Thank You Mr. Phil Robertson

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
It recently came to my attention that the famous Phil Robertson was suspended from "Duck Dynasty" because he shared his beliefs on homosexuality. 

Thank you Mr. Robertson. You have made me happy, happy, happy. 

Am I happy that Phil is indefinitely suspended? Absolutely not! I am, however, pleased with the reason why... NOT because I agree with the suspension, or think that his comment should have even been the grounds for the suspension in the first place... but because it shows me that in a world where FEW hold true to their beliefs, this man does. 

Thank you Mr. Robertson. You have done something that few are able to do.

When interview by the notorious GQ magazine, the Robertson family patriarch boldly uttered the words that would soon condemn him:

Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men, don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
 
Okay so Phil Robertson does not believe it is right to participate in homosexuality. But he ALSO does not think it's right to sleep around, be a prostitute, be greedy, participate in beastiality, cheat on your spouse, slander, swindler, or be a drunk. 

However, the last I checked, Phil Robertson was not being suspended for expressing his belief that it's wrong to commit adultery. 

This is because we live in a world were it's okay to have opinions and beliefs, so long as they are "politically correct". 

So I Thank you Mr. Robertson. I thank you for not being politically correct. 

I thank you for teaching me to stand up for what I believe no matter the stakes. I thank you for every prayer uttered at the end of each and every episode of Duck Dynasty. I thank you for gathering your family together at the end of every day and thanking God for giving you all that you have, when the rest of the world seems to blame God for not giving them enough... At least those who still profess to even believe in God anymore. 

Thank you Mr. Robertson. 

Thank you for standing against the crowd that is constantly growing larger each day. The crowd that suspends you for believing something different than them, and then somehow considers you to be the "mean" one. 

Thank you Mr. Robertson for giving me hope that there are still people with integrity in this world. Thank you for putting religion at the center of your life. Thank you for showing me that your faith means more to you than a TV show, and that your bible is worth more to you than any amount of money. 

Thank you Mr. Robertson. 

As my life quickly becomes more and more polluted with filth, I am thankful for a show that I can watch all the way through without having to change the channel. 

I applaud Phil Robertson for being open and honest about his beliefs. And I very well may have a bunch of people upset with me for saying that. But the good news is that Phil Robertson and I live in a country where we are blessed with "freedom of speech". So... we can say what we want... 

Right? 

Oh wait. 

Welcome to 'Merica. 

Oh Crap!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Well... it has officially happened. I have experienced my very first toilet overflow as a married women.

And it was NOT pretty.

I often imagined that with my first overflow, I would be able to implement the skills I acquired in the home I grew up in, where toilet overflows were a frequent event. I believed I was trained well, I knew all the tricks of the trade. I was a pro at twisting the metal handle at the back of the toilet with lightening speed, stopping the overflow in its tracks... or so I thought.

Welcome to reality Natasha. You are not as fast or brilliant when it comes to unclogging toilets as you think you are. No, flush your pride down the toilet (no pun intended). News flash: you don't solve overflow problems, you create them.

It really was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the sky was blue. Then it happened, the toilet began to malfunction. It just wasn't flushing fast enough, something was fishy. I casually mentioned my concerns to Ash and told him to just keep an eye on the water when he flushed the toilet.

Everything was going fine.. until it didn't.

Poor Ash wasn't feeling to good and went to the bathroom, then it happened... he called to me from the bathroom telling me that it was clogged. It had not overflowed mind you, but it was dang close. Thankfully I was heading to my parents house and figured I would borrow a plunger, we would plunge it a couple times, and everything would go back to normal.

When I returned with the plunger Ash plunged a couple of times then it was time to flush and see if it worked. Me being the brilliant person I am said, "Wait, I have an idea" I proceeded to take off the toilet lid and pull the flush plug. What I envisioned happening was the toilet gracefully sucking all the nasty water down its porcelain hole and life going back to normal. It was a nice dream while it lasted...

What ACTUALLY happened was I pulled the plug and low and behold, the cesspool started pouring out of the toilet, the way vomit pours out of a baby after its had to much milk. I jumped back as Ash started throwing every towel we owed on the new-found swimming pool I created in the bathroom.

I felt like the worse wife ever. I didn't even have a curious toddler (the kind that stuffs the toilet full of TP) to blame the overflow on. Nope, I only had me and my own stupidity.

Needless to say I spend the next 30 minutes picking up crap-filled towels and putting them in the wash as I cried and cried (prego problems). Then to make matters worse, I decided that ammonia would be a brilliant choice of a chemical to clean the floor with, so I poor some in the tub with some hot water, then decide to poor some more straight on the floor. Given my luck, the smell didn't arrive until AFTER I had doused the whole bathroom in its strong-nose-burning-eye-stinking fumes. I then proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes coughing my lungs out and thinking I was going to die. I finally resorted to waking Ash up (who had gone to bed considering it was WAY past his bedtime). He came to my rescue, and was very sweet about it, even though I knew he was upset and tired (reason 100000 I love him). He was able to successfully unclog the toilet and mop the floor and make me feel love even though I was the reason we were in this situation in the first place.

I thanked him, said I was sorry about 6587 times then washed my feet and hands five times and crawled into bed.

Welcome to my crazy, beautiful life.  

For The Love of Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
If I could describe how happy ice cream makes me, I would. 

But I can't. 

It's too wonderful.

It's too beautiful. 

It's... It's... Perfection in a cup (or cone... or on a stick... Heck, put it in an old mans boot for all I care!). 

