Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hittin' the Road

My mind is full of fireworks lately--ideas, inspiration, thoughts, changes--all exploding in colorful bursts, and I want to focus on every scatter of sparks, every loud boom and resounding echo. Sometimes I imagine these ideas as scraps of pretty fabric--and since I'm not a real-life quilter, I can be an imaginary one, stitching thoughts and creative impulses together in random patterns--some linear and methodical but just as many askew, free form. I tuck the squares of fabric I don't use in drawers for later, hoping I'll remember where I put them.

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A woods walk with friends last week, needful for creativity. My friend Dede wears a black dress and carries a champagne glass. I completely love this.


Last night was very special.

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There were tears. And toasts. And many proud smiles.

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Life changes, moves on, flows ahead.

*****

What I'm really excited about? Tomorrow we climb into a packed car and head out for our epic road trip. We're headed to Michigan for two weeks, stopping in Chicago on the way there for a book signing. It's been a while since we've done a family trip, and a very long while since we've committed to anything over a few days (although sadly, Austyn has an international school trip and Brandyn has freshman football, so they can't come). I'm beyond excited. Other than the book signings, we have no plans. I know I want to show my girls some Michigan lighthouses, hug cousins, sleep in, take long walks, go fishing, and perhaps scour a Great Lake for Petoskey stones. As for the drive, thankfully Brett is as laid back as I am. We plan to stop whenever we feel moved. To take pictures of the Smoky Mountains by the side of the road, to drive through a state park, to pull off at an exit just because it promises Krispy Kremes. I'm smiling just typing this. Spontaneity is grand.

Stacks of our favorite outfits line the entire length of our bay window, and I am planning on packing it all up late tonight--perhaps accompanied by You've Got Mail and a Salty Dog.

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Large freezer bags full of socks and underwear, bathing suits and hats, diapers, etc. keep suitcases nicely organized, and they can be reused.


Lainey's helping.

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*****

Because I'm more than a little bit excited, I've taken some extra time to plan epic fun for our road trip, inspired by Heidi's and my epic road trip of 2009.

For car entertainment, we are packing the following:

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1. Favorite new Coloring/Activity Books: Girls Doodle Book (yes, there's a unicorn on the cover) and The Coloring Book, both gifts from my artsy friend, Jen.
2.
Melissa & Doug Travel Bingo (two super sturdy wooden boards with several different interchangeable road themes)
7.
Magnetic U.S. Map: I thought this would be a fun way to teach Lainey a bit of continental geography. We'll start with an empty map and add the states as we see them on license plates.
8.
Stockmar Beeswax: better than PlayDoh and/or clay (less messy, smells good, natural, doesn't dry out). You can mold anything from this!


Lainey and I created a Road Trip book from card stock paper--cut in half, hole punched and tied together with ribbon. We'll keep track of things we see along the way, tape postcards and souvenirs in it, and write down our favorite memories. Heidi and I did this three years ago and loved it.

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*****

Using window crayons, we decorated the car a bit to add to our excitement:

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And I'm using a lazy susan for picnic utencils (propped up on other cargo) to store crayons/markers, snacks and drinks, napkins, etc. so that the girls can access things on their own. This avoids that whole headache/neck strain thing I get from leaning back a gajillion times to pass necessities.

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*****

I found a great phone app for a road trip scavenger hunt, but I'm a paper-and-pencil kind of girl and wanted to add some of our own findings, so I created one that I printed off. You could do this with passengers competing against each other but, since the girls can't read yet, we will work together as a family to add points, and I figure every time we get to 100 points, we get something: treats at a gas station, drive-thru ice cream, a couple dollars spending money, etc.
(I found some other printables here and here as well)

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*****

For a new car toy, we created our own story telling magnets. Remember Sunday School flannelgraph lessons? Kind of like that but cooler. Okay, nothing's cooler than flannelgraph.

We printed photos of our family and friends on 4 x 6 photo paper, adhered them (trimmed down) to adhesive magnet sheets (available at craft stores and Walmart) and cut closely along the edges to create our magnets.

