the past few days . . .

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I don't always get worked up about the presents part, but I fully confess that this year, I got really excited.  My mom bought me THE dress I really wanted (she didn't even know that out of the ones on my wishlist it was my #1 pick), so I was stoked about that.  it came from shabby apple, who also teams with women in India to help them out, so purchasing is more than just getting something pretty.

adam got me a pair of beautiful earrings (which will go great w/ my new dress!) from ten thousand villages.  he also replaced my copy of freedom writers b/c some kid at school stole my copy (i'm missing most of my best books b/c of this; i hope the kids who steal my books enjoy them!).  it was a great Christmas with family.  i'm so blessed - the reagans and the johnsons get along really well.  we all had dinner together on Christmas eve and again on Christmas day.  it's awesome having a bigger family!  can't wait to add some little ones to the mix for brady, my niece, to play with.  

here are some other thoughts . . . 

yep.  i found this on modcloth.com.  this pretty much sums up what happens when i try DIY projects.  that's okay though.  i like being creative for the process.  it's not always about the product...

tomorrow we are celebrating my father-in-law's birthday, so we're going to see this movie :

then, it's off to dinner at circa 1875 in downtown savannah, so that should be fun and yummy!

i hope you all have had a fun, restful, and blessed Christmas with your loved ones :).


I'll take one of each, please

too bad i'm allergic to wool.  wool coats/jackets/anything are great for cold weather.

happy anniversary

Well, kids, it's officially been one year since Adam and I were married.  I'm not gonna lie.  It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always pretty.  In fact, the last month or so has been particularily challenging.  But it's been worth it.

 We celebrated (oh, you fancy, huh?) with a weekend at Chateau Elan, just about 20 min from where we live.  It's a winery.  Or you could just look closely at the wall behind us.  The food this weekend was amazing.  We also treated ourselves to a massage - I highly recommend this!  Neither of us had ever had one, so it was pretty cool
Since it was our first anniversary, we both went with gifts that were paper-based.  I'm nerdy, and had seen this project on DesignSponge.  It was simple, but cool.  Here are a few shots of the cards I made for Adam.  I even found the perfect card catalog box on Ebay.

Adam's gift was great.  He framed our marriage certificate and license.  He figured, if we bother to frame our college diplomas, shouldn't our marriage papers get a spot on the wall, too?  I'm excited about hanging that up on the wall.

Last week was pretty exciting, too. We got to see Train in concert for free and got 1/2 price tickets for Cirque du Soleil, which was phenomenal! I'd post pics from those, but my camera sucks and didn't take good pics at the concert, and Cirque is super crazy about people taking pictures, so you'll have to trust me that it was cool.

We are headed for Savannah in a couple of days.  I can't wait.  I miss family.  I miss Savannah.  Should be a solid trip.  Have a wonderful Christmas!!


my first bride!

This past fall I had the privilege of doing makeup for a bride for her big day.  It was so much fun!  I was nervous, but it turned out perfectly.  Here are a few of her shots.  All photography was done by Brianne Marie Photography

Congratulations, Mrs. Shelby Hilley!  Thanks again for letting me serve you :).

If you know any brides-to-be who would like their makeup done, send them my way!


Double Deal {Tuesday}

My hands were NOT happy last night with all this cold wind!  Satin Hands took care of them though :).

Today's Double Deal is for ANY SATIN HANDS set.  Give friends and family a hand-softening gift that's like a spa treatment at home.  Each set features a hand softner, hand scrub, and a hand cream that hydrates for up to 24 hours.  The hand cream even lasts through multiple hand washings!

Remember - the Double Deal means you buy 1 and get the 2nd 1/2 off!

Order at www.marykay.com/laurasue through midnight tonight.  As always, thanks for your business.  When you take care of yourself and the people around you, you're also taking care of my family, and I am so grateful to have loyal customers like you.  :)

12 Days of Christmas Bags

This year I've put together one of the most awesome gifts for wives, moms, daughters - pretty much any special woman or girl in your life!

Monday, December 6th, is the LAST DAY these bags can be purchased with me that I can guarantee on-time delivery for December 14th.

Take a look at the details below.  If you're interested in ordering one, send me an email by 6 PM on Monday (laurasue@marykay.com).  Include your phone number and I will call you Monday evening to get your order processed for you.  These bags are AWESOME!!  Don't miss out on this fantastic gift for the holiday season!!

