On the Brink of Summer

A scene from our morning:

The wall needs a finished paint job. The phone doesn’t work either. But the socks. The socks are fabulous, eh? I knew it when I clicked the purchase button on Ebay, smiling in my certainty that it was $3 well spent to make my running escapades more fun, a little daring. Except I didn’t know that when you roll the top of the socks over, it says Gay Pride. Which is totally cool but funny. I like my pride socks. And starting my mornings with coffee at my $10 Craigslist desk. This office is definitely a summer project. Inspired by this and this and this.


Running photo-a-day challenge. Running friends document each run and text a photo to each other, a fun way to stay accountable. I smile every time my phone dings and I click to find a picture of my sweaty friend.

I am logging my miles for Lilly and my friends Kate and Colleen. Colleen’s sweet girl, Lilly, has D.S. and has gone through many physical challenges. She is scheduled for another surgery soon and friends are joining in logging miles, reminding us to run like hell toward the future and always in the direction of becoming better and stronger.


Excitement brews ’round these parts as tomorrow is the last day of school. Our sliding glass doors will soon be water-stained from the cannonballs and bellyflops of teenage boys who swarm to our pool when the sun is hot and high. The summer to-do list will soon be constructed and taped to the refrigerator–a constant invitation to satiate our appetite for adventure. This summer we will finally visit St. Augustine, I will french braid my hair with flowers, and we will dangle lights across our lanai so that it feels like a summer campground.

It feels like summer already.


We are fortunate to live close to several parks, each offering its own special perk. Shade awnings and sylvan walking trails at one, plastic slides that don’t burn your thighs at another. In the June heat though, we gravitate to the park that offers summer solace…water. Cold refreshing water that playfully spouts from the ground, creating puddles that make the perfect shallow pool for Nella.

Capturing an “oh” now is like documenting Big Foot. This is the elusive Water Park Oh, valued slightly lower than The Beach Oh but worth more than The Bath Oh.


And if we’re not dodging man made geysers at a park in the summer, we are wading in our own pool. When I was little, I thought if you had a pool it automatically meant you were super rich. Because in Annie, it finally clicked just how well-off Mr. Warbucks was when she discovered he had a pool (“inside the house? Oh Boy!”). In southern Florida though, having a pool doesn’t make you any more rich than having a swingset in your back yard does. Pools are abundant, and when your plane is ascending from the Fort Myers airport and you look out your window, the ground below is literally marbled with blue rectangular shapes as far as you can see. Hundreds upon hundreds of swimming pools that slowly shrink to tiny blue dots and gradually disappear as the plane slips into the clouds.


Like this badass Esther Williams-esque bathing suit? I’m in love, and I’ll tell you about it and give you a coupon code in a moment.


I am completely embarrassed by my temporary thank-you card paralysis. I used to be good at it. Really good. I had boxes of thank-you cards and linen stationery I had collected over the years organized into drawers and tins of pretty stamps always at hand. I never let any longer than a week lapse after receiving a gift before a hand-written note was in the mail, and now I feel good if I remember to send an e-mail. While I never expect or need a thank-you when I give a gift, I’m uncomfortable with my gratitude relapse especially because Lainey is old enough to understand the important lesson of saying thanks. Together, we revisited the topic when she learned how to make her own thank-you cards for birthday presents the other day.


It was long and tedious, but she discovered not only how to neatly write her name in the process but how to tell her friends that they were appreciated. She scripted, I wrote, and I had to laugh as I penned out things like “Dear Sofia, I like you. Thank you for my present. Wanna come to my house? Hey, you can wear my green hat. I like macaroni. Love, Lainey”


Opportunities to teach our kids big life lessons like Don’t Steal and Be Kind often present themselves overtly. I love the challenge of finding ways to teach our kids the less obvious smaller lessons of life. Like expressing gratitude with hand-crafted thank-you cards, stopping to pick up a littered soda can, or pulling out a few cookies from a fresh batch to save for a neighbor. I think about these things more now that I have kids. I don’t necessarily preach a sermon about why we do them every time the opportunity arises. We just do it, and I know that the repetition of our actions and the occassional mention of “wouldn’t this make Nana Kate happy?” will seep into the characters of our kids. Because really, these are the bigger lessons. You get a handle on these and Don’t Steal won’t be an issue.


Summer calls for fresh produce or a trip to “the market” as Lainey calls it, a local outdoor produce mart a few miles from our house.



Nella ate this piece of watermelon down to the rind and cried when all that was left was a green gnawed-off stub.



I am not allowed to handle any produce. Lainey insists on picking out every peach, bagging each tomato and pushing her Fisher Price cart, heaped with toppling fruit, with no help to the car. She is careful in her selection, turning canteloupes like rotisseries, scanning apples for bruises, trading rotton strawberries for juicy red ones. And my favorite? The way she says avacodo. “Hot-oh-cod-oh.”






Lainey recently requested a breakfast date–just her and Mama. She wanted to eat donuts at “a special place.” In keeping with her meager hills are mountainsmentality, she chose her favorite fountain in front of a stretch of office buildings as her special place. Which basically means we sat eating donuts in our pajamas outside a plaza curb while people behind their office windows laughed at us.



If hills are mountains, then certainly parking lots are pictureque piazzas.
Either way, my girl was satisfied.


