Friday, October 30, 2015

my first love.

There are days (let's call today one of those days) where I will go on a language splurge.

I'll inhale any piece of good journalism I can get my hands on, treat my eardrums to a smorgasbord of beautiful lyrics, and read essays that make me feel like I've had a cool glass of sophistication.

As a child I was a bit of a PBS junkie.

My mornings would start with a walk down the stairs from the apartment my family lived in, to my grandparent's home (which was conveniently right next door), and straight to the big screen TV. I'm not talking plasma screen televisions; no these were the monsters of the early 90s where the hull of the television was big enough to stuff two people inside...comfortably.

I could have probably given TV guide a run for its money with how well I had the channel schedule down. Even now a piece of the memory space in my brain remembers that day began with Sesame Street and ended with Ghostwriter.
I inhaled all of it.

I think my love affair with beautiful phrases began with Reading Rainbow.
I hardly remember the content of the episodes ( I think I remember one involving a hat shop that transported you to different places). My absolute favorite portion of the show took place during the last five minutes. Every episode there were mini segments of children who would give a review on a book they had read.

Those five-year-olds had a way with words.

I loved the library.
I resolved to read every book in the Compton library.

I still own my original green and yellow, County of Los Angeles Public library card. I couldn't sign my own name at the time, so my mother's neat handwriting spells out, "Lauren Marie Flores" under the contract-like language, "I agree to be responsible for all library materials issued on this card."

After every library trip, I would go home read the books I had selected as quickly as I could and then lock myself in my room and roleplay (I wish I was making this up!) what I would say if I was selected to give a book review on Reading Rainbow. Let it be noted that I had 5 years as an only child.

I've always had a desire to communicate well, have perfect pronunciation, and articulate my thoughts into a way all can digest.

One of the proudest moments of my grade school years was when my sixth grade English teacher Ms. Isenberg had me read a passage of the Secret Garden out loud and praised me in front of my classmates for being able to read at the level of a 12th grader. This was a lot coming from a teacher who was known for being callously harsh. It was after this sign of approval that she became my favorite teacher for the year.

I sometimes forget how much I love writing.
How much I love telling stories.
Being a JD/MPA will do that to you sometimes.

Sometimes it takes a day like today when I find myself laughing to myself on campus not because of the halloween costumes around me, but because of the NPR podcast that I'm listening to.
It takes a few minutes of indulging in the New Yorker online.
It takes a TED talks spree. to get me here. to this point. where I resolve to write more.

If nothing else, I want this blog to be the online memoir of a little girl from Compton.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

half 1.

Progress! I'm not giving a whole month update, just a half month (& two days, but 'meh!'). The leaves are changing colors outside! I feel like it was just this week though that we saw them here in Provo in all their glory. Although, it's been pretty warm these days. I've only worn a sweater like twice, and really it was because I wanted something to snuggle in in my freezing classrooms. 

This month started with LC's birthday! There was a little birthday party for her with some delicious muffins and a pineapple upside down cake. 
I had probably more fun than I should have buying her a little present, and also, isn't that birthday card the greatest, slightly Mexican thing you've seen?
Last Friday, we had a friends dinner up the canyon and snuggled and collected leaves. We ended our night at the Provo Beach Resort—our stake had rented it out for an activity. Mostly we were there for dole whips. 
Oh! & Franc came to visit!!!!! I had this sensation of worlds colliding as I gave him a tour of BYU campus. He maybe wants to move to Utah. It was such a neat thing to give him (and one of his friends who it turns out is a member of the church) a tour of BYU and watch them be filled with so much wonder at the campus. It helped me to appreciate BYU, appreciate the Spirit of the Y if you will, appreciate the difference that having a honor code environment brings to your life. 
I fell in love all over again with my school.
We met up with Franc's friends at Provo Towne Center where there was some serious shopping going on! I then directed them to Ross and we ended up going to Applebees. I unfortunately was SUPER sick during the whole thing and while normally a late night outing wouldn't be that bad, I was dealing with leaky eyes, a leaky nose, and a horrible sinus headache. Not my favorite conditions for meeting awesome Argentines. Mostly I love the following photos because...

#1 how I was really feeling inside.
#2 How I pretended to feel inside
'Tis the season to carve pumpkins! :) My Family Home Evening group currently doesn't have leaders ("parents") assigned, so we've established ourselves as Orphans. We've made our own Facebook page and plan our own activities. We decided we'd carve pumpkins and Chase (in the hat) volunteered to make us yummy kettle corn (fue muy delicioso!). I'd say for Orphans we're doing pretty good!
The pre-stages of my Pocahontas pumpkin. It was browning for some reason, but then I put lemon juice all over it!
Mostly I love this pumpkin because Chase made it to look like Jesse
Charles accidentally threw away the top to my pumpkin and was went dumpster diving to retrieve it. Seriously, top notch. 
I sort of stayed up till 1:30 am carving my pumpkin. I tend to get really carried away invested when it comes to pumpkin carvings. Case in point, the last pumpkin I carved
Hopefully it's not another two weeks before I post again!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

General Conference Oct. 2015

I can't believe that just last week was General Conference. It feels as though more time has passed than just a week's worth. General Conference was a little bit of a different experience for me this time around. Due to an injury, my Uncle, my Mom, and brother didn't come up for their semi-annual conference trip. We lovingly referred to them as the California delegation all weekend long. 

