Sunday, October 26, 2014

Soy Chicana. vol 2.

Sometimes I'm Mexican, in a "yeah, my family's from Mexico and my last name is Flores" kind of way. Then there's other times (like this week) where it's like, "YEAH!!! I'M MEXICAN! VIVA LA RAZA! SI SE PUEDE! ESTE ES MI GENTE!!!! YOU MEAN, MexiCAN!" kind of way.

The second statement is more like the times when my cultural identity consumes me, when I just want to blast merengue in my car and let all of Provo know that I'm proud to be Latina.

 There are times that I think, "sure, I guess my culture is a big deal to me...?"
& then I look at my dresser and think
seriously, Lauren
who are you trying to kid?
Your culture is everything to you!
& it is, it influences every part of my life.

like my Pinterest boards:

or the blanket I'm covering myself with as I blog:
This week was particularly a "let's be super Mexican week."

Monday: I finally got around to listening to Latino USA, a podcast I had stumbled upon in my NPR app and had been meaning to listen to. Every week a new podcast is released with one main topic covered in so many different facets. Case in point: This week's episode was about Islands with stories ranging from the Island of Hispañola, to organic produce in Cuba, and (my personal favorite) Latinos in Hawaii! (random fact, latinos are the fastest growing population in Hawaii!) Bad idea on my part, because now I'm obsessed! Obsessed beyond measure. I listen to the podcast in the car, at the gym, walking around campus. Who needs music when you can listen to Latino USA? (kidding. kind of)

Tuesday: I got an email bright and early in the morning from a law professor inviting me to a luncheon with the Utah County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A luncheon with successful latinos and those who love the cause? Sign me up! There's nothing quite like motivational immigrant fueled stories to help me feel like I'm on cloud nine for the day. & the enchiladas, beans, and rice served at the luncheon also won my tummy over.

Friday: I got a text from Andrew, a friend from the mission, asking if I'd go with him to The Museum of Mormon Mexican History. We went, & I definitely ran into my extended family in the museum. ¡Tipico! & then went out for Mexican food at this little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and reminisced for hours about the areas we served in, the people we loved, the ridiculous times had on the mission, and life lived in general.

Went and saw this movie
with my Primo, his wife, and Raquel (my law school prima). If you haven't seen it GO NOW! (Or tomorrow since, technically it's the Sabbath today) It was SO good. I died of laughter and it filled me with even more orgullo for my culture! I especially died of laughter at a line in the movie that says, "everyone knows that México is the center of the universe!' true. statement.

Raquel & I definitely blasted the Oro Solido Pandora radio station in my car on the drive back to Provo. & especially cranked it up when this song came on.  check out those moves in the music video tho...I need to learn them) Sorry to the freshman living in Helaman Halls who had to deal with the latin music drifting their way & to the couple driving in the SUV who saw our stationary merengue moves while waiting for the red light... Actually, not sorry about that last part.

Sunday:I wore my huipil (or at least the top part of it to church today) and as I was walking home with Tiana (roommate) a guy who I didn't know at the time, shouted at me "YOU HAVE A wih-pil!" I was confused because I had no idea what he was talking about, and then I put it through my Spanish ear filters and thought, "Lauren, you idiot! He's talking about your huipil (pronounced wee-peel)!" I went up to the guy, who introduced himself as a Ryan and asked, "did you serve in Guatemala?" of course he did. classic. He was kind of really excited about my dress, and now having served a mission I can totally relate.

& finally that brings me to the last thing, my car. Carlos the Camry.
Carlos is muy orgulloso de ser Mexicano too.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"homecoming" weekend.

So, technically it was homecoming weekend, 
but I've been so detached this year from all things BYU sports because of Law School, that it kind of didn't phase me.

But, I still had a "homecoming weekend" of sorts.
This is Jennifer Rogers.
My last companion.
She came home from T.H.E. mission this last Wednesday
& I cried my eyes out when I hugged her for the first time in 6 months. 
I got to the airport just a little bit early (as in I beat everyone in Jenny's family!) and kind of just waited for a bit by the vending machines. & then I saw President and Sister Crawford and ran over excitedly to hug them. They were dressed just as they would have been on the mission and it just made it all feel so right.

We then played the waiting game. First came E. Jones & E. Hooker, then Sis Barton, Sis Hunt, Sis Utley, and SIS ROGERS! It was such a normal sight to see them dressed as they were when I had last seen them all. It was like T.H.E mission realm had carried over to terminal 2 of the Salt Lake airport. I was so happy.

I couldn't help but cry as I saw all these little reunions taking place. The tears just sort of willed themselves into my eyes. I kind of just observed Jenny's mom as she saw Jenny come down the escalator—the look of love on her face warmed my heart, it was so priceless! I had seen all these missionaries just 7 months ago, but for their families, i'm sure felt like a lifetime.

