Showing posts with label mothers day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mothers day. Show all posts

the conclusion of a week of mama wisdom

This concludes a fabulous week of mother wisdom. I am so grateful for these seven and all that they shared. I know I had a lot of side conversations with various friends this week saying how good it was to hear their own maternal joys and struggles so validated.

Once this week got started, my mom suggested that I ask all of the husbands to these mama's a series of questions for Father's Day. Love that idea. Look for another week like this in June...

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I had lunch with a friend this week who tried to conceive for over two years to discover they are infertile. She and her husband have now been trying to adopt for a year, but this process is slow. When we were talking I was reminded of a reading my dad used to read every Mother's Day at church. I know I have numerous pastor friends who read this, and I guess I am posting this so that hopefully a few of you might print it out and put it in your Mother's Day file for next year. In the midst of celebrating motherhood, I do believe it is also good to remember that we do live in a broken, fallen world where everything is not always as it should be.

Dad would read (and I've edited bits of this..)

Before I begin our sermon today, I'd like to acknowledge a few things. For some women, Mother's Day can be a day of great pain. I have heard that one in six couples today deals with infertility. Many of these couples have grieved in my office, and I grieve with them. There are others who have chosen not to be a mother, and this day might feel a bit exclusive. Some women never marry, not out of personal choice, and never have the opportunity to become a mother. Some of you have had husbands who have died or divorce has come before you were able to have children. Many of you mothers have suffered a miscarriage, grieving and wondering who that little life was going to be. Others of you may have had a mother who was not a nurturing-type mother and may regret having missed out on the affection and kindness you were supposed to receive. Many of you, because of death, are missing your mom today, sad that this day cannot be celebrated with her any longer. And a few of you have suffered the horror of having lost a child.

I want you to know that this day is indeed a day of celebration, and mothers are so worthy of celebration, but that these sorts celebratory days can also bring out a deep sorrow for others who have had a different life experience.

I always appreciated dad reading this sort of all-encompassing address. It felt right. It felt loving. And it also made those of us who were sitting with our own mom's a bit more grateful knowing that life definitely has twists and turns and nothing is to be taken for granted.

We're in Minnesota this weekend, celebrating baptisms and birthdays and it has been great. I'll post some pics tomorrow. Praise the Lord for this lovely weather! It feels so good to get vitamin d again!

mama wisdom day 7: grandma b

My grandma Bredberg has seven kids and lots of grandkids, even more great grandkids and just started her season of great great grandparenting. She is a woman of faith, deeply in love with her savior and has created a family that is still united, enjoys one another's company and share a love for Jesus.

When my grandpa died, everyone was gathered in her apartment. She and Grandpa had moved out of the farm house the year earlier, him not wanting her to have to sort through that whole house without him. My cousin Daron asked that day, Grandma, you're 79, what what are you going to do now with Grandpa gone? And without pause Grandma replied, "I sent all seven of my kids to the Lutheran Bible Institute, but I was married at 18 and never got to go. So I suppose I would like to go to LBI.

LBI is the Lutheran Bible Institute out near Seattle, Washington. And eight months later, Grandma found herself living in the dormitories, eating in the caf, taking classes and affectionately nicknamed, "college grandma" by the student body.

She talks about how in her first class, the professor announced that all papers must be type written, times new roman, 12 point font. She wrote all of that down and drove herself to Best Buy later that afternoon to buy herself her first computer. She found a "nice young man" who helped buy Grandma the nicest computer any of us had seen. It was a black flat screen monitor, long before those were mainstream.

She started that week, sending out daily mass emails to her friends and family. She'd begin, "dear email family" and proceed to tell us 1) what she ate for breakfast 2) a Bible verse or passage for the day and 3) any thoughts or notes she had on that verse or passage.

Those first emails were the best. I remember one said, "today I had a lovely lunch with richard and kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkaren. now how did all of those k's appear? And how would I get rid of them?" And all the cousins took our grandma under our wing and replied, "dear grandma, in the upper right hand part of your keyboard there is a button that says back space. hover your mouse over the k's and then hit this button until the k's are deleted."

