Tuesday, August 28, 2012

sorry, i'm not sorry.

I've always been a little different.

Growing up, I think the word "unique" was used, mostly because it doesn't have the same negative connotations. The clothing that I've picked out to wear has always been a little...different. I like to say that I'm ahead of my times by a few years, but it might just be that I have horrible fashion sense when it comes to some things. Sorry, I can't help it. I was a product of the 90s.

The other day, Mom and I were looking through an old scrapbook and we came across my Junior Prom pictures. I was falling back in love with my dress (it's my favorite), when I heard my Mom say something to the effect of "Are you seriously wearing a cardigan in your prom pictures?". Yes, dear Mother. I was. I decided it was time to go back and find other old pictures to show my Mom that I've always been a cardigan girl. I can't help it if I'm a granny mind trapped in a twenty-something body.

Then, I started to think of the other things I used to wear. Overalls. I LOVE overalls. When I went back to look for pictures of me in overalls, I realized that I'm wearing them in practically every family picture we had taken.

Maybe this post will enlighten you as to why I don't participate very often in the "What I'm Wearing Wednesday" blog phenomenon. Trust me: you don't want to make me your fashion icon. I like cardigans and overalls...a little too much. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Last" First Day of School

Yesterday was my "last" first day of school! I have 9 hours left of classes to take this semester, and I will be DONE with my Bachelor's degree. That seems completely crazy to me. It seems like just yesterday I was starting college and now I'm almost done. Since I live so close to my school (about 20-30 minutes), I am living at home for my last semester. So, obviously I had to jump in the "first day of school" pictures that I've missed the last few years. I only have  Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes, so I start really early in the morning (like, I have an 8 am. It stinks). But, I'm just thankful that I got all of my classes worked out so I CAN graduate come December. :)
If you notice in these pictures, Max is quickly getting taller. Right now I claim to be about a hair taller, but it really depends how straight I stand. He started his Freshman year in high school yesterday at my alma mater. It seems like not too long ago that I walked the halls of Wetumpka High, and now my baby brother is. He even has a few teachers that I had (or that I know from teacher aiding and clubs). Crazy, crazy. He's in band this year and he has a guitar solo during the halftime show (he plays trumpet in the rest of the songs).

Desmond is also growing up (way too fast, might I add). He's now in the grade that Max was when I went off to college. I still think of him as the cute little Kindergartner he was my senior year of High School. But, he started MIDDLE SCHOOL yesterday. MIDDLE SCHOOL. Seriously kid- stop growing up. You're making me feel OLD.

Initial reports from the first day all came in pretty positive. Nobody got their head stuck in a toilet. Max got a little lost on the way to one of his classes (he was kind of in the wrong room for 15 minutes), but it all worked out okay in the end. My classes went pretty good, too! My first class was in a double-booked classroom, so it took some time to work that out, but it just meant more time to catch up on what everyone did all summer. Homework isn't too bad, yet.  I mean, I'm about to get thrown out of my house for reading the entire book of Revelation out loud (hey- it's homework for tomorrow!), but whatever. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

One Smart Cookie

This Sunday morning is the start of my fourth year teaching Sunday School. I've been with the same group of kids since they were little 2nd graders, and they are about to start 5th grade. It's crazy how fast they grow up.

I truly love these kids. This year, my rising 6th graders (that I've had since they were 4th graders) are moving up to the youth group, so the group of rising 4th graders are joining our class. It's also a little different, because I'm only teaching every other Sunday and I have a pair teacher with me. While it's nice to have a break every now and then, I don't know what I'm going to do on the Sundays that I'm not teaching! My church doesn't have a young adults class, so I'll probably be going to my Daddy's class. Add in the fact that my life has a huge transition coming up in December and I might not be at my church anymore (because I might find a job at another one...hopefully!), and you have one very conflicted, growing up Lauren. But, that's life. :)

Last Fall on our "Back to School" Sunday
Easter Sunday
One of my favorite parts of being a teacher is making cute gifts for my kids. Way back in 2nd grade, we did goody bags for learning Bible Verses. Back to school Sundays normally have a cute, yummy treat (like these). I saw some teacher gifts involving homemade cookies on Pinterest, and that gave me the idea for this years present.

