Sunday, February 26, 2006

this month has flown by...

and it's very hard to believe that it's almost march. i cannot wait for springtime to be here :) today i bought bright, pretty tank tops with the hope of warmer weather to come.

went to fayetteville this weekend for the simmons' annual dessert drop-in. back in high school, i would work at them and take coats and stuff, but this time, i was invited as a guest. mrs. simmons fixed about 15 different cheesecakes and 15 other desserts/cakes and everything is so delicious and even if you wanted to try them all, you couldn't. i was stuffed by the end of it, and i also enjoyed the company of maggie and her friends from winston-salem. thinkin' about going up to see her for "shag on the mag" again this year--and, of course, graduation! we'll see...

friday night, justin and i met up with his friend jon and gf sandy for dinner at starlight cafe. i had just been joking a couple of weeks ago about how i could never get him to go there cause it was so fancy. but there we were, only 2 weeks after my first trip to starlight with the girls from work. i had some excellent jambalaya, justin got a great steak, and to finish it off, i got to try the creme brulee topped with vermont maple sugar. soooo good. it was fun to visit with jon and sandy--very easy going and we all had a good time.

wednesday, we had book club at chico's and discussed another one of our fun, "chick lit" books. we had the craziest waitress who sounded like an overly perky flight attendant, and with the 9 of us there, it was a full table. last time our book had involved secrets, so we all told one of our "secrets" and had to guess whose secret was whose, etc. well, this time, to go along with the book about careers, we went around and talked about what jobs we would be interested in if we could start all over. we were allowed to choose one realistic one (that we could actually do with our degree or if we went back to school) and one over-the-top one. so there were a few interior decorators, wedding planners, chemists and architects in the first group, then lots of singers, actresses and rockstars in the second group. personally, i said "music therapist" for the first (since that was almost what i did in college) and then for the second one---

samantha brown. if i could go back and redirect my life to fulfill the shoes of anyone, it would be her. i mean, she's gotta get too old to do these shows eventually and then, the travel channel will need someone to take her place. i'm tempted to make a video in samantha brown style and send it in, just to let them know that i'm out there. i literally cannot imagine any better job--travel around, stay in fabulous hotels, eat amazing food, go to all the touristy spots and some undiscovered places in between, and capture it all on camera, being able to make people laugh and entertain them. yeah, i could do her job. now, if i could only figure out how to work it into my life plan... ;)

and i've got a semi-busy week ahead. conference on tuesday about "adhd and other disruptive behavioral disorders"--yeah, i know you're jealous. and then helping chaperone "pizza/bingo night" on friday. always a good time!

i think that's all for now. before i leave you, enjoy a west virginian mountain sunset...
later, y'all...

Monday, February 20, 2006

can we say cold?

so i am back from west virginia (in fact, only about an hour back) and have caught up with my digital life, as well as most of real life, too. the cats are happy and playing, clothes are in the washer waiting to be washed, and all of the e-mails have been checked. time for a post...

i would like to rant on UPS and how they have made my life difficult. i have a package from j.c. penney's where i ordered a couple of cocktail-type dresses for upcoming events where i need something like that. i can never be at home when they try to deliver, even when the first attempt takes place at 7 pm and they say they'll deliver after 5 pm the next day and i get home at 4:45 and they tried to deliver already. but how about this--after making their final attempt on wednesday, i end up having enough time to go pick it up at the big shipping place on thursday afternoon. i go in with my slip to pick it up--and the lady tells me they put it back on the truck today. "after they already made the final attempt to deliver yesterday?" i ask, slightly letting the sarcasm get in. "yes," she answered, "can i have them hold it for you for tomorrow?" argh... i'm going to go pick it up tomorrow afternoon... if it's not there, i will be upset.

so, the trip. well, we managed to get out of town thursday afternoon at 6:30--not quite when we planned, but good enough time to get us to warrenton, VA by 10:45, where we stopped for the night to break the trip up. back on the road friday morning, where we made it to morgantown, wv, by 1 pm without too much trouble. lunch with justin's grandma and some social time with her, and then on up the mountain to his dad's house. we went out to dinner in town that night and i got to see what a friday night was like with the locals... pretty quiet, to say the least, but we all had a good time.

