Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Little Summer Baby Shower

I recently threw a little shower for my friend Sally who is having a girl just two weeks before me. 

Perfect timing since I am soooo baby hungry!

My basic party make-up always includes flowers and candles. Always. 

Don't throw away those old binkies! Just cut off the rubber part and string them for a cute shower garland. 

Lots of fresh summery food:  Watermelon, tomato basil pizza cut into appetizers, infused water, hollowed out baguette slices filled with dip and veggies and chips with pico de gallo. 

I used the William-Sonoma Message in a Cookie cutters to make a little personalized dessert. 
(This recipe works great for this particular cookie.)

I paired it with a white chocolate mousse and berries. Yum.

I wanted to do a game of some sort so I could give out a couple prizes. 

But I never really love baby shower games. 

Instead, I thought we would do a craft that could win a prize for the maker. 

I cut hearts into felt. Threaded needles with embroidery thread.

At the party, everyone stitched together one heart, leaving about an inch of of the heart open. Then they placed their names inside the heart. 

The guest of honor picked two hearts out of a hat and the people whose hearts were chosen got a prize.  

After the shower, I stuffed the hearts with filler, finished stitching......

And now Sally has cute piece of nursery decor made from all her friends. 

(Burlap flower from Hobby Lobby.)

Congrats Sally! Can't wait to see your baby (i.e. my baby's new best friend!)

  post signature

Monday, July 22, 2013

What a husband REALLY wants in a date night.

I love Pinterest as much as the next girl. You can follow me and see for yourself if you'd like. But the
one thing about Pinterest that always makes me laugh is all of the "creative date night" pins. Now some of them are dang cute and clever. But the majority of them are LOL funny to me. Printables? For a date night? If I made a basket of adorable activities for my husband and I to do together complete with color coordinated printables I could just see the reaction.

"Wow! Um, that's really neat Natalie. So, um, let me take a look at what you've put together."


I'm sure there are some guys out there who would be into that stuff. I've just never dated one. My husband is a man. He doesn't give a crap about the cute factor.

Now if I did that for a family activity, he would love it. He would see the kids get all excited and say "You're such a fun mom". But for date night? I'm not a mom. I'm his wife.

(One anniversary I did make him a "Anytime Sex Coupon" that could be redeemed twice a month. He did like that.)

Ever since I wrote my post "What I've learned in a decade of marriage", I've wanted to write something specifically about date nights. They are so so so important to do. And to do right.

So. What does a man actually want in a date night? Here's a few of the things I've learned in 12 + years of marriage.

1. He wants to eat.

There are many things that go along with this crucial element of date night.

A.           He wants you to be decisive and not always pull the "I don't care. You choose." If you feel like something, tell him. If not, agree with his decision with enthusiasm.

B.           Don't complain about what you order not being perfect.

Shane and I have had the unfortunate experience of several double dates with a particular woman who is ALWAYS disappointed with her restaurant meal. Something is always wrong. And she makes sure that everyone knows it, including the server. Not only that, she mopes about it the rest of dinner, so disappointed. Martyrs aren't fun for date night. (She doesn't read my blog. No worries.)

IF there is a problem with your meal, there is a date night appropriate way to handle it.

When the server checks on you, politely say with a smile, "Excuse me?"I'm so sorry, but this steak is........ could you possibly see if the chef could fix it? Thank you so much!" Then turn back to your husband with a big smile showing no harm done and continue with your conversation as if nothing has happened.

Why? Well, because when a man takes you out to dinner, HE is the provider. Even if you both bring home the paycheck, men have it ingrained they are taking you out. So compliment his efforts, even though he really has nothing to do with it.

C.           When the food arrives, enjoy it, and the restaurant, openly.

"Yum! This is perfect." or "It's so nice to be treated to a nice meal." or "It's so relaxing not having to cook tonight."


"I love this restaurant! Its so comfortable/charming/rustic/romantic/homey/memorable", "This place was a great idea." Or even, this dumpy place reminds me of when we were newlyweds. I love it!"

Whatever. Compliment the experience he is providing. What if the whole experience kind of sucked? "It's ok, I'm just happy to be out alone with you", should be just the bandaid the date needs.

2. Touch him.

You are on a date. Most likely you are just so happy that there aren't kids or work around that you are breathing a sigh of adult relief. But don't forget the "lover" element of the date. Something that reminds him that roles have changed for a few hours and now its just the two of you.  Reach for his hand. Look into his eyes and smile. Sit close while waiting to be seated.  Steal a small kiss. Pat his leg under the table. Or whatever else you can get away with. Don't always wait for him to do it. He is detoxing from his day/week too. Gentle romantic reminders will help him shed his "work/dad" persona and enter into husband mode.

