Baby O’s First Adventure

“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….

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.

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

Savannah, Georgia

We fell in love with this southern city the moment we drove down Jones St. (Also known as one of most beautiful streets in the US)

The old oaks dripping in Spanish moss lined the brick laid streets and exemplify the historic homes. This city is rich in history, so much history in fact that we felt compelled to learn all about it on a classic trolley tour.

I found a decently priced day-night trolley package online and decided to indulge a little. We began the Old Town Trolley Tour by hopping on at one of the 15 stops throughout the city. During the 90 minute tour we saw famous monuments, churches, homes, cemeteries, and heard the stories to go with each. The trolley tour allowed you to hop on and off at any stop throughout the day.

We hopped off at City Market for lunch then decided to walk the shady streets of Savannah on our own.

During our own exploration we visited Forsyth Park, the cemetery and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which was absolutely stunning.

Forsyth Park

Cemetery

Cathedral

Later that evening after a delicious Greek dinner on the river (Olympia Cafe) we hopped back on our night Ghost Tour. The ghost stories told by the conductor were the best part, and we were able to explore the haunted Andrew Lowe house (we didn’t see any ghost 😉).

On our final morning we headed to Tybee Island to see what all the hype was about. It’s a classic little beach town, full of charm, old hotels, family run businesses, and a pretty neat little pier.

Overall Savannah was amazing and we’d love to come back (hopefully when the weather is a little cooler).

Tips and Advice:

  • Rent and AirB&B in the historic district
  • Go on a trolley tour
  • Wear good walking shoes
  • Shop and dine on River St.
  • Swing by Tybee Island

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.

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 ❤️