Thursday, July 15, 2010

Enjoying the Small Things

When, in the ever present tide of Ebb & Flow, my creativity and zest (or lack thereof) is dwelling too long in the Ebb regions, I know what I need.

I need to reprioritize. Take time off. I need a day like this. I need to pull out my favorite apron, bake a cherry pie, make cookies with my girl. I need to chop parsley and sqeeze lemon and simmer lentils on the stove. I need to buy a new candle for my kitchen, mist spearmint pillow spray on my sheets. I need to vacuum and mop and change the quilt on my bed. I need to put on Diana Krall and have people over for cocktails and use the good dishes.

And just writing about it is reopening the current.

I began this morning with the simplest of things. Lipstick and the good perfume. My favorite necklace and a pretty headband. Because it makes me feel good. And every time I make the effort to get out of yoga pants, I get more done.

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And while I have big plans these next couple weeks to dig back into the kitchen and the pleasures of home, I am in the meantime...enjoying the small things.

Beginning with...

Tights. I love them. Even though we can only wear them inside with the air-conditioning this time of year. But I love baby feet covered in snug cotton. And Lainey has about a trillion old pairs waiting for her little sister.

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Morning Baths. The light above the bathtub is so inviting early in the morning, and Nella is entranced just to lie there, belly bubbled over the water line and her hands just a splashin'. Bathing my babies is like gardening for me--stress relieving work. The sudsing and the rinsing and the massaging little toes...it does something to me.

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Letting Go. I brought a huge bag of baby clothes down from the attic this week, sorted through what I wanted, tucked the other ones neatly back in the bag, sealed it up and, ten minutes later, walked back to this:

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Apparently, Lainey wasn't through with it. And so I just walked away. Just left it sitting there for two days. Because that's how we roll.

The Return of Dress-Up. Lainey goes in phases. She'll play with her kitchen for a week and then want nothing to do with it for a month. She hadn't touched her dress-up stuff in awhile and I was about to put it away when suddenly, last week, she can't get enough. Every time I turn my head she's changed.

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Nella's Contentment. She's just heaven. Complete dessert. Happy to be with us and even more thrilled to be part of the activities. She kicks and splashes like a fish in the pool. She gets all wide-eyed and excited with new toys. And she is electric when her mama and daddy are loving on her.

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Excursions.
I had a photoshoot last night an hour away. Way out in the middle of nowhere in between fields and woods and the occasional crossing deer. I took the girls with me as I knew Lainey would be thrilled to see horses and farmland and big open fields. That she did. On the way there, she said "Look Mama, that cloud looks like a bunny," and Dude, my kid knows what she's talkin' about.

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We saw deer, right up close...

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...and got to spend a little time with the sweetest family ever who loved on my girls and had a cowboy hat all ready for Lainey to wear.

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Scavenger Hunts. Along with rekindling my kitchen loves and homey pleasures, I'm picking up more picnics and tea parties and outside adventures with my girl. It feeds my soul. So, we set out for a scavenger hunt this week. I gave her a list of things to find--two pinecones, three smooth rocks, one stick, a piece of tree bark--and she intently searched the woods to find them and tuck them away in her suitcase.

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Yes, feeding my soul. And looking forward to the next couple weeks where I want to burrow a little deeper into our happy place. Perhaps there will be pie. And homemade bread. And maybe even a pot of lentil soup.

But, I promise, there will be lots of small things enjoyed.

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All the windows of my heart I open to the day. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

200 comments:

Shauna said...

Love, love, love your photos. So inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Fab pictures - oh to see the world through the eyes of a little one! We all need to do it! LOVING that Lainey & Nella Bean! XOXOXO

Nicole said...

Oh how beautiful. All of it. Just beautiful! Those Nella smiles are somethin', I'll tell you what! I don't think I've ever seen a baby look so wise ;o)

PILCHERS said...

beautiful beyond words Kelle!! simply marvelous!!

Jen Gordon said...

Lovely!

texasmacks said...

Those roly poly arms of Nella's in the last pic are just about the cutest things I've seen!

I've been reading your blog for while now and it's frightening how much we have in common. 31, mom of two (all boys for me), I'm a 5th grade teacher, and love to write and began our own family blog, and aspire to be as great of a photographer as you.

You're such an inspiration and can't wait when you post something new.

www.texasmacks.blogspot.com

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

I always look forward to seeing your pictures because it's such a nice window into your life. The girls are gorgeous and Nella's getting big so fast. Lately I've been trying to enjoy the small things more and take more pictures of them. Thanks for being so inspiring.

ItRocks2BMom said...

Haha...that's how we roll too :) The kids always want what we're certain they haven't used in months. I'm not sure if it's better to "sneak" that stuff out knowing they prolly won't miss it, or just mention donating or garage sellin' it and watchin them play with it like it's new :)

I love that look Lainey is giving in the mirror shots!

Have a good day!!

mel said...

i am a fairly new reader of your blog and it is so INSPIRING! I love coming here everyday to see if you have posted. :)

I have seen you mention Michigan. I grew up on the east side of the state and now live in Holland on the west side.

Thanks for putting yourself and your family out there. Your words make everyday, ordinary life so beautiful!

p.s. Nella's little smile is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen! :)

Marie in NH said...

Once again I have to say . . . you are such a beautiful, beautiful family! Lainey and Nella are just the cutest little buttons . . . and you are gorgeous! Having said that, from all appearances, you are all even prettier on the inside than on the outside, if that is possible! Enjoy your lovely home and your lovely family! :)

Kristen @ All In My Twenties said...

i love your blog!! its SO refreshing!!

laurieg said...

oh man am I lovin that brown dress little Lainey has on! Is that cute or what?! and those little tights on those cute little chubby legs...make me smile!
Thanks for the post Kelle!
I feel the same way when I put on some great jewelry and a sexy pair of jeans...makes you feel ready to take on the world doesn't it?!

Janita said...

That's totally my new favourite necklace, too! Please Fedex immediately. And what's with you and Lainey both having a perfect set of bangs? After looking at your beautiful photos, I was about to get a pair of scissors to cut me some again but one look at my grade 10 photo stopped me dead in my tracks. NASTY. Along the same lines, I asked my sister to cut my 11-month old daughter's hair last week so I said, and I quote, "Please take off a few inches." She swears she heard, "Please make her look like Lloyd Christmas." (Tell me you're a Dumb & Dumber fan) Needless to say, poor Isla now has a wrap-around fringe.

