the barrons

the barrons

about us

We're from the Syracuse, NY, area and started dating when we went to BYU-Idaho for college. We were married December 2008 and have a daughter, Sophie. We will be welcoming a new baby in November 2013! We currently live in Mason, Ohio, near lots of family! Drew is working at Liberty Mutual Insurance as an Auto Claims Adjuster. Carissa is now a stay-at-home wife and momma! We know there's more in store for us in our future, and we say, "Come what may and love it!"
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29 August 2009

Idaho, Here We Come!

I can't believe it, but we packed our car as full as we could with everything we possessed. And, actually, we packed it the morning we left. We had everything ready, of course, but nothing was actually in the car until about 2 hours before we left.
We got to say good-bye to the little boys, Scott and Nathan, before they left for school that morning. Then my Dad procrastinated leaving for work until after we left. He (and I) needed a good send off. Mom said NO pictures of her, so that was that, but she got us (yes, Drew too) all emotional before we left. Go figure!
Once we were in our car and ready for the road, we headed off on our 8-day road trip across the country in our little teeny Chevy Cavalier.

We had some time, so we stopped in Palmyra before we left New York! We got some great pictures!

First (official) stop: Youngstown (Austintown), Ohio. We stayed with Grandma and PapPap Dumas and had a really good time playing cards and talking. Aunt Linda, Kevin, and Krista came over too! It was a blast!

Day 2: before leaving Austintown, we drove about a mile to see Dad's side of the family. Aunt Dawn had lunch ready for us! We visited for a couple of hours and ate lots of good food! Uncle Stan and Grandma Drogowski even came over for a quick "hello"!

Next stop: Once we were stuffed with food and Grandma sent us off with more snacks, we were headed to Zanesville, Ohio, to visit Julie's parents! Drew had never met this part of my family, and I was really anxious for them to meet each other. When we got to Gramma's, I think I started to cry. I hadn't been in their house for years, and the last time I had seen Gramma Stimpson was when she was in the hospital looking weak and sad. She looked amazing this time. She had color in her face, she wasn't bone thin anymore, and she was walking by herself again! When Grandpa came up the stairs he gave us his twinkling smile (I'm sure most of you know what I mean). I was so glad to see my grandparents in such good spirits and looking so healthy!
The Stimpsons took us to eat at Adornetto's, a place for the best Italian food in the area! It was a bit nostalgic; we always got Adornetto's pizza when we went to Gramma and Grandpa's! I was really glad that Drew got to meet these grandparents of mine. They mean a lot to me and have done so much to help our family since our families combined all those years ago.
The Stimpsons sent us off with their love and some leftover pizza, and we headed off to Cincinnati (Mason), Ohio!

Next stop: The Ackley's! We got in late and shared our leftovers and went to bed. The next day...

Day 3: A day with the Ackleys! For those who don't know who they are, DeAnn (or, Aunt Annie) Ackley is my step-mom's (Julie's) sister. Her family has grown up in the same faith as us and we are really close to them. Their kids are our ages too.
So, we were ready (already) for a day of no travelling. Aunt Annie was glad to help! She let us take our time waking up and getting ready for the day, and then we went to the coolest grocery store in Cincinnati: Jungle Jim's! This place has it ALL! Well, almost. Just about anything you have ever heard of being edible exists in this grocery warehouse! It's creatively decorated and laid out. Each nation has their own section of the store. So cool. Drew, having lived in Hong Kong for 2 years, knew exactly what he'd look for: durian (a really nasty prickly fruit), baalut (soft-boiled fertilized chicken eggs), and Philippine mangoes (the best kind around). Oh, and NutriSoy (THE brand of soy milk used in Hong Kong, since they don't use animal milk). Bad news: we didn't find ANY of that except for the mangoes. But they weren't fresh, they were dried. Oh well. We still found some good stuff. We got a few little treats in some of the nations that had the yummiest sweets! We also picked up some stuff for Chicken Curry and Egg Tarts (refer to "Theme Night Dinner" back in April)!
(We didn't do very well getting pictures of the Ackleys... Oops!)

