Saturday, December 29, 2007

Off Roading

Rey and I had the chance today to experience the outdoor life of North Carolina. First, we started off fishing off the New River and of course I managed to catch more grass than anything else, go figure. Just when I thought it was going to be a slow relaxing day I was wrong! We got the chance to go off roading in Rey's uncles' ATV. It has been years since the last time I've been on an atv, let alone with Rey driving. If any of you have heard Rey's stories of off roading than you'd know I was in for a treat. We went around the mountains, managed to make our own trails, and my favorite of the day getting chanced by a German Shepherd. I have never laughed and feared for my life at the same time. You see the dog was coming straight at us, it was either going to be us running over the dog or making a sharp turn, which on an atv is not easy especially when your right next to a hill over looking a river. ( I could imagine the song "rollin' rollin' rollin' " or more like "tumblin' tumblin' tumblin' ")

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In a Rut

Lately(the past few weeks)I’ve been very apathetic towards everything, and I have no clue why. I resist getting out of bed and heading to work. Every Monday I get up I wish it were Friday, and every Friday I hope for a long weekend. It’s odd because I’ve become extremely introverted in social environments, whereas in the past I thrived off social interaction with others. I noticed the other day that friends of mine who are typically introverted have now switched. I can’t seem to figure out if its stress, life transitions, important decisions to be made, or just being stuck in a rut that makes me so apathetic towards any and everything. I make it a point to hang out with friends to catch up, however, I have to constantly convince myself of the fun I will have. I honestly do enjoy the company of friends and family, but there are times I seem to space out during conversation and just wanting to go home. I’m hoping I snap out of this rut and get back to being Lauren again.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Missing Crispani

This past Thursday I was at home relaxing when, my best friend called and asked if I wanted to catch up and eat at Panera Bread. “Of Course,” I shouted into the phone, for she knew I never turn down a food proposition. I quickly shut my laptop and jumped into the shower. The whole time I was anticipating the Tomato & Basil Crispani. You see every time I go to Panera I look forward to my Crispani; however Panera plays a little game with my head. I get there and order my food only for them to look at me and say “sorry it’s not 4pm yet.” Ahh… (in disapproval) they did it to me again enticing me with their tantalizing aromas and descriptive pictures. I’m truly a sucker for their advertisement scheme.

Once I was out of the shower I hurried over to Panera on 137th ave. and Kendall, finally it had opened. I walked inside knowing full well it was past 4pm at least by 2 hours. So I pranced, that’s right I pranced in there excited as can be and ordered my Crispani. Now I was expecting Joshua the cashier to tell me my total, only to hear something completely different. Were my ears deceiving me yet again, did I hear him say we don’t make Crispani’s anymore. So I asked in a confused daze, “sorry what did you say.” The only time I wanted my ears to deceivie me they weren’t. My best friend stood there in astonishment because she understood my madness. At that precise moment I looked back at her and a small tear began to form in my left eye. I went from this overwhelming joy to this complete disappointment and sadness. Once again I had to settle for something else.

As I stood at the counter waiting for my order this young girl named Nicole greeted me. She asked if everything was to my satisfaction. Are you kidding…you take away my Crispani and you have the nerve to ask me that question…is what I wanted to say. Instead I said no as nicely as possible which was hard at that moment. I continued by explaining my whole dilemma with the Crispani.

Nicole took me by surprise, “I know what were they thinking I love the Crispani especially the basil one,” she responded with such passion. At last someone got my frustration and best of all she worked there. She continued to inform me that Panera was soon stopping all the Crispani’s at all the chains. This was due to the inadequate training of employees burning them, thus resulting in a loss in revenue. Just when I thought it was all down hill from here she gave me great hope. She said her fellow employees were writing to the corporation to express their opinions on the Crispani issue. She told me that I could join in on the effort by going to the website and writing them a letter as well.

