on July 6, 2011 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 43 comments by

Y’all know I’m usually on the front line back line of fashion trends and that may be the case today as well. But I am now the proud owner of feathers in my hair.

Also. Let me just go ahead and say. I’m sure these are not real feathers from real birds. No way. The colors are too crazy. These are fake feathers. But I love them just the same.

These feathers are put in your hair just like extensions, except, you know, they are wildly colored, not matching your own hair. Do you love or WHAT?!? We live in a funny world.

My hairstylist, Anna, is also a good friend and she was all, “Annie. What colors do you want? Let’s do this thang!” And I was all, “It’s almost my birthday. Let’s do blue. I LOVE BLUE.”

And then she proceeded to put the blue one in. A vivid and fluffy and totally Annie blue one. And then she put in a yellow one. And then, just for good measure, a brown and khaki striped one.

I. Know.

I love them too.

[And by the way, when my hair is down, you can’t see all the crazy of the blue. So don’t worry- it doesn’t look that out of place. I think you were worried. Don’t be.]

Back to the feathers-in-hair situation. I’m a bandwagon trendy kind of girl- if everyone else loves it, I usually do too… at some point. And that is definitely happening here – as in, I may have missed the arc of popularity, which I am okay with/used to, but better late than never.

But these three feathers mean more to me than just being trendy.

[You’re gonna have to go with me on this one. It is a bit of a stretch when I’m explaining it, but it makes total sense to my heart...]

I leave Nashville this week and I won’t be back until December. I am super excited about the opportunity to go to Scotland, but I am also SUPER DEE DUPER sad about leaving Nash.

I love this place. I love these people. I love them so much.

And every time I look in the mirror, I now have a bright happy blue reminder of my home. I’ve been marked by my people and no matter where on Earth I go, I look like I belong in Nashville. I look like my people.

Maybe it feels like a tribal marking.

Maybe it feels like blue skin from The Hunger Games series.

Maybe it is just a simple reminder of home.

My emotions calmed significantly today and I thought about the feathers. I’ve been HIGHLY EMOTIONAL DEAR HEAVENS for the last two days, but something about these feathers said to my brain, “this is your home. You fit here.”

And these feathers remind me of home. Of my people. Of arms wrapped around each other and laughter and serious moments. Of hugs and I love you’s and the gift of community that I’ve been given. Of these friends who showed July 4th what a real celebration looks like and of the other friends in this town that have also grown to be family.

So forgive me if blogging is a bit scarce for the next week-ish. Thursday is my birthday [yay! 31! I love my 30s! seriously!] and then I leave Nashville on Friday and then I fly to Scotland on Monday.

The next few days are filled with meaningful dinners, hugs whenever I want, celebrating brand new engagements [three this week!] and brand new pregnancies, birthday meals, and tears galore.

I’ll be that magic combo of mourning and celebrating, crying and laughing, and pretty much being a complete hot mess.

Doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging, what with the crying and laughing and packing and hugging and goodbyes and all.

Pray for me, if you will. I’m grateful for the opportunity to live out the truth that God means more to me than anybody else, but leaving my friends is breaking my heart.

I’m also grateful today for these crazy feathers. Because I know when I see them, I will think of Nashville. And home won’t feel so far away.


  1. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:57 AM  |  reply

    Love your feathers! What a wonderful tangible way to remember your home and friends. Happy Birthday to you! Yes, 30’s are wonderful – you enjoy every single minute of it. I’ll be praying as you make the transition to Scotland. I can’t wait to begin reading of all the truths God is going to reveal to you during this time!

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:55 PM  |  reply

      yes and amen.

  2. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 6:03 AM  |  reply

    Woah cool feathers! I put feathers in my friend’s hair a few months ago. I didn’t know it was a thing, it just seemed like a fun thing to do πŸ™‚ (I do live in Australia… so the trend might hit us in 15 years or so).
    Exciting week for you hey! Happy Birthday! (You are 2 days and 2 years older than me… we’re practically twins haha).
    Have the best time in Scotland. I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures! I’m beginning to feel similar excitement/sadness because I’m heading to Canada for a year in december. I even have tickets! eeeek!
    Praying for you xo

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:55 PM  |  reply

      I think we might be twins.

      Canada is fun. See Niagara Falls. It’s interesting…. ish. πŸ™‚

  3. Debs
    posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 6:54 AM  |  reply

    I love you Annie Downs…I love your heart…I love that you are unabandoned in everything…even fashion trends! The thing is,God just wants Annie in multiple places to love on people, to be His light and for you to be loved on too! I will be praying for you! Sending a Debs hug !

