Sunday, October 26, 2014

That Favorite Time of Year

Ahhhh! Fall! The only thing slightly wrong about today's adventures is the fact that it was warm enough for both children to be running around in shorts and t-shirts. Not the typical fall attire that comes to mind when I think of fall memories growing up. But, hey. We're in the south now and it's 80 degrees here at the end of October! We discovered a different pumpkin patch this year and had a blast doing it. These kiddos of ours are growing so fast, but boy, they sure know how to do it with style.

Blonde beauty

There were plenty of things to explore and put big, bright smiles on our faces today; swings, tube slides, feeding farm animals, corn maze, barrel train, hay ride, and a corn crib....oh yeah, and the pumpkin patch!

A smile as bright as the sun

That's a hug, honestly...not a choke hold!
My loves

The corn crib! What a brilliant idea. It is a 15'x10' building, filled with 2 feet deep dried corn kernels. The ultimate "sand" box! Clara and Colton easily could have spent all day in there. Digging, burying themselves, it was an incredible sensory experience. These next pictures are absolutely priceless
and will most definitely be making it on my favorites list.

Mr bucket head!
Raining corn!
Our sweet babies

We had such a great afternoon, but we eventually had to head home. My obsession (driven by the adoration of I have for the three amazing people I call "mine") with photographing these family memories always leads me to have to grab a stranger for the obligatory family photo. Well, apparently all the smiles were spent up, because this was the best we got of the four of us! Better luck next time!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tiny Dancer

Our sweet Clara Rose made her ballet & tap debut this weekend! After nine longs months of learning and practicing, the annual recital for her dance studio arrived.

Rehearsal day!

She was amazing! She kept her composure, remembered all her steps, and looked beautiful and elegant. As soon as the curtain opened for her first routine my eyes filled with tears. She just looked so happy, smiling up there on the stage, looking confidently into the audience.  The music started, all those little hips started shaking to the beat and the crowd roared!

Studio picture

Afterward, we asked Clara what her favorite part of the day way. Certainly the trip to Baskin Robbins after the recital would be mentioned....but, nope! She took no time to reply, "Getting flowers and being on stage!" It appears we have a little dancing diva on our hands.  Before the recital she had been on the fence about whether or not she wanted to take dance classes again in the fall. After the recital, she can't wait to go back to the studio in August. Watching the "big girls" dance in the evening recital definitely solidified the decision for her. She was in awe watching them dance across the stage and was already making plans for when she gets to dance like that, too.

Proud parents and brother with our little tap dancer/ballerina

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Days!

Snow? Snow in North Carolina? Yes, I guess we do get snow in North Carolina. And, I'm talking more than just flurries. Twice in the past four weeks we have had four days in a row of "inclement weather" days closing schools. Granted, to this Northerner, a snow day in North Carolina is laughable. Of the eight snow days this winter, I would say four would pass as legitimate, and that's because they don't do much salting and plowing down here. We got about three inches the first time around and about six inches and quite a bit of ice the second go round.

Our wintry backyard
So, naturally, with two small kiddos and all that white, we could not skip out on the rare opportunity to play in the snow. We managed to score some snow boots on clearance at Target, so all we had to do was layer up, bundle up and head out!

Our snow angels
What do you do when you have a perfectly snow covered hill in your front yard, but no sleds, saucers, or even large lids that will slide? You grab some tarps and cruise down the hill! Oh my! It was fun! I loved watching the kids laugh and scream with joy, and of course I joined in and took a few slides down with them.

And, why exactly are tarps better for sledding than a small saucer or sled? They unfold and you can fit the neighbors on with you! This was, by far, the best part of the day. Watching all the kids slide down the hill, laughing, screaming, and capturing the joyous moment was priceless.

It has been quite an eventful winter here in the south. Now that I've seen how they cope with snow and ice down here, I'd be quite happy if we didn't get anymore of that white stuff until next winter! After all, we've had our fun, made some fun memories and have the pictures to prove it. We're good! Come on spring!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Six Years Old!

