Tag Archives: family

Sitting in a parking lot

And I have come to realize that my sister and I could put on some pretty spectacular Broadway musicals, however we would need some more family-friendly tunes. Currently in our go-to musical vault:

1. “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent

Yeah, let’s just call this one what it is: The Lesbian Song. It’s great and all, but I would just feel wrong asking my own sister if she “wants her girl hot.” I mean, in front of an audience. We sing this I’m the car allll the time.

2. “Light My Candle” from Rent

This one is slightly better but again, wickedly inappropriate–especially if my grandma comes to the show. I don’t do drugs literally or figuratively, and my sister complimenting my ass while I search the floor for my stash would only lead to awkward family moments later down the road.

3. “What Could be Better” from BABY

Yeah, so if you haven’t heard this song WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY DO YOU HATE THEATER? Go listen to it now; this blog will be here when you return.

Now that your back you can understand my dilemma with this wonderful tune. Sure it is catchy, but singing about the detailed process of a sperm traveling towards an egg is not something I would like to sing in detail to all of those fathers out there in le audience. (Hi dad!!! Hope you’ve stopped reading this by now!)

4. Anything from Avenue Q

It’s Avenue Q. They have a song titled “The Internet is for Porn.” Enough said.




Despite of these songs (which we would rock, by the way), I’m fairly sure no matter what we sang we would bring the house down. In tears. And tears because we are good.

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Ohhhhhh Mexico.

So it is currently 12:40something in the morning and I simply can’t fall asleep. I have no idea why, well maybe I do but it isn’t important. I’ve been missing my travels today; especially England. I’ll do or say something and it will take me right back to 2008 and I will get intensely sad and then I just tell myself to get over it. But rather than bore you with a post on that, I set a challenge for myself: to choose seven pictures of somewhere I’ve been and post them here.

A couple of years ago my family went on a cruise to Mexico. I chose seven of my favorite pictures that I took, and I’m going to post them below. Please note: all of these images are my own personal images. I took all of them and they have only been slightly edited (in terms of sharpness, etc.)

In case you are wondering, I shoot my pictures with an SLR Nikon D60. I have two lenses I use: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor and 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIkkor. To see the full set of pictures, here is a link to my never updated flikr.

Click on any image below for a larger view.

A Mexican Sunset

Contrasting Skies




A giant chess board in the middle of the ship

My horse Captain

My brother, the giant


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Grocery Store Antics.

Me: “I need to go to the pen section.”

Mother: “Like the writing pen section?”

Me: “No. Like the William Penn section.”

Mother: “You’re an asshole.”

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Oh wait, no he didn’t.

For my seminar class I had to write a “Where I’m From” poem. This was mine. Please do enjoy.

Where I’m From

I am from the pages of a good book, from U-Haul and homemade Christmas tree ornaments.

I am from the empty cardboard boxes lining the hallway

Easily becoming rocket ships,

Blasting off into unknown parts of space.

I am from the Magnolia trees extending towards the sky, the Hydrangeas that kept the bees buzzing.

I am from tacos on Christmas Eve and dependability from Tammy Faye and Jimbo and Sara and The Chuckster.

I am from really loud laughter and funny faces, from “it is what it is” and “cowboy up.”

I am from church on Sunday and baptism, praying in school and not caring who saw.

I’m from everywhere and nowhere and I’m from the South, from freshly made biscuits and homemade grits.

From the time Chuck bought onions—oh wait, no he didn’t— New Years Eve at Disney World (never again), and that time she left her purse in Ohio.

I am from the photo albums that line pops’ walls, baby pictures in totes, boxes in the garage, and cats running about the house. From letting me recite Shakespeare endlessly, watching movies, telling jokes and stories, and always providing me with a reason to go home.


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Happy Birthday to my wonderful father! Today he is FIFTY YEARS OLD! OH MY GOSH!

This is my father, Jimmy Wally.

JW is a lovely father because he lets me travel all over the world.

And he moves me out of my dorm. And then back into my dorm. And then home. And then to my apartment, all without complaining.

And he is awesome because he participates in competitions at baseball games.

And wins them.

And he doesn’t mind when I talk in a British accent.

And because he quotes movies like The Shawshank Redemption and Remember the Titans and O Brother Where Art Thou.

And he read Harry Potter because I told him he needed to. And he liked it!

And he refers to/quotes Harry Potter frequently.

And he lets me take a bunch of pictures of us on a plane.

And because he lets me audit literature classes even though he has to pay for them.

And he always shows me how to get to the high schools I have to intern at.

And he loves my mom.

And he drives me to Philly so I can meet John Green.

And because he actually listens to John Green’s speech.

And he lets me live in an apartment instead of at home, even though it would be easier if I lived at home.

