Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm No Expert...

I have never in my history as a blogger felt brave enough to blog about basketball. To be honest, I don't know enough about basketball to even pretend to talk about it with any sort of knowledge. I don't know who all the players are on all of the teams in the NBA. I don't know who all of the coaches are and how long they've coached with what teams. I am COMPLETELY out of my element when it comes to basketball jargon. However, history has been made today, friends. This is my first post about basketball. I'm feeling brave.

I LOVE the Dallas Mavericks. I enjoy watching pro basketball for whatever reason-- it's exciting and frankly, a beautiful sport to watch. I don't care about the politics of it all, or the fact that the players are overpaid or whatever. I am just a fan of my hometown team.

So. I would like to publicly say today, that I do not agree with the Mavs' (read: Mark Freaking Cuban) decision to fire Coach Avery Johnson today. I am mourning this great loss for our team. I remember growing up in Texas, knowing even then when I hated basketball, that the Dallas Mavericks were one of the most pathetic teams in the league. They were awful. A joke. But enter Avery Johnson. He was only with the Mavs for four years. And in those four years, I believe he accomplished a lot. Here are a few stats for you:

- In his first full season as head coach, the Mavs posted 60 wins, and their first appearance in the NBA Finals. He became the fastest coach to reach 50 wins (in just 62 games), coached the Western Conference All-Star team and was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year.

- The following season, Johnson led Dallas to a franchise-record 67 wins, the NBA’s best record.

- This past season, Johnson became the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 150 wins with a victory over Memphis on November 17, 2007. He accomplished that feat in just 191 games.

- During his tenure, Johnson posted a record of 194-70 (.735) during the regular season. He led the Mavs to the playoffs four consecutive years.

Sure, the fact that we were NOT the 2006 NBA Champions can't be ignored. But we got to the finals, didn't we? And of course there was the embarrassing first-round exit from the Playoffs last season (#1 seed knocked out by a #8 seed). People say we were outcoached. Maybe we were-- but it did happen to be by Don Nelson, the former Mavs' coach, who Avery Johnson coached under. Don Nelson groomed Avery Johnson and named him as his replacement. So... Don Nelson probably knew a little bit about the Mavs ballclub. And then there was THIS round of playoffs-- another first-round exit. But I don't think this was all Avery's fault. And c'mon, our team just went through some pretty significant roster changes towards the end of this season. No one can expect perfect team chemistry right way. Right?

Anyway, like I said. I don't really know enough about basketball to even be talking about this right now.

But I just wanted to say that I will miss Coach Johnson. He was a stand-up kind of guy. A nice guy. A guy who cared a lot about his players and really did all he could to build a strong bond and friendship with them-- and encouraged them to play the game and live their lives with integrity. And above that, I think he is a good coach.

Farewell, AJ. You will be missed.

* Statistics gathered from NBA.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not Much to Say...

I realized today (thanks, Shannon) that my last post was on April 10th-- that's quite a while ago, and it's very unlike me to go so long without posting something. The problem is that I haven't got much to say right now. Life is just sort of... regular. So here's a regular ol' update on the Lawsons.

The baby: I'm currently 24 and a half weeks. What's going on with the baby this week? She's just over a foot long, and still doesn't have much fat on her tiny little body. Her brain is developing rapidly, and she can hear more now. At night, Billy is currently reading Beverly Cleary's Ralph S. Mouse to Eisley and me. I have actually never read that book, so I am enjoying having Billy read it to us! She is kicking around a lot now, and just this week I'm able to actually look at my stomach and see it popping up and down. Unfortunately, this week has also meant the arrival of random and sudden (painful) leg cramps-- mostly in the middle of the night, when I am sound asleep. It's fun to be startled awake by surprising pain. Ha.

School: I'm totally distracted. I find myself daydreaming about Eisley and baby showers and painting the nursery... I think about the fear of the unknown and about labor and the lack of sleep that is sure to come when Eisley arrives. But I am doing my best to stay focused. I am certain I'll successfully get through the semester... it's just hard to be as focused on school as I'd like!

Work: Work is great. Exhausting, but great. I love my kids and I love the relationship I now have with the church staff. I am also doing my Mentored Ministry for school this semester, and I am doing that Mentored Ministry at the church where I work. That means that I had to come up with some sort of project non-Children's Ministry related, so as to expand the kinds of experiences I have there. So. Last night I made a presentation to the Covenant Leadership Team (like an Administrative Council) of our church, and offered a proposal to start up a new ministry team, as a way of expanding our prayer ministry. It was very exciting, because everyone was really thrilled about the idea. So now we get to move forward with it and start talking to the church body about it. I have even talked to a person within the church that is REALLY excited about the possibility of being the "point person"/leader for this ministry, and he has even found some people to work with... so this new ministry team will be completely lay-led, which I am absolutely ecstatic about!

I think that hits the high points for now. I apologize for such little substance in this particular post. One of these days I'll have something funny or profound to say again.

Blessings!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

So I was wrong.

Billy is a former skater. In high school, he had long hair, hung out with the "skater" crowd, cussed a lot, and went few places without his skateboard. His shoe of choice? Vans, of course. The "standard" for skate shoes.

