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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cell phone tango

So Marshall and I have been with Verizon for most of our marriage. Him for all. Me, I started out keeping my cell from single days with AT&T.

But during the first summer of our marriage, AT&T gave my number away. That's right. For a whole week other people were getting my calls and I was getting calls for a "Tori." If Marshall dialed my number he got someone else, and my phone didn't ring at all. And I had no clue what Tori's number was, so it's not like I could give her number to people as my new contact info. Anyway, AT&T was super less than helpful, refused to credit me during that whole mess, and told me I was just being whiny and difficult. Uh, yeah! I haven't had use of my phone for a week, and a stranger has been receiving my personal calls! I'd say I'll be as whiny and difficult as I want!

So I dropped them and joined Marshall on Verizon, getting a family plan. Awww! Cute newlyweds with a family plan!

Since being on Verizon we have consistently felt we were paying too much and have always talked about riding our contract out so we can switch to a more economical service. I mean, we are on Verizon's 700 minute plan and we don't go over our minutes, so we must not talk much! 700 minute plans with other carriers are pretty cheap. But Verizon keeps sucking us back in with those dang free phones. You get a new phone after 10 months, but then your contract extends by 14. It's a never ending cycle.

Well, we finally just rode it out with our existing phones. We've resisted the urge to get new cute free phones, and have ebayed when they have died. We finally made it to the end of our contract this week! Freedom!

There are so many options. I looked at plans from Tmobile, AT&T (I'm forgiving), Sprint, Cricket, Alltel, etc. The last step in securing our freedom from Verizon was to review my bill to see the breakdown of minutes/texting/charges etc, so that I could see how much the same package would cost elsewhere.

What I discovered humbled me a bit. Yes, we use less than our 700 minutes. However we REALLY talk about 2500 minutes a month, but most of this is with other Verizon customers. Which isn't counted. Which are free. With that factored in, we can't afford any of the other carriers. Some have numbers you can add to talk for free, but not at the dinky 700 minute plan level.

2 things:
- I talk to Kiernan waaaaay too much! (Is there really a too much, Kier?)
- I could have had a new cool phone long ago.

We adjusted our attitudes, renewed with Verizon, and anxiously await our new cool phones arriving tomorrow. All of you with Verizon should be happy. Because apparently I talk to you a lot, and had I switched it would have hit your pocket book too.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Easy A

So Marshall took me on a date this week to see Easy A.

I was way excited about seeing this movie! Not because I'm a fan of any of the actors, or because I see all high school comedies in the theater, or because I thought it was going to be particularly good.

I couldn't wait to see Easy A because it was filmed in Ojai!!

The movie itself was your typical high school comedy. It tried to do a take on Scarlet Letter. It was like Mean Girls meets Saved meets 10 Things I Hate About You. And Emma Stone is Lindsey Lohan before she went crazy.

The idea is that a girl makes up a story about a date to get out of an obligation, and ends up pretending to have lost her virginity. This is somehow scandalous and the rumor makes its way around the school. Ultimately she starts trading sexual lies for gift cards. Etc, etc, etc. There is more to it, but this girl is pegged as a "trollop" in a conservative high school for pretending to be a skank.

The unique thing about movie is that, unlike other high schools shot in random locations, Easy A embraces the town it's shot in. Ojai wasn't a nameless backdrop, and the film didn't claim to be shot in "Anytown, USA." Ojai is plastered everywhere!

The high school in the movie, Ojai North, uses the same school colors, the same large 'N' school logo, and the same PE uniforms. The only change was from Nordhoff to Ojai North. (Oh, and we don't have a woodchuck for a mascot).

The film was entirely shot in Ojai, and it is like a travel brochure for the town. Highlighted among Ojai's charms are Bart's Books, the trolley, the Ojai Playhouse, the bell tower, Libby Park, the orange orchards, the arcade including Rains and Ojai Ice Cream, and the beautiful lookouts above the valley.

Also tying the Ojai connection was the use of large number of Ojai teens as extras. It was really hard to watch in the theater because the high school crowd scenes were too much to take in. "Oh, there's _____! Is that _____? I know ______ is supposed to be in here somewhere, watch for him!" I can't wait to watch this at home with the power of pause and rewind. There were so many times Marshall and I lamented that we couldn't rewind to see if that guy who walked past in the background was one of my little brothers.

For as much as this film was "life in Ojai," there was one thing I couldn't get past. Losing virginity being a big deal at Nordhoff? Really?? I don't think so. Her clothing scandalous? Um, not as bad as what I saw actually worn on campus most days. And a profanity getting you sent to Principal's office with the threat of expulsion? Hahaha! Have you met Mr. Mohney??

Easy A kept much of Ojai's backdrop, but definitely not the culture.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crop the mop?

The latest debate in our home has been when to cut Wes' hair. It has been getting a bit shaggy.

I think it's cute and that you can really only get away with this hair on a baby. Plus, it keeps him my baby.

Marshall, on the other hand, really wants me to cut his hair. He thinks it's girly and "ridiculous" and looks like Einstein. It probably doesn't help that I like to occasionally put clips and bows in it. Only around the house. Don't judge me; Carly was bald till 2.

My current plan is to hold off cutting it until he's 18 months, and then crop it up like a little man the day before he goes to nursery. tears. That's 3.5 months away.

So it goes to poll. But not really, because Marshall always cheats and rigs them. So I'll do what I want. But I'd like to gather opinions. Thanks! Voting on the right.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hello, my name is...