3. Don't be in a bad mood. 

Well duh. It's a date! Of course you should be all happy to be going out. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you had a great day, or the kids didn't drive you crazy, or your husband was actually on time in getting home....... there are lots of reasons to be under a bit of a cloud during your date.

What to do? In the first few minutes in the date say, "today has been a really hard day. I'm going to need just a minute to get out of this funk." And then do. Even if you have to force a smile for a bit. Be happy to be together. Don't drag the night down. Date night is a mini escape from all the other stuff you've got going on. There are lot's of other times to vent.

IF there are some serious things you want to talk about, I would suggest mentioning this beforehand.

"Sweetheart, I really want to talk about ........ tonight. I need a listening ear. Do you think we could find a quiet place to do that?" Then at least he's prepared for that kind of a night.

4. Look pretty. 

Sometimes dates happen fast and there isn't a lot of time to get ready. Even if this is the case, there is always time to swipe on lipstick, spray on perfume and add earrings. But if there is time, take it to wash the mommy down the shower drain and get into date night clothes. I usually choose things I know Shane likes. He likes color and he likes when I emphasize my boobs. So that's usually what I choose to wear.

If you would like him to dress a certain way, and he tends to be a little underdressed, lay out his clothes on the bed. A simple, "I thought this outfit would be perfect for tonight, and I don't want to look overdressed" should work.

5. Go ahead and plan the date.

My husband has a crazy stressful job. He is working at a level 10 stress factor 99% of the time. He doesn't have time to pee most days. (Seriously, he'll call me saying he's on his way home, but he has to pee since he's been holding it for hours.) He doesn't have a lot of time to plan a creative date. So when it's his turn, I'm happy he has "Dinner and a movie" in his queue.

But I have a little more time. So I try to look for things that would be different and actually enjoyable for the two of us to do together. I research restaurants with patios since we like to eat outside. Places with live music. Walking trails we could have a picnic. He is always so glad when I take the pressure off him.

If he does plan the date, be excited and grateful! That will lead to more dates being planned for you. An appreciated husband is a happy, willing husband.

6. Put out. 

I may get in trouble for this, but let's be honest. What a husband wants after a date is some sex. Or at least something along those lines. If it's just too late, that's ok. Give him a good kiss and thank him for the night. And then ask if its ok to postpone the rest of the date until the next night when you'll be a little more awake. And then don't forget about it! Sex makes it easier for a man to feel love. It's good for your marriage. And its fun. And it will make him more happy about date nights in the future!

Those are my top tips for a great date night. I should have made a colorful printable listing them all huh?

What do you do to make your dates better? 

post signature

Friday, July 19, 2013

InstaFriday #41

With less than a month to go till baby day, we are in full preparation mood. The nursery is going to be SOOOO cute! Though I'm worried my daughter just won't have enough footware during the first few months of life. 

I'm feeling that familiar sadness, knowing my baby won't be the baby anymore.

Of course, he's four, so I think he'll handle it okay. 

Speaking of Collin, he has a message to send out. 
"Don't wrap the cord from the window blinds around your neck and then jump off the ledge. It's an unfortunate experience. (Though it did allow mommy an 'I told you so moment' with daddy, who didn't think we needed to baby proof the house until we actually had a baby." 
P.S. He's fine now. But he got a nasty cut. Hopefully no scarring.

I've pretty much figured out everything possible to do in the summer that requires very little movement.
It's so freaking hot. I take two showers a day. At least.

Had a little art class with Lydia, her BFF and Collin. (Something I can do while sitting). Wanted to teach them how easy it was to paint a flowering tree. But Collin only wanted to paint a spaceship. And the girls only wanted to paint a note to send to "Saige, The American Girl." Well, I tried.

Lydia tends to go the other direction and looks for ways to be active.

I wish I could take her to my Zumba classes. She would love it.

(Not that I've been for months.)

Lately I've been so happy watching my sweet children love each other. I just didn't know what a profound joy that would be. I cannot wait to give them another baby to love.

post signature

life rearranged


The winner of the InstaFriday handmade earrings is Blair. Email me and I will get you your prize! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


While at my parents, I mentioned a few times that I was seriously craving a slice of "Just American Desserts" almond poppyseed cake and if I made it to that part of town I was going to pick up a piece. One afternoon my dad came home with an entire cake. Apparently when he went in the woman asked him what he would like written on the top, since these are usually special occasion cakes. He said, "Well my daughter has been craving cake. So just write cake on the top." She said it was her favorite thing she's ever written.

  post signature

Monday, July 15, 2013

One month to go! The Third Trimester

Yay!!!! My C-section is scheduled for a month from now! We are finally able to see an ending to this, the longest pregnancy that has ever been.

Seriously, doesn't it seem like I've been pregnant forever?

Doing the third trimester in summer is not something I would recommend. I can't believe how the heat effects me. I get dizzy and exhausted so quickly. Our outside ventures have had to be small ones, or next to water. 

