SoCool in SoCal

Four days away, and we pull in the garage this morning to this:


I smiled and shook my head. “Really, Brett? You bought the cat a bed? Babe, he’s not our cat; he has a collar. We can’t just go stealing someone’s cat.”

And Brett fired back his prepared response. “I leave the door open. The cat has free will. He can leave if he wants.”

So the cat has a bed now. Which was more than I could claim last night as Nella and I pretzeled our bodies together on two different planes, my head propped up by the savior of the weekend–a Tempur-Pedic pillow I scored from bags of free stuff at BlogHer.

I am warped from exhaustion, jet lag, airport chair arm rest indentations, baby carrier shoulder strain and an overwhelming amount of information from the weekend. This all manifested itself today in my parenting, a feat which I almost surrendered after two cups of strong coffee produced disappointing results. It is then that I resort to trusty back-up plans–games that allow me to lie down with my eyes closed. Games that trick kids into thinking I’m playing when really I’m just praying they’ll buy it for another half hour so I can relax. So I let them go crazy with my make-up because it’s quiet and I’m so tired, I don’t even care if my face looks like the joker.


I missed my girl. She seems taller. And even though I felt only half present today, I fully enjoyed her little hands sweeping blush on my peaked cheeks.


California was lovely.

I like their well-endowed streets.


Their half-naked Santa who shot daggers with his stare-down which, I now realize, I deserved. I didn’t pay for the picture. Swear, I didn’t see that part of the sign until now. Sorry, Dude. Two cookies this Christmas for you and we’ll call it even.


Their In-N-Out burgers. Yes, I’ve been properly sworn in. A double double. And this is the sole reason it’s probably best I don’t live there.


BlogHer was…Wow. Big. A lot of people, a lot of information, a lot of innovative ideas. The moral of the story is that women are amazing and capable and are doing a lot of fantastic things to shape society, change perceptions, challenge each other, create new ideas, etc. Sessions rolled throughout the day and parties rocked the convention by night. My favorite part by far was the people. Always the people. New friends, old friends, and some lovely readers I was so honored and excited to meet. I wish there had been more time to get to know new friends.


View from the 16th floor of the San Diego Marriott Hotel.


Voices of the Year Award Ceremony

On our way to an official party Saturday evening, a group of us got lost meandering through hallways searching for the Coronado Room or Cordova Room or whatever it was called. A Congo Line formed as individuals continued to show up and attach themselves to our ever growing group of directionally challenged party goers. It just kept getting bigger–our clan of lost souls following each other up staircases, down elevators, through hallways, in search of the grand party. Unofficially, we formed the Lost Party, and our elevator rocked it out.


Go Shawty, it’s your birthday. We gonna party like it’s your birthday.


Lunch with the equally adorable and hilarious Meagan Francis.

The rest of the weekend was very whambamthankyouma’am, my insanely packed last day indicative of my desire to go and do and see as much as physically possible.

San Diego was blue and breezy and hip and young.



My dear friend Rebecca just moved to San Diego a few weeks ago, appropriately timed for our trip. She helped out with Nella and opened her home to us, and we thankfully were able to squeeze in breakfast with some of our favorite people before we left.



Amazing Swedish pancakes at The Original Pancake House

Our trip ended in L.A. at my friend Nadya’s house where Nella was finally unshackled from the confines of a baby sling to find freedom among open wood floors and baskets of toys.



I’m not allowed to book my own flights anymore. I screw them up every time. I thought I booked the 11 a.m. flight home on Sunday but no, it was 11 p.m. with a three hour layover in Cincinatti early in the morning. The silver lining lies in the fact that the twelve hour extended stay allowed for more L.A. adventures.

Why hello there, L.A. adventure.



Cue Movie Montage Dress-up Scene, Take Two.



Sisterfriend loved SoCal.




I loved the throngs of bikers, walkers, air-breathers, life-lovers along the stretch of Santa Monica Beach. We have beaches. We have people. But not this sort of Beach + People. It was energizing, that come-togetherness of such an ecclectic group of culture and people. And now I want a funky bike.


Once again, on a different coast, in a different time zone, with new and different people…it felt the same.

And look. They have oranges too. It’s kind of like home.



The Pat-a-Cake Baby $30 gift certificate winner goes to Comment #429, Smaychel: Traveling with baby sounds a little intimidating – we have a holiday planned next Spring, all the way from Scotland to Canada. Baby will be 12 months then, and I’m pretty scared of it! Looking forward to it at the same time, though, of course :)Looking forward to hearing how your trip goes!

Smaychel, please send your contact info to


And what do you know, right as I’m winding down on this post, Brett just ran in the house with a “They took the cat.”

“What do you mean they took the cat?” I asked.

“The people, the owners. They just came by the garage and noticed their cat and said they’ve been looking everywhere for it.”

“Well, that’s kind of embarrassing,” I answered, thankful I was absent for the exchange.

“I told them he just kept showing up at our house and wouldn’t go away,” Brett finished.

