Lauren Wellbank

experiences may vary

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Fireworks and Summer Reading Lists

The Fourth of July is finally upon us. I can tell thanks to the sweet, subtle sounds of shit exploding outside my house. The relentless ballistics begin around supper and continue until well after I’ve passed out for the night #merica.

Don’t judge my collection

The familiar percussion, while equally obnoxious and annoying when you have two sleeping toddlers, serve as a reminder that summer is already half over. And to that I say, yaaaaaay. Continue reading

My other soulmate

Shit on technology and social media all you want, but I swear it saved my life.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. It didn’t quite save my life, but it did save my relationship with my best friend. And really, that’s kinda the same thing. It all started in 2006, when my childhood BFF found me on MySpace.

We had lost touch when my mother and I moved from Florida to Pennsylvania in the mid 90’s. Those were simpler times, back before email and text messaging.

The two of us exchanged handwritten letters and care packages. We caught up over the phone when both of our single mother’s had room in their budgets for long distance calls, which was not often.

I left Florida, and Bethany, the summer before high school started. The transition from middle school to high school is hard enough, even when you’re not hundreds of miles away from the best best friend you have ever known. But we were teenagers, and things were happening. Our lives were changing and we needed to change along with them. And adapt. Before long the letters slowed down, the calls dried up, and I made one final visit back to Florida. It was the last time I saw Bethany.

At least, I thought it would be the last time. But life changed again, the world changed again, and we changed right along with it. Social media became a thing. And again, shit on it all you want but that day I received a notification that I had a connection request on Myspace, my life changed… again. We picked right back up where we left off.

We didn’t see each other for another few years. It was in 2010 when she flew in the night before I was to marry my now ex-husband. We stayed up so late that night, giggling under the covers in my old room at my parent’s house. My mom eventually had to come into the room and tell us it was time for bed.

It was like we had traveled through time. We were suddenly back in the duplex my mom and I shared in Florida when I was growing up. Everything seemed right with the world now that I had my oldest friend back by my side. That next day she sat with the rest of my family and friends, and cried tears of joy right along with my mom.

We had successfully rekindled our friendship after almost a decade of lost contact. And thanks to technology, it was nearly effortless to maintain now.

We could text, exchange emails, and like photos of eachother on Facebook. I loved her Halloween costumes, she made fun of my cats. And we could let each other know immediately, even when years had passed since the last time we were face-to-face.

When I got divorced she was there for me whenever I needed to talk, even all those miles away.

When I started dating again she stalked my boyfriend on Facebook (RIP MySpace).

We took trips and shared girl’s weekends together. We talked about our hopes and dreams of becoming professional writers.

In 2014 she was there for my baby shower. And in 2015 she was by my side during my wedding.

These days we talk more than ever. Thanks to SnapChat and Facebook messenger we are in near constant contact. We exchange pictures of our frustrated faces at the end of a long day.

She sends me videos of her goats and chickens from her mountain in Tennessee. I send videos of my daughter taking her first steps or the squeaky yet hilarious messages from my toddler up here in Pennsylvania.

It’s like we’re still in the same town. Back when we were two awkward and ridiculous teenagers, being raised by our mothers who seemed to have some sort of joint custody arrangement with one another. Each of us spending a week at one house, than a week at the other. She was my best friend, my sister, and my soulmate. I don’t know how I made it all those years in between without her, but thanks to technology, I’ll never have to do it again.


Happy birthday to my baby who isn’t a baby anymore

The birthday girl

Happy first birthday, little one.

I can hardly believe it’s already been a year. This time has somehow managed to both fly by, and drag on forever. The first year is always hard. You arrive a frail helpless baby who needs me for absolutely everything, and you grow into this waddling, laughing force of nature with a voice and strength that surprises me.

That laugh, the way that it wrinkles your whole face. Your cheeks are still plump and full and I hope that never changes. I also hope you never tire of me kissing them because I don’t think that I ever will. Continue reading

Kids ruin things, but it’s okay

Becoming a parent is a life altering event. You go from being in charge of just you, to having this whole other human being that relies on you for everything. They also somehow quadruple your laundry load.

It’s intense. And it colors everything in your world. Suddenly you find yourself wearing these parenting glasses that change the way you view everything. It’s like Predator vision, only everything is in primary colors and has soft rounded edges because holy shit everything is a death trap.

The Wellbanks before we were both Wellbanks

It’s great, because kids are awesome and great (and I’m just going to keep saying great over and over again because I have a three-year-old and it’s great Great. Great. Great.) Continue reading

Not My Ghostbusters, How The Thing Ruined My Childhood

The Thing (2011) Review

The Thing

Burn it!

Review by Kenny Wellbank

October 15th 2011

The Thing stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, and a bunch of dudes that can speak Norwegian, oh and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who is cool.

The Thing failed me. Mistake number one, it’s a prequel to the original Thing, and they didn’t make that clear enough. Everyone thought it was a remake. Mistake number two, all the CGI instead of practical effects.

