Leaving the To-Do List Unchecked

When I became Momma to Hattie Marie everything changed. Our home used to be clean, bed made, floors vacuumed, dishes put up, grocery shopping done, and dinner made. I used to get dressed, dab a little makeup on, brush my teeth, and fix my hair before two in the afternoon. I used to have a quiet morning, sipping coffee, journaling, doing my bible study. I used to make Chase's lunch before he left for work and we would spend evenings just the two of us, watching Netflix, going out to dinner or coffee, going on a walk, and checking in with how each other is doing. I used to eat meals at normal times, and sleep 8 hours a night. 

Now, to an outsider, it probably looks like I get nothing done. To be honest, sometimes after long days of endless nursing I find myself telling Chase I did nothing that day. But I constantly am reminded that what I am doing, being present with my sweet daughter who is changing overnight (literally) and taking in all the newness of the world around her, that is doing more than anything I've ever done before. Responding to each of her needs, feeding her, changing her, rocking her, laying on the floor during tummy time with her, soothing her when she is fussy (and let's be honest, sometimes I cry with her), staring back into her curious little eyes, chatting with her, building love and trust between us that will hopefully continue throughout her entire life, that's what I'm doing.

Being Hattie Marie's Mommy is far greater than a bed that is made and getting myself dressed (Confession: sometimes I put clothes on right before Chase gets home. HA!). The things I do as Momma may not be able to be checked off a list and visible to the eye, but it's what is most important right now. All too soon, my baby girl is not going to want to be with Mom 24/7. She won't want to cuddle anymore, she'll be able to feed herself, she'll be building love and trust with friends, and then one day experiencing the joy of having a baby and messy house herself. So for now, I'm leaving the to-do list unchecked and sitting in my sweats, feeding Hattie Marie and soaking up this sweet, dependent, a lot of times exhausting stage she is in with a big ol' cup of coffee in hand.

If you come over, don't mind the piles, and if you're hungry I may be feeding you a quesadilla while still in my pj's! :) 

Lots of love,

Nat

Hattie Marie's Birth

A few days ago marked one month with our precious girl, and oh what a month it's been! A blog post coming soon on the first weeks of being a momma and family of three; but first I thought I would share Hattie's birth story.

Thanksgiving morning I woke up and felt different. I was having frequent contractions and just had this feeling our baby girl would be arriving soon (I didn't realize how soon!!). Chase and I blew up our kitchen with a mess cooking sweet potato cinnamon roll cake and then headed over to my parent's to spend Thanksgiving with my family! As the day went on, it was becoming more and more clear my body was getting ready for labor. It was sweet to be with family as the excitement and anticipation of meeting Hattie Marie grew! My contractions continued all day and we went on a family hike around 4 hoping this would spur labor on (I may have thrown a few lunges in along the hike :))!

Around 6:45 we decided to head home and try to get a full night of rest thinking Baby Girl would be making her entrance in the next 36 hours or so. We got home, finished packing everything for the hospital, and were just about to crawl into bed at 8 when I had a painful contraction and shouted, "I think my water broke!" (It was either that or I had wet my pants!) Holy moly...once my water broke things picked up quickly. Contractions instantly became super painful, like on all fours on our floor unable to talk painful, and they came every 3-4 minutes lasting a minute long each.

We got to the hospital at 10. When I was first checked (The triage room was 900 degrees..shout out to the best husband ever for fanning me nonstop through labor!) I was only at a 2 but they were ready to move me to labor and delivery since my water had broken. They went to get things ready to move me and when they came back 30 minutes later, decided to check me before transporting us and I had progressed to a 7/8 in that short bit of time. No wonder I was in unbearable pain and so sick to my stomach! I quickly told them I wanted an epidural!

They moved us to labor and delivery and shortly after, the anesthetist (and students-Vandy is a teaching hospital) arrived.  Long story short, the epidural didn't take on my right side and was only strong on my lower left leg. After adjusting the catheter in my back, my right side was still stubborn and never went numb. (Praise Jesus I had a quick labor!)

