Sunday, November 29, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Then we moved to Greenville and life got even busier...date nights became a little less frequent, but at least we could somewhat afford to go out to eat a little more often.
It seems that date nights became an anomaly after Ella was born. Exhaustion had set in for both of us, and the whole, "we have to find a babysitter" thought didn't make either of us want to do a little dance...it almost always added at least $20-$30 (by the way, this figure has gone WAY UP since I used to babysit) to a date night bill. So we took them when we could...when free babysitting was being offered by the grandparents or our adult friends.
Since Allie's been born, date nights have become few and far between. We've since employed the help of pairs of some of our youth group girls who can each entertain one baby while hanging out at our house and eating our food.
But on Saturday, we were really wanting to go on a date, yet had not figured out what to do with the kids. Brandon called his parents who agreed to watch them OVERNIGHT at their house. We just had to get them up there, which we did and then we happily came back home, showered, and got ready for a fun night on the town.
Our first stop was Sushi Hana. We had never been there, but Restaurant.com had offered 80% off gift certificates, so I grabbed one from Sushi Hana: $25 that I bought for $2. Not too shabby. After all was said and done, we saved over $30 on a meal that both of us thoroughly enjoyed. Neither of us are very experienced in the sushi realm, but our friendly server helped us pick some good choices. The restaurant located on Haywood Road, was a pleasant surprise. The atmosphere was nice, and the food even better.
We had gotten a late start, and determined not to allow ourselves to turn in early, we headed next to Starbucks for some caffine and sugar. I chose a pumpkin spice frap and he a venti caramel macchiato. Next we got arrested by Kispy Kreme's Hot Now sign all lit up, so we got a dozen to eat and share with others.
Our final destination of the night was the HandleBar where Need To Breathe was performing in a sold out show. We had been put on a list to get in (thank you!!!), and met up with some of Brandon's friends from Furman. The lead singer from N2B, Bear Reinhart, played football with Brandon for Furman, so there were a lot of people out to support him. The show was awesome, we were so glad to be there. The band is really making it big now, and it's cool to think that they had their beginnings at a place so close to our heart.
After the show, the caffine and sugar kick had worn off, and we remembered that we're not 20 anymore and were ready to hit the sack. Brandon woke up the next morning and had to be at the first service at church, but I had planned on making it to second service so I found myself at home...with no one else there...completely quiet...for a couple hours! Bliss!
As much fun as it was to have a kidless evening and morning, I was sure glad to see my baby girls at church when B's parents brought them down. We spent the rest of the afternoon cuddlin' on the couch with them and remembering how blessed we are to have them in our lives.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
When going to two stores across the street, parking lot, etc... (or nearby each other) it's just easier to take the kids and walk with the cart than to load them back in the car, then unload them again in 2.5 seconds.
I did this the other day when I just had Allie. We were at Target (ahhhhh...) and I had her in the Baby Bjorn (by the way, I think I'm gonna need a chiropractor soon). We also needed to go to the sports store across the street, and since it wasn't a busy street, I decided to just keep things as they were and hike it. I mean, I was going to a sports store, why not actually get some exercise doing it!?! This is good for one, but especially true for shopping with two kids. In and out of the car routines can shave precious minutes off of melt-down free shopping/errand time.
When deciding whether or not to purchase designer jeans, one should take into account the probability of getting pregnant again soon...
Brandon and I spent a morning date at Stax Omega and then wandered over to the mall. This was the first time we'd been to the mall in a loooong time. I guess my motto has been one-stop shops are better for shopping with babies, so I frequent Target or Wal-Mart, and occasionally have a few minutes and enough guts to hit up the TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross kind of stores. But we had grandma watching the children so we decided it might actually be FUN to walk around the mall like we did when we were in high school on a Saturday night. We looked at lots of great clothes in lots of great stores, but weren't there to buy anything. We went into this store called Buckle..it's all the rage here. You've probably seen something from there...the swirly, printed pieces of clothing with lots of flashy, sparkly things on them...We'd never really been in there, but walked through and I got talked into trying on some jeans...The nice girl said, "what kind of fit do you wear?" I answered, "The kind that fits a preggo belly and have a band on them." It's been at least 3 years since I've bought jeans because I've been battling preggo body since then. But I did, and while I found some really cute ones that actually fit this soccer booty and "powerful" legs (lol), I thought twice and decided not to take the plunge...yet.