The leisure aura of summer is slowly creeping into our routine, and we happily welcome it. Even the mundane errands suddenly take on a new vibe, and trips to Costco become slower-paced while we wind our cart through aisles of beach towels, pool rafts and picnic baskets.


Now about that great suit. Popina Swimwear is renewing their sponsorship. Specializing in vintage inspired swimwear and the fantastic Jantzen swimsuits, Popina offers a great selection of suits that fit well and look great. They kindly sent me another suit, my favorite one yet. I feel very Esther Williams when I’m wearing it. In fact, I pretend I’m her when I’m practicing my full twist and split spin synchronized swimming moves. In this suit, of course.


I love it so much, I wore it as a shirt with jeans later in the day.


Use Code “kelle” for 15% off your order, coupon code good through end of June.

Sunshine beckons and I am itching to be off the computer and out doing something more productive. Have a fabulous day!



Leave a Comment
  1. Love Love Love this post. Love the watermelon pics, your swimsuit is GREAT!! I am so READY for summer.

  2. am i seriously first?! no waaay :) um, that suit is A.dorable…might just have to copy you…i so want to visit st. augustine. might just have to take the kids on a field trip…we’re in s.d. that would be a good field trip! cheers to summer!

  3. That swimsuit is awesome! We still have 6 whole weeks until’Summer’ is official in the UK and I cannot wait! xx

  4. I’m originally from Jacksonville, so St Augustine was part of my stomping grounds growing up. You’ll love visiting there. The tiny shops beckon to be explored and discover new treasures. Make sure you do a ghost tour while you are there, it’s a ton of fun :> (oh and the fountain of youth, total waste of time/money)

  5. Love it! Like always :)

  6. Adorable swimsuit! So jealous of your beautiful weather. Here in WA we are still in the 50’s & cloudy/rainy. Blah.

    And I love how Lainey scripts & you write her thank you notes. I need to do that with my little girl. And I hear you about how painfully long it takes to write their name…Kennedy takes a LONG time to write, and usually on two lines! :)

  7. Holy. Adorable. Bathing Suit.

  8. thank you notes are quickly becoming obsolete. It makes me sad. People are too busy, yada yada yada…….good work teaching Lainey to write a note, and hopefully she will receive some back. Cute suit!

  9. Super cute post….love the smiles on the girls faces!

  10. Thank you cards, VERY important and I LOVE that you wrote what she recited. Awesome.

  11. I love looking at swimming pools from airplanes. (: I’ve always wanted one.

    The pictures from the market are precious–and I love the doughnut excursion. So cute & now I have a craving for a doughnut!

  12. love that she picks out the produce!

  13. LOVE that swimsuit! you are one sasssy momma!

    your girls are too much sweentess, i love lainey’s method of being the only one allowed to touch the fruit,etc. cute!

    my nephew is the same age as nella, i took him and one of his big sisters to our local splash pad, unlike nella though he was very freaked out by it. weird too because he loves baths and water….

    that nella “oh” and smile are priceless!!

    thanks for another fantastic post :)

  14. I love it all.
    Having serious ‘Summer envy’ as we are heading into Winter in Australia.

  15. Love the smiles! Love the stories! Love the swimsuit! Love the pics! Love the song! Thanks for taking the time 😉

  16. You guys will love love LOVE St. Augustine–I went to high school there, and my mama and stepdad, and dad and stepmom and all of sibs still live there, it’s just the cutest little historical city ever. St. George Street has the most awesome shopping, just thinking about it has me itching to go browse and I’m two hours away!

  17. when i read your posts i’m making metal notes all the way down of what i want to say to you and there ends up being so many things i actually lose track. it happens every single time! ugh.

    love the suit. love that you can’t handle the fruit. love that you are teaching your kids to not steal and to say thank you. those are good things:) hope you enjoyed the sunshine. we are basking in it as of late..yay finally!!!

  18. you say such great things about your kids and life. I am so happy to have my babies but a lot of the time I don’t see all the special stuff. I focus on the toddler biting the baby, the dishes in the sink, the constant nagging of my toddler to play trains (I hate trains) wawww :( u inspire me though. Things todo: let things go and enjoy.

  19. love love love the suit!! i’m taking my 5 month-old boy to a splash park tomorrow for the first time! your pics of Lainey and Nella there get me excited!

  20. “June heat”….a foreign concept in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. :-)

  21. girl, you are pulling off that retro look like a queen in this new suit. Love this yellow one!
    Also love latte’s face in this last shot like “oh crap I hope she doesnt step on me.”
    happy Summer!!

  22. Retro swimsuit rocks! All the pics are awesome!

  23. OMG….so perfect as this has been out hottest day of the year so far at about 93 degrees, and I’m so so ready to spend the summer at home with my new girl as soon as she decides to get here. Loves–Lainey’s market jumper…would wear one myself if I wouldn’t like like a giant toddler, and oh that swimsuit of yours…wonder if I can jam these new mama tata’s in one of them…hmmm.

