Friday, February 27, 2015

Welcoming Asher

Asher is here. We are in love! He entered the world at 1:11pm weighing 9lbs, 8 oz. 

For all of you who have been praying hard for his entry, he did indeed flip and I was able to deliver without a c-section. I actually started having contractions on our way to the hospital for the induction! It was a pretty spectacular day, by far the easiest birth of all the boys. Every prayer felt! 

It's late now, and we are all pretty tired. I'll give you the full, grace-filled story soon. But for now, here are a few quick pics from the day. 

Asher means "blessed, happy" and so we are!!! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eden Elizabeth

My newest niece, Eden Elizabeth, made her way into the world this afternoon.  She is precious.  And check out how gorgeous my sister looks after a delivery!?

I wore pink today in her honor.

During my visit this afternoon, I let those floor nurses know that I'd be joining them tomorrow morning for another round of sisters-give-birth week.  They said they'd try to save the room next door for Asher and me! 

I'll check in early and find out if the little man has flipped around in there and then it's off to labor….one way or another.  

God gives good gifts. 

Looking forward to meeting another of His richest gifts in my life tomorrow.  

Sister Shower

Some very sweet girls in our Bible Study gave a Suprise Sister Shower yesterday. It was so thoughtful! 

They even had a little Cheescake Factory on the table! 

Today, Lindsey is in the hospital awaiting (or rather working for) Eden's arrival! I can't wait to meet that little lady! 

Hopefully, tomorrow Asher and I will join them! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

flip, baby

I had another ultrasound yesterday.  Asher moved.  He's sideways.

So unless this little guy flips back soon, I'll be having my first c-section on Friday.

Needless to write, I've been turning to that faithful old chapter on worry quite a bit more frequently this week.

The One who cares even for the lilies, He cares much more for us.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jane Eyre & Lady Gaga

We skipped the Oscars last night. When hubs, being the man that he is, assured me that he would love to watch Jane Eyre with me, it made my night.  It's long been among my favorite books, which doesn't usually make me run out to see the modern movie. But I was quite pleasantly surprised.   Though a two hour movie certainly lacks the depth to develop a character like 400 pages of Bronte, I found it very compelling.  

And now, I plan to pack the original paper version for my hospital reading this week. What could be a better fit for the arrival of my third boy? 

After the movie, I did watch a clip from the Oscars, only to find Lady Gaga, of all people, paying tribute to Julie Andrews.  A little odd. But, I admit it was beautiful.  It was really lovely and classy. 

Do you know what I just couldn't get past though? 

The tattoos. A ship and a trumpet??? I was so distracted every time she raised her well-sculpted little arm.  I found myself thinking more about tattoos than the wonder of her voice.  I wish her designer has just put sleeves on that classically pretty dress and saved my mind the distraction.  

It did help me pinpoint just how I feel about tattoos in general.  

I find them to be terribly distracting to the aesthetic simplicity and beauty of plain skin.  

I know, they are so, so popular these days. One day, my daughter-in-laws will probably have tattoos all over their arms.  Don't call me a grandma but I like plain skin.  I think skin is beautiful. To me, it's kind of like finding a child's practice at drawing on a great work of art. It seems like a sort of obvious mishap that distracts from the epic and unbending beauty of a truly fine piece.  

There you have it, friends.  My very important analysis of the 2011 Jane Eyre movie and Lady Gaga's tattooed arms.  

Happy Monday! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Week Away

I met with the doctor yesterday. After a peek at that super-huge baby on the ultrasound, they scheduled an induction for next Friday morning! (In case you're curious, they think he's over 9lbs, 12oz now.  All speculative of course, but based on my history…probably fairly close to the truth.) If all goes as planned, I should be holding sweet Asher one way or another by this time next week.

You wanna hear the really crazy great news? My sister is scheduled for an induction the day before!  At the same hospital. Yep. Unless someone goes into labor before then, those cousins will be a day apart and nursery mates from the very start.  It just couldn't get any more exciting around here!  (Well, I guess it could.)

I admit to following the appointment up with a very exciting baby supply run at Target:) Those people know how to market.  I didn't exactly stick to the list.

Here's to just one more week of waiting! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

We are loving ice-land around here. Though I admit we were glad to see the driveway melt this afternoon and finally make an escape from the house to the grocery.  Here are a few tidbits from our life lately.

