Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pregnancy Updates

So, I think we can all agree - I am getting better about posting. Yes, it's been a month since my last post, but if you look at my previous track record, I am clearly improving! So, at my last post I was in week 17 (although the picture posted was taken early on - about week 12). At the time of this post I am halfway through my 20th week. Over the past 2 weeks really, I have really noticed some changes in the tummy. I thought it would never come and I was discouraged thinking - I am almost 5 months pregnant - how come you can't tell!? Everyone told me to be patient and that it takes a while to show with your first one, but I was still ready to show off to the world that we are having a baby! So, I'm pretty excited now that people can pretty much recognize that there is a baby in there (instead of just all the whispers of "Wow - she must have been eating a lot of cookies lately - she's packed on the pounds!") And I'm able to wear more maternity clothes which is fun! Such cute stuff out there. And soooo comfortable! I have also felt the baby move (first time was April 4th @ 18 weeks) - that is the coolest and craziest thing! Baby Bear typically moves at night as soon as I lay down in bed. Brett has been able to feel it too! We are just in awe of this whole experience and what is going on inside of me!

The pictures below are the last few stages we have taken. You will probably notice a change in each of the pictures but I really didn't notice it in the way I looked too much until this week - I think the most recent one definitley shows the change! (By the way, I think I look bigger at 15 weeks than I did at 18 you agree? I didn't feel bigger then, but the picture to me looks that way)

This is me at 20 1/2 weeks (last night!)

This is me at about 18 weeks


This is me at about 15 weeks

Our next Dr. appointment is next Friday (May 9th). This is the appointment where they do the "big ultrasound" as they call it (is this a medical term?) and check everything from head to toe to make sure all the development is going well, check the blood flow, heart, amniotic fluid, etc... Please keep us and Baby Bear in your prayers as we check in on the growth, progress and overall health of our little one. This is also the appointment where we find out (assuming Baby Bear cooperates that day) what it is.....I hope it's a baby! No, in all seriousness - neither of us care if it's a boy or girl. We just want a healthy baby and uncomplicated delivery for everyone. We both feel that it's a girl but we have no idea where those thoughts/feelings come from. We either have great intuition or we are going to start off being horrible parents because we don't even know what our own child is! We are so excited to find out (well, maybe me more so than Brett). I can't wait to start picking out things for the nursery, choosing colors and of course, buying clothes! There is so much to do to prepare for our little one and I am definitley ready to get started on all the things that require planning and organizing.

Just to let you all know - we will definitley be sharing the news with everyone on the gender, but for those of you that don't know - we will not be sharing the name until after Baby Bear is born. That is just one thing that we want to keep for ourselves and share with each of you on the birthday. We have already faced some resistance on this (namely from the mother-in-law!) but everyone is being pretty understanding and respecting our wishes. Brett's mom is very talented with a sewing machine and loves sewing, creating and embroidering. She wants to know the name ahead of time so she can get a head start on putting the name on everything this child is going to own! There are a ton of other cute things that she can do, but all the name stuff will have to wait. Sorry Cynthia (and anyone else that was anxious to start embroidering things for our child!)

Well, that's all I have for now. There will DEFINITLEY be another post after we find out what it is (hopefully just a day or two after, not a month!). I wanted to thank all of you that responded to the last post with such great advice, ideas and must-haves. It helps a lot in the crazy world of never ending choices! Thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement for us. We are so blessed to have each of you in our lives and look forward to sharing more as it unfolds.

Love to you all!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Big News!!!

So, I am the one that updates my blog about once every 6 months! So unless I have told you that I have made an update, you may not see this post until 4 months from now. I always say that I am going to get better about posting and maybe this time I actually will. The reason I think I might this time is because.....I'M PREGNANT!!! It's not that I have all kinds of extra time on my hands now or a tremendous burst of energy, but more so because I really want to document this time in our lives and also be able to better share my experience with those that are not here in Texas to experience this with me. Since they can only hear about the changes from me over the phone or from others, I want to be able to share as much as possible and keep them as involved as I can.

So, of course Brett and I are so excited and maybe a little nervous too about the impending changes in our lives. It is just incredible to us that we are going to be parents and be responsible for this new little person. We are so blessed to not only have each other, but have amazing parents and families, wonderful friends, great jobs that we love, a beautiful home and almost 2 years of marriage in which we have created some amazing memories. Now we get to add another blessing to the list! We are just ecstatic and thank God every day for what he has done in our lives and what he continues to do.

This is our little angel - we can not wait to meet him or her! We find out in about a month whether we will be welcoming a boy or a girl!

