Hi Friends! Iā€™m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



Browse my easy, family-friendly recipes and get some dinner inspiration!


Check out my outfit ideas and family finds for inspiration.


My best beauty tips and tricks for glowing skin and shiny hair.


Visiting Charleston?

check out my faves!

7 Years, Our Story and 7 Thoughts on Marriage

Sep 12, 2014

On Monday Matt and I will celebrate 7 years of marriage.  On one hand it feels like an eternity on the other hand it feels like that 7 years has flown by in the blink of eye.  We bought our first house together, welcomed two beautiful children, and Matt started his own law firm- so many major life changes in 7 years.

When I wrote my post about being uninspired several of you wanted to know more about Matt and I and how we met.   Here is our story.  

When I was about 15-16 I worked at a restaurant in Southpark Mall called Arthurs, Matt claims he remembers me from then taking his order.  I worked at the counter so I encountered basically everyone that ate there.   The funny thing is he actually worked at Abercrombie and Fitch around the same time and I remember him from working there.   I distinctly remember taking my mom in there to show her “the hot guy” working.  But don’t worry he wasn’t the shirtless guy at the front door ever.  During this time period we never actually met.  

Fast forward to college.  I was at UNC Chapel Hill and Matt was at UNC Wilmington freshman year.  He came to visit his good friend Ryan and we ran into them at a party.  We hung out that whole night and even shared a kiss.  He left the next day to head back to Wilmington.  We never exchanged numbers or anything.  4 years passed before I saw him again but I always stained my friends ears about him and how cute he was and how no one I dated I liked as much as him.  I dated 3 guys between this time period and none measured up.  Luck have it, senior year I ran into him again at Top of the Hill.  At this point he had transferred to Chapel Hill but I didn’t know.  We hung out that whole night and the rest is history, we just kept on dating a good long 6 years til he proposed! Funny thing is I still vividly remember that first night we met back up and going back to his place to hang out.   I remember he and Ryan served me box wine in a coffee mug- so classy, haha the days of college!!

We only broke up once in those six years and the break didn’t last too long, I honestly can’t even remember now why we broke up!  We did long distance for 3 of those years while Matt was in law school in Charleston.  My job then allowed me to travel to Charleston monthly so it worked perfect.  I was old fashioned and didn’t want to live together til we got married- of course I stayed with him while I came to Charleston to work.  Long distance is not easy but we saw each other often since the drive was only 3 hours. Matt proposed right after New Years 2007 at the Grove Park Inn.  I was totally surprised and the proposal was just perfect.  He had asked my dad’s permission before and picked out the perfect ring.  We had actually browsed rings a few months earlier and this one was my favorite.  It was a vintage ring set in gold with three stones,  I still adore it 7 years later.

We got married September 15th 2007 in Charlotte at my church (Sharon United Methodist) and had our reception at The Morehead Inn.  It was the best day of my life besides the birth of my children.

Get ready for picture overload- I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. Excuse the quality of some of the pics I got too lazy to scan them and just used my phone:)

I adore these two pictures of my parents.  They look so happy:)  My dad made a big batch of kamikaze shots (his specialty) and we had the cutest monogram glasses made that we passed out with the shots in them.  This is my Dad giving the toast before our shots.

 and one of my favorite pictures of the night although it is missing Matt and my sister but I just love this pic of me, my parents, and my brother we are all in our own worlds!

Ok so lets talk about marriage.

Here is the honest truth dating is easy.  Being married is hard.  It wasn’t hard in the beginning but after you have kids,  damn it is hard and it takes work and effort. Let me say Matt and I do not have a picture perfect marriage it is from that and I am no marriage expert.  We are constantly working on our relationship and have our fair share of fights- that is true life (for us at least).   But I do feel like I have learned a lot in 7 years about myself and marriage. I also feel like Matt and I are constantly working on our marriage and that helps.  Since we are celebrating 7 years I thought I would share 7 thoughts on marriage would love to hear your advice too!!

 ONE || Make sure your spouse is your best friend first and foremost.  If you don’t have a good relationship outside the bedroom things won’t last.  Matt makes me laugh harder than anyone I know and that is what I love about him most.  We can have a crappy evening and still come home and laugh about it.

TWO || Communication, this is key!!  You have to talk about things and talk often.  Express your wishes, desires, and wants.  There is a quote that says ” expectation is the root of all heartache ” and I think about it often.  It really applies a lot to marriage. We get ideas in our head of how we want things to be and if we don’t express them how does the other person know what we are thinking.  

THREE || Intimacy is key.  I remember my friend telling me that her minister told them before they got married to make sure they kissed, held hands, or touched everyday.  It is little things like that keep you connected.  After kids we all are exhausted but it is so important to keep that intimate level of your relationship going.

FOUR || Make one on one time for each other.  Matt and I don’t do a lot of date nights.  He works late many nights and on the weekends we either hang with other couples or the kids.  But we still try to spend one on time together.  We DVR shows we like to watch together (We loved Breaking Bad, House of Cards and now Anthony Bourdain) and do that after the kids are in bed or we pour a cocktail and go sit outside and catch up after they are in bed.  You have to connect one on one without the kids. and it doesn’t have to be a fancy date night,  there are so many little ways to incorporate one on one time.

FIVE ||  Say I love you frequently.  Even though your spouse knows it, it is important to say those words.  I tell Matt this every night before we go to bed and every time we talk on the phone.

SIX || Compromise  This is really what marriage is about and makes it work.  You have to do things that make the other person happy even if it is not what you want to do.  Matt and I both have many different interests but we try and do things that make the other person happy even if it is not what we want to do.

SEVEN || Have fun.  Don’t  take everything so seriously.  Life is short, laugh, and forgive easily.

and for a good laugh this Friday I loved these ECards:)

+ view comments

Leave a Reply

  1. Mel G says:

    Love this and love you two! Congratulations on 7 years. Beautiful pics!

  2. elisabeth says:

    It's no surprise you were a beautiful bride. I swear I love your going away dress as much as your gown. One of my only regrets about our wedding is not changing before we left the reception – I love that tradition! Happy (almost) anniversaryy – here's to 70 more!

  3. I got chills reading this. What a lovely story & what a beautiful wedding! Happy early anniversary sweet friend!

  4. Nickie says:

    Happy Anniversary!! This is a great post and I appreciate your sharing your story. The 7 thoughts on marriage are spot on and some of them I really needed to hear again so thanks for sharing that too. I hope ya'll celebrate AT LEAST 50 more years! Have a great weekend!!

  5. Irene Toohey says:

    Simply STUNNING Natalie! You looked so gorgeous and happy. Loved seeing all those photos. Thanks for all your tips too, they are all so true and good to be reminded šŸ™‚

  6. Great post! I found myself smiling SO BIG when I was reading your story. That is fate working at it's best!! Happy almost Anniversary to you two!

  7. DawnW says:

    Oh my gosh! I worked at Arthur's in high school too! I am 5 or so years older than you, I think. I worked there from '92-'94 while I was at Myers Park and then the summer after my freshman year at UNC. Small world!! Love your story!

  8. alexis says:

    I have never commented before but read your blog everyday. I had to say something when I saw that we had the same wedding dress!! I loved it so much. My husband and I also just made 7 years šŸ™‚

  9. A Manolescu says:

    Happy Anniversary, you two. Your wedding photos are gorgeous (no surprise there!) and I have to laugh at that last e-card, "my best friend that I can tell anything because he doesn't hear half of it." Ha!


  10. Happy Anniversary you two crazy kids! You and Matt are just the cutest and it's so obvious to all that know you and have seen y'all together how great you are! Love y'all and hope you have a fabulous weekend celebrating!!!! xo

  11. Laura says:

    happy anniversary. thank you for sharing so many photos from your wedding. you were a stunning bride. i would love to see more posts like this in the future. really enjoyed it!

  12. I've been married 1 year longer and I agree with all your points.

    You were a gorgeous bride! Loved your dress too.

