Our First Family Vacation

We finally had our first little family vacation over the Labor Day weekend.  Earlier last month we found out that Alex didn’t have class on Saturday or Friday (a very rare occasion), so we decided to turn a three day weekend into a 4 day adventure!

We packed up the car on Wednesday and headed out right after Alex got out of work on Thursday.

We visited my parents and stayed the night there to break up all the driving. Then Friday morning we had breakfast with Grandpa and met Grandma for lunch at her school.  All the fourth graders were “oohing” and “ahhhing” over Teddy.  One girl even said (as Teddy was yawning), “Man, it’s hard to be so adorable. He needs a nap!” And he did.  He fell asleep right there in the midst of all the craziness.

After that we began the trek to San Diego for a fun filled weekend.  We stopped at Seaport Village to walk around and eat ice cream. YUM! It was a million degrees out though so we decided to check into our hotel and make a plan.

The Cotsenmoyer Clan joined us later that evening and we planned out the weekend.  Sea World on Saturday, then Hotel del Coronado on Sunday and the beach!

We woke up early on Saturday because Teddy boy doesn’t sleep past 6:30 am. Amy thought there was a cat outside their hotel room and Trav said, “No, that’s just Teddy.”  Mr. Smiley needs to learn that not EVERYONE loves to be all “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” at the booty-crack of dawn. Anywho, Tenley and Camden came over to our room (meaning they busted in through the door between our rooms and hung out with us while we all got ready for the day. Tenley is so sweet with Teddy. She loves to hold and hug him — I seriously die every time.  If they do end up getting married we have some seriously awesome wedding slideshow material.

Sea World with a three month old is a total blast and one he’ll obviously remember for his whole life. Juuuuust kidding.

The trip was really more us adults remembering our childhood trips to Sea World and watching Tenley freak out over all the cool animals. Still, it was fun!

Teddy was a champ. He napped whenever he was tired and practically lived in the carrier. Go me and Daddy for caring him around everywhere.  Amy and I even ducked into a few dark exhibits to nurse our kids and get them to sleep — because we’re pros like that.

We caught almost every show and hit every exhibit. Then we went back to our hotel ate pizza, jumped on the beds with Tenley and went to sleep.

Sunday was more relaxed. We slept in a bit (Teddy slept the entire night, which Auntie Am credits to herself for her awesome skills at putting children to bed). We grabbed a buffet breakfast at our hotel and then packed up the car for the beach. We drove over to Hotel del Coronado and grabbed parking spots a million miles away and apart from each other. Then we enjoyed some chips and a half a glass of moscato (ahhh, crisp and refreshing).

Then we took our rag-tag group and all our ish down to the beach. Amy pushed her crazy mess allll the way down to the shore with her double bob. She’s a beast! We parked it and set up the umbrella. Tenley ran into the waves with Trav while Teddy and Camden slept. Then once he was awake we took the Bubs out into the water. It was freezing and he wasn’t a huge fan, but as always he’s up for anything and he was a trooper. I honestly can’t imagine how my Mom would just let us drift out into the water and play in the waves. It’s totally scary. I may just keep Teddy chained to me until he graduates high school so he can’t ever get hurt. Okay, fine… I won’t. I’ll only do it until junior high.

Anywho, we all parted ways and then drove back to Riverside to spend the rest of our weekend with the Lopez family. But first, I got to have a little break with my best. Amy called me up on Monday morning and told me to meet her at the nail place. We grabbed Starbucks and had a wonderful pedicure — kid free. I miss that girl like CRAZY!

Then, it was off to Nana and Papa’s. It’s always such a sweet time when we can get the grandkids together. I really do cherish it. We always have a blast. It breaks my heart and makes it full every time we see them. Julian LOVES his little Tito and always wants to hold him. Emmy is just the sweetest little thing and I want to squish her all day.

I can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to grow our family on both the Lopez and Thomazin sides and who knows… maybe one day the Cotsenmoyers and Lopezes will join forces?

How We Told Our Family

Since Alex and I have been trying for while to get pregnant we’ve had some time to think about what to do to tell our family once we were expecting. First up, my parents.

