Fragrant Jewels Feature

Today started out as a normal day.  I woke up tired from watching Spanish dramas.  I received a call and had to work a morning/afternoon shift.  Post-work, my mom donned her superhero cape and took me to Starbucks.  Once at home, I ate dinner and watched some Youtube videos.  During that time, a Fragrant Jewels ad popped up and played.  I didn’t think anything of it because I see them all the time due to my review video.  However, it took mere seconds for reality to hit me like a ton of bricks: THOSE ARE CLIPS FROM MY VIDEO!!!!!  I am ecstatic and grateful that FJ would feature me alongside of other Youtubers.  Thank you so much Fragrant Jewels!!  The ad is linked below along with my original video:

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• Website – https://www.fragrantjewels.com

• Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx6jH5xIG_ceFDtGdK3EiBg

– Lauren Michele <3

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Thank You Peyton

Vandelium. Peyton Manning. 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://vandelium.deviantart.com/art/Peyton-Manning-423458039.

Vandelium. Peyton Manning. 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://vandelium.deviantart.com/art/Peyton-Manning-423458039.

I’m going to try and get through this without crying.  I am super weird and emotional when it comes to sports so please excuse me if this turns into a blubbering love fest.  I could do the expected and list Peyton Manning’s stats, but I think we all know what he did for the National Football League on the field.  If you don’t know, get out!!!  I honestly don’t remember when, why, and how I became a Peyton Manning fan.  I just remember being a fan (he was still on the Indianapolis Colts).  Because of him, the Colts became my honorary #3 team behind the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.  His skill and leadership were mesmerizing.  How could I not be a fan?!!  When he became a Bronco, I flipped out.  Best.  News.  Ever.  It wasn’t the smoothest road to win a Super Bowl, but the entire team put in work and made that happen.  Peyton wasn’t his usual self, but I don’t think it’s an accurate statement to say he did nothing.  If you deny the effect his leadership has on players, go back and watch footage from the San Diego game in which he replaced Brock Osweiler.  I mean no offense to Brock because he stepped into Manning’s shoes and led us to the playoffs.  But, when Peyton stepped onto the field and took his rightful place with the team, the change was palpable.  The players woke up, picked up the pieces, and finished the game with energy.  Now look where they are:  Super Bowl Champions!!!  I was worried because Peyton took his time making the decision to retire.  I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to let go and walk away from something that has been your life for 18 years.  However, it is the right time, and I’m glad he realized that.  He is too great a player to come back and have one more mediocre season.  Take the Super Bowl ring and run.  What a way to go out!

Manning left a mark on and off the field:  the way he carried and expressed himself, the standard he set for himself and the players around him, and the impact he made taking advantage of his position and success to bless others.  The only reason (crazy) people hate him is because he’s so respectable.  They hate that there is nothing to hate about him!  There will always be a Peyton-shaped imprint on the NFL.  Will there ever be a better quarterback?  Maybe.  Will there ever be another Peyton?  No because Peyton is Peyton.  It would be impossible to name all of his stats and records so here are a choice few:

• All-Time Career Passing Yards

• 1998 #1 Draft Pick, Indianapolis Colts

• Fastest Player to Reach 40,000 Completions & 50,000 Career Yards

• Fastest Quarterback to Beat All 31 NFL Teams

• Five-Time MVP (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, & 2013)

• Fourteen Pro Bowls

• Most Career Touchdown Passes

• Oldest Starting Quarterback in Super Bowl History, 2016

• Only QB to Lead 2 NFL Teams to a Super Bowl Victory

• Super Bowl MVP, 2007

(Davis, Helling, Hyde, “Peyton Manning Biography.”, “Peyton Manning’s Career Accomplishments by the Numbers.”, “Peyton Manning’s Career and Legacy.”)

Source: https://youtu.be/HyCQby6r0zA

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YQpIw6TjUw

This is a bittersweet day.  It is sad to know I have watched Peyton Manning play professional football for the last time, but it was an honor watching him play all these years.  Thank you #18 for 18 years of top notch football!!

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Works Cited:

Davis, Nate. “A Timeline of Peyton Manning’s 18-Season NFL Career.” usatoday.com. N.p., Mar. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2016/03/06/peyton-manning-career-timeline-colts-broncos-mvp-tom-brady-brett-favre-super-bowl/80425320/.

Helling, Steve. “Five Things to Know About Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning.” people.com. N.p., 6 Feb. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.people.com/article/super-bowl-2016-peyton-manning-denver-broncos.

Hyde, Samantha. “Top 10 Moments of Peyton Manning’s Career.” foxsports.com. Mar. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/peyton-manning-top-10-moments-broncos-super-bowl-tennessee-colts-snl-030716.

“Peyton Manning’s Career and Legacy.” wate.com. Mar. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://wate.com/2016/03/07/peyton-mannings-career-and-legacy/.

Wolfe, Cameron. “Peyton Manning’s Career Accomplishments by the Numbers.” denverpost.com. 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://blogs.denverpost.com/broncos/2016/02/18/a-few-interesting-peyton-manning-nuggets/38358/.

“Peyton Manning Biography.” biography.com. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. http://www.biography.com/people/peyton-manning-37880.

 

United

On a day that is dedicated to giving thanks, I want to draw attention to a video I just watched.  For those who don’t know, the band “Eagles of Death Metal” recently spoke about what happened at their concert in Paris.

* * * I don’t want to take away from the emotion of the interview, but if you are around small children, there is some language in the video.

Eagles of Death Metal Discuss Paris Terror Attacks

My heart breaks for the band and crew members that survived because what they saw and who they lost will forever affect them.  I want Dave, Eden, Jesse, Josh, Julian, Matt, and anyone else involved to know that they are in my prayers.  I am only one person, but it is important to show that no matter what people around the world are going through, there are others who are aware of and care about what is taking place.

If you would like to send messages of encouragement to Eagles of Death Metal, here are their social media links:

Eagles Of Death Metal – Facebook

EaglesOfDeathMetal (@EODMofficial) | Twitter

I want to share an expression that is used by Jewish people when someone passes away.  In honor of the lives that have been lost in 2015, may their memory be a blessing!

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.”  Psalm 95:1-3

Happy Thanksgiving readers!  I hope you have a safe, blessed day.

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– Lauren Michele <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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College Graduation – One Year Later

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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.

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

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

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*** 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. ***

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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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