Archive of ‘Life’ category

Firsts: Last 5, Next 5

By Natalie

Today is one of those rainy days that causes me to lack inspiration. I could totally give into it today too. Allowing this downpour to symbolize all of the things that lack flow in my life. But perhaps you stopped by today expecting a pick me up, because the rain has given you unecessary cabin fever in the spring. And so, I figured that maybe today I’d keep my rainy day woes to myself, and speak on the subject of something quite contrary. Here’s a list of happier things while we sit in silent anticipation to see our bright and cheery sun again.

As you well know, firsts are my favorite. Right up there with unexpected kisses, and wet puppy paw prints. I’ve compiled a list of firsts I’ve done in the last 5 years. Some I’m pretty proud of, some I can’t believe took me so long.

1st Caramel Apple

1st Hayride (The caramel apple and hayride were done together, you can imagine how grand of a moment it was. Enjoyed with the Poe family, as they all stared at me in shock that I had never experienced either before)

1st time driving on i95 (This was after I was married! I know right? What was I so afraid of?)

1st And I Repeat LAST Time Flying Standby

That leads me to my next 1st… 1st Time Sleeping in an Airport (That little story coming soon)

1st Major League Baseball Game

1st Time Camping

1st Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia


1st Time in a Casino

1st House

1st Dog

1st Car (Oh my VW how I loved you, and hated you)

1st Time Hiking Old Rag


1st Time Making a Cake from Scratch (I’ll have to share that yummy recipe)

1st Time Making Homemade Bread

I’m sure there’s so many more, that I just can’t recall at the moment, but those are some big ones. I figured I’d compile another list of some firsts I wish to experience in the next 5 years… And then you can share in the joy with me when I experience them!

Ride on a Train

Travel Further West

1st Baby Poe??!! (I’ll keep you all on your toes with that one)

Visit Puerto Rico (My Homeland!)

Take an RV Trip (This is a long shot, I feel like the only young person on earth who wants to do this)

Go Snorkeling

Learn to Swim… Forward… Would be helpful if I were ever drowning and I only know how to float on my back. I could be laying there for a while…

Plant a Vegetable Garden

Oh I know there’s more for this list, but we’ll leave just the few for the 5 year mark.

I hope you enjoyed, and can share your fun stories with me as well. Happy Rainy Day Friends.

Little Boys & Legos

By Natalie

It’s not a coincidence that I work in pediatrics. My mom has always been in the school or social system. One of my sisters is an elementary school teacher, and my other sister is a children’s pastor. There’s something in our blood that aids us in connecting with children. Who doesn’t want to listen to kids chattering on about nonsense? And build lego towers with them, or make everything out to be super exaggerated? Or maybe that’s just me. You never know what to expect from their little minds.

I loved passing out Goldfish to tiny preschoolers in Kid’s Church. I loved being a nanny, and watching princess movies with 3 little girls. I love discovering all the new versions of Connect Four with the kiddos at work. I love watching sweet girls that somehow know just what to do with baby dolls. They cradle them, and feed them as if they were their very own. It’s a mystery to me. And the boys, they are even more of a mystery to me. I am fascinated by their ability to build structures from a few simple blocks. I attempt to give my hot wheels cars a vroom sound, but it is nothing in comparison to the dozens of different sound effects little boys are able to concoct.

One day I was watching my two little nephews. We sat on the living room floor in the midst of wooden train tracks leading to nowhere. Toy cars, planes, and lego pieces scattered along the rug. I picked up a green lego and began doing what I typically revert to when it comes to legos. Build a house. Find that square flat green piece, and build yourself a house upon it. Do you think the thought to build a house even crossed my nephew’s mind? Maybe, but the thought to construct a plane was much greater at the moment.. While I was busy swiveling the front door to my lego house he was jumping all about, plane in hand creating sounds I can’t even begin to mimic. “That’s a nice plane.” I said. “Aunt Natalie it’s a biplane. Because It has this piece on top.” He pointed to the top wing I guess you could call it. “Well then, I stand corrected. A biplane.” I had no idea. The next time we drove by small Shannon Airport I excitedly pointed to the plane narrowing in on it’s runway. “That was a biplane.” I told B. “What? How do you know that?” he asked suspiciously. “Our 4 year old little nephew taught me that!” B nodded his head in assurance that little boys know their planes.


