Monday, August 22, 2016

on coming back (the post where I explain my return to facebook).

Two years ago, I indefinitely deactivated my Facebook account. The why behind that decision: read here. In reality, it's sort of been almost four years since I've been on. I left on my mission in 2012, came home in 2014 (no fb during that time) added mission friends and people of texas/louisiana and then got back off.

So, hello 2016.

I knew I would come back to the social network, because of necessity, but also knew it had to be at a time when I felt ready.

For two years I had a "fake facebook" account. An account I actually shared with a friend that had my name attributed to it, her name as the password. It was used solely for being a part of groups: law school, MPA, ward, yadda yadda. I had zero friends on the account. Anytime I got friend requests on the account I'd hit "reject" and be flooded with guilt. I'd tell myself, "It's a rejection of social media, not of that person!" & I'd feel like I had to explain the whole mess in person. "It's not you, it's me!"

So fast forward to now.

During the summer, I started having dreams of people in the peripheries of my life—people I hadn't thought of in years. Where were they? What were they doing? Were they okay? I'd brush off the dreams, but I just kept having these nagging feelings that I needed to contact some of these people. But how????

I didn't want to accept the easiest answer: Facebook.
....

It almost didn't happen.
I almost didn't get back on.

Right before I did, I searched 'social media' on lds.org and explored this page, but like how do you even share goodness? Maybe this whole debacle of mine seems silly to you, but it was a very real dilemma in my mind. I sat on my bed the Sunday before my birthday and tried to figure out if getting back on social media was something I should actually do...  It was then that a Pinterest quote (of all things) came into my thoughts and saved the day, "think of what could go right!"

& with that thought, I instantlyquickly before I could change my mind, jumped out of bed and grabbed my fifth grade panorama, my middle school and high school yearbooks, splayed them out on my bed and attempted to log on. I italicize because I had completely forgotten my password. I had to make a new one which was perfect because I chose something that would serve as a reminder behind my purpose in coming back.

I spent HOURS sending friend requests and forming groups for my 5th, 8th, and 12th grade classes. I was sort of late to church because of it. #sharegoodness? I went on an invite to group craze, so much so that FB put a freeze on my account. I had to write an "I'm not a robot, just a girl on a yearbook frenzy" message and go through a series of "pick the picture that has a dolphin in it" -esque tests. You know the ones! Or do you?

Groups are a given for BYU wards, and so I thought nothing of my group forming escapade. I was genuinely surprised no one had made them before. & felt really grateful that I acted on the impression after I got lots of messages/comments/etc from classmates thanking me for putting the groups together.

I'm not going to lie, I got a bit emotional as I saw the great humans my former classmates had become!!!! It was an incredible lesson in humility and a testament to Heavenly Father's hand in everyone's life. I felt a little bit smaller because of it, but in a wondrous way...like a brightly beaming star that is part of an immensely glorious galaxy.

I don't think there's any other way to describe the gut feeling nudge to return to Facebook except for describing it as what I believe it to have been: a prompting.

I'm not fully fb-functional I've given myself parameters. Like, starting this week only going on fb on Sundays with a caveat that if there's some sort of crazy-connection or too good to not share miracle, then I'll log on. I may be back on facebook, but I'm still equipped with my weaknesses. It's a lifelong process & I'm still figuring out how to exactly, "share goodness." Re-entering the lives of peripheral classmates just seemed like the right start to get me there.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

texas//louisiana.

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maybe it has something to do with the fact that our skin is darker, but I can't help but notice that all our vacation photos are popping with colors. you know how some people's instagram's feeds are only muted|natural tones all the time? how? Do people plan for that to happen?

anyways,
the mission trip. & in my case T.H.E. Mission trip (Texas, Houston, East—it's clever, right?) Almost every mormon family has to take the obligatory let's-visit-your-mission trip. I had my fair shares of, your typical, 'this is where I attended church', 'these are some of the people I loved', but also some quirkies: 'this is the restaurant the Zone Leaders didn't let me eat at for my birthday' (not.bitter), 'this is where I fell off my bike and the whole mission found out.'

Our trip took us from New Orleans-->Lake Charles-->Houston-->Dallas. The humidity was SO real (hence that slick wet look to all of our faces in the pictures, yum). I still hate Texas (the place), but love Texas (the people), and my life will forever be connected to that little patch of sacred ground.

here's just a rundown of the trip, for posterity & you.

+ all you can eat shrimp! Pay definitely broke the record at the restaurant for the most shrimp consumed. give that man a medal!
+ bluebell! I don't care if you had listeria in your pints or if i'm lactose intolerant. you were heavenly. I couldn't visit the south without purchasing you.
+ southern rainstorms! you haven't lived till you've experienced one of these. one minute beautiful sunshine, the next torrential downpour like it's the end of the world.
+ beignets, beignets, beignets from Cafe du Monde making all of my princess & the frog dreams come true.
+ getting treated to dinner by the Ortiz in Lake Charles. they are the real MVPs, attending church in a language they don't understand for years:::hero status.
+ bayous. took a walk through the swampland and came out 75% dehydrated and forever changed. I know I'm crazy for saying this, but I loved it! the need to move to the south is a very real thing.
+ baseball game(s). because what's a flores family vacay without a visit to the ballpark. no such thing! Minute maid park you get the gold stars with your airconditioned♥ ballpark and your seventh inning stretch rendition of 'deep in the heart of texas.' globe life, maybe it's because the rangers lost, maybe it's because the heat was unbearable, but you were kind of the pits.
Dallas and l.i.t.t.e.r.a.l.l.y. being in the same spot where the officers were to be gunned down later in that day, scary out of body experience. i kept asking myself, 'are we really in dallas right now? is this really happening HERE?' yeah. that happened.
+ visiting the broadway third ward=two thumbs up, visiting the Texas branch in Baytown=amazing, but I somehow look different because how about that part where the members recognized my Mom more than they did me. Not like I lived there for 4 1/2 months or anything. Apparently I look like the sister I never knew I had? it's fine. we're fine.
.....

