My baby girl doesn't need a sound machine.

Raindrops fall on wide palm branches outside her open window. A fan blows softly side to side, keeping mosquitoes from landing in one place long enough to bite. The rise and fall of motorcycle engines tearing down the gravel road leave behind a trail of dust that stirs and settles on our tile floor. The far-off colmado blasts bachata rhythms, its indiscernible lyrics our weekend soundtrack. Daihatsu trucks blare advertisements from oversized speakers. Dogs bark from behind iron gates, their voices echoing across the neighborhood.  

Although I doubt very much Charlotte will remember anything from her first months of life in the Dominican Republic, I know that the noises and sights that surround her now have become her normal.  She grows restless in silence and stillness.  She much prefers the hum of a jeepeta and the uneven bounce of tires over a bumpy road.

Never for a moment do I regret having my daughter here.  I love that she has already touched her toes into sand and felt salt water splash her face.  I love that she hears around her little head a blend of Spanish and English, that she will probably know the lyrics of worship songs in a foreign language before the one spoken at home.  I love that she looks up at faces of all different colors in awe and wonder.  I love that our daughter already lives a full life.


casi 8 meses

Only about 5ish weeks remain before junior makes his grand entrance. We have been wrapping up projects here, the most recent of which involved hanging the alphabet wall. Surprisingly, all it took was quite a bit of velcro and a few cement wall hooks and glue gun tricks. While you can't see all the letters in the following pic, you get the idea. Hopefully i'll be posting more later of the room entera, after it's totally finished and you can soak it up via some panoramic photographs.
I'm thankful to report that despite beginning to get swollen ankles and sweating profusely on the long, humid, AC-free days, everything continues to progress smoothly.  At our last check-up, we were told the baby is "bien grande", but, of course, our dr. confessed, to her Tim and I are both very tall in comparison to most Dominicans.  That made me feel a little better.  
This past Sunday, our wonderful community threw us a co-ed baby shower.  Without us knowing, they had told everyone to dress up based on what they predict the sex of the baby to be.  Some of the best costumes involved cowboy boots and baseball caps with toy mop horses (pictured below).  You may be interested to know that Team Boy represented a strong majority, with 30+ folks dressed in male gear.  Less than 10 people dressed in pretty bows and represented the remaining loners who stood strong as Team Girl. Vamos a ver muy pronto...



Finally! One of the blessings very part-time involvement at school this year has already afforded me is extra time. Time to read, time to rest, time to exercise, time to cook, and time to craft. I could get used to this. But with baby Scar's impending arrival drawing closer (only 10ish weeks, folks!), I've been advised to enjoy this luxury while I can, because soon, my life will never be the same.

Months ago I found the idea online of creating an alphabet wall in the nursery. Since then I've schemed and planned, hunted and discussed, to make the most one-of-a-kind alphabet wall yet designed. Okay, so I know I'm a first time mom, but I love the idea of creating both a mentally and sensorily stimulating space for our baby AND, si Dios quiere, one that can be used for future Scar babies as well.

So, my challenge for myself has been to find and decorate 26 letters, each of which will somehow reflect a word(s) which begins with that letter. Here are a few of my first projects. Take the challenge and see if you can guess what each stands for:
This one's actually tricky. A is for...
Thanks for the help on this one, Grandma. B is for...
Fabric courtesy of Sarah's Fabrics in downtown Lawrence. D is for...
This is actually looking out the window in the future nursery. G is for...
Not only will junior be able to read from an early age, but measure as well. I is for...
One of my personal favorites. M is for...
One of these is dated back to 1906! P is for...
On the grill for a reason. S is for...
This one's meaning is two-fold. T is for...
Not the perfect shade of red, but you get the picture. This one's a bit obvious. V is for...
Place: downtown Atlanta. Frame: Durham thrift store find. X is for...
Soft as a baby's bottom. Y is for...
Another (hopefully) obvious one. Z is for...

Answer Key:
1. Atlas (if you could zoom in, all the places begin with "A"--Atlanta, Arizona, Alberta, Atlantic Ocean, etc.)
2. Button
3. Duck
4. Green
5. Inch
6. Music/melody 
7. Postcard/Postage
8. Silver/shiny
9. Twine & twig
10. Vino (Spanish) = wine (English)
11. X-ing (a bit of a stretch, but X is hard!)
12. Yarn
13. Zebra


die dreaming

"Would you like a die dreaming?" Tim asks without faltering as we take our guests past La Casa de Morir Soñando. Perhaps one of the most unique and famous drinks this tropical island has to offer is a creamsicle-like, orangey beverage sold in ice cold vats along the route from Jarabacoa to Santiago. Why do I tell you this? Yet another reason worth visiting us in our little rincón of paradise.

I've been back home now only a week, and yet we've enjoyed reuniting, meeting, painting, cleaning, welcoming, hosting, projecting, and exploring. This past week our staff did a 3-day expedition "slice", or group learning process. We traveled to the nearby town of Manabao, home of our school's coffee farm.  There we joined up with another school and divided up to work on different projects. My group of 8 women was charged with painting a mural on the kids' bathroom wall. Just a peek at what it looked like before...
And after a day's worth of team work!
As I look forward to this year of very very part-time teaching and a baby coming in a few months, my hope is to do a lot more ART--painting, crafting, creating, you name it, both in our home as well as those of friends here. Truthfully I've had so little time to do what I thrive on. And as the name of the drink implies, I could easily die dreaming as I think of the prospect:)


after a long sabbatical

So perhaps I haven’t felt particularly inspired, or I haven’t had time, or just haven’t taken time, or haven’t known where to begin—regardless, this seems to be my perpetual problem with blogging.  I remain consistently inconsistent. 

Perhaps a recap of this semester will help.  Post our first Christmas in the DR, Tim and I took a little 3-year wedding anniversary trip around the island.  That was lovely, and special since we had celebrated our honeymoon here back in the day.  We began to talk about this looming question of “When will we start our family??”  I joke, but it’s true—Tim has been ready and eager to take on the role of dad long before I was comfortable discussing the possibility of being a mom.  But the Lord brought our hearts to a similar place, and soon after, the test was positiveJ 

I had some complications early on.  After some bleeding, the doctors identified a decent sized subchorionic hematoma, basically a blood clot between the gestational sac and the uterus.  So our big news was met with uncertainty and a bit of anxiety as we heard a range of opinions, from very hopeful to rather disheartening.  After praying and talking it over and swallowing a significant dose of dying to my pride that “no one can do my job”, I took off about 2 weeks to slow down, rest up, and let people take care of me.  During most of this time, Tim was at a conference in Portland.  I can honestly say though that I have never experienced community as I did during this at-home stint. People stayed with me, cooked for me, stopped by, prayed over me and “junior”, brought me goodies, watched movies with me and Beaux.  I was lacking for nothing. 

At the end of this time on bed rest and Tim’s time in the states, we returned to the doctor to receive beautiful news- my body had absorbed the hematoma or clot, and the pregnancy was strong and progressing well.  Woohoo!  I returned to school the next day and set out to treasure what became my last semester (at least for a while now) of teaching. 

The Lord supplied abounding energy in this time.  I was able to continue for the last 3 months without missing even one more day of classes.  I began to see and aprovechar so many things I had taken for granted—lunches with kids whose parents never come, in between class chats with my YL girls, after school drop-ins of lonely middle schoolers.  I soaked it up. 

Now I am nearly 6 months pregnant and Tim and I are wrapping up another 4 week stateside tour that included stops in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, and Colorado.  While we always enjoy our time here with friends and nephews and future grandparents, we feel ready to return home to continue doing what we love.