+ make the heart swell +

Sometimes I think I need someone in my life to take photos of me so that I can remind myself I know how to dress. I am horrible at seeing myself objectively. Hah.

I have a binge-relationship with Tumblr. I’ve abandoned it lately, and today I remedied that. Over-remedied.

Sometimes I feel like this blog is my mind and my Tumblr is my heart. Or perhaps this blog is my left brain and my Tumblr is my right.

Anyway. Things I love today.


+ living & pretty things +

An excerpt from my journal, back in March 2010:

“I think my missing secret may be to perceive life holistically, and not to compartmentalize. I need to stop limiting, dividing, standardizing, closing, expecting, sectioning and drawing lines. My life is whole, not in days or years or places. I live in the center of a sphere that becomes more fully developed, not a dot moving forwards along a linear path.

When God created us in His image, he meant, “in his image.” When He says “I Am,” we have an element of his Being. Active being. Time, place and other restrictions on us are illusions to keep us bound and blinded with a focus only on moving forward, and to keep us from experiencing that we are, and we are whole in our existence. “

– – –

Darling Katie mailed me this adorable…well, I certainly can’t call it a letter or a card because it is neither. It made me cry. I think I’m going to start documenting my mail, because I believe I get the best in the world. I am so blessed.

Tom lent me an amazing movie which you should all see, called Frida. I’m warning you, it’s beyond depressing. But one of those movies that “everyone should watch.” I can’t help but make little pretty things all the time, so I taped this on the DVD when I returned it:


+ lessons from my mini sabbatical +

[ credit : parker fitzgerald ]
This won’t flow. It is all blips and pieces of fragmented thoughts that came to me over the 72 hours I spent without a phone or computer. Some are more developed than others. The photos above were to prepare you for the words below. Enjoy.

.:. we have trained ourselves to look for beauty in other lives, not our own.

.:. we create relationships for ourselves. they are never forced upon us.

.:. the majority of conversations should take place in person, not via text.

.:. the moment technology stops being a resource and becomes a liability, it needs to be re-evaluated. immediately.

.:. social networking should be re-named theworldinyourbedroom.

.:. i have a new ability to see through an online presence and measure the true life content of a person.

.:. we are so dependant on our gps and maps because we live in a constant time crunch. i didn’t use my gps this weekend. result: i had to turn around multiple times, and took several ‘scenic routes.’ i also saw many parts of my city for the first time, and had a few ‘well let’s see where this road goes’ followed with ‘oh my gosh here i am!’ i put the puzzle pieces together. i feel rebuked for my desire to travel when i haven’t taken the time to see my own city.

.:. the majority of my stress is a result of mis-managed relationships and poorly chosen staples of my daily life.

.:. my brain has invented some type of obligation to “finish” everything. pursue things forever. never drop something i began. if i follow a blog, i feel obligated to read every post, eternally. i’ve placed my interests first, and myself second. how ridiculous.

.:. our thought processes become influenced by the words and images that float around us, even if we do not consciously accept them. saturating ourselves in high-speed communication and heavy content input environments will launch us into a collective lifestyle that no individual could or should live in or up to. hello, stress.

.:. we don’t write nearly enough.

.:. if you “don’t write”, then let me clarify: we don’t reflect nearly enough.

– – –

Thoughts on social networking: (you knew it was coming)
We value communication over content. Let me break this down a bit more. We value the relationship over the person. And a bit further…

Social networking is a tool; nothing more, nothing less. It betters a good purpose and exacerbates a poor one. And like any tool, it is only healthy in moderation, and when the master controls it to fulfill the purpose. There is an inherent flaw in humanity that twists everything to be self-seeking unless we acknowledge it and choose to live differently. This manifests itself primarily in our relationships. It is so easy to “have” relationships for the sake of having a relationship with that person. We become tempted to “own” relationships for self-seeking purposes, even if they are as innocent as to fill our universal need for acknowledgement, validation, and worth. Our value has come to sit not on the actual person, but on the connection we have with that person.
This is what I mean when I say that social networking either betters or exacerbates. If our value is misplaced, it magnifies our weighty mistake (and selfishness) to a point that we are beyond excuse, and it is recognizable to the naked human eye.

I will say it again: value first the person, not the relationship.

Social networking should exist to plant, nurture and grow our relationships with people (and content, too) that we value. Maybe it would help if we referred to other humans not as people but as lives. NOT to enable us to feed a self-focused desire to multiply all sorts of various fragile and thin “barely-there” relationships with people and content that we only want to care about. Our time is truly limited. Deal it out wisely. Brushing fingertips is not a handshake.

– – –

Hard questions:

.:. If you didn’t blog or tweet for a week, who would notice or care? This is not rhetorical. Go name them.

.:. When was the last time you stepped outside of the internet to interact with that person(s)?

.:. How few texts could you get by sending each day?

.:. If you use Google reader, and had a folder for “friends” – what would your ratio of friends to various blogs be?

.:. What do you obligate yourself to that is an illusion?

