Every year for the past 3 years we’ve been celebrating the holidays in our favorite little tiny Texas town, Gruene. We meet up with our friends and enjoy the shops, food, and holiday festivities. The kiddos take pictures with Santa and the parents enjoy each others company. We sip, we shop and we end the evening by watching Santa ride in to town and light up the Christmas lights.
If you’ve never been to Gruene, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s a small little town right by New Braunfels. It’s famous for Gruene Hall which has hosted numerous famous musicians over the years. Since having children we go we rent an Air B&B. Before kiddos we stayed at Gruene River Inn, which is perfect for couples (I honestly miss staying there!). We get garlic fries at Mozies, blackberry wine at The Grapevine and listen to live music at Gruene Grove. If you need tips or advice about things to do and see in Gruene, just ask! We literally love everything place there!
This was the first year we traveled with two little ones and overall, they did fabulous! They napped in the car, enjoyed snacks at Buc-ee’s and were minimally fussy.
Our little pre-Christmas vacation made me so excited for the future and all the adventures we will plan.
We can’t wait to take our sweet boys on many more adventures!
Up next Kalahari Resort in Round Rock, TX ! We can’t wait!
Our first family of four trip was a success! 4 1/2 hours on the road and 3 days at the beach seemed a little daunting but we all survived and had a great time.
We decided to stick rather close to home and adventure down to Corpus Christi. I know Texas beaches get a bad rap but we visited last year and found the perfect little condo on the beach. The water was much clearer than good old Galveston and we were steps away from the ocean.
I have to admit I was nervous about taking our 3 month old on a 4 1/2 hour road trip but he did amazingly well. We stopped frequently, I occasionally had to crawled in to the backseat to entertain the boys but it all worked out.
ProTip: stop frequently, don’t rush the trip, provide snacks and entertainment
Our second concern was taking a 3 month old and a toddler to the beach. How long would they last? How do we protect them from the heat? The sun? Well, we figured that one out too! We lathered them up with sunscreen and threw on protective swim wear. We decided to just stay in the beach for about 90 minutes at a time, which was pretty much all the boys could really handle. We also found a company that you could rent beach gear from. They came at 8:00AM to set up a canopy and beach chairs. It worked out perfectly. All we had to carry down yo the beach were toys, towels, and the babies. We spent mornings and afternoons splashing in the waves, napping in the beach, and building sand castles for little O to knock down 🙂
ProTip: Rent beach equipment, it might cost a little more but it’s so worth it! You have more time to enjoy with your kiddos and you don’t have to worry about carrying all the extra junk to the beach.
Overall we had a pretty great time. Baby L enjoyed his first beach vacation and Little O soaked up the sun and sand.
I’m not ready for summer to be over, not even a little bit. After spending so much quality time with my littles I am devastated to return to work, especially given the circumstances this year. The passion and drive I once had for my careers is minimal in comparison to the passion I have for my little boys. Some days I dream about just staying home with my boys but I have so many great adventures and plans in the works for this upcoming year. I pray my boys stay happy and healthy and I make it through this school year to enjoy our next greatest adventure.
Stay turned, I’m booking our Christmas vacation as we speak 💙 🎄
It’s hard to put into words the overwhelming emotions you feel as a mom. Pure joy, immense anxiety, constant uncertainty, a sense of accomplishment and most of all the inexplainable, unconditional love just to name a few. Over the past few years I experienced all of these and more; being a mom is the toughest and most rewarding role I’ve ever played and I wouldn’t change a second of it.
On April 13th we welcomed sweet baby L into the family and our party of 3 became a party of 4. I am now officially outnumbered because, surprise, it’s another boy! I knew in my soul I was destined to be a boy mom and I’m okay with that. How can I not be when I look at my sweet, perfect little boys?!
When we welcomed baby O into our world a few years ago everything was so fresh and new. We were terrified and excited to become parents and had no idea what to expect. It took a lot of adjusting but we figured it out (and are still figuring it out daily with our wild toddler !). Surely we would have it all figured out with baby #2…
While I was pregnant with baby #2 I constantly worried about being able to divide my time between 2 little humans. How could I possible love someone as much as I love baby O? How will baby O feel when he’s not the center of our universe? All of these self-doubting questions and more popped up while we prepared to become parents one more time.
I expected baby #2 to arrive early because baby O did but boy was I mistaken. After almost 2 weeks of doing EVERYTHING to induce labor naturally we finally made the decision to be induced on April 13th, bright and early.
I dreaded labor and delivery but it honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered. I went in pretty confident in my birth plan and better prepared for postpartum recovery. After a full day of laboring and a few minutes of pushing, baby L finally graced us with his presence at a whopping 8 lbs 15 oz. We were blessed with another happy, healthy baby boy and it was time to figure out the new normal.
I remember holding baby L in the hospital, looking at his cute little chunky face and I still had that nagging question that filled me with mom guilt what would baby O think? I was ready to go home and introduce my sweet boys but the hospital had another plan. We had to stay an extra night, which meant one more night away from my O, I was not happy.
Thank God for my husband because the next morning he went all the way back to the house to pick baby O up from my mom and bring him to meet his baby brother.
