Tuesday, June 29, 2010

24 hour Happy Day Giveaway!

Ok. I've decided to get over my funk from yesterday. Yes it is really hot, BUT my hydrangeas are growing out of control and I now have a huge bouquet in every room. Yes it's too humid, BUT my skin looks great. (Not my hair so much, but I'm focusing on the positive.) I miss my family, BUT I've totally missed my Tennessee friends too and we get to see Eclipse this week! Also, happy happy day - I found out I'm a finalist in The City Cradle Celebrate Picnic Contest! YAY! Do me a huge solid and vote for my photos by leaving a comment here by 3pm tomorrow (PST).

To make this even a happier day, I will do a 24 hour giveaway. I really need to get back into jewelry making, and I want you to inspire me. I will be sending two readers a pair of handmade earrings in the color combination of their choosing! 

To enter:

  • Let me know in a comment what color(s) you would like your pair of earrings to be. One solid color is fine too. Whatever you need to compliment your wardrobe. 
  • For an extra entry, let me know in a separate comment that you have voted for me over at The City Cradle
Giveaway ends tomorrow 3pm, EST. 

Ah, I love air conditioning.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I'm back from a month long family reunion in Washington. My entire family, except one brother in law, was home. I couldn't mention it earlier because part of the trip was surprising my best friend who I hadn't seen in six years. More on that later.

Anyway, I am pretty depressed about being back in Tennessee. I love it here....except in the summer. Yesterday as I packed my bags, my every fiber was crying out "No!!! Stay here with the people you love. Stay in the cool seventy degree mountains. Stay home!" I walked outside, closed my eyes and let the cool breeze chill my tear streaked cheeks. I tried to memorize the feeling of being home.

When we got off the plane in Chattanooga, it was midnight and 82 degrees. Right now it's over 95 degrees and unbelievably humid. I need to get out the door for groceries, but I just want to sulk.

But, to look on the bright side, Shane had the entire house clean (he joined me for the last week of my trip) so I don't have to worry about anything but unpacking. He also surprised me by painting the kitchen this really cool Khaki color that I love. Also, I had the most incredible package waiting for me that I giggled over for an hour (you know who you are and THANK YOU!!)

I have over 800 photos to go through, so you know you will be seeing what my little family was up to.  A lot of them will be over on my family blog. I did add some photos to my last post if you want a glimpse.  For a few days though, I'm just going to drink Diet Coke and try not to cry.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strawberry Picnic

I've been planning our little strawberry outing all month to get just the right picnic photo. But as I looked my photos over, this shot of my baby stuffing his face was the best moment from our lovely family outing. Blanket ignored, crustless sandwiches untouched. One happy little baby plopped down in the dirt. Sometimes you just have to roll with it, otherwise you'll miss the truly sweet moments

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Check out more of the adventure:

Even cuter with the dirt.

"Is this one good mommy?"

The boys went a bit crazy seeing this basket placed in front of them.

Pretty Abby.

Little Paige - this isn't the most flattering of your photos, but we laughed so hard, I had to stick it in here.

The kids were so messy after the picking was through, we loaded them in the car and continued our picnic at home (after a bit of washing).

I can't imagine a better summer delicacy than homemade strawberry shortcake with strawberries straight from the patch. Or a better day spend picking them.

Miss you guys.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why I always keep frozen tilapia on hand

She has no idea how good she has it. What are your favorite summer meals?

By the way, I just finished The Help and it was such a wonderful novel. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone looking for a summer read that is more than just fluff, but still  very entertaining. I rarely give a book 5 stars on Goodreads, but this one was no question. I love summer. Time to turn off the TV, sit out on the porch and read! What are you reading right now? Anyone else crazy excited for Mockingjay???? I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Huggies Denim Diapers...CAKE!

Whoo hoo! The Huggies Denim Diapers are on the shelves! Just in time as about 19 of my friends are having babies in the next few months. One of my friends had a shower last week that I sadly could not attend, so I thought I would send something in my stead. She's having a boy, so I decided on a cowboy denim diaper cake. (If my friend was having a girl, I would have done a "Diva" cake with a fuchsia and black theme. These diapers are awesome!)

The cake was surprisingly easy to put together. I followed these instructions (thanks for the link Sarah Jane). Instead of using ribbon, I found cowboy fabric that I loved and folded it to resemble ribbon. You could always sew it..if you are one of those over achiever types. Me, I just folded. The bottom of the cakeboard is covered with a bandana I bought at a craft store for under a dollar. All the fabric was under $4. I used about 60 diapers.

No, I didn't make the booties. I'm really not gifted in the sewing/kniting/crocheting arts. (Though I do tie a mean scarf.) You can pick up your own booties at Forever and a Day. (Really great prices!) Other ideas for decor I considered were plush horses and toy cowboy hats.

I used size 3 diapers so my friend wouldn't have to tear the cake apart right away.  Inside is some yummy smelling baby lotion.

