My Unadventurous Valentine’s Day 

It’s 8:30 AM and my Valentine is taking his first nap of the day. 

My Valentine didn’t get me flowers or chocolates or make me heart shaped pancakes.

My Valentine is not going to take me on a fancy date or write me a sweet love poem. 

There will be no oversized teddy bears or red and pink balloons. 

There’s no time to do my hair and make up or throw on a cute red and pink Valentine’s outfit.

                            ❤️💕❤️💕❤️💕

We didn’t exchange Valentine cards or gifts and that’s okay, because none of those Valentine’s Day cliches compare to the snuggles and smiles I will get today. 

My Valentine doesn’t care that the shirt I’m currently wearing is covered in his spit up, my hair may or may not be clean, and I’m still in my pajamas. 

My Valentine doesn’t need chocolates, balloons, or love notes. 

My Valentine and I will spend our day soaking up the unconditional love I never knew I could feel. 

One day I’ll make him heart shaped pancakes and he will follow the lead of his daddy and fix me the perfect morning coffee and kiss me goodbye. But today, on his first Valentine’s Day, we have a nap date on the couch, a warm bottle waiting, and all the snuggles and kisses in the world. 

Welcome Baby Owen

Our Birth Story

On December 27th at 1:20 AM our whole world changed. Just as I was getting ready for bed, my water broke. It was totally unexpected and 9 days too early. It was such a surreal, unexpected moment; I don’t think we were ready, but God had other plans. Ready or not, baby Beam was on the way!

We had a birth plan in place, but that went out the window as soon as I called Labor and Delivery. I had all intentions of laboring at home, comfortably, until my contractions were consistent but the LD doctor on call told me I had to come in since my water broke naturally. Around 3AM we headed to the hospital not knowing what to expect.

To be honest the whole process was pretty uneventful at first. We were admitted, waited for a room, and hung out for a few hours. My contractions were barely existent and I was only dilated to a 1 so they started the Pitocin to help my labor progress. The Pitocin was administered in small doses which they increased every hour. It was a very slow process. The Bearded One and I passed the time by watching football (of course) and playing Uno. Finally, about 12 hours after being admitted, they upped the dose and the real contractions started. I don’t know how women give birth without pain medicine because my contractions were so uncontrollably painful. As soon as they started I was ready for my much needed epidural. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist had an emergency and I had to wait about 4 hours for my epidural. During that time I dilated to an 8 and was extremely uncomfortable and physically exhausted. Thank God for my husband because I could not have done this without him. He stayed cool, calm, and collected and helped me through the whole process.

I was finally given my epidural, and soon after I was fully dilated and ready to push. No one tells you how difficult pushing is (especially when you can’t feel your lower half). With the help of my husband and the encouraging words of the nurses and OB I pushed and pushed.

We were so exited to meet our little baby Beam. Would it be a boy? A girl? We had no idea and the suspense kept me going.

Almost an hour later we welcomed baby Owen Michael Beam in to the world; 7 lbs 12oz, 21 inches. Our biggest adventure started December 27th, 2019 @ 10:48.

St. Augustine Beach, FL

Our first time in the Atlantic Ocean and it did not disappoint.

Here are some key observations from our St. Augustine Beach adventure:

  • The beach was not at all crowded, it huge and we had lots of space to spread out
  • The beach and town were clean and well taken care of
  • The food was delicious (Sunset Grill & Antonio’s)
  • Old Town has great shopping and historical sites
  • Everyone was friendly, great customer service
  • Lots of activities, parks, museums, trolley rides, historical tours, etc (we went to old medieval torture museum)
  • Drive A1A instead of the interstate for better views (we took it down to Daytona Beach)

The Beach

St. Augustine Old Town

Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola Beach was absolutely stunning. It claims to be the “whitest sands in the world” and I wouldn’t argue with that statement. The white sands and crystal clear water compares to the beaches we’ve fallen in love with in Mexico.

