The Greatest

Today I feel so blessed.

I have an amazing family. My mom and I spent a lovely day in Portland, after I flew home on Tuesday. (Pictures of our adventures to come!). She is my best friend, and I am so grateful to spend the summer with her.

I have a GREAT job. (especially in this economy, I am grateful for that.) I forgot how much I love my job. I love working with people, and serving them. And the tips, of course. teehee. It felt good to be back around the same people and familiar territory; unlike last summer when I was the rookie.

I actually really love the feeling of exhaustion after a hard day's work. When I've been running around the restaurant all evening and I finally crash into my bed at 11:30 with sore feet, stringy hair, and that smell of italian food permanently stamped into my clothes.

And I have awesome friends....who hopefully won't forget me when I am gone over the summer :). I wish I could write a song about each of you. You are all so uniquely wonderful.

Maybe someday.

Oregon. My beautiful Oregon.

Things I have done so far since being home:
-Worked for 7 hours at my favorite Italian restaurant.
-Sang my heart out while driving my big red truck.
-I might have eaten 7 of my mother's homemade chocolate chip cookies (not including all the cookie dough I ate).
-Slept in my spacious double bed.

It feels good to be back.




Exciting things so far this week:

1. I got an A in Spanish!!
2. I get to see my beautiful mother in...less than 36 hours! :D
3. I have an almost tan from California!
4. My friends ROCK.
5. I don't have to go to class until September!

BUT. I am sad to be leaving to everyone here. Goodbyes are so hard. I'm not very good at it.

So to all the incredible people I have been surrounded by this year:

You are great. You made my semester/year/day/moment. Don't know how I would have done it without you all.

Thanks. More than you know.


On the inside, I really want to be a rockstar

Random Fact #4:

I write songs.**
Lots of slow, heartfelt, ballads. For some reason, it's hard for me to write a decent fast song.

I love it though. Music is such a necessary form of expression. It's an addiction.

It's actually surprisingly difficult for me to let people know about this, because music can be such a personal thing. I don't usually let people see that part of me. It makes me vulnerable. What if they don't like it or think it's stupid or want to change it?

It's branded with my name on it. It's a little part of my soul.

I'm not confident enough in my own abilities to really put myself out there and share it with very many people. I'm getting more comfortable with it, but it's still a big deal for me to let someone into that part of my life.

a favorite quote about music:

"Where words fail, Music speaks."
-Hans Christian Andersen

**Let it be known that I never said "I write hit songs." Maybe someday.**

{In case you are curious, intrigued, or baffled by this post: believe it or not, there is more! My best friend Brittany and I join forces (and voices) in our "band," Blue January. www.isabelandeden.blogspot.com.}


Yet again...

Random Fact #3:

People almost always forget my name.

Laurie, Lauren, Laurel, Lorelai, Heather, Kristen.....

In my experience, it takes someone meeting me approximately three times to actually make it stick, usually more for them to remember my name.

I wonder if this is because I don't have any particularly distinguishing features:

brown hair
brown eyes
average height

Does that mean my personality isn't very memorable either?

Either way, I've gotten pretty used to it, and I don't get offended very easily anyway. Guess that's a good thing. : )


I don't know what to do with all these thoughts in my head...

*Continuation of the "25 random things about you"*

Random Fact #2 about Laura:

I love writing.

People sometimes tell me that I'm good at it, but I really love it; because it's a refuge and a release of all that I am feeling and thinking. I am constantly making lists (of every kind), coming up with new lyrics, writing my thoughts in a journal, doodling in the margins of my notes, or scribbling blurbs on any scrap of paper I can find. Maybe that is why I like this blogging thing so much. At one time, there can be countless movie or book ideas, song titles, or monologues running through my head.

The problem is, I think I'm good at coming up with ideas; not so good with the follow-through and actual execution of these ideas.

I should probably work on that.


Ain't Love a Kick in the Head

Pictures from our lovely and hilarious "old people date"

1st stop: Deseret Industries to pick out our incredibly fashionable get-ups.

2nd: a lunch of sandwiches, pudding (vanilla & chocolate), and applesauce.

3rd: a dance. like when we were young. :-) "oh honey, it's our song!"

Then we played some cards and listened to a little bit of Frank, Dean and Louis. It was a perfect break from studying for finals.

