Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I've talked about our small group many times-- mainly because they are a big part of our lives.  Recently, we've been walking with Katie, as she grieves the loss of her dad.

A group like this is rare- we get that.  And it's a huge blessing- we get that too.  But it's also a lot of work-- it takes effort and patience and grace-- and everyone has to be all in and willing to make it a priority.  God really blessed us when He crossed our paths with these people-- the group started as soon as Chad and I got married-- it had been in the works for several months, we just needed our knot to be tied to begin.

We've all been together for over 2 years- and there have been ups and downs, but bottom line, we are better and more like Christ because of it.  I've heard many small group horror stories-- you may even have one yourself, I know my parents do!  But let our story encourage you-  God does his best work in the context of relationships, therefore it is EXTREMELY important that we all have them!  And good ones at that! It doesn't come naturally-- and you are going to get some of your rough edges knocked off, but to have a group of people who loves loves loves you and that you can count on, regardless of the situation, who will always point you to Christ, is life changing.

Check out the video that played at our church, North Metro, this past Sunday-- it's our group, telling our story:

For some reason, I can't get it to embed correctly right now, so just click here:  http://vimeo.com/14586931

<object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=14586931&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=1&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=14586931&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=1&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/14586931">Life in a Group</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/northmetrochurch">North Metro Church</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p><p>4 couples speak openly and honestly about their descision to do life together as a group and the life change that has resulted. A powerful story of how God does some of His best work in the context of relationships.</p>

Monday, August 30, 2010


So you all read as I grieved my ominous future of a potential minivan... and well, in the midst of the fall chaos at the Bowman house, I never finished the story....

On Thursday, August 12th, 2010, my sweet, wonderful, reliable, trusty, handy dandy, beautiful 4Runner went to be with his new family.  That's right, he now lives in Norcross and is loved by another.  Because of all the paperwork and everything that goes into these kinds of transactions, I didn't even get teary as it pulled out of my driveway, but now, when I pass one on the road, I have to gulp down the lump in my chest, and I think back to the days when I was a carefree, windows down, music up, hair blowing in the wind....  oh how those days are gone.

And then on Tuesday, August 17th, 2010, just two days before my baby turned one (rough week!), look what came to live in my garage:

Oh yes, mini van, MEGA fun.  We are the (eventually to be proud) owners of a Swagger Wagon.

Yes, she's something.  We haven't formed a bond yet.  But we're working on it.  I think it's kind of like a new job-- it's hard at first, and sometimes awkward, but once you get into your groove, it becomes the new normal.  I'm just waiting for that to happen! Every time I walk into the garage or a parking lot and see her, I laugh.  Yes, audibly.  It just cracks me up that this is my new ride.  This is exactly what happens when you say "never".  It really cracks me up when I go climb in and I'm all alone- geez.  I think I need 2 cars-- a Lauren car and a mommy car.  Maybe like a little sports car, that vrooms, to counter-act the mini.  I'm just not so sure that's in the budget!!

On a side note, Chad likes the van.  He has wanted one his whole life and just hasn't admitted it.  He likes to ride in it, drive it, and if there was a strip, he would cruise up and down it, in the mini, with a grin on his face from ear to ear.  At this point, Chad has arrived!  When I first started dating Chad, the Porton Posse referred to him as "Chad the Dad"-- namely because he had Gabe, and at one point in my singleness, as soon as a guy entered the picture, he was escorted out.  None of "them" made it to a 2nd date, let alone the serious category-- so they had to have nicknames so my friends could keep track of who I was talking about.  But I'm beginning to think that this was foreshadowing-- of course Chad the Dad would have a mini-van-- it goes with his persona!

Anyway, after my chuckle upon seeing her, I climb in, and get situated, and we connect.  The room, the organization possibilities, the smell of the leather-- it's nice.  So just give me some time-- I'm a loyal person, even to a fault, so once she makes her way into the inner circle, the mini will be loved as well.  Some day.

Update #2:  You may remember that my baby brother took it upon himself to cut my Max's hair.  He got his point across although hair styling really isn't his spiritual gift.  Therefore, I had to call my cousin Lindsey (who I was about to call anyway, Eli!) to come save the say.  And that she did :)

She came a couple Saturdays ago, to the house, and got Max all trimmed up.  And I HATED it.  Not because it she did a bad job-- she did a GREAT job-- but in about 20 minutes, my baby looked like a little boy instead- yikes!!  And no, this isn't just in my own head, people all around town are saying this to me.  It was tragic.  But I have since adjusted and I even added some gel and give him some spikes and it's so cute.  He's one handsome baby man if I do say so myself!