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:56 PM  |  reply

      Love you too, Debs. Thank you.

  4. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 7:07 AM  |  reply

    Annie, this time last year I was preparing to leave for the mission field for six months (which actually turned into a year…and now I’m gearing up to go back for another year!) and was in the same place you are (except I didn’t know ANYBODY where I was going). Leaving was really hard. I mean I cried every other day for…well, a long time. But guess what. It was THE best thing I have ever done. Not having “my people” “my home” “my town” taught me to rely on God for EVERYTHING. I grew in my relationship with Christ exponentially because He brought me to the end of myself where all I could hold onto was Him. I tell everyone that this has been the hardest and best time of my life and I pray that you find something similar in Scotland. (Oh, and I might be moving to Scotland next year? There’s a place called Edinburgh City Mission and they do some great stuff! You should get involved with them if you get the chance.)

    Now that I’ve written a short novel, HA!


    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:57 PM  |  reply

      I like your novel. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  5. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 7:19 AM  |  reply

    We move. A lot. In fact, this is the first summer in four years that we haven’t moved.

    Every time we move I leave a little piece of me there because it’s like pulling up a tree root.. But then we build a new life in a new place and I put down new roots.

    For a brief time, I thought that maybe I should just plant my roots shallow in the new places so it wouldn’t hurt so much when we leave. But then I realized that life’s what happens when you’re unpacking boxes and doing laundry and everything you do in the everyday minutes of life in between. Why would I cheat myself out of the wealth of experiences and relationships and adventures that make all normal miraculous?

    I’ve finally realized that if it hurts when we leave, that just means I lived life well where we were and I didn’t waste the good. Oh, I know it hurts, Annie Blogs. And I miss the little pieces of me that I’ve left all those different places, but I cherish the pieces of them that I took with me and that have made me a better person than I would have been without them.

    Thinking about your tender heart as you say “see you later” to your home and excited to see what comes next for you.

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:59 PM  |  reply

      Good word. For realz.

  6. Anna Richey Thiele
    posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 7:31 AM  |  reply

    Annie- So sorry I didn’t tell you the story behind the feathers! I made extra special sure, when sourcing my feathers, to get them from friendly places where birds are loved. They naturally molt (shed) and these groomers collect, cleanse, and dye the fallen feathers. So the colors are manipulated (in most cases), but thy are REAL. That’s how they are so durable and can be ironed, etc.
    Anyway, I loved seeing you yesterday & love your tribal marking- and that these feathers can carry so much meaning in a visual reminder as you globe-trot. I will certainly be praying for you and wishing you well, my dear!

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:59 PM  |  reply

      I am more in love with them today than I was yesterday.

  7. Laura
    posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 7:49 AM  |  reply

    I love your feathers and I hope you have an awesome time in Scotland! πŸ™‚
    Also, Happy {{early}} Birthday!

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:59 PM  |  reply

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  8. Chandra Hester
    posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 9:17 AM  |  reply

    I loved your blog post. I will be praying for you as you leave for a new adventure. I love your heart for the college age. I work with college students and I love them sooo much. I also work with young women who are out of college and mentor them.

    Always keep your heart turned toward the Lord.

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 4:59 PM  |  reply

      College kids are the coolest.

  9. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 9:22 AM  |  reply

    I love visible reminders of things I love. That’s why I’ve got tattoos over 90% of my body…just kidding.

    Seriously, though, I just turned 31, and so far my 30s have been WAY better than my 20s! Enjoy Scotland. And when you go back to Nashville, you’ll need visible reminders of Scotland and all that you love there.

    Oh…have a blast!

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:00 PM  |  reply

      I want a tattoo. But not yet. πŸ™‚ But maybe soon. Or maybe not. I dunno. πŸ™‚

  10. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 10:09 AM  |  reply

    LOVE the feathers. Maybe I will get some in your honor. Is there any time left for me to get my hug?

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:00 PM  |  reply

      Me hopes so. I’ll call ya.

  11. Sarah
    posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 10:15 AM  |  reply

    I couldn’t help but be struck at the significance of your feathers when you said no matter where you go, people will know you’re from Nashville. It’s like that with Christ to. People see the fruit we produce in our lives, and they know we belong to Christ.
    have the best time in Scotland and shine for Jesus!!!

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:00 PM  |  reply

      Amen and amen. Good word, sister.

  12. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 10:55 AM  |  reply

    There’s no crying at spend-the-night parties.