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Add a cookie sheet and, Voila--a magnet story board.

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*****

Finally, we're bringing back the Road Trip Gas Tags. Whenever we stop for gas, we'll tie a happy little message to the gas pump before we leave.

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So yeah, we're excited.

*****

If you're in the Chicago area or in Michigan, we'd love to meet you for the book signings! Come say hi, get your book signed, ask a question, listen to a reading, bring your kids, sip on one of those bookstore iced coffee things. I'm looking forward to meeting you.

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*****

Friday Phone Dump:

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And introducing some new fun. Out of all the social media outlets, I've found Instagram to be my favorite. It feels homey. Not overwhelming in the least bit. I'm @etst on Instagram, and if you'd like to share the moments that make you happy, use #enjoyingthesmallthings hashtag and I'll be adding some of your photos every Friday.

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Some of my favorite happies from your photos this week (Instagram usernames included):

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Now if you'll excuse me, I have some packing to do.

Happy Weekend.

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132 comments:

Jennifer said...

First really? Do you know how stoked I would be if I found one of your "gas tags"? Awesome idea!!! Hope ya'll have fun :-) Can't wait to see pics!

Poot & Boogie said...

Kelle, my husband and I are getting ready to leave on a road trip, and even though we are leaving the kids at home, I think I might just make us so gas tags too, and if I knew my husband wouldn't laugh at me, I would make some magnets as well!

LouisaLady said...

AMAZING! All good ideas that I hope to use someday! Love your blog and book!

Jen B. said...

I love that idea about the gas tags and also the magnet family!! So creative!! How do you come up with these ideas?

Mrs Mason said...

Have a great trip. Love those red boots! Xx

Lisa Y. said...

I was looking for the like button under the pic of Nella with puckered lips for brother!!! Let's get together when you're up here!!!

Jen said...

Love that pic of Nella kissing at her brother. And the last one. Her dress is so fun!

Stephanie said...

Tip from one Michigan girl to another: stop at Redamak's in New Buffalo for the best burgers around after leaving Chicago and before heading to the east side of Michigan. Happy travels!

skoots1mom said...

we LOVE you, your blog and your family...my collegegirl got me hooked on ya'll...
sending you prayers of traveling mercies
eager to see the fun ya'll have
:)

justjaime31 said...

Love these road trip ideas!! Some dont work for my older boys, but I love the scavenger hunt! We are driving from Western NY to Myrtle beach in July and definitely need things to keep my three entertained!

Sarah Shuman said...

What a fun trip! We live in Petoskey, Mi (really, the most beautiful place on earth) so if you want to do some serious stone hunting we'd love to show you around! PS - we have a fantastic local bookstore where I got your book :)

YeamieWaffles said...

Here's hoping you have a lot of fun Kelle. It's great to read that last night was so special and let's hope there's many more special nights to come, enjoy your trip too.

Team Lando said...

Have an awesome trip!

kEllEy_G said...

Love everything about this. You truly inspire me to be a more creative mama. I LOVE all these ideas...not to mention, I'm uber jealous you're road tripping to the north. Love Chicago...grew up in Wisconsin so we'd go often. And my 1st husband & I lived in Michigan in for 11 years. I miss it!! Enjoy every moment of your trip...although something tells me I didn't need to tell you that b/c you just do. =) Thanks for making the world a better place, Kelle!

Claire said...

Such a useful, fun post! Can't wait to use the hashtag on instagram!

melissa said...

Have a super-great-safe time!
Tejas love,
Melissa

Amiee said...

So awesome!! Great ideas!! I hope you have a wonderful trip!!

PS I am still hyperventilating over the fact that Lainey was using Mark It PERMANENT markers on your beautiful comforter.

Hugs!!

SMM said...

Drive safely!!!

As I tell my students on Fridays as they leave, "Be safe and make good choices!"

I love the note you will leave on gas nozzles! Good thing you aren't driving through Oregon though!! You can't pump your own gas here!!!

homeiswhatyoumakeit said...