As far as my pregnancy, I have been feeling GREAT! I haven't been sick at all (sorry to all of you that did experience that - I have heard the horror stories and I know it is not fun). I have gained about 2 pounds total (as of 16 weeks) and I'm not really showing yet. Both the lack of weight gain and not showing have honestly had me a little concerned just because I feel like I should be progressing more than that at this point. I know everyone is different and my Dr. says that everything is fine, but it is still hard not to worry a little bit. As you can see from the picture above, everything looks ok in there and we have heard the heartbeat at the last 2 appointments so I know there is nothing to worry about - I just assumed there would be more physical changes by now. I haven't felt any kicks or movement yet but I have heard it is pretty typical for that to happen around 18-20 weeks so I am not worried about that. It has been a very easy pregnancy so far and I am so very thankful for that. It almost makes it seem not real at this point but I know my little one is in there and growing stronger every day. Brett and I already love this little thing so much and we are so excited for all of the changes ahead!

So, I am ready for the advice to start pouring in! For all of you moms out there, I need to know all of your must haves and words of wisdom. What can you not live without and what would you consider now to be unnecessary? I am talking everything from Diaper Champs or Genies to burp cloths to pacifiers to certain brands that you are faithful to. We are going to start registering for most things after we find out boy or girl but I want to start making a list of all the necessities. Anything you can share would be great!

I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you and asking for your thoughts and advice. Thank you to all of you for the love you have shown us. Please continue to pray for us and Baby Berend as we all prepare for the journey ahead.
More posts and updates coming soon....I promise!
Love to you all!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Has it really been that long?

Yep! It's been over 2 months since my last post. I sincerely apologize to all of my die hard fans out there (Yeah, right?!). Anyway, things have just been crazy for us and I apologize for neglecting all of you out there in blog world. So...what has been going on since my last post?

Showers...Weddings...Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties...Trips...Regular Parties...Reunions...and more Weddings and more Showers! Yes, pretty much for 2 months straight. It has all been a great time but has made the past 2 months go by in the blink of an eye. We actually still have 1 more wedding and 1 more trip this month but things have seemed to calm down quite a bit. One of the most exciting events was the Lingerie Shower and Bachelorette Party that I planned for one of my dear friends, Tammi! Tammi is one of my greatest friends and we have been friends and roommates for the better part of the past 11 years (of course I don't live with her now though - I live with Brett and she lives with her new husband of 3 weeks!) So anyway...the shower/party was amazing and SO much fun! We held the shower at a suite at the Gaylord in Grapevine. This place is to die for! Beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, huge, and....expensive! Sheesh! Who knew that a king bed and a foldout couch could cost so much for 1 night?! It was a VERY nice and very spacious room and we were able to sleep 7 comfortably, but still. So, after the shower we relaxed and got all dolled up to go out on the town (well, to go out across the street to the Glass Cactus that is part of the Gaylord!). Luckily there was a shuttle that takes you from the hotel to the club because after 5 straight hours of dancing, our legs and feet were not liking us very much! But, as we were dancing the night away, I turned to see another bachelorette party right next to us. I felt like I recognized the bride but I couldn't place her. Then, I saw one of the partygoers...Holly! Holly Chandler (Erwin) and Megan McCavitt (Colby) were there celebrating with their friend Carrie whom I had met a couple of times. It was the coolest thing to see them there. We danced a little, snapped a few pictures (which I would post if I had them on this computer or knew how to post on this thing!) and had a great time! I didn't really get to say bye to Holly that night but I sure had fun hanging out with her for a while! We rode back to our room and had a slumber party back in the suite. We all woke the next morning with very sore legs and barely managed to make our way down to the Riverwalk Cafe for a fabulous brunch before we said our goodbyes and ended the festivities. It was such a great night and I know we made some lasting memories for Tammi! I loved every minute of putting it together and being with all of our friends.

Some other things that we have been up to for the past 2 months include: a wedding shower for another dear friend, Elaine, who is marrying Brett's best friend Will at the end of October; a trip to our friends house on Lake Michigan (a dear friend of mine from work has been inviting Brett and I for years now and we finally made it!) He and his wife have a beautiful home there and we had a great time just relaxing, walking on the beach and eating some amazing food!; a trip to College Station (which is one of my favorite places to go now!) to watch Brett's cousin play soccer; Tammi's wedding which was a beautiful, beautiful day that I was so honored to be a part of; a bowling birthday party (for an adult) - too fun!; finally having my parents over to the new house for dinner (there are still a lot of little projects but we felt it was in good enough shape for company, especially since it was Mom's birthday!); Brett's 10 year high school reunion (talk about crazy!); and just some overall good times with my husband fixing up the house, catching up on some of our favorite TV shows (sorry Leilanni!) and just enjoying each other.

