some people are born awesome

yeahhhh have any of you seen this? completely unrelated to post, but, you know, entertaining nonetheless.

plus it gave me a post title, and i needed one of those.

this will be another one of those all-over-the-place kind of posts {i guess its just what i do}.

i need to spill my proverbial blog brain - you know, the one that stores all those "oh i need to do a post about that" thoughts. so here goes!

*i know you all have heard of tinyprints.  i used them for several christmas cards and i think i used them on bennetts birth announcements.  and they just keep getting better {i just got a coupon in the mail from them for a discount if i do my christmas cards by, like, yesterday.  NOT gonna happen.  but they did have really pretty new designs.}  anyway, this is not about tinyprints.

this is about a website called UPRINTING.  {no they are not paying me to advertise for them, even though i dont think i would turn them down... :) ha! }  i first found uprinting when i was looking for somewhere to print business cards for my apron "business" {for my short lived stint on etsy - i just couldnt keep up}.  they seemed to have the best prices.  and the best part {to me} was that i could completely design them myself, upload my image, they send you a proof to verify, and the quality was amazing!

 since then i have used them for my professional business cards

and most recently for emory's birth announcement

{did any of you just notice that i used an apostrophe? it felt so weird to hold down the shift button in the middle of a sentence - one of the main reasons i dont use any real punctuation in my typing...its so much faster not to punch that dang button. and i like to type fast.}<----but i do use it for my brackets.  and that little arrow thing i just made.  i digress...

lets just say 75 5x7 14pt glossy cards with envelopes and shipping is less than $30.  NO LIE.  and when i find something so awesome, i have to share it.  so go, go create and print.  and if you arent feeling up for the "create" part, they also carry their own styles for "U" to "print." {ha}

*next is a clothing website that really just struck me as something special.  i first heard about it HERE.  and when i checked it out, maybe it was the post-pregnancy desperation to find some clothes that fit me, but i BOUGHT some stuff.  and, again, the quality and fit is great! i love this shirt {in white, and mine doesnt hang down as long as the picture shows...but its really flattering} and this dress.

the company was founded by a mom in birmingham, al {love me some local!} with a vision of serving others and providing modest, fashionable clothing for a variety of ages.  PLUS 5% of every sale goes to Habitat for Humanity!  not to mention i was pleasantly surprised to find that each garment has a wonderful bible verse printed inside.  can you get any better? go check out Nations Outfitters and read about their wonderful mission HERE.

*this really isnt a website, but an etsy store.  since i love to craft and am pretty predictable when it comes to childrens birthday presents {hello monogrammed/appliqued onesie/tshirt...} i thought it would be fun to have a tag of sorts for my clothes.  i mulled over this idea in the height of my apron "business" last year, but didnt bite the bullet until a couple months ago.

when i was younger, my mom taught me to sew by hand.  we started off with buttons and small straight stitches.  my first real sewing project was pajamas for my babydoll, a "my child" doll i named amy.  she was my "prize" for finally jumping off the diving board with my swimming coach in swimming lessons.  i was TERRIFIED of swimming when i was little {to say the least - i was a big ole scared-y cat}.  i remember going to childrens palace and seeing the tall pyramid of "my child" doll boxes.  i went for the one pretty much at the top - go figure.  she had red hair.
this is her.  except MY amy had FLAMING red hair and green eyes.  she was GORGEOUS. :) and i would be lying if i said i didnt almost tear up at all the images when i googled "my child doll."  *sigh*
anyway i wanted to sew pajamas for her, of course.  my mom and i went to the local store-that-sells-doll-patterns, and i chose the perfect one.  i picked out a purdy white seer-sucker material sprinkled with tiny pink flowers.  i sewed the entire thing by hand - lace and trim and snaps and all.  took my young little fingers FOREVER.  enter my first-ever sewing disaster....IT DIDNT FIT AMY! the only doll i had that it fit was my stupid {to me at that point in my life} betsy-wetsy {i would show you a picture but all the ones i googled looked FREAKY}.  i cried and cried and CRIED.  but at least i got to put an awesome "made especially for you by Natalie" sewing tag in there.  it made me feel super legit, in the midst of my super upset-ness that "my child" dolls had to be so, um, stocky.  

