Intro. to Periscope Book Club Show Notes

One of my New Years’ Resolutions is to read more and get on Periscope more so I’m combining those two and will be doing “Book Club” on Tuesdays/Thursdays.

Download the Periscope app and follow me, Laney Barrett (@laneyc9). By following me on the app, you’ll receive a notification on your phone when I go live to do a broadcast. You’ll also be able to interact with me there while I’m broadcasting by leaving comments. This will make the scopes more like a discussion and less like you’re just watching a video.

Here’s the book we’ll be reading first…
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine


I went over the introduction to let you know what this book is about, but I’ll be going over Chapter 1 on Tuesday, January 5th. You’re welcome to purchase the book to read along with me, and we’ll be able to interact through Periscope even more that way. But if not, hopefully you will be inspired by watching my Periscopes alone.


Good stuff! I can’t wait to read and share more with you. See you on Periscope Tuesday, January 5th!


What to Expect with Blessed Beginnings

Hi, followers! So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged – just a season of life that hasn’t really allowed much time for it, but I’m starting a new adventure soon with Periscope, so I thought I would need to use my blog to tag along with that.

Periscope, if you haven’t heard, is a new app that’s only a few months old, and it’s all the rage. I’m so loving following some of my favorite bloggers as they log in and do live video broadcasts each day. I’ve been inspired by them, and I want to do the same.

For me, Periscope provides a way for introverts like me to connect with the world around me, not just my little world and my household like I’ve done before. To connect with me through Periscope so that you can view my broadcasts, simply download the app and find me to follow (@laneyc9). When I do a live broadcast, you’ll receive a notification on your phone where you can click to see me live. You can leave public comments that I will see as I’m broadcasting so I can interact with you and answer your questions. I’d love to connect with you in this way!

So here’s what to expect with my periscopes and my blog here at Blessed Beginnings as well…

Book Club Scopes – (Tuesdays & Thursdays) I’m going to be reading books throughout the year and scoping about what I’m reading. You are welcome to purchase the books and read along with me or just watch my scopes and be inspired by my scopes alone.
*We’ll be starting with the book “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” by Crystal Paine on Tuesday, January 5th. (9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore your Passion for Life) I figured this book would be perfect to start with as we enter 2016 with our New Years’ Resolutions and ideas of being intentional in our lives.

What’s Working Wednesday – On Wednesdays I will scope about some aspect of my life that’s working for me – Maybe it could work for you too, whether it’s how I organize my makeup or how I use my daily calendar.

So, I’d love to connect with you! Follow me on Periscope, and be sure to Follow my blog by subscribing by email to receive updates of my posts and a readable version of my Periscope broadcasts!

Learning Activity Shelf


I’ve been on the lookout for some shelves that I can keep a few learning activities out for Lawson during the week. I finally found the perfect one and with a 50% off sale at a local store, it was perfect timing.

currently have a closet with shelves that is perfect to store ALL of our homeschool things that I’ve hoarded in a very organized way, but with it being a closet towards the back of the house, the learning activities are often out of sight and out of mind as well, which in the recent past has meant that they don’t get used very often.

Enter this new shelf. I placed it in the living room in a corner of the room, and each week I’ll add a few activities from our learning closet. It’s perfect for Lawson to explore and play on his own while I nurse the baby. He can even grab a few books for me to read to him, without having to walk ALL THE WAY TO HIS ROOM! 🙂

This past week we had our toddler bible, our counting cans and a basket for the foods they contain, stringing beads, lacing cards, a stack of books, shape puzzles, a nesting doll, and a ring stacker. We were able to do all of these activities within the week, both together and independently.

It was a big hit!

Our Birth Story

~This post is open and honest, like a conversation I would have with other mommy-friends, so please read at your own discretion.~ 


Finally Home with Our Newest Addition

Our due date of May 6 came and passed with no baby arrival or even labor symptoms. To say that I was becoming impatient and growing anxious would be an understatement. I am a planner, and I had everything ready weeks before. The house was clean and organized. I’d finished all major projects, and I was just ready to have our new baby. He had other plans, and since my birth plan was a natural labor with no induction or unnecessary medical intervention – we let him cook a little longer. My last prenatal visit was Monday, May 12th, and my doctor made me set a date before 42 weeks approached to go in to be induced, although I really didn’t want to. Our plan was to still do it as naturally as possible and just see if breaking my water would get things going on their own without the use of Pitocin. We set the date for Thursday, May 15th, but I hoped our baby would decide to come on his own before then so I would know what real labor was like.

