Monday, May 6, 2013

Service Recovery

The last couple weeks have been really hard.

You know, it’s hard for me to say that because I so quickly think of how good we have it and how my “this sucks” is pretty flimsy compared to others’ “this sucks.” That perspective is helpful at times but can also serve just as harmful as other comparison games.

There is truth in acknowledging feelings, and right now we are a little tired, emotional and vulnerable. So much that I started crying today when I couldn’t get my computer to work. My computer, of all things. I knew the computer wasn’t the issue, just the crack that broke the dam. And last night it was Ziggy, Lainey’s “pet worm” (glorified pipe cleaner) that I accidentally threw in the washer with the sheets. He lost his googly eyes in the process, and when we found him in the dryer all frizzed out and eyeless, the shit done hit the fan.

Tears. Followed by recovery of tears when I scooped up my crying girl and hopped on Amazon to have her pick out another pet worm. He was, after all, her favorite.

There’s something about that recovery process that feels so good. If nothing ever broke, you’d never know the thrill of fixing it. If you never made mistakes, you’d never learn from them. And if you never experienced the pang of a little emptiness from time to time, you’d never know the satisfaction of being filled back up. Or maybe that’s just the silver linings talking.

We called this silver lining “service recovery” when I worked at a hospital while I was in college—three different jobs over the course of four years and all of them requiring interaction with patients. Our hospital prided itself for its patient satisfaction reputation, and there wasn’t a single employee who wasn’t trained to understand that our job wasn’t just making people healthy but, perhaps more important or at least more in our control, we were to strive to make them happy, comfortable, safe and relaxed. I’ll never forget something I learned during orientation for new employees. Modeling patient satisfaction strategies after one of the greatest customer service standards in the world—the Ritz Carlton—new hire mentors explained the importance of service recovery—the act of salvaging a patient experience after something didn’t go as planned. The idea was simple—the fact that while a perfect patient experience was what we aimed to deliver, reality wasn’t quite so ideal. Inevitably, appointments might run late, schedules might be changed, circumstances might result in less than that five star review. However, it was all about how we made up for these instances, we were told, that confirmed to the patient that we cared about them. And here’s the crazy thing. There are statistics in the restaurant and hotel business that show that one is likely to think more highly of the service of an establishment when things didn’t go perfectly but were recovered than if the experience was flawless to begin with. So we were taught to be particularly mindful of service lapses. Notice a patient has been waiting too long for a procedure? Offer them a warm blanket. Hear someone complain that the parking lot situation was confusing and overwhelming? Listen to them, validate their frustrations, offer them a $5 certificate to the cafeteria.

An imperfect experience is an opportunity to step up and tell someone “you are valuable enough to fix this.” And, if we do it genuinely, a more faithful “customer” (parent, husband, friend, child, person) is born.  Hello Parenthood Redemption.

I’ve thought a lot about this the past two weeks. In the midst of the chaos and the worries and Brett being out of commission, all of our family’s latent emotions have bubbled to the surface. There have been many opportunities for service recovery—meltdowns, tearful conversations, trips to the beach, redeeming walks, calls to friends, hugs for husbands,“let’s make this better,” “Mommy’s sorry.”

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I took my kid to a birthday party on Saturday and ended up in a clubhouse kitchen where a friend and I both ended up crying—while kids on a bear hunt circled us with their binoculars—because both of us had a few hard days. And then we laughed because we were crying. That laughter? Service recovery, baby.

I'm on a mad hunt for service recovery opportunities this week. 

Things are falling apart, kids.  Let's go see a sunset. 

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Sorry about my edginess; let's have a love fest.

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Feeling a little fried, let's take a walk in the woods and talk about life.

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Things have been far from flawless around our home lately, but I know my kids have felt my efforts to fix things when I can.  After pausing for a moment yesterday to kneel down, pull Nella's hair out of her face and refasten her barrette, she hugged me, smiled and said "Thank you, Mama."  Like she just knew I was pulling energy from my reserves, and she wanted me to know she noticed.  She was thankful for that simple act of nurturing.

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Kids know these things, I know they do.  They read between the lapses, the hard days, the less than five star service experiences and soak up the love from our service recovery moments like little sponges.

