Archive of ‘My Dearest’ category

Anniversary Weekend

By Natalie


For our anniversary this year we had last minute plans to stay somewhere for a night. However, having our anniversary fall on memorial day weekend is a double edged sword. If we don’t plan well enough in advance every hotel, bed and breakfast, and cabin will be booked. As I was trying to pull something together I told B that I’d like for us to at least do something on Saturday, I suggested a picnic. He suggested we hit the beach. Oh we’ll go with your suggestion then, I thought. “You’d want to do that? Go to the beach for the day?” Oh my wonderful husband who longs to make me happy. “Sure why not.” he said. Isn’t it wonderful when you expect something small, and someone surprises you with something greater?

So I drove myself to Target that Thursday afternoon, and picked up a sand chair for my love, and a little beach umbrella to shade him. Because I knew that I would be able to lay in the sun much longer than he would prefer.


See. What a nice little seat. All propped up to read his book. He dissapproves of picture taking.. But that’s ok.

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And then he ended up like this. Utilizing this versatile seat as a pillow. This is the part where I convince myself that this was an excellent purchase.

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We don’t go to the beach too often. We’re more cabin in the woods type of people. Getting away from it all you know? Peace, quiet, and campfires. But every now and then when we go to the beach I get really super excited, preparing for the trip the night before. Double check to make sure the his and hers sunsreens are in the beach bag. Cause in our household poor B needs Coppertone SPF 50, and I’m good with Hawaiin Tropic SPF 8. I also find it essential to toss the Aloe in the fridge so it’s nice and cold when we come home. Finally, a chance to use our personalized cooler. A chance to sit back and read my book by the water. A chance to work on my latest crochet project for the car ride. Yes crochet… The way I figure it when I’m a grandma, I’ll be expert level.

When we arrived I couldn’t help but think isn’t the beach lovely?

These days I’ve been rather pensive. Everything I see or do causes a stream of thoughts. My mind strives to take everything in at once. To remember things. To be grateful for the smallest parts of life by capturing them in moments. I sat there for a while soaking in the sunlight, and salty air. Giggling at all those who were attempting to lay their towels flat in the wind, only because Brandon and I had a hard time ourselves. Commanding one another to gain control over that corner as if the wind was not in charge. The sand pushing its way between my toes. Even remembering the feeling of small grains of sand that brushed against my cheeks with the ever advancing sea breeze. It was fabulous. But the best part is, it wasn’t just the beach. I was spending quality time with my husband. Reminicsing on three years of marriage together. Getaways are essential I’ve learned. It doesn’t have to be often. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t even have to be that long. Just find something that will be renewing, something to bring you and your loved one closer. Being in each other’s company can either be the best or worst part of a marriage.


Let’s make it the best.

It’s Here!

By Natalie

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3 years ago today we rang a bell to announce our marriage. 3 years!!

How was I so lucky to be able to marry (pardon the ‘ol cliche here) my best friend? He truly is my best friend. I call him to let him know what I had for lunch and how it was. I talk to him before every decision I make. We laugh together. We have fun with one another. I confide in him with complete vulnerability, and that is something you could only do with the best of friends.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already, and I’m sure the years will continue to fly by. Marriage has been the most beautiful blessing in my life, and I’ve grown to be a stronger more compassionate woman because of it.

Happy Anniversary my love. I love you so much more every single day. Thank you for being such a sweet and thoughtful husband. I love sharing my life with you, and I’m so excited for the future we have planned! Here’s to the rest of our lives!

Highway Blues & First Dances

By Natalie

This morning I made a discovery. I was listening to some blues on my way to work. Because it was one of those days. A cloudy morning, and a slow drive in. I like some good blues every now and then, you know.. deep soulful Otis Redding blues. I have to give it up to my brother in law Sean for sharing this wonderful taste in music with me. There I was listening to Redding refer to himself as Mr. Pitiful and I just started thinking. About this and about that, and my mind just began to wander all the way up the highway. Before I knew it I was at work. Those are the most wonderful drives, when you’re lost in your own world. Apparently, blues does that for me.

These Arms of Mine began to play.. the deep strum of the bass pushing its way through the speakers of the car. That’s when I started thinking. This song was runner up number 3 for our first dance. At Last by Etta James was a close second but I knew that song was a no go before I even really considered it. I love the song, but it seemed a little ridiculous to dance to a song stating “At last my love has come along.” when I was only nineteen.. not typically a long time to have to wait for love. And then there was the fact that my sister chose an Etta James song for her first dance.