These past 2 months of "busy-ness" have really shown me how blessed we are. The things that are keeping us busy are very, very good things. We are blessed to have a warm home that we get to fix up together, we are blessed to have the talent and ability to do that, we are blessed that we have parents that are supportive and so willing to help, we are blessed to have good jobs that we enjoy, we are blessed to have so many good friends, we are blessed that those good friends are falling in love (sometimes with people we set them up with!) and committing to spend their lives with them, we are blessed with friends with generous hospitality and welcoming us into their home and into their family, we are blessed with the freedom to do what we choose, and we are blessed to have each day that God gives us together to enjoy one another, our friends, our family, our jobs (sometimes!) and everything around us. now that you are updated on the lives of the Berend's, I have a dilemma that I need some advice on. Let me make this as short as possible: My current boss is the Manager of People Development (Training, Career Development, Succession Planning, etc...). She is changing roles and will now be heading up Employee Relations (employee problems!). So, her current role is open! I am the only other one in our department currently and this would be a natural progression for me. I have been told by her boss (VP of HR and my old boss) that if I want this promotion, it is basically mine. She is still interviewing other candidates but I think she wants me because I know the business and she can tell I have a passion for training and teaching other people. So that is the very, very short version with lots of details left out. Ok, so here's the question. What do I do? I would love to be the head of the department and make decisions, make necessary changes and improvements to what we have in place, and be responsible for creating new programs. BUT, it's a lot to take on. They have a lot of expectations and really want our training to be bumped to the next level and be even more than it has even been. Although that challenge is exciting, it is intimidating and I think there would be a lot of pressure and eyes on me. I don't know if I want that (or how much of it I want, rather). I would not be alone in my new endeavor - I would be able to hire a staff (2 or 3 people) and I know I would have the support and help of the executives here, but it's scary. I also have to consider the fact that someday Brett and I hope to have kids and although we haven't decided with 100% certainty if I will stay home, it's something we definitely would like to happen. Now, that's not to say that I couldn't be the manager for a year or two and when the time comes, quit to stay home with the kids, but is that fair? Should I take this on knowing that in the future I may not be working full time. Is it better to take it on, put everything I have into making it better for 2 years and then pass the torch to someone else or not take it at all, and stay in my current role and continue doing what I'm doing, making the greatest impact I can under the direction of someone else? I have prayed about this and I know my parents are praying for me too, but honestly I am not getting any clear answers or direction yet. Maybe something you say or advice you have will help me with this decision. I welcome all comments and criticisms! I love you all and I value your opinions. Thanks for looking out for me!

Take Care and God Bless!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday, Monday

Well, it's Monday again. There are 52 in a year (or something like that), so why can't I ever get used to them? It's never easy to get out of bed on a Monday morning, no matter how early you go to bed on Sunday night. I really don't like going to bed early on Sunday nights though. During the week, I am one of those that likes to be in bed by 10 pm. (My parents probably think I am nuts if they are reading this now b/c I was the child that always protested bedtime!) But now, I can't wait for the end of the day when I can crawl into my warm bed, snuggle up next to Brett and drift off to sleep as I count my many blessings. Anyway, on Sunday night I just can't bring myself to go to bed early. It's like I am protesting Monday morning because I know the sooner I go to sleep, the sooner Monday morning is here and I have to go to work. Ick! I love my job - I do, and I love the amazing company I work for, but this can not be all there is. Monday mornings have to feel good at some point in life, right? Maybe someday when we have little ones and I have the luxury of staying home (hopefully) I will learn to cherish the Monday mornings more. To wake up and see the smile on the face of my little ones and be able to care for them and love them and experience life through their eyes. Oh, the joy! Plus, when you have kids, everyday is like a Friday, right?! (Am I right all you moms out there?) I will not even be able to tell a Monday from a Saturday because everyday is a weekend, right?!?!? You are all laughing hysterically at me right now, aren't you!?

