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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Framed Mystery Couple

I don't know who these people are. They're a cute Latin, no Asian, or maybe Filipino couple. I'm really not sure. One thing is for sure they're in love. A handsome man is hugging a woman and  planting a kiss on her forehead. She is wrapped in his arms, looking at the camera, smiling, looking secure, and happy. I really have no clue who this couple, but they are pictured in the black frame on my dresser. It's a simple black frame, with the silver letters 'XOXO' at the bottom.

I'm not sure where the couple is. It kind of looks like a beach somewhere. Wherever they are, they are full of joy, and love. It must be cold, because they're both wearing jackets, and holding each other tight. In their eyes you see hope, and the beauty of romance in full bloom. They have shared memories, jumped hurdles to know each other, and the scaled walls  to enter each others hearts.

I have no idea what brought them together, how they met, or who asked who out first. They reside in a frame in my room, because they remind me their type of love is possible, worthy, and attainable. I am so full of so much faith that God has an incredible love out there for me, I bought this picture frame of this couple that will one day freeze a moment in time for me and my love.

Listen this is not some lonely, sappy girl ode or me pleading to a star for a prince to come whisk me away. This is believing. Psalms 37:4 says 'Take Delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.' And I desire to be loved, wildly, crazy, deeply by a man who loves God, and loves life.

I can't take full credit for the idea. I was watching or reading Joel Osteen a few months back. He mentioned believing in God's promises so much that you claim them in advance of the blessing. When you have faith God will bring the desires of your heart to pass. I am claiming this blessing before it arrives.

My pastor always remind me of Psalm 37:4 when I get down on my myself, or complain of yet another guy disappointing me. The words of Psalm 37:4 give me peace that because I delight in the LORD, He not only knows the desires of my heart, HE wants to give them to me. It's such a simple scripture, but powerful. He wants to shower us with his love, but you first must have faith.  I have given God so much of myself, my dreams, my heart, why then didn't I give him my desire to be loved ? .

I thought to myself, self this is God we're talking about here. Like the Sunday school song says He has the whole world in His hands. That's a lot to carry, I don't want to bother him with my little prayer for a partner. That seems silly when so many people are hurting, aching, and needing in this world.

After this conversation something in me said say, 'Lauren it is not silly to pray for such things.' It's not silly at all. That is the beauty of loving, and praising God, He desires to fulfill my heart as much as He desires to save, help, and heal this world. It's mind blowing to consider that.

So that is why there is a strange, Latin, maybe Asian, or Filipino couple is framed in my bedroom. They are holding a place for the mighty, great, huge intense love God is going to bring my way. I have so much faith in this waiting doesn't seem so hard anymore.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Lexington Wedding: a lesson in love and a lesson in me

I had so many emotions after going to Lexington for my friend's wedding so I had to write it all down.

Lexington is delicate place to wander. Delicate is the best adjective I think of to describe the peace, quaintness, and Southern hospitality I felt when I was visiting there. Lexington is a city nestled in the mountains. The night sky is so clear up there and free of skyscrapers, jets, and bright lights. It’s so free of electric light, I could marvel at the stars on the hotel patio one evening. I miss seeing those sparkling specs in the sky. By day, you can stand in awe of the beautiful peaks and mountains that decorate the landscape. You can walk the picturesque and historic Washington and Lee University or see some of the strongest and brightest prepare for a life of service at the Virginia Military Institute.  The downtown area of Lexington is comprised of a handful of streets, mom and pop shops, and a lot of old time charm. It is a gem of the city, and the perfect place for two of my sweetest friends to get married. They fell in love with this city, its history, and in turn fell in love with each other.
Before the wedding, I wandered the streets of Lexington, going in and out of boutique shops. Each time a pleasant person would say, ‘Hello’, ask about my day, and generally make me feel welcome. That’s what I love about old fashioned Southerners they understand how special acknowledging someone is. It is such a small gesture but it goes a long way. Walking through those streets I learned a little something about myself, something I hope to hold onto for a while.

I bought jewelry for myself, walked the streets alone, and stopped just to take in the fresh air. In those moments of solitude I realized that I was alright, fine even, and it shocked me a little. In my early twenties I always wanted a companion of some sort to live life’s adventures with. I’d dream about how cool these types of excursions would be with a buddy, or an adventurous girlfriend I could chat with along the way.  Sometimes I imagined a cool GQ boyfriend would whisk me away on a Hawaiian vacation. We would walk on the beach, have dinner by candlelight, and explore the country side by day.  I thought all trips would be cooler with someone to shop with, have intellectual convos about pop news, and snap random photos with for Instagram and Facebook.  So far those things, those people haven’t really materialized in my life. There is no man to whisk me away or fun girlfriend who can drop the responsibilities of mommyhood, wifehood, or workhood to go on an adventure with me. But, standing there in the cozy, downtown streets of Lexington, I was perfectly and comfortably OK being alone. It was incredibly freeing. Not only did I enjoy it, I needed that ‘me’ time.

