Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Other Shoe

We are on our way home from an impromptu two-day retreat, and I have turned the very back seat of our car into a temporary office. While my knees are jammed between two car seats and I occasionally have to angle my screen to compensate for sun glare, I can’t complain. My office windows currently happen to offer the breathtaking view of Charlotte Harbor, its canvas peppered with boats whose white sails contrast nicely against the sky, and there are two sweet bodies—one at 10 o’clock, one at 2—to keep me company.

A quick trip to drive Rebecca to her parents’ house on Gasparilla Island turned into an extended stay for us—one that involved mornings sipping coffee on the dock and evenings deciding what Big Olaf ice cream flavor was the best (it’s a tie between Butterfinger Blast and Kahlua Krunch).

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Yesterday morning, as I made a comfortable seat out of sand and positioned myself so I could sip my coffee, watch the pelicans and still keep an eye on Nella who was busy investigating sea oats behind me, I did what you may have done at the intake of this very sentence. I laughed. Seriously. Seaside coffee? Pelicans? Babies and sea oats? Ride a unicorn, why don’t you.

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And my first instinct is to tip the scale, shifting the balance back where it belongs. Birthday party, Isle of Capri, morning coffee on the dock—Fun’s ahead by three points in our lives, and if events aren’t fairly proportioned between work and play, home and away, I’ll feel like we’re doomed for the other shoe to drop. Like that imaginary pinched chick with the tight bun and the clipboard who hands out good and bad will notice our unfair share and come lay hell on our lives.

I'm learning to ride the wave though. Balance occurs naturally, and feeling guilty for a few moments retreat or immediately packing up and heading home, purposefully running out of gas along the way, isn't going to help anything. If anything, a short, calm intermission has revitalized me to return home, restore order, clean clutter, and get back to work, all the while remembering to welcome more tranquil moments and to be grateful for all of itthe highs, the lows, the crazy, the lazy, and the mortar in between.

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I look at balance a bit differently now. It isn't a game of keeping score so much where good and bad, chaotic and quiet, stressful and restful have to be even players in our home but more so a measure of our response to harmonize the presence of whatever circumstances happen to be hovering. When challenges come, we accept them, learn from them, chop and puree those damn lemons into something sweet and likewise, when the good and easy comes, we drink it in gulps knowing that, like hardships, it won't last forever.

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Sea urchin

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It just so happens we had the privilege of leaving the good faucet on a little longer this week.

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Rebecca's parents are also from Michigan and, while we collectively recalled what we missed about our home state--namely, the October russet landscape and fall apple orchard adventures--we unanimously concluded that there is something quite marvelous about babies growing up on the gulf.

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We also realized, after spending a couple days in a fully carpeted home, Nella really does know how to do a real crawl with the whole alternating hand/knee coordination thing--and she does it well. But the minute Smartie's knees hit hard surface, she's skidding her belly seal-style--not to be underestimated, however, because Sister can slither quick and gracefully like the speedy little lizards who dart across our garage floor every morning. She high-tailed it from one end of the walk-around porch to the other in all of one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand seconds.

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Finish Line Reward.

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And, just like a kid at show-and-tell, we whip out our family's best moves for people we haven't seen in a while. Like we have Lainey perform that pointed toe tappy thing she does from ballet (applause, applause) and when Nella slips her foot out of her high chair during dinner, we yell for everyone to come look.

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It was a good couple days.

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Can I get an "amen" for how good it feels to watch your friends love your babies? These kids are my heart and when you love them, you consequently just found yourself a deeper place in my own heart. Likewise, to let my friends know I love them...sometimes loving their kids is the best place to start.

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As balance would have it, I've just smashed my arm into an old Nutrigrain bar, and its sticky remains are glued to my forearm. Nella is unhappily awakening from her travel nap, and we are pulling into our driveway where the scene from my office windows has shifted: a lawn that needs to be mowed, trash cans that need to be put away, a house with closed blinds that, if open, would reveal a post-party hot mess that calls for clean-up.

Oh, it's good to be home.

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The other shoe has dropped.

*********************

Congratulations to the winner of a new Sweet Seat, Comment #462: Picture Parables: Love, love, love your way with words-so much so, that I'm having contractions with my first on the way, and I just HAD to read your blog this morning!

Picture Parables, please send your contact info (and a picture of that new baby!) to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net, and your new little one will soon have something pretty to sit in!


