Thursday, July 31, 2008

Craft Night

My sister Lindsey is 5 years younger than I am. When I would come home from college for a weekend, we started a little sister-bonding ritual that has carried on over the past 10 years. ('s been 10 years since I left Memphis for Mississippi College and beyond) Craft Night. If we didn't have something that we were already working on, we would head to Hobby Lobby and scout the aisles for a suitable project. Then, we'd sit on the floor of Lindsey's room and watch a movie or chat about life - with glue guns, paper, material, and paint strewn across the floor. My mom would venture in, look at the mess, and walk back out shaking her head. We still love craft night. Though with 6 hours of interstate between us, they are fewer and further between than we'd like. Last night I had a little craft night of my own complete with the glue gun but...lonely without Linz.

Here are a few projects I pulled out of the craft box:

An old Crewel Embroidery project that was just waiting to be turned into this little pillow.

My favorite craft book. Shaugnossy offers a unique, modern approach to this old art form.

My latest thank-you-for-inviting-us-to-dinner hostess gift. I always run out of chip clips and end up using clothes pins. Last night I was making them as a part of my Happy Birthday Brandi gift!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The removal of my wisdom teeth has provided plenty of fodder for conversation in my interactions with the other secretaries. One office in particular has been helpful in furnishing me with an ample supply of information regarding this event. I went down today to discuss a little irritation I've been feeling along my jaw bone this afternoon. I asked my Dry Socket Expert - Kathy. She knows medical terminology about dry sockets which qualifies her as trustworthy source in my eyes. While in conversation, another secretary - who has her own wisdom tooth removal scheduled for next week - walks in the office:

K: Nerve? Did I hear you say something about a nerve?

L: Yes. I feel some sort of nerve along my jawbone.

K: That's the nerve in the video.

L: What video?

K: They didn't make you watch a video? I sat in a room by myself watching a video about all of the risks involved in the surgery. Informed consent.

L: I didn't watch a video. The video mentioned a nerve?

K: Yes. There's a 95% they'll nick a nerve along your jawbone…it might be sore for a few weeks. OR, there is a slight chance that they could do more than nick it…in which case you will feel it for the rest of your life. It also listed a lot of other risks…ending of course, in the slight possibility of death.

Ten minutes later I'm sitting at my desk thinking about that waiver I signed right before the surgery.

Drama. This is what David calls drama. It is so highly unlikely that I have a nicked nerve that will remain tingley for the rest of my life. BuT - this afternoon, there is drama in my mind on the matter.

Days of Haze

Just a little update for the neglected bloG!!! Thankfully, for the most part, I will be among those few who can give a poSitive wisdom teeth removal story. Despite the absence of a bell, David took gREAt care of me. I was back at work on Monday...and ate my first real meal yesterday at lunch at the delicious Louisville Cyclers Cafe (a great, inexpensive lunch stop for locals just past the Seminary on Lexington Road toward Downtown:). I'm still totally paranoid about dry sockets...and made it .2 miles in my run yesterday before I started walking....afraid all the jolting might make my teeth erupt. I'm sure that would have happened.

The hardest part of the recovery for me was the haze. My brain just felt a little cloudy...I have a hunch this may have been the result of anesthesia, post-surgery narcotics, and Tylenol PM. Thankfully, the haze seems to be lifting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Wisdom Teeth

This morning at 9am I checked in for the second surgery of my 28 years of life. My first surgery was in third grade when I had my appendix removed. Today I lost all four of my wisdom teeth. I am not certain that I've progressed a great deal in coping. Thankfully, my wonderful husband is a sympathetic man and delights in serving me. Last night he gave me a care package and pile of movies he'd borrowed from friends. Today, he was disappointed to find that we do not have a bell in the house for me to he gave me a spoon to tap on my glass should I need his assistance.

A sweet friend from work - Beth Crouser sent over a get well basket. I loved the card with a little message from the Wise quartet expressing their sentiments on the matter.

She also let her lion - Judah - come over for a few days to console me in my swollen state. He has already been a great comfort.

A few more days of Jello and I should be back to normal - without, of course, my wise little friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Last night was "Date Night" and we went to a Louisville Bats game. At the end of the 7th inning we stood and sung along to the ole Take Me Out tune. Cheesy though it may be - I enjoyed it. The weather was perfect last night...cooler than it has been due to all of the rain lately. David loves baseball. He told me this at least once an inning. Though generally speaking I'm not much of a sports-watcher, it was fun to sit beside my hubby and relax for a bit. As the clock crept toward 10pm David actually had to persuade me that we needed to head home.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hot Diggity Dog

We had a GrEaT time with the extended-version of the Dawkins Family this weekend. Perhaps my favorite part was our little visit Saturday morning to the Homeplace - a re-created 1800s farm on the actual land between the lakes. Must be my TN hills heritage...but I was genuinely intrigued by the hand made quilts, spinning wheels, wood burning stove, home dyed yarn, and all the nick knacks that are are part of farm life.

