love for breakfast

ahhhhh, i am fresh off a 5 day (very much-needed) visit with my family. it was wonderful! can you feel my peaceful demeanor emanating from behind your tiny glowing screen? i hadn’t seen them since summer! that should be illegal in all 50 states and at least 10 countries. mind you, i am the kid who used to cry at week-long basketball camps growing up. i mean bawl. because after 3 or so days, i just knew that i was starting to forget what my Dad looked like. melodramatic much, Nat? who, me?! admittedly, this time around i did cry once. but one time in several months? not bad. not bad at all, i say. anyways, now i’m back home in Houston with my B, planning our Thanksgiving menu, and feeling all sorts of loved.

have any of you marrieds ever taken the ‘love language’ assessment? i know some do it as a part of their pre-marital classes. B and i did it several years ago. it analyzes…well, your love language, i suppose. ha! this is going great so far. it basically analyzes how we prefer to be loved and how we show love to others. truthfully, it is a pretty important thing to know about your spouse or significant other. i just wish i could remember what our results were. sheesh. but since we’ve been happily married for 9 years, i guess that means we speak each other’s love languages proficiently.

i have decided that breakfast is my love language (i’m pretty sure breakfast is NOT one of the official love languages). i don’t even think it has that much to do with the food (though i loooooove breakfast food), but rather the act of service (i’m pretty sure service IS one of the official love languages). so maybe my language is: breakfast service. the idea that someone would get out of bed in the morning and make something especially for little ole ME?! so nice! and since i am not at all a morning person, i appreciate the sacrifice even more. growing up with 2 sisters, my Mom always had 3 heads of hair (well, 4 including hers) to brush/curl/style in the morning (i should take this opportunity to apologize for not learning to do my own hair until i was like 13…sorry Mom!) so breakfast was always Dad’s thing. the three of us would to shuffle into the kitchen immediately upon waking- pajamas on, eyelids heavy, bedhead to the max- and sit at the bar to eat breakfast with Dad. he set out the plates, filled cups with juice, and cooked hot food to devour. eggs, pancakes, muffins, and donuts on Friday. all we had to do was sit down and eat. to this day, i wake up starving. like a preconditioned robot, i stumble into the kitchen and immediately rummage about for food. so one morning while i was visiting, Dad made me blueberry muffins. it made me smile all day. Mom also made protein smoothies and then over the weekend when i stayed at my sister’s house, my BIL made pancakes. i’m generally the breakfast maker around here, so when i told B that everyone had cooked breakfast for me, he asked what they made. when i told him, he kind of winced. it was totally cute as i think he was hoping to hear dry toast and a banana. now there’s all this pressure to step up his breakfast game. aside: food is definitely B’s love language. he swears his packed lunch tastes better when i make it. it’s all that extra love i put in his PB&J.

you know what else is my love language? morning snuggles. in B’s absence, this little squeaker filled in and did pretty good. i might even suggest that she is a snuggling expert.

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once again, i am not a morning person. but it turns out that waking up isn’t so bad when she is the one doing the waking. i’m sure it’s not always as fun for my Sis at 3am (hehe) but she slept until 7 that day so it was a total win. and yes, i totally put a black and white filter on that pic so you might notice my lack of makeup just a teensy bit less. did it work? this is the first and last time you will see this happy redhead without a stitch of makeup on. eeeeek.

and i can’t let this post end without telling you about the 2 days i spent as a pseudo-librarian. Mom and i staged our own ‘take your daughter to work day’ and i helped her with the book fair going on in her adorable elementary library. (you know books are a part of my love language too.)

evidence…

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can i just say that educators rock? i have known this all my life as both of my parents are educators and my extended family is full of them too…but i have a whole new appreciation after living it for 2 days. whew! i was tired, y’all! in 2 days i watched my Mom: show up an hour and a half before school even started (i don’t know about you, but i usually don’t get to work 1.5 hours early), pay for activities out of her own pocket, and love on kids with more enthusiasm than you can even imagine. and the kids…oh the kids…they were funny. i’m not around kids very often as i work in corporate America and i giggled to myself all day. kids are delightfully weird, aren’t they? and they were so excited about books! i loved it.

