Tuesday, November 29, 2011


For as long as I can remember, Christmastime has been my favorite time of the year. It may be that Christmas was reliably a time of year when the house was (almost) always clean and always smelled like something delicious. My favorite memories are all indistinct ones centered around the Christmas season; snapshots of parties my mom threw, or our Christmas tree, the smell of those sweet potato rolls mom makes or the apple cinnamon candles, the sound of Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters crooning out "Merry Christmas to you" and almost chanting the sleighbells song, and the overwhelming feeling that at this time of year things would always be okay.

That wasn't always the case. But even our very few bad Christmas seasons can't outshine the many, many good ones. There's just something about having the tree decorated and the music playing from Thanksgiving until the first of January that warms me.

I don't remember when it started, but one of my favorite traditions is going to see the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. I love when people put so much effort into making the outside look pretty too, and I love seeing all of the creativity.

Although, one of my favorite sights is still the house that is dark on the outside but through the window you can see the tree and the warm lighting and people being happy on the inside of the house.

That is the biggest part of Christmas for me. Happy people. You can ask my husband, all of my 'I'd like to' things about Christmas include making other people happy.

One of the other huge things about Christmas is all the food. It's yummy and people expect you to eat a lot. And, as I'm sure we all know,

And Christmas food LOOKS and smells yummy as well as being yummy.

Plus there's the cute foods

and the food as gifts, that's another favorite part of mine.

I also absolutely love the decorating.

I love christmas dinner parties, whether it's on fancy plates or paper plates

And I love Christmas candles

Anyway, I absolutely love Christmas, and there will be more about it later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My mother-in-law

I hear so many stories about terrible in-laws, whether it's because they're too attached to their kids or for whatever reason. Fortunately, I don't have that. My mother-in-law is just a sweet ball of sunshine. She's a 4th grade teacher with a humongous heart and she's always thinking about others.

For example, last night she called me to find out if we were going to be spending thanksgiving with her side of the family (she and Jared's dad are divorced) and apologize for making things so complicated. As if having a whole day to spend with two sets of people is any trouble!

Anyway, I just had to brag for a minute about how sweet she is.

This is the biggest blanket I have ever made.

I remember my mom trying to teach me how to crochet when I was, I dunno, 9 or 10. It didn't go over very well. I'm terribly impatient and that just doesn't go well with something you have to sit still and learn to do. Sometime around 13 I started to get the hang of it, and became a menace in class. Many an overworked teacher lectured me about being all "artsy craftsy" in class while they were teaching. I was bored. And it was only scarves and scraps.

Somewhere around 16 or 18 or somewhere in there I started attempting blankets. The only ones I've finished were baby-sized, sometimes big for a baby blanket but never really all that large. Whenever I tried to make something bigger, I always ended up quitting not even halfway through.

What inspired me to actually finish this one was Jared's great-aunt Dian. She quilts the most amazing blankets!  I don't think I could quilt, it's WAY too much of an artistic-eye-required kind of activity, plus you have to sew in straight lines. But I saw all the blankets she's made (in pictures, she only has a few still at her house) and how happy they've made people and that made me decide to make this blanket.

So thanks, to Mom and Aunt Dian. Maybe after we move I'll make another one.

Monday, November 21, 2011

December first

Is most likely our move date.

I found this out yesterday.

I still need to pack.

"Now I'm not admitting to anything, but I need your help because I think it's possible I MAY be a little confused as to where I am"

Read: "I'm lost"

That's right, it turned out that (yet again) following the advice of my dear hubby saved my hide. Or at least, my interview. I'm like a stereotypical guy when it comes to asking for directions. I don't like to do it ever and so I don't usually do it until it's almost too late. I'd usually rather drive myself in squiggles until I find something I recognize so I can later boast that I found my own way. Keep that in mind as you read this.

In normal traffic, it takes under an hour to get to Bellevue from my house.

 Normally, I plug in my gps, and turn the voice off until I need to know what exit to take, and then follow instructions. Except that recently, I get anywhere near Bellevue and all of a sudden, no gps.

Today, an hour before my interview, I missed my exit. No biggie, I thought, I'll just take the next one. But for some reason the "next" one was for 70th street in Kirkland. No biggie, I thought, I'll follow this to the next place where I can get back on I405. It didn't happen. After several uncertain turns and honked horns (sorry, if you were driving behind, next to, or in front of me today), I finally came across a street name I recognized: Redmond Way. I cross Redmond Way every time I go to my mentor's house. Follow this, I thought, and I certainly will find 405!

Not so, because I was following it in the wrong direction. Deciding (after quite a few miles) that this was the case, I took a few more sudden and uncertain turns before calling my darling husband.

