December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

10 Weeks 5 Days
We got to go into the doctor for another check-up today and were surprised when we got to have another quick ultrasound to make sure the baby is growing well.  We were laughing out loud because the little guy or girl was pushing off and springing into the air.  Even the doctor said we have a very active little one.  Maybe a athlete in the future?  I don't think I have felt any of these movements yet, but I am sure that will come soon. :)

We watched the baby use its' little arms to grab its' feet, which was sweet.  The heart is beating strong, and the baby is growing right on track.  We did find out today that we have about 7.5 weeks to wait until we find out for sure if it is a boy or girl...I am leaning towards boy, but we will see.  We have another check-up in four weeks, but thankful for the little show we got to witness today.
Nolz Side Family Christmas 2011
On Sunday we had the Nolz Family Christmas at my parents house.  It is always good to get the family together, especially now that there are so many kiddos growing up and running around.  It cracks me up because each year the "little" girls find Jason and climb all over him and follow him around.  My cousin said they always ask if, "Lauren and her boy are coming?" Now that they are getting bigger he gets overpowered more often than not. :) I love this time of the year....thankful for family and friends.

December 15, 2011

Growing.

The last two weeks have been us waiting and looking forward to seeing our little one again to pinpoint "exactly" when he or she will make their appearance into the world.  So, on Thursday this last week, our waiting was over, and we were once again blown away.
In just two weeks our little baby almost quadrupled in size, and weight.  This time she put the jelly on my tummy...which is growing a little bit. :) Instantly there on the screen was our little one. The red arrow is pointing to the head, and if you follow it down you can see the little arm, and then the two little feet. Our baby is about an inch long right now, and is about the size of a green olive. :) It's little fingers and toes are almost done forming, and the brain is growing at an amazing rate.  It is amazing to think that all that change and growth is happening without me doing anything.
9 Weeks
While we were listening to the heartbeat, we saw the little feet start kicking! I knew that I loved this little baby, but the second I saw the little feet move my heart literally felt like it was bursting out of me.  To think that already our baby is moving blew both of us away!  The rest of the night we couldn't stop talking about what we had seen on the screen, and how something so small can have us loving it more than anything else.

The doctor says the baby is looking healthy, and the heartbeat is strong; all good signs, and something any expecting parents want to hear.  He also let us know that our "official" due date is: July 14th 2012

November 24, 2011

Thankful for Baby Bernard!

It is official....I haven't written for awhile due to the fact we wanted to keep this secret for a little while.....
Jason and I have been keeping a secret, and are so excited to share with the world that we are.....

HAVING A BABY

We feel so blessed that it is happening; and that for us it happened so quickly.  We officially found out on Halloween; even though I told Jason at the beginning of October that I knew I was pregnant....I took at least five tests in three days because I couldn't believe that it had actually happened so quickly.  There is nothing like the feeling of seeing the word, "Pregnant" pop up on the screen.
Test #5....I couldn't believe it for some reason until this one said "YES"
In less than two weeks we will have another sonogram to verify our due date of around July 14th.  Normally they wouldn't test again, but our dates are a little off considering how quickly we got pregnant.

I am thankful that we get to see our little one again.  It was amazing seeing it for the first time.  We got to see it's bitty heart pumping...God is so amazing to make something so small already have life flowing through it.  In two weeks we should not only see it moving again, but should actually hear the heartbeat.
Once again, AMAZING.
We have so much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Growing Family!

November 12, 2011

Coach Bernard

Well...we are still waiting on the house....us Bernards are good at waiting.....we have worked on it a lot the last few years....just because we have worked on it though, does not mean that we enjoy waiting.  In a nutshell, we were informed after-the-fact, that the owner of the home had filed bankruptcy.  So we are in limbo, waiting for a judge to say that yes the best interest of everyone is to give us the house, or no it will also fall under his bankruptcy.  Apparently, his listing agent forgot to include this "minor" detail on all the paperwork that we signed....praying that it will all work out smoothly, and quickly.

