Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What are you passionate about?

Rob and I have been having a lot of discussions lately about our passions. What are they? What has God called us to do? How are we living that out?

I must confess that it is hard for me to do some of my passions at this stage of my life. I am currently a slave to nap schedules and early bed times. But God reminds me in my quiet times with Him that this is a stage. One that passes by too quickly and that this is my ministry right now.

Side note- I believe that your ministry and your calling are two different things. I am called to follow Christ. I am called to live a life that is that is centered around Him and to live my life in a way that is a testimony to His goodness and grace. My ministry changes often. My calling never does.

At certain times in my life my ministry has been to teaching children. At other times it has been working with technical teams to produce a worship service that glorified God in its excellence and passion. Right now my ministry is my family.

However, the question remains- what are you passionate about?

I am passionate about changed lives. I love when people use their love of theatre to write/produce/or act in a skit on a Sunday morning only to discover that they can use their talents to bless others. I love when the owner of a construction company signs up to run a camera and discovers their part in the body of Christ. I love when a lawyer decides to go on a mission trip and comes back radically changed. I love when a high school student tutors children on the weekends instead of going to the typical parties.

I am passionate about changed lives, creativity and excellence for the kingdom, and authentic relationships with Christ. What are you passionate about?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Technically, she's right.

Bennett and I were having a conversation about Jesus this morning. She was in my lap and I was explaining to her that Jesus was in her heart. I put my hand over her chest and told her that was where Jesus lived. She said, "Where is Jesus?" I pointed to her heart and said, "He's right there. He lives in your heart."

She looked down at her Sesame Street themed shirt and saw where I was pointing and said, "Nooooo.... that's Elmo!" What could I say? She was right. And she's 2. We'll try again later.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Creative outlet

I am missing being creative lately. I really miss brainstorming in meetings, I miss writing scripts, I miss directing plays and skits, I miss editing videos, I miss setting light cues, I miss running technical teams, I miss camera training, I miss pulling costumes together, I miss teaching drama classes, and I miss running our worship services. I miss everything.

So, I was cooking dinner the other night and Rob told me that he thought I was channeling some of my creative energy into cooking. I didn't get what he was talking about at first, but I think he's right. This past year I have started really cooking a lot more than I ever did. We only eat out one night a week and I don't like doing processed food, so I just started cooking. A lot.

The funny thing is that I invent recipes. I scour cook books and just experiment. It's been fun, but I never considered that the kitchen was now my creative outlet. Maybe it is. I'm glad Rob likes it, but I think I would trade it in a heart beat if I could work with children and theatre again.

Here is a typical night at our house. I don't know what I was making this night, but it's usually experimental, sometimes good, sometimes great, and sometimes we take a bite and head to Chick-fil-A. But it's fun.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why I should never leave my house

Just an example of a week in my life trying to navigate the waters of a baby, a toddler, two dogs, a house that won't clean itself, a tendency to rush into things without thinking, and a huge case of the crazies.

Incident #1- I have sweet girlfriends that are always inviting me to do things, but I usually can't. Mainly due to nap schedules. Boo. But I decided to meet them on Monday for a picnic. They asked repeatedly if I was sure I could do that date. I said 100 times that I could. I did forgot though that the kids had shots that day and would therefore be missing morning naps. Not wanting to back out and seem scatterbrained again, I went.

The result? A screaming William, a clearly annoyed Bennett, a few sucker punches thrown to a 16 month old boy, a fall off of a slide due to shot induced delirium, and a Mom who forgot to bring their juice and sandwiches that were sadly left in the refrigerator. I drove away thinking, "Why do I bother?" Park fail.

Incident #2
- I go to my Mom's group later in the week. We pull up to the church and Bennett knows that we are at Daddy's work. I tell her that indeed we are. When I take her to the nursery she has a major come apart because she thinks we are going to see Daddy. She screams. She cries. I am practically naked from her clutching at my clothes. I do what every good parent would do- I give in. I take her upstairs to my Moms group with me. I have never done this before, but I was desperate.