Don’t tell me you’re thinking what does that matter? Oh, it mattered.. at least, back then it mattered while I was desperately attempting to be unique. When looking at rings I didn’t want the triple diamond because my cousin had that, I didn’t want the cushion setting because my sister had that. I liked my oldest sister’s ring but I wanted princess cut. Poor Brandon, I must have made his head spin. When looking at dresses I didn’t want one that looked like any bride’s dress I knew of in the past 3 years. “Why don’t you get married here like so and so?” Someone asked. “Is that a joke?” I thought. “I don’t want to hold a wedding that everyone just attended.” Mortified, I moved to the next subject. Getting married can make you a bit… crazy and.. selfish.. entitled even. Something to do with being the center of attention. There I said it. I was so concerned about doing something different from everyone else, that now I wonder if I made decisions according to what I actually wanted.

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I loved my wedding day don’t get me wrong. I just think I could have saved myself, and everyone else for that matter, alot of run around. In the end we decided to dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” Ingrid Michaelson’s version. It suited us perfectly, with the way we fell in love, and being young newlyweds. Not to mention it’s always been one of my favorites. All these thoughts ran through my head this morning. As I was merging onto my exit pondering first dance songs I confessed to myself that the first dance was the most awkward moment of my wedding day. I really don’t think that goes for everyone, especially the couples who practice. The only time I’ve ever danced with B was high school homecoming. I figured on our wedding it would just come to us. Now, I don’t think we looked awkward or anything. It’s just that the song seemed to last forever, and everyone stares at you. I mean when do couples have a chance to dance these days? Legitimate dancing, not the twirls we do randomly in the kitchen during dinner prep. Not often enough it seems. Am I alone on this?


By Natalie

It’s my anniversary week, so weddings are on the brain. Look out.

I’ve been thinking about something as I was reminiscing recently on our wedding. As important as it is to get posed photos at your wedding, you’ll find that the candid shots turn out to be just as charming. After all, you can only capture one’s true emotion when they’re unaware they’re being photographed. Of course, you’re scrambling to make sure you get pictures with family, the first kiss, the bridal party, one with the ring bearer and flower girl, oh and then there’s the one with cutting the cake, and don’t forget one with the parents, oh, and then just the siblings. It’s alot to remember. But fret not, no matter how many posed wedding photos you take I guarantee you the candid shots are the ones that will make you feel nostalgic for that day. It’s part of the reason why we wanted to do a first look. Looking at photos of people in their genuine expressions tends to takes you back to every emotion you felt, and all the love around you on your special day.

Some of my favorite candid photos…

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Your photographer will surely capture the perfect moments, but I’m so thankful for the friends and family that captured a few moments themselves.

This photo… I adore it


This is exactly why I love picking out all the unposed pictures. Brandon does this thing, that I used to absolutely hate. Whenever we’re in public sometimes he’d just look at me and grab my chin to give it a little squeeze. Finally one day I found myself a little embarrassed as he only did it when we were in front of people. “Why are you touching my chin like that?” I said.

To my surprise Brandon was a bit puzzled himself. “I don’t know… It’s just a way to show affection.” And it made sense. He always does it when we’re in conversation. He’ll look at me, admiration in his eyes, smile, and then he just doesn’t know what else to do with himself in the moment but grab my chin. A subtle way to secretly say I love you. It’s kind of odd yea? But it’s also super sweet, and ever since he told me what it meant I’m alright with it.

Caught in the Act

By Natalie

I did it everyone! I finally caught the insanity that is piling groceries on one arm. photo 1

This is a phenomenon that I have only recently learned about through being married. I talked about this phenomenon a bit here.

Apologies for my blurry photos. I stopped inside to drop off a couple bags, and walked back outside to find the incredible Brandon and his bionic arm, and of course, I just had to quickly snap the husband at work.

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As you can see, he did not approve of the photo taking. Hence his running away.

Your welcome for the laugh. Happy Monday!

