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Christmas Day 2016 – VLOG

I love Christmas! It’s such a special time with family and friends.
Years ago I made a point to always try and film our Christmas Day fun!
I loved watching our home movies when I was a kid and even more so now as an adult!
It’s magical! So this year I did my best to film with Ben some of the special moments
with these sweeties. They are so fun!
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Here’s our grainy phone photo before
they squealed and giggled their way to the family room on Christmas morning!
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We were so happy my parents were able to come into town this year!
Our first Christmas in Louisiana. It was a warm one…
But that made for a fun time outside with new toys!
This Christmas break was so needed for our family…
loved having everyone home ready to torment each other
and then be best friends a hot second later. haha. ;)
We had plenty of “nothing planned” days over break and it was so great. 
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I’m thankful for these memories and the people we make them with.
The video is a long one but I’m so glad we will have it to look back on.
I still need to put together Christmas day from 2015– that was a fun one!
We were all at my parents’ house with all my siblings and their kids!
But I’m happy I finally got this one edited and up…only took me to mid January!
This month was a hard one… and I found that watching these clips of the kids’ happy faces…
and focusing on all we have to be thankful for
helped me to get through some tough moments.
It helped me to be hopeful and excited for all the special memories to come.
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Christmas and the New Year always gives me hope and makes me excited.
Excited for what God has in store for us… even if that means a cross or suffering.
I’m learning to be thankful for suffering because it draws us close to Him.
And it slows us down. It sparks our relationship with Him and
helps us to make sacrifices and offer it up for others.
It’s been kind of crazy sharing this with everyone but I don’t regret it.
When we had our first miscarriage in October I thought, oh for sure this is a fluke thing.
It was so early and in a way it didn’t seem real because we didn’t even talk about it
with other people. I didn’t experience anything physically besides the bloated feeling and the positive tests.
I grieved that baby in a different way because of that. It was harder to feel real and
I never thought it would happen again. Which is silly because who I am to know the plan!
But I just didn’t expect this sadness. I think I was in a spot where everything was just going well!
But God had different plans for us. And it has helped me grow in understanding.
I don’t regret telling everyone early about this last pregnancy.
I’m glad we celebrated this baby even if it was just a month.
It was more traumatic because of the physical part of this miscarriage. It really hit me harder.
And I don’t think I can do a video talking about this one. But I’m glad I put into words
(via Instagram and my last blog post)
how I felt through those first days of finding out. We have so much to be thankful for
and we have felt so loved by his community. I mean… speechless at times.
I was reading messages to Ben that just touched my heart so much.
To hear your experiences and how you rallied or are searching to find God again through it all.
It just blows my mind how our experiences are really all connected and we can lift each other up.
There ARE good people in this world who care for complete strangers.
I have felt so loved and so connected.
Thank you for following our family adventures!
We have been so blessed by this community
and love doing life -via the internet- with all of you!

I think we are miscarrying.

I think we are miscarrying and I’m heart broken.
Yesterday I got out of bed and started heavily bleeding with cramping. I gasped when I first saw it.
And I feel like we’ve been in slo-mo ever since.
The cramping only got more intense.
I ended up going to my doctor soon after the kids went to school.
Luckily Ben was able to cancel his two morning meetings and be there “nearby”…
he played with Asher in the outside lobby.
Grateful that he was there and the first face I could look at when I left the doctor’s office.
I shook my head when I came out and just buried my head on his chest
as Asher tried to mooch my head.
They told me to prepare for the worst. We will retake my levels on Wednesday and if they drop…
that means miscarriage.
if they go up… we keep moving forward and try
and figure out where the bleeding is coming from.

I went home feeling like it wasn’t real.
I wanted to just crawl back into bed and pretend like this wasn’t happening. Start the day over.
Trying so hard to have peace and just trust in God.
Praying that somehow our baby will be ok.
The kids came home from school yesterday and of course talked about baby.
“How was the baby’s day in your belly mom??”
“can we print out a photo to give my teacher of the baby?”
My heart just wanted to burst. This baby is so loved. so wanted.
I had a very early miscarriage in October. it was so early I didn’t even bleed.
In a way it felt like it didn’t happen because we didn’t even tell the kids.
A few days ago Ben said he felt like we should tell the kids about that loss and
explain it to them and name the angel baby together.
We chose to tell everyone right away with this pregnancy.
We wanted to celebrate this life out loud. No matter what happened.

The baby is just a month or so old (4-5 weeks)
A part of me feels like I shouldn’t be so emotional because others have lost babies
way further along. I know that doesn’t make sense.
but it’s just on my heart.
At four weeks your heart is beating… your eyes and ears are forming..
Five weeks your arms and legs and face appear…
I can picture this baby. It being a part of our family.
Will it be the red head? curly and blonde like sophia and Micah?
or dark and straight like Sienna and Asher?
Is it a boy or girl?
I’ve gone through all of it. As soon as we found out we were in love.
And we were giddy over the moment we would see he or she face to face.
I was freaking out over having 5 kids and wondering if I was going to be
a good enough mom! But we were in love and just like with our others
we knew we couldn’t imagine life without them.

