Friday, May 30, 2008

My Ballers!!

One blind hit on a craigslist ad 4 months ago landed me on an amazing softball team here in Raleigh. Not only is the league organized and competitive, but I'm playing with girls who just finished playing college ball! How cool is THAT?! We play 2 times a week, and practice whenever our coach thinks we need it! We've started hanging out on the weekends, and we really just enjoy each other's company!

Christian is one of my teammates! And she's an incredible softball player!! She has started coming to Church at the Triangle, and is using her expertise in PR (her real job) to help us launch our church!! She has a GREAT story, and I'm so glad I'm getting to know her! See Christians blog at to read more about her and about our softball team!

God is doing amazing things in my life and in the life of our church, and I'm thankful today, that He brought me Christian!


Cameron Says...

This may be considered more of a "Cameron does" version of this segment today, but nonetheless, it qualified!

Cameron LOVES coming to my softball games. He asks me if it's a softball day, pretty much everyday. The reason he likes coming isn't because of the playground, or to play with other kids, and he certainly doesn't come just because he's interested in my batting average. Cameron LOVES softball game days because before almost every game we stop by the store to pick up water and one snack for him to eat at the game. Cameron loves his snacks. He usually chooses Cheeto's and a Gatorade. This snack stop is well worth his GREAT attitude throughout the rest of the evening and during my game.

Yesterday, I told him that we weren't going to stop by the store for a snack before the game, and that he should bring something from home. To my surprise, Cameron wasn't upset. He didn't whine, or even question why we weren't going to the store. Instead he replied by saying "Ok, mom, I will pack my own snack!"

As I started getting my uniform and everything together, I heard the stool being moved in the kitchen and the silverware drawer being opened and closed. A few moments later...

"Ok, I'm ready to go now, mom!" We headed out the door, and it wasn't until we got outside that I noticed what he had packed for his snack. "What is that, baby?!" I asked.

"It's a peanut butter sandwich, mom!"

It wasn't just any peanut butter sandwich though. For some reason, I guess my son prefers the heel parts of a loaf of bread, because he managed to work his way through the loaf of bread to take out both ends to make his sandwich. I thought that was kind of funny! But then, when I looked closer, the thing that amused me even more was the 1 big bite taken out of the sandwich. I guess it just looked so good when he finished making it that he couldn't resist a little taste!

He was very proud of his homemade snack. I'm proud of him too. Even though I still don't understand why he had to put the tiny sandwich inside a gigantic freezer bag. Oh well! That's my boy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Oh man. I am humbled and honored to have the privilege today to present to you one of my favorite JOYS of being a resident of Raleigh, North Carolina!

Wow. Read it again! That was an AMAZING introduction!

Friends, meet Snoopy's Hot Dogs and More.

Now, let me just start by saying I am NOT a hot dog fan. They're messy, pretty boring, and just not a menu item I'd ever prefer... EXCEPT AT SNOOPY'S.

I had my first Snoopy Dog a couple months after moving here to Raleigh which just so happens to be Snoopy's original and only location. The reason I even decided to try a Snoopy's Famous Hot Dog, besides the coercion of our friends here, is because every time I drive by the place, there's a line of people wrapped around the side of the building. People of all different walks of life. Young, Old, College kids, business men... just EVERYBODY!

Ordering at Snoopy's can either be extremely easy or a little tricky. For me it's easy. When you order a Snoopy Dog, it automatically comes equipped with mustard, onions and chili on it. You can request to add slaw and or cheese, or you can request to not have any condiments. I used to think that the trick to the Snoopy dog was the chili and onions, but I recently realized that the trick, the SECRET is a medium sized contraption I always look for when I go. It's some kind of hot dog steamer. How it works? Not sure...but it makes my hot dog bun steamy hot and delicious!

It wasn't love at first sight, but after experiencing the wonderfulness that is Snoopy's, I have really NO other alternative for a fast food run!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dinner Time at the Faiai House

Every once in a while, there's nothing like a delicious bowl of hamburger helper and rice!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This morning I woke up thinking about deep friendships I miss in San Diego. Although I love the people we're doing life with here, I have yet to find friends I can be around and feel safe letting my guard down. (I can name certain SD friends who are probably cheering at this fact, thinking I should come home now!) Not the case! I miss you though, and I'd love to see you!

More than anything, I'm realizing the similarities between my deep friendships and my worn out softball glove. I like asking my teammates to try my glove on, because no one, NO ONE can fit it on their hand! It's pretty funny. I've had my glove since the mid 1990's, the leather inside is pretty much shredded. glove fits ME perfect. In fact, it fits BETTER every time I put it on! It has taken me years and years and years to break in my softball glove to give it the perfect crease for my hand. Do I even need to explain this analogy?

