Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Last 12

A recap of the last 12 days... 

I left Memphis on the 18th planning to return on the 26th after our we had our Ladies' Day Out booth (separate post) on the 25th. Then I was going to stay there for the remainder of the season in hopes that we would be called up in September.

Instead, on the 23rd he called and told me he was getting called up. We were ecstatic. I had been praying for something to happen for us. We just felt in a rut and not really relying on the plan that was already been laid for us.The week before we found a verse that we liked and we used it daily to remind each other there was a better plan. Jermiah 29:11. Sure enough in the days following we got to see that plan. I use the Bible app on my phone and always search quickly for uplifting verses unless there is something that I've remembered. What I hadn't told Brandon was that all the encouraging ones I found and sent him were from a job loss reading plan. It wasn't even in a time of job loss that we needed them just job struggle and they were fitting.

I was super excited because I was thinking this was for the rest of the season and that now all I needed to do was make a trip to Memphis to pack up the rest of our things, sheets, towels, kitchen stuff, etc.  He flew out to Cincinnati and I stayed put at my parents house. We were finally going to be in the same place and hoping for it the rest of the season.

He got to pitch on Saturday after eight days of rest and we'll just say it wasn't his best outing. However in that game it didn't matter they were already losing when he went in. 

Tonight he got the opportunity to pitch again,in Pittsburgh, in a game they were already losing 7-0. He pitched three innings and even got a hit. I'm thankful for the game he had today and the opportunity to redeem himself from his last outing. I know he wanted a chance to show them he deserved to be there. I think he did.

I've been counting down the days until he gets to come home to St. Louis and it was only six more. He would have been back on the 2nd. Insteadreceive a text after the game tonight, "And I'm going down." 

It's always hard to understand their moves and not take it personal. Yet again I find myself rolling with the punches.  

Tomorrow I am going to meet my guy in Memphis. I'm going to go to Jerry's for a sno cone on a date with my husband. I'm going to sit and have a nice chat with my lovely baseball girls that I've become so attached to this year. I'll probably get an Icee too. I'm going to pack up our apartment and be a little sad about it. I might even cry when I tell my friends goodbye. Secretly, I'm a teeny tiny bit glad I we get to go back one more time to say good bye. I've found that my heart has actually become a bit fond of Memphis. I think it's because all the fun memories from our first year of marriage have been made there. I think how some day we will share with our kids that we lived there and show them places we remember.

As much as we love being in the big leagues, this year has humbled me and taught me how to be flexible. It has taught me to have faith in the unknown and to find joy, big or small, in each circumstance. I have felt so much love and support from the community I live in and the people that ask about Brandon and tell me they are keeping up with him. It is amazing and I'm so grateful for that. Grateful for you reading this! My family too, sheesh, they are awesome and ALWAYS comforting me. The ups and downs and moving and me coming and going, they've been great and I think learning flexibility also.

Then there is my guy. My never complaining guy. I know I brag on him all the time, but he is the rock in this marriage. Everything I say about him I don't make up. I find him comforting and trying to make me laugh when we get moved when I should be the one comforting him! I'm excited for the few days of memories he made and hopeful he will get recalled soon. Little did I know those verses I had found were already preparing us for the future. It's awesome how things like that work. 

Shameless plug: 
My mom and I have been working together on some new awesome rhinestone apparel like shown! If you're interested or needing some sparkle email us - 

Finally a big thank you to all our family, friends, and fans all over the place. 
Y'all are the best!! 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life Is Good

It's hard not to be jealous of everyone on their summer vacations. When is it time for ours? Since February baseball has been controlling our schedule and I'm just about ready for that to not be the case.  In times like these I have to remind myself of something I wrote a year ago to my husband that is still true today.

But you do have a job (thankful) that is going to provide for our future (thank you) that you love playing (bonus for you) and is fun (bonus for us) and you get to wear a uniform (bonus for me) that lets us meet lots of friends (bonus for them). 


Monday, August 13, 2012

Things I'm Loving

I like to think I'm easy to please and as of late it's been the really really little things.

Laying on the couch with my guy. Reading, chatting, watching TV, like normal people. 

Spending time with my second family aka the other baseball wives/girlfriends/fiances. Don't stero type my friends - these lady friends of mine are amazing and funny. For nine innings every night or almost every night we sit and chat about anything and everything. It is so fun and I really love the friendships I've made this season. Not to mention all the cute little babes we have running around. Ironically there are no little boys at all. 