I find my greatest confidence as a mom in the secret language I share with my children.  Right now, that includes Dash's punch drunk love smile.  Nella's pats on the back.  Lainey's long hugs that speak volumes.  And this palpable love that completes the circuit between us.  We have ways of letting each other know we need more or we're getting enough.  And it always works out in the end.

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And I have to say, this girl has given service recovery a whole new meaning.

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My friend Rebecca flew down from Indiana last week with a one way ticket. She came to help, and she's done everything from put my kids to sleep to lining up Brett's medications for him.  We love her.

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So glad to have our daddy back.  He's taking it easy right now but feeling okay.


You know what I love about dropping pictures in a blog post?  I love that in reflecting over two hard weeks where I feel like things have been overwhelming, chaotic and totally only two-star, I am looking back at pictures of smiles.  Peaceful moments.  Calm security.

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Our kids are always so much more fine than we give them credit for. 

And those hospitality statistics really do say something.  I wouldn't have missed our bedtime routine the other night for the world--the way Lainey and I laid in bed, talking about the ups and downs of the day.  Had it been perfect, Lainey wouldn't have had that memory--the one where I apologized for being quick and snappy.  The one where she forgave me and said it was okay.  The one where we both hugged and made mental notes of how good it feels to recover from a hard day.

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All is well.  All will be well.

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120 comments:

Jennifer Bosse said...

This post was beautiful. We've been dealing with our own obstacles and it feels good to know that we're not alone. And that all a family really needs is some love and recovery service. :)

Leisa said...

Sometimes you have to tell yourself that you did an awesome job just getting you and your family through the tough times. Now rest ....

BocaFrau said...

I loved reading this and seeing the pictures with the smiles and sunshine... it seems, I needed it. I love the term recovery service and will try to remember it as we go through our days - not so easy days right now - and hope for the best!

Cross Stitch Crazy Mum said...

Heaps of hugs for riding the unruly waves of motherhood. Your family is gorgeous as usual, and even going through a rough time you can make us smile and remember what really matters

Lola said...

Kelle. Big big hug! Beautiful post, Soulful pics.
What an amazing friend (Rebecca)!!!
Hang in there. xoxo

dressesandmesses said...

Thank you! I had the same epiphany last night while blogging and choosing which pictures to share. It really is incredible that you can find the things you're looking for, if you just take a minute to seek them. After a very hard, crappy week, all I could think of was how blessed I am.

Thank you for being so honest about the "downside" of things, as well. I sure enjoy your writing!

(And the pic of your girls giggling on the hammock? Brought a HUGE smile to my face!)

Hang in there!

Angie said...

really thoughtful post. a beautiful perspective. thanks for sharing!

Max of Max California ★ said...

Hang in there mama, you're doing well. Don't feel bad for thinking you have it tough, when other people seem to be doing it tougher. This is YOUR life, not anyone else's. <3

PeggyMomma said...

That picture of Lainey feeding the baby was so stinkin' precious. Love to see your updates!

Vanessa said...

Such a true post. I love the image of you and Lainey laying together and talking about your day. It makes me excited for those moments when my kids get a little bit older.

Crying that turns into laughter is the BEST. Hope you all have a much better week this week!

Whitney said...

Love, love, love, "Our kids are always so much more fine than we give them credit for." I'll be stealing that and giving you credit. It's been a tough few months for my family, and I attribute every sickness, bedtime tear, or temper to something I'm not doing. But when I stop and look at the big picture, overall we've done ok. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

Susan Martin said...

all is well. all will be well. hang on tight...LOVE the pics!
{HUGS}

Holly said...

Today, I had a discussion with my friend about how our problems were really put into perspective when we found out another friend had learned her son only had 1-3 years to live...yes, things could be so much worse. And I felt so condemned at how big I make some of my hardships out to be sometimes.

Thanks for your post..it resounds just what my thoughts have been lately.

Jenn said...

Love this post and needed it so much today. My 3-year-old, 19-month-old and 2-month-old definitely got two-star service from me today. I've walked around feeling like a failure and terrible mother all evening. Thanks for reminding me that we need the down moments so that we recognize and appreciate the up moments. :)

Karibean said...

I love this post and the words from your first sentence, 'my “this sucks” is pretty flimsy compared to others’ “this sucks", ring so true for me. Our family has had a rough year, and then we received ten inches of snow last Friday, and it almost sent me off the deep end. Thanks for writing so beautifully about your feelings. Hugs to you. :)

Anne Russ said...

