Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michigan, Chock-Full

When I moved from Michigan to Florida eight years ago, Michigan had already acquired its bad economic reputation. I wasn't the only one who moved away for a job, but once I did, I thought of other reasons I was happy I left that heightened my excitement for adventures and eventually settling down in a new state. Things like cold winters, icy roads, depressing Februaries, and driving by abandoned automobile factories that once were lively and promising but now are boarded up and betrayed. I love Florida, I do. I love that my girls can run barefoot just about every day of the year, and that a decision to head to the beach for an impromptu sunset can transform to reality in the four minutes it takes to get there. I love my choice of moving away because it defined my present life. But being here, tucked in a cottage between the Oaks and Maples and thick pine forests I knew so well, has at least revived good memories and feelings for this state of which I've jokingly criticized, perhaps to justify my move. And I must add that this state is slowly rebuilding its economy, and it's encouraging to see so many residents passionate about its progress.

I am enjoying our surroundings. The stars are brighter and clearer at night, and the environment lends itself to perfect daytime summer fun.


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Enjoying this week...

Hammock Naps

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Quiet Cottage Mornings

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Dock Visits in our Pajamas

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Watching Brett Teach Lainey how to fish

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Afternoon Baking

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Antiquing Small Town Shops with Major Scores

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Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes, recently voted by Good Morning America as the #1 Most Beautiful Place in America, hugs Lake Michigan on the western part of the state. Estimated to be around two thousand years old, the dunes were formed by wind that carried sand from the Lake Michigan bluff and deposited it inland.

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This looks like some sort of biblical pilgrimage through the desert. I think Moses wore stripes and cargo shorts too, if I recall.
As we drove into the parking lot nestled at the bottom of the first dune climb yesterday, I actually got a little teary. I remembered it so well from my childhood, and there it was, waiting for me to revisit--older, certainly more appreciative of its beauty, slightly less agile to tackle its steep climb, but most notable toting two little girls who will, perhaps subconsciously, store memories of its splendor deep into their own banks of childhood.

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It felt like a very grown-up thing to do--a sort of Godfather moment of heritage as I kneeled down next to Lainey, pointed up toward the summit of that first dune and explained, 'This is where Mommy came when she was a little girl. I climbed this when I was just a little bigger than you."

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My cousin Timothy, years ago, ran down a dune so fast, he lost his footing and finished the descent as a rolling ball of body and flying sand that gained speed and quite literally bit the dust at the bottom. We handled the dunes slowly and a little more gracefully, although the girls both gave the running down thing a shot.

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Nella got tired halfway through the climb and just sort of made a bed out of dune.

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And though, at the end, the girls were human sand paper, their skin lightly dusted (and in some places, heavily coated) with a thin layer of soft grains, we finished the climb with ice cream at the base of the dunes, and I drank an entire bottle of water in fifteen seconds flat.

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Lake Michigan

Our dunes trip was followed by a stop to a small rocky beach on Lake Michigan where we waded shin-deep in chilly water, scouring the bottom of the lake for Petoskey stones.

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We've been collecting sand, pebbles and shells from some of our favorite places the past couple of months, and I have a fun home project in mind for them when we return. It involves some of these great vintage jars we've been finding at antique shops.

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Nella found a ladybug at the beach.

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Traverse City

Finally, our very fulfilling day of sight seeing ended last evening in Traverse City, a town so cool even its trees wear stylish knit sweaters.

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I could have browsed the shops for hours. My favorites? Green Island, Cali's (gorgeous clothing downstairs, unique and beautiful home goods upstairs), Sweet Pea (baby and child) and Wilson's Antiques.

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The girls were very interested in Ladies Night specials.

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And Lainey enjoyed browsing through baskets of polished rocks and gems at the local rock shop.

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The charming town is full of art and color and culture. And cherries. Traverse City is known for its cherries.

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How's that for Michigan, chock-full?

*****

365 Grateful

I'm pleased to invite you to be part of a writing friend's gratitude project over at 365 Grateful.

Hailey is hosting a wonderful contest with fabulous prizes (a new camera!) and asking you to submit photos of what you are grateful for along with a short description of your "gratefuls." It's easy, fast and a great way to share your inspiration with someone who has some great ideas for encouraging others to live a grateful life (check out her documentary project!)

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*****

And if you haven't yet discovered my friend Nici's handmade appliqued clothing, I suggest you check out her shop, Dig this Chick. Specializing in geographical silhouettes, Dig this Chick combines high quality fabrics purchased from US companies, upcycled thrift finds and meticulous machine stitching to offer unique hip clothing for the entire family.

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Brett shows his Florida love in Michigan with the gray unisexy Geo Tee
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Lainey and I wear our upcycled shirt skirts, available for big girls and little girls.
Use code digkelle for 20% off your order. Because I'm gushing about my love for my home state in this post and Nici is known for her love of hers (Montana), leave a comment telling me what you love about where you live (or where you came from!), and I'll randomly choose (random.org generated) one comment to win a $50 credit to Dig this Chick.

*****

And now, there is nothing I want more than to close this computer and get back outside with my girls. A quiet dock is calling.

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Happy Summer.

312 comments:

1 – 200 of 312   Newer›   Newest»
Bonnie said...

Looks like a fabulous trip. Enjoy!

Janel said...

Hi Kelle,
I just finished (or should I say devoured) Bloom this week, and you write so beautifully. It was so moving. I'm not a mom, but I hope to be soon, and if I can become half the mom you have shown yourself to be with your unwavering love for your girls, I'll be happy. Thank you for your book and your blog and your reminder to everyone to enjoy the small things, that differences shouldn't be a negative thing, and for showing the power of LOVE.

April Vernon said...

Oh, how I love that photo of you and Nella on top of the dune! Enjoy your trip!

Rik said...

OK, you are officially named as State of Michigan Ambassador of Good Will! You shined the apple, lit the torch and filled the mitten with good stuff. I'm so glad you are enjoying a reunion with Mich again. Welcome home. I look forward to another weekend with you and miss awakening every morning to hear Nella's sqeaker shoes running down the street toward the lake! Love me some granddaughter time! See you soon!

Angela said...

i'm from TEXAS, baby. Great state full of friendly folks and beautiful scenery.
love your post and love that you have shared all of these wonderful memories with you sweet girls. so much fun!

Honey said...

I live the Appalachians mountains for so many reasons- the flora, the fauna, the amazing beauty, but mostly because here, I feel home, all the way to my bones.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Goodness...I don't know exactly when you were there, but this Texas native, Georgia transplant was actually just in Michigan, too! We even bought caramel apples at that Kilwins...we ate at the Brewery, though.

And, we stayed on Spider Lake at my aunt's resort!

Such a small world.

Hanna said...

It looks like a magical place, I have to go one day to those dunes, they are spectacular! Keep having Michigan fun :)

Nicole Palmby said...

I'm from Illinois and recently moved back after spending about four years in Florida.

One of the things I love about Illinois is the quiet peacefulness of being in a farming community. With just a short drive, I can find myself in the midst of corn and soybean fields, all alone, and I can wander for a while to think and reflect and enjoy just being.

Scott and Jean Lucas said...

Oh I would love to visit the dunes!! Looks like great fun!

Amanda Buck said...

LOVE the pics of your girls together, especially that last one. Precious! I'm grateful for Lake Superior. Even though we experience winter 6 months out of the year here in Duluth, MN we still have that beautiful to enjoy on our warm sunny days. It's like our own personal ocean.