I am not a former skater. In high school, I passed judgment on the skater crowd. I made fun of them for being such "losers" and assumed that they all did drugs.

I still think it's funny that I married a skater. Billy still has two skateboards, and has even tried to teach me to skate. These days, he is bald, and cusses a lot less. And last month, he bought a new pair of Vans.

Long before we found out we were expecting a baby, Billy would often point out the Baby Vans in the window of Journey Kidz at the mall. Saying how someday, HIS kid would be sporting a pair. Baby Chucks? Yes. I could get on board with those. They really ARE adorable. But Baby Vans? Baby skate shoes? No way. Not MY kid. I often laughed off Billy's comments about the shoes, knowing full well that by the time Baby Lawson was ever a reality, Billy would have come to his senses or at least forgotten about the shoes.

And then came news of Baby Lawson. And then came news of Baby GIRL Lawson. And suddenly, pink and white Vans were all I could think about. I thought about how CUTE our little girl would look in them. How cool they would look on her feet. I even rushed to the mall the week of our ultrasound to buy a pair at Journey Kidz. Only to discover they did not sell enough of the baby Vans to carry them anymore, so I was out of luck. I was sad. But I quickly made my way to Vans.com!

Today, in the mail, arrived our baby girl's first pair of Vans. They are simply adorable. And insanely COOL all at the same time. The model name? "Old Skool". I love them. Here is a photo, for your enjoyment:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thanks, Ashley.

I have some blogging buddies out there-- I so enjoy reading friends' blogs... they're entertaining, funny, insightful, and some often challenge me to a deeper level of holiness. One of my favorite blogs to read is Ashley's. She's witty, funny, and honest. And today, because SHE had been tagged, and wanted to suck her other friends in, too... I was "tagged". I figure I might as well respond. Here's what you're supposed to do:

1. Link your tagger. Post the rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself (random and weird).
3. Tag 7 friends.
4. Leave a comment letting them know they've been "tagged."

Also, if you know me at all, you know I'm a sucker for those silly little pointless email "get-to-know-your-friends-better" surveys. Maybe I'm a nerd. But I also just really enjoy learning funny little things about my friends. So even though you may have no interest in learning 7 weird things about ME, I'm going to share them anyway! Here goes:

1. I am not a fan of chicken. I have TRIED to enjoy chicken, but it just doesn't work. It's my least favorite meat. Billy likes chicken. Billy often WANTS chicken for dinner. But I never do. Give me red meat, baby! Or fish. Or even pork. I'll eat chicken if it's what is being served, or if it's hidden in a dish (i.e. chicken pot pie or chicken noodle soup), but I don't love it when it's the star of the show, and I don't think I've ever voluntarily chosen to eat chicken. Except on the rare occasion when I get a craving for some greasy FRIED chicken.

2. I REALLY miss getting to eat sushi. Being pregnant, sushi is a no-no. But I LOVE it. I only recently discovered my love for sushi (like, within the past 4 years), and now that I can't have it, it's what I want all of the time.

3. I hate matching up socks after they've been washed and dried. I refuse to do it. This has sort of been a source of tension between Billy and myself. He claims it's just not all that difficult. But I guess I just don't care enough to do it. I see that laundry basket full of white socks and I wish I were faced with any other challenge. So. Most often, I just pull socks out of the basket as I need them-- or else just wear non-matching socks. After 4 years of marriage, however, Billy has FINALLY just come to terms with the fact that no matter what, I'm not going to match up the socks. He graciously has begun to do that job for me. :)

4. I LOVE Dogwood trees and azaleas in the springtime. We do have dogwood trees here in Kentucky (and a bunch of other beautiful trees and plants that I don't know the names of!) but we don't have azaleas. I have such fond memories of walking the Azalea Trails as a child in my hometown of Tyler, Texas. They were simply breathtaking.

5. I love to bake. I love to bake cookies, cakes, pies, whatever. But I don't always like to eat them. I've never been much of a sweets person (give me salty snacks, please!) but I've always enjoyed baking sweet treats for other people.

6. Pink is my favorite color. When I was a child, my grandmother used to try to make pink be my favorite color. I hated it. She always told me that pink is every little girl's favorite color, but I just was never fond of it. I always liked blue. Or green. That is, up until about a year ago, when I fell in love with pink. All shades. I know my grandmother is proud, and now when I tell her that pink is my favorite color, I am not lying. :)

7. I LOVE to sing, but have an awful voice. Truly awful. Sometimes when I get carried away in church or in the car, I can sense Billy staring at me. He doesn't actually ever SAY anything, but his staring is my cue to get things under control and stop singing so loudly, as not to embarrass myself any further.

So that's it. 7 things you may not have already known about me. So now I am supposed to tag 7 people? 7 people with blogs? I hate to do this to you, because you guys just MIGHT not get as much enjoyment out of this as I do. So instead, I'll say this. If you want to be tagged and post 7 things about yourself that the world doesn't already know, then consider yourself tagged. :) Know that I at least often want to know things about you.

Later.