Friday, December 17, 2010

Bestie ReUniOn 2010!! :)

So excited that my 3 best friends from college are on their way to my little house right now!! I am SO excited! For 2 days we are going to pretend to be college girls again!!! (with a few breaks for nursing my son, changing him, and of coarse lovin' on him!!) I cannot imagine my life without these 3 amazing girls! Can't wait to pack this weekend full of sweet memories!!! Whoohooo!!

My room-mate for 4 years, Sarah!
(and thats sayin alot)
My dear friend Julia, better known as Hules!
And my fellow nursing friend, Kristi!
We shared many memories right from the start of
freshman year... Sarah, Julia, & I lived on the same
hall together! It was totally the Lord that brought us together!
We had some VERY silly times freshman year!
And then, sophomore year came our little Kristi!

Love you girls! Can't wait for you to get here!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Soaking up the Sweetness...

Sitting here with my latest yummy night time snack... peppermint icecream (Edy's brand is the best!)... working out schedules, packing the diaper bag for Barrett's day with Sharay tomorrow, organizing, preparing, and intermittently running up the stairs to put Barrett's pacifier back in his mouth since he keeps popping it out! Life is sweet tonight... and I am gonna soak it up...

I had a sweet lady, that normally cleans Sharay's house, come to help clean and organize my house yesterday! It was amazing to finally see the finished product last night. There is still much to do, but we definitely got a jump start. I was telling Ray last week that I just felt like I could never get ahead. The feeling of always trying to catch up has become overwhelming lately. Balancing baby, hubby, work, house, bills, family, friends, dinner, laundry... yikes!! So, Ray called the "cleaning lady" and I am feeling much better about life! :) I finally feel like I can actually sit and address my Christmas cards, play on the floor with Barrett, or just sit and talk to Ray after dinner without the dirty house calling my name!

I can not believe that Christmas is just 2 weeks away! All the anticipation seems to have just flown by this year in all the busyness! I have had so many moments just sitting and thinking about where I was this time last year. Sometimes I wonder if I have even grown at all... and then I remember... I remember where I was this time last year and my heart is full of gratitude to the Lord.

I was filling out my new 2011 calendar... which happens to be one of my all time favorite things to do!! Filling out the next years calendar brings a feeling of a fresh start. I was putting the important dates to remember in the calendar when I came up to May 29... wow... that will be my son's first birthday. How quickly time has passed... I thought I would be pregnant forever, and now Barrett is 6 1/2 months old! Again... Gratefulness!

So... here's to another week... full of new trials, fresh laughs, and of coarse more memories awaiting us!!!

"Just as an artist who paints pictures and portraits exercises great care in his work, so each of you, mothers and fathers, must be attentive to these wonderful images [your children]. Each day, a painter adds what is necessary to the picture. Sculptors do the same, removing excess stone and adding what is lacking. You should do the same: as makers of images, devote all your time to the task of fashioning wonderful images for God. Remove the excess; add what is lacking. Each day, examine the images closely. Cultivate the natural excellence that each one has, removing what is by nature inferior....teach them to be sober, vigilant, watchful in prayer, and to place everything that is said and done under the sign of the cross."

--John Chrysostom (c. 347–407), On Vainglory and the Education of Children, 22:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

enjoying the season

So... Its been a while :)

We had a wonderful time with my family for Thanksgiving!

Barrett's latest tricks...
Scooting on his back where ever he would like to go! :)

And... sitting up all by himself!

Finally got the Christmas tree and decorations up!

I hate that the month of December always seems to just fly by! But we are totally soaking up every moment! I mean, hey, its Barrett's first Christmas! He has no clue what's going on.. haha! But we're making memories and loving being together as a family!!!

Enjoy the Season!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

thanksgiving anticipation!

One week from tomorrow....

We're headed to Staunton!!

Can't wait to see my family and make more memories!!

Ray and I both get 4 days off... and I couldn't be happier!!

Excited for:

Walking into my mom's festive fall home
Yummy pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice coffee
TURKEY, dressing, mashed potatoes, and my mom's famous pea salad
Seeing my sis for the first time in a LONG time
Laughing til tears come with my dad and husband
Watching my family love on our son
Walks in downtown Staunton
A visit to Charlottesville to see friends and shop
Late night family talks
Seeing old friends
And.... making FUN memories!!

I am so grateful for FAMILY :) So much to be thankful for... and this week leading up to Thanksgiving is such a good reminder to stop and be grateful for all the little and big things in life. Even in the hard times, we couldn't be more blessed by God's constant faithful provision to our family.