And he did! Here’s our Birth Story…

The very next morning around 12:30am, I could no longer sleep due to light contractions. I could feel them enough not to be able to sleep, but they weren’t really that painful either. I’m terrible at timing contractions, but I was getting “this feeling” every few minutes already. Normally this would be when they tell you to go to the hospital, but we’d already made a trip weeks earlier with a false alarm, and I was determined to do early labor at home to avoid any unnecessary medical intervention. My doctor advised me on this and told me to come to the hospital when I was hurting.

So around 2:30 I took a bath to see if these were really contractions or if they were braxton hicks. Justin heard me taking a bath and asked if I was okay. I told him that I was, but I was having consistent contractions. I wanted to let him sleep just in case this wasn’t real labor because he did have to work that day. However, after I told him that he couldn’t go back to sleep so he got up with me. We had an early breakfast around 3am together, and he could tell that the contractions were getting stronger because I had to stop and breathe through them more, but he was letting me wait to make the decision of when to go or whether or not he should still go in to work (He’s a personal trainer so his first client comes in around 5am.)

I called my mom around 4:30am to let her know what was going on, and she told me I needed to go to the hospital. She said “You never know – it could go fast.” But it felt more like a lecture. I let them know early because they live three hours away so they needed travel time. I went to the bathroom and had some bloody show so decided I guess we should go on in since we were pretty sure it was the real deal. Justin called his parents also to come and stay with our firstborn, Lawson.

So we began packing the car and getting ready to go. We arrived to the hospital around 6am. They monitored me in a triage room for about an hour, but there was no doubt this was real labor by that point. I honestly HATED being in that room because I was strapped in by these monitors and stuck in one position in that bed – so uncomfortable during labor. They checked my cervix, and I was dilated to 4-5cm – a progression from our appointment the day before where I was only 3cm. Then, they allowed me to move to a room, and I walked VERY SLOWLY down the hall a little bit to our new room, stopping for contractions along the way.

The contractions were intense by this point, and I was really having to concentrate and breathe through them. I’m not going to lie – it was painful just like they say it is, but I was still determined to do this naturally. I changed into the night gown I’d purchased, and it felt so much better than that hospital gown. The fabric was cooler it seemed. Once we were in our room, they allowed me to be off the monitors to do this labor this however I wanted. It was such a relief too. Sitting on the toilet was probably the favorite place for me to be – I could sit upright or lean back into a contraction and didn’t have to worry about if my water broke because it wouldn’t really make a mess there. 🙂 Funny how that’s the things I was thinking about.

The nurse came in and asked if she could check me so I moved to the bed. I was already 8-9cm! Hearing this news gave me that extra boost of confidence I needed to know that  I could do this naturally. Just knowing that my contractions were actually working to progress my labor and that I’d already made it this far all on my own – there was no way you could convince me to get an epidural or wimp out with any pain meds at that point! I kept breathing through the contractions, and a little while later my doctor arrived and asked if he could check me. He asked me again if I was sure I didn’t want him to go ahead and break my water. I told him we could just wait to see if it would break on its own as I felt it would be unnecessary still. I overheard him tell the nurse that when my water breaks the baby was coming so call him right away (He had to leave to go to the clinic, but he would come back when it was time.) He said it would be 5 minutes if I let him break by water, but probably 20-25 since we were waiting for it to break on its own.

So I labored on, but never moved from the bed this time after being checked. It’s like i really didn’t have time in between contractions enough to move. I told the nurse that during contractions I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom (#2), but she said it’s probably because I was still on my back and the baby was putting pressure on that area now so she helped me move on the bed to my hands and knees. She said that I would start to feel like that even when I wasn’t having a contraction soon. She was right. She asked if she could check me again, but I never could get myself to move for her to do so between hurting so she never did. I told her I really felt like I should push and asked her if I could. She said if I wasn’t fully dilated yet, it could cause swelling and make delivery harder so I tried not to.

