Bartos family, Berries, Berry Adventures, National Park Project, travel

berry adventure #6

Date: May 24-25, 2020
Difficulty: 10 (out of 10)

We camped! We’re campers now. Absurdly proud of ourselves for making through an entire night in the woods with all four (five) children.

As you may remember, we booked a campsite at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few months ago. We’ve been anxiously watching the park updates all month to see if they would reopen in time for our Memorial Day trip. While the trails are open, campsites remain closed and we had to sadly cancel our reservation (we’ll consider the wildly inappropriate $10 cancellation fee a donation to the National Park Service). Continue reading “berry adventure #6”

Bartos family, Berries, Berry Adventures, travel

berry adventure #5

Date: May 9, 2020
Difficulty: 3 (out of 10)

We spent Mother’s Day weekend in Asheville (an adventure in itself!) and while there, explored the recently reopened Ledges Whitewater Park. This park is on a beautiful stretch of the French Broad River, filled with rapids. Sadly, we didn’t see anyone kayaking, probably because the temperature was around 45 degrees. Who’s with me on a new theory called global cooling?

We climbed over giant boulders along the river’s edge, and reached a point called “Sitting Rock” which extends out into the rapids. A passing couple with two small children offered to take our picture here!

This was a fairly simple berry adventure, but it was a fun afternoon and the kids absolutely loved it! If you’re in the Asheville area the Ledges park is definitely worth a visit.


Greg & Morgan, Married Life

april date: COVID-19

Mecklenburg county was under a stay-at-home order for the month of April, and we thought our date should reflect that. We considered getting childcare so we could make a romantic grocery run or take a quiet stroll through our neighborhood, but decided to literally stay at home and make the best of it.

We don’t ever go out for steak, so this was a perfect chance to pick up kosher steaks from a local grocer (support local!). Note for other hechshered meat friends in the Charlotte area: although there are normally kosher steaks at Trader Joe’s, they’re a waste of time in my opinion. Splurge on a nice cut from Gleiberman’s and you won’t regret it! Continue reading “april date: COVID-19”

Baby, Thoughts

first trimester update: berry #5

OVERALL: a fairly textbook pregnancy for me so far. Like every other time, I felt fantastic until 6 weeks along. Weeks 6-12 were filled with all-day nausea, super early bedtimes, and a few frozen mac & cheese dinners. But at the same time I also went waterfall hunting in the NC mountains, flew up to DC for my sister’s birthday, hosted friends for the weekend, and celebrated Purim + my 9th anniversary. Life doesn’t stop for a fifth pregnancy (or a fifth baby)! I started to feel better and more like my normal self by 13 weeks, which was perfect timing for a giant construction project at our house (we replaced our entire downstairs floor after having a water leak in the kitchen). We had a few weeks of daily visits from contractors, living on our plywood subfloor, and needing to keep the berries out of the house. I’ve found that tough situations are a great chance to get closer to God and recognize the blessings around us! Continue reading “first trimester update: berry #5”

Baby, Bartos family, Berry Adventures, Greg & Morgan

berry adventure #4

Date: April 19, 2020
Difficulty: 7 (out of 10)

This month’s berry adventure was one of our more interesting ones. To begin with, we were under a stay-at-home mandate for the entire month. Although outdoor activity is allowed according to the governor’s order, all of our local and state parks are closed. This made it hard to find a good challenge.

We sat down to figure it out last weekend, realizing that April was more than halfway over. One of the promising ideas on our 2020 list was a lookout tower hike, since those are usually standalone, not part of a park or any official location. Most of these towers are almost 4 hours away, which we ruled out as being too far for this month. Continue reading “berry adventure #4”

Bartos family, Berries, Berry Adventures

berry adventure #3

Date: March 29, 2020
Difficulty: 9 (out of 10)

The COVID-19 virus severely impacted our berry adventure plans for March. We had tickets to a Civil War battle reenactment in Bentonsville, as well as tentative plans to visit Congaree National Park in Columbia SC, but both of those were canceled as the country started shutting down. The national parks are currently closed, as well as North Carolina state parks (making the state park challenge even harder for anyone doing it this year).

The big buzzword right now is social distancing, but we didn’t want to give up on our berry adventure for March and we brainstormed an activity that would still be a challenge but also fulfill the requirement of not being around people. We came up with attempting a 10m bike ride on one of our Charlotte greenways. Our previous record was 7m last November, and that was about as far as we could go at the time. Continue reading “berry adventure #3”

Greg & Morgan, Married Life

march date: our 9th anniversary

March is a lovely month to get married, if you enjoy frigid weather and chilly rain. Technically March 6th, my anniversary, is still in the MIDDLE of WINTER. Somehow that fact didn’t occur to me when I picked a wedding date.

Most years we plan a desperate escape to the Caribbean for our anniversary. After remembering small details like our four (soon to be five) children, I give up and settle for a prosaic dinner out. Gregory comes to the rescue every time with a creative and memorable plan. This is part of his charm. Continue reading “march date: our 9th anniversary”