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Today

Apparently posts that ramble about your day aren't attention-grabbing and content-rich, like blog posts should be.  I'm filing an official protest...and posting about my day. :)  Here's a list of things I did (or didn't) do today:

1. Didn't go anywhere.

2. Did school all day. Literally. 10am to 9pm.

3. I did school all day because I spent the first half of said school day reading Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express...our curriculum is "doing" the classics.  Book review coming later.

4.  I took a picture of Sadie that I thought was pretty cute.  But my annoying Android device is being incorrigible again and won't let me get the picture on the computer.  Why can't these electronic devices just get along???

5.  I found a really fun new way to do Spanish. :) For all you fellow students who groan every day when it's time for your lesson, groan no more!  Enter YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G55RSO0UviQ&feature=BFa&list=SPA49C386B2886A54D 
It's awesome. And lots of fun. :D

6. Annnnd...I have to cut my lovely, boring narrative short b/c I have to be in bed in 10 minutes.  Ah, time flies when you're blogging...sleep well, my friends!

~Laurie

Jeans

At 5’9” and not quite 100 lbs., I have an interesting time finding jeans.

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I’m starting to think that weaving palm-frond shorts on a desert island would be a little easier.

I have only one pair of jeans from last year that still fits me. They’re not a style I like, and I’ll be needing a couple more pairs shortly. So, when we found ourselves at Kohl’s last night (funny how that happens), we thought I should take a peek at the jeans and see if I could find anything.  This, my friends, is where the saga begins.

First I go to the wall of little 1’x1’ cubby holes filled with all sorts of faded, torn, and otherwise butchered denim.  Lo and behold, only two styles greet me: skinny or flare.

To clarify, I look like a whittled-down beanpole in skinny jeans. In flare jeans, I look like a concave perm curler.

I sigh and throw a pair of non-“distressed” jeans in the basket to try on.  (The torture devices they use on those poor pants is another story…stones? bleach? “distressing?” You’d think they were wanted by the FBI.)

After an uncomfortable and unfruitful fitting-room session, I continue my quest in the Misses’ section. Their smallest size is a size 4.  Godzilla and I would fit in size 4. Back to Juniors’. 

On a side note, I will throw a party and set off fireworks the day I can shop in Misses’.

Finally I stumble upon a rack of Levi’s. Definitely not my brand of choice, but I look at the labels anyway—bootcut and probably long enough, with no holes, bleaching, wrinkles, ripped-out stitching, paint splatters, rhinestones, worn-out hems, dorky plastic belts, metal studs, or other foofaraw that would set off the bomb detectors at the airport.

Ok, satisfactory.  I peek at the price. $34.99….on sale. Who do they think I am, the young Miss Rockefeller?! 

At this point my dear mother enters the story and we comb Juniors’ with a fine-tooth barber comb. By they way, did you know this season the fad is “bold denim”?  Interpretation: too-tight, denim leggings in every color of the rainbow, including but not limited to turquoise, fuchsia, cobalt blue, goldenrod, bright scarlet, and black. 

We go back to the wall of cubby holes. We compared a few of the styles—“Scorpio”, “Aquarius”….wait….astrology jeans??  You. have GOT. to be kidding me.

I almost ran out the door screaming.

In the end, I settled on a pair of the most pleasantly boring pair of jeans you’d ever hope to meet.  And--happy day--I even have to roll them up three inches. 

Shopping is such a nice, appealing experience, isn’t it?

Dropping In

Yes, I'm still alive, and will be giving you a proper post soon. :) Life (a.k.a. school) has unexpectedly caught up with me.

Miss R and I had another lovely little photoshoot the other day, so I leave you with this pretty picture (I think she's just the best model!):


Have a blessed day, dear reader!

The Art of the Dog Portrait

Doggie portraits (the photographic, not painted kind) are an art form in themselves.

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Oh, Sadie. So photogenic. (Catch the sarcasm there?)  But what bad color. What an an awkward break-your-neck-and-sprain-your-paws pose. What an interesting double-neck-chin-thing. What a nice and blasé half-dead expression.  And what a sheet of blur covers it all.
Suffice it to say, dog portraits are notorious for being prime examples of everything photography is NOT supposed to be.

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Ok, not so bad. But too much visible dandruff.  And…eye goop.  Moving on.

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Nice whiskers.

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Huh?

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Stop shoving your face in the lens, dog!

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SQUIRREL!!!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

So tonight I tried to coax Doggie Dear into an impromptu photoshoot with my handy dandy little camera on the back of my Samsung Galaxy Player.

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You need to take a posing class.

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Here we have another blasé, half-dead expression.  With a touch of poetic distress.

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Here, I pretended I was holding a piece of food next to the camera so she would look in the right direction.  Now if Dog would just stop miggling her wuzzle…I mean wizzling her muggle…wiggling her muzzle!!  Whatever you’re doing, stop it!

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Get that snide look off your face, dog.  Don’t look snidely at the hand that feeds you.

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Ok, I’m sorry I insulted you. At least deign to look at the camera.