********************

Finally, it just so happens to be an appropriate time to launch the renewed sponsorship of Mamalode magazine because look who's on the cover of the current issue:

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Opening the mailbox to find a new Mamalode issue is always a welcomed surprise. It's a good read--full of thoughtful writing and beautiful complementing photos. I love the variety of Mamalode's content, the freedom of which the writers are able to express themselves, and the overall message that motherhood is hard but rich. Essays are raw, honest and encouraging, and I am proud to be a part of this "Enough" themed issue with "The Secret Reserves," an essay on overcoming feelings of inadequacy and doubt in mamahood.

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Mamalode is quickly growing. Be a part of it and get your subscription HERE.

One comment on this post will randomly be selected to win a free subscription, courtesy of Mamalode.

Stay classy, San Diego.
(sorry, I've been wanting to use that)

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511 comments:

1 – 200 of 511   Newer›   Newest»
Shae said...

Oh, I need to win that Mamaloade! Fingers crossed!

carlotta said...

This post made me smile so hard. The combination of the song on your playlist, sweet girls, your gorgeous writing and ocean bokeh put me on cloud nine. Beautiful, beautiful as usual, Kelle!

Ojibirish10 said...

Oh thanks for the reminder, I've been meaning to subscribe to them for a while now! SInce it's still May I can get away with calling it a late Mother's Day gift still, right?

Knowitall said...

I def. want to read that issue...beautiful pics!! <3

Shannon said...

beautiful as always Kelle, looks like a wonderful impromptu trip.

Libby said...

Such a beautiful post. I am always inspired by your outlook on life. It's wonderful.

Mrs Males said...

Pick me pick me!

Mrs. Schwartz said...

Lainey's swimsuit wedgie kills me! Reminds me of when I taught swimming lessons in high school...so many little wedgies but the littles were too busy to mind!

Liane said...

Simply beautiful :) xx

Jen said...

Your beautiful sunshine filled photos help me through the rainy days of spring! Your girls as always are beautiful!

Michelle said...

The thought of balance is so important - something I strive to remember on a daily basis. Thanks for reiterating it for me today!

Beth said...

LOVE this post. So beautifully said. Like you, I am learning to ride the waves. Some are smooth and some are wild but I'm holding on and enjoying the ride anyways!!

happygirl said...

you all know how to do a couple of days away. gorgeous

Fresh Mommy said...

Just beautiful... we all need those unplanned times away to refresh! This setting is perfect! :) I love the way your writing speaks, as if we're friends and I feel your heart coming through each sentence. I love it, and count me in on the giveaway! Oh and plus... I'm a born and raised Michigander, and we're locating to the gulf in September, so my now 4 year old and 1 year old will be beach babies after that! It was too funny to read your remarks on the very thing ;)

~Tabitha

Laura said...

Ah, but how I would love a free subscription to that lovingly crafted and oh-so-beautiful magazine. Much love to you and your readers today and everyday, Kelle. Thanks for sharing, as always.

little feet in my house
lauraluyt.blogspot.com

Amanda said...

I've been hearing a lot about this magazine!

Denise said...

The picture of Lainey hugging Nella, her "finish line reward" slays me. I love seeing siblings love eachother, will get me every time. The song choice is brilliant and I think Lainey looks a whole lot older since turning 4!!

abbey said...

Sounds like good reading. happy thursday! :)

happymommy said...

Your pictures are breathtaking as usual. The one of Nella looking down in the blue polka dot suit and blue hat...my all time favorite of her right now. She sure is growing and is quite the cutie and Lainey, well she is one little beauty! Love your blog...makes me happy with every post! The cover of Mamalode is awesome, go Nella Bean...you're a Rockstar!!!!

Kate said...

Haha! I say "stay classy, San Diego" all the time, except it's not all that funny because I'm IN San Diego! Beautiful post, love the "sister love" and my heart swelled a little when I saw your friend loving on your sleeping girl. Thats the best!

Maggie said...

Wonderful post as usual, Kelle. Your writing always flows so beautifully and your photos where breath-taking, as usual! A good weekend away is always nice and coming home is always sweet.

--Maggie

marinj said...

Beautiful post. I love your zeal for life and hope I can have the same type of attitude. :)

Jen said...

always lovely and uplifting. and i was so totally going to write a "the other shoe" kind of post today.

thanks for reminding me that there is balance to life. we need that reminder when all we are seeing is the hot mess to clean up and the sticky remains of a fruit bar on our forearm.

thanks for the photos... love the beach. all we got here is rain, rain and rain. oh, and tornado warnings! i'd love to roll with the tide right about now!!

Ben & Jess Buehner said...

Amen for friends loving your babies :-)

♡ Ambrosia said...

This is ALL good!

Life with Kaishon said...

The other shoe has dropped. What a great line : )

Lindy said...

I love all the pictures and wait with anticipation for your next post! Thank you!

Beth said...

