She Came!!!!

Make it official...my 40D came via USPS this morning! I was so ecstatic it was ridiculous. It is in pristine condition, barley looks used. I was so pleased. I wanted to write a post and take a moment to talk about some things and then share some of my favorite photos from the day!

If you dont know these ladies, go check out Michelle's blog (Snapshots by Michelle) and Jills blog (Forever n Ever n Always). They are both women of faith and God and always have the nicest things to say and sweetest posts ever!

The other day Michelle made a post entitled "Who I Am" and I loved reading about her view of how we should be a little more easy on ourselves and embrace who we really are...whether we are a size 2 or a size 10...a single bachelorette or a full time Mother..we all have those points about ourselves we tend to overlook and forget about and sometimes we forget who the 'real us' is.

Michelle and I have become the best of friends. She mentioned in an email conversation with me the other day that some of her online/blogger friendships are better than her real life ones, and I agree. I have met and become close with several bloggers and love the whole community. I feel as if I've known them for years..and I love that everyone is so caring, kind and welcoming. She also mentioned that what she liked about me is my honesty and I was so happy to hear her say that because I always try to be real. I want to take a moment to talk about myself a little more in detail if you've missed it up until now.

I can't even say I miss the "size {insert small # here}" I was in high school, because I've never been "small". The women in my Mom's family were all broad, tall and big boned because they worked tobacco fields right alongside the men. I inheritied their genetics and stand close to 5'6" and am about 1" taller than both my Mom and Dad. I was (and still am) always self conscious about the way I looked and the size I wore and what I weighed and the fact that I couldn't wear certain clothing because of my build..I started diet after diet where I would do great and then fail epicly. I also used to be a SLOB in middle-high school. You wouldn't know that now..since I've met/married my husband my cleanliness has changed drastically. Most of the time things are in their proper places and for the most part picked up...and I'm quite glad of that change.

But the point I'm making is this..if we don't love and respect ourselves we will NEVER be able to love or respect others. Plain and simple. If you can't be your own best friend, you can't have a relationship with another person without judging them and critiquing them the way you do yourself. As Michelle and Jill said, God made us all, fearfully and wonderfully in His image. He loves us exactly the way we are. We should embrace who we are and what me look like, and not be ashamed of a couple extra pounds or a few inches below 'average' (or above). We need to step out of our comfort zones and reach out to one another and encourage ourselves to see the beauty inside of us all. God sees it...but do you?

My personal growth and change over the past year has allowed me to accept myself the way I am. I love who I am and who I've become and God has strengthened me and carried me through all the rough times I've had. When no one else was there, He was. Praise His name, Glory, Hallelujah! Now I can be more open to others and friendships become better and closer and I live my life for myself and my family and our needs and don't worry about what we don't have or can't get. I live in the here and now and don't race into tomorrow. Tomorrow is not promised, so savor today! I hope this gave you a little more in-depth view of me..and that you can find who you are...and love it!

Okay so here's my photo share..and don't be surprised if I cheat and come back and link some up with future challenges ;)I hope you enjoy!
Contrary to what this looks like, he was NOT picking his nose. In an effort to get him to look at the camera I asked him "Where's your nose?" and he quite literally showed me :)

The bokeh is delicious in this shot...so I wanted to share it :)
and then, she {snapped}

This is the little boy next door (belonging to my first cousin, Amber) and he came over today with his mommy while I was grilling (because it was AWESOME today) to play with Dillon for a bit :)
Household6Diva FotoFriday

Little man LOVED blowing bubbles when we went to my OTHER cousin's house (its a little community out here where I'm surrounded by my family..it's nice! ;)
Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

17 Lovely Reader(s) Said:

Anonymous said...

cute blog :) *Nat

Jill Samter Photography said...

Natalie - this is just the beginning of what God has to tell you about your worth and beauty!

I am so touched and honored that God used little ole me to help you realize these truths!

because until we do - the love we share with others is tainted. And His is NOT - it is pure and perfect and sees us clothed in His Son's righteousness!

Big hugs and I can't wait to see your I AM BEAUTIFUL photos! Thank you so much for stepping out of your comfort zone and doing this!

PS Michelle is one of my favorite people I met through blogging too! Now we have to meet too - OK?

Donna said...

as Usual,, u r still awesome.. I love reading your blog,, always makes me think deep!!!! Love u Natalie!!

Mom of M&Ms said...

I too am happy to call Michlle "friend" and her blog post on self is really changing me.. although maybe I like the ocmfort of being behind the camera a little too much..

