Making Memories…half-full.

So, there is this story my mom tells that I love. It embodies so much of the adventurous mother spirit I know she had when we were little and makes me smile…and wish I could have been her friend back then. Apparently, as my mom tells it, she was home with us kids while my dad was working and, as usual, wasn’t going to let not having a second car keep her from getting out. So, she packed us all up–strapped my little body on top of my sister’s lap in one of those junky seventies strollers and made my brother walk beside her because she was hell-bent on making a memory. Except my mother would never say “hell-bent.” Anyway, as legend has it, she was pushing the day-care-on-wheels across a busy street and, right in the middle of the intersection, the stroller broke and we all like, crashed to the ground in tears. Knowing my mom, she probably laughed and gracefully waved cars on while she picked up the pieces and attended to wounds. And then she probably found some even cooler way of getting to where she was headed with three kids and no help. The point is, I remember lots of occasions like this…where my mom hurdled obstacles to take us to museums, drag us to the park or chain an early model of the bike trailer to the back of her Schwinn for an excursion (ours was called “the bugger,” I remember it well—it was black, hardshell, and my stomach lunged everytime we turned corners because I swore it was going to break loose from my mom’s bike and we’d be left in traffic).

I think about this a lot. The fact that making memories and getting out of the house and packing diaper bags and taking pictures of the smiles between the whines and pulling over to feed Nella in the middle of a 45-minute drive to an orange grove in the middle of nowhere isn’t ever easy. But it’s worth it.

I’ve lived here for almost seven years now, and I’ve never been to an orange grove. I’ve driven past them, yes, but I’ve always wanted to be in them, between those rows of trees actually picking those oranges. And now that I have two kids and am, well, hell-bent on filling my mother’s adventurous shoes, it was high time we made the excursion.

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It was beautiful. Just like I imagined.

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But, I’m not going to lie. Sucking-the-marrow excursions come with the hassle. The real story goes something like Lainey’s crying three rows in because it’s hot as blazes and she’s thirsty, so I’m now clawing oranges apart like a bear, wringing them into her mouth for juice and it leaves my hands annoyingly sticky. A small army of fire ants makes it through the window of open peep-toe in my sandals and starts a buffet on my feet…and then they yell to their uncles and cousins to come join them. Poor Nella’s trying to sleep and her head keeps sliding until it gets so far, then she bobs, opens her eyes, cries, pulls her head up and starts the little repetition again. Or there’s the backpack I’m lugging or the five gallon bucket of oranges on a pulley that tips and knocks out six oranges every time we try and move to the next row.

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But–and there’s always a but–it’s a memory. A memory my kid won’t forget. And you know what? You should have seen the plastered smile on my girl as she dodged from one orange row to the next with a “hey mom, here’s a good orange” or the sweet cat that practically made love to the red rain boots (um, dickersons).

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There’s the way the sunlight spilled through openings in the overlap of orange tree branches, splitting the light into magnificent rays or that feeling of satisfaction as I clicked my shutter with the chance that maybe I’d catch a bit of that brilliance.

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There was the tangy scent of citrus, the relief of finding ant-free mounds of grass to stand on, the laughter that followed Lainey falling to the ground after the orange she was pulling finally snapped.

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There’s forgetting about sticky hands because the orange you ripped through in the middle of tree-plucking tastes that sweet or the call you make to your friend in the heat of it all just to tell her “Dude, seriously, you have to bring the kids here. It’s awesome.” Because it is.

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It is worth it. It is always worth it.

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This cat freaking loved us. It was so cool. Like I paid him to stick around because the girls couldn’t have been happier by his presence.

Sometimes Lainey will retell a memory from months ago. Like “Hey Mama, ‘member when we went to that tall slide park?” And I’m remembering the disastrous time I woke her up from a nap and regretted my park decision as she whined and cried and hated that great big slide I thought she’d love. I wait to hear her version of the memory months later and am always surprised when a not-so-hot experience is retold as, “That was fun. Can we do it again?”

Attempts to share time with your kids, to do something special with them, to strap them up in a crappy stroller and face traffic to get to a park…those memories only get better with time. I often wonder if the childhood memories I have of our family Christmas were really as magical as I remember. They are epic in my brain–storybook perfection. And I wonder if maybe there were tears or maybe there was fighting or maybe there weren’t a thousand presents like I swear there was. But there is no convincing me it wasn’t perfect. And, despite the exasperation of our orange grove trip yesterday, there is no convincing me it wasn’t, in its imperfection, indeed the same…perfect.

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Photography by Lainey.

Making memories is an investment. Like buying stock guaranteed to increase its value. It’s win/win, Baby.

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And right when I think the goodness of our trip has far outweighed the hassle, a nice man pulls up in a pick-up truck with little Wilbur in the back and lets us pet him.

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We are now swimming in oranges. Orange recipes welcome. (Orange buttercream frosting, anyone?)

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Orange grove info HERE for locals. Awesome place.

I’m happy to have Bambaroos Boutique back as a sponsor. They’ve added the most exquisite tutus to their shop (satin ribbons and thick tulle…gorgeous for a flower girl…check out this one!), and we, of course, love their vast selection of clips and handbands for both littles and mamas!

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Use code BLOGS to receive 10% off your order. And a comment will be randomly selected from this post to receive a $25 gift certificate to Bambaroos Boutique. Happy shopping! Happy Wednesday.

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Oh, and thank you so much for your incredibly heartfelt words on the last post. I read many of them out loud to Brett, and it reminded us again of the honor and privilege of this new journey in our life.

Comments

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  1. Orange picking looks so fun! Your girls are beautiful.

  2. Love this entire post. And, well, the pictures of Nella eating the orange…makes me want one (and I don’t even like oranges that much :))

  3. GORGEOUS photos. The memories are what make everything worthwhile. We just took a 2.5 year old and 9 month old on a Disney cruise. There were MANY tears, but oh so many more smiles. And napping together on the swaying cruise ship all wrapped up together…memories I will always cherish and never forget. There surely isn’t much else quite like motherhood and the drive to want to show our kids EVERYTHING is so strong within. I am always try to come up with new places to see or changing old ones. I love how Lainey matches the oranges :)

  4. OMG, that is soooooo true!!!! I once blogged about my urgent desires to make memories for Samantha and how they often failed miserably. I called that post “Trying Too Hard.” Yep, that’s what I do sometimes, but I have to say, they are certainly memorable, for one reason or another, and I’ve gotten some great pics for posterity!

  5. Looks like a really fun day. And I love that your beauties are wearing orange to match the oranges!!
    I have very similar memories from when I was a kid…of my mom carting my sister and I onto the bus to go to the library, because she wanted us to have stuff to do even though my dad had the car at work. I’m trying to have that much adventurousness with my daughter, and you’re right, it’s not easy. But they love it, and they remember it. And it’s special. And with beautiful pictures like these, your girls’ memories will be even more crystal clear :)

  6. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and always love your positive spin on things! I’ve taken on that approach too in my blog and it makes me a much happier person. But, just being a mom can do that to you too!

  7. I always LOVE your photos but the second to last one of Nella is SOOOO wonderful!

  8. This is the thing that makes me come back…you suck the marrow right out of life. You live life to the fullest and explore every day. LOVE that! So wish I lived somewhere where I could explore and do fun things like that with my brood often. Your day looked perfectly perfect.

  9. I love your perspective on this, and when I have my own kids, I’m totally going to think “I’m going to make purposeful memories for them like Kelle”.

    All of the photos are beautiful. I especially love the one of Nella enjoying her orange–so sweet!

  10. Nearly every post of yours makes me wish I was living in Florida!

  11. I love this post so much!!! You are so right about those remembering stuff from your childhood and thinking it was perfection!! This really made me think about how I need to get out and make the memories with my son as he gets older no matter what my personal cost is. It is all about them!! I so wish we had an orange grove in TN….but a strawberry patch might do just fine!

  12. Gorgeous photos!!

    We saw our first ‘real’ orange when we visited Florida in January. You know, not the pristine, perfectly round oranges you see in the store but like the ones you picked.

    I find it amazing looking at your pictures while just outside my window the snow is falling on the third day of spring and everything is covered in a thick blanket of snow. Thanks for the preview of summer! :)

  13. What I wouldn’t give for an orange grove right about now! Looks heavenly!

  14. I’ve been reading your site for awhile now and LOVE it! Your words are so heartfelt, raw, true, honest! Your family is beautiful and I think we could probably be really good friends in real life :) My daughter is sitting on my lap wondering when we get to visit an orange grove!
    Have a great day!
    Kitty
    nursekitty2001@hotmail.com

  15. Your pictures are amazing and your making of memories is inspiring!

    Thanks also for reminding me of the beauty of a tutu. I’m pretty sure my 11 day old little diva needs one!

  16. thanks for sharing this today…it was good to hear and made me reminisce about my own childhood memories. also beautiful pictures and what pretty oranges!

  17. oh how truly blessed your girls are to have a mommy like you! I love great adventures! with the warmer weather coming I plan on having many with my boy. and yes memories. I wish that I could remember things the way children do.. in fact, i may just try harder to do so!

  18. Love it! A beautifully chaotic day. :)

  19. What gorgeous photos!! Love all the oranges…the orange orchards here in South Texas are in full bloom right now. It smells amazing outside. Loved this post. :-)

  20. Gorgeous!! Looks like a fairy tale <3

  21. My favorites are the pictures (in any of your posts) where Lainey is DONE with you taking her pictures.
    Those are all keepers to me…

  22. I love the outfits on both girls…dressing baby girls is the best !

  23. I feel the same way as you! I watch two extra children in the week and people think I’m crazy to drag all four of them around….but it’s making memories and life is short and it’s FUN…and even though sometimes I’m sweating and my heart is racing because moments get stressful it’s so.worth.it!

    Those oranges look wonderful! I’d be making fresh squeezed orange juice for sure!

  24. What a lovely day! I remember picking strawberries when I was younger. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Oranges right off the tree..yum-o.

    Do I know what that feels like or what, I swear between getting everyone dressed, diaper bags packed and buckled in the car seats I am sometimes exhausted and wonder what I am thinking. We love making memories together.

  26. Kellie you are just wonderful. I hope you know that I truly aspire to be the mother that you are to your little ones. I appreciate your realness and you honesty. your blog is a blessing to my life.
    thanks for being open.

  27. We are springing ellie from the nicu on friday… Our plans for the weekend include watching a marathon, taking her to church in a fancy dress, and seeing the cherry blossoms here in dc. All with my new camera in tow!

  28. I am addicted to your blog!! Like, so addicted that I stalk it everyday in hopes you have posted something new! I look forward to your words as they are so inspiring! Thank you!

  29. Fabulous post, gorgeous pictures. I can totally understand why the cat loved you guys!

  30. It’s funny that you posted this because just yesterday, my mom said I could pass up an adventure every once in awhile to do a deep clean on my house! Really? Because I think the memories WAY out weigh a deep cleaned house. On to the next adventure!

    ~skylar

  31. what a beautiful post and gorgeous photos. lainey is the embodiment of summer in her romper, cardigan, and wellies strolling through the orange grove!

  32. Every summer my grandma, Boo, took me to a blueberry patch. I always remember amazing, perfect days in the sticky heat, searching for the perfect berry. Thank you for taking me back to that place. Although, now I am curious what sort of disastrous memories she has from those visits!

  33. Oh the sun, the oranges…the heat. I am ready for the winter to be gone and have the warmth on our skin. This post made me cry (maybe beacuse I spent half the night awake with the baby I’m feeling sensitive) because so many times I have these visions that our outings will be perfect and then of course 20 mins. in someone cries or asks “are we there yet” and we have another 40 mins to go and the snacks I brought to keep us out are gone before we arrive. My head aches and I wonder why I bother. But, when the kids and I get over it we smile, we laugh, we share moments and thats what life is. A string of moments. (Okay crying now with that gentle piano music in the background. Definately sleep deprived.) So what I want to say is thank you for showing the pure nature of life. Good, bad, indifferent. I think my soul needs an outing. Simple but I think when I pick up my son from pre-k today we will stop for hot coco. Just because. Maybe the baby will cry, maybe something will spill and they will be out of scones but it will be a moment and we will share it happily.

    Bless your sweet soul Kelle!

    Lisa in CA (we moved but I’m hanging on to my roots still)

  34. I had a similar experience at an apple orchard…We got on the hay ride all excited to see the orchard..only to be dropped off in the very back. I had a 6 month old & 3 year old, my camera, 2 bags of apples and no stroller or carrier. It was a far cry from the day I had imagined us haveing….but I’m so ready to go back this fall! (alittle better prepared though)

    Love Love your Blog!

  35. I had a bugger, too! My dad always picked me up at daycare at 5 and we rode on home. I LOVED that thing. Except when I was put in there early in the morning and it was FREEZING!!! :)

  36. It looks like all of you had fun (even taking into consideration the hiccups). Reading this post reminds me of the apple picking we did every now and then when I was a kid- though my sister would usually wind up knocking me down to get to the “best” apples. Yes, she was a bit rough and swears she sometimes liked to make me cry because I looked so cute when I did. Weirdo, right? (-: Anyway, thanks for sharing about your adventure. I wish this town grew something so we could do the same thing with our kiddos. We’ll continue to build memories, despite the fact that we live in a crop-hostile area! (-; Have a great week Kelle and family.

  37. so true, the kids probably don’t remember our stress or our frustrations, they just have a great memory of the fun they had. Thanks for sharing this. Love Nella’s orange smile.

  38. Agreed.
    Totally and completely agreed.
    They never remember the bad things! Only the happiness.
    I love that about children.

  39. So glad to be reminded that disasterous field trips are happy memories for the future. My husband is so much braver at facing the unknown. It’s my goal to be a bit more spontaneous. Thanks!

  40. I get happy seeing these pics (after being away from home, working, for 14 hours!!) and your wonderful posts inspire me to be a(n even) better mother!
    That’s big. Important.
    Thanks à big bunch: you rock :-)

  41. beautiful post. and perfectly perfect. i’m feeling rather inspired to go out and accomplish MORE memory making… despite the tears.

  42. awakening post … great reminder for all of us worn out mommas … to keep pressing on … cuz it’s worth it!

  43. I’m from Orange County Florida, but have never been to an orange grove either- maybe I should add that to my “must do” list. The tutu is amazing! If I were having a flower girl in my wedding-only 59 days away!, I would choose a great big tutu like that one!!

  44. Orange picking looks like fun. I don’t know why but I never really thought that you could go pick oranges like you can apples. I guess being from the North and not having orange trees might have something to do with it. :)

  45. I love the investment win/win quote! You are such a postitive upbeat person! Thanks for your posts!

  46. Oh Kelle – right you are again! There are times where I ask myself “why am I doing this” and then a fraction of a second later it is bliss and I am back on track and KNOW exactly why I go through the work. It is oh so worth it.

    Pics are great…as always!

  47. Thank you for being my therapist today. I needed to read exactly what you wrote.

    And seriously the thought of fire ants in my sandals makes me almost thankful I live in MN where we just got 12″+ of snow/sleet/rain oh and thunder and lightning too – at the same time last night. . . . almost.

  48. This reminds me of last October when I took my nieces, ages 11 months and 2.5, apple picking about an hour from where we live. Not exactly easy, not always fun, but totally worth it!

    Aw, I love the kitty! And I like how Lainey is wearing citrus colors! Oh and I lived in Naples for 25 years and NEVER once went orange picking! I’ll have to try that next time I visit my mom there!

  49. Ok- so you look just like Gwen did on the CD cover of No Doubt ! Just saying! :) L-O-V-E IT!!!

  50. Your blog is my guilty pleasure. From your fantastic writing, to the pictures, even the sponsor products! But mostly….I LOVE the music. My 11 month old and 8 year old sometimes just turn on the site to dance in our kitchen.

  51. Wow. Those pictures are priceless! I have always wanted to go into a orange grove, this is an excellent idea of a good family activity. It’s so true, it’s important to make those wonderful memories because I’m sure your kids will remember them forever! I love your blog, and your little girls are so adorable!!!
    Melissa
    http://www.melstevens1.blogspot.com

  52. Love, love this post. There is a place out here in Central California called Gizdich ranch where you can pick berries and apples through the summer and fall, they sell the most amazing apple juice and fresh berry adn apple pies, your post makes me so excited to make the first trip of the year there with my husband in the months to come. Thank you for sharing.

  53. I read your blog from afar (Australia) and I just want to say thankyou for writing. Its always a pleasure to read your heartfelt posts and see pictures of your gorgeous girls (Nella looks so much like Lainey now!)
    You’ve reminded me to not sweat the small stuff with this post. I get so tied up in the little stresses of life Ive forgotten the fun to be had with a childs perspective on things. So my new resolution – fun before duty! When my 3 boys are grown men, I want our family gathering conversations to start with “Do you remember when we……?”, stories of memories from the past, fun laughter and love. (And Im off to find a fruit grove of our own, how fun!)

  54. Last week i took my just turned 2 year old son to the park. I had debated not going because I had the whole house to clean, dinner to cook, a laundry pile to size of a mountain & I was tired, But off we went and in the middle of him climbing up the climbing frame and sliding down the slide, he ran over to me and said, “Mama, I have great time” Those 5 words made it all worth while :)

    Thank you for this post.. It’s inspired me to make lots more memories with him x

  55. Haha, my version of this outing was the one we took in December with my 4 yo and 19 mo old to cut down our own Christmas tree. I used my camera with discretion to make sure that one day we remember it as nothing but a joyful experience (well, and one or two “real” photos to laugh at down the road). Thanks for sharing as always and for the reminder that the investment is WORTH it.

  56. Thank you for the reminder that the “hassel” gets out weighed by the fun memories. I needed to be reminded of that!

  57. The retelling of adventures by our kiddos really do make you think about things differently. I love it! It makes the struggles that much easier next time.

  58. Lainey is quite the photographer!! Great pics all of them.

    I love your dedication to your family. The memories will be sweeter than the freshly picked oranges.

  59. Your girls are so stinkin’ beautiful!

  60. Love the pics! Wishing I had an orange grove of my own:)

  61. An orange grove! what simple idea that turned into so deep memories! COOL!

  62. You are so right! So many times I scoot out on an outing because the fun/effort quotient just isn’t high enough for me. Cross my heart – I will try harder next time and not miss the opportunity b/c of the hassle involved. Hey-Lainey is developing some good photograpahy skills! xo

  63. To “all of us” (Skylar) – I SO agreee. I think the chores can WAIT on the aventures! KELLE, love the story via your mom, and the memories shared. And YES, they all ARE perfect, period – just the time shared withour kids. Believe me, I look back and miss those times when my kids were little. The memories are perfect, because they were times spent with my littles. Love to you, Kelle!

  64. Absolutely love all the orange and tangerine colors in these pictures!! Makes me long for spring and summer-it’s snowing up here in PA today and I’m grumpy about this weather!

  65. You are SO right about this! Making memories is what it is all about.
    I wrote a story on my blog about the recent ski trip I took my 3-1/2 year old on. Was it easy? No. But, it was perfect.
    And, I can’t wait to go again…and eventually take his little sister with us!
    Thanks for sharing your story. It was perfect!

  66. What a sweet post. I remember my mom doing similar things with us growing up (strawberry patch) and I know it must have been miserable for her sometimes, but SO worth it in the end!

  67. Love this post! I hope to make memories for my kids someday!! I know my sister, brother and I still recall memories to our mother from when we were younger, guess I never realized how much it must mean to her for us to relive those precious moments she worked hard to creat for us! I will thank her for that next time I see her!

    And the pictures are adorable, as always. Love Lainey with the kitty…how precious!! Have a wonderfully happy week!!

  68. I am excited to start making more memories OUTSIDE with my first baby (Evy) who will be seven months pretty soon! Another snow storm here in Minnesota… at least I get to experience the warm weather through pictures. Thank You!

  69. I love the post and your pictures are awesome!! I have always wanted to visit an orange orchard and see the fruit on tree/pick the fruit off! This is definitely a memory your girls will cherish!

