Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Weather Love

It is January. But this weekend felt like April.

We loved it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

On A Friday

1. David's Mom reminded us this morning that 25 years ago today, was the tragic day when the Challenger exploded. Both David and I agree that it was our first real memory of a historical moment. I still remember watching it on the television in our kitchen.

2. The past 2 times I've returned from this very talented friend's house, I've rearranged something on a wall. Her house/person just seems to inspire me. Yesterday, I came home and took a canvas off the wall that I'd covered in fabric. When I originally tried to paint it (3 years ago) it was a failure. This time, I flipped through Young House Love until I found some inspiration, and then I painted some simple pears. Obviously, drawing isn't my gift...but I can draw a loose pear shape. I wouldn't say I'm elated with the results, but I'm pleased...and it's a good change of pace in the dining room. I used paint that I already had, so my investment was 1 hour and $0. Not bad:)

3. I am currently watching Temple Grandin during Jude's feedings. It is well worth the time so far. Available at Redbox.

4. I think that Jude is beginning to associate "Da-Da" with David. Say what you will. He babbles a lot these days...but seems to say "da-da" more when David is around or right after he's come in the room. I know, I know. We're those parents. The ones who confuse babble with words. But, seriously. It's possible that he knows what he's saying.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rub A Dub Dub

Jude loves bathtime. In fact, from those first scrubs in the kitchen sink, he's never objected to tub time. He's a clean kind of guy.

He does have one fear that can't quite be reconciled though: the shower. For a while I thought he just wanted me around all the time, thus the uncontrollable screaming while I took a shower each morning as he sat on the floor...and sometimes crawled right up to the edge of the tub in a most distressed state, beating on the edge with his hands. A very relaxing experience.

But, of late, I've been putting him in another room with his toys, popping that Sing Over Me cd in that we love so much, and going to take a shower. No tears. No screams. Only a happy baby.

It was after this glorious discovery that I noticed that he started screaming one day when David got in the shower after a run. I was standing right there beside him. As soon as David finished, the screams subsided.

Apparently, the kid thinks the shower is a steaming people-eater. I wonder when he'll realize that we emerge victorious every time?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To Save A Life

I want to recommend a movie to you that David and I spied at Redbox a few weeks ago. We finally sat down to watch it this week.

It's about a high school senior who has it all...pretty girl, basketball scholarship, popularity, etc. His childhood friend, whom he has spent the past 4 years ignoring, commits suicide at school. His life kind of falls apart after that. (Ok. So let's not rate it on originality and complexity here...but it does still have some valid things to say.)

It definitely brought back memories of high school..with all the shuffle to be liked, deemed worthwhile, or at the very least, able to throw enough sarcasm in the air to be left alone.

In this season of life, the temptation for me is not so much to be mean, or think of put-downs and come-backs, it's just to be oblivious to others. Let's be honest. Today I threw Cheerios on the not-at-all-clean kitchen floor and put Jude down directly in front of them...just so I could make a sandwich for lunch. It's the 'I'm just trying to make it here' mentality. My brain is fuzzy so I don't try to focus in prayer or conversation. My heart is disheveled, so I fail to respond to others in need. My house has toys from one end to the next, so I'd rather not call someone up for lunch.

One of the things I took away from this film was a reminder that every life matters.

It takes time and effort to see people. To give a smile to the elderly lady at the mall who wants to tickle Jude's feet. To reach out a hand to a friend who's having a hard time. To make a phone call to the person who might like to hear a familiar voice today. It's not about making people into projects. It's about seeing them, acknowledging their worth, entering in to their sorrows and joys. And not just the people I know and love, the strangers, the unlovely, the forgotten, and sometimes the very popular with hurt just under the surface.

God cares about people....all people. I want to take the time to care more, even in these days.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple Silhouette

I tried my hand at making a silhouette of Jude this afternoon. Most of my attempted profile pictures of my camera-lovin' baby turned out like this:

Once I finally got a blurry side shot, I printed a gray scale photo on our home printer, cut around the outline to make a pattern and then transferred it to the paper I'd planned to use. It took less than 15 minutes:)

I love silhouettes!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Big 8-0

Mamaw turned 80 last week and this weekend her 4 children hosted a little shin dig in the church fellowship hall to celebrate.

Over 50 years of marriage to one man, 4 children, 11 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and enough friends to fill up the little corner of Tennessee she's lived in her entire life...that's a full 80 years!

Grateful for the time.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pandora Folk

We are loving the Pandora Radio Children's Folk Station at our house these days. For the most part, it's the happy perfection of kid-friendly and parent-pleasing music. Fun, but not annoying.

Skip To My Lou, She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain, You Are My Sunshine, Somewhere Over the get the picture.

