Friday Fives and 9 Days Straight

Friday = Happiness.
And it also = Friday Fives time from Beth!

1. Whats your go to recipe?

My go to recipe is Taco Casserole. I've posted the recipe several times, but it's just so easy and so good! Always a hit.
Tortilla chips, 1 can refried beans, Mexican blend shredded cheese, 1 pack taco seasoning (I like Old El Paso), Chicken or Beef, and 1 small onion.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and cook until done. While that's cooking, crush tortilla chips to cover bottom of a casserole dish. Spread beans over chips.
Mix taco mix into water as directed on packet. Once chicken is done, pour taco mix mixture into the pan and let simmer for 2 minutes. Then pour entire mixture over beans in dish. Top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve with all your favorite taco fixins (sour cream and jalapenos are my faves) and enjoy! Yummy!

2. When you hear "American food" what comes to mind?
Hmmm....I'm gonna have to go with fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy.
I could also go with BBQ!
Oh wow, this is making me hungry!

3. What would you say is one of your "weirdest" quirks?
Definitely my eating habits. I am SO weird with food.
For instance, I put vinegar in my soup.
I also strain my chili so that I only end up with a broth of sorts to eat. However, it is imperative to make chili with all the normal ingredients in order to get the right flavor.
Usually for everything I eat, I put something else on it to drown out the flavor of what I'm actually eating.
I might need counseling.

4.What color do you mainly wear?
I wear a lot of black. Hey, it's slimming.
But lately, I've really been trying to branch out and add a little color to the mix.
Baby steps.

5. Always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again?
I pretty much always say what's on my mind. That gets me in trouble sometimes, but that's just me!

So hooray for me, I have blogged for 9 days straight!
Woot woot!

Today's topic is supposed to be pics of my friends.
Umm....I'm gonna have to get back to you on that one!


Popcorn and Movies

Well friends, today is Day 7 and we're talkin' 'bout favorite movies!
A few months ago I did a post on my faves, so I've just copied it here.
I love movies! And I love me some popcorn to go with it.
But only at the actual movie theater.
The popcorn just isn't the same at home.
And it's strange, no matter how full we are, we ALWAYS have to get some popcorn at the theater!
There's a few new movies out that I can't wait to see as well!

5. The Hangover - so this movie came out last year and jumped right on my list! By far one of the funniest movies I've seen in a LONG time! Favorite thing from the movie: "retard" - pronounced 'rah-tard' not 'ree-tard'! Love it!

4. Forrest Gump - well this one is just a classic. Love, love, love it! I really never get tired of watching it, or quoting it! "Run Forrest Run" or "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get", or "Lieutenant Dan!"....I could go on and on!
3. Down to You - this movie came out in 2000 and wasn't a huge hit. But for whatever reason, I cried uncontrollably at this movie and the soundtrack is still one of my most favorite CDs. AND I just love Julia Stiles.

2. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Ah, classic. Just plain classic. I absolutely adore Audrey Hepburn and truly love all of her movies. So if I had to pick just one, it's this one. But I equally love Charade and Roman Holiday!

Drum roll please..........

1. Steel Magnolias - Can it get any better? I mean seriously, this has got to be one of the best movies ever made! It's a sure bet to be on any southern girl's movie list! I seriously could watch this over and over and over. I still cry every time I see it. Words cannot express my love for this!



And we're on to Day 8 of the 30 day blog challenge and today we're gonna talk a lil' about traveling.

I LOVE to travel.

Like for realz love it.

And I'm getting pretty darn good at doing it on a budget.

Most of my traveling has ocurred since Chris and I got married.

We've been to Slovakia, Florida, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas (which includes driving through and making pit stops in Alabama, Mississippi, and Loisiana).

I think we pretty much have the south covered!

My favorite place that we've traveled was Slovakia. A major perk to that trip was the layover we had in Paris!

There's just something about Europe that drew me in.

I want to go back SO bad! Like seriously bad.

I was completely amazed at just driving down the road and seeing random castles everywhere.

Sheer beauty.

AND all the history!!!!

Ah, it was fabulous.

The whole purpose of that trip was fabulous too.

We were there to teach an English camp.....but our literature was the Bible.

We saw so many lives transformed that week.

And that in itself was very beautiful.


So Day 6 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge is to tell about something that makes you happy.

Today I'm going to go with Fall. It is my absolute favorite time of year!
I love the colors.
I love the crispness in the air.
I love the beautiful blue sky.
I love the smell of leaves burning as people clean their yards.
I love everything about it.....and that makes me incredibly happy.
Except today when it's tornado weather.