  70. I love Lainey’s photography skills! Taking pictures when I was a kid was one of my favorite past times. I can’t tell you how many pictures of our cat that my poor mom had to develop (obviously before digit). I am once more impressed with your rally efforts and love that you share the journey with us!

  71. i wish i could look at EVERYTHING in life the way you do. you see your cup as ALWAYS overflowing! never even half full!

  72. All of my kids favorite memories are unmitigated disasters, every last one of them. The stories that get retold the most are always total nightmares from the parental perspective! Their absolute favorite story to tell is of the time we surfed the wild seas of the local duck park in an inflatable raft, a memorable adventure that ended with a lost paddle that stranded us spinning in circles in the midst of a duck shit filled puddle until Officer Friendly who wasn’t friendly at all showed up to rescue us and accused us of boating without a license, child endangerment, and possibly public drunkenness. Everyone was in tears by the end of that day but it’s brought tears of laughter ever since, so I completely agree that even the bad memories are good memories!

  73. I love adventurous trips with all the drama! I always get a good laugh…much later! Looks like it was a fun day! I wish we had some fun pickins’ in the desert!!

  74. What a find, it looks like fun despite the hassles of ants (they love me too) and sticky fingers. Nella looks like she doesn’t mind a sticky face- love it!

  75. I have lots of memories of excursions out with my parents! They rarely left us with babysitters and I love that I have so many memories to look back on!

    None of them include an orange grove it looks amazing! I would love having one close enough! Maybe I’ll have to take a trip to the cherry orchard we have around here in Utah!

  76. Mmm my mouth is watering! I have great memories of visiting my grandmother in Florida and going to orange groves. Last year, when I was pregnant with my son, my biggest craving was oranges – I could eat five giant navels in one sitting – and I asked me dad to send me a whole crate while he was down there.

  77. I had never thought of it before, that Floridians must go to pick oranges off the trees the way we in Vermont bundle up our little ones and take them apple picking in autumn. Those are some of my favorite memories with my kids; loading up paper bags or wooden crates with Cortlands, Macintoshes, Macouns, etc., munching on warm freshly made doughnuts and sipping just-pressed apple cider. There hasn’t yet been a year when I’ve managed to use all the apples we pick before some of them go a bit mushy.

  78. Those have got to be the best. photos. ever. Love them. All of them.

  79. you have brilliantly captured the EXACT way we mammas sacrifice & stress over making memories for our kiddos. so many times i have made the extra effort to do something super special to only feel like it was wasted with tears & scraped knees & sweaty red faces. then the memory gets brought up a month or two later by my kids reminding me how much fun it was. and so i start planning again. . . love it!

  80. Thank you for sharing!!! We going strawberry picking all the time but never organs…. That is going on “the list”

  81. i love your blog. always such a great read during my busy work day. it really is all about the little things. beautiful girls and family, btw. cheers.

  82. I love, love, love that yellow hairband! <3 Thanks again for your honesty and making us all feel normal :)

  83. just gorgeous. Lainey is quite talented with the camera :) PLEASE tell me what color lipstick you’re wearing, that’s the perfect shade and I want it!

  84. There are many times when I think heading out with two little kids will be such a hassle (when I’m buy myself). And then last weekend we saw sunshine, and it seemed like a good time to venture out (I needed coffee for the next morning, so there was a purpose), and low and behold, we got caught in a torrential downpour. I was without my coat and the stroller didn’t have it’s cover on. But my oldest daughter laughed and laughed, yelling, “faster mommy, faster!” while we ran back to the car. It was definitely worth it.

  85. Love the oranges! I’ve never been, but would love to visit an orange grove someday.

    With kids the strangest things sometimes make the best memories. My husband has one memory of a family vacation when he was little. He doesn’t even remember where they went, but he has a vivid memory of his dad trying to put on one of those cheap plastic rain ponchos. He was trying to put his head through an armhole and was hopelessly stuck. Instead of helping, his whole family was lost in laughter.

    So there you go – sometimes the best memories come just from a time you all laughed together. Nothing wrong with that :)

  86. an orange grove? really? thats awesome!!! I love this idea Kelle! Up north here we have strawberry patches, thats about it and lord knows I love me a great day of picking strawberries. There’s just something fun about setting out to pick your own fruit…these photos are gorgeous. Love the light, love the “southern-ness” about these. You definitely chiseled a memory into those little minds :)

  87. Ahh, I moved to FL 2 years ago and have been desperately begging my friends to go to an orange grove with me. They make fun of me for imagining it is as charming as going to a vineyard (which you’ve confirmed) because they’ve lived here all their lives, but I’ll show them!! Thanks for the little spark you lit to prove them wrong 😉

  88. Hoping to make picking memories here, too, but sadly we live too far north for citrus. Love that you let Lainey take pictures. :0) And they turned out great!

  89. I just made orange and honey glazed salmon for dinner. Yummy!

  90. Juice it up baby! oooh, and home-made orange rolls have my mouth watering just thinking about them….I must make those this weekend!! I need to get hell-bent more often, and make sure to bring plenty of water, wipes and tennis shoes!

  91. Finally got to read the last three posts and oh what a happy day when I get to read such wonderful, inspiring stories all at once. As I embark on this journey of motherhood starting this summer (eek!), your stories bring out such excitement for all the memories I am ‘hell-bent’ on creating for my little ones in this life and make me want to go through all the craziness for the wonderful memories just as I was lucky enough to have myself. You also bring such clarity to my own journey in pregnancy when telling your restaurant story when 5 months pregnant with Nella. I have had some moments of clarity of my own this week that have brought calm, happy thoughts for my life and future, and your posts build upon that to make me a happier, better person. Happy orange creations!!

  92. Nella eating that orange is too cute! Those have to be the cutest tutu’s I’ve ever seen. Gotta go check those out for my girls!

  93. I love these pictures! It makes me want to escape the rainy mess here in TN and head to Florida to pick oranges…

  94. Thanks so much for these words that are so true. I love all your blogs entries, but this one just hit home. Sometimes in the moment of disaster I wonder why I do this to myself, but you are right . . . making the memories is so worth it.

    All your wonderful pictures make me want to move to Naples! I don’t think we have any orange groves in Dallas, but I love that barn with all the signs and we probably have some of those in Texas.

  95. beautiful pictures as usual, kelle (and lainey!). lots of snow here in new york…this post makes me want a vacation!

  96. I can’t get enough of the photographs of your girls. I have two boys, similar in age to your two, so it’s nice to see how life is with girls :)

  97. Orange you a peach :) I love this post. I love the way the light flows through the branches and I love Nella’s little happy face when she eats her orange. And I LOVE that cat. Thanks for being a bright spot in my day (as usual!)

  98. Absolutely LOVE: The picture of Lainey pulling on that orange and can just imagine her falling when it broke. And the photos of Nella snacking on the oranges! :) It is always worth it! I agree a hundred percent.

  99. The light is gorgeous, and the trip looks deliciously epic. And epics have their moments of reality, and then triumph, too;). Thanks for the lovely, lovely post!

  100. What an inspiration. I’m strapping my girl into her seat and we’re heading out right now!

  101. The grove looks so fun! Lainey will remember only the fun she had, the tasty oranges, and the kitty!

  102. You are such a great mommy. I will remember this post next time I am thinking if the hassle will be worth it. They are worth it!
    sarah
    srockney@hotmail.com

  103. Love the photos, and the girls are adorable as always. We’re going back to Florida to visit my mom in 2 months, and I will HAVE to make it to an orange grove.

  104. Making memories is a win/win alright. My memories from my childhood are spectacular. Then I hear someone else’s perspective and think, “What? Were you even there because that’s not how I remember it at all!” Beautiful orangey, sunshiney pictures.

  105. I love the idea of picking oranges! Looks like a brilliant day!

  106. I could have written something similar today. Baby girl is teething and grumpy and I’m tired… but it felt good to put her in the pram and take a long walk in the first sunny day since August. We walked through the park and into the city centre and even surprised Daddy by meeting him from work!
    Love the pictures.. thanks for sharing!

  107. Oh loving the tutus and loving the pics with the oranges!!! Just to cute all of it!!!

  108. Kelle, I love this post! You are totally right in that it is always worth the effort.

  109. oranges have never looked so good! such beautiful and sweet pictures of your girls. And you’re right some of the sweetest (pun intended) memories come out of the not so sweetest moments and how we get there. loved this post.

  110. Gorgeous! Sounds like a good trip despite the not-so-fun parts like ants. And that cat is adorable. :)

    ~Kendall

  111. I rarely comment, because I think, what’s one more comment after 240 or something…but I always read.

    Anyway…my nine and six year olds both remember days like this from when they were Laney’s age. Days that I thought, NEVER AGAIN because of how hard it was in the moment and now, when they remember it, I think, god I’m glad I did that.

    Orange recipes: orange cupcakes. Pioneer Woman’s orange muffins, are amazing. Juice a ton of them and drain the pulp and make orange juice Popsicles and my favorite, orange juice ice cubes. It makes drinks way more entertaining with a hint of orange.

  112. Yumm! I was just peeling an orange earlier for me and my 2 1/2 year old :-) very sticky indeed but the sweet juices flowing from that fruit is totally worth it! And it allowed us to add a fun memory of bathtime afterwards!

  113. mmmm…florida oranges! looks yummy!

    Looks like Lainey is a natural photographer! Love her pictures!

  114. Mmmmm… oranges. How about making some marmalade you can have later in the year when it turns cold and remember the day all over again?

  115. You are making me want to drive to the nearest orange grove {probably at least a 15 hour drive} with my kids!!!! The pictures make the day look PERFECT. The words make me laugh and remember how hard making memories is sometimes. But OH SO WORTH IT.

    Another favorite post, Kelle.

  116. Every time I read your blog I think, if only I lived in FL instead of delightful (said with much sarcasm-we just got 6 inches of snow dumped on the Twin Cities overnight-so much for Spring) MN, we would be the best of friends. You so eloquently put your thoughts into words and allow others to tap into their beauty. I am all about trying to make good memories for my two kiddos as well. They are 3 and a half and 16 months, so their minds are ripe for memory making adventures. Last fall we went to an apple orchard as we will do every fall as long as we live here and my son LOVED every minute. My daughter was only 10 months old so this fall should be all that more exciting! We have lots of memory making to do until then though-lakes to swim in, parks to explore and maybe a few trips to Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America on those inevitable rainy summer days! Happy memory making to you and your girls :)

  117. Beautiful pictures as always. We have an orange grove inside of a park nearby(the park that is currently overtaken by little green wormy caterpillars). I can’t wait until my daughter is walking and we can expand our current gymboree and park excursions.

  118. My Aunt & Uncle have an orange grove… there is nothing like a tree ripened orange! They are SOOOOO much sweeter than store bought ones! Too bad I probably won’t get one for a while seeing that I live in WA, far from any good oranges…

    :-)

  119. Reading your post reminds me that we have yet to visit an orange grove with our son. I remember being little and going to an apple orchard with my family. We picked apples until our hands were red with the cold, then went inside for hot apple cider and fresh apple donuts. We probably fought and complained about the cold, but now all I can remember is the smell of hot apple cider and the taste of sugar-sprinkled apple donuts.

  120. I swear it was all the oranges I ate during my pregnancy that gave my little guy orange hair!

  121. Oh, I love this post. It was so great to see the sunshine and oranges on this snowy Minnesota afternoon.

    That’s such an awesome realization that even though it seems like your children hate the experience or aren’t having fun, perhaps deep down they are, and later you’ll find that out. So it shows how important it is to get out and make those memories.

  122. Oh, I so want to take my kids to an orange grove! My first time in an orange grove was during spring break in Lake Wales – the smell of the blossoms was so intoxicating. I will never forget that delicious smell! And I know what you mean by placing those wonderful childhood memories in the ‘perfectly magical’ box. I have a very full box.

    And you could use some of those oranges to make orange curd – yum! Here’s the link to the recipe:

    http://fromwhichthingsgrow.blogspot.com/2011/02/chew-on-this-orange-curd.html

    Thanks for always sharing! Cares

  123. ORANGE you glad you made the trek, made the memories, filled your glass a little higher! Love it as always and can picture some of those beautiful Bambaroos’ headbands on my little love!

  124. Your girls are beautiful!

  125. Lainey’s getting to be quite the good photographer. I love Nella’s orange face, she looked quite pleased with herself.

  126. great post! i am all about the adventurous outings. half way through i usually think…what was i thinking!? but remembering that the return far outweighs the hassle makes it all worth it!

  127. Next time we visit my sis-in-law in FL we are TOTALLY going to an orange grove. We’ve taken the kids to apple orchards, but don’t have any oranges in this part of TX. LOVE the pix, and love the yuckier details, too. Makes me feel a little more human 😉

  128. I thought for sure there would be an “Oh” photo in there. :) Beautiful memories and beautiful photos!

  129. BEST ROAST CHICKEN w/ORANGE and THYME

    1 whole roast chicken (gizzards, heart and neck removed….yuck!)
    3 oranges (1 zested, 2 sliced)
    8 red potatoes, quartered
    1 stick butter, softened
    2 red onions, cut into wedges
    2 cloves garlic, finely diced
    Lots of sprigs of fresh thyme
    salt and pepper to taste

    Wash and pat dry chicken. Place in center of jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with “lip” around edge. Zest one orange into butter and add garlic and fresh thyme, mix. Fill cavity of chicken with several wedges of onion, oranges and thyme sprigs. Carefully separate the breast from the skin and put the butter mixture between them. Rub more of the butter mixture all over the top and legs of the chicken. Place remaining onion wedges, oranges, potatoes and thyme all around the chicken and dot with remaining butter mixture. Roast at 400 degrees for 90 minutes. You don’t need to baste at all. This is a BEAUTIFUL dish and super easy to make….my family loves when I make it for them. You can also vary the orange and thyme with lemon and rosemary for a different twist. ENJOY!

  130. As always, your blog has inspired me. I know that when I have kids some day I’ll take your advice and make memories like these.

    Orange slushies might be fun to make!

    http://missgoodonpaper.blogspot.com/

  131. The photos are so amazingly gorgeous!! As are the girls:) Love the lovlies from the shop..

  132. great post! and yes, SO worth it. and yes, they always remember it differently, don’t they? i looove it! girlies who are game = the bomb. :)

  133. Here is a great recipe…technically it is for tangerines or clementines but I think it would work:

    http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/irresistible-clementine-sherbetrecipe-review-136997

    Enjoy!

  134. I know exactly what you mean about these types of adventures. Halfway through trekking across the city, I’m wondering what in the world I’m doing. But things usually work out and we have a fabulous time:0)

    I can’t believe how big Lainey is getting!

  135. we have so many fruit groves near my home…now i’m inspired to go take pictures in them with my girls. thanks! especially for the reminder that although sometimes a hassle, making memories is ALWAYS worth it!

  136. Ah, the memories of when Mommies where the babes… Aren’t we blessed to have those to look back on, and those to inspire us as we raise our littles. Cheers to the tears that eventually turn into smiles and cuddles!

  137. Love how honest you are. Getting to that special place is sometimes so much work and effort but arriving there….so worth it!! These are the memories our children will have forever.

  138. What a great post! Beautiful pictures of your precious girls! I find life is much more fun if I focus on what I have and the memories I can make with what is on my plate today. I think having a child with special needs brings that in to focus. Thank you, I’m so glad I found your site.

  139. Great pictures by Lainey! :) Definitely following in her Mama’s shoes already!! Looks like a great day!
    Happy Hump Day Hamptons!!
    ~Beth

  140. I have a 2 year old and a 10 month old…every outing is a disaster and success at the same time….the highs and lows just keep it from getting boring…but you may have just gave me the courage to brave a few more outings..

  141. Your Lainey looks like something out of a story about heat and southern heart. Like a little orange model. Beautiful.

  142. mmm…that picture of nella gobbling oranges makes this pregnant lady crave one. but not the shipped-in oranges, the juicy, sweet real oranges you can’t get in grocery stores!

  143. This post made me so thirsty! Seriously!! lol
    Loved all the pics! :)

  144. simply memorable!

    pictures are perfection

    xoxo
    cathy

  145. i could almost taste those oranges!

  146. so adorable!

  147. I am SOOOO jealous right now! My pregnant belly is saying “I want fresh picked oranges NOW!!!” lol…once again a fantastic post!

  148. yeah to schlepping all the stuff to make all the memories for our little ones! it IS hard work, but oh so worth it. they are not interested in perfection. it’s all about the little moments of love and light.
    shen

  149. I could have sworn there was nothing better than California orange groves!! Those sweet faces in the trees proved me wrong!!

    Almost every day I attempt a relaxing afternoon shower. Both my kids are the same age as yours, and some how my relaxing afternoon shower gets tossed on the floor with Rusty’s dirty diaper when they peak their cute little faces through the curtains. I never regret letting them in. Never.

  150. Completely random comment, but I just LOVE what Lainey’s wearing. The colors, style, complete with the ‘dickersons’.

    You just inspired me to ‘make a memory’.

    Esther Dush

  151. I love your blog. And I love this story. It makes me feel better about when I try so hard to make things perfect and end up telling my son, “this is fun. We’re having fun, okay?” It doesn’t always feel that way, but I hope he can look back like Lainey did and remember the good parts and not the stressed out, falling apart mom parts.

  152. I just love your blog! Thanks for reminding me that our adventures do not have to be perfect to be perfect memories. Now to decide what I will do with my littles this weekend to make more memories! :)

  153. I absolutely love the message in this post… I appreciate all of my childhood memories all the more now that I have two littles and realize just how much work went into each memory on my parents’ part! What a good reminder to continue getting out there … Particularly because sometimes the memories are better when things don’t go as planned!

  154. I am SO jealous! In Maine we have apples and pumpkins for grove-picking. This year I am determined to haul my pregnant-whale belly, my whining hubby and my 2 year old out for strawberry picking too. We’ll see how well it goes..

  155. As I am reading this, my son yells from the top of the stairs…”MOOOOOOOM, Ella pooped on the floor!” Nice.
    Anyhow, today, I am trying to clean my room, make my bed, do some laundry…ya know, the usual…but today I am not able to get anything done. My mind is not focusing and to make matters even more complicated for my simpleton mind, my 3 yr old triplets are OFF THE WALL! As they are jumping on my bed like wild monkeys, one of them yells, “Turn on the music, mama!!!” and in that moment, I made a conscientious decision to BE PRESENT…and I did just that ! I turned on the music and we danced…danced to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone”, some rap song from the 90s and best of all…”Brass Monkey” by The Beastie Boys! I thought, well what a special moment…my 3 monkeys jumping on the bed, us all dancing and dancing none the less to a song about monkeys! What a memory! Sorry for the long comment….Happy Wednesday!

  156. I would love to go to an orange grove. We have apple orchards here that we go to in the fall.

    Right now I’m just praying for sun and warmth :)

    As always, your girls are beautiful! Looks like Lainey is going to tell you she wants a cat. LOL

  157. Thank you for this post – its called to my Inner Ruby to get up and go. My 5 month old had an EEG today and is being evaluated for possible seizures. I’ve been wanting to curl up and stay in the house and not let the world in…..but now I want to go out and make a memory my baby and his big bro. Tomorrow is calling – its going to be awesome.

  158. Sometimes (for a brief moment) I am envious of my friends house. It’s always so tastefully decorated and her clothes are perfection. Then I remember that all of that money I could be spending on stuff, goes for something so much more….making memories. I would rather take my girls on an excursion than have the best “stuff” any day. Memories baby!

  159. Oh man, this reminds me of picking apples in the fall. I like that Florida has its own fruits to celebrate. Loving Lainey’s photography :)

  160. How fun and what cute pictures! That was so smart of you to have lainey wear boots I would have never thought about all the ants that would certainly be at an orange grove! I thought the pics she took were great my 3 year old doesnt even get peoples face in the pictures half the time- she must take after her mama :)

  161. Love everything about this. I just may have to quote the part about memories as an investment…with credit of course!! The orange grove is fabulous, despite and because of its imperfections. I am going to add that to my ever-growing life to do list!