Thinking of you and Brett and your adorable family. Hope he is really on the mend.

Sam said...

Glad to hear that Brett is doing better. My best friend's name is Rebecca. Must be in the name! They are angels! So nice that you have a friend you can count on! Hugs!

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

That last picture of Nella is one of those that will match perfectly with one of her 20 years from now. Absolutely gorgeous, just like the post. The honesty and emotion were palpable and I always love that kind.

I hope things continue to get better for all of you and Brett heals back to new!

Mandi Wolfswinkel said...

Oh mama. You write so eloquently the things I can't seem to put into words. I've been having a whole lot of self-pity lately about the things I am not doing well enough to raise my kids. I'm not giving enough teachable moments or enough wonderful memories that will be stored in their childhood banks. Thank you for always reminding me that sometimes life sucks, but when you can find the good, you will always always always remember that part more. Here's to the next two weeks being better and more beautiful than the last two. Much love from Iowa.

Benay said...

The picture of Nella in her little white overalls and hat is absolutely adorable. Omg.

Hannah said...

Thank you for sharing your "this sucks" moments...it's so true the light our children's shed and how much they can pick up. My husband is deployed, so is my wo chicks and I with #3 on the way. With my swollen belly seemingly in the way of everything these days sometimes I think I need my kids more than they need momma. So thank you for sharing your moments. :)
P.s. Isaiah 41:13 is my stronghold till my better half comes home!

NoBloggingJustReading said...

That picture of Nella with the hat and red and white outfit could be / should be the picture for July on a calendar. Her sweet face surrounded by patriotic colors. Just perfect in every way.

Runner Mom said...

I love this post, in particular because my ability to relate after a rough couple of weeks and some low moments in parenting. Being a mom, a spouse, an employee, etc, etc, etc....is some tough $%&@! Hang in there! More hard days will come but so many great moments will quickly follow and help us forget, even if only for a moment, about that bad stuff. Hugs from this frazzled west coast mama to you in the east!

Janita said...

Crying's OK, friend...in fact, it's good for you to crank open that release valve once and while. And even though others are going through much worse, your pain is still your pain. There's no shame in that. Love you. Glad to hear that all is well. xo

Southern Gal said...

So glad Brett is home and you've had help. Hope the skies are blue and the sun shines brightly on you all.

Reenie said...

Hang in there Kelle.....I've had a few mental crackdowns over the last couple of weeks...

I'm glad Brett is home, and hope he heals quickly.

xo

Meg said...

You're kids are so stinking cute!!!

Just had to add that. Hope things turn around quickly and fully.

Leah said...

Just beautiful! Thinking of you and your little family!

Keeley Barr said...

Exactly what i needed today. I stressed because i had 2 needy clingy kids today. Really?! And every time i snap at my awesome 2.5 year old then apologize...he says its ok. He says sorry a lot as well. Glad to know I'm not alone. Never knew there was a word for this. Service recovery.

Caseybumpinalong said...

Love these pictures, and love this post.

Keeley Barr said...

Oh and a little service recovery for Mama? The little dollar bottles of Sutter Home wine that walmart has :-)

Marmee said...

Bless you dear one! Take one step at a time and keep loving those sweet babies like you do, and keep loving us by posting your heart and the beautiful pictures of the blessings God has given you! Praying that His favor will rest upon your family!

LiviMama said...

Such a beautiful, insightful post. So appreciated the idea of service recovery, and how we can use those trying moments/weeks as opportunities to love deeper. Good stuff!

Kay said...

Kelle, you have this lovely way to knowing exactly what I need to hear, exactly when I need to hear it. I'll be incredibly sad the day you stop writing because I'll miss this. Here's to a good week!

CrystalB said...

Hard parenting over here too. Teenager hormones equating to cold harsh "I wish you were deals", my less than ideal reaction to it, a sick toddler and hard work days. It's been a week. Not the toughest in history but we can still feel down about it and then do our best to pick ourselves up, limp for a bit, walk and before we know it, run again. Hugs.

Esther Heavnzbrat said...

Beautiful. I feel u on so many levels. Thank u for sharing.

Mary Evelyn said...