Give Thanks To The Lord
Praise His Name

Happy Week Before Thanksgiving! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

baths, belly, & urbana

My little boy has had BAD eczema :( It breaks my heart... neither Ray nor I have eczema, but poor baby somehow has it. It is especially bad behind his little legs... red, raw, dry, and i'm sure very itchy. I have been nervous that it is only going to get worse as the weather gets colder. So... we have been trying different lotions and bath time rituals, etc. We have FINALLY found something that works! Every night we give him an oatmeal bath and rub him down in a cream that contains candula! In 3 days, yes 3 days, my baby's eczema is almost completely gone! Yeah!

I was struggling the past few weeks trying to figure out why Barrett was hungry every 2 hours. Was he teething, hungry, itchy from his eczema, etc? Why did he all of a sudden start waking up in the night? Why was he seeming fussier at times? Of coarse, its a guessing game with a baby because they can't tell you what they feel. Anyway, after trying different things we decided to go with hunger... :)... yes, my tiny guy is on the small side and was seeming to be hungrier... I could tell that since going back to work my milk supply has diminished to some extent, so we decided to try some rice cereal. He wasn't too impressed with rice cereal in the bottle, so we mixed some up in his little baby bowl with his adorable little baby spoon and he was ALL about it! He gets so excited to devour that yummy rice cereal! We sit him in his little bumbo on the table, and he prays with daddy, and then he crushes his food. We have started adding a little prune juice with it to make a little sweeter. It is so cute watch how excited he gets! I can't believe he is already eating cereal! Ah! Where has the last 5 months gone?!?! So... after introducing him to cereal, he is much happier, taking better naps, and appears to LOVE it! And, now he is loving nursing every 4-5 hours with adequate milk...and I can actual get something done because he's not starving all the time! :) It is so fun to watch him grow... I can already see, even after just a week, his little cheeks are getting chunkier and he is gaining more weight! :)

I love celebrating each milestone, each memory, and looking forward to many more! :) We are counting down the hours for daddy to come home... he has the next 2 days off! Yeah! Ray planned a fun trip for us to... Urbana Oyster Festival for Saturday! Looking forward to a fun family time with Nanny & Pawpaw!

Happy weekend! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

joy & peace come with release :)

Trying to sleep...
Trying to take a nap...
My mind will not rest...

Oh how I hate the days that I have to go into work at night. I try really hard to not dread them... somehow I am anxious from the time I wake up until the time I get home in the morning to see my little man. There are so many fears that enter my mind... I won't even begin to try to list them all! I hate being away from him... I hate missing out on even an hour of his sweet little life... I hate knowing that when he cries and looks around for his mom and she isn't there... I hate that I don't get to kiss him goodnight and snuggle him in his blankets...I hate the I miss his bath time fun and cute smile... ugh... I just miss him when I'm not with him. I know that it isn't wrong to miss my precious boy, but I must NOT let fear fill my mind in the short time that I am not with him. I am blessed to only work 2 days a week... and it is only for a season. But I know that it is working good in my life. One verse that God has spoken so clearly is...

"For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth in peace
the mountains and the hills shall break forth in singing before you."
Isaiah 55:12

God has been so gracious to give me the assurance that once I release Barrett to Him I will be filled with joy and peace... and Barrett will be filled with peace and joy too! I must remember that releasing Barrett into God's hands means that he is in VERY GOOD hands... there are none stronger, more loving, or more calming than the hands of the Father.

Love this quote:
"We don't want to limit what God can do in our children by clutching them to ourselves and trying to parent them alone. If we're not positive that God is in control of our children's lives, we'll be ruled by fear. And the only way to be sure that God is in control is to surrender our hold and allow Him full access to their lives. We can trust God to take care of our children even better than we can. When we release our children into the Father's hands and acknowledge that He is in control of both their lives and ours, both we and our children have grater peace."
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Parent)

So, as much as I hate leaving my little Barrett, I release him to the Lord to watch over and protect. He is in the best hands when he is with the Father. "For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." (Psalm 91:11-12) I will remember Psalm 112:7, "He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. " I know the "the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus tonight and the many nights to come."

Love you my sweet barrett boy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

REST from the storm...

This past week and weekend were wonderful! Our days have been filled with LOTS of family time, outings with friends, morning and night walks around the neighborhood, and for some reason more than the usual laughter with my hilarious raybo. I love that God has filled my life with so many blessings... even in the "wrecks" of life, the storm passes and the sun shines and I can feel His sweet favor flooding my heart!

My soul finds rest in God alone
Psalm 62

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

wrecked by His love

Wow... have you ever felt a wreck?!? Well, this past week wrecked me... physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually. Though sometimes its a good thing to be a wreck :) By God's grace I made it through!!

Ray had some tests for his heart last week, which left us wondering for a few days... and of coarse, as a nurse, my mind wandered to all sorts of things. After seeing a cardiologist everything was cleared. We are still waiting on several labs to come back, but we are extremely thankful that his heart is strong! There were many times throughout the week that all the little things that normally seem to get to me just faded into gratefulness for my husband. It was a stark reminder of how quickly your life can be changed.

