4.22.2013

MAMA'S BIGGEST LITTLE HELPER AND OTHER THINGS ABOUT STUFF



this is huck. huck is my dreamboat of a toddler. i love him more than i love marshmallows and back tickles, and let me tell you. that is some kind of love.

so, these are just a couple of janky photos from friday afternoon's trader joe's trip, but they seemed to have sparked a landfall of emotions and i hope you will forgive the wordy post that follows. 

the elevator at trader joe's was broken--again--and they were all out of shopping carts, so huck was the big man and got to haul the grocery basket around for his mama. oh boy he was so proud of himself. it about made my chest burst to watch his proud little body lugging that enormously heavy basket around. 

there comes this point in motherhood where you are suddenly "yours" again. do you know what i mean? i've spent a lot of time thinking about this because it is probably the strangest and neatest thing my body has ever done, but for those months where you're pregnant and then newly not pregnant and then nursing (or not nursing, too), you are living your every moment with tunnel vision, where all you see and all you think about are your baby. your body exists for your baby, in the most primal way. you think about your baby first thing when you wake up, the muscles in your arms become toned in a very baby-specific way, your boobs don't let you forget there's a baby to be fed at any time ever . . . and then one day they outgrow you and you're just you again. it's triumphant for a lot of women but i suspect there's a small sliver of us out there who positively grieve when that day comes. 

all along when huck was itty bitty i loved my new mom body. i would even go so far as to say that i did NOT want my old body back. under any circumstances. my hormones had completely erased my migraines and any occasional pimple i used to get, i had a physical purpose like i'd never had before, nearly 50% of my brain cells were tied up in trying to keep a baby alive, so it was hard to over-analyze or obsess over any stupid thing . . . and i had a really great rack! that was especially fun. ideally i wanted to do it again right as soon as huck's babyhood was reaching it's climax and then keep doing it over, and over, and over again. for as many babies as heaven would send us and as quickly as my body could take them. this motherhood thing just really works on me. and fatherhood has enhanced brandon in such gorgeous ways. so we were all systems go, the holbrook team. i just wanted to be a baby making machine. still do, but, you know, the best laid plans and blah blah blah.

so here we are. huck is fully out of the baby phase. he's carrying large grocery baskets around trader joe's for crying out loud. i can trust him to walk just behind me, minding his p's and q's. and once again, i am just me. full of brain space for plenty of worrying, migraines and blemishes are back from time to time, my arms have gone soft in that very sad, baby-free way, and as we all know, i'm not nursing anymore, cue the sad boobs. (by the way, i checked last night and i am still lactating, which i guess is comforting in case there's a zombie apocalypse and we run out of food sources or something?)

i'm still a mom, of course, and i still love it. i just love it differently. i mother differently. it's good in all the good ways, just not in that one specific kind of way, and so . . . i miss it. 

for a good long while this made me sad. profoundly sad. then there was the S-A-D, too (i know seasonal affective disorder is true and i love my mom and dad, amen), not to mention the lovely dark side of blogging that most bloggers never want to talk about--and who can blame them? (hey guess what! no matter how hard i try to "fix" what people don't seem to like about me, some people still won't like me. revelation of all revelations! hello my name is natalie and i am a reformed people-pleaser.) i'm ashamed to say it, i guess, but i've let it all get me down recently. since december, i've let the circumstances get me down and i haven't been me the way i want me to be me. 

brandon is going through a stressful time. i'm not going to write anything further about that because it's not my story to tell, though i know brandon wouldn't mind my sharing this little bit. brandon is stressed. the other day as we sat on the couch with our legs all wrapped up together while he let it all out, vented all his frustrations into the air, i realized that what's missing is just his groove. he just needs to find his place in it. 

and then i realized that that's what i've been missing, too. oh duh, natalie.

when we were in idaho and i worked at that awful soul sucking place and brandon was a student and we were so terribly poor and i couldn't get pregnant and my insurance wouldn't let me find out why, that was a dark, dark time for me. i was so deeply unhappy. i had no control of anything in my life, in the most basic and obvious ways. and i remember realizing one day that my circumstances weren't going to change any time soon, and i wasn't going to be able to wish any of it away, and this was it. this was it and i had to find my place in it. i needed to make my groove. one day, while driving home from work under a july evening sun, i realized with a sense of urgency that i had to make my happiness my number one priority, that very moment, or else i'd never be happy. if i couldn't be happy now, what business did i have being happy ever? if i couldn't be happy then i didn't deserve happiness ever. that night i sat down and wrote every good thing about my weekend into my long-neglected blog. i poured everything i had into making those good things sing. i did it every night, some i published and some i didn't, and after just a few nights it was like the sun had dawned inside me, brand new and ready to roll. i was still at my horrible office, we were still hilariously poor, my body was still stubbornly broken, but i had finally found my place in it. i had created a place, a groove inside of the pain where i could actually thrive. 