Cathy K. said...

Oh my goodness, I am loving so much of what's in this post. 1) You look amazing in yellow. You live yellow and yellow loves you. 2) The pictures of the girls running down the sand dune are too cute to handle. You need to frame those and put them side by side. 3) It makes me happy that you're home.4) Has Nella had a growth spurt, or is it just me? She is looking taller and even more beautiful. And 5) You guys obviously know how to live life!

Tina said...

Looks like you are having a fabulous time! You deserve it!

What I love about where I live? Oh, it just has over 120 waterfalls... no big deal. Living in Hamilton, ON (the waterfall capital of the world!) is definitely awesome! I love being able to share the wonder and beauty of waterfalls with my daughters.

Lisa said...

How fun to pop onto your blog and see you admiring my own hometown?! We live in TC and summer out at our family's cottage on Big Glen. So glad to see you enjoying our area and all it has to offer. If you have any questions for other places to visit, let me know! Or if your girlies need a playdate, we are right here always eager to share in a playdate at a park! :)

Jen said...

Nothing like those quiet cottage mornings! Them's the best memories in the making, don't you think??

"H" is for Heather said...

I'm from Michigan...right near where you went to college if I remember correctly. Concord, specifically! Thanks for the opportunity and for the sweet Michigan words ;)

The Costellos said...

I hope you had the Traverse City Cherry at Kilwins. The best!

Daniele said...

What I love about my IL suburb is between nestled between Chicago and farmland...can get the best of both worlds at any time!

Em said...

Lovely photos from my lovely home. <3 Thank you for sharing and spreading the Michigan LOVE!

v.jack said...

How do you get Nella's pigtails to have that delicate wave that is just so perfect? Everything about this post made me tear up! After reading Bloom, I can only imagine how much it really means to you to have your girls with you in Michigan at those dunes, retracing your footsteps years later... Your girls are just beautiful!!

Amber said...

Thanks for posting wonderful things about our state! So many people have so much bad to say about it, they don't take the time to see everything that we really do have to offer. Michigan is the only place I care to call home and I have some deep roots & hardcore love for it. If it never snowed it would be perfect ;)

Jaime said...

Beautiful post and pictures Kelle!

Sonja said...

Nella resting on her dune bed - I love it!

irishmaji said...

What awesome memories for your little girls!!! What I love about where I live in NH is that within a an hour or two drive we can either be at the beach or up in the mountains or down in a big city, Boston. We have the best of everything it seems like and I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Charlie's Mommy said...

Your pictures are amazing!! So glad to feel a part of your vacation. I love Florida (born in Jacksonville and live in Yulee) because we have a beach. I have always taken for granted that wherever I go, there would be a beach. Silly, I know, but that is one of my favorite things about living in such a hot state....water!!

Tiffany said...

I'm from Missouri, and I love so much about it. I love how we have four seasons, though spring and fall seem to get shorter all the time. I love the trees and farmland, And that wrongly have to drive 5 min to get to a place where you can look up and see a sky full of stars. Anyway, it looks like you guys are having a lot of fun!

kmrf said...

Louisiana.
Crazy, Colorful, artistic, soulful and full of people I love.
I like, as much as I long to travel and live in other places, knowing that I live on the same land owned by my family since the 1700's.

Farmgirl Paints said...

these pictures are glorious. GLORIOUS! seriously girl...wowza. i grew up in central IL and it's exactly the same for me. when i go back the town seems like an empty shell. the economy is so depressed. there is NO traffic. many stores have closed down etc... but that's where my people are and the barns and fields and antique stores and all my growing up memories are there. it's such a push and pull of emotions every single time i go home. leaving sunday by the way. can't wait to see for miles and miles and to smell the corn.

Cathy said...

Oh...How I love WV?! I was born there...but lived in Ohio most of my life. Right on the border. So let me just say...OH/WV/KY Appalachia has the some of the most beautiful, lush, country mountains ever. And oh how I will miss them. This country girl is moving West. San Fran will be my new hometown and I will be loving on some Redwoods and the Pacific. Can't wait!

Cathy
http://cathyandthecrazyhouse.blogspot.com/

Team Lando said...

I am from SoCal.... I can't wait to take Ellie there for the first time in a couple weeks and to show her a "real" beach, take her to Sea World, and let her experience life with my old neighbors.

And now, I live in DC, which you saw for yourself recently, so you know it is amazingly awesome. Monuments. Museums. Cherry blossoms.

Keep livin it up on your trip!

Melissa said...

I love reading your vacation updates. Your trip sounds amazing! I am from the Chicago area but my grandpa lives on Torch Lake, up there near Traverse City. The lake is beautiful and my grandpa calls it "God's country". Check it out if you get a chance and stop in the adorable town of Alden for some delicious muffins at The Muffin Tin. Or swing by the spice shop and stock up on some spices. Another favorite, about half-way up the lake is The Dockside. You can sit on the deck and eat greasy burgers and fries and watch the boats come in to the river from the lake. We have lots of wonderful memories from "up north".

Megan W. said...

I am from Michigan, too, and still live there! I love the great lakes, Charlevoix camping, Traverse City, 4 distinct seasons, and that Detroit is a major venue for most music tours.

jadedlovely said...

I love Nici's blog and yours! I am from the wonderful state of Idaho and much like your love for Michigan, I feel a connection to the land, the smell of the air, the outdoor adventures. I also hate the snowy roads and the fact that I can't run around barefoot 365 days a year. Thanks for the giveaway!

laurenc1023 said...

i am from western new york and i LOVE the finger lakes!!!

Ciara Bernskoetter said...

I love living in Kansas City. It is the perfect balance between city and country. Not too big and not too small. The beautiful Brookside neighborhood is chocked full of local boutiques and friendly people, as well as home to Loose Park, a beautiful, expansive, peaceful park. It is also very dog-friendly...people are out and about with their dogs and dog-related events are held fairly often. The famous Sheridan's frozen custard gives out "pup cones" for patrons who bring their dogs along for dessert. This city is perfect; I belong here!

mamaoftwo said...

I'm from MN, land of 10,000 lakes & that is exactly what Iove about it. Although we get a bad rap for our winters (I won't lie, they are brutal), but the summers...oh, the summers. They are the best. We spend out weekends at our lake cabin & take FULL advantage of our summer, because they are much too short. You should check it out...maybe a book signing on your trip back. :)

Jill said...

If you are heading back to Chicago on your way home I suggest driving out of MI along the lakeshore. Make sure to take time to stop in all the little towns. Love me some MI! Enjoy!!

KS Photography said...

I just love that you find beauty and postivity (word?) wherever you find yourself.

Anna said...

I'm a Georgia native and Pennsylvania transplant. Love both spots...my heart is torn at Christmastime--every year.

Erin Beaudette said...

Another girl that lives in and loves MONTANA! I love where I live because we have four awesome and amazing seasons, each one beautiful!
I lived in Michigan growing up and also miss the beauty that is Michigan.

Anne said...

Looks like you are having a wonderful, memory making trip as a family!! I'm now a Chicago girl, but was born and raised in North Dakota. The greatest state in the nation for reasons too many to mention. But mostly for the people. ND is good people :) I LOVE this post's sponsor, and will be purchasing some ND gear for my family!

amypins said...

