i field an awful lot of questions about my saltwaters these days. 

are they comfortable? do you like them? do you looove them? can you walk in them for a long time? where did you get them?

i thought i would set the matter to rest for once and for all.

these are my saltwaters, they are rad.

i grew up wearing saltwaters every summer as a kid. i bought the ones i'm wearing now in 2007. it's amazing how little wear they show after so many years.

i have a pair in navy and tan, they're about perfect. they go with everything. i wear one of them practically every day. i'd estimate that this week alone we've clocked in over fifty miles together.  that sounds absurd but it is true.

i'm thinking of someday adding to the family with a red pair. possibly yellow. though i do feel that those punchier colors are more fitting for a frillier girl, a girl who wears her ruffles, rather than the other way around. (my ruffles always say, "look at this girl named natalie that i am wearing. isn't she silly for thinking she could get away with me? how funny does she look?" which is why i never wear ruffles much, really.)

i got mine at

(they are slightly cheaper through

they are comfortable, i love them, and the minute huck's feet are big enough you better beleive we're going to be twinners.

i also write for babble
here are this week's posts:
huck is nine months old and weighs 22.5 pounds! we're discussing well visits here.
what are your feelings on high chairs? are they a necessity?
and a little more about stroller etiquette.



my mom and i have been doing a lot of running around lately. when i sit down to try and sort out a way to put it all in the blog so i can remember it, i go a little cross-eyed. so here are our new york adventures according to my cell phone, photo dump style.

being awesome in strollers.
fake shopping (you know, shopping for things you have no intention of buying, like fall coats when it is 103 degrees outside, or anything at all from abc carpet and home, ever.)
spending time in fish's eddy. heaven.
bravely surviving drastic temperatures in the park.

eating lots of baby for dessert.


B-R-U-N-C-H ?

i have decided that we are a brunch family. doesn't that sound nice? brandon thinks that is a cheesy idea, but you know what, brandon?

but can one just decide to be a brunch family? or perhaps one has to earn it somehow? how many brunches until it is official? 

i just have feelings about brunch. amorous feelings. i have feelings like maybe nothing bad could ever happen to a person at brunch. i mean, it's food, that you eat, after sleeping in, mainly involving poached eggs. whoever thought of this idea was clearly a genius, and i would like to leave him my syrupy hollandaise thanks with home fries on the side and a tall glass of diet coke instead of a mimosa, please.

a few saturdays ago it was restaurant week, so we brunched at bar boulud, a very fancy brunchy place indeed. only now that i've typed it out i don't like to say "brunched" in the verb sense, that's silly sounding. good. see? it's important to really know your feelings about brunch, all the way through. i mean, that much is clear.

branodn's brunch includes pate with mini pickles,
because that is just the sort brandon i am married to.



don't cry, shop girl.



this week is the kind of week where you want to french kiss your air conditioner. the high today was 103. one hundred and three! it feels like we are living inside of a bear. the air temperature does not feel at all natural. it feels like you just took a long, hot shower, and then blow dried your hair, and then blow dried your dog's hair, and also you are steaming a large pot of cabbage and the heater has been on all day long. it is unbelievable! two minutes outside and the entirety of your hair is stuck to your neck. yep. it's pretty amazing.

in the middle of all this my mom flew into town, so we are attempting to do fun things without melting into puddles.

last week i was invited to a lucky magazine/express party. it was me and a whole bunch of fashion bloggers, i was so out of my element. at one point they were all photographing each others' outfits for their daily outfit posts and i figured, why not? christine from courtandhudson took these photos of me and obviously it is a good thing i am not a fashion blogger.  i am really, super bad at it.

our birds of ashmae winner:

and here are this week's babble posts:
a round up of the sakura bloom styleathon entries,
when do you give into crying babies and when do you hold firm?
you have to read this post about a mother who was able to breastfeed her adopted baby,
and a round up of the most often misused baby gear.



I can't thank Leigh enough for inviting me to be a part of her baby wearing documentary. I've loved getting to know the other women involved and the creative outlet this has been for me has been indescribably good.

Being a mother is something worth celebrating. That's what I think. Being a mother, raising a child, loving a child . . . what a beautiful, important thing to do. I love baby wearing, because in the act of wearing your child you simultaneously become your most vulnerable and your most powerful self. Some might say that having children and sacrificing your ambitions to raise them is limiting, or weak. I say it is the opposite. It is very essence of strength, and not for the faint of heart.

As a mama, it is so important to have a community of loving, supportive women around you, and I am lucky to have that both in my real life and in my Internet life. These women I've met are doing are astounding things, I feel humbled to be listed in their company.

