Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Really Just Happened

Tonight I was making baby food and Chad looked at me and said "Aw, my little Martha Stewart."  And I gave him a look. (THE look).

Chad:  "What? That was a compliment."
Me:  "The part where she was in jail for fraud or the part where she is kind of manly?"
Chad:  "Martha Stewart is HOT!"
Me: "Ok, do you even know who Martha Stewart is?"
Chad: "Yes, and back in the day, she was really hot."

At this point I roll my eyes. A lot.  And laugh at him. A lot.
So he goes to get on the computer. I thought the conversation was over.

So then he showed me this image:

And then he showed me this one:

And holy cow she really was hot.

My husband was right.  And yes Chad, I will say it one more time, because it happens so rarely:  I was wrong about Martha Stewart and you were right.

But this leaves me with one question:  How the heck did he know this?


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Shameless Plug

My child, who is the MOST adorable thing ever, just ask me, was recently photographed by Brandelyn Lee Photography, and he made the blog!  You've got to check him out:

And in case you were wondering-- Brandy (the photographer) is AWESOME.  Like seriously.  She did our wedding pictures, which I still love with all my heart.  She did my maternity (fatso) pictures, and she also did our Christmas card pictures.  And she manages to make us look fabulous every time.  How she does it, I do not know, but I am eternally grateful!

So do you need some pictures, some help with decorating your walls, want to capture something really special, then call her.  Her is her website:

Have I mentioned that she's awesome?

A Born Leader (and the demise of his mom)

If you thought the Mariah Carey blog post was bad, you ain't seen NOTHING yet.  Max has another cold (my pediatrician told me "Welcome to the next 2 years of your life"- but I'll save that for another post) and woke up in the middle of the night SCREAMING.  This was before I realized he had a cold- so my thought was that maybe he had a bad dream.  When I went into his room to calm him down, he would NOT be calmed.  Not amount of mommy love, passy offering, sushing, rocking, bouncing, or singing could subdue my boy.  This is not a happy thing for moms, because we are supposed to be able to make baby happy, all the time.  After a long, torturous, middle of the night cry session, he did indeed calm down.  But if I attempted to put him down, he warned me with a high pitched squeal that I had better not, or I would regret it.  I obeyed, and held him while I tried to figure out what kind of bad dreams a baby could have-- did the world run out of milk?  Did Daddy stop making funny faces?

And then it hit me.  I had to go to the bathroom-- like really bad, or I was going to wet my pants.  So I did it, I sunk to a new low, and let my child sit ON MY LAP while I went to the bathroom.  This is NOT a joke.  This really did happen.  And honestly, I think Max enjoyed it.

He has also developed several strategic ways to communicate with me, although he can't actually talk.  If he wants up, he lets me know, if he wants more, he tells me so (although NOT with the sign language I've been trying to teach him), if nap time is over, he rings for me.  I think this speaks to his leadership skills.  For instance, he has recently talked me out of his afternoon nap -- and when my mom asked if I was going to be bring a baby device to "trap" the boy in one place during our upcoming visit, I responded with: "the boy doesn't need trapped.  He doesn't move unless he yells loud enough and someone obeys and moves him."

He has a face and a sound that go hand in hand-- and when Max speaks, we obey.  The fact that this 7 month old blob of blue eyes can get two adults, and one big brother to do what he says WITHOUT talking, is amazing. It's a real testament to the skills of a good leader.  Especially considering who he's dealing with...

If you know me, then you know this is funny.  I'm kind of stubborn- ok, very stubborn.  I like control and I'm just a tid bit bossy.  (My Mamaw gave me a plaque when I got my first job that said "I'm not opinionated, I just tell it like it is".)  Chad is also stubborn, and Gabe is too.  And that's just our immediate family.

Did I mention that when Max visited with my Dad last month, that he never had to nap or go to bed at night because my Dad would go pick him up out of his bed when he yelled.  Do you all know Dan Noblitt?  Now that man IS stubborn.

So how does this baby get to be the boss of all our world?  Look at this yell face and you tell me:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cancel the Pity Party

How many of you have seen "Julie and Julia"?  Do you remember the part where Julie gets in a fight with her husband and he screams "And don't blog about this"?  I think I might be living the opposite of that.... last night while griping at my husband, he responded with "Well why don't you blog about it."  And I was going to... while laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, my anger was helping me write a great blog post, and I was going to prove why I was right, and I was going to say so many great things that I would get picked to save the world.