Growing up, every Friday night, we had Family Pizza night where my parents would order pizza and we would watch movies. So, Alex and I called Dominos Pizza on our way to Riverside and ordered a pizza with the words “Baby” spelled out in Pepperoni. They were less than helpful and ended up telling us they were too busy to accommodate us — Boo, Dominos. But Alex took control and called Romano’s Pizza in Canyon Crest and they graciously created our pizza.

I wrote on the inside of the lid “We’re having a…” and then “Baby” was spelled out in the pepperoni. We drove to my parents after being stuck in traffic for 3 hours and arrive with a cold pizza. My parents had already eaten, I was starving and my parents were already in bed. Nevertheless we were so stoked to share the news with them. I opened the box and said, “Oh my gosh, guys… look what they wrote on our pizza?”

My parents stared and in unison said, “We’re having a… Pizza?” With utter confusion on their faces.

My jaw dropped. “Mom, Dad, what does it say ooooonnnn the pizza?”

In unison, “We’re having a…. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Then they jumped out of bed and hugged us and screamed (well, my Dad said, “Ah-hah! Well good deal!” and hugged us).

Then we ate the baby pizza.

My sister and brother weren’t there for the occasion so I had to think on my feet about how to tell my brother. It went something like this:

JT: “So, I’m looking at two cars. One has a lot of space for my drums and the other is really cool looking.”

Me: “Cool, well just make sure you get one that can fit a car seat.”

JT: “Yeah.”

Me: “For your little niece of nephew.”

JT: “Yeah.”

Alex: “Cuz, you’re going to have one…”

JT: “Wait… what?”

Then he hugged me.

For my sister I designed a onesie with an iron on that said, “I <3 My Aunt”.

I wrapped it up, put it on her bed and told her she had to call me when she was opening it so I could hear her reaction.

She opened it an said, “Nat… are you serious?!”

Then we virtually hugged, talked about baby stuff and wedding stuff and cried because we were both so excited for each other.


On Sunday we were driving back to Camarillo and planned on seeing Alex’s family in LA since they were serving at the Harvest Crusade. In Alex’s family COFFEE is a huge deal. We all LOVE coffee and especially Starbucks — yes, we’re a cult and proud of it.

Anywho, Alex and I text everyone (Mom, Dad, Chris and Amber) to ask what they wanted from SBUX on us. We didn’t know they had already had some and we were meeting them for breakfast so no one was really into coffee. NOOOOOO!! But Alex and I said, “Forget it. We’re getting it anyway.”

So we pulled up and ordered everyone their usual, but on each cup Alex wrote their respective names: Grandma, Papa, Uncle Chris, and Aunt Amber.

Then we took bets on who would notice.  We both decided Amber would notice first.

We found parking and we’re about to meet up with them when a HUGE Harvest mob started coming towards us. Everyone was stopping us for hugs and quick chats but I was so nervous I’m pretty sure I just stared awkwardly at everyone and I was so nervous that someone was going to see the cups!

After the crowd passed Alex’s Mom reached for the tray and said, “Oh! Grandma, that’s me. And here’s Papa’s.” And didn’t think anything of it, since they are already grandparents to little Julian. Alex was holding Amber’s and she said, “Does mine say, ‘Amber Amber’? Wait… does it say, ‘Aunt Amber’?”

Booya, we were right. She figured it out first! Then Debbie turned around and screamed, “Are you pregnant?!”

I was so nervous I just keep shaking my head yes and Alex had a HUGE grin on his face. Everyone shouted and hugged us and Julian looked confused — probably because he was wondering where his Starbucks was.

So there you have it, folks! The family reveal — we are so blessed by this crazy group.

Love you guys!

Baby | 4 Weeks (I think…)

We’re having a baby! It’s insane. I still can’t believe it.

For those of you who don’t know, Alex and I have been trying for a little over 10 months to have a baby so this little soon-to-be bundle is pretty much amazing.

Okay, on to the week 4 update, which is pretty much the, “I-just-found-out-I’m-pregnant-week”. I still feel like I’m constantly asking and saying, “Am I pregnant? I don’t really feel pregnant.” At this point, I pretty much take a pregnancy test every morning just to make sure. I’ve already scheduled our 8 week but seriously, it can’t come soon enough. I am a complete wreck. Why aren’t I throwing up yet?! Seriously, you guys, I’ve never wanted to throw up so much in my life and I HATE throwing up.

