Lot 48: 2013

December 30, 2013

if you could live anywhere....

do you ever daydream about where you could live?

i am fascinated by europe and want to live there and travel every inch of it.
this girl lives in wales, this girl lives in a villagle in France with her husband, this girl lives in germany, this girl lives in korea and so does this girl. and they all get to travel everywhere! or even this boston blogger or this one (i looooove the east coast.)
it's all making me pretty jealous, you know?

so i have been thinking about where i would live if i could live anywhere.  paris, chicago and san fransisco are the top three.  
^^i went to Paris when i was 10 with my family. i would love to go back! (i love reading about the life of this lovely blogger who goes to college in Paris)^^
^^photo courtesy of my brother in law Brad who was in Chicago a few weeks ago.  (a few of my favorite chicago bloggers for your reading pleasure.)^^

^^"What ever happend to predictability? The milk man, the paper boy, evening T.V..."(if you don't know that's the Full House theme song, shame on you!)^^

but the city that takes the cake is NYC!  don't even get me started on these new york bloggers. i really admire (cough cough, jealous) of these bloggers.  but i have always wanted to live there! i have been to NYC once, a few months after 9-11 when I was 11, i went with my parents and sister.  but i am sure that i will never end up living there.  there aren't many biomedical engineering companies in NYC for Taran.  And I have looked! but i know that NYC is a really hard place to live and very expensive. but maybe i can go and visit someday? and try not to look like a tourist. haha.  

where would you like to live if you could live anywhere?

December 29, 2013

2013 in review

What a year! This year will always be special to me as this is the year I dated, fell in love with and got engaged to..... a pretty okay guy, i guess. ;)

Went to a Jazz game, my life was made complete by this announcement, went back to LA to visit, tricked everyone with this epic April Fool's joke, I turned 23, met the man who baptized my mom, took Eli to see the dinosaurs and was surprised when he was too scared to go near them.

we took family pictures, I took a trip to Denver, I got engaged, started planning my wedding, went home for thanksgiving, and finished acutane.

i can't wait for 2014 as that is the year i get married! six weeks, people!

December 27, 2013

a little quiz

Recently, i saw these ladies take this quiz, so I thought I'd give it a try!

It was so much fun to fill out! I felt like a celebrity! I'm glad there wasn't a "doodle" section, because I can't draw!

you can downlaod the quiz here, courtesy of Two Thirds Hazel!! i would love to read yours! leave me the link to your quiz in the comments.

have a good weekend everybody! we will be looking at apartments and finishing our wedding registry and trying to figure out what to do for New Years! 

xoxo, lauren

December 26, 2013

shocking(!) things you don't know about me

i hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Taran got me this beautiful necklace

and my mother in law made me this amazing quilt.

