Locusts Out of the Smoke

I’m really disappointed in my gender. Overnight, like a plague of locusts, the new wave of judging, comparing, and soapbox lecturing has spread across America like the Coronavirus. It’s infecting thousands and the damage it’s causing is truly terrifying. This time, instead of the subject of breastfeeding, natural birth or disciplining, it’s over something I don’t think any of us saw coming—homeschooling. 

It happened overnight. Suddenly, mothers all over the country were thrown into the world of homeschooling. I don’t know about you, but this is something I never ever wanted to take on. Unfortunately, I no longer had a choice. It was as simple as an email on a Sunday evening. Dear parent, it’s over until the 13th and chances are, they won’t be coming back even then. There’s a bundle of supplies and tools we’ve put together for you that you can pick up (use gloves) at school. Good luck and God’s speed. 

I didn’t ask to be thrown into this. None of us did. But we had no choice so, most of us leaned in—pivoted and made a plan. It would’ve been great if it ended there. All of us mamas just swam in our own lanes. That we shared value and ideas openly and with love to anyone out there who might want to adopt some of the things working for us. No strings. No judgement. True community mama tribe mentality that we’ve got each others backs. 

But, as usual, it didn’t go that way. Suddenly, current homeschooling parents who were gracious enough to pass along sample schedules to us novices were being attacked for their methods. I mean, some of these women may have spent hours on Pinterest and in their excitement of potentially offering value to someone, passed it along to anyone maybe looking for an outline. Random moms were critiquing them for trying to be teachers—telling them that they read articles saying kids don’t need their mom as a teacher. That school setups in the house would ruin the kids. That kids just need to be outside playing. 

It gets better.

In retaliation, the more laid back moms, who were enjoying making homemade cookies, coloring contests and letting the kids sleep in, were getting told that it was actually them ruining their kids because children need routine and a schedule. That now more than ever they needed that feeling of normal that a school routine gives them. That if their children weren’t given educational information they would lose what they had learned and be behind when they finally got back to school. That their lack of scheduling was laziness. 

Moms somewhere in between felt like the rope being used in tug-of-war—pulled this way and then that—then this way and than that on what was “right” for them to do. Moms who upped their wine intake were told they were alcoholics. Moms who didn’t drink were prudes. Moms who didn’t change out of their pajamas were ugly. Moms who dressed up for the day were vain. Moms who taught were in the wrong. Moms who didn’t teach were in the wrong. Every. Single. Thing. WRONG…and not just wrong, so wrong that it was causing permanent damage to their child (or so we are being told).

Stop for a moment. Feel the weight of that statement. You’re stressed out over what’s going on right now. Maybe you aren’t working or maybe you’re working from home. Maybe your spouse lost a job. Maybe he’s home and in your way. There is a virus running rampant that could potentially kill people you love—kill you. You have your kids home and they don’t have school. They have no clue what just happened. Remember that plate I’ve talked about in past blogs—it just fell onto the floor and shattered by the weight on what’s been put on it. You try to do what’s best and you are being told daily by social media, articles, media, “experts,” that what you’ve chosen is wrong and that in your incorrect choice you’ve failed as a mother. Just the lovely little cherry on top of our sundae isn’t it? 

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen or experienced this. We always thought that mean girls were brutal but those mean girls have nothing on mean women. And what hurts the most—what legitimately rips apart at my heart most is that it comes from the hands of other mothers. When we will we ever learn? You could no more parent my kids than I could parent yours. The only thing that we need to focus on in this moment is doing the best we can with our own children. We need to swim in our own lanes. Our family needs us in our own lanes now more than ever giving it our all. 

I will also say this, our insecurities and judgments are all just mirrors of our own fears of inadequacy. Those moms slamming structured moms feel like they are failing because they aren’t structured. It feels good to read an article from Dr. Fran, telling us they’re the ones in the wrong. Those structured moms slamming go with the flow moms are insecure that they can’t be more laid back. Hearing Debbie in Denver say so makes us feel better.  It’s all a big coverup for insecurity. Can we all just agree that we are freaking insecure about this whole motherhood thing? None of us has it figured out. None of us is perfect. But I truly believe that in our hearts we all just want to do and be our best for our children. Can’t we all just bond over that fact instead of slashing at each other until our spirits are broken? 

