Tuesday, October 04, 2011


there have been times in my life when i have been alone. the kind of alone where you dream of people knowing you in that easy, silent way. where you don't have to get so much out on the table just to be comfortable sitting by each other quietly.

there have been times where i couldn't bring myself to try. to try to throw some bricks down on the foundation of a life i could be joyful about living. i would sleep through as much of the day as i could, just so the sun wouldn't be up anymore. so it would actually be acceptable to be in my bed. to pull the covers up over my face and hide from another day.

somewhere along the way all the windows and doors were opened, and it all got aired out. i plead for peace in my heart, and after a while all that pleading led somewhere. to peace, i guess. and a comfort in what i'm made up of, because i know what and who it is that makes me up.

at times, i still trip into that loneliness. and i lay there for a bit. and remember how it felt to actually be alone. but then i remember i can open up the windows by choice this time, because i remember the way out.

i call Him by name and He answers.

maybe all that pleading led to this life. a life full of people who can sit next to me when i'd rather be alone and not say anything, but say everything also.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


thomas merton is a hero of mine. during many hard days, i've read his words and been able to see the Lord in a different way. from a very honest angle. an angle that gives me hope. thomas' life is incredibly interesting and i encourage you to read any of his writing. 'seeds' is a classic. here's an excerpt from my reading tonight:

"even the capacity to recognize our condition before God is itself a grace. we cannot always attain it at will. to learn meditation does not mean learning an artificial technique for infallibly producing "compunction" and the "sense of our nothingness" whenever we please. on the contrary, this would be the result of violence and would be inauthentic. meditation implies the capacity to receive this grace whenever God wishes to grant it to us, and therefore a permanent disposition to humility, attention to reality, receptivity, pliability. to learn to meditate then means to gradually get free from habitual hardness of heart, torpor and grossness of mind, due to arrogance and non-acceptance of simple reality, or resistance to the concrete demands of God's will.

if in fact our hearts remain apparently indifferent and cold, and we find it morally impossible to "begin" meditating in this way, then we should at least realize that this coldess is itself a sign of our need and of our helplessness. we should take it accordingly as a motive for prayer. we might also reflect that perhaps without meaning to we have fallen into a spirit of routine, and are not able to see how to recover our spontaneity without God's grace, for which we must wait patiently, but with earnest desire. this waiting itself will be for us a school of humility."

--thomas merton.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


i haven't been a big fan of summer for a long time.

when summertime meant no school, no summer job, just lots of VBS and family activities. weeks of time stretched before you to do nothing but play til it got dark, it was magic.

as i've gotten older, summer has become less about freedom and more of an inconvenience. my schedule looks no different than the rest of the year, except it is hot-as-all-get-out.

but so far this summer--it's been like a little slice of childhood.

took a lake wylie adventure and just ended up jumping into the neighborhood pool around midnight.

discovered the best bbq i've had, maybe ever. at a restaurant called whispering pines in albemarle.

headed to the drive-in movie, where it felt like we had transported back to 1952. the music, the fireflies, the ice cream. magic.

on sunday we had church and celebrated a birthday at pinky's and had porch time with plenty of red wine.

we headed to the pool bright and early on the fourth and swam and laid in the sun for hours. i hadn't put on a bathing suit and lounged at a pool since..i actually can't remember.

last night we waited out the storm together and grilled and passed around baby arthur and enjoyed each other.

at one point we took a drive and saw this:

and broke out into patriotic singing for the rest of the ride.

we picked up more friends and brought them to the party and we walked down the road to the park that had a terrific view of the skyline. we watched the fireworks with everyone in charlotte. and walked back in a huge pack of people to kate's house. sat on the porch, said our goodbyes and finished the night with a few patriotic episodes of the wonder years.

and i came home and fell asleep face down on my bed.

like a 5 year old.
summer 2011, so far so good.
vacation is happening in 3 days.

cannot wait.
happy summer.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

morning will come.


ugh. i've been listening to bon iver's cover of bonnie rait's "i can't make you love me" on repeat all morning. he sang it on jimmy fallon a while back, and i can't stop listening to it. (click on above link).