i am THANKFUL for so many things this year. i’m thankful for the unique opportunity B and i have been given…our lives have changed so drastically and so wonderfully. i’m thankful for forced rest. i needed it more than i knew. i’m thankful for the people who have had my back this year. there are too many to name. i’m thankful to feel loved by so many and to love them fiercely in return. those special people who speak my love language and demonstrate it in both the big and little things. at the end of the day, this life is all about people. fantastic people grace my life daily, including you. thank you for that.

be blessed this week, my friends!

happiness is…speaking in love.
Natalie

the feeble feminist

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i am not a huge fan of gender roles. as a matter of fact, i think the world would greatly benefit from more stay at home dads and female CEO’s. that being said, i have a newfound respect for those who serve as the primary and/or sole breadwinner of the family. it just so happens that where i live, more often than not, the primary breadwinners are men. please don’t take that as a sexist statement, it’s just statistics. but according to a Pew Study, female breadwinners are on the rise- 40% and climbing. you go girls!

several years ago, this became a major part of the discussion when we made the decision for B to pursue medicine. and i use the term ‘we’ for several reasons. yes, B is the one that wanted to be a doctor, but uprooting our entire lives in order to do so was a decision of such magnitude that it not only impacted B, but WE. you see, B is what the medical school likes to call a ‘non-traditional’ student (which sounds a lot nicer than an ‘older’ student…hehe) due to the fact that he started a career post college before deciding to pursue medicine. so in order to even make this thing a reality, we had to ask ourselves a couple of tough questions: #1. could we live on one income? we had been a two income family our entire marriage. #2. was i willing to be the sole source of income for the next six years? B had to go back to school for one year, the application/interview process took one year, and medical school is four years. losing B’s income would be significant. fortunately, we learned that we could indeed live on one income. after a couple of years of planning and hustling, we paid off all of our debt, sold our home, and moved into a tiny apartment. question #1- check. it also turns out that i was more than willing to be the sole source of income. i have always enjoyed my work and once our finances were in order, it wasn’t quite as intimidating. having a female breadwinner goes against the norm in conservative West Texas and some seemed uncomfortable with the idea, but we’ve always marched to the beat of our own drum anyways. besides, i’m kind of a feminist…but not in the “man-hater” kind of way (why have the feminists decided that we should hate men?), but more of in the “anything you (boys) can do, we (girls) can do better” kind of way. (and yep, i totally sang the song when i typed that.) question #2- check.

the first two years went by without a hitch. i took care of my working business while B took care of his schooling business. but then…we moved. quickly. after a major change of plans over the summer (if you’re new to the blog, read this and this), we were left with only a few weeks to find a place to live and make the move to Houston. there was no time to transfer, no time to look for a new job, and you know where this is going…i found myself jobless. unemployed. devoid of income. our only income. *gasp*

suddenly my “i am woman hear me roar” feminist battle cry sounded less like a roar and more like a squeaky meow. i started to feel the pressure of what it meant to be the sole breadwinner of the family. and it was heavy. i found myself in the 4th largest city in the country, knowing not single soul, and looking for employment. talk about a stomach churner. now, i say all of this with a couple of caveats…we had totally planned for this. we had an emergency fund set aside (thankyouverymuch Dave Ramsey) and there was no sense of urgency to settle for just any job. i had the ability to say no. also, B put absolutely no pressure on me whatsoever. that dude…he never even broke a sweat. he wanted me to hang at the pool, read, go shopping, actually enjoy myself. whaaaaat? but i was consumed. i couldn’t help it. i tried to keep the drama to a minimum (which was hard, y’all!), but being without a job threw me into some sort of existential crisis. i am a person of faith and tried to completely trust in God’s timing and provision, but moving to Houston without a job was a scary leap of faith. second only to B leaving his full-time job before we ever really knew if any of this would work out. the last several years have consisted of one leap of faith after the other so you’d think i would be a pro by now, but it’s called a leap for a reason. and this one had looooots of air time.

anyways, ALL of this blah-blah-blah was setting me up to share some wonderful news…

I GOT A JOB!

yeehaw! woohoo! yippee-ki-yay!

the wonderful company that i previously worked for had a position open up in Houston and decided they would have me back. i am beyond thrilled!

and TA-DAH! just like that, being the sole breadwinner went from feeling heavy to empowering. i don’t care who you are, male or female, there is such a sense of pride in being able to provide for your family. i’m back. i’m roaring. i can do it. i can get us through this. but not alone.