.:. What have you wanted to do or not do that has been sacrificed for the draw of spiderweb-thin relationships?

.:. Do you seek to document beauty in your own life, or are you guilty of simply coveting beauty in others? (There is a secret hidden here: It exists everywhere, and is found only when documented.)

– – –

the world is too big to be your own.

so find your corner.

water it and make it grow.

and occasionally, take extravagant field trips.

– – –

My final thought: I need more than 3 days of living like this.

– – –

P.S. I got glasses. Seeing is awesome..

+ growing up, shedding skin. +

I’m shedding some skin.

Through an intricate and elaborate merging of personality, childhood, life circumstance, and necessity, I have slowly become a woman of Everything.

Like anything else, this possesses some weighty pros and cons.

This past week I have come to three difficult realizations of Self:

.+. I am an ADD perfectionist

.+. I am a highly introspective extrovert

.+. I am a dreamer with a heavy dose of Fear [ realistic idealist? ]

All three of these have set me up to succeed, and succeed well, while also to fail, and fail hard.

And I haven’t even mentioned that I seem to be equally left and right brained. Which complicates all decision making, and how exactly this skin-shedding will go about.

So, this weekend appropriately being Labor Day weekend, I am taking a mini-life vacation.

Saturday, Sunday & Monday: No phone, no computer, no work.

I have made it a point to have no expectations, eliminate the desire to accomplish anything, and plan nothing – save an 80 minute massage therapy appointment on Saturday morning – oh hallelujah.

If you are someone that usually contacts me personally, I will check my phone once a day for emergencies, as well as my email. If you don’t have *urgent* or *emergency* or something similar in the subject/intro, it won’t be read until Tuesday morning.

I. Am. Excited.

That being said, I am open to suggestions for beautiful places in Ohio to go see, great relaxation advice, and gifts. Haha! Leave them in my comments, or email me before Saturday: laurennicolelove[at]gmail.com

But seriously, for you crazy girls that send amazing letters and postcards like it’s your job: If you’d like to send me one for this weekend, that’d be sweet. [ I realize this looks like a ridiculous request to those of you who don’t partake in this creative penpal movement, but really, we love it. ] If I get one from you this weekend, I will mail you a letter back – because I will have TIME! You can email me for my snail mail address if you don’t already have it.

Love you all.

P.S. Ohmygosh. Can I have all of it?
P.P.S. Adorable September calendar for your desktop from Oh, Hello Friend.
P.P.P.S. Great truth from this man.
P.P.P.P.S. I want this jacket..

+ ache +

there is an ache that never goes away. never ever.

i used to think this was you refusing to heal me, refusing to comfort me.

refusing to be the god that i need you to be.

proof that you are not the god you say you are.

but now i see that it exists to bring me to you, in desperation.

because you knew how human i was. and am.

you knew that if you comforted me the way i asked, i would never come back to you.

thank you for the pain.

for having enough compassion on me to allow me to have my heart ripped apart so that i would be able to seek you and run to you.

not because i wanted you, but because i need you..

+ interplanetary & marine inspiration +

lift up your eyes and look
to the heavens
who created all these?
he who brings out the stars one by one
and calls them each
by name.
because of his great power and strength
not one of them
is missing.
is. 40.26

*note – not all space photos are interplanetary.


+ thought > process +


your world is
beautiful than mine
i don’t
i know that i know
i want
i know that i don’t know
how to get there
i know that
i get
i may not
want what
i don’t know
how to get.


+ influence. +

who : : is : : under : : your : : influence

– – –

think about it. and tell me..

+ beautiful things. +

The value of myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores them to the rich significance which has been hidden by the ‘veil of familiarity.’ [cs lewis]

– – –

ps. i made a little drawing!


+ growing up, part 428 +

As frequently as I forget that we change as we grow, I am reminded. A while ago, I began noticing there were more than a few things I didn’t like, simply because I’d never liked them as a child. I began experimenting with flipping the switch in my brain that was marked “I don’t like this,” and tried to honestly reappraise my likes and dislikes. A good number of these things, I love now. So, I have a rough rule for myself: if you haven’t tried it in the last year, you don’t know if you like it or not. Or, do you love it this year, yet??

Guess who loves asparagus now? And heels? Goat cheese ice cream, the color pink, chocolate milkshakes, dresses, sushi, tumblr, and forever on.

I had a shocking new love that was realized over the weekend. Rain.

I’ve always been a strict direct-sunlight-in-extreme-heat person, and despised everything from a slight chill to the heart of winter. Clouds, rain, snow, hail, wind, low temperatures…not for me. Sunshine and heat? Instantly happy. But something happened on Saturday morning, and the pitterpatter of the rain hitting the rooftops woven perfectly in with the splashing of tires racing on the wet pavement sounded like starting over. New and fresh, but somehow settling and comforting. It took me 22 years to get here, and I now love rain.

Forgive me for the awkward mashup of images. These are all the things I love today.

it is in our fantasies that we see our realities in all their truth.