After a few hours on the farm, we headed to Cadiz, KY to eat at Hot Diggity Dog's where Mrs. Dawkins entertained us with a rendition of the 50s song after which the eatery was named. Afterwards David and I shared a HuGE scoop of O'Charley's Caramel Pie Ice Cream. Robert found a tiny lizard on the sidewalk. The poor guy was then passed around among the Dawkins men....and the brave Lisa. I was particularly impressed with William, 4, who fearlessly allowed the little guy to crawl up his hand. I was not tempted into lizard-handling.

Another highlight of the weekend was a spectacular Dawkins Family baseball game. David made us all shake hands at the end to ensure family unity after a few members were involved in incidents with run away balls.

We wrapped all the fun up on Sunday morning with a celebration of 40 years of marriage and a family worship time. What a legacy they've built through their godly home!!!

For those who are wondering....for the most part, yes, we did stick to the schedule:)

Friday, July 18, 2008

4:30pm: Depart for Kentucky Lake

This weekend we are heading to Kenelake State Park with the Dawkins Clan to celebrate David's parents' 40th Anniversary!!! How much of my marital bliss do I owe to them? David is the world's best at taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher, putting the laundry in the dryer, setting the table for dinner...and all the other little details that make me happier than a bouquet of flowers and a sonnet ever could. I doubt he was born attentive to these details....though considering his personality.....

Wednesday I opened my email to find that Mrs. Dawkins had sent a schedule for our weekend getaway. This is reason number 10,438 in my list...."Why I Married Into the riGht Family." I love a plan. So. I am looking forward to a weekend of scheduled time to "relax at the pool," "enjoy dinner together," "tour the Homestead," etc. etc. Say what you will. My DayPlanner is my friend.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Little Kindness

When I moved back to Memphis during our engagement, Mid-America Seminary was kind enough to deal with my sporadic schedule and give me a little space at a desk and computer for a few months. I was thankful for a job...any job...and completely unaware at the time what a blessing that community would be to me in my wedding-planning season. A HuGE part of my experience there was due to Carrie and Julia. When I walked down the hall...they said hello. When I saw them in the lunch room, they invited me to sit down and eat. Julia showed me the wonder of Pandora Radio. Carrie was on speed dial and answered hundreds of my random questions. All those awkward staff get togethers actually became FuN when they were there. Very simply, they showed the "new girl" a bit of kindness...and it went a long way. It was a little life lesson for me through them.

They are both working on their doctorates at SBTS and are here for a few weeks. Last night they came over for dinner...and the friendship and laughter continued. Their presence was a good reminder to me as the fall semester here approaches...and those unknown faces pass me in the take time to show a little kindness.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Web Knowledge

Very rarely do I have anything to contribute in a computer/web-oriented conversation. The cold hard reality is I cannot instant message and accomplish anything on the computer. I am a multi-tasker, but not on the computer. I was born about 5 years too early to develop that skill growing up...and I certainly have not made great strides on my own.

However, from my limited knowledge, I do have a few faVoriTe websites that I would like to share with the blogging community.

1. Pandora. It is possible that Pandora will forever change your radio-flipping habits. It is a web-based radio station that allows you build a radio station based on songs/artists that you like....they take that music genre and expand out into other songs and artists that have the same feel.

A few of my favorite discoveries on Pandora lately : The Cubist by the Andreas Kapsalis Trio, More Love to Thee by Prentiss/arranged by Fernando Ortega, and The Water is Wide by John Gorka.

I'm telling'll love it!

2. Brainy Quotes. I love words. And often, brief quotations meditated upon and digested have impacted me as much as a lengthy book. I love to peruse quotations of various authors such as GK Chesterton, Mother Teresa, EE Cummings, and the like. Brainy Quotes never fails me when I need a little saying to go on the outside of a letter or a hearty laugh at the ingenuity of words well put together.

For those other nerdy quote-lovers out there:

There you have it. The extent of my contribution to this topic.

White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bernheim Forest

Saturday morning I woke around 5:30am...with a bit more flare than usual as I was waking of my own free will and with the motivation of a full day of hiking before me. We picked up Nate and Jenni and drove 45 minutes to Bernheim Forest to sign into the Millennium Trail. It was a 13 miles hike of good conversation, laughter, a bit of rain, ticks, ticks and more ticks, and processing some of what we are learning in this 'preparation' season.

