The April That Was…

So much has happened I’m ready for April to be over.  Or am I?

In keeping up traditions: The first Monday in April started with Opening Day – friends, baseball & a Curly W!  Does it get any better?


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The next Monday I turned 40 brunching the day before with dear friends and loving family members. 

I thought 40 would feel different and be such a big deal, but I think my making a big deal out of birthdays is over, finally!
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My dad’s birthday is just after mine – I came home from the hospital on his 30th birthday, so that means if it was the big 4-0 for me, it was the large 7-0 for him!  We threw him quite the party with a few friends from far away and his brother as an added surprise!  That was fun to pull off!

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But on my dad’s actual birthday, I was with my mom’s dad, my dear Grandpa, as he passed away peacefully at his apartment with his wife, his daughters and I (and helpful hospice folks, who can’t go unmentioned) at his side.

I cannot believe we are now busy chronicling a life of 90 years well-lived and will be celebrating them on Tuesday, May 2nd.

The obituary my mother and I wrote for his local paper, the Falls Church News-Press can be read here:  FCNP on Trollinger


Us!

Proud & Happy Grandpa @ U of M Convocation  Go Blue!

Last weekend I traveled to Providence, RI to become a god-mother for the second time.  My oldest god-daughter has turned 18 and gotten into college and is about to graduate from high school.  Where does the time go?  She was born when I was in college!

One of my friends had a baby girl on December 30th and I was honored to be asked to serve as her god-mother.  I was introduced at the reception: “This is Lauren, she’s my oldest friend!” What?  Because we go way back or because I’m 40!?  Anyway, her daughter, my god-daughter, is just an amazingly beautiful porcelain skinned babe who didn’t flinch a bit during the baptism.  I tried to celebrate the great circle of life, and it was nice to get away, but…

Closing out on a high note, I ended this last weekend of April participating in my 7th Congenital Heart Walk.  I exceeded my fundraising goal of $4000 (40 and some additional zeros!) thanks to people from just about every walk of life.  Friends, relatives, friends of relatives, Grandpa, and even my aunt’s friend whose daughter just had heart surgery in California.  We’re all in this together.  I walked with AGC, a friend’s daughter who is now 5 ½ (not 5, not 6, “5 and a half!”) and no longer in a stroller, but walking, alongside me, thriving, living and loving life – even after several open-heart surgeries.  Tick Tock We Don’t Stop! (OK except to take a pic or 2!)

The world is small, see the good in the bad.  Hug tight.  Smile.  Be present. 

Love with your heart.

 

 

 

A Quick Wrap-Up of 2016!

Those of you who know us and read my blog may know most of this, but for those of you who just want a fancy piece of paper to read by the fire in your most comfy winter socks, here’s a quick run-down of my (ooops, our) farewell to 2016. 

In May, Ja & I went on our honeymoon to London, Windsor and Nottingham.  It was a jam-packed & fun-filled few days.  We thoroughly enjoyed every minute and totally spoiled ourselves. #BetterLondonThanNever Click for pictures here.  

In June, I road-tripped to a little slice of heaven, right here on the East Coast: Bald Head Island. I met up with friends from Texas and crashed their family vacation for a few days and nights and it was great to see them all and play in the sand!

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July ended quickly with a lot of activity.  Thanks to NBC4’s promo on the DC Animal Welfare League’s Clear the Shelters weekend, we found ourselves an already TV-famous four-legged friend.  His name fits as he is a complete mix of shar-pei, basset hound and something else …or a few somethings, Rhino!  #Rhino2016

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Rhino bonded with Ja for a few days while I headed to Philadelphia to volunteer as a suite bouncer at the Democratic National Convention.  I worked hard, made new friends, saw old friends and most importantly:  witnessed a lot of history up close!  I’ll leave it at that, you can read this blog for wayyyy more details and pictures!

We took in a lot of Washington Nationals (NLDS Champions!) baseball, headed to Edisto Beach for a week, saw Molly turn 10 and even built an almost life-sized Tower Bridge out of Legos!  

All in all, life is good, but bring on 2017 already!!!

For the Facebook official year-in-review you can click here!  Fun Times!

 

9 Things I Am Looking Forward to & Getting Excited About in the 9th Month of 2012

1.  Election 2012!

I am inspired and energized by the conventions. Yes, both of them.  And yes, of course, I thought one was better than the other, but we’ll chalk that up to my going to college in North Carolina.

 Now is the time!

 I am indeed “fired up and ready to go!” and by “go” I mean go get my T-shirt out of storage that says so. 

Which brings me to…

2.  ‘Tis the season for wearing your favorite school, team and candidate every single day. Not just Game Day, not just Election Day, not just Game Seven, but every day!

Go Blue!
It’s Lauren & Stu!

Enough Said!

Go Green, Go Gold!

LES The Nat’s Fan!

Team Smedberg!


3.  Donating Blood. 

See my friend (and yours), Craig Fifer’s guest blog post about how and why to do so.

I am excited in September to encourage it because of Jordan and because spreading the word is all I can do.

Being “medically ineligible” to donate does not mean I can’t ask (ok, beg) you to donate, offer to drive you, go with you, hold your hand the entire time, I can!  So, what do ya say? Let’s go give!

 4.  The Fall Market.

LESt you forget, Do More with LES can also help you with your home-buying (& even refinancing) needs.  I have a Virginia real estate license on referral status with McEnearney Associates and I’m happy to help you in any way I possibly can.

Preparing to move? Do More with LES can help you with just about anything and everything.  Here are a few testimonials to convince you!  And this blog post is a good one, too!

I frequently hold open houses for Sue Goodhart & The Goodhart Group and would love to have you stop in to see me.  Just “like” Do More with LES on Facebook to find out where I am on any given Sunday.

5.  The Boss! Bruce Springsteen is coming to Nationals Park this Friday night and I am really looking forward to going.  This has been on the bucket list for 35 years, so a thank you shout-out to my season ticket holder friend for scoring tix well in advance! 

6.  Michigan at Notre Dame.

Yes I said at.  I am going to my very first University of Michigan football game on September 22nd at the University of Notre Dame. Mom and I will fly to Chicago and drive to South Bend, Indiana.  Having never been to Indiana and I can’t wait.  Thank you shout-out again for friends in high places who scored me some tickets!  Yes, my favorite Wolverine will be meeting up with us in South Bend to cheer on his team.  Hard to believe he just started his Senior year.  Seems like only yesterday we posed for this pic after his Freshman Convocation.

One Proud Sister & One Excited Wolverine!

7.   A much-needed and long-overdue trip to St. Louis to see 1) my godmother Mary Ann, 2) John, a family friend and freshman at Washington University, and lastly, the St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium as they play the (hopefully still #1) Washington Nationals! 

8.  My new friend Josh in NYC.  I miss him.  Thank goodness for a good blog, twitter, facebook and texts or I’d go crazy!  A return trip to NYC is set.  11/17, baby!  Just 69 more days.  (Thank you, DaysUntil app!) 

9. Eleven. 

In New York City I spent time at the 9/11 Memorial.  Stop for moment on September 11th, this Tuesday, and remember those that our Nation lost.   Moms, dads, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nieces, cousins, nephews, fiancées, expectant parents, Clergymen & women, Firefighters, Police Officers, nurses, doctors, women, men, children, boys, girls, neighbors, clients, friends, … Humans.

Thank-You for Reading!