things i love thursday: a blog for cameron.

Monday evening, right after I posted my latest blog, I received the news that Cameron, a dear friend of mine whom I’ve known since childhood, passed away. After a long battle against Leukemia, a bone marrow transplant, then Graft-Versus-Host disease, she finally fell ill with a fungal infection in her lungs and then she was gone from our midst.

The news shot through my core like an ice-cold sword. I burst into tears and spent the rest of the night angrily crying out to God.

Why her? Why? Why, one of the sweetest, most talented, most precious souls to ever walk this earth? I know so many other terrible people who get to live. Why doesn’t she get to stay with us?

(I’m one of those terrible people, by the way, as is evidenced by the horrible prayers I’ve been praying since her passing.)

I felt especially bad for posting a blog link on my Facebook right around the time the rest of my hometown started posting about Cameron’s death. I felt so tacky, so self-serving. I felt like a total ass.

But there is something many people from our hometown didn’t know about Cameron.

They all knew she was sweet. And hilarious. And fiercely intelligent. And crazy talented. Anyone who’s spent five minutes with Cameron can tell you any of those things.

But one thing no one but me knew about her: Cameron loved this blog. 

She did. She loved it so much. She loved my writing. And I can’t even tell you why someone so great, someone so smart, and someone so incredible, would even read my (sometimes nonsensical and always emotional) ramblings, let alone love them. But she did.

She would always message me the minute after I posted a blog and thank me for speaking to her heart. She, just like me and many other women out there, fought the same body image ideals of our twisted society. And my writing gave her hope and peace and encouraged her to love her body (even when, in the end, it didn’t seem to love her back).

And so today’s TILT is dedicated to Cameron. To the person she was, and the person she made me to be.


I first met Cameron Huster at our church when we were little. She played the harp and I burped on purpose. She was small and sweet and I was tall and loud and wild. She made friends with the other girls in our children’s ministry and I climbed kumquat trees and pouted. And that’s how we grew up.

When we got to high school and I went astray, she was the only person from my churched upbringing that remained my real friend. And never in a “man I hope I can rub off on Lindsay and be a good influence because OOOH BOY is she awful” way. But in a genuine, “I care about you because you are worth caring about” way.

When I learned that I was going to Florida State University for college, she reached out to me because she was dual enrolling at FSU our senior year (because I wasn’t kidding about her being a freaking genius) and made plans to meet up with me and show me around. She was the one who told me that I had to go to MoMo’s and try “pizza as big as your head”, a pizza place that ended up being integral to my quality of life during my nine years of living in Tallahassee.

When I got pregnant and then had Dax, she was one of the people who was SO excited and grateful for my new journey. She came by to snuggle him and brought him toys (a music instrument puzzle and an orchestra music box, complete with — of course — a harp) because she loved Dax so very much. She loved him so, not just because he was cute and tiny and a baby, but because he was mine. And she loved me. For some reason this smart, talented, sweet, incredible person loved meMy whole self. My opinionated, aggressive, stand-offish self. She loved me and she loved Dax because we were just the way we were.

Cameron Huster believed the best about everyone. And that included me. She believed that, even though I had my demons, I was worth a damn. She always treated me as such. Even when I was falling asleep in the pews during the church services in which she played that harp, she always loved me and made me feel worthy of love. And I never wanted to fight her on it, to tell her, “No, actually, you’re way too good for me.”

Because even more than all that, she made me actually believe that I was worth a damn.

This morning while I was eating my breakfast and trying to organize my thoughts for this blog post, I kept saying in my head that this world will be a much crappier place now that Cameron is gone. But you know what? That’s a lie.

Because of all the people she touched — like me — this world is going to be a better place because she was in it. She left a piece of herself in me, and in everyone around her. And while her body may not be with us, her spirit permeates the air in things like the words I write in this blog and in the conversations we have with those around us.

She may not be breathing anymore, but she is alive. And I am grateful that she is alive in me.

