Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

exposure cowboy

when i take photos, i use a digital exposure checker to be certain my colors are correct.

this is stroman helping me with the exposure card.

but i don't care about the colors - look at the smilin' blue eyes on that precious boy!

plus, he's got it upside down which won't tell me much on my histogram.


it's horrible to discover that you've done something wrong. and i believe i have discovered just that.

i might have made a mistake.

see, i don't really think anyone reads my blog. just me. maybe mindi. amy s comes by occassionally. my mom doesn't even read it. drew does if i ask him to...

and then, the other day i got an email from someone saying they enjoyed the photos. how nice, i thought as i folded the blank-ing neverending laundry. (that's for amy!) then i wondered if said nice person was actually some dirty perv...then i was distracted by trying to match socks and didn't go down that sordid bunny trail.
point being - i think my neighbors with the motorcycle read my blog - YIKES!

since my last post i haven't heard one, NOT ONE, single rev of the engine. during nap time or any other time.

when we trick or treated at their house, they seemed nice. (yes, i'm that person. the one that let's her kids take your candy one day and complains about you the next. the "anti-Laren" fan club is in full force somewhere, be sure to sign up.)

thank you neighbors for not revving during naptime.

i'll try not to blog in anger. And now, photos of the kids...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

i've been fighting this

but i can't anymore.

dear neighbor,

how nice it must be that you were guided to buy a motorcycle during your Quarter Life Crisis. it's been nice to know that you enjoy revving the engine of your bad-ass machine from the safety of your loud-ass garage every day. it doesn't seem to have any trouble with the engine, so why not just start it and drive away? is that too much to ask? it is a form of an automobile, yes? ride away!!!

how nice it must be that you apparently didn't decide to have children. how nice it must be not to worry about making sure your children get a good nap so that the witching hour (which is actually 2-3 hours) from 4-6 isn't something that drives you to drink.

however, when you rev your engine everyday 10 minutes into nap time i imagine you might also think it nice to move your ass away from me before i go postal.

have a great day!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

this a.m.

8:00 cereal in bowls, juice in cups, all at table

8:01 realize we are out of milk and convince kids to eat cereal like a snack

8:04 feeding lexi when cyd asks how i get my body to make milk for baby to drink. that's a fun thing to explain to a 4 year old. she took it well.

8:22 remember it is trash day and quickly gather and take trash outside to place on curb. painfully aware as i wave at the neighbor that a) i haven't even knocked the crud out of my eyes from waking up, b) i didn't get the nursing bra hooked back up correctly, c) my hair looks like someone with curly hair who...well, imagine little orphan annie, but less cute and like she had a wild night on the town.

8:24 dressed to head to store for milk, remember that i broke the garage door last night and i haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. decide i just won't get milk. we have water. wonder, "will kids eat cherrios with water tomorrow for breakfast? is that legal?"

8:26 kids ask me to set up tent in living room. done. with tunnels. check. i'm guessing that could provide 35-60 minutes of entertainment and 45 minutes of clean-up!

i need to add that during all of the above, stroman was running around commando in his pj's because i couldn't find his undies. we HAD been on a trip, but still - i came home with clean undies for him and couldn't find them.

and, this small window into our lives was humorous to me. we were stuck in the house. no milk. half naked. that's a good tuesday.

unfortunately, wednesday has already begun so i'll have to catch up on the rest of tuesday another time.

i think i'll have time the 12th of Never or when all the kids are gone to college.

Monday, May 11, 2009

monkey toes

what color do you think it is?

Stroman had another night terror a few nights back.

Judging by how he was screaming "Mommy hold you!" it must have been something tragic that kept me from getting to him in his nightmare.

The next morning, we discussed the episode over breakfast.

"Stroman, did you have a bad dream last night," Drew asked.

"Yeah," Stroman pouted.

"Were you scared?" Drew asked.

"Yeah," the little guy admitted. He's 2-years-old and this episode lasted close to an hour of him screaming, not waking up, just screaming.

Cyd pipes up, "Stroman, did you dream that you got eaten by an alligator? Because I dreamed that once and I was terrified."

"What did the inside of the alligator look like, Cyd?" I joke.

"It's pink," she said without skipping a beat. "Really. It is. I saw it."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


yesterday i drove to big spring, texas to pick up sniggles from her weekend with her biological father. during the brief 5-hour drive there i normally a) listen to talk radio, b) drink excessive amounts of coffee and c) consider things to blog about.

apparently the DR was good listening because i only came up with blog tidbits...