The wedding like the city was gorgeous. My two friends wed in an intimate, chapel that is walking distance from the university where they found each other. It was as if there love had come full circle somehow.  I sat there in that chapel watching the smiling, handsome groom so happy, eager, and ready to see his bride. He seemed almost giddy to have the honor of marrying such a sweet, pure, and kind woman. It’s moments like these that restore any doubts I have about real love existing and living in this world. It is so real, and if you are honored to find someone who loves you the way my friends love each other you are beyond blessed. I am so thankful I got to share in that moment with them.
The reception was held in a banquet hall at the university. The space was everything I thought it would be, elegant, sweet, and simple. It was also special, because I got to reunite with so many old friends. The bride now works at the news station where I worked a few years ago. Several of my old co-workers were at the wedding Seeing those old friends, was like turning back the pages of old memories. I instantly remembered why these people have a special place in my heart. They are just as funny, silly, loud, and crazy as I remember them. The best part they have not lost their supportive, kind spirits. It made me feel so good to know they were proud of me. I owe so much to them for giving me a shot in news. I posed in a picture with them to preserve the moment. As I look at it now, I am so humbled by all the wonderful people God has brought in my life. Sometimes people only come for a season, but they always have a reason. These people believed in me, pushed me, and helped me in a career I am proud to do every day.

The bride Sarah - there are not enough words to describe the kind of friend she is. I will never forget how she drove almost two hours one to take me out to dinner on my birthday. I had to work, and without her I would spent the birthday alone. She knew I was homesick, and worn down so took me out to eat. I will never forget all those long phones when I felt like throwing in the towel, and her positivity gave me the strength to get back up.  Thank you, sister for being you and allowing me to share in your special day.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

That Kind of Man

A little something I wrote a few years ago when I was so deeply in love.. one of my first intense adult loves... I like looking back on these moments. It's lets me know that real, deep love is possible and I'm worthy of it.

        He started as a mental fantasy. The kind of man you envision when you have a bored moment to yourself. The kind of man you stare at from afar and turn away when he catches you staring. For a few moments you and that kind of man drift away to a warm, summer day. The two of you are having a picnic like in the movies. He feeds you strawberries and you looking simply gorgeous in your spring dress as you devour his presence. You lean in for a kiss and suddenly your boss is tapping you on your shoulder to get back to work. You realize you drifted off into a dream and you try so hard to put that kind of man out of your brain. Sometimes I feel all good dreams stay just good dreams. But if you are a hopeless romantic you believe in the possibility of that kind of man loving you. The thoughts send your heart, and mind on a mission to find him. You are thinking of the endless possibilities of you and him. The places you will go, the people you will meet, and the love you will have. When I met "that kind of man" I tried desperately to fight falling for him.

 I returned from my winter holiday refreshed and relaxed; but I dreaded going back to work. But there he was “that kind of man”. The man I said I would forget over my holiday break. Seeing him again made me weak, and uneasy. I tried to avoid his eye contact as I walked passed him. He stood there seeming a little disappointed that I didn't give him my time. I tried to act like seeing him didn’t affect me, but when I got home I kept seeing him his face, smelling his cologne. I kept replaying his smile and the awkward hello we shared. What do I do with these feelings?

I told myself I could not have these feelings. We worked together, and it would only make things hard. What started as friendly flirtation at work, turned into an outside-work friendship; one that introduced me to the sport of hockey, made me stand in freezing, gusty, 40 degree weather to watch him play soccer.
It was a friendship that was once handshakes and smiles that progressed to hugs and warm embraces. Everyday got more interesting. While I’ll tried to deny it, there was obviously something between us. What that something was intrigued me enough to accept more friendly visits, more sweet text messages, and more day dreaming at work. In the workplace we act as all co-workers do, cordial and polite. We don’t talk about the great time we had together, or how fine he looks in those booty hugging pants. Even now I get distracted. We act professional and later we’ll discuss office politics with one another and laugh.

        What if this friendship with “that kind of man” could be something great? One of those relationships you dream about, or one of those friendships that last beyond a work place romance? 

        My infatuation with him is deeper than how beautiful he is. For someone so handsome, some of the smallest compliments can make him blush. There is something adorable about that. He is the kind of guy who appreciates good comedy and laughing. We would find ourselves quoting the same Dave Chappelle one liners. He is the kind of guy that still opens doors even though you can do if for yourself. He is the kind of guy that lets you order first. The kind of guy whose voice you save on voicemail to replay because you want to cherish how he says, "I miss you honey." He is the kind of man who calls you gorgeous, cutie, and beautiful for no reason. 
        He is the kind of man I could fall for. The kind of man I could love.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Kardashian Evolution: My Love of Reality T.V.

