Monday, May 31, 2010

Land of the Free, because of the Brave

A few nights ago we were out having a little goodbye get together... and one of Mark's buddies, that he recruited into the Marines stopped by. He just came back from Afghanistan about two months ago.

A few of us were talking to him and at one point someone said something to the effect of "Well, thank you for your service, this weekend we are celebrating you."

And do you know what he said?

"This weekend isn't to celebrate people like me, it's to remember those that actually gave up their lives for our country. You can thank me on Veteran's Day."

I was stunned at how much he meant it. How much he truly thought this day was not about him. But, I suppose he's right. As much as I appreciate anyone who is currently serving, or has served for our country, I don't appreciate often enough that there are so many people who have literally died for our freedoms.

Growing up, I never appreciated Memorial Day for the right reasons, probably because no one close to me was in the military. To me it's always been a day off school, or a long weekend, or a day to sleep in after the Indianapolis 500.

But after I heard a Marine say the above, I get it. This is the land of the free because of the brave. So, to those Americans who laid down their lives for this country: Thank you. I don't know if I could do what you have done, and I am eternally grateful for the freedoms I am blessed with because of you.

And for those of you who have served and continue to serve, I am grateful as well, but I'll thank you later. Because today we appreciate those who laid down their lives so that we could live beneath that beautiful red, white and blue, and all that it stands for.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Busy Bees (Charming House Sneak Peek)

Hi Friends! Remember me? I used to blog about 4 times a week? Yea... I know it's been awhile but we've been sort of busy around here. Here is my list of excuses:
1. Mark starts his new job next week in a suburb of Cleveland.
2. We are looking for a house in said suburb.
3. We need somewhere temporary to live while we figure where we will live permanently.
4. Can you say laundry? And packing???
5. Also in the midst of planning the wedding.
6. There's been some work trips thrown in there.
7. Panic attacks and breakdowns also seem to be cutting on productivity every once in a while.

Somewhere my Dad is reading this saying, "Do you want me to call Mom for you? Because she's the only one who cares."

For now? Rambo will be staying at an extended stay hotel with frequent visits from King and I. By the way-- why is it impossible to find somewhere to live for a month, that allows dogs, that is reasonably priced?

Last week we started the house hunt. And here's some sneak peeks at the gem we fell in love with:

We love it for a bazillion reasons. I started to type the list of reasons why and everything started with "charming." Charming porch, charming wood floors, charming location, etc. etc. etc. And while I'm trying to not get my hopes too high, I have already memorized the address (no I won't tell you the address... you may A. steal it from us or B. stalk me-- both of which are unacceptable), picked out paint colors, picked out patio furniture, and decided where everything is going to go. And that's me NOT get my hopes up.

We are working on figuring out what we are going to put the offer in for right now, and hopefully we will have an official offer this week! And... fingers crossed, if everything goes smoothly (pretty please go smoothly) we could be moving in early to mid July.

So anyways, I'm sorry I've been out of the picture, but once we get this house I will have my very own office, and just think of how productive I will be then!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Miss Idaho (Hero of the Week)

Let's conduct a small poll shall we?

If you were delivering mail, and the address read:
Mr. Madeup Name*
PO BOX 123**
Wangaratia, Victoria***
Australia 1234****

*- Name changed to protect identity
**-Number of PO BOX changed to protect identity
***-All of this information is real, I just wanted to laugh at the name Wangaratia with you.
****- Zip code changed to protect identity. Number of characters accurate. Is it even called a Zip code is Australia?

Where would you deliver this mail to?
a: Austria
b. Australia
c. Idaho

If you guessed c. you are correct. Because that is exactly where our save-the-date clearly addressed to Australia ended up... in Idaho. I know you are thinking "What? Idaho?" And it amazes me to.*****The only thing these two had in common was the P.O. Box. Apparently no one thought the three giant stamps on that tiny little envelope were a giveaway that this particular envelope was on a journey to quite a bit further than Idaho. Also apparently the word Australia also wasn't a clue.

The following is what I've concluded on the scenario of the save-the-date arriving at the Idaho P.O. Box, strictly based on the facts:

One day a nice woman in Idaho opened her P.O. Box and found a small envelope. Assuming it was hers, she opened it to find stranger's very cute and clearly very thought-out save-the-date.****** She immediately could see that the couple was made for each other, and a very good looking couple, too. They were certain to have beautiful babies and seemed quite modest, as well.

But she did not recognize either person, and had never heard their names. She turned the envelope over to see if she had her P.O. Box neighbor's mail, only to find that the envelope was clearly addressed to Australia.

And while this lovely woman could have taken our save-the-date to the post office and leave them to deal with it, she chose instead to personally address a new envelope with the neatest handwriting possible addressed to Australia. In it she included the original save-the-date, and a letter explaining it's journey to Idaho. She even spent her own money on new stamps (which probably cost her $82.39 because stamps are freaking expensive.) I know, obviously this woman is an angel.

The save-the-date arrived safely in the hands of the guest for which it was intended, just days later in Australia. He later e-mailed the story to my father, who forwarded it to me, as I am now relaying it to you.

So thank you to the amazing woman in Idaho who helped me out, where she certainly didn't have to. You made my week.

*****- I don't mean to imply with this post that I am ungrateful to the post office. Certainly they did a miraculous job with the other 200+ save-the-dates we sent out-- except those two that came back because they somehow managed to get away from me without a stamp. I just seriously cannot believe that it was delivered to Idaho and not Australia.
******-This post could have been significantly shorter, but I refuse to abbreviate "save-the-date" to "STD" because "I sent out my STD's last week," just doesn't sound like you are talking about a wedding.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rambo Graduates, Purdue Glee Club Rocks Out

Yesterday was a great day.