in that way, my time in idaho sort of became this mythic, impossibly huge time in my life. even while i was living it, i was aware that it was taking on a significance far bigger than "a place where we lived." my own private idaho, brandon calls it. i think of idaho as the goliath that i tamed, and as a birthplace of the parts of me i am the most proud of.

idaho has been on my mind so much lately. especially after these long months of feeling frustrated and literally sick to my stomach over things beyond my control. i am so grateful to have finally remembered, while sitting on the couch with my poor stressed out husband, that what really matters in life is not beyond my control at all. because i am in control of making my groove. i can find my place here in this place. as a mother to a perfect, lovely toddler, as an accidental business woman, as the owner of a yet-again temporarily-infertile body. it's an ongoing process, you're never done reminding yourself to be happy. 

i'm not sure when another little baby will come and i'll get to be supermom with the happy hormones. crap those new mom hormones make being happy easy on me. (maybe next time those hormones won't make me so happy, these things are possible, too.) i do hope it's soon but i'm okay if it's not. i feel sometimes like the timing isn't right, and i'm at peace with that too. the time will come, but first it's the time for THIS. whatever this is. in a lot of ways, this little mirror back to my idaho life has been wonderful. and oddly comforting. sometimes the Lord sends you trials to prepare you for your blessings. i believe in that. one for one. the trial of idaho prepared me for the very best blessing this life has ever given me, and that would be my huck. my huck has been the ocean and the sky of blessings.

i'm finding my way to the top of it again. so to that i say, groove found. bring it on. 



141 comments :

  1. so grateful that you found your groove again and may Brandon find his groove soon. God bless you & your darling family.

    xoxo
    brooke elyse

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  2. yay! this was a good read. looking forward to reading more. :)

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  3. definitely needed to read this. i've been painfully out of my groove for far too long. thanks for being awesome as usual :)

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  4. I have missed this Natalie, so very much. Happy to have you and your groove back. Praying for your little tribe, y'all are the best.

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  5. This is beautiful, Natalie. You have a gift. The gift of writing about what other mother's really feel about moments big and small and the gift of being you. Thinking of you and so looking forward to your journey ahead:)

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  6. #1, i had almost those exact things in MY basket yesterday but no cute lil toddler huck to carry them for me. and #2, this entire thing just made me want to clap my hands and stomp my feet and that's the groove i'm in right now, so guess what? i did.

    also the phrase "but cheese and crackers" is being inserted into my daily vernacular starting today so thanks for that.

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  7. This is perfect. And perfectly true! What you said - that trials prepare you for blessings - yes. A year of "unexplained infertility" and month after month of not knowing what isn't working or why - well, that took a lot of convincing myself that it's all in the timing. But you know what?

    On New Year's Eve, I made a wish - twelve wishes actually, at midnight. With grapes? Have you heard of this? Don't do it all at once, I read after I tried - anyway, I made these wishes and told myself all of these wishes needed to be about happiness and making 2013 the best year. I made a pact with myself to not feel so disappointed and to not look at it as failing month after month. But instead to look at it as a blessing. "Well, this just means another month of just the two of us, which I know we'll miss someday."

    It's hard to find blessings in the trials. And to take the trials in preparation of the blessings. But it made me feel like I could control SOMETHING about this infertility battle. And I really needed that.

    Can't wait for your book!

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  8. i love that "gurgly babies" is one of the tags you used here ;)
    i definitely go in and out of my groove-stage, so i can definitely appreciate this post and the way you feel. much luck to you in staying in your groove, it's the best being in there!

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  9. I love that you mentioned your old post of strengthening your testimony by reading a blog. Your blog has helped me with my journey back to church and with my infertility struggles. It really can be soul sucking! Since you talked about seeing the good I will say that infertility has brought me closer to my husband (more than I even thought possible) and got me searching for something more which lead me back to church after a 13 year hiatus. I just want to say thank you for your blog that has helped me more than you'll ever know. Best of luck to you and Brandon. I hope you both get your groove back!

