On Mother’s Day 

This year, Mother’s Day has felt a little different. No, I’m not a mom (unless you count my pup-child Libby), but motherhood is something that has been moving to the forefront of my mind over the last year.

I’ve moved back to the same city as my mom this year. I’ve made many friendships with new moms and soon-to-be moms. I’ve watched friends walk through the challenges of pregnancy, infertility, adoption, and young kiddos. This year I’ve started looking forward to motherhood more than ever.

I’ve seen my friends experience the joys of motherhood and the trials of motherhood. That makes me feel excited and terrified and about 1000 other emotions all at once. As motherhood draws closer, I am already feeling the pressure. Will I be a good mom? How am I going to keep my patience with a two year old? How will Brad and I’s relationship change? How am I supposed to keep another human being alive? I’M NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by the thought of being a mom, I take a deep breath, say a I-need-you-Jesus prayer, and remember the ladies I mentioned before and it doesn’t seem so scary. We’re all just Jesus-loving ladies trying to be the women God desires us to be. They have great days and they have hard days, but every day they are leaning into the Lord and His strength.

I’m slowly growing into the woman God desires. I’m so thankful for a community of women to walk through life with, no matter what God has down the road for me. Here’s to moms.

We’re Buying a House! 

The Bartletts have some exciting news to share….. 

  
We’re buying a house!!! 

(As you can tell, Libby is just as excited as us!) 

We’ve been praying and looking and saving and we think we’ve found the perfect house for us! 

We are really looking forward to putting down roots in our community. It’s in a great neighborhood, right by a park, and Chick-Fil-A is less than a mile away! 

We’re super stoked to make this place our home. It was built in the late seventies so it needs a liiiiiiiiittle updating. AKA wallpaper everywhere. We’ve got a lot of de-wallpapering and painting and replacing to do! I like to think I’ve watched enough HGTV to know what I’m getting myself into. Ha! Don’t worry – I’ll be sharing our progress here on the blog along the way! 

The big move is the last weekend of June if any of you Kansas Citians feel like moving some boxes! 

Stay tuned for before pictures! 

Lately (02.15.15)

It’s been a long time since I blogged. It’s been even longer since I’ve blogged about what we’ve been up to lately!

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A couple weeks ago we both took a day off work to celebrate Brad’s birthday. We wanted to go somewhere that isn’t normally open when we can go, so we went to Happy Gillis near the River Market on our friend Chris’s recommendation. There was something about it that reminded us of Springfield, which was nice.

Next we got coffee at Thou Mayest. We’d only been there once on the weekend when it was super busy, so it was nice to be there in a chill atmosphere.

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Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and we had an all-around great day. We slept in, then went to Chez Elle for what was supposed to be brunch, but was more like lunch. It was a long wait, but worth it. If you’ve never been to the Westside, check it out! I’ve loved everything there. Chez Elle, Westside Local, and Blue Bird Bistro are all great. And you have to stop in Westside Story while you’re there – another great place that reminds us of Springfield.

In the afternoon we did a little shopping, then cashed in Brad’s free Starbucks birthday drink while doing a little “passion planning”. I recently got a passion planner for 2015. It helps you brainstorm goals, plan how to achieve those goals, and put steps in place to make it all happen! We made 3 month goals, 1 year goals, 3 year goals, and lifetime goals. If you follow me on Instagram you saw my video of it unfold! I definitely recommend the passion planning process even if you don’t have the planner!

Two grocery stores after that, we went home and Brad made s fire while I cooked us a fancy meal! I made the Valentine’s dinner from the Pioneer Woman’s holiday cookbook. The garlic roasted mashed potatoes were great and the bacon wrapped steak filet were amazing! I was pretty proud of how well it all turned out!

Then we made s’mores in the fire and watched my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail!

Other random stuff –

– It’s really cold today
– We’ve started the home buying process…. Ahhhhh!
– Royals season is starting soon! #foreverroyal
– We’re going to the NEEDTOBREATHE and Ben Rector concert at the KC Crossroads in April. You should go too!

I hope y’all had a great weekend!

2014 – Small Moments

I considered doing a 2014 wrap-up post like everyone else, but that’s sort of what our Christmas Card post was. (If you missed it, check it out here.) We’ve had quite an eventful year.