I could see it now an uproar of dissatisfied customers and disgruntled employees waging a strike against Panera. Wow…that would be something, however I’m sure that is far from reality. So my dear friends, if you too are saddened by this unfortunate event, join me in the effort to bring back the Crispani.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

What a all started when i scored awesome seats to the heat game on Wednesday. Yannick, Rey, and Myself sat in the second row behind the visitor's bench. I could feel the sweat pouring off of Wade and Shaq's bodies. We had an awesome time until we got our phones stolen. Rey and I the geniuses that we are, left our phones in his car during the game (what were we thinking) only to return to no phones. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out how those thieves got a hold of our phones without any sign of entry. I'm tempted to contact the CSI team to investigate this crime of passion. I forgot what it was like to be without a phone for a few days. At first I was bothered by not having any contact with anyone, however the tables turned unexpectedly. Turns out I actually enjoyed it there for awhile, it was refreshing not to worry about my phone, be annoyed by a beeping sound, and stress out about people contacting me. I then realized it was time to get back in touch with the world.

I had a lot to be thankful for this year the Lord has truly blessed me. My family, friends, oddly my work, my love Rey and his wonderful family, and many more countless blessings. Thanksgiving day was spent playing flag football, cooking dinner, and eating at both families houses. By the end of the day I was absolutely exhausted and was looking forward to black friday...ha what a joke that was.

Beth & Casper's wedding took place on saturday afternoon. It was wonderful beach wedding which captured them perfectly. It was nice to run into old family friends, and laugh with current ones.

Overall, this weekend was one filled with surprises, laughter, and much need bonding time with loved ones. I am grateful for all that the Lord has provided for me, He really is an Awesome God!

p.s. please send me your contact information via email

Friday, November 9, 2007

Classic Laughter

Today was an absolutely awesome day for once.(Okay I lied, not for once but in a long time)There was great weather, which I'm excited about, it was Friday, payday, and it's a long weekend. You stack those up how could you go wrong. While outside with my co-workers some how we engaged in the antics of "that's what she said" I don't think I've laughed so hard in my life. Its official there's a new rule: After a "that's what she said" comment there is a guaranteed followed up "that's what she said." I never realized how many phrases can have double meanings. For example:

Coworker 1: Lauren you know how to work that well, your good at what you do

Me: (laugh) that's what she said!

Coworker 2: Are you kidding me...(on the chair laughing hysterically)

Me: It comes easy

Coworker 1: (quick to respond) That's what she said

All: ( laughing loudly)

The best thing about it was, we were referring to a soccer goal I was assembling, and that was only a small portion of our conversation. You see how easy its to give double meanings to things.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mini Me

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend time with my Merari. After church we decided to have Thai for lunch. So we pull up to Bangkok Bangkok only to find out its closed. But thanks to our quick decision making and sense of smell we were able to find this incredible place to eat. “Off The Grill” was this little Spanish restaurant off of 125th ave and Kendall. We were amazed to find awesome food and portion sizes for such cheap prices. As we devoured our food, we enjoyed the Mana concert on DVD, and then the sweet sounds of Sade. Of course we engaged in the typical girl talk. It was then that I realized how much Merari was like a mini version of me without the loud voice but made up for with her incredible spunk. It was funny; I could picture in my head a filmstrip of future events we would par-take in. Laughing sinisterly at people when they fall or get hurt (I know its mean but you would laugh at first too), or dancing under the stars during a jazz concert (she knows how to sweep me off my feet) this is just a small glimpse into my filmstrip. All in all yesterday was time well spent.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Needed Laugh

This week has been particularly crazy for me. I know some of you are wondering how much crazier could things possibly get? Outside of my hectic schedule of working with clueless individuals and dealing with hormonal children all day, I managed to tack on a soccer tournament with high school girls which involved getting up at the crack of dawn.(actually earlier than that) Things got so bad that there were times I forgot to eat and add in sleep, which hellooo! are two of my favorite things to do. Don't worry I'm not trying some weird new diet, although it seems that way since my shorts are falling to my knees. It got to the point that I was writing on my hand food which may seem ridiculous, but even that method failed me. Thankfully though I made it through it, how exactly I cannot explain. One thing that brought my spirits up was this video sent to me from a co-worker of mine. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks Kristel for the monthly reminder...I'll try harder this month please no wrath...I beg of you.

Friday, September 14, 2007


It just dawned on me how little things in life can bring me such happiness. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get inside a women’s heart or at least not mine. Simple things are typically better off than some overly exaggerated thought out gift especially if it goes over my head. Which by the way doesn’t take much…one second I’m right there and the next I’m gone. Poof just like that… seriously it’s like my mind has no control over my selective hearing and concentration.

