Sunday, August 26, 2012

Still Peeling...

"someday, some boy will fall in love with all my flaws, and he'll be the lucky one." - Rosie Thomas

I always seem to reflect the best of my heart through song[s]. There's something about listening to the piano keys, soft strings, strumming guitar, and a gentle, poetic voice that sings to my soul.
Maybe the best part of finding more of me, is realizing that there is more to find, every day.

There's always the object of my affection- -some sweet-eyed boy, who sings me a pretty charming story of love and his life; and I fall for it with a sheepish grin and the pitter-patter of my heart. If hindsight is 20/20, then maybe I need to get my vision corrected. But in the back of my mind, it's always clouded with a deep-longing of hope that, maybe, just maybe... he will be the one to change everything for me.
Oh, he changes things all-right. He turns my life upside down with his immaturity and lack of commitment. I begin to question all of my motives, and I constantly need to be affirmed by his lack of affirmation and willingness to get to know me; which in turn, drives him further away as I begin to wonder what went wrong, or if I'm the one doing the wrongs. But I knew that from the start, right? I knew this pattern has a way of repeating, didn't I? I seem to always end up steering the cart directly into a mess - -one that was already there, but my curiosity got the best of me- - again

There is a saying that one must be insane to keep doing the same things, and end up thinking the end result will change. That must be my problem. At this rate, I don't even know anymore. My intentions are always good- I'd like to believe- yet, for some reason, my predicaments keep reoccurring, and I can never quite "get" what I want. But maybe that's the point.

This past month has been a quick, shot in the heart, kind of realization within myself. Like I stated above, I'm finding more of me. It has been buried deep down, covered by dirt and debris and dead branches- - but I know I uncovered something else. I had been hiding away jealousy so deep within my heart, that I didn't even know what it looked like; or, rather, I didn't know what it looked like to NOT have jealousy as a part of my life. It wasn't until I was at the edge of my emotions- full-on panic and loss of control over everything, that I just snapped. My jealously over-powered my emotions and words came out like vomit. "This is what I've been hiding so deep within? This IS NOT ME!" Unfortunately, it took another person being involved, [one that I was very much interested in getting to know better, because he seems really great] for me to see just how deep the roots of jealousy were planted in my heart. I apologized to him, mainly out of fear, but it was sincere in my efforts to correct the wrong. But I feared it may have ruined things anyway, since he hasn't spoken to me much sense then. Do I blame him? Not at all. Do I wish I could erase and rewind the way I acted/handled things? Absolutely! But I can't. What is done is done, and I can't change the past. BUT! I can, and WILL, change the future from letting this ever happen again.
I prayed and wept that week. I just felt sick to my stomach. I couldn't stop thinking about how I allowed jealousy to ruin so many things in my life- - and honestly, this wasn't the first situation that jealousy has caused heartache for me. In fact, I am almost 100% sure that any guy I have ever liked, and any guy that has ever had an interest in me, has been ruined in part from my jealousy. That makes me so sad, it really does. I never even realized it. The patterns? It makes a lot of sense, in my opinion. 
In my weakness, He makes me strong again- - I prayed for the jealousy in my heart to be stripped away- - remove the dead weight I've been carrying around for countless years. I don't want to be a jealous person; I don't want to look at couples and be jealous of what they have; I don't want to be jealous of others material possessions, etc!! After my prayer, I felt a huge, huge relief and burden be lifted from my heart! I wanted to test it to see if it would "stick" [as if it wouldn't?? ha], and maybe the best test has been that I haven't felt tested, because I don't even feel it! The only thing, I will admit, that more saddens me is my body image [but that's another issue all in its own].

Recently, a friend told me that a guy I'm friends with [who seemed interested in me a few months back], just started "seeing" this girl - -who in a turn of events, I just officially met a few days ago. I didn't know it at the time, but when my friend sent me a text, telling me all of this, it was almost a sigh of relief! I had a flickering moment of a jealous thought, but instead, I prayed in that moment. The old Lauren would have been jealous; but not anymore. In fact, I'm thrilled that he picked her, because she seems really wonderful and totally suits him more than I ever would. 
I still think about the other guy, but it's becoming a lesser thought as time passes. I still feel a bit of guilt, though, about what happened. I just don't think he really wants much to do with me now, and I guess that is what still stings. I would do anything to get a second-go at a friendship with him, but that's not my choice at this point. Maybe he really doesn't care and none of this is a big deal to him & I'm just reading into what he could be thinking about me; but I can't do anything about it now & shouldn't worry about it anymore.  

