Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Heist

I have this made-up theory that detours me from housework--if you can't do it all, don't do any. Don't cross stitch that on a pillow because it will get you no where in life. I think big a lot--sometimes too big. As in, any attempt to clean house must include full overload. I want to do it all in one day--every room, every cupboard, every floor, and if I don't have one 8-hour block of time dedicated to extreme home makeover, I often think "why bother?" I also have this other theory about cleaning--if you're not "feeling it," go buy something new for your house. Don't quote me on that one either because it's just really bad psychology, and our economy doesn't need that kind of thinking. And, for the record, I'm not talking a new fridge for inspiration. Something little--like a dish towel or a candle. It's based on that whole "If you give a mouse a cookie" philosophy in that a sweet new toss pillow might just make you want to make your bed. And then pick up your clothes. And then rearrange your room, dust your dresser, frame new pictures. I once dusted every mini blind slat in my bathroom, spurred by the purchase of new guest soaps.

My point? I disproved both theories yesterday. Without clearing my schedule for a full day "blitz," as my mother used to call it (drop-down, full-on, all-day house cleaning--we hated blitzes), I vowed to use a small cushion of space to take on one room, and to do it with no incentives. No new purchase to inspire me--not even a candle.

I rearranged furniture, dusted, vacuumed, cleaned out every drawer in my desk and finished the process by digging around in the garage for old treasures that might temporarily spruce up the wall above my desk (using Nella's room as an office until we move her crib back in her room). I found a clip board and an empty frame.

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And while I was so entirely satisfied with the clarity that came from cleaning one small space, I stopped myself from heading to another room to initiate a blitz on a grander scale. Baby steps. Small projects are good, easier to digest. Besides, there are other theories--good nursery rhyme truths about Jack avoiding the status of dull boy.

So, I traded more cleaning for play last night, a very generous trade considering play came in the form of a citrus grove sunset.

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Lainey's patchwork dress, The Measure

It was a last-minute idea, and you would have thought we were preparing for a heist. A lot went down--texts flying back and forth, picnic baskets madly prepared, a meeting place arranged and finally, a pregnant chick who pulls up in a minivan, yells for us to get in and takes off all screeching tires. We just wanted to get there because, as any of you who have ever planned a heist might know, there's a prize at the end.

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We were afraid on the way to the orange grove that we wouldn't get a sunset as the sky was gray, flat and lacked any dimension whatsoever. We arrived, chose our picking buckets and set out with the kids to find the perfect row to set up camp. Regardless of what the sun decided to do, we'd have a good time.

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But then, sweet mother of ripe oranges, it happened. Only five or so oranges made it to the bottom of our bucket before the clouds revealed the glistening jewels of the heist in one sudden unveiling moment. Golden sunlight. Lots of it, pouring into each grove row at different angles, streaming through branches, casting a blanket of warm light onto the neighboring field. We were all scattered in different places in the grove when it happened, and you could hear us hollering to each other "Light! Oh my God! Get over here and see this light!" as if our little corner of the grove was the only place it had revealed itself.

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Turns out it was everywhere, accompanied by blue skies, feathery clouds and our unbounded enthusiasm.

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This was a challenge. A "Hey Kelle, can you do that thing where you jump up and click your heels together?" challenge.

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Photobucket My friend Rebecca and her husband, Ean

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And while this all might seem your-life-is-so-dreamy picturesque, remember...heists take work. We did pack cars, drive 40 minutes, remind the kids to stop whining, and spray fire ant bites. But you tend not to remember these things when you focus on what's right in front of you--gold, literally.

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As I watched Lainey run off with her friends to find the cat and I handed Nella another orange to drop in the bucket last night, my friends and I gathered on the quilt and talked about how much more we appreciate nature now. How we notice it continually delivers these experiences of pure, simple happiness.

