Announcement #2

 - by Eric

I figure I ought to write this post considering it mainly affects my life, though it should also prove to be an adjustment for the entire family as well. The big news is…*drumroll please*……*no seriously, do a drumroll*…I got a promotion to what is most likely my dream job!

I don’t want to go into too many details about the whole story because there are a few people at the office that are still very set in their ways in terms of “managing” my free-speech. Earlier in the year, I was disappointed in the way my opportunities were turning out. I have always had a strong desire to work in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in a Chinese-speaking country. Well, about halfway through the year, I came to realize that the opportunities I was developing fell through.
It was somewhat sad and disappointing that my ambitions were not being fulfilled, and to top it all off, I was essentially dinged at work because I wanted to take the initiative (on my own time, even) and improve the efficiency of some of the internal processes that I worked in every day. In short, me != happy camper.

Brittny’s note: For those of you uninitiated into programmer speak “!=” is how you express “does not equal” in many programming languages.  So Eric was saying he wasn’t a happy camper.  I now return you to your regularly scheduled Eric blog post :P

So I did the next most logical thing: I start looking elsewhere for opportunities to grow and develop my skills and talents. I searched for opportunities all over the country, from New York to San Diego. After a few months, I had a few job actual job offers in hand, but at the same time, I was reluctant to accept any of these other offers because I really enjoyed the people I worked with and I felt like I was part of a stable, long-term company that I could work for until I retired. Of course, that was only if I could find a legitimate reason to stay, namely finding a way to develop my talents, abilities, and career paths. When I expressed my concerns and desires, I was fortunately able to discover some unforeseen options I could pursue, but they were not guaranteed.

The key part of the story is this: I had a specific offer letter in hand, but I wanted to stay and pursue these new options. I really did not know what to do. I prayed constantly for days on end to know what to do. I went to the temple and pondered my various choices that lay before me. Yet still after all I did, I still felt confused, distraught, and like I did not have a real answer. After weighing the choices, I decided to go with the new options, even though I was not certain to get them. Immediately after I made the decision, a feeling of peace came over me. It was simply night and day, and I knew that I had made the right choice. It reminded me that God answers prayers in His own way and own time, not according to my schedule. It was a good lesson to relearn.

So as you can tell from the title of the post, the new local options worked out for me! Now I get to really shift into an excellent career space that I always wanted to be in. I’ve accepted a job as an Emerging Markets Manager in charge of applying our company’s products to the Digital Home market, things like Set-top boxes, internet-connected TVs, and video game consoles, oh yeah! Innovation, research, and creativity–everything that I wanted in a job. The pay raise is much appreciated, too!

So that’s the second big announcement as of late, but stayed tuned because we have more coming up soon!

Birthdays, Babies, and Bated Breath

 - by Eric

written by Eric

I figured it’s been awhile since I’ve really contributed a post, so in light of my recent birthday, I figured I take a crack at it, though I am not as entertaining a story-teller as Brittny seems to be.

First off, thanks to everyone who helped make my birthday party a blast. Brittny gave me some great clothes to help “professionalize” my wardrobe, especially since I hate clothes shopping, I’m glad I could have some help on that front. While I am able to wear more comfortable styles of clothing in my current job, I do hope to move up the corporate ladder eventually. So now I can dress for the job I want to have, right?

It’s crazy to think I have lived for a quarter of a century now. I’ve lived through the fall of the Berlin wall, introduction of the Internet, miniaturization of technology, and the continual degradation of what used to be common moral values (Enron, wide acceptance of unchaste behavior, and so on). Ten years ago, I had incredibly high aspirations for what I wanted do and where I wanted to be in my life at this point. The high expectations are still there, albeit tempered by understanding of the actual work it will take to achieve my goals. Also, changes come into my life that help me see a better path than my original desires. China, for example, I have come to believe will be a big part of my future.

Speaking of which, we are still trying to be patient in waiting to find out about upcoming opportunities to work abroad. It is a little frustrating at times to see how slow things are moving, but we are keeping our hopes up because we know we are supposed to be there, whether it be later rather than sooner.