Nate and Jenni were gREaT hiking buddies. David kept pace for me...he was given the nickname Energizer Bunny after a hiking trip in '04. It is possible that Nate and David, who met during training with the IMB before their journeyman stints in Africa and Peru, are such good friends because they are made of the same stuff that would qualify them as "rugged gentleman." Not that we were out in the wilderness or anything, since had the trees been less dense, it's possible that we could have seen the's assuring to know that if worse came to worse Nate and David could carve us a dwelling from a felled tree and would undoubtedly bring offerings of berries and nuts to Jenni and me until help should come.

Shakespeare in the Park

Last week we went to Shakespeare in the Park with Kari and Spencer...our fun, play-loving friends from the Seminary. After jambalaya at J.Gumbo's downtown, we headed over to Central Park. I must confess that we were more intrigued by the beautiful old houses on 3rd street than with the play. It was a bit of an Asian-themed version of Shakespeare. Nonetheless, it was a great night out!!! We were having camera trouble because I was inspired to change some of our settings and then we couldn't figure out how to get them back to normal...thus the blurry pics!!! The funny one is from our last play-night together at The Derby Dinner Theatre.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Weekly Re-Read

Though we were in the car for a total of 14 hours this weekend, I did not manage to finish my book of the it has turned into a book of the week. This one is a bit longer...but still well worth the time. Have you ever noticed how children like to watch the same movies over and over again? Or read the same story book until it is committed to memory? Well. I must confess that I haven't graduated much from that tendency. I have a small selection of movies that I watch, re-watch and watch again. And a small circle of books that are fairly friends by now. Stepping Heavenward is among them. This is the first time I've read it with my new married glasses so a few of the words of wisdom have caught me with a fresh power. I first read this work by Prentiss, also the author of the hymn More Love To Thee, O Christ, as a high school senior. Over the past 10 years I have picked it up repeatedly to remember a line or quote or principle laid forth in this simple picture of quiet godliness written in the 1800s with truths deep enough to transcend the centuries. It has influenced me profoundly.

Here's a taste of a passage that hit me afresh this time around:

I was struck with Ernest's asking in the very first prayer he offered in my presence, after our marriage, that God would help us love each other; I felt love was the very foundation on which I was built and that there was no danger that I should ever fall short in giving to my husband all he wanted in full measure. But as he went on day after day repeating this prayer, and I naturally made it with him, I came to see that this most precious of earthly blessings had been and must be God's gift and that while we both looked at it in that light and felt our dependence on Him for it, we might safely encounter together all the assaults made upon us by the world, the flesh and the devil. I believe we owe it to this constant prayer that we have loved each other so uniformly and with such growing comfort in each other; so that our little discords always have ended in fresh accord, and our love has felt conscious of resting on a rock - and that rock was the will of God.

One final reminder - don't judge a book by it's cover. I must admit that I do always fear it will be mistaken for a romance novel when I have it in my possession.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bradley Expectations

The Bradley Reunion exceeded my expectations. This was surprising to me, because they were pretty high and yet mingled with that lingering fear that after months....and with some friends years....the distance of time and space would damage the freedom of friendship. My fear was in vain. How faithfully God enabled us to fellowship, sharpen, encourage and enJoY one another over the weekend. Once more, I was reminded of the beauty of community.

A few highlights from the weekend for me:

a. Hurry-Free Fun. I am always in a hurry it seems. Not with the Bradley crew. It was great to be away from the pressures of 'getting somewhere.' I was already where I wanted to be. We sat around talking a lot, laid out by the pool in Emily's neighborhood, went to bed at 1am, slept late, ate when we were hungry...and sometimes when we weren't.

b. Games. We played a few rounds of Mafia this year but were more enthralled than usual with the Name Game. Everyone writes a name on a piece of paper and then the group has to guess who wrote which name. It's tricky because the names were only read out twice...and there were 16 of us! To give you an idea a few of the names represented were Nell Carter, The Green Giant,Chesterton, Hobart James....if only I had a better memory, I could write more. Obviously, I'm not very good at this game.

c. Music. Leslie is a music teacher. Sometimes a Bradley Reunion includes choir practice. One year she taught us Dona Nobis Pacem. It's become a sort of family anthem, if you will. Cassie had to keep the Altos on track by directing us with her hand. Though the quality can't do it justice, I had to include this video of us...though please know we did make it through the song without the bursts of laughter...I just didn't catch that on video.

d. Conversations. Topics varied from friend to friend, but it was all so peppered with the faithfulness of our God that I came away full. I have missed many of my sisters lately.