Thanks for the post. Love the photos and love following your little family.

Nicolette Gawthrop said...

I like the bit about comparisons. Never a great road to go down, for better or worse. There's no reason to have the added pressure of accounting for all the countless other scenarios people are facing when our days are less comfortable. A counselor told me that once, that yes, other people have it worse sometimes but it does no good for your present reality to worry about that. Mindful in a gratitude way you are. It's pretty clear that you are a grateful person. And it's also very clear that JOY is what you cultivate in your life. You are doing your best, making do with whatcha got and that's where you Win. BIG LOVE to y'all. So glad that help has worked out and that you were able to Receive that help with Grace.

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

Obstacles galore here. But I'm going to get through them. You are too.
xoxo

homeiswhatyoumakeit said...

I sooooo feel this post right now. Been a tough go of it the last couple of weeks for us, too. However, like you, voicing it seems silly....we are blessed beyond belief, but we still have struggles.
I have apologized, cried, screamed, and done it all over again....and, you know what, my kids will be fine.
Because we snuggle, and kiss, and hug, and suck the marrow out of life...when we have the energy.
Love to you and yours Mrs. Hampton.
Life is good.

Matt & Alex said...

Have been reading your blog religiously yet quietly from afar (New Zealand) and purchased and loved your book. This is my first time commenting as I am not big on commenting on things! But it has to be said. Best post yet. Favourite post ever. Very well articulated and you spoke about something we can all relate to (hard weeks!) and oh boy, is post just makes me feel soooo much better right now. Will read it again before I go to sleep tonight. Thank you!

Life with Kaishon said...

I have been praying for you and Brett and the kids ever since you wrote about him being in the hospital. I am sorry that there is so much stress happening right now. I hope things will be better soon. The smiles and love in these pictures are absolutely lovely.

Nicola said...

All is well, I had a *&$%bucket of a week too. And even though you can say 'I have my health' or whatever, its also nice just to get really mad.

Or use my friend's strategy and imagine people who annoy us have strange and disgusting ailments, that guy who refused to refund me? boils on his bum. the girl flirting with my ex? armpit skin tags

the worst I know, but once you burn the bad off, the good rises.
xxx

mindfulgrateful.blogspot.com

Sian said...

aw *hugs* Love to you mama! xxx

alfinos said...

Beautifully written. Definitely food for thought. Thank you!

Val said...

Hey there, this post is EXACTLY why I've come to truly love your blog! xoxo :)

PruM said...

Oh my lawd Kelle, we are a busy little working family and walk the glorious day - all done fall to shit day line daily. We are all happy, fit, well, warm, clothed, shod, fed, but you know it's the other bit - the spiritual chicken soup bit that makes the difference. Keep walking the line, hon. Johnny would want you to x

PruM said...

PS get well soon B

PruM said...

Oh my lawd Kelle, we are a busy little working family and walk the glorious day - all done fall to shit day line daily. We are all happy, fit, well, warm, clothed, shod, fed, but you know it's the other bit - the spiritual chicken soup bit that makes the difference. Keep walking the line, hon. Johnny would want you to x

Wendy McKnight said...

And just like that, I love and admire you more. Thank you for the reminder about what is important. “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Lindsey said...

What a beautiful post. I tell myself, often, that it's worth something (a lot) for my kids to see things not being perfect but still turning out okay. And also worth a lot for me to genuinely apologize to them when I'm wrong, and to see how powerful a hug to make up can be. Thank you for reminding me of that. All will be well. Amen. xox

The Fischer Family said...

Another beautiful post! I'm sorry things have been so scary and hard lately! But you know better than anyone....there are always rainbows after rain! Keep on keeping on! You're doing a great job mama!

Ma said...

Very inspiring, thank you.

Stacie said...

Sending love and a little unicorn magic to your family.

Jeanette said...

Sending prays for your family and your man. Life has away of getting in the way of living. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. (((Hugs)))

kmrf said...

You saved the best picture for last. That one is off the charts sweet! Good points in the blog- perfection really impresses no one, but a great recovery is never forgotten. Good new for all of us. I have to remind myself you probably took quite a few pictures to get the ones that make us catch our breath. It's a process.

Alicia D said...

thinking of you and your family... im glad life is restoring, slowly, back to equilibrium. what a difficult couple of weeks. take care of yourself!! love the post - just beautiful.

