In case you were wondering
this is what Peter Pan looks like today.

He's going to be okay.
Thank you so much for your prayers.


Your Prayers Needed

Peter Pan's in the emergency vet today having a blockage removed from his urinary tract,
followed by blood work and xrays and more tests.
They say there is risk involved.
I'm a little bit of an emotional wreck,
So maybe pray a little for him, and a little for me, too.

Star Signs

I take my zodiac signs very seriously.

I am a libra. Any astrologer will tell you, libras are the best.

Diplomaitic and urbane
Romantic and charming
Easygoing and sociable
Idealistic and peaceable

Famous Libras:
Gene Autrey!
Truman Capote!
Julie Andrews!

So I took a zodiac compatibility test online tonight. It told me I am most compatible with virgos.

Modest and shy
Meticulous and reliable
Practical and diligent
Intelligent and analytical
Fussy and a worrier
Overcritical and harsh
Perfectionist and conservative

Know who is a virgo?
Regis Philbin and Richard Gere are virgos.

Know who else is a virgo?


Be Still

Jesus said, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39).
“[Then] he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39; Matthew 8:26; Luke 8:24).

All week blessings have been bouncing about in my head.
These blessings go a little something like this:

Have faith.
Your Father is with you.
He wants you to know He loves you.
These times will not seem so painful in the future.
Be still.

Next month it will be one year.

"Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we accentuate the positive. I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endure and virtue and effort."
Gordon B. Hinckley
(Thanks Sam for posting this!)

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us... If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of his blessings, He will hear our prayers."
Gordon B. Hinckley

"Therefore, let your hearts be comforted... for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God."
D&C 101:16

In the Topical Guide under Still it says See also, Quiet

"And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul - and notwithstanding the mildness of the voice, behold the earth shook exceedingly."
Helaman 5:30-31

"These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others. Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering, He understands our grief... The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss... The faithful know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundred fold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude... Do your best, and leave the rest to Him."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin
(Hooray for MormonMessages on youtube!)

At the fireside a Stake YW leader bore her testimony of Patriarchal Blessings. She shared that in hers, she was promised to be a "leader of the youth" and that she would be called to "spread the glad message of the Gospel to the youth of the church" and it hit me like a smack on the face: Our Heavenly Father loves us. And Patriarchal Blessings are not to be fooled around with.

"Natalie, your Heavenly Father is desirous that you be a mother."

We'll get there. For now I am practicing being still.


Just A Friday Afternoon At The Holbrooks

this is my cute husband.

this is my cute petey.

oh yeah. and this is barney.

don't feel too bad for barney.
barney is everybody else's favorite.

and yeah, okay. i like him a lot, too.
the stinker.


Allow Me To Just Hit "Publish" Before I Take My Afternoon Nap

I just really like the way my living room looks these days.


Summer Is Like Riding A Bike

First lady bug of the year. You can't see it. But it's there.

Anne and Bethany came over for a right proper picnic today. We sat in the sun and sampled the Co-Op's deli selection, and swatted nosy puppies away from the grapes. I like days like today because I am a child of the sun, hot summers, and tanned skin. In all the hippy dippy ways. Also my hair is finally long again, and as we all know, summertime is the time for long hair.

Moscow is so good in the sunshine! 

I've been thinking about my Saltwaters, which are just beginning to leave tan lines on my feet.

I've been thinking about making my hammock dates a regularly scheduled affair. 

My bedroom walls are the perfect color gray when the sun hits just right.

I've also been thinking about my recent deal with The Holbsterama: Toilets cleaned in exchange for folded laundry. What a steal! I do not do toilets.

Summer, I am your biggest fan. Here let me kiss you.



I really want to run something. Something long, something outside.

I really want to hike something tall. I want to feel the burn in my thighs and the strain in my lungs and I want to get to the top of something and then shout as loud as I can. I want to feel the sun on my face from the top of something really big.

I want to read something big, fat, and meaningful. I want to tote it around in my bag and stop in at coffee shops and read and read and read. And people-watch. I want to read and people-watch and sip steamed milk. At ten in the morning.

I want crazy long hair. I want it to down my back.

I want to go back to a city. I want to dodge people and smell hot dogs and exhaust and body odor and I want to fight an exhausting battle to get from point A to point B.

I want to try something new.



I just got some really terrible news from my old friends at SEL. A dear friend and coworker who had been struggling with cancer ended his life on Friday with a gun on the outskirts of Pullman. This afternoon I have been filled with thoughts of the darkness that he must have felt in order to make such a decision.

