Archive of ‘Dogs’ category

Saying Goodbye to Bingley

By Natalie

I think it hurts so much because the love is real.

Oh Bingley my boy.

How do I say goodbye to a best friend?

To one who I trusted to see more of my tears than anyone else?

To one who loved me unconditionally.

To one who trusted me.

To one who brought me such joy in such a time of sorrow.

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Camping with a Toddler

By Natalie

On our way home from our first camping trip with Felicity Brandon said, “Well it was worth a try. If we’d never tried it we would have never known.”

Alot of friends said that we were brave for taking a toddler camping. I’m not sure it was brave per say. Maybe spontaneous is a better word. Going into it I thought that the worst case would be we didn’t sleep well and it’d be a disaster. It wasn’t a disaster, but we also didn’t sleep well which will always put a damper on things. With a brand new family tent and new camping chairs including a chair sized for Lici we had big hopes that our little outdoorsy girl would have the time of her life and we’d be camping all the time. I’ve come to realize that the more activities we’ve done this year the higher my expectations have become. After half a year of blah cabin fever I’ve expected so much joy and refreshment from these new adventures and that’s maybe too much to ask of a camping trip and a pumpkin patch hayride. (more…)

4 Ingredient Dog Treats

By Natalie

Felicity and I made these super easy dog treats for Bingley and all of our doggie friends. She loves getting on her learning tower to help make smoothies or help pour ingredients for pancakes. My amazing baker friend Pam taught me to let Felicity crack an egg in a separate bowl and pick the shell out. She often hits it on the counter for a little crack and then squeezes it over the bowl until it bursts which is actually pretty fun to watch. Since then I’ve incorporated some mommy daughter baking mornings to our schedule. (more…)

How a Traumatic Experience Shaped Me

By Natalie

I’m not sure where to begin with this story because it’s such an important one and I want to make sure that I voice it correctly this time. The details of the event were simple. Brandon and I were gardening in our new front yard. Samson laid a few feet in front of us hooked up to his tie out. In the distance I saw an older couple walking their two small dogs. I thought for a split second to step on Samson’s leash or voice to Brandon that maybe he should hang on to him while the couple passed. We’d adopted him only a month prior, before that he’d been a stray. We simply didn’t know his true temperament yet nor his strength. (more…)

City Living

By Natalie

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We moved recently to the Southend of Charlotte. We’re three blocks down and a couple over from the Panthers stadium, a five minute walk to Brandon’s work and a whole lot closer to everything we love. Two months ago we were in that pickle of deciding to stay where we were which was a great space, just not quite what we envisioned, or to move on. Brandon and I are move on until you get it just right kind of people.

We began our apartment hunting after the change of ownership at our old complex. In efforts to be sure we would get exactly what we wanted this time we toured nine different places. Including one gorgeous loft in the city with exposed brick walls. We had to say no to it, after we realized we would only have street parking, and the laundry was in the basement of the building three flights down. That kind of thing is only fun to watch in sitcoms, not so fun to do in reality. After careful deliberation and discussing with supportive friends we happily chose one of the first places we saw.

We packed up our precious belongings and trashed or donated the rest to uproot ourselves once more. Each time we move we’re refining our lives to be just where we want them. Getting down to our essentials, and creating a cozy nest full of only things we love. By no means are we true minimalists, we both enjoy too many hobbies for that and we’re still the slightest bit sentimental. However, we do well downsizing every now and then.

Our space isn’t just this little apartment, it’s spilled onto the sidewalks all over Southend. It’s on every street corner that I catch a glimpse of the skyline and am left feeling inspired. It’s in the downstairs lounge where we shared coffee this morning before Brandon had to head out to work. It’s in the coffee shop across the street and the park down the road.

Last week Brandon was sitting in nearly an hour of traffic to get home. Now he’s meeting Bingley and I on the sidewalk corner for lunch at a hot dog stand. The woman at the cart asked if Bingley ate people food. We said yes, and she cooked him up a broken hot dog she was unable to use. Lots of hungry laborers stretched their hands out to pet Bing and give him lots of love. To my left I saw a city I love, and to my right my very happy family. Friendly faces all around and my heart was full. This is my safe place. I never thought I would feel safe exposed out on the sidewalks. Not until I saw dozens of other dog walkers in the evenings. Men and women all dressed up with their earbuds in walking to work in the morning.

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I kissed Brandon on the street corner, and he walked back to work, while Bingley and I walked back home. It’s perfect here.

God’s been teaching me alot about contentment. When we were dating I used to tell Brandon my plans for the future. It all sounded canned, and naïve. When he questioned me about it, I’d say, “because that’s what everybody does.” It makes me cringe thinking about it.