On a better note, Jason got to be Coach Bernard this fall!  In late August he was asked if he wanted to be head cross country coach in the same week he was offered his position at Straub.  I think he was more excited about the coaching. :)  He ended up having over 70 kids run consistently the whole season! 
His team was AMAZING this year.  
All-City Cross Country Meet 2011
His top two runners, Reece (8th grade) and Brooke (8th grade), finished first in every single meet, and were the All-City Champions this year! I would say that is pretty good for a first year coach? :)
3k Girl's team before the final race: They finished 4th overall 
3k Boy's Team: These boys were amazing and finished FIRST as a team at All-City
Start of the 6th Grade 2k Run
It was so much fun to watch him coach, and see the passion he has for running rub off on all the kids that were running.  This is a sport that Jason introduced me to almost 10 years ago when I went to watch him run for the first time.  I love watching the strain and the fight it takes to be a quality runner. 
Nice work Coach B.

November 04, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We got the house! I can hardly believe it myself, considering we were thinking we were going to have to wait until at least after Thanksgiving to hear back from the bank.  This whole process actually went quite smooth.  I think a lot of it was due to the fact that we were willing to wait if it meant getting a home that we really felt was meant to be our home.  I never would have thought we would put an offer on a short-sale house.  In fact we were warned to NOT get into that because they are so hard complete the sale. 

For awhile there I was wondering if we would also fit into one of those statistics, since we found out that two banks had loans on the home (rarely does a house get approved and sold when two banks are involved).  But....WE GOT THE HOUSE! : )

Needless to say, this has been a VERY exciting week at the Bernard "apartment." 

Introducing our future home....that is if the inspection goes well:
 

Our Home: Salem, OR 97306
2,165 square feet
3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms
Living Room/Family Room/BONUS Room!
$150,000
 
Front Living Room: Vaulted ceilings with cozy fireplace and bay window.

Kitchen: Has a HUGE pantry...needs some TLC, but great size!

Master Bedroom: Walk-In closet, bay window and large room overall.


Master Bathroom: My FAVORITE detail in the master bathroom!
Backyard: Patio and perfect size yard for what we need, and can take care of right now.

Some of our favorite parts that we don't have pictures of yet...
1. Bonus Room: located up a few stairs, right over the garage.  This room is half the size of our apartment :)
2. The fact that there is a separate living and family room.
3. The fact that there are three bedrooms, and a separate full bathroom in the master bedroom.

Needless to say, we are SO thankful and feel so blessed for this opportunity. Awesome week! :)

October 22, 2011

Fall into Fall.

Happy 'almost' Halloween!

I love this time of the year.  I love the days where the sun is shining, but there is a coolness to the air.  I love all the traditions that begin in the fall.  I love spending time with friends and family, and getting to sit by the fireplace.  I love fall.

Jason and I are helping out with the middle school youth group again this year.  We had a superhero night last week....it you "Super-Starbucks" and his sidekick, "Half-Cafe." Creative huh?
Coffee Power!
Jason and his guys had a "Pumpkin Smash" last night.  They had pumpkin pinatas, and played video games.  Sounds like a good guys night to me.  This last week, I got to take my middle school girls to Bauman Farms.  Kinsey also made the trip with us, which made it even more fun.

Nial and Kinz :)

What was that?!
Zip-Line!

sisters.
This is the reality....love her. :)
We went through the dark maze, slide down a slide, jumped on a giant "pillow" (see video) and ate caramel apples and apple-cider doughnuts. I know we all had fun because the girls were falling asleep in the car on the way home. :)
video
Jason and I got to take care of our sweet little niece, Cayden, for a few hours this last week as well.  It has been so much fun getting to watch her grow up and to see her little personality come out.  Uncle Jason had a lot of fun making her laugh.  I think she has diffidently stolen part of both of our hearts.

Gotta love your aunt and uncle. :)
Loving spending time with each other.
Sweet little sleepy eyes. :)

October 13, 2011

Blessings.

The past year I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the blessings 
that I have come into my life, 
and the lives of the people around me. 

It has almost been a year since I was called for an interview at Claggett Creek for a job that was originally suppose to last only a month; now almost a year later, although a new position, a job.  One of my closest friends was blessed almost a year ago to find out the little baby she and her husband so wanted, for so long, was growing inside of her.  I watched Jason's passion for special education grow, and watched the Lord open the doors for him to go to school at Portland State while at the same time get to actually teach special ed. even before he has his endorsement. 
 When I think of the blessings that have come into my life and the lives of so many that I love, I can't help thinking about the many trials that lead to those blessings.  It is always amazing to be at that point where you can look back and see what God brought you though, so that you would be where you are today.  At church on Sunday, in both the mid-high youth group, where Jason and I help out, and "big church," it was about the trials that come into our lives, and how those very trials shape us into the people that God wants us to be.