I also got some hair for his baby book and some play by play pictures of this event... remind me to keep my future children away from Uncle Eli until his signs a "no scissors" agreement!

This last picture is Max helping my Dad with the fantasy football draft- doesn't he look like a little man with his big boy haircut??

He was supposed to be in bed, but manages to sleep a LOT less when my Dad is in town...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

All Boy

As you know, Max recently turned one.  And apparently, he got the memo that he wasn't a baby anymore.  This has been rough for me-- for more reasons than the obvious.  Let me explain...

Not only is he growing older and wrecking my heart- he is turning into a boy.  He climbs things that aren't meant to be climbed, he LOVES being outside-- the dirtier, the better, and he has started getting bruises and scrapes like it's his job.  He's always falling on something, hitting his head on another thing, and manages to bleed at least once a week.  Now I know he's a boy-- but this is really hard for me.  I'm just supposed to let him "be adventurous" even if it's dangerous.  It goes against everything I am. But I'm learning and trying not to "baby" him as Chad says.  But Max is a smart cookie and knows that if he gets hurt, all he has to go is get his bottom lip to quiver a little and I'm THERE!

But it gets worse.  Another boy thing is exploring.  And Max is good at it.  He likes to check out everything in our house, regularly. Sometimes, this is very disgusting.  For example, a couple weeks ago, I was drying my hair and he was crawling around my room. Mid-dry, I flipped my head up and and saw Max sitting on the bathroom floor right beside me... WITH THE WHITE CAP FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE TOILET (the one that covers the screws that hold to toilet on the floor) IN HIS MOUTH.  Now if you've EVER cleaned a toilet, you know that this is the grossest, nastiest, most dirty, horrible, awful thing in the whole house.  And let me repeat, Max had it in his mouth.  I freaked.  I dropped the hair dryer, and scooped him up, yanking the cap from his mouth and throwing it away in one swoop.  I took him to the sink and began washing him with soap and then I used hand sanitizer on his hands, arms, face, and neck.  Excessive?  I think not.  Then once, he was sanitized, I put him back on the floor, and picked back up the dryer as my heart was just beginning to settle after that catastrophe.  And I look to my left, and what do I see?  Max, standing at the toilet, with both arms fully submerged, clapping his hands in the hole where "everything" flushes down.  At that point, I reached a new low.  My "baby" was playing in the toilet- and he was SO proud of himself.

But today, that low, went even lower...

This morning, as we were getting ready for church, Max was sitting on the floor playing.  He was making some noises and he's starting to say words and mock noises that we make, so I started paying close attention to figure out what he was saying.  But he wasn't saying anything.  Instead, he was making fart noises with his mouth and then laughing.  Repeatedly. I kid you not.

I know to some people this isn't a big deal, but I lecture Chad and Gabe over and over again about bodily functions and manners. I am the type of person who does not think burping and farting is funny- I think it's rather gross.  And yes, I understand that everyone does it, but I think ladies should act like ladies and gentlemen should act like gentlemen anytime there is a lady around.  So Chad and Gabe can fart on each other while they wrestle, but only if I'm not around.  Otherwise, you must excuse yourself if possible, or make sure you are discrete when "you can't help it" and then follow it up with an "excuse me".  In my book, the manners from a first date situation should stick- and chivalry is NOT a thing of the past.  We are working to raise gentlemen around here!

Ok, enough of the soap box, but you needed some context for Max's little mouth farting.

So, even though farting is not "funny" at the Bowman house, my little 1 year old intrinsically thought it was funny.  Without any prompting, my sweet, precious baby, was entertaining himself with "potty talk".  So it appears as though I've lost the battle, and I now have to surrender to the fact that all my boys are ALL BOY.  I don't even have Max on my side anymore!

So instead of cuddling, we wrestle.  And instead of rocking, we play catch.  Instead of decorating the house, we spend time making sure sockets are covered and shelves are screwed to the wall.  And the scratch marks on all over my furniture and hard wood floors are seen as "character".

But I do need to point out, that I am LOVED by three men.  And yes, I am bragging.  I am Chad's wife, Gabe's girlfriend (he started this when he was 3 and I was his Dad's girlfriend, and he still tells everyone to this day that I am his girlfriend :) ) and I am THE woman in Max's life as well- and he only has eyes for me!  I guess it's worth the blood and guts and dents and dings.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Party Time

On Saturday, we celebrated Max's first birthday with a lot of friends and family.  My friend Jill's parents, let us have the party at their house and they have a great pool- is there a better party for an August birthday, than a pool party?

