Saturday, May 17, 2014

oh, life!

When vacations strike at just the right time (or wrong time - depending on how you look at it), all we can do is sit back and thank our lucky stars for such opportunities when it feels they are needed most! In the midst of life being quite unbalanced for each of us in our little family, a pre-planned trip politely interrupted some of life's most hectic moments.



We may not have been ready for it (until a mere 2 hours prior to boarding our flight), but we made it - safe and sound - to hubby's favorite place in the world.



Ocean City, New Jersey, of course.



The unsettling feeling of not finding a home for us to move into in our desired timeframe of 2 weeks from now sure is stressful. Figuring out a move, insurances, finding a new OB and pediatrician, traveling up to Atlanta soon for J's med school graduation, the unknown fears before starting a new life full of medical residency and intense hours, all while being pregnant and having tons of doctors appointments between E and myself meant pure relaxation for our minds and bodies at a time when we were unknowingly begging for it. Thank you, not-very-well-thought-out vacation. We needed you!




It's hard to find balance these days -- we don't have a home of our own, and the place we do call home has hardly been home when all we've been doing is packing up and taking off so often. We returned home from our trip yesterday and will leave again tomorrow on a 5 hour road trip. The show must go on and the house hunt must continue! Next week, we will head to Atlanta, and hopefully, hopefully, be able to move into a great home shortly after that.

Nap time for E, or any sort of schedule for that matter, has been thrown out the window, along with much more. Thank God we have been blessed with a fairly flexible little girl, who remains happy and content in all our days of chaos. To her, life is fun and spectacular and quite the grand adventure. And seeing how she fully accepts all the imbalances with a squealing giggle and peppy-dance-run-thing she does when she's excited - well it reminds us just how grand this adventure is that we are on!



I've told myself over and over on this journey, "Don't wish the days away". And when life is turning in many different directions, I'm doing just what I've told myself.



I'm not wishing for these days to just be behind us, or for time to speed up and get to that 'comfort' zone in our lives (like that ever happens anyway), but instead I am embracing these days.



Loving each moment we have with each other, and loving each day we have with our newly 18 month old as an only child still. We're watching her unwavering growth, quickly transforming before our eyes. We're changing and growing together every day as we learn to have new conversations with our toddler and wonder where the heck she comes up with some of this stuff, where she learns these words, and questioning her every joyful and curious move.



And when we're feeling as though we don't know our next move, something always pops up. You know, life always has that little way of pointing you in the right (well, hopefully the right) direction when you least expect it.





We know that will happen. Something will point us in the right direction. A house will pop up. It may not be exactly where or what we want, but we will move in somewhere. And we will start new memories there and look back on those and miss them one day. When things get rough and tough while J is working insane hours and I'm with our children, a break will come, eventually. And when babies wear us out to the point we feel we can't even stay awake for one second longer, something will give us the drive to thrive. It happens. It's all a part of life. (Somebody please remind me of this when I'm getting to one of those points!) Life is always moving forward, that's for sure.



It just keeps on moving forward. Even when all we want is to press the pause button.

Pretty sure we had a few of those moments on our trip! Moments where I'd look around and wonder how life can actually get better than in that very moment. Spending time together with no computers or internet (aside from our phones) and taking long walks along the boardwalk/beach and streets lined with gorgeous homes and pretty-in-pink blooming trees while E grew her vocabulary by a few words each day we all spent together truly truly made me wish there was a pause button.




Our job for 17 days was to just enjoy each other for a while. And eat, and rest, and be thankful for having such a beautiful place to be as a family.







We spent my 27th birthday AND Mother's Day in Ocean City. They were special days indeed, on a very special trip for us.



A trip filled with family, love, fun, friends (The Wood's came to visit for a little!!), cold weather, warm weather, tons of rides, our first trip to Storybook Land to celebrate our 18 month old turning another half year older, beach days, kissing boo-boos to make them feel better, and lots of comfy baby girl snuggles.

In the middle of a hectic month for us, does it get much better? H to the No!









When life gets a little crazy, it's all just a part of our story. Our story that will twist and turn and at some point, lead us to a resolution.







Life has it's funny way of throwing things at us when we sometimes least expect it, and whether it's just as quick or a drawn out chapter, it has it's funny way of handing us the tools we need to push through to the top.

Our Ocean City trip was just what we needed to fuel us for our next few weeks of chaos, excitement, and new adventures of our story. Here's to wishing this chapter a happy ending and an even better start to the next!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

our family is expanding..again!

gender reveal pregnancy announcement ideas
"Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body."

gender reveal photo pregnancy announcement ideas with young child

Our family is expanding..again..and we couldn't be more thankful!

Thankful for all of us to have each other, thankful to be so lucky and blessed with the ability to have children, and thankful to feel the giant love that tiny hearts can give us.

gender reveal balloons ideas

"Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful.
It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what."

