20 Years Young: My Hero’s Story, The 8th Memorial Day Without Him. 

Long before I fell in love with a military man, I lost one.  

Day after day when I was young my brother’s very best friend was over at our house all the time. He was funny. He was genuine. He was different than any teenage boy I’ve met to this day (and I’m almost out of my “teens”) in the fact that he not only loved his friends, he let them know. A lot. He let everyone know, a lot. He was a mischevious and played countless pranks on my mom, which I always enjoyed participating in. I thought he hung the moon. 

My brothers senior year, this friend joined the Marines. I knew what it was, or so I thought. He was going to go away and wear red, white, and blue and make sure America could still be free, right? Over the next 2 years we went to the going away and welcome home parties, wrote him letters back when he sent them, and talked every month or so. 

On February 21st, Lance Corporal Matt Hanson was killed in action in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, in what the Associated press calls a major offensive against the taliban. 

Enemy fire took my brothers very best friend, my moms second son, and my hero. The whole town was American flags, every bank sign had a tribute, it was something out of a movie. An awful, sad movie. And the sweet, charismatic  boy I’d come to know has my big brother was the star of the show. 

Even then I understood what the sacrifice was. The day of his funeral every news channel around has picked up the story. A smiling newscaster asked my mom if she could ask me on air about the sign I was holding. In big, sparkly, red white and blue letters it said (as neatly as a 11 year old could write) MATT YOU’RE MY HERO. 

Flash forward a couple minutes and a news camera is in my face. “Why is Matt your hero? She asked. I replied in the simplest, most honest way I could. “Matt loved being a United States Marine, and he loved us so much he gave his life fighting so we can keep our freedoms” 

As I’ve gotten older, Matt has never left my heart. I’ve found more and more things out, some I wasn’t ready to know before. I’ve learned where the fatal shot met his 20 year old skin. I’ve learned of his heroic actions the days before his death. I’ve learned that Camp Hanson, once the largest US position in Marjah, was named in his honor. I’ve done everything I can to make sure his name isn’t forgotten in our community. This past Veterans Day I talked at the High School and told his story, one that many of those kids were too young to remember. Here I am with his sweet mama. 

This Memorial Day, I urge you to read the stories of fallen men or women, of any branch. These selfless heroes are the reason we have everything. I ask you to pray for the families, the friends, the spouses. I ask you to pray for every boot on the ground to this day, and all of Matt’s friends who made it back home. 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Dirty Birdies 

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a clean freak about my make up brushes. That being said, I still don’t wash them as much as I’ve seen some people recommend. I don’t mark a calendar or remember to wash them every __ days, but when I get around to it it’s normally every 2-3 weeks, depending on how much I’ve been using them. 

I seperated them into 2 categories: brushes with shimmer (highlighter, eyeshadow, etc) & brushes without (foundation, setting powder, etc). I do this simply from getting glitter in brushes that didn’t have it from the products they’re used for. I also clean them differently. 

You’ll need 

  • 2 bowls/cups 
  • Dish detergent (I.e. Dawn or Ajax) 
  • Vinegar 
  • Water 

Brushes with Liquid Product/Powder (no shimmer, like foundation brushes) 

  • Squirt a small amount of dish soap in the bottom of your container and fill with hot water about an inch deep. 
  • Add vinegar. Any amount is good, but I usually go for about 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water if that makes sense. 
  • Soak brushes for 10 minutes
  • I then take each brush out individually and scrub it on my hand with additional soap, then rinse. 
  • For best results rinse with cold water (combats bubbles), dry on a towel, and hang/prop upside down to dry. 

Brushes used for shimmer powder products (highlighter, eyeshadow) 

  • The exact same, except no vinegar! It won’t hurt to use the same water, but vinegar isn’t as much of a help here. 

Again, you don’t have to separate your brushes at all but that’s just what I find makes more sense. When done make sure they are drying in the right shape and are rinsed of vinegar (yuck). I hang mine like this on the shower rod. Hope this helps! 

Left To Right 

  1. EcoTools Powder Brush
  2. Morphe M439 (!!!!)
  3. Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Angle Brush
  4. Morphe G35
  5. Luxie 660
  6. Luxie 514
  7. Morphe G6 
  8. Real Techniques Foundation Brush
  9. Morphe G37
  10. Luxie 524T
  11. Beau Gachis Concealer Brush
  12. SLMissGlam L34 
  13. Luxie 215
  14. Beau Gachis Tapered Blending Brush 

Heartfelt Forgetfulness 

Every 23rd of any month I wake up and look at my phone, immediately seeing the date. Is today someone’s birthday? Do I have an appointment today? I always get that feeling that the 23rd is something significant. Every month, about 2 days later I realize it is. Our anniversary. 