I deleted the Twitter app from my phone. GASP. Yes I did it for three whole days. It was awesome. It helped me learn I don't have to check it every two seconds which I'll admit I had been doing. Glad I broke myself of that habit. I feel free again.

Gold glitter nail polish. Easy as that. I know glitter is a pain to get off but I'm hoping this will prevent the chipping. I had been doing my own at home gel mani's and it tore up my nails. You know how I feel about that. Not in my house!

Dot Sniper. I don't have an iPad, but B does and he has me hooked on this game if he isn't playing Jurassic Park, Disc Drivin or some other dot connector game that last night he was "crushing."  He told me every time after he beat a round which seemed like every ten seconds, " look babe I crushed this round" and I ignored him until he couldn't be a round 220 moves later. Haha, such a silly boy!

My new sunglasses that my B treated me to for our three year anniversary. I have a very sensitive head and almost every pair of sunglasses leave me with a headache. Not this pair.

Goodwill shopping with blog friends & Jerry's Sno Cones. Yep I hang out with people I've met online and I love it! I scored some fun new tops and two new pair of jeans. Brandon told me bell bottoms were not in again but I LOVE them. They aren't bell bottoms just really wide legged jeans. I also love this almost full set of mug-suring cups I scored.  Then there is the greatest sno cone shack on earth. I can't wait to finish up our stay in Memphis treating myself to these delicious cups of ice + flavor juice + ice cream.

Olympic observations via Blair and vol 2.  Be sure to check out volume two and the links in it.. seriously awesome. ***side note does anyone else think mckayla maroney looks like a kardashian?*** Blair is a hoot and a really good writer! Thanks again to baseball for allowing our paths to cross. 

Blog & Baseball friends yep it happens, best of both my worlds - this girl is amazing. You should stop by and see all the happiness on her blog. I can't wait to meet her sometime sooooon. I dream of the days we can sit and watch games together and take really goofy/awesome photos its going to happen! And she is on the most beautiful beach vacation right now so start stalking her instagrams. I am.

Been eyeing these gorgeous cuff bracelets. Do you love them? Should I do the 3, 6, or 9? Gosh this girl is talented and I've had the privileged of meeting her a few times before. Follow her on IG too 

And finally g-chatting with friends cross country on their birthday! 

And one more funny story because it's happening as I write this post a sneak peek into some baseball life. One of my good friends and her husband have an apartment here and they have had two roommates all year. One of the roommates was sorda illegally crashing in the living room. Well he got called up to STL. Then the other roommate got released. So another couple that we are good friends with got sent down so they moved in. Well guess what they were there a few days and got called back up. This past week, I mean yesterday yet another couple moves in and today guess what? Ding ding  -- they get called up. OBVIOUSLY that room is lucky or cursed you be the judge. My dear friend puts it like this. "I feel like an old grandma sending these peeps off to St. Louis every other week."  What a good sport.  I think Brandon and I decided we are moving apartments this week ;) As crazy and bizarre as our life is - we learn to love and laugh through it because frankly there is no other way. Thank God we have each other.

That's all I got what has been making you happy lately? 


bits of splendor monday

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ritz Chicken Casserole

I haven't shared a recipe in a while so I thought I would. I realized this season how NICE it is to have some of my favorite recipes blogged. Sometimes my hard copy gets lost moving so now I can reference the old blog for the ones I use most often, like meatloaf, mozzarella cheese dip and lasagna

This is one of Brandon's favorites that his sister always makes for us when we are home. We like it so much we had to start making it for our self the other six months of the year. Until I couldn't get a hold of her so I looked up a recipe online and found something close. Then I typed this up while it is baking so I have the recipe forever. I'll let BD decipher if it's the real of a new recipe. 

2 cups chicken - cooked, drained, cut up or shredded 
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8 oz tub of sour cream
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
4 tbsp butter
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook chicken and cut into bite size pieces or shred. Mix cream of chicken and sour cream thoroughly. Spread in bottom of small casserole dish. Next layer chicken. Cover with shredded cheese. Sprinkle a sleeve of crushed Ritz crackers over the top. Dot butter over the top of the casserole. Bake for about 30 min or until bubbly and brown. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You Know You're Growing Up When..

You know you're growing up when you see your little brothers friends doing HUGE things to make a difference in the world. Like running cross country to raise awareness for youth homelessness!!! I've seen for a while now Jordan has been raising money for this cause at a local gas station. If I'm ever there for a snack before a road trip I be sure to pay with cash and deposit my change into his fundraising can. 