Hooray for creative dating!


our timing is twisted...


I feel like it is a common theme in my life that the timing just seems to be a little bit off. Times when I have liked someone, but he doesn't realize it until I've moved on. Or vice versa. Times when everything seems like it might fall into place, except for the plane ticket standing in the way. Or when I know, deep down in my gut, that it's not the right time; that it might never be the right time, but I still waste the days I do have trying to make it work.

And end up missing out on something else. Maybe something better.

If I have learned anything valuable in this life of mine, it is to not put off the truly important things. These usually involve people. And people die, or move away, or get married, and things are never the same.

As John Mayer most eloquently puts it: say what you need to say.

a few simple thoughts:
1. never go to bed angry
2. never say goodbye to loved ones without letting them know what they mean to you
3. never let pride get in the way of making it right.

because you never know when the time will run out...


If you feel so inclined...

My mom has a food blog: www.flavorsoftheumpqua.blogspot.com. She always posts recipes of her favorite dishes to make and suggested that I post the recipe to my enchiladas.

So...here ya go.

What you need:

one 16 ounce container of sour cream
two cans of cream of chicken soup
one bunch of green onions...depends on how much you like onions
three cups of grated cheese (I use sharp cheddar, sometimes with part pepper jack)*
one can of diced green chiles OR smoked chipotle peppers*
twelve yellow corn tortillas (the smaller ones)
(The recipe calls for olives but I don't like black olives so I never put them in.)

*I have made this a couple times using both pepper jack and chipotle peppers, but it's PRETTY spicy. I would recommend using one or the other.*

**If you want more chicken, you can add a can of already cooked chicken (looks like a tuna can)....or if you want more protein and not as much meat...you can use a can of navy beans**

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Soften the tortillas in oil (you basically just put oil in a frying pan and cook the tortillas just enough so they can easily be rolled up), then set them on a plate and set aside.

Mix everything together in a big bowl, but only use half the cheese.

You need a 9 x 13 pan. Put a little bit of the mixture on the bottom of the pan and spread it around. Then put a scoop of the mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll it up, place in the pan.

Do this until all the tortillas are gone but there is still some of the mixture left. Spread it on top of all the rolled up tortillas and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

(These are really good reheated too!)


Happy Happy Easter!!

My famous Chicken Enchiladas.
(confession: they are only famous because it's really the only thing I know how to make)
Also, they normally look more appetizing than this, but a) I am not exactly a great photographer...yet and b) I forgot to put the chipotle peppers in them, so we put them on top. Oops.

Our lovely table before our lovely dinner of:
Chicken Enchiladas
Fruit Salad
Homemade Bread (thank you, Natalie!)

oh yes...inca kola.
¡viva peru!

Followed by a HI-LARIOUS game of Apples to Apples. Glorious.

Today was a great day.
It was particularly enlightening and uplifting.
Spring and Easter always seem really triumphant and optimistic. This feels more like a new beginning to me than New Year's does.

i love:
my family (seeing them in 15 days!!)
my friends
my ward family
roommates that I love living with
my digital camera
spiritual boosts
lazy sundays
joyful songs


Goodbye to You(tah) :D

I feel another list coming on....

It's been a while.

Things I must do in the next 12 days...

1. Figure out where I am going to store my stuff over the summer.
2. Get rid of some unnecessary stuff so that it is easier to store.
3. Pack
4. Keep helping plan the California trip...
5. Taxes???
6. Clean out my desk...(currently full of everything I don't really have a place for, or that I am too lazy to put away)
7. Mail a package back home full of things that most definitely will not fit in my suitcase
8. FINALS...boo.
9. Hang out with Shannon before she gets married in July...
10. Get a Mango Peach Topper from Jamba Juice because I won't have it all summer.
11. Study beer info so Kris will make me a server soon! (for my job back home)
12. Go to the Tracy Aviary to look at birds for Bio. (ugghhh!)

I'm sure there are more things I'll have to do, but that's all I can think of for now.



Tell me you're in love; I'm the only one; Go on and lie to me

^Jon McLaughlin put it pretty perfectly^

How many times do we really want to hear the truth?