Let's get back to real life now, yeah?
  • i don't like cheese. given all the weird looks i get when i tell people this, i think i should just say that i am lactose intolerant.
  • i got a crazy amount of ingrown toenails when i was a dancer and had surgery to remove them several times. as a result, both my big toes, mainly my left one, falls off frequently. about once a year. so i am usually without a toenail. i had just grown back my left one when taran bumped into me in august and ripped it off.  
  • i didn't go to the University of Utah for all four year of college, i went to Southern Utah University for my freshman year.
  • I switched majors in college. At SUU, i was a theater major but at the U i was a communications major.
  • i have totaled two cars.  the first one was when i was 17 and it was my fault.  the second one was not my fault and was in January.  it was a blizzard and the driver behind me lost control and rear ended me. i got serious whiplash.
  • i have more speeding tickets than i care to let you know about!
  • i have never moved into an apartment with roommates that i know. i have always lived with strangers who i have turned into my friends!
  • i was a huge homebody growing up. i couldn't even go to sleepovers or camp because i would get so homesick.
  • i was student of the month in middle school.
  • i have the weirdest dreams. 5 out of 7 of the nights they are nightmares. (on Christmas eve i had 4 nightmares rolled into one!)
  • i am always cold. i am so cold at work that i broke down and bought a space heater that i have under my desk. it is on all day and is lovely.
  • i absolutely cannot wait to have babies.
  • i have been to disneyworld more time than i have been to disneyland.
  • i was once a hannah montana impersonator.
  • i designed my wedding ring.
  • a few years ago my parents had a foreign exchange student live with them. he is from spain and speaks 4 languages (spanish, basque, french, english) and is the most amazing kid in the world (truly!) his name is jon and i refer to him as my brother. hes in college now and i can't believe it.
  • i really, really hate cats.
  • my hobby is target shooting. i love it. my preferred gun is a 22 rifle. on taran and i's second date, we went to a shooting range. we did about the same but i like to say that i won because his gun had a scope and mine didn't. i like going on dates to shooting ranges. usually i beat the guy and then he gets mopey. but one time i went with a guy and it was his first time but he did much better than me. we didn't go out after that.
  • im a horrible loser. taran isn't allowed to win when we play games. its a problem.
  • i had a big golden retriever from the ages of 7-14. he was our Christmas present and was in a stocking wearing a Santa hat! Best Christmas present ever.  His name was Maxwell Boroughguard. I miss him and Taran and I have decided we are going to get a big golden retriever and name his Max. He was the best dog in the world.  He was protective and adventurous.  We had a cabin and when we would hike, he would walk ahead of everyone to check things out and make sure everything was safe. if we  got too far behind, he would stop and wait for us. in the winter, he would dive into the river behind our cabin, even though it was freezing. he just loved to play. and he would bark at fireworks and try to eat them. our backyard has a hill and he would stand at the top with his shoulders back and overlook his kingdom. he liked to chase rabbits and tried to kill every cat he saw (good boy.)
lovely. now you know all sorts of things about me.
xoxo, lauren

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas is jolly and merry and bright! This is my first year celebrating Christmas without my family, but I am excited to have Christmas with Taran's clan.  We have a few more Christmas movies to watch, and I still need to get the second part of Taran's present! Yikes!
Let us all remember the true meaning of Christmas and take the time to read the Christmas story from the bible. My mother in law has given me a 12 days of Christmas box, which turned out to be a complete nativity set! With each new piece of the set, she attached a scripture; snippets of the Christmas story.  It has been a wonderful experience to read the Christmas story leading up to the day, as opposed to Christmas Eve as usual.  It has given me a great appreciation for Mary and a better understanding of the story. It has been a very special experience.  

Happy birthday Jesus. And Merry Christmas to you all!
xoxo, lauren

careers i could have chosen

I read this post a little while ago, and it got me thinking, if I could do it all over again, what would I like to be? if i could do it all over again or if it was just a dream world, what would i like to be??

// maybe i have been watching grey's anatomy too much lately, but i think i would have liked to be a doctor. but i only think that when i am watching grey's or house.  too much studying. too much school. never mind, i don't want to be a doctor. (ps. if you want to read a blog of a really cool air force officer/er doctor, click here! she's awesome and is like a real life meredith grey but more awesome!)
// fbi agent. i considered this for a while. i even gave the CIA even more consideration, but they rejected me... anywho, so i thought the fbi would be a good choice. but don't speak any other languages and i didn't have the right college degree. and i am definitely not hard core enough. my cousin is in the fbi. he is hard core enough for sure. (picture is lizzie on the blacklist. absolutely obsessed with that show. watch it now.)
// yes, that's ally mcbeal. i only watched a few episodes of that show, it was really weird.  and too smart. i don't understand lawyer stuff. but i did think about being a lawyer. i think i would be a good lawyer. and politics and the law interest me. but law school sounds hard. so... never mind.
// if my mother is reading this, she is going to laugh at this one. (that's olivia polermo, fashionist extraordinarre.) the world of fashion fascinates me and interests me.  i have always secretly wanted to be an 'Elle girl' or be a buyer or sacks (or is it sachs?) or whatever. it just sounds so fun. but i am not fashionable in the slightest.
// a makeup artist. it really is an art.  and it fascinates me how all that gunk can make you look and feel beautiful is applied correctly.  i wish i had artistic painting talent, but sadly, i don't. this is close. you're painting a face, right? and if you're really good, you can do makeup on celebrities!
// nurse.  (disclaimer, i have never seen nurse jackie.  but i assume its about nurses?) but i thought that since a nurse doesn't take as long as being a doctor and my mom was a nurse and my cousin is a nurse and my aunt was a nurse, it must run in the family, yeah? but, i've already graduated as not a nurse, so... never mind.
// cop.  i actually started training for the physical test to be a cop and talking to a girl who was in the academy to ask advice, but after a while, i realized it wasn't for me.  but i still have a secret wish that i was kate beckett. i looked into the physical test to be in the nypd, and ohhhhhhh mannnnnn. that test is TOUGH.  its kind of an obstacle course situation where you have to climb a flight of stairs while carrying a 100 pound (i don't think it is really 100, i just don't remember) dummy on your back and then shoot at a target and run a certain distance all under xx amount of minutes. it is intense.  so... nypd, you are clearly new york's finest.