    Much love- nicole

  24. That swimsuit is literally amazing!! The thank-you note had me cracking up!! Happy summer!

  25. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I flew into Phoenix, AZ for the first time before making a move there…blue in almost every yard! First time flying back to Seattle, I noticed lots of blue beside houses and never remembered so many people having swimming pools. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were blue tarps protecting things underneath from all the rain :0)

  26. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! i also LOVE that quilt seriously if you ever find another one or sell yours i want it so bad! :)

  27. I lOVE the pictures, looks like Nella and Lainey enjoyed their watermelon! Lainey is adorable picking out the produce, sounds like something one of my 7 little siblings would do, time to take great pictures at BBQ’s or in the pool to put on my blog! Have a great day, Mary Grace

  28. Thank you for cyber infusing some summer into our dreary coolish wintery-spring up here. I’m sure our Costco has out all the summer stuff, too. Perhaps we should go hang out there and pretend it is summery outside – ha.

    I’m loving the socks!

  29. Lainey suddenly seems so much more grown up!

    Where did you get Nella’s purple clip? so cute.

    I loe the breakfast trip, I bet it made everyone’s day to see you rocking out in your jammies

  30. so cute !!! & i love Lanieys market outfit !!!!!!! please tell me where you got it :)

  31. Dear Rockin’ Kelle,
    That suit is the BOMB! I’m pretty sure you are rocking it better than I ever could… the lipstick… the hair… the sunglasses… You got it going on, girl!

    My day just got better for seeing the Water-oh, a learning Lainey and a Nella smile that rocks the World!

    Smiling Back in NE

  32. Dang, Kelle, you are looking GOOD! So stylish in that suit! Inspiration for me to get my butt in gear and do some laps around the block.

    Thanks for posting some summer shots for me, here in Seattle it’s just another “juneuary” day. Cold, raining, dark. What a strange summer it already is.

    A few more posts like this and I might show up on your doorstep.


  33. Love the suit. Love that you don’t have to be rich to have a pool in FL. Love watermelon and Love your blog.

  34. OK, I was on my way to the grocery store and saw you posted so I did a quick parusal of the photos…my favorite part…and almost tasted the watermelon on Nella’s lips and felt a soggy Lainey in my imagined hug…and somehow peripherally picked up that there was some giveaway of offer to a random reader but really didn’t have time to read anything yet…my usual first sweep. Then, as I do, I read the comments and came across the one saying something like, “I love seeing swimming pools from airplanes. I have always wanted one.” And I, for a moment, thought, “Oh my God, she’s givin’ away a swimming pool!” Oprahesque! I guess nothing surprises me! Bring on the summer and the serendipitous eruption of fun anywhere! Love you!


  35. The water park… smiling! May this be your best summer yet.

  36. Yay! Let the summer fun begin!! Love your new suit!

  37. Oh my, the tube socks took me back to my childhood years! In my mind as I was reading that I am thinking “where are my tube socks?”!
    I know your life is not perfect (as you have blogged about previously), but I love the way you post the beauty of your everyday life. It’s just very uplifting and inspiring. Thank you.

    p.s. Popina needs to hire you as a swimsuit model. You look gorgeous in that suit.

  38. Love the socks!!
    I am so glad you posted where to find that swimsuit. As soon as I saw it I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement! I can never find suits that “cover my butt” in the stores.

  39. Lovely post! You look awesome in yellow. Enjoy the summer. We went strawberry picking last week and enjoyed some fab desserts with our haul. Feels like summer around here too. xo

  40. I just love Nella! Thats just all there is to it! If you guys ever make it to Nashville I will just have to meet y’all!

  41. You look AWESOME in yellow :)

    LOVE the watermelon pictures, it’s my favorite summer food! SO much so I managed to end up in the hospital after eating a whole one…yes…a whole one…there is a picture of that fateful night on the “about me” seciton of my blog…

    If only I had known!

    Brooke Annessa

  42. Love the idea of texting running pics–such a fun idea. I adore the pic of Lainey with the apples–so beautiful and sweet.

  43. The last photo of you is stunning. You can rock any look and I am jealous!! I also have to point out that the heels are gorgeous….you an your girls have some great shoe style!
    I went on a nature field trip with my sons kindergarten (French immersion!) class today and I am now inspired to start jogging. Wish me luck that it will win out over Dr Phil!

  44. Love! Just when you get a minute – shoot me a really quick e-mail on the paint color in your master bedroom- gotta start painting!
    Thanks and Happy Summer!

  45. i love your suit! it goes so beautifully with your hair :)

  46. Look at Nella and her splits—she is amazing!!

  47. I love that you’re teaching Lainey to write thank you notes, and I think what she has to say is great :)

    I also agree that if you teach them the little things, the bigger things will come on their own :)

  48. LOVE the suit…LOVE the blog…YOU ROCK!

  49. Ah-ha! Thanks for finding the perfect suit for summer! fits you perfectly! Can’t wait for mine!

  50. Loving how summer here is around the corner..you look superb in your suit and your best girls how can you not fall madly in love with them :)

    The heels oooo the heels my little 16 monther (17 tomorrow ekk) loves to wear my heels

    ps. i totally thought the same thing with pools growing up however here in Toronto they still don’t come with every house, now that would be great :)

  51. You know you’re an early reader when there’s only 45 comments so far! Love the outdoor market. You reminded me of a thank you note that still hasn’t gone out. Darnit. I looooove summer. We, too, have a pretty static weather pattern in Pismo, but summer is just better. More consistent. My boy loves running errands lately but he is SUCH a squirmer! Does Nella let you carry her in one arm or is she a reacher-n-flipper like my little one? LUV those shoes, girl.