At the same time, I have very few obligations in the summer, and since the kids play on their own in the morning, I sleep in until 9 every day. That's a major perk. 
I better not get used to it. 

Of course, I get up to pee at least 5-6 times a night, so it isn't the greatest sleep. And the fact you're only allowed to sleep on your side during pregnancy makes me fantasize constantly about turning onto my back. 

My doctor actually told me to try to only sleep on my left side with my legs bent together. The entire night. Yes, of course, I'd love to sleep in only one position for 6 months of my life. That sounds fun.

I've moved to the guest room so that I can splay myself across the entire bed. 

I don't know why people say the romance is gone by this time in a pregnancy. 

Last night was a doozy.

Shane ran me a very shallow bath.......

.....and then washed my feet because I can't really reach them.

There was lotion involved.

And pink fluffy socks.

Ooooo, baby.

We went on a date on Friday. 

We had to move from our perfectly lovely outside table because I thought I'd pass out in the heat.

I waddled seductively to our new table.

Everything on the menu had major heartburn potential, so I settled on a california roll.

Still got heartburn. 

I wore nylons to church. It sounded like I was in labor trying to get them on. 

Both kids had to grab a leg to get them back off again. 

Shane walked in on that. 

I have no more shame.

The non-maternity yoga pants I've been wearing (everyday) have started ripping at the seams.

I had Shane grab the belly and try to stretch the fabric. While I was still wearing them.

No shame.

At the same time of being super uncomfortable and unattractive, I am aware of what's going to happen in 4 weeks.

There will be a huge incision in my belly, a crying baby wanting to nurse constantly, and no cute reason for me to still look 6 months pregnant. I vacillate between elation and terror as I contemplate it.

As this is my last pregnancy, I'm just going to try to enjoy these last weeks of feeling this little miracle inside of me. 

In the safety of our air-conditioned home.

(Can someone please bring me some chocolate chip cookies and a pizza?)

post signature

Friday, July 12, 2013

InstaFriday #40 - A little vacation

Ok, twice a year I have a major photo dump because I've fallen behind in posting. Usually once in summer and once during Christmas. It's time for that. Just warning ya.

It was such a relief to get to Spokane (Greenacres) and recoup for a bit. Being so sick without any help is scary. Shane is wonderful, but when he gets called out of town, there isn't much he can do.

I slept, did embroidery, enjoyed the fresh air and slowly started to feel better. 


My kids had a blast with Grandma. My parent's house is like a full inclusive vacation spot for them.

They took a field trip to our neighbors to collect eggs. 
It's hard for me to crack them. I just want to put them in a bowl and look at them.

My Dad and I took a convertible drive around Greenacres. 
The yellow fields are gorgeous.  

Of course it started to rain.

Not that the kids let that stop their convertible drives. 

After a few days, we finally started to see some sun. 

After that we pretty much stayed outside as much as possible.

Which was great since my sister Abby and her two daughters came to visit as well!

Even naptime is outside.

Liddy and Lexi.

Paige and Collin.

What is summer without cousins?

My brother Zac and sister Abby checked off one of Lydia's summer bucket list items by taking her to the lake for some fishing.

Sand time.

And a fancy lunch.

Zac and his girlfriend also invited us ALL over for dinner to their immaculate apartment. 
I don't think they had any idea what they were getting into. :)

Their dog might need therapy.

One day it was so beautiful we took a little hike around my parents property.

We collected flowers. And left the deer poop on the ground. I think.

It is so lovely there. 

Cooled off from the hike. No time to get swimsuits on!

YAY!!!! Shane arrived for our last weekend. We put him right to work to build us a fire. 

No trip to Spokane is complete without a trip to the Harvest House at Greenbluff for produce and pumpkin doughnuts. 

My Dad and Collin making scrunchy noses. 

Ha! When I first saw this photo I thought they were praying. But then I remembered it was of their horrible despair of being served roast and veggies. Little spoiled brats :) my word! There is koolaid on the table and pie for dessert!

On the way home, we took the longer route and stopped in McCall, ID. 

Shane and I will totally be heading back there for a romantic weekend. 

Oh wait. I'm about to have a baby. two years we will be heading their for a romantic weekend.

For now, we will have to enjoy our cozy backyard and the rest of our Boise summer.

Swim lessons. 

Snow cones at the park.

Summer holidays.

And trying my best not to actually have to cook anything.

(Happiness is finding all the fixings for a yummy summer lunch all ready in the fridge. And then being so full there is no other option than to lay on the couch and instagram it.)

And pretty much just relaxing together at home.

It's been a pretty good summer so far. 

Follow me on instagram @natssentiments

life rearranged


This is the 40th instafriday, so that means I owe one of you a pair of handmade earrings! Leave a comment below and I'll choose one randomly to receive a little fun mail. :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...