Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cars, Cars, Cars

So I made it to the Washington Auto Show last weekend. Having a dad in the car business, I've always been somewhat knowledgeable about makes and models, what's overpriced and which cars are well made. In fact, I've become quite opinionated on the subject.

This weekend, I spent way too much time on the first floor wondering around amongst the foreign cars, only taking an interest in those I could never afford. I only had a half hour to browse the GM models, many of which I am in love with and could reasonably hope to buy someday. I'll spare you my commentary from the show, but I will share a few of my favorites.

If I look happy in this picture, it's because I'm sitting in my favorite luxury SUV, the Cadillac SRX. It just looks right, doesn't it? I would certainly never need a car of this size, unless I had a few kids in tow. But at this rate, the car will be discontinued long before that happens. Fortunately Cousin J and K have their eye on one, so at least I'll be able to ride around in the backseat every once in awhile.

Next up is the Pontiac Torrent. If I was really in the market for an SUV, this is what I'd pick. Some of my favorite features are the fold-flat front passenger seat, the sliding second row seat, and of course the remote keyless entry. While I'm at it, I might as well get the leather seats, the navigation system to fill that lovely screen on the console, and the six-disc CD changer.

If I'm sticking with a coupe or a sedan, my definite top choice is the Pontiac G6 GT. Check out those curves! Hot! I love cars that can still look sporty with four doors. The GT comes with an eight speaker sound system, including a sub woofer. I'm just sayin'. And I loves the leather-wrapped brake handle. Yes, I will take it with a sunroof and XM radio. Thank ya.
I'd get into the safety features and explain value you get for the money, but I know you'd just get bored with all that.
But if it's a luxury sedan I'm looking for, I'd take either one of these beauties. Acura and Lexus sure do make some very attractive vehicles.
The Acura TL and the Lexus IS250 make me drool.

Must post something before a week goes by!

What kind of soap is in your bathtub?
What a perfect first question, because part of my Christmas gift from Cousin J and his wife K, happened to be fabulously-scented Waterlily soap by Fresh. I particularly love using it when showering after the gym . . because I go from smelling not so amazing to freakin’ amazing.I also use Suave’s Toasted Coconut body wash and Hempz body wash.

Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?No. And I probably never will.

What would you change about your living room?Just about everything, except the square footage, the oak parquet floors and the color on the walls. But I would buy new couches, a larger television, a new tv stand, art for the wall . . you get the picture.

Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?I’m betting they are dirty

What is in your refrigerator?Four people’s food, but my contributions are: eggs, apples, hummus, string cheese, leftover spaghetti with homemade chunky tomato sauce, and whole wheat tortillas.

White or wheat bread?Wheat. WHOLE wheat.

What is on top of your refrigerator?Nada.

What color or design is on your shower curtain?I chose a light pinky beige curtain. Nice and neutral.

How many plants are in your home?We have the occasional bouquet of flowers on the entry table. They’re never for me, of course, but I do enjoy them.

Is your bed made right now?No, which is really pathetic because it’s only a matter of flipping the covers up.

Comet or Soft Scrub?Soft Scrub

Is your closet organized?Yes. I like to keep it color-coordinated although it’s not right now. But it’s definitely organized according to type of clothing, etc.

Do you drink out of glass or plastic at home?Glass.

Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?No, because I only drink milk and water. Period.

If you have a garage, is it cluttered?I have a parking space in a garage which only contains my car.

Curtains or blinds?Blinds. Old dusty blinds.

How many pillows do you sleep with?One. I have two: one down and the other, um, not. I alternate which I sleep with.

Do you sleep with any lights on at night?No.

How often do you vacuum?Whenever I can see the dust on the wood floors.

Standard toothbrush or electric?Standard.

What color is your toothbrush?I have three. Green, blue, and pink.

Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?No.

What is in your oven right now?Nothing at the moment, but I made some delicious Ghirardelli brownies the other night.

Is there anything under your bed?I have two drawers under my IKEA bed that contain my workout clothes and pajamas.