I love the idea that the trials I am going through aren't random, but rather help build my endurance.  I love that the Lord knows what is coming, and that He will be faithful to have his plans come to a perfect end.  Sometimes I may not agree with that end, but His will and His love is so perfect.  I also realize that many of the trials were endure in this life, we won't understand and won't be separated from until we are in heaven. 

I am thankful that I have Him to lean on in the midst 
of the struggles of life, but also the victories. 

I have; we have so much to be thankful for when we look at the big picture.  I have listened to "Blessings" by Laura Story so many times since it came out a few months ago.  The lyrics really speak exactly what my heart feels,  "What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?"

 "Blessings" by Laura Story
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Chorus:  'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

CHORUS

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

October 05, 2011

Short-Sale

Well....Jason and I have officially placed an offer on a home here in Salem.  We are excited, and I think a little shocked that it all happened so smoothly so far.  We hope that it continues in that same manner, since the home we put an offer on is a 'short sale.'
 
Dictionary Definition: A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the property owner cannot afford to repay the liens' full amounts, whereby the lien holders agree to release their lien on the real estate and accept less than the amount owed on the debt.
vs.
Bernard Definition: A short sale is a sale that allows us to afford a home that we otherwise would not have been able to purchase.  But, due to the fact that other people can also place 'bids' on the home, don't get to attached to the dream of owning that home until, and only until the bank has approved your offer, and the papers are signed.

So, needless to say we LOVE the house that we have found, and I have pictured our future family making so many great memories at that place...but another part of me is afraid to get to attached, which is probably smart considering. 

Hopefully, our 'short sale,' will actually live up to what its' name is...SHORT.  We would love to just know, but we also know that we are going to have to wait, so waiting is what we will do.  Maybe we will have some exciting news, and then I can post pictures of the house....would love to call it "Our Home."

September 18, 2011

3,000 Miles

This last summer I got the opportunity to drive across the United States with one of my best friends, Lizzie Nobis, in order to get her back to graduate school in Philly with a car.  It was a trip to be remembered... 
Day 2: Dinner Stop
Below you will see the map that we roughly took.  The green line is our driving, and the other is my flight back home to Salem, Oregon.  It took us four days to complete the driving...and from what I am saying so far, it sounds like it all went smoothly.  The truth is, it was incredibly smooth the first three days.  In fact we averaged driving 12 hours on each of those days, and we were going strong.  Oh, how we later wished we had 'knocked on wood'...
After our second day of driving, we pulled into our motel stop for the night, and turned on the TV and were greeted with this:
"Irene"
We were over halfway to our intended destination, and a giant hurricane was coming straight toward the East Coast (later to be named Hurricane Irene).  At this point the meteorologists didn't know exactly when it was going to reach land, and if it would at all. So, the next morning we continued on our trek.

Big Bug :)
Day 3: Shopping break in Indiana
Lizzie.
Then came the fourth day.  The day we had intended to complete our driving part of the journey. The day that we were going to say we made it over 3,000 miles across the U.S.  Lizzie began driving that day, and drove for about three hours.  My turn started off with me driving along the Ohio State Tollgate Road.  After driving for about an hour, Lizzie realized if we stayed on the freeway the whole toll-road, we were going to end up having to pay over $60! So, we decided to make the first of many "good" decisions of the day.
We changed the GPS, named George, to send us on "non-toll" roads.  After hitting that button, our trip that day was extended two hours longer than expected...I continued to drive 55 mph for about 10 miles, then we would slow to 35 mph through small country towns.  We drove this way for over two hours...making little progress, and making each of us a little anxious to get back on the freeway.

We switched drivers, and made it back on the freeway when I received a call just as we were crossing into Pennsylvania.  United Airlines was calling to inform me that my flight, scheduled to leave on Sunday, was canceled due to the impending hurricane.  "Okay," we thought, we will change it to Saturday since it was Friday and we would be arriving in about five hours anyway.  So, the travel agent made the switch, and I was then flying out of Philly at 6:00pm on Saturday.
Tumbleweed :)
Less than one hour later, we received another call, that that flight was also canceled.  In fact, over 10,000 flights along the East Coast were canceled due to Irene!  Lizzie promptly got on the phone and attempted to get me another flight out, in order to get me back home before my new job started that Monday.  We were told by the travel agent to drive back to Cleveland, Ohio (2 hours west) to catch a 6pm flight to Portland on Saturday evening.  After some tears by us both, considering our long day, we turned the car around and began backtracking.