5 Reasons to Prove I’m a Grownup Kid

By Natalie

  1. I love everything Disney. I held onto my old disney VHS tapes for the longest time. B convinced me to get rid of all of them, and said that one day I could get the dvds. But come on, once your married and paying a mortgage it’s not so easy to reestablish your disney collection. You have to do things like buy new fridges, and get your chimney swept.
  2. I use tissues with lotion when I have a stuffy nose. Ok that’s normal. Most people do… but do most adults get boogie wipes for themselves? The last time I was sick I begged Brandon not to laugh at me for getting boogie wipes. For those who are not parents, Boogie Wipes are basically a baby wipe for kid noses. They’re soothing, and made with natural saline! Let’s be honest, even the tissues with lotion can chap the stuffiest nose. Now that you’re curious about them yourself here’s a link to relief.
  3. Every time I go to Chick-fil-a I get a 6 count nuggets kids meal, and trade my toy for an ice cream cone.
  4. I always beg Brandon to make me a chocolate milkshake at night. Just to give you an idea of how bad of a habit this is for me, there was one night recently that I even waltzed over to the bed and sat down sipping on my milkshake. I looked over at B. “Well?” I said. “What?” He said confused. “Aren’t you going to thank me for making my own milkshake tonight?” B laughed. “Now I need to thank you for making your own milkshake?!” And then I realized he was right, I was being a bit ridiculous. I know my sisters must be shaking their heads while they read this. As they were the ones who once succumbed to my requests. Except my middle sister Nadir. Nem, the oldest, always spoiled me because I was the baby. Whenever I call her she still greets me by saying “Hi baby.” And I kind of smile a bit, because I am the baby. When Nem and I went to Europe in 2006 I was not a fan of the food. If I ended up with something I didn’t like, and I thought hers was better she’d trade with me without hesitation. Nadir however, she was sure to keep the spoiling to a minimum. I’d stare at her with her bag of pretzels that she always seemed to be munching on. When she noticed I was interested she would look me right in the eyes, and straight faced she’d finish eating, and close the bag up greedily proving her point. She also had this spinning toy that she kept on a shelf, and I was never aloud to play with it. I would beg her to try the contraption, but she always refused. She never used it, or did anything with the toy. It was almost like she kept it around just to taunt me. I’m curious if she even remembers it. That all makes her sound pretty mean, but as you could assume if it weren’t for her my expectations of people would be way too high. I’d never do anything for myself, and I’d always expect to get whatever I want. Who knew siblings could teach you such valuable lessons?
  5. I begged my mom for a puppy when I was a kid. I begged my husband for a puppy when we got married. When we finally did get a puppy Brandon got up in the middle of the night to take him out every time. I maybe got up less than ten times during those 2-3 months. B still gets up early to let Bingley out, and feed him. I like to say that I take care of all the playing and cuddling time with Bingleybug. My mom knew what she was doing. She knew me, and she knew I would have a tough time caring for an animal, so she stuck me with beta fish, and kitty cats. And I will say, she did warn Brandon.


The Day We Both Passed Out

By Natalie

One morning I was taking a shower minding my own business when I heard grunts and groans a few feet away. Brandon was standing at the sink in the bathroom. There was a bit of clanging, and more groans. I kept my ears open for more insight. B began to faintly mumble under his breath “Well that was a bad idea” he said. Seconds later I heard a thud. I peeked my head out of the shower in confusion to see B lying there on the bathroom floor. His eyes had rolled to the back of his head, and all the color had left his body. I called his name in confusion as I scanned the room.  Pliers, and a pocket knife sat on the counter. My eyes wandered downward to find a small trail of blood from the counter to him. What could he have possibly been doing? He came to within a couple seconds looking up at me. He claims he was about to say “What? I’m taking a nap.” then he realized he was on the bathroom floor, and that didn’t make sense. “Woah.” he laughed. “I just passed out!” I ran to grab him some water, and helped him to the bed.

Brandon had this menacing wart in his finger. He tried every kind of over the counter medicine, home remedy you could think of. Nothing worked, the wart kept growing, and becoming more of an annoyance every day. So he had the brilliant gutsy idea of cutting, and pulling it out. Who knew that seeing surging blood flow from his finger would cause him to feel faint. Unfortunately, only a small piece of the wart was actually removed in this amateur procedure.

I sat on the bed trembling as I watched him. It was such a scary moment to not have known what had happened to him. He was so pale now, he nearly looked green. My fingers felt cold and clammy. “I don’t feel good now. You’re making me feel nauseas.” I told him. I stood up and walked toward the bathroom. Within the next couple minutes I found myself opening my eyes slowly. I looked up into a spotty haze. Brandon was over me. “Are you ok?” he said. “Sure, I was dreaming.” I said. “You just passed out.” he laughed. I looked over. Yup, I too passed out on the bathroom floor. I suppose with so much shock, and seeing B so pale made me a bit queasy causing me to repeat the act. We wriggled ourselves back to the bedroom, ice waters in hand. We laughed, we hugged, and we thanked God for each other that day. We spent the rest of the morning in bed, tending to one another when needed. There’s something about your spouse not feeling well that makes you extremely grateful for them. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. The day we both passed out put that fact in perspective for me.