Mark had is official graduation. Such a handsome Purdue Grad wouldn't you say? And that girl next to him is pretty cute too, huh? :)

Then my brother, Ian had his final show with the Purdue Glee Club, and while he hasn't graduated from Purdue yet (hello victory lap!) after four years he sort of "graduates" from Glee Club. And while I've seen more than a dozen of their shows I think tonight's was one of the best.

Here are some highlights, so you can decide for yourself. If you've never been to a Purdue Glee Club performance I highly suggest it-- they travel the whole country and their shows are fun and upbeat and not too choir-y. Unless you go to a church one, those might be a little more low-key, but I'm not sure. Either way, their voices are AMAZING. And tonight Ian lavaliered (is that how you'd spell it?) my mom! So fun to watch. Just ignore my laughing at certain parts in the background- and my far-from-professional videographer skills (I couldn't size them down any more, so you may have to click to watch them on youtube...)


Friday, May 14, 2010

Where have I been?

Okay it has been a hectic week. So hectic in fact that I think the chaos will spill over into the next few months as well. Why?

RAMBO GOT A JOB!!!! Now as much as I want to believe that THIS POST had something to do with him getting the offer, I'm not sure the people who hired him saw it. But I haven't heard officially either way, so for now I'll just take some of the credit. Maybe like half. I think that's fair.

Now the hectic part? The job is in a Cleveland suburb, and he starts on June 1st. That is in 17 days.

17 days people! Ideally we would like to only have to move once. And since we think we will be in the area for awhile it would be awesome if we could buy a house.

A House! Oh my gosh it sounds so grown up. And stressful. So if you have any suggestions on where to live somewhere between Mentor and Cleveland or somewhere to the South/southeast of Cleveland please let me know.

Also feel free to spill everything you know about buying a house, as we are property owning virgins!

Okay... I'm off to have a panic attack. Apologies in advance if you don't hear from me for a bit!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's my Blogiversary!

One year ago today I started blogging. Happy Blogiversary to me!

I've blogged about Rambo and when he first moved in. I've blogged about getting engaged and how freaking excited I was that Rambo could be so romantic. I've blogged about King and his alter ego which I affectionately refer to as little sh*t. There have been posts about recipes and books, local adventures and travel, and much more.

I love, Love, LOVE blogging. 

I blog because I think life is meant to be enjoyed, and I want to share my joys with you. Whether that joy comes in the form of a good book, a simple recipe or a good-humored anecdote, I hope to make you smile and laugh. Because you can't take life seriously all the time-- that would be exhausting. And not the good kind of exhausting like laughing so hard your stomach hurts and you can't breathe (gosh I love those moments!)

Last month I had a record number of hits to my blog, which was very exciting for me-- and I want to thank you all for reading, and I hope you come back again and again.

And if I can wish anything on all of you, it will be to grow old with the biggest smile and laugh lines and wrinkles possible-- with no plastic surgery to cover it up.

Oh, what's that? You completely forgot about my Blogiversary but want to get me a present? Really that's not neccessary. Oh you insist? Well, why don't you just become a facebook fan and/or follow me on Twitter. Ooh, and tell all your friends. That would be the best present ever!

Thanks again for reading Laurealism!
Here's to living, laughing and loving!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

For all the mom's out there... especially mine! Love you Mom!
(Pictured above: 4 generations of wonderful women! Me, Grammy Shay, Great Aunt Jewel and Mama Kim)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Where do you go to get away?

I know, I know! I haven't blogged in days... but I have a good excuse... I'm trying to get back in touch with the "real world." You know, the world outside Twitter, Facebook, email, blogging, cell service, wireless, etc. All of which I have had VERY limited access to in the last couple of days out here in beautiful New Mexico.

Here's a peek at the world so far removed from technology it's almost unbelievable:

(Click on the images to enlarge)

I return to civilization Sunday... and you'll hear more about my trip then. But in the meantime, I'm curious... where do you go to get away from it all?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book Love: Little Bee

I started reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave after I saw a girl reading it next to me on a flight. The book jacket is a basically a big tease that says something like, "You have to read this book, but we don't want to give too much away."
Little Bee: A Novel

So naturally because I wanted to know exactly what it's about... I ordered it on my Kindle. And I LOVED it. And I'll tell you a bit more than what the book jacket tells you.

The book is written, and written beautifully, from the perspective of a young African girl and a British woman who's worlds collide one day on an African beach with a brutal and horrific encounter. It is touching, sad, and even very witty at times-- but most importantly it's thought provoking. It centers much around immigration and refugees. And I have to say, if it said the story had anything to do with immigration on the back of the book... I probably never would have bought it. But the author deals with the topic in such a way that makes it completely human.  The book also focuses on the themes of "growing up" and morality.

Long story short... I think you should read it. And let me know what you think. Has anyone read his first novel, "Incendiary?" I'm just curious, because if it's anything like Little Bee, it will definitely make its way onto my reading list.

Little Bee Quotes:

"I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." 

"What is an adventure? That depends on where you are starting from. Little girls in your country, they hide in the gap between the washing machine and the refridgerator and they make believe they are in the jungle, with green snakes and monkeys all around them. Me and my sister, we used to hide in a gap in the jungle, with green snakes and monkeys all around us, and make believe that we had a washing machine and a refrigerator. You live in a world of machines and you dream off things with beating hearts. We dream of machines, because we see where beating hearts have left us."