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  10. amen and hallelujah. air kisses and fives from the east to the west side of the island.
    xx

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  11. I'm so happy for you that you've found your grove again. This is a great post to read through. Hanna

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  12. So thankful to have found your wonderful blog. This post really spoke to me and I'm sure it will inspire myself and others to find our groove again. Can't wait for your book! :)

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  13. I love that you aren't afraid to get a good ramble in. To just say what's on your mind and tell your story to the world wide web without any cupcakes or lace to cover it up or make it "prettier."

    The things you write make me excited to be a mom one day. And I'm terrified of that, so good job.

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  14. I've got to get my groove back. It's been gone so long I'm not sure where to look for it. Or just create something totally new. We've been trying to get pregnant since my son was born just over 2 yrs ago. It isn't happening. But, I do feel peace about it. I know I'll have more kids. At least one more. I feel it. I'm sure our little one has a special time they need to come and right now isn't it. I need to start looking for the good in every day. Sometime's it is really hard though.

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  15. First, how adorable is your little guy with that basket?! Love!! Second, I've been reading your blog for a few months now, but I wish I had found it a year ago! My husband was in the hospital for months with pancreatitis while I was pregnant with our second. Dark times, and I felt so incredibly alone! But The Lord helped carry me through it. Your words are inspiring and so is your testimony. I absolutely love how real you are on here and admire the courage it takes to be so. Rock on girlfriend, and I can't wait to see what you've got coming next on here and in that book of yours.

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  16. oh that unhappy place controlled by female hormones... mine all seems to come tumbling in with pregnancy, post pregnancy and nursing, but it's still comforting to know that someone else knows those feelings and we're trying so hard to push them aside. Wishing you a new little baby soon...

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  17. what a lovely post! it's true. so true. it baffles me- that whole "grass is greener" mentality. it's so hard to go through things sometimes... until you're through them, at which point you look back and say, 'HEY! that was a helpful time! why was i so worried?' silly human minds. after finally getting our baby #2, it's funny how much i dislike some of those things you mentioned... but i, too, am realizing that the journey is what makes the reflection so enjoyable. i'm figuring out this whole "groove" WHILE the musics-a-playin' thing.
    hang in there.
    (oh, and you know it already, but seeeerriously, huck is such a stud.)

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  18. Thank you for posting this, My current life situation is a little different from yours, but I've been having very similar feelings. This post made me cry! But only in the best way. :) Thank you for being so willing to throw your real feelings here, I know there are so many, many people, like me, who need to hear that they're not the only ones. You're just great and I hope you're blessed with a million squishy, gurgly babies. :)

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  19. I'm a people pleaser too, and sometimes it takes every ounce of my being to not let a negative comment ruin my day, my week, my month. I can't imagine dealing with the many negative comments that come with blogging. Mean people suck, they're the worst and good for you for continuing on this path. Your blog is funny and entertaining and at the end of a long day all I want to do is escape into it. Can't wait for your book. Keep at it, your groove will come back and it will be worth the long fight!

    -Becca C.

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  20. I loved this post. If it's any indication of what will be in that book of yours, I'm going to be buying that book.

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  21. natalie this blog post is wonderful.

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  23. Beautiful post, Natalie. Trials for blessings, yes. Your blessing is coming, I just know it. So much love to you.
    And that Huck: my word! ;)

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  24. i wanted you to know you are amazing. you have me so excited to be a mom, which is going to happen at the end of this summer. so many people speak negatively about motherhood, parenthood, etc. but your honesty and openness make me beyond thrilled to have my own little one. my fingers are crossed that you'll add to your beautiful family soon.

    and forget the haters. keep being you, because the vast majority of us love it.

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  25. groove on! That is such a good feeling. You are so deserving of all these good things coming your way!

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  26. Thank you for this :) really enjoyed reading it~ you're such a talented writer and I hope that you will continue to bless us with your wise and kind words. Huck is such a cutie!

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  27. Not to beat a dead horse here with these comments, but man did this make me feel better. I've been missing these blog posts and overly open, optimistic, wordy Natalie. Your blog was amazing, even in Idaho without all the fancy schmancy restaurants and celebrity sightings. Please don't stop sharing yourself. In all the Internet crap and people and negativity, you are a bright spot. Welcome back. :)

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  28. great post Natalie! I love the idea of being in charge of your own groove.
    can't wait for the book!!