Another departure from my normal ramblings on love, life, and relationships.

I love reality television, well most reality television. For some reason I am starting to tire of celebrity driven singing competitions, dance-offs, and network produced love fests like the Bachelor. Also,  I am no longer a fan of MTV's 'The Real World' one of the reality television pioneers. It's lost it authenticity.

I was a huge fan of 'The Real World' when it came out. The show looked into the lives of seven, strangers picked to live in a house, have their lives taped -you know the rest. At first the show tackled some really weighty issues. Remember the first 'Real World' in New York with the proud black man versus the pure almost naïve white girl talking about race relationships ? That was some good stuff. Now the show is about picking hot chicks who will get drunk, make dumb decisions, and jump naked into the 'Real World' pool or hot tub. The show went Hollywood much like I feel the Kardashians have, losing what make them so likable in the first place.

As a fan of reality television, I'm no dumbie. Now that reality television is such a hit, the reality is lost. Producers make story lines, plan crafty plots, and people are casted as characters. On one of my other favorite reality series, 'The Hills' and 'Laguna Beach' all the characters admit to following story lines to some degree. I feel like I needed that set up before I talked about the evolution of the Kardashians namely Kim's changes from a fame hungry, money driven bitch to real seemingly insecure person desperate to stay famous and relevant.

I've watched the show since the very beginning. Before the girls had glam squads, endorsements, and celebrity husbands. The show was at its realest then. The family entered the reality business shortily after Kim's now infamous sex-tape was introduced to computers, and bachelor pads across the country. I loved the girls the most those first few seasons. It's when we see them at their most humble and real.

Kim's hunger for fame is evident from the start, and it's clear the show is set up as a means of making her a household name. Mission accomplished. I love these early seasons, but it's also a little hard to watch. You see Kim rub in her sister's face that she can afford a nice car, get a perfume deal behind their back, and take any chance she can to call them jealous. It's ugly. You see an early Kris Jenner, the momager, push Kim to host, promote, like, and sell anything she can to boost her star power. Then there's the couple of episodes when Kim starts to get press and it goes to her head. She ditches her responsibilities at the store she started with her sisters, and turns into a first class diva.

Why do we love Kim I ask? Just kidding. During those first seasons we all fell in love with the sister squabbles, and the girls  seemingly real person problems. It also doesn't hurt they're all beautiful. We all could see a bit of ourselves in at least one of the sisters. Maybe not Kourtney's relationship with Scott. That was just a hot mess.

Those first seasons made for some good television. In the current season of 'Kim and Kourtney Take Miami' I've noticed something strange has happened. Is it me or is Kim a lot nicer, sweeter, and fun this season ? She is totally not the bitch we saw in those other seasons. She seems like the kind of girl you might actually hang with in real life. There is something refreshing and human about seeing such a gorgeous woman struggle with insecurity. The pop culture diva in me wants to believe that her hip/hop baby Daddy has something to do with this.

Maybe KW has taught a homegirl to relax a bit, smell the rich roses she can afford, and exhale. This season Kim drinks which she claimed to never had done before. She is funny, easy-going, and actually seems like a cool chick. It's a far cry from the Kim of yesteryear. I kind of like it.

The cynic in me is wondering though if Kim finally realized that being nice sells, that people are really digging the good girls these days. The good girl is a better seller than a money hungry, fame obsessed diva. Khloe is case in point.

Khloe has become more popular, loveable, and relatable than any of her sisters. It doesn't hurt that she has marriage many women admire to an NBA star no less. But, the girl has opened up about her fertility, her weight issues, and her insecurity. We women reality show watchers love those types of reveals. It humanized her and made us feel we could connect to her. I wonder if Kim decided to take a page out of the Khloe book and give being a cool chick a try. I think Kim and mama Kris have taken noticed, and told a home girl to lighten up her character, chill out a bit.

The show was always supposed to about Kim's life, Kim's sisters, Kim, Kim, Kim. It's definitely served it's purpose the girl is loaded, and has her hand in everything. But, it seems her sister or Khloe at least could eclipse her star power if she's not careful, and Kim K ain't about sharing no spotlight. I think this may be why we're seeing a much sweeter, kinder, funnier Kim. Whether we're seeing the real Kim or television produced Kim is unclear. There's definitely been a change.

But, we may not have this for much longer, word is KW is not a fan of the chose, and plans to pull his baby mama off the minute she drops his baby. Sucks I was really starting to like this Kim.