So cute! You know Collin will be wearing these denim diapers all summer long. With Tennessee as hot as it is, a diaper is all my baby needs!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's day to all the wonderful Daddies out there. Especially mine.


The winner of the Huggies Giveaway is Beth. Congrats! Email me and I will get you your FIVE packs of diapers you lucky duck :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh wow. So THIS is PMS.

Warning. During this post I will be using the word "period" a lot. So if you are the gender that is lucky enough not to experience this happening first hand, I would slowly back away from the computer now.


As a teenager and through college, I thought most of my friends were a bunch of whiners when it came to PMS. I understood the disgusting tragedy of the actual period. Don't tell me it's a beautiful thing. It's not. Once, the boy I had a huge crush on informed me of a "leak". Tell me that isn't the most horrendous tragedy of a 14 year old's existence. I was wearing pink umbros at the time. Oh the horror. And cramps? I would spend days doubled up. I still shutter when I think about it. But PMS? I never got it. Never felt any cravings, mood swings, exhaustion...none of it. I thought I must just be lucky that way.

After marriage I discovered something wonderful....birth control pills. Oh, these new best friends not only keep me from overly stressing about having a honeymoon baby, but they made my periods go from 6 horrible days to one barely noticeable 24 hour event. And PMS? Still just some mysterious phenomenon.

Shane and I started trying to have a baby after we had been married for a couple years, but after 12 month of no success, I started taking fertility pills. I wasn't prepared for the effect they would have on my emotions. I've always thought I was a pretty emotionally stable girl, but suddenly I was crying. All the time. We had just moved to Chattanooga and I had had to quit my (loved) job at an art gallery. Here I was, unemployed in the blistering heat, reading the classifieds while watching "A Baby Story" marathons.  It was a strange time. Thankfully it only lasted a few month and the effects wore off. A year later I finally got pregnant and felt great. I looked back at that time and thought I must have been experiencing something like PMS.

So moving on to present day. I now have two darling children. Collin just stopped nursing. I was taking birth control pills with low estrogen so they wouldn't effect my milk supply, but they aren't very effective once you stop nursing. My doctor prescribed a new birth control pill and I thought nothing of it. Well let me tell you, that is ALL I have been thinking about this week. If you are a facebook fan you know why. I am having the most heinous PMS imaginable. Seriously, they could write me up in a textbook. I'm sorry to my friends who I though were making this all up. This is nuts. I feel like I should be cast in an annuale commercial.

This past week has been awful. I wake up and I want a smoothie. But not my normal banana, strawberries and soy milk smoothie. No, what I am really craving is one made with brownies, diet coke, Tylenol and valium. I just want a funnel and to get that concoction in my system as fast as humanly possible. Luckily, I've refrained and stuck with my normal smoothies for breakfast, with brownies and diet coke for lunch and dinner.

Shane was out of town for a bit, and I was a little bugged at him about something. Something relatively minor, but as we discussed it, I could feel my rage starting to expand until it became it's own entity. I don't know if I can remember half the things I was yelling about, but I couldn't stop the torrent of grievances pouring from my mouth. After 20 minutes Shane calmly asked "Are you done?" and then I started to cry. A lot. We have a "no yell" policy that I had just totally violated and I felt miserable. But not regular miserable. Pit of despair miserable. My moods were shifting so fast, it was making me dizzy.

The next day I was a little stressed. I was late to a birthday party and I couldn't find Lydia's car seat. Stressed might not be the right word. Hum, how should I say this? I was psycho-crazed. I started to scream. Not at anyone in particular, I just started screaming. And I couldn't stop. In my mind I was saying, "whoa Natalie! Get a grip!", but I just keep screaming. In front of my kids. In front of some friends who were watching Collin for me. Wow. I've been a mom for over 4 years I've never yelled in front of my kids. I saw Collin start to cry and that snapped me out of it. Literally snapped. Suddenly I felt fine. Well, not fine. More like I wanted some more brownies and to go sleep for a week.

So friends, this is my personal apology letter. I'm sorry to my girlfriends who I thought were making PMS into a big deal. I'm sorry to my sweet understanding husband. I'm sorry to anyone who had to be around me for longer than 2 hours. I'm sorry to my kids. I'm sorry to the cashier at wal-mart. (He knows why.)

PMS is officially over and I am calling the doctor for a new birth control prescription. If for some reason he advises against changing yet, don't come around me from July 11th- 16th. Especially if you see me holding a baseball bat.


