i wanna be like you-u-u.

I have a knack for making song lyrics my blog titles lately, eh?

Now I am not a skatting orangutan who wants to be a human, but I do have a similar dilemma as King Louie. Louie wants to be a human so he can know the secret of “man’s red fire” because it will give him superiority with his “cousin” Mogley. The kid has something he doesn’t have, he’s jealous, discontent, and eager to change who he is so he can have a one-up on every one else.

Ok, that was probably far more in depth than you’ve ever cared to go with a Disney movie. We won’t even delve into Ariel and Jasmine’s obvious daddy issues. Another blog, another time. Back to the orangutan’s issues.

How many of us can deny that there is a person, whether we know them personally or not, that we want to emulate, be like, or actually be? The pretty girl whose hair is clearly fake; there’s no way those locks fall flawlessly like that. The woman who manages to juggle a full time job, cooking stellar meals for husband, decorates her house perfectly and has time to blog about it daily; is she a robot? Or the person who can make anyone and everyone laugh with one word; I had no idea someone’s wit could be that quick. Or the person who seems to have the strength and kindness to respond with grace to any situation, regardless of the pain that it may have caused them; dude, are you Jesus?

We have all encountered people in one of these categories. They are those in our life that we not only respect but of whom find ourselves envious.

I was horribly convicted of this today. I was having a cranky morning…umm I should be more specific. I’m cranky every morning. Just ask señor and his morning-person personality…My morning just felt off. After some pilates with the neighbs, I came to the apartment for some Jesus time and relaxation.

It became more like Laura’s mind trails off into thoughts of discontentment with her self, her tiny apartment, lack of funds to fix said apartment, the gray sky outside, the unclean dishes, and her inability to focus on Jesus time…with little to no relaxing going on.

Sometimes it’s dangerous for me to be by myself for too long. I start thinking about all the things I want to change about my present place in life. Whether it be what I’m doing in that second, what I chose to wear that day, the way I interacted with a friend or señor, or something about who I am, I am always seeing something that I want to change. And when there’s something that we want to change, we tend to have a goal in mind. We see something and think, “That’s what I want to change insert thing here to.” When that ‘thing’ happens to be myself, I naturally lean toward trying to be like someone else.

What a great disservice to who God made me to be.

What a great disservice to who God made that other person to be.

It’s the curse of comparison. Girls are wrecked with it. Everyone else is prettier, smarter, funnier, better-at-everything-else than I am–it’s a sad lie we believe. I struggled with it most while living in a dorm of 300 gorgeous, God-loving women. How can I compete with that?! At the core of these comparison issues is discontentment.

What I was convicted of today is that when I see only what I’m discontent with in myself and how so-and-so is better in such-and-such a way, I discredit how God created me and how he created them. There is always room for self-improvement. There are dark areas of my life that I have not opened up to the Lord to fix and still attempt to keep hidden. But when I see faults within myself or areas of myself I don’t like, my first reaction is to wish I was like someone else who clearly has it together. What a lie this is also.

The truth is that sometimes I’m just an orangutan who wants to be a human; I’m a girl who wants to be someone different than how my Creator made me. I’m a girl who needs to find contentment in the beautiful work that God has done in my heart and my life. I need to claim his love over me and his creation of me–of Laura. It was on purpose. And he just wants me to be like me.

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everybody’s workin’ for the weekend.

If you did not just picture Chris Farley shirtless wearing only a bow tie, shakin’ what his mother gave him, you best be gettin’ your toosh over to Youtube and watching this clip. I’m sorry for the poor quality. I’m not sorry for the smile that just swept across your face.

Is that not the perfect way to start your Monday? Think about the weekend. Take everything you’re doing now and just chock it out the window because you have lost all motivation for the week. Monday shmonday, friends.

You’re workin’ for the weekend! We were all just workin’ for this past weekend! And we’re gonna keep workin’ for the next weekend! Because… eeeeeveryone’s watching, to see what you will doooOOooo!

Ok. This is false advertising. Last week, I didn’t work. I didn’t even add a single penny to my bank account. Unless you count transferring wedding money from our checking to savings…The little kiddies at school were on spring break this week so this lady had a week off. Señor, the bread-winner that he is, still worked all week. He’s a gem. I, on the other hand, got to follow a friend around while she made wedding decisions, I took pictures of air-o-planes, and interviewed for two, count that two, jobs.

Goodbye substituting, hello waitressing. And hello thuper duper awethome therver outfiths. Hopefully Olive Garden will let me choose my own necktie to wear. It’ll be something stylish, of course.

Like this one —–>

Very western plains, if you ask me. That’s all the rage, right? Vintage meets modern meets southwest meets ugly.

Now, once I start serving I’m not so sure how free my weekends will be, so I’ll have to be working for my own kind of “weekend”. Even if that weekend happens to be a Tuesday night, I can deal. The day is insignificant. It’s what makes up that weekend that I’ll be working for. People, places, and moments like these…cue Michael W. Smith Friends, please. You can just open that up in a new tab while you go through these pics. And to add to the effect, be sure to scroll down very slowly.

This seemingly neck-less woman…she is just wonderful.

