T h a n k f u l .

As I'm writing this it is Thanksgiving day, but this Thanksgiving day is different. This is the first Thanksgiving in my 23 years of living, that I haven't spent with my family. The first Thanksgiving where me and my sister secretly bought rolls because supposedly no one would eat them (they did, trust me, I mean carbs right?). The first Thanksgiving that I didn't wake up to my mom BLARING R&B hits and cooking up a storm. The first Thanksgiving that I didn't begrudgingly sweep the stairs before everyone came over.

But even though I missed all of this - I think I was exceedingly more grateful for the things that I have been so blessed with. Grateful to be where I am now, learning the things that I am, with the people surrounding me. I miss my family and Washington a whole awful lot, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now. And while my biological family is not near, I've created quite the Utah family that I love so much.

So instead of Thanksgiving Thursday, I went up to Heber for Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday with the DeGering/Goates family who have so kindly opened their arms and hearts to me and brought me into the family. Which I'm sure wasn't what they were bargaining for when we met in Washington a little over a year ago. A night full of food and games and stories and love that leave me feeling like the one of the luckiest people in the world.

Today was Friendsgiving... which was really two Provo orphan's eating enough food for a whole family and watching football and of course sleeping. It was great, my heart is happy, and my stomach is more than full. I made a roast, because I can't imagine making a turkey, and it was delicious. Maybe next time I'll take pictures and 'gram it up to make it look as delicious as it tastes.

I'm thankful to have the time to write and not have to work today or tomorrow. (PS, I love my job and the work that I do, but time away is magical). Everything is great.

I am thankful, grateful, and full.

Can we make food crush Friday a thing?

If you didn't know, I love food. Secret's out. Actually, it's not even a secret. I'd scream it from the mountain tops (you know, if I ever made it up a mountain or something).

One of the cool things about Utah is that there is a ton of food, just waiting to be eaten. Specifically, food trucks - everywhere, all the time, moving around and providing joy to all those who partake of the deliciousness.

But today, I want to talk about one in particular. Savour Foods. It's a food truck. It's blue. It's glorious.

They make sliders that are to live for (that's right, sometimes the thought of their good gets me through my extra tough days). Personally, my favorite is the stuffed mushrooms pictured above, because seriously it's like heaven. No exaggeration. I had them once on a Thursday maybe. Then that's all I could think of for the next 24 hours, how can I get more? Where will they be? I WANT IT NOW (a la Veruca Salt). So Friday, I just counted down the hours until I was off work so I could find them. The story unfolds like this: A sheepish little Lauren walks up to food truck, doing some awkward nervous dance that may or may not resemble a toddler's potty dance. They ask how they can help me. I get awkward, as usual, and something close to this phrase comes out "okay, well... I don't know how to say this, but, um. CAN I GET FIVE ORDERS OF STUFFED MUSHROOMS". Riotous laughter ensues because, you know people find my awkwardness hilarious. I get the mushrooms and instant euphoria. Like, I'm eating in my car on the way home because I seriously can't wait. No shame.

It's the best food truck of all the ones I've visited (and trust me, that's a lot). I tell my friends, my roommates, my family, anyone who will listen about the greatness. And all of the ones that have come with me or tasted any of the food, agree. It's too legit and they should NEVER quit. Ever. The food is so good that when you're done you wish you could have more, and it makes you sad that you can't fit anymore in your stomach. No exaggeration. If they have them, I endorse the stuffed mushrooms (duh), chicken pesto slider, and pork wontons with peach chutney, but seriously, I'm sure that anything they make is good.

Not only is their food delicious - but Matt and Collin are awesome. I mean, I love them in the least creepy way possible. I mean, after that embarrassing 5 orders of stuffed mushrooms, how could I not? They're awesome. Their food is awesome. Their passion for food shines through in all that they make - like seriously guys, it's made with love, which makes it heavenly.

So if you live in Utah County, it's definitely worth the trip to go find them and order up some sliders, stuffed mushrooms, or whatever other specials they're cooking up! You can like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram (@savourfoodtruck) to figure out where they'll be serving up little sliders of Heaven next!

(PS I'll be uploading more pictures of their food to this post later next week - it's just hard to have the self-control to refrain from stuffing my face long enough to take pictures)

They didn't tell us about this...