I knew Jordan when he was in middle school and high school and remember giving him and some of my brother's other friends rides to and from school or sporting events. I know he had many sleepovers at our house and it just amazes me to see how much he has grown up. 

Today I've watched this video and I just want to share it with you. It's not long but it sure did bring tears to my eyes. I can't even imagine running from NYC to LA, but if anyone can do it, Jordan can. I'll definitely be following his journey, maybe you can too. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Let's Call Chartreuse

Today I am living out my dream of being a nail polish namer. I'm sure that is their title right? I've always wanted that job. So today instead of sitting back wishing, I'm taking the plunge. 


Instead of naming nail polish, I'm going to name my cutest newest clutch available at LAURENDARLINGS

Let's Call Chartreuse

The first night I finished this little piece of goodness it came to bed with me. As in I wanted it to be the first thing I saw the next morning so it slept on my night stand. Yes, I made room - see previous post.  When that happens which it sometimes does, I know I have got something good going on. 

So let me tell you the features of my newest sassy molassy. 

She is perfectly striped chartreuse cotton lined for extra support. Her rounded bottom allows for a little extra room on the inside and is lined with a matching chartreuse check and a striped pocket to keep  small or more important things secure. The fold over flap is a brown cotton with a tweed look lined with a stabilizer to help hold the bag's adorable shape. For a little bit of flare and depth I added a special pleat. She is finished with a magnetic snap to keep all your essentials safe. With 9" long, 5" tall, and 2" deep you should have plenty of room for the essentials. Basically... it's your new favorite clutch. 

I love this bag for so many reasons but I'll tell you my favorites real quick.

Color - the perfect colors to transition out of this HOT summer into the fall.
Shape - It isn't square and it isn't round. It's unique.
Size - Big enough for what you need without the extra bulk and not too small.

So you want to get your hands on this pretty little thing? I'm going to tell you how.
I am offering a pre-order for this clutch from today until AUGUST 18th at a discounted price of $20 dollars + $4 for shipping.  On the 19th I will still have them available just at their regular price of $24 + S &H. All orders between now and then will NOT ship until after the 18th. I have rearranged and re-planned how I run my shop according to my always changing schedule. You can order your new clutch >>> HERE.

I'm super excited about the new bag and I hope you all love it as well! 
What do you say... Let's Call Chartreuse.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Just Can't Get Enough

This my friends is a view of my nightstand. Don't act like you don't keep a glue gun handy because I know you do. A little tour > Scissors. Water cup. Nail polish. Hot glue gun. Lamp. Old Mt. Dew can (only a few days I'm sure). Hot glue sticks. Snickers. O'keefes working hands hand cream. Felt strips.

I've self diagnosed myself with craft ADD. It appears to me and has only become more obvious that I change my craft of choice daily.  Two days ago I was playing with satin fabric. A week ago I was making lanyard bracelets. Two weeks ago I was beading my way through a week long stay in Memphis. Today I busted out some felt for some hair accessories. It is ridiculous and I can't make it stop. I don't know that I want it to but I have craft supplies of any and every kind, EVERYWHERE. 

Some people take a book in case they will be stuck in traffic or have extra time in a waiting room. Me, I make sure to take a craft with me even of the littlest kind. Call me crazy I know you want to. I just needed to get that off my chest. I hope we can still be friends.

Hi I'm Lauren, and I'm a craft addict and hoarder. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Three Years Later

"Will you go steady with me?" 

That is how my sweet boy asked me out three years ago. After I finished  giggling I of course said yes. At the time we couldn't tell anyone we were together. We were breaking the company rules. Three years later we are married and living this crazy baseball life together. My sweet husband has taught me how to be a better person, friend,and follower of Christ. He lives his life for him and it is evident. If I had to pick three words to describe Brandon they would be Man of God. If I could pick a few more I would add humble, compassionate, righteous, giver, and patient. He never seeks approval of man, he chooses to live and serve our God and by doing so he can love me and others with all of his ability.

