Saturday, June 28, 2008

SYTYCD - Bleeding Love

I haven't watched much of So You Think You Can Dance this season. Mostly because I'm not home to watch it, but also because I LOVE Randy Jackson's America's Next Best Dance Crew, and would rather watch that if I had the chance. However, as I flipped through channels this week, I learned that one of the numbers on So You Think You Can Dance was danced to Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love". Since I like the song, I decided to find the dance on You Tube. I'm SOOOO glad I did. This is probably the most creative, passionate hip hop routine of it's kind that I've seen anywhere. Sooo Good.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cameron Says...

This has been really the only reoccurring post that has stayed consistent here on TOC. I think it might just be because Cameron says crazy things so...consistently.

In attempts to FINALLY put an end to the over night bed wetting, I've come up with a story (my own "mom myth") to tell Cameron. I tell him every time he goes potty in his pants he grows a few inches shorter. And every time he uses the toilet like a big boy, he gets taller and more grown up. So...if he keeps going potty in his pants, he's going to turn back into a baby, and have to wear diapers again.

This has worked for the most part. Today was an exception, when Cameron said:

Cameron: "Mommy, I have to tell you the truth."

Me: "What, Cameron?"

Cameron: "I went pee in my pants, mom."

Me: "CAMERON!! When is this going to END?!"

Cameron: "I don't know, mom. Do I look shorter."

Me: "YES! You just keep getting shorter! I better go buy some diapers!!"

I walked out of the living room to go finish folding clothes in my room. He knew I was frustrated with him. About 5 minutes later, Cameron came in and said he wanted to tell me something else.

Me: "What?! Did you change your pants and put new underwear on?"

Cameron: "Yes, mom. And guess what?!"

Me (turning to look at him): "What?"

Cameron: "I'm really really really really really not going to pee in my pants any more mom, because now my nakie listens to me. And now I am listening to my nakie."

Me: "Ok, Cameron. I'm glad you've got control over that thing now."

Cameron: "Yes mom, and I'm going to be REALLY tall someday, huh mom?!"

Me: "Yes, bud. REALLY tall."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ramblings of this 26 year old's brain at 3:25AM

In attempts to get some better rest, I've decided to post the thoughts racing around in my brain tonight (this early morning).

1. Holy Crap!! I'm pretty sure God brought me here to bless me with the closest, most amazing friends in the world. We're together almost everyday, and we're trying hard to get sick of each other's just ain't gonna happen anytime soon!

2. So glad I got to officially introduce Ashlee to the team. I was nervous at first, just because I didn't want her newly graduated, out of high school mind to be corrupted by "edge" that characterizes us, "ballers". She did a great job, and everyone gladly welcomed her in. I knew they would.

3. I REALLY need to minimize the number of my weekly meetings. Wouldn't want to cut out any lead, launch or creative team meetings, but a few of the meetings in between need to be cut.

4. My throat hurts. And I know it's because I've been sleeping with the fan on. If it wasn't so stinkin' HOT in this house all the time...GEEZ.

5. I'm really thankful for Mara Wooten. She's Riley's service coordinator. The one in charge of making sure Riley gets all the help he needs. She came to Riley's appointment today and sat in on his entire hearing and vision testing. Like 2 and a half hours worth of watching Riley try his hardest to complete an accurate evaluation. It's such a good feeling to know that Mara cares about my boy and not just her paycheck.

6. Speaking of... every day, I'm thinking more and more about what kind of developmental delays Riley will face as he gets older. It easy for him to communicate (in his own way) around our home, but when he gets older and needs to sit in classrooms at school, I'm afraid he'll struggle. That is, unless God answers my BIG prayer in healing my boy before he enters school.

7. I LOVE the new southern phrases I'm learning. My favorite this month is "Might could". Everyone around me says it, but I don't think it's a term I'll inherit. It just sounds sooo SOUTHERN. But who knows, the longer I'm here, the better the chance I might could start using it in my everyday sentences. (Post to come: Favorite Southern Phrases)

8. I CAN'T BELIEVE Cameron fell asleep at 5PM last night, and is sleeping all the way till morning. He had a LONG play day with his buddy Kai. I'm so glad he finally has a boy his age he can play with pretty much everyday of the week. He's been in desperate need of a friend like Kai. He left so many behind in SD.