I will wrap 12 gifts and place them in a bag with a beautiful bow.  The idea is that the girl who receives the bag gets to choose 1 gift out of the bag to open up during the 12 days (this is why you get it by the 14th) leading up to Christmas. 

$159:  Satin Lips lip balm, Satin Lips lip mask, Indulge Soothing Eye Gel, MK Compact,  $13 Gift Card, Mascara, Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion, Satin Hands hand cream, Warm Amber Body Lotion, Warm Amber Shower Gel, Tinted Lip balm, Oil-free Eye Makeup remover

$199:  Satin Lips Set, Indulge Soothing Eye gel, Baked Powder cheek color, Mascara, Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion, Satin Hands Hand cream, Nourishine Lip gloss, $13 Gift Card, Oil-Free Makeup Remover, Eyesicles Eye Color, MK Brush Collection, Forever Orchid Shower Gel

$249:  Satin Hands Set, Forever Orchid Shower Gel, Forever Orchid Body Lotion, Brush Collection, Indulge Soothing Eye Gel, Mascara, Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion, Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover, Travel Roll-up Bag, Satin Lips Set, MK Compact, $13 Gift Card

$299:  Satin Hands Set, MK Brush Collection, Warm Amber Showerl Gel, Warm Amber Body Lotion, Indulge Soothing Eye Gel, Mascara, Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion, Travel Roll-up Bag, Satin Lips Set, Trial Size Miracle set, MK Compact Pro, $25 Gift certificate

Just so you know, she can use the gift card to choose her own colors for her compact. With each woman in mind, I will make adjustments to fit her needs and personality. If she's not completely happy with one of the items, she can exchange it or even get a refund - Mary Kay offers 100% guarantee on all purchases. And remember, I'll wrap each one for you.


Double Deal {Thursday}

Happy Double Deal {Thursday}!!!

I'm so sorry I didn't get this deal out on Tuesday. My computer has crashed, so I'm working on getting that fixed. I didn't want to leave you hanging though, so I've moved this week's Double Deal today!

As usual, this is a "Buy 1, get 1 1/2 off" deal. Today's special is for all Fragrance products! This includes eau de parfum, eau de toilette, shower gels, scented body lotions, and sugar scrubs!!

If you have been craving the new "Thinking of You" scent - now's your chance to get it twice at a great price!! When it comes to the eau de toilette collection, my personal favorites are Warm Amber and Forever Orchid. (*Sadly, the "Thinking of You" body lotion has already sold out - this stuff smells sooooo good!!)

These items make FANTASTIC stocking stuffers!!! I always offer free gift wrapping and shipping, so let me help you get some of your holiday shopping taken care of!!

If ordering online, use this code in the comment section: DDeal12

THIS OFFER IS ONLY AVAILABLE TODAY. Give me a call or order online.

As always, thanks for supporting my business. You don't know how much I appreciate you! Feel free to share this deal with friends!!


let the rejoicing begin



Okay!  Here we go!!

A few days ago, I let you know that the Travel-roll up bag was going to be today's Double Deal.


I've decided to help you kick off the holiday shopping season the right way.  


Today, ONLY TODAY,  ALL Mary Kay products are BUY ONE GET ONE 1/2 OFF!!!  

So, what do YOU want?!?!

One lucky shopper will get your 1/2 off item for FREE, but to qualify, you need to leave me a comment telling me what you want for free once you've placed your order.  

Today's Double Deal will run until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.   So, share this AMAZING deal with your friends on Facebook, texts, email, etc.!!

Not sure where to start?  Use the Personal Beauty Profiler  :)

When you're ready to check out online, simply put the code "DoubleDeal001" in the comments section of your order.  I will apply your discount when I process your order.  Thanks so much!!