B often says to me, “God is never late, but He misses all kinds of opportunities to show up early.” i just love that quote. so appropriate. had God shown up earlier i might have missed this fabulous job opportunity. had He shown up earlier, i wouldn’t have gotten to support my man through undoubtedly the biggest transition of our lives. any earlier and i wouldn’t have learned some really important things about myself. He kept me mid-leap for a reason. the last several months of unemployment have been a time of real personal growth. the details of which are totally going require their own blog post. of course.

so needless to say, i’m feeling pretty good about life right now. the pieces of our new life in Houston have come together quite perfectly. marriage is a team sport and for the next 4 years it looks like i will be able to carry the team. that makes me very proud.

happiness is…landing the leap.
Natalie

confessions & obsessions: fall edition

confession:

i am not really a fan of Halloween. like, at all. Halloween does NOT make me happy. well…except for maybe the candy, the cute kiddos in (unscary) costumes, and the movie Hocus Pocus. so it’s not all bad. but other than that, a big nope on Halloween. you have heard me refer to myself as ‘scaredy cat Nat’ before right? turns out, holidays that revolve around scary things and scary people are generally un-fun for scaredy cats.

obsessions:

though Halloween might not be high on my list, i find myself totally in love with fall. here are a few things i am obsessing over as of late…

this weather…

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everyone keeps saying that this is the best time of year to live in Houston and i believe them. it’s glorious! i have been reading by the pool almost every day. and yes, even looking at Christmas catalogs. it feels all kinds of wrong.

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it’s the perfect time of year for outdoor activities….especially the zoo! look at the sweet new baby giraffe!

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lately, i have even taken to driving with the sunroof open and the windows down. talk about an instant mood lifter…wind in my hair, music blaring, fingers tapping on the steering wheel. ahhhhh. reminiscent of cruising the main drag in high school. back then we rolled the windows down so everyone could see as we bumped down the street to Nelly or whatever other trash we listened to, but here it’s just because i can’t NOT roll them down. and bonus- it doesn’t smell like cow poop here! sounds like a random thing to say, but i guarantee those from my little slice of West Texas know exactly what i mean.

this song…

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because this song is not at all trash. though it is a drastic departure from my typical rock vibe, i can’t get enough of it. for some reason it reminds me of a late night dinner we had at the dark and trendy LAVO in Las Vegas. weird how a song can bring an experience to mind. and if this song happens to come on while i’m in the car with the windows down, well that’s just extra happiness for free.

this candy…

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bought a bag last Sunday. it’s now Friday. they are gone. which i felt totally okay about until B kindly reminded me that i don’t have dental insurance right now. ooops! i have now convinced myself that my teeth hurt. not just one of them, but all of them. because the one time i go without dental insurance will be the one time i get one hundred cavities instead of just one…right? oh, and the only reason i bought them was to make caramel apple dip. guess where the apples are? yep, still on the counter. sheesh.

this girl…   

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she has been abnormally affectionate lately. i think she knew i needed her. B has been on a study bender for a couple of weeks now, but this weekend we have lots of time to play. and play we will!

happy Friday friends! hope your weekend is full of things that make you obsessively happy. and if that happens to be Halloween, rock on. just don’t jump out and scare me, okay? promise?

