My Big Bro

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Meet my big brother. His name is Dalton. Today is his 23rd birthday.

Dalton and I are 18 months apart. A lot of people feel that when kids are close in age, they will be close in general. In our case, these people could not be more wrong. My mother claims we were the bestest friends as little kiddos, but once we started school all that changed.

Besides having different favorite things, he and I just went in different directions. I took the path of education: I loved everything about school; learning, friends, clubs, advancement. Dalton on the other hand just wanted to make it to the end of the day (mainly through sleeping lol!). I chose to go to college and he chose to get a full-time job. I am into reading, writing, scrapbooking…. he is into cars, mudding, and alcohol.

For a while my brother and I did not get along. We lived in the same house, but it was as if we didn’t. There were weeks where we wouldn’t see or speak to each other at all. We had just changed so much and I felt that I didn’t like or understand the person he was becoming. I was in a weird place myself, but I mostly kept it to myself, where he likes to publicize how he feels. If you were around last year, you may remember my post about my brother being an ass. I am not proud of that post, but I am all about honesty and he really scared me that night.

I am happy to say that Dalton and I have come a long way in our relationship. I am not going to lie, we are still not best friends or anything, but we can [normally] get through dinner without a fight. We are still headed in different directions, but I hope we will both continue to grow together instead of apart.

Love is patient.
-1 Corinthians 13:4

Unplanned Changes

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I had wanted to wish you all a Happy Independence Day (for those of you Americans), but my Fourth was jam-packed, so I didn’t get the chance.

I am a planner. I like to know what I am doing and when I am doing it. I use multiple calendars and an actual planner in order to keep myself on a set schedule and to keep me productive. Well, I expected nothing less of my Fourth of July.

  • 8:00 – wake up
  • 9:00 – be at my parents house
  • 10:00 – arrive at Hurricane Harbor
  • 5:00 – leave Hurricane Harbor & shower
  • 7:00 – arrive at my friend’s cookout for food and fireworks
  • 10:00 – sleep

Let’s just say it did not quite go like this.

I really enjoy being a planner and I take pride in the fact that I can stick to a schedule and fit everything and everyone in. Well, when I woke up on Monday, it was storming and my mom had texted to me to come around 10/10:30 instead, so I fell back asleep. When I woke, I decided not to shower since it was raining and we were going to a water park. I got up, got the pup, and got the boyfriend and we were off to my parents. We hadn’t eaten yet, so I asked my mom if she would cook a quick something, she said sure, but she needed milk and eggs, so we stopped at a nearby Walmart. When we started cooking, my dad decided to make pancakes and my mom egg quesadillas… all was going to the “new” plan since we were waiting out the rain.

Once the rain had stopped, we were ready to go except my brother had not shown up yet. We texted and called and he finally showed a bit late. Once were on our way to the water park, we paid for parking and my dad had to park about a mile away, so it took us forever to reach the front, but alas we arrived around 12:00. My cousin and other brother were supposed to meet us there, so after every ride we rode, we had to go back to the table and check and see their status. They arrived around 2:00.

All was going just fine until around 5:00. I was exhausted and sunburnt and hot and miserable. They kept going down body slides that I do not enjoy with long lines and I was about done. I was already supposed to be on my way home and my mom didn’t seem to care. She just wanted to go on one more ride then another. I was trying to be a good sport except we didn’t end up leaving until 7:20. Way later than I had planned.

When we reached the car and I checked my phone, my friend had called me and texted me multiple times, because I was supposed to be there. I tried texting her that things were running a bit behind, but that I would be there soon. We arrived at home, showered, and were getting ready to leave when I realized it had already been another hour. Driving to my friend’s place would be another hour and we would have missed food and would seem like we only showed for fireworks. My friend wasn’t returning my texts about being late, so I had to make a decision to skip her cookout and just go to dinner with my family.

We were eating on the patio at Boomerjacks (one of the only places open) and everything was going great. Laughing, talking, a good family outing until the arguing started. I was already irritated that I had to miss my friend’s cookout and fireworks and then my brothers had to make a scene. I didn’t get home until around 10:30 and I was totally exhausted from the day’s events.

I wanted to just be mad and stew that I didn’t get to shoot off any fireworks or even see any fireworks, but God has given me an amazing boyfriend who knows when he needs to calm me down and distract me from my own mind. He gets to my house after I dropped him off at his car and he tells me to come outside. He is sitting on the curb staring at the sky. Winnie and I come out, she runs around and I take a seat beside him and also look up to the sky. There is a lightning storm with no thunder. It is absolutely beautiful and bright and shocking and fun. It was like God’s version of fireworks. He held my hand as we gazed up at the sky and in that moment I wasn’t irritated and angry that my plans did not work out the way I intended. In that moment I was exactly where I needed to be. 

That whole day made me realize that making plans isn’t a bad thing, but it is not the end of the world when they don’t work out, because unplanned changes can result in the best memories!

The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9

The Day That Never Wanted To End

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So it happened… I TURNED TWENTY-ONE and it was surely a day I will never forget!

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So I had a plan, but most of the time things never quite go according to said plan and yesterday was a beautiful and fun plan-gone-a-different-direction. At the strike of midnight, I was going to go to a bar and get my first legal drink, because why not? I was going with Jeremiah and one of my best friends and meeting another couple there.