I get her settled at my table and even give her a donut (oh, happy day) and we settle in to listen to the speaker. And what was the speaker talking about that day? Discipline and how NOT to give into your children. And as she is saying that, I am sitting with a 2 year old on my lap that I have clearly given into. Nice, right? I felt like a hue spotlight was on me as an example of what not to do. Good parenting fail.

Incident #3
- We go to Sonic. I decide it's time for Bennett to be introduced to the wonder and majesty that is Sonic. I bring a sippy cup from home. Ten points for me because I remembered one. I order her a small cherry limeade and tell her the whole way there that she is getting a special drink. She is SO excited. The drink comes and I put it in her sippy cup.

Did you know that you can't do this? I didn't. Apparently the fizz in a cherry limeade does not work with sippy cups with straws. It came bubbling up through the straw and erupted like a volcano. Cherry limeade everywhere. On my shirt, on my pants, on the steering wheel. I grab a ziplock bag from Will's diaper bag. 10 points to me because there is one in there. I lock up the offending sippy cup. Bennett cries for 10 minutes because she didn't get a special drink. I run errands and come home to realize that the ziplock could not contain the limeade. Will's diaper bag, my phone, my wallet, and a pair of baby shoes are covered in limeade. Carbonation fail.

Incident #4
- Are you tired of reading yet? You should be. My life is exhausting. Our church is having a children's program and I decide to take Bennett. I know we won't last the whole time, but it's free and I think she will like it. We get to the program and sit in the back. I'm not dumb. I know my kid. We sit as far from the stage as possible. Bennett lasts in my lap three songs and then starts climbing in the row in front of her.

So, you know how a lot of seats are those seats that fold up and only the weight of your body can hold them down? Those are our seats and I guess Bennett's 24 lbs couldn't hold down the seat. In the middle of a very nice song about bugs, Bennett's seat folded up and her ankle got caught. I tried to get it out. I couldn't.

She starts saying, "I stuck!! I stuck!!" A nice elderly man came to help me. He couldn't do much. A lady from my Mom's group saw the commotion. She tried to help. Bennett was definitely stuck. By now she's crying, "OH, no!! My leg! Help!" I am twisting her ankle, a friend is holding down the seat, and the elderly man is pulling on Bennett's shoulders.

She starts crying harder. Two more people come to help. There are 5 of us pulling on a 2 year old while a church program is going on. Bennett is wailing. I am upset. The elderly man's back is about to give out. Someone was 30 seconds away from getting a custodian to take apart the seat when I wrenched her ankle out of the seat. Everyone returns to the show and I slink out the back door. We were too far back for anyone on the stage to notice what was going on. My deciding to sit in the very back was the only smart move I made this week.

We get in the lobby and Bennett says, "I had so much fun at the children singing, Mama." Really? You did? Because to me it just capped of another week in my life. Life fail.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


My nieces are always asking me to tell them stories about when they were young. I have a pretty good memory for that kind of stuff, but I am starting to forget a lot. Sadly. I thought I should record some of what we call "Bennett-isms" mainly so that when she asks me to tell her something funny about herself, I can just pull up this blog page. Voila. I'm done and supermom lives to see another day. These are her favorite phrases.

I no like.....anymore. Insert any word in the middle. I no like talking on da phone anymore. I no like Will in my house anymore. I no like apple juice anymore. It's all pretty cute. I love the anymore tacked on the end for added emphasis.

I had so fun at the...
Everything she likes is, "I had so fun at the." We took her to get ice-cream last week and she said, "I had so fun at the ice-cream, Mama." Every day she had fun at the church, playing with Meg, etc...

I so scared of the ...... Same thing. Insert your favorite word. She mainly says it when I am cooking and the smoke alarm goes off. She will say, "I so scared of the beep beep, Mama."

