Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Blessing

We had the opportunity to go to Fort Worth to attend the blessing of sweet little Phoebe. It was so much fun to be a part of her special day. It was also the first time that we got to meet baby Gavin. Grace was fascinated with the babies, perhaps she'll think getting a younger sibling will be a positive thing, right?
We snapped a picture of all the kiddos during the two minutes that they were actually inside the house. They were far too busy playing in the backyard to be hanging out with the boring adults. At one point Grace told me to "Go back inside Mama," when I went to check on her. I think she wants to be done with apartment living and have a yard of her very own. One day Grace, one day.
Getting a kids picture is always tricky because nine times out of ten they turn out like this:
And then, when mirrors are involved, you get to witness the stage-mom action going on to get the kids to pay attention. Obviously, as proven by the above pictures, our efforts were failing.
Aside from snuggling with Phoebe and basking in her amazing cuteness, my favorite part was catching up with these lovely ladies. Pretty sure there is something very therapeutic about girl talk, and red velvet cake, which we were eating in between swapping stories.
Thankfully it was a good excuse for my sister to come back up to Dallas. We only got to spend the day together but it was worth every minute.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Six years ago Aaron and I sealed the deal in the Washington D.C. temple

In that six years we have graduated from college,

 Moved to California,
Welcomed Grace into the family,
Moved to Texas,
 and found out we would be welcoming a second baby into the family.
We have lived in 3 different states (4 if you count the three month stay we had in Virginia), 5 different apartments, and 6 different wards.

It has been an adventurous six years. Some things turning out they way we thought and other things being very different than we expected. I love Aaron more now than I could have ever imagined and the last six years have proven to me that Aaron is the perfect match for me and I feel very very lucky.

To celebrate we had a little date night. We headed to Maggiano's (like we do every year). Maggiano's is where we had our rehearsal dinner before our wedding.
 Chicken Marsala and bread dipped in olive oil... yes please!
Then we headed to the movie theater to see The Avengers.
I sent Aaron out to get a diet beverage and he came back with the world's most ginormous thing of popcorn.
It was a perfect way to celebrate our Anniversary.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thoughts on Pregnancy: 33 weeks

31 weeks
 32 weeks
 33 weeks
-For some reason, saying I have 7 weeks left sounds like a whole lot less than saying I have 8 weeks left.

-He has a name! After he is born I'll tell the story of how his name came about. But until then, we have decided not to tell anyone what the name is until he arrives.

-Overall I am feeling good. Just standard aches and pains that come with having a big belly and extra poundage.

-I am currently suffering from something that some people (me) like to call "Thunder Arms." They are usually accompanied by "Thunder Thighs" and are a direct result of being pregnant and eating lots of chocolate chip cookies. They are most prominent when pressed against the side of ones body, and one should never conduct the music in church as "jiggle-age" is for sure going to happen.

-When I was pregnant with Grace I stopped wearing high heels around 20 weeks for fear I would be off balance. This time around I'm 33 weeks and rockin' heels like it ain't no thang. I attribute this ability to the "rear bump" which has grown to keep things properly balanced (or so I tell myself). This rear bump is also caused by the consumption of chocolate chip cookies....and probably Five Guys. So should you be looking to maintain your balance during pregnancy, look into those two options.

-This little man gets the hiccups a lot. One day I decided to keep track and he got the hiccups 5 different times. Once, after I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, he got the hiccups and I had to wait until they stopped before I could fall back to sleep.

-Last night I couldn't fall asleep until about 3 in the morning because I was too busy thinking and over-thinking labor and delivery. I'm pretty sure that I dreamed I was in labor.

-I am so excited for the arrival of this baby boy. I can't wait to hold him in my arms, look at his face and smell that amazing new baby smell. I find myself swooning over the pictures that people have posted of their brand new babies. I'm not a creeper, I promise. I can't wait to meet him.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

I am so far behind on my blogging, I'm not even terribly sure where to start. But Mother's Day was yesterday, so while it's fresh in my mind, I'll just start there.

