Lot 48

May 29, 2016


today i am 26 and it feels really, really good. in a lot of ways, i feel 26, or even older.  i've lived a good life, i've done a lot in my life.  i'm proud of how much i have accomplished, how much i have learned, and how much i've grown. {to recap: in my life i have gone to two different universities, lived in 7+ cities, lived in london, LA, graduated college, lived on my own 300 miles away from home for the past 7 years, created a life for myself time and time again and i have moved around, have several different jobs, created a good career in marketing after the 4 years of college, gotten married, written screenplays, laughed, performed onstage in theater, recorded albums, acted in films, performed in dinner theater, sung in front of thousands, gotten a talent agent, and become an aunt to 8 nieces and nephews.}

^^me turning 21 in london having tea at kensington palace. 

but in some other ways, i feel younger. a lot less mature, and a lot more childlike.  i thought by 26 i wouldn't be still figuring out what career path i wanted.  but life gets ya, and that's okay.  i try not to look at people like jlaw and dakota johnson who are my age and so successful and not go whaaaaat?!?! how is that possible?!?! it's funny how the same age can look so different on so many different people.  it sure looks different on dakota johnson than it does on me.

i'm proud of everything i have done in my life and where i am at.  over this weekend, i am ecstatic to tell you i accepted a job offer!! no more unemployed lauren! ringing in 26 with a new job! how great is that!! and it is in the marketing field yes, but it is working for my beloved church of jesus christ of latter day saints.  i can't wait.  i am so blessed and excited that i get to work for my church.  this is a huge milestone for me and a huge deal.  our church has millions!!

i have really been struggling trying to figure out what to do with my life and career, and marketing is what i kept falling back on because it is what i know how to do and what i am good at, but i hated marketing because i hated manipulating people into taking their money.  but that won't be the case in this instance at all! i will be preaching the gospel that i so believe in using my education and honed skills!

the calendar year started off very rocky, but i am so happy to turn 26 today and know this year is going to be one of the best yet.

i am actually looking forward to turning into the late 20s.  i feel ready, mature, and excited to take on the "grown up things" that i think 26 year olds do. have babies.  buy houses.  save for retirement.  aggressively pay off bills. to those things i say BRING IT.

but i know i have a lot to learn.  the 26 year olds i know are mothers already and are selfless and strong and are a million things i'm not.  and although i know this year will be full of ups and downs, i can't wait to learn from them and become a better person, daughter of God, employee, wife, sister, friend, daughter and hopefully, mother.

26: bring. it. on. 

May 27, 2016

it's my birthday weekend!!

hey hey hey folks!! it's friday and it's a gooood day!! we are headed back home for memorial day weekend last night and i have been looking forward to this weekend for months.  i haven't seen my sister jessica since christmas so i am super excited to see her and am super excited for us all to be together again! 

let's wrap up this friday with some random stuff! 

1. my dad has had his plane and pilot's license for 5 years now i have never been up in the plane, flying.  i've sat in it.  while it was in the hanger.  but never been up in it. he wouldn't take anyone in the family flying for the longest time until he felt really, really confident as a pilot. but now, everyone else has flown with him but me.  so i made sure my dad had time this weekend to take me up, so we are going to do it today! i am so excited but also nervous.  his plane is tiiny.  so hopefully we won't have to cancel because of wind! that's a huge factor with a plane that small.

2. i am turning 26 on sunday.  and i am so ready for it.  i have a whole thoughtful post ready for you to be published on my birthday, but i am proud of the life i have lived and how much i have accomplished.  bring it on 26, i am not where i thought i'd be at this age, but that's okay! i've lived a full life! 

3.  my youngest niecephew is 1 (!!!) and i haven't seen her since she was about 7 months old so she has grown so much since i last saw her.  i can't WAIT to take that baby in my arms and never let her go and hold her and kiss her to pieces.  and marvel at all the cool stuff she can do like stand! and try to talk! wait for your instagram to explode with pictures of her.  i won't be able to help myself.

4.  things have been uncertain and frustrating for a few months now but i do feel i am on the edge of something amazing.  like my luck is about to turn around.  like things are about to work out.  i have hope, i have faith, and i know my Lord is Heaven is looking out for me and loves me.  and no matter what, he has me in His care.

