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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

did you see this?!?

did you see? last night on So You Think You Can Dance?!


melanie and neil. melanie is my fave this season. neil is one of my all time faves. she's amazing. he's amazing. together they are really amazing. (he's not so bad without his shirt on either, huh? you're welcome for that.)

oh! and then melanie and sasha closed out the night with this brilliant routine.

if you didn't see it, now you have.
loved it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

friday night

oh just a completely normal friday night now that i live in texas.

and i'm ok with it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Too much stuff

Upon arriving to Tejas with boxes and boxes full of my stuff, it became immediately apparent that there was serious work to be done here. Moving all these things into a room already full of more things...a bit problematic.

These are just a few particularly humorous things I've found during the massive clean-out I'm doing to my room at my parents house...

I don't even know what to say about these things. Can I blame my mom for keeping them? No? Ok. Then I can only ask that you please don't judge too hard.

Longhorn Notebooks
I used one of these to take notes in almost every semester in college. (what? necessary.) When mom packed up my stuff in Austin after I left for NY, guess she brought these with her.

And now here they are, 5 years post-undergrad, juuuust taking up space. Her excuse? "What if you need them?" Aww, that's cute mom.

Princess Shoes + Tiara(s)
Both worn at Senior Prom. There were also no less than 3 (that's right, THREE) different tiaras located around my bedroom. Who am I?!? Ok, now I'm judging me.

Tiara #1 - I think it was from a birthday party...

Tiara #2 - Worn by a teddy bear?

Tiara #3 - Halloween, of course. (there's also a wand...) Now modeled by Bunny.


Turns out, being super-princessy is quite convenient when your equally princessy 3-year-old niece comes over to spend the night. Don't you think? :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today's Tale: So Graceful

So about walking. Apparently after a few weeks in Texas, I'm a bit out of practice.

Walking back from a morning iced coffee run to Whole Foods with Lindsey yesterday morning, the following took place - as if in slow motion...

Mid-conversation with Linds.
One last step to go on a seemingly normal, but really quite tricky, set of concrete stairs.
Complete misstep down the last step.
Immediately hit my knees. Hands following.
No coffee was lost in this tragedy. No sunglasses broken. No wallet dropped.
I'm a pro-faller.
Lindsey: OH! LAUREN!!!
LJ: (from the ground) ummm....shit.
LJ: Ohmygosh. I'm fine. Just...maybe...a little bit bloody.
Lindsey: Oh it's fine! You can't even tell!
Lies, Linds. Lies. But I love you for trying to make it better.

Upon further investigation, it appeared that my knees were in pretty bad shape. Yes, knees. As in, both of them.

This incident was followed by a few hours of meetings and one particularly uncomfortable agency-wide gathering where I stood for 30 minutes, leaning against the closest wall, with stinging knees thinking..."I'm bleeding at this stairwell meeting with everyone in the damn agency standing here..."

Finally, my gashed up knees stopped bleeding. Then I texted mom...

"Today's casualties."

She was not amused. My phone rang immediately for an explanation. Oops.

Later, while sitting next to a co-worker.
He pointed at my knees "Ummm....?"
My response, "Oh yeahhhh, it's terribly embarrassing. I fell walking back from Whole Foods."
Him, "Today?!?"
"Yes, this morning. It hurts."
And then a gchat convo with Les...
LJ: I was going to hit the gym...but miiiight have fallen on the stairs today and messed up my knees pretty bad. So wanna see Horrible Bosses instead?
Les: WHAT? Ohmigosh Lauren...
LJ: Yeaaaaah. I'm so graceful.
Les: You fell down the stairs today and I got a speeding ticket. good day all in all I'd say
LJ: Oh good. We're quite the pair.
I am so cool.
27 years old with gashed up knees...because I fell down the stairs.
They'll be torn up this way for at least another month.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I really love my mom

True or not true: I am the worst daughter of all time. Here are the facts. You decide for yourself.

My mom --
who I adore,
who has been not so patiently patiently awaiting my return to the Lone Star State for 5 years,
who didn't really think she'd be able to make the trip to help me pack up my apartment,
who caved and bought a buddy pass from our wonderful friend, Shirley, once she heard how disappointed I was, so that she could come help her daughter move,
she is my hero.

Mom flew standby to NYC on a Tuesday. Armed with bubble wrap, heavy duty packing tape and an empty suitcase.

She carried boxes from 81st Street to 89th Street while I was at work. Because I surely hadn't started packing. Or taking anything off the walls.

She carefully packed my life into 8 massive 75lb boxes on a Wednesday. While I was again at work.