MINNESOTA! I often yearn for the ability to go barefoot year-round. But, there's something to be said for the ever changing seasons we get in Minnesota. Just when you think you can't brave the cold, bitter air of February, Spring is just around the corner (with it's lilacs and apple blossoms). And just when you think you can't stand the heat and humidity of August, Fall shows up with it's cooler breezes, colorful leaves and fun knit hats to keep us cozy.

shellycoulter said...

although I often dream about moving somewhere warm and beautiful...I do truly love Wyoming. Beautiful scenery and very kind people.

Krista said...

ohhhh makes me want to visit there!!! Right now i'll live vicariously thru you!

Rachael said...

I love that my beloved Atlantic hugs Nova Scotia on almost all sides :)

Mrs. Schwartz @ Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen said...

I love Minnesota for the seasons. Since we have each of them they are completely relished and highly anticipated.

Lulu said...

Oh, wow! Your girls are so photogenic! Lainey is so elegant and Nella.... she is made for the camera. She is so delightful, she's like a little Nella doll! Looks like you're all having a lovely time there.

Shelley :) said...

I'm in Sacramento, California which is not all that glamorous, BUT it's an amazing hub! I'm an hour away from the beautiful Napa Valley wine country; an hour from gorgeous Lake Tahoe; a morning drive to the pastoral and quaint Sonoma coast where water kisses the sky; and an hour from a San Francisco ferry ride! It's perfect.

Jenn said...

I live in Western PA...love the fact that you can be in the city or the country within an hour's car ride.

Bozemanbs said...

I am a California native that has lived in Montana for the last 15 years. I LOVE MONTANA! Everyone is so laid back and friendly. It truly is the last best place :)

Angela said...

My husband is from Michigan and I can't wait to take our girls there one day to visit and show them where he grew up. Looks like a fabulous family vacation!

Stephanie said...

Kelle... I grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, which borders Port Huron, Michigan, and I have to agree with you about the true beauty of Michigan. I moved to a beautiful little village about three hours from Sarnia eleven years ago, but I still miss the scenic view of Michigan from the Canadian side, and the trip over the beautiful Bluewater Bridge. I loved all the different things that were for sale over in Port Huron, and how friendly the people were there, and the strange looks I would get in Target when I asked where the bathroom was(I guess they call it only a washroom there...LOL). I miss the girls only trips we took to Birch Run, Michigan to shop at the outlet malls and eat lunch at Tony's. Then the chance to be a child again when we went to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland and saw anything and everything to do with Christmas. Michigan will always have beautiful memories for me... my experiences there helped shape who I am... and my views on things... Michigan will always hold a special place in my heart. I have loved your blog posts on the topic. Sorry for the small book... I'm rather long winded today for some reason!!! :)

Anne Marie said...

I live in the Ozark mountains in Northwest AR, where creeks, streams and lakes flow all around us. Adventure can be found almost anywhere if you love outdoors and nature.

Sarah said...

MINNESOTA>>The pine trees, the lakes, the snow, the music, the grass, the loons, the leeches (OK, not the leeches, or the mosquitos), the maples, the lakes, the people, the attitude, the accent, the fireplaces, the tops down in springtime (50 degrees, holla!), the food, the people, the bikes, my family.

Porterhouse Productions said...

Kelle, so happy to see you enjoying Traverse City! Downtown (my mom owns Toy Harbor, wondering if you had a chance to stop by for a peek), the Dunes, the lakes, the sand. I am now back in my hometown of TC - a long road back home after my time spent away after high school until we moved back when I was 32 - to raise my own two girls. Northern Michigan holds such a beautiful nostalgia, doesn't it? Enjoy that dock - and the green leaves waving in the breeze, the fresh water, and the sunlight.
Abby Walton Porter

tracey robinson said...

I miss Great Falls, Mt every day. Best Farmer's Market in my life, not too big, not too small, a little bit of everything. And the library, park and 5th St Diner are within walking distance rounding out a perfect Saturday.

Louise said...

I live on Long Island, New York. Home to the Hamptons, the wine region, beautiful beaches and the kind of suburbia were everyone really looks after their patch :)

I love your white maxi and Nella laying on the dunes!

Louise said...

I live on Long Island, New York. Home to the Hamptons, the wine region, beautiful beaches and the kind of suburbia were everyone really looks after their patch :)

I love your white maxi and Nella laying on the dunes!

mommyliu said...

I rarely ever comment but I just have to say that the picture of Nella in her Osh Kosh overalls in front of the red paint splattered wall is seriously my favorite picture of her...ever! So cute

Kristin Branem said...

A: I love the pic of Nella napping on the dunes. Adorable!
B: I love where I am- in a quiet fishing town that is a part of Suffolk VA. I have family and friends close by to hang out with and lend a hand when my husband is deployed, and I have a quiet dock (with crab pots) that photographs well at sunset.

The Goff Family said...

I am a native FLORIDIAN (yes, we do exist!). I was born and raised here and am proud to have raised our family here for the past 6 years. However, there are new adventures on the horizon and we will be calling Newport, RI home in less than 6 weeks! I LOVE all that my home state provides, but am looking forward to all that New England has to offer. ~Rebecca Breza Goff

Brooke said...

Wow, you make me want to visit Michigan! I'm from Utah and I must say I always miss it this time of year. The summers are goregous, with beautiful mountains and cool summer nights, and trips up the canyon for BBQs and fires and smores. Visiting home is just the best, isn't it?

Sandy W said...

I live in Michigan and I love the great lakes, especially Lake Michigan.

Bret&Amberly said...

I am full on CA Girl, went to college in Idaho, but came back because apparently I love 100 degree days, but they are much better then -6 any day of the week.

Angie a.k.a Angie and the New Life said...

Home is where the heart is and my heart belongs to Manitoba, Canada. With winters so cold and summers so hot the contrast brings out the vibrancy of it all. Farm land with gentle hills and valleys in every shade of green. Winter snows so white and heavy and colds so iceiy you have no choice but to cuddle up close at night. This is my homeland.

AJB19 said...

Makes me long for a quick vacation to Door County, the talk of cherries makes me hungry! You're going to need a larger vehicle to come home in to accomodate all your fabulous finds! Enjoy making more memories with your beautiful family

Kim said...

Great posting Kelle! We love Michigan and go once or twice a year. It's easy for us since we are in Chicago - where I am from. There's not enough space to say why I LOVE Chicago - Lake Michigan, the city energy and sky scrapers, all the great neighborhoods with "mom and pop" stores and mini boutiques. I like things less traditional, so love the creativity in the small stores.
And Chicago.......well, museums, friendly people....as I said, not enough space. Sorry I missed you when you were in Skokie (I was in your adopted state of FL then). :)

Jocelyn Cook said...

I'm so glad you're having such a great time here! It was wonderful meeting you at Wiegand's on Saturday and introduce my daughter Julia to you.
And thanks for sharing the beauty of Michigan with all your readers! Living here and traveling a lot around the country, I've heard so many negative comments about our state, but there truly is so much to enjoy and take in! We'll be heading to a cottage on Lake Michigan for vacation this summer and I can't wait!
Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Kaia said...

Eastern WA.. love the big huge skies, farm land (openness!), gorgeous mountains, amazing gorge... it's the best place to live! ;)

Jesse said...

I'm so glad your family is having the best time in Michigan. The memories you are creating are priceless! I love MT for so many reasons; the changing seasons, and the scenery. Mostly I love that huge majority of our large extended family is still here. My kids get to grow up with tons of cousins from both sides of our family, the same as my husband and myself.

mrsc said...