I decided to share some of the smaller moments from 2014, because sometimes the little things make just as much of an impact as the big things.

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We bought two new cars this year. I took this picture right after we got the first. I was super excited that the shades had mirrors with lights. Like I said, it’s the little things.

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This is a crappy cell phone picture of a rainbow after a storm. I took this one Sunday evening when I had to go up to Missouri State to inoculate cells. I hated those Sunday night trips to campus, but a little piece of me misses it now.

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This picture is important because Libby is cute, and because I have no idea where that pretty throw pillow is. It (and all of our other throw pillows) got lost somehow in the move (how do you even lose a throw pillow???) and I’m afraid it’s officially lost forever. RIP throw pillows.

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That one time Parks and Rec retweeted me.

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I just love this little picture of the three of us. (There’s that throw pillow again.)

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Of course I had to get a picture with my beloved journal articles before I left Missouri State.

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I got these pretty plants as a house-warming gift when we moved into our apartment. They’re both dead now.

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I love this dorky picture of me and my mom. Rain will not stop us from shopping!

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The first of many games nights with new friends. So thankful for the community God has blessed us with here in KC.

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I found this in my childhood bible as I was organizing things in our new place. Such a sweet reminder of the way the Lord has been working in my life for so many years.

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This is a picture of me trying to be cool, but I got self-conscious and never posted it. Also if you look closely there’s a button missing on my coat.

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Probably my favorite picture of 2014.

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Probably my second favorite picture of 2014.

Okay sorry for the picture overload y’all. I could of posted so many more! Going through all of my cell phone pictures made me realize I take pictures of weird stuff.

We had a great year. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be just as great.

Chevron Afghan

My friend Amy posted about an afghan she recently made, which reminded me that I hadn’t blogged about my most recent project!

I made Brad’s dad an afghan two Christmases ago, and I made his mom one last Christmas, so I wanted to make one for his sister Heather this year! I decided to go with the colors of her sorority (Sigma Sigma Sigma).

I looooooooooove how this one turned out. It is one of my favorites! I think the colors are really striking and it’s the perfect size. I’ve struggled with the chevron pattern in the past, but I didn’t make any mistakes on this one!

I don’t have a pattern for this. Just search chevron afghan pattern on Pinterest or Youtube and there are tons of tutorials. I don’t remember what site I used to originally get it started because that was back in May! The chevron pattern is pretty easy, you just have to pay attention when you start and at the ends of each row.

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(Please ignore our gross carpeting. **apartment living**)

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Heather was so excited and surprised to open the afghan! I thought she might suspect that she would get one, but she didn’t! I love making afghans as gifts. I wish I could make one for everyone I know!

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Funny story about this afghan:

I bought the yarn at Joann’s Fabrics in Belton way back in May. I bought a jumbo roll of each color, so I figured that would be plenty of yarn to complete it. In November, I was about 3/4 done with the afghan when I ran out of the purple color since I used more of it than the black and white. I had already thrown away the paper that said the brand and the name of the color. Brad and I went to so many places that sold yarn around Kansas City and couldn’t find it anywhere!!! PANIC! We went on a trip to Oklahoma for Brad’s work and to see some of my family. While we were there, my aunt and I went to a Joann’s Fabrics and FOUND THE YARN! PTL!!! Lesson learned: always buy extra yarn, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Bartlett Christmas Card 2014

Merry Christmas family and friends! 2014 has been quite a year for Team Bartlett.

Let’s recap, shall we?

One year ago we were living in northwest Springfield. I had one semester left of grad school at Missouri State University. Brad was working at Southwest Baptist University as an admissions counselor. We were a part of the Freshwater Springfield church plant. I drove a 1992 Jeep and Brad drive a 2008 Chevy Aveo (lovingly named, “the blueberry”). We had no pets.

None of those things are true for us today.

Now we live in Kansas City, MO. I have my masters in Biology and I work at Viracor-IBT Laboratories. Brad is still an admissions counselor, but at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. We attend Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, MO. I drive a 2011 Rav4 and Brad drives a 1999 Oldsmobile 88. We have a little dachshund-miniature pincher named Libby.

