Our Next Greatest Adventure has Arrived

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.

Another Summer in the Books

Summer is my absolute favorite time of the year. I work exponentially hard throughout the school year so I can relax and enjoy my vacations, which is exactly what we did this year.

From Mexico to the Texas coast, we had quite a few adventures with our little man in tow.

Corpus Christi

After Mexico we decided venture somewhere a little more local. Usually we enjoy South Padre Island in the summer but we decided to try our luck in Corpus Christi. I’ve heard good and bad things about CC and honesty, we enjoyed our trip and we will definitely be back. I found a great little beachfront Air B&B that we really loved. The only bummer was all the rain! But, even with the torrential down pours, we were able to enjoy the beach and explore the Corpus Christi Museum off Science.

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

We booked a trip to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels early in the spring and honestly, I was only slightly looking forward to it. I did my research and found a ton of toddler activities throughout the parks so I knew there would plenty for our little water baby to enjoy. I on the other hand, am not a fan of water parks. We decided to stay in a little cabin located in the park and the location was great but other than that, I was unimpressed. I think we will save water parks for when baby O gets just a little bit older.

We did however have a pretty good little road trip and stopped at our favorite restaurant in Bastrop, Maxine’s on Main (check it out if you’re every there!)

Galveston

Our final trip of the season was just this past weekend. We decided to join our friends on a little last-minute getaway to Galveston. Of course, it once again rained, but we were still able to soak up the sun, play in the sand, and enjoy our time together.

Unfortunately our sweet little summer is coming to an end but don’t worry, we already have lots of adventures planned for the fall!!!

Elephants!

I know I’m not alone when I say this school year was beyond exhausting for teachers across the globe. We have undoubtedly earned this years summer vacation. But, instead of spending our first weekend at home recuperating and decompressing, we packed up and headed to Fredericksburg to visit the elephants at The Preserve.

When I first heard that there was an elephant preserve in Texas I knew I had to go. Elephants are hands down my favorite animals and I’ve always been fascinated with them. After doing my research I booked our Air B&B and tickets to see the elephants. I figured this would be the perfect way to celebrate the end of a rough school year.

As always our Air B&B did not disappoint. If you’ve never rented an Air B&B I highly recommend you do so.

We checked in the night before so we had time to relax before the big elephant adventure. It was a good thing we prepared ahead of time because the Bearded One was a little under the weather. Lucky for us me and baby O had plenty of room to run around the AirB&B while the Bearded One rested up.

The day of our elephant encounter started off rainy but cleared up by the time we arrived. I was a little nervous that baby O would be scared of the elephants and I didn’t know what to exactly what to expect.

Each encounter only allows about 30 people so it wasn’t crowded and we all were able to interact with the 3 beautiful Asian Elephants (Rosie, Kitty and Becky).

They staff did an amazing job explaining everything about these fascinating animals. They were knowledgeable and made the experience not just educational but interactive and fun.

We were able to give Rosie a bath, take pictures with Becky, watch Kitty get a pedicure, and so much more. Everyone was allowed to interact with “the girls” and baby O wasn’t even scared!

Giving Rosie A Bath
Elephant Feet!

Overall I give this experience 10/10 and I would definitely do it again! (We might wait until Baby O is a little older and more attentive).

If you’d like more information please follow this link:https://www.visitthepreserve.com/ . The staff said they would soon be adding more animals and exhibits so stay tuned!

Our Not So Adventurous Life

When I asked God to give me more time with my son, this is not what I envisioned.

Since December 27th I was already doing my best to keep our itty bitty baby locked up, and hidden away from the germs, flu, RSV, and all the other possible illnesses out there. I was TERRIFIED of our little man getting a sick. My anxiety as a new mom got the best of me several times, so I shut the door and locked my baby away from the big bad scary world.

When it was finally time for me to return to work the very thought of putting my son in daycare sent me in to hysterics. I cried and begged for a solution. We were about Halfway through our Spring Break when I learned we would not be returning to work. I have to say, I let out a huge sigh of relief. If I had only known 30+ days ago the extend of this virus I would have begged God for something different.

This is a crisis. Coronavirus: COVID 19 has rocked not only our nation, but the entire world and it makes me feel utterly helpless. Although my opinion may be unpopular to some, I firmly believe our government is failing our people. “We the people” are failing our own people. This should have been contained, there should be solutions, this is not and never has been a hoax. I know I can only attempt to protect my corner of the world but my heart aches for our healthcare workers and all of the people suffering right now. How did this happen? How did this get so bad? How is this happening in OUR front yard? How is there NO solution or relief yet?

This is a time in my life I should be celebrating the birth of my only son, his baptismal, his introduction to family and friends. But instead, I’m snuggling in the house, avoiding everyone, and praying each time my husband goes out he doesn’t bring back the virus.

Our adventures theses days consists of watching our son grow through his milestones and the occasional evening drive in the country.

I am thankful and blessed that we get this extra time with our son and that we are happy and healthy. For now the adventures of Messy Bun, Bearded One, and Baby O have ceased to exist. Hopefully, in the near further, we will be back at it. Until then we will keep soaking up the snuggles and enjoy every minute of this extra time with our perfect little boy.

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/

    A Much Needed Weekend Away

    Gruene, Texas, my favorite little town.

    This weekend we finally decided to get away and head to my happy place, Gruene. Situated on the banks of the Guadalupe River, home to “Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall” , and notorious for historic shopping and live music, I am in love.

    This perfect little town is chock-full of history, music, and memories for me and my bearded wonder. This is the place where I was asked to become a Mrs, I discovered acceptance and love from strangers, I two-stepped without a care in the world, I discovered my favorite wine, and continue to build my adventures.

    We’ve never experienced this perfect little town in the winter and although we’ve been here for less than 5 hours, I’m already overwhelmed with the holiday spirit.

    I can’t wait for tomorrow adventures! We plan to welcome the original Pony Express, shop the artisan Christmas market, and cheer on Kris Kringle as he arrives on horseback to spread a little Christmas magic.

    Stay tuned, my heart is full tonight ❤️