Here's the problem. I don't really want to spend that kind of money on jeans that I love, only to find out in a couple of months that Baby #3 is on the way (no, this is NOT an announcement). My history of pregnancies says that I won't be wearing them long. That will leave me longingly staring at them in my closet every time I reach for the jeans with a band on the belly.
Soooooo....no new jeans for me. Maybe I'll use that money for something that will be better put to use.
Like I said...nothing profound. Maybe even a little trivial. Believe me, as the wife of Brandon (who I believe is gonna be used by God to change the world one day), the mama of Ella and Allie (also world changers), the daughter of Cris (battling everyday with a disease that wants to take her out), and the friend to so many who are really running hard after and doing great things for God's Kingdom...I have a lot of other things on my mind that go a bit deeper...that's why these silly thoughts stick out to me. I hope that they bring some relief and laughter to you as well.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Let's see...so much has happened!
Allie: We went through a couple of different treatments for Allie's "cat hair ball" cough. And it went away! Don't know what did the trick, but it's gone, and she's not on anything for it currently. I guess she just grew out of it!
We did have to go to the hospital with her, though. A couple of weeks ago, she woke up with a fever and because she was under 2 months old and they were working on this cough thing, they asked us to come in and get tests done and allow them to monitor her. It really was the best thing for all of us. My in-laws picked up Ella and took her to their home in Hendersonville, NC, and Brandon and I were able to focus on Allie and each other for a whole day. We ended up spending the night, and actually got decent rest considering the sleeping arrangements. They determined it to be a virus, and she was released the next day. Since then, she's been doing great.
Ella: Our big girl started a Mother's Morning Out program 2 times a week which has been WONDERFUL. She loves it, I love it...enough said. She is getting ready to spend a week with her Aunt Pepper and Uncle John in NC while Brandon and I go out of town for a business/pleasure conference trip. She's growing so much and learning so many words, but her favorites right now are "No!" and "mine!" Ahhh...the life of an almost two-year-old.
Brandon: As usual Brandon's busy with work, and loving every minute of it. He is currently getting ready to host the annual youth conference in early August. He has been bringing two new employees up to speed, and they are really great assets to the team. Things seem to be really starting to move in a good direction with the youth ministry. He also just finished a class, Managing Conflicts, and enjoyed it immensly.
Nicole: I am riding around in a new/used Nissan Armada! On a recent trip to see Mom and Dad in Columbia, I was rear-ended while driving the Honda. We had hoped to replace B's truck with a family-sized car, but the Honda was totalled (everyone was okay-both girls were in the car with me). It actually ran fine still, but the bumper work and replacing the trunk would cost more than the car was worth (it was a '95). We ended up getting $325 less than what we paid for it 4 years ago, so we were happy with that. We were also able to give it to a couple that needed some wheels. But all that to say, it made our decision to buy a new car a little more to the forefront of our minds! We were able to get this awesome new SUV from some friends who kept it immaculate! It seriously has every bell and whistle I can imagine...dvd player with cordless headsets, nav system, 6 disc cd changer, sunroof, ipod connection...I could go on. you name it, it's got it. The first time I drove it after we bought it, I cried like a baby for a good 30 minutes. It's just an Ephesians 3:20 kind of car (more than I could have thought of or imagined)! Thank you, Lord!
I have also been working out trying to get my body back in shape. I began a program called P90X with two other girls, and am loving it! Our church just opened a new state-of-the-art gym/workout center, but this P90X thing is keeping my attention for the time being. I took before shots, and will take after shots when I'm done with the program. Hopefully, they'll be good enough to post! I am starting to really feel great. I have more confidence, energy, and peace. I love getting up early in the morning (the workout starts at 6), coming home to a sleeping family, making breakfast, grabbing a shower, and getting some quiet time before the house starts to stir...I am remembering that I really am a morning person.
The Berry family is going on vacation in July, and I'm excited for Ella to enjoy the beach this summer. I've bought Elmo kites and bubbles and toys...I think she's going to have a blast! I'm glad to be starting to make traditions in our family and the memories that go with them!
Well, the baby is done eating so I'm gonna leave it at that!