I went with Rainbow chip Gripz as my "cookie of choice" since that was the only way that I could get all of the cookies in the box to be the same exact cookie (it just makes things easier when the kids aren't fighting over who gets what). I have enough for 28, so I'm hoping that's enough. I don't know how many rising 4th graders we have, but I know that our classroom won't fit too many kids! On my cards, I signed them "Love, Miss Lauren", but I also wanted to adjust them a little to post on here in case anyone else (any Elementary Ed majors in the house?) wanted to use them for groups of kids that they know. You can download the printable here and print and cut out to fit your needs. I just cut them out and taped them on my cookies, but you could also use ribbon (if you put homemade cookies in a cellophane bag) or something else! Yay! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

What Every Cinderella Needs to Go Back to School

I love back to school time. There's just something magical and special about buying new pencils and paper, binders, folders, planners, and highlighters (or maybe I just have an office supply obsession). Office supplies make me happy. So, since I'm about to start my last semester of school (possibly EVER), I thought I should share some of the things that are making me smile this Fall in my back to school supplies. Other than the textbooks, everything is from Target. :)

I love pink and I love monogrammed things. So, when I found this little DIY printable over at For Chic Sake, I knew that I NEEDED to print it off and put it in my binder. Now, every time I look at this little pink piece of heaven, my heart smiles. :)

I wanted my class schedule to match the monogram on the front cover of my binder, so I opened the pdf in Photoshop and made a big square with rounded corners in the same color as the shape on the front cover and added a white border around it. Then, I found a cute font (skinny jeans solid) and put my schedule on it. I always forget when I have class and what class I have the first few days of school, so this is super useful (and cute)!

I just adore this pencil pouch. It fits all my pens, pencils, and highlighters that I need and contains them all inside of my binder. Plus, it's purple and has really cute polka dots on it!

Since I'm only taking 12 hours this semester (and I only have MWF classes), I'm trying to only use one binder (versus a million notebooks). Since I don't want my class notes to get all mixed up, I added these cute dividers to my binder and labeled them with my handy dandy Sharpie. They are really neat, because they have pockets to put loose papers (like syllabi!) in.

I love planners. I've used one every year since 4th grade (I think). While my Erin Condren Life Planner still has months left (it lasts until December), I've discovered that it's kind of too big to be useful. I mean, I like it, it's pretty and cute. But, it's so big and bulky and I can't just throw it in my purse easily. It's really more of a desk planner. So,  went ahead and picked up this cute flower one from Target. Since some of my classes have more loose papers and notes than others, I like to have a few folders each term "just in case". When I saw these cupcake folders with my favorite saying on them, I knew that I had to have them!

One of the perks of being a religion major is that I don't have to get "typical" textbooks for most of my classes. This is a stack of most of my textbooks. One of my classes doesn't have the required books on the website yet, and I have a few books that I'm getting the Kindle version of (because it's way cheaper!). 

These are actually from Wal*Mart, not Target. I've pretty much wanted smelly markers my entire life and my Mommy is super amazing and bought them for me the other day. Hey- even college students need markers, right? :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

thursday ramblings.


If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen me tweet last night about how I'm now accepting blog "sponsors" (actually, sponsors is SO not the word, because it's all free, but whatevs). If you didn't click the link and want more info, read on:
I like blogs, you like blogs. I love the blogging community. Some of my favorite blogs that I follow have been found via other people's sidebars. But, sometimes it's hard to narrow down "who" to put on your sidebar. Sometimes the ads just aren't the right size. Sometimes you don't want to play the picking "favorites" game. Sometimes you want to help support your friends blog shops. 
That's where this comes in. For the next few months, I want YOUR AD. I want the opportunity to tell others about all the cool stuff you're doing over at your little {dot} com home on the internets. And- get this- I want to do this for FREE. Once you get to checkout, put in the code CINDERELLA to make the price of the ad go to FREE. All ads will be approved before getting placed on the blog, so make sure that there's nothing inapropro- otherwise your ad will get declined. Sorry. I'm trying to get a job at a church someday, so we have to keep things clean around here. :)