But before I got around to it, I got a great reminder that someone has already done that.  His name is Jesus and I hope you've heard about Him.  He came to save the world and did just that!  Let me share my little reminder with you:

Last fall my Mamaw was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And as she went to her first couple of doctor appointments the news just kept getting worse.  It was in both breasts, and in her lymph nodes, and it wasn't just one, or even two types of cancer, it was 3 and 2 of them were aggressive.  And on and on and ON.  If you know me, then you know my Mamaw is a big stinkin deal to our family and to me.  Yes, we have some great stories and do a fantabulous job of mocking "Camp LotsofFun" and the way she covers her mouth when she coughs, but she's one of a kind (in a good way) and could hands down win the award for best grandmother and great grandmother.  Just one small example that makes my heart very happy is that fact that as soon as Gabe came into my life, he came into her life and became her great grandson and she has sent presents and cards for every holiday since that time- like even a card for the last day of school.  

Ok, so back to the stupid cancer. (Please note the "stupid" is a bad word in our house but cancer deserves that description.)  She had to start chemo after Christmas.  Our family has information updates about it here:  You can read up on it- and her prayer requests there.

Today was supposed to be round 5 of Chemo but I just got a call that it didn't happen.  And it won't happen.  Because Chemo is over!!! It's now time for the removal surgery.  And her body won't have to go through that terrible-ness anymore.  Hallelujah!  

I'm going to borrow my own words from Mamaw's site:

"If I'm honest, I got out of bed today on the WRONG side of the bed-- maybe the wrong side of life all together.  Grumpy, mad, angry, and huffy, all accurately describe my state of being.  I carried by sweet baby downstairs to his high chair and saw "chemo" written on my calendar.  That was a perspective changer- for sure- but it was momentary.  Then my selfishness got in the way and I started pouting again.  

But my bad attitude doesn't affect our Great God one bit!  He put a big "cancelled" mark across my pity party with one phone call of great news.  Mamaw is on her way to get her celebratory Starbucks drink now!
So today, my personal prayer is a prayer of thankfulness for all of you and for good news and the end of chemo.  It's a prayer of thankfulness to my God that has it ALL under control, and for a sweet Jesus that took my sins of selfishness away and made me white as snow. That Savior of the World put an end to bad days when he died on the cross and He can put an end to cancer too.


So back to the Savior of the World-- through today's blessings, He has reminded me how faithful He is- even when I am not.  And He gave me a nice dose of humility.  I, Lauren, am NOT the center of the Universe.  And in a Universe where a lot of crazy, tragic, sinful things are going on all around, I have a Jesus who has already overcome the world.  I also have a laundry list of things to be grateful for, including eternal life with my Heavenly Father.  

Now it's time to put these words and my heart change into action!  No more bad day....

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

For Your Entertainment

After my last post, I thought it appropriate to explain my love for The Awful Waffle (Waffle House).  In May of 2005, I graduated from The University of Georgia, with 2 degrees in 3 years.  No, I’m not trying to impress you, its just part of the story.  Immediately after graduating, I went down to Clearwater Beach, FL with Campus Outreach and 50(ish) of my closest friends to live at the beach for the summer, and learn more about sharing The Gospel.  While I was there, I worked at The Waffle House.  True Story. 

I have MANY good stories about my 3 months there, but I’m not writing a novel (yet) so I’ll just give you a few.  I also have 3 key pieces of advice, post- employment that I’d like to share with anyone who EVER goes to Waffle House.

Story #1: The Application-
When I went to apply for the job, I had to fill out an application and there wasn’t enough room for my education.  So I filled out what I could and took it to the manager.  He looked at it, then looked at me, and said, “Did corporate send you to take my job?”  I told him no, I was there for the summer and just wanted to make some money while I was there, and he said I could have a job if I didn’t tell anyone else about my education.  I agreed and never mentioned another word about it :)

Story #2: My Pearls-
UGA always has some “fashion trends” unlike the rest of the world.  I still love going to Athens on game day to see what’s “in” at the moment.  When I was in college, girls wore pearls ALL the time- even with t-shirt.  If you woke up late for class, you brushed your teeth, put on your pearls and went in your PJ’s.  I hadn’t dropped the pearl habit yet, so I wore pearls with my waitress uniform.   I can’t tell you how many problems those things caused for the customers.  They wanted to know where I was from, why I was working there, was I doing some sort of experiment, and one guy even sung me the Sesame Street song “One of these things are not like the others”.  And when I inquired about their scrutiny, everyone mentioned that Waffle House waitresses do NOT wear pearls.  HA!

Story #3: The Jukebox-
When you work at The Waffle House, extra entertainment is often necessary.  So the jukebox and I really bonded!  Some of my favorites were Kelly Clarkson, Tom Petty, and Eric Clapton.  You really can’t go wrong if you sing and dance, and I’m going to be honest, in not a hooker kind of way- the more you sing and dance, the bigger your tips are.  Somehow I managed to use the majority of my tips in the Jukebox.  The best part was dedicating songs to my co-workers and working their name into the lyrics.  Most of the time, they didn’t know the real lyrics, so they really thought the songs had their names.