By the way, with each purchase you make, you're helping me with two goals:
  1. I am saving money to buy a new bed.  I've been sleeping on a mattress and box spring on the floor for 8 years.  It's time.  :)
  2. I'm putting together Travel-roll up bags (filled with products!) to donate to Women's Shelters here in Atlanta for the holiday season.  Everyone in my unit is super excited about this opportunity to serve!!


yes, please

i would like to dine here every night.  you're welcome to join me.  adam will cook for us.  greg will bring the jokes.  josh will take great pictures. and paul will bring his guitar.

double deal - it's coming!!

okay, so i know that many of my readers are also fans of Mary Kay products (if you're not, you will be soon!).  i've decided to hook up my readers with special deals, once a week.  i'm going ahead and giving you a heads up about this, so get excited, ya'll!!

starting this tuesday, i'm going to feature a different product each week that if you buy 1, you get the 2nd half off.  every week, i will feature a different product.  if you have suggestions, don't hesitate to leave comments on the blog - i love hearing from you and want to give YOU want YOU want!

if "double deal tuesday" gets enough business, i'll be able to do a FREE drawing each week for my readers!  how awesome is that?!?!

so, spread the word.  tell your girlfriends, mom, aunt, sister, cousin - you get the idea.  oh, and b/c i love you this much, i'll go ahead and tell you what this week's item is.  are you ready??  it's going to be the travel roll-up bag!! i LOVE this bag, and if you haven't seen it before, i'm telling you, you'll want one!

okay, so, check back here on tuesday and you'll get to order your travel roll-up bag, plus get one 1/2 off for a friend!


i heart this video

you may not know keri hilson, and that's okay. i feel like today's kids don't know much about the people who came before them. i love how this video pays tribute to the beautiful women who entertained crowds before keri's day. the lyrics? eh. some of them are maybe a little questionable, but if she truly is promoting that each woman realizes for herself just how beautiful she is, then i can get on board with that.



i am SUPER excited about this!  just so you know, if you can't make it, i'm also offering 10% off ALL ONLINE ORDERS and phone orders for the day!!  

ps - i'm making these for yummy treats!!


faith in change

okay, so this entry is actually brought to you by relevant magazine.  i get a daily email with a short thought for devotion, and this one in particular really spoke to me.  you know, the title of my blog is "and things change" for a reason.  i'm at a point in life where i feel like things are not only always changing, but there are really big changes being made.  and i'm kinda scared by a lot of them.  to be honest, maybe i've always trusted God b/c i thought i had ______ [insert whatever situation i'm ever in] figured out.  in other words, i don't think i've ever had to trust God as much as i am currently . . . b/c i'm a control freak . . . and a planner . . . and i've always got things figured out . . .

so, i thought i'd share this one with you. it spoke to me, and maybe it will speak to you.  thanks for checking in from time to time :).


the classics


and i already knew this.  and all of my students knew this.  but i hit a new low about two weeks ago.

i have had a very long love affair with the story, les miserables.  back in high school, i was claire danes, so when she starred in the movie production of les mis, i fell in love with it.  it is, by far, my most favorite book in the world.

well, i think it's really important for kids to find books that they can actually enjoy, so once a week we have "reading day" (which has transitioned into "readddddinngggg tiiiiiiiiiiiime" inspired by jersey shore) when the kids read any book they want to.  i try to read occasionally in each class as well because a lot of my students rarely see an adult reading.  i've been working my way through les miserables, and two weeks ago, i finished it at the end of 4th period.  during class changes, two former students came in to visit me before heading to their next class, and they immediately became concerned because i was crying.  well, i admit it, i was crying because i finished the book.  all 1200 pages of super tiny print that i had been reading off and on for the past few years. CRYING.  why?  hmmmm.  because the story was over.  and it was beautiful.  and i was attached to the characters.  i didn't matter that i knew what was going to happen to all of them.  it didn't matter that i knew i was reaching the end of the book and it would end.

i can't really explain it, but i was attached.

there's a ridiculous assortment of "classics" that for one reason or another, i've never read, so i'm working on it.

i've moved on to little women.  even though the 1995 movie is one of my favorites and i've watched it a million times, i've never read the book.  naturally, i'm loving it.  oh, and I AM jo march.  no doubt.

so, what book have you never read that you would like to read?  happy page turning . . .


9 months

today marks 9 months of wedded bliss.

adam = awesome.