Click on over to my "Sponsor" information page to learn more. Make sure to put in the code CINDERELLA when you get to checkout! If you see, I already have my first ad from Monica all ready to go! I love blog friends. :) 


I'm super frustrated with my college right now. I've always had issues with prereqs (since I transferred in as a junior and I changed my major right before senior year), but I'm about to go crazy with these people. I got an email yesterday saying that I'd been dropped from one of my classes due to not having the prereq for it. I have several issues with this.
a. I signed up for a different class without prereqs and they decided to no longer offer that class and stuck me in this one.
b. I (well, my Mom) already paid my tuition for this semester. And I need this class to have 12 hours and keep my scholarship.
c. I need this class to graduate. As in, if I can't take this class, I have to go BACK to HC another semester. And I really hate my college and can't wait to be done with this place FOREVER. No alumni money from me!
d. I'm taking the prereq this semester. I've taken 400-level classes in the Religion department before, so why can't I take a 300-level? I mean, I took a 400-level class before I took a 200-level, soo this is kind of crazy. 
So, needless to say, I'm super frustrated. Add in the fact that nobody wants to answer their emails or their telephones and the registrar is a meany-head that insists that nothing can be done until Monday (Did I mention that the offices don't open until 8:30 am and this is an 8 am class? Not gonna work). Whateves. I'm over this school. I've already decided that December 7th will be the last time I EVER enter that campus (because I have no desire to walk at graduation and give them MORE money).


Have I mentioned that I really don't like my major anymore either? This whole looking for a job with a B.A. in Religion isn't going too great. I'm just a little worried about finding a job- that I like. So frustrating. I'd just like to find a full time job for after graduation- preferably one that paid enough that I could move out of my parents' house and afford groceries. I mean, I'd like to not have to apply for welfare.

Not to mention, this whole job search thing kind of limits what I feel comfortable blogging about. I don't want to be judged for speaking my mind. That could be why there isn't much blogging going on lately around these parts. So frustrating. Sorry for all of the negativity in this post...it's just that way right now.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

worst school picture EVER.

So, about two years ago, I posted this post full of old pictures. For my second grade picture, I posted this one with the following caption.

I also took the "worst school picture EVER". (Note to self: Never wear pigtails on school picture day unless you want to look like Pippi Longstockings and have people talk about it for years to come.) The below picture was my SPRING picture (therefore, not worst picture ever) because I can't seem to find the really bad one. Really. I can't. I tried. But, I think Mom hid it somewhere far, far away. It didn't even make it into the scrapbooks.

I meant to make a post later with the really awful one in it. But, I forgot. While looking through old blog photos for my Google Plus account earlier, I rediscovered the above one and remembered. Finally. The aforementioned "worst school picture EVER" was a part of a conversation that I had with Des yesterday, and he has been wanting to see it (probably so he could hold it over my head for the rest of my life). But, since I'm a glutton for punishment and really don't care what my seven year old self used to look like way back in 1997, I thought I'd find it and show it to him. And then I realized that I really should post it on my blog if I ever found it. 

So, without further adieu....
"The Worst School Picture EVER"
I think it's a combination of the overactive pigtails, the poofy sleeves, the ginormous lacy collar, the 90s floral pattern and the humongous pink ponytail holders. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Live the Example

I've had this post brewing in the back of my head for the last few months. While I feel like some of the firestorm has blown over, it's not over, so I'm going to be adding my thoughts on "The 50 Shades Debacle" (as I not-so-affectionately call it) to my blog.

Yes. You read that correctly.
Today we're discussing 50 Shades.

I didn't want to blog about the topic.Part of the reason was that in May when most people were blogging about the topic, I was just starting my internship at a church for the summer. I knew that people from that church would be reading my blog and I didn't want the first thing that they saw when they got to my blog to be about sex (especially if there were middle school girls googling my blog...awkward much?). So, I just put the blog idea in the back of my head and decided that it wasn't the time for that kind of post. I wanted to play it "safe". I didn't want to offend anyone. I didn't want to make a big deal over something like this. But, I'm starting to realize that we DO need to make a big deal about this. 10 weeks later, this trilogy is still at the top of Bestseller lists. It hasn't faded into the background. While I thought that ignoring the series (and not giving it more attention) would be the answer, after some interesting questions from middle school girls at camp, I'm realizing that ignoring the problem is not the solution.

