Thursday, May 31, 2012


What’s in a name?  To my family – everything!  In the Thompson home you have two given names: your legal name and your nickname…most commonly referred to by the latter. 

Dad: Sonny Boy (to the cousins)
Mom:  Mom the bomb (to the kids) and Besto (to dad)
Katie: Clarabell
Anna:  Anna Banana, Queen of the Monkeys (to eric) and Boofer
Alison:  Spank-a-bum, spank, crank-a-bum (on occasion)
Eric: Pal, Waggles, Lizard Bro (to Jim), or if you are really ambitious… 
Whoopie: Lauren.
Oh wait…
Lauren: Whoopie (sometimes I feel like my given name is actually Whoopie.  In fact, little Grace thinks that really is my “for real” name! Precious.)

Now you may be thinking, what about the in-laws?  Don’t they feel left out?  Oh no, we have names for them too!

Ryan: Speed Millar
Alex: Alejandro de la noche como estas?
John: Jiggity
Ryan F: Iron Man

And then you may ask, well what about your cousins?  Never fear!  The Kents follow along with:

Kelly: SRE, Sonny Boy
Connie: Sistren
Jamie: James
Justin: Mutt (back in the day)
Charlie: Chuck
Joey: Yo aka yohefeshphine
Tony: Bubs, Bag-a-donuts
Rachael: Ray, So-very

I love nicknames.  I think they are so endearing.  I love when my cute little nieces and nephews call me Whoopie :) And just so you know how serious I am about my nickname, take a gander…

Top Left: My dad held onto that card for A YEAR!!
Whoopie Pie Kit:  Even my dear mother-in-law sent me a birthday box with a little "Whoopie Love"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birthday Bash

After having a fun-packed weekend, I have avoided writing a blog because that means it is officially over.  Which it is, so I am finally accepting the facts!  There is so much to write but I will be concise while (hopefully) portraying the wonderful moments that happened the past few days…

Friday, May 25th:  First let me take you back to a year ago from this day.  Ryan and I had been married for a month, and had really only known each other for five months total.  The poor fellow didn’t stand a chance.  Birthdays at the Thompson home are ALL OUT!  A mammoth yummy breakfast, a fun-filled day, icecream cake, a requested dinner, my own sugar cereal…there are many things that Ryan didn’t/wouldn’t have known.  But me, being my newly married and emotional self, expected Ryan to know these things and was devastated when I woke up to Ryan getting ready for school, and being wished a quick “Happy Birthday!” as he biked off to school.  Shouldn’t be a big deal right?  Wrong.  I like to think I was “under the influence” of being homesick, lonely, and working somewhere I hated, but I called up my family in tears.  I thought Ryan had forgotten me on my special day and wished I had a sister close by I could run to.  Unbeknownst to me, all three of my sisters called Ryan within the next few hours…“So…Ryan…what are your plans for Lauren’s birthday?  I have an idea for you if you need some suggestions?”  By that point, Ryan knew something was terribly wrong.  The poor soul, he was blind-sided.  But, being the sweet and tender man he is, he managed to pull together a wonderful birthday full of roses and cute notes, even a dinner just for me!  So now with that in mind…you will understand why I was ever so impressed with the following:

I woke up to breakfast in bed…not just my daily dose of cereal either!  Granola, yogurt, strawberries, milk, and even my chewable multi-vitamins.  He even had a stack of “Birthday Review” note cards planning out the rest of my day, since he knows how I like a plan.  He had already packed some backpacks full of my needed fuel (peanut butter and honey sandwiches) and we were off to my birthday hike – the tippy top of Y mountain. 

