Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Sexiest Cat in New York

I had a Lender's bagel for breakfast this morning.  A packaged name brand bagel that I pulled out of a smashed stack wrapped in plastic, a far cry from the real one I had two mornings ago--a chewy hunk of dough toasted to perfection and smothered in good cream cheese.  It's one of the things I love most about big cities--food, and lots of it.  And it's not just that it tastes good, it's the fact that food's available in such a diverse selection of places and cuisines, at any time of day, and amid the ambience of your choosing. 

So yes, crappy bagel this morning--I'm back from New York.  Yawning, moving slowly, but home.

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Hot pretzel at the corner of 5th and 51st.

New York is intense--the sights, the sounds, the motivation, the energy.  Even the die-hards--the ones who need taxi exhaust like oxygen and can't sleep in silence--they'll tell you they have to get away from the city sometimes too to recharge themselves.  While one moment they're gushing about their love for the quick beat of their city's pulse, the next they're hopping a bus to the Hamptons to escape the effect of New York--they've flatlined.

I say all this because there's something about that love/hate relationship for big cities that sheds light on what makes them so fascinating to me--it's the way the good and the bad exist together symbiotically.  The height of the Empire State Building needs small buildings to highlight its greatness.  The diners and cheap hamburger joints need the contrast of expensive fancy restaurants to make them what they are--affordable.   Adverse settings and situations dwell in almost every corner in New York, and hardly anyone even notices the differences, as if it's all part of the city's harmony.  Graffiti on gorgeous church walls, garbage littering the entrances of ornate buildings, bright city lights against the dark night sky, courtyard gardens sprung up along urban streets, run down buildings sharing the shadows of impressive new architecture, and life and color brilliantly splashed against otherwise unnoticed landmarks. 

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There is a distinct beauty to how it all exists together.


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This city is a powerful place to utilize the gift of perspective.  Somewhere between the downfalls of grimey, crimey, loud, smoky and stressful and the romanticized notions of art, culture, power, luxury, rich and famous is the middle place of what the big city is to me--an anthology of colors, cultures, ideas, and ways of life.  They exist both old and new, and it's all important--every neighborhood, every person.  If only everyone could see that.

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Okay, I'm taking off my essay shoes and slipping into some comfy stream-of-consciousness slippers.  And speaking of shoe exchanges, unrelated sidenote:  Saturday morning, I walked a gazillion blocks (no really, a gazillion) wearing wedges, and my feet will never ever be the same.

I suppose that beginning city sermon does wrap up our weekend because among the inconvenience of travel, there was so much--um...how you say in English?--awesomeness. We here at Enjoying the Small Things like to give credit to said awesomeness.  So, I'll dish it up outline style because I used to be a teacher and teachers like outlines.

A:  City Babe.

Dash spent almost every moment of the trip tucked in a baby carrier.  It was wonderful, almost like being pregnant again except I could really kiss his head instead of imagining kissing his head.  His body remained glued so tightly against me, shielded from the city, like he was part of me. I peeled him off for a few photos in Central Park.

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Thank you to my dad and Gary who came along on this trip to help out

He slept. He slept, he slept, and he slept. And when he wasn't sleeping for those two little seconds, he was yawning because apparently little babies aren't amused by really big cities.

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I'd like to interrupt this post to feature Mr. Pea, the cat who I promised his picture would appear on the blog. He photo bombed everything this week until finally I was like, "Dude, alright.  You can be on the blog."  Then he bribed me to title this post "The Sexiest Cat in New York" and, well--now you know where the title came from.

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B. Kill Five Birds with One Stone. (Except we don't kill birds. Because that would be inhumane.)

This trip worked out timely to incorporate several things I needed to do--a Bloom paperback publishing meeting (check in tomorrow for fun paperback release deets--book clubs are the new black!) as well as the Books for a Better Life Awards for which Bloom was nominated as a finalist in the "First Book" category.

Bloom didn't win, but the night was incredibly meaningful--being there among authors I respect and admire, hearing so many stories of people striving to live their best lives and writing to help others do the same, sharing the evening with people I've "just met" but feel I've known forever.  There was a lot of smiling.  And it was very special seeing the cover of our book on a big screen, knowing it's out there in the universe helping people.  (for a list of all the incredible books that were nominated and those honorees that won, see the Books for a Better Life site.  The MS Society has done so much to help people live better lives, and recognizing these books is just one of many.  I have a whole list of new reads after attending)

We also shared part of the weekend with a fabulous group of women at a brunch to honor Claire Bidwell Smith and her book, Rules of Inheritance.

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Left: Claire and Jessica of Momma's Gone City

We talked about grief and loss, raising kids and writing, but also about the importance of women supporting women--how we need each other, how we are more powerful both individually and collectively when we respect and celebrate each other. 
That theme continued when I had the opportunity to meet Sarah, an NYC reader who had shared her story with me a few months prior.