9. We were supposed to play our first tournament softball game on Monday night. The other team never showed up, so they had to forfeit. I guess the team looked at their schedule wrong, and misread the time of the game. They called parks and rec, and somehow arranged to play us tonight. We had to scramble to get a team together today which was difficult. We ended up playing without 3 of our best players, and we got worked. The umpire told us that we needed to call and protest the game in the morning, since their game should have counted as a forfeit the day before. So...we're protesting in the morning. Hopefully we get to play tonight. I REALLY...REALLY want that game back.

10. I really need to get back to sleep. I think I'll try to take some theraflu for my throat, and to make me sleepy...except, I'm already sweating and a steamy cup of theraflu would only make me more uncomfortable. Hopefully now that I have these things written down, and off my mind, I'll be able conk out.

Good Night (at 4:17AM)!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Times...

I often reflect on the days, not so long ago when I was in high school, and nothing else mattered besides making sure each class was fun and interesting. I found an old high school friend on facebook a couple days ago! We reminisced on our crazy days back then and she told me she had a picture of us in high school. When I went to check it out, I just about FELL OVER laughing at the memories that immediately flooded my mind!

This is Me, Laura and Jessika in Mr. Lyons 11th grade math class.
Mr. Lyons was a nice guy. He was pretty old fashioned and got frustrated easily when any of us would disrupt class.

I'll never forget, one time, when me Laura, Jessika and Matt were chatting during class. We were supposed to be doing class work, but that was boring, so we decided that drawing pictures and sharing them with each other would be more fun. Well... Mr. Lyons apparently had enough of our chatting, at which point he made his way over to our table. We had all of our chairs conveniently turned towards each other and from behind my back Mr. Lyons snuck up, and smacked his papers on my desk. The class got quiet. So did we. I was kind of concerned about what would happen next since I already got a referral in the same week (for ditching, I think?). The words that came out of Mr. Lyons mouth next, were ones that I'll NEVER forget! Here was our exchange -


The class was still silent waiting to see what else would come from the wrath of our obviously fuming mad math teacher.

Me and Laura immediately started laughing under our breath. That's when I responded to Mr. Lyons.

Me: "What did you just say?! What were those words you just said?"

Mr. Lyons: "I said KNOCK OFF the RIGAMAROLE...NOW."

Me: "What in the HECK are you talking about, Mr. Lyons?, and what was that other word?"

At this point the rest of the class is still quiet, but we are BUSTING UP LAUGHING. I knew he was pissed...but I had NEVER heard those words in my life and the way he used them was so funny!

Me: "Are those real words, Mr. Lyons? I mean, REALLY?"

Mr. Lyons: "You and Laura go get the dictionary and look the words up if you really don't know what they mean."

So, we grabbed the dictionary, looked up the words and there they were!! I still don't know what they mean.

We gave that man SO much grief, but we definitely brought life into his classroom, and I know he loved us for that!!

Laura - If you read this, feel free to push back on content details! I'm sure there were things I left out!!

Good times!

Hostess with the Mostess

Many of you know that a few months ago, I started hostessing events at the event center next to our church office. So far I have hostessed a Barmitzvah and two wedding receptions. This is my favorite job EVER! It's a blast to be around and serve people who are in CELEBRATION mode! People LOVE to party, and so do I, so it's a great fit for me!! One of the greatest benefits of working these events is when people share food with me! Usually I'll make really good friends with the caterer, and they'll bring food to my desk. But sometimes, like last's not so easy. I was VERY VERY helpful to the caterer last night. The catering company was very nice, however, they must not have realized by my emaciated torso that I hadn't eaten all day.

I knew this was going to be a problem. There was NO WAY I was going to ask any one for food! I mean, I wasn't even invited to their reception. I'm just supposed to just be helping them out. After a few hours, in all of their busy-ness and partying, NOBODY realized that I was hungry.

So I needed a plan. I thought about how I could introduce myself casually to the bride and groom... hmm...I could do that. Then if I start talking with their family (specifically their parents) I'd certainly be invited to the head table, for sure. I figured, if I was going to be at the head table, I probably needed to give a toast.