Friday, May 08, 2009
So my infant who had the clear to not have to come back to the pediatrician for a 2 week checkup because she had gained all her birthweight back and was so healthy, has been to the doctor twice since then. Brandon and I have also felt crummy, although we managed to avoid the pinkeye mess.
Poor Allie still sounds like a litte rhino snorting and snuffing and trying to breathe. Her feedings, which were timed about 3 hrs apart, are now much closer because she can't get a full feeding-she has to choose btwn breathing and eating. She keeps gaining weight, but I feel like an open buffet.
But the good news is that we're on the upswing. This won't last forever. I promise...
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Point in case #1:
I won't drop names, but will say a very influential person in our community who has three children of his own said this yesterday as he ran into me taking lunch orders for some volunteers who were helping with a project: " You look like you've put away some cheeseburgers..." What?!? Did you really just say that? Then he tried to back peddle by saying, "well, darlin' you deserve every one of them."
Point in case #2:
I stopped by the church yesterday with my dad to show him some renovations that are happening at the Teen Arena. I was greeted at the door by the husband of one of Brandon's staff members. I think they have 5 kids. I got out of the car, and he said something about how are the triplets, er...twins, er... I had to inform him that I would take him out without remorse if he said one more word to me.
Point in case #3:
While shopping at the Fresh Market with my mom yesterday, we were ordering some meat at the meat counter. The butcher who was helping us was trying to be funny (I guess all these guys were trying to be funny...he was the closest) and said to his partner, "Call security. This lady is trying to smuggle a watermelon out of the store under her shirt." That was followed by "If you were in a race all by yourself, you'd come in second." Okay...those were somewhat cute. I told him that I'm so competitive that if I was in a race with myself, I'd turn around and cross the finish line backwards.
Men...I know that if you have had a wife or girlfriend who has been pregnant that you had to have been more careful with your words with her. Take some advice...stop trying to be funny. Just be the caring and sensitive guy that you were when your significant other was about to have a baby.
In fact, here are few phrases that a pregnant woman would accept coming out of your I-have-no-idea-what-you're-going-through mouth:
- Wow! You look beautiful!
- How are you feeling?
- Is there anything I can do for you?
- You carry that baby so well. You have such grace during this stage of life.
- I remember when my (wife, girlfriend) was pregnant. I hope your man is treating you like the queen you are!
- How far along are you? or When's your due date? (and if she lets you know that she's not as far along as you thought she was, don't say anything else!)
Ladies, if you have any other acceptable phrases, feel free to leave them as comments.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
A girl came up and looked like she was about to dribble my belly like a basketball. I pulled a Karate Kid on her and "waxed on" (or was it "waxed off"?) and gave her a look that told her to stop immediately. Yes, it was awkward, but I didn't care!
Someone else blindsighted me before this incident, though. She came from the side, and had her hand on my belly before I could chop, block, kick or spit, so I was stuck getting a Buddah rub.
But I'm getting quicker. By the time I get my defense tightened up, my belly will be replaced with a squirmy infant!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Ever since I had decided to make the trip, I had been nursing an ever-growing craving for a favorite dish served up by a local restaurant:
A fried-green tomato, (homemade) pimento cheese, and ham sandwich with collard greens on the side from Boulevard Diner. Ahhh...I almost want to type it out again...this is not your ordinary sandwich or your ordinary restaurant. The restaurant owned by a family who has a few restaurants of different genres in the Charleston area; there's an Italian restaurant and a more upscale restaurant...and then there's Blvd. Looking at it on the outside, you'd never know it was such a gem. But once you taste and see...and you walk out with money in your pocket AND a doggie bag of extra food (the portions are great), you'll understand. Brandon and I laugh when we think of our first date sans other people. He drove 3 and a half hours from Greenville after working construction all day and was covered in red clay when he arrived at the door. But after cleaning up, he was hungry, so we went to Blvd Diner and I introduced him to fried pickles. He was a bit skeptical at first, but ended up loving them!
So we had approximately 45 minutes to get to the restaurant, order, eat, pay, change clothes and make it to the shower on time. As unreasonable as it sounds now, I was NOT about to miss out, and Brandon was NOT about to allow me to forgo satisfying my craving. Here are some lovely pictures of pure preggo bliss:
Daddy introducing Ella to fried pickles
Friday, March 06, 2009
We quickly realized that we didn't have proper snow clothing for Ella, so she looked a little like a ragamuffin with all mismatched items, but we finally got her dressed enough that we thought she'd stay warm for a while.
