Friday, April 29, 2011

Love Letter

Dear Ry,

In my dream last night you were some sort of scientist, conducting some sort of experiments on purifying water.  You were going to save the world. 

P.S.  Can I get a triple-y loud and joyous "HALLELUJAH" that you are going back to day shift on Monday?  I am looking forward to seeing you when the sun is out, and when neither of us is half asleep.

Take Luck,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Teaching Nonen

One of my favorite things about our house location is surprisingly NOT the fact that it is close to a Planned Parenthood and their crazed abortion protesters.  We get to live less than a mile from my brother and his family, so it is easy for me to pop over there whenever I want or need.  Monday night, I got to go hang with the kiddos for awhile so my brother could run some errands, and Haley was in class.

I always have such a good time with Mia, Kennedy and Riley.  They are great kids, and surprisingly do not serve their purpose of "birth control."  Every time I leave there, I get that sense of wanting to start a family.  I typically try to use my time with them as learning experiences for when Ryan and I do decide to start our family.

Here's a recap of what I learned on this Monday night...
  • I microwave a mean can of chili

    (Mia, 9)
    • Mia does not enjoy working on multiplication homework.  Nor does she find it funny when I tell her that math is everywhere and she cannot run or hide from it.
    • Mia really wants me to come volunteer in her classroom.  That was until I threatened to dance around her classroom with my arms in the shape of an "X," quizzing her on multiplication unless she focused and finished her homework.  That got her attention, alright. 
    • Apparently, I am embarrassing (see above)
    • Mia thought it was super cool that I knew exactly where to find Riley's diapers and baby wipes, the can opener, and how to use the microwave.  Does this nullify me being embarrassing?

            (Kennedy, 3)
    • Kennedy bombards me (in a good way, of course) as soon as I walk through the door.  She gives the best hugs and melts my heart when she says, "I love you, Nonen."
    • Kennedy immediately follows up with her immense joy for seeing me by asking "Where's Ryan?  Is Ryan at work?" and then saying, "I hold you!" which actually means: she wants me to hold her.
    • Kennedy introduced me to a new counting method.  It went something like, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 14, 16, 16, 13..."  I hear its all the rage with 3-year olds
    • She is a sneaky devil and has no qualms snatching up a pacifier that is laying around... Or one that is in her brother's mouth.

    (Riley, 1)
    • Riley is a miniature monkey-man who likes to climb on the furniture, especially the kitchen table.
    • Riley does not particularly care for chili.
    • Riley likes to stand up in the bathtub.  Can you say DANGER?
    • Riley is just starting to talk and apparently "Lauren" just has too many vowels.

    • I do not know how Haley has the time (or the energy) to do much else than chase after these critters all day.

    Overall, I would say it was a very educational experience.

    Take Luck,

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Love Letter

    Dear Butthead,

    You scared the shiza out of me tonight... And you aren't even home from work yet.  Tonight while I was showering and singing along (to myself) to Ludo's "Anything For You," I swore I heard you cry out "Helloooo?!" from somewhere in the house in your apparent happiness to be home.  Hearing this cry caused me to immediately stop the bathing process and listen.  I hear nothing.  No jingle-jangle or barking.  My heart started to race and I started yelling back to the invisible voice "Ryan?  Helloooo?  Are you there?  If you are trying to scare me, I'm going to come out there and kick your (enter choice word)!!!!"

    No reply.

    Normally (and most normal people) would have just shaken this off and continued on.  Not me.  I started to have a semi-panic attack and cried a little.  Why did I start to panic and cry?  Because this scaring business is exactly something that you would do.  You say it's good for me, and I say that's a bunch of hogwash.  In fact, as I write this and you are clearly not home, my heart is still racing. 

    Despite my currently elevated blood pressure, I have to admit that your desire to scare me is one of those "little things" about you that I have truly come to love.  Even though you get so much enjoyment out of my suffering, I love that it makes you laugh.

    Take Luck and some Anti-Anxiety Medication,

    **While laying down and waiting for Ryan to get home from work tonight, I tuned into an old Friends epsiode.  Coincidentally, the episode was "The One with Unagi," and was all about Ross trying to educate Rachel and Pheobe on Unagi (apparently a state of total awareness in which you can be prepared for any danger).  He startles them in the hallway of the apartment to prove his point that they are not Unagi-savvy.  During this episode, Rachel and Pheobe have been taking a self-defense class.  At the end of the episode, Ross goes to the instructor asking for tips on how to attack women.  Quite hilarious.  Check out the link below to get a taste of Unagi.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Happy Easter

    Happy Easter!

    I gave up caffeine for Lent this year, while Ryan braved giving up alcohol.  This morning on our way to church, I was singing while turning into the Starbucks drive through.  I was a happy girl with a vanilla latte on the brain.