In the Barnard household the most important part of a celebration is the food. As much as we pretend that isn't what it's all about, we're just kidding ourselves.

My one request for Mother's Day is that I didn't want to have any responsibilities, Aaron would be in charge for the day. And goodnight, that boy did not let me down.

After church Aaron made brunch. Homemade waffles with berries and cream.
Yes, I requested that this picture be taken, because those waffles were a sight to behold. I won't tell you how many I had, because that is just between me and the scale at my doctor's office.
We all crashed and took Mother's Day naps and woke up to take a quick stroll outside in the gorgeous weather.
 The girl that made me a Momma. We're still perfecting the smiling technique.
Aaron then did all of the dishes from earlier and started preparing the Mother's Day feast. I will have you know that he always cooks with a towel on his shoulder. Always. I love it.
I am no food photographer, but this meal had to be documented. Aaron made chicken marsala over spaghetti noodles and mashed potatoes, with snow peas and sourdough bread on the side. Not to mention a little ginger ale for a celebratory toast. He was in the kitchen for a good hour and 45 minutes preparing everything.
And when we were fat and happy and full to the rafters, he got up and did the dishes. Bless him.

With all of the spare time that I had, I was able to reflect back on the moments that I became a mother.
Motherhood wasn't an instantaneous thing for me. It didn't feel that way at least. I didn't immediately feel the weight or responsibility of being a Mom from moment one. It was gradual. The moment I saw Grace was the moment I took the first step towards becoming a Mom. I loved her and felt like she was stitched into my soul. I sobbed when they took her to the nursery for the second night in the hospital. But it was the moments in the trenches over the next two years that would make me a Mom, the moments where I gave up trying to control the situation and got on my knees and let that little thing teach me as much as I was teaching her. The moments where she was at her worst and I loved her more than the fit she was throwing, the moments where I realized how much my Mom loved me. It was in the spiritual moments where she wiped the tears from my eyes because somehow she knew better than me. Those were the moments that made me realize that I was a Mom. I'm still walking down that road, often times stumbling and making mistakes, and laying in bed thinking "Wow, I have no idea what I'm doing," but I am becoming a Mother, understanding and learning more each and every day. That path will become different as we welcome another baby into our family. His different personality and spirit will change our family and change the way that I am a Mother. The unknown of his arrival scares me a little bit, but just like it was with Grace, I know that we'll figure it out together and we'll make it work and it will be better than we could have ever imagined.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I had reached a point in my pregnancy with this little man where I realized that I had done pretty much nothing in regards to preparing for his arrival. My main hang-up? I hadn't bought him any clothes yet. We had received a few items of clothing from friends and our parents, so I knew the process had started, but I hadn't actually taken the plunge and bought anything. I'm not sure why I was hesitant, but buying that first item would make the whole thing seem more real (because seeing my child on a sonogram with a beating heart and kicking feet wasn't enough for me apparently). I found myself at Costco a few days later and I could not walk away from these jammies, they had to be mine. So there it was, the first purchase. Are you as obsessed with these as much as I am? You should be.
And all of the sudden it was a slippery and steep downhill slide into psychopathic nesting-ville. Who knew jammies could hold such power?

I had created a list of things that I felt like I needed in order to be prepared for the baby's arrival. the next weekend we tackled that list. Once the items were purchased I went through and located all of the baby stuff that could be re-used.
And then I had an seriously intense need to de-clutter every nook and cranny of our apartment. If you haven't seen me for awhile it's because I mentally can't handle leaving the clutter until it is organized. Most of the time it looked like this
Or this.
And poor Aaron has had to deal with daily picture texts of the progress, usually followed by texts from me of how epically awesome de-cluttering is.

There were no "before" pictures taken, because there is no part of me that wants to remember how clutter-y these spaces were.
 Baby gear, prepped and ready to go.