"I need you to help me. I'm turning onto 180th from 90th in Kirkland and need to know what direction 405 is."
"Where does your gps say you are?"
"My gps is nonexistant at the moment."
"Okay, tell me where you are again?"
"I'm on 180th in Kirkland, I need to know what direction to go to get to 405."
"Wait, are you driving?"
"Yes, I'm trying to find 405."
"Find somewhere to pull over, I can't help you if you keep moving."
"~grumble~ okay"

Now, keep in mind, I'm not worried. I've got 45 minutes until my interview, I am certain that I know exactly where the building is because I studied the map before leaving, and I've only been driving around for 20 minutes, I couldn't possibly have gotten myself THAT lost. Right?


In the process of trying to find somewhere to pull over that wouldn't charge me and was recognizable on a map (we've determined that chain stores on corners of main streets are the best place for me to stop if he's going to identify where I am and get me where I'm going) I get myself even more lost. I somehow end up in a right-turn only lane and before I know it I'm on WA520East. Fortunately, the next exit is just a short distance away and puts me out just two blocks from a 7/11 with a Chevron gas station. To give you a hint of how far off track I am, here's a picture. Point A is my destination. Point B is where I am at this point:
and keep in mind, the highlighted route is not the one I took, it's the fastest one I could have taken, were I intending to go from my actual destination to the general vicinity of where I ended up.

So I pull into this parking lot, and pull up my google map (which somehow can find me even though my navigation system run by google maps can't?) so I can tell my wonderful and patient husband where I am. At this point, I'm a little freaked, it's 30 minutes to my interview and I don't know how long it will take me to find my way.

Well, it didn't take long because my darling hubby has taught me how to read maps and I realized that if I followed the road I'd accidentally found (148th) north I would find Redmond Way, which I could then follow west and hit 405S with ease. So I did that, speeding the whole way, got a little turned around once I was in Bellevue but having already had one interview there and then having walked around there this weekend (maybe I'll tell that story later) with Jared in search of food between function sessions, I was able to quickly find my way to the office I was interviewing at. Somehow, I miraculously showed up with ten minutes to spare.

They took me in ten minutes early, interviewed me for ten minutes, and then I was on my way (watching someone else go in for an interview for the same position as I left).

So how was your Monday?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thank You, God

At our church, to help remind us of the reason for the Thanksgiving "season," they've had little commercials, people's voices saying to God what he is, and how thankful they are for him. So here's mine:

Thank you, God.
For always being big enough
For always being here
For always loving me
For choosing me at all.

Thank you, God.
For making me so valuable that nothing I do could ever make me more valuable
For always caring about what I'm going through
For always listening
For always forgiving.

Thank you, God.
You are my provider.
My peace,
My safety when I'm scared,
My boldness when I need to face what I'm scared of.

Thank you God.
You're my light and my way.
You encourage and enable me to fly
And you're my safety net in case I fall.
You're my comfort, and my shelter.

Thank you, God.
In the darkest of places,
In the hardest of times,
When I had no one else,
I've always had you.

Thank you God.
You take my hand and lead me
You hold me tight and reassure me
You tell me I'm beautiful
You give me purpose.

Thank you, God.
Everything good in my life,
All the people I love,
All the things that I have,
All the opportunities in front of me,
All of it comes from you.

Thank you, God.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Work (blip on the radar)

For various reasons, none of which are terribly important, I'm looking for a job. Finding a job has never been incredibly difficult for me. Mom got me my first job and the second one I got because of the work ethic my dad taught me. But now that I'm trying to get a job somewhere other than fast food, I'm finding it a bit more difficult.

For one thing, no office receptionist is going to appreciate someone walking in and saying "hello, is this company hiring a receptionist?"

For another, Jack in the Box isn't exactly office experience.

Third, when the resume is the foot in the door to the interview, that resume has to be pretty bomb.

I'm finding a little bit of difficulty here. Thanks to my charisma and amazing people skills, coupled with the things my dad taught me about presentation and work ethic, I'm certain that once I have an interview, the job may as well be mine. But my resume writing skills have never been special.

So I've gotten some help from a friend for resume writing, and I'm sending my resume out via email to the people who advertise for a receptionist on Craigslist. And we'll see what happens


Hearing about a death tends to make me a bit reflective. I feel like I've seen so many of them. It never seems to make sense. One day a person is there and the next they simply aren't. Whether you were close to them or not, whether they were your best friend or simply that kid who you said hi to in the halls sometimes, it still doesn't make any sense. And it hurts.

Sometimes, you can feel okay about a death. If that person was old, for example. Great grandma or the sweet widow next door, their passing still hurts, but you're okay with it because they were old. Or, if you feel that the death served a purpose. We hurt over the deaths of our soldiers, and I'm sure the families of those soldiers hurt even more than I can really understand. But whether sooner or later, at some point, you become okay with it because they died for a cause, their life was not wasted. If someone is in much pain before dying we tend to be more at peace with their passing, as in the case of sweet Jan Severn, who battled cancer for four torturous years and still had a smile, a hug, and a word of encouragement for everyone - even to her last day.

