Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Ole Kentucky Home

Last weekend, we took our longest road trip yet...with (an almost) 3 month old & a 2-year-old! Jonathan & I packed the car & headed "home."  We had this weekend planned in June - going to shower Sarah's baby girl, take the boys to the race track, & to spend time with family before my maternity leave ends.  We had a fun-filled weekend!
It started with a trip to Anne Mason Elementary to play on Grandmama's instruments.  Peyton loved ALL of the instruments...running around playing on them.  Grandmama gave him a few lessons & even took him out to the school playground. 
Playing in Grandmama's music classroom
Grandaddy with Peyton & Nolan
Aunt Nancy had the idea to take the boys to Evans Orchard.  Carter & Peyton had a blast playing together - on the playground, at the petting zoo, & sharing apple pies.  This is the first time we really noticed them playing with one another. They "talked," shared toys, & got into trouble together.  Can we say we have our hands full?!
What are these cousins getting into?
Grandmama & Nolan (can't you tell he's in heaven? He's our cuddler!)
Anna got us box tickets to Keeneland for Friday.  The weather drastically dropped, but that did not matter.  We took pictures, watched the horses, & ate some of our favorite Kentucky food.  Peyton loved every minute.  When asked by his sitter about his Kentucky trip, he said, "Horses FAST!" 
The Barlows at Keeneland
Nancy & Carter, Auntie Anna, Peyton & Me
Happy 3 Months, Nolan! (10-30-12)
Best Buds at the Track!
Finally, on Saturday morning we celebrated with Sarah & Ella.  We drove down to Somerset, KY to Ashley's house for Ella's shower. (I wish I had a picture of Ella, but didn't get one!)  These girls have kept in touch with me, & I've lived away for EIGHT YEARS! Every time I come to KY, we find something to celebrate.  Our group keeps growing with husbands, toddlers, & babies.  What special friends!!!
Celebrating Ella Gregory's arrival! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I continue to be reminded how HARD parenting can be on a daily basis!!!  It has become more apparent as Peyton has entered the "terrible-twos" & we have a 2-month old who has suffered a major surgery, colic, acid reflux, trouble sleeping, etc. 
This weekend, I learned of a distant family member who was my age, living in a homeless shelter, & died unexpectedly due to taking some form of drugs.  This news has really upset me, reminding me of how hard life can be on anyone.
With that in mind, this weekend alone - I spilled an entire gallon of sweet tea on my kitchen floor while holding a screaming Nolan.  I said a "bad" word, which Peyton repeated, & that crushed my spirit.  I was 30 minutes late to Sunday School & was supposed to teach the lesson.  I struggled to worship, due to my frustration with myself being late to church.  My attitude was not in check this weekend. In the meantime - I needed to parent.  Nolan had needs - eating, changing, sleeping.  Peyton had needs - consistent discipline, consistent schedule (he is his mama - he loves routine!), continued work on healthy eating, etc.  I was very aware parenting "takes a village," without my husband, I do not know how I could manage (& I greatly admire those who single parent).  I was very aware parenting takes LOTS of prayer - for the parents & the children. 
To you my blogger readers - I LOVE my boys with all my heart.  But, it is HARD to parent.  I question my decisions, my actions, my time spent with my family wanting to make it the BEST, most memorable at all times.  I am learning - it is a learning process full of mistakes & lessons learned.  For some reason, I felt I needed to share my struggles...we all have them, don't we?

Happy moments caught on our cell phones -
Nolan loving the fall weather!
Peyton playing with Nolan at the hotel in St. Simons
Dark but sweet photo w/ Lindsay Salapka: LOVED time with her!
Nolan asleep on the play yard! 
My prayer as a parent & for my boys - "...he may strengthen you with power through His Holy Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted & established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide & long & high & deep is the love of Christ & to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grandmama in town...

 This past week, Grandmama Fraley spent her fall break with us! We had tons of fun - a trip to the local pumpkin patch, story-time at the library, a trip to North Georgia to pick apples, cooking, organizing a storage closet, a 5K race, the Royston Fall Festival, a DATE NIGHT with Jonathan (our first since Nolan's arrival)...etc.  It was a wonderful week & I'm so thankful I was still on maternity leave.  Here are a few pictures from the pumpkin patch -
Nolan at the Pumpkin Patch...thank you Aunt Nancy for my hat!

Peyton did NOT want to take this picture!!
Pictures from the apple orchard - 
Grandmama & Peyton on the hayride 

Aren't we thankful for family? Family allows us to be our true "selves" - our highs & lows.  Jonathan & I are truly are blessed to have wonderful parents & siblings.  I will cherish the family memories made this past week.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall has arrived!

Fall has officially arrived in the Barlow household!!! I (finally) got my fall decorations out, made some delicious pumpkin muffins, we went to our first fall festival of the season, & we went to our first football game.  Fall is in the air!
Last weekend, we took the boys to the Lavonia Fall Festival to ride the choo-choo.  Peyton loved it!
Lavonia Fall Festival
Peyton loving the train!
Papa & Peyton
 Nolan was 2 months last Sunday, September 30th.  He is sleeping much better, smiling to anyone who talks to him, loves the swing, & has gone to his first - vacation, festival, church service, football game, & grocery store.  It is true - you take the second babies out much sooner than the first!
Nolan naked because he spit up all over his cute outfit!!!
 This weekend, we took the boys to the Franklin County football game.  We went to watch Chuck Allen coach the Jackson County Panthers & Mary Catherine Burrell in the homecoming court.  We had prayed alongside Chuck & Lauren as he was wanting a career move & thrilled to see him in this new position.  We also love our babysitter, Mary Catherine & were thrilled to see her win the honor of homecoming queen.  This honor could not go to anyone sweeter than MC (as Jonathan calls her). 
Lauren Allen with us!
Peyton doing push-ups with the cheerleaders
Enjoying the game!
FC Homecoming Queen Mary Catherine & Peyton
Today, Grandmama came in from Kentucky! We are going to go get pumpkins, drive up the north Georgia mountains to an apple orchard, & run in a 5K next weekend! Fall has arrived!