- each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, with the fresh yes of an adventurer -

Monday, November 29, 2010

What is it about November?

I remember everything about last November. It wore me out. Literally.

Last November was the month I committed to participate in National Blog Posting Month. Affectionately referred to as NABLOPOMO. 30 posts in 30 days. Whew, success! And let’s be honest, a lil stressy.

Last November was also when Jamie left New York. It was the month I spent saying goodbye to one of my very best friends. And it was rough on me. I blogged about it here. She blogged it here, here and most recently, here.

Now she’s been gone for an entire year. I feel mixed emotions. Like...She just left, surely it can't have been a year already! Then...She's been gone for forever, so much has changed! And I still miss my friend every day.

If you ask me, that's enough to deal with this November. But no no. This November has more plans to mess with me.

This November I find myself saying goodbye again. This time to another New York bestie. Hey November, cut it out.

Y’all know my friend / partner in crime, Angie. I met her a few months after moving to the City at the end of the summer in 2006. She was in my very first small group at Gallery Church. She had a knack for telling stories that made you double over in laughter. She came to NYC from Florida via a short stint in Atlanta. She was a Florida Gator with a ridiculous amount of school pride. Even if it was the ugly orange. We were immediate friends.

Angie has a slight addiction to traveling. She hooked us up with an awesome Spring Break ’07 cruise to nowhere – arguably one of my favorite memories of my new life in New York. We did the Bahamas in style. She was a finalist for Australia’s Best Job in the World contest. We’ve gotten into all kinds of trouble all over Manhattan (and Hoboken). She celebrates her birthday like no one else I know…as chronicled here -- 25th Marathon Bday Bash, 27th Adventures in Atlantic City, 28th Karaoke Queens and most recently 29th Gleek Out.

Angie’s a mess. Together we are a hot mess. She insists that I have a cartoon voice and does (what she claims to be…) a spot-on impression of me. She was one of my bloggy mentors when I decided to start blogging…she even helped with my bloggy name. (“If I were naming your blog, I’d call it La La La Lauren…and I’m smart too!”) She has been one of my very best friends for over 4 years. She’s one of my New York ‘people.’ She gets me. And now she’s leaving me.

Granted, Angie’s reasons for leaving the City are probably not what you think. She’s not leaving New York to move to a different city or start a new job. She is off to travel the world in her 29th year. This comes as no surprise I guess. But still. She’s leaving. Packing up, selling everything she can’t take with her and heading off on a year-long round-the-world adventure. And after a year, who knows where she’ll end up.

I’m really proud of her for being so brave. For really following her dreams. For doing what everyone said she’d never really do. That takes serious independence, serious determination and serious guts.

Maybe living in New York, I should get used to saying goodbye. It is such a transient city after all. But you know what? I don’t think you get used to saying goodbye to your ‘people.’ Saying goodbye is pretty tough.

I’m gonna miss this girl like crazy.

(Sorry Ange, I know you don’t do sentimental. But it had to be said. Just deal.)

And I leave you with a recent conversation on our last Sunday night dinner date…

BAA: LJ! What are you going to do when I’m gone?!? You’re going to run amuck without me here!!
LJ: Oh puh-leez! Allow me to remind you that most of the muckiness I get into has been WITH YOU my friend!
BAA: Well. Alright. Touché.

Love you Ange. I’m excited for your adventures. But me and November are now fighting, and I refuse to say goodbye again this month. So I’ll just see you soon. Sound good? Perhaps in Oz!

p.s. I guess you can follow Angie on her adventures at her new Angie Away website if you'd like. Since she really does appear to be leaving, in 4 short days...and I'm clearly in denial.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I considered not going to Texas for Thanksgiving this year.

There were so many reasons not to. Plane tickets were ridiculously expensive. I was there in July for serious family time. And again in September for Julia & Seaver’s wedding. Work was busy. Everyone was going to be at my Aunt & Uncle’s house, not Mom & Dad’s. Bethany was staying in New York and always hosts a lovely ‘Friendsgiving.’ And roomie Lindsay Ann would be around to play. I mean, I can be just as thankful in New York as I would be in Texas. Right?

