Michigan, Chock-Full

When I moved from Michigan to Florida eight years ago, Michigan had already acquired its bad economic reputation. I wasn’t the only one who moved away for a job, but once I did, I thought of other reasons I was happy I left that heightened my excitement for adventures and eventually settling down in a new state. Things like cold winters, icy roads, depressing Februaries, and driving by abandoned automobile factories that once were lively and promising but now are boarded up and betrayed. I love Florida, I do. I love that my girls can run barefoot just about every day of the year, and that a decision to head to the beach for an impromptu sunset can transform to reality in the four minutes it takes to get there. I love my choice of moving away because it defined my present life. But being here, tucked in a cottage between the Oaks and Maples and thick pine forests I knew so well, has at least revived good memories and feelings for this state of which I’ve jokingly criticized, perhaps to justify my move. And I must add that this state is slowly rebuilding its economy, and it’s encouraging to see so many residents passionate about its progress.

I am enjoying our surroundings. The stars are brighter and clearer at night, and the environment lends itself to perfect daytime summer fun.



Enjoying this week…

Hammock Naps


Quiet Cottage Mornings




Dock Visits in our Pajamas


Watching Brett Teach Lainey how to fish



Afternoon Baking


Antiquing Small Town Shops with Major Scores


Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes, recently voted by Good Morning America as the #1 Most Beautiful Place in America, hugs Lake Michigan on the western part of the state. Estimated to be around two thousand years old, the dunes were formed by wind that carried sand from the Lake Michigan bluff and deposited it inland.


This looks like some sort of biblical pilgrimage through the desert. I think Moses wore stripes and cargo shorts too, if I recall.
As we drove into the parking lot nestled at the bottom of the first dune climb yesterday, I actually got a little teary. I remembered it so well from my childhood, and there it was, waiting for me to revisit–older, certainly more appreciative of its beauty, slightly less agile to tackle its steep climb, but most notable toting two little girls who will, perhaps subconsciously, store memories of its splendor deep into their own banks of childhood.


It felt like a very grown-up thing to do–a sort of Godfather moment of heritage as I kneeled down next to Lainey, pointed up toward the summit of that first dune and explained, ‘This is where Mommy came when she was a little girl. I climbed this when I was just a little bigger than you.”


My cousin Timothy, years ago, ran down a dune so fast, he lost his footing and finished the descent as a rolling ball of body and flying sand that gained speed and quite literally bit the dust at the bottom. We handled the dunes slowly and a little more gracefully, although the girls both gave the running down thing a shot.




Nella got tired halfway through the climb and just sort of made a bed out of dune.


And though, at the end, the girls were human sand paper, their skin lightly dusted (and in some places, heavily coated) with a thin layer of soft grains, we finished the climb with ice cream at the base of the dunes, and I drank an entire bottle of water in fifteen seconds flat.


Lake Michigan

Our dunes trip was followed by a stop to a small rocky beach on Lake Michigan where we waded shin-deep in chilly water, scouring the bottom of the lake for Petoskey stones.



We’ve been collecting sand, pebbles and shells from some of our favorite places the past couple of months, and I have a fun home project in mind for them when we return. It involves some of these great vintage jars we’ve been finding at antique shops.




Nella found a ladybug at the beach.


Traverse City

Finally, our very fulfilling day of sight seeing ended last evening in Traverse City, a town so cool even its trees wear stylish knit sweaters.


I could have browsed the shops for hours. My favorites? Green Island, Cali’s (gorgeous clothing downstairs, unique and beautiful home goods upstairs), Sweet Pea (baby and child) and Wilson’s Antiques.



The girls were very interested in Ladies Night specials.


And Lainey enjoyed browsing through baskets of polished rocks and gems at the local rock shop.




The charming town is full of art and color and culture. And cherries. Traverse City is known for its cherries.





How’s that for Michigan, chock-full?


365 Grateful

I’m pleased to invite you to be part of a writing friend’s gratitude project over at 365 Grateful.

Hailey is hosting a wonderful contest with fabulous prizes (a new camera!) and asking you to submit photos of what you are grateful for along with a short description of your “gratefuls.” It’s easy, fast and a great way to share your inspiration with someone who has some great ideas for encouraging others to live a grateful life (check out her documentary project!)