here we are, ahem, twenty years later and i still love to sew.  i remembered those labels i loved so much and have been wanting some new ones.  i did a lot of research on this, too, and found what i thought was the best deal and concept.  worldsalelabel had a great turn around time, worked with me on matching my colors, and sent me a proof of my uploaded design.  i LOVE them!
the top one is a flat label to put on the back of shirts and aprons and what not, the bottom label is a folded one to sew in the seam of pants, shorts, etc.  something small and simple but it makes it fun when im sewing for customers or gifts or myself.  {its the little things guys}. if you are ever in the market for something like this, i highly recommend this etsy seller.

*and now {prepare yourself, you might have no interest whatsoever in reading any further - be warned} i want to end this post with something thats been on my mind for a long time - pretty much as long as ive been blogging.  its the whole blogging subject - or what to blog about.

i use this blog as an outlet for things i love.  number one being my babies and my family.  i wish i could verbalize, or put into words-on-the-screen, my true number one love - my faith - but i dont feel like i have ever been good at that.  i envy all those fabulous bloggers/friends out there who can so easily and beautifully write about their faith in a way that encourages and provokes thought and inspiration.  so many times i try to write a post as the mood/inspiration strikes, but every single time i press "save" instead of "post."  i dont know why i have such a hard time with it, but my deep feelings always seem to turn out trivialized and ... commonalized ... when i write about it on here.  it means something to me, but i dont ever feel like it would mean anything to anyone else.  just my insecurity with it i guess, and something i would love to be better at.

but the basis of this blog is summed up in the title - i love to create, live, and design.  so i blog about it.  usually you get me on a good day, because those are the times i find myself inspired to write.  write about all the things i love to do.

and then every once in awhile you catch me on a bad day.  rarely do i blog about the bad days.  this does not mean the bad days arent there.  i just dont often choose to blog about them.  who wants to read a blog about how stressed i am? how overwhelmed i am? how helpless i feel? how overworked i make myself get?

maybe its the eternal optimist in me, but i just feel that focusing on things like that turn you into a stressed out, overwhelmed, helpless, overworked miserably negative person.  i choose to focus on the good, even if the "good" only happens to be a good night kiss and hug from what has been an incredibly unruly, pill of a three year old the entire pull-my-hair-out-and-cry-when-i-get-two-seconds-alone kind of day.

however i also like to consider myself pretty real - and realistic.  i dont like to sugar coat things, and i have never wanted this blog to come across as an "oh life is so perfect and wonderful and i cook and craft and sew and smile at pretty babies all day long" misrepresentation of my life. bc HONEY - that aint it.  nothing is perfect and life is not perfect.  believe me, when ive had "a day" one of the first places i come is to the blog {after venting to a sibling, parent, husband, or friend - God bless you all} to deliver vengeance on my poor keyboard.  writing helps me sort through my thoughts and feelings and i almost always feel better after typing them all down.  it actually keeps me from blowing up at certain significant-others and has honestly saved us from some arguments that never needed to be had in the first place ;).  but i never post them, and i dont honestly ever plan to. {well, one may sneak by every once in awhile...}.

my worst fear is to come across as ungrateful, unappreciative, unaware, or unrealistic.  i hate complaining and know how it sounds, but man sometimes you just gotta get it out.

what i will promise, though, is that i will always strive to be real, and honest, and me.
wordy and long winded at times, yes.
scatterbrained and opinionated, yes.

relevant? eh? i hope to be.

but to those of you who read, thank you for reading.  getting comments is really honestly one of the most fun things about blogging.  i get so excited when i get that email saying i got one {even if its from my sister or mom who i just talked to five minutes ago...}.

feedback is wonderful.  especially after typing something so - personal - as some posts can be.  its overwhelming at times to know how many people i do not know are reading this - especially bc i do not think i am that interesting - so every once in awhile i think it is important to let the "strangers" know {as well as remind myself} that the blogging world paints a really pretty picture.
sometimes, though, this pretty picture is just one snapshot on a roll of slightly damaged {and perfectly common} film.