  52. When you go to St. Augustine, there’s a cool restaurant on a dock where you can feed the fish. It’s incredibly cool; my kids loved it. You’ve gotta check it out.

  53. We recently moved to the Oregon Coast and are L-O-V-I-N-G it! But it would be so luvly if the weather started acting like it was summer. My boy begs to play outside everyday after preschool. He likes to read your blog with me, only he likes the pics of Nella. He told me today that “Newa is butiful”. And he totally loves the O-face, he cackles everytime. Thank you for sharing your family with us and inspiring me to be a better mom everyday.

    Heather David & Cooper

  54. That suit is gorgeous! I thought Katy Perry when I saw you in it. Looks great on you!

  55. I’m almost halfway through my first pregnancy, and the excitement is building. I’m really excited about parenting my kids the way you mention here. Ah! I love reading your posts- they get me all pumped up:-).

  56. I seriously *just* pinned that suit on pinterest, like yesterday…I want that suit so badly! Look at you totally glaming it out! love it!

  57. HELLO SUMMER! Bring it on!

    I loved your comments on gratitude. Now that I have kids this so important to me too. Unfortunately, the art of the “thank you note” seems to be disappearing in this day and age of emails and texts. So it’s great to see someone else take the time to teach gratitude. And Lainey’s creative comments make it all the better.

    That swimsuit ROCKS…am heading over there right now to check ’em out.

    Have a great rest of the week.

  58. Summer is such a special time for our family, too! It seems as though we all thaw in the summer time. Love the thank you card and your daughters passion for fruits and veggies :) Have an amazing evening!!

  59. Seriously dying laughing at the Pride socks and donuts in the piazza! Love it!!!

  60. What a fun, cheery post!

    So much:
    * tube socks!!!
    * Summer to do lists….yep, got one.
    * “…is now like documenting Big Foot.” Hahahaha!
    * I’ve NEVER seen Annie….gasp!
    * Lainey’s hands are cuuuute.
    * Verbatim notes–THE best!
    * The girls in front of “Ritchey’s Pro uce” (purposely left out the ‘d’) could be an advertisement!!!
    * Super cute slipper-socks on Lainey :)

    * And your swimsuit/shirt???–You are a knock-out! They should pay you for looking so perfect in it! Do they sell ’em with skirts down to your knees? (that may be a different era), cuz that’s what I need to cover the cellulite growing down to my calves—hahaha!


  61. St Augustine is so fabulous! Camping at Anastasia State Park is highly recommended.
    I would love to have a suit like that one but sadly my boobies would never do it justice.

  62. I need need need to know where you got those silver kids platform sandals, I wash you could see the platform flip-flops my 3year old wears, she get them as hand me downs when she was 2 and now they are 2sizes too small but I cant get them off her. I hope your awesome sandals will replace them!!

  63. I’m absolutely in love with all of your bathing suits!! I’m looking for a cool retro one that won’t cost me an arm and a leg…

    I’m thinking of frequenting my local farmer’s market more and more…but there’s nothing like my Paw’s home-grown market full of fruit and veggies…

    Hsppy Wednesday!

  64. I’m absolutely in love with all of your bathing suits!! I’m looking for a cool retro one that won’t cost me an arm and a leg…

    I’m thinking of frequenting my local farmer’s market more and more…but there’s nothing like my Paw’s home-grown market full of fruit and veggies…

    Hsppy Wednesday!

  65. I love what you said about teaching our children the little lessons. Also, I feel a bit convicted for not sharing my cookies.

  66. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I love the photos of your girls in the “man made geysers”, and of course the watermelon pics. Congratulations on continuing your running into the 2nd quarter of June … my June resolution is to start trying to conceive child number 2, 8 months after number 1 … I must be crazy!! Thanks again – I look forward to sitting down, nursing my baby to sleep and reading your blog 3 nights a week.

  67. I love that suit! I have a question though. The one on the website doesn’t look like it has a skirt, but the one you are wearing looks like a skirt. I need a skirt for these thighs. :)

    And thanks for the tip. My son just had his birthday party and I need to send thank yous. I like your idea by getting him to help.

  68. Oh goodness, I laughed so hard. The thank you cards? The leisurely breakfast in front of the office buildings? Brilliant.

  69. Okay, I just have to say.. You are one of the best Mom’s I have ever seen.. Or read about;) Haha. But really, the things you do with your kids is adorable, and you can see in their eyes how loved they are! I love that you are always doing things with them.. I strive to be more like you!

  70. I am a mom of 3 who is FINALLY making myself a priority by kicking my own arse 6 days a week with strength training and cardio workouts. . . so that I can someday look sassy and sexy in a suit like that!

  71. I love the suit – I love the way Lainey’s mind works – and I love Nella’s expressions…amazing post as always :)

  72. Absolutely love your suit & the headband is quite cute! I think of these life lessons for my girl also & wonder if she’ll ‘get it’ & will I have done the best I could. I will certainly try my hardest.

  73. That suit. Dang.

    To Summah!!! (clink!)

  74. I never tire of reading your musings about being a momma and woman/person in general. Your girls are very lucky to have such a down to earth woman fashioning their childhoods.

  75. Wow talk about a pop of color in that bathing suit…it screams summertime! Love the watermelon pics. So much fun!

  76. I ordered a suit from Popina just last week because of your posts! If only I had a little more patience I could have gotten a deal! I drooled over the one that you purchased, but decided I needed a little more time to save for that one! Love it though, so adorable!