And he wears cowboy hats.

And he tells awesome jokes.

And lets me take pictures of us over and over again until I get one I like.

And he prints out an entire French verb list (that is over 100 pages) because I ask him.

And he holds my food so I can take a picture of it with him.

I love you daddy-o! Happy Birthday and Happy BEDA!


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Giving Thanks

Over my Thanksgiving break I was in South Carolina, and had no Internet. That is why I have been absent my darling followers! Anyway, even though it is way late, I am still going to make a thankful list. As you write your Christmas lists and get ready for the holiday, I think it is important to remember what you said you were thankful for not even a week ago. So, in no particular order, here is what I’m thankful for:

My mom and dad (in balloon form… he couldn’t make it to Thanksgiving) who let me do crazy things like live in England and travel to France and New Zealand:

My crazy family because they make life interesting:

My brother because he is one of my best friends:

My sister because she is so funny:

My grandparents because they are so amazingly awesome it is unreal:

Making silly faces:

Christmas lights in my dorm room:

Fall festivals:

The beautiful nature that surrounds me:

The wonderful opportunities I have had traveling:

And my AMAZING camera that let me take so many beautiful picture of my beautiful family:

I thankful for so, so, so much more than what is listed above, but these are what I am especially thankful for at this moment in time. I hope everyone had a fantastic thanksgiving!

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Oh How I Loath Group Projects.

Sometimes when I sit down to write blogs, I get very distracted. It starts with checking my email which has some word in it that reminds me of a song. Then I have to listen to that song, so I go to iTunes and find it, play it. But when I am searching for it I come across another song I want to listen to, so I must sit there for about ten minutes trying to decide which song to play, even though I could have probably listened to them both about four times. I go back to my webmail which reminds me to check my grade for my latest paper. Then I get a twitter notification and I have to check that and it is 11 Points saying he has crafted yet another awesome list that I must read, so I go read that. Then I check facebook, like I do every other second, then I go and check my webmail again. Why? I don’t know. I just always check it after facebook for some random reason. Then I sit and try really hard to think of what I was doing and suddenly I remember I was going to write a blog.

So here we are. As I began typing this I felt a little off balanced; like my left foot was much colder than my right. How odd! I looked down and realized that I had one rainboot on and one off. Somehow I had managed to change from my jeans and nice shirt into sweatpants and t-shirt… and only took one rainboot off in the process. Sometimes I have no idea where my mind is.

ANYWAY.. the point! Get to the point Lauren! Today I was able to register for classes for spring semester! I love registering for classes. SO FUN! My registration time was 9am. The thing is, I have class at 9:05. So of course I took my computer to class and, along with the majority of other seniors, didn’t pay attention to a single word of what my professor was saying. What was supposed to be a five minute thing turned into a forty minute ordeal. Why? Because we managed to crash the University website, we are just that good. Thirty minutes later they had us up and running and I successfully got into all the classes I want. So this is what my schedule looks like for next semester (particularly for my mother and father’s sake… hi mum and dad!)


9:00-9:55 Diversity in Secondary Education

10:10-11:00 World Lit

11:15-12:05 French 107 (Mon/Wed only)

Tuesday/ Thursday:

9:30-10:45 British Lit II

11:00-11:50 French 107

So, can we just take a quick second to look at this schedule? I mean… I’ve never been out by 12:05 or earlier every single day of the week. This semester my last class doesn’t end until 4:30 (mon-thurs)!! I’m so excited! Plus I’ll have all that time to complete my field study. This means I can get it over with exceptionally fast, as I can go every single day of the week. I’m quite happy. My last class I am taking is an online course, and it is all about detecting Art forgery. Sounds interesting, so hopefully it will go well. I’ve never had an online class before…

I think (I hope) next semester will be a million times better. This semester has been… an experience. I can’t wait until it is over with. Also, I just got asked to live with a few friends in an apartment next year! Exciting! My university has this rule that no seniors can live on campus… lame, I know. So I think I’m going to live with some really nice gals.

Thanksgiving is so very close… only a few days away! I’m hoping to post what I’m thankful for before, or on, Thursday. However, I don’t know how well the internet is where I’ll be staying, so it may have to wait until I get back. But I am thankful for a lot of things!!

For now I must drift off to the land of dreams. I’m leaving tomorrow! So very excited!!

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Hey Internet. I haven’t forgotten about you.

So the thing of it is, I have a lot of homework. A LOT. More than ever. Hours and hours of psychology reading. French paragraphs to write and read in front of the class because my professor is a douchebag (sorry mom, but it is true) and LAUGHS IN OUR FACE when we tell him we are having a hard time translating a story about some boy and his sandwhich. At least I think that is what it was about, I don’t know, I can’t translate some pretty keywords.