There have been bags and bags taken to goodwill, or straight to the the trash. At one point we had so much stuff waiting by the front door we had to create a walking path. Aaron kept saying to me, "Can you believe we have been storing all of the crap in our apartment without even realizing it?" We even have a row of things in our closet that we are hoping to sell on eBay.
My focus now is on the cleaning aspect of things. All previous cluttered (now reorganized) areas were properly cleaned or vacuumed. I spent about and hour wiping down Grace's crib until I could see my reflection. Which is pretty hard to do considering it is painted wood, but you get the idea.

Today I deep cleaned the be-jeezels out of my apartment. Standard dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing mixed with a deep scrub of the floors, kitchen, stove, refrigerator, trash can, as well as edging the baseboards and dusting of the ceiling fans. You could eat off of any surface in my apartment, not that I would let you because that would make a mess and apparently my mental sanity cannot handle messes.

Part of me feels like I'm having a mental breakdown. This crazy neatness and cleaning is really not my bag, I'm am the messy one in our family, feel free to ask Aaron because he will confirm it. I'm not sure where this crazy need to clean and organize has come from although I feel like it falls under the "nesting" category. But how "nest-y" can one get 8 weeks before the baby is due?

My To Do list still seems like its a mile long and there is lots to check off before the baby gets here. Although I'd love to stay and blog... I really want to check out my list, goodnight.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The VIP Mavs Fans

Aaron is a Dallas Mavericks fan, which is pretty obvious since it has been stated multiple times on this blog. He was in heaven last year as he witnessed his favorite team win the NBA championship.

The tricky thing for him, however, is the fact that we don't have cable. On rare occasions the games are broadcast on one of the 4 channels that we actually do get. But more often than not, he has to get creative or rely on the kindness of fellow friends and fans to actually watch the games on TV. 

On one such occasion he and his friend, Zac, (who also happens to be his Home Teaching companion), made plans to watch the game after they Home Taught one of their families. The morning of the game Aaron got a call from Zac. Zac was listening to the radio, called in, correctly answered the trivia question of the day and won VIP tickets to the Mavs game that night. He called to tell Aaron that he was taking him to the game. I'm pretty sure aside from our wedding and the birth of Grace that this moment was one of Aaron's all time favorites.

The seats that Zac had won tickets for weren't your average seats. They were leather recliners with a prime viewing spot of the court. Aaron and Zac were also the VIP Mavs Fans for the night. Aaron had one goal after moving to Dallas and that was to attend a Mavs game. Unfortunately up to this point he hadn't been able to go, although I'm pretty sure this moment was worth the wait in his mind.
Oh then the story gets better. Since they were the VIP Mavs Fans that night, they were informed that they were going to go on camera between the first and second quaters. They would be joined by two of the Mavs dancers and were required to smile and wave at the camera when they were introduced. After  a brief rundown of what they had to do "Don't look into the light, it's very bright. And just smile and wave." Aaron and Zac were good to go.

As they smiled and waved, bookended by two barely dressed Mavs dancers, Zac leans over to Aaron and says: "We're supposed to be Home Teaching right now." They had to cancel their appointment in order to make it to the game. Home Teachers of the year? I think so!

Once the cameras were off, the dancers asked Aaron and Zac if they wanted a picture. The title of the email when Zac sent it to me said: "Two awkward married men with two scantily clad young women." I think that describes this picture perfectly.
I have never laughed so hard in my life. They are both physically shying away from these girls and looking super awkward in the process. Aaron told me that the girl standing next to him asked, after the picture was taken, "Did you not want to touch us?" He said he spouted something off about them being married and having kids etc. Although I'm pretty sure Zac's wife and I would have been more than okay with them putting an arm around these girls for a picture. We all got a seriously hearty laugh out of the situation.

All in all it was a night for the record books and Aaron had a fabulous time. A huge thank you to Zac and his ticket sharing generosity and quick trivia wit.