    I think this experience was second to what I found in my Easter basket this morning...
    A three pound bag of Haribo Gold Gummi Bears.

    Does my Easter-Bunny-Hubby know me, or what?

    Take Luck,

    Friday, April 22, 2011


    I came out into the family room this afternoon to find the pups sunbathing...

    Take Luck,

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Love Letter

    Dearest Mr. Peters,

    This has been a rough week.  "Surprise!  You are working graveyard for the next two weeks!" isn't the greatest news to come through our door, but I am proud of you for taking it for what it is.  I have to be honest and say that the one perk is having control over the TV remote in the evenings.  But in continuing with my honesty, I also have to say that I would watch (almost) any amount of MLB games, Futurama, South Park, Family Guy and Tosh.O if it meant that you were sitting next to me.  Thank you for calling me on your way home last night instead of scaring the shiz  out of me and just coming on through the door.

    You are a one-of-a-kind hunk, and I love your guts.

    Take Luck,

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Flashback Monday - Little Si

    Typically this is a Friday thing, but when I came across these pictures - I couldn't help but put them up.  Even Ryan said, "That would be a good blog post for you!"  Haha, oh boy.  We did this hike the day before I blew up my knee playing co-ed indoor soccer.  Awesome.  At least I got some good exercise in before I was laid up for eight weeks.

    Back in October, we drove over to North Bend (east of Seattle) with our eyes on the Little Si prize.  Little Si is the "little guy" nestled up to Big Si.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera with me on the hike, but Ryan had his cell phone so we were able to grab a few pictures from the adventure.  It was an amazing hike and I hope we do it again this summer... Along with lots of others!  There are so many great places in the PNW that we are yet to explore.

    Take Luck,

    Sunday, April 17, 2011


    A few months ago, Ryan and I started attending services at a local church, newlife.  Our friends, Matt and Jessica (Ryan works with Matt) have been going to services at newlife for awhile, and invited us to join and see what it was all about.  After our first service there, we were hooked and knew that it would be a place we wanted to go regularly.  

    Ryan was raised going to church, and I was not.  At least not after first grade.  Once competitive sports got involved in my family's schedule, our Sundays were occupied with road trips, pre-game warm ups and long days of softball and soccer.  Ryan and I had discussed and said that once we had kids, we wanted to join a church, and raise our kids to know that church is important, and a staple in our family values.  When Matt and Jessica invited us along to newlife, I guess we figured there was no reason not to take the leap now.

    My experience with church is pretty lacking, and the experiences I have had have not been super special.  When I was young and we went to a local baptist church, I was involved in the weekly kid/youth program, Awana.  As an Awana (what the hell is an Awana, by the way?) you were supposed to learn and memorize bible verses, and recite them to your Awana leader to earn stickers for your book and buttons/patches for your vest.  Awesome.  What little kid doesn't want a wicked blue Awana vest?  

    I sure did.     

    That was until one glorious Wednesday evening that my truly horrible Awana leader scolded me for not knowing my verses and badgered me into tears.  I think this sparked the onset of my anxiety issues.

    In church settings, I have always felt very uncomfortable, awkward (especially when singing hymnals), and like I was being judged the entire time.  It always felt like the pastor (or whoever) was bringing down the hammer and telling me what I need to do to be considered a good person, the rules I need to follow, and blah, blah, blah.  I always left and felt bad about myself, instead of good or "uplifted."  

    Enter newlife.  Like I said, as soon as we left our first service, Ryan and I felt "uplifted" and included.  The whole environment is very relaxed and welcoming.  The first fifteen minutes of the services are dedicated to worship and a live band plays, everyone sings along.  Each service has a topic and passages are read from the Bible.  The best thing about the services are that passages and the sermon are put into context that can be related to everyone and their everyday experiences.  For me, this makes the services much more enjoyable, and I feel that we can actually get something out of it... Other than thinking, "Huh?"

    Here are some examples of sermons over the past few weeks and how newlife has incorporated big ideas into attainable actions... 

    • What is leadership?  It is humble, it ignites passion and evokes genuine enthusiasm, is more than words, stays focused on the mission, makes short-term sacrifices for long-term gain

    Humility: Is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less

    Tough Moments
    • What do you do in tough moments?  Walk away or walk in?
    • Focus on what is eternal, and not temporary
    • Remember love wins
    • Remember greater things are coming

    Epic Failure
    • How do you respond to failure?  Runaway, resent, rebel, rebound or repent?
    • Handle epic failure by stepping forward, finding yourself, protect the people you love, take a punch (sometimes), and stay focused on the bigger picture

      and finally, Suffering
    • What to remember in suffering: even the innocent suffer, there are steps in suffering that only you can take, you are not the only one suffering, and your suffering will not last forever
    • Whining versus winning
    • Remember where you are now is not where you will end up

    newlife has definitely given Ryan and I a sense of belonging and pride.  My attitude has totally changed about church and God and all things associated... Well, most things, anyway :)  I'm still scared of the Awana lady.

