click here to open post Dec 09, 2010 | posted in Personal | 17 comments

There’s the proof in the pudding.

The story I am about to tell you is the honest to gosh truth, and after hearing it, you’ll understand EXACTLY why I married Richie and why I’d do it all over again x 77 million.

My fancy man, who just hit the big 3 + 0 this past August, was (in a former life) a true-blue punk rocker.  He opened for rock stars you’ve definitely heard of and played on stages that, for a true-blue rocker, are the stuff dreams are made of.

When Richie was 18, he was offered a phat signing deal with a phat label, which he turned down to serve a 2 year, non paid, service mission for our church. If you were to ask him today whether looking back he met any regret, he’d be quick to answer with a resounding, “NOT A CHANCE! It was the very BEST two years of my life.”

“It’s easy to say NO when there is a deeper YES burning within” Dr. Stephen R. Covey.

I think one of the biggest challenges of life is developing the ability to say “NO.” So most people DON’T. Ever. And before they know it, their lives are messy, unorganized, unfulfilled, OVERWHELMING semblances of where they truly want (and DESERVE) to be.

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about saying YES to life!  Yes to joy, wonder, excitement, productivity, HAPPINESS!!!  Yet, this ever so important detail remains to be said: I don’t believe you can truly have all the most joyous yes’s your life has to offer, unless you can first learn to say some no’s.

My no’s have required me to take a long hard look at my life and to make some extremely difficult decisions.  They have required me to have some difficult conversations and to set some very specific boundaries for myself, my family and my time. Sometimes saying “no” has even forced me to turn down fame, FUN and often, considerable financial opportunities. It has required me to be less haphazard about my life–which is an uncomfortable transition because it forces you to do some soul searching to determine what really matters to you in the deepest part of your most authentic self.

AAAAAAAAAND, it’s all been worth it!!!

I’ve never felt more like me in my entire life. I’ve never felt more connected to my husband in our 8 years of marriage, and I’ve never loved or KNOWN my children as well as I do in this very moment.

Because, like my hot little punk rocker, I have learned that it’s easy to say “no”, when I’m saying “YES!” to that bigger fire within.

What do YOU need to say “no” to?

I’ll give you some hints:  so much time on the Internet or watching television?? late night hobbying (aka photo editing)??  the need to ALWAYS be right??  the fear of saying no to a project because you’re afraid of missing out??

xx and happy weekending!


I see this picture and I can almost feel you.

I can almost feel the weight–the warmth–of your body on my chest.

Almost smell the sweetness of your skin.

I remember.

I remember you.

As tears flood my swollen eyes, I remember you.

And I ache.

But so closely knit to that hurt is a deep and profound sense of gratitude,
to that God who gave us the little while.

The little while to be together.
The little while that I will cherish for every moment, and through every breath that I take. . .
for the rest of forever.


Grateful for each rise and fall of your chest.

Each clasp of my little finger.

Each and every moment at my breast.

So grateful that amid the hustle of life,
for you, I stopped.

For you, I took a moment, a day, a week. . . every waking hour of your short life,
I stopped and I gave it ALL to you.

Those days that are now lost to the vast expanse of eternity,
they were yours.

And today, tomorrow, and forever . . .
I will be thankful and praise our father for each and every second I spent with you.

Lets all spend more time barefoot.
I would love to be barefoot all day, every day.
Though admittedly, all this running has turned my perfectly pedicured piggies into troll toes.
Even still, barefoot is best.

Barefoot is my favorite. . .
Second only to SMILING. . . Like Buddy the elf.

click here to open post Dec 05, 2010 | posted in Personal | 24 comments

Love the cell phone pic of Link-a-dink and I.
He is SUCH a great kid.
So blessed.

This week I say yes to 5 am.

I say yes to good thoughts that energize, uplift and encourage me.

I say yes to laughter and good friends.

Yes to long, therapeutic runs and some serious post run decision making.

I say yes to God.  Yes to sincere prayer.

I say yes to getting out of my house and into the sunshine! (I live in HAWAII for crying out loud).

I say yes to getting things DONE.  To staying with a job, until I’ve seen it through to completion.

I say yes to catching up on my email and blogging every single day. (yikes).

I say YES x 7 billion to Bikram Choudhury.

I say yes to learning about things that make me joyful.  Yes to a good book!

I say yes to facing medical bills–even if they do make me feel like I’m going to go into anaphylactic shock.

I say yes yes yes to gratitude. YES to saying THANKS.

I say yes yes yes to 7 hours of sleep every night.

I say yes to encouraging others and being a supportive wife and friend.

I say yes to LIFE.

Yes to ME.

Yes to the people and things that energize, inspire and fill my soul with JOY.

What do YOU say yes to this week?!



Me. Sick nasty, post Bikram yoga.
Dog tag was given to me by my dear friend Mike Colón after the death of my son.
I wear it any time I feel like I need the reminder that life may be big, but I’m stronger.

Run Natalie, Run!

Recently, I took up running.

And it SUCKED.

It sucked so bad that I’m borderline full blown anxiety attack just thinking about it. There are not words for the complete suck of it’s suckiness. (At least not words I’m willing to use on this blog).