but i am none of  these things and never will be, so i'll just stick to marketing. designing ads, managing websites, writing press releases, managing social media. ill just stick to that.

what career would you choose if you could do it all over again?

December 20, 2013

christmas presents i want to buy for myself

im really smart, guys. so naturally, i don't really think about what i want for Christmas until about a week before.  (smart, yeah?) so since I am just now thinking about these things, and everyone has already gotten their presents for me (taran got me my presents weeks ago! talk about on top of it!) it is up to me to fulfill my Christmas wishes. and so!

//a daily frustration for me is that when i put my gloves on, i can't use my phone! infuriating! i tell ya.  but these gloves allow you to use your phone while wearing the gloves! technology!
// "some kind of wonderful."  i have only seen this movie once, while in high school.  this movie keeps popping into my mind, and i really want it! such a classic.
// pillow pet! my roommate had one of these and it looked sooooo comfy.  i just want to snuggle up with it! i actually am having a hard time buying it online, but i think i saw some at costco...
// "you've got mail".  it really is a disgrace that i don't own this movie. this must be fixed. (ps. today is the 15 year anniversary of the film!)
in addition...
// a change of hair color.  i am tired of being blonde.  i am all natural hair color now and it is kind of drab. but i don't want to highlight it, i want something different.  i am thinking dark red. i think that would be fun. but i don't want to drastically change my hair so close to my wedding, so i will wait until after my wedding to make a change.
// did you know there is a police scanner app? downloading that now.

what do you want for Christmas?

December 19, 2013

acutane: a review

i'm not ashamed or weirded out at all to talk about this. its not like i am talking about a review for an anti depressant or something.  probably several of you reading this have been on acutane or know someone who has.

i was really terrified to do acutane.  i had heard so many horror stories and it just sounded really scary.  the side effects! THE SIDE EFFECTS! depression! (didn't get it) lips falling off! (not me) achy joints! (yes, definitely had that) nose bleeds! (um, yes, yes and yes i had that) non oily hair! you don't have to wash your hair for days! (yes, please).  All the side effects seemed scary (except the last one ;)) And it wasn't nearly as bad as i imagined.  it actually wasn't that bad.

i started the drug in july.  see the picture above? just a friendly reminder that you CANNOT get pregnant while on acutane.  i had to go get blood tests every month before my prescription would be refilled to make sure i wasn't pregnant.  i also had to see my dermatologist each month before he would refill my prescription. they meant business. apparantly your baby could have a really deformed head and some brain problems if you conceive a baby while on acutane. i had to literally sign 6 consent forms before i started, saying i would not get pregnant and that i wouldn't give blood (can't give blood.) i also had to declare what if i was either practicing abstinence or using birth control. also, once you take the blood test and see your doctor, you have to take a quiz.  yes, a quiz. on the dangers of acutane. and if you fail the quiz, you have to take it again. once you have done your blood work, seen your doctor and taken the quiz, then the pharmacy can fill your prescription.  they give you one month's supply at a time.  you take acutane for 5 months.

and don't even get me started on the cost of acutane.  it is craaaazy.  retail price is $1300 for one month supply.  so... if you don't have insurance that will cover it.... sorry..

the side effect that effected me the most was the nose bleeds.  it was rough the first two months.  i had to be really dilligent with putting saline solution in my nose every four hours, or i WOULD start bleeding.  it also dried your nose up like a desert which was uncomfortable so i had to constantly put this special aloe vera in my nose.  after two months, the bleeding stopped but whenever i blew my nose, there were still a lot of blood clots in there. (tmi?)

