Thursday, May 31, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Favorite Summer Appetizer

I know, these are ridiculously easy. But they are always the first thing to go whenever I take them places. I think girls like them cause they are cute and small. Men like them because they feel like they are putting an entire potato in their mouth at one time, and it's got bacon, so that ups the man factor even more. Oooooo, add chili maybe!

Have a great three day weekend! I cannot believe it's summer already.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby

Dear Collin.

Three years ago I held you for the first time.

You made our home a happier place.

And keep us always smiling.

I never knew there could be a boy as sweet as you.

Daddy got a son.

Lydia got the playmate she always wanted.

Even though she really wanted a sister, she was glad you were sent instead.

To your second.....

To now. You have brought joy to everyone who knows you.

Happy 3rd birthday sweetheart.

I love you more than tongue can tell.

See a couple random little Collin videos here and here
See his birthday party pics here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dear Reader

Hi Natalie,

I just stumbled across your blog the other day (and now have been reading it non-stop), but I had to email you and thank you personally for putting yourself out there and being so honest about motherhood!  

I taught first grade for 5 years and for the past year I have stayed home with my two boys (ages 3 and1).  It has been such a difficult year for me...I've felt like such a failure because I don't like being a stay-at-home mom (or maybe I feel like I'm not good at it...or could it be that my youngest still isn't sleeping through the night...??).  I feel like I have been going through a mid-life age 29, ha!  I'll spare you the details, but I am so thankful I have found your blog.  Knowing I'm not the only one who hasn't found motherhood to be all rainbows and butterflies has helped me feel better :)  Also, your posts about marriage have been eye-opening.  I have for sure been taking out my frustrations this past year on my poor husband.  I owe him big time.  

A million thanks

Dear Reader - 

When we don't admit how hard this job is, we are just procrastinating the day when it catches up with us. We have to allow ourselves the moments to sit down and cry at just how much this motherhood takes. Of course it's wonderful and a blessing unlike any other. Admitting how hard it is, doesn't negate that. Remember that sometimes we have to stay in purely survival mode for a time. Sometimes it's all we can do to just keep our family feed and safe. As long as your children feel loved, they will be okay.

Surround yourself with mothers who understand and who are without pretense. Who make you feel good and know when to step in. Remember the things you loved before being a mother, and don't give them up. Allow yourself some "I NO WORK TODAY" days. Allow yourself to step outside of your home, just you. Leave the kids with your husband and go drive with the windows down. Drink in the summer air, sip your favorite soda and listen to the radio. Find a place to lay in the sun, close your eyes and feel the yellow light on your face. You will feel better when you leave the walls of your house. Don't let them be a prison. Stepping out of them reminds you how much you enjoy coming home.

You really aren't alone. I didn't know how I would survive my motherhood crisis. I was 29 too. I did survive though and you will too.

And don't forget to pray. Pray for your babies, your husband and pray for you. Of one thing I'm completely positive, God sees the job we are doing as the most important on earth.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Photo Staircase

We are having so much fun getting this house done! We've been here 5 months now and it is really starting to come together. I have about 20 projects in the works and I'm very excited to show them to you.  I'm making a goal to have something new to post about the house most Mondays. Hopefully that will keep my momentum up. You saw my bedroom so far. Lydia's room just needs one more picture framed and it will be ready. The guest room is 90% done (and it is SOOOO darling!)
 I finally bought Collin's "big boy bed" bedding, so I am starting on that room next. 
Once I have the bedding for a room,  I work from that theme.
 And I have one of the coolest tutorials ever that I'm hoping I will have done by next week. 

This week is our staircase. 
I didn't know if I liked the idea of a gallery wall on the staircase. It seemed a little cliche. 
But Shane wanted to try it out, so I got the photos framed and he hung them. 

He laid them out the way he wanted on the floor, took a photo of it, them measured things out and made nail marks on the walls. That seems a little too, um, "mathy" for me.  
Personally, I like the way it was done on Design Crush

I love the way it turned out! 
Keeping it a black and white lets me easily change the living room decor.
And it matches the fireplace mantel. Which I just finished. But you will have to check back in the next couple weeks to see it :)

See that patch of light coming in from the ceiling window? That directly faces into the upstairs bathroom interior window across the staircase, giving it natural light! So cool.