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  29. I love your post. I salute it with a "ditto". I also love your brown shoes!! Where did you find them?

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  30. I have never commented, but this post is beautiful. So very beautiful. You are so gifted with your words and your expression and ignore all those haters cause there are so many people who are inspired by you and what you write.

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  31. Your words here today touched my heart in all the right ways. I hope you can find your happiness in this moment, I am looking for that for myself too. It seems I have had the worst string of bad luck possible lately, but if I can't be grateful for the blessings I have now, what makes me think I'd be grateful for more? That book stuff is really exciting, you deserve all the happiness and success that you receive.

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  32. Beautiful words. Amazing. Honest. True to yourself. I often ask myself that question... If I can't be happy now, I have no business being happy. It took me 2.5 years to fall pregnant. And now I have the most amazing 13m old, a lovely little house in a green, leafy suburb. A wonderful husband who works so very hard for his family. Two cats that make me smile. A big tree in my backyard that is constantly full of birds and their happy songs. As overwhelming as life is sometimes, I don't have to look very hard to find something that makes me smile. Congratulations on your book deal... that's super exciting. I wish you nothing but happiness and joy. You really do deserve it.

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  33. I really needed this today. Really really. Thank you!

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  34. I love this. I kinda had the opposite thing happen, I had two babies in very quick succession. The first was planned, the second was not. And it nearly drowned me. My second birth was horrific, (I had a nearly 11 pound baby and a very nasty midwife) and I spent most of his first year in the bleakest place I have ever been. Those post-baby hormones can be decidedly nasty for some of us, unfortunately. But now I am here with a nearly three year old and a toddler, and we are starting to groove again. I hope you and brandon can both find your happy.

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  35. you write so beautifully.

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  36. I can not tell you what this has done for me today, as I type this the tears are flowing. I am currently in the worst trial of my life-I prayed for some encouragement and immediately saw this post :) I can not wait for the book. I too am choosing to take part in THIS.-lots of love Natalie xoxo

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  37. this post is perfection! serious. i love how you expressed this! i've been having thoughts just like this for a while now. in fact, i said just the other day to my husband that my groove was returning. that feeling is the best. and blessings will come...they always go. you are great! thank you for writing this.

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  38. Beautifully written. Glad you got your groove back. You and your family are beautiful and I love reading. Wish you nothing but the best as always.

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  39. I love this. You have such a great way of articulating feelings that I think so many of us share, but few of us can express. Here's to finding the groove!

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  40. Ooo this post is so beautiful my heart melted. Thank you Natalie for the inspiration and conviction.

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  41. <3 <3 so wonderful. As a first time preggers lady, I just have really been enjoying your blog. Here's to us all finding our groove! <3

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  42. I loved this post! You have such a beautiful way with words. I'm going to buy your book the day it comes out! Keep doing what you're doing because your an inspiration to thousands.
    xo

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  43. do it! bring it back to idaho :). secondary infertility sucks (i know) - guilt that i should just be thankful for the one i've got and not be greedy (and i am - she is beyond amazing) ...but wanting to grow the family just the same... so hard. best wishes to you guys!!

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  44. every single word you write is so beautiful! i'm nowhere near your place in life right now (i'm in high school, preoccupied mostly with college applications and finding myself) but i always, ALWAYS look forward to a new post of yours. and i am beyond excited for that book, even if the entire thing is about something i may never relate to. your writing is so accessible and for that i thank you. you have a gift!

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  45. Loved your post today. I have been in a major funk lately, and I too am trying to find my groove. Hoping I find it sooner than later!

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  46. Loved so much about this post Natalie, thanks for sharing.

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  47. I am so, so glad to see you write this, to not just let the beautiful images be all that we see or know.

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  48. I love this so much, and it makes me very excited to know that you are writing a book! You go, groove finding lady! :)

    xo

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  49. This is such a touching post and speaks to so much to the lack of groove I've felt over the winter. Thank you for sharing. Also, I'd love to know, what natural remedies do you use to treat your PMDD anxiety? xx Sarah of The Laughing Medusa

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  50. such a moving & sweet honest account of the very big nothings that inhabit our lives. daily. thanks for the reminder to get our groove back & to fight for, hard if need be. and thanks for touching so many hearts!

