Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Good Finds: My Husband

Today marks our 3 year wedding anniversary, and what a glorious day it was... okay really, it was a crazy, hectic day but the end result was perfect... WE GOT MARRIED!

One of many bridal portraits at my beloved alma mater, NCSU

Follow this link to view our wedding highlights video made by Charles' Aunt and Uncle, we are so glad to have these memories ... I'm thinkin' we should watch the whole DVD (rehersal dinner, full ceremony, reception soon!)

Us and Pastor Allen, wow, wish I was still that tiny! haha
Okay, I could go on and on forever but I don't want to start crying ... seriously guys, marriage is a blessing and honestly, the best thing that's ever happened to me. 

Growing up my mom and dad were the typical, we're married but we don't love, or really like each other, but we're staying together because we don't want to get divorced and we know the Lord wants us to work things out.  As stated in a previous post, my mom is the head of our family, financially, spiritually, socially due to my dad's illness, frontal temporal lobe dementia.  At times, I feel guilty talking to my Mom about how blessed I am to have Charles as my husband, because she rarely, if ever had that same love and devotion from her husband. But, the one thing I am certain of, my Mom has shown me true love and devotion and what marriage truly is ... you know, for better or worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health ... yep, my mom is a true woman of God and has taught me how to love my husband regardless of the situation, she has shown me, divorce is not an option, and I thank her for that.

Yep, my rock, my best friend (other than Charles), my Mom ...
Well, if you are reading this, you have read or will soon go back in the annals and read some of my previous posts (oh I hope you do!)  and you will see we've had a few bumps in the road over this short 3 years of wedded bliss, but God is still God and we will continue to praise Him for all he has given us and brought us through. 

3 blessed years ago, God joined a man, Charles Barrett and a woman, Kim Hartofelis together in holy matrimony. Praise God for the joys and trials we have endured, for the love we have shown and have been shown, and for the knowledge and grace we have been given. I love you with all my heart and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you Charles Grayson Barrett ♥

"Therefore, as God's chosen ...people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." 

                                                                                          Colossians 3:12-17

Yes, this is the man ...

I prayed to God askin Him to prepare a spouse for me.
I met one day in college and thought he'd never speak to me because he was out of my league.
I spent countless hours on the phone with while we dated.
I got jealous of everytime another girl spoke to him.
I watched teach and play with kids after school at the salvation army.
I went to Chicago, IL for Campus Crusade Urban Immersion with and saw his Christ likeness.
I always wanted to ask me to dance at Red's (Carolina Beach Music "Shag" club).
I fell madly in love with.
Who professed his love to me and asked me to be his wife.
I admired and couldn't wait for him to be my husband.
I walked down the aisle to with a goofy grin and tears of joy in my eyes.
I changed my last name for.
I saved my sexual purity for.
I have loved, honored and cherished for the last 3 years.
I trust with my life, my finances, my spiritual health and my personal security and well being.
I have mourned the loss of a pregnancy with.
I have prayed for continuously.
I don't deserve but am so thankful to have.
Who will be the father of our children, when the Lord blesses us with opportunity.
I can't wait to share the rest of my days with and journey through this life together for better or worse.
Who I will still be madly in love with until the day the Lord takes me home.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Home Sweet Home : Over 2 year old, $1 Wilton Gingerbread House

Oh my ... Can I just say, again, how much I adore my husband! He is hilarious and truly a gem! What other husband says, "okay, instead of watching football or studying for one of my grad school final exams tonight, I'll go to with you to Ihop to get your free birthday meal ecoupon and then come home and waste 2 hours making an old, stale gingerbread house!" hahahaha

So I got off work, met Charles at an investment property we may be purchasing (I really liked it).  Then we headed home, got changed ... into sweatpants a hoodie, because we were headed out to dinner.  You know that is the proper attire for Ihop :) We split a bacon cheeseburger, and both got waters. Went up to the register with a smile on our face and the email print out and left ... yep, almost $9 in free food and sadly the last of my free birthday ecoupons.  (no worries, we did tip our waitress eventhough she was ... well, once again y'all ... it was Ihop)

So on our way home, Charles said "Kim, I don't have much school work tonight.  Do you have any of those trashy shows you watch coming on? "  I then checked tvguide on my phone and sadly saw there was once again no Grey's or Private Practice.  So, what to do ?  Duh, decorate an over 2 year old Wilton Gingerbread house we bought at AC Moore for $1 that has been taking up room in my craft area!!!  And yes, Charles agreed upon those plans :) Not only did he agree, he took over the role of construction manager and entertainment specialist, i.e. brought his phone over and found an awesome Detriot, MI radio station on the internet that played great Christmas music.  We have made a gingerbread house before ... I think we were engaged, probably right before Christmas of '08, see picture below... haha.

Our first gingerbread house!

NC ...

SU ...

Wolfpack! I know ... Typical us :)

Icing fight !