It's funny what God shows you about yourself when you are surrounding yourself with HIM and nothing else. He talks to us in simple pleasures, in every day living, in sunrises and sunsets, in clouds and singing birds. EVERYTHING. I want my thoughts in the morning to be about Him; I want my nights ending saying good night to Him. I want my heart to continue to be peeled away- -reaching the core of being more like Him. I have so far to go- -this journey is never-ending. Just when I *thought* I had myself figured out... something else is peeled away.. and I'm left looking at myself with whole new eyes. Better eyes. A better, stronger heart.

And now I come to the conclusion, but it is not the end. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

100th POST! Firmoo giveaway :)

hey friends!

So, it has been awhile since my last post... but I am back at it!

I am so excited for the summer warmth, today... even though I didn't spend my time sun bathing, I love having the windows cracked open and see the sun shining through my windows. . . and see the flowers out in full bloom. . . it is wonderful!
My birthday is just around the bend, and I can totally wait for that one, haha. There is something about getting into the time period of "late-twenties" that completely petrifies me! I don't even SEE myself as someone who is about to turn 27. I still feel I'm churning out my years as a 20 year old. But, 30 is the new I hear.

Anyway, since my peepers are in full swing to see the summer sun, I discovered these sunglasses today as a part of a giveaway... it's ending soon, BUT, better late than never for entering, right??

I really like the sleek style of:

I really like this one b/c it kind of switches up the classic aviator style; plus, I haven't ever spotted a gunmetal color before--at least, not like this. Gives it something quite unique, I think...

these vintagesque style that reminds me of the cat-eye look. Both of them are very stylish and trendy:

....[I tried uploading the screenshots but it was taking FOREVER to load for some reason!]

So what do you guys think???? The site, Firmoo, seems to have a wide selection of sunglasses--plus, you can get Rx in them! And, I really liked that they show you the dimensions of the sunglasses, just like if you were scouting for Rx eye-glasses. THAT is really nice, in my opinion!

Here's hoping that I will win! It would be a great birthday gift ;) because everyone knows I love sunglasses!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

when people "delete" you from their lives...

It is times like these where I wish there weren't any social medias or means of communication, and if people wanted to get a hold of you, well, they would call you or write to you. I still feel "connected" to friends who don't leave nearby, or friends I used to be close with...
And when you live in a world of social book of faces, well, when all of a sudden you drop 12 people, chances are... they all didn't "deactivate" their profiles.... they deleted you.


Call me stupid, but I just don't understand that. Should I take it personal? UM YES! Even though, I shouldn't or people say, "it's just Facebook." Yea, thanks... you're not the one being deleted by a friend who you went to their wedding & spent money on a gift, and used to be good friends with....
And you ask in a joking manner, "do you hate me?" and they reply- no I do not, I'm just annoyed by things you post/tag me in all the time...
[Even though I don't do that much at all now...]

Thanks... though, there is something called "subscribe" if you want to see my updates; or un-clicking it so you don't see them... since I'm "so annoying" and all.

I don't really understand. One of my biggest "worries" is that people don't like me, or that they don't want to be my friend-- so they're just being nice to my face.
I sit here, wondering...
Who can I really trust?? The people I've seen recently, 'did they really want to see me or hang out with me? OR were they just being nice?' Especially if a mutual friend deleted me, yet is still their good friend, but don't want to be friends with me? And a mutual friend hangs out w/them all the time, but avoids me?? Or when I try to ask an old good friend out, and they don't respond to me, but everyone else?
Am I really that annoying??

Do I even have any real friends [besides the couple I KNOW are]???

It just really hurts.