Our challenge for the third round was to either make a video or do a series of photos chronicling "A Day In The Life," so I chose to do both. I hope you enjoy.


this week, the holbsattorney is a few states to the west on a business trip.
it is just huck and little old me holding down the fort over here.
nobody here but us chickens.

we've watched an awful lot of movies, eaten an impressive amount of yogurt melts, talked ourselves out of $15 pants at the zara kids sale (but we could be talked back into it--holbsy, look away!)

and even done a little cross stitch.

tonight, my mom flies in from portland.
i plan to let her sleep in my bed and make me breakfast every morning.

in the meantime, 
we have a few ad slots open for august sponsors.
shoot me an email and we'll chat, yes?



"people are always saying that change is a good thing. but all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened."
(thanks for leaving this quote in the comments, you know who you are)

once upon a time there was a girl with a big heart, who longed for a little family. she married a handsome young man with a heart the size of adventure, and the two of them set out to build that family. when it came along slower than anticipated, that short girl with that big old heart set out to glue together a family, piece by piece.

she called him peter pan.


when i created my little family, two parts human to two parts puppy, i meant for it to last forever. these last weeks have ripped me apart.

i talked myself into and out of calling it off a million times. writing the wire fox terrier rescue and saying, "i take it back, we're keeping him!" but every time i'd start, i could never finish. 

people always ask if it's because of henry. it was never about henry. when i adopted my boys, i adopted them knowing and hoping that we would add to our little pack someday with human babies. of course i knew that combining human babies and doggy babies would take vigilance, but i was prepared. henry was safe. the puppies loved henry. this was never about henry. 

it wasn't about simplifying my life, either. i never wanted a simple life. i want a life filled with love, and love is anything but simple. 

and it was never about convenience. i invited inconvenience in and i thrived on it. 

this was about my boys. this was about their needs, and making decisions based on what was best for them, not what was best for me. what was best for them broke my heart. 

we sacrifice an awful lot for this city life, and while we humans reap the rewards, the dogs in our life may not. the city life is a hard life for a dog. some dogs need what their owners can't give, as much as it hurts to admit it.

in five years we may be back in the suburbs, but five years is an eternity to a dog. i couldn't justify the limited life i was giving my fluffy boys. they deserved better than what i could give them, and when i realized that, it became so obvious what i had to do.


the cab pulled away on saturday evening.

i watched him jump in excitedly. i watched brandon reach his hand in to pat that fluffy head one last time. i reached my own hand in after him as the light changed and the meter started, but the door was shut quickly and my hand never found its target and the light was green too soon and then he was gone. i watched the taxi zoom up central park west for a brief second before it hit me. i had done it. the worst of it was over. i had sent my baby away to belong to somebody else. and then i couldn't breathe. i cried hard on the street into my baby's neck, while my husband squeezed my hand.


i think a lot about change lately.

my family has changed so much. some days i hardly recognize it. 

where once there was an empty ache, there is now my henry august, fat and happy on my hip. where there once were finals and classes, there is now a career with a paycheck. where there once were wheat fields and cows there now are brownstones and sky scrapers. 

i love my city life, but sometimes i grieve for moscow.

moscow was such a funny little time in our lives. and such a funny little town, untouched by time and hardly even existing at all once you left its tiny borders. it is easy to pretend that things can stay exactly as they are there, frozen in time forever just as i left them. the people, the places, my old narrow hallway extending to the back door, the patio we laid ourselves that hot summer in the sun, the rickety old lawn furniture propped against that old barn shed, the prickly grass, the hammock in the lilac breeze, my old pal mister sun.

some nights as i struggle to fall asleep i walk those quiet little streets in my head. i imagine i can feel the hot august sun beating down on my shoulders and coming up in waves against my legs through the concrete. i imagine i can the smell of the lilac trees and the earthy warmth of pine and wheat from the fields. i imagine i can feel the slow easing of my city life as it drains out from my fingers. the moscow of my mind is deserted and quiet and it is just me there, empty but for the ghosts of those i loved, slipping in and out like wisps of clouds in the atmosphere. i visit my little shoebox of a house on b street, the sandwich shop where i'd meet ollie and kendall for lunch, and all those street corners where so much life happened in my imagination on a momentary pause on an afternoon run. those old horses on d street and the llamas behind cleveland, and the middle school soccer games on the field and gyros at mikeys and visiting brandon on campus. betsy the flying potato. schweitzer engineering laboratories looming on that big hill in pullman to the west.

what a life we had there. beautiful and sad, just like it always is.

in the years to come i will always long for my little family of moscow, two parts human to two parts puppy. at times i will want it so desperately it will crush inward on my chest, pushing residual sadness down my arms.

but i am okay with it. because that is where peter pan and barnaby macduff will always be mine. where a little family of four will still sputter and ache and struggle to start. where a short, childless, romantic, big-hearted girl lives with them still.

they will always be mine, there.