We stayed in a beautiful little AirB&B (Casita Sage) in Pensacola then made the short drive to Pensacola Beach for the afternoon. Beach parking was free, chair rental were free (I think we just got lucky) and the water, views, and beach were indescribably perfect.

After spending a few hours on the beach we ate at a delicious little place called The Shrimp Basket and we were not disappointed.

Our overnight stop in Pensacola exceeded our expectations and we are already planning a summer vacation there for next year!

New Orleans, Louisiana

NOLA lived up to all the hype, even for a Monday night. We stayed on Bourbon St. and Toulouse and never had a dull moment. Drinks and food, music and street performers, we experienced it all in less than 24 hours.

Of course we did all the touristy things like walk around Jackson Square, grab a couple hand grenadines, and indulge on some delicious beignets.

We enjoyed an array of oysters at several different locations, the food overall was phenomenal and we’d return for that alone! (I’d recommend specific restaurants but we went to so many places to share apps and drinks I lost track! )

Overall, a successful first stop on our 2019 road trip; next up Pensacola.

Hotel Balcony Views

Bourbon Street

The Cat’s Meow

Jackson Square

Los Angeles Summer Adventure

Once again we knocked out another fabulous trip. We laid on the (cold) beach, we explored downtown, we visited museums, but most importantly we allowed ourselves to relax!

Everyone knows we love the beach, even a chilly beach like we experienced on this trip. I refused to go in the water but the bearded one was fearless and jumped right in. Once we warmed up, we walked around the Santa Monica Pier. I know it’s overly touristy but I just love the pier. There’s so much to see and experience, it’s a must if you’re in LA.

We spent the next few days of our trip exploring the city. We visited art museums, a beautiful bookstore, and the local farmers market (which I could have stayed at all day!). We literally walked miles on this trip and I still don’t think we saw enough. There’s always something to do in Los Angeles; around every corner and down every street you will find museums, art galleries, restaurants, and so much more!

Other then spending time with my brother, my absolute favorite part of LA was this pop up experience we decided to go to. It was called the I Like Scary Movies Experience and it was fabulous! We were able to experience interactive art exhibits that represented different horror films such as Nightmare on Elm St., The Shining, and quite a few more. The creativity and interactive art was the perfect way to end our first summer adventure.

Staycation: Exploring Home

Huntsville, Texas

Home of the Bearkats

The Piney Woods

And of course The Prison (there’s actually several)

I think Huntsville gets a bad rap, you know because of the large population of prisoners and college kids, but personally I love this growing town.

According to a recent article I read, Huntsville is the 5th fastest growing city in the state. Now I know that might seem a little scary to the original Huntsvillies but I am excited about the growth and development!

Our rapidly growing town has so much to offer but yet still holds that small town authenticity.

Hidden Food Gems

Whether your in the mood for Japanese, Cajun, or El Salvadoran food, Huntsville offers it all. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Latin Food
  • – Hands down our go to Latin food place is Carbonero. They offer a variety of food but specialize in El Salvadoran cuisine. The owner is always so welcoming and friendly, service is great, drinks are fantastic, and the pupusas are the best!
    • Steak
  • – We’ve all dined at those expensive chain steak houses which in all honesty aren’t too bad, but nothing beats and original family owned steakhouse. If you’ve never been to 1836 Steakhouse you’re missing out. The restaurants itself is housed in a beautiful historic mansion. It’s been renovated numerous times and is quite beautiful. Our favorite dining experience is upstairs in the attic bar. Not only do they have delicious, perfectly cooked steaks, they have an array of creative appetizers and drink! (Try the friend goat cheese, sangria, and Caesar salad with housemade dressing)
    • Cajun
  • If you’re from the south, you know all about crawfish and Cajun food, and if you’re into all of that goodness you have to try Arnaud’s Cajun Kitchen. This fabulous food truck is situated in its own little food truck park (so if you’re not a fan of Cajun you have several other options). Arnaud’s isn’t just crawfish, they have it all…boudin, boiled shrimp, crab, and so much more.
    • Deli/Sandwiches
  • – If you’re looking for a sandwich, salad, or any other home town deli dish you have to check out Five Loaves Deli. This family owned gem is one of my absolute favorites and has been since college. I’ve never been disappointed in any meal I’ve tried here!
    • Something Different
  • If you’re tired of burgers and fries and the same old thing then you have to check out Potato Shack. This unique restaurant bar is literally potatoes in every way, shape, and form. Chicken fried steak stuffed potato? Sure thing! Boudin stuffed potato? They’ve got it! They have other menu items such as salads, wings, and funnel cake fries (yes you read that right). The atmosphere is always friendly and laid back, great owners, awesome staff, daily drink specials…we just can’t get enough of this place!
  • We’ve pretty much grabbed a bite to eat at every restaurant, diner, and dive in Huntsville and have rarely been disappointed. This small town has a lot to offer so come check it out for yourself.