It was BEAUTIFUL.  It was our first time, but most definitely will not be our last.  After a few minutes on the trail (which connects to the top of the Y trail), we thought we saw a short cut!  So, after twenty minutes of straight rock climbing we decided we had better turn around.  After scooting ever so gracefully down the steep, rockavalancheprone hill, we made it back to the designated path we were more than happy to tread on once again.  We went through groves of trees, meadows, steep switchbacks and a thick forest.  In fact, at one point we thought we heard a bear grunt and quickly made our way to the base of a tree, just in case we needed to quickly climb the branches.  But never fear!  Being the Eagle Scout he is, Ryan came prepared and packed our biggest knife!  After the bear paranoia passed, we hiked (a little faster and talked a little louder) and made it to the very top.  It was breathtaking.  After eating our lunches, I stood up off of the log we were sitting on and looked down.  Right where I was sitting was etched: “Ry and Lar ‘90”.  Just another manifestation that we really were meant to find each other ;)

After running straight down the mountain for 45 minutes, we cleaned up, sat on the couches, and stared out the window, exhausted, waiting for my family to roll up.  My mom, dad and brother came into town for Eric’s volleyball tournament (to be blogged later), and it was such a treat to spend my birthday with them, the first time in a few years!  We went to dinner, along with my dear friend Elora, and finished the night by dropping Eric off in SLC and eating some ice cream at the creamery.  Nothing says "happy birthday" like a spoonful of delicious frozen chocolatey goodness. 


Now that this post is much longer than I expected, I will continue the events of the weekend in various posts the next few days.  Much more to come!          

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taking care of some "to-do's"

Ryan and I have a lot of fun together.  Especially when we are being ridiculous and weird.  Take two nights ago for instance - in the back of the house we found some cinder blocks and knew right away what we should do with them...make a fire pit!  We have wanted to make it for a few weeks now, so, we found a bucket and set off to find some gravel.  We drove around east provo until we found it - the random mound of dirt/rocks in a little field on the side of the road!  Perfect!  As we were gathering rocks (with our hands, since we would rather buy groceries than a shovel) we began to notice all of the cars that were driving suspiciously slow by us.  We soon realized that we were at the intersection of a famous part of provo - the way up to the "Y" trail.  Oops!  We started laughing, thinking about what the passerbys could be thinking...I don't blame them, we really did look hilarious.  But, we made a beautiful makeshift fire pit that we can't wait to use!  Sitting around the fire, chatting, and eating gooey s'mores is one of our favorite things to do.


A few weeks ago, we watched a documentary on food.  Bad idea.  We already knew that processed food is bad for you, but after watching this I have a hard time walking by the meat aisle.  Now we try our best to buy fresh vegetables and fruits in their season, and buy local deli meat instead of the big brand names.  In honor of our new health kick, we planted a garden! Hip! Hip! Hooray! Tomatoes, peppers, melons and zucchini.  We picked out a sunny patch of yard and started digging and watering, making a nice mud pie.  We then added some compost and soil, and by then our garden was looking quite nice.  After planting our veggies, we stepped back and admired our little 3x5 garden box (made with cinder blocks of course) and can't wait to see how the plants produce in a few months, and look forward to not only saving a little money but enjoying some homegrown food.  


Monday, May 14, 2012

My Personal Pathway of Inspiration

The warm change in weather has created a new kind of monster - one that is restless if stuck inside for more than a few hours.  I am energized by the sun and can't get enough of it!  Living on the East side of Provo is a blessing, especially since it puts us a ten minute run from the base of the Y hiking trail, and seconds away from various hill and trail running paths.  I like to run in the morning and go on a post-dinner walk with Ryan.  That has turned into my favorite part of the day.  We choose various set paths we have mapped out, and talk about everything under the sun.  Hand in hand.

Running is not just exercise, it is a way to clear my head.  I tend to thinkandthinkandthinkuntilIcan'tthinkstraight...and running gives me the chance to just breathe (way too hard usually) and think about what is weighing on my mind at the present moment.  It is so therapeutic.  My most recent favorite trail is pictured above.  Away from cars and people, it is just me and the mountain, and an occasional deer.  I don't usually run with music so I get to enjoy the sounds of nature and the rhythm of my pounding feet.  But what I have come to find is that this little 45 minute run has been the source of great ideas!  I thought of a cute good luck gift for Ryan's MCAT, this year's Christmas gifts, even some Birthday ideas too!  I also mentally plan out my day, and finish my run feeling accomplished and organized, ready to have a wonderful, productive day.  

I hope this addiction to the outdoors isn't a phase I am going through, this one needs to stick!!  It keeps my in shape, both mentally and physically, and I LOVE it.  There's nothing better for the soul than a little sunshine and fresh air. 

ps.  Although i did not take the picture (since I don't bring anything with me when I run) that really is a picture of the exact trail.  So so so beautiful.)   