The next time my nurse checked me, I was at a 10. They had me wait as long as I could to start pushing, allowing Baby Girl to move down as much as possible on her own. At 3 in the morning I couldn't wait any longer and began pushing. With the encouragement from my nurse and Chase, and a lot of prayers for strength, an hour and a half later our sweet Hattie Marie was born at 4:31 on November 27th. I'll never forget when they placed my 6.8lb., 19in. bundle of joy on my chest and hearing Chase tell me I was his hero. This momma's heart was melting.

The worst part of labor and delivery came after our girl made her entrance...my placenta did not detach so they had to manually remove it and then it took an hour to be stitched up. That about did me in after a night of zero sleep (My first all-nighter ever...and definitely wasn't my last!)  and thinking I was done once I held Hattie Marie. But holding our girl and watching Chase love on her made everything 100% worth it. 

After we were moved to recovery it was the greatest joy getting to introduce Hattie to our family and friends! We spent one night in the hospital and were anxious to get back to the comfort of our own home as a family of three and headed home the next afternoon.

Hattie Marie Cleckner your Daddy and I love you more than you'll ever know...until you have a baby of your own one day.

Lots of love,

Nat

Sow & Invest.

Sow & Invest.

Chase and I started our first fall veggie garden a few weeks ago. If your really knew us, you would know our dream is to one day live in an old farmhouse with enough land for a large seed-to-table garden and a few farm animals. While this is not possible for us right now, we are able to have a veggie garden, which to us is an exciting step in the direction of our seed-to-table dream!

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I Love Her More.

I Love Her More.

One of the sweetest, yet hardest things He has been speaking to me over and over is "Natalie, I know you love her, but guess what? I love her more. The love you already feel for your daughter is nothing in comparison to the way I love her." I am so thankful, overwhelmed, and in awe of God's goodness and love in the midst of this scary in-between, waiting period. I am in a constant battle with what my mind and human flesh is trying to fill my head with, and what the real Truth is: my Heavenly Father is only a good God.

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You Awake?

You Awake?

It's 3:12AM...I've been tossing and turning for a while now and keep feeling Chase move around. I finally whisper, "You awake?". He rolls over, "Yeah I am, I can't sleep!"..."Ugh, ME EITHER."

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Skip-Bo or Skip-Out.

Skip-Bo or Skip-Out.

Do you ever get stuck in a rut? Maybe you're stuck in a mood, stuck in a rut with junk food, or with a back-to-back schedule. We can easily fall into ruts: "a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change." Relationshipswhether it be a friendship, a dating relationship, a family tie, or a marriagecan slip into these dull, unproductive patterns as well. 

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What is Holy Yoga?

What is Holy Yoga?

For me Holy Yoga is a place to Be still and know that [He] is God. It is a place where I can worship and praise God with all that I am. A place to surrender, to be filled, to process, and pray. A place where God stirs deep within me as I search deeper for His voice, guidance, and comfort. A place of community and rawness. A place of joy. A place so not about the yoga, but so much about the One who breathed Life into us.

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DIY Pallet Headboard

DIY Pallet Headboard

A couple weeks ago we had amazing weather-sun shining and temperatures in the high 50's! While I have fully embraced the South, and southern roots run deep in my family, when it comes to weather, the Southern-California-born-and-raised-for-14-years-girl comes out. I LOVE the sunshine and temps that don't require me to bundle in multiple layers. All that to say, I was eager to get outside to enjoy the sun and work on a DIY project I have been wanting to do for a while!

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Love>Fear

Love>Fear

I didn't really even say anything, but he must have seen the-Ugh/Sigh/ I don't want to do all that stuff/ What if they say no/ I hate rejection/ Can't I just have something fall in my lap-look on my face to which he said, "If you are afraid of the no's, you'll never get to the yeses."

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A Blocked View.

A Blocked View.

This post stinks to write, but I promised myself when I started blogging that I would stay true to who I am, that I would be real and vulnerable because so much of what we see on social media are perfect little boxes tied up with pretty bows and signed with love. I'll be the first one to admit I'm guilty of this...especially on Instagram! I usually post the fun and exciting things that pop up in my day-to-day mundane steps. It is so easy to compare our lives to the perfectly tied up boxes we see posted and this can leave us unsatisfied, jealous, hurt, feeling inadequate, ugly, bitter, and so on. Okay, enough of my rant...all this to say I am posting this in an attempt to remain real online (and hopefully make you feel super good about yourself :)).

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