Beautiful pictures as always! What I love about Texas is the unpredictable weather and the people! I have found so many genuine people here as I have grown up who have had great impact on my life! Despite the miserably hot summers, I have enjoyed growing up here!

Evelyn Louise said...

I love Richmond, VA because it is two hours from the mountains and two hours from the beach; it is a city with the country just out the backdoor.
Sunday drive? Sure - head West on Broad or North on Rt 1.
Sky scrapers with a river running beside them? Head downtown.
Want to live where you can walk to the grocery store? We've got it...
Want to live where you can own cows? Got that too.

Richmond, VA really can have the small town/big city feel depending on where you go and who you're with. I LOVE IT!

Really, Kelle - you should come check us out! I think you would LOVE Richmond too.

Melissa said...

How do I love California? There are too many ways to mention--the mountains, the sea, the trees, the valleys, rivers and everything in between makes it such a lush magical, place. It's also incredibly diverse, with a vibrant muli-cultural flavor in nearly every part of the state. Born in Santa Barbara, raised in the north, I lived in Southern CA for 6 years before returning to my beloved Bay Area and am grateful to call Berkeley home. It's so expensive to live here, but very well worth it. In fact, the only year of my life lived outside CA was when I moved to NYC after college--as fab as it was, I missed home too much to stay.
(PS.I don't need to be included in the giveaway though as I love buying clothes from Nici and would rather another lucky reader have a chance to win a gift card--I just couldn't pass up a chance to wax lovingly on my home state!)

Lori P said...

I just got back from a trip back home to OHIO. I appreciate it more each time I go back, especially since I have two little girls now and I enjoy showing them special things in their mama's history of growing up there. I don't think I would appreciate it as much if I still lived there. It gives me the opportunity to see things through different eyes when I go back.

Jill said...

I love the quiet evening on the docks as we look up at the stars twinkling. Then, waking in the morning, and heading right back out. The kids pull on their rainboots, right over their footie jammies, grab their fishing rods, and we start the day just as we ended it! One of our favorites in MN!

Jami said...

I spent my young childhood in Michigan where my extended family lives and we are going to go visit next month so the last few blog entries have me even more excited for that!!
And then I spent my older childhood years in south Florida, which I absolutely love and is where I consider "home" and have lots of family as well.
The Air Force has us stationed in the Florida panhandle and I love love love it up here too. The beaches, the two-week-long winters, the green all year round. My two favorite states are the same as yours. :)

Amy @ Feathered Friendsy said...

Pittsburgh, PA... there's just something so charismatic about this city... nowhere else I've lived really comes close in comparison. :-)

Leah said...

I absolutely LOVE all the pics! :) You guys always have such great vacations! I'm a KY girl and I grew up in the hills, but when my husband and I married I moved to his home-state, MI, for about 3 years, and then we moved to Savannah for about 3 years. Both places are lovely, but my heart has always belonged to KY. We moved home nearly 3 years ago and I love the rolling hills, the seasons, and the stunning horses! Hope the rest of your vacation is wonderful!

Marie said...

As someone who has been spending summers on an island in Northern Michigan my whole life (and the 6th generation of my family to do so), I love it more than ever after watching my husband and son experience, and fall for, its magic. Rock beaches, cold lake water, watching storms move across the lake, spying freighters and running for the binoculars, falling asleep to the sound of the waves, feeling the whoosh of a bat flying by my head, spending time with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins who love that sacred space as much as we do - all of these things make Michigan a piece of who I am. Thanks for sharing your love for that great state - can't wait to get up there in a month!

Little for a Little While said...

Aww, I love Nici! I recognized her skirt on Lainey right away :) I have lived in MN my whole life, and while our winters do get quite long and chilly, I still love that we have all four seasons. Just when we start to loose appreciation for one, a new one comes along and knocks our socks off. It's always changing and keeping things fresh. Thanks for sharing your vacation, it looks dreamy!

scarlett rigby said...

i'm from sunny southern california! i LOVE where i live and can't imagine life someplace else. the fact that i can make it down to the beach in 15 minutes is pretty much the best thing ever!

Amy said...

Tennessee! Tennessee...ain't no place I'd rather be :)

Amy

Jennifer S said...

It looks like you are all having a wonderful time! Loving all the pictures!

Yolanda said...

I love that I can get on the train or in my car and be in the heart of Chicago in less than an hour. I do love that the noise of lawn mowers in my comfy suburbia wake me up on the weekends.
Nothing beats summers trips to pick strawberries or blueberries in our neighboring states of Michigan and Wisconsin.

jnana said...

It looks like Nella had a fun time in the sand- those pictures of her are adorable. Much love xx

Cheri said...

IOWA -- Northeast Iowa, to be exact. It's the land that I love because of our rolling hills and the Mississippi River!

Melissa said...

I am vicariously vacationing through you and loving every minute.

What I love about where I live: People speak. (That's southern talk for say hello). In the grocery store, at the post office or just driving down the road. My son will ask me "who was that?" And most of the time, I answer "I don't know, just someone being friendly. "

Enjoy the rest of your vacation and keep the great pictures coming.

Alzbeta said...

I don't know if I can describe why I love "my places" adequately. I love Nebraska and Kansas because they were home first, because that's where family eats and plays and dances together and because that's where the grass on the prairie dances with the breeze. But, Colorado? Well, Colorado is where I love, where I'm growing a family and where the mountains loom right outside my window, calling adventure and peace at the same time.

Diana said...

I love seeing all of your pictures from Michigan! I'm from Michigan too (Detroit) and one thing I love about my home state is the car culture. I grew up near Woodward Avenue and remember many drives up and down this historic road and watching the classic and muscle cars drive by in the summer months. It was an extra special treat when we got to stop at Ray's for some ice cream. To this day, I still really want an aqua 57 Chevy Bel Air.

MoB said...

I've lived in Idaho my entire life and wouldn't trade it - love my mountains!

Kylie said...

I am from the east coast. A small town called Altoona, Pennsylvania, but I was transplanted by the love of my life 3 years ago to the Rocky Mountains. I love and miss the fall colors in Pennsylvania. The bright colors - Red, Orange & Yellow all over the rolling hills. But it didn't take long to get used to the snow capped mountains year round in Colorado. I never take our view for granted. I am sending lots of love to you - you are such an inspiring person Kelle. xo.

Erin Bettis said...

The photo of Nella and her lady bug is my favorite of her yet!

Ella said...

Minnesota - love that North Shore air. Similar to your beloved Michigan!

(also love Dig This Chick!)

Kate said...

More and more I miss my home state of Washington. Tennessee summers are far too warm for my taste. What I wouldn't give for some evergreen trees and constant grey sky!

brennigan :: [bg] photography studios said...

It's Brennigan from the Monroe signing! Adam and I are spending our 1st Anniversary at Sleeping Bear Dunes and spending a day antiquing in Traverse City! :) I'm so glad you're loving your home state again! We love having you in it! I love recognizing your Instagrams!

Megan June said...

The picture of Nella and the lady bug is precious! It has to be one of my favorite photos of her. :-)


Michigan is calling my name now. Looks like I have new places to add to my bucket list. ;-)

--Megan
www.immeganjune.com

Megan June said...