The heavy bleeding and the dull to sharp cramping is
a constant reminder of what might be happening.

I feel like I can’t take a full breath.

and that anyone who looks at me can see me feel broken.

like I’m see through.

I find myself wiping my puffy eyes and
without even thinking about it
holding my bloated tummy.

I’m holding tight to my kids right now. and my husband.
He is so amazing. I can tell he is trying to be strong for me because he sees how sad I am.
But I asked him how he was doing and he said
he cried but for some reason he feels like our baby is ok.
He spoke amazing words. spirit filled words to me in the car ride home from the hospital.
“Either way we have a baby…
either to care for on earth…
or who will take care of us from heaven.
Our goal as parents is to get our kids to heaven… we have to remember that.”
I know all this. and I am trying so hard to view it like this.

I’ve been so blown away by  all the Instagram and Facebook
comments of prayers and also hearing your stories…
so many women who have experienced miscarriages! Or scary moments like this
of bleeding and cramping but then having a healthy baby.
20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage?! Isn’t that crazy?
So many women go through this. I feel like if I didn’t talk about it I would just burst.
I can’t imagine not sharing. even if no one cared or responded.
I just need to write down into the world what we are experiencing.
I hope that other moms who have gone through this find
a spot through my blog or social media to put into
words what they went through. It is important. it is painful. but it’s real.

A friend brought us dinner last night and I’m so grateful.
The first thing Micah said to her was, “mommy has a baby!”
I smiled at him as he bounced around thanking her for this meal.
She just hugged me up to let me cry.
These sweet kids at my feet don’t know all the details yet.
We are waiting to know more information before we say anything.
I’m sad to even think about having to tell them. But they are stronger than we know.
They even get eternity  more than we do sometimes.
I feel like they aren’t as attached to this world and want heaven.
When they get home today I’m going to ask them to pray with me for our baby.
Because even though they don’t have to know everything right now…
they have powerful prayers.
Children have powerful prayers.

I BELIEVE in the power of prayer.
I know I have prayer warriors that follow me on here.
So I beg you to pray for our little one.
That someone he or she will be ok when we go back tomorrow.
I feel like life is on hold until then.

We can’t thank you enough for the prayers and kindness. I feel so embraced by all of you.
Last night I woke up around 1:30 to go get Asher back down.
(He’s decided to not sleep straight through the night lately.)
As I was getting out of bed Ben half asleep told me, Emily posted and asked for prayers for you.
I cried. I saw the comments and cried.
Ben just rubbed my hand as I buried my face in my other hand.
Thankful for people taking the time to pray
and console someone they didn’t even know.
So many of them knew the pain because they had experienced it as well.
The unknowing… the waiting… the bleeding and feeling like your body is
doing something wrong and you wish you could make it be ok.

I’m trying to trust. and be distracted while we wait.
I can’t thank you all enough.
I feel like I could crumble right now but God gives us strength.
Clinging to Him.
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VLOG: Christmas Break Fun

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!
Today I’m sharing a little video I made of some of the festive fun we had over Christmas Break!
It goes up till Christmas Eve..and then I’ll have another video of Christmas day.
So many fun and special memories that I’ll treasure!
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These crazy kids are growing up fast…can we just freeze time for a moment??
Preferably when they aren’t having a fit?? haha.
Micah’s ninja cookie makes me die laughing every time I think about it.
ALL THE SPRINKLES. haha.
Christmas eve the kids open one present from mommy and daddy…
Asher’s face when I asked him if he would play with the toy remote instead of the real one???
lol. yup. totally not gonna work. the real one is always more fun.
ALSO,
A sword was the only way we got Asher to sit for this photo. haha.
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Look how cute everyone was for Christmas Eve Mass!
Asher posing…..was just too much. TOO MUCH. haha.
My parents were in town for Christmas this year!
Sophia was an angel during the nativity story…
and Sienna was up in the choir loft. 
Micah and Asher were wrestling with us in the pews.
ALL the excitement for Christmas morning. ;)
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One day I’ll miss the loudness that fills our house…..
I’ll long for the days that my baking assistants
dump the entire jar of sprinkles on a single cookie. 
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It was fun decorating the new house for Christmas…
always makes it feel more like home when you celebrate a Holiday in it!
I painted our table and got chairs off amazon just in time for Christmas break.
Below is a rare moment of stillness. ;)
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Thanks for following a long… we love connecting with you guys!
Next year one more stocking will be hung on the mantle! EEK! :)