the achy joints was a problem too.  it would hurt to bend over.  or run. especially run.
i also got these really yucky red dry spots, kind of like eczema, on my bicep area.  i also got really dry on the top of my hands, like tiny little dry spots.

so even though i have taken my last pill, i am not out of the woods yet! acutane remains in your system for one month after your last pill.  so you still have to not get pregnant and not give blood until one month after you finish acutane.  also, i will still get sunburned super easy (so on my honeymoon to the Caribbean, i will have to wear long sleeve shirts and put spf 50 on every two hours or i will turn into a lobster), and i still can't get eye brow waxes until six months after i finish acutane. which is annoying. waxing is so much easier than plucking.  my doctor also said i will still have redness in my complexion for a while, so he said i won't really know what my skin will look like until Easter.  Man, this stuff is intense, huh?  i actually was going to start acutane back in february but i got scared because i had heard so many horror stories. the prescription was ready at the pharmacy and everything, but i chickened out and never picked it up.  by summer my zit infested face was really starting to bother me, so i sucked it up and made the plunge.  and am so glad i did! it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.  take a look.

 this was me a year ago

and this was me a few weeks ago!

ta-da! victory! clear skin forever! and i literally mean forever. acutane clears up your skin for life.  except when you're pregnant. acutane can't stop zits popping up when you're growing a baby.  
so there you have it.  acutane: REVIEWED! 
i highly highly recommend it. it really wasn't as miserable as i expected.  
ps. if you want to see some really crazy awesome results, google acutane and look at the images. CRAZY stuff. my change wasn't as dramatic.

December 17, 2013

this will change your life.

at the beginning of this year, i made this deal with my dad that i would email him 3 things that made me happy that day, each day.  it was a hard time of life and i was making an effort to get myself out of the funk i was in. i can't even begin to tell you how much that improved my life.  alright, i'll tell you.  it improved my life dramatically.  
so i was so excited when i found this app! it is a lovely tool to write down things that make you happy everyday! it is shared and then if it makes someone smile, they send you a smile! isn't that just fantastic!

i also an really loving the emails i get from "happier". The emails frequently tell me I'm awesome.  And that makes me happy!

I challenge you to just try writing down, (anywhere you want, it doesn't have to be on "happier"!) at least one thing that happened to you each day that made you happy. it is amazing the effect it will have on your life. trust me!

if you don't want to download the app, you can visit their website.

i'm in love with this app. it has already started to improve my mood!

xoxo, lauren

December 13, 2013

bah hum bug

everybody is talking about how much they love christmas and how it is their favorite time of year! and there is so much excitement around! kuzahh!  but honestly, i have never really been into Christmas all that much.  it is a great time of year. i like the lights, i like that when i come out of my office, the theater looks like this

but really, it all mostly bothers me.  Christmas is so material and superficial to me.  presents is not what it's about.  i hate seeing all the commercials and all the "discounts! deals! steals! presents! gifts!" i just hate all of that.  can you honestly tell me if you even still use the presents you got for Christmas last year? unless its an ipad or phone or something, are you even using it? Christmas to me is just such a waste of money.  buying presents is not what its about.  this is what its about.  the lds church has a Christmas devotional every year, broadcast on television and the internet to talk about the true meaning of Christmas.  I love it.  
Why do people keep saying "get in the holiday spirit" or "in the spirit of Christmas"....."let's be nice to this person we normally wouldn't be nice to, or give to the needy like we never do."  why don't you do that all year long? why is Christmas the only time in the year when you are a nice and good person?