Mama, ooooohhhhh.
This is from Bohemian Rhapsody. Close your eyes. Can you hear it? The part in the middle? Mama, oooohhh ooohhh ohhh oooh... Didn't mean to make you cry.... Bennett loves the first part and sings it every day.

Girl Burl Bed.
Can't quite get it right. I love it.

Mommy, help with the......
Shoes, hair, shirt, sippy cup.... you name it.

Yay, Bennett. Great job, You did it! If Bennett does something and I don't compliment her right away, she will say this to herself and look at me sideways. When I finally repeat what she said she bursts out laughing.

Poor Will. Okay, so this may not sound funny, but it is hysterical. I guess that I say this all the time, because she has been doing this since Will was 3 months old. I will say Will's name in passing and she puts her hand on her forehead so dramatically and say, "Poor Will." I laugh out loud every time. Which is probably the reason she keeps doing it. :-)

Good job with the driving. Whenever I pull into the garage, I hear this sweet phrase. Love her heart. She also says, "Good job with the cooking, Mama" whenever I hand her her dinner.

What she calls her little brother.

Pants on the ground. Lookin' like a fool with pants on the ground
Hmmmmm..... wonder where she got that? Now she sings it when I take off her clothes and put on her pajamas.

Bennett do it. EVERYTHING these days is, "Bennett do it. I no like help anymore."

She still has her favorite songs that I have blogged about previously, but her new favorite one is "Rockin' Robin. She loves the tweet tweet part in the middle and she LOVES "Popular" from Wicked. We have to listen to that one non stop in the car. Not that I mind. I love my little Broadway girl in training.

Okay, so that's all I can think of for now. She talks non stop, but these are a few of the repetitive phrases that I absolutely love and the ones I will tell her about one day when she asks me what she was like at this age. Funny, feisty, loud, sweet, and precocious. That's my girl.

How the young'uns are doing

We had our check-ups on Monday. It was Will's 9 month and Bennett's 2 year appointment. 2 kids + multiple shots + one lollipop - medication for me = one long day.

Here's the low down on the kiddos.

Will- He's only in the THIRD PERCENTILE for weight!! What? Are you kidding me? Have you seen this kid? Just in the waiting room I had a woman give me the standard remark, "He sure is a healthy boy." I hate when people say that fyi. We all know what that really means.

Healthy boy comment = What are you feeding your child? Because I seriously think that he could swallow mine.

Anyway, he weighed 16lbs 4 oz. which is a little less than Bennett weighed at that age, but he isn't as tall as she was. I don't know. He looks healthy and perfect to me so I am not going to worry about his 3% diagnosis. He's on the chart. Enough said.

He is crawling on all fours, standing while holding on to furniture, he says Mama, he can clap his hands, laugh, and is just the sweetest and most wonderful baby in the world. Words cannot express how much I love this little guy and I am actually excited when I hear him in his crib in the morning. I know that's odd, but I can't wait to open his door and see those little arms reaching out for me.

Bennett- Holding steady in the 25% for weight. She weighs 24lbs even and is a pretty tall girl for her age. She is highly intelligent (again their words. But I am very proud and had to share) and is just a delight. The Dr. asked if she was speaking 50 words yet and we just laughed.

Then she looked at the door and saw the numbers on the door and said, "Look, a yellow 6!" Then she pointed out all the letters in the room. She knows them all. When the doctor gave her a shot she said, "Thank you, doctor" and when the doctor asked if if she knew where her heart was, Bennett starting singing, "I've got the joy joy joy down in my heart." Sweet Dr. White said she had never been thanked for a shot before. That's my girl. My sweet, inquisitive, delightful, and wonderful little girl.

Bennett even told me on the way home, "I had so much fun at the doctor, Mama." It was only because she received a forbidden lollipop and the sticky goo covering her face erased all memories of shots.