5.  i have joined upwork as a freelance writer!! this is really exciting for me and i can't wait to jump in and start proposing jobs.  i am excited to see where it takes me and excited to grow as a writer as i learn from upcoming projects.  taran introduced it to me as he is registered as an engineer designer on there.  i'm a bit giddy that i have a way to do freelance writing work!! especially with how hard it has been to find a job lately!

that's all, folks! be sure to follow me on instagram to keep up with all the fun happenings this weekend!! happy memorial day and happy birthday to meeee!! 

May 25, 2016

a note for all you new college graduates

connnnnnngratulationsssss college graduates!! what an exciting time of life!! i graduated 4 years ago (i can't believe it has been that long!) and as i have been noticing graduation pictures on social media, i have been thinking about how my life has changed since i graduated college and how life was so different 4 years ago.  

so i thought i'd write a note to all you shiny new fresh out of college peeps because this is a scary/awesome/exciting/hallelujah-i-did-it time!

dear college graduate:

you did it!! after 4 years of studying what felt like non stop, pulling some all nighters and forcing yourself to stay awake in class, you have graduated college!! hooray!! you must be darn terrified.  there is a lot of pressure to get a good job now and to have your life figured out right now, isn't there?   but i have a secret for you: it's all lies.  you don't have to have everything figured out right now!! you are 22!! (probably!) who has their life figured out then?? i'm turning 26 in 5 days and i still don't know what i want to do or have my life figured out.  if you graduate college and the next day wait tables, that's fine (and that's what i did to pay the bills until i found something.)  

you have given yourself a wonderful gift: a college diploma.  i can assure you it is a lot easier to a job with a college diploma.  you gave yourself 4 years of memorable experiences, made friends and learned.  that is invaluable.  now the world is your oyster!! there are so many options of what you can do.  don't feel pressured to get a fancy prestigious job right out of college.  if you get into your field you majored in and realize you don't like it, that's okay!! 

in this day and age, the majority of people change jobs and careers multiple times! i have! twice! take deep breaths.  try new things.  continue to learn.  continue to grow.  accept and know that your future might not go as you planned, and that is okay! because it is your future.  your life.  your career.  

and most of all have fun.  because there are no tests, no papers to write, no required reading.  go read a fun book now!! 

May 23, 2016

that time i was in texas

once upon a time, i had dreams of being an actress.  who doesn't really.  when you were a little girl at least?  all growing up, i was heavily into performing and acting and dancing and singing and did it as much as i could get my hands on.  

when i was 17, i got an opportunity to go to the middle of nowhere in texas and film a movie that has been seen by no one.  my saint of a mother supported me and went with me to a very small town west of dallas. 

to this day, i am not really sure this all happened.  my sister's best friend was heavily into acting and had an agent and she passed along this role opportunity to me.  i don't know if she got this role opportunity from craigslist or her agent or what, but i had a skype call with the director and i was offered the part.  

it was a very strange experience because it was such a low budget and was really just a creative guy wanting to make a film.  the pictures above and below are us rehearsing in his house where his grandma fed us 3 meals a day and his friend held the boom mic while we shot.  his mom helped with other things like lighting but that was the extent of my crew.  and my mom.  

{oh  hahaha!! we're filming a movie in the middle of nowhere! this is really weird!} 

my character was a girl who was murdered in the first bit of the film.  that's why i only had to be there for a week, my part was small but still exciting. 

speaking of small, the town was microscopic! you literally blink and you miss it.  there was a motel, which we stayed at, a diner next to it, a "steakhouse" and a DQ.  my mom was such an amazing trooper for coming with me! while i filmed, she sat in the car with the a/c blasting. we come from dry heat people, we do not do humidity! 

 i had a bit of a scene where i was standing at the river ("river."  the river was green and marshy and i couldn't even see the water. yuck!) and i remember thinking "oh my gosh, if i fall in...."

there were mosquitos everywhere.  my mom got bitten so many times, as did i.  when i had a half day of shooting and we went to this zoo (that was a really awesome zoo but i can't for the life of me remember what city it was in! a giraffe licked me!) and on the drive, my mom kept stopping to itch her foot, she had about 6 bites on her feet!! yeeks! 

we got to do some fun stuff as well as filming. we had one day off of filming and all the girls, (the girls in the photos above,) had moved from other places as well to do the film.  we became good friends and on our day off, my mom drove us an hour and a half to dallas we went shopping!!

how i was murdered was i was stabbed to death.  so there was a lot of cornstarch blood on me that attracted ants.  and it was really really  sticky.  fun.  fun, fun, fun. 

we had two identical shirts in which i was killed in.  one that was before i was stabbed, and one after.  the one after my mom took a knife and just went to town ribbing the shirt apart.  then i put it on and on went the blood!! 