Day 4: A day of travel! We made an early start to drive from the Cincinnati, OH, area to Kansas City, KS. It wasn't a terrible drive, but it was pretty long. We got into Kansas City in the evening and spent some time talking with Dave (my step-dad, Leslie-mom's hub) and my mom (Leslie) over a delicious dinner! After a long day of travelling, we were ready for bed.
Day 5: Another day with the Cases! It was so nice to sit back and relax while in KC. Mom took a few hours off from work and took Drew and me to see Harry Potter 6 at a theater designed after the Palazzo in Las Vegas. It was so great! Mom, Drew and I are all pretty big Harry Potter fans, so it was fun for us to see that movie again together. We had a great dinner that night--Mexican! Celeste and Aaron (her soon-to-be hub) and Christine came over to visit and eat. It was a good time! (By the way, it totally stunk, but I forgot my camera in the car while we were in KC....)
Day 6: A full day of travel. It was 16 hours from Kansas City to Kalin's (my sister's) in Saratoga Springs, Utah, so we split it up into two days with a stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. One thing to say about the drive from KC to Wyoming: boring and windy!!! We finally got to the hotel, in the middle of nowhere Cheyenne, and bunkered down for the night.
Day 7: Another full day of travel, but this time we were headed for Kalin's in Utah! It took less time than we thought, which was nice, but (of course) the drive was still long. Luckily, I was with my favorite person in the whole world, so the drive wasn't boring! : ) Once we got to Kalin's, we had dinner and spent some time with her, Matt, and Dean, and I finally got to meet my little Addie (Kalin's adorable baby girl)!

Day 8: A full day with Kalin's family! It was such a nice day to relax. We didn't go anywhere until dinner time, when Kalin and Matt treated us to "el Pollo Loco", which was actually really yummy Mexican fast-food featuring only chicken. Drew and I got to spend more time with Kalin's little family, which was wonderful!

Day 9: It was time to leave Kalin's and head off to our little piece of heaven in Rexburg, Idaho! Luckily, the drive is only about 3 1/2 hours. We got to our complex, signed our contract, and received our keys to our first place together!!!

Once we were in, I needed to take pictures of our little place! We moved everything in from our packed car, and used our 72-hour kit food to make our first meal in our new home.

All in all, we're very excited to be in our new place; our first place together; our home! We really look forward to all the adventures we'll have here in Rexburg, and are excited to get involved in the community and Ward!

26 August 2009

Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, good-bye...

We'd been married for 7 1/2 months, we'd been living with my parents, school was starting soon, we had an apartment waiting; it was time to finally say good-bye to the east. For now.
First stop: Blockbuster, of course! It had been my first job and I had made some good friends over the years. It took a few trips to see everyone I wanted. I checked everyone's schedules to make sure I could stop by and say "see ya"!

Tim and me!


Becca, such a sweetheart!

Jeanette! She didn't really want to take a picture, but I made her.

My manager, Kristin. She hates pictures too.

We tried to gather all we could to get some last minute pictures with friends from church. Unfortunately I didn't think ahead and we were leaving for Idaho the next day. We didn't get all the pictures we wanted. Here's a public "sorry!" to all of those families we neither got to say good-bye to or get pictures with. We still love you!

Momma, Dad, Scott & Nathan, me and Drew

The Figals. They treated me like their granddaughter since we moved into the area!

My Primary class (minus Samantha and Sister Pierce)!

The Lentz family! These people are amazing!

We got a chance to go to the Barron's to visit one last time before leaving. Grandma Pat Barron came to see us off!

Scott and Nate before they headed off to school

Daddy got all emotional the morning we left. I love him!

My Lexi : )

With our "good-bye's", "see ya's", and "we'll miss you's" out of the way, we were ready for our trip out west. Idaho, here we come!!