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

a catch up. because it's the end of june ///

i have panic attacks about parallel parking--it's part of the reason i hate venturing to LA or any city in southern california. that and narrow streets. i'll say 2014728156983 prayers out loud every time i'm headed out, "please bless that i find the perfect spot. that there's an actual parking lot. or that i can make the how-to from pinterest a reality."

occasionally, i get my big girl pants on and decide to actually venture to fun places to do fun things with my fam and friendsss. nothing a little beyoncé plus pep talk in the car can't cure. you think i'm joking.

anyways, no time like the present to play a fast paced game of catch-up, so scroll baby scroll!


// a really delicious freshly-picked orange from right outside katie's house. if i could be so lucky.
// went to sea world. complimentary tickets for teachers? use all the perks!!!!!!!
// lavender bundles, from an organic farm somewhere along highway 150 in ojai.
// avocados from one of the canyon's on katie's ranch. katie lives the dream life. why even try?
keep scrolling!

in may we celebrated mothers day at church. skyped with elder quesada flores. & went to an evening with diane guerrero (janethevirigin!!!!!!!!) where she talked about her memoir and the deportation of her parents.

also in may we said farewell to my abuelita. a roadtrip to utah ensued. it was the greatest family reunion the flores have ever seen. ALLTHECOUSINS! baked potato bar! homemade pupusas! homemade elotes! uno! laughing. spontaneous birthday cakes. wut? leave it to my abuela to have the coolest departing-this-earth weekend.


beginning of june = misden's birthday! 26 never looked so good. mini high-school reunion. how is it that it's been eight years, but we're still as awkward as we were at 15, maybe even more?? we brunched hard at recess eatery. the weather was hothothot i melted in places i didn't even know i could sweat from, but anything for a good photo op. ignore the dead arms.


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but wait, there's more! scrolly scroll scroll.


// went to a dodgers game. dodger dogs y u so expensive! oh, look my parents in front of a giant bobblehead.
// never has a more accurate picture been taken of the flores family.
// eggs benedict are my weakness. eat all the carbs!


went to sea world. atlantis broke down twice. where are the dolphins in that ride, the medusa head, the shaking on the elevator? am i making that up? someone confirm. please! it's killing me, and a midnight google-ing session on the subject has failed me. it's true.


lastly went to visit ex-roommate katie. my second red-headed roommate named katie. she lives outside of la in a small little stretch of land named piru on a ranch where they grow oranges + avocados + lemons + grapefruit. i came home with a bag of beautiful avocados. free99! take that sprouts. we went to a avocado growers appreciation barbeque. i was a very grateful plus one. PERKS. afterwards we drove to ojai to tour a lavender farm and checked out their lavender festival. pretty smelling purple flowers, grandma boutiques, + weirdly infused lavender food sign me up!


the end.

Monday, June 27, 2016

"what have you been up to, lauren?"

a list of -eds and -ings because parallelism is overrated* 

*sometimes

:: ordered eggs benedict three brunches in a row from here. here. and here. (for the record, s&w's was the best!)

:: invested in a scale—[probably because of the above]

:: rediscovering the glory of gilmore girls, and wishing I could attend every festival-carnival-celebration that Stars Hollow/Emily Gilmore has ever thrown.

:: avoiding LA traffic like it's the bubonic plague because CAR-mageddon. I'm looking at you 5. 405. and 101. bolded exclamation point.

:: acting like newport beach is my assigned temple because... (see above)

:: coming to a political awakening. also looking into alternative party affiliations and possible write-ins for president. can i make my own party? more importantly can i call it the fiesta-party. double the party, double the fun.

:: becoming the queen of breakfast and taking full advantage of a pantry and spice racks that don't have grad school budget restraints.

:: attending the local spanish ward and pretending I know how to play the piano. sidenote: thankfully, the relief society room's piano has prerecorded songs because a poor wayfaring man of grief is still my boss.

:: getting into fights with the rooster who lives next door. his 5 am booty calls are getting old real quick. update: the rooster, all four hens, AND the chihuahuas have all mysteriously disappeared one day after i yelled 'shutup!' at them from my bedroom window.

:: working as a part-time math tutor...for my brother. i'm compensated in the form of teenage frustration + homemade popcorn. win-win?

:: pulling off my lips twice a day & feeling distrubingly fascinated by the similarity of the skin from my lips and a snake's freshly shed skin. tmi? #accutane

:: sporting the hottest threads: sweats, baseball shorts, old concert tees, my brother's t-shirts + a high bun + NOMAKEUP #thnkuaccutane #drkskinblessings

:: driving through the streets downtown LBC twice a week and giving in to thug-life urges of listening to a bit of snoop dogg, old school r&b, and maaaaayyyybe took out my lil' bow-wow cd. doggy bag circa 2001.

:: pretending i have a second place of residence in huntington beach.

:: coming to terms with my lactose-intolerancenessness and feeling srsly so blessed that i live in the age of chewy vanilla lactaid pills.


you made it to the end!
go you!
(somehow cheering you on just felt like the most appropriate way to end)
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