Friday, April 29, 2011

Mop & Shine

Mopping isn't my strong point. I vacuum like a fanatic but I rarely mop. However, since a lot of times, food ends up here:

And occasionally, if the truth be told, my son eats it like this:

(Yes, he's bobbing for Cheerios on the floor. )

I decided to take action this week and purchased some Mop & Shine:

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought our floors could use a little mopping and shining. However, apparently, clean floors are quite slippery when they shine. Late night trip to the kitchen. A little too slippery. Broken glass on a clean floor.

My conclusion: dirty floors are safer for everyone involved. No more mop & shine for us.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the Up & Up

Thankfully, after a few days on the mend, our appetites are returning.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In All Circumstances

We are sick.

Something in that delicious meal we shared on Sunday pushed David & me over the edge. It is 3:38 am and I'm blogging...not sleeping. I've been trying to remind myself that I have about 6 months of this kind of refinement when we hit foreign soil. Stomach demons come with international territory. I've also been reminding myself that this sort of nausea was part of my routine for 3 months when I was pregnant with Jude. I made it, and I'll make it.

I don't think those reminders are really helping all that much.

What has been helping, in a piercing sort of way, is that quiet word that's working into my soul:

In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

That's good news to the complainer.

Complaints seem like they'll work out better, but in the end they never do. Thanksgiving...that's what I was made for.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Feet

Does anyone else have a hard time putting shoes on their little lad? I'm definitely a lazy momma in this realm. Even Easter Sunday couldn't induce me to lace up walking shoes on Jude's feet. He just toddled about in socks....which were quite filthy by the end of the day.

Part of the problem (besides avoidance of shoe-struggle) is that Jude's feet are really thick on top and not very long. A kind friend at church gave me a box of nice toddler shoes that her son had outgrown, but of yet, his feet aren't quite long enough for most of them.

Once, for a Christmas picture, I put a pair of saddle oxfords on him. They fell off within minutes.

Tonight at Target I tried a few pairs on the little man and discovered that at almost 1 year, he wears a size 2 (that's small) ....but that his foot is too thick to push into a size 4. Hmmmm.

On our way out, I picked up these little velcro shoes that have a bit more space on top because those first steps are coming...and I guess he can't go barefoot for his entire childhood.

Monday, April 25, 2011


1. Strollin' with NanNan

2. Cow gazing with PopPop

3. Thirsty for eggs.

4. Cousins on the couch.

5. The Dawkins Clan (minus Brad & Lisa)

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Good Friday

Several years ago my parents took me to a Passover celebration led by the Messianic Jews here in Memphis. It is one of my best holiday memories as an adult.

For a few years I've intended to do something meaningful at our table in preparation for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. At 3pm yesterday I decided I wasn't going to let another year go by, so I made a loose attempt at a Seder Dinner around our little table. It was definitely a learning experience but well worth the effort!

Today, we headed out to Meeman-Shelby State Park for some hiking.

Good Friday is a day set apart to meditate on and remember the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. Celebrating the joy of the resurrection is incomplete without facing my own sin, and Christ's obedience unto death.

It's always a difficult day for me.

It seems to put a mirror up to my flippant heart and remind me of my ugly sin and cost of redemption. These are good truths for me to ponder.

Hubs and I definitely agree, there are few places that allow better opportunity for thinking than a hiking trail. It was a good Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


After 3.5 years of marriage, David and I are beginning to pick up traditions of our own as we celebrate the holidays that mark our year. This year, in preparation for our celebration of the resurrection, I put aside desserts (except on Sundays, in keeping with early Christian tradition). It was simple and small. It has been a good daily reminder to me of a sacrifice that was neither simple or small.

In tiny measure, I have been more aware of my weakness, more horrified by my love of ease and plenty, and more drawn to Christ.

Yesterday I read this beautiful post and felt challenged to reflect more and prepare in greater measure to embrace the season next year. These are formative times for me when it comes to practicing spiritual traditions.

I also purchased Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman (the blog and the book were stolen from Lee's sister in law) to help this novice become a bit more intentional as these holidays come around. It arrived today (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I'm already delving into the pages with delight.

Lent. It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice....Lent isn’t about forfeiting as much as it’s about formation. We renounce to be reborn; we let go to become ‘little Christs’....It’s about this: We break away to become.
- Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

1. Little baby bibs are no longer in vogue in our house. These days require full body coverage. A safety pin and dish cloth are the better option for now.

2. My sister in law told me about a great book selling site. An hour or so of work sorting through old college books and titles we no longer need, and we got a check for $75 from . They don't take everything and the prices are garage sale style....nonetheless, worth the effort if your shelves are as overflowing as ours are!