Then, my water broke on the bed, and I could see that it was green which meant that the baby had already had his first bowel movement of meconium. When my water broke, I really felt the urge to push and told the nurse I really couldn’t NOT PUSH. They helped me move so they could clean up the bed, and I moved onto my back again. I told them I was going to push, and they told me I could but told me after his head was born to stop pushing so they could suction his nose so he wouldn’t breathe in that meconium. I saw my doctor come in and felt relieved that he made it back in time.

With two pushes, Linkin’s head was born. They suctioned his nose, and let me push again for him to be fully born. The doctor put him right on my tummy, and that was an incredible moment I’d waited for. The moment where I knew I did this – the ultimate challenge! I had a baby all on my own, with no medical intervention and no pain meds. I felt like a champion!

Linkin didn’t cry right away so the doctor said he needed to cut the cord and move him to get him breathing, and of course, I said okay. As soon as they picked him up and laid him on the table beside me, I heard him cry. They went ahead and did his footprints and checked his weight, but gave him right back to me.

Linkin Jude was born at 8:32am. He weighed 7 pounds even, 20 inches long and perfect in every way. For the next hour I nursed him, and the three of us bonded. Then, we swaddled him. I got up to clean myself up a bit and got dressed. We were ready for visitors! Yes, you read that correctly – having a natural labor meant that I felt incredible afterwards. Yes, I was a little sore, but I think that mostly came from the horrific hospital bed – not so comfy. I took two doses of Tylenol after my delivery to help with that soreness but never even got the prescriptions filled – so different from our first birth story. I would recommend natural birth to anyone who’s willing to give it a try. This really was an amazing experience for us, and I’m so glad I stood my ground for what I really wanted.


Linkin Jude


When our boys first met


First Family of Four Selfie


Ready to Leave the Hospital


Coming Home

Baby Barrett #2 (38 weeks in the making)

(Read with caution. Pregnancy Posts may have T.M.I.)

How far along? 38 weeks, due May 6th

Total weight gain: 27 pounds

Maternity clothes? Of course, although some are getting tighter.

Sleep? Occasional heartburn disturbances, insomnia for about an hour or two every night, and occasional sciatica pain – One night this week I couldn’t change positions because the pain was so bad. Thankfully, it’s only occasional, and almost over.

Miss Anything? Not really, just ready to get into our new routine with a new baby

Movement: a little less active now, baby due to size or position low low low and ready to come out 😉

Food cravings: Shrimp Po-boy all because of a coupon text I received this morning.

Gender: It’s a boy! We actually found out at 15 weeks because it was OBVIOUS! If they told me girl at 15 weeks, I wouldn’t have believed them,  but with a boy, it’s pretty hard to deny. We announced it to our family on Thanksgiving.

Name: Linkin Jude

Labor Signs: I have felt a total of one contraction. That’s it. Just one. I’m thinking this one may just surprise me with his timing. We are, however, already 3 cm dilated and just waiting at this point. Baby Linkin is sitting really low, and he’ll let us know when he’s ready I guess.

Belly Button: It’s an outie, but I’m used to it now so it doesn’t bother me. Some of my friends comment things like “I love your belly button,” which is super odd to me, but funny I guess.

Wedding Rings: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy, anxious, and excited! A little jealous of friends who’ve just had their babies tho… I just CAN’T WAIT until it’s my turn!

Looking Forward to: The challenge of a natural & drug-free labor – prayers appreciated!!

Next Appointment: Next Thursday, if we make it until then 


Baby Barrett #2 (36 weeks in the making)

(Read with caution. Pregnancy Posts may have T.M.I.)

How far along? 36 weeks, due May 6th

Total weight gain: 23 pounds – (That’s 20 pounds LESS than I weighed at the end of my pregnancy with Lawson!) I have and still do feel fabulous… I think it’s because I’ve kept it under control with cravings and not “eating for two” this time around. I learned my lesson with how hard it is to lose the pregnancy weight afterwards 🙂 I still have a healthy weight gain for this pregnancy, and my doctor says that there’s nothing to worry about.

Maternity clothes? Of course, although some are getting tighter.

Sleep? Heartburn is only occasional and not too terrible (it was awful with my first pregnancy), and I have only had one nightly leg cramp throughout this pregnancy (I had MANY with my first pregnancy). I’m sleeping fairly well, although sometimes I wake up for a snack or to use the backroom. If it’s one of those nights where I just can’t fall back asleep right away, I get up and do something productive like sewing!

