Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Simply In Love

My days are emotional. They are full of great highs and some exhausting lows. There are moments that leave me feeling full to the brim of love, gratitude and appreciation. And of course there are moments that send me straight to the baking cupboard searching desperately for those last few chocolate chips that I just know have to be there.

I've been reading this book. As I devour every page I am reminded that motherhood is an emotion filled ride for each and every one of us. I'm not sure why I picked the book up a couple months ago. For some reason it just called to me from the shelves of Barnes and Noble. Whatever the reason, I am so glad I made the impulsive decision to buy this beautiful book. I am incredibly encouraged by the author and momma. She is beautiful. Her children are beautiful. And her honesty and positive approach to life encourage me. Much of the book has made me cry like a baby. If fact, Henry "caught me" crying my eyes out over chapter 12. As he looked into my water brimmed eyes, I looked even deeper into his chocolate ones. And then in a state of deep gratitude for this thing called motherhood an outpouring of mothery, gooey, loviness flowed out of me:

Henry, do you know how much I love you? I love you more than you may ever know. I love you for all that you are. I love every part of you. Your heart. Your body. Your smart little brain. I love that God gave me you. He gave me you Henry. And I love you more than anything.

But not more than God right momma?

Right Henry. I love God the most. Because out of all the little boys in the world He gave me you.

And then he hugged me. And walked away in his saggy Darth Vader underwear.

And that pretty much sums up this day. Simply in love with my boys. My daughter. My husband. And my stinky new dog.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jail Break

"I'm coming. I'm coming. Crap, I'm coming.
Tyson, do not let her leave.
Together we will get out of this place"

"Okay. You're a cute pup. I'm a cute baby. Let's use it.
I'll bat my baby blues
while you cock your adorable ears."

"Yeah, Tyson. I realize that didn't work.
But don't cop an attitude with me. 
We will get out of here. Let's try plan B. "

"Just look happy. Really, really happy.
She has to let us out if we're happy."

"No. Tyson, I will not let you lose hope. Look me in the eye.
 I said look at me!
 You and I are too cute to be stuck behind this fence.
We will get out of here."

"In fact, I think I might just be able to unlock this thing.
If I just twist this a little ...
and push here just a tad ... "

"You know, on second thought, if I'm gonna be
stuck in here there's no one else I'd rather
be here with. You're not too bad Tyson.
Not too bad at all."
(Speak for yourself chick. I want the %^&! out of here.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Correction to the Family Tree

So after a day of trying to make our dog fit the name Levi we realized we picked the wrong name for him. It was pretty obvious when people would ask me, "What did you name your dog?" and I couldn't remember. For minutes on end. So in true Barron fashion (Henry was named Issac for the first 4 hours of his life) we have made a change. Levi is Levi no more. But he is (drum roll please) ... Tyson! And that my friends will not change (other than the few times today that Henry actually rememberd the name Levi and called Tyson, Levi. Oops).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We Bit the Bullet

We find adding a baby to the bunch every 2 years seems to be just about right. But predictability can be so boring. Claire is just 14 months and momma has a new baby!

Meet Levi Barron. He's a 10 week old German Shepherd. I honestly never knew I could love a dog so much and so instantly. I even sat next to him in the car (when we took him to Henry's baseball game) because he was whimpering so. I've never even sat by one of my kids in the car. Not even the first time we brought them home from the hospital.

The boys are thrilled. Henry keeps saying, "I can't believe we have a dog." Adam likes to torture him. And Claire is very attached too. Matt is pretty much an expert at puppy raising so he's taking the bull by the horns. Or more accurately the poop shovel by the handle.

Welcome home little (not for long) Levi.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Matt Tells Me It's Sterile

In my most hectic mothering moments I've done some brainless things; put clean coffee cups away in the fridge, left the van running, lost a 2 pound pork roast between the grocery store parking lot and home. These are just the tip of the iceberg. However, last night when I was getting the boys in the tub I had a rare moment of mental clarity. Thank goodness.

I was cleaning up the last of the dinner dishes so Henry and Adam beat me to the bathroom, stripped and climbed into the water I had waiting for them. I was just about to pour some Papa Smurf body wash into the tub when I remembered (a) seeing this bottle empty 2 nights ago (b) I never leave bubble bath in the tub because the boys used an entire bottle in one bath one too many times and (c) that Papa Smurf bubble bath wasn't yellow last I checked. Or warm. This body wash definitely didn't belong in the tub. It did however belong in the toilet. And I put it there immediately.

 Or rather, just as soon as I snapped a picture of the sample (it was quite an impressive amount).

And a quick picture of the sample being placed in its appropriate porcelain apparatus.

And another quick picture of the presumably guilty parties watching the sample go down.

And one last picture of the true guilty character. That would be the innocent-looking, short one on the right. Yup. When the full story came out I learned that this little tyke  - who can't shoot straight when he pees in the toilet - managed to get every drop into the little rim of that Papa Smurf bottle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

On Sunday I celebrated my 6th Mother's Day. This picture captures perfectly how I felt that day from the moment I opened my eyes in the morning to the minute I laid my head on my pillow that night.

Motherhood is the most awesome gift I've received. Because of it I've been stretched beyond my wildest dreams. I have learned am learning how to become more selfless with my time, desires, and sleeping habits. Everyday I find a new reason to love Matt more deeply than the day before. And with each living, breathing, back-talking blessing we add to our family I am learning that my ability to love and guide my children is best reflected in the love that Christ has for me.

*   *   *

Thank you Matt for being such a joyful companion down the road of parenthood. In my heart of hearts I know that we were made to journey though life together. Henry, Adam and Claire are so blessed by your example. Our boys are learning to be dedicated, hard working, loving fathers' and Claire will know what kind of man she should look for when we let her start dating at 43.