  77. Keep up the good work of staying faithful to your June challenge of running! So inspiring. And DANG do you look good retro and that swimming suit paired with that headband, bun, lipstick, sunglasses, and glass of tea is too much! LOVE IT! Loved the visual I got when I imagined flying into Ft. Myers airport! What a sight to behold! Loved all of the purple in Lainey’s donut pictures! Precious post! THANK YOU, Kelle!

  78. Do u take nella on ur runs? If so what kind of stroller do u jog with??? Loving the suit!!!

  79. Up since 4am and exhausted, but this post made me laugh so much…those rainbow socks, jammied fountain b’fast, cards penned by Lainey, Nella’s squinty watermelon grin. Too cute!
    And, I think Popino should have you modeling their goods. Beautiful shot. Have a great weekend!


  80. Hahahaha……… the thank-you cards totally crack me up!!

  81. That suit is SO you! Retro AND yellow. Seriously, does it get any better? I just found a little ditty in a catalogue tonight that is a ruffly top and c-u-t-e skirted small bikini bottom. Usually I’m a frilly-less suit kind of girl, but Alex’s girly stage must be rubbing off on me. Must. Order. Now.

    Love how Nella is a hot mess from eating Water mellon. Hose that child off.

    Nice socks. Last time I saw tubes like that, I was trying to pull them up on my childhood dog’s legs to protect her from a killer snow storm. Poor dog.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely summertime moments.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  82. Hmmm … might just have to order another Popina swimsuit this season. I bought the red and white white, thanks to you, last summer.

    Beautiful start to your summer :)

  83. Your blog always makes my day. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful photos and a glimpse into your life with those incredible girls. They are seriously the cutest ever. Your words, photos and songs are inspirational!


  84. That suit is AWESOME!!! I concur!!! Love the pics of the donut eating adventure!!!!

  85. Haha! I love that my hubby just walked by peaked over my shoulder as I was reading and saw your first picture in the socks. He says, “What on earth are you reading.” Then he asked, “What are those socks?” “Gay pride socks of course, my love.” The look he gave me was priceless! LOVE your socks! I wish I could rock them! Great post as always!

  86. Happy Summer! :)

    As always, I enjoyed your pictures and updates. My favorite? Your running, photo a day challenge! What a fantastic idea! So fantastic, I might just have to borrow it! 😉

    Hope you have a great rest of your week!

    ~ Katie

  87. Hey, can you please have a link on your blog to all of Nella’s “oh” pictures? I just absolutely love them!!! Thank you!!

  88. P.S. Laughed out loud when I read what you wrote about your new pride socks! Rock them while jogging and make all the neighbors jealous! 😉 They know they all secretly want them. Haha!

  89. My niece has that same green swimsuit as Lainey! Made me smile to see it on your girl. :)

  90. i wish i had a membership to cosco bc the double buggy is awesome

  91. Ohhh I love Lainey’s PJs!!! Moose are my favorite animal, those are awesome!!!

  92. Seriously – with the pools! I agree with once upon a time judging a person’s wealth on whether they had a pool or not… and it is quite a sight flying into Ft. Myers (i took an areial tour of it a little over a week ago when my flight couldn’t land because of a storm – little blue dots everywhere!)

    I love the Oh! face… My nephew follows just about every word or sound with the Oh! face right now… and I couldn’t get enough of it when I went back to CT for his 1st birthday party :

    And where is this market you mentioned? I guess i got spoiled up north or something but Publix produce doesn’t hold a candle to Stew Leonards… and I’m missing my fresh veggies for my amazing salad!

    Happy Hump Day!

  93. just have to say that I am so so happy that I can finally hear your playlist again! I love your music but for a while here in Canada we weren’t allowed to stream your playlist. Now we can! Yay!

  94. The retro look suits you Kelle!
    I’m jealous of your Summer! Here in England we’re lucky if we even get a hint of Summer!

    I think I need to come a live with you! I need to learn how to ‘enjoy the small things’ and forget about the daily grind of life and not let it get in the way xxx

  95. Hi Kelle, greetings from Ireland where there is no hope of us ever experiencing the heat and the long hot sizzling days that you speak of!!! As I sit here, having a well earn quiet breakfast I am once again blown away by your writing, your photos, your little girls and that smile. Nella has a smile that melts my heart. Love it!!!

    Wishing you and yours a happy summer.

  96. “…run like hell toward the future and always in the direction of becoming better and stronger…” – AMAZING :) New motto for the month, so thank you!

  97. I am loving the “Yellow Polka Dot” Bikini! LOL. It makes me think of the song a little. :) I have a bathing suit kind of like that in turqoise. :) We are headed for Disney today, we are in OH, so we will get a taste of that sunshine for the next week at the Grand Floridian. I am so ready for some sunshine. :)Have a blessed week! Love your post, as always. 😉

  98. Lovely, as usual. I love the pictures from the market. I think they just inspired a trip to our farmers market this weekend.

    Btw, love your suit. You sure can rock a suit like nobody’s business! :)

  99. wow……I fell in love with your blog…this is an amazing post!!!!!

