could you tell me the way to flow, please?

so, i lied. while the beach temporarily rejuvinated my creative lull last week, it was just that…temporary. like a quick buzz off a few good beers. followed by a very un-creative hangover. i know i made it look alluring with all that sister fun and delicious dinners…but it was just a high. and it crashed. i am officially proclaiming that my inspiration truck has broken down in the ebb region of the great town of ebb & flow. i got it running for a short time, but it putt out after a few miles. i’ve knocked on mechanics doors, begging them to get me to flow. because i’ve been there…and i like it. but no one’s open. i’m stuck in ebb. …and it sucks.

so, i went for help. my sister has these crazy good book recommendations because she is a good striver and better-er and and she will write a book someday. so, she gave me some urging…from natalie goldberg’s old friends from far away: the practice of writing a memoir… (yes, it’s training wheels, but with a little practice and a good push, i firmly believe i will be ridin’ this bike myself in a few days. and i will ride it straight into the sunset).

“often in the middle of a timed writing practice, you feel muddled. you’re not really saying anything. so try this: don’t ever wait to finish your sentence. right in the middle, put a dash…then write ‘what i really want to say is this’…drop to a deeper level and keep going…”

so, with that said….

I’m not going to “muddle” anymore and this may be completely random, but —what i really want to say is this:

~i have a very good husband, and this blog has been so much about her & i…and i’ve just been thinking that i need to write more about who is he and how much i love him. because he’s very, very good. and i love him very, very much. and anyone who reads this deserves to know a little about the gem i found. he is ever so lovely. so, good things to come on the man i love.

~i need to clean my bedroom again. random, yes…but if feels good to purge. seriously. my closet is a pit.

~there is a party…in my honor next week. for my thirtieth, actually. and, it could be a celebration of our neighbor’s cat’s neutering ceremony for all i care, but i am very excited because there will be a great slew of people i love in one room. and i will bask in their greatness.

~i miss my sister.

~we’ve been trying to have another baby for ten months and it hasn’t happened. i want to hold this baby…really bad.

~i think the most beautiful phrase in the history of mankind is: “let go.”

~i love “imaginary vacations.” with the crap economy, “vacation” is not in the near future…so, we take imaginary ones. and we get all excited talking about them…where we’re going and what we’ll do…and it doesn’t matter if we’ll go or not. our imaginary journeys there are quite delicious. and, in the meantime…there’s camping, and we’re planning a nice adventure–lainey’s first one–in february.

~i have a little girl. not a baby…not a toddler…but a little girl. and i love her so.

oh, i’m on a roll…

five smells you can remember…ready, go:

~the body shop’s coconut & lime bodywash. my first “love.” from australia.
~my grandma & grandpa’s old living room. coffee & laundry, an eclectic mix of furniture from their mission trips around the world…my grandma’s perfume. together, it equaled this magical scent of beautiful nostalgia.
~brett’s cologne on our first date. woodwater, an italian cologne you can’t even find anymore. there’s an empty bottle in our closet that i can, if i inhale hard enough…remember every little detail about our dinner at the japanese steak house up the road. sigh.
~burt’s bees buttermilk baby lotion. what i put on her the first ten days in the hospital. and what magically takes me back to that newborn in my arms the second i smell it.
~my mom: estee lauder’s pleasures.

and what’s a post without some pictures…

today’s afternoon light and welcome cold gave us a quick opportunity to bask in its splendor…

p.s.: i freakin’ love hats.

the evolution of her trademark “scrunchy face” we so love…

if i could put into words what i’m feeling about the new person in our house…this new girl who is completely different from the old girl…i would. …but i can’t. she is just completely evolving into new loveliness. fits and attitude included, but that’s the beauty. like pinnochio becoming a real boy. she’s real…and i can see the person she’s gunna be. gepetto likey. no…gepetto love.


…enjoying the lovely-regardless-of-the-measure-of-inspiration things.

oh, wait. inspire me. if you shall leave a comment…leave it with the answer to natalie’s goldberg’s question. a smell you can remember…keep it clean, folks.

love. ~k


Leave a Comment
  1. my heart is still stuck on the “trying to have a baby” comment. hugs and prayers to you!
    a smell i remember…going to our family camp each summer and sitting on the ginormous rocks on lake ontario. the mix of water, fresh air, seaweed…not the most delightful smell, but memorable and full of stories!

  2. Only someone who has been in a barn in the midwest in the summer will know what silage smells like…a very strong, pungent odor of the corn mixture that is, I think, fermenting. Not a bad smell, just a really earthy, agricultural odor. But I also love Trapp home fragrance called “Private Gardens.” If you ever see it in a fine home store, buy it…you will love it! (More than silage, I am sure) I also love puppy breath.