I'm so excited that you chose one of my photos!
Thanks for sharing...I will be using the hashtag often!
Have a blast on your road trip...I may be borrowing some of your ideas when my kids and I road trip in the Pacific Northwest this summer!
Happy Trails...

Kate said...

Make a stop in Holland or Ludington beautiful lighthouses at both!! South Haven is a good stop too! :) Happy travels and welcome to the mitten! Wish I could make it to your Michigan signing, however I am in Africa until the middle June. Safe travels!

Life with Kaishon said...

Your road trip sounds like it is going to be HEAVENLY! Have fun on your grand adventure. I freaking LOVE the magnets. I made some of those for my mom's refrigerator when Kaishon was 2 and she still has them up there. She loves them.

I miss flannelgraph! ; )

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang said...

Have a great trip!

Kate Kranz said...

1. I love the gas tags! Fabulous idea to spread the love.
2. Im beyond excited to meet you at the book signing in Macomb. My girls are equally excited, they think Lainey and Nella are their long lost best friends.
3. I apologize for the numbers... I love lists :)

Olivia said...

Have fun on your roadtrip!

And I love the readers instagram photos you shared, they are beautiful each in their own way :)

Ashley @ The Narrative Heiress said...

Thanks for sharing all your road trip activities. They're great!

Hanna Moreno said...

Have fun!!! I love the magnets, ultra cool! gotta do mine... Let's keep spreading happiness around the universe, it's quite simple ;)

Sharmaine said...

you guys are way awesome! love the gas tags and instagram photos! :)

Jennifer said...

Great minds think alike! I was packing tonight for our vacation while watching You've Got Mail. I love that movie!

kcolquitt said...

Dude! We will be in st.joe on Friday!! We have sand, sun and BBQ!!!

kcolquitt said...

Dude! We will be in st.joe on Friday!! We have sand, sun and BBQ!!!

Adrienne D said...

The gas tags are such a beautiful way to bless someone's day! You are so organized and inspiring! Thank you for sharing another incredible post.

the McCumbers said...

I don't usually comment but I couldn't help but laugh at the pic of your four kids. Your graduate is making a face that I'm pretty sure I've seen his dad do in a post or two :) Happy road tripping!

HollyMarie said...

Have a fabulous road trip! We've already found a few petoskey stones this Spring; hope you guys do too! No book signing in Traverse City? Bummer... but if you do come this way, you must stop at Moomers to get homemade icecream and see the cows. ;) Best scoop in America, baby!

absees123s said...

Love, love, love the tag idea!! I hope your trip is fabulous! I live basically in the back yard of the Smokey Mtns. and never, ever, ever tire of seeing their beauty each season! I hope you'll be able to spend some time seeing them, as we've had some FABULOUS weather the past several days and the fireflies are in abundance! If you're able, several of the small shops carry a book titled "The Great Smokey Mountain Salamander Ball"..WONDERFUL book for all ages! Enjoy your trip and if you were going to be in our area longer, I would come and meet you all and show you around! Enjoy!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh girl it's so obvious you were a teacher. Love how creative kid activities just spurt out of you. I'm picturing a big happy whale with ideas coming out the spout:) You are going to have so much fun. Can't wait to read all about it.

mak said...

Kelle, you should totally make some paper doll clothes for your magnet people and they could double as paper dolls!

Janine said...

looks like it will be a fun trip..can I ask what did you use to write in the car windows..love it

sarah said...

If you so happen to stop in Opelika, AL. We do have 6 exits. And a good chick fil a. Let's just say you better call or email! And I could even provide an awesome back yard for two little princesses to run around in! But I totally understand if y'all would be too nervous about my two charming and extemely cute little boys might become the object of your girls affections and then possibly cause them to be love struck, starry-eyed, and smitten for the rest of the summer. Totally understand. Sarahandrustaylor@gmail.com just in case you're willing to take the risk.

teal915 said...

Have fun! We LOVE Tennessee. It is so beautiful. There are some places where you can drive up the mountain. We stayed at a Dollywood resort cabin, and the view is unbelievable.

Izzy said...