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Sarah lost one of her twin boys some years ago when he was 15 months old.  This mama has experienced the deepest grief, the hardest loss, and all I wanted to do was hug her and not let go.  We sat and talked about life for a while until she stopped and pulled out something from her purse she wanted to pass on--some knit booties for Dash that used to belong to her James.  They are so special--we are honored to be able to carry on his memory.  This mama is a strong one, and she too is using her heartache and her love to share with other women, to connect, support and move forward. 

The incredible energy of this city belongs to the people, and every time I return, I meet new faces, hear more stories, and come home inspired.

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Meg Thompson--my agent and dear friend

C.  Coming Home is Good

Brett texted me pictures of the girls every day, this one my favorite:

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'sup, Canadian readers?!

They're wearing their Canada shirts.  And their "Hi Mom, We Miss You" faces.

Thankfully it's spring break this week, so all the pieces of our puzzle are present.  That was a lot of P's.  We have messes, a suitcase of laundry, work to attend to, cheap bagels but a family reunited.  In city terms, we'll call that grafitti on a gorgeous church wall.  It all exists together which makes it exactly what it should be...our life, our own little city.  Minus one sexy cat. 

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117 comments:

Melina said...

I am so proud of you.

Julie, Wife of a Soldier said...

Lovely photos. I have never been to NYC and it is such a mystery to me. I would love to go someday.

Jenn said...

I love their shirts! My girls have the same ones. I have also traversed NYC with a baby in a carrier. The only way to travel the big city with a little one.

YeamieWaffles said...

New York looks like a lot of fun to me, I can't get over the size of that pretzel haha!

Little Cottage on the Pond said...

Sounds like it was a lovely trip. Enjoy being back home :)

Denise said...

Love your pics of NYC, where I was born. My brother is there in Forest Hills and I miss it at times. Thanks for the great pics and beautiful words!

Kate Sullivan Corpuz said...

I heart NYC, it is one of my favorite places in the world that I am lucky enough to visit whenever I'd like as it's just across the Hudson River. But home is always the very best!

Ellie said...

wonderful and NOW I need to go get bagels in the a.m. ;) From Jersey but its *almost* NY :)

CrystalB said...

With every post your writing becomes more beautiful--it's like you're all matured and stuff with 3 kids :). Congrats on the nomination!

Janelle Vanderveen said...

Love the Canada tshirts. Hello fromCanada :)

Kait said...

Oh, but you don't need a sexy cat when you have Latte..love that little pup!

Daina A. said...

I am always so excited to see your NYC posts after your trips. I have lived in the city for almost ten years now, and find myself falling more and more in love with it every day. Teaching second grade in New York is seriously my dream come true.

You always do an amazing job capturing the city I love in your words and photographs. I am happy you and Dash had such a great visit! I ran into you last time you were here in Central Park (I was so excited!); too bad our paths didn't cross again this time! Time to rest up those feet- wearing wedges all day was a bold move! :)

AnnaK said...

I'm praying for Sarah and her James. Is she online? Is there a way to connect with her?

mamaathome said...

Great Writing!! I don't know how you do it but you manage to succeed at making me cry and laugh out loud all in the post! :)

joyfullyyours said...

You make me want to visit NYC...it's just a little to big for this small town girl.

Love, love, love the Canada shirts!

...and Dash - he's just too precious for words. I'm glad he travels so well!
Welcome home, and thanks for letting us "travel" with you.

Jennie said...

LOVE!!!!!! I've so enjoyed the trip via IG through your eyes...and your dad and Gary's too!!! Thanks for sharing!

Brandi said...

Yay from a proud Canadian! Love those beauties sporting the maple leaf :)

Denise said...

Is it just me or does Lainey look like she grew about 2" in that last picture? Its always good to be home...enjoy.

Rosie Keisha said...

As a former New York City girl now in North Carolina your blog and photos here and on IG bring back so many memories. I'm glad my city impacted you as it did. It is a special place..not everyone gets it. How wonderful you were able to share some of it with your wonderful father, Gary and precious Dash. Welcome back! P.S. Did you get to meet any of our famous cockroaches LOL?

My World - My Life said...

Love the girls in their CANADA shirts!!! CANADA ROCKS!! :D Lainey looks so much like you. Baby Dash is so handsome...and of course Nella is a cutie pie :)

Mishu said...

It's so weird to hear you speak about NYC and point out all the things that seem normal to me because it's all that I have ever known haha. Glad you enjoyed it, hope it wasn't too cold.

LW said...

Kelle, I am not saying this to be snarky, I am saying it as someone who has been reading your blog for over three years.

You need to SLOW DOWN. NYC 3 weeks post partum? A new blog post up with edited photos when you haven't even been home for 24 hours? Taking a 3 week old on an airplane and bringing him all over the city?

You don't seem to be enjoying the small things anymore; you seem exhausted and like you just need a break. I don't sense the happiness and love you used to ooze from your posts. You're going to wear out, because you are only human.

