traditions- new and old

As my mom always said, "Make new friends traditions, but keep the old, 
one is silver and the other gold." 

{This is the song she casually sang around the house, 
then it got stuck in your head on repeat for 48 hours.}

Traditions are so very dear to me. I am not fearful of change, I welcome it actually...until it comes to holidays. Then step off. When it comes to celebrating the holidays I like things to be familiar and reminiscent, as we all probably do in our own way. People have asked me what was the toughest transition after getting married? Tate would say sharing a bed {to be fair, I am kind of a sleep schizophrenic}, where I would say sharing holidays. We both love our family, including the families we were so very blessed to marry into, but shaking up those traditions you've had for over 20 years can be an adjustment. We are getting to the point, coming up on 5 years of marriage believe it or not, where even the things that were once new and foreign are now becoming warm and familiar- for me new traditions included: tacos {or "tacas," as Grandma would say} on Christmas Eve, multiple trips to the outlet mall pre/post any holiday, presents ON the Christmas tree, and reading the Christmas story before opening gifts {funny thing- the first time Tate's parents said " it's time for the Christmas story," I thought they were going to read Twas the Night Before Christmas and was shocked when they pulled out the Bible, but too embarrassed to tell that story until now}. For Tate new traditions included: mac and cheese on the Thanksgiving table, stockings, gambling at Grandma Flo's {wink}, and fried shrimp Christmas lunch. I get excited thinking about passing on these long-standing traditions to our growing family. It also makes me stop and think about what I want the focus to be in our home during this season. It's easy to get wrapped up this time of year, but I certainly don't want to miss Jesus. I want to experience the joy, peace and hope that He brings. 

This year we are introducing something new to our house that I hope carries on each year, the Advent calendar. I never heard much of the term "Advent" growing up, but I have learned more about it in the past few years. Advent is more than a Christmas countdown, it is a time when peace, and hope, and joy can break through the anxiety of our busy lives. It is a time to remember and reflect on Jesus' birth. For centuries God prepared His people for the coming of the Savior, which is why I think it is so special to take time every year to prepare my heart for the same thing. So here we go! Every night, starting with Dec. 1st {cough, or Dec. 5th when I actually got around to making the calendar}, we read designated scripture for that day. I love the thought that next year we will be reading these together with our 9 month old baby girl! I hope she enjoys the Christmas story...both the real one and Twas the Night Before Christmas.

In case you want to join in on the fun...
Thanks to the only source of creativity, Pinterest, I found a really simple printable here. Also, I found a free daily Advent devotional here. It's by Billy Graham, so it has to be legit, right?! 


24 weeks: ear of corn

Happy Thanksgiving our little ear of corn!
We are so thankful for the healthy, growing baby that you are and the joy you have already brought to our lives.

You are just over a pound! Uncle Tye and Aunt Katie just got a little kitten, Bruiser, who is also a pound(ish), so when I held him, I thought about heavy you are...but hopefully less furry. You are also about a foot or so long! You are still kicking away, but mostly still at night right now, or at least that is when I notice it. It's like you know when I lay down in my bed and go to town. Since this week is Thanksgiving, we have gotten to see lots of family! The Williams/King/Walton clan came to Waco for an early Thanksgiving celebration at our house. 19 people! It was a packed full, fun time! As we were laying in the living room floor watching the Baylor football game, Aunt Kelly, Jayma, Bull and Gran Jan wanted to take turns feeling you move. We spent the day before Thanksgiving, the day of and the day after in New Braunfels with the Barrett crew. We took 3 trips to the outlet mall in 3 days, per usual, and LaVon "Mimi" jumped at the chance to buy you some cute outfits. In other big news, Lynley and I got a LOT accomplished in your room this week! Here is a sneak peek, with more to come later. We go for our next check up next week. Can't wait to hear our heart beat again! 