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  51. You are truly gifted... I love reading your words. You just have a way with them. I'm very excited for your book! Thanks for sharing so many of your thoughts with us :)

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  52. I was at Trader Joe's this weekend (the one in Union Square) and saw rocket shaped cheese crackers (like goldfish but rocket shaped) and I thought of you guys. I have a feeling that adorable little kid needs some rocket crackers in his life.
    XOXO
    Ashley
    sistersinthenyc.blogspot.com

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  53. I don't know how, but you hit home for me EVERY time. I have a 14 month old and constantly fast forward to the days when she's a big kid, or even worse an adult! I already mourn losing the baby days, and I'm still in them! How crazy are these mommy emotions?! They can be so overwhelming and confusing, but you're absolutely right about making a decision to be happy. That one decision can so quickly change your whole outlook. Can't wait to read more!

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  54. this post is the perfect example of why i love your blog. i'm so happy you've "found your groove." keep it up, girl. i can't wait to read your upcoming posts (and blog!!!!!!).

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  55. this was so wonderful to read! i love it a million times over and then some. i'm glad you found your groove! i can't even express myself properly because you said everything so perfectly and i'm astonished by your perfect way of expressing it! i wish all of you the best of everything & i am SO excited to read your book when it comes out! and your blog until then!

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  56. book title. . .
    HOW NATALIE GOT HER GROOOOOOOVE BACK
    c'mon. it's gooood.
    thanks for sharing your story. it's so easy to focus on the negative and so hard to remember to remember the good things in life. that makes sense, right?
    xo

    ps huck is the man

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  57. love, love, LOVE! love this post, love your blog, and love YOU! you are wonderful!

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  58. Here here! I totally agree. Sometimes it rains, and it pours, but after a little while, the clouds will part and the sunshine will return. And you also made me think of every "groove" pop reference off the top of my head: The Emperor's New Groove, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, aaaand that one episode of The Simpsons where Homer was able to reclaim his butt groove in his couch.

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  59. i loved this blog post and it came at a perfect time for me based on what i've been going through over the past few months (being stressed, not being pregnant!) even though your life is very different from mine, i look forward to reading your posts each day and the little glimpses into your beautiful family. looking forward to the book! megan

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  60. Loved this to death. By the way, would you consider sharing those natural anxiety cures. That would really interest me!

    Some Snapshots Blog
    Jess

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  61. Girlfriend (can I call you that?), I've been feeling so funny about blogging lately, but this is the stuff. This is what blogging is for. It's for honesty and genuineness, you know? Here's to the groove-searchers and the groove-finders. You're great. Thanks for writing. Can't wait for that book.

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  62. Loved this post. Thank you for being you!

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  63. Hooray! Looking forward to more old school style NTFR! And hopefully more essays because I have a special spot in my heart for NTFR essays. Love you in any way I can get you! (Please tell me there will be a book in signing /meet and greet in Utah!)

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  64. Hooray! Looking forward to more old school style NTFR! And hopefully more essays because I have a special spot in my heart for NTFR essays. Love you in any way I can get you! (Please tell me there will be a book in signing /meet and greet in Utah!)

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  65. a book! so exciting...can't wait to read it! loved this post, you are a beautiful writer!

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  66. Heartache and happiness for this post.

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  67. I can't wait to hear more about Idaho. Really, I LOVED your Idaho days of blogging. And I'm excited for this blog to go "old school". I feel like it's those posts that are the ones that really hit home, that connect us all, that keep me coming back. I mean, the fashion stuff, and the food stuff (I LOVE food), and seeing NYC is great, but it's posts like this that really mean something. This is blogging at it's best I think, and I'm glad you're still at it.

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  68. Ohh nervous about Brandon's funk! My husband is following a similar school/career path....so I always hope to hear it's perfect! and roses! for those a couple years ahead of us. Fingers crossed for you two.

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  69. Oh wow, oh wow Natalie... I'm not even sure I can find the words to tell you how poignant your words are for me today. Today of all days, for mercy's sake! After writing out a post of gratitude yesterday (as I do most weeks on my blog) I felt that same sort of incredible LIFT today - that feeling of purging a little of what's wrong, but zeroing in on what's RIGHT. What is good, what is true. I can say with all my heart that your faith is a huge part of what inspires me to keep at it - this hope thing, that is. I actually have a quite from an old post of yours in a little frame on my coffee table as a reminder of what faith can do. You are just incredible, Natalie. You and your whole wonderful little Holbsclan! Thank your.

