Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things

So, recently on Facebook I've seen lots of my friends doing a 25 Random Things Post, it's been super fun to read everyone's entries so I thought I would do this on my blog. I tag anyone who wants to participate cause I always love to know more about those who follow me!

25 Random Things about Lauren

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.
  1. I am a Child of God & although I fail everyday I try to do my best to follow his guidance.

  2. I am married to the most wonderful man--he can do some strange things but he has this amazing ability to make me laugh each and everyday.

  3. I love cereal--I eat almost any type--Children's sugary cereals are probably my favorite!

  4. My memory is extremely photographic--college was a breeze because I could literally take a picture of my notes and remember them for tests. I couldn't tell you a thing about it now, but it sure helped out then.

  5. I am terrified of riding on a sailboat.

  6. I love dogs and have a love/hate relationship with cats.
  7. Not to brag on myself but I graduated Valedictorian in High School and maintained a 4.0 GPA all though college. Yes I'm a perfectionist and no it really doesn't matter but I'm still proud of myself for being so disciplined.

  8. My parents are my best friends--after Hubby of course.

  9. I got my MBA for no reason other than to postpone working fulltime.

  10. I sometimes miss my maiden name (Smart--not very common and easy to remember for others).

  11. I love reading and normally only put a book down to eat, sleep, or go to work. I'm currently on Twilight #4--I'm excited to get to the end.

  12. I wish I had a piano at my house so I wouldn't lose the ability to play that I learned while growing up.

  13. I hate conflict and will avoid it if possible--however, I'm also stubborn and once it begins I normally don't back down.

  14. I hate rollercoasters & scary movies.

  15. I have a double-cousin--if you don't know what this means, don't ask--it's very confusing to explain.

  16. I'm super excited to be a mom someday--not yet, but someday. 2 or 3 kids--we'll see how it goes and what God wants for us.

  17. Hawaii & the Caribbean are my two favorite travel locations! I just wish we had more time and money to travel more.

  18. Sometimes I love to just stay at home and enjoy the comfort of home.

  19. I hate cleaning the bathroom; but also hate the dirtiness of a bathroom.

  20. I love to sing in the car as loud as I can.

  21. I cannot dance at all & the thought of it makes me very nervous. We did the token 3 dances at our wedding and that was it--First Dance, Father/Daughter & Mother/Son.

  22. I've never broken a bone but have had stitches twice.

  23. I am a very Type A person.

  24. I worry too much--about almost everything (but Hubby is helping me with this)

  25. I love the Cottenelle Commercials (especially the newest one)--of course I might be a little bit partial.

There are lots more random things about me--but this is good enough for now!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Bogey

Well last night when I got home from work, Bogey was just looking pitiful and I felt sorry for him so I headed outside in my coat and gloves to play with him for a little bit. It didn't take long for me to realize that I needed to go grab my camera because I was definitely missing some Kodak moments. Bogey certainly wasn't bothered by the snow--he had a blast!!! His fetching toy of choice is an old bright yellow softball we have--it barely fits in his mouth and almost falls out once it gets wet, but I guess he loves the challenge. Here are pictures I grabbed while we were having a great time. I know I'm certainly very biased, but he might be one of the most beautiful labs I've ever seen.

Bogey, not so sure about the whole camera thing!

Posing for me (or distracted is more likely the case)!

Apparently the icy, hard softball doesn't both him one bit!

My Happy Puppy!

Bringing the ball back so we can start all over again!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day--Sort of...

Well, the weathermen were actually quite accurate for the forecast last night & today. Although we haven't had the devastating freezing rain that we had in January 2007, we've certainly had our share of sleet, snow, & freezing rain mixture. I'm just so glad that loss of power is not an issue. I so wish that all of this winter weather would just be snow and not the ice---ice causes such a mess and seems to last so much longer.