Story #4: The Batter-
This really isn’t a story.  But it is still entertaining.  While working at the WaHo, I managed to gain 10+ pounds in 2 months because I ate multiple waffles AND spoonfuls of waffle batter everyday.  Not kidding.  I don’t eat pork, so Waffles were my only option- and they are just so darn tasty.  I was in my friend’s wedding at the end of that summer, and I needed multiple people to help stuff me into my bridesmaid dress. 

Story #5: The Gospel on a Napkin-
While working there, I got many great opportunities to share The Gospel.  It’s amazing how many opportunities you have when you work with people- especially when you’re looking for opportunities.  And my best tool for this, was a napkin :)  I’d write out verses and walk them through the Truth of God giving his son, Jesus, to us. It was so neat to see how God can use any situation to tell other about Him.

My advice:
1.   Do NOT tip in quarters.  Your meal may be cheap, so don’t go by the 18% rule.  Just give them a dollar or two.  You won’t miss it, and that job is seriously nasty and hard work, they’ve earned it, I promise!

2.   Instead, use your quarters in the Juke Box and play the song “Raisin Toast”.  You’ll be glad you did.

3    MOST IMPORTANT:  Do NOT drink out of any cup there- unless it is a to-go cup.  Order a coffee in a to-go cup, or an OJ in a to-go cup, etc…. This is a life or death matter, seriously.  They DO wash the dishes, and send them through a sterilizer, I myself have done this job (blah), but for some reason, there is ALWAYS junk left on the cups afterwards.  I can’t tell you how many times I got a coffee cup out of the dish washer, filled it was coffee, carried it to a customer, and had to wipe some lip stick off the top, as I sat it down, in one swift motion so they wouldn’t notice.  

Please notice Gabe's to-go cup!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A weekend of firsts

It's Sunday night, and I'm just now sitting down on the couch for the first time all weekend.  It's been a whirlwind and I can NOT believe the work week starts again tomorrow- wow.  I need another weekend!

On Friday, Max had his first day EVER of being 7 months.  That's right- it was his 7 monthday.  And as always, I can't believe he's been around here for 7 months already.  It has flown by- I need a re-do so that I can appreciate it more and make it slow down.

Max Ryan Bowman, 7 months old

Gabe had a teacher work day on Friday, so me and him decided to take Max to Waffle House for the first time.  The day I went into labor, I insisted that we go to Waffle House, (I was sure it was going to give me baby birthing power.) but we haven't been back since.  So a 7 month day seemed like a good reason to go.  Max wasn't too impressed, although he was on his best behavior.  I think it's because there was absolutely nothing there he could eat, but he watched and wait like quite a gentleman.  But Gabe loves it, and I'm confident that Gabe and I, together, can teach Max to love the WaHo, too!

Then, on Friday night, the biggest first of all.  I left Max, OVERNIGHT for the first time EVER.  And Chad was with Max, without me, overnight, for the first time ever.  I left Friday night around 5:30pm for a writer's conference.  And I stayed until Saturday afternoon.  By the time I got home to my baby, it was 3:00pm.- that's right, not quite 24 hours, but it felt like FOREVER.

If I'm honest, I was kind of looking forward to it.  A whole evening to myself, and sleep session without once waking up and feeling an "instinct" to go check on the baby.  And the idea of waking up, by my own accord on Saturday morning, and not have to feed a baby was pretty appealing as well.  Not to mention that I love writing and I love writer's conferences, and I was excited about my newest assignment.  But then Friday afternoon rolled around and I started to get queasy.  All of a sudden, it didn't seem like such a great idea- what if something happened?  What if Max needed me?  Would he miss me?  But I did it, I left anyway, and I had a great time Friday night brainstorming for my upcoming writing assignment.  Chad had Max sound asleep before 7:30pm and sent me a picture as evidence, so I was able to relax.

Until....... it was my turn to go to bed.  I went to my room at the retreat, and low and behold, what did I see beside my bed?  A SCORPION.  I stepped on it, killed it, shook the ibie jeebies off, and went to brush my teeth.  And when I got there, 2 MORE scorpions- one in the bathtub and one beside the toilet, in the bathroom, attached to my room.  I killed them, scraped them all up in tissues and put them in the trash.  And went to bed.  But I couldn't sleep.  Something was crawling on me.  I heard something.  I felt something.  Was I feeling a sting?

Have no fear, I did survive, but it was touch and go there for a while.  And I can't say how much I actually slept.

