This is my hubby. Also known as Vinny, Dowey, Dowebally, and (as of last night) Pickle Juice. (You may learn that I have an affinity for nicknames, comes from my daddy!) Unbelievably, the hubs and I have been married for 9 years! I can't believe it! Seems like just yesterday I was a freshman in college and my friend introduced me to this hunky senior with a hot red car! Vince is working hard to support our family and traveling here and there. Vince is a WONDERFUL father and his girls (all of us) are the most important things to him!
What to say? I'm Barclay, usually known as Barclay (not much you can do with Barclay). I was an elementary teacher for fours years until I had Bella. Now I am doing the job I have wanted to do ALL of my life, being a mom. I love these two girls more than I can possibly express and it is my joy and privilege to be able to spend each day with them. I recently entered the blog frontier, and although my blog followers will probably be able to be counted on one hand, I thought it would be exciting to be a part of something so neat. I love that there are many other moms out there facing the same joys, hardships, questions, surprises, and challenges that I am. I also hope to be a sort of medium to spread awareness for others that need prayers, help, or just someone to walk through life with!
Usually referred to as Bella. As well as Bells, Bellie, Belly Boo, Bellsie Bubs, Bubs, Bubba, Bells and Whistles.... Bella is our first born daughter. She is 6. Bella enjoys school, reading, riding her training-wheel free bike, she could color and write for hours, she loves singing to the Momma Mia soundtrack, anything princess or pink, having bows in her hair, playing dress up, and her little sisters! God blessed us with Bella a month early but she was perfectly healthy. In six years she has become such a bright, outgoing, sensitive, and fearless little girl. Bella really is the sweetest girl you will ever meet. She is eager to please. If she hurts or disappoints someone it literally crushes her to tears. This last year she asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior and we could not be more proud!! Love this sweet, blonde, blue eyed beauty!
Usually known as Brynn. As well as Brynnie, Miley, Miley Moo, Geegs, Geegers, Brynnie Boo, and many more. Ten days before Bella turned 2 years old we were blessed with another beautiful, healthy girl by planned c-section. This time I was able to see my baby right after birth, watch her get weighed, bathed, etc. I couldn't wait for Bella to meet her. Brynn is now 4 and keeps me laughing all day long. Brynn, since she was about 2 months old has been the smiliest baby I have ever met. All you need to do is look at her and she will flash you a world class smile. Brynn is smiley, more shy and reserved about things than her big sis, can be quite the clown when she feels safe or gets in a silly mood, amazingly brilliant, she's been speaking full sentences since she was 19 months and continues to amaze us with what comes out of her mouth. She loves doing whatever her big sister is doing, dressing up, looking at books, her blankie, being held, twirling in her dresses, singing, and dancing whenever she hears music! Brynn is my compassionate baby, she hates to see people hurting. We just love this sweet, shy, snuggly, smiling little girl!
Also known as Brookie, Brookie Cookie, Cookie Lu, Lulu B just to name a few. Sweet, sweet Brooklyn is our family's latest addition! We welcomed Brookie into our family on August 23rd 2010 at 12:23pm by planned c-section. I was nervous she would be a bit high maintenance since she came out screaming bloody murder and continued to wail anytime anyone touched her- get her footprints, take her temperature, etc. Amazingly, she would instantly stop the moment the Hubs touched her or began talking to her. And since her birthday, we have barely heard a peep out of her..... And fast forward 18 months, she definitely makes plenty of peeps now! :) We are full blown in the the terrible twos (which IMO last from 18-36 months) I believe. To make matters worse she's also cutting her 4 molars. She definitely knows what she wants but can't quite articulate it, so gets frustrated. Eating is also a hit or miss these days which is very foreign to me. Mixed with the crabby days though is the funniest personality ever. She is a riot! She LOVES chasing after her big sisters or having them chase and imitate her. She also has this adorable chubby face and will peek out of the corner of her eyes and just melt your heart! She is definitely shy at first but if you can get through to her she will keep you in stitches with her antics. We love you little BB and couldn't ask for a sweeter addition to our family!
I had all my posts scheduled before we left for our trip of just some of the things in my life that I am thankful for. Obviously there are countless things we are thankful for, too many to list, and for that, again, I am thankful.
Just wanted to take a break from crashing waves, 80 degree weather, turkey filled bellies, watching UP with family, bonfires at the beach, Black Friday shopping prep, and so much more to jump on real quick and wish you all a very Happy Happy Turkey Day! Can't wait to share about our wonderful trip!
Have I mentioned how impossible it is to get Bella to smile AND look at the camera on demand?
