is this what nesting feels like?

we are not typically over-achievers. we are normally championship procrastinators...not so with judah's room! we started buying nursery furniture around thanksgiving/christmas time. we weren't trying to jump the gun or anything, its just that my parents wanted to give us the crib and the glider/ottoman for our big baby gift and so i was looking online occasionally. well, i am a fast online-shopper, so i found the one i loved almost immediately. we had it set up before new years. after that it just all spiraled out of control: bedding, glider, changing table, toy chest, painting, cleaning...and now, at just 5 months pregnant, the nursery is complete for the most part. we are going to be bored for the next 4 months. oops.

we werent all about the "themes" of baby rooms, like sports stuff or tractors or bears or anything, because i know i would probably get really sick of whatever the theme was unless it was something i REALLY LOVED...which wasnt a lot as far as baby themes go. well, we knew all along that the baby's name would relate to psalm 112 (see last post) and a cool part of that psalm is how "even in darkness, light dawns for the upright." and we have loved the imagery of our son shining like star in the darkness. so we decided to go for a quasi-theme of stars (i am still stubbornly not calling it a theme, even though it is). we found some cool yellow and gold striped bedding that had light blue star patterns accents, and so we went for it (plus, bonus: TECH colors!).

for awhile, with all the white furniture and yellow material it really looked like a girls room and it was driving me nuts. but then jesse went out of town for a weekend and i broke all the safety rules and painted the whole room navy all by myself: 2 vaulted ceiling walls and 3 coats of paints on each! no fear: i used low-VOC paint, wore a mask, opened the window, turned on the fan, and always had my cell phone on in case i fell off the ladder and paralyzed myself, so i was never in too much danger. this was a gift to jesse, really, since i had told him he would have to do it all himself the following weekend. with the navy color ("star-spangled" by olympic to be exact-how fitting!) on the walls, we were feeling much more testosteroni and positive about the whole room. the final touch were some awesome stars that we spray painted on the walls just this week.

here is where we are now with not much left to do:

these go from left to right as you are standing in the center of the room. this is the changing table/dresser. this is on one of the vaulted ceiling walls so there is a lot of blank space. we are probably going to buy/make some cool art like a big canvas with something yellow/white/light blue on it to go over this centered on the wall.

the corner. the matching hamper and a diaper genie will go back here probably (there is a matching yellow/white stripe diaper stacker hanging on the end of the crib that you cant see). we will stand back here for diaper changing time. that is a toy/stuffed animal hammock up in the corner...there will eventually be another up in the corner on the other side of the crib.

the crib. the window is not centered so the crib is either centered on the wall OR the window...never both. drives my OCD side nuts! we might get a window treatment one day.

this is where the other toy hammock will go. also a little corner bookshelf will be in this corner. above the toy chest will be a little white shelf with coat pegs for a little coat/shoe putting on area that doubles as a toy chest. this is the other vaulted ceiling, so we need some vertical filler still

the closet that we SLAVED to clean out. jesse asked while hauling VERY heavy boxes from here up to the attic, "is this what nesting feels like?" i said, "no, it should hurt more in your back...keep going!" the baskets in the tower will be spray painted blue or yellow, they wont stay natural wood color. thanks mom-o and big daddy (grand-vincents) for the ottoman and rocker (and crib)

this is not the official mobile that came with our sheet set; that one was uber-feminine. so we found this guy at pottery barn that had our exact colors AND stars. the sailboats are kind of random, but i like to think of him "sailing" off to sleep and dreams among the stars. so cheesy.


what's in a name

Well. We just got back from the 20 week ultrasound, and it was excellent news because the Doc said that our boy was a-okay. Meaning, all the organs were in the right places, and the heart looked good, no spina bifida or other developmental defects and everything of his was proportional to everything else (insert penis joke here).

Well after reading my last post you may have left wondering. "So how exactly do you chose a name that is supposed to have meaning in the future?" And let me tell you I was wondering the same thing. But I figured it wasn't something you could force, so we just went about our business thinking of names we liked. There were good names that either meant something random or superficial, and of course we had names that we liked and that we thought were cool but had to nix because of someone we know who is really lame who has that name (like Lukas). Just kidding, we did nix plenty of names for that reason, but we had to nix Lukas, which we loved, because of my last name which would've made the child Lukas Dukes. A little too much "uke." However there has been a large contingency of people clamoring for the names Bo, Luke, or Daisy but I know not why...

I digress.

So anway, long before all this hullabalou got started, a pretty cool thing happened. The day that we decided that we were going to actually start trying to have kids, I woke up and was reading in my bible in the morning and God just kinda led me to Psalm 112. I don't specifically ever remember reading it before but God definitely got my attention when I did that morning. I was praying before I started reading just about how I wanted to have kids who loved God with all their heart and used their minds as well. I prayed for kids who would be salt and light on the earth; generous, kind, compassionate, couragous and able to stand for what is true and good in a world that seems to lose sight of that day by day. And I just asked God to help me be the loving faithful example for them.

And then I open my eyes and read:

Psalm 112

1 Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.

2 His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.

6 Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.

7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

9 He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor,
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn will be lifted high in honor.

10 The wicked man will see and be vexed,
he will gnash his teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.

So that was very cool. And I read over it a couple times and I just felt God telling me that at least one and maybe all of our kids names were somehow going to come out of this Psalm.

From the beginning we had a couple favorite parts, and since we didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl, we had plenty of options too. What was cool though was that two of the names that we had already talked about loving for girls were the names Layla (which means dark beauty) and Embrey (which means smoldering fire). So verse 4 really stuck out to us because we loved the "light out of darkness" imagery that it conjured and that perfectly fit those names.