Brandon would say “Who’s everybody?” and I had no answer for him. That’s when I really got to thinking about it. Is there one right formula in which you should live your adulthood? Absolutely not. Some people prefer the space of the countryside. Some people prefer the bustle of a city. Some moms wish and are able to stay home, some wish or need to work. I see a never ending ladder people our age are scrambling to climb, desperate to reach certain points when our peers do, and frantic if we don’t. Something inside me really wants to kick down that ladder. It’s why it seemed like a step backwards that we bought a 3 bedroom house, and now live in a one bedroom apartment. In reality for us it’s 2 steps back in space, and 10 steps forward in quality of life.

You know that old verse your Sunday school teacher would tell you when you had a test coming up, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13. Have you read the context lately?

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13

In a recent married women’s study I learned the context of that verse. Be happy, and content where you are. Don’t wait until you have it all to start living. You see, we live in a world full of comparisons. That’s nothing new to you. And you know, I think I’m done with it. As I was writing in my journal recently I felt like God was saying “Let it go. The life I have designed for you will be so different, there is no use in your scrambling. It merely shows your lack of faith in me.” Woah right? Sometimes we need God to tell us like it is. Whether I have what they have or not, I’m good. Whether they approve of my lifestyle or not, I’m good. I finally started paying attention to what works best for us, living in the faith that God has a different set of ladders for each and every one of us.

Life Lately…

By Natalie

2015 is rolling right along, and so much has grabbed my attention, that I thought I’d give you a quick recap of Life Lately. Hang with me, we’re goin fast!

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My beautiful sister Nadir gave birth to her first born last month! I’m amazed by my sister’s strength, and overwhlemed with the beauty of a woman’s ability to go through pregnancy, and childbirth! It’s alot of work to bring life into the world! I was so excited to visit just a couple days later to share in their blessing.

imageNorah did not dissappoint. She’s pretty stinking adorable, and she’s leaving the whole family smitten with love for her. Passing down my crown of being the youngest isn’t half bad.

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School is almost out! Which means I get to see more of this cool kid ↓↓

Bring on the summertime fun!

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If you follow me on Instagram you know I found the best Farmer’s Market ever!  On Saturday I excused  myself past people to grab a giant 34 cent carrot.. Have I grown up, or have I grown up?

My first visit I stood over baskets of strawberries with giddiness in my eyes, because those strawberries were tantalizingly bright red, and gorgeous. After the man who proudly grew them noticed I was interested he said, “Go ahead and try them there strawberries.” Tickled by his accent, and guiltlessly wanting a taste I picked up a little red guy and bit just below the green. And it.. was.. the best dang strawberry I’ve ever tasted.

The next week when I asked B to tag along he insited we grab a cantaloupe. But once we got to the pile we stared at the cantaloupe, and then at eachother. How do you pick a good cantaloupe? There’s so many rules to ripeness.. how will I possibly remember them all? This one’s too green.. this one’s too hard.. this one doesn’t smell strong enough.

“I think you smell the butt.” I said to B.

To which he replied. “But they all smell so good.”

“Whenna you gonna cut it?” An older man asked, noticing we were in need of assistance.

“Umm probably today.” I said. Then he proceeded to grab at the cantaloupe, and handed us a good one, and moved on. And it was a GOOD one.

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Cherries just like the ones we’d pick off of the tree when I was little. How could I pass that up?

When I was 2 or 3 I’d galavant through the backyard with cherries in hand, and when my mom asked me what they were I’d say “Gwapes” and she’d say “They’re Cherries!”

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Plants!!! call me crazy, but I had no idea there’d be more than produce, and fresh flowers at the farmer’s market. I stared at an oversized pot full of Elephant Ears as tall as I am, for 10 minutes. Deliberating… Because, I really, really, wanted those guys in my home. But, I settled for a hanging pot of succulents to accompany the bedroom window. And really, can you go wrong with succulents?

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Speaking of plants…

I found this precious nursery not too far from where I work. imageI wasn’t expecting too much, but once I walked in I followed the sign for houseplants, and I stepped into this beautiful haven. Mhmm I’ll take one of each pretty please.


During a casual Wednesday morning trip to Jo-Ann’s with little Grant I spotted this fabric, and could not get over how it had our entire living room color scheme. After getting a couple feet cut for a bunting I grabbed some matching bias tape, and whipped out my coupons. Because Jo-Ann’s ALWAYS has coupons. Total for this DIY was five dollars! [And lots of leftover scrap fabric for other projects.]image

When I got home I popped in an old musical, and got to tracing, cutting, and sewing.

Since we’re living in a rental I’ve been using as many Command hooks as possible to avoid holes in the wall, and it hasn’t been too big a deal aside from the fact that I miss our curtains. But this bunting has been a stunning alternative!

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In case you wondered..

Bingley wanted to say hello.

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Oh! And I thought you’d like this pretty decent little drawing we spotted on our table at Mama’s Coffeehouse. image

Life’s been pretty sweet huh?