Love you, Cam.

things i love thursday! (september 19, 2013)

If you’re thankful and you know it, write a blog…



  • Dax has been a milestone-hitting machine lately! Just this week alone he’s done all of the following:
    – cut another tooth
    – learned how to sign, “more” and “please”, bringing his sign language vocabulary up to three words
    – said, “Mama” when I’ve asked him what my name was
    – took his first steps
    – made me cry tears of pride
  • Playing acoustic pianos.
  • Impromptu music meetings.
  • Productive iMessage meetings.
  • The words, “I forgive you.”
  • New clothes.
  • Bringing Dax by the office and letting all my friends play with him instead of doing work. You’re welcome, guys!
  • I started a seminary class and it’s really interesting! Yay!
  • Catching up with my cousin Brian on the phone. (It’s his birthday tomorrow, by the way, so send him thousands of presents, Internet.)
  • Going to Starbucks and NOT ordering a pumpkin spice latte because LOOK AT THE CALENDAR GUYS IT’S NOT FALL UNTIL SUNDAY SO SLOW YOUR ROLL OKAY?!
  • Unexpected two-day weekends! YAY! (Hashtag ministry problems.)
  • Tickle fights with Dax.
  • And Dan.
  • Getting texts from friends with pictures of famous people who they think look like me. WELL THANK YOU!
  • Memes.
  • Alone time.
  • Catching up with Jessica!
  • “St. Elmo’s Fire”.
  • My nose hoop.
  • Miracle naps.
  • Having a son that lets us sleep in till 9, and sometimes 10!
  • Being a Hufflepuff.
  • Book clubs with my Tallahassee friends. (Holla back, Skype.)
  • Middle schoolers and high schoolers. They just get me.
  • Because I’m perpetually 12.

What do you love this week?

things i love thursday! (september 5, 2013)

Things have been so nuts! Dan is getting ready to head out of town AGAIN, and we just launched all of our fall programs at church, so things be cray cray around the Durrenberger house. (I HAVE been blogging, by the way. Check it out over HERE please!)

But it’s Thursday and I have so much to be grateful for. And SO!



  • FSU FOOTBALL IS BACK and dang, our quarterback looks good!
  • There is a Seminoles club in Naples! Yay!
  • Beer.
  • The above picture — Dax looks just like me/my brother at this age. So fun! (And no, before you ask, he isn’t walking yet. But so soon!)
  • Sleeping in. (WHAT???!!!! WITH A BABY???!! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!)
  • Frappucinos.
  • When Dan and I just happen to randomly wake up at the same time in the middle of the night.
  • Teaching Dax how to blow kisses and clap.
  • Reading.
  • New music from two Cases! (Neko and Eric)
  • Side note: no one makes the F-word sound as beautiful as Neko does.
  • New music from Libby!
  • Taking Dax to the park and letting him experience grass and dirt on his little boy body.
  • Sharing Daddy’s glasses.
  • Big, gourmet burgers ON THE CHEAP.
  • Old dudes wearing shirts that just say, “Naples.”
  • Quiet times in coffee shops.
  • Learning new songs on the piano. Just ’cause.
  • Being impractical with my spending money. Finally. (Hence, new music and new piano books.)
  • Mom is coming to visit this weekend!
  • Random strangers coming up and telling me how beautiful my baby is, particularly “his” blue eyes. (To which I reply, “Actually, they’re mine.”)
  • Secret blog posts by my friends.
  • Hugs from middle schoolers and high schoolers.
  • Getting to volunteer in student ministry again.
  • Being able to encourage a brand new mom at Publix. She was shopping with her mom and ogling Dax sitting in my cart and saying, “How do you shop without help?” I looked at her with her six-week-old boy in a carseat in the big part of the cart and said, “BABYWEARING. Also, having a 13-month-old who can hold his body and head up on his own helps a lot. It gets better, I promise!” (I love love LOVE encouraging new moms because I believe they are the ones on earth that need it most.)
  • Xylophones.
  • Watching Dax play with babies his age at church. So cute.
  • Rain at naptime.
  • And finally… beer again because duh.