thankfully though, by His amazing grace and mercy, most of the rolls turn out just fine

and so i will keep a'bloggin if youll keep a'readin
{and keep a'knowin theres a lot more going on im not necessarily always a'postin...all the time'in....}
{ok...im done}



  1. Dear "strangers" she is actually more fabulous in real life.

  2. I love reading your blog and think you are very "real." I don't think I ever commented on it, but I was SO excited about Bennett's pillows that you made... AMAZING! I love the look of Leontine Linens but not the price tag. When I get some free time, I am making my own version like you did. They look awesome. (I will send you a photo if mine turn out 1/2 as cute). Also, I was SO excited that your posted those clothing tags. I have been looking for some that I can afford and that will be good quality. Those look perfect! Thank you!

    xxLucy (Summer's friend)

  3. I found your blog years ago through Summer and have been a faithful follower since. Your children are adorable and while I have yet to really comment, except maybe once very long ago, I love reading what you have to say or show in pictures. You are one talented woman and thank you for introducing me to Nations Outfitters!

  4. Well you know I LOVE reading, and find your blog very inspiring and real! And if course I love pics of the kids! And GUESS what? I received the red head green eyed MY CHILD boy on Cmas Eve at my grandmothers and his red headed twin sister that morning from Santa. I can still feel their sof, velvety faces! Keep up the good writing, Nat!

  5. if i remember correctly, amy's hair could be well-defined as PINK :)
    i still cant remember if mine's name was Michelle or Allison. either or i suppose.
    love ya sister! see you later today for some very very fun times

    and p.s.-im here for your venting always, so long as i get to vent back! :)

  6. I LOOOOOOOOVE your blog, and check it everyday! Miss you so much dear friend!
    Love, Chris Penney

  7. I stared this post in my google reader, too much good info to remember. I am sorry about you doll clothing fiasco but it is a really funny story. I've pretty much closed up my etsy shop way too much to do but still do a little wholesale. I ran out of labels and will order from the site you got yours. They are a great price! And your labels are too cute. Love the birth announcment. And who cares if you have a day great enough that you smiled at pretty babies all day, I am sure you deserve it!

  8. Thank you for sharing those sites (esp. the clothing one!) and for sharing your heart, I read your blog all the time and Harrison enjoys seeing pictures of Bennett...he says it's him but he thinks any little boy with blonde hair is him! =)

  9. Oh nat, that was ateary post reminiscing about amy and your sewing project. But you learned so much! And even reading about the circumstances in getting amy. I remembering going to get her!
    Love reading your blog. It is a wonderful outlet for you but you also touched so many in a positive identifiable way. XOXO

  10. i think your blog is awesome! i dont care for the everything is wonderful in my life blogs. It is clear that you are real.

  11. Hey Natalie!
    What template did you use on Emory's birth announcement? Was it the post card option? Thanks for introducing the site uprinting. I can't wait to use it. Also, congrats on your little one, she is a doll!

  12. I think your blog posts are always interesting!!! love reading them! thanks for sharing ;)

  13. Nat, I'm just now reading this GREAT post! Your blog is wonderful for so many reasons, especially ones like how real you ARE and how funny, creative, inspiring, need I go on? you are, too. I love that you share your great finds (and the not-so-great, too!) and your great loves. It just makes me wish I still lived in town to keep up with you personally more!

  14. Hi Natalie,

    I have been reading your blog ever since MY little girl Charlotte was born...just 8 days before you Emory! I found you through a friend's blog, and when I came across your blog, I started from the beginning of Bennett's life. I love reading from the beginning to get a true sense of who the person is. That said, I have come to know you as a truly wonderful mother, wife, blogger, woman of faith and imagine you are an amazing friend as well. I have never commented, but after reading this post I wanted to share with you how much I look forward to watching your family grow each day. Now that I have my little baby, it is fun to see what your sweet girl (and guy!) are up to and how you fill your days. Being a mommy is not easy, but worth the hard work and sacrifice we make as women and I am learning that everyday..so kudos to you mama! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this post, and please keep blogging! xo-Kendall

  15. me thinks that you are a pretty real blogger as it is! keep it up woman. i LOVE em's birth announcement & can't wait to use that site to try out some potential christmas cards...


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