Would love to win a subscription. I love seeing that you have new posts up on my dashboard. Makes my day to see your darling little girls' faces.

Katie said...

Beautiful thoughts, as usual. I'm so thankful for your blog :)

Noah Scheibmeir said...
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Kristine said...

Now THAT is a beautiful family photo.
So glad you were able to extend your happy week with friends. Sounds devine! Yay for Mamalode.
xo
Kris

Kathryn said...

*oops, I didn't realize my teenage son was still signed in, hahaha!

classy Kelle - great post and high five to the secret handshake of unicorn lovers!

Lauren McComas said...

"When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and it is time to step off into the darkness, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something firm for you to stand on or you will be taught how to fly." I am recalling this quote often as I await the arrival of our first baby and the transition into the unknown territory of Mommy-hood...any week now!

The Mac's House said...

Right about now it sounds like a dream to raise the babies at the beach.... I'm so ready.

Love the family photo, so cute!

:)
Teri

Kimberly said...

Breathtaking pictures of your beautiful family... We love mini-vacations around here, too. They're so rejuvenating. Sometimes that's exactly what we need!

And the two pictures of Lainey by the pier... When did she suddenly start looking like a real "big kid?" Must be a new four-year-old confidence.

Katie said...

lainey's face is priceless staring at the sea urchin her daddy is showing her! so stinkin cute! im loving your family portrait--you and brett made some BEAUTIFUL little ladies :)

Shannon said...

Ahh, the beach! I must get there quickly myself!

Theresa said...

Kelle,
I swear you live in a different world. Lizards slithering across your garage floor?! And I wouldn't know what a sea urchin was if I saw one. Well... I guess now I would (thanks)!
But I know that it's not about WHERE we are, really. It's about blooming where you're planted.
I'm currently in the middle of a tough decision about which coast I want to end up on. Maybe I just answered my own question!
Anyway, you and your girls bloom beautifully :)

wonderchris said...

Such great pics - and I love Lainey's bangs! Nella's foot grab is just about the cutest thing ever. :)

Cindy said...

love this post, the magazine looks wonderful!

Runningmama said...

My Emily does the foot up out of the highchair thingy...it's amazing how flexible our kiddos with DS are! I moved from Fl to GA not too long ago and everytime I read your blog I get a little taste of home, I miss the ocean!

Genia & Shaylon said...

I got my mamalode magazine last night and I was so excited to see sweet little Nella on the cover. I only made it about half way through the article, but I will finish it. I love the picture of Nella and Lainey hugging. It's so sweet. As always, thanks for sharing.

jen said...

would you believe it was actually the simple sight of the ocean's waves that brought a tear to my eye today?
my friend that watches the two littles sent me a text the other day ... in which she said "have i told you how much i love that your boy grabs his blankie and crawls onto my lap, head on my shoulder and falls asleep? he's now snoring."
my heart burst.

Katherine, Jerrod and Elizabeth said...

Loved the post today! Beautiful little girls!

Nikki Nalbach said...

Loved the post today - just what i needed!

Mary-Cate said...

Your photos make me want to move to Naples. There is an IT company there I told my hubby to apply to :) I need to subscribe to Mamalode, but winning is fun too! Gotta love the Gulf! :) xxoo

Abs said...

I yearn for a beach vacation! But in it's place, we will opt for camping this weekend. Happy Memorial Day!

Katherine said...

I would love to win, but if I don't, I'll give myself a belated Mother's Day gift by subscribing!

Stacy said...

Your kids are soooo stylish and definetly water babies - they love the water!! Awesome!

Sarah said...

Love watching your little ones grow :)

Melissa said...

So happy you got to have a spur of the moment visit at the beach. There is something so magical about sand + ocean + sun + family/friends. It gives me life.

April & Michael said...

That family picture of all 4 of you is so great!! Love the post and pics as always! Nella is such a superstar!

Corlines said...

I had to laugh out loud at your Ron Burgundy reference! The girls are just as sweet as ever. How amazing to see Nella on the cover of a magazine!

emily said...

I just LOVE these pictures. It's so fun to see the adventures you and your girls go on in the sun.

Shannon said...

I like to compare our life to a chocolate chip cookie. It's all sweet...but the chips are sweeter!

Robin @ our semi organic life said...

Love reading your blog!

Emma Krueger said...

Inspiring post as usual!!! Love the pictures of your girls!!!!

Sherri said...

Omigoodness....first the pic with Nella & her arm chubs, made me quickly turn & check my baby to make sure he still has them...i love me some baby chubs. And the pic of Lainey hugging Nella & that lil look on Nella's face...gah, sooo cute!!xo
ps...a subscription would be ahhhmazing!!!

Kristyn said...

May the "other shoe" always be as easy to fix as a messy house :) I'd love to win that subscription to Mamalode - sounds like a fantastic publication!

famtastic said...

what a lovely two days! Can I move to florida and be your friend :)
Michelle B

Lacy Hope said...

Alright, I want this magazine!! Keeping my toes crossed! :)

Jen said...

My husband and I movie quote all the time! Love Anchorman!!!! And this post---so refreshing. I love how grown-up Nella looks lying on her belly on the dock!

Katrina said...

The beach/ocean looks dreamy...makes me wish summer would come quickly! It's almost here :) I would love to win a subscription to Mamalode magazine!

E said...

My heart fluttered at the picture of the girls in jammies, on the stairs, still waking from slumber (love that same look on my little one) and the family picture towards the end. For a glimpse into your world - thank you. E

Emily said...

AMEN! I was JUST expressing this sentiment to a friend of mine who loves my children so much she has melted herself deeply into my swelling heart.
Happy post-party, post-impromptu vacay cleaning /organizing / rejuvinating!

Chelsea Earnhardt Plax said...

some of your prettiest sweetest photos in this post. and a big congratualtions on the cover story - very very much deserved and earned!!

Kelly said...

What gorgeous photos as always! I'm from Michigan and I've always wondered what it would be like to raise little ones in a warmer climate. It gets pretty rough here in the winter!!

Megan said...

beautiful post and even more beautiful pictures. my youngest of 2 daughters (they are 4 and 13 months) also sits like that in her highchair. :) i love it.

Sandy W said...

I always so enjoy looking at your beautiful pictures. I live in Michigan and your pictures make me long to live someplace more tropical. You have such a beautiful family!

Marti said...

I would love to have a subscription to that magazine! I would also love to live on the gulf! Maybe one day...

Riley and Tyler said...

Congrats on making the cover! Happy for your little family. Send me some sand, warm waters and pelicans...I'll swap you with a Northern grizzly bear, granite rock, and 24 hour sunshine. Smiles.

Traci said...

Love the lizard belly crawl photo. She looks determined. What awesome kids!

carolinamom3 said...

This post is beautiful! It really inspired me to enjoy every minute with my children no matter how small.I would love to win this subscription.

Laura said...

you have such a beautiful family, your little girls are just adorable.

julia said...

I just spent three hours at the beach and looking at these pictures makes me want to go back

Mary said...

Sounds like an amazing magazine!

And as always, your words inspire me.

Lindsey said...

Your posts are always so beautifully written. And you take amazing photographs. Sometimes, I'm crazy jealous of you. But then I remember that I've got a great life too, with two girls to love on and in the process of adopting our third from Ethiopia!!

Thank you for the beautiful reminder to keep everything in perspective.

Lindsey :)
almcrock.blogspot.com

Dawn B said...

reading your awesome blog makes me SOOOOO freakin' much to be able to live by the ocean!!!!

Cathy W said...

The picture of Rebecca with Nella brought tears to my eyes. You are so right right. :-)

Lana said...

For some reason, I can't hear the music in Canada anymore. :(
Beautiful photos of what looks like a beautiful place to spend some time. Glad you made it home safely!

Samye said...

I love the family vacation, what sweet memories!

Steph said...

I am so jealous! Cannot wait until ocean weather in Maine :)


islandgirl706@gmail.com

Deborah said...

I love the family photo! You are truely blessed with a beautiful family:)

Deborah said...

I love the family photo! You are truely blessed with a beautiful family:)

Deborah said...

I love the family photo! You are truely blessed with a beautiful family:)

Monique said...

Your pictures always make me long for sunshine. We just don't get enough here. I would to win Mamalode. I keep meaning to subscribe but maybe I will get lucky.

Victoria said...
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Victoria said...
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Victoria said...

now i really, really, really want to go to the beach :)

fantastic family shot!!

that photo of nella and her super flexible leg is too funny! she really is flexible!

Victoria said...

now i really, really, really want to go to the beach :)

fantastic family shot!!

that photo of nella and her super flexible leg is too funny! she really is flexible!

Jillian said...

Go Nella! So proud of your family, and even though I only know you through the blog, I feel joy from the lessons you hand down all of the time!

marlen said...

growing up in the north east and going to school in wpb FL, a piece of me wants to raise my babies in those familiar places. as an air force wife, we are forced to raise our babies on the west cost.. surprisingly, we are loving the unfamiliarity! not going to lie though... you sure do make me miss FL!

Katie-Lee said...

I look forward to reading your posts every day. What a beautiful family and a beautiful life!!!

xoxo

Team Lando said...

1. if i win, do i get the nella cover?
2. can we bring ellie to visit the beach?

Ali's Mom said...

LOVE the Anchorman reference!! Your pics are amazing--looks like a fun relaxing trip. You have the best life!!!

Julie said...

Love the picture of Nella's lashes. Beauty!

Jenni said...

Oh my oh my... school is out ....all 4 of my babies are home. Thank you for my "personal vaca" when I am able to get up in the wee hours of the morning when it is quiet and read your blog! That's just what it is... a vacation for my mind! You will never know how very important your beautiful writing is! For that I thank you!-- :)

medina family said...

So happy! Me reading your blog, listening to your music, seeing your precious girls love each other. Would love to win a magazine...the only ones we get right now are Ranger Rick and Popular Mechanics. Mama needs a magazine! I'm probably the only one reading them anyway. haha!

Thanks, Kelle!
Susan

Sarah said...

Nella's on the cover! Woohoo!
I'm thinking about subscribing- I'm on my way to beginning my motherhood journey, and I can use all the honest and open stories about motherhood I can get.

Jaclyn Hicks said...

The picture of Nella and Lainey, when Nella reached the 'finish' line, made me well up with tears. So sweet....looks like the perfect couple of days.

Adri Hunt said...

Congratulations on sweet Nella being on the cover! How exciting!! I would love to win this!

Katie said...

Your words, your photos, your love for life...so inspiring.
finger's crossed for a win!

Jannice said...

Oh my...too many beautiful pictures to comment on. Your girls truly are beautiful. Yay for Nella being on the cover of Mamalode! You must have been thrilled. My daughter Ava was once featured in Parents "It happened to me" and I was ecstatic! I must have bought 10 extra copies of that issue! ;)
I have to say Laineys long legs remind me of my girls - they're all legs...little spider monkeys. Your last snapshot makes me laugh...Little Nella crawling on you...she looks like shes ready to eat...so funny! Thank you for a great post! Great music too! I got my copy of Mamarazzi in the mail today - super excited about that!

Roxanne said...

You inspire me to be a better mom, wife, and daughter everyday through your blog postings. Like you, I have a special needs child. My daughter was born with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome and a lot of our emotional struggles (and triumphs) seem to be the same. You are like a breath of fresh air.

Angie said...

I was gonna write a checklist of all the things I loved in this post. But then as I went back to make sure I didn't miss anything I realized that I just love the whole dang thing!! Beautiful as always. Love, love, love the WHOLE thing :)

XOXO,
Angie from Ohio

Heather said...

Kahlua Krunch is my vote!! Trips like those are sweet escapes and have the power to refresh and renew us, looks like a fabulous time! Sister hugs are a joy to witness, so glad you shared that!

Karen said...

Your pictures make me wish for warm summer days and trips to the beach. Oh, and ice cream.

Michelle said...

Your mini vaca looks fabulous! Thanks again for another mini dose of motherhood inspiration!

Ellie said...

This momma is overloaded how I could use Mamalode.

Pamela said...

I don't know what was about this post but I found my eyes getting all watery and me all sappy. I am sooo looking for to this weekend when summer officially starts for me and my little one and we are soooo going to "enjoy the small things"!

Ami said...

Like others, I love the "sister love" pic! I am always so happy when I capture the sibling love moments between my son and daughter on camera. (And, looking forward to many more of those once #3 comes in 3 months or so.) Love the spontaneous 2 day retreat! Need to do that, too... or just move to Florida! :)

HollyMarie said...

Up here in Traverse City, MI my kiddos are also growing up as "beach babies"... though our beach season is much shorter than yours so we really have to make the most of it. :)

Mrs. Buckingham said...

Friends loving friends' babies are the best! :) And I'm a little envious watching your babes grow up on the gulf! Lucky you! :) Glad you had time to gulp in your wonderful overload of bliss this week. Don't be hard on yourself, and don't be in such a hurry to clean up everything at home. Take time to get back in sync. Easy does it! :) LOVE LOVE LOVED all of these pictures and especially the family picture of all four of you! And wishing I had a Mamalode subscription because I want the issue with YOU in it! :) Congrats!

Rojas Family said...

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop...the good shoe. It feels like I've been under the bad shoe for the past week. I might just have to make the good shoe drop for tomorrow, just in time for my husband's bday.

By the way, the love the music you add here.

shaina said...

great pictures! I would love to win the magazine!

Lauren@ "Happiness is..." said...

I really needed this post today. This morning I was talking with my mom about how Life is a balancing act and I'm not very good at it. This post was a reminder of so many things that I need to remember in the day to day. Thank you for that! As always, your words and photos are absolutely beautiful.

Tara said...

Your words, photos of your girls and love for life inspires me everyday! Keep it up!

Jennifer S said...

That sister hug is so sweet <3

Holly said...

I could almost cry that my 20 month old has never seen the ocean. Your posts have been doing that to me. Must travel soon.

greilotus said...

Oh! I want to read that issue!!

Strongmomma said...

Your getaway looked so nice :)!!

Jeroen & Mirella Schulte said...

Wow so cute the sister hug, really adorable.
Again you made beautiful pictures, really love this blog.

Big hug Mirella

mamgof4 said...

As I sit daily not ableto do the things you do because of a severe back injury I tend to live through your visions of the lovely pictures that you allow all of us to see through your eyes. I am so amazed by your way with words and your amazing photos that you take. I can not say enough about the pictuer that you captured of Lainey with the flag. I love Flag pictures. I am not sure if you found her standing there but I love that photo. I love all your photo's but that one and the prize for crawling around the porch was PRECIOUS. THANK YOU

Amanda said...

Love reading your words, It helps me along my path with a sick child and constant hospitalizations. I just love reading a mama's encouraging words!

Duryea Place Designs said...

This post makes me want to visit the coast. Your pictures are lovely, as always.

Megan said...

Love the post. I'm so ready for an impromptu trip somewhere. I would so love to read the article. I unfortunately can't purchase one right now. With the way life is hitting right now we are walking a very tight line. Congrats for making it into another magazine. The doctor's office let me keep the Parents magazine that you were in. lol...

The Harvin Family said...

My goodness Nella is so sweet! and I sure do wish our part of the gulf looked like your part of the gulf (we got the muddy part). I would never leave it!

Julie said...

I love a good magazine! Put the baby down for nap, grab some Diet Coke, and curl up with some reading...bliss.

mama marchand said...

I just love love love that picture of Lainey and Nella hugging. SO SWEET. :)

sarahmarie0730 said...

Stay classy, San Diego, lollll!!! You crack me up:)

Looks like you guys had a great trip and I agree, amen to friends that love our babies:) It really does take a village...

matt & kaylea said...

Kelle-- what is the font on the Sweet reserve title? I LOVE it!

KennerFamily said...

I so love reading your honest, candid thoughts. It is refreshing to know that there is another mama who feels the small random things I feel. Thanks for sharing.

Molly said...

Beautiful photos. I am so excited because I ordered the same lens you use for my camera! I am so ready to learn to take better photos and a new lens is just the kick in the butt I need.

Going to check out that magazine now.

kteacher22 said...

Fingers crossed for Mamalode! And my son can do the foot out of the highchair thing, too-HA! :)

kristen said...

this magazine sounds amazing!

Lindsey said...

How I wish my children could grow up on the beach. I'm jealous! Really I am quite envous!

CMB said...

Always love to see photos of your sweet littles...love the expression on Lainey's face as she looks at the sea urchin :) Also love the sleepy-eyed babes in their jammies...thanks for sharing your wonderful life with us Kelle and helping us realize how wonderful our own lives are too!!!

Katy said...

That water looks so inviting right now.

Andrea and Jeff said...

I LOVE the picture of sisters hugging...what a sweet moment that must have been.

Kirby Johansen said...

Nella is trully a RockStar!!!

Heather said...

Ohh I need a beach for my babies! But I do have mountains at least. So true, what you said about friends loving your babies.

Sarah said...

This post made me long for another beach vacation! So beautiful. It was a wonderful antidote to another rainy Oregon day.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post as always... I love visiting your blog; it's always so inspirational. Looks like the magazine is too - would LOVE to win!

Cara said...

What an exciting week you have had. Sometimes it's nice to get back home and get things in order. Balance it key.

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

What a beautiful picture of Nella on the front, and of the three of you on the inside cover. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out!

chelsea dawn said...

love your words. all the humor intertwined with reality all wrapped up in love. makes me smile everytime, keep it up!! and your girlies are sweeter than sweet!!
love the mamalode cover of nella, she is gorgeous!!!

Tom and Alicia said...

Oh how I enjoy reading your blog, watching your children grow and dreaming of warm sand and blue waves. Not much of that warmth here in the rainy northwest! :) No much time here to read magazines with 5 precious angels (9 & under) but I'd sure make time if that magazine was Mamalode! Pick me, Pick me!
Thanks for sharing your life with us!

Carrie said...

Isn't it interesting how the balance always needs to shift, including with life being easy or hard. I always used to wonder, when things were going well, what horrible thing was awaiting me in the near future? You get nervous. But I've finally learned how to enjoy the good for as long as it stays, and ride the bad, whatever it may be, for the good will soon return!
I love the family picture of the 4 of you!

Betsy Black said...

You have the best playlists to accompany your beautiful photography & beautiful words! Thanks for always brightening my day!

Cindy said...

I, too, am damn afraid of that other shoe dropping...as if the mere thought of that horrid "record keeper" will brung about calamity. sigh. glad I am not alone (or too neurotic) lol

The Lincolns said...

Well, I'm having a monumentally crap-tastic day so perhaps the other shoe will drop for me and provide me some good with being the winner of the Mamaloade subscription. A girl can hope, right?

In the meantime, reading your posts and looking forward to our won family getaway next week is sure to bring a flow of goodness to an otherwise gnarly Thursday.

Tara Jeles said...

I'm just laughing about your sign off....you stay classy too.
How awesome is that.
Nella's eyelashes by the way are angelic :)

Kmbrough said...

Such a beautiful blog & journey. Simply inspirational. :o)

JC's mom said...

Nice Anchorman reference! and yes, I would love a free subscription to Mamlode magazine. I sit in a beach chair waiting on two kiddos to come home, one on a regular bus and the other on a special bus - I love to read magazines to relax while I wait.
J & C's mom

Bug and the Sweet Banana said...

That photo of Lainey on the porch with the flag? Love it. Such an All-American image. Charlotte Harbor is near my parents' home. (They live in Punta Gorda.) I would love for you to photograph my little loves the next time we venture Gulf-ward.

SuperMilf said...

Yay for cover girl Nella! Too cool!
Your beach pics are so amazing. I literally felt a stab in my heart looking at the water and longing to be in a place just like that.

Monique said...

OMG beautiful as ever! Seriously, you just ROCK! So much to love about this post. Nella's eye lashes, Mamaload front cover, the inside photo of you and your girls ( my all time favorite), Lainey the beach rockstar and of course your words, so inspirational and insightful!
How I would love to raise my boys on the waters of the Gulf...maybe we will just have to visit one day...

Happy days to you

Monique

kellijean said...

I just recently found out that I am expecting our first child! Reading your blog makes me even more excited for the joy that is coming our way. Thank you for writing.

Mr. and Mrs. Jackson said...

I would love to win that subscription...

oh, and I teared up when I saw the "finish line reward" pic. :)

Mr. and Mrs. Jackson said...

I would love to win that subscription...

oh, and I teared up when I saw the "finish line reward" pic. :)

Tracy said...

gotta love Gulf babies!
I want the Mamalode!!!

MeganMR said...

Another awesome post Kelle! Love the picture of Lainey hugging Nella on the deck. Priceless.
I am trying to find some balance myself!

Erin said...

Photo slay overload! The sparkly ocean water that is soooo close I could touch it, the frothy turquoise waves, Lainey by the flag, the sisterly hug....all so beautiful!

Summit of Glory said...

Giddy-up unicorn mama! Luv it! xo

Aubrey said...

Beautiful!

xo katrina said...

beautiful post. and you're so right..my friends who love on my kids hold a truly special place in my heart.

C and M said...

I need to check out this magazine! It sounds wonderful. And YES, AMEN to friends and families loving on my babies!

Sophie said...

Love the way you write, so heartfelt and lovely!

46246952-87d9-11e0-81b2-000bcdcb8a73 said...

"When friends love my kids they find a place deeper in my own heart", I just loved this sentence in your post. A great reminder for all those who need friends, look at the kids that you kids play with, love them and then befriend their mom. Just great!!!

Jennifer said...

Love that you share your life with all of us. Im a new mama to a 4 month old...mamaloade would be a good way to show me there is a way to enjou this journey that i so wanted.

Kelly Cach said...

Love that after reading this, my forearm feels a little sticky :)

Also love:
Sibling hugs
Your family photo
Friends loving our babies
Nella's bendy legs--haha!

Congrats on the magazine cover and essay.....of course, I choked back tears.

Much love,
Kelly

My Secret Rooms said...

I am _loving_ the photo of the four of you. You look happy!
It looks like a great couple of days.
Having friends love your babies must be wonderful. My life hasn't been like that but recently I've had a taste of it and I agree: unbeatable feeling!

Bless you for sharing and giving energy. Thanks a bunch!

Jo's Corner said...

The beach/ocean pictures make me long for a trim figure and for my breasts. You don't know how much you'll miss something, until it's/they are gone. Breast Cancer Sucks!

Selina said...

Sometimes you just deserve some extra good! :D I'd love to win the subscription to mamalode!

Michelle Landwehr said...

I love this post and I love the photos. We live near the ocean in California but being from the East Coast, the water just isn't the same here as there...I miss it and must get back for a visit soon!

Jen said...