  162. I needed this today. I stood in a friend’s kitchen today, looking at spring break & summer outing options….and wanted to cry. I’m just no good at things like this. I get stressed to the max by outings like what you photographed/described today. But then I read what you had to say, and I remembered the trips we took to the raspberry farm and the blueberry farm…I know now that I was stressed, hot and horridly sticky, but the girls and I just remember FUN! It makes the spring break & summer vacation outings we were planning in my friend’s kitchen seem that much better. Thank you–I NEEDED this today.

  163. LOVE.
    all of it.

    M

  164. I am a mom of twin 2 year old girls and from the time they were infants I took them everywhere. We go to parks, the zoo, museums, libraries, Target, etc…And since my husband works a lot I do most of it on my own. Everyone tells me how ambitious I am and how crazy I must be to take them everywhere but I just want them to have experiences and to create long-lasting memories.
    My fondest memory of childhood is walking to our local shopping center with my mom and brother, getting hot dogs, chips, and a soda from the Fenway Frank mobile, going to Stop and Shop and seeing Midge, our favorite cashier, and going to Child World. It was never about having the best toys or going to Disney. It was the little, everyday things we did that I still remember.
    Kim

  165. You are SO right – the memory of the event rarely includes all the horrible in-betweens that we notice when we are trying to emblazen “good times” in our children’s brains…just the sweet goodness that gets better with age and retelling. Sweet like those oranges. Beautiful. That was fun. Can we do it again?

  166. Perfect timing! I was poking around on the internet half planning a road trip to tennessee to visit family and wondering if it’s worth a 9 hour car ride with a toddler. It is. We’ll make it work, and we’ll make some memories. Thanks for the encouragement!

  167. OMG Kelle, this is my most favorite post ever. I am so the mom always trying to make memories and half way though wonder when the hell I was thinking. Always worth it. I LOVE what you said about memories being like an investment!

  168. Thank you for reminding me that just because it doesn’t “feel” perfect to me, doesn’t mean my boys aren’t having a blast!! I too, remember things from my child hood as near perfect, but my mom and dad have told me bits of the parts I have forgotten!!
    We have friends that are moving to your area this summer and now I know when to plan our trip down there. Have to be able to go orange picking!!

  169. I’m so glad that I found your blog before I’m a mama because it gives me a lot of perspective about how I want to raise my kids. Thanks for your honesty in all the trials, tribulations, and perfect moments that you have with your kids. :)

  170. Kelle – I don’t know what I love best about your blog, your raw and beautiful honesty, your gift with words, or the beautiful images that tell a story all on their own. Then I look at your site visitor counter and I cheer, because with every click of the mouse on to your site, the image of what family life with a child with Down syndrome is like is transformed. You are single-handedly illuminating for the world what many of us know from personal experience. Thank you.

  171. I LOVED this post because every time I read about your adventures with your girls I think “how is noone crying and they just go along with the plan and don’t complain or fight or fall or have some kind of disastrous scene happen before the end of the day like when I try to do something like that?” Glad to know noone’s plans go go perfectly :)Beautiful pictures as always. Loved Lainey’s orange outfit to go with the orange picking!

  172. Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder to celebrate each crazy moment with my kids!

  173. Hi Kelle,

    Your photos are beautiful, as always! It looks like it is so warm in Naples… we are still waiting for the snow to stop! (We are SO ready for spring!)

    -Kylie

  174. That reminds me of the time we went to the peach orchard in south Georgia but we were a week to early for peaches, so we decided to walk around the rows of strawberries that can normally be picked by the basket but not then because of the horrible draught. I thought the trip was a total waste, but my five-year-old often reminds me about the “really fun playground in the middle of the drive to Florida.”

  175. What…it’s not all fun and games???
    Haha..the reality makes the memories so much more meaningful.

  176. Here in California, we live just minutes from apple orchards like your orange orchard and we are itching to pick this apple season. Looks like you had a lovely time!

  177. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as one of your kids!!!
    I love that you are up for so many adventures.
    And I also love hearing that they are sometimes teary & ant-ridden hassles… because when we are out on one of our adventures & I think I just might lose it if one more thing goes “wrong”, I like to know that I am not alone. That the hassle can sometimes BE the adventure. :-)
    And it is always so very very worth it.
    xo
    Kate

  178. This reminds me of when a bunch of girlfriends and I went apple picking this past fall (PA apples=delicious!) Here’s a recipe for orange-cranberry biscotti, it’s SO GOOD dipped into your morning coffee. It only uses orange zest, but that’s better than throwing away the peel, right? Enjoy :-)

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Orange-Cranberry-Biscotti/Detail.aspx

  179. Love this post. As a mom of 4 beautifully wonderful kids we have had our share of adventures and many fun memories! Francesca Battistelli has a new song out called “This is the Stuff” and it reminds me of those crazy days that are well worth it!!

  180. Love it. My Christmases and family vacations are also storybook perfect memories. Your girls are so lucky to have a mama that wants to make those memories!

  181. You are such a beautiful talented photographer! It’s inspiring!

  182. Orange smiles, sticky sweet fingers & pigtails! What could be a better memory… You did good mama!

    I would love to bring my little one to a orange grove.
    We have cherry hills here in Northern Utah. My memories are picking and eat cherries until I got sick. But not sick enough, we still go every year!

  183. I love your blog. I couldnt agree more when you say “It’s always worth it.” Also, I often wonder if my memories are just how they seemed as a child too. But that is the magic of a childhood.

  184. I absolutely agree with you, I am CONSTANTLY packing Parker up to go on one excursion after another and I love it! He’s not old enough to remember yet, but I take a lot of pictures, and he seems so disappointed when we don’t go somewhere. I love it, he’s just like me.

    We live in Illinois, so no oranges growing on trees around here, but we go to the Apple Orchard every year and this year plan on going to pick blueberries so that will definitely be an experience! =)

  185. I couldn’t agree with you more! I decided early on in mamahood that children were not going to hold me back from experiencing life. So they come along with me on my runs, my races, my hikes, my museum jaunts, my lawn-mowing (just did it 30 minutes ago!), my concert-goings….my life. And it’s worth it.

  186. Looks wonderful! You’re so good and patient with your kids taking them on these fun excursions. Something I need to be better at!

  187. It’s almost always a disaster getting my kids out the door to go someplace and somewhere between my 3 year old whinning that he wants a Kashi bar and my 8 month old screaming her head off…I usually wonder why I bother. And then, we get to the park/museum/playground and there’s always one perfect moment. It’s like hitting the sweet spot when you’re playing golf. It what keeps you coming back!

  188. Thanks for this post. I’m a stay at home mama. Ya know, a mama that likes to stay at home. But I know that we can only make so many memories building a lego train for the 429th time or playing playdoh. I we are even officially potty trained so I can’t use that as a reason to not go anywhere! So thanks for the reminder and the encouragement!

  189. Your posts and pictures never cease to make me smile or to inspire me.

  190. I totally love the picture of Nella with orange on her face…I am far too OCD to let me kids indulge like that, but I wish I could let them just get messy!

  191. My husband and I have often said that everything got fun again once we had kids. Yes, it is more work, but strawberry picking, waterslides, movie nights and family adventures just aren’t the same without little bodies taking it all in. If we ever make it down to Naples we will be sure to check out the Orange grove with it’s ants, stickiness, excessive heat, and memories you can’t live without!

  192. Wow, I want to go wake my girls up (but I won’t) and hug and kiss them once more just to make yet another memory!

    I feel so rushed throughout the day that I forget to stop and smell the roses, take a picture or make a memory! Thanks for reminding me too!

  193. Kelle you are an amazing women, truly inspirational. I have a file of really amazing quotes that I keep. This one is being added to that file.
    “Making memories is an investment. Like buying stock guaranteed to increase its value. It’s win/win, Baby.” – Kelle Hampton

  194. At least it looks like Spring somewhere! Can’t wait for all that sunshine to show up here!

  195. So sweet & I totally agree. Memories are what it’s all about. I think as Moms we try so hard to make sure our children have the best ones. I loved your comment on how we see an event after time has past. . . I have so many from my childhood, that I wonder if they were really as ‘big’ as I recall them. Either way, it really doesn’t matter, does it? 😉

  196. Oh I am so jealous of your day. Minus the fire ants, those little jerks freak me out. As always the girls are just stunning and fresh orange cheeks just makes me want to smooch Nella all the more.

  197. Awesome! I’ve lived in the midwest all my life, but I still remember my probably one and only trip ever to an orange grove on a family vacation to Florida. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to take my girls their too!
    And you’re right, a lot of times it’s a huge hassle to take the kids on all these memory making trips – but it’s so worth it!

  198. makes me want to go out with my little one right now and make some memories! thanks for the inspiration to think past the hassle and see the beautiful opportunity!

  199. I remember being about… 11 or 12 and visiting an orange grove with my learning group to pick oranges and tour the historical landmarks/buildings around it… my sister and I were wandering through the trees, and we found a few grapefruit trees among them! We were so excited, we felt like we had found a secret treasure. :)

    -Kieran

  200. Tomorrow- I WILL strap my girls in my crappy, old stroller and have a picnic at the park. We have one car, and one hard workin daddy so we are at home a lot of the time, but tomorrow…we will picnic. Thanks, as usual for the inspiration Kelle :)

    Melissa

  201. Lainey is an awesome photographer already!

  202. Kelle-Sweet post, literally! You’re so right though…its sometimes a hassle but its always worth it in the end. Like tonight when I had to go to the store and the husband is out of town and it’s snowing (yep, its March 24th and its snowing in central NY!!)

    Love the tutu and headbands!
    Danielle trustinhim10@yahoo.com

  203. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! We battled 100 degree weather and bees last year to make our memory and after all the sweat and tears it was so worth it!!

  204. I’ve been reading ur blog for the last little, on and off. I started following last night after reading Nella’s birth story. I luved it!! All the luv and support. You honesty was moving, thank you for being so truthful! You’ve inspired me, and I am now the proud own of a Canon Rebel and hope to be able to take pictures 1/2 as good as you, of my own littles ;)Memories to treasure for years to come.

  205. Orange picking looks like so much fun, however its seems as though its never ending winter here. But i am still trying to make memories so we still bundle up and head outside all the time. Looking forward to warmer days. Love your kids beautiful faces.

  206. Heehee…reminds me of the disaster of a trip (so many memories!) we took to FL from the Mitten just WEEKS after Hurricane Andrew…oh my gravy! But sweet memories nonetheless!

  207. This post just echoes what I’ve been thinking for awhile … I often shy away from taking my little N on an “adventure” because of how much work it is but you’ve reminded me that it’s worth it! :)

  208. AHHH.. Orange picking.. I have to find someplace to take my princesses!!! Thank you again for showing us your life!!!

  209. I love making memories and now that I have my daughter (born a month ago) I can’t wait to make some memories with her. I love reading your blog and can’t wait to read what you and your family do next.

  210. DUDE I actually get embarrassed reading your blog and laughing to myself or find myself tearing up about just how big the kids are getting… your photos just get better… and I wish you the best!

    XO

  211. Love this post – it makes me wish I lived in Florida! ps- My Christmases were perfect too : )

  212. reason is… hope no one thinks I’m crazy- you know in that talking to yourself…laughing to yourself kind of way… just had to clarify:)!

  213. When I was about 9 years old my Daddy worked in Florida for several months and we went down to visit. My Mama snuck us into and orange grove in the middle of the night to play. We hopped the fence. It was fabulous fun.

  214. kelle- you rock! I just had to say that :-) I’m a working mama and I really struggle with that…I can stay home but I choose not to which creates a lot of guilt for me to sort through. Thanks for reminding me to push through the struggles and strive to make great memories for my girls!

  215. Love this post! I wish my daughter liked oranges! Nella looks so sweet eating hers! 😉

  216. Oh Kelle, you tell it so perfectly. The next time I’m dirty, tired, and grinding my teeth from all the whining, ill remember this post that it truly is always worth the hassle to let your kids experience something. Now if only I could get pictures like yours to go along with it so the memories look as sweet as our kids perceive them

  217. Thanks for the perspective! I would love to do more adventurous things with my girls, but sometimes it seems like such a hassle. Plus I live in MN where we just got 6 inches of snow today, so we’re sort of limited. Anyways, you reminded me that it’s worth the hassle because the girls do always have fun! Oh, and try weelicious.com for recipes. I love her stuff!

  218. Walking through an orange grove is on my bucket list. In fact, it’s days like this (32 degrees, gray, snowing…on March 23!) in Wisconsin that make me look at hubby and ask if we can’t move to Florida for just a little while. Just long enough for our little sweetie (also with T21!) to know what it’s like to be barefoot in December, to smell citrus on the air, and dip her toes in salty water.

  219. We don’t have orange groves but we do have apple orchards…it is a yearly ritual every fall followed up with many batches of homemade applesauce, apple pies, and apple cider.
    I love that you want to make these memories no matter the obstacles :)

  220. I completely agree that it is so worth creating these special memories. I try to remember that it’s all about adjusting your expectations – this allows for all kinds of things to go wrong but not letting it become the focus.
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Jenna

  221. Love your line “memories are an investment” so true! I’m right there with you, it’s so worth it. My little and I went to Mall of American yesterday to meet Clifford the Big Red Dog. Wasn’t the greatest rushing out the door, sitting in traffic with SNOW, and waiting in line to see the big guy. But it was so worth it to see the look on her face when she retold it to her Daddy! Thank you for sharing your stories, you inspire me to be a better mama!

    http://www.craigmilecrew.blogspot.com

  222. Your posts are always so timely for me. Spring Break is next week and I was just telling my oldest daughter that we’ve lived in Indy for 11 yrs and there are so many things we havent seen downtown that tourists see when they come to the city. We are going to pack everyone up (4 kiddos 3 yrs – 16 yrs) and head into the city next week. Im sure it will be an adventure!
    Blessings to you & yours! And happy Spring!

  223. I love these! I am going to go to bed craving oranges. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pictures with all of us getting hit with snow still!

  224. My daughter would LOVE a tutu! I love your blog, btw. I shared your birth story through Baby Center to my FB page the other day. Reading it over a year later still made me cry like a baby. 😉

  225. As always, after seeing your photos, I just want to hug you all!!! Love your adventurous attitude. Trying so hard lately to muster up the energy for my boys….still sooooo tired after having Nora. But yesterday I was successful: I took all three kiddos to a campground to do homework. Why not? It was a beautiful day and the fresh air was rejuvenating!

    Much love to you,
    Kelly

  226. Cried!!!!! Like a baby I did,Im all about strapping the kids in to make a mermory ,even though sometimes it is a hassle.

    Loved the pics, Ican smell the oranges here in Va !!!!

    We love you hampton family

    Love and Blessings
    the doughtys

  227. I needed this blog tonight. Because it is hard. But it is worth it.

    Thank you.

  228. What fun! I love adventures like this one! I took our kids to the blueberry fields a couple years ago, and I couldn’t believe I had never been! I was missing out on SO much! The kids loved it and we have now added it to our yearly adventure list! It’s so much work in the moment, but you’re right-the kids somehow only remember the BEST parts.

  229. Just found your blog- you so beautifully put into words and pictures mommy moments/thoughts/questions that reach right to my heart. This post absolutely reminded me of what is truly important. Thank you for that!

  230. Did Lainey dress herself? Because, oh, what a perfect outfit for a frolic in an orange grove!! A great memory indeed. Wish we had orange groves in Canada… :)

  231. I’m so grateful that my parents did everything they could to make sweet memories for me and my 7 siblings, and I, too, am hell-bent on doing the same for mine! Great post…you’re right, it’s ALWAYS worth it!

  232. you are amazing. seriously. i have stalked your blog for about 18 months now. Our kids are almost exactly the same (although mine are boys) and so your stories have an amazing familiarity about them. But the reason you are amazing is your joy, your love and your heartfelt genuine grasp of life. I check my RSS feed obsessively waiting for your next post, and when ive read it, i suck it in, fill my lungs and get on with my day. You make me hug my kids tighter, love them harder, gaze into their eyes longer and stare at their sleeping bodies with overwhelming pride. I am not a big group of girlfriends girl, and nor do i throw beautiful & whimsical kids birthday parties. I am an intimate and small gatherings kids of person, but somehow, your blog still touches me. You tell how life works for you, and you tell what makes it hard. you dont judge, or condemn. your life feels genuine. i feel like i am reading your own journal, not a story to showcase your life of perfection as i have often come across before. anyway. thats all. i just wanted to say, that your posts inspire me. and its the acknowledgment of sticky orange fingers or clothes piled on the couch that make me come back again and again. thank you.

  233. My 20-month old daughter has the same tights Lainey is wearing with the blue tutu . . . Sophia totally needs a blue tutu! Well, “needs” might be a little exagerated, but oh the memories we could make!

  234. I have 5 children, and the oldest is 5. I struggle with getting OUT there because, well, can you even imagine the hassle? But you are so right, when you make the effort, and make the memory, every time the kids retell it, it gets more magical. Thank you for the reminder, you have an uncanny sense of timing that always seems to nudge me in the right direction just when I need it!

  235. what a beautiful, honest post!

  236. I need to read this post to my husband who always questions why we make the road trips to the Pumpkin Festival, lug the kids to the fair, or visit some overpriced event that sounds way better on paper than is in person. It’s about the memories dude. Love these photos–and I just recently “liked” this farm on FB..but have yet to go. Once again, you’ve sealed the deal.

  237. I have 3 kids under 3 and everytime we leave the house it is a hassle … BUT I know we are making priceless memories my kiddos will share for a lifetime:) We recently packed up went to my sister-in-laws farm and let them all ride her horse and followed that up with a trip to a hole-in-the-wall bakery for a cupcake … needless to say a hassle but perfect! I so enjoy your blog;)

  238. Oh my gosh, what a fun sounding outing and memory to make with your girls.

  239. Thanks for sharing about being another momma who will pass through the hassles to get to the fun in life! I have five little ones ages 14 months to ten years and when I think back to the things we’ve done that seemed more hassle than fun, mostly the good memories shine through and the hassle of it become something to laugh about.

  240. Thanks for reminding me to slow down, and enjoy LIFE! And to make those memories with my littles! I love your blog, because you so beautifully capture all these memories so perfectly.

  241. sounds like a memorable day.my husband loves picing fruit at the farm, i hate pick your own fruit, but i guess kids love it. i would rather pick my own at the supermarket. just the thought of theose sticky hands makes me want to wash my own. i would much rather make a giant mud mess in the backyard. keep living and having fun!

  242. These pictures are gorgeous! And I love your words and the message as well.

  243. Thank you for your blog! I am a new reader and posts like these refresh my view on motherhood. I have always loved taking care of my two little girls but thanks to you, I’m beginning to see the true magic in little every day things. You are inspiring in your optimism and I loved getting a glimpse into the reality that is trips with little ones, even when the day is wonderful overall and the pictures turn out beautifully.

  244. Ohmygosh – the sweetness of that piglet! Made me laugh out loud! Not to mention some sweetness of Lainey, Nella and those oranges! Looks like Lainey may have gotten your photography gene! :)

  245. I know exactly what you mean about struggling to make memories. I am constantly interrupting nap times to take my 10 month old son to the park or the zoo. It is always worth some crankiness to see the joy and wonder on his face when he sees the animals at the zoo. I suggest that for your next adventure. :-)

  246. Thanks for your honesty. I always read your posts about the trips you take and the things you do and am always in awe. It always sounds so perfect. Thanks for letting us know it’s not. I was starting to feel like I must be the only one who can’t manage to take my one kid out to do something without a melt down, or a minor (or major) problem. :)

  247. It’s like your version of the apple orchards. :)

  248. Oh, how I wish I was a Florida local to visit the orange grove. We do have an awesome apple orchard, but sadly we’ve only visited during their Halloween festivities. I think you just motivated me for a spring-time apple orchard trip!

  249. I love your positiveness. I can do this. Thanks for sharing reality :)

  250. One of my favorite childhood memories was picking oranges in my grandmas backyard and I don’t remember any ants or ever feeling sticky!