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  70. Hey, wow, beautiful post. Heart warming and inspiring. You're my absolute fave blogger xxx

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  71. You're such a beautiful writer and I cannot wait to read your book.

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  72. I so needed this today. Thank you, thank you, for saying the words that my heart cannot articulate. Sending happy thoughts to you and your beautiful family...go own that groove sista friend... and I hope I'm not too far behind ya... xoxo

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  73. Your writing is beautiful!

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  74. i love your blog!!
    Why don't you consider writing a novel? Am really serious about that!
    Your writing is both sensitive and humorous in its own way!
    You rock!

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  75. I love this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  76. Thank you for your wise words Natalie. You have a gift for writing. I am so sorry that some people think thy have a right to tell others what they think is wrong with them. You just keep on being you (proudly)!

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  77. Oh Natalie I just loved this post! I love how you write. You can stir up real emotion when I read your blog, and you also crack me up! (...and I love my mom and dad, amen) :) that was "read out loud to the husband"-worthy. :) I am right where you are with fertility, waiting for my second but savoring my littleguy. Thank you for being awesome.

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  78. Thank you for this post, it is so beautiful. Because my second baby doesn't come as well as you... my psy give me a book to read : "Wherever you go, you are"... you are saying the same thing in a such more beautiful way. Thank you for that !

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  79. What an inspiring post, Natalie. I love your sincerity and your humanity and kindness. You are beautiful. :)

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  80. you are wonderful.. if it wasn't crazy id shout from the rooftops how much i love you and your blog! No ones perfect, but you make me strive to be. Your outlook on life is so refreshing and i wish those blog-haters would realize what they are showing is just jealousy and a waste of there precious lives. Keep it going lady! Your fatrat army are right behind you!!

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  81. i loved this post, natalie. thank you so much for writing it and being genuine. you are awesome.
    i feel a bit lost right now and i think i kind of lost my groove too. hope i'll be able to find it asap. thanks for this again. somehow it was just what i needed to read today.

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  82. Do hope that things will be better for u and ur hubby. Stay strong and have faith ♥♥

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  83. i would be pumped to read your book. your time in idaho sounds like something that would intrigue me and i would be able to relate it to my times in my early 20's. so i'm pumped. as for you and b and finding your grooves - i completely feel you. we all go through funks, sometimes really really bad ones, but at the end of the day we have to make a choice to find it again, to acclimate ourselves to our new reality, and to be happy with the hand we've been dealt. i hope this spring and summer treat you and brandon well, and i'm so glad huck has such amazing parents like the two of you. the love and joy you write about in being a parent has made me truly excited to become one, and no one has ever inspired that in me - just another example of how powerful and wonderful of a writer you are. have a great day natalie.

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  84. sigh, i love this. every bit of it - so true.

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  85. If you write a book - I will devour it. I am always 100% captivated by your writing, your honesty, and your wit. I just love it!
    That part you wrote about your body being yours again really struck a chord with me. I am right in the middle of that full-on baby phase, where I am existing entirely for my 5 month old.... And it has been very hard for me. Motherhood did not come as naturally to me as I expected it to, even though I truly do cherish it. But you made me realize that I complain about it far too often. It's hard to see the big picture, but I know that I will look back at this time (once I have successfully passed through it) and I will mourn the loss of it. Kind of ironic.

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  86. Beautiful post, Natalie. xoxo

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  87. You are an extremely gifted writer and I'll definitely be buying your book. BTW, I bought the light blue Urban Outfitters blazer from you about a year ago (with the navy and white checked lining), and I'm pleased to report that it's getting a lot of wear here in DC :)

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  88. I've been reading your blog for a year or two - ever since I was reading baby's first year on babble. I have a two year old daughter who was the happy result of clomid/IUI after a year+ of trying (and failing) to get pregnant. Now we have been trying again for almost a year, and have failed at IUIs and are moving on to IVF. Our kids are almost the exact same age and you have been writing so beautifully about exactly, exactly what I feel these days. My daughter is so independent and mothering a newborn seems like yesterday and also like a hundred years ago. My husband and I have definitely sunk into a sad place over the past few months of failing, yet again, to get pregnant but since Easter (my last negative pregnancy test) we have become determined to approach this with a new attitude. So thank you for this lovely post! It articulated things I had not fully processed for myself yet. So glad this is your groove, and that you've got it back.