The Barr's have a sweet baby GIRL on the way and we're ready to fill our home with more pink than you can imagine. Daddy has his hands full with our sweet blessings and will have another little beauty to steal his heart everyday. And me? I'm beyond excited to give my girls the bond of sisterhood - to watch them grow together, share secrets, clothes and giggles, bicker of course, and eventually share recipes, bottles of wine, throw each other showers, be apart of each other's wedding and more. Yes, I think about it all! ;)

Our hearts are feeling extra full of love these days!


Another girl to tickle, laugh with, love, and doll up. We are happy! I just started feeling the baby wiggle around and the light and delicate flutters have reminded me all about the joys of pregnancy and just how wonderful it is.

Little Sister will be blessed to have sweet little E as her big sis!



~~~~

We found out we were expecting very early. January 19, 2014 at only about 3 weeks pregnant. So, so exciting!

Our lives have taken off since then and we've been in BUSY, BUSY, BUSY mode! So much traveling, so much news, and so much planning between everything -- J matched into residency and we found out where we will be moving for the next 3 years at least. We've been house hunting, busy with lots of doctors appointments, traveling, and figuring out our next move. It is all so very exciting, but I think we are just about ready to settle into our own house and establish SOME sort of routine for our family. Still on the hunt for that house, though!

Next up, a 2 week trip to Ocean City, NJ for us to get a moment to breathe, relax, and enjoy our time as a little family (before the madness of moving and crazy residency hours begin - days, nights, weekends, and holidays - bah humbug). Then we will travel to Atlanta for J's medical school graduation (did I REALLY just say that?! Wow!), and then we will begin our move, and figure out everything that goes into that. Once we settle, it will be time to begin our planning to make room for baby! We are certainly busy, but even greater, we are BLESSED to be able to go through all that we are at this point in our lives. Did I mention how proud of my husband we all are?!

~~~~

We had to top this year spent in South Florida off by having a family barbeque and finding out the gender of our baby together alongside everyone. It was a great excuse to get together and definitely a fun way for us to find out whether a 'he' or 'she' would be joining our family!