Seeing my friend happy. Thuper duper happy. Disclaimer: the only contents of those pipes are mutual gushy feelings shared between these two. Precious.

This couple…C-Dub and our neighbs, Ms. J-Boo.
They’re joining the Married Club soon.

This goofball. Yeah, the one who rarely looks at the camera.

That is what I worked for this past weekend. And really what I get to work for most every weekend. Beautiful friends, lots of laughs, and my dear señor. I’ll dance my pants off Chris-Farley-style for those kind of weekends all 52 weeks of the year.

Happy Monday! Get to workin’ FTW–For the Weekend!

pilots and photographers.

I like to dream of being a professional photographer someday.

Seeing as the extent of my publishing includes this blog, a friend’s engagement picture book, and and the occasional Facebook album, I might have a long ways to go. But this is a hidden passion of mine. Or not so hidden when you see my bulky camera. It’s beautiful in all its Nikon Digital SLR glory.

But that all changed yesterday.

A friend asked if I could take some photos for a marketing ad with his company and I eagerly obliged. I mean, there was a $50 gift card involved. Why not? Oh, and helping out a friend and gaining experience is a nice thing, too. Anyway, this friend thought since I took their engagement pictures for him and his perdy finance, that I could totally take pictures of airplanes.

They’re super similar.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exactly the same.

I digress. So I accepted the invitation and kind of had a blast doing it. I was a pretty offended when I didn’t get to personally fly the aircraft. Do they not trust me?! But all is forgiven. I have cool pictures of super expensive planes now.

Now señor and I get to gorge ourselves on some delicious goodies. Om nom nom!

Anyone else wanna hire me?

p.s. these photos are © LC Photography. That’s me and my made-up photography business.

battle royale.

Our life is simple. We live in a tiny apartment, señor and I are learning to cook, and we spend most of our evenings with eyes glued to our computer or television screen catching up on the latest social networking goodies or Grey’s Anatomy cries. We also enjoy wandering to our neighbs’ apartment for some cuddle action with her kitty (I hate cats and the allergies they bring, but I love Winston). Presh.

This simplicity and I have a love/hate relationship. Who doesn’t love having minimal responsibility and having the “I’m a 20-something” excuse for every lazy day endeavor? But sometimes, I need more. A little more action, a little kick and spice, a little pop, sizzle, and burn…

A little battle royale.

Battle 1: New Wife vs. Kitchen

In the rink stands an unexperienced woman in one corner and the kitchen that taunts her with its fancy gadgets, utensils, and appliances in the other. Mincer, tenderizer, pulper, chopper, baster–what do these mean?! Homegirl has got some learning to do. But from the looks of it, I think she’s actually Sheen-winning. Up top!

Battle 2: Lazy Reader vs. Big Adult Words

When the words gaseousness, turgescence, purgative, and obfuscations appear in a book, you know you’re in for some head-scratching, eye-widening, brain-expanding reading. What happened to Curious George, where the only thing that stressed you out while you read was wondering whether or not his poor owner was going to find him wandering around the city before supper started? Those were the days. Now it’s curious reader against soul-piercing words and heart-breaking convictions. Let’s hope these tabbed quotes stick to more than just the page for awhile.

Battle 3: March vs. the A-Listers

Señor may know more about college basketball than I do, but he must have forgotten my extensive knowledge of the sport. Who’s got two thumbs and was a basketball statistician in high school? This girl. You can drop off my cool points right there in the comment section.

Current score: 27-26. Wifey leads.

Battle on, simple life!

30 pages in.

I like to read.

Umm…I mean I like starting books, getting a few chapters in and forgetting about it. Somewhere between the wicker bin next to my bed and  endless heap of papers on our kitchen “table” (We don’t have chairs. It’s not a real table. It’s just a collecting station), books get lost. Suddenly they’re out of sight, out of mind and I’m telling myself, “I should read. Time for a new book!”

Silliness.

About 30 pages into a book, you’re just at the point where you’re learning characters, the general tone of the book, and could say you have a superficial knowledge of what it’s about. It’s just enough to grab your attention–Is that character important? Why would he say something so controversial? Oo, that point is super convicting; do I wanna keep reading? It’s right before the nitty gritty, but just far enough in to think it may be worth reading more. This is about when I stop.

I’m proud to say I did finish reading Cold Tangerines last weekend–an accomplishment I haven’t claimed in months–and have moved on to Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m about 30 pages in.

He just started talking about “the Imposter”, the side of our self that portrays an image, a facade, to others who keeps the deepest and most vulnerable part of ourselves hidden in shame or fear. It gives people a false sense of who we are and a superficial glimpse at our true selves. It’s a “30-pages-in” look into your heart but keeps people about 120 pages away from knowing your true self.

Whoa.

How I approach reading books tends to be similar to the way I approach, or rather control, my relationships with people. They’re allowed to get a few chapters in, but if I feel like there’s too much being revealed…book closed. You want to know my true vulnerable side? That’s chapter 10, honey. My past hurts? Oh, I cover that in chapter 17. You’re at chapter 3, and I like keeping you there. I’ll chock it up to insecurity, fear, guilt, judgment from others, people-pleasing…shall I keep going?