The picture of Nella and the lady bug is precious! It has to be one of my favorite photos of her. :-)


Michigan is calling my name now. Looks like I have new places to add to my bucket list. ;-)

--Megan
www.immeganjune.com

Evelyn said...

Love your pics like always! I'm in so Cal (San Diego), and I love that in every month of the year, flip flops and beach trips are totaly appropriate

melifaif said...

I can tell you numerous things I love about this Michigan post!!! One being the fact that Nella laid down on the awesome dune, as if to take a snooze. That pic is amazing. As is the one of you holding her on top of a dune!!! Love Lainey on the stone wall...and your cute fashion rags from DIG THIS CHICK!!! {I do, I do!} And I love so much about San Antonio...of course the Alamo, the rich history. But the riverwalk holds a very special place in my heart!!!!

Love, Meli

p.s. It's been about a month since I last visited...and little sister looks like a BIG girl!!! Those leetle curls hanging from her pigtails just lay me down. Sweetness...

irelassred said...

I'm from MO, Kansas City specifically. I love a lot of things about my state- it is beautiful, parts are flat prairie, parts are very hilly. There are lots of streams & lakes & great spots to canoe & hike. Kansas City is one of the best kept secrets of the midwest, I love it when friends come to visit because they are always so pleasantly surprised. I guess no one expects much of our "Cowtown"! Lots of great independently owned stores & restaurant, a thriving urban farming community, low cost of living, full 4 seasons, a vibrant live music & are scene, & the Chiefs! We've got football's most loyal fanbase & going to Arrowhead stadium each fall just proves it! So much fun. I could ramble on & on...but, you should come check it out for yourself sometime!
Anyway, I follow Nici too & I'd love to win the store credit. Thanks for encouraging us to reflect on the things we love about our homes.

Kay said...

I'm a Michigan girl with a deep love for everything "Up North". These pictures made my heart smile. My family and I vacationed in Glen Arbor each summer for a week - our trip the Sleeping Bear Dunes was ALWAYS a favorite... we would run down those hills so fast that giant wipe outs were always counted on (My husband about peed his pants after watching a home video of my 6 year old self losing any and all control of my body as I tumbled down the dune).

Have you heard of the children's book about the dunes?! It is a must have for your girls if you don't already have it.

http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Sleeping-Bear-Kathy-Jo-Wargin/dp/188694735X

Enjoy the rest of your stay - I myself will be on a dock enjoying a tucked away lake in this wonderful state over the weekend :)

monihope85 said...

Oh, this post...I miss Michigan so much!! Commenting on what I love about where I came from will be super easy! I love the four distinct seasons of Michigan and all the rituals and traditions with which we celebrate each season - watching the snow fall outside as I sit by the lights of the Christmas tree, those brilliant colors of spring and the feeling of everything coming to life, the fun summer days of jumping off the dock into the lake, the 4H Fair!, and walks to Dairy Queen...and beautiful autumn, with its fiery red and orange and gold and its traditions - bonfires, apple cider, Halloween. Australia is so...so far away, in culture and in geography! I just have to remember all that I'm grateful for here. xx

Sarah said...

Michigan! Even though I gripe about the cold winters and ever changing weather that we have, it makes me appreciate the beautiful days all the more. A trip to the lake after spending the winter inside is even more special.

Maggie said...

I love the photo of Nella laying on the sand!

What I love about our tiny wheat town in Washington state:
-Wide open spaces. It's easier to breathe here
-You know your neighbor. Heck, you know the whole town (pop 1,100)
-It allows me to appreciate the smalls things: the way wheat mimics ocean waves when the wind blows or how county fairs are the highlight of summer
-being able to raise my kids to be free spirits without worrying about the problems of a 'big city'

-maggie

Jennifer from NJ said...

I Love where i live. in central NJ. about an hour to the beach, mountains, lakes, and everything inbetween. We can go to the town pool, enviornmental center, or fishing lake within 15 minutes. and with 2 boys and a little girl they are having the best outside nature loving time of their lives. As always thanks for sharing your life with us and taking on this amazing south to north traveling adventure!

Mands said...

Your girls are just beautiful. Nella just gets cuter and cuter as her personality shows through each picture. Love the one of the lady bug on her arm...frame worthy for sure.

Christina. said...

Kelle - Your blog is such an inspiration! I just want to bake, quilt, and go to the beach after reading this post. Thanks so much for what you do!

kelli said...

I am a Georgia girl. I love it here. It's not because of the hot summers, mild winters, and amazing peaches. It's because my family is here. I'm new to your blog and have been completely captivated by your story and your truly contagious, positive attitude. Thank you!

BriBrooke said...

Mississippi <3 Magnolias, sweet tea, and southern gentlemen :)

Erica Butterfield said...

What I love about Arizona where I'm from: sunny hot days, monsoon season, mexican food. What I love about San Diego where I live: being minutes from the beach, weekly farmer's market with beach view, the most beautiful sunsets, and the love of my life

Tara Jeles said...

We're not that far from Michigan being from Ontario, and I love that spring always arrives!! After such darkness and cold and snow (not this winter though) you are yearning for warm sunshine and no socks and eating ice cream under big green trees! Seasons are definitely my favourite part of Ontario.

Molly B said...

West Virginia. . .most beautiful state in the country, hands down.

Keilah said...

Arizona all the way!! Where else can you go from boiling hot deserts to cool mountain pines in a couple hours? Swimming to skiing in the same week.

figwittage said...

Born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin right across from Michigan. You might know us for our bratwurst and beer and the recent recall fiasco (Stand with Wisco, yo!) I miss watching the sunrise from my parents lounge window. I love drinking Alterra coffee at The Weather Center Cafe, a little walk from my parents house. I miss the sailboat races every Wednesday evening during the summer, but what I miss most about home are the four seasons! I lOVE autumn! I just moved to Atlanta in March and whilst I do love it, there truly is no place like home!

J Pennington said...

I just have to say you made me laugh quite a few times, like chuckled out loud! Cargo shorts, stripes and Moses comment was priceless. The Dunes are amazing. We went there years ago and my husband ran down them while I sat at the bottom with a telephoto lens and shot him making a complete fool of himself. Thanks for reminding me of that great memory. LOVE the photo of the lady bug on Nella!! Your girls will have such great memories of this trip. Thanks for a great post!

BGH said...

This post brought back some wonderful memories for me. My husband and I honeymooned in Michigan and the dunes was one of our stops. We took the hike to Lake Michigan and ate lunch on the shore. We even stayed at a B&B in Traverse City that evening. Great memories and such a neat place!!!

Michelle Ott said...

Just thought I would let you know that I saw your book today in my local library (tiny library) in Red Deer, Alberta Canada. It stopped me in my tracks and had I not been chasing a 3-year-old out the door, I would have checked it out. Next week!

Debby said...

Some amazing pictures. Lainey looks like she is absorbing all the newness of a different place. Love the Nella picture with the cute smile and the falling down strap.
I live in Ohio but also have 8 of my family (children and grandkids) in Colorado. I love both states. There isa lot to do in Ohio that alot of people don't see. The lakes, the trees, hills, change of seasons, friendly peopleee make this a great state. I don't even need to say what I love about COlorado......the views.
So glad you are having such a good time with your family. My family used to go to HOughton Lake in the summer as well.
Have fun.

josierenee@gmail.com said...

i love arizona, for the smell the desert has after a summer monsoon.

JackeeG4glamorous said...