It's weird - I realized something very wrong about myself during this post today.
I was trying to narrow down the list of things that make me happy to just one.
So I started thinking about all the things I love.
There was a common denominator........FOOD.

For instance, when I eat a chick-fil-A sandwich, I usually make a comment like "there are few things better than this".
Or cheesecake.
Or chocolate.

This is a serious, serious issue people.
I celebrate with food.
I comfort myself with food.
I eat for every single emotion.
It's like a roller coaster that I wonder if I'll ever be able to get off of.


A Little Grace

As a photographer, I get the honor of capturing some precious moments.
And I feel that in every moment, there's a little picture of grace.
Here are just a few.....
And check out the Chatting at the Sky Blog to see more peeps' version of grace.

Day 5 - The Siblings

Yay me! I've kept up for 5 days!
Today's fabulous topic is all about the siblings.

Growing up I was an only child.
However, I have 3 half brothers from my dad - 1 older and 2 younger.
I heart them!
They all live in the great state of Texas.
My youngest brother, Cody, and I are very close. It's so funny because we are just alike and didn't grow up together.

Both of my young bro's (Shane and Cody) got married this year. And I had the privilege of photographing both of them! Major highlight of my life I must say! And not to mention the awesome new sisters I got out of the deal!
Here is Shane and his wife Raegan.
And here's Cody and Christie.

My older brother Jamie and his wife Jenn have the two cutest kids ever - Jade and Jordi.
This picture is of me, my cousin Holli, and my older brother Jamie.

They are fabulous gentlemen.
Love them all sooo much.

Now I just need them to move about 700 miles closer!
Or at least come for a few more visits.


Day 4 - The Rents

So ya wanna know about my parental unit huh?
Well alright then, sit back and have a Prozac ready!

Meet Laura and James. These two love birds had a year long whirlwind romance. They were married. There was a pregnancy. Something happened (there are conflicting stories on this) and the marriage ended. This was all by the time of my mom being 5 months preggy.

So for 19 years I was raised by my momma. We were BFFs.
She was everything a mom should be and more. In 2006, she passed away unexpectedly in her sleep from what we believe to be a blood clot. Life changing.

When I was 19, I met my dad for the first time. I'm now 27, and we finally have a really good relationship. It has been a very long road to get to this point. I had a lot of questions that I needed answered. What I learned was that no matter what the answer, it didn't help/fix the situation. No answer would ever be good enough to satisfy me. After a few very heated heart to heart conversations later, we're on the road to building this relationship.
I learned that as long as I focused on the past I was robbing the future. Nothing can change the past. Nothing. The only thing I can control is the here and now.
I'm not gonna lie, it's hard and awkward sometimes. But at the end of the day, I want my dad in my life more that I want him out of it. Truth is, I need him.
Especially since my mom is no longer here.
I've already lost one parent. It's no fun.

What's funny is how you can be so much alike a person you weren't raised with. My dad is VERY stubborn. And ALL of his kids have that trait. So when we get mad at each other, it's quite the experience. I've learned to love this craziness that is my life. Somehow, it all comes together to make me who I am.

I'm so excited because we're going on our first vacation with my dad and brothers over the holidays! I can not wait! It's going to be soooo much fun.


Day 3 - Love Story

Happy Sunday!
So today, let's chat about my first love.

Let's travel back to the 7th grade.
I was a band geek. It's true.
I played clarinet.
And there was this cute little boy that played the drums. His name was Andy.
Andy and I were friends.
Then on the last day of 7th grade, he finally asked me out!
I said yes.
We went on a double date with my bff and her boyfriend to see Jurassic Park: The Lost World.
Very bad experience.
He tried to kiss me and ended up slobbering all over my cheek and then biting my lip open.
No bueno.

But that was only the beginning. All through 8th grade we were on again/off again.
And he really was my first love.
He was my first kiss.
He was my first introduction to Christian music.
And no matter how many times we broke up, we always got back together.
That was how it had always been.
Until the week before 9th grade started.
We were at band camp.
And I broke up with him.
Then he told me that was it.
And he never loved me again.
Seriously my first heart break!

Our relationship began in the 7th grade band room and ended in the practice field for 9th grade marching band.



Day 2 of the Blog Challenge

Today's Hot Topic:
What's the story behind your blog name?