Since I work about 20 miles from our office, my dad let me leave early to head home. What a drive! My normal 20 minute commute turned into 45 minutes very fast. I was in a huge line of traffic and we were all driving about 25 mph just trying to get home before it got worse. I was ordered to stay at home this morning until my dad could check out how bad he thought the roads were. So, I enjoyed laying bed a little bit longer this morning and trying to finish of Book #3 of the Twilight series. About 9:15, Dad called and said he thought I would be, I hopped in the shower and was at work by 10:30. The roads weren't awful but they were definitely snow & ice covered. I was driving a big whopping 40 mph and I even had 2 or 3 people pass me going 60mph--are they crazy?!? It's now 3:10 and I'm pretty certain he's going to send me home early again today. It's still sleeting like crazy and I know the roads will only get worse as the afternoon goes on. So...even though I had to come to work--I'll only be here half a day which is still a nice break.

My mom fixed chili for lunch...mmmmm...and I've got Chicken Tortilla soup on the menu for this evening. These have to be my favorite 2 soup recipes of all time. We were planning on trying to go work out tonight--but I'm feeling completey unmotivated. Maybe we'll just go the next 3 nights. Stay warm & dry!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Satisfied (for now)

As I started to write this post I really didn't know where to begin, other than to say that in the past few weeks I have felt so satisfied and at peace with where I am in life. There are so many bad things currently going on in the world, but Hubby & I have been incredibly lucky and are very blessed to have so many wonderful things in our life. I hated to use the word satisfied because I've always been taught to never be completely satisfied, but to always strive for more and hope that something greater and even better is on its way. However, as of this current moment satisfied is exactly how I feel. Sure, there are plenty of areas where I could improve or things could be a little bit better--but I also want to take time and relax to reflect on how truly blessed I am. So...for now, I'm satisfied.

In the past few weeks there have been several instances when I look at dear Hubby and think to myself--what did I ever do to deserve him? Whether it was last weekend (and several other times) when he started doing the laundry just because, or last night as he ran out of the house and just smiled that huge "I'm so happy, but such a dork" smile--God has truly blessed me with the man of my dreams and the man who will be there for me always. He works so incredibly hard this time of year and I am so thankful for a man who will love and support me and all I have to do in return is love and support him back. I can be truly satisfied in that.

Our stable work situations are just a praise to God in this time of economic turmoil when so many of our friends or friends of friends are dealing with trying to find new jobs because of layoffs or plant closings. I can be truly satisfied in that.

Our family, I've mentioned them before but the support and care and advice we've received from them has been priceless and will truly help Hubby & I to have a long lasting, loving marriage--and on the same note, our small group friends who are such a hodge-podge group but true friends, and friends that would be there for us through anything. I can be truly satisfied in that.

Even with the material things, a warm home, a lovable furry son, these things bring such joy to our lives and we are so blessed to be in the position we are in. I can't help but be truly satisfied in that.

Last, but certainly not least--we have such a loving Heavenly Father who no matter what we do and no matter how much we screw up, he loves us more than we will ever understand. He has the power to do things in our lives that are completely not according to the detailed plan that we have worked out, but make so much more sense than our small human minds could ever comprehend. He's there in the really good times and also in the really bad times. I know for a fact that I am certainly not the best Christian I could be, but He even loves me through that. He has His hand on everything, on our nation, on my family, on our careers, and everything I've listed above---and because I'm His child, I can truly be satisfied in that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What a Tease!

Well today in the good ole' weather of Southwest Missouri, we have offically reached 60 degrees! Yes, 60 degrees on the 22nd day of January. I can't even believe it. Too bad I'm stuck here in my office and by the time I make it home it will be practically dark. 60 might not be such a tease if it wasn't supposed to be 50 tomorrow, and in the blustery 30s on Saturday & Sunday. In addition, they've added ice to the forecast for early next week. I mean seriously, can't we just move on to Spring?!?

Oh well, as dear Hubby says..."It is what it is." The week has been fairly routine for us, just work, extended hours for Hubby, and working out here and there. I haven't been as dedicated this week because I'm still not feeling up to par. At least we've had our fill of good tv this week, with The Biggest Loser, Gossip Girl, 90210, the premier of Lost, & The Office on tonight we've had plenty of entertainment.

