Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,my family,NCA — admin at 2:28 pm on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Enoch graduated KINDERGARTEN this year!

At first we thought that only Jared & I would be able to attend but then we found out that he could bring 10 guests!!

He read a story about a wet goat!

He counted to 100 by 5’s!

He did a report on bees & where they live & how they sleep & what they eat!

He told his teacher a secret – but he doesn’t whisper very well!!

Mom-mom & Bacca came!! Pa & GG came!!

His teachers – they ARE amazing women! And Mara came too!


Enoch. Your name means dedicated. And you are VERY dedicated. You are a ball of energy. You ask ALL the questions. You help. You feel all the feelings.

I’ve loved watching you grow and change this year!!




Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,NCA — admin at 1:25 pm on Monday, June 24, 2019

Enoch went to preschool last year – for one day a week once March came around – so I could go back to work as a secretary for our contractor!

He went to school this year – three days a week – and he loved it SO VERY MUCH!

His 5 1/2 years have FLOWN by!! I can remember wondering what grade Fitzy would be in when Enoch went to Kindergarten – and it’s HERE NOW!


This year they came dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up!

Enoch wants to be a basketball player then retire and be a farmer!!

My sister surprised Enoch and brought Jack to graduation!!

Enoch received the PRAISE & WORSHIP award!! He LOVES to sing his little heart out for Jesus!


I’m sure you’ve read about the journey with this guy. Parenting is an amazing – beautiful – exhausting – frustrating thing!

And we’ve had our hard hard times with this guy. Partly because he’s a strong willed one. Enoch means dedicated and he certainly is. Determined. Stubborn.

School has been so good for him and for me. We can spend our days together actually enjoying each other instead of fighting.

In August – I wasn’t sure we would both make it out alive. He defied everything I said. His eyes burned with anger at me. He woke up telling me how much he didn’t like me.

He screamed and threw himself. He yelled and hit. He told me he hated me and cried. I cried. It was so very hard.

School started and we weren’t together 24/7. I wasn’t telling him no ALL THE TIME. It helped.

But what also helped was just old-fashioned determination and love.

I loved him. I cried as I held him while he kicked. I cried as I told him no over and over again. I cried as I followed through on the threats I made.

If I told him no video games – he had no video games. And when he begged for video games – I still said no. Lots of times – it’s so much easier to just say YES – have it already and stop asking me.

But that teaches kids NOTHING. Well – except that the more you ask – you’ll eventually get what you want – just wear people down. Mom’s word means NOTHING. THAT is what you are teaching them.

I told him I loved him when he told me he hated me. I hugged him when he kicked me. And did I mention I cried. A lot.

I’m fully convinced that he was growing in August – and his little body and especially his little brain didn’t know how to deal with SO MUCH growth in such a short period of time.

It hurt. He was hurting physically and emotionally AND he was hurting the person he loved the most. Because I am his safe place. And he knows that I will always love him – no matter how mean and ugly he is to me.

And my job is to love him and teach him. Not to tolerate the bad behaviors but to figure out WHY they are happening in the first place.

So we pushed through and cried and prayed and cried and endured. Because there’s nothing else I can tell you we did except endured. Fought the hard fight.

And in the end – we made it. And we aren’t just surviving anymore – we are thriving.

The other day I was helping him put his shoes on and he stopped me and said – MOM. I know you and I see you. And I just want to tell you that you’re the best mom I’ve never seen (he means ever but he says naybe instead of maybe and adds an n to the start of ever almost every time and I love it) and I love you. And you’re my best mom because you help me through my frustrations. Thank you mom.

I cried. And I hugged him and said – THANK YOU BUDDY. I thought that maybe God gave you the wrong mom because I couldn’t help you. And he said – oh no mom. You help me so much and God gave me the prefect mom for me. And we hugged on the kitchen floor and cried together. But not because I couldn’t do this anymore. Not because I didn’t understand this little boy in front of me. Not because the frustrations were spilling over. Because we made it to the other side of the ugly.

And I’m not naive. I’m not dancing because the hard things are DONE. OVER. CONQUERED. They’re not. They will still come. There will still be ugly times when he is growing and his brain is trying to figure this whole thing out. I’m praying for the teenage years – because that testosterone flowing through those veins – whew. Jesus help me. Help him.

But right now – we’re in a good place. A GREAT place. We had dinner with some friends the other night – and they haven’t seen Enoch lately – but had been in our lives on a consistent basis in August and they saw that Enoch. They saw the tears. They heard the cries for help – from him and me. They prayed with us and for us.