Sam has been growing so well recently. He is fun and full of life, learning something new each and every day. Most recently, the little tike has started climbing up and down everything he can. The coffee table in our front room has become the obstacle of choice this past week. He climbs up on top, stands and then patters around in a circle for a few laps. Then, he lays down on his side and deftly and safely slides off the edge. It’s quite impressive considering I didn’t even learn to walk until my first birthday.

Other than that, our family has enjoyed watching some really neat Olympic events. Despite quite a few difficulties experienced by the hosts, most of the competitions were really amazing and fun to watch. Congratulations to USA to setting the record on the medals count this year.

Well, I think I have covered recent events. I know Brittny is planning on writing about our trip to California mid-February, so I will encourage to finish that quickly. Until next time…love life, laugh loud, and lead onward.

Two Cheers for Tier II!

 - by Eric

Just a short update for this week before I go to bed, but we have two pieces of very exciting news.

First and foremost, I am officially graduated now! It feels like a long time coming, but in all reality–especially when you consider the time I took out for my mission–I was still able to graduate with a degree in 4.5 years instead of the usual four! Not bad when you consider I changed majors from Computer Science to Information Systems about halfway through my education. Learning Chinese amongst all the wonderful experiences I had in Taiwan gave me a far greater education, in my opinion. And to top it off, it was also really nice to see the family come up and give us support.

Our family just outside the Marriott Center

The second great piece of news is that I got the promotion at work! It is nice to finally be going in a more substantial direction that my education and experience qualifies me for. It’s not that I didn’t like my old jobs at the Network Operations Center or in Technical Support, but I feel like there is so much more I can offer. These jobs were important but very limited in the scope of my possible contributions. Here’s to the first step on our path toward the future!

The Verdict Is In

 - by Eric

I promised you all that I would let you know what our family’s plans were, and I am happy to say that we have an answer now to what lies in our long-term future. After much deliberation (which you can read about in detail in Brittny’s entry in her family’s blog) we have decided to plan on moving to China. However, that doesn’t mean we currently have a specific plan or an official job offer to get us there. We just know it’s where we need to end up in the imminent future.

So that meant we canceled the pending offer on the really nice house that we were about to commit to buying. Now we have about a week to find an apartment that rents out for short-term leases or month-to-month contracts. So this hectic stage of our life is not over quite yet.

Sometimes I think God tests our resolve to do His will at the more inconvenient points in our lives. That way it is a true test of our actual character. It was particularly intriguing to me that we tried by every means possible prior to the point-of-no-return deadline on our house contract to gather data and find out at least a little more about our options so that we could make an informed decision. All of these avenues we pursued were dead ends, and I believe it was to let us make a decision by faith. It is good to know that we are headed in the right direction.

Two Transitions Too Soon

 - by Eric

So, as you can tell by my writing this entry, I have survived through the past week. After taking my History 202 final last Monday afternoon, I began my History 201 class later that night. From that point onward, I did little else but study and work on this class. I worked through the night to complete the lessons and quizzes for the first half of the classes. On Tuesday afternoon, I went into the testing center and took a three-hour long essay written midterm. That night, the studying continued as I finished the remaining lessons and quizzes for the class, 14 in all. It took me until Wednesday evening before I started on the class project, a 2,000-word research term paper, complete with bibliographical references. Last, but not least, I had to take another three-hour long essay written final on Thursday before going in to work. It was a crazy three and a half days, but I am finally done and graduation is now around the corner!

During all this mess, I took solace in the thought that soon my family and I would be moving into a house and settling in to a nice life, or so it seemed. For those of you who don’t know, I recently applied and was interviewed for an internal promotion to an Technical Services Engineer. I felt I did rather well during the interview process, and that is why we decided we ought to buy a house. This past Tuesday night, however, I discovered another potential job opportunity that might take me to China. So now we have until this Friday to decide which offer we will pursue and consequently decide where we will be living for the next few years, at least. We’ll be sure to post an update as soon as we have this next big mess is figured out.