PS. hmmmm, i just got to thinking…what if i combined all of my obsessions? would it be like a happiness explosion? if i went cruising, windows down, fave song blaring, whilst eating caramels? mind. blown. but i better not take Lola. she doesn’t like the car.

happiness is…an entire bag of caramels.
Natalie

the story of the tiniest pumpkin

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it had to have been at least four or five years ago. B and i were enjoying a crisp, fall weekend at home. we had just eaten a meal and were cleaning up the kitchen when i spotted a truck pulling a trailer down the street. the trailer was loaded down with hay bales, pumpkins, and adorable boy scouts selling said pumpkins for a troop fundraiser. they stopped on our block as neighbors wandered out of their homes to peruse the merchandise. being that i was elbow deep in a sink full of dishes, i begged B to “pleeeeaaaase go outside and buy me a pumpkin!” by my recollection, he resisted but another pleading “pleeeeeaaaase” later and he was out the door.

he returned a few minutes later. i was still standing at the sink as he sauntered into the kitchen and excitedly exclaimed, “look Nat, i bought you a pumpkin!” i turned around to see B, my pumpkin hero, pumpkin fetcher extraordinaire, holding the tiniest pumpkin i had ever seen. it was so tiny that he was holding it by the stem with only two fingers. and the best part…he was grinning ear to ear. i lost it. i laughed until tears streamed down my face. B was kind of perplexed, but i found the whole thing hilarious. not to mention incredibly endearing. you see, i sent him out there hoping he would buy me a puuuuumpkin. a hefty one. a plump one. one that must be cradled with two hands from the bottom. a pumpkin so large that neighborhood kids would deem it worthy of smashing when they spotted it sitting on the porch next to my yellow mums. i received no such pumpkin. turns out, B got all the way outside before he realized that he had exactly one dollar in his wallet and the tiniest pumpkin known to mankind is all that one dollar would buy. so i accepted my prize pumpkin with a hug and a kiss and happily set it on the windowsill in the kitchen (yes, it was small enough to sit on the windowsill) and every time i saw it, i smiled, giggled to myself, and thought of my B.

i don’t know what it was about that particular scenario, but the events of that perfect fall day remain etched into my memory. i think it must have been the look of ornery pride on his face as his huge hands dangled that tiny pumpkin in the air. whatever it was, it delighted me. every year since, i purchase a tiny pumpkin and place it where i can see it everyday. it is a nice reminder to treasure the little things in life. and it always makes me think of my biggest treasure too….the tall dude who started my favorite fall tradition with just a dollar and a sense of humor.

last year’s pumpkin:

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this year’s pumpkin:

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happiness is…the little things.
Natalie

a near perfect weekend

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ohhhhhh Monday. i can’t decide whether i hate you more or less after a super fun weekend. i woke up this morning still thinking about what a great time i had, which made me even more bummed to realize it was over. maybe it’s like the weekend version of…’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. or something like that.

in my not-so-humble opinion, one should always take into consideration two things when crafting the perfect weekend…entertainment and food.

entertainment:

our weekend rocked- literally. on Saturday night, B took me to see one of my favorite bands, The Gaslight Anthem, play at the Warehouse Live in Downtown. well actually, i told him he was taking me. i bought the tickets, made all the arrangements, and kind of just drug him along. but he obliged. it’s one of the funny things about our relationship. B is more comfortable in a suit at the symphony and i am more comfortable in studded boots at a rock concert. i snuck a glance at him every now and then during the show just to check in. he looked a little out of his element and i could tell the music was too loud for him based on his furrowed brow, but as soon as he caught me looking at him, he broke into a huge smile as if to prove he was having the time of his life. it was very cute and made me wish i had brought him some earplugs. the show was fantastic, the venue was cool, and B just seemed grateful that i didn’t make us stand on the floor near the mosh pit. (i told him there would be one and he didn’t believe me!) the opening band was a little more rowdy and i made sure to point out where i used to stand ten years ago. you know, just so he could appreciate how far i have come. i’m like, a grown-up now or something.

also on the entertainment front…we squeezed in some much-needed couch time and caught up on a few shows. can i get a fist bump for the season premier of The Walking Dead? whaaaaaat?! it was insane! and i think Carol has now surpassed Michonne as Queen Bad A** of the Zombie Apocalypse.