It worked great. You can hear my toast, here!

All this really means was that the event pretty much ran itself last night, and I had too much time on my hands. I really need to pack a lunch next time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Holy Moly!!!

Brought to you, by - San Diego hits a sweltering 108 today at noon! Drink lots of water, friends! And then go run naked in the sprinklers or something!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happiest Day of the Year!

"An equation that measures happiness has allowed a mathematician to determine that today is the happiest day of the year, due in part to the length of evenings, proportion of outdoor activities and nice weather, and the first day of summer and its association with positive childhood memories."

This is the big talk on Google Trends today. I naturally took a few moments this morning to wonder if today felt like the happiest day of the year for ME! And although there are still many days left in the year, today is a very happy day indeed!

Somehow, my wimp of a brain often decides that happiness is determined by whether or not all my bills are paid, with money left over in the bank. I might as well face the fact that I'll NEVER be "happy", if that's the case. Thankfully it's not. I love it when God gives me peace in the midst of my insecurities. Money is definitely an insecurity of mine. And thankfully God still provides, even when my faith is... well...not faith!

For some reason, this morning, I didn't wake up thinking about money, or my computer, or all the things I had to get done before the day ended. I actually woke up energized to start my day, even as the kids were already bouncing off the walls at 6:30AM. Maybe it was the warm weather and "long days", or "childhood memories" and "outdoor activities". I'm not sure. Here are some things that I know for a fact make today happy!

I'm so happy to be able to wake up in the morning laying next to my husband, who's my best friend. I'm so thankful for him and the risks he takes in order to follow God and provide for our family.

I'm so happy about the friends I've made from the softball team I found on CRAIGSLIST!
I met with Christian today. And as she shared about how she felt God put me in their lives, I couldn't help but to feel like it was the other way around. God brought me here to give Christian and Kelly to ME. We also talked about how it feels like we've known each other forever. Sometimes I totally forget that I've only known them for 3 months! I couldn't have asked God to put me in community with a better group of friends!! They're definitely more awesome than what I ever prayed for.

I'm so happy that God CHOSE us to be part of Church at the Triangle. He could have chosen ANYONE, but He chose us. I think anyone who leaves family and friends, leaves with reluctancy (new word?). As much as I wish I could be close to home, there's truly nothing like the feeling of riding in the center of the wave of God's will. The sweet spot. We've never experienced that like we're experiencing it now.

A couple of other reasons today is the happiest day of my year:

1. The receptionist at Riley's speech therapists office, who I've been talking to for a few weeks recognized my email address and had heard about Church at the Triangle. She just happened to know Lee and Carla very well, and...SURPRISE... her family is looking for a church! That happens to one of us every day!

2. We had a great meeting with our launch team today! It's sooo awesome to be around people who are just as excited about launching our church as we are!

3. Riley starts speech therapy on Monday! I can't believe that we're getting all of this help for free! Seriously. It's like having doctors coming to my house every week to make my son better, and it's not costing us anything. We don't even have to go through insurance like I thought we might have to. Riley has a very promising future, in that his weaknesses are treatable. But they're just significant enough to make us eligible for all the help he needs.

4. Lee and Carla get home from the beach tomorrow! YEAH!! We have a lot to catch up on! Let's go to coffee, C!

5. Heather, Kevin, Kalia, Kai and Peyton get here on SUNDAY!!! These guys sold their business, and their house, just to come to Raleigh to be part of CATT!! I'm so stoked for them to come on board, and I'm even more happy that Cameron will have a buddy to play with every day!

Finally, this is my favorite reason why today is the happiest day of the year:

My boys are happy boys in every moment that they get to spend together! Especially in the shower!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


There are a few websites I check every day. I'm not necessarily proud of my impulsive internet info gathering habit, but I decided I'd share my favorites anyway!

Find out what the top google searches are every hour. I check this every morning. This site allows me to find out big news headlines usually before they're aired on television or in print.

I forgot where I even found this guys blog, but it's definitely one of my favorites. John Acuff is a Christian, and he writes on his blog about all of the quirky things Christians do, in and out of church. The dude is pretty funny, and most of the time, he's right on.

