HELLO MY LOVELY READERS!
Before we hop into this exciting post featuring a few of my favorite faces I’d like to greatly apologize for ending Blogmas early and being hidden away since then. My life has been a bit of a rushed mess the past few weeks, so I’ve had no time or motivation to type up posts. Blogging is something I’d love to get back to doing since I’ve moved out on my own and will most likely have a ton of free time, at least for now.
Recently, with all of the changes in my life, there have been a few people I have been really inspired by, so I thought I would ask a few of those people if they’d be okay with me interviewing them about how their life is going, what they’re doing to stay on top of their stuff, and what exactly it’s like to simply be living a successful life (in my eyes). Today we’re going to be talking to a young family very near to my boyfriend, Caleb, and I’s hearts. I talked to them a little bit about their life and how they are making everything work out when it would seem to an outsider that everything could have gone extremely bad with their situation. Like I said, I’ve found so much inspiration in this family, and through you reading this interview I hope you find inspiration as well to just try your hardest and to make the best out of everything.
Let’s hop right on in to my interview with Brooke Marie Barbery (soon to be Barrett) and Brody Drake Barrett featuring a lot of bits about their little bundle of joy Karter Mae Barrett.
I didn’t know where to start or what to start on when I began to interview Brody and Brooke, so I made it simple; we started at the very beginning of there ever being a Brody and Brooke. Before they officially started dating on April 20th, 2014 Brody and Brooke had been friends for a few years. Prior to dating they had talked for a bit, and from my point of view, and most others in their lives, you could totally tell it was kind of an unsaid relationship, however anytime you asked if they dated it was always “No were just friends”. Well April 20th of 2014 came and went and they decided that they would try and make their friendship into more than just that and they started to date. Throughout the whole time they were dating they were almost always together and they were frequently staying the night at each others houses. Although they were both still in high school they had big dreams of one day living together, getting married and having kids. Time went on and Brooke and Brody continued to date, grow closer together, and started to accomplish some of their dreams one of which being getting out of high school. Brody graduated from Southside high school in 2014. Brooke was still in school at this time, but working towards graduating a year early in 2015. Time kept rolling by after Brody graduated and Brooke was still in school and their relationship kept growing, but like in all relationships they hit a few stumbling blocks along the way. Around February 1st of 2015 Brooke and Brody decided it would be best if they took a little break to figure things out and try and work through some things. About two weeks later, Valentines day to be exact, they gave it another go and that’s where the real story starts.
A few months went by and their relationship was going good again, but Brooke started feeling a bit weird. She wasn’t eating as much and started to feel sick pretty often, so she thought maybe it would be a good idea to take a pregnancy test. She was over at her grandparents house, slipped the pregnancy test in here pocket, and headed to the bathroom to see if her future would be changed forever. After waiting a few minutes she discovered that it indeed would be. She walked out into the living room where Brody was sitting and, bearing in mind it was April 1st, she said “Brody, I’m not kidding, I’m fucking pregnant!” Brody responded with “Brooke, I work at Bojangles!” I couldn’t help but die laughing when they told me this information simply because it’s so Brooke and Brody. Clearly this is the only way it would have happened. Immediately after discovering that in the near future they would be parents to the little bean growing inside of Brooke they headed over to her Aunts house where Brooke’s mom met them. They got there before her mom so she went ahead and told her aunt first who was extremely excited for them both. After her mom arrived and they broke the news to her she of course had the first motherly reaction of being a bit upset, but she couldn’t help but to be happy for them and excited that she was going to be a Grandma! The next day was Friday, the day Brooke always met her dad for breakfast. Brooke showed up for breakfast that day, but she was accompanied by her mom and she didn’t order anything to eat, so he knew there was something wrong. Once he noticed all of the things that seemed to be off he immediately said, “You better not be pregnant!” and all Brooke responded with was “I’m sorry”. Of course he was shocked, but what father wouldn’t be when you’re sitting down for breakfast with your baby girl and she’s telling you that she’s going to have a baby of her own. After the initial shock passed he told her he’d always be there for her and Brody and from then on was very supportive. While it was super easy for Brooke to go to her family as soon as she found out the babe was on the way, Brody had a more difficult time deciding how to tell his family. He actually took 3 weeks to tell his mom, and when I asked him why it took so long he quickly said, “I was just scared of my mom. I thought she was gonna come at me.” And honestly he wasn’t that far off. His mother was super upset and even said to him, “I’m gonna throw up…” On the other hand Brody wasn’t really worried about telling his dad. His father is a pretty laid back dude and his response was also extremely laid back. All he said was “That’s alright!” and then he proceeded to give Brody a little pep talk. I honestly think its so amazing how almost everybody was so supportive from the start. Since Brooke was still in high school at the time this whole scenario could have gone a very different route, but she stuck through all of the morning sickness and powered through the rest of her senior year and ended up graduation from Powdersville High School in 2015!
