Archive of ‘Ramblings’ category

Before I Pass

By Natalie

At first I thought I may be a little young to be thinking about the end of my life. Then I realized that if I don’t come to terms with the fact that one day my life will end, will I ever take any risks? Will I ever be willing to uncover a boldness in myself to make difficult decisions, and attempt things that scare me?

If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

-Lemony Snicket

I used to hate being home alone. Hate sitting in my own living room because the door was near the couch, and what if someone came knocking? I hated going places on my own, because I’d see a sketchy dude and think up the worst. My mom was a single parent to three girls and in desperate attempts to protect us we learned to be extra cautious. But as I got older this caution turned into paralyzing fear. Leaving me uncomfortable around most men I came across, building up what if scenarios, and afraid of putting myself in a situation where I may be hurt. Then Brandon said “Pack your bags.” The day he got a new job, and I got thrusted into this unfamiliar place. There was no room for being afraid anymore. I had to explore on my own, and after getting over a smidge of culture shock I made it. I’m not sure I’ve quite overcome my fear, but I have definitely broken a large chunk of the bondage that fear held over me. And now, I’ve learned something. That sometimes you just have to throw yourself into your fear, and take control of it. Because living in fear or hurt is hardly living.

rp_image2-1024x1024.jpgThe truth is I have to choose happiness now. Live in the “Why not’s?” Because who knows when my heart will stop ticking…

Life is too precious to submit to fear’s heavy bondage.

Too short to be dragged through our past when we need to let it go.

Life is too magnificent to spend our days in silent war with ourselves.

Too brief to not love unconditionally.

Too unforgiving to make the same mistake twice.

Too quick to let people in your life go unappreciated.

Too beautiful to hold on to relationships that are damaging.

Too authentic to not be honest with yourself and others… God is the author of your story, you are merely the storyteller.

I never imagined myself as the memoir type. I have notebooks full of high school creative writing fiction I’m too embarassed to share. I think during that time I was desperate to create other worlds that were safe, and made sense. Now that I’ve figured a few things out the hard way I’ve grown to enjoy this world. Here I’ve been for the past year docummenting my life as I live it. I realized the other day, these are pretty much my memoirs. And forgive me while I boast a bit, but I’m so proud of myself for continuing these memoirs as long as I have. They’ve allowed me to let certain things go, and learn more about myself in the process. It’s been a complicated journey where I’ve balanced on the fine line of emotion and forgiveness… Before I pass I want to make sure that I explored all the opportunities I wished for. I want to look back on these memoirs with feelings of nostalgia. I want to live a life that was surrounded by people who care for me, and support me being ME. I want a life that was well traveled, and fearless. One that our future children could admire. They’re big dreams, I’m aware.. But I have today, tomorrow, and how ever many more days I’m blessed with to figure it out.


Autumn Dog Walks

By Natalie

image1Recently I went on a walk with the puppy on possibly one of the last warmer days here in Charlotte. Does it get any better than this? It was a white t-shirt, dark denims kind of day. Where the sunlight kissed the pond after a fabulous date, and left it sparkling.

image3

image2

Bingley was overdue for a long long walk. You wanna know how I knew? Because a couple nights before he began barking at me continuously to play, and then proceeded to run around in circles chasing his tail… This went on for a while.. Until eventually he got dizzy, and waddled off to the side of the room.

As Bingley and I passed the bridge we came across a photographer which is a usual occurrence at Freedom Park. Her lens was pointed toward a twitter-paited couple nuzzling noses. The woman wore a short fluffy white dress and a veil. The man wore a fitted suit. A neatly wrapped bouquet of flowers lay beside the photographer. It was some sort of wedding shoot. But on a Wednesday? Perhaps it was an after the wedding session. Whatever they were there for, they seemed to capture the attention of all passerby.

Then, careening downhill came a young boy on a bike. His eyes peeked out from under his helmet, as his hands gripped the handle bars. His dad was jogging behind him, arms out, and ready for anything. The little boy thrust the handlebars side to side in desperate attempt to keep his bike upright. His training wheels were fresh off, and this was his big day. What an event to witness.

His smile was wide, even through his wobbliness. “Mommy! I did it! I did it!” he yelled. A woman with sunglasses and running shorts yelled up to him. “Good job baby!” After a few more steps I began to pass her stumbling behind her daughter’s bike. She whispered encouragements to the little girl who was taking on the slight hill with more caution than her brother. I smiled at them as we passed. This was quite possibly the sweetest scene I’ve witnessed all week. I’m not sure what could even top it next week. As we were going in opposite directions I passed this family of four a few more times. And with each passing I saw the kiddos get better and better. They grew more confidence, and were cycling straighter paths without the aide of their parents. It was adorable.