It’s a whole new experience and am I ready for it? NOPE! I completely thought that knowing I was pregnant would take some anxiety away — boy, I was so wrong! Now I have a whole new set of emotions and questions… even though most of my friends will tell you I’m totally that annoying know-it-all who knows everything there is to know about babies. I had a subscription to babycenter.com 2 years ago. Yes, I’m that person.

What gives me peace in this whole thing though, is that I am completely aware God is in control and that this baby is a gift. I have had so many amazingly, wonderful people praying for us during this time of trying to conceive and I have appreciated them all. I have learned how to trust God even more during this time and I can’t express my overwhelming joy at this blessing. I just can’t wait hug it and kiss it and love on it for a long, long, long time. God is so good and we are so happy to begin this journey.

Keep on liftin’ it up peeps!

We love ya,
Leelo and Ander + 1

Two Lines

Me: “I’m going to take a bath, or we can go in the jacuzzi if you want to…”
Alex: “Okay…”
Me: “We don’t have to.”
Alex: “Yeah, that’s okay. You can take a bath.”

Nat walks to the bathroom, carrying a candle and her laptop to watch a Rom Com.

Nat: (Thinks to self) “Gosh, it’s still early but maybe…”

Nat walks to the cupboard and takes out a test. An early one.

Nat: (Thinks to self) “This makes sense, right? I am 3 days early… but I’m showing some signs. Ugh, what the heck. We’ve ben trying for 10 months why not take one? At least I’ll know and if it’s negative, I can prepare myself. Okay… here it goes.”

Approximately 4(ish) minutes later…


Nat: (Thinks to self) “TWO LINES! TWO LINES! That’s pregnant, right? I’ve never seen two lines before. What do I do? I had this whole thing planned out on how I was going to tell him. Dinner and that teddy bear I… oh, CRAP. I left it at our old apartment. Well, Jonna is still there… but how do I explain that I need to go get it?”

Nat: “Hey! I forgot something at Jonna’s that I need for subbing tomorrow. I’ll just go run and get it. Do you want frozen yogurt? Okay, bye!”

(Thinks to self) “He doesn’t suspect… right? No. It’s fine.”

Arrives at apartment. Lots of jumping up and down. Grabs bear. Drives back — slowly and carefully.

Nat: (Opens door — shaking) “Hey, don’t be mad. I bought a shirt at Anthro for work and I left it at the apartment.

Alex: “It’s okay. Hey! I found something awesome. Come look.”

Nat: (Thinks to self) “Oh no! Did he find the test?! I threw it in the drawer really quick before I left. Maybe he found it?”

Alex: “It’s that rug we want. But guess what? It’s 75% off, just today…” (Then he says a lot of other stuff that I don’t remember because I’m so nervous!)

Nat: “That’s so cool, Bub. Hey… I’m sorry I forgot to get you frozen yogurt, but I think that what I did get you is better.”

Alex: (Opens up anthro bag. Looks up) “Is this? Bubbie? Is this?”

Nat: (Shakes head “yes” and starts crying).

Alex begins to sob, holding the bear and soaking it with his tears of joy.

We’re speechless. TWO LINES.

P.S. I took another test like 5 seconds later. A real one and it was positive. Not even my first pee of the day or anything (TMI, sorry).


This is happening. Thank you LORD!!

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” – 1 Samuel 1:27–28

Family Yearbooks

I was looking for a way to organize my photos from over the years in a book, but in a more creative way — Pinterest to the rescue! I saw a neat idea on pinterest and decided to adopt it for our family.

Using Shutterfly I started taking all my photos from iPhoto, organized by year, and began creating books complete with Alex’s and my descriptions of events, thoughts, feelings, and even funny pictures of our pets. Then, on the back pages we each sign them with our hopes and wishes for the next year.

I can’t wait to look back in the years to come at all God’s done in our lives and I’m looking forward to reading all the funny and sweet things our future kids will write in these yearbooks as well.

Happy Pinning and Creating!