[caption id="attachment_886" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The party set up"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_887" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The Birthday Boy's Chair!"][/caption]

My parents came in town from Indiana, Chad's parents came in town from Texas, Uncle Eli came to town as well. All of our small groupies were there, Max's Maggie (and Josh) and Max's CoC0, aka Courtney (and Miles) were there too.  The Halls were there, and my friends Erin, Ruth, and Anna were there too, along with their hubbies and Anna's Elizabeth Grace came in her party dress.  Uncle Chris came and Jonathan was our host-- too bad Hudson slept through the party :(  And of course, Big brother Gabe kept us all in line, and helped Max open (and play with) his presents!

Max showed up, after being dressed by my Dad and Eli....

Thankfully, I had packed his party clothes!  Our friend Lisa, took real pictures-- and she got all the action- including the cake "eating".  I'll post more of those later.

I just wanted to thank everyone who came-- it was wonderful!  And for all you other people that love my boy and have helped with him over the past year- through prayers and encouragement and just overall excitement about him, thanks!

[caption id="attachment_897" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jonathan"][/caption]

And last but not least, Max got enough new toys to last until he's 5-- therefore we will be skipping birthdays until then :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Captain Adorable

My grandma got Max some new pajamas for his birthday:

That's right, they say "Captain Adorable".  And I can't think of a title more fitting!  (FYI, he's sitting in the rocking chair I got for my first birthday.)

And that's right, the pj's came with a cape!!  And the boy, he just came with that sweet face and those blue eyes.

He also got this fire engine for his birthday, too, from The Halls and he loves it.  He prefers to ride backwards.  And then when he runs into something, he stops and pushes the button...

And the sirens sing, and the bells ring, and Captain Adorable dances... then he goes onto his tippy toes to roll forward....

So that he can do it all over again :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Max is ONE!

On Thursday, Max turned one.  It was a day I've been dreading- lame, huh?  I was teary a lot that day, thinking about the past year and how much he's changed and grown.  Every single second was wonderful (even the ones I wished away at the time) and I just wish I had more time to appreciate it all.  The problem is that I'm not ready to be 1/18th of the way done with him.

On Thursday, I needed some Max and Mommy time.  So I decided to treat Max like I'd like to be treated on my birthday- donuts for breakfast!  And after being asked what would be his birthday tradition, I decided that a mommy-son Birthday breakfast date is our birthday thing.  And if we ever have a girl, then she can have a Daddy birthday breakfast date on her birthday.  And Lord-willing, Max will want to have these birthday dates for a looonnnngggggg time- like even when he's in college.  Maybe if I offer cash....

Max, you are growing up too fast.  You're smart and wonderful and funny and the best dancer I've ever seen!  You love eating- it's your favorite 4-6 times of the day.  Your most favorite thing is fruit- you haven't found one you don't love. You love baths too.  You're still just fine with crawling, and you cruise around the furniture, and occasionally stand for a couple seconds, but you're completely uninterested in walking- which makes me VERY happy!  You have great hand/ eye coordination and you hate getting your diaper changed all of a sudden- I think it's because you're too busy for that.  You've moved up to 12-18 month clothes, and size 4 diapers.  You still only have 6 teeth, but number 7 and number 8 are on their way.  You look all grown up with your hair cut, and you act it too.  You still take 2 naps a day, each at least 2 hours, and you're very easy.  Ok, let me say that you're a little more high maintenance with me, but it's because you know I'm crazy about you.  If you miss a nap, you're still great, and you got many many people wrapped around that chubby little finger of yours.  You love your brother and your daddy, you think everything they do is funny and you're already wrestling and getting footballs thrown at you.  Your favorite toys are anything that sings songs and balls-- you love playing catch and you wind up to throw.  It's adorable.  Sometimes, you even grunt.  Daddy is teaching you to kick the soccer ball as well.

You're the best baby in the whole world.  I love you- but honestly, that doesn't even begin to explain what you do to my heart.  And I know your daddy feels the same way because I see the way he looks at you.  He is also spending a lot of time reading his bible and other books about being a dad, because he wants to be the best one in the whole world for you and Gabe.  I'm really looking forward to the rest of your life, and being your mom is the best gig around. You are worth every second of labor it took to get you here, and all the extra pounds I carry because of you.  You are worth the bags under my eyes, and the baby gates that adorn my walls.  You're worth a mini-van, and if I had to pick between you and every cool point in the world, I would choose you every time.  Thank you for being my sweet Max.  I know I'm not perfect, but I am being refined by our perfect Heavenly Father, and ultimately, trusting Him with your life and your heart.  He loves you enough to die for you, He created you and wants to be The Lord over your life.  I hope you let Him- soon!  I'm praying for you and loving you until I take my last breath.

