Take Us to the Snow

family tree

When I was five years old, my dad promised to take me and my sister to the snow. We lived in a suburb of Los Angeles, and the idea of snow was as foreign to me as the idea that people lived … Continue reading →

I Am Not A Grown-Up

Christmas Unicorn

The most unexpected part of being a grown-up is how little I feel grown up. My life does not in the slightest resemble the one I imagined for myself (well, except for the handsome husband part––shout-out to Mike!). Although Happily … Continue reading →

What If


“Should we wait for Emile?” I ask. Grandpa doesn’t slow down, and each steady stride of his equals three of mine, even though everyone tells me I’m tall for my age. “No,” Grandpa answers. Emile is my sister. It’s pronounced … Continue reading →

Surprise Neighbors, Or Why I Love Camping


“Shoot, I forgot the tinfoil. For the baked potatoes.” I looked at Mike, who kept his eyes ahead on the path’s gentle curves. It hugged the ocean, the way back to the campsite. “That’s okay. We’ll figure something out,” he … Continue reading →

How to Plan a Camping Trip, Natalie-Style

Schedule your trip to immediately follow a major holiday. This way, you ensure the maximum amount of stress while you’re preparing for both the holiday and the trip. Make sure you over-commit during the week prior to your trip.  Volunteer … Continue reading →

Camping on the Beach


One of my favorite times of year is fast approaching, and I am feeling the customary combination of giddy anticipation and frazzled nerves. No, I’m not talking about spring break – that ship sailed long ago (and my do I miss … Continue reading →