Love this post, I am from NW IN and am in love with Michigan.
I have to tell you, that I recently was given a copy of your book, Bloom and have read it cover to cover and I'm starting over again. It is so inspiring and hopeful. My daughter who is 7 months pregnant with my granddaughter was informed that her baby has myelomeningicele (spinda bifida) and hyrdrocepheles. We were devestated and racked with grief. we still do not know until delivery the outcome of her defects. I hurt so bad for my daughter who had such hopes for this her first stab at motherhood and she's the one who gave me your book. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts so that others can begin to see the Bloom.

About me: said...

I'm an Idahoan, born and raised, but just moved back to Boise six years ago after a 12 year stint away in Oregon and Minnesota. Like Nici, I'm deeply in love with Idaho's landscape; its high desert sagebrush smell comforts my soul. Thanks for sharing your Michigan story! -Amy

Sara said...

Oh it looks like you are having a fabulous vacation!!! I have never been to Florida or Michigan! I am from the california coast but now reside in Colorado. I love both places equally- but Colorado is taking the lead slightly just because Colorado is where I became a mommy!!

vermonter said...

I live in Vermont... It is so beautiful here. We get all four seasons,which never get old. Winters are long and cold, but thats why we ski. Spring is just what we are waiting for after a long winter and you get to see the flowers springing up and start to plant your garden watch the leaves come out after a long winters sleep and the green grass starts to pop up, thats when we know summer is on its way. You head to the beach and farmers markets to get all the goodies for the backyard BBQ's.There is always a county fair to attend along with a yard sale on almost any street. Then along comes fall and the leaves on the trees are begin to turn,that brings alot of leaf peepers to Vermont to enjoy the most stunning view. We all head to our last county fair. Then we are back to snowfall and heading to the mountains for a ski trip or through the woods for a horse drawn sleigh ride. As it starts to warm up for spring once again all the talk is tapping trees and the best maple syrup you can find to put on everything from snow to donuts to pancakes in the cold brisk mornings. That is just some of the things that make Vermont a lovely place to live.

Benay said...

The picture of Nella with the lady bug is absolutely delightful. That girl is as cute as a bug's ear!

Sheila said...

I grew up in Indiana and spent my summers at Indiana Dunes State Park. It is such a special part of the country. Thanks for bringing back memories!

Elizabeth Beads said...

I have loved all the places I have lived and visited, from the beaches of New York, to the Smokies and the Rockies, from the wild Pacific Coast to the high deserts of Arizona and Utah, from Northern England to the French wine country, from New England summers to sunny Florida winters, from the deep South to my current home in Texas. If you only look, there is something to love wherever you go.

Rizel said...

I love NY, because the rush of the city gives me life.

Lindsay said...

I'm originally from sunny lovely San Diego, but I do love where I am now...Portland, OR. Portland is so full of lush, green trees and the most gorgeous clouds I've ever seen!

katie said...

born and raised in minnesota. love the weather (the cold as well as the hot and humid summer), the people, the arts and culture, and the lakes. leaving it behind for cairo, egypt come august, though! hope you enjoy the rest of your trip home!

Kulio said...

Oh this post just made me relax -- so beautiful, so colorful - "coming back" to Michigan is sometimes necessary to see all that it has - when we moved back from Florida it was the same way.
I just love how Nella made a bed on the dune! That is the cutest thing ever - also her curly pigtails? Yah! Supremely cute. Finally, the candids of your girls together always melt my heart - they reach out toward each other, lean in toward each other - it's not something you can fake in a photo. ah...family

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

BLISS, pure Bliss...all of it. You've got me craving a holiday with my family. You've got me craving nature & peace & calm.
Just beautiful Kelle.
x
http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

Summit of Glory said...

Beautiful post, Kelle! I have been so busy following you on IG, that I forget to comment here! Boo on me. Follow my IG feed too....leeannarmitage. xoxo

lindsey. said...

Nella is so beautiful that is hurts. I never tire of seeing that sweet face.

I live in Washington State - specifically the Pacific Northwest. I love it because it is so green and there are impossibly tall trees all around me. Also, I love it because it is home and I am finally back.

Love is all you need said...

I love that everywhere I look I am surrounded by mountains. They are my mountains and every summer they wait for me to conquer them.

Amy said...

What I love about where I currently live (Boston)? That it's the place where I met and made a life with my husband. What I love most about this post? Nella's curly little pigtails! Adorable! :)

Unknown said...

Some days I think I would love to live at the beach, but Pennsylvania is home. We love it most because our family is here but also because we get to watch the seasons change, have amazing Pittsburgh sports teams, a wonderful Children's Hospital and so many entertaining places to visit.

lorri said...

I love Dig this chick! If I won I guess I'd have to pick a state. I've got a few that I consider home. Right now I am loving the Oregon summer sunshine. In a couple of weeks it will be almost a daily guarantee!

Hazel said...

Damn girl you know how to do a vacation (or holiday in Australia).

Loving these photos of you all.

Why do I love where I live? Although the economy is pretty bad in Tasmania, I'm a small town/state girl at heart. I don't do big cities all that well.
I love that we can go walking up a mountain or a forest or a long a beach all only 1/2hr-1hr away. I drive by the sea and through eucalypt forest every day to work.
I love the space, the air, even the cool weather.

I still can't believe you had to buy socks! I can not even imagine a life without socks.

jenniwaka said...

I've lived in rural New York State and rural Japan and loved them both. There is beauty everywhere and every season if we take the time to breathe it in.

LibraryGirl62 said...

I am from Ohio, but I have lived in Naples (Yep-same as you) for 31 years. I love the bright blue skies in January, the green waters, the searing sun, the soft sand, the palm trees...heck, I even love the heat in the summer (OK...don't LOVE, but I sure like it better than Ohio winters). I just can't imagine living anywhere else.

Laura Harfield said...

Oh Kelle, this post made me teary. It reminds me so beautifully of our Canadian summers and the glorious weeks we used to spend at a cottage, with our aunts, uncles, and cousins occupying the one next door. Those quiet mornings, the bed head, the docks, the picnic tables. Painting rocks, eating outside, playing baseball and badminton, roasting marshmallows. Walking to the corner store. Playing silly games on rainy days. Oh, I loved those weeks. I carry them deep in my heart, always. Summer at its finest. Thanks so much for the reminder. Good for my soul.

Also, your white skirt is positively dreamy.

Enjoy the dock and your girls.

The Adams Family said...

Born and raised Michigan girl! I live it here!! :) glad you guys are having a wonderful family vacation!
I love love love the picture with nella and her lady bug! So cute!

Katie said...

I'm a Michigan girl too, and after a two-year hiatus in Chicago and a five-year hiatus in Colorado, I came back to raise my babies here. My favorite thing about it it is the U.P. and the way life slows down when you cross the bridge. :)

Becky said...

Missing home--Miami, Fl--and flip flopping EVERY day but enjoying being able to walk my little one EVERYWHERE in our now home, NYC!

Barb said...

I went to college in Michigan and considered making it my home! But then I realized I'm an ARIZONA girl at heart! The summers are spent in air conditioning or playing in the sprinklers with the kids (it wears them out!) but the winters are when we hike and walk and enjoy life.

Anne said...

Kelle... I am so loving this post as I, too, am a "relocated" Michigan girl... actually spent my childhood not far from where you are now in Gaylord and all of the places you highlighted today are the exact same places I went to as a child. It's been so wonderful to see them all again. I'm so happy for you and your family to have this fabulous time in the truly fantastical Michigan!

