Friday, June 29, 2007

At the Park...AGAIN.

Today at the park, Cameron got himself into a little heap of trouble. Being the BOY that he is, much like the one Becky talks about, I caught him HITTING two girls on the playground slide. Cameron is usually, in my opinion, pretty kind and sensitive to most people, so this was kind of upsetting to me. When I asked him, "WHAT IN THE WORLD" he was doing, he said "I'm a POWDER RANGER, mom. I have to hit them." I yelled from across the park, "FIRST OF ALL, YOU'RE NOT A POWDER RANGER, SECOND OF ALL GET OVER HERE." I then made him apologize to the girls, at which point he told me he had to be a "bad guy". I told him that I didn't want him to be a bad guy because it made me sad. So then he told me that he'd be a good guy. He's been switching back and forth from good guy to bad guy all day. Here are some of the many different bad guy, "powder ranger" poses.



Bad guy lurking.

Thankfully, Cameron loves his brother enough to drop the bad guy act after a while.

Small Group Summer Nights at the Bay

Our small group meets at the bay periodically throughout the summer to barbecue and bonfire together! Since I didn't post a picture of them on my last "kudo's" post, I posted one here. Here's all 14 of us, minus one who had to work last night. Good Times.

Hotter than the cast of Laguna Beach! From left to right, Here's:
Chris, Rosalinda, Chris, Brenda, Becky, Jerry, Lauren, Steve, Cat, Dave, Annette, Emily, Jarred.

Another...with the offspring.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Post Game Update!

After a three game losing streak, we're back for a shot at playoffs after our 8-2 victory today!! A solid defense, consistent at bats, mixed with a little patience were definitely key elements that we've been missing for the past three weeks.
Way to go team! Our double header is next week. Should be fun!

Directions to Valencia Park Ball Fields:
94 West to Euclid
Left on Euclid
Left on Imperial
Right on Valencia PKWY
Ball fields are on the right.

Go Journey!

Wish Us Luck!

We HAVE to win our next three games for a spot in playoffs.
Game Time 10:05AM TODAY Saturday, June 23, 2007.

Here are directions:
94 West to Euclid
Left on Euclid
Left on Imperial
Right on Valencia PKWY
Ball fields are on the right.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Small Group Kudos

About a year and 3 months ago, Steve decided he wanted to start up our own small group. After some prayer about what type of small group we would be, he decided "young engaged and newly marrieds" would be a good demographic for us. So we started out with one other couple besides us, and met in our tiny apartment every Thursday evening. After a couple of weeks a second couple who lived in our complex joined. After a few more weeks, we decided to meet at the bay for the summer, and one of the people in our group invited a couple from work. That couple mentioned the fact that they had a home with a game room and pool and would be willing to host our group AND PROVIDE DINNER weekly!! We started meeting in their home and another couple who inquired about our small group through Journey joined. They invited another couple...who invited their brother and sister in-law to join. And now, over a year's time has gone by our group has grown from 2 people to 12 people coming on a consistent basis. I'd like to think our group is pretty eclectic, and at the beginning I worried about compromising chemistry, but after our study this week, I realized that as each couple joins, our chemistry becomes stronger. Every person has a unique and AMAZING story, and I honestly feel so honored and humbled to know each one of them.

Dave and Annette- Your hospitality, and culinary skills humble me weekly, not to mention your sweet daughters who watch my sons during study every week!

Chris and Rosalinda- Your authenticity and true passion for your lives inspires me.

Jerry and Becky- You guys are a breath of fresh air and have truly added a new dynamic to the group. Thanks for that.

Chris and Brenda- Thanks for being real. I really can't think of anyone who would want their sibling to join their small group. I'm SOOOOO incredibly glad you did. You are such a great example to all of us.

Silas and Cat- You guys live it up. You're my kind of extroverts, involving Christ in every group of friends you have. That's rad.

Jarred and Emily - Soooo honored to be a part of the beginning of your lives TOGETHER!

Reason for this post?
My small group freaking rocks! It just needed to be said!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Official Beach Day of Summer 2007!

Yesterday, we hung out at the beach in Coronado. We definitely made our time worth the 50 mile hike in the sand to get from the parking lot to our beaching destination.

In the 6.5 hours we were there, Cameron turned blacker than my coffee.

Riley avoided the sun!

