May Day

I began to write this post last night after Brett agreed to put the girls to bed, but one sentence into it, Lainey walked into the office and buried her head into my lap. “Lay with me, Mama,” she asked. And while I’m perfectly comfortable explaining to my kids that yes is not always the answer for my company pleas, there are times when I feel an intense need to say yes. I think many times, it is not their need I am tending to, but my own. I love saying yes.

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We fell asleep together, her arm pretzeled around mine, her breath a metronome to the steady stream of thoughts that sang within my head. A review of our day, what I didn’t get done, what I wanted to do tomorrow, what I wished I would have said. And finally, I made the conscious decision to twist further into our pretzel and fall asleep–ahead of schedule, and neglecting pre-bed rituals like plugging in my phone or turning off my computer.

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Yesterday marked the fourth consecutive day of gray clouds, parting temporarily for afternoon sun sessions. This weekend the girls and I slipped out of the house early to answer the siren’s call–the simplicity of a crowd-stripped quiet beach, a bit damp but peaceful.

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When the rain subsides, we’re outside. Chalking body outlines in the driveway, steering scooters down sidewalks, checking the mail for the seventeenth time because little girls like raising the red metal flag, showing up at the park for walks around the boardwalk and smoothing blankets in the side yard for afternoon reading.

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We joined our friends Sammy and Kinsley at a nearby park the other day, and at one moment I looked up to see the mirror image of big sister girls pushing little sisters–one pair sandy-haired, one pair blond, both smiling.

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When it rains, we are back inside, calmed by the steady rhythm of April showers and complementing gray skies.

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Lainey has moved on from dressing the dogs up and has found that little sisters also work nicely for amusement. Miraculously, Nella doesn’t mind.


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Capes, Pip & Bean

Other loves this weekend:

Movie Night with Friends and Baby Ivy.

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Feeding the Neighborhood Ducks.

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It is the first day of May, and I love firsts. I did the June challenge last year and was looking forward to another one this year, but I admit, I can’t wait. May Day, May Day. I’ve been discouraged by my routines lately and analyzing areas where I can make changes, make sacrifices, and shed time wasters.

We’ve always been great at reading books, but it’s hit or miss the last couple weeks and bedtime routines have been shifted a bit. Brett and I have accepted the challenge of two books a night for the girls, read together as a family before bed. He picks one, I pick the other. Every night in May.

There’s something very motivating about these challenges which work a bit like dominoes, prompting other good ideas and establishing new focused intentions for our family. This was always something we used to do and somehow, we fell out of a good routine. Firsts are great for restoring them.

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Happy May Day.

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Congratulations to KBL sunglasses winner:

Comment #290, Shauna: Kelle, whenever I get overwhelmed by piles of laundry I know I can come to your blog to make me happier. Thanks for the color!

Shauna, please e-mail your contact information to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net with the subject line KBL GIVEAWAY WINNER, and your sunglasses will be mailed to you soon.

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Sponsor Dashing Bee returns this week with new items in their online consignment shop. Inventory changes daily, so be sure to check in for new summer gear, baby and toddler clothing, toys and nursery accessories, all gently used and affordable!

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All collage items currently available at Dashing Bee.

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Meagan Francis over at The Happiest Mom conducted her first podcast the other day, and I was thrilled to be part of it. I talk about Bloom, blogging and that half-full glass; you can listen HERE. We did laugh when it was all said and done that this was a first–she laughed at her “ums”, and I am sorry to say, I said “fascinating” so many times, I wanted to slap myself.

Also, for my Michigan friends, I will be in Michigan June 7-10 and will be doing two book signings, one at Books a Million in Monroe, MI on Thursday, June 7 at 7 pm and one at Wiegands Nursery in Macomb, MI on June 9, 10 a.m. (all day fundraiser for Band of Angels). I’d love to meet you!

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Comments

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  1. I love your sweet perspective, how you relish in your babies and are so ever present with them. You’re amazing, how loved your girls are!

  2. I love the “early to bed” pretzel. It has been a long time since we’ve done that! Gabe used to ask for it every night, but he hasn’t asked as much lately. Growing up ? I miss that!

  3. I love the pictures in this post, they are some of my favourite.

  4. Just lovely as always and that picture of Nella against the light of the window, simply beautiful. How on earth do you decide which one get framed?!

  5. Falling asleep pretzeled with your baby! What could be better? : ) I love your sunny days and your gray days. You capture them equally beautifully. It is always so fun to visit and see what you have been up to!