During this wonderful walk, and all of my people watching I had a thought. “Have I ever been the source of someone’s inspiration?” Young woman walks giant black lab briskly. Young woman discreetly takes photos of trees, and pet. Or so she thinks.

I was inspired by everyone at the park that day, who’s to say I didn’t inspire them? Not just the family teaching their children to ride bikes, or the photo session couple. But the boy sitting on the quiet bench by the ducks working on his laptop. The woman across the way from my bench that sat cross legged on her blanket under the willow tree engrossed in a novel. The old man that sat on his cooler holding onto his fishing pole leisurely. It was the perfect day, with a laid back kind of afternoon. I’m going to enjoy them while they’re here I think. Just until the winter months. Go on trees, keep those leaves changing. And wind keep those cool breezes coming.. We’re loving it out here.

IMG_6517

IMG_6518

IMG_6519

Discoveries & the Like

By Natalie

IMG_8511.CR2-001

Hello October. We missed you. I’m satisfied with the tan I’ve acquired this summer, and all the change that’s happened. I think I’m ready to settle inside with some pumpkin bread, cinnamon scents, hot apple cider, and a shared blanket with my love. When will the leaves turn October? I can’t wait to see them. Those rich crimsons, and bright yellows. They give me fuzzies inside. Well that and the cooler weather you’ve brought along. That puts the fuzzies right in my throat, and nose.

Last weekend the Poe household was a sad bunch. B caught a bug from work, and inevitably passed it on to me. We never do well with temperature change. There’s always one bad cold to prove it. As if we weren’t pitiful enough ourselves we noticed one night while sipping our tea that Bingley was flapping his ears all around. He started shaking his head like he was trying desperately shake something out. Upon taking him to the vet we discovered he had a yeast infection in his ears. Said infection was to be treated by shoving medicine covered cotton balls around his ears. It was a sad way to spend a weekend friends.

Around here lately Brandon and I have gone through more changes, and discoveries. Bare with me while I utilize some fun buttons I don’t use nearly enough on this beautiful blog?

Inanimate Discovery

We’ve found that our fireplace is not really a fireplace at all, but rather a projected light dancing around as to mimic flames, and a separate switch for a heater, if you so wish. How silly is that? When did artificial, and convenience so suddenly take over the natural, and original? The more I enjoy the modern, the more I miss the simple. It’s a mystery.

The Best Chocolate Milk on Earth

Allow me to introduce to you the best chocolate milk on earth.

milk Move over Nesquik you’ve got nothing on Promised Land. Ok, I never really drank Nesquik anyway. My mother was convinced it was powdered cavities when I was young, and when I was old enough to deviously try it myself it was terribly disappointing. Thus leaving me to satisfy my chocolate milk cravings with Malt Ovaltine. Until now.

Originally I purchased this Chocolate milk in Publix solely based off of the appearance. Gosh I’m a sucker for purchasing things on appearance. I admit it. I’m a marketer’s dream. Brandon of course suspected my reasons for purchase and continued to state how it wasn’t all that great. That’s where he was wrong! I may have bought this based on appearance at first, but this milk has proven itself! So thick, creamy and rich. It’s clearly blog worthy.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part of the grocery trip. We proceed to the check out where the girl unloading the cart goes “This is the best chocolate milk ever!” My eyes grew 2 inches wider I swear to you. Then the cashier joins in. “Yes! That milk is the best!” the voice in my head screams “You are kidding me.” So I look over at B with a smirk. He shakes his head, and chuckles. I live for these moments. Gosh Brandon is so smart. And when I get backed up on something, or know something he didn’t, I get so excited. Not in an I told you so kind of way, but in a yay, I knew something you didn’t kind of way. So what it’s an opinion. I’ll take it. I’m not really sure if anyone can understand this other than my sister in law Ashley. Cause our husbands are brothers, and so much alike. Troubleshooting fiends those men. Technology cowers in their presence.