Well, we wanted to see if we could make this house a little more sophisticated.  I'm just going to put some pictures up and you can see how the evening went!  haha we had so much fun! And once again ... I love that dear, sweet man with all my heart! I smile just thinking about him ! Praise God for my amazing husband and Christmas time :)

Charles holding the Gingerbread house kit

haha his genius plan to hold the walls in place

Me having fun decorating! Until my cheap plastic bag they gave me popped at the seam :(

CG putting the "snow" on the lawn
Paving the front walkway ...

A Barrett Gingerbread house isn't complete without a little icing fight :)

Icing tear ...

Our finished product !

It looks just like the box ! haha take the Wilton :)

I mean, I'd live there :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sounds like Life to me: 25 Questions - A reflection on 25 years of life, and life abundant

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Kim, happy birthday to me :) haha okay, well the birthday was yesterday 12/1 and I am the big 2-5 ! Yep, a quarter century of life well lived, and praise the Lord for that!  I can now legally rent and drive a rental car :)

Well, yesterday was... just another day.  I woke up, ate breakfast as usual, got ready as usual, got a hug and a kiss from the hubby and a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Enjoy driving your present to work!"  i.e. my "new" car a got a few weeks ago and also my birthday, anniversary, christmas present, for the next few years! hahaha we're so cheap... it's great!

Thank you all for the sweet facebook posts and texts! I even got a video message from my sweet friend Heather  in Chicago :)

A fairly steady tradition of mine is going to Red Robin for my birthday meal, they have an eclub where they mail you a FREE birthday burger coupon.  I use to work at a RR in college and well, the food is amazing and overall... I really love the place! My favorite is the Banzai Burger :)  Well, RR implemented a new system, a rewards card so I get my free burger and a free appetizer for being a part of the club.  Long story short... I didn't get my free birthday burger, I got a free appetizer, so we're going to go back and recelebrate my birthday another time.

Look at that FACE ! Man I love that guy :)

Enjoying our free Onion Ring Tower! Do I look 25?
Well, our waitress was great, but the manager was not. We got free fries, water and onion tower... tiped the great waitress, Gina 5 bones and left RR. BUT ... we were still hungry and didn't want to pay $10 a piece for a burger that I was suppose to get for free, I know I know, but it's the pricipal ... not the money the principal that I always get a free burger from RR on my special day.  Haha so since we were already 45 mins away from home we went to our next favorite burger place ... COOK OUT! 

Cook out tray with a burger-club style no mayo, 2 chicken ranch wraps, 2 ice waters and a strawberry shake.

Yeah, that's the same tray ... we shared it ... awww I know we're cute !
We dinned together over a delicious, yet cheap meal.  It truly is one of our favorite places...we use to go on dates in college to the local cook out too :) It has a special place in our hearts!

Then we headed home.  On the drive home, Charles said "Was your birthday special?", I then proceeded to say ... "not really... but it never really is... but that's okay! It's just another day :)" I don't know about any of ya'll, but my birthday is just another day.  It's not hing I did, my mom and dad... well... you know... and then there I was! God was so gracious to grant them the blessing of ... well... ME! hahaha Blessing or a curse, if you know me, you can decide for yourself.

He then proceeded to ask me a list of thought provoking questions... some of them in the list I am going to share with you below.  Basically, here's my shot a 25 questions to recap my 25 amazing years of life that the good Lord has allowed me to live so far.  So sit back, and enjoy :)

1. What is your first memory? Breaking my arm when I was 4 years old on our trampoline and going to urgent care, SCREAMING, and the Dr. asking "which arm is it?" We immediately left and headed to another Dr. office.

2. What is your best memory over the last 25 years? My wedding day... not that it was a flawless event.  haha it was actually poorly planned, on a low budget, 3 days after I graduated college, 5 days before Christmas ... HECTIC.  It wasn't perfect, but that is perfect in my book.  280 of our family and friends gathered before God to lay witness to our union.  Wow, what a blessing. Being married to Charles has been the best thing that's ever happend to me.

3. What is your worst? Well, this is not a certain date or memory, but it's all tied together. From 3rd grade to my sophomore year in high school my dad was continuously hired and fired from jobs.  Everything from a major computer company to a grocery store clerk.  Everytime we saw dad at home before we made it home from school was terrible.  Even at a young age, seeing my mom's heart drop killed me. This is a really long story, and a disease that is so sad.  I will try to write a post about it another time. It was finally the beginning of my junior year of high school we had the final diagnoses that he has temporal frontal lobe dementia, he stopped looking for work, they took away his drivers license and he has been at home ever since.  Gosh, he is such a sweet man.  I love him to pieces... but bless his poor little heart, or really his brain.  But praise the Lord for my mom's dedication to her vows, sticking by him in good times and bad.

