it takes a village

{written a few months ago:}
"I'm about 5 weeks along in my pregnancy with you. We made it back from vacation and kept our secret safe...until this morning. As we were having carpet put in, my good friend and co-worker, Blanche, called to tell me she is pregnant. So, I spilled the beans! We think we are 2 weeks apart with me being earlier. I'm glad to have a friend, more specifically a friend here in Waco, to go through this very exciting and new experience with. My biggest worry from Day 1 was and is that our family and friends are so far away. I want to have a village of people close by to help me, hold you, love on you, and ease my fears in this new world called "mommy hood." However, I know God is already taking care of us and building the community we need. That truth was reiterated today when Blanche called. 

{written today:}
Looking back, I am humbled at the work God is doing in our lives. Home doesn't feel so far away anymore. We have become close to many couples in Waco through our small group- all of which have babies or are having babies! We finally feel rooted. And the miles between here and family don't seem so long anymore either. We had various family here taking care of us for 3 weeks and lots of visitors coming to love on Evie girl! To top it all off, Blanche's baby girl was born a day after Evie, only 6 rooms apart! We have been continually loved on and taken care of since the day this sweet girl entered the world, and for that we say "thank you!" We are thankful for the many meals delivered, advice offered, and miles driven in order to hold Evie and provide these new, tired parents with love and support. More than anything, we are grateful that Evie is already loved by so many and will have a unconditional support system as she grows. God is so good! 

Welcome to our village...

Unfortunately we don't have photos of every member of our "village," nonetheless, we appreciate each one of you, near or far, that have been praying for us, thinking of us, and checking in on us! Love you all! 


what's up doc

4 doctors visits in 4 weeks! They've actually started a rewards program in our honor.  

Many of you have been so thoughtful to inquire about E's health and how she is doing. Overall, she is doing great; we've just had a few hiccups along the way. Nothing serious to report, thank you Lord, but I wanted to catch you up nonetheless. I know many of you mamas out there have experienced the same things with your precious babes, and I thank you for sharing your experiences and advice. As always, your prayers are appreciated and valued on Evie's behalf! We take heart that, "When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action." {Matt. 18:20}

Visit 1: Newborn well-baby check up {routine visit}
Healthy girl in the 88% for weight, 80% for height, and 40% for head circumference...however, if you count the crazy hair it bumps her up to 99% 

Visit 2: Laryngomalacia & Hernia 
Two days after after our well baby check up, we started noticing Evie's breathing sounded abnormal- labored, gargled, congested breathing. We noticed it mostly at night when she was sleeping inclined in her bassinet in our room. She was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia, apparently common among infants. Basically, the tissue in her larynx is softer than expected and her upper larynx collapses slightly when inhaling. Sounds scarier than it is, but this is to blame for the "labored, congested" breathing. No treatment needed, she just needs to lay flat to sleep. It should clear up by 18 months...which seems like a long time to hear your poor baby wheeze! At this visit we also found out she has an umbilical hernia, which again is common among infants. No treatment at this point; 9 out of 10 cases clear up on their own.

Visit 3: Two week well-baby check up {routine visit} 
Still have a healthy girl! 

Visit 4: Acid Reflux
We had been noticing E gets fussy 30 mins exactly after feedings. She arches her back, seems very uncomfortable and spits up. Dr. agreed it sounds like acid reflux and prescribed drops to help with her discomfort. Oh and guess what, it is ALSO "common among infants." Yeah, yeah, yeah...
Laryngomalacia, hernia, reflux- Evie spread the love and save some "common" baby ailments for the rest of the population! 

one month

Happy 1 month birthday, little Miss Evie J! 
I can't believe you have already been here for a whole month. Every time I think about a memory or detail of your actual birth day, it just seems like last week! You have survived and thrived for 30 whole days- congrats to you and to us! 

At one month, you are doing the following: 

Eating: every 3-4 hours. 
You are such a good eater! I am so very thankful that you like to eat and have taken to feedings so well. We had a little trouble the first night home, but a pound and a half later, I'd say no one is worried about you starving!

