Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

Well, I don't do new year's resolutions, but I do new endeavors.  So I'm going to make a go at this.  I have been so encouraged and inspired by so many of my friends, and complete strangers who let me into their lives through their blogs that I decided to share a little about my life and family in the coming year.  Now, those of you who know me know I don't do computers... or smart phones... or pretty much anything that is more complicated than my solar powered calculator, but with a new year comes a chance to learn new things.  So here goes, my first post, a little year in review.  Some of the best that 2011 had to offer for the Barkalows.

Our Spring break trip to Destin with our good friends, or as the kids refer to each other "the cousins" (although there is no blood relation) was without a doubt one of the best vacations ever.

                                Seth, Will, Andy, Sydney, Harper and Zadie

                                      Harper and Zadie catch a wave

                                    Andy LOVES to boogie board!

And since Zadie loves animals pretty much more than anyone I've ever met.  Here are a few shots of her enjoying one last zoo trip with Mommy before Rosie joined the family.  Montgomery has an amazing zoo and I feel so lucky to live close to it again; we get to go several times each month!

                                             Zadie feeding the giraffes

                             Zadie, always in her shades when the sun is out

And of course, the high point of 2011, the birth of our sweet Rosie. 
                           Both a little worn out, but happy to meet face to face

Zadie wanted nothing to do with her baby sister, but was so happy to see that Mommy was doing well, and that the hospital had french fries!

                   Andy, however, could not have been happier to see his new baby, who he named.

                             Zadie, wondering what all the fuss was about

                             Nanny getting a precious baby snuggle

     Welcome to the world Rosie Charis!  We already love you more than you will ever know!

Rosie's arrival was followed by an amazingly busy summer.  Andy went to Canada (perhaps I can post those pictures soon) and Dave's brother Chris got married.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from the rehearsal.
                  Andy and Zadie getting ready to be an acolyte and flower girl

 Dave preached the wedding and I arranged the flowers.  It was truly a family affair.

 The happy couple.  We were so excited to have Christen joining our family.  She is just as kind and lovely as she is beautiful.

Okay, skip ahead to Andy and Zadie's birthday party.  I hardly remember it because I had spent the two previous nights in the ER with a double ear infection and I still couldn't hear and could barely move.  They tell me it was lots of fun, though.  I don't have very many decent pictures as a result.

 Zane, Daniel, Ethan, Jack, Georgia, Sydney and Andy munching on some birthday lunch

 Our good friends from Marianna made the trip for the weekend.  This is Andy with his friend Zane.  Having the Monks here was the best birthday present the kids got this year.

 This is Zadie the next day.  "Mommy,  I'm calling JoJo and tell her to come back!"

And here's my favorite day of the year, the first day of school!  I can't believe Andy looks so big!  He has started at a new school this year called Holy Cross Episcopal school and he LOVED it!  What a gift it has been to have him look forward to school each day.  Amazing.
                                      First day of second grade

                                     Zadie ready for her first day of preschool

I'm skipping Halloween, since I'm not sure if anyone is still reading, and this next one is way better.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from Rosie's baptism.  So many of our out of town family and friends were able to be here for Rosie's big day and it was beautiful.  Rosie was the first of our children who Dave was able to baptize (now that he's an 'Elder in full connection'  woot woot!)
 Nanny with Rosie as aunt Marcia looks on right before the service (of course Daddy wouldn't let us take flash photos during the service... you know... it being worship and all)

                                Zadie grabbing her share of the spotlight

                            Aunt Karen, Nanny and Grandpa Big with Rosie

                          Me with the girls (I had to get in a picture eventually)

                            Chris, Christen, Grandma, and Rosie

Believe it or not, I'm even going to skip the Christmas pictures (although they're cute and you may see them soon.  I must say that the absolute best part of 2011 has been getting to watch Andy and Zadie grow to love their new sister.  Zadie took some time to warm up, as is typical with Zadie, but she has become one of Rosie's favorite people and she loves to show off her baby sister.  I hope they'll always know what a gift they are to each other.  And I pray they will grow to be great friends.

                       Andy rushing in after school to see what Rosie has been up to that day

   Rosie just loves to be where Zadie is.  And Zadie has figured out that a sweet giggly baby thinking you're awesome is a pretty great deal.

Okay, so that was our highlight reel for 2011.  I have to leave you with just a few more of my favorite pictures.  Mostly of Rosie because the other two won't be still for me to take their pictures any more.

Happy new year y'all!


  1. I am so impressed, great job on the blog!!! Love you all,

  2. I am SOOOO excited you started a blog!! I am adding you to my blog list, sweet friend!

  3. I am so excited too! I read the whole thing and I will continue to follow your updates! I love keeping up with you and your family.. Even from far away! We love you guys! Happy New Year!

  4. Those pictures are awesome. Especially the fabulous baby faces Rosie makes! We need to find some way to meet in person in 2012 -- our kids need to meet! I've missed you, Laura! We're really not that far apart...and we're in M-town bunches.

  5. Allison, I completely agree! I would love to meet Gaines and I'm sure our kids would have all the big fun together.... one day.