    http://www.carbonerorotisserie.com/

    https://www.1836steakhouse.com/

    http://www.arnaudscajunkitchen.com/

    http://www.fiveloavesdeli.com/

    http://www.potatoshackhuntsville.com/

    Spring Break- So you want to go on a cruise?

    We’re Back!

    Roasted crickets, slaughtered pigs, and dancing in the street…we found it all!

    This was our second time on a cruise and we’ve came to the conclusion that we are just not cruise people.

    We had the most fun when we were OFF the ship and able to soak up the sun and culture of Cozumel and Progresso Mexico.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of activities on the ship (including a hairy chest competition that The Bearded One partook in). There’s just so much more to see and appreciate off the ship!

    Cozumel

    Our first port was Cozumel, which we were slightly familiar with because of our first cruise. Once off the ship we grabbed a taxi and headed straight to Chankannab Beach for some much needed sand and snorkeling. The beach was beautiful, the snorkeling not so bad ( better than my first experience) and the staff attentive. We spend the whole day laying in the beach, watching the other tourists and chatting it up with our waiter Angel. He was so pleasant and beamed with pride when we asked him about his family (3 grown daughters all at university!). It was definitely a challenge to leave the beauty that is Cozumel and head back to our ship.

    Progresso

    Cozumel is the ‘fan favorite’ but personally, I love Progresso. It may be a little run down and impoverished but it’s full of authenticity and friendly people living their best lives. The Bearded One and I occasionally like to stray and explore when we’re out and about (no worries we were perfectly safe) and on this particular trip we wandered in to the markets and it was quite the experience.

    We saw fresh fruit and beautiful flowers, butchered pigs and sharks, and so much more! We also enjoyed multiple buckets of beer on the beach, fun little gifts from numerous beach vendors, and a couple of crunchy cricket snacks 😉

    All in all we had an amazing vacation (we always do). The cruise staff was great, the activities plentiful, the weather fantastic, the food decent, but making memories with my forever date was the best part ❤️

    Bon Voyage

    Today we embark on our 5 day Yucatán Cruise. Although we’ve been to these ports on our first cruise, I am still excited! As stressful as this year (school year for all our non teacher friends) has been, I am ready to soak up the sun and put away my phone!

    5 full days of sun, food, drinks, and relaxation with my numero uno.

    Today we #choosefun and think you all should as well. Sometimes you just need a break and I am encouraging all of you to take one! Even if it’s just a weekend getaway with your partner, friends, or yourself, you deserve it!

    Hasta luego my loves, I’ll report back on the fabulousness of our Carnival ship The Valor!

    We’re DINKs!

    I learned a new hysterical, yet fitting, term recently. DINK-Double Income No Kids. At this point in our lives we are choosing to embrace this term and spend some of that double income on our next adventure.

    In just 3 short weeks (hopefully, if the school Gods are smiling down upon us teachers) we will be ON SEA TIME, headed to Mexico!

    This cruise is basically the same as the other we took but no complaints here. Five days of food, drinks, sun and sand, I can’t wait!

    I’ll keep y’all posted on the itinerary but until then, wish us DINKs luck, we need it to make it spring break!