Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend recap to come...

But in the meantime, just know that my heart is extremely full on this Monday.

I sat alone at my house last night reflecting on it all and tears came to my eyes, because:

1. I am just emotional like that.

2. I have the greatest family on the planet.

3. I ate until my heart and tummy were both satisfied.

4. I laughed and cried all at the same time.

5. I have so much to be thankful for.

6. I never in my life thought I'd get emotional over having a hot shower and a warm bed to sleep in after a weekend of camping, ha. Can I get an amen?

7. It truly is about the simple things.

8. I love sitting by a campfire in 30 degree weather while camping.

9. I love s'mores.

10. I loved everything about the weekend.

Seriously, I could go on and on about the thankfulness that flooded my heart over the weekend. Pictures to come, just have to get them uploaded!

Hope everything had a great weekend :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!






But most of ALL, may your Thanksgiving be filled with thanks and so much more!!!! I'll be kind of scarce as of course tomorrow is Thanksgiving and our family will be camping from Friday to Sunday (all 16 of us and 3 dogs), haha!!! I'm looking forward to a weekend of no make-up and caring less what I look like and just simply enjoying being with the ones I love.

And whatever your plans are, enjoy the time with the ones you love and don't forget to give thanks!

Love ya'll!! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weekend pictures!

Wanted to share some pictures with ya'll.

So Saturday night I went to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. I can go see him time and time again and it's like I'm seeing him for the first time all over again. He is amazing. His music is passionate and heart felt and you can tell the pain and healing that is taking place in the life of he and his family.

I had the opportunity to get his CD and WOW, God's handprints are ALL over it. When listening to it, it's not hard to feel connected with him and his family in some small way, but afterall, he had the whole world praying for him.

Enjoy the pictures.

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
came crashing down
Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
and sift through the ashes that are left

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
we have this hope:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning, beauty will rise

So take another breath for now,
and let the tears come washing down,
and if you can't believe I will believe
for you

Cuz I have seen
the signs of spring!
Just watch and see:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning...

I can hear it in the distance
and it's not too far away.
It's the music and the laughter
of a wedding and a feast.
I can almost feel the hand of God
reaching for my face
to wipe the tears away, and say,
"It's time to make everything new."

"Make it all new"

This is our hope.
This is the promise.
This is our hope.
This is the promise.
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that's been made
out of the ashes...
out of the ashes...
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that's been made
out of the ashes...
out of the ashes...

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of this darkness... new life will shine
and we'll know the joy is coming in the morning...
in the will rise!

Oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise

What you don't know was that I went by myself to this concert. So it was like a date night with Jesus. Just felt for some reason that I needed to go alone. So nevertheless, it was a wonderful night of worship!

Oh, and did ya'll notice the orb like circles in my pictures of the concert? I'm hoping the camera was just dirty because it's kind of creeping me out, ha!

So on to Sunday..... Well, you know my BFF Melissa that just got married in Vegas. Well, since everything with the wedding came up so quick, she had a wedding shower this past weekend after the fact. Yeah, I know, a little bit backwards, but oh well...... ha!!

Didn't get a whole lot of pics but here are the few I took.

Have a great day, friends!!! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Do you ever?

Do you ever just wish we could stay in the Thanksgiving and Christmas season all year round?

Do you ever think to yourself, God there's got to be something more?

Do you ever wish you could be taller or skinnier?

Do you ever wish you read the bible more?

Do you ever wish you didn't take things for granted?

Do you ever at times have a problem seeing the glass half empty rather than half full?

Do you ever wish money was no object?

Do you ever wish there was no such thing as student loans?

Do you ever wish credit cards didn't exist?

Do you ever wonder why God gives some people the gifts and talents that cause the world to know their name?

Do you ever wish that exercising wasn't such a struggle?

Do you wish your prayer life could be better?

Do you ever wish that love could conquer the world and put an end to all violence?

Do you ever hate it when you see someone getting treated unfairly?

Do you ever wish you could live in New York City?

Do you ever wish you could just stop wishing and have everything become reality, ha??