But when we don't see the why, when it doesn't make sense to us or there isn't something we can comfort ourselves with, death becomes a source of pain, confusion, and sometimes intense bitterness. Nothing anyone can say will help. We stand over the coffin of that person at their funeral, staring down into a face that no longer looks quite like them. We recognize, perhaps more in that moment than in any other, that the person is gone. They aren't coming back. Even as you stare at the coffin and your brain delivers data to support the claim that the person is there, you know they aren't.

Nobody really knows how to properly deal with death, because it's not a part of the way we were created to be. Originally, the intention was not for mankind to die. And so when death happens, and especially when we can find no greater purpose for it with which to comfort ourselves, it just feels wrong. It is. Because nobody knows how to properly deal with death, because it's not something we were hardwired to handle gracefully, we often find ourselves saying some very stupid things. It is the responsibility of the grieving one to try not to hurt more from these things, to understand that the people who say them are well-meaning and simply don't know any better than to say these things sometimes. It is the responsibility of those with words to be careful and know that sometimes the best and only thing to do is to hug, to cry, and to pray. Reaffirm the strength of the grieving ones, reaffirm the fact that they are loved and supported, that they do indeed have somewhere to turn if they find themselves needing to lean. And pray. That is all there really is to do.

Death never seems to make much sense, and it always feels to our heart like a robbery. It is. But what we need to keep in mind is that grieving is natural, hurting is okay; but we should not choose to hold on to that hurt for very long, lest death embitters our inner well and claims us while we're still here. Remember the words of the bible: "do not be afraid" and "peace be with you"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I may not understand the war, or the reasons behind it. I may not have even known that we were at war until recently. But I still have a lot of respect for soldiers. And empathy for their families.

Which is why I cry every time one of those commercials advocating soldiers making it home for Christmas comes on.

Dreams coming true

Kid: "Mommy, I don't want you to go to the meeting!"
Mom: "Honey, do you remember why we're going to the meeting?"
Kid: "To help the people?"
Mom: "That's right. And what happens then?"
Kid: "You go diamond."
Mom: "That's right. And then what?"

9 years later, she got an Arabian. Because mom went to a meeting, even when it was hard to leave her 3-year-old with the babysitter. She did it because she knew that building a future for her children was more important than staying home with them every night. That's what I'm talking about.

True story, courtesy of Bob and Shelly Kummer

Dipping into the past *about me?*

Just so you can get to know me.

In no particular order, with no particular structure.

  • I've used many different aliases, most of them (as an old highschool galfriend pointed out) mark specific "chapters" of my life.
  • I'm opinionated. But I'll try to be nice.
  • I'm the oldest of six
  • I ran away from Indiana because I knew there was something else out there for me...and I was right.
  • I was married on my parent's anniversary. For no special reason other than my wonderful husband saying the date stuck out to him.
  • I wasn't a very nice person growing up. Like, ever. It took a couple of relationships that started foolishly and ended poorly (to say the least) and the ways that those broke me for me to finally start becoming a decent person. If you knew me before, you should meet me again one of these days.
  • I'm not particularly eloquent. But I'm personable.
  • I own an Amway-based business and I love it.
  • I have, suddenly, run out of things to say in neat little bulletpoints.
So, I'm Laura. I'm 20 at this particular point in time. I have about 3 years of (sortof) real-world experience. But I'm smart, and I can learn anything, and I love that about myself. 

My journey, though only 20 years in time length, has been a long one. I've come a long way and I've got a long way left to go.

My earliest chronologically accurate memory is making cinnamon rolls with my mom in the basement apartment. 

My little brother is far too tall.

I adore my husband, I think he's hilarious (hence the "things my husband says" sidebar) and I'm mostly convinced that he hung the moon.

I admire those who have gone before me, the Diamonds (and above) in Worldwide Dreambuilders. My fantastic mentor lady is much more ... temperate ... than I am. Even to me, she's like that summer breeze on the day with perfect temperatures, she promotes calmness everywhere she goes, and one day I will figure out her secret (lol). 

An exercise in Foreshadowing: This post reflects how my brain often works when I'm not specifically focused on something. I may have to get a plan after all

Starting again

As I have for many, many years of my memorable life, I am doing something because my mom is doing it.

That said, blogging is probably a good idea. It's like journalling but with a bit more class. After all, when you have to consider how other people are going to hear what you're writing, you tend to choose your words a bit more carefully. Yes, I do keep journals. I have burned all the ones from before I met my husband because I find it a great way to stop agonizing over the past. Nevertheless, in a cabinet in my hallway, there are - gosh, I don't even know how many journals. Maybe ten.

What will I blog about? I'm not sure yet. I'm not organized like mom is, I'm a more scatterbrained version of her...blame the ADD, I guess. So I won't commit to a plan or a schedule, I'll just be posting. I've done this before, though, and I will warn you I will probably end up talking a lot about myself and my opinions and posting a lot of pictures of food.

Happy travels!