And if you haven’t yet discovered my friend Nici’s handmade appliqued clothing, I suggest you check out her shop, Dig this Chick. Specializing in geographical silhouettes, Dig this Chick combines high quality fabrics purchased from US companies, upcycled thrift finds and meticulous machine stitching to offer unique hip clothing for the entire family.

Brett shows his Florida love in Michigan with the gray unisexy Geo Tee
Lainey and I wear our upcycled shirt skirts, available for big girls and little girls.
Use code digkelle for 20% off your order. Because I’m gushing about my love for my home state in this post and Nici is known for her love of hers (Montana), leave a comment telling me what you love about where you live (or where you came from!), and I’ll randomly choose (random.org generated) one comment to win a $50 credit to Dig this Chick.


And now, there is nothing I want more than to close this computer and get back outside with my girls. A quiet dock is calling.


Happy Summer.


Leave a Comment
  1. Looks like a fabulous trip. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Kelle,
    I just finished (or should I say devoured) Bloom this week, and you write so beautifully. It was so moving. I’m not a mom, but I hope to be soon, and if I can become half the mom you have shown yourself to be with your unwavering love for your girls, I’ll be happy. Thank you for your book and your blog and your reminder to everyone to enjoy the small things, that differences shouldn’t be a negative thing, and for showing the power of LOVE.

  3. Oh, how I love that photo of you and Nella on top of the dune! Enjoy your trip!

  4. OK, you are officially named as State of Michigan Ambassador of Good Will! You shined the apple, lit the torch and filled the mitten with good stuff. I’m so glad you are enjoying a reunion with Mich again. Welcome home. I look forward to another weekend with you and miss awakening every morning to hear Nella’s sqeaker shoes running down the street toward the lake! Love me some granddaughter time! See you soon!

  5. i’m from TEXAS, baby. Great state full of friendly folks and beautiful scenery.
    love your post and love that you have shared all of these wonderful memories with you sweet girls. so much fun!

  6. I live the Appalachians mountains for so many reasons- the flora, the fauna, the amazing beauty, but mostly because here, I feel home, all the way to my bones.

  7. Goodness…I don’t know exactly when you were there, but this Texas native, Georgia transplant was actually just in Michigan, too! We even bought caramel apples at that Kilwins…we ate at the Brewery, though.

    And, we stayed on Spider Lake at my aunt’s resort!

    Such a small world.

  8. It looks like a magical place, I have to go one day to those dunes, they are spectacular! Keep having Michigan fun :)

  9. I’m from Illinois and recently moved back after spending about four years in Florida.

    One of the things I love about Illinois is the quiet peacefulness of being in a farming community. With just a short drive, I can find myself in the midst of corn and soybean fields, all alone, and I can wander for a while to think and reflect and enjoy just being.

  10. Oh I would love to visit the dunes!! Looks like great fun!

  11. LOVE the pics of your girls together, especially that last one. Precious! I’m grateful for Lake Superior. Even though we experience winter 6 months out of the year here in Duluth, MN we still have that beautiful to enjoy on our warm sunny days. It’s like our own personal ocean.

  12. Oh my goodness, I am loving so much of what’s in this post. 1) You look amazing in yellow. You live yellow and yellow loves you. 2) The pictures of the girls running down the sand dune are too cute to handle. You need to frame those and put them side by side. 3) It makes me happy that you’re home.4) Has Nella had a growth spurt, or is it just me? She is looking taller and even more beautiful. And 5) You guys obviously know how to live life!

  13. Looks like you are having a fabulous time! You deserve it!

    What I love about where I live? Oh, it just has over 120 waterfalls… no big deal. Living in Hamilton, ON (the waterfall capital of the world!) is definitely awesome! I love being able to share the wonder and beauty of waterfalls with my daughters.

  14. How fun to pop onto your blog and see you admiring my own hometown?! We live in TC and summer out at our family’s cottage on Big Glen. So glad to see you enjoying our area and all it has to offer. If you have any questions for other places to visit, let me know! Or if your girlies need a playdate, we are right here always eager to share in a playdate at a park! :)

  15. Nothing like those quiet cottage mornings! Them’s the best memories in the making, don’t you think??

  16. I’m from Michigan…right near where you went to college if I remember correctly. Concord, specifically! Thanks for the opportunity and for the sweet Michigan words ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. I hope you had the Traverse City Cherry at Kilwins. The best!

  18. What I love about my IL suburb is between nestled between