Tuesday, March 13, 2012

number 4

(these events unfolded in March and that's when I wrote this)

What. A. Week!

I was busy with massage and my sewing business, Jordan picked up a side job and suddenly got overtime hours, Gary died, we had a wedding rehersal/wedding, and......

we discovered that we're going to have another baby!!!

I'm not even going to get into what a SHOCK this was for us. I'm not going to bring up that we had totally made our peace with not having anymore babies (something I never thought would be such an easy decision). I'm not going to mention how many people we had reassured that "we're done having kids" (even right up to the day we found out!). I'm not going to think about how much of our baby stuff we sold over the past few months. But I'll just say this: we were so sure we were done. I had actually made a note a couple of days before I took a test to call the doctor about different birth control options.... more permanent options!

I will say this: man plans, God laughs! Or more accurately, 'Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.' (Proverbs 19.21) And thank God for that! His plan has always been the best for us. And we are so anxious to welcome this new child into the family.

So this is the story of how we discovered this exciting news. I was a few days late but we just thought, "it can't be!". But finally, Jordan demanded I buy a test (which I just thought was silly). So I bought one on my way to help set up for a wedding. I was going to take it when I got there but decided against it. Jordan called his mom who was also there and asked to talk to me. He was just so anxious to know for sure. I told him I'd take it when we were home together. I came back home and Jordan had just gotten home as well. Our kids were at Katie's since we had a wedding rehersal that night. I took the test.... POSITIVE!! First, I was shocked! I was more shocked than Jordan... there were no symptoms to my pregnancy! And then I was scared... I do not feel like I'm cut out to be a mother of four children. Really, I've been feeling like I wasn't supposed to be a mother to three... it's tough. Through tears of mixed emotions and with shaky hands, I finished giving Jordan a haircut, composed myself, and we left for the wedding rehersal. We weren't just anxious thinking about another baby. We were happy, too. On our way to the rehersal, we picked up another test. Since the first test was from The Dollar Store, we thought there was a chance it was faulty (even though they haven't ever failed me before!) But then we passed a digital sign on a building (it immediately caught our attention) that read, "It's a Girl!" When we got to the rehersal, I took the test right away. It immediately read positive! I gave Jordan a 'sign' that it was once again positive. And I love the deep connection we felt with our little secret. We were openly talking about it all night though discretely enough for no one else to notice. We decided on the way home to keep it a secret for as long as we could. Our record in the past has been until I'm about 7 weeks along! I'm 5 weeks right now as I write this but don't plan to post this until we can't keep it a secret any longer.

So personally, at first I struggled with this pregnancy. It's hard to even admit that. Don't get me wrong, I am so thrilled that there is this little life inside of me and already, I cannot wait to meet our newest addition to the family! But I just feel like I can't! I don't say that about too many things in my life. I really enjoy a challenge. But this is a challenge that I can't fail at. God's timing always amazes me. He's known this whole 'time' that this was going to happen. I just did a Bible lesson on Deborah who was this warrier that said "I can" when it would have maybe been easier to say "I can't". At the time, I didn't feel that this lesson was necessarily speaking to me. Now I keep thinking back to it. And the next day after I found out about 'number 4', I did a lesson on James 1.17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above." I already knew that but there were so many other implications surrounding this verse that applied to my situation. Even though we had no idea this would happen, I am so totally on board with this, God's will for our family. I'm honored that God believes that I can manage four children. Being a mother has been one of the most rewarding gifts in all my life but also the scariest and most challenging. Somedays I feel like I've done everything wrong and that there's so much to lose. But when I step back and look at my kids, I think they are growing into wonderful, caring, loving little people. And I love them so much.

So, to the newest little member of the Barkel family: Hi, Love! You are only 5 weeks old and were such a surprise to us. But an amazing surprise that I can't wait to fully behold! I had no idea that you were in 'the plan' and am honored that God has chosen me to be your mother. You are already so loved and I cannot wait to share the news of YOU with everyone. God has had it in His plan since the dawn of creation for me to be your mother. And there is a plan completely laid out for you already. I pray, above all else, that you will chose to love the Lord and follow His will for you. I look forward to learning more about you and to looking into your eyes once you're born. I will try to be the best mom ever, even starting now. You are so loved, little (poppy-seed sized) baby. Can't wait to meet you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

ode to gary

Our beloved dog, Gary, was hit and killed by a car recently :( He had been running through his electric fence for the past month. It was so weird... he always wanted to run off and I guess the shock was worth the freedom. We got a knock on the door from an officer that he was dead. The car must have just hit his head. Both of his eyeballs were knocked out and his neck was completely broken. But the rest of his body was fine. We're hoping he died on the spot. Jordan picked him up from in front of the Borculo general store and there we were, digging a hole for him at 11pm. We didn't want to wait until the next day because it was so warm out (60F). We actually woke up the girls to see him one last time. They were very out of it, though, and didn't understand. So in the morning, I explained it to them again. They were sad but both agreed that he would be happier in heaven (or 'Kevin' as Ruby's been calling it.... from Home Alone, we think?!). Gary is with 'Doctor Jesus.' Our nieces and nephews are actually more sad about it than our own kids. Charlie has been walking around the house, occasionally calling for Gary and the girls will blurt out, "he's dead!" I feel a little guilty because I've been bugging Jordan to get rid of Gary to someone we know would want him. He was always following me around the house and creating more cleaning jobs for me. There were lots of things that annoyed me about him but I didn't want him to die!

A few days after he died, we were at a wedding rehersal and we were all reminiscing about Gary - it felt like an after-funeral, ham-on-bun, in-the-church-basement kind of gathering! We laughed about all of the things that he ate that he shouldn't have: a bag of chocolate chips and I had to induce vomiting so he wouldn't die (according to the vet), a whole batch of muffins with wrappers, an entire cajun pizza that the guys turned their back on in the garage one time, and then there was a whole platter of chocolate-covered cherries, truffles, and christmas cookies that we left in the basement while our friends were over. We came back down and there he sat on the couch, looking straight ahead, trying to appear innocent. He had eaten all of the goods except for one christmas cookie! We all thought it was hilarious that Gary probably figured he'd be off the hook if he left one cookie because what dog would be able to leave one cookie!

His official registered name was Sir Gary Barkel. We don't know for certain if his name contributed to his very human-like personality. There was this one time that Jordan and I watched him lay down, get comfortable, and cover himself with a blanket by using his teeth to pull it over him. He could also open the front door on his own and he knew how to use the doorbell (you know, in case the door was locked!). He loved my sister's family and about everytime she'd come over, he'd get in her car and sit straight-backed in the back seat pretending he was a human so that she'd take him away!

There were many that were so sad to hear he was gone! Actually, I think there are a lot of people that will miss him more than our own family!

So long, Gare-bear. And since you had such a strong personality, there is no way we'll ever attempt to replace you!

last pictures taken of him on the last day of his life.

Sir Gary Barkel: June 18, 2006 to March 6, 2012

Another 'scared silly' story that I'll tell just by using pictures.  This is how my daughters spend their playtime....

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