I think it's fair to say I'm crazy about ice cream in all it's frozen wonderfulness. So you shouldn't be surprised when I say I was beyond excited to get some today. It was grocery shopping day today and it was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I literally had to drag myself away from the math homework I was doing because it seemed so wonderful when I weighed it with the task of grocery shopping. I can honestly say the ONLY thing that got me out the door was first that Ash agreed to go with me, and second, the fact that me and Ash have developed the "grocery shopping sucks so we will reward ourselves with ice cream when we do it" tradition. 

I was so thrilled to stick the last needed item in the cart. We then proceeded to dart to the ice cream stand to pick out the usual: vanilla dipped in butterscotch for me, and vanilla/chocolate swirl dipped in chocolate for him. 

Now just a quick side note. Due to the fact that we are regular costumers at the ice cream stand, we know exactly which employees give out the biggest bang for the buck. The goal is to arrive precisely at the right time so you get one of the golden employees. We are usually very good at this. 

Unfortunately, today was not one of those days. 

The boy who helped us, bless his poor soul, had NO idea what he was doing. I don't think he even knew where he was to be honest with you. When we talked to him, he just looked ahead, and muttered nonsense back. 

But, we had reached the point of no return and had to order from him because it would be rude to ask if we could be helped by someone else (you can bet we considered it though). 

I ordered my vanilla butterscotch and this kid... Not even joking... Dunked it in the warm butterscotch mixture for a good 3 minutes. When he pulled it out, it didn't even look like an ice cream cone anymore. It looked like a gooey ball of lost hopes and broken dreams.

"Um... It's kinda thick and gooey" cone boy said. 

"No freaking kidding..." I thought. 

"Do you um want it in a cup?" 

"Yeah... " I muttered. 

Ash's cone didn't turn out much better. Thankfully come boy only dipped his cone one time in the chocolate glaze, but Ash's cone was three times smaller than mine... Even though we ordered the same size. But after the result of my cone, that didn't surprise me. 

It gets worse though. As my cone finally hardened 10 minutes later (which should have taken 2 seconds) I finally tried to eat it. You can only imagine my dismay as I picked up a 3 inch thick ball of butterscotch glaze with no ice cream in it.

What. The. Heck. 

I was so tempted to run back into that store and hold up the butterscotch glob and exclaim, "Yo, cone boy!! Can I get some ICE CREAM with my butterscotch!?!?" 

But I didn't. Because we had already left and were 2 minutes from home. But that's the only reason!! 

One day I will get a laugh out of this... But right now the wound is still too fresh. But you can bet your bottom dolla that I will run for the hills next time I see cone boy at the ice cream stand. "No can do cone boy," I'll say "we'll come back later. 

Faith In God's Timing

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
    I cannot count the number of times I have found myself on my knees, asking God why.

Why did this have to happen to me?                                                    

          WHY?

Why does it hurt so bad?

Why do I have to suffer?
WHY?
Why do I feel so alone?

Why won't you take it away?

    WHY?
                                                WHY?

WHY?

    Thankfully, despite my fervent pleas, God doesn't always answer my prayers right away. People might think I am crazy for saying that. They may ask me, "How can you be grateful that God let you suffer?" They may wonder, "Wouldn't life be easier if you didn't have to go through this?" They may question my faith, "If you believed harder... if you prayed more... maybe your pain would be taken away." 

    It doesn't always work like that. 

    There is a bigger picture to life than I think we let ourselves see, ESPECIALLY when we are going through a hard trial. God doesn't delight in our pain, he doesn't feel joy when he sees his child struggle, and I personally believe that God wants so badly to remove our heartaches, sorrows, burdens and pain. But sometimes he doesn't. He sees a bigger picture, he knows what we can become, and he knows exactly what it takes for us to be like him. I am grateful for trials and pain, not because I enjoy them, but because I know that with each ache and each pain, God is shaping me to be like him. He loves me enough to allow me to go through hard things, He loves me enough to let me suffer, He loves me enough that he doesn't always give me what I want. 

    5 years ago my dad quit his job to start a business... which didn't end up falling into place like was planned. He quickly got a new job, and because of its location in Provo we moved to Highland, Utah. Soon after our move, for various reasons, he left his job. I began wondering why we had even moved for a job that didn't even exist anymore. We were left with a new house, in a new neighborhood, with a new school, and no income. For some reason though, this time around finding a job wasn't so easy. And so, for the past 5 years he has been trying to get another job. I remember that first year, feeling so angry. I was angry because I was scared. I was scared because I was selfish. I thought about all the things I couldn't do now, because we had to be careful with money. I almost resented my dad for "putting us through this." But, as the years past, I began to learn, and I began to grow. My fear turned into faith. The nights I used to stay up wondering what would come of us if my dad didn't get a job, turned into nights full of peace, knowing that sometime and somehow everything would work out. I remember the time, 3ish years into the job drought that my dad was offered a great position in Florida; a job that was everything you could hope for in a job. Great pay, great coworkers, beautiful area to live. He accepted the job, only a couple of days later to tell us that he didn't feel right about the job and had told them he wouldn't be taking it anymore. I did not understand. Everyone else in the family felt good about it, why didn't he? At the time, if I had my choice I would have made him accept the job, it made sense to me. Looking back I am grateful that God said no. Soon it became necessary for my mom to work. I know she faced many trials with the job she had, and at the end after all her hard work, she was treated poorly by the company. It made me sad to see my hard working mother get treated that way, especially when she didn't deserve it. It honestly felt like one bad thing just led to another. I know that everyone in my family at some point wondered if there would ever be an end to this trial. It seemed easy to ask why. Why did my dad get so many interviews, but no offers. Why wasn't my family getting blessed, we did everything right. We went to church, we prayed, we paid tithing. I can tell you from personal experience that it is easy to wonder when you are faced with a trial for such a long time. It is easy to worry. I am grateful for parents who taught me to have faith, to pray, to fast, to trust, and to not give up. 

