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My name is Lauren…and I am an OCR.

Well, if you haven’t read my “About Me” section, here’s a quick rundown. My name is Lauren. I’m 28. We live in South Carolina. I have an A.A. with a concentration in elementary education and a B.S. in Psychology. In two years, when my son can start 4K, I will be going back to school to become a licensed counselor (at the very least). I have accepted the responsibility of putting my education on hold so we can become financially stable (better late than never!). I have been married almost 9 years to MW (man-wo lol). We were 19, young and in love. It’s been rough, but we have made it and we are content and happy. We have two beautiful children, Princess (8 yrs – girl) and Prince (2 yrs – boy). We also have two dogs, Bruiser (my puggle) and Willow (our lab/husky mix). We live in the country on Lake Murray, and other than freezing in the winter and dealing with bugs in the summer, we LOVE it.

Another thing I love?! Reading. I am an OCR – Obsessive Compulsive Reader. That is not an “official” psychology label, but rather something I jokingly came up with for myself. I read A LOT. I mean, I can read an entire series in just a few days. I become absorbed by the story and kind of ignore everything. My husband is the same way. He is currently reading a series and I do not exist haha But it’s comforting to lay beside each other at night after the kids are asleep and just hold hands or entwine our legs and read. No words need to be spoken, but the touch and closeness is comforting. I think that shows a real relationship, after so many stressful years.

Anywho, back to the point of this post, My name is Lauren..and I am an OCR. I am not ashamed of it. I do feel guilty when my children want to play or go outside and I just want to read, but I do make up for it! We are a family who loves electronics, so we are absorbed most of the time. But at the same time we are always around each other and take strength from that closeness. We are teaching our rather cautious Princess how to ride a bike with no training wheels. She is growing in confidence every day, and I am SO proud of her. It is powerful watching your child learn something that YOU are teaching them. What a feeling of utter joy! And waiting until they are ready instead of pushing them builds their confidence much more steadily.

Man, this post is all over the place. I apologize, it’s just been a while since I’ve written and I have a lot of ideas floating around. I just finished the Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins. It’s a YA novel (directed toward teenagers), but the storyline is pretty fantastic! I may start blogging about reading. I love to gush about my favorite novels. I’ll consider that, because I am seriously obsessed with reading good books. Key word being good. After the first chapter I can tell you whether I will like the book or not. Since I love to read, if I don’t like the book, I’m not going to finish it. No use wasting my precious time reading something I’m not going to like just because. Once I start a book, it becomes my entire focus. I do put it down and spend time with the kids, but in all of my “downtime” (which is every few hours for about 30 minutes), I am reading. And I stay up late. Way too late haha

reading-a-book-funny-quotes

I know there are others out there that do the same thing. I see a bunch of groups on Goodreads agreeing to read the same books and monitoring conversations…but I just want to read and gush when I feel like it lol If you want, look up my Goodreads account and recommend some books. Or comment here!

Well, done with my random thoughts. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! If you have no idea what I just talked about…pick up a book and get absorbed in it. And if you DO know what I’m talk about, you rock! 😉 lol

Mental Monday ~ Day 1

Today’s the day! The day I start my very first organized topic week!! I am a psychology major, so anything that deals with the mind interests me. Some of my blogs will be about mental disease, issues, and new age treatment. My life topics will cover love, relationships, and kids.

I guess I called it “Mental” Monday because Manic/Maniac Mondays just didn’t sound right to me. Being mental is what it’s all about. Intelligence, anxiety, self-image, and feelings all tie in with your mind. Sometimes I feel like I love my husband and children so much that no one in this world could love someone else like I love my family. I feel so strongly, that writing this blog is helping me focus. This is key to my Mental Mondays…

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LIFE

What a wonderful way to describe life. You must live life forward, but the only way to understand it is to look at it backwards…in the past. I’m sure every one of you have made mistakes you wish you could take back. Whether it was something big or something little, everyone has made a mistake. The key to life, however, is learning from those mistakes. Touch a hot stove once and burn your finger, you won’t touch it again (at least adults won’t…it takes a few times for little kids…and I’ve touched it not thinking, but you get the drift!).

Life is eternity. It is yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is 100 years ago and 100 years from now. It is giving birth to another human being, saying “I do” to the love of your life, and navigating the daily droll of work, peer pressure, and societal expectations.

It is not our destiny to understand life. It is our destiny to live it.

For years I focused on finding the meaning of life and the “pursuit of happiness.” I wasted hours, days, years on trying to perfect my life…instead of living every moment to the fullest. When my son was born in 2012, it seemed like my world exploded. I began to feel every emotion, see every color, and hear every sound. I thought I felt before, but nothing prepared me for what followed his birth. I love my Princess, but my Prince altered my state of mind. I had my daughter when I was 19. A child. Of course I did not realize that then, but 8 years later I’ve gained some much needed wisdom.

So what is the key to a happy life? Well, that’s a little harder to explain. It is different for every person. One individual may want to accomplish great things in science, while another wants a large family. AND, life is never set in stone. I swore on my existence I would not live forever in South Carolina. When my husband joined the military, I was SO excited to leave the state.  I’ve seen Europe and the whole eastern coast, so I was dead set on settling somewhere new. Then when my husband left the military, we moved back to SC and we settled in the country, a place we used to hate. Now, for the first time in our lives, we feel at home. We are renting now but we plan on buying some land in a couple of years. 10 years ago I would have laughed in your face if I would have thought I would actually like staying in South Carolina. But now I cannot picture us anywhere else. It sure does feel awesome knowing where we belong.