Christmas is not about gifts. it is not about presents.  it is not about Christmas trees or cookies.  none of this matters.  Christmas is about CHRIST, the Savior of the World.  The Only Begotten Son, The Messiah, The King of all Kings.  It irks me to my very core when anyone refers to Christmas as "xmas".  Why would you x out the most important and crucial part of the holiday?  Without Christ, there wouldn't be a Christmas.  Why would anyone x out his name?  I find it so disrespectful.  some people do it because they don't have room to write out the whole word but i don't care.  you should never x out Christ's name.  
this year will be the first time i am not with my family on Christmas, and i am kind of nervous.  but it will be good and i adore Taran's family and am excited to spend Christmas with them.  and best of all, there have been traditions that i have been itching to start that will focus the celebration on the CHRIST portion (aka what should be the entire portion) of Christmas.  Taran and I are going to start these new traditions this year and I am so excited.  
i asked Taran if we were going to get presents for each other because i didn't know if we wanted to save money for the honeymoon and not get presents but Taran was aghast when I brought it up.  "What?  of course we are getting each other presents! its our first Christmas together! Of course we are!"  a few days later i told him some things i would like and he was acting weird when I suggested stuff and so i said "what, did you already buy my present?" and he had.  who is that proactive that they buy they presents two weeks before?  I always end up going shopping for them on the 23rd.  maybe its because i dislike the whole present situation so i put it off, i don't know.  and you know, just so we're clear, of course i don't mind getting presents..... ;) but in terms of presents for those i love, i prefer to make them. or get them something really unique.

anywho, time to get off my soapbox and tell you about some fun Christmas things I have enjoyed!  my mom came into town so we could go wedding dress shopping. (ps. i have found the absolute perrrrrfect dress).  while she was in town, with my sister and her two kids in tow, we went to temple square (remember that i live in Salt Lake City, Utah and the temple is a major tourist destination so it is all decked out in gorgeous lights for the season)to the festival of trees!

i love the reflecting pool

this kid.  man.  lincoln and eli are about a year apart in age and are partners in crime.  they ran around the temple grounds trying to get in as much trouble as possible.  it was like herding sheep trying to get them into one place.  i was trying to catch them and eli looked back at me with a mischievous grin and ran faster.  he knew exactly what he was doing.  so at the end of the night, taran just ended up carrying him as it was the only way to stop him from running away.

oh my baby girl! look at her!! can you even believe how cute she is! i just don't know what to do with myself! that hat!  that snowsuit! i mean, really.

it was really cold guys.  

and now we move onto the festival of trees.  

this was my favorite tree, of course, decked out in my alma mater.  GO UTES! 

mickey's house!

despicable me house! don't you just love it?

this was a house made entirely out of candy and it was so large that it actually rotated.  it was legit. 
the kids also sat on santa's lap but i didn't take pictures. i was too busy making funny faces so they would smile at the camera.  this also all happened on my lunch break as the festival was next door to my office.

so this was Christmas stuff that I like, I would just like it if we remember this is all because Jesus Christ was born, yeah?

xoxo, lauren

December 12, 2013

we were all together

you probably won't care about this post, its mostly for my purposes for when i'm homesick years to come i can look back at this and remember what a lovely weekend it was. to preface, you can read all about what i was excited for this thanksgiving.
so i give you (me?) thanksgiving 2013

there are numerous pictures of taran with babies because i just can't help it. i was soooo happy to see london. i missed her so much. she is ADORABLE. i can't believe how in love with her i am.

the sunday before thanksgiving, we gathered with a lot  of family to bless london.  most religions do some type of christening or baptism or something when a baby is born, and what lds members do is we bless the baby a few months after they are born.  a priesthood holder (usually the father of a family member) gives the baby a blessing for the child to be happy and healthy throughout it's life.  it is very special and sacred.  you can see little london in her white dress.  priesthood holders gather in a circle and all place their hands on the baby's head.  london started fussing half way through her blessing but quickly stopped.  taran told me that when she started crying he and my brother in law started smiling at her and then she was fine. i think she was just scared, there were a lot of people around her.

a few days later, we were off to saint george for thanksgiving!!!!

my sister found these turkeys on pinterest.  we made them as a snack to tide us over until the feast.  aren't they cute? a fruit turkey and a cheese turkey.

so, my dad has this "application to date my daughter" that he has all our boyfriends fill out.  when taran and i first started dating, he offered to fill it out, but my dad said he didn't need to. but over the weekend, my dad decided he wanted taran to fill it out. which is strange, since we are engaged now and the appropriate time to fill it out has way past.  but let me just say, this application is a joke.  read the questions.  they are silly. my favorite is "do you own a van" and "a truck with oversized tires?" hahahaha, the van one in reference to if there is a trunk where we can lie down in. cracks me up.