I listened to a song earlier today, a 'rap' song; and he said our security is in Christ, the only one I can fully trust in my life is Christ- - he won't let me down... even when small, rather silly things like this happen. It hurts when people reject you for no apparent reason... and sometimes, they don't really see how their actions affect other people... I don't know if it is that they don't really care, or that they don't think their actions will impact you that much.

I don't know what else to say. . .
All I know is, that I have Christ... & he won't ever leave me nor forsake me, even when people "delete" me from their lives like I never existed.

Yeah True Security is found in Christ
You don’t have to search for it in ourselves
Or in that dude or in that female
Or acceptance from men
True security is found in Jesus Christ
The only place to find it
Praise the Lord that he died
And we can come to him
Find our security in him
Find our everything in him
Only in Christ

-Trip Lee, 'True Security"

Friday, January 27, 2012

dream a little dream for me.

‎"You wrote me postcards that were undeclared, of the summer love that we shared. didn't know what it really meant til we were on our knees, praying for another way. maybe that's all what is left of us, some old memories collecting dust. but what I need and what I want, is all of you forever now."

I'm seeing that the majority of what I write about is centered on discovering things about myself, or the adventure of romance-not-quite-there-yet. I have a feeling it bores most, but nevertheless, this is my heart...and I am wondering why it is all consumed with finding love.
I keep stumbling upon posts of bloggers/tumblrs that are focused on love. These writers also have it out for their heart- -to write upon a vast subject as love.
What does it mean to love? How do we love?

I came to realize something about myself recently. I really didn't think that I was worth it. Maybe that's not news to me, but something I buried away under ratty things, only to wonder about that pile I tried to avoid. I picked it up, looked it over... just to have my heart tell me that "why do you keep settling for unloving, stale, relationships? why do you intend on hurting yourself in the process, when you knew it wasn't right to begin with? why why why!?"
I don't really have an answer to that, except: I'm not good enough for anything great.
I stared at that sentence for awhile... I mean, really stared. I was comparing this to why I end up 'falling' for certain guys. I keep thinking that I've just struck ponds of ineligible, stupid boys time and time again. When it struck me, that I unknowingly, have been swimming in familiar waters because that's all I'm comfortable in... that pond over there is much more clear, prettier, but I don't think I'm good enough to swim in it, let alone, be looking for it.
Am I stupid? No. Perhaps some would beg to differ. But I have been doing this with things in life too- career, friends, you name it. I've been so careless, in a sense, to just keep swimming around and around in the same place, because what if I do venture out into the unknown waters of something better?? What if I do find something great? Will I be good enough?

I had this moment the other night where I was pursued, but not in the way I wanted to be. The moment shocked me, because it had been so long since this has happened: to feel wanted/close to a boy. It wasn't anything bad at all, it was very innocent. But that moment awoke something that I had kept asleep for so long... the need to be desired/wanted. I had shut that idea down, because I've just felt it was better to hide it rather than to express it. To me, it seemed weak. In the moment, I prayed... I told God "is this a joke?! what is he doing?!.... Where did this come from? This is exactly what I want... please don't let it go away."
It's almost ironic how He times things. This guy isn't someone for me at all, but He used him to show me my heart and what I've been hiding.

When I went to sleep, I prayed for my heart... something I haven't done in a very long time. I asked God to show me what is there, and to protect my dreams. I have been bombarded with dreams of my house being burnt down; sometimes barely escaping the flames. Usually, the picture of your house represents the place of your heart/being. Have I been setting fire to my heart, wanting to not get out alive?

My dream couldn't have been more real. There are bits and pieces that don't make sense, but that goes with any dream. There were jewels involved... hidden in an outside freezer. I discovered them with my friend Lauren- - which could be ironic, since we have the same name. Maybe we both are hiding our jewels so people don't see all that we possess.
The dream continued. I found myself scrubbing the floors of my parents garage [Cinderella??], and this guy who looked like Jack on the ABC show, "Revenge," showed up. He said he needed to fix some cars and rebuild the engines. He said it was going to take him quite awhile to do, so he was going to be around. We became friends, and I realized how easy it was to talk to him about life. There was something really special about this guy, but I couldn't figure out what it was.
One night, we were sitting there by the back door, just talking. It must have been summer, since I was sitting with a towel/swim-suit on. He noticed my upper thigh birth mark, and then a blemish next to it. [Why is there a blemish?] It embarrassed me. He looked at me and said, "it doesn't matter. It just means you're human." And I said to him, "so you aren't grossed out?" And his reply was, "I wouldn't want someone any other way but imperfect. It shows me that you're real and not just my imagination. Besides, you're beautiful."
I don't know what happened just there, but it made me see things so differently than what I'm used to.