Step away from IG, let a guest blogger take over, and just enjoy your family for a little bit without worrying about staging and sharing everything.

If even the die hard New Yorkers need a break from the city, then even the big-time bloggers need one.

Take care.

Wendy said...

Oh how I just love all the tiny bits and peices of life that you cherish so and weave so beautifully into lovely posts on your blog. Your story seen with such beauty and reflected perfectly in your photos. So much inspiration for your readers. ♥♥♥

Marilou Blundell said...

LOVE THE NEW YORK PHOTOS AND THE CANADA SHIRTS ON THE GIRLS!!! GLAD TO SEE THAT EVERYONE IS ENJOYING THE NEW ADDITION....HUGS

Kimmy said...

Lovely pictures. You look great. I can not wait to read the books on the list! Love the energy of cities, you did a great job capturing it with your writing and pictures! Love the pretzel!!!

Elizabeth Bartz said...

Kelle,
(I had my comment in mind before I saw the comment above. I am going to echo her sentiments because I believe it is important.)

I am sad to see that you have a blog post up within 24 hours of returning home to your family. As one who preaches about "enjoying the small things", how can you possibly be relishing in reuniting with your girls if you are posting pictures and writing?
I know that it makes people happy and doesn't take long, etc...but really, it appears that you are hardly even enjoying your own life anymore.

Please stop staging, photographing, filtering, and sharing your pictures and start living your life. Your fans will understand.

Sarah Rainey said...

Amen!

Dirty Mommy said...

What an amazing post! NYC is so vibrant. And I can't wait to read Claire's book.

But my favorite part is the girls wearing their Canadian shirts! Us Canadians love shout outs!

xo

Kelle said...

@LW and @Elizabeth Barts,

I understand sharing online sometimes makes readers feel protective—hoping I’m resting and having moments to enjoy the small things. I assure you we have plenty. It’s like breathing—we naturally find them. Keep in mind this social media window doesn’t present all the information and can lead to comparing and misconceptions among women. Ebb and flow happens naturally in everyone’s life. We enjoy the bigger moments knowing they are always tucked between the precious small ones. The best way to create a more supportive environment for women is to trust that others who might do it differently are doing the best they can in balancing supporting a family, enjoying a family and taking care of themselves, their relationships and their work. It's a tough balance.

Kmarie Jones said...

Oh Canada:) It's nice to see a piece of home in that diverse landscape of individuality you speak of. I love the massive bagel too - as it is STILL snowing here (spring has yet to come) I am massively craving the comfort food...And Dash is adorable with his little sweater. Good luck on the book studies/tours/ ect!

Rik said...

I'm still on a high from our NYC junket! It was so incredibly smoothe and easy! Invigorating and energizing, I am determined to walk more, notice more, get out and do more! I am amazed at how comfortable it was to continue the seamless routine for a small baby--I think the fact we were able to "live" in an apartment and not a hotel room made the difference! Thank you again, Meg and Pea. I've always said, it has never been my goal to be remembered with the words, "He was always careful." I am energized by adventure and invigorated by learning what I am capable of! Exploring NYC and meeting the challenge of taking care of little Dash--as I said, I'm still on a high!

3Rin87 said...

Sup! Loving your family, blog and life perspective all the way from Vancouver, Canada! Thank you for constant inspiration!

JustMrsForbes said...

Oh my goodness. Lainey looks so much like you in the Canada picture. Wholly moly. Beautiful kiddos, all three.

Cathy K. said...

You make me love my city even more.

Please come back for a book signing soon! :)

Momma Of 2 TandK said...

Love the Canadian Tees!! :D

Debbie said...

Love you, Kelle!
Just felt the need to support my fellow Mama!

Debbie

Teresa said...

Love the Canada shout out!!! Great shirts!!

I am sad to see other women and mamas so full of judgement.

Live and let live ladies.

Just because someone doesn't do things the way you would doesn't make their way wrong.

Peace

Roksalanna said...

Mr. Pea is indeed the Hottest and the Coolest Cat in New York. Such a handsome Feline Friend for handsome Dash. Mr. Pea's Mummy Meg can be understandably proud of her photogenic furbaby as he welcomes his visitors.
xo

sixgunsue said...

Another great post! You'll like this...http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/12/billy-joels-answer-to-this-vanderbilt-students-question-resulted-in-the-greatest-moment-of-his-young-life/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=Share+Buttons

Farmgirl Paints said...

i'm not really a city person...a farmgirl at heart. but i canNOT wait to see it for myself. i know i will feel the way you summed it up so eloquently. you're really good at writing, you know that right? btw you look skinny! how is that even possible?? i'll try to not to hate on you;) lol!! and those booties. what a precious gift. a treasured keepsake for sure.

LW said...

@Teresa -

Excuse me, I believe I was quite respectful and honest.

I have a blog, and IG, and 2 young children. I can only tend to one of those on a regular basis if I mean to it well. Taking, choosing, and editing photos takes TIME. Posting photos and moderating hundreds of IG comments takes TIME. Raising young children takes a LIFETIME. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and I just feel like there is an unbalance here.

