Friday, September 19, 2014

Monkey Business

Placemats, felt and fabric scraps repurposed into wall art for the monkey bedroom re-do!

I love projects! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014


...I let my kids do things that probably wouldn't win me mom-of-the year. 

I did move the chair back two inches from the screen and pull on unsteady pillow off the top. 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's New

1. After 3 years with a cheapish set of plates, the chips finally put me in the market for a new set. (Yes, my wedding ware is boxed away in Memphis;) I've been stalking these dishes for months at the home store in town. It paid off when I recently happened upon a 50% off sale and bought 8 servings with confidence. Love them!

2. We're into upgrades these days because we are going to keep our apartment here while in the USA. The last thing I want to do is return to South Asia next May with a long list of to-dos and a new baby in tow. This may not seem like much to some of you, but when you line dry clothes for an entire family adding another pull up laundry line is better than a birthday present! 

3. Also on the list has been a mini-makeover in the boys' room. My mom sent me back with a monkey duvet she snagged on clearance. I cut and stitched it here and there....wah-lah...some pretty fun new curtains that Jude adores. Now for clutter clearance! 

4. Target sucked me in and I bought a new extensions for the boys' train set. We are talking hours of obsessive play, friends. Who knew? Hope the magic doesn't wear off any time soon! 

5. My friend Shannon gave me a copy of Lysa Terkeurst's latest book Unglued, Making Wise Choices in the midst of Raw Emotion. I'm half way through, and it is definitely worth your time. 

That's what's new around here! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Big News

Many of you have probably heard this through the grapevine by now. Or wondered at my pudgy stomach last week in the US.

It hasn't just been jet lag keeping me down lately.

Another wee Dawkins is on the way and I've got the morning-noon-night sickness to prove it!

I am 15 weeks along and due March 6, 2015.

Yes, friends, if all goes as planned this little one will be delivered on US soil. Much to the grandparent's delight.

We are beyond grateful.  This is an answer to long prayers.

Can't wait to meet this new little life!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There & Back

I am back in the land of curry.  And don't think I could have lasted another minute without seeing all my sweet boys, big and small.  Since I obviously took a pretty long hiatus from this little blog, I'll catch you up in photos.  The trip was everything I hoped it would be, and then some.  I really cannot express how good it was to spend a week among those dear familiar faces.

It was a gift.  I am grateful.

Here are a few highlights from the trip.

1. Celebrating my niece Josie's 3rd "Frozen" birthday.  Even Mamaw and Aunt Julie made it out! There was a bounce slide the size of my sister's house! The girl knows how to party:) Have I ever mentioned how much I miss my sister????

2. Seriously devouring some Mexican food.  (And every other kind you could imagine.) What I couldn't miss on this trip: a. Fajitas from Chapultepec b. Newk's Favorite Salad with sherry vinaigrette c. Corky's BBQ & their amazing potato salad d. Pancho's Cheese Dip e. My M-I-L's roast and potatoes f. Fresh Market's Cranberry Orange Bread g. Doritos (en bulk)

3. The best Girls' Night Out ever to the Taco Truck and Mexican Ice Creamery on Summer Avenue. Yes, we made the bride wear a sombrero!

4. Making that long walk to visit Jessica's grave with my dear friends and remembering her laughter.

5. Catching up with David's family over dinner and meeting the first Dawkins grand-girl!

6. Witnessing one of the sweetest weddings ever as I watched my dearest friend vow to love and cherish forever.  It was beautiful, godly, and full of joy. I felt so honored to be a part!

7. Lovin' all the old friends I got to see at the reception afterward.

There is something so rich and full about boarding a plane after a week like that and knowing in the bottom of my soul that right now I belong on this side of the ocean. Glad I went.  Glad I am home.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Entering America

So maybe I wept when the custom's official stamped my entry card. Not just a few appropriate tears. I was weeping.  He thought I was returning for a funeral. I had to assure him they were happy tears. I am here for a wedding.

I was crying so hard that I had to repeat answers to his questions. He couldn't understand me. 

It was terrible.  

Thankfully, I landed in Chicago. I don't know anyone in Chicago.  And it's a good thing.  I cried uncontrollably for an hour and a half in the airport. I haven't been on American soil in 3 years. I am glad to be home. 