saturday was skiing, and we had been waiting to see what the weather was like before we decided where to go. when i woke up saturday morning, it was snowing and there was already an inch and a half on the ground. predicted temperatures for the moutains? highs in the teens, lows in the single digits with wind chill in the negatives. let me just say that short of the trip to cleveland where the great lake up there was frozen over, i have rarely been exposed to temperatures like that, and certainly not for long periods of time outside. but we bundled up and headed towards wisp in maryland. along the way, snow continued to fall along the backroads, and though i felt very safe in justin's dad's four-wheel drive jeep, i told both of them, "where i'm from, if we see snow like this, we put a pot of soup on and call it a day." but not the case here--we made it to the resort by 10:15 and were on the slopes by 11. i did great on the greens, had one bad run down a blue and made it for it with one decent run down the blue, and then finished out the day with some more easy greens. by 4:30, my hands were numb and the battery in my phone was about frozen. i did get a few pictures in before my camera batteries went dead, and they revived themselves enough to get some sunset shots on the way home. pardon the blurriness, they were taken from the car.

my new favorite family member? river, the seven month-old son of mandy, one of justin's stepsisters. she was about to pop in august when we were up there, and this time i got to meet the little guy. i must admit, i was smitten and he did enjoy being infront of the camera. we got to spend time with the family all saturday night and sunday, which was nice since we were definitely sore from the skiing (i've still got a few spots where i'm trying to work out the kinks). and today--yeah, it was 10 hours straight on the road, with stops all along the way. it's a long trip, but after a good weekend like this one, i know it was worth it.

the surprise i got when i got home? alan, who had been taking care of the cats while i was gone, cleaned my apartment. and my car. seriously, i know it was a little cluttered, but was it really that bad? anyways, i am appreciative and i suppose i will make sure it's in better condition next time before i leave and put him in charge...

this was a great trip for me and justin, again. just when i think we can't get closer or understand each other better, it happens. gotta love that--and i certainly love him.

alright, that's all for now. time to get ready for bed and see what the weather's going to be like tomorrow... i'm thinking cold...

later, y'all!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

take me home, country roads...

off to west virginia tomorrow afternoon for some family time, some skiing and a wonderful looooooong weekend with my valentine.

be back sometime monday! call me if you need me..

Sunday, February 12, 2006

countdown to v-day

wow--so it's been a busy week. work has been crazy with lots of drama, a few big developments in cases, and a few giant steps forward for some long-term cases that i've been working on for the past couple of months. give and take--yup.

there was one final performance for the colorguard (went well, even though i actually messed up a small sections--whoops!) and at young adults monday night, i got a cake, singing and yes, candles. so i did get to blow out some candles! birthday wish issue averted :)

valentine's day dance at school friday night. i had used most of the day to catch up on my un-scheduled cases and then got started helping them decorate in the afternoon. i had worked on painting a background for pictures that i would take--very valentines-ish with hearts and swirls and stuff like that. we hung up the fabric for the stage, had hearts and lights and flowers everywhere, and had my picture booth set up for business. i went home to get cleaned up, then came back to school to go with hallie and shona and her daughter skylar out to dinner to finally use our starlight cafe gift certificates. we had all gotten them from students through out the year, and since our significant others certainly wouldn't do well with that kind of restaurant, we went and had a girl's dinner out with fancy food and lots of laughs.

came back for the dance and though i had a great time, the night couldn't go by without a little bit of drama. i'm waiting to see how i'm going to deal with it tomorrow. pictures were awesome, though. can't wait to see the kids' reactions tomorrow when i deliver them to homerooms. my favorite picture? the one with my friends. man, i know i'm in the right place. and as i was dealing with drama on friday night, i was reminded by a parent, "atleast you know you'll always have a job here!" ha--in some twisted way, i know it's true and i'm happy for it.

got to see my girl linda saturday for lunch, and we sat around talking for a couple hours afterwards. it was so wonderful to see her, and i loved being able to talk about everything with her, just like we used to when we were getting ready in the morning or late at night before we went to sleep. it's hard to believe how far we've come and how much we've grown up just in the past 6 months since we moved out of our apartment, but it's always nice to have a reminder of how close we were--and how close we still are--when we get back together.

excited about tuesday... and thursday, when we leave for west virginia for the long weekend. ski slopes, here we come!

that's all for now. later, y'all.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

and before i go to bed...

let's all say one last "happy birthday" to me!

it's been a good one. but you know what i just realized? i never blew out a candle. plenty of people sang to me, plenty of cake/pie was eaten, but i never got the opportunity to blow out a candle. does this mean no birthday wish for me?

quick update on the rest of my birthday activities--saturday really was all errands and productivity. however, it was good productivity, like going shopping for iPod accesories and returning extra colorguard shirts and trying out multiple office chairs at staples. also, i'm keeping my fingers crossed that in a short time, some bonus money will be coming to me by way of jewelry consignment. i finally found a store that would take care of the selling part for me, and i jumped at the opportunity. here's to letting go, reaping the rewards, and looking to the future...