    A couple days ago, 5 years after this all started my dad was offered a very good job. I often think about what my life would be like if all of this didn't happen. If I never moved to Highland, if I ended up moving to Florida, if my dad had got a job in the timing I would have liked him too. If all this were the case, my life would be extremely different. I would have never met Ash... I wouldn't be so close to my family... I wouldn't have as strong of faith... I would have missed out on so many of the experiences that have made me into the person I am today. 

     That is what I am trying to say. If God let me have the things I prayed for throughout those 5 years... I wouldn't have the things I needed. I am so grateful every day that God didn't take away my families trial. I am grateful for God's timing. I am grateful that God doesn't always answer our prayers right away. I am grateful that sometimes we have to wait. I am grateful for every disappointment, every heartache, and every pain that I have experienced because they have taught me lessons nothing else could have taught me, and they have made me into a person I couldn't have become any other way. 

 I recognize that, on occasion, some of our most fervent prayers may seem to go unanswered. We wonder, Why?’ I know that feeling! I know the fears and tears of such moments. But I also know that our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Fathers perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time.
—Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ—the Master Healer,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 86  





Infestation

Saturday, July 6, 2013
    I have officially dubbed myself as the terminator. I know it is quite a title, but I have terminated enough freaky, nasty, crawly, things to justify giving myself the name.

    Let me start by saying that I am the designated small....fast moving....eight legged....creature killer in our home. This is due to the fact that Ash has an acute case of arachnophobia. I think it is safe to say that I might never see a worse case of arachnophobia. I don't blame him though, I would be probably be in the same boat as him if I did not grow up in a house where I killed spiders on a daily basis. Any arachnophobia I  coulda/shoulda/woulda developed was sucked out of me at an early age.

    I can now say that growing up surrounded in spiders and with brothers who loved to stick bugs down my shirt, was a blessing in disguise. Because now I not only make the hubbies life easier by making food, doing laundry and doing dishes; but I also can be called upon to kill the creatures! Just another reason he loves me. Yay for me :)

    Anyway I have been keeping track of my recent terminations... Mostly so I had something to blog about... and because in my heart of hearts, sharing my ability to kill creatures that make most people scream gives me a feeling of satisfaction.

(Oh and FYI... Ash is the manliest of all men, and anyone who gives him crap for being scared of spiders after reading this post can come over and I'll stick a spider down your shirt and see how well you handle it. Okay that's all... read on).

    Death Toll Count This Week:
     *notice: creature names courtesy of Natasha Craig who would rather make up something than do extensive research to find the correct name. Don't be hatin.        

The Red Chested Grey Butted Night Crawler:

Deaths: 5
Escapes: 0
Bites: 0

Status: As of July 5, 2013... TERMINATED



Freaky Long Legged Brown Thing:

Deaths: 2
Escapes: 2
Bites: Suspected

Status: As of July 5, 2013... CURRENTLY BEING HUNTED

The Laundry Creeper:

Deaths: 3
Escapes: 0
Bites: 0

Status: As of July 5, 2013... EXTINCT (until next load of laundry)











The One That Moves To Fast and Freaks Me Out: 

Deaths: 6.5 (most recent kill wouldn't die and was thrown away while its legs still were twitching)
Escapes: 0... with 2 Close Calls
Bites: 0... thank heavens

Status: As of July 5, 2013... HIGHLY SUSPECTED TO BE EVERYWHERE, MOST COMMON KILL





My Worse Nightmare:




Deaths: 2
Escapes: 0.. never on my watch will that happen.
Bites: 0

Status: EXTINCT ON A FAITH BASIS.. I pray every night that I am never graced with the presence of another one.


   
And there you go... Writing this has given me those tickles you get all over your body where it feels like you have bugs on you... so I must now go take a shower and hope that the towel I wrap around my body is creature free.





Things I Am Awkwardly NOT Good At

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Going Through Drive-Thrus With Other People: For some reason I am fine when I am just ordering for myself... But when someone else is in the car... Say hello to the Natasha "the mute" Craig.

Urine Samples: I never realized how much of a problem I had with this until I had to give one every single doctors appointment. I'll spare the details, but sweet mercy, you would think I could perfect the art by now. Not so. 

Talking On The Phone: I find myself having way to many of those "soooo..." "well..." "um..." moments. 

Crying: I do not cry gracefully. I am what you would term a mess. I'm talking the full on swollen eyes, smeared makeup, hiccups, red, mess of a creature. 

Knowing When NOT To Laugh: Guys... For the sake of my poor soul, do NOT fart, burp, tell a joke, trip, sneeze crap out of your nose, run into something, etc when things are serious/quiet/to public/or any other situation where laughing wouldn't be appropriate, because I will lose it. And I won't stop... I just get worse. I can't control it. 

Telling Jokes: Punch lines are not my specialty. I get to excited with the thought of actually being funny... Then get ahead of myself... And pretty much what I'm saying is my jokes blow. 

Keeping Surprises From Ash: I always try and plan cute surprises for Ash and I can never keep them a secret. I get so excited that I have to tell someone and... It allllllll comes out. 

Approaching Strangers: This could be my biggest weakness. If people approach me, I am the friendliest person ever. But the thought of going up and approaching them gives me full on panic attacks. It's pitiful. 

Asking For Favors: I feel so bad doing this. I always end up asking for a favor then going into a huge explanation that "if it's to much of a hastle, don't worry" and "what can I do for you because really I feel bad having you do this and blah blah blah." This is most true for Ash. He finally just has to look me in the eyes and say, "LET ME SERVE YOU. It's okay!" 