You have been sleeping in your crib since your seventh night home. Normally, you get really fussy in the evenings for about 2 hours while your dad and I rock you, pat you, feed you, burp you {basically whatever we can think of} and pass you back and forth until you finally doze off. We then dread putting you in your bed for fear that you will open those pretty little eyes, scream and we start all over. However, after you finally fall asleep, you are a good sleeper! You sleep pretty hard for the first 5-6 hours and then about every 3 after that. You only wake up once a night to eat. Hallelujah! 

Ehhhh this would be your area for improvement. Everyone says newborns sleep like 20 hours a day...not you, sister! You like to stay awake most of the day and then nap for a while around 2:00. However, you keep me guessing everyday if you will actually fall asleep that afternoon or not. You fall asleep better when I am in the room, but not paying attention to you. Today at 3:00 after no napping, I had to call your Bull so I could talk while you fell asleep. And it worked! 

Eating, gas relief drops {that taste like Pina Colada}, your hands by your face, MAM pacifiers, your giraffe sound machine, having visitors {you are a little angel when others are around...show off}, being rocked, and being held at all times! If you are awake, you want to be held. I shouldn't complain because I know one day I will wish this was still the case {cue Darius Rucker's, "You're Gonna Miss This"}, but as of today I have started about 7 projects that have gone unfinished due to the fact that I need hands to complete them. 

The taste of your reflux meds {which your dad tried and also agreed they are yucky} and those baby mittens that cover your hands.

You are not sure or not if you enjoy walks in the BOB, baths or  your activity mat. However, you are coming around on all of these things! 

*Disclaimer/Mom confession- you are still changing so much every day so it's hard to tell what you actually like and dislike. It changes all the time! I don't think you even know yet. And that's at least what I tell myself when I can't figure out why you are upset.* 

Everything is a milestone at this point- it's your first 30 days of life for crying out loud {pun intended}! You are making eye contact with those pretty blues, starting to track objects moving slooowly in front of your face, smiling at us {although I'm pretty sure it's involuntary at this point, but a mama can pretend}, and holding your head off of our shoulder. You've got a strong neck under all those chins! 

Happy one month, sweet Evie girl! We have loved every moment with you and can't imagine what we did before you entered the world...just a short month ago! We love you baby girl! 


evie's birth day

We are so very excited to announce... 

Evie Jacquelyn Barrett has arrived!

Tuesday, 3/25/2014 at 1:10 PM
9 lbs. // 5 oz. // 20 inches


I went in Monday 3/24 at 40 weeks and 5 days to start induction. This girl was not coming by herself, so we had no choice but to help her along! And at 9 lbs., 5 oz., I am thankful we did not wait another day or she would have walked herself out of the womb! Aunt Lynley came into Waco Monday to keep me busy and my mind off of induction. We went to lunch and got mani/pedis before Tate and I headed to the hospital that evening. After being admitted, the labor and delivery nurse asked my pain level. I told her, "uhhh 3 I guess." She said, "wow, that is pretty good considering you are having some pretty decent contractions." I said, "so THAT is what those feel like! In that case, I've had those on and off for a few weeks." In some ways, the entire experience was a wonderful blur, and in other ways time stood still. Either way, I pray that we remember the details of this oh, so happy day forever!  

Monday 3.24
4:30 PM- Did balloon induction (twice)
6:00 PM- Admitted to Hospital. Nurse Emily, Debbie, and Lee got us admitted and IV ready to go

Tuesday 3.25
5:30 AM- Started on Pitocin 
7:30 AM- Dr. Patterson came to check me before her rounds and decided to break my water at last minute 
8:30 AM- Epidural! Best/weirdest thing ever 
12:00 PM- Tate leaves my Labor & Delivery room (for the first time in the 18 hours we've been there) to grab a quick lunch. Also, Bull, Aunt Lynley, and Poppy leave for a few minutes to eat. When they leave, Bull says, "don't push until I get back." I laugh at the thought of that happening anytime soon.
12:01- Dr. Patterson arrives and has me just try a "practice push." She announces this baby has a lot of hair and decides its go time! 
12: 10- Gran Jan, MiMi, and Aunt Kelly reenter the room to check on us. Everyone realizes we haven't called Tate, so he has no idea what is going on while eating his Which Wich in the hospital cafeteria. LaVon calls him and he literally comes running.
12:25- Pushing begins with me, Tate and Nurse Emily "1...2...3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..rest...again" 
12:50 PM- Dr. Patterson comes back 
1:00 PM- I look over to see Tate munching on a granola bar! 
1:10 PM- Evie enters the world and our lives are never the same!! 

