Saturday, January 31, 2015

January birthdays.

Everyone deserves to have a wonderful birthday, whether you turn 9 or 22! :) My Tía told me a while back that when her grandchildren have birthdays she invites them over for a sleepover at her house. I thought it was such a wonderful tradition, that I decided to invite Jay & Isabelle up for Isabelle's birthday. These little girls are like the little sisters I never had. Our families are very close. 

I loved having them over with me! We went to church, made dinner, had brownies with Neapolitan ice cream, watched El Dorado♥ (per the request of the birthday girl) and The Adventures of Milo and Otis (that was a tough one to get through!). The girls happened to be over during MLK weekend and so on Monday before dropping them off, we stopped at the dollar theatre to watch Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day before dropping them off. They loved our little sleepover weekend so much, that Jay was already making plans for her birthday in July. :) 

It was also Tiana's (T.betti) birthday. Tiana and I have been friends since before my mission. We were in Living Legends together and both ended up serving in Texas! Tiana's parents came up on her birthday and brought her a beautiful cake with 22 candles to complete the magic. I'm really happy T.betti was born. She is one of the sweetest people I know, I'm so happy to call her my roommate.
(As we were exiting the door of the dollar theatre, the girls asked if we could take pictures in a photo booth together. They definitely chose the BFF print, two strips came out and Isabelle said, "here, you keep one and we'll have one." :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

on grades.

Grades came out yesterday.

Grades have always ben a time of suspense, but law school grades, take that suspense & multiply it by the umpteenth power. The Law School grading system is VERY different from undergrad grades. When I was getting ready to start this summer, I emailed my friend Allison to ask her why she thought law school was so "intense?" Allison and I had taken the LSAT at around the same times, but while I went and left on a mission, Allison started law school at BYU. Allison put the whole thing so perfectly—I'm going to share a portion of her email.

"I'd say the most basic reason for why it's intense or hard is because everyone in your class is used to being the best. Every one of the 140-odd students in your class has always been 'the best,' and most people have built their self-esteem and self-identity around being "the best"—in whatever industry or area of study they come from. When you get all of those really driven, really smart, really committed, type-A, perfectionist personalities together, tell them they are going to be ranked against each other, and put them in a very tight-knit daily environment...and then teach them by even smarter, successful, sometimes intimidating individuals who have done incredible aspirational things with their lives, it gets a little 'intense.'"

I wanted to share a neat experience I had yesterday with scripture study yesterday morning. I was reading in the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi 17 (this is the chapter where Nephi is commanded to build a ship). I read verse one where Nephi talks about his afflictions and how hard things were, but he starts out verse two saying, "and so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us." This is a stark contrast to Laman & Lemuel's thoughts about their eight year trip in the wilderness. In verse 21 they complain, "Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy."

I reflected on these verses and thought, "I'm going to have a Nephi attitude about my grades, no matter what they are!" I have NEVER had a happier semester of school, & I know it's because I resolved to live a balanced life (I talked about that here). I was sitting in Civil Procedure (my favorite class this semester—I'm a lover of rules) when Rebekah-Anne shared a devotional related on grades using the exact same chapter! Heavenly Father, he just inspires us to read exactly what we need to!

I really did feel calm and collected about the whole thing (which is not something I can say about all my classmates). In fact, yesterday morning my writing TA asked me, "Are you ready for today? How are you feeling?" I got really confused and had a slight panic attack thinking I had forgotten some crucial event for the Trial Ad competition I'm competing in. I asked him, "for what?" kind of apprehensive about the response... "For grades," he answered, "Wow, you really don't care, do you?"

I wouldn't say that I didn't care. I just figured 1) I did my best, and 2) Heavenly Father has a purpose for me. Whatever my grades turned out to be, Heavenly Father would take my best, weave it into the details of my life, and make it possible for me to accomplish the things he would have me do.