There are definitely times when we want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (For example, in the case of which way the nearest gas station is when your gas gauge is on E, whether or not you need vaccinations before traveling to Ghana, or who ate the last piece of your pie)


How often do we want someone to tell us what we want to hear, even if it means letting them get away with a little white lie? Do you really want to hear it when: you find out there is no way you can get an A in that class, the person who picked your apple didn't wash his hands, Channing Tatum is bisexual, or that one person that usually makes you forget all the other junk says, "we need to talk."

Well...do you?


you make me happyyyy...

Dearest Sunshine,

So glad you are back.

Why don't you stay a while?

It's so lonely when you are gone...

Love, LC



A while ago, one of those "forward-esque" notes on facebook/emails/copy and paste type things circulated about posting 25 random things about yourself. I never did it before, but the thought just came to me to do it, over time, one fact at a time. So here goes:

Random Fact about Laura #1:

I am, and always will be, an Oregon girl.

(anyone who knows me well, knows how proud I am of that fact, and how much I love the trees, the rain, the lack of sales tax, and the tie-dye.)

BUT, I must say that I have significant amounts of California blood (from my mother) and Southern roots, (Charleston, South Carolina from my grandmother).

I need the beach, the pouring rain, and southern barbeque. Is that too much to ask for?

*Note: the title of this post is the title of my favorite Matt Wertz song. Check it out.


Now Let Us Rejoice!

I will admit, there were many times when I was growing up that my mom would take me to General Conference for the Saturday sessions and I would either fall asleep or be completely bored. I did not really appreciate conference and love it as I do now, until I was probably 15 or 16.

Regardless, I have thoroughly enjoyed it this weekend. I love feeling uplifted by the words of the leaders of my church. I'm a big fan of quotes; here are a couple of my thoughts from this weekend:

"Reverence is profound respect mingled with love." -Henry B. Eyring

"Our Father's Plan is big enough for all his children." -Quentin L. Cook

"Even when we give up on ourselves, God never gives up on us."-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Divine compassion is never absent." -Jeffrey R. Holland

It was exactly like I needed this weekend. What a blessing.


After all, we're only human.

DiScLaImEr: This could, quite possibly, turn into a very "woe-is-me-sounding" post. It was not intended to be such, nor was it directed at any one person. It is just a collection of thoughts, on the subject of heartbreak; reflections drawn from my experiences with love.

I have been in a very thoughtful mood the past few weeks.

I have a confession: I don't think I've ever had my heart broken.

This does NOT mean that I have never experienced heartache, but it has always been a gradual process.

It was the inevitable realization that: he just doesn't want you back.

It's usually something that I knew all along, no big surprise. Maybe that is why it's never actually broken my heart. Broken implies something sudden, and shocking. That has never been the case.

Needless to say, feeling this way has taught me a lot about myself and how I cope with emotional turmoil and stress. It has made me realize that, even though I may feel weak, I can be tough; at least, tough enough.

Lucky for me, my brain does this really cool thing: it's called optimism. I have this weird way of finding the positive in all the crap that happens, and for that I feel so blessed. It has gotten me through some pretty rough days, allowing me to feel gratitude for all that I do have, rather than sorrow for what I have lost (or never had).

Today, I am grateful for friends and for that kind of love in my life; because I honestly believe, that love is all you need.

Did I mention that I'm happy for them, (
all of them)?

I honestly am. No sarcasm here.


Tell me your story

I had this thought the other day when I was walking home from campus: what makes the difference between a best friend or soulmate and a stranger? Of all the people that we encounter in some way, every day, what is it that pulls us to take another look and try a little bit harder to get to know some, but continue to walk right by others?

I don't believe that the word "soulmate" only applies to members of the opposite sex; it can be anyone that you can count on to walk with you, no matter what. Anyone that loves you for all that you are, even the part of you that is completely and irrevocably screwed up; the part that breaks down for no apparent reason or completely loses focus when they hear a really good song, or a beautiful acoustic guitar (that just happens to be attached to an almost-as-gorgeous musician). That is my definition of unconditional love; of Christlike love.

People always tell me that I "know everyone". It is true that almost anywhere I go, I see someone I know; but I really crave close, intimate relationships. I guess that is the "blue"in me coming out. (And yes, that was a Color Code reference).

So I guess, to anyone who is reading this, and is not already one of my friends (doubtful, I know): Tell me your story.

And, who knows, maybe we will become soulmates.