i feel like i can go for weeks and even months walking through life asleep, coasting. waking up from those times is surprising. instead of feeling dull and numb, i am feeling a little shredded. in the way that makes you feel a spark.

all day on thursday, i was down. courtney had planned a prayer night at her house, and i didn't even know if i was up for making it. but, with age i have learned that making choices opposite to your emotions, is many (most) times the best choice you can make. so i went, fully prepared to cry and just be blah if i needed to be.

it was a small group of ladies that i love. as in, friends that i'm really sharing my every day with. friends that struggle through my tree filled yard and take my dog for the day so i'm not worried about her. friends that offer their homes to me in the middle of the night when a storm hits, and friends that love me through grumpy days and 40 hours a week of tough work environments and early mornings.

so there we sat,
and we talked about Jesus.

and there it was.
we talked about how to effect change without having any agenda or piety.
and talked about the parts of life that i'm so uncertain of.
it was like taking deep, full breaths.

the whole thing restarted my heart.
i think i forgot how much i love to talk about the Lord.
and how much i need to.

Monday, June 20, 2011

afternoon activity.

the big wall in my living room said 'happy holidays' up until yesterday. i'd made excuses for it until memorial day, but it was time.

i love mondays.

i also picked up a packing crate yesterday. hoping to make it a pot rack or something.

we shall see.
happy new week to you all.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Thursday, May 26, 2011


on sunday, i greeted people that walked in the door of our church. i love having that job and getting to see people i love arrive at a place i really love. a new favorite of mine, pauline, walked in and promptly asked me where she could leave a bag of bath towels. i told her i wasn't sure, but i could check. she explained that these towels no longer "matched her decor" and she'd like to give them to someone who could use them.

[a little backstory. i am in a funny stage in life right now. not bad, mostly sweet, but really just every single penny is accounted for. sometimes i forget to buy more than one light bulb, and sometimes i switch that one light bulb from lamp to lamp. or sometimes i forget to buy towels and have to wash my one towel over and over again.]

when pauline offered her towels, my one bath towel sprung to mind, but i pushed it aside and felt like someone else could use them more than me. very quickly though, i felt like i was supposed to tell her that i was in need of them. so i did, and i felt a little silly and a little selfish.

pauline went to her car to grab her bag of an entire towel, hand towel, and wash cloth set.

i loaded the bag in the back of my car after church without much thought. the next morning i remembered them, and went to grab a new towel before my shower.

when i opened the bag, i couldn't believe it. the towels were beautiful and practically brand new. in that moment, i felt so surprised. in the most practical and impractical ways.

like, here is a basic need you have: towels. okay, someone walks up and hands you a bag of them. and also like, i know you lauren, and i'd like to provide you with a really beautiful practical item just because i adore you.

i know it may sound silly, and that's okay. but, i just haven't been able to get those towels out of my head all week. i have felt and still feel very loved by my community and especially by a Lord that orchestrates these little moments that help me remember that He is there.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

new venture

hello people.

in the next few months, life is going to look a little different. i am hoping to go back to school (part time) in the fall. i am also hoping to have a little more say over my schedule, and have more time to pursue things that i'm interested in doing long term.

last week i sent out an email to a few moms in the charlotte area to let them know i will be available for babysitting. right now, my availability will be around my work schedule. i have embeded my calendar so anyone that's interested can see when i'm available. you can email me at lehogan@gmail.com to request a time, and i'll get back to you quickly and let you know if it works out, and my rates, etc.

pet-sitting and house-sitting are also options, if anyone needs some help in those ways. so, here's a very basic idea of my current schedule.

feel free to pass my name around to any of your friends.

Monday, February 28, 2011

a treat for you.

a fool proof recipe for chocolate cobbler (two of my favorite words combined).

nutella chocolate cobbler
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1-½ cup hot tap water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Stir in milk, Nutella, butter, and vanilla. Mixture will be thick like the texture of peanut butter. Spread mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup white sugar, brown sugar, and remaining cocoa. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the hot water over everything and do not stir. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is slightly firm but not fluid like liquid. Spoon mixture into small bowls and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

okay, if i could do it over again, i would probably increase the amount of nutella to either 3/4 cup or even 1 cup. because i like nutella that much. also, i might try to figure out a way to make it more cobbler-y. like make the top crunchier. possibly add a bit of flour and some crushed up walnuts? not exactly sure. but, i'll be honest, it was really terrific as is. like a brownie with puddles of chocolate pudding throughout.

