Month: August 2007




    //My Sweet Little Love//
    who has discovered she loves being held…

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    //Proud Grandparents again//

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    Well, this morning *big yawn* I slept in late because dear Zoe kept me up at all hours of the night. I’m not sure what statement she was trying to make, but poor mama is exhausted. She woke up every 1-3 hours, sometimes to eat, sometimes just to look around at the big, dark, snoring world. But she didn’t want to lay in her crib when she was looking around at the big, dark, snoring world. Oh no. She wanted to be held. Can’t say I blame her for wanting to be in the cozy bed with mama and daddy, but still… So at the wee hour of 4:35 -because the baby was wide awake – I went out into the kitchen, trying not to be as cross-eyed as Zoe used to be, and packed Ben’s lunch and got the coffee ready to brew at 5:50am. Then I went back to bed. I tried to sleep in this morning, but Cupcake was wide awake again just after Ben left for school. I was so tired I could hardly take care of her, and quite disheartened that Ben was no longer at home to keep her company. So, at the beautiful hour of _____ :) , when Zoe decided to wake up yet another time, I finally drug myself out of bed and started my day. Or, should I say, continued it… It began at a rather early hour…

    So there you have it – a mama’s day [and night] in a nutshell. Only wish the sleepless nights would feel like a nutshell instead of a bombshell. I don’t do so well on little sleep. But then she’ll look around with her big blue eyes, her head just bobbing away, and I can’t help but giggle and kiss her chubby cheeks. :) I’d feel like a million bucks if I’d have a full night of sleep, but I’ll take my sweet little baby over a full night of sleep any day!!

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    //because I stole some pictures off of jana’s site, i thought i should honor her with a picture//

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    I’ve been talking German to the baby, which is what I grew up on. I’m *ahem* a little more rusty than I’d like to admit. Sometimes my sentences end in English because I can’t remember the German words. Ben said last night that poor Zoe is all confused – we spoke English to her the whole time she was in the womb, but as soon as she comes out we speak this foreign language that she’s never heard. Ah well, she’ll soon learn. And then she might be bilingual.


    //the same with ervina… such graciously generous sisters I have//


    //last but certainly not least, my other sister//




    Ervina, I miss you too!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, here we are, back in the Deep South, where the Civil War rages on. :) Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating just a tad, but as we returned the contrast between the north and south seemed quite distinct again. I think I forgot some of the differences over the summer. Guess that means I had grown more accustomed to them over the past year than I thought.

    We drove back in Ben’s old truck [a.k.a.  the Blue Bulldog] that has over 250,000 miles on it. It rides a little rough, and poor Zoe’s chubby cheeks were bouncing the whole 12 hour trip. The truck has 3 seats, and we filled every inch of those 3 seats with ourselves, and the back of the truck looked like the covered wagon days – if we had a white canvas tarp out the back and horses out the front I think we would’ve looked like we were on our way out West. I was quite glad to see our little house again and be done with traveling for a while! And wow, when we got back home we couldn’t even tell two ladies had partied here all summer!! It looked just like it did when we left, except maybe… cleaner. :)

    It’s a bittersweet thing to leave after a beautiful summer. Sad that my family won’t be able to see Zoe grow and change on a daily basis. Just since we left a few days ago she’s started responding more, and will give us her biggest, gummiest smiles ever. It’s just adorable! She cooed at me today for the first time too, and it just melts mommy’s heart like melted butter. She really is such a good baby, and I am so thankful. I almost feel bad when I hear some of my friends stories about their fussy babies because Zoe is so good!

    Now for the pictures, which is what people want to see anyway. :)

    Announcing Zoe’s arrival to the mailman [our road was so quiet he was one of the only vehicles that traveled it]. Hey, it’s a celebration anyway!

    Mommy’s Precious Love… those pudgy cheeks are so kissable.
    At her 2 week checkup she had already gained back to her birth weight plus gained a pound.

    She has this little sneeze thing… She has to try to get it out for about 5-6 times before she can actually sneeze, then she’ll lay there exhausted. :)

     This is a treat for both of us. During the night she sleeps in her crib [actually, her changing table because we don't have a crib yet :) ], but after her early morning feeding she gets to sleep in with me. She’s such a snuggler, I love it!

    Nana giving her the first bath. Zoe doesn’t seem too thrilled about the idea, but I love her expression here.

    At Daddy’s birthday party! She got to wear her first little dress and surprised Daddy with a birthday card. :)

    The Cabin at Tucquan Glen
    [where we spent the summer]

    These little shoes hung in my car for months before she was born to remind me of what was coming!

    Uncle David and Cousin Katie

    Zoe and Esther, who were born 2.5 weeks apart. Check out Esther’s headful of black hair!
    Ruth and I spent overdue days together to take our minds off our late babies…

    With Bek and Jason. So fun to have babies together!