Work Discovery

I’ve been walking around with a burp cloth on my shoulder. Warming up bottles. Picking up crayon bits from the corners of a playroom. Shoveling sand in a sandbox. Reading aloud until my throat is dry. Tickling little ones, and delighting in their smiles. I’m filling my weekdays with caring for kiddos. And spending the weekends missing them. I’m a nanny now, and loving it. I take it pretty seriously you know. Like Mary Poppins serious. I even have the large nanny bag to prove it. I love watching kids grow. I love teaching them, and caring for them, so it seems fit that this is where I ended up. And with a wonderful happy family at that.

Self Discovery

I’m Happy. Really Happy.

It’s not like before I was necessarily unhappy. But somehow now I feel… happy on purpose. Does that make sense? Like sitting in my car in the morning sipping on my coffee actively thinking I am happy today kind of happy. Isn’t that great? I’m becoming more of my own person in Charlotte I think. Welcome to the road of my self discovery. Does it get better than this?

 

Soul Crusher

By Natalie

If I never had to job hunt again my heart would be content.. It is an absolute soul crusher. Each day I focus my efforts into applying for positions I’m not even sure I qualify for. I leave it for them to decide. Spending hours and hours sifting through positions, searching for their locations only to be responded to with a sorry not sorry We’ve filled the position email. The other day I found myself 60% of the way through an application. Too far to let that time go to waste, and too much time has passed on previous applications to lean on their dependency. But there I sat, eyes peering in a confused manor at the screen. 60% of the way through said application listed a number of items to be placed in order. These things were to be placed in the order of your importance. Or rather that you felt were morally correct. I don’t even remember I was so stunned.

I looked to my left and the first line read Wedding Vows. Alright, perfect, that’ll go on top. Next was Baby. I placed that on the second line. The items that proceeded were a random assortment of things including:

  • Trash
  • A Mathematician
  • A Scientist
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Slavery
  • Torture 

Okayyy.. I must be mistaken. I was under the impression that I was applying to be a receptionist in a retirement community. Is this really necessary? Did I click the wrong link? It was the most ridiculous waste of time. But needless to say I did finish the application because how could I not? I’m in search of work. One can only hold but so many conversations with her dog. I’m in need of some human interaction during the day time, so I go on searching, and searching. Because what if The Job was just on the next page? What if it was the one that I didn’t finish the application to because I’m so tired of filling out my 100th  40 page personality questionnaire? Yes, yes, I strongly agree. I strongly agree that I am just tired of searching, and am growing rather disappointed. I just want to meet you, and tell you how hard I’d work! How organized I am, and how perfect I’d be for the job!

These are the things that haunt me at night.

I loved my last position as a rehab tech. I had the opportunity to work with so many great therapists, who taught me so much. I got to be with kiddos all day which was just perfect, because who doesn’t want to just sit on a mat table after lunch and play Candy Land with a 6 year old? Blow bubbles until your cheeks hurt? Or shoot hot wheels cars off of a ramp to make a crying boy smile in amazement? I could go on… I miss it, I really kinda do. All I was hoping for was something sort of similar down here in Charlotte. Something I enjoy.

Just the other night I had this dream, and I know that dream stories can be a drag, but bare with me this one was vivid..

So I’m sitting in this circle of people. They’re having a meeting in the center of a gym, and for some reason I’m attending although I don’t work there. Don’t ask how I got there. One woman talks about how employees need to clean up the area they’ve used when they’re finished. Another woman says she’s tired of taking the dirty toy bin home to sanitize the toys each night. I look off to the left and I see an exercise ball. Off to the right, and there’s a stationary bike. I’m sitting somewhere that feels familiar, when I’ve found that I’m living in a place that is so different. “I could help with that.” I say. “I’m a rehab technician, I can keep the place organized for you, and even help with patients if you need. I have lots of experience.”

Can you believe this??

Then I find myself in room full of PTs observing my form while demonstrating pulleys for benefits of the shoulder. They all nod in surprise, and continue to observe as I demonstrate a perfect squat with steady knees, and perfect form.

squat_exercise

It’s hilarious right? I seriously had a dream I was doing PT. You better believe Brandon and I had a laugh when I awoke and told him of my nightly adventures. Therapy is in my blood apparently. It must be.

From the Inspiration Board

By Natalie

typewriter

Every now and then as it is with most hobbies I hit a bit of a wall. Almost overwhelmed with stories, and opinions to share that I don’t even know where to begin.

Sometimes it takes a cup of hot coffee, sweetened with cream to get me going…

Sometimes it takes me reading a chapter or two in my latest engrossed novel…

Sometimes it takes a lit sweet scented candle or two…

Sometimes it takes sitting in the sunlight, and observing my surroundings…

Sometimes it takes silence, sometimes it takes ambience…

audrey

Sometimes it takes a little searching for things that inspire me.