Kelle, thank you for your respectful response. I do hope you at least consider what Elizabeth and I have said. Sometimes being honest IS being supportive of other women.

Barry and Rena said...

love the canada shirts!! go canada!!

Erica said...

From a Canadian reader...love the girls shirts! :) And Dash is just the cutest.

Erica
www.beautifullifemadeeasy.blogspot.ca

PrivatelyPublic said...

Beautifully written.

Becs said...

Just love you and what you stand for with a passion!!! Thanks for the injection of hope and joy!!! X

Monique said...

So proud of you and all that you have accomplished in the last years of being an amazing Mama!! Your happiness is contagious and I am just, well, Happy to have found you.
Again, your post is beautifully written. You have talent girlfriend!!

Btw...LOVING me those Canadian Girls!!!

Enjoy the sweet moments of coming home

Monique

Sheila said...

Lovely post and thoughtful response.

Lindsay said...

You are a brave woman to travel with an infant, so glad your Dad was there to help! And congrats on the award nomination, so well deserved I love that I have Bloom on my bookshelf for all to see. One of my favorites! NYC is one of my favorite cities, next to Chicago of course where I live (and I know you appreciate as well). Welcome home!

Life with Kaishon said...

I am so glad you had a wonderful time. Glad Poppa could be with you : ).

Tammie said...

Kelle, great post and photos and FAMILY. I love the way you take what a few people comment to you and let them know that you are you and you enjoy the small and big and everything in between every day and in your own way and it shows with every post and picture and if everyone could only listen to you when you say to say only good to all and make this world a much better place all would be well. Thanks so much for sharing, I think there are so many of us that only wish we could write like you. Well I will speak for myself, I am one of them.

Margared Mead said...

Good lord critics she wrote the post on the airplane! Can't we just all support awesome multitasking mamas?

pegRX said...

Congratulations on Bloom's nomination! I read it a few months ago and absolutely loved it. Your kids are super lucky to have you for a mom.

Phyl said...

That is a gorgeous baby. Beautiful, beautiful kids you have.

Jen said...

The Canada shirts are awesome! I love what a fantastic support network you have. You can really feel the love in every photo you post.

Rosa said...

Lve this NY post ;) coolest t's evah!!(from a canadian gal)

Rosa said...

Lve this NY post ;) coolest t's evah!!(from a canadian gal)

The Trousdell Five said...

You know every Canadian reader you have now loves you a little bit more than we already did, right?!

Lex Wisniewski said...

Gosh! My little guy is only three months old, but looking at pictures of Dash, I can't help but "miss" that newborn stage. How fast it goes!

Jenn A said...

Hi Girls!!!
from
Jennifer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!!!

jtp said...

Love and light from Vancouver, Canada!

Thank you for sharing your joy -- whenever and however it pleases you to do so.

Michelle Ott said...

Thanks for the shout-out! You know what I do here in Alberta? I google your city to check the temperature. Then I sigh...I'm glad the internets cross borders :)

Amy Lovseth said...

Wonderfully written as usual! I've been a reader for over a year and I don't know if I've ever commented. I feel the need to this time because I think those who commented negatively don't understand the heart of a writer. When you have something to say, you just have to get it out and it's hard to do anything else until you can do so. I find all my writing happening when I should be sleeping, but that's when my thinking is clear and inspiration shows up...demanding words. It's not convenient, but I go with it because it feels so good to validate my thoughts and experiences with words. I imagine what you do is similar. Sending you love and encouragement.

P.S. I love Bloom and rarely have it in my possession because someone else is always reading it. :)

Werdna Miths said...

You think you are the only one who has noticed the dichotomy of NYC? Seriously, get over yourself. Your writing is shit. I don't get why all these bitches are willing to sleep inside your ass if they could.

Offer KINDNESS. Choose GENEROSITY. Give LOVE! said...

As a CANADIAN girl that follows you I have to say my fav photo is your girls in the CDN shirts.
What's up EH?!

The Vosslers said...

Fun! Hey ... have you seen this? I thought you might like it.

http://trek4tef.com/about-tef/

Kathy said...

Another hello from Canada - this from a girl who grew up in Minneapolis and now lives on the west coast near Vancouver.

Love reading your blog and looking at all the pictures. I really got a bang out of the last post about the leggings! Ha. You are so funny.

Kathy

Merrilee Bouchard said...

I love the Canada shirts, thanks girls :) What sweet faces :)

Dash looks like such a chill baby, and looks like Sexy Cat was happy to entertain you!

Congratulations on the nomination, I loved Bloom, it was a beautiful read! Thank you for continuing to inspire us and for keeping us up to date on your beautiful little family :)

Rose said...

always love dipping in here Kelly, the magic you weave with your words where ever you are or have been. I too always used to think it was like being pregnant again having the babes in slings and like you it was a little extra special cause I could kiss em and stroke their heads and re-arrange them when it got uncomofortable - unlike pregnancy! I carried them on my front long after I ought to have because it harked back to being pregnant. Enjoy being home despite the inferrior bagels! big love lady X

Kate said...