And to my big-hearted first born Henry, thank you for loving me! Your encouraging words bless me daily. Your hugs and kisses surprise me when I need them the most. And when I look into your big brown eyes and see myself reflected there I am reminded of the miracle of life.

And Adam Scott Barron, how do I begin to describe the joy, life and laughter you bring to my life. Your love of hard work (especially outdoors with dada) inspires me. Your big voice, hilarious words, and "broken tooth" smile make me laugh from the depths of my belly. The honesty that flows from your heart melts my own. You have a determination that is unparalled.

And to the little girl who made us a family of five, you are loved by all of us more than you will know. Your smile melts me, and your dad and your brothers and your grandma and every grocery checker or stranger we pass on the street. You've been described on numerous occasion as "sparkly" and I tend to agree. You are sweet and feisty and you bring out the best in me.

I love all of you bunches.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Best of Friends

My boys love "their chothers" as Henry would say. They love "their chothers" (each other) so much that sometimes the passion boils over into arguing. Here are just a few examples from the past couple weeks.

*     *     *
Henry: "Adam, I'm pretty sure I wipe better than you."
Adam: "No you don't. I wipe better."
Henry: "No Adam. I'm 5 1/2. And you're not even 3 1/2 so that means I wipe better."
Adam. "When I'm 5 I will wipe better dan you."
Henry: "No. Because when you're 5 I'll be old. And wipe better."

*     *     *
Adam: "Care Bear (Claire Bear) pees out of her little bottom."
Henry: "No Adam. Claire Bear pees out of her big bottom on her back and her little bottom on her front."
Adam: "No she doesn't!"
Henry: "Yes she does!
Adam: "No she doesn't!"
Henry: "Yes she does!"
Me:      "Boys. Claire pees out of her little bottom on her front and poops out of her big bottom on her back."
Henry and Adam: (pondering) "Oh."
 (This argument is ongoing. I don't think they've grasped the concept)

*     *     *
Henry and Adam are arguing over something insignificant and annoying and bothersome.
Me: "Boys, Please stop arguing. It hurts my ears and my heart."
Henry: "We're not arguing."
Adam: "Yes we are."
Henry: "No we're not."
Adam: "Yes we are."
Henry: "NO we're NOT."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big Sur Baby

The story goes something like this ...

A few more details might help a bit. Jenny and I met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when our husbands were in Medical School. During that time we became the best of friends when we trained for the 2004 Chicago Marathon together. Eight years later (along with 5 kids between us, a ridiculous number of phone calls and texts to stay connected and hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical school debt) Jenny convinced me to run the 2012 Big Sur Marathon with her. It would be a back to back Big Sur attempt for her (and her 6th marathon!) and my second attempt at conquering the legendary 26.2. And because this bunch of Barron's loves the Heyboer gang we decided to make a family vacation out of it. And I am so, so glad that we did.

The marathon was insane. I mean more difficult than I could have imagined. The hills were relentless. I expected that. What did knock me off me feet (literally) was the wind! According to the paper the day after the race it was one of the toughest (windiest) runs in the 27 year history of the Big Sur Marathon. I thought I was mentally prepared for a windy run. Big Sur is however often windy. But I was NOT prepared for what blew in our face with little reprieve from mile 6 to mile 26. Jenny handled it like a champ. She is a true Montana mountain momma. I have more respect and admiration for her than she will ever know. I felt great for the first half. I even "enjoyed" the legendary 2 mile, 500 foot elevation gain ascent to Hurricane point. But something happened around mile 16. Call it chest pains. Call it a stabbing pain in my left shoulder. Call it crazy. Whatever it was it resulted in this ...

Everything checked out fine. I expected that it would. But when the pain was just getting worse and an ambulance appeared around the corner I had to have peace of mind that my heart was ticking just as it should. Jenny embraced the moment as part of our Big Sur experience and snapped a few pictures.

From there on I was struggling. Honestly, I wanted to stop and walk it in at mile 17 but I knew it would be a long, cold, windy, hilly, depressing walk. So I plugged along with Jenny by my side until I officially "hit the wall" somewhere around mile 21 or 22. I knew I hit the wall when I began spewing F-bombs repeatedly and started moaning uncontrollably like a cow in labor. It was a very strange experience and honestly I'm just very lucky I didn't puke and crap my pants. I thought I was going to. I knew my body had maxed out. I urged Jenny to go ahead because she was more than up for the challenge. And I willingly succumbed to my fate of walk/running the last few miles. Honestly, it was the most beautiful walk of my life.

Crossing the finish line with a time of 4:56 was equal parts exhilarating (because I could finally eat, drink and sit) and disappointing. I had trained my butt off for this race and I was really hoping for a better time. It wasn't until the next day when I drove the course with Matt and the kids that I felt ridiculously proud of what I had accomplished. Running a marathon is never easy. Ever. Running from Big Sur north to Montery along highway one is insane. Thank you Matt Barron for building me up like you never have before and speaking words of encouragement to me on that drive. I have never seen my husband more proud of me. Honestly. Not even when birthing our three children (which I might add was 1000 times easier than this marathon).

                                                      *             *             *             *

Heading out for the start line.

The legendary piano man (who Jenny asked, "Do you remember me from last year?").

Pictures can not capture the feeling or beauty of this race.

When we made it back Henry greeted me with a big hug
and said, "Momma I prayed for you that you would win."
Fat chance son.

Claire admiring my medal. I can't help but wonder if she'll ever run a marathon.

The fantastic shirts that Jenny made for all the kids.

Still can't believe I ran this coastline.

The End.
And can I just say that I am so, SO impressed
by Pete and Jenny Heyboer.