  6. The sister duo pictures are amazing. Each set of sisters look so similar to each other. Looks like they will be great friends. Those ducks…well, they aren’t very attractive, are they?

  7. Nella looking outside is ADORABLE!!! and i am so looking forward to your June challenge.

  8. Happy May Day!! Yes, firsts are perfect for renewing the best of rituals and shedding the things that don’t need our attention. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    :)
    ~Tabitha

  9. I love May Day! My girl and I had fun ding-dong-ditching our neighbors and leaving treat baskets behind!

  10. can’t wait to meet you in Michigan Kelle! We are moving to Ann Arbor for the summer and I think I will be able to make it happen. Just read Bloom…in 2 days and shared it with a friend.

  11. luv nighttime reading w kiddos. It’s been in our routine now for years! My daughter is 8 now and can read to herself, but she still loves being read to. When you move into chapter books w your girls, it will be even more fun and they will look soooo forward to the next night to see what happens next. It’s magic!!!

    xoxo

  12. Eep! So exciting! Thank you thank you thank you!

  13. Hi Kelle, this is the first time I write on your blog but I always visit it!! I’m from Argentina I have 25 years and I love your pictures!! Yua have a nice family!!!
    I always carry a smile when I visit this space!!
    Kisses, memi

  14. Wow, I’ve never been one of the first few commenters! How exciting. I was craving some Kelle and you delivered! Thank you. I loved your June challenge last year, I have been thinking about what I will do. Happy May – my baby will be 2 this May . . . bittersweet.

  15. You never fail to put a smile on my face. That is all. Oh, one more thing…Jack’s kindergarten class is currently having a contest to see which one of them can read the most books by May 31. Newsflash: they can’t really read. Which means all of us parents are being hounded incessantly by their respective wide-eyed adorable children to comb through approximately 37 books per night. No worries, Jack. I wasn’t planning on going to bed before midnight anyway. 😉

  16. My kids always want me to lay down with them,too. I nearly always resist, sad that I have so much to do. But lately, I have been doing it anyway. Not sleeping but laying down with a puddle of little boys until a couple are snoozing and the biggest one understands that he has to stay in bed. I am sure I will never regret the laundry I didn’t do while I was snuggling them.
    I finished your book yesterday. Loved it. It was amazing and honest.

  17. Lovely as always! I enjoyed the photos so much!

  18. Your shirt and your shoes are TOO cute!!

    Great post! 😀

  19. Seriously Nella eating? It’s so cute I would pee my pants from laughter! I love that you snuggled Lainey and fell asleep.

  20. Such a cute post with adorable photos! Happy May!! x

  21. I don’t blame you for curling/twisting up with Lainey…how can you say no to that request?? Also, that photo of the four girls…priceless, precious, magical, heartwarming.

    xoxo,
    La Petite Gigi

  22. Happy may day!! Love the last pic of nella.

  23. That first photo is simply wonderful! I’ve been feeling May needs to have a little push — fresh month to freshen up some sagging habits and get some fresh perspective! Good luck if you decide on a May challenge this year!

  24. Maybe you can take senior pictures for your cousins when you’re here? Just a thought…can’t wait to see you!!!

  25. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this but, you have two gorgeous little girls. I love the confidence in their eyes and the curiosity in their steps. You are doing something right. I love the creativity of words in your writing, it inspires me to think more deeply in my daily life.
    Thank you for taking the time away from your family to keep up with such a wonderful public blog.

    Mandy
    http://www.smallfineprint.com

  26. I am going to challenge myself to spend less time on the computer, and more time actually being “with” my family. As I contemplate going of to college in the fall I realized how much time I spend at home, but not actually with my family.

  27. Nella in the food pictures: PRICELESS!!

  28. I absolutely love the pictures of Nella…she is covered in food and there lies her spoon :-)

  29. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that your coming to MICHIGAN!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  30. Kelle, I absolutely loved chatting with you the other day! Thanks so much for being a good sport and especially for linking up over here.

    PS I love your red shoes.

