Dear Men, Take More Pictures.

I think a lot of us saw the post that went viral last year from the mom who said that men need to take more pictures of their wives.

Truth is, my Facebook feed is filled with photos of dads, boyfriends, children, and dogs, but we often don’t see the women behind the camera. As the post states, if girls don’t ask, the photo isn’t getting taken. You could argue that females might be a little more likely to update their Facebook feeds, but I also think it rings true that men are generally less likely to preserve the little moments of everyday life that many women enjoy having.

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I’ve never been very good at taking pictures. I always felt too “in the moment” to capture my life on camera — that is, until the deployment. Before Robert was deployed I took pictures of him cooking, playing games with me, driving, and on dinner dates. I took videos so I could hear his voice while he was gone, and I tried my best to get some photos of us together so I could remember everything. In all honesty, I don’t know what I would have done without those tiny pieces of him while he was overseas. My heart hurt every night he was away, but when insomnia struck I was able to pull up a picture or video that reminded me of the fun times we had together. I had funny moments, sweet moments, and even a few sad moments of us together on my phone.

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This was after the best weekend with Robert right before he flew overseas. Looking at this picture still makes me tear up, as it was the most heartbreaking “goodbye” I’ve said in my life.

If you look at my Instagram you’ll see photos I’ve captured of Robert in everyday life since. I took pictures of him while he was painting his new home, filling up his truck with gas on a road trip, and of how nice he looked when he got home from work. My iPhone is filled with pictures of dogs, my family, food — primarily dessert (Sorry Instagram) — and Robert. These are the most special things in my life, and I want to be able to look back on them 50 years from now and remember the little details my own memory might forget.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Robert. In the first few months of dating I got Junior Mints to take to the movies. We accidentally spilled them in Robert’s seat, and he noticed them plastered to his butt before he went home. I’ll never forget moments like this, but I love having a picture that I can giggle at along with the story.

I am a hundred percent my own worst enemy when it comes to having my photo taken, though. Instead of embracing it, I blush and wonder why I need to be alone in a photo. I say “No thank you” when someone asks to take a picture of me, and my reflexes have gotten great at pushing a lens out of my face. From now on I am going to try my best to move past my own insecurities and ask to have my picture taken too. With dogs, by myself, and even when I’m tired and not wearing any makeup.

Instead of feeling like it will make me seem vain or be offputting, I am going to realize that having my photo taken too is just another piece of the puzzle for documenting a memory. That way when I get older and have kids of my own, I’ll be able to show the candid moments of myself as well as my loved ones, and will be included in all of the adventures, too. In all honesty I’m actually really nervous about committing to this, but I’m going to try to be a good sport and will start sharing the more candid, less than perfect photos on here too.

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Here’s to creating lots of beautiful memories with loved ones — and capturing a few in the process.

Shifted Dreams

It’s funny how dreams in life change with the circumstances.

Ever since I was teeny tiny I’ve wanted to be a journalist. As a kid I made my own little newspapers, magazines, and short stories. I was homeschooled for a few years, and I always begged my mom to let me get ahead on my English homework. We had these little editor workbooks where I got to find and correct grammatical errors, and I would take them to my room to play with when I was done with my schoolwork.

When I finally went to college it was really easy picking my major. My school didn’t have a journalism program, but we did have communication with a concentration in journalism, so I declared my major the very first semester of school. In my free time I still enjoyed writing, and kept several different blogs throughout my college career. I took writing classes as my electives, and I worked for the school newspaper — both as a reporter and as an editor. I went back and forth from wanting to do television or print journalism, and held internships in both fields. My first was with FOX News’ national network, and my second was with Seventeen magazine. I was never very interested in politics, but these internships made me realize how in love with writing I was. I had a fire in my heart to help teenage girls feel less lost and alone in the world, and I worked extra shifts at Seventeen just so I could make a greater impact during my time there.

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Living in NYC was such a dream to me. I am someone who absolutely loves the energy it gives off, and every day felt like an adventure.

Little did I know, the internship that segued into a job would be very short-lived, because I got sick just a few weeks before moving back to the city.

After the initial shock of getting sick quieted down a little bit I realized my life had just changed forever. Four years later I know my dream of moving to New York isn’t going to come true, but I’m really grateful for the months I did have there. New York will always have a tiny piece of my heart, but the rest of it goes to my loved ones… Which brings me to today.

My dreams today are so much more simple than they’ve been in the past. I don’t want to be on television or be famous, and I don’t care deeply about whether or not I get to live in New York again how often I get to travel. My heart is with my family and loved ones, and I have accepted that my career path has drastically changed. I don’t have the strength or stamina to be a journalist — or even work a “normal” job — so I’ve improvised. I’ve actually been really happy working as a consultant for Rodan + Fields. it still fulfills my dream of building other women up and helping build their confidence, and I love that I’m making new friends in the process. I joke to my friends and family that my dream now is to be a stay at home dog mom, and it’s kind of incredible that this dream is quickly becoming a reality.