Then I washed my face. Changed into some jeans.  And left South Asia behind for a week. 

By the time I saw my sister and mom in Memphis, I was one happy girl. Thankfully the weeping had ceased.  

So far I've eaten Mexican with my mom, sis and cute niece at my favorite local spot. I sang God Bless America ever so softly while eating those delicious fajitas. I talked to my sweet boys, who are in the midst of all sorts of man activities. I've gone to Hobby Lobby to browse, picked up a pomogranate Izzy from The Fresh Market, and wandered around my parent's house marveling at all that's changed, and so much that has, thankfully, stayed just the same.  

I woke up at 3am to eat dinner. And my very sweet mom came downstairs to sit with me. That's love. 

America, I've missed you.  

It's good to be back in the motherland:) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mama's big adventure

Definitely a few tears shed. But I'm on the way! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I am flying home this week for the wedding of a very dear friend of almost 20 years.  If I called her from the remotest jungle and asked her to come, I know she would.  This is my chance to honor her on a most important occasion.  So I am crossing 8,000 miles, leaving my husband and boys in the middle of South Asia. I won't pretend this is the easiest thing I've ever done. The very difficulty of it makes the friendship that much more valuable though.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 

On weeks like this, I feel like all my life is colliding.  There are all these separate pockets of me that feel, well, separate.  I like things clean and clear.  So perhaps I separate them more out of my own need than right division.  

I am a girl from the suburbs who spent her weekends on a farm. I went to private schools and, consequently, still prefer khaki pants. I've lived in the bush of Africa and a sprawling city in one of the most crowded countries in the world.  I love beautiful dresses and fancy scenery.  I can get into fine dining. I love the moments when I sit on the floor of someone's one room house and eat their rice with my hands. I like jewelry from the local market and when it comes with a designer label too. I am an intense introvert. I live in a communal society and sometime my phone and email and even this blog bother me. I love to read, write and be still. I have two children and it's been a long while since I've been still or quiet for longer than a few hours.  

I love being a wife and a mom.  And on some days I struggle deeply with the purposes of God in such menial tasks.  On other days, all the gospel glory of raising little ones seems to be before me.  My husband has a business and I help him sometimes. I love being administrative. It's one of my stronger gifts.  I deal a lot with people, and I don't think it's one of my strongest gifts. I am passionate about the poor, the sick and the suffering.  And I feel a lot helplessness to know what to do in a season of life when 2 little ones are always under foot, rubbing their hands in dirt and licking objects at random. I grapple regularly with the tension between doing good to others and knowing that I ought to do the most good to these ones that are mine for a short while. Nothing in my life feels separate.  But it is in some compartmentalized places in the course of my days. 

I feel an immense vulnerability this week as I return to my native town, to my family and friends, alone. 

It seems like a collision of worlds, and I am not sure how to process the impact. 

Life overseas has changed me.  I will not enter in again as I was, because I cannot. My lens is different. It is that global perspective that sometimes causes all that felt so clear to be unclear. Life feels small and change feels slow because it is small and slow.  There are bigger problems in the world and they won't be solved by a campaign or a march through town.  The normalcy of a hometown and homefolk seems to startle that reality. I have deep memories from these past few years of profound suffering on street corners and newspaper pages.  Suffering that I honestly had no idea how to help. I spend more time feeling overwhelmed with problems than I do knowing what I should do. Most of the time, I revert to the things that I know how to do, however menial or insignificant in the face of suffering.  I hope I grow out of that one day, but so far I haven't. 

I serve a mighty and powerful King, but while His kingdom is coming current and fast, it's not yet.  

I live in both the current, fast and the not yet.  

I think I will sense that a great deal over the next few weeks.  If you think of me, would you pray for perspective? I need a better lens for this, and my Father is wise enough to give it.  

Thy kingdom come. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Half

David ran a half marathon yesterday.  The beast finished in 1 hour 43 minutes. (And he was kinda disappointed.) I am nothing but amazed and proud.  The hills were rough.  The sun was hot. I mean hot.  And in spite of his 4am wake up, he spent the rest of the day serving me and other people.  What a man!

Congrats on the big achievement, hubs!