This was 13 years ago, and Grandma still sends out a daily email almost every single day. If she misses a day or two, she always explains why...computer problems, visits to family, traveling to mesa or back to sherburn.

Grandma sets the bar so high for living a life passionate for God and for her family. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Grandma b.

Isn't it wonderful--and no mattter how many times you are blessed to experience it, it is just as wonderful and exciting. I believe each baby is a gift of God, wholly His. And this child has a definite plan in God's eyes. I'm not very good at answering questions because I'm not very good with words--they often don't say what I mean but I will try. Love you, Grandma B

What resources or who in your life was the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
I was fortunate to have two little brothers born when I was in High School, one in my freshman year and one in my Junior year. So I learned a lot about caring for a baby--My Mother was a good example to follow and then, too. she was so near. she was a wonderful source of wisdom. Mostly her method of raising us was 'LOVE'; and that wasn't hard to follow. When you love your children with all your heart, they will overlook many mistakes one makes.

Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mother?
As to challenges--I can't think of any, am sure there were some, but God gives us a way of forgetting the unhappy and remembering the many blessings He give us. Of course, I always thought I had the best kids, and I did.

When Becca asked me if I had many challenges raising my seven, I didn't remember that I thought they caused challenges--but, there must have been mornings when having all seven get out to that school bus in time was a challenge. There was one year when Jan was a senior and Paul a first grader. (which means all seven kids were in school) I called them 'my thundering herd' when they all arrived back home at four, on that same bus. What a lot of 'telling' of all the happenings of the day! Then it was time for snacks and to change their clothes to do their chores, supper had to be at 5:30, which left time to milk the cows for Daddy and the hired man.

What is your favorite part of being a Mama?
All the love and care they still give me.

If you were to go back and start your season of mothering all over again what would you tell yourself?
I wish I had spent more time with each one. Maybe not doing so much volunteering, I really don't know. I'm thankful for all the help of my Savior, He saved me many a time, giving me patience, strength and more love.

Anything else you want to share with a first time mom?
Just love 'em, give them to the Lord, He is the best baby-sitter.Our verse for today: and a most important part of raising a child--discipline!!Solomon 23:13a "Do not withhold discipline from a child." And start, with love and patience to do it when they are very young. They learn so fast. Love you all, Grandma B.

mama wisdom day 6: sara

Sara was my teacher in 10th grade and we kept closely connected after that year. I remember when she was pregnant with Kirby, her first, I was so, so excited. She told all sorts of funny stories about pregnancy and I was so intrigued. It all sounded so bodily and crazy and miraculous. And it turns out, it is all those things.

A day after she had Kirby, I called her and asked if I could stop by. Knowing what I know now about social etiquette, I think we would all agree this is probably a bit too soon for a former student to come to your house and meet your first born. But there I was, 17, and so excited to meet this tiny baby. Kirby was the first baby I saw so tiny, and I couldn't believe that the itty bitty life I was holding was the same exact life I had watched grow as Sara's tummy grew.

I held Kirby, and for certain overstayed the socially appropriate amount of time a former student should stay. Of course, no one made me feel this way. I probably would have slept over if it had been an option. Sara's whole family was there, and I even remember her sister Katie, who had just arrived a few hours earlier, asked me politely, "Becca, can I have a turn holding Kirby now?" Ha! Oh, poor 17-year-old Becca...leave already!

The coolest part, is that that three years later, I got to spend a whole lot of time with that little Kirby and his baby brother Toby when I worked as Sara and Troy's assistant. And then five years later, I got to ask Kirby and Toby to be my ring bearers in my wedding when I became their aunt. And the very coolest part is that on Sunday, I get to watch Kirby be baptized. That little boy is so special to me, and I can't wait.

Sara is an open book when it comes to motherhood, and I love her every story and confession. I've been listening to her Stationwagon: songs for parents CD a lot lately and am pretty sure my baby will recognize her voice from the start. We sing a lot of duets in the car together.

Ladies and Gentlemen, improducing, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sara Groves.

1. How would you describe your mothering style?
I think it was Madison that told me that high expectations without support can lead to a parenting disaster, and that too much support without expectations can also lead to a parenting disaster. With that in mind I try to have expectations, but also try to be supportive. I'm a lot more patient now than when I started out.