Sunday, May 6, 2012

We have come to a conclusion about which ward we want to attend.  The debate was between the new-married-student ward and the family ward.  Our first week on Briar avenue we attended the family ward.  We showed up a few minutes late and the only seats  available were in the back, about the half-court line in the gym.  Sacrament was fun, noisy, entertaining, and littered with cute cute kids that we couldn't stop admiring.  During Sunday school, ol' Brother Riddle threw down a doctrine-rich lesson about the natural man that was interesting to say the least.  For the past year we have attended sunday school with kids our own age with good insights and interesting perspectives, but everyone was dealing with basically the same issues: school, relationships, work, dating, etc.  At the time it was great, but where we are now it seemed so homogenous.  So, sunday school was a nice change of pace with Brother Riddle, to say the least.

We then attended the student-married ward last week and it was also very interesting.  When we showed up to 8:30am for church, there were about ten other couples in attendance.  The opening hymn was really soft and it just felt weird.  It just felt like something was missing.  It didn't quite feel like church.  Maybe it's because there were so few people there, or maybe it's because we simply didn't know a soul and there wasn't really a strong sense of fellowship, but nonetheless, something was missing.  As the meetings progressed, though, the student-married ward grew on us and by the end of the third hour we didn't really know where we wanted to go.  Lauren and I had never consistently attended or experienced either kind of ward since being married and it was a tougher decision than we had anticipated.

Despite our dual stupor of thought concerning the question of where to attend, even after much thoughtful and heartfelt prayer, we decided to go to the family ward again and just try it out, not really commit, but give it another chance.  As we sat in sacrament (in front of the McClure family, another Medford connection) we felt more and more comfortable.  Our feelings of comfort increased while attending the Bishop's marriage and family relations class.  Finally, Relief Society and Priesthood were the icing on the cake that helped us feel that the family ward was the right place.  Some of the main pro's that we felt were that if this is the ward where we might want to have our first baby, the family ward seemed a better fit.  Also, the comments, insight, and perspective people have in the family ward is so much more broad and deep.  Nothing against the people in the student-married ward, but as one of our friends pointed out today, it's kind of like being in a singles ward, but with couples, and now the couples all make friends and do things similar to the singles ward, except you have a partner to do it with.  The broad range of age and experience in the family ward lends opportunities for us to become friends people who are so different from us and learn things from them that we couldn't otherwise learn in the other ward.  Hopefully it turns out to be all we hope it will be, and if we participate and are friendly, we're sure it will.

Friday, May 4, 2012


I am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.  As I have read “Heaven Is Here”, a book written by Stephanie Nielson, I have realized how many things I have taken for granted in my life so far.  Stephanie and her husband were involved in a plane accident a few years ago, and this book describes the whole story in vivid detail.  She was young and in love, beautiful with a strong healthy body, and was a mother of four when it all happened.  After months of surgery and pain, she found herself again and is living a fulfilling and meaningful life, right up the street from Ryan and I. 

I think about the negative thoughts that take up my time, about a body that isn’t model perfect or my lack of creativity when it comes to crafts.  I think about my ugly haircut or schoolwork, an A- or burnt cookies.  The last few days, I have been overwhelmed with the realization of my blessings, and choke down tears as waves of gratitude and guilt wash over me.  I feel guilty for being so selfish and superficial, and for being blind to the abundance of an extremely blessed life.

Last night I just watched while Ryan helped with dinner.  It was one of those moments where I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to have him as my husband and eternal friend.  This morning I was amazed by the beautiful mountains that surround us and the bright golden sun warming my skin.  I think about my family members and close friends. For the ability to see and hear and feel.  To be physically active.  For my strong body.   After listing blessing after blessing to Ryan, I was overcome with the feeling that with these blessings, our lives need to be dedicated to serving others.

I run the same hills Stephanie ran before her accident, and think about her incredible example of faith.  She knows what beauty means, and that is being a loving wife and mother.  I don’t have any reason to be ungrateful or complain, and hope to face my future with positivity, faith, and gratitude.