Introducing Our New Baby

Baby P is home and doing great. First, we want to thank my in-laws, Bob & June, for quarantining and then coming up for weeks so that they stay bubbled with us from Thanksgiving until we got back from the hospital with baby P. P was born on December 10, 2020 and everyone is happy and healthy. Henry is learning what it means to have a little brother and is very sweet on him (but also frustrated to share mommy and daddy). We are sharing some pictures of the past week or so:

A New Bubble

We were devastated when our only option (within 30 minutes of our house) for daycare fell through. We need to get back to the office and we need H to get some socialization. Well, we are so happy to have enlarged our ‘bubble’ this fall. We have a friend who has offered to try-out doing childcare since H is the same age as her youngest. We’ve been watching the photos roll in of all their fun over the past weeks and we think we’ve got a really great situation here:

COVID-19 & Family Time

Henry’s playroom was turned into a worship video studio, and, without childcare, Carrie and I take shifts (along with a high school student in the mornings) taking care of our son and trying to work full-time. It has been a challenge, but in the midst of all of the challenges we have spent a lot of time as a family. This pandemic has forced us out of our routines and caused us to re-assess how we organize ourselves and order our time, yes, but also the quality of life we try to pack into that time.

My hope for all of us as we continue in this, potentially, drawn-out pandemic is that we would, yes, lament our losses but also look for gifts. Here is a gallery of some of what we’ve been up to in the Carnes house!

At Home Already

It has been a short time since we moved into our new home in Abingdon and already I step over toys and wonder what neighbors must think of the toys in the yard and dogs barking. We have moved in. Not just into a house, but, because of this remarkable congregation and community, it feels like our home!

Carrie, Henry and I love to go on walks and, already, when we are out walking we are always running into people we know and Henry already just loves some of his new friends. People can see us coming because the stroller is often empty, seeming to move itself with a little boy who wants to push it himself. 🙂 We were nervous about moving to such a small town but this is going to be a fabulous place to raise Henry and any other children we have along the way! We look forward to ministry here!

Wintery Well-being

Our little guy has barely had a week where he hasn’t been sick or under medical care this winter (since daycare began). We are told by our pediatrician that it is because of being in daycare and his age, but mostly when he was born. He was born so that he could hit cold and flu season as he started daycare…and only a few months old.

In January H was diagnosed with RSV and, then, one morning, we woke up to H in respiratory distress. We rushed to Children’s hospital and spent the next night at the hospital. In March H had his hypospadias repair. He was born with a hypospadias condition so we have known that he would need surgery after 6 months. The procedure went better than expected, even, and he hasn’t missed a beat.

Oh, and I almost forgot. His sickness has never kept him down and, now……..he can pull up!

Henry in Church

We have been incredibly blessed, as pastors, over the years. We have experienced loving churches…and, as a clergy couple, we’ve sometimes made that difficult, for instance, the churches seldom get to see our spouse.

Both of our amazing churches were excited for the arrival of little H and when we returned from maternity leave (and, then, paternity leave) they were excited to worship with H…and they have been understanding has been split between church with mommy and church with daddy. When H does come to worship I love to see the faces of the congregation and little H! It’s so fun to see love being shared.

My church doesn’t have a nursery program and Henry is generally the only baby…so the people of the church pass him around and take care of him. It has been lots of fun to watch and, then, tonight, we got a special treat because we got to worship together as a family on our first Christmas Eve.

Church is a wonderful place to raise a child!


Paternity Leave is nearly over so daycare must soon begin and we’ve decided to start half day daycare this week, a few of the days, just to get him acclimated.

It is overwhelming to let go of him and leave him with people that we basically don’t know (although we met and vetted the daycare, of course)! It is also really exciting to see him with the other children and receiving such great care.

We hope that he continues to do well with all-day care starting next week! Pray for us (I think it’s way harder on me than H)!

Two Weeks in Greece

We’ve had a house guest for the past two weeks. My sister-in-law and her husband went to Greece and needed somewhere for T, our nephew. Well, I’m on paternity leave with H (our little guy) and T is in school during the day…so…sure. Carrie and I have enjoyed a great, great, great time with our temporarily expanded family.

It wasn’t super-easy, by the way. We had to get up and have T at school over in Saint Louis every school day. Those were early mornings, but, of course, we were already up with a baby, anyway. 🙂 It was also just hard because Aunt Carrie and Uncle Scott do things a lot differently than at home. Aunt Carrie and Uncle Scott tried to make adjustments but T was also really flexible and did a great job.

In the picture above you can see a meal that T made with Aunt Carrie one night!

We are a little sad that T is going to go stay with his Nana & Babop (his grandma and grandpa Berry) for a few days until his mom & dad get home…so we ended with a big family dinner. My parents and Carrie’s parents all came to Collinsville to eat with H, T & Carrie and me. It was a great night and we feel blessed by this family!


He has been 42 months in the making… On August 7 a few minutes after 2am Henry Lawrence Berry Carnes came into this world healthy and happy.  He weighed in at 7 lbs 1oz and is long… 21 & 1/4 inches.

I am overwhelmed by experience of these past few days.  One can be mostly prepared for the child birthing experience: reading books, going to classes, planning as a couple.  On the other hand there is no preparation for the emotional experience of first holding your own child.  It’s only been a few days but I think I love this little boy more everyday than the day before.

Carrie is on maternity leave right now and after her eight weeks of leave I will go on paternity leave.  We are both soaking up every minute we can with this little guy before he has to start daycare in mid-November.  We both want to say thank you to our churches for being flexible in planning our maternity/paternity leaves.  We are so blessed to have these amazing churches.