Love, Mommy

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Circle of Life

Ok, this is seriously two weeks late, but it needs to make the blog!  Two weekends ago, I went and saw Romana and Beezus.  First of all, I read all of the Beverly Cleary books when I was younger, so as soon as I saw that the movie was coming out, I called to see if my two favorite almost teenage girls would go with me.  They are Chandler and Cameron Hall and it just so happened that the movie was also coming out on Chan's 13th birthday!  Anyway, our friend Maranda and me took the girls to the movie a couple Friday nights ago.

It was AMAZING!  It was clean and sweet and all the actors we so cute/ hot.  I seriously enjoyed that movie more than any movie I have seen in a LONG time.  If you read those books when you were young, you MUST see it.  And even if you didn't, it's still great.  It's so rare to see a movie that wholesome and enjoyable.  I've tried to talk Gabe into wanting to see it, so I could go again, but he isn't falling for it!

Here's the trailer just for kicks:

THEN, the next day, Chad headed over to the Hall's house to work for the day.  The Halls include Stuart and Kellee and their kids- the girls mentioned above and their eldest, Grant.  The brief backstory is that Kellee has been mentioned MANY times in this blog and in my every day life- she was my small group leader through high school and is a huge part of my story to this day.  I've been a part of their family and been babysitting for them since before Cameron was born-- she is now 10!  Anyway, I love these kids as much as you can loves kids that aren't yours.  I've watched them grow and learned from Stuart and Kellee each step of the way as they parent them.  Not to mentioned that they've loved me when I wasn't lovable! So anyway, the parents were out of town, our friend Maranda was keeping the kiddos, Chad needed to work, and the Halls have an awesome pool- so me and Max went with Chad and had a Saturday play day.

This is where the circle of life comes in- these kids that I took care of for years took care of my baby all day.  They loved on him and entertained him and babied him and carried him around and fed him and and dressed him up and fixed his hair and soothed him and swam with him and on and on and on. Honestly, I just followed them around and watched because it made my heart so happy.  And it also made my throat tight to realize just how fast it all happens.  I remember when Grant went to kindergarden and now he's in high school and getting ready to drive and playing football- I took my baby to his game.  I fed Cameron baby food and now she feeds my baby.  I carried Chandler around and did all her favorite things- even when she wasn't a baby anymore because I just couldn't resist her cheeks and her eyes- and now, not only is she a teenager who is taller than me with bigger feet than me, but she also can't resist my baby and loves on him with all she's got.

Ah.  I don't have anymore words to describe how wonderful this day was for me.  It just was.  And these pictures should explain why...

[caption id="attachment_864" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Chandler cuddling with Max"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_860" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="After the girls dressed Max up... he'll hate me for this later!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_862" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Grant and Max- handsome- despite the photographer"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_861" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Cameron and my baby man"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_859" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The Tie-Dyed Shirt the made for him :)"][/caption]

Monday, August 9, 2010

Watching TV

DVR is really one of our favorite things.  We never watch tv in real time- we never have time to watch tv when the shows we like are actually on- but with one little button, we can watch them anyway, in half the time.  It's marvelous.

Or it was.  Until Max figured out what special things pressing the blue button can do:

So right when we get our DVR turned on and get to the "good part" of our show, then Max turns it off... and on.... and off.... and on... repeatedly, until he's had his fun, then he moves on.  And we're left to find out spot all over again.  Until Max returns and does it again!

But we laugh instead of being stern, so he keeps doing it.

So much for watching it in half the time!


Some of my favorite things to do with Max are his "tricks".  His first good one was clapping.  With the word "yayy" he'd response with lots of clapping and smiling.  Then we taught him the wave "bye" and eventually added the word itself.  We practice everyday when Maggie leaves and now he'll do it to strangers in the store.  Of course, the doctor was proud of this one too as his last check up.

We'll since then, we've added a lot to his repertoire-- crawling, climbing, standing, clicking, saying "thank you", playing catch, giving kisses etc... the list goes on, but the common theme is that we've "worked" with him at all of his tricks.  (BTW, I've been working on blowing kisses for ages and he wants nothing to do with it!)