First, thank you all so much for the texts and emails and messages asking about why I'm not blogging and when I'm going to start again - I NEED that accountability! It's been hard, and the writer's block I've been feelings is because right now, I just don't know. As for the non-existent blog, here's part of the why:

The life of a twenty-something graduate. Completely uncharted territory.

We have a plan laid out for us as children, go to school. Keep going to school. Keep going. College! Yay! Because college will get you a job.

Then eventually, we are supposed to get married and start our own families.

But here I am, a twenty-something college grad, with a great job. But the biggest question is NOW WHAT? What am I supposed to do with this time in between? There's no instructions, no guide to what I'm supposed to be doing. What happens between point A and point B? This is life's great mystery for me at the moment.

And while I may not know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, the point is for me to do something. To learn. Live. Grow. Figure it out, a step at a time. AND IT'S HARD. Because if you know me, I like to plan (not as much as before, I'm letting go, I promise!). Not knowing is scary and it's hard, but with this whole stepping into the unknown thing, it's kind of great. Because I may not know what's in store for the future, but I am getting to know myself a lot more.

So hey, at this point, there's no guide for what I should do, which means I've got to go out and explore! I'll keep y'all updated with my life as best as I can while navigating these waters.

I'm baaaaaack

It's been a super casual 3 and a half months since I've written on the blog and I thought I'd just touch on some changes since the last time I was here.

1. That job I love? Yeah, I quit.
2. I got a new job.
3. Did I mention, that job is in Utah? Well yeah, it is, I moved. I live in Utah now.
4. I became a regional coordinator for my sorority.

That's about it. Yep. Major life changes in the last three months and I have so much to share with y'all. I'm trying to make my comeback to the blogging world - so please, bare with me as I find ways to make time for one of my favorite outlets, writing.

So excited to be back!

Carry On, Warrior - Book Review

Carry On, Warrior - Thoughts on Life Unarmed, written so beautifully by Glennon Doyle Melton. YES. Just yes. So much yes. (Obviously, I recommend this bad boy to y'all)

Glennon really just writes it like it is and shares her life (the good, the bad, the struggle, and the triumph) with us; but it's not about seeming perfect and painting the picture, it's about letting her guard down so that we can see that we are not alone. This book has been a perfect remidner of the things that I don't practice, the things I should practice more often, the things I should practice less often, and the things that, hey, I'm doing pretty good at!

The book is divided into 5 sections: Waking Up, Committing, Multiplying, Holding On, and Letting Go. Read them all. Even if it seems weird at first. This book has to do a lot with parenting and there is a section that is focused around parenting and child rearing - and well, just pointing out the obvious here, I have no children, heck I don't even have a boyfriend! So when I got to that section, I thought uhhh... maybe I should skip this part, it doesn't apply to me, I'm not a parent, seems silly that I'd read that. But even still, I gave it a chance, I tried. And within the first few pages, I was so glad that I continued reading. Even if I don't have children to apply these anecdotes and stories to, it doesn't mean that it is useless; on the contrary it was so helpful to me in how I choose to interact with people who aren't my children (plus, storing away notes for the future, duh). It's lovely, all of it, completely love, even if at first you don't think it applies to you.

It's a book centered around struggle, triumph, love, faith, vulnerability, and acceptance. Life isn't always what we plan for, but when you take a step back and look at it, it is entirely beautiful.

What if?

If I could tell you one thing I've learned about life it's this: LIFE IS EFFING SCARY.

Like really, when you think about it, it's absolutely terrifying. So much can go wrong. But on the flipside of that, so much can go RIGHT, too.

You can spend so much time thinking about the "what ifs" in life - What if he doesn't like me back? What if they don't like me? What if he thinks I'm ugly? What if the job doesn't work out? What if my friends don't like what I'm doing? What if they disapprove? What if I fail?- you can spend endless hours thinking of the bad things that can happen and playing out millions of scenarios in your head. Really, you can drive yourself insane and sick with worry. But what's the point? Those are all just thoughts. Thoughts. And hey, maybe things work out like you hoped, but then again maybe they don't. Regardless of the outcome, you owe it to yourself to find out. Put an end to the "what ifs" in your life and go get some answers, even if that means putting yourself out there into the big scary world and being vulnerable.

That's some seriously scary stuff and it's easier said than done. But here's the thing: I guarantee you that regret will last longer than embarrassment will. I promise you that.