If you're looking a change of pace, try it out.

Friday, January 21, 2011


In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
William Blake

And I thought I wouldn't see much white this year since we're in the deep south!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Off The Beaten Path

Yesterday we took a little family outing to the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. Having lived in Memphis for the better part of 30 years, neither of us had ever heard of this museum. It made our list of places to visit as a part of our quest to get to know Memphis better.

If you've never been to this little museum just beyond the new Uptown development, it's worth a stop! The museum is housed in the old Burkle home. Before her death, the granddaughter of Mr. Burkle made known their family secret: that this house was used as a stop on the famous underground railway through which slaves escaped to the free states in the North.

Our guide, Valencia, was a well-spoken, knowledgeable and compelling docent. She made the tour both entertaining and historical. There are so many lessons to be learned from that part of the history of our nation.

If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path outing, I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bread, Belts, & Bucking Bronco Babies

1. Though it wasn't the simplest meal I've ever made, the tomato soup & artisan bread were well worth the effort. The bread needs some tweaking, but it was still very good. The soup was an absolute success..though the roux caused a bit of difficulty mid-way.

2. Jude has suddenly turned into a bucking bronco every time we put him in his chair for dinner. Since our repeated command "No Bucking, Jude" yielded few results, we've resorted to belting him to the chair.

3. This week, David discovered his first gray hair. Actually, I discovered it and David examined it in disbelief.

4. Most of the time, after I take a picture, I show it to Jude on the screen. As a result, he gets really excited these days when I start taking pictures of him. Almost every photo session ends with him attacking the camera, ready to get a peek at his baby face...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The For-Granteds

There've been a few great posts lately, by gals in my little blogging world, on topics like contentment and gratitude. Simultaneously, I've been watching a few friends and acquaintances walk through some very difficult seasons in daily life.

Adoptions on hold with babies waiting to feel their mama's arms. Military husbands flying off to courageously serve our nation, while their little ones grow by miles and inches at home without them. Life after divorce or the grief of loss. Cancer and illness. I admit that, more than once, the wee hours have found me weeping as I read the emails and blogs of friends and, sometimes, strangers.

In particular, over the past week or so, it has given me fresh perspective on a few daily aspects of my life that I take for granted.

Husband is home for lunch. Instead of blazing through that time as another few minutes out of my day, I think of my friend who would love to have lunch with her husband who is living in an army barracks in the middle-east.

Jude-kins is eating squash. He is smearing squash all over himself and the bumbo. I think of my friend whose little one is in an orphanage, caught in red tape, with no chubby little legs from all these cheerios and sweet potatoes. She would love to shovel squash.

Remembering these things and others...allowing them into my daily, ordinary tasks has been changing me in two ways:

1. It is helping me to mourn more rightly with those who mourn, to feel their sorrows just a tiny bit more than I have been, and so to pray for them with more fervor and compassion.

2. It is helping me to embrace with gratitude the very precious people and tasks God has entrusted to me in this season without taking them for granted, as I so often do.

Life is too short to live with my eyes closed to these precious, fleeting moments. I'm hopeful that this will be a year of living more fully here, more gratefully aware.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Good Idea?

It seemed like a good idea to make the Bronte Tomato Soup and the "5-Minute" artisan bread on the same afternoon.

But right now, I'm not sure.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jude's Allowance

Whenever I give Jude his allowance, he asks to go to the Dollar Tree to pick out a balloon.

It's definitely a dollar's worth of fun in our house:)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pondering the Possibility

Do you really think I could successfully manage artisan bread in 5 minutes a day? If so, it would revolutionize home baking. I feel skeptical. But the thought of that kind of goodness baking in my oven is very motivating.

Anyone out there an artisan bread guru?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


A little snow and a touch of a head cold were all the excuse I needed to break open a Christmas gift from my mom: Masterpiece Theatre's Cranford.

I think it was intended to be watched in weekly episodes.

270 minutes later...I'm ready to purchase the sequel.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

If the predictions...

turn into a reality...

We're ready!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

5 Minutes Til Dinner

Our favorite 5-minute-meal at the Dawkins house these days?

French bread & ricotta pizzas with steamed broccoli. At 5-6 minutes from start to just can't beat it on a busy night when you want something more than a bowl of cereal!

Prep: Slice french bread, spread with ricotta cheese(good protein:), top with marinara sauce. Place under broiler for about 3 minutes. Serve with broccoli (if your husband happens to be a broccoli addict like mine:).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bye Bye Baby

When babies start riding on dinosaurs that sing, it seems that the line between life as a baby and life as a toddler is fast approaching.