Well apparently, Max is so mature now adays that he can teach himself tricks- and very advanced ones!

Did you see that?  He can stand on his head!  And lift one arm up.  And no one taught him this.  He's AMAZING!


Last night, we kept Max out past his bed time, and all of a sudden things got really funny!  He passed fussy and went on to better things.  Gabe is the videographer, and the noise that ensues is ALL Max-- and quite frankly, the best sound in the entire world!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oh no, HE didn't!

Yesterday was super fun because my baby brother, Uncle Eli, came to town for a Max play day.  He called over the weekend to let me know that he had some time between his internship and when college started again, and he wanted to make sure he got Max time before the college craziness and football started.

So anyway, yesterday was the day for that- he came late Tuesday and spent the night, and then kept Max while we worked yesterday.

Well.... half way through my work day, I got a call from Uncle Eli that him and Max were going for a run and that "maybe" he had just cut Max's hair.

No, I'm not kidding.  These are the real words he said to me.

If truth be told, Max's hair was getting long- he may have had wings over his ears, and his bangs were in his eyes, and he definitely had a mullet- but I was hoping he would make it to his first birthday before his first hair cut- I just can't handle all these firsts and needed to prolong something.

BUT the kicker is that on Tuesday, I broke down and asked my cousin Lindsey who is a fantastic hair stylist if she would trim Max up the next time she was in the neighborhood and she agreed to make it happen.  Honestly, I was worried Max was going to start cussing me out in baby language for allowing his hair to get so long that it tangled in his eye lashes. It really just happened over night too- he was bald, like really bald, and then he had hair, lots of hair.

It's not my fault he's growing so fast- I told him to stop.

So anyway, back to the haircut.  Apparently, Uncle Eli had taken it upon himself to trim his bangs, around his ears, and his mullet.  Eli said, "I just left him in his high chair and got the scissors out and when I did, Max got really still"... well yeah, if you come at the child with a pointy weapon, I should think he would get still!

So I was NOT there for Max's first hair cut, I had NO say in Max's first hair cut, a professional was NOT involved in Max's first hair cut, there are NO picture of Max's first haircut, and a certain someone did NOT save a piece of Max's hair for his baby book.

Yes, I know, a travesty!

But lucky for Eli, and everyone that loves him, he actually did a really good job and I'm already laughing about this story.  So he gets to live :)

When I asked Eli what he was thinking he said, "Well it's 2 weeks before his birthday, so I figured it'd have time to grow out if I mess up!"  HA!

Here are some pictures from this morning of my newly spruced up baby, bed head and all:

And you want to know the best part?  When I called my Dad last night to tell him what Eli did, he started cackling only to tell me that when Max was there in June, HE had cut some of his hair!  And he was proud that he was smart enough not to tell me and had cut such a small amount that I didn't notice.

Oh Noblitt men!  They are something, aren't they??

Monday, August 2, 2010


Gabe started 2nd grade today.  It's funny to watch little kids have grown up emotions, but yesterday and this morning he was filled with anxiety.  It was really ironic because if there is anything that Gabe is great at, it's school.  God has given him an incredible brain.

But that brings some more irony, but this time it's focused on us parents.  Yesterday at church, our new pastor Paul Alexander delivered a GREAT message, filled with scripture about parenting.  There were so many good parts, but the bottom line for Chad and I was that our job as parents is to empower our boys to be who God has created them to be- simple as that.  So instead of celebrating good grades and their brains, it's important to begin celebrating every characteristic that is Christ-like. It's a difficult switch to make, because it's easier to praise behaviors than character, but I'm up for the challenge.  Several times today, I've had to stop my praise from being "Good thinking Gabe, you're such a smart kid" to "I'm so glad you're using your brain that God gave you and working hard like Jesus wants you to" and so on.  But how relieving-- we don't have to come up with a plan or a dream for our kids- we don't even have to steer them down the path- God has already done that!  We just have to keep empowering them and encouraging them and teaching them to follow God and be who He called them to be.

I love that it's back to school in the Bowman household.  I love the structure and the routine.  I love our bed times and I even love that alarm clock- not because I love waking up, but because with structure comes productivity.  Especially in our spiritual lives. But with this new school year comes a new approach to parenting, and our mindset!  We may have a doctor or a lawyer on our hands.  We may have a computer guy or a garbage man.  We may have a contractor or a missionary.  But that part doesn't matter.  Our goal is to have Christ-followers, with a heart for the lost, who live and breathe where God has called them.

I'm pretty sure it doesn't get more exciting than this!