    Take Luck,

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Love Letter

    Dear Ry,
    If Virginia is for lovers, why am I here without you?  Oh, I remember.  Because you didn't need to come and suffer through a logistics forum.  I got it.  Anyway, thank you for taking the time to do all those chores around the house while I'm gone.  I am a proud and lucky lady to have such a helpful and handy hubby.  It's wonderful to know the house isn't a complete disaster zone... (don't think I didn't hear your, "Now I can be messy!" comment before I left, butthead) and the dogs aren't running a muck down Ridgemont Drive.  
    I'm carrying your love with me and sending all my love to you...  

    Take Luck,

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    10 on 10: April 2011

    Ten on Ten: 10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
    Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!

    Ah, my first 10 on 10.  I finally remembered... If you can call it that.  At random times today I kept saying to myself, "10 on 10!  10 on 10!"  This could possibly be the most boring 10 on 10 I have ever seen, but I have to start somewhere, right?  Right. 

    We made a dump run with Dad's trusty red/orange rocket
     Sunday snuggles

    My men relaxing

    I did a lot of this...

    And a lot of laundry...
    With some help, of course

    We had dinner at my Mom and Dad's house.  They celebrated their 30th anniversary last night by going to Benihana for dinner.  How cute are they?

    The three dachshunds.  Teddy, Sonny and Dexter.

    Our gift to Mom and Dad for their anniversary.  A side-by-side of their wedding day and a picture of them from our wedding.

    I came home to do more laundry... And got more help.

    Packing for my trip to Norfolk tomorrow :(

    At least my toiletries will be light.  My lone contacts for the four day trip.
    And yes, they say "1-day."

    OK, that was more than 10.  But if you lump all the ones of Sonny in the laundry basket as one... You get it :)  

    Take Luck,

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Stuff My Dad Says...

    I love my dad, really and truly. 

    But sometimes, I just don't know about him.  The other day, my dad called me (for some reason that I have now forgotten).  Anyway, right when I answered the phone I choked on the gum I was chewing.  So when I said, "Hello?" it sounded funny.  This is how our conversation went...

    Lauren: Hello?
    Dad: Hey, are you asleep?
    Lauren: No, just choking (I'm still choking at this point in the conversation and still manage sarcasm...)
    Dad: Oh OK, well good.  

    Uhh... I'm sorry?
    I just said I'm choking... NOT sleeping.
    And you said, OK good.

    Oh, Daddio.  I love you.


    Take Luck,

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Cry Baby

    I don't know why I do this to myself, but sometimes I just can't help but pop in a sappy, emotionally charged, love story-chick flick.  Most of the time, it doesn't seem to matter if I have seen this film once, twice or ten times... But I will cry like a little lady.  This past weekend I did this to myself not once, but twice.  I watched Nights in Rodanthe and Charlie St. Cloud. 

    Oh, boy.

    I should have known better.  Ryan and I saw Nights in Rodanthe in the movie theater.  (I should add on a side note that this was early in our relationship so I think he was still trying to score brownie points wherever he could :)  Anyway, at the theater I sobbed, sobbed and sobbed.  The movie ended and I was still crying.  We had to wait until the other moviegoers left the theater before I said it was OK to get up.  Fast forward to Friday, and picture me laying on our couch watching Diane and Richard in Nights in Rodanthe, crying, holding onto Sonny because she was going to make everything OK. 

    Saturday I took Ryan to work in the morning, stopped at the Red Box on the way home and grabbed Bride Wars (I had to have something to off-set the emotions that Nights in Rodanthe put in place).  I ended up watching Charlie St. Cloud on TV, and jeepers.  It about ripped my heart out and I was in pretty much the same predicament that I was in on Friday (couch, crying, squeezing Sonny for comfort).

    This whole thing got me thinking about those movies that no matter how many times I've watched, they get the water works flowing.  And here is my list:
    The Patriot
    Pearl Harbor
    The Land Before Time
    P.S. I Love You
    My Sister's Keeper
    A Walk to Remember
    The Notebook
    Nights in Rodanthe
    (damn you, Nicholas Sparks!!)

    What movies (if any) make you emotional or "weepy"?  I would love to hear that I am not alone... :)

    Take Luck and Kleenex,

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Love Letter

    Holooo Hubbykins,

    I love your laugh.  And I love how much you love this commercial:

    Thank you, for being you.

    Take Luck,
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