Chore you hate doing the most?Ironing. Ugh.

What retro items are in your home?None.

Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?I use the chair in the living room for an office.

How many mirrors are in your home?Two that aren’t in the bathroom. One that I painted bright red and hung in the hallway, the other hangs over my door in my bedroom.

What color are your walls?Blah blah blah. White. Except for the living room which is a beautiful neutral beige.

Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?No, but if I lived in an actual house, I would certainly exercise my right to bear arms. (FYI: Did you know that in many countries where guns have been banned, the crime rate has actually increased? Because, shock of all shocks, criminals still find a way to carry guns.)

What does your home smell like right now?Whatever Lyn made for dinner last night.

Favorite candle scent?I love these candles from Anthropologie, but I can’t remember their scent. I bought one for my cousin for Christmas, but hesitated because I wondered if she might accidentally burn her house down. (You’d have to know her to understand.) Turns out she went right home and lit it . . and fell asleep for the night. Maybe my gut was right on that.

What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?None. I never eat them plain anyway, but I like them on sandwiches.

What color is your favorite Bible?Both of my Bibles are black, so I guess that would be my favorite Bible color. Strange question.

Ever been on your roof?Yes. I love it up there! I can see the entire city of Washington D.C. All the monuments, the Capitol, the Pentagon, National Cathedral, the Potomac. Breathtaking.

Do you have a stereo?Actually no. How sad. I have a couple of speakers that I plug my iPod into.

How many TVs do you have?Uno.

Do you have a housekeeper?I wish!

What style do you decorate in?I don’t decorate. How unfortunate. But if I did, it would be kinda TraditionalModernEclectic. Kinda The Antique Store meets West Elm. And they invite Pottery Barn over.

Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?I’d probably lean toward solids and then spice things up with some fun pillows and window treatments.

Is there a smoke detector in your house?Yes.

In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you'd grab if you could make only one trip?my computers.

Friday, January 25, 2008


T if for tire: Lucky me, I get to replace one of my tires this weekend. Not necessarily something to look forward to, but I always feel so good about myself after I’ve done something responsible. It’s like “By golly, it feels like just yesterday that my mama and daddy was buyin’ my stuff and now I’m all growed up.”

G is for gym: the weekends are when I can really lose track of time at the gym and whip my butt into shape.

I is for I: who I will be attending the Washington Auto Show with, hopefully without wanting to rush out and buy a new car.

F is for fondue: Saturday night is “Fondue Forks and Game Faces” night with the Bible Study girls. I plan to eat lots of food and win whatever game we decide to play.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Day Three

It's only Day Three of my marathon training, and tonight my knee and my ankle hurt . This is a bad sign. Endurance-wise I'm completely fine, but if I can't run three miles without pain, how will I ever do thirteen? I'm hoping I can find some way to stretch or prevent this from being an issue.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Turns Us Christian Girls On

Co-worker: “I was a little distracted at church last night. J___ didn’t have time to change before he came to service”
Me: “So he wore a suit?!”
Co-worker: “Yes! A suit that he wears, you know, to his really good job where he makes really good money.”
Me: “Oh my gosh!”
Co-worker: “And then he probably got warm, so he took off his jacket and . . . ROLLED UP HIS SLEEVES!”
Me: *Gasp* “Oh wow.”
Co-worker: “And he was all praising Jesus and lifting his hands with the rolled up sleeves.” *Sigh* “I contemplated going and sitting in front of him so I wouldn’t have to watch.”
Me: “Ohmygosh, I don’t even need to see it!-just picturing it-so hot!”

