Wednesday, July 30, 2008

6AM Wake Up Call!

I heard my sliding glass door open at 6AM this morning. When I went out, I learned that it was chalk time on the patio! Glad they know how to keep each other company!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Soccer Week 2

This week, Cameron improved in the area of confidence! Which in turn allowed him to improve in the area of skill! My boy did GREAT! Maybe it was the new haircut! He was determined not to get upset if he did something wrong this time. He actually told me during a water break that "this is the best day of my whole life!" Although he says that about something almost everyday, I was still really happy he was having a great time!

He learned how to kick the ball with the inside of his foot at this second practice. He also learned to use that technique in a passing drill.

I'm realizing that I'm in probably what will be one of my "favorite stages" of my sons lives! We're having so much fun just watching them become who they're going to grow up to be!! One thing being so far away from home does is allow me to not take for granted any moment with my boys. I hold captive each word, each kiss, each hug, and milestone they accomplish. They are so precious to me! I'm a proud west coast mommy, raising southern boys! How cool is that?!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Riley's 2nd Birthday Party!

Today we had a great time with new friends, celebrating Riley's second birthday! We were so busy, that I was able to forget about being sad about not sharing this special day with my extended family. I miss them so much. Here are a few highlights!

Thanks to EVERYONE who came!

Riley was all poses on his special day! "CHEESE!"

Mommy and her boys!

The guys grilled, while the girls chilled

A party aint a party without my GIRLS!!!

Riley made sure EVERYONE had enough food!

A little competition for the boys!

And Riley opened lots of fun presents!

They got tired of me taking pictures of them!

After dinner, we went back to the house for cake and ice cream!!

Jammed a little...

...and played A LOT!


Riley had so much fun today! It was sooo cool to see Riley warm up to people he'd never met before!

Happy birthday, my boy! Mommy loves you!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cameron...being Cameron!

One day I'll get equipment to make these videos better quality. For now...
Cameron would like to read you his favorite story! (He still has a little cold!)

Cameron July 22, 2008 from Lauren Faiai on Vimeo.

Tune in tomorrow for Cameron's song for his brother!

The Fro Must Go!

Loved the fro, but in the dead heat of summer (103 degrees today), we decided it was time.

There's a kids haircut place called Snippits across the street from our house. Cameron was able to watch a movie while he got his haircut!

I think he's carrying 10 less pounds around today!

I told him that since he looks more grown up now, he has to ACT like a grown up. I figured that wasn't too much to ask.

Soon we'll figure out what to do with brother's hair!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

iPod Juice

One thing my iPod touch doesn't do well is...stay on my arm when I'm running on the treadmill. It's just lame. So my sweet loverman went out and got me a new iPod shuffle. I think he really only bought it for me so that I wouldn't use the largeness of my iTouch as an excuse not to work out...oh worked! I love my shuffle! I love that I can just clip it on my shirt, turn it up LOUD and tune out the kids while I clean my house! Sometimes I even forget my kids are home! Yes, THAT wonderful...until...I find permanent Sharpie marker all over my closet doors. (BTW, does anyone know how to fix that w/o removing paint? And NO, the magic eraser doesn't work.)

Anyway... onto my top five favorite jams, for now:

1. All I Want to Do - Sugarland
(Loved their performance on CMA's)

2. With You - Jessica Simpson
(I forgot about this song until a week ago. Love it!)

3. Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin
(We've been rockin' this one on Sunday's. Nice.)

4. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
(My Aunt Nita has an awesome story about this song - HERE)

5. You'll Come - Hillsong United
(Pretty powerful new one from Brooke.)

Listen to them, buy them, get an iPod shuffle, and ROCK OUT!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Livin' it up!

Just in case anyone thought he never gets any attention. Here's all of Cameron's girlfriends. He's pretty comfortable in this environment!