Anywho, the thing is I haven’t budgeted a lot of time for things like my blog. You are here for the stories! Remember when I used to tell stories? I know, I know. It has been a while. BUT! If you will just hang in there for like, another week, and let me finish all these appointments I have with advisors and doctors and things, I promise promise promise I will be back to full on blogging mode.

But the point of this post is that it sort of sank in today. The whole New Zealand thing. I know, I’m sorry if you are one of those who hates hearing about this type of thing. I’m not here to brag, to say OH LOOK! I get to study abroad again! At least I really hope not brag about it all the time. But y’all… I AM GOING TO NEW ZEALAND. I freaking love traveling. LOVE it. Sitting in airports, landing in a new place, completely wiped out and all I want to do is sleep yet all I can do is go out and explore. It finally sank in that I will have a whole new world to explore for a month. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love my parents. I’m not just saying this because they are letting me go out of the country yet again. I really, really love them for sacrificing their wants and needs so I can have these opportunities. Not every kid gets an amazing set of parents like I have, and I just hope that they know how much I love them. I don’t think I say it enough.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Can you feel it?

“Don’t you just love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies.”

Oh, yes Joe Fox. I do love New York in the fall. I love everything about the fall; the weather, the smells, the atmosphere… it can’t really be explained. You just have to feel it. For as long as I remember my family has been making annual trips to Heritage in Charlotte, NC. (Yes, that Heritage. Jim and Tammy Fay Baker Heritage.) I have very random, very vivid memories of being a child and walking down main street, looking up at the hotel windows that seemed to magically hover over the shops. The colors were so bright and beautiful, looking like doll houses I only dreamed about. I wanted to stay in one of those hotels more than anything.

I would walk down main street, holding either my mother’s or my grandmother’s hand, looking into the shops as we passed by, hoping I would get to go in one and try on beautiful dresses. After trying on dresses came ice cream. Now, this was no ordinary ice cream. This was a shop set up like an ice cream parlor straight from the fifties. I’m sure it was nothing special, but when I was younger I was convinced it was the most magical place on earth. Then there was the water park and the Snow White (or what I remember being a Snow White) ride, and light houses and we stayed in a tree house… yes, a literal tree house. There were two or so bedrooms, a living room, bathrooms, a kitchen, everything you would need and it was built into a tree. Everything was just insanely magical.

Of course if you know anything at all about Jim and Tammy Faye you will know that this magical place did not have the best of luck. After the embezzlement charges Heritage was put up for sale and one bad deal after another left the place in shambles. The tree houses ended up being sold as actual homes. The tennis courts were soon covered with weeds. The water park shut down; the shops on Main Street closed one after the other. The light house where they used to put on plays for the kids became old, rotten, and worn down. Now as I think back, it reminds me of that Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay:

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

The years went by and we came back to Heritage here and there, but nothing really came of it. Until one Thanksgiving. I can’t really remember it to tell you the truth. We went to Heritage for Thanksgiving and my grandmother had a timeshare. We stayed in a log cabin and have done so every year since then. I can’t tell you how much I love this place. I really believe it is magical.

There is an amphitheater not five or so minutes from the cabins and a local church would put on Christmas productions. Every year we would bundle up in shirts layered with sweatshirts, winter jackets, scarves, gloves, hats, three pairs of socks, warm shoes, and blankets and we would STILL freeze our butts off. Hot apple cider provided a quick relief during intermission. The play was the same every year and even though we knew what was going to happen or what the characters were going to say (FLY DONKEY FLY!!!!) it was just something we looked forward to- a tradition that simply could not be broken. But nothing gold can stay, and a few years ago was the last performance the company put on.

Then would come the Thanksgiving feast and my grandmother and mum would wake up early and start cooking. We would dine like royalty with the most amazing dishes you could ever think of, after which we would watch the end of the parade and start Miracle on 34th street while silently asking ourselves WHY did we eat so much?

Then came black Friday, aka go to a GIANT shopping mall and get lost in the crowds and lines and many trips taking bags to the car so you don’t have to lug them around with you all the while looking at whoever would listen and shout “WHY DID WE COME ON THE BUSIEST DAY?” Again, a tradition that couldn’t be broken.

During these celebrations we would often pick my father up at the airport in time for him to celebrate Thanksgiving and do the annual coloring contest before he had to go back to work. And yes, I did say coloring contest. We have the same picture every year of two pilgrims which we have to color and the best one wins a prize. It gets VERY, VERY competitive. Sadly we would return home, exhausted from the travels but happy to see our cats, who we missed very much.