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There we are!  Now take a step to your left please.

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Perfect!

And blurry.

Welcome to the wonderful world of dog portraits.

I promise…

…That I will have an actual post up soon that took me longer than 5 minutes to write.  I’m supposed to (once again) start school in about that same 5 minutes, so I’m afraid you’ll have to be satisfied with these random shots of my life:
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Our favorite sugar-free pop. It's wonderful. And incredibly fizzy.
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The very cool antique lamp I have in my room.  It’s a family heirloom that my children will also enjoy.
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A few of our wonderful old books. I love old books.  Too bad they can’t talk.
Oops, now I have to run. Tune in late for what I think of working out.  Trust me, it ain’t gonna be pretty. (Actually, I just said that because it sounds cool. In reality, I think working out it…wait, that’s for later. Like I said, tune in next time.)  *insert Looney Tunes “b-d-ub-du-b..That’s all, folks!”*

A Tidbit

I have to rush off and get going on school, but this was in my quiet time this morning:

“For whoever finds me find life, and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.”

Proverbs 8:35-36

This verse is referring to wisdom, which is the subject of this chapter (read it all…it’s good!).  One part stood out to me.  “…He who sins against me…” 

Wait—how do you sin against wisdom?

Well, I believe it means not utilizing wisdom when you should.  Not asking the Lord for it. Not searching His Word for it. And here’s the second part of the verse: “…[he who sins against me] wrongs his own soul.”  Aaack!!  I don’t want to wrong my soul!  (And I don’t want to find out what wronging does to your soul, either!)

Lord, keep Your wisdom and our endless need for it ever before my eyes.

My First Photo Contest Experience, Pt. 1

I'm finally entering a really truly local photo contest!! :) So excited. And the grand prize?  Not much...ONLY a Nikon 1 J1 camera! *dances* The theme is "Butterflies, Bugs & Bees." Here's what I'm entering:


It could have been better, but I think it's good enough for the teen category.  The prints are beautiful.

Speaking of printing, it was amazing where and what all we went through today trying to get this silly little beautiful, meaningful picture printed. The requirement for the contest is a 5x7 matte print.  Easy-peasy, right? Uhhhh. Not quite.

First stop: Our local Wolf Camera.  We drive up and it looks suspiciously empty with a sign on the door. On closer inspection, the sign coolly informs us that they've moved to a new location that is far enough away that we should have brought a picnic lunch.  Ok, nix that idea.

Second stop: Walmart photo center.  Our Walmart is notorious for not having a good selection of anything (you name it, we don't have it), and when we couldn't find the photo center with all the cameras and tech stuff back in the corner, we began to wonder if they had actually gone ahead and bulldozed it along with the wall back when they did their remodeling (I thought it was nicer before).  And then the girl told us that the photo center was just up by the customer service.  Right. So we trek back to the front of the store, dodging harried moms with toddlers on the way. When we reach the photo center, we discover that their "matte" printing is really just normal paper. And Mom didn't want to stand around for an hour waiting for them to print an over-priced 5x7 photo.  So we leave.

Third stop:  The Walgreens two blocks from our house.  They have 1hr printing, and we're so close we could easily come right back for it.  We walk in.  And, while I'm at it, may I add that our Walgreens is rather eerie?  There's never anyone in it (maybe because they have such inappropriate magazines and products right next to the counter. But that's another soapbox.).  Anyway, we head back to the photo counter, where a young man tells us that they don't provide matte finishes for their photos.  Aww.  Come on, Walgreens! This is serious stuff, this matte printing!  You could get more business!

So, finally, we head home exhausted, tired, spent, and frustrated.  After much deliberation, we decide to simply order the prints online at Ritzpix.com and have Dad pick them up at a different store on the road he drives on when he comes home from work.  And, surprise! they have a ridiculously easy, convenient ordering system that seems to work like magic.  And when Dad came home, he was bearing two of the most beautiful printed photos I've ever seen (or so it seemed).  :)

I did some more research as to the variety of photo products Ritz offers, and boy do they have a selection! One of everything, please.  I'll definitely be ordering from them again.

Photo contest, here I come!

In Which I Discuss Bananas.

'Twas the best of bananas. 'Twas the worst of bananas. 'Twas...bananas!!

Ok, I'll stop. 

But really, I have a thing about bananas. 


They have to be perfect for me to eat them. Perfectly ripe, that is.  

When they're a bit green, they taste like that. Young, almost-bananas that need a little more life under their belt, and they're just a little weird.  Like teenagers. 

And when they're over-ripe, they're...over-ripe.  I think I'll stop the analogy there, or things might get ugly.  Anyway. 

Then there's the nice, perfectly ripe banana, sitting there, looking at me enticingly like a big yellow smile. (Doesn't that sound nice?) That is when I really love bananas, and feel like a sun-tanned native sitting under a palm tree wearing a lei around my neck while I eat one. A banana, not a native. Sorry.

