Mar 19, 2012 | posted in giveaway, my favorite things | 150 comments

Congratulations to Teresa Peschke! You win. Tada!

First things first.

No, Cardon does NOT have a bowl cut. But since he’s a total spaz (times infinity) about getting his hairs cut, we let him walk around (and be photographed) looking like he IS in fact sporting a bona fide, 1990′s, bowl-doo. (However, I also let my kids dress themselves, which is infinitely more embarrassing than the hair situation, so at least there’s that. . . or . . . gosh, there’s that too?! I’m not sure which best fits.)

Check out (and enter to win) this amazing “Adventure In A Box Fort Kit” from The Happy Family Movement!

H A N D. S E W N. Yes, for serious. This activity was the most fun we’ve had together as a family in months (and SOOOO Much easier to clean up than the traditional “raid the linen closet” fort variety).

PS. Be sure to check out the ever inspiring HFM Blog and their fun family product center which includes a KILLER Roadtrip Adventure Guide (take it from me, it takes roadtrips from hair splitting, to side splitting, in no time flat).

We may have spent more time throwing, wrestling around with, and rolling ourselves up in the pieces than we actually spent building with them.

Boys. Enough said.

I don’t know WHAT came over Lincoln that night, but GOSH, he wanted to be in every.single.shot. Luckily he’s so stinkin’ adorable  . . and charming, and handsome, and funny, and irresistible, and cute, and PERFECT . . . in every.single.way. That little boy owns my heart.

Enter to win a Fort Kit from HFM!

1.  Comment below. Easy as pie.
2. To earn another entry for yourself, simply Facebook, Tweet, or blog a link to this post, come back and comment telling me you’ve done so, and BAM! You’re entered again!
3. Have a happy day!

ENTER BY FRIDAY, March 23rd. Winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Monday? Probably. But you just never know about these things, do you?

Mar 18, 2012 | posted in Authenticity, Inspire, Personal | no comments

This is picture holds permanent residence on my home screen.

It reads, You must never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. – Charles Buxton

People, let’s take this advice! Shall we?!

We deserve to feel complete, intentional, peaceful. We do. We do. We do.

We deserve to feel capable, successful, competent. We do. We do. We do.

The bottom line is, sometimes you simply have to take two steps BACK in order to regroup and prepare for those giant LEAPS forward.

I’m right. You know I am.

And guess what?! The world won’t stop spinning with out us! It won’t stop spinning without you, and it certainly won’t stop spinning without me.

We do this living thing but once, let’s make the time to regroup and ensure we do it right!

xo,
N

PS

My Recent Posts,
Posted Elsewhere:

Why not go out on a limb, isn’t that where all the fruit is?
5 Tips to Flattering Maternity Photography
10 Things You Should Know, If You Want to be a Professional Wedding Photographer.

Mar 13, 2012 | posted in Authenticity, Inspire, Richie Norton | 3 comments

Love this guy.

Times infinity.

Every single day, he reminds me to get up, put a smile on my face, and consciously live out the gratitude of my heart.

Who could ask for anything more?

Mar 12, 2012 | posted in Family Portraits | 16 comments

The title of this post should probably be: Darla + Dexter – Johnny= This. But whatever. That’s a lot of words. And a lot of unnecessary confusion. . . .

More on these cute twins and their sweetest new baby brother, Johnny, coming at you soon! Love them all times infinity squared. Enjoy!

Mar 11, 2012 | posted in Inspire, Personal | 25 comments

Life is too deep for words, so don’t try to describe it, just live it. C.S. LEWIS

The irony is that I am in fact going to attempt to describe the current state of my life. . . but now, at least when I fall short, you’ll understand that my meaning extends much deeper than the words selected to portray it. . .

Note: I’m not promising poetry. Not a single bit. But I am promising truth. Unfiltered. Unedited. TRUTH. And even as I write this, I’m fighting tooth and nail to stay in the space it deserves. (Because all of this is, after all, a fight. Every single minute.)

________________________________________

The speed at which my life moves is uncomfortable for me. I’m a fan follower of simplicity—to my core. I’m a believer in, an advocate of a PROTECTOR of peace, and I’m constantly in search of a real, a quiet, and an uneventful life.

My life? Well, it’s been anything but.

I recently came across this quote through my friend, Tara Whitney . . . and my heart silently pled, “Yes. Oh Natalie, please. Yes.”

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.” Tears are streaming down my face as I write those words.

To do nothing.

And to rest afterwards.

Oh good mother of Jonas, yes.

And yet, the current state of my life does anything, ANYTHING, but fall under any realm of (anything even remotely related to) this description this intense longing of my soul.

And I’m reminded of a reality that I KNOW but have forgotten—forgotten to FIGHT FOR.

My life (my heart) is exactly as I make it.

Every.single.day. If I am frazzled and unbalanced, it is because I am making choices that lead my life to be such. If I am stressed and overwhelmed, again, I am opting in to that view of my reality. If I am bogged down and ready to simply tap out, I am in fact choosing this state of being: I’m choosing to see my circumstances, my LIFE, through this distorted lens. I am allowing these feelings to overtake my soul.

AND I KNOW THESE THINGS. I do. I do, do, do, do, do.

I am committed to living a happy, peaceful, centered life. I am committed to FIGHTING to protect my heart, my family, my LIFE, from the damaging effects of distraction: distraction that comes in the form of over stimulation, over scheduling, over planning, over thinking, over committing.

My overarching goal in life is to BE. To be completely alive, and to be completely available—no matter the circumstances! Because . . . well let’s face it, life is BIG HUGE! Life is made of energy, crazy, unpredictable variables, and wickedly insane circumstances that we absolutely cannot control. BUT WE CAN CONTROL OUR RESPONSE. We can absolutely, and always, control that.

The fact of the matter is, I value (on a cellular level) being c o m p l e t e l y   a v a i l a b l e  to the people and things that matter most in my life (as they have been intentionally defined by ME). And, I REFUSE to get so busy with “other” things that I’m too emotionally and spiritually unavailable to feel the grass grow beneath my feet and to smell the clouds as they roll by—full of beautiful, life giving rain. I refuse to be too busy to know God, in every minute, and in every sense, and I refuse to be too distracted not to  deliberately move at the pace of my heart, the pace of my true intention—the pace of my peace (again, as it has been consciously defined by me).

Ultimately, here is the goal:

Natalie (and the rest of you),

Don’t you dare get caught up in them. In their pace. In their illusion of living—not that you’re judging it, not even a little. Just that you know yourself; you know yourself completely enough to know that life at this pace is simply not the life for you.

You know what resonates with your soul—now fight for it. No matter the cost.

Move forward in gratitude, peace and love. Every day, and in every way. This is your life, and it’s too deep for words. Just get your heart out there, and LIVE IT. . . . Today.

xo, Me

Note: I ultimately wrote this for me, and a little bit for you, but mostly for me. I write to emotionally purge. And purge I have. I feel physically lighter having worked through this here. So thank you for reading. . . and um, thank me for writing. . .  and ultimately, thank Tara (sincerely) for starting it all.