He looked at me and I could see he was different. I wasn't ever really nervous or scared or had to wonder what he was thinking, because he always had a way of sharing his thoughts and putting my mind at ease. We talked for awhile longer, and then he said his time was finished... working on the cars, that is. He told me he would keep in touch, but he had to go. I didn't want to see him leave. But he kept sending me postcard after postcard. Eventually, he signed it with Love. [I want to say the name said "Dan," but I can't remember and I don't think that is really important]. But the thing was, at the end of my dream; I was looking over all the postcards, and I never replied back to him. I knew in my heart I wasn't good enough for someone so wonderful, so I didn't do a thing.
I was sitting in a grassy field, and with a girl friend. I showed her the postcards, and she asked me why I never replied. "He obviously loves you and never has stopped loving you... why didn't you do anything about it?! Are you crazy? A love like that is rare." I began to replay all the moments in my mind, asking myself the same question. "How could you be so blind?"
In that moment, he walked by. I looked up and I couldn't believe what I just saw. He slowly walked over to me...
"What are you doing here?!" I asked.
"I see you got all my postcards..."
"Yeah...I'm... sorry. I'm so sorry I didn't write you back... I wanted to... but... I don't know."
"I think you do know. You know I love you. Why can't you just believe it?"
I had to stop and think. Why couldn't I just believe? ..."Because I'm not good enough for you..."
"Haha. I'm sorry, what? I tried showing you in sooooo many ways, that you ARE good enough. I never wanted you to doubt that for a second. I understand though, I do. I told you... your imperfections make you real. Your scars are like mine..."
"What do you mean?"
"Some day you'll understand. I promise. Just remember that I will always love you... I'll be showing you ever day that you are worth it. But you need to see it on your own... and I know one day you will.... and I'll be here waiting for you."
"Wait, don't go... please. . . please don't leave me."
"I have to. You have my postcards to remember what is real. This is real. And I love you."

I suddenly woke up. I replayed the moments. I started to cry. I'm still tearing up as I type this out.
The guy just wasn't a guy... it was God. He knows what is deep within my heart. He knows how to stir my emotions to get me to see through certain circumstances and people. He wants me to know I am worth it... I am good enough. I have wrestled with this for so long. It's been holding me back from something real... something that I've always wanted...

Perfect Love casts out all fear.

"And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I'll smile at you with joy and remember how we spent the summer beneath the trees, learning from each other and growing in love. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give to you forever. I love you. I'll be seeing you."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

beauty & the beast

This topic has been itching my brain for a few days now as I have been delightfully reminded that there is a 3-D version of my most beloved Disney movie, Beauty & the Beast out right now.
I love writing the thoughts of my mind, as to though express something that I cannot say audibly with words.

Beauty & the Beast.
"For who could ever learn to love... a beast?"

...That is the ending words of the epilogue. I remember watching it as a child and hearing that, and chills would run throughout my body. Funny thing is, I never knew why back then; but I understand it more fully now.
Belle is one of my absolute favorite Disney gals. She's a bookworm, lives for adventure- - or wants it really bad, is seen "different/odd" by others in her surroundings, loves life, and is beautiful inside and out. There's something about her- - her gumption, if you will, that makes her a very strong woman. She isn't about to just settle for the town hunk, Gaston, even though he vies for her attention over and over and thinks he deserves her. I began to realize that when a guy thinks he deserves a woman, it's not true. A guy should think, "I don't deserve her at all... but some how, she loves me." -Just as the Beast learned over time...
I think what's so great about this story is its relatedness to life. Growing up, I wanted to be just like Belle. I wanted to be that "beauty" someone fought for- -and still do. But I began to see myself more like the Beast than the beauty. I saw the reflection in the mirror, and I didn't like what it showed me. We have so many qualities just like Beast; being selfish, unkind, angry, bitter... you name it. Thankfully for us, we aren't under an enchanted spell and watching a magical rose drop its petals. But... we don't have all the time in the world either.