Their first meeting couldn’t have gone better. O was a little nervous but determined to hold and kiss his new “brobber”, and of course we let him. We spent the whole morning together and O did great. There were minimal tears when we had to take him home but I knew watching them together that it would all be fine.
We still have some adjusting to do but 3 weeks in we are finding our new normal. O gets plenty of mommy and daddy time and is learning the ropes with his baby brother. He helps bring him his blankie, sings him songs, and does his very best to snuggle baby L gently. I know my boys will forever have each other and share the same unconditional love.
To all the moms out there with unanswered questions just know it will all work out 💙
Without further ado, meet the newest member of The Beam Family.
They say that traveling is good for the body, mind, and soul and I overwhelmingly agree. We knew from the start that we wanted to instill our love of travel and adventure into our children and in order to do so we started right away. At 6 months baby O was on a 14 hour road trip to Colorado. At 12 months another mini road trip to see Santa. And at 18 months, we decided to take baby O on his first international vacation to Mexico.
The unpredictability of traveling with a little one had me not only apprehensive but very anxious. So many unknowns, would he be okay? Fussy? Sleepy? Throw a fit? I was pretty confident in my ability to calm him down in any situation so we packed up and headed to Mexico with a dozen of our favorite people.
When I planned this international family vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, I wasn’t anticipating a pandemic and I was completely unaware of how traveling with a toddler would be. Overall I was pleasantly surprised! Our first big vacation with our little one was a complete success! 1800+ miles away from home, 4+ hours on a plane, and zero meltdowns; he did so well!
Here are a few things I learned on this trip:
When traveling with a baby/toddler:
Pack snacks ! Not just for the airplane but for the resort/hotel as well. Baby O eats a lot and frequently. Snack are a necessity at all times of the day!
Keep them entertained. Whether your little one needs screen time, toys, or books, pack them all!
We took advantage of baby O being under 2 and he sat in our laps on the plane. Next time he will definitely get his own seat.
If possible, book the plane ride during baby’s nap schedule. Baby O slept on the plane both ways!
Pack extra necessities such as sunscreen and diapers. We packed enough but if we needed them, they were expensive at the resort.
When traveling to Mexico for the summer stay on the pacific side. The other side is swamped with seaweed from May to September. If I would have known this in advance I would have booked Puerto Vallarta instead of the Riviera Maya area.
Book a local photographer for family photos! It was inexpensive and easy to do.
We couldn’t have asked for a better first big trip with baby O. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed family time, and were able to watch our sweet boy enjoy vacation as much as we do.
I never imagined our sweet little baby would be growing up in the middle of a pandemic. All of the weekend getaways and spur of them moment adventures we envisioned seem pretty far out of our reach given our current situation. But, despite the hell of a hand we’ve been dealt, we’ve managed to make the best of the situation.
Although baby O isn’t a world traveler quite yet, he has managed to have few little adventures of his own. (All precautions were taken for all of our small travels)
We were fortunate enough to get to go visit Baby Os great grandmother before the bearded one and I returned to work. It wasn’t an over the top-extravagant family vacation but it was a once in a life time experience and seeing the two of them together was worth the 10 hr car ride.
Baby O spent most of his summer at home but not even a pandemic could keep us from visiting our State Fair of Texas this year (we had to go, I bought matching shirts in December!) O got to meet Big Tex, taste a Fletcher’s corny dog and even had a bite of the infamous fried Oreo (we never give him sweets!)
We’ve had a few other outdoor adventures such as the pumpkin patch but nothing quite elaborate yet.
Sometimes I feel honestly feel like O is missing out. But, on the other hand, we’ve been able to spend so much quality time with our little guy. We’ve watched him grow and flourish and reach all of his milestones despite this never ending pandemic.
We will continue to take all of the necessary precautions during this unprecedented time and hopefully squeeze in an adventure or two. I know we have O’s whole life to travel the world and I look forward to what’s to come.
“Let’s drive 14 + hours with a 5 month old. It will be fun!”….said no sane person ever. But, that’s exactly what we did.
After packing up the entire house (mostly baby stuff) we loaded up the car and headed to Colorado for baby O’s first big adventure.
We had no idea what to expect. Would he sleep? Would he scream? How many times would we have to stop? Just like every other first time parent challenge, we jumped in head first and winged it.
I’m not going to lie, there were times in the car he was inconsolably upset, but those were few and far in between. Overall, he did pretty well, especially when I crawled in the backseat and kept him entertained.
Other then the minimal stress of the car ride, Colorado was stunning as always.
The first few days we were there we had crazy weather. It snowed…in June. This was not just Texas slushy snow either. This was beautiful, huge snowflakes that actually stuck to the ground for a bit. We of course had to take all the mandatory snow pictures and let baby O experience his first snowfall!
Once the snow cleared up we were able to do what we do best, hike and enjoy the outdoors. In previous years we never really contemplated our hikes, we just lightly packed and headed to the mountain. Not this time. We thoughtfully and throughly packed for all of babies needs. We even bought a pretty neat hiking backpack for O….he lasted an hour in it…. Although we didn’t make it to the top of Hoosier Pass, we still enjoyed our time together and being able to witness baby O’s fascination with the great outdoors.
Baby’s first big vacation was a success and I can’t wait to travel the world with our little adventurer. First stop, Colorado, next stop….