I wish it didn't have to take years and years to cultivate a deep friendship, but truth is, it's going to take longer than I want it to. REALLY?! Ugh. You mean, my husband needs to suffice as my ONLY closest friend right now?! BORING! Don't get me wrong. My friendship, my marriage-ship (new word) with my hubby is my refuge! Especially now! But I miss my HIZZIES! The ones who know the hidden meaning behind the dumb things I say. The ones I can hug, and without saying a word, they can KNOW in that moment how much I care about them! The ones who I've known forever, and who know me as the same person they love me for, no matter how much I change. Did that make sense?

It wouldn't make sense or be fair to place expectations on the friendships I'm cultivating right now. I knew from the beginning exactly what I wanted my glove to feel like when I caught a ball, but it took lots of time and shaping to get it that way!

Maybe this is why my initial realization of who God is was so powerful, emotional and earth shattering for me. In ONE moment, God was everything I could desire out of a deep friendship. Actually, God was the model of what a deep friendship had the potential to be. The relationship between friends that would normally take years and years to shape, took one split moment with God.

Or maybe I'm getting this whole thing wrong. Maybe I'm waiting for a friend to meet the desires of my heart that only God wants to fulfill. Maybe God moved me all away across the country to cut me off from those friendships I've been feeding off of so that HE could have my full attention and bless me with a deeper friendship in Him. Maybe even one that's closer than a brother. Wow! That sounds like something I could look into!

I think I'll always long for depth in my friendships. And, I'm ok with that! But for now, while I'm aching for deeper friends, I'm going to ask God to fill that throb in my soul with His intended love for me, that I've possibly put in second place. Ouch...try admitting that one!

Here are some of the friends I miss, and some words worth listening to in my short moment of clarity.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lindsay Jo

Lindsay is definitely one of my favorite people on the planet. When we were younger we fought like drama queens! Except for when we'd carve pumpkins together!

As we've grown older, our love for each other has grown tremendously too! I think she loves me mostly because I birthed her nephews!!, in honor of her 25th birthday, I wanted to list some of the MANY things I admire most about my sister Lindsay!

- Lindsay is the most selfless person I know. She doesn't try to be a caring trusting person, she just IS!

- Lindsay lives a life of no compromise. She stands up for what she believes is right, and doesn't waver in the things she's passionate about. (This means, she calls me 50 times on the day of the NC primaries to make sure I VOTE!)

- To Lindsay, CREATIVITY itself is out of style. She's her own trend setter and has always been on the cutting edge of art and design.

- On Christmas and other holidays, Lindsay makes us personal gifts. They're not lame either. She's made me a few wall hangings and stuffed animals for the boys!

- Lindsay is unconditional. Whether you've screwed her over, stolen her latest fashion concept or have known her forever, Lindsay will be your friend! And she'll love you unconditionally.

My favorite thing about my sister is all of the memories we have together.
Some of my favorites:
-Rats in the Attic Attic

- Uhh Shoot

- Mom and Dad's Anniversary Song

- Visiting her and my mom on the set of Titanic

- Listening to her sing the Yeah yeah yeah's (or whatever they're called) in the car

- Family Cameltoe Hairdo

- When dad picked you up by your hair

- Making fun of Landon's "Oh MY GOD, MOM...Do you WANT me to flunk my test tomorrow? She's helping me with my HOMEWORK".

- Carquest Coast to Coast Guarantee

Lindsay, I LOVE you and miss you a ton! So do my boys! Hope to see you soon!
Happy 25th Birthday!

Here's me and my sis getting our haircut not so long ago!

Here she is with her boyfriend, Buzzy!

And here's her Obama cake!

Definitely queen of the power tools!

If you think Lindsay is as AWESOME as I think she is, and if you really want to give her a gift for her birthday, but can't make it out to Portland any time soon, check out and buy a bunch of her jewelry made from recycled skateboards. Or just look for it in your local skate shop!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Landon Post Op Update

Landon got home from the hospital at about 3:30PM yesterday (Thursday). Aside from some pain at the site of his incision, he's doing much better. Thanks to all who prayed and especially to all the family and friends who came to the hospital to be with Landon when my parents couldn't be there with him.

Glad you're feeling better, bubba. Don't addict yourself to painkillers!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Everyone loves pictures...right?!

Cameron and his grandma.

