Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

By Natalie

I’m pretty proud of this adorable Valentine’s Day sensory bin I put together for Felicity. Making a sensory bin has been on my list of things to do with this busy little toddler of mine. Sure enough she spent most of the morning digging through this bin, sticking the felt hearts to her shirt, unraveling string and squishing everything that was squishy! (more…)


This Year

By Natalie

Each year I try to give myself a little more grace than the year before. Rather than focusing on specific resolutions I ask myself what I want out of the year. Last year I focused on being more intentional and while I succeeded in some areas I still lacked intenionality in others. This year I want to succeed in those areas I was lacking. More intentional with my time, my words, my prayers. I want my time with Felicity to be spent in a way that we both enjoy, my love towards Brandon thoughtful and gracious. I want to look back on each week and say, “I spent my time well. I spared the words that didn’t need to be said, I said the words that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I did what I could with what the week threw at me.” I want God’s grace to fill me up to pour me out each and every new day of this year. (more…)

My Whole World

By Natalie

Here’s the thing. I don’t want my daughter to think that the whole world revolves around her. There’s roughly 7.7 billion other people on this planet. People in her life are going to do things that she doesn’t like. They’re going to have their own opinions and do things their own way and sooner or later she’s going to have to learn how to live with it. That’s why I ask her to share her toys, because I believe it starts there. Sometimes kiddos are going to take toys away from her and there isn’t always another parent around encouraging them to share. So she’s left there without the toy she chose at the library, staring at the little boy who snatched it from her hands. Rather than mumbling under my breath about it and searching angrily for that kid’s parent I teach her that it’s ok because there are other options around. Not everything is fair all the time nor is everything always going to go her way. (more…)

From Here Until Christmas

By Natalie

I lay the little girl down in her crib, my hair hanging over the rails. “Get some rest.” I tell her as I tuck the blankets in around her small body. I shut her door and make my way down the stairs. The dog follows me, then the cat, our ten legs all creaking down the steps. I clear the last of the lunch dishes, clean the cat’s litter, refill the water bowl, make a pot of coffee, check the front door for packages I may have forgotten about only to find a gift left by our realtor. Inside is a balsam fir candle and a Christmas card of her family. The back reads, “Felicity must be enjoying this time of year.” (more…)

How We Vacation: Nashville

By Natalie

A while ago I wrote this post about how when Brandon and I vacation we typically do little planning. We pick a place, find a few spots we might want to see, a few restaurants we want to try and maybe a coffee shop or two. We’ve had lovely encounters where we stepped into a shop straight off of the street and that always seemed to work for us. In the past we’ve preferred a nice place to stay with a lighter itinerary because vacations are meant for resting.

On our recent trip to Nashville we planned things virtually in the same manner. We were hoping to lounge around in our airbnb most of the day, having been beautifully decorated by the owner, an interior decorator. However, Felicity was not one to sit and relax for the next four days. There seems to be no telling a toddler, “Hey we’re on vacation this week, we’re all just going to sit and relax for a few days.” Being in a new space she was anxious to explore everything on her level, most of which was breakable. The best thing for us to do was to go out exploring and though we’ve wanted to see Nashville for some time we wondered if this really was the best time. (more…)

One Thing at a Time

By Natalie

We adopted a cat a couple of months ago. We named her Zelda because she’s a total princess. We’ve always longed for more pets. The question was never if it was always when and which one. On our search this summer we endured a peculiar trip to the pound, shut in a room with a couple of different cats that just didn’t feel right for our family. We also met a sweet high energy dog who probably would have liked Bingley until he tired out. We weren’t sure if she’d be helpful to entertain Bingley or if she’d just add more chaos than we needed. Ultimately we couldn’t get a good read on how she felt about Felicity. Then we met Zelda at an adoption event. Her foster mom said that she was the snuggliest of all her cats. She was exactly what we were looking for. She’s purring and curled up on my lap this very moment. (more…)

Caring for a Spouse with Anxiety

By Natalie

In the spring of 2016 Brandon came home not himself. I was busy with something that day not quite paying attention to the worry he’d brought home with him. Like an extra backpack he carried a weight he attempted to describe to me. But as I said I was busy, flustered by my own agenda I brushed off his concern. I wish I could go back to the Natalie in that moment to place my hands on her shoulders and say, “Stop what you’re doing, he needs you right now.” I wish I could have told myself to look in his eyes to recognize the defeat he felt and held him in that moment to tell him it was all going to be ok. But like all regrets in life we can’t change our actions, we can only allow them to teach us to be present in every moment. You’ll never know how big of a deal some conversations can be.  (more…)

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