Friday, August 19, 2011

The Gun Show

Photobucket

The photo trumped words for way to begin a Friday post.

Just when I'm dropping terms like psychological pre-programming, as if poor Florida couldn't live up to my old Midwest's performance during the summer/fall shift, Florida got all pissed off. "I'll show you," she said. "You wanna compare me with Michigan? Fine. I'll have the last word."

And then she did. Florida, with her kaleidoscope skies and warm salty waters, had the last word.

Photobucket

Photobucket

She doesn't like to be challenged, that Florida. She'll pull out the big guns.

Bam.

Photobucket

Bam.

Photobucket

Welcome to the gun show.

Photobucket

Last minute trips to the beach are the best. When you're tired and the number of tile squares covered in toys and melted popsicle puddles outnumbers the clean ones. When there's nothing to make for dinner, so an attractive alternative is to ditch. Text a beach all-call, burn rubber out of the driveway and head out from under the cover of gray clouds toward the open air of Florida's pride and joy--her welcoming coast. She has 1,350 miles of it to share.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

And she has no problem showing off.

Photobucket
Photobucket
The Voyage of the Sea Turtle: Every time she made it to the water line, I'd run to rescue her from the drop off, pulling her waaaaaay back to our blanket. But she'd start again, with the determination of a baby sea turtle making his greatest life journey. Eyes on the prize, legs a shovelin'. She made this journey maybe thirty times and never tired.

Photobucket

Lainey's been mastering the art of the post-bathing turban towel for about a year now. That last twist is hard, and it always fell but she's four now and she has it down. Welcome to womanhood, sister.

Photobucket

I like to think that a trip to the beach is like drinking kale shakes for breakfast or getting one of those foil-wrap sweat cleansings. The combination of salt and sand, sky and sea--it's immune-boosting, of this I am sure.

Photobucket

Photobucket

We talked about nothing much. Traced shapes in the sand with our fingers. Filled holes with buckets of water and watched as puddles slowly dissolved into dense, wet sand. We waded in the shore, up to our shins, and then ran back to the blanket, kicking sand so it glued to our skin like a sugared donut. I swept small shells out of Nella's mouth, chased her crab crawl down to the water's edge, and floated with the big girl because she was brave and wanted to go far enough where her feet didn't touch the bottom.

Photobucket

Photobucket

My friend Andrea had one request. After the sun slipped into the horizon, after the post show of layered scarlet clouds, right as I turned to shake blankets and gather lost pails and shovels, she asked, "Can we pack up and then sit and stay until it's dark?" Which I took to mean "Can we extend this happy hour to a full-course dinner of buttered crab legs?" To which the answer is always yes. Hell yes.

So we stayed. We made seats for the kids from coolers and upside-down buckets and, in the black calm of that quiet beach, we told them a story about a secret party that happens late at night where the beach comes alive and crazy seagulls dance a jig. Thanks to Andrea, the latter part was acted out and now I'll never look at a seagull the same again.

Buttered crab legs are best followed by ice cream. Also known as, I can't let a good party end. So, well past the girls' bedtime, our evening had an encore at the old DQ down town.

Photobucket

Photobucket

It was the epitome of a hot summer night.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The best way to do DQ with a baby is to go for it. Bring a pack of Wet Ones and let them live their one wild and precious life in a big sticky mess.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

So, yes I may yearn for imaginary season shifts next month, but deep in my bones an appreciation for balmy air laden with sea salt has grown. Where 1,350 miles of coastline promise warm nights, bare feet, and Dairy Queens that stay open all year long.

*****

Friday Photo Dump:

Photobucket

*****

Winner of the Mountain Aven Baby $25 gift certificate: Comment #233 (Yay Melina!)

Melina: Hi kelle! This post makes me want to clean my house, take my dogs on a big park adventure, and arrange a cool BBQ on the beach with my friends. So I'm going to go do those things. Thank you!!! Xoxox Melina

Melina happens to be an excellent writer
whose blog I've enjoyed for a while.

Melina, send me your contact info to kellehampton@comcast.net and you can pick out a gift for someone you love.


*****

Also, last chance to use Code KELLE10 for 10% off handmade natural body products at Heal My Sole.

