Monday, July 27, 2009


I'm sitting here looking at this white expanse, trying to figure out exactly how to fill it. This morning, I composed a perfect post as I was driving around town, but the words are lost to me now. It seems that happens a lot to me these days: losing things.

I don't know why I'm in this strange place. I've wondered if I'm depressed. Perhaps I am, if being depressed means living in only one moment at time, savoring that moment. Or noticing how gorgeous the sky is when it's a brilliant blue and the clouds seem to glow. Or laughing until I cry at the humorous things M says.

I'm pretty sure I'm not depressed.

I feel like I'm hunkering down for something big. Taking stock of life. Enjoying all the little things: the tiny tomatoes we're picking from our tomato plant, sassy new shoes, cool pool water, non-sense knock-knock jokes. Enjoying these things tremendously, not just superficially. Really living in the moment.

Just the same, I'm feeling burdened. Troubled. A tad emotional about things that don't normally cause emotions to arise in me. I find myself with tears in my eyes at the Tinkerbell movie and at news that a fellow blogger's son is very, very ill. Actuallly, that would have always made me cry, but I sobbed--a reaction stronger than normal.

Perhaps that's what's amazing to me right now: all of my emotions are heightened. My highs are much higher. Joy is more joyful. My lows are much lower. Sad is much sadder. All of this just makes me feel a tad raw, as if sandpaper is every present around my tender heart. My emotional storehouse feels like it's constantly on the spin cycle.

I'm not quite sure what to do with this emotional side of me. I'm trying to just be present with it and aware of whatever it is I'm feeling.

There is upcoming surgery for me and then a plan for getting another baby in the Benson household. I'm all about the plan. That's one of my all-time favorite words. (Hello. My name is Natalie and I'm a plan-a-holic. I am my father's daughter.) I feel like there are some weighty risks involved, but on the other (larger) hand, I'm willing to do almost anything to get us another baby. Although I'm loving the plan and so thankful that my doctor, midwife, and I are all on the same plan, it's sort of scary because ultimately it's not up to the plan. The plan doesn't guarantee a miracle. Only He can provide a miracle.

So, I'm asking that you please continue to be patient with me. Please understand that I really, really do have the best intentions of offering a give-away. I even have all the materials for it (it's homemade and completely adorable!). I just seem to be so caught up in living RIGHT NOW that I can't seem to make time to get it done and posted. I'm spending time watching the vivid white clouds (have they ever been more beautiful?), laughing with M (has she always been so clever?), and loving my new sassy shoes (why, oh, why, have I never bought patent leather wedges before?). Then the day is gone and I still haven't given you what I've promised. One day it will just be a surprise. You'll see us on your google reader and you'll jump over and enter for the drawing.

And you'll know that it was a good day at the Benson household when I could look forward for more than ten minutes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I don't know why I've been hiding. I've been in a weird sort of place the past few weeks. I'm just not ready to talk (ah..type) about it quite yet. But soon. Maybe. At any rate, I sure would appreciate some prayers.

We're enjoying the last few days of summer time together. I've spent lots of time in my classroom the past few days: organizing, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, organizing, cleaning. Well, you get the idea. It's good for me to purge. I had so much I didn't use and so much that isn't really useful in kindergarten that I had in second grade.

Tomorrow we're going on a field trip with a few other families to a local peach orchard. The day is totally dedicated to M. I planned on being in my classroom every day this week, but she's needing some serious Mama time and I'm giving it to her. I'll post pictures tomorrow when we get back, PLUS the give-away**. I promise.

I just finished taking a wonderful photo editing class. I'm SO excited about all the wonderful things I learned. I love taking pictures and I love, love, love learning more about editing and how to make my pictures special for the ones receiving them.

**The give-away. Let's talk about this a little bit. When I post tomorrow, I'll give you a picture of what you'll receive if you win. Moms of boys, I'm sorry, but this is a really girly give away. Not that I've said that, it would make a wonderful, thoughtful gift for someone. So, everyone come back and tell a friend to check back tomorrow. I'll give all the details then.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

MBS: Toadstools

I've been taking hundreds of photos lately, but haven't had the time (or energy!) to post MBS. As I snapped this picture, I KNEW it would be MBS, even before I saw it. This is SOOC and could probably use some editing, but I rather like it as is.

For other MBS, visit Tracey and her friends.


Sunday, July 12, 2009


I know I'm a liar. I do apologize for that.

