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Tattoos: The Story & The Process

I never thought I would get tattoos. Nope, never.

Then I got 2 within one year. 🤷🏼‍♀️ And now I'd be totally fine if I got more.

I have always loved art, and appreciated the time, talent, and details that go into creating a tattoo. It wasn't until I recovered the second time from a vestibular migraine (vertigo for 4 months straight) that I decided to get one. I figured if I can survive that, I can survive a little tattoo!

The Stories:

Tattoo #1: Floral Cross

I got this because I wanted a constant reminder that I'll never be alone in this crazy life and that God is with me through it all. I used to always wear a cross necklace, and I just started to think...well, why not get a cross tattoo? So I went for it!

The cross represents my faith knowing that God is always with me, the flowers represent how beauty can come from tough times and a reminder to see the good in life, and the green vine represents new growth.

Tattoo #2: Moon & Sun...This one is a longer story :)

I got this tattoo for my grandma and grandpa, who have both passed away. My grandpa passed away on my 9th birthday in June 2001 and my grandma passed away in February 2019.

They were two of my biggest cheerleaders, alongside my parents. I have the sweetest memories of lake visits with them, late summer nights spent at their house with great conversation and lots of laughs, delicious (and fancy) holiday dinners with family all around, cozy ”spa” nights in my grandma’s big jacuzzi, being completely enamored by my grandma’s sparkly outfits/jewelry and my grandpa’s snazzy suits and Hawaiian shirts, and of course…my grandma’s piano playing skills. She was amazing. You can listen to her play some of Clair De Lune below.

Here's Grandma Donna rockin' it out on the piano. She's doing this all from memory!

But what I remember most of all and will always hold closest to me is the love and light that they brought into my life.

The Moon🌙:

I chose a moon for my grandma because she always played Clair De Lune on the piano, which means Light of the Moon. A perfect representation of my grandma….light in the darkness. Just as the moon shines so beautifully, my grandma did just the same. She was beautiful-inside and out. Her beauty and positivity radiated wherever she was. I wanted a constant reminder of that.

The Sun☀️:

Even though my grandpa passed away on my 9th birthday….20 years ago, I was incredibly close to him. I was completely heartbroken when he passed. Grief was weird at 9. Just like my grandma, he was a positive light in dark times. He also always wore these Hawaiian shirts and had traveled there several times…a very sunny place. I wanted a constant reminder of his sunny and fun personality.

The Vines & Extra Decorations 🌿:

These represent how they always went the extra mile to make things special. Things were simple (only over the top on occasion), yet so incredibly special.

The Process:

My brother has a full sleeve of tattoos (and more), so he was able to give me a heads up before I got my first tattoo. He essentially said, "It just feels like a needle is going in your skin, but you'll be good!" lol He also told me I need to be SUPER careful with following the after care instructions, and now that I've gotten two tattoos, I would definitely agree with him.

Things To Know Before Your First Tattoo

Leading up to the tattoo:

  • Know what design you want and be confident in that design. I waited several months before I got mine. I even drew the cross on my wrist with pen just to double check that I liked it.

  • Think through if you want color, black, shading, etc.

  • Research high quality shops and tattoo artists, and make sure you go to a good place to get it done.

  • Know where you would like the tattoo and think through the logistics of skin aging, skin creases, sizing, etc.

During the tattoo:

  • The tattoo artist will consult with you to check on the design and placement. Make sure it is exactly what you want. :)

  • You will have to sign a few papers...I didn't realize this going in the first time, but it makes sense for liability reasons.

  • The tattoo artist will get you situated in the position that works best for them. The first time I was sitting up and the second time, I was laying down. It just depends!

  • From there, just sit back and relax. Personally, my wrist tattoo didn't hurt too bad. It felt more like a burning sensation. My ankle tattoo on the other hand, hurt really bad. Not going to lie. My leg twitched a few times from the pain, but thankfully my tattoo artist told me not to worry and it's just a natural response. I could see my first one being done the whole time, which I loved, but I couldn't see my second one being done due to my positioning. I found it was helpful to be on my phone to distract myself from the pain.

After the tattoo:

  • Follow the aftercare instructions that are given to you. It is SO important if you want your tattoo to heal properly and to look good.

  • I used Vitamin A & D Ointment on my tattoo the first couple of days and then I switched to a fragrance free lotion, such as Eucerin.

  • Your tattoo may sting, bleed ink colors, and it will definitely scab. That's just part of the healing process. I just viewed both of mine as wounds that needed to heal and that helped me treat them with lots of extra TLC.

  • Do not pick your tattoo. It is so me, but if you do, you could ruin some of the design.

This is my tattoo as it started to heal & scab over.

So, there's the story and the process of my tattoos. I absolutely LOVE them! I got them done at Gypsy Vault by Freddy Ray. He did a wonderful job, and he made the process so simple.

Who knows, I might just come up with an idea for another tattoo soon!

Thanks for reading!



I'm so glad you're here!

Hi, I'm Ali and I'm so glad you ended up here. :) This blog is here in the hopes to inspire every part of your life. I'm a 20 something teacher searching for ways to make life a little better each day! I hope you enjoy what you find even if it's the smallest tip to make one part of your life a smidge easier. 

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