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The older I get, the more I want to be outside. The beach, the country, the woods, the mountains, the frozen lakes, the busy streets of New York. And the cool thing is that, no matter where you live, it doesn't take a heist to obtain it--sunshine's free.

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So drink it up.

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Nella enjoyed unpacking our picking--she took out every orange she could reach.


Our evening ended with a complimentary swamp buggy ride up and down a dirt road, courtesy of a nice neighboring farmer. That's a unicorn with big wheels, for those of you who don't speak supernatural.

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*****

Friday Photo Dump:

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Friday Phone Dump photos are taken on the Instagram iPhone app (free) and dropped into a 12x12 collage using a photo editing software (Photoshop Elements works). I am @etst (enjoying the small things) on Instagram if you want to follow the feed.


*****

Happy Weekend!

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Locals, Map to Bob and Judy's U-Pick Citrus HERE.

100 comments:

Rik said...

Oh, I'm sure I cannot be the first to comment, but I am so pleased you have met my three best friends, Whimsy, Levity and Serendipity! They bring life into color! Have a nice weekend!

Poppa Rik

Sarah said...

Happy weekend to you, too! Sounds like an amazing adventure and I am so glad that you got your sunset in the orange grove. Love the pic of Nella taking all the oranges out. All in all, super inspiring!

Jacqui said...

Love the impulsive, last minute magic!
So many great times are the unplanned trips where unexpected sunshine breaks through the clouds!

Sharmaine said...

Sounds like an awesome day! Pickin oranges seems like it would be a blast !

Thanks for brightening my rainy day with such a sunshine-y post :)

BTW, love the empty frame. cute.

My Secret Rooms said...

Love, love, love these photos!!!!!!
In all the snow here - they're just what the doctor ordered!
:-D
Thank you!

Bonnie said...

This sounds heavenly! We don't have citrus groves but we can pick Strawberries and apples.

Special K said...

The wind chill is negative 8 this morning in Chicago. Thanks for bringing me back to the photos for my brother's wedding in an apple orchard in August where it was so hot we could barely breathe! I needed a warm memory! Brrrrrrr.......

Heather said...

Love this post and promply put Bob&Judy's on my nucket list. We have family in Ft. Myers so I know I will check that baby off.

Lainy is just so sweet, that dress is beautiful and perfect on her.

Nella makes my heart smile. Love the orange grove "oh" with that little pointer as if she was making sure you where seeing the magic she was. <3

Heidi is just stunning and SCORE on the heel click. pretty sure I would break...everything if I tried it ;o)

Happy weekend to you all.

Jessica said...

What I wouldn't give for some fresh oranges right now! How fun. And I completely agree with you about nature as you get older. I could sit outside for hours & just watch it. It's the one place that isn't busy, isn't in a hurry, isn't judging...

lauren said...

siiigghhh... i miss my florida home as i sit and stare at 2 degrees of miserable. but i guess the question goes to- can you appreciate the glorious without a healthy taste of the miserable? i choose no. :)

Little For A Little While said...

Could my kids and I come spend a day with you? That would be a dream. :)

vermonter said...

WOW this is enough to make me want to make a trip to Florida. We have had a nice New England winter but what I wouldn't do for a little sunshine and a warm day to stroll through an orange grove. My aunt (who has now passed) always used to do the heel click when ever we would visit. Thanks so much for the memory. Have a nice weekend.

Christie said...

Kelly you have Ups!!! nice jump! lol

Cathy said...

Love your office space! My daughter and her roommate are home from college this weekend and guess what they want to do when they finally wake up? A Photo Shoot. I'm so excited to have models. Wish we had an orange grove too!

Love is all you need said...

As much as I love the sun I had to be fair to winter and do a post about how it can rock my world just as much! And love your outfit..

Sherri said...

Lovin the hippie look, Kelle! Showing my sweet CANADIAN 5 year old the pictures he said "Oh look, it's an orange forest! that's amazing!!" Lol! I guess I never told him oranges grew trees, but he does know how to pick the best, longest icicle!! happy weekend:)

Jen said...