Your spirit just touches my heart. Your family is wonderful. The boys are HANDSOME and the girls...oh the girls...I've only been following for a couple weeks but you and your family are making a difference in my life. Thank you so much. Have a safe road trip.

The Prices said...

My family is taking an Idaho to Michigan road trip! Sad for me though, it is a few weeks after your book signing, I was hoping to meet you...loved Bloom! :) Happy Road tripping!

Wendy said...

Another Michigan girl here! Can't wait to see you at Wiegand's. I gave my mom your book to read and she's coming with me, too :) We're looking forward to it.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Oh my goodness I want to be a road trip momma like you!! What a fun memory making time for your babies!!

Christie Clair said...

We're totally going on an epic road trip this summer, too. We'll be driving from Northern California to Florida, and taking 5 weeks to do it so we can stop whenever, wherever the we want. I'm super excited. I love the magnet boards idea, and will definitely be looking into the beeswax. Hope you and your family have a blast! We'll be sure to honk when we cross the Florida state line!

Victoria said...

awesome road trip ideas!

my older sister also does a "road trip fairy" surprise where she wraps up little things to do in the car and perdiodically asks her girls if they have seen/heard the travel fairy...then surprise them with a new little trinket to entertain them while driving.

i am so excited that you are going to be at old orchard mall on tuesday!!

congrats to austyn on graduating, how exciting!!

safe travels!

Jaclyn Hicks said...

My heart smiled the whole time I was reading this....

May you have traveling mercies throughout your trip.

Ride with the angels.

Take Care.

figwittage said...

Be safe! Although, totally against unnecessary honking as it can startle someone driving and who knows what can happen!! (my dad was a police officer for 34 years, we both love safety!) xx

Rebekah said...

In less then one month, I am heading out on a month-long senior train trip around the west with my best friend. I am going to have to steal some of your ideas!

Rebekah

Susie Q said...

HAVE A BLAST!! And tell Brett to drive safely - there are waaaaay to many crazies out there driving - trying to text/talk & drive!! We are in OH so give us a honk as you drive through! XO

Reenie said...

Congrats to Brett's son. YEA!!!

Enjoy your road trip ~ how fun. LOVE Nella's red cowboy boots =)

Safe travels xo

Leah said...

Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!!! Have a wonderful and happy trip! :)

Anne said...

Oh my goodness, you are the road trip queen. I am stealing some of those ideas for when we take our boys on our (much shorter) trips this summer. Congrats on the graduation and happy driving!

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

Kell, Your energy....endless.
Enjoy the trip! Sounds like it's gonna be a blast! Hopefully an Australian book signing in the future? :) Queensland to be exact heee!
I love the instagram interaction you're creating. LOVELY!
Safe travels Hamptons.
x
http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

lowranchero said...

This post made me smile. Adventure awaits..... have a great trip. As many have said above, totally stealing the gas pump tags idea.

Mom Fashion World said...

Congrats to the grad!

mrszimm said...

I love that you created your own hashtag! Fabulous idea!!! I look forward to seeing everyone's pics!! Happy Road Trip!!

Silve Rye said...

Uhaaha! I love to se my picture on your blog! It's an honor!

Just find it while I was reading 'Bloom'. You are amazing.

Love

Silvia 'in the rye'

Hazel said...

You never cease to amaze me, that will be a road trip to remember. I can't even remember the last time Brett & you & the girls were on such a long holiday together! I hope you'll blog along the way. I haven't yet tagged a photo on IG. But like you I love the community feel go IG. Have a great trip.

Hannah said...

Well clearly your road trip and all related activities are extremely bad ass! But I really wanted to say that your big boys with your little girls are heart melting material and I can actually feel how proud you are from the other side of the world, oxox

Southern Gal said...

Such great ideas!

I love the instagram photo of you in the flower cap.

Fifty-two pairs in 2012 said...

Where's my bookplate?

jkluke said...

I love seeing pictures of the boys! The road trip ideas are great! I agree with the Petoskey idea from above; if I knew a local I would take them up on how to find the best stone hunting spots. We usually go to Fisherman's Island State Park to find our stones. I know just the coffee shop she speaks of too. Beautiful city with a fun downtown for shopping and a great park on the water. Couldn't ask for a better photo opportunity. A family favorite for us. They also have fast pitch softball games at the park (Brett might enjoy that).

mamamac said...