Erin Moynihan said...

These pictures are beautiful. Big smiles, long hugs, little adventures. But what I see most when I look at the pictures is love! Your kids know and feel love, and that is all because of you being such a great mom! I hope Brett has a speedy recovery and you get a little time to relax soon :-)

Ryan Elizabeth said...

Kelle, as an employee of that wonderful hospital you mention, your mention of service recovery hits home. And even more amazing, is how you related it to family and home life - so fitting. You are such a beautiful writer. Somehow (in a way that seems magical to me) you put words together to create such true, real feelings, that I can feel them through the screen. Your memory of Nella thanking you for fixing her hair brought tears to my eyes - goodness, how being a mama has opened up my heart and just thrown it out there to soak it all up. Have a great day. Thinking about you up here!

caseyportman said...

I know you've been asked this a billion, zillion times...but could you (or someone) remind me of the Etsy shop where you get those barrettes? The cute little yellow one that Nella is wearing in the top pictures? I'm desperate to find somethng to keep my 4-year old's hair out of her face. And I'm sure to be "that girl" that asks about something you've already addressed a hundred times over :)
Glad Brett is home and you are all recovering!

Janet said...

I'm so glad you can find some peace during hard times! I've been sending positive messages your way! hugs!

The Korporaal Family said...

Kelle - you are amazing!!
Through all this you find ways to encourage everyone... love this post!
xo

Amy Graziano said...

We all have those days, weeks, months... This blog and your unwavering optimism keep me coming back and reading and have always helped me reevaluate my life and realize that things get tough, but keep pushing on and things will get better. You always find the beautiful moments in chaos and that makes you unlike most people. Sorry you had a rough few weeks. Glad your beautiful children are there to be your silver lining.

Anna O said...

In therapy we refer to it as rupture & repair, & yes it's really important & really therapeutic

Luckygirl721 said...

Kelle,
I have three kids age 13, 16, and 21. I think when they were little, I really would have loved having Glennon tell me "don't carpe diem" and I did laugh a knowing laugh at that but, Kelle, you remind me of how special each moment is with our children. Take it from a mama who is holding on to every moment because it seems to be coming to that part where they won't need papa and me anymore--it IS fleeting! One minute you're dealing with meltdowns in Target and the next you're sitting in an empty house on a Friday night looking at your spouse like "what now?" I love to read your posts because it gives me permission to stretch out the together times and to embrace the moments when they really do need me still. Thanks!

Lana said...

This is a lovely post and a good thing to remember: that the kids can be more okay than we give them credit for. I remember a particular evening when I felt so short-tempered and snappy all day and when I asked the girls how they thought the day had gone (expecting to do some make-up cuddling) they only rhymed off all the good moments! Sweet Loves totally let me off the hook.
I'm glad Brett is home and feeling better. Be gentle with yourself and each other as you reconnect and settle back in to normal life. It also made me smile to know your friend is there to help. Friends ROCK.
xo

Rach said...

Beautiful post! And the last photo is icing on the cake!

tmmtqoe said...

A little perspective, from a family who was on the same cruise ship (Fantasy) we were:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/chaselykken11

Jennifer Ketterhagen said...

Kelle,

Sending lots of service recovery love. I LOVE the picture of Lainey loving up on her baby brother and feeding him his bottle. What a great mama role model she has. I hope Bret feels better soon.

Phyl said...

You are just great. Loooved the post. Thank you so much for your generosity. Phyl

gracemadre said...

Please don't stop writing - you are gifted and I am blessed.

K.E. said...

Love, love, love this blog post. Life has been trying this year for me and my family and I'm hoping it turns around soon. Your post helped me remember that we grow during the trying times. We really experience how much we love each other and how much God loves us in the little moments. Sending love to you and your darling family. Thanks for being a bearer of joy to me today!

Tara B said...

Kelle - I cried every day of the first year after my third child was born. I just always felt that I couldn't do anything with 100% effort. It gets easier, I promise. But, the tradeoff is that baby love. My kids are 12, 10 and 7. They are still my joys, but oh do I miss that baby love. I don't have any regrets though, because I ate that up when I had it. I knew that someday it would be gone.