Oh, I love New York City...your photos are gorgeous. Looks like you had a great trip.

Liane said...

Lovely post :) I have always wanted to visit New York and reading your words just make me want to visit it even more. If only there wasn't that big Ocean in the way!


I love how you are living life. I personally think that even though you are busy busy busy, you are still enjoying the small things. You are just grabbing all the opportunities that this life is throwing at you and what woman given half the chance wouldn't!

I hope I have as much energy one month postpartum as you do! Right now I'm 17 weeks pregnant with baby number two and still suffering from morning sickness. My energy levels are zero!

Keep doing what you're doing Kelle!

Liane x

Kimmy said...

Um, had to laugh a few comments ago someone wrote something very nasty. Wow! I think you are very brave and I appreciate your writing and sharing. But, what I really wanted to say was I love the picture of the pretzel. If you ever get the chance you should visit Philadelphia and have a pretzel, hoagie and of course a Cheesesteak! The battle between Pat's and Geno's steak joints is still raging so keep the peace and eat at both places. You can always work it off by running up the Art Museum steps Rocky style! People always run up the steps like Rocky and jump around at the top of the steps like he did in the movie. No one even bats an eye. Everyone should have a Rocky moment. Next time you visit up North, swing by the City of Brotherly Love. Have a great day! P.S. Just ignore that mean comment above, they are so rude and looking to be mean because they are not a happy person. If they don't like your writing then they don't have to read it. (I am not talking about the ladies who are concerned you might be tired, I think they genuinely care, I am talking about another really mean comment.) Oh well, have a great day!

Beth said...

Someone's momma forget to teach them that if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all!

Kelle said...

Werdna,

Oh sister, your language. Sorry you're having a bad day. If every woman who read this blog had a dollar for every time we were told we weren't good enough...why, think of the organization we could start for women empowerment. Thank God we don't listen to that stuff.

I hope you find some good small things to enjoy today--good coffee helps! Or any of those Books for a Better Life on that list up there.

Sheila said...

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”
― Coco Chanel

Go Kelle!

Denise said...

Hello from small-town Canada! My husband and I went to NYC for a few days last spring...it was magical, and loud, and wonderful. The first night we returned home to our very isolated farmhouse in the country we were kept awake all night by the spring peepers in our pond....kind of ironic since we slept like babies in noisy NYC.

Mandi Wolfswinkel said...

What a fun trip! I've only been to New York once, but I always say it is where I would have wanted to start my adult life if I hadn't had a daughter and gotten married so young. Looks like you "sucked the marrow" good as per usual! Enjoy Spring break. Excited to see how the Hampton's spend it!

www.wolfswinkelfam.blogspot.com

L said...

By responding only to the negative comment and comments raising concern about your welfare it seems that the 'negative' comments do in fact hurt you, Kelle.

This blog has changed. It used to be so much more real. It feels like it has become a burden and you're not coping. I sense an unhappiness but I hope I'm wrong.

I wish you and your family all good things.

Molly Doyle said...

This Canadian reader loves the shirts!

Jen Tappen-Smith said...

When I saw the pic of you holding Dash with the cat the first thing that popped in my head was the song "Hot Child in the City" (not even sure if thats the real name). You look amazing! Congrats on everything!

I heart NY said...

Kelle, you have honored my boy (both of them really, James and his brother who is now 12!) and honored 'my' city with your words and photos. You are real, beautiful, generous of heart and I am thankful for you. Kisses to Dash & so glad you are home with those red-t-shirted girl! And if anyone wonders if Kelle is sincere & real and amazing, wonder no more. Thank you Kelle, for embracing a NYC reader. You rock. xo Sarah

Rosie Keisha said...

To L: I can't believe you're reading the same blog as the rest of us. Kelle exudes joy of life, outstanding coping skills and a great sense of humor. I think the fact that she has thousands and thousands of followers says it all. Kelle...don't change a thing..you continue to be a breath of fresh air.

Peeper said...

Oh my stars! Well, it's sweet that people care about you, let's start there :) Oh, I hope I don't regret this honesty...

Wouldn't it be great if after a baby was born everything just stopped for a while? Nobody got sick or married or died or graduated or changed jobs... None of us can know all the factors that weighed into your decision to make this trip and it's none of our business. I have TWICE experienced circumstances that, in my estimation, required me to fly cross-country with my 3-week-old newborn. The first time was to visit my dying mother (I was back 8 weeks later to hold her hand for her last 12 hours in the hospice center - in Naples, ironically). The second time, the movers came when my son was 11 days old, loaded all our crap onto a truck and I flew with him 10 days later to our new home. Now, I'm sure that if tens of thousands of people were watching the choices I made someone would have disagreed with my decision in one or both cases. So be it. I did the best I could and I'm willing to bet that you did too.