So you do you. I’d like to invite you to a safe space with me. I can’t protect you from everyone, but I promise you that in this incredibly uncertain time, you can be certain that I have nothing to say about whatever decision you’ve made for your family—because it’s your family not mine. If you want to go roll in the mud all day—go for it. If you want the most beautiful color-coordinated schedule—go for it. If you want to drink a bottle of wine—invite me (virtually). I hope you keep sharing anything of value (not judgement) that you come across. I love seeing schedules or recommended books and activities. I love new ideas for games and scavenger hunts. I love pictures of you hiking outside or inside making slime. I get a chuckle out of you in your jammies all day or in bed until ten. I relate to all of it. Quite frankly, I just love connecting with moms. I love how different and unique we all are and I find joy in watching you in your element as a parent. Don’t fall in with the vultures—they can drag us down so easily. God gave us mamas a unique light to shine upon all the people we come in contact with—please be a mama of light for us all in such a dark time. We need you. 

Four Sprays to Protect Yourself & Home From Coronavirus

I promise I’m as sick of hearing about it as you are—the Coronavirus. While there are lots of jokes and memes out there about it, we do need to take a few extra precautions these days with this virus spreading. The World Health Organization officially declared it a pandemic–which is a big deal for them. 

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to take precautions against it—no, don’t go buy a bunch of toilet paper. How did that even HAPPEN!? As you probably know, washing your hands is the number one recommended way to protect yourself. I’m not sure why this is suddenly such a new concept for some. I find that terrifying actually. But maybe washing them even more? I can understand that. Sometimes we might be lax after sneezing or a cough or after giving your family pet a hug. Now is the time to tighten that up and scald those grimy hands with some water, soap and sing yourself a fun little song while you wash–I like “Oops!… I did it Again.” Doing a little extra cleaning and disinfecting should also be on top of your list. One big problem we are facing, is that a lot of places sold out of the sprays or wipes we usually grab. Luckily, I have a few homemade options for you that work like a charm. 

There are lots of different cleaning types out there. Some of you won’t touch bleach because of the chemicals. Others of you swim in it because, you know, diaper blowouts and vomit. Some of you love your oils. Some of you love 99% alcohol. Some of you like all natural and some of you don’t care about chemicals as long as it’s clean. You do you. No soapboxes here. There’s no award or absolute in this, which is why this post is so fun. I got you all covered.

Quite frankly, I dabble in them all (but I’m also the mom sending her kids to school with organic applesauce and Doritos). Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite disinfecting sprays that I’ve personally been using and that have been around and highly recommended for years. Regardless of your “type,” you should find one in here that matches your vibe. Hey, maybe you are a little of each type—then you can have fun playing around with them all. Each is fairly affordable and simple. Each has backing that they work (some more than others). Each are options for you during this ridiculously crazy—and let’s be honest—slightly scary time. But don’t save them just for Corona. They can be used year round.

For the Oily Type Disinfecting Room Spray

  • 16 oz GLASS Bottle With Spray Nozzle 
  • Purified Water
  • Witch Hazel
  • Lemon Essential Oil*
  • Thieves Essential Oil* 
  • Purification Essential Oil* 

Clean glass water bottle and nozzle. Fill bottle halfway with purified water. Fill the remaining with witch hazel. Add 25-30 drops of oils. I like to do equal parts on this one—10 drops lemon, 10 drops Purification and 10 drops Thieves. Gently shake to combine.

Witch hazel is used to help the oils combine and leave the oil scents in the room lingering longer after sprayed. This is a lovely mist to disinfect and purify your rooms.

*These are Young Living options because those are what I’m familiar with. I do know there are plenty of alternatives out there— Onguard, Immune Strength and Germ Fighter are a few alternatives to Thieves for example. Use the brand you love. If you are looking for a YL rep I know some pretty awesome ladies that will help you. Just let me know. 

For the Natural Type Disinfecting Surface Spray

Pour ingredients into bottle. Gently shake to mix. Spray any surface and let sit for a few minutes for products to truly kick in. Wipe with cloth. Do not use on marble or granite.

For the Hardcore Type Disinfecting Surface/Hand Spray

Mix two parts alcohol to one part water. Roughly 10-11 oz alcohol to 5-6 oz purified water. Shake. 

You don’t want to over-dilute the alcohol or its benefits are significantly reduced. 60% alcohol is arguably the magic number to effectively kill germs. 

Spray down any surface in question (restaraunt table for example). Wipe. Also can spray hands and wipe together. 

