Me and j work

...and deep sigh

i seem to have taken an unplanned, wonderfully refreshing break from most things technological.  blog included.  being away from everything on the cruise made me realize just how much i loved being away from everything.  it always goes in cycles and im sure ill be right back in the midst of computer-time before i know it.

my iphone has been the only real outlet to the world beyond ours for the past few weeks and during that time i discovered instagram.  i mean ive used it for awhile now but i just thought those pictures were stored on my phone.  never knew other people could see them, or follow me, or anything.  yep.  they can.  and it is quite addicting {just what i need}.  take a look

i know some people hate pictures of food.  if im hungry, i love them.  if im not, i want to break the screen of whatever it is that is showing me the picture.  however, i learned a big lesson in the makings of pico de gallo and i thought i would share {including a picture}.  i made some absolutely disgusting homemade salsa two weeks ago.  putrid.  all it was was tomatoes with some onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, lime juice.  and then i discovered my problem.  good pico de gallo is not tomato plus other ingredients...thanks to mrs. PW i learned its almost equal parts tomatoes, onions, jalepeno, and cilantro.  wow what a difference.

tastes fabulous on her shrimp tacos {i substituted tilapia...UHmazing}

work has been picking back up, with several renovations, additions and floor plan work.  usually this would drag me to the computer, but in my current station of life it actually is easier for me to spread everything out on the dining room table and draw by hand...something that has both inspired and excited me.  working on the computer while home with the kids seems to make me slightly demon-ish to them, as i try to concentrate on its fluorescent-looking screen and use calculations and numbers and mind numbing repetition.  {CAD-monkey work as its commonly called}.  this does not make me a good mommy.
BUT with the birth of my third child i have also realized that my work is also one of the few things, and usually the ONLY thing, that brings me back to a happy place of natalie....as in ive tried to be good and go to lunch with friends without kids, get a pedicure, go run some errands by myself, etc...but it doesnt recharge me.  its quite the epiphany realizing work recharges me, but i feel blessed that i can work with my hobby...so im not complaining.  just taking it day by day and figuring out how to be the best mom and still keep some semblance of a business going :) let me know if you have any tips...whew

unfinished living room of some absolute favorite clients of mine:
Living room
 gorgeous custom sofa weve been waiting on for MONTHS

another nearly finished room at my parents house for all the kiddos:
this bunk room was made using a portion of an outdoor storage room that backed up to a room in the house.  we carved out a pocket door and took in most of the storage room.  its the perfect size for twin bunk beds {arranged like this}:
bunk room plan
bunk room  elevation
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everything in the room is painted BM white dove {a favorite white}, including the concrete floor.  im thinking a rug such as this in there:
and some framed prints on the wall would finish it right up!

im realizing as i look through pictures just how long its been since i blogged.
bennett finished pre k3 with a mothers day art show
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and a swim party with his class
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all i wanted for mothers day was a picture with my three children DSC_0215 copy
and i got it...just not in the imaginary-pretend-world-perfectly-imperfect-candid-but-still-looks-awesome way i pictured it in my head...just better

emory and i had our first official girly date to a friends tutu birthday party
at first she was wary of the dress up and a little standoffish
but once the tutu and crown were on and the balloons were out...the girl woke up and had an absolute blast
Ematutu walks home
{i did too :)}

after probably three days at home after school was out the kids and i got stir crazy and headed to the beach.

being with them, alone, for so many days by myself before and after memorial day weekend actually just solidified how awesome i think my kids are.  being a mom is so unbelievable when all you have to do is be a mom.  you know, instead of a laundromat and a cook and a wife and a housekeeper and a shuttle service and an errands runner and a bill payer and an interior designer and a good friend and everything else being at home requires you to do.

at the beach, it was just me and them.  do we...eat whats in the pantry or !yay! go to publix {seriously fun for all}. do we...put on sunscreen and walk outside or do we play with legos/watch a movie/roll around on the floor/dance to made up songs inside.  that was about the extent of our decision making for the past week.
Em on dock
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Em and crawfish
Early morning boat ride
Emory on the boat
Bennett and Jacob
i definitely can live that way.

so, i plan on living that way.
more purpose, more quality.
i really do get bogged down with the nothings of everyday and keeping it simple recently has made such a difference.  its true, the more kids you have the more complicated everything becomes but the simpler you need to make it all in order to survive.  being at the beach for a week and steering clear of mindless technology just reinforced it all.
so now, as i open my computer and blog while watching the bachelorette on dvr {:)} i will continue to pray that i find the balance, keep it simple, do what makes me and my husband and my children happy, and keep breathing in their infant/toddler/BIG KID-y goodness because MAN its going by so fast.

this rolly polly is almost six months and it makes me feel like someone punched me in the stomach
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jacob, you need your own post baby.  there is so much to say
Me and j
these other two arent so bad themselves ;)
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ill try not to be a stranger
but if im not here, youll know where i am


  1. glad you are back! loved, loved all the pictures. and emory's lashes?? Oh my goodness! Beautiful family, Natalie!

  2. I'm in tears; what a fabulous post! So glad you've had some 'simple' time (with three younguns!).
    One of those pictures of Bennett is the spittin image of his daddy, Emory's eyelashes have gotten longer, and Jacob is not so infant-y.
    Loved your reflections and great, great pictures
    Love you all XOXOxoxoxo

  3. ditto to what mimi said. LOVE it all. have missed you blogging.

  4. I LOVED this post... and feel like we are twins and in the exact same boat (except you have +1 on me). So much in common... so many of the same thoughts/goals/struggles! xo. brooke

  5. just checking to see if this comment goes through

  6. beautiful catch up post. i cant believe how much older emory is now, and bennett,,, wait i guess its just difficult for me to grasp the fact that they ALL will continue getting older. love all these pictures. precious moments!


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