Other Evie birth facts: 
-The week Evie was due {one week before she arrived}, Dr. Patterson guessed she would only weigh 7 lbs, 5 oz....she was waaaay off! 2 lbs to be exact. 
-After delivering I told Nurse Emily, I was so thankful because "nothing was as hard as I thought it would be." She said, "Good, maybe I will see you same time and same place next year then." Haha, nope. 
-As Evie was getting weighed, the NICU nurse announced, "We have one at 13, 10" Tate said, "she weighs THIRTEEN POUNDS?!" Nurse Nick chuckled and said, "No that is what time she was born- 13:10 military time or 1:10 PM."
-Evie was famous among nurses and doctors as the "big, healthy 9 lb., 5 oz baby girl" born after only being pushed for 45 minutes. 
-Family at the hospital on the day of her arrival: Gran Jan, Bull, MiMi, Poppy, Aunt Lynley, Aunt Kelly, Grandma Flo, Grandpa Lyn, PaPa, Aunt Roxi, and Aunt Katie. The aunts represented well since her famous rockstar and baseball uncles were earning a living to buy gifts for their new precious niece 
-Speaking of, Evie was born the same week Uncle Shawn was assigned to the Rangers Opening Day roster! 
-Evie's first visitors at the hospital included: Sarah Moore, Meredith Lancaster, Mallory Allcorn, Kate McCunniff, Erin & Tyler Ellis
-Evie was born a day apart from Brooklyn, the new daughter of my good friend and co-worker. Evie and Brooklyn were practically hospital roomies, staying only 6 rooms away

We are so thankful to God's grace during this whole experience and to those of you that have prayed for a safe and healthy delivery. Your prayers were so evident due to my peace during this process and the ease of a quick, safe delivery. We knew Evie had meconium in her fluid, but found out later the cord was wrapped around her neck twice and I lost twice the amount of blood than was expected. However, everyone is healthy and happy and we praise God from whom all blessings flow! We couldn't be happier with our 9 lb., 5 oz. bundle of joy! 


40 weeks: watermelon baby

Well, we made it to 40 weeks! Can you believe we are finally here? I can! Your dad can! But you obviously cannot. Either that it you are cozy and snug in there and don't care to make your debeut just yet. I would love to say take all the time you need, but sorry sister, you need to come out soon! Like it or not, you will get some help in the right direction starting Monday {tomorrow} evening when Dr. Patterson starts induction. I'll technically be 40 weeks and 4 days. However, I would LOVE for you to come on your own so anytime this evening or tomorrow would be great! 
At this point I am apparently quite the sight to see. When I go out in public, strangers either stare or worse-- want to talk about just how pregnant I am! I love to see their faces when they ask, "oh honey, when are you due?" And I say, "last week." The best comment was at lunch yesterday we went to Which Wich {to get our 2 free sandwiches- holla!} and an older man asked if we were on the way to the hospital. No sir, I'm just here to feed the 7-8 pound watermelon in my belly. 

Come on Evie!! Can't believe we will be holding you in just a few days {if not sooner}! 
We love you so much already, sweet girl.  


evie jacquelyn

A name is a powerful thing. Obviously it defines who you are, but in the Bible, names also served to mark significant encounters with God (Jacob, Paul, Abraham), once again reiterating just how meaningful a name can be. In knowing this, we wanted a meaningful name for our baby girl. I would like to say we gave it months of serious thought and consideration; however, we really decided on it right away. 

meaning: life 
We chose Evie, because, well we liked it. It's pretty, strong, and easy to say (which is important when your mom is an SLP, assessing your every phoneme). I would like to say there was more to it than that, but it really was just that easy. Big added bonus- I found out later that Eva is also a family name on my dad's mom's side, which makes it even more special.  


meaning: to protect
To us, it was very important Evie was named after strong, Godly women. We wanted her to not only have these women to look up to, but specific characteristics of theirs' to aspire to as well. We wanted to be able to use her own name as a teaching/parenting tool in the future. When "teaching opportunities" arise, we want to be able to tell her why we chose her name, the kind of women she was named after, and ultimately about the kind of person God calls her to be. Luckily, we did not have to look too far. Tate and I were blessed with not one, but two Grandma Jackies!  