food:

we also ate some killer food this weekend. before the concert, we went to Max’s Wine Dive for dinner. it’s exactly what it sounds like. kind of upscale dive bar food and an excellent wine list. delish! i also made homemade pizza because what’s couch time for if not to eat pizza? AND i made my first batch of pumpkin bread of the fall season. fall is weird here by the way. weird in that it is totally perfect. everything is green, temps in the mid eighties, and most days are glorious. i’ll take it!

so, when i told B this morning that i was going to write about my ‘near perfect weekend’ he scoffed and said, “near perfect? why near?” turns out, the only thing that i didn’t get to do that i wanted to do was go running around Rice University on Saturday morning because of rain. (why do the not-so-glorious days always fall on Saturday?!) but that’s it. so really, i have nothing to complain about. but you may be wondering…what’s with all the details and the drama? it was just a weekend, Nat! well this might surprise you, but i feel the need to really celebrate the great ones because not every weekend is a super fun weekend for first year medical students. or med student wives for that matter. ha! B is now ramping up for another round of tests in a few weeks so he will spend the next couple of weekends locked in the office as i slide plates of food under the door. kidding. kind of. but i am proud of his hard work because he’s a responsible grown-up now too, you know.

speaking of grown-ups, i laughed to myself several times over the weekend because of how much life has changed. for instance- i still enjoy a rowdy rock show, but now i choose to enjoy it from the back of the crowd in order to avoid bodily injury. BUT after four hours of standing, both of us had a backache…bodily injury without the moshing! just admitting that to you makes me feel ancient. also, we still veg out on the couch for our favorite shows but instead of crashing at 1am, our eyelids are heavy by 10pm. oh, and 8am is now considered ‘sleeping in.’ i never in all my daaaaaays… oh well, i guess it has to happen sometime. i laugh to keep from crying.

and now…pictorial documentation. because pics or it didn’t happen. amiright?

my concert look.

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date night selfies are a must. B disagrees, but i generally win.

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yes waiter, we’ll take everything fried please. fried chicken for B, fish and chips for me.

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cheers! and now i need personalized wine glasses.

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the where.

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the what.

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throw up your rock fist!

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so um…my pumpkin bread was incredibly beautiful when i pulled it out of the oven and i meant to take a pic. but then we did a little stress eating after The Walking Dead and *might* have eaten some more for breakfast. 24 hours later and this is all that remains. told ya, weekends are all about the food around here.

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happiness is…a rad weekend.
Natalie

full circle

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i sat down at the computer about 9am after dropping B off at school. my intentions were to check facebook and quickly send a couple of emails…basically just occupy myself long enough to drink one more cup of coffee before heading to the gym.

it’s now noon.

three cups of coffee later and i am still here…writing in full gym attire (double knotted shoelaces and everything) and sans makeup because i got distracted before i even finished getting ready. yes, i put on makeup to go to the gym. i’m *that* girl.

just call me Alice. i have fallen down the rabbit hole once again. and it’s lovely. alllllways so lovely to get a little lost in wonderland. and it all started with this darn blog. you see, i am planning a major blog overhaul. (stay tuned!) i am purchasing a hosting plan, transferring data, and have hired a web designer to make it pretty and do all the things i’m too dumb to figure out. which coincidentally, is a lot. anyways, i am so paranoid about losing all of my material that i started backing up each and every blog post (all 65 of them) in individual files as well. so instead of running on the treadmill like a good girl, i spent the entire morning walking down memory lane. which is just as exhausting, i assure you. i relived the emotional turmoil i felt over turning thirty, the joyful birth of my perfect niece, and the sadness over the sale of our home. i meticulously copied and pasted the events of my own life, chapter by chapter, until i finally arrived at October of last year. that’s when i found this…

road trip randomness

at the time, i did not tell you where we went. i did not tell you why we went there.

but i will now.

we went to Houston. we went there for B’s first medical school interview.

full circle, my friends.

now here i sit, in October of 2014, writing this post from my new home…HOUSTON. the place we excitedly chattered about the entire way home on our cross-Texas road trip almost exactly one year ago. we discussed how exciting it would be to live in the bustling medical center. what it might be like to take the metro. to live near the water and still be able to swim outside in October. something just felt so right about Houston.