Many of you probably know our story, but let’s back up. (I’ll give you the brief rundown. If you want more details of our journey, check out my posts when we announced we were moving to KC, our move to KC, my graduation, and our new apartment.)

A year ago we knew that I was going to graduate soon and Brad wanted to go to seminary, but didn’t have much direction for what that was going to look like in reality. So we kept praying as we had been for God to open a door for our next step. That door came in February when Brad got an interview at Midwestern for an admissions job. Just a few weeks later he packed up and moved 3 hours north to start preparing a life for us in KC.

I remained in Springfield through May to finish my degree. I joined Brad in KC where we lived with my parents for the month of May while we looked for an apartment and I looked for a job. God graciously provided a great apartment for us and a position for me at Viracor-IBT. We moved in and I started my job at the beginning of June.

We’ve been settling into our new life in KC since June. We’ve found a great church and community group, made new friends, strengthened old friendships, and discovered some new favorite places to go and things to do.

Okay this is getting TLDR (too long, didn’t read). Let’s highlight the rest of the year with some pictures.

If you follow either of us on social media you’ve seen that we love our dog. If you’ve met her then you know that she is a sweetheart. She brings us lots of joy and cuddles.

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We celebrated our 2 year anniversary in July! We saw The Sounds of Music at Starlight. I’m so thankful to get to live life with such a wonderful man.

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We went to several Royals games this year! It was so much fun to cheer them on in October. It brought me back to all those years watching my brother Dylan play!

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Brad started seminary this fall at Midwestern!

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Actually this picture probably better depicts that statement. He just has one final left this week then he is one semester down! I am so proud of how well Brad has balanced working full time, taking a full class load, serving at church, and being a husband.

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We ran a half marathon this year! We had so much fun training together and the race was a blast. It’s definitely one of my favorite accomplishments.

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We still love coffee and Saturday brunching. (We still haven’t found a place we love as much as Gailey’s in Springfield, but Kate’s Kitchen is pretty great.)

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Did I mention we got two new (to us) cars this year? I won’t tell our car saga but it’s a great story. I looooovvvveeeeee my new car! It makes me feel like I’m a real adult!

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Last night Brad and I were at Crown Center here in KC for our annual visit to see the lights. In one of the stores I saw a sign that said, “Friends are what make a house a home”. A lot has happened to us this year, but I think when it comes down to it, the people in our lives have played the biggest role. There have been so many people that have impacted our story this year. I wish that I could mention every one of them here and the blessings they brought us.

Finally, we would not be where we are today without Christ. His faithfulness has stayed true throughout the highs and the lows of the last year. As we look back, we can see His fingerprints on every circumstance that led us to today. May you and your family rest in the truth of His birth this Christmas season.

Come thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child has been one of my favorite Christmas traditions for a long time. When I was young, I got such a thrill out of buying gifts (with my parents money of course) for another child! I dreamed about the look on their face when they opened up their box and found all of the wonderful gifts I had so carefully picked out for them! I knew that they would treasure each item they received and be so thankful for the generosity of someone they would never meet.

Each year I wonder about the child that will receive the box I packed for them. Where do they live? What is their life like? Will they share these gifts with siblings? What do their parents do? Do they have parents?

I image they wonder the same things about me. They might ask what possessed a stranger to send presents to a child they’ll never know.

The church Brad and I attend, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, MO, has just finished a series over generosity – about living a life of generosity with our money, time, talents, and possessions because of the radical generosity God has showed us by sending His son Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we might have fellowship with Him.

Packing my OCC box yesterday brought the truths the pastors of PV have spoken over the past few weeks to a reality for me. Acts 20:35 says that Jesus teaches us “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” But how often are we greedy with our money and time! How quickly I forget the joy that comes from giving a child a box full of goodies, or the blessing I receive when opening my home to the girls in my community group! Our selfishness creeps in and whispers, You can’t spend that $20! Or, You’ve been so busy lately, you don’t have time to meet with that girl. Remember, the Enemy is the Great Deceiver.

God is certainly teaching me a lesson in generous living during this season of giving and receiving. I pray that these truths may not be forgotten once the calendar marks 2015, but that my life would be marked by generosity through Christ.

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