Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life

july date: virginia creeper trail

IMG_6772For my 34th birthday this year I wanted to accomplish something. I spotted the Virginia Creeper Trail on a list of fun things to do within 3 hours of Charlotte, and I knew that was it. After a ton of persuasion (read: none), Gregory agreed to drive me to Damascus VA and ride the trail with me. We researched all the details and made a plan to leave our berries with my parents on Sunday, July 5 while we ran out of town for a quick getaway/mini babymoon. Continue reading “july date: virginia creeper trail”

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Thoughts

june date: brownies & berry names

In June, we ventured out to a real restaurant (with white tablecloths and wait staff). We have a long-standing tradition, which started when I was pregnant with either Sophia or Zoe, of going to the Bonefish Grill in Matthews and sharing a flourless chocolate brownie à la mode while choosing a name for our new berry. Over the years, and multiple berries, we’ve built up a bunch of rules for this date. No other serious baby name discussions are permitted beforehand, and we each make a secret list of favorite names to bring. Once we sit down, the lists are formally passed back and forth. Greg crosses out his least favorite name from my list, while I do the same with his list, and then we compare. This repeats until there are only 1-2 names left on each list, and then we brainstorm various combinations, looking for the “perfect” sounding one. Greg double checks name meanings online while I mull over nicknames, family relationships, name associations, and more ethereal considerations. In the end, we usually come away with our joint favorite name, plus a good backup, and then wait until we see the child to finalize our choice! Except for Aaron Henry, when we didn’t have a backup and just knew all along that he would be Aaron Henry. Continue reading “june date: brownies & berry names”


second trimester update: berry #5

OVERALL: an eventful, and fairly energetic, three months. The first few weeks of April we continued the floor repair project – had all of our furniture moved out, carpet and existing flooring pulled up, and new hardwoods put down. At the same time we celebrated Pesach, the week of Unleavened Bread, and the feast of First Fruits (the resurrection)! We refinanced our mortgage, replaced our oven, and renovated our sunroom. We took our first family camping trip + an impromptu getaway to Asheville for Mother’s Day. At the end of May, we started a new season of Sunday swims at my parents’ house, as well as a round of birthdays and holidays. I am so thankful to be feeling good and keeping up with everything going on. Although I don’t really like the feeling of getting bigger & slower, it’s been a comfortable trimester without any aches or pains so I can’t complain. Even the fifth time around, it’s still such a miracle to be growing this little life! Continue reading “second trimester update: berry #5”

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”

Baby, Bartos family, Berries

bartos party of 7

There’s a new berry in town! Well, she’s on her way. We are all so excited to meet our sweet surprise girl, even Eva.

As my grandfather asked me directly, was this planned? The answer is yes and no. After Eva was born, Greg and I agreed we were open to another child. The way I thought about it was that I had room in my heart for another one. To our surprise, the year 2019 came and went, filled with dozens of state park trips but no pregnancy. At the end of the year, it was a good surrender point to give up any ideas or plans we had for our family and wholeheartedly commit our path to the Lord. After the state park challenge and our first international trip in 2019, it was easier for me to picture always having a family of six, leaving the baby phase behind. We entered the new year ready to continue our family travel, moving on to national parks and bigger trips. Two weeks later I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. Surprise!

So here we are, expecting our third fall baby. This one is due almost exactly on Zoe’s original due date at the end of September (Zoe, of course, wasn’t born for another three weeks). I think it’s hilarious that we will have four girls and a boy because my parents have exactly the same mix. What are the odds??

Being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic has been interesting so far. I chose to get a very early ultrasound (14 weeks) because the independent ultrasound offices in our area were closing. I ended up driving out to Gastonia right before the NC statewide stay-at-home mandate took effect!

I had my first prenatal checkup last week and everything looks good. I’m praying she continues to grow strong and healthy, for God’s protection over our family, and especially for strength & patience during my fifth pregnancy!


Baby, Personal

eva joelle bartos

Eva’s birth is the best one I’ve had. I’m not sure why – perhaps my expectations were low and easily surpassed. Having a long (30 hour) labor with one child and a late (43 week) delivery with another has prepared me for either of those extremes happening again!

My due date, October 27, came and went, which was hardly surprising. We celebrated my dad’s birthday on the 29th and laughed about going into labor but I figured it would be a week or so. I was really ready to have the baby and yet, feeling pretty good. 

Continue reading “eva joelle bartos”


aaron henry’s birth story

A year ago I was still pregnant! Aaron Henry’s birthday is tomorrow, and I’m finally taking the time to write down my memories from his birth.

My due date for Aaron was June 15, and when the pregnancy started we laughed about having a Fourth of July baby (because Sophia was born 10 days past her due date and Zoe was 19 days past hers). But as time went on and I got more uncomfortable, I started convincing myself he could be early! As usual for me, I looked seriously ready to pop by about 36 weeks. Those last few weeks were tough. I was working with a wonderful midwife, the same one I used with Zoe’s home birth, and she’s one of the most even-keeled people I’ve ever met. I remember telling her that I was crying almost every night, from all the emotions, and the hip pain, and the exhaustion, and she just nodded calmly and said yes, that’s quite normal. Continue reading “aaron henry’s birth story”

Baby, Personal

aaron henry bartos

My son was born on June 18 at 2.17am. He is just as sweet and easygoing as I imagined a third child would be. He has brown eyes, a big appetite, and a smile that absolutely melts my heart.

He is named after his father, Gregory Aaron, as well as Aaron {the first High Priest, brother of Moses} found in the Bible, and after my grandfather Henry. We have a video clip from Aaron’s dedication service on the Bella Torah podcast.

This pregnancy was harder than the past two. I looked the same as I always do – a basketball shaped bump, except you could fit about five basketballs in my bump. The usual aches and pains just seemed worse this time around. Could have been because we had three children in four years, I guess! I’m hoping to give my body a little break now, and push myself to work out more consistently, to gain back some core strength.

Aaron Henry is 7 months now, starting on solids and close to crawling. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it! His older sisters adore him, and of course, so do I.


Baby, Personal, Thoughts

announcing blueberry

Happy 2015! It’s a new year and {another} new phase for me… pregnant with #3, our highly-anticipated blueberry. My little boy is due at the end of June/beginning of July. I’m 21 weeks now and feeling great!

A few thoughts about this pregnancy:

[PRO] getting to set up a real “nursery,” finally!
[CON] everything I own is pink.

[PRO] a BOY!
[CON] the pressure of choosing the perfect name.

[PRO] already have pretty summer maternity clothes!
[CON] being a giant beach ball this June while my toddlers run circles around me.

[PRO] a huge incentive to potty train Sophia now!
[CON] the difficulty of potty training Sophia.

[PRO] my husband’s excitement to have a son!
[CON] labor… which I’ve said twice I’d never do again.

[PRO] everyone says it’s easier to go from 2 –> 3 children than from 1 –> 2!
[CON] 3 kids 3 and under {eek}.

[PRO] fulfilling the commandment of circumcision!
[CON] blazing a new trail, as usual.


Seriously though, we’re thrilled. And for the first time, I’m pregnant with one of my sisters! Christine is only a few weeks behind me. Based on how late Sophia and Zoe were {my womb is a super-happy place to be, apparently}, I actually think Christine will have her baby first… but who knows? This summer is going to be a beautiful adventure!