An invisible snapshot

This week’s Small Moments Monday guest poster is one of the nicest, most dynamic people I’ve ever known.

I mean, Natalie’s not just nice. She’s beyond nice.  She’s kind, generous, funny, and absolutely stunning.

Oh, and on top of that?  She has one-year old twins.  And a toddler. 

And she gardens and cooks and reads and appreciates wine and writes a great blog, Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins.

The remarkable part is that even with all of that crazy overachieving, I just love her. 

I am thrilled to have Natalie here on Small Moments Mondays.  Her life is so hectic and full, yet she still manages to appreciate those priceless moments that slip by so easily if you aren’t paying attention.

Thank you for sharing your small moment, Natalie.  I absolutely adore you.

An Invisible Snapshot — by Natalie

When Nichole asked me if I would be interested in writing for Small Moments Mondays, I jumped at the chance! I love sweet Nichole and her beautiful writing. It’s an honor to be here Chole, thank you very much for having me.

I also instantly knew what I would write about…a small moment that will forever make me happy and that I will never forget. I wrote a post at the end of June about the minute I knew that my son, Tater, was growing up and no longer a toddler. He’s a little boy now. It’s bittersweet to watch him grow – I know that one of these days he’s going to be all grown up and I won’t be the most important person in his life anymore. He’ll have his friends, and someday his own life and family. I look forward to all of that, but it makes me a little sad too.

I never really cared for the saying “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away“. I thought it was kind of cheesy. Maybe I felt that way because I had never had my breath taken away before. Surely my wedding day brought with it so many emotions and feelings of joy and love that I had never felt before, but it didn’t take my breath away. When my children were born, I was exhausted and so loopy from drugs that those moments, while amazing, didn’t take my breath away.

But back in June, I had a moment that took my breath away. On a whim, Jason asked if I wanted to pack the kids up and take them to get ice cream. This was a totally sporadic thing (and also quite possibly a really bad idea) as it happened right around the twins’ bedtime. Since the weather was beautiful and Tater had been cooped up all day, we decided to risk it. We loaded the kids into the car and took off.

We went down to our local little mall-type area…you know…lots of shops, a Starbucks, and a movie theater. Cold Stone Creamery is there, too. We got Tater his own little chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups mixed in, and we went to sit out by the big fountain in the courtyard. Tater threw 20 cents worth of pennies in the fountain. The twins enjoyed being outside and all the commotion. Life was good.

After Tater finished his ice cream, he ran along the courtyard and the grassy area near the fountain. Jason started chasing him around. Tater was SO happy. Really, I wish I had my camera to get a few shots of them chasing each other and Tater’s belly laughs! It was about 7:45 p.m., and the sun was starting to set. And Tater was running up and down the little grassy hills.

And then…it happened…an invisible snapshot was taken that will forever be etched into my memory. It wasn’t of his smiling, laughing face so much as it was a snapshot of his blond hair flying around in the setting sun. We are letting his hair grow out, so it’s getting long, and when he runs the breeze catches it. The light shining through it struck me for some reason – it struck me in the heart. And it took my breath away.

Four months later, when I think about that picture in my head, it still makes me cry…but it’s a happy cry. They grow up so quickly, and they are only little for such a short period of time. He used to be my baby, and now he’s my little boy. He is so carefree, so innocent…I just want to bottle up his youth to smell it and remember it later.

But I have the snapshot, and right now, that will have to do.

Now that you’ve seen this side sentimental of Natalie, be sure to pop on over to her blog and see just how amazingly diverse she is.  For a beautiful example of the work she’s doing on her fiction writing, read The Window.   Then check out Happy Birthday Ladies to read a love letter to her sweet baby girls.  To get a feel for her humorous side, check out Mommy Needs a Time Out.  Finally, to see a delicious example of the amazing recipes she posts, go drool over her Holy Cow Cake.


  1. Maureen

    How beautifully written! It really is those little moments that sometimes caught us by surprise and took our breathe away.

  2. CDG

    What a lovely snapshot, Natalie!

    And what a great blogger to showcase, Nichole!

  3. ksluiter

    Very awesome post, Natalie! What a great reminder about the little glimpses of life that mean more than any of the big glimpses put together!

  4. Dolli-Mama

    What a beautiful moment. They grow up so fast!

  5. Ahh.. I can really relate to this, Natalie. My "little" boys are 11 and 7 now and I sometimes long for the baby and toddler days, as hard as they were. I too have had those moments that have taken my breath away. Boys get to the age where it's just not cool to be all about mom and to say "I love you" to mom. anymore. Last night when I put my 7 year old to bed he, without any prompting on my part, said, "I love you, mom"! I was floating around on cloud nine for the rest of the night!