22 weeks: spaghetti squash

{someone was feeling left out of weekly pics} 

You are the length of a spaghetti squash {11ish inches} and weigh close to 1 pound! Annnnd you are a kickin'! Like a lot. I love it! You start kicking every night when I lay down in bed. The other day I was hanging up clothes on the bed and stopped to just watch my belly move like a heart beat. Right now your kicks are subtle, but I know that won't be the case for long! It almost feels like a muscle twitching. Your dad got to feel it the other day too! As he was foam rolling {his nightly ritual, which Wrigley mistakes as her nightly wrestle time}, I had him come put his hand on my belly. I bet it made it so much more real for him since I've been able to feel you for weeks, but he hasn't. Also this week, you supposedly develop the sense of touch and may just be holding onto the umbilical cord...guess you don't have many options in there. Congrats- you now have eyelashes and eyebrows! I bet they are so cute. You have eyelids, but they are still fused. If you have hair, it is sprouting from your little head now, but since hair at this stage of development has no pigment, your hair is bright white! Crazy. I guess there is still more cookin to do so stay in there! I pray for you everyday- mostly for adequate nutrition, normal development, strong organs  and good overall physical and mental development. But I pray for your character and desires too. Lately, I have been praying Psalm 19:14 over you- 

"May the words of [her] mouth and the meditation of [her] heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."  


pregger highs and lows

Let's start with the good stuff, shall we? We shall...

That time the Lord provided biscuits and gravy 

I haven't had many true cravings during pregnancy; however, the past few weeks momma has been needing some good old fashioned biscuits and sausage gravy {that last part is very important}! Tate will tell you- I haven't shut up about it. Well Tate, there is a simple solution- take your preggo wife to Cracker Barrel get some her some damn biscuits and gravy already {sorry mom for the expletive, but it was necessary to prove my point}! Anyway, as of yesterday I had had it. I was wrapping up my morning therapy session as the clock neared 10:00 AM and thought- that's it, I gotta go get some! Knowing that most places don't serve breakfast past 10:30, I quickly packed up my bags, took my last group back to class, and signed out. I got my accountant's permission {Mr. Tate} to purchase some breakfast on the debit card {gasp!} since I didn't have any cash with me. He approved...probably because he was sick of hearing about how biscuits and gravy would really hit the spot about now, and now, and now, and now too! I got in my car at 10:21 AM, plenty of time to make it to Whataburger...even though their drive thru kinda takes forever. To my dismay, I opened my work bag and discovered- I DIDN"T HAVE MY WALLET!!!! Mission failed. I was so close I could taste it. So, I choked back the tears {not really} and disappointedly drove to my office. I plopped down at my desk and picked up my notepad to write my to-do list. First on the list- Bring Wallet to Work. What is that I see? Hidden under that little notepad was the most beautiful face I had ever seen- President Abraham Lincoln on a 5 dollar bill! It's a miracle! The Lord is good and He provides! 10:26 AM. I hop in my car and beeline it to the drive thru! Those B&G are only $1.99! I have enough change to go another day. And I did. Today. 

Now for the not so good stuff...wah wah wahhhh...

That time I puked behind a gas station dumpster

That's right. It happened. Two weeks ago to be exact. I took my prenatal vitamin without food {bad idea, as you can probably guess}. As I was driving to work on a chilly October day I started getting hot all of the sudden. I thought, "oh no..." and tried not to panic. I quickly assessed my options- 
Option1. Brand spankin' new Velero gas station. I know they had clean restrooms, probably the works with lysoled toilet seats and a restroom attendant. However, cars were lined up around the place...probably due to the state of the art restrooms. That wasn't going to work. 
Option 2. Old, nasty gas station next door with plastic bags over the gas pumps and bars on the windows. It was obvious that place had disgusting restroom(s). Oh well, there were only 2 cars in the parking lot, which meant if I were lucky no one was going to hear me barf. 
Congrats Option 2, you win! I quickly pulled into the parking lot and did one of those unbuckle the seat belt, put the car in park, turn off the ignition all in one motion. I wanted to appear calm, so naturally I power-walked my pregnant aspirin right up that sidewalk and through the front door. As I ignored the "Hi, welcome" from the gas station attendant, I was stopped in my tracks when I read, "OUT OF ORDER" on the restroom door. NOOOOOO! You know that moment when you have to go to the bathroom so very badly and when you turn the doorknob it's locked, so you instantly go on yourself? No? Yes you do. Anyway, I felt like that but with throw up. I bolted out the door, past the mom putting her son in the car seat, and ran for the hills dumpster. Classy. After I relieved myself, I got back in my car and headed to work like the pregnant champ I am. 