  251. These pictures made me happy. So much beauty and makes me miss my California home. Oh those beautiful orange groves in CA…and Florida but, CA is where I experienced them;0. Gorgeous!

  252. Tough decision this time, but I like the one of her walking in front of the street signs on the side of the building and the one above that where she’s dead-staring into the camera with those adorable pig tails and holding the orange like, yeah, I picked this one — myself: today an orange, tomorrow the world.

  253. I love your photos but the one with Nella eating her orange and it on her face she looks so much like Lainy which I had not seen as much in this picture. Love your post. Memories are the greatest thing that can Never Be Taken Away… That is what my Mom always told me.

  254. My 3 year old wants both the kitty and Nella to come for a visit!

  255. I absolutely adore your childhood memories, the photos in this post, and your honesty about how things went behind the camera. Love.

    P.s. oranges can be used in marinades for seafood/chicken dishes. Delish!

  256. Props to you for making that effort to give your girls memories and experiences! Lainey is a photographer in the making, too! :o)

  257. I lived in FL for 15 years and did I once think to visit an orange orchard… NO! Oh my. Now, that’s a regret I’m going to have to fix. Beautiful photos! I think it’s awesome how Nella eats all of these wonderful fruits!

  258. Kelle, what an awesome day! The pics are lovely and your words are beautiful as always.

    Can’t wait to take Sienna to pick some oranges!
    Creating memories…beautiful memories! That’s what’s is all about.

    I’m so grateful to have found your blog. :)

  259. Thank you for this.

    So many times, I’m left feeling as though all of the work, planning and effort to have fun is for naught because no one is having fun and I’m actually miserable. But you’re right that it’s worth it.

  260. So true– today was another day where what I thought would happen was interrupted by life, but when the kids described it to daddy at the dinner table the tears were forgotten and the memory had taken hold. I sometimes forget when I look at your blog that it’s snapshots and there must be tears and the occational tantrum in your house too.

  261. This post is pure awesomeness. I think every mom needs to remember what’s really important. And you make every experience you have seem sooo amazing that it is SO great to hear that the kids aren’t always happy and not every aspect of the experience was perfect. Because every trip we go on has many of those moments!! And I’ll get frustrated and wonder why did I bother … but this post was perfect. The kids do love it deep down and it’s all totally 100% worth it. Thank you.

  262. I really liked that you shared the behind the scenes version of the pictures…the crying, the sticky hands, the ants…..
    it’s nice to know it doesn’t just happen to me!

    Thanks for showing us real life, and your gorgeous pictures. Your kiddos are so blessed for a mommy that helps create memories for them.

  263. I appreciate that you added the not-so-hot part of your orange grove adventure. That is real and that’s what makes your blog so touching. We could all imagine the ants, sticky fingers, fussy kids. I love the last picture of Nella. She is so lovely. And your eldest is precious as well. I tell everyone about this blog.. they think I’m being creepy and pushy until they see for themselves.. :)

  264. I love how you suck the life out of everyday with your girls! I pray when my baby love gets here I can do the same.

  265. Orange you glad you live in Flordia!? Oh the memories you are all making!!

  266. I LOVE that picture of Lainey with her hand on her hip! Precious!

  267. your words are currently changing my life. my husband and i were surprised a few months back (one month after we were married) to discover that i am pregnant! at first i was frightened to tears, because we are both in grad school and not completely prepared. but reading your blog has made me so completely thrilled about being a mom that august, my baby’s birth month, can’t come fast enough! i understand being a mom isn’t easy. but the joy is worth it.
    and we find out what it will be in almost one week! praying for a girl, but a boy would be a blast too!
    really, all i wanted to say is thank you :)

  268. Love, love, love these pictures!! The one with Nella with the orange all over her face is my favorite. I try to make memories with my kids, and I always worry they are not going to be as great as I hoped. Like the time we went to the Botanical Gardens and all of the coy fish had died. I thought it was horrible, but my son still thinks it was great!

  269. Orange picking looks like soooo much fun! I would love to do that someday! :) Love your post, as always. 😉 Great pics. Great…everything! Happy Wednesday!

  270. Family Folklore- that what I call it. All the little stories that make the shared memory. One of 4 siblings. Because we all remember, it HAS to be true :)

  271. Thank you for this post. You are always so uplifting.

  272. I’ve lived in Florida (Orlando and Sarasota) and never followed through on going to an orange grove – so glad you went, I’m inspired to go!
    Also, my flowergirl will be 1.5 yrs old when I get married, those tutus would look SO SO CUTE on her!

  273. I think about the memories my son will have everytime we have a new adventure. This is the main reason we love to start traditions!

  274. Loving the colors that were so abundant on your outing today! And especially loving that little angel in her headband! So adorable!

    (And I am hoping you aren’t allergic to fire ants like me — that would have done me in for sure:)

  275. That picture of Nella (next to last photo) is so stinkin’ pretty! She looks like Lainey. Glad to know that other Floridians are enjoying the produce.

  276. Thanks for another collection of beautiful photos! My husband can now tell when I’m reading your blog because I’m constantly ohh-ing and ahh-ing. It looks like it was a fabulous trip, warts and all. And on a side note, I know EXACTLY how it feels to stop in the middle of a 45-minute road trip to feed a baby.

  277. I love the “imperfectness” of having something turn out to be perfect. We took our 3 boys to an all you can pick strawberry patch this past summer when I was huge and pregnant. Even though I was miserable, bloated and hot, I couldn’t help but smile everytime they ran to give me a hug and covered my wonderful white sundress in red smiles and red handprints. They are already asking me when they can go back. I still have yet to get the stains out of the dress, but it makes me smile everytime I look at it. Nothing tells you that you’re loved like messy kisses and hugs.:)

  278. Loving your lovely photos from snowy Wyoming :)

  279. We have a kitty kitty that looks just like this little fella, and boy do we love him! He follows my little girl EVERYWHERE and watches over her every move. Such sweet memories Kelle, happy Wednesday to you!

  280. I am actually glad to read that your adventures sound like mine with the tears, frustration, sticky hands… we don’t have fire ants, but something else always bites us in the ass!! Haha! My son isn’t old enough to retell his version of the memory, but this keeps me motivated to keep at it despite the seemingly imperfect experiences. Maybe letting go and just living the experience is what truly makes it memorable.

  281. Thank you for reminding me that the struggles and annoyances of getting out the door are SO worth it in the end!
    Tomorrow we’re totally exploring!

  282. lovin the big orange grin on nella baby~ all the pics are gorgeous.

    thanks for keeping it real w/ sharing how things actually went down.. that, to me, was the best part of all. because it shows once again that nothing of value comes easily, right. there’s always a price.

    made me think of this quote-

    “every day we make deposits into the memory banks of our children”

    needed the reminder you gave that it’s, “oh, so worth it!” after one of those long days that fill these short years!

    thanks, kelle

  283. When my son was newborn, we started breakfast picnics. We were already up thanks to a baby who never seemed to sleep and the sun would beckon and the ocean would murmur and we’d pack up, buy something breakfasty at the grocery store and spread our blanket out on the grassy look-out of our local park. As the kids grew older, we’d bring our current reading book and I’d read as they ate. Then they’d run and play, and come back for another chapter. In case of bad weather, I’d throw the blanket out on the living room floor and we’d still have fun. If my kids carry the tradition of breakfast picnics on to their kids, I will be one very happy Momma/Grandma!

  284. “Sucking-the-marrow excursions come with the hassle” it is so good to hear you actually say that, because when i see pictures of all your adventures they are so beautiful it makes it look so easy! i thought maybe i was the only one whose adventures came w/ little struggles and mishaps!!!
    thank you for being you kelle. you make me feel good about the mom i am and inspire me to be even better.

  285. I LOVE that Lainey is taking your photo!

  286. Love the blog, love the etsy shop!

  287. Love your blog, seriously it makes me happy every time I read it. But you have got to stop using that baby bjorn! my back and neck screams everytime I see it in a picture. get an ergo or a beco, it’s time. they’re much more versatile and much easier on YOUR body since Nella has way outgrown the bjorn.

  288. Oh My Goodness… Lainey is a natural born photog! And all of your pictures of Nella seem to glow! I know your a wonderful photographer… but I’m sure a lot of that glow is just… Nella. She is just delish!

  289. Love Lainey’s photography!!! She’s a natural!

    Love Nella eating the oranges. I am inspired to give my littlest (1 week younger than Nella) some orange! She’d probably love it!!!

    Love that making a memory can go be a messy ordeal but in the end, its so worth it!

  290. I love this story! I definitely have “magical memories” from my childhood! Your posts are so incredibly encouraging and inspiring. I check constantly for something new – a constant craving for more I suppose. It’s typically the highlight of my work day. I’m usually so pumped up after reading the newest post that I can’t wait to tell the first person I see, all about what Kelle had to say today.

    It amazes me how often my life or my friends lives happen to go along with your newest story – maybe it’s because we are all mommies but nonetheless we’ll always appreciate knowing that we aren’t alone in this crazy land called MOTHERHOOD.

    The oranges looked amazing! Lainey’s photography skills are fantastic 😉 Many of your stories and memory making moments inspire a lot of similiar moments I try to create with my 1yr old. Today we played with chalk outside for the first time – she had a ball and I only fell in love with her and her little smile that much more – who knew that was possible. So thank you for sharing your stories, your memories, and for inspiring so many of ours.

  291. Thank you for being real. I would have guessed that your outings were hassle-free. You put into words exactly how I feel about getting out there and *doing* something with the kids. It can be so hard…but it IS always worth it.

    And your trip was worth it for the GORGEOUS pics alone. The sunlight, the oranges, the colors, the girls….just beautiful.

  292. Kelle,
    I just love, love, love that even though your photos are beautiful and your girls are beautiful, and it looks like everyone had a good time, you were able to tell about a side of Motherhood that is such a challenge sometimes. Making memories IS hard work and hearing you tell about how it’s all worth it reminds me once again that it’s going to be worth it when I pile my 2 into the car tomorrow to drive far, far away for a fun day out of the house! Thanks for keepin’ it real.

  293. Wow! Nella is getting so big! Love that completely satisfied smile on her face in the picture with orange juice all over her cheeks.

  294. I love taking my kids places even though it is not easy with a 3 year old and almost 2 year old! Sometimes you just gotta get out of the house!! Love the pics of your girls! They sure are growing up. Karen H.

  295. This recipe doesn’t use that much actual orange, but it’s a great use for the leftover peels!

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-Potato-Oranges/Detail.aspx

  296. I love how much you LOVE life. It inspires me to be a better momma to the two sweetest little boys. I just love your blog and get so excited when I see a new post in my reader!! Keep inspiring!

  297. Oh. my. gosh. This post had me in laughing tears because I’ve so been there with the ant family and all their dear extended relatives. I.have.so.been.there.

    But I do have to say I’m jealous of the fact that your excursions still end with your hair perfectly intact. Mine lives in a perpetual state of ragged lopsided pony tail. I keep tell myself it’s the mark of the warrior princess….but I wonder what those around me are thinking (c:

    Great post. Thanks for reminding me it’s all worth it with our babies

  298. So I haven’t really been in a great place for a while now, and every day that I open up a new post from you, I let it sit, not wanting to read it in a down mood because I don’t want to cheapen your posts or cheat them of their brilliance. But eventually I give in knowing that I won’t be in that nice rainbow-y place I want to be, so I read anyway. And then I feel stupid because I’m barely into it and realise that it’s outlooks like yours that HELP me and is what I need. I’m so glad you spoke about whinging kids because it feels like whenever I try to make a nice memory, it all goes wrong and I wonder why I’m not one of those mums who know what they’re doing. What am I doing so wrong that my kids don’t get those perfect sunshiny times?

    I’m working on releasing my inner bad-ass. She’s still a little tied up in there, but I’m now pulling her out as well as her pushing, so with both pushes and pulls, surely she’ll be making her entrance soon – and it will be bad-ass!

  299. Completely magical!! LOVE it, that’s how we feel about our blueberry orchards here in MI! Making memories in the dead of summer heat, crying hot babes, eating berries, amazing time… and making magical memories!! :)

    ~Tabitha

  300. Childhood memories are the best! Bravo for following in your mother’s steps and making new memories with your beautiful girls. What a legacy!

  301. My mind is suddenly flooded with memories of my childhood…my parents were also makers of great memories. By the way, when you go to the park to feed the ducks, watch out for the goose that likes to chase little girls!
    Thanks for lifting my spirits every time I read your blog!

  302. we have an apple grove we go to every year… your orange grove sounds splendid… love the pics of your girls!

  303. I heart oranges. What beautiful sunny pictures to warm my cold day up here in the Midwest.

    Yes, you are so right. Doing things with your kids, even if it means being completely exhausted by the end of it, is so worth it. Making memories with the kids= priceless.

  304. OMG! Your girls are BEAUTIFUL! Such gorgeous pics of the two sisters in the orange grove! As a new Mom, I am all about making memories for my girl! But, yes, it can be challenging! My 13 month old baby girl has such a fire in her, such a sassiness…I feel like she is growing so fast! I just want to cherish every second of her childhood…ever trip to the zoo, bookstore, swimming pool, etc. And although she might not remember this time when she is so young, I will. And, that’s really what life is all about…the moments and memories! :)

  305. We recently ventured to the Houston rodeo with our two girls (3.5 and 2.5 yrs old) on a whim, forgetting the stroller! That was a memory I’ll never forget! :)

  306. Oh how I love making memories with my sweet girls. The ones that really give me a good chuckle are the grocery store trips where I’m dropping coupons while trying to steer the gigantic plastic car/cart and my girl is screaming and throwing her shoes out of the plastic window while eating a pound of grapes and as soon as we get home she announces “momma, that was a really fun trip.” ah that’s why we do it.

    Love the headbands !! My little white-haired angel neeeeeds it so everyone will stop calling her ‘HE’ ha!

  307. jealous! we don’t have those in IN. :) we do have fabulous apple orchards come fall though! beautiful pictures!
    mindy

  308. You know I remember the endless sea of presents too. Loved the magic of Christmas with a big family. Lainey looks so cute in these pictures. I really love the one with her hands behind her back. She looks so big.

  309. Lainey is getting so tall!!! Looks like a great time! Nella seems to be enjoying all those oranges….

  310. must.find.local.orange.grove

  311. as we were driving through florida one year, my dad stopped on the side of the road after much begging on my part for an orange. he bought a huge ass bag of oranges from someone … and i will always have that memory of how amazingly wonderfully delicious that orange was. no orange has ever tasted like sunshine. please remind me to come back to florida to try another?

  312. Amazing pictures as always…I would love to take my family to an Orange grove…I think it’s going on my bucket list! Love the tutu!!!!!!

  313. Nella’s smile could melt any heart I swear! It looks like you guys had a great time. Your right, and I needed a reminder, that even though it seems more hassle than it’s worth at times the little trips and special things are what I remember too.

  314. What you wrote about, is what I strive for. That is what I want for my kids. We are memory makers, memory keepers and memory seekers.
    On Monday, both kids crying and pushing an empty stroller we still made it to the aquarium and had a great time. We had moments, but it was still amazing.

  315. Someone just recommended your blog to me a few days ago. And I love it so much that I literally started at the beginning and read all the way until now. You have a gift of taking the simple things in life and making them valuable and important. I hope I can do the same in my life!

  316. Very cute. Thanks for giving me a kick in the butt that with a weekend coming up, it’s time to take my little one on an adventure. No excuses!

  317. It reminds me very much of apple picking up here. Hm, we have a while to wait for that, but with the summer in between, I think I can handle that.

    I think I know what you mean about the perfect-ness of memories from childhood. I’m excited that my daughter can help bring back some of the magic that is so hard to keep once we get older.

    Great post, as usual.

  318. Oh, of course you inspire me…can I be like you when I grow up?

  319. By far my FAVORITE POST yet!

  320. FANTASTIC! I also remember my mother cycling around with me sitting on the tiny rack above the back wheel. She would seriously put a throw cushion off the couch on top of the rack and place a 5 year old me on it and cycle me around! I remember clinging of to the seat of her old green bike for safety, sounds of the springs under her seat and the way her maxi skirt blew in the wind! We were always going to the beach or the park this way. Thank you for reminding me of this!

  321. Now I want an orange… :-)

    Hayes is now 15 months old and I can’t really say we’ve made any super special memories but I’ve planned our first family vacation for next week. Here goes nothin’!

  322. I spent an entire trip to Florida trying to find the grove I had gone to with my Poppy as a kid….it had been turned into a neighborhood…but ohh the memories! Thanks for letting me relive them again with your pictures!

  323. This post is one word…INSPIRING! I too remember my childhood as magical! My Mom would describe it the same way, and she swears my sister & I never cried! Now, since we know that can’t be true, we have to believe that the HAPPY memories leave an impact on us. I love making memories with my sweet little 8 month old boy, and I can’t wait to have story upon story upon story to remember and smile about. Oh…and it looks like Lainey is following in her Mommy’s footsteps and is going to be an amazing photographer too!

  324. I always wonder if you think about the outfits you put your kids in before you go places, the colors they are wearing are so cute with the color palette at the orange grove. I love it. They are such beautifully taken pictures! The closest thing we have here is apple orchids! We’ve never gone, but you are inspiring us to do so this year – it’s being penciled into our “great ideas for a sunny afternoon” Thanks so much for the inspiration, darling!

  325. The last picture of Lainey belongs in an ‘Old South’ orange juice advertisement…glorious :)

  326. I just want you to know I ordered all the Mamalode magazines published so far, and I am loving them.

  327. girtghfjghjkkolkoljmghbgfgf-My almost 3 year old daughter Kallie wanted to leave a comment also. LOL We enjoy reading your blog and looking at the pictures together. She always says those my friends momma?!?!?! I of course tell her yes they are baby:)

  328. LOVED this post!! We just did the same thing in my parents grove in northern california…captured some exquisite shots of my sweet husband hoisting our sweet girl into the tree to pick the perfect oranges!! Something everyone should do at some point with their babes!!

  329. What beautiful pics! Love the colors and the story is beautiful too. Your girls will always remember that trip to the orange grove!

  330. I love this. I often feel the same way when I’m struggling to get two girls, 2 and 6 months, ready in time and out to some venture. But it is always worth it. I hope, hope, hope that my girls will have amazing memories of our outings. So jealous of your beautiful weather!!

  331. I need to show my husband this post. We just celebrated my son’s 1st birthday and everything had to be perfect. I spend weeks making my own decorations, planned the perfect menu, ordered the cutest shirt for him to wear and made sure that he had an amazing first birthday cake… yes, it would have been easier to buy everything or have someone else do it for me but it’s the memories baby… He might not remember but there will be pictures and stories. I am so big on creating amazing memories for my boys and yes, it is so worth it even when it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you planned. Loved those pictures of Nella with the oranges… She is a doll!!!

  332. I wish we lived near orange groves. So cool. Love that tutu! Do they make them in a woman’s size 8? :o)

  333. Happy Happy Wednesday! Hope you have a GREAT rest of the week!

  334. I seriously feel like I should be paying you to read your blog! I look forward to your posts and sit down with my tea to read. So, thank you!

    I can’t agree with you more about creating memories. My sister and I often have a debate on how we spend our fun money. She would rather shop for material things (clothing, electronics etc). While I’d rather spend the money on travel. I

    I 100% agree that making these memories is an investment!

    PS I love how you gave some behind the scenes. The photos are gorgeous. It looks so perfect, and it’s good to know that in everything we do, there is some imperfections (ie fire ants – ouche!)

  335. Great Memories :) and the Wilber picture totally made me laugh..

  336. You and you’re mother are wonderful… tomorrow the boys and I are venturing out somewhere! Thanks for the inspiration.

  337. Now I want oranges :)

  338. AAhhhhhh yes making memories….one of the most amazing parts of being a parent and a family. Thanks for the inspiration to get out of the house and explore (once this rain lets up!)