Jude ate his first Cheerio this week, I almost cried. I love being a new mom. The awareness that it is a fleeting season makes it all the more precious to me. Before the infant phase is too far out of sight though, I wanted to write a little list of new mom survival lessons I'm taking away from it.

New Mom Survival Tip 1: Guiltless Sleep

Basically, Laurin was my new-mom coach. She encouraged me to grab every moment of sleep I could after the little man arrived. I took her advice. Sometimes I'd wake from a nap to find a message on my phone (which I'd silenced) with Laurin's voice saying "I hope you didn't answer because you're sleeping right now..." Any time I was fighting guilt for taking a nap at 10am, Laurin would encourage me along in my daytime naps. She was right, it didn't last forever...and it's not lazy, it's just good advice for a new mom!

New Mom Survival Tip 2: Up and At 'Em!

Even if 10am found me napping on the couch, after that first morning at home, I made a concious effort to get up, take a shower and put make up on eVeRy morning. Looking like my old self helped me feel more ready to face the challenges of the day. Disagree if you will, but for me, this was a huge help in overcoming postpartum blues.

New Mom Survival Tip 3: Check it Off

I am a list maker, a goal setter, an efficiency evaluator. Everything felt hazy in those first few weeks. My life was turned upside down. The change was exciting and good...but it was no less earth shattering. A week or two before my due date, I made some simple daily goals for those first few weeks. They were so simple that it almost felt foolish to write them down...but in the end, I was glad I did. It was a list of goals like: Spend 5 minutes in prayer today, Get out of the house 1 time, Do 1 load of laundry, Fix dinner 2 times this week, etc...

New Mom Survival Tip 4: Freedom

I was one of those people. You know what I mean...the people without kids who think that the one book they read on parenting was right. When I was a few months pregnant, I was in a counseling class in which the professor spoke about the legalism of many Christians in the realm of parenting. His words were very fitting for me. In essence he said that the Bible has given us few but firm commandments regarding the way we are to parent. Particulars are not included in Scripture over many aspects of childrearing. Therefore, we have freedom in areas like infant sleeping, feeding patterns, and how to keep that baby from grabbing the table cloth. Advice is good....but it's just advice. Books are great....but they're not the law. Whew. What a sigh of relief that freedom brings. I don't have to defend my choice to pick that baby up when he cries at an odd hour or to feed him before it's been 3.25 hours since the last time. God entrusted him to my care...and I can have some freedom in those decisions. It also means that when that other momma does just the opposite of what I would do, I can encourage her loving care of that baby with humility that admits...there's a wider path than I once thought when it comes to good parenting.

These baby days are closing in on me quickly...but in truth, I'm glad for the growth. There is a time for everything, a time to rock babies and a time to chase toddlers, a time to teach numbers and a time to read books. So with joy, and a few sentimental tears, I'll say keep 'em coming...these fast-flying days.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The Christmas decor is packed away, and I wanted a new look on our front door...with minimal investment.

Craft of the Day:

20 minutes
old wreath, green paint, left over felt, ribbon, glue gun....and 7 month old who's content to play with felt remnants =

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Soup Success

On Saturday, we talked our MS friends into sticking around for lunch and heading over to Bronte for the famous Tomato Bleu Cheese Soup. We were sitting around the table, pondering how on earth they make soup taste that good. I was listing ingredients I thought might be in it, in my quest to re-create it. Hubs did something very smart. (Seems like this happens a lot in my life.) He asked the waitress for the recipe.

She told us about a Tennessee cookbook in the bookstore. No more guessing. There it was in plain print.

Davis-Kidd's Bronte
Tomato Bleu Cheese Soup

1/4 ounce butter
1 yellow onion
1 T minced garlic
1 c flour
1.5 quarts water
2 (32oz) cans diced tomatoes
1/2 lb bleu cheese
1 to 2 T salt
1 t white pepper
1 c heavy cream

Melt butter, dice onions and saute until translucent along with garlic. Add flour to make roux. (Careful not to burn) Whisk water into roux until smooth. Add diced tomatoes, bleu cheese, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and turn off heat. Add cream. Puree with hand blender or food processor. Serves 6-8.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Back to the Future

Several years ago when I was living in Jackson, my roommate and I threw a New Year's Eve party with a Back to the Future theme. Yes. The Michael J. Fox movie from the 80s. This year we decided to repeat the idea here in Memphis and invited a few of our college friends over to ring in the new year to the tune of "The Power of Love."

My sister came clad in jean, and had some pretty authentic accessories:

Stacey, who researched costumes on line, emulated Marty McFly's girlfriend, Jen, in a pair of fabulous pink jeans, vest and stylish purse. Look closely at the TV screen to see the striking parallel.

Lifting our sparkling grape juice to toast the future!

Happy New Year!!!