So you see this sweet, adorable, one dimpled, little blondie?
Well I have quite the funny story to share about her. On Monday the Hubs left very early in the morning for a business trip. Later that morning I took Bella to speech. After her session her teacher, Miss Nancy, came out to give me Bella's progress report so far for the year. Afterwards she knelt down next to me and seriously and quietly said to me, "Bella told me something today." "Oh yeah, what?" "That her daddy has moved out."
I know. I was in complete shock too. I didn't even know what to say! I said,"Oh no no no. He hasn't moved out. He left for a business trip today but he left before she even got up." I don't even know what would possess her to say that! So we had a big laugh about it and I made sure to Skype with daddy later so we could talk about how daddy is away working but he would be home soon.
Well we are thankful that daddy arrived safe and sound last night and we plan to spend lots of time with him today!
So for the record daddy has not moved out and our marriage is just fine. : )
My forever baby turned 21 months this week. I know everyone says it, but time really does goes too fast. Since entering the blog world I think one of the best lessons I have learned is to enjoy every minute, every minute. Literally, the only thing (besides the grace of God) that got me through the nights where it would take me 2 hours to get Brynn back to sleep after feeding her was remembering what a miracle and honor it was to have a healthy baby girl in my arms, no matter how much I just wanted to sleep. During the crying fits that seem to have no reason for their existence and no end to their duration, I would cry from exhaustion and frustration but also soothe myself by being thankful they have healthy lungs and hearts that beat in perfect rhythm. I used to take these precious girls for granted but over the last year I have grown to learn what a miracle it is to even get pregnant, carry a healthy baby to term, have them born completely healthy, and to continue to thrive year after year. And since I don't know the future, and God does, I will cling to Him to get me though the years and I will continue to thank Him each day for the two precious blessings He has allowed me to mother.
Psalm 13:5-6, my theme verse: "But I trust in your Unfailing Love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."
So I'm nothing but thankful this week as my little one turns 21 months. I love you baby girl!
This week's blog hop theme is favorite book. At one point I would have nothing to share for this, but allow me to rewind a bit. Growing up I remember enjoying when my mom would read to us. I specifically remember her reading the Box Car Children Books to us before we could read. I also remember going through the stage of loving Babysitter Club (anyone remember those?) and Nancy Drew books. But shortly after I grew out of those books reading really became a chore only done for school. If I read (besides enjoying the comics) it was because I had to. I had mentioned, at one point, my dislike of reading to my friend Britney and she said she had felt the same way until she read "this" book. I really had my doubts but I thought I would give it a try. Well, it changed my outlooks on books forever.
The book I am referring to is "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. I'm a bit of a romantic and anything with the beauty of a good romance gets me hooked. But this one is a different kind of romance. Have you ever had something you know is wrong but you just can't help doing it over and over again. Spending money when you know shouldn't, little white lies to your husband, gossiping about friends, filling your mind with inappropriate images or lyrics. This is the story for you. A husband takes a wife and no matter how many times she deceives him he always takes her back and loves her unconditionly. Don't take my word for it though. Read it for yourself, you will not be dispappointed. It made me truly enjoy reading again. Be sure to come back and tell me what you thought!
Since then I have throughly enjoyed ALL of Francine Rivers books. My other personal favorite is her 3 book series The Mark of the Lion . It is so captivating, addicting, and intense. On our honeymoon I happened to finish one of the books and I made the hubs search practically all over Maui for a book store that carried the next book! Yes it was that good. (side note: he's so good to me, nothing like a Hello Marriage reality check!) Oh and I also really loved the Atonement Child...ok I'm sorry I could practically list all of her books as my favorite. They are all so different but all beautifully written. They are also very easy reads! Also the romantic in me has also really enjoyed Dee Henderson and all of her books too!
Go ahead and click here to order your own copy of Francine Rivers' "Redeeming Love."
Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
It has been a long time since I aired out my dirty laundry! Its going to feel so good to get these off my chest. Wanna air out your own laundry? Or feel better by reading about others' dirty laundry, well be sure to head over to MckMama's blog, link your own post, and read what others have written. As for me, here a good couples weeks worth of things I DID NOT dare do....
I NEVER go around wearing hole filled socks. So when Brynn insists I go in a bouncer with her, a bouncer that insists on shoe removal, I DON'T have to strategically get in and out so not to show my lovely socks to the world.
I NEVER lick my fingers in order to straighten out some of Brynn's unruly hairs.
I did NOT drop Brynn off at the church nursery with no diaper bag because we were completely out of diapers at home and I was hoping they would just use some of their spare diapers.