Another name we loved was the name Donovan, which lucky for us, means "dark warrior". So all we had to do was find a name that had something to do with light in some way. And we had some options that we liked, but we never could find the one that fit. And as much as we wanted Donovan to work, neither of us could actually see ourselves calling THIS kid Donovan. It just didn't fit. Too bad for us, we told poor Donovan Harper that we were almost 100% sure we were going to name our child after him after we found out it was a boy. Whoops.

So we were back to square one, but the day that I pretty much gave up on Donovan I remembered a name that Keight said something about a couple of months ago and it just landed in my brain as I was sitting in the living room.


I said it in my head a couple times and tried on phrases like, "Judah come to dinner!" or "Honey, I think Judah crapped his pants again!" And you know it just...fit.

So I went back and looked at who Judah was and what it means and everything and I was very pleasantly surprised. There's only one Judah in the bible, but it's the fourth most mentioned name in the whole book (can you name three above him?) so the guy got something right.

Check out the story some time if you care, but the annotated version is that Judah is the fourth of Leah's sons to Jacob, which makes him one of the twelve tribes of Israel and his name means "praised or Praise the Lord" because it sounds like the Hebrew word for Hallelujah. Even though he's fourth in line, all of Jacob's older sons are kind of turds, so Judah becomes the de facto leader of all the brothers. And what I love about his story is that he is a leader, but he isn't always perfect. He makes mistakes and he has flaws, but he owns up to them and does what is right in the end. Which is exactly what I hope for my children, we all make mistakes, but it takes character to admit you were wrong and do what is right.

So we fell in love with the name and while we are both aware that the name itself is uncommon, and sounds like a folk singer or a crazy missionary kid, we just love the way it looks and sounds, and how strong it is.

Judah ends up in the bible so many times because the kings of the southern kingdom of Israel came from his line, and it was later promised to one of his ancestors (David) that from that same line, would one day come the last true king of the Jews, the Messiah. So in keeping with that theme we decided on the name Judah David Dukes.

David is my middle name too, and means beloved, so it all comes together to mean:

Praise the Lord, our beloved has come.

The name fits so well because so much of what we want for this child is for him to just know that he is loved and cherished no matter what. And like I mentioned earlier, both of his names point forward to the Messiah, so this modern day Judah also looks forward to the day when our beloved Jesus will come back to us.

Please feel free to contribute your thoughts on possible nicknames and teasing in the comments sections. We've already prepared ourselves for Judy, Judith, Buddah, Judas and Judah the Obscure (thanks Lee). Keight's father also came up with "Judah man" which isn't deragatory, but still kinda funny.

Does this mean without a doubt you'll meet a Judah David Dukes soon? I hope so, but I think K8 isn't 100% sold yet. Reassure her!

I thought that we'd just been off base about the whole the Psalm 112 thing, but the I realized Judah was staring at me there in the very first line. Praise the Lord indeed!



Swiss Cheese and Puppy Dog Tails

So now that we got that important issue of gender settled, its been really fun to start going through the process of what to name this little human cub. However before I go into that, let me tell you that going into the ultrasound, I seriously thought that I was unbiased in regards to preferring whether the baby was a boy or a girl. But I must say, that sitting there in the OB room and watching that little thing swim around made me realize that wasn't entirely true. As I'm sitting there and the nurse starts looking around, I realized my stomach was up in my throat! I was SO nervous, and I realized that while I had told myself that I was going to remain neutral, I really did want us to have a boy.

So when the nurse said, "Do you want to know what you're having?" My heart stopped for the 2.3 seconds before she revealed the secret. And in that brief moment of unknowing, I saw forts and sword fights, muddy hands and smelly feet, throwing balls and catching colds, snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails, and all of the other beautiful wonders that come along with little boys, flash before my eyes. So you can imagine when she said, "It's a BOY!" we both laughed, cried and sighed in relief. Or jumped for joy, in K8's case.

So much for neutrality. I never liked the Swiss anyway, who puts holes in cheese?

Anyway, knowing that our little dude is in fact a dude, naturally led us to the question of what to call him. Now I understand that lots of people go into the naming process very differently, and there really is no right way to do it. For some people a name is a link to the past and to cherished family members (my favorite being when a child ends up with the name of a relative of the opposite sex because this is either very cute or very disturbing), other people focus heavily on how a name sounds or feels, and still others really focus on what the name itself means. But for most people I'm guessing its some sort of combination of the three, with different importance placed on each.

Growing up, my parents often talked about what our names meant and thought of them all as a sort of foretelling of the life that we were going to live in the long run, and what our impact on the family would be. For example, my name Jesse David means "the beloved gift that makes rich" Jesse: which means gift, or wealthy and David: which means beloved. Put them together, and you have ME. So, its funny how it works because is there another Jesse David out there? Probably. And is he somehow bound to be "the beloved gift who makes rich" also? I seriously doubt it. But I don't find it strange at all that one of my greatest strengths in life has been the rock solid knowledge that I am deeply loved and that I find incredible joy and purpose in bringing richness to my friends and families lives. In fact, when I do, I feel like I'm fulfilling my destiny. Funny how that works.

So I guess you can tell by now, that we probably fall into the third category that I was talking about;)

Of course, going that route all has lead us to the obvious dilemma of HOLY CRAP!! HOW IN THE HECK DO YOU JUST PICK SOMEONE'S DESTINY!!! Hahaha, so it's been a really fun process and if you tune back in in a couple days, I'll give you the story that has brought us to where we are with our dude's name, and how we got there.

Thanks for reading!