2. What resources or who in your life was/is the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
I look to a lot of parents, foremost my own parents, and Troy's parents. The Art of Family was a good creative book for me too. The main premise is that all of the personalities in a family should come to bear on the whole, making up a family personality. It closes with a chapter called 'Staying Married with Children' that is one of the best things I've ever read on marriage. It is out of print, but you can buy it used on Amazon.

3. Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mom?
All of it! I second guess myself a lot, even now. But I say a lot of that out loud, and I hope and pray that my kids see me learn from my mistakes as I am always trying to be a better mom.

4. What is your favorite part of being a mama?

My kids. They make me look good. I thank God for them, and love their company. They are amazing.

5. Do you have a favorite story or quote from one of your kids?
Ruby just came in a told me the other day that she is done being two.
"I'm done."
"You're done?"
"Yeah, I'm three."
She's been saying she's two and a half for a long time now, and apparently she's fed up with that.


6. If you were to go back, and start your season of mothering all over again, what would you tell yourself?
Relax. But there's no way to do that. I remember telling myself that I was going to treat the first one like the third, but I don't know if that's possible. There are so many things you can't know until you know them.

7. Anything else you would tell a first time, soon-to-be mom?
I decided early on to not make food or potty an issue. I just didn't want to battle over those things. Now, I've never made a second meal for a picky eater either, but I've always figured they will eat when they get hungry. If they don't eat, that's it, but then they usually fill up the next time around. That's worked out for my kids anyway. And then I never forced potty training. My pediatrician says they have a date on their internal calendar, and when they are ready, they are ready (he also told me that 80% of boys are not trained by three, so I was in good company). I let my kids tell me when they were ready, and they trained practically overnight. Granted they were three, and that meant changing a lot of man-poop diapers, but for me, it beat days and days of training, accidents, etc. Again, those two things have worked for us and the personality of our kids.

mama wisdom day 5: annika

Annika is my big sister, and we talk every single day. Sometimes I wonder if her husband really likes me as much as he seems to...because at some point you must get sick of handing the phone off and saying, "it's your sister."

We shared a bedroom for part of our childhood, a longer room with two single box springs and mattresses on each side. I slept by the door and she slept on the far wall. And it seemed so far apart. For a while I had jump ropes tied together and tucked into our mattresses, telling her, "if I shake this rope, I need help" Honestly, I think there were 12 feet (edited...annika just called to say, "I really think it was only six feet...") between our beds. But it felt way too far for me.

Well, now she lives in Montana, and that is WAY TOO FAR FOR ME. I'd give anything to be two jump ropes away from her. We had a dreamy season two years ago when Rory and I lived at the same camp she and her family lived. We spent every day together, shared most meals and I felt like I was in some blissful tv show, where I could just drop in, or she and her girls would just drop by for surprise visits.

She's got two girls and a babe on the way. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Annika Larson.


1. How would you describe your mothering style?
My mothering style could be described as nurturing, interactive, and I hope my kids would say 'fun'!

2. What resources or who in your life was/is the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
Other mothers, but especially my mom. Although, mom is not one to give advice. Rather she encourages me in what I'm already doing and gives me confidence that way. If I have a question about a tricky situation with my kids, she will offer her feedback when asked for it. My peers who are mothers are also a great resource and I've appreciated sharing this wild role with other moms.

3. Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mom?
It can be challenging to be a first-time mom, especially those first few days, weeks and months. You really have to trust your mothering instincts and trust that you know your child best of all, because you do.

4. What is your favorite part of being a mama?
It is a joy to get to experience life through the eyes of a child and be reminded of my own child-like self. The things a two year old learns or something new that a four year old discovers for the first time is wonderful to behold. I am proud of Mara and Sonna and so grateful to have this amazing opportunity to raise them and do my best to help them be the loving, joy-filled little girls that they are.

5. Do you have a favorite story or quote from one of your kids?
What comes to mind today is hearing Sonna (almost 3) say, "Come on, sis!" or call out "Sister". I am so thankful that Mara and Sonna love each other so much and are good friends. That makes a mom's heart proud and grateful.