We've got no big plans for the weekend. My parents are going to be out of town and they have season tickets to the local theater so we've got their tickets to The Putnam County Spelling Bee. I don't really know much about it, but the tickets are free and we're going to this great local fondue place for dinner beforehand. It should be a nice little date night for us!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rest & Relaxation

Hubby and I managed to spend most of the weekend at home and I am definitely not complaining. Friday night we enjoyed dinner with some friends from church, we ate at this fantastic local Chinese restaurant that is modeled to be a lot like P.F. Chang's--however, in my personal opinion it is much better. They have lobster & cream cheese wontons that are absolutely to die for! Saturday morning I woke up motivated & managed to clean our bathroom, make the weekly run to Walmart, start laundry, & shower all before Hubby got home. We spent the rest of Saturday just lounging around the house watching television. It was definitely not a productive day but I sure did enjoy just being lazy for once. Hubby was also able to rest after his second full week of tax season--I am always so proud of him this time of year because he works so hard for the first 3 1/2 months of the year. 60 hour work weeks are definitely not fun, but it makes the time we spend together that much more important.

Yesterday we had church, went to the gym, & then headed to small group. I am absolutely loving the Fireproof series! I would totally recommend it for any small group--regardless of how long you've been married! Our group tends to get off topic with some deep and very good discussion and I absolutely love how willing everyone is to share. Marriage issues can be kind of a touchy subject if they're not approached in the right way; but we have a fantastic group with a wide variety of couples and I just know that Hubby & I are going to learn so much from doing the study. I honestly could not be happier right now with our marriage, but it never hurts to be prepared should that fire try to light.

I do have a confession--I started the second book in the Twilight series on Friday night and finisehd it last night after small group. Yes, I was completley engrossed it for most of the weekend (which would explain why nothing else got done!) I am enjoying the books, they are a very easy read and the pages just seem to fly by. Now I just have to wait to get books 3 and 4 from my mom. HURRY UP MOM!!!

Tonight we had planned to head back to the gym but Hubby may be on his own. I didn't feel 100% for most of the weekend so I may just take it easy tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bogey, It's Cold Outside!

Ok, so I have a confession to make. Last night it was forecasted to be 0 Degrees outside with a windchill of -15. I'm sure many of you have the same weather wherever you are, so trust me I feel your pain. The weathermen on our local television station were talking about how if you had any possible way you should bring your pets inside--at least to the garage. Well, we did it. We let Bogey sleep in the house last night. Not just in the garage, not just locked in our bathroom or in our laundry room, but he slept quite soundly on the floor of our bedroom.

I've mentioned it before, but Bogey is definitely an outdoor dog and enjoys it being that way. Since it's started being a little cold outside Hubby and I are less likely to go outside and spend time with him so we have been laying an old sheet out on our area rug and he will just spend the evening inside with us playing and/or sleeping. Once we're ready to go to bed, out he goes with plenty of food & water. He's never had an accident and hopefully it will stay that way.

Back to the original point, we let him in last night around 7 and then took him back out around 10 so he could do his business if he needed to. He just sat and stared at us on the back porch so Hubby grabbed the leash and off they went down the road about 20 feet and sure enough, that's all the encouragement he needed to relieve himself. Back in the house he came and he sure was confused. We had laid sheets out on the floor and brought in one of his beds from outside so he'd have something familiar. He attempted to get comfy on our bed, but Hubby promptly let him know that was not going to happen. It took awhile but he eventually laid down on the floor and went to sleep--trouble is, apparently he's a fairly light sleeper so I was worried about moving too much for fear I would wake him up. Around 1, I headed to the living room and spent the rest of the night on the couch. We were all happy, warm, & well-rested this morning. No accidents, just a little bit of doggy barf right on a rug we had laid down--Good Job Bogey! Hopefully tonight will go as well as last night since it's supposed to be even colder tonight!