People who know me best of all ask me everyday how the heck I (of allllll the people in allllll the world) am now running anywhere from 6-13 miles every single day.

First of all, to be able to grasp the true miracle of my accomplishment, you must understand the depth of my hatred for running.  Imagine a chasm soooooo deep and soooooo wide that you could bury Kilimanjaro inside and never again hear tale of her.  Times that by 9, then take THAT answer, and double it.  You will at least BEGIN to understand the level of hatred we’re discussing here.

So, how DID I do it? Honestly? I don’t know. I TRULY did NOT believe I had it in me. But I’ll tell you what—and with a huge smile on my face—I DID. I had it in me. The ability to commit to and achieve something impossible? I have THAT ability inside of ME. And so do YOU.

I’m not going to go into the details of my training program or the literal steps I took to make it happen for me—another day another post.

But I will say this one thing: I walked before I ever ran.

Walk before you run.

You know Lao-tzu’s brilliant (and unfortunately cliché) adage: a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? Well folks, it’s true. And it’s never been truer than it is in this very moment. The first step is simply the very hardest one of all.

Have you ever tried to jump start a car by pushing it along a flat surface? (I specify, because once, in high school, Michelle Ostler and I attempted to push a car UP a hill. . . not advisable. Ever.)  It’s nearly impossible to get it going at first.  One push, two, three.  The car starts to rock forward and backward. . . bit by bit, until suddenly it’s rolling slowly along.  Little by little, you’re able to increase in speed until BAM! You pop the clutch, rev the engine and before you know it you’re hitting 65 on the interstate!

You can’t hit 65 on the first push. Or the second.  Each nudge increases your momentum and before you know it, it’s smooth sailing.



How many of of you at the start of 2010 had resolved to lose 20 lbs? The only way to make it is by using the best diet from!

How many of those self same souls are now a solid 35 lbs overweight and are currently on some nutso cayenne pepper and yak urine cleanse in hopes of dropping a fast five in to prep for xy or z  Hunnakah soireé? (Happy Hunnakah and l’chaim by the way!)

I don’t have to spell it out for you.  We doddle around. We procrastinate. We get derailed. We’re lazy. We’re afraid of failure. We’re afraid of success. We’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of the Boogie Man. We get “too busy” (load of lard that one is). . .  aaaaaaand in the end, we simply . . . opt out. We push pause on (or say “goodbye” all together) to so many dreams, to so many things we could do, say or become, because we can’t figure out how to get the momentum we need to really achieve.

It’s sad. And we deserve better. WE CAN HAVE BETTER. We simply have got to resolve, and then walk before we can run.

You can do ANYTHING for 29 days.

It’s December 1st (for precisely 6 more minutes).

You resolved to lose 35 lbs.  Can you lose 35 lbs in 29 days? Not unless you amputate your left leg.  But could you lose 5 lbs before the end of the year?  ABSOLUTELY!!!

You resolved to organize and dejunk the entire house, including the basement (eek!) and the garage (oy!). Can you complete that in 29 days?  Not unless you want to be divorced and committed to the loony bin by Christmas Eve.  But, could you organize and de junk your office space? ABSOLUTELY!!!!

You resolved to pay off all your credit card debt? Can you pay off 43 million dollars by December 31? (If you can, I want to come work for you). You simply can’t, but you CAN create a debt elimination plan and start hacking away.  Even $1 is forward motion.

You resolved to run a marathon. Can you go couch to marathon in 29 days? Not unless you want to be dead. As a doornail. But you COULD build up to 2—4 miles! And that’s HUGE!!!

Rather than waiting for the new year to come around. . . so you can make yet ANOTHER resolution to lose that baby weight, de junk that garage, learn a second language, start that dream project, forgive your mom, read the complete works of C.S. Lewis, bring together the next hot boy band . . . why not START NOW?  Today. Why not gain some forward momentum so that come January 1, you greet your life at a jog?! Already well on your way to success.  Why not?!

Imagine how good it would feel.

And guess what? YOU DESERVE IT.

Success Tips.

I BELIEVE in specificity when it comes to goals.  Which packs more punch?  “I’m going to take up running.” VS “I’m going to run the Gunstock Half Marathon on October 30th 2010 at 7:00am.” I would have failed without that specific, time bound goal.

I also BELIEVE in accountability.  It’s the ONLY thing that keeps me going when the going gets rough.  If you feel so inclined, post in the comment section ONE THING you want to accomplish before the end of the year.  I would LOVE to hold you to it. It can be as simple as, “Send an email to that guy about that thing.” Sometimes it’s the tiny to do’s in our lives that give us the most anxiety and grief.

Remember, the first step is the very hardest one to take.


Ready, set, GO!


Want to really get a running start for 2011?? Join Lara Casey and I at the last Making Things Happen event of 2010!  This event was sold out!  Lara recently opened up a very few extra seats, and guess what? It’s inches away from selling out again!  COME.  I cannot imagine a more significant gift to give yourself at the start of a new year than this.  I would LOVE to see you there!