Cameron dancing, waiting for lunch.

Visit with Mom and Dad

Although their trip home was a bit of a disaster, we had a great time with my mom and dad in town. I think most people would be absolutely ready for their parents to leave after visiting for 5 days. That wasn't our case. Time went by very quickly and we were sad to see them go.

Big hugs for grandpa...

Riley helping his grandpa keep up on his work.

Kisses for grandma.

More kisses for grandma!

The dreaded goodbye. So glad you got this depressing picture, dad!

A day in the life of a Faiai boy

I'm noticing a pattern in Cameron and Riley's morning routine. Here's a little sneak peek.
At about 6:30AM both boys (Riley learns from Cameron) move the bar stools from the dining area into the kitchen to make themselves breakfast. If you look closely, you can see boy on the right chose ice cream cones for breakfast. Boy on the left decided on jelly beans.

After getting them out of the kitchen and taking their idea of breakfast away, the boys usually get a little angry, but are ok watching cartoons while I make them real food. But... sometimes watching cartoons isn't enough to keep their attention... and then I can almost bet when I peek around the corner I'll find Riley trying to escape.

After breakfast and a couple of changes of clothes, they enjoy playing together in their pirate ship.

Riley pretty much copies every single sound and movement his big brother makes.

This week was special, because we were all sad that grandma and grandpa had to leave. So, we made a special trip to Frankie's where Cameron got to race cars with daddy against mommy. Can you take a guess who won? Yes. Cameron. But after I mentioned that I lost and he won, I was reassured that "We're ALL winner's" so I'm not too sad.

So, there it is. A day in the life of a Faiai boy. Of course, that was only the first half of the day. Post nap time is a completely different experience. I'll fill you in on how that goes later!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


My parents were at the airport since yesterday (Tuesday) trying to find an earlier flight home so they could get to the hospital where my brother was having an emergency appendectomy. The couldn't find any earlier flights, so they boarded their originally intended flight at 4PM. 4PM was about the time my television started buzzing the emergency broadcast system alert, when we learned of a severe thunderstorm was headed our way. My dad called me at 5:30PM to tell me he was still in Raleigh. They didn't make it off the runway before the storm. And the airport where they switched planes (Charlotte) wasn't taking any flights, so they got off the plane and spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how to get home. They eventually made it to Charlotte after the storm, but couldn't leave from there until this morning. They tried to find a hotel to sleep in, but they were all booked, so they spent the night in the airport. My dad sent me this picture this morning.

The earliest flight they could find was one to Vegas this morning. From there, they'll catch another plane back to SD.

Update on Landon:
I don't know much. Just bits and pieces from my grandparents and my aunt who have been at the hospital with him. The doctor's were still performing xrays yesterday morning to make sure it was his appendix and not some other issue. They performed the appendectomy and removed his appendix yesterday afternoon. He was in a ton of pain after he woke up from his anesthesia. That's all I know. Not sure if he's in pain because of the incision or if his pain might be caused by something else, and not the appendix. I don't know. We'll see. I'm trying to get a hold of Landon's girlfriend, Beth, who's been there with him since he went in 2 days ago.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Bro...

My little brother, Landon went to the emergency room last night thinking he had another kidney stone (he's had three). My grandparents have been at the hospital with him since 4pm yesterday, and they just learned that Landon ruptured his appendix and that it's going to be removed today. My parents are going to the airport now to find an immediate flight home. Please pray for my brother, the surgery and that my kids won't freak out that their grandma and grandpa are leaving much earlier today than planned.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Cameron Says...

My mom and dad leave tomorrow. The week went by incredibly fast. I'm sad they're leaving and so are my kids. More on their visit later. For now, a conversation Cameron and I had about his grandma and grandpa just before bedtime.

Cameron: Mom, I'm really going to miss my grandma and grandpa.

Me: I know, buddy. Grandma and Grandpa are my mommy and daddy. I'm going to miss them too.

Cameron: I wished they could live in Norf Carolina by our house.

Me: Well, maybe if you pray about it, God might make their hearts want to move here someday.

Cameron: But mom!!

Me: What?

Cameron: They can't push their house all the way over here.

Me: You're right. They'd have to leave their house and find a new one here.

Cameron: Wait!! I know, Mom! They can live in the apartment right next to the wall of my bedroom!

Me: That would be PERFECT!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

They're Here!!

