+ It’s my birthday! +

It’s my birthday!

I have so many thoughts and I’m high as a potato on caffeine so this is going to be difficult to bring down to the ground.

First off – infinite thanks, gratitude, appreciation and crazy love for all the incredible people in my life that have been just catapulting their excitement and love to me since before I even woke up today. I literally do not have half the words to communicate how much all of you mean to me and how beyond blessed I am. I have been given more encouragement and more community than I could have ever dreamed of. God is so good. I wish I could give everyone a supermassive hug and take everyone out to dinner, just for being my friend. I hesitate to mention certain people for fear of leaving others out on accident – but there are so many of you who have gotten me through this past year, sharpened me, taught me, motivated me, inspired me, loved me, cried with me, dreamed with me, explored with me, and prayed with me. I am obligated to thank as many of you personally and publically for enriching my life & making it into something SO full I can barely keep up. Here goes!

I’m going to start with Jamie because she just tweeted at me- hah! Jamie, you are one of the most joyful women I know – you work hard, you just ooze out love and care, and your packages and letters have always come to me at the perfect time. You’ve made my days so much better and I look up to you and hope that I will accomplish just as much as you do & give as generously as you do when I am a wife and mother. Oh, and your emails lighten my heart. Love.

Kelly M., I consider you a sister. I don’t know how or why we’ve stayed as close and I pray every day that I am as good of a friend to you as you are to me. I love you and can’t wait to come see you again in Charlotte. You have been a saving grace to me in ways you probably don’t know. God used you to bring me back to him and remind me of the type of girl I want to be, right when I needed it. I love watching you fight to love Jesus more and love those around you and your constant desire to do and be better. You are beautiful.

Katie H. – Oh man, I have so many sisters! God gave you to me as a big sister just when I needed one, and your creativity and enthusiasm puts sparkles into all my days! Hahaha. Thank you for being around constantly and letting me pour out my heart to you at any moment. You are insanely talented & your heart is so real. I love it.

Paige – I’m knocking out all the sisters. You are my baby sister and one of the most special people in my life. You already know that you are one of the funniest people alive and your heart is exponentially bigger than your body will ever be. I cannot wait to see what happens with your life. You inspire me with your strength, your love for God, and your wisdom. I wish I could give you the world. You are one of the most beautiful people God has ever made.

Nate – Living life has changed drastically since you entering it and I’m so grateful for it. Thank you for being a good man and working your ass off and bringing me alongside you. Talking with you every day is a gift in and of itself. I believe we have created more jokes than any two people in the history of the world. Blah blah blah. 🙂

Josh H – Yo Digeratii! Birthday twin! You rock my world by making me laugh uncontrollably nearly every day and I’m stoked to get to know you more over the next year. Happy birthday to you too, today!

Craig – I count you as my brother and one of my closest friends. I love our freak outs, our bff talks, your crazy motivation for life in general and how faithful you are to be there for me and listen to my rants. I am so glad you re-appeared in my life after years of us both getting our crap together (more or less) and I know that somewhere in the next couple years, a mindblowingly awesome trip will happen together. And I am not talking about drugs, I’m talking about Australia or something. Hahaha. Never doubt your worth, how much you are loved, or how much much better you make my life just by being in it. I love you.

Jesse K – Jesse, I love you. I am so thankful that you’ve been in my life since I was 10 or 11 years old. No matter what city each of us is in at the time, you remind me of all the good parts of home and none of the bad. I admire your mind. I admire your talents. I would do anything for you and I hope you know that, always. A part of my heart is yours and always will be. I miss our Milo adventures and your hugs. Love you forever.

Lauren S – Did you know that you are the picture of unconditional love? You have been an incredible friend for me and stuck it out when I go MIA for weeks at a time. The mail you send me is incredible and I save every single bit of it. I love you so much & hope we get closer this year. There have been two letters sitting on my desk for a month, waiting for the post office hours to align with my not-at-work hours. I love you.

Cheryl – You kick ass. You’ve added so many laughs to all my days and let me tell you probably the most absurd and unsharable parts of my life. I’m so glad that you exist and that we are on the same level with our craziness. You just make me so happy. And thank you for introducing me to Jen. Hahahaha

J Money & Josh – I AM SO EXCITED FOR 2011. I already have a solid love for both of you and I’m so stoked to see all the awesome things that come from working with you guys. Thank you both for being phenomenal people. Hugs hugs hugs.