A side note - I smiled big when I saw Nella's hand down her dress - so cute. And she and Lainey giggling....oh my.

2busy said...

You are certainly an example of life can get hard, but you are also showing us how to get through it gracefully with a few tears and a little help. Hang in there...

Lex Wisniewski said...

I so know the feeling.

My dad passed away a month ago - on Easter Sunday - after a stroke and five days in ICU. He was 56 years old. He never came out of the coma after the stroke, so we never got to say our goodbyes.

There has been a lot of worry and a lot of pain in my family, and we're just starting to see the sun shining again. I know what you mean about recovering.

Thanks so much for sharing it so well. And for reminding me to be the one redeeming the experiences, not just the one hurting.

Julie said...

Ah, that sounds nice. My man is in kidney failure and we are starting dialysis and hoping to find a donor for transplant....I could really use some service recovery right now!

Mrs Males said...

My favorite part of my day is sitting with my 3 year old before she goes to bed and rocking away while we talk about our favorite and not favorite parts to our day.

sweettooth said...

I have never commented before but this post touched me. It reminded me of a song I love to listen to when I am feeling overwhelmed..."Worn" by Tenth Avenue North it's a good one...
Thanks for sharing your heart, it touches many, including mine.

Raelyn said...

Kelle....
"There’s something about that recovery process that feels so good. If nothing ever broke, you’d never know the thrill of fixing it. If you never made mistakes, you’d never learn from them. And if you never experienced the pang of a little emptiness from time to time, you’d never know the satisfaction of being filled back up.". I cannot express right now how badly I needed those words!! Thank-you. ;)
"Service recovery". I like that. I never realized this before, I do a ton of "service recovery"!! ;)
I loved that story about Nella embracing you when your emotions so badly needed it. My youngest brother would have done the same!! He sees and feels things unlike anybody I know.... ;)
--Raelyn

Annie said...

I'm thankful to hear your amazing friend was able to swoop in and help. I appreciate this post so much. I really like your perspective. And, as a mom of three littles, I appreciated the effort involved in even getting the computer turned on!
Virtual Hugs!

Jason Fibel said...

Oh Kelle you have it so fucking hard. It must be so hard going to the beach everyday, walking through that nasty fucking swamp in your backyard, drawing chevron patterns on your driveway. It must be so hard for you.
Get a real job Kelle. Support your family instead of sucking off your husband's father. You are absolutely ridiculous. You are physically repulsive as. You love Lainey more than you do Nella. You gave thousands and thousands free child porn of you special needs daughter. You had a son just for more page views.
You are a bad person.

picturingtheordinary said...

Wonderful post. As a mother, I really strive to admit my failure to my kids and bend down to apologize. It's hard to do, but it is also the right thing to do. Thank you for your thoughts and words.

Jen Tappen-Smith said...

My eyes filled with tears reading your post.... my little family has a pretty hard week coming up and already we have obstacles or overcome. Thank you for your inspiration and honesty. You are awesome.

Lisa said...

Excellent post. My family is going through some tough times (growing times) as well. Thanks for the reminder to see the smiles. Service recovery...thats a good one! :-) I'll have to remember that. :-)

anita said...

Favorite post of yours ever. That chaotic, difficult, hard life you describe is so often mine. Service Recovery. I like it.

Right now I'm feeling like a rug just got pulled from underneath me and I struggling to find my footing. It will be okay.

Melina said...

I'm sorry that you've been dealing with such hard, scary, real stuff. I admire you for keeping on, for the way you keep life normal and fun and light for your kids, even with the weight of the world on your shoulders. I think that is true selflessness. I raise my Fremont Pale Ale in a can to you today, and hope that Brett has a swift recovery.
Much love.
Melina

Liz said...

What does Laney's white fringed tank top say? I can't quite make it out in the picture.

Mallory Musing said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I have had a really hard time adjusting from one to two. Number two is 8 months old now and I'm still struggling more then I'd like. My second girl is a very needy and fussy girl. She cries more than any baby I've ever know and constantly wants me and no one else. She pretty much spent the entire first 6 months of her life in a ergo because that's the only way I could survive. I too look at the it could be worse perspective because we had multiple health scares with both her and I. It's helps for a moment but then it tends to bring on guilt which is no good either. I try to take it one day at a time. Yes pictures do help. When they are tucked in at night, I can go and look at pictures of my beautiful happy girls and feel a sense of calm and appreciation for this current phase of my life.