Every time I see pictures of nella I swear I smile. I love her happy face!!! She looks so cute with her brothers!

Kelly said...

Awesome road trip ideas! How fun!

You should soooooo stop by Newport News, VA on your way back through for a book signing!! I hope you and your family have safe travels and great visits :)

Jennifer said...

Thanks for some great ideas for road trips! Also, works well to put entire outfit for the girls in a ziploc bag. Then, in the mornings, they just grab a bag and get dressed, everything all together!

Dylan'sMommy316 said...

Ahh I'm super excited for June 5th!! Have a great road trip up here. :-)

Mel said...

"Stacks of our favorite outfits line the entire length of our bay window, and I am planning on packing it all up late tonight--perhaps accompanied by You've Got Mail and a Salty Dog."...love this part the most, but loved the whole stinking post. Adding these activities to must dos of summer for my littles! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us all.

Daniele said...

Skokie, yay!! About an hour from me:) hope to make it. I'll be introducing myself as Daniele with 1 L haha. You know me after these last two years of comments right?! ;)

Maureen said...

I love road trips more than anything and now I want to go on one badly. Congrats to Austyn! I love when we get a peek of them. One of my favorite parts of your book is when you wrote of their reactions to Nella's birth. Made me cry. Maybe because I have teenagers of my own right now. My daughter, who just graduated high school as well, and I are going to come see you at Old Orchard. Have fun on the road.

Diane said...

Ah graduation! A really special time in a young person's life. I love the photos! As for the road trip, have a blast and enjoy the memories, I love taking photos when we are on holidays! Wish there was a book signing closer to me!

Susan said...

Would love to have met you in Michigan at Weigands; however, my baby is graduating that same day so you know what we will be doing =) I did purchase your book via Kindle Fire. Enjoy the trip. It is a little cool here in Michigan but the sun is out!!

v.jack said...

You are one fantastic road-trip-activity planner!
Congrats to Austyn on his graduation!
Wish I lived closer to OH/MI so I could make it to a book signing.
Oh, just got your bookplate in the mail the other day!!
Have a fun, safe & happy trip!

Jill said...

Big Congrats to Austyn!

Have a fabulous road trip. Such fun ideas!

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

All At Once said...

you are such an incredible mother!Your kids are going to grow up and really appreciate the mother that you are for them. You are such an inspiration to so many and I just wanted to remind you again how extraordinary you are!

Cora Anne Designs said...

Have a great trip! We have a little place in Grand Haven, MI if you need a place to stay!!

Williams Family said...

I just love that picture of Nella puckering up! So sweet. Also, thanks for the magnetic storybook idea. I am so doing this! (May even add accessories like soccer ball, tutu, guitar etc.) Finally, I love the gas card idea as well. I may try this on my next road trip! Have fun!!

Gwen said...

I am totally going to make some magnets for my girls to play with. I think they would love that. What a great idea! I'm looking forward to the 7th, I'm going to come see you in Monroe. (And I'm so glad you invited the kids, because I'm on my own all week with my three while my husband works out of town, so I'm bringing my 3 girls that are the same ages as Nella and Lainey)

Maggie said...

I'll fit in a suitcase!!!! I can't imagine how much fun y'all will have!!

Julie said...

LOVE this post Kelle!! Have an amazing and safe road trip!!

April Vernon said...

What fun!! The magnet story board is the coolest!!

angela said...

You are now my road trip idol.

I bring mostly Twizzlers (for the grown ups), Fruit Strips (for the kids), Color Magic Markers, and Pinkalicious on CD.

(And I am bummed I will miss your Macomb book signing. We are dress rehearsal-ing that day!)

Jolene said...

Well, welcome to the Mitt, again! I sure hope she delivers and from the forecast coming up we're in for some beautiful weather!

I'm really liking your road trip ideas and you've got me thinking! We're heading to China for 3 weeks and while we're gone I'm going to put together some fun things for our 4 children who are staying here! (In Mitten!)