“Oh God, please tell me you didn’t say this while their cat was curled up in our cat bed. Eating cat food. In our garage.”

“Yeah, well he’s gone now.”

So long, Cat.

So long, California.




To the readers I got to meet this week…thank you. That was my favorite part. So endearing and meaningful.


Leave a Comment
  1. Oh Santa, I know the recession is hitting us all hard, but you too?! Love your pictures, glad you had a blast! :)

  2. Gorgeous cat! Blogher looks so fun! Santa- not so fun. :)

  3. I’m so glad that your enjoyed many things that my fair part of the country has to offer (In N Out being but a one).

    So sorry to have missed BlogHer and the chance to meet you in the flesh. Another time, perhaps.

    Go LA!

  4. You know Kelle, if you already have the cat bed and the cat food, you should really just get a cat ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. looks like an amazing trip!

    i love your outlook on life. even with an unexpected red-eye, and you’re still so ‘silver lining’ about the whole thing. you inspire. :)

    nella with her pigtails… way too cute!

  6. I wanted the cat to stay : (
    I am glad you liked meeting the readers the best. That makes me like you more.

  7. aw, love Brett! “The cat has free will”

    also am loving Nella’s pig tails –they are almost long enough to do the little bun thingy you do & the girls can be matchers :)

    Your blog makes my day!

  8. PS, I betcha Cat will be back……..his crush on your girls won’t end that quickly.

  9. Ahh! Love that you got to see a bit of my grittylovely LA before heading home!! Hoping to be at BlogHer next year :)

  10. Hi. One of my readers told me about you so I hopped on over to check things out. I just want to say your blog and your family and you seem amazing! Love your honesty, love your photography. I am also a Mom to kids with special needs and I recently came across something that resonated with me called Welcome to Holland. You can read it on my blog here: bringingboryahome. Have a great day!

  11. so fun – you are having way more fun than me – did you meet Ree Drummond – Pioneer Woman? She was there, too :)

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  13. Awesome pictures of one of my most favorite areas of the country!

  14. How fun! I wanted to go to BlogHer but big blogging conferences in other states are just not in the cards for me yet. I think I would have passed out had a run into you! Then hugged Nella to pieces.

    The cat bed- love it. And I love Brett’s logic.

    Lainey and the makeup… we have extended silent time when mommy needs a break. Although with 5 boys it totally is pointless, I totally get it. Anything for a moment of rest.

  15. I can not believe I am #11 to comment. Nella looks so cute in her pigtails and her little jeans rolled up. I alos have to tell you that your pictures of Lainey making you up brought back memories of my granddaughters making me up and I usually looked like a clown to say the least. I can tell you that I also loved having their hands on my face and enjoyed their little faces as they got to see my expression as I looked in the mirror. What a blessing and memories that will never be taken away.

  16. Read this with misty eyes. Thank you for some gorgeous shots of my hometown – I haven’t been home in over a year and, as I’m sure you’ll agree as a former midwesterner, Ohio just doesn’t scratch that SoCal itch. But did you have to show the In-N-Out??? Ugh, I could so rock a DblDbl combo with a Chocolate Shake right now!!!! (Effectively negating a week’s worth of Jazzercise, but what the hell?)

  17. That totally happened to me when I was a kid. The cat thing. I “found” it and lured it into my garage and named it Thumper. Then one day while I was watching The Simpsons, some people pulled up and saw it on our front step and were all like “BON JOVI! OMG! WE THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” And they took my freaking Thumper. I’m still bitter about it, if I’m being totally honest here.

    Go get another cat. There are about three bajillion at the shelter. Do it!

  18. I miss SoCal and LA so much.

  19. Awwww, I’m gonna miss that cat! :-p

  20. your trip sounds fast and fabulous. Don’t hate me…I think you need to get the girls a kitten, actually two kittens…they do better with a friend…there must be a shelter somewhere that you could rescue some furry friends? It’s a sign..after all you have the bed!

  21. I cannot believe you had such a long layover in Cincinnati!! Seriously?! I’m 30 min from there, tops! You and Nella would’ve had waaay more fun hanging out with our clan ๐Ÿ˜‰ We could have at least offered a bed for some much needed rest…we even have one of those Original Pancake Houses right around the corner! Next time…

    Glad you had a great time with new and old friends and that sweet travel buddy of yours too :)

    Angie from OHIO

  22. Ha ha! I think you need to get a cat! I had a weak moment, went a little ‘crazy cat lady’ and now I have three! Want one? We can ship it from BC to Florida! Glad your time in Cali was good ( :

  23. that’s so sad about the cat!! I think maybe you need one of your own!! :)

  24. oh man- living vicariously through you… and the cat, ohhhhhhhhhh so funny. :)

  25. Love all the pics!! We just returned from a trip to CA ourselves last month. We are on the west coast so not too far of a drive! Love it there. ;0) Glad you enjoyed your time away!

