Archive of ‘My Dearest’ category

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…)


On His First Father’s Day

By Natalie

On Brandon’s first father’s day weekend he spent his entire Saturday building this beauty of a baby gate. Seems appropriate. It sort of happened by coincidence. We were struggling to find a decent gate for our stairwell so as most things go when we can’t find exactly what we’re looking for, Brandon decided to build one. I found a similar mock up here and Brandon agreed to make it! It also sort of flows well with the banister on our front steps. (more…)

A Valentine’s Day Confession

By Natalie

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone ♥

Valentine’s day is a day for us two girls to flaunt our puff sleeves and fill the house with pink.

We don’t usually do anything extra special on Valentine’s day. Brandon makes us dinner. Sometimes I make us dessert. I say I don’t need to have flowers but I secretly always do want them. Sometimes I feel sheepish when people say they don’t really give gifts to eachother for Christmas or don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. Confession! I really love holidays. I like Valentine’s day. I love all of the balloons and heart shaped things in the stores. I like seeing flowers on Valentine’s day. (more…)

Motherhood Right Now

By Natalie

This morning I watched the pink morning light peeking through our window fade to orange. Felicity lay in her cradle arms up bent at the elbows.  She’s sound asleep.

I can’t stop looking at her. I can’t put her down even though I know I need rest too. And for the life of me I can not stop this bucket of tears from pouring down my cheeks.

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Home Sweet Home

By Natalie

Hunting for a house this spring was as exciting as it was frustrating. I searched tirelessly sifting through photo after photo of houses in our area until they all blurred together. Offers were accepted on several houses that had been listed that same day. They were flying off this competitive market as quickly as they came on. Our realtor Lisa was kept busy adjusting our viewing schedule by the hour as homeowners accepted offers before we had a chance to see their home. Lisa was honest, quick on her feet, encouraging through the disappointments and excited for the potential we saw in our new home.  (more…)

New Beginnings

By Natalie

I’m officially no longer a nanny. Which makes me all sorts of emotional because that means I’m becoming a mother myself. Like many of the things in our lives we did not get here by accident. Nearly seven years ago Brandon promised me that one day I would live out my dream of staying home to raise our children.

At the time it was difficult to believe. Coming from a past of empty promises I was nervous about trusting his. Marriage takes a ton of trust and I was just beginning to practice it. Now I can tell you that he’s never made me a promise he couldn’t keep and while that may seem crazy it’s really not. Brandon is a logical guy if you don’t know him. He never made me a promise he couldn’t keep. As frustrated as that would make me sometimes when there was something I wanted I eventually learned that Brandon had our best interests and long term goals in mind all along. He made those tough decisions to say not right now which I now realize has been him leading us well all along. Seeing his promises come to fruition over the years has made it unbelievably easy to walk alongside him and trust him 100 percent.

I feel so overwhelmed by this time in our lives that we’ve prepared for. I feel incredibly blessed to have this time to rest, love on my husband in our final days as a family of two and to prepare for our daughter.

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Timing

By Natalie

We revealed the gender of our little babe this past weekend by cutting into this gorgeous cake from Drip Cake Bar. She’s a girl!!! We’re overjoyed and eager for her giggles to fill our home. I feel such a connection with her now that I can call her by name.

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Blessings

By Natalie

IMG_0574We’re so excited to announce we’re expecting our long awaited dearest little one.

The past year has been extremely difficult for me to write anything meaningful or personal. My personal struggles had been consumed in trying to conceive our first child. I took a big step back from sharing things publicly because what now mattered to me was the support and closeness of family and friends. If it weren’t for their encouragement I wouldn’t have made it through with my head held as high nor would I have seen what God had in store for me during this waiting period. I learned the value of close relationships. Brandon and I became much closer than we already were, supporting one another when the other seemed to wonder what could possibly be the problem. (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.

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