You got me thinking girl!

Jennie Berner said...

Have Fun! Some fun things to do in Chicago, if you have time - Chicago pizza, Chicago hot dogs, the fountains at Millenium Park, the American Girl store on Michigan Avenue, and for the best view of the city, the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. Happy Travels!

Patty said...

Have a fantastic trip! I love the hashtag for things that make you smile. Cant wait to use it! :)

Bits of Bee said...

You have so many amazing and creative ideas for road trip fun! They make me want to plan a family road trip just so I can try them all out. As always, a big fan of your blog.

Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three said...

I adore all the creative things you have done to keep you all amused. Fab!

Kelly Sheehy said...

Fun! Awesome! Super ideas! I can't wait to try the road trip scavenger hunt when we head out in July! Thanks!

Katelyn said...

I love reading about your summer roadtrip ideas. Next month we are taking our girls (4 an 6 years old) to the beach for the FIRST TIME EVER!!! As you can imagine, we are all very excited. I love all of your travel ideas and we will definitely be using some on our trip next month.

My littlest had her 4th birthday yesterday and it is bittersweet; loving watching her learn and grow into this amazing person but sad knowing how quickly the time will go by. I can't imagine the pride, happiness, and a little sadness felt from a child graduating, so much love and happy thoughts being sent your way on Austyn's accomplishment.

One last thing, Kenna's birthday party yesterday was a My Little Pony party with the main feature being the unicorn ponies because they are her favorite. You know this mama loved every minute of party prep, especially painting 3 ft tall unicorns and ponies on cardboard so they could frollic around at the party too.

Jessica said...

I found your blog shortly after Nella was born and fell in love with your family. I bought your book the week it came out and that book is now traveling through my family and friends, inspiring all who read it. I was super excited to read you were heading to Michigan and my husband has agreed to go on a road trip of our own to meet you! We'll be travelling from Grand Rapids, MI to your book signing at Wiegands! Safe travels!

Amanda said...

Oh my gosh! I work near Old Orchard. I'm coming to meet you on Tuesday night for sure!

Lisa said...

I LOVE the custom family magnets. We will definitely be doing that. What do you have the lazy susan propped up on that is is stable? We have a van with the kids in two bucket seats. I really need to rig something like that up. And I'd love to drive down to Skokie from WI just to meet you. I have your book on my kindle so you can't exactly sign your book. It would be pretty awesome taking a road trip with my two littles to see you in person. :)

Anne Cunningham said...

really love all the graduation shots, and love the prep you've done for the roadtrip! enjoy, that great lake--i'm on the other side of it in WI. the weather in WI and MI has been fantastic of late. things will be beautiful and lush and green when you get here, and oh the beaches and other off haunts and waterways! glad you guys have two weeks to unwind.

Bikini By 30 said...

I love the lazy susan!

Looking forward to the Chicago signing!

Stacie/BB30

Ali @ domesticdevotion.com said...

I grew up in Petoskey!! I have four Petoskey stones in/outside our home. They remind me of that magical place.

Melissa said...

Nella and her brother look SO much alike! I love it. Happy Roadtrip-ing.

Melissa said...

Thanks for all the road trip ideas--we are heading out on our first family camping/road trip late July/August and I will definitely come back here for resources . . . I feel a second book coming along, too! Have a great time!

Annie said...

Old Orchard: Avoid the chains and try The Bagel. Real Chicago Deli: best chocolate cake in the world.

Or venture just east to Evanston to Tapas Barcelona, or LuLu's Dim Sum and Then Some. Kids welcome and will love all.

Cathy said...

I am the mom who made bingo cards with pictures of things for my kids to spot and made everyone play "A my name is Annie..." and would never let my kids watch movies on the road. Hurray for you! Your road trip sounds fab. I especially love the book idea. Great keepsake. Have fun!

Jordan said...

Just as you are arriving for book signings my family is leaving MI for our own road trip. I am sad to miss getting a chance to meet you but so excited for our first big vacation as a family of four! Enjoy your trip!! I will have to implement some of your creative ideas for my boys!