Finally, so what if there has been a shift in this space? Maybe there has been a shift in your life and, frankly, how couldn't there be? You touched on something good, people responded and momentum was gained. I guess it could all go the way of comfortable stagnation but it hasn't and I don't find that disappointing. You're fundamentally the same you that you ever were - the one that we are drawn too because we recognize that you're on to something. Abraham Lincoln said "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." You're exemplifying it. Some of us admire that, some try to learn from it, to emulate it...and it seems that some others are just mystifyingly pissed off by it.

Hey, life goes on. I'm glad you had fun and the weather here was mild for most of your trip. The novelty and stimulation of travel is really a rush! Maybe one of these trips we can all have a giant play date together. We meet you, you meet us, we all meet each other and a community of people expands...quite lovely.

Best to you, dear. Now I better get a shower before I catch a train to Harlem :)

Happiness is... said...

I'm going to ignore a lot of the negativity above.

Kelle - I am proud of you for being nominated for the award and meeting more inspiring women through your writing. 2012 brought you and your family a huge wave of joy and dreams realized. And there is much to be said about women supporting women.

Going back to my day off sewing, sipping coffee, and (eventually) spending time with my dear friend this afternoon. How I love even the small moments we squeeze in together - because friendship matters.

-Jennifer

meg@ourwaytoeat.com said...

I loved the Canada t's and the line "grafitti on a gorgeous church wall" Those words invoke a standout image. Nice post.

grace said...

Can I just say that when I had my baby 14 mos ago, I got the same crap you did. Why did I "look good after having a baby (ie; doing my hair and makeup, etc), how did I have time to blog and shop and work with a newborn? Well that's life. Im a nurse and I own my own company. That's the pace I'm used to. And honestly, people who give you crap about "staging" your photos and your busy life; that's your life and what makes you happy. Here's to all us moms who refuse to "give up on ourselves" like Martyrs as if looking like crap and staying home all day because we can't multitask enough to get out kids out of the house makes us better moms. It doesn't. For some of us, it makes us miserable. So you go, mama! Rock those clothes and cuddle your baby wherever you want!!

Unknown said...

Kelle,
Just a quick note to tell you that you inspire me. You inspire me to try and take more creative and beautiful pictures of my children. You inspire me to pick up a pencil and jot down some of the crazy ideas whispering in my head. And you inspire me by just being you. You so graciously share a small part of your lives with us and I want you to know that I appreciate it. Each day you post, no matter what the topic is about is like a small gift to my heart. No matter what the topic, your words brighten my day... always. It breaks my heart when women judge or try and tear others down. Keep on keeping on sister, I think you are an amazing mama and a creative soul. Many blessings to you and your family.

Rik said...

Sometimes it is the grain of irritiating sand that produces the pearl. Every message intended to bring down only calls the strong to get up! The barbed comments are closely followed by their writers--see how quickly they respond...perhaps they should be off enjoying the little things instead of monitoring the comment feed, ha! If they really were compassionately concerned for a weary mom, they would send a personal email, the address is there--nope, they want a moment on the public feed. I love to read the comments and hear others stories and realize, we all live life differently and that is the beauty of this big family. We can select words, arrange them, embelish them with metaphors and analogies designed to inspire, encourage and support, or we can carefully craft a message that any discerning reader can quickly "feel" has a different intention. I glance at them and tell myself, "Not helpful" and skip to the next one. Don't tarry long enough to give that writer power. You can step away from the dark...the dark stays right there. Can I keep up with this young lady, take things to the highest and best so effortlessly, juggle multiple balls in the air and maintain a happy heart?...no, I can't, but I can appreciate that another can and not ask that she match her pace with mine or live the life of another. Rock on, girl. I KNOW you know when to hold 'em and when to fold em. Happy has no time for the cynic.

Rachel said...

Kelle--we took our little guy to Italy when he was 6 weeks old...just strapped him in and went! Sure, people felt the need to give us their opinion about traveling internationally with a tiny infant, but it was what we wanted to do and it was amazing. I guarantee that your memories about this trip will be incredibly special, not just because of the Book Awards, but because you will always remember little Dash snuggled up next to you the entire time. You are merging two momentous accomplishments in your life--your work professionally and personally and this trip will hold unique memories for you because of that.

Laura Gomez said...

Dear Kelle,

I must start this comment by saying I admire your work, your blog, photographs, words, book, outlook in life, I truly feel inspired by what you do.

I have been reading your blog for years. I have come here time and time again, excited to see what you wrote, to admire your family photographs, to make my glass a little fuller. I haven't always agreed with everything you've said, because that, quite frankly, would be pretty weird. But I genuinely enjoy what you put out there, for everyone's benefit.