Love that... Sunshine's free. :)

April Vernon said...

"Sweet mother of ripe oranges." That's why I love you!

Rachel said...

I loved this post!! I am the same way with cleaning!! Go big or let it stay on the floor is what I say to myself!! Happy weekend.

KWQR said...

Happy citrus sunshine! What a perfect treat on this gray rainy morning. Lovin' your top & heel clickin' jump!
xo
Kate

Aleksandra said...

Love the photos!

Simply Shelley said...

Orange grove party!!!!!!!! Love it!!!! Congrats again on Nella's 2 for 2 fund!!! It's some inspiring stuff.

Simply Shelley
http://simply-shelley.blogspot.com/

kosenrufu mama said...

what a wonderful pictures!!! fruit, friends and smiles!!!

Melissa said...

Sunshine is free.

Truer words have never been spoken :)

Fresh Mommy said...

The orange grove!! That is one thing I haven't done since moving to Clearwater from Michigan this past fall... and the one thing I've been talking about taking my kids to since the first time I missed picking apples on a crisp fall day back in MI. So when I get back to our new home in Florida (I'm in Chicago now) I NEED to take them! I just have to find one a little closer than 3 hours away ;) It's something I've been working on. LOVE this post!

~Tabitha Blue

Win said...

Sunshine is the spice of life! I hope that you will squeeze your littles extra hard for me today. Love them!!

Team Lando said...

I just ran outside and got ice-d on! SOOOO very jealous of your beautiful weather.

And lovin' Nella's shoes!

Tara said...

My goodness, I am EXACTLY the same way when it comes to cleaning! It is my downfall. But this week, I also bit off the house work in small chunks. By the end of the day yesterday, I had a completely clean house :)

Laura @ SpottyOwlDesign said...

Love that you mention the keptk' behind the pituresque shot. ... last week I blogged pics of my girls picnicing in the backyard and then the housework clothes I was wearing. My life isn't S tepford but the jotand beauty is real.

When is poppa rik gettng a blog?

Amy said...

:) This was one of those "sit back and say awww and be slightly jealous" posts. :) I love all your delightful pictures, and the idea of going to an orange grove seems lovely right now. Not to mention your decorating (the frame/camera/pictures) is adorable, and I love your Bohemian-esque outfit and Lainey's patchwork dress is to die for.

Summit of Glory said...

So what's the deal - no one else was in that grove last night? Looks like you all had it all to yourselves! Sweet! Now - whatcha gonna do w all those oranges?!?! Do tell.

Laura @ SpottyOwlDesign said...

Sorry. .. that's work behind the shot, joy and beauty.

Farmgirl Paints said...

That's a fun thing I've never done...add orange grove day to my bucket list. Love your clicking heels pic. You're a goof ball.

{Amy} said...

a wonderful way to start the weekend. and i think heidi (right?) might be the cutest pregnant mama ever, tell her that because i know no one ever feels like it, but she is.
makes me wanna plan a heist for tonight...hmmm...

Andrea said...

Good for you taking baby steps with the cleaning! As a teen I always cleaned my room in "blitzes," usually when I could no longer find any floor space to walk on! The Flylady website has really helped me break things down into chunks and not drive myself crazy!

6512 and growing said...

"If you can't do it all, don't do any" cross stitched on a pillow; yeah! There's a hot-seller fo sho.

Taylor said...

I am always so encouraged by your posts! I'll take time with people I love over cleaning any day, hands down. :)

Kristin said...

Your thoughts on cleaning made me smile. Oh, how many of us are the same way! Your Friday Photo Dump isn't displaying. :(

Kristin said...

Here hee...your Friday Phito Dump is here now. :) not sure that was going on.

Unplugged Mom said...

I love this post because I am a serial procrastinator with the excuse that if I can't do something completely, why bother starting? I call it being a perfectionist, and I stand by that. Sounds so much better than procrastinator.

