Friday, January 29, 2010

Confession of the Week

I like Tang.

I drink Tang.

It's an old habit that hasn't appeared for a while. It seems to have returned of late though.

Let me explain to you why I feel the need to confess this. Some of my readers are Memphians. You may be unaware of a Louisville phenomenon. People here are hard core about whole foods. Off the top of my head I could give you a reasonably long list of women I know (and/or suspect) grind their own wheat to make bread. You might think I’m kidding. I’m not. I admire their efforts. Unless I'm living in a hut, I'll probably never grind my own wheat though.

I sit in my office and 95% of the time, I am drinking water out of the cup on my desk. But occasionally of late, I just need a little help in the afternoon. So… I pour a hearty amount of Tang into my clear cup. I fill it with water. When I finish, a syrup remains at the bottom. I take it strong.

And as I enjoy that cup of sugary Tang…I think to myself, “What will I do with my cup if a wheat grinder enters the room?”

I guess I would just look them straight in the eye and say, “Have you read that research about the benefits of artificial color?”

At least I’ve made progress in the area of pudding cups.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And underneath...

(Photo from ElisabethElliot.org)

Influence is a mysterious power to consider. It can often cut through areas that the seemingly more powerful realms of authority could never break. Though I’ve never met her, Elisabeth Elliot has influenced me profoundly for almost 15 years now. My desire for and pursuit of personal holiness have so often been spurred on by her that she seems at times a friend more than a writer.

For the past few months, whenever I find my fingers picking the strings of that neglected guitar in our living room, the same song inevitably makes its way to my lips and fingers.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


It is the simple and profound reality of the sovereignty of God which builds in the believer a quiet confidence. The woman who has most often repeated that truth to me is Elisabeth Elliot. The words which she included in each broadcast are a point of much needed meditation for me in these days. I am thankful.

You are loved with an everlasting love.
And underneath are the everlasting arms.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

David's Senior Year


If graduate school had a Senior Year, today I'd be painting David's car with shoe polish.

His classes begin for his final full semester (if all goes as planned this year). He has one intensive class scheduled for this summer that will allow him to complete his last 3 hours.

When I excitedly told him this morning that I needed to get a picture to document his "senior year" he was...umm...hesitant.

I managed to snap one as he walked into class. Afterward he looked at me and said,

"You know, Laura, you tell me sometimes that I'm nerdy."

(Which I confess...on occasion, I do say. But not in an offensive way...just as a natural response to a husband who has a method for everything...from the dishwasher to how to fold his socks.)

"But I'm starting to wonder if you are the one who makes me nerdy. I feel pretty certain that taking a picture in front of the chapel with my backpack on crosses a line."

I almost stopped a professor and asked him to pose with David. I was glad I didn't.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shout Out Saturday

Keyara is on the dance squad at her school.
Thus bright and early on Saturday morning I made my way to the JCPS middle school dance competitions. It was quite the experience...to put it mildly.

Surrounded by pom poms, leotards, and a lot of face glitter, I watched the other schools compete before the hip hop squads took the floor. Yes. Hip-hop. I didn't realize that was a category prior to this experience. Apparently, it is.

In a neon pink top and black leather pants, she danced her little heart out. I even paid $1 to give a "shout out" over the loud speaker and express my support.

Sadly, they were beaten by a squad with black harley jackets on and studded black jeans who danced to songs I have never, ever heard nor will likely ever hear again. It was a dramatic Saturday in the land of dance.

Just in case you're interested, I videoed the groups waiting to hear the awards. Quite a lively bunch.
video

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's in a Name?

First, a word of thanks for all the great comments after our announcement! Jude already feels loved!

As I wrote earlier this month, the name selection of our little one was quite a process for David and me. Perhaps the most important aspect of the name for us was the meaning. There were a number of names that we liked that we simply laid aside because the meaning wasn’t in line with our hopes and prayers for this little one. How then did we settle on Jude Ream Dawkins?