Jillian22 said...

Born and raised in Illinois! The best thing about where I come from are the sweet memories of childhood, growing up next door to my grandparents. Every time I smell a tomato plant or work in the dirt, I think of them.

Where oh where did you get that white skirt and can you send one to me?! :) Glad you're having a blast on your vacation!

Wendy said...

I grew up in Michigan, lived in PA and NJ, and am living in Michigan once again!

I loved winter trips to Houghton Lake for Tip Up Town, ice sculptures, swimming in the lake, tubing, getting ice cream, walks to the park...I love looking for stones with our 2 1/2 year old in the shallow end of the lake, going for pontoon rides, and roasting marshmallows (oh, and the smell of leaves or wood burning!)

So glad you had a wonderful trip. Looks like so much fun at the dunes -- you took some amazing pictures.

Katie said...

I'm from Nebraska, and even though I'm NOT a Husker fan, I love how excited the whole state gets about our football games :)

Kate said...

I love different things about all the places I've lived (all six, not counting places I've just spent summers). I just moved away from Wisconsin and am feeling nostalgic for the great people, the beautiful rolling hills with cows and barns (that's for real!), and the abundance of bratwurst, beer, and ice cream.

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

I love Kansas, because that is where my family is. Oh, and Rock Chalk Jayhawk, ya'll!

Victoria C. said...

I'm a lifetime Michigan resident. You should be the face of Pure Michigan ads! I love living here, the dunes, Eastern market in Detroit, the museums, Grand Haven, Mackinac Island, my families cabin on Trout Lake in the UP. I could go on and on. I cannot wait to give my kids all the Michigan memories I have!

And the pic of Nella w/ the ladybug!!! Gorgeous. I would frame that.

Baby Momma said...

I love this post. As a military wife we have lived in many states in the last decade but and while I always find a way to fall in love with them all, coming home always pulls at my heart strings. We lived in Chattanooga, TN for a while and when I saw you visit "Las Mas" Mexican restaurant on your way North it brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for always sharing!

Peggy, Jason, Lily and Connor said...

Southeastern Wisconsin.
I love it all. The summers, winters and springs. But mostly the falls. The close-by family. Trips downtown to see fireworks, summer fest, museums, shops and shows. Teaching kids about my love for Wisconsin.

Elleah said...

I love living in a town where you will almost always bump into someone you know at the grocery store.

Lauren said...

I love following Nici's blog and I would love to win! What I'm loving now...this little life growing and growing inside of me. Can't wait to be a momma!

Annette said...

Love this Post especially the picture of Nella with the lady bug..
Love Dig...I just ordered a shirt for my son. It is my favorite!!
We live in New York! I love living here because we get to enjoy the 4 seasons.
Glad you are you enjoying your trip!

Lori said...

i love Hawaii for the beaches, the delicious food and most of all for the generosity and kindness known as the aloha spirit ... can't find it anywhere else :)

Lisa@Pocketfuls said...

Beautiful! This post really hit home for me. My husband and I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Traverse City was one of each of our family's favourite summer vacation spots when we were growing up. We now live in southern Ontario, but every summer we take our two boys back to Traverse City to enjoy all of the wonderful things it has to offer. It's so lovely to watch our children enjoy the very same places that are fondly etched in our own memories from years ago. We are headed to TC in just a few weeks. Looking at your photos makes me hardly able to wait -- just like a kid! :) Glad you're all enjoying such a wonderful vacation.

Unknown said...

I always marvel at Nella's apparent ability to take naps just about anywhere. We have two sleepfighters and I so wish they would just nap crash on a sand dune or in a hammock some time.

-Peter Rebuffoni (Minneapolis)

Dylan'sMommy316 said...

A trip to Michigan is in the works as we speak (except we're going to South Haven). :-)

We're about 25 minutes outside of Chicago, and I feel like there's nothing I can't love about this city-splash pads, parks, the city, good restaurants. It's awesome.

Piper said...

This has been the perfect Michigan week weather-wise. The sun is warm, the wind soft and slightly cool, the humidity low. Birds sing and chatter and the air is filled with the smell of the grasses gently drying in the sun. Long walks in the woods with giggling boys and the happiest baby around in her stroller :) Blissful.

Soon, though, the humidity will come and those giggling boys will be camping out in front of the air conditioner LOL And at that moment, I will miss the dry heat of Texas :p I grew up in MI and we live here now but my few years in Texas got me away from snow that I never really missed ;)

Sandy said...

I love the local farm stands--about every 1/2 to 1 mile--from back home (southern New Jersey--it's not at all like you see on TV!).

I love the hills that my kids pretend are roller coasters (whee!) as we drive in my transplanted state of Pennsylvania, and I love how you can see so much from the top of a hill.

Jennifer Lake said...

It’s funny how this post spoke to me. In two weeks, I will leave my sunny Pennsylvania home for Montana, following my boyfriend who relocated to that mountain filled state for new opportunities. After realizing how hard it is to be apart, and how beautiful Montana is, I made up my mind to relocate for the summer - return home for my last semester of college - and to move back. Today, I’ve felt so nervous about leaving this state I call home but between your words, and the coincidence of Nici and her love of Montana, I’m feeling inspired and excited for the change.

Wendy said...

Minnesota! I love the crisp fall air & fall colors in October :-)

Shannon said...

I grew up in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Though it was technically a "big city," the area I grew up in felt like the smallest city in the world. My grandmother (whose house I now live in) lived two blocks from us. Two blocks the other direction was the "duck pond," a local lake. Gramma would meet us at my house, pick up my sister and me and we'd go through a full bag of bread feeding the ducks. My Gramma passed almost six months ago and my family took a walk around the duck pound the day of her memorial service. I'm so thankful for ducks.

AdrienneSullivan said...

Love that you are enjoying such a wonderful family trip!!! You are brave too make such a looong road trip w/ the kiddos - but looks like it's totally worth it!

Sarah said...

I feel very similar about my move to Virginia and my love for Tennessee. I love the beauty of the countryside I left, but I appreciate the opportunities my children have here...like my daughter who can do swim team. I didn't even know about swim teams growing up. XO

Katie said...

Isn't that canning building in glen haven the best? I have pics of my girls in front of that awesome red from last summer :) and your typewriter??? Love!! Did you guys do Pierce Stocking?

Gwennie said...

Arizona is my home and I love it for the warmth, open spaces and cactus! Any place can be home - just open your eyes and appreciate all that you have. Love your recounting of the journey, the pictures are out of this world!

Candace said...

What a glorious trip!! Love following you on instagram as well.

Tennessee - love the Smokies, UT football, fall, curvy country roads, and the friendliness of the South :)

thesnozberrydiaries.blogspot.com

Amy Sullivan said...

Ohhh, grew up in Michigan. This of course made me miss it.

Sarah Dailey said...

What I love about Georgia? It's got a little bit of everything; pretty beaches, gorgeous mountains and lakes, along with a big city & wide open country. Whatever atmosphere you're in search of can be found in some part of the state. And of course, Georgia peaches. :)

mamipdx said...

portland is full of bikes and babies and bookstores- and lots of great wooded areas when you tire of the city.

Lesli Temple said...

Loving miss Nella's curly little pigtails!

What I really love about my hometown, Sweet Home, OR is the close knit community support and the gorgeous lakes and mountains just a few minutes away!

Jessica said...

Loved sleeping bear dunes! My husband's grandparents have a house in Sutton's Bay (right near Traverse) so we spent many a summer up there. Did you get the chocolate covered cherries from the lady's house? It was always so funny to just walk in, greeted by cats, leave money on the table and take a bag of those cherries...but man, they were soooo good! Love Nella's red dress and matching toes! And her sleeping on sleeping bear dunes is hysterical!

Stacey W said...

I grew up in IL and spent the past 11 years in AZ with my husband. We had 2 baby girls along the way and decided IL was calling to us. We have been back for 3 months today and the best part about it is seeing my girls with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I have realized that family is where home is to me. I am loving every minute of this Midwestern summer and making so many memories with my family! Thanks for sharing yours with me!

Danielle said...

I'm from Washingtn, and just moved to Iowa! I'm loving the farmland and big sky!

Sandy Krout said...

I am from Arkansas. Currently I live in northwest Arkansas, home of Walmart. I love that our little nook in the state fulfills both city and country within a matter of just a few miles. Though our weather is completely random I adore experiencing all four (most years) seasons. The natural beauty here is quite spectacular and keeps us outside a lot of our days.

Rachel said...

I love all the trees in upstate sc and that we are minutes from the mountains but only a few hours from the beach! Greenville is also a fun up and coming little city. Love this area for sure might have to get a shirt:)

Team Copouls said...

I lovelovelove Minnesota! I love the changing seasons and the lakes. I'm happy that so far, the home where I raise my sweet babe is a quick drive away from the home where I grew up.

I do love Michigan too! In fact, I spent my 21st birthday in a bar with lots of peanut shells on the floor and a moose head on the wall in Petoskey, Michigan! So... did you find any petoskey stones?? :o)

Thanks for your continued inspiration by the way. A few friends of mine have borrowed Bloom and are now readers of your blog too :o)

Bridget said...

Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!! My family heads there almost every summer to the shores of the beautiful Lake Michigan and I savor every single second of time spent with cousins and all the beauty found in that wonderful state! I just finished reading your book (I read it in two sittings within 12 hours) and I really, really loved it. Thank you so much.

Have a great rest of your trip!

Natalie Burke said...

Ooh, what a colorful post! I love all the red in these photos, looks like you're having a great trip. I'm from Oregon & I love all the green, our beautiful summers and the diversity of landscape... Coast, mountains, desert, it's all beautiful!

Rachael Farris said...

I love reading about you and your family! I live in West Virginia, but New Jersey has mine and my family's hearts, and someday we will live there =)

Happy Summer!

Rachael
thegrowingtreeblog.blogspot.com

Amy Parris said...

I could look at your photos all day. Not only are they beautiful, but they tell your story so well.

Lindsay said...

Hi Kelle! The San Francisco Bay Area is where I call home... love being near the water (both the ocean and the bay) and having my family nearby. Come visit!

Handmade in the Bay said...

I'm from Tauranga, New Zealand. I love our city. I love that we can drive 15 minutes one way, and be at the beach, or drive 15 minutes the other way, and be in the bush. I love our tropical climate. I love looking at photos I've taken here, and thinking about how my children are going to look back and remember all the wonderful places we have here, and remember how much fun we've had splashing in the lake, climbing up to the waterfall, walking along our beaches, scrambling over rocks and finding treasures, hiking through our beautiful bushland, and so much more.....

Hope said...

Ah, I am so loving these wonderful Michigan posts :) and those Sand Dunes look GORGEOUS!

What do I love about where I live? I love that I can be wandering the rocky ocean shores one minute then driving up a mountain the next. And not to mention being able to tell people that you live on an island! ;)

Kylie and crew. said...

Loved the pictures as always. We have a digthischic shirt...for my 3 year old. It's one of her favorites! It has MONTANA on it. We live in this beautiful state and in Missoula too. I hope you will come back here one day so we can do a book signing here! :)

Sharmaine said...

Lainey's quilt looking dress is to die for!! so freakin' adorable!

And, what do i love about where i live? Mmm.. I live in Los Angeles and I love that everything you could possible think of is a short drive away! Beach? check. Observatory? Check. Hiking trails? Check. Disneyland? Check!

anka said...

I am originally from Italy and I love and miss my family and friends from there!

the pic of Nelle with the ladybug is the sweetest thing I've ever seen!

Keeley Barr said...

Even though I've been living in Germany for the last 3 years and I did 2 years in Naples, FL myself and I even did 4 years in AK as a child, TEXAS is THE greatest state there ever was. It's true that Texans are fanatics but what's not to love? We are so big it takes 3 days to drive across the state, we have just about every climate available from mountains to desert to piney woods to beaches, and just the pride that every Texan has for their state. I will be back in my beloved TX in just 3.5 weeks and hopefully (God willing) I will be there for the remainder of my life!!!

Sara said...

I love this post, all the photos capture your words beautifully. Especially the sand dune pictures - I love your mama-stance (as I call it), you wear it beautifully, the outfit only compliments you more. I may never have my own children, but this post particularly stands out, seeing you travelling and experiencing life, lets me live a life through the eyes of a mom and her children and makes the possibility seem so real to me. Maybe one day. I hope.

Kristin Hackman said...

As always - invited into your world for a few mins w/ the amazing pics. Come on, a ladybug landing on a perfectly bare shoulder?!!! :) Too much - love it!

I am from Indiana and wouldn't trade our falls for the world. I went to College in S Indiana (Bloomington) and the crisp air, the smell of leaves and the painted scenery there in early Fall takes me away...maybe add a good tailgate or a stop at a winery and stir and it makes life feel like "the good stuff."

Enjoy MI!

christa said...

I live in Vermont and I love it because it has all the seasons. Right now we are starting beautiful summer in VT. You should check it out!

Heather said...

Love this post, makes me very happy for your family. The lady bug picture is fantastic, great companion to Lainey's butterfly picture.

I am a Upstate NY girl and love it here. Four season with fall being the crown jewel. Leaves that I could never get sick of. Apples, pumpkins and all the fall fun you can stand.

My husband is from Puerto Rico (we are visiting now) so he has wanted to move to Florida for our entire 13 year marriage, your writing inspires me to grab life by the nuggets and I am seriously considering taking a big fat leap and moving the family south. Yikes!

Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Karen said...

I'm going to have to see if they have PA and OH shirts. I'm from PA, my husband is from OH where we currently live. I don't mind OH, but I do miss the rolling hills and crazy sports fans of PA

MOMOF2 said...

Hello and Happy Friday! So I have just started reading your book and oh how beautiful it is!! I have laughed, cried, and laughed through my crying! Thank you for writing this book and sharing your story. When I know you didn't have to! Thanks for sharing your road trip with us also! We took a family road trip last year....2100 miles to South Carolina from Minnesota. Littles were 1 and 3 yrs at the time....and they exceeded our expectations and were amazing on the trip! I love how they soak it all in and teach us adults so much about adventure! Best way to travel....I think ( : Our new favorite road trip CD...Okee Dokie Brothers-Can You Canoe?.....LOVE IT! Happy Day!!!

Sperber said...

I love the berry and cherry picking in Northeast Wisconsin. It is so much fun to take my 3 kids back and watch them pick and eat berries or cherries until they are red from head to toe!

Josée said...

Two city loves..Port Hawkesbury and the east coast, where I was raised, and my current city, Barrie, Ontario, where I now raise my three babes!

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