Well, sadly, I don't have a fabulous story for it.
Everyone calls me LT. It's kind of funny how that started. That's my initials.
Hubs started calling me that right after we got married.
Then my boss at work randomly started calling me LT.
Then that trickled into everyone at work calling me LT.
And ya know what?
I love it!

Then on top of that, my life is really pretty crazy.
So when it came time to name a blog about my life, well it only seemed fitting to call it "The Crazy Life of LT".

And there ya have it.

Happy Saturday!


Challenge Time

Ok peeps, so I'm feeling a little inspired by a few of my bloggy friends! Amber and Heather are partaking in a 30-day blogging challenge.
And well,

I love a good challenge.

And I totally think you should join in too!

BUT, even if you don't, stop in and read mine, and pay a visit to Heather and Amber's blogs if ya don't mind!

The schedule:
Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3-Your first love
Day 4-Your parents
Day 5-Your siblings
Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7-Favorite movies
Day 8-A place you've traveled to
Day 9-A picture of your friends
Day 10-Something you're afraid of
Day 11-Favorite tv shows
Day 12-What you believe
Day 13-Goals
Day 14-A picture you love
Day 15-Bible verse
Day 16-Dream house
Day 17-Something you're looking forward to
Day 18-Something you regret
Day 19-Something you miss
Day 20-Nicknames
Day 21-Picture of yourself
Day 22-Favorite city
Day 23-Favorite vacation
Day 24-Something you've learned
Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26-Picture of your family
Day 27-Pets
Day 28-Something that stresses you out
Day 29-3 Wishes
Day 30-a picture

And now for Day 1:
The intro: Well I'm Lauren, also affectionately known as LT. I'm 27, married and loving life.

A recent photo:

This is me at a wedding I attended a couple of weeks ago.

15 interesting facts about muah:
1. I'm scared of the dark....well only if home alone. I refuse to go into a dark room if I'm by myself.
2. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Some day we'll understand it all.
3. I love, love, love any and all things pink.
4. Laughter really is the best medicine.
5. Next month I will have been married for 6 years!
6. We only dated 2 months before getting engaged and got married 5 months later!
7. I'm learning to ENJOY exercise. I crave it now.
8. I have to babies - well furry babies. Jackson and Molly are my kitties.
9. Photography is my heart beat.
10. My new FAVORITE show is Parenthood. Sooooo good.
11. Someday I would like to adopt lots of babies. I want my house to look like the United Nations.
12. There are few things better in life than Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a good buttermilk biscuit
13. My favorite things in the world are a squeaky clean bathroom and freshly cleaned sheets.
14. I deeply desire to be a trendy dresser...but I just don't have the confidence to pull it off. I am improving tho!
15. I love cooking and creating new recipes!

Friday Fives

I've been a Friday slacker lately! So.....it's time to get back in the game!
This week's topic at Beth's fab blog......Guess what I am coming over to your house! What would we do, eat, go , see ...tell me 5 things!! Oh yeah where do you live?

Ok, so I live in a town north of Atlanta called Marietta. LOVE this town. It's just so homey.
There's a million places I love for food.
For breakfast we would have a delicious southern bfast at Doug's Place in Cartersville. The BEST gravy biscuits ever!
From there we'd take a trip into the big city and do a little site seeing. But of course we'd work up an appetite and have to eat lunch at Carolyn's Gourmet Cafe. YUMM-O! My fave is the confidence wrap which is buffalo chicken. Mmm, mmm, mmm!
There's so much to see in Atlanta. SO much! So after spending the afternoon there, we'd head back into Marietta and hang out at the cutest town square EVER. And we'd have to have dinner. I'd have to take you to my favorite Mexican restaurant - La Parilla. They have some super yummy nachos!

Georgia has so much to offer, you'd definitely need to stay a couple days. It's one of the few states where you can see the mountains, the ocean, the city life and flat farmland life! We've got it all!


On The Wings of Angels

It's funny how the older you get the more you change.
My life goals 10 years ago, heck even 5 years ago were so different than they are now.

Over the last couple of years, I've done A LOT of soul searching.
A "life evaluation" as I like to call it.

See, I've always known I've had a purpose.
I've always felt that I was put on this earth for something big.
I always thought that something big was teaching.
However, once in school for it (and almost finished I might add), I really felt that wasn't the right avenue.

Then photography captured my heart.
In a big way.
And I've said since I started my business that I wanted to give back.
I want my photography business to ultimately be for the greater good.

And so, out of the blue about a month ago, it hit me.
Hit me so hard I just started crying, because it seemed to perfect.
It was like everything in my life suddenly had purpose.
I really can't even describe the feeling.