I'm Done

We left the house at 8:00AM for Cameron's first soccer practice. He was so excited. The whole way there, Cameron just couldn't stop telling us how happy he was to play soccer. He was very confident too! "Mom and dad, you're not going to believe this!" He was referring to how awesome he was going to be!! That should have been my forewarning! Cameron did a great job at following instructions, and he did a great job dribbling the ball up and down the field! About 30 minutes into the practice, they started a drill where the kids had to dribble the ball down the field, and then STOP it, and put their foot on top of the ball. Cameron started dribbling, then when it came time to stop the ball, his foot missed and the ball kept rolling. He walked over to get his ball, and when he turned around, he looked at me in full fledged TEARS! He wasn't crying loud. He was just being very discreetly upset. I ran out there to ask him what was wrong! I thought he hurt himself, because he was REALLY upset. He could barely tell me, but I understood. "Mom, I didn't stop the ball with my foot! I'm not good at soccer. I'm done, and I don't want to play anymooooorrrre!" He started walking towards the door, as I tried to explain to him what practice is all about! They started a different drill, and I was able to get his mind off of the mental breakdown he was in. He did fine the rest of the practice...we just gave him LOTS more high fives for the rest of the time. I'm hoping these next 7 weeks of soccer help him to develop some thicker skin, but at the same time, I love that my boy has a sensitive heart! And I'm glad he wants to be great at whatever he does!!

After soccer we went straight to our band rehearsal at the church. I didn't have a babysitter, and Krystle was working, so both boys went with me to rehearsal. It was pretty crazy, to say the least. Steve introduced a new team member to our band and also to CATT today, who will start playing with us in a few weeks. We're really excited about Seth. I was able to walk around with Riley in his stroller and get him to sleep for a few minutes. Which gave me just enough time to yell at my other son for walking in the public mens bathroom in his socks.

When we got home, I was glad to have no plans for the evening...until Steve told me he had another meeting. I got all my work done for this Sunday earlier in the week, so tonight I'm going to work on stuff for the next two weekends, maybe have a cup of coffee, and then make it bedtime!

It seemed like every highlight of the day came with a low. We got a lot accomplished this week. We met a bunch of new people, got a ton of work done, and we got Cameron involved in his first sport.

You'd think I'd feel exhilarated and accomplished. I don't. I feel tired, worn out, and just done! I'm hoping tomorrow breathes fresh life into these dry bones!!! If not, I'm sneaking away for a 3 day vacation to the beach next week!

HA. Fat chance!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Since my last update (too long ago) we've been busy assembling teams within our core to prepare for launch. This process has been a lot of work, but has also been very exhilarating for each of us. As we watch God put the pieces together, we can't help but to be just PUMPED about our launch date. When "all systems go" in 5 weeks!

Our team has kept in mind that a lot of what we're doing is against logic and would really leave any experienced church planter concerned! One of these things is the fact we're launching in August. Just when we thought our summer slump would hit, we were thrusted into some crazy momentum. People started bringing handfuls of friends, Lee spoke vision, and people are coming back every weekend...with more friends! We've been able to implement things like a service run through into our rehearsal, as well as increase our number of band members. We're incorporating 2 or 3original songs into our setlists EVERY weekend. You can listen to some of our scratch tracks on the column to the right. More will be added as we record them.

Here are a few pictures from our services in the past few weekends.

Childrens Ministry

Youth Ministry (F3) - Sunday Nights at 6:30PM

This building we're meeting in now will turn in to our office space when we launch, at which point we'll move across the hallway to our new building.

During our service 2 weeks ago, Lee took us over to the new building where he led us in a time of prayer where we were able to pray over every chair in the room.

We prayed that each chair would be filled by the unchurched and dischurched people in our community when we launch in August. We prayed that God would make us desparate. We prayed he'd give us more faith, and that he would fill us with passion to see lost people reached and given the message of Hope. Needless to say, this was a pretty intense prayer session. God as broken each one of us in that room. We are utterly desperate for Him in our everyday lives and in the life of Church at the Triangle.

We'd really appreciate your prayers in the next 5 weeks leading into launch. Whether you believe in God or not, I'd love it if you'd help me pray in the following ways:

1. That God would continue to do amazing things in the relationships we're building outside of church. We're finalizing details of a couple BIG events (family day, battle of the bands etc...) that we're inviting the entire community to. Pray that our minimal advertising would go viral through word of mouth, and that our community would love these events.

