when I grow up. .

I want to be

an elementary teacher
a designer
a therapist
a musician
a tech gal
a computer engineer
video editor
a children's book author
an english teacher
a traveler
a dancer
a writer
a photographer
an architect
an interior designer
a wedding planner
a maker of wedding invitations
a cute business owner
an artist
a chef
a trail guide
a kayak instructor
a nurse
a wife
a preschool teacher
a social worker
a mom
a grandmother

yeah. sounds about right.


Mc. .. Mc. . . Michael Jackson

Three things.

Thing One.
We were watching the news today.
It's pretty sad that Michael Jackson died and stuff. . .
We were all pretty worked up,
Except for my dad.
Who we kept entertained by saying 'Freak' throughout the program.
But the BEST part of the night was when the news reporter introduced their attorney, 'Mc. . Mc. . McMullin'.
This was funny because it took us back to McDonalds three years ago, when we were hungry and traveling. and my dad ordered a 'Mc. . Mc. . Mcnugget'.
So when the news reporter stumbled on his mcs, naturally, we laughed for like ten mintues.

Thing Two.
In mission prep this morning, a man said that he went to seoul korea on his mission. I turned to Christine, and said, "Michael Jensen is there!". She turned to me and was like "He died, Lauren." I couldn't believe it. And was extremely confused as to why I hadn't heard this. Tears were almost coming out of my eyes, and I asked "Like on his mission, as an elder?" She looked confused and really slowly said, "M i c h a e l J a c k s o n d i e d." Oh. . . Michael JACKSON. Then I laughed, extremely relieved.

Thing Three.
Michael Jackson was great. I wish that all music videos were as cool as his were. Way cool. It's true, he was a bit of a freak, with his umbrella and everything else. But great.

My Favorite:
YouTube - Michael Jackson - Bad


All In Five Days

2 credits.
Kind strangers.
Funny friends.
Folk Songs.
Rounds. Rounds. and Rounds.
5 Dollar Foot Long.
Craig Jessop.
Best friends.
Slim Fasts and Spagetti.
Adult-aged Children.
Cruella DeVille.
Interpretative Dance.
Boom Boom Pow.
Lost phone x 6.
Dr. Pepper.
Wrong car?
Wilderness Pee.
A Thousand Splendid Suns.
16 year old boys.
Engagement rings.
Blowing on faces.
Wal Mart Runs.
Night dancing?
Wi Fi Searching.
Homework Rythmns.
Folk Dances.


My Week

has felt like this.
Except just add some dancing, recorders, and instead of harry potter characters, replace that with old folk songs and other fun songs.


It's Fathers Day Today


And my father wins!

because he is the funniest person I know.

The other day I got a random letter from my good friend's mission companion. Haha. Enclosed with the letter, was a picture. Him and a Tongan companion. On the back it said, 'I'm on the right - not the Tongan'.

My dad of course had to come up with something way better to send back. In the morning I woke up and found on the counter two photo shopped pictures with me and various Tongan women, explaining to this guy which one I was. Not the Tongan, that is.

He loves Seinfeld. And Jerry sometimes reminds me of him. Especially this episode.

He always talks about how he is going to be so scary when someone picks us up from a date or something, and jokes about sitting on the porch with a gun, which would never be found in our home. But, for some reason, when the boys get to the door he just smiles and laughs and the threatening words never come. Which I think is funny.

Also, he nicknames people a lot. Which makes me laugh. Rylee Jo Swandive, McHenry, Ereeka, Asquexis, Elixer, Squash Monster, Tanya, Sister Blackham, Austonian, Bailey, Shad, Charles (Manson). And all my friends right now he just groups together as Donald Duck's nephews: Dewey, Huey, and Lewey and sometimes adds random rhymes.

Thanks to him, I'm a little bit funny sometimes.

I just love my daddy.


Also . . .

My best friend is ENGAGED!


I'm so excited.


Orange is one of my favorite colors.

I bought an orange tank-top today.

Just for her.

Because Orange can really brighten any day.



Yesterday, Tonya met my grandmother.
What a great day.
My grandma speaks in mostly gibberish since her stroke

Then, on the way home, she asked, "Lauren, Why does your grandma speak Spanish?"