Donna said...

@Liz, I think it says 'I Heart Sunshine'.

Jinger said...

I have never heard the term service recovery before and so happy to now have it in my world view. It speaks wonders about how we can be imperfect, flawed humans and still live with gratitude and love every day.

Thank you so much for opening your heart. Your words have made a difference in my day.

Team GZ said...

You are amazing! Keep it up, Mama!! Your kids know it and it shows! Hugs!

Jennifer Miller said...

Service Recovery! That is a great way to put it. I'm going to go home and start dishing it out all over the place. My household has had a hectic two weeks as well and this is just the thing to make it better. :)

Farmgirl Paints said...

I can relate to the dam breaking. Some neighbors moved recently and I took it hard. Face to the floor weeping. Walking in a daze. It was so weird because we weren't super close. I think it just surfaced other stuff. Made me feel alone and vulnerable here. That week I was edgy. Cried at the drop of a hat. Snapped a little too quickly. So I hear ya momma. Your world shifted for a bit. It does make us reevaluate. So glad he's home now. God is good:)

Sarah said...

Thank you for these thoughtful insights, Kelle! I shared this blog with a few of my coworkers as we work through some difficult situations - 'service recovery' indeed. It's our new mantra. :)

Eshet Chayil - you are a woman of valor!

Glenroy Farm, Deb McGregor said...

Hello Kelle
I feel like I know you... loved reading your book and love reading your blog. I wind down my day sometimes but going through the blogs I follow and yours in one of my favourites.
I am sorry that times are tough right now but I wanted to share with you how one of your pictures made me feel. As soon as I saw the picture of your son with your oldest daugher (she was feeding him a bottle) I just burst into tear. I am struggling with the decision to try to have another baby or not. My children are almost 9, 6 1/2 and 4 1/2. We always wanted four children but after our youngest was born, I chickened out! She had some health problems and it took me a while to get over that. Anyways, seeing that picture just made me realize how much I want another child... how much richness a baby could add to our lives and how our children will love it so much that it won't matter so much how busy I am, how tired I am... they will love their baby brother or sister so much! Thanks for your thoughts and for your pictures - which I love.
Deb

Ellie said...

THANK YOU! This was exactly what I needed to hear today.

maplewalnutmama said...

Your service recovery idea aligns awfully well with your mantra - enjoying the small things. Kudos to you for finding moments of beauty in amongst the hard stuff. May you all recover together.

Lorin said...

I've always taught my kids (now late teens) that no matter what we are going thru, BIG or small, "This Too Shall Pass"

Be extra thankful for those "Sevice Recovery" moments, because you never know when those moments won't be able to be recovered,

My soul mate recently died, before I had a chance to make up even the tiny moments that felt huge, or the huge moments that were actually tiny.

Hug your husband EXTRA tight...
And remember, "This too shall pass...."

mistybown said...

Hi Kelle! I've been away for awhile & am just catching up. I came across this article tonight while reading the local news website & it made me think of you & your beautiful Nella. Oh the progress I hope we can make before she reaches this phase in her life!

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=25082549&title=disabled-couple-seek-life-together-in-group-home&fm=home_page&s_cid=queue-13

Nat Kat said...

Oh Kelle, how I love you! I haven't been able to find the time to read your blog for a few weeks and I was so sorry to hear that Brett has been ill. Things have been crazy busy around here since my baby daughter started crawling. I can't turn my back for a second! I have two older boys aged 6 and 4 and things are intensely, uncomfortably busy and chaotic right now. I am finding it hard to juggle everyone's needs and pining for my own to be met. The exhaustion is getting me down and at times my parenting has been .... sub-optimal. Nothing serious but a far cry from the calm mother nature figure I would like to be.. how I imagine you are. Thank you for your honesty and reminding me that it doesn't have to be perfect. That we can learn from the hard times. That the most important thing is stay connected with our kids and let them know that you love them. Your pictures alone bring me peace and make me want to hug my beautiful children.... instead of giving them a hard time about their noise and mess. Thank you Kelle for keeping me on track.

Nat Kat said...