I wanted a combo of lots of different shaped frames. Most of them are from Target and Hobby Lobby.

I may replace one frame with a neon yellow one, just to add a little treadiness for the season. Shane says no. And I laughed that he thought he had an opinion. Silly boy.

Here's the full look.
I noticed I changed up three photos just in the couple days between these shots.
 I'm a little OCD that way.

I've already ordered a different photo to go in that hall frame. 

Oops. A little impostor.
There's a reason I don't do blogging stuff in the daytime. I usually get interrupted
 within about, oh say, 4 minutes.

"Mommy, can you read me this?"

That's okay. It's these kind of moments that make the photo wall possible. 
Who wouldn't want to read to this sweetheart! He turns three this week!!!!

(We love Where the Wild Things Are. RIP Maurice Sendak)

Check back next week for more home project reveals. 


The randomly selected winner of the Shabby Apple $75 gift certificate is Sunflower Reflects
Congrats!!! Email me and I will get you your awesome prize!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Springtime Lovelies

I just found this post in my drafts from last year. Not really doing "lovely" posts since Pinterest came into being, but we can call this retro.








Late Spring is my second favorite time of year. 
My favorite is mid-fall. Octoberish.
But then there are summer nights to consider.
And what about snowy afternoons?
Okay, I like everything but snowless winters and humid summers days.
Of course, those days make staying inside/ heading to the lake really nice.

In any case.....

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Week in Instagram #5

Lydia in a bun is just about the loveliest thing I've ever seen. 

I promised @Jennbartley on Instagram I'd post a link to a sock bun tutorial. 
Really, this will change your life. I use it on my hair all the time.

Friday night was our anniversary. Kept it totally low key. Caught the new Johnny Depp movie. 
Found the best "skinny mirror"

Crab Nachos anyone?

Shane made me the most delicious lemon cream pie.

We don't really do presents for anniversaries, but he wanted to give me something yellow :)

My gift to him was planning the date (he's been really busy lately) 
and writing my 11 points of a good marriage and promising to work on them more diligently. 

Had the most beautiful Saturday. 
This drink started as mine. Then two children holding straws found me...

Went to our first summer Bar-b-que.
Best smell ever.

Oh dear. The wind was a bit strong!

While putting Lydia to bed, 
she reached up to look at my necklace but in the dark she couldn't make it out. 
"what does your necklace say mom?"
 "it says loved on it" 
"whose donit? Is he your old boyfriend?"

Mother's Day was very nice. A little breakfast in bed.

Since church is at 9am, that nice breakfast made me late, so I had to rely on my "dirty hair" style.
Dry Shampoo + bang braid.

I've been loving coral and navy together. 
Found that a friend of mine from church is into that combo too!

Went to a Mother's Day brunch with friends. 
During which, Shane causally mentioned that he was going on yet another business trip bright and early Monday morning.

Monday was not great. Collin got a stomach bug.

To quote my facebook update:

 I want to be a supportive wife. I do. But Shane is complaining about traveling this week. He flew to dallas for a round of golf with clients. He'll be back tonight. If he tries to complain, I might just have to remind him that while he watched movies on his laptop alone in first class, I had a toddler poop in my bed last night.

Still, we had a good time, just the kids and me.

After just a few minutes after waking up, the kids said it was too cold to do anything!
It was 70 degrees. Spoiled little ingrates. 

I heard Collin counting to 5 over and over again. Then suddenly he was bawling. "what's wrong Collin?" He showed me his hand. "Where did six go?!?!?"

Table manners are very important in our home. As Lydia was quick to demonstrate when her chocolate banana smoothie spilled.

Took the kids to a "Moms Chat/Kids play" night. They save me.

Lydia and I air-dried our hair in the warm May breeze.
"Mom! Our hair looks the same!"


Stay at home mom's best friend.

This photo is awesome. Replace that cucumber with a cigar and Collin is basically Jimmy Buffet.

Uncle Zac and Rachelle stopped by for a visit....and brought gifts! 
Kids cried when they left :(

Everyone was so happy when Daddy came home.

Me especially.

Follow me on instagram! @natssentiments

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