Presley Lynn Halbert

Presley Lynn Halbert was born on August 26 and it was the best day ever!
(And, of course we had to have shirts)

She is so beautiful and Michael cried the whole time.

He said that the nurses were just doing their job and that maybe to them it was just another baby, but they didnt know that today was the best day of their lives.

She is truly an angel.

Upon leaving the hospital they noticed that she didnt have the right reaction to the eye exam so they sent her to a specialist pretty quick to get it figured out.

After so many tests, drives to Austin two days in a row, going under going anesthesia, cancer scares, different diagnosises of all types, we found out she has FEVR and is completely blind.

It is so devastating. And so heartbreaking.  And Caroline and Michael are the strongest, most loving and amazing parents.  I truly can not imagine how I would handle it, but I could only wish I would be as strong as they are.  
They are real and sad and go through ups and downs daily, but they continue to seek the Lord and His guidance and strength.
They love her so much and so well and want whatever she will need and have no problem flying across the country, meeting with all types of doctors, moving to a new house or city or where ever she needs to be to make that happen.  It has just been so humbling to watch.
And she is truly just an angel.
Just the most beautiful angel baby girl and I could not be more proud to be her aunt or of her.  She is brave and strong and we all could not love her anymore.

We cant wait for so many more memories with you Presley.  We love you more than we can ever tell you!


Barstad Pool Club is OPEN!

SO the pool is done.

We had a few friends come over and experience the inaugural jump in with us and hang out and have pizza and it was so much fun.
And thankfully Vic made us take some pics because they are all I have to document the moment, but there were a few more people there than just us ha!
The pool.
Im not going to word spill every thought I have had because it has been erratic and all over the place, but I will just say that I am thankful for it and am praying it gets used.
I am praying that this pool is used to have people over and to fill with friends and friends-to-be and just be a safe place of fun and relaxing if anyone needs it.
It feels a little extravagant to me and I have had a hard time truly coming to terms with how nice our backyard looks versus how it will make people feel.  I do love it and think that it is absolutely beautiful.  Jeff did an amazing job designing it and I am thankful that he got it going for us.
So, if you're ever in the neighborhood, please come and jump in :)


Barstad First day of School 2016

We missed meet the teacher and the home visit, but at least we all got up together, ate a healthy breakfast and had most of our school supplies on time.  And found our classes.
5th and 3rd grade here we come!
(Well, and the playground.)
Avery came home around 10 with a headache and feeling nauseous and had strep so bad that she get up to 103 fever and cried in bed most of the day.  It was so sad!! But its Wednesday now and she woke up ready for school and singing and running around the house. Praise the Lord! Cant wait to hear how her (real whole) first day goes.

Andddd the rest of our trip with Kai

 She looks scared, but I promise she loved us!

Ben found a snake in the hot tub and it loved him.  She let him hold her and he was in heaven.
 The next day when we found her we actually saw her give birth to two live snakes.  It really was so unbelievable.  He and I were the only ones out there and we were just in awe.  We ran to get everyone else once we realized what all was happening and we could all not get over it!

We went and fed the ducks while Ben fished and Kai loved all the animals!  And Shea was always concerned with how hydrated Kai was.  You can never be too careful in altitude ;) 
 Family walk that was actually super short, but since we are out of shape so bad we ended it with lunch.

Ben caught four fish and jeff cooked them and they ate his fish for dinner.  ("Were having fish tonight!!") They have gotten so good at new recipes and making all kinds of fish that they catch. 
 Then we went to the Bettners and explored their backyard and all of sundance.
Saying it is gorgeous is an understatement. 

Perfect ending to the summer.


Cheers to a Dozen Years

We went to Utah with my parents and Kai over the weekend, and on the 14th Jeff and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary.
I have no idea how that is possible.
You get married and start having kids and then all of a sudden you have less time left with them at home than you have had with them so far.
It just blows my mind.
 And sometimes when I should be feeling so happy and grateful, am actually feeling l like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
This life that I have with this husband who loves and supports me and drives me crazy, and these healthy, beautiful, unique, and fun kids, and parents, and brothers, and family, and friends, and church and school friends.  I can not ever be grateful enough.
I dont want to keep living in fear and waiting for all of this to blow up.
I want to be grateful.  SO grateful- and peaceful and overflowing with thankfulness.

It is not always easy for me because I carry a lot of guilt about how much I have been given.  And I am learning to let go of that guilt and just trust that God is using me and has me here in this place for a reason.  Even if it is the best place in the world and I dont understand why everyone cant have this same life that I am so undeserving of. 
 I dont want to give the wrong impression- it's not all rainbows and sunshine over here.  We have hard times and depression and struggles, but there are truly no other people I would rather be going through all of this with.
And it seems like I am reminded more and more often of how very fleeting this life is, and how little time I have with everyone who I love.

I hope they all know how much I value them and how grateful I am to be in their lives.

And I hope God knows how incredibly grateful I am for the life He gave me.

Here's to dozens of years more.  And may my attitude of gratefulness and thankfulness grow more and more as each year passes.

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