Opinions on Minions

A quick shout out to one of the folks on my team... we'll call him Tyler. He called me out for the fact that I have not updated my blog in, oh, FOREVER, and so here it is.

Last time I posted was, oh... NEW YEAR'S DAY 2015. And it was about my resolution of keeping up with my blog because it had been so long. What an absolute failure of a resolution. Then I made that resolution again. And failed again. For those of you who take the time to read these, I apologize. And I should know that if I were actually good about staying on top of this, my blogs wouldn't be so freaking lengthy. At this point in time I have a year and a half (plus) to catch everyone up on!  (Don't worry, I only chose a handful of things to chat about... it's long, but it could be worse.)

So where to start, where to start...  

Axel :  He's always a good topic and the reason the blog was created. He's now three. Yup, he's entered the Threenage years. Serenity now.

The Axman started in a new preschool this year.  Little Sunshine's Playhouse and Preschool.  It's a phenomenal program and school and we're so glad to have found it. The school looks like a little Fairytale cottage, has great teachers, big windows, natural wood and warm colors inside. They supply meals to little man... the boy eats well. I kid you not that I have received updates from them saying, "Axel really enjoyed his meatloaf today - he had five servings!" Yeah. He eats well. He had his three year doctor's appointment last week. We're moving up in the height department - he's now in the 40th percentile. Annnnnd 75% in weight. :)

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. This picture was taken on his third birthday. We went to visit some dear friends in Coppell, TX, just outside of Dallas - Coppell has a lovely fireworks display on July 3th - not the 4th. Axel fully believed that all of these people were gathered to watch fireworks (as Axel says, "Cracker Fires") just for him and that the fireworks were being set off in celebration of his third birthday. Right before this picture was taken, he looked at me and said, "Momma, I'm so happy". *MELT*

BTW - I have been trying to educate myself on the fact that if I were better at updating my blog, my posts would not be near as long - therefore they wouldn't take as much time and effort to put together. I am going to STRIVE to get better here but no promises. I realize that since it has been so long, there are a LOT of updates to provide...

Let's start from the beginning... January 2015. (YES! OMG I AM HORRIBLE) I'll try and call out some of the highlights/lowlights worth sharing.I think the biggest highlight of January 2015 was the fact that Axel's sister, Brittany, and her boyfriend, Hunter, opted to move to Texas! This was a really exciting thing for us; and I couldn't have been happier for Axel. He absolutely loves his sister and he adores Hunter (better known as Bubba in the Bernfeld house). They stayed with us for about a month, and then Hunter and Brittany moved a mile down the road to an apartment. Shortly afterwards, Hunter's brother, Dylan (known as Uncle D) and their friend, Kenny, moved in with them as well. So a little Florida community was formed in Round Rock, TX.

The kids were a huge help to me, especially as Delilah, our younger dane was hit with Bloat (Gastric Torsion) which is often lethal to dogs. I won't go into too much detail, but they played a huge part in saving her life and made mine so much easier. And we still have a happy and healthy dog today in some part due to them. :)
Delilah post surgery, January 2015
Initially the kids weren't really sure about what they were going to do... they had some miscellaneous jobs and Hunter's father started to talk to him about expanding their family business to the Austin area. Long story short, Hunter and Dylan have been instrumental in expanding their dad's business and it's been doing phenomenally well. Essentially, if you think about the last time you were in a hotel conference room, you may have noticed that there is an accordion type divider... their company does installation and maintenance of these. In markets like Houston, Austin, San Antonio, etc where there is SO much building, it's a hot spot for this need. We're really proud of how they are doing!

Brittany ended up securing a job with a company called JLL - they provide facilities and real estate services (event planning, reception, etc) at a number of companies. It just so happens that the role she filled with JLL was with Google! For the first year or so she was working at the same site that I work at and has done really well. She's now working at a different site but her leadership loves her and she's really got a promising career ahead of her. I keep using the word proud when it comes to Brittany and Hunter, but there's no other word better suited.  They are doing so well and it just makes us beam with pride and happiness for them.

In May 2015, Mother's day to be exact, Hunter proposed to Brittany and they are now engaged and planning a wedding in Florida. (Date TBD). We are thrilled for them as we are looking forward to having him officially a part of the family. :)

We celebrated Axel's 2nd birthday in July 2015 at a place called Heartsong Music. It was an afternoon filled of music, cupcakes, and... yellow. His birthday themes have been colors, as he has no loyalty to any particular characters. :) This year the color theme was green.

During this time I also took on a new role at Google, moving into a role where my team was responsible for the online applications that come in for our software engineering internships as well as our roles that are open for New Grads. It's a really fun and energetic space to be in - great client group, candidates who are just starting in their career and a spectacular team I get to work with.