e. Husband. It was great to see David so relaxed...and with plenty of guys around to play all those sports that require more hand-eye coordination than I have yet developed: basketball, whiffle ball, tennis, etc. We tried our best to enjoy the journey to and from Georgia as well. Sunday afternoon as we drove back through Chattanooga we stopped for a few hours and hiked a bit on Lookout Mountain. Twas good to have a mountain beneath my feet again. I am very thankful for the time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Bradley Family Reunion

We had a great group of friends in our years at Mississippi College. Stacey Bloodworth once described our little circle as the most complete group she'd ever been a part of. I agree. It was as if all our different giftings, personalities, callings and passions melded into an indescribably beautiful picture of something bigger, higher than us. Some of my favorite moments were in the old English buidling on MC's campus where we would sometimes gather to worship together....voices, guitars, violins, drums...whoever could come. God gave us a gift in one another. The brothers and sisters in that group walked through some of my most formative phases of spiritual development with me. They are seekers and so we sought together to know the mystery of the gospel. I continue to be shaped by their lives though our interaction is less frequent now.
Of course, it wasn't always that serious. The truth is this crew got in trouble for things like flying kites off of the Alumni Hall roof, throwing cake in public places, parking cars on the quad. The pictures posted above were at a New Year's Eve Party one year after we graduated...which was themed "Back To The Future." We watched the movie, and dressed accordingly. They are the only group who can tempt me to stay up until 2am in a game of Mafia or to play steam roller across the living room.
In order to 'stay in touch' a few of us try to meet up once a year over Labor Day. Due to all the weddings this fall and the long weekend for the 4th of July, we re-arranged our annual retreat a bit. The first year we met in Bradley, Georgia at and henceforth found the name The Bradley Family. This weekend is The Bradley Family Reunion. I am terribly excited.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shopping Day

A few months ago I began a new grocery shopping 'system.' This was inspired by a number of different factors. To list a few: (1.) I HaTE shopping. (2.) I heard it could help me stretch our we-are-in-seminary food budget. (3.) Time is one of my most precious commodities.

These motivations and a few others pushed me toward the lofty goal of shopping once a month. (Ok, we do have to run in to get milk and fruit...but I hate this less than a full cart because I can use self-checking!!! Less than 20 items is my goal in shopping:) And so, I posted my little list of July Meal Options on the fridge. I made my grocery list accordingly. I took a deep breath...fought the rush hour traffic across the bridge into Indiana...and met my once-a-month friend - ALDI. I have become an increasing fan of dear ALDI ever since our first meeting back in April. Each time I wait for the cashier to turn that little screen around and show me the grand total I feel anxiety rising in my heart. But ALDI never lets me down. I continue to be amazed. I look at all that food...and all that I paid. And I am happy. So is my budget-man husband:)

Every friend has quirks. Let me list a few of case you are thinking about befriending dear ALDI too. a) I have to shop at an alternate store for many items as she is kind of particular. b) She's no snob. Not too many name brands here. c) She is very environmentally conscious. Bring your own bags or you have to pay 5C for them. Bag it yourself too. d)You have to bring a quarter to get a shopping cart. They cut costs by not having any little helpers. e) She's not a part of the Plastic Card Club. Bring cash or debit.

I feel like I should write an Ode to ALDI right now. I will refrain.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Book of the Weekend

I possess two happy gifts that make road trips more fun for me.

(1.) An ability to read, sleep, work on crafts, and eat...while in the car. i've been tempted at the Pilot stations to try my hand at cooking dinner. They now sell crock pots that plug into your lighter. I'm serious.

(2.) A husband who loves to be behind the wheel. E.g. When we drove over 7,500 miles on our trip around the West last fall...I drove about 3 miles of those 7,500 at the most...and that was usually to run to Walgreens from our hotel.

This weekend we were in the car for about 12 hours total. I picked up a book David's reading for one of his summer classes for the ride. The Walk by Michael Card. It is the story of his journey with Bill Lane, who mentored Michael Card for over 20 years. It reminded me of so many women who have journeyed with me...and encouraged me to be the one to come alongside others. Let me give you a taste. I highly recommend it...and for those already heavy laden with a book was a very quick read.

"From that moment, though I barely knew him, I experienced something unique about our relationship. My ears seemed to be tuned to his voice. I am , even today, able to recall practically everything he ever said to me. It was as if God had designed my ears to receive this man's wisdom.
Bill loved to use the example of two tuning forks. 'If you take two C tuning forks, tap one and simply hold it next to the other, the one that wasn't tapped will begin to resonate. It's like that with hearts as well,' he would say. 'Sometimes when we hear God's Word, something inside our hearts starts to resonate. That is because we were created to hear His Word."