Miss Anything? I guess I miss putting on my own shoes. I’m asking hubby to do it these days, and he wishes I would just wear slip-ons instead of my cute sandals. 😉

Movement: IOh yes, all the time.

Food cravings: Salads have been amazing this pregnancy, and lately I’ve been craving milk too.

Gender: It’s a boy! We actually found out at 15 weeks because it was OBVIOUS! If they told me girl at 15 weeks, I wouldn’t have believed them,  but with a boy, it’s pretty hard to deny. We announced it to our family on Thanksgiving.

Name: Linkin Jude

Labor Signs: Not a single sign of approaching labor… I’m mentally preparing myself for a late baby just in case. 🙂 I thought I might have felt a braxton hick contraction a few weeks ago, but I really think it was just some gas pains. My doctor will begin checking for dilation soon, but I’ve asked him not to tell me how I’m progressing if any at all. I think it just messes with my mind a little, and I get over-excited too soon. I’m patiently waiting until my little man tells me he’s ready to come out!

Belly Button: It’s an outie, but I’m used to it now so it doesn’t bother me. Some of my friends comment things like “I love your belly button,” which is super odd to me, but funny I guess.

Wedding Rings: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy, anxious, and excited! A little jealous of friends who’ve just had their babies tho… I just CAN’T WAIT until it’s my turn!

Looking Forward to: The challenge of a natural & drug-free labor – prayers appreciated!!

Next Appointment: Wednesday, then every week after that

The nursery is pretty complete, except for the glider that I am re-covering. My bag is packed, and I’ve stocked up on household goods like toilet paper and detergent so we won’t have to run out to get those things with a newborn. I guess I’ll try to do some freezer cooking over the next month and just continue to grow in excitement for our newest little one’s arrival.  I may practice some “big brother” things with Lawson to get him ready for this big event in his life too.

Now…. we wait! Stay tuned for a post of our Nursery Reveal and a post about what I’ve packed in my hospital bag.

Baby Barrett #2 (30 weeks in the making)

(Read with caution. Pregnancy Posts may have T.M.I.)

How far along? 30 weeks, due May 6th (Baby is now the size of a large cabbage.)

Total weight gain: 12 pounds – Our lifestyle is totally different than what we had when I was pregnant with Lawson so we’re mostly eating pretty clean. I find myself craving fresh fruits and veggies this time instead of carbs and peanut butter. I feel amazing!! Most days, I wouldn’t even know I was pregnant – other than the round belly and the little kicks I feel throughout the day.

Maternity clothes? Yes.

Sleep: I’m sleeping pretty good, although I did have one night recently where I was just awake for no apparent reason. I feel minor heart burn when I lie down, but nothing compared to my pregnancy with Lawson. I also took a marvelous nap on Sunday, and I think this may be about to happen a little more often as I near the end of the pregnancy.

Miss Anything? I’m finding it to be a little harder to bend down and pick things up, which I am constantly doing with a toddler around. I also dislike not being able to cross my legs as easily in church… it makes sitting for a long length of time pretty uncomfortable.

Movement: I’m feeling lots of little kicks, and yesterday I felt him have the hiccups for the first time. Food cravings: A salad with lots of toppings like from Ruby Tuesday or Pizza Inn, a salad from Longhorns, and green beans from Bonefish Grill 🙂

Gender: It’s a boy! We actually found out at 15 weeks because it was OBVIOUS! If they told me girl at 15 weeks, I wouldn’t have believed them,  but with a boy, it’s pretty hard to deny. We announced it to our family on Thanksgiving.

Name: Linkin Jude

Labor Signs: maybe a Braxton Hick Contraction or two, but I really can’t remember how they feel so it might just be stretching of muscles

Belly Button: pretty much an outie most of the time now (It still really weirds me out.)

Wedding Rings: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: The moods seem to be leveling out.

Looking Forward to: Fixing up the nursery!

Next Appointment: Today, then every two weeks

We keep talking about “the baby” and telling Lawson about what’s coming, but I really think he has no clue. I’ve been nesting so we’ve been doing a little organizing in the nursery recently. He’s my little helper, and I keep talking about it being “the baby’s room”. Any tips on how to REALLY prepare him for what’s coming?? I’d love to know your input!