  100. First: props for the guns you are sportin’ in running pic 2…heavy lifting pay-off! I, too, thank my kids for chisled arms – which beats chisled abs any day 😉
    We had a similar watermelon rind cry-fest this weekend. Must feel good on swollen gums – but, Buddy, I’d give you a whole new piece if I can just take this rind!
    Love my new suit I spied on Popina, too – thanks for the lead!
    I chuckle at the thought of business people observing your “special breakfast” and slightly covet your water park and abundant produce stand. But, as coveting is not something I want to teach my children, I will focus on our town’s fabulous summer offerings and drink them in – ’cause we know they will be gone too soon!
    Off to bake cookies with the kids and distribute some to the neighbors…
    Happy brink-of-summer to you all!

  101. I freaking love your kids-and don’t even know them. And you……you’re like a superhero.
    Picture of Lainey with her face in the water-epic.
    We’ve recently had a few little teaser doses of summer up here in South Dakota. Even though the high today is 67. *sigh
    Thanks for yet another amazing post.

  102. You always have the cutest swim suits! I may have to venture to that site!!

  103. My friends and I log our miles on dailymile so we can support each other that way (considering 2 of us live close to each other and 1 of us lives by you down in Florida) while training. We just met up to run the Country Music Full and Half Marathons in Nashville. Anyways, I LOVE the idea of taking pictures of ourselves…I’m going to have to have us ladies start doing it. And love that you’re running for Lilly!

  104. if you were any more fabulous i might hate you. except i don’t. :)

  105. Love that little outfit Lainey is wearing at the “market”. Ah, summer fun. Just can’t get enough of it!

  106. just for the record … cora picked out our “special place” to visit the other day during a date …just so happened to be a little ditch pond thing at the corner of a super busy intersection in a parking lot.
    but … there were baby geese! we hung out there for far too long watching them …
    i love that you give your 4 year old those moments too … 4 is such an age where they are thinking so much more about this and that … and they really need us to inspire and encourage it.

  107. Lainey’s outfit at the market is precious!! I love it and want it for any little girls that I have i my future! Also, I love that she picks out only the best produce; that is a trait one learns from watcher her mama! I know that’s how I learned.
    Have a wonderful time in St. Augustine! My brother lives there and I love visiting! We might go down for a weekend this summer as well! I cannot wait to see how you capture the historic town!

  108. Seriously….can you or your girls be any more Beautiful???!!!!! LOVE this post, LOVE the new suit, LOVE that you wore it as a shirt, LOVE your breakfast date, LOVE Nella eating watermelon, LOVE your new socks, LOVE it all! You inspire me with every post and make me happy! LOVE it!!!!

  109. I love that you not only allow Lainey to choose her special destinations, you allow them to be just as special to you as they are to her. It’s just what I want to do when I become a mommy! Thanks for being such a good example of what I would love to be for my sweet kiddos.

  110. How I love the waterpark OH. I like how she’s doing the splits while OH’ing! And I can just see the smile on the faces of Lainey’s thank you card recipients. Awesome!

  111. I usually just read your wonderful words of love, adoration, and celebration of your family, but today I just had to say thank you – what a beautiful paragraph about how you talk to them about thank you notes and just little things to help develop their character. You are a wonderful mother.

    And where did you get that adorable blue polka dot headband??

  112. Love love, love the suit!!! I want one!!!

  113. So I have been lurking around stalking your blog for about a month now and I just have to say I absolute adore your daughters!! They have such cute personalities in their pictures. I loooove that bathing suit too. And I have to just say that your perspective when taking pictures is breath taking!

  114. Love that belly oh photo of your Nella girl.

    Also, love: If hills are mountains, then certainly parking lots are pictureque piazzas.

    Ack! Thank you notes. I always think about them. Why is it so much work for me to get them done? It doesn’t take long and is wholly satisfying. I have been meaning to send a thank you card with a photo of us using our stroller to the entire museum staff and board who pitched in to buy it for us. Ruby is 18 months old. I am sending it today.


  115. we’re loving being on the brink of summer here too!!!

  116. Bring on School Break!!! Summertime! Bathing Suits!! YESSSS!

  117. You look lovely in yellow.
    Girls are adorable as can be!

  118. you should be a model for Anthropologie!!

  119. Your breakfast date w/ Lainey is cracking me up! I just love the sweet innocence of little ones!

  120. I’m glad to hear that my kids aren’t the only ones still in school! It seems that they are in the last district in Texas to get out. I love, love reading your blog, Kelle. My parents have a condo in Naples so a little piece of me feels like I’m right there with you! Take care, Audrey

  121. We’ve never met, and are thousands of miles away, but… My girlfriend and I talk about you like we are BFF’s. “You know, Kelle said this.” or “Kelle said that.” You pop up in casual conversation like we just hung out with you yesterday.


    Happy Summer!

  122. Summer officially arrives here in 2 wks. Summer vacation is 3 wks away. I can not wait for school to get out. To be able to spend our days lazily playing in the grass, hanging at the beach and water parks. I love your swim suit I could never pull it off but I love it!

  123. I can’t help but comment although I am sure you hear the same things over and over…but you look absolutely smashing in that suit. I wish I could pull it off. And with jeans too!? Hush yo mouth. I love the jogging pic idea…great support team there. Love the romper Lainey has on. Love the pic of the two of them in front of the market. Love the pic of Nella smiling on the quilt, drenched in fruity sweetness. Yeah, basically I just love you all.

