Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One year ago...

It was one year ago that I went to bed with an uneasy feeling. We knew bad weather was coming, but we did not know just how bad it was going to get.

I remember telling Justin to make sure that the boys slept with one of us that night because the weather was supposed to be bad. He, of course, thought I was crazy until I woke up about 4 a.m. that morning to a horrible nasty storm. I immediately turned on the T.V. to watch the local weather man. It was just me, all by myself. Justin slept through the whole thing. Finally, the stormed passed. But by this time I was wide awake.

Finally about 4:45 I started drifting back to sleep, but could still hear the T.V. going. I remember hearing: "There is a tornado on the ground in Harrisburg." (Harrisburg is my hometown and where all of my family still lives.)

I was half asleep, yet awake. However, you think, or at least I thought anyway, "Oh, I'm sure it is nothing." I kept the T.V. on but rolled back over and turned the volume down.


My phone started going crazy. People were calling to check on people and my Mother and Sisters were freaking that a tornado just ripped through Harrisburg. (About 45 minutes East of where we live now).

I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. Once I made sure my immediate family was okay, I began checking on more family. No one really had any idea where the tornado traveled. It took forever to get a hold of my Grandma. Grandma, future notice: Stop changing your number!!! :)

It was one of the most scariest feelings ever. Not knowing if your friends and family were okay. If they were hurt or even alive. Just a pure sickening feeling.

I, of course, took off and headed over to Harrisburg to help.

Seeing all the damage was so surreal. The whole new strip mall that was just built was completely gone. Buildings that had been there for years, gone. Vanished. Just a pile of rubble. Steel wrapped and twisted into the trees. Trees down everywhere. Debris scattered all over the place. Cars tumbled upside down. Just pure chaos and devastation.

This is a picture I took in the middle of the path of the tornado. You can see right through town.

All of my family was okay. Unfortunately lives were lost. People were hurt. Kids were hurt. My mother and I headed out first to my cousin's house which was a complete loss. I do not know how that woman is alive. By the time we got there they had most of everything they could cleaned up, but it still looked so horribly sad. I could never imagine losing my whole house.

This is her house. It was sitting right next to the foundation. Right next to it!! This is all that was left...

Crazy thing is her neighbor right across the street had a gizzilion nick knack items outside her house. Not one of them were even tumbled over. Weirdest thing ever.

We then headed out to a friend of my Mom's where we volunteered and helped them pack away the items they could save from their house.

The tornado made ABC News that night and the news crew actually interviewed the house owners we were helping.

I do not know if this helped sink in what really had just happened, but it was all just so surreal. I was not even in the tornado and it was like a nightmare.

The EF-4 tornado hit only two blocks from my Mother's house. Just a little bit further to the North and it could have destroyed everything of hers or I could have even lost her and my Papa.

The community all came together and worked together to help one another after the tornado hit. It was truly special to see and made me proud to be from Harrisburg!

I think once you move out of your hometown, you realize how special the place really is to you.

Never take a day for granted. You really truly never ever know what the next day may bring.

Brista Barrington

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Watch out Mickey! No, like for real, watch out...

I think we all know I am a tid bit a lot of bit excited about Disney World!

We are down to 16 days people. 16 days and we are hanging out with Mickey.

I think I have just been really pumped up because Kelly Ripa and her side kick Michael are hosting their show all week from Disney World. So, I come home and immediately turn on the DVR.

I stalk all the bystanders to see what they are wearing. I am a little bit stressed about what to pack to wear. We have always went in the summer months, this time, there is no telling what the weather will be. So, double packing it is. This kinda gives me an excuse for the unnecessary over packing of shoes.

I am super duper excited about seeing the new Beauty & the Beast castle. Like, it for real gives me butterflies. I'm like a little kid. But Belle is my favorite favorite princess. So much so, I seriously sat on Etsy last night searching for an age appropriate Belle shirt to wear. Couldn't find one. Wonder why? Adults want to be all themed up too Etsy craft ladies!!! So instead, I'll settle for this...

Oh yes, folks. Daddy Bear is wearing it. He just does not know it yet. Well, he does now if he is reading. You're welcome Ju. You love me.

I have a couple of goals this time around.

1. Take more pictures. Better pictures. I am always that person who feels bad for taking up the character's time and I'm like "Okay, kids. Let's let them move on." Not this time. You are staying and hanging for a little while with the Barrington's, Pluto.

2. Family photo with funny Disney hats. We have decided, I am Minnie (of course), Drew is Mickey, Dylan is Goofy (imagine that), and Daddy is Donald Duck. This should be interesting. We usually go for the plain ol Mickey hats. Not this time, we are theming it up even more.

My husband is probably thinking "oh lord. she is going overboard." :)

That's pretty much my only two goals. Lots of pics and funny hats. That's it. Not too bad.

Now, my closest friends know I am not a Pinterest-fanatic. Not really a huge fan like others, however, I hopped on the other day and some Disney things were on my homepage by surprise. It's like Pinterest knew I was going to Disney World. I began searching for Disney World Photo ideas. I came across this website:

Ahhh..look at this picture:

I hope to get some pictures like this girl. I'm already totally jealous of her because I know I probably won't do it. I'll be paranoid I am taking up someone else's time with Donald Duck and I'll rush through it. Or I'll get panicked because I won't get my settings right then I'll just flip it to auto mode to get the pictures. Oh I can just picture it now. main worry? I'll give you one little guess....DYLAN!

He has settled down on his little adventures and painting carpet and walls. However, I'm quite nervous about what he is going to do when meeting the characters.

Do I even want to tell you what he said he was going to do?
Okay, I will.

Mommy: "Dylan, are you going to hug and get pictures with Mickey when you see him? What are you going to do when you meet him?"

