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My family is here visiting for the next few days & this morning I was marveling as to how Lindsey & I just immediately fall back into our normal, completely goofy routine as soon as we are with one another. We started out goofy way back in the day & we have continued in that fashion ever since…

I started training her early…..

Obviously…the training stuck.

I know we used to fight like cats & dogs; this makes me all the more happy that we’ve got such a great relationship now. I’m lucky to have Lindsey as a sister – because in her I not only got a sister, I also got a partner in crime, a confidant, an ally in the battles against our parents (most of the time) a travel buddy, someone to listen to when things get rough…but mostly I got a best friend. And hey, she has to love me because she’s my sister. Haha! Seriously though – some of our adventures…

Partners in crime…..

We really manage to amuse ourselves fairly well….

I’m sure we were supposed to be behaving for this picture….

We both have excellent taste in men…..

Fashion forward? I certainly think so..this look is Smokey Mountain Hiking Chic!

I think we get it from our Dad…the need to act crazy. See him? He so totally photo bombed us…

We’re definitely party animals….

We are frequently told by our parents when taking pictures “Guys, really? Chill out & act right.”
I think that usually just inspires us to act even more ridiculous…

There really are no words. Because we are just that awesome….

Anyway – hope these pictures gave you a laugh. I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with my sister as I used to, so I’m thankful for the time we get to have together & all the pictures I have that showcase the 21 years we’ve been making memories. Love you Lindsey! 🙂

Marking A Milestone

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I have reached a milestone in my life – and it has gotten here faster than I thought it would; but then time flies when you’re having fun, right? As of tomorrow I will have been living in my house for a whole year! I remember this time last year when I thought that I’d never get in my house – everything seemed to be taking forever. And now a whole year has passed. So much has happened in that year…so I thought I’d post a look back at my first year in my house with some pictures….

Officially a homeowner – this was sometime in late June.

A whole lot of dirt…a sign that things were moving right along.

What a giant mess – getting all this in the house made for a long, hot day. Moving in July in MS. Blegh

Getting into my house was eventful for sure. We had to move out of our house by June 30th & since my house wasn’t in place yet, all my things went into storage. While it was only 19 days from one move to the other, it seemed like an eternity…but then, it usually does when you are waiting on something exciting. It seemed like such a slow process waiting for the truck to bring the dirt…and then the house…and then get power hooked up. Once we got that done, we had to move everything in. And I have a ton of stuff! I never realized that I had so much stuff until I had to move it from one another! Thankfully I had some great family members & a friend that helped my Mom and I; we were able to get everything into the house in one day – and even had time left afterward for a nap & a 3D showing of “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows”. All in all, it was a pretty good day. It did make me anxious to have the AC turned on so I could get down to getting things organized & put in place – I love organizing my space!

Watson quickly discovered his favorite space on the couch was still available.
Still in the early stages – but so happy to have my new porch courtesy of my Dad, Uncle & cousin!

The first major home purchase – a table! I had been using a card table, so chic!

I was lucky – I had pretty much everything one needs to just move in & keep right on going with life. I was able to spend my money making my house look cute & since I had Momma with me for a few months, she was happy to help with that! So…the year progressed on.

Autumn arrived….

I turned 27….

The Holiday season began…and I decorated accordingly.

The week after Halloween, my Mom got the news that she would be starting her new job in Winchester, VA & so as of the first weekend of November I was not only living in my own house, but I was living in my own house alone! Once you start living alone…you really begin to learn some life lessons; such as how to catch mice or move your fridge to fiddle with it all on your own. They may not have been lessons I wanted to learn, but they sure have come in handy!

Hosting our families’ Thanksgiving in my house – awesome!

I think I was most excited for Christmas – I have always loved Christmas & had oodles of decorations for Christmas, but when you only have a bedroom to decorate, you can only do so much. I was raised by a woman who loved to decorate for every holiday possible, so I got the decorating genes honestly. We used to have 7 Christmas trees in our house -so I’m pretty proud to say I scaled it back to 5 in my house. And even though I already have tons of Christmas decor, I’m always looking on Pintrest to see if I can’t find something new for this year!
Christmas lights on my porch – I’m loving this!
My Christmas table setting – courtesy of my Nanny!

Continuing a Summerlin Christmas tradition – this time in MY kitchen!

My first Christmas tree! I loved it!