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What I’m doing with my life isn’t as wild and crazy, but it’s actually turning into a bigger blessing than I could have ever created for myself. If I hadn’t gotten sick I wouldn’t have met Robert. I wouldn’t have found an opportunity to be my own boss and have time to spend with him during the week. If I hadn’t gotten sick I wouldn’t have thought outside the box and found a job working from home with the two sweetest puppies on earth. None of what makes my heart so joyful today would have materialized, so in a very strange way I feel blessed that my own dreams didn’t end up working out. God truly does have a greater plan for me than I ever did for myself, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me next.

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Rose, Bud, & Thorn

Have you ever been in enough pain to make you feel sick?

It’s one of the most annoying things that happens with POTS. Last night I passed out on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I think it’s because I’ve been having some muscle spasm issues in my back lately. EDS makes it really easy to get injured. Partly because of my hypermobile joints; the other part is due to the fact that my body overreacts when it feels a threat — such as a torn muscle.

I’ve been a bit cranky this week because of that and a migraine. I tend to try to suck it up and not complain too much, but that sometimes makes me a little bit grumpy, so I think I need to be a little more vocal about venting and then trying to ignore my symptoms as best as I can.

I’m not feeling much better, but tonight is going to be a turning point so I can have a nice weekend. From tonight until Monday I am going to try my best to focus on the present, not how long I’ve been hurting or wondering when I’ll feel better.

Tonight while I put some heat on my spine, I decided to play a game with y’all that my roommate and I loved in college. It’s called rose, bud, and thorn. It’s a game we played every single night and would giggle about as we recounted the details of the day to one another. The rose of the day is the best part of the day. The bud is something you’re looking forward to most, and the thorn is a not so great moment. Feel free to sound off yours in the comments; I would love if other people played along with me!

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I had 2 roses today. The first was when my mom and I took Macy on a walk. She looked so darn happy, and I love watching Macy chase little butterflies when we go out into a field! My second rose was when Robert called me on the phone after work and we had a kind of silly conversation. It made me smile, and I do think lighthearted fun is the best medicine.

My bud is this weekend. Robert and I are having another date night, which should be fun, and I am excited to just kind of relax and have a chill weekend after that. I also got a surprise for him, and hope we can use it this weekend! I will post what it is at a later date, but it’s something kind of nerdy and fun.

My thorn is just not feeling well. I am optimistic that tomorrow is going to be a great day, though, and I’m really going to try to enjoy the little things!

I’m feeling really sleepy now and am hoping I’ll be able to get some rest now. Goodnight world, I will post another little blurb tomorrow. I’m trying to be better about writing because I know people keep coming back to my site, and you deserve to have something new to read. Thank you for being kind and patient with me! ❤

Time Is Love

Did you know that there are guys who want to spend time with you more than anything else in the world?

A few years ago I didn’t know men like that existed — at least not for me. I had dated people who didn’t make a lot of time to talk with me or know my heart, and I assumed this was just the way guys were wired (Oh young Krista, I’m so glad you were given more life experience to find that this is absolutely not the case).

Something I decided was important when I jumped back into the dating world was that I would eventually be with someone who prioritized things the same way I did. This meant that above all else, he valued his relationships and family, rather than material things like wealth or a job.

In hindsight, it’s really interesting to see how people’s priorities are shown so vividly in real life. It’s really easy to put on paper that your significant other is a priority, but putting it to practice is a whole different ballgame. In the past I’ve been told that I’m a #1 priority, only to lose every single time when I went up against studying, work, or even a television show. There was a time in my life that I realized I wasn’t worth a short phone call. I went to bed every night realizing that, which steadily beat down my own self-worth.


Robert and I live five minutes away from each other and we see each other just about every day. Despite knowing we will catch up with one another in the evening, he has invited me to meet him for lunch in the middle of the workday, as he genuinely wants to see me and have a fun, spontaneous date. He calls me on his way home from work just to say “hello” — and remind me of how bad the DC traffic can be. Even while he was deployed he made time to talk to me every single day he possibly could. Robert is committed to putting me first, just as I am to him.

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Robert invests his time in Jax and I. We both definitely have his back, always, no matter what. 🙂

If your significant other tells you that they don’t have time to spend with you on a regular basis it isn’t because they can’t — it’s simply because you aren’t prioritized above whatever else they have going on in their life. I know that is so hard to hear, but the bright side to this is that I know you can absolutely find someone who prioritizes you the way you prioritize them. Please, please, please don’t settle for a relationship that leaves your heart yearning for so much more. There are people in this world who would give anything to be able to love you the way you want them to.

