Back in Black!

I am one of the few truly blessed people who can honestly say that they love their job. Being a Sales Associate at Victoria's Secret is an awesome experience. To me, it isn't simply selling bras and panties, but giving women the tools necessary to be confident in their bodies. This is worth so much more than words can describe.

I remember when I started working at VS 2 years ago. Within my first few months of working there, I had 2 of my most memorable experiences:

The first was with an older woman named Karla. She came in by herself on one of the busiest Saturdays I can remember working, practically in tears. She had just lost a LOT of weight (about 70 pounds!) as a result of a medical condition and was having a really difficult time dressing her new body. Karla insisted that nothing would fit her or make her feel good about herself - it just wouldn't be possible anymore, not after what she had been through. I reassured her that I was here to help change that and I promised that I would. I started her off with a bra fitting and we set out walking around the store so I could tell her about each product and find out what she liked. About 2 hours and a missed lunch break later, Karla was up at cash wrap (a.k.a. the cash register) buying 6 new bras and a bag full of new panties, glowing like a firefly on a hot June evening! She gave me a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek before leaving the store while she profusely thanked me for all that I did for her. As soon as she left, I sprinted into the back room and collapsed in the non-merch room, crying and shaking, trying to get a hold on all of the emotions I was feeling. My manager had to come back to make sure I was okay and assured me that these types of experiences were normal... and that I'd be having a lot more like it the longer I worked there.

And she was right! No more than a couple of weeks later, another older woman (I forget her name) came into the store with a similar problem: she had just undergone breast reconstruction after previously losing both breasts to breast cancer. Unlike Karla, this jovial woman was at peace with the journey that led her into VS that day, but was still confused on what to wear underneath her clothing. I repeated the process that I had begun with Karla, but had to alter my technique in the fitting room. As usual, I exited the fitting room as she changed into the first bra, but after I knocked softly and heard no response, I entered back into the room after and saw the woman was staring at herself in front of the mirror, wearing one of the new bras, but was silent. It wasn't until I was closer to her that I realized she was crying! I asked her what was wrong and she managed to whimper out, "I feel beautiful. I haven't felt this good since before the cancer. Thank you for helping me feel this way again." Back to the non-merch room I sprinted...

I guess I don't expect people who don't work at Victoria's Secret to fully understand why I love it so much. Sure, I deal with my fair share of rude customers and screaming children (DON'T get me started on the bratty kids/clueless parents I've witnessed...), but I'll take a year's worth of crappy customers just to have one experience like I did with Karla or the other woman. And my co-workers are incredible! I like telling people that I have 1 brother and about 10 adopted sisters.

I love Victoria's Secret. I am so passionate about every single product and know that the right bras and panties make all the difference... trust me! So, when someone asks me what I want to do after I graduate, the look on their faces when I say, "I want to work at Victoria's Secret!" makes it obvious that my answer wasn't what they were expecting from someone with a Penn State degree.

I've been struggling while looking for jobs lately. I'll be graduating soon, but nothing that dealt with my degree satisfies me. To be honest, no other job BESIDES a Victoria's Secret job has appealed to me, so I met with the store manager at the Nittany Mall today and BAM! I have a job at the Victoria's Secret here starting Friday! I'm so excited to be "back in black" and working at VS again! Although it isn't full-time like I desired, it's a job that I love and it could always lead into something full-time in the future!


Embrace It

I don't deal well with change and/or confusion. I like having plans and, in my (often arrogant) opinion, my original plans are usually "the best." But, when these plans get thrown up in the air or are changed entirely, I go a little crazy... and that's putting it lightly.

There have been many instances in my life where I have had a plan, only to have it crumble before my eyes and leave me wondering what to do next. However, there is always another step or another path waiting for me to take, which leads me to a happiness I could never have imagined for myself. It is truly incredible.

While I recognize these altered or entirely new plans aren't necessarily the ones I initially had for myself, I know that what ultimately is to be is according to Heavenly Father's plan for me - and His plan is the only plan that matters.

I have faith that God's plan for me is perfect... I just may not be able to see or understand it fully at the moment. I can get frustrated and irritated and shut myself down all that I want to, but ultimately I know that I have to embrace the confusion and chaos and simply live out the plan God has for me.

Mark 11:22


Apartment Sweet Apartment

Congratulations to the Penn State wrestling team on their 2nd straight NCAA title!