The most emotional part I could relate to was the Beast pushing away Beauty. She was very tender and slowly inviting... but he kept rejecting her; basically out of fear. He didn't want to let her in; he didn't want her to see him for what he was - - a monster. But that was the only thing he was allowing himself to see.

Beauty kept inviting him. Beauty kept alluring him. Beauty wasn't about to give up.

At the magical ballroom scene, we see them both letting each other in... slowly, but surely. Beast's heart is finally soften because of her gentleness. He realizes that he needs to let her go, because he loves her that much. He saw beyond himself to love someone else more.

I think that is so true to us. I see that as a relational connection to God. We don't think we're good enough for someone's love [or God's love], that we hold onto our anger/bitterness/hate, because that's all we see of ourselves. If we gave that over, what would be left?? But Beauty came to show the Beast that he wasn't who he thought he was... he wasn't seeing himself for what he truly was- - A Prince.
I see God doing that for us. He is like the Beauty, calling us closer to him-- but we can't be demanding and self-righteous in it. He's going to show us what's up, what we need to change, who we need to be. When we look at our reflection, he wants us to see HIM.

At the end of the movie, we all know what happens. Belle comes back for Beast; but he is tragically stabbed by Gaston [who falls to his demise off the castle tower]. Beast then dies. But something miraculous happens. Belle says "I love you" to him, and a tear rolls off her cheek onto him. I always saw that as such a beautiful ending. It could have been over with right there...
But the story wasn't over yet. Her love saved him and broke the spell.
I see that just like God for us. His love saved us. We were once beasts, but we died and were made new from his love... his Beauty.

Beast transforms into a human, back to a Prince, and he says, "Belle, it's me!" And Belle looks into his blue eyes, and she sees him completely- "It is you!"
They kiss passionately [well, I think so anyway!], and the enchanted castle is restored. Everything is beautiful again.
Because of Love. Beauty. Redemption.

So much of this is our Love story with our Creator. . . I like to believe it as such. We were once beasts, but beauty saw us for what we truly are... he loved us enough to restore us to what we once were: Princes and Princesses of the Most High.

What a beautiful story of love as it was meant to be.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To the pessimist in me.

I should be asleep.
The room next to me, once occupied by my older brother, now inhabits two sleeping silly girls- my twin nieces.
Last night, B crept into my cozy bed, while A was in the other room, fast asleep. B was listening to tunes I put on their brand new mp3 player [which my mom gave to them from something I bought on Black Friday], and she was like a little hummingbird. She turned to me and said, "we are like sisters," :giggle.
That warmed my heart. I realized that every opportunity I have with them, I can make it very happy and positive-- something that they will always remember -- a good memory.

So often, I dwell on the negative and short-comings. I keep thinking, "is this really my life? shouldn't I be doing this, or be here, or something - something- something else?"

But for whatever the reason, in my singleness I can either dwell on the negative, or forget that, and see things from a different perspective-- like my nieces.
If I were married, if I were living somewhere else, that bond wouldn't ever be there. I've got this grand opportunity to be something of a stable role model, someone they can look up to. I can enjoy them like if they were my own kids, just with the easy breaks. It really is maturing me. It's mothering my maternal instincts. They can learn from me, but by golly, am I ever learning from them, too.

So, to the pessimist in me, you get kicked to the curb this time.