  124. Oh how I wish I had the figure, pool and weather to justify that swimsuit as it is just fabulous!!!

    I have an equally helpful little one who helps at our local “farm shop” I have to check any apples haven’t got bite marks in them or any strawberries missing from the punnets ;o)

    Andie x

  125. For the record, I work in an office building…if we had a fountain out front, and one morning I saw a mother and daughter in jammies eating breakfast, I would wish it were me with my sweet girl. I enjoy my job, but man oh man, if ever I were so lucky to be a working AND stay-at-home mom like yourself, I would be so blissfully happy!

  126. oh and that is the exact same way my soon to be 4 yr old says avocado =)

  127. Loved your post!! I love that you are the type of mom who will eat a doughnut with her little girl outside in their p.j.’s. Way to go!! You rock!!!

  128. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! but so does everyone else! I never know how you get to read all your wonderful comments but just wanted you to know that I get SO exited when I see you have another post.

  129. LOVE and wonder if everyone else waits and waits for the next words that you type for us to read :) I know no one’s life is perfect but yours is definitely amazing!!! You looked awesome in the bathing suit..I just love those..LOVE Nella eating watermelon..that is E-V’s most favorite thing in the world..Love the breakfast in front of the fountain..and could you just imagine what they were thinking? “what an awesome mama having a nice breakfast with her beautiful daughter” ..thank you so much for sharing…

  130. I LOVE love your work Kelle! It is so inspiring. What I love most, is how genuine, real and raw your writing and photo’s are. I am an amateur photographer and have viewed many, many other mom-photog blogs and resources. Some are good, but some use way too many props and edit the heck out of their pictures, making them look fake and have no realness to them. Yours are different-honest and true. Your photo’s bring your subjects to life. Please consider publishing other resources for us mommy photog’s. We love it. Thank you for your inspiration. Reading your blog brings me joy.

    PS-I love your music selections as well. I check daily for new music :)


  131. i am here in st. augustine. For the beautiful girls: the beach and splash park. For you Gypsy’s, Ned’s Southside Dinner and a boat ride to ft. matanzas. Let me know if there is anything more we can do to make your trip more enjoyable!

  132. God, I love your kids. I don’t even know them, but i love them. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  133. Do you run with your bugaboo? I always feel like mine is all over the road when I use it for running. Maybe you’re just a better runner than me? Totally likely. If you have secrets about making this easier, I’d love to hear them :) As always, lovely post and pictures!

  134. So in LOVE with Lainey’s wedge sandal’s she wore to the market! It must making picking fruit all that easier being that her shoes are very stylish!

  135. I love that bathing suit!!!

  136. I don’t even like yellow (because I look jaundiced when I wear it) but I would SO wear that suit. Love it.

    Also? The Annie reference made my day. Best. Movie. Ever.

  137. First of all: you look fab! You’re hot in that bathing suit!!!

    Love the post and the small outings that look very cosy. I’m so envyous of the pool, so please enjoy it for me too!

  138. Oh my what a sexy swimsuit, and those pictures make my day!! I live in stockholm with my soccer player husband and 14 month old son, and summer has finally come here as well. If u wanna see more of stockholm and what we get up to here check out my blog:) http://www.dag2dag.wordpress.com

  139. 7 more workdays until my summer! Bring. It. On.

  140. LOVE that colour swimsuit, love that swimsuit itself :) Watermelon is delicious; & if people laughed at you & Lainey on your date, it’s because they were jealous of not eating donuts 😉 xx

  141. Kelle, you completely look the part in your 1950s style swimwear. It’s as if you’re on the set of “Million Dollar Mermaid” starring “Kellster Williams”!

  142. Loved reading about your doughnut date w/Lainey- what a great idea! And the farmer’s market pics are my favorite!

  143. Yes, great swimsuit! I’m especially jealous since I’m currently wearing hand-me-down maternity suits that are a bit large in the old top and need to be tightened with hair elastics. Sexy. : )

    I like Nella’s Michael Jackson move at the water park. Girl’s got SKILLZ!

  144. Enjoy St. Augustine!! It’s a beautiful town! :-)
    We just returned to Naples after a couple of days in Miami. Sweet!!

    – Your Norwegian Target-“stalker”!

  145. Living Summer vicariously through you as we in Australia head into winter and headlong into all the winter bugs that the season brings with it (but we get Summer much of the year round too, so it’s nice to feel a bit chilly for a change!) Enjoy the lovely sunshiney weather, water play and seriously gorgeous swimsuits.

    And I love love love your Gay Pride ‘footy’ socks. LOL at that one.

  146. So Nella + Watermelon is equivalent to my Cecilia + Strawberries. Nothin’ sweeter than watching your sweetie suck on somethin’ sweet! :)

    Also, you in that suit? Way to hype up the glam, Kelle! I have a similar retro suit that I *LOVE*! I will have to check out Popina :)

    And finally, I was wondering – somewhat randomly – how did you and Brett meet? I would love to hear the story! (And not only the story of meeting, but also about how it turned into Happily Ever After!)

  147. Ok, I just bought that yellow suit. I hope I look as good as you in it! :)

  148. i love the suit! ill hafta check out that site….as usual, the girls are beautiful…how does one join in on the running for a cause?? i despise running, but have started working out lately, and a great cause could possibly give me the motivation to go for some jogs…

  149. I horde these posts : ). Wait until its quiet and I will have uninterrupted time to enjoy basking in all the creativeness and encouragement that I receive from this blog. Baby asleep in bed – check. Husband watching basketball game – check. Washing machine, dishwasher, and sprinkler tackling the last little chores of the day – check, check, check!