With that being said, I did well—really well. It wasn't a surprising shock, but it also wasn't like I had known these were going to be my grades. I just kept having that collected calm sensation that the Holy Ghost supplied me with. I won't disclose my exact grades, but I will say that my overall GPA for the semester was in the range of "excellent."

I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't share my grades or ask anyone else about there's. Pride cometh before the fall, you know?

At the end of the day, I attended the J. Reuben Clark Law Society annual fireside at the conference center. Elder Holland was there. :) I was 30 min late because of a bad car crash on the freeway, so I didn't hear much from the speaker. I just loved absorbing the feeling of being there, surrounded by amazingly intelligent individuals and my classmates who have become like family in the very same place where we hear modern day living prophets give us words of loving guidance and counsel.

My blessings are great indeed.

Me, Anna, and Paul in an elevator after the event last night. I joked with Anna and said, "you look like you could be our child!" you know, because of how small she is? & she said, "Lauren, you're brown! I would have come out with more color."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

the lambs in my life.

I know Christmas break is long gone, but this week's devotional got me thinking about these beautiful girls.

I first met these girls this summer when I went as a night owl to girls camp, they all go to the Spanish ward in my stake. Since coming home from my mission, a Spanish ward shaped space has formed in my heart. Literally my first day home for Christmas break, I asked my parents, "um, can we go to the Spanish ward this Sunday?"

I grew to love these girls so much over the summer. My heart was smiling when I went to visit their ward and I got hugs on all sides and offers of spicy Mexican candy. It was at that moment that this idea formed in my head and I thought, "we need to host a game night!" These girls have some of the most powerful testimonies, some of them are the only members in their family. I feel so blessed to know them (& have them as friends on insta!). They are a few of the precious lambs in my life. Y'all are probably thinking, lambs? what?

This Tuesday, Elder Don. R. Clarke of the First Quorum of the 70 came to BYU to give a devotional on living the gospel in its simplest form—pure religion. E. Clarke shared with us ways that we could practice pure religion and one was "help lambs." He noted that in John 21:15-16 Christ first instructs Peter to feed his lambs and secondly to feed his sheep. Lambs E. Clarke noted, are the youth of today.  He explained, "when Jesus had his conversation with Peter, it is interesting that his first counsel to Peter was to 'feed my lambs.' The Savior knew that if we keep the lambs, we won't have to look for the lost sheep."

I'm pretty convinced that these precious girls will do more for me than I can ever do for them. They are such a light and I love their sweet spirits. I'm so grateful that they are a part of my life.

Who are the lambs placed in your life?

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I got up bright & early 
and scrubbed the bathroom tub.

I have been wanting to do that since I first moved in!
The shower walls and tub were more grimey
than I care to admit.

I listened to the latest LatinoUSA episode
as I sprayed chemical upon chemical
(Kaboom, bleach, scrubbing bubbles—the works)
as I tried to use a cleaning rag
to wipe in circles black residue & soap scum
that hadn't been cleaned 
in who knows how long.

Cleaning brings me happiness.
I think it has something to do with my OCD tendencies
and love of order.

I also took an IKEA trip with two of my roommates.
The motive: purchasing a new duvet cover.
It was high time.

I bought the cheapest one I liked, 
which I think turned out to be the cheapest one overall.

I'll admit, it was sad to see the other duvet cover go.
We had been through a lot together.
It was well worn out with makeup stains
and faded colors from years of travels through the spin cycle.

That Serena&Lily duvet cover saw me through sleepless nights.
Nights where I anticipated adventures to come
& nights where I couldn't get my mind to stop thinking stressful thoughts.

I had thought that I would purchase a new duvet cover at the beginning of the school year, 
but sometimes these things don't quite
workout as planned.

Sometimes, the dates don't match up
& you end up buying your new duvet cover the 1st Saturday of your second semester of instead of the first.
I'm fine with that.
Life wouldn't be as entertaining 
if everything worked out
according to plan.

the old-timer.
Don't let the poor lighting fool you,
it needed to go.