I was indecisive about booking the flight. Mom told me it would be ok if I didn’t come back this year. (“but you did get that promotion…” she reminds me as I’m complaining about the cost.) I know she’s just saying that to make me feel better. Like the decision is mine and she’s really fine with whatever I decide. But she doesn’t fool me. I know her too well.

In her last attempt to help me decide (read: see things her way) she says, “I just…I just think you will be sad when it’s Thanksgiving and you aren’t here with us.” I know, I know Mom. And then I booked the flight.

Now that it’s the week of Thanksgiving, you know what? I would be really sad if I weren’t here. Not that Thanksgiving with friends in New York wouldn’t be delightful. But it just wouldn’t be the same as here. The way it’s always been. With my whole family. And potato casserole. And pumpkin pie (even if I make it because I’m the only one who will eat it).

I think I love the holidays so much because I get to spend them with my parents, my sister & Keith, my brother & sister-in-law, niece, aunts, uncles and cousins. Because of the traditions we have and the things we all look forward to. It’s all kinda great. And living so far away, the holidays are a time when I can look forward to us all being together. And we’ll laugh and play dominoes, run around with the babies and watch football. It's a nice reminder of where I came from, how we're all growing up, how much has changed and the things that don't seem to change much at all.

I love the holidays. And I love my family. And I love Texas. I'm thankful that I'm able to be here with them this week. Thankful for all the holiday memories I have here and how happy it makes me to come back, let life slow down a bit and spend time with the people I love.

A little Texas Thanksgiving perspective. That's all.

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!

"It’s slow and it’s small and it’s life at a crawl. But it’s everything I miss.”
~The Things We Forget, Mark Willis

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random, but not really.

Only two things today, because I only have two photos!
And they have nothing to do with each other. But that's ok. Because I wanted to share them.

One. This was the prettiest latte I have ever enjoyed. It's from Grumpy's, a cutie coffee shop in Chelsea. I'm not sure if it was the pretty latte or the pretty company of Bethany, but either way, Grumpy's was a Sunday afternoon delight.

Two. This lil note. Also from Bethany. I found it when I was switching my wallet out for the weekend. (Yes, I switch wallets...smaller ones go better with smaller bags!) She always knows how to make me smile.

Thanks B! Love!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flea Market Finds

I'm really excited about my latest Flea Market purchase. It's for my room. And it's pretty.

I have now lived in my new apartment at 9A for approximately 5.5 months. And I'm perfectly aware that I haven't blogged any pictures of our fantastic new space. Or my fantastic new rommates. Mostly it's because I'm a procrastinator. But also because I hadn't finished my room yet. And I couldn't possibly share pics of a partially-finished room with you!

You see, there is this one tricky wall. A really tricky wall that I just couldn't fill with anything I owned prior to moving into 9A. It's a slanted wall and it's big. High ceilings, no furniture to break it up. Tricky tricky. So I've been on a mission. For the past few months. A mission to find the perfect art for this tricky wall.

And then a few weeks ago at the 79th and Columbus Flea Market, success! Finally!

My friend Susan helped me pick out these pretty pretty decorative old tins.

My mom has something similar in her guest bedroom that she and my Grandad found at First Monday - they are the real treasure hunters in the family. But Mom's haven't been painted or mounted on wood for easy hanging. I love these because they have a distinctive antique-y charm mixed with a lil modern flair from the paint. And I really love the combination of different patterns in the tin.

They are so very "Me" and fit perfectly in my pretty new room. Promise I'll post more pictures of my whole apartment soon. But for now, here's how this tricky tricky wall turned out.

I love it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New York Marathoning

This is my friend and 3x NYC Marathoner, Michelle. That's right. A 3x runner! With 3 of these NYC medals!