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


A couple of the Bible Study Girls have registered for a New Jersey half marathon in May and because of my fabulous endurance on the treadmill lately, I’ve begun to wonder if it’s not something I could do. I have already printed out a twelve-week training program, and last night I headed to a runners’ store for some new running shoes. After all, I have been wearing the same pair for four years. I can’t believe they’ve held up so well . . buuut wait, considering the fact that I haven’t spent much time in a gym over the past two years, maybe it’s not so surprising. At any rate, they’ve become completely unbearable to wear, thanks to the horrible bunyan that has appeared on my right foot. Ouch! I knew the store was open until 8pm on weekdays, so imagine my surprise when the door was locked at 6:30. There were still customers inside, but the sign in the window said “Sorry, we’re closed.” Annoyed that I had parked and walked two blocks in the cold, in addition to driving ten minutes, I looked up the number on my Blackberry and gave them a call, while still staring through their front door. “We’ve closed early for the holiday,” the man said. The holiday, I thought? I realize it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but what?, are you gonna go home and have some cake? If you’re going to observe a holiday, then close for the entire day! Don’t use it as an excuse to leave early! Besides, I have a dream . . to run in this half marathon, and I need some new shoes so I can get started!

I went back tonight, of course. And after trying on several pair, I had to say it. "These are all really comfortable which is obviously most important . . but I don't think any of them are cute." Fortunately he understood and we found a great compromise I think:
. . . so I went to the gym and ran three miles.


I heard voices down the hall today.
“Well, what do we have here?”
“ . . I think it’s macadamia nut peanut butter,”.
I impulsively made a motion to leave my chair.
Stop, Laura!, I said to myself.
“We also have oatmeal chocolate chip . . . “
Don’t do it, I repeated as I sat back down in my chair.
I had just eaten a scrumptious steak sandwich with cheese and peppers and some delicious sauce, whatever that was. I could not be treating myself to cookies! Besides, I’d just snacked on what were supposed to be cookies last night. Supposed to be, had I used the right kind of flour. All I had was self-rising. And sure it didn’t sound right, but it did say that it was perfect for baking. I decided to take my chances, and this is what I got:

Maybe I should just avoid the kitchen altogether.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Highlights of the Week

  • My iPod broke . . again. As in for the third time in two and a half years. The screen has been frozen for about twenty-four hours now, and I’m hoping they can’t fix it. Why? Because apparently the third time’s the charm. I was told that I could pick out a brand new iPod the next time it broke (before the three-year warranty was up). And folks, this would be that next time. I can’t decide if I want to go out with friends tonight . . or go to Best Buy.
  • My roommate is moving out. The messy one. I don’t think I ever complain about her on the blog, but that can only be because I have great amounts of self-control. I have three roommates who are all sweet. One just happens to leave her crumbs all over the counter and her dishes in the sink. She also happens to let her boyfriend stop by at 7am every morning for no good reason other than to let him see us running around in our robes. They do work together, but as far as I’m concerned, he can just wait in the lobby. He does, after all, enjoy classical music.
  • I received two Evites from the old Bible Study Girls which means that I could be hanging out with the gang for the next three weekends. They’ve all been so busy with work and life that we’ve only gotten together maybe twice in the last six months. I need some life updates! . . and to meet a couple of new boyfriends.
  • I am lean . . according to the body fat screening I had done at the gym. However ‘lean’ by no means equals ‘toned’, which is really the goal here. But I say this because I am almost positive I was not lean a few months ago . . proving that portion control and a little bit of exercise really do work! The trainer (who I am not buying any sessions from) told me that the level below lean was called “athletic”. I said, “Are you sure that a-word isn’t anorexic?” I mean, isn’t lean good enough?! It is for me. But I’m also not running any marathons.
  • Job stuff is looking good. I haven’t applied for anything yet, but the wheels are being set in motion, and I’m highly optimistic and only minimally nervous.
  • I’m treating myself to my favorite sandwich place today. I eat Lean Cuisines and apples every single day for lunch. Sometimes it’s nice to have a break. The Greek pita sounds delicious: chicken slices, marinated tomatoes, tzatziki sauce, pepperoncinis, feta cheese, and lettuce. Yummm.
  • And I cannot forget to mention that I had dinner with K again, the first time I've met a blog friend twice. It was fun . . and delicious!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Funny Junk Mail