I could really use some biscuits and sausage gravy about now, how about you? 


gender reveal: bows or bowties?

Bows it is!
-Sugar and spice and everything nice,
that's what little girls are made of-

A few weeks ago we had a little gender reveal party! We found out that baby B is a girl the day before, but wanted to see our friends and family find out in person. It was a blast! In order to have a successful gender reveal, you need a few essential things:
1. Delectable treats...check!

2. Good company...double check!

3. An adorable puppy sister that thinks she's human...check!

4. A fun way to reveal {it's pink, shhhh}...check! 

{3, 2, 1...it's a girl!!}

{and for the family and friends not in the 254, we sent reveal cards to open}

5. And last but not least, a dedicated silly string cleaner-uper! Thanks Rob!

It was a night for the books! We had a great time celebrating baby GIRL and seeing LaVon literally dance in circles upon seeing PINK silly string! Thanks to all who made this day special! Thankful our little one will be surrounded with great family and friends. 

20 weeks: banana

We are halfway there!

Happy Halloween and 20 weeks! You are now about 10 inches from head to heel. Interesting fact: you now swallow at least several ounces of amniotic fluid each day. The taste of the amniotic fluid differs from day to day depending on what I have eaten. You already have taste buds! Supposedly, babies who are exposed to certain tastes in utero via the amniotic fluid are more eager to eat foods with that same taste after birth. This means 2 things- 1. Mimi didn't eat any veggies when your dad was a baby. 2. You are going to love cucumbers in vinegar and crunchy Cheetos when you get outta here!


19 weeks: eggplant

{I realized we skipped week 18...oops. There was a lot going on last week. Apologies. Probably won't be the last time.} 

Hey baby! Lots has happened in our world concerning you this week. You're a girl, I felt you move, and you are getting noticed! You are 10 ounces and definitely showing because I am getting a lot more belly rubs than I used to. Just this week I have had like 4 people touch my stomach and 2 people ask if I am preggo. The ultrasound tech told us that either I am further along than we thought or you are going to be a big 'ol baby. Although my due date was set to March 19, by the ultrasound calculations, you will be due March 15th. Who knows! I will go ahead and cancel all of my big plans in March, just to be safe. You now have everything an adult has- just in miniature form and your brain is designating specialized areas for smell, hearing, vision, touch, and taste...which makes sense because I felt you move after I ate the best meal in all my pregnancy so far! Your little hair {if you have it} is sprouting from your head! 

4 years & it's a she!


Thursday {10.17.13} was a great day! We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and on top of that fun, we found out our little baby is a girl! We couldn't be more excited about life right now! We had our ultrasound appointment at 4:00. We nervously/excitedly entered the room and told our friendly ultrasound tech, Gina, that we did NOT want to know the gender while at the appointment. She said ok and told us that when she got to that point, we could look away {not that we had ANY idea what we were looking at}. At one point, Tate said, "ohhhh, is that the baby's little eyes?" To that Gina held her composure and kindly responded with, "no, that is the gall bladder." Yep, definitely no clue what we were looking at. It was so cool seeing the baby's features and seeing her move around in there! I mean, at this point, we had seen 2 sonograms, but nothing like this! Instead of admiring a blob, we got to see little lips, nose, and feet! And instead of a still picture, we got to see baby girl kick and put her hand to her mouth. So incredible! Tate is not super opinionated on many things in life, he's pretty easy going for the most part, and I love him for it. However, he was 100% sure we should know the gender the day of our appointment. No waiting, no discussion about it. So it was decided- we know know that day. Now how to find out? {The whole gender reveal thing kinda stressed me out, but ended up being really fun and special} We'd heard that finding out in the appointment can be somewhat anti-climatic, with little time to react, so we opted for another suggestion given by a few friends. We brought a little card to the appointment that already said:


Following the appointment, the ultrasound tech wrote the gender {in pink} in the little space provided. We tried not to peek, sealed it up, and went on our way. Since it was a monumental day, we went out for a deeeeelicous dinner to celebrate {and open that little card that sealed our fate} at our favorite place. Tate opened the card. Honestly, I just knew it was a girl, so when he turned it around for me to see "it's a girl" I was very excited but not necessarily surprised. We had already discussed names, but I didn't know if we were 100% decided yet. So, it was to my surprise {and the best part of the evening} when dinner came and Tate prayed for baby girl by name. I said, "Well, I guess we've decided on a name then! That was easy." We had prayed all along for "a healthy baby" and for "it" to grow strong and healthy, but now knowing her identity and hearing her name in context for the first time was a very sweet moment. My heart was full {and so was my belly after that steak with green peppercorn and merlot sauce + chocolate cake}! And I am not even kidding, I felt her move for the FIRST time after dinner. I guess it's no joke that she and I already share the same love for a good steak. After Tate and I slipped into a food coma, we did the only plausible thing- went to the Temple Wal-Mart to buy lots pink silly string! We had family coming over the next night for a little gender reveal {more on that later} and supplies had to be purchased!

Recap of the eveving {Cliffs Notes version}:

Cheeves steak in my belly
finding out it's a girl
mass quantities of silly string
best anni ever!




17 weeks: sweet potato

It's the week of 5s: you are 5 inches long, weigh about 5 ounces, and I have gained 5 pounds!

{Wrigs praying over you- "Dear God, please let our baby love to give me belly rubs"}

 You can now yawn, hiccup and even put your hands to your mouth...I hope you aren't beginning that habit of thumb-sucking, because you know your SLP momma will put a stop to that! You are supposedly doing gymnastics in there- flips and and rolls; however, I haven't been able to feel you yet. Can't wait for that! I went to the Dr. and got to hear your heart beat again this week! What a great sound! The doctor said it is very strong, beating about 150 times per minute. 

In other news, your dad put together your stroller this week, the B.O.B. We don't have a crib or diapers or clothes, but we have a running stroller, by golly! Priorities. If he has his way, you will be strolling through a half marathon the afternoon you leave the hospital. I don't think it'll be that soon, but at least you will be strollin' in style!

  Gran Jan visited this week and brought me some maternity clothes- thank goodness! I never knew what I was missing until I tried on maternity pants! That glorious spandex band atop of skinny jeans is the best invention ever. When I tried them on I asked Tate, "are you ready to be freaked out?" Upon seeing my jeans all the way up to my rib cage he asked, "Uh, is that one entire article of clothing?" Why yes, yes it is, and the sweet potato and I love 'em. Other big news! The first stranger asked me today if I was pregnant. Well, actually it went more like this:

Rosa's employee: "Are you havin' a baby?"
Me: "Yes, and you are the first stranger to ask!"
Rosa: "Yeahhh, you got a little pudge showin' so you can tell." 
Me: "Uhhh...thanks. Why don't you go head and give me an extra order of tortillas too." 


16 weeks: avocado

Hello little avocado! You are now 4 1/2 inches long!  Congrats- you grew toenails this week- coincidently, this was also the week Tate called "not it!" to nail clipping duty after you arrive. {which is hilarious because I swear that guy clips his nails 2x a day, making him a pro by now}. Your teeny tiny ear bones are in place, making it very likely you can hear our voices now. By the way, that loud, obnoxious bark every night is your big, hairy sister Wrigley who is afraid of the dark and barks every evening until we ask her if she wants to come in for cheese. She's a mess, but you'll be bffae. I wish I knew exactly why you are so against me brushing my teeth in the morning. That is the only time, if any, I am getting sick, but I appreciate you only fighting it once this week. Oh, we set our 18 week ultrasound appointment this week, which we are SUPER excited about! We will find if you are a 'he' or a 'she' on  October 17th. The perfect way to celebrate our 4th anniversary! Maybe its the morning sickness, or the fact that you are still pretty low, or just a hunch, but we are guessing that you mayyy just be a girl. Who knows, maybe you will surprise us! Either way, we can't wait to find out more about you! You are so loved already. 


happy fall y'all

What did one autumn leaf say to another?
I'm falling for you

How do you fix a broken pumpkin?
With a pumpkin patch!

How does an elephant get out of a tree?
It sits on a leaf and waits until Autumn!

What is a tree's least favorite month?