I didn't get a post up by Friday with a give-away.

And it's not going to happen today.

In fact, it probably won't happen until NEXT Friday. M and I are going back to visit my family this week. When we get back, I'll work on getting the give away together. Stay tuned. It'll be good. Very good.

I'm sorry I was a liar.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back Home

We're home and doing great. If by great, I mean missing Nona and OB like no tomorrow and singing Rae-Rae lullabies, even though she's 160 miles away. I never knew missing family would hurt so bad!

I'm pretty sure this is my 550th post. BUT, I'm going to do give away on my NEXT post, so be waiting. It'll be up by Friday evening.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vacation Update

After the post earlier this week declaring all the things we have NOT done on our vacation, I want to tell you about all the fun we HAVE been having.

We spend the days hanging out at home with M and R, my niece. We laugh and play, hang out in the splash pool, and watch movies. We kiss and cuddle, throw balls and read silly books. We tell knock-knock jokes, eat yummy food, and shop. We spend a lot of time staring at Nona's new vegetable garden.

My SIL, L, has been doing VBS each morning, so we've had R while she teaches. Yesterday, we had the privilege of keeping R all day and we had a blast. The girls had more fun giggling at each other and splashing each other in the pool. We met L and my brother, T, at one of our favorite restaurants for dinner last night. It's so great having my entire family together. H is at home this week doing secret projects. His absence is so very apparent. He is the jokester of the family. L tries to fill in--she does a pretty good job.

Today we didn't get R this morning, so we decided to head downtown to check out the art museum. The museum was hosting three separate photography exhibits! We had so much fun. There are lots of interactive exhibits, so one of us would stay with M while the other two would go see the more adult exhibits. M didn't quite understand the idea of being quiet in the museum, so the interactive areas were good for her. The museum was nearly empty, so we never disturbed anyone. That is until I let M climb a few of the stairs. One of the docents called down for the upper level, "Ma'am...Ma'am? Is that your child?" "Yes," I replied. "She doesn't need to be running up and down those stairs." WHAT?!?! M doesn't run anywhere. Her idea of running is so slap her feet a little harder against the ground. With her sweet little feet, she just don't have great gross motor skills. Not to mention, it's a museum that professes to welcome everyone. They don't want the reputation of being exclusive. They have designed their exhibits to welcome people of all ages. Is M the ONLY child who has ever climbed four stairs and then turned around and walked down. And then repeated the process ONE time??? That just about ended our fun at the museum. Luckily, we were finished. A quick trip to the gift shop and then we were headed out of there.

I think Nona could tell my feelings were hurt, so she took me right away to my favorite paper shop: la paperie. This shop is my own personal therapy session. Every time I walk in, I feel myself relax. 90% of the time, I never buy a thing in there, but today...oh, I couldn't drag myself out of there. I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon in there. I finally decided on a momAgenda. Not what I would normally splurge on, but I completely love it. I completely love the man who works there. Today, he was enchanged with M. Exactly the kind of experience we needed.

Next, we headed to OB's (that's my dad) favorite book store: Shaver's. I can not begin to tell you how much joy just being in this store brings. The major chain stores are seriously lacking in something when you compare them to Shaver's. If Shaver's could bottle their charm and sell it, this world would be a better place.

Ahhh...then we hit the Cupcake Emporium. Great cupcakes. Shopping is less than desirable. As we sat there enjoying our banana cream (Nona and me), vanilla with chocolate icing (M), and key lime (OB) cupcakes, we brainstormed tons of ways to improve their merchandise. More about that in a few weeks, I hope.

Then, the biggest hit of the day: a trip to The Crab Shack to feed the alligators. M was less than thrilled last night when we mentioned we would feed alligators today. OB gave her some alligator toys this morning and showed her how we would feed them. By the time we got there, she was TOO excited. My brother, Z, works there right now, so he came out and helped us feed the gators.

We came home after all those good times. We were pretty tired after our busy day!

A few funny things M said today:
While shopping at la paperie, she was told she had to wait a little longer to get a cupcake. She mulled this over and then said, "Watching a movie with OB will help me wait."

We were doing Ring Around the Rosy in front of an exhibit at the museum (this sentence would make know, why we would do such a dance in an art museum and all, but it's too complicated to explain. Trust was appropriate museum behavior.). We all fell down. M jumped up and said, "Now let's SKIP around the rosy. C'mon. You can do it!"