When Pollen Attacks

By Natalie

To all of you who suffer during allergy season, fear not. You’re not alone. I write to you urgently in between sneezes. I never suffered from allergies, until a couple years ago. Oh what a wonderful 20 years that was. Enjoying the Spring air with no worry of pollen count. My nose is runny, and red. My throat feels tender. My face hurts. Everything in my head feels itchy. I can hear fluid enter my ears while I blow my nose. My coworkers stare, silently telling me that they will not bless me after the third sneeze in a row. I carry around pocket hand sanitzer, as they are convinced I’m a germ cloud. I pick B up from work, tell him about my day, and he chuckles at my congested nasaly voice. Personal tissues with Lotion sit at my desk at work. Honey and tea now sit with my regular sandwich in my lunchbox.

If you are a fellow allergy sufferer like me I am sorry for you. I figured I could compile a simple list for you on how to get through this Spring season. Any helpful tips you have to send my way are of course always greatly appreciated.

  • Tissues with Lotion – Otherwise your little nose will be raw my friend.
  • Chapstick – I have Yes to Blueberries and I love it! Highly Recommend.


  • Tea – My personal favorite is Chamomille.
  • Honey – from a local farmers market, as apparently it can help to have the honey from local bees.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup – It’s super easy to make so I’m going to share my homemade recipe with you! Now I don’t do too well when it comes to measurements because I just kind of make it up as I go along. So don’t take them too literally now. Adjust them according to how many you’re feeding.

Homemade Chicken Soup


  • Chicken Broth (Or Chicken Bouillon if you don’t have broth
  • Noodles (I like a small amount of noodles for this soup)
  • 2-3 Potatos
  • 1-2 Carrots, or several baby carrots
  • 3-4 Stalks of Celery
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Chicken (I’ve made this soup with canned chicken if you want something quick. I’ve also used leftover rotisserie chicken before. Or cubed cooked chicken. Either one works perfect!)
  • Salt to taste
  • Two Shakes of Parsley


Peel, and cube your potatoes. Chop your carrots and celery. I usually boil my potatoes, noodles, and carrots seperately in water since they take a little longer, for fear of boiling away all of my chicken broth. Not totally necessary, but that’s what I do. Then I pour my chicken broth in a pot with the chicken. Keep on medium to high heat. Add your celery, and cilantro. Once your other stuff has softened strain them, and add to the broth. Add salt to taste, and Voilà. You have yourself chicken noodle soup. Serve with Ritz or Saltines!

I know what you’re thinking. That’s it? She didn’t even make her own broth! Don’t judge me, I never said I was a chef. I need one of those I kiss better than I cook signs in my kitchen, because I make do with the cooking skills I have. Ask my husband. When you’re sick, and feeling crummy there’s no way you’re going to spend forever in the kitchen making yourself soup. So this is a simple recipe. Something to get you by. Stay strong my fellow pollon hater. I hope I’ve helped.

Keeping the Wedding Bliss

By Natalie

A guide for the bride to be

With wedding season fast approaching I’ve felt an itch to do a wedding series. I figured I’d start out with some honest truths, then we can get into the fun stuff. I have found that there is nothing sweeter than a bride to be. She sighs and complains of her wedding planning as if it’s a chore. But deep down she is ecstatic and has been waiting for this day all her life. Yes, I walked around with those bridal magazines that were a total rip off as they are mostly full of ads, and overpriced dresses. But I wasn’t ashamed, I finally had the privilege of flipping through those pages, I was going to take it.

Every couple wishes for nothing more than an engagement that’s full of sunshine and daisies. But unfortunately as some of us know all too well there are those brief moments where reality sets in. You know reality. That thing that comes along and squashes all your hopes and dreams. Nobody likes him.

When the love of your life becomes your Fiance you refer to him as such with perfect annunciation. You gladly retell your proposal story over and over while you hold your left hand out to be admired. You’ve decided where you are going to say your vows, decided what you will wear. And you’ve experienced all of those moments in between where you said yes, and made important decisions with your soon to be spouse. I would love to say that I took the time to sit back and cherish all of those moments. But no, like most brides to be I was completely overwhelmed. Mr. Reality crept his crummy little self in.

