Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

December 3, 2015

Hello & Goodbye.

I have been planning this post for so long – the last Theology in Heels and first This Is My Life Now post. But stuff keeps getting in my way, and the new blog isn’t pretty and exciting yet. So many of the things that I have to say really belong on the new blog, and I’m sick of waiting to write them. SO… here we go.
Stephen and Lauren Engagements B&W-27My life right now is really beautiful. I have an incredible husband who is compassionate and patient and understanding and kind and fun and insanely attractive. He loves Jesus and he loves me. He’s wicked-useful in the kitchen and around the house; anything I don’t know he does, which is awesome. And he’s really nice about it, too.

I have five nieces and nephews, and all of them live within a 45-minute drive of me. They are super-fun and adorable.

Us with the kids

Y’all, they are almost 9-months older and EVEN CUTER THAN IN THIS PICTURE. Both the girls are walking and saying “Mama” and at least sorta know who Aunt Lauren is. 

Their parents are pretty great too – I have a fabulous sister and an amazing sister-in-law and all three of us hang out sometimes. And my brothers-in-law are smashing and make everything more fun. We love to play games with them, and they are both totally into board games, so that works out well.

me with both sisters

Me with both of my sisters. I’m not normally the short one…

But my life right now is also challenging – painful and hard (my health sucks), sometimes lonely (see preceding), with a steep learning curve (turns out a lot of things I know jackshit about). And more than anything, it doesn’t look like I expected. I had all these ideas about being an excellent housewife, but it turns out 1) it helps to know how to actually do housewife stuff, 2) it also helps if you’re physically competent to take care of business on a regular basis, and 3) it takes FOREVER to do this stuff if you are learning. My body is a freaked-out mess.

So what is this new blog going to be? Exactly what everyone says a blog can’t be – a mishmash. It’s gonna be recipes and hilarious stories about my housewifery mishapsand registry-item reviews (because I still am scared of slicing things in the food processor and I’m going to learn FOR YOU); it’s gonna be theology and ethics and Christian living and philosophy and musings and book reviews; it’s gonna be health-stuff and rants about the weird diet I’m gonna have to go on and thoughts on being a sometimes-invalid wife; it’s gonna be newlywed stuff and ridiculousness and drama.

The template of this blog will change. Probably a lot of times. I will figure things out, but in the meantime, I will be writing. Tell your friends.

November 5, 2015

The Power of Color – and My First Give-Away

So I got my “colors done” – which, in actual English, means I had a color consultation with the marvelously talented Karen Blanc of House of Colour. This was not my mama’s color party from the 80s (although it turns out I am, like she, a winter).

I’ll be honest with you – I was a little disconcerted about sitting in front of a mirror and looking at myself for a couple of hours. By the end, though, I was feeling really excited about what I had learned, pretty in a way that felt natural, and even appreciative of how God made me.

I found out that I am a fairly unique winter, as I have colors that stun and colors that droop in all four of the subcategories. We’re calling me a “wintery mix.” It was so much fun. But guess what: an obscene amount of my wardrobe is yellow-based.

Karen said it’s important to respect what each person naturally has going on when it comes to color, and I get that now. I go back and forth now between peeking at myself in the mirror (with astonishment at how great I look, how much my eyes sparkle, how awake and fresh I look) and not feeling any need to look in a mirror because I’m confident I look better than fine.

Unfortunately for me, all those minty colors, most soft greens, turquoises, and teals I love just aren’t working for me, they’re working against me. Same goes for corals and tans and tawnies and browns. So I have a LOT of jewelry that I’m just not going to be wearing anymore – or that I haven’t worn in ages but was never sure why. If you want to see what I’ve got, check out the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

So here’s the other thing I’m up to right now – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m not far enough into the book yet to do the formal selection of items yet, but I am doing a lot of preliminary work, based on my color analysis and what I know in my gut, on my wardrobe, from coats to athletic wear to jewelry.