Weekend Update

By Natalie

This fabulous piece of art was completed last week, and it’s even better than I imagined. When making your own furniture you experience this moment of fear once you have all your supplies. And you think “Hmm.. is this really going to come out the way I want it to?”

Lucky for us, it always has! You can find the craft desk B and his dad made for me here. Brandon had this genius idea to make a table with wood flooring, and I’ve been wanting to make something with pipe. So we merged our two ideas, and voila! We ended up with this glorious creation!image

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In other Poe news…

imageI got some much needed quality friend time with Chloe this past weekend. She conveniently dropped her pup off for some gun dog training in Georgia, and on her way back home, she stayed with us for the weekend. All weekend I had some girl time. Which you never realize you need, until you’ve had it. I could tell you all about our time together, but I usually find it difficult to put Friendship into words. There’s a certain comfort I feel when I am in the presence of an old friend. A comfort where I can be silly, and honest, and true to myself. Where we can spend our time together reminiscing on events past, and speak our own language of care to each other. I’ll spare you the girly details that Brandon was unable to escape, and tell it to you simply. We basically shopped, and crafted our little hearts out all weekend. That’s right, apparently when people come visit they bring along their latest diy project, cause they know I’ll be down. A friend who can be by my side happily while I sew, is a good friend.

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imageimageIt’s 80 degrees in Charlotte, can you believe it? I started swinging Grant in the backyard baby swing today, when I caught a glimpse of a line of ants. They were bustling with life, carrying whatever crumbs they’d found back to their ant hill. Grant smiled with every forward swing as his cheeks caught a little vitamin D. During this beautiful time of year that breathes life into the air, I figured why not invite a little bit of spring into our home? Greenery in the home is a good thing friends. My plants are adoring this sunshine, arching themselves toward the light, spreading their leaves wide to bask in it’s magnificence.

If you remember this post then you know that I have succesfully pieced together my little indoor potted garden. Quite a transformation right?

Here’s a closer look at some of my little green guys. image

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Don’t they just make you happy? Inspiring life, and growth with their vibrant green hue. Now you want to go get yourself some house plants. Don’t you?

And to take us out Bingley wanted to say that he had a pretty good weekend too.image

Happy March Everyone!image

An Open Letter

By Natalie

Today, I’m just going to have to say what’s on my heart.

An open letter to the woman who’s generousity healed a heart.

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Brandi,

Every day I look at Bingley I’m reminded of your compassion. How I want to be a woman who can be that compassionate. To willingly gift something just to cheer someone up.

Bingley is currently sleeping behind me, snoring, stretching out his paw every now and then pressing into my back. He is crazy. He is clingly. He tracks so much water from his bowl. He leaves hair all over the place!!! He pulls his crate mat out of his crate and drags it all over the house, and leaves fluff and thread all over the carpet as he thrashes it around. He jumps into the shower if you leave the bathroom door open because he loves baths! He woofs next to the bed when I want to sleep in, and then when I open my eyes he barks as if I’m unaware that he hasn’t been fed. He gets cranky when we stick our feet under him under the blankets. He is a pillow thief! On the bed, and the couch. He is a 75 lb wild animal in our house.

But Brandi,

He sits for his food, and waits for a command to eat it. He’s great around kids. He’s great with other dogs. He’s protective, and sweet. He loves to cuddle and give kisses. He was there when I received a second subpoena for court. He laid next to me while I had the paper in my hand. Full of anxiety, and fear, and dread.

It’s been a long long road but I think I’m getting there. Getting to the point where I’m not going to allow myself to worry about losing him just yet. There was a moment only a few months ago when our mutual friend Chloe brought me to the pet store. Bingley could pull an 18 wheeler on the harness we had for him, and she urged me to try some different ones. First we tried a gentle leader which immediatey sent fear straight to the pit of my stomach. “This thing is only attached to his muzzle, and neck! No way man, I have no control over him.” Was my only thought. So we tried a different one that sat low on his front legs. With every step I swore I’d see him slip it any second. Other customers walked by with their dogs and my body tightened. Lastly she fit him with a prong collar, loosely resting on his neck until he pulled. This one was working. He walked next to me. He listened to my commands.

Chloe pressed me for my thoughts on the collar but my words were choking my throat. She attempted to reassure me that though it may appear to be menacing, he was perfectly fine. But my mind was somewhere else.

“Natalie what is it?” She said. Then I looked up at her with tears pooling in my eyes.

“You can say it Natalie.” She continued. And then, with a year’s worth of build up I broke. I confessed how terrified I was of losing him. How terrified I was of getting a harness that wouldn’t hold him, or that he would get loose from. And that once again it’d be on me. It would be my fault that he got loose, and I don’t want to live through those consequesnces again. The truth was, this collar was the first one that I’d felt comfortable walking him in. I realized I could finally let go.

As always, thank you for providing me with the chance to face my fears. And while doing so being in the constant companionship of this sweet dog. You’ve made us family.

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Natalie

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