When you hang out with teenagers

You overhear a number of different things, but one thing remains the same: You never have any idea what they will say. They’re kind of like toddlers in that way…

Case in point, overheard at a recent youth group meeting:

“My mom cut our hair but we had to stop when she got my ear once.”


Self-esteem boosters with Sarah

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these, but I also just had the privilege of spending a week with her during our youth trip to Montreat.

And in all of the ways, the trip did not disappoint.

Of note, in a regular minivan packed with 10 youth and two adults, there’s a lot of conversations happening and you can only hear pieces sometimes.

Someone: “Let’s have a competition to see…” (I forget what they said)

Sarah: “Let’s have a competition to see who has the biggest butt. Laura would win though..”

#TBT The most beautiful piece of artwork you will ever see

Hey. So. I’m about to share something with you all that only few know about or have witnessed. A very select few, and the majority of them have lived in the same house as me since I or they were born.

You’re so curious right now, aren’t you?

I’m gonna make you wait just a minute more.

You see, middle- and high-school Laura was an exceptionally boy-crazed young woman, who had a job beginning at 16 and babysitting jobs before that so the funds to buy a ridiculous amount of those teeny-bopper magazines.

That situation led us to this:

photo 1

Oh, but there’s more.

photo 2

photo 3

That magnificent work of art is still on the back of the door I occupied as a teenager, the one my youngest sister now occupies when she lives at home. She has yet to remove it because, well, it’s part of the house now. It’s too beautiful to touch. And it’s hilarious.

photo 5

I think that’s BBMak?

Also R.I.P. Heath and Paul. Still hurts.

Anyway, it took me a long time to get the courage to share this part of my past with you, my friends and readers. So feel free to start laughing now.

Self-esteem boosters with Sarah

This week in youth group our topic for discussion was one of the questions the youth had submitted last semester. The question was, “What does God think is beautiful?”

So, naturally, the conversation started with us asking the kids what they thought was beautiful and we made a list. The boys surprisingly mentioned scenery, except for one mention of Megan Fox.

Then it was Sarah’s turn.

Me: “Sarah, what do you think is beautiful?”
Her: “You!”
Me: “No, seriously.”
Her: “You! Add it to the list.”

That girl…

Self-esteem boosters with Sarah

She’s been quiet with the compliments (backhanded and otherwise) for a while, but never fear, today she made up for it.

When we were getting ready to get in cars and head over to do a service project, she and three other middle school girls claimed my car for the trip over. However…

“Laura’s car always smells like a cat for some reason..”

I don’t even know…

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.”

Self-esteem boosters with Sarah

Remember how I told you about how sometimes my buddy Sarah (an eighth-grader in the youth group I work with) gives me compliments?

Sometimes they make me laugh and sometimes they’re sweet. And sometimes its both.

Recently, while giving me a hug: “Laura, you’re so huggable.”
Me: “Aw, thanks, so are you!”
Her: “And my arms can fit all the way around you, it’s perfect.”
Me: “Whew. Good thing.”

Self-esteem boosters with Sarah

Welcome to a new feature, here on the ol’ blog, in which you will hear the frequent “compliments” I get from one of the teenagers in the youth group I work with – an eighth-grade girl named Sarah.

She’s been on a roll lately. She’s unfiltered, which I can definitely appreciate because, well, people are amazed at things I say most of the time.

She’ll give me what she calls “compliments.” I wouldn’t go as far to call them that. But I appreciate every single one.

Most recently, I got this one after I started walking up the ramp to the youth room in front of her.

Sarah: “Laura, you’ve got a flat butt.”
Me: “I KNOW.”
Sarah: “No, but like, I mean that in a good way. It’s nice.”

Team Edward, Team Jacob, Team I Really Don’t Care.

If you like Twilight, like, A LOT, you’re not gonna like what I have to say. Because I’m not a fan. So… to be fair, I warned you.

OK, I don’t have an aversion to the supernatural, but in the past it has taken me time to warm up to it – I didn’t start reading the Harry Potter books until about three or four years after everyone else. I went on a couple of ghost tours and I think it’d be kind of cool if a lot of that supernatural stuff really existed. Oh, and also I watch True Blood. Just started in December when HBO re-ran the first season.

Before you go and judge and say “how can you like True Blood and not Twilight” let me just tell you – they are NOTHING alike except for the fact that vampires and werewolves exist in both. Trust me. Watch one episode of it and you’ll be saying “Robert who?” Seriously.

Now. I don’t watch True Blood for any other reason than entertainment, of course. It’s got some good actors, it’s got some funny parts and, well, I’m not gonna complain about seeing Ryan Kwanten and Alexander Skarsgard naked just about every Sunday night.


Anyways. I gave Twilight a chance. Really. I read ALL FOUR of the books, even though after the first one they started getting progressively more frustrating to read, but there was something to them – I wanted to see what happened, so I kept reading. But it wasn’t because I wanted to marry Edward or because I hoped Bella would turn into a vampire. Unfortunately, I know more about the story than I care to sometimes admit. I watched the first movie and recently caught up on the second one, mostly making fun of it with the friends I watched it with.

Speaking of – on one recent game night, my friends and I played charades, as usual, and one of the clues that someone wrote down that my friend Liz had to act out was “Everyone Here Hates Twilight.”

I’ll probably see the third movie too, but not in the theater – there’s no amount of money that you could pay me to sit through a movie with a bunch of girls that scream every time a guy appears on the screen. Case in point – when I saw the most recent Iron Man movie, they showed a Twilight preview. All but about two people in the theater groaned when it started. My kind of people.

I know the book was written with teenage girls in mind. And I’ve known girls who act like Bella does. Hell, I was pretty much that girl in high school – I had the journals and the notes back and forth with friends that show it. What kind of girl am I talking about? The one who is constantly over-dramatic and is more worried about the guy in her life than, well, anything else. I’m telling you – my last two years of high school prove my point. I was her.

In the second movie, after SPOILER ALERT Edward leaves her, Bella lays down on the ground. In the woods. Until her dad, a cop, notices she’s missing and comes to find her. Then, she proceeds to sit in a chair in her room and – we are supposed to believe – stare out the window for months and months.

I get the sad break-up thing. Been there. Had to go to the doctor because I wasn’t eating and was getting sick and was basically a hot mess. And it was ridiculous.

But. I learned from it. And from the stupid things I worried about in high school and letting how a boy felt about me determine my mood, my sense of worth and my reason for living. I don’t think a movie or book with a main female character like that – directed at teenage girls – is a good thing or a positive message to send.

That’s just me, though. I don’t judge anyone for watching the movies or reading the books, I’ve seen them all so far and read all the books, but that doesn’t mean I agree with their message.

Sure it’s nice to swoon over an imaginary man that is written to be perfect, but my issue is the message it’s sending. Vampires aren’t real. Robert Pattinson’s character in the movie is just that, a character. He’s not real either.

And if I’m wrong, then send Alex Skarsgard to my house to prove it. 😉