It has been a most precious month for me and my family!

First of all, last fall two of my sisters announced their pregnancies, and they happened to be due within a month of each other. :) And then my sister-in-law announced her pregnancy, right around the same time. I mean, seriously. It doesn’t get more fun than that!

There has been so much joy in anticipation of these little babies. I come from a long line of baby lovers, and there are few things are beautiful and precious and that bring such celebration as new little people entering the world!

Introducing: Canon Christopher, and Harrison Jude
(a.k.a. Most Handsome Little Babies on the Planet)

two baby boys

There was also so much prayer. Because of what happened to my sister’s first baby a year ago, we were reminded that life is such an amazing gift, and that we can take nothing for granted. Often we tend to think if a pregnancy goes past the first trimester then we can breathe a sigh of relief that everything is okay! But each new stage is such a precious gift, and each day is a gift to enjoy and bring life to the little one within.

I’m not even the mother of these new little babies, but I’ll be honest; it was a battle for me with trust vs. fear. We’ve walked through death of a little one with my sister and her husband’s baby, and realize that things do not always go as planned, or as expected. So even for me as a sister walking along with them, it was a constant choice I had to make to not live in fear of what could happen, but rather choose to trust and bring my fears to the Lord through prayer. There were no guarantees that these pregnancies would bring healthy babies full of life. There is never a guarantee in all of life! All we do know is that God is faithful, and that He can be trusted, no matter what we face. Even when what we face is death, and pain, and the deepest sorrow we can imagine.

zoe falls in love two baby boys 002

Zoe and Olivia with the babies

Watching my sisters walk through their pregnancies has been so amazing. I may be the older sister, but my younger sisters amaze me, and challenge me. Of course they had moments of fear and being afraid of the unknown. Absolutely. But they chose to not stay in that paralyzing grip of fear, even though the outcome was not known. There were times an extra checkup happened, just for peace of mind if a baby wasn’t moving as much as usual. There were times when they asked for prayer because of the fear they felt. When a death has happened so close to you, you don’t just assume everything will be fine. But neither do you need to live paralyzed by fear. Fear can actually be a tool used for deeper trust, for a chance for the tears to fall and the hands to open in an “I choose to trust you, Jesus, even though I don’t know what is going to happen.”

I feel like I have learned so much from my sisters, from their walk of faith and trust through this past year. It’s not every big sister that can say this, but I can: my sisters are some of my heroes. Not because they’re perfect – because not a one of us is! – but because of how they choose to live and not give way to emotions and fears that could be so tormenting. So a shout-out to you beautiful ladies. I’m so proud of you!

  such joy claudia is a mommy!

And there is something so amazing about pain. Never in a million years would we ever choose for Little Kenny to have left us so soon. We still miss him, someone we never met or knew in this life.

But pain has a way of teaching us about joy too. Because while a new baby in the family would have been precious and brought joy anytime, after a time of pain, the joy only increases. We are made so much more aware of the gifts we do have, of the gift life truly is. Our heart is stretched to receive joy, to feel the heights of joy, to remember the sacredness of life. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much from happiness as I did when these two little baby boys were born, and all was well! And seeing my sisters as mothers, and their sacred but wild joy and love… It’s amazing. I can’t even describe it, but it feels like I’m walking on holy ground. The way God can work even in the middle of pain, even because of pain, is just amazing. Only God can do that – cause joy to become even deeper. I see it in my sisters eyes, even my sister who is not yet a mother. There is a deeper awe of the gifts we do have. A realization that life is precious, so so SO PRECIOUS.

they are a family! love is multiplied a little family

I’m going to cry in my little corner of Starbucks now, just as I started crying when I was edited these pictures. I cannot even tell you how PRECIOUS these little boys are. If a heart could explode from sheer joy and love, we would all be dead and gone. Because there is so much joy and blessings – two little boys who will be almost like twins (born two weeks apart), their mommies were best friends since forever ago (and they never fought: I’m their sister, and even our mother says they never fought. How is that even possible? I’m trying to get my two daughters to catch that memo). It’s just so much wonderful.

newborn Harrison dimple baby the little family

ervina and her baby

It was so special to see these two little boys within a few weeks after they were born, along with my husband’s little nephew, who was born within days of little Canon. His was a bit of a scare, coming more than a month early, and we are so grateful that everything is okay with little Benson. Yes, there are babies everywhere! It’s the most wonderful thing in the world! I only want ten more of my own now.

we love our nephews

Hudson meeting one of his little boy cousins.

