Not the right church. Actually a schoolhouse.

Last weekend we went to a wedding, and spent four hours in the process utterly lost on various country roads. It was a beautiful place to be lost! And such a fiasco. I have a beef with you, east coast. We could never tell what town we were in at any given moment, or even what state we were in, the whole thing was a mess. At one point we thought we'd found it, but then it turned out we were in.... Connecticut. So we circled and back-tracked, we passed the same gas station six times, we stopped in at every church we passed along the way, and then, we found it! We snuck in quietly and sat down in the way way back, just in time for the You May Now Kiss The Bride! And then we were like, well, back to the car? And then we got lost again trying to find the reception location. Disaster. At one point I was reminded of a story I'd read about a family trapped in a car on a snowy mountain road who managed to survive thanks to breastfeeding. Yes, all of them. Luckily, I'd packed dried mangos. 

And now comes the part where I tell you about the wedding lunch, which took place on a totally different day, in handy list format: 

1. There were about 200 people or so invited to this lunch, and we were all encouraged to spread out over their 50 or so acres of land and explore to our hearts content. Even with that many people, it felt like we were the only ones there. At one point an ice cream truck drove through the property handing out free popsicles. I KNOW!

2. The family rents out the stables on their land to nearby horse owners, so there were, like, ten million horses. They'd pop up here and there as you wandered around.

3. I decided this was what it would feel like to spend the day at Downton Abbey. Or Pemberly! Or some other romantic place like that.

4. In between moments of jaw-dropping scenic beauty and loving up on all the animals, I managed to take a merciless amount of photos.

5. It was pretty much the most blissful afternoon EVER. 

And now, a few photos of our day at Green Gables. (The place did have a name and it wasn't Green Gables but, you know.)

These hairy men were my dates for the afternoon. (Stick-on mustaches as wedding favors. :) (But the beard is real! And I know that hashtags are true, amen.)

We got to meet some harses. Including babies! There was a huge bag of rather enormous carrots, easily the size of my forearms, and we were told we could use them as bribes to make any animal love us that we pleased, except for the colts and the llamas, because the colts were on a special diet and the llamas were super mean and did not suffer fools kindly. 

We spent a lot of the day at that fence, talking with other guests. Occasionally Huck would run back and forth between the chickens and the pot bellied pig. A few times I'd be mid-sentence and get a horsey nudge. 

"Just a minute, sweetie. Mommy's talking."

(Natalie Holbrook, proud owner of sticky outy elf ears and weird cowlicks since 1982!)

After a bit a kickball game got organized and the sporty two-thirds of our family went to scope it out. Natalie and kick ball equals a dramatic emergency room visit, every single time, so instead I took my inner introvert out on a date. 

SELF-INVOLVED SIDE NOTE: So Brandon's been to a few training seminars through work this year, and he always comes back with these personality tests as part of their management training. I found one on the dinner table the other day and decided to take it and nearly fell over dead when the results told me I was an introvert. Outgoing, maybe, but in-tro-VERT. Suddenly my whole life made sense! Well. Maybe not my whole life. But I have stopped feeling guilty when I drift out of conversations in large groups and go into what Brandon calls "Natalie Land," because look, a quiz told me it was okay.

So I sat with some chickens, I cooed at some pot-bellied pigs, I discovered a hidden bocce ball court in the middle of nowhere, and I did a lot of thinking about the Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet relationship dynamics.


!!  Come on. 

The end.


  1. I've been reading your blog for a while, and this must be why I've always felt you are a kindred spirit! I have the same outgoing introvert syndrome going on. I do think that sometimes maybe a good quiz is all you need to feel validated ;) That farm looks dreamy, by the way.

  2. Well this will make you green with Envy...In 2011 I went to a wedding at the actual Downton Abbey (it's called Highclere Castle in real life) and it was every bit as magical as you'd imagine! The ceremony was in the entrance hall and we had drinks on the lawn followed by dinner in the library then dancing back in the entrance hall. I spent the majority of the evening sat on that wooden bench under tha grand staircase as my hugely swollen pregnant feet didn't want to dance too much :o)

    Katie @

  3. Can I come untangle that yarn? Oh my gosh I'm just going to dream about how much fun that would be. Maybe I should give my kids some yarn to tangle.

  4. Forearm tattoo. Bingo. I can't quite make it out, but I like it.

  5. AnonymousJuly 29, 2014

    Maybe you're actually an ambivert? Which is really the best of both if you ask me (yep, I'm one too!)