Last night I had the opportunity to just swing back and relax. Now I know you’re wondering there goes Lauren’s selectiveness and how easy it is to get off track. You see my two closest friends Valerie and Berto bought me a swing set for my 25th birthday. They understand how such a child like gift brings great joy to my life. I light up like a child on Christmas every time I see a swing…I just can’t resist, some odd gravitational force comes over me.

So as I laid on my swing set last night swinging away in pure bliss, I realized how small things can change my mood. When I’m having a bad day or just an average time items like: dark chocolate, light touches (coqitas), naps, sweet gestures, and simple “thinking of you” messages make my day. As I was pondering through the list I noticed my lips started to curl up and form this funny smile. It was as though a puppeteer was pulling on the strings attached to the corners of my lips in order to get me to perform. Ahh…the simplicities of life enough said!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A moment of Fame

Today a star was born. Actually not even close, I had a small moment in the spotlight on television. Now mind you it wasn’t the top network or the hit TV show, but inside my head the paparazzi was out snapping my photo and the crowds where shouting my name. The funny part is I was a mere extra in piece to a puzzle. My school was being recognized for our accomplishments from last year. For which I’m truly thankful for seeing how much weight I lost during the countless hours of running around getting things done, and the sweat poured out trying to make impossible deadlines happen. So to my astonishment we were asked downtown to the school board meeting. It was there where the magic began and my moment of fame took rise. Lights, Camera, Action, and there I was in the background of my students on channel who knows what smiling and shaking hands with school board members. Snap! Just like that I became a star. Interestingly enough like most moments of fame it ends without a minutes warning. It was at the end of the day and I was crossing the street with my fellow colleagues laughing and waving to all the fans while stopping to pose for pictures that I almost got struck by a car. And there it would have been front page news of the Herald “Glory and Tragedy all in one Day.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Time Well Spent

Wow…I finally took some time to unwind today and man, was it needed. It’s the first time in a really long while, if you haven’t noticed by my absence in the blog world. Things have been insanely busy between work and a hundred other activities. As if I don’t have enough on my plate I always seem to add something new. Apparently I’m like a kid in a candy store who thinks everything is appealing and can’t say no.

Thanks to the many talks by Rey and Anne Marie, I have finally been convinced of my madness and how I’m going to burn myself out. Of course in my stubborn mind, I’m thinking I can do anything and I’ll show them how wrong they are (or in Rey’s words: stick it to the man).

I was beginning to look like hells fury had taken over me. So I decided to cancel practice with just one rain cloud lingering overhead and to top if off I left early from work. That rain cloud however, disappeared within an hour. Oh well, it was nice catching up with Anne Marie over a late lunch. I was remembering how much I missed our witty banter. Laughter is absolutely contagious and I can’t get enough of it. You see I’m making a case without even realizing it (and…there’s the point). After an amusing time, we went back to my house to relax and work. Yes! That’s right work. It seems to follows me everywhere, even after I tried to denounce my workaholic tendencies a moment ago. Thankfully we found time to fool around (…that’s what she said) and get things accomplished at the same time. The sad part about today is: that it will be another 6 weeks before I even think about clearing my schedule on a moment’s whim. In the meantime, I will try to update everyone on my many thousands of activities.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Its Over

So its official …summer is over. Sadly it came and went, however I would not take back one moment of this past summer. I truly can’t remember a summer this fun filled and packed at the same time. The friendships I built the places I traveled and the hours of endless laughter will not be forgotten. I just wish summer could be continued onward, although I know it’s not possible, I’m trying to keep the same mentality. Believe me it still shows, my coworkers keep on telling me to snap out of it and get with the program. BUT NO!!! I constantly keep telling myself like a little kid kicking and screaming. It is so cliché but true: time flies when you’re having fun. Why does it take forever when things seem so slow? Can anyone please explain that concept to me?

Just a small glimpse of my summer: First I traveled to Lake Mary, Fl, then to my birthplace Kansas City, Mo. Only to stay home to do laundry to head out for camp in South Carolina, and make it back in town for my 25th birthday. Before I knew I was packing up again for my first missions trip in Guatemala (memorable experience). Just when I thought I was done I left for Ft. Wilderness Orlando for the college retreat.