  31. Hi Kelle! I emailed you twice about the Melody Joy Giveaway… I havent heard back and was curious… also excited! Could you email me skeet2004@cox.net

    Happy May Day! I am totally copying your monthly challenge! Brilliant :)

    xo Ali

  32. I secretly love when my husband works third shift because my girls always end up in my bed, so sweet. I love the picture of Nella by the window, she looks so much like her Mama:)

  33. “”I’ve been discouraged by my routines lately and analyzing areas where I can make changes, make sacrifices, and shed time wasters.”” I love this Kelle and have felt the same way lately. I have been busy & distracted & on edge & tired…and so not present!! I NEED to get back on track!
    xx
    P.S. Love the pic of Nella on the beach….deep in thought!!! Taking in the world around her.
    http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

  34. Hi Kelle…So strange you wrote that you had fallen out of the pattern of bed time reading with the girls..i realised the same thing a week ago with us and wrote a post about it too!

    http://5pumkins.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/i-woke-up-at-about-3am-with-awful.html

    Life gets so freakin busy that we sometimes stop the things that are important to us for whatever reason…glad your back on the night time reading routine…we are too :-)xx kelly

  35. I am so in love with the sister shots! I bet those moments just melt your heart. :)

  36. Happy May day friend
    . The pics of the girls on playdates with their friends took me back. We used to have playdates all the time. Enjoy:)

  37. Kelle,
    I smiled when I read about your neighborhood ducks. We are in Indigo and have been scolded for feeding the ducks from our lake behind. My two girls LOVE feeding them. The mama had 7 babies and now sadly, likely due to the Eagles in the area, she has none. So we feed her bread. Thanks for your posts:) AER

  38. Shoot, I wish you were coming to northern Michigan!!!

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  40. The picture of big sisters pushing little sisters on the swings is priceless…great catch. :)

  41. I am loving the first of May as well. So excited that you are coming to Michigan and I can’t wait to meet you :) You have been such an inspiration and your words have hit home when I’ve needed them most! Thank You!

  42. I love that you admit to letting good habits slip. I only have one girl and I’ve only been reading one book to her at bedtime at night… I’ve just been too tired to read more. (We also say prayers and then I sing about 5 songs that I sing every night for bedtime.)
    I just feel like I need to refocus… especially since my Bean will be getting a baby brother in less than 17 weeks (if I hit my EDD).
    Time is flying… thanks for the reminders not to let it pass me by!

  43. “I said fascinating so many times I wanted to slap myself.” oh sweet Lord. That’s hysterical!

  44. Lovely photos, looks like a lovely time with kiddies and babies! Great to share the joy with other mums hey?

    bxx

  45. Lovely photos, looks like a lovely time with kiddies and babies! Great to share the joy with other mums hey?

    bxx

  46. We’ve been getting off Zayn’s bedtime schedule and going for evening walks a few nights. We read lots of books during the day & I finally bought him chalk and we chalk it up outside, he loves it. I need to find more stuff to do in our new town… :) Nella, wow. Gorgeous! Lainey is just darling and I love that she dresses Nella up :)

  47. That’s the best way to fall asleep, no? Great podcast with Maegan Francis, you guys sounded like you were having a lot of fun. How about a signing at Forever Books in St. Joe, MI this summer, it’s Maegan’s hometown, you know?!

  48. The picture of Nella by the window… if I wasn’t so far away(Texas) and a total stranger I would eat her up in kisses. She is precious.

  49. Happy May Day! My kiddos had fun delivering May Day baskets to the neighbors. =)

    Favorite pic is big sisters pushing little sisters…so cute!

    Fascinating interview. Tehehe! Really, I wouldn’t have noticed if you didn’t mention. When thanking my bridesmaids at my rehearsal dinner, I must have said awesome 100 times because no one has let me forget it…even 8 years later! 😉

    Love,
    Jill B (Overland Park,KS)

  50. Yay!!! See you in Monroe! And could Nella be any cuter in that dress up outfit?

  51. Aahhh! The Monroe book signing- I’m so there!! It’s only a week after my book club’s Skype session, so perhaps you could just come early and do an in person one. Hmmm..

  52. I love seeing the girls on the beach. Nella is growing up so fast and Lainey is a great big sister.
    I cannot wait to meet you on June 9th. That is my neck of the woods(well kind of) but I know exactly where its at and I am honored to make the drive to meet you in person! So excited.

  53. April Showers… bring May Flowers! Happy May Day!
    Happy Always!! 😀

  54. Brett doesn’t quite trust those ducks, I can tell. :)

  55. And I just came down from cuddling with Alex until she fell asleep. It’s a blessing.

    May Day! Oh, the challenge is to get through planning Alex’s party within one month. I love the thought of mixing it up, but it’s been a year since Alex was bit by our adopted dog across the face; and I’m just grateful for healing and for minimal scars on her face and her heart.

