What Exactly Is My Problem?


Today I saw a video of a young girl giving some kind of singing performance. It looked like a small gathering of parents or something… maybe a school thing? Or a small singing concert for her teacher? I’m not sure. She is about 14 years old now, I think. I gave her singing lessons when she was about 9 and boy does she sound so different (and awesome!!) now that she’s maturing.

Watching her sing brings pangs of envy. Her parents are very musical and have always encouraged and helped harness her musical talent. My parents, while not so musical, have always encouraged me to sing, too. And watching this girl sing on the video at 14 years old makes me cry at my parents in my head “Why didn’t you take me to singing lessons? Why didn’t you do more for me?”… Of course I know that my parents had many financial difficulties when I was growing up. And not only that, living in a small town, I lacked opportunity.

But, let’s face it, it’s been 10 years since I lived with my parents and they were responsible, in part, for giving me singing lessons or what ever. And they did give me just about everything that I wanted in that sense. Ballet lessons, drama lessons, drama camps, piano lessons… etc. It’s definitely not my parents fault that I didn’t have singing lessons or concerts when I was 14. And since moving out of home I’ve had 10 years to do what I want to do. It’s me who I should be asking “Why didn’t you take me to more singing lessons?”… It’s me who has been delaying this. Or maybe it has just taken me this long to realise just how important this is to me and just how important it is that I get it done.

Sometimes I can be hard on myself, though. In the ten years since I moved out of home I have worked on my singing and I have performed and what-not. I spent a year working and studying as a singer which meant practicing and having singing lessons every day as well as performing at least 5 times a week. I studied music and musical theatre at university, too. I was at university for 5 years. And I’ve sung with a number of bands at weddings and various other functions. I’ve sung at a gazillion family weddings and funerals (ok, maybe not a gazillion) and I’ve taught and mentored at various vocal workshops in different parts of the world.

So what exactly is my problem? What’s going on here?

Well, basically, I’m not singing now. I’m not performing. And so I feel as though I haven’t achieved anything singing wise. And the older I get the more I fear that I’m getting… well, too old.


What to do but get on with it, huh?
I need to make the time to practice & learn & create.
I need to.



Three Days Later

I’ve spent the past 3 days mostly in bed.

Or in the bathroom.

But mostly in bed.

Yep, I’m sick.

Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who takes on both of our roles when I’m ill. He does all the cooking and cleaning, entertaining and taking care of the children. And brings me what I need too.

I love that he’s so helpful and supportive. What would I do if he wasn’t here? Who would take care of my babies when I’m sick? Boy, am I lucky to have him. I’m so grateful for all of the time and care he puts into all of us when I’m unable to get out of bed.

But with the gratitude comes the guilt and the worry.
I know that it takes a lot of work and energy to do all of those things and not get a break for yourself. I know he must be tired after being at work all week. And I feel guilty and sad that I can’t do my share of the work. I worry about his health and well-being. How can I take care of him as well?

Ah! What to do?

He says the most important thing is for me to rest and get well so that things can go back to normal as quickly as possible. And he’s right. If I push myself without taking the time to be well, I will stay sick for longer and his having to do so much will drag on and on.

So here I am, three days later. I’m still in my bed, feeling somewhat better and hoping that this illness will pass quickly so that we can all get back to ‘normal’. And then maybe I can plan to give him some time to rest and recuperate himself.

Thank you, my Papacito!
You take such good care of us.

xx N.

Photo-A-Daying: March 11 – 20

Here’s the next installment of my photos from Photo A Day for March!

I don’t always have time to really think about the photo I’m going to take. I usually have it in the back of my mind all day and then just before the light fades, or I fade and go to bed, I quickly find something to photograph.

Day 11: Someone I Talked To Today


Day 12: Fork


Day 13: A Sign


Day 14: Clouds


Day 15: Car


Day 16: Sunglasses


Day 17: Green


Day 18: A Corner Of My Home


Day 19: Funny


Day 20: Before/After


Well, that’s it….
For now 🙂
More to come!

xx Natalie

Follow me on instagram: njcardenas

What to write when you have nothing to say?


I am plagued with this disease where I want to write on my blog but every time I go to do it I think I have nothing to say. It’s not enough to say what I did today, or what I’d like to do tomorrow. It’s not enough to say that I’m really content tonight. Or is it? Should I write about the cafe style raisin toast I just ate with a smashed banana on top? Probably not. That would be boring. But that’s my problem. To me, everything sounds boring. Who wants to hear about the awesome train track I built today? Probably nobody.

But if I have this attitude when I come to write something, isn’t that going to be felt through my words?
Most likely.

So what is it in me that tells me nobody will be interested in what I have to say? Or what I’ve been doing? Or where I’m going?

It’s me. It’s all me. And my built-in and annoying issues with how much I’m achieving…. or not.

The truth is, I’m achieving a lot. I have two children (two years and under) who I’m teaching and taking care of every day. I’ve just potty trained one and the littlest is learning to use his spoon! I’m also growing a third, which zaps most of my energy and, at almost 17 weeks, is still making me throw up every morning. I change nappies, entertain, clean, cook, feed, dance, play, teach children to sleep… each and every day. It is exhausting. And yet, to me, I’m still not achieving enough.

I guess it’s not enough to be a full-on, flat-out, busy mother. And I mean just a mother. Not a mother with a part time job or a mother who runs her own business or even a mother with a popular blog. In my head, those, are the ones who are achieving stuff because, lets face it, those are the ones we hear about on t.v., on the dvds they send us home with from the hospital after we’ve given birth; those are the ones people talk about.

Today I constructed a train track for my boys. I really enjoyed it. And so did they.
For me, today, that was a great achievement!
And so was the cooking and the cleaning, the getting everyone to sleep (or not) on time, the ability to go with the flow as my 2 and a half year old resisted his daily nap (that’s a story for another day) and the hypnobirthing session I managed to squeeze in.

Oh, and look! Here’s another one! I’m finally posting on my blog. Hurrah!

To all those mothers out there who are just mothers like me, I hope you have a wonderful week recognising all that you achieve every. single. day.

xx Natalie


It’s Written in the Stars


I can’t choose the gender of my baby.

I can almost choose the part of the year in which I would like the baby to be born and what star sign I’d like him or her to be. But I can’t choose if that baby is a boy or a girl. It’s out of my hands.

Isn’t that wonderful?

I think YES!
What is meant to be for me & for my family…. is meant to be.

I have two boys already. They are brilliant. I love that my first two children are the same gender. They are great together and it’s so fun to see how different their personalities are.

This time around I’d love to have a girl.
Having said that, I’d also love to have a boy.

I imagine I’d feel so protected with 4 boys (and eventually young men) in the house. Not to mention I’d remain the Queen of the Castle.

And then, a little darling girl would be so wonderful also.

I can’t choose the gender of my baby.
And that’s fine by me.

It’s written in the stars.

xx Natalie.


Photo-A-Day-ing: March 1 – 10

Ok, so I didn’t manage to complete the Photo A Day Challenge in January. I simply got too sick with morning sickness and could barely make it through each day just taking care of my two kids.

But I’m back!

Fat Mum Slim’s Photo A Day Challenge is well under way now, and since the month began I have been feeling so much better.

Here are my photos from the first ten days. All images are captured with my iPhone 4S.

1. Up


2. Fruit


3. My Neighbourhood


4. Bedside


5. A Smile


6. 5pm

7. Something I Wore


8. Window


9. Red


10. Loud


Of course, if you follow my Instagram feed you have seen these already. If you don’t follow me on Instagram and would like to, my username is njcardenas.

xx Nat