3. The back porch is Jude's favorite spot these days.

4. I'm predicting that my sweet baby will take his first step by his 1st birthday! He's definitely heading that way!

5. Piper's biography of Charles Spurgeon has been in my ear this week while I wash dishes, fold laundry, etc. Good food for the soul. Worth a download. Click here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Overall Mania

I'm addicted to Jude in overalls.

Consequently, I went a little crazy when I found 4 pairs for $9.50 on consignment.

How could I resist?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Asparagus & Egg Tartine

Remember my skeptical purchase back in January of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day? I'm loving this new bread making system! Of late, I've been using 1/2 whole wheat flour to make baguettes, and the results have been fabulous. For around 60c we have fresh loaves of hot bread whenever the fancy strikes:)

Click here for the bread dough recipe. (Anna, sorry it took me so long to respond to your request for this!:)

When we lived in Louisville, Blue Dog Bakery was at the top of our little street. My mom and I ate there when we were killing time, waiting for an overdue Jude to arrive. I ordered the asparagus and egg tartine. In case you're wondering (as I was) what in the world a tartine is: it's an open faced sandwich on a baguette. It's probably French for "fancy sandwich".

On Friday, using my new found baguette skills, I tried to re-create it...with a fair amount of success. I scrambled the eggs with garlic, lightly sauteed the veggies with olive oil, and toasted the finished product under the broiler for a few minutes.

It was a pretty tasty "fancy sandwich," even if I do say so myself:)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Wild Weekend

On Friday night, several of my bffs from Junior High got together for an old fashioned sleep over. We went to a great little cabin overlooking the mighty Mississippi and stayed up until 2am telling stories, catching up, and just enjoying girl time.

There was plenty of silliness, I assure you.

What I loved the most: 15 years later, our personalities really haven't changed all that much. At random times throughout the night I had to remind myself that I'm an almost-31 year old wife and mom....not a 14 year old at a slumber party:)


Tonight, sweet hubs and my dear momma conspired to give me a little birthday fun....a week early. I was completely surprised and felt very loved. Nothing like a GiGi's cupcake and party at the park to make you feel birthday-ed, right?!?

It was a wild weekend around the Dawkins house! I'm banking on a restful Monday:)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Let goods & kindred go

An international move means a number of things. One of the hardest to swallow is leaving family and friends. That day at the airport will come, and I feel it.

First things first, though.

The selling of property and relinquishment of the bulk of our worldly possessions is before us.

I took inventory a few nights ago of the short list we'll keep in storage at my parent's house. Wedding dishes, sentimental gifts, all those love notes we wrote between Peru and Africa, Jude's baby book. It's the kind of box I want my grandchildren to open.

I am finding this analysis of the earthy to be a good exercise for my soul. It is loosening the grip of what was never meant to grip me. It is turning my mind to what is sturdier than this fragile collection of goods. It is bringing fresh fire to Christ's words.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6esv

Imperishable. Unfading. Kept in heaven. A wiser storehouse than my feeble grip.

Let goods and kindred go
This mortal life also

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Yesterday I was sorting through an old box full of unorganized photo cds. I came across one I thought I'd lost forever...from my 2007 trip to Kenya with Amanda Puckett. Ahhh. Good memories. I thought I'd share a few. Who doesn't like pictures of Africa?

A Hearty Greeting:

Lake Victoria:

Mfangano Island Eyes:

A Strong Neck:

Until We Meet Again:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Last night after Jude was tucked away, I put some good Piper preaching on my ipod and sat down with a few beads from broken necklaces. I came up with three new additions for my spring wear:

Fairly productive craft night for this season of life:)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Things on a Tuesday

1. We love it when 72 and sunny coincides with free Tuesdays at the Memphis Zoo.

2. This weekend we had a lunch for the young married couples after church. Ashley brought this delicious salad. After two servings and a craving for more, I asked for the recipe. You won't be disappointed.

Black Bean and Rice Salad
2 1/2 cups white rice, cooked
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss with remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Chill.

3. A friend showed me this video this past weekend. That is one hilarious baby.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Down South

Do you ever walk into someone's home and feel like you're inside the pages of Southern Living magazine?

This weekend, I did.

And what is slightly weird about that is that I first met Kayla when she was an overall-wearing 8th grader in my cabin at camp. Now, she's cooking me chicken poppyseed and putting fresh cut roses in the guest room for me. Times, they are a changin.