God = even more awesome.
Isn't he cuuuuuuuute???  I'm one lucky girl!


makes me miss Savannah...



we had our first football game on friday night.  it was awesome.  our team is hoping to have an exciting season.
we won, and it was amazing.

when i went to the game that night, i didn't know i would yell at a little kid or end up directing traffic.  here's what happened...

i had to "keep the gate" that night.  all the teachers take turns selling tickets at games so that we can keep all the proceeds.  i was sitting at a table near an open space where smaller kids often congregate and play during football games.  the kids are mostly upper elementary grades.  at least, that's my guess.  well, the boys were all playing together.  i had been pretty distracted w/ selling tickets, but most people had arrived, so i was just watching the kids for entertainment.  we can't see the game from where we are, so there's really not much else to do.  well, i suddenly put together that one boy, wearing a football jersey w/ the #20 on it, was screaming at another child.  i listened closely, and i couldn't believe it.

#20 was white, stocky, and about 9 years old.  he had a small, plastic megaphone in his hand that he was using to magnify his screams.  the second child was hispanic, had a friend on either side, and was doing his best to walk away as #20 screamed, "YOU MEXICAN RETARD!! GO AWAY, MEXICAN RETARD!!!"

i gasped and then acted. i yelled at him, calling him by number.  "hey!  #20!! COME HERE."

one could tell immediately by his expression and body language that he knew better.  he sheepishly walked over to my table.  at this point, i was fuming.  i honestly don't remember exactly what i said to him.  i just know i gave him the most horrible "dale" look i could summon.  i wanted him to remember this moment for years, if not the rest of his life.  i did't care that i didn't know this kid.  if his parents were actually teaching him to hate others, i honestly feel it's my right to point out that they're wrong and that, contrary to what he believes, he does not have the right to yell anything like that at another human being.  i really don't care what the constitution says about free speech.  no human being should have the right to yell such awful things at another human being.  anyhow, i didn't repeat what he said, but made him admit what he said and repeat it himself.  then i asked him if he thought it was okay to say things like that, and he said no.  part of me wanted to find his parents and tell them what he did, but chances are, where i live, that if a little kid was talking like that, he probably learned it from his parents.

you know how 15 minutes after the opportunity, you think of what you would have liked to have said?  the only think i regret is not making him apologize... the other kid was long gone though, so i don't know how i could have done that anyhow...

as if this wasn't exciting enough for one night, 3 minutes before the end of the game there was a lightening delay.  the weather turned quickly, and people basically lost their minds.  running everywhere.  we got to our car only to sit in traffic for a solid 5 or 6 minutes and watch no one go anywhere.  adam asked me what i wanted to do.  i told him i either wanted to punch someone in the face or direct traffic.  he parked the car, and we ran up to the front of the traffic line and started telling everyone where to go.

i felt much better.

our children will probably learn at an early age to fear their mother.


stone mountain on a rainy day...

we went to stone mountain this past saturday.  it was awesome.  we ate a yummy lunch and hiked a nature trail.  it was very simple, but perfect.

ls: you look pensive.
a: damn. i was going for thoughtful.

watch out for the tiger

we each made a yawp in the woods.  if you're not a walt whitman or dead poets fan, don't worry about it. (apparently i can't flip videos on my computer like i can pics, so sideways video will have to do.)


Cali Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie (Official Video)

I can't lie. I love this song. And in my humble opinion, this song and video is way better in its original form. I'd be friends w/ all the people in this video. jermaine dupri is okay and all, but I think he got it wrong w/ his remix....


grieving. still.

Some of you remember me talking about Trey a few years ago.  Trey was a student of mine in Savannah.  In the summer of 2006, he went to the beach with a group of friends.  Sadly, Trey drowned.  I couldn't go to the funeral because I was teaching summer school.  I went to the visitation.  It's very unnatural to see the lifeless body of a teenager.
I had just run into him a couple of weeks before...he wanted to be someone...

(L to R) Penn and Chelsea

A couple of days after my birthday this past March, news came of Penn's death.  Penn had cancer.  He was one of my Young Life kids from Savannah.  Penn knew his Maker.  That doesn't make his death any easier to deal with, but there's a lot more comfort.  As you can tell from the picture, he was the goofy type.  The very first night I met Penn he had me laughing.


A few weeks later there was a terrible car accident.  It claimed the life of Omar.  He was just 16.  I had taught him the year before as a 9th grader.  His smile says it all.  Gosh, I loved that smile!  We would go back and forth making fun of each other's mom, having, of course, never had met each other's mother.  It was around Easter. We all wore pink to the funeral because it was his favorite color (he was a cholo, so he was allowed to pick pink as his favorite color...)
I'll never forget his abuela at the funeral.  I've never heard a grownup cry like that....