Thirty minutes outside of Cleveland, at around 12:30am we received a call from the manager of the agency, saying that we could not fly from Cleveland since our original ticket was from Philly.  We attempted to inform her that all flights on the East were canceled, and we had been told and placed on a flight by one of her employees, and were no longer in Pennsylvania, but in Ohio.  While Lizzie, argued and battled with the "helpful" woman on the phone, I descided to drive to the Cleveland Airport...we arrived at around  1:30am...
At 2:00am our "helpful" agent canceled my flight from Cleveland to Portland...in fact she canceled all my flights, and would not take my call...I called my parents and Jason and just cried...I was exhausted, frustrated and just wanted to come home.  Lizzie and I descided to drive to a hotel parking lot, sleep for two hours and come back to the airport at 4:30am when it opened...I didn't sleep.

We got to the airport, and after being yelled at by a ticket agent, and asked if I ever 'really' had a flight, I was given a flight from Cleveland to Houston, and then Houston to Portland leaving at 6:10am...it was now 5:36am...I ran out to Lizzie who was waiting in the car and we said a hurried goodbye after being with each other for four days...I ran to security...which the lady made me wait because I didn't go through the empty "maze" line they had set up.

Thankfully I made it to my gate with time to spare...only to have an old lady lean over to her husband and say, "I sure hate it when people just come running up to the gate at the last minute." Really?!  We boarded the plane, and after not sleeping for over 24 hours, I was excited to find out I had three seats all to myself.  Then we waited...and waited...and then the pilot came over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen it appears we are having some problems with the computers across Continental/United flights.  Don't worry your connections will all be made."  At this point nothing else would surprise me.  An hour later we took off, and I fell asleep knowing I would miss my connection in Houston.

We landed in Houston right when my original flight was scheduled to leave for Portland. So, after running across the biggest airport, I slowly made my way to customer service and got on standby for a 2:30pm flight.  I was slowly walking through the airport with an 'angel' from a random ticket counter asked me if I was doing okay.  I recalled briefly my tale, and let her know I missed my flight due to airplane error.  Her response was amazing, "So, it was our fault huh? Well then you would probably like to ride first class.  Okay, you are on the first class 2:30pm flight to Portland.  And I bet you are hungry (wink)?  Here is a meal ticket, get what you want."

Amen!
Amazing view from the plane coming into Portland.

So, after over a day of crazy traveling, flying on my own for the first time and going on little more than a couple hours of sleep, I landed in Portland safely at 5:00pm.  It is so good to be home. What a trip, great memories and something hopefully I won't have to experience again. :)
Final speedometer reading...WOW!

August 30, 2011

Beach Trip

A couple of weeks ago Jason and I got to spend a couple of nights at the beach as our last trip just the two of us for this summer.  The best part, was that the three days that we were there it was beautiful weather the whole time; like no clouds in the sky type of weather. :)  In fact it was nice enough that Jason and I went kayaking out on Devil's Lake.  It was so much fun to "zoom" around and imagine what it must be like to live in the beautiful homes that overlook the water. 
It was fun the first day, because my family was there, so we spent the day hanging out with them.  Of course we went shopping...something the guys were really excited about.  I enjoyed myself because I got three "teacher" tops and a pair of dress capris for $27!  It was at the Ann Taylor Loft Outlet...now one of my favorite places to go.  Since the weather was so amazing, after lunch at Mo's we spent some time on the beach.

It was a lot of fun getting to spend time with Kinsey too, since she is back up in Portland, and not right down the road to spend time with whenever I wanted to.  I am so thankful to have a sister that I love, but also that I love spending time with, and think of as a best friend....so proud of that girl.
After coming back from the beach, we had a couple of down days, and then my friend Lizzie asked me a question that I wasn't expecting..."Will you drive with me from Salem to Philly?"  For those who don't know that is over 3,000 miles of driving...my answer was yes...more to come about that trip soon :)