Do you ever?

Because I however, do.

What are your "do you ever's"?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My weekend.

How original is that title, right? ha!

It's been a nice weekend!

Friday night was pretty low-key! After work I picked up some Chili's to-go. I'm telling you, I think I have an unhealthy obsession with their chips and queso. No joke, by the end of Saturday, I had all the chips eaten up all on my own, ha. It's one of my favorite things in the world. That and also their southwestern egg rolls, sinfully good.

And then Friday night I got a sweet call from my bloggy friend Shannon. It was such a sweet surprise to hear from her. And it was great talking to each other for the first time. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, the friendships you form through blogging are just amazing. Stop by her blog. She's an army wife and in December she and her husband are moving to Alaska because he is being stationed there. So they'll have lots of adventures to share. Shannon, lets chat again soon, okay?? :)

Saturday was lots of running around. I had shower gifts to pick up and also needed to pick up some things for my sponsor child. I'm going to be sending some things to him around Christmas time. This is what I came up with..

They give you a list of things you can send, but does anyone else have any creative ideas of things I could send for my little boy in the future? I'm not great on the creative front, so thought you might have some ideas. I'm so excited to send it to him. I've shared before but he lives in a community in Kenya severly affected by aids, and so who knows, this might be the only Christmas he gets. And as I was shopping for him, it just kind of put my problems into prospective and no matter what I could get him, it just doesn't seem like enough. Wish I could do so much more.

Then I'm also going to be meeting a blogger friend also named Lauren who is going to be in the Orlando area from Tennessee next month, and picked something up for her little boy Dawson. Lauren, I CANNOT wait to meet ya'll and hug your neck.

The best part of yesterday, the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. So did not disappoint. Seriously, the heart in his music is incredible. I love seeing him in concert, it's so pure and God just shows up in an incredible way. Hearing him speak of the testimony he and his family have lived through the last year and a half gives me so much hope. Hope that no matter what I might face in life, I will get through it, and that "BEAUTY WILL RISE" out of the ashes in our life. Which just happens to be the title to his new CD. GO GET IT!!!! It was an incredible night but I'll have to share pictures with you sometime during the week, because those pictures are on a different camera and don't have the cord with me to get the pictures on the computer. Rebecca Jo I thought of you the whole time, ha. So on the way to the concert I happened to think that my friend Carrie might be there and texted her and she was there, but we didn't get to end up connecting till after the concert and I ended up going to Steak N' Shake at like 11:00pm at night with her and her friend Paul. It was fun, and I'm not ashamed to say I had a burger and cheese fries at 11:00pm. Call it a midnight snack if you will, ha! It was a fun, pleasant end to the evening. I was bummed though because I didn't get any pictures! :(

So that brings us to this morning.... where I should be getting ready to head to a bridal shower at 1:30pm...... but I must admit, I've been starting on my Christmas cards, hahaha....

The post office loves me this time of year! Ha! So if you want a card, let me know, LOL! I seriously send so many out, it takes me forever, so I gotta start early.

Tis' the season to be jolly!! :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Running on empty (literally).

Exhibit A:

I can either be ashamed of this because it means I'm L.A.Z.Y


I can be proud because I'm trying to squeeze every last bit of gas I can.

I'll go with the second.

If you look closely enough, it says 8 miles until E.


Don't we often times feel like we're running on empty?

By Friday, alot of us feel like that. I know this week I especially am.

Have a good weekend and go fill up your tank...

That's exactly what I'll be doing. Not only that, but my car kind of depends on it, ha!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beating the odds, once again!

Or so I hope!

I have grown up going from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment. I have dealt with certain health issues all my life, so it’s nothing new to me. And going into adulthood, it's like a part of my childhood is still with me. Particularly pertaining to my ears and my hearing.

I have significant hearing loss in both ears. For the last few months it’s been in the works for me to undergo another surgery. I had another doctor’s appointment yesterday where I was able to talk with the doctor more. The surgery most likely won’t be until January, a slight possibility maybe December, but not holding out on that. There are two different scenarios that could play out, and both will require surgery. I am just really praying for wisdom right now as to which route would be best for me right now to get through school, and ultimately will be best for me long term.

