Tag Archives: people

Sweet Spot


Girls NightQuiet bunnyBumpiesChurchChurch with Friends      Caprese Orzo Salad


Something magic happened in our house last week.

We hit this stride where things just sort of fell in to place. Bedtime routines became easier, stress levels fell, friends’ schedules lined up for ample hangout time, and our A/C window units were mostly cooperative.

I also took some time off of Facebook, which ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

Not to hate on Facebook. I enjoy Facebook for a lot of reasons (and I’ll probably share this post over there). I love that I can feel just a little bit involved in the lives of family who are far away. I love that it’s become a cool record of our lives for this window of time and I can look back through my timeline to see pictures of when James and I met, memories we created over holiday trips, funny stories people shared with me, exciting milestones for The Toddlah.

But I hit this frustrating moment one day last week where I knew I needed to take a step back. I really wasn’t enjoying real life as much as I could. And that’s a shame.

Because that’s one thing Facebook isn’t, right? It’s not real life. It’s a lens that we shine our lives through, projected on this wall for everyone to see, comment on, like, interpret as they will.

I guess this place is similar in a lot of ways, but it feels so different. This is my space. Longform Laura Jane. This is a place to dwell and journal and reflect and Be and invite people to my place, rather than get lost in a crowd.

I don’t know. Perhaps there’s more thinking to be done there.

Anywhodles, the weekend fell in to place pretty nicely. Our friend Lexi was in town visiting from Boston, which meant lots of wonderful time with friends just talking, laughing, hanging out, and enjoying good food. (PS, I was introduced to Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes a couple times this weekend and they are INSANE. I’m thinking about buying several packages of them and smooshing them together instead of baking myself a cake for my birthday this year.)

We had a lazy morning on Saturday, but we ventured out in the afternoon to see some friends and eat watermelon by a pool. That was followed by more friends at our place playing games and watching movies – it felt like college again. Staying up until 2 in the morning just because. It was gorgeous. But it hurt the next morning, hah!

I spent a lot of time after church admiring light. Was there something different about the light where you were on Sunday? Was it just me? There was so much of it and it was so warm and bright and happy. It spilled in to our new balcony/library space in the sanctuary, it climbed up the stairs, it poured in to my kitchen and on to my pasta salad.

It’s good to be back, blog. I’ve missed you. Let’s hang out like this more frequently, shall we?

non sequitur in 3 parts

I had some errands to run after work last night, so I stopped off at home and threw on my favorite (of late) t-shirt and some jeans. Aforementioned t-shirt is white with a line drawing of a french bulldog.

Wait, let me see if I can find it online.

Nah, can’t find it exactly, but here’s something that’s reasonably similar:

So half an hour later, I’m wandering around Bed Bath and Beyond in the bedding section and a guy who was getting ready to do some restocking wheeled a 15 foot ladder by me and yelled out,

“HEY! I used to have one of those dogs! He died though.”

He stopped the ladder and peeked around the corner he’d just passed to make sure I’d heard him and to await a response.

“Oh! I’m so sorry!”

“It’s ok.”

And then he wandered away again. After a moment or two, I continued perusing the pillows and duvet covers. I made it all the way over to comforters and bedspreads when the guy came sprinting back over to me just to say,

“We never let him inside the house!”

“Oh that’s…um, why?”

“He was a nervous farter.”

We both enjoyed a good belly laugh and snortle or two, and then went our own ways. I like laughing with strangers.


I find it interesting how often the following phrases are used in social media.

1.) ‘Nuff said. The irony is often lost on the poster themselves. They seem not to realize that “enough” is literally not being said.

2.) Dear______ , Love _______.  I’m guilty of using this one, and I do think it’s occasionally clever. Though, rarely when I use it.

3.) Nothing says ______ like ________.  Example: “Nothing says Christmas like cinnamon raisin cookies!” This truism is often only true for the individual making the statement. For instance, I hate cinnamon raisin cookies and they expressly do NOT say Christmas to me. Occasionally, this phrase could be used with irony, in which case “Nothing says Christmas like cinnamon raisin cookies!” would be funny and true.

4.) Gotta love ______.  Example: “Gotta love waking up to poop spewing out of your toilet at 5:30 in the morning!” Implied irony 98% of the time. Irony omitted only when used incorrectly.


Could anyone else use a nap right now? Come ON Tuesday! For the love.

The happiest place on earth is just inside my ribcage.

Yes, I feel cheesy enough right now to write an embarrassing blog title.

I can’t remember a time when we lived close to family. Visits to see my grandparents and cousins were special occasions – holidays or birthdays, always bookended with long car rides home. In some ways, the distance forced us to make the time together more meaningful with longer hugs, more elaborate meals, more “I love you”s. I’ve always felt a deep love for and from my family…but I’ve also felt far away from them.

As an adult living half a country away, with (wonderful) in-laws living in a whole other region altogether, it’s only gotten harder to bridge that gap.

But sometimes, amazing nuggets of opportunity to connect with family pop up – like this last weekend.  I got to spend time with my cousins Bianca and Laurel, Laurel’s boyfriend Adam, and our baby cousin Nichole. And, for once, living in Southern California worked in my favor because we all met here so we could go to DISNEYLAND. Plus, we got to spend that day with some of my west-coast friend-family – Beck, Ben, Mike and Jessie.

You know that feeling you get right after you open a present on Christmas morning and it’s exactly what you wanted? I had that feeling all weekend.

We got to be silly and have fun, and we got to indulge one little girl and make her feel like a princess all weekend.

Nichole and Bianca - The coldest beach visit EVER.

A thoughtful moment.


So much conviction. So much pretty.

The obligatory teacup ride.

Seconds after I took this picture she said,"That was probably my best smile ever!"

The best part is that this is turning in to a full week of family time. Tomorrow, James and I are going to celebrate our second anniversary with wine and scrabble. On Wednesday, I’ll be flying home to Missouri to spend some time with my parents while my mom is on spring break. I’m going to get to play pool with my Grandpa in Nebraska and spend some sweet time with my Grandma in Iowa. My heart is a deep down kind of happy.

(You can see some of Beck’s awesome pictures of the friends on her blog post here. Somehow, I didn’t get many publishable pictures of the friends – I’m guessing since my camera was trained on Nichole all day. The testament of my friendship is that I’m NOT going to post the most awesome picture of Jessie ever, featuring her showing us how to properly eat a bread bowl.)

Songs to Which I’ve Rocked Out: The Boxer

Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” was the second song I ever tried to memorize completely.  (The first was Billy Joe Royal’s 1965 hit “Down in the Boondocks.”) I was chubby. It was the early 90s. I thought ALL shirts (including sweaters) had to be tucked in to my pants. And I had no idea who the New Kids on the Block were.

I'm the one with my shirt tucked in to my floral Bermuda shorts.

I remember sitting at our dining room table hitting play, pause, rewind, play, pause, rewind, ad nauseam writing down one line at a time in my green steno notebook. I’m not sure why it was so important to have it memorized. I just remember this strange inner drive to achieve the goal – to KNOW that song.

And when those last two minutes of that song came on?  Lordy, did I rock out. “LIE-LA-LIE! *BOOM* LIE-LA-LIE!! *BOOM* LIE-LA-LIE LIE LIE LA LIE LA LA LA LIE LIIIIIIIIIIE!!!”

It never once occurred to me that it was strange for a nine year old girl to sing about taking comfort in the arms of whores on Seventh Avenue.

Not once.

It made me feel connected to something great. Even if it was something great that I couldn’t understand.



.:special props to my parents who let me be as weird as I wanted:.