Brandon's first order of business was to teach Ella how to make a snowball and throw it at Mommy. Here you can see the progression of his snowball throwing clinic.
The proper packing of a snowball:
And yes, she hit me right on the belly (it's a nice, BIG target).
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
But here I am about to have number two and I need to publicly apologize to all the moms I've secretly judged in the past because I now understand why it is so incredibly difficult to keep up! So here's my sorry attempt at capturing a few moments of this pregnancy. Allie, if you ever read this, please know that Mommy and Daddy love you very much and are sooooo excited for you to come join our family! We just forget to record it sometimes! If it's any consolation to you, I haven't even started on Ella's scrapbook yet either!
I'm gonna try to keep up for the last few weeks...at least enough to show a difference!
I don't know if this means we are going to go full force on the potty training, but it's a start! She was very proud of herself!
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
- Played collegiate Division 1 soccer
- Been voted captain of my team by my teammates
- Participated in 2 NCAA Division 1 post-season tournaments
- Said goodbye to my paternal grandfather (Poppop) as he went to meet Jesus face to face as well as some friends who were taken much too soon
- Graduated from Furman University
- Traveled to Austria, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, England, Kenya, Italy, Costa Rica, Israel, Mexico, & Cayman Islands (my first cruise).
- Skied & snowboarded some of the best slopes in the U.S., seen the Grand Canyon, surfed in the Pacific Ocean, been on an African safari, and zip-lined through a rain forest
- Worked in corporate sales, in the service industry, in professional sports, in full-time ministry, and in marketing
- Lived on my own for the first time…and made it!
- Made some life-long friendships which I cherish
- Started my own business
- Met, dated, and married the man of my dreams
- Moved across the country to Los Angeles…and back again
- Graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree
- Seen my both of my parents come into personal relationships with Jesus!
- Trained for 2 half-marathons which I never ran, and many 10k races which I have ;)
- Bought our first home
- Been ordained as a pastor
- Been pregnant 3 times; Ella’s been a precious addition to our family, #2 is waiting in heaven to meet us one day, and now Allie is getting ready to make her Berry family debut!
- Stood by my family as we have dealt with my mom’s lung disease
- Spent time investing into the lives of hundreds of young people through various ministries including some in the country's most dangerous neighborhoods-no one can resist LOVE!
- Learned how to be a mommy, and a stay-at-home mommy at that
Saturday, January 03, 2009
But Daddy has been feeling a little down on his parenting skills lately because it was on his watch that Ella had her first accident.
He had lovingly given me a couple hours of "Coley time" which I planned to spend at Target and Barnes & Noble...picking up a few household items and giving myself a little book and coffee time. I made it to Target and had just started down my list when I got the call...
"Hey babe." (Caller ID allows me to do this with relatively little chance of getting it wrong)
(Baby crying hysterically in the background) "Um, hey....um...I think you need to come home. Ella busted her chin open and is crying and bleeding and I think she's gonna need stitches."
So much for my time away. Unfortunately, we are a one car family at this point in our lives. Well, we actually have an old beat up truck that I like to call by many different not-so-nice names, but it's obviously unsuitable for a child to ride in (or me for that matter...I try my best not to go near it most days). And, while it may have not been the best move, I had opted for the more comfortable Honda to tote me to my day of "me". It had the carseat in it and everything that he needed to take her to the ER. So I dropped my basket of items in Target, jumped in the car and...
sat in post-Christmas traffic.
When I finally got to the wide open spaces of the highway towards home I put my hazards on. And, while I was not going outrageously over the speed limit, a cop stopped me. I leaned out the window and explained the situation and wouldn't you know...He let me go! I couldn't believe it!
(Disclaimer: you can't use this excuse if you're really speeding...that's lying).
20 minutes after I got the phone call, I walked into the house and saw my husband and my daughter sitting on the steps drawing on the Magna-Doodle a picture of a little girl with an owie on her chin. They both had blood all over their shirts but were surprisingly calm. We loaded her in the car and took her to the ER.
And 4 hours later we finally put her back in the car with 3 new stitches on her chinny chin chin.