  6. It really will be a moment you will remember and cherish, forever… Having lost everything a couple of times to bad weather, etc., I can attest that those will always be with you — no matter how old they get and it's wonderful… Nice to see this softer side of you…

  7. relomoms

    What a perfect, sweet memory, Nat!! Those random moments are often the best kinds!

  8. Natalie

    Nichole – this is one of my favorite memories, thanks for inviting me over to share it!

  9. KLZ

    It's amazing to think that you yourself can hold so many little amazing instants in your heart, isn't it?

  10. mayangelstar

    It's amazing what hits us in the heart. That small little glimpse and it does take your breath away. I love those unexpected moments.

  11. Oh, so sweet and so lovely.

    And you know my thoughts on this.

    Take all the snapshots you can. Ones with cameras ones with your mind…

    Take them and keep them someplace safe.

    So, so lovely.

    And now I want ice cream. ;)

  12. KludgyMom

    Lori said it best….the mental snapshots will start to come fast and furious. Try to keep them in that brain of yours…they are precious. :)

  13. Thanks for sharing… I will have to check this out!

  14. TornadoTwos

    I love this. I have so many of these moments with each of my children, and now you have them all running through my head and it makes me want to cry. It REALLY does go by so fast!

  15. C.Mom

    Love this and love Natalie!!

  16. kris

    I love those moments that take my breath away.

    There are more lately, as the girls grow and I begin to see who they will be.

    Who they are.

    Not me. And yet me.


    This was lovely.

  17. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    I love those moments when you see your child for exactly who they are at exactly that moment. Priceless. Just priceless. So glad to see you featured over here Natalie!

  18. So sweet, I could picture this just as you described it. A beautiful, seemingly small moment but really so big :) My son is 5 and losing his baby teeth, tucking him in the other night with his big toothless grin staring back at me took my breath away like that. He's caught between a little boy and a full fledged BOY…sooo bittersweet. Enjoy your adorable little guy and those carefree moments with his beautiful blond hair shining in the sun :)

  19. Sherri

    OK, I'm right there with you, watching Tater run and smile….perfect, and what an incredible turning point in your mind and heart.

    Nichole, I agree 100% with everything you said about Nat. What an awesome post!

  20. Peggy

    what a great guest post, and what a true small moment. I'm glad that this busy mom stopped to appreciate it. It warms my heart to hear a young mom appreciate their child's childhood.

  21. Kerry@butlerway

    beautifully written as I can see your sweet boy and the sun catching in his hair. I enjoyed this! It does go by so fast and these moments will last forever.

  22. That was a sentimental side, but your description of the moment Natalie was so crystal clear, I could see it myself.

  23. Rachel

    Ugggg! They grow up WAY TOO FAST!! Beautifully written!

  24. Tonya

    I remember when Natalie posted this on her own blog and how it sort of took my breath away then. Nice to re-read it here. It's a beautiful visual snap shot and one that she is sure to carry with her for years and years to come.

  25. Alexandra174

    I know just what you're talking about. When it actually aches to look at them, the sight is so beautiful. And you remember, always,…

  26. Such a beautiful memory. They really do grow up so fast.

  27. Kmama

    I love the idea of Small Moment Mondays!! Hi Nichole! New follower!

    Natalie, you did such a good job describing that moment, that I can see it!! I can see his blonde hair, caught up in the breeze. Great job!

  28. Love her!!

  29. @sogeshirts

    Wow Natalie that was beautiful. I really could almost picture that picture of him you described it so eloquently. They do grow up way too fast.

  30. Megan-Best of Fates

    I love those moments when you just pause and know that life is perfect and you'll remember an image and feeling forever.

    I also love cheese.

    But that's irrelevant.

  31. Really , I can't believe this is the first time I'm here. I will be back, for sure. And lovely post, Natalie. I remember when you wrote briefly about that moment on your blog and I know just what you're talking about. – that tender fleeting instant – like music or a smell – that brings back an amazing memory.

  32. The funny thing is that I am "that mom" who carries her camera everywhere trying to capture those moments. But, lately I have decided to drink them up and enjoy them. Not worry about if I caught it on camera because those moments never leave our own memories. And some day, I will need that memory! What an awesome post!

  33. Maryline

    I feel the exact same way with my little boy. Trying hard to enjoy every moments. At least those when he's not throwing food across the room.

    Thank you Nathalie for sharing this sweet moment!

  34. Brittany

    I know that feeling and I hold it so close. I try to reach back just a little further and grasp the fleeting months of baby but it is so hard once they are toddlers to focus again on their first days. This was beautifully written.

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