• Pool Side…

    I could spend all day in the house organizing and redecorating but to a 2 and a 6 year old, that isn’t any fun. So today, we ventured to the pool with some friends. We were the only ones there for hours. It felt quite odd to have the whole place to ourselves. Every time we go the kids get braver and better at swimming. Mcree loves the diving board (and belly flops) and the slide while Gress has a newfound love for diving down in the water and getting things off the bottom. And to be honest, this is one of the only things I can do that makes me feel cool enough to be outside! 🙂 So it was a win win for us all!

    photo2 photo3 photo4 photo5

  • Perspective…


    See this face? Bet you think this sweet little puppy is just full of love and tail wagging. You can’t always trust a face like this. Luna is generally a GREAT puppy….and honestly I forget she is still just a pup sometimes because she usually has great behavior. We have been trying to leave her out of her kennel when we are gone for a short time. That was until the other day when I walked in the front door and the curtain hanging next to the door was completely shredded. It was like there was a cat fight inside the curtain. I immediately started screaming at her as she came out the front door, which brought on her peeing all over the front step, and when I proceeded to bring out the hose, she ran for her life to hide. When I looked up I saw the horror in the boys eyes as to what was going on. Pretty sure they thought that was the end of our sweet family dog. And then I remembered instantly a phrase in a book I am reading that says, “If this is the worst thing that happens in your day, praise God.” Oh boy did that smack me right in the face. My reaction is all in how I perceive the situation. I have the ability to change my reaction. And how I reacted was NOT how I wanted to react. Pretty sure I am being tested in this area as the next night, 8 minutes before my dinner was done cooking in the oven, the glass pyrex exploded sending glass into our meal and all over my nicely (hand) cleaned oven. I just looked at the mess, sighed and said it again, “If this is the worst thing that happens in my day, Praise God.” and found something else to quickly cook. I am thankful for the reminder to focus on God and not my circumstances. Definitely a lesson I am still working on putting into practice!!

  • Big Belly

    bellyThis belly…it sure is a conversation starter. Headed to a doctor’s appointment the other day, an elevator filled with mostly elderly people stared at me and as I walked slowly in that direction. One shouted out, “Come on mama, we are waiting on you.” When I entered one lady asked me when I was due and when I told her I had 8 weeks left, she looked at me funny and said, “you might just have that baby here in this elevator” and then the conversation continued in all sorts of directions. Is funny how much advice you can get in a short 4 floor ride to your destination. Lately, whenever I go out I get sympathy smiles, questions of when I am due, people looking at my boys and asking me “maybe a girl this time?” and people sharing their own stories with me of enduring summer heat while pregnant. The comment that surprises me the most is, “you look like you are going to pop” or “you will never make it another 8 weeks.” It’s bad enough that I waddle, or grunt when I have to bend down, or sigh when I have to pick Mcree up, or take deep breaths trying to get the braxton hicks contractions to stop while walking across the parking lot.

    There are days that a random stranger will look at me and say, “you look great!” or “you are darling pregnant.” And then there are the daily comments from my boys that tell me how beautiful I am. I was eating dinner the other night and Mcree looked at me and said, “you are a princess.” I have learned to take the compliments and remember those in times of the other comments, for I know that this little life I carry within me is so amazing and special that no amount of cellulite or tight fitting clothes will steal that from me. I don’t need the accolades (although they sure are sweet) and the other comments usually say more about the person saying them that it does about my current situation.

    So today I just smile, knowing that this big ol belly won’t be here much longer….and one day I will look back and remember how sweet all the struggles were to get to this very moment.

  • Growing Bigger

    I smile so many times at these boys. Gress lost another tooth and he is so proud to show everyone. People ask him if the tooth fairy came and he says, no, I am saving them in a jar. Oh, the looks we get! And then Mcree tries to tell them that his teeth are loose too. He wants to be just like his big brother. And in this photo of Mcree, if just shows me he is not so very little anymore! Our summer is flying by.

    IMG_0035 IMG_0060

  • Daily Bread

    Life is short…and no matter how many times I remind myself of that, I still tend to take things for granted. We assume life will go on living the way it has been. It isn’t until we hear a story about someone facing death that we are awakened to how very precious those people are around us. I am thankful to have my parents, and my grandparents. I don’t often tell them how thankful I am, and so many times I come to the true realization that they won’t be here forever and it makes my heart sad. Sad that I won’t get to share this life with them, and even more sad that my kids won’t get to know who shaped me (and Rad). I love including my kids in real prayers, prayers that include us on our knees praying for God’s provision in someone’s life. Currently, there are several friends in our lives that we are praying for daily. I want my kids to know that this life is not promised and we have to rely on God for our “daily bread.” Today we especially thank God for giving us more life with PawPaw (Rad’s Dad) who unexpectedly needed an angioplasty and found out one of his main arteries was 99% blocked. These boys adore him and I look forward to how PawPaw’s life will shape these boys!


  • Swimming Boys

    photophoto photo48 weeks or so we will get to meet this new little baby! EIGHT WEEKS! That makes me panic just a little! Not panic for what is to come but panic because of what I still have left to do! This tired body is having a hard time getting it all done. JUST KEEP MOVING I tell myself, until I find my nice prone position on the couch…then all productivity ceases! What doesn’t stop moving are these 2 little boys. The other day I had to stop doing what I really wanted to get done and get some energy out of these boys. We headed to the pool and by the time we came home all of us needed a nap. The bravery of Mcree is unreal. He loves to jump, to swim, be thrown into the air in all directions, and isn’t afraid of anything. Who knew the kid knew how to swim, even with his floatation device off. Rad went with us one evening and the boys definitely amped up their bravery in his presence. It was fun to watch.