And the least exciting first:  Today Max went ALL day, for the first time ever, withOUT a nap.  My child, who usually takes 3 naps a day took none today.  I do NOT suggest this.  There is a reason for this- and he's really not to blame- we taught at KCRG first service (The Children's Ministry at our church), we went to 2nd service, and then we had a meeting after church. You might have noticed that none of those things involved Max, per-say, but he loves his bed, and he's nosy (like his wonderful Mom) and will NOT sleep if there is something better going on.  So he skipped his first two naps, while we were at church.  When we got home, I fed him and put him in his crib, thinking he' be out like a light and that I could curl up with a book, but Max had other ideas.  He screamed, like SCREEEAAAAMMMMEEEDDDD, and when I went to get him, he talked me into to playing instead of napping.  And there went his 3rd nap.  He was fussy and whiney and crazy all evening.  But we did survive and I don't plan to see him for 12 hours.

And although Max was 7 months on Friday, he had his 6 month appointment (because we're spreading out his vaccines).  And his stats were quite surprising:
I thought my baby was chunky (like I ordered) but he was only in the 51st percentile in weight.
But he was in the 83rd percentile in height... because both of this parents are tall?!?!
And he is in the 87th percentile for his head, thanks to his Mom, and my Dad (his Pops)... poor baby.  The melon (head) doesn't fall far from the tree.  I laughed when the doctor told me this stat and he said, "The only downside to a big head is taking his sweatshirts off."  HA :)
He also had a vision test with sensors on his head and those beautiful baby blues checked out with flying colors. Then he got 2 shots- boo.

So after all these firsts, all I have to say about parenting is that it's entertaining and it's all happening too quick.  I don't really want to pause, but I definitely would like a "slow it down" button.  Anyone know where you can get those?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Goodnight Love Girl

This weekend, Max and I went to see my parents and my grandparents in North Carolina.  It was a quick day trip, so we left Chad and Gabe behind.  Before I left, I hid love sticky notes all over the house in Chad places, like on the milk carton, on his computer screen, in his work clothes, etc.  He was at work when we left, so he came home to the little reminders.

Chad then decided to write notes back to me, and hide them in Lauren places.  When I got home, I started finding notes immediately.  The first couple were "normal" love notes-- like "I love you"... then I started to find some funny ones.  I opened a drawer and found one that said "sweet love".  Then I opened the cleaning closet and found one that said "Even when you makes us clean, we still love you".  I chuckled, thinking Chad just wanted some variety in his love notes.

Then on Saturday night, when I climbed into bed, I found a love note on my pillow.  This one made me laugh out loud.  So I had to quiz Chad on what exactly these notes meant and where they were coming from....

Apparently Gabe thought this whole hidden love note thing was great.  He helped Chad find the notes I had left him and gathered them up, then he insisted on writing some for me.  Come to find out, Gabe is a little cupid and should go work for Hallmark or the Valentine's Day heart company.  Chad did the actual writing on the love notes, but Gabe came up with the wording.

My last note of the day said "Goodnight love girl".  The next morning, Gabe came in and hung it on the mirror above my toothbrush.  And every time I've seen it since, I've smiled. Yes, because it's sweet, and yes, because he got to see me and Chad loving on each other even though were already married, and yes, because I'm a words person and I think it's hilarious and cute and funny, but mostly because it reminds me that he IS watching.  And Max will start watching really soon.  And everything we say and do is being etched in his brain and teaches him the way life is "supposed to be".  So, if we mess up, he's going to see that, and we're going to have to make sure that we tell him that we messed up, and let him see us "make it right". Ah, pressure!

Parenting is hard.  And for each kid we have, there are two more eyes watching us try to do it well... but it keeps us on our toes, and it gives me awesome names like "Love Girl". (Chad has continued to call me "Love Girl" several times a day.) My prayer is that Gabe can't help but ending up at the feet of Jesus after it's all said and done.  And hopefully God is able to use both me and Chad to get our boys there.  Gabe has already asked Jesus into his heart, and he will be baptized in May, but it's the daily walk and the day to day decisions that he needs Jesus the most for.  I pray that I continue to learn how to be more like Christ, so that as Gabe and Max continue to mimic me, they are being like Him as well.

Gabe is an incredible kid, and he's great entertainment too.  Let me know if you need any love notes or pet names for your significant other, I'll send Gabe your way.

(This is Gabe helping with yard work... and because he has been watching his Dad do stuff like this, he asked if he could borrow my ipod while he worked "to make working more fun".)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hunger Walk Update

Yesterday was the walk and our team raised $1300.  VERY cool experience for all of us, especially Gabe.  We had to rush after first service church to get down there, change clothes in the car, eat lunch in the car, and bundle everyone up-- I began to think it wasn't worth it.  Then we got there, and Gabe got a little kick in his step, and started asking a million questions about hunger, and why people don't have food, and telling us how glad he was that people were helping them, and then it was all worth a little chaos!

Here are a few pictures-- and another Bowman family blog update is coming soon, I promise!