Happy Weekending!

Bam. Gun show, baby.

Photobucket

141 comments:

Adriana Iris said...

Lovely golden light... Continue seeking... have a good weekend.

Peeper said...

Sometimes, like right now, I do miss Florida! Today in San Francisco the temperature is barely 60 and the fog doesn't look like it will burn off this afternoon. If we went to the beach we'd be wearing jackets and hats ;) Luckily, I don't have to resort to that - I'll just go back to look at your pictures again.

Much to My Delight said...

Everything about this post made me smile. The images of your precious baby girl covered alternatively in sand and ice cream epitomizes what summer is all about. I just adore your blog. It makes me so happy.

Deb said...

Not sure which is more adorable being covered in sugary sand or melted ice cream! I do know which one is easier to clean however! :)

Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Kelle,
A friend pointed me to your blog and I am in love! You've inspired me to do my own Friday Phone Dump, check it out of you're interested!

http://farmersdaughterct.com/2011/08/19/friday-phone-favorites/

Liane said...

Florida puts England to shame! Beautiful photos xx

nicole said...

Nella has a piece of my heart here in Ohio.

mrs.t talking said...

I love when Nella eats Ice Cream- those photos made me laugh so hard today- something I needed on my busy Friday! Thanks so giving us insight into your wonderful life!

Tina said...

Literally LOL'd and woke up my daughter sleeping on the couch beside me... gun show. Seriously. You are 100% American!

I've been meaning to ask (and it's probably way too late) where you got Lainey's bathing suit that is black with white polka dots. Sweetest bathing suit ever!

I am beyond jealous of you for living right by the ocean. Although I'm a wuss and am scared to swim in the ocean... I am totally convinced I will get eaten by a shark or stung by a jellyfish. This fear makes me hesitant to swim in lakes as well. So totally irrational, I know!

The Watzeks' said...

You always give me that extra boost of "super mom" when I'm feeling extra tired chasing my two little ones around all day. You make me find an extra "umph" of mama powers to make our days just a little more fun and special when I think I'm on empty.
Thank you.

Scott and Jean Lucas said...

Beautiful pictures, some of my favorites :)

Team Lando said...

BEAUTIFUL! Love it.

jen said...

someday ... i'm going to be a part of a beach all call and i'm going to scoot myself and my three crazy children down to florida with nothing but our swimsuits and towels and whatever is in my purse. and we're going to stay for the ice cream. deal? deal.

Jennifer said...

Really... There is NOTHING better than an "ice cream face". Love it!

ZAMA said...

Kelle, I am not a clean freak but I am always telling my kids not to spill... I need to rethink my reasoning.. really being a kid is to be able to make messes and that smile from nella tells me my kids need more messes. Thank you!

Jannice said...

Man, those babies must have slept hard!! Looks like you all had so much fun. I always love to rub sand all over my legs - natural loofah. How can Nella stand to have that sand crunching in her teeth?! :)

katie said...

babies and icecream make me happy.

Stunningly Sweet said...

Oh my, the sky looks like it is on fire~amazing! Love Nella's sandy hands and ice cream covered face! Love Lainey's towel wrap-go girl! Wishing you a happy weekend!

Dani said...

amazing pictures as always...

That Nella...girl knows how to work and ice cream cone and make it look so darn cute!

Naomi said...

These are so beautiful! I hope to one day have the equipment and talent to take such amazing photos for my kids to show to their kids!

Rocksee said...

sun, babies and ice cream.. the epitomy of happy.

the snow is hanging over us.. and soon will be on our doorstep.. your blog is my last little yearnings of summer!

Phyl said...

Awwwwwww, Kel, so great. Looks like so much fun!

Summit of Glory said...

Ok. I'm running out of words to compliment your posts. Wondering what you would have written about if those guns hadn't gone off at the beach? So lovely. FL really showed you. xo

shellycoulter said...

Yay to letting our kids live their one wild and precious life too! When its still cute and okay to eat ice cream like that. Love it! :)

redheadreverie said...

Living in Iowa I can't imagine a spontaneous trip to the beach...wow! It would be Heaven. What a glorious day!

dottie said...

Oh how I wish I was in Florida! I love that last DQ shot with ice cream all over her tiny hands! That what life is all about.

I keep begging my Husband to move there! Florida, not Dairy Queen! LOL.

Natalie said...

Aahhh the beach. There really is nothing like it!

Victoria said...

what a way to open your post, breath taking photo!!!

and oh my word, those pictures of nella enjoying her ice cream cone are PERFECT!!! love it!!!

happy friday!

Farmgirl Paints said...

oh girl seriously coming here is a vacation. love little nella eating that cracker with sand all over her hands and the one of your feet. awesome as always. someday...we need to eat those buttered crab legs together. is there anything better?? one can dream!

Crystal said...

I absolutely love how you can still tell Nella has an all over grin on her face in the silhouette/profile picture with you. Priceless.

Simply B said...

AHHH, gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous. Every last drop.

Maria said...

I know someone who would have a heart attack if a drop of an ice pop landed on her kid's shirt. Forget about ice cream dripping off the side of a cone. Her two precious boys do not know the joy of making a sweet, sticky mess of themselves without getting yelled at so my heart lifts everytime I see Nella going to town on a melting ice cream cone or chewing a sandy cookie or scooting down the driveway until she's a smiling, sweating, filthy mess. I love that they know, to the marrow of their bones, what it means to really be a kid & they will cherish this childhood that you are providing for them.
Have a great weekend, Kelle
Love,
Maria

Renee said...

Absolutely stunning!!! I wish I had a place like that to pick up and go to. Maybe in my next chapter of life. :) Have a fabulous weekend!

Kat said...

Oh, I love the ice cream pics. Nella looks like she is in pure heaven! What a great Mama you are!

StarMommy said...

Yes. That seals it. Florida is calling my name. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

Angela said...

Ah-maZing! love the photo of Lainey and her friend running on the beach. GORGEOUS. Gorgeous post, as always.

Jennifer said...

I have been reading your blog for a while and it always inspires me to go home kiss my babies(14 year old hates this) and go make some memories. Thank you for that.

Mendie said...

I can't tell you how much I look forward to your posts. I was stuck in traffic and glanced at facebook on my phone....get out of the way people...Kelle has a new post! I learn from you...I do! :)

themarketplacegirls said...

Thank you Kelle, it has been a hard day for me ( adult children issues) and I needed to see your precious children and friends just enjoying life . it lifted my spirits and made me smile. blessings to you and your sweet family !

Denise said...

Enjoy your weekend, I love the turban wrap....my little girl perfected it around the age of 4 as well. Definetly an initiation into woman hood.

Kimberly said...

Beautiful pictures and stories, as always. "The best way to do DQ with a baby is to go for it. Bring a pack of Wet Ones and let them live their one wild and precious life in a big sticky mess." Love this quote. So very true.

LilianEveDesigns said...

love ya XOXO

ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, how can you possibly have such great hair in FLORIDA? I'm in PA and my hair is a blonde, frizzy mess- nearly year round:).

AND, Nella is stunningly beautiful.

Love all the ice cream shots:).

Rock on.

Katy said...

Love all your pics but I especially love the first and last photos :)

The Annessa Family said...

Whenever I read your posts I just want to melt into them and join your world - it seems so crazy beautiful.

Brooke
www.TheAnnessaFamily.blogspot.com

Candi said...

I freakin LOVE your blog Kelle. I smile at everyone of your pics(especially the towel turban today). Thanks again for sharing and giving me something to think about. This world is beautiful...wherever we may live, and thanks for reminding me to appreciate it :)

Brittany said...

You're pictures make me miss Naples so much! This is the first year in over 20 that I won't get to visit. I miss post-sunset ice cream runs to that DQ!

sheri said...

This whole post made me smile. Thank you!

Every Scrap Countz said...

We live at the beach too, and I couldn't agree with you more! There's no place like it, especially early mornings and late nights!

Laura said...

Hey, can you do a post about the best places in Naples to go with babies/kids....my parents bought a place in Naples and it is going to be out annual retreat from cold Canada!

I love you blog, you are a very good writer! I share your blog with everyone I know :)

Amy K said...

i love the way you put your words together. have been enjoying reading for a few years and you've never ceased to inspire me. thank you.

Sarah said...

Oh my!!! for your next q&a: how do you take pictures like that? Where you see the dark figures and the sun? Is it editing or a lens? I absolutely love them...

Happiness is... said...

I'm with LillianEve - your hair always looks terrific especially for living in Florida. I would have the white chick fro if I be down there. :)

Love, love, love ice cream face. It's sort of a Santa effect that made me laugh loudly out loud. Go for it kid.

How do you get the silhouette effect in the earlier shot? Ah, my awesome photographer friend is visiting tomorrow, so I'll pick her head then.

Peace out. Rock your weekend. You've been a writing fool this week (definitely appreciated though).

Jennifer

Poella Divine said...

My favorite is Nella with the icecream. And Lainy with her friends. What a beautiful post. Your photography is amazing. Thank you for sharing. What a great way to end my day!

Angela Bowden said...

Your girls are gorgeous. Every time. And the Florida sky- it tries really hard to hold a candle to them.

Love the photos with ice cream all over Nella's face. Makes me look forward to giving Henry his first DQ cone :))

http://ramblingsfromtheanimalfarm.blogspot.com/

kcolquitt said...

Go for it Nella Baby!! Eat it up!

Hazel said...

Classic, the photos of Nella eating her ice-cream made us laugh out loud! She certainly looks very happy!

Mallory said...

Florida is great. I used to love the beach when I was in college now I'm learning to re-appreciate it as a Mom.

Krissy said...

oh my gosh.. I very rarely comment but those pictures of Nella with the ice cream cone? OH... MY... lauging out loud! She sure enjoyed that. Thanks for sharing. Love love love you pics and so look forward to every single post!

Janet said...

The best way to deal with toys and popcicle puddles on the floor is just to pile a bumch more things on top of them but artistically like you meant it to be that way. You have little girls so you probably don't have legos and k'nex, which work well for this task! I think you could pull it off with a well-placed doll and a few play dishes.

Rebekah said...

Hmmm tell Florida I need to come for a visit and see her beautiful beaches and sunsets...oh and DQ. Love the pictures.

Kristin said...

I was just gonna ask if the sprinkles help with the melty ice cream drips... then I scrolled down. Guess not ;)

Rebekah said...

Gotta love that sunsat. Bam is right.

I have a question.... how do you do your friday photo dump collage?

Thanks,

Rebekah

Elleah said...

I love that you let Nella get all messy! :)

Shelley :) said...

SOOOO....I'm turning 40...and going to Maui in +/- 5 days. I jumped on the popina website, bought four bathing suits (yes...couldn't resist) and they arrived TODAY!! Seriously. I'm so amazed they fit. Because I've tried on every "boy short" in existence and they must be made for...boys. But not these. They're SOOOO cute and sexy. I'm in love and can't wait to rock it out. Thank you for the referral. :)

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my goodness. So absolutely gorgeous.
Love your guns.

lynxymama said...

Every single pic is sooooo adorable in this post! That Bella girl is so very dear. I hav not been to Florida since I was 13 years old, hoping to visit Naples with my babes in a few years, that sand!!!!! It's just magic to me, a dreamland!

Ashley said...

I love the beach pictures! I love living in Naples and knowing that I can run to the beach at anytime with my boys. I love your earrings...where are they from? Once again, your blog inspires me.
Thanks,
Ashley

lynxymama said...

I mean nella!! Pesky autocorrect!!

Jess said...

She brought out the big guns alright! Glad you got to enjoy it with your sweet girls. Love the DQ pictures. We may have to make a trip there this weekend!

The Munchkins Mama said...

I want to know how you keep all your camera equipment safe from all that sand!

Angela said...

Your pictures are heart crushingly sweet. Which is so very, very good.

Lisa said...

Thought you might enjoy:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet, they do not belong to you.



You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you

cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.



You are the bows from which your children of living arrows are sent forth.



Let the bending in your archer's hand be for gladness.



~ Kahlil Gibran

April Vernon said...

What a treat to enjoy a new post from you tonight! I've had a long, busy, tiring day, and ended it curled up with my laptop feeling like I was on the beach, too! GREAT pics, as always!

I was inspired to redo Levi's room after seeing Lainey's room makeover (with a Levi Strauss theme of course!). I'll try to get pics on my blog soon. Less than 2 weeks before his billboard goes up!!! I am giddy!!!

shasta said...

Love that you let your kids stay up past bedtime in the name of creating memories and embracing summer! I enjoy your Friday Phone Dump so much that I have started doing the same thing on my blog...call me a thief but I totaly stole your idea because it was so good!

SuperMilf said...

Babies + ice cream cones = awesomeness.
SO CUTE!

Laura said...

Oooooh, you may have convinced me. The spontaneity, the freedom to make an ice cream mess, the sunset-view and late bedtime. It gives the scheduled, rule-follower in me the jitters. I want to try it. :)

lightkeepersdaughter said...

A Friday post that leaves me filled to the brim with 'warm and fuzzy'! Thank-you...........Rosemary

Liz said...

I love that cool yoga-like move Lainey's pulling in the pic of her on the sand in the orange bathing suit! :)

And I swear I didn't mean to copy you, but I just started a "Friday Phone Dump" over on my blog where I "dump" all my phone's pics from the week every Friday. I just realized that I've seen it here on your blog & I guess didn't even remember that you called it that. Oops!!!!

Erin said...

i love your stories and photos, time and time again you inspire me. thank you :) enjoy your beautiful girls this weekend!

xo
Erin

pinkandpolos.blogspot.com

Kelsie said...

What enchanting beach pictures. I am surrounded by oceans of wheat fields and would love the chance to dive into an real ocean right now. Your pictures took me there. Thank you.

Picaperu said...

your photos make me miss Florida so much! it's such a picture perfect place. and i absolutely LOVED the pics of nella eating ice cream... such an inspiration for me to just let my girls enjoy their messy childhood. cheers mama!

DeAnn said...

Ahhhh, I can't wait, we leave for a week long trip to Panama City in 7 short days! I can't wait to see my own little crab scoot'n her boot to the waterline. It will be a first for her. The last time we were at the beach, which was only a weekend trip for a family reunion, she was just 2 months old. This time she'll be 17 months and full of strength and confidence. And DQ at the coast on a warm summer night is the best!

Oh, if only Naples was a little closer to Birmingham, I'd answer a beach all call in a heart beat! I'd so love to see our girls together. Two blond cuties with designer genes take'n on the world, fearlessly.

Kim Bart said...

Love, love, love the lighting in the last pic. Sooooo beautiful!

melissa said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this blog - so refreshing to read such "positivity" & see beautiful & real photos... way better than reality television!
THANK YOU so much for sharing.

melissa said...

...too funny, I didn't see the gal above me wrote "love, love, love" also until I posted my comment - See Kelle, you are just loved way too much!

Just Trying Not to Blink .... said...

I love seeing babies out past their bedtime eating ice-cream!

My Secret Rooms said...

How lovely and wonderful Miami is! She told us all :-)
Beautiful pictures for sure!

Now I'm in the perfect mood to start our weekend here.

Hope you'll have a great one!

Evelyn said...

beautiful

Wenche said...

This is the most beautiful blog I have found - so far ;). Thank you for giving me a glimpse of your life. Your photos are a great inspiration.

Jennie Louise said...

Gorgeous family photo's to treasure...really lovely shots of the kiddies. Too cute.
The silhouette shot is great, as is the gooey ice cream face. Adorable.
Im just reading other peoples comments about 'Friday Phone Dump', Is that just where you download photo's (whatever they are) onto blog with no further comment/story with them? Sounds quite a sweet idea. I may try it on a Sunday. Ha.
Keep up the good work.

Anyone who would like to check out my blog, please come along - the more the merrier.
http://www.snapdragonshots.com/

The Cubs Cuties said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cubs Cuties said...

I live in Iowa...and why the crap do I get so sea and salty jealous when I read posts like this... Cause, yes, girlfriend...we've got the seasons here... The leaves are just about to start considering their ever-gorgeous transformations into our colored-crisp fall air... But we don't have sunsets like that. Beaches like that. Your babies are blessed to have such a fun-lovin' momma who rocks their senses every single day and night. Ya rockstar. Bam. Awesome post.

Debbie said...

Oh my. I love this post! I am born/raised/still live in Michigan, but I can see why you fell in love with Florida and all it has to offer. Beautiful, Kelle. Also, I think that last photo of Nella with the ice cream cone is priceless. Her face = childhood. Thanks for sharing!

Debbie

Ryan Cheney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen said...

The silhouette photo of you and Nella is priceless...

Meagan Kenney said...

Ah DQ...love it! That cone is bigger than Nella! Sad I can never take my kids there. My middle one has a severe peanut allergy. No DQ...that's like missing small sliver of your childhood.

And I have to say I get irritated when I see that you have removed posts...not at you of course! But are people out there leaving nasty comments?! Why do they bother.... xoxo

ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska said...

Little Nella is so stinking adorable with ice cream covering her face and clothes!

Irene said...

Uhh, I am sooo jealous, I always wanted to live in Florida for exactly those reasons, 1350 miles of shoreline sounds like a 1350 good reasons to live there...and last-minute trips to the beach, and ice-cream after dark...Germany doesn't have any of that! Guess we will have to hop on a plane soon to visit Florida again, I can't wait, I want sand, and sunsets and ice cream after dark for my kids!!

And you and your girls are absolutely gorgeous, I love your hairstyle and your girls are really cute.

Love your blog, it's such a happy place!

Katie said...

Haha so glad Lainey got the turban down, definitely the first initiation into the sisterhood! xo

rebecca said...

,,,love the photos of nella going to town on her own icecream cone!,,,and the photos of nella on the edge, she's fearless,,,

Sarah said...

ice cream is best when licked off a baby's fingers!

Carlee said...

Your Floridian-in-denial dialogue is all too familiar! I am an Ohioan-turned-Virginian (and not just Virginia, but coastal, middle-of-nowhere Virginia....sometimes they even leave us off the VA map!) and we experience the same kind of anti-autumn that you get in Florida. But hubby and I decorated our entire kitchen in fall leaves, to try to compensate!

SanFranciscoMomsDealFinder said...

I love the last minute trip with friends with kids. We are moving to a new state next week and I am so sad to leave my support group. I met these mamas when my twins were 3 months. The kids will be 4 this year (all 9 of them!) and we will definitely be leaving a piece of our hearts in WA:(

Ashley said...

Love Lainey's towel turban head!! Four years old and has it down? Impressive!

Jacqui said...

Florida is certainly gorgeous, especially through your eyes and photos! However, the Most Beautiful Place in the USA is.......MICHIGAN! Sleeping Bears Dunes to be exact according to lots of serious research by Good Morning America and votes from all over. Still gotta love the home town right?!

ZDub said...

That last photo, BAM, right to my gut.

xx-Z

Cityiklan said...

Your Blog is really Fabulous
Good Article, Great Templates And Great Idea/Design. I Love This Blog
I Will Come Back Again And Visiting Your Blog More Often..
Thanks For Allowed Me Comment On Your Post..
Sincerely From
Cityiklan
Iklancoffee
andaforex
Singgah Iklan
Iklan Di Malaysia
Income Iklan

Liane said...

Nella eating Ice Cream is simply too good for words :) xx

Isabella's Mommy.... said...

The words you write always make me totally visualize the scene just as if I was there with you. . . you have a knack for that! I too can't wait for fall, however living in 'hotlanta', it will be awhile before that occurs. . . but I'm determined to still enjoy the days leading up to fall. Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

Jessica Lawson said...

Kelle, I started reading the other day. Your children are beautiful and lucky to have you as their mother. I have four little ones myself, such a handful, but such a blessing. Thanks for reminding us to remember the "small things"

Jen said...

The pictures of Nella eating the icecream are killing my husband. He gets all ants in his pants whenever our little guy has food on his face (even while eating).

Also, I don't think we have sprinkles for DQ cones up here and that HAS to be some sort of crime.

Amanda said...

Nella is a girl after my own heart...Sister throws down with some ice cream!

kayla*marie said...

the one of lainey floating - how do you take a picture like that? waterproof camera?

Melina said...

Oh, Kelle, I hear you. All of the seasons changing make me yearn to go home to New England, but none more so than summer into fall. But then Seattle hears my nostalgia and turns up its colorful, panoramic olympics/cascades, alpen-glow over Rainier and gem-colored boast in the harbor thing, and I'm in awe again....lucky us to be in love with two places. Home is a wonderful thing- may as well have two!
ps....thank you. but you already know that ;)
xoxo
Melina

Katherines Corner said...

Bam! Oh how I love my visits to your blog. Hugs!

Jennifer said...

In only 25 days we leave Oregon for two weeks in Florida. Your posts make me want to check out the real estate while we are there.....

Kelly Cach said...

Dear Nella,
I love you.

mimi charmante said...

You win. Best mama evah! Truly, your parenting and zeal for life inspire me every single time I visit. That ice cream cone in her hands and all over her face - I am *so* going to let my kids do that.
Thank you - from me, and from them~
xx

Kristin said...

You just made me miss My Florida even more. If I could move today I would. I'm sure I'd miss the season a little too, but surely trips to the beach on a whim and a dip in the sea would make it all better!

I want to thank you for your posts and let you know that you make up for me not have had the chance to visit this beautiful state for so long now. I love reading your posts and feel closer to the Florida I love every time.

So again - Thank You:-)

Kristin

Mummy in Wonderland said...

Love your blog! This is one of my nearly-2-year-old daughter's favourite songs at the moment, thought you might like it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4-Vjc_zdbw

Annie said...

That Florida is tempting those of us in the midwest to make a move on down!

The Mommy Therapy said...

As a fellow midwesterner, I desperately miss the transition from summer to fall. Living in Texas doesn't even give a hint of fall until perhaps November.

The Florida coast sure does look appealing, especially when accompanied by DQ. Everything's better with DQ.

Fanny said...

Every good summer day adventure must end with ice-cream on your chin. That's a rule amongst all my girlfriends.
On another note, I read an article today that made me think of you and your message to the world: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10026831/
Inspiration lays ahead <3

Abs said...

Next trip to DQ, I WILL give Joseph his own sprinkle covered ice cream cone and let him make a mess of it in the stroller.
Thanks for sharing!

taylor said...

beautiful pictures at the beach! love all of them. you have me craving some DQ now-a butterfinger blizzard to be exact :)

Jennie - Duryea Place Designs said...

I was in Naples on business last week and had high expectations after reading your blog for the past year or so... it delivered. Amazingly beautiful area. I have photos of that exact sunset (Thursday, I believe.)

tahnie said...

Can I just say...selfishly of course,

FABULOUS post to coincide with my birthday.

:)

xo.

Rik said...

Sprinkles on cones, and sand sprinkles on the cheeks and fingers of my sweet Nella-cakes! It gets no better. Yes, it is the unplanned and serendipitous that makes it into the vault of memories destined to stretch the heart. Oh to just say YES and not have all those explosions of joy be caught in the lint filter of "...well, its so much trouble and the kids might get messy and we're all comfortable here..." I am glad you answered the call and stayed until sunset. I am glad you let the ice cream drip and enjoyed talking about "nothing at all." Life is fleeting. Do it. Do it now. Do it big. I loved this post, and told my hands that longed to brush the sand from Nella's biscuit or wipe the cream from her chin, "If you have to do something, just clap...loudly!" I love you!

Sarah said...

i just love the pic of the girls at dq with nella in the middle. such enchanting little eyes! gorgeous! all of the images of the beach gave me such a strong yearning to escape the coming cold and extend my summer for just a little bit longer! enjoy every minute of it!

Dara said...

Oh my gosh.......you are so right about the ice cream! It's all about the enjoyment of it, you know? Kind of reminds me of my grandmother and her usual order....coffee ice cream, hot fudge on the side (ALWAYS said while tracing a circle on the table with her finger). We know what we love!

emily anderson said...

ice cream just tastes better when it's smeared all over your hands and face.
not that i know or anything.
:)

Natalie said...

The light in these pictures is amazing - it actually hugs you all in such a warm glow. What I imagine my memories look like.