When it finally came time for Jenny to give me a hug, I just lost it! I don't know if I can adequately describe all the emotions I was feeling in that moment it was one part, "I've missed talking to you!", one part "I love you so much," one part "we did this!" The rest was a mix of an unspoken understanding of all the memories we had together and the realization of just how special they all were. 

I did NOT want to leave that airport, 
but seeing as how I had class the next morning, I kind of had to.

On my drive home I was reminded of the verses in Alma 17 when Alma is reunited with the sons of Mosiah after their missions, "Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth."
I put a little homecoming gift if you will together for Jenny: pens, a journal that challenges you to do good deeds daily (perfect for a RM!), nail polish in a color we weren't allowed to wear on the mission, a relaxing candle (coming home is stressful), and a chocolate bar (we used to buy these chocolate bars anytime we would go to Tony's our favorite pizza place in LC!)
Jenny's mom made the cutest Texas shaped cookies, with Hearts over Houston.

Jenny rode in my car on the way to her house post homecoming talk and we definitely turned up the Lower Lights' "Calling You!" all the way up for our 3 minute car drive, it felt like nothing had changed—although, there was no Sis Johnson sitting in the back! :'( 

I'm beginning to think that these homecoming celebrations are going to be my new favorite things!

Friday, October 17, 2014

To Kill A Mockingbird

Sometimes, it seems to me as though I'm the only person who didn't have to read To Kill A Mockingbird for a high school english class. I only just read it this summer—the summer before my 1L year. I really couldn't have asked for a better timing. I don't think that I would have fully appreciated everything about the novel had I read it my freshman year of high school, when I really didn't have the slightest clue that I'd one day up in Law School.

Atticus Finch is something of a hero in the legal world. His name has already been referenced in a number of articles I've had to read. He is the embodiment of what every good lawyer aspires to be: a symbol of courage, and a defender of truth in even the darkest of circumstances. 

This week I read a quote in one of the articles for a class that kind of just stuck with me, "Law is a profession that self-selects conscientious achievers." That statement in my mind resounds with the idea of Atticus Finch, a man who was dutiful, vigilant, and deeply driven by this inner sense to do what is right. As cliché as it sounds, it is what I aspire to become as a lawyer—it is what I am motivated to stand for.

& for that reason, I couldn't ask for a better time for this novel to come into my life.

thank you, Harper Lee.
& thank you, Atticus Finch.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

life vol. 1

I don't have too much free time to spare in law school, but I try and squeeze in as much social activity as I possibly can! I always try and make time for the people I love most, whether it be convos snuck into devotional sessions, quick lunches and dinners at provo's best eats, or gospel centered functions...
the following is a summary of my life the past two months. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

gencon October 2014.

My family is my everything. I've shared our conference traditions before—a weekend long food fest! I missed our conference celebrations more than any holiday gathering with my family while on the mission. I love these reunions so much; I couldn't bring myself to ditch out on our PF Chang's dinner to go to my mission reunion. (maybe next time?)

The Falabella side of the table.
The "kiddie" table. 
Our family always gets THEE weirdest fortunes. My Uncle Job has the longest streak for fortunes that aren't fortunes. A waitress heard me commenting on how horrible our fortunes were, and brought me an additional three cookies. Thank You, kind waitress!

We Quesadas are big fans of Hawaiian pizza. BIG fans.
Uncles can take selfies too!
Siblings, my Uncle Eddie flew into town for a dear family friend's funeral. It was the first time these four siblings had been together in a while.

Since 2008 (minus my mission) I have been blessed to attend EVERY session of general conference at the conference center. How? In a variety of ways really. It just happens. This Sunday evening I thought I wasn't going to make it into the conference center... I had been volunteering with BYU Law to be an informal translator for a delegate from Peru. As I was walking back from a luncheon at the Marriott hotel, I called my mom only to find that she had forgotten that I needed a ticket and had gone into the conference center without me! 

I thought to myself, "self, you've been to every session of conference for a while, It might be cool to watch it somewhere else..." So I went with that mindset and asked where on temple square I could watch conference. Just as I had figured out what I was going to do, a couple walked up to the volunteer I had just spoken to telling him they had an extra ticket, and if he would be willing to give it to someone who needed it. The volunteer informed the couple that he couldn't, so I turned around and said I could take it! 

My attending conference streak continues! :) & maybe I was late and didn't get to sit in my designated area. Maybe I sat in the balcony level on the very last row, and maybe I was all by myself, but I made friends! I was surrounded my mi gente (Mexicanos) and it was a beautiful thing to see my newfound friends from Sonora take off their headphones to listen to Elder Martinez's message. The whole thing was just a tender mercy.

& I'm already really looking forward to next conference!

p.s. a note to self.
next conference order 2 Hawaiian pizzas, and 1 meat lover. (largest size)
^^We always say we're going to remember what to order and we NEVER do. Hence, the need for a note. :]