"I greet you! I've been looking for you for most of all my life. But you were so hard to find. But suddenly I decided to come here, and I lost my mind when I saw you. Everything I want now is loving You, caring You and being with you. Everything I want is becoming your second half. We are still far from each other, we don't have memories and romantic dates. But just imagine how many dates are waiting for us in future, what sweet memories we will have. If you are tired of empty relations, of empty trials to build happy family life in love, I will give you everything you need and miss: love, passion, care, tenderness, and comfort of sweet home. I hope that I am woman of your dream, and you can find me if you look at here: (some mail order bride website)."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Exactly why I won't buy a couch

Uh! oh!

One of the house rules around here is: Don't eat on the couch. And I agree that it is a very important rule. One that I would certainly have in place if the couch were my own.

But I happened to forget about that rule today when I grabbed a granola bar and plopped down next to my laptop. After finishing my snack, I hopped up to change into something more comfortable only to return to the couch to find . . a chocolate stain. Not big, but completely noticeable.


How do you get chocolate out of fabric? And quick?!

I rushed to the kitchen, pulling out bottle after bottle under the sink in hopes of finding a carpet cleaner or some magic potion that might erase the crime I had committed. Nothing. Dashing back to my laptop, I googled "chocolate stain on upholstery" and found a couple of remedies that just might work. But no sooner had I begun to hope when my roommate, the couch owner, opened the door. Quickly, I sat on the stain and acted casual. "You're home early," I said, swear words floating through my mind.

What on Earth would I do now? If I left to get supplies, she'd see the stain. How could I fix the problem without her noticing first?

Flip the cushion!

I'm still sitting on the clean side of that cushion, hoping I can find a time in the very near future to treat that stain that she would hate me for leaving.

I feel so guilty . . and scared it won't come out!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nine Hours in New York City

What can you do with nine hours in New York?
- hang out in Times Square
- grab a Starbucks
- visit a friend at a nearby bar
- buy hotdogs from a street vendor
- walk through a gorgeous church (old Broadway theater)
- attempt to win lottery tickets to see "Wicked"
- walk around Greenwich Village
- eat lunch at Village Den
- pick up cupcakes at Magnolia's
- buy a book at a small bookstore
- shop on Canal Street, miraculously without buying anything, er much
- stroll through Central Park
- shop 5th Avenue, visit Trump Tower, walk by Rockefeller Plaza
Not bad, eh?
*Note that in only two of the four pictures I am stuffing my face.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Big Day

It was a pretty big day in L's world today. I did have a funny feeling about this year, primarily because of the big question floating around in my mind: Will I stay with this company or not?

First of all, I'm not sure I could love a company more. Or the people I work with. But while things seem to be going fine now, I haven't been sure if it would be a good fit long-term given my skill set and personality. And today the answer was confirmed. It's time to move on. The blessing in all of this is that I don't have to keep my job search a secret. My employer knows and will give me referrals, make calls where there are contacts, etc. They actually care about me finding a good fit. Could I ask for more?

Well, yes. A little more. How about the answer to 'What do I want to do?' That would be a huge help. Do I want to stick with the same deal? Or do something new?

This also raises the question of: Do I want to move? I mean, this is my chance isn't it? Perfect opportunity to try a new place. But to be honest, the thought of it makes me want to crawl under my bed and start sucking my thumb. Start over? It's an adventure, yes. But I'm not sure if it's one I'm really up for anymore. And that scares me, too.

I have four days to think about what it is I'm interested in pursuing. Four days of serious praying. Then I'll have a meeting to discuss.

The beauty of it all is that I'm not anxious or nervous or any emotion really. And I haven't the first clue what my future holds. All I know is that God has carried me this far, so I'm gonna let Him take me farther.

Why Wouldn't You?

There are over fifty people that come to this site every day. I am five of them, and my mom is probably ten . . but hey, that still leaves a bunch more. So comment, if even anonymously, and tell us something about yourself. Where you're from or how long you've been visiting the blog. I'd love to know . .