Also, my little sweetie just had her first DQ experience and we just let her at it. She thoroughly entertained everyone in the entire place - happiness well worth the mess.

The Hartsfield Family said...

And what a gun show it was! Gorgeous pictures! My favorite one is of you and the silhouette of you and baby Nella! :)

Silje... said...

Love you"blog <3

Nicole said...

This morning I watched an interview on Today with Soleil Moon Frye, who wrote a book on parenting.

There was a lot of what she was saying that reminded me of you--not worrying about splotches of yogurt that need to be cleaned up or appearances but instead getting on the floor with the kids to play silly games.

That's the kind of mom I strive to be. Thank you for being such an amazing inspiration to me, and showing moms everywhere that you don't have to have an immaculate home to be a good parent!

Melissa M. said...

Great pictures! And great memories for all of you and the kids. I love remembering summer days when I was a kid!

Paula said...

That Florida, always has to have the last word. When I was a child, my family and I travelled from Nova Scotia to Florida every spring for 2 weeks of vacation. It was so great to pretend we lived in that paradise for a short time, then back to reality. However, if I've learned anything from your blog it would be to enjoy the little things from our everyday life, don't wait for the Florida vacations but get out and enjoy our everyday adventures. Yikes! Do you know what the water temperature is on Nova Scotia beaches???? Brrrrrr!

Noemi said...

I found your blog on Babble.com, among the top 20 baby photo blogs.
Since then I'm addicted to it, I really like your photos and the way you write about your family.
I'm a big sea/beach lover so this post was definitely for me.
Thank you for sharing!!

Unknown said...

Kelle,
I love your blog. Your girls are beautiful. It took me three long years to have my first child (June 2002), it took this long due to unknown reasons. But my first child, daughter, Cameryn, was only five months old when I found out I was pregnant again with my son, Grayson (July 25,2003). They are extremely close in age and inseparable. I thought my family was complete until my husband and I decided that we would welcome one more in 2008, so we had the doctor remove the IUD. Well shortly after that we were pregnant and the possiblity of a miscarriage had never crossed my mind but during an ultrasound at 11weeks on December 21, 2008, there it was on the screen, a sac with baby without a heartbeat. I was told that the fetus was stillborn and they would schedule me into the hospital right away to remove it...so there I was alone and heartbroken wondering what the hell I did wrong...well it only took 2 more failed pregnancies and the birth of my daughter, Ellyson, in January 2011, to finally make peace with myself. So I finally have my family of five that I have worked so hard for and it took me 12 years to complete. I want to let you in on something that I did on my own in the year 2010. I have a dear friend that told me that she took a baby aspirin everyday to get pregnant and up to 28 weeks of her pregnancy to keep from having a miscarriage. So I started taking a baby aspirin the first part of 2010, I had a positive pregnancy test on April 30, 2010. I was 8 weeks pregnant. I continued taking the aspirin until reaching the 28th week marker. But I strongly believe that this was my miracle pill for my baby #3. I am now age 38 and content. Having a Baby #4 was on my mind during this last pregnancy but my husband decided no more due to complications with my age. I had test after test with this last one. I felt like they were treating me as a geriatric having a baby or a freak of nature. My mother and oldest sister had their 4th child at age 37. Well after this long blog, my point is to look into the baby aspirin (I never told my doctor about) and keep trying and have that large family you dream about. Sure I am a older mom but my kids don't discriminate, I am enjoying my children from age 9, 8, and 7 months old. My home is loud, messy, and I am loving every minute of it! My children are my biggest accomplishment and I am glad that I never gave up.

Jac said...

Hey Kelle,
As I am sure you hear it all the time, I LOVE reading your blog! Quick question, how do you get your phone pics into that cute collage? I never blog my phone pics and that is where the best candid pics of my kids reside and I would love to do something like this! If you wouldnt mind, email me and let me know. Thanks!!
jlocke@medicis.com

bamoorman said...

I absolutely love the pic of Nella with ice cream all over her face and Lainey floating by herself in the water. I was wondering....and desperately need to know since I absolutely LOVE it....how did you get/do the silhouette picture of you and Nella???