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to travel to St. Louis to watch the team accomplish this awesome goal. Despite a very long car ride, we got there safely and I enjoyed watching some really great wrestling and seeing the sights in St. Louis. In between sessions on Saturday, Matt and I had hoped to visit the St. Louis temple, but it was closed for maintenance. What a bummer! Instead, we braved the city's St. Patrick's Day parade crowd and headed downtown to see the Gateway Arch in some less-than-perfect weather:

Before I knew it, it was time to pack up and leave St. Louis and to endure another patience-testing car ride home. Matt sacrificed his sanity and rode home with David, Katie, and I.

To add to the eventfulness of the weekend: I had received a phone call from my neighbor, Katie, after the finals on Saturday, but accidentally deleted the voicemail before I had a chance to listen to it. On our way home, I called her back and found out that there had been an incident with my car - some drunken frat boy decided my driver's side door would be a nice place to "relieve" himself on his long stumble back to frat row. Katie confronted him which caused him to stop, but I guess it was still enough to defile Rolla. Katie said she tried to wash all the urine off with water (that's why she's an awesome neighbor/friend!), but I still have to take Rolla to the car wash soon to remove the smudges and fingerprints. Gross.

On a less disgusting note, this weekend made me realize how grateful I am for Matt and our relationship. I understand that most couples are not going to be able to enjoy each other's company 24/7 - there are going to be instances when you get a little cranky and annoyed with the other person and need your own space, but that is no excuse to be outwardly and constantly miserable, thus bleeding that unhappiness onto others and the situation you're in. With that being said, I'm so thankful that I haven't experienced anything close to that with Matt and certainly don't plan on it either! Why be in a relationship with someone if you're continually unhappy and struggling with resentment, jealousy, and insecurity!? Not only are those feelings detrimental to your own relationship, but it will be harmful to the relationships you have with the others that surround you. Little hiccups and misunderstandings are expected, but can easily be discussed and worked through. Although they are sometimes not executed in the best way, I think these types of disagreements are sometimes necessary to fully understand and appreciate the other person's point of view. I am so grateful for Matt and his maturity, patience, respectfulness, and understanding, especially when these little hiccups occur, but even when they aren't an issue. God has blessed me with a truly incredible man!


Meet Me in St. Louis!

"Meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the fair,
Don't tell me the lights are shining

any place but there..."

I'm headed to St. Louis tomorrow! While I'd much rather play with a rabid raccoon than sit in a car for 12 hours tomorrow, I'm very grateful that I have the opportunity to go to the NCAA wrestling tournament.

When Katie and I met for bagels today, she suggested we find a way to road-trip out for the tournament. She and David had found 2 tickets for the finals and wanted to see if I was interested in going. Easy answer = OF COURSE! Thankfully, when I brought the idea up to Matt, he found me tickets from someone who didn't show (thanks, babe!!). David and I booked a hotel while Katie went to class and that was that - we're headed to St. Louis to watch Penn State wrestling capture another national title!

My butt is sore just thinking about the long car ride that looms ahead of me, but having Matt and a wrestling tournament (and hopefully a quick visit to the St. Louis temple!) on the other end of that journey will certainly make it worth while! I pray for a safe trip and a fun weekend ahead!


*clap* *clap* TREE!

Its amazing how Heavenly Father knows just what you need sometimes.

I've been having a constant, nagging worry about what I'm going to be doing/where I'm going to go after I graduate. My time at Penn State (as a student) has gone by entirely too fast, and now I'm being thrown into the process of trying to find an affordable place to live and to get a job. I'm completely worn out. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a really great neighbor who always knows when to knock on my screen door... and tonight was one of those nights.

I can always count on Katie to make me laugh and talk about things in a very therapeutic, yet appropriately loud and immature, manner. I was in desperate need of that tonight since I had a slightly disappointing day and needed to miss institute to work on a paper. Halfway through my paper, I was hitting a wall - I was entirely overwhelmed and could feel myself sliding into a funk. Then, much to my relief, I heard a familiar "Laurennnnn...?" coming through my porch screen door, so I headed outside to meet Katie.

Two hours and two additional visitors later, my sides were aching from laughing so hard. Although, that could have just been the result of me accidentally running into a shelf in Katie's kitchen...

Heavenly Father knew I needed that time to laugh and to be distracted from myself. I am grateful for the opportunity I had tonight to spend time with friends and have a much needed laugh... or two... or twelve...


A Work in Progress!

Well, here it is - the bare bones of a new blog!

I say "new" because I can't tell you how many blogs I've started and then abandoned over the past few years. I'm determined to actually maintain this blog and spoil it with the incoherent ramblings and rantings of my life. Hopefully, with a little patience and understanding, ya'll will bare with me as I try to figure out what in my life is interesting enough to share!