The Present

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Hello readers!  Today’s post is going to be short and sweet.  I didn’t grow up with pets therefore I am not used to the care and love ownership requires.  However, I love animals, and it breaks my heart anytime I see stories about abuse or pets people didn’t want because of how they look.  I came across an animated short film today on social media thanks to Youtuber Leigh Ann (LeighAnnSays).  It is so cute and yet so powerful.  For your viewing pleasure, here it is:

Source: https://vimeo.com/152985022

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• Film:  The Present

• Writers:  Fabio Cavalcanti & Jacob Frey

• Director:  Jacob Frey

• Starring:  Samantha Brown & Quinn Nealy

• For More Information: http://www.jacobfrey.de/thepresent/

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– Lauren Michele <3

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College Graduation – One Year Later

(Image Source: http://www.snapily.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Class-of-2014-e1401185011672.png)

One year ago today, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  I have struggled with doubt post-graduation.  My memories are vivid, but emotionally and physically I feel as though those three years never happened.  Sometimes a moment will suddenly come to mind and shock me; my response is “Oh my gosh!  That really happened!”  Feeling like the early mornings and sleepless nights never happened makes me doubt how hard I worked and if my achievement is really an impressive accomplishment.  I look at the people in my life continuing their education, and, in my brain, I look lazy in comparison.  Of course that is ridiculous, but I still struggle nonetheless.

On my first day of college,I spent my one hour break crying in a bathroom stall and telling my parents over the phone that I couldn’t finish.  They encouraged me to at least finish my first day and go from there.  I was focused on holding back tears the entire time, but I did make it through my second class.  The rest of the week was horrible, an experience I will never forget.  I slept on the couch and barely ate anything.  My fear was so intense, it made me physically ill.  It was a “Slower Than Molasses” process, but, week by week, I felt better.  I did not like my major.  There were photographers more experienced than me.  I had formal critiques every week.  Every step of the way, I felt like I was fighting against a wall.  I wanted to be anyplace but there, and yet I refused to let myself fail.  I survived!  I made it all the way through and walked a stage in front of a few hundred people to receive my degree.  It all happened so fast, but it did happen; I have the piece of paper to prove that.

Enough of the self-doubt and self-pity!!  I did not get myself through college.  God and the unwavering support of my family pushed and pulled me all the way to the finish line.

(Image Source: https://goodnessofgodministries.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/i-can-do/)

(Image Source: http://quotesgram.com/ohana-means-family-lilo-and-stitch-quotes/)

Words will never be enough to express my gratitude. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

(Image Source: http://wherebrownmeetsblue.com/2014/11/11/november-11th/)

*** To those of you currently attending college, you are doing great.  Don’t give up!  You can make it through! ***

(Image Source: http://media.photobucket.com/user/Orvana/media/gifs/cheeringstarterfor10.gif.html?filters%5Bterm%5D=cheering%20gifs&filters%5Bprimary%5D=images&filters%5Bsecondary%5D=videos&sort=1&o=0)

(Image Source: http://gifrific.com/haymitch-abernathy-saying-you-can-do-this/)

(Image Source: http://daily-blubb.blogspot.com/2015/06/shia-labeouf-do-it-motivational-speech.html)

*** To those of you who have graduated college, congratulations!  Please do not doubt yourself.  What you have accomplished took a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and dedication. ***

(Image Source: http://media.photobucket.com/user/Orvana/media/gifs/cheeringstarterfor10.gif.html?filters%5Bterm%5D=cheering%20gifs&filters%5Bprimary%5D=images&filters%5Bsecondary%5D=videos&sort=1&o=0)

(Image Source: http://ohsosuitelife.tumblr.com/post/5443581535)

(Image Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/modern-family-thumbs-up-phil-dunphy-geYwtodB9AiI0)

Shout out to my fellow “Class of 2014” graduates!!  :D :D :D :D :D

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Reflection on 2014

December

December. 2014. Web. 31 Dec. 2014. <http://portfolios.sva.edu/gallery/21622125/December&gt;.

Please support the artist by checking out her websites:
http://portfolios.sva.edu/CHANGjennyhttps://www.behance.net/CHANGjenny

It is that time of year when everybody reflects on the past year and looks forward to the new year.  Here is a timeline of my 2014:

January 19 – I started my Youtube channel with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB_E0apNmos

January 24 – I went to The Roadshow with my mom and best friend Lydia; our favorite bands were We as Human, Third Day, and Skillet.  Afterwards we had a late night dinner at McDonald’s. Fun times!    – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTJkvirgnbI

March – I started my internship with Shakar Photography.  I loved working with my boss Ambreen, her husband Shalin, and her other assistant Kayla.  I not only met new friends but also experienced my first Indian wedding.  This is a job I will never forget!    – http://shakarphotography.com/#

May 1 – God performed a miracle, and I passed my driving test.  Bonus: I still HATE driving!!