I also love your orange grove pics. I miss the days when there were plenty of them right here in town. Hooray for spontaneous picnics and free swamp buggy rides!

Shauna said...

so I'm not the only one with that house-cleaning philosophy! I'm trying so hard to break myself of it too! And, yeah, nature...totally the best cure for everything!

Bea, OT said...

As usual I love everything! I have that cleaning philosophy...which I'm trying to change!

I love that you don't make this blog a special needs blog. I love that you show us that...just because we have a special needs child, it doesn't mean that we can't have very normal looking lives!

Although your life seems downright magical!

Eliza said...

I soaked up every word of this post :) So beautiful! I'm elizastclair on instagram - going to add you now :) xoxo, eliza

Laura said...

I can't tell you how much your blog blesses me! We don't have children yet (crosses fingers!), but your blog has showed me so much about parenting and the love of a mother. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

Marriage from Scratch said...

How fun--looks like a great day picking oranges!!!

Maggi said...

Orange groves, while I have never had opportunity to visit one, make me so happy. Seeing your photos and hearing of your heist just makes me want to drive and drive until I get to one.

You've re inspired me :) Thank you for that.

Debby said...

You have so much fun. This was funny. Take the play over the cleaning any day. I always loved the pumpkin patch and the apple orchard but never had the oppurtunity for an orange grove.

Katy Walker said...

Lovely.

Rebekah said...

I've been gone for a week and first thing I did when I came home? Open up kellehampton.com :) As always, love your love of life. And btw, I am SOOOOOO happy you brought Halmark back!!

Erin said...

Happy weekend! What gorgeous photos…. I love a 'surprise' sunset :)

Ps- Nella's hair is getting LONG-- beautiful!

Kelly Cach said...

And once again....you take the words right out of my mouth. I've realized that I avoid cleaning when there is something else hanging over my head. This time it was the Christmas letters turned New Year letters that I still hadn't sent.....until LAST NIGHT!!! Yahoo....addressed & in the mai this morning! It was as if I couldn't clean until they were checked off the list.......so now you know it's been since before Christmas that I cleaned my bathroom.....or ANYTHING!

*I'm so doing the picture frame with clothes pins thing---CUTE!
*Heidi and her children are just GORGEOUS!
*You are so adorable! Love your tunic and your orange grove pics.
*Nora is TOTALLY into taking things out of containers, baskets, purses, drawers, etc......and THROWING them...hahaha...I probably shouldn't laugh, though :)

Love to you all ~
Kelly

Plus one Wee Bean said...

NATURE & CHILDREN.
Two of the greatest blessings.
Wonderful photos.

onlyveggies said...

love all these pictures!!!

what a wonderful day you "growns" & the "littles" had.

question: where did you get that fabu tunic? triple love it!!!

thanks & keep the blog & pix coming; they are both yummy:)

Happiness is... said...

Those earrings are divine!!! I love them.

Happy weekend!

Jennifer

Jenn A said...

Oh, how I adore a lovely pregnant belly, and your friend looks just stunning in the orange grove!!! Do tell her I said so ;)

thb said...

I LOVE that shirt! Great find!

1 Plant Strong Mom said...

I love how whimsical you are ... and I am glad you added the 40 minute drive and the bug bites... and the packing of the car... cause... we all do the mundane.. to get to the gold....

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

Love your $4 tunic find, love that wine was involved, love that Nella still does the "ooh" lips, love Heidi's glow and love that your kids are going to grow up with kick-ass, sweet memories! Have an awesome weekend Kelle! P.S. Your new work space rocks! We move house in a couple of weeks, and I'll have my own built-in little nook for writing & crafting & working....yahooo!! It's gotta be more inspiring than the couch with the laptop on my knees....but we'll see :)
x

India Banks said...

LOVE the oranges, children {as always} and REALLY LOVE the tunic!

homeiswhatyoumakeit said...

