Yesterday was so great. Jared and I took a mini road trip down to Richfield, Utah so he could shadow a doctor. When we arrived, the doctor had switched up his schedule and the secretaries forgot to call Jared and tell him. So basically we were two hours from home with no one to shadow. And it was exactly what the doctor ordered (ha. haha. doctor ordered . . . )

We jog-hiked a trail. We lay in the sun. We ate pizza and candy. We explored a library. I got to enjoy six out of the nine items on my "Myself" list from my previous post. We didn't take a single picture, and that somehow made the whole adventure even better.

This is all irrelevant to the post I originally sat down to write. But hey, why not document it, right?

What I wanted to say is that I'm going to be taking a little break from blogging. Just for a few months, until I finish up this really hard thing that is my last semester of college. Until then, do things that make you feel like you, and I'll be back soon!

No, I'm Not Breaking Up with You

Things that make me feel like myself:


 Playing with flowers

 Smoothies (plus protein powder when I'm feeling like a poser)

₪ Little Brudda. Oh, how I miss my Jordy!

 Regular scripture study

 Warm weather (does any Utahan not suffer from seasonal sadness in January???)

 Adventures with Jared

 Chillin' out max and relaxin' all cool and all studyin' my brains out inside of the library

 Ponder time in the mountains

Recently I've been all like, "Maaaaaan, I don't feel like myself."

And then I had an epiphany--

Think of the things that make you feel like yourself. Then make as many of those things happen as you can. Then you will feel more like yourself.

And now for my self-motivating message of the day: I canz college. I CANZ!!!

And next year . . . the tropics.


I'm a little embarrassed to write this post, but several years ago I promised myself that I'd share this with you after I got married.

Behold, the secret to all my dating successes:
(surely my old roommates will remember this)
(and surely my husband will read this blog post and make fun of me)
Behold, a self-help book from the 90's! My name is Laura, and I am (well, was) a Rules girl.

I don't think I've ever read another self-help book in my life, but ladies, this one works. And you can buy it for less than a dollar on Amazon!

Mostly what The Rules did for me was give me an attitude adjustment on dating. Because let's be honest--dating can be ultra lame.

I won't bore you with what the rules are--you can find a summary online and then read them yourselves in this less-than-a-dollar paperback. I've had friends tell me that it wasn't in their personality to follow these rules, but let me tell you, as soon as they decided to give it a try things started looking up.

If nothing else, this book will help you to look at yourself differently--as a beautiful, talented woman who is oozing with self-confidence. So why not at least give it a shot for a few months? You can ditch it later if you still believe it's "not for you." I've heard rumors that Kate Middleton is a Rules girl though, so . . .

Ok, now I'm really embarrassed, so I'm going to end this post. As a side note, since this was written in the 90s it refers to communications in terms of land-lines and answering machines, not Facebook conversations and text messages. I had no trouble applying the concepts over, but the authors recently wrote a new book. It's called Not Your Mother's Rules, and it includes tips for modern day dating and communications. I've never read it, so I can't recommend it. But it's out there if you're interested.

One last note. If you do decide to read this book, take it with a grain of salt. I applied all the general rules in my dating life, but ignored or adapted certain rules to my situation (a young, LDS dater with texting capabilities and a singles' ward). And for heaven's sakes, if the authors tell you to change your appearance, please ignore them. That is just silly.

Alright, 18-year-old Laura. I posted the post. Now please, stop nagging me.

To All the Single Ladies

DISCLAIMER: This is a long, drawn out post about meal planning. If that's not really your scene, you could probably skip this one. To be honest, it's not really my scene either.

You may have noticed my new Dinner tab on the right hand side.

It's full of . . . dinners.

The timing of my creation of said tab coordinated perfectly with a Facebook status message my friend Karli made, pondering about how her newlywed friends do "fancy dinners" on a student budget.

Well, I am a newlywed. And I am a friend. And I do dinners. I'm not a brilliant cook, but I'm getting better, and I'm quite decent at the planning bit. So for the benefit of the general masses, let me share my newlywed dinner secrets. These are very similar to my single-lady dinner habits, but slightly more organized and expansive.

Every week, on Sunday or Monday afternoon, I sit down with my handy-dandy dinner menu.
I printed out like 20 of these menus and stuck 'em on my fridge so I can just snag a fresh one for each new week. After grabbing a menu, I spend the next hour researching meals. As you will read in my Dinner tab, I'm somewhat selective about my recipes.

If I know of a website that consistently has good recipes, I'll browse the blog and pick a couple items. My very favorite recipes are often found on blogs of trusted friends, or from  the highest-rated recipes on Sometimes I'll do a week entirely from one of the many great cookbooks or cooking magazines we inherited when we got married.

Once I have a solid foundation of meal options, I begin. I don't plan out our breakfasts or lunches, but I do plan out about 5 dinners a week. Usually we get fed by family on Sunday, and I account for one other day where we either eat out for date night, or I give up on life and we have tuna fish for dinner.

I write down the names of my meals in the bottom left corner of the menu sheet. I never actually plan out which specific days we'll have which specific dinners because on any given day I'll just pick whichever of the five meals sounds best.