When I worked at SEL and hated my life in a dire way, I used to look at Bruce and think, what am I even going on about? He was fighting for his life and so was kind and upbeat and so loving. He was the most positive, beautiful influence on me. He was grateful for every little thing in his life. He took gorgeous photographs of nature and invited us all to celebrate each small triumph with him in his fight against cancer.

When I got news that he had left this world entirely of his own accord, I felt so conflicted. On the one hand, I don't believe committing suicide is ever brave, or honest, or the right thing to do. Then again, on my last day at work, he looked so, so sick, and I can only imagine how much worse it must have been to have driven him to this. I think, in a strange way, that he left on his own terms. I hope that he didn't leave feeling desperate, or alone.

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting our Stake President gave an Easter talk on the Atonement. He said that he had recently felt inspired regarding the Intercessory Prayer and what it actually entailed, and he shared that while he had once believed that Christ suffered for our sins all at once, batch-style, he now believes that perhaps He suffered for our sins one at a time, person by person, individually, for each of us. He even suggested that possibly we were with Him as he suffered for us, in spirit. As I sat there I thought of my personal struggles with infertility, and of my sins, and I pictured my Savior suffering them along with me, and I suddenly felt the most wonderful feeling of love and compassion. Of course Christ knows me; of course he knows exactly how I feel. He suffered all of my sins, all of my struggles, all of my disappointments then, so that He can shoulder it all with me now, if I let Him.

I know that He shared Bruce's struggles, too. And I know that Bruce did not leave alone. I know that our Savior is with him now, just as He was with him always. I hope that Bruce was able to feel that. Because I know that Christ suffered just so that He could accompany Bruce on his awful journey home. And I am so grateful for that today.


Change Of Address

People, people!

You can now find me at

I know, right?

Typing all those letters - b-l-o-g-s-p-o-t - was just too much to handle for me. So I killed that.

You don't have to update anything - if you have my blog on a bookmark or a favorites list (a girl can dream) or if you are a creature of habit, the blogspot address will work and will forward you on.

Okay, that's all! Carry on!



Last night. Eclair cake. Okay, sooo I flirted it out of a what I think may have been one of the Young Men but what may actually have been a Missionary (eek!) from the other ward after Mutual. I feel a little guilty about it now. But it was Eclair cake!

And now here are some cute pictures of that cute boy I married:

just for whatever. he's cute.

Today I am recommending:
  • Salad rolls! This is not a dinner for boys. It goes thusly: Rice wraps, spinach, julienned carrots, red cabbage, alfalfa sprouts (the best things EV-ERRRR), bean sprouts (if you can find them and they aren't all gooey), and other assortments of vegetables, you know, knock yourself out, but the following is crucial: hoisin sauce, peanut butter sauce, sriracha sauce. Don't even bother if you don't have the three sauces. Nuke the peanut butter for thirty seconds in a ramekin, dip your roll in it, and squirt the sriracha on top (hoisin goes inside, with the veggies). Choirs of angels sing and somewhere a puppy gets a kiss.
  • Bon Iver
  • Diet Dr. Pepper
  • Walks with terriers
  • Prudent shoes
the end.

To Thursday

Taken at this time three years ago, Central Park.

Dear Tomorrow,

When you get here, I will keep the house clean. I will sweep the dust bunnies and I will clear the sink. I will tidy and I will organize - you'll see - when you're here.

I will finish those flowers for my mother-in-law. I will mail the package to my niece. I will get my studio back in working condition when you arrive, I have no idea how it got so messy so quickly, I swear it wasn't my fault - well, I can't be entirely sure it wasn't my fault - but when you come I'll fix it, but I can't start until you get here, so.

I will make better decisions once you get here, dear Tomorrow, I will. I'll be better to my body - I'll eat more fruit and leave the peanut butter and honey in their cupboards, together, you and me, we will do it when we are together.

Until then...

But I will be better with you.



Tour Pathetique

It starts the way it always starts, you know.

And then I wallowed in bed for a bit, throwing pillows at the walls and whining about the injustices of my life.

