Why am I blogging? That is a question that I've asked myself more times than I care to admit.
In all honesty, I started this blog for the sole reason to share pictures of us with my grandmother. She and my grandpa were traveling all of the time but she really wanted a way to see pictures more often than every 6 months so I set up this blog. It was a way for me to post random stories and pictures (mostly of Miss Kirstyn) and my grandmother could walk into any public library and hand the librarian my URL and she could sit and scroll through pictures and feel connected to us from as far away as Alaska.
Later, I discovered this amazing community of mommy bloggers. I could read their stories and I even made a few great friends that I've never actually met in person, but will one day hopefully sooner than later! I finally didn't feel so alone in my day to day tasks and we were able to share stories of our lives and relate to one another. (This was WAY before I even joined any social media sites like Facebook or even Myspace!) We have even exchanged gifts and cards and sometimes they feel closer than the people I greet in passing almost daily!
Then, I made up my mind that I wanted to drop some of this weight that I have carried my entire life. Once again I found a community of support and I was able to type feelings that I wasn't able to articulate in person. I read others struggles and triumphs. I found recipes and was encouraged to attempt exercise. I shared my struggles with the scale and my victories in the gym. I was even featured in the Dallas paper after an author had followed my progress.
And just when I was coming to what I thought was then end of my weight loss saga, I had a seizure in my sleep and a week later learned that I had ...dun dun dun... CANCER. Not just any cancer, brain cancer... one of the most deadly cancers that most people know nothing about and many seem scared to ask. I have shared some of my raw emotions and we have been as open as we know how with this path that we were thrown on to walk. (pssst... and you have probably watched me gain back close to 50 of the 100 pounds I lost. Steroids, cancer emotions, church people food, exhaustion, and crazy hormones are mean to the body!) My self esteem has been on a roller coaster that I don't remember volunteering to board! Today, the kind older man tuning our piano asked about the family in a photo on my wall... I was taken back when I realized he was asking about a picture of me with David and Kirstyn. I have been really hard on myself lately about my weight and his innocent comment made me realize how far I've come... physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Still, it doesn't change the fact that I long to feel as good as I did exactly 4 years ago in that picture on the right. There was 50 pounds less of me, but I was so naïve to all life could teach me in just a few so very short years. And that girl on the left holding that happy little girl 11 years ago... I'm not sure I even recognize her.
It makes me laugh that I named this blog Normal to Natalie long before I knew what my real platform even looked like... I guess I'm still not sure. I do know one thing. I want to update my website to be more than just a blog (I'm probably going to need to hire help! Suggestions?). I want you to get to know me better. Meet the me that sells insurance and that has continued to educate myself and change my family's eating habits. The me that did endless hours of research and decided we would use Genesis Pure to deliver so many essentials to our door every month. It's easy, I trust them, and I dread shopping... oh and their products keep me going at a pace that helps me keep up with my crazy family. And my kids, they are the best and in so many ways have been forced to mature and learn some really hard lessons. I need/want/have been asked to share more about that and how we are all working through our day to day "extras" together. (A blog about our commission system is in the works... promise!)
I at one time described myself as a busy wife and mom on a mission to get healthy inside and out through clean eating, Bible study, and exercise. That's still very true and I hope you will join me as I continue to take this journey called life and share it as openly and honestly as I know how with you on this blog. Maybe one day my platform will grow and I will be invited to speak and share my heart with a group that needs to hear from me.