Also, I just love love love the phrase "Service Recovery". I am in that space at the moment after a truly awful weekend where stress got be better of all of us. That calm moment after the storm has such amazing healing and bonding potential and it is so easy to miss it. Thank you again for naming it :)

grace04 said...

Liz ----- Lainey's fringe top says " I Heart Sunshine"

Erin said...

Wow did this post hit home with me today...I just found out three weeks ago that I have celiac disease, and my home life has been an enormous roller coaster of recovery ever since. I'm still on a crazy ride, but the terrifying first drop is over. Thanks for sharing, Kelle. :)

Kelly Sheehy said...

*HUGS*

Thank you for sharing. Wow. I can really relate.

TheLauraJane said...

"…All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

Hugs, lady. Hugs.

Werdna Miths said...

"Our daddy"? That's cute
(eye roll)

Claire said...

Big hugs to you and your family. Glad Brett is on the mend. And? My gosh, every time I see a picture of Dash, I drool! What a sweet little guy. I predict that he will be a blessing to your home for many years to come.

Sasha Taylor said...

Love the photo of the girls on the hammock. That is such a beautiful sister moment :)

hmv003 said...

Thank you for this! I have had a rough couple of weeks as well (actually the past year has been rough), and Tuesday evening when I put my 1 year old daughter to bed, I didn't have my heart in it. I was completely drained. She noticed. We both slept terribly. Then, in the middle of the night, I realized I had the opportunity to make it better for her. I brought her to bed with me. We snuggled and whispered and even giggled a little and she fell asleep cradled in my arm. Service recovery.

I realized, reading your post, that my daughter's opinion/review is about the only one that matters to me. I better make sure my "service recovery" is top-notch! Thank you for your amazing perspective - once again.

Katherines Corner said...

You manage to hold on when others often let go. This is your souls purpose hard at work.
I shared your blog and book with my beautiful Mother ( she is here visiting). I told her how visiting your blog is like spending time with a friend who shares all of the good, bad and truly amazing things, in life so openly. I told her your photographs are beautiful and that your life is filled with blessings. She will visit your blog and learn all of these things first hand. But it felt good to tell her there are blogs like yours. xo

Deanna Gohn said...

Always inspired by your honesty. Love your blog. Love your family. Love the pictures of your adorable kiddos! What's not to love??

raecatflea said...

Thank you for your raw vulnerability, Kelle! I appreciate your transparency as well as your ability to search for that silver lining. My Mama calls that treasure hunting!

JennM said...

Love how you write. Favorite line here: Our kids are always so much more fine than we give them credit for. Really beautiful - thanks for sharing your hard and lovely week with us.

Laura Bridges said...

This post was just exactly what I needed to read. Thanks for writing it, it is so true.

Talia Grieves said...

Your blog is saved under the title, "Makes You Feel Good." And it does. I've been following your story for about a year now, and with out a doubt, you and your beautiful family have rocked my world. Encouragement comes in so many different forms and ways that one would have to believe in God to even begin to fathom how delicately and intricately our lives have been molded to help serve one another. I'm not a Momma, or a wife, just a twenty something - who's way more something - that feels compelled to tell you that even when life sucks, your kind, honest words inspire. I hope you and yours have the opportunity to take a deep breath and feel a little peace, the warmth of healing, and a whole lotta love. Thank you. -T

April said...

You speak a universal language, motherhood, and I love it! xo.

April said...

You speak a universal language, motherhood, and I love it! xo.

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

I'm glad your husband is home. Loved the pictures in this post!

Good Egg Hatched said...

I'm recovering from my fourth recent miscarriage and I've been filled with guilt for being sad and short and absent as a mom. Thank you so much for making me feel normal and pointing out how fixable it all is. I needed that.

mccart said...

my name is mccart i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my husband have been having a lot of problem living together, he will always not make me happy because he have fallen in love with another lady outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my husband leave this woman but the more i talk to him the more he makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my husband again. this spell caster who was a woman told me that my husband is really under a great spell that he have been charm by some magic, so she told me that she was going to make all things normal back. she did the spell on my husband and after 5 days my husband changed completely he even apologize with the way he treated me that he was not him self, i really thank this woman her name is Dr Aluta she have bring back my husband back to me i want you all to contact her who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem she will solve it for you. her email is traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com, she is a woman and she is great. wish you good time.