[Now Pause] You should know that I often find myself needing to share the thoughts people just don’t talk about. Say what you will, but know that I cannot stop it. I have an unquenchable thirst to be a voice for the weak, and silent. An honest voice for those who are willing to listen.

 photo (1)

As planning commenced for our wedding I proudly stated that my mother would walk me down the aisle as if it didn’t bother me. I hadn’t spoken to my dad since before I graduated high school. He hadn’t even met Brandon. But secretly I felt just a bit sad all the way to the aisle that I had no Dad around to walk me. I’d love to say that our wedding was all planned flawlessly, and I got everything I wanted. But I settled for my dress, because it was the only one in budget. I cried after my bridal shower, because I had a head cold and felt so ill, all the while trying to smile. I felt blessed to have so many women shower me with love but I was so exhausted by the end of it all I didn’t know what else to do but cry. I hauled all of our gifts into the apartment while Brandon watched happily, and once I saw him I just lost it. One night I even panicked, and desperately considered elopement. Bride to be, don’t fret. Reality gets to the best of us, and I’m pretty sure most couples consider elopement at some point. Back me up?

By no means do I share this information for pity. I write this post for those who are desperately attempting to piece their weddings together while plans crumble, and dreams are simplified. People will let you down. Things will fall through. Limitations will close you in. Don’t lose sight of what your wedding is all about. How you and your Fiance handle those situations will show how the two of you will handle such shortcomings in the future.

So dear Bride, it doesn’t matter what you wear, or who is at your wedding. It doesn’t matter what comments have been made, who you are possibly offending, or whatever fell through. It doesn’t matter that a bridesmaid let you down, or your hair was not what you pictured. What truly matters on your special day is who you say your vows to, and why. You know this, I’m certain you do. But do you believe it? Because beautiful bride, if you don’t you should.


By Natalie

The title of this post is compliments of my sister Nadir. I told her the night that we had discovered mice raiding our pantry and the very next day she asked “How’s the mousecapades?” Sometimes she has this way of saying things so nonchalant that make me giggle maybe too much. Then she smiles, eyebrows raised as if to say “ok, it was funny, but not that funny.”

If oh ever you go to pull out a sesame seed burger bun, that you are so looking forward to… You are so looking forward to those burgers that your husband has grilled to perfection. He puts the finished burgers on the counter. He takes a look at the bag of buns. “Ummm.” he says. “What’s this?” he points to small chewed up holes in the bag. Your stomach grumbles. It’s 7pm, a late night from work. You’re so hungry you don’t want to think about what could have happened to the buns, you just want to eat. But then you look closer. “No! those are legitimate chew marks in the buns. Could it have been Bingley? Did he somehow manage to bite the bag before I put it away?” The two of you wander toward the pantry. Bag of tortillas… holes. New loaf of bread… holes. New bag of chocolate chips… holes. New bag of confectioners sugar… holes. Your eyes wander the shelves and down to the floor of the pantry. Droppings…. “Nooooooo!!!! Nothing is safe! Trash everything that was open, wipe everything with bleach!”

That was our night. We ate our burgers bunless that night. They still hit the spot, though they were eaten later than expected. Once we finished dinner B went out to Lowe’s to put an end to those dirty rodents that ruined our food. We had discovered that there was a small hole in the molding that apparently must have led to our crawl space which is where they had journeyed in.

mouse holeIsn’t that just the coziest little mouse hole?

If you have mice that come in through a hole apparently all you need is the coarsest steel wool you can find. Shove that down the hole, and lots of it. They can’t chew through it, or they’ll ruin their teeth. Then apply a bit of caulk to plug it up. Voilá, no more mice invading your home.

Disney Quotes to Live By

By Natalie

Perhaps I’m a kid at heart, because there is nothing quite like watching a disney movie when I’m sick. Before you roll your eyes at the kiddyness of this post admit to yourself, we’ve all learned a little something from a disney character. Here are my top 10 favorite Disney quotes to help get you through the week. Take a deep breath, bring out the kid in you, and take the following simple quotes to heart.

timothy mouse

Forever is a long time, and time has a way of changing things. -Fox & the Hound

The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it. -Rafiki (The Lion King)

Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts. -Aladdin

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all. -Thumper (Bambi)

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates loot on Treasure Island. -Walt Disney

All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.       -Walt Disney

To laugh at yourself is to love yourself. -Mickey Mouse

Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one. -Pocahontas

Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting. -Peter Pan

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