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Today’s Lesson: The reason I named this post “Time Is Love” is because what you put your time into is what you love most in this life. Time is the most fleeting, valuable commodity we are given, and you know you truly have someone’s heart if they are giving you their time. Yes, people have to work to live and will always have seasons in their life when things are a bit busier than usual, but overall you should be able to very clearly see whether or not you are a priority in someone’s life. Your heart will be so much happier being able to love the right person as much as you want to without feeling like you need to hold back.

Wait for the person who will let you love them without limits because you know they’ll do the same for you. It may not be the first, second, or third person you meet, but finding the right person who will speak your love language is so worth the wait.

My Journal Entries

I’m going to be honest with you guys. I’ve had bad writer’s block lately. Partly because I can’t think of what to write about, but the other part is that I’m scared to write about what my heart is calling me to. Writing in 2017 is different than twenty years ago because of how many people you can reach on a little platform like this. I don’t have over 1,000 friends in real life, so where are all of my readers coming from? Not everyone who follows this little corner of the Internet knows my heart, so I feel like I need to be careful to not collect labels from strangers. On the other hand, though, I shouldn’t care what people think if they’re wrong. I know my heart, and more importantly the Creator of the universe does. He knows my heart’s greatest desire is to love and be loved, and that I care deeply about every human I meet — even if we don’t become friends.

From today on, I’m going to try to open my heart more to you all. This space shouldn’t have room for pride, and I think more people can relate to my own life than I would imagine. Be patient with me and I’ll slowly continue to open up more; that is, as much as I can while still giving the people who have been a part of my story the privacy they deserve.


To start, I can offer a little peek into what I’ve been up to lately. Drum roll, please…

SUMMER CLEANING!

I’m trying to get rid of all the clutter in my life, and it’s proven to be a pretty big task. The other day was my biggest purge so far. I found flare jeans in the back of my closet, my homecoming dress, and a million and one letters from pen pals. I also found all of the journals I’ve kept since I was in elementary school. It was hilarious reading the older ones, and really fascinating reading the journals I kept in college.

On our fourth or fifth date Robert gave me a really beautiful leather journal. He told me that he was just thinking about me while he was at drill in Staunton, Virginia, and went shopping during his time off to get me a little gift. Robert never forgot to remind me that I was special, even in the very beginning of our relationship, and I liked that he spoke my love language of gift giving.

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I just finished the last page of that journal last week, and it was incredible seeing the difference between entries I wrote about guys in my past, versus the way I write about Robert. Robert is someone I’ve never wondered about or questioned if we’re supposed to be dating or not. We’ve definitely been through our fair share of hardships — much of my journal’s pages were filled during the deployment — but I’ve never once wanted to leave this relationship or face my trials with anyone else. Life isn’t always easy, but it certainly brings you peace knowing you’re fighting through hardships with the right person.


Some of the next things I will be writing about are when to — and not to — listen to your friends about your dating life, a few things you should definitely feel about your significant other, and how to make a relationship flow as smoothly as possible. Thank you for being patient while I dig myself out of this little writing rut!

“I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow”

How many times have you heard someone utter the words, “I can’t wait until tomorrow,” “I can’t wait until Friday,” or “I hate Mondays?” I find myself saying this on days I feel sick, lonely, or even just bored.

Somehow the future is always more bright, beautiful, and easier than today. Nobody warned us that there would still be trials, loss, and unplanned twists and turns where you least expect them. That being said, why do we still always hope for tomorrow to come, even when we have so many blessings today? I think a big part of it has to do with boredom. It’s hard to sit still and have a mundane schedule and so much easier to “live for today” when today is exciting and great.

Getting sick with POTS really opened my eyes to the harder parts of life. One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned is that the future isn’t promised, and some dreams may never come true. You know what else I learned from these lessons, though? That this is all okay! I learned that you have the opportunity to grow and learn from trials, and that you can always handle so much more than you realize. I learned that sometimes the hardest thing you have to go through can turn into the biggest blessing you’ve ever had, and that God’s plan for you is even better than what you have planned for yourself. Finally, I learned that sometimes all you can do is take life one day at a time, and focusing too much on the future can actually be harmful when you are dealing with a particularly difficult trial.

Instead, on the harder days I try my best to list my blessings. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve surely seen my “Five Blessings” posts. This was the most recent one:

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Instead of having the mindset that life is going to be better tomorrow, count the blessings you have today. Don’t get me wrong; it can be really hard sometimes, but if you can find even just one thing to be grateful for, life quickly feels a little bit easier. Sometimes you need to just take baby steps, even if it’s just counting your blessings — one day at a time.