Monday, February 21, 2011

on the lookout

so, i used to have this application on my phone where i could blog pretty easily. well, actually let's rewind even further. i used to have a functioning computer and unlimited wifi access, but these days i have a crippled blogging application on my phone that only allows text, and looks at you like you're crazy should you suggest uploading a picture.

i do not mind it though. i enjoy reading people's thoughts more than scrolling through their pictures, anyway.

hey, have you noticed i'm getting back in the swing of chatting with you? oh yeah? me too.

lately, i have been feeling about work like i used to feel about high school. what excuse can i come up with to not have to go? things are getting real right now. but, i know that it's mostly me. this is the time in any (really any) commitment that i get bored and want to jump ship. right at about 10 months. cause a year seems like a solid amount of time to do anything, so i start making plans for what to do next around 10 months.

i am continuing to feel vulnerable lately. like i am preparing for heartbreak/emergency. does that sound strange? it feels really strange. and probably not great that i just act like it's normal to feel anxiety the way i have been. there are several reasons for it, too long and boring to go into. but, i am looking for peace. always on the lookout.

not much else to say. laying in my bed after a lazy weekend full of open windows, screen doors, and too many cookies. (and lots of winn time). wishing there was some way we could all just spend our days together instead of working to pay the bills.

also, could i sound more like a hippie? "always on the lookout for peace" and wishing "we could spend all our days together".

oh well.

i have always been a proponent of the commune idea.

here's to a great last week of february.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


i've accomplished a few things this week. not necessarily what was on my to-do list, but they're accomplishments nonetheless.

i filed my taxes, and i have been dreaming of things to do with my return all week. too bad money doesn't go quite as far as my plans for it do. also, i sort of cleaned out my car, but not really. beulah has not really gotten walked, but i've taken her to the park and sat in the sun almost every day.

can we actually talk about something? i've been thinking a lot about what i'd like to get done by the time i am 30. for example, i'd like to own my own home by the big 3-0. i do not have a plan in place for this goal, but 2011 is the year. it should be said, that when i say home, i mean farm land somewhere in the carolinas.

also, here's the latest thought. i'm just going to say it, and then we'll talk implications. if i am not married (or in a legit relationship) by the time i'm 30, i am considering starting adoption paperwork. (!)

i can see anyone i know reading that and falling out on the floor. especially my parents. i am just thinking through things. there are so many ifs and maybes and things that would have to happen (or not happen) for me to get to that place, but i am allowing myself to go there. that situation is so sticky and complicated, and i don't know if i would feel good about knowlingly walking into raising a child without a father. at the same time, i think about all the children in the U.S. that need families. or about the 418,000+ children in the american foster care system.

i guess i just get scared of waiting around and wasting my younger years. you know?
so there's that.

Monday, February 14, 2011


i'd hoped i would wake up this morning and that my paycheck would magically be deposited a day early. you know, with it being a 'holiday' and all. no such luck. if i had gotten paid today, i had plans to buy lots of baking supplies, get my oil changed, and maybe buy myself a little something for valentines day. oh, and pay my car payment and electric bill.

plan b for today includes making coffee and a pb&j. then sitting in my bed until i finish my first cup. that's where i am currently. next steps include: showering, taking beulah either for a walk or down to doggie daycare. both take effort, but just different kinds. have (HAVE) to do laundry today (don't have a washer and dryer at my place, so i have to really plan a time to do it), need to file my taxes (which i can do during laundry times), and if i can find some change for the vacuum, clean out my car.

mondays are shaping up to be a new weekly highlight. last week we had our first meeting of the mad men club. i've seen and loved every episode, but lots of friends have not. so instead of passing around the DVDs, we are watching a couple of episodes every monday night together at my house. tonight with it being a 'holiday', we will be dressing up a bit, and had planned to make cocktails, but now that i am poor until tomorrow, that may turn into tap water in martini glasses. we shall see.

anyway, i feel this blog has motivated me to down the remainder of my coffee and get this day started.