gender reveal party table little man or little miss

gender reveal party ideas

gender reveal party chalkboard

gender reveal party decorations

little man or little miss gender reveal party table ideas

little man or little miss gender reveal party sign

gender reveal pink balloons flying


~~~~


E and Baby Girl (currently unnamed!) will be just shy of 23 months apart.

For now, this 17 month old is soaking up our love as we prepare her for sisterhood.















"Friendship can't compare to the bond that sisters share."

Our hearts are happy for the past, present, and of course, for what is to come in the future. We can't wait to meet sweet baby girl in about 5 months (and a week!)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Magical Disney Memories {E's 1st Disney Trip}

Where Small World meets big dreams. Where magic dances on every corner. Where babies, kids, teens, and adults alike gather to share laughter, joy, and dreams coming true. Where trouble melts like lemon drops.

That's where we were 2 months ago. Celebrating Lil E's first trip to Disney World.

disney world carousel and castle picture where meeting the princesses

There's been magic and busy-ness and much in between then and now, along with a baby transitioning into toddlerhood and stealing the hearts of those around her left and right, but that won't stop me from sharing our magical vacation on my little piece of the internet world. It was far too dreamy to forget about.

one year old first disney world trip

Of all the times we've both been to Disney World as kids, remembering the magic was the most enchanting part about it - that's what rises above the sweating, whining, and begging for just one more Disney souvenir cup drink. It's remembering how Disney felt through the eyes of our childhood selves.

But I'm not quite sure that remembering how magical Disney felt as a child can top seeing Disney through the eyes of our own child. The magic was multiplied tenfold.

one year old on disney carousel ride

We had been saving our credit card rewards points for years. Before we were even married actually. I think we may have had big plans at that point to save 'em up for years to go on some big extravagant trip filled with beaches, fruity alcoholic beverages, and sunshine for miles. But instead, we planned a trip based solely around what would be best for our family and where we are at this point in life. Where baby girl could have fun, where we could have fun, where memories could be made, where babies are welcomed whole-heartedly and no one would mind a child around, even after the longest of days. After a few ideas were thrown around, we were set on Disney. And then came the fun before the fun - the planning. Oh, how I love vacation planning!

Little did I know just how amazing this one trip would be, especially for our sweet baby girl.

one year old can ride disney carousel and rides

Visions of sweet baby giggles running happily through the cobblestone pathways of Main Street, along with magical Disney resorts, wide-open eyes seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time, spinning in tea cups, and a swirl of fireworks, love and family moments started blending together in my dreams.

one year old reaction to mickey mouse at disney world

Visiting Disney during New Years time fulfilled my every wish. It was Disney World and Christmas decorations - two of my favorite things in life - mixed together for an incredible backdrop to a wonderful family vacation.

disney world magic kingdom christmas parade main street

magic kingdom decorated for christmas during new years

magic kingdom decorated for christmas during new years

We stayed at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, nestled away on a gorgeous lake, tucked peacefully behind overgrown pine forests, and easily forgettable that we were only a mere 5 minutes from the Magic Kingdom entrance.

wilderness lodge lake pool view from room

The view from our room - just breathtaking (above left photo). And the lobby that the entrance to our room overlooked - just gorgeous. We even got to watch the Electric Water Pageant pass by on the lake from our room each night.

disneys wilderness lodge photos and review



wilderness lodge pool photos

disney wilderness lodge pool bar frozen drink

We enjoyed the poolside beverages, the tranquil nature trails, the erupting geyser show every hour, the comfort of the warm lobby fireplaces, and the daily evening campfires - complete with marshmallow roasting.

wilderness lodge campfire marshmallow roasting

And this little girl was just as excited as we were upon arrival - surely, her excitement could not be hidden on our first night.



New Year's Eve was spent in Downtown Disney.

downtown disney photo new years eve party

Walking up to the Irish pub just as the band began to play one of our most favorite 'feel good' songs - 'Wagon Wheel' - we were just simply happy. Happy to be exactly where we were in that moment. Take me back!

raglan road irish band downtown disney

And on an evening where we anticipated insane lines and uncontrollable crowds, we were pleasantly surprised at how well Disney planned for everything. Those Disney Imagineers just keep on thinkin'...Many extra tents set up all around the Downtown Disney area, making it very convenient to get anything we wanted. We made it back to our room just in time to catch fireworks from our balcony while our sweet girl slept. It was a wonderful night and a wonderful start to 2014.



I can't even tell you how much this girl enjoyed the carousel. Wherever we could find one, she was on it - several times at that.





She sat proudly, dancing with anticipation before each spin began. The "Wow"s and coos that poured out of her mouth were music to our ears and we couldn't hide our happiness for her if we wanted to!

Seeing Disney through the lit-up eyes of our child was everything we thought it would be and more. So much more. So magical, so exhilarating, and here comes even more cheesiness - so heartwarming.

mommy and baby on disney carousel together

disney magic kingdom dumbo ride with one year old

We let the inner-child in both of us out, dancing in the streets with characters, singing along to Disney tunes, and letting loose - showing our child just how great it truly is to be a child.







We met princesses, which may not have been her favorite..?



But of course, she got to meet her most favorite character of 'em all - the one and only Mickey Mouse.

one year old meeting mickey mouse at disney world

baby meeting mickey mouse for the first time

She may or may not have had a meltdown upon leaving that beloved talking mouse.



Yup, she did. And she was laughing behind the next corner just as quickly.

In between my own dancing and excitement, I tried my best to capture her special day - our special trip - the one where she earned those treasured ears.



She sang, she laughed, she danced, she froze (and we felt bad), she watched characters dance right in front of her face, she went on all the rides she could, and she slept. Sweet, sweet sleeping while Mommy & Daddy toured Disney like we never had before.



We weren't in a rush to beat the lines of Space Mountain, and then haul butt to go directly to Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain immediately after. Nope, we took it easy. We actually took in the beautiful views that Disney had to offer, and enjoyed the detail that goes into every single corner of Disney. It was certainly a different experience - and I mean that in a wonderful way.

baby and daddy in front of magic kingdom castle

mickey mouse parade belle princess in parade



Disney World Magic Kingdom Castle With Fireworks



And if I may suggest one 'must-do' Disney experience -- Chef Mickey's character breakfast!

chef mickeys character breakfast photo and review

She absolutely loved seeing the characters. She could barely contain herself, trying to escape her seat like a ninja and pointing and squeezing her fists in pure excitement.







Mickey has her heart. Those Mickey waffles were just as much a hit as the big guy himself - almost. And a close second was Minnie Mouse.







We also enjoyed New Years Dinner at the Polynesian Resort's 'Ohana restaurant, where we drank from pineapples and danced for leis in the aisles. I read this review prior to going, and we were sold.

disney polynesian resort pineapple drinks

And then, shortly after the magic of each vacation day came to a hault, the magic of each vacation night began.



We watched the Disney Resort TV, and enjoyed Duffy The Disney Bear's bed time story each night with milk and cuddles.



She even spent lots of time in bed with mommy & daddy while waking up from her pack & play bright and early each morning. We were more than happy to share our space with this sweet girl each morning.

~~~~

The memories made were unforgettable. The memories made were magical. The memories made will remain deep in our hearts as this special place provided the most beautiful backdrop to our family vacation. We sure do hope to See Ya Real Soon, Mickey. Thanks for making our time so wonderful at the place 'where dreams come true!'

And until next time, stay magical!