After telling their families that the little one was on the way the next step was to find Brody another job. If you recall from earlier his first response to Brooke saying she was pregnant had to do with the fact that he made very little money. Brody ended up keeping the job at Bojangles on the weekends and found a week day job with Terminex where he started the week after July 4th. Of course having two jobs and no days off isn’t the most pleasant, but Brody said it wasn’t too bad. This is one of the things I admire about Brody; every time something needs to be done he steps up to the plate and doesn’t even think about it twice. He knew at the time two jobs was what he needed to do to prepare for his family that was about to grow, so that’s what he made happen. While Brody was working Brooke was also hard at work. In fact she worked until she was 35 weeks pregnant being a cashier at Ingles. You go girl!!!! While they were both working they were saving up the money to hopefully find an apartment or a small house, but for now they were living with Brooke’s Mom. October came along and they decided that they had saved enough and had the perfect plan to move out on there own.
Their plan was simple; buy the home Brooke grew up in. The house was in foreclosure and sitting on the land of Brooke’s grandparents, but getting the home wasn’t easy at all. Since it was in foreclosure the process was long and hard and they had to figure out a way to make it work with the money that they had. Essentially they got EXTREMELY LUCKY! Long story short a friend of Brooke’s mom bought the house out of foreclosure for Brooke’s Grandpa in exchange for the lake house that he owned. Let that sink in. Brooke’s Grandfather believed in her and Brody and in them becoming a family and being wonderful parents to their baby so much that he gave up the lake house so they would be safe growing up on his land and have support there whenever they needed it. If that isn’t the type of family love that makes you want to cry I don’t know what is. Of course people around town and outside of her family talked crap about the young couple that got pregnant before they were married and were now moving in together, but Brooke didn’t care because nobody understood and all of Brody’s friends were very supportive so she felt positive about the whole situation. I asked Brody about how he felt about making all these big life changes and becoming a family and he said he wasn’t worried. He wasn’t worried about having a house or living together or raising a baby because, in his words, “Not to sound cliche, but I knew I loved Brooke and I wanted to be with her.” As for what everybody else was thinking and saying about their situation Brody said he couldn’t have cared less he actually said, “I didn’t give a fuck about what everybody else thought!!!”
This is the best kind of attitude you can have! Don’t let anybody else get you down. Do what you need to do to stay up, believe in yourself, and don’t pay anybody that’s talking crap any mind.
In November, a month after moving into their own place, Brody ended up getting hired on to work with Coke, which clearly gave him a boost in pay and helped even more when it came to preparing for the baby on the way and paying for the monthly bills. Since there is no mortgage on the house Brooke’s Grandparents didn’t necessarily ask for them to pay rent, but Brooke chose to because it makes her feel better and she likes to know that she is helping her Grandparents out in return for everything they do for her and Brody. They pay $400 a month to her grandparents, but if they fall behind a month or have unexpected costs come up her grandparents are understanding and don’t bother them for that money if they don’t have it. Family is such a nice thing to have, and Brooke and Brody are so lucky to have the safety net and security that Brooke’s family provides. When it comes to other bills for the month they are once again pretty lucky in the fact that all of their bills fall on separate weeks throughout the month so they aren’t shelling out a huge chunk of money in one day. For example, the water bill gets paid in the beginning of the month, cable in the middle, and electricity comes at the end. Even though they don’t necessarily struggle with getting their bills paid they do essentially live check to check. The check they get is the money that they use for that exact week. They fill up the cars with gas on the day they get paid, budget money out for that weeks bills, try to put $25-$50 back each week for savings, and then get groceries with whatever they have left over.