Andrea said...
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shell said...

I, with 4 kids, 8,7,5,and 2 (with Down) and I'm in school for my RN struggle to remember what is important and what should come first. I am reading this post with my 5 year old daughter on my lap and she says, "wow mom, this music makes us feel beautiful, doesn't it."
Thanks for helping me to remember.

wonderchris said...

Those red shoes of Lainey's are perfection!!

Great shots and the bunny in the clouds was AWESOME!!

shell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristine said...

The pouty Lainey lip is too adorable!! :) And yes, I see the bunny....yay! I love looking for things like that in the clouds with my son.
Great pictures of Nella. What a beautiful pink quilt! The scavenger hunt looks fun...we did something similar but got eaten alive by mosquitoes! lol
xo
Kris

Andrea said...

OMG, that Nella...clearly after my heart. Her little squinty-eyed smile is just too much cuteness for one person!! And those little fat rolls on her arms!! ACK!!!

((swoon!!))

Lovely. Just lovely.

Leigh Ann said...

Agree with the comment about Nella's little arm rolls being the cutest. thing. ever. Below is a link to a favorite poem by a favorite poet........your quote made me think of it............it's called Peonies by Mary Oliver.
http://www.poetryconnection.net/poets/Mary_Oliver/3114

MerrilynJ said...

Loved seeing the pictures of your girls today! I confess, I obsessively check every day at least once for a new post on your blog. Looking at Lainey reminds me so much of my daughter, who is now 5, when she was Lainey's age. Not to depress you or anything, but all the last traces of any babyness went away between 3 and 4. And I can see those changes happening in Lainey, too. So bittersweet. Maybe that's why I wish my 2 year old little dude was not in such a hurry to be like his sister and grow up already. OK, I'm going to go put on some makeup, get out of my yoga pants (yes, I believe it is the mommy uniform!), and attack Mt. Laundry now. Thanks for the kick in the rear!

Mihaela said...

I am a new follower, and I'm totally mesmerized by your posts. The energy you emit... just lovely, wonderful, magical! It feels like home, which is strange since I've followed you for just -give or take - 2 weeks.
Your girls are adorable, I bet you hear it all the time, but it never gets old I'm sure...
Thank you for reminding me what is REALLY important.

Jessica said...

nella has the sweetest smile that just melt my heart!

Marianne said...

Love this post, Kelle. Your family is so lovely. And that last picture of Nella? O-My-GOSH! Too precious.

lynxymama said...

ah! you guys are all so cute you're gonna kill me!

Kristin said...

Love your blog! I look forward to your inspiring words and beautiful pictures! You are amazing!

s.lange said...

I know that I don't even "know" her, but I LOVE Nella...her smiles brighten my day...and reading you reminds me to take time to sweat the small stuff with my kids and let go of the rest sometimes...

karyl said...

i love it!!!! everyday will always bring us something to smile about and something to thank God for! the littlest things are sometimes the biggest. truely inspirational. =) love it!

Anonymous said...

Lainey's faces are cracking me up. :D

~dgirl

Poppa said...

And here I am in my office, and you take me into your home...and I am holding my little flour-sack Nella and smiling at Lainey's drama poses and ornate costuming...and going on a skavenger hunt with you. I hope I made enough memories for you and your sister and brother...I hope I read enough books and sang enough silly songs in the car, and told you enough how pretty you were. You race from crib to college and too many small things get lost in the fury. I am glad you seem to have a grandmother's grace and see your children, not as interruptions but as main events. Pearls are perfect for Thursdays...she needs no greater reason than just to celebrate today. Somewhere, Mamie Eisenhower is smiling. Wardrobes should be more fun. Adults should have dress up trunks. I want a top hat and a sparkly jacket...and I want to sing "Start spreadin' the news..." And I want to sing it so loud I embarass you. Yes, that will be bliss.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

I've been reading just since Nella was born, but I devour every post as if it were chocolate. AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING. I love it all! Lainey and Nella are such blessings, not just to you, but to me!

MissMolly said...

Pinecones, pies, soups, tights... sounds like somebody's already craving fall!! I really enjoyed this post, Kelle! I laughed out loud at the pile o' laundry that Lainey ransacked. Lovely!

j210209 said...

Awww, that last photo of Nella is so gorgeous! She is growing up so fast!

And can I just say how tall does Lainey look! Especially in the 'dressing up' photos.

Another inspiring post x

Layne & Crystal said...

Loving how cute and smiley little Miss Nella is looking in your last photo! What a little doll! Great pics!

Michelle said...

The last photo of Nella is heart warming, she is such a beauty!

Thing said...

You are so inspiring!
And so beautiful!

I need a glas of something red
here Im sitting
- now listening to Diana Krall...

Thank you!

Elizabeth said...

i love posts like these! such gorgeous pictures. i wish i knew you in real life!

(by the way, have you seen that a little girl with Down's Syndrome is up to be the cover model for parents magazine? she's in 2nd place right now. i think it would be the first time a child like her was on the cover.)

Joann said...

Love it! I also love reading your Dad's comments!!! His comments today are especially wonderful!

Joann said...

Love it! I also love reading your Dad's comments!!! His comments today are especially wonderful!

Kathya said...

My momma always said the one thing to make you feel better and get going in the morning was to get ready - makeup, hair, the works.

What wonderful pictures!!!!!!!

Becca said...

Your pictures could not be sweeter. And btw, Samantha has that same suitcase. It's perfect for keeping her treasures when we travel!

J Scheppl said...

"Make visible what, without you, might perhaps have never been seen."
-Robert Bresson

Kelle, I found this quote and instantly thought of you! Thank you for teaching me to stop and enjoy the small things! I am so HOOKED on this blog! I swear, my breath gets taken away with excitement EVERY time there's a new post! You're such an inspiration!

LOVE your headbands!!! Where do you find them??

And Poppa! Kelle must get her amazing way with words from you! "You race from crib to college" and "see your children, not as interruptions but as main events." SO TRUE and brought tears to my eyes! Thank you!

→Daniele← said...

