Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My list

Today, the only thing I want to own up to is that I know… I KNOW… I’m loved. You see, it’s easy for me to try my best to encourage you when I’m living with my own encourager. He makes our marriage easier on me every day, makes me feel secure, makes me feel appreciated. So, today, I’ve decided to write a list. Not a grocery list or a “to do” list, but a list of little ways I know I am loved.

Here’s my list.

  1. That time my feet and hands were beyond freezing and he immediately placed them onto himself to warm me up. Even offered to get me an extra blanket. 
  2. When he stopped dead in his tracks and told me he thought I was stunning that day... and that was a day I didn't feel stunning. 
  3. He gets excited with me and helps me with things I’m excited for, even when I think they are silly. Like decorating the house. (Pinterest comes in handy for us to scheme and plot)
  4. He pulls me close to dance with me in the kitchen, in front of our kids, because I love dancing.
  5. He buys me diet cokes whenever I'm craving them which is always haha. 
  6. He always reaches out to touch me, my hand, my leg, or even just my back. 
  7. He sends me silly texts even when I know he's insanely busy. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Things to look forward to in September:

- The changing of the leaves
-Cooler temperatures even though I'm slightly dreading this because I already have to wear jackets all the time
-Hot cocoa 
- Taking my babies up to the canyon 
-Russell being back in school studying what he loves
-The beginnings of the holidays

Things to work on: 

-Spending more time in God's word. 
- Being friendlier, especially when I'm running errands with the kids. For me when I'm trying to keep Kylie in my eyesight, carrying Colin I worry I don't come off the friendliest to passerby's.
- Maybe taking more baths with actual candles. 
- My moodiness and yes irritability that always comes up on me suddenly and unawares.

Things to let go of:

- Shame, feeling it or letting others shame me.
- Negativity
- Anxiety
- Worrying so much about what others think or their opinions of me

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What I Wish I'd known about being a MAMA

Today I wanted to begin this post by sharing 8 things that I wish I'd known before being a bona fide mama. I truly was not that girl that envisioned myself surrounded by little humans that were all mine. Honestly, when I was younger I was busy daydreaming about being in movies, and traveling the world. I had babysat on two separate occasions, never held a newborn until my very own child was placed in my arms, so yeah I went into motherhood pretty clueless to say the least. I had silly expectations from hearing mothers talk about raising their children, watching my own parents, and friends parents. But I can tell you right when I think I have something figured out these kids throw me through a loop. 

So pre kids Amber, here's what I wish you'd known...

1) Having children will make you more compassionate for all living things: Having a sweet little toddler constantly pointing out all the living creatures around you just makes you more aware of life in all it's forms. Anywhere we go now I can't help but notice the butterfly, snail, chipmunk, baby ducks that pass us. 

2) Remember that parent you judged?  You will be "that parent:" I can't lie and say that I didn't see some parents doing something in public and thinking, oh I'll never do that, or I'll never allow my child to do that.... well I have and I will hahaha. You never know exactly what someone is going through that day, their child, their circumstances, their mental health, or lack of sleep. I have just learned that being a parent is hard and we all just need a good ole fist pump action when we see each other in the trenches battling it out. 

3) Get used to being tired: Love a newborn baby, their sweetness, their essence but can I just say that the sleep deprivation that comes with said newborn is the worst thing in the world! Seriously it's the main thing I fear about having another child. So I'd tell myself just get used to the fact you'll always be on some level of tired. 

4) Consistency and a schedule is everything: Having routines which guide your life will make parenting so much easier, especially those long days where the hubby is gone. But consistency reallllly matters with discipline.  Get your warning system and your go-to consequences figured out and stick to them. Also, when you say, "1.... 2..... " you better say, "3!" without delay, and follow through with the next EXPECTED step immediately.  Otherwise, your kids will be in complete control. And just remember that kids honestly do need discipline.