I love my real life friends.. but my bloggy firneds amaze me... Love them I think more.. or at least different!

Blessings on your day. HAve fun with that new camera, ( even if it is a canon!) j/k

Michelle said...

(I'm going to cry! I wrote this great comment/book and clicked "submit" and Google kicked me out!!! :( ok, so I'll try my best to recreate it!)

First, Natalie -- YOU are totally, completely, wonderfully BEAUTIFUL!! Just the way you are right now!!! And you are such a sweetheart!! I'm so thankful that God allowed us to meet, even if it's just online (for now!)!

Okay, now for the fun stuff!!

hehe @ Mom of M&M's -- Woo-hoo! That's my girl -- another one with a nikon!! We rock!! Well, you canon users rock, too! (better not rock the boat too much!) :)

Now, my friends need to quit getting new toys and let me catch up! (hehe, actually I am getting a new "toy"... I just haven't told anyone yet that it's on it's way!!)

What you said is so true: if we don't love and respect ourselves, how on earth are we to really love and respect others? I'm so excited that you've discovered God's joy in you and have begun to realize just how beautiful and awesome you are to Him -- and are allowing that joy to flow out and spread to others!! You better join in on the I AM BEAUTIFUL project -- and include your family in it too!!

Now, for the pics -- I'm assuming these are from your new camera, and girl, you're a quick study! :) Looks like you haven't lost your touch at all during your "dslr-vacation"! :)

Your boy is so stinking cute -- and gee, mom! You asked him where his nose was, why wouldn't you expect the answer??!?? lol!

Yummy bokeh!! I'm wanting to find a lip gloss that I like... better watch out... I might get crazy and go all girlie on us and start wearing lip gloss instead of just chapstick! lol!

I love that you have family that lives so close and you all get along and the kiddos can grow up with cousins close!! I so miss that!!

BUBBLES!!??!! I *love* bubbles!! I'm so getting a bubble machine this year!!! And just you wait for what I'll challenge you to do -- just don't beat me to it, ok?? lol! And you're right, he does look more like a little man here! :)


Michelle said...

ah, remembered another part:

I am also honored and humbled and amazed that God used me to shine His love to others, and help them see themselves the way God sees us -- BEAUTIFUL, made in His image, BEAUTIFUL!!

Let's keep His love shining out!!

Ashley Sisk said...

I really love what you said in the beginning - we are all beautiful...furthermore, my friendships in the blogging community have become so much more than I ever imagined. I am so blessed to have you guys in my life!

Tara said...

Love this post! I could not have said it any better. Isn't this blogging community the best? I have met so many wonderful ladies (like you) through blogging. Your photos are amazing and Yay for your new camera!

Jamie said...

What a brilliant post - I'm so glad you are at that happy place. I still struggle with self-image at times (that bad voice tells me I'd find a great guy if only I were skinnier) but on other days I'm perfectly happy with the way I am. I think it is a struggle all women face, but I know that supportive friends and family can make the difference.

Cecily R said...

YAY! for your 40D!! So exciting!

LOVE the lipgloss bokeh (it IS yummy!) and the bubbles. Great shots!!

Fresh Mommy said...

God is always looking for willing vessels.
Great pics.


rachel said...

I do love that "delicious" bokeh. thanks for linking up. I also love your nose picking shot...I posted a nose picking video of my little guy last week. cracks me up.

Pieni Lintu said...

I love that soap bubble shot! It's great!

Flower Photography said...

Great post! Very encouraging. YAY you have your new baby :-)

Chic Homeschool Mama said...

Oh- I just had a long con-vo with Courtney about these feelings of being in the shot. It's a struggle for sure.

But I am super excited for you & your new toy. I am looking forward to seeing all your shots with it!!!

Meg said...

That IS some delicious bokeh in that shot! Meeee-ooowwww! ;)

Great post! I love the blogging community and I know God had something to do with leading me to you and all the other fabulous women who are out there doing the same things that I am. I just posted about my life-woes {ha!} and how I sometimes don't know what God is thinking throwing me all these curve balls! It takes so much strength sometimes to just TRUST Him, and it gives me so much strength when other people {ahem, you, etc} talk about their experiences with God & Self. Thanks, Natalie! :)

I think Blogger dropped me from your Followers?? Refollowing...

Rajlakshmi said...

I couldnt help but go awwwwww at those adorable photos :D loved the bokeh one too :D beautiful captures.

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