This past weekend, we took a quick trip to the coast of NC to introduce Grace to my dads side of the family.  It was so great to hang out with my cousin, her kiddos, my granny, and my uncle.  They loved Gracie, and we can’t wait to see them again!  









After spending the afternoon with the family, we decided to drop by the beach real quick on our way home.  Gracie’s first outing at the ocean!  Obviously she had no idea what was going on, but it was fun for us, and I loved taking her somewhere that I’ve been going my whole life.  :)







2 Years Ago Today

Two years ago today, this happened:

Ribbet collage


I know it’s kind of silly, to single out this day in our relationship, but it was a big one, and definitely one of the happiest moments of my entire life.  I tell Chris that no matter what, each June 11th will always mean something to me because it was a day that changed our lives forever.

As each year passes, I learn more and more about love.  This year, I’ve learned about the true meaning of “in sickness and health” and “in good times and bad.”  I never thought we’d experience so much in such a short amount of time after getting engaged, and now married, but we’re here and we’re strong.

I’m continually reminded why I said “yes” two years ago today, and I feel incredibly lucky to have married my best friend.

Chris, I love you.  Always.


Your Natalie

The Story of Us

Dear Chris,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much our lives are going to change in the very near future.  And, I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of us.  After 15 years of friendship, something happened, and suddenly, we were in love.  I love our story, and I can’t wait for the new chapter, with our new addition, little Gracie.  So, here’s our story, so far… I love you forever and ever.

We started dating in late 2009:


And we had a pretty great first year:


Halfway through our second year, your proposed at my favorite place:


And then a few months later, we got married:


We went on our honeymoon, and on a catamaran in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, you shocked me, saying you were ready for a baby.  We captured the moment a few seconds later:


And then, 13 long months later, this happened:


After containing our excitement for a few months, we were finally ready to share with the world:


And now, here we are.  Just a few months away from meeting our daughter.  Our lives will forever be changed, but there’s nobody else in the world I’d rather experience all of this with.  I am lucky.  Grace is lucky.  And I hope she makes our story that much more amazing.


A Favorite Moment

Chris and I have been married for almost a year and a half, and every now and then, a memory from that day flies into my head and I remember exactly how I felt.

One of my favorite moments from the day was when Chris came to the bridal suite on the property just moments before the ceremony was supposed to start to take a planned picture.  I remember arriving to the venue with my favorite girls and being SO READY to walk down the aisle.  I remember my dad coming over to the bridal suite and me asking him to get Chris for the picture I was most excited about.  I remember talking to the girls, asking if Chris was coming, if he could see me in the mirror in the room, and then hearing him ask if I was ready.

Then, I remember our photographer telling us each to put our backs to the door, and I vividly remember Chris’ hand reaching around the door, and me grabbing it tightly.

Natalie + Chris-114


Natalie + Chris-115


Natalie + Chris-117


I love these pictures because it was the last moment before we became Mr. & Mrs.  We were both so excited, so anxious and so giddy.  I see us, and I realize that we had no idea the adventure that we were about to embark upon.  But ultimately, I know everything’s going to be okay, as long as we hold onto each other like we did in this moment.

A Celebration

Chris had to work this weekend, so we split our anniversary celebration over the past two evenings.

Saturday night, we made filet mignon, crab cakes, scalloped potatoes and caesar salad.  I paired it with a 2004 Robert Mondavi Cabernet, while Chris stuck to his Miller Lite.

After dinner, we exchanged gifts of paper per tradition.  From me to him, the lyrics of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters (one of our favorite bands and a song we played the acoustic version of during the seating of guests at our wedding), and one of our favorite lyrics from Mumford and Sons song, “Awake my Soul,” (also played at our wedding).  From him to me, a beautiful print of our dating anniversary, the date he proposed and our wedding date.  Loved it all.


I even wrapped Chris’ card in paper, which happened to be a copy of our ceremony, including our vows.


Tonight, when Chris got home, he one more paper surprise for me:  A newspaper with today’s date.  :)  We had our photographer take a picture of our rings on our wedding day, and Chris decided he wants to do that every year, so, we did.   Love it when he thinks like that!

And thennnnnnnnnnnn…..what we’ve been waiting for all year!!  Our anniversary cake!!

My mom actually surprised us by driving up near Baltimore to pick up the cake a few weeks ago.  The bakery we used was really small and they don’t ship cakes, so we were expecting not to have our anniversary cake (the baker doesn’t believe in freezing cakes, so she makes a complimentary cake at the one-year mark).  But, when we were in VA a few weeks ago, she had planned a trip to pick up the cake and surprise us, so we were ecstatic.  We froze it when we got back to NC, but when I thawed it yesterday, it held up great and was super tasty.

We’ve had a low key weekend, but it was awesome, and I’m thankful for this year, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings us.