    Ok, back to planning…

    Jennifer

  56. Let those little girls pick the bedtime stories!! And read whatever THEY want-catalogs, the newspaper, the same story every day for the month, etc. :)

  57. Oh how I miss the cuddles of my babies in the pretzel position! All too soon, they will be over the, wanting mama to cuddle in bed with them. Your an amazing mama Kelle!

  58. My boys are grown, but I remember the sweet days of “lay with me Mom”.

    Your family is such an inspiration. I enjoy every single post, and can always find something in them to make me smile, to make me remember the important things in life. To stop and cherish all the wonderful things in my own life.

    Thank you for helping me take that moment every now and then!

  59. Will you be coming to Illinois at all? I live on the Wisconsin border, near Rockford Illinois (coincidentally, a place you mention in the book!)… you should come on up! :)

  60. I went down to the Gordon Drive access Sunday am-there was not a soul from my seat, all the way to the pier on my right and down Gordon to my left (bout 1 mile in either direction)-it was GLORIOUS!!!! I didn’t mind the grey at all. A trade off for an empty beach-heck yea!!!!

  61. Love this. Too cute with the sisters pushing!

  62. Oh my gosh… the double sister pics?? Priceless!!
    I love coming to read your blog, it always centers me and reminds me of what’s important.
    XOXO
    Jazzmine

  63. A sweet post and my girl loves feeding ducks too and I thought I should pass this along: it is actually not good for a duck’s health to feed them bread, it can cause them to become malnourished. You can feed them other things though (Georgia and I have taken to bringing cut up grapes on our walks to feed the ducks :).

    Anyways, just thought I’d pass the info along to a fellow duck-feeder :)

    more info on what to/not to feed ducks:
    http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/feedingducksbread.htm

  64. Just finished Bloom, what a gift! Now I honestly don’t know what I can follow it up with, it was THAT good. Thank you for sharing! AMAZING!

  65. Oh pure love!! All of it..but loving your opening paragraph. It is so me when tucking my boys in at night…”I think many times, it is not their need I am tending to, but my own. I love saying yes”…oh how I love saying yes. Especially with my very soon to be 11 year old! Those are some of the most treasured moments in our day. Just him and I , no distractions. Just his spoken thoughts and my listening heart- I love saying yes too!

    You’re amazing!! I know. I know. You hear this thousands of times…but you truly are amazing! And what I love most about you is that you are staying TRUE to yourself (i don’t even know you personally -but I feel it in what you write and in your breath taking photos…what a blessing you are to yourself!!)

    You are a “Bucket Filler”!!…just bought the children’s book today-a must read “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud. I think you would like it.

    Cheers!
    Happy Days to you and your family
    Monique

  66. Those last two shots are the icing on the cake,errrr ….. sauce on the pasta! Adorable.

  67. Love all these pics as usual! :) We used to live in Savannah and we had the same ducks in our neighborhood. We named one “Frankie” and he was our favorite… I fed them all everyday! Love the dress up picture of Nella! Happy May to you and your sweet family! :)

  68. All of the photos of Nella in this post are wonderful. It seemed like she grew overnight! I could say the same for my kiddos who turn 1 and 3 next month. I’m in party planning mode. Yay!

  69. YAY FOR MICHIGAN BOOK SIGNINGS!! I cannot wait to meet you!

  70. OHHHH I am so happy you are coming home to Michigan for a book signing! I will be at the Weigands one for sure! I have been following you for over two ears and feel like I know you already!

    Have a great May!

  71. I LOVE reading your posts and viewing your amazing photos. Thus far, I have not commented. I am a new-ish reader who has caught herself up on your blog over the past month or so… and can no longer NOT comment. I have to ask about Nella’s patchwork dress. Is it from a sponsor? I noticed the big tag sewn on the back – can you tell me the brand? It is adorable! On another note, I have put Bloom on hold at my local library (doesn’t mean I won’t purchase it). The library only ordered two copies. The wait list for the book has grown and now the library has had to order many more copies. I think that’s pretty darn cool. Cheers!

  72. Thank you for posting the details of you visit to Macomb, MI. Weigands Nursery is right around the corner from my house so you better believe I will be there to meet you in person! So very excited! Once again your photos amaze me and the way you put it out there reminds me to keep things in perspective. Keep it up Kelle!!! Oh, will we have the pleasure of meeting your Dad or anyone else at the book signing? Please say YES!!!

  73. Totally get the saying yes to lay by our kids, for them and sometimes mostly for me : )
    LOVE the pic of the mirror image at the park.
    And the photos with Ivy…melt my heart, cannot wait to hold my baby due this June!
    The book idea – love it. A simple (sometimes : ) way to be intentional in parenting. Definitely something I want to think about for a way to be intentional with my kids.
    Happy May!!

  74. My daughter is nine, and we still read stories before bed. It’s one of the peices of the “little bitty” that hasn’t yet left. I cling to it as much as she does.

  75. You have so many great ideas for your girls. Did you know there is an old tradition of fixing May Day Baskets. Baskets of Flowers are fixed on May Day. You take a basket to someone’s house, set it down, ring their bell, and run away. They get beautiful flowers and unless they catch you do not know who they are from. I did it a few times when my kids were little and we had lots of fun.

  76. Oh wow, did I need this post today! Beautiful, as usual, and your words hit close to home – also as usual.

    :)
    Devon

  77. Absolutely love firsts and the fresh starts and challenges that the first of the month brings. Excited you’re coming to Michigan, sad to be stuck on the West side of the state – though I guess Grand Haven really isn’t a bad place to be stuck – Liam’s Mommny

  78. As always, I feel lifted having spent time here!
    Thank you for that.
    Also, it is great going to sleep together!!! At our Tuesday snuggles we go to bed at the same time and my boy cherishes them! So do I :-)

  79. wonderfuulllllllllllllllllllllll

  80. such a cute face on that last photo

  81. Happy May Day, Kelle! If we were neighbors, my little girls (6 & 3) and I would have ding dong ditched your house, leaving a trail of lilac petals, footprints, and lots of giggles. But alas ~ Idaho is a bit too far away =)

  82. I will be forcing a little road trip from Canada to Macomb MI in June for my husband, my baby and I to meet you! Wahoo!

    After I read about that last night I had a strange dream that I won a home visit with you. You came over, and my baby’s diaper kept leaking on you…you were not impressed and you left. I was devistated, but then you sent me Lainey in the mail and kept Nella home but sent a picture of her with a postage stamp on her forehead. Can we say Creepy Strange-o dream? Lol. I promise I am not as strange in real life, nor will I stalk you to come to my house and hold my leaking diapered baby.

    Ps- My husband thanks you for introducing me to Darlybird and the charges on his credit card…lol. Can’t wait for them to come in! 😉

  83. These images tell a sweet story

  84. These images tell a sweet story

  85. *Oh, that baby Ivy….what a gorgeous child! I just had a baby nephew born Friday with beautiful dark hair, too. And the family dimpled chin :).

    *I love saying yes, too!!!! In fact, I imagine we’ll be pretzeling tonight!!! Can’t wait to get my hands around my Gabe and my Eli after being away from them for 4 nights. My littlest man has been especially homesick, which took us by complete surprise. He is usually so independent, content, active, and compliant, but also very quiet—-he’s never felt the need to use a lot of words. But the evening phone calls to him have been breaking my heart. I am secretly kind of thankful to know he missed us so much…..it’s so not like him to show it… and…brace yourself, this was the first time ever in his 8 year old life that he said, “love you, too”…..I cried.

    He usually asks for a piggy back ride to bed. Tonight, absolutely, “YES!”

  86. I found your blog from a link on Facebook. What a sweet post with such adorable children!

  87. I spy a teal pants / red shoes combo … gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to buy colored jeans, and now you’ve inspired me to just go out and do it. Love your style.

  88. We love our scoot-n-zoom…rolls around SO easy!
    Tejas,
    Melissa

  89. I LOVE the jester hat! Ha ha ha! SO awesome.

  90. I don’t live too far away from Wiegand’s, either…can’t wait to come and meet you!

    Love the pictures…what a great post.

  91. BTW, I saw that blue polka dot top on Modcloth not too long ago and chuckled when I saw it here. I nearly ordered it in red along with a few other things but stopped myself. I’m way too pregnant to justify any such expenditure. As luck would have it pretty much everything on Modcloth, Ruche, anthropologie, and shabby apple right now are so very just my style. Gah! I’ll have to live vicariously for a while.

  92. Please share details on your adorable red shoes!!!

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