I was speaking with someone yesterday and for the first time I heard someone actually call this a disability. And that’s completely fine because for most people it is but it was kind of funny because I’ve never once thought of this as a disability because I’ve never allowed this to define who I am and what I’m capable of doing. I've dealt with this my whole life and I'm pretty much faced with this for the duration. I can pretty much catch whatever is thrown at me and I've beat the odds so many times.

All this is extremely important as to my future and the career I’m going into. So everything is kind of uncertain right now, which can be scary. I truly don't see God allowing me to invest almost 4 years of my life into school if this wasn't the route I'm to take, but you know what, even if that's the case then it was for a reason... he can switch this up on me at any time, it's not up to me. So only time will tell.

I don’t always understand why I wasn’t given perfect hearing, and why I miss out on so much going on in the world around me, but it’s a testimony in itself that I’ve managed to get so far in school and in life, all the while having to contend with this. So within the next couple of months have some decisions to make, and I may not have the best hearing, but one thing that's always loud and clear to me is that still small voice that reminds me, you will beat the odds, once again.

So let this be of encouragement to those of you that might be facing a circumstance whether it be health wise or whatever the case maybe. It doesn’t define who you are, but is a part of who you are.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sexiest Man of the Year???

Okay, I have important things to discuss with you today...

Sexiest man????

I'm sorry People Magazine, but I can count more people than my fingers would allow that are sexier then Johnny Depp.

Anyone agree with me here?

Who would your pick be???

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I love.....

• I love waking up to crisp fall mornings.
• I love going straight to reading the “Thank You’s” when I open up a new CD.
• I love my car rides going to and from school. It's "me" time.
• I love the month of November.
• I love Christmas music.
• I love buying at Christmas time for others.
• I love the Sensual Amber scent from Bath and Body Works.
• I love to still watch Beverly Hills 90210 (the original) on Saturdays.
• I love knowing that in 92 days I will be going to Nashville.
• I love avocados with mayonnaise and garlic salt (try it, you won’t be sorry).
• I love my hair straightener and don’t think I could live without it.
• I love how my BFF always emails me a thought for the week each week. Makes me :)
• I love Sundays. Something so peaceful about them.
• I love sushi and could eat it EVERY day of the week.
• I love Lady Antebellum and I so want to get their CD.
• I love that in 17 days we’ll be having our office Christmas luncheon.
• I love camping and our family is going the weekend of Thanksgiving.
• I love Steven Curtis Chapman and will see him in concert this Saturday.
• I love bridal showers and will be going to one this weekend.
• I love the fact that I’m alive to love all this stuff.

Just some of the stuff I love today!! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The greatest things in life aren't things!

Don't you just love it when you experience something or you have an "a-ha" moment and you can just see a blog post forming in your head, haha!

I think most of you, along with myself, when you drop your new cell phone on concrete for the first time, you just want to cry.

Why is that?

Because in reality it’s pretty silly, it’s just a phone. In most cases it doesn’t keep the phone from working, it still serves its purpose. But now, it’s just a little bruised up.

But it’s in our human nature to want to keep the phone looking perfect and looking unscathed, but it’s pretty much not possible. And frankly, when you think about it, life is not perfect and we don’t leave this life unscathed.

So it happened to me yesterday. I dropped my perfect looking Blackberry on the ground and now it has some battle wounds. I seriously wanted to cry and take a deep breath (might sound silly), and just had to remind myself, Lauren…. It’s just a phone.

Why do we hold so tightly to material things?

Because if all these material things were taken away, one of life’s greatest lessons would still remain… “The greatest things in life aren’t things.”

So everytime I look at my phone I think I can be reminded of that lesson, and be reminded that these battle wounds are nothing compared to those battle wounds that Jesus sacrificed for us.

And all this can be learned from a cell phone, who knew???

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your love is deep!

