For the Love of Fuschia

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I am the queen of awkward outfit photos, don’t mind me. They’re a slight bit fuzzy because I also move at the last second and it’s hopeless. I mean, I don’t know why the paparazzi aren’t following me around snapping glamorous photos all the time, but in the meantime, I’m stuck with me, my tripod and my self-timer. 
Aside from that, I’m just super into this rolled-jeans and leopard-smoking-slippers look, right?! Divine for fall. 
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And a gold exposed zipper on this wool tulip-hem shell from J.Crew is so good. Sooooo good. 
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Of course, a fuschia 60s-style jacket and some fuschia lipstick top it all off as the icing on the monochromatic-outfit-cake. 
In other news, I just spilled my entire fresh cup of coffee on the rug/floor, so there’s that. I just felt you should know that so we could share the sadness in solidarity. 
Also, here’s a little happy ditty for you today to make you smile. 
“What a day for feelin’ alive!” 

Has it not been just the most gorgeous October? 
This girl thinks so!
🙂

xo

You Make it Beautiful: Happy Spring

beautiful early-morning spring light through my curtains.

It’s Spring. And my heart struggles with this, in a strange way. I know normally Sunshiney Natalie would be screaming from the rooftops (especially after a maple latte this morning) that it’s SPRING YA’LL!

But really my heart is just in a little bit of a no-not-Spring place. Just a bit of a “let me stay here, buried in snow, I’m fine…really…” sort of half-smile place. More like the several inches of snow we got last night and the gray day here with my candle and vintage lamp and a warm mug of goodness in my fleece pajama pants (yes, still, at 11am #writerlife) snuggled under a blanket that has Love written in several languages on it. Just a little bit more of this.

I’ve been thinking lately of when I was little, how I spent so much time in my room quietly creating, happy as a clam to be in a cozy space creating beauty out of nothing more than glitter and gluesticks and paper and words. I would write all sorts of little storybooks and set up a shop to sell them to my mom for a nickel each. Just a happy little quiet Natalie-heart.

And then life. 
You know what I’m sayin’? 

Today is one of those days where I feel that unequivocally, life pressed down on top of my heart. Anxiety, selfishness, fear, bitterness…not so pretty.

See the truth of the matter is, I have a tender heart. I have a poet’s heart underneath it all, when we get down to it. One that sees pain and the quietness and the joy of life and takes it in deeply. A heart that has been wrecked with pain and brokenness.

These soft hearts like mine don’t just bounce back quickly. It is a bit more fragile. A bit more malleable. A bit more attentive and empathetic and a whole lot softer. It still hurts now and again and I face the thought of blooming into spring one more time with trepidation.

But I’m thinking how I don’t want an “And then life” life. Not worldly-life. I want heart-life. I want quiet-beauty-inner-happy-deep-well-soft-heart-poet-eyes-take-it-all-in-and-bring-it-back-to-life-and-breathe-it-out life. A happy little quiet Natalie-heart.

So I guess that means I do want Spring. The beautiful, life-giving, revival of Spring.  To breathe that in again and let it fill me. To sit with that for awhile, to heal and slowly be brought back to life.

“You take brokenness aside and You make it beautiful.” Amen.
 
Happy Spring, my dears! 
xo
Natalie

Monday Mid-Day

Ya’ll this verse is just SO on my heart today. What a beautiful reminder of how good and gracious our God is! So much hope. #allthetime
{hover and click the pink heart to pin!}
This beautiful song is also on my heart this morning…”You have called me higher, you have called me deeper…” so when we’re ready to get sent in that right direction, we can know He is whispering in our ears the entire time, sending us with love and grace and never alone.
Today, I am praying over this blog and everyone whose heart finds the way here. I am praying God blesses you, gives you rest, and sends you off to find your place in His great big beautiful story. 
You’re playing your part magnificently, darling!
xo
Natalie

Birthday Dress

It was kinda-totally my birthday a few weeks ago!
#checkyes

We had lots of beautiful birthday snow, I made my trademark birthday coffee cake, wore a hot pink birthday crown, shared my birthday with a few other ladies from my church with the SAME birthday, had pink champagne and chocolate-hazelnut cake, received pink flowers, and all-around felt like the most-loved girl there is!

{birthday flowers!}

I love this swingy “Cream Puff” dress as I call it, with my “Cupcake Frosting” hair. Obviously I wanted to dress like desserts on my birthday! Ha! 
{birthday manicure}
I also love the high-low of this outfit…the jacket and shoes are crazy-expensive, but the tights are from Big Lots, the sweater is from a tag sale, and the dress is from a consignment shop and doesn’t have a label. 
It’s just like happiness, y’know? Find happiness in the small things and the big things. I was never a huge fan of my winter birthday so close to Christmas (someone was always sick, we weren’t in school yet so I missed the fun of a classroom birthday, I wanted an outdoor party, everyone was burnt out from Christmas and stretched thin and presents came in Christmas paper, etc. etc.). So I’ve created my own traditions. Little things.