There seemed to be so much busyness this past week... just so many things to do... bills to pay, schedules to work out, baby to care for, doctor visits, interviews, planning, cleaning, laundry, etc. My mind was racing constantly.

Since all the doctor appointments (and of coarse the remaining baby weight I need to loose) we have been incorporating more healthy eating habits... and we are LOVING it!!! We have both felt so much better... and to actually see the scale moving is WAY encouraging! It has become a fun little project that we are enjoying together as a family!!

One thing that I have been really struggling with lately is finding the balance between "letting go" and being the mom that God created me to be.There are so many opinions on how to raise your kids... sometimes it just feels that we are doing everything wrong!! I can get very discouraged and feel defeated, but the Lord has been working in my heart in AMAZING ways the past 2 weeks! There are times that I must "let go" of my plans, desires, or schedule for Barrett and just go with the flow. But, God also created me to be Barrett's mom... I know him best... what he likes, how he deals with certain situations, and the schedule that seems to fit with our life best. God has been reminding me that I am called to be a strong, confident WOMAN, WIFE, & MOM. So, with all these voices surrounding Ray and I... we take what seems to be helpful to us and the rest we are not obligated to do. What a privilege to be Barrett's parents... we are honored that he seems to LOVE being with us. We won't do everything the same way that other parents do it... but thats ok... we're all in this together. So... in all the swirling of voices we are realizing the ONE voice that we need to listen to... Our Father's voice... his constant, always loving, faithful, calming voice. He has been my stay these past few weeks as my little ship has been tossed through the storm. There were times that I literally wanted to JUMP off the ship and take my little family and just swim away from the madness! But, God has called me to face my fears, to walk confidently as a woman, wife, and mom. I am so thankful for who God has made me to be IN HIM... He is speaking over me and it is beautiful words... words that touch my heart and heal it!

In all the chaos and confusion, fears and anxieties, He is in control!! I can REST my heart, mind, & soul on my Abba Fathers chest and know that His love is all I need... that His grace and wisdom will guide Ray and I as parents... and that His voice is the most important voice to listen to.

Psalm 103:17-18
The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting
to everlasting on those who fear Him,
and His righteousness to children's children.
To such as keep His covenant, and to those
who remember His commandments to do them.

I am also so so thankful for all the wonderful friends that are in the same season as me. I am thankful that I have so many dear friends that have talked me through some hard times, given me sweet encouragement, gentle wisdom, and have covered me in prayer! I love that my friends are always up for play-dates or just a quick visit when I feel lonely. We are blessed...

so... though it looked like my little ship was going head long into an iceburg, I was met instead with God's love, strength, & grace!

Here's to a MUCH better week!! :)

Gave B some rice cereal! He LOVED it!!
This is his "bring it on" face! :)
Play-date with Wade & Ty!

Lovin watchin dad play softball :)
Pumpkin Patch Time

Liam & B in the pumpkins
Play time with Ava & Sutton!
It was so cute watching them all roll around on the floor together!
And... sweet baby Wes Van meets Barrett!
So sweet! I know that they will be such good friends...
just like their dads! :)
Man this kid is busy! Somehow we managed to fit some FUN TIMES in all the craziness... I guess that life, right? :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

our little "Bear Bear"

Little man loving his morning walk with mommy & daddy
Lookin around... Wearin his little hat from Ireland!

The child LOVES his toes/feet! Such a cute little stage!

Likin the exersaucer now! Yeah!
Tiny legs trying to reach the bottom

And... My new outfit from Etsy

Oh my! CuTiE!
Loving the leg warmers!!
He looks so BIG in this one!

Our little one, almost 5 months, is growing into such a sweet, cuddly, talkative, smily, rolly polly, chew on everything, laughy taffy little munckin! He is our life and we couldn't be more blessed!

Friday, October 15, 2010


On days like today, I'm thankful for my love.

“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:34)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall visit!

Had a wonderful fall visit with Grammy & Gdaddy in Staunton!

This is Barrett's first bath at Grammy's house when he was 1 1/2 months old.
(see the comparison to now below!)

This is Barrett's second bath at Grammy's and he's 4 1/2 months old!

So happy to be with my Grammy!

We were able to actually rest!
These are moments that are getting fewer and fewer as my little man gets bigger,
so I definitely cherish them!

This is the little train in Gypsy Hill Park that I used to ride when I was younger.

Sittin on the pumpkin... being all cute and fall-like :) ha!

With great-grandma McCarthy

Walkin around downtown with mommy & grammy... just had to stop at
Coffee on the Corner!

This is a little tomato that my dad used to play with me.
It was very cute to see him play with Barrett.

Gdaddy & Barrett

So thankful that my parents are just a car ride away :) It was a sweet time of fellowship & fun!
Can't wait for our next trip to visit Staunton!