  339. what a blast! you’ve inspired me to go orange picking with the kids soon :)

  340. Here is a recipe for an AMAZING Chocolate Caramel Orange Tart!

    Veralynn

    Check out my musings- currently featuring my very first giveaway!
    Joie de Veralynn

  341. Thank you for the perfect antidote to our snow day. Your photos were just the thing needed as we get dumped on with another 8 inches of winter mess, and they will inspire me to get out in it with my daughter tomorrow. Snowballs aren’t quite as refreshing as oranges…but we will make memories regardless!

  342. I can just smell the oranges now. Mmmmmm…… Man, I lived in FL for 27 years and never once went orange picking. What a beautiful idea. Glad the girls had so much fun!

  343. i needed this! i definitely succumb to the “eh… that’s too much of a pain in the ass” sometimes but you’re so right, it’s always worth it! these photos are beautiful and so is your love for your babies.

  344. what an amazing adventure and great way to make memories for your kids! Thank you for sharing!

    I love the pictures in this album! You all look so spring-like it is a nice change to all the drab up north right now!

    Enjoy your oranges! Maybe try Asian Orange Chicken? or maybe Orange Sherbet to cool off the hot spring days?

  345. Thank you Kelle – I so needed to read this!! It seems I struggle with my 3 yr. old daughter, Addy, a lot lately. Completely whiney & crabby nonstop! I try to take her and do something fun and she just sucks the fun right out of it! But reading your message here has made me re-think that thought. I am making memories with her and it is totally worth it – even if it means more work for me – it’s worth it in the end, for her! Tomorrow is supposed to be a cruddy day weather-wise here in Illinois, so to the mall to ride the carousel we shall go! Also, I cracked up and laughed out loud at your comment about the cat & the red boots! :0)

  346. Love the orange grove pictures…what a nice treat as we have snow and ice. Looks like you had a great time!

  347. We have a fantastic u-pick orange grove just outside of the Disney area here too. It’s wonderful and so much fun. They even have a beautiful fishing dock, playground, tractor rides, etc. Highly recommend it!

    The pictures of the kids are just beautiful!!! Love the ones of Nella eating the orange. So cute!

  348. SO SO SO wishing we weren’t in WA state but in FL so we could enjoy the warm weather and orange picking and eating. Love the pics–your girls are so pretty!

  349. another good post. you should turn your entries into a coffee table book.

    and, I love that Lainey always rocks boots. is that your doing or hers?

  350. That looks like so much fun.
    2 things I want to if I visit Florida. Pick oranges, and meet you and your family.

  351. Kelle,
    Seriously, I needed these words more than air today. I have 3 girls under the age of 3 (twins followed quickly by another bonus babe). As a stay at home Mama, I do my best to get us out into the world to fulfill my ambitious plans of exploration & adventure. I often glance around at the moms with one little darling duckling who is obediently waddling behind & give a sigh as I juggle all of our moving parts, trying to appear somewhat sane. It’s worth it, it’s worth it, it’s worth it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your words excite me… I cannot wait to relive these moments through their stories & memories one day. Thanks for the encouragement.

  352. Here are some things I love about your blog:

    1. Amazing soundtrack
    2. Breathtaking pictures
    3. Beautiful children
    4. Insight and clarity

    Thanks for posting–love it!

  353. I lived in Fort Myers for 8 years and have yet to visit an orange grove, but always wish I did- because I love the smell when we drove by.
    Lainey could be in an orange juice add in the picture with her hand on her hip looking sideways. I love that picture!

  354. My family occasionally used to make orange syrup to put on pancakes. They used orange juice concentrate, but I bet it’d be way more yummy using fresh squeezed juice. I’ll see if I can scrounge up the recipe for you…

  355. Kelle,

    Seriously, I needed these words more than air today. I have 3 girls under the age of 3 (twins followed quickly by another bonus babe). As a stay at home Mama, I do my best to get us out into the world to fulfill my ambitious plans of exploration & adventure. I often glance around at the moms with one little darling duckling who is obediently waddling behind & give a sigh as I juggle all of our moving parts, trying to appear somewhat sane. It’s worth it, it’s worth it, it’s worth it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your words excite me… I cannot wait to relive these moments through their stories & memories one day.

  356. Amazing photos-as always! Love the photos with the cat! So cute! Now I want oranges…..yum yum!

  357. Love these photos! What wonderful composition and color.

  358. i too have always wanted to just stop at a grove (or some other fruit orchard depending on the day) as I drive past time after time. it’s funny how often we think about things like that, but never do. it looks wonderful, and the girls are adorable as always.

  359. Thank you for this beautiful reminder that it is worth the effort. Lately the snow snow snow makes me not want to put forth all that effort but the smiles are worth it!

  360. You are totally blogging my thoughts today as I wrestled my two girls into a stroller and took them to the park. Nature was reenacting the opening scene of The Wizard of Oz, and we were nearly blown away, but I was determined to play outside during an unusual burst of warm weather!

    Love all of the pictures! Gorgeous!

  361. Such a wonderful reminder…. not everything has to be perfect to be perfect! LOVE your blog!

  362. Tene’s Minnesota Orange Cookies:)
    1 ½ c brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 t vanilla
    1 c chopped dates (easier to chop if you mix in a bit of the flour)
    1 t baking soda
    2 t baking powder
    1/3 t salt
    1 c butter, softened
    1 c sour cream
    1 c chopped nuts
    3 c flour
    1 t grated orange rind

    Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Beat well. Add dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream and orange rind. Stir in dates and nuts.

    Drop on a cookie sheet (ungreased). Bake about 12 minutes at 375°.

    Cool before frosting with:

    Icing

    2 T melted butter
    3 T orange juice
    1 t grated orange rind
    2 c powdered sugar

    Makes 6-7 dozen medium cookies.

    They freeze well.

  363. your photos are always gorgeous but these today were SOOO BEAUTIFUL!!! The colors of the orange grove and your girls were the perfect combination! Happy Wednesday!!

  364. I always see an event completely different than my boys. It seems to be a complete disaster and they remember it for many months. Levi has really changed the way I look at outings. I used to be so CRAZY about schedules and keeping the boys on a nap schedule because I selfishly wanted my ME time. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy ME time, but my ME time has changed. My ME times consists of my boys now. Crazy how life changes and so does your perspective.

  365. What a delightfully juicy day that looks like! And the pictures that Lainey took, woah, you have a little photog on your hands!

  366. Beautiful post! Love love love your blog! I love that you carry Nella on your chest. May I suggest that maybe a beco or ergo carrier would make life a little easier? Much more supportive and they have sleeping hoods to keep the babes from falling over. Keep making memories!!

  367. I always love your posts but I think this is one of my favorites! Maybe it is the timing of it coming as I am completely overwhelmed with trying to do everything that needs to be done ( adoption stuff,kids,homework,life in general) and doing it solo since my husband is an accountant and is non existent until April 15…..and then I try and fit some grandsons memory into it all and end up feeling like it was more work than it was worth and this post reminded me that it is ALWAYS more worth than work in the long run!!!! Thank you once again for hitting it on the nose and giving me a needed reminder of what it….life……is all about!!!!

  368. I love the picture of Nella looking at the cat. Her face is priceless. It reminds me of my 8 month old daughter and our cat.

  369. Oops…I meant grandeos memory….not grandsons memory

  370. I LOVE the picture of Nella by the basket of oranges! Her smile is so beautiful! There are many places I would like to go with my kids. Maybe it is time to pack the diaper bags and hit the road! Time to make some awesome memories (whether I think they are awesome at the moment or not)!

  371. I love the grove! It’s so warm and sunny looking. I am in snow covered southern alberta. One day, I would love you to photograph my kids! You just have a way of doing it! I love Nella’s smile as she is eating the orange! Precious.

  372. I love the grove! It’s so warm and sunny looking. I am in snow covered southern alberta. One day, I would love you to photograph my kids! You just have a way of doing it! I love Nella’s smile as she is eating the orange! Precious.

  373. So true about it always being worth the hard work to make memories! So many times I feel like just staying at home because it’s easier, but I never regret taking my kids out for new & fun adventures! Thanks for sharing yours!

  374. That’s how I feel about our life in Vermont. No one wants to go out in 20 degree weather to try fresh maple syrup, but now that we have, we’ll go every year because my son LOVED fresh donuts dipped in even fresher syrup. The memory (and photos!) were worth it. http://vermontwhitneys.blogspot.com/2011/03/sugaring.html

  375. The pictures of Nella in the tree, that Lainey took? I thought it was Lainey, until I realized that you hadn’t changed her outfit, and it was little Nella! She’s looking so much like her older sister.

  376. The orange picking looks like fantastic fun and thanks for the inspiration to get out of the house with my littles and have some fun!

  377. I love the picture of Lainey holding the cat. Something about the look on the cat’s face is hilarious!

  378. So sweet and sticky! I’ll take the cat! Just a funny place for a cat to be.

    :o)

  379. Those oranges look delectable! Wish I was in the area and could visit. We are still defrosting here in NE :( Thanks for providing a ray of sunshine through your photography!

  380. I love the message of this post, and I also love how you dressed Lainey so apropos! :)

  381. Your “hell-bent” mother is the kind of mother that I wish to be. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. Your daughters are gorgeous :)

  382. Nella really looked like she enjoyed eating the oranges. So cute!

  383. this was the perfect blog for mommies, because this is exactly how it is! you work so hard to make these wonderful memories for your kids, and at the time they always seem to be a disaster! thank God for photos! they capture the perfect moments of the day, and you are right, the memory gets better and better over time.

  384. As always a beautiful post. And now I am hell bent on getting out tomorrow and making a memory with my daughters even though I know there will be plenty of screaming and whining and a few tears, well worth it.

  385. I love the honesty in your post. You could obviously leave out the sticky hands, bobbling buckets, and whines but you don’t and that’s great because all of us Mamas know that it is rare maybe even impossible to take our littles out and have a completely perfect trip with no crying, whining, puking, overloaded diaper, forgetting of the snacks or the wipes or God forbid an extra diaper! so for some trips like this are thought better left for when they’re older but you show us time and time again to get out there and show our kids everything we can no matter their ages because no matter the pitfalls looking back it’s always worth it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  386. Thanks for telling us what it was REALLY like out there, we need to know our life is normal. :-) What about the gluten free orange , almond cake. It’s delicious or an orange, poppy seed cake. MMMM

  387. Gorgeous photos! I totally agree with what you are saying. Life is all about the memories.
    My husband and I travelled for the first 5 years of our marriage around the world and when our beautiful girl was born 3 years ago we decided to keep doing it.
    It is hard work, but the rewards are worth putting in the effort

  388. My Grandmother and I love to check your blog! We have conversations like, “Did you see Nella’s face in Kelle’s new post??” I love it! God Bless!

  389. Great post, I did the same with my nieces recently, only it was mango picking here in Perth, Western Australia…. We made sorbet with some of the mangoes it was delish! Also, I’ve never commented before but I love your blog :-)

  390. Buying an investment for the future…so true! I love taking my tribe out. My folks are always saying that such and such is too difficult with three under three and I swear that just fuels my mission. Great post! I love the Lainey as photographer shots!

  391. the tutus are beautiful just like the sunshine of your children. thank you for sharing it all for us!

  392. the tutus are beautiful just like the sunshine of your daughters. thanks for sharing!

  393. We do alot of trips resulting in tears, but your post made me realize that the tears are worth it. They will remember and it will be momentous! Love your blog and your fam!

  394. what a beautiful memory! we can’t wait for michigan spring to break. strwberry picking awaits!

  395. Ooooo yes! My childhood Christmas memories are perfect too! Evey Christmas me and my sisters would say: “this is the BEST Christmas EVER!” I think it’s so true that we can see experiences from totally different perspectives- like we shape our experiences by our outlooks. I think for Children, without the stress, hormones, responsibility, life looks so magical… this is such a great reminder and has really got me thinking today- not only about how I want to have a Child’s perspective myself, but also how imperfect is perfect and how my daughter is probably getting so much more out of a trip to the park than I realise at the time! Here’s to planning loads of outrageous excursions! Thanks again Kelle! xxx

  396. Love it! I had parents who insisted on the “Sunday Drive.” when we were kids. They’d pack us into the minivan on Sunday afternoons and take us somewhere. It could be anywhere — maybe the beach, the park, a bookstore, a local festival or art show, a hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop — nowhere fancy or expensive though.

    There were times my brother, sister and I didn’t want to go, but by the end of the day, we were happy we did. It was about spending time together as a family. And those memories have stuck with us — 20+ years later. I recently gave a toast at my sister’s wedding, and through the tears, I recounted those Sunday afternoons and the fun we had! Your girls will surely have some great stories to tell too!

    And since I live locally, here’s a few places we visited over the years…
    http://www.solomonscastle.org
    http://www.edenwinery.com
    http://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com

    Happy adventuring!

  397. Great pictures, Lainey! She’s got the eye… you’ve created a “monster”! 😉

    I wish we had orange groves around here – although there are ample berry/pumpkin/apple patches in the area that we visit frequently during the summer/fall months. But an orange grove would just be something else entirely! When we went to Orlando for our honeymoon we stayed in a pool home that backed on to an orange grove. I had the overwhelming urge to run through it in the middle of the night, picking oranges for us to have with breakfast in the morning. I chickened out… didn’t want to be a thief and all. 😉

  398. ooohhhhh, I want an orange grove around here! Sounds great, and sticky orange smelling hands are the sweetest :)

  399. Loving it!! ♥

  400. I love that you’re honest about the sticky hands and ant hills! I also love that in the end, just like our “perfect, with imperfections” outings…there are perfect pictures to share. The ant hills are forgotten or laughed about and it’s the sweet moments you remember. Thank you!

  401. Love this post! Okay, that’s always s given, but I agree that making memories is what it’s all about…even when they seem to go wrong…because really ,they never do.

    And that cat looks just like OUR cat!!…minus the white paws…and our cat loves kids, and plays like a dog, and follows us around the yard and the kids love her. Maybe it’s those tiger-like stripes that make them all do that.

    Glad you had a memorable day with your two wonderful girls!

  402. I have wanted to go apple picking for years now (no oranges around here). I think I might actually do it this year.

  403. I love that you inspire us all to look for the beauty in each and every moment, no matter how mundane that moment it. Thankyou!

  404. Thanks for sharing that a fun adventure isn’t always perfect but worth it. Sometimes I look at all your pictures and think “how does she do it?” :)

    And tell Laniey I am SUPER impressed with her photography skills!

  405. I love this post :) Especially living in Michigan, I get this way a lot with my daughter–just wanting to get outside and make a memory. We actually went to the zoo last week (in the middle of treacherous March), because the forecast predicted 68!! Carpe diem. Oh, and if you like roast chicken, this is the best recipe I’ve ever tried, and it calls for oranges: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-roast-chicken-recipe/index.html .

  406. I need to start making these memories!!! I was just thinking the otherday about all my chilhood memories:) good times!!!!!

  407. Picking oranges looks fun! I hope we lived closer to FL!

  408. Gorgeous photos!!!!! I can practically smell the citrus and feel the warmth of the sunshine- love love love it!! I cracked up at your story about your mom. She must be a badass too!

  409. What a great day!!!! I am getting so excited for our trip to Florida in a few weeks, bring on the sunshine and oranges!
    Love reading as always, beautiful writing and pictures to start my day!

  410. Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You have no idea how much I needed to hear those words. I don’t think I even have any idea how much I needed to hear those words but I guarantee that my kids will appreciate them :)

    We haven’t been outside to play in months. No adventures. No fun. We desperately need it so thanks for the reminder that imperfect is perfect in it’s own way.

  411. As another four inches of cold, wet snow is falling here in South Dakota…your hot, sticky orange grove looks like heaven. What a fun experience for you and the girls. Makes me hungry for a Florida orange. No place grows them quite like Florida!!

  412. Love the pictures and love this post! I can totally relate! it seems like every outing with two little ones has at least one obstacle along the way, but you just have to trudge through. The memories are definitely worth it!!

  413. Perfect does not mean smooth sailing. Perfect means quality time together.

  414. just love these photos! and thanks for the reminder that the red ant bites on your feet are always worth the memories and time spent doing something special with the kids.

  415. I agree that memories always seem greater looking back. Now that I am older and hold on to some things I try to remind myself of a phrase from one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and keep “Only the good ones” and let the other memories fade. I love that Lainey remembers the slide adventure as fun… and your pictures make it seem like only fun stuff. 😀

  416. Awww… you make me want to pack up my kids and go somewhere fun!

  417. Kelle did your mom also color coordinate your outfits to match your excursion? Absolutely beautiful pictures and your wonderful pictures will spark so many memories in your children’s futures. Another inspiring post! How do you do it?

  418. I love that I can read your post just by looking at the pictures. (Not that I do!)

  419. What a wonderful story, and the pictures are as always fantastic!

  420. Looks like so much fun! I told my husband that this is the year we take our kids to the apple farms and the little petting zoos and the million of other places I swear I loved as a kid!!

  421. This had me cracking up. I try and try for the memories and it is usually met with wailing and gnashing of teeth, but it’s funny, and it’s worth it, yes, they do remember.

  422. what a great reminder to always think of the time you spend with your family as making memories! And now I’m craving oranges!

  423. Way to put it all in perspective. We did some crazy things, that we laugh about now. It’s all about the ebb and flow. Makes me want an orange!

  424. You’re so right! It IS worth it! I often feel so overwhelmed with getting everyone packed up, put in the car, etc. But, it IS always worth it!!!

  425. You and your girls are so lovely.

    Thanks for the reminder that the hassle is always worth it for the memories.

    I need to do more on-purpose outings.

    Also, those tutus are AWESOME.

  426. Yes, your mother and I tried to make memories for you and your sibs. Some are better forgotten…like the enchanted winter memory we tried to create when we took you all to Greenfield Village for a winter walk. We put your little hinies down on the icy planks of a horse drawn carriage and you sat there and cried because it was something like 5 below zero. We tried to put our happy faces on but just wanted to go home. We clutched hot chocolate in our mittened hands and didn’t want to drink it because it served a better hand warmer than beverage. It was just awful–and it was supposed to be enchanting. So our efforts didn’t always go well. Glad yours did! I love you.
    –Poppa

  427. Looks like such an awesome day! Enjoy those oranges. What about orange scones? Lots of fresh oj? Smoothies?!

  428. Thank you for this. I feel like that’s all I ever say to you! You just have a wonderful gift of beautifully expressing what so many of us are going through on a daily basis, whether it’s being scared of cops, driving in the car solo with the music cranked, getting excited for the mail, or capturing the many many beautiful moments with our children that could have been overshadowed by crankiness or whines. You inspire me to be better and do better, so thank you!

  429. LOVE this post. I found myself thinking of an air show I took my daughter to one day while my husband had to be at work. Everything that could have went wrong did go wrong. It too was a hot, sweaty day. My daughter and I look back now and giggle at the drama of it all. Too long of a story to tell here. Sometimes making memories are hard fought battles, but the effort put into making them pulls us together as families. :)

  430. Awesome day!!

  431. Everytime you post, It’s absoulty amazing! Isn’t life grand, and making memories is evern grander!

  432. I love living your stories and looking (and drooling) over the photos woven threw.

  433. What a great memory to make! You are a great Mom Kelle and your kids will remember that forever and ever!!!! I must say I was a tiny bit jealous as I read your post this morning…and I looked out to see a fresh new batch of snow. Oh how I long for sunshine and summer. Never-the-less, wonderful memories :) Thanks for sharing.

  434. Love the adventures! Full of memories!!

  435. So fun! Our Ohio oranges just do not compare, even a little bit, to the amazingness of the Florida ones. I mean, I guess technically most of our oranges come from Florida, but by the time they make the trek they are practically a different fruit! So jealous up here :)

  436. Oh, how I can relate to this post…only in a much different way! I’m a nanny of 2 wonderful, curious little boys. Every day I try to take them on “adventures,” & gosh the effort to get them there can be extremely exhausting. BUT we have made so many fun, exciting memories through the whining, fits, and exhaustion of it all. And sometimes I want to opt for activities/outings that would be easier & probably more boring, but I remember that this is practice for when I have my own kiddos teetering around! I live in GA & haven’t found the peaches yet…sounds like a future “adventure” waiting to happen!

