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Our Dog Ruby- A Flandoodle!

Ben and I got the kids a puppy for Christmas this year. (Actually it was for Ben. haha.)
It was an early Christmas present that arrived in November!
We shared the fun reveal in another video but today I wanted to give a little
Ruby update and show you just how big she’s gotten!
our dog ruby the flandoodle-athomewithnatalie

The whole family loves her so much but for sure Asher is her little(big) man.
They are together the most right now with it being school time.
She is a Flandoodle (a cross between the Bouvier des Flandres and the Poodle.)
and is around half a year old. She loves running around our newly fenced in back yard
and is learning to be a relaxed house dog. She really is SO good with the kids!
Still in the nippy puppy stage but we are working on it. Lots of training
and house proofing going on. Kid toys are way tastier than dog toys apparently. ;)
We are doing the inside leash at times just like we did with my childhood dog Maggie.
(She turned into the most relaxed indoor dog!)
So far it’s going pretty well! Love the giggles and lovie moments she has brought to our house.
I hope you enjoy our video!

She sheds a little bit but in poofs of fur. I can handle that.
You don’t get fur on you when you pet her which was my main concern.
We recently had her trimmed and will probably try a different place next time, but
she seems so much smaller with her hair short which we like!
She still has her kind eyes like when she was a puppy..and when she comes into a room
where the kids are she goes and rubs her nose on each one…
as if she’s checking on them. I’ve had a lot of people message me about her breed ever since we got her…
even grace from Camp Patton messaged me about her and
I saw they ended up getting a Goldendoodle! Diego is SO cute.
I love the fun she has brought to our house.. it already was a wild place and she fits right in.
She gets all the snuggles a dog could want. I’m excited for the teething stage
and peeing when company comes stage to end…
although I was told that her breed is known for bad bladders. haha. AWESOME. ;) 
our dog ruby-athomewithnatalie1

Asher and Ruby have a constant passive ball stealing game going on.
I mean the entire time they are outside…one is quietly stealing the ball from the other.
Well, Asher isn’t so quiet. He goes over, gets it, and “roars” victoriously as he toddles away.
She waits for him to let his guard down and then takes it back to her ball stash. Our Dog Ruby-athomewithnatalie2 

Asher thinks he is SO BIG right now.
Like. A five year old.
He’s been taking double naps because of how active he is… not complaining about that.
Nowww… if only I could take double naps. ;)our dog ruby-athomewithnatalie5

I hope our puppy and chubby baby video made you smile today!
All the fuzzy warm feelings. :)
Still can’t believe how big she’s grown since November.
She’s going to get bigger too!
We’ll have our own little she bear. ;)
our dog ruby-athomewithnatalie6
Here’s our first post about Ruby!

Craft, Snack and Reading Time! – How Do Flowers Grow?

Today I’m sharing the final video in our Creative Learning Book Series
where we combined a few of our favorite things…
crafting, snacking and reading!
It’s funny seeing this video because we filmed it in our old house.
That was such a great bright room and we loved crafting in there.
My mom has the green thumb of the family and every time we read
our book, ‘How do flowers grow?‘ we think of her!
It’s a gorgeous book that’s filled with information in such an engaging way. My kids love it.
Spring is just around the corner! Here in Louisiana, things are
already starting to bloom and it makes my heart happy!
We had fun with a flower treat of candy and fruit…and a sunflower craft that we still
have hanging up in our playroom because it’s just too pretty to take down!
Painting with toothbrushes is the best thing ever. ;)
flower craft time -athomewithnatalie

I hope you join us in having some fun craft,
snack and reading time with your littles!
The kids look so much younger in this video… I can’t handle it. can’t can’t. ;)
And seriously guys isn’t this book gorgeous?! I secretly bought it for me. haha.
So pretty!

Thanks for stopping by for another post
of my Creative Learning Book Series!
You can see all of the posts I’ve shared, so far, Here!
We love Usborne books and these are just a few of our favorites.
I’m in the middle of editing a video that Sienna made
sharing fun Usborne activity books for girls! Can’t wait to share it.
I have a feeling you are going to love the Wild Garden book if you love flowers!

When You’re a Lonely -Not Alone- Person

I wasn’t sure I wanted to post this one. But I’ve learned, over my years of blogging,
that the ones that are the hardest to write… are usually the most important
ones I need to share because most likely others are feeling the exact same way.
If anything, I hope you read my blog post and know that you aren’t alone in feeling this way…
and find some encouragement in that.

I love being around people. and being social. I like meeting new people.
I love having community and being a part of it.
But right now I am seriously having to consciously make the decision to be social.
Because I’m feeling this urge to just bunker down and make my own little safe space and not leave it.
I think it’s my way of protecting myself and just wanting to give up on the whole friend dating stage I’m in.
I find myself saying, well, they already have their people, I’ll just do my thing here.
I’ll put my energy into my family and work.

I love being a mom and my kids are my people! I’m with them the most.
But they are all under the age of 8. haha. I sometimes feel like the loneliest..not alone person.
And I KNOW I’m not alone in this. I know it. and that’s the tricky part because as lonely as I feel as a mom…….
I know there are plenty of women around me that are craving the same stuff.
A person to just hang out with, that you don’t have to clean your house for, that understand
mom life but you can talk about more than that. You don’t have to stay on the surface but can
actually have conversations that are about more than your kids changing their outfits 5 million times a day.
although we need to have those conversations too. :) Community is important.
And I’ve been blessed with some amazing women in my life that know me…
and we can talk about all the things and be there for each other…
but in my current season, they are not near me.

And so I’m here, feeling a little burnt out and tired but knowing
that I can’t just give up on friendships…… no pity parties!
I know that people have full lives, and sometimes they don’t always have room for new friendships…
but I also know there are people like me, who look like social butterflies, but
are missing out on some solid friendships.
So in Church last night, I was praying about this…and just praying that I would
have peace in this stage I’m in….and also just strength in putting myself out there.
You never know where or when you’ll meet people that you are supposed to have in your life.
I’ve experienced this before….and I know it can happen again.
So I’m just going to change my focus to how I can build community here…..what can I do to connect with people.
Maybe that’s hosting a girls’ night. or going to my MOPs meetings more often or volunteering somewhere.
I want to change my view… from how can relationships can benefit me….to how can I benefit them.
Of course we want to find people that we can do life with, as women and as families,
but maybe the bigger picture needs to be…
How can I do life, living for others? Every relationship, starting with my husband and I, I hope to lead to Him.
So I should look for those relationships with Him in mind.

I hope that if you are feeling a little lonely and wanting friendships in your
own life, that you find a little encouragement. And that you know you aren’t a lone, so don’t live like you are.
Start up that conversation… invite those girls over… and don’t give up.
It’s ok to feel sad about not having “your people”…. but don’t give up on friendship.
It can be an amazing blessing and worth the effort.
This is my personal pep talk that I’m sharing with you.

***An Instagram follower commented this and it’s such a good thing to keep in mind.
I had to share in here. I seriously love the community I’ve found through social media.. you guys. are amazing.**
“…Follow what YOU are passionate about first and you will then find your
tribe of fellow passionate people who feel the same way, rather then just making friends with circumstances.
Be it singing, crafting, netball, whatever; find what makes your heart come alive in your own time without kids
and there will be others waiting there saying “me too!”— @claireclarke77