And she cried with me at dinner. She saw a little boy changed. She had brought basketball cards for them and she asked her son to put them behind his back in each hand. Then the boys had to pick – but which one would go first!? So I told him it was paper – rock – scissors. And Fitzy won and got to pick first. And Enoch last summer would have screamed and thrown himself and hit his brother. It would have been a half an hour to get him calmed down again. But he said – okay. And he patiently waited for his turn. No screaming. No tears. No hitting.

And I’m not saying that I am the perfect parent. I know exactly what to do EVERY time. I am the parenting model to follow. Nope – not saying that at all.

What I am saying is – I did it. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I told him no and he didn’t get the marshmallow at the end of the night because he cried about it and asked over and over.

In fact – he got marshmallows taken away even longer. And when he asked that next time – he didn’t like the answer but he got it. No means no. And no amount of crying and begging will get you anything except more days without marshmallows.

We just had an amazing weekend. We hung out with our friends Friday playing in the creek for hours. Getting muddy and dirty and making rock paint. Going to a baseball game.

Creek exploring with dad and swimming with our friends Saturday afternoon. Family movie night and tossing the baseball around in the backyard.

Church and a birthday party and meeting the new baby cow. Creek exploring with Nan and hanging out with her while the night cooled off.

While we were creek exploring last night – Enoch told me he loved me about 2 million times. He told me how much he loved that I got excited because he learned how to swim. How much fun he had with his friends creek exploring and at the baseball game. How much he loved playing baseball with our family. And what are some things he can do to be nice to others.

He’s thanked me for helping him when he is hurting. When he is frustrated.

He still gets mad when he doesn’t get his way – but he hasn’t said he hates me in a VERY long time. And I still get mad when I don’t get my way – so …

MOMMAS – if you are going through the hard parenting things right now – KEEP ON. Keep setting and KEEPING boundaries.

And remember that God didn’t give you the wrong kid. He didn’t give your kid the wrong mom.

He’s shaping your child AND you – maybe you a little bit more even.

YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL MAKE IT. It’s not easy. You will cry. It will hurt. But the beauty from pain is more than worth it.



Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,just because,NCA — admin at 11:26 am on Wednesday, December 5, 2018

You would think that as a photographer – I wouldn’t order school pictures – but I do!

They crack me up!!

Those boys – OH MY HEART!!

Jared laughed until he cried when he saw Enoch’s! SO SILLY!!!


Filed under: bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my town,NCA,newsworthy,parties — admin at 11:48 am on Thursday, August 9, 2018

Our school is expanding! And as you know – expansion costs a pretty penny!

We are trying some new and fun ways to raise money for the school – including a DRIVE IN MOVIE!!


Enoch didn’t hang for the whole movie but Fitzy made it to the end!


Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,NCA — admin at 11:41 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Since I started a job in March – I needed somewhere for Enoch to go while I worked – and NCA is SUPER AMAZING for so many reasons!

They were totally on board with Enoch coming only one day a week until the end of the school year!

While Enoch wasn’t graduating preschool this year – they still wanted him to be part of the program!

Fitzy was able to come down with his class to watch his brother in his special program!

He was SO VERY PROUD of himself!


Those brothers – they sure do love each other!

Thank you Mrs. Wilson and Brenda for POURING your love and energy into these kiddos! THEY LOVE YOU!!!


Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,NCA — admin at 4:10 pm on Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fitzy graduated from PRESCHOOL at NCA in May – I think? Maybe it was June – I forgot already! And since I’ve been busy living life and shooting amazing sessions – my blog has been neglected since JUNE! So – anyway – he graduated almost a YEAR AGO!

OH MY WORD! That little boy – well – he’s always been a big guy – even when he was a little baby!

He LOVED PRESCHOOL! He LOVED Mrs. Wilson and he LOVES making friends!

Fitzy – you are so very loved. You want to be a chef and a swimming teacher. You love deeply and you live loudly. You are more than I could have EVER hoped for! WE LOVE YOU!


Filed under: my town,NCA — admin at 2:24 pm on Friday, September 18, 2009

New Covenant Academy makes the BEST peach shortcake around!






Senior girls …

Filed under: NCA,seniors — admin at 5:15 pm on Tuesday, October 7, 2008


PM is the soccer coach for NCA this year. The last home game was Friday night and she had me take a few pictures of her and the senior girls. It has been so much fun going to the soccer games – before we know it – we will be going to cheer on our own kids.