We drove down to Clinton this weekend for a little visit with Kayla, Kevin and the rest of the old college crowd. (Ok. Actually, David had a wedding to attend in LA, and he passed through C and dropped me off:) It was wonderful.

On Friday, we joined about 10million school kids at the Natural Science Museum. It was love at first sight for Jude. If we were in Jackson, a membership would be at the top of my list. He was enamored with the fish tanks.

Man time included golf in the back yard for the men, rolling in the grass and eating golf balls for Jude.

On Saturday, Kayla and I made our way to Clinton's brick street. Somehow we ended up in the 4th annual Catepillar parade, along with the Followell's dog. At the end of the parade, one lucky lady was crowned the Butterfly Queen of Brick Street. I shook my head. Only in Clinton, Mississippi.

I feel like I've taken a trip down to Mayberry...and I'm much better off for having done so.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Worth A Letter

In recent weeks, I've heard from several sources that there is a proposal to build an "adult" establishment on Germantown Road near Trinity. This is our neck of the woods! Thanks to our pastor's encouragement, I checked on the Cordova website and found great information on how to help stop this building.

Take a few minutes today and send an email to our county and city representatives encouraging them to stand with the community against Steve Cooper, who notoriously builds these establishments in our city.

Click here for a list of email addresses and phone numbers. Check out this link for more info.

In case you're like me and find those kinds of letters difficult to compose, here's a copy of my letter to our Mayor:

Dear Mayor,

Thank you for the many ways that you serve our community. Our family is grateful for your work here in our city!

We recently learned of Steve Cooper's proposal to establish a restaurant on Germantown Road with a compensated dance permit. We believe that such establishments undermine faithful marriages, devalue women, and foster thoughts in men that make this world a more dangerous place for our children.

We wanted to encourage you to make sure that enforcement of proper codes is a top priority and ask that you help protect our community by changing any laws necessary to prevent this type of establishment in our community.

Thank you for your service!


David and Laura Dawkins
Cordova, Tennessee

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mothering Uphill

Yesterday felt like an uphill battle. I went to Shelby Farms in the morning and decided to roller blade around the lake. The wind was so strong that if I stood still, it actually pushed me backwards. I felt like that wind stuck with me for the rest of the day.

When I finally talked to a friend at 5pm, I burst into tears 3 minutes into our conversation. It was a lonely day inside the four walls of my little home. I tried to make a few plans outside those walls, but nothing worked out. Jude refused to take an afternoon nap. There was a wasp on the porch. And possibly the worst part about the day was that the blue sky and green spring grass were shouting God's glory, there was an abundance to give thanks for, my sweet husband was working hard so I could stay home, my baby just wanted to cuddle me and I still couldn't seem to overcome the pushing winds of loneliness and restlessness.

Most days I love motherhood. I loved it yesterday. But it was the harder kind of love. Love that requires me to expend energy to push forward with not so much coasting. I'm grateful for those kinds of days. They seem to deepen the joy. At the end, it shouts to my heart that I do what I do because I really believe it is worthwhile....not because it always makes me feel good.

I am glad that God planned for the sun to rise and set. I needed a fresh start for today. His mercies are new this morning.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fried Chicken & Mashed Potatoes

On Monday, due to a very massive April shower that left a power outage in it's wake, we headed to Slim Skillets. We've driven past this restaurant hundreds of times in our daily routine and were finally reeled in (via coupon book) to taste some skillet fried chicken.

Though it might not make our list of top spots in the city, it was certainly not a disappointment. And if I had to choose between Cracker Barrel and Slim's for home cooking...I'd probably head to this brightly colored, friendly little joint. (If you know how much I like CB, that statement means something:)

Don't be fooled by Jude's confused expression! (he's not much for cell phone photography:) Even the little man found plenty to tempt his appetite.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Popping Blueberries

Cheerios are my breakfast of choice these days. I usually put a few frozen blueberries into the bowl too. Once they thaw a bit, Jude likes to eat my leftovers.

Yesterday, for the first time, he discovered how to pop a blueberry.

Breakfast will be a little messier from now on.

Same great taste, more fun in the tasting.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blue Skies & Sunshine

We took advantage of those 80ish temps yesterday for a little strollin' with the family at Shelby Farms. While the wind was enough to just about blow us away, the blue skies and sunshine made is so worthwhile! For once, Jude didn't have to go the lake path in his stroller...there were plenty of shoulders to ride instead.

Jude had some lucy-time with my sister's adorable new puppy. Can you believe that little thing will be 50ish pounds before long?

And in the end? PopPop took us for a spin at TCBY to wrap up the warm afternoon:)

What a weekend. Spring, stay with us a little longer!