Telling Stories: I have so many good stories, but verbally trying to express them, always turns into the biggest disaster, I try to explain way to much. You would think I would know that no one cares about what color so and so's shirt was... Or where the sun was at in the sky... 
Fact: I would do much better if I wrote everything on paper and then read it to people... 

Being Alone: I pull out the full safety measures. All doors locked... Phone ready to dial 911... Knife by the bed side... You name it, I've got it set up. 

Swollowing Pills: Don't ask me to do it, it is impossible. Don't tell me it is possible, its not, I've tried. I have gagged more times in one sitting trying to swollow a pill, than most people do in a life time. 

 Road Rage: I am way to nice on the road. You know when traffic gets really heavy and people are trying to merge? Well I am the person who backs up traffic cuz I let EVERYone merge in. I'm sorry! I really am... But I feel so bad for them! 


What being married has taught me about love.

Thursday, June 20, 2013
    I grew up in a society that taught me that one day I would fall in love. And as a little girl, the word love, and its association with princesses, castles, and princes, couldn't be more appealing. Growing up was full of acting out love as I knew it. What started as doll weddings, progressed to anticipated dates and dances, which led to writing my name in front of someone else's last, with the idea that "this feeling" I got around a guy must be what love feels like. I was convinced that butterflies, nerves, and a date I was especially excited to go on, meant that I was at last "falling in love."

    I soon found myself in the teenage cycle of "falling in love"... getting my "heart broken"... falling "out of love..." only to find myself "falling back in love" again. All these emotions did not make sense.

    The movies and stories had always painted a picture that when you "fell in love" it was for always and forever...  So then why, everywhere I looked, did I see families falling apart, people claiming they "fell out of love," or their mate, "didn't treat them right."

    The movies and stories taught me that there was no monster so large, or fight so strenuous that could not be won for love...  but if that was true, how was it possible that the only fights I saw were couples fighting, not for each other, but against.

    The movies and stories taught me the magical phrase "happily ever after..." however half the happily "just married"s became "fortunately done forever"s, another percentage point on the growing divorce statistic board.

    It took me getting married to realize that society taught me a lie.

    You don't fall in love.

    Love is a choice you make every day, it is not a state of being suddenly thrust upon you when you meet someones gaze. That is attraction. And while I am a firm believer that attraction can lead to love, it is not the same thing as love. Because while attraction can be sudden, love cannot, it must be built. While attraction can suddenly end when someone no longer meets the "eyes" expectation, love will never end, we just decide to stop loving.

    There are many different ways people have described true love. But in my opinion, and through my experience, I think there is no better description of love than the one we find in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13.  

    Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; 
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things
Charity Never Faileth.
  
    Love was never meant to be easy, its not easy because its worth it, and things that are worth it are never made easy. But one thing I know is that nothing can get in the way of true love. I know I have only been married a year, but in that year I have learned in very hard, but worthwhile ways, what it means to love someone. People always comment on how perfect me and Ash are together, and I couldn't agree more. I attribute this to more than our just chemistry. I attribute it to love.

    That love that leads him to get up with me in the middle of the night, with no complaint, because I am scared. The love that makes it easy to get up early every morning to make him breakfast, so he can get 15 more minutes of sleep. The love that says "when you mess up, I will help you, not condemn you."  The love that sees the best in someone, when society would tell you they did you wrong. The love that makes every day a chance to serve each other, not asking anything for ourselves.

    Love is selflessness. It is the ability to do good to someone, no matter how they treat you. I think the goal in a marriage is for both people to develop complete selflessness for each other. Which is hard, but I believe it is harder to live selfishly, because their is no joy in that life, and there is only pain in those types of marriages. To love you have to see beyond yourself.

      I believe I have a long way to go before I can say I love perfectly. But each day I sure do try. I am completely in love with Ash. But I didn't just fall there. I made a choice the day I married him to love him no matter what, unconditionally, and forever. And that choice has made my life more wonderful and beautiful than anything I could have imagined, despite any bad that life has thrown our direction. True love, while not easy, is possible, and worth it.

    Society taught me wrong, yes. Happily Ever After doesn't just get handed to you, but it is possible because whether or not you get a happily ever after isn't determined by fate, it is determined by you.


Click this link for a video that does a better job describing what I'm trying to say in 4 minutes, then I have done in a thousand words...           

I Think I'm Loosing My Mind

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
    I have had an onslaught of brain cell death these last few weeks. Okay let's be honest, I am becoming a little... sssslllllooooow . I am not kidding. I am going to apologize for blaming everything wacky that's happening to my body on being prego because I am about to add another "prego problem" to my growing list. And, considering I apologized, now I don't feel as bad for blaming this new found brain damage on being prego as well.

    That being said...

    Today was cray cray. I got up at 3 am, helped get Ash out the door to work, went back to sleep for an hour or so, wake up to my phone going off, it was Ash, he got a modeling job and needed sweet potatoes so he could carb load... and he wanted them for lunch which meant I had to get up quick because to get sweet potatoes I needed to cash his check, and I needed gas because the car was running on I-am-way-past-low-you-should-have-filled-me-up-10-miles-ago. Etc. Etc. Etc. You probably don't care about all these little details, but needless to say, I had a lot to do before Ash got home, hungry for lunch.

    I get to the gas station with 16 bucks. A 10, 5, and 1. I sat in the car way to long decided if I was going to put in 10 bucks... or 15... but then if I did 15 then I would have a 1 dollar bill left over, and who wants a 1 dollar bill just chillin their in its nothingness? So I decide to just put all 16 in. After that 30 minute debate at the gas pump (told you I'm slow), I head into the station and give them the 16 bucks. Then I go out and start filling up my tank...