Can you tell I love Fall? FALL- the season that brings cooler weather, football games, scarves, leggings with boots, seat heaters, and pumpkin flavored everything- pie, lattes, bread, muffins, you name it...it's all good! This weekend was rainy and there was a slight chill in the air, if you tried really hard to feel it, so we pretended like Fall was here for good. We baked pumpkin bread, bought pumpkins, and added a little Autumn spice to our place. Although the weather doesn't quite agree and my scarf collection is anxiously awaiting for its debut, we are ready for Fall at 2709! Come on over for a slice of pumpkin bread and some really corny jokes {there's more where those came from}!

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
-Anne of Green Gables  


15 weeks: apple

Finally in my 2nd trimester and feeling the bliss! Week 15 has been pretty good to me. I don't know which is more exciting- the fact that this is the first week with NO morning sickness or that I am able to brush my teeth now in the mornings...which is a win for everyone!  Tate has been out of town this week, so it was really hard to teach Wrigley to hold the camera still to take my 'bumpdate' pic. 
Luckily, I didn't have to rely on her and these guys came in town for a night...

 Mom made dinner, we went out for froyo {where we tried not to complain about the crying baby next to us because we knew it would soon be my fate} and laughed at Wrigley's obsession with chap stick and Crabtree and Evelyn lotion. 
Wrigley, the apple, and I are all ready for Tate to take a break from saving the earth and come home tomorrow! 


14 weeks: lemon

The bump has arrived people! 
Morning sickness is still lurking, but the appetite is back, and the belly band has become the new best friend. 

13 weeks: medium shrimp

1st obligatory "bump" pic! It's there somewhere. I feel it, but can't quite see it. 
Let's watch this baby grow! 


say cheese

{Week 6-8}

Here are the first 2 pics of our little bambino. The top pic was taken at 6 wks and the bottom at 8 wks. What a difference only 2 wks can make! In the top pic, the baby resembles a blob and is equivalent to the size of a lentil bean. In the bottom pic, it's more like a kidney bean-sized teddy bear. Currently, we're almost to the 14 week mark, and this little cutie is now about the size of a lemon! Hallelujah- we've graduated to fruit analogies! 


I really don't have much to report on the crazy pregnancy front, but here are the juicy details anyway{disclaimer: I am writing this part of the blog as a journal, to record those little things I won't remember later. My apologies if you are not into the details. I will try not to scare anyone off, but if this isn't your thing, skip it and wait for another post about Wrigley...however the next 6 months will prrrrrobably be consumed by baby stuff. Sorry baby haters.}:

Not really at the moment. Although, at first I would ONLY eat raw fruits and veggies and salty things. Then, the only things that sounded good were rice, cheese pizza, or Velveeta mac n cheese. Who knows! 

{Morning Sickness:} 
At first--uh, yeah! I will spare you the details but I felt nauseous most days from morning to night from week 6-12 and considered it a blessing if I could actually "get sick, " because once I did that and took one for the team, I was good to go for the day. One morning I lost it {literally} at the smell of sausage pinwheels...and then ate 4 on the way to work. Weird. And gross. Sorry. Ever since the 12 week mark, the nausea has died down, and I only get sick about once a week. 

{Bump report:} 
This week, I've had my first person touch my stomach and 2 people tell me they can see my "little bump!" This is great news, because at about this time is when I want to look preggers, but really just feel like I look super bloated with a little food baby. Speaking of that, tonight on our walk I told Tate, "I think it's starting to pooch out!" He said, "wait, are you not pushing out your stomach?" "Nope, I know, I usually only look like this when I've had a satisfactory steak dinner from Cheeve's Bros!" On the same front, my pants are getting too tight and I've currently learned the hair tie has 2 purposes in life- ponytails and more importantly, holding your pants together when they don't want to button anymore! 

Oh, the joys!
{and I mean that seriously}  



Baby B, what will it be? 

Place your vote!! Guess what you think Baby Barrett is, boy or girl
over there >>> on the top Right>>>

We are pumped to find out gender on October 21st!  What's your guess?

baby makes 3

Well, I think it's time to awaken from the blogging hiatus because...

We're preggers, people!!!!! 
{usually, I'm not a multiple exclamation point kinda person, but this is absolutely necessary}

There's a lot, but something little in particular, to catch you up on! Let's go back to the to the day we found out this tiny bundle of joy was a-growin in my belly. I didn't know it, but I was only 4 weeks along at the time.

