Year Three

Last June, Chad and I were living at my mom's house in the Northeast Heights. June 1st marked our first 'anniversary' living back in Albuquerque, it marked my mom and her husband, Greg's, homecoming, and it marked the opening day of Towns Hair Shop. I love when momentous occasions align like that. Clearly, they don't always, and they don't have to in order to be counted as divine; but sometimes Jesus romances me by the way He ties loose ends together. He takes my anxious seasons of waiting and uncertainty and transforms them in a way that shows me that He clearly has always had a plan, that he clearly loves me and cares about my heart. I read a book called "Captivating" years ago and I loved the part where the author talks about Jesus connecting with us as individuals. We were fearfully and wonderfully made. We were uniquely made. And Jesus knows each of us at our deepest level, which means He can connect with us personally and in ways that are unique to who we were made to be! I think that's beautiful. 

Speaking of God's plans. I often think about how absurd it is that I ever started a career as a cosmetologist. It wasn't something I had any real desire to do, but I landed there anyway. It's also absurd that I ended up marrying a completely self-driven entrepreneurial-minded type. My brain works in systems and structure, security and guarantees. But I ended up with Chad. Both of those decisions, despite my fears and insecurities that transpired through seasons of uncertainty because of them, have led me to where I am now. 

And here's where we are now... 

After a little over 3 months of being roommates with my mom and Greg, Chad and I finally found a rental home! We have been living (all alone!) in our (very own!) old blue house in Nob Hill since last August. For months we'd wander around our (very own!) home where we lived (all alone!) and would say things like, "Look how grown we are!" and "This is our house! Where we live! Alone!" Don't get us wrong, we truly loved our season living with roommates. We wouldn't trade those first couple of years for anything. But two years was plenty for us, and we've loved having our own space together. 

Towns Hair Shop just celebrated it's first birthday! Over the past year, we have experienced immense support and growth. We have met incredible people, had countless conversations both life-giving and heart-breaking, we have upgraded and redesigned the space a dozen times, expanded our product line, hired our first employee, and dreamed up even more plans for our future as a business. We have already outgrown our first location. What a great problem to have! Now that our birthday push has passed, our next priority is to scout a new location and move by the end of the year. We want to have enough room to add a couple more stations as well as have a separate storage/break room. It's an exciting season.

Another hope we have for the new space is that it would also accommodate Chad's workshop as well as a shared retail space between us. He has continued to do so well with his jewelry business, and we've seen more sales, inquiries, interest, and overall success this year than ever before. He works hard. He spent some time working from our garage in the fall, but that quickly became too cold for comfort. Then he moved into the sunroom, which has worked well enough for the most part, but ultimately he's ready to work outside of the house and ideally around other people as well. He has a vision for the space we end up in, so it will be a collaborative search which will hopefully lead to the perfect place to grow both of our businesses. 

Now for the biggest news of Year Three! We are having a baby! Our son will be arriving in mid-September and we couldn't be more excited! In fact, he's kicking away at my tum as I type! We found out about little man in early January. He's what people would call our "rainbow baby" as we had lost our first in an early miscarriage at the beginning of December. It was a shock to us both to find out so soon after that we had another little bun in the oven. We are so thankful. At 6 weeks, we saw a poppy seed on the ultrasound scan along with a tiny flickering heartbeat. At 10 weeks, we heard the heartbeat for the first time. (Magic!) At 15 weeks, we heard it again, and only then did we start telling people beyond our families and most immediate friends. The whole experience has been, for me, physically easy and emotionally tumultuous. Most of the time, God gives me peace. But there were days especially early on when I thought the anxiety could just take me out. It's incredible yet hard to understand loving someone that you've never met. Now, at 26 weeks, I am starting to understand why some women love being pregnant so much. There's no feeling in the world like feeling my baby kick. I'll never be closer to my little nameless boy. Even though I'd still rather just have him in my arms and know that he's safe and sound, I'm trying to embrace every moment and enjoy this season. It's flying by!

As for Chad and me. I think we grow in love and affection for each other all the time. For that I am so thankful. Chad isn't at all the same person he was when we met years and years ago (nor am I). He's not even the same person he was on our wedding day (nor am I). But the man he is now, and the man he continues to become... I mean... I hit the jackpot! He is full of faith and wisdom, integrity and confidence, understanding and compassion. He is reassuring and steadfast, thoughtful and kind. He is honest and supportive, patient and gracious. And it's not that he didn't possess these qualities before; it's just that he grows in them daily! I often think about how blessed I am, to be married to a man who aims to reflect Jesus. Through the ups and downs of business and baby, of daily life, he has been my constant. 

We are moving quickly into a brand new season of life together. Please pray for us. The most consistent piece of advice I've been given when it comes to parenthood is to not forget about Chad. To prioritize him and his needs, to love on him and date him, to be intentional in our friendship and marriage. Please pray for me that I will do that well. My love for him brings tears to my eyes, and I don't like the thought of being disconnected from him. I pray Jesus will help us transition and learn quickly how to balance our roles as a couple and as parents. I'm grateful for our incredible support system through our family, friends, and church. (Chad continues to serve on the worship team at North Church and meet regularly with a few other men there). We have so much to be thankful for. 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a part of our years. 

PS- My mom (she's a Grandma now!) made me a little booklet with Bible verses about peace for those moments when anxiety threatens to rob me of joy. She encouraged me to read these verses to re-train my brain to default to trust and rest rather than fear. The first she wrote has been a longtime favorite of mine- Philippians 4:6-7. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."


Bree BarelaComment