The diagnosis: Two healthy and precious children. I couldn't be more grateful.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lauren's pop culture recap

I used to have a life. Truly I did. There was a time when Rob and I were home maybe one night a week. But now, we have children with 7:00 pm bedtimes and no money for a baby-sitter. Therefore, I watch this Panasonic box in my house way more than I should or ever have in the past. The upside is that I am now able to bring you my insight into your favorite shows. I know that your lives have been sadly lacking without it.

This past week.

Dancing with the Stars- If you are voting for Kate Gosselin, then please stop reading this blog. You are no longer welcome. Un-bookmark it, delete your history, whatever you have to do. However, if you enjoy this blog then you will do your patriotic duty and vote for Buzz Aldrin. Oh, wait. I'm a week too late. Okay, vote for anyone you wish except for Kate. And that bachelor dude.

American Idol- Is anyone still watching this show? I honestly could not care less this season. It's all been downhill since Adam Lambert. Before you crucify me, just know that I think he is as odd as you do. But nobody can perform on a stage better than him, and sadly I have been comparing everyone this season to Mr. Lambert with tragic results. If I have to root for someone, it would be the awesome Mamasox.

LOST- Connection to sideways world!!! Love it! As my good friend Corey said in an e-mail shortly after the show- PENMOND 4-evah! I still say Smokey is good and Jacob is evil. Watch for it. I actually have a lot more to say on this subject, but I am afraid to reveal too much of my inner nerd.

Survivor- Who cares? I am still heartbroken about the departure of Boston Rob and cannot talk about my healing process yet.

Cake Boss- Staged, staged, staged! But yummy.

Amazing Race- If you would like to apply to be on this show with me, please send me your qualifications. I have ruled Rob out as a possibility because I value our relationship which this show would be sure to destroy. I am pulling for the cowboys mainly because they say, "Oh, my gravy" every week.

Little House on the Prairie- I love this show and always will. If you don't see the majesty and beauty that is Pa Ingalls, well then I just feel sorry for you. Nobody touches me like Miss Beatle, the horse Bunny, Reverend Alden, Albert, and Mr. Edwards. Genius, I tell you. Forget being a stay at home Mom watching soaps and eating bon bons. I'll take Half Pint re-runs and a bag of chex mix any day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Editor's Note


Please note that I said that the very first thing I did was check on them. I was merely relaying my thought process while Rob was searching the house. The first thing I asked the firemen in fact was whether or not I needed to get them out. Didn't you guys ever ask yourselves, "What three objects would I save in a fire?"

People don't count. Just objects. And anyway, it is purely hypothetical. Who decided that it was only three? If there truly was a fire and if I were saving things (AFTER MY FAMILY MEMBERS) I would be hurling as much stuff as I could out the window. Blankets, pictures, my favored pet of the day, my Sports Illustrated Crimson Tide commemorative issue. You know, the important stuff.

Just needed to clarify before you all called social services on me. :-) And before you all get in a huff and call PETA, I am kidding about the pets too.

In case of an emergency- don't call me.

In college my friend and I decided to branch out from our normal collegiate productions and audition for an actual community theatre play. Yes, that's right. Carson-Newman couldn't hold us back. After dozens and dozens of call back rounds, we were cast as the Cupp sisters in the highly acclaimed production of "Pumpboys and Dinettes" produced by the esteemed Morriston Theatre Guild. Okay, only 5 people tried out and we were all cast. But it was still good, I tell ya. Cupp sisters 4-evah!

If you missed it, well then I just feel sorry for you. It was high art at its finest.

I digress. One night during rehearsal, the cast was sitting above a store front pondering the differences between Stanislavski and Meisner. All of a sudden, I caught a whiff of a nice pine smell. It was nostalgic and warm. It prompted me to say, "It smells like Christmas in here."

Five minutes later we realized that the entire building was on fire. My stupidity was later recorded for all eternity in The Morristown Gazette as, "One local actor was quoted as saying 'It smells like Christmas in here,'" as the entire building burned down. Not my finest moment.

Two nights ago I woke up to Rob saying the words nobody ever wants to hear. He turned to me at 2:15am and said, "Lauren, get up. The house is filled with smoke."