I went through a stage where unless I could eat a banana within that 1-2 day window of perfect ripeness, I simply wouldn't eat it, and my poor forbearing mother was forced to throw out countless bananas that would eventually turn black and spoil. Yick. At that point, who would eat them?

I am past that stage, thankfully. Now, I put bananas in my daily protein shake. Here's the recipe:

In a blender, add:

  • 1 banana
  • About 2 cups of milk (this part is up to you...less milk means more concentrated and creamy, while more makes it thinner)
  • 1 tbs of peanut butter
  • Optional: 1 scoop of whey protein or soy protein (I prefer whey protein, since soy isn't that good for girls...the vanilla-flavored protein always makes shakes so thick and delicious!)
Blend until it has reached your desired level of creamy, smooth perfection. Enjoy!

I just finished my shake while I was typing the first part of this post.  It was very good.

But I could still taste the over-ripe banana.

Life

Happy Monday, everyone! Today starts our second week of school…oh boy.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do with my life. It’s confusing. First and foremost, I want to be a wife and a mother.  But until that happens, what do I do? I love all of the classic Arts: writing, photography, music, acting.  Right now, we’re looking into the possibility of college classes or a certification program for graphic design, and praying about what God wants me to do with my life. Or more, what He wants to do with my life.

My problem is that I’m interested in everything and enjoy it all. Ok, most of it. Not growing stinky micro-organisms in a petri dish. But I like everything else! I am The Girl That Has No Favorites.  :) And that’s pretty confusing when you try to decide what you like best and want pursue. Grr.

BUT I did find this verse, and it stuck out to me like never before:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Sounds good to me! Even though I don’t have a clue, God does. And He’ll direct my life a whole lot better than I ever would.

Have a wonderful day!

~Laurie

Lately, Pt. 2

Now for the second part that I didn’t finish. :)

…I haven’t been much of a seamstress thus far. Just haven’t. Sewing is so much more work than knitting or crocheting, and I suffered terribly from a childhood disease known as laziness.

But then I found this sew-along on Casey’s blog.  And apparently couldn’t go on with life until I tried it.

Since I’m such a devoted lover of vintage, the circle skirt seemed like a pretty easy way to expand my vintage wardrobe and still be doing something [relatively] fun, creative, and non-computer.

Until I had to completely pick out the zipper and the left seam, because I sewed the zipper down too low and it completely threw off the hem. Ugh.

But. Now I knew how to sew a zipper in (all by my big self, may I add!), so it was no biggie to sew it right back in. *flips hair nonchalantly*

Until I finished the waistband and realized the hem was still terribly uneven, on account of having to cut the entire skirt on the bias of the fabric.  Ok, lesson learned: cutting on the bias causes uneven drape in the fabric. Remember that, dear reader.

So Mother and I still have to do the hem—I think we’ve been subconsciously putting it off, seeing as how it’s such a massive, gargantuan, huge, giant, mammoth project. You get the idea.

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…I went with my mom when she got her hair cut yesterday and left my camera at the lady’s house. Score.

And it’s still there.

…We won the Men’s Swimming 4x200 relay! The Women’s Team Gymnastic all-around! Missy Franklin’s first Olympic medal was gold! Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian in history!  I’m very hyped about it all.  I want to go to Rio as a runner now.  And lo, she began to work out, and it was awesome…

Just kidding on that last part. Sort of.  Oh, and that brings me to…

…Our whole family has been doing this workout program.  My dad is on the second level, and my mom and I just started the first.  I’ve already gained weight on it (exercise does that to me—builds muscle mass, I guess).  Yes!!!!  (See, Amy? I can do it.)

…Did I mention I started school Monday? Ah yes. Um…no comment at this time.

…Jesus loves you!! :)

…And I think that’s about what my mischievous self has been up to.  I’m going to do my Spanish before breakfast today, and get it over with, so I better skedaddle.  Have a blessed day!

Lately

Lately…

…I woke up this morning and discovered I apparently bruised my thumb. Weird. And a little bit painful.  But more weird than painful.

…We had some dear friends over and I got to take pictures of Miss C. Smile She’s so photogenic and gorgeous:

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I experimented with my reflector (my first real “shoot” with it!) and Miss R got some arm-work holding it for me. Smile 

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Yeah, it’s pretty big…42” to be exact! And Miss R is so sweet and kind and obliging that she held it for me the entire time. And was unspeakably thankful when I finished, I think. I bet she’s sore today.

…We started school on Monday. So far it’s been a little slow getting going, us still with a busy summer schedule. Today is my first real where I do everything I’ll be doing throughout the year. Pray for us…we usually need it. :)

…I am reading……*drumroll*……LOTR!! My friends have told me about it for close to ten years now.  I broke down and read The Hobbit when I was 12, but The Fellowship of The Ring reminded me sadly of someone writing down a crazy dream they had…I quit reading when our little band of hobbits reached the Old Forest.  That creeped me out. But now I think it’s cool.

…I just found out that I need to go. Time to meet with Mom and go over our day! I’ll finish this post later.  Have a blessed day!