Monday, June 28, 2010

Beach Trip to Nags Head

We just returned from a wonderful family vacation to Nags Head with my family. As I wrote back in 2008, our family has vacationed every summer in Virginia Beach since my dad was little and so this was a big change for us. As sad as it is to take a break in a tradition, it was exciting to explore somewhere new and most importantly be together.

Food is key to us for having a good vacation. We enjoy meals out as a family but with all the little ones, we also enjoy good takeout. You can also count on my dad firing up the charcoal grill every year for steak night. A few of our favorite spots included: Basnights Lone Cedar Cafe, Mama Kwans for fish tacos, Austin's Seafood Market for takout, Black Pelican, American Pie for ice cream, Duck Donut for made to order donuts and Front Porch Cafe for that afternoon iced coffee pick-me-up.

Maddie with her sprinkle donut from Duck Donuts

Nags Head

There were so many things to explore in the Outer Banks but a few things we did this trip included

Driving out on the beach early in Corolla in search of wild horses. We did see one before having to turn around due to the Pilot not being overly equipped for the sand.

Corolla Beach

Visiting the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Wildlife Museum. For some reason I thought all the NC lighthouses were black and white so I had prepared Anna for something different than the red brick lighthouse but it was still really cool.

Currituck  Beach Lighthouse

Visiting the NC Aquarium in Manteo. The aquarium was a little smaller than I had thought but it turned out to be the perfect size considering the kids were 3 yrs, 2 yrs, 1 yr and then a 6 week old :). It was shark Thursday so Anna got to make a shark hand puppet, got a shark tattoo and was given a sharks tooth. The highlight to Anna was seeing the Otters!

NC Aquarium in Manteo

NC Aquarium, Manteo

And of course we spent time on the beach.

Nags Head

It was a wonderful vacation!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Picture Personalities

To me, these two pics taken in our recent family photo session embody the girls individual personalities.

Anna is my sensitive heart. She is always asking about those around her and loves to draw pictures for all. She loves learning, playing games and doing crafts; alone time in her room is the hardest for her because she wants to be where everyone else is. She is a fabulous big sister and loves to make her sister happy. The most frequent word I hear to describe her is "sweet".

From the time Maddie could crawl, people have gravitated towards her. She's the bundle of energy that tends to get all of the attention and loves having it (though with the current stage, it's not always good attention :)). She is independent and determined. The most frequent word I hear to describe her is "fun".

My girls are so very different and I think that is a good thing. I can already see how as they get older their differences will bring out the best in one another.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A New Look

A big thanks to my hubby who used his time and talent to give my blog a new refreshing look! He makes me laugh everyday which is good for the heart.

Confessions of a Craft Hoarder...

... and the little girl who is setting me free :). I don't know why but I tend to hoard crafty things. I think it started with my 3rd grade sticker collection which still resides upstairs in our home's office closet. Yes, those stickers have moved with me 4 times and if I were to move again, they would go with me. Next I began "collecting" scrapbook papers that once again reside in our home's office closet. What is it about using the papers and stickers that bothers me so; wouldn't it be sharing them with others rather than losing them forever? :)

This morning Anna came downstairs and after saying her morning phrase of "my clock turned yellow" she immediately asked to do a craft. We went to our craft closet and I pulled out the cutest little piggy that we decided to decorate. The pig was part of the fabulous Alex Toys Giant Busy Box that (sigh) Anna received as a gift for her SECOND birthday. Enough is enough, time to let go and have some crafty fun!

Pinkie Pig

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family Fun & Photos


Back in May I won a Mother's Day Giveaway from Live View Studios that included a family photo session. So on a steamy evening in June we headed to our neighborhood park to meet Anna and Brent. It was hot, Maddie didn't want to cooperate but we still had lots of fun - we even had our own lemonade stand!


Check out all of our family photos on the Live View Studios blog. Thanks Anna and Brent.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Letter Practice

One of Anna's favorite things to do these days is to practice her letter sounds on She has gotten really good at using the trackpad on my laptop so she can navigate around the website all by herself. She looks so grown up!

Anna playing StarfallAnna playing Starfall

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Now Pronounce You...

Happy Anniversary

It has been seven years since I was first introduced as Mrs. Erik John Burckart. We walked the aisle that day full of excitement, full of hope, full of love. As I look at the pictures and remember, I am struck that as happy and in love as I was on that day, it in no way compares to the love I feel for my husband seven years later. It has been through the joys (two beautiful girls to top the list) and through the trials (losing loved ones, hanging shelves on the wall...) that we have learned to draw together, whether in laughter or in tears. We have learned that life is more fun if you do it together.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moving to the Booster Seat

As Anna hit 40 pounds it was time to once again look into carseats. Her current seat, the Cosco Deluxe Summit High Back Booster was only recommended with the 5-point harness up to 40 pounds and while its rating with a harness was good, with the seat belt positioning it was on the "not recommended" list. So, we once again headed to Babies R Us to sit in some of the booster seats that were better rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The first thing we needed to decide was whether or not we were ready to move Anna to seat belt positioning rather than the harness. After doing some research and talking with the pediatrician's office we decided that we understood exactly how the seatbelt should fit on Anna and that if we found a booster that would position Anna correctly, we were ready for it. The NC law is 4 years old or 40 pounds.

We decided to purchase the Cosco Juvenile Pronto that was on the "Best Bets" list from the IIHS. We ordered it online from Walmart for $35. Anna fits into it perfectly; the shoulder and lap belts hit Anna where they are suppose to. She's such a big girl now!

Anna's Booster Seat

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Every Life has a Story

This morning I took the girls to Greystone Village to meet a few friends at the indoor playground. When we were leaving, we walked to the car and I started putting Maddie in her carseat. A van pulled rather close to me on the other side and so when I went to put Anna in the car and couldn't open the door all the way I was a little perturbed; then the van's door began to open toward me and I was becoming even more irritated. I'm guessing the look on my face wasn't overly pleasant when the lady came around the corner for she began to apologize profusely. She then started explaining to me that she has twins and this was the first time she had traveled with them and had closed all the doors to the car with them inside and then panicked because it was hot in the car. As she berated herself on the quality of mother she was, I was ashamed. I then gave her my mommy peptalk and wished her a good day but it made me think about this video that was done by Chickfila. We all have a story - it shapes who we are and how we may be doing at any moment. So many times I get wrapped up in my own little world and my own inconveniences and I forget that it's not all about me - we all have a story.

Pool Time

Memorial Day Pool Trip

Our pool has been open for several weeks, but this past week was our family's first plunge. On Thursday I woke up to the sun shining and decided to take the girls to the pool. We arrived shortly after it opened and had the pool to ourselves. Anna was a little apprehensive about getting in the water due to all the bugs floating around (it had rained the night before) and Maddie didn't understand the concept of pool break - - so no matter if it was swim time or not, I usually had 1 unhappy kid. Nonetheless we still spent an hour and a half there (including lunch)

On Monday, we went as a family and the girls were much happier. There were lots of friends around and Anna got to do some "swimming" with daddy. Maddie was content to play with her friend's toys on the edge of the pool and was really good at going to her seat for a snack during pool break. This is just the beginning, but I feel more confident than I did last year in bringing both girls to the pool by myself. Here's to a summer at the pool!