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What I Learn

Adventuring with Baby Bearden

There are less than 100 days until Baby B’s due date! Time is flying, but at the same time, I see and love how God is helping Alex and me savor this very sweet season.

Below, I answered some of the questions people most often ask. Not really. I just made up these questions just in case you wanted to know the answers. I also just want to remember these things.

When did you find out you were pregnant?

I found out on Alex’s birthday, May 20th, one week before we moved. While I hadn’t had any morning sickness, I woke up a few mornings that week feeling really thirsty and hungry, which was weird for me. And on my run the day before, I felt tired about 2 miles in to where I stopped running and walked home. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d cut a run short like that. It wasn’t like anything was hurting or wrong other than I just felt exhausted.

Anyway, on Saturday, May 20th, I woke up early to run with The Kenyan Way. We had plans to go to St. Arnold Brewery that afternoon to celebrate Alex’s birthday with friends, and I thought about how I didn’t want to drink beer on the off chance I was pregnant. So, literally the first thing I did at 5 am was take a pregnancy test. Within the minute, that little plus sign popped up and my heart skipped a beat or two. I walked out of the bathroom to rummage for a piece of paper in the kitchen and scribble “Happy Birthday Alex! (OMG)” on it to place next to the test. By the time I’d done that, Alex had gone into the bathroom and seen the test. He came out saying calmly, “Did you look at this yet?”

We both were pretty quiet as we drove to Memorial Park a few minutes later. I prayed a whole lot during that 10 mile run and just let myself go through all the emotions. Looking back, I think it was the best thing I could have done after finding out.

At 6 weeks, Baby Bearden was the size of a sweet pea!

How big is she now?

At 26 weeks, she is about 14 inches head to toe and 2 pounds. Depending on the pregnancy app, that could be comparable to a head of iceberg lettuce, scallions, or a Tickle-Me Elmo.

Here were are a couple of days ago at 26 weeks.


Watching her move around at my 20 week scan was one of my favorite moments ever!

At the risk of sounding cheesy, my favorite part is that there is a miracle growing inside of me. There’s just no denying how amazing God is to create life. I love that she kicks so often now. She especially wiggles and kicks when I am still – sitting with my feet propped up or when I’m laying down in bed. Knowing she is alive and doing her thing is such a comfort and I continually thank God for the gift. She is already a bundle of joy. I really do like the growing belly, though it seems to feel cuter and littler in the morning than at the end of the day.

Have you had any weird cravings?

No, unless ice cream and pickles count (not together…ew).  I’m more opinionated about food – how much, how often, what I eat – than ever before, and I *try* to eat mostly healthy. Alex is still waiting for an urgent “I need a Grande Chalupa meal from Taco Bell PRONTO” middle-of-the-night wake up from me. (He loves that place J)

What’s hard about being pregnant for you?

Frequent potty trips. I’m no stranger to drinking lots of water throughout the day and therefore lots of bathroom breaks, but it has gotten out of hand. Also I’m starting to wake up more during the night needing to change positions (and of course to use the bathroom) and with lots of thoughts swirling around in my mind.

How are you feeling?

Physically, I feel great. Sure, by this point, there are a couple of things I could complain about (see above) but overall I feel really good. Also, I’ve felt uncomfortable running at times over the last few weeks and so have begun to walk/run more. I’ve also started doing some prenatal yoga, which feels relaxing and wonderful. I plan to stay active, whether that’s with running, walking, yoga, swimming, whatever, as long as it is safe and not painful.

Emotionally, I have had a handful of out-of-nowhere heavy cries, mostly in front of Alex. He is awesome at letting me cry it out and not making me feel crazy. Being pregnant is stretching me spiritually, which I think is probably just a glimpse of how motherhood will stretch me. When faced with something I’ve never experienced before (in this case, growing a baby, laboring, and becoming a mom), I tend to worry. But God, He is SO gracious. Over and over He shows me that if I will just look into his face and trust in His goodness, no matter the outcome, this doesn’t have to be so scary. And He has provided awesome mom friends to speak truth about this season and help prepare me for what to expect in labor and motherhood.

Do you have a name for Baby B?

No. Naming a child feels like a huge responsibility and is more difficult than I ever thought it’d be! Alex and I have a running list of our favorites. At this point I think it could be fun to narrow it down to two and wait until she’s born when we can look at her and decide which one fits best. J

How can I pray for you?

I would cherish your prayers for a full-term, continued healthy pregnancy and delivery. Most of all, please pray that I will trust Jesus with each little and big thing that comes along and that our baby girl will someday too. Please pray He continues to grow Alex and me in wisdom and in our marriage and prepares us for the journey of parenthood.

Thank you for sharing the joy with us!

I want to acknowledge that while baby talk and bump pics can be full of joy for some, they can bring heartache for others. For those who have experienced loss, infertility, or are in the hopeful yet uncertain season of longing, I just want to say you are not alone, and most of all, God sees you and loves you deeply.