Enjoyed eating snacks and sand.

And we all had a blast with special friends!

Looking forward to many more beach days to come!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Disneyland has been REPLACED.

I think I may have found Cameron's version of what heaven looks like. We're definitely going here instead of Disneyland for his birthday!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lauren's Trends

My good buddy, Josh inspired me, when he mentioned websites he frequents, to post my own list of websites I check daily. These are in addition to the 13 blogs I check daily for updates, of course!

1. Google Trends - This site, powered by google, lists the top ten most googled words at the moment and links to the specific website or article. Click here to learn more.

2. KGTV - Up to date local news headlines. 10 News updates their website more frequently than any other local station. On TV, I prefer KUSI.

3. You Tube - Can't forget to check the top videos of the day!!

4. Sacred Space - Online daily devotional/Prayer guide. Best that I've found. There's not much reading, only a couple of paragraphs. You're pretty much guaranteed to have a good talk with God as you use this tool!

5. Maple - My little sister, Lindsay, makes earrings, bracelets and rings out of recycled skateboard decks. I'm NOT kidding. She goes to a public wood shop every week in her town, cuts, sands and lacquers pieces of skateboard decks to reveal the colors of the original plys of wood (no paints or designs added), and then...makes jewelry. Her business has been showcased in several craft shows and news articles, and can be purchased at a few different skate shops in her town of Portland, Oregon.

That's it! Check 'em out! Later, I'll post my favorite websites that I don't necessarily visit daily!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Blogging Tip Numero Uno

INTENTIONAL POSTING: Keep in mind that the post on your blog RIGHT NOW is what defines you!

I met a really cool gal at one of our games a few weeks ago. She came up to Steve and I and told us that she'd been coming to Journey with her family for a while and that she'd recognized us from singing at the services. After we talked for a while and got to hear her story, we got on the topic of blogging. She mentioned that she read one of my friend's blogs and thought it was really great and interesting. I then responded by saying "yes, I read that blog frequently and did you know that you can get to MY blog from that person's blog?" (Here's where today's lesson comes in) She said "YES!! I've read your blog!! I LOVE YOUR RECIPES!!"

Hmmmmm... Recipes? I've only posted ONE post about a recipe EVER on this blog, and well this made me realize that because she told me she loved my "recipes" (plural), this meant she has only looked at my blog ONCE and saw that it was a stupid recipe on how to make biscotti and I guess just figured my entire blog was about recipes and decided to blog lurk elsewhere.

I've been looking forward to this "stay at home, mom" stuff, but I've turned into a 25 year old 50 year old. Who not only has enough time to BAKE, but I also have enough time on my hands to post (with pictures) about it.

Maybe I should start putting disclaimers on my posts about my TRUE coolness so that people aren't deceived into thinking I'm some old hag!

The most disturbing thing about the whole ordeal is, well, the fact that I actually DO have a separate blog from this one that IS dedicated to recipes. Crap. I AM an old hag. Sorry everyone!

Mommy's Sweet Boy!

We attended Journey's beach baptism last Sunday, and to my surprise, a friend took pictures of Riley in the sand and gave me a cd of about 30 GREAT pictures! Thanks Friend!

Eye of the Tiger!!!

I'm really NOT one for confrontations or physical beat downs because they're just not classy in sports like baseball. But for some reason, I REALLY liked this picture that captured the hype of MLB today!
Go CY! You're rad!

Padre's WIN 1-0 over the Cubs!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Remodeling and Restoring

For the past 2 months, our apartment complex landscape has been in the process of being completely remodeled. New grass, new concrete, new paint color, new play area, even a new pool! Our landlord hasn't raised our rent yet and we're hoping that the 25 cents they recently added to our laundry will be enough to cover the cost for the new "look". I really like our complex and am totally jazzed about how nice our place is going to look in a few more months.

Anyway... as I woke up to the sound of massive drills cutting concrete outside my window this morning I couldn't help but relate that sound, the uprooting of cracked concrete, to the state my soul has been in the past couple months.

About a month ago, the landscape company removed just about ALL of the beautiful Eucalyptus trees from everywhere in our complex. I couldn't understand why they would cut down such nice trees that provide great shade and privacy for all of the tenants. After questioning it, I quickly reasoned the fact that I believed the people in charge had plans to make this place great! I'm sure they knew how beautiful all the trees were and they wouldn't cut them down unless they had better plans in mind.