Kansas – I feel like I’m a broken record because I just told you this, but you’re so solid and I’m so thankful for it. Thanks for being around for me and being a voice uninfluenced by hormones, hahaha. I appreciate every single time you offer to help me or listen to me. I don’t take it for granted.

David – I’m sad you’re on tour and I don’t get to see you for awhile. 🙁 Big hang outs when you get back. Thank you for fighting in my behalf, loving on me, praying for and with me, inspiring me to be the woman I need to be, and cutting through all the bullshit to help me find who God is and what he wants for me. You are blessed, and I’m blessed through you.

To all the Crimson boys: I love and miss you. Saud, you inject so much joy into my life and I’m down with you being my little brother forever. Josh, I admire your heart. Yates, Nick, Dan – hugs to all of you. Come back alive, please. ♥

Christen – GOOD GRIEF I am so glad I met you. You are an incredible woman and I swear everytime I see you, you just soak me in Jesus & super joy. Thank you for your hugs, your hospitality, and your crazy gifts through the Spirit. You’ve helped heal me from so much and I cannot express how thankful I am for you. Thank you for welcoming me into your life so quickly and so warmly. Love love and more love.

Patrick – Man, I just love how consistently you cheer me up via Twitter and how encouraging you’ve been to me throughout the last year. You have such a great heart and you’ve stuck around and made some of my really awful days way better and my good days even greater. Thank you.

Johnny – I’ve thanked you a hundred times for your encouraging texts that I get all hours of the day and night. You’ve kept my chin up during some pretty bad days. Thank you for caring so much and for keeping tabs on me.

Kelly Tonsetic – Thank you for having a relationship with me where half the time I’ve been bawling my eyes out. I know God better because I know you, and your love is contagious. Everytime I see you I am surprised by how beautiful you are & how joy and a clean love just radiates from you. You should be proud of the woman that you are. The man who gets you will not deserve you.

Sandy S. – Woman, I love you. Your hugs make my weeks bearable and you are so faithful to be a crazy caring friend. Thank you for confiding in me, and letting me confide in you. Your on-a-whim prayers rock my world. I love you.

Inky – Crazy girl, you’ve saved my ass so many times and made my life so much more fun. I wish I was close to you so I could be a better friend – but I’m coming to Nashville in January! And oh, that will be too much fun. Your texts make my day happier & I am so jealous of your energy and love for life. I admire you for how much you’ve been through. You’re resilient, I hope you know that.

Jessica T. – There aren’t words to communicate what I want. I have more love and empathy for you than you will ever know. My heart has broken with yours over this past year and I am going to tell you again how proud I am of you for remaining the woman that you are despite everything else life has handed to you. You are selfless; know that, believe that. I have been blessed by you so much and hope to never, ever lose touch. I love you.

Krista L – Ooo I love you. I know I just told you this, but you are transparent in your love and so genuine in everything you say. You are a beautiful woman & God dropping you into my life was a gift. You are so talented and I am so proud of how hard you work. You inspire me. Your entire life is just pretty and sweet. I look up to you. I am excited to see you tonight.

Bria S. & Laura L: I don’t know why I just grouped you two together in my head but it’s probably because you both have equal amounts of love, talent and joy. You both know what you’ve been through and I count myself blessed to have seen the insides of your lives, if only for a bit. You are both proof that women are beautiful in their strength and have a capacity for expressing care & support for others even when you are struggling yourselves. I cannot wait to get to know you both better. Thank you for being friends to me. Dammit, words aren’t good enough – hugs to both of you and I wish I could take you both out for dessert.

Tyler – I am so proud of you. You have one of the sweetest hearts in the world and it just makes me beyond happy to see how hard you strive to love everyone around you and love God. You’re a good son, a good brother and a good friend.

Phil & Julie Shomo – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being faithful to do what God has called you to do. Your faithfulness helped bring me out of one of the worst seasons of my life, and you saved me from a lot of pain and bitterness. Julie, I cannot thank you enough for the hours you’ve spent talking with and praying for me. Your wisdom and your love is invaluable and I will never forget you pulling me aside to tell me that you believe in me. You have helped lay a foundation in my heart that I cannot put a price on. Thank you.

