Thoughts By Natalie

Year 28


Taking in the scenery during our trip to New York on my birthday last year.

Today is my 28th birthday, and I honestly never could’ve imagined my life would look the way it does today. A year ago today I still wasn’t completely sure I’d ever be a mother, and today I have a sweet little person wrapped up tight on my chest, depending on me for love, diaper changes and lots and lots of milk.

In all honesty, this is probably the most anticlimactic birthday I’ve ever had. Since I’m still physically recovering from Jack’s birth, my doctor basically has me on house arrest. Not only does that mean I can’t do my own errands or grocery shopping until November, but it also means that I don’t get to go anywhere to celebrate 28 years of being on this earth.

Despite all that, Brian is making every effort to to make today feel celebratory. This morning he brought me coffee and breakfast in bed, went out to grab me a Peet’s latte before he left for work, and is so sweetly setting up a cheese and wine tasting night for us tonight that actually sounds pretty amazing. He’s so good to me.

As I reflect on year 27—a year I anticipated being pretty dang awesome—I realize that pregnancy sort of squashed those dreams. Rather than being a year of simplicity and discipline (and hard work), it became a year of laziness, watching TV and eating ice cream (while incubating a person). I wouldn’t take it back for anything, of course. Jack truly is the greatest miracle in my life. But I do hope and pray that year 28 is a lot more intentional and focused, and that it produces a lot more growth in my life.

These are a few hopes of mine for year 28:


Date my husband // As mentioned above, we spent a ton of time watching TV this year. And while I will always think back fondly on our Netflix binge-watching sessions, I really miss dating Brian. Although we’ll need to modify our dating “schedule” a bit—we used to do something special every Thursday—I want to prioritize our one-on-one time this year, even if it just means sipping wine in the backyard while Jack sleeps inside.


Delight in Jack // One of the main reasons I didn’t think I wanted kids was because I’d heard so many horror stories from moms about their children. While I totally understand that it helps to vent after you’ve had a long night of soothing a baby, I really want to spend this first year of Jack’s life focusing on the positives. The reality is, I will never have this first year back—and I don’t want to miss it! Yes, I look forward to getting a full night’s sleep, and of course there will be days that I wish I could just delete in general, but my hope is that I can choose to delight in caring for Jack and have an overall attitude of gratitude for being his mom, rather than a sour outlook on the “chore” of motherhood.


Run 5 miles … eventually // When I got pregnant, I happened to be in what I would consider the best shape of my life, both mentally and physically. My body image was incredibly healthy, and I did 5 mile trail and hill runs most days of the week. I know it’ll be a long time before I’m back to that place, but I’m not afraid of a challenge! I plan to get back into running slowly once my doctor gives me the go-ahead, as well as incorporate Pilates into my life again to regain some of that core strength I lost during pregnancy.


Continue to grow this space // Over the last year, I made my posts a lot more editorial than personal, and I think I’d like to change course a bit, letting even more of my personality shine through, no matter what the post. I plan to do a lot of style content this year, because it’s fun, as well as some motherhood posts now that I’m in this new role (don’t worry, though, this won’t become a “mommy blog”!). Also, though I’ve failed terribly at any form of consistency with it in the past, I do think I’d like to do more videos. We shall see.


Travel // We admittedly have high hopes for travel in the coming year—from easy road trips to my parents’ house, to flights across the country. We hope to make it out to Big Sur, Austin, and New England with Jack, and also adventure out to the Oregon Coast just the two of us. I look forward to having a lot more adventure in my life in year 28!


Choose present over perfect // In the words of Shauna Niequist: “Present over perfect, indeed. This is life, this is family, this is the great beautiful brave spectacular adventure that is plain old everyday life, and it promises to remind you over and over that perfect is a myth, and that perfect breaks our backs and breaks our hearts. Real life is in the homework, in the shattered glass, in the apologies and kisses and walks to the bus stop…. I want to forgive myself for all the things I’m not, all the things I’ve been trying so hard to be. And I want to hold out my hand and invite the people I love into that same compassion, for ourselves, for one another. I want to be free to love wildly, to be silly, to fail and try again because bravery is worth infinitely more than staying safe on the sidelines, afraid to look foolish. I’m discovering, inch by inch, a new way of spiritual living–less striving, more receiving. More love, less hustle. This is changing everything. Everything.”

Here’s to a brand new year full of love, joy, challenges, growth and hopefully a whole lot of giggles. I’m ready for you, 28!

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  • Maria
    October 15, 2014 at 9:12 am

    So glad you are back Natalie! I am excited for the changes on the blog, especially the clothing!

    • Natalie Lynn Borton
      October 15, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Thanks, Maria! I’m eager to get back into some style posts very soon!!

  • Cheryl Kozachenko
    October 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Happy Birthday Natalie! You are such a wonderful delight! I deeply appreciate you sharing yourself with the internet. I really love your voice and I can’t tell you how much you’ve inspired me over the years. Congrats on your adorable Jack. I can’t wait to see you grow as a family. Anyway, Happy 28 and thank you!

  • Urban Wife
    October 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Happy birthday! I’m looking forward to seeing what this next year brings for you and my favorite, the style posts. A wine & cheese tasting sounds delightful– enjoy it!! :)

    • Natalie Borton
      October 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you! I’m definitely eager to start doing non-bump style photos in the near future!

  • Ruth
    October 15, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Love this post! Happy, happy birthday! Ditto on wanting to really enjoy this first year of motherhood :) and we want to go to big sur and Austin too this next year! And boston/New York and Chicago. So excited to travel with the little man!

    • Natalie Borton
      October 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks, girl! Great minds think alike on travel plans it seems :) We are both excited and nervous for taking trips with Jack—praying he is a good traveler, haha.

  • Laura
    October 15, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Hope you had a lovely birthday! You have some wonderful ideas for this coming year. Looking forward to reading!

  • Sara
    October 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Happy birthday! Your intentions for this next year, and first year as a mommy, are spot on. It’s so cliche but it goes by fast and reminding yourself to slow down, enjoy it and not expect perfect is important. Cheers to you and that awesome little guy of yours!

  • Allie Marie Smith
    October 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Great goals! Happy birthday friend!

  • ali grace
    October 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Can I just say “Amen!’ to all of this? You’re such an encouragement and this definitely makes me to think more about what my upcoming 28th year of life will look like. No baby for us (yet!), but I definitely still relate to so many of your hopes and dreams. Looking forward to some more personal posts from your inspiring heart. :)

  • Kristy Collins
    October 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Love your birthday reflections/goals. Especially date your hubby (so, so important to maintain once a baby enters the picture…Chris and I are entering a new season of commitment in this area), present over perfect (amen), and to delight in Jack. I had no idea I was a BABY person until Mateo entered our lives. And, despite the late nights, the sometimes-unending crying (me and/or the baby), and the not-knowing-what-the-heck-we-are-doing moments, it was the most amazing and precious year of our lives. It flies by in an instant. I always thought it was annoying when people said that to me, but oh is it the truth!!