Here it is: I am going to start a non profit section of my business that will focus on offering photography, for free, to families with children (primarily) or loved ones with terminal illnesses.

Here's the thing....when a family is struck with such heartbreaking news, the focus is more on their medical treatment and just getting by. I could offer something that will capture some of the last memories of their child or loved one long after the illness takes their life. Memorialize one last happy moment.

This is a cause that I feel SO strongly about. It's re-wiring my heart in a way you wouldn't believe.

I'm still very much in the beginning stages and trying to work out all of the logistics and praying very hard about the exact direction God wants to take me in all this.

But I'm so incredibly excited about it.
SO excited.
This IS my ministry.
This IS my calling in life....to change the world, one photo at a time.

That being said, if you know of any families that could benefit from this, please, please, please let me know. I'd love for them to be part of my beginning.

Oh Flower of Scotland....

So Saturday we embarked on the experience I like to call Scottish Fest!
Chris has recently realized he's 1/2 Scottish.
This is his new obsession in life.
And so we decided that there was no better place to be than at the Scottish festival for all who hail from the great land of Scotland!
And we had a fabulous time!

Now this below has given the christopher a new obsession in life......Brut Strength Games.
So now he wants to learn to flip a telephone pole.



Just a few photos I found in the trenches of editing! I love, love, love these! Hope you enjoy as well!


So Much To Say, So Much To Say....

I've not disappeared!
Just haven't had a minute of spare time.....but I'm baaaaccckkk!

I have tons and tons and tons to update you on.
So, I've decided to break it up over the week!
That means a new post everyday!

Topics include, but not limited to:
  • Non-profit business I plan to start
  • Relaunch of Lauren Thomas Photography
  • Scottish Festival
  • Random Photos
  • Working out/weight loss
Like I said...lots going on here...
And in a super exciting way!


Friday Fives - Favorite Blogposts

So excited it's Friday!
Like SO excited!

I'm loving Beth's Friday Fives topic this week because it's letting us toot our own horn....a little.

This week we're listing our 5 favorite blogposts that we've ever written. So, here we go. Click on each one to see it.

1. Checklist - This is my new 30 before 30 list. I'm motivated and inspired. (and overwhelmed).

2. Testimony Time - This one is just plain ol' special!

3. V-Day - a valentine's day like no other.

4. Oh The Place You'll Go - inspiration for any age.

5. Audrey - ummm..hello! I loveth her!


Lemon Wine Chicken, Couscous and Roasted Tomatoes

Last night I felt a little creative in the kitchen.
And it turned out well....and healthy.
So of course I was thinking of you and took a few pictures.
The meal was baked chicken in a lemon-wine sauce served with couscous and roasted tomatoes. I'll give you the recipe for each below.
a) Sorry for the poor quality pics - I took them with my phone
b) I got a little excited when it was all done and forgot to take a pic of the finished product!

First of all, this is most of the ingredients needed for everything:
The Chicken:
I marinated the chicken for about an hour in a baggie with about a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of white wine, about a 1/2 cup of lemon juice, a few splashes of olive oil, a few pinches of Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and about a teaspoon of granulated garlic. You could use fresh garlic and herbs if you have them.
The Tomatoes:
Wash and dry 1 pint of grape tomatoes. Crush 3 cloves of garlic. You want to use a baking pan large enough for all the tomatoes to lie flat. Coat garlic and tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with fresh herbs once roasting is complete.
The Cooking:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I placed foil on a baking sheet and put the chicken on that. Once the oven was preheated, I put both pans of the chicken and tomatoes in the oven and let cook for about 15-20 minutes. You want the tomatoes to pop open and be a bit shriveled. I used chicken cutlets, so they cooked really fast. While those goodies were in the oven, I made the couscous which took about 10 minutes total. So easy. I also made a sauce to pour on the couscous because it can be kind of bland. The sauce was a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, wine, garlic, salt and pepper. Once the couscous was done cooking, I tossed it in the sauce.
I plated it up with couscous on bottom, chicken on top, then tomatoes. I also garnished it with some sliced green onions for an added crunch.

Set The World On Fire

This song has been speaking to my heart lately.
It's Set The World On Fire by Britt Nicole.
You should definitely check out her CD.
It's a few years old, but I love it.
And this song is EXACTLY my desires.


I wanna set the world on fire
Until it’s burning bright for You
It’s everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings

Lord with You
There’s nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do

I wanna feed the hungry children
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father’s hands

My hands my feet
My everything
My life, my love
Lord, use me

I wanna set the world on fire
I wanna set the world on fire, yeah

I’m gonna set the world on fire
Set the world on fire


Kicking and Screaming.