I too feel like I have been dwelling too long in the ebb regions ... this was just what I needed to reinvigorate. I'm in my yoga pants right now. I think I need to go change :)

Raimie said...

Dear Wonder-FULL Dayz,
Thank you for another breathtaking post. You inspire me to take advantage of the joy around me today!
Love,
One step at a time in NE

Kendra said...

I love the photo of Brett and Lainey in the kitchen...with her wings...

Brought a huge smile to my face!

Elizabeth said...

http://www.parents.com/app/voting/index.jsp;jsessionid=DJR5PV3WPD3QWCQCEASB42Q?id=/templatedata/parents/voting/data/1269982405784.xml&mediaItemID=null

it looks like she actually won! :)

Kendra said...

Oops...they're in the bathroom! :)

Shel from CT said...

Is it just me or does Lainey's legs look like she grew 3 inches in a month? Her legs look so long in those dress up pictures.

Nella's smile could make anyone smile; she exudes pure joy.

Lucky family, lucky you taking time to enjoy the small things as small things add up to big happy memories. Just look at Poppa's post, it says it all. Every parent thinks did I do enough, was I the best I could be? As long as there is love I think the answer is yes.
Thanks for sharing....

Giljky said...

I always looking forward with your updated blog story. Some days I have a bad day and your blog had lighten my day. Forgetting all the stressful and bad things going on. Be thankful and blessed with what we have. Nothing much more we wanted simply just be happy.

Molly said...

Huzzah! I'd share brownies with you if you were here. Reese peanut butter brownies!

Tisha said...

favorite things from this post:

Lainey's mad face
Nella's feet in tights and her smile, which makes me smile no matter how crappy of a day i'm having at work.

Nella Design Studio said...

I love your photos. I stumbled upon your blog due to my google alerts picking up Nella (which is my business name) and I'm so glad I did!
~elizabeth
www.nelladesigns.com

abby said...

I love your blog--what a joy!! Thank you!

Corinne said...

A Case of You is one of my all time favorites... love that it's playing right now :) Thank you.
And I've spent most of the week sitting. Overwhelmed and in the middle and not able to move in one direction or the other. Creatively drained, waiting for replenishing. I forget that we need to do little things to move us towards replenishing that stash ourselves...
Lovely photos, lovely words, lovely post :)

Leah said...

Pearls!! Love it.

Kristin said...

Kelle-

I had an Alexander Horrible.nogood.verybad sort of day. Your posts always make me feel a little brighter. Thanks for sharing slices of your beautiful family with us!

angela said...

Love this. My girl pulled on leg warmers today, and I let her wear them. Despite the heat wave. And the fact that she wore them most of the day with a bathing suit.

Marjorie said...

love looking at your photos!! i have been working really hard on my photography lately, but i'll be as talented as you :)

Lisa said...

Kelle, I recently read through your whole blog. I LOVED going back in time and watching your journey unfold. And now when I read a new post, I feel like I know you guys.

I can so relate to your post today. Very much.

Enjoy your burrowing. :)

Crystal said...

Is that a Blue Steel look Lainey is pulling in the mirror? ;-)

Sara said...

What a great post, Kelle!

Love the last picture of Nella - too cute for words!

Kara Brown said...

This was a beautiful post...everyone needs a daily reminder to stop and smell the roses so to speak. Your children are absolutely precious....and it's even more special because you know it, and love them so dearly and completely. What lucky little ladies you have, what fond memories they will have one day of you making everyday a treasure. Thank you for sharing and reminding me to slow down, and look at the positive instead of the neg. I needed that today.

Kara Brown

Kara Brown said...

OH....and seriously Poppa is the best.
I need a Poppa in my life. :)

pakosta said...

Nella is just so stunning, I love how her eyes sparkle when she smiles, what a gorgeous baby!

Thanks for inspiring me to get my camera out, I haven't had it out in a week and was missing it. I so wish my girls were little like this again (now 10 and almost 9) and I could take pix of them all day long! You inspire mE!
tara

Megan said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the last picture of Lainey all dressed up in "fairy-wear" standing with her daddy. adorable. and I love the way Nella's eye squinch up when she smiles. and I love the way I feel like I know your family because of the beautiful open words you write in your blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

And thank you to Poppa... I was reading the comments on your last post hoping you had answered a question I posted. There were lots of things flying around in those comments. And I thank Poppa (who I know will read this) for opening up himself and his family to us just that much further, when he didnt have to.

Tonya said...

OH. EM. GEE!!! Can I have Nella, PLEASE!!! Ok, maybe just borrow her for a little while :) She is the most adorable thing EVAH!!!! It does not help that my little is almost 21 months old now ::tear::, and I have the baby fever something fierce!

Really though, your girls are angels and your blog make my soul smile. Thanks for making my day a little more sunny!

Katie said...

I LOVE your blog! I needed a reminder to "Enjoy the Small Things" today. Thank you :)

KWQR said...

Oh happy bunny clouds! Loving the tights & dress up & Lainey with the longest legs. And I swear you have the best freakin' headband collection ever... perhaps a future post on all things headband? You are so right about a day away from yoga pants... I put on a cute summer skirt this morning & I swear it has made all the difference today.
Happy nesting!
Kate
p.s. A previous commenter mentioned the poet, Mary Oliver. She rocks. This quote from her has been on my mind lately:
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Makes me smile every time I read it.

Karen said...

I don't think I've ever commented before. But I read every day, or try to, at the end of my workday. I love your page, I love how you write. It reminds me, too, to enjoy the small things.

Thank you!

Suzi said...

Only Lainey can pull off a scavenger hunt in pearls. Perfect!
Nella's expressions are priceless! I just want to hug and squeeze and love her. You are so blessed.
And Kelle, beautiful person you are. I feel blessed to be your blogging "friend" You have taught me so much personally and how I want to raise my daughter. Thanks a million!

Mikaela said...

LOVE love LOOOOVE your pictures this time around. especially nella's beautiful smile! also, i'm totally digging tights these days too...my newest obsession are babylegs leg warmers...to be worn on arms and legs in allll weather. i'm totally in love with them (i've bought 6 this week) www.babylegs.com :)

Life with Kaishon said...

Truly what life is all about. The small things : )
I need to get out of my yoga pants too : ) Tomorrow I will wear some real clothes! As soon as we get home from the pool : )

kellywhite@rogers.com said...

Poppa!!!!!! Pppppplllllease adopt me! I'm IN LOVE with you, Kelle, Lainey and Nella. OMG, Nella. I can't even stand how beautiful she is. I can't get enough of her!!

RMAinMD said...

,,,i wonder what nella's little, almond eyes are spying,,,she is so yummy,,,oh to play dress up, to wear tulle, ribbons, angels wings, floppy hats, high heels (like stilts at 3)a strand of pearls and donning a magic wand,,,just as the great wizard of oz gave the lion courage, the tin-man a heart and the scarecrow a brain so should he give us a magic wand,,,imagine the world we live in if we all had a wand,,,

Shari H said...

I just simply LOVE LOVE LOVE the last picture of the post today with Nella smiling, it looks like she's posing for you. Lainey in the cowboy hat is simply so sweet.

Sara said...

your entries make my heart swell with want and love for my own little, sweet girl. thank you for sharing so much of your lives!

Bethany said...

Nella - what an exquisite beauty! She is breathtakingly adorable!

I know before you have a child with Down syndrome it seems that such a thing is a tragedy. But then it happens to you... and you know that they are the most precious gifts - tiny little surprise packages that steal your heart and complete you! And guess what?! She's only getting started!

I've had 8 years to enjoy my almond joy - Braden (one of my twins). I've had breast cancer and have suffered the stillbirth of our daughter, Scarlett Victoria. I know "tragedy". Nothing about Braden or Nella is that. Enjoy your little slice of heaven!

Bethany
http://musingsofmunchkinland.blogspot.com/

Emilie said...

beautiful post again, Kelle. i, too am enjoying the small things today :) your children are so precious.

Victoria said...

I came across your blog earlier this year and I was instantly hooked! I always look forward to your posts and love, love, love your pictures.

And ditto to the other comments about loving your headbands. Please share where you find them!

Amber said...

I don't know how to say this without sounding creepy, but I've been a little worried about you. I thought it seemed something was off and I was hoping the "bus crash" hadn't been bigger than you'd let on. But we all ebb more than we flow once in awhile, and I hope tights and scavenger hunts and home baked bread bring it all right back for you.

And Poppa - something tells me you did just fine in the memories/book reading/pretty telling stakes. Go get yourself that top hat - it'd look good on you!

Amber said...

I don't know how to say this without sounding creepy, but I've been a little worried about you. I thought it seemed something was off and I was hoping the "bus crash" hadn't been bigger than you'd let on. But we all ebb more than we flow once in awhile, and I hope tights and scavenger hunts and home baked bread bring it all right back for you.

And Poppa - something tells me you did just fine in the memories/book reading/pretty telling stakes. Go get yourself that top hat - it'd look good on you!

Anonymous said...

And how about revealing where that great necklace came from, too? LOVE IT!

Hooray for fairies and pies and Nella bean!

Laura W. said...

Beautiful!

And that last picture? Heart-stopping gorgeous.

Peeper said...

Dear Poppa,
Love you.

"...see your children, not as interruptions but as main events."

Love this.

"Adults should have dress up trunks."

I do ;-)

"I want a top hat and a sparkly jacket...and I want to sing "Start spreadin' the news..." And I want
to sing it so loud I embarass you."

If you ever visit San Francisco I'll take you to a karoke room in Japan town. You can sing anything you like, as loud as you like, and we'll bring my dress up trunk so that you can accessorize with all the sparkle-farkle your heart could desire.

Love,
Peeper

nancy k. said...

I look forward to reading your blog. I love the pictures of Lainy and Nella...Nella's sweet little grin is to die for.
It is so refreshing to read your words of appreciation and love. Thanks for sharing.

Tonya said...

That last photo just kills me!!! What a sweetheart!

karla said...

*sigh* vicariously living through you.

Kim said...

OK. Great post!

*Your daughters are so beautiful. I want them to each marry one of my boys. Alex has DS and is 6 and is perfect for Nella if she likes older guys!

*Your Poppa is amazing

*If you guy a new scented candle for your kitchen I hope it's PartyLite - they are the Best!

Lgravis2@aol.com said...

Kelle, loved today's post, as always. Thanks for the reminders on getting our creative juices flowing. I love the idea of the scavenger hunts! KARA, I agree. I, like many have written here, feel that I need a "poppa" in my life. POPPA, I always love your words; you are incredible. And Poppa, I agree with Amber's comment, I dont think you need to worry about creating those memories long ago. It appears that you must have. I know that most of us parents worry about that at times. We do the best we can. Poppa, I love how you wrote of Kelle having a grandmother's grace, and children being the MAIN EVENTS. Oh, that more parents would remember that. I can relate to the grandmother comment cuz, like you, i am a grandparent. A grandma. And i love that I can just BE with my grandkids, and so enjoy them in the moment. We spend lots of time together ( I care for them part-time while parents work). It is such JOY! And, Poppa, I would love to see you with that top hat and jacket and singing - if you ever do, post a video, ok? (smile)

Alee said...

Nella is such a doll, and Lainey's scavenger hunt sounds like a blast.
:)

kis4s said...

ah, yes, I'm with Karla. . . totally living vicariously through you, too.

Glad I stopped here on my way home from work - I needed some inspiration to start a baking project for my girl's fundraiser (and we're not what you'd call bakers!).

Who isn't ispired by Nella's flirty smile?

;o) Alison

Leona said...

Goosebumps. Yes, goosebumps. That is what this post gives me. And good goosebumps of course! Diana Krall, your specatular outlook on life and Poppa, oh Poppa.....please "start spreadin' the news" as loud as you can! You most certainly must have given your children marvelous memories....for just look at Kelle....she gets this from someone!


XOXO
L~

MyRayOLite said...

I let my child loose in the kitchen tonight to make breakfast for dinner. Croissants, bacon and eggs! She got creative with the croissants and made them pinwheels!

Great post!

appledapple said...

So happy to see your update today!

BTW, you rock that neclace!! LOVE.IT!!!

My favorite pics are Lainey in the woods and Nellabeans bath time!

All my love to you and as always my love to Poppa and Brett too!

Casey Chappell said...

I got thrown into the world of grief through my own loss almost 2 years ago. I can't tell you how much reading your experiences has helped me and put words on my thoughts and made me realize that it's okay to be happy... I have been very happy because God has poured blessings on our life over the past 2 years... but I have so many friends who have experienced grief and still have an intense struggle with joy, so for a while when I wanted to post happy thoughts I wrestled with if I should or shouldn't be feeling those things. You my dear, have taught/showed me how to take joy in MANY things and that it's GOOD to do so. I use a reader to read your blog and I find that a smile crosses my face before I ever click on your bold blog title telling me you have posted. I think I love that moment most... it's anticipation of joy, of pretty things, of reality... but one that is embracing it all. Thank you for your faithfulness to blog. It encourages me SO much.

*I do have a question... ONLY IF you have time to answer....whenever! It's not that important, but I love those photos on the wall of your home, Being a photographer I am ashamed to say I have not a single photo on my walls. I can't afford canvas yet... and I haven't had a great history with glass frames. (6 moves & 2 babies aren't the best for glass longevity) So I really like what you did with those photos. where did you have them done(printed) at? are they affordable?
caseylynn_78@yahoo.com

Bikini By 30 said...

I've been feeling very nest-y lately as well. Wanting to clean out some things and really cozy up my castle. I feel ya on that.

Sometimes at my day job people grumble, "why are you dressed up today." To which I reply, "It just makes me feel good."

P-nut said...

Wonderful post! I love the pics of nella laying on teh bed at the beginning.. she almost doesn't look real! ha ha! what a doll! And lainey's grumpy faces at the end are too cute!

xo

Rachel said...

So inspiring! I too have been playing more with my littles and making an effort to look better. It makes me happy! And your lipstick in the first picture makes me really happy! We have similar coloring and I would love to know what it is!

~KC: said...

Yes, I can see the bunny (I'm always looking for signs in the clouds)! Lainey and Nella look very much like you. C:

LOVE John Greenleaf 's quote! That's what is all about: Embracing our journeys ... learning to relax ... meeting life on its own terms ... taking it as it comes ... with an open heart ... an open mind ... open arms ... Everything is going to be OK ... May you have a wonderful weekend~

"The only life worth living is the adventurous life. Of such a life the dominant characteristic is that it is unafraid. It is unafraid of what other people think...It does not adapt either its pace or its objectives to the pace and objectives of its neighbors. It thinks its own thoughts, it reads its own books. It develops its own hobbies, and it is governed by its own conscience. The herd may graze where it pleases or stampede where it pleases, but he who lives the adventurous life will remain unafraid when he finds himself alone." -Raymond B. Fosdick

Katie said...

Kelle, where do you get your chic and adorable headbands? They are so cute! You have THE BEST accessories ever. Hands down.

Lucy said...

Ha! Poppa is so right, and I really might set about sorting myself out with a dress up trunk. The trouble is I don't think my performances will meet with the same tolerance as kid's....but I'll push on! I sing all the time anyway, why not in costume? I have quite often slipped your own composition 'Nella Cordelia, I'm gonna steal you' in between a few gospel classics, and no one's ever noticed anything amiss...it is up to the standards obviously. What can I say, it was catchy!

Your eye(s) look so like pics of Lainey's in that first pic of you. You look great. I know what you mean, I am starting to realise that getting properly dressed might be quite key to getting the day working!

My comments haven't been appearing recently so this one probably won't, just wanted to say, all the best to you and thanks for another great post.

Farmgirl Paints said...

I needed this post because I get in those funks too. Thank you for those great reminders and offerings of advice of how to dig out of them. I'm just really really enjoying your blog.

Shaylynn said...

Oh my goodness, those blue-blue magical eyes on Nella seem to shine extra bright today.

You're beautiful my dear.

I love my daily dose of Enjoying The Small Things.. It's always so sweet.

Lifesong... said...

Lainey is working it! Love her faces... And Nella is delicious!

Emily said...

I just adore those pictures of Nella in the bathtub. They are so precious. You have such beautiful girls :)

The Johansen's said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!

Katie said...

I'm in love with the last picture of Nella. I think it's my most.favorite.one.ever! Like, seriously! She's a doll.

Lesley said...

Hi! I have my own sweet special girl and focusing on her (and her older brothers) renders everything else a detail.
I, too, sense a sadness here. Of which we are all entitled! I'm thinking that pulling in, circling round and gathering strength from your home and babies will be just the ticket. It works wonders for me.

Courtney Raschdorf Photography said...

Nella's smile just makes my day.

Amy said...

Lov'in it! Wonderful delightful whimsical inspirational photos and writing....As usual:)

Annie said...

Kelle- all I have to do is read your blog and I am in a better mood!!!! Just wanted you to know that your two little beauties are just adorable and I love your "dessert" analogy. The word delicious should not only be reserved for food but those little things that we can't get enough of...our kids and of course the occasional brownie!!! Thanks for sharing once again!

laugavitz said...

A few things I just have to comment on...

1. Love the many faces of your little L!

2. N is sooo beautiful, absolutly beautiful.

3. I have to read your blog on my comp as to my phone, b/c I always love your music selection!


Thank you for making the end of my day!

Becky said...

I think your last pic of Nella in this blog is my favorite of her yet! She's so stinkin' cute!!!

-Becky
www.alwayshappylife.com

Poppa said...

Oh Lesley, I held your Sarah in my heart tonight...and see her ruling her domain (like that photo) with grace and strength. Diamonds we have...diamonds. I send her love and blessings tonight.

Leash said...

and i love the leggings on my little dianna too!i cant wait to send u some pics with him on it :)

Amie said...

Beautiful, Kelle. I absolutely love the outfits your girls wear. And the red shoes-to die for!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kelle. For showing us you are not one constant beam of energy but that you too need to wind yourself up and recharge. (which, of course, is the case for all of us) Home...how wonderful to focus on it and make it a retreat for the family. Can I come have lentil soup this week?

Enjoy and thank you, thank you. Can't get enough. Visit here every day!

theenglishgirl said...

Such sweet sweet pictures of even your girls

Sarah Canales said...

oh my dear goodness that last picture of Nella is beyond adorable! It makes me laugh its so cute! What a little show off she is with that smile and lovely chub rolled arm!

Mrs. Armstrong said...

Hi Kelle, I have been a lurker on your site for like 2 months now (inashoe.com posted a link to Nella's Birth Story). It may sound silly to some but my life has changed since surfing your blog posts. I now make especially sure I savor all the small things in life.

God bless your family,
Momma of 15-month-old Mia. Cheers! All the way from Hialeah, FL :-)

Pam said...

You are the sweetest group of people I can hardly stand it.
Poppa I let out a chuckle with pearls on a Thursday and I add
especially for a scavenger hunt
I loved on my grandbabies today
who bring me such joy, seize the
day my friends. happiness is
bunny clouds and loving the small
things . love to all.

everydaymomma said...

dearest Kelle,
once again you have me striving to enjoy the small things.Today i bathed all 4 of my littles and instead of hurrying through i sat and enjoyed every second.Wish i could of baked a cherry pie too:) and on a side note,poppa totaly needs a sparkly jacket maybe christmas?...i am totaly looking forward to your super hip sunkissed poppa singing and dancing to start spreading the news with his gorgeous highlights,it will be the highlight of my life;)-make a video ok?
love siobhan

Kara said...

Another inspiring post. Can you tell me the color and brand of that lipstick? I think the color is fabulous.

Jennifer said...

Eeek! Love your post. And I love that it begins with you wearing yellow - Great headband, but really, a rocking necklace. Check another item off of your summer list (again!).

Just the simplicity of your post along with KC's comments nail it on the head:

"That's what is all about: Embracing our journeys ... learning to relax ... meeting life on its own terms ... taking it as it comes ... with an open heart ... an open mind ... open arms ... Everything is going to be OK ... "

Ahhh. Like taking a deep breath and enjoying the inhale and releasing all that's negative in the exhale.

Thank you Kelle. Nella is a gorgeous almond. Those eyes. Ah, so glad to see you're madly, deeply, crazy in love! And Lainey is a wonderful sprite.

-Jennifer

P.S. Another great hunt for Lainey is to take an empty cardboard egg carton and paint different colors in each of the cups; and then send her out to find something that matches each of the colors. I am planning on doing this with Alex and 2 of her friends next week at the Vineyard. :)

Rania in NYC said...

love ending my days with you and your girls :)
Lainey and you have the same exact eye colour it seems..no? just beautiful!
and Nella is starting to look like her big sis a bit!
love that they have a sister..i pray i can give my 3 yr old daughter (who would have a blast with Lainey!) a sister..but I think I may be a one-hit wonder..
thank you for sharing your light!

hayley said...

i've figured it out. you're Molly Gunn.

have you SEEN Uptown Girls?!! you're her. the rose-coloured glasses that just won't quit.

some lyrics for you, from the opening song of that movie:

It's a charmed life
Innocence wild
Crayola skies for a thousand miles
It's a good life in the happily ever after
Last page of a very last chapter
It's the story of a charmed life

It's a charmed life
Unexplainable grace
Stumbling, you fall right into place
It's a childlike world and you can feel the magic
Far from the typically tragic
That's the beauty of a charmed life

Who needs to know
When it all comes and where it all goes
Who needs to know just where
Fate will take you there
--

thanks for always having beauty and happiness on your site to cheer me up.

MeghanKG said...

Seriously I don't know how you get anything done with that delicious little bunny around! I would just want to kiss and cuddle her all day long!!! She has got to be the sweetest thang evah!

Natalie said...

just felt the need to tell you that your girls melt my heart every time I read your blog!

Jocelyn said...

I love the picture of the messy clothes. Makes me feel normal!

Jocelyn said...

I love the picture of the messy clothes. Makes me feel normal!

Linda M in Calif said...

I hope you don't mind me sharing this and I apologize if it is too long. I just want to say what is on my mind and in my heart. I have been coming here for quite some time. I just feel like this is family here. A real sense of 'community'. Where people are positive and open and accepting, and respectful of differences. Thanks to you, Kelle. AND, I must say, thanks to POPPA, too~ I know NONE of us lead charmed lives or perfect lives - there are no such things. And we all have tough times and tough days, even if it isn't shared here. And, we all need to be replenished at times. Let me tell you, there are times lately when I so depend on this site to help me thru some rough patches. No, it isn't a magical cure of fix, but it sure helps me. Sometimes I start to feel rather depressed; that can happen to many people. I am so grateful for you, Kelle, and Poppa, and the positive energies here. Like many people in the world, I don't have friends where I live and almost no family. I make the best of it, but it's hard sometimes. I hope you don't mind me sort of 'adopting' you as family, even though we've never met. I feel that I know you, after following along here for so long. It seems like little to say, but I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart, for what you give to me, and to so many others here.

Heidi said...

I am LOVING Lainey in the pearls! So adorable!

Linda M in Calif said...

To HAYLEY..LOVE the lyrics to that song! Thanks for sharing here.

Laura said...

What sweet Nella grins you are capturing these days!

Hilary said...

3 things:
1. I love love love your blog. I look forward to reading it, and get warm fuzzies every time.
2. Pretty pretty lipstick in the first pictures. Color and Brand?
3. What is your favorite, go-to lens?

Thank you. :)

Kelly said...

Ok. This post made me smile. But Poppa's comment made me cry. So beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Your blog and photos just get better and better!

I honestly thought it'd slow down now you have the two babes to look after but you still make time for posting and for that, I thank you! It certainly is like a little mini vacay coming over to see your work and life.

I know everyone always says how cute babies legs and thighs are, but my favourite thing is babies chubby little arms! I mean fat rolls on wrists, c'mon, whats not to love??

Gorgeousness all 'round at your house!

Allison in Australia :)

Anonymous said...

And the top three questions here on your blog today...
Where those headbands from girl?!
Lainey's brown/grey scavenger hunt dress from?
And brand and colour of your fav lippie?
Mmmkay? Thanks :D

Anonymous said...

That last Anonymous, top three questions post was from me too...forgot to sign off :)

Allison in Australia :)

jimloey@aol.com said...

I don't have anything to say. sigh.... beautiful post as always

Sarah said...

Thanks once again for inspiring me. My hubby has been working a lot of overtime lately and I never cook dinner or do anything fun because it is just me and the 4 littles. But tomorrow I am going to go all out. An appetizer, dinner and dessert, we are all going to wear dress up clothes AND we will conclude our evening with Mommy with a scavenger hunt! THANK YOU!! I'll post pics on my blog
jromeswoman.blogspot.com

Zeller Family said...