To my lovely girls: Jessica, Lydia & Bahareh. Life is a rollercoaster and thank you, thank you, thank you for staying on board through thick and thin. You are some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever come across in my life and I am so glad I can call you mine and be included in a group of so much heart, passion, talent & beauty. I cannot even imagine what our lives will look like when we are 25, 30, and so on – I am SO excited. I love you.

To my real sister, Courtney, and my real brother, Kevin: We’ve been through a lot, yeah? Thank you both for being proof that there is love that supercedes all the fights, pain, struggles, disagreements and hardships of life. I love you both more than anyone else on this earth. I don’t know how to put this into words too well, but when we are together and laughing over years’ worth of inside jokes, I am the happiest woman. I get to see sides of you that no one else sees and I LOVE YOU for that. I love that I can see the heart of both of you apart from all else. Both of you are incredible people. I cannot WAIT to see where all of us go with our lives and I will be here for both of you, no matter what. I’m sorry for all the times I haven’t been the sister I should have, and I’m thankful for the unconditional love you’ve shown me. You guys keep me on my toes. 🙂 I love you. P.S. You guys are both super-pros at giving hugs & expressing insane amounts of joy. You rock. 😛

– – –

I will be adding to this throughout the day, but back to work I go!

My life changed last night at midnight because of this, and I can’t wait to share with all of you what it means and how this affects me. I have so much to say, but it will have to come later. Love times a thousand..

/ / / / leave love

  1. Jamie says:

    Oh, you make me cry. You are one of the most inspiring people I know. You help my faith to be stronger. Your daily tweets make me want to be a better person. I'm so thankful for you and for being able to call you "friend". You are such a treasure, Lauren. Get ready, girl! This new year of yours is going to be the best one yet! I just know it. You deserve only the best and I hope all your biggest dreams come true!!! Love you! xo

  2. kelly says:

    i just cried. you're so amazing! i'm so grateful for you and i love that even just by reading your blog i can see the impact you have on everyone around you and how you allow yourself to be taught by everyone and everything. i love you love you! happy birthday, lovely.


  3. Sarah Corrice says:

    Happy Birthday! You are a wonderful, giving human being, and beauty will go before you and follow you as you walk this Earth. 🙂

  4. Michelle (michabella) says:

    Aw!!! You have SO many wonderful people in your life! What a blessing!!! Happy Birthday, again <333

  5. Jen says:

    Happy, happy birthday! I'm glad you're so happy right now, and I hope this year gets so much better.

  6. Paige Baker says:


  7. Phil Shomo says:

    I am so humbled to see my name on this list. You are amazing and I see Father at work in you regularly. Thanks for being a woman who can truly receive love and encouragement and do something great with them. Happy Birthday Lauren… you deserve a GREAT one =)

  8. Just me says:

    Happy birthday!!!! And yesssss I'm so happy for you that that campaign came together – you TOTALLY deserve it! xx

  9. bebe bird beck says:

    What a beautiful soul you are.
    Happy birthday!! Hope its extra special.

  10. Julie says:

    I echo Phil in being humbled to be on this list. That fact that you would spend so much energy on your birthday to express your thankfulness says volumes about your heart and your character! God is doing AMAZING things in and through your life. I totally believe that God is using ALL things together for good in your life as you trust Him one day at a time. You are allowing God to shape you through the hurts as well as the joys and I smile each day as I see your heart in your tweets and posts. You are showing the people around you that God is faithful in REAL life. We all need to see that. Following Jesus is not having all my problems go away and having an easy life; and you are a beautiful light that shows that God can do amazing things when regular people trust him with their hearts and decisions. I'm so very proud of you!

  11. CV says:

    Happy birthday!! 🙂 Hope you had a great day full of joy.

    Thank you for all you do, for keeping our team (Drop a love Bomb, that is) together. I know everyone we drop a love bomb on greatly appreciates what we do, so thank you for keeping us organized and moving us along the right direction to change the world a little bit at a time. 🙂

    (Congratulations on raising the $4,000 for your education, by the way.)

    Love, hugs, and prayers,

  12. lukemccusker says:

    Hey, this is Luke McCusker from shomogrouptime. Somehow I ran across your photography a couple hours ago… since then I've been looking at your photos and reading your blog. And you have awesome things to say, and awesome pictures. I am very impressed with your humanity, and your unreal amount of creativity – just wanted to let you know.

  13. Cheryl says:

    I love you very much (:

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