5) You will alternate having bad feelings toward your children and loving them so much it hurts: It's crazy how fast you can go from wanting to pull your hair out, to wanting to cuddle and kiss the crap out of your child. I have had moments where I am literally crazy obsessed heart eyes in love with my child, and right after wanting to run out of the house to escape and get away so I don't SNAP at said child. Just get used to the emotional rollarcoaster because your dealing with little humans that don't know how to navigate their own yet. 

6) You will probably stop listening to music in the car: Listening to music while driving was a must for me, but now I much prefer the crazy conversations and yelling matches I have with my toddler and baby. 

7) You will never really get to just sit down and do your own thing anymore: The days of sitting to read your book, or watch your movie are over my friend... at least until your kids get a little older. 

8) Love is the answer: If everything you do or say is motivated by your love, you are doing everything just the way you need to! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Goals for May

Things to look forward to in May:

- Mother's day with my family
- Russell finishing up this semester 
- Russell and I taking a trip solo without the kids to St. George 
- Taking Russell to Sin City for the first time in his life
- More sunshine
- Trying to get more fit  
- Memorial Day
- Working on our backyard together as a family

Things to work on: 
- Laughing more
- Not letting my anxiety get the best of me, get rid of the feeling that I need to rush
- Our family bucket-list
- Giving back
- Regular showers (yes this is for me)
- My patience
- My friendships

Things to let go of:
- Guilt
- Negativity
- Anxiety
- Judgements

What are you looking forward to lately?
Happy May 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

St. George Spring Break 2016

Russell was finally out of school for an entire week! As a stay at home mommy I have a love hate relationship with this whole school business taking my man away ;) My parents have a house that they purchased in St. George that they are incredibly generous with and let us kids stay in. Russell and I have been gong through some scary health stuff all revolving around me. I was incredibly thankful when Russell let me know he was planning for us to get away to 70 degree temps. This past month in nearly 3 years is where I haven't been breastfeeding or pregnant, crazy I know! I was so ready to experience a vacation more... free you might say! We were heading down to St. Geezy for our spring break!

Kylie and Colin get along great thankfully and I know that may change, constantly but for now we're happy little clams! Kylie is more high maintenance, definitely on the sensitive side, and needs to be affirmed a lot. Kylie is very similar to my own personality so I have no problems working with that. Colin is chill, energetic, always eating, and loud. Because of my health we didn't go to Zions or snow canyon for more serious hiking. But we had to get out and about with the warmer temps. I honestly love walking and climbing around Dixie rock. Also, we just are the types we have to get outside and move a lot so we did the local playgrounds and splash pad everyday.

I used to think that St. George was a small boring little town (I know awful of me right?) I didn't see it's charm until now. I LOVE the warmth, the refreshing imagery of plam trees and red rocks. I love seeing people being out and active! Basically I've fallen for you St. Geezy, and will always love being able to vacation to you. I've felt content on this trip and was very thankful for the break to just be WITH my man and our two little kids ;)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 2015

You are the apple of our eye. You are the chillest, calmest little dude we could have ever asked for. You honestly only cry if you are hungry or tired. I love your BIG eyes. You have this wide eyed look that just makes me smile when I look at you. You have really started baby talking this week saying things like "mama" and "dada". You can officially roll over from front to back, back to front! We've all been helping you with this sitting up unassisted business, and you're getting there slowly. You light up every time you see your sister, and she can get you to giggle especially when  you both are in the car together.

You are definitely my quintessential little two year old. You are testing your boundaries, seeing how much freedom you can get away with. Mommy and Daddy are both trying to figure out how to let you know there's rules without crushing your little spirit, or making you feel like you're always being told no. We love you so much. I love how most people are impressed with what a good communicator you are. You say full sentences, and even use some Spanish phrases. You love helping out with your "buddy" aka Colin. Can I just say I love you call him buddy!? "It's OK buddy!" "Don't cry buddy" "Good morning buddy!"