4. What was your favorite place you lived? I would honestly say growing up in Cary, NC would be my favorite.  It was an amazing town that had so much to offer, it was clean, safe, and very special to me.  I wouldn't want to live there now... it's huge and over populated, I love New Bern now!  Our house was unique... one of a kind in my book :)  My dad and family actually built it.  It was blue and yellow, the front door was on the top level (along with the kitchen, dining room and master bedroom) and down stairs was the living room, bedroom and computer room.  It was in a precious, wooded neighborhood with a large lot, the kicker was... the street was over 30 ft above the house.  Yes, you could not see the house from the street, we had a really long and steep driveway (perfect for when it snowed).  That was it... I loved that place.  Mom and dad just moved to a new house (one story, no steps, small yard, in a little neighborhood in another town).  It's nice ... but it's not home.  Gahlee I love that Miranda Lambert song "House that built me", I seriously cry every other time I hear it.  The house wasn't perfect by any means, but it was and will always be home.

The driveway from at the house below.

View of the back of the house.
5. What was your saddest recollection? the recent miscarriage... If you're here, feel free to look back at my last few blogs.  It will tell you everything you need to know.  But in all things, I give thanks and surrender my will to Gods, I will abandon all outcomes.

6. What is the biggest thing God has shown you over the last 25 years? His saving grace.  Wow y'all.  That's it right there. I'm 25 but I have eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord. The son of God who was perfect and blameless and pure, who died on a cross for my sin.  That's it.  He's shown me love, forgiveness, mercy, he has given me life.

7. What do you think he's going to teach you the next 25? Patience... gosh, I still don't have it! In the little things like traffic to the big things like having a child.  I need to completely trust him and his plan and not rely on my clock and my plan for anything. 

8. What do you hope 25 has in store? A sweet, perfect and precious baby Barrett

9. What do you pray God spares you from this next year? Another miscarriage

10. What is your favorite college memory? Being Ms. Wuf :) and considered a varsity cheerleader. Being on the field and behind the scenes of my favorite sports team ever :) I am a proud alum and will be a Wolfpack fan for life!

11.What was your favorite vacation? Driving from Cary, NC to Los Angeles, CA with my dear friend Annie.  We were two, niaeve 19 year old girls in a 2 door red honda civic on a mission.  What a great trip, moving Annie out to USC.  haha we still laugh about it to this day that our parents allowed us to do that alone :)

12. What is your favorite place to relax and clear your mind? The point at Emerald Isle Beach, NC. mMm it's perfect... where Charles proposed, where we went after we found out about the miscarriage... it's perfect.  I spot to sit and look at how big our God is.

13. Who was the person who had the greatest influence over your last 25 years? My mom.  She is amazing. I beautiful woman of God who has raised two beautiful girls in the way of the Lord.  Through blood, sweat and tears she has been the leader of our family and has maintained a cheerful outlook on life desite the many hard times she has been through.  She is my example of what marriage looks like... yes, sticking by your husband through the good times and bad regardless of what you want or what you deserve. She selflessly gives of herself everyday. And for that, I am greatly influenced to see how strong she is and I praise the Lord daily for her.

14. What does 25 feel like? The same as 24 :) which was the same as 23 ...

15. What is your greatest regret over the last 25 years? Not being better disciplined spiritually and physically. Being to busy and making excuses not to take care of me.

16.  What is one personal goal for the next 25 years? To be better disciplined spiritually and physically.  To do regular devotions and spend more time with God and to set up exercise and healthy eating habits I can maintain for a lifetime.

17. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment over the last 25 years? Being the first member of my immediate family to graduate from a 4 year university.  NCSU- 3.5 years while working my tail off to help pay for it. 

18. If you could give one piece of advice for people younger than you, what would it be? Quit being a stupid, rude, hormonal teenager and respect God and your parents.  Act like you have some respect for yourself and for adults and truly be grateful for all you have.

19. Same but for people over 25? Trust in the Lord, not yourself for everything.  Do not try to manage your life and make it perfect.  Surrender your control and give God the reigns.

20. Why do you feel God has allowed you to live to 25? In all honesty, I love people and there are still so many people I haven't met and loved and shared God's love with.  Not saying I'm a super evangelist or anything, but I love talking to anyone, anytime any place.  I have never met a stranger :)  And, I honestly believe one of my greatest callings in life is to be a mom and to pour life and knowledge into a little one of our very own.

21. At what age will you feel old? Ohh that's tough... I'll probably change this when I get there, but 30 seems pretty old to me right now.

22. What is your favorite birthday memory? Well it's kind of reoccuring every year, so it's something I look forward to and it's not my birthday until this happens... My mom calls and wishes me a happy birthday after 11:21 am, because ... well, I wasn't born until 11:21 on December 1st, 1986 so it's not my birthday until 11:21 :) Sweet lady! haha aaaaaand my sister calling me and singing "happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey, and you look like one too".  I hope to create fun memories for my family one day.

23. What is something you want to do in year 25 you've never done before? haha once again, you knew this would be recurring ... have a happy, healthy baby :)

24. How do you think people percieve you now that you're 25? haha they don't think that I'm 25! Depending on how I dress, some people think i'm still in middle school :)

25. What are you most thankful for over the last 25 years? Life and life abundant.  I can't wait to see what God has planned for my next 25 + years!

We then got a free rental code from redbox for my birthday, watched Water for Elephants (good movie, we enjoyed it) and went to sleep :)  What a day ... a day like any other day, but a day I am so blessed to have.