After I write down the meals, I open up to each of the recipes and write down the ingredients we'll need in the bottom right corner of the menu page. Then, I add anything else we might need to the shopping list (eggs, bread, pickles, hot chocolate . . . ).

We go shopping at LoLo's every Monday or Tuesday. BEST GROCERY SHOPPING IN THE VALLEY. They have by far the best deals on produce and meat. If you're mostly buying bread and cereal and Poptarts, you can skip LoLo's. But if you live on a fresher diet, at least try it out for a week or two. It's so great.

When it comes down to actually making the meals, I don't really have any magic secrets for you. I'm not a wizard in the kitchen. My meals aren't always even super great. But occasionally they are. These ones go on the "Success Stories" board on my Pinterest page. The ones that are the best recipes ever will get added to the Dinners tab and become immortalized.

And those are my dinner tricks. I'm fairly certain I have a reader or two out there who are legit chefs. What are your cooking tricks?

The Foods

I feel like I drop a lot of tidbits and ironies on this blog, but not a lot of what's actually going down in the Jared and Laura family. Three cheers for not spilling our lives all over the all-seeing internet! That being said, allow me to spill our lives to you.

I've spent the last four years studying English language and editing. And math and accounting and engineering. But mostly ELang and editing. Oh, the joys of pegging down one thing you'd like to spend your entire life doing.

 On that note . . . I edit. I just really do. In class and on journals and for Jared's friends who want someone to look over their personal statements for med school. I have all the knowledges, so if any of y'all ever need an editor, drop me a comment. BYU's editing minor is (allegedly) in the top three in the nation, so I'm (allegedly) all set up to set you up.

 I graduate in April.

 I am to cry tears of confusion and gladness in April.

 I've stopped wearing real clothes to school.

 Jared graduated with a degree in microbiology last summer. He is working full time at whatever he fancies, whenever he fancies. Sometimes he puts up Christmas lights. Sometimes he helps kindred souls get ready for work. Sometimes he goes hunting for silver. 

 He has interviewed at several medical schools during the past few months. We're waitlisted at schools in Washington and Florida.

 He's already been accepted to a school in the Caribbean, and we've made a down-payment. Not a bad backup plan, if you ask me. Raisin' babies on the beach (not to be confused with "raisin babies on the beach"--ah, the power of the amiable apostrophe).

I was going to write more, but I think that last sentence was a fine closer.

What's Really Hip-Happening

Last night was date night. In so many ways.

Jared and I went to a free on-campus viola concert in honor of my childhood bestie, Julie, who plays the viola like an angel and just left to serve an LDS mission in New York. Much class. Much.

Afterwards, we went to a "big" on-campus free dance party. The Winter Wonderland dance. Put on by our school's service association.

When we walked in, we saw a DJ, a photo booth, thousands of treats, ping-pong tables, and about 40 people.

Oh, service association. Threw a party filled with a ward's worth of freshmen. And us.

Fortunately, the longer we stayed, the more people trickled in. And as this happened, I noticed a hilarious trend.

Every boy from high school that I'd EVER been on a date with was at this teeny tiny dance.

After we grabbed some treats and found a table, I looked out and said, "Oh hey! There's Ryan! I went to my senior Prom with him. What are the odds that at the tiniest college dance ever I'd see my high school Prom date?"

Jared smiled and humored me, and we continued to watch as people busted hilarious dance moves and RMs weaved through the crowd, on the hunt for lone girls to prey on.

I looked out into the crowd and saw a boy who I was in high school band with. "Wow, it's Charles! I went on a mini-golf date with him two years ago!"

Jared smiled, and we laughed once more about the coincidence. We continued to gaze into the slowly growing group of dancers.

"Hey, that's Caleb! I went on several dates with him freshman year. And look! Eric! He was my date to the junior Prom in high school! You get to meet both of my Prom dates!"
At this point, I was high on giddy love for this crazy coincidence. A party filled with a bunch of freshmen, Jared and me, and every boy I'd ever been to a high school dance with. I don't know what that says about me or the boys in my high school, but it gets better.

"We've got to get you out of here," Jared said after we had confronted poor Ryan to give him tips on scouting out the ladies. I had just spotted another past date.

As we walked away from the super-fun party, I waved at an old friend that I had written to while he served a mission. "That's Jeff!" I told my husband, who just shook his head in disbelief, knowing what was coming next, "We used to be great friends. He took me on a date once! Nice guy."

We escaped the party, me practically skipping. "Hey Ryan! Hey Eric! Hey Mitch!" I waved to my buddies from freshman year as they sat in a circle, shaving the scruff off each other's faces in preparation to enter the dance. "Rotating date minute friends,"  I whispered to Jared, who tugged at my arm as they headed our way for hugs.
Date Night

 Lunch date at Pike Market
Gum wall--and I'm never chopping my bangs ever again.
His baby

I'm not happy to be back to real life.

But there are a couple of really great things about today:

1) Last first day of school. Give me four more months and I'll give you a degree that I might never use. But hey, it's been fun. At least the editing minor will come in handy.

2) Jared packed me pistachios, candy, and cheese for lunch.

3) Six month anniversary. Marriage has done our lonely souls a lot of good. And our homely faces, too.

Oh, hi.


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