Embarking on a more hands free journey, putting away distractions, especially the phone when the kids are awake. Being fully present in the moments, and making sure that I'm making my children's childhood memories happy ones. I want them to remember a mom who played with them, and wasn't distracted. Also, I'm trying and learning to keep my patience having a full out toddler, some days are easier then others, that's for sure. Loving doing zumba every Friday and working on getting this mama body of mine in shape. TV show obsessions is Mindy Project and Nashville. Reading Gretchen Rubin's (Happiness Project),  Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic), and Brene Brown (Rising Strong) books. I miss my hubby when he's doing school + work, but I know this time will pass. Love 100 calorie popcorn bags, any dinner involving spaghetti squash, and my diet coke. General conference was amazing for me and I can't believe it's almost the end of October! ;)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day Dad

It's your turn Dad, your turn for me to heap on the praise, though this may seem obligatory I assure you its not. We all knew pretty early on I was destined to be a daddy's girl. The way I followed you around when you were home, I always wanted dad's approval.... I was a daddy's girl!

There you are Dad a 20 year old kid living in Austria on a full time LDS mission. I always admired you for serving a mission. I loved your mission stories, the dedication it took, especially serving in Europe. You taught all us kids about believing in something so powerfully you will drop all selfish ambitions to dedicate yourself to its service. It must have been lonely but you served an honorable full time mission. 

You came home met and convinced my mother into marrying you. You were just 21 years old and she was already a graduated school teacher. I love hearing your dating stories, and seeing your relationship even now. Because of you Dad I was given the amazing gift of a stay at home mom! You always cared for your sweetheart and we could all see it. 

You had what was it 5 kids in 7 years with my mom, also taking into account you were still doing school & working full time. If you asked any of us kids we wouldn't remember your head crammed in the books, or you being so tired you couldn't play with us. You see you ALWAYS could and did play with us. You threw us up in the air, lifted us so we felt like we were flying, taught us to ride our bikes, how to swing a baseball bat, the list is endless. The school and career you accomplished while supporting an entire household will always be a marvel to me. You never complained about the sheer stress of it all to us. All us kids ever knew was that we were so glad when daddy came home. 

I love you dad. You gave me love and attention. You made me feel so special. I loved your nickname for me, it was something that bonded us together. Thank you for the plays you watched I was in, for the support you gave me when I traveled, for the love you showed the man of my dreams when he asked your permission to marry me. 

You're our rockstar! We all love to brag how David Devey is our dad! And yeah he can still show off and beat his sons at most sports ;) love you forever daddy!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Colin Russell Barker Blessing Day

Colin, my dear sweet baby boy. I have such a strong overwhelming connection to you. I feel like you came down from our pre-existent state to help me. You were our surprise, we hadn't planned you, you came when it was your time. You have had the calmest, sweetest disposition. When our eyes meet there's just something I see there I can't deny... you are my son.

Mommy was nervous to raise boys. Your mama never had guy friends growing up, but if there was a big group of giggling females she was in the midst. I get girls, I love girl talk, and all things feminine. Now, how was I gonna do with boys, who like to annoy you just cause, who love wrestling and contact sports? Who can fight and makeup in nothing flat? Who love seeing how things go together and tools? Would my boys think I was cool? Why was I even worrying about my "coolness" factor? But I was, and do. One look at you buddy and all those fears drifted away and were replaced with the purest love and joy I'd ever experienced. I'm now a mom of a boy. I get to teach you how to be a man and a husband someday.

Blessing you was our treat. Dad said you were wide eyed and cooing the entire blessing. My favorite moment was when the blessing was finished and dad did the "lift and show us your bundle of cuteness" part, you were in a sitting position, wide eyed, and holding your little hands together in your lap just staring at everyone. You are adorable. I wanted to stand up and shout that little bundle is all mine! We love you Colin!

Thank you to everyone who came