It was fun to follow your photos on instagram last night and anticipate a post about your road trip {heist}.
What a way to spend a Friday night!

Life with Kaishon said...

It sounds like a perfect ending to the week : ) Love it.

toi said...

love that top dress. great weekend to you too :)

medina family said...

Crackin' up about how new soap could end up making you clean your blinds...that is so me. And your other philosophy about doing it all at once is me to. It's amazing how you capture every day life in words I never would have thought up.
I want to get outside more and more too...I do hope it doesn't mean I'm getting older though. You are so right about sunshine being free. (Although today a quick blizzard moved in and we watched the temp drop 10 degrees in 10 minutes. Very cool.)
Happy Weekend to you!

Hazel said...

That was a seriously good heist. The light. The smell of orange blossom. Juicy oranges to enjoy later. Friends. Littles playing. Babies measuring out the stash. Wine. You guys really do live life.

Kulio said...

Last picture is my favorite! Love the sunshine gift :-) And I want your shirt.

Lisa said...

It's posts like this one that make me want to pack up the kids and hubby and move somewhere where it's sunny much more often. Dreary old Seattle isn't doin' for me at the moment. Yes, I can and do find the "bright side" here, but man the sunshine looks good right about now! :)
Love your little "nook" space and am inspired to make one of my own. Great job!

RaquelDoesLife said...

Yayyyy spontaneous adventures! Love love love it.

www.existation.com

Sandra said...

your office is so inspirational. i want my scrap room to one day look just like your office. thanks for the inspiration once again!

maryanne said...

Kelle, if you ever do decide to go for a new fridge, I can attest to the inspirational properties of the Big Chill fridge (see Rachael Ray's TV kitchen for the blue one). We got the orange one (in lieu of demolishing the entire damn kitchen and starting from scratch), and by golly, it makes me smile everytime I enter my otherwise drab 70s era kitchen. It's also a huge hit on playdates.

Cathy K. said...

Aww! The photos of Lainey doing ballet poses! As someone who LOVES ballet (danced myself), those really put a smile on my face. I hope she continues to enjoy dancing as she grows up; it's the best. :)

ellen said...

I've been inside all day today -- sick. I could have used some sunshine and fresh air. Great post. You're inspiring!

barefoot mama said...

Such a beautiful moment! oh, and your outfit ROCKS!

Linda MG in Soquel, CA said...

Love your initial view on housework! ANd this post - what FUN! I also love the clothes you are wearing. Love from your Blog Mama~

melissa said...

Love babies falling asleep on a shoulder, and I am always asking my husband to snap that moment in time.
I grew up outside & wouldn't trade it for the world - there is magic out there.
CUTE last pic of you and Nella.
PS - I'd love a lesson in how not to clean the whole house in one day...as my husband reminds me, Rome was not built in a day ;)

Kelsey Poofy Cheeks said...

I love the pictures Kelle! It looks like fun was had by all! I happened to stop by and pick oranges at a grove for the first time last month and it was so refreshing! We got there around sundown and I was able to snap a few good pictures - http://www.poofycheeks.com/2012/01/my-first-antique-extravaganza.html

idiosyncraticeye said...

I think that's my problem too but you got in down in words far more succint than I can! I had a mother too who blitzed, housework meant washing every wretched knickknack and teacup in the house, I think that's why I tune out. :)

TRB Holt said...

So nice to "catch up" with you!

xoxo, Bug & Ruby's Gram

ps....invest in a house cleaner, you are so worth it!

Cheryl said...

Flylady.com or read the book- makes cleaning so. much. easier. :)
Being from the mitten state, we are without orange trees but will have to remember while vacationing. Happy weekend!!

Fifty-two pairs in 2010 said...

Get a housekeeper.

bubblegirl said...