I do laundry every day, NOT every two weeks. So I would NEVER have to put a slightly used pair of socks on Bella until I got to laundry day last week.
Speaking of waiting until a certain day, I try to hit the grocery store every other week as well. Due to that fact there are times when I have to get a little creative. So the other night when we were low on groceries I was NOT boiling the remains of three different types of pasta.
And last but certainly not least, I did NOT go through my girls' Halloween candy and pick out all of the my favorites! : )
Who wants to see more babies!? So I told you Tuesday that three friends of ours had babies all with in a week. And I showed you a preview of Katherine Grace. Allow me to introduce Abigail Agnes, oh and proud momma and papa too! If you have the time I'd love for you to check out my wonderful husband's blog and photographysite. I know I am a little bias but he's really good at what he does. He has a real professional, paying gig today for a woman releasing a CD. I'd love it if you would say a prayer for him today and go to his blog (and his website too!) and leave him a note of encouragement. : ) He's going to hate that I did this, but he'll secretly love it! *hehehe* K on to baby Abby!
P.S. Baby Benjamin is getting his photo shoot this weekend. : )
Sorry not wordless today! I have these videos I'm just dying to share. We started Bella in soccer, which the Hubs was so excited about, being a player himself. As with any new sport you start your little one in, it was absolutely precious to see how they do. She takes the class with her buddy Anderson. Here are some clips from their first class. Bella is in a navy blue shirt and white shorts and pigtails!
Here Bella gets a ball and does some kicking with her buddy Anderson.
Bella and Anderson are a little too sweet to charge and steal the ball. : )
She hasn't quite mastered the whole "no hands" thing!
One of the funniest things to watch is the kids trying to run backwards. : )
Bella is quite the fast runner, we're so proud of her and Anderson!
We have had three different close friends of ours have babies all with in a week this last month. I tell you what, it has not been good for my baby itch. Better keep a close eye on your sweet babies ladies! I have told you about our dear friends, part of the Usual Suspects, the Lymans. Go here to read their story. This past weekend the hubs used his wonderful photography abilities to capture the beauty of this precious new family and their sweet little girl. Since I did the editing of the pictures the hubs graciously allowed me to post a little preview. I of course wanted to show all of them but we'll keep Jake and Shari wanting more, for now. : ) I'll let you know when the hubs posts the rest on his site.
Could this baby be any cuter!?
I think motherhood fits her, what do you think?!
Nervous at first, but the minute he laid eyes on his little girl, fathering came naturally.
Who knew we could have a baby outside, naked, in November in Wisconsin!? God takes care of even the simple things, like bringing 70 degree weather in the middle of November. : )
Taking a little bloggy break today. Could you take a moment, the time it takes to read one of my usual fascinating posts, and pray for Stellan today. Today is a monumental day in his life. He is in surgery as I type this. His heart actually stopped this morning and they had to do the whole cash cart thing that should only be for TV, not a sweet little toddler. He had to be rushed to surgery even though not completely stable. Mckmama is gratefully keeping frequent updates on twitter and occasionally on her blog if you'd like to stay up to date. You can also watch my twitter on the left column of my blog. So say a prayer for Stellan, the McKinney's, and his doctors as they try to fix Stellan's heart today.
So yesterday's post got me thinking about Bella. I told you how when she was little she was a happy, content baby but was hard to get to smile. Well when I received the photography packages from Bella's preschool I decided to go with the lowest package possible, because even though my precious little girl is beautiful, she doesn't take posed or forced pictures well (and by well I mean it's almost impossible to get her to smile nicely and natural looking). Here's a little glimpse:
(these pics were before our wonderful SLR so poor quality sorry!)
We would jump, dance, shake toys and we would get nothing!
There's a hint of a smile!
She went through this stage where whenever she saw a camera she would say cheese, made for a lovely smile. : )
She likes to "smile" but then won't look at the camera.
So do you see why my expectation were low? So when I got the pictures I anxiously opened them up.
Well low and behold to my surprise, her picture turned out adorable!! I almost cried. She looks so precious and like such a big girl!
Sorry its a picture of a picture so its not great, but I wanna know, how on earth did they get her to smile so nicely?! : )
I used to be an elementary teacher but am now a stay-at-home mommy with three sweet baby girls. Bella is 6, Brynn is 4, and Brooklyn is 1. We also have a sweet Golden Retriever named Beckham. I have been married to the love of my life, Vincent, for almost 12 years. Although I hate the cold I am a Chicago girl through and through. And thats about all I've got!