Stupendous Saturday

This Saturday was a great follow up to Friday. At 11am I met up with my friend Kaycie for brunch and maternity pics part two! She made us some deeelicious waffles from scratch with strawberry toppings and whipped cream. It was truly delightful!

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While we enjoyed our waffles Kaycie showed me some ideas on Pinterest of some shots she wanted from our shoot that afternoon. After our food settled and our plotting of pics was through we got started on our shoot! This was our second maternity shoot together, and it was neat to see the progress of her beautiful belly! Here is a little sample.

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They are such a good looking couple, and Kaycie has just become more and more radiant throughout her pregnancy! Needless to say, the shoot was quite effortless!

After our pics I headed home to be with my hubby. We had some lunch and relaxed for bit watching some television and I began editing the pictures. In the evening we headed to an event at a local wine store here in town. We spent the rest of the night enjoying a few drinks and socializing with some friends.

On our drive home we received news of an engagement by a close family member, which was an even more perfect way to end the night! My hubby and I are very excited for them and are looking forward to celebrating with them throughout the whole wedding process! It was a great great day and I am very blessed to have such awesome days in a row.

 

What a Weekend

With only 6 more class meetings to go until summer break–this instructor is chomping at the BIT for it to get here! The bizarre weather of the weekend hardly promises warm days around the corner, but still I hope and wait.

This weekend seemed particularly long; maybe because I was in MN last weekend and it was jam packed with things to do and people to see. None the less I still fully enjoyed what felt like a longer weekend than normal. Friday my husband and I went out to dinner and then had a few drinks at a local wine shop. Saturday we worked in the yard, lounged around, and then met up with some friends for dinner and drinks. Sunday we attended a couple’s baby shower and then had to do some weekend chores such as house cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and the like.

But, what was unique about this weekend is the amount of painting I completed. I completed a total of 3 paintings throughout the past 3 days. My artistic juices were flowing! Often times painting is a therapeutic outlet for me. My husband has video games, and I have painting, meditation, and blogging. Based off a few things that occurred this weekend, I can see why I needed extra “art therapy” these past few days. As one married person to another married person knows, marriage is tough! When people warn you about, they are not kidding. Even after having been with my husband for 7 years before we wed the aspect of marriage can still be challenging. Not to say that it isn’t worthwhile and amazing as well, but it certainly has its moments. And although those “moments” aren’t always particularly enjoyable, they at least fuel some creativity for me when they occur!

My Minneapolis Treasure

Reflecting back to my trip last week, I can’t help but feel elated. Minneapolis was just wonderful. I greatly enjoyed the time spent in the city as well as the time spent at the conference. I was able to try and enjoy a lot of new things in MN while exploring the downtown area. I also learned a lot from the panels that I attended. Saturday was our last full day and evening in MN, and quite frankly–I think it was also my favorite. My co-worker and I had our 8am panel sharing instruction ideas. We had people at our table every round, and I even got asked to apply to a community college nearby, so that was sweet! Then, after our panel I attended a Women’s Caucus panel that had a variety of research on women’s issues. After the morning panels I grabbed some lunch and headed back up to the hotel room to hang out and enjoy my food before heading to an afternoon panel where my undergraduate program was winning an award for outstanding Communication program. I met up with friend of mine who also attended that panel, and we hung out the rest of the afternoon. Her, another friend of ours, and I just hung out at the hotel laughing, catching up, and enjoying some drinks. Our discussions were both enlightening and hysterical! After a bit we decided to grab some appetizers and drinks at a nearby pub that we wanted to check out. Brit’s Pub just downtown and down the street from where we were staying. Later on we attended the “sock hop” for the conference which was really just a banquet hall with a good DJ and people dancing. We only stayed for a short bit, but the time we did spend there was a lot of fun. We danced our drunken booty’s off until we decided we had enough. After the “sock hop” we were suppose to join a bar crawl. However, the people we really wanted to see were just planning on hanging out at the bar lobby instead. So, we decided to skip the bar crawl and hang out with those we wanted to visit with.