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:01 PM  |  reply

      I’m 100% out of tears. So we’re good.

  13. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 10:55 AM  |  reply

    I love your feathers. It’s all the rage with the younger girls I know. I thought maybe someday I would get one, or two. What do you think about being 45 with feathers? I am so excited for your trip. It’s going to be fascinating and I am looking forward to following your journey while you are there.

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:01 PM  |  reply

      I think you can ROCK feathers. Do it. And then send pics.

  14. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 11:03 AM  |  reply

    I love the feathers! Every time I see someone with them, I want.

    And good luck on heading to Scotland. I know the feeling of leaving a whole host of wonderful behind in the States and heading overseas.

    Can’t wait to hear all about your journey…

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:02 PM  |  reply

      Get you some feathers, girl.

  15. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 11:33 AM  |  reply

    The feathers are awesome, Annie! I don’t that it’s a stretch at all. I can see how they’d remind you of home. Enjoy this last week of celebrations and goodbyes. I’ll be praying for you as you prepare for these next 6 months.

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:03 PM  |  reply

      Thank you so much.

  16. posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 12:48 PM  |  reply

    I totally had no idea that feathers were “in,” but then I shouldn’t be surprised by that since I have approximately zero fashion knowledge.

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:03 PM  |  reply

      They are in. I think. Maybe not. Who knows. πŸ™‚

  17. ali
    posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 2:28 PM  |  reply

    the blue feather is fab.u.lous! and i think that’s beautiful that they remind you of your nashville home πŸ™‚ happy early birthday and enjoy every minute with your nash-friends! you will have an amazing experience in scotland, i just know it πŸ™‚

    • Annie
      posted on Jul 06, 2011 at 5:03 PM  |  reply

      I can’t stop looking at the blue one. I like it so much. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words.

  18. posted on Jul 07, 2011 at 12:18 AM  |  reply

    I LOVE the feathers. This is a trend that has missed the Jax and Gainesvegas entirely. Perhaps, if I’m the first to get them, I can be the trendsetter for once. I once had a purple streak in my hair, and it made me feel oddly brave. There’s something about southern women and hair, but when it’s right, I’m pretty sure we could rule the world.

    Also, I’m super excited about the 3 engagements. I hope it helps with the fomo a little. I’m sort of hoping the folks planned it so you could be here. I’m sure it was a matter of they were ready and love and all that, but it would be awfully nice and obliging if they did it so you could share in it with them.

    Happy birthday, and happy hugging, and happy packing.

  19. posted on Jul 07, 2011 at 1:56 AM  |  reply

    Annie it’s so ironic – just as you’re leaving Nashville I’m moving there! I chose it because it’s a city with soul. People ask me why I think that and I can’t put my finger on it but I know you are part of the reason. Thanks for writing this sweet and authentic blog about your life in the city. Enjoy Scotland!

  20. Michaela
    posted on Jul 07, 2011 at 1:26 PM  |  reply

    Love the feathers, Annie! It’s great that they remind of home.
    I have been reading your blog for while, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I came because of your column in SUSIE mag, and I love both!
    Have fun hugging, packing, crying, and laughing. And happy birthday!!

  21. Michaela
    posted on Jul 07, 2011 at 1:28 PM  |  reply

    And I’m praying for you!

  22. posted on Jul 07, 2011 at 6:21 PM  |  reply

    Happy birthday, dear Annie!

  23. Sarah
    posted on Jul 07, 2011 at 8:30 PM  |  reply

    Happy Birthday! Here’s to 31! Since the day is pretty well over, i hope you had a good one! πŸ˜€

  24. Son
    posted on Jul 08, 2011 at 8:39 PM  |  reply

    “Pray for me, if you will. I’m grateful for the opportunity to live out the truth that God means more to me than anybody else, but leaving my friends is breaking my heart.”

    Thank you for that line. Gosh, my heart jumped a bit when I read it. Acting out the truth that God means more than anything else is such a crazy desire of my heart, but one that I fail at miserably every day. I’m proud you are going and I’ll keep you updated on the baby belly over skype πŸ™‚

  25. posted on Jul 09, 2011 at 5:29 PM  |  reply

    Love the feathers! I just got me some blue ones also (: I’m never up to date w/fashion either, but I fell in love with the feather fad! Hopefully it will stick around a while.

  26. posted on Jul 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM  |  reply

    Oh Annie,

    I love your feathered hair. I’ve been wanting some for trendyness sake myself.
    And I have been there with the sad goodbyes and heart strings a-pullin’…

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