My parents finally landed in Raleigh at about 6:10PM last night. The boys were so excited to see them. I was excited too! Grandma brought TONS of gifts for her grandbabies and we had a great first few hours together eating dinner and watching idol! Cameron spent the night at their hotel last night, and is VERY excited about waking up early and enjoying the hotel's continental breakfast! We have a full day/week ahead of us, starting at 9:00AM this morning!

Here's a picture we took at the airport just after they arrived. The boys had fun holding their sign as grandma and grandpa came down the escalator into baggage claim.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Boys, My Responsibility

I don't know why, but, In the past year or so, I've done a lot of thinking about what kind of young men Cameron and Riley will be when they're in high school. Weird, I know. But every so often, some random moment will trigger these thoughts!

The latest came from a quote from one of my all time favorite blogs.

"When you have a boy, you have to worry about one boy on the planet. When you have a girl, you have to worry about every boy on the planet."

I'd have to agree with this comment, however, I couldn't say that I'm content with my role in this statement if it's true!

Watching my little bro grow up into a teenager and now an adult has given me an insight that I'm pretty sure is speaking into my growing concern!

I'm pretty sure Landon (my 19 year old brother) has ALWAYS had more GIRL friends than GUY friends. Looking back at his past 4 years in high school, I'm actually glad this was true. He was never part of any of the druggie groups his guy friends were in, and was never really a bully like a lot of them were. Since he had more GIRL friends, he always did a good job at maintaining a cool, pretty calm and respectful composure. And I always did a good job at telling him to "MAKE GOOD CHOICES" before he went anywhere! I'm convinced, he's a good guy! matter how GOOD he is, as long as he's dating someone's daughter, he's inevitably going to be the firing target of a protective dad. I'm pretty sure almost any dad would initially like to ring the neck of his daughters love interests. And to an extent, that's understandable!

What this all means is...I'm not sure how good I feel about my sons being the source of some paranoid dad's anger some day !! That's just not fair! To them OR me!! Even if I raise the most respectful, purest boys in the world, they're still going to be glared upon someday. And...on the flip side of that, I'm going to be the one responsible for their actions if they do screw up. I know for a fact that the daughters of these protective dads aren't always innocent. In fact, SHE was probably the one who ASKED my son to make out in the first place, Mr. WHOEVER YOU ARE!

(sigh)... Anyway. Maybe I shouldn't get all worked up about this whole deal yet. I could probably wait AT LEAST until they stop peeing in their Handy Manny underwear!

Holmes Visit Countdown!

In about 48 hours, I'll be hugging my mom and dad!! Yeah!!!
I've never been more excited to see them!

To celebrate their near arrival, Here are a few reasons I can't wait for them to get here! In no particular order, of course!

I can't wait for Cameron and Riley to see their grandma and grandpa!

I can't wait to play scrabble with them!

I can't wait until they get to hear all of the crazy stuff the boys say!

I can't wait for my dad to make beans and Carne Asada!

I can't wait until they come watch my game!

I can't wait until they get to see our church building!

I can't wait for them to meet our friends!

I can't wait until our road trip on Monday to the beach!

I can't wait to show them around town!

I can't wait until they see the bobcats!

I just can't wait!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cameron Says...

I might make this a reoccurring segment of my blog. The boy doesn't stop talking!

Our latest conversation -

(Today, walking home from the grocery store)

Me: "CAMERON! What is that big wet spot on your pants? Did you have an accident?"

Cameron: "No Mom, don't worry. It's not pee. It's just a fish crying."

Me: "Oh! So there's a fish crying in your pants?"

Cameron: "Mom, let's just not talk about it."


Mom, he said this was a picture of you and grandpa on your way to our house!!
I thought it was a pretty good drawing for my crazy 3 year old!

You can even click it and print it if you want to hang it on your refrigerator!

Mazel Tov!

About a week ago, I was offered a job as a hostess for the event center that our church has been meeting in. Since I'm all about getting out and meeting new people, I agreed to try it out. The girl who trained me (showed me where the lights were) made sure I knew that the job was REALLY simple, and that I was basically just an extra body to tell people where the bathrooms are. She told me to bring my laptop and a I did. I had some time to myself at the beginning of the night before anyone got there, but when people arrived, things started rolling!

I've never been to a Bar Mitzvah before, so I was really more interested in the party than I was in my internet (I're shocked!) So I helped out where I could and talked to lots of really nice Mafia sorts of individuals, who treated me like family, and told me all about the big celebration!! BIG is and understatement. This was like Super Sweet Sixteen CRAZY!!

I knew it would be a great night when the caterer set up the sushi bar right on top of the desk I was working from!! Sushi was just an appetizer! The thing that was cool about the whole party was that it was sort of separated, so the kids partied on one end of the room and the adults on the other. Kids and adults each had different meals and desserts...which all were delicious!