    For some reason as soon as I start filling up the tank, my turtle brain all of a sudden is convinced that I gave the cashier 13 dollars. So when the pump didn't stop at 13 dollars I panic and quickly stopped it myself. I was so mad because I didn't want to break a 20 to pay the $1.58 cents I went over with. I walk inside reluctantly with my 20, and when I get to the desk, the girl opens the register and hands me $1.58. I look at her and say, "Aren't I supposed to pay you?" She goes, "I'm pretty sure I pay you actually... you stopped your pump early." And I said, "No no! I didn't stop it soon enough. I went over the 13!" She then proceeds to tell me that I gave her 16 bucks with a confused face. It was then that it all came back to me... I was humiliated, and she just laughed and laughed and all I could say was "I am sorry, I am losing my mind!"

    Ugh.

    What was I thinking? Yeah, I know I wasn't. Just like I wasn't thinking when I was making Ash scrambled eggs and ended up pouring the milk in the warming frying pan, instead of with the eggs I was beating. Or the time I made Ash cookies and put the vanilla extract in the flour instead of with the wet ingredients. I know these are all little mistakes, but when you have a billion little mistakes all day, every day, it gets old. So I hope this goes away after I have the baby, that's for sure.

   

Would You Like Flies With That?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
    My message today is: do not spare the life of a fly that is flying in your home.

    I did and it backfired on me big time.

    Something you might not know about me is I call all flies "Stewart." (I also call all bees Fredric and all spiders Stanley). I started doing it a little while ago to make Ash laugh, but then it kind of stuck around. The problem with naming any type of animal, is that you grow attached to it. Yes even with flies... Just kidding, I'm not THAT attached, and no I do not want to raise a pet fly, I just feel bad about killing them now!

    Yesterday I was in the kitchen making lunch for Ash. As I mixed the salad I heard buzzing above my head. I looked up and sure enough there was Stewart sitting on the wall above my head. My first thought was to swat him, but that plan was soon set aside when I remembered that I don't own a fly swatter (young and married problems). I could always use a shoe, or paper, or some other object, but that seemed pretty graphic to me, because I would probably miss over and over again, slowly deforming the poor thing. So, I figured that if I opened the window Stewart would eventually fly out and all would be well. Ash got home soon after and we started eating lunch. I soon forgot about Stewart because I had not heard buzzing for quite some time now, I figured that he had flown out the window.

WRONG.

    As I was eating my salad, I breathed in through my nose and felt like I had inhaled a cotton fuzzy that must have been in the air. I quickly exhaled out of my nose and thought, "That was weird." But since I didn't feel like anything was in my nose anymore, I figured I had gotten rid of the cotton/whatever was in my nose.

    NBD right?

WRONG.

    I continued to eat my salad. As I put my fork in the bowl to get another piece of lettuce...

    I saw Stewart...

            .....laying in my dressing.....
                                     ...DEAD with a leg twitching!!

    It was then that I realized that it was NOT a cotton fuzzy in my nose earlier, it was STEWART! And I had killed him by blowing him out of my nose, into my salad dressing. That is not only disgusting, but that had to be the worst way to die. I seriously cannot stop itching my nose and blowing it. I think I am scarred for life.

    RIP Stewart, I know my plan was to spare your life, but obviously that did not happen. I will now proceed to blow my nose again.

    Just another day in the life.

 
 

Death By Potato Peelers

Friday, June 7, 2013
I have to start off by saying that last night, I had possibly the scariest dream of my life.

All those stalker dreams, husband not liking me dreams, war dreams, end of world dreams... Yeah this tops it. 

Okay I'm kidding. I've had worse dreams. But this one was pretty bad... 

When you are going to have a baby, many magical somethings suddenly start happening to your body. Morning sickness, no appetite one second, huge appetite the next. Every leisure moment of my life, I had to spend going the bathroom because the waters never stop flowing (I even made a game... How many times can Natasha go 10 minutes without peeing? .... I never win). 
Fun happy mornings with a delicious breakfast, leads to the sudden erge to hang out a bit with the porcelain friend down the hall. Oh and tears, we can't forget tears, I cry all the time.

At everything. 

My husband buys me ice cream... I cry.
My husband doesn't buy me ice cream... I cry. 
I watch a movie... I cry. 
I don't watch a movie... I cry.
I can't get the stain off the plate I'm scrubbing... I cry. 
I finally get the stain off the plate... I cry. 

It's awesome guys. 

But, you want to know something that effects me the most?? 

Dreams. 

I have like 80 every night I swear! And they are always the worse! Like the other night when I stayed up watching Dancing With The Stars only to have the dream that all the contestants climbed into an elevator, turned on laughing gas, got high, got too high, then died. 

How did I come up with that one? 

I told you they are the worse. 

Well... Last night was no exception. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. I had a dream that I woke up in the morning with long, thick, pokey, black, hairs growing out of the top of my nose. Every pour in my nose had one of these nasty hairs growing out of it. As soon as I went to the bathroom and saw the hairs, I flipped out. But come on, you can't blame me! Anyone would! So obviously, my first thought was that I needed to find a razor. This is where is gets awful. ALL my razors had DISAPPEARED. Completely. So what did my prego mind decide to do? Grab a POTATO PEELER. What. In. The. World. And to make it worse, in my dream I actually used this potato peeler to shave my nose. IT HURT SO BAD! I spent the whole morning (in my dream) shaving my nose with a potato peeler, only to watch the nasty hairs grow back over and over again... I was literally peeling my nose off out of frustration when I finally woke up.