There's probably no need for analogy here, but I'll give you one anyway.

God is uprooting and chopping down areas in my life that honestly I didn't think needed chopping. Lately, God has taken a humongous JACK HAMMER to the areas I've felt strong in. I'm constantly questioning God's reasoning behind the "madness" of the Faiai household, when really I need to be trusting that He knows me completely and has even BETTER things to do with my life and my family than the way we're doing life now. That's encouraging to me, but at the same time understanding these concepts in my head doesn't do me any good if they don't give me peace in my heart.

That's where I'm at right now. Pleading to God to MAKE ME BELIEVE IT! I have total peace in knowing that the ugly view out my bedroom window only means that it's going to be gorgeous in due time, but for whatever reason, I have a hard time trusting God (who CREATED me) to give my life the same opportunity.

Maybe this is why it's been so hard. What if the trees roots never gave way to the landscapers tools. What if the concrete was too hard to be broken. What if the exterior stucco was just too terribly coarse to paint a new color over? These circumstances would make it twice as hard for the workers, not to mention how much longer the process would take.

I've reached a dangerous spot where I need to let go. And literally let God take over in the restructuring. If I keep trying to make things work the way I've been working them for so long it's just going to take God twice as long to make me into who he wants me to become.

Next week more brand new sod goes in. Hopefully God's time line for His project in ME includes fresh green grass soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Let's Go Padres, Let's Go (clap clap)!!

This common baseball game chant has been an anthem around our house ever since we took both boys to Saturday's Padre game! Cameron seemed very confused as he tried to make the connection between what we've seen at home on channel 4 and what we were actually seeing live! I tried to explain to him that the game we were watching live was also on TV. I gave up explaining after the giant inflatable man eating baseball walked out on the field to entertain the crowd between innings. He was completely lost by that point!
Although the Padres were defeated that night, we still had a GREAT time. We had AWESOME seats (THANKS TO DAVE AND ANNETTE), right next to the bullpen. We were literally just a couple feet from being able to touch Trevor Hoffman. We got some good pictures of the pitchers warming up which I'll post below. Despite the loss, we still remain hopeful as we're still in first place by a game and a half! We're in for a great second half of a season! If you have tickets to spare, hook us up!!

Can you hear them ring??

Wow- Now that's close!

The hubby, the boys, great friends, the Padre's...what more could I ask for? Life is good!

family fireworks show after the game!

Let's Go Padres, Let's Go!!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wow! This is incredible!

This video is the reason why my mom should be happy that my brother was never an academic genius in high school.

Ignorance IS INDEED bliss.

My little bro, Landon graduated from high school yesterday. The reality of the REALITY he's about to face is kind of scary to me! Spending the day reminiscing on his past 4 years of high school brought back so many memories from when I was an ignorant high school kid. I remember being sooo anxious to grow up and be able to do things MY WAY... and now when I look back at those years, I realize how well I had it. Not much responsibility, free rent, lot's of time and well...the world was just supposed to revolve around me. Last night at Landon's graduation party, I reminded my mom of the time that I got mad at her, left the house and walked ALL THE WAY down Crest hill with my bat bag that had at least 40lbs worth of equipment in it. My mom and dad both remembered that time. My mom asked if I remembered why I got so upset. I told her that I didn't remember but that they must have done something to REALLY make me mad. She then proceeded to tell me it was all because she asked me to bring the trashcans up from out on the curb. I told her no. She told me she wouldn't take me to softball practice if I didn't. So...instead of walking 30 feet out the front door to get the trashcans, I hoisted on my bat bag, and walked 6 miles down Crest Hill to walk to practice on my own. Little did I dad would be on his way home from work and caught me at the bottom of the hill. I guess he didn't know the situation, because he drove me to practice from there. This is just one of many stories of how stinkin' ignorant I was. I didn't have to do ANYTHING! School was a HUGE social party everyday, and when I'd get home, I could take a nap, hang out with friends, eat, ask my parents for money to go out etc...

Ohhh what I'd do for even a NAP these days!!!

It makes me wonder how many thing's I'm ignorant about right now. In 10 years, will I look back on today and question all the stupid choices I'm making right now? I'd like to think I'm a little more responsible and mature than I was in high school, but then again, back then I thought I had life figured out. Indeed I was kidding myself.