For the “I Want It DEAD” Type:

Purchase Lysol Disinfectant Spray (19oz bottle). These are still pretty widely available but I wouldn’t delay. Gently shake.

Spray everyone and everything.

Like I said, all of these are cost-effective, easy and efficient. I even like to make them with my girls–especially the disinfecting room spray. Now you can feel a little more on top of your game when combating not just the Coronavirus but also other germs lurking around your life as well.

Ready for Combat

If you’ve browsed fashion magazines, followed an influencer, or caught any fashion campaigns, you’d know by now that combat boots were one of the hottest fall/winter trends. They exploded onto the scene and you won’t see them disappearing anytime soon as we head into spring. They’re versatile enough that you can transition them from straight-legged jeans right over to your favorite t- cut-offs. 

The combat boots of our season come in many shapes and sizes. I’ve seen them with buckles, with bling, white ones, super chunky heeled ones and even some with a pointier toe. I debated most of the winter. I wanted a pair. I just wasn’t sure which pair I wanted. I have to be careful with combat boots–most people do actually. They can quickly go from trendy and tasteful to Herman Munster. I don’t need to rock the Herman Munster. I already have a size ten narrow foot that suddenly looks like a size thirteen in chunky heeled or overly pointy shoes. I needed something that wouldn’t make me look like I was dragging a medicine ball behind me.

I finally narrowed it down and just when I was about to pull the trigger on this pair by Sam Edelman.

I suddenly saw everyone and their third cousin in them. Now, this may not bother you. If it doesn’t, this is an awesome pair. But it bothers me and I wanted something a little more unique. I came across another pair on one of my favorite bloggers’ sites. They’re by Via Spiga and I immediately went to purchase them. I was ecstatic to see the normally $350 boots on sale for $137. You can shop them here. I loved this pair. They were the classic combat boot. Minimal and without an overly blocky heel. They fit a half size big so be sure to size down if you purchase them. They arrived and trust me, the pictures do not do them justice. They are spectacular, well made and very comfortable. 

Combat boots can be intimidating. How do you wear them? If you were like me, I grew up in the nineties where the best way to wear them was with ripped jeans and flannel. Now, you can definitely still do that—and play all the Nirvana you want—but I have a few other options for you that might be worth exploring with your new boots. Hey, maybe you still have those combat boots in the closet from the nineties —dig them out and give these looks a whirl. 

1.) Spring is in the Air.

This outfit is willing spring to arrive–and fashionably. Pair the combat boots with a basic t-shirt dress and throw on your favorite jacket for an easy spring transition. The dress is feminine but the boots give the look some edge. Old Navy has my favorite t-shirt dresses and they come in lots of different colors and are priced oh so right. 

2.) Camo + Combat

It doesn’t get much better than pairing your combat boots with camo. This is what they were meant to be paired with from the beginning. It’s what they were born from. The look is edgy and brings two ultra-hot trends together for one fantastic look. I paired them with jean shorts, a basic t-shirt and this light camo jacket. When tying your boots, don’t lace them up all the way. Tie your laces closer your ankle and you can even wrap the laces around the boot a few times for a fun, laid back look as I did pictured here.

3.) A Day Downtown

Who ever thought combat boots could be chic? They can! For this outfit I paired my favorite Spanx motto leggings with them. Add a leather jacket and big scarf for a classy twist. You’ll keep them guessing…she might go shopping at Tiffanys, or she might jump on her Harley. Or both! The look is fun and ultra-mod. I polled my pals over on my Instagram (@girlsgoalsandgongshows if you don’t follow) and this look came in second out of my five styled options. 

4.) Man, I Feel Like a Woman

Add a touch of masculinity and major high-fashion vibes with this look. I simply paired the boots with my favorite charcoal colored skinny jeans, a basic black turtle neck and then I borrowed one of Kurtis’s blazers. Oversized blazers are a huge trend. Mark this down. Huge. You’ll see them all over spring fashion campaigns. You don’t need to go buy one, just shop in your partner’s closet. If you have a day you want to feel powerful—this look will do it for you. Shoulder pads have a way of giving us courage.

5.) Simple Comfort

This is a look that any of you reading know you can rock. It’s probably why it was by far my most loved of the five when I polled my Instagram family. If you aren’t comfortable in combat boots, still hesitating, or this is your first go trying them out, I’d say start with this look. Simply grab your favorite comfort jeans and that oversized sweater you love. Throw on the boots and you can’t fail. This look is versatile for a casual date night, lunch with friends, errands and everything in-between. 

