Tag Archives: family

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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In the Car

The brother: “That woman is ready to rock and roll!”

Me: “That isn’t funny, I think she has scoliosis.”

The brother: “You don’t know that. You’re not a doctor.”

Me: “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.”

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Somewhere My Mother is Wondering Where She Went Wrong.

Over on my Bullshish blog I posted a review about a freaking fantastic web series I watch called Dorm Life. You should be watching this too. My mother doesn’t understand why I love it so very much. I don’t understand why she apparently hates happiness. But still, we learn to survive with each other. Anywho, go check it out!

This isn’t real life. This is Dorm Life.

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CRUISE VACATION: DAY NINE

Welcome back to the (not so) exciting continuation of Lauren’s travels via cruise ship! Without further ado, here is the rest of the intoxicating story:

Once we woke up we got ready for the day and basically all I did was talk to people via aim, uploaded pictures to facebook, and watched my cousin’s band recital where we learned all the gossip about her classmates. After that we went and visited my aunt’s flag business, a shop I haven’t seen in EVER. And I don’t mean that in my usual over dramatic meaning, I mean I have never seen her flag business. From there we were just going to head over to the airport, as it was about fifteen minutes away.

Well, before we left I my aunt couldn’t find her phone so we just left without it (she is really laid back and casual, so she didn’t really care). So we went to the flag business, looked around and took a few pics, then we made our way to the airport where she dropped us off. We checked our luggage got our stuff together and made our way to security. I then pulled out my father’s phone from my pocket and said, “Father, since we are about to get to security I thought I would give this back to you. You left it on the counter and I grabbed it!” He then said things like “you creep” , “give it back” , etc, when he looked at the phone and made a face as if he had missed the most important call of his life. I said, “what is wrong???” and that is when we realized WE had my AUNT’S phone!!! They both have iPhones and both have the same black cover on these phones so when I grabbed it I thought it was his, when really it wasn’t.

Whoops.

So then my uncle came back to get the phone, luckily the airport is a fifteen or so minute drive away!!! We are still laughing about it. Anywho, we got on the plane where we had an amazing stewardess who sang to us. Then we got off the plane, got our luggage, drove an hour and ten minutes, got to the house, hugged my other grandmother, went to see the decorations at my sister’s apartment, came back home, and FINALLY went to bed!

In case that wasn’t totally clear, my other grandmother has been at the house the entire time we were on the cruise, decorating my sister’s apartment. Pictures below!

My aunt's flag shop! (Obviously a behind-the-scenes shot.)

My aunt's flag shop! (Obviously a behind-the-scenes shot.)

The front of the shop!

The front of the shop!

So sad.

So sad.

The correct way to live your life.

The correct way to live your life.

At the airport, waiting for our car!

At the airport, waiting for our car!

Very sleepy, but the Bard is happy. Yes, I took him along. HE NEEDS TO SEE THE WORLD!

Very sleepy, but the Bard is happy. Yes, I took him along. HE NEEDS TO SEE THE WORLD!

Kitchen area

Kitchen area

The bird cage thing on the wall

The bird cage thing on the wall

Main room

Main room

Curtains, courtsey of your's truly.

Curtains, courtsey of your's truly.

Headwig!

Headwig!

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about my vacation! If you missed any of the days you can EASILY catch up here. Buh-byes for now.

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CRUISE VACATION: DAY EIGHT

I’m so glad you were concerned enough about evil robots that you HAD to come back to see if it was true or not. Well let us continue with the story to find out…

It was so early when my mum woke me up to get ready to leave. But I got up and got ready and we got our behinds off of that ship! It was an exciting trip home. One that was only supposed to last for three hours ended up taking four or five! (Sound familiar Gilligan?) First there was traffic, which was ridiculous considering it was for roadwork. The kind of roadwork where there were all of these signs and things, and yet no actual roadwork going on. Then we took a wrong exit. Then we stopped for food, where crazily enough we ran into some people from the cruise that we met on the way to Cozumel! That was really fun.

Then we made it back to Birmingham, unloaded the cars and even though we were DEAD tired, we went and saw HARRY POTTER!!!! because we are hard core Harry Potter fans. EEEP! You can read my review of it HERE. After the movie we had a small dinner and then it was most definitely time for sleeps.

Be SURE to come back tomorrow for the finale of Lauren’s exciting week of travel! You WON’T want to miss it!!
Sadly, no pictures to show today, however you can read all about the first seven days of my vacation here.

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