I keep pondering a guy friend whom I have known for a few years. He was a bit younger when I first met him, but he still had that twinkle [for the lack of a better term], in his eye that caught my attention even then. I could tell he was immature at the time.
Fast forward a couple years, and that twinkle has turned into a full-blown glittering mass of stars bellowing in the dark sky. He stands out. He just shines Christ's love. I am so drawn to his presence; it's very strange. We have connected a couple times, and all I can do is mutter a few words... pretty pathetic! I'm just in awe of him and his heart and purity and commitment to the Lord.
My pondering led me to think of what I had considered "settling" for. Not that anything is going to happen with either situations, but you know, I like to think... so as to compare, it was like apples and oranges. I was considering that "this is the best I will ever have," because "I will never meet someone like him..."
BAM. Surprise!
I ended up stumbling upon old FB messages from a guy friend of mine. He wrote something in regards to feeling like the Lord told him a few things that I needed to hear. In a broad summary, he told me that I hadn't been asking God certain things because I didn't think he could actually do them, or wanted to do them. i.e.- give me the desires of my heart.
I suppose all along, I avoided asking God for something because I didn't think I deserved it. A lot of times, I don't feel I deserve a good, godly guy who loves God because I don't feel adequate enough. I wasn't allowing God to be enough in that situation to follow through.
Not like when we ask, we're going to get what we want; but God WANTS to give us our desires, I know he does!! I believe that now. And when I was in the mode of "well, he's OKAY/good enough to date," God said, nuh-uh... just let me weed them out. And I'd say... "whatever, I give up. don't even bother. I'm fine being single... I don't need anyone..." even though it is a huge desire on my heart....
So the most recent guy I had a "crush" on [I say this very loosely], I had to keep secrets from a lot of my good friends and parents, because I knew they'd never approve & would say I could do better. But I wanted to see him with these rose-colored lenses, that hey, "he's showing interest in me, so that's okay, right?" Hmmm...
Then when my guy friend reappeared into my life, wow. I felt like God was waving his hand around, pointing at this guy, to say like "look here! look here! this guy knows what's up & he knows my heart & he's living the right/pure way for Me. I know you've always wanted this, and this is what I want to give you... if you'd let me & trust me & believe that you deserve it..."
I started weeping when I read my friends message, because that is exactly what I felt. I prayed that night to the Lord that my heart's desire would some day come true- - maybe not with my reappearing friend [but I sure wouldn't mind!], but someone with those redeeming, notable, noble, admiring, godly characteristics. He knows his identity in Christ, and that outshines far anything else!
I know what I want. I am praying for that to come true some day, because God wants to bless me with someone like that. And although I'm itching to be in that place in my life, there's things all around me that need my attention first... or maybe, my focus just needs to be a bit more clearer for me to see what it's all about. I don't really know to be honest.
But I can tell you one thing: if I'd end up with someone like my reappearing friend, wow. I would be utterly amazed and thankful and blessed... because God knows I never thought I deserved it.
But I do... we all do.

To the pessimist, optimism is on its way to show you what's up.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Office: Christmas Party


Ahhh, the first settling remnants of the white stuff: snow!
I'll admit, I was itching to see the first snow on the ground, since it is already 9 days into December. It was going to happen sooner, rather than later.

I primped myself and got those "watsizzlin' curls", as my friend Becca & Lauren refer my locks as... and put on a black sequin embroidered skirt & top, and threw on my sequin trim sweater...
there is a theme here... yes, I like sequin-y things.

Anyway, I got all snazzy because my friend Matt invited me to his Christmas work party. I traveled on my way out 45 minutes to his humble abode, and there we ventured off on the slippery roads to pick up his co-worker and head to Macatawa Legends. It was a beautifully decorated building, all decked out in Christmas decor. We proceeded inside and downstairs to this blue & white snowy themed banquet room. At each table, there were centerpieces with vases wrapped in sparkly ribbon and filled with yummy Hershey's kisses; and peeking out the top was some blue & white tissue with glittery vines & a crystal snowflake. Pretty.
The food was very delish. For starters, there were pita chips & asiago cheese dip, and then flavorful stuff mushrooms. Yum. There was an electric blue punch, and blueberries scattered about in the drink. The main course consisted of a salad with yummy dried cranberries and leafy sorts & tomatoes; following a buffet style of mixed green veggies with carrots, beans, asparagus, zucchini... and the best mashed potatoes I have EVER had, with a choice of beef, chicken, or salmon. I went with the safe bet- chicken. For dessert, I really wanted them all. haha. There was cheesecake, a brownie slathered in ice cream and strawberry sauce, or a 3-layered chocolate mousse. Knowing myself, I wanted the cheesecake. In fact, I wish I had chosen that, but alas, I'm always up for trying something different, so I went with the mousse. It was very sweet and good.
Well, 4 drinks later, I was thinking, "why did I even drink so much?" .....Free. FREE.
Though free can sometimes be bad in this case, haha.
Nah, I didn't drink them all. But after two drinks sinking in Malibu, well, things start getting a little fuzzy. =P Then I got a Mike's, and got poured a glass of red wine.... let's just say I dabbled in each drink.... and well, they were free? Did I mention that?