The only thing I can really tell you girls (and guys I guess), is if you start growing nasty hairs out of the top of your nose... DO NOT USE A POTATO PEELER. Save yourself the pain, and suck it up enough to go to the store and buy yourself a razor. IT WILL BE WORTH IT. Besides, chances are, despite people looking at you, and the embarrassment, you will probably never have to see those people again, and you will not have a flayed nose.



Monsters Inside Me

Thursday, May 23, 2013
    When I was around five years old, I would lay in the hallway "sneak" watching the television, when technically I was supposed to be in bed. I found out early in life that if I just waited long enough for all the lights to go off and my siblings to fade into dream land, I could stick my head out of the bedroom and look straight down the hall into the living room, while my dad watched his nightly TV. Then, when I saw him get up to turn it off, I would RUN as fast as I could into my bed and pretend to be asleep as he came and checked on us. I did this a LOT. Oops.

     One night when I was once again playing "sneaky Tash," I found myself laying down enjoying the various shows on TV, when to my surprised my dad turned to the freaking scariest movie I have ever seen in my whole life. I honestly don't think anything has ever freaked my out as much as that  movie, and LOTS and LOTS of things freak me out. This movie was about this guy who had HUGE BEETLES crawling under his skin. Yeah I know. I remember vividly it showing a beetle crawling down his arm, under his skin that ate itself out of his hand. Eww eww ewwwww.

     I think the area of life that this had the biggest impact on was childbirth. I know that sounds weird, so let me explain. Even since I was little, there was always a baby in the family, or on the way. So I always got to feel my little siblings move around inside my moms belly. This always scared me a little bit, not because I didn't like feeling the babies kick my hand, but more because I had the realization that one day I would have a child and it was going to move inside of me. Whenever I thought about being a mom, I couldn't help but see that beetle crawling up the guys arm. And I felt horrible about it!

    Well, as you guys all know, Natasha Craig is expecting a little baby Craig soon and I'll admit, I was kinda scared about the first time I would feel it move. Because, I couldn't see myself excited to feel something move inside of me! But, I was pleasantly surprised when I felt the first kick from my little baby. I did not feel even an ounce of fear rush into my body, instead it was this incredible rush of love that entered my soul! 

Now, if I don't feel my baby moving constantly I freak out a bit! I can't count how many times I have tapped on my belly saying, "Baby Craig? You there? Wake up Baby Craig!" And the wonderful little kick I get in return is the least scary, most special, most spiritual and comforting realization that I have a special, beautiful, little person inside me that I get to call my very own. :) 

For My Mother

Sunday, May 12, 2013
    You know what Mom?

    They all told you that you could have been a teacher, with your gift of language, and way with words. They all told you that you could have been a musician; no one made the piano sing like you did. They all told you that you could have got a masters, doctorate and PhD'; brains like yours don't come to everyone. They all told you that you could change the world with the way you share service and organize events. They all told you that you could write novels that would hit the New York Times best sellers list. They all told you that you could travel the world, meeting people and seeing sights very few people are privileged to see.

    And you could have.

    But you didn't.

    You just looked back at them and with a firm resolution in your eyes (and faith in your heart) you pushed away all those dreams and told them, "I'm going to be a mother."

    And they laughed.

    They laughed at the thought that someone so beautiful and so wise would give up so much to stay up late with a sick child, to never wear a clean shirt again, to have messy hair and tired eyes, and premature wrinkles, and worn hands.

    But you let them laugh.

    Because you knew.

    You knew that there was something more to life than meeting presidents and hosting grand events. You knew that singing lullaby's meant more than watching opera's and holding a hand was worth more than holding a trophy. 

    But there was something you didn't know.

    Not then.

    But I knew it, I know it still, and I'll always be reminded of it, no matter how old I get or where I live. And as crazy as it sounds that I, some silly girl who has only been on earth 18 years might know more than this smart, amazing woman who I call mother doesn't make much sense. 

    But its true.

    I know something you didn't know when you told the world no. 

    I knew that at that moment when you gave up so much to do such a hard and lowly thing as "dare be a mother", up in heaven a little girl rejoiced. Because she didn't need to worry about coming to earth anymore. God found her someone who would keep her safe, and bring her back to him. He found this girl someone who would love her so much that she would give her life for her if it was necessary.

    But that is not all.

    You know what else you didn't know?

    You didn't know that there would be sleepless nights when you would have to engaged all your strength to keep your eyes open so you could hold a shaking child who just had a bad dream. You didn't know you might have to go without that piece of pie, so my tummy would be filled. You didn't know that you would watch me fail again and again, not knowing how to help me. You didn't know you would suffer with me through every mistake. You didn't know that with every tear you wiped, every hug you gave, and every word you whispered that you would be shaping me, molding me, and teaching me.

    But above all. You didn't know that you really didn't give up all your dreams like they said you did. Because you are a teacher and I speak, read, and write because of you. You are a musician, the reason music rings through every fiber of my soul. You write a novel, with every story you told me. You have a masters, doctorate, and PhD in what matters in life. You have traveled the world fighting dragons, conquering cities, and saving lives with me. You did organize countless events and activities and thousands benefited. You might not have changed THE world, but you changed MY world, by giving me all the love, dedication and lessons I would ever need to be happy. 

    So while they may laugh at the choice you made so long ago. You can stand with your head held high. Because they might not know it. But you, me, and God know that you not only did all those things they said you would not do if you became a mother, but you did more.

    To be the daughter of such an amazing woman is the biggest blessing of my life. I will forever be indebted to you for giving me life and every opportunity in life.

    Thank you for being so strong and knowing your divine calling in a world that laughed.

    You are my hero and my example. I love you with all my heart.