  437. I have two little sons, and it’s always such a hassle getting everyone dressed and out the door. “I don’t wanna go! I want to play toys!” And then loading up the car, getting them buckled in, etc. By the time I’m in the driver’s seat, I wonder why I’m even bothering. But then we get to that destination…a farm, a park, whatever, and they have so much fun and it all becomes worth it.

    Beautiful pictures…it looks like so much fun!

  438. This comment has been removed by the author.

  439. So often I skip doing things I dream up because my kiddos are a lot to handle (6,4,3, and 5 mos). Your blog makes me want to do more with them!

  440. Oh Kelle as always you seem to touch me again with your stories. Your story about your Mom taking you and your sibliings out reminds me of when when my Mom would push my sister in the stroller and I would have to walk to the post office or the library with the promise of hot chocolate from Dunkin Dounuts. I am sure I whined and cried and stopped walking along the way but I don’t remember that I just remember the quality time with my Mom and the hot chocolate. I try to recreate these magical moments with my as of today 2 year old son but there is rushing around and scrambling around and some tears and tantrum but one day I hope he remembers his childhood as fondly as I remember mine.

  441. Awwww, that was adorable! I’ve never been anywhere to pick peaches and that’s just really not cool since I live in GA. I’m putting it on my to do list!

  442. This comment has been removed by the author.

  443. This post is so true. there are struggles, but the memories make it worth it. And after seeing the pictures of you, your girls and the oranges, you caught brilliance!

  444. Love how Nella and Lainey were color coordinated in shades of orange!

    Here is a family favorite…

    Fresh Orange Muffins

    1 orange, quartered and seeds removed ( but,keep peel on!)
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 large eggs
    1/2 cup butter
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    Preheat oven to 400F; spray a muffin tin (12) with non-stick cooking spray like Pam and set aside.
    Put orange quarters (with peels on)in food processor (or blender) along with orange juice and process or blend until pureed.
    Add egg and butter to food processor and combine; pour into large bowl.
    Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add all at once to orange mixture.
    Stir to combine.
    Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
    Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let stand in tin for 5 minutes before removing muffins. Enjoy!

    **Sometimes I add a handful or two of mini chocolate chips, too!

  445. I’ve never been to an orange grove, but every fall I look forward to apple picking. The smell of apple pies and cider. The hayride..I always remember the day as perfect even if there were tears and bee stings. I too love building memories. I can relate with your mom’s story of the broken stroller. This one time that I took my 4 little ones for a walk to the park in their radio flyer wooden wagon, the front wheels fell off, oh, about 2 feet from the park. We were rushing home for a potty break. I had my youngest in a sling and the 3 boys in the wagon. Can you picture it? A newborn, 3 boys 6 and under, the wagon with no front wheels, me carrying the damn axel and dragging the broken wagon (oh the sound that made) with all 4 littles screaming. It must of been a sight, yet I am smiling writing about it. LOL Good times : )

  446. How do you manage to lug a camera around with both girls?? Your photos are amazing. What a fun day!

  447. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and never been to an orange grove…AND we live off Corkscrew and have never ventured much further out than our cozy little neighborhood. Your pictures make it look well worth the drive out there!

    The girls are precious and I’m sure we’ll run into you and them soon enough:)

  448. Your girls look lovely, as always! Fresh-squeezed orange juice is the best… looks like you won’t be lacking in vitamin C anytime soon!

  449. Had my own “ah-ha” moment about this last spring, when I took my then-22-month old son to a local carnival, and it ended in a lot of tears and a looong walk home.

    At first, the tears and hassle stressed me out.

    But I quickly realized that with kids, tears and hassle are inevitable, and they don’t detract from the full experience.

    It is always worth it.

    Now to go find us an orange grove.

  450. You are so right! It is always worth it. Even with the whining and the feeling of panic I get when I think I’m losing control of the situation because suddenly I get control and we are all so happy. As Kacey told me yesterday morning “I’m SO happy!” and then asked me “Are you happy mommy?”. Major feat for my little girl with an expressive language disorder and it made me very very happy indeed! Thanks for the reminder that excursions are worth it

  451. “Making memories is an investment. Like buying stock guaranteed to increase its value. It’s win/win, Baby.”
    I love this!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “hmm well this is going over grrreeeat” (insert large amounts of sarcasm) But you are right….it’s all precious memories. The good the bad and the ugly. lol
    gorgeous pictures. gorgeous girls. and just fyi…i spit my coffee at …the army of fire ants starting a buffett on your feet.
    and Wilbur? be still my heart.
    xo
    Kris

  452. Ohhhh Kelle, your blog is sooo wonderful! I grew up in Florida and have many happy memories of warm sun filled days in my back yard with my very own orange tree…picking the oranges off and eating them right there…sigh. And yes, I think what we remember as perfect events from when we were little were much different than what really went on lol! I now live up in the chilly mid-atlantic but we’ve braved many tear and tantrum filled flights to take our twin 2 year old girls to visit family in sunny fla. Worth it every time:)

  453. I’ve been wanting to take my kids to pick strawberries. You’ve inspired me to actually make it happen. Are strawberries even in season?!

  454. What an amazing adventure! A memory they are sure to hold on to forever.

  455. A new found place for me to be inspired…thank you for sharing your life experiences with the world. I had the same black “bugger” yes we called it that too…no seat belts. We rode with grandma sometimes smashed in there and popped out our fair share! I have 3 girls and find these hands on experiences and memories created from them so important! Thanks for helping us get back on that crazy horse every day to get out and do it again!

  456. Lainey is becoming an amazing photographer!

  457. Spring always seems to bring on the memory making motivation in our household! Love the pictures and the honesty in your posts…thanks for sharing!

  458. Wow! What beautiful pictures & how true, the kids always remember the fun of the outing. My boys hardly ever remember the crying or exhaustion of the trips when they talk about them later.

  459. I have only tried the olive oil cake from these 3 recipes, but I like to turn to my favorite food blogger when I get overrun by a single ingredient and am inspiration-less. Seriously, you’re way better off using a recipe from Deb than from me. (and all of mine come from Deb anyhow–she is amazing)

    Here’s the orange olive oil cake:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/02/blood-orange-olive-oil-cake/

    And then I’m also curious to try:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/candy-girl/
    http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/this-cake-has-a-hole-in-it/

    Yum–those oranges look delicious!

  460. Thank you for reminding me to look past the imperfections when we go on an outing. My daughter is 2 years old and I really needed to read this post. Thank you thank you thank you!

  461. So much fun. We visited an orange grove while visiting my dad in Florida last year. It was a great time. I love the pics of Nella eatign the oranges…so sweet!!

  462. I am pregnant with our first child, and I cant stop thinking about the memories I want to make with this baby. I know a lot of it is wishful thinking, but it is so important! Sometimes we do just need to strap everyone in and go for it!

  463. Boy I can sure tell that it was indeed HOT AS BLAZES by the rosy cheeks on Lainey! So sweet! Happy Orange peeling :)

    Amy

  464. beautiful pics! you should make some ambrosia with those oranges. drool.

  465. So true. Making memories is sometimes a lot of work for us parents! I can def. relate to the littles having a different spin on a failed excursion months later – always a win/win.

  466. That totally makes me laugh…we have the “we will have a great memory” trip almost every weekend. Our last one ended with a trip to the zoo (lost a pair of mittens and a hat on the way in). Of course we had to go outside in the figid cold to see the tigers, so after a $70+ trip to the zoo shop to obtain a new pair of mittens, hat and blanket we ventured out to see the tigers. They just happened to be off exhibit because of the cold and wind. But damn did we make a memory! :)
    Margo

  467. “We are to seek for beauty and refuse to see anything else.” -Anne of Avonlea

  468. What a great reminder about events and projects and excursions not having to be perfect.

    Chicago is still so chilly and damp, so it’s nice to get a glimpse of warmth and sunshine and citrus-y goodness! I also need that tractor crossing sign. I find it so hilarious.

  469. This post really resonated with me, and it took me a day to figure out why. I think that sometimes I want so much to make memories for my kids that I try too hard, and then I’m left with a disappointed feeling (like your big slide). But then the kids surprise me with their memories and I’m reminded that what really matters is that THEY have good memories, even if I was frustrated with them running around like crazy or not listening or whatever had my feathers ruffled that day.
    Thank you for this post.

  470. you make me want to pack up and go to an orange grove today….sticky hands and all.

  471. The pictures of your adventures are always so amazing! Lainey is quite the little photographer.

    One of my favorite memories as a child is a time when my mom packed up a picnic basket and just her and I (I am one of five so an occasion like this was few and far between) drove an hour to a strawberry picking place. It was SO hot but we sat there hunched over picking for a good few hours. The owner of the place let me come and play in his backyard for a while in his kiddo pool.

    On the way home my mom stopped for some DQ Blizzards, and at some point we decided to stop by the side of the road to go for a swim in a near by river. I can only hope that I become a mommy like her, full of adventure and living in the moments.

  472. Thank you so much for this post! I really needed it. I try to hard to “make memories” for me and my almost 18 month old. I’m especially into “sucking the marrow” moments as Dead Poets is one of my fav movies of all time! Anyway, we try really hard but I tend to get frazzled easy and I’m really working on this minor flaw :-) It’s so encouraging to know that what always seems so perfect in your posts is a little more like everyone else but perfect just the same. Thanks for the encouragment! P.S. I wish we lived near an orange grove.

  473. I needed this reminder. It is worth it!

  474. Kelle!
    I’ve been following your blog from afar (Australia actually) for some time now.. and I’m not much of a commentor but I just had to say..
    A. I work at Borders and had a woman come into the store yesterday asking if we had any cookbook that we about cooking with citrus! (sadly we didn’t have any)
    B. I’ve just been talking about my Mum about my childhood. I was discussing with my partner earlier about how a lot of people we know have kids that get really over excited and loud and crazy and demanding and wondered how they dealt with it ALL the time ( we are yet to have children so this is perhaps an obnoxious way of thinking). I did say to him that I don’t remember my childhood being like that and now am chatting with my Mum about it. She says we were only like that when other kids that behaved like that were around.(I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters.. 6 of us all up!) She went on to say that she spent a lot of time with us.. doing arts and crafts, baking, treaure hunts, and adventures ( she didn’t have access to a car either.. like your mother) and this is what I remember and cherish! I think it’s brilliant that you are making memories for your gorgeous girls.
    AND C: I’m sure we’ve seen some pictures of you when you were young before but do you have any others to share with us? After reading about your memories I’d really be interested in seeing some pictures of you and your siblings as kids!

  475. This may be one of my favorite posts!!
    I love it. Such a simple thing to do, go to the orange grove, and it ending up being a great time. Except for the sticky hands..

  476. I also had one of those “good ideas” by taking my then 1 year old and 6 year old to a corn maze/petting zoo. My 6 year old thought it would be funny to run from me in the maze. Oh, about an hour later he was found after having to have the employees come and hunt for him in the maze. *sigh*

  477. Your girls are amazingly beautiful! You arena inspiration to mamas all over… To go on the adventures even if tears and sticky hands are included :)

  478. Looks like a spectacular adventure! And so ready for some of that sunshine, just rain here in California. Happy Thursday to you and yours!

  479. Every time I read your blog I wonder, how can it get better, and it just does! I feel like I know you and your family and like we are good friends- I love seeing your beautiful photos and your writing is so inspiring! Despite the snow returning to us, I am going to wrap my little man up and take him on a memory making adventure!! ( I would rather be in a sunshiney orange grove though!!) Much love from Canada Kelle! you just make my day:0)
    Laura

  480. My redheaded babies each turn a year older this week…one and three. Your words inspire me to be a better mommy and to soak up every stinkin’ moment with my kids. These years are soaring by and sometimes it all too easy to get lost in the little things and miss what’s most important…each day with the best 2 “things” that have ever happened to me. Your girls are beyond adorable.

  481. Lainey is quite the photographer. My 3 year old plays with our old digital camera and takes many pictures of her baby dolls and her little brother. So sweet.

  482. I LOVE the tutu Lainey is wearing! It’s perfect for my little girl’s first birthday outfit! (Lainey’s leggings rock too.) Like you, I want to make sweet memories with my daughter. It’s hard when you work full time, but it makes the days we do spend together that much sweeter.

  483. I rarely leave comments here, because you always have so many, but I just wanted you to know that I needed this post.

    It seems that of late there has been so much HASSLE for so few memories.

    My perspective is off.

    Thank you for making me see that there are so many MEMORIES for so little hassle.

  484. Looks like some delicious orange juice mornings for you.
    Enjoy yourselves.

  485. Ha!! I laughed out loud, belly laughed actually, at your Bugger comment. We had one, too. Man, were those things scary. Good to know other there are other people out there who can relate even though we don’t know each other. I’m pretty sure you and I would be great friends. :)

  486. My baby girls are 18 & 19. As a single momma I was always searching for cost effective places to go and things to do with them to create memories. It seemed as if the events were filled with tears and sibling arguments. I often wondered if they would grow up remembering the tears rather than the fun. I must have done something right, because they happily talk to their friends or each other about the places we’ve been and how much fun it was. Even as young adults, they still ask me to take them to some of those places! It makes my heart smile.

  487. Oh, how I wish there were orange groves in the panhandle of texas… pure awesomeness!

  488. Some would call this encouragement for the day…I think I’ll call it a Word.
    Thanks girl!

  489. Thank you for this reminder. It’s so easy to stay at home to avoid the occasional meltdown, but you’re so completely right that the good that comes from exploring outweighs the mess.

  490. I am having one of those fever filled, crap-they-really-do-have-bed-bugs-in-NYC, are you kidding me it’s really snowing on the 2nd day of Spring! wish I was in an orange grove kind of days. Sigh…there’s always tomorrow.

  491. When I was a kid my all time favorite vacation was a trip to Myrtle Beach for a family reunion. To this day it has gone down in history as thee BEST vacation of my life. The funny thing is that if you ask any adults who participated in this trip there opinion, they’ll tell you the complete opposite. The car breaking down 3 times on just the way there was the least of the disasters from that trip. Kids just seem to see the gold in everything. Now if only adults could see the same!

  492. Love how you make everything come to life in your pictures. It actually feels like we get to experience it!

  493. I know you must have heard this before, but why don’t you try a wrap or a sling for carying Nella? It’s much safer and confortable and you can wear it in oh so many ways, even when she is sleeping and her head will be well supported. Give it a try :)

  494. I love how you take the bad with the good and your honesty. You do a wonderful job playing with words and I’m always anxious to read about the next adventure! I can only hope I’m half the Mom you are!

  495. I frequently tell my husband that we need to “make more memories” and this post is a reminder of that. The kids will relish telling the stories of things we did and experiences we had, they won’t get as much joy out of telling stories of dusting the house or folding the laundry.

  496. See the power of positive thinking within you. God bless you.

  497. This couldn’t have come at a better time. Readying for summer and lots of time with my girls, we’ve been making a list of things to do together this summer. I want them to look back and say you know that summer… that was so much fun! =)

  498. Gorgeous pics, and what a great reminder to make memories with my own kids – you are right, it IS always worth the hassles!
    -Kelly

  499. My eyes are pricking
    and my nose is running…
    The sweetness of your
    journey never fails to
    strike a chord. Just
    beautiful, Kelli.
    xx Suzanne

  500. my mom would do the same thing with us when my sister and I were little… we couldn’t even afford a car – my dad used to do the original version of ride share in a big rusty blue van. My mom would manipulate us into the weirdest contortions to make us fit into a crappy old stroller and get us to a fun and crazy destination… she would find every fun and interesting free activity and she’d be darned if we didn’t make it there! Now I am determined to carry on that legacy with my baby girl. :)

  501. Wouldn’t it be terrible if we just remembered the crying/whining/bad moments, and the good ones didn’t override them in our memories? Thank goodness our hearts override our brains most of the time! :)

  502. I hear “momma, member that time….” almost every day and love the version he remembers and passess along to his granparents, teacher, friends, etc. I have a special childhood memory that apparently am the only one to remember. Me, my mom and dad were driving on a gravel road on Christmas Eve from one granparents’ house to the other. I made my dad stop because I saw Santa’s sleigh in the sky. We got out and I swear to this day, I heard the faint sound of jingle bells. I tell that story every year, but my parents don’t remember it. I will cherish that memory and continue to tell it every Christmas. Even though I now realize it was the green and red lights flashing from a passing plane and the jingle bells were coming from one of the Christmas songs on the radio. I will always remember the amazement I felt that night, standing on the frozen gravel road, in the pitch black night, the words my parents spoke encouraging my imagination and the excitement that I felt knowing that I actually got to see Santa flying his sleigh. Boy, Preston (my brother) is going to be so mad that he stayed at Grandma’s and didn’t come with us…. Happy memories to you!

  503. Loved, loved, loved the orange grove pictures. Seeing all that yellow and orange makes me so happy!!
    I have a daughter close to Lainey’s age and i love to hear all her stories from months ago. It is hilarious to me when she has a memory of something that isn’t a particularly “happy” memory that she remembers as “perfect”. It always makes me laugh.

  504. Oh my gosh, I so needed this post. We just got through the birthday party from hell for my 3 year old son. Despite weeks of me trying to make everything JUST RIGHT, he whined and cried through the whole thing. Here’s to hoping we all look back on it as a success and not the complete and utter failure it was. Thanks for putting it all in perspective.

  505. I can almost taste the sweetness of those oranges. Lovely memories!

  506. Thank you for helping me to get out of a cranky little funk this morning by taking me back to my own fond childhood memories and all the ones I now have of me and my own kids. :-)

    You inspire me!

  507. Love that you take the time to go on adventures like this. I am a strong believer in quality time and making special moments. Good job!

  508. I am about to take my 2 week old to the post office to finish sending thank you cards. That’s about as memory making as i can get at the moment!!! LOL but I look forward to the future times to come that I look forward to sharing with my girl!!!

  509. Funny, my sister and I were just talking about the “forced fun” we hurl onto our kids. Making memories isn’t always easy but it’s always worth it.

  510. I seriously adore that picture of Nella with the yellow headband on. Your girls are about the same age as mine are and I love hearing about what you guys get up to during your days together. You have such a beautiful family and I have enjoyed being able to watch all of you grow. :)

  511. I have never been orange picking – but your post made me excited for fall where around here there are lots of apple picking opportunities!

  512. I love everything about this post. My son has done the same thing as Lainey with the tall slide park story. There are trips that I feel overwhelmed and appear to be disatrous and a month or two later, my son will recall the same trip with excitement. Great post!!

  513. I have two more months until our first child arrives, and I can’t wait for crappy strollers and magical excursions! Memories in hindsight are always sweeter. Glad you found that gem of an orange grove.

  514. First of all I am totally jealous of your warm weather, and I want to visit an orange grove!!! It looks amazing. Second, I really needed to read this today so thanks for sharing. Yesterday was our first really nice day and so we decided to take our 16-month old to the zoo…I was sure he would go crazy with excitement…. but he didn’t. Not at all. He got a little smile a couple times but most of the time he just scrunched his nose and looked away when we would point to an animal that we thought would light up his face… and he will probably have no memory of it… but we will… and my husband and I enjoyed time together as well. I am new at this mom thing as this is my first and your post reminded me that no matter what struggles it may bring, it is very important to make happy memories for our children and ourselves. So thanks :)

  515. Orange grove adventures sound fantastic. Our little is only 9 months, can’t wait till she’s big enough to snap some branches!