1. These brothers have been ice skating, ice sledding and just generally enjoying the change of weather.  It's been so fun to see them enjoying themselves.  I admit that we'll be glad when things start to warm up again, but it's been the winter wonder they've been hoping for since we landed in America.

2. For the most part, David has been on duty outside.  I don't particularly want an ER visit over a big preggo fall on ice.  This morning I took them out for a bit though and sat in the driveway while they made their own fun.  Jude took up the task of sled bearing. 

3. In the wake of the ice fall, I failed to mention what a truly fantastic Valentine's we had around here.  There were plenty of balloons and all sorts of chocolates and candy that are hard to come by over on the far side.  Every year, David cooks for me on Valentine's Day.  This year was no different. Tuna cakes, baked potatoes and salad.  It was delicious! I love my little men. 

4. We celebrated at lunch because in the evening we had tickets to the Monster Truck Jam.  Oh. yes. we. did.  I admit that it was actually a really fun way to spend a night with all the boys in my life! Maybe it won't become an annual tradition or anything…but we did indeed have a good time.  

5. Last, but not least, let me tell you about my latest food love.  Aldi sells cheesecake for $1 per slice in the freezer section.  Now, it's not the Cheesecake Factory or anything, but it's pretty good. Throw some raspberries or strawberries on top and I think it's a fantastic dollar spent! I admit that I eat at least 2 pieces per week.  It's delightful.  Aldi.  They just never do me wrong!

Here's to hoping for a warmer Wednesday!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

white space

My brain is tired. I'm beginning to think it will soon function only in necessity and without any creative energy whatsoever.  One of the reasons I didn't think the trip down to Mississippi would be a good idea for me last week was this failure in concentration.  People talk.  I stare.  Sometimes a little blankly.  I can't seem to retain focus. This pregnancy is eating away at my mental energy, and I seem to need a lot of white space these days.  White space meaning a sort of mental pause, kind of like the "Selah"of the Psalmist or the breath in music.

Obviously, that's not always the best kind of material to blog from, hence perpetual pictures of my children:)  

I am noticing though that now that our pace is slower, there is this gap from the past three years that is opening wider to me.  There is a lot more white space in America than there is in my life in South Asia. The people are fewer.  Land is bigger. Parks are more common.  Distance between strangers is greater.  I have missed it.  My brain has missed it.  The ability to separate and step back is, particularly for my personality, a gift.  Living closely in a communal culture largely diminishes white space.

I remember the first day I took the kids to the playground here.  No one talked to me.  No one stared. I had to offer no explanation of myself or define my relationship to the place. In fact, we were alone most of the time. Silas, my little extrovert, seems to feel lonely.  I feel amazed, grateful, refreshed.

People ask me sometimes what I missed most.  The more I've considered it, the more realize it wasn't the food or the conveniences or even the ability to communicate.  Apart from family, which was very primary, it was the white space.  More than I want any food or fun, I have been craving open spaces with wide tree lines, big pieces of sky and quiet.

I sat on a hill in Shelby Farms on Saturday in tears because they are renovating Patriot Lake.  While I am so glad all the progress is moving along in the city, and a big park is expanding is bigger ways, I wanted to come home and find it the same.  For three years, whenever I felt overwhelmed with the towering concrete buildings and masses of people, I would picture myself sitting on that green rolling hill overlooking the lake with deep blue behind it.  It's plowed up right now, in the midst of progress.  So I turned my back and found another hill, a smaller pond, but still a tree line and blue sky with no concrete buildings in the background.  The solitude of the natural is white space for me.  I like what God made better than what anyone else has ever created.

I've been thinking some about heaven lately.  The way that a God who made this beautiful earth must craft that place.  Not the way we frail, gaudy mortals craft cities and countries, filling them up with "finery." His creative creation is superior in every way.  Whenever I look across an open land, I know it in my depth.

So while I wait for my brain functions to resume, I'm remembering that springtime is about to waken in the South. If God gives me days, I will be here this year to watch the dogwoods bloom and the bare trees dress and the hills roll with green again.  I am so glad to be here, where land unfolds more readily.

It's like white space for my soul. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Practicing brother love

The boys had dinner guests last night...and they loved it!

I think they are feeling ready to welcome Asher! 

Monday, February 9, 2015


Hubs came home yesterday evening after   five days away. It was the last of the pre-baby trips, and I backed out feeling the need to stay firmly planted in Memphis. 