So want to be there on the beach sipping my coffee!! Looks so WONDERFUL! Beautiful pictures!
Thank you!

3 Cupcakes said...

I love how your words, so beautifully written along with your awesome playlist helps me to be somewhere else. Someplace peaceful, light, and full of love. Gives me hope that one day I will feel at least half of what oozes from your soul. Love your blog! :)

Larissa said...

stay classy san diego.... love it. just watched that on the weekend. :)
glad you had a good weekend away! :)

Carin said...

Admiration. Feeling it for you right now. Thanks for capturing what so many of us feel...

Million Dollar Mamma said...

We say that all the time here in SD. I love the golf too though. Just always being warm feels good. gotta subscribe to Mamalode. must must must.

KWQR said...

Oh that water looks so inviting... makes me want to climb into my computer screen & go for a nice swim!!! Gorgeous photos as always. Loving my copy of Mamalode that showed up in my mailbox today. Can't wait to read it cover to cover when my guys head out for swim lessons this afternoon. Would love to give a gift subscription to my sister if I were to win.
Welcome home, again!
xo
Kate

lynxymama said...

i am feeling very much the same way, a week full of family and then we found out we're having a baby GIRL this october! so much happiness lately, it's like it can't stay this perfect forever, and it won't but it's really amazing when it's like this!!

Jill Browning said...

Thanks for sharing your words and photos. Reading your posts is like taking a nice tiny vacation in the middle of the day!

Sunny said...

Gorgeous photos! I think I am due for a trip to the beach for some of that healing sunshine!

Kelly said...

Congrats on your Mamalode publication!
I love the pictures of your impromptu retreat...you convey such a love for life that I long for every day.
Thank you, Kelle. I feel re-energized after reading your posts :)

On another note, I just welcomed my second nephew into the world yesterday, and let me tell you..I'm in love :)
Ever since I read Nella's birth story, I've had such a deeper love for littles (and bigs, too). Through your words and pictures, I have loved deeper.
Thank you for that, Kelle. I hope you never stop doing what you're doing, because what you're doing is simply AMAZING! :)

Em said...

Pick me. Pick me. Pick me. I'm returning to work after 14 months and could seriously use an article around self doubt and inadequacy.

PS: I thought I was the only one who, in the midst of wonderful consecutive days, thinks about the other shoe dropping. Like you I push it away but I do think it. How refreshing.

Kristyn said...

I absolutely love the way you write, and how this all will one day be read by your children. It's purely beautiful.

Hillary said...

Love Mamalode and love that you're a part of it! Forgot to grab a copy today at my local store, but would love my own subscription, too!!!

Kiwi Sarah said...

What an amazing way to spend an impromptude few days. Our warms days have only just ended and already I'm forgetting how it feels to have the warm sand under my feet. Thankfully your photos bring those memories back :)

Theresa said...

Beautifully written! Thanks!

Melina said...

I completely understand what you mean, I have my own doubts with juggling the good care free days with the work heavy days, so I often try to do them both at once and it doesn't work too well....it can end up spoiling both of them!

Go NELLA! She is going to be one heck of a yoga teacher!

xo
Melina

Ruth said...

As always, another wonderful post and great way to spend naptime. :-)

Kendall said...

Love love these photos. Each and everyone made me smile. :)

3de253aa-87e1-11e0-a158-000f20980440 said...

Beautiful cover!

Aly Matt N Macy said...

Mamalode looks great! Love the girls cuddling photo...melts your heart :)

Tina said...

Great pictures! I especially like the one of Lainey in her pjs standing by the water with what looks like a towel around her neck - she has total morning eyes. Looks like she just rolled outta bed and had to go hang out by the water right away, like a true Floridian. Is Floridian a word?

And... are you serious? That's a sea urchin?! I don't know if I could live on the gulf. Seriously terrified of all things that swim/live in the ocean. I'm such a wimp that I'm even scared to swim in a lake because I think that sharks will get me. Yes, I said sharks. In the lake. Sad, isn't it? ;)

Sure would love me a subscription to Mamalode!

Erin said...

beautiful!

xo
Erin

pinkandpolos.blogspot.com

Laura said...

Here's your AMEN. That is one of the most beautiful things about children -- seeing them get love from a friend. Oh, how I love your words. I need to get me some Mamalode.

Erin said...

This was a great post Kelle. I would love to win the subscription... thanks for the opportunity!

teal915 said...

You almost want to make me pack up our Pennsylvania home and move to the beach. You're right, though, the Gulf is the best. My favorite beach is in Pensacola, FL. The sand is white and powdery. The water is crystal blue. It's like stepping into a post card. Your pictures make me miss it.

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