One way that my perspective on life has changed (after a husband and 2 kids) is that I know for a FACT that I don't have life figured out. I question my motives and reasoning everyday. I'm constantly asking God to make me a better person than I am. And I know how important it is to be thankful for everything I have, and to NEVER expect ANYTHING in return for things I've done or even worked for.

I guess the lesson of this reminder to myself could be described in one sentence.
10 years ago I thought the world "OWED ME" big time, and now all I know for sure is that I OWE God (and my parents for that matter) more than EVERYTHING I have.

I've definitely been served with a NICE BIG SLICE of humble pie.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Look out world...It's a brand new day!!

Well...I think a record was set today. At 8:15AM I awarded myself with the "earliest mom at the park award" I sat on the park bench at the early hour literally looking up in the sky and thanking God for a BEAUTIFUL WARM morning and for placing Aztec Park almost LITERALLY right outside our front door. When we woke up this morning, the house was a mess, the kids were awake and having a screaming contest and Steve and I were already feeling the stress that would be a crazy day. So...I decided that I would get up, brush my teeth, put some decent clothes on, and take the boys out for an early park trip. I will definitely do it more often! Both boys were very happy to be outside and releasing energy, and I was happy that they weren't inside my house bouncing off the walls, creating endless messes. Although they had a good time, and I'm happy about that, the REAL reason I will do early park trips very often is because BOTH boys went down for their naps at 11:00am. I was able to gain a little more sanity in this past hour and a half and couldn't be more thankful for that!! Thank You Public Park. I love you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Is it Friday Yet?

Today marks the 3rd day of being home with the boys as a part time stay home mom. I'm not going to lie. I'm a stinking wuss. This is hard stuff! Cameron isn't really a huge issue. He has fun doing just about anything, but Riley...HOLY COW. The boy is demanding, and just spoiled as heck! If your mental picture of Riley looks like a sweet, innocent boy, who's had a rough year of life...YOU'VE BEEN DECEIVED!! He's a pistol! And a manipulator! He does crazy things to mess with my brain. Like, the day he decided to grow one tooth. I thought he was soooo cute. It just melted my heart when he'd smile really big and say "da da" with his one little tooth poking out... so...then I'd pick him up to hug and squeeze him and kiss him, and then... I figured out the WHOLE THING was an EVIL TRAP!! Whenever I'd try to put him down he'd SCREAM BLOODY now, whenever he's acting sweet and cute and making sweet noises, I know NOT to pick him up. I just walk by and try not to make eye contact!! Just Kidding...that was all kind of an exaggeration...but just to prove the point that Riley boy has me wrapped around his finger.

I'm definitely looking forward to the day both boys are out of diapers. I know every age comes with it's own challenges...Whatever the case...I'm ready for NEW challenges. Something different than the impossible craziness life feels at the moment!

As tough as it's been, you'll be happy to know that it hasn't been ALL bad! Yesterday Cameron smothered me with sweetness. As we were walking home from Aztec park he even said "Mommy, that was so much fun. Thank you for taking me to the park. Thank you for playing with my friends, and thank you for keeping me safe on the sidewalk." Not only was it a long complete sentence for him to say, but it was just jam packed with all the mush mommies live for!!

The term "La Vida Loca" is an understatement to describe what life is like for me right now...but I'm confident that in a few years I'll be looking back at these days, wishing I could go back! So maybe I should just chill and soak it up for a while! Hmmm...On second thought...Is it Friday yet?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Faiai Family Foto's

We hung out at "Grandma and Grandpa's" house today. It was a nice day, so we decided to take some pictures!

Faiai Family of Four...and NO MORE.

Mommy and her sweet Riley boy in front of Great Grandpa's Truck!

Riley and his daddy.

Big Bro, Little Bro

Friday, June 1, 2007

Ty Chandler

I have permission today to post info and photo's of my sweet friend, Kara's new son, Ty Chandler. He was born this past Tuesday in the late afternoon. He wieghed 7lb 9oz, and was a little over 20 inches long. He is super healthy, and of course as sweet as can be. Kara is doing great! She looks amazing, and I really can't believe that she's on her feet WORKING already, three days after she gave birth to a child!! Amazing! My kind of gal!

The following pictures are from my camera phone, so sorry they're not better quality!