The Birthday Girl!
I know, I know! Time flies. They grow up so fast. Don't blink, your babies will be teenagers before you know. We are learning first hand exactly how true these statements are. Granted, we still have a while before we hit the teenage years. But, man! Our first baby is just getting so big, so fast. As I was laying in bed beside Clara tonight for good night hugs and kisses, she grabbed me tightly around the neck and held on. She said, "I'm just going to hug you forever." I was, I'll admit, greatly tempted to stay there all night long. I did enjoy the hug for a good long time. While I soaked in my little girl's love, I couldn't help but think, "before I know it, she won't want to do prayers and our special lullabies before bed and I'll be begging for never-ending hugs". Our baby girl is getting so big, so fast. It is a joy to witness her grow and I am reveling in the wonders she discovers as she grows.

Celebrating her sixth birthday was everything she'd hoped. First off, the lucky gal managed to arrange a snow day off of school for her birthday. Sure, the day before and the two following days were snow days, too, but she got to lounge in her jammies all day long! Grandma and papa visited. She got her favorite dinner, opened presents and got to eat purple heart cake! What six year old girl wouldn't be ecstatic?

Sis wanted mini heart cakes for her birthday cake!


For the big celebration with our friends, a Barbie bowling party was planned and it was a blast! Kids bowled! Parents bowled! We ate pizza & cake, opened presents, laughed, celebrated, and had a wonderful day! Now, on to the next year of adventures!

Party time!

Yummy ice cream cake!
Make a wish!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two More Sleeps

Just two more sleeps, until the magic of Christmas morning. Two more sleeps until our sweet babies wake us with excitement and joy and their eyes reflect the wonder that is believing in the unseen. Two more sleeps until they bound down the stairs with more energy than Aaron and I will be able to muster, on what is sure to be an earlier than usual morning. Two more sleeps until all the waiting is finally over and we can see their faces light up as they open the gifts they've been wanting so badly. There aren't many things that make me smile more than seeing our children adore and enjoy the excitement and anticipation of Christmas. I revel in seeing their eager fingers pull the link off the paper chain each night, search for our Elf on the Shelf each morning, write letters to Santa, dance to Christmas music, hear them "ooohhh" and "aahhh" at Christmas lights, gobble up Christmas treats, kiss baby Jesus in the manger of our Nativity, and learn the words to "The Night Before Christmas" as we recite it together each night. The kids are old enough now to understand that Christmas is truly about the birth of Christ and I have enjoyed talking to them about that as we've gone to masses this Advent. The magic and true meaning of Christmas is still alive in my heart after all these years and I absolutely cherish witnessing my children live it every day as we have count down the sleeps to Christmas.

Clara & Colton with the big guy!
Our gorgeous tree, albeit a bit crooked!
The days preceding all the sleeps leading up to this time have been filled with their own wonder and joy and excitement.Christmas in a new house and in a new town means making new traditions and finding new ways to carry on already important ones. Clara and I managed to find a local production of The Nutcracker to see earlier this month and we have discovered a great little Christmas village full of lights, a tram ride and Santa that we explored with some new friends. We saw Disney on Ice and are trying some new tricks with making Christmas cookies. Naturally, Giselle, our friendly family Elf on the Shelf returned this year and we have had fun each morning discovering where she has found to hide in the new house.

Decorating in and out was fun as we had to figure out new ways to use the old decorations. We have been enjoying our first real Christmas tree since being married. We'll will be spending our first Christmas in our home and not traveling up north to be with our extended families this year, so I just couldn't wait to have a real tree. There is nothing like walking into the house after work and smelling the aroma of a fresh tree. I love it!

It is bound to be a magical Christmas, but we'll just have to wait two more sleeps to find out how magical!

Best looking house on the block!
Merry Christmas, from the Barrett Family

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall in Fayetteville

Our smiling blondies!

Fall in the Fayetteville area is turning out to be quite lovely. With the exception of a couple pretty rainy and drab weeks, the weather has been so beautiful. We picked one of the most beautiful days to explore a nearby pumpkin patch. We have so many fond memories from our visits to the pumpkin patch in Kentucky, the kids couldn't wait to check out a new one. Gross Farms was less than a half hour away and had tons of fun things for the kiddos to do, leaving me with plenty of opportunities to snap some pictures of my loves in action, smiling, laughing, and loving life.

Our babies exploring the corn maze
Mr. Man lookin' cool
Classic "insert head here" pic!
Me and my boy
I love how they love one another so much...most of the time!
Clara catching some air
 Naturally, we scored a few pumpkins on our trip to the pumpkin patch. We wasted no time and carved those babies as soon as we got home! They added just the right touch to our already Halloweened-out front yard.