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This is my 100th post since I started this blog on my birthday, November 22, 2010.

100 posts seems like a lot in under six months and yet I have had stretches of time (more recently) in which I wasn’t feeling like I was writing enough.

And on that note, I never posted pictures from the reason we went to Florida last weekend — Amanda’s graduation from UF!

The beautiful grad with her proud family/my godparents/my parents’ BFFs:

With her Uncle Shelly, whom I’ve adopted as my own Uncle Shelly:

We were thankful for her hot pink shoes, they were solely responsible for our ability to identify her from way up in the stands:

Family pic with the grad — sadly, without the Dylan who was finishing up the semester still:

At her graduation party that night, we took one of the best — certainly the most epic — Lee/Johnson Family Photos of all time.

Unfortunately, most of our VT’s are not quite right…

We needed Dylan there to fully represent the six of us Hokies in the family outnumbering the two lone Gators, but I think we got the point across.

Oh, Amanda, I can’t believe you graduated already. Remember when you came to my graduation? The only picture I have is blurry, but it’s proof:

Yeah, that was three years ago.

Anyway, Amanda, congratulations to you. You’re getting quite the start to alumni life — a job with university athletics and an apartment with a college best friend?! Lucky girl. Here’s hoping it’s like a continuation of college, but instead of classes and homework you’ll have a paycheck and at least a little more freedom.

Three years from now I know you’ll be doing great things and be surrounded by wonderful people.

And we’ll be at Dylan’s college graduation in Blacksburg.

No, I can’t handle that thought right now.


Blog Inspiration: Really Good Advice from Joy the Baker

I read a lot of blogs.

I read a lot of two kinds of blogs: blogs that deal with cooking (sometimes even healthy cooking), and blogs that deal with making things pretty.

Sometimes, during football season, I read sports blogs too.

Most of the time when I have a blog-posting hiatus here, it’s because I’ve been thoroughly distracted by other bloggers’ more interesting stories, better photos and superior writing.

Today, if I was going to post twenty-something advice, Joy the Baker would have said it one million times better than I ever could have.

Joy the Baker blogs about — surprise — baking. But check out her advice to a girl turning 21 today. It is pretty much spot on. It was hard to choose, but here are some of my favorites:

Six:  Make lists on Post-It notes and knock em out, cross em off, get things done.

Seven:  Look people in the eye and listen when they speak.  It’s a nice touch.  It’s the opposite of Facebook.

Eight:  Is your resting face… the expression that you have when you’re just hanging out watching Real Housewives of Orange County… is that face bitchy?  Change that.  Try not to look bitchy when you’re just hanging out.

Ten:  Don’t be one of those girls that carries one of those long, giant cocktail cups around the streets of Las Vegas.  It really gives the wrong impression.  You’ll also have to pee a lot.

Eleven:  If a guy is a jerk, he’s dead to you.  You don’t need that bologna.  Eat an ice cream cone and move the heck on.

Thirteen:  What’s important?  Make a list.  Honor it.

TwentyOne:  Work hard at the thing that you love.  Like… really hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s dumb.  If they do tell you it’s dumb… work harder and prove them wrong.  But don’t rub it in their face- just be gracious, and wear expensive lipstick, and smile, and keep working.

Such wise, wise words to live by.

Slacker Town

I feel like I’ve been living in Slacker Town the past several days.

I’ve thought about blogging every day, with my promise to post every day nagging at me in the back of my mind, sometimes in the forefront, often ping-ponging in between the two.

But I’ve been busy, and for the life of me right now I cannot verbalize why I was busy.

I normally write — or at least begin — most of my posts while on the metro, commuting to or from work. I usually have one or two in my back pocket for a low-creativity day. But I’ve just been fresh out.

I think the hot water heater fiasco of last week, among other things, left me exhausted even to the point of no sense of humor. No sense of humor Lauren is not a Lauren who should be writing.

So here I am, days late, dollars short, with hardly anything to blog about except not blogging. I am a shell of the writer I was a week ago.

Therefore, I present you with a tactic all writers (and non-writers for that matter) use when their words are not making sentences like they’re used to — the bulleted list:

  • Winter has returned to DC and my Uggs and I wish it wasn’t so. Something feels so wrong about wearing tweed, wool and suede in March.
  • Thankfully Jessie and I are headed south this weekend, to Charleston S.C., for some girl time and warmer weather.
  • I found warmth in a gathering of VT alumni tonight at a historic manor out in Haymarket. Perhaps I will be able to write words about it in the future.
  • As touristy as it sounds, I can’t wait to take photos of the cherry blossoms next week. Last year I dragged Hugh out to the tidal basin at sunrise so I could take photos. Upon arrival, my camera died. I would really like a do-over.

Now my vocabulary and I must go get some rest so that we may make a gallant return to creativity in the morning.

A Post Per Day, Every Day

Lately I’ve been trying to write a blog post every day. It has actually been my goal since I started this blog to post daily, not only to document this year (which is the whole point) but also to force myself to flex my writing muscles and creative juices regularly. I was stumped this morning about what I would write today, since I’m suffering an especially bad mid-week slump in brain power. I figured I’d throw in the towel today and come back tomorrow with fresh new ideas, beautifully written.

Then I read today’s Daily Post and my blogging brain was momentarily rejuvenated. At the very least, I thought to myself, I can find some photos I haven’t posted yet that I could share today.

The photos I found reminded me of the commitment I’m making this Lenten season: to give up complaining about work. A lot of us, no matter how much we love our jobs, spend a good amount of time complaining about work. This thing went wrong today, that person said something snippy to me, my to-do list is longer than the next person’s, someone moved my cheese. The grievances could go on forever.

On the better side of the quarter-life-crisis breakdown I had recently, I realized that while I may not have figured out yet what my dream job would be, I could not be more grateful to have a job. It took paying attention to unemployment reports and remembering how hard I worked to get a full-time job after college to realize that I should just step back and be grateful.

Grateful that I have income that allows me to plan for the future and sustain a comfortable lifestyle in the present.

Grateful that I can openly admit to having watched the space shuttle Discovery land this morning and know that at least half of my colleagues did the same, because the company was excited about it.

Grateful that I have a hand in planning volunteering opportunities and fundraisers for the company to give back to our community.

Grateful that I can lunch with and compete in daily trivia against some truly wonderful people. Like her:


And her:

I hope to be wildly successful in both my efforts to cut out the complaining and to blog daily. I invite you to join me — in the complaining effort if you don’t have a blog, in both if you do! I’ll be certain keep you informed of my progress.

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