Today is one of those days.
You know where you just want to cry and kick and scream.
Then you re-evaluate your life and want to cry and kick and scream.
Then you feel guilty, because in the grand scheme of things, you are very, very blessed.
But those things that you feel are missing seem to hog your focus.
Yep, it's one of those days.
Here's to happier thoughts tomorrow.


Checklists. Lots of Them.

Did you know October 30th is Checklists Day?
I LOVE lists. For real. It's a bit of an obsession. I have them everywhere.

Grocery lists.
To-do lists.
Christmas list.
Goals list.
Budget list.
Bucket list.

The list goes on and on. Haha! I made a funny.
So in the honor of checklists, I've decided to create yet another one.

We'll call this one a "Life List".
And this said life list will include all things that must be completed before I turn 30.

Now that gives me 3 years to complete it.
Surely I can.

Creative Overload

Dear friends I am so excited!
That is because Friday while in a meeting at work, I was dreaming up my Christmas gift list.
My list is quite extensive this year, and to be honest I was freaking out a little.
I mean my husband works part time at a church - that equals not a lot of money!
So I knew I was going to have to get creative, in every sense of the word, to pull off gifts. I also knew that these homemade gifts needed to be cheaper than store-bought gifts. Last year I made some homemade gifts in hopes that it would be cheaper and I ended up spending more.

You all have given me some fabulous advice!
AND I think I have it all planned out.
AND of course since some of them read this here bloggy, I can't tell you any of it!
Don't you love it!?
I think it's going to be good.
And once Christmas is over I'll be sure to share all my tricks with you!

And yes, I'm aware it's only October.
But oh my gosh, it's October! 2 months until Christmas!
And on my tight little budget, I have to plan ahead.

Ok, ok, the suspense I'm creating for you is killing me! So I'll make a deal with you.
Here's the ingredient list. Maybe if nothing else, you can get creative with some of these things!
  • Yarn
  • Wood
  • Paint
  • Ribbon
  • Picture frame
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Bags
  • And a healthy dose of inspiration

How's your Christmas gift list coming along?


Starting Over.

Hi friends!
Happy Monday to ya!

Ok, so let's just ump right in and get caught up on a few things:

1. Weight Loss - to be perfectly honest, it sucks! For the last 3 weeks I have done nothing but gain and lose the same 3 pounds! Ugh! Never fear, I spent an hour and a half at the grocery store today thinking through my choices. Here's to starting over.

2. Weekend - it was fabulous! The weather couldn't have been more perfect! Ah, this is my absolute favorite time of year. Sunday I left the windows open all day and it was amazing! Saturday I attended two weddings back to back and they were both absolutely gorgeous! For realz. Like the prettiest I've seen....and um hello, I'm a wedding photographer and I've seen quite a few! So sweet! Saturday night we headed out to see Toby Mac and Third Day in concert and as always, they did not disappoint! Sunday evening we had some friends over for dinner and a little reality tv extravaganza.

3. Speaking of reality tv, have you seen the Sister Wives on TLC? OMG x 55!
I just can't comprehend it all. Seriously.

Well that's all for now. Talk to you soon! Enjoy your Monday!


Goals Shmoals and of course Friday Fives

Well congrats to me for finally deciding to post this week!
And since I'm feeling spiffy, I thought I'd let you in on a few things that have brought me much happiness.

And that happiness is the direct result of Fall TV! And that also just so happens to be the topic of Friday Fives over at Beth's Blog!

Now, of course I am loving a bit more than 5. So maybe I'll go with each night of the week.

1. Monday
  • Rules of Engagement
  • Mike and Molly
  • Chuck
2. Tuesday
  • Glee
  • Biggest Loser
  • Parenthood
  • Flipping Out
3. Wednesday
  • The Middle
  • Better With You
  • Modern Family
  • Cougar Town
4. Thursday
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Community
  • 30 Rock
  • The Office
  • Outsourced
5. Friday
  • The Good Guys
Now naturally I don't watch all these every night but I like to at least catch one or two while multi-tasking. Ahh, happiness!

Moving right along, I have goals starting next week.
I have been a bad blog follower and commenter.
This saddens me because I absolutely LOVE getting comments on my blog!
But life has just been a little crazy.
So, I promise to be a commenting fool next week!
AND I have lots of things to share with you next week as well.
Enjoy your weekend and see you Monday!