My Grandma Jackie {Jacquelene}, my mom's mom, met the Lord on our wedding day in 2009, and Tate's Grandma Jackie {Mary Jacqueline}, his dad's mom, joined her in Heaven last summer. We were very fortunate to have these strong, fun, loving influences in our lives for 23-27 years. Both were similar in many ways, other than just their names.

After deciding on the middle name, I gave us some homework: 
Tate and I were to pick just 3 traits/characteristics that we admired about our Grandma Jackies. These were to be things that defined these women, but also things that we wanted Evie to aspire to. We were to write our lists separately, then share them together. On one of our walks this weekend, I asked Tate if he finished his "homework." He said that he hadn't written it down, but had an idea of what he wanted to choose. Good, me too. Funny thing- when we compared our list, we had picked the SAME 3 traits/characteristics! What are the chances? I couldn't believe it. So, listed below are the 3 characteristics that describe Jacquelene & Mary Jacqueline: 

1. Genuine interest in others
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
 [Matthew 25:40]

{Danielle-} Grandma Jackie saw the best in others and took care of everyone around her. She made meals for people, gave rides to church, and took little Mrs. Giles to the grocery store. She knew specific details of everyone she came in contact with- whether it be the mailman, insurance agent or annoying solicitor calling. She could tell you how many grandkids they had and where they went to high school. And if she didn't know, she asked questions, lot of them, but in a completely genuine, interested way. People felt comfortable around her, able to share personal aspects of their life. She was approachable and trustworthy. She saw value and potential in everyone, including me, which is where much of my confidence came from. Every time we went to visit I would bring pics of my new dorm room or last vacation, because I knew she would want to know every detail. 

{Tate-} Grandma was always curious about what was going on in my life, not only personally, but with all of my friends as well. When Grandma had a conversation with someone, she not only spoke, but listened to them and was genuinely interested in what was said.  One of my favorite memories of Grandma's interest in my life was when she told me that she had to be the first person I called when I kissed a girl for the first time! Well, when that time came, she was the first to know.  Grandma wanted to know every detail of her grandkids lives and truly made me feel special by always wanting to know what I was up to.

2. Joy
"I will be glad and rejoice in You, I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High."  
[Psalm 9:2]

{Danielle-} Grandma Jackie was able to laugh at herself, and it happened quite often...usually when playing games like Rack-o or Scattegories. I love that she didn't take herself seriously and often laughed until she was out of breath. If she misspoke or missed something, rather than getting frustrated, she would just laugh in response, causing you to laugh too. She always wanted to hear a new story, play a game, paint our nails, just enjoy the moment and the company. Despite the circumstances, she always had a calming, joyful spirit. This was due to her faith in Christ, ultimately knowing all things would work out according to His plan. 

{Tate-} Grandma was truly a character.  She loved playing games with the family, laughing at jokes, yelling at trucks in the no truck lane, and telling people "same to you mister!"  I can't ever remember Grandma being in a bad mood or bent out of shape when things didn't go her way.  Grandma truly lived a joyous life.  Even when her health was failing, Grandma began her daily diary entry the same way " This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Grandma never took herself too seriously, and always had a smile on her face, even when she slid out of her chair and couldn't get back in it!  I will always remember her smile and laugh, and the joy she had in knowing she would be with her Savior in Heaven when her time on earth was over.

3. Perseverance 
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perserverence. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything"  
[1 James 2-4]

{Danielle-} This word describes Grandma Jackie best. Due to her long illness, she had every reason to give up; however, she never did and never once complained about it. She fought for every breath, but still climbed the steps each Sunday to teach 4-year-old Sunday School and trekked through the rain to get to my graduation, even though she knew she would be sick for days. If she couldn't go to rehab, she would lift cans of corn in the living room for exercise. She never let her misfortune become an excuse to be or do anything less than what she expected of herself and she was always serving others, despite her situation. She fought humbly through those long, tough years, serving others along the way. 