Orange Juice

Monday, March 4, 2013
 I was walking down a hall at school when I saw a big pile of trash on the floor next to the trash can. The first thought that popped into my head was "you should pick that up..." I knew it would only take a couple of minutes at the most, but I didn't. As I walked away from that small pile of trash one single image clouded my mind:     

orange juice.

    You know those moments when you know you should do something, but you don't because you are too afraid of what people might think of you? I do.


    Those are the moments that make me think about orange juice. 

    I have a confession. A confession that is also a story. I have only told one person this story in my entire life so I really don't know why I am telling it now. But I am, because it needs to be told. I don't want others to make the same mistake I did.

    I don't know why I walked away that day... okay... maybe I do. I just cannot get myself to admit that I let what others think be more important to me than what I knew inside my heart was right.

    I don't know his name. I never will because I never asked. I was too busy thinking about myself. It was really crowded at school and I was brand new. I didn't know anyone and the last thing I wanted to do was stand out. I remember everything perfectly. I guess it made an impression on my mind. As everyone scurried to make it to their next classes before the tardy bell rang, he sat by his locker frantically trying to hold on to his stack of textbooks, plate of cookies and jacket. I think I noticed him because he seemed to have the same wish as me that day... to go unnoticed. He was an awkward looking kid whose glasses were too big, whose pants were too short, and whose clothes were anything but brand new. To put it frankly, he looked like the type of kid that had spent his whole life living in the shadows of the more confident and well dressed people around him.

    I think he had some type of class presentation that day... or class party... I really don't know, maybe I am jumping to assumptions... but why else would be have a plate with 30 homemade cookies and a pitcher of orange juice in his locker? Anyway, the point is he clearly was trying to balance way more than anyone is capable of balancing in their hands. I watched as he carefully reached for the pitcher of orange juice at the top of his locker... as he reached the cookies slid a little too far to the side of his arm and started to fall, his immediate reaction (like anyone's would be) was to grab the falling cookies. But, as he did he dropped his textbooks all over the floor...

    Then it happened. The pitcher of orange juice fell out of his locker and spilled all over the hallway, soaking his books in it's sticky orangeness and sending the crowds of kids running. I watched as some kids started to laugh at him and tell him how stupid it was to try to hold everything he was holding; I watched as other kids just walked away saying nothing as the orange juice spread further across the floor. He picked up his wet books and crumbled cookies and just sat there.

    I had a very strong feeling that I was in that specific place because I needed to help him.
  
    But I didn't.

    I turned around and walked away.

    And as I walked away, a flood of pain filled my heart. My whole life I had claimed to be a Christlike person, and here I was walking away from someone who needed my help the most. I was so mad at myself. It took a long time for me to forgive myself for what I did that day.

    I guess what I am trying to say is don't be like I was. I would do anything to go back in time and not walk away, but I can't. So I try and do better each and every day. It is very hard sometimes, you think after an experience like that it would be a no brainier, but I still struggle. I can tell you one thing though, that day, after I walked away, I made a decision that I would never let an opportunity to serve someone pass me by through selfishness again.

    You know how I said that as I walked away from that trash pile orange juice clouded my mind? Well it did, and that is exactly why I turned around and picked up that trash. I know it is a small step, but it is a step in the right direction.

    I wish I could thank that boy for what he taught me. Maybe one day I will. I don't know if I will ever get that lucky, but until then I will do all I can to make up for that day. And every time I think about walking away from someone who needs my help I can guarantee you I will think of orange juice.    
    

Mirror Image: The Curse of Being Human

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
    I get bugged sometimes. I'm not talking the "pet peeve" bug status... like the inward struggle I have not to scream every time someone cuts the corner when they turn left, or the the way my stomach churns when Pink comes on the radio. I'm talking that kind of bugged when you want to grab someones face and yell "WHAT THE HECK WERE YOU THINKING?!" Okay I would never grab someones face and yell at them, but some people do things that just make me think, human nature SUCKS.

     You know what I think bugs me the most about human nature? We all get caught using it sometimes. I would like to be able to say that I don't ever get frustrated, upset, angry, bitter, jealous, or any other negative emotion life can force on someone. But, I do. We all do. I try to avoid these emotions as much as possible, or at least mask them and control the urge to use them in a negative way. And, many times I succeed. But I also fail.

    I think that one thing all of us are guilty of is judging the mirror image we see of people. Think about it... You see someone who is dressed up nice walking to their nice car, what do you think? Probably something along the lines of, "wow they must have their ish figured out, he/she is probably a lawyer, or executive." Then on the flip side you see a family at the grocery store, whose kids all dirty from head to toe and the mothers outfit is warn and her hair is greasy, and I bet you think to yourself, "She needs to take better care of those kids, and herself." These might be two extremes but I use them to try and make a point. We all judge the book by its cover. Whether we verbalize it or not, we do naturally have the tendency to judge each other.

    But what if you could see the whole picture? What if everyone carried their story on a sign? Would we have more compassion? Would we be more understanding? Would we see people the way we see ourselves? What if everyone you met carried their life around there neck? Would you stop to treat them the way you would want to be treated?

     I have stories no one knows about me. And I guarantee that many of you who read this would be in shock if you knew some of them. I think it's fair to say that everyone has some of these... Those trials, pains, burdens that you cart along all by yourself because there's nothing else you can do. So if someone like me has these stories and someone like you has these stories, isn't it safe to say that every human being has one or more of these stories too? So maybe we need to keep that in mind the next time we judge someone.

     The lady you saw at the grocery store today who was holding up the line you were soooooo over being in, what if around her neck hung the words, "sorry for the wait, I have 8 children and no husband and I'm just trying to get the best deals so I can feed my kids today."