Baby update post

 - by Brittny

So, since I’ve made you all wait for a whole month for a new baby bump shot I figure I better get that out of the way first.
It’s hard to gauge how big I’m getting since I see myself every day… and my size doesn’t change drastically from one day to the next. In fact, I took this picture and thought that it probably looked about the same as the last one we’d taken. Boy was I wrong! (you can see that picture in this post) I knew I was gaining weight, I guess it just hadn’t set in how much I’d really put on! Although the Wii Fit has given me no false notions of where I stand weight wise…
Don’t worry, I didn’t really gain a ton of weight all of a sudden at the end of December. When my family got a Wii Fit for Christmas we realized that the solution to using the Wii Fit on carpet… was the carpet extenders that came with our Wii Fit in the first place! Somehow we’d missed them when we were setting our’s up. Unfortunately it means that we both suddenly gained about 10 lbs according to the Wii Fit (not a great way to boost your self-esteem), but on the plus side my Wii weight is now much more similar to what they’ve been telling me I weigh at the doctor’s office. Oh, and don’t think I’m super shy about my actual weight. I post the BMI graph because it shows the whole scale for the past three months… it gets cut off on the bottom when I look at the actual weight graph.

So it’s kind of hard to believe but we’re now in the home stretch of this pregnancy. About a month and a half from now we should have our little Samuel here! We’re very excited about it. I will stop commuting and work exclusively from home starting at the end of this week which will be an interesting change. I’ve been slowly trying to make that transition. Unfortunately, since our company moved buildings this summer I’ve really grown a lot closer to my co-workers. There were a few changes on our team just before the move and somehow making that move and having the new environment sort of bonded us all together as a team more so than before. Anyways, while I’m not sad in the least to be giving up the commute, I will be sad to not get to interact with my colleagues in the same way.

I think we’re getting a lot closer to actually being ready for Samuel to come. As we mentioned in a previous post we got a crib from Rhett and Julie, which we set up just after New Year’s. It’s been hard to give up having an office since we’d gotten used to it over the past few months. But almost all of the random stuff that had accumulated in there has been moved out to our storage closet and it now houses a lot of baby stuff. We were really blessed and got a TON of stuff from my Uncle Paul and Aunt Stacy since they were getting rid of a lot of the things they had for their son that was born during the spring of last year. We have two huge Rubbermaid containers and a box full of clothes, a bag of bottles, a vibrating chair, a carseat and a bunch of other stuff from them! Thank you soo much Paul and Stacy!! Now we basically just need some diapers and wipes and we should be good to go. Ok, so there are several other things that we would like to get before then as well, but it’s definitely reassuring to know that we’ve got most of the things in order already.

As far as I go, I’m still feeling really good. Still dealing with heartburn, and getting a little bit more tired. Other than that, my biggest complaint is that it’s getting harder and harder to get up off of our comfortable memory foam mattress :) Eric now has to shove me out of bed, not because I don’t want to get out… but because I get stuck! I’m feeling really blessed to have such limited symptoms. Last Sunday I was looking around our ward at some of the other pregnant women. There was one woman in particular who I looked at and thought, “Man, she’s huge and looks really uncomfortable. She must be ready to pop!” I looked at the Relief Society binder and looked up her due date… it’s exactly one month AFTER mine. So, I’m definitely feeling grateful for how easy I’ve had it. But I am growing right on track so far. I have another appointment tomorrow and I’m anticipating my doctor to tell me that everything’s looking good like she has for the past few appointments.

Hopefully you’re not offended by seeing my bare tummy… it’s really funny to watch it move on its own!

Getting away from baby news, Eric just finished his last first week of classes! Wahoo! Between the 14 credit hours he’s taking, going full time at Omniture and having a baby this semester he’s definitely got his plate full! We’re hoping that he’ll be able to pass the Physical Science 100 exemption exam this week so he can eliminate 3 of those credits, but he’ll still be really busy all semester. And yes, you did read that right, Eric is now officially a full time employee at Omniture. He made the transition from being part-time at 30 hours to being full-time at 32 hours at the beginning of the year. It’s not a huge change scheduling-wise, he still works basically the same shift as before. However, now he is a full-time employee with benefits, woot!