i wish it didn’t take reading my own words from a year ago to be reminded of the extraordinary gift that we have been given. i should leap out of bed every morning with the realization that we hoped and prayed for something so huge and we got it. amazing, right? but as i attempt to adjust to what feels like an entirely different life, i get uncomfortable and i do forget. what a shame. B is busy doing his med school thing, and i am still floundering a bit. but that’s okay. i am much better at floundering than he is. really, i could be a professional flounder-er. (what does that pay, i wonder?) i love this city, but have yet to find my place in it. but as i spent the morning reflecting on the last 12 months, there is no doubt in my mind that B is exactly where he needs to be. which means that we are exactly where we need to be. today, i just needed the reminder.

happiness is…a trip down memory lane.
Natalie

weekly lineup

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B’s weekly lineup:


M:  Gross Anatomy Exam and Practical

T:  Histology Exam

W:  STUDY!

Th:  Biochemistry Exam

F:  Developmental Anatomy Exam

Nat’s weekly lineup:


M:  The Voice & The Blacklist

T:  to be determined…

W:  Survivor & Modern Family

Th:  The Biggest Loser

F:  Date Night! (after B’s exams anyway)

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*sigh* i know what you’re thinking…what the heck am i going to do on Tuesday?!

oh, what’s that you say? you were feeling bad for B? you are so nice. but let’s get back to me…

the funny (or sad) thing is that when we moved here, i made a strong case against getting cable. i didn’t want to pay for it and we had just moved to Houston…there’s a million things to do here! and besides, i always assumed that people who don’t have cable spend their evenings doing intelligent and sophisticated things. like, drinking red wine and playing chess. or reading War and Peace in a leather wingback by the fire. cable was holding me back, man! however, B (the fella with zero time for television) made a strong case for cable and i relented. something about soccer/football/sports-he-no-longer-has-time-to-watch. so, just because i’m a good wife and just because B’s week is kind of a doozy, i’ll go ahead and say it…

“you were right honey. i’m very glad we got cable.”

so instead of chess and Tolstoy, i’ll spend my evenings curled up on the sofa, whilst wearing yoga pants, and watching reality tv. because that’s the kind of girl i am. but there will be red wine.

PS. what are you watching this week? anything you’re super excited about?

PPS. this is my first time ever watching The Voice. gotta support my girl Gwen Stefani. i’ve been #TeamGwen since 1996 when i begged my parents for a pair of Doc Martins and danced alone in my bedroom to “I’m Just a Girl” and “Spiderwebs.” ahhhh, the nostalgia is palpable.

PPPS. because i have a special place in my heart for Batman, i’m also thinking about watching Gotham. but then i’m up to three shows on Monday. overkill? maybe. unless…i record The Blacklist and save it to watch with B on the weekend. then it’s really just two shows. problem solved! setting the DVR now…

happiness is…a new season.
Natalie

rainy day musings

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the thunder booms overhead and the rain gently trickles down the windows. the stormy morning casts an eerie glow into the quiet office, drawing me in. my green leather chair beckons to me, begs me to occupy it. my fingers tingle, yearning to find meaning and wisdom in keystrokes. i sit down, take a sip of steaming hot coffee, link my fingers together and push my arms away from my body in a graceful pre-writing stretch…and i begin. ’tis the perfect day for writing.

AND I’VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY!!!

ugh. the worst! i don’t even think it’s writer’s block, per say. maybe writer’s slump? or bump? grump? see?! i can’t even find the appropriate word for it, only rhymes. hey, maybe i’ll become a poet. yeah, that’s right! because poetry doesn’t necessarily have to make sense. remember in freshman English when we had to analyze poems? then everyone would talk about it and then argue about it because we all thought our own interpretations were deep and affirming but then the teacher would say that we were all correct because poetry means different things to different people and then you lost a little respect for poetry due to your need to be right and in turn became angry with your friends for having shallow ideas and made an inner vow never to speak to them again. until lunch. because who are you gonna talk to at lunch if not your shallow friends, you know?

raise your hand if you would be interested in reading my poetry were i to write any. tap. tap. you there?

seems i should stick with blogging.

