Monday, November 28, 2011


Hello Everyone!! Hope all of you have had a great Thanksgiving Holiday! I know I have as I'm sitting here, three days later, in my stretchy pants. This has been a different Thanksgiving for us, family, Baby Preston, growing business...the list goes on. So in honor of the craziness, I thought I would share the three very things I'm *thankful* for today.

1. Love. Love. Love. Love for my husband, my best friend and my business partner. We met almost ten years ago, working together for a national, soccer league in Tampa. And today, we work together as partners with Chic Sweets. I have to tell you, there is something very special about being able to work with your spouse. Steve is not only my husband, but my true partner in every sense of the word. Someone I turn to as a friend, as a colleague, someone I can brainstorm fantastic (crazy) ideas with, and then someone I can come home, lay on the couch and watch "Dexter" with. I'm a lucky girl.

2. Children: Brendan, Spencer, Carson and Preston. I can't lie. It's crazy. It's busy. There are times when Steve and I look at each other and want to run for the nearest exit. But it's our life. And the craziness is our own and that is something we are extremely protective and proud of. This was our first Thanksgiving with Preston and all I can tell you, is that we are silly-happy with our lil guy.

3. My Work: Three years ago, I sat down on couch with my husband, debating what our next jobs would be. We both worked full time but had frequently picked up second jobs every now and then to bring extra income into our household. This time around was different. I didn't want to pick up a second job that didn't mean anything to me, that I didn't love and most of all, that I didn't feel fulfilled in. So after some brainstorming, Chic Sweets came about and I'll be honest with you...not a day has gone by that I'm not grateful for having made that decision.

Does that work ever end? Nope. Is it insanely much harder than I thought it would be? Heck, yes.

Do I love it? So much, my heart bursts.

For that, I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Preston George Clamp...20 days

So here I am with, laying in bed and staring at the most beautiful, bundle of goodness you can ever imagine. Can everyday be like this? It's been almost 20 days since Baby Preston came into our world and it's been a mixture of total bliss and exhaustion.

I gave birth about a week early before my due date. It's amazing, the process of child birth. This is my third son, and you would think I would be an ol' pro at the this, but every experience was so very different. My last birth was very quick, labor was under five minutes and without an epidural. So this time around, I was very much on board  and determined with going "all natural."

So finally, on October 28, I was induced at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital. My little guy didn't waste anytime because within the hour, I was grabbing the rail, drenched in sweat, both my husband, Steve and mother becoming a painful blur in the background. I could see their mouths moving, but was just completely lost in my pain that I couldn't hear anything. My wonderful nurse, Sandy, gave me a knowing glance and said, "Natalie, you are at 7cm. This is it, if we don't do the epidural, it will be too late. Don't worry, you have nothing to prove by trying to do this without the epidural." "Okay, she's totally right. Let's do this." Now, this is where it gets slightly funny. By the time my epidural was put in, my stubborn-self was already pushing. And within 20 minutes, Preston came into the world. Ironically, since the epidural takes about 20 minutes to take full effect, it only really kicked in, once he was born...yeah...I know...too funny. So there I was, holding my bundle of joy, but with no feeling left in my legs!

After the labor, Steve and I settled into our hospital room and examined every bit of goodness, that I call Preston. I mean it. Serious. Perfection. There is just no way to describe it.  Although it was a two-day hospital stay, I truly cherished the time alone with Preston and with Steve. Then it came time for Spencer and Carson my little boys to meet Preston. Wow...10 months of preparing them is nothing when they got to hold them for the very first time. The look on their faces is something I will never forget. And of course, there just aren't any words to thank my parents for holding down the fort at home while we were at the hospital...I know it wasn't easy!

So since coming back from the hospital, our lives have been a total whirlwind. Adjusting to life with Baby Preston, introducing Preston to Spencer, Carson and Brendan (my stepson), breastfeeding, trying to not to feel too bad about still walking around in my maternity sweatpants, having a few whytheheckishecrying moments. And oh yeah, still running Chic Sweets. Is our life crazy? Um, yes. Would I have it any other way? No, in fact, I can honestly tell you as sleep deprived as we are right now, I could not feel more blessed than I do right now. This pregnancy and this past year, have been unbelievably difficult, yet, Steve and I have managed to come out of this, stronger and more committed to making our lives work. God is definitely GOOD.

On that note, instread of  turning this blog entry into an epic-novel, I opted to give all of you a slideshow of a few photos, played alongside a song that literally brings tears to my eyes everytime I play it.

Enjoy and THANK YOU so much for all of your support and sweet messages on my facebook page. My family, Steve's family, all of our amazing friends...Love. Love. Love.

Natalie and Baby Preston