Of Epsom Salts and Roses

 - by Brittny

Wow, November totally got away from us! Sorry for the lack of posts last month. I’d promise that we’ll do better, but I know that the holidays are now in full swing and it’s only going to get more difficult to post regularly for the next month or so. Instead I’ll just apologize in advance and get on with this post.

I guess we never posted about what we did for Thanksgiving. We’ve been switching which family we spend which holidays with so that neither Eric’s family or my family feels neglected (well, Kyle feels neglected whenever we spend a holiday with Eric’s side instead of with him… but he can’t feel justifiably neglected :) ) Last year we did Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Eric’s, so this year we were scheduled to do Thanksgiving with Eric’s family. Luckily for us, Eric’s parents were recently called on a mission to serve at the Church Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City helping with the medical programs coming from Church Headquarters. So, we didn’t have to go very far! It’s so much more difficult to really get away in the middle of a semester so it was a blessing to not have to try to travel during this time. Instead we went to Eric’s brother Mike’s house in Herriman and spent the holiday with his family, Eric’s parents and sister Diane’s family. It was pretty low key but super fun to get to go hang out with everyone. Plus, Mike’s wife Marianela is an AMAZING cook, so the food was delicious. Eric did have to work that evening unfortunately, but he was able to just set up his computer in Mike’s office and take calls from there. He only had one call come in the entire night which was definitely a blessing so that he could spend more time with the family instead of on the phone. It was a wonderful day and we enjoyed having a chance to reflect on our blessings – especially the blessings of our wonderful families :)

So, what’s been going on with us more recently? Well, earlier this week Eric asked me out on a date. That might seem like a silly thing but if we don’t make plans specifically our Friday nights generally end up with us getting take out food and watching a movie on our couch. Which is always nice at the end of a long week, but every so often Eric will ask me out on a date (as if I had someone else in mind that I might spend my Friday night with :P ) and we’ll have a real night out. I’m always really excited when he does so because it’s just a fun break from our normal routine. So we planned that after work on Friday we’d come home, shower and get all dressed up to go out and then do whatever Eric had planned. While I was getting ready (I had curlers in my hair at the time), Eric surprised me with these…

Pretty pink roses!

There wasn’t any special occasion involved or anything, just Eric being sweet. I was really touched. I may not be the most girly girl or anything like that, but I can definitely appreciate flowers. They’re beautiful and definitely made me feel special just that he’d think of me and get me some pretty flowers! So, it was a really great way to start off the evening. We went to Macaroni Grill, which is one of our favorite restaurants, and Eric had a gift certificate from helping a guy in his class with some computer stuff. We have a tendency to fill up too much on their bread (it’s sooo good!) at the beginning of the meal, so neither of us made it very far through our actual meals. But that was ok since we just brought them home to reheat and enjoy later. From there we went to the new theater at the University Mall to see Twilight. I’d already seen it once, but I loved the books and wasn’t sad to see it again (even though there’s one scene that’s not great for those who pass out when presented with lots of blood, i.e. me, I enjoyed the rest of the movie so much it outweighed that scene. Plus, since I knew where that scene was I was able to prepare myself in advance). Eric has read the books (just for kicks) as well, so he was able to enjoy himself well enough. Overall, we thought they did a pretty good job, but there’s definitely room for improvement the upcoming sequels–I won’t bore anyone with more of our analysis than that. It was really fun just to have a dedicated date night and enjoy being together. I want to do better about planning similar occasions for Eric because I know how special it makes me feel when he does that for me, and I want him to feel that special too.

In other news, I’ve had lots of demands for updated baby bump pictures so we’ll get that out of the way now:

Originally I was wearing a black shirt, but there was a slight shadow around me that was hard to separate from me so we decided to re-take in a different colored shirt.