The possibilities are endless and I could keep going. You could do sexy netted tights with combat boots, skirts, an open button down with a fun graphic t-shirt underneath, ankle length coat over skinny jeans and a top, and so much more. So go for it. Have some fun. Go out on a limb and try something different by snagging a pair or dust off your old pair of Doc’s and start putting together some fun looks. Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I said plaid button down and ripped jeans.

Open Drawers

Let me paint a scenario…

You’re tired. Like, really tired. You have solo parented for the past two weeks while your husband is working in another state. Your mind is like a chest of drawers and every single drawer is open—did I pay the gas bill, sign homework folders, need to practice math flash cards, eye appointment for one child tomorrow, haven’t seen dentist in over six months and need to book all kids in to see one, laundry sitting in dryer needs to be folded, should really sort closets, door handle isn’t on yet call contractor, did I send money for the kids hot lunch, I want to workout Saturday but have no one to watch the kids, Volleyball practice this weekend do I have that covered, I have to do passport picture for the little one, I haven’t communicated with my team in awhile and my business is hurting because of it, I need to mail five packages of product, voicemail from aunt have to call her back, did we do thank you notes from Christmas, I’d like to try homemade dishwasher pods–and on and on and on.

With these thoughts rolling around your mind, you walk into your daughter’s bathroom and stop short. The spray that’s supposed to be for her hair was used on Barbie and now it’s mixed into some type of slop with that expensive lotion you gave her and it’s spilled all over the counter. Nail polish is out and dripped on the white cabinet. Last night’s wet towels are piled on the floor. The sink is caked with tooth paste. There are plastic horses all over the floor over by the shower and there are LOL doll pieces actually in the shower. There’s no toilet paper on the holder and there, in the middle of it all, your child. Oblivious. Even more oblivious to the fact you had told her to clean up her bathroom yesterday. She’s about to explain how this makes complete sense in her mind but you stop her. You yell. You yell and the entire time you’re yelling you can see her face crinkle up a bit as if bearing a blow and she crouches back a little scared but not really because you’ve never hit her, so it’s just the volume that’s a little shocking. Tears well in her eyes and you, exasperated, almost tear up yourself because you are so mad, annoyed, confused and frustrated. Now another two drawers open in your mind chest—first, that you have to figure out how to get that nail polish off of your newly renovated cabinets and second, you yelled. Again. That one goes into the mom fail drawer. 

I hope that some of you reading this—I mean even one of you reading this can relate. Can you? If not, I’m really sinking fast. Let’s keep the scene going…

Later that night you, crippled with guilt, cry into the phone while you tell your husband you’re a failure as a mom. You explain what happened and how you yelled, again, and how bad you now feel. You’re convinced you’re a terrible mom and that you are ruining your child. He is kind. He tells you that you aren’t and that you’re an amazing mother. You keep crying. You get off the phone still feeling rotten, wipe the snot running down your nose from your ugly crying and creep downstairs to her room. She’s asleep but you wake her up. She is over it, but you aren’t. You go into an explanation about why you yelled and that you’re sorry for yelling. That it doesn’t mean what she did isn’t wrong. That it doesn’t mean you aren’t mad. But that you shouldn’t have yelled so hard. She can’t see you’re still crying in the dark and she’s half asleep and tells you it’s ok (and she means it). You hug her and tell her you love her a million more times, tuck her in and go back upstairs to finish sobbing because that didn’t really help either. 

Anyone still with me?

Confession. I’m a yeller. I yell at my kids. I’d like to explain a few things—clarify if you will—before I continue on with this. I shouldn’t have to and I actually think the more we explain the more we give away our power but I have no power here. I never yell at my children in public. I don’t belittle them or call them names. I’ve never hit my child in any way. I don’t ignore my children. I affirm them daily—literally say affirmations with them every single day. I tell them I love them all the time. I hug them and kiss them and hold them frequently. I don’t make fun of them. But I do yell when I’m upset with them. 

Why? I wasn’t raised by yellers but I never did anything like above scenario either. Perhaps I yell because I can’t put myself in their shoes and that’s frustrating. I never would have done some of the things they do and so it’s really, really hard for me to comprehend why on earth they would do it. Maybe I yell because I don’t understand.

