June 22, 2008

on sunburns and the in-laws...

Ohhh, sunburn. How you pain me.

Although, you may be asking why a white girl like me must continually live in a state of fair skin denial. I guess I always have this hope that one day I'll become one of those people who can acquire a nice, bronze skin tone with one day at the beach. When I see these people, I always feel as though they taunt me. "Sunscreen-schmunscreen," they cry out in victory. And there I am, sitting on my towel with my freckled joints (no, really: my elbows, knees, knuckles - it's fun, I tell you) and glossy sunscreened body.

My friend M and I live for our beach days. And it's always the first one of the year during which we will tempt fate and say, "Awww, peaches. We'll be fine. It's just a couple hours. We'll get a healthy glow. Let's just forget sunscreen altogether today. Who needs it? Live on the edge." You'd think we'd remember the consequences of that fateful conversation year-to-year (i.e. nearly needing skin grafts on our shoulders and scalp after a long bike ride). I'm not sure why we don't think of this in the moment. But, whatever.

I do maintain the fact that I can get tan, but it's just not brown tan. I call it pink tan. I know, it sounds disgusting, but it's really not that bad. Think olive skin tone vs. peaches and cream complexion. Anyway, I'll take what I can get, people.

Can I get an "amen, sister" from all my fellow fair girls out there? This one's for you! Holla back!

Okay, so, moving on.

I was lucky enough to spend a good part of three days with Jay, his parents, and three of his brothers. His parents and brothers were in town to celebrate his college graduation. I adore spending time with his family; I am lucky enough to have been blessed with some amazing in-laws. His family dynamic is so much like my own, so I truly do feel at home when I'm around them. It's the comfortable, familiar feeling of just belonging. Have I mentioned how we're nearly the same, family-wise? I'm second born in a family of five girls, he's second born in a family of five boys. Both from Washington State, both raised Lutheran. It's crazy. To me, at least. Especially because I met Jay here in California.

(I like to think our love was written in the stars. But that's just the romantic in me talking.)

In any case, they were in town for a few days, and I was lucky enough to take enough time off of work to be there for most of it. We spent time at his aunt and uncle's, enjoyed a day at Disneyland (which led to the first round of sunburn), spent a morning in Laguna Beach (which led to the second round of sunburn) and the rest of the day shopping (spent no less than an hour browsing Anthropologie with Jay's aunt and mom - I love these women!), and enjoyed a barbecue and a church service yesterday evening.

It was such a refreshing time. I hardly looked at my cell phone once in three days. I ate a ridiculous amount of calories without suffering from debilitating food-guilt. I was out and about the whole time, and was able to get some much-needed Jay time - and "second family" time! Jay's brothers are absolute gems. They each have such different personalities, but at the core they're the very same (much like my sisters and I, actually). They make me laugh like nothing else. And his parents? So incredibly kind, encouraging and loving. I am so glad whenever I get to have some quality time with all of them.

It reeeeally makes me eager for the day we move back to the Northwest.

So, I had a good three days. Now, the question is: how are you doing?


  1. Glad you had a great weekend w/ your in-laws!!!

    I hear ya on the skin. I'm very fair-skinned and always burn. Yet, I always go out there year after year w/o any sunscreen too.

  2. It sounded like you had an amazing time. I love family vacations like that. I miss them, actually.

    Unfortunately, though, I can't relate to you fellow fair girls. ;] I happen to think fair skin is beautiful. I'd rather see fair skin than a fake orange tan. But then again, I could be a little biased. :]

  3. Oh Gosh,

    I pink tan too, so I tend to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Hubby is a red-head so our kids have no hope. I see tons of SPF50+ in our future.

  4. I'm in skin denial too! Right now I'm happy 'cause my arms are "tan" aka off-white/slightly beige....

  5. okay so... i'm gonna be the jerk here and say that i get blacker than black in the sun. it's ridiculous actually... it's definitely possible to get too tan. be lucky, i've always wanted to be one of those fair skinned girls with just a flush of pink on my cheeks and a little color on my shoulders. you always want what you can't have i suppose.

    i love family vacations. are you ever too old? didn't think so. sounds like you had a great time and a great few days with jay!

    sidenote? jealous that you spent the day at disneyland and laguna. damn it, i miss california.


  6. don't hate me because i tan in .2 seconds flat. :)

    great post. i also LOVE my in-laws and my hubby's brothers. the awesome thing is this weekend i get to spend at a great little ol' lodge with all his family! i'm so excited. right on lake michigan. i am SO looking forward to it! :)

    glad you enjoyed your time with jay and his fam.

  7. Alright on the tan subject: My skin is tricky, when I was young and swimming and lifeguarding: beautiful tan. Now that I'm inside and white, not so much. But I still think I can tan, so I don't wear sunscreen and omg the sunburn from our trip to Carmel.. I definitely think it was sun poisoning bad. But I think that was my entrance fee into tanville because some of it (you know after the blistering and peeling) stayed tan! lol!

    and highly jealous of your in-law bliss. Mine isn't too bad, but sometimes.. yeah.

  8. I too was blessed with wonderful in-laws who have become my family in every way. It's so amazing.

    I hope you don't think this is weird, especially since I don't even know if you've ever visited my blog and thus "know" who I am, but I am liking you better and better all the time! The way you write is so sweet and funny-- it's very endearing. I'm really enjoying your blog.

  9. Oh man... yeah, I totally hear you on the pale girl thing. HOLLA! My strategy is this-- just I'm not good at tanning at all -- I have forgotten about the Loreal self tanner and banana boat tanning lotion I've bought in the past and now I lather on the SPF like nobody's business. I've decided that I'd rather be as pale as can be instead of somewhat maybe a little tan AKA prolly instead, rather totally burnt. If I can be a totally tan girl, I'm going to embrace the whiteness! Glad you had such a good, relaxing time with the in-laws!

  10. Amen sista! I too have fair skin and can barely get a tan. I have freckles on my face, lips, shoulders, arms, knees, did I miss anything?

    I'm glad you had such a good weekend. I also had a good weekend, I bought my first SLR a Canon 40d (so exciting).

  11. I, too, am very fair-skinned. I'm going to a wedding in July, and I'm already dreading showing off my white legs. Considering a self-tanner, but also considering I'd rather look naturally white than obviously-fake-orange.

  12. i'm just like that too. i never put sunscreen on because i think i'll only be out in the sun for an hour or so and then the next day i'm in such pain i want to die. the worst is when it's cloudy and you think you won't get anything, but you get tricked again and end up fried. why don't we ever learn???

  13. LUCKY.

    I'm the oldest of 5 - 4 girls and a boy.

    Hubby is the youngest of 3 boys.

    We're so not from similar families. Which makes things...eh, difficult. :)

    I'm really happy for you, though. It sounds like SO much fun!!

  14. I just wanted to let you know that I just came across your blog yesterday (was looking for pictures of babushka cats) and I think it's fabulous!! Your commentary is hilarious and your pictures are fantastic - well done!!


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