Stay warm everyone!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weekend Recap

Well, it's been forever since I last posted and while not much exciting has occurred, we've been busy busy around the Layman house. The end of last week was absolutely crazy at work leaving no time for blogging or wasting time around the office & this week has started no differently. Friday night Hubby & I just fixed dinner at home and went to the gym to workout for the 3rd time that week. We also worked out on Sunday night and have plans to go tonight so I feel pretty good about our commitment so far. I actually enjoy working out once I get there--it's just the getting there that's a struggle.

Saturday Hubby worked in the morning and then we headed to our friends' house for their daughter's 1st Birthday! I can't believe she's 1 already. Here's a picture of her diving into her cake.
Isn't she just beautiful? I love the sparkle in her eyes.

Saturday night we headed to another friends' house to have a belated Christmas party with a bunch of our friends from college. We are all married now and 2 of the couples have little ones on the way so it's so exciting to get together once or twice a year and catch up and just have some good food and fun together! I am a loser and forgot to take any pictures, but here's a picture of something that caused some good laughs for this evening. This lovely dog statue has been placed in the neighbor's yard right across the street from our friends. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs!--but WHY on Earth would you choose to place a dog statue this large in your yard?!? Isn't that just asking for a prank to be pulled?
Last night we headed to our first small group after the new year and while there are certainly some changes, we had a great time and were so glad to get back together with all those people. We are doing the marriage study based on the movie Fireproof and I'm so excited to dive right into it! It's a little bit more intensive than the other studies we've done (there's homework and everything!) But, I know it will bring up lots of great conversation for Hubby & I.
The weekend also brought along many Bogey events and stories, but I'll spare you the details right now. Let's just say Hubby and he had a little wrestling match while trying to get the pinch-collar on for a walk. Bogey won in the beginning but dear old Wifey stepped in and we were able to conquer the crazy dog. Man I love him, but he sure is a pain sometimes!

Well it's off to fix dinner, and maybe catch a few chapters of Twilight in between--yes,
I'm finally joining the bandwagon and beginning to read the series...we'll see if I love it as much as everyone says I will.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Uncle Nicky & Aunt L

Oh what a joy to hear those words come from the mouth of a 3 year old. Last night Hubby & I had the privilege of entertaining our nephews Hunter & Jackson while his sister & brother-in-law went out to eat for their anniversary. Hunter is 3 and thinks that Uncle Nicky is just the best thing ever & Jackson is only 3 months old and is the most laid back easy-going baby I've ever seen. He is so scheduled and it makes babysitting very easy.

Lauren & Dustin dropped the boys off around 6:30 and we only had them until about 9:00--but we had a great time watching the Polar Express, playing with all of Hunter's cars, & playing the Pizza Hut game. Jackson had a bottle and went down for a nap for most of the evening so we were left to enjoy the life of an independent 3 year old. For those of you who aren't in tune to the mind of a 3 year old--Hunter's version of the Pizza Hut game goes something like this. One person gets to be the customer & the other gets to be the Pizza Hut worker--you make a pretend phone call and order whatever you want. Most of the time Hunter gets to be the Pizza Hut worker and surprisingly Pizza Hut is always out of everything except for ice cream & M&M's. ;o) He said the cutest thing last night--at one point during the Pizza Hut game Nick was telling Hunter that Pizza Hut was out of everything...pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, ice cream, M & M's, everything! Hunter turned around to Nick and said "Uncle Nicky...Aunt L has to have something to eat!" It was absolutely adorable.

We have a great time being Aunt & Uncle to our nephews, plus I don't think there's a better birth control method out there. We love them to death and certainly plan on having kids in a few years; however, I'm just not sure we're ready to give up our Biggest Loser, Gossip Girl & Football for The Polar Express & The Disney Channel. Bogey is enough responsibility for now---we'll practice with him for awhile. ;o)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 1 of Tax Season

Well, today's the day. The first official day of tax season and life as I know it will come to a screeching halt. As the wife of an aspiring CPA, tax season brings on early morning cell phone alarms, later than normal arrivals home, and lots of bonus hours & vacation! I honestly don't mind tax season all that much--I actually get lots done while Hubby as already left for work or I'm waiting on him to come home. I actually look forward to cooking and trying new recipes that take a little bit longer than normal. I hate fixing dinner and not getting out of the kitchen until 7:30 when we're both at home by 6--but during tax season I've got tons of time before he gets home which leads to new recipes and lots of yummy food. I also have time to just relax a little bit as soon as I get home or clean a little or this year I'll be able to blog a bit before starting dinner.