  516. Oh my, I hear ya about little adventures with one adult (the mommy… me) wrangling squirmy little ones with diaper bags, blankets and sippy cups hanging all over the place and falling onto the ground on top of discarded cigarette butts etc while I’m holding the baby, straining to pick up my fallen keys while my trick knee goes out. There are definitely 2 ways to look at it! Yesterday the sun came out for 2 seconds (which is a big deal in these parts) so I scrambled to get everyone ready for a walk, then by the time we got out there it was nasty and cold again and I was wiping everyone’s drippy nose with a dirty Starbucks napkin I had shoved in the crevice of the stroller. Hope you’re right about the good memory burried in there ; )

  517. LOVE the picture of Lainey carrying the cat. The cat’s expression is priceless! :-)

    Adele

  518. Making memories with your children are probably one of the best things you can do in this life.

    And those oranges look delicious!!

  519. This post reminds me of our annual apple orchard trip up here in MN…theres nothing quite like it!

  520. Just lovely! I might just have venture out with my 3 kiddos in the rain today.

  521. Just lovely! I might just have venture out with my 3 kiddos in the rain today.

  522. Thank you so much for the reminder that sometimes making memories is an investment. Sometimes when my family is going out to dinner- and I SWORE it was going to be a hoodie/no make-up/tv night- I make myself get up (even though I already ate) and go. I don’t want to miss a laugh or conversation just because I was too lazy to put on some mascara! Good reminder!!

  523. Hmmmm. I’m 9 weeks pregnant and this post just gave me the biggest craving for an orange….
    You are creating awsome memories for your girls, Kelle! They are lucky to have such a good mama!

    Leah
    http://www.lovelifeandmommyhood.blogspot.com

  524. Just yesterday my youngest was asking me about a not so fun outing we had when she was young. I remember all the tears and screaming (her not me) and she remembers how fun it was and could we do something like that again? Even though it’s been a few years, I am still nervious of a repeat preformance, only now I think it will be whining and stomping off mad rather than tears and scream!

  525. Perfectly Imperfect is how it always is around here. And many times the best memories come from how we deal with those little imperfections that make it all worthwhile.

    Oh how I wish I lived near an orange grove! We love apple picking in the fall though.

  526. I LUV the photo os Sweet Nella in the pretty pastel Pink! And, the one with Lovely Lainey with her hand on her hip. You are a Rockin’ mama!

  527. Yet another reason I’d like to move to Florida. This looks lovely.

    Jill

  528. My mom also created memories for us when we were little. She used to pack a lunch, and take my brothers and I to a place in my mind that was so magical. We would walk and walk until we got to a beautiful barn with green grass, and yellow flowers. She would then sit us under a huge tree where we would eat our lunch, and then she would read us a story while we ate our fresh fruit. It was heaven…

    As I got older, I realized that this magical place was an old broken down barn next to the highschool across the street. The grass was not green, it was the tall ugly grass that the city never cut, and the yellow flowers were dandalions. But it didn’t matter to us back then…we were with each other and most importantly…we were with Mom! It is still an amazing place in my mind to this day!

    Thanks for helping me to remember it.

  529. God bless you for being able to handle sticky hands and orange juice running down your baby’s hands/arms/chin. You inspire me to try just a little harder at memory making every time you type a word.

  530. Your post has me thinking about my own childhood memories, many of which I remember to be imperfectly perfect. Most of the memories occurred outside of the home–summer days eating snow cones at the park, slip n’ slides, family vacations, a trip to the movies with my dad and sister, the three of us sharing a huge tub of popcorn and a large coke. I want my son and the one on the way to have those memories. I love having a husband who is committed to making memories, too. Thanks for the reminder that the hassle is worth it because when you’re sleepy and nauseous, it’s difficult to think past the hassle.

  531. I have lived in Florida my whole life and I love when the oranges are in season. :) We have two Clemetine trees, a Meyer Lemon and Key Lime tree. We make different marmalades and jams. The book Put Em Up is awesome for recipes. I borrow it every year from the library LOL. :)

  532. Thank you for the great reminder of making memories for our kids. Sometimes the hassle of getting both kids out makes me put aside any adventure that comes to my mind. Your post made me realize the importance of getting them out for new experiences, regardless of the hassle that comes along with it! And thank you for being such a great inspiration to myself and many other mamas who read your blog!

  533. Oh Kelle! What I wouldn’t give for a delightful orange right about now!! :-) The time, energy, work it takes to go somewhere with your kids will always be worth it in the end! Memories will never go away!

  534. I have just discovered your wonderful blog via the lovely Louise from loubooandshoes. What can I say? I am so glad I stopped by.

    xxx

  535. Kelle! Great to see a little sunshine this morning. We’re still kickin’ it with frigid temps here in eastern Washington. While I read your post, Pandora was playing a song called “Stars” by The Weepies. Thought it would be a song you’d love – perfect fit to your blog. Here’s to packing up the kiddos, schlepping the stroller, stopping to nurse, wiping tears and enjoying every bit. Thanks for the reminder and inspiring me to create lasting memories with my family.
    Love to you all,
    Kate and Henry

  536. Beautifully stated, Kelle. I another momma who loves to cart the kids around on excursions and this post certainly provided me inspiration to keep at it!

  537. Beautiful pictures!!! I love driving by orange groves with the windows down!! I would love to win a tutu for my daughter’s first birthday!!!

  538. Love the photos…and the beautiful memories you are creating for your girls…and you. Makes me want to go out and do something spontaneous with my kiddos today.

  539. Kelle – I stumbled across your blog from someone else who had linked to Nella’s birth story. I have spent the last few weeks exploring your blog… and I am hooked. I grew up in Florida and seeing your pictures makes me miss it. Although in August, I’ll be happy for “northern summers” not “humid florida summers”. I am also pregnant with our first baby – due in August. Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I have been telling people that I think the baby is a boy because i think I’m a boy-mom. I have three younger brothers and just know what to do with boys. The thought of it being a girl didn’t even cross my mind. Until I found your blog… I found my self in the last weeks thinking “I would like a girl. I want what these pictures and stories make me think of in little girls”. Well, two days ago we found out what this little one is. And it’s a GIRL! I was surprised, but so happy about it. I know it seems weird to think that seeing what you have with your girls cemented for me that I really wanted that too (somewhere deep down I had never thought about before). So thank you for sharing your stories and your family. I’m counting the days till I can meet my little girl and start making memories with her.

  540. what a fun day you & your girls had! inspired now to go blackberry picking with my boy…no orange groves here.

  541. Here is my random comment. I always feel like my comment will surely get lost in so many, but I did want to say that you have touched my life with your beautiful words and beautiful photos. You see the world in an amazing way and I believe you’re changing the world one person at a time by sharing that with us. Thank you.

  542. My girlies make me the best orange cake for my bd every year. It is from a Country Home magazine – May of 2000. I looked on their site,but couldn’t find it.

    Probably not a good idea to write the whole thing out here…let me know if you want the recipe!

    xo Elizabeth

  543. As I sit here in NY with snow falling outside, I can taste those oranges!

  544. A co-worker went to Florida last week for Spring Break and brought me back a Florida orange…it was the best orange ever!

  545. Love the photo of Nella and the cat, and Lainey is a great photographer!

  546. So funny you would post this just a few days after my “adventure” this past Saturday:
    Took my 4 boys to the park (ages 7 down to 18 mos) WITH the dog. Sliding on the ice going uphill and then having the dog wriggle out of his collar and take off down the road were just a few of the highlights. Just try to top THAT with your tale of “sticky fingers!” ha ha!

  547. We “made a memory” last weekend and took our 4yo and 8 month old bowling. Our oldest has been asking to go for months. Well, it quickly dissolved into not such a good idea when he smushed his finger between two balls. Everything after that resulted in tears and frustration. But isn’t that just the way some things go! It’s a memory regardless!

    Heather N.

  548. Lovely post! Thank you for sharing the “behind the scenes” of your fun outing. Its good to know that other moms go through the same tears, and tantrums to get to the good stuff!!! Love the pictures!

  549. Dude, you live in Florida and you don’t own a juicer? Seriously, do it, it’s freakin’ amazing. The Jack LaLanne Power Juicer will have you cruising through those oranges in NO time! (or you could send some up to me in MA, where it is snowing!) You can do so much with a juicer, more than you’d think! I highly recommend it!!

  550. Awesome!! Not quite warm enough for that sort of outdoor outings here…but I can taste it coming :) Hope my little one has some wonderful memories to look back on…I’m definitely going to try (and man, oh, man, is it a hassle sometimes!)…

  551. Making me thirsty! I might have to search out an apple orchard, Washington’s answer to the orange grove.

  552. Oh the Tutus! Love the Tutus!

  553. It’s so cold in Chicago today – this was such a sunny post. It is so funny how the same story can be told by two different people and the recollections are COMPLETELY different. I was at a funeral this week and the story telling was awesome!!

  554. I totally agree, you can’t let these little inconveniences stop you from setting out on an adventure – at least that’s what I tell myself when we are just about to embark on a trip with three little ones, ha, just packing makes me want to bury my head in sand …. But it is so true that the memories you retain are the good parts, the things you saw and did together, the scents and flavours, and the little irritations of everyday life with young children fade into the background.

    Beautiful pictures!

  555. What a gorgeous post, words and photographs. Thanks for reminding us to see the beautiful of every moment, even the seemingly annoying or frustrating ones. That’s a reminder I’ve needed lately. Will you eat an orange for me? I’m here in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the oranges here just aren’t as good as I got back in the States. :) Thanks.

    Caitlin
    from black currant thoughts.

  556. And by ‘beautiful of every moment’ I mean the ‘beauty of every moment’. I’m sure everyone who reads it can figure that out, but I needed to clarify that anyway. :)

    Caitlin

  557. How awesome that you can go orange picking! Up here in Northern Canada that’s not really possible ;).

  558. This was exactly what I needed! As we are adjusting to the new toddler in our family (w/ 2 independent school age girls) these excursions seem daunting… You, as ususal, reminded me to see the beauty, no the hardship of them and all that they bring in the future for my girls. Thanks!
    Stacy

  559. Thank you! Often when reading your blogs I am reminded to remember the positives and the memories that I/we are making for our kids. Like you said, they may not be the best in our opinions, but in the innocent hearts of our children, they are awesome memories. I love reading your blog, your daughters are beautiful, your pictures are fantastic. Thank you for sharing some of your life with the rest of us.

  560. Ohmygoodness….precious, PRECIOUS pictures. Favorites include Lainey with hand on hip, Lainey and Nella together and last pic of Lainey. And Lainey is a natural photographer! Like Mommy like daughter!

  561. I seriously can not get enough of your girls!! SO adorable!!

  562. I will always remember strawberry picking with my oldest daughter….pure sweet happinesss.

  563. What a wonderful memory to have!

  564. I’m always inspired by stories from my mom, grandma, and 95 yr old great grandma too….they did so much with so much less than we have now. Our kids and grandkids will think the same of us though, no doubt!

  565. Beautiful new memories made. .. and beautiful photos!

  566. Looks like a fun day with the girls……I love days like this! Your pictures are beautiful like always. Thanks for reminding us all to take some time out and make some memories.

  567. Your photography – inspiring, your girls – beautiful, your words – uplifting. Amidst the chaos that is my new normal (of being a new mom with a 3 month old) I need to remember that making memories is what it’s all about…she won’t remember the piles of laundry done, she’ll remember that her mama played with her and was very much present.

  568. Lainey is becoming quite the photographer, herself!! As always, great pics Kelli!

  569. Your orange picking just got me super excited for when we go strawberry hunting! We still have to wait a couple more months, but I’m so ready now!! I love watching my babies go after the strawberries. We have a 2 in the mouth per 1 in the basket ratio!! The orange picking just got added to my bucket list!!

  570. Looks like a fun time! Makes me excited for berry picking season coming up in a few months!

  571. Could practically smell those oranges! Loved your adventure story!

  572. I just recently found your blog through a friend who blogged about your blog. (Yes, way too many uses of the word “blog” there.) I now can’t get enough of it. And after just now reading your FAQ section, I like it even more. Thanks for sharing. And for using the word “sucktacious”. :-)

  573. LOVE this post!!! You inspire me sooo much Kelle! You have NO idea! I am going to view the hassle of getting my kids out the door in a whole new light! Thank you!
    Gorgeous pics! LOVE Lainey in orange! And Nella’s smiles are so heart warming. Thank you for being you.

    Tara

  574. Oh my gosh, Nella is just too adorable! Those pictures of her with oranges on her face–I am dying! She is the cutest little baby I’ve ever seen.

  575. I love the pictures that Lainey took!

  576. This post was such an encouraging reminder. I love how you remember all the crappy parts of the day and Lainey just remembers the wonderful parts. That in itself is inspiration to live life to its fullest every day because they won’t remember the heat, the crying, the whining, etc. — they just remember being with you and the fun they had!

  577. Thanks for the inspiration to do all those little outings that make memories. I can’t wait for summer to come here! :)

  578. The times when they cry and we thought it was just such a great idea, those are the things they’ll remember. And yes, probably with rose-tinted glasses, but who cares? The fact that we try our best to make great memories for them far outweighs the packing of diaper bags, and snacks and a change of clothes and extra wipes and, and, and…we’ll forget the hassle and remember the fun :)

  579. Every memory I have from my childhood is magical. That place looks amazing!

  580. This post made me think of going apple picking with my friends family. I remember going all the time and it was the best time ever. My parents swear we only went once with them. Your family reminds me of them. I loved going crabbing and going on the many outings with that family. It inspires me to make these memories for my two little girls. This post was great motivation!

  581. Love this post! All my memories of family days, holidays, park excursions, and trips are all perfect. I am sure there were fights, crying, hurt feelings between us 4 siblings..but what wonderful memories are made when you dig your heels in the ground, put a smile on your face and are determined to make them for our little ones!

  582. i have never seen orange picking pictures. I LOVE IT.. this is my favorite post of all your posts.. I love Lainey… what a model.. and nella is such a fun model.. with the oranges in her mouth.. Love lainey’s outfit… and nella snug as you are picking… wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  583. I wish I lived in Florida!!

  584. I am impressed that Lainey can take such great pictures! I need to teach my girls to do that so there are actually pictures of me from our spur of the moment outings! :)

  585. Oh man. I’ve definitely had those “why in the world did I bring us here” days. Some of them ended up being good memories, and some of them I think we all have purposefully forgotten. But we plan on more spur of the moment memories and hoping for the best!!

  586. Best Scones you will ever eat:

    ——————————————————————————–

    Orange/Chocolate Chip Scones:

    2 cups flour

    1/4 cup sugar

    ¾ tsp salt

    2 tsp baking powder

    1/3 cup melted butter

    1 egg, beaten

    1 tsp vanilla

    1/2 cup buttermilk

    1 cup chocolate chips

    1 tsp shredded orange peel

    Preheat oven to 425*. Sift dry ingredients together, add orange zest and toss. Add wet ingredients and chocolate chips, then mix until just combined. Split dough in half and press each half into a circle about 1” thick, cut each circle into 6-8 triangles depending on how big you want them. Put on ungreased cookie sheet bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

    Glaze:

    The juice of the orange you used for zest

    2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar

    2 TB softened butter

    ½ tsp vanilla

    Beat together and glaze cooled scones
    Enjoy!

  587. I’m drinking in the sun that your beautiful photographs capture and using it to get myself through a snowy day up north. Thanks for the warm rays.

  588. Lainey is the most luscious beautiful “fruit” in the patch!!!! Love the tu tu. And not to forget precious little Nella is a living doll as always.

  589. How about orange cookies a family favorite in our home.

    1 egg
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter
    2 1/2 cups flour
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 cup orange juice
    2 tbsp cold water
    dash of salt

    Cream the butter in a bowl, stir in the sugar and egg and mix well.

    In another bowl mix the baking powder, and flour.

    Mix the cold water and the juice

    Slowly add in the flour mixture and juice to the butter mixture.

    Role out the dough to a 1/4in thickness and cut out your shapes. Coat the tops with egg white and garnish with orange zest! Bake at 350 degrees.

  590. Oh, the reminder to see things through the eyes of our kid(s)…

    BTW, I have a cat who looks very much like that one at the orange grove and he is just as good with littles. Ella squeezes and hugs and cuddles with him all the time.

    Here’s to making magical memories with our littles!

  591. Amazing pictures as always! I just made an amazing memory with my daughter last week.. I took her to the zoo. Every time we go, its an adventure!

  592. This excursion looks delish! Thanks for the inspiration to get my girls out on adventures even in the chilly early spring of PA!

  593. Nella has to be one of the cutest baby girls I have ever seen. Your pics of her never fail to touch my heart.

  594. Hi! I love the bright orange color in your blog post… makes me thirsty for some OJ :) Lainey sure is good at taking pictures… I cant wait to teach my son when he’s a bit older how to use my camera!

  595. my favorite professor in college wrote this on one of my journal entries, and it’s become one of my favorite quotes:

    “The past will always look better than it was. The future will be more and less than you suppose. Just make sure the present is everything it can be.” – Dr. Salmons

  596. This is just what I needed (as always). Thank you, Kelle. I feel lucky to be raising my own kiddos — similar in age to your own — at the same time as you. It’s nice to be reminded to slow down and enjoy all that comes with babies and preschoolers of my own and, at the same time, nice to hear that someone else out there knows that the enjoyment and magic is a choice amidst the mishaps and chaos. Now I’m off to buy some oranges and ignore the looming snow clouds in our little mountain town.

  597. Hi Kelle! Beautiful pictures…when you called for recipes, I thought of this one for clementine bread. Hopefully it will work with oranges as well! Have fun! http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/2010/02/sticky-clementine-quick-bread/

  598. It’s so funny that you posted about going to an orange grove. We are vacationing this week in Sarasota and drove to Punta Gorda yesterday to visit family and my husband kept looking for orange groves…never did see one. We are loving your fabulous summer weather and not looking forward to returning home to Maryland which apparently hasn’t gotten the message yet that it’s spring.
    On making memories…I always enjoy hearing my grown children talk about their childhood memories. We often have such different perspectives of those experiences. I laugh at some of the silly things they remember that I have long forgotten and my heart grows big when I realize what an impact some of those moments in time have had in shaping their lives.

  599. I always look so forward to your blog, and this reminds me of the trips my mom used to take me and my brother on!

    thanks for the reminder of a roadtrip back down memory lane!

  600. I will refer to this on the days I don’t want to get out for fear of the hassle, because it was all SO TRUE! Thank you for reminding me!

  601. The picture of Nella with the yellow flower headband is the most angelic thing I have seen in a while. I alos love the orange grove picture of Lainey with her hand on her hip- now if that’s not an advert. for oranges, I don’t know what is.

  602. Lainey is an AMAZING photographer! Those pictures are great!!!

  603. so true, our kids (amazingly) seem to forget the tears and whining involved in some of those memories. And until they bring it up you think of it as a wash because it wasn’t perfect but you did it. But to them, it was great.

  604. Hassle? Yes, but memory making is the best! LOVE the pics and love your passion for motherhood. :)

  605. Perhaps your family needs to add a cat to the mix….Lainey and Nella seemed enamoured. :)

  606. I just wanted to let you know how inspirational your blog is. I’m 7 months pregnant with my first and have been following your blog for the last couple of months. I only hope I can follow your lead in creating such wonderful memories for my children. I often think when I’m reading your blog, “Yes, that’s something I want to do with my kids too”.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  607. We just got back home to Michigan from our vacation to Florida. Oh, how I would have loved to pick oranges from those trees! I settled instead for a roadside stand on the way home. They are delish though!

  608. Last spring we got tickets to the Wild Animal Park outside of San Diego – booked a hotel room and everything. On the drive down, Brock got sick – fever and chills and runny nose and cough. But we still went. Brock remembers the giraffes – and that’s about it. Perfect!

  609. Kelle, I am always amazed at how much living you pack into every. single. day. I have often wondered how you manage all of the day trips – now I know it isn’t because they are easy and perfect – it’s in spite of the struggle – you make it happen! You are touching so many peoples lives by your inspiring stories and photos posted here. Thanks for sharing your Awesome…and Honesty. Keep on keepin’ it real! You so rock.

  610. Love the soft light effect in your photos! How do you do it?

  611. You know… Your right! I’m going to suck it up and haul all FOUR kids to the Zoo while my Dear Husband has to work. You know why?.. because the Kids will LOVE IT! And it’s all about the experience!