today was church in the morning, brunch afterwards with everyone, some two-hand tag football (where, by the way, i continue to show off how little i actually know about playing football though i have been spectator to countless games) and chili cook-off/superbowl party at church, with the second half spent at justin's place watching the end of the game.

can i take a moment to point out that the steelers have just won their first superbowl in twenty-some years on my birthday and that my boyfriend is a huge steelers fan and could easily see this as superstitious (hence the reason his favorite black hoodie hasn't been washed since play-offs began. yes, that's gross.) i'm like the ultimate good luck charm. go me!

watching the steelers win was exciting, and i easily fell back into the feelings of last april, watching UNC win the NCAA championship. being so excited but not wanting to get too certain of things, even when they were up and only a few minutes were left. tonight, i sat there with 3 seconds left saying, "can't get too excited yet, the game still isn't over" even though the steelers were ahead by 11 points and it essentially was over.

i had a great birthday. i love all of the friends and family members that i got to see, and even more that i got to talk to on the phone or online. i am so blessed, and this past year has only shown me how wonderful things can be. here's to 23--may it be as good as 22 (or better!)

later, y'all.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

happy lauren's early birthday!

i've always been one to drag out my birthday celebrations for a week at a time. start one weekend, continue on through to the next weekend--that's just the way it is. and this year, the main celebrating has been going on beforehand just because i happen to have to share the day with some big football game. go figure ;)

but let me tell ya, it's been a great birthday so far. i know it's been a while since i've posted, so let me try to catch up a little bit.

i loved "beauty and the beast" last weekend--the CFRT did such a great job and really worked hard to bring the details of the broadway version to a smaller stage. it also reminded me of how much i enjoy that soundtrack and, in particular, "home" and "if i can't love her." two songs that were written for the broadway version that are just amazing. ("home" made me think of matthew playing it on the piano at the top of the stairs in jarvis and me singing along with him) and justin enjoyed it as well, although it didn't hurt that it was based on an animated cartoon and featured dancing flatware. nothing too heavy for his first venture into the world of musical theater.

busy week with many more referrals, new students, and catching up with old students. my work needs me, and i love my work. doesn't get much better than that.

COLORGUARD performance on wednesday--went sooooo well. they looked adorable, they didn't drop a flag, they acted as though they were having a good time, and got sooo many compliments. we perform again on monday, and i have a feeling it will go just as well. yay for a fun opening performance! click on "my pictures" to see a picture of them.

yesterday, i got my "birthday button" from the front office which meant for the rest of the day, i had many people wishing me happy birthday. my seventh grade classes made signs that they put on my door, they sang to me, and the faculty members gave me a card while hallie brought in a pie. so very nice to have so many people involved. we went out to dinner with mom, grandma, alan and rachel last night before alan's first concert with the wind ensemble. skipped out on the concert, though, because matthew called me to tell me he was in town and was going to hang out with the scholars group and for me to come with him. he said they were going to this party for a guy that john knows and that i should meet them there since it was over near the hospital and at first, i said, "i really feel weird about just showing up at a party for a guy i don't know and you don't know and we don't know what the scene is like there." so then once they got there, they called back and insisted it was fine, very laid-back, so i went over to visit for a while and apparently i made the right decision. not only did i get to see all of the scholars people (matthew, katrin, rachel, luke, john, his new gf) but then i saw caleb, who was long ago friends with crystal (my first roommate) and then i saw heather, megan's friend who apparently also knew matthew, and then megan came (who has a birthday sunday, too) and her justin was with her (who is long time friends with linda) and as we all sat around talking and joking around, we came to the conclusion that it really is a small world after all.

(by the way, this party was in celebration of the guy's divorce getting finalized. who knew that was worthy of celebration?)

so now it's my early-birthday day where i've been told i get to choose whatever i want to do for the day. and surprisingly enough, it's been difficult for me to make that decision. the furthest i've gotten is that i want boulevard bagels for breakfast. i'll go from there ;)

justin gave me his gift last night, and i had been speculating with everyone for a while about what it might be. my guesses had been either an iPod of some sort or maybe a necklace or earrings. i was correct on the iPod side--a nano. i've already started playing with it and getting it all set up and i'm very excited about the many uses this could have. i'm equally nervous that the cats are going to see it as a playtoy and bat it under the couch. here's hoping to not losing it.

that's all for now---go steelers!