  26. so glad you enjoyed your stay in Cali! Im bummed I missed blogHer- I totally would have stalked you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. I give the cat a week – at most – until he finds his way back… at least for a visit!!
    That Santa sign & picture & the look on his face is hysterical!!
    Favorite picture = the lost party in the elevator! I’d most definitely be part of that party!!
    Welcome Home – overcast and rainy – YAY!!

  28. I moved back to Jersey from San Diego a few years ago. I still miss that beautiful place, especially the In-n-Out Burgers. So, so missed!

  29. it was so great to finally meet you : ) fun times!! xo

  30. I laughed out loud about the cat!! Too funny!! Looks like you had a wonderful trip! It’s my goal to go to the convention next year…looked like a great time :)

  31. Hey, next time you’re laid over in Cincinnati, give me a call! I’ll show you around. :) (Actually, fun fact: you were in Northern Kentucky.)

    And isn’t Original Pancake House great? The one in Chicago is in my top five breakfasts of all time.

  32. What a great trip! Girlfriend, you fit right in anywhere!! Love that little Nella, with her red tights.

  33. Okay so I didn’t read all the other comments, but I’m just gonna say…. that cat is gonna come back. Tomorrow. I’m like about 80% sure of this fact. Unless the owners get weirded out and think you are cat snatchers and decide to never let their cat outside again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Glad you had a lovely trip in SoCal. Awesome! :)

  34. In-N-Out!!!!!! One of my favorite parts of Cali :) Haha. I SO wish I could’ve made it to BlogHer this year. Maybe next year, fingers crossed. I think I would almost be intimidated by the amazingness of women, the collaborative genius, the empowering of bloggers… but meeting the people? That right there I would love.

    Welcome home. The gulf will soon be my home.. next month! The move from Michigan to Florida with my family. Excited and nervous.


  35. I miss you California! I’ve never stopped loving you.

  36. Kelle Marie (not sure if that is your middle name, but it sounded good) next time you have a 3 hour layover in Cincinnati, you must call me! Me, Molly, Emma and Tess will come show you the best sights at the Cincinnati airport located in Kentucky. Love SoCal….Love visiting LA family….Loved your post.

  37. These pictures are gorgeous! Looks like you had a lot of fun!

    In our sea of love

  38. LOVE CALI!!

    The photo of you modeling the peach shirt and awesome sunglasses…It took me a minute to realize you had a baby sling on, at quick glance it looks like you went up three bust sizes and are flashin the camera!

    Thanks for the unintentional laugh!

  39. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip! Boy, did you pack a lot in! I think it’s safe to say that you and Santa may not be on speaking terms — kinda like you and the bike a while back — but yes, cookies will for sure reel him back in. HA!

    I also think Hollywood would love to hire Lainey to re-create that joker look. It made me laugh so hard! Oh the things we’ll do to keep our kiddos happy! Quite creative, Mama Kelle!

    Living in Southern California, I can confirm that the In-N-Out is devil like, in the way it whispers sweet come hither’s into your ear on a weekly basis. Or wait…is that only me?

    Rest up, Kelle! Hope you have a great week back home!

  40. I LOVE Nella in pigtails. She’s such a little doll! I would have stalked you too…but I’m too afraid to fly. :)

  41. Kelle, it was SO lovely meeting you guys, and reveling in Nella’s adorableness. These pictures are fantastic.

  42. Thank you so much for being so sweet and gracious when I fawned all over you and Nella. Never did get that picture from your phone but scroll down to the bottom to see my baby absolutely in love with yours…

    It was a dream meeting you, you are even lovelier in person.

  43. I love your posts and outlook on life! I will be stalking even more frequently since I just got put on bedrest……not sure how I am going to do this with a 3.5 year old and 22 month old but I am pretty sure your blog is going to help get me through! Keep the beautiful pictures and adventures coming!

  44. Sounds like an amazing time! The good news is the cat WILL be back. im sure. especially since it has a special bed :)

  45. Cat thief busted! So sad I missed BlogHer, and the photos make me miss CA. Beautiful though…. next year, I hope to be at BlogHer. And NDSC. Possibly at the same time. But ya know what… I went on mini-vacay with husband and baby, and that was good, too.

  46. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself in this city I live in – though I still don’t call it home. And you had a great weekend of weather!! Betcha it’s nice to be back home :-)

  47. Maybe one day my blog will be cool enough for BlogHer…

    Beautiful pictures!


  48. Santa had me cracking up!! Your pictures are beautiful. Love the one of you with the blue shorts on.
    Glad you had such a wonderful time.

  49. OMG, you should have called me on your 3 hour layover in Cincinnati!

  50. Awww, no more Cat? I was totally loving him (her?). Boo. So glad you had fun (minus the 3 hour layover, I’m guessing?). I think my fave pic is the elevator shot!

  51. Wahhh!!! I was there Saturday and I kept looking for my Kelle and Nella. Maybe next year. Have you on my links I’m crushing on page short list. girltomom@gmailcom Heidi (on the BlogHer network)xxoo

  52. I am always encouraged to try to get more photos of my girl with DS because yours always look so great. (Mine usually have her mouth open and a blank look in her eyes.)

  53. Aww, no more cat? Are you guys going to have to get one of your own, now?

  54. Ok…so being a certifiable cat lover and proud of it…I hated the way this post ended. I loved that cat. And so did the kids. And apparently, so did Brett (love him!). I’d take those people to

  55. Love all the pics!

  56. Glad you are back! Oh man what a whirlwind! Now take a few days and don’t make yourself do anything except sit in a daze and watch your littles. I loooove the makeup session. Perfect. I think Billy has a picture of himself doing the same thing. He’s in a lazy-boy…he has pigtails…it’s not pretty. Love u!

  57. Lounging on the couch makeovers with closed eyes is my favorite game!

  58. I was SO excited to meet you at BlogHer! I apologize if I looked a little star struck. It made my day meeting you and Nella!

  59. so glad you had a great time! best thing to happen to SoCal in a while, that’s for sure…

  60. I love that darn cat. Hilarious!

  61. Oh, Kelle I knew you were coming to CA but didn’t realize that you would be so close….I so would have loved to help with Nella!

  62. So bummed I didn’t get to meet you. Did you take a walk around the Queen Bee Market while you were there? Amazing little girl items made by super talented women. Glad you enjoyed our sunny skies and funky bikes. :0)

  63. Nella’s piggies make me smile :) :)

  64. It was a horrible day of mothering for me. One of the really low, why am I doing this sort of variety. Reading your posts always lightens my weight though.

    Thank you. Thank you more than you know.

    My envy of all Blogher attendees goes on. :)

  65. Well I was there in spirit! Does that count? My thoughts were with you from here in Utah.

    xoxo, Bree

  66. I was so delighted to meet you. You were so gracious and sweet to a jet lagged Aussie blogger and meeting your beautiful younger daughter Nella was a privilege xxx

  67. Sounds and looks like you had so much fun!!! Kinda wishing I was a blogger now. Maybe someday.

    Your Joker face….hahaha! So cute that you let Lainey do your face!

    Go back and look at the mannequin picture… looks like you have a saggy old lady boob. There’s even a nipple—-Baahahaha!

    Oh, Nella!!! My favorite pics are of her in the bonnet (it looks vintage?) and by the old door…..ooohh, be still my heart. Loves to her!

    And if you ever visit Idaho, I promise you that you will have Swedish pancakes for breakfast (or lunch or dinner or dessert). My husband either makes those, or Dutch Babies, or German apple pancakes EVERY SATURDAY that he is home…..and I’m not even joking! He even wears a chef hat….the boys, too :) Does that entice you?

    Many blessings & lots of rest to you,

  68. haaa! I loved the ending of this post! Brett appearances are always funny!

  69. There is a children’s book by called Charlie Anderson about a cat that has two homes! I think you might just need it for your girls. It was one of my favorites as a kid (even though I never had a cat or really even wanted one, ha) but it is a sweet story!

  70. kitty food, kitty bed, sounds like you need a kitty of your own!!!!! Your trip sounds like so much fun!! while you were living it up in SoCal, we were living it up in Naples. Left my camera on Vanderbilt beach :(… I hope that the Ritz Carlton finds it in a load of wet towels. Your blog makes my day happy!!!!

  71. Oh my god! So funny! Thanks for the laughs before bed.

  72. Aww…I’m gonna miss that cat. The photos of “cat” with the kiddies were great! How did the girls react?

  73. I love your recap, love that you got to connect with Meagan. She’s one of my favorite peoples. I know you’re glad to be back home, too!


  74. Kelle! I am going to play along with you on Fridays for Phone Dump! Great Idea. I just linked up to your page from mine and i really hope my readers/friends hop over to your blog. I have found so much inspiration in your blog and you are so witty and fun! Thanks for sharing your life with me :) my friends and I love your precious girls :)

    Anne :)

  75. OMG! That final story about Brett & the cat had me laughing like crazy! Poor Brett–I think he liked Cat. Sister looked good in SoCal! Welcome home. xo

  76. This post was so funny! Literally LOL’d at the Santa evil eye and the people reclaiming their cat story! And yes, In N Out is the bomb! Once you’ve been there you start to learn their lingo like, ordering your burger, “animal style,” or a “3 X 3″, “animal style or well done fries,” or you know you can add chilies to your burger! Now I am craving a burger big time! Glad you had fun in Cali! xoxo

  77. BlogHer sounds like it was amazing! Glad you’re both home safe….and I’m sure you’re glad, too!

  78. Nella’s pigtails are the cutest!

    Loving the look Lainey gave you with your makeup — makes me kinda excited for when my daughter is at the age for that game; I kinda think it’d be fun {not to mention funn-y}. Kids are so awesome.

  79. We are headed to the southwest in a few weeks and this Midwest girl cannot wait to sink her teeth into an In-N-Out burger. Heaven.

    Beautiful post, as always.

  80. Man, I sat in that very place by the boat dock in San Diego about 6 months ago. Wish I could have bumped into you…would have loved to see Nella’s doll face and met you in person!

  81. i think lainey and nella need a cat that’s all theirs!


  82. I’m going to miss the cat. Couldn’t Brett have said,”No, this can’t possibly be your cat, we’ve had this cat for ten years. Our cat just looks like your cat, but good luck finding him!”

    So happy to hear that you had a wonderful time in my neck of the woods, good ol’ Sunny San Diego.

  83. Oh my goodness, I cracked up at your cat conversation. I’ll miss Cat but I’m sure he’ll be back :)

  84. Thank you for making me laugh out loud after a hard day. (It was the cat leaving conversation that did it!)

  85. I want so badly to tell you how much it meant to me to meet you at BlogHer, but my words are failing me.

    And I call myself a writer?

    Please know that your words and photos inspire me in the most beautiful of ways.

    Thank you for taking the time to chat with me…meeting you was a dream come true.

  86. Glad that you had such a wonderful time in my now hometown! As always, thank you for sharing your adventures!

  87. And all I can think of is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” where Audrey Hepburn names her cat “Cat”, and tells him to get lost in a rainstorm, but then scoops the cat up in an ally and proceeds to kiss with the swooniest man….oh my.

    Glad you had a wonderful time!

  88. I’m going to miss cat!
    Glad you had an awesome time and also glad my favourite blogger is back :-)

  89. OMG, so going to have to steal the make up idea. It’s such a great plan for when you’re exhausted. I only have boys, though… but I do think they’d love it. :) Sounds like an amazing trip! ~ Courtney

  90. Hmmm…the make-up game is a good idea. I have only one girl and three boys though. When I’m feeling like that we play the massage game. They walk on my back, pound out my shoulders and we all feel a little better for it :-).

  91. You were high on my list of must-meet bloggers, and I’m glad I was able to say hello. (I was the gal who introduced myself in the bathroom, of all places, and then said hello near the hotel bar on Saturday.)

  92. Oh my goodness- Lainey and the makeup…the joker face… you seriously make me laugh! Loved hearing about your trip. And Santa is too much!

  93. Oh go get Brett a kitty! We had a kitty adopt us too. She stayed for 21 yrs! She was the best cat ever.

  94. What a couple of days- I’d be shattered after that! Nella looked like she was pretty cruisey about it all though.
    Are the girls disappointed that the cat has gone?

  95. Well those owners better be nice. You all took such good care of their kitty-they should be thanking you! And Santa? Hope you don’t find any coal this year!

  96. this was a fun post to read. I’m from California {we live in Washington now} but it was fun reading your take on the southern coast :)

    Welcome home!
    The cat bit was HIL-arious!

  97. My closet called and told me it needed that red and creme striped top with the awesome crochet sleeves…do share :)
    I think i commented before…the kitty has a good judge of character. He’ll be back.
    Trip looks fun. I’ve always wanted to go to cali. In due time. (sigh)

  98. Hilarious. Cat thief. So much good stuff here. Oh the photos and the airplane stress of layovers but, man, I can’t stop giggling about the cat bed.

  99. Oh, (hahahaha) Santa needs some pants. So. Freakin’. Funny.

  100. Exquisite photos, Kelle. Thanks for sharing once again.

  101. Looks truly wonderful! I’ve never been in California.
    I agree: meeting people is always The very best thing.

    Again: I admit the pancakes do actually look swedish :-) But what is on them? It does not look Swedish at all… LOL

    Thanks for sharing your trip!

  102. I’m bettin that dat cat is going to be back!
    Great pics as always.

  103. Love Meagan Francis…wow it’s like all my favorite bloggers in one place!! Too bad about that cat. At least you have pictures…maybe it’ll be back. Once you feed them…

    Can Nella get any cuter???? Always smiling, and always make me smile!

  104. Looks like you had a great trip. I hope you write more about BlogHer. So you finally got to come to my home town Cincinnati. BTW the airport is in Kentucky not Ohio. Strange I know. Hope today you have your mojo back today. All night flights always make me feel like I have a hangover. susan

  105. Looks like you had an amazing time in California! I hope to visit there sometime soon. Nella is adorable (as always) and getting so big! I give you props for travelling with a baby, I just recently flew from NY to FL with a 3mo old and I’m not looking forward to doing it again anytime soon LOL.
    BlogHer looked amazing! Glad to see you’re safe and sound.

  106. Aww, I really liked the cat stories and pictures. I have a feeling he’ll find a way back to your home. For a 1/2 adopted kitty, he was certainly given the royal treatment :-)

    That picture of you next to the mannequin made me do a double take because I didn’t realize Nella was in the sling and it looked like all of a sudden your boob dropped Catholic nun style in your blouse.

  107. I used to live in La Jolla and recently have been SO homesick for the sunshine and beautiful coastline. Your pictures filled up the cup inside me that was running dry. Thank you for sharing!!

  108. Time to get a cat maybe Kelle? Since u have the bed and the food I mean.. Oh and little kittens are sooo cute<3 I’ve always been a dog person myself, but kittens are adorable…

    Sounds like California was great!! And blogHer BIG. Hopefully one year I can go too! As for Swedish pancakes, they look just like norwegian pancakes, and probably taste the same too! I make them loads at home (am norwegian, and live in sweden!) My son loves them!


  109. I would love to visit SoCal.

  110. Kelle – I can’t explain how excited I am that I got to meet you. You see, I’m not the pickiest blog reader. My google reader is always stuffed with unread posts.

    But yours? I always return. I always read. I don’t know what it is about it. But it’s good stuff.

    I had imagined you would be just as kind and beautiful in person as you seem on your blog. And you were.

    BlogHer was difficult for me. I wish I could say that it was everything I wanted it to be. But I was pretty damn overwhelmed.

    So thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to say hi to me. It meant a lot, sweetness.

  111. glad you had fun, I had been hoping I’d meet you (and maybe sweet Nella) this weekend at NDSC in San Antonio. Just so I could tell you how much I enjoy your blog and your sweet girls.

  112. I feel as if I took the trip with you! Stumbled upon your blog and now I am forever a reader! My little slice of the world is much quieter than your life…

  113. NOOOO!! You were HERE for THREE hours and I didn’t know?!?!! I would SO have woken up in the middle of the night to keep you company and rock Nella and it would have been and honor!! Next time… :)
    Looks like a grand trip. Happy home week to you!

  114. Welcome home! I love the private makeup session. What a treat for Lainey. I laughed @ the owners of the cat finding their dear animal after Brett buys it a bed. It will be back. We had friends for years that shared the same cat and didn’t know it. Strange, but funny. Don’t get rid of that cat bed yet!

    Glad you had a good trip to Blogher. I can only imagine it’s got to be exhausting, but all good.

    Have a wonderful week.

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  115. So disappointed that you were right here in my hometown and I missed you :-( I live about 10 minutes from the Cincinnati/Northern KY airport – I would have brought you and Nella some homemade muffins or something! So glad to hear you had a great trip, can’t wait to hear more about it :-)

  116. Ok, is it me or did that mannequin looked just like you Kelle? Score!

    I loved the pics from the conference. Hope you get rested this week. There is never rest for the weary mamas, I feel for you.


  117. Oh San Diego…just love it there! My husbands Grandather and Aunt/Uncle live in San Diego. When his Grandmother was alive she always asked for In-N-Out Gift Cards for Christmas…she loved their burgers! The double double…yummy! We try to get their every couple of years…there is so much to see and do that its a great place to take a family vacation!

  118. I’m going to buck the trend and vote against a cat, at least for another year. Young toddlers and cat litter= not a good combo. That said, pictures look great. I spy an Ikea Kura bed! We just got a store here in Denver, and I’ve been stalking their kids furniture section for my almost 2 year old, so I feel my detective skillz are solid :>

  119. Careful. The older my dad gets, the more strays he takes in. It started innocently enough, but he’s slowly becoming a crazy cat man. He loves those little guys, though, and I know my dad feels a purpose taking care of them. It’s quite adorable, actually. They’re his new kids now that we’re all grown and out of the house. Love that man. He grows more sensitive by the day. I blame (and thank) the cats.

  120. Oh my gosh, Brett and the cat bed, I laughed out loud. Stinks that they came to claim their cat, guess it’s time for your own now, haha! Nella is such a doll, what a wonderful traveling companion. You 2 are so lucky to have one another!!!

  121. That Santa picture is absolute hilarious!

  122. My parents have a stray that they feed and has a bed of his own. Only that was about 3 years ago. The cat still comes…ha!

  123. That’s my state – woot woot! Glad you enjoyed your visit and I’m pretty sure you enjoyed the weather too :)
    Sisterfriend is hilarious! HA

  124. I’m headed to SoCal in a month, and your post made me even more excited. :)

  125. I’m a little sad that the owners took Cat. :(

  126. ackk no way they took the cat…that IS embarrassing! i screw up flights too. it’s tricky. glad you had fun in la. i love that town. such good people watching. i’m thinking of doing the blogher thing. i’ve never advertised before, but i might.

  127. Totally have played those half-present games with my kids. They are still having a great time interacting with mom, but mom is getting a bitty break.

    Love the cat story. Sounds like you pulled off a great trip.

  128. You never disappoint with your post or pictures. The Santa pic is hilarious! and call me crazy but you and the manacan really do favor. :) Sounds like your trip was fun. Glad that ya’ll made it back safe. Nella is so adorable in her pigtails…she is adorable always.

  129. I love this post for many different reasons. Man, I heart you.

  130. Oh this entire post cracked me up. The cat, the make-up and the pic of you with the mannequin (um Nella in the sling looks like one low boob. So funny. Thanks for making my day!

    Oh and I love your red and white, lace shirt!

  131. Beautiful pics and looks like an amazing time! I am slightly jealous.

  132. I about died at the conversation with Brett about the Cat. You feed them, they stay. Ask my neighbors! I finally gave up trying to make him stay home. Maybe Cat will be back since he knows where his bread is buttered at your house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Santa is mighty scary btw… yikes!

  133. OK, your “lost cat” story reminds me of friends of mine who “found” a dog. The mom was in the van with their children on a quick run to the store. As they approached an intersection, there it was…a small dog appearing lost and too near the road for comfort. The kids were so worried about the dog they plead with their mom to save it. As they were sitting there, the mom finally agreed to the children opening the van door…and the children did, calling to the dog who bounded into the van with its new family and off they went. They loved this dog from the instant he joined their family. Sadly, the dad recognized the dog on a poster in the neighborhood and told the children, “Someone is looking for their dog.” They called the number on the poster and told the worried owners they were pretty sure they had their dog. The owners gave them their address and the dad drove the now crying children and the dog to the home. The home was on the corner where they had “rescued” the lost dog. The dog was in its own yard when they called it into their van. Well, I am wondering how long it will be before Brett brings home a “lost” kitty. The last photo looks like the Hollywood letters sign and for a split instant I thought, “Oh my God, they’ve erected a sign!” Can’t wait to see you all this weekend!


  134. Well if you want a outside cat and want to come to South Texas, we have 2 and some kittens that are about 2 days old. We took in 2 strays turned out they were both pregnant. Needless to say…we now have way WAY way to many.

  135. I am laughing out loug at my desk about your conversation with Brett. That is so something my husband would do!

    I’m also super jealous of your trip. It looks like it was a wonderful time! :)

  136. Love the picture of San Clemente- where I live! It’s so nice to see “East Coasters” appreciate the beauty of socal! And welcome to the in-n-out club :]

  137. So how long until y’all get your own cat? (gasp) Were the girls heartbroken?

  138. Too bad I didn’t know about your 3 hour layover in Cincinnati, we definitely could have filled your time somehow! Next time, give me a shout!

  139. oh the cat!! those people probably thought you were stealing their cat :) hahahaha!!

  140. Oh, how this post made me miss home. SoCal born and raised here. I miss it terribly of course reading all this doesn’t help when I am also missing my hubs who is gone for training. You are amazing with words. Thanks for the peak into your life and the wonders of SoCal.

  141. Maybe Santa can bring you a cat?

  142. Time to get a cat. The shelters are FULL of them! Go, go, go.

  143. LOL, the cat part was hysterical! Glad you had a great time in SoCo, looks fantastic!


  144. bahahaha so funny! totally needed the laugh from this post!

  145. Noticed you have Mindy Gledwill’s California on your player. Have you heard Whole Wide World yet? It is a fantastic song that I think you’d love for your girls. (I love it for mine!)

  146. What a wonderful trip. I lived out there for awhile and your photos made me miss the west coast.

    I can’t believe how BIG Nella’s getting. Your little is growing up so fast. She’s a stunner!

  147. I love the 1/2 naked Santa. I love the pictures from BlogHer. I want to go. Maybe next year…. I can’t wait to read some of the tips. I find myself in this weird world… loving to read other blogs and at the same time scared to read too many things. If I read a blog too long, I can sense my “voice” changing… becoming more like their voice. Does that happen to anyone else?
    Kristen @

  148. San diego, didn’t you just love her? I escaped there for college and she holds my independence, my growing up, and some of my best friends. I miss SD dearly. And in and out? I wish they would branch out to the east, they are the best burgers and I crave them daily.

  149. Looks like you had an amazing (and busy) time! I live in SoCal and my hubby and I are headed down to SD in a couple of weeks for our anniversary. I’ll look for half-naked santa! Thank you for sharing. Your posts are amazing!

  150. Sounds like an amazing trip. Someday I hope to make it to BlogHer…someday….

  151. @ Kristen – Lol. I know exactly what you mean. A few hours with a certain friend and I sound Ukranian (I am anything but). I just try not to write after I have just read a ‘blog of impact’ cause I am impressionable that way. It’s a little tricky, but it works. p.s welcome back, kelle!

  152. Loved all your photos!
    And I know what you mean about trying to relax with kids! A little girl I watch likes to brush my hair sometimes, and she takes awhile, which I like, because it’s so relaxing…

  153. I’m so sad about the cat. But it’s balanced by the joy that came over me when I heard Mindy Gledhill on your page. LOVE HER.

  154. I played a game of “where is Nella” in the elevator picture. I smiled when I saw her little face peeking through. :)

  155. At first glance when I saw the pic of you and your twin the mannequin, I thought you had somehow acquired a gigantic saggy boob! Hahaha! I am laughing out loud. Probably isn’t even that funny.

  156. Hahahaaaa…to the mad Santa. Hahaaaaaa….to the cat bed and neighbors catching Bret and the cat that “just wouldn’t go home”. Hahaaaaaa….to the photos of dress up. And my oh my how big and bright and beautiful Nella grows with every millisecond! Here’s to wishing you a restful week of make-overs and shut-eye. I vote you unleash Lainey with nail polish and mani/pedi supplies tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  157. I live minutes from where you were in San Diego! I would have dies to meet you. And my friend Jess, well let’s just say I think you are her hero. Next time you are in SD I can show you the best kid beach and the best food. What more could you ask for? And I am pretty sure Lainey and Nella would love my Abigail :)

  158. I am sure Cat will be back! I didn’t realize that Original House of Pancakes wasn’t just a Michigan thing~ sweet :)

  159. Until your blog, I had no idea how many people are doing it. So happy you had this opportunity, and so many others that have come about because of your beautiful blog. Last week, a friend shared how living was getting them down. You know, the mundane day-to-day. We talked a bit, and I wrote your blog on a post-it before she left. A text on Sunday from her: “She’s amazing. I’ve loved reading her blog this weekend. Thanks for sharing!”

    So glad you put the time and effort into this.

    Much Love.

  160. I, too, play those lying down games. :) Next time you go to In-n-Out, you must try the DD “Animal Style”! Also, I would love to know where you got your red striped shirt–it’s adorable!

  161. I’m CRACKING UP at your husband!!!! What a funny way to wrap up the cat saga. =)

  162. I like how you pack it all in, living life to the fullest each and every day, even when you’re tired. We’ve all been there, thanks for keeping it real.

  163. Love your picture of the “HUMPS” road signage. New Jersey has signs saying “Speed Hump.” Cracks me up every time I see it! Thanks for sharing your awesome adventures with us!

  164. The thing with the cat cracks me up!

  165. Oh can I please, please, please PLEASE have a bite of that double double???? Seriously….just one bite? please?

  166. Wish I could have met you and your sweet Nella while you were in our hometown! I just had to comment that you’ll need to come back- you were not properly sworn in with your in-n-out because those fries were not animal style! So sad you missed out on this important part of LA culture :)

  167. Well, now you KNOW you must replace cat with a new one all your own. :) For the girls of course. And maybe for Brett. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  168. I am SO jealous that you got to eat at the Original Pancake House! That was one of my favorite places when we lived in San Diego. Yum!

  169. look a bit like Heath Ledger’s version of the joker in the one make-over photo..cracked me up!
    As far as two cookies for Santa this Christmas…ummm…just leave him some pants…ewhhhh…that is just not right!
    Have a good day friend.♥

  170. In-N-Out burgers are the one thing I Miss about California. They could be very addicting. The pictures are always awinspiring and beautiful. Thanks for the look at California again.

  171. Just so you know, I gave you a “One Lovely Blogger Award” over on my blog…

  172. I’m not sad about the cat… but only because I have been the person whose cat went to live somewhere else. Our neighbours started patting him every time he went there, and then then they started feeding him, then they let him in their house and let him sleep on their bed! Their attitude was also that it was free will, but if you feed a cat…. well you are really encouraging them. The whole thing was very upsetting for us, and caused big issues with our neighbours.

  173. Thanks for the little blurb on BlogHer. A blog post from our joint blog ( won a Voices of the Year Award in the perspectives category (including people’s choice)…but we were unable to go. So was very pleased to see a couple of pictures. Thanks :)

  174. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I literally was 4 stories above you Saturday night! We were on a lil vacation with the family who were there for The Mastermind convention! If I saw you and Nella I would have screamed like P. Diddy was in Da’ house…yes in Da’ House and you probably would have called security which would not have been ok infront of my in laws and children so its probably I didnt run into you! Nella is adorable!

  175. Lots of fabulous people, yourself included, went to BlogHer…I may have to go next year. Your pictures are beautiful as always and I noticed that Nella is starting to look like a little girl and not so much like a baby!!! How time flies!!!!

  176. Just wanted to say hi & it was wonderful to see you at BlogHer. You are as beautiful & sweet in person as you are online. We met briefly outside the hotel Friday early evening. I was stuck in a pedicab but took a fun photo of you & bloggy friend Rebecca. {I posted it on my blog}

    Glad y’all had a great time!

  177. i know this has nothing to do with your post, but where do you get your Girls’ clothes at? they are so beautiful, nothing like i see in the stores here in Indiana. :)

  178. Just wanted you to know how much your blog means to me. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Eva in feb this year. She is a blessing to myself and my family and has brough us all such immense joy. I still have days where i feel low. On these days i read your blogs. It’s good to know that i’m not alone on this journey. Your writing is inspirational and upliffting. It has helped me more than you’ll ever know. Thank you, Kelle.

  179. ACK!!! I didn’t know you were at BlogHer! How I would have LOVED to have met you! Super bummed! Even though I met some fabulous people, I’m realizing now just many I missed seeing at the same time! Super bummer! Glad you had a great trip though–love the Santa photo!

  180. i was one of those crazy readers who ran up to you in the marriott lobby — thanks for being so nice & gracious to me :) running into you was a highlight of blogher for sure, and nella is so adorable!

  181. LOVE that you ate at In-N-Out AND the Original Pancake House. Those were two places I missed DESPERATELY while living in FL. Now, I miss Zaxby’s. I know, it is just Zaxby’s but there is something to be said for that seasoning. Oh, and Cracker Barrel. Mmm….

  182. these pictures are just epic. love it. =)

    lots of love,

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