After living in their home for around two months, getting the hang of paying bills and living on their own, the sweetest bundle of joy decided she would make her arrival and switch everything up once again. Karter Mae Barrett was born on Saturday December 12th, 2015 at 4:43pm weighing 6 pounds 7 ounces and was 19.5 inches long!
After Karter was born Brody took a week off of work to help Brooke and their new little girl in whatever way was needed. Brody even stayed up with Karter most of the time so Brooke could get some extra sleep which she couldn’t say enough of how helpful that was. While there were obviously struggles with becoming parents like learning how to deal with insurance and hospitals and all that important baby stuff, once again Brooke’s family was overwhelmingly helpful especially her mom and all of the knowledge she had about raising children, so all of that ended up not being to stressful. Over time Brooke and Brody have become even stronger, more independent, and more confident in their skills as parents and their teamwork as a couple. And if you see how cute little girl is now you can tell they are giving her all of the love and care she needs. I’ll insert some of my favorite photos below this so you can bask in the glory of the cutest little one you’ve ever seen.
The last few questions I had for Brody and Brooke were questions that allowed them to reflect on everything that has happened over these few years and questions that hopefully allowed them to see how much they’ve grown and why I find them so inspiring.The first of these questions was what had changed in each of them since they started a family and got a house. Brody and Brooke both agreed that the one thing that really changed money wise was that they weren’t spending their checks on whatever thing they wanted for that week, but instead they switched to buying necessities and always asking each other before they bought something that was more of a want than a need. Communication is key with money and relationships, and even though it seems to be easy and something I shouldn’t be proud of them for I am extremely proud that they’ve gotten this down, because I grew up in a family where finances weren’t talked about or budgeted for the best and it really took a toll on the whole family. It shows a lot of maturity that they’e already decided that communication is the key in everything. Brody mentioned to me that another thing that has changed is that Brooke and Karter are all he thinks about. He can’t wait to get off work to get home to them both, and I thought that was the sweetest. When it comes to the one thing they each love the most about being a young family it is Karter. She is the light of their lives and they never thought they could feel a love like she brings. Brody simply said this when I asked him what he loved the most about it all,
“Just having Karter. That love.”
That’s all he had to say and I knew exactly what he meant. As for Brooke it’s essentially the same answer. She loves knowing that she’s the mama of this amazing tiny human and that Karter loves her and depends on her. Brooke said she honestly just feels great about everything.
“I feel good and mature doing all of this responsible adult stuff.”
This statement made me so happy because she should feel great and mature. She’s doing wonderful at being a stay at home, keeping the house clean, and cooking meals for their tiny family while still finding time to make money babysitting whenever she can.
Even though there are a lot of things that they love about being this small and young family with their life moving in a great direction, there are also hard parts and learning curves thrown at them along the way. One of the hardest things for both Brody and Brooke is just the responsibility of having a family and knowing it isn’t all about them anymore. They can’t hang out with friends whenever they want to, and it’s hard to balance friendships with family. Of course they still find time to hang out with friends and keep those relationships, but now it’s on the accord of Karter and her needs will always come first.
Currently Brody and Brooke are engaged with plans to be married and they are continuing to follow their dreams while defying all of the odds a young family may be thrown. I’m not sure if I totally got across how inspirational these two are separately, as a team, and the three of them as a family, but I really just wanted to get their story out there for any other young family that might be feeling overwhelmed, and I wanted you all to try and find your own inspiration in everything that this wonderful family has been able to conquer.
Brooke and Brody,
Caleb and I are extremely proud of, not only the people you have become as individuals, but how you have grown as a couple and work together to give Karter and yourselves the life you all deserve. We are both here for you every step of the way, and I really hope you feel that. You are so strong and I can’t wait to see everything that you obtain in this life. I know it will be an amazing journey to watch your family become so much more and to see Karter grow into a lovely little lady. We’re rooting for you 100% and I don’t ever want y’all to forget it! Keep doing everything you’re doing.
With all my love and best wishes <3