I like to check San Diego's 10 news website every day just to keep up on their local headlines. The real reason I check it is so my parents can't surprise me with any Padre game scores or headlines about drunk mayors found passed out on the sidewalk.

Local Raleigh news headlines

Bloglines is where all the blogs I subscribe to are listed. When I visit the site, I can find out when any one of those blogs has a new post.

Ok...I don't visit this one EVERY day, but I visit it quite a bit! Challenge your friends in an online game of scrabble!

Keeping y'all updated!

Since the weather in Raleigh is sometimes unpredictable, I like to visit this site where I can get an hour by hour breakdown of the weather in my day! Very helpful and accurate.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Days Go By...

This past week, we were able attend an awesome graduation party for Lee and Carla's oldest daughter, Ashlee. Lee recently wrote a post about how fast time went by from when Ashlee was born until now as she has finished this season of her life. One of the lessons Lee mentioned on his blog was "don't wait until the big moment (graduation day) to gather your memories."

This prompted me to search through the pictures I have on my computer and find the ones of my boys from when they were born until now. Even just looking through pictures made me realize how fast time has already gone by. I miss little baby feet and being able to rock my babies to sleep, and today I was able to relive a few of those moments. Enjoy.

Big as a house with number one!

First time momma!

Second time momma!

Brand New Cameron Lee!

Brand new Riley James!

Cameron learning early! (Did he learn that on PBS kids?)

Riley in swing!

Cameron, my "punkin"!

I miss...

goofy smiles!

The way Cameron wobbled around in his cast!

I even miss his binky. I used to HATE it back then.


Time with cam at the beach...while prego with Riley James.

The day Cameron became a big brother!

I love my little beach bum!

...and I love my bald boys!

I hope they're best buds forever!

I love my sweet boys!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Staring ME in the face.

Moving away from everything and everyone I've ever known has forced me to take a closer look at who I am. In lonely times, in happy satisfied moments, or in just busy seasons of work and ministry, all that matters is that who I am reflects who Jesus is. That's no easy task. In fact, it isn't a task at all. It's more of a natural result of a natural progression. I truly believe that the more I seek God, the more I'll know Him. And the more I know God, the more I'll love Him. And the more I love God, the more I'll care about the the things He cares about... and when all that happens, I think I'll be on the right track to becoming the woman God created me to be.

Lately, in a few leadership blogs I subscribe to, I've come across many articles on character. There are so many that have struck a chord in me, but here are a few from Andy Stanley that have impacted me the most.

1. You can lead without character... But character is what makes you a leader worth following.

2. Character is the will to do what’s right even when it’s hard.

3. Your accomplishments as a leader will make your name known, but your character will determine what people associate with your name.

4. The irony of being a leader with character is that your willingness to do what is right may jeopardize your forward momentum.

5. Character is not made in crisis; it is only exhibited.

One more blogworthy mention on character -
Before interviewing for my first job out of high school, my dad gave me some great advice about character. I'll never forget it. I think I remember having a list of all of my "skills" and experience written out on a piece of paper. As I was listing them off to my dad, he stopped me and said, "all those things are great, Lauren...your people skills, your computer skills, your willingness to learn are awesome, but what you need to tell your future boss is that above all else, you CARE about your reputation and your character." Ever since then, whenever anyone has ever told me I shouldn't care what people think about me, I feel a conviction in the core of my stinkin' soul! I ABSOLUTELY care about what people think of me. I care that my character is reflecting God's heart.

Here's me and Riley contemplating "character". Not really. But...I thought it was cute. This was our talk on the curb outside, watching the sunset in our jammies before bedtime.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I'll be taking a break from my computer this week. That means no ichat, no Skype, no Twitter and no email. Call or text if you need to reach me! I've pre-written posts to go live here everyday I'm offline (so my mom has something to read)! I'll be back online, hopefully less impulsively, on Sunday, June 22nd!