2. Pray for our vision meeting THIS THURSDAY night. That many people would come, hear vision, and get involved.

3. Workers for Children's ministry. We have a good group of kids and not enough workers!

4. Funds and resources. That God would provide.

5. Momentum. That our momentum as a church would continue to increase.

If you can or would like to help us in more ways besides praying, please contact me at . We need YOU!

Big thanks to all my favorite TOC junkies for reading, praying and keeping updated!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fun in the Sun! And pictures...YAY!

After a lot of cursing and throwing things against walls, I finally convinced my favorite digital camera to come back to life! We had a fun day today, and I was able to capture a few of those moments on my stubborn camera!

We signed Cameron up for soccer today. I have NO idea where his interest in soccer came from, but that's all he wants to do during the day. Play the house, at the park...anywhere. So today, I found him a class and signed him up! He is very excited! And, so are Steve and I! We both remembered the day (before we were married) when we talked about how cool it was going to be to have kids and be able to go to their sporting events. I can't help but to smile when I think about the fact that we're going to be watching Cameron's first soccer practice next Saturday! That is SOOO awesome!

We bought him a ball (his size) and some cones to practice with. He was able to kick the ball around the grass during our community cookout today in our development.

He kept the same evil look on his face the entire time he kicked the ball around!

Don't ask me why he was wearing pants when it was 98 degrees outside today. He changes clothes about 10 times per day.

Christian brought over Peyton, the sweet little girl she's babysitting this weekend. We had a great time in the pool. Riley James would NOT stop hugging and kissing the poor girl! She was pretty irritated with him by the end of the day! I'm excited we'll see both of them at church in the morning!

And although Cameron did NOT want to go to sleep at his regular bedtime tonight, he finally fell asleep. But, at some point, he managed to sneak into the closet to grab his soccer ball that I told him he "ABSOLUTELY" wasn't allowed to sleep with since he didn't go to bed on time.

Oh well...I'm a sucker. This picture was too sweet. I just couldn't bring myself to get mad about him taking the ball to bed. I don't know why I even told him no in the first place. I'm so happy he's excited about playing soccer. I think I'll let him sleep with it every night. Especially if it might increase his chances of being a GREAT athlete someday!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh Brother!

My camera recently said goodbye to the world, so...I'm anxious to get a new one so I can start taking some quality pictures. I had to post these ones today, though. I love how much Cameron and Riley are looking like each other. They have the exact same head of hair, and they NEVER get tired of playing together!

Cameron Lee - Almost 4 Years Old

Riley James - Almost 2 Years Old

Say "CHEESE" boys!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grand Design

It's Official! I know I'm WAY more excited about this than I should be! So...sorry for the hype. But I cannot tell you how stoked I am about Riley's story being featured on the Jorge Posada Foundation Website! I got an email a couple days ago, from the foundations creative director. He sent me a link to a preview site where I could see where Riley would be featured before they launched their new site. The site went live today! I'm just amped up at the opportunity I have to speak hope into families struggling through the same situations we've gone through with our sweet boy in the past year and a half.

As I was thinking about this post today, I was listening in the car to Jill Phillip's song "Grand Design". The lyrics humbled me in a powerful way. They speak into a time when I was scared, with endless questions. They also speak into this moment today. When even though Riley has a long road ahead, today, I'm experiencing a piece of God's grand design for my Riley James and his journey with craniosynostosis. That his story might be hope. Even maybe to just one person.

Here are the lyrics:

"I knew it all along that this day was coming
Even though I knew it doesn’t hurt any less
But somehow the suffering draws me to You
I could start running in anger
But then what’s the point of a Savior
I feel the pain but it still doesn’t change who You are
Nothing I feel is outside of the reach of Your arms
My whole world could crumble but all of the pieces remain
In Your hands that are waiting to put them together again
Just like I know You will in Your own time, in Your own wisdom
One day I’ll look back and see the grand design
Maybe it will make sense then, these questions I have
But with it all here front and center
Sometimes it’s hard to remember
I could start running in anger
But then what’s the point of a Savior".

Download the song, or at least listen to the snippet here.

Riley is featured here on the Jorge Posada Foundation website.

To visit the foundation's main page, visit:
Riley's Journey is found under the "programs" link.

(note- this post will be duplicated on Riley's Blog)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Family Day!