Unfortunately we had some pretty significant things happen in July 2015 that weren't so happy. On the 4th of July, 2015, we lost our beautiful black and white great dane, Sebastian. Sebastian had been brought into our home in December of 2004 so we had ten and a half wonderful years with that boy. For those who knew him, they know him as being gentle and kind - the epitome of the gentle giant - and an all around good dog. He was Ben's best friend (his nickname was simply "best friend") and we were devastated to lose him - but he lived to an old age; especially for a great dane. We miss him so much, but we do still have Delilah, our skittish blue dane with an attitude. :) She's actually mellowed out quite a bit over the course of the past year and has been so patient with a toddler giving her some serious loving at all times!!!

The other thing that we had to face was the loss of my sweet grandfather, Lonnie Carson (best known as Poppy).Poppy was about as kind as they come. Generous. Gentle. And all around a good person. He was my grandad on my father's side. Poppy was able to tell a story. Ohhhhh yes, he could tell a story. And he could recall (and would share) every detail of his story. I have a hard time remembering what I did last weekend; but this man was able to tell you exactly what happened, who it happened to/with, and he'd laaaaugh as he'd tell it. He could also spin a tall tale, especially when it came to messing with his grand daughters. He had me convinced for a long time (I still wonder) that he ate bones. Whenever my grandmother would make fried chicken (and this woman makes the BEST fried chicken) we were always instructed to give our bones to Poppy. We'd pile our bones onto Poppy's plate - and I'll have you know - every single time we did that, they DISAPPEARED. I recall one time he actually sat there crunching something while I stared in disbelief that the bones were gone. He just looked at me and again I was convinced that this man had some mad skills at bone eating. He also had me believing that "tomorrow" really meant that we would do something the next day. I will be taking this trick and using it with Axel... "Poppy, can we go to the lake?" "Toooooomorrow", he would say. Next day. "Poppy, can we go to the lake?" 'Toooooomorrow". And so it would go. And I never questioned it! Ben and I packed up and took Axel to the services in Prentiss, MS. I don't know what I was thinking, taking a two year old with me, but I think he was needed by a lot of people. Not gonna lie, we had our moments - but overall, I'm so glad he was there with us.

This picture was taken in late April/early May of 2015, when I took Axel to meet my grandparents in Mississippi. So glad that we went and that he got to meet my grandfather.   

Axel earned the name "No-no" from my lovely grandmother, as all he tended to say the entire trip was No. ;)

So, on we go.

About this time, Ben and I had decided that after 15 years in our home, it was time for something new. We met with a realtor (also our dear friend, Andy) and he walked us through everything that we needed to do in order to get the house up to snuff and get it on the market. We spent a lot of time and energy getting everything ready - 15 years is a long time to be in a house and you collect a lot of - stuff. We painted, we carpeted, we cleaned, we purged, we staged, we listed. We put the house on the market in mid September and had an offer within about a week. Really exciting! While we were getting the house ready, we had started looking around and found that we were really drawn to an area called "Lakeway". Lakeway is a village in the Austin area. You drive through Lakeway and you are in Austin on either side of the city limits. It's a small population and a great community. We had found a home that we really liked but ended up not moving forward; and then we found the one we ultimately bought. The house provides us significantly more room than we had in the Round Rock home, with a playroom for Axel, a media room for Ben, and a piano room for me. :) We had a few basic criteria: either a nice sized yard or a view (we scored both!), and a room for a piano for me. Somehow we checked our boxes and moved in around October 15th. We love the house and the neighborhood - and are only about 5 minutes from the lake, where we spend a great deal of time! We took this pic the day we toured the house. 

What other updates do I have... hmmm...

Oh yeah. In October I turned FORTY. Austin City Limits Music festival fell on the weekend right before and we took Axel one of the days... then the following weekend my friends hosted a lovely birthday dinner for me.  Forty. Meh.

Axel and me at ACL Fest 
    Our little dragon at Googleween

    Ben was right behind me in the 40 club (he'll tell you otherwise, but he's not far behind me!). He turned 40 in February and went and celebrated on a ski trip in Park City Utah with some of his childhood friends.

      Ben and Axel sharing a 40th birthday breakfast brownie 

    In April, Ben left Dell after a few years of doing really well in Sales --- annnnnnnnd he joined Google. He joined Google on a contract, working as a sourcer. What is a sourcer, you ask? A sourcer is someone who is working non-stop to identify people to work at Google who are not actively applying. Specifically, Ben is trying to find strong Software Engineers for our seasoned Industry roles (so not the recent college grads). Sourcing is a natural role to get into if you have a sales background and are looking to learn about recruiting. It's essentially sales - but of a job and not a commodity. He's been doing really well and seems to like it. And no, we don't ride together. Well, sometimes. Maybe 1 - 2 times a week at the most. He sits on a different floor than me so there are days that our paths don't cross at all. But it is nice to see him every now and then, and he's learned how to make really good coffee. 