...July, 10th 2013...

Here is what I wrote in my "journal" that day {technically, I don't know if a journal can consist of only 2 entries, but whatever, it sounds impressive}: 

"Well, two things have changed our lives forever today. ONE- we are not getting a second golden retriever. And more importantly, TWO- we are pregnant! I want to say that we are exited beyond words, but I think it is still settling in before we allow ourselves to believe the wonderfully good news. While packing for our vacation to Mexico tomorrow with the Halls, Derians, and Andersons {you'll meet them and love them...and probably be a little embarrassed by some of them one day}, I decided to take a pregnancy test because I was just a little curious {no symptoms yet}. Immediately after taking the test, 2 little pink lines showed up. What? I was excited, but told myself not to get my hopes up and to check back in 3 minutes like the instructions said. Over the next 2 hourse, while packing and watching "The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith" {which I don't recommend}, I checked that little stick of joy over 20 times. Pack a swim suit, check. Throw a flip flop in the bag, check again. Every time I checked, it still had 2 lines saying, "PREGNANT!!!" and every time my heart skipped a beat with pure joy. I waited for your dad {that sounds new and a little strange to say, but I know it will become wonderfully familiar in no time} to get home from the lab/work to tell him. I wanted to see his excitement in person. That's one thing I hope you get from your dad- his enthusiasm, when he's pumped about something, he can't help but show it. Our conversation went like this:

D: Hey, have you thought any more about getting another puppy?
T: Yeah! Actually I think we should...
D: Well--I've been thinking about Wrigley's brother, and I don't think we should get him. 
T: {in a disappointed voice}Why not?
D: Because, if this test is right, it looks like she'll have a little human brother or sister in 9 months!

As you can guess, he was ecstatic! Being the realistic one, I told him not to get too worked up, because we weren't for sure. But the test and its 2 pink lines weren't changing their minds. After packing, I took a second test, and if the box would have come with 8, I probably would have taken all 8 of them. Guess what, the second one had 2 pink lines too! Tomorrow, we will be on our way to Mexico, with you as our little, best kept secret {for now}." 


heroine in silver nail polish

It was only four weeks ago we joined together to Stand Up To Cancer and support Tate in finishing his 3rd Ironman. As you know, Tate raced in honor of his sweet grandma, Jackie Barrett. It is with a heavy heart we inform you Jackie went home to be with Jesus last night. She was surrounded by family and had been lifted up in prayer continually, by many of you. As Tate put it, “she was never in a bad mood,” even right up to the end. We consider it a blessing that she was ready to be with the Lord and made her desires known to her loved ones. Through her joys and struggles, she was a wonderful example of unwavering faith, hope in what is yet to come, and unconditional love to all that crossed her path.  1 Thessalonians tells us to “Rejoice always,” and she did just that. 

Unknown to all of us, but probably not to her, Ironman Texas was the last big endeavor for Jackie. A few months before the race, she pulled a few family members aside and told them regardless of her physical state, they would be going to Ironman with or without her. But despite lung surgery, brain surgery, and all that comes with it, Jackie mustered up the strength to go to physical therapy regularly, and on May 18th she was at Ironman Texas to cheer on her grandson. We thought she might make it to the finish line; however, she was at the swim start, the bike/run transition, and the finisher’s shoot. It was a long 13 hour day in the Houston heat, but nothing was going to stop her from standing at the finish line, high-fiving her favorite Ironman.  And no one was going to stop Aunt Roxi from pushing Grandma’s wheelchair through the crowds, and probably over a few toes, to get to the “athlete only” area and steal a big , sweaty hug from Tate. Amidst the thousands of Ironman heroes there that day, Jackie had to overcome just as much, if not more, to be there. And she did it with a smile. She was loveable, selfless, and our own heroine in silver nail polish. 

Thank you for supporting Team Jackie Barrett, and in turn our family, in what was not only  Tate’s best race and a great cause, but also a lasting memory we will forever have as a family. We reach out to you once more to ask for your thoughts and prayers during this time. Although it is difficult, we have hope in the Lord that we will see her again. The best is yet to come for us! We hope to mirror as much grace and joy in a lifetime that this woman emitted daily.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18