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  89. I feel like so many bloggers don't write what they want to because of the feedback, negativity, etc... but if we all stand up and actually do write what we want, then we can be strong than the voice that tell us we shouldn't. Good for you and this whole post (and as the mom of an almost 3 year old, I know what you mean about that whole part - I love that little boy with all my soul and we're hoping for baby #2 some day but it hasn't happened for us either).

    I love how you write, what you write, and your outlook on life. More please.

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  90. just beyond inspired right now. go natalie!!!

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  91. I've been following for a long time, but have never commented. Thanks for this one, Natalie, because I've been SO out of my groove. I'm pregnant with my second right now, and my hormones have been turning me into straight up Maleficent out of Sleeping Beauty. Like I'm pretty sure I have those horns and everything. I'm a beast, and it's been feeling impossible to be happy about anything.

    And I have so much to be happy about, and to be grateful for, and to love about my life. So thanks for reminding me. Thanks for this little kick in the bum that essentially said to me "hey, stop being a wench." Message received; currently seeking groove :)

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  92. You are amazing and lovely and eloquent and I adore your writing.

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  93. oh! natalie! this was amazing! made me tear up.

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  94. Love your guts. Interested to hear more about the PMDD remedy. Please share.

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  95. Yes. Just yes to all of this.

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  96. You probably won't read this, because how could you have enough time to read 101 (now 102) in one day, but I'll say it anyhow: I think you're just fabulous. You let us in with your wonderfully honest writing, and so often take off that "mask of perfection" so many bloggers wear. Come to think of it, you never really wear that mask anyways - another thing that sets you apart from the others.
    Thanks for letting us in. xxo

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  97. Have you read The Happiness Project? I've started the 5 year, one line a day journal and I LOVE IT. I've since found awesome Q&A ones and children ones. You should check them out :)

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  99. Love this. Love love love. Thank you.

    Emily | Sparkle Meets Pop

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  100. Thanks for sharing... Reminds me a lot of why I started my own blog. Focusing on the positive and being thankful for what you have can bring soooo much peace. :)

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  101. nailed it with these words - "i am in control of my groove. i can find my place here in this place....its an ongoing process, you're never ever done reminding yourself to be happy"

    love your blog, your writing, and your authentic nature. keep it up!

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  102. You are so inspirational Natalie. There's something about your voice in your writing, it's so unique but still so relatable. It's so rare to find that in a blog. Thanks for the great reading material!

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  103. This...your blog, the words that you write in it with the feelings that are attached to it is what's going to prepare you for when Huck gets older, and your next child. It's going to prepare you for more trials, and then you are going to look at those trials, accept them with a happy face, and handle them like a pro.

    I have four kids, and my oldest is graduating. I still have trials, and your words bring back so many memories for me. They will be a strength for you always. Never give up, never lose your nerve, and always keep your 'groove' moving.

    Good luck, and God bless you with your sweet family.

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  104. I really can't wait for your book. When you write like this, from this place, I just feel like you're speaking my truth. I'm so glad you're around. God bless you Natalie.

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  105. i.love.this.post.the.end.

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  106. I can't wait to read more about that time in your life. By the time I'd found your blog, you'd long since been back in NYC; but hearing you talk about it, reading old posts, all that it meant to you and your growth--it's stuck with me so incredibly much.

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  107. I could probably write the longest of paragraphs on here but I think it's simpler to just say thank you for writing this natalie. I know you've talked about people not liking you and people-pleasing but I like you (lots!) and this post really helped. just like the birthday one did awhile ago, etc, etc. you have a way of writing that makes me admit things to myself and gives me hope...and it's really good. so just, thanks for being you. i'll take you happy or cranky, just as long as I get to still read here :)

    ps. can't wait for your book!

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  109. I'm excited to read the book. Is it just you or a compilation?

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  110. i really love that you write so honestly, natalie! as a new mom, it feels amazing every time i find someone to relate to, because it's not as easy as it was in high school or college! thanks for sharing like you do :)

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  111. Thanks for the happiness reminder Natalie. I've lost my groove myself, and feel rather lost at the moment. Your post reminded me that I need to make happiness my # uno priority again. Instead of being complacent with my current situation, I need to change it! and change it fast!