  Hudson meets Harrison

And I never expected to have to fight compete with my own daughters about who gets to hold the babies. For real.

two baby boys 002

 I finally get to get to be Auntie Clarita! It is even more wonderful than I imagined.

my heart is bursting

 So many thanks to those of you who prayed and celebrated with us! What a beautiful thing the body of Christ is!

And now I just want to go kiss these little babies!!


19 thoughts on “New Little Nephews.

  1. Kim

    I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo thankful for the precious new baby boys God has sent. What a tough year, what concern entered my heart (just as a sister in the Lord who was praying from a great distance) through the months. But, enough of that. Now, on to the rejoicing!
    Thank You, kind Lord, for these two brand new lives. May Auntie Clarita’s family be gifted with many more little ones. Raise them up, Lord, to love and serve You all the days of their lives.
    And, Lord, I look forward to meeting baby Kenny in Heaven one day!

  2. Shannon

    Oh my word, these pictures just ooze love!! You look like the beautiful Auntie to that will spoil these handsome little guys. :)

  3. Ervina

    First I was smiling hugely, then I had to wipe the tears… Oh how great is the joy. God is so, so good. I’m so happy your heart is exploding along with ours. I cannot wait for Harrison to learn to know and love his aunties like I do! I want to print out every single picture for my fridge… the one of Zoe and Olivia cuddling the boys is too much. And oh my goodness, MY DIMPLE BABY.

  4. Lyle's wife

    May joy be unrestrained in the Barkman family! What cause for rejoicing!

    And many blessings and hope to the sister who waits.

  5. Breana

    Congratulations!!! C-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! *MAJOR-REALLY-BIG-SMILE-WITH-A-HAPPY-DANCE* Rejoicing and thanking our sweet Jesus with both mommies and auntie for two extremely handsome mini-gents!!!

  6. Mattie Kauffman

    Beautifully written, Clarita! I can only imagine how you must feel. I had the privledge of meeting these two little ones at target the other day.

  7. Alicia Lapp

    These are two handsome boys for sure! And what fun they are so close in age…I know watching them grow up and do all the little boy things together will be so neat. :D We are so grateful as well for their health + safe arrival – God is good + faithful to restore all things!

  8. Lauren

    Such a beautiful post, Clarita! Yes, deep pain brings greater joy, and that is only through the power of Christ. So many ‘Amens’ to what you said here. And, a very big congratulations to your entire family on the blessing of these precious lives!

  9. Carmie

    Oh this is just TOO WONDERFUL!!! So precious, so sweet…words cannot begin to contain the miracle that is new life.

  10. Kris Turner

    Wonderfully GREAT pictures and expression of the JOY with which God has graced this family! This is not only a very fun post, but one with incredible insight to God’s grace and love for each of us. You are all a tremendous inspiration to all out here who have the pleasure and honor of sharing this happy time with your families. Thanks so much for sharing God’s blessings!

  11. amber

    so much preciousness and love~ these little guys have already brought so much joy to so many… sweetest reminders ever of God’s unfailing goodness. that last picture makes me smile. :)) they’re gonna love auntie clarita, no doubt. congrats to you all, dear friend. xo

  12. April W.

    I loved seeing these pictures! How heartbroken we all were last year to see your family mourn such a loss. It is equally beautiful to see those beautiful baby boys being loved on and celebrated! Auntie Clarita is a title that fits you so well :) Those boys will love you

  13. Oie

    It is so inspiring to read that your Sister, and you and your family chose to walk in the light, and not entertain the thoughts of fear and doubt. How strong your faith is, and how richly God has rewarded it! Congratulations on two heaven sent little boys. They are absolutely beautiful, as are your own sweet babes, who are growing up fast

  14. Jill

    What a beautiful post, especially as I sit here holding my own little one born a week ago. So happy for your sister! I’m sure it’s been one of the longest years, waiting, wondering how it would all turn out, yet so neat to hear your testimony of faith and trust over fear! The relationship you share with your sisters just shines through your photos too. What a blessing! Always excited to see a new post from you. :)

  15. Christy

    Oh, happy sigh. Because this post is just full of happiness!!! Yes, babies bring so much joy and after loss that joy has extra dimensions of relief and gratefulness. I’m thrilled for your sisters and for you. Your girls enjoying their little cousins are so cute and those tiny baby heads with new hair and the wrinkly newborn skin…aaah. Newborn babies are really in an adorable category all their own. That’s so great that you got to see the babies when they were brand new–something else that isn’t taken for granted when you live far away.

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