This is a true statement, y’all: I am a mess. I manage to be incredibly tidy when I travel, but in my own space I am ALWAYS plagued with too many things and not enough places to put them. And here I am, at approximately 8 months of marriage (good gravy, how is that possible?) and ready to really purge our space of things that don’t bring us joy. (I’m going to even do this to my book collection – my father will be elated.) Hopefully this MariKon thing will help me improve my housewife game. (I have a WHOLE BUNCH to say about this, so stay tuned if you’re interested in how bad my housewife game is…)

Here is the slideshow of the jewelry up for grabs. Holler at me if you spot anything you want and we’ll arrange something. (I may ask you to pay for shipping, but the jewelry itself is free.) First come, first served. Oh, and there’s a very good chance I will keep adding pieces to this for a few days as my collection is whittled down.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t ask me what is going on here with the formatting. I fought and fought with WordPress, and then I gave up. 

April 26, 2015

3 Things I’ve Learned in (Almost) 7 Weeks of Marriage

It’s freaking awesome, by the way. Being married, I mean. At least, to this husband it is. He is so amazing, y’all. But there’s a definite learning curve. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.

1. Sometimes, you think you’re picky and you’re actually laid back. The reverse is also true. 

As it happens, my “I’ll eat anything” love is quite picky. A few weeks ago, I made a delicious raspberry-balsamic glazed pork tenderloin. Turns out, he doesn’t like fruit with meat. Or balsamic vinegar. Or pork tenderloin. Oh, he was a good sport and gamely tried – and affirmed the deliciousness of – everything, but it was not his thing. Too bad; it was probably the best thing I’ve made since we’ve been married.

The Lesson: Some of the things we thought about ourselves are wrong. Who knew? Not us, not till now. (Pretty sure this trend will continue till we die.)

2. Not everybody eats with butter knives. 

When I was a kid, we never used steak knives. How often did we eat steak? I would guess at least 2-3 times a month. But we sawed away with our (mildly serrated) butter knives and were just fine, thank you very much. (I imagine this was largely so my siblings and I – probably especially I – wouldn’t hurt myself. When I came to be of an age when one might trust his daughter to mow the lawn, I was not permitted to, because I might run myself over with the lawn mower. I confess, these concerns are not entirely ridiculous. I may be a bit clumsy.)

Fast forward 20 years, and I am married a man who literally cannot understand how a person like me thinks since I didn’t register us for everyday steak knives. In his family, if there was meat on the table, there were two knives on the table.

This is, for me, a new level of “not everyone grew up like you, Lauren.” I had a good dose of that in college, when I learned that none of my friends grew up eating Hamburger Helper, and that one was raised leaving butter out on the counter, and that in some families you wear only skirts to visit more conservative relations. But being married has meant that silly little expectations we didn’t realize we had are being blown apart in new ways. Not only do we have to realize the differences; we have to come up with our own way to be. In this case, we got steak knives. (It turns out, belated wedding gifts are a blessing.) Tonight we used them. It was good. Steak knives FTW.

3. Someone is here to point out what’s on my neck.

As I was sitting here, writing this post while he works on his own laptop, I asked him something. He looked at me and was like, “Babe, what is on your neck?” I reached up, nervous about coming in contact with some behemoth of an insect, and finding only something a little grimy. “I think it’s chocolate,” he said. “It looked like a bug at first, but I think it’s chocolate. You’d better go look in the mirror.”

It turned out to be chocolate. LOTS of chocolate. Like, holy cow, are you bleeding chocolate? I had no idea those caramel-centered drumstick ice cream cones could bleed chocolate like that. If I had gone out to walk the dog, I bet you $100 someone would have thought it was dog poop, which is GROSS and beside the point. Bottom line: there is someone here who notices stuff and lets me know about it. He is all up in my business. That is a good thing.

April 6, 2015

Sometimes, a Blogging Hiatus Means Good Things…

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October 5, 2014

GOD IN HEAVEN

It was never meant to be this way.

When the first human beings, Adam and Eve, ran from God, they broke his heart and his world – and tears and sickness and pain and death came in.

God made his world to be our perfect home. But sin has spoiled everything. We have made a terrible mess of God’s world. We lost it all!

Did God abandon us? Did he just look down from heaven at the mess we made?

No. He didn’t just look down. He came down. God himself came down.

Not as a judge to punish us, but as a Rescuer to save us.

– Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jago, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, 31.

May 26, 2014

This is a great comfort:

Well, every man likes to be thought wonderful. A woman need not necessarily be stupid to admire a man.