JUDE
Though we waded through a long list of possibilities, in the end, we settled on Jude primarily because of the Hebrew meaning of the name. Jude means “praise.” We believe that indeed the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. We were created to bring praise to God. Our most earnest prayer for our son is that he would live his life in praise to the living God.

REAM
Not long ago, David’s mom brought us such a treasured gift when she arrived in Louisville for a visit. She’d collected a box full of old pictures that included David in his hospital crib, family Christmas pictures from years past, Field Day in elementary school and a variety of other memories. Several of the pictures were of David with his beloved Grandpa Ream. David has often spoken to me with fond affection of his memories of this man whom he respected and loved so much. David’s middle name is Ream, and we chose to continue that tradition in honor of his Grandpa Ream.

DAWKINS
“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth…” Proverbs 22:1a In this season of considering our prayers and hopes for this little life entrusted to us, what a joy it is for us to consider both the Robertson and Dawkins heritage we’ve been entrusted. We are grateful for those who’ve walked before us in our family line. Our heritage is indeed beautiful to us.

I do not like the man who squanders life for fame; give me the man who living makes a name. Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's a BOY!!!!



Our first glimpses of Jude Ream Dawkins. I can't wait to kiss that sweet little face.

The Unveiling



This morning we will head to the doctor’s office to have our first ultra sound. I admit that in my thoughts I’ve been battling back anxiety with reminders of God’s sovereign goodness….praying and hoping that all the little parts of this baby are forming correctly. I’ve also been giving thought to the unveiling of the gender of the baby (if he/she cooperates during the ultra sound!). There is a sense in which today will give us a closer glimpse into some of the possible purposes of God for this little life. I believe that there are some vital distinctives that are determined by gender and today will shape so many of my prayers.

Will I spend the next months and years praying for a mighty warrior of truth, a man who will praise God and fight for justice? A son whom I hope will grow to be a man who will lead his family, tenderly love his wife and raise up another generation to bear the strong Dawkins name.

Will I begin to pray for a little girl with a gentle and quiet spirit who will one day find joy as the beauty and support of a man or in single hearted devotion to Christ. A daughter who loves the depth of truth, delights in the role God has carved out for her in the midst of a world that would tell her success is found in other roles, and a woman who will one day open her mouth in wisdom.

I do not wish to be presumptuous in my prayers for a future I cannot see....so I offer them as petitions to a wise God, not as plans that I can control. I am grateful today that all my days were written in His book. I am grateful today that this little life has days ordained even now. I’m eager for the glimpse.


My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:15-16

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

These days at the Dawkins house....

There's been quite a bit going on in the Dawkins house lately. Here's a little list in rough form:

1. Up until two weeks ago, David thought his classes started today. After another look at the school calendar and reassurance from Aaron, he realized that they don't start until next week. In celebration of 7 unanticipated days more of freedom, he took a week off from studying. We stayed up late, threw social restriction to the wind, and had a great time. I'll have to remember that week...for the next 3 months.

2. We had a visit from our dear Mississippi friend, Stacey B this weekend. It was indeed spur of the moment...I asked on a whim Tuesday in high hopes that she might say yes..and by Friday we were laughing in the yellow kitchen. I love that girl.



3. With her she brought enough Mississippi warmth to merit lunch on the porch on Saturday. It was much celebrated after weeks of frost. And...a good excuse to call other Mississippians for an afternoon of car washing and my new game love - Bananagrams.


4. Saturday night we went to hear my pastor's wife speak on suffering. She was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago while carrying her 4th child. Her testimony was such a blessed reminder of God's faithful goodness in every trial and joy. Her candor was humbling and helpful.

5. Afterward we made our way to the Boevings to watch the Colts secure yet another victory. David explained more of football to me...and I admit that I'm really looking forward to next week's game. Though I'm making headway, Stacey can attest to my....ummm...ignorance when it comes to all things Pro-Sport. I did indeed say "Stacey, if the Colts win this game and one more next week, they'll be in the World Series." Stop. I know it's the Super Bowl...it just came out World Series.