Friday, January 04, 2008

Year in Review

This month, my good friend gave birth to her adorable little girl. I was excited to finally find a church that I loved after seven months of hopping around, and I was able to sit in the President’s box at the Kennedy Center, right next to a circuit court judge!

After five years of staying off the slopes, I gave it another try. I went skiing with two friends from back home, and I was petrified the entire time. I didn’t tear my ACL like the last time, but just the thought of it kept me tense all day.

My little sister came out for a visit, a week after she was supposed to (thanks to a canceled flight). We packed a lot into just a few days! My Nebraska friend, Shae, also came to visit for the second time.

I went home for Easter weekend, celebrated Best Friend’s 26th birthday, watched her say goodbye to her sweet grandpa in the hospital, picked out bridal shower invitations with her, met Chloe and Luke (my friends’ new babies), and loved being with my family. Business travel took me to Philadelphia where I stayed in a hotel that was “pretty money” and raved about the food on South Street. This month, my bedroommate EB and I painted our living room in six hours, something we should’ve done a lot sooner, and I also went to my first professional hockey game. Meh.

The Queen visited the White House, and I was there, only ten feet from the path she and the President took. My favorite co-worker, New Girl, left the company and moved back to Boston. I made friends with my neighbors, and they took me for a ride down the Potomac on their boat. I met a blog friend, K from Seattle, and my cousin's new baby girl, Michael, was born (they live in D.C.). Best Friend and I took a fabulous trip to Fort Lauderdale this month to celebrate our friendship and the end of her singleness.

I made the decision to leave my Bible study, the group of girls that had become my friends just a month after moving to D.C. (Fortunately my decision was made easier when everyone decided the study should end and people could separately join other small groups.) I went to Baltimore for the first time to visit a Nebraska friend and see the cool parts of the city, and I took a fun weekend trip to the Jersey Shore with the Bible study girls. On June 23rd, I walked down the aisle as maid of honor in my Best Friend’s picture perfect wedding, and I couldn’t have been happier. I came back to D.C. when my aunt and uncle were in town visiting Cousin J, and we ended the month with a dinner on the patio.

Only ten days after I’d left, I flew back to Nebraska for the week of July 4th. It was great to be home again, this time without the wedding busyness. For the first time that summer, I slalom skied and tore my MCL which required four weeks of physical therapy and a brace. Fortunately it didn’t mean I wouldn’t be boating – I was invited out to the lake by the same guys I’d spent the 4th with last year. Best Friend and her husband moved from Nebraska to his hometown in New Hampshire, and her dad blessed me by paying my way to see them and attend their second wedding reception. That weekend, we drove up the coast of Maine to see the quaint little towns and the Bush family compound. Instead of flying home, I road tripped all night (driving through Manhattan at 2am) to the airport (to get my car), thanks to a friend of the couple who was headed that way. Back in D.C., I said goodbye to my wonderful bedroommate EB as she moved to North Carolina for law school.

My new bedroommate, Lyn, proved to be just as awesome as EB although a pretty opposite personality. A fantastic cook, she made me a delicious crepe cake for my 26th birthday, and I didn’t even cringe at the new number. My former youth leader and two other Nebraska friends hopped in my car, and we drove to Virginia Beach for a day and night. I went boating with the same boys again this month, as well (which is worth noting since I love it so much)! Mom came to visit for the first time, and it was fun showing her a different side of D.C. (ie: not museums). I went on a few dates with Local Boy this month, and I met The Texan at the first game watch (cue booing, haha). More importantly, he introduced me to his friends who I still enjoy and keep in touch with.

Alabama came to visit this month, and the highlight of her trip was getting box tickets right behind home plate at the Orioles game.

I dated The Texan all month. I also went to Portland, Maine for work and spent the rest of the weekend in New Hampshire with Best Friend. I met Tall Sassy Gal and speaking of her home state, my friend Alabama moved to D.C. this month. I also had a work retreat at the beach in Delaware. . but I never saw the beach.