i think the actual culprit is simply this: TIME. when i don’t have enough of it, i have a million things to write about. when i have too much of it, i’m at a loss for words. maybe it’s the writer’s version of grass is greener? anyways, though life still feels a little strange these days, i am taking full advantage of all this newfound free time. i have yet to feel lonely…i actually quite enjoy hanging out with myself. i think i’m rad. but i have struggled with boredom a bit. so, i started making it a point to plan small daily adventures…yesterday it was IKEA (always an adventure) and today, it’s a museum. i have loved reading by the pool (when it’s not raining), working on our cozy little condo, and baking yummies for B (and me). all of this extra time has also allowed for reflection and i’m nothing if not a reflector. i think i am finally mastering learning the art of contentedness. i’m trying to be still and find peace in the moment. but maybe most importantly, i am giving myself more grace. my expectations were totally unrealistic and i understand that now. we moved, started a life-changing journey, and i thought i could figure it all out…in less than eight weeks. laughable, i know. life has many seasons and i believe there is a specific purpose to this one. although my world feels very small, every day it is up to me to fill it with only good things.

as far as the point of this post…i have no idea. maybe to tell you that i’m still happy and weird? and still redheaded but less so? (i miss my colorist.) and life is good? and rain makes me introspective…? whatever it is, i just couldn’t let the perfect writing day go to waste.

i guess i had a few things to say after all. thanks for listening. xo.

happiness is…a rainy day.
Natalie

let’s eat!

i *think* i’m finally ready to share some pics of our new digs. it’s far from perfect and there are still several little projects i want to do, but that’s the beauty of creating a home. it’s a work in progress, continually morphing to fit the needs (that’s B) and whims (that’s me) of it’s occupants.

i’m starting with my favorite space…the dining room, of course! i love the dining room for several reasons:

  1. we eat there. i’m a big fan of that.
  2. it’s the one time during the day when B and i give each other our undivided attention. we sit down, slow down, look each other in the eye, and have meaningful conversations.
  3. my new furniture!

i have had my eye on this table for quite a while. well, ever since the whole we’re-moving-to-Kansas City-to-live-in-a-loft debacle of 2014. it just seemed perfect for loft living. turns out, it’s pretty perfect here too.

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ain’t she pretty? i’m in love.

since the table is reclaimed wood and iron, i didn’t know what kind of chair to get. upholstered? love em, but they get so dirty. and i would want them in white, of course. metal? the metal chairs were too shiny and took away from the rusted look of the iron. B could see where this was going (a.k.a. Nat buys a table and we can’t sit at it for an entire year until she combs the globe to find the perfect chairs) and so he stepped in and picked these. i was a little uncertain…until they arrived.

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i was concerned the wood would (ha!) not match being that the table was reclaimed wood, but they’re perfect. (way to go B!) we chose the ‘burnt oak’ finish so they have enough of a grayish tint to them to compliment the deep grayish wood of the table.

to soften the look (and our butts), we went ahead and ordered the linen cushions in ‘sand’. but don’t fret, i already scotchguarded the heck outta them. Lola loves them just as much as we do. seriously, she hasn’t left the dining room in two weeks.

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and how cute are these little ties?

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overall, i am very happy with our new little dining space. at some point, the blue walls gotta go. they aren’t horribly offensive, but i don’t love ‘em. the living room (which opens to the dining space) is khaki and i’ll probably carry that color throughout. the room also has great light due to the two massive windows and that makes me oh-so-happy. flowy linen curtains would look lovely and allow me to take down those darn blinds and still have some privacy…but that can wait. this stuff has a tendency to snowball, you know? give me a little creative leniency and a budget and before you know it, i’ve gutted the room. you laugh, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

well, i gotta go. all this dining room talk made me hungry!

bon appétit! 


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table: Restoration Hardware
chairs: Restoration Hardware
cushions: Restoration Hardware
placemats: Pier One
napkins: Pier One (on sale! act fast!)
dishes: Target
glasses: World Market

PS. can i just say that i want to LIVE in Restoration Hardware? not just shop there, or spend a lot of time there, i want to liiiiive there. i’m certain my writing would vastly improve seated at one of their gorgeous desks. my sleep would be divine on an oversized leather sofa. and if i ever got hungry, i would only have to venture a couple of doors down for a cupcake at Sprinkles. should i ever run away from home, B knows where to find me.

happiness is…dinnertime.
Natalie

week 3

car convos from Tuesday and Wednesday…

B: “what did you do today?”