Ryan said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!! You inspire me! Totally savings some of these ideas for our future road trips with our babes. I hope to meet you (again) at one of your signings in Michigan! Have an amazing road trip! My family and I made that trip many times when I was young (Windsor/Detroit to Florida) and I always loved it!

Jennifer said...

I love the idea for leaving something at the gas pump. And I had to laugh because I think you left Brett off of the family board! Too funny!

Amanda K. said...

i love the travel ideas! my sister is flying from taiwan to new york with her three kids (ages 5, 3, 18 mos) solo in a few weeks (her husband can't come) and she's obviously looking for some ideas. i'm going to send her this link.

ps. is there a brett magnet, too!?

Elizabeth Marie said...

Love all your road trip ideas....the gas tags are adorable and so Fun! I think you have inspired so many people that every gas station in America is going to have tags this summer! Ha!

I am so excited you are coming to Chicago. The weather is going to be gorgeous for you..my mom and I will be at your signing tomorrow! I have been a long time follower of your blog, can't wait to meet you.

Safe travels. =)

Annie said...

Just thought you and Nella might find this young man inspiring.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=20688022&title=down-syndrome-player-brings-passion-to-baseball&s_cid=featured-1

I don't know him but loved his story, and i thought of you and your family.

anniefonz.blogspot.com

A Forgiven Child of God said...

your oldest and youngest look so much alike!!! we have a little girl with Down syndrome as well (our Wren is only a few months older than your Nella) and she looks just like her older brother. i love that.

scgrits said...

Love the photos! I know you talk a lot about sister bonds and I love my sisters dearly, but there is also something really special about big brothers. I adore mine and am so glad your girls have them!

Jenna | The Paleo Project said...

Coolest mom ever. Will you adopt me? I'm 24, but I'm really cute!!!

Jenna | The Paleo Project said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Hopefully we've kicked our cold spell from last week here in MI. Today it's beautiful! Perfect time to come home, Kelle. We were just in Naples in March and it was perfect there. Too bad your book signing isn't closer, I just picked it up in Grand Rapids a week ago. Have a safe Road Trip and welcome back!

Nathalie Trujillo said...

The road trip ideas are amazing. Definitely inspired me to be creative on our next road trip. xo

Nathalie
http://peaches-bees.blogspot.com/

ellen said...

I love that you aren't' focusing on a DVD player and computer games. Old school road trips are the best!

Lissa said...

Man, I would have loved to have you sign my book and snap a picture with you of course, but my big boy is graduating from pre-school on Thursday and celebrating yet another 5-yr birthday party at the bounce house (lol, these kids are obsessed with the bounce house parties).

Anyway, have fun and enjoy northern Michigan when you get up there. My kids love Mackinaw Island at their ages (still remembering the horses that poop on the road!) - it's a great day trip if you're already near the area :)

Our Family said...

Miss Nella kisses just like my Aubrey, big ol' duck lips. A's are pretty wet and I love them. (She used to headbutt instead of kiss so I am VERY pleased with the improvement.)

Amish Stories said...

Have a very safe trip. Richard

idiosyncraticeye said...

Wow, it looks like you're all prepped! I love your magnet baking tray game and those labels for strangers, so cute! Have an amazing trip, travel safe. :)

sarah said...

gas pump tags...you are amazing.

Michelle said...

Can I just ask...did you take the graduation pics using your 50mm 1.4 lens?? The pictures are divine! Loved your idea for road trips, especially the photo magnets. Have a safe and very fun trip!!

Ann said...

It sounds like so much fun I'm tempted to ask you to stop in KY and pick me up. On your way home when you are even more relaxed, e-mail me and I'll show you a great time in Somerset, KY on beautiful Lake Cumberland. My husband runs a striper fishing guide service, google Burton's Guide Service and see if you might like to catch one. I can hear you and Lainey giggle about it now!

Happiness is... said...

Oh I needed this post. I have a post-party let down/hangover from Alex's 4th bday party this weekend. And I've been going like a crazy creative woman for 2 weeks. And now I get to sit and read and write thank you notes and catch up on posts. And. Be. Still.

