Hi! I'm Lauren, and I need a Lobotomy.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Blog - in case you missed it...

So, for the few of you who have been paying attention - I am now blogging at lobotomyplease.com. Head on over and enjoy!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

military mother's day

Well, I have had a bit of a pity party for myself today. No, I did not deserve to have one but my mind went there anyway.
I woke up this morning doing some math in my head (never a good idea…) I realized that I have only spent 3 of the last eight years with my husband on Mother’s Day. Comes with the territory because I am a military spouse. Let me just say that I know I am fortunate because I have spent all of my Mother’s Days with my children, which is what it is actually all about, but come on.
B left on Tuesday for an exercise in Denver. I wasn’t too upset, because it is what it is and we spend a lot of time apart, but our 10 year anniversary was on Thursday. Due to a rain delay he wasn’t home until late Thursday, the night of said anniversary. Hard to get into any sort of mood to celebrate, but I digress. This post isn’t about that. It’s about me being selfish, and because it’s my blog, and I clearly need a lobotomy, it’s ok.
After his mission in Denver the team went up to Thermopolis, WY for another hazmat session. No big deal because the kids and I drove up after school on Friday afternoon. I was under the impression that they wouldn’t be leaving for a further training session until after noon on Sunday (today, for those of you keeping track). Sometime yesterday the time changed to them rolling out of town at 9AM. Again, shouldn’t be a big deal, but to me it kind of is. Because of the history of the notice paid to holidays by the higher-ups in the military. (probably shooting myself in the foot by continuing) I have a bit of a grudge. I did sign up for it, as did B, but that’s not the point right now. My upcoming lobotomy is the point.
So, the kids and I found ourselves in Thermopolis on Friday night. 5 hour drive but it wasn’t too bad, considering I live way out west now and nothing is close. We enjoyed the hot tub heated by a natural (read: stinky) hot spring until we couldn’t stand the stink, oops, I mean heat, any longer. We were tuckered out and tucked ourselves into bed because B had an early morning and I knew Finn would be awake as soon as Daddy was despite our best effort to make the room as dark as possible.
So, yada yada ya, day passes and the team returns. Now is when I find out that they are leaving town at 9AM on Sunday (Mother’s Day). I had been expecting noon. I was sad but I don’t think I showed it. (crossed fingers and all – I will share better parts of the trip soon, I do promise)
Which brings me to this morning. I woke up crying and crunching numbers. Please don’t feel sorry for me because I no longer do (j/k – I know you don’t feel sorry for me to begin with because clearly I am a masochist) I realized that the only time B has been around for a Mother’s Day was in ’05, ’08′ and 2010. Wow. What a track record. I think my issue with today is the fact that I drove 5 hours to see him. Normally not that big of a deal to me (I’ve driven upwards of 20 for the same thing) but what hurt me today was the fact that I thought I had until at least noon to feel like a family and a Mom worth celebrating. Totally a timing thing, but it was my bad to drive that far hoping for something more. For all that I went through since LAST M’s day, I wanted this one to be better. I should have only gone with the idea of a tiny vacation in mind.
So, my proposal, in order to bring my brain into alignment with my heart, is to create a rotating holiday schedule that fits the completely asinine military appreciation of regular, civilian holidays. Screw Mother’s Day. Screw Father’s Day. Screw Christmas. Screw anything else that might be important to the spouse of a military member. Instead, they can work any other Federal holiday that they might get paid for, ie anything that falls on a Monday. Probably going to bite my leg off to spite my face, but it’s about the nicest thing I have to say right now. From now on I will require the training schedule January 1st and then I will decide on which dates certain holidays fall, pretty much like how Easter changes every year. Not like it will make a difference, and I doubt it will, but I feel better for having shared it and that is the point of all of this. I really don’t want a lobotomy.
Also, because I feel bad for being selfish I do recognize that not everyone has the ideal Mother’s Day. Some are without their partners and some are without their children. I don’t want, and will not, take away from that. What hurt for me is the fact that I thought I could have breakfast with my family today. I know not everyone gets to experience that. I have missed out on so many important things with my husband and family that I completely understand. What hurts and what prompted me to share today was the ‘getting the rug pulled out from under me’ moment that I had when I wanted (and thought there would be) more. If I had known ahead of time it wouldn’t have been a problem because I would have been prepared. Goodness knows what I have missed out on in life so far. However; I am so, so, so lucky I had my babies today and I do know that. I just want a day to sleep in and breakfast in bed. I know it’s a lot to ask, but one day it will be mine.
I feel for everyone wanting a different outcome for today. I am so happy for those that got the best day. I cry with those that don’t have their babies today. In the end I try and stay positive. Here’s to the moms, grandmas, aunties, friends, and fur-mamas. I couldn’t have done any of this without you. Love to you all!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