And then this thing called college happened. All the family were in separate states (except for my sister, she was in Florida with me) and we didn’t make it up to Heritage. I still got to bake the dishes with my grandmother at her house, the parade BOOMING on her television while my grandpa watched the football game in his office. My sister ended up having to work and didn’t get a chance to come over. I was really, really sad because I love my family so much and these special times we had during the holidays mean so much to me. And then last year I was in England for Thanksgiving and it really goes without saying that they don’t celebrate it over there, so the food was all wrong and I missed everyone.

It is finally fall here in Delaware. The weather has changed; there is a constant breeze reminding me the pumpkins will be out soon and the carnivals and fall festivals are just beginning. There is also a different smell to the air; the scents make me feel as though I am back in Heritage, reciting Romeo and Juliet out of the top of the moldy light house window. Reminding me of seeing a movie on Thanksgiving night, of baking pies and turkey and mashed potatoes. Of making biscuits from scratch and forgetting to take my rings off, accidentally filling each nook and cranny with dough and flour. I walk around listening to “Believe” by Josh Groban because during the parade one year he sang it and my grandma and I replayed it over and over at full volume. I’m homesick for a place that is much, much more than a home to me. It is when everyone in my family was happy; we laughed and talked and didn’t have the circumstances life has thrown at us. For one week I (really, really) tried not to fight with my sister but instead walk with her down the abandoned railroad tracks.

But this year is different, in a good way. We are all heading back to the same exact log cabins for one last Thanksgiving before my grandma’s timeshare ends, where we will eat the familiar dishes and watch the parade and sing and listen to Kenny G play christmas tunes while we fall asleep. Sure we wont be able to shout FLY DONKEY FLY! along with the cast, but Main Street has opened again! And you better believe I am going to look at all the old shops, hotels, and darn it all, I am going to have another scoop of ice cream.

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I move into my dorm on Sunday and start classes on Tuesday. I promise more interesting blogs will be coming your way SOON.

Often in life I turn to my mother, sister, family member and/or best friend and say “remember the time we/you/I…” and then I go on about something that usually happened within the last, oh I don’t know, ten minutes or so, and they just look at me and say, “you mean the thing that just happened ten minutes ago?” To which I just say, “yes” and watch them ponder the question, as if I was testing their memory or going insane. Well it has sort of become a running joke in my family. I don’t remember (shockingly) what started me saying it, but I just sort of… did. I think something funny would happen and ten minutes later no one was laughing about it anymore, that is, no one but me, and I didn’t want to be the only one still laughing so I brought it back up to bring back the joy. Except it didn’t really work out that way. And then my mother would say something like, “go get me a pencil” and my sister would reply with “remember that time you told me to go get you a pencil?” Then they would double over with laughter as I sat there, directing icy glances in their general direction.

Well on Twitter (of which I happily have an account found HERE) there are “trending topics” and people insert this phrase or word into their daily tweets. These topics rapidly change (daily) and tonight I found myself thinking about random memories only to look at Twitter and see the number one trending topic was “remember when.” I clicked on this and found some very amusing (and quite frankly some very disturbing) “remember whens.” So because I 1)don’t have anything else interesting to blog about and 2)can’t tweet any of these because of a silly 140 character limit I am going to post some of the most random memories that come to my mind. Mind you, these are only fleeting moments of things that have happened in my life and as a gift to you, dear reader, I am letting YOU come up with the details of the situations. The how or why or what or when that would make this little moment possible.

Remember the time during Freshman year at college when I had to stand up in front of THOUSANDS of people and do an African chant/dance while wearing an actual dress from Africa and pretending to roast the Universities mascot in a fire?

Remember the time I punched Alan Hanson because he tried to kiss me at Taylor Wall’s birthday party?

Remember the time I stood on a fake stone wall at Disney World and sang the Mickey Mouse Club theme song while holding my hat out for tips?

Remember the time strangers gave me tips for singing at Disney World?

Remember the time Dave saw me in my unmentionables?

Remember the time I posted about a movie on my blog and everyone on the Internet got all bent out of shape because I said I didn’t enjoy the sex scene between two homosexuals? (This is my top viewed post, and I still get people visiting it from the message boards.)

Remember the time I drove my friend’s 4-wheeler into a tree in her back yard?

Remember the time I met my favorite Broadway star?

Remember the time I convinced my Spanish teacher to let us play Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit in class?

Remember the time I stayed up all night (literally) with the rest of my class, studying for a state administered Education exam only to (like the rest of my class) barely pass with a C? (I still tear up at that memory…)

Remember the time I accidentally asked my roommate if she wanted to go get a hamburger with me after she *just* said she was a vegetarian?

Remember the time I went to the state science fair in third grade?

And lastly, remember the time I was sleeping nice and cozy in my bed when my brother woke me up to inform me he was sick, and when I told him to go to the bathroom he turned and threw up all the way down the stairs? (And I do mean EVERY. SINGLE. STAIR.)

What are some of your random memories?


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