As a senior in college, I expected to have this whole 50 Shades business pushed in my face. The fact that people my age are reading the series is mildly disturbing. But, I can ignore that. Is it weird that some of my favorite mommy bloggers that profess to be Christians blog about how wonderful the series is and how it "really helped their marriage"? YES! (Side note- If your marriage is really struggling THAT much that you'd resort to THIS, I'm going to recommend you drop the 50 Shades and pick up the Bible. I'm not married, but I do know that I serve a God that can do miracles, and HIS WORD is where I'd want to turn in times of trouble. Just saying.) But, I'm not exactly normal. I am the girl that is madly in love with skorts. I'm the girl that collects children's books like nobody's business. The fact that I'm not into a book series, isn't anything new and exciting. I'm used to ignoring books that I have no business reading. But, you get my middle school baby girls involved? I might will go mama bear on you. There is no reason for ten, eleven, twelve, or thirteen year old girls to even KNOW about this series. I can't think of a reason why they should know the plot premise of the books. When one of the girls asked me about "the contract" part of the book (that I didn't even know about, but I can assume enough to know that it wasn't a good kind of contract)...I about lost it. As we sat around our cabin one afternoon during a rainstorm, I had so many thoughts go through my head. So many things that I wanted to say. As we sat around at chatted, one of the girls mentioned how her mom read the books, but she always put it away when the girl walked into the room. Moms? You have a precious gift. Don't corrupt it. Help your daughter stay pure in heart, mind, and strength. You reading this book series does not bring any glory to God. It doesn't point your precious daughter in the right direction. You are your daughter's ultimate example. If you are reading a book that you have to hide as she walks in the room, you probably shouldn't be reading it.

I'm not going to go into all the reasons why you shouldn't read this book. There's plenty of amazing posts already written (like this one by Erin), and I don't have much new to add to the argument. I could  think for a really long time, and I don't think I'd come up with a reason why I should read this series. But, I can think of ONE really good reason- a reason that isn't shared a lot. I truly believe that the best way to show what it means to be a Christian and live a Christian life is to live your life as an example. Living a life of purity is an amazing model for younger girls to follow. I don't have to go up to the girls I work with and say "I messed up. But, you shouldn't.". I have the amazing privilege to be able to share with these girls about how you can be twenty-two and still never been kissed. I can share with these girls that YES, you CAN make it through your teenage years without having sex. You will survive. Is being twenty-two, unmarried, not even in a relationship where I thought I'd be? Not exactly. That wasn't part of my four year plan- but it WAS a part of God's magnificent plan. It was his plan for me to get to share with these girls about purity. While it angers me that these little girls have knowledge of these books, I'm so happy that God brought me to them this summer so that I can share the flip side. I'm so glad that he allowed me to be able to share with them how these books aren't appropriate reading for them. I'm glad he let me share with them that the relationship modeled in 50 Shades isn't the  type of relationship that God intends for us to have.

Now, maybe you're asking what you SHOULD be reading. I'll have you know that I just finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and it's definitely no 50 Shades. It's much better written (or so I've heard) and it has a love story that points back to God. It models that kind of relationship I think that God intends us to have. So, if you're looking for some reading material- that's going to be my recommendation.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Goals

Since today IS the first day of August and all, I thought I'd make a list of my goals for this month. Nothing too lofty or exciting, but all things that I really need to get done this month! I can't believe that in a few weeks, I'll have my last day of college- my last day of school, EVER! (Unless I decide to do the Grad School/Seminary thing or whatever). It's crazy how fast things are flying by, but I'm so excited about what the future holds!
In other news, I'm updating my resume! I've done a little research on ministry resumes (they're a little different than regular ones) and the things mine should include. I know that some places are more traditional (so I'd send out a copy of my "regular" resume), but I feel like I would stand out more in some churches with a more colorful, graphic resume. It's definitely only a "church" resume (because it has my picture and links to examples of my writing and teaching), but I think it's ME and it might help boost my job chances. We'll try it for a few applications and see how it goes from there.

Have any of you ever done a more "non traditional" resume? What was the response to it?