Things just felt different without them. 
Our traditions were different.

On Friday night instead of going to PF Changs for family dinner, we went to a Chinese Buffet. Let me tell you, a Chinese Buffet is NOT the same as PF Changs. For one thing, there were latinos cooking the food, there were children running around everywhere, there was food being warmed by lamps, and there was tapatío. 

For the first time since 2008 (excluding my mission) I didn't go to every session of conference in the conference center! But, change is good and it was refreshing to have a different conference experience. I attended the first session of conference in the tabernacle with my friend Kelly, and was warmed by the thought that I was watching conference where my grandpa Quesada had watched general conference. Also, because I was watching conference in the tabernacle I was able to run into Sis. Takeshige!!!!! :)

Instead of our usual Post Priesthood Pie Pizza Party at the hotel, we had a Papa Murphy's Party at my Prima's house. I did attend one session of conference, the last one! If anything, this conference taught me that even though the traditions were just a little different, conference was still wonderful. Three new apostles...I'm so happy Elder Rasband was called to be one of the new apostles (I had a really neat experience meeting him on mission that you can read here). I'm so glad that I was still able be surrounded by family over the weekend and hear wonderful, inspiring messages.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September to Remember

I was extremely bad at posting this month! & this unfortunately will be a month-dump post. 

Looking back on it, September was really good to me.
I started a new grad-school program that I love (I have to post about that!)
I switched rooms in my apartment and am now rooming with Angela. 
& I've had so many wonderful new people come into my life!

While looking back on my month I realized literally all of my social interactions this month have been with people in my ward (church congregation). 
I love this fact!
I mean, if I was back home, honestly I'd mostly be spending time with those in my YSA ward. 
Plus, you already know I have especially tender feelings about the 97th ward. :)

September went a little something like this.

Since we now meet at 12:40, the first Sunday of the new semester we had a little Relief Society 2 breakfast.  (technically this happened in August, but I do what I want!)
There were no FHE co-chairs called at the beginning of the semester, so Ryan J. and I got asked to organize an FHE for the whole ward. The result: a pillow fight where you had to crack eggs duct tapped to someone's body—Ryan's idea.
Afterwards, Bishop treated us to BYU Creamery ice cream.
Ryan J. was released as Elders Quorum President (men's leader) and Ryan W. was called. Somehow, Ryan is a name that follows me around in church-related things. We had a combined Elders Quorum/RS pizza party at La Casa de Oro (Gold House).
One Sunday afternoon, Cory stopped by our apartment and asked if he could take us on a ride. The car was super sweet, but we also only made it 3 blocks before it completely died on us. Better luck next time?
I used my LexisNexis points (a legal search engine) to purchase an ice cream maker and we've been putting it to REAL good use. We try and host ice cream soirees mixed with games every Sunday.
I became a #foundingfriend and started this little thing called, "crafternoons" with some of my closest amigas. Our goal is to do two craft days a month and instead of D-I-Y, we're calling it D-I-O (Do-It-Ourselves). We decorated plates as our first craft one Saturday. So grateful I have friends who share my Pinterest obsession.
My creation. So I know "Y-mount" doesn't look quite like that, but I just felt like putting a "Y" on my mountain!
Alyssa and I both wore our vintage red dresses to church one Sunday. :)
Angela & I took a roommate temple trip, we had to take a picture facing away from the temple because I'm pretty sure we would have had the most horrible squinty faces had we been facing the other way.
Went on a Saturday morning hike up slate canyon. Angela had given Cory a "hiking" coupon for his birthday and we appropriately redeemed it on his half-birthday.
Sunday breakfasts are now a combined EQ/RS every last Sunday of the month tradition!
We had a ward activity where the owner of taste in Provo came to have us experience the art of fine chocolate, olive oil, and vinegar tasting. He would have us rub the chocolate so we could smell the flavors, and as a result our thumbs turned brown!
Other memories from September
+ Had a Mexican Independence Day celebratory lunch with Ryan J. @ El Gallo Giro
+Got a new FHE group, but we have no parents sooo....#oprhanz
+ ran 44.6 miles (the whole month) this is a huge accomplishment for a girl who HATES running.