Update: Still trying to change my domain to KristaLauren.com, but it’s taking forever because I need technical help and it hasn’t been the biggest priority on my list. Keep in mind this site will be changing, though!

Does He Like Me?

This is a question friends pose to me all the time.

My quickest answer is, if you have to ask, the answer is likely no.

Typically when you’re in your mid to late twenties, guys know what it’s like to be rejected and that girls aren’t going to wait around forever for them to make their move. They know what it’s like to wait until it’s too late to ask someone out and have likely seen a girl they like date somebody else, so if they’re smart they won’t wait around to ask you out.

I think we need to give guys more credit than we often do in the dating world. They learn from past experiences, and most of them know that they need to be transparent if they really want to be with someone. In general, a guy worth dating will put himself on the line and make it known that he’s into you and wants to take you out.

Let’s say for argument’s sake, though, that the guy you’re confused about does like you, but he’s not being clear about his intentions after you’ve been going out for some time. You’re constantly trying to figure out where his head’s at, even after dating for a significant amount of time. What should you do, then?

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MOVE ON, and find a partner who will be a good communicator. Communication is one of the most basic and crucial components of a relationship, and if someone keeps you guessing so much from the very beginning, they will likely behave in a similar manner once you are exclusive. If you’ve had conversations about wanting a relationship and nothing materializes, take the actions, rather than just the words, at face value.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re hoping to find a serious relationship is wasting way too much time on someone who won’t ever become a significant other. Instead of hoping a guy will change his mind about you or finally step up to the plate, kick him to the curb and spend your time casually dating until you find the person who is so excited to actively pursue you! You are absolutely worth finding someone who knows your worth, so do not give away your precious time to people who don’t know how valuable a date with you is. Spend your time with people who value what you have to offer and make it so clear that you are a priority in their life that you don’t ever have to wonder, “Does he like me?”

Friday Favorites: Summer Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve written little product reviews, so I figured it was about time I did a post about some of my favorite things for summertime. Since I have POTS and really need to focus on health and hydration, this is going to be all about healthy living this summer. Let me know in the comments if you have a great recommendation of things for me to try while it’s still hot out!


1. nuun Tablets

nuun tablets are my favorite thing to keep me hydrated when it’s hot out — and really throughout the year. I have a terribly off electrolyte and sodium balance in my body, so these little tablets are perfect to put in my Smart Water to keep me feeling good. My favorite flavor is watermelon, but I also like the lemon lime or strawberry lemonade nuuns!

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2. Mission Towel

My mission towel has kept me from fainting a good handful of times. My body overheats really easily, which causes my heart to race and blood pressure to drop way too dramatically. This is a huge nuisance, so anytime I go someplace outdoors I take my towel in my purse and just add water to activate the cooling cloth. I put it on my neck to lower my body temperature, and it really does work wonders. I think even just normal people who hate the heat or athletes would really benefit from having one of these!

3. Cotton Candy Grapes

CC grapes are literally my favorite summer snack. I could eat an entire box of these in one sitting if they weren’t so filling! (Note: I’ve never known grapes to be a filling food, which just shows how much I must eat at snacktime.) Please, if you’ve never tried these, go to the store and get them before they’re out of season. They aren’t genetically modified; I don’t know how they get the grapes to taste like this, but it’s wild!

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4. Rodan + Fields Foaming Sunless Tan

The products that initially drew me to Rodan + Fields were the Unblemish regimen and the Lash Boost, but I quickly discovered that their sunless tanner is incredible. I’ve never been someone who likes to sit out in the sun, but I love the way my skin looks with a nice brown glow. I had trouble finding a self tanner that wouldn’t streak or make my skin look orange (I’m looking at you, Tan Towel!), but somehow the foam makes it a lot easier to get full coverage and make the bottle last well into the summer. It was funny the first time I tried it because it was right after my beach trip, and Robert told me my tan looked really nice. I proceeded to lecture him about how I don’t get a really dark real tan, since I am careful to keep my skin protected from UV rays.

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5.Greek Yogurt

But not just any Greek yogurt — Maple Hill Creamery Greek yogurt! The cows are 100% grass-fed, and appear to live a pretty good life in their family-owned farms in New York. I am all about treating animals well, plus this yogurt is easily the best I’ve ever had. I got on the Greek yogurt bandwagon pretty early on, back when I was in high school and it was just becoming a popular thing. I’ve tried a lot of different types, and this is by far my favorite.

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BONUS: Root Beer Floats

This was the float that started it all. I went to a Bachelorette party last month and one of the bars we ended up at had root beer floats. While everyone else got a nice glass of wine, I decided to go ahead and treat myself to an ice cold float. I’m not much of a soda drinker (And I know I promised this post would be healthy — which is why this is a bonus item!), but this is easily my new favorite splurge.

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