02 May 2016

Our Temporary Home

I've been thinking a lot about this blog of mine lately, and so often throughout the week, I'll have a sweet moment with Reese or Riggs or a funny story that happens in our little life where I'm like, "I should write this down! I want to remember this forever!"  And too often, I think I get caught up in wanting to have pictures with the stories or be able to sit down for a solid block of time and write down a beautifully written post but you know....ain't nobody got time for that anymore!  At least not me anyway!  So for more realistic purposes and to better record the little joys of my life with my family, I'll try to get on here and do little family journal entries of sorts.  Hope you enjoy the ride!

I don't really feel like I have the right words to start this post, but Todd's grandpa, Theodore James Barrett, passed away on Easter morning.  He lived a long, full life and was surrounded by so many loved ones in his last few days.  He went into the ER Friday night, and over the weekend, Todd and I were kept in the loop with what was happening and his progress.  On Saturday evening, things weren't looking good, and so we came back from Salt Lake to come visit him at the hospital.  We drove down to the hospital after dropping the kids off with their Grandma Hawl.  We went up to his room, and when we walked into the room and saw Pa hooked up to all sorts of machines and tubes, my heart dropped.  Pa wasn't awake, but Todd went over to hold his hand.  Even though he wasn't awake, Pa had been squeezing hands when his grand kids talked to him.  I haven't been in the Barrett family long but what a wonderful man and Grandpa I could tell he was.

Todd was talking to him about Reese and Riggs, and he would squeeze his hand when he talked about Reese and Riggs.  It was a really sweet moment and just a really tender evening over all.  We left the hospital, and on the way home Todd talked about some different memories he had of his Grandpa and about how good of a man he was.  The man was a "Renaissance Man" as his bishop said of him at the funeral. "Renaissance Man" defined as a person who is an outstandingly versatile, well-rounded person with many talents and a vast knowledge of many different fields.  That was Pa!  He was an engineer, a poet, an artist, a father, a God-fearing man, an astrologist, an athlete, a friend, a husband, an architect, a builder, and so much more.  Those were some of the ones mentioned in the funeral services that stood out to me.  He was also hilarious!  At the funeral, there was an entire book made by his sons, Bill (Todd's dad) and Robert, depicting cartoons of all his crazy phrases!  I wish I could remember some of them.  I'll have to ask Todd!

The viewing was the night before the funeral, and there was the sweetest movie of pictures of Pa, his wife, his children, and great-grandchildren.  Most all pictures I had never seen before.  Pa was such a handsome man!  He truly loved each of grandkids and great grandchildren so individually and deeply.  Even I felt that love!

We miss him, but we know he is with his sweet wife Fae and watches over us everyday.

29 February 2016

Riggs Recently {8 Month Edition}

You sweet, sweet thing you.  I was thinking about you a lot tonight baby boy.  How much of a joy you have been for your dad and I.  You were so meant to be in our family at this exact time, I can't even express it.  You are the perfect addition.  Your calm, sweet nature keeps us all level-headed and reminds us just how blessed we are when sometimes the chaos of life right now makes it easy to forget.  You smile like it's your job.  That smile engulfs the entire bottom half of your face.  It's hysterical!  We can't help but laugh and smile when you smile at us!  

You've been getting into everything lately.  You love anything electrical and off-limits.  You pull yourself up on just about anything.  You live on the outer rim of our living room right now, pulling yourself up on the TV stand, the chair, the couch, your sister's trampoline, the toy shelves.  You've gotten some bumps to the forehead, but you just keep goin' at it.  You fall, but keep getting up over and over again.  I feel like you'll always be this way.  I feel like you'll be my positive, happy boy who realizes that trip-ups are gonna happen, and that even when you fail, it's not the end of the world.  You'll know that all it means it that you put yourself out there.  It means you're trying and you're getting stronger.  Because everytime you pick yourself up you get stronger and wiser.  You learn more about yourself and you grow.  You are our little buddy.  I hope you always find a friend in your parents.  I hope you can always talk to me.  Sometimes you'll probably be embarrassed, nervous, or think I won't understand, but I hope you try anyways.  I will always love you and always listen to you. 

You are our sweet, angel boy.   Don't you ever forget how far sweetness will get you!  Sometimes you might feel like you have to prove something by being tough and hardcore, but in the end the kind ones are always the best guys.  You can be tough, but be sweet.  Be loving.  Be a good friend.  Be a good brother.  Love the people around you.  I have a feeling you'll be very personable and friendly.  People will be drawn to you because of your positive energy.  

I love you Riggs!

19 February 2016

Jump Gym Fun {More 2nd Bday Celebrations}

More birthday celebrations at the jump gym with her cousins Rio and Tegan and aunties Megan and Gabe!  Reese loves her jump gym, but she loves her cousins and aunties more.