Anyway, I seriously felt like this was... or could have very well been, an episode of the Office.
There was a group of 30 or so at this party, and I guess that's the company. For me, I was thinking it was going to be much bigger, but I guess not. One of the employee's husband's was the "guest speaker," if you will, and let me tell you... we have found ourselves a new Michael Scott to replace him. This guy was blasting out the moronic jokes and bad-timing humor like nobody's business. I was laughing at some points just because no one else was & I was starting to feel bad for this guy, which I guess made it so funny to me... and well, I did have 4 drinks, so maybe it was just me.

There were names drawn out of a bag, and each employee got to pick from the plethora of gifts. Some picked out a Mr Coffee Maker, iPod shuffle, Leatherman, gift baskets, etc etc. I never really looked it over since I wasn't planning on being included in this... but surprise!! They drew my name right at the end. I was kind of shocked when I heard, "Lauren." haha. So I got up there and was handed a gift basket with things like chocolate and cookies [I think... I can never really
tell with gifty items in a basket]. If I would have been thinking, I should have snagged the iPod shuffle! You were able to "steal" once, and darn it, I didn't. But I also felt slightly weird doing that, since the couple's at our table were so nice, and the lady sitting next to me picked the Mr Coffee & her husband picked the iPod shuffle. Later Matt informed me that they were really well off, so not like they couldn't have bought one, or like, 50 of them, like it was nothing. Darn!

Michael Scott... or umm, whatever his name was... was in charge of the games, too. Oh boy, did this get pretty nutty. The games themselves were pretty funny, but at this point in the night [9:30p], half the people had left. So there was one game where there were 5 tall boxes with jingle bells in them, and you had to line them up by how many were in there [5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 35]. All you got to do was shake them. I decided to take a jab at the game, since they were giving out $10 gift cards to places... and there was an Applebee's one up for grabs, ha ha, and I love me some Applebee's! So since hardly no one was participating, "Michael" took out 2 of the boxes. After the clock started, I had a minute to figure them out and line them up accordingly. After careful consideration and rolling the jingles in the boxes, I put them in order and waited.... AH! I WON! haha. So I actually scored TWO $10 gift cards, the other being at Panera. Not bad, not bad!
By the end of the night [10:30p], there were like 8 people left. So everyone was cleaning up, and
oh, there was also a guessing game of how many kisses were in the centerpieces-- and if you guessed close enough, you won it. Well, lucky for me, their were name drawings for extra centerpieces, and I ended up drawing Matt's name- so he got to keep one- & the husband of one lady said he didn't want his [and she can't eat chocolate], so she took the balloons and crystal snowflake [boo!], but hey, I got a pretty vase filled with chocolate!
Also, they had a game using nice plastic martini glasses, and "Michael" gave them to me, along with a pretty metal tray, chapstick, CDS [Nutcracker, & a Blue Collar Christmas ha ha], AND
blueberry candy canes.

So needless to say, I was filled to the brim with goodies, so I'd say it was worth the drive out there, haha. It was very fun, and I had a very fun "date," thanks to Matt.
We ended the night snapping a few photos, since we never took any there, and he looked at my ailing old Dell laptop.... [pretty sure it's on its last legs..... so I ordered a new one around Black Friday time. It's an HP, in SWEET PURPLE, and yeah, it seems pretty good! Just spent waaaaay too much though!] So we were both way tired, and I headed home. I think next week he may accompany me to my friend's Ugly Sweater/Mustache/Christmas party in Lowell, so that should be lots of fun.
Anyway, it was a very fun evening, and hopefully there will be many more in the near future!