I just love reading your blog. Your writing and photography are inspiring. Your girls are gorgeous and Nella has this beautiful sparkle in her eye like she is just one special baby girl which I know she is and I don't even know you :)

Many Titles said...

Lainey in those pearls is so stinkin' adorable!!!!!! She looked all grown up! The girls are just delightful!

valerielovesyou said...

I could write a thousand word essay about how much I love your hair bands!!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I have run out of words to tell you how beautiful your posts are...how much they touch me, how much they bless me, how much they inspire me...You have a GIFT....thank you for sharing it

Teresa

Anonymous said...

You brighten my day and make me smile (and occasionally cry). Can you tell me I can get the pink & black blanket? It's beautiful. Thanks

DelhiBound said...

long time reader ... totally lax on commenting ...

love the collage of canvas printed photos you have in your house! would love to figure out a way to get me some of those here in Delhi ... hmm ... wonder what the likelihood is? :)

Cute little suitcase for the Lainey-bug too ... my littles love scavenger hunts too and they are SO easy to think up in a heartbeat!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

love the little legs in tights too- so cute-

IAmBlessed said...

Do you see what I see?

Nella is getting a crown of beautiful peach fuzz...

I love your flowers and headbands and girls and style and sass and so much more...

The quote at the end of the blog is beautiful.

YOU MAKE ME SMILE :))))))))))))))

Crystal said...

Baby Nella is getting so stinkin big! Look at her! All the milestones.

On one hand I say NO!! She has has to be Baby Nella forever!

(Can you tell I hung on to every milestone with my last baby as a bittersweet event?)

Growth is beautiful... look her her so big and lovely! I just want to kiss her!

Kelle said...

A few answered questions:

Lainey's dress: Matilda Jane

The pink and black quilt: the reverse side of their bed quilt from Marshall's ($20 clearance!)

Yellow Necklace: Anthropologie

Headband: T.J. Maxx

Lipstick: I think it's just Revlon...not sure what color...maybe Peach fizz on the top.

The large photos in our playroom: 16x20 printed photos and the frames are frameless glass clip frames from Ikea ($5 each). Michaels also sells them (for $15 each though).

Hope that helps!

Joanna said...

those bath shots are just angelic. the softness- just perfect. they make me breathe easier.

Rachel said...

Lainey's Purple dress is adorable! Does it really have a little bump in the back?!!!

Marissa Hess said...

Totally awesome....I Just love Nellas grins...one look at those and I think they inspire world peace. And ya know, the face that Laney is making with you in them...kind of reminds me of the librarian when I was goofing around in college. Complete with the pearls and the dress and oh that face. Yep, that's the one.

Ashley Kirby said...

you, your girls and your blog are beautiful! it always makes my day when i see you have updated in my reading list. thank you for helping me realize i need to slow down and enjoy the small things in life. you are truly an inspiration!

Lish said...

As much as I love my yoga pants...its amazing how putting a little effort into getting 'pretty' for the day motivates you! Your pictures are so awesome by the way, I always get a smile on my face when I see that you've written a new post!

www.imprintalish.blogspot.com

Krystle said...

Lovely, you have made the my late morning wonderful and beautiful. Thank you! Have a great weekend :)

Anonymous said...

KELLE,YOU ARE VERY VERY HEAVY,LOT.

Dana said...

Your blog is one of the "small things" that I enjoy. Every post makes me smile and shed the occasional tear, with your real words and soft photos. This is one of my happy places. Thank you, Kelle, for sharing your life and loves with all of us.

Diane said...

I'm about to be a mom for the first time in about a month. I'm very excited, obviously, but nervous too. When I read your blog I'm reminded that yes, I may be overwhelmed at times and ebb a little, but I can come here and be inspired to flow. So many people make motherhood out to be a huge chore, and I don't doubt that it's hard work, but I'm sincerely grateful to you for showing the joyful side of it too. That's what I want to focus on, and your words and pictures help me remember and plan and dream.

MandeeFoFandee said...

these posts of yours give me goosebumps, and Nella's little rolls make me melt. I've decided that Lainey is the female version of my little brother, Wyatt... true to form with his wide tooth grin and sunny locks. you are so inspiring.

Chrissy said...

Love the pics of your babies. That little Nella, just makes me smile every time!

Anonymous said...

Not anon - Malynde here from Texas.Such sweetness in words and the spirit that comes wafting through those tangled wires we know now as our precious lifeline to each other's hearts and souls. I treasure too those fleeting ethereal times with my own littles, holding them close, breathing their scents, inhaling their innocence in a moment stopped in time forever. And grateful is my heart - to the author of this who so frequently tumbles into my life through this intrusive yet so necessary device, touching me as only another mother can.

Jill said...

I can't get enough of Nella! She always brightens my day!

Kasia Zubiel said...

I love all your pictures, but the last one... no words....Nella is so beautiful.... And I love how you always have something eye catching in you hair! Beautiful mama, beautiful girls, beautiful family! God bless!

nicole said...

I enjoy reading your blog so much. You and your family are beautiful ~ I could just eat Nella up! It must take some time and thought to put a post together every few days. That being said, I hope you don't feel obligated to post for your readers because you don't "owe" us anything. Your family is primary. Everything else is secondary. Just sayin' in case you ever feel overwhelmed and something needs to give. Even a quick "I'm taking care of my family" post would suffice. Take care of yourself!

Kirstin said...

Beautiful as ever.

We have had a 'small things' week and you know what, my big boy is happier and calmer as a result.

Thanks for reminding us to focus on the smaller picture sometimes!

Jennifer said...

Kelle -

Just a side note, but have you heard Pink's song "Glitter in the Air" - It's simply wonderful and tender. A new favorite. And thanks for introducing us to Playlist. I simply love it. And now have co-workers and even my physical therapist checking out the site.

Peace,

Jennifer

Katy said...

Loved this post Kelle! I need to do the same, take time to reset! Have a wonderful weekend!

Alexa Nic's Mama said...

Just wanted to say that your blog is incredible and you have tremendous style and attention to detail--two traits of a great photographer! I LOVE your daughter's scavenger hunt outfit--what a great idea!

DaisyBee said...

My goodness Nella's looking grown up! And Lainey's just as gorgeous as ever.

I am in love with the lipstick in your first pics. What color/brand is it? (I know the chances of you reading this or getting to reply to it amongst all the thousands of comments are slim but it's worth a go!)

Randee said...

Kelle!! I love your blog. I have been reading it for a few months now and am addicted. I check it out everyday. Your children are beautiful. I also am a nursing mom to a daughter who wouldn't take a bottle until just about a month ago. She's now 9 months. You are so inspiring. Thank you! :)

California Girl said...

Just wanted to tell you that I LOVE your blog. I really feel like I know you and your kids (not in a stalkerish way).
Lainey and Nella are lucky to have you as their mom-and you are luckt to have them.
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again.

Anonymous said...

To: LINDA M in CALIFORNIA - Are you a new mom? If so, there are so many ways to get in touch with other moms in your area. It is so essential to connect with other women, esp. if you stay at home. Here is one place to start or look on line to see if there is a Moms Club organization in your area. Your comment touched me. I too find this a safe and friendly place. :)
http://www.cafemom.com/groups/find.php

Karen said...

LOVE the pictures. Nella's eyes are like sparkling little jewels. Loving reading Poppa's comments too :)

Roof said...

Oh Kelle, I am so busy - we move to Nepal (from the UK) in two weeks, and I am bleurgggghhhh-busy with packing but I am SO glad I took time to read your blog and catch up with you again! You have made me smile, and infected me with your domestic-blissness/craziness.
We NEED a scavenger hunt here tomorrow!
xx

Michelle said...

Love your blog- the pictures make me want to record more of my kids days- even though they are taller than me.

Love your dad's comments- what an awesome fun grandpa!

Ok- and I love the lipstick- can you share the color please? A little lipstick is the shortest path for me to go from frumpy to fabulous!

Kristen said...

I can't get enough of your blog, I love your style of writing, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous, you are beautiful and your girls are so sweet.

Anonymous said...

Kelle, your kids are just beautiful. thanks for sharing! oh, and you're not so bad yourself :)

GraceesMommy said...

HA!! loved what lainey did with the clothes..seriously are you sure you didn't sneak into my house and take a picture of our den??? we have been living at the farm for almost three years and i am still trying to unpack boxes..i throw in the towel as soon as gracee gets involed and spreads the contents of the boxes from one end of the house to the other...that picture just cracks me up and it makes me feel like we all have those days.

love your wall of photos..love the one of the boys and lainey, big brothers rock! nella in the bath makes my heart pang for those days with gracee...it made me remember the smell of baby bath time..sigh.

i hope poppa doesn't mind..but i stole a tad of what he had to say and put it on my blog..i just could not stop thinking about his words so i wanted to pass them on!! love you guys oodles, it is so easy to do!♥

Katy said...

Love the pictures as always.
and the picture of the pile of clothes that is how my room looks during the weekends because I am to lazy to pick them up LOL

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the Special Needs tab. It is beautiful. I'm glad you've addressed the topic as a whole for others & set the boundaries you want for yourself so you can move forward as you see fit according to your own clear calling... and the writing (righting?) is generous and kind to both yourself and others. Best wishes & blessings to you & yours also, and thank you for your blog.

Laura

From Us: said...

Your litte Nella's smiles melt my heart. How unfalteringly beautiful.

D said...

I love looking at all of your photos. You are so amazing. And oh how I adore Miss Nella. She is simply the most precious baby girl ever. Your girls are always so well-dressed too. LOVE it.

Much love,
Dawn from NC

Anonymous said...

I look forward to ending my night reading your blog & looking at your fabulous pictures! thanks for sharing your beautiful family with us! Those girls of yours are just too darn cute!!!

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Brandy said...

Be still my heart... the pearls she is wearing are just to cha-cha for words! Adorable and very lady like the Lainey is : )

Vera said...

OMG the baby clothes brought from the attic, neatly folded, and then torn apart and spread across the room by little hands? That has happened to me so many times that I absolutely refuse to sort or fold clothes while the kids are awake. Lainey's expression in that mirror shot is just priceless!

The Love's said...

Such GORGEOUS photos and I cannot wait to have a scavenger hunt with my Gabs! Thanks for the idea.
Also, can you tell me about the shoes in the picture of the clothes in the pile? I have also seen you wear them in some recent photos. I love them! THANK YOU!

leemeandthegirls said...

Ok, I gotta say it: I'm disappointed about the whole BlogLuxe thing.....not that the winners weren't worthy, but it doesn't get any better than YOU. Just sayin'.

www.leemeandthegirls.blogspot.com

Bestie said...

Love your blog. Would love to know how the wall photos are mounted in the photograph of you daughter putting on the tute (in front of her play kitchen)??

Thanks.

Krysta said...

Your blog is truly beautiful and inspiring. I'm so glad I found it. My friend let me know about it because when she read the birth story of your little Nella, it reminded her of me and what I was trying to articulate to her about the feelings I have for my baby daughter who has Angleman's Syndrome. Thank you for your beautiful way with words!

Jimina said...

Hiya. I live in South Africa and have been reading your blog for a while now. Love it! Love the pics. Love "sharing" your life. You have a beautiful family.

I also have little 2 little oompa lumpa's - Jade a lg 2 and half and Troy Jan 8, 2010. Following Nella's journey is fantastic as Troy also starting to sit etc.

All the best x

Brittany said...

Oh, Nella's smile is just so gorgeous!!! Your blog is so inspiring and reminds me to sit back and literally "enjoy the small things" in my life. Thank you for the encouragement, Kelle.

Brittany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nf1andprek-whisper said...

200 comments wow!!!!!!! I love the outfit for scavenger hunting... my son and I do that but we are not as well dressed.... I love love your headband yellow against your dark hair and your yellow necklace... I want one LOL... I also love the chair in your daughters bedroom... So fun!!!

InsideCF said...

Hey, I was curious if you wouldn't mind sharing how you made that "soft" effect to the pictures of babygirl in the tub? I love the look but can't figure it out?

kate's corner said...

I'm dying to know how you did those photos on the wall in the background of the diptych with Lainey dressing up. Are they just photos printed on matboard or styrene or something? And how'd you hang them. It's such a great look. Love this blog-your girls are my girls' ages :)

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