Some things I'm planning on getting done in my computerless week:

1. Cleaning out my cupboards.
2. Cleaning every baseboard in the house.
3. Organizing my husbands books.
4. Walks each day with the kids.
5. Fill out more paperwork for Riley's therapy.
6. Clean out my closet, put all cold weather clothes away.
7. Kiss my boys... like every moment of the day.
8. Read 2 books. (they're both short)
9. Write out service order for the weekend
10. Take the boys to the library.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Dad and Me

Since it's father's day and since my dad is a faithful favorite to The Other Cause, I dedicated my portion of cyberspace to celebrate him today.

I love my dad! In so many ways, I'm just like him! I got a little bit of his sarcastic humor, and a good dose of his dorkiness (Lindsay would agree with that). But, besides those things, my dad has given me so many awesome memories that I like to remember often. Most of those memories have to do with softball games and tournaments. Some are culdesac parties and neighborhood holiday gatherings. Trips to Yosemite and to our cabin in the desert. I could go on. As I reflect on past great memories with my dad, I've realized one of my GREATEST passions in life is something my dad instilled in me.

My constant desire to be with and around people, living immersed in community is because that's really the only way I've ever done life! I can't remember one vacation we ever took without people with us (besides our trip to Europe, which was a gift). Whether it was a neighborhood party or a family trip somewhere far away, we always had people with us. Before blue-tooth and wireless cell phones, my dad had a CB radio. It was a two way radio thing with a HUGE antenna we'd strap on to the top of our Bronco. We'd use it on road trips and stay in constant dialogue with whoever we were vacationing with. So fun! After softball games, my parents would invite everyone over to our house to just hang out! Our family always held holiday parties for everyone we knew, and me, my sister and brother would have friends over constantly. I don't think my parents EVER got tired of community. My dad's way of getting his mind off of work and just chilling out is hanging with people he loves. Maybe that's just an extrovert thing, but whatever it is, I have it too.

I love people, so much... and I credit that part of my being to my dad. He's taught me so much about celebrating others more than myself. It's no wonder to me why he picked "Shower the People" by James Taylor for our father daughter dance on my wedding day. And it's no wonder why he started his speech that day by talking about how incredibly moving it was to have all the people we love so dearly all gathered under one roof. That was powerful to him. It was powerful for me.

Thanks, dad, for making other's first in our family. I'm living the life you taught me to live, and I couldn't be more proud, thankful or happy about my passion for people.

I love you, happy father's day, to the most selfless person I know!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cameron Says...

He knows that when he doesn't finish dinner, he doesn't get dessert.

This made Cameron pretty sad for the rest of the night until he went to bed. After a bit of arguing and whining, Cameron realized we weren't giving him dessert no matter how hard he asked, so he walked (like a poor child who has never eaten a meal in his life)back to his room and into bed.

About 10 minutes later, Cameron came out into the front where Steve and I were catching up on our favorite shows. This is pretty much a nightly routine and takes about 4 times of physically putting him back into his bed before he actually falls asleep. So, like normal, when we saw him sneak around the corner, we told him to "GO TO BED". Instead of going back to bed, he came closer, and with a really sad face, Cameron said...

"Um...Mommy and Daddy? I have to tell you something."

Me: "What Cameron?! You need to GO TO BED."

Cameron: "I know, mom, but I have to tell you something."

Me: "What?"

Cameron: "I don't feel so good about this."

Me: "You don't feel so good about what?"

Cameron: "I don't feel so good about living here with you guys."

Me: "What do you mean, Cameron?"

Cameron: "I don't think I should live here with you guys anymore. I need to go live with my grandma and grandpa."

Me: (with lots of sadness in my voice) "Cameron, do you understand how much we'd miss you?"

Cameron: "Yes, mom, I know. But you can come see me at the hotel when I come to visit you guys."

Me: "Ok, we'll talk about it later, Cameron. Go to sleep buddy. We love you."

Cameron: "I love you too, mom and dad."

My sister made this for me a while back, as a joke. I thought it was pretty fitting for this post... and maybe not too far from Cameron's reality.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Who Screams for Ice Cream?!

I found these pictures that Christian took, on her blog. We took the boys to ice cream yesterday. Since I needed to do a Target run, I figured I could accomplish two things in one stop! Cool thing about that is ice cream in Target's cafe is way cheaper than any other ice cream place and my kids can't tell the difference between Dryers and Cold Stone! We got ice cream for all of us (I shared with Riley) for under 3 bucks! Can't beat it! Just thought I'd share the great experience with all my mommy friends in San Diego!