 

I sat down with the Department Head (L) of my old program and we sat and caught up on how things were going in each others life’s. I shared with him some of my most recent artwork and the photography I have been doing as of late. We also talked about how the program was going and how much I missed being there. Our conversation took many twists and turns throughout the night as each drink brought with it another topic to discuss.

After a short while, my Masters chair (H) showed up and took a seat next to us. He joined in on our conversations and catch up. I also shared with him what has been going on in my life and what I’ve been up to, and he his. What emerged out of our conversations though was something that I will treasure and hold with me forever. In part of our conversation I reminded H of something he said to me when I was leaving a final during my Masters program. I told him that those words had stuck with me and how much I appreciated him saying them. It was something along the lines of, I know you will do something great. And I’ve hung on to those words over the past two years. They encourage me and move me forward on the days I doubt myself. From that comment spun another conversation that has really just left me feeling elated, empowered, and driven. As I continued to share with H all of the pots I have my hands in at the moment and what I am wanting to do in the near future, he kept validating those ideas and telling me that I am amazing, I can do anything I want, I am a rare individual in this world, I will do great things. And I can’t even tell you how taken a back I was, and also how grateful I am for such encouraging words. To feel from this man a genuine belief in me and all things I set my mind to… It was unreal. And it isn’t as if I haven’t heard these things before from parents or loved ones, but sometimes it means something entirely different from someone else. And from this man, it meant the world. People say kind things to us often, but sometimes it just feels like a response rather then a genuine belief.

These men/mentors have no idea how much I care and respect them. I am so grateful for their words. And while reflecting on their words this week, and just the relationship I have with them in general, I finally figured out why I am so very fond of these two individuals. Whenever we are around one another, I am completely and utterly myself. I feel no inhibitions of who I “should be” or who I am “suppose to be” around them. I am just me. And through our discussions Saturday evening I was every side of me I think I could be. I showed them my artistic side, my professional side, my inappropriate side, every side there is to me in one conversation. And all they said were words of encouragement and love. I would apologize from time to time about comments I made that may have crossed the line and they would just respond with, That’s why we love you Lauren. And quite honestly, there are very few people who I can really truly be myself around without feeling judgement or questioning from. And these two men, along with some dear friends of mine, make the cut. This moment, and this conversation that was had, is simply a treasure I will hold with me forever. I sincerely hope they will be able to see their kindness and mentor-ship manifest into something great.

And as the night ended and we said our goodbyes H kissed me on the cheek and told me he loved me-and I shared the sentiment back. There was noting inappropriate of uncomfortable about it. It was like the kiss L planted as he intoxicatedly greeted me their first night in. It wasn’t passionate or sexual, just honest enduring friendship and love for who and what each of us means to one another. A true appreciation and care for one another. Gratitude that fate has allowed our paths to cross.

And it was a truly perfect way to end a long week in Minneapolis.

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Morning Treasures

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I love weekend mornings. It is a time of slow waking. Then sun comes through the curtains and fills our bedroom with light. Birds chirp in the yard where worms have wiggled their way out of their flooded homes. And as I wake I snuggle in close to the dog, and kiss my husband on the forehead. All three of us warm and snuggly on a Saturday morning. It is a moment of pure peace that I very much look forward to at the end of each and every week.

9 Years

Today marks 9 years since my husband and I’s first date! Fate can be an amazing thing. If I wasn’t working that particular shift, with that particular co-worker, and she hadn’t been looking through those particular pictures, I would have never seen his handsome face and spoke up! And here we are now happily married! We have been through so very much these past 9 years. The first 7 years we were long distance due to undergrad and graduate school. Then we finally moved in together and adopted a dog, soon we were married, and bought our very first home together. Life has moved swiftly these past few years, and I am very excited to see where the next few take us! It’s been quite a fun journey so far! Image