What do you love this week?

things i love thursday! (august 22, 2013)

You’ll notice it’s been awhile since I posted a TiLT. From the worst Tuesday to a busy season at work, it’s been hard for me to stop and really grasp onto gratitude. But that’s not an excuse. There is always something to be grateful for, and when you don’t choose to acknowledge it, it only hurts you. Amidst Dax’s illness and all the other craziness of my life that is beyond my control, I should have made it a priority to sit down and record the things for which I am grateful to preserve my spirit. I didn’t, and that was detrimental to my already precarious situation.

BUT IT IS A NEW DAY OF A NEW WEEK! And each day is another second chance to get it right.



  • Second chances.
  • My little boy is thirteen months old! BAH. Look at all that cuteness. JUST LOOK AT IT AND TELL ME IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU GO, “!!!”
  • Jars of Clay’s new album isn’t out yet, but it’s streaming for free here. You’re welcome.
  • The time after Dax goes to bed but before Dan and I go to bed.
  • Dinners in.
  • The ability to rent movies from Amazon WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE! (Go go gadget laziness!)
  • The sound of acoustic pianos.
  • Emeals.
  • Knowing enough about food that I can whip up some sort of dinner from whatever is in the kitchen.
  • Smoothies that hide spinach.
  • Encouraging text messages.
  • Silly Snapchats.
  • Long naps.
  • Getting encouraging messages about how my blog has helped others. (Also file this under THINGS THAT MADE ME CRY THIS WEEK.)
  • Needing to drive to Ft. Myers for work, which allows for lots of drive-jamming.
  • When Dan’s Galaxy-equivalent of Siri says, “Ft. Myers” she pronounces it, “Eff-Tee Myers.”
  • Making friends!
  • Splurging on new clothes for the first time in OH I DON’T KNOW EVER?
  • Meeting and chatting up Ileanna, born and raised in Athens, Greece, who did my pedicure this past weekend. What a lovely person. Seriously.
  • Randomly ballroom dancing in the middle of Barnes & Noble.
  • Dax signs for “milk” now! He doesn’t do it correctly — he waves instead of squeezes — but I know what he’s trying to say because he always accompanies it with pulling on my shirt.
  • Baby sea turtles!
  • A parody of “Teach Me How to Dougie” that is “Teach Me How To Breastfeed.” It’s equally hilarious and informative! Do yourself a favor, if you’re not squeamish about boobs, and take a gander.
  • Bath time.
  • Dax finding it hilarious when Dan pretends to barf.
  • Not sure why, but lately, Dax is mega snuggly-clingy. Like all he does all day is nurse and cuddle. It’s bad for homemaking productivity but I am savoring it.

What do you love this week?

things i love thursday! (marriage edition.)

Four years ago today I married my favorite person in the entire world — this guy.


In some ways, I can’t believe it’s ONLY been four years. In other ways, it feels like we’ve only been married for a minute and a half.

Either way, I love being married to this guy. So today’s TILT is for him. If that makes you hurl, sorry! Feel free to click the X in the top corner.


  • When we go on dates, I typically take off my makeup first, not because I’ve “let myself go” but because he prefers my bare face. (Sup, zits.)
  • This morning, right after we woke up, I demanded (seriously) that he make us pancakes. And he got right up and did it.
  • He has a beard which I never thought I’d like but now I do. (Don’t shave it!)
  • Because he’s such a reckless sleeper, we don’t use a flat sheet because it just (somehow?) ends up in a weird, knotted mess at the foot of the bed. HOORAY, LESS LAUNDRY!
  • He also refuses to buy new underwear (“It doesn’t matter if there are holes in them… they still work!”) so, again, HOORAY LESS LAUNDRY!
  • He gets up in the middle of the night for both Dax AND me, with very little complaining.
  • If I text him, “COME HOME WITH BEER PLZ  I HAD A HARD DAY MUST DRINK ALL THE DRINKS” he’s like, “You got it.”
  • His big ears and his fuzzy chest and his strong arms.
  • His laugh.
  • Ask him what he’s doing at 2:30 on any given day and he will always tell you he’s going to be at the dentist. (Because it’s “tooth-hurty”.)
  • He loves to drive and I hate to drive so he always drives.
  • He has the worst memory of all time which is GREAT because it means he has no idea that we’ve ever had a fight. (We have, by the way.)
  • He’s so ridiculously in love with me. Like, it really doesn’t make sense.
  • He can make our baby giggle like no one else.
  • He always puts us first.
  • Except for Spider-Man.