  • i'm EAGERLY awaiting the arrival of my new lens...drew and i made a deal that if i were hired for the pecos prom, i could purchase a new lens for the upcoming wedding season. i'm terribly hesitant when it comes to buying new equipment for photography. thank you to drew for your encouragement. i love new toys.
  • stroman's sentences are amazing me daily. when i pick him up from "school" he says things like, "I fall down on playground. I have owie on hand. Maria tiss (kiss) it for me. It get better. And I watch movie with Diego. Go Diego Go. I play with Avery and Soren and Luke."
  • cyd is registered for kindergarten. she'll be going to generations and we're using it as a year to continue education and see if she's ready for public school. her august birthday gives us the option of waiting another year before she hits the big leagues. she'll have about 6 classmates and an incredible teacher.
  • we had a garage sale a few weeks ago and cleaned out SO much stuff. i'm thinking we may set one up for next weekend...i have a couch that i am tired of & ready to replace.
  • our next wedding is at this little dive. we can't wait to go back! have done a couple of weddings there before and it is an incredible place with terrific food and hosts.
  • baby lexi is a mere 10 weeks away (or less!)... we've rearranged the kids rooms, gotten new bedding for them and for lexi. i'm a nesting fiend. cleaning, organizing, re-organizing what i've already organized, decluttering, thinking i'm totally running out of time...

have a great Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

what would you do?

we received a call late last night...about 10 p.m. on our land line, which is never good.

it was a girl who has babysat for us before.

she wanted us to cover for her because she told her mom she was here keeping the kids...i asked where she had been.

she told me she was at the movies with her boyfriend.

her mom is calling this a.m. to confirm that the girl has been at our house keeping our kids several times in the past few weeks.

she hasn't.

would you cover for the 16-year-old who is dating even though her parents don't want her to?
or would you give her up?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

simply that time of year...

when coaches move.

and discuss job opportunities.

and dig out the resume to shine it up if something seems interesting.

it doesn't always mean that life isn't good. more often than not, looking at a new job is simply part of going through this time of the year.

here's my theory. coaches are constantly looking for the next challenge and when they hear about a program that needs revamping, most of the coaches think about how they could take on that challenge.

lately, drew has had some interesting options brought to the table from some different schools. and we are investigating the options.

but don't think that we won't be thrilled if we stay here. we have friends. the kids have a great school. we have a beautiful house. why wouldn't we want to stay?

the main draw is getting back to Texas. getting closer to family and being around more people who "get" us.

roswell hasn't been the MOST welcoming place i've ever lived. one man that i worked with on a project flat out told me not to try to hard to socialize with natives. "It just isn't worth the effort," he said. "If you didn't grow up with them, they won't ever let you in."

i'm a stubborn chick and didn't think that could possibly be true, but i've found that it isn't far from the truth.

one night we were at a social function and a few ladies were raving about how much fun they have at book club. ignorantly, at the end of the evening i said, "next time you guys get together for book club, let me know. i'd love to come."

my vision of meeting new people was quickly shattered as it was awkwardly explained that the book club already had ten members and was, well, slightly exclusive.

i felt like an idiot. i never meant to put the woman in a strange spot by over-inviting myself. drew was dumbfounded as to what to say when i was in tears on the way home. i just felt stupid deep down in each cell of my body.

i woke the next day a bit past humiliated and was mad. i'm a decent person and damn it, a published author - of two books - and i'm not good enough for their book club? if i had any friends of my own i would have started my own club that day...not exclusive...everyone invited. i wouldn't even require them to be able to read. come one, come all!

disclaimer - i realize that not many people want to delve into a horse training book, but the point is that these people didn't know me or even care to take an hour one evening to see if i could put a sentence together.

back to today:
things are better. i have met some great people & made friends and drew & i even have couple friends that we hang out with. and, i need to give credit to those natives that i've become friends with now!

and we are 98% sure we've decided to stay put for a while.

of course, drew did get a call last night about an opportunity.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

should i?


or maybe not.

but i did.

i started a new blog. odd, you say, she never seems to update her current blog...

true. however, i think i'll be forced to update the new one simply to survive.

we've just returned from our spring break vacation. it generated tons of info for both blogs. i'll begin the information overload this week. maybe.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

because i keep meeting new people, it sometimes seems like this should be of my first blog postings. this is from 2007. now, life is completely different. cyd is 4, stroman 2, baby lexi is due in july...and we live in a completely different state.