6. Stacey is a dedicated and talented crafter. She is honing her sewing skills and so we decided to undertake a project on Sunday afternoon with a few scraps I had. Doesn't she look professional?


What purse is complete without a little monogramming? eh? Due to a glitch in my machine, the pocket is not yet sewn...



7. After a farewell, I walked into the guestroom/dining room to fold up the air mattress. Stacey always so kindly leaves me some sweet gift when she stays at our house. This I found to be the cutest and most creative yet...not to mention useful!


8. Speaking of Baby Dawkins, in less than 24 hours we are scheduled for our first ultrasound! HOOORAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!! I can hardly wait!

9. We spent last night...and the wee hours of the morning painting baby's "room." We went with brown, primarily because my neighbor had a can leftover and offered it to us. It's pretty dark...but will soon be lightened by all that monogrammed decor I'm going to craft!

This terrible picture of me trying not to contaminate the baby while painting...was taken at 6:30am. We thought if we painted in the morning and then left the house I would be exposed less to the fumes? oh goodness. I hope there's not a law against painting while your preggo!



10. As a result of this painting adventure and a really fun weekend, our house in an ABSOLUTE disaster.

I think it's the blog trend to stick with the number 10 when making a list...so I'll bid farewell now!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Le Gallo Rosso



When it comes to restaurant recommendations, David and I love to ask the locals what their favorite spots are. Rarely are they amiss. One night we were eating at that delicious Mediterranean spot down the street and started chatting with an older couple from Louisville. They talked for about 5 minutes about the delicious lasagna made by a local Italian lady at The Red Rooster. We jotted down the name and promptly forgot....

A few months ago we remembered but we couldn't recall the Italian translation for Red Rooster. We looked in the phone book under "La" and David ended up talking to several Spanish speakers in search of the local Italian place. Finally, we hit upon Le Gallo Rosso. We popped in one Saturday night to this quaint Bed & Breakfast/Italian Restaurant on Bardstown only to find we should have made a reservation. We went elsewhere. This week, we returned for a date night. We were not disappointed.

A little higher priced than our usual date night, it was still manageable. For bread, salad with homemade dressing, and a slice of lasagna the price tag was $13.95. I had the freshly made spinach ravioli. The servings were so large that David and I both ate leftovers last night...and I have it in my lunch bag again today! It's a popular spot on weekends especially, so be sure to make a reservation.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

high tech for the likes of me

I confess that yesterday I stayed on Wren's blog for at least 15 minutes listening to the Wicked soundtrack she had linked into her site. I love the Wicked soundtrack. But we don't own it. After I made a trip to Amazon for the soundtrack, I went to playlist.com. After much trial and tribulation, I sucessfully embedded a playlist (though I couldn't find the songs from Wicked I wanted) in the proper spot on my own blog.

Then I had second thoughts.

Generally speaking, I really like music on other peoples' blogs...but sometimes I find it a bit annoying as it overrides my Pandora stations. My feelings are mixed on the pros and cons.

Reader vote.

If you hate my new high tech addition, just say so. You'll probably sway me to remove it. Or, if you don't want to comment...I guess from now on you'll have to turn down your volume when you stop by.

We'll see how long my music phase lasts:)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Past Remembered


In school, history was not among my favorite subjects. In fact, it was right up there with science...the only course I really struggled to wade through in college. My brain just seems to function in literary form rather than dates, numbers and scientific formulas. As an adult, I've often wished I could sit through history class once more. Primarily through biographies, historical novels and intriguing documentaries, various periods of history have taken form and interest. I love to learn from the story of the world, and the lives that continue to shape it. Since reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Diary of Anne Frank in high school, I've been intrigued with the holocaust. I spent a semester in Austria during college...visiting Corrie's house in Amsterdam, walking through the gates of Dachau, and marveling over the beauty of a Germany that I'd always imagined to be as ugly as its past.