15 February 2016


All my babes are sound asleep right now (hubby included on his day off from school), so I thought I'd share something that I've been reading lately.  "Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, and empathy."  My sister in law recommended the book, Daring Greatly, to me, and I have only just started to really delve into it.  And I wish I would've done so earlier!  It's SO good, and a really interesting and meaningful topic for me.  I'm only a few chapters into it, but she's been talking a lot about vulnerability.  Brene Brown says, "Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences."  She talks about how connection is the reason that we're here on this earth.  We are meant to connect with others.  It gives us purpose and meaning.  I couldn't agree more!  The most meaningful relationships in my life are the ones where we've both embraced vulnerability.  Which can be really, really hard sometimes!!  There are few things I am more grateful for though than honesty and openness from people around me.  I can think of a handful of people in my life who "pro vulnerability embracers".  They aren't afraid to talk about the hard things, and they definitely aren't afraid to listen to the hard things.  They are genuine and compassionate.  They laugh, and they cry.  They truly empathize.  I'm realizing as I get older that this is actually a real scarcity.  Those people are getting harder and harder to find!  I've been thinking about those friends and family in my life who are humble, understanding, and recognize that they're not perfect.  They are open about flaws and concerns they have.  When they embrace those imperfections and use them to learn and better themselves, it allows and encourages me to do the same.  It creates a safe space for me, and it's so refreshing!  I feel like I can kick up my feet, and be myself.  

I loved the story in the video where Brene Brown talks about a situation when say your daughter comes homes from school and tells you that she is having a hard time finding friends and no one wants to sit with her at lunch.  In order to be truly empathetic you have to be vulnerable!  You have to dig deep and go back to that time you were friendless or didn't have anyone to sit with.  You have to dig deep to show that you understand.  That it's hard.  That what you're going through is really hard.  And sometimes that's it!  You don't always need to fix the situation.  That's not what people are always looking for.  Sometimes you fix the situation by just listening, relating to, and empathizing.  That is one of the bests medicines for any mental or emotional ailment in my opinion.  Feeling like you are truly understood.  That you're not the only one.  That people can relate.

My favorite part of the book so far though is her connection of being vulnerable to living a "wholehearted" life.  She says, 

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, 'No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.' It's going to bed at night thinking, 'Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.'"

Cheers to being more vulnerable.  To finding ways to be more empathetic and understanding of those around me.

, Ashton

09 February 2016

Reese turns 2!

Reese's second birthday was such a special day.  December 19, 2015.  I was nostalgic for her teeny tiny baby toes and her Michelin tire rolls.  I missed her squawk when she first found her voice.  I missed when she had 4 teeth in the front and the grin that she repped them with.  I couldn't believe 2 years had passed since our beautiful girl had come into our life.  

We woke up and celebrated with some birthday pancakes.  Reese loves her some "cake-cakes"!  Always said at high volume.  We had her open her birthday present, which was a princess book with princess figurines.  She was wide-eyed and stoked out of her mind!  She immediately lined them up in front of her plate of cake-cakes.  She made us go through the line up over and over again saying each of their names.  She was so excited!  Buns and I were smitten.  As always.  We love our girl.

We took our baby girl to her favorite place, the jump gym.  I forgot my camera there, but she had a blast.  She loves when daddy gets to come.  She had the place practically all to herself!  We jumped, played, and wore that chica out.  

The rest of the day was all about Reese.  We watched princess movies, read books on books on books, and enjoyed our baby girl.  That evening we went up to Salt Lake City Temple Square to look at the Christmas lights.  We stopped for some Five Guys burgers and fries on the way.  That girl loves her fries.  We went with some of our good friends, the Woolfs, and Reese got to hang with her little bestie Drue.  It was seriously such a great night.  We had a blast celebrating our little beauty.  The apple of our eyes.  You are so special Reese, and we are grateful for you every day!

, Momma

02 February 2016

Dear Chillins

Dear Reese and Riggs, 

I don't have much to say today other than I really, really, really love you.  You make me such a proud momma!

♥, Momma

28 January 2016

Bustin' a Move with My Gurl

Today was exceptionally awesome with Reese.  Not many tantrums.  Easy to please.  Entertained herself when she needed to.  Lots of hugs.  Big smiles.  Laughing.  And dancing has hit the Barrett home.  Now let me explain...I have been trying to get this girl to bust a move for a while.  That usually results in a large grunt on her end with a "Stop it!"  Over time I realized she wasn't going to respond to me forcing her to do something she didn't want to.  She needs to warm up to situations folks.  My independent, on-her-own-terms gal.  Sometimes I can't accomodate that part of her personality because well...#parenting has to inevitably have some force for reckoning in our house.  But when it comes to things like dancing, headbands, or singing, those don't really require her obedience, so I have to back down.  But then yesterday, while we were watching Sophia the First, Sophia began singing an inspiring melody (she's got lots of those up her sleeve), and Reese just started dancing.  I wasn't really sure if it was dancing at first because sometimes she just like to jump/hop/squat around the room, but after a solid 20 seconds, there was no doubt about it...SHE WAS DANCING!! My wanna-be-dancer soul was on cloud 9.  Of course I started dancing with her immediately, but I came into it gently because any sudden dancing on my part always seems to ruin the mood. LOL.

After easing my way into the song with Reese, being careful not to take over the show, we started dancing together!!!! This may seem so dumb, but I have dreamed of this moment since she was a little pea in my tummy.  Dreams of our dancing days together were pretty much squashed up until yesterday though (like I said...my dancing=mood killer for Reese).  Prior to yesterday, I had finally come to terms with the fact that I Buns and I would be the only goofy dancers in our household. (Bless our children's future pre-teen hearts.)  But huzZAH!! It's not a fluke!  Today we were watching Tangled, and sure enough "I've Got A Dream" came on, and she was bustin' a move!  I have a little dancer.  I might cry.  Or maybe I always had a dancer, because I have to say, I have seen those moves before Roni...

WARNING:  Horribly high-pitched, wanna-be-Broadway-star momma in the background.  Please IGNORE.