Most times that’s found in photos that hold stories behind them. Photos of pretty things, and happy places. Even words that I desire to live by. You can find most of my Inspiration for writing on my Pinterest Inspiration Board.

Shall We Take a Look?

dog

suitcase

dad

cup and book

lucille ball

trumpet

 

Feel free to follow!

Be Still & Know

By Natalie

This is an admiration letter from me to my creator. Just so you know. I had one of those moments on a plane recently. One where I felt so small, in such a massive world.

birds eye

Oh God, how can anyone deny your existence when they see beautiful earth? You’ve so delicately placed every field of wildflowers. So tremendously raised every mountain. Yet we believe the earth to be ours. But, God I am not so selfish. I am not so fooled. I’ve flown over this land. I’ve seen your painting, and it’s gorgeous. Your widespread oceans, your fields of green. Then, if you look hard enough, there’s us. Teeny tiny little people in the center of all your creation. There we are trying to figure it all out on our own. How silly that seems from above. You alone are the one to put our trust in. You alone are the great artist. If only we would be still and know.

Natalie

A House Plant Takeover

By Natalie

Every now and then I find it necessary to simply share a rambling… No deep thoughts today, just a little something I’ve been oogling over.

We have this window ledge which you may have noticed in my last post and I’m just in love with it. photo 4

In the afternoon when the sun is slowly lowering itself in the sky it peeks through this window, and graces everything inside with its beautiful rays.

photo 2

We all appreciate a large front window around here.

photo 3

I have a few plants up there, courtesy of my sister in law Ashley who is certain that I have a green thumb somewhere deep down. Her garden is a daydream, and she’s basically the best at growing sunflowers in Fredericksburg, she has the blue ribbons to prove it.

ashleys  photo

Couldn’t you just hide in there all day with a good book?

I don’t know if I get overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes to build an outdoor garden, or if I just don’t have the knack for it… but I can’t seem to keep outdoor plants alive. One day though, I promise myself I will grow my own vegetables. Anything indoors I can care for. Those few houseplants I have sitting on the ledge in our living room have started to give me a hankering for a whole lot more plants.

As if that weren’t enough we had no internet last week, so one night we found ourselves watching old episodes of Three’s Company which my sister and I used to love watching together. That’s were I noticed how many plants they had in the apartment.

3

three_s_company_apartment

Thus began my search for an indoor garden.

plants6

Too much? But oh.. friend, I looove it. I always did want to explore the jungle.

plants5  plants4

I want it all, a massive indoor garden with air purifying plants on that window ledge.

plants2  plants1

Plus, there’s all sorts of studies on how plants are stress reducers. Why not? It’s nature in you house!

tree2  tree

My goodness don’t even get me started on getting a full on tree in here.

plants3

Maybe I’ll go simple to start, and see how I like it. Become an indoor gardener first, before I decide to conquer the outside.

Samson, My Samson

By Natalie

Today I miss you.

Most days I miss you.

image (4)

The sweet dog smell that I loved to take in for the first time in my life. I miss our cuddles. I miss how you laid behind me while I cooked. I miss how happy you would get when we’d come home. I miss your sweet low groans when you’d get excited about something.

photo 2

I loved watching you play. I loved rescuing you. I loved giving you a home. I loved the feeling of attachment I had with you. But it made it so much harder. I can’t explain to you the traumatizing emotions I felt when I had to see you in the shelter after you were taken away. Dozens of dogs barked constantly around you. Volunteers screaming behind closed doors. And there you sat in your own filth because who has the time to take out a dog who’s on death row? I want to forget the nightmare. I want to ignore that they never gave you the toys I left. I want to forget how you whined in confusion while you watched me walk away.

But I never want to forget the last time I held you. In that small little room, just the three of us, and with tears in my eyes I tried my best to apologize to you.

I am so sorry my Samson. Sorry I couldn’t give you a better life. Sorry the opinions of people hold so much value. But thanks sweet boy, for being such a joy to me while I had you. For teaching Brandon and I to grow closer together through it all. For showing us who true friends are. And simply for being the light in my life that you were.

image (3)

The Trouble with Reviews

By Natalie

What is our trouble with unhappy endings? I’m not just talking about the stories that end poorly, I’m talking about the stories with unsatisfying endings. They get to us. And there we are pleading desperately for more closure. I recently stopped by the library downtown to pick up a couple of books. Because books lately have been a healthy food to my mind. I just needed to pick up a few quick reads to get me through the weekend. I finished a book called The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp, and it was a book that caused me to think. Which is more than I could ask for in an author. The story was kind of tragic really. But the more I think about it the more I attach myself to the story.