I have a story that almost brings me to tears to tell you and I know he probably won't like that I did - more evidence of how humble he is. Last week were were driving back from Nashville when we stopped for gas. A woman in a car pulled up and asked where we were from. She proceeded to tell us the story of how a man stole her purse and she didn't have enough money for gas to get back home. She was crying and clearly upset. Brandon immediately offered to buy her some gas when she told us how the police already bought her gas and gave her a tank for the road and that she would just need some money for later on. She offered us her diamond earrings in exchange for some money and asked for our address to send us money when she made it home. He walked over to me and asked what I thought. With the possibility of us both thinking maybe we were getting scammed he opened his wallet without hesitation and proceeded to give this woman some money for gas. We told her to keep her diamond earrings and told her we hope that she would be able to make it home safely. Her appreciation was clear on her face and we knew she was grateful.

If your laughing thinking wow you got one pulled over on you, neither him or I care maybe we did? We will never know. We were giving from the goodness in our heart and if she was lieing and stole from us, that's on her now. My husband may be the only Jesus that woman will ever see. We have NO idea the effect we may have had on her or how we may have changed her life. It amazes me to see my husband live like Jesus and for that I am forever grateful.

He continues to bless me daily with his kindness and I only hope I can make him as proud as he makes me. I can't wait to see where life takes us in the next few years. We have been discussing things lately that NO one will could really believe we are thinking about doing and I know I wouldn't want to go through any of them with someone other than this guy! I hope that by sharing this guy and his heart with you, he inspires you to be a better person too. 

first photo together ever

 spring training 2010/valentines 2010/memphis 2012
nye 2010/ hunting fall 2010/ memphis 2012
 seaworld feb 2012/ fake marriage / spring training 2012

 all star break 2010/ engagement photo/ zbb concert nov 2010

 engagement christmas eve 2010/ blake shelton concert jan 2012

 spring training 2012 / first visit to memphis 2010

 cowboy game 2010 / all star game 2012

first christmas 2011/ honeymoon / mountain vacation nov 2010

Dear Husband,

Thank you for always being patient with me. I know you threaten to leave me often when I'm not ready and I love you for not. Thank you for making me laugh often. I want you to know that I love your accents and I truly miss them when we aren't together. I may have to start taking audio clips of you so I can have them all the time. I've told you before but when we are together I feel so at peace. I know that you are the only one for me and cannot wait for all the crazy adventures we are planning or that are being planned for us. You have changed my life for the better and bring out the best in me. Thank you for always forgiving me when I am not my best self and teaching me how to learn from every experience. Finally thank you for teaching me how to live in the moment. I love you more than I've began to express here. Looking forward to eternity with you. 
I love you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Live Like There's No Tomorrow

It's been a crazy eleven days. I'm back in Missouri, fresh off the road. I was calculating this morning as I was laying in bed how many more trips are probable this season from Memphis to my parents house. It's about five and after typing that I'm not going to think about it again. I know it seems crazy to go back and forth every eight days or so but I'll tell you a few reasons why I do it. Our 'home' is in Alabama which is ten hours from my family and with the opportunity to be close to them during the season is very important to me. We see them in the off season but traveling is less frequent. Then we moved out totally in May and that pretty much set the tone for us for the season. There was no point to load it ALL up and move again two weeks later. Finally, I'm hoping that we end the season in St. Louis but.. that's all up in the air. Exciting news though we paid our last months rent at the roach motel. I will say the roach problem has pretty much ceased but it's still nasty!

Back to the drive, it really isn't all that bad. I have, over the last three months, found my favorite stops all along the way including a Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Target, Jimmy John's and gas stations that have clean bathrooms.

I almost always have a Mt. Dew and sunflower seeds and the radio stays on one of two XM stations: The Highway or The Message. By the time I reach my destination I am usually hoarse from singing at the top of my lungs. I'm not good but I don't care.

I also use this time to decompress from the week. To think about all the things Brandon and I have discussed the previous days together.  I'll spend time praying for Brandon and our future. Then I brainstorm craft ideas that I can work on the upcoming week. This all happens in no particular order and sometimes it's all happening at the same time. 

If you were a fly riding shot probably would think I was crazy, but that's fine with me.

I found and listened to my newest favorite song today about 20 times and it made me ponder life and how beautifully sweet life is. Take a listen.

I feel more so lately than ever that life is so precious. You get to live each second of each day one time.  Earlier this week we found out one of our church members was in a four-wheeler accident and hit by a dump truck. His name was Brandon and he was a few years younger than me. He had endured some ugly things his time here on earth things that no one deserves. While I didn't know him very well he will always hold a special place in our church families heart and the Marbury community. He always asked me about Brandon on Sunday's when I would be at church alone and could always be found with a smile on his face. He will be missed.

Don't waste time on the petty things. Don't hold grudges. Live like there's no tomorrow!