.

Dating in my 30’s…

Dating in my 30’s is a lot better than dating in my 20’s. Maybe it’s because I’m so much more interesting but maybe it’s also because I’m more aware of what I like and more importantly…what I don’t like.

For starters, I don’t trust men with small dogs. It’s weird, right?

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Call me shallow, but I just can’t do it.  It took me several years but I’m finally clear on what I consider to be one of the most important deal breakers.

I also appreciate a good job…preferably an actual career. Now, I recognize that I just had a complete career transition but I am at least clear on what’s ahead. I don’t get guys my age that are “figuring it out” or “waiting for a good opportunity.” We’re not getting any younger fellas. Bartenders are cute  but I can’t take you home to mom…especially when you’re 22.

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Speaking of mothers, my dear mom bought me the infamous book, “He’s Just Not Into You” several years back (thanks Sue!).  So she can’t be offended when I quote a certain line from the book that comes to mind more often than I’d like to admit…”You deserve a fu@%($& phone call.”  I’m not 19, I’m 32. Texts are nice, but give a girl a call.

Lastly, I’ve found that my recent obsession with red lipstick is good social control. I don’t leave home without it. I find myself asking, “Is this date really worth kissing and smearing my lipstick?”  More often than not, I’d just rather keep my lips looking nice. Like I said before, dating in my 30’s is way better.

 

Shower Gifts

I don’t know about you but I’m not exactly the biggest fan of showers…the wedding and baby kind, not the ones you do alone with a glass of wine or a cold bottle of beer.  Although both of those things also make the others better as well.

While buying a baby shower gift a couple of weeks ago I wandered past an adorable sweater and decided I needed to buy myself a gift…like a reward for going to yet another shower. I gladly found my size and added it to the pile of baby paraphernalia and a new tradition was born. Every time I buy a shower gift, I get to buy myself a gift too. Whatever I want.

So when I get to the shower and have to create small talk with women I don’t know, and answer the same questions from the women I do know, I don’t seem to mind as much. I’m actually sort of looking forward to my next shower…there’s a pair of shoes I really want:)

Now that I’m interesting…

It’s no secret to anyone (who reads my blog) that you’re not really interesting until you’re 30. I should probably wait to make a final assessment on this until I’m at least 31 but for now, I totally agree.

Basically I turned 30, got a new look, started shopping regularly and apparently now enjoy large crowds of people. Keturah 3.0 is obviously very interesting.

I majorly failed on the final days of my previous blog “Before I’m 30” to recount all the adventures of the final days of my 20’s. I had high hopes to blog every day for a month and do things like sky dive, swim with sharks, and get my Ph.D. but then I realized those were all very interesting things and needed to be saved for a later time in life. That time is now…or 10 years from now cause I’ll still be interesting.

So I’ve updated my name and plan to recount all the interesting things I will do…which is pretty of everything now.

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