And I swore to give myself a week off from creativity and craftiness, but your post made me smile. It's full of love and inspiration and fun. Have a wonderful, wonderful trip. But here's wishing you the obvious.

Peace,

Jennifer

dressesandmesses said...

What fun ideas!! I'm always amazed by your creativity and wish I could be a child in your home! Have fun this week!! (not that I'd expect anything less from you!)

dressesandmesses said...

What fun ideas!! I'm always amazed by your creativity and wish I could be a child in your home! Have fun this week!! (not that I'd expect anything less from you!)

Sight Restored said...

I just wanted to leave a little note of thanks. We've had a rough year at our house. Our infant was diagnosed with bilateral congenital cataracts a year ago (he was 2 months old.) We essentially found out he was blind up until that moment. Since then, he's had surgeries in both eyes removing his lenses (he will get implants hopefully when he's five), and it's a daily battle for sight at our house. Thank you for giving me a new perspective. I've really tried to make the best of everything for our family (he has an older brother who is three), and when I come and look at your blog it makes me want to put the computer down and go enjoy the time with my boys. Time passes so quickly, and when you live at the doctors offices it seems to go by quicker. Thank you for the encouragement. Your girls are absolutely beautiful! Keep up the good work!

Anabelle said...

This is a totally random question, but my friend & I are obsessed with downloading fonts. We love the font you used for the gas tags and your road trip list. Do you mind sharing the name of it?

Thanks! As always I love your ideas. :)

olga said...

kelle, I know you are really busy but would you please find some time to make a tutorial video about watermarking your photos?! I noticed you ve been changing the style over the years and the last one is the coolest. Thank you

Emily said...

You are so cute. I also get way jazzed about road trips. Your post is very timely -- we'll be taking an 8-hour trip to the UP in two weeks and I'm going to use tons of your ideas.

I'd love to see you while you're in MI. The drive's a bit far for a day trip for us, unfortch. Have a fantastic time with your family!

The Mommist said...

What a great post! Amazing pictures Lucky to have chanced upon your great website! :)

www.themommist.blogspot.com

rabitstew said...

Bringing my baby girl to meet you tonight! How random that you'll be at the B&N right down the street from me, I was very happy when I saw that was where you'd be headed! It's funny, and totally not meant to sound creepy I swear, but you've popped up in random dreams, the most recent where you granted my friend a wish of giving her her own mall - it was supposed to be her happy place. Don't ask. Anywho, I'm excited to actually meet you in person :)

My happy place:
http://rabitstew.wordpress.com/

Cheryll said...

Y'all have a great trip. I love the gas tank signs. I know that you are probably tired of me asking but please tell me where you bought the upholstered chairs that are pictured often on your blog. The red and yellow one is on this post. Thanks again, Cheryll

Heidi Lee said...

Thank you for the links of travel games and other things to do. We are driving to CA this summer...will be gone for 6 weeks. Spending 3 of them in CA. Stopping and seeing everything on the way there and on the way back.
When I was looking at those links I noticed one of them had a "doin disney" part, so I clicked on that and thought I had written the article myself. All the stuff this woman said to do at Disney we've been doing for the past 10 years of going! So funny. I thought for sure I'd scroll to the end and see my picture, and just not remember writing it. Hahaha. Hope to see you while you're in MI Kelle. Love to you today.

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

How exciting! Have a great trip!

Frost Cake Co. said...

I thought I was the only one who used plastic baggies for socks and underwear when packing. I use them for so many things and people always mke fun of me. Glad to see I am not alone! :)

Misty said...

I found your blog by searching road trips for kids on Pinterest! Funny enough I started scrolling down and saw the pic in the woods and thought, she must live in Florida! Then I saw the graduation pics and said "that looks like Germain Arena!" It can't be! Then I went and looked at your bio and saw you live in Naples! I'm in Bonita! Small world! I have a nephew with Downs and he is such a joy! I can't wait to pass your blog onto my sister in law! Loved your road trip ideas, hope it was a fun ride!