    Papa and Nana Barkman are the proudest grandparents ever. My family was devastated that we left when she was only 2.5 weeks old.





  • they’re gone.

    and i daresay pennsylvania just lost a bit of sunshine.

    i’m thinking rainy days. meloncholy songs. contemplating denial and happiness or acceptance and withdrawal. neither option is working. i think it’s more lke a combination of three of them.

    to my favorite family:
    ben, clarita, and beautiful zoe,

    it’s been a most wonderful summer.
    but a wonderful summer on super-fast-forward.
    you’ve given us a new little life to fall in love with.
    zoe, if you haven’t realized this yet, you will soon: you’ve got a pretty amazing mommy and daddy. they’ll be the bestest teachers and biggest huggers and love you more than anyone else. (we’ll do the spoiling)
    i don’t know what we’ll do without you guys. but give us a couple weeks, some solitary confinement, a couple boxes of tissues, a dozen people willing to have their shoulders cried on, and a promise of a plane ticket and we’ll survive. (i think)


    [for the rest of us]



    georgia people, be happy.

  • Not photogenic…



    I sure was excited about the photo shoot today by Simple Frames, and I do hope Shannon was able to get a few good ones [bless your heart, Shannon!!] :) But my little daughter isn’t very photogenic at this stage at all, I discovered quite quickly. I thought she’d be fine, but she decided she wanted to eat the whole time instead of taking pictures, and she didn’t like the positions we put her in. It was blitzing hot outside and we were all dripping sweat at 10am. Zoe also decided to pee and poop on me *twice* during the photo session. Poor little thing is just tuckered out now, is sleeping all afternoon after being awake all morning. :) I think we’ll wait a little while before more we try more photography…

     Quite a few people have asked us how/why we chose the name Zoe (prounounced with a long o and a long e sound). I’ll try to explain. I first read it in a book written in the late 1800′s, so it’s an old name that’s now becoming more heard of now again. Ever since then I’ve loved the name Zoe and thought I want a daughter by that name one day. But when we discovered I was pregnant, it took a Southern husband and a Northern wife quite a bit of time to both agree on a name. :) We were both wanting a name full of meaning, and in the end Ben was the one who really wanted Zoe for his little girl. Zoe comes from a Greek word in the New Testament that describes spirit and soul life, as opposed to physical life. In John 1 where it speaks of Jesus coming to earth, the literal interpretation is, “In Him was zoe, and the zoe was the light of men.” Together with her middle name, her name means, “Abundant life of grace.” So, not sure if that makes sense to everyone or not. I tried. :)

    Busy week ahead of us… We’re leaving next Wednesday to head back down to the good ol’ South. I can hardly believe this summer has flown by so quickly, and it’s time to go back after being gone a little over 2 months. We’re ready though – ready to be settled back in our own home, see all our friends down there, be back in the church… It’s been a delightful summer up here with my family and friends, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but we’re feeling ready to be settled into a bit of a “normal” again. I’m not sure how the 12-hour road trip is going to go with a baby not even 3 weeks old, but we’ll see how it goes and maybe stop for the night if Zoe gets fussy. Soooo, I’ll see all of you Jesupians next week!! I’m excited!

    Now let me strut a bit…  And be jealous, be very jealous.  :)

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    Zoe Grace, a few hours after birth.
    All 8 pounds, 6 ounces of her. I couldn’t believe I had a baby that big!!

    contemplating this whole mother thing

    Our little family when Zoe was 2 days old… I must add, Ben is quite the proud daddy.

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    Two of the aunts, who both declare themselves the godmothers, and who helped me so wondrously the first 10 days after Zoe was born.

    My dad, with his very first grandbaby (sorry, dad, this isn’t the best angle of you)

    Four generations
    I feel very fortunate to have this picture. This is the only grandmother either Ben and I have living. Very special…


    And now I must be off to change a poopie diaper. :)




  • I have fallen in love…


    My little baby is 10 days old… and my heart is completely taken. I have just fallen in love with her!! She is just the sweetest baby I’ve ever seen, I just adore her! I’m surprised at how fast my days go by, when mostly all I do is feed her, burp her, let her sleep, then feed her, burp her, let her sleep… Last night was the best night so far – she actually slept for 5 hours in a row – the best so far. A whole night of sleep seems very far in the future, but I’m trying to rest during the day so that helps with the sleep deficit. This time of life feels like the most beautiful gift ever…

    This is my first day off of  Extra Strength Tylenol. I could make it without wincing at every step. ;)

    More pictures will come soon, but I’m still in the days of a film camera…

    Baby pictures are being taken tomorrow by Simple Frames!! I’m excited…