I’m starting to get pretty big! I’ve been tracking my weight gain with our Wii Fit. It’s kind of funny because with the Wii Fit you can set a weight goal for yourself and then track it… and right now my goal is to be overweight. I don’t think the Wii Fit is very impressed with my goal, but I wanted to be able to track my weight gain and make sure that I don’t gain too much or too little. It doesn’t seem like I gain that much from week to week but it was really cool to be able to look at the graph and see my weight gain over the past 2 1/2 months:

I’m getting so close to being overweight!!

I guess I’ve gained a lot more than I realized! It makes sense since my stomach is getting bigger and bigger, but somehow the weight gain hadn’t seemed as significant since I was weighing myself pretty much every day as I play with the Wii Fit.

Samuel is starting to move a TON. I have never been so amused by my own stomach in my entire life! I can sit down in the evenings and watch as he kicks and punches me hard enough that you can see my whole stomach move. It’s the most bizarre feeling but so cool to think of the little person inside of me that we’re going to get to meet in not too long! What’s really fun is that Samuel responds to Eric touching my stomach but not anyone else. Whenever Eric will be cuddled with me or just touch my stomach he tends to get kicked. Hopefully that means that Samuel really likes him, and not that he’s trying to kick his dad in the face! I can’t believe we have less than 12 weeks until my due date. I’m still feeling really well and I’m just counting that as a blessing. I do have some pretty good heartburn which is weird for me since I’ve never really had heartburn pre-pregnancy. However, it’s nothing that I can’t handle with some Tums, and I figure the extra calcium is good for me anyways (oh, and Otter Pops really help too – thanks Amber for that tip!!). That’s really about the only symptom I have right now, which is pretty good for being in my third trimester.

We got a crib yesterday which we’re super excited about! Eric’s sister Julie was cleaning out some closets and found their crib that they don’t need anymore. It’s perfect for us since we’d been debating whether or not to buy a crib right now anyways. We didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on a crib and then find out that we were moving to Taiwan in May (still no word on whether that’s going to happen or not–Eric says it’s normal for Omniture to take this long) and have to either move it or buy a new one when we get there anyways. I figure Samuel will probably mostly sleep in a bassinet for those couple of months anyways so it seemed like it was potentially a huge waste of money. But now we have a crib whether we move or not! Thanks soo much Julie and Rhett!!

Let’s see, other important things that happened this week. Oh, Eric got his toe cut off by the podiatrist. Okay, so not really, but that’s what I like to say happened. Eric’s had an ingrown toenail that had slowly gotten worse and worse for the past few months and we decided it was finally time for him to just go to a podiatrist and have them take care of it. Really all they had to do was cut off a large chunk of his toenail and use some acid to kill the root of the part that was becoming overgrown. We forgot to take pictures of it before, but here’s some pictures of it now:

Here it is pre-soak with his Epsom salts and antibiotic ointment.

He’s supposed to soak it in water with epsom salts every day until it’s healed and then put the antibiotic ointment on it and keep a bandaid on it.

It has healed so fast! I think if we’d realized how easy the whole thing was going to be and how much better his toe would be we’d have done it a lot sooner. But we’re glad he’s done it now! And we’re definitely glad for insurance so that the procedure hardly cost us anything.

I guess those are our highlights from the past couple of weeks. Eric is getting ready for finals now which has kept us up later in the evenings and he’s been super busy. He had a paper or a project due every day this last week and was up really late completing them. Hopefully this next week will be a lot easier for him! I think he’s looking forward to having two weeks off for Christmas and getting a chance to just relax. I know I’m excited, and I don’t even get the two weeks off! That’s pretty much all from us for now. Hope everyone has a great week!

Thanks Volkswagen for a preview of our baby!