So, I'm not sure what sort of sign this is or even if I should be sharing it with the universe, but here goes. I was silly and had been sort of praying at church (while not really paying attention to the sermon, which incidentally was about the power of one prayer) that I would hear soon about the job and that it would be a positive phone call. I did get out of the service that it isn't 'what' you pray about but 'how' you pray. Made sense to me because I have a history of praying for things (like patience) that get answered but not necessarily in the way I want them answered.

For instance, during my praying-for-patience phase I auditioned for a roll in the Nutcracker ballet with a ballet company in Minnetonka, MN. I busted my butt for that try-out. When the list came out for the production I found out that I had landed a part as a maid. A maid. One tiny part in one tiny scene. Some parents of my friends had warned me that my patience would be tested as a result of that one, itty bitty, prayer. They were right. I was tested.

That same year I had a part as the back-up during a Ronald McDonald skating routine. My only part in the production. I wanted to cry and die. It felt like an entire year of my life was wasted. I was used to being front and center in everything I endeavored to do and the turn of events, because of one prayer, was disastrous for me. Not to toot my own horn, but I have several gold medals for solo and synchronized skating routines as well as for dancing, so I was at least fairly acceptable at what I chose to do. To be put in the background was horrifying for someone used to succeeding and winning over the judges. It is what it is. That prayer, at the time, ruined my life. I recognize and appreciate the power of one prayer.
Which leads me to a strange turn of events...

We had communion at church today. It is one of my most favorite things about church. I think I just like the excuse to eat an oyster cracker and drink some grape juice, but I digress... I get to say a personal prayer and send my thoughts out in the way I want to without any direction. Today I prayed that the interview process had gone smoothly and I would soon hear about this job. (and please, God, let me get it!) Very selfish, I know, but I couldn't help myself. It was my moment and I took it.

After we had gathered the kiddos and as we were walking out of the building I heard someone call my name. I turned and there was one of the guys who interviewed me last week. I got flustered and said a few polite lines of conversation before I said good bye and headed to the car. I was trying not to jeopardize the hiring process.

After that Brian told me I had the job. I hope he is right! I keep playing the scene over in my head, and if I had been in the interviewers position I wouldn't have spoken to me if I hadn't been chosen because it would have been awkward. Wishful thinking? Maybe. Coincidence? Perhaps.
I am going to keep my fingers crossed in the meantime.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

14 Years Later

I was torn about what to write today but I felt that this, being the 14th anniversary of Columbine, was what it should be. Also, considering what just went down in Boston I felt that I couldn't avoid it.

I moved to Colorado from Massachusetts in December of 1998, the middle of my senior year in high school. Four months later Columbine  happened. I remember we were at Safeway getting our lunch. I overheard one of the cashiers talking about what was occurring 20 miles away, just down the canyon from us. I panicked. I got back to school and ran into the security guard and asked him what he knew. I asked him if what I had heard was true. He confirmed that I had heard correctly. At this point, nothing had been said at the school and he told me that they weren’t planning on announcing anything until school was over for the day. I thought that was BS and so I grabbed my sister (a freshman at the time) and we went home where we watched the news all afternoon. I later heard that they did announce it and then put the school on lock-down.

At one point we heard that the people who attacked Columbine were on the way to our school. I had never been so glad that I went against school policy to sneak my sister out of school. As details unfolded I remember being in shock. I remember wondering why anyone would want to hurt their fellow students. I remember being so angry that this could have happened. I remember being very wary of kids wearing trench-coats and dark sunglasses. This was not like me. I have always tried to be friendly with everyone, whether we were friends or not, and here I was judging based upon appearances. I didn’t like what I had become but it happens when your world is changed in such a big way and you find yourself questioning what might have been. Eventually I stopped worrying about it, which I guess is a natural outcome. I didn’t live the attack and it didn’t stick with me like it would have if I had been there.