I don’t even know that I can finish this review. The Thing (1982) was a gem from my youth and The Thing (2011) has ruined my childhood.

2.5 out of 5

The Thing (1982) Review

The Thing

Yeah, fuck you too!

Review by Ken Wellbank

June 26 1982

The Thing stars Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, and a bunch of other dudes.

What is this schlock? The Thing (1982) is a remake of the movie The Thing from Another World, and it spits in the face of one of the best movies of my youth. Directed by shock and gore pusher, John Carpenter, The Thing is a gross and violent movie that will make you squirm in your seat when you’re not nodding off from boredom.

Instead of making a nonsensical story that relies on grisly death scenes and horrifying body destruction, maybe focus on good storytelling and character development, and try not to ruin any more childhoods!

I wish I could write more but I don’t want to give this movie any more thought and tarnish my memories of The Thing From Another World.


The Thing From Another World (1951) Review

The Thing OG

An intellectual carrot. The mind boggles.

Review by Kenneth Wellbank

April 7th 1951

The Thing From Another Planet stars a woman and some dead guys that talked like old time radio hosts.

I don’t have much to say. This movie is a adaption of the novel, Who Goes There? By John W. Campbell, Jr. They missed the point of the book. They made a mockery of the book. This is just another example of movies looking to focus more on violence and scares to drum up money from hardworking families. Disgusting. Who Goes There? was a favorite from when I was child, and I can say with all confidence this movie ruined my childhood, and it will ruin yours as well.


Who Goes There? Book Review

The Thing the Book

That’s not a logical argument. I know it isn’t. The thing isn’t Earth-logic anyway.

Review by K.A. Wellbank

August 22nd 1938

Who Goes There? Was written by John W. Campbell, JR.

This is a good book. Short. Most sentences were easy to understand. Good for children.


This house has gone zero days without me freaking out over something that doesn’t matter

I messed up today.

I yelled at my kids this morning because I was frustrated over ten thousand stupid things but also not really one thing in particular at all. Raised my voice because I was trying to get the baby down for a nap while the toddler played her toy pots and pans like drums. What I really needed to be doing was the million other things that were waiting for me. But instead I was stuck in a loop of getting the baby almost down and having her awoken by her sister. Rinse and repeat.

Caffeinated and hoping for the best

This morning I even found myself pissed  off at the baby, whose only crime is that she is in full blown separation anxiety/cling mode. Her chunky cheeks jiggled as she began to cry when I tried to sneak off to the bathroom alone. Continue reading

How to enjoy St. Paddy’s day like you don’t have kids when you actually have a couple kids

Seven steps for enjoying St. Paddy’s Day like you did before you had kids.


Step one: Dress your kids up in their St. Paddy’s Day finest. I am talking head to toe green, orange, and white. You’re going to need a gigantic green bow for their hair. This works for girls, boys, and patient dogs alike. Put giant green bows on everyone, you won’t regret it. Take pictures because OMG how cute are your kids in matching/themed/clean outfits? Immediately post said pictures to Facebook and Instagram (#littleleprachauns #luckyAF), and tell your husband that maybe you should have another baby #luckynumber3. Spend the next half hour changing a blown out diaper, navigate a meltdown over what socks to wear, and repack the diaper bag three times because SOMEONE keeps pulling the diapers out and throwing them around the kitchen. Tell your husband it’s time for that vasectomy. Load up the car with everything anyone could possibly need for the next 24-hours, for your ten-minute ride to your parent’s house. Continue reading

When my arms are full but my heart is not

On the days when my arms are full but my heart is not, I try to remember why.

When everyone needs something right now, and I just don’t feel like I have anything left in me to give, I try to remember.

When they’ve already eaten lunch and are asking for snacks but I haven’t even started my breakfast, I force myself to remember.


It won’t always be like this. Continue reading

Kids aren’t the same as pets

Kids are not the same as pets. I know there are a lot of people out there who love their “fur babies.” And who may feel personally attacked by that statement, but I assure you I’m not making a judgement call. I’m not trying to quantify love, I’m not the government, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that there are some fundamental differences between kids and pets.

Kids and cats

Some things are just different. After all frogs are not the same as lizards. My husband isn’t the same as, oh let’s say, Timothy Olyphant (I mean it’s close, it’s just not the same). Continue reading

Kids Today

There’s been another school shooting.

Kids today don’t realize how good they’ve got it.

With the rise in accessibility of the internet, they have the entire world at their fingertips.

Back in my day, my only internet access was through AOL dial-up. Which was hardwired to an actual landline. And forget about smartphones, we had pagers. At least, the lucky kids did.

The world is so different now. I used to log onto instant messenger on my home computer. Which I had to be sitting in front of, at an actual desk. Now there’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, all of which you can access from your phone! In seconds!

Cell phones are so tiny now. And tiny means portable and portable means super accessible. No wonder kids today are on social media updating everyone about the minutiae of their day at the first chance they get.

Citizen of the Month

They’re Snapchatting their school shootings.

Continue reading

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