    In the car one day, Gress said, “mom, I really need to start exercising so I can get some muscles and get stronger.” I just smiled and went along with it. Today we were moving some boxes to and from the attic and Gress was a big help. You could see how proud Gress was of himself that he was so strong. Rad looked at me and said, “boys need to be empowered.” These are things a girl doesn’t know. Later that morning, I walked into the den and Gress had set up a “gym” of sorts with the wooden bench, the wooden stool and was doing some reps of pushups, overhead presses, and various toe touches and stretching techniques. He was breathing hard and sweating. It was all I could do to not laugh out loud. Oh boys! I have a lot to learn.

  • Sand Gnats Baseball

    It was $1 night at the Sand Gnats game last night. Which means, $1 tickets, $1 hot dogs and drinks, and for an added bonus it was a double header last night. It is a great family venue and we all love going. Last night Rad would yell, “GO SAND GNATS!” and the boys would follow with their loudest voices cheering on the team too. This place is definitely a memory maker. The boys always talk about their mascot Gnate (pronounced Nate) and love visiting with him, at least both of them used to love it until last night! 🙂

    sandgnatsIMG_1100IMG_1109 IMG_1106 IMG_1102IMG_1104

  • Boy-ness

    Some days, these boys play so hard they “have” to take off their shirts because they are hot. Really these 2 will use almost any excuse to get down to shorts or just underwear. I really didn’t understand that whole concept…until Rad informed me that is just what boys like to do. I  just look at them and giggle at their boy-ness. You would think this would cut down on laundry and I really wish that were the case. Somehow it is quite the opposite by the time they redress multiple times with a few costume changed in between. Thankful lately for time at home to get all the many things done.

  • Smile with a View

    IMG_1070Fun moments happen at the end of this dock.

    Wednesday we were busy jumping in the water, swimming in floats, letting the current pull us, finding shrimp, exploring nature and collecting parts of it…and having a picnic with beautiful views all around us. This place makes me smile. We are lucky to have friends that share life’s treasures with us! Oh and friends that love to have fun (which includes creating their own “rock band” with “guitars”, “microphones” and great singing voices.”

    IMG_1055 IMG_1061 IMG_1063 IMG_1068

  • Showering Mabry

    In case you haven’t been brought up to speed, we are having a baby due to arrive around September 15th. If you already knew that, then you might know that we are having a girl (which I think we are still in shock about) and we are naming her Mabry (pronounced Maybree). My sweet friends Melissa and Abbie threw a surprise shower for me a few weeks ago. Here are a few of the moments captured. It was a sweet time of being loved on by some very special women!

    Eliza_Barrera-1 Eliza_Barrera-2 Eliza_Barrera-3 Eliza_Barrera-6 Eliza_Barrera-7 Eliza_Barrera-17 Eliza_Barrera-12Eliza_Barrera-21 Eliza_Barrera-22 Eliza_Barrera-30 Eliza_Barrera-35 Eliza_Barrera-41 Eliza_Barrera-43 Eliza_Barrera-46And they had a fun little game planned where Rad was asked some questions beforehand and I had to guess what he answered. Thought you would enjoy a little humor!

    1) QUESTION: What foods does Emily crave during her pregnancy?
    Rad: Her sweet tooth was kicking on this one. Previously, it was Cheez-Its or crackers. But with this little girl it is cake or donuts. Specifically from Baker’s Pride…so I’d have to go with cake or cookies on this one.
    Emily: Coconut Popsicles
    2) QUESTION:  Will your little girl have hair?  If yes, what color?
    Rad: Yes, dark brown I think. Although Em and her sister had sandy blonde hair when they were little so it’s a roll of the dice.
    Emily: Yes. Black. Lots of it.
    3) QUESTION:  Will Rad will learn how to french braid, true or false?
    Rad: Yes, but it’s going to take some practice! I joked with Will St. Clair about it and he told me of the vacuum technique which looks really appealing (not a braid but a good start)
    Emily: No, but I bet he will use a vacuum to make a pony tail.
    4) QUESTION:  Which is more likely, tutus and tiaras or tee ball and bugs?
    Rad: Oh boy…this is the part that scares me. I think it’s going to be both but I’ll go with Tutus
    Emily: I hope tutus a little bit. Can we pick in the middle?
    5) QUESTION: Who will be closer to baby girl Harrell, Gress or Mcree?
    Rad: Gress. He’s already talking about how he’ll take care of her and protect her. “Dad, if anybody is saying mean things to Mabry, I’ll punch them in the mouth”.
    Emily: Gress
    6) QUESTION:  Who will she look more like, Rad or Emily?
    Rad: I’m praying Em. She’s hot.
    Emily: I guess hopefully not like Rad, right? Not that he’s ugly. Just don’t want a handsome girl.
    7) QUESTION:  Who is going to cry more when the baby is born?  Mom, Dad, or baby?
    Rad: Baby…def. baby.
    Emily: Radford! I’m going to want a burger and apple juice and he’s going to be crying his eyes out.
    8) QUESTION:  How much will your baby girl weigh when she is born?  How long will she be?
    Rad: Hmm…7 lbs, 7 oz, 19 inches.
    Emily: I hope not a lot. 7lb 11oz, 22in. Not any bigger. I hope not 9lb, but maybe
    9) QUESTION: If you could pass on one of your (Rad’s) best traits or skills to your child, what would it be?
    Rad: Calmness. I don’t get rattled easily which has helped me keep my head  in situations that can be tough. There is probably a better word for it…
    Emily: Rad is a great conversationalist and people person. I’d say that.
    10) QUESTION: If you could pass on one of Emily’s best traits or skills to your child, what would it be?
    Rad: Serving and hospitable heart. She’s amazing at taking care of me, the boys, and others.
    Emily: Sewing? (wink). Just having fun and making the most of things.