We continue to be hopeless when it comes to blood and fainting. I’m not quite sure how we will be able to handle one another when something more serious comes along. Last year B donated blood, and it was a mess. He started to feel faint, so they called me over to sit next to him. He lay there looking deathly ill. I held his cold hand, but had to turn away. He spoke slowly, lips turning purple. I apologized, and laughed. “You’re just so pale, it’s making me feel sick again.” I told him. I grabbed the orange juice he was sipping on, and the woman taking his blood rolled her eyes. “You too?” she said. I was so embarrassed. What a horrible wife I am taking my faint husband’s juice for myself. Brandon finished his pint of blood with pride that day, but I’m not sure he’d ever really wish to relive that experience again.

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How Having An Absent Father Affects a Girl

By Natalie

A message to all those ungrateful daughters out there. 

It is due time. Due time for me to get this off my chest. There are too many girls out there who need to hear it whether they are a victim to it, or ungrateful for what they have. There are too many fathers out there who need to hear it. Whether they are teetering on the edge of being absent in their daughter’s life, or still adoring his sweet baby girl.

Most who are close to me have heard the story, and every time I share my thoughts on the subject my younger self heals a bit more. My father wasn’t absent in my life so that I could cry over it every day, and feel sorry for myself. What would be the point of that? So I’d pray for a purpose and ask God why I was a victim to feeling so meaningless. Over the years I’ve found the best I can do is share my story with others. In hopes to change lives. In hopes of bringing fathers and daughters closer together for both of their sake.

There were days when we were dating that Brandon would tell me he loved me. Sure, I thought. You love me. But my Dad told me he loved me all the time. Yet somehow it was fine for him to contact me 3 times a year, and see me twice a year. Is that really love? I hardly knew the man honestly. It was weird you know, to have dinner with a man who I was so much like in appearance, and taste, yet he was a complete stranger to me. B always tells me he loves me, and I know he means it because he is there for me. It’s as simple as that.

All through our dating relationship I was convinced I wasn’t good enough. I was always confused as to why B stuck around. Nobody had done that before, and I kind of didn’t know how to handle it. If there’s anything that I was frustrated with my father about most it was the fact that his absence made me incredibly fearful. And fear has a way of creeping into relationships. He was never around. He never hurt me physically, but he wrecked me emotionally. Then one random day B looked me in the eyes without any hesitation and said I will never leave you. They were the most shocking, emotional, and relieving words I’d never thought I would hear. I hadn’t even realized I was needing to hear them until he said them. With complete sincerity, and a wondrous amount of love he shattered my past wounds. No girl who has an absent father needs to be a victim to her past, and every woman deserves to love with hope, trust, and freedom.

Father Daughter Dances

There are girls out there that roll their eyes at their father in embarrassment, and my heart aches every time I see it. Is he really all so bad? Has he supported you? Has he been present in your life? Has he said he loves you, raised you, hugged you? Shall I repeat? Is he really all so bad? These are the things I craved, and still do. A Dad who tells silly jokes, tucks you in at night, makes you feel safe and protected. Sure he may be a bit embarrassing but he wishes the best for you, and provides for you. Be grateful for that father daughter dance you will have at your wedding which was robbed from mine. Think in that moment about how blessed you are to have a man who raised you pass you off to the man who will take care of you for the rest of your life. My sisters and I, as I’m sure most girls like us do, will always cry our eyes out during a father daughter dance. It’s longing for that moment that we never experienced, and that relationship that was nonexistent. But it’s also hope, that there are good dads out there who care.

So if you are a dad, you can make more of an impact on your daughter than you believe, simply by expressing your love for her. If you’re a daughter, tell your Dad you love him. If you are still hurting from a broken past, know that all is not lost. There are days that I still struggle, and question, as I’m sure my older sisters do as well. There is no shame in feeling abandoned. But know that you are worth something! You do not have to live in fear that every man will leave you.

It seems appropriate to dedicate this post to a few good men. First and foremost Brandon, who taught me true love. My generous Father-in-law who’s been the best dad to me, and every dad I’ve seen giggling with his girl, you have all been a part of my healing.

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