So this morning, Marshall was home with the kiddos while I was at work. It was 8 or 9 am, and they were just starting to wake up. Marsh was enjoying his last moments of rest, watching the kids play in their room on our super-duper cool video monitor. Once the kids are ready to come out, they'll usually start banging on the child-proofed door and will yell to be let out.

As Marshall was watching the screen, the picture began to move. Suddenly the camera was aimed up the nostril of a toddler who announced in her best authoritative-monotone voice, "Hello. My name is Carly Andrews. It is daytime. I am awake now. This is my brother. His name is Wesley Andrews. He is awake, too. You come open the door. We are ready to come out now."

Much more effective than banging on the door! ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yellowstone 2010

We went to Yellowstone September 9th - 12th. It was one of the best vacations we've had as a family!

Star graciously invited us to stay at her family's gorgeous cabin in Island Park, Idaho. Cabin is not the right word. It's a beautiful dream home in the woods. Kiernan and I kept saying how much prettier nature is, and how much easier it is to appreciate its beauty when you are not camping in it! It was so nice to be able to wander around in nature all day, then go home to cozy beds, roaring fires, and warm baths.

We bought the girls some matching pajamas, which ironically enough said "One of a Kind." Whatever, they were cute!

Before leaving Salt Lake, we of course ran into our obligatory car trouble. Have we ever planned a road trip and not had to visit my favorite friends at AutoZone on the way out? Usually it's a battery, so no surprise when the battery proved to be a problem this time. After lots of jump starts, elbow grease, reading manuals, and visits to AutoZone, we got the car working before we left town. The first morning in Idaho, we awoke to a flat tire. Of course! What kind of trip would we go on that only has ONE car problem? We got it all fixed (when I say we, I mean Russ and Marshall), and took off to the park. But you know what they say about 3's, right? By that evening we had discovered our third- the heater went out. Good thing we brought blankets.

The first day in Yellowstone, we had grand plans to tally every animal we saw and try to see all the ones on our wish list. Unfortunately, we never did see a wolf, bear, or moose. And by the time we topped 40 in our count of elk, we just stopped the tally.

The first day, we were also very cautious of our proximity to the bison.

We took pictures at nice, safe distances.

By the last day, we were less cautious. Okay, not really. This one just walked up to our car, and we were so scared, we rolled up the window!

While at the park we visited Old Faithful, of course. While at Old Faithful, I actually got the privilege of calling and announcing to one of my couples that they had been chosen for a placement. What a fun memory! Hopefully nothing else urgent happened that weekend, because Old Faithful was about the only part of the park where I had any reception.

We also walked over to Castle Geyser. This was an awesome geyser! We waited around for it to erupt, and I hurriedly snapped a bunch of pics of people before it stopped. Yeah. It kept erupting for more than a half hour.

Wes was anxiously waiting for the geyser to start.

He wasn't disappointed.

Kalen was incredibly cute while waiting for castle geyser.

But even when she's a gremlin, she's incredibly cute!

Star and Russ like each other.

These 2 pics of Russ bring endless entertainment when flipped back and forth. It's animated!

Carly was really impressed with how smelly everything was. She and Marshall kept quoting Labyrinth, "Smell Bad!" as we were walking, and then dissolve into fits of hysterical giggles. Those two were their own little team this trip.

We rounded out the first day with a visit to Yellowstone Lodge to sit in the rocking chairs and admire the gigantic fireplace.

The second day we some sights other than geysers. We saw some mud pots, some rainbow pools, and a waterfall. The waterfall was Lower Falls, and the hike down was totally worth it! What an amazing sight! It was breathtaking. The kids didn't seem too scared of the immense height. But the adults couldn't get over how numb our arms felt if we leaned over the fence to take a picture.

One of the places we visited was the Mud Volcano and Dragon's Mouth. Talk about stinky! We parked and before we even opened the doors we were all smacking our lips at the pungent taste of sulphur. We thought we would acclimate, but it just kept getting stronger. Once out of the car and walking around, the smell seemed to dissipate- or we got used to it. But once back in the car, it was again overwhelming. Then we noticed we were parked over the large grated drain. Where all the stagnant sulphur was running off and pooling. Geniuses, I tell you.

Carly did great with letting us know when she had to use the potty. And even did well holding it for a while. But sometimes we were just too far from an actual toilet and had to practice some of our outdoorsmen skills. She did a lot of pottying sitting on logs. Side note- Similarly, we used a lot of port-a-potties. This gave opportunity for me to disclose a phobia of mine to Star and Kier: Biffyman. Ever since girl scout camp when I was like 9, I have been terrified of men hiding in port-a-potties, because that was the big spooky tale I heard at camp. Star and Kier both minimized my fear, and suggested I snopes it so I'd never have to be weird and phobic again. So I'll link my findings here, and set the record straight that men have been arrested for hiding in potties, and I'm not crazy. That is all.

This is the first Andrews' Family trip we've done without Steve and Londa. We were unsure how it would all workout without built in authority to make all the decisions. Not to mention to buy us lunch! Luckily everyone got along really well, and decisions were made as a cohesive group. I think everyone got to see what they wanted to see, and I don't think anyone felt their voice wasn't heard. So now we know, Steve and Londa make for a fantastic vacation. But in a bind, the new generation doesn't do half bad!

Monday, September 13, 2010


While in Yellowstone, Kalen and Wes were mistaken for twins not once, not twice, but 3 times! We were a bit surprised, because obviously they look nothing alike. But I suppose it is possible they'd be twins. Afterall, there are 0ther documented cases of black-white twins coming from the same set of parents.

It still surprised me that the first conclusion was twins, though. Maybe it was due to the double stroller?

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