Between all the city hopping I found time to hangout with friends between birthday parties every week to sleepovers and girl’s night out, I managed to start a brand new relationship which is going really well.

Seeing that this summer is regretfully over, I guess it time to get back into the swing of things. I on the other hand, am not going without a fight. I’m taking kicking and screaming to a whole new level.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Guatemala Missions Trip

Well it’s been a while since I’ve last blogged, but to my defense I was out of the country in Guatemala. I was fortunate enough to be able to serve the Lord overseas in Guatemala City. I had forgotten what it was like to be in a 3rd world country for sometime there. Once I had arrived I was taken back by the poverty level, it reminded me much of some parts of Brazil almost. I was truly amazed by how they functioned on simple things such as traffic. Seriously they have no concept of spotted white lines much less lanes in general. At one point I was sitting at the front of the bus and this monstrosity of a semi was heading right towards us. Of course I was sitting there freaking out and I started to say my Hail Marys' as if I were catholic, anything just to help me get through it. At the last minute and what I really mean is the very last pico second the gigantic semi cut someone off as if nothing had happened. It was at that precise second that I told myself “from here on out I was going to sit in the back of the bus” and boy did I stick to that rule.

While in Guatemala I had the opportunity to work with Shalom Batista putting together a camp for the middle and high school students. Rey and I were mainly in charge of games and outdoor activities for 400 or so teenagers. We had planned a vast array of games to play, however when I first arrived I looked at the field and quickly realized I had to switch to plan xyz and that’s not an exaggeration. Thankfully the Lord understood my frustration and placed wonderful people in my life to help calm me down and me plan. As the week progressed I was able to relate to the kids and form friendships with a few of them. I thought at one point that the language barrier would be difficult but the Lord provided greatly. There was this one moment in which I remembered walking away from Isabel (my new friend pictured below) and saying to Anne Marie “wow I just spoke for 20 mins. in Spanish and she completely understood me.” Of course Anne Marie laughed and encouraged me to continue on.

Now having been back in the states a couple of days now, I've had a chance to reflect on my experiences in Guatemala. I’ve realized how much we take for granted in this country, from clean running water to showing respect to other people. Guatemalans are so appreciative of anything you give them from material items to acts of love. I was in awe of how thankful they were of the Lord even in their poorest of moments. It was marvelous to see small children huddled together praying over each other in their time of need. There is a lot to be learned from the Guatemalan culture that can’t even be explained. As cliché as it may sound, you have to be there to understand and take in the reality of their situation.

Guatemala Missions Photos

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Herding Cattle

On Sunday I leave for Guatemala on a missions trip and I am overly excited to be doing God’s work and serving him in which ever means possible. There is one slight problem however…my passport hasn’t arrived. So, yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn (actually before that) to go downtown to the charming passport agency. This is pretty much how my day went.

5:30am: Woke up after 2 hrs of sleep (not a good idea)

6:00am: Arrived @ the agency only to see a gigantic line had already formed.

6:10am: Parked in the overly priced garage. $2.50 per ¾ hr GREAT!

7:30am: Started conversation with strangers in order to keep my sanity. My ADD had already kicked in. I can only remain quiet for so long and I had surpassed it an hour and 10 mins. before this point.

8:15am: It began to rain-lucky me! So like any smart individual my clan and I (yep..I
had already formed a clan) decided to move forward under shelter. Little did
we know that it was the beginning of the herding process. Apparently our
government thinks of us as flocks. Women- I know what it feels like to be treated
like as a piece of meat. However, there is a whole new meaning to it now. You
don’t know what it's like until you have been herded like a cow at the passport office.

9:03am: The Shepherd arrived to only let us know that he would be handing out numbers. Great, not only were we like sheep, we were numbered sheep... like the ones you count before falling asleep. If we did not receive a number, too bad because the barn can only hold so many. Besides, there would be another herding the following day.