This week, as I glanced through headlines on BBC, I noticed the death of Miep Gies -Otto Frank's secretary who helped care for the family during their 2 years in hiding and saved Anne's diary after their deportation by the Nazis in 1944. While only one among thousands who aided the Jews in WWII, her gentle courage and conviction are worth putting in the history books.

Read more....

On BBC

On The Miep Gies website (Photos courtesy this website.)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Naming of the Baby

In 8 days we hope to see our little one on the ultrasound monitor. In honesty, though in the beginning we thought it might be a boy, we just have no idea if it is a boy or a girl. Perhaps intuitive mothers can guess these things. I have no clue. And I can hardly wait to know.

On my checklist for the past few months: nailing down a boy name and a girl name. May 2010 will hold enough decisions and excitement for our little family. I want the name decided upon beforehand. I’ve given David until the day of the ultrasound to make the final decision. After that, Laurin and I need to start monogramming!

Though we’re not exactly secretive (in case the fact that my life is on the world wide web doesn’t express that enough), we decided that we would take suggestions for the name from family and friends but we’re not really discussing our short list of possibilities. The naming of a child suggests authority, and as the parents that authority and responsibility is ours….not to be defined by the preferences of others. Names are important. The meaning behind a name is important.

Admittedly, this name selection process has not gone so smoothly in our household.

David searches the internet for a name he likes with a solid meaning behind it….he suggests it…

Laura cringes at the name. Like the meaning, not the sound.

Laura suggests a name which elicits the same response from David.

In the end, it appears that there are very few names we do agree upon. Why didn’t anyone mention when I was naming my children at age 8 that my husband might have an opinion in the matter?

We discuss.

We decide we should take a break from discussing.

We discuss again.

We wonder if we should seek pastoral help in our marriage.

We discuss again. We make headway.

I change my mind.

We discuss.

I change my mind back.

We call out names to the baby and hope he will kick wildly when we say “his” name.

The baby doesn’t move through the entire list. Five minutes after the list, the baby kicks wildly.

And so it goes.

Thankfully...in the past few weeks we've made significant headway and I think we just might make that deadline:)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Unpredictable Delight


I talked to my sweet (77+) Mamaw this weekend. We chatted about life on the farm and life in Louisville. She told me she could hardly put down the book she was reading now.

"What are you reading Mamaw?"

"Oh. Your Aunt Julie gave me a new one for Christmas. Said it was on one of those lists. It's about that Sarah Palin."

"Mamaw, you're reading Going Rogue?

Oh. yes. she. is.

Just one more reason why I LOVE my Mamaw.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Sledding Adventure

In the end, the "blizzard" left Louisville with 4 inches or so of powdery snow. As soon as work and class turned us loose, we headed out into the new world for a little sledding action. I admit that after a few rides made the trail we blazed into a speed run, I opted to watch most of the fun from the bottom of the hill. I didn't want little baby d to be too sore today:) We still had a great time! David even pushed me home on the sled.

Another highlight...the return of our original sledding comrades, Nate and Jenni, to Louisville after a year in Australia. It was Nate and Jenni who first proved that 2 adults could ride together on one tiny blue saucer.

After it was all over, we sipped hot chocolate and ate leftover chili. A perfect winter night.



Our sledding adventure include the little Boeving sweeties....bundled into pink marshmallows.



Savannah's inaugural sleigh ride...



Our dear friends, Erin and Michael, joined in the fun this year. They are a bit more northern than us and watched in amazement as I put on 3 pairs of smart wool, 2 scarves, waterproof outer layers, rubber boots, multiple gloves and a variety of other "necessities." As you can see above, I don't dress for style when I sled:)




Sorry for the dark pic...it was getting late. David and Aaron get ready to break through the barriers below...in the end, David came home with a bit of a sore backside. He thought he might have to bring a pillow to sit on in class today. Yes, friends, the school is STILL open today...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treacherous Weather

It's snowing in Louisville. Practically a blizzard.

Ok. Maybe there are 2 inches on the ground.

