April 2015 archive

Playing House

By Natalie

imageEvery Friday morning I grab my reusable bags from the pantry, and go grocery shopping. The other Friday as I was pushing my cart through the deli I took notice of some long stemmed Calla Lillies, and I toyed with the idea of purchasing them, in honor of Spring. But then I saw some white tulips. And the tulips look marvelous this time of year. Don’t you think?

The same thing happened in the bakery, where I couldn’t decide if I wanted the vanilla almond biscotti, or the rasberry coffee cake. And it hit me. This feels a lot like playing house. I pick and choose the food that comes into our home. I also spend hours contemplating which beautiful things are complementary to our home, adding comfort, and style to make the space feel more unique to us.

After taking the Christmas decorations down in January I couldn’t bare staring at the empty spaces that were left behind. That’s when I decided to decorate through the seasons. Just a few things here and there so our living room gets fresh scenery, and I am reminded that change, and the passing of seasons in life is something to look forward to.

I sewed a pink and red polka dot bunting for our window in February… Tossed a speckled easter egg garland on the mantle for spring, with a fabric stuffed goose seated at the edge. Switched out the fall leaves welcome sign, for a dandelion one… I repot my plants, so they grow into the healthy living beauties they are. Wash the throw blankets often so they feel worn, and puff out freshness with every fluff.

I saw a picture on Brandon’s phone of Bingley laying in the middle of the living room. Our colorful pillows were tossled on the couch, and our houseplants sat beautifully green on the windowsill… And I wondered if he was glad that I cared to make our home cozy, and inviting. I wondered if he noticed I try my hardest to make our life beautiful… That I care so much about the little things.

A few Saturdays ago I awoke to find Brandon laying on the couch downstairs. Bingley laid on the floor near his head, knowing that his friend was unwell, and in need of company.

B lay there, pale, and exausted. I sat down next to him, already feeling the heat radiating from his body, and I placed my hand on his forehead. “I have a fever.” He said. To which I nodded. Poor hubs woke early with that fever and slept downstairs to be surrounded by cooler air. After taking some over the counter meds the past few days, and still feeling crummy with a fever we thought it best to run to the doctor, just to be sure there wasn’t something worse than a cold or allergies going on.

This was our first doctor visit since living in this new town, so B sat for a few minutes filling out his new patient paperwork.

“Here can you sign this release of information form?” He said handing me the clipboard. “Where it says spouse.”

I took the pen in my hand and signed my name, looking at the form over and over. Spouse. It still seems crazy to me. That word. I’m his spouse. The one who plans the food he’s going to eat every week. The one who washes the sheets with the fabric softener he loves. The one who greets him every morning. The one who takes him to the doctor when he’s sick. The one he’s chosen to share his life with…

This isn’t just playing house anymore. This is the real deal. Every day, every night.

At church this morning Pastor Steven asked what we’re still leaning on from our old understanding. And I thought about how much I self destruct, and wait for things to crumble as they have in the past. Pushing up my guard before anyone could possibly get to me to hurt me. But then… no one gets to me either, including my spouse. Who I’m not just playing house with anymore. We’re living life alongside eachother. The best way I could make sense of all this was to jot it down. Read over and over again that we’re in this for the long haul. No matter what my former understanding of love was, and no matter what my past experiences have been. I have a new ability, and strength in love, and I’m ready to start believing in it.

How Tricking a Baby Taught Me Trust

By Natalie

I must apologize to you dear Grant because I, your nanny of the past 6 months (Which is more than half your life) have been fooling you.

imageWhen you are ready for your bottle, and I have it warming on the countertop, I flip you around, and twist my arm behind my back to pull it out of the mug, and test the temperature. Do you know what happens when you catch a glimpse of that thing and it’s not ready for you yet? Something along the lines of when I smell fresh bacon, waffles, and coffee on a Saturday morning. We both have an I need that now reaction.

When you’re finishing your bottle, and I see it nearing the end I know you’re going to be just a bit upset, and I’m sorry little one but there’s not much I can do about that. So as I sit you up to burp I set the bottle out of sight. Otherwise you’ll twist and turn staring at the bottle which torments you with it’s emptiness. And I do this for you Grant, because you don’t quite understand the concept of emptiness yet. So until then I’ll keep the bottle hidden.

When you’re eating your peas, and you’re confused as to why they’re not as sweet as your much preferred banana, I smile, and reassure you that peas are in fact delicious too. You’re right Grant. Fruit is much more fun than veggies. But I trick you, because the greens are just as important.

When Ryder needs help buttoning his pants after the potty I sit you down with a toy as distraction. I sneakily grinch-like tiptoe out of the room to help your brother, and rush back hopefully before you notice I’m gone. Because when I leave your side you get pretty sad, and that’s alright because it’s sort of sweet, and I’m all about quality time.

I’ve tricked you into thinking that books are just as cool as gadgets and toys, because in the real world G, they can be! So I show you all the colorful cardboard books in the playroom. Because within every new book, lies a new adventure.


After I shot a basket with Caleb by the basketball hoop I took a peak back to see you sitting in the grass. You reached up to your mouth with a fistfull of grass, and I ran over to you faster than you could open your mouth. That’s where I convinced you that Paci was a better option to munch on. You can eat dirt when you’re older kid. But for right now let’s just stick to baby food.

When I’m trying to get you to crawl I hop down in front of you, and make you think it’s the greatest thing on earth to be on your belly. Because I want you to grow strong, and get moving places you want to go. You little backwards scooter you.

When I took you to the doctor, and they took your temperature, you looked up at me with surprised, uncertain eyes. And I once again smiled at you in reassurance that everything was fine. And you believed me! I don’t know how you believed me on that one. But you did. And I got to thinking about trust in that patient room. As you wriggled in your diaper on the crinkly paper, set on tearing it apart. We tend to trust the ones who care for us, the ones who are by our side convincing us it’ll all be ok. Putting our trust in someone is a pretty big deal, and we should make sure we’re putting our trust in the right people. Otherwise we’re not going to learn. We’re not going to grow, and get stronger.

Thanks little G, for teaching me that life lesson.