She handled...well...she dealt with my 2 week countdown freak out(s).

She took a Thursday Riverside Park walk up to see Grant's Tomb (which was very cool). She met me for lunch in SoHo. She saw my view of the Hudson River. She met my friends from work who I talk so much about.

She graciously reminded me (and my friends...) that this was in fact the SECOND time that she had packed up my life for me. Turns out, when I swiftly left Austin in pursuit of this New York dream after graduation, she and Daddy packed up my Austin apartment and drove all my things back to Dallas that June. I'd kind of forgotten that. Oops.

She went with my guy-with-a-van to FedEx where she shipped all my boxes / my life back to Texas on a Friday. Then she got lost wandering around Central Park. (bahahaha!!)

She went to the airport on a Saturday with 3 very heavy suitcases packed full of my things in tow. And then had to come back to my apartment 5 hours later when there were no flights out of LGA. Sans suitcases, thankfully. She came to my birthday party with all my New York friends.

She went back to the airport veeeeery early on a Sunday. Where she sat for several hours with no way out. She flew to DC. Sat several more hours. Then thankfully to Memphis. Then finally home to Dallas. Where she was exhausted and probably glad to be rid of me and my messiness.

In return, I gave her a gift card to Starbucks for all her morning coffees, paid for every meal I could and bought us tickets for one last Broadway musical.

Oh. And I came back to Texas.
Fair trade, no?

Love you much Mommy!
You're absolutely the best. And I just don't know what I would have done without you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

I think Friday Night Lights might be my favorite show on TV.
I love Texas high school football. I love Coach Taylor. I love Tim Riggins. And Matty Saracen - aka QB1.

And I'm completely devastated that last Friday was the series finale. I won't lie, I cried through most of it. Don't judge me.

I'll miss Coach T and his weekly words of wisdom. Good thing I own Seasons 1 & 2 and believe I will be purchasing the remaining seasons quite soon.

For now I leave you with this farewell promo, sending the boys out in style...

Friday, July 15, 2011


Chaos. That's how my life felt as soon as I arrived in Texas 12 days ago. Absolutely chaotic.

Not surprisingly, things are a little messy right now. That's all. But I'm figuring it out. Slowly.

Everything here is familiar and comforting in so many ways. This is the house I grew up in. These are the streets I've driven down a million and a half times. These are all my things and this is my room.

But so much has changed. I am not 18 anymore. I haven't lived in this house, in this town, with these people, or this close to my family, in almost 9 years. But now I do.

Exciting? Yes. Disconcerting? Quite.

In the midst of all this Texas-style change, I feel a little bit lost. Like I've left a huge piece of my grown-up self in New York. With my old life. But this is Texas. This is home. And it's familiar and strange all at the same time right now.

And that juxtaposition is kinda messing with me. But I'm adjusting.

Once I get rid of all these boxes and find a way to bring some of my New York self into this room and into the new life I'm building here, I know it will be less messy.

And I'll be back to my normal cheery bloggies very soon.
Until then, hold tight. I'm adjusting.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Exit Strategy

I have one day left in New York as I write this.

Only one day. And I'm an emotional mess. Not so much because I'm sad (although I am...very). But mostly because I'm so incredibly blessed by the life that I've had here.

I've decided there is no exit strategy for New York.

How do you leave this city? Where everything is crazy fast, where there are always a million things to do, places to see, adventures to have? A city that never fails to keep surprising you? This city pulls you in. Opens your eyes. Changes you.

I love New York City. I love the life I've been blessed with here. And oh, have I been blessed.

By some provision of the Lord, this urban world a thousand miles away and a thousand times different from where I grew up has been my home. It's a world where I'm comfortable, where I threw myself into unknown and ended up finding so much more than I imagined for myself.

So while there is no "good" exit strategy for leaving this city, here's mine:
I'm taking a chance. Just like I did when I moved here. I'm daring to imagine a different life for myself. I'm taking a leap...and hoping with everything I have that I find new footing.

If I've learned anything in these past 5 years, it's to let God be God, to accept that his timing is perfect. And trust that He has great things in store for me. So I'm trusting. Even though I'm scared and seasons of change are hard.

After 5 unforgettable New York City years, I'm embracing this change and looking towards a new chapter in my life. I'm letting go of the familiar, of the big kid life I know and love, and hoping for something different.

And in my time here, my only hope is that I've influenced someone. I hope that I've been a light. I hope I've been an example and I hope that I've made a difference.

Tomorrow -- I'm Texas bound from LGA. One more time.