    So now we have July 2016 - Axel Edward turned THREE. We had a birthday party for Axel at the lake, at a pavilion. We had a really nice turn out of friends and family and I was humbled again by the love and support that this little dude is the recipient of. What can I tell you about him now? I know that this is the burning question, especially since this blog is named after him...

    He loves PJ Masks (TV Show) and his favorite character is Supercat. (I had no idea who Supercat was and was so impressed by the creativity my child was displaying as he would do his crazy karate moves and yell, "SUPER CAT SPEED!" I then realized as I was working and he was watching TV that Supercat was not a figment of his imagination. Oops.
    He loves Paw Patrol.
    He loves yogurt.
    He loves his "sleep". (This is his blanket, he totes it around like Linus)
    He loves Delilah, much to her chagrin.

    He loves being outside. He would live in the backyard if we'd let him.
    I think his favorite thing in the world is going out on the lake. He loves being on the boat and he loves to swim. He loves having people there to spend time and play with and will wake up on the weekend saying, "Boat, daddy? We go on the boat?"

    He loves reading
    He loves music
    He loves to dance. "Dance, momma!"
    He loves to sing. He makes up songs all the time. It's fun to turn off the radio and just listed to the entertainment on his own station.
    He LOVES his family. He lights up when we tell him he's going to see them, be it a grandmother, an aunt, his sister, an uncle, or his cousins.
    He uses Auntie B (Beth Anne) and HEB (local grocery store) interchangeably and loves them both.
    He loves Minions - which is what prompted the title of this blog post. I AM SO OVER THE MINIONS.
    He's ridiculously smart.
    He loves puzzles.
    He's OBSESSED with Race Cars. Pronunciation: Raysh Carzh.
    School busses rock. So do police cars, fire trucks and ambulances in no particular order.
    His favorite friends are Yana, Jack, and Bravin.
    He wakes up between six and seven. Every. Morning. It doesn't matter what time he goes to bed. Every. Morning. Lucky for me, he likes to drag dad out of bed on the weekend. :)
    He loves to "go on an adventure".
    He can tell you his colors in spanish and english. We chose green as his birthday color because he says "birthday" instead of verde.
    He loves stickers. A lot.

  • There are so many other things, but this gives you an idea of who he is right now.

    As I close out on this blog entry, I have a story to share that shows just how smart (and funny) this kid is.

    The Challenge: We removed the front of the crib and converted it to a toddler bed. He did great the first night! Then the second, he figured out he could get out of said bed. Child became a human jack in the box, popping out of bed every chance he could.

    "Hi, Momma!"

    "Go to bed."


    "Hi, Momma!"

    "Go to bed."


    ***mom stomps up stairs***

    "I don't WANNA go to bed" - begin tears.

    "GO TO BED"


    And so it continues. Until finally I give in and it ends up sleeping in bed with me.

    Finally I realized, wait. I have a baby gate I can use here. What if I put the baby gate on his door?!?!?!

    So, we go through our bedtime ritual one night and I walk out of his room. "Night, Nugget!" "Good night, Momma."

    Door shuts.

    Baby gate is up.

    I go downstairs. Turn baby monitor on.

    Axel pops out of bed. Opens door.

    I zoom in on the monitor.

    Axel sees baby gate.




    All of a sudden it starts climbing the baby gate. However, it doesn't get far before it realizes that he's going to hurt himself... so down it goes. And we are out of camera view.
    Comes back into camera view. With cushion from rocker in his room. Places cushion strategically against baby gate. Steps on cushion Starts to climb baby gate. Gets to point where head is hanging over baby gate. Realizes he's going to hurt if he goes over. Goes back down. Leaves camera view.

    Comes back into camera view with another pillow. Places pillow on top of chair cushion. Steps on cushion then on pillow. Starts to climb. Gets to point again where head is hanging over Changes his mind. Steps down. Leaves camera view.

    Comes back into camera view with his rocking chair in tow. Tries to position rocking chair to get over but can't get it placed in a position that works for him. Finally frustrated, he puts the rocking chair back. He then takes the pillow and moves it off the pile, and then removes the seat cushion. Stands there and cries for about ten minutes. Finally, he looks at the open door and at the baby gate. He grabs the door. He slams it - doesn't shut it, but slams it.

    ...and goes to bed.

    Thanks for reading my very long post. (Assuming you made it this far). I'll try and be better if you promise not to slam the door on me. :) I'll end with some additional photos for your viewing pleasure...

    I thought I'd throw in this picture - notice the HUGE bump on his forehead. This is what happens when little people run into walls. (He was fine) 

    Axel LOVES Brittany's dogs. This is Duke.

    Our version of the Naked Cowboy

    GQ Bernfeld here.


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