6. If you were to go back, and start your season of mothering all over again, what would you tell yourself?
One day when I was feeling quite unorganized and the house was a mess, Jedd's mom, Joan, said "I really wish I would have been okay with a messy house. Children are supposed to play and play is messy. I wish I would have let the house go and be okay with it more". That was good for me to hear. I used to have a clean house and be very organized and I've really had to let a lot of that go and be comfortable with it. Motherhood will change you like that. At the end of the day, I know my kids have had fun and been enriched by play-doh play, water coloring, board games, playing house, dress-up, or whatever. I also strive to help them learn how to clean up after themselves but as far as I can tell, this is more of a process than an event! Jedd's mom gave me a plaque that says: Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow . . . for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow . . . so quiet down cobwebs . . . dust go to sleep . . . I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. I keep it in the laundry room in our hallway. It's probably time I pass it on to Sara.

7. Anything else you would tell a first time, soon-to-be mom?
Accept any offers for help from people, especially things like meals, grocery shopping, house cleaning. It is a time that all mothers can relate to and women want to reach out and help nurture a new mom. And if you feel comfortable with other people holding your new baby, let them. There's nothing like holding new life and I think it makes for a well-adjusted baby to be passed around a bit. At least that's been our experience both in our church community and camp community.

mama wisdom day 4: mom groves

There are jokes unending about mothers-in-law. And I have enough girlfriends to know that for some reason, this mother/daughter-in-law relationship can be a serious struggle. But somehow, I ended up with the greatest mother-in-law and have never been able to join in these jokes and stories. Marlene had 16 years with Lisa and 10 with Sara before I came on the scene, so sometimes I wonder if they hadn't just worked all the kinks out before I showed up. But whatever the reason, I have loved and respected this woman since...well, even before I met Rory, I knew her!

I remember there was a period in Rory and my dating that we probably were going to break up. At least, I thought we needed to take some time apart, and I needed to figure out if this was the guy I was really going to spend my life with. But you know what? I couldn't do it to Marlene. I knew if I broke up with Rory we would end up getting back together again (I know...don't look for the logic) But I didn't want Marlene to think I was a flake.

She loves her boys with an unending love and devotion and has some fantastic words to share. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Marlene.

How would you describe your mothering style?
First of all, I was born to be a Mom! My greatest joy in life was raising those children! It's been a long time now, though, and my 3 sons have grown into wonderful young men!! My style? Madison says it was "attentive". I would say I tried to be "fair, firm and friendly". (A lot of FIRM with 3 boys!). And, "consistency, consistency, consistency"!

What resources or who in your life was the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
Madison, my husband, was my first and best resource. We were very much in agreement in how to train, discipline and guide our children as they grew which, I believe, is a huge factor in child rearing. Our priority was that they grow up to serve the Lord. Everything else was less important than that. There were several excellent Christian books that I used - Bringing Up Boys, Hide Or Seek and The Strong Willed Child were favorites.

Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mom?
BOYS were my challenge! I never expected to have boys! And, I loved every stage of their lives as they grew up!! What is your favorite part of being a mama?
Today my favorite part of being a mother is seeing my sons as responsible young men, married, having careers, contributing to society and actively leading their families spiritually as they model loving and living for the Lord.

Do you have a favorite story or quote from one of your kids?
One favorite story?? You're kidding, right?!

If you were to go back, and start your season of mothering all over again, what would you tell yourself?
If I were to start my season of mothering over again I would still do as my Mom told me many years ago, "You only get one chance to raise your children so do your very best. You don't want to have regrets."

Anything else you would tell a first time, soon-to-be mom?
What would I tell you? Probably what everyone else says, Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! It goes by so quickly!

mama wisdom day 3: lisa

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Lisa Groves. Lisa is married to Kyle, Rory's oldest brother. She is non-stop energy and always a good time. There are few things in the world more entertaining to me than just sitting at her kitchen counter and watching her world whiz by as they grab snacks, bring over friends, and run out the door to every activity imaginable. Their entire family is involved in everything at school and at church and to watch her manage it all, feed them all and organize it all is a feat to behold.