07 August 2009

Beaches, Theme Parks, and Family: Everything Florida Should Be


So Drew and I went on vacation with his family (mom, dad, and 2 brothers-Sharon, Keith, Dave, and Erik) to visit Keith's brother and his family in Orlando, Florida! Kevin, Chris, Tom, and Amanda live in a nice place called Winter Park, just outside Orlando.
Call us crazy, but we drove. We took two completely packed cars and drove straight through, only stopping for food and bathroom breaks. It was a long ride, about 22 hours, but we FINALLY made it! And I finally got to meet the Florida Barrons! What a great family.
We got ourselves settled in our rooms at the largest Econolodge in the world, and slept off our drowsiness and prepared ourselves for a fun-filled week!
On day 1, Friday, we headed out to Daytona Beach! Florida=amazing beaches! It was a little rainy that day and the clouds added a bit of gloom, but we still made it fun. We got everyone in the water eventually and had a great time riding the waves and goofing around-aren't adults supposed to be silly too? Drew and I really wanted to take a walk on the beach. So cliche, I know, but it was so beautiful. We walked down to the pier and back and talked and laughed and watched the kids play in the water. Later on, we left and went to eat at Cici's Pizza... not the best idea. An endless buffet can be really tough on your stomach!

Day 2, Saturday, we decided we'd put our 7-day Universal passes to good use and have an "exploring day", as Sharon called it, to better prepare ourselves for the following week when we'd be there a little more often. The boys couldn't WAIT to get on the rides, and I couldn't wait to get out of the heat!! It was scorching hot that day, so we ducked into any shade we could on the way to each attraction. Except for the heat and the crowds, I was glad we went out that day because we got a good feel for each of the parks and got stoked for the next few days (when we'd be able to get at every ride in sight)! We were so wiped that when we got home that we didn't even leave our hotel rooms. But we had definitely had a good day.

Day 3, Sunday, we decided to find an LDS church in the area. The address wasn't exactly correct, so we drove around a bit and finally found it. It was testimony meeting in the ward we visited and mostly youth got up to share their most recent experiences from Scout Camp, EFY, and a certain Young Men trip. It was interesting. But hey, it was church. When we got back, we called Keith's brother and his family and had them come and relax with us at the hotel. It was a really laid back Sunday. We sat by the pool, watched some sports (well, the guys did), and went out for Friendly's ice cream that night (sinners, I know). Chris had to work the next day, and they only had one car, so Kevin, Tom, and Amanda stayed at the hotel with us that night to go out to Universal Studios in the morning!
Day 4, Monday, another day of all things Universal. This time we had more Barrons and way more food. Oh my. WAY TOO MUCH FOOD. Since we got to the parks early, we decided that their "all day meal plan" would be for us. One price, one wristband, all we could eat, all we could drink. OH MY. We were so sick from trying to get out money's worth that we had to walk off the weight; the fatigue; the stomach ache almost immediately after eating! Other than the immense pain we were in from consuming too much food, we had a really good time with all the Barrons at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! Everyone found their favorite ride and rode it at least twice. Sharon and Keith's favorite was the Spider-Man ride. I LOVED that one, too! It was a mix between an inside kiddie coaster, a simulation, and a 3-D ride. There was exploding fire, sprays of water, "electric jolts", and villains! I felt like I was in league with Spider-Man! : )

My favorite ride ended up being The Mummy. An inside coaster, this ride had it ALL. It was dark, creepy, and exciting! We went fast, backward, sideways, and were chased by flesh-eating Egyptian Scarabs, an army of mummified royal guards, and a resurrected mummy!! How could you NOT love that ride???

By the end of the night, I convinced just about everyone that The Mummy should be their favorite. Then again, there was the Jurassic Park ride too (a tour of a dinosaur world gone very wrong)! All in all we had a great time together, stuffed full with food, and headed home for a really great night's sleep.
Day 5, Tuesday, we headed out again to the fabulous theme parks! It was a really long day... we stayed until the parks closed and watched the fireworks!

Day 6, Wednesday, it was time to leave. We checked out and headed to Uncle Kevin's for the day. We spent some more time with the family, took some funny pictures, and packed into the car and were on our way back to New York!

We finally got back home on Thursday evening. We were all so exhausted, but we had such a great time together! I am so glad we got to meet the Florida Barrons and spend our vacation with Drew's family. Maybe we'll visit Florida again in the next few years!