The trouble with book reviews and any review for that matter is that everyone has differing opinions. I become frustrated with the people who rate everything 5 stars because not everything is worthy of 5 stars. But I also grow frustrated when I see people rate stories so poorly. There’s just too great of a spectrum. Too many different genres to compare one from the other. You must compare mysteries on the scale of other mysteries. Classics on the scale of other classics. Just because something was a different genre doesn’t necessarily mean that it is worse. Different stories speak to different people.

Let’s unpack this for a second. Reviews should be based on such things as storyline and character development. Intrigue certainly has grounds to be judged, for what good is a story if it does not capture you? Emotion of all things certainly should not have a large role in a review, because we are all innately biased. We are creatures of opinion, with differing morals, and all walks of life. This is why it frustrates me when people rate a story too low simply because they do not agree with the lifestyle of the characters.

Upon finishing The Spectacular Now I felt so empty. Before giving this book a low review I stopped to think… In a way the author did his job. I felt just as empty as the main character of the story. And isn’t that the point? To relate with in some way, to feel what the characters feel? To emerge yourself in the story and be overcome with emotion over the characters. Ok ok you’re about to have an intervention with me. Natalie… too many books. Never. Like I said, reading has been good for the mind. Swirling my imagination in every which direction. Giving me fuel to write myself. It is one of the only things that keeps me writing.

spectacular-now-2

 And so… I just had to say that not all stories have happy endings. And that’s difficult to accept because we all want happy endings. Hence the reason the movie version of this book just had to take the extra five minutes to provide closure. To give you what you wanted. But is that honest? Is life really full of all happy endings? No. And that’s why I kind of loved this book. The main character Sutter Keely was the most tragic character. In the end he felt he was this certain type of person and he loved this girl, but he wanted what was best for her. And it wasn’t him. As much as you wanted it to be him, you know it wasn’t. But you admire him for doing all he did for her anyway.

This is all just to say that the next time you review something take a second to think about the story. Did you not like it because it was poorly told. Or did you not like it because it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to?

Homeownership, & Growing Up

By Natalie

Sometimes, sadly, I find that I don’t have too much to talk about. I have a million and one drafts of things that I wish to share, but for some reason today, I just don’t know what to talk to you about. You know I’ve been bit by the reading bug again. You know about the Lupus walk we did recently. You know quite a bit about me now don’t you? But today, what shall I share with you? hmm. Perhaps that we bought a new ac unit? Hurray for home ownership! Our nasty 24 year old beat up ac unit was screaming desperately to be put out of its misery. And come to find out it actually had put itself out of its misery in the dead of this past winter. We only realized because as the sun began to warm the interior of the house these past couple weeks the house grew hotter and hotter. FInally we realized that the poor little thing wasn’t even running outside. Just puttering in some sort of air through the vents somehow.

And so, we young homeowners bit that horibble bullet and bought ourselves a new ac unit. Oh but it is grand. No really. It’s about twice the size of our old one. Making it quite a bit more efficient. After it was installed B and I ran outside to inspect it. Bingley sniffed around it, and I wrapped my arms around that unit and hugged it. “We might as well get excited about it you know. It’s brand new! We didn’t pay all that money not to get excited about it.” I said to Brandon, and he raised his eyebrows, and laughed.

It’s funny. The things you get excited about when you get older. I think the first time I realized I really grew up was the black friday that Brandon came home, and surprised me with a new vacuum cleaner. Never would you know that the smile I produced in that moment was due to a new vacuum cleaner. I opened the box as quick as I could, and began to vacuum our whole apartment. Every Nook and Cranny..

And then just recently we got this carpet spot cleaner. Where you can spray water, and cleaner and scrub, and suck it all up through this hose. It’s amazing! I got on my hands and knees, and cleaned the whole carpet in our bedroom I was so excited.

Can you believe that you just listened to me ramble on about that silly stuff? I know. You think I’m a clean freak… I kind of am. Something to do with being in control of my life I think. But who knows, that’s a different story for another day.

Happy Day. And don’t be ashamed of getting excited over the silly, or small stuff. I sure am not.

1 2 3