they put bits of branches in my hair, got dirt and smeared it all across my hair and my chest and around where i was lying.  i laid on this bridge for over an hour where the director shot me from all angles and while my costars "found me" and grabbed my arms and my face and were right there in my face reacting to finding their friend dead! all the while i was trying to look dead and not breathe while they cradled my head.

it's real hard to keep your eyes open and to breathe shallowly for long periods of times, guys.  while someone is moving your body around.  

the worst part was the director had booked the park for the day so we could film, but some idiots came to the park and started yelling that they had reserved the park for the day for a music festival!! while lying there on a super uncomfortable bridge covered in sugar and cornstarch with ants crawling allll over me, i could hear them honking and yelling while the director's mom tried to hold them off.  

this picture is my 'party trick'.  i love showing this to people and they freak out because it looks real for a second.  "hey, wanna see a picture of me dead?" 

one day while filming at the park, these gorgeous dogs who i think were strays decided to be my friend.  it made all the ants and the sticky blood worth it.  

it was a good experience and i am so glad i did it.  it's one of those stories i will be able to tell my children someday.  the film has done well at festivals and has won some awards, as you can see from the poster.  when i got a copy of the film, i couldn't even watch myself i was so bad.  geez.  

as i am approaching 26 (in a week!!) i am so thankful for the experiences and risks and adventures i have taken in my life.  i've lived a good, full life.  i have lots of stories and adventures and i have lived and learned and loved and pushed myself out of my comfort zone constantly.  that's the life i want to live.  and i am so glad that as i look back on my 26 years of life, i can say that i have lived that life.  that is a really good feeling. 

below is the trailer.  i'm in the beginning with the guy covering my mouth.  i look so terrorized!! aaaahh!!! 

thanks for reading and letting me share my fun story :) 

May 20, 2016


i've been thinking a lot lately about 'where your home is.'  what do you think the definition for home is?

is it where your hat is? (that's a quote from gilmore girls in season 2 when mia comes to town and she is talking to emily about the gap years where emily never saw lorelai but mia was the one who raised her.) is home simply where the people you love are, or is home a feeling you get when you are doing something that makes you happy?

if we were in a country song, i would say "home is where the heart is." country song or a glade commercial.  they both say that.

my parents are selling my childhood home and it is crushing me.  i can't imagine someone else living in that house.  that's my house!! i haven't lived there in 8 years, but i still refer to it as 'home' or 'my house.'  it is 300 miles south of where i live, and when if someone asks, "what are you doing this weekend?" and if i am going to saint george my response always is "i'm going home for the weekend." 

saint george is where i grew up.  its where i lived from ages 5-18.  it's my home.

but it isn't my only home.

i have always said that los angeles is my home too.  i only lived there for 4 months, but the second i arrived, i felt like i had lived there forever.  there was no adjustment period, no culture shock, nothing like that. when i arrived in LA, i felt like i was coming home.

and here in salt lake city, i have lived here for 7 years.  this is my home too. it's where i picked myself up and moved to a brand new city where i knew 1 person.  i made a life for myself here.  its where i went to college and graduated college and figured out how to be an adult after college and where i met my husband. i love it here.

are each of those my homes?  or does the glade commercial speak truth that home is where your heart it?  my friend from my london study abroad (i lived there too! is that my home as well?!) described being in love as "coming home."  that when you are with that person, you are home.  when she said that, i had never really been in love.  but when i fell in love with taran, i completely understood what she was talking about.

taran is my home.  wherever he is, that is my home.  we could be homeless living under a bridge, if he was there, that's my home.  knowing this and feeling this eases the sting of my childhood home being sold.  my biggest concern when my parents announced they were selling was "where do i go when i want to 'go home?'" my childhood home won't be there anymore!!

but does that really matter?  i have a home.  a constant home that goes with me wherever i go and i will follow wherever he goes.  it's interesting when you are on vacation and you are done exploring for the day, and you end up saying "i want to go home." because the hotel you're staying at while you are on vacation is your home.  home seems like a very fluid concept.

i made this playlist a while ago when i was homesick.   homesick for saint george.  these are songs my mom always played in the car driving us around to our activities or on errands.  all these songs bring me right back to my childhood.  billy joel, simon and garfunkel.  they bring me back home because they remind me of home.

there are so many definitions of home. i would love to hear your thoughts.  what is home to you?  where is it?  do you have several?