Until Monday, April 15th, 2013, when it all came rushing back. All of the feelings and all of the fear and all of the unknown. I heard about the bombs in Boston and flipped out. You can read about my reaction to it here. Now, five days later, it is the 14th anniversary of Columbine and it seems as fresh in my mind as if it was the 1st anniversary. I was not in MA on Monday, not even close (way out here in Wyoming…hi…) but I am still close to Colorado. My old city and my almost-most-recent one. Huge, horrible things happened to both of them in the same week 14 years apart. One when I was barely into adult-hood and one where I am fully entrenched.

There is one thing I know about both of them and one that I know will happen whenever we are faced with tragedy of a huge magnitude. They overcome. WE overcome. People join together and hold each other up and help one another. They let the evil of the world know that it can’t get to them. Whether memories are 14 years old or 5 days old, we will overcome. We will not forget but we will move forward and become better people. There will always be bad and evil in this world but it won’t win in the long run. We will stand together and support one another until atrocities like these fail to exist because they no longer serve a purpose.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I've Moved!

I am the proud owner of my very own URL! I can now be found at lobotomyplease.com. If you would like to keep following me I will be found there. I will continue to post links to the other blog on this site so you can continue to read all about my adventures if you prefer to stay here.

Here is my newest post about a new recipe we tried:


I want to thank everyone for reading and supporting me while I was on blogger. It's been fun!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ARD Featured Piece - in Bloom

My best friend (and business partner, Heather) and I have been working on a new idea for our company Abby Rose Designs. It’s something we’ve had on our minds for months and it has finally come to fruition. We will be doing a Featured Piece of the Month and it will showcase a new piece of jewelry in limited quantities every month. For our first piece we created a necklace that has a rose quartz pendant in the shape of a rose. We found it quite fitting for the first month given the name of our company, obviously.

I must say, we have had a lot of fun with this endeavor! We started brainstorming ideas and it all flowed together so nicely from there. Our photo shoot was amazing and there were lots of laughs while we traveled around Evergreen, CO with our fabulous model, Krystle. Here are some pictures of our jewelry as well as some behind the scenes shots. Enjoy!

(Pictures won't upload and I am really frustrated!)

You can view and purchase the necklace here. It is available until 4/26/2013. Additional pictures are here!


Like everyone else I was horrified by what happened in Boston yesterday at the marathon. I lived in Wenham, MA, for two years in High School and I have always considered Boston my city. I moved around A LOT while I was growing up but MA made my heart feel home. Maybe it’s because my family had been in MA since the Mayflower and only left in the 1920s or maybe it’s that something about the state just calls to me. I don’t know the reason but my heart broke when I heard about the bombs at the marathon. Like a bunch of other people, I knew people at the race and I know people that work close to where the explosions happened. I was shaken, and the fact that I am in Wyoming made it much harder to handle the news. I wanted to be there so that I could be with the people that I care about and know first-hand that they are OK. I am so, so sad for the people who were injured or lost loved ones. It sucks that this happened in my favorite city. It’s selfish of me to have wished it happened somewhere else but it is what it is and I don’t think that I am alone in the sentiment wherever terrible things happen. Human nature, I guess.

The bombing was a senseless act of terror, plain and simple, and it is not ok. One thing I know, when the dust settles and people start to recover, is that we will all stand together and get through this. The people of Massachusetts are some of the nicest, most caring people I have ever met. I may not stay in touch with my old friends like I should but  I do know that if something were to happen they would be there for me. People may have preconceived notions about what Bostonians are like but the majority (because let’s face it, there are some bad apples everywhere), despite the sometimes gruff and sometimes brutally honest exterior, would give everything for someone who is suffering. I think that spirit was shown yesterday when the bombs went off and instead of running away so many went back to help their fellow citizens or continued running to donate blood to the victims despite just having finished a freaking marathon! Not just the people of MA but people from everywhere around the country and the world pitched in to help the wounded.  What a testament to our resilience!