Friday, February 11, 2011


the older i get, the more vulnerable i feel to the world at large. i think mainly because the older i get, the less excuse i have to blame mistakes on my youth. also, as much as i'd like to think this isn't the case, the world is still pretty scary. my only remaining buffer is my parents, but with each year that buffer becomes thinner and thinner. how is it possible that people are out buying houses and having kids, and being successful? i feel like having enough money to buy a cup of coffee towards the end of my pay period is a victory.

am i doing what i want to do? no. i can barely remember what that is. i want so much. and i'm doing very little to get it. i want to work on the pottery wheel for about two weeks straight, and then open up a booth at the farmer's market to sell food, and then i'd like to get my doula certification, and then i'd like to write a book. and i'd love to fall in love at some point. here's the thing, i cannot even muster the energy to get out of bed without hitting the snooze button six times. i do not function until i have two industrial sized cups of coffee. and i haven't cleaned out my car in about 6 months. so i'm frustrated, i want want want. but i don't don't don't.

so. maybe this week, by next friday (february 18th) i would like to:
  • email another doula to set up a coffee date (emailed a few in charlotte that never responded, let me know if you any in the area).
  • clean out my car.
  • write one blog.
  • walk beulah three days.
  • finish reading one of the 6 or so books i've started.
seems about right.
signing off now (to lay on the couch).
i should rest up for our monthly birthday dance party tomorrow night.
photos to come.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

monday, january 10.

somehow i have managed to have a string of four day weekends all in a row. i am concerned about going back to normal life. for the second day in a row, i've woken up, taken the dog out, started the coffee, and hopped back in bed. with no intention of getting out again until i'm warm and properly caffeinated.

yesterday was a beauty of a day. after climbing back in bed with coffee, a warm pup, my brother josh (who's in town from austin) piled in and we watched a hitchcock movie together until we were ambitious enough to go out in the snow. jared, maria, and winnie came over and i baked some honey cornbread and eggs, and more coffee (clearly).

we then bundled up and made our way down to the neighborhood park where friends were planning to meet us. all of plaza midwood was playing out in the snow, and all the dogs ran around and played, and winnie seemed to handle the cold a little better this time.

after playing for a bit, it was time to rescue rebecca from her treacherous walk to the park. beu and i drove to find her, and picked up lydia on our way back to my house.

all of us ended up settling in at jared and maria's for the day. we watched toy story, popped popcorn, and warmed up while winn slept the afternoon away. later, josh, lydia, becca and i ventured out to the grocery store for sustenance. we made a plan, split up, got the goods and headed home with plenty of cookies and beer.

maria had been cooking dinner in the crockpot all day, so we got home and played a game until dinner was ready. winnie got her pajamas on and drifted to sleep, and we turned on the shining and ate our dinner in the dark.

after the movie, our little caravan headed out into the snow to drop everyone off at their prospective homes.

it was a great day. dare i say, a perfect one. by the end of it, i was wishing we could all just live in one big house, or you know adjacent smaller houses and cook and eat together all the time.

and then i remembered we can.

Monday, January 03, 2011


the holidays are over now. many times this first week of the new year has a feeling of sadness lingering over it. i don't feel that way this year. these last few weeks have been festive and lovely. every moment i wasn't working i packed in lots of hot chocolate and movies, 'ice skating' (meaning wine night), pizza parties, and new years eve karaoke.

we also got snow on christmas day this year, which has never happened. it was beautiful. jared has been off work all week and that has spoiled us all, i think. having him around and available felt so nice. festivities continued when maria's family came into town, and i ended out the week with a four day weekend.

so, instead of feeling sad that it's all over, i feel like i have a huge reserve of quality time stored up to last me for a little while, you know through the harsh winter.

more than anything though, i just feel really thankful for 2010. it has been a great year. it is odd to say goodbye to that entire decade (what do we call that? the 00's?). just about everything happened to me in those 10 years. high school, college, and the first half of my twenties.

anyway, real life starts back now, but as it turns out i like my real life.

so, happy new year everyone.
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