but here's where we were then:

where to start...or stop

what i can't seem to grasp...(totally in the blogger world, if we expanded this into regular life, dear God, i'd be typing forever. there is so much i don't understand about the world, i.e. brittney spears, the success of the 700 club and why i think hulk hogan is a good dad. )

so, back to the point - i have had lots of things happen in my life...some exhilarating, some tragic and most of them touched with a bit of humor - but how to i open up to what could be complete strangers? then my husband reminded me that i do just that every time i go to the grocery store and say something offhand to a fellow shopper.

so, here we go. my name is laren bridges. i live in alpine, texas, with my husband drew, our daughter, cydney and our son, stroman. george, mutt of the year, lives in the back yard and is now so old and lazy that he won't even chase the birds away from his food bowl. lazy bastard. he's been a good dog.

drew and i have been married a bit more than a year. love, love, love. finally found someone tough enough to stop my strong will when he needs to and yet willing to talk to me, let me be me (she who speaks without a filter) and be my best friend every day.i have some interesting tales - but most (if not all) are the antithesis of politically correct. where should i start...the day i had to shoot my dog because it was eating my pigs? or perhaps the time pigs attacked my house in canyon, texas. i've been thrown off horses, kicked by calves, president of a stellar sorority at Texas Tech University and had meetings with George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas - the second time, he called me by name.

or, do i just tell you this and see if you come back for more: what would you people want to know about me? i'm married to the love of my life, drew. we met in alpine while i was on a work trip taking photos for the ranch cutting horse association. i was out at the reata the night before my photography job and a group of guys started up some conversation...long story short, i decided that drew was quite obviously the cute one and well, at this point, who knows who fell first, but point is - we are married. we have two children. cydney is 3 years (from my previous marriage.) stroman was born feb. 12, 2007.

random info: i grew up in sweetwater, texas. attended a small (seriously, i was one of 15 graduates) six-man school near there. it was such a small school that any warm body played sports. i love to compete, so i played basketball, ran track and cross-country, tennis, golf, and during football season i was decked out in tons of sequins as a twirler.

i was raised on a working cattle ranch in west texas. love ranch life. wouldn't mind doing it again someday.

lots of horror stories - prolapsed cows, how the lamb fetus ended up in mom's freezer, getting pinned between a truck and an iron gate all alone - 10 miles from home, all sorts of random stuff while helping dad - and lots of learning.

i am a published author. i write horse-training books. i've never trained a horse. i was thrown off a horse while interviewing country music star charlie robison for an article when i worked for the American Quarter Horse Association.

i am a sahm/photographer/author. i haven't written a word in about a year. just starting to take photos again. i'm willing to post some of my college poetry...mainly b/c i think some of you might find it humorous that i thought i could be the next jewel - without the guitar, but with straighter teeth.

hmmmm...i was once shot at during an attempted carjacking in dallas. but i sped away and lived to tell the tale. that was one shitty spring break.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

it took forever!

the ultrasound technician did all of the measuring, checking, etc. and baby remained extremely modest. in fact, tech told me that i was welcome to come back when i had my next ob/gyn appt. and see if her door was open to look again and see if we could find out boy or girl.

but this is the second time we'd been in and i was already concocting a plan of walking around the office for 3 minutes and finding out that day. that was our day to find out!

she noticed my distress, printed out all the other pics and finally was able to confirm...

it's a girl!

everything measured in the normal range. all organs seem to be functioning normally. and just as i told my husband within hours of telling him we were pregnant, it is a girl!

we'll call her Lexi. Short for Laren Alexandria. Laren is also my mother's middle name. Alexandria comes from Drew's sister & represents his side of the family.

cyd is psyched about having a little sister. stroman gave us some pjs last night that are too small and said, "for baby wexie" -- makes the ol' heart melt a bit, eh?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

this is the day...

this a.m. we will be dropping by the doc to have our regular visit and are planning to skip down to the ultrasound and learn if we'll be having a boy or girl.

that's usually the highlight. and i'm terribly excited to get to know who we will be welcoming into this world in july.

and yet, there are also so many other issues that could arise today. (can anyone tell that i'm a worrier by nature?) so, i've been deep in prayer for the past few weeks that we will learn about a healthy baby today or that we can deal with any health concerns that we might learn about today. these are the days that as a mom, you kick yourself for that day you skipped your prenatal because it made you nauseous. you wonder if you should have substituted those cravings for a green chile cheeseburger from Tiny's for a less-inticing, but packed with folic acid spinach salad.

so, today we should know which direction we are headed for bedding, stroller, etc. and i've been waiting!

more to come tonight...and i'll try to get you guys some pics.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Joys of Pregnancy

as most of you know, we are pregnant with baby #3.

and at 20 weeks, i should be in the midst of "the glow" - you know, glorious hair, flawless skin, nice nails and a life of ease and beauty. i should damn near look and feel like a chick on some cosmetics commercial.

