Blogs, Blogs, Blogs

December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

It has come to my attention that I have started my own little blog explosion. You all know about my posts on our Commemorate the Date blog but now I have a blog for my freelance business called Fourscore too. There’s good stuff on each of them, so I thought I’d turn your attention there today.

In case you’d like to know your Winter Flower Soul Mate, check here.

In case you’d like to read about the trials and tribulations of a speak-a-phob, check here.

If you think I have too many blogs now, see below.



Hike’s Dictionary: Bein’ Ten

December 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bein’ Ten – bee-in ten- (verb) To make-believe. I’m bein’ ten I’m bumpa!

I’ve been trying to settle for weeks on the exact phonetic spelling for this word of Hiram’s. Bein’ Ten is one of Hiram’s favorite things to do, so he’s always saying it. But he says it fast, so it’s hard to nail down. Luckily for me, he’s started slowing down a little in order to explain himself to me.

Hiram: I’m a baby.

Me: Hiram, you’re not a baby! You can do so much more than a baby. You’re a big boy!

Hiram: Mom. I’m Beeeein’ Teeeeeennnn.


Christmas 2012

December 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m just heart sick that Christmas is over. A few days ago, I was taking light rail downtown to watch the Hollidazzle with my two cuties and my one hottie — all of Christmas before us. This morning, I had to retrace our steps to get my sad little bottom into work for an 8:15. That basically put me on the verge with lump in my throat for the whole ride.

Here are some photos from the weekend. I LOVED Christmas with my beautiful family and I am already counting the days until it’s Christmas again.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2010

2012 Christmas Letter: The Year of Fit

December 21, 2012 § 2 Comments

Fit (verb): To be adaptable to or suitable for

Fit (noun): An onset, spell or period of emotion

Fit (adjective): To be in good physical condition

No matter how you define it, 2012 was the “Year of Fit” for the Barrows family.

When we last left you, Eldyn Lewis (a.k.a. e-Lew) was 1.5 weeks old, sleepy and a little jaundice. Man, he’s come a long way since then. Learning how Eldyn fits in with the rest of our family has been one of the greatest joys of the year.

Eldyn loves to be funny, wiggle and eat only carbs. He also takes great pride in keeping up with the rest of us and used the “heads down turbo crawl” as a means to this end for much of the year. After realizing the only real pitfall of this transport method (plowing head-long into walls, furniture, etc.) he took to walking, too. Although he still turbo crawls when the situation calls for speed.

Hiram took “fit” to a whole new level as he entered and (thankfully) exited the development phase that corresponds with becoming three. Now that he’s back to his old self, I find myself losing track of the hours we spend coloring, playing sports and imagining together.

Hiram also loves to talk so there are no secrets at our house anymore. On Thanksgiving, Hiram was witness to Brad flooding our kitchen with 5 gallons of raw turkey brine and immediately ran to find me. “Mommy!” he exclaimed, “Do you want to see Daddy’s big mess?”

With a bunch of baby (and sympathy) weight to shed, Brad and I redoubled our efforts to get fit in 2012. We’ve completed three of the four races in the Mora Classic (canoe paddle, half-marathon and bike tour) and are planning to complete the cross-country ski race in February. We are also doing P90x and have fun flexing our “huge” muscles for each other during the video workouts.

Brad got a new job working as a Finance IT guy for Univita Health and likes the work-life balance and challenge of learning a new set of skills. I’m still a part-time Targeteer and part-time entrepreneur doing publicity, speechwriting and communications. A professional highlight this year was Commemorate the Date’s coverage in the 2012 Star Tribune Holiday Gift Guide. If you know anyone who needs communications or publicity help, send them my way!

We hope this letter finds you all happy, healthy and optimistic about 2013. We love you and Merry Christmas.

Hadley, Brad, Hiram (3) and Eldyn (1)


Christmas Letter Archives

2011 – The Year of Small Stuff

2010 – The Year of DIY

Say What? Beauty and the Beast

December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hiram has a Disney Christmas Story Book which we got out for him a few weeks ago. It’s a very special-looking book– thick with a hard cover, chapters and silver-edged pages — so he’s been keeping it close at hand. After sampling almost every story in the book, Hiram has landed on Beauty and the Beast as his favorite.

It’s not the traditional story but instead a long, rambling story with many asides and pointless sub-plots. But, Hiram loves it. And so. In an effort to like the story a little more by seeing it through Hiram’s eyes, I asked him what he loves about it so much.

I like that,” he said pointing to what I thought was the Beast.

“Yeah, the beast is pretty cool.” I said.

“No.” Hiram said. “I like the beauty. She is pretty like my mama.”

OK then.

Just let me know when you want me to read that story to you again, my sweet boy.

e-Lew Picks Two

December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment


Saturday, we had Eldyn’s first birthday party! Oh, I love first birthday parties…even if I did go a little bit crazy trying to get everything perfect for his winter themed party. The weather cooperated only in that it reenacted 12/14/11, a.k.a. RAINED just like it did on e-Lew’s first big day.


But all was not for naught, considering every melting ice lantern, every too-sticky popcorn ball and every “over-baked” (thanks N.K.) piece of corn bread was really just a means to a sweet end — a very happy e-Lew. You hardly ever see him happier than the instant he realizes he’s made a whole room laugh, which is something that happened more than once on Saturday night. I hope he never loses the sparkle in his eye that betrays his next funny move. It promises so (so!) much more fun in the days, months and years to come.


Another highlight was the picking ceremony, which is a first birthday tradition at our house now. The picking ceremony is a Korean ritual where you put different things on a tray, dress your baby up in a cute outfit and let him pick two. It is said that their selection decides their fate forever! Eldyn’s tray had a good mix of traditional items, carry-over’s from Hiram’s picking ceremony and some new ones we put there just for him.

  • Ruler = Engineer
  • Pencil = Scholar
  • Thread = Long Life
  • Rock = Lover of the Earth
  • Mirror = Self Awareness
  • Paintbrush = Lover of the Arts
  • Carrot = Nurturer
  • Tea bag = Fortune Teller
  • Star = Astronaut

Eldyn’s picking ceremony went pretty quick. You could tell he was being discerning, but he was also pretty decisive. After considering the ruler for just a few seconds, he quickly opted for the carrot. This confirmed my suspicions. I just knew he was a nurturer!


After a short break to teethe on the carrot, he got right back to business, quickly picking the pencil as his second choice, the thread as his third and the mirror as his fourth (we tried to explain that he stopped after two, but he didn’t listen). And just like that, we were done. My baby is officially a nurturing scholar who may or may not live a long life of self-awareness! He’s also officially one.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year. But then I see how much Eldyn has grown and how much he can do and it’s hard to believe it’s been only a year. In either case, I feel so lucky to be his mama. The fun has only just begun with my sweet, lovely e-Lew. Happy birthday little man. You are pure joy concentrate.

Christmas Program 2012

December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

If you know Hiram, you know that he can be (oh so very) painfully shy. Which may explain why he spent last Saturday morning practicing his Christmas Program with his security blanket wrapped three times around his hunched little shoulders and his thumb suctioned to the roof of his mouth.
This dry run on Saturday forced me to do a little 4 a.m. soul-searching on Sunday before the show. I started out lying in bed, worrying about getting the front/center seat so I could be there if he needed me. I ended up sitting alone in the dark, staring out the window and worrying that I was some kind of terrible helicopter mother.
As the morning went on, I kept looking for clues to help me confirm that Hiram should skip his program. But something in my head told me to press on. Be firm. Be the one who believed he could do it. Ultimately – help Hiram DO THIS THING. And so, we dropped him off in his room where he sat on the floor and refused to take off his coat. We took our seats in the front/center of the church to wait.
When it was finally time for the program to begin, Hiram followed the others in. He still had his blanket and was still sucking his thumb, but at least the Sunday School teacher had coaxed him out of his snow pants. Then, two minutes into the first song, it became clear that Hiram needed us. He stopped paying attention and started making motions.
“What does he want?” I whispered to Brad.
“I’m not sure,” Brad responded.
And that was when my big little boy took his thumb out of his mouth, rolled his security blanket into a ball and held it to us in outstretched arms.
Hiram needed us to take his blanket off his hands.

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