    This is a hilarious post. You make me laugh, every day. If you ever question why you write this blog, think of me, a girl in Sydney Australia who needs your words!

  6. AnonymousJuly 29, 2014

    I was raised in Pennsylvania so I fully understand how easy it is to get lost on those darn country roads! I wish I could take the personality test. It would be super interesting to find out the results! These photos were lovely and those farm animals are adorable!


  7. That had to be the best blog post ever. You are so damn funny. You write how I think and I love it.

  8. Okay all the commenters are call that a farm, that is no farm that is an estate, holy guacamole!
    I to have thought about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet relationship. Mostly who played the best Mr. Darcy. I went through a deep desperate time back in March. Totally wrote a whole post about it too. Feel a little bit silly now, sort of.
    Also the gardens are just beautiful in the pictures. I hope they have costume parties there in regal attire. That would make my dreams.

  9. Too. Freaking. Gorgeous. I want to be there. Or somewhere like there. Or somewhere anywhere with horses and potbellied pigs to call my own to bond with. xx

    The What's In Between

  10. Again, love the way you write. And I love horsesss

    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

  11. That glorious pig. And the mama horse with which you connected. And the idea of a post-reception wedding lunch with 200 people spread out over 50 acres. I want to have this weekend! Sounds fab!

    The introvert/extrovert thing always confuses me. I kind of change every single day. Some days I am mega one, some days the other, so I don't trust those quizzes anymore! Although I continue to do lots of them anyway and love them so much and think about them lots.

  12. I freaking love llamas too!! I don't how or why this love for them developed but it did, sometimes the things you love pick you!

  13. As an introvert who got super tired of people saying things like "you should get out of your shell more" or "she's just backward" I'm all about preaching introvert love! One thing most people don't realize/understand is that being an introvert doesn't necessarily mean you're shy! It's not about being anti-social, it's about how you get your energy. Extroverts get a charge from being around others, introverts need alone time to re-charge because being with people depletes their energy. My sweet mother-in-law was so amazed with this discovery (and relieved that I wasn't avoiding her during the holidays, just taking breaks from their loud, energetic family of extroverts as needed), she started giving the book "The Introvert Advantage" to all of her counseling clients! That trip sounds magical! My family is all about those times when nothing goes as planned. My husband likes to yell happily, "We're makin' memories!" =)

  14. I feel ya on the horses. They are just so BIG and their expressions never change so you don't really know how they feel about you. I rode one when I was in Idaho a few weeks ago and it made me a tad nervous. The only horseback riding I had done before was trail riding (aka walking) and this horse started to trot. I really wasn't going that fast but man did I wish I had worn a sports bra.

  15. I love this. Beautiful pictures, cute animals, and you are always such an entertaining storyteller! And that's the best about you being an introvert :))

  16. I'm curious about what quiz you took. In college I couldn't pick a major and took this class called "Career Decision Making" where we basically took A BUNCH of personality test like the Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I've taken the MBTI 3 times now, and each my Extrovert score has been just one point higer than my Introvert Score and I've decided that it's because I'm extroverted when I'm in situations I'm comfortable with, and introverted when I'm out of my comfort zone.

    Side note: though I did eventually pick a major, and graduate, and get a soul-sucking job, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Stay-at-home Momma who blogs sounds pretty wonderful though...

  17. I love any post with horses. it's really kind of ridiculous. but I love your tone here, too! so funny. and yet, so sorry you got so lost. been there..not fun.

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  18. sounds and looks magical! (except the getting lost part)

  19. These photos are so adorable. -Hanna Lei

  20. Please tell me the title is a reference to Sleepless in Seattle.

  21. Haha, love it! Also, yes, Llamas.

  22. Is that a downton abbey reference there at the end? Did I just understand it like... I spoke the language? :O
    aw. I Lol with the entire post!

  23. llamas are always so condescending but they're also hilarious and I always find myself laughing when I see one!

  24. been following you for over a year....just love your pictures and your style...I would like to buy your white buttonned skirt(on the picture you posted announcing your moving sale)...could you pleaaaasssse contact me so we can get a sale fixed....thanks.
    Astrid from France ( my mail ) I can pay you via paypal :-)

  25. Harses,harses, harses - LOL. One of my favorite parts of that movie. Looks like a super dreamy place to explore...

  26. is that a real tattoo? finally???? spill it.... or maybe you already did and I'm slacking and haven't read. ;)


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