Whoever committed this act will hopefully be found quickly and brought to justice. On the off-chance that we never figure it out, those who did this should know that those of us in this country DO stand together and support one another. We WON’T be torn apart because of senseless acts of violence. It didn’t work on 9/11, or during any other act of terror, and I pray that it won’t happen because of this or any other things that may be hard and that may happen in this country. The terrorists, whether domestic or foreign, will not bring us down. I hope we can stand united against the forces of evil in this world and move forward in a supportive way that helps our fellow man. I think we can prove to any terrorist that they can’t beat us no matter what they try.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Travels in Texas

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post for a couple of weeks now. I’m trying to be sensitive to all sides of the story while at the same time being honest to my experiences. I went down to Texas to hopefully get some work in oil and gas as it has all but dried up in Wyoming and Northern Colorado. I also needed a change of scenery and that felt like the best idea at the time. I took Yaya out of school and we spent a week at our “Kansas House” before heading down to Dallas. Once in Dallas I tried to enroll Yaya in the local elementary school. That was a pain in the butt. I had brought her birth certificate and immunization records as that is all that I ever needed to enroll her in school in Colorado and Wyoming. It turned out that I needed her physical Social Security Card as well. Once I had that in hand I was able to register her at the local school.

Here is where I might begin to sound like a bad person but if you will hear me out I promise to try and redeem myself. Please refrain from judgment until the end. If you think you can’t hold out, please stop reading now.

The kids and I were staying with my mom. She lives in a suburb just north of Dallas. I thought that the school district would be an ok one, given the location, but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the clientele that was served in the area. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the clientele, just the education, from my humble point of view. The process to get Yaya into school took hours. Half of the forms were in Spanish and I had to use my very rudimentary knowledge of the language to answer the questions. My mom and I were both participating in it and it still took forever. Finn was about to lose it when I finally finished and Yaya and I got to speak with the school counselor. She, fabulous woman, had toys to occupy Finn for the final portion of it and he loved it.

Her school in TX required uniforms and, after a frantic search of Target and a raid of the extra clothes at the school, we were finally ready. The sign when we walked into school on her first day read “Today’s language is English.” I didn’t really think anything of it – I really want both kids to learn Spanish as I think it is very beneficial in this day and age. Yaya even took before-school Spanish classes when they offered it at her old school. I did get a bit offended at being forced to register for free/reduced lunches. Talk about a blow to my pride. They wouldn’t even let her enroll until I filled it out. But enough about my pride – we didn’t need the service and I wasn’t about to take it from students that actually did need it. We are in enough trouble financially in this country without trying to take from people who deserve it and need the breakfast/lunch program to build strong bodies and brains.

Everything was going fine until Yaya brought home her first homework assignment. I was shocked. It involved verb endings that Finn could have answered if he could read (which I think he can but he fools us really well just like Yaya did at his age). Then I found out that Yaya had missed recess because she hadn’t finished her assignment from the night before. I completely understand that, I missed it in her homework folder as well, but the homework was a joke. Math was fine but (and here’s where you will think something is wrong with me until you let me finish) I feel like the English homework was work for the parents and not her classmates. Every single one of those kids that I met was super sweet and spoke English very well. I couldn’t believe in my soul that the busy work was for them. I may be wrong but that is how it felt to me. I had enough trouble myself during my own school days with homework that was way too easy; I didn’t see the point in the busy work and that bit me on the behind enough times that I know I don’t want Yaya going down the same path at such a young age.

When I was growing up we moved to Switzerland and later to Germany.  I know that if the native speakers had brought home the work in German that Yaya brought home in English there would have been an uprising. I did go to International Schools where the primary learning was taught in English but we did have German homework. At the time I was going to school there, late 80s and early 90s so it may have changed, students entering the local school system were required to take intensive German classes, so much so that they would be held back if their German wasn’t up to par. I didn’t face this task because I was in the International School System but one could risk being a year or even two behind if you couldn’t grasp the language.

I don’t fault the school district or the teachers - they are doing the best they can with the curriculum they are given - but by golly… I wasn’t going to let Yaya end up a year or two behind because of the schooling and my chance at trying to find a job. I guess my eyes were opened wide on the little sojourn I took. I certainly won’t take education for granted again. Also, as a side note, I spent more on school supplies for the second half of the semester than I have ever spent on an entire year at any of Yaya’s schools. There is something to be said for funding public education and I’ve never voted against raising taxes for our students. Something has to give to give these kids the best chances in life. I can’t begin to even pretend to know where they should start.