We don’t do gifts or anything but of course it’s just nice to celebrate the day even if it’s just a text that says “Happy Anniversary, I’m thankful for you” sometime throughout the day. For 5 months straight, we’ve both forgotten. 

The best of these though was a month he had something special planned. We haven’t sent letters since he was in basic but he thought it’d be sweet to send me a letter to tell me Happy Anniversary. We live on opposite sides of the country so any mail takes about 4-5 days to get from side to side. He predicted 3. So, the Thursday of our anniversary we both go on about our days, talking most of the time and both clueless to what day it is, again. That afternoon I check the mail like usual and there’s nothing but the newspaper and some bills. Like any other day, we talk until we’re in bed and go to sleep. 

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I check the mail expecting a package I’ve ordered and instead find an envelope, I recognize the handwriting before I can even read the address. Upon opening this little Air Force envelope I’m oh so familiar with I find a letter from my oh so sweet guy telling me Happy Anniversary. 


That’s right, this particular month not only had we both forgotten, he’d written and sent a letter and still forgot. I’m obviously never mad at him for this, but we definitely get laughs out of that one. Though I don’t have a new picture to post every month on our anniversary, and couldn’t tell him in person, I wouldn’t trade my relationship for any of that. It’s the heartfelt little things that make a difference and I’m so thankful for a relationship that can withstand 2000 miles. 

Oh, and Happy (late) Anniversary babe 😉 

New York, New York, Pt. 2.

In a break of the skyline near Wall Street was one of the famous churches of the city, Trinity Church. It was massive and beautiful. The lights and sounds of Times Square were a world away. Even from the outside I could tell this was a world away from my Baptist Church back home. church trinity.png

No offense, NYC, but some parts of the concrete jungle just didn’t do it for me. The buildings that scraped the sky were a dime a dozen, but the little corner churches lit up my eyes every time. Every glance at the building I found a detail I’d missed the other times. Upon entering the Church I was certain it couldn’t be any more different than mine: an organ, incense, men in long robes, candles, the list goes on and on. Though we seemed to go about it a different way I could tell the people in the pews had the same objective I do when walking into my humble church- to worship the way I know best.

Recently a quote stuck out to me. “We aren’t called to fill the pews with members; we are called to fill the world with disciples.” To me that means that no matter if you worship in a pew of the most beautiful church or at home by yourself, what matters is what you go do in the world.

New York, New York.

I recently went on a trip to New York City. Let me first explain that I’m from a small town in Kentucky. Though I was certain I’d rather be at the beach than in a sea of people on a dirty city street, I kept an open mind. I wasn’t excited about the long bus ride or the possibility of seeing a rat, but I had a few places I was itching to go. One being the MAC store in the middle of Times Square. mac times square.png

It was about as New York-y as I imagine a store could be. Crowded, loud, and chaotic. It was also like a dream. Walls and walls of lipstick, foundation, brushes, powders, etc. I was in search of a pure pink lipstick to add to my (small) MAC collection. I picked “Pink Plaid”, and put it on that instant. I also couldn’t resist getting a tube of their famous “lip glass” in the shade C-thru, a shimmery nude. I left with the biggest smile I’d had so far on the trip, and a lighter wallet. While I could order a MAC lippie offline anytime I wanted for the same price, the experience of buying one on Times Square is one I’ll always remember. pink plaid NY.png

Here I Am

If you’re on this site as a milso looking for someone going through the same thing, I’m your girl. If you’re on this site as a make up lover , you’ve come to the right place. If you’re on this site as a proud child of God, we have that in common too.

2 years ago I had one of those things going for me. I was a Christian. As for the other 2 areas, I got make up advice from my friends and had a pretty controlling boyfriend. Around that time one thing changed.

I fell in love with an Airman. I know what you might be thinking- her guy has only been in the military for less than 2 years? What could she know about being a milso? She must be young. You’d be right, BUT this is what this blog is for- sharing my learning experiences to help others. I can’t tell you what it’s like to have kids on base, but I can share my experience of having my high school sweetheart swept up by the Air Force, and how the first year apart has been.

Now to get to the make up part. In case you didn’t realize it, those 8 weeks (varying between branches) of basic can be a big adjustment. I went from spending time with him to getting a letter every couple days. I was BORED. And so began my make up experimentation. I remember it like it was yesterday; I googled “how to apply foundation”. That would be the day I watched my first of many Jaclyn Hill YouTube videos. That was almost a year ago and lets just say I’ve come a long way. I stay up to date with the newest releases and I’m constantly reading reviews or looking at swatches. Needless to say, I now know how to apply foundation. 🙂

I’ll admit it, this blog is going to be all over the place but bear with me, aren’t we all?