Happy anniversary, Dan! Chant it with me, now! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!

What do you love this week? 

things i love thursday! (july 25, 2013)

Hello lovelies! Especially all of you new followers. Every Thursday I try to post a list of things for which I am grateful. Keeps my spirit on the upswing, you know? You should try it. Check it out, lots of wonderful things happened this week!



  • My baby boy turned one. ONE!
  • My mom, aunt, cousin, and his wife all came down to Naples for Dax’s birthday. I teared up when they pulled in (and when they left) because I just love them so, and I love that they care so much about Dax to drive 8 hours in a day just to spend time with him. (That’s my mom in the picture above.)
  • Making cupcakes from scratch with the husband. Confectioner sugar storm!
  • Being Freshly Pressed on WordPress! Huzzah!
  • A quiet house at the end of the day.
  • Playing a real piano. Nothing better.
  • Being randomly invited over to friends’ house for dinner.
  • Fun at the pool with my little boy.
  • Anything buffalo flavored. Pizza, pitas, whatever. I will eat it.
  • Lunch times out with coworkers.
  • Starbucks two days in a row!
  • Being ambushed by naps.
  • Whatever compels my baby boy to randomly crawl onto me and cuddle me for no reason. (Last time was ten minutes of cuddles! Love him!)
  • Trashy magazines. (Sometimes you just gotta give in to the trash.)
  • Sketti night.
  • Having nurse friends I can text when I accidentally BURN MY LEG by spilling BOILING WATER ON IT. (#fail)
  • Gifts and cards in the mail for Dax! Including…
  • A stuffed pony that gallops and sings that Dax is (LOLOLOLOLOL) totally 100% terrified of. (Sorry Liz! Hahahaha he cries whenever it turns on! And I laugh because I’m terrible!)
  • Seeing a Taco Bell employee get fired right after he handed me my food.
  • Bubble baths.
  • Also, showering long enough to shave my legs.
  • Breakfast dates with my boy. We share strawberries.
  • The Hufflepuff anklet my husband made me on his last mission trip.

What do you love this week? I love your gratitude lists! Comment and let me know!

things i love thursday! (july 18, 2013)

You guys.

You guys.

My kid turns 1 tomorrow. That’s all.



  • The big smile I get whenever Dax first wakes up.
  • Sleeping in until 8. (Yes, non-parents. This is a big deal.)
  • Random ice cream adventures. (Frozen custard, too!)
  • Discovering new fun places in Naples.
  • Planning a trip for our anniversary.
  • Cat cuddles.
  • Bath time.
  • Cooking.
  • Naps.
  • Spontaneous trips to the beach to watch the sunset on the gulf (and the fact that I can do that pretty much anytime I want.)
  • Playing games with Dan on my phone.
  • Encouraging/inspiring phone calls.
  • Unexpected packages from friends.
  • Filming silly videos for church.
  • Quiet runs on FLAT streets.
  • Downtown Naples.
  • New local restaurants. (Ask for Michelle at Mel’s Diner!)
  • Planning a BIRTHDAY PARTY for my kid. (WHAT?!)
  • Texts from Australia! THANK YOU, iMESSAGE!
  • Crab cake sandwiches.
  • Blogging in bed.
  • Technology.
  • My husband.
  • Making friends!
  • Margaritas.
  • The fact that booze almost always makes this list.
  • The fact that Dax has an awesome family who are all coming to see him this weekend for his first birthday. :)

What do you love this week?