August 22 – I had my very first photo exhibition at Calvary Chapel Garland.    – https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/tag/nymph-exhibition/

September 22 – My wisdom teeth were removed.  Not too bad!

September 29 – God performed yet another miracle, and I graduated from The Art Institute of Dallas with honors.  My degree was bachelor’s, my major was photography, and my portfolios were conceptual (Nymph) and landscapes (Deep in the Heart) respectively.    – https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/lauren-michele-photography-portfolio/ –

October 5 – Greg Laurie brought Harvest America to the American Airlines Center in Dallas.  It was a fun night with my mom.    – http://harvestamerica.com/

November 5 – I turned twenty-one.  So much power, so much responsibility!!

December 2 – My family lost a very dear friend, Shelly Bowles.  It was sad for us to lose him, but he is in Heaven now with no more cancer.

December 25 – I spent my first Christmas in California since 2001.    – https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/blogmas-2014-all-aboard/

December 30-31 – It snowed in Southern California!    – http://www.newsweek.com/frozen-palm-trees-photos-southern-california-covered-snow-296070

Sadly, many notable people passed away in 2014.  I would like to take this time to remember them, specifically those who influenced my life in someway: Ann B. Davis (Brady Bunch), Casey Kasem (Original voice of Shaggy Rogers), Christine Cavanaugh (A Flintstone Family Christmas, Aladdin, Babe, Darkwing Duck, Dexter’s Laboratory, Hercules: The Animated Series, Recess, Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Wild Thornberrys), Chuck Smith (Founder of Calvary Chapel), James Garner (Elderly Noah, The Notebook), Joan Rivers (Fashion Police), Maria von Trapp (Inspiration for Sound of Music), Mickey Rooney (National Velvet, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Black Stallion, Night at the Museum), Norman Bridwell (Creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Hunger Games), Richard Bull (Nels Oleson, Little House on the Prairie), Robin Williams (Aladdin, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Night at the Museum, Noel), Russell Johnson (The Professor, Gilligan’s Island), Shirley Temple (Heidi), and Sid Caesar (Coach Calhoun, Grease).

I am not on for making resolutions but what the heck!!  In 2015, I would like to…

1. Get a job (preferably one involving lots & lots of books)

2. Pay off some of my college debt (A scholarship falling from heaven would be nice)

3. Blog more consistently (I am trying!)

4. Write a book (Already started)

5. Get back in shape (the “Freshman Fifteen” has got to go; it is time!)

I made some very realistic resolutions, most of which I really need to accomplish.  It will be fun to come back on December 31st, 2015, and discuss what I accomplished.  I hope you all have a very fun & safe holiday.

Happy New Year readers!   –Lauren Michele :)

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  – John 13:34-35

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Blogmas 2014 – All Aboard

"Untitled" by Jeannette Oerlemans

This was meant to be posted on December 26th, but alas it was not.  C’est la vie!  I am about to take you on a journey through my family’s Christmas adventures hence the photograph reminiscent of “Polar Express” courtesy of Jeannette Oerlemans.  I must start with Christmas Eve because we committed the ultimate sin: opening presents.  I felt serious anxiety and guilt after doing so.  However, after some research, I realized that many people open presents on Christmas Eve.  Definitely did NOT know this!!  I feel a bit better but do not plan on making Christmas Eve present-opening a tradition.  It feels sacrilegious!  Moving on to December 25th, 2014.  Since the presents were already opened (Oh the shame!!), we slept in a few hours before getting ready and venturing into the outside world.  We saw our annual Christmas movie which was “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”  Much anticipated and sooooo good!!  A satisfying end to an amazing trilogy.  Fun fact: Each installment of the Hobbit trilogy has been our Christmas movie for the past 3 years.  After the movie, we headed over to our Christmas lunch/dinner destination: Sizzler.  I know, I know.  Holiday meal of champions!  In our defense, not much was open, and we are not able to cook in our current living space.  After the 2 1/2 hour movie, we were starving and ready to chow down.  Bad news.  Sizzler was PACKED.  Apparently that was not a very original idea.  We drove around the shopping center praying that something else was open.  Guess where we ended up?  Eating Mexican food while listening to un televisión.  My parents and brother were almost done with their food by the time my torta came out.  I was pretty annoyed, but it was HUGE and very delicious.  We ended the day in pajamas watching “The Santa Clause” 1 & 2 and eating Christmas goodies from grandma.  Christmas 2014 was definitely unconventional, but it was fun day spent with family.  I will never forget it!