So, I guess you could say I have a bit of the Monday blues. It's a Monday and I'm allowed to be down, right?! A big part of my Monday misery is that I miss my brother so much. For those of you that don't know he is in Lima, Peru for the next 2 years (well, 2 years from the first of June when he left). He is there through the AIM program (Adventures in Missions). He completed the classroom portion last year and is currently serving the mission field portion. I am so very, very proud of him and so amazed at the opportunity God has given him, but the selfish side of me misses him more than words can express. My brother and I are very, very close. He is 12 years younger than me so I have always felt a little like a 2nd mom to him. He is one of my very best friends and continues to challenge me and amaze me every day. Please pray for him and his team (there are 5 others besides Brent), their safety, the lives of the Peruvians and so many others that they are there to minister to and pray that they will truly cherish every moment of this once in a lifetime experience they have been given. 'Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit' (Matthew 28:19)

I am also a little down today because I have a really good friend that is going through a tough time right now. He has been dating this girl for about 3 years and the relationship really has never been that great. He stuck it out hoping it would get better but he has really known all along that it was not right. He tells me all the time that "This is it" - the day that he is finally going to walk away. He never does. He doesn't want to hurt her. He has such a kind heart but he is making himself miserable. I keep telling him that not wanting to hurt her is just hurting himself in the process. He has been "stuck" in this relationship for 3 years too long and each day that goes by makes it harder and harder for him to really walk away. I tease him by telling him that I am not going to be his friend anymore if he stays with her. But the last thing he needs is for his friends to walk away from him. I really have contemplated it though because I think he leans on his friends too much and knows that we will be there no matter what (which we will but I am getting a little frustrated with this merry go round). I care about him a lot and want him to be truly happy. I just don't know what to do. I have prayed for him - a lot! Please pray for him as well. Let's call him Mark. (In case any of you do know him, I want to protect his privacy as he confides in very few people). Please pray for Brett and I as well, that we will know what we can do to help him and that God will use us to speak to him in ways that we haven't been able to yet.

I apologize for my meltdown and negativity above. I am over it now! (Writing can be so therapeutic!) I promise I have not forgotten that God is good and I have more blessings than I can count. I just had to throw a 5 minute pity party. Now I am good and all is well.
I hope that this Monday finds you all doing well and that all Mondays ahead will offer at least a glimmer of a fabulous day only packaged with the label: Monday

Love to you all!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Learn something new everyday...

Well, I finally figured it to post again! Who knew? It wasn't the easiest route to get here but somehow I figured it out again and here I am - only 3 short months later! It was great to start getting blog addresses from a lot of my friends! My best friend Suzanne has one (although I think it's really her husband Justin that is posting!), Holly, Leilanni (who I am so excited to get reconnected with) and of course Ashley who got me started on this. I figured out not only how to post again but also how to add a picture to my profile (yea!) and how to edit my profile. Am I a rockstar or what?!?! Now, let's see what other cool things I can figure out how to do on this. I may need some assistance! I don't have much to report. Brett and I have been so busy with fixing up the house or going on weekend trips that we are usually pretty beat! But we have been able to make time for Big Brother and other reality gems! We've got a lot of friends getting married this year so there are lots of showers, parties and of course the weddings! We pretty much have something planned every weekend between now and October 27th! Thank God for October 28th when we can relax and do NOTHING!! That's really all I have for now - I just wanted to make Ashley proud! Hey Ashley, we need to get Amanda on this thing, don't we!? Hope everyone is doing well! God Bless!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ok, here goes...

Ok, so my friend Ashley got me hooked on this blog thing...we'll see how it goes! I like the idea of being able to update several people at once about the goings on in our life. So, where to start? Well, I was born in San Antonio at the young age of 0.... no, let's try a different approach....
I guess I will start with how blessed I am. I have been married to an absolutely amazing guy (Brett) for a little over a year now (a year and 2 days at the time of this post!). He is the best person I could have ever hoped to share my life with. We have so much fun together and we totally get each other. He is the kindest, funniest, most caring, sweetest, most thoughtful, smartest and most spontaneous person I know. He is my very best friend and I am so very blessed that God brought the two of us together. It doesn't get much better than this folks! But then again, it really does...because on top of the wonderful husband that I have been blessed with, I have been blessed with amazing Christian parents who are such wonderful examples to me and Brett, a very talented and caring baby brother who has the biggest heart of anyone I know, the best in-laws that a girl could ever ask for (yes, they really do exist), an AWESOME brother-in-law who constantly makes me laugh, amazingly humble and caring grandparents that I am so blessed to have in my life, so many wonderful friends that are so loving, caring and supportive (the best of which is my BEST girlfriend, Suzanne, who is expecting a baby girl in May), a great job at an amazing company, a brand new gorgeous house that Brett and I get to fix up together....the list goes on and on. I really can't even imagine being more blessed than I am. God is such a giving God and amazes me everyday with his grace and love. I am so excited for what the future holds for us and can't wait to share all of life's experiences with Brett and all of the wonderful family and friends around us. Thank you to each and every person in our life that has helped make us who we are today. Our prayer is that we give back as much joy and love to you as you have given us. Thank you for your love, support and prayers that have guided our lives.