How would you describe your mothering style?
Oh it’s stylish alright. I’d say I am more of the shabby sheik style of mothering. Some days the lunches are made, the homework is all checked and everyone goes to bed with a smile.Then there is the shabby part of mothering: Too late to see them out the door in the morning, I forgot to bring them to their own volleyball game and dinner… oh yeah, its 8 did we eat?

What resources or who in your life was/is the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
There were a couple of women at church I was drawn to glean some tips. I would watch their mother/daughter or son relationship as they were young and then thru the teenage years and thought, “Man, does she have it down!’ Ha, perception is not always reality I learned! These moms would listen to me as I cried in the Sam’s Club parking lot not knowing which direction to go next. Thank the Lord for cell phones. Help was always around.

Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mom?
All parts. To bring them to the doctor or not. Let them shave at 12 or 14. Private or public school.. This movie or that movie. At every age there will come new challenges and you have to stop and pray at each crossroad.

What is your favorite part of being a mama?
When I see an authentic glimpse of heartfelt compassion in their lives.

Do you have a favorite story or quote from one of your kids?
Jack was 3 and running a race for a Halloween Boo Bash dressed as a Skeleton. He was too excited. The gun goes off and there he’s off. He’s pounding the competition. We run alongside videotaping. He screams, Hey Daddy, I’m in FIRST!!!!! “That’s awesome we yell back as thoughts of the Olympic Track and Field competition flash across our eyes. Then he yells, “Hey Look I’m in Second!!” Yes we encouraged as we look at his huge smile and white painted Skeleton bones I painted on his black sweat suit outfit!A couple yards left to go…”Hey Mom Dad, I’m in third!” Go Jack Go we yell back…He came in dead last.

If you were to go back, and start your season of mothering all over again, what would you tell yourself?
Is this worth a battle?

Anything else you would tell a first time, soon-to-be mom?
Be kind to your children.

mama wisdom day 2: stephanie

Stephanie is my brother's wife, and is a lawyer and mama out in Seattle. She has three beautiful and amazing kids: Claire, Simon and Penny. Stephanie knows a lot. I email her with my preggers questions, and she ALWAYS replies right away, with thorough, helpful, supportive answers. I sincerely believe she should either start her own, or team up with a mom-advice website...she's got a lot of good things to say and to share.

Stephanie and Penny. This picture looks like I used a fancy photoshop blur effect, but really my camera had just been sledding, and then was foggy when I came inside. Sort of cool though...

How would you describe your mothering style?
Free range, vaguely strict about behavior compared to my friends (but I live in hippy dippy Seattle, so being relatively strict here is like being in a relatively warm snowstorm. Still chilly.). I worry much more about the certain harms of raising children in a bubble than the minute risks of tabloid tragedies. I think kids can do a lot more than people give them credit for. Coincidentally, we have a lot more fun this way.

What resources or who in your life was/is the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
Books, in the trenches parenting friends. We got into a new parent group early on, and it was wonderful. We still vacation with some of those people. I love them a lot.

Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mom?
Not really. I guess I think we're pretty good at this so far? Dealing with Claire Helen's school this year has been tough. Oh, and pregnancy, actually. It was really hard for me to believe I would be good at mothering since I'm so bad at pregnancy. Luckily the two are not actually related, and the babies never cared whether I had enjoyed housing them in my uterus or not.

What is your favorite part of being a mama?
I really love a lot of it! I love seeing the big ones in bed reading under the covers with their reading lights. That might be my number one favorite sight in the world, and I get to see it every night. I love watching them with their friends. I love answering their questions, especially about science and literature and politics. I love watching Penny tune in to the rituals and routines of our family. I love how close Simon and Claire Helen are, and wait eagerly for Penny to join the fray. I love backpacking as a family. Closer to your end I always enjoyed how fully formed they were almost from the moment they came out. Claire Helen has always been introspective and loyal; Simon has always been gregarious and adventurous, and Penny has always been a ball of sunshine. Even at 3 weeks old, there's a real there there.

Do you have a favorite story or quote from one of your kids?
Becca, I have three children and have been mothering for nearly six years. I think by now I know not to pick favorites.