However today I read your post and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I sensed a feeling of superiority coming through your words on a couple of occasions. And I feel compelled to talk about it because critizism is also a healthy form of dialogue. I don't mean to hurt you. I don't mean to offend you or anybody that loves you. As I said before, I admire what you do. But when you use sentences such as: "hardly anyone even notices" or "if only everyone could see that" you are implying that not many people see what you can see, and you simply don't know that to be true.

Feeling the recognition of thousands of people must be beautiful. It must also be HARD. Please don't ignore healthy critizism. Your follower's thoughts, provided they're expressed respectfully, are also important.

Laura.

SH said...

Love those t-shirts!! I'm Canadian :)
And he is SO precious!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sheree
The Hartungs Blog
thehartungs.blogspot.ca

Rik said...

I didn't let the long lines and commercial feeling of the lower floors of The Empire State Building (and it was like a cattle yard) steal from me the grandeur and awe of the view at the top. There are bigger pictures, broader messages, higher ventures to focus on. A scripture passage calls us to "...believe the best..." I just cannot accept assuming the worst in another's words, intentions and implications. It is sad, small and sour...a worst taste, but for some, an aquired taste. And a distraction from the good.

Sabrina said...

Gorgeous post, Kelle. I adored the photos of Central Park; I was there in October for the very first time and I recognized the landscape right away! Such a beautiful place; I need to get back there when the weather is warm.

Glad you could have such a great time in the city and be around such wonderful people. Thank you for what you do here at this blog, it's so refreshing to me to read your posts. <3

Natalia A said...

Okay you look amazing. What is your secret? My daughter will be 5 in November and I still have not lost all the weight. I think I just gained weight looking at that yummy pretzel. Pictures are amazing as always and Dash is just too adorable for words.

Michelle said...

LOVE your girls in their Canada shirts! I live in Saskatchewan! Your photos amaze me and your story melts my heart. Thanks for being so real!
Michelle

feel free to check out my blog-
www.thingsthatmatter-m.blogspot.ca

I heart NY said...

I KNOW we are to ignore the hate - but Werdna, why are you here? That's the real mystery.

I love my city (NYC) more than anything and I feel in my heart that Kelle gets it - gets me - gets how precious life is and yes, is a gifted writer. I'm so sorry you don't get it.

Laura Gomez said...

Dear Rik,

Since your responses aren't linked to any names in particular, I couldn't know for sure if your last comment was directed at me. But I will take the hint. And it's OK.

Please know I will continue to come to this wonderful place with an open mind and an open heart. Two lines won't change that. I admire your daughter, I made a big point of explaining that in my comment because I am not someone who comes here to hate. I enjoy the small things. Kelle's words resonate loud and clear in my heart. I am an artist, too. I understand.

I, too, choose to see the beauty, the good, the best. But I sometimes fail. I have learnt the most from people who care enough to be critical. Sometimes it hurts a lot. But I am thankful to hear all the different perspectives, including the ones I don't agree with, because I feel it broadens my mind, it makes me more compassionate and ultimately, it makes me a better person. I am sorry if you think I was being sour or small minded. I am sorry if I offended you with my comment. Please know that that was not my intention.

Donna said...

I live two hours from NYC (upstate), and I can't stand to spend more than 48 hours there. I just bug out after a while. Then again, I'm just a simple ole country girl...nothing fancy here! ;)

melissa said...

I enjoyed this post because you put it out there. I like personal emails, but maybe they don't get noticed or read, even when nice things are said...so then what? (It's called SPAM dude!) I believe you would prefer to be treated the way you treat people, Kelle. Always love Poppa, personally LOVE what Peeper had to say, and lots of love to you Kelle. (Sarah exudes alot of caring sentiments as well.) Enjoy this beautiful day everyone! I gotta run.
Hugs from Tejas,
Melissa

beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skye said...

gorgeous photos and words...makes me want to go to new york this instant.

lindsey. said...

I just love your dad.

Rik said...

Laura, thank you for your kind note. I love to read comments as I have come to adore a cyber community that brought light in our darkest nights and held our family when we needed just that. I just have a hard time seeing how some people dissect words and interpret someone's simple expression for the worst instead of the best. It makes me sad because it is done more among women by women than with men. Do you agree? Maybe I am wrong, but you beautiful, brilliant, wonderfully complex, wildly creative and delicately sensitive women need to support one another. I really think you need to look for the best in each other. I know my daughter and I'm sure I can "read" what others might not in the limits of the words you only see. I didn't think you mean spirited, I just wonder if you might have missed the bigger message by settling in on some phrases that you assumed you understood the import of. Oh well...am I a bad parent because I want to run in and scoop my little girl into my arms and get her off the playground? If so, I'll wear my bad parent shirt with pride, because holding my children tight, no one can read it anyway. G'night...my plane is boarding! Love and understanding to all you beautiful muses!

Unknown said...

And did you not feel this need to protect when you were running around on her mother? Rik?

Tammy Tigerstripe said...