    Also.. I love Bambaroos! I bought the most beautiful Purple Flower headbands for my girls, for family pictures from her. I’m impatiantly waiting on a call from my photographer saying my pictures are ready to view!

  612. This is THE POST I feel like I’ve been waiting for. I have these ideas and expectations for creating moments with my kids, based on moments I remember as a kid. I have found it to be such a different perspective as the parent!
    Thank you for the reminder of how our memories are likely partial. It reminds me that it is worth the ‘trouble’ that is involved for the parent.

  613. oh for an orange grove….. :)

    life is a journey and there are the fits and the tears but the smiles and laughs are more important. and if takes a million tears to get one smile and one good memory i’ll take it.

    Orange recipes…nope but I know a wicked lemon bread recipe that I imagine would be good with oranges too :)

  614. i totally understand the 3 kids and gosh-dang-it-we-are-going-to-do-this adventures. still working out the logistics of a 4 and 1/2 year old boy, 18 month old girl and our 3 week old, but adventures are a must so figure out we will =)

  615. You always make me want to pack up my things and move to Florida! Love reading about your beautiful family.

  616. Thank you for saying what I have been thinkng. With three kids 4 and under. There are a lot of days that the hassle of packing everyone up to go somewhere seems too overwhelming. BUT in the end the memories of that trip is ALWAYS worth it! Beautiful as always.

  617. So, so true…..I’d never thought of memories that way, only getting BETTER with time. Great insight, as always! People often ask me why I “bother” doing such-and-such with my small children….now I’m going to refer them to this post on your blog, since you said it better than I ever could have :)
    -Megan

  618. Can you come over to CA and style my kids? I always love the outfits. And when I dress them, sometimes I think of you. :)

    YUM! Oranges– best way to keep the sniffles away.

  619. Yum, fresh oranges! You could make orange julius! Or orange chocolate chip cookies (try it with white chips too because it is fantastic). Orange chicken would be yummy too!

  620. My four-year old son was looking at your orange picking photos with me while I read the post. He said, “Mama, I want to pick oranges!” Too bad we live in Wisconsin. I told him one day we could go to Florida. Hopefully he has happy memories of our fall apple picking excursions.

  621. You would love these muffins–http://www.food.com/recipe/fresh-orange-muffins-14325 You use the whole orange and they are just yummy! So enjoyed the post, as always :))

  622. After reading about you rmemory-making…I think my family needs a vacation to FL. Thank you for sharing all of your thoughts with us. I look forward to new posts. :)

  623. Oh my. There’s almost no baby left in Lainey all of a sudden. Looking at those legs in the first Dickersons photo – they’re the legs of a kid, you know? I know you know…

  624. Beautiful as always Kelle. Thanks for your inspiration and motivation to be better every day. Kisses to your girls :) You are amazing.

  625. I am currently planning my 2nd kiddos 1st birthday party and it makes me SO SAD she is growing up so dang fast!!! I wish they could always stay little!!! Cherishing every moment!

  626. Looks like a lovely day, worth the ants etc! My mum was always great at slinging a picnic in a rucksac or boot of a car and heading out to discover a new forest clearing, field edge or beach. Blissful days out ensued, even if occassionally nothing went to plan… like the now infamous in our family ‘picnic in unexpected snowstorm’. Can still hear my mum’s cheerful “just stamp your feet to keep them warm”!

    The oranges (and Lainey’s picking technique!) look wonderful. A favourite recipe is the River Cafe plum, orange and almond cake, fun to make because you just don’t believe the batter will withstand that much orange and plum juice on top and delicious to eat! Found a recipe here:
    http://nestdecorating.typepad.com/nest_decorating_designs/2009/03/plum-orange-cake.html

  627. OMgosh I want to buy all you your daughters clothes when they out grow them! Love your style!

  628. I am hell bent on making memories too! Even if it involves stopping on the side of the highway to have my son pee into a milk carton! Or the screaming chaos of 2 kids on a plane under the age of 2. It can be a struggle sometimes but we only remember the good that came from our trips!!! It’s all about making memories!!!!!

    Lainey and Nella are perfect and precious in every way! You are so blessed to have two beautiful girls! And they are so blessed to have such a wonderful mother!!!!

    Absolutely love your blog and your stories!!

  629. I think I might just go make a memory tomorrow….

    Best pic? Lainey carrying the cat that is nearly as big as she is!

  630. Thanks for the inspiration – it’s also good to know that you have the hot-sticky-hands-anthills kind of days too!

  631. Based on bow selection alone, Nella and I are soul mates.

  632. I loved reading this:) It soo made me teary eyed and smile and was just what I needed today! Time are tough but those little memories and the innocence of my babies make like SO worthwhile and such a joy:)

  633. I live for making those great memories! Loving the pictures… there are no orange groves where we’re from, but we do have apple orchards and my girl loves it there. Next time we are in Florida we will have to add an orange grove to our to-do list!

  634. My childhood memories are just as sweet. Now I always wonder just what it is that will stay with my own children. And I am always surprised and excited when they whip out a memory that I thought was actually no big deal at all.

  635. We are all about giving our kids memories instead of material things that get lost or broken. Memories last forever!

  636. Loved reading this and totally relate to the memory being worth the blood, sweat, and tears! Your orange grove trip reminds me of our annual apple orchard trips (southern Michigan) in the fall. I have a police officer husband who works 2nd shift and am always trucking out to make my own memories with my kiddos when he’s at work. I have a 3 and a half year old and 14 month old like you and just feel so connected to your posts! Thank you for your great blog! Its the best!

  637. love reading your adventures; the little things turn out to be the best! i hope to make many memories like this with my now 8month old daughter:)–Kayla

  638. love the sweet pics of nella eating an orange!

  639. Pure admiration from here. Not only your family and memories are beautiful but you are a brave woman as well.

  640. Pure admiration from here. Not only your family and memories are beautiful but you are a brave woman as well.

  641. Pure admiration from here. Not only your family and memories are beautiful but you are a brave woman as well.

  642. Pure admiration from here. Not only your family and memories are beautiful but you are a brave woman as well.

  643. Long time reader, first time commenter! I adore your photographs and your girls are absolutely lovely. I so enjoying coming to your blog and reading about your adventures. We awoke to find snow on the ground this morning (um, where are your Spring?) so I’m so jealous of your orange picking outing- I have told me husband on more than once occasion while reading your blog “we need to move to FL.”

    Here is a link to my favorite recipe that includes oranges- it’s from Paula Deen (so you know it’s a delicious artery clogging piece of goodness on a plate): http://www.smithfield.com/recipes/recipe/orange-laced-french-toast-casserole-with-caramelized-bacon

    Melissa

  644. I wish we had an orange picking place near here. Were doing strawberry picking as soon as it is time, Im sure we will have the same, im tired and its hot kinda thing but it will be grand..

  645. Could Lainey’s jumper be any cuter? That will be an outfit she will probably look back on and be like ‘Really?’ but I LOVE it!!!!

  646. I am glad I read your post today. For the past two weeks I have been thinking to stop on one of my bike rides and take pictures with the bluebonnet flowers that grow here in Austin, TX only at this time of year. BUT my 13 month old daughter sits in front of me in her seat and I always think of how much work it will be to stop, then put her back on the seat on the soccer field holding the bike and her at the same time and then go up the hill again. ;o) Now I will not think of that next time I go and finally stop and enjoy these flowers before they are gone. Thanks!

  647. love the pics of laney in the tutu! nothing makes a little girl feel better than a fluffy tutu and a big, beautiful bow!!

  648. I remember going to the same peach orchard every year and I remember loving it (although I’m not sure that’s how I felt at the time).

    Beautiful babies.
    Beautiful memories.
    Enjoy them all

  649. Oh How I wish that I could go to an orange grove…I guess I’ll settle for apple picking in the fall 😉

  650. In 2006, I was 36 years old and pregnant with my 4th baby. At an ultrasound appointment, my baby’s nuchal fold measured “thick”, outside of the normal range. My OB (and husband) recommended an amniocentesis, for no reason other than to be as prepared as possible if our baby did, in fact, gave DS. In the ten days that we waited for the results, I read everything I could get my hands on about DS. I was sure that my baby would test positive for Down Syndrome. When my amnio results showed no DS, I was, believe it or not, heartbroken. In ten short days, I had accepted and prepared for a baby with Down Syndrome. When it didn’t happen, I was sad. I hope that it doesn’t sound silly of me to say that your family is blessed to have your lil Nella, because I really feel that you are!

  651. Wow! Whenever I read your blog, I admire your ability to tell your story in words and pictures. I always think that if I’d had your talent with both, my own mothering story (and now my grammy-ing) would seem just as sweet–but today you’ve permanently put the lie to that idea. I lived in south Florida for three years and loved it (except for Hurricane Charley)…and never actually went into an orange grove, though I loved seeing the trucks loaded with them driving in front of me, and love, love, loved driving the back roads up to central Florida through those miles and miles of orange groves. So when I began reading, I was right there with you…til you got to the fire ant part. When the first one snuck in through that open toe, I would’ve been back in my car muttering expletives that I never would want a child to hear, nevermind the relatives he invited to join him! Kelle, you are an amazing woman!

  652. BEAUTIFUL!!! I grew up with apple trees and strawberry patches :) I miss them, but your post inspires me to go out and find some in my new state.

  653. I don’t know what just happened, but my awesome comment just disappeared. Gah! Anyway, thanks for your last two posts. They’ve both been inspiring, and today’s was convicting. I often feel guilty about how infrequently I go on little excursions like yours (especially in winter, because it’s so freaking cold and I’m lazy and hate freezing my butt off and it takes about three hours to find and put on all the stupid outdoor winter apparel). I’m glad you wrote about the beauty of your day and the parts that sucked, and that you focused on the beautiful parts. Go figure, right? : ) I want to remember this and be a better mommy, even if it means it’s hard. Thanks.

  654. Love the orange grove pictures…. your girls looked adorable! Now I’m thirsty for orange juice…. :)

  655. I love the sassy photos of Lainey! Thanks for inspiring me to brave our Oregon RAIN to make more memories. :)

  656. lovin’ the orange “residue” on nella’s face!!! what innocence! you’re such a good mommy! you make it look so fun–can’t wait for my little girl to arrive in June :)

  657. I absolutely loved this post. This totally speaks to me at this stage of my mothering. Just the other day I was dog-tired because I’d gotten up (for once in my life) early to exercise. We were supposed to meet some friends out at a farm with animals, etc, but the thought of getting everything packed up made me want to take a nap instead. But I rallied. By the time we got out there, we didn’t even get to stay too long. But you know what? My daughter loved the goats and pigs, and I loved being out in the open farm air. It was just what I needed and I bet she’ll remember it for a long time. So, yes, worth it. Love the pictures!

  658. Once you peel the oranges you can freeze the segments in ziploc bags to use for smoothies later. Isnt that awesome? Love your encouragement for making memories!

  659. My 4 year old son is “special.” I sometimes wonder if he’ll remember any of these sweet memories that I so carefully and lovingly try to create, or even if he appreciates them at all. It is so much effort with a wheelchair plus 2 other littles.

    But even if he doesn’t, I will have these tokens of remembrance all stored up in my heart.

    You’re right, it’s always worth it.

    Love, Bree

  660. SO much cuteness but my fave has got to be Laney by all the signs!!OMG *SWOON*

  661. Ah! What a beautiful orange grove! Yes, you have totally inspired me to take my 4 kids out on an adventure tomorrow and make a memory. With one car we need inspiration. Bless you and your gorgeous children!

  662. We had a bugger, too. Until today, I had nary a nervous thought about that contraption, but I totally see your point, so I’m making up for years of being blissfully unaware…this very moment. But the bliss was completely wonderful at the time.

  663. awesome picture taking Lainey!! sounds like a great day!! :) it always seems like the joy far outweighs the hassle of getting/going/doing…. :)

  664. oh, the love of kitties! I love that my daughter has a best friend in my cat Button.
    Reading your post, I can almost smell the citrus!

  665. will order (or hopefully win) the tutu for my flowergirls :) Missed the ‘oh’ this post.

  666. Dear, Orange~ya~glad….? (sorry, couldn’t resist that one!)

    This so brought back memories of me as a young Mama like you. Once upon a time…in a lovely little desert town out west….packing up my littlekins’ in a much~used stroller {yes, mostly because we did not have a 2nd car either} and trekking all over for little, no BIG {NOW they are are BIG anyway} adventures. To the library, the park, shopping the little touristy shops i loved, to the pool, homeschool fieldtrips, and just walking and looking at anything and everything as the sun did its thing and gave us pink cheeks and sleepy eyes for naps when we got back home. Oh, yes, they were PERFECT! For all the reasons you reminded me of. Two little, ponytailed girls, dressed in sundresses and ribbons. Now those first two of my 6 kids are all grown up and one has babies of her own already. I have no regrets for the stuff we did in those crazy, full years when I was still very new at this Mothering thing. We were making MEMORIES, and I am happy they are good ones!
    Thanks for writing. For sharing. For caring. For helping me and countless others remember to treasure what is important with these kiddleywinks we have for awhile.

    love,
    The memories get better and are even sweeter than oranges
    in
    NE

  667. Yummy and delicious post! DARLING!

  668. Loving all those oranges and the orange soaked faces of that little Nella. She is so sweet! It is a great reminder that even though things don’t always wind up the way we exactly plan for but the memories can still be blissful. Love it!

  669. Your blog – well, YOU! – always remind to sit back, breathe, and take it all in. You remind me to slow down, and just enjoy my girls. Thank you!:)

  670. I Love your photo’s <3

  671. Mmmm… I want oranges now. And a little girl to dress in tutus. :o)

  672. Thank you for reminding me what’s important with my children. Some days, I find myself very impatient with a toddler and an infant – but they are growing up so fast, I need to soak them in more. Thank you!

    p.s. My daughter would LOVE a blue tutu!

  673. oh kelle,my favourite+my best blogger:)you had a rainbow halo in one of your pictures+that is what you+your divine girls+family are to me.love,colour,honesty+delicious words all blended into one beautiful rainbow.thanks for brightening+enriching my day again,as you always do,mwah x

  674. I laughed out loud reading this entry. Awesome; brought back memories of my childhood and all the rickety things we used to ride in. My mom likes to tell us how back then everybody smoked, carseats were optional, and no one knew about spf. Ahhh, yes. The good ol days!

    Love it, love your photos, love your way with words.

  675. Kelle,
    Gorgeous pictures as always! It’s so true that it is worth the effort to make memories like this beautiful day. Love the friendly cat.(I’m a real cat fan!)
    xo

  676. Loving the orange grove! I will have to add that to my to do list next time we are in Florida.

  677. Looks like a lovely day. i can’t wait to do that with the apple orchards around here in the fall.

  678. Love the photos. I have said it before, but I really do feel like you can feel the joy when you look at your photos.
    Love apple picking here in the fall Orange picking looks like fun!

  679. You’ve been in Florida how long? You should know by now that spring in Florida is not the time for orange groves. The fruit is old, and yes – there are ants and all sorts of bugs. The time to go is the first cold snap in December. Ask your Florida-bred Dh if he knows what “orange-stealing weather” is.

  680. Thank you Kelle for a much needed different perpective. Just what I needed this week.

  681. Beautiful! Your memories, your babies your life…God is good!

  682. I have the best sign hanging over the opening from my kitchen to the dining room. It reads “The best things in life aren’t things!” and your blog is the perfect example of this. We try to strive for less everyday but it is just so hard. Enjoy reading your blog to help bring me back to the ‘little things’ that are so important. I cried last night when my husband reminded me as I was complaining about lost sleep when our 6 year old climbs in to our bed early in the morning that we don’t have much more time left that it will be ‘cool’ for him to do that. Soon his Mom & Dad won’t be the cool people he enjoys spending time with and it will be all about friends and activities. He is so right…they are only little for so long and I need to step back and breathe it in for as long as I can…

  683. Just wanted to say I love reading your words and seeing pictures of your beautiful girls. Never fails to brighten my day.

  684. Love this post, hey. It’s easy to not adventure when home is comfortable + the couch is calling, but I think most times its worth the effort. Its easier to forget the time on the couch than it is the adventure you had in the orange grove. Plus, the photos are all kinds of gorgeous :)

  685. when i am home in naples visiting my family next month i am SOO taking my little guy to the grove. hopefully we can avoid the angry ants though. love your pictures as always. inspiring me to get up and make some memories for me and my boy. off to the beach with him and the pup this morning!

  686. the real story is hilarious and so true, you had your own crappy stroller moment, but you triumphed! its so fun to hear a childs version of what you thought was a not so great experience. they are always able to find the joy. :)

  687. I love coming to your blog and reading it not always but especially on down days.
    Learning to live with Williams Syndrome is still very new to us so we are in our rough day adventures.
    You give me so much inspiration and smiles, and hope. Thankyou for everything

  688. I love coming to your blog and reading it not always but especially on down days.
    Learning to live with Williams Syndrome is still very new to us so we are in our rough day adventures.
    You give me so much inspiration and smiles, and hope. Thankyou for everything

  689. Perfectly put! Making memories is an investment and always worth the hassle! Thanks!

  690. The picture of Nella holding her doll with the yellow rose in her hair is my new favorite! She is so photogenic – perfect for you!
    – Maureen C

  691. This post spoke to my heart. Sometimes I get to caught up in “schedule” and I really need to live a little.

  692. 45 minute drive one-way, alone, with hungry kids…you are amazing! making beautiful memories for your girls. thanks for sharing

  693. I’m so glad Bambaroos Boutique is back as a sponsor. I’ve been eyeing a cute little headband for my daughter who’s due in May. Now with a 10% off code, I’ll have to get it!

    By the way, I loved the picture of Nella with orange all over her face! So precious!

  694. Our little one has a memory like the history that you have on your computer, it never forgets where you’ve been or what happened on that page of a memory. Like you said, the bad times, so you think, seem to be their favorite. The other day, I was sharing a story about getting ice cream when he was only 1.5 years old, he says “I bemember that, it was a red building and we ate and sang songs, it was my favorite!” Just makes everything worth it, its always worth it! Thanks for sharing!

  695. Your post reminds me so much of apple picking here in MA. I hate to be hot- it costs a fortune for a bag of apples we pick in ten minutes- but we do it. We love it. It must be a coolish day and we must have time to run around the rows and climb the low branches without getting caught. My boy LOVES it, just as I did as a kid. There is nothing like eating three apples in a row for lunch.
    I love that you treasure your kids and every day with them. And seriously, Lainey has the cutest, impish smile- and Nella has the most adorable pout I’ve ever seen! I dream of living in Naples because of your beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing :)

  696. Beautiful photos of your beautiful girls! Wish we had orange groves here in Texas!

  697. Great post, I have been a long time follower but this is my first comment posting.

    I can’t agree more with making memories with your children even though most of the time it’s a hassle to drag them here or there. It’s funny how kids remember only the good, I wish we didn’t lose that as we grow older.

    As for a great orange recipe, I had some left over oranges a few weeks ago and made Paula Deans amazing Orange Cake recipe … FULL OF SUGAR so make sure you have another memory making “outdoor” adventure planned for your girls.

  698. I think I’m craving oranges now…
    Love the skirts..my daugther wants to be a “dancer” for Halloween, she’s already got the plans in play.

  699. Missed the ‘oh’ face this post. The tutu’s and head bands would look FAB in my upcoming wedding for my flower littles.

  700. These pics were great!! I hope and pray that my kids have “great memories” like I did growing up. I am in the process of making :) Have a blessed week.

  701. I wish I had an ounce of your ability to make hassles into memories. Love, love, love your blog. I think about it a lot and it does help me to be better about enjoying the small things.

  702. Oranges look delicious! Thanks for reminding us to make an extra effort even when its not always easy.

  703. Time you got a cat. What happened to the rabbit?

  704. Thank you for keeping it real. I always appreciate it so much! The pictures are beautiful :)

  705. oh my so cute!!! and i so know the feeling! but its so worth it thanks for the reminder!