Mrs. Alex P said...
This describes yesterday for me perfectly! I think i melted down more than my teething 8 month old. Girl, i am so there with you! And this my friend ... "brownies, diet coke, Tylenol and valium" sounds wonderful :-)
April J. said...
This post has been removed by the author.
April J. said...
This is so funny in a it's not me this time kind of way. I can totally realate. I have been married 10 years, did the practically honeymoon baby thing and have been pregnant or nursing ever since, until this past January. Last month I was so irritable, angry, negative, mad about everything...complaining to my friend. With in a hour I discovered I started my period. So I let her know and we laughed about it. After the fact...definitely AFTER!
Shanny said...
You just described me this week. Seriously, almost to a tee. Except I don't have PMS. I'm just pregnant. But this past week has been BAD. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has been crazy :)
Gale, Ky quilter said...
Okay, not only do I feel your pain - you detailed it so perfectly I felt like I was back there again. Becoming more mature (read OLDER here) leaves this horrible monthly monster in the past - WOO HOOO!!! However, I've been on steroids for 11 years and guess what? Just like PMS-every emotion I have is magnified x 1,000. I don't always have to take this high of dose but when I do, I warn my family - okay guys, there could be a meltdown soon so just look out. Thank goodness I don't own a baseball bat.
Stacy said...
Oh wow...sounds like what happened to me when I tried Seasonale. 3 of the worst weeks of my life, culminating in me curled up sobbing on the couch while my husband tried to find someone to come stay with me while he went to work. Took a week to fully come down from the wild hormone ride and be back to normal
Lara said...
I'm sorry. I hope you can go back to the blissful ignorance you had before. I have not found anything that helps mine...and I've had it for about 22 years now. My family just knows to take cover. :)
bumblebeebags said...
well I can tell ya it happens wether you are on birth control or not! I have never taken any type of birth control and I had never had PMS until after the birth of my last son..and now....watch out! there is a whole week where I dont leave the house because I am afraid someone will have me committed for my rages and crying spells! lol
S Club Mama said...
You've never yelled in front of your kids? Super.woman.
Heather said...
You have no idea how much better this makes me feel. I just stopped nursing my daughter and I have been "psycho-crazed PMS woman" for almost a month now!!! Unfortunately I had my period the whole time I was nursing.....(another rant for another time) but since I stopped the PMS is AWFUL!!! AWFUL!!!! Saying a prayer for you and your family!!! :)
Love Being a Nonny said...
This is very real and I think most of us can relate. Sorry. It's tough. And having children to deal with while you are PMSing is even tougher! God bless you...I mean it!!
Rachel said...
EXACT same kind of thing has been happening for me since I stopped nursing my 1 year old. I MUST call the doc for a new prescription...it is about to do me and everyone else in!!
Julie Isa said...
You described PMS perfectly with humor. I'm going to make my husband read it, so as to justify my own behavior!? :0 I didn't experience PMS until after my third child. I am currently nursing my 5th and I am hoping to find a pill that helps me with this wonderful problem. Let me know if you find something that works and in the mean time, eat brownies :)
Anonymous said...
But I can't help but think millions of women are sympathizing with you! You never mentioned the brand..but Yasmine (not YAZ) did me in and I had to get OFF that stuff...it was literally going to break us up -- obviously I can relate..but wondering what brand it was for you?? I had awesome, awesome success then with Mirena..was skeptical at first, but my Dr made the decision easy and I have been happy with results (such localized hormones, that you wouldn't be able to detect them with a blood draw). It only took 4 mo to conceive for me once it was removed (that was a fear) and I never felt it, or had to deal with it (that was another concern). Plus after 6 months...spotting was done and I virtually didn't even have a period that needed more that a couple days of "lightdays" - that was it! No cramps! Can't rave enough about how I liked it. You will find something -- the drag with anything however is waiting out the typical 3 months they suggest you stay on something in order to regulate and get used to it :) ~Jennifer
Overdramatic Party Girl said...
Don't worry too much about it! We all have had those times in our lives. For me, it was on fertility pills as well... my dh calls them my "mean pills" and tries to stay away from me... which is hard when you're trying to conceive! lol! I also recently felt like this - I was crazy, and I knew I was being crazy - and I couldn't stop myself from being crazy. It was the weirdest experience of my life... and then I found out I was pregnant. (We did 3 yrs of fertility stuff for the 1st and heavy fertility stuff for the 2nd and SURPRISE with a 3rd). Definitely call your dr. I used to work at a pharmacy and there are so many options and everything affects everyone else differently. BUT if you're feeling any more symptoms, like me, get a pregnancy test just to make sure. ((hugs)) and you'll be fine!
Kahla said...
Thanks to our "you have a better shot at roping the moon policy because of male factor IF" I'm not on BCPs anymore, but when I was I was the same way. Ugh. Hopefully the next RX will work better w/you! Hugs

Thursday, June 17, 2010

True Envy

They say we want most what we can't have. Maybe that's why I so completely envy people with an eye for interior design. Cause people, I don't have it. Not a drop. I was looking at a room somewhere, where a house renovation is shown and I found myself turning green. How did she see those possibilities?!? Click hereherehere and here to see for yourself. Occasionally things turn out decent. Like Lydia's room. I really did like the way that turned out. But if I'm honest about it, I just kind of suck. I am just going to have to pick out a page in a magazine and say "do this". My living room is a straight copy of a 2008 page in Pottery Barn. If I ever go for a more modern feel, I'm going to tell the designer I want something like this:

(But with a little more yellow thrown in)

What's one thing you're envious of?

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