I am so stoked it's summer!! My calendar is packed with fun things to do. Most of them are FREE, and all of them are within 5 minutes from our house. Today Krystle and I took the boys to a movie at Regal Cinemas where they're having a Free Family Movie Festival. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, the theater opens up for a free showing of two different kids movies. We are able to bring our own food in without hassle and watch a movie in air conditioning for free! The other cool thing about this is, we're able to just walk to the movie theater because it's in the shopping center right across the street from my house!

After the movie, we walked home in just enough time for a nap! Both boys went to bed without incident, and I was able to get some work done while they slept!

When the boys woke up, Cameron did his chores and Riley pretended to have chores. Soon after that it was time for family night (kids eat free) at Chick-fil-a! Also walking distance, in the shopping center across the street! Dinner at any restaurant with both kids is always a little too hectic for me, but it's definitely worth the free meal and even craft time! By the way, if you go into Chick-fil-a dressed like a cow on Friday, you get a free meal! Cameron was able to get a head start on his costume at the craft table today! Tomorrow we'll start off our day with toddler reading time at Barnes and Noble, right across the street!!

I love summer. I love it because it's warm. I love it because there are lot's of fun things to do outdoors. But I think I love it most because life feels a little bit more structured and intentional when I can plan out each day with fun things to do with the kids!

Monday, July 7, 2008


On Saturday night, the kids and I sat in the house and watched and incredible thunderstorm. Cameron called it "God's fireworks". All other fireworks shows were canceled in our area due to rain, so I was happy that Cameron was technically seeing the fireworks he'd been waiting all weekend for!

The lightening was very close to us. I knew this because usually there is no sound when lightening strikes. Only when the thunder rolls, a few seconds later. Well...we could hear big bangs with the lightening strikes. Like explosions. They almost sounded like something was crashing into a metal shed. Our power flickered a few times, and we heard sirens. Lots of them. A couple firetrucks came into our complex, and I noticed they were driving all the way back to where our development meets a country club golf course. Because I love the excitement of, well... anything exciting, I grabbed Cameron, and my umbrella and we decided to go for a walk to ask the firemen questions! We got about four feet from my front door when I saw another flash of lightening and realized I was holding an umbrella, and my child, and decided that I was a dork and was glad no one saw me with my umbrella outside. (At least, I hope they didn't!)

The storm went on into the middle of the night. Today on the news I heard the story of a house in Brier Creek (our community) that was struck by lightening during the storm in the early hours of Sunday morning. The house was just a mile away from mine, right near the country club. I don't think I've ever been so close to lightening. I'm glad my house didn't get struck! And I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Here's one of the houses struck:

Here's the article: House Struck By Lightening in Brier Creek
CRAZINESS! Now I'm glued to the weather channel!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Just because...

Lately I've been thinking about the things that fascinate me about my boys. There are different characteristics in both of them that just make me fall so deep in love with them...over and over and over.

Here's just a partial list of some of the ways Cameron and Riley melt my heart in this stage of their lives!

1. I can't help but to want to jump up and down and shout for JOY every time Riley says a new word, or shows a new sign! He makes me SO PROUD to be his mommy.

2. I love the way Cameron hugs his brother....which happens almost EVERY time he sees him. He is crazy about Riley and that warms my soul!!

3. I love how Riley says goodnight and I love you to everyone in the house before he goes down for a nap or to sleep at night. He never forgets anyone. Sometimes I think he's stalling when he does this. But most of the time (all the time) it makes me smile and think about him grown up with a thoughtful heart.

4. I love how AWESOME Cameron plays with his friends. He has such a sensitive heart, and I knew the transition here away from his friends in SD would be hard. He has done such a great job at adjusting, and has truly found a best buddy in Kai. I'm so comforted in knowing Cameron has found a friend besides Riley!!

5. I love it when Riley plays the "no kisses" game with me. When I ask him for a kiss and he won't come to give me one, I act like I don't want one. It NEVER fails...he's always demanding kisses when I pretend to turn them down!

Both of my boys are growing before my eyes. They love me and Steve more than ANYTHING ON EARTH. I really couldn't ask for a bigger gift than the devoted love I receive from my children.