9:15am: After being soaked, burnt by the blazing sun and dying from the humidity, some untamed cows thought it was wise to progress forward and cut others off. But little did
they know that my herd was not going to take it. So I commented and all of a
sudden one of our valiant members took off hurling at the Shepherd to complain. At
that very moment I realized I was the Queen calf. The power was all mine
heheh...(they had no clue what they were in for…such foolish cattle)

9:32am: I became queen Sheep # 81. Yes- I’m in suckers!

*Between 10ish and 12:30pm we were moved from stall to stall and given ridiculous instructions. I have never seen such a clueless shepherd. Between that time I was zoned out wondering what the heck I was doing. Thankfully I had great friends to remind me and get me through it. I am truly glad that the Lord has patience cause I’m sure I tried his last patience.

1:00pm: Anne Marie was a blessing; she brought me food and my sanity back.

2:45pm: My number was finally called and I was 'branded with' ... I mean, given... my passport number. I am now cow number A4187… The barn has never looked so gorgeous.

Guatemala here I come. I just pray that the Lord uses our group to fulfill his plan and that our lives as well as the children’s will be forever changed.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The New Box

So I officially turned 25 this past Wednesday, and boy was that a mission. Seriously I really didn’t want to get out of bed much less move anywhere. It seemed so hard just to put one leg on the ground and move forward. Why is it the BIG 25 and not the BIG 26, or 27? Who in their right mind decided that 25 had to be the big deal? Honestly, now being 25 I get the lovely pleasure of checking off the new box. You know what I mean; that small little square box in which lies your age. Lucky me, 25 gets a whole new little box at the end of the row. Marked 25 and older. How come three days ago I was in the 18-24 box, but now I’m in the 25 to lifetime box?!? What’s that about? Is that society’s way of telling us it's all over from here? If that’s the case, I don’t want to see 30 much less 40 and over the hill.

However, being 25 has had some great moments. I received this awesome gift from Anne Marie “The Wheel of Misfortune.” Basically, I get the enjoyment of spinning the wheel and waiting to see who gets the blessed misfortune of torture from me. I can see it now….Come oooonnn down you are the lucky contestant on the Wheel of Misfortune. And there in the background stand three faint figures: Yannick, Rey, and Anne Marie. Fortunately, there was this odd gravitational spin towards Rey’s space on the wheel for the majority of the evening. I’m sure he was thrilled at the privilege to play the game.

It must have been a great game in order to distract Yannick from his navigating duties, or as I like to call them malfunctions. You see, he insisted that he knew the way to the venue like it was the back of his hand, despite the fact that Anne Marie was holding perfectly fine, clearly legible directions. She had to put the directions away... We found out, however, that he does not spend much time looking at the back of his hand. How you claim to miss an exit while sitting in a car with 6 (that’s right, 6) completely see-through windows is beyond me.

All in all it was a great 25th birthday thanks to the wonderful company of friends, laughter, and witty banter. I will miss the 18-24 box like Yannick missing the exit. Although I'm now in the 25 to eternity box, I’m sure I will find some way of making it more appealing to others. Friends get your pens ready cause I'm moving that quaint little square to the front (aka cool end) of the line.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Girls just wanna have fun

Girls night typically only involves girls. However, when it's my girls night, we invite one eccentric, kinda buff lady. Alex, or as I have begun calling him... Alexa. The night was memorable. I don't know where to begin. For starters, I burned my hand- the welts tell me it is almost a second-degree burn. I had a little Freddy-cougar-hand when I put the goopy burn creme on it. I'm bringing sexy back with that hand. Note to self: when having a tea party, and pouring the tea, a proper lady gets her hand out of the way of the scalding water when she pours from the tea kettle. After the near hospital visit, we moved on to our lady-like version of catch phrase. We 'carried on' while screaming at each other, throwing things, and hurling insults. And Alex really was one of the girls. He is now officially Alexa, I see him in a whole new light. What next? TURKEY BOWLING!!! If you've never stuck your hand inside a turkey, and thrown it down a soapy, watery slip-n-slide towards ten 2-liter bottles, then you haven't lived. Just make sure that your dogs aren't around.
Dogs have this thing for wearing a turkey. I can't get the images out of my mind, of little Coco charging down the slip-n-slide towards the turkey. Forget Cat-Dog. I call her 'Turkey-Dog' now...Good times.
Glennis' granny-bowling