more pictures of london because i can't help it.  her daddy was holding her and then fell asleep and she just contently entertained herself and did not make a peep while her daddy slept.  ps. of course scooter (my brother in law, man in photo, wife to oldest sister jessica, father of lincoln and london) is tired.  this guy just finished med school in the summer and is now finishing up his MBA.  yes, he is in second year of MBA and just graduated med school, so he was in med school and MBA school at the same time. he also has 3 bachelor's degrees and a masters in diagnostic imaging from Oxford University.  He is also currently getting his masters in public health care.  so he will have 3 bachelors degrees, 3 masters degrees and a md by the time he is done. he is craaaaazy and really really smart.

this is the house i grew up in.  and its for sale. and it makes me cry uncontrollably every time i think about it.

my our family has grown!  we have 12 adults now and 5 babies!  with my parents, sisters, husbands, and my grandparents, we had to have two tables!

oh hey, good lookin'

you will remember i mentioned the turkey contest in the previous post.  here are my parents holding the prize money. the winners were:
1st place: my sister rachelle. she guessed the weight of the turkey within a very hundredths.
2nd place: my man! taran! good job babe!
3rd place: Scooter, the crazy smart guy mentioned above. (ps. no that's not his real name, his real name is robert. long story)
i guessed waaaaay off.

baby girl has STYLE. 

the next day, taran and i watched the littles while my sister and husband went shopping.  oliver was sooooo snuggly and it was heavenly.  something was going on, because he would just be standing there and just start crying. really weird.  its probably because he's teething.  but i was happy for the snuggles.

i told you there would be a lot of these pictures, didn't i?

babies playing in the leaves.

and now i present, avery the model

she is so adorable. and man does that girl have STYLE. i want to be just like her when i grow up.

the next day, we went to this super cool interactive museum.  i was impressed! and it was new! way to go, hometown! so now... some blurry pictures because i am horrible at taking photos!

they had a room where you learned about farming and got to milk a cow and drive a tractor and use play food to put in the oven and everything. it was adorable. eli and oliver (brothers) driving the tractor.  

then they had a room where you could learn about music and the radio and stuff.  avery is such a little attention seeker so we put her on stage 

and then they started playing katy perry's ROAR so a whole bunch of other kids went up there.  it was adorable. ah.  so cute.  and consiquently, all the babies now sing the "oh oh oh oh oh oh" part in the song. especially Oliver, because he is very musical.

i mean look at him, he looks like a rockstar already.  there was a room where you could learn about government so i made him sit still and put this hat on him so i could take a picture.  you sit at that desk and sign the declaration of independence.

my dad recently got his pilot's license and has a plane and it is his boy hood dream realized.  so when i saw there was a room where the kids learn about the airport, i knew my dad would love it as much as the kids.  and he did! he sat up there and they had a pilot's hat the kids could put on so Eli sat in the front seat and my dad watched him "fly the plane". i think it was his proudest moment as a grandpa.  

they even had a fake security check and luggage.  oliver and lincoln decided to put the luggage in the compartment.

and eli wanted to learn about cars.  

and then, naturally, when my sister saw that she could put Eli in this outfit, in the outfit he went. 

he makes such a cute fireman, yes?

they had a room where you learned about princesses and castles and stuff, so naturally i went to the top of the "castle" and called out "romeo, romeo, where art thou romeo" while taran stood at the bottom and said "im here my love! i come forth hence!" (might i say that whole thing was HIS idea)

blurry picture, true statement

the princess room had this painted on the wall as well as dresses that girls could put on to pretend to be princesses.  since they wouldn't fit me, i had to live vicariously through a toddler right? so i ran and grabbed avery and put her in a dress.  she wasn't interested.  she wanted to take it off.  and then she ran into the prince's room and put on the armor and grabbed a sword and swished it around. just like her mother. i'm telling you now and i told you the day she was born, avery is just like my sister.

and that's it folks! whew! what a post, yeah? thanks for bearing with me!