I yell because I’m lazy. It’s much easier to yell down the stairs at them to hustle up or stop banging the piano while Carolyn sleeps than it is to go down and talk. It’s a big house. Yelling is easier.

I yell because not only is my plate full but it’s overflowing with gravy from that extra helping of mashed potatoes I thought I needed. But whose isn’t these days? The cats’ litter box is full and they have no food or water and I’ve reminded them twenty times to stay up on this. Snap. The overfilled paper plate breaks. I yell.

I yell because I don’t know what else to do sometimes. There’s no takeaway from that—kindly chatting, warnings, threats, love even ignoring doesn’t work. I don’t even have my partner here half the time, so I yell. 

Are you sitting there judging me while you read this? I’ll let you know that you can. Judge away. No amount of your comments or judgements will come even close to how much I judge myself or how much I beat myself up and belittle myself over my yelling. This is why I hate (yea, hate) “educate yourself” posts that moms like to share. You know the ones? I usually see them pop up on my feed the same day I’ve yelled—“yelling will ruin your child’s spirit,” or “do you know what you’re doing to your child when you yell?” and “You might as well beat your child with a two by four because that’s how yelling affects your child.” They usually have awesome images too that really make you feel good. Educate yourself they say. I’ll say this. The term “educate yourself” is the most uneducated thing you can say to someone. Someone make me that shirt please…or a wine glass.

Do you really think for one second I’m not aware of the consequences of yelling? That I’m not aware of the studies or theories or alternatives to yelling? It’s like Jolene from Georgia doesn’t actually care, she just posts that to reaffirm she’s got things all figured out and doing it better than us scum that yell. Educate yourself Jolene. Do you think people who are overweight don’t understand the risks of being overweight? That they don’t know? Do you think smokers aren’t aware of the negative effects of cigarettes? Of course they know. No amount of you educating or hanging it over their head from your soapbox is going to change that. The only thing it does is encourage me to beat myself up a little more. Thanks, Jolene. I will tell you that the mental narrative I have with myself over this is something that no person should ever hear spoken out loud. We do this to ourselves don’t we mamas (and dads)? I don’t need the posts. I don’t need your judgement. I don’t need your advice. I already have a whole drawer open in my mind—remember that mom fail drawer I mentioned? That’s the one. It’s filled with replayed scenes and fails and negative thoughts about what a rotten, fail of a mother I am. I loathe this drawer and try to keep it closed as much as possible.

Are you waiting for me to go into a Rachel Hollis moment? Here’s my flaw but here’s how I came out of it, beat it, got it all figured out, coached you on it and now have a book and tour and millions to show for it? Unfortunately, not this mama. I’m willing to be raw and vulnerable with you though, which is hard enough. I admit my flaw, am aware of it and I am willing to work on it. That’s it. That’s all I got.

Here’s what I did come up with. Upon some recent prayer and reflection, I decided for Lent this year I’m giving up yelling. I have a rubber band that I’m wearing on my wrist all of Lent to try and condition myself like Pavlov’s dog. Each time I yell or go to yell, SNAP. It may not solve everything. It may solve nothing. I may still yell but I hope to be much more aware of the yelling and hopefully it curbs it or stops it before it happens.

So this lent while others are giving up things or doing new things for their forty days, you’ll find me with a rubber band on my wrist working at fixing a flaw that I’d very much like to go away. I will say this—I still think children need discipline. When they misbehave, I’m not a big fan of sitting down as two adults and talking it out (I’m the adult last time I checked). I’m going to try to replace the yell with quieter stern moments but you bet your bottom dollar there will be quiet stern moments and consequences for misbehavior. I have no desire to let them see me as an equal or to have my sole purpose be their best friend. I’m their parent and hope there’s a little bit of fear, a lot of respect and even more love. God gave these three to me and no one else for a reason—no one else on the planet is better equipped to raise them than I am (and Kurtis). No one. Even with the yelling. But I know God is tugging at my heart as well. Tugging at me to listen to him and to work on this at the very minimum during this Lenten season. Maybe you’re feeling called to do the same. Maybe it’s something different that you struggle with or want to do better or even something you want to start doing. Regardless, let this post be a reminder that none of us are perfect. We all likely have parenting flaws we would love to magically disappear. You have a mom fail drawer too, don’t you? I bet you do. We all unwillingly play the comparison game (even Jolene from Georgia with her stinking posts). We all struggle with feeling like we fail our children (on occasion or daily). All of it. However, let this honest confession from a flawed mama also be a reminder that you aren’t alone. That we really are in this together. The next time you go to compare yourself to someone else, maybe snap a rubber band on your wrist as a reminder that she’s likely struggling too. Maybe she’s even a yeller like me.  


Welcome to the Gong Show

I was aimlessly scrolling Instagram stories the other night and came across the most perfectly executed story highlight of an influencer’s Sunday moment with scripture. There was spiritual music softly playing in the background, strategically highlighted sections of a Bible and a grammatically perfect  “random thought” that really struck her that morning. The story was flawless. She softly whispered to her listeners that she was randomly inspired to pause her reading and share it. LIAR. Random my tush. If that’s the kind of perfectly thought-out, plastic, well-constructed person you want to follow, you probably want to stop reading this mess right now. It’s not what you will find here. 

Quick introduction, my name is Lauren. Hi. Welcome to my blog. I’ve learned in my 35 years on this planet, that there comes a point in time that you embrace the dumpster fire moments as much as the Kodak ones and to be totally honest, I seem to find myself in more of those (let’s call them “df” or gong show moments) than perfect ones. That’s the “gong show” portion of the blog title by the way. Ya’ll know what gong show means? Go ahead and look it up. My husband is Canadian and it’s a term he introduced me to years ago. I sort of love it. 

I will say that I love scripture lady’s effort and I’m here to cheer on all women (and men), but I can’t relate to that. Not on any level. It’s too perfect. The word perfect gives me indigestion. So does the word balance. I feel both those words, while initially harmless, have evolved in society. I think they are each a big fat lie we are supposed to buy into and chase after with every last ounce of breath we have until we die—having never attained either. Side note, I don’t have it all figured out and I’m not on a soapbox here—I continue to struggle with this daily. It’s especially hard in a world of above scripture lady, who makes it look so dang easy and (stomach cramp) perfect. 

Harmony is my jam. Harmony is something I can get after. Harmony is arranging the aspects of our lives to make our one big story. The big picture. I like harmony because it’s not perfectly equal—some days one aspect is running better than others. Some days we excel as a parent and epically fail at our jobs. One day dinner is home-cooked and Better Homes worthy and the next thing you know you forgot a kid had swim practice and she’s out the door without trying your Pinterest dinner you nailed. But it’s ok, because it’s the big picture that matters. The big puzzle of our lives and you know what? You need every single piece to finish that puzzle. Whether it’s a beautiful corner piece or one of the funky middle pieces or that piece the dog gnawed on when he was a puppy. We need them all. You will find me writing about those pieces often in this blog and my attempts to find that harmony and embrace it amongst the chaos (gong show) of my life.  

You will also find daily adventures, thoughts, recommendations and more as a woman who is raising three daughters and leading/running an international business. I’m also an oilfield wife of ten years who solo parents for weeks at a time while my hubby is working in a different state(s). I’m a lover of a lot of things, so you will find a hodgepodge of entries. Anyone with me on this—I was never THE BEST at anything, but I’m pretty decent at a lot of things. Same goes for my lifestyle hobbies. I’m pretty decent at fashion, cooking, fitness, crafting, home decor, all that jazz. Not the best. I belly laugh at the thought of making that claim. But I can stand proud behind decent. 

So, if you are interested in some decent thoughts and recommendations on everyday lifestyle and how I work daily to find that harmony between running a biz and raising my babes, then you’ve come to the right place. Might I also add that here you will not find perfection. You won’t find perfectly snapped photos with perfect lighting. I’m sure I will screw up some punctuation. Make a few typos. Take a picture with something in my teeth. Throw a tantrum. Place a pillow in the wrong spot. Pair a wine incorrectly. Make a joke that falls flat—I’m wildly sarcastic so brace yourselves for that. Maybe I’ll even struggle with some things that will make you think…yep, Lauren’s having a “df” gong show day. But that’s ok and that’s why I feel it’s important for me to write this. Even if one single person can relate. If it’s a much needed breath of fresh air for at least one of you—that makes it worth it to me because I know how much I crave connections like that. I promise you honesty, transparency and authenticity. After all these years, I’ve embraced the good, the bad and the ugly of who I am and I’m getting to be pretty ok with that. I think the sooner we all get really ok with ourselves, the better. Welcome to the gong show. I hope you stick around for awhile.