Aren’t we just so human? We love portraying to others the cover and the first few pages of ourselves for fear that if they know more, it’ll change their opinion of us. What if I let them read further? What if they influenced my deeper thoughts and feelings? What if I finally let go of control and allowed others to delve further into the book of Laura?

{Side note} If I was a book, I’d be named “From a B+ to an A-lister”. It’s catchy.

This is a picture of all the books I have started within the last 6 months and am only about 20-30 pages into. But today, I’m challenging myself to go deeper. To read further. To explore without fear of what change they may bring.

And in my relationships, I present the same challenge. How many pages will I let you read?

heathens.

It’s Sunday, and señor and I did none of the following:

Get up early
Put on pretty clothes
Drive to a large building
Sing semi-familiar songs with a congregation of people, or
Listen to a smart man talk about a really cool Book

“Church, smurch” is what we said this morning. Which, according to Evangelical belief, makes us Bedside Baptist heathens. We slept in ’til 9am (we live on the wild side), made some delicious cinnamon rolls, read, and señor transformed into my own personal barista!

It was like Starbucks and Cinnabon collided in our apartment.

The result was a delicious, sweet vanilla latte that made me feel like I had settled into my favorite coffee shop and would be there for hours. That “coffee shop” just happened to be my couch which I’ve made my home practically all day.

{You can take the girl away from camp, but you can’t take the tie-dye away from the girl who loves camp}

Like I said, we did some reading also. While señor spent at least 2 hours reading up on sleeping bags online (He’s determined he’ll convince me to go winter camping. Keep trying, bud), I finally finished reading Cold Tangerines. Thank you, Liz, for letting me borrow your copy. Although I couldn’t mark it up like I love doing to books, I devoured its words and message with great delight. Now go get a copy, readers.

We did nothing conventional to the way both of us were raised and taught how Sundays should operate, but I did learn an important lesson today:

Saturday night church results in lazy, refreshing Sundays.

green skin, ripped shorts.

6:00 AM: Alarm sounds (one of those I-think-this-will-be-a-peaceful-sound-to-wake-up-to-but-end-up-hating-it-after-one-day kind of alarms)

6:15 AM: Phone rings and a peppy voice asks me if I’d like to go babysit substitute for the day! I groggily answer “yes” with a voice that tries to sound much more awake than it is.

6:30 AM: I finally roll out of bed, shower, and put on clothes that resemble my every day outfits in high school (Dress pants, collared shirts, sweaters…Yep. I was victim to a dress code).

7:30 AM: The transformation.

Well, I’m not sure when it begins, actually. I say 7:30 because that’s when the bell rings in the middle and high school to start the day. But honestly, I’d probably say it begins after my first interaction with The Student That Shall Not Be Named.

It’s rarely the same student. Mr or Ms. TSTSNBN (if you say that fast, it has a nice ring to it) always seems to know exactly what will set me off.

I’m really not an easily angered or annoyed person. I wouldn’t necessarily give myself the Patience Award, but I rarely approach a classroom immediately assuming I’m going to have to put on my “Mom” face. I think every class, every student deserves a shot at earning my trust and respect.

Mr./Ms. TSTSNBN on the other hand…they throw your grace out the window with one inappropriate word, one outburst, or one blatantly insubordinate action. It’s disheartening, really. And angering.

And you wouldn’t like Mrs. A. when she’s angry.

When I return from a day of subbing and tell señor and my friends about TSTSNBN and his/her behavior that made me lose my cool, they want to be a fly on the wall. They want to see BA Laura. Or, Hulk Laura.

Similar to Lou Ferrigno’s version of the Hulk. Not so much the computer-generated hulk. Lou was a little more realistic. Although, I’m not sure how that green paint appeared and disappeared so quickly… This likeness is perfect. His stance is eager, his fingers are ready to grip, and his face makes him feel intimidating but people don’t really take him seriously. Kind of like students when you try to reprimand them.

The point is, TSTSNBN makes me feel like my purple shorts (Have I ever actually owned purple shorts?) are gonna tear, my skin is going to go all Jolly Green Giant, and my muscles are going to explode like I just chugged a liter of Muscle Milk and have taken steroids since I was a baby. Unfortunately, they seem to define my entire day. I go home thinking I had a bad day because TSTSNBN decided to test my patience, cheat on their tests (which happened twice today by the way), or say something out of line…heart rate increasing, blood boiling…

What I try to remember, though, is that while my green skin and ripped shorts come out every so often, I still have a soft heart toward the students who do what they’re told and work hard during class. Did the Incredible Hulk not have a soft side? He was tender under that rough skin and purple shorts…purple. Goodness, I can’t get over the fact that Lou Ferrigno wore purple shorts. And judging by this picture, I’d say they were actually jorts. Yikes–what a combo.

To reassure you, I have never thrown a desk across the room or growled at a student because they did something inappropriate. This Hulk knows how to at least be even-tempered despite the occasional TSTSNBN. Overall, I am really starting to like these kids.

Especially the ones that think I’m married to Lance Armstrong.