  3. i was going to say the same smell as your dad … but in a weird way.
    the smell of buckwheat honey … smells exactly like a barn. and it kinda bothers me to have something i want to eat smell like a barn … but i always want to have it on hand … ’cause it is an instant bring-me-back to the long hours i spent in barns when i was younger.
    chapstick reminds me of my aunt’s house … to this day …not sure why.
    and lavender baby lotion … it’s the signature scent of my babies.
    — thinking about you. sometimes when you want to shout something for the world to hear but you don’t want anyone to know … it’s harder to say the things that you really don’t feel like saying. but then, when you get them out … it all feels better. sending hopeful promises of tides in your direction. —

  4. oh, I just love props and shout outs!!

    throwing on a sweatshirt that smells like downy. ( do you know what that smells like? lol)

    you need to clean your room?
    why, I’m so surprised.
    I never would thought.
    I thought you liked your climbing contraption in the closet (lol).
    it’s more fun that way.
    a challenge to reach the hangers.
    it’s like a game.
    why don’t you just throw a sleeping bag over all of it.

    really laughing now…

  5. tiny hands that smell like Cheerios.

  6. and kulio is the TOPPER!

    I’m glad I posted my comment before her. however can one top tiny hands that smell like cheerios?!

  7. any time I smell someone cutting their grass in the summer, it immediatly takes me back to my childhood backyard, an old metal swing set(not these wood mansions we all put in our yards these days) and lightning bugs at dusk!!!!!!!

  8. bullet ~5 brought immediate tears! Like immediate eyes welling, eyes starting to puff and then I had to stop reading, regroup and by then the tears were dripping down my newly made-up face.

    I love you!! I can’t wait to hold baby hampton too!!

    I’ll read the rest of this post later.


  9. A smell I can remember: The musty, woodsy, house- has-been-closed-up-for-six-months smell of my grandparents vacation home on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. I love that smell. And every now and again, I catch a glimpse of it in my own not-so-new home, and it takes me right back there. Those never to be forgotten vacations on the lake. How I wish I was able to take my kids there, to make memories like I have, of family, swimming, boating, late dinners, and just downright good times. Can you tell I miss it???

    Kelle, love the last hat pic of you and Lainey. You look divine in that hat, with that hairdo.

  10. my heart is telling me that soon bullet 5 will come true soon. i feel it. really, so much so that when you announce it may have to refer to the baby as bullet 5 for awhile or maybe not cuz that’s not very baby sweet.

    my mom wear’s pleasures too, isnt that kinda weird? our mom’s smell alike. actually my mom frequently thinks of yours and wonders how she’s doing. i think they should rekindle forgotten love, like us. 😉

    oh smells, you asked for smells –
    hotel towels – fresh, smelling slightly like bleach.

    springtime – fresh grass, dirt, and worms. such a lovely memory while we suffer through the frigid winter.

    I think her cry face is just adorable. The knit brow. ’nuff said.

    As for a lack of creativity, maybe it’s your creative nature’s way of rejuvenating itself. Perhaps it needed a break after Christmas. Maybe get boring things like cleaning out your bedroom closet done then you will have so much more time to be creative with the uncreative stuff done. Watch some TV. Although last weeks private practice about did me in so maybe not that show. ok enough commenting.

  11. thought about you most of last night…feeling your saddies.

    you will hold that little baby, kelle. God is choosing the perfect baby for you to love…to transfer your uber creative dna to:)
    i love you.

    about the new person in lainey…

    i remember when peyton reached a certain age…think lainey’s age now. we went grocery shopping together and instead of sitting in the cart, she wanted to walk. so we walked together and chose things to put into the basket. we looked, talked about, laughed.

    it was the first time that i felt…this little girl is becoming a little friend, a big girl. someone i really enjoyed spending my time with.

    love how you love!
    ps. these pics are delish i tell you!

  12. old spice.
    my dad’s cologne reminds me of home.

    a babies neck…a mixture of that baby smell and throw-up…ha ha.
    i love it! takes me right back to when my babies started sitting up by themselves. not sure why???

  13. Doing my little part to help bring inspiration and creativity to you:) Before my husband and I were married or even engaged we lived and worked in India for a year. I love that period of our lives – us living together for the first time, being in a foreign country, completely different from what I was used to – with cows and monkeys roaming on the streets, more people on the streets that you can image, traffic even worse that rush hour in New York, being able to travel all over and experience this country and culture was amazing. So now I love the smell of India – a combination of incenses, spices, BO, smoky air, and something else that I can’t identify. Every time I get off a plane in India – no matter which city, this smell brings me back to the times when we first lived there.