 - by Brittny

I saw this on the Criddles blog and this just looked too fun. For whatever reason I think that the Volkswagon Routan commercials are hil-ar-ious. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can see the commercial here:

Don’t worry, we’re having our baby for love, not for German engineering :)

Tentatively our baby’s name will be Samuel Eric Hansen, but it’s still open for other options. We’ll probably post a poll here in a little bit with the names that are still contenders. We’re open to constructive criticism on any of our names. We figure it’s easier to get the weird nicknames out now instead of when he’s in first grade and being picked on by bullies. I think our current names that we’re considering are Samuel (obviously), Keegan, and Jaron.

As far as other things go, it’s been a busy few weeks. We were helping my parents out before the election as they were heavily involved with the Yes on 8 campaign in California. It’s an issue that we feel strongly about and wish we could have done more to support. We’ve been sickened as we’ve watched all of the protesting against our church for their support of this issue (go figure, I’d always thought tolerance meant allowing people to have their beliefs even if they disagree with your own – apparently it means you have to have the same beliefs as the liberals have).

Right after Prop 8 passed – my sister got engaged! We’re really excited for Taylor and her fiancé Ryan! I’m so glad that she’s found someone who loves her and that she loves too. They’re a great couple and we’ll be glad to have Ryan as part of the family.

Eric got through his insane weeks of midterms and is back to his normal level of insanity, which is definitely nice. He should be interviewing for a position in Taiwan with Omniture sometime in the next few weeks so we’re keeping our fingers crossed! It could be a really awesome opportunity for us and we’re definitely excited for it!

As for me, I’m just plugging away at work and getting ready for this baby to come! He’s started moving a lot, and it’s still a really weird feeling to get used to. My tummy is definitely growing and I find I get stuck more easily if I sit or lay down. There’s too much of me! I can’t get up! However, other than that, I’m still feeling really really good. I get heartburn but it’s been pretty mild, and Tums seem to take care of it pretty easily. I’ve decided to just enjoy this part of the pregnancy while I can. Only 15 weeks until my due date!! One of the weird things with the baby coming and us thinking of moving to Taiwan, is I’m not entirely sure what things to buy before the baby comes. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to buy everything here for a fully stocked nursery… just to have to pack it all up and take it to Taiwan. I guess we’ll have to see how that all pans out.

Playing Wife

 - by Brittny

Yesterday I got to play my favorite game – wife! Most of you are probably thinking, “um, Brittny, you ARE a wife… what do you mean by playing wife?” You see, most days I go to work and am away from the house for about 11 hours out of the day to be in Salt Lake City. When I come home in the evenings I usually have just enough time to make dinner, pack it up into tupperware and take it over to Omniture where I eat it with Eric. By the time I get home for real it’s usually 9pm at the earliest, which doesn’t exactly leave me with a plethora of time for doing wife-y things such as dishes, laundry, cleaning etc. As un-glamorous as those things may sound I love the feeling of having put our house in order and making real food – rather than just pasta roni.

However, yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning which meant that I had already asked for permission to work from home, saving myself the 2 hours of commute time. In anticipation of staying home on Monday I had worked a little later a few nights last week so that I wouldn’t have to spend as much of the morning working. All these things added together meant that I had a fair amount of extra time yesterday for “playing wife”!

So first of all, we had the doctor’s appointment. I had made the appointment for 9am since we didn’t know what Eric’s school schedule was going to be like when I made the appointment I had decided to err on the side of setting an appointment too early (9am is their very first appointment of the day) since it seemed less likely that Eric would sign up for classes that were that early. Well, I was right on one thing – Eric definitely doesn’t have classes that early! Since his classes are all after 2pm and we don’t have church until 10:30am there is never a morning where Eric has to be up before 9am and normally he would still get to be asleep instead of at the doctor’s at that time of the day. Sorry love! Luckily he was a good sport and came with me anyways :)

When we got in they placed us in the ultrasound room to wait for the doctor which definitely raised our hopes. We knew that they offered the gender ultrasound as early as 16 weeks at my office and I am 17 weeks along currently. Of course, we weren’t scheduled for an ultrasound so we didn’t really think that we’d get to do it then, but still our hopes were raised a little bit. The appointment went really well. Things have been going really well with the pregnancy lately. All the rumors are true! The second trimester really is a lot easier! We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again, which is always exciting. Plus, we got to schedule the ultrasound! We should get to find out the baby’s gender on October 7th – two weeks from today. Wahoo!! So if you haven’t voted on the flavor of baby we’re having in our poll, you have two weeks left to make your voice heard! We’ll post on here as soon as we know for sure and probably some pictures from the ultrasound too so you can see our baby! We’re definitely excited to find out what kind of baby we’re going to have!!

