Moment of Weakness | Blogmas 2017

It finally happened. My Scrooge veneer cracked, and I shed a Christmas tear. Yes, it was a cheesy Hallmark movie. No, I don’t feel any shame. It might’ve had something to do with staying up until 3am the night before, but we’ll ignore that detail and say that I was overcome by the spirit of December. I also want to give credit where credit is due. Finding Santa was a good movie, and that’s saying a lot considering I don’t often enjoy a new offering from Hallmark, otherwise known as Christmas Incorporated. 😂 I’ll add to the good news by announcing the arrival of grandma’s cookies. See?! December isn’t a total loss yet. My elf ears are starting to perk up, and we still have a little over one week of celebration left. 🎉

❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄

T h r e e   D a y s   U n t i l   A r t m a s . . .

T e n   D a y s   U n t i l   C h r i s t m a s . . .

❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄   🕯️   🎄   🎁   ❄️   ⛄

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Come Together

Today is November 5th a.k.a. the date of my birth. In honor of this special day, I want to tell you a story. There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about doing more to combat prejudice. During my family’s recent vacation, I witnessed a moment that touched my heart in an unexpected way. My dad, brother, and I wasted no time in checking out the pool once we arrived at our hotel. Right before we left, a trio of teenage girls walked by, each appearing to be of a different ethnic background. There was also an older couple, possibly in their fifties, sitting near the gate. I mention age and race for a reason so stay with me. The girls saw the couple and immediately lit up, saying hello and sitting down to talk; they even took some selfies together. I watched long enough to deduce that these five people were acquaintances because of the hotel. Age didn’t matter. Race didn’t matter. They were able to find things in common and establish a relationship. It is easy to get caught up in the news and feel weighed down by the negative all the time. I want this story to be a reminder of the good in this world as well as a beacon of hope. Please hold on to the positive, no matter how small, because it does exist. ❤️

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Lost in Translation

Time for another story from the misadventures of Lauren Michele Stewart! Just kidding. This tale is actually very thought-provoking. *GASP*

Back in my college days Spanish dramas were my escape from reality, Isabel, Los Hombres de Paco, & Un paso adelante being my personal favorites. On top of that, I listened to a lot of Spanish music in an attempt to perfect my ear for the beautiful language of España. Never in a million years did I think that music and TV shows in another language would affect me around English speakers, but it did indeed happen. One day while I was in class, my ears started to interpret English in a different way. At first I thought I was just extremely tired, which is normal for a student, but careful listening proved that I was indeed hearing what sounded like the only other language in my life: Spanish. At one point I silently prayed that the teacher and students wouldn’t talk to me because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Even though I was hearing a familiar language, my brain wasn’t distinguishing the words. After a few minutes everything went back to normal, but I never forgot what happened.

The experience gave me a higher level of respect for both polyglots and immigrants learning a foreign language. I wasn’t necessarily scared or overwhelmed, but it was unexpected and left me feeling disoriented. I don’t necessarily have a moral or a mind-blowing message to share with you. I just thought the experience was unique, something I’d never heard of before. I wish my tongue had miraculously become bilingual in that moment and remained so. 😂 As a side note, I highly recommend utilizing television and music as immersion techniques for learning a language. I am by no means fluent, but I understand a decent chunk of Castilian Spanish. I refer to a specific type because that is what my ears are accustomed to; I have a very hard time understanding accents outside of Spain. 🇪🇸

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– Lauren Michele <3

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DC vs Marvel

If you’re wondering what the heck is going on, here’s a basic synopsis: Since DC Comics threw their moviemaking hat into the ring that Marvel has dominated since the 2000s, fans have split down the middle, and it is heated.  Relax!  I’m not going to pick a side and start an argument.  I’m here to talk about my disappointment.  If you like a movie embraced by the majority, no one bats an eyelash.  If you like a movie despised by the majority, all hell breaks loose.  Why do people feel the need to bully individuals who like a certain movie?!  No amount of argument is going to change someone’s personal feelings.  You can hate a movie, but don’t attack someone who liked it.  It isn’t difficult to walk away without saying something, especially on the internet.

This is a great time to be alive!  The superheroes we grew up watching on TV are now on the big screen.  We are getting films from DC and Marvel every single year.  Why can’t we all just get along and agree that this is FREAKING awesome?  If you like a movie, feel free to share and spread the love.  If you didn’t like a movie, respect your fellow fans and consider keeping your opinion quiet or refraining from a review that is nothing other than a bashing session.

There’s only one way to end on a positive note.  You’re welcome! 👍

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOtpeYERu9w

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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;.

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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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