I laughed.

Which I do a lot with that darlin'


Feel the Truth

Become a fan of Willy Eklof on Facebook

Every so often, the wounds open again and I 'feel the truth'

For Garrick


and Alexis and Amanda

And often all at the same time.

My friend, Willy is amazing.
And he wrote this song for Derek

That day that I found out about the car accident and Alexis and Amanda's death, all I could do was just play this song over and over again and cry.

Willy, you really have no idea how much this song helped me, not only with Derek's death, but with Alexis's. Your words were really such a comfort to me.

All four of these dear friends were really too sweet to stay here in this wretched place for the entirety of their life. And each one has changed me in different ways, and, like Willy, my life will go on but it will never be the same.

I cannot wait until the end when I can see these smiling faces again.



can brighten any day.

And I am the luckiest person to have the best jobs

Where I get to laugh every day

With my dear grandma

Yesterday, my grandpa made a hat out of those squishy balls and wore it and my grandma laughed.

Today, I wore the same hat, and put a petal on my grandma's nose the whole time we were learning our phonics.

And every couple of minutes, my grandma would get into a laughing fit and want to show my grandpa.

I have the best grandparents.


Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Me.

Here I am.

to Know.

But Here I go.

1. I hate shopping, but I could spend hours and hours at the DI, any bookstore, and the library.
2. I love to read. When I was little, I would never stop reading. Kind of a nerd.
3. One time, I peed on a stuffed animal at DI.
4. Right now, I am organizing my music library which has taken me countless hours.
5. I love my three sisters more than anything. And they know how to make me laugh and I'm so funny when I'm with them.
6. I am just like my mom. When I do things, like get really excited, I talk super high and fast. Which I hate. And get to blame my mother. But, I love her. So I'm excited to be a little Stefanie.
7. When I get into a things, I GET INTO things. Like, right now, I've been watching Pushing Daisies. And it's all I've been doing. But, I love it.
8. I love movies. I love looking at them, watching them, owning them, laughing at them.
9. Like Katie, I am obsessed with evenness and know exactly what she's talking about when she hits one arm because the other one got hit by someone or something.
10. I secretly love school
11. I hate it when my fingernails get long.
12. I hate wearing makeup. Half of the time, I don't even wear it.
13. Once when I was little, I made bikinis out of washcloths for me and my sisters.
14. I used to be obsessed with video games. Unfortunately, we never had any. So, I used my friends for their video games. And was very disappointed, when despite the number of YEARS I asked for a gameboy, I never got one.
15. I love tetris 64.
16. I am afraid of elevators. I always take the stairs, unless I'm at the Empire State Building, or Wells Fargo building. At which time I was almost hyperventating.
17. I have a unibrow. Without tweezers, I would be one ugly girl.
18. Everyday, I change like four times.
19. That's why my room gets messy.
20. I am afraid of diving boards, also.
21. I want to be a computer geek. Really bad
22. No bake cookies are so yum.
23. After shopping at Macey's, I am indescribably happy.
24. I love musicals and plays, but can't sing, dance, or act.
25. All of my grandparents are alive. And I love them all very much.
26. I hate little dogs. Especially little chihuahuas. Named Princess. That wipe their bum on the carpet and yelp and bite.
27. I get distracted really easily. By anything.
28. Once, when I was in elementary school, I was on a swing pretending like I was swimming, and a teacher came and asked me what I was doing. I said, "Swimming". She said, "We don't swim at school." My dreams were crushed.
29. I like to zone off and be in my own little world. A lot.
30. My favorite places to be are at the beach, under the sun, playing in the water, playing frisbee. And at Lake Powell, under the sun, playing in the water, riding on the water weenie.
31. When we used to go to Lake Powell a lot, I was glued to the water weenie.
32. I don't really wear jewelery. Except I love rings.
33. I love love love love my backyard
34. Sometimes I like texting, sometimes I hate texting.
35. One day, I want to have traveled everywhere and met a lot of way cool people
36. I love having really deep conversations with people
37. There is nothing I can't stand more than judgemental and self-righteous people.
38. My biggest pet peeve is when people stick their gum on their plates. and Holly does it EVERY day
39. Inside jokes are funny and I love them.
40. I want to be multilingual.
41. In October, I can turn in my papers to go on a mission. And I want to.
42. I love planning. I love lists and planners
43. I love making charts, like job charts, daily charts, happy charts (which I make for Tonya).
44. Children make me laugh. That's why I want to be with them everyday. All day.
45. There's nothing that makes me feel better than a nice run.
46. I love hot showers and hot baths
47. I love chia pets. And grow your own boyfriends. And sponge peeps, which my roommates just got for me.
48. I love being around people that have different views on life. That think differently.
49. I miss all of my friends that are on missions. A lot.
50. I am not competitive. But, I really like playing sports and games. And I'm way good at Nerts, Ticket to Ride, and really really like Frisbee.
51. Every year I get a Mary Engelbreit calendar. Because I love her. Thanks Amy and Lexie.
52. I secretly wish I was Ginny Weasley because I'm in LOVE with Harry Potter.
53. When I'm driving in my car alone, I sing really loud. And I dance, sometimes when people are in the car too.
54. I've ridden an elephant before.
55. I really like self-help and psychology books. Even when they don't even apply to me. Like The Five Love Languages of Love and all those relationship/parenting books.
56. I love organizing things and having all of my things really organized.
57. I like dance parties a lot
58. I like being weird
59. I like workout videos.
60. I LOVE weddings. I've said that before, but I had to again, because I love wedding magazines, wedding blogs, wedding invitations, wedding dresses. I want to someday own a wedding business. Or something way cool like that.
60. And. Someday I want to be really good at EVERYTHING. and dazzle everyone.

I did 60, twice, cuz 61 isn't an even, nice number divisible by ten. Seriously.

That is me.


I'm Proud to be a Sparks

My Great Uncle Bunk is a wonderful person to look up to.

With his loving, kind heart.
His optimistic attitude after his accident
His patience with having people understand him
His hugs
How I could tell that he cared for me
As a child, I loved sitting near him. He was my favorite.

I have so many reasons to be so proud to be a Sparks
First of all.
Who wouldn't want their last name to be a Sparks?
When you are a Sparks, like my dad, grandpa, and Uncle Bunk, you

never tire
are always working
gentle and kind
yet tough
and hard
have high expectations for your children
religious, but far from self-righteous or showy

and I love that at the Sparks' funerals there are
Pepsi colas, swearing over the pulpit, and some of the greatest people to ever know.

I'm Proud to be a Sparks and hope I can live up to the name.



"How does he do that?",
my dad asked on my phone this morning while I was pulling out of the driveway, still able to see me.

"I have NO idea,"
I replied.

Let me explain.

My next door neighbor is old.
And lonely.
And grouchy.
And a little creepy.

Because for some weird reason knows exactly when to come outside and 'bump into' one of us.

Not even joking.
EVERY time I walk outside, he's there.
EVERY time my dad wants to work on the garden or work outside, he's there.
EVERY time anyone comes over, he's there.
EVERY time anyone ever goes out the front door, he's there.

This is why I pretend to be on my phone every time I walk from my car to my house,
See my dad peeking out the window all the time,
See my dad inside during his lunch break,
Pretend like I don't hear what he's saying,
Run into my home,
Spend all my time on the left side of my house, hidden from view,
And much more.

Well, he's a stalker, that one.
Because as soon as you walk out the door, you're no longer safe.
You are now warned.


Unrealistic Expectations

So, apparently girls have unrealistic expectations. . .


no way.

But here are some of my past loves and hope for the future


First, we have
You know, from Hey Arnold?
Yes, I was a lot like Helga.
And loved that football head.
No gum sculpture in my closet though.

Next, Yeah Yeah.
Yeah. . .
I liked him too.
Recognize him?
The Sandlot.

Then, Twister Rodrigues.
Remember Rocket Power?
Yeah, I LOVED him.
And his helmet with wings.
So many daydreams

Then, the one and only John Stockton.
What little girl didn't have a crush on him?
Thanks to him, I know what 3 times 4 is.

Not TOO unrealistic, Right?