David and I walked to work this morning in the snow. It seemed like a better idea than clearing off the car.

All I can think about is my little blue saucer that's waiting to take me on a ride this afternoon after work. I keep staring longingly out my window.

I think I get more excited about sledding than kids do. Don't worry. I'm not planning to go down the super hill this year. But at least I can get David to pull me around for a while.

I love snow.

This is my last winter up here in the northern country. I've got to take advantage of every moment.

Sometimes I just have to say it again....

I love that hub of mine.


After updating on my own status at 21 Weeks...I realized that a husband-update was needed as well. Despite the potential for the pregnant wife/empathy disorder I mentioned a few weeks ago, David's maintaining his figure and holding down the little Dawkins fort on many levels.

We are walking through a season in our marriage that I would not have anticipated when we first started Seminary. I knew that classes would add pressure to David's life, I understood that grad works means a lot of hours reading and studying, and I recognized that there would be sacrifices associated with the time required to complete the tasks at hand... but it's only been of late that I've really seen the full measure of those pressures piled on my husband. In order to speed things up, this winter he opted to take 6 hours of intensive courses....right through the holidays. After finishing a fall semester which included Hebrew and with the promise of a full load for the spring, school seems at times to be quite consuming these days.

I don't know that my respect and admiration for my husband has ever been so strong. He is truly the most diligent and disciplined man I know. The balance he manages amazes me...diligence in his duties, consistent care for his slightly needy wife, faithfulness to His God, and...somehow he still manages to run like the beast he is(even in 20 degree weather). I feel like I'm watching him climb a mountain - a tough mountain - and press through a multitude of pressures under which I would crumble. Instead, he consistently leads me back to our Father as a refuge in prayer and in practice. After all, it is for His glory we're pressing forward in the first place. I could never have predicted a pressure as common and ordinary as grad school would bring such rich treasures both in our marriage and in our relationship with our Father.

Marriage is a good gift, a useful tool in conforming us to the likeness of Jesus, a beautiful reminder to me of the gospel, and even in seasons that are full of busyness...marriage to David is just plain fun.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Baby Bump



I woke up one morning the week before Christmas and found that my clothes no longer fit me. It seemed that overnight a baby bump appeared - literally. The progression that began suddenly is now a slow and steady growth. Each morning I wake to find that I'm a little bigger. So far, I've only gained about 9 lbs since September but I have a feeling that number is about to jump drastically. David is, of course, encouraged by this new found growth (probably attributes it to my protein intake increase:). He's still doing his research on the internet and thinks I'm right on schedule. I love that hub of mine!



We had a check up right before Christmas and heard that sweet little heartbeat loud and clear once more. Ole Doc asked me what my diet looks like these days. I confessed after listing some other healthy selections that I was averaging 3-4 pudding cups per day. Seemed like a good way to fill the vapid void of a stomach I own until I was saying it to a doctor. He told me I'd probably want to cut that down to a max of one per day.

Seriously though, what is more convenient, delicious and filling when you're on the run than a good ole pudding cup? Ah well. I'm rationing them out now.



I've had a few nights of restlessness in the wee morning hours lately. Maybe God is preparing me for those long nights with a newborn? Last night I just couldn't stand the thought of lying awake for 3 hours. I'd noticed some long overdue cleaning that was needed on the table legs and chair frames of our kitchen table. What better time than 2am, right? I feel back to sleep around 4 or 5am...and the table is sparkling:)

For those who are wondering, we ARE going to find out if we are having a guy or gal. Our ultrasound is scheduled for January 20th...a little later than in most pregnancies. The only explanation I have for this is that we're pretty pragmatic about our student budget. We didn't meet our 2009 insurance deductible but will meet it in 2010 with the delivery. Everything rolls on January 1 so we delayed the ultrasound until our Jan appointment. It was a little easier on my super practical husband but even I had to agree...a few weeks less crafting and monogramming wasn't going to hurt anything:) Mark your calendars for the blog unveiling.