{Tate-} Grandma was strong, determined, and persevered through everything.  Grandma knew long before anyone that she was sick, but didn't complain and didn't let it get her down.  After she was diagnosed with cancer, I told her I was going to do Ironman in her honor and that I wanted her to be at the finish.  This was asking a lot, but Grandma persevered through pain, speech and physical therapy, and countless hard days to be there.  She was determined to be there with the family at the finish line, no matter the cost on her health or comfort.  Grandma never let her condition get her down, and persevered through lung and brain surgery to get to spend more time with her family, and spread  JOY to everyone she came in contact with. 


Well, what can I say? She kinda got stuck with this one, so good luck to you, sister! 


39 weeks: full grown baby

Made it to 39 weeks! The baby app says you are the size of a watermelon, but let's be real- you are the size of a full grown baby at this point! You should be around 7 pounds and 20 inches long, give or take. We can't wait to meet you, hold you, and love on you! Multiple people have told me you've "dropped" so I guess you are moving in the right direction. 

This week is spring break so we got all of our "to-dos" done: clean the house, trim the bushes, wash the car, etc. with time to spare. Gran Jan and Bull even delivered the glider, So your room is complete (just need a baby), and we are officially ready when you are! You are technically allowed 2 more weeks to cook in your cozy, cramped nest, but that's allllll. One way or another, we will meet you soon! Come on EVIE! 

By the way, I have to mention- Wrigley was neither posed or asked to be in this picture. She saw us taking a pic and came and sat in front of us. Guess she is already feeling left out and needed to be included in the weekly bumpdate! 


evie's first photo shoot

Maternity pics or no maternity pics? --That is the question. 

Although they are a very pretty penny, I knew at some point I would want to look back at my baby belly and reminisce. And although I feel like I've resembled an inflated balloon for an eternity, I knew it would feel like a blink of an eye after it was all over. So, a friend offered a great solution. Have someone come over and snap a few pics. This friend happened to have a nice camera {relative term- anything with a lens is a "nice" camera in my book} and was willing to give up her Saturday to come over. Booked! Evie had her first photo shoot, and we now have some proof of my baby bump for later! Thanks, Sally! 

Here are some highlights:


bags packed

"All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go..."

{Evie's bag}
A girl's gotta have options! 
And a dog's gotta have red, polka-dotted sunglasses...don't tell Wrigley she's not going. 

{Madre's bag}

Well, I don't know if we are actually "ready to go," but the hospital bags ARE packed! Every baby app we read for the past 3 weeks said we should be packed by now. Whatevs. But this weekend, for some reason, I got the burst of energy to get ourselves prepared. Maybe its the never ending ache/foot in my ribcage or the fact that I am only comfortable about 0% of the day that gave me the kick I needed to get into gear and accept the fact that this baby is on her way! I think I've been in denial, pretending it is still months away. The first 36 weeks have flown by, I can only imagine the last 4 will be over before I know it. Both scary and exciting! I wasn't sure what to pack, but got my list of things from this blog {thanks mom for the link}. The lady that wrote it is a labor and delivery nurse of 12 years, so it's pretty legit. By the way if you see essentials missing in the latter photo, they are probably listed on that never ending "don't forget" pink note pad. 

Alright Evie, ready when you are! 3 weeks {maybe} left...


happily ever after-ers do waco

We all started out in Houston together...now 4 years, 4 different cities, 8 new jobs, 3 new houses, and 3 babies later, these friendships still remain strong! 

This weekend our friends from Houston {well now technically from Forney, Dallas, and Houston} met here in Waco. These are the first people we met after we were newly married living in Houston...all alone. Have you ever had people you felt were divinely put into your life at a specific time? Well that would be these fine people! We were all in the Nearly/Newlywed group at Second Baptist together, going through the first few years of marriage alongside one another...and laughing a lot! Since we haven't all been back together in a very long time and I can't travel over an hour from now until D-day, they all came to Waco! It was a blast, as always, and my abs were sore the next day from laughing so hard. And let me tell you- an 8 month pregnant lady cracking up is dangerous sight! Well, it was a dangerous weekend. The guys played golf, the girls shopped, we all ate dinner and played games at our place, and then grabbed breakfast the next morning. 
It was a much needed fun weekend! 

Everything is a game with this crew...even the arrival of sweet Evie girl: