Weekend.

It feels good to be running again. I don’t run fast or competitively; I run freely and with great thought. I run not to lose weight or get fit but because pushing myself, breathing deeply, hitting the pavement to the beat of a good song makes me happy. It is the collection of the first flakes that ultimately builds to the snowball of a more purposeful life. Returning from a run is often followed by throwing a load of clothes in the washer, rearranging a drawer, following through on a great idea. And so the June challenge carries on. In the words of the great philosopher, Pitbull–what? He wasn’t a philosopher? Oops. My bad. In the words of the great rapper, Pitbull:

Pump, pump, pump it up. Back it up like a Tonka truck.

Inspiring lyrics, eh? Seriously. Beautiful poetry. I kid but that isn’t to say that song didn’t push me through a piercing side cramp on my run last week. I backed it up alright, and Pitbull was there to help. If you’ve made it a point to tackle something new or finish an old project this month, I hope you’re finding your groove, your fuel, your joy in the satisfaction of getting things done.

I am extra sentimental today. And by extra, I mean Steel Magnolias plus Terms of Endearment, with a side of the entire boxed set of Gilmore Girls DVDs. It’s those damn graduation open houses this past weekend. These kids, the ones who were awkward fifth graders when I moved here–well they’re big now. Their braces are off, their relationship with Proactiv has ended, and they are tall and accomplished, off to do something big with their wild and precious lives. I arrive to celebrate them with my willowy four-year-old who still says pasketti for spaghetti and wraps her arms around my leg, burying her face in my skirt when she feels shy. And for a moment, that void of space between now and then is small and fleeting. I watch my friends act out the whole letting-them-go thing as they talk about driving their kids up to college in a few weeks. While they smile and perform the excitement bit of the act, I know they are hiding the sadness part–the teary one that will follow in intermission when they’re driving home with one less passenger.

I know it goes by so quickly.

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At the same time, there is something inspiring and hopeful about a graduation. Everyone’s talking about the great potential, the excitement of writing on a blank slate, choosing a path and how fabulous it is to be eighteen with the world in the palm of your hand. Yes, so incredibly true but I can’t help but wonder, why is it that so many people lose that excitement? Because the world is just as much an oyster for a sixty-five-year-old as it is for a young student penciling in personality tests in his advisor’s office.

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The moral of the story, I guess, is to live loud…agelessly. Pump it up and back it up like a Tonka truck.

Our Weekend:

We did nothing much. And by nothing much, I mean gaze at our kids and wish we could freeze time for a bit.

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High-Flying.

It was hot this weekend, low nineties, but it hardly felt unbearable because the sun kindly brought winds with its heat–winds which begged for kites.

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The Mountains.

Last week on a walk, right about the time Lainey was asking me to carry her bike instead of pedaling it and I was ready to rip off the bra with the broken underwire and whip it into the street, Lainey told me she wanted to go see “the mountains.”

“You want to go back to Montana?” I asked, curious as to what suddenly piqued her interest.

“No, our mountains. I’ll show you. C’mon.” She turned and walked more determinedly toward the back of our neighborhood, hoping I would follow but I knew we had no mountains and I was tired. After a bit of a meltdown, we walked back home–at least I did, lugging a bike in one hand and a crying girl in the other. She was distraught her trek to the mountains had ended and frustrated with my inability to understand her description. This weekend, on a walk to a different part of the neighborhood, she smiled as we turned a corner.

“The mountains!” Two grassy hills on an empty lot hugged and hidden between houses.

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We rolled on the prickly grass of the hills and ran down their meager slopes with our hands in the air. For a moment, we weren’t standing on an empty lot in a subdivision. We were running in the skinny valley between two impressive bluffs in Naples, Florida. We were in the mountains.

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Nella.

She is active and inquisitive. She loves toilet paper.

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The “oh” is hardly demonstrated these days, so when we see it, we applaud. We love the “oh.”

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She still practices her award-winning pouty face when she wants something she can’t have.

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Yup. Girlfriend’s still got it.

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But pouts are always quickly replaced with squinty grins that twist my insides and make me proud to be her mama.

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Her repertoire of modes for transportation has grown to include a butt scoot, a bear crawl, a real crawl and of course, her favorite speedy slither.

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She loves her daddy.

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And laughs for her sister.

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Their bond is more than I could have ever hoped for and sometimes, I see glimpses of what they will have in the future. It will be different than what I first imagined, but it will be good. There is a magic to what they share that cannot be defined.

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(I put a bedtime routine video of the girls together that can be viewed HERE. This song is so beautifully enchanting, and I had to do something with it)

Graduation open houses are still a long way off. But when they come, I want no regrets. I will say I drank up every moment, appreciated every sticky hug, relished in the joy of afternoon puzzles or putting my order in at her pretend cafe.

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It will come soon enough. And when the time does come, it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep.

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Happy Monday.

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P.S. I’m working on building my playlist on Mixpod, so if you enjoy the music, the full playlist will return soon. But look! I did add some fun themed tabs to the blog for easier browsing.

Comments

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  1. LOVE the Nella pouty pic:)

  2. oh wow! there is NO way you can say no to that sweet, pouty face!

  3. This is so beautiful.

  4. I love how you make the simplest things so beautiful. Your kiddos are adorable, and you are so inspiring. Have a beautiful week!

  5. Beautiful! Our weekend of nothingness was all baby loving, too. There’s nothing better.
    W.

  6. Gorgeous post! That pouty face is too cute, and I want to go fly a kite now. Have a beautiful day!

  7. I love the pouty face!

  8. Ha! I knew it, we could totally be friends in real life! Watching an episode of Gilmore Girls is what I do when I need to eat and have a few minutes of down time.

    Running…I run for health reasons, but my husband runs to prepare for his first marathon. Not bad for a daddy of three.

    Our dog days of summer have finally arrived in Wisconsin and I have to quietly lecture myself not to complain about the heat, since it was only two months ago we had snow!

    Lovin’ Nella’s “oh’s” and the lovely photos of her with Brett and let’s not forget her big sis Lainey with that last captivating smirk! :)

  9. ohhh how emotional i am….kinsley is 6 months old today (gulp!) and tyler and i spent all weekend taking VIDEO and snapping pictures and trying to freeze time with the girls. it has to be one of the hardest parts about being a parent…watching them grow up (so fast!)
    as a kid i used to cry when a vacation was over or proclaim i never wanted to grow up!…(okay who am i kidding, i cried when our last vacation was over. hehe.) sigh. we can do it kel…soak up all the wonderful things happening with our girls. our children only have one childhood and we get to make it the BEST! ps. LOve the bath pictures and who knew we had mountains nearby. hehehe xo

  10. Hmmmmmm… this is such a great part of my day. I love the new photos, the new words, laughing along with everyone at Nella’s pouty face (hysterical, seriously, the one of her younger self in the bath is PRICELESS).

    I was just looking at my little one who is 13 months and marveling at all the things she can do now and suddenly I leapt forward to her high school graduation.

    Gotta keep remember to enjoy the small thing while she’s small.

    Thanks!

  11. the pouty photos of Nella (before and current) are toooo cute! I love my boy’s OH face too. He stopped and started it up again recently…which terribly thrills me and grandma. :) your family is beautiful.

  12. I don’t think that pouty face would work on my husband, but don’t think I won’t try it! She is just irresistible. The last picture of daddy and his girls is sublime. Please share your post processing secrets :)

  13. Nellas pouty face is the cutest things I have ever seen!!!

  14. lovely..enjoy all the moments..they fly by so fast…wondering and loving the moments with my granddaughter..take care…..

  15. that last pic is so adorable! love daddys and their girls! so special.

  16. I love Nella’s pouty face!!

  17. Love it all.

    my running stuff:
    http://literallyrunningmybuttoff.blogspot.com/

  18. Love everything about this post.

  19. I love reading your meaningful words and gazing at your beautiful photography. I cry and laugh everytime, Thank You!

  20. I look forward to each & every post on this blog! Sometimes I wonder why because I’m not a Mom, I don’t live in the burbs, etc. Then I realize the overall message of appreciating & savoring life is universal. Thanks for the beautiful reminders!!!

  21. Tears filled my eyes as I read your post – your gift with words and your challenge to live life. . . ugh, I could just hug you and slap you! 😉 Now I have no excuse to continue in this in between of truly living and just surviving life with 2 toddlers.
    You urge me to be a better person, wife, mom, friend, etc.

  22. Life is like a memory foam mattress…and yes, must explain. Seeing how Nella has just slowly and surely “oozed” into her place in our hearts and homes reminds me of the memory foam mattress pad we bought recently. I was sure it was a poor investment–it was on sale. I opened the box to find this incredibly heavy myriad of foam rolled and contorted into some globular shape. I tried as best I could to open and place it on the mattress and, almost like it was alive, it began to “remember” its shape and within virtually seconds, had perfectly formed itself to the mattress beneath, beckoning me to lay down and enjoy its comfort. Nella has done this–almost as if she knew more than we, the form that would fill us out and complete the gaps and crevices in us. She has taken her place. She has raised her little banner and staked her claim on us. I didn’t expect it when she surprised us with her extra somthing special. I am sure many cannot fathom it–its a magic for those blessed to know it. Yes, like memory foam she has oozed her way and become her sister’s friend, her mother’s joy, her father’s delight, her brothers’ wonder and her Poppa’s…her Poppa’s light on the journey.

    Enjoying the comforting things, Poppa

  23. Absolutely beautiful video! Brought tears.

  24. lovelovelove ALL the photos!!!! thank you so much for sharing with us all! You inspire me!!! and of course love nella’s pouty face. I’d melt every time if she gave me that face. haha.

  25. Oh Kelle! It brings tears to my eyes to read “the time they were mine to keep”. I have a 15 year old who will be a sophmore next year (16 in December & driving – sheesh!) and an 11 year old who will be leaving the school I work at and going on to the next building in our school district. I have cried everyday knowing that he is growing up & your inspirational words have brought me encouragement to make the best of what precious time I do have left.

    Thank you.

  26. Thank you for the inspiration to enjoy my children a little bit more this week. Its true, these years go so bleepin fast, but when your in the trenches, and you’ve cleaned applesauce off of the wall for the 17th time, its easy to forget and get overwhelmed. I love your blog, so thank you for writing it!! Its my favorite.

  27. your family is so lucky to have all these sweet little moments captured by you and your amazing photography skills!

    and that pout–oh my!

  28. Our daughter, Sara Kathryn, graduated this past weekend. We too did the open house, Dr.Sister did a video, and we celebrated like nobody’s business. Sara, who doctors said wouldn’t walk, talk or attend school, walked across that stage, said thank you, and graduated!

    Down Syndrome didn’t set the ceiling : o )

    http://brightoncottage.blogspot.com/2011/06/graduate.html

  29. Gorgeous pic of lainey with her hair all wild. I’m sitting on a hot school bus with my hair plastered to the side of my face. Zoo day!

  30. Ooo Kelle, I can relate to everything in this post. Everything. Even the tonka truck!!lol!! Your posts are so inspiring & your girls are just too sweet!! They make me smile, as does their momma:)Have a beautiful day, friend!XO

  31. One of my guys has the perfect frown as well. Unfortunately for him, we don’t mind seeing it every once it a while as we fins it to be adorable.

  32. The pictures of Nella in the middle of the post…well they slay me…and make me smile :)

  33. So very, very beautiful. The everyday, the “mundane”, these precious moments that slip by us so fast. The pouty face is a killer! LOVE it!!!

  34. Applause, applause for capturing the photogenic frown. Too often, we only record the forced smiles and big grins of our children’s journey with us. Lord knows, we certainly see enough of those other telling expressions. I have a great photo of a crying Kelle from your childhood…and to look at it helps me to “fully remember” you!

  35. I’m so in love with your babies!!! They are so beautiful.

    Unfortunately I’m in the United Kingdom and I can’t view the video. I would loved to of seen it. =)

  36. ACK … the broken underwire!! They should send those to Guantanamo. Nothing like it. Love me my underwires, but GAWD … when they go rogue … run, run away.

    ACK … A TP lover. I had one of those. Sigh.

    What an outrageously beautiful “Oh” … and that pout, Then & Now … WOW. Good one. Such gorgeousness in pale blue … now that’s a different kind of sigh. :)

    OMG. I see you in Lainey SO. Much. in that hands under the chin pic. And those scalloped baby mary janes give me cavities. !!

  37. This is so sweet and made me cry! I’ll never be ready, but like you said, I want to have no regrets when it’s time to let them go. It’s such a sweet time now with them :)

  38. Awww, that pouty face of Nella brought a tear to my eye…how adorable. I love my boys pouty faces, they are definatly award winning for sure!

  39. that nella is so adorable. i love the comparison pouty faces… amazing how they change and stay the same all at once, don’t you think?

  40. my 2nd is a daddy’s boy, just like nella is a daddy’s girl :) this time of year makes me want to freeze time with my kiddies (they’re around the same age as yours). i can’t even think about them starting kindergarten much less graduating!

  41. oh, and btw, i love reading the comments from your dad. he is fantastic.

  42. That video brought happy tears to my eyes. I love this blog, I love your family!! This is my most favorite post yet…. but I say that every post! :)

  43. Nella’s pouty face brings a smile to mine!

  44. Zayn does a great pout, his whole mouth turns upside down like his dad! I have to laugh, it’s so cute :) Nella’s pout, love it. ‘The mountains’ looks like fun… I love rolling down hills :) & I LOVE Gilmore Girls too! xx

  45. This:

    “Graduation open houses are still a long ways off. But when they come, I want no regrets. I will say I drank up every moment, appreciated every sticky hug, relished in the joy of afternoon puzzles or putting my order in at her pretend cafe.”

    That’s it, that’s SO it. I’m going to try so very hard to remember this every single day.

  46. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the past & present Nella pout! So so sweet!

  47. always enjoy and look forward to your posts. turning off the computer to enjoy some sticky hugs of my own

  48. Awe, Lainey, I am so happy I got to introduce you to the mountains. And, look, they are with you wherever you go.

    This really is a beautiful, hopeful, exciting time of year. I feel especially happy and present and wanting to *be more* right now.

    Love.

  49. My heart smiles every time I see the “OH”!! She is just so beautiful. They both are! I have the hat that matches Nella’s outfit, (old navy?) I should send it to you because my baby’s head was too big for it. I was going to use it in the pool.

  50. Kelle- You are truly giving your girls such wonderful childhoods. You should be so proud.

  51. LOVE the matching sundressess! My girls are same age and it’s fun when the sizes on the racks are 6 mos. up to 5T 😉 Sisters rock! Thanks for sharing your lovely weekend :) Happy Monday~

  52. I am a momma of a graduating senior and think I might just die. There is no way to prepare for this moment despite 17 years of knowing it was coming. And working damn hard for it too. Sure, I am VERY HAPPY for my senior, but my heart is in one zillion pieces. Yep, roots and wings, the wings are aflapping….it is a good thing, just not for this momma’s heart. I want little onsies, rocking chair cuddles, knowing I had at least some of the answers…No one, no one can make me believe that delivery to departure in 60 seconds (and that is really what it feels like) is good for my heart. Congratulations to my baby and all the other fledglings.

  53. My daughter just graduated last weekend. And just signed up for her first college courses. Enjoy the moments now!

  54. I so desperately want to see a video montage with some great funky music of Nella’s scoots and crawls! Go Nella!

  55. YAH, we in Australia can now hear your playlist!! Love it. It adds a whole new dimension to your blog. Beautiful. x

  56. My daughter texted me to tell me it was her LAST day of high school on Friday. It’s not like I didn’t know it was her senior year, or know that it was coming, I just wasn’t ready for it on…. Friday. So I tearfully texted back “congratulations”! It is one of life’s great ironies that we raise capable young adults because it makes us so proud and hurts our hearts too:-) Life is good – good enough to suck out every moment of it!

  57. Nella has the best pout ever! What a doll!!

  58. I love the picture of Nella kissing her daddy and her toes are curled. Something about that is just so sweet.

  59. I enjoyed reading your blog.
    Photos are always beautiful.

  60. “Yes, but I am more special because of Alyse”, that is what my big girl said about her little sister who has Ds. Special indeed.

  61. I love your blog and check it every day (Im in New Zealand) and don’t normally comment but wanted to say I too love Nella’s oh its just sooo cute and her little pout mmm how could you say no to that hehe shes too cute….the love you have for both your girls is showen in photos of you with them, in your words you write and they are two very lucky girls to have such a wonderful mum :)

  62. The pouty face is just too much!! How can you possible resist it, I was ready to give her my car and I don’t even really know her. Boy are you guys in trouble!!! Lol!! As always such beautiful pictures of your beautiful girls! Enjoy!

  63. Oh thanks for bringing back the memories of those first college years. When I felt invincible, and every moment felt like an opportunity to do something or be someone. I think as we get older and life, bills, family and CRAZINESS smacks us in the face it’s easy to forget that feeling. So, perhaps that will be my June challenge to find that feeling again that inspiration, that gumption, that drive to make everyday better and special. Go Big or Go home…right?

  64. As ever, the pout is beautiful. Congrats to Lainey for finding what, I am sure, are the only grades in all of Naples! Flat’s OK – makes for a big sky :)

    This post echos so many of the things I am milling over in my mind lately. You give me food for thought: Our family has once again shifted but stayed in place. The promise of a great achievement has been our carrot and it’s sooooo close now. For one more year I will work full time – after that I will log some serious time so that I don’t have regrets later. Until then, I pack tenderness in the spaces we have together and hope that will be enough for both of us.

  65. I love your blog and I love being inspired by your stories which remind me to continue to cherish each moment with my little ones. It does go far too fast!
    Thanks.

  66. Oh Kelle,
    This post….ah.
    “Freezing time” has been my saying of choice the last week or so. Nora is turning ONE…..NEXT MONTH! I’ve taken a million photos since she’s been born, but wanting to freeze time more than ever lately. This post was so timely, so moving, meaningful, and emotional for me. I post a lot of pics on FB, but there’s something different about being able to share them with someone “who knows”. Wishing I could share them with you; I’d have to send you a CD, though…..CRAZY amount of pics—haha!

    Oh, this was beautiful…..thank you!

    Kelly

  67. Making the most of the time they are ours to keep…..that rings so true with me today. Thank you for expressing that.

  68. You always seem to be most sentimental on my toughest days. Thanks.

    I want no regrets either. I appreciate the “refocus” button you’ve given me.

  69. Beautiful post, beautiful family, you inspire me. Thanks!

  70. The pouty face is spectacular!!! Love it. The end of your video is just heaven right here on earth isn’t it? Can’t get enough “I love you” from my kiddo’s. I obsessively say it to my 16 month old son…..just waiting for him to say it back.

  71. Oh- how I have missed the “Oh” face!!

  72. I absolutely adore the pictures of Nella with the pouty face. It reminds me so much of my Bella (DS, 12 months) it’s not even funny. As much as I hate to see her sad I just LOVE the pouty face!!

    And the picture of Lainey and Nella cuddles on your bed is TO DIE FOR cute. It reminds me again so much of my daughters – Bella, of course, and Tessa who is almost 4. They have that same special bond too :-)

  73. I just had that realization the other day that my babies are only “mine” for what, a quarter of their lifetime?! There will be a day when they will spread their wings and leave my nest, and I need to drink this all in while I can! Makes me sad, but proud that they’re mine at the same time! Hugs!

  74. Oh and one more thing. Poppa’s comments from Nella had me in tears because that’s exactly how I felt and feel about my little Bella!! I love when others put into words what I cannot!!!

  75. Love Nella’s pouty face! Inspiring post! I need to lace up my shoes and run more often as well. Thanks for sharing that you dont run for fitness (even though its a great perk) but that you run for yourself and the challenge it brings. I love to run for those reasons but often get lost in the fitness/weight loss realm. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

  76. I love…
    getting a msg that you have a new post and quickly scrolling through the pics because I don’t have enough time to read it yet. (Then going back to read it).

    I love…
    the canvas prints you use in your house of the girls. I’ve seen them in the background of a few photos. I love they way they look. (Inspiring me to try something new in the house…)

    I love….
    that Lainey is wearing a swim suit (?) in the bath tub!

  77. “It will come soon enough. And when the time does come, it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep.”

    Love this quote!!! It’s all about making the most out of every moment. So glad I found you to help me remember what really matters!

    The time goes by so quickly! Can’t believe my oldest will be a 9th grader next year. Not sure how that works since I’m pretty sure I was just in 9th grade a few years ago.

    xoxo

    P.S. Just imagine the fun to be had in our Utah mountains with Lainey! I think it’s time for a visit!

  78. The “world in your hand” was 9 years ago for me. I remember it well. Since then, though, the reality of life has beaten me down more than a few times, and I doubt I’m unique in that! Headed into my last year of medical school the world is no longer my oyster, but the opportunity to do good and seek beauty in this often painful life still remains. Replacing the idealism of youth can often be wisdom, but that does not mean hope is any less.

  79. Ok I LOVE how you quoted Pitbull. You are so funny and inspiring all in one. And these pictures are just so perfect. I’m not a Mom yet, but you make me want to be.

    XO, Katie
    Running on Happiness

  80. Nella made me laugh out loud with her pouty face. Too cute! I’d give her whatever she wanted if she did that to me.

    I can’t view the video clip in Australia. It’s blocked from my country because of copyright something or other. Damn! I so wanted to see the girls in action.

  81. Isn’t Strega Nonna a great story? My almost 4 year old loves it!

    Loved the post…just went to my cousin’s high school graduation party yesterday, and her mom said much of the same. Trying to enjoy all of it – even the ear piercing screams my almost two year old is so fond of – because it does fly by.

  82. I love this post and it is how I have always felt since my babies were born. I held them non stop and when my mom or other people would tell me go put them down once they fell asleep, I would say NO! I want to hold them. I did the co-sleep thing and that worked for us as well, though mine are now 115 and 10 and sometimes still in my room.
    I LOVE all of these photos, so precious!!
    did you ever find the book BiG Sister Little Sister ? it would be PERFECT for your girls. My two girls who are 19 months apart and best friends LOVEd that book so MUCH!
    tara

  83. Oh how I love finding inspiration from your beautiful words & colorful photos… we’ve been mired in gray around here for weeks. Weeks of cold & rain & hibernation… knowing that great things are just on the horizon, but not quite there yet. My little Quinn is turning 5 this week. FIVE?!? Not sure how it is here already… but savoring every last second of four-ness.
    And, seriously, that is the best pouty face I have ever seen!
    xo
    Kate

  84. I loved this post, thank you for sharing!

  85. I love that you get it. Use the time you have with them and enjoy them now with no regrets when you look back. I am 62 and still find life exciting and awesome….susan

  86. I melted with Nella’s pouty face. My boy does the same thing. I feel bad because he’s upset but I’m smiling and laughing because of how cute he is:0) I totally know what you mean about graduation. It’s a serious bittersweet experience. Every time I think ahead, I have to reel myself back in and slow it down. One day at a time. Enjoy your precious girls! Happy Monday to you too:0)

  87. could this post be any more wonderful. From the pouty shot through time, to running in ‘mountains’. ooooo i just love that her mountains were those little hills, that sums up childhood for me with magic just everywhere. my heart aches for how quickly it goes, my sister’s beautiful boy is leaving for college soon and i know her soul already pines for hs absence! xxx your blog is full of beauty, thankyou so much for sharing you with us x

  88. What perfect timing for an important reminder. I’m 5 short weeks away from the end of a blissful year off with my little girl. Despite teething and rainy eastern Canada weather I will enjoy every day, every minute, every second …it flies past in the blink of an eye.

    Your bedtime video is beautiful! I love James Vincent McMorrow.

  89. Hi Kelle! I’m a newly turned 50 grandma who stumbled upon your blog and am thoroughly enjoying what feels like reliving my kids (now 22 and 25) childhood through your amazing and delightfully detailed writing and photos! I’m just having the best time! (Thank so much for sharing!) I’m still a long way from catching up from the start, (yes I started at the beginning) however of course I had to sneak peak at both Lainey and Nella’s birth stories…each magnificent and magical in their own blessed way! I have a question and while it is perhaps answered in a post somewhere, I haven’t happened upon it as of yet! I wondered if there were some significance to Nella’s necklace. It’s just so precious and there rarely seems to be a picture of her in which she’s not wearing it. I was just curious…and now I’ve got some more reading to do! Bless your sweet heart and keep lovin’ mommyhood…there isn’t anything in the world that’s any better!

  90. Aw I LOVE it when you get all Steel Magnolias, its so dense and sugary, like really good CAKE!

    seriously, the baby is like two seconds old and thinking about graduation… or driver’s licenses, or anything, just makes me freak! I cried at the end of Toy Story 3, didn’t you? Ugh. terrible. let them be babies for like, at least twice as long.

  91. I love Nella’s little “oh”s and have missed seeing them! And those pouty lips…how could you ever say no to those?! Your girls are both so beautiful, and I love all of their pictures…I always look forward to your posts 😉

  92. My baby girl Darby has started doing the ‘Oh’ face. Only it’s more of a ‘hoo’ face, as in “hoo, hoo, hoo’ like a monkey. I love it : )

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  94. “it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep”
    No, honey, it won’t…there is absolutely no way that letting your first born daughter go off to college will be any thing but heart breaking. My glorious, incredible, amazing girl graduated this weekend and I was not brave. I have raised mine the way you are raising yours and it makes it even worse. She is my friend and I will miss her being here everyday. I mourn and she is not gone. I cry as I type this and wonder how I will fill her space… And know I never will.

  95. Lovely Lovely photos!!!

  96. Love the pouty face my son does it too – does she have a chin quiver – my son does, I love it! I will have to take a picture so I can compare it later.
    Love Lainey’s Mountains! I love the pictures of her rolling in the grass – so much fun!

  97. Oh, Library Girl, your “grief” in letting go touches me. I can remember hearing that Kelle’s mother’s dad…after Kelle’s mom and her twin had gone off to college…would be found sitting in their empty room, crying, asking, “Where did they go, where did they go?” All we can do is look for the beauty in the moment…in the memories they leave and in the memories still to be created with them and their littles…and pray we did them good in that sacred space where they were ours to mold and make. Feel my heart stretching around yours tonight.

  98. So gorgeous.
    For me – to run is to be alive.
    Really alive.
    Not running from my family, but back home to them to gift them the energy I found while out there pounding the pavement.
    I love your phrasing, your appreciation of this magical job we do.
    :-)

  99. Taylor’s Angel, thank you for your kind words! Nella’s necklace is an amber teething necklace. Amber is known to have natural healing properties and has been used by many moms to help teething babies. We thought we’d try and I can honestly say since we’ve used it, there is less crying, biting, gnawing. Whether or not the necklace has anything to do with it, we’ve fallen in love with her little beads, and they’ve become her signature accessory.

    LibraryGirl62, I’m so sorry for your sadness. Letting go is hard and it’s easy to talk about it because it’s so far down the road still. I hope your girl is close enough for frequent visits and that you will find new joy in her “coming home.” Those times will be special, I’m sure.

    Christy: Laughed out loud at “ugh, I could just hug you and slap you!”

    Dani: Love that sister quote. Thank you.

  100. How cute was the picture of Nella kissing her Daddy? OMG! I almost want a copy for myself (it’s THAT cute)…except that it would be weird for me to have that picture :-)

  101. Beautiful! We are looking at schools at the moment for our 4 year old and I sometimes feel so sad that the process of them leaving us will start,but you are right, it’s about soaking them up now.

    I love the new music thingy! I could never here the music because the old one would not play in Australia, please keep this one!

  102. I love seeing the sister relationship blossom. My friend from nursing school has a sister with DS and her sister was her maid of honor in her wedding – they are INSEPARABLE! Besties for life. :-)

  103. Love this post! The girls’ sisterly bond is wonderful, my sister and I are 18 months apart and are super close…I hope to someday give that experience of having a sister to my daughter…

  104. Your blog NEVER fails to bring me to tears. I love your sweet, eloquent words about your children and your life. Your photography is gang-busters too. Thank you for always making my day!

  105. Maybe it is good for all parents to be painfully aware, in the bliss of holding our children, to know…they are leaving. It begins the day they are placed in our arms. They are leaving to explore, to become, to find friends and futures. First, they pull their hand from ours to walk alone. Then, they wave from school bus windows that seem to blur into a shouted goodbye from a car Just Married written on it. Love freely. Live fully. Let nothing distract you from them. They are leaving. Just sayin’.
    –Poppa

  106. Thank you for today’s post. My 16 mo twins are having surgery tomorrow…and I just try to love on them with every fiber of my being so that it will make tomorrow ok. No one captures the love of a momma better than you, in pictures and words.

  107. I envy your ability to have nice back grounds in your photos, mine always seem to be the washing pile or tv or pile of boxes we still haven’t unpacked. Got to try some different angles. LOVE the Oh shots.

  108. I am now the Nana who is so enjoying the wonderful age of my 6 month old baby grandaughter” I love Nellas pouty face, we call Ellies, Sad Face. It just makes me want to laugh. Wonderful sweet blog…..I feel as though you are a friend and I cannot wait to read your next entry! Thank-you for sharing your precious little family with us all!

  109. “It will come soon enough. And when the time does come, it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep.”
    Best.Line.Ever. I think about this all too often and it just so bittersweet.
    Loved the pictures!

  110. I vote for more video footage! It was beautiful. (Plus, I’m a photographer turned video editor for a living, so… Admittedly, I’m a bit drawn to that medium. :) It’s so nice to see the girls’ smiles in action and to hear those laughs. So beautiful.

  111. Nella has the best pouty face…how could you say no to that? Sweet!

  112. What great memories the Strega Nona book brought back – my boys read that one and had it read to them lots. Your post made me melancholy…..my youngest graduates from college in a year. How I wish there had been digital cameras around when they were the age of your girls……what lovely precious photos you have of them. I took lots of pictures, but the economic reality of developing them all meant that you couldn’t take nearly as many as you wanted to. Ah well, I will enjoy the ones I have, and one day I will get those VHS tapes converted to DVDs……..

  113. What great memories the Strega Nona book brought back – my boys read that one and had it read to them lots. Your post made me melancholy…..my youngest graduates from college in a year. How I wish there had been digital cameras around when they were the age of your girls……what lovely precious photos you have of them. I took lots of pictures, but the economic reality of developing them all meant that you couldn’t take nearly as many as you wanted to. Ah well, I will enjoy the ones I have, and one day I will get those VHS tapes converted to DVDs……..

  114. I can’t get over how beautiful the girls are. Nella’s “oh” face is my favorite and the kisses for daddy just melts my heart.

  115. Love the pout-and her kissing daddy! soo sweet how he looks at her, too.

  116. I’ve got tears streaming down my face right now! My girls are only 2 but I’m already dreading letting them go. I cry at the end of every season when I know they won’t wear my favorite outfits again. And Target in August? I’m a mess watching mothers help their daughters pick out things for their dorm rooms. I, too, try to appreciate every moment and when I find myself getting stressed or frustrated, I remind myself that some day I will long for these days.
    Thanks for the great post.

  117. Back it up like a tonka truck.

    YES, yes, and YES!!!!!!!!!!

  118. The years do fly by. The first kids I ever babysat started graduating this year. They have boyfriends, they’re in high school, they have Facebook. I feel old!

  119. Love it all, but especially the look on Lainey’s face in the last photo. She certainly knows how to work the camera!

  120. OY…talk about twisting a heart~those pictures of Nella kissing Brett…I want to eat her up!! Seriously, I go crazy when I see pictures of her. And the one of Lainey with the flowers & her hands under her chin~gorgeous! Do you blow yourself away when you capture pictures like that?

  121. Love, love, love Nella’s pouty face. Sooo cute. She reminds me so much of my Ashlyn, I have to keep the bathroom doors closed or we’d run out of toilet paper daily, lol. My big girl just graduated Pr-K last week and I swear I started crying a month ago. I thought by then I’d run out of tears but nope. Not a chance.

  122. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate each moment – I often find it too easy to get distracted by the harder side of parenting; especially when it comes to my 3.5 year old little girl who is such a joy, yet can also be so challenging to deal with at times. Thank you for bringing things into focus once again.

  123. Kelli, that was the most incredible collection of photos. I absolutely love reading your posts and soaking in your gorgeous photos. Nella might be the most beautiful child I’ve ever laid eyes on. She’s enchanting! I wish I could turn back time and have my kids be little again, and have a digital camera so I could do what you do. Big big hugs to you sweet Momma. Beth Larson

  124. If you figure out how to freeze time, let me know. It seems once you have kids, time speeds up. My firstborn will be graduating from 5th grade this year and heading to middle school in the fall. It might not be high school but I know that is right around the cornor and my heart has already begun to ache.
    BTW, I just received my copy of Mamarazzi in the mail today. I LOVE it!!! I am hoping to get better and better at capturing those memories.

  125. I love that we live miles even a country apart but yet our daughters both gave that adorable blue h and m dress! Makes me happy:)

  126. FAB-U-LOUS POST!!! Some of my favorite pics ever and such meaningful, deep thoughts. I will read this post more than once. I really love it. I mean REALLY love it. Love the new tabs, too.

  127. Oh you are killing me with this one!! My oldest is going to be a senior next year and every time I think about it I start to lose it. It does go by quickly and like you I love all the little things. I’m also so grateful that I was smart enough to always have a camera with me. Thanks for inspiring me every day.

  128. Girlfriend, I experienced a similar meltdown, and only after reading this did I figure out the reason…graduation. It happens every spring. I guess I had never understood the link! There is constant amazement at seeing the “kids” I knew growing up, standing where I feel like I just was. This year it is harder since it is my last few months of being a stay at home mom and I have a lingering sadness about my special time closing in the fall. PLUS the realization that the FIRST class that was ever “mine” from my very first teaching job (2nd graders in Hawaii) is GRADUATING this year! I wept and called girlfriends during my down time in the car. My kids grow, my heart grows and I feel so vulnerable. These are the days, to remember. Go Natalie Merchant!

  129. Masterful pout indeed. I think she’s improved over time.

  130. Somehow I always forget to have some tissues nearby when I read your posts! I happened to scan over Rik’s comment toward the end and that stabbed me in heart even more! I came home today to my wee 2.5 year old climbing the huge inflatable waterslide and sliding down into the pool below…on his own. He would never do it without me before, but today was a new day. Watching him climb so skillfully and then bravely careening down and under the water, I felt both pride and and a sense of loss…it’s amazing how such powerful emotions can rule us simultaneously.

    Beautiful photos and beautiful words you give us so that we focus more intently on these fleeting moments!

  131. My daughter is 21 and still has that same pout!

  132. Last week, I was at my in-laws house and I noticed a cross stitch picture hanging on the wall that I hadn’t noticed before and it read “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” I thought this was so sweet and when I asked my mother-in-law about it she said that her mother-in-law had made that for her while she was pregnant with my husband. It was a cool concept to think that was made for my husband before he was born and now he is all grown up! This immediately popped in my head when I was reading your post and thought it fit appropriately. I don’t have babies of my own just yet but I’ll forever rememeber that little poem for when I do:)

  133. OH Nella, that pouty face is heart breaking. I’d give you everything you wanted if you flashed that to me.

  134. Love the picture of Lainey next to the flowers inside (the light is gorgeous and of course the girl is too). And the pouty face …it does not even need words to describe how it melts your heart.
    Super Message today about time and making the best so we have no regrets! Thanks

  135. oh that sweet pouty face !!!!

  136. Your posts are so inspiring! You always make me want to try just a little bit harder, thank you for that! :)

  137. you are brilliant. i just aimlessly came across your blog and i love it. you are refreshingly honest. and what beautiful babes you have. i feel the same way when i look at my sweet girls… i hope everyday i am thankful love, stress, smells, and magic that is my everyday with them while they are young.

  138. am so thankful to have stumbled upon your blog! I’ve been following for a couple of weeks, I’ve even re read posts, especially Nella’s arrival!! What gorgeous children Lainey and Nella are and how lucky they are it seems to have you as their mum!! I love how I feel after I read your blog..inspired mainly and wanting to drink in more of my kids. Love the way you capture personalities and moments in your photos but your writing is always so awesome….just wanted you to know that over her in sunny Perth, Western Australia you have a fan!! Sarah

  139. 1) Love, love, love the categories. You just made my day!

    2) The pictures of Lainey in the grass are stunning! What is sweet girl she is!

    3) Nella’s pouty face makes me want to reach through the computer screen and kiss that lil’ face.

    4) Nella kissing her Daddy is darling! My husband just took pics of our two year old kissing momma over the weekend. Best pics ever! :)

  140. somehow you always remind me to take it all in, slow down, forget about my daily grind, and just be. a. mama. thank you, sweet mama. pretty sure i could just copy and paste this comment into almost all your posts, because that’s how i always feel when i’m done reading. thank you :)

  141. It will come.
    Faster than you can ever imagine : (
    So, I am thankful you are soaking up every happy minute with your lovelies!
    PS Love that philosopher ; )

  142. I’ve been so behind on blogging, and I came back today to your blog and was instantly reminded of why I love it so much. I just graduated from college, and I really feel everything you talked about. You’re pictures are amazing, you’re family is beautiful!

    http://www.melstevens1.blogspot.com

  143. hooray! your magical photos and the music came back on for me to enjoy today…

    thank you for sharing your life…it lifts my spirits everyday and especially after a hard day with my 4 year old…

    carrie

  144. That pouty face is just too cute! I love reading your blog and looking at your beautiful pictures.

    Where did you get the dress that Lainey is wearing in the last picture? It would look perfect on my daughter

  145. Hi just wondering where you got the white shoes that Nella is wearing in one of the last pictures. Thanks

  146. Between your words: “It will come soon enough. And when the time does come, it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep.”
    And Poppa’s comment about capturing the photogenic frown… the tears are a-wellin’-up! Whew! This thing called parenthood can swell up so many different emotions… emotions that are so so very strong for our little ones and our family unit. Thank you for this post. Amazing. Amazing. I also agree with Poppa and applause you for getting that little cry frozen in time. Love those little moments that soon may be foggy in our minds if it weren’t for those glorious photographs. Beautiful, Kelle. Beautiful. This blog is my happy place. LOVE!

  147. Perhaps for some it is a letting go, but for me….it was the beginning of another adventure.

    One where I got to meet new people (their new college friends) and I got to talk to them about things grownups talk about.

    I have enjoyed each stage of my children….from those tiny newborns to the young, independent adults that are a joy to converse with.

    Seeing what I’ve seen here Kelle….you will suck the marrow out of the new adventures too.

  148. I made it halfway through the video without crying. You just capture so beautifully the love we feel for our babies!

  149. A beautiful post! Although I wasn’t able to pick just one small unfinished project or goal for the month, I enjoyed that today’s post reflected what my June goal was — to be more in the moment.

    It was a nice reminder to keep on truckin’ and be present for what we like to call, our “like Christmas moments” with our little Chloe. The moments where we celebrate the small things and accomplishments she makes, and not worry so much about what we have to tackle in the future.

    And the reference to the Pitbull song? Love it! I’m a huge music buff and fan, and I enjoyed the analogy of how we should all live life agelessly and “pump it up and back it up like a tonka truck”. :)

    You shared so many lovely photos this week! I enjoyed them all! You’re raising two amazing little girls, Kelle!

  150. Nope, nothing will make it easier. My oldest left a week ago for college. I’m still not sure how to cope or how to feel. Very surreal.

  151. Wonderful colorful photos!
    Yes, it’s so quick, how the years pass. It’s good that you’re already aware of it :-)

    Aswell as it’s nostalgic, it’s also natural and brings new wonders.

    I enjoy seeing my boy, who graduated last year, trying out those wings and finding that those wings carry him. With flare.

    Life is a mystery for sure. And a wonder!

  152. Oh, the music is back; thank you so much from this Canadian reader. Seriously, I love your blog, but your blog plus the tunes is a bit magical.

    Something else magical? this: “the time they were mine to keep”. I will wake up tomorrow with my 2 little lovelies and cherish them a little bit more.

  153. Oh wow, “the mountain” totally reminded me of the mountain in my neighborhood when I was growing up. I went to see it on a visit a few years ago and it is barely a bump in the neighbor’s yard. But it was good for sledding, playing in imaginary mountaintop castles and endless other games.

    The picture with Lainey resting her face on her folded hands is totally you!

  154. Argh! The video is blocked in my country. :( Love this post and I try to remember how fast it will go. Long days, short years.

  155. This might be my favorite post yet…Although, all your posts are such gems, I think I say that after each one.

  156. Love the two pictures of Nella side by side, the baby Nella and the grown-up Nella, just beautiful!
    xo

  157. I so needed a post like this today – of all days – when I have decided resolutely to put myself and my family first. Thank you. L x

  158. Kelle.
    Where did the GORGEOUS white shoes on Nella come from? I am desperate for an identical pair for my Annabel all the way here in Australia.

    xo

  159. These pics are melting my little heart!

  160. Lovely photos to look at especially under my throw rug with the sound of rain pouring down outside. Love the Nella & Brett smoochy photos, so sweet.

  161. Just stumbled on your blog…and absolutely love it! I also have 2 girls but their ages are 16 and 14. Like you, I was/am determined to enjoy EVERY moment and it’s been amazing. Your sweet blog post reminded me to hang on…the ride is finishing sooner than I like. (My 16 year old may be going away to study ballet.) Hey…thought I had at least 18 years:) Anyway, thanks for a great reminder! By the way…we live in Naples too:)
    Suzanne

  162. Thanks for warming my heart and making me smile.

  163. Thanks SO much for the explanation on Nella’s necklace! I never would have imagined! I will keep that in mind for my step-daughter who’s expecting her first baby in August. She is a lover of all things unique and I just know she’ll love one! =)

  164. Once again I am at my desk alone in the office, tears running down my face because my arms are empty here and your words make me ache for my children. beautiful, touching, these are the good tears.

  165. Beautiful photos and your words were achingly beautiful. Such a sweet reminder to cherish every moment we have with our little ones. Thank you!!

  166. Love the video! Especially the ending. All the laughter and fun at bedtime! How do you ever get them to sleep? Its beautiful.

    That pouty face cracks me up! Nella is one expressive baby girl.

    And I’ve had that walk too. Toddler screaming under one arm – carrying the trike in the other arm. Mommy super soaked with sweat by the time she gets home. Little stinkers!

    And I close with “The World is your oyster. make some pearls!”

  167. OH that pouty face. I would give her the world if she gave me that look. =) (What am I saying, I give my girls anything they want when I get a pouty face, I am weak, I am a mom!!) And Lainey…….wow! You are gonna have your hands full. Good luck with your June goal, for me, so far, so good!

  168. That pouty face…Oh my, stole my heart! So, so sweet. You are so blessed!

  169. Love the little red shoes! Her pouty face melted my heart and so did her big smile! I love how small hills are mountains to little kids. My daughter ran up a tiny hill this past week-end and said, “Look Mom, I’m on a mountain!” So cute!

  170. When my kids were younger and I heard people say, ” It goes SO FAST!” I thought, yeah right. But- listen to them- they are so right! It goes SO FAST. Our oldest will be a senior this year. My daughter is turning 16 today. 16!?! I brought out her baby book this morning and I’ll admit- I’m insanely weepy today. I remember when she was young- wondering what she would be like as a 16 year old. Well- today is the day- and she is wonderful. Oh, how time shoots by!

  171. I just need you to know that sometimes I open your blog when I am working at the computer just for the music. It’s my new pandora. :)

  172. Yay for Gilmore Girls! I miss that show.
    Love Nella’s hair style.
    Diggin’ Lainey’s pretend clothes.
    Have a great week!

  173. …..and the video! Oh, my heart is going to BURST! Rolling around on the bed—so silly! To see them in action makes me laugh, smile until my face hurts, and aches my heart to not hug them! Why the enormous amounts of emotions from this post? I’m asking this of myself. And the music….ouch! So good it hurts :)

    You are stunning as always!

    This has got to be one of my favorite posts,
    Kelly

  174. Nella’s pout makes me want to eat her up…so adorable!

    I just downloaded the Pitbull song for some running inspiration of my own. I run on a treadmill for childcare reasons, but I have been known to actually rap while running (and peridically lose bladder control after three kids) but it is always the hip hop type of music that pushes me the farthest to go a little further, work a little harder and shake my booty a little on the wya.

    I love your “seize the day” mentality. I too often just caught in the sheer chaos and stress of the day to day tantrums and push and pull or needs and wants. Thanks for always reminding us we are on borrowed time with these precious little ones, doing our best to soak it up is probably top priority.

    Have a great week!

  175. Nella’s pout makes me want to eat her up…so adorable!

    I just downloaded the Pitbull song for some running inspiration of my own. I run on a treadmill for childcare reasons, but I have been known to actually rap while running (and peridically lose bladder control after three kids) but it is always the hip hop type of music that pushes me the farthest to go a little further, work a little harder and shake my booty a little on the wya.

    I love your “seize the day” mentality. I too often just caught in the sheer chaos and stress of the day to day tantrums and push and pull or needs and wants. Thanks for always reminding us we are on borrowed time with these precious little ones, doing our best to soak it up is probably top priority.

    Have a great week!

  176. OMGoodness the pouty face is just too adorable. Your blog is salve to the soul. Reminds me to live each day!

  177. My little sister is about to leave for college, so this one made my eyes well up. I dabbed them away, and they were replaced with numerous toothy smiles… the “Oh” face, the sister giggles, the mountains! I love this post!!!!!

  178. The video you made is beautiful. Your girls have a very rich life (rich in love and caring and kindness and fun).

  179. I picture you running like Phoebe on ‘Friends’ and I LOVE IT! Keep it up girl and always, ALWAYS, back it up like a Tonka Truck. Word….

  180. I love this, as I do all your post. I relish in dirty feet and sticky bubbles as much as I can.

  181. Oh Kelle, those pictures of Nella in her stripey pj’s brought tears to my eyes. When my (now 8 month old) was a newborn, those were one of the only pairs that I had that actually fit her tiny little body. Just this morning I put more of her clothes away because she is finally outgrowing her 3-6 month gear!

    I often blog about how I can’t wish for time to slow or speed up…it’s just going to keep going regardless. All you can do is tip your head back, take a deep breath, and let the winds of change swirl around you and take you to places you never knew existed.

    -Katie

  182. I Love Love Love that Nella squeezes her daddy with every inch of her body. It reminds me of the way I used to hug my dad, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes! <3

  183. Your blog makes me so happy, you are beautiful not just on the outside. You have a radiant inner beauty that is absolutely contagious, and makes me want to be better.. I admire how your love for your beautiful girls comes through in everything you do. It’s a pleasure visiting your blog. thank you for making my day brighter. keep shinning, sweet girl!

  184. Also, I love that you fixed up your playlist! :)THANK YOU!!! I think if it’s possible, it makes your blog that much better!!

  185. “And when the time does come, it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep.”

    Yeah, I love this. I’m walking away from my computer to spend some time with my boys.

  186. The pouty face is adorable! Too cute. Don’t you love a weekend of doing nothing but admiring your kids? That’s what we did on Saturday too.
    gina b
    mom-blog

  187. “the time they were mine to keep”…. I love this and so so true. They grow up so fast, you blink and feel like you missed it!
    It feels like only 2 minutes ago I was peeing on a stick and now my 2 year old is running wild as I type this! x

  188. Hey Kelle– Sorry to post here but I think I might be stuck in your SPAM filter. Per our project on Babble, can you drop me a line? Thanks! Mira

  189. do you want an other baby ? Lol
    You have a beautiful family ,
    so muche happiness & love

  190. Not sure what I was thinking signing up for my first half marathon when it’s called “Run For the Hills” But I did and I DID IT! Hills and all. Thank you Kelle and all your inpiring readers posting their challenges and goals! I read a couple of your posts the night before my race and it gave me the motivation I so needed after a rough month of injury and illness.

    21.1km (13.1 miles)with that .1 being finished with my 2 girls running me over the finish line. Delicious!!
    Best wishes to you and everyone here taking on your goals with purpose and positivity! The accomplishment feels good, damn good!
    Kari

  191. Your blog always help me treasure a little more everything about my kids being little…..
    is it too late to throw out by June project? I have at least 3 decorating projects I want to do (kitchen, patio, little girl’s room) I am going to stop collecting ideas and actually do them. Or finally turn some of my baby’s favorite clothes into a blanket for myself!

  192. I loved this so very much! The part about the sister’s bond got my teary eyed. So sweet! And I just love love the pictures!

  193. I watched the black and white slide show.. and girlfriend.. you have skills.. and mad ones… I love the song.. and I love the slide show.. but Lainey at the end.. saying … Good night I love you…. stole the whole show… sorry Nella…..
    but I loved watching.. it.. I feel like I know you… and I don’t.
    1
    wasabi mommy lisa

  194. oh, I forgot.. I love the kite shot… it would make a great card.. and I love backing it up like a tonka truck.. by pitbill… he has helped me workout before too.

  195. GIRLFRIEND’S STILL GOT IT!!!!
    totally died when I saw those 2 pics together.

    Love it.

  196. Oh my what beautiful pictures you take!! I wish I could hire you to capture the life of my son the way you do your little girls. I do my best with the camera, but you make magic happen!! LOVE IT!!
    Check out my blog on http://www.dag2dag.wordpress.com to see more of our life in stockholm, sweden!!

    love
    maria

  197. I’m laughing b/c I have a FJ cruiser with “Tonka” on the side of it. Just thinking about those lyrics. And I love your ability to tie it all back together.

    Kudos for trying to put the extra strength into absorbing every moment. It’s like taking one more deep breath of the this season’s Lilac’s. That sweet reminiscent scent. Fleeting. I dread the day that Alex is gone. But it’s a catalyst to be fully present in today. Not fearing tomorrow. All about the journey.

    Love the shots of Lainey on the mountains. Running, I see glimpses of an older girl (like 6 or 7 years old!).

    Love the shots. Love the thoughts. Love the Daddy love. Always grateful for your generosity.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  198. Holy amazing photos mamacita… especially the one with the kite and cloud background w/ your husband & Lainey. GORGEOUS :)

    AND, school is over in 7 days.

    XO

  199. “It will come soon enough. And when the time does come, it will be a lot easier letting them go when I know I made the very best of the time they were mine to keep.”

    Now THIS made me cry. Gah, I’m going to go home and kiss my babies.

  200. Thank you for a smile and inspiring words on a day when I need them. Your talk of enjoying every moment you have your kids to keep, is close to my heart and represents one of the scariest things I think about for my future kids – letting them go out into the world (next to the teenage years of course). Happy week to you!

  201. First off – the feet picture while she’s reading the story is my favorite shot of this set.

    Next – very well said. And this is exactly why I take thousands and thousands of pictures. I want her to look back and roll her eyes, but secretly know on the inside that I appreciated every single moment of her growing up. There won’t be any question.

  202. Best post EVER. Best photos EVER. Nella and her OH face and pouty face are remarkable and Laney in that last shot is breath taking.

  203. Yayyy!!! Sooooo happy!! Your music works! thanks for fixing whatever was preventing it from playing for us Canadians! I love your blog and writing and pictures, but your choice of music is soundtrack to my day :)
    lots of love!!

  204. Nella is so cute and reminds me of my own little sister Lucianna! She also reminds me of my little brother John Luke getting into toilet paper :) I love reading your blog and especially looking at your pictures, it is really inspiring and gives me ideas for my own 11 year old blog omg-ruserious.blogspot.com. I have 7 little siblings, so I get ideas for pictures of them from the ones you take. Have a great week!
    Mary Grace Curran

  205. The Nella pouty face just made my day! She is the cutest little thing! But my favorite picture is of Lainey & Nella cuddling on the bed together. How blessed you are!

  206. My June started a little late… Jillian MIchaels Ripped in 30 Days. The girl is going to kick my butt!

    Love the how much of their personalities comes through in your pictures.

  207. Just wanted you to know those first few sentences totally inspired me. I always felt like if I was running, it was because I had to lose a few pounds or tone up. I’ve never liked running. Then I read what you wrote, the part where you run because it makes you happy. So I gave it a whirl. I got some good ol’ “Sexyback” by JT on my ipod and went for it. It was so fun. Pretty sure I found a new love, as long as I just do it because I WANT to, not because I feel like I HAVE to. :)

    Beautiful post, as always. I try not to think about my little guy growing up. I prefer to live in denial. 😉

  208. Hey Kelle _ could you please let me know the name of the paint in your master bedroom? I’m need to “paint that wall” this June!
    dldhome@hotmail.com

  209. As if you really have time to answer this, but IF you do, I’d love to know where you got Nella’s white little shoes in the picture 3rd to last. Precious. As our your girls. Absolutely precious family! LOVE the picture of Nella with her daddy at the beginning of the post.

  210. Bella is heart-wrenchingly beautiful to me.

  211. Nellas pictures w/her daddy are so precious. Can’t wait for my little girl to be born and fall in love w/her daddy

  212. you’re inspiring me to do SO many new things these days. Maybe I’ll send you an email and tell you about them – it would make WAY too long a comment on here.

    The pic of Nella kissing Dadda is way cute. I teared up looking at it, which is rare for me. I have one of those pics of miss kissing mine when I was her age and it made me decide to go print it up into a black and white, frame it and make it a “happy Father’s Day, Dad” gift. He’ll love it more than any gift card I could ever get him.

    Your “nothing” weekend looked pretty amazing to me!

  213. Oh,KELLE..I have tears. Your line “…the time they were mine to keep”. OH YES. My girls are grown up (for some time now). But it seems like yesterday, they were babies in my arms. TO MERLIN, oh waht a way with words you have! Yes, roots and wings. I so remember when our first graduated. Then went to college. I felt my heart would break. I love how you wrote, “delivery to departure in 60 seconds..thats what it feels like” and how can it be good for your heart. Our hearts. But, Congrats to yours and all the others who are graduating. Love from the Blog Mama~

  214. Your words and photos warm my heart!

  215. I always enjoy your posts! We have a son, Noah Smith, that was born with Down Syndrome on Dec. 15, 2011. I have created a website http://NoahsDad.com where I post a daily one minute video of his life. I hope that videos bring a source of hope and encouragement to those in the same shoes!

    I hope you guys will check it out, and let me know
    what you think!

    http://NoahsDad.com

    http://Noahsdad.com/subscribe

  216. What an enchanting post! So pleased to meet (well, read) you!

    Cxx

  217. We LOVE your pictures. Beautiful, every picture has it’s own little story. My daughter also loves the clothes combination from Lainey, she regrets that you can only buy them in de U.S. . . . .

  218. In love with that picture of Nella and her daddy with the kiss! Frame it for father’s day! So so sweet!

    Love Lainey and her “Montana” mountains! She’s so cute!

    :o)

  219. I wanted to share a song you might like. It’s called “Remember This” and it’s by Mary Beth Chapman. Here’s a link on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPtH2He0khg
    The youtube video is made by Mary Beth with picture of her son, and she is also the singer. We had a wonderful photographer (in Minneapolis) take pictures of our newborn son and this is the song that played when we’d look at the gallery of pictures on the photographer’s website. Hope you like it!

  220. To Library Girl 62: Oh, I was so touched by your sadness, tears in my eyes. For, I, too felt the same, when my FIRST dtr left for college and I remember like yesterday (it was 12 yrs ago now). I thought I would never get over the heartbreak. Believe me. But you will, after a while. It just all flies by too fast, what’s that old song “Sunrise, Sunset”? Hugs to you. To TAYLORS ANGEL: Welcome here! I just turned 56, am a grandma, too, and also feel like kind of reliving those younger days of my kids – via this blog. Love from the Blog Mama~

  221. Just wanted to say again how much I love your blog. I have a tendency to indulge in too much escapism – read a little too much fiction, watch a little too much TV, etc. Once I get started I get sucked in. But now that I have my sweet little I don’t WANT to escape. Your blog reminds me to stay grounded so that relish every moment to the fullest. Thank you Kelle!

  222. Those pictures are so beautiful and sweet! You capture the best moments!

  223. Your girls are so amazingly beautiful. I really love seeing Nella’s “oh” face as well. LOVE your blog and shared it with my sister in law this weekend.

  224. Could Nella be any cuter? The pouty face is my favorite. Love the photos of your girls. Makes me so excited to try to photograph 2 when baby girl comes in October!

  225. I seriously feel like I could say the same comment on every blog…it would be this:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Thank you!!! You have totally made my day! :-)

    And it may be un-original, but you know what – it would be 100% true every.single.time.

  226. Too funny! I just got back from a run and the only thing I had in my head was that Tonka truck song of yours. I will have to listen to the full song. The little bit of it that I now know worked. I can only imagine what the whole song could do for me. I use to listen to NIN long ago for running, yes definately one of those albums you would have had to get rid of back in the day, and it worked wonders. I’m a little tamer these days.

    Cheers!

  227. what a fantastic pout little nella has!!

  228. Where did you get Nella’s mary janes?? Love ’em!!

  229. The video montage was absolutely beautiful and I totally agree how could you not put some black and white pictures to oogle over later to that song? Totally adding to my ipod as we speak! That’s a video you will cherish forever :)

  230. What a fabulous blog! I found you through Ky. I can’t wait to come back and read more.

  231. Their bond may not be as different as you hoped for. My little sis is so “normal” in my eyes that I have to be reminded she has Downs. We get to hang out, paint nails, she let us pierce her ears last year…she loves to go out to eat with all her sisters. She loves spending time with us as much as we love spending time with her…it all rounds out to be pretty normal sister time. :) ~Randi

  232. Kelle, thank you for your blog! I check every day for new posts. :) It meant so much to me today especially…..I’ve had on and off insomnia since my 6-month-old sweet boy was born, and this has been a rough week. Pretty bleary this morning, but after spending some time on your blog I went over to my husband and said, ‘You know what? I’m going to love life anyway.’ We’re going to have a good day. The sun is shining, it’s the weekend, my hubby and baby and I are together….I choose to see the beauty in life today. Thank you for reminding me!

  233. LOVE this post! Have two girls of my own and I too want have no regrets!

  234. I love the running inspiration – good for you! It is amazing what the body is capable of. I started running and last weekend just completed my first 1/2 ironman – being consisted in working out really proves to end in amazement – not to mention a good way to clear your mind and do some day dreaming – rain or shine.

  235. I love how much time your kids spend outside.

    zane

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