I had flashbacks. Did it smell like Christmas? I decided that it didn't. I ran and checked on the children. Their rooms were smoky, but no open flames. I searched, but couldn't find anything. So, I did what any normal person would do. I decided to think about what three things I would rescue.

You've all done it. You've all asked the question of what you would save if your house was on fire. So as Rob frantically ran around the house trying to find the source of the smoke, I was thinking- Hmmmm..... scrapbooks? Which dog? Bennett's new comforter? Maybe our Tivo. I've got some great episodes of LOST saved on there......

We couldn't find the smoke making culprit (maybe because John Locke can't escape the island) so we called the fire department. Then as Rob was helpfully showing them around the house, I was updating my status update on facebook telling the world that there were firemen in my house.

It turned out fine. Smoldering HVAC motor in our basement. The result was a smokey house, a terrible smell, a sleepless night, and a bill to a repair man that I don't want to talk about.

But I was thinking today- What would you do in a crisis? I have realized that I think fire smells nice, I think about what to rescue, and I update facebook. I am acknowledging that I may not be the best person to have around in an emergency. I pray that nobody around here has anything serious happen. God forbid that Bennett breaks a leg and I decide to update Twitter first.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And the fun continues.... part 2

Here are some more photos from our Easter weekend. But first I had to share a funny story. Bennett went to her very first big girl church service. They had a sermon for children and so she got to go to church with Mommy and Daddy. She lasted maybe 20 minutes. She yelled, "Amen" at inappropriate times, demanded to sit in the aisle, and laughed out loud during the scripture reading. She's already a skeptic.

But during the sermon they taught the kids that Jesus was alive. Good lesson. However when we picked her up from the nursery later in the day, the ladies told us that Bennett sat in a chair the whole time and yelled to the other kids, "JESUS IS ALIVE!" Preach it, girlfriend.

Okay, on to the pictures.

Hey guys! Did you know that I have a pretty funny little brother?

Our awesome friends invited us over to have brunch with their family. Thank goodness for second families when you are away from yours. Here is me with my lifeline, Jessie.

Bennett and Will hanging out with their best friend, Levi. Levi was a whole lot better at hunting for eggs than my kids.

Possibly my favorite picture ever of Bennett. I almost put it in a separate post so it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle, but who has time for that? This is her sharing an Easter hug with her sweet friend.

My beautiful and growing little girl.

Will discovering that not all eggs are edible.

Who cares about brunch when their are cartoons on. I mean, priorities, right?

My family.

I must say that I had the best Easter basket ever.

He just melts my heart. What a handsome boy.

After naps we went out to fly kites. Bennett did awesome!

One more picture before heading home for the evening.

Easter fun part 1

Can this weekend please come back? Please? I really don't want it to be a new week where Rob is busy at work and I am busy trying to navigate a world filled with temper tantrums, dirty diapers, and dogs that drive me nuts.

This weekend was perfection. Beautiful weather, tons of family time, quality time with dear friends, outdoor adventures, and the chance to celebrate and acknowledge what Jesus did for us on the cross. Pretty amazing.

I am unable to capture everything in one blog post, so here is the first part of our weekend.

Getting Ready for some Easter Egg dying fun!

In case we forgot who we were

Rob was more into it than Bennett. Not really, but I needed a caption.

Bennett chillin' out at a farm. All goats beware.

We found one.

Will is the only smart one in the picture. Only he realized the danger lurking close by.

Feeding a bottle to a baby goat. Bennett LOVED this. She was in heaven and it was so dang cute.

Our family enjoying our beautiful Easter weekend.

Getting ready to go to the children's sermon at church.

Hey guys- my brother is pretty funny!

I don't know who this Easter bunny guy is, but I sure like him.

My first chocolate bunny. Pure happiness.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Sunday

"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 55-57

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Thank You is not enough. But it is all my meager voice can manage. Thank you.