N: “oh, you know…i spent my day binge eating and watching Law & Order SVU. you?”

B: “i learned about insert something super complicated here.”

N: “show off.”

♥♥♥

you might think i’m being silly, but it’s not that far from the truth. following the long weekend, i found myself kinda mopey early in the week.

i guess it’s fair to say that ever since B started medical school, i have been trying to find my way. you see, i left my job when we moved here. which is fine. i anticipated that i might have to, and we planned accordingly. it was the right decision and i am forever grateful for the time that B and i got to spend together before he started school. that time was a gift. i am also grateful to have been available to support him throughout the first few weeks of school. i particularly enjoyed the first two. i felt busy. i shuffled B to and fro, packed lunches, cooked dinner, washed smelly scrubs…basically everything i could think of to get us organized and in a good routine. and miracle of all miracles, i think we are! the two must unstructured people on the planet have found some structure. forced structure maybe, but structure nonetheless. but week three felt different. i looked up from the crazy and noticed it was calm. clothes were clean, no one was starving, B was in a good rhythym…what now? was it time to finally evaluate…me? *gasp* i had a vague awareness that i would have to at some point, but i think i have been subconsciously (or maybe very consciously) avoiding it. i don’t necessarily know why. it’s just that it feels a little uncomfortable. and scary. and overwhelming.

it’s like the contents of our lives were contained in a box. a very pretty box. it was wrapped and labeled and perfectly square. then a couple of kids (masquerading as adults) spent several years shaking it, turning it upside down, and anticipating the day when they could gleefully open it up. that day came…the wrapping paper was ripped to shreds, the lid removed, and the contents of that box dumped onto the floor. a life deconstructed, but somehow shiny and new and everything they hoped it would be. now that life is no longer contained by a box. it’s big and endless and at times, terrifying. everything looks different and feels different outside of the box.

but you know what? after moping (and then feeling guilty about moping), i came to this conclusion…this time is a gift too. i must learn to view it as such. but why is it so hard to be still sometimes? i don’t think i know how. it’s unchartered territory for this gal to navigate. however, as uncomfortable as this time may be, i have decided to enjoy it. (i can hear B breathing a sigh of relief as he reads this. the boy has done nothing but encourage me to write, read, and lay by the pool every day. he’s so nice.) but seriously, this could be the only time in my life in which i have the luxury of time. the ability to slow down and think about what i want. hmmmmmmm. *pondering*

with all of this in mind, let me take you back to week three…Tuesday and Wednesday= mopey. remember? but Thursday, on the other hand, Thursday i rallied. i woke up with a new sense of determination. i ate a healthy breakfast, put on my batman shirt, and kicked my own a** in the gym. because it’s impossible to be a sissy when you’re wearing a batman shirt, right? it’s like a law of fashion or something.

gratuitous gym selfie below.

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you didn’t believe i owned a batman shirt, did you? oh, and notice i have the place all to myself…perk to working out mid-day at the student rec center. i am batman.

then on Friday, i cleaned the condo from top to bottom. i have yet to find a more productive therapy. ahhhh, smells good in here.

week three in the books, y’all…rocky start, strong finish.

so for now, my days will remain quiet and filled with random adventures. you know i plan to spend many of them writing. and on most days, i will apply for jobs, hustle, and network, but on others- those glorious others- i might spend two hours at the gym and two more by the pool. and every now and then, on a (hopefully infrequent) mopey day, i’ll watch Law & Order and eat frozen cookie dough. and that’s okay. all of it is okay. because finding yourself is hard. and it takes time. good thing i happen to have some time right now.

i know how B will spend the next four years of his life and now it is up to me to figure out how i want to spend mine. good thing my dear B taught me that it’s never too late to choose.

happiness is…living outside the box.
Natalie