I rang in the New Year shooting fireworks with McKenna & then began a long stretch of chilly days & nights; which caused a mouse or two to think that my house might be better than their burrow in nature. They learned their lessons & I got tougher with with each mini-crisis I learned to handle on my own. My friends came to visit in January, my Mom came to visit in February & my Dad came to visit in April…

Because my blog is acting up…I guess I’ll write the next paragraph here, seeing how it won’t let me put it below the pictures. Crazy computer. Anyway – it has certainly been an interesting first year living in my own home. There have been ups & downs, I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process & I’m excited to see what year 2 in my house has in store.


Spring showers = my yard becomes a lake!

Learning to weed eat – which proved dangerous for me…

The Easter Bunny still finds me…even when I live all alone.

I discovered in May that maybe I had a little bit of a green thumb…

My guard dog – happily at home on his front porch!

Always working on my house – I finally got the kitchen to my liking a week before I’d been in the house a year.

My parents said it was an early birthday present – but it arrived just in time to be a one year in my house present!

The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same

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I’m back again – much sooner than I would have thought I’d be. I’ve really just been thinking over something that happened earlier this week (or last weekend if I’m technical) and pondering life & how things work. How people work & why they act a certain way. I’ll be honest, I’m writing this because my feelings were hurt & I’m just not sure how to think about the situation without feeling hurt. I’ve tried to tell myself that at 27 I shouldn’t let things bother me the way they used to…but while I can tell my head that, it doesn’t stop my heart from being wounded. I really feel like I’ve got to get this off my chest,but I don’t want to hurt anyone else in the process – not that the people who caused this hurt read this; I don’t know that. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Anyway, sorry  that this post isn’t exactly warm & fuzzy.

High school – while it was fun, there was always that sense of not quite fitting in; or maybe to put it more bluntly, being left out. I’m not sure why that happened: maybe because I dated a guy seriously for over a year & devoted a lot of my free time to that relationship, maybe because I wasn’t willing to participate in the things other people were willing to do…of course, there was always that maybe that stood out most – maybe they just don’t like me. I’m sure anyone else in my boat can tell you, even if you are told that isn’t the case again & again…that thought it what is going to stand out in your mind. I know it always did for me. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t ever included in things & I’ll admit that has obviously left some scars. I don’t think a person can really ever forget feeling like they aren’t wanted/just aren’t good enough. You can try to push it away, but somehow that feeling just clings to you. It certainly caused me to become more introverted than I already was – because if the people that claim to be my friends don’t like me enough to include me, why would anyone else want to?

High School Natalie – not as confident as I look.

I suppose that somewhere deep down, I assume that people start to grow up. Excluding other people seems silly when you’re an adult. When my parents moved to Virginia; well, I’d been saying for a couple years that I wanted nothing more than to move & get away from all the people that I grew up with. It seemed obvious that I wasn’t ever really going to be enough for them & I wanted to just start a new life away from all that. I should interject & say this was after I’d moved back home from college at USM – where I had made wonderful friends that I love & cherish today…but none of those friends live(d) in the Meridian area & it left my weekend plans pretty dead. My parents moving to Virginia seemed like the perfect answer to prayer; I’d just move with them! Sure, I’d be leaving behind my closest friends, but there was a chance to start over & not be the girl that had been excluded in high school. The people in Virginia wouldn’t know me or the reason I tended to be introverted. It was the greatest plan – except that every time I prayed about it, the Lord told me that I needed to stay put. I was confused, but I’ve tried to walk outside God’s will for me before & it didn’t work out too well, so I put down roots in the place I’d lived for the past 24 years & struck out on my own.
I started to be around those friends from high school again – at church. Granted, we weren’t in the same Sunday School class since they are all married & most have children. Again, I don’t have certain things in common with them at another stage in life but I begin to assure myself that because we are all grown up, things will be different. Exclusion is for kids, for teenagers who don’t realize the damage that leaving others out can inflict. I remember excitedly telling my Mom after a Christmas party that one of them had mentioned us all getting together to eat one day during Christmas break; I told my Mom that maybe this was part of the reason why the Lord had me stay in Collinsville – he was going to restore those friendships that had been broken. Imagine my surprise when the lunch over Christmas break happened, but I was conveniently forgotten. Surely this wasn’t going to happen all over again? We are adults now – we don’t act like this, right? Apparently we do though. I try to ignore things like this – but then there are instances like this past Sunday when they all make lunch plans – and do this mere inches away from me, having to know that I can hear them…but never with a thought that I might have any interest in being included. Just like that – those feelings come rushing back. I wasn’t good enough in high school & I certainly am not good enough now.
I’m good enough to care for their kids, to comment on photos & we will certainly be friends on Facebook but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – I don’t dare begin to think that I might in any way be someone that they’d actually want to include in their actual lives. Silly me. All week I’ve struggled with these feelings – shouldn’t I be old enough to see past this? To realize that same thing my Momma told me over & over as a teenager; it has nothing to do with me & everything to do with them? Somehow it just isn’t that easy. How do you learn to move past this? I feel like I should be beyond letting something like this hurt me, but I feel like what I’m learning is that you are never so old that being excluded doesn’t hurt. I’m struggling to deal with that knowledge this week, struggling with why I’m here on my own & dealing with a situation that I thought was over & done with; struggling with why I couldn’t have just left all of this behind & started over. I know God has a plan somewhere in all of this, but right now it is awfully hard to see the sunshine because of all the clouds. I feel like the only lesson I have learned at this point is that the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. I’ll keep you posted if I figure it out – but until then, sorry for the less than chipper post but every once in a while I just have to express what I’m really feeling, even if it isn’t so happy. Thoughts?
I’m gonna keep smiling…because there is some kind of plan in this heartache.