After my workout I realized I was low on supplies. On my way to the store I passed the pet store and decided to go in, on a whim, because nothing is more cheerful than dogs in cages. And wouldn't you know? There he was, one lone American Eskimo puppy, sitting in the corner of his massive steel cage, and then my heart broke and my eyes welled up and I just felt useless and sad. Did I want to take that puppy home? Hell to the No I did not want to take that puppy home. I want that puppy like I want these cramps, these useless, nothingness cramps. But I did see a startlingly fat gray English Budgie that I decided to name Ernest Borgnine should I ever take him home.

I dragged my sorry self back to the car and drove to the Safeway, passing our favorite nursery which was setting up for Spring.

Our nursery in the parking lot is up! It is Spring! Except in my soul.

is what I texted The Holbs.

I hope he knows to bring me flowers today, I thought but didn't text.

That is just the kind of thing a husband should know.

And then I made the sorry walk of shame to the feminine products aisle and bought my store-brand supplies. (In the multi-pack.) (May as well keep things interesting.) The digital ovulation predictor kits were right by the tampons. So I bought one of those too. Because apparently you can't keep a good horse down. Indomitable Human Spirit. Or something.

And then something happened inside my body, wherein my fluctuating hormones spoke to my soul, which in turn messaged my brain, which then made my feet carry me to the floral department, at which point I bought an azalea tree and some blue hydrangeas.

Holbs: Scratch the flowers. I did it myself. And then some.

As I paid for my tampons, my ovulation predictors, and a bushel of aromatic, springtime blooms, it occurred to me how much of a cliche I was. I even had the hormonal break out on my cheek. All I was missing was the chocolate bar. I mean, could I get any less original?

And then I drove home with my azaleas, my tampons, my ovulation predictors, and my hydrangeas.

My car smelled delicious.

So This Is How It Goes

I love Conference weekend! We watch it on the Internet at the Holbs/Lovin casita and this means that we can watch it in bed, we can watch it in the living room, we have options.

Conference via Internet also means you can watch Conference in the evening, say, after you've been to the antiques show in Pullman and bought an eighteen-dollar silver three-tiered petit a fours tray and a set of ten egg-shaped blue-flecked bowls. The only thing better than Conference is Conference after antiquing.

I just love Conference weekend. I love rolling out of bed and knitting in my sweats and raising my hand with those in favor and having another muffin and singing the hymns in my living room, and I especially love saying Amen in my little house after every talk. I also love the traditional Sunday evening Conference Is Over, Let's Take A Nap.

This Sunday was the first Sunday in a while where I've had Sunday Night Itis, and I think it was because I was so sad to see the Conference weekend end.

It also gave me a powerful hankering for those Utah parts.

Post Script - Please use your Post-Conference Spiritual High to pray that my period will not come anymore. Please and Thanks.

Your Friend,
Nat the Rat (Fat)



(I just asked The Holbs for a post topic idea, and he suggested I discuss the thematic elements of Edward Scizzorhands, just FYI.)

Gold leaf. Yeah, gold leaf, turns out, is not so easy.

Actually, it's not the process that's so difficult, it's the gold leaf wrangling that got me. Those little sheets of gold are just so delicate, and they stick to your fingers, but luckily gold leaf is also very forgiving. 

I had a fit of housekeeping this week and I laundered all the couch cushions and the bedding, I made a new duvet cover for the bed, I groomed the dogs, cleaned every horizontal surface I could reach, and then I made some pom poms. Pom poms!

I literally just took that photo over my shoulder just now.

I used the Martha Stewart kit from Michael's and it was fuuuuun. I want to make more NOW. The Holbs will undoubtedly be dismayed when the entire house is turned into a giant pom pom factory.

And then in this fit of housekeeping I had a sub-fit of organizing, and that is when I found an old stash of summer fabrics I'd meant to make into some a-line skirts last year. I finished a few and, with nobody with opposable thumbs at home to photograph the evidence, I finally found the timer mode on my dinky old camera. It is probably the last time I will ever use it. See for yourself.

My brillo pad and I made an important discovery yesterday and now when you walk in my kitchen you go, "Have these floors always been blue?" and then I go, "Yes, apparently they have."



And now, a list of things I will never do.
  • Get season tickets to any sporting event of any kind
  • Own a boat
  • (I almost wrote "show my boobs at Mardi Gras" but that is actually something I'd probably do, actually)
  • Go on a cruise
  • Hike for longer than four hours or camp for longer than two days
  • Hunt anything. Ever. Oh my gosh.
  • Get a cat and name him Ron Weasley, even though I really, really want a cat named Ron Weasley
  • Voluntarily watch Fox News, because it's just not in my constitution