Have you ever thought of the depth of God’s love for you? Just how deep it runs, and just how wide it really is?

Yesterday I came to work to find out that our regular mail man here at the office committed suicide by hanging himself. What makes it even sadder is it's one of the father’s of a girl I went to school with and I’ve even stayed over at their house before. We were more friends in middle school than high school. I can’t even imagine the depths of their grief.

Please pray for his family!

I can’t imagine getting to such a dark place such as that where I felt that was the only means of escape. There’s a story behind why he did what he did, and every single one of us goes through hard times but it’s such a completely selfish thing to do when you think of the people you leave behind.

He was such an extremely nice guy and it’s weird to think we won’t see him coming through our office anymore. It got me to think that maybe, just maybe one smile or just one simple word of encouragement could have kept him from doing this.
I can’t even imagine the sense of hopelessness he must have felt to even contemplate doing this. I’m 100% certain that it was a hopelessness that could have been overcome by the love of the Lord if only he had known the depth and width of God’s love for him.

If you need to be reminded today of just how deep his love runs, please check this video out. It's a very sweet reminder!!!

Turn the volume down on my music on the blog, and take a minute to listen.

And please, give someone that smile or word of encourgement, because you never know who just might need it!

Jesus, your love is deep, and I want to drown in it forever and ever!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carrie Underwood vs. Taylor Swift

I posed this question yesterday and wanted to ask.....

If you had to choose...

Would it be:





There's no denying that Carrie has an amazing voice. But I've always gotten the vibe from her that she's very diva-like. I know it's horrible because I'm making a preconceived notion of her without ever having met her. And then I watched an interview this week where Robin Roberts was interviewing her and I saw a softer side to her.

Then there's Taylor. She writes amazing music, but doesn't have the voice that Carrie does. Is it her humbleness that draws people to her? Because that's something I've always noticed. She's very humble. I'm so amazed at the age of 19 how much she has accomplished.

And for her to win Entertainer of the Year last night at the CMA's was an amazing thing, but don't know if she is quite ready for that yet. And personally, I think Carrie should have won Female Vocalist of the year. As much as I love Taylor Swift, I just think some great talent, such as Carrie Underwood, are getting overshadowed. Or maybe not, but what do you think? What do you think it is about Taylor that has skyrocketed her to her success??

It boils down to talent, and lets face it, Carrie has got the vocals!

Has anyone gotten Carrie's new CD? I haven't yet gotten it, but want to. Her song on there called "Temporary Home" is amazing.

Anyhow, so who would your pick be and why???

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The rest of the weekend pictures!!

First, I have to say thank you for your sweet comments yesterday. There’s such a huge support system that people would just not even begin to understand unless they were in the bloggy world. Love ya’ll :)

As promised, here are the rest of the weekend pictures!

There is a funny story behind this picture. This guy sat next to us on the plane from Orlando to Dallas. Very nice but unfortunately was already married and had kids, ha. And he had the pictures to prove it or I would have called him a liar. And then ironically once in Dallas his seat got changed and he landed right next to us again. So I had to get a picture. And this is the kind of picture you take when you have just one margarita in the airport, ha!

The view from the hotel room. We stayed at the Luxor (the hotel shaped like a pyramid).

The bride getting manicure and pedicure!

View of the city from the top of the Stratosphere (a highrise building where we were getting the nais and feet done).

Then Cathy and I rode this ride that's on top of the Stratosphere. It hangs you over the whole city. Pretty amazing view. I got this picture online! It was so fun!

Time to get ready!

I cannot believe I'm showing ya'll this picture, but this is me just keeping it real, haha!

Her amazing shoes. Thought it tied in great with the red roses!

Not the best picture, but inside the chapel.

Beautiful cake and cookies with their initials and date on them.

Yummy steak!!

Beautiful sunrise as we were heading to the airport Sunday morning!

Waiting at the Las Vegas airport! Ha!

Amazing view of the snow capped mountains when flying into Denver Colorado.

Soooo, there ya have it. My Vegas weekend. Sorry for the picture overload :)