Lauren’s Law: 2021 Year in Review

What year is it anyway? Anyone else feel that 2020 and 2021 completely bled together as one crazy year? Yeah, me too. Giving into that blur-like feeling, I’m pausing a moment on this clean slate of a year —which is 2022 for anyone else still struggling —to recap some of my favorite Lauren’s Law moments from last year that ran in the Severna Park Voice.

January 2021

In “New Home, New Baby,” I shared how literal I took this sentiment. My husband and I found out we received our new home in Severna Park a few hours before my daughter, Riley, was born. 

One year later, and we’re still getting settled. Will there ever be a day where we don’t feel like there are big projects or things to organize? Please lie and say “yes.” Anyhow, I’m still beyond grateful that my family was able to move back to this incredible community. 

Me, Charlotte, Riley and Scott posing in front of our new home that we learned our offer was accepted on hours before Riley’s birth.

February 2021

My horrific matchmaking skills were on full display in honor of Valentine’s Day. I haven’t learned my lesson to stop trying to set up family and friends. In case you’re wondering, this sentiment remains unchanged:

I’m not above introducing myself to tall strangers while waiting in line for the Best Buy Geek Squad.”

March 2021

The one where my sister, Kristen Burke and I remembered our Severna Park High School field hockey coach, Lillian “Lil” Shelton. This was one of my two favorite columns of the year with so many beautiful memories of the winningest high school coach in Maryland’s history. From end-of-year banquets with thoughtful gifts to ski trips to bagel breakfasts and team dinners, many of my favorite memories of Coach Shelton weren’t even on the field. 

I’ll be coaching lacrosse in the new year and hope to make it a fraction of fun for the kids that she made sports. 

April 2021

My other favorite column of the year titled, “Two Lessons from Mister Rogers and Reverend Schoener.” I leaned into my new-found Mister Rogers obsession and spoke with the Rev. Dr. W. Terry Schoener, who was a few years behind the sweater-wearing-legend at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 

As I wrote in April about unique ministries like children’s television or journalism, leave it to both Mister Rogers and Dr. Schoener to inspire us all to find our ministry – even when it’s outside of a church or right under our noses.”

Another key takeaway? Lets all work hard at being a good neighbor to our literal neighbors and those outside our community. 

May 2021 

Shared how I’m a terrible cook – even for simple dishes like instant mashed potatoes. Enough said. 

June 2021 

When traveling 24 hours round trip in a car with a toddler and infant, you need a vacation after a so-called beach “vacation.” Must remember to ask my toddler to hold the side of sand from my bagel this year.

My breakfast covered in sand, courtesy of my toddler daughter, Charlotte.

July 2021

This month’s article title was “Does Spinach And Artichoke Dip Really Need Spinach And Artichokes?”. Spoiler: the answer is yes, and it’s possible to need three grocery store trips to get the ingredients for a simple, five-ingredient recipe. 

August 2021

Talked about my musical stints with piano, recorder and violin. This part still makes me laugh: 

The recorder. The first instrument all elementary school students have no business playing. We all thought we were such musical geniuses playing this woodwind. On the contrary. What’s the opposite of music? Noise.”

September 2021

The Burke Family’s Christmas card circa 2007. Pictured left to right: Kristen Burke, Joe Burke, Carol Burke, Jon Hopp, Lauren Burke Meyer and Kevin Burke.

I recounted the time my immediate family traveled by RV during a nor’easter to tailgate with our fellow Penn State football fans. 

From the get-go, the weekend getaway resembled George Clooney’s classic film ‘The Perfect Storm.’…Three hours of pounding rain and gusty winds shook, rattled and almost rolled the RV over.”

My poor father would be the only one left in the RV with a cramped bed, cold shower and broken toilet after Penn State suffered a loss to Ohio State. 

October 2021

In honor of National Orthodontia Health Month, I talked about my baby Dracula teeth that needed pulling and my quasi-traumatizing five years as a metal mouth. 

My seventh grade class photo and my metal mouth in all it’s glory.

November 2021

According to my article, “playing with toys at work was turning out more stressful than I’d expected” back in my PR days when I had to construct my then client’s magnetic toy design for NBC4 Washington. In the end, the toy’s ball did what I desperately needed it to do – and that’s shoot out and down the slide for it’s 953K viewers. 

December 2021

This time last year, my then 2-year-old daughter, Charlotte jumped into a giant, muddy puddle as we were headed to Christmas Eve dinner. I learned not to sweat the small stuff – or at least am working hard not to. 

Happy New Year to all and thanks to each and every one of you who regularly read my columns. I appreciate you laughing along with me! 

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