#tbt: Tales of a Third-Grade Laura

Only the coolest 8-year-olds had Walkmans. And spoiled toddlers, apparently.


I don’t know how I thought I was going to pay for one for her on her sixth birthday (two months away at this point). That was obviously a lie to make me look good in front of Mrs. Kleinhans.

Maybe wait a little longer…

Among my 6 million jobs currently getting me to the next time I have full-time employment is babysitting. I’ve been doing a lot of hanging out with children under the age of 5 this summer.  

And that, as you may know, can come with some great stories. Because you never know what they will say. 

Take, for example, young Cooper, age 3, who talked up a storm when I took him to school the other day. 

Best thing he said though was about his future career goals: “I only have to go to school until I’m 17. And then, if somebody needs a dad, I can be their dad!” 

Grandpa Kardashian and Grandmother Nollner

Sometimes when our immediate family is together, we talk about when my parents become grandparents one day, what they might be called.

Growing up, we just called all four grandparents “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” And differentiated with last names when we needed to (mainly Christmas present labels).

But now it’s a little different. And my sisters and I have talked about what we might want our future kids to call our parents. Then we have run a few by Mom and Dad.

A frontrunner for Mom is from Sami’s BFF and one of our unofficial/official adopted sisters, Kate. She calls one of her grandmas “Grandmother Nollner.” So naturally, we told Mom that’s what we’d have our kids call her. In a posh accent because how else should you say it. Let me reiterate. That name exactly. Even though our last name is not Nollner.

Dad has known he wants to be Pawpaw (sp?) for a while. That’s what his grandpa was called, and he was the only great-grandparent still living and that we got to know growing up. However, when we were debating names for Mom to go by, he wasn’t so sure he’d get his way (having a house full of girls his whole life? Can’t imagine why he’d think that).

So while we looked online for trendy names for Grandpas, he kind of complained aloud: “I’m probably gonna be Grandpa Kardashian or something.”


Self-esteem boosters with Sarah

Be honest, you thought I’d have run out of these already, didn’t you?

Ah, then you don’t know Sarah. They just keep on comin’.

The most recent was on Christmas Eve, when she got a little confused about who I was talking about and assumed it was a guy I was seeing.

When I corrected her assumption?

“You could have a boyfriend, you know. You’re really darn attractive.”

Best Week Ever. Part 3.

The story of our week in Jamaica is one best told in pictures – for the most part – so it’s a good thing I took tons of them.

However, a good portion of the photos on my camera were taken by kids there – one in particular, named Jordon.

Jordon is a 12-year-old kid who latched onto our group the moment we got there. Throughout the week, he became kind of our mascot. He was our little favorite and was the first one I trusted to take my DSLR camera and go shoot pictures at different places we went throughout the week.

I’ll make note of the ones he took as they’re posted, but to be honest, there’s a lot of times I can’t tell which ones he took and I didn’t. The kid has an eye. And I told him to keep up with photography if his whole running thing doesn’t pan out (he’s fast though – watch out, Usain).



Some of my favorite pictures from the week – and the majority of the time Jordon had my camera as well – are from our time in Greenvale, where we took part in street evangelism.

Street evangelism in Jamaica >>>>> street evangelism in America. ‘Cause it’s completely different. It’s focused on love, not hate. Not condemning you to hell for whatever it is you’re doing – like the “evangelists” I saw in college and see on the street corners downtown, spewing hate through a microphone at all of the sinners that pass them by.

Our street evangelism over there? Having a party in the middle of the street with music and dancing and prayer for anyone that wanted to be a part. If you didn’t? That’s alright. Because Jesus loves you, even if you don’t come down and party with us. And even if you’re the Rasta who tried to sell me weed and told me how very bright white I was.

*takes break so I don’t go on a tangent on what Christianity means to me because that’s definitely a blog post for another time*

Greenvale is also known as that place where I wanted to take all the kids home with me. On account of the adorableness. But I’m pretty sure you can’t get 30 kids through customs without some sort of documentation.






Just an awesome day…












And now for your viewing pleasure, the following photos, taken by Jordon.









I may or may not have hired Jordon as my assistant. Now…to get him to Kentucky..

Add this one to the resume

I can photograph babies. So, ya know, including that in my portfolio which now includes pretty much the entire spectrum – senior portraits, engagements, weddings, families, maternity and now, newborns!

My bffs Jennifer and Matt just had a baby. Grayson! He’s adorable and awesome and I love him a lot and I’m pretty sure the feeling’s mutual. Seriously, ask Jenn. She saw him fall in love with me. He’s also forgiven me for thinking he was a girl the whole time he was in the belly.

Disclaimer: Not so good at predictions. You should see my March Madness bracket for – oh, EVER.

Anyways. I am basically the Cook family photographer, a job I love. I get to hang out with my best friends and take pictures of them and their cute kids, which is not hard. Pretty sure both Matt and B are professional models.

Matt even wrote about it all on his blog – which you should totally be reading if you love beer, running, babies, or ya know, really good blogs.

Also he made me cry. In a good way though.

So yeah, Grayson.

A few weeks after it was born, it was time for his newborn photo shoot! It was a busy day for him, but he handled it like a pro. He had several costume changes and we made him lay around in just a diaper for a long time. And he rocked it. Champion.

Seriously, look at this stuff – I just held the camera. He did the work. Ha.












And probably the very best part about this particular photo shoot? Baby snuggles. Before, during and after. They’re the best. A bit like crack, I’d imagine, but I’ve never done crack so that’s just a guess.

I can’t wait to watch this kid grow up and keep taking pictures of that adorable face!

My sincerest apologies

For being gone for 15 whole days! How did you handle life without regular blog postings from your truly?

I can answer that, I think, for most of you that read this.. you were involved in The Wedding. The Wedding of Rachel and Chuck. Which was amazing and perfect and I have so much to tell you OMG.

While I work on that, I’ve got something fun for you to look at.

If you know me, you know that one of my favoritest writers is David Sedaris. And in one of his books, he writes a piece reviewing a children’s pageant. And it is hilarious.

There’s someone on the Internet doing something similar. He’s reviewing kids’ artwork.

Now, before I give you the link, a disclaimer.

I am a huge fan of kid-made artwork. The closet door of my bedroom is covered in drawings by some of my favorite kiddos.

But this guy…it’s just so funny.

Here’s an example of a drawing and some of his commentary, found at his site, titled I Am Better Than Your Kids:

“At some point Gage drew as much as he could and thought that he needed help from an expert in mouth and ear anatomy. Unfortunately, all he had was his sister.
Your sister’s contributions to this drawing are indistinguishable from your own, if not worse (apparently your ear is translucent and floats in front of your head). Why?”

I love it.


I guess you could say I’ve got a somewhat regular babysitting gig these days, in that when a certain set of parents goes out of town, their kids ask for me to be the one that gets paid to hang out with them.

Not that I mind, I babysit for the coolest, greatest kids ever. True story.

One of them, Will, who you’ve already heard about and I’m sure will again, is one of the funniest people I know. Most of it is unintentional.

Like the other night he kept using air quotes when he’d say things. Like, (air quotes) I have to go to the bathroom. (end air quotes) Or (air quotes) I’m gonna have a breakfast bar. (end air quotes)

I asked him what it meant when you did that with your fingers while you were talking and he said “You do that when you don’t really care about what you’re saying.”

Close enough.