Dylan: "No. Uhm, I'm going to poop on him."

Oh lordy lordy. I'm so nervous Mickey is going to get punched in the not so fabulous region of his.

So watch out Mickey!


Brista Barrington

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's no secret...

So, it's no secret I am obsessed with my boys.

 I want to be with them 24/7. I hate leaving them. I do everything I do each and every day for them. I want to give them every single thing their little hearts dream of.

Drew is so stinkin sweet. Like, I do not think some people realize how sweet this child is. He is only 5 years old and he thinks of others before himself. He is always worried about his brother. His teacher at school says he talks about him all the time.  (Not saying they do not ever fight. I mean, come on, they are brothers! Ha.) But most of the time, honestly, this child is the sweetest kid I know.

He still loves his wrestling! He has really been into his Wii a lot lately too. He is really growing up to be an awesome little kid. I am so proud of him. He works so hard in school and makes me so happy to see how well behaved he is. When you ask him who his best friends are he says: "Mommy, Daddy, & Dylan." How sweet is that? I mean, come on?!?! We never leave one another or go to sleep without telling each other how many times we love each other.  Lately he says "Mom, I love you one million, 69 thousand, six hundred, 69, one thousand, to the left, to the right, to the moon, to infinity and beyond."

Then there is Dylan...

Doesn't he just look like a little stinker? He is! He is my little nugget. It's no secret he has a crazy personality of his own. He is always into something. Even though I hate to admit it, he is a Daddy's boy. I said it Justin. He is a Daddy's boy. This has been going on for a few months now and I have to say I am very jealous. He'll come around! ;)

He loves to do anything his brother does. He has really gotten into Drew's whole wrestling thing and loves him some diggers! Even though he is a crazy-butt naked child at home, he does really good in school. He never goes to time out. At home, he is in time out quite often, it breaks his little heart when he has to sit in a corner for 2 minutes. But he learns his lesson. With Drew counting to three worked, with Dylan time outs work. Just proof that every child is different!

Dylan gives the best hugs and kisses. And when he tells me he loves me, it makes my heart tingle!!

This past weekend these two kiddos were seriously the most photogenic kids ever. I took full advantage of their little smiles!

Even if it included basketballs in the picture. Whatever works. This is my family. I am a boy mom. There is always some kind of ball around.

And look at this!!! HUGS!!

We had a pretty busy weekend last weekend full of lots of niece and nephew activities.
I once again took full advantage of them being such great photo objects after the basketball game.

Seriously, how cute are these boys?!

Gosh darn it, I love these kids more than anything. Ya know, before I had Drew I never really knew what my purpose in life was. As soon as he was born I found out.
I was put on this Earth to be a Mommy. There is no doubt about it.
These two little boys are my life.
They are their Daddy's life.
We are so lucky to have them.
Brista Barrington

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When you wish upon a star...

EEEEEKKK!! 30 days until Disney!

I do not know who is more excited : Me or the kids!!

I am now sharing the last pictures of our Disney recaps. This was the last time we have been to Disney. We went Summer of 2011. It hands down has been my most favorite trip by far.

Drew was the most perfect age! He was a fresh 4 year old. He hugged all the characters. He was so excited to get all their autographs. The rides were fun. He rode his first roller coaster. It was just an ahhhhmazing time for him.

Dylan was just shy of turning two, but he really enjoyed everything as well. He even gave a few of the characters some hugs. He also loved all the rides, but was too young for the roller coasters just yet.

My most favorite ride ever is the tea cups. I don't know why. I just feel like the tea cups ARE Disney to me. We got to ride with Alice. The boys thought it was the most awesome thing ever. I have to say, so did I. Who knew I would be so starstruck by Alice!

Ahhhh....the teacups. They make me so happy. We rode them over and over and over again.

We of course ate many character meals. One of Drew's favorite was at Hollywood & Vine when we were surprised to meet Special Agent Oso.

He sang, danced, did a dance train around the restaurant with Oso and the Little Einsteins. It was a blast!!

Ya know, the best thing about Disney is that kids of all ages can ride most of the rides, except for the roller coasters obviously. So Dyl was riding everything right there with us!

Animal Kingdom safari is a must! We have always did the safari's in the morning after eating breakfast at Tusker House (another must). The animals are gorgeous and the safari rides are a good time. Is it weird I usually coordinate outfits per park ?! Yeh, it is.

We had never seen the It's a Bug Life show. O.M.Gosh. Freakin' spooky. I did not like it. Neither did Drew. The cave you are in before the show is major claustrophobia area. Ew. No thanks. Never again. But we did get to wear some cute 3D glasses.

We always take FULL advantage of the Magic Hours. I remember this trip we stayed out until 1 am riding rides at Magic Kingdom. It's totally totally worth it though. You walk right onto rides that have long hour waits during the day.

Now let me tell ya about Dylan. He loves balloons. He was eyeing the big Mickey Ear balloons the whole trip. Finally, the last night we promised he could get one. Best $10 we have ever spent.

Look at the smile on that face behind the balloon. Best souvenir ever.

He also loved his new Mickey ears. I mean, could Mickey get any stinkin' cuter?!

Another must that we always do is Chef Mickey's: Dinner with Mickey & all his friends.

This is by far my favorite picture of Drew from the trip. He just looks like he is having such a magical, fun time!

We are so excited to get back. All dinner reservations are booked. We are trying out some new things this time around and we are staying at the new Art of Animation Resort.

I am so excited to see the whole new Fantasyland princess area. I love me some Beauty & the Beast, so I will be so pumped to see their castle.

I vowed this time to take some more pictures. The husband is probably thinking, "oh geez, great!"

Just 30 more days! 30 more days!

Brista Barrington