What I Learn

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

It’s been fun rediscovering a love for reading these past few months. I told you already about my beloved new library card, and it still makes me so excited. If you’re in a reading slump or on the hunt for some fresh options, dive into one of these five:

She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away
Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams

I read this book after hearing one of the authors on my favorite podcast. Myers and Williams share their stories in alternating chapters and weave them together beautifully by showing that even though our circumstances are all very different and constantly changing, there is ultimately “One Hero and one Story” that does not change. This was a life-shaping read for me. Also, I was 7 weeks pregnant and bawled a whole lot.

Whether you are on a mountain or in a valley in your life right now, this book is for you. I’m not usually a repeat reader but I want to read this again soon.

The Magnolia Story
Chip and Joanna Gaines

Be still my heart. I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard “Fixer Upper” fan, mostly because I don’t have a TV, but I’ve walked my fair share of miles on the treadmill in the gym just so I could catch Chip and Joanna work their magic in Waco.

After reading their story, I have so much respect and love for the Gaines family. Their faith and philosophy on family and home life is sweet and inspiring. If you read this, you may feel less sad about the end of “Fixer Upper.” Maybe.  I hear that the audible version of this book with Chip and Jo narrating is really wonderful.  

Harry Potter
J. K. Rowling

I didn’t start the Harry Potter series until I was a junior in high school, soon before the 7th and final book was published. I loved them then and now. It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 or 100; the series is full of whimsy, suspense, and fun! So far I’ve re-read the first five and am taking a break to read more adult-y books. Oh, I will return.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
Shauna Niequist

At the risk of sounding bossy, READ THIS BOOK if you’re at all interested in food, hospitality, or friendship. I love how each tiny chapter tells a meaningful story from Niequist’s life, and most are followed by a recipe. This read came at the perfect time. I’m so interested in hospitality and want to make every recipe in the book. So far I’ve made Blueberry Crisp, Breakfast Quinoa, Green Well Salad, and White Chicken Chili.

I also adored Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect, another memoir-style that deeply challenged me on what’s important in life and how being less busy can help us “accomplish” more.

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
Pamela Druckerman

This was an interesting read. The author compares American and French parenting when it comes to things like meals, child care, crying babies, and bending – or not bending – to a child’s every whim. It’s not a “how-to” book on parenting but provides a glimpse into Druckerman’s experience of French culture, which I appreciated.

The downside: I felt like she made sweeping generalizations about both cultures. (French people simply don’t snack between meals? French babies sleep through the night earlier than American babies? French children aren’t picky eaters?) I took those with a grain of salt. The book as a whole provided some techniques to chew on, and I liked her quirky writing. Two out of five stars.

Now I’m reading Steadfast Love by Lauren Chandler and Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and enjoying them both so far. What are you currently reading? Comment below. I’d love to hear!

What I Learn

the happy hour LIVE! and Saying Yes

Have you ever stumbled upon a Best Day Ever kind of day? A day so unbelievably and perhaps unexpectedly splendid that you are totally in the moment, listening to every word, smelling every scent, tasting every morsel, enjoying every minute? I think these days can (and should!) happen more than once, but they are rare, and you can’t force them.

Friday was a Best Day Ever kind of day. My dear friend Ashley flew down from Illinois, and we  attended the happy hour LIVE! with Jamie Ivey just outside of Austin in Elgin, Texas. Since becoming faithful fans of Jamie’s podcast, Ashley and I have had this event on our bucket list. I am so grateful we had the opportunity to make it happen! The 30 hours we spent together after eight whole months apart was invaluable, and the event was all I had hoped it would be and more.

We got all gussied up, stepped onto the Pinterest perfect Green Acres scene, had our photos taken in the photo bus, talked with the gracious and lovely Jamie, noshed on a delicious Venezuelan dinner by Four Brothers in Austin, dove into our swag bags of so many goodies including Noonday earrings and a She Reads Truth Bible(!), and gathered under the stars with over 100 other women who love Jesus and love to laugh. (Side note: new bucket list item is to go glamping at Green Acres.)

In the words of Jamie herself, the night was “an amazing beat down.” It was one of those magical settings that made me pause with gratitude and awe at getting to be included. I felt pretty. I felt joyful being surrounded by lots of smiling women. Best of all, I felt community. Community is its own kind of fun. I need it badly. And God knows that.

In Annie Downs’ book Let’s All Be Brave, she writes about how she promised herself she’d say yes to all opportunities to be with new people when she first moved to Nashville. So lately, back in Tyler, God is sending this introverted girl opportunities to say yes to community – through going back to a vibrant, local church even though I haven’t tried all the other ones, through the local women’s Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) and through invitations to do this or that with new friends and with old friends passing through – a picnic, a meal at home, an impromptu visit to the zoo, even to babysit for an hour. Of course, I can and want to take the initiative at times to reach out to others, but how sweet it is of Jesus to give us opportunities to say yes.

What opportunities has He given you lately?