My time at the courthouse was particularly uneventful. It felt mostly like being on a very long train ride. I was first summoned to appear in January. I’d asked to be deferred or excused stating that I was a stay at home mom with a baby who was still nursing. They said they offered day care and provided a lactation room. We could have my service deferred if needed. (more…)
Archive of ‘Ramblings’ category
Today we had to say goodbye. We visited the place where you were born and had to walk away just the same. It didn’t make too much of a difference to you but it was bittersweet for me. My heart holds on to things, unable to let them go. Today I’m grieving the loss of this birth center. Walking into the farewell party felt warm, felt like home, surrounded by dozens of women who shared in the same care that I did. Dozens of babies your age and younger crawled and played across the floor. (more…)
Dear Baby and Co,
I’m devastated by the news of your closing.
On July 3, 2018 I labored at home for nine hours, then walked through the doors of the Charlotte center, my belly swollen and round. Women I came to know over the past several months greeted me excitedly. I didn’t think I could do it. In that moment I thought laboring in a birth center was certainly my worst idea yet. (more…)
To you it’s just a lotion but to me it’s so much more. I’m finding that happiness in parenthood can come from indulging in the simplest pleasures. No we’re not taking any big trips in the near future but that doesn’t mean we can’t buy a whole pack of Biscoff cookies for our morning coffee. It makes me feel like we’re adventuring. Like we’re on a plane and the stewardess has just asked me if I’d like a pillow. Biscotti works too. We’ve been crazy about coffee lately. And anything that goes with coffee. You know, like coffee and coffee and pour me another cup of coffee already please. Our espresso machine is on the fritz. We’re dabbling with the idea of investing in a heavy duty one. One that can handle these first few years of our parenthood.
As a child my mom would offer to pay me a dollar for finishing one of my many American girl books. I’d skim through them but remained completely uninterested. I had yet to read a book that sparked my imagination. Somewhere along the way that spark eventually caught fire to something deep inside me. I finished a book I was forced to read for school finally feeling that sense of accomplishment that couples with reading a book cover to cover. After that I was hooked.
There’s a series of books and events that I believe have lead me to become the reader I am today. This is that story. (more…)
I walked into the Harris Teeter this morning to grab a bag of tortilla chips which I forgot on my original grocery shop yesterday. I’ve planned to make a dairy free Mexican layer dip this week, which I have been oddly craving for quite some time, and finally decided that the only way I’d be able to have it dairy free would be if I made it myself. This layer dip has been on my mind for so long, and I remembered every ingredient for it, except for the tortilla chips! Can you believe that?
I grabbed a couple bushels of firewood on my way out since the chilly air has finally made its way here. And we’ll hopefully be enjoying a fire this very night.
We’re obsessed with our fireplace around here, didn’t you know? And when I say we I mean Brandon is obsessed with creating them, I am mesmerized, and cling to the warmth of them, and Bingley will plop very nearly too close the second those flames pop up. I think he will be devastated if our next place doesn’t have a fire. To be honest it’s another thing to set at the top of our priority list! Which is really the beauty of renting, because we have lived in such different spaces we’ve learned what functions well, and what to avoid.
Speaking of… Chilly weather.. Chilly weather, and three boys is possibly the most stressful mix ever. Did you know? Now that the weather has gotten cold enough for the necessity of coats, shoes, and hats there has been quite the wrangling going on at the Coggins back door. I’m pretty sad to say goodbye to barefoot, and swim shorts.
I’ve got two socks, and one shoe on Ryder. One sock on Caleb that isn’t fit quite right, and I’m battling with him to put a coat on. Grant is totally aware now of the fact that putting shoes on means we’re going out, so he reaches for the doorknob like a trapped prisoner.
“Why do we have to wear coats?” Caleb says.
“Because it’s cold outside, and I want you to be warm.”
“Why is it cold?”
“Because it’s winter now.”
“Why is it winter?”
“Because the season changed.” (Mind you, I’m holding this conversation yelling over Bailey’s whining, and shrill barks. You might ask, “Why don’t you just let Bailey out while you get them ready Natalie?” To which I’d answer, “Because God forbid I did, then Grant would crumple to the floor in anger that I didn’t let him out barefoot, and coatless too.” It’s really a matter of preference.)
Caleb continues, while I pull a hoodie over a frustrated Ryder. He gets a particular sort of upset when you put a hoodie on him instead of a coat. Like you’ve just betrayed him by dressing him in something he cannot take off. But that is in fact why we put it on him, because otherwise he’d be frolicking in the nip shirtless!
“Why did the seasons change Matalie?”
“Alright Caleb, that’s enough questions, put this on.” I hand him a jacket, and help him with the zipper.