So life lesson here? Life can be terrifying because truly, we can't ever fully understand it. But life shouldn't be feared, it is meant to be lived to the fullest. So get out there, do that thing, and live YOUR life.

Hi, remember me?

So in typical Lauren fashion, I fell of the face of the internet blogging planet because well, a multitude of reasons that are really just excuses.

But here's the good news. I am working on migrating to Wordpress and getting everything figured out and set up there. Then I will be back taking the blogging world by storm!

I'll try not to neglect this one in the process. Sorry. I love you guys. And as always, thank you for entertaining my thoughts!

My, my city's filthy

In case you didn't know, I am from Washington. No, not DC, the actually state of Washington (seriously people, stop assuming DC, it's annoying). I love the westside, I love Seattle - I've been called "the pretentious westsider" (or p-dubs for short) by my eastern Washington cohorts. Because I seriously can't get over how GREAT where I come from is.

I'm sure you know that the Seahawks are going to the Superbowl tomorrow. I'm also sure you've heard of us, those known as the 12th man. Say what you want, say that our fans are band-wagoners, whatever. Say what you want, but let me tell you us PNW folk are proud of where we come from and that's why the 12's are SO LOUD. And as I sit here in my Sonic's sweatshirt, I am finally starting to realize why.

We've always been proud of where we come from, point blank - but we haven't had the success for people to really notice it. Let me explain. They took away our beloved basketball team the Seattle Supersonics about 5 years ago. We were outraged, to this day we are still willing and ready to start an angry mob and turn David Stern's life upside down like he did ours - hell, we're having parties because he's finally retiring. Anyways, that's one less team for us proud Washingtonians to root for. Who else is there? The Mariners. Hell, we love them! And you know what, they kind of suck. But it's okay, we're still at the games purchasing tickets for less than it costs to get a beer. We're still there - little flickers of hope bursting when we start do do well in the game of baseball.

The Seahawks give us that time to shine. Every game, where we are louder than any other fans in the country. Our home, Century Link (where I walked on the field back in the 6th grade on a field trip, might I add), where we average about 2 false starts a game, is a place where we can erupt with pride for our team and our city. It's the moment we've been waiting for, it's what we live for. To have pride in our city and show them what we're really made of.

Moral of the story - we love our teams. Even if they suck right now, even if they don't exist anymore, we FUCKING LOVE THEM. So yeah, the 12's are loud and we're proud and obnoxious. The Seahawks have helped us showcase our city and our people and how great we really think the PNW is.

And as Ben Haggerty said (AKA Macklemore) "the skyline is etched in my veins, you can never put that out, no matter how hard it rains". We are forever proud of where we come from and our teams and you can't deny that.

Grown Up But Not: Let's start this year off right

It's 2014, let's start this year off right! How? By taking advice from a great (fictional) teacher: Ms. Frizzle. Yes that's right Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus!

A lot of the time, we want normalcy in our lives. We're like Arnold, hoping for a normal field trip or in our case, a normal year. But what fun is that? You learn more when you are stretched and in a new environment doing things you aren't an expert in. Yeah, it's uncomfortable and scary, but it's also fun and exhilirating!

The Magic School Bus is a wealth of knowledge, but this year we're starting out with the wise wisdom of Ms. Frizzle. Before she takes her students out on eccentric adventures she always challenges them to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!

We're adults now, we don't go on field trips anymore - well at least we don't call them that anymore. But when you think about it life is an adventure and every day has the opportunity to be a field trip - going out into the world and learning something from it. We may not be going to the Museum of Flight or anywhere out of the ordinary, but that doesn't mean it's not a learning or growth opportunity.

Listen to the Frizz.

Take chances. If you succeed, awesome sauce, well done! If you don't - it's an experience to learn from.You can't life your life on the proverbial sidelines. Risk is required for a fulfilling life.

Make mistakes. And don't be scared to; no one expects you to be perfect (except for maybe yourself). Mistakes help you learn what not to do in the future or maybe what MORE you can do in the future. Failure is inevitable in life, but when it happens, just make sure you fail forward!

Get messy. We all have this idea of what perfection is and what life is supposed to be - like life is a nice present wrapped up beautifully for us. But here's the thing, not everyone's present is the same inside and if you're to busy worrying about how the present looks on the outside and preserving that, you will never get the gift that is your life.

Listen to the Frizz. Go on adventures, don't stop having field trips, don't stop learning. What are you waiting for? Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.