  150. Hi Kelle, I have been reading your blog for several months now and have been touched over and over by your exuberance for life. I am a new mommy, and this blog has kept me company during many a sleepless night. I love my daughter so much, and I turn to your blog when I need a little encouragement or a gentle reminder that the hard stuff will pass and it’s the sweet stuff I should savor. Thanks. 😉

    Also, your blog has me toying with the idea of taking another stab at the blogosphere (I quickly got bored the first go-round but that was pre-mommyhood). I’m often struck when I visit your site at what an awesome record of words and images you are creating for yourself and your children. Within all of these days that become mere moments in our lives, there are so many small joys that we may forget. But you have so many of them documented to enjoy for the rest of your life. How priceless. I love it. Bravo!

  151. Ah, thank you notes. I’m almost 2 weeks behind. I blame my 3 year old though, oh, and the 2 week vacation to Pennsylvania. :)

  152. love the photos, as always…

    ps/ i gave you a blog award (http://wackylittlehouse.blogspot.com/)

  153. I just got this swimsuit from my bestie for my birthday and I absolutely love it! I live near Portland and found the website on your blog. Thanks!

  154. i am sooooooooo glad to have found this blog. it started with scary mommy’s collaborative post about children with special needs. many people mentioned your site. i’ve been captivated by your beauty as well as that of your family for hours now instead of sleeping. wow is pretty much all i can come up with. looking forward to devouring more of your posts in the future!

  155. Lainey looks so grown up at the market picking out produce. I did a double take. Those long legs – she is really growing up!!

  156. You have inspired me. I will begin my adventure of redoing my office at work. Not only to get rid of the drab brown walls, but to find treasures to make my space a warm and inviting one. Maybe then I will enjoy coming to work! :-)

  157. xoxo,
    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

    …..Happy weekend!

  158. xoxo,
    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

    …..Happy weekend!

  159. Love the story about the socks! Your socks rock! I was in Portland this week and had to stop by one of the Popina stores. I got a fabulous suit and now I want to go order the one you have or one like it. They are awesome and the store is wonderful, they’ll even let you have a Kona beer while you try on suits. Heaven!!!

  160. Kelle Hampton, you my dear are smokin hot:)

  161. I love that picture of the girls in the cart! So much so, that I am definitely bringing my littles there soon, for a picture of our own like that! :)
    And bytheway, I also love my new suit so much that I too have used it as a top. :)

  162. Oh summer, FL style! Love the swimming, the yellow retro suit, the fruit stand…Should we end up moving back to FL, I won’t live without a pool. There is a reason that state wasn’t very populated until air conditioning came along :)

    A few things:
    1. Love the socks! I used to associate rainbows with Rocky’s roller skating rink and the early 80’s. No longer true since I live at the edge of the Castro (SF). The gay pride parade is only a couple of weeks away, in fact.

    2. I ordered the aqua with red polka dots booster seat for Ada.

    3. When you make it to St Augustine check out the grassy square near the bridge and the catholic church. I got married standing in that gazebo. The night before, we met all of our guests at Scarlett O’Hara’s for drinks. Then there are all the weekends at my friends beach house…love that city.

  163. Your bathing suit is amazing, and I love Nella’s huge smile with her watermelon – precious!!

  164. I just have to start by saying that you seem like a fantastic mother! I absolutely love your pictures, and both of your daughters are so sweet :)
    I just had to write you a comment, ’cause last summer i went to St. Augustine for short trip when I and my family stayed in Orlando for a couple of weeks. I totally loved the narrow streets and the charming houses – you absolutely have something to look forward to!
    Hugs from a norwegian reader :)

  165. ha, ha!! LOVE the socks!

    One of my favorite parenting moments came when I was taking out a huge batch of cookies from the oven. My daughter asked, “Oh, which neighbors do we get to take these to?” I LOVED that we bake and give soooo often that it is her natural assumption that me baking meant that we were giving!!

    Yeaaa for those fun parenting moments. (And I’ve lapsed on the thank-you cards too. Gotta get back on that wagon and take my kids with me!!)

  166. I am so glad to see the quilt has made it back into some of your pictures! I am a big fan of this quilt! The carefree way in which the colours and patterns all run together and create something wonderful was the inspiration for me to go out and buy a sewing maching and begin making a quilt for my daughter! I want to make the kind or memories that your daughters have shared on that quilt!

  167. dear Yellow Polka-dots,

    Love love love the suit!
    My admiration just grew even more today as I read about you teaching Lainey about thankyou notes. I have brought my kids up that same way….and by the time graduation comes (we are in the middle of the 3rd of 6 for that) they are not intimidated or lax about it because they have grown up doing it!

    Still the old-fashioned hand written notes

  168. the photo of Lainey holding the apples….love love love. She is becoming such a little lady! Also love that Nella loves her some watermelon!! such beautiful girls you’ve been blessed with Kelle!

  169. You have the most beautiful blog ever! Ah I love it. And your daughters are precious. You’ve inspired me to take up blogging and save for a nice camera/learn to take pictures :) Thank you!

  170. Just placed my order for that suit. I heart it. The coupon code you gave still works, too. Score!

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