  13. Jillian says:

    happy anniversary! you looked gorgeous on your wedding ! i love the marriage tips! my husband and I like to spend about 30 minutes in bed talking before we go to sleep, it's a nice way to connect at the end of the night. we also love to travel together! we dont have any trips planned this year (outside of visiting family) but I love spending that quality time together away from computers and work! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  14. Lar says:

    I loved reading this post and seeing the beautiful photos of your wedding. Matt is very lucky to have such a beautiful bride (who is still so gorgeous)! Thank you for sharing your story and your insight. I agree with all your thoughts about marriage and laughed at the ecards. There are some days that I look at my husband with adoration and other days that I look at him and wonder if we are speaking a different language. But at the end of every day, I know that NO ONE has my back more than he does. Congrats on 7 years!

  15. Gorgeous bride…can't believe you've been married 7 years!! Hope you and Matt have a wonderful anniversary celebrating! And love your advice, all of them are so so true! Happy Friday!

  16. Jass says:

    Congrats on your anniversary. I have a small request..can you do a post on sleep training your kids. I am having a hard time with my 3.5 month old. Hope you will read it and suggest something.

  17. Meredith says:

    Great post and your wedding pictures are gorgeous!

  18. Kate says:

    I saw your ig photo and had to come check out your post. Loved reading your story and your great advice. Happy (early) Anniversary!!! Newest follower!

  19. Morgan S. says:

    You're so lucky..by the looks of your mom, you'll have a fantastic figure forever. šŸ™‚ I've got to fight some of my genetics CONSTANTLY. LOL. Happy 7 years! Hard to believe my husband and I will hit that milestone in November! 7-year itch? I think NOT! You were a gorgeous bride!
    California To Carolina
    The Gym Bunny

  20. Sarah A says:

    Congratulations! I love your story & everything you said about marriage. You looked beautiful on your wedding day & haven't aged a day in 7 years.

  21. Loved this post!! And I totally agree that being married is so different from dating. We fight so much more than ever and it's mainly over the different ways we want to do things. I do worry about having kids and the stress it brings to a marriage so it's nice to see how you and Matt make time for each other without doing weekly date nights. Happy anniversary!!

  22. Nat says:

    Love this post!! I couldn't agree more with your marriage truths/advice. My husband and I dated 6 years before we got married and being married is completely different, throw kids into the mix and it's a whole new thing!

  23. Nat says:

    Oh and happy anniversary!!

  24. This is just great. Happy Anny! Love your halter dress btw. Very unique and beautiful. Have a good weekend!

    Beau Vie Blog

  25. Love your tips and your reflections on marriage! We are at 3.5 yrs it takes so much more commitment than dating ever did! I love all of your wedding photos–you look just the same now as you did seven years ago! Simply gorgeous!

  26. Love this post…congrats on 7 years!! You are one stunning bride!!!

  27. Meghan says:

    Your wedding was absolutely stunning. Your mom and you have the same smile! Also, I love your advice. The honesty is absolutely refreshing! xo

  28. LULUMOM says:

    What a sweet story Natalie! I was crying while reading it. You have a beautiful family and a very blessed life. Thanks for sharing.

  29. I want to see a close up of your ring!

  30. AA says:

    Congratulations!!! Such a well written post. And what a cute story!! Your blog is one of my all time favorites. Thanks!!

  31. Anwar Fazil says:

    Earn Money Online without any investment, latest Paid to Click Site with Many types of earnings, Add Clicking, Games and Referrals.

  32. Happy Belated Anniversary! I just saw this post, and I love it. I agree marriage is hard and takes a lot of work. Great advice! I always have to be aware of my expectations – I'm bad about having things in my head and being disappointed if it doesn't work out, so now I have to really make an effort to share what I want. Love your wedding pics – you look so beautiful and happy! Here's to many more years of a blissful marriage to you and Matt!

  33. Anwar Fazil says:

    Easy Earning, Playing Games, Earn Money by Just Viewed Some Ads, 10% Referral Commission with Payza, Perfect Money and EgoPay