After boozy brunching like a pro on Saturday morning, I asked her..."will you just wake up tomorrow and say, 'Hey, I think I'll run 26 miles today'?" This was the least she's ever trained for the Marathon and she was a lil worried she wouldn't do as well as last year. But coincidentally this was also her BEST time in 3 years at 4:34. Yeah, 4 & 1/2 straight hours of running. Just under an 11 minutes per mile. She's either crazy or kinda awesome. Maybe a lil bit of both. :)

I love the New York Marathon. You know this already of course, because I blogged about how much I loved it last year.

This year I watched for a few minutes on 1st Ave after brunching with Susan on the UES. And then we met friends in the park around mile 24. We had a good spot on the sidelines, at the top of a hill so we could see the runners headed our way. I sadly must have juuuust missed Michelle, but we did see Subway Jared!

I love standing in the park with masses of other cheering New Yorkers. Hearing about 4 different languages around me. Watching hundreds of people run past us. All with determination on their faces. All with the same goal in mind. It's really incredible. And I always cry. I just can't help it!

By the end of the day, we'd walked all the way across Manhattan. From 1st Ave, through the park where we watched the runners, to the finish line to find Michelle, and back to 9A with tired feet and wind blown cheeks. I mean, if we were this worn out after WATCHING the Marathon, I really can't imagine how all those runners must feel...

lj: See...it just looks like it hurts.
susan: HAHAHA! Can I quote you on that?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Few Questions

Today's blog post brought to you by my friend Jamie who tagged me in a blog quiz!

The rules: Answer Jamie's questions below and pass along to a few of my bloggy buds to continue the fun. Let's do it!

1) Describe your dream job.
I've always wanted to be an Event Planner. Because I like pretty things and creativity and spending other people's money. :) I also like the Longhorns. So maybe can I combine these and plan events for the Longhorn athletic department?

Or I'd write for this blog. Southern Weddings. Because I love it.

2) What is your favorite thing about your childhood?
Growing up in our small-ish suburb where I knew everyone, everyone knew me and my family. Where we rode our bikes to our friends houses and played outside til the street lamps came on and it was time to go home. Where my dad coached our basketball team and everything was easy. Confession: I grew up in a bubble and I loved it.

3) What is the best concert you've ever been to?
Oh this is a toss up. I've been to a lot of really really fantastic concerts. And I usually love every single one. So, since I have to make a decision, I'm going to go with the totally predictable Taylor Swift concert last May. Or maybe it was Jay-Z this summer....Or Andrew Belle and Tyrone Wells because it was so small and amazing...Or 1 of the 4 Kenny Chesney concerts I've been to...Oh! Or Texas Independence Day at Terminal V! Right. See? I'm bad at decisions.

4) What is your favorite book and why?
Hey J, can this be book(S) plural?? My faves are the Harry Potter series. Because it's SUCH a creative story with surprisingly detailed plots and twists that I can read over and over and over again and never get tired of.

5) If you could relive one day of your life, which day would you choose?
This is a tough one. I think I would relive a bad day that wore me down and I said things I didn't mean...and I'd do things a lil bit differently the 2nd time around.

6) What quality do you value most in a friend?
Making me laugh when all I want to do is cry.

7) In exactly 8 words, describe your week.
Bible Study, Taco Tuesday, Drinks, Work Late, Weekend!

Now, I tag five bloggy friends to do my new quiz below! 1-2-3 GO!

Hannah - Hannah Kate
Krista - Manhattan Musings
Angie - Big Apple Angie
Julia - Texas Casual
Jenna - A New Chapter

1) If you were a color, what would you be and why?
2) What's your guilty pleasure?
3) If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?
4) What's your favorite time of year and why?
5) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go first?
6) What's your biggest pet peeve?
7) In exactly 8 words, describe your week.

And here are some of my other buddies that Jamie tagged to play...
Elizabeth - the words that carry the hope
Rachel - The Only Living Girl in New York City
Regina - Gears Turning
Bethany - Painting the Town Pink (IF she chooses to end her bloggy hiatus! :) )