    On an unrelated note – I so understand your disappointment and frustration about no baby – I went through 18 months of that myself…. but now I have my beautiful Mia and Alexa! During those painful months I used to tell myself that our baby was not ready to meet us yet and eventually we would meet – when the time was right. So just hang in there!

  14. My favorite smell has to be my baby’s burp clothes right before I toss them in the washer . . . they are covered in formula and spit-up, maybe some boogies . . . but they smell like him and like baby and I just sit there a take a big ole sniff each time before I wash them . . . also the smell of diesel fuel and salt water, memories of growing up on a boat almost everyday over the warm Long Island summers . . . throw in a BBQ grill smell and sound and I’m in heaven!

    ps – Heidi’s comment about God choosing your baby for you got me all choked up and she is so right . . . you need a real special baby and He’s being extra picky for you! I’m hoping and praying that you will hold that baby soon, real soon!

  15. My dear Ms. Kelle – I do believe you have what I call the “January blues” – the holidays are over, you have put your decorations away and with it went all of your holiday enthusiasm. You will find it again – don’t be so hard on yourself. No one “has it” all the time. I will come in and watch Ms. LL for a long weekend if you and hubby want to get “away” for a romantic weekend. This should make you laugh – “Dr. C’s cologne!” love ya, Roberta

  16. Oh, Roberta! Tears…I miss you! And yes…I laughed at Dr. C’s cologne. It was just to cover up the smell of cigarettes he used to smoke in his office. You know he did. I miss him….wouldya tell him I miss him? But I miss you most! xoxo

  17. And Kelle, sweet sprite, your creativity bar is placed much higher than most and a reach some would never aspire to. Your uncreative day would still probably energize and inspire the rest of us. Lower the bar. Love yourself. Live in the moment. And I have smelled Dr. C’s cologne…and thrown up a little in my mouth.

  18. i forgot how much i shamelessly love comments. and how much each of you dear readers mean to me. feeling a bit inspired today. thank you. i am loving reading about these smells…and it’s making me drink in more of the little things today. cheers to all of you.

  19. when he does surgeries, there’s no need for anesthesia ‘cuz his cologne knocks ’em out. oh please, dr. c…never see these comments. hey look! blog chatroom again…oh joy!

  20. Coconut lotion from The Body Shop…smells like Florida. And we’re leaving TODAY for that beautiful state.

    Praying for baby number 2 to come quickly. It will happen Kelle. Can’t wait!

  21. Also, the very first photo of Lainey is beautiful and perfect and just plain ole amazing . . . and if that’s your creativity in a funk I can only imagine you on a “good” day! Seriously, I’ll take your “funk” days anytime!! :-)

  22. Chucks, my sister beat me to it! I guess that’s not so bad, because she put that Ozark summer home smell into words much better than I ever could.

    Kelle, thanks for a very moving post. And, Tammy, thanks for bringing me back to Missouri, if only for a few mintues …
    oh, man, the tears!

    Memories, they are just awe-some!

    I too loved reading everyone’s responses. Today will be a good one : )

  23. Oh, one more thing …

    Kelle, that picture of you and your girl in your hats is so Beatrix Potter.

    Oh, how my kiddos love her stories!

  24. Ah, April. Writing the Missouri post made me tear up too. As did your comment. You KNOW I love that smell. Thinking about those vacations in MO always makes me cry. I SO wish we could all be back there every summer.

    And Kelle, your dad is right. If I had as much creativity as you on a bad day – I’d be doing great! Good thing my sister has enough for both of us :)

  25. I’m back … oh, how this blog just ‘gets’ me!

    Kelle, I’d love to see you write something like this …

    Just an idea.

  26. Amy Ancona Franckowiak says:


    I’m still trying to think of my favorite smell…I have so many, most of which remind me of my wonderful and loving mom (as I’m sure you can attest to). But I was in tears today reading your blog, as I am most days, I must admit. You inspire me in ways I’ve never been inspired. I strive every day to be the mother you are to Lainey, and I yearn for just an ounce of your creativity and talent. You are amazing, and I am only one of many who will remind you of that. I’m praying for you that your bullet #5 comes true…God has a plan, remember that. You are a remarkable person and mother, and that child is going to feel so much love, from you, from Brett, from the boys, and from big sister Lainey!

    Hope we can chat soon. I’d love to see you when you are next here in town. Until then, I have your blogs to read daily, and we have FB too! xoxo
    Amy Ancona Franckowiak

  27. Anonymous says:

    Am laughing and crying at the same time. Laughing at the Dr. C thing and crying (happy tears) that you and Amy are blogging. I love it . . .

  28. All you need to get creative is a looming deadline. I swear, every time I have a big presentation or paper due the next day I start thinking crazy thoughts like “I should make my niece a present” or “I haven’t written a Judy Blume chapter in a while.” Never fails, haha :)

  29. Feeling your baby-longing pain, I know it well! Tears… that you are going through this. It’s so hard to wait each month…

    Favorite smell: pot roast on a Sunday afternoon. Homey-cozy-lazy Sundays

    Love you!