Blogmas 2014 is now officially over.  See you next year! Stay merry readers.  Only 359 until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

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Works Cited:

Oerlemans, Jeannette. Web. 26 Dec. 2014. <http://1x.com/photo/30341/all:user:12605&gt;. (Image 1)

Blogmas 2014 – Step Into the Wardrobe

Step Into the Wardrobe

(Source: https://emspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lamppost.jpg)

My uneventful day ended with a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse, a cup of eggnog, and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  Today has been a very Narnia day!  I blogged about wintry landscapes on my art blog that are reminiscent of Narnia.  Check it out here: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/artmas-2014-walking-in-a-winter-wonderland/  I wish I could actually go there, but daydreaming about a Narnian escape will have to suffice.  Can you tell I’m a reader??  I am very serious about alternate universes.  They are nothing to joke about, and everything to dream about.  Speaking of magical places, my family is going to see the third installment of “The Hobbit” on Christmas day.  We have seen each installment on Christmas day for the past two years.  I am practically jumping out of my skin from excitement.  I have heard it is the perfect ending.  Endings are so sad, but technology has provided us with DVDs so the series will live on!  Something else is coming to an end.  Tonight was the 8th and final night of Hanukkah.  It is sad to say the prayers for the last time, but I know it will be back next year.  Chanukah Sameach!  Until next year…

Stay merry readers!  Only two days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

“If ever they remembered their life in this world it was as one remembers a dream.”  – C.S. Lewis, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

Blogmas 2014 – I Just Have A Lot of Feelings

Lots & Lots of Feelings(Source: https://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m92wg1btYg1rc1js9o1_500.gif)

I had a to-do list set for today and that has gone right out the window.  I sat down, put on a Christmas Pandora station, and blogged in my slippers for a few hours.  I accomplished one Artmas post.  That’s it.  I was in a decent mood and then suddenly I wasn’t.  Also, the Denver Broncos lost.  Were there any highlights today?  Yes.  I watched “Love Actually.”  Lots and lots of feelings following that film.  It is scary how relatable it is.  It is also brilliant and fast becoming one of my favorites.  I ate In-N-Out for dinner, and grandma’s Christmas cookies arrived in the mail.  That was most definitely a highlight.  Ugh!!  I feel like a big, dark cloud has been following me around since December 1st.  I don’t want to be a Christmas Eeyore!!  Christmas is almost over, and I have spent the majority of the month feeling “Blah.”  Oh well.  I am making the best of it.

Stay merry readers!!  Only three days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.  “So it is.”  “And freezing.”  “Is it?”   “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” – Eeyore

 

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Blogmas 2014 – It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas (Source: http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article1497069.ece/alternates/s615/Miranda)

I know, I know.  I am the absolute worst at Blogmas!!  I have tried, I really have. I wrote a Hanukkah post on my art blog and it took two full days to research and write. It was 3 am by the time I finished, and I was not at all ready to blog again the next day. However, I am extremely proud of the finished product so if you have not yet seen it, here is the link: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/artmas-2014-joy-to-the-world/   I am sorry if this excuse is awful and unacceptable, but it is the truth. Moving on. I had a great time with my family this weekend.  We did some shopping at the mall and watched lots and lots of Christmas movies.  I would like to point out that they were willing, my dad and brother included, to watch both family and romance movies.  That is love!!  It is no secret that I have had problems getting into the Christmas spirit, but spending quality time with my family made me feel much more merry, as did watching “Blind Side.”  “Blind Side” is an emotional movie, not easy to get through without crying, but it has a happy ending.  I give it 5 stars.  It holds a special place in the hearts of my family because ever since I was born my parents have been taking in people who needed a place to live.  I have considered each and every one of them a member of my family regardless of size, shape, and color.  It is a great feeling to know that my family was able to help so many people.  I love my extended, colorful family and always will!!

I shall return mañana.  Stay merry readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

Beth: “You’re changing that boy’s life.”

Leigh Anne Touhy: “No. He’s changing mine.”

– “Blind Side”

 

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