I find it odd that people bother to leave critical or overly opinionated comments. It's obvious Kelle doesn't want them here, and that's fine. It is her blog and her space. She gets to control the content-moderated comments and all. So why do people go that route when trying to get a point across? It's obvious it isn't going to make a lick of difference. Plus it just gets the regs all fired up.

Such lovely photos in this post! Good to see you used your photojournalistic skills in NYC!

Donna said...

It's true what Tammy said about this blog being Kelle's space, however...if Kelle is going to post to the public, she has to expect at least some criticism. It seems to me that the 'regs' (and aren't there a lot of them) kind of admire/almost to the point of idolizing this woman, and that's what makes me compare this blog to Facebook, or a reality show, as I've already used as an example. What Tammy wasn't correct about is that this blog's moderation doesn't allow negative comments through; they are here.

I think what bothers some of the 'negative' people, is that some bloggers tend to project a very carefully crafted image of their lives, leaving some of their readers feeling dissatisfied (with their own lives), envious, disorganized, or just utter messes by comparison. The impression we get, then, is that these people have their lives so perfectly together as to make us feel that way...and I think we all know better (or should). I love coming to blogs where I actually get to see 'real life'. I personally am very tired of fake life. If I want that, I can go to Facebook or I'll watch a reality show.

I think it's good that Kelle has been allowing some negative comments to filter through in the comments; every person who has ever come across this blog can't honestly want to wear everything the Hampton's do, decorate their homes the the Hampton's do, or go to all the places the Hampton's do. That would just be fantasy land.

more than "mom" said...

This is the first time I've left a comment to you, Kelle. Let me say, you've changed my life. I was first introduced to you through Pinterest, when I saw Nella's adorable newborn face. I went back to her birth story and have just today finished reading every post since then. I have read Bloom...twice. I sobbed uncontrollably as you told of how she begged you to love her, and I cry now just looking at her adorable face and how much she has grown. I feel like I know you, I'm constantly saying "yes!" to things that sound like they've come from my mouth. I read my hubby some of the things you say, and he just laughs and says "that sounds like you!" I have 3 kids from 7 months to 8 years and I'm from a small town in Canada (I love the shirts.) I just felt it was time to say hi. I look forward to future posts, seeing Dash grow, watching Lainey grow even more beautiful, and of course, Nella. The adorable Nella, who has really, without even knowing what she's done, made me fall in love with her smile, her "oh's" and her gentleness towards her dolls! Thank you Kelle.

Stacy Brine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy Brine said...

Being a proud Canadian, I'm pumped to see your girls sportin' a red 'Canada' shirt! I so enjoy your blog and want you know you have a fan here in Vancouver, BC. I don't comment much (okay, ever) but wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your adorable son. Having three kids is amazing and has proven the perfect balance for us. Keep up the great work!

Crystal said...

It's cold and snowing up here in Alberta, Canada - and I love reading about your beach trips in the warm weather of Florida! Love the girls shirts and their cute faces! My, that Lainey is getting so tall and Nella looks so grownup too. I guess being big sisters does that :) Thanks for being so awesome and always inspiring, Kelle!

toi said...

go girl. Dash is so sweet!

Oh Canada,eh!

Beverly said...

Kelle, I don't see the option to leave a comment on the next post and the email is not working for the paperback book. I don't know how else to let you know other than here. I'll keep checking in.

sundaynightsathome said...

wouldn't it really be cool if we DID poop glitter !! love the photos Kelle - thank you !

Mandi Wolfswinkel said...

Indeed LOVE WINS, Rik. Indeed.

I heart NY said...

LOVE WINS. How about if we all post that? Thank you Kelle and thank you Glennon for the inspiration. x

Fresh Mommy said...

I just love it when I get to visit the Big Apple! And your trips are always leaving me wanting more of it. I'm commenting right now from a hotel room in Dallas, a far cry from the energy of NY and from the comfort of my wee ones and sea salted air of home in FL. Love this post... and guuurrrrl, now I miss my babies even more!!! I can't wait to get home and be reunited. I'm glad you are and you're all well and happy :)

xo
~Tabitha Blue

thb said...

Kelle, Congratulations on the paperback! That is so exciting! I can't believe that I have been following your blog for so long. I came across one of your pictures of Lainey (I think in '09) & I was hooked! I love your work, it was a lot like what I wanted to accomplish then. (I'm a photographer) Since, I've been following your blog, you have become a household name. So in a way, I feel like we know each other (we don't haha). I'm happy that you have accomplished so much & you have a beautiful family! We are working on ours. Trying one more time for a baby girl! I have a few blogs going as well. One just about my life in general, one devoted to my little nuggets, and one for work. I look forward to checking out your blog each day for more inspiration! Thank you for sharing! :)

Rosie Keisha said...

Congratulations Kelle on the paperback! Can't believe Dash is already a month old..it's flying by. Lainey seems to have grown inches since you were gone! Was so happy to read of your NY adventures and that y'all had such a wonderful time. The photos captured the essence of the city beautifully! Thanks for sharing.