Barbara Pym, Jane & Prudence, 103

April 21, 2014

Pause for a Moment of Architecture Philosophy

I am currently working on a special project which is requiring me to delve into the history of the city of Dallas. I found this gem and thought it rather fascinating: 

[The] High Victorian stylists reveled in their disdain for ‘classical’ beauty, for this quality was tainted by its association with the Greek Revival. Instead, these architects sought to achieve ‘truth,’ ‘reality,’ and ‘character’ – terms easy to use but difficult to define. ‘Character,’ however, was easily understood by the Victorians. It was that quality in a man which expressed strength of will, forcefulness, determination, and fierce individuality, and which had forged not only a British colonial empire, but also an American empire from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. The dictum of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright that ‘form follows function’ stands appallingly pale in comparison. Part of the importance of Victorian Architecture is that it stands as one of the last monuments to that uniquely American ideal of what the individual can be, and ideal which is quickly disappearing in the twentieth century. It is symbolic of a time when a man at least had the opportunity to try to freely direct his own destiny with little fear of control, manipulation, and constraint by corrupt unions, government bureaucracy, or monolithic, multinational conglomerates.

 

– William L. McDonald, Dallas Rediscovered: A Photographic Chronicle of Urban Expansion, 1870-1925, 43

March 25, 2014

Why on earth do vicars imagine God cannot be spoken to in simple language and needs everything explained to Him in at least three different ways? I always imagine God as the last person to be impressed by long words or to be deceived by specious excuses. For heaven’s sake, He made us. He knows perfectly well that we are fragile, stupid, glorious, grubby and brave.

Aunt Vespasia, in Anne Perry’s Highgate Rise

January 13, 2014

Love is holy because it is like grace – the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 209

November 5, 2013

Thoughts from the Edge of 29

My schedule these days is pretty bizarre. Since I work with students, who obviously can’t work with me when they are in school, I get to do things like go to Thursday Morning Bible Study (henceforth to be referred to as TMBS) at my church. We are working our way through Exodus (with some forays into Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), and it has been really really good for me.

Exodus is one of those books I know pretty well – conceptually. But I feel like I’m noticing so much I’d missed before.  Reading the same passage 5-7 times each week is helping me do more than just absorb information. I’m getting a feel for Moses’ style, appreciating how the story is being told, mulling over things that are confusing (which, interestingly, I am noticing more, now that I’m reading the same passages over and over again), and picking up on different things with each read. I think typically, when I’ve read, say, Jude, 4 times in 4 years, I have noticed more or less the same stuff each time. But with such intense focus over the course of several days, I am gleaning more and more.

In addition to being excited about connecting with Scripture in a deeper way, I’m fascinated by this shift. I went to seminary largely to learn the Bible better – which totally happened – and to learn to love it better – which also happened. I am learning so much now that I would have loved to learn several years ago. But I don’t think I would be able to see what I’m seeing now without those years – all 29 (plus nine months, I suppose) – of learning. Everything that I’ve learned is somehow incorporated into a foundation of understanding, which frees me to pay attention to things differently.

This feels bizarre because I’ve become more childlike, especially in the way I am engaging Scriptural texts. That’s weird on a number of levels – like how complex and involved and mature the thinking I’m doing is. But the weirdest part, experientially, springs from the fact that I was a very unchildlike child.

It wasn’t until senior year of high school that I stopped trying so hard to be older and more grown up, that I stopped being quite so serious, so die-hard, so ready to go to bat for just about anything. A few examples: When I was about 10, my fashion goal was to dress (convincingly) like a secretary. I stopped reading children’s books (except where required for school) at way too young an age, and missed greats like The Westing Game, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and The Chronicles of Prydain. (I’ve been playing catch-up since I was 20.) I picked fights about philosophy with high school students when I was in 7th grade. (Ok, so that one has more to do with being obnoxious than grown up.) I was SERIOUS, y’all.

My dog was raised in a racing kennel. He was taught to run fast, go into his crate, and walk on a leash. But he wasn’t allowed to be a puppy; he didn’t learn how to play. Westley was injured in a racing mishap not long after he turned two, and when he came to live with me, I had to teach him to play. He’s still not stellar at it, but he does play every day. He has learned how to be silly and have fun. I think I can appreciate where he’s coming from, having lightened up significantly since my serious childhood. It’s probably one of the reasons we’ve connected so well.

Jesus talks a lot about being like little children when we come to the Father. I am trying to get better at it. Here’s hoping 29 looks a lot more like 10 than 10 did.

Well, in some ways at least.