     What if the man who took the last seat left on the bus, requiring you to stand jolting back and forth for 30 minutes, held I sign that said, "I just heard the news that my brother died... It's all I can do to hold myself together right now."

     What if that girl at school who you tried to befriend but who pushed you away leaving you to question why she was so rude, was able to tell you "I'm sorry I don't trust you, I don't trust anyone, I've been abused and put on a face that I don't need anyone else because I'm to scared to ask for help."

     What if the boy at the park, who is severely handicapped could tell you, "I haven't always been this way. I used to play football and go on dates; I used to love a normal life; I used to be able to laugh, joke with my friends , and feed myself before the accident. But now I'm trapped in my own body."

     What if that child who cries and coughs all over you as it's bony body is racked in pain wore I shirt that said, "I'm sorry I coughed on you, I never know what will happen next, I used to be healthy, I used to be able to control my health."

     What if the young mother, who cries silently at the park as you pass with you baby in its stroller could open her mind so you could see her very thoughts, "I watch you with your child and long for my own, who died before I could even say hello as I looked in its perfect eyes."

     Would you judge less?

     I would.

     So why don't we stop our judging because people you meet every day have these stories. And we don't need to read a sign to reach our to our brother or sister.... Or do we?

     Human nature: one of our biggest tests. Because if we can overcome the tendency to think of ourselves first, to judge, to hate, to hold a grudge, to push away a family member, to make assumptions, to not let go... We are letting down the God who created us. None of us our perfect, but we can sure as heck do better than we are doing, and I'm talking about myself too.

     So when the sun rises in your life, remember someone somewhere in the world just had the sun set in theirs.

     Smile a little more, be patient, let that car merge over, give someone your place in line, hug your family, play catch with your little boy, give your seat to a stranger, and above all don't judge someone you don't understand.

   

 

I think I'm starting to understand life...

Welp. It's official! Natasha Craig is with child. (i.e. prego, pea in the pod, bun in the oven...you get the idea). Let me tell ya something, this baby business is some crazy stuff. I never thought I would be having my first kid at the age of 20. I always figured that I would get married, finish my degree, hang out a bit with my hubby and THEN have kids.

I could not have been more stupid.

Me and Ash are taking a marriage institute class, and it's changed my perspective on a lot of things. Not that I would say I didn't have good goals and aspirations and understanding before I took this class, cuz I did. But I would say I was a little naive... To what life's all about.

I had this picture of life. You know, those thoughts we let circulate through our heads about why things are the way they are, or what something means, or why we are here or there, and with all the circulating we come to a conclusion. This conclusion is our perception based on our thoughts that are compiled based off our life experience... Blah blah blah you get the point. My point is that despite the fact that I'm a good person, some of my perceptions were a little "off" about life.

So God is sitting there going over his children's plans and opens up the "Book of Natasha" and says, "I think it's time I teach my daughter a little about life... Bless her heart." And that's exactly what he did.

He taught me in all my quests to follow his plan, I was disregarding (or I guess setting on the back burner) his biggest plan of all.

I call this a reality check.

So what am I even saying? I'm saying that I was blind. Blinded by life and image and degrees and the whole world in general. I didn't understand heaven because I was to caught up in "life". God had it all planned out though, because I was blessed with my little baby, before I really understood what a blessing that it was.

Our lesson in institute was on *drumroll* multiplying and replenishing the earth. Going into this lesson I understood how important families are, I had every desire and plan to have a family, I knew how important families were to Gods plan. I was planning on finishing up school then starting my family, after all we are told to get all the education we can as women and men right? So in my mind, I had it figured out pretty good.

Not.

There is NOTHING so critical and crucial to our salvation as bringing children into homes where they are born in the covenant and raising them in the gospel. Our whole eternity depends on this. Any measure to prevent or limit a soul is complete selfishness and one who possesses such selfishness is not worthy of exaltation.

It's a big deal!!

That being said, through the course of reading a bunch of quotes on the subject and the importance of the role of husbands and wives to be parents my eyes were opened and I am officially on the course to being the best mother to all the children I am blessed to have. There is no greater call then to be a mother. I mean, you literally get to teach and raise heavenly spirits to be like God. I am so glad that I get to start this journey early in my life, and that I got my reality check early in my marriage so I didn't miss out of these blessings.

I cannot wait to welcome lil baby Craig to our family.


“During my professional career as a doctor of medicine, I was occasionally asked why I chose to do that difficult work. I responded with my opinion that the highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother. Since that option was not available to me, I thought that caring for the sick might come close. I tried to care for my patients as compassionately and competently as Mother cared for me.

Many years ago the First Presidency issued a statement that has had a profound and lasting influence upon me. “Motherhood,” they wrote, “is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.

Because mothers are essential to God’s great plan of happiness, their sacred work is opposed by Satan, who would destroy the family and demean the worth of women.” Russell M. Nelson, “Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women,” Ensign, May 1999, 38




Disclosure

Friday, February 15, 2013
    Alright, before you read anything on this blog, let's get one thing straight:

I don't claim to know everything about life. 

    I mean, come on people. I still haven't figured out why no matter how many times I have walked down stairs, I still lose my step and fall now and then.... or why, even though I know bleach turns a red shirt yellow, I still find myself pulling out tie dye shirts from the dryer. I still don't understand how a 4.0 student can wind up having so many blond moments, or what is wrong about eating pizza with a fork. So I guess what I am trying to tell you is I am just a human trying to do the best with my life, and along the way I find I learn some pretty neat things about what works and what doesn't. So take my thoughts or leave them, enjoy them or be bored by them, use them or ignore them, love them or hate them, give me a chance, and you might be surprised by what you learn from a silly, love-struck, average, american girl.