It was no small reunion to see that man arrive home. 

Distance, it makes the heart grow fonder. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Five

Apologies to all you faithful blog checkers.  I'm slowing my pace in just about every area of life these days.  The blog included.  Just in case you're wondering what's happening in our every day life, here's a Friday Five for you:

1. There is such a phenomenon as re-entry culture shock. There's even some research to back it.  I'd say our re-entry stress has been fairly low.  But I think I've discovered a trigger.  If someone wants to research my reaction to America after three years overseas, we can meet at Wal-Mart.  Friends, I can barely walk into that store.  It's one of the only activities in our return to America that seriously makes me want to move back to South Asia.

2. We have still been doing a bit of traveling and such, just a little closer to home.  Last weekend we hung out with my third cousins (because you count that way when you're from Tennessee). My boys were completely won over by big college guys who were willing to spend all afternoon wrestling on the floor with them. Cousin love.   

3. Good old Rebekah gave me a pedicure gift certificate for Christmas.  So we had a girl morning and I soaked my preggo feet.  I choose blue, a sure sign that I really am embracing three boys! 

4. Apparently, signs of stress appear on my body in the form of rashes.  Have I ever mentioned that the day before my wedding, I broke out in a rash? The pharmacist pretty much shrugged her shoulders and said it would go away after the wedding. It did. Well, Asher isn't exactly a point of stress, but the guy is apparently making my estrogen levels rise and fall to ridiculous levels.  The only relief I've found so far? Oatmeal baths.  Nothing fancy from the store for me, just good ole breakfast oats, baking soda and olive oil in a bath.  I admit that it's a little more relaxing than it sounds.  

5.  I've also been checking a few things off my list to take back with us.  Right now the very unimportant but fun task is selecting fabric for couch pillows.  Please recall I have orange curtains, teal walls and a brown couch. Any one want to vote? Are flowers out now that I'm the lone female in a family of five? 

Happy Friday to you! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Go Set A Watchman

I've probably read To Kill A Mockingbird ten times.  It's possible that the actual number is closer to twenty. It is my favorite American classic of all time.  I love Harper Lee's style, her ability to tell such a profound story in such a common way, through the eyes of a child.

As a person, I find Lee fascinating.  In spite of classic success most writers don't find until well after their death, she has remained as far out of the limelight as possible.  She's kind of like the Neil Armstrong of American literature to me.  The reluctant hero of a work so great it helped shape a nation.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read this afternoon that, this July, Lee will allow publication of a sequel she wrote almost 60 years ago.  It will be entitled Go Set A Watchman.  

Harper Collins is planning an initial run of 2 million copies.  

Put my name on the list!

Monday, February 2, 2015

34 Weeks

I had an ultrasound this morning.  It seems that history is repeating itself.  Almost 5 years ago, I was having the same conversation with an ultrasound technician in Louisville.

"Wow.  This baby is big.  Wow.  These numbers just can't be right." 

"Well, there's a history of big babies in my husband's family.  And Jude was kind of a record breaker at almost 11 lbs."

"I mean.  All the measurements are correct.  Everything looks great.  But this guy is just HUGE." 

When I write huge, friends, I mean that normally a baby would be somewhere around 5 lbs right now.  Asher is measuring a bit over 8 lbs. We're in the 97th percentile. It looks like he's competing with Jude for the top spot in Dawkins history.  I do feel a little better about how difficult it is for me to just get around these days.  There's an 8 lb baby strapped to my insides.  That's gotta count for something!?

The good news is that, apart from being a really big eater, there's nothing to suggest that he's anything but a happy, healthy guy waiting to meet the world.

The doctor said he might slow down now.  Let's hope that is the case.  Maybe he just went crazy over the holidays, right? Once he hits 10 lbs, there's not much chance that I'll get out of a c-section this time around.  We'll have another ultrasound in 2 weeks to see if he's still packing on the pounds.

We did take the boys in to see Asher wiggling around on the screen this morning.  Jude even got to push the buttons to make the heartbeat blare through the room.  Poor Silas seems to have thought we had come for something a bit more exciting.  When we left the ultrasound room and he realized Asher was still inside, he lifted up my shirt and said, "take Asher out!" He's ready to be a big brother!

Here's to another round of chubby cheeks!