Who’d Have Thought?

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I know – I haven’t written in over a month. I had someone tell me the other day that went to look at my blog every day to see if I’d posted something new…and I always hadn’t. Ouch! I’m sorry about that. I often think I should blog but I can’t think of anything worth sharing & so I don’t write. I just figure no one really wants to read about my random rambling of life…my life; in my humble opinion, is just not that exciting.

I was drinking my daily cup of coffee this morning & thought to myself “Who’d have ever thought I’d become a coffee drinker?” It is always the most random things that get me thinking. I’m sure if you asked; maybe 8-10 people would say that they would have never thought I’d be the person I am today. People would probably say that about most anyone they know – we all look at people & envision in our heads how they are going to turn out. I’m sure my parents didn’t predict that this is who I would be; not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, ha-ha. Anyway, I’m rambling. Like I said, I just get to thinking off on random tangents & wonder how often other people think the way I do; how often other people sit & think about all the attributes that they’d have never thought would be a part of their personality…

June wasn’t that wildly exciting – just another month of doing the daily routines of life. I was looking back in my calendar trying to see what I’d really done that was thrilling…and to be honest, there just wasn’t much. I’d had road trip plans but those fell through & that was pretty much the big thrill that had been planned for the month. June was one of those moments that was about enjoying the little moments in life; because supposedly you will look back & realize that those are the big moments. I saw a few movies, slept late on Saturdays, tried a few new recipes & basically just breezed through the month. This may be kind of sad, but June was exciting because “True Blood” started & for the first time in the 5 seasons the show has been on – I have HBO!! I also got invested in another show; one that I’ve known the theme song to since I could talk. “Dallas” came back on y’all!

New addiction…but I can’t help it, it is in the genes.

Yay – I actually get to watch this season as it happens!

So, now in what is completely just me being silly – I want to know, out of the two pictures that are posted below…who is better looking. You see, my Mom & I have been having a disagreement about which of the Ewings is better looking. I am merely going on looks & I definitely think they are both nice to look at, but one of them has the edge on the other. I’ll let you try to guess who I think is better looking – I’m not going to tell you. We’ll see how well people that read this know me. I will say that my Mom & I disagree on who is better looking (Lindsey disagrees too) and I’ll also say that neither of them can reveal who I think is better looking. Behold:

John Ross Ewing (or Josh Henderson)

Christopher Ewing (or Jesse Metcalfe)

Anyway – now that I’ve submitted that for review, on to other things. I feel like as I’m getting older, I get whiplash because of how quickly the months pass. I am astounded that it is already July! Do you realize as you read this, half of the year has already gone??? Half of the year. I’m just astounded. I don’t know where the first 6 months of the year went & I want to kind of grasp the last 6 months & make them slow down. But that won’t happen…
As an end to this fairly all over the place post, I’ll end with an amusing tale…about what else, my dog. Wednesday was July 4th – yay America! I discovered at the beginning of the year that my dog really doesn’t care for fireworks. I discovered just how much he dislikes them on Wednesday night. Our neighbors decided to shoot off a few fireworks & in between commercials of “Dallas” I was going out on the porch to watch them. When I came back in after one such venture, I discovered that my dog was nowhere to be found. I searched from one end of the house to the other…and could not find him. I’d looked in closets, under the table, in the laundry room…in all the nooks & crannies. I was standing in the middle of my bedroom thoroughly perplexed & I just loudly announced “Watson, where did you go??” In answer to my question, I first saw a foot, then a nose, another foot & then his head…peeking out from under my bed. He slowly scooted out from under the bed…all the while with a terrified expression on his face. Apparently my dog is a total wuss when it comes to fireworks. Bless him. I leave you with a picture of him as he tried to compose himself after scooching out from under the bed.
Bless him…he couldn’t take it.