(L to R) Zach and Zychias

This summer we've been all over the place.  A few weeks ago we were in Savannah.  I was watching the news with my mom and saw  a news report about a young man being shot and killed near the school where I used to teach.  The next day I found out that it was Zychias.  I taught Zychias and his brother, Zach, my very first year of teaching.  They were my first set of twins.  It was very clear to me from the start that Zychias was not on the right path in life.  Nevertheless, we'd talk and talk about music.
His body was found around 10 pm.  It had been dropped on the street for someone - anyone - to find.  Police think it was drug related.  The reporter from the newspaper put his name down as "Zachias."  When I contacted the reporter and asked him to fix the error, he said something about getting his info from the police....code for, "I don't really give a damn, and this is what the police gave me..."
It's now weeks later.  No one has been arrested.  And the newspaper continues to call him "Zachias"...

I've cried a lot today.  Mostly for Zychias.  Did he die instantly, or slowly?  Was he already dead when his body was dumped, or did he die there, alone?  How could someone so smart and FULL of potential end up like this??  I confess that I wasn't shocked at all that this is where his life ended.  That doesn't make it easier though.  This has been harder than the others.  I feel like there was no way to know that Trey, Penn, and Omar were going to die this way.  But Zychias... there are SO many what ifs.....

I love all teenagers on sight.  I love hard.  I doubt that Zychias, Omar, Penn, or Trey knew just how much they were loved.  Teaching English has always been secondary for me.  I just want my kids to feel loved.  Tomorrow begins my 8th school year.  No matter how it goes, I just want to love on kids.  I want kids to feel God's love through me.


this is for every teacher who has ever been asked...

Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman
Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

     Everything. I gave an exam worth
     40 percent of the grade for this term
     and assigned some reading due today
     on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
     worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

     Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
     a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
     or other heavenly being appeared
     and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
     to attain divine wisdom in this life and
     the hereafter
     This is the last time the class will meet
     before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
          on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?
     Everything. Contained in this classroom
     is a microcosm of human experience
     assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
     This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

     but it was one place

     And you weren’t here



You are Invited to 
My Exclusive Back to School Sale! 
NOW-September 1, 2010
*Attention Husbands & Boyfriends There might be something on here for your special someone!
All Pencils  (Lip, Eye, or Brow)Buy 1 Get 2nd at ½ price !

Erasers  (Foundations, Concealers & ALL Timewise anti-aging/anti-wrinkle products)..20% off!

Paints  (Cheek & Eye Colors)..Buy 1, Get 2nd at ½ Price! 

Crayons  (Lip Colors)Buy 1, Get 2nd at ½ price!

Backpacks and Carrying Cases . . .
Compact, Compact Pro, & Traveling Roll-     
up bag 25% off!

After Gym Class, hit the showers with Our  
      Body Care Collection at 20% off!

Satin Hands Pampering Set $28(peach 
      scented) or $24(unscented) (Reg. $34 or 

All Fragrance Items (Women & Men)...25% off

School Survival . . . Mary Kay Brush Collection 
      $38 (Reg. $48)

Laura Sue Johnson
678.507.4248  email: laurasue@marykay.com

In addition to being a high school teacher, I am proud to say that I am a Senior Consultant with Mary Kay.  I would love to take care of all of your skin’s needs consider me your personal shopper!  Also, if the Mary Kay opportunity is something that interests you, I am happy to answer any questions you have.  J

*If you are interested in hosting a Back to School Party, let me know!  Earn $100 FREE in products when you party with me!!!


just so you know...



i have nothing interesting to say

well, the summer is almost gone. i feel like it just started. i have to admit, i'm kinda bored. i distract myself with scrapbooking (a very cheap version, none of this fancy pants stuff) and making fun of adam, but my life needs some action. and no, do not insert your "that's what she
said" comment here.

anyhow. here's what i have been up to. sort of.

mexico beach, florida. just south of wiwahitchka. right....

we got all fancy for a wedding in savannah...
celebrated our seven month anniversary picnic style...in our living room...adam is an awesome chef, btw. too bad you weren't there for the grub....
we made soup together. i almost killed him. with a carrot.
we went to new orleans. it was for work-related training. who knew there was a place on earth as humid as savannah?!?!

i want to eat these forever. yes, please.


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