I am sure someone has commented this, but I am too lazy to read ;)
http://flylady.net/

a good site for getting a cleaning schedule ... etc...

also, your pictures as of late could be in a clothes catalog... they are beautiful and perfect at capturing the moment

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

You live in paradise!!! Do you live on an acreage?

Maggie said...

Love the picture frame!!
BTW to get ride of fire ant bites mix baking soda and water together just enough to make a paste and slather it over the bites. takes the sting and itch right out:):0

T.J. said...

Great pictures! This looks so fun! I'm jealous of those orange groves. I've never seen one before.

Just Glory said...

Oh, so often I have the SAME struggle with housework... or ANY project really. I don't even want to begin it if I'm not going to have the time to do it the RIGHT WAY (the way I want to do it, whether that's actually right or not). I do find that I feel better even if I can just get one small thing done, but I can be so reluctant to begin.

Cary said...

That must be the coolest thing ever!
I have never, never seen an orchard, much less a citrus orchard! I need to see oranges, lemons, whatever growing on the trees!!! And by the way, your angels are adorable!!

Hayley said...

Ahhh! Your daughters are so cute! (: + I love your shirt!

emily said...

kelle- can you share if you made your photoshop template for instagram photos or if you got it from somewhere? addicted to instagram and looking to make templates to then put into a book at the end of the year. would love to know how you do it. thanks!!

beautiful post, as always. and i am with you on the cleaning all out or none at all, but little cleaning/organizing tasks that can get checked off your list do motivate indeed.

Evie said...

Reading this made me wish we had sunshine...another gray west michigan day.

jane said...

Hey your friend Heidi I think (lovely preggers lady) is just gorgeous. She has the 'otherworldly' absentminded pregnant lady look in one of the pics. Just gorgeously captured. Mmmmm, I think I've kept my absentminded pregnancy state of mind...baby brain never goes away?! Greetings from sunny Melbourne, Australia.

MyLyn said...

beyond beautiful photos. i especially love the one of your pregnant friend and her boy. SO BEAUTIFUL. Some women just glow when they're pregnant. She is STUNNING.

Gretchen A. McNally said...

I love that you admitted this perfect heist did take work, but that it was totally worth it as evidenced by the beautiful pictures!

amber said...

love your shirt, kelli.

happy week of hearts!!
xo

B's Mommy said...

Boring Women Have Clean Houses! ;) Cheers!!

Mythreefaeries said...

Finally, someone else is afflicted with the do it all or do nothing motto in cleaning!
The office nook looks fantastic- be proud.
Friday phone dump has a photo of Lainey in front of strawberries; she looks so much like you. Don't you love your genes poking through and saying hiya? Nella is helping so much with the harvest too. She's purely adorable ( said with French accent just cuz)
Have a wonderful week.

Grace said...

I don't mind the sun but when you add alot of sun to 95 degree weather or hotter then it is NOT a good thing. I don't do well when it gets too hot. I get bad headaches and well, being out in the sun was not such a good idea after all and definitely not worth it to me. However I totally dig what you're saying if it's a comfortable 70 degree day.

Hansel said...

Enjoying some sunshine myself right now- it's so deceiving, as i look out the window and i KNOW it's cold out, but, it is very tempting to just go out and bathe myself in all its glory. And, free is good. Free is the best.

Love Nella pulling out all of the oranges that you picked- i think that's my favorite. :)

the Turquoise Iris said...

You really are the COOLEST girl I know!!! Or, should I say...would LOVE to know!!!

Rachael said...

Just found you blog and wanted to follow: full of inspiration and stunning photography. Rx

Megan said...

Saw this today and thought of your sweet girls! http://pinterest.com/pin/269019777711023596/ Hope the link works!

Denise Mom of 4 Amazing Kids said...

I am new to your blog and I have been crying for about 30 minutes and smiling for about 1 hour (while reading). Our little girls are only a couple of months apart!! I am really going to enjoy watching Nella grow, Thank you so much for sharing your life! What a blessing YOU and your family are!