After the appointment I took Eric to a meeting at Omniture while he had the 500 mile maintenance done on his bike, and I went to the grocery store. I’d decided that since I had some extra time I was going to make garlic sirloin for dinner, so I needed some ingredients. I started putting it all together when we got home in hopes that I’d be able to have it all ready for dinner (it’s cooked in a slow cooker for at least 6 hours so I had to get it ready earlier rather than later). Well, at 4pm I finally finished putting the final touches on it. It probably would have helped if I had known earlier that a clove of garlic is one of the little pods within a bulb… not the full bulb. Since we didn’t want to be eating dinner at 10pm I put the roast in the fridge so we could cook it today, and we had Taiwanese breakfast burgers instead (one of our favorite simple meals – toasted hamburger buns with sausage, a fried egg, thinly chopped cucumber and ketchup, apparently they’re a pretty common thing to have for breakfast in Taiwan – go figure!). We had the roast today and it was SO good. Nothing like what we were aiming for – the garlic sirloin that they have at Tucanos– but it was a really delicious dinner.

The other good thing that happened yesterday is that my BellaBand came! No, a BellaBand has nothing to do with the main character from the Twilight series, it’s a piece of maternity clothing. It’s basically a band that goes around the waist and helps pregnant women extend their wardrobes. Here’s a picture of the band in action:

The BellaBand in action

Basically right now I can wear it with my normal pre-pregnancy pants and it will hold my pants up if I want to wear them unbuttoned and even unzipped a little bit, without it looking like I’m a moron that forgot to zip up their pants. SUCH a blessing! My pants have been feeling really tight as this baby is growing, but I’m definitely not pregnant enough yet to really be ready for maternity pants. As you can see in the picture, the band has uses for all different stages of pregnancy. As I get more pregnant and my pre-pregnancy pants don’t fit anymore, I can use it with maternity pants that will inevitably be too big at first to help hold them up. Later on it’s really good for supporting that great big tummy. And after the baby is born it helps as I slowly lose the extra weight and can transition back to normal clothes again. I’m definitely very excited about this purchase :)

I guess that’s about it from me for now. My family is coming up next weekend for conference and I’m way excited to see them. Other than that I’m mostly just counting down the days until we find out our baby’s gender!!

The Value of Family

 - by Eric

You know, it’s hard for me to understand how some people focus their entire life into their work. It is as if they expect work to be completely and utterly fulfilling. I recently had an experience that strengthened my views regarding work and family.

If you didn’t hear already, I have this sweet job at Omniture working as a Mandarin Technical Consultant. I get to use my language skills, I am expanding my understanding of the Internet industry, and they treat me very well as an employee.

But no matter how well a job can treat you, your work doesn’t care about you first. It can’t. At least not in this capitalistic society. Your work cares about making money, and it’s easy to see that seeking only money does not bring true happiness.

Last Saturday, we had an Omniture Super Summer Shindig at Thanksgiving Point. We were supposed to be able to pick up passports to the park and all that fun stuff once we arrived at the check-in. Nope. They dropped the ball and didn’t even come close to bringing it. And while they had so many rides and games and fun things to do with all of your coworkers, it paled in comparison with a simple family get together at my brother Mike’s house.

We just brought some food, cooked it up and ate together. Brittny and I got to play with nieces and nephews, and the simple joys that it brought to our family were greater than anything Omniture could ever give me. The simple peace I have waking up next to my beautiful wife and knowing that we are in this together is more wonderful than any level of financial stability. This is the power of family.