The start of tax season also includes starting back to the gym. Hubby & I joined our local gym last year and worked out quite regularly from about January until the end of April. However, once it got nice outside working out at a gym just wasn't appealing so we began walking around our subdivision for exercise. Tonight we're headed back to the gym and I am determined to get back into shape--maybe not quite like I was a few years ago but just enough so I feel better about myself. My MIL got me an iPod nano for Christmas and I'm all prepared to load some upbeat, high energy songs on it so I can feel motivated while I'm working out. Wish us luck! It's always so hard to get back on the bandwagon.

Hubby & I had a good weekend, mostly relaxing but also productive. All of the Christmas decorations are offically in the attic and I've got most everything back in place where it should be. Hope you all had a good weekend as well! Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their New Year's Day. I had big plans to make a big breakfast of pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon, and eggs all served with sparkling grape juice. However, the best laid plans are simply never what seems to happen in the Layman house. Let's rewind about 36 hours to yesterday around noon. Before I get started I should say that if any of you are prone to getting sick if you hear the words vomit or puke I would recommend you do not continue on. As I mentioned in the previous post, Hubby was out of town for work and around 12:30 yesterday afternoon he calls to let me know that he is on his way home. Well not only that but he informs me that since yesterday morning he has gotten sick 4 times...lovely. The original trip was supposed to take about 2 1/2 hours to get home so he should be home around 3. I know this next part may be too much info, but I just can't not share it because it's quite hilarious. I call him about an hour later to find out how he's feeling and I start to laugh. Part of his trip involves a toll road and as he was pulling up to pay the lady she supposedly took too long and he has to vomit out his car window and on the ground to avoid getting any on her. At this point he decides to pull over and take a quick nap to see if that makes him feel better. Our office closed at 3 so I call him again at that point and the first words out of his mouth are: Can you find someone to bring you here and come get me? He's about an hour away and feels so awful he can't drive anymore. So...I call my parents and they take me to him where I meet him in a Wendy's parking lot and I drive him the rest of the way home. We're both fairly convinced it was food poisoning and not the flu as he's feeling 100% better and he really didnt' have any other flu-like symptoms. Needless to say our New Year's Eve plans were completely shot but he convinces me to go on over to our friends' house because he's probably just going to sleep anyway. I certainly had a good time socializing but as you can imagine it wasn't quite the same. I came home around 11:30 to ring in the New Year with my sick husband & as the clock struck midnight I simply kissed my finger and placed it on his forehead. No midnight kiss or New Year's Day breakfast for us!

Hubby was feeling good enough this afternoon that we went to see Marley & Me with my parents. I had read the book and I was fully prepared for the tissues that would be required; however, I was seriously sobbing as the end of the movie approached. Let me tell you, movie theater napkins just don't quite cut it in replace of Kleenex. It really was a very good movie and it reminded me so much of Bogey, which is why I think I cried so much. The only frustrating thing is that as a dog lover I believe in getting another dog soon after you lose one as there will be new memories to come with a new puppy--in the book this is exactly what the family did and they didn't portray that in the movie. I realize you can never "replace" a dog; but you can make new memories and new stories will come that will help you remember the fun you had with a previous dog.

Finally, Amy from Chapters requested a few of my favorite holiday pictures so here they are! Unfortunately I was always behind my camera so there aren't many of me.

Presents under our beautiful tree

Myself modeling my earrings & my Denali jacket on Christmas morning (pre-shower)

Hubby in MY Slanket (The Cadillac version of the Snuggie--As Seen on TV)
Bogey with his gigantic bone from my parents

Nephew Hunter watching over his sweet baby brother Jackson

My absolute favorite: Uncle Nicky & Hunter in matching winter hats!