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  112. Natalie, you have pleased more people than you can imagine. There are women all over this city who are hoping to run into you and suddenly become Friends. When I had my twins in a studio on the UWS, I was sure it was just a matter of time! You have made me look at raising kids in the city a different way and opened my mind when it comes to my judgement of a certain religion, you are a hero!

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  113. this is such an amazing post, Natalie! It resonates with me in so many ways. Thank you for this!

    Can't wait for your book!!

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  114. Blogging is such a funny, silly thing, but it's also so wonderful to have a place to work through things, connect with people, and have a good laugh. I've really enjoyed your blog over the years BECAUSE of the writing and the stories. It's what keeps me coming back time again. So congratulations on your book and your groove! It's exciting and you should celebrate.

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  115. this! this post is exactly what my heart needed right this second. thank you for your beautiful words!

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  116. I love this so much. You are endlessly inspiring and entertaining. No truer words... "it's an ongoing process, you're never ever done reminding yourself to be happy."

    xo
    Amanda

    http://sovereignsoliloquy.blogspot.com

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  117. Challenges are real for all of us. I think they lead us the to the best parts of ourselves. As I was reading your post, I was reminded of this...Spend more time pursuing your dreams & less time criticizing ourselves and others, and watch how your life changes. I'm gonna do it.
    "private Idaho"--I have one too, it just happens there?...1993.

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  118. Challenges are real for all of us. I think they lead us the to the best parts of ourselves. As I was reading your post, I was reminded of this...Spend more time pursuing your dreams & less time criticizing ourselves and others, and watch how your life changes. I'm gonna do it.
    "private Idaho"--I have one too, it just happens there?...1993.

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  119. This was lovely, as usual Natalie! So happy you will write a book, I know it will be wonderful! Thanks for reminding me that we are in charge of our own happiness, it's easy to forget.

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  120. It was beautiful! Really Natalie, I have tears in my eyes, thank you for sharing this...♥

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  121. Loved this. Can't wait for your book.

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  122. Thanks for sharing. Much appreciated!

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  123. I so loved reading this, and I really look forward to reading your book! I identify with a lot of what you wrote, and I just wanted to say, my husband is not in his groove either right now, and that is really hard. I think it's difficult to know how to support and help in the right way. It's a different kind of hard to not be in your own groove than to watch your husband struggle to find his groove. Anyway, good luck to Brandon and to you.

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  124. I forgot to respond to this the other day since work has been so crazy hectic, and, I mean how DARE work keep me from commenting on my fave blogs, amirite?

    Muhahah.

    My dear Natalie, you are a wonderful human being TIMES INFINITY and I love you in a totally awesome we-could-be-BFFs-in-real-life and so not a stalkery way, DUH. Bwah!

    I wish you so many blessings, ALL the blessings, primarily of those health, and I have faith He will bless you in the way you wish and pray for. Your writing gives me warm fuzzies LIKE WHOA, your writing is gorgeous and amazing and gorgeously amazing, and it hits me square in the heart like OOMPH, and I'm down for the count but OH how I love it...! You are my people.

    Hugs and kisses!

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  125. Read this post with tears streaming down my cheeks. How does this girl on the other side of the world, write in a way that just gets to me so?

    I'm glad you've got your groove back. And I look forward to the day when I open up your blog and find a post announcing Huckleberry 2 is on the way.

    Hope Brandon is ok. Love to you both.
    xx

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  126. This post brought tears! I'm dealing with infertility right now, also! I would love to say more, but just know that this post was what I needed to read!

    p.s.Cannot WAIT for your book!

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  127. You're an amazing woman. Thanks for writing exactly all the right things. I needed all of that today.
    I'll probably be a ball of emotions all the way through your book, I know it's going to be THAT good.

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  128. Thank you for this. It encouraged me to make my mornings better, effecting my whole day.

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  129. This was seriously powerful. Wow... just... wow... good stuff, lady, and congrats on the book.

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  130. This is exactly what I needed today.

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  131. I always come back to this post. I have it saved in my favorites. I can't tell you enough what this has meant to me. And how this was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. Thank you for reminding me to find the happy in what seems like a sea of sad. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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  132. Natalie, sometimes when I feel down, I find myself perusing through your old blog posts and somehow always manage to find one that strikes a chord in me and gives me the lift I need. This one was it today. Thanks for always keeping it real, here's hoping that all good things find their way back to you.

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