Filed under: bardenisms,family,just because,love,marry me,my family,project,the marriage fight — admin at 11:50 am on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I shared a post recently that I wrote in 2013 thanking my dearest Lori for being my cheerleader in life. For helping me remember to NEVER lower my standards in life.

For a boy – for a job – for friendship – for ANYTHING. For helping me establish good self-esteem at a young age. For helping me hold onto that attitude throughout life.

For showing me what a life dependent on Jesus looks like. For showing me how to love like Jesus.

And it got me thinking about someone else that I need to say thank you to.

In November – Jared and I went to a marriage conference – one like we’ve never been to. We were strongly encouraged to spend LOTS of time focusing on each other – and not only encouraged – but the conference was arranged so that you DO get to have lots of time focusing on each other.

Over the course of that weekend – I was able to share something with Jared that I’ve never really been able to put into words before. Or even thought about putting into words before.

I have a good sense of who I am. I am unapologetically me. BUT – Jared Barden helped me be that person even more so!

Before Jared and I started dating – I was trying HARD to win the affection of someone else. I wasn’t totally myself – in hopes that I would win the attention I was hoping for.

But Jared – he saw me in the moments when I wasn’t trying. The moments when I was simply myself and not scheming to win someone over. And he loved that person.

He loves me at my best. He loves me at my worst. He loves me when I laugh too loud at the movies. He loves me when I’m whining about living in this house. He loves me when I haven’t shaved my legs all winter. He loves me when I shave my head – actually PREFERS when I shave my head.

Because I am so secure in his love – it allows me to be even more unapologetically myself.

When Jared and I started talking – like I said – I had NO intention of dating him. The thought wasn’t even on my radar. But when I talked to my mom about it – in her quiet wisdom – she said – you’ve spent so long trying to win someone else over – if you tell this guy no – you might be missing out on the rest of your life.

Our first date – we went to my brother’s soccer game. He sat with my dad. On the way over – we had talked about what we wanted out of life. I told him that my family was REALLY important to me. If he didn’t mesh with them – deal-breaker. If he didn’t want kids – deal-breaker – cus I was born to be a momma. And if he saw anything that was a red-flag on his end – let me know. We started dating with a goal in mind. Marriage. I didn’t want to date for years and years without any idea of marriage on the table.

But – my dearest Aunt Lori and my sweet husband aren’t the only reasons for my strong sense of self and security.

JESUS is. Really He is the ONLY reason.

Psalm 139: 13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God MADE me – he saw the beauty of His creation and thought that the world ALSO needed ME. And YOU. EXACTLY THE WAY I AM.

This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect. I’m not. I need to change. To grow and learn. I can be a better sister. A better friend. A better wife and mother.

BUT – God isn’t telling me that He will love me WHEN I change. When I become the best mother and wife. He tells me that He loves me NOW. In all my imperfections.

He knows that I had something to give. That YOU have something to give. Your existence is not an accident. It’s amazing to think about the specific conditions that must happen for life to start. Temperatures. Timing. For life to stick around. When I think about that fact that if another sperm had fertilized the egg that is now Fitzy – we would have a completely different child. A child that we would love and cherish – but NOT Fitzy. Not Enoch. And we wouldn’t miss them because we wouldn’t know them – but how different everything would be. It’s not coincidence. It’s God.

He orchestrates every small detail of our lives – and every BIG detail. And you my friend – YOU are a BIG DETAIL!


And having an Aunt Lori and a Jared Barden doesn’t hurt your confidence. Find the people that love you. Really genuinely love you. People that aren’t afraid to call you out. People who encourage you. I’m not talking about compliments for compliments sake. I’m talking about the people that speak life into you. And the people that give you constructive criticism. The people that love you and want you to be the BEST version of you that you can be.


Filed under: bardenisms,just because,project — admin at 9:44 am on Saturday, February 6, 2010

When I first bought this website in January of 2008 we had just started renovations on our bathroom – and we LOVE the result!

The time has come for more renovations!

A few weeks ago the ceiling in our entry room fell apart – yes we have a VERY old house. A few of the tiles fell down and there are lots of little bumps and sags all along the room. Our friend Matt came over yesterday to check out the damage and give us an estimate. Once the ceiling is in we will paint the walls – which right now are paneling – UGH!

We also need the steps to our upstairs level torn out and redone.

We have two bedrooms in our house – right now we use the smaller, cedar bedroom and the long, paneled bedroom serves as our “junk” storage. We are going to have Matt add a walk-in closet to the long room and then paint the paneling.

We still have a long, long list – if you can’t tell – I hate home repairs.

Right now our kitchen sink is frozen on the draining end – and has been for 5 days!

We need a new higher counter, maybe a dishwasher, a new faucet, and something done with the floor.

We need to have all the hardwood refinished, tear off the front porch and switch entries, change out windows, new siding, and change the driveway around.

I will try to remember to post pictures as we go!


Filed under: babes,bardenisms,friends,portraits,project — admin at 3:19 pm on Monday, June 1, 2009

My friend Mike Murray is an AMAZING artist!

I took a photo of Ella nearly two years ago that I adore – and wanted Mike to create a painting of the photo. We talked about it and he wanted to try a fabric canvas instead of a traditional painting. He was – and is – busy with Chiropractic school and didn’t have time to devote to the project immediately – I told him I didn’t have a deadline.

He dropped off his creation this weekend – about a year and a few months after we first talked – and it was WELL WORTH THE WAIT!


The photo of Ella on the L and the wonderful “painting” on the R.






I took it down to show Amy and Jim – and Ella had to get her picture with it!


*A* is on the L with “her Ella and *M* on the R with “her” Ella!

Thanks again Mike – it is AMAZING and completely blew past my expectations!

I have a laundry machine …

Filed under: bardenisms,project — admin at 1:36 pm on Tuesday, May 6, 2008

“Dwight Schrute: I’ll do your laundry for a month. For a year!!

Michael Scott: I have a laundry machine!!”

The Office – Season 3 – Episode 3 – The Coup

I would like to inform everyone that I now have a laudry machine.


Meet our dryer.


Meet our washer.

Together they are quite the laundry machine.


Filed under: project — admin at 9:02 am on Friday, April 18, 2008

The bathroom pics I posted the other day were not exactly the finished project.

Matt has to stop by and do a quick run-down today, but other than that, here you go …






Once again, we LOVE it !!!


Filed under: project — admin at 12:52 pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No, not Project Runway. Our bathroom is now finished!

Here are some “in transition” pictures …




We moved back in last night and spent the first morning with our new bathroom. Jared and I both love it so much!







If you’d like to stop by and see our new addition, please do.

 We appreciate the hard work of Matt and his guys and we recommend them to anyone.

The washer/dryer should be done tonight and the project will be complete!

We dropped one more load off for Jared’s mom to do while we wait for our wash. We thought maybe she would need time to say goodbye to nearly 3 years of our laundry.


Filed under: project — admin at 5:06 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jared and I went shopping with our dear friends Matt and Johna last night to get some things for our bathroom project. Matt is remodeling our bathroom completely so we bought a toilet, sink, faucets, and light fixtures. We still need a tub and the top portion of our sink along with some little odds and ends. We are so excited about this project and can’t wait for it to get underway. Here is a quick picture we took before we left last night.


After dinner.


Here are the before shots of the bathroom.




After pictures to follow soon.