{hazelnut-orange GF cake and pink champagne}

I choose a birthday song every year, pick up some pink champagne, and always bake a coffee cake on the morning of my birthday and put candles in it.
 (those links will take you to past birthday posts of mine for more pretty fun!)

Here’s this year’s birthday song: 

An outfit doesn’t have to be all high-end designers. And a birthday doesn’t have to be all bells and whistles. 
Find joy in the little things, the unique things, and I think you’ll find extra joy you didn’t know was there.

And Happy Birthday to all you other near-Christmas/winter babies!
🙂

******

Dress: No label // Sweater: Vintage//Earrings: Charlotte Russe//Coat: Rebecca Taylor//Fleece-Lined Tights: Big Lots//Sunnies: Local store//Heels: Diane von Furstenburg 
xo
Natalie

Resist It

Lately there’s a song that’s just been playing over and over in my head. Jason Reeve’s “Old-Fashioned Letters” (it’s sad so don’t say I didn’t warn you!) and there is one line…
“I want to run, but I resist it.”

Ugh, goodness gracious this line. I want to run, but I resist it. You know it takes a lot of effort to run, but it seems to take MORE effort to stay. 
Staying is hard. 
Waiting is hard. 
Being in a difficult transition, with no direction, and a whole lot of anxiety–yeah, staying there is hard.

When the big things are out of whack, I need to learn to be better at leaning into them. Leaning into HIM, leaning into the Word, and leaning into the waiting. 
Because waiting?

It’s actually refinement.

And I always wanted to a refined lady, polished and graceful in the waiting.

😉

xo
Natalie

Lately

Lately it has been….soaking up sunshine.

Finding my own happiness on cloudy days…

Supplementing with coffee when necessary (do you like my fake fur cup sleeve?!)

Enjoying time in the Great Outdoors (would you believe I’ve been trail running? truth), with friends, relishing every moment, in awe of the fact that it isn’t even June yet, and I get to enjoy a few more months of this. #Happy
Have a great first weekend of June, friends!

Oh, and here’s a song for ya…

He is Fighting For Us

I just needed to share this song with you this morning. Because I’m having a tough morning. You know? I miss my family, I miss my old life, I am second-guessing everything, and honestly trying not to cry so I don’t ruin my makeup before work. Oh right—work. Gotta go do that thing all day. 
“Mighty is the One, who is strong to save, He will make a way….
Our God is fighting for us always, our God is fighting for us all…Our God is fighting for us always, we are not alone, we are not alone.
So I guess I just wanted to tell you, that if you’re having a morning, or week, or month like my morning, that you are not alone. You are not the only one there. God surrounds us with His light, and He is fighting for us. 
ALWAYS. 
Even when we don’t see it, feel it, or really even want to believe it.
Rest in that truth today, my dear friends. 

Pink Fur & Mermaid Sequins

I’m not sure which animal was killed to create this pink fur coat, but I sure hope it wasn’t a Care Bear. 
Oh wait, it’s fake fur. 
Phew.

How much fun is all this texture?! Fur jacket, paillette (big round flat sequins, usually matte) “Mermaid” top, jeans, and suede ballet flats. I love being able to wear this fur jacket and sequins for a casual outfit. Sometimes you just gotta say, “Today’s a fur jacket day!” even if there isn’t any special occasion.

Pink fur kind of IS its own occasion. 
And so is Thursday night.
So I think that calls for a jump-up-and-down, throw-your-hands-in-the-air worship song, right? Totally.
Happy Almost-Weekend!

Calling & Answering

I heard this song for the first time four years ago. Almost exactly four years ago. This beautiful song that makes me cry.
“I called, You answered….
AND YOU CAME TO MY RESCUE
and I, I want to be where You are…”
I heard it in a desperate hill country, in a place filled with violence and poverty. 
Filled with beautiful people, amazing mountains, and incredible culture (along with some questionable food).
A country with Erica Lisbeth, this darling girl pictured above, who lives in Imbabura province in Ecuador and attends a Christian & Missionary Alliance church. The very same Imbabura where the Otavalo natives were unreached and unfriendly to the Gospel.  Until God called Evelyn Rychner.
God called Evelyn and gave her a heart for Imbabura. A big heart like the one carved into the mountains there by two landslides. Art at the hand of God is visible all over this place; in piles of spices in the markets, in the strains of familiar worship songs sung in the Quicheau language, and in the smile of a little girl who took her favorite sparkly sticker off her Bible, ripped it in half, and stuck the other half on my Bible. 
{Praise God we get to worship together forever in Heaven! I can’t wait to give her another hug!}
Like Evelyn and so many before her and after her, God calls us to places on His heart, and writes them on our hearts.
He has rescued us. How can we not share that?
See it’s this reciprocal thing.
When we call, He answers us. And when He calls, I sure hope we answer Him yes.
No matter how weak we feel in the moment. He will give us the heart for it.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’
And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'”
Isaiah 6:8

You rescued us. 
May we want to be where You are, Lord.

Have you sought God’s “travel plans” lately? Where is He that He wants you alongside Him?
Your own home? Downtown in your city? Or maybe even halfway around the world?