As much as I knew this wasn't a party I was particularly invited to, I couldn't help but to join in on my "Crank That" song.

I watched the family do the Hora which was really cool!! After that, the kids all went home and the adults just drank themselves crazy! I got offered a ton of liquor to take home, but since it was my first night, and since I'm not a big drinker, I declined! But then, on their way out my new friends gave me a case of beer and a bottle of wine. will probably just sit in the fridge until my parents come next week!

It ended up being A LOT of work, and my feet hurt like crazy. I didn't realize until I got home that I was there for 9 hours. It's 2AM now and we have to be back to church by 9:00AM in the morning. But the experience of my first Bar Mitzvah was well worth it! I hope I can do another one again soon!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Back By Popular Demand!

The popular demand of my family in San Diego, that is.

Another Cameron and Riley Video:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Another reality check from the 3 year old!

Last night, after Cameron's bedtime story, I was holding him and rubbing his back (per his request!) While I was holding him, I told him that I was going to be sad when he grows bigger. He asked me why I'd be sad. I told him it was because one day he'd be to big for me to hold him like a baby. And that I wished I could hold him like a baby forever!

His response? One I'd never predict to come out of his mouth!

After a few second pause, Cameron responded to my concern by saying:

"That's called change, mom. Sometimes change doesn't always make you happy...but change is a good thing, mom!"

WOAH!! I just about jumped up when he said that. I was sooo bummed I didn't catch the moment on video! He was so right on... it was almost just weird! In attempts to draw more out of that statement, I started asking questions like what does change mean, Cameron? Then he started talking about baby chicks hatching from eggs and other completely irrelevant things. That's when I reminded myself that he's still only three years old! We then went back to counting big fluffy sheep jumping over white fences!

I hope, someday, I'll be able to grasp change like Cameron explained it to me last night.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Go Bobcats!

A few months ago, Lee and Steve decided to coach a 12 and under girls softball team here in Raleigh. When Steve first committed to coaching with Lee, I wasn't looking forward to him being gone more nights out of the week for practices and games. Especially since I'm already gone 2 nights out of the week...but meeting new people is a big part of our life here, so we thought it would be a good idea.

Turns wasn't a good idea. It was a GREAT idea!! I forgot what it was like being a 12 year old girl. Now I get to practically relive those days every week!

I really can't describe why I have such a good time watching the team play. You REALLY have to be there to just experience it...but I'm not kidding you, Bobcat games are a definite HIGHLIGHT of every week.

Each girl brings a different and very distinct personality to the team. Some are more competitive than others. Some are REALLY developing great technique, while others are still learning rules of the game!

I love watching Steve and Lee coach, because they both have different styles in coaching each girl. Lee is the most encouraging guy on the face of the planet when it comes to his softball team. "Great Job" is the only thing that comes out of that guy's mouth...whether they hit home runs, or strike out 3 times in a row. Steve, on the other hand, isn't so delightful all of the time. If you were on his co-ed team last year, then you know that my husband can get a little intense. Although he doesn't march out on the field and yell at the 12 year olds, I have seen him roll his eyes and hit the fence when one of them makes an error!

One thing that these girls all have in common is the fact that they just love being together more than anything!!! After about 5 innings of making up cheers and figuring out who can scream the loudest, one of them usually comes up and asks what the score is. That girl will then report to the rest of the girls and then they'll ALL CHEER REALLY LOUD either because they're winning or because "ALL WE NEED IS 4 HOME RUNS TO WIN, WOO HOO!!" (Followed by a girly shriek, and then a loud deep growling YEEAAHHHH!!)

The new COOL thing the girls do is, when anyone makes a good defensive play, instead of giving ONE teammate a high five, ALL of the girls (outfield and infield) run, SCREAMING, to the girl who made the play to give her hugs and secret handshakes. Thankfully there's no delay of game rule!

Carlee is definitely my favorite Bobcat! We just have this amazing inner connection! Like sometimes she'll be pitching on the pitchers mound. And in between pitches, while the batter is in stance waiting for the ball, Carlee will look over at me wink her eye and rub her tummy. This is her telekinetic way of telling me she CAN'T WAIT to go to Sweet Tomatoes (Soup Plantation) after the game!

When the girls are focussed, and Lee is repeatedly telling them to throw the ball into the glove, they're a pretty good team. Actually, they're a REALLY good team. I am SO proud to be part of our 12 and under Bobcats!!