Everything in life changes. Your job may change, your relationship, your financial statues, your passions. Make the best of what you have when you have it, and learn to go with the flow.

The point of this long drawn out post is that life is full of surprises, accomplishments, failures, and mistakes. If you want a happy life, you have to learn to compartmentalize all that happens to you so you can learn from your past, to improve your future. It really is that simple.

Good Morning from SC, USA!!

Let the sun shine on you today!
Let the sun shine on you today!

I woke up to a cold, brittle day in good ole southern USA. South Carolina is know for it’s hot and humid summers and mild winters. Well, this winter has been anything BUT mild. We’ve been averaging near freezing temperatures every day, which is SO NOT COOL (well, it’s technically cold as shittake but whatever! haha). This is so unlike our normal weather. I’m a warm weather gal, so the only thing that warms me up nowadays are the smiles from my husband and children, the bright sun shining down on me, and a good cup of joe, or as my son calls it, “caw-kee.”

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

Watching three kids, plus my two, is tiring to say the least. My kids will pretty much eat ANYTHING, but my 3 additions are extremely picky. Like, they eat ham sandwiches every day for lunch and they would live off plain hot dog wieners if I let them. I scoured recipes online for weeks looking for some kid-friendly, easy recipes and I came across this one from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

These babies were a HIT with all the kids (my 2, and the 3 that I nanny) and my husband. They were relatively quick to put together, only required 3 main ingredients, and they look so fun and yummy!! The key to making these look pretty is putting them in the freezer for 15 minutes after you assemble the log. Letting the dough firm up a bit helps keep the pinwheel shapes when you cut the log.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

Make sure to lightly flour your work surface. Crescent roll dough gets sticky the longer it’s out in the open!

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

Roll out the crescent roll dough and seal the perforated edges as best as you can. (No matter how many times I tried the edges kept coming apart, but it still worked ok!!)

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

Spread mayo, mustard, or whatever else you want onto the dough. Then layer the deli sliced ham and cheese. (Add however much you want!)

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

This part was a little tricky. I had to roll a little on the left, then a little on the right, and then the middle. I did this a few times until it was completely rolled up. Try to make it as tight as you can!

All rolled up & ready for the freezer!
All rolled up & ready for the freezer!

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

After you let the log sit in the freezer for about 15 minutes, slice the log into 1/2-1 inch slices. Place on a lightly sprayed pan.

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels - Quick, easy, fun recipe for busy nights...and there's only 3 main ingredients!! crazyforsanity.wordpress.com

Bake at 350 deg for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with Ranch, Honey Mustard, or whatever your heart desires!!

And there you have it! Simple to make, quick to bake, and so good it’ll make your shoes quake! (haha-you see what I did there?) We ended up serving these with chips on the side, but feel free to serve these as an appetizer, snack, or dinner item. Let me know what you pair it with so I can try it!

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz or 12 oz crescent rolls
  • 4-6 slices deli ham, any flavor & preferably thicker than standard sandwich slices
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • mayo
  • mustard
  • dipping sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. Lightly flour work surface.
  2. Roll out crescent roll dough and seal perforated edges.
  3. Spread mayo, mustard, or any other condiment lightly across the dough from one end to the other.
  4. Layer the ham and cheese. Put however much you want on it, but don’t make it too thick or it won’t roll correctly!
  5. Starting from the long side, roll up the dough until you form a log shape. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is a little firm.
  6. Remove from freezer and cut dough every 1/2-1 inch to form the pinwheels. Place on lightly greased baking pan.
  7. Bake at 350 deg for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with Ranch, Honey Mustard, or anything else!

I really hope y’all enjoy these. We ate so many of them it isn’t even funny. My husband ended up going back for more and more and more (I made two batches). Each batch gave me between 15-18 pinwheels. It just depends on how thin or thick you want them. **Remember, the thicker the pinwheel, the longer time it will take to cook.** Although we didn’t have any leftovers I’m sure these will be good reheated the next day!

Kindness…It Goes a Long Way

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My daughter’s school puts out a digital newsletter every week highlighting upcoming events, special days, and important reminders. As I was reading through it, I came across this quote being shared for an upcoming charity event and it struck a cord in my heart.

How true is this statement?

No act of kindness, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, is ever wasted. -Aesop

Acts of kindness are often judged by the size of the situation. But in reality, every act of kindness means something. Whether you open the door for a stranger, help a person stranded on the side of a highway, or make dinner for a new mother and father, every act of kindness counts.

I think this fact is shadowed by all the hate, killing, and drama around the world. If every person were to commit just one act of kindness every day, the world would be a much better place. Yes, there’s wars in almost every country, poverty, death, destruction. BUT, one act of kindness can bring light to our darkening world. Sitting around watching all the hate that takes place solves nothing. Hoping, praying, and thinking of a better world does nothing.

Actions speak louder than words.

Understand it, promote it, live it. For such a simple concept, it amazes me how many people don’t follow it.

It’s amazing how the universe sometimes just “gets you.” While grocery shopping last night, my 8 year old Princess helped an elderly woman put her grocery cart up (she just did it on her own). Princess saw her struggling and without a second thought she walked up to the woman and asked if she could take her cart. The woman was surprised, thankful, and amazed that a child acted in kindness. A simple act of kindness went a long way, both for Princess (who does things like this ALL the time) and for the elderly woman.

Teach your children to be kind. Do one act of kindness every day. If we all make an effort to make the world a better place, one day it WILL be a better place.

In conclusion, enjoy this video of Random Acts of Kindness from around the world.

Random Acts of Kindness caught on film