I think I could make a hobby out of taking pictures toddlers and their ice cream!
Love it!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Riley's Journey - NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Today Riley was evaluated for the early intervention program here in Raleigh. Find out how he scored and what steps we're taking next by visiting

Monday, June 2, 2008

Here's an excerpt from Steve's new blog, Audience Of One, dedicated to his continual learnings and thoughts on worship.

"When we were asked to consider the possibility of moving to Raleigh, I honestly thought of it as being to good to be true and that this would be way over my head. I felt ill equipped for the task and honestly scared. However between the months of July (when we were first presented with the opportunity) and October when we made our decision, GOD was doing something within us that only He could do..."

View the rest of Steve's blog at


Click HERE to Subscribe

Update: Steve's other blog will still be open and frequently updated.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Making Memories!?

It was a warm beautiful evening! A perfect night for me and Krystle to take the kids to Frankies. Steve got a ride with a friend to youth group where he was leading worship. So, me and Krystle packed up the kids and headed out. After about 45 minutes of ticket winning fun, we decided to leave and take the kids to dinner and ice cream. As we approached the automatic sliding doors to leave Frankies, we were quite surprised to see that a huge thunder storm moved in. It was POURING rain, thundering, lightening...the whole deal. We waited a little while for the storm to die down, but it didn't look like the clouds were going anywhere, so I decided to run out into the rain, through the parking lot to get the car. I got to the car, hopped in, turned the key only to find out the battery died. I'm not sure how it died, but it did. The ignition didn't click when I turned the key, the lights didn't turn on when I tried them and the car still didn't start even after I did a little dance in the front seat.

Hmm?! I suddenly went into MACGYVER mode. Yeah, um...that didn't work. I called Steve, but he didn't answer his phone. I knew I could have asked someone for a jump, but all the people who were near us looked like they might jump ME! So, I walked back over to Krystle (she had the boys) and told her the unfortunate news. We decided to walk to the car and sit there until we could get a hold of Steve. Once we finally did, we realized he couldn't really do anything to help until he went to the store to get a battery. I didn't want to sit in the car and wait for him because both boys were getting tired and whiny.

Suddenly, there was a break in the clouds! I looked at Krystle and said "Let's go. We're gonna walk home!" Our house is about a mile away from Frankies, so I knew we could do it! It was just a matter of getting there before it started raining again. So we rolled up our jeans, I carried Riley, Krystle grabbed Cameron's hand, and we were off! We were barely out of the parking lot when it started POURING and LIGHTENING and THUNDERING all around us. Our only place to find cover was under the trees around us. But, because of all the lightening, I didn't think that would have been the smartest idea. So...I took Riley's shirt off (thankfully it was still 85 degrees outside) and put it over his head so that he wouldn't get an ear infection! My flipflops were really slippery, so I decided to take them off. We started walking faster, but there was NO WAY the rain was going to stop in the time it took us to get to the house. I didn't have time to think of a better idea because we were soaking and pretty much we walked as fast as we could (Cameron is slow and loves rain puddles). It wasn't too long after that, a small little car pulled up next to us, and a lady driver rolled down her window to ask if we wanted a ride. I thought about my other options and the safety of my boys, and told the lady I didn't have car seats. Then I started telling her our whole story. Before I could finish telling her about Riley's craniosynostosis, she interrupted and said "Girl, just get in the car! It's POURING!" So we got in. The boys were nervous and quiet. I thanked her until we pulled up to the house. We got home safely and dried off the boys.

After we all calmed down,Cameron got a really sad look on his face and tears started rolling. "What's the matter, Cameron?" I asked. He was so upset that it was hard for him to gather the words he was about to say. Finally, he painfully expressed "I just really really miss our car, mom. I loved that car." He was under the impression the whole time that we'd left the car and we'd never see it again. Once I reassured him that daddy would get the car later, he wiped his tears away and felt much better.

Glad to be home, and am thankful for one good Samaritan lady named Frankelsia.
Of course...I made Krystle take a picture before we entered the house!

Definitely a memory making moment!!