Best Friend came to visit which was tons of fun! Did I ever mention that she had a bad feeling about The Texan upon meeting him? She didn’t tell me until later, though. Coincidentally we stopped dating this month, and I had the worst weekend of the year when he started flaking out on me. Ugh. But I had a fantastic trip to Austin for Thanksgiving with my cousins, and I met Pink!

I joined a gym, and it’s going well so far. I had a Christmas tour of the White House, went caroling for the first time, and spent a wonderful twelve days in Nebraska over Christmas and New Year’s.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I stood up in a wedding as maid of honor! Woot woot!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Rather than resolving to do something, which only works if I've decided to go shopping or let myself indulge in sweets, I like to reflect on my year, take note of my failures or areas I could improve, and then purpose to do so in the coming year. To a great extent, I was successful in doing that this year, so I hope the year to come is even better in that regard.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my beautiful friend had a baby girl [Chloe], and my old high school friend had a little boy [Luke].

4. Did anyone close to you die?
no, praise God

5. What countries did you visit?
No countries this year

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
I want closer friends here in D.C., people I can do nothing with and love every second of it.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 23rd, my Best Friend's wedding

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I did get a promotion at the beginning of the year and continued to learn more and more in my new position.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I failed to keep up my daily quiet times at the most crucial point in my year, and things took a turn for the not so good - surprise, surprise.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I tore my MCL, and paying that deductible was not fun.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
decor for my entry way; it makes my apartment seem much more welcoming

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hmm, how about mine! For still being nice to The Texan and handling things in a mature way . .

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I don't know about depressed, but I was very disappointed by The Texan’s behavior. But it was the Lord’s protection that I saw his character flaw so early on. As my uncle says "Character can be the difference between a life of blessing and a life sentence. Many people are serving their time."

14. Where did most of your money go? Plane tickets and the IRS (I was self-employed part of last year).

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Best Friend’s wedding, our trip to Fort Lauderdale, and going home for the 4th of July

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
"Ring of Fire" - Johnny Cash; We would loudly belt it out at every game watch for some random reason

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? sadder b) thinner or fatter? Probably the same c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading, exercising, and serving

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Nothing. I did way too much of nothing this year, which translates into letting the computer suck hours and hours of sweet, precious time from my life, time I can't ever have back! Gah!

20. How did you spend Christmas?
with my family, and it was wonderful

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

22. How many one-night stands?
seriously? of course not.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
The Office

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Hating is a sin and also requires way too much energy . . but I do temporarily dislike someone.

25. What was the best book you read?
How sad; I think the only book I actually finished completely was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. No wait! I read “When I Don’t Desire God”, and it was fantastic!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I didn’t do as much music discovery this year, but Colbie Callait has a nice sound.

27. What did you want and get?
I wanted to slalom waterski, and I was able to do that a few times which made me extremely happy. I also wanted a trip to Austin, and that ended up happening too.

28. What did you want and not get?
I always want a dSLR. Someday. Someday.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Dan in Real Life; loved it.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and went to an upscale restaurant on the Potomac with my group of girlfriends (the old Bible study girls; it was delicious! My mom came to visit a week later, and we went shopping for my birthday gift, a new pair of designer jeans.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?giving more of myself away

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
This year’s style could be called ‘leftovers’. I honestly bought less clothes than ever this year (if you ignore last week's shopping spree), and . . just checked my pulse, I’m still alive! I learned that re-wearing things isn’t so bad after all. Imagine that.

33. What kept you sane?
Traveling and having visitors (Shae, Mom, my sister, Alabama, Uncle Ken, my former youth leader, and Best Friend).

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Steve Carrell is hilarious.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
the war (but I am not against it)

36. Who did you miss?
family and friends at home . . a lot

37. Who was the best new person you met?
my bedroommate Lyn

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
I learned that box seats are awesome in every venue. . Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do get old. . and I learned how to fight for joy and desire God above everything else in life, which is a process of course. Living like I do is my goal for 2008.