  30. LOVE the blog love!

    and laughing at molly’s comment. SO TRUE.

  31. Hmmmm, lets see my LOVE of all Loves.. a smell.. my fave is when I was little- playing all day in the summer in the woods in my fort, getting all grungy until dark, then my Mom calling me in for dinner and bath time and the way the verbena bar soap smelled..and then the way the line- dried sheets smelled against my skin as I PASSED OUT from a day of sheer blissful play..thats mine. Remember my word baby…just BE. Dont try. Let go. Just BE.

  32. Oh, and not to be gross.. I like my dog’s paws..the way they smell. Frito-ish. Its cute. I can’t help it. It’s the dog equivilent of morning breath. And firewood burning, damp fall leaves, Bvlgari for women, lavender, lilacs, and last but not doh.

  33. Well, hell. I am SO behind here. Nutty busy and wholly life-sucking week at work. But here I am catching up at the end of the comment train.

    Smell I remember: Margot’s vomit in my bra on Monday. Maybe some day I’ll look back adoringly but, for now, it is too close to the horrific, other-worldly stench. Poor chicken. I didn’t even smell it at all until I had kissed her, taken her clothes off and had her in the tub and then. Then, I about passed out.

    Poppa’s right. Nobody has it all the time. And, I think seasons coming and going totally do a number on us all.

    Another smell: worms in the street after a Montana spring rain.

    Another: my man’s pit after working construction all day the first summer we were dating in 1997.

    All my smells are kinda gross–what I really want to say is this: do you think I am gross because my smells are of the more salty, pungent flavor?


  34. beatrix potter? what a compliment. peter rabbit is like my ultimate idol. well, maybe jemima puddleduck just because “puddleduck” would be a supercool last name. and you guys and your smells. the pits one had me. and yes—what i really want to say is this: you’re sick.

    comments make my day…make me smile…make me laugh. so, thank you all.

  35. Barb, you had me with Play Dough! I could smell it when I saw it in print…and almost feel it in my hands. It has a fragrance similar to the old school paste we used in elementary school when the teacher would just put a dollop of it on a little piece of paper on your desk for you to craft with. Ahhhh, Play Dough.

  36. The smell of coffee, still one of my all time favorite smells. As a child when my dad would open the can for the first time with a can opener he would call me into the kitchen to get the first wiff…oh how I LOVE that smell and still to this day coffee is my favorite smell.

  37. Anonymous says:

    this revives a posting from last year, but I really like it- and today is the first day I’m reading it-so I think it’s okay..

    smell I remember…pressing my once-upon-a-time twelve year old nose to the hair underneath the mane of the greatest horse that ever lived and thinking I would never love boys this much..

    then thirty-three years and two divorces later, pressing my nose to the neck of the first man I’ve ever truly loved and smelling that sweet smell that is only his and thinking, “it just really doesn’t matter what it took to get me to you, just matters that I’m here now”.

    When my daughter was growing up, I would choose those really cool moments of greatness and tell her, “stop right now and press this into your heart, remember this. What I looked like, what you looked like, what we were doing, what was making us laugh.. kind of like pictures that only she and I would ever see I guess. She would give me the “oh Mom, okaaayyy…” But I think she really loves that about me.

    Thank you for your blog, I have no idea what moved me to respond. I am not usually one to post on the internet. And I think that is probably a great compliment to your writing and photography talents :-)

  38. dear Great Smells

    I am already TOTALLY loving your blog. Reading older posts and catching up, besides enjoying your current posts the last little while.

    Smells. Wow. I am so much of a smell~evokes~a~memory type of person. But how can i just name one!
    The scent of Old spice cologne that my Dad always wore, the smell of my grandmothers kitchen on Sundays….Roast chicken like no one elses. The smell of fireworks on the 4th of July, irrigated fields of Summer cornfields, my first “grown~up” bath and perfume products as a teen: ‘Loves’ baby~soft’, peach scented stationary that i wrote letters to my beloved on, burying my face in my beautiful wedding bouquet of sweet baby carnations and baby’s breath.
    Maybe my best one is coming to me now….yes, it HAS to be the milk~ey sweet breath of my babies when they just finished nursing.

    Those living breathing scented memories

  39. first of all…. i am reading back from day one, and these pics of you and lainey in the hats are my all time favorites (so far).
    also, i could smell your mom’s perfume when you said “pleasures.” it’s weird how you can smell something in your mind! i used to wear that.
    a smell i always remember….love’s baby soft perfume from junior high along with aussie hair spray that i used in excess at that time in my life.

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