Well first we are running way behind schedule. The bars close at 2am, so we were supposed to get there at midnight. We finally arrive and my ID is nowhere to be found yet I am positive I put it in my friend’s purse. We leave to go and look for it. We find it; yay! We park and as we are walking, the strap on my dress snaps. At this point I am trying my hardest not to freak out or cry, but my friend jumps in and ties the strap back to the dress. I am little lopsided, but it wasn’t too noticeable.

It is a miracle when we finally get to our destination with ID in hand and fully clothed. I get there and P (my bestie from last year) has a whole night planned for me with a bar crawl, because apparently you get a free shot from ever bar on the street on your birthday. So there goes my one/two drink limit. I have not been partying or drinking lately, so needless to say I am very out of practice and the first shot was rough, but they did get easier! The deal is that the bartender can make your whatever they want, so I ended up trying lots of stuff I never would have. –>This gal took straight fireball like a champ!<–

7 shots later I was definitely feeling it. So many people, loud music, and there never seemed to be enough water, but it was one of the most fun nights I have ever had (and it was all completely legal!). Some were more drunk than others, but I was proud of the classy demeanor I kept throughout the whole night!

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We make it home a little after 3am and pass out! Because my night was a bit crazier than I had anticipated, we did not make it to church and were even late to family lunch. Family lunch was full of so many surprises and smiles! My favorite grandparents made an appearance along with my wonderful parents and ridiculous brothers!

My mom even brought two cheesecakes that the Olive Garden people decorated for me! It was delicious and so thoughtful! I couldn’t quit smiling!

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Family lunch lasted awhile and then the fam came by to meet Winnie and work on my car. By the time I was finally free to relax, Jeremiah showed back up and we had to run to the store for last minute things for my party later that night.

My friends and I met up at a restaurant to grab a bite before heading back to my place for games, drinks, and cake! I was a little nervous about mixing my friends, because I know most of them from different areas of my life. A friend from home came up to visit, a girl from class, a guy from an old organization I was apart of, and the rest from my new small group! Luckily, everyone seemed to get along!

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Around 8pm, we were ready for games, but of course I ended up leaving my purse at the restaurant, so I had to go back leaving my friends to fend for themselves at my place. All worked out and it was such a fun, awkward time! All of the festivities including the cake and plates and stuff were my favorite colors and seeing my friends mesh was exciting.

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It was a better birthday than I ever could have imagined. A little crazy, a little weird, a little sweet…. just wonderful! I am so ready to face this year as a 21 year old! Let’s do this!

❤ Lauren

Another Year Gone

Change

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 21 years old and it seems so surreal. As I wait for the strike of midnight to go out for my first legal drink, I started thinking about where I was at this point last year. This blog chronicles my life up until my 20th birthday almost day by day, but it is crazy to go back and look at how things have changed.

Last year, I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be. I was busy battling what I believed, deciding on my definition of being good, and making all the mistakes I never did in my teens. I won’t lie, it was a pretty monumental time for me that set up the person I am now. I drank and partied and laughed and made memories. As many would be disappointed if they knew what I had been up to and some would disapprove; I wouldn’t change dealing with that for anything.

As tomorrow arrives I am curious as to who will show up to wish me a good birthday. I have lost some best friends since last year and made some amazing new ones. Part of me feels like those friendships aren’t completely over, but if they remember my birthday or send me a simple ‘happy birthday’ I will know our friendship is not dead. I am crossing my fingers that I still have something to work with and time has helped heal our wounds.

But either way, I have been looking forward to tomorrow for weeks now. I have a small two drink thing for midnight with a few best friends, church in the morning, lunch with my family, and then dinner plus party with my friends for the night! It should be a fabulous day filled with fun, smiles, laughter, and silliness. I am so excited and it cannot get here fast enough.

Let’s hope that year 21 treats me better than year 20, but that I learn just as much!

❤ Lauren

Gobble. Give Thanks. Gobble.

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!!

Confession: Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday. Gasp! Yes, I said it.

It’s not because I don’t like being thankful for the people, things, and happenings in my life, because I am (most of the time) very thankful. It’s more for these three reasons: I don’t like the food, my extended family makes me uncomfortable, and we don’t go about Thanksgiving in the right way.

Let’s all take a second to corporately gasp. Most people’s mouths water when people discuss turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and all that other stuff, but not me. I cringe at the sight, smell, and thought of Thanksgiving food. My mom always makes mac n cheese just so my brother and I will have something to eat. Oh and I think it is wrong for all of the food to touch on a person’s plate– just throwing that out there.

My extended family is an odd mix of people who for the most part don’t like each other and don’t get along. These facts make our get-togethers very uncomfortable. I absolutely love spending time with my Nana and her husband, but my cousins, aunts, and uncles are another story. They aren’t all bad and they aren’t all bad all the time, but for the majority of the time, I would rather stuff myself in a corner with a book.

When I say we don’t go about Thanksgiving the right way, I mean that in the cheesiest way possible. We rarely even talk about what we are thankful for, because we are all secretly hating on the others and nonchalantly trying not to kill each other. So it is more of a day of working on our patience and keeping our mouths shut.

I dream about when I finally meet someone and get to spend a holiday with a different family. I know this sounds awful, but I just want to get a feel for how others celebrate. When I get married, I want to change the way my family does Thanksgiving. I want to be that family that goes around the table and talks about what they are thankful for. I want to play football and catch in the yard. I want to laugh as we play board games after we are done eating. I want there to be different conversations and interactions. I want to change the way we do Thanksgiving.

These are just dreams right now, but I often look forward to actually looking forward to holidays, because I will be surrounded by genuine love!

❤ a girl

What do your families do for Thanksgiving?