By this point Ryder is ready, Grant’s got shoes on, Caleb has a coat on, but insisted on changing his shoes. Pullover, pullover, where is Grant’s pullover? I grab it off the couch, and slide it over his head to which he always giggles, and that helps relieve the commotion a bit.
Somehow I’m always the last to put my shoes on, but I’m not silly enough to wear anything that takes more than a slip onto my feet when I’m with them. So I’m ready quickly, and open the door. The boys, and Bailey all trample past one another, spilling outside like a waterfall.
Of course, on a good day, I get each of them ready individually, in secret, before Bailey even hears anyone utter the words Outside.
After spending a muggy day outside this past summer my hair was more than what I would describe as poofy. Despite the frizz I decided to run to Michael’s to stock up on the supplies I was out of, and browse through the new fall decor. While I was browsing I came across this older woman who was dressed in her finest, looking like she had just come from her weekly salon appointment to have her hair done up. I motioned to squeeze past her as I thought she would most certainly judge my young manner of dressing in workout shorts, and a tie-dye tshirt. Hair gone awry, and flip flops flapping against my heels.
But she slowed her cart as we passed one another, made eye contact with me and said, “Your hair is very pretty.” with the sweetest old lady smile you’ve ever seen. Shocked, I blushingly smiled, and thanked her. I went home and looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “You know I wouldn’t be me without these curls.” Brandon is a huge fan of my curly head, most especially when they’re at their softest poofiest state. Even just today a woman passed me in the grocery store and complemented my curls. So why do I have the hardest time accepting them?
Maybe it’s because I’ve spent countless hours in front of the mirror trying my hardest to love them. Being tired of the fact that I can’t wake up, brush my hair and walk out the door. Maybe because I’ve endured several steam burns to the head while straightening the unruliness. Then curling iron curling them for a softer more acceptable look. Maybe because I’ve sat through the stinky, burning chemical relaxers in hopes of relaxing those defiant curls, only to later find out that now my roots were curly, and then ends lay limply straight against my shoulders. Not to mention all the hair loss. Maybe even because deep down I hate meeting someone for the first time with my natural curly head, only to later come across them with straight hair that gets complimented. That is the worst. It makes me feel like my curls are messy, and undesirable. Leaving me feeling uncomfortable in my natural head of hair.
But this woman in Michaels, and the lady at the grocery store. They got me thinking.. I have a number of reasons to appreciate my locks. A couple kind strangers, a handful of old coworkers who’d made it a point to compliment my uniqueness, one loving husband, a single Dove curly hair commercial, and alot of acceptance later I’ve decided to befriend my curls. That’s right! I said BEFRIEND them. From the cowlicks above my ears, to the roaring 20s wave on the left side of my temple, to the tight spirals that sit at the back of my cheekbones. I’ve come to terms with them. Most especially I’ve come to terms with the fact that no matter how hard I try to tame them, every single curl on my head has an intention of its own. After years and years of battling them, I confess to you I’m worn out. And you know what’s hilarious? The less product I put in them, the more beautifully they spring. It took me years to find that out! The more I’ve learned how to treat them the more they’ve been compromising with me. The irony is ridiculous.
To my fellow curly heads,
Instead of shedding tears as I know you have while wishing desperately you were born with straight hair, start loving on those locks.
Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner
Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Spray
Aveda Be Curly Style Prep or Nexxus Conditioning Foam (For scrunching)
L’Oreal EverCurl Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner
Not Your Mother’s Texurizing Hair Cream
I have tried the no shampoo method, replacing it with baking soda. I’ve also tried drying my hair with a cotton tee, instead of a terrycloth towel. Neither seemed to make much difference, and I really couldn’t handle the mess, and lack of scent with baking soda.
No curlyhead is the same. I must express my frustration with the fact that just because something works for me doesn’t even necessarily mean it’ll work for my sisters! I cannot necessarily walk up to another curly head, ask her how she nourishes her hair, and expect the same result. That fact can be frustrating, but really, it’s fantastic. Not one person has each individual curl that I do, where I do. We can totally be compared to snowflakes. Different, and beautiful, in our own unruly way.
Go on little snowflakes, be proud of that gorgeous head of hair!
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!
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.
Norah 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.
School is almost out! Which means I get to see more of this cool kid ↓↓
Bring on the summertime fun!
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.
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!”
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?
Speaking of plants…
I found this precious nursery not too far from where I work. I 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.]
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!
In case you wondered..
Bingley wanted to say hello.
Oh! And I thought you’d like this pretty decent little drawing we spotted on our table at Mama’s Coffeehouse.
Life’s been pretty sweet huh?
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.
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.
The 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.
Recently 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.
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.
1 2 3 Next