If you were to go back, and start your season of mothering all over again, what would you tell yourself?
"Look, I have a time machine!" I dunno. "You are right, this is going to be awesome"?

Anything else you would tell a first time, soon-to-be mom?
Oh, man, I'm full of pithy one offs of little to no practical value. Have more than one if you can; the sibling thing is cooler than I even imagined and keeps getting better. Stop breastfeeding if it sucks(ha!). It's better and all but not worth the angst. Try really, really hard to teach your kid early on that they are not the center of the universe(especially vis a vis other children). They want to believe they are, and you sort of do too, but that never ends well.

Talk more to Rory about how you will parent. Pregnancy and birth are going to happen no matter what you do, but you would be surprised how minor seeming differences in parenting philosophy can result in hours of negotiation in application(which usually has to happen at 2 am). There are a lot of ways to do this right, and not very many ways to screw it up.

Be willing to change your mind. Different kids need different things. If you are putting off changing a habit because you think it will be hard, go ahead and do it. It's not going to get easier. Don't get into power struggles you aren't committed to winning, and just don't get into very many period if you can help it. You can't make another person eat, sleep, or poop. The earlier you can get yourself out of those the better.

Having a baby radically upends a lot of your routines, but most of the logistical challenges are short lived. You will sleep again someday. You are not the only influence on your kids, and by the time they are 7 their peers affect their behavior as much as you do. Be aware of their community.

mama wisdom day 1: my mom

Happy Mother's Day! Are you ready for this?!! Because I am so excited. I've got seven days lined up of thoughtful insights into motherhood gathered from the closest mom's to me: my own mom, my mother-in-law, my grandma and my sisters.

Being that today is mothers day, I think I had better begin with my own mom.

My mom, Margaret, has three kids: Mat, Annika and me. She has five grandkids under the age of six, with two more on the way this fall. She lives for her family and loves being with her kids and grandkids more than anything else in the world.


Mom is a creative-type who used her energy to make life special. A holiday didn't go by that wasn't filled with tradition and fun. Her life work was with children: as a kindergarden teacher, a preschool teacher and later director. She now serves as a caretaker of her community, waking up each morning with a simple prayer for God to lead her to someone who needs a friend for the day. How would you describe your mothering style?
Encouraging of the gifts God has given each of the children, encouraging them to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving and I was thankful! Thankful that I didn't have to do it alone. When Paul was busy with church, there were always neighbors and friends from church (of all ages) who just "adopted" our kids.

What resources or who in your life was the most helpful in giving sound parenting advice?
I'm blessed with a large family who were great resources for helpful advice and rolemodeling.

Was there a specific part of mothering that challenged you and your confidence in being a mom?
Bedtime! Paul was often gone at night and by then I didn't have much patience. I marvel at our kids and their bedtime rituals with their children.

What is your favorite part of being a mama?
Holding a newborn on my chest. Being a grandma and watching my children love their children so well.

Do you have a favorite story or quote from one of your kids?
My sisters said many times, "Annika is going to be a wonderful 18 year old...if you should live so long." She was wonderful and I did live that long. Her strong will has served her well and now she has two young daughters who are just as delightful.

If you were to go back, and start your season of mothering all over again, what would you tell yourself?
Take time to sit and read with the kids

Anything else you would tell a first time, soon-to-be mom?
Enjoy it, trust that you know what your child needs, don't worry about being perfect. Enjoy each stage, it all goes so quickly. Take time for your spouse and your marriage, leave the kids with grandpa and grandma and don't be afraid to get a babysitter. Get to know your neighbors! It does take a village to raise a child.


Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love that you are with your own mama today!

so excited about this...

A while back I sent an email out to my grandma, my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister and sister-in-laws asking them seven specific questions about mamahood. Their responses have started coming back, and I cannot wait to share their words of motherly wisdom with you. I have already laughed and cried reading their words and know you'll enjoy a week of celebrating mama's and all that comes along with the most important job in the world.

In related news, I'm at 13 weeks, and I think my belly is stretching. I can't see it on the outside, so much as I can feel it on the inside and it is the strangest thing. Things are definitely shifting around in there and I'm excited to see the proof pop out in the form of a baby belly.