HOWEVER - this time around i am not glowing. my hair looks less than luxurious. my skin looks as if i'm ready to NOT be asked to prom. and i chipped all of my beautiful nails last week, so we're back to the man hands that have always made me good at manual labor. few women can operate what my family calls blue-handled pliers to build 5-strand barbed-wire fence. but i can. i once suffered carpal-tunnel syndrome from tying in stays...think my sorority sisters know what kind of ambition that takes? i digress.

and, because i haven't gained too much weight, but just enough for it to be noticed, clothing is an issue. i have options between regular pre-prego clothes and maternity clothes and nothing fits. i am simply one van down by the river away from being chris farley...because all i do is pull up my pants! it's an exhausting hobby.

for all of these reasons...there will be no photo to accompany today's post. deal with it. use your imagination.

i know this is only a phase and once the baby bump is more obvious i'll feel beautiful again...i love being pregnant. it's an incredible time and i wouldn't change a bit of it.

except maybe the acne.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

self-control, will power, restraint

these are all words that are not usually *fine, not EVER* associated with me. or my personality.

and today, i'm headed to the grocery store...which happens to be one of my favorite places. but, like Mindi & Zane, we are adhering to the Dave Ramsey FPU classes and i know that this trip to the store will be less than fun.

we've had a budget for a while. now we are actually sticking to it. and today, i only need milk, tissues and some fresh veggies. easy, right?

NO - because all of those glorious food options out there will be trying to seduce me. cheese, meat, bread, potatoes...probably a shiny apple. call me snow white, but my will power is not stronger than a fresh gala apple. with caramel sauce.

wish me luck.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

now it's on...

my husband, drew, he's feeling frisky today.

he's not a fan of the time i spend on the computer. and then today i got the itch to change my blog background.

i've changed it a few times now and since he's currently doing the dishes, i know he's steamed.

but he loves me. so i'm gonna make the bed and we'll call it fair.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hoopty Hoop

cyd started gymnastics this week. and although she's pretty positive she's meant to be a glorious, graceful ballerina, we talked her into the bouncing around.


the teachers were great at making the skills the little ones needed to learn seem like games...they did tons of jumping and following the leader and working different aspects of their extremities.

we are loving that the consistent exposure to the balance beam and trampoline will help with cyd's balance and coordination.

she loved the hoola hoop.

friday, we were driving and she said: "momma, i didn't know how to do the hoola hoop. did you see me?"

yes, baby. you did great! did you like it?

"yep. but i didn't know how to do it. so i practiced last night in my sleep and now, i want to go back to gymnastics and do it better and better and better."

this week, i'll try to get some pictures of these 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds as they prepare for the Olympics. one dream at a time.

Friday, January 16, 2009


what's up with all the cool backgrounds?

i was using "cutestblogontheblock" but now there are errors on the page and i can't get another nifty background.

what do you guys use?

i need suggestions...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Awww, CRAP!!!

have you ever been excited, but a bit um...shall we say, worried about first impressions? like, maybe you forgot to put away the folded underwear on the couch and the preacher's wife just dropped by to deliver some fresh you let her in the house & invite her to sit - or stand like a bodyguard in the door to keep her from seeing your human-ish-ness?

that's where I am right now.

my sweetheart neighbor, Mindi, has just introduced me to her friends in the blogging world & while I'm loving reading her blog, my mind panics! could it be that i still have some lame (although at the time I thought it was pretty) Christmas background still up??? awww, CRAP! i have to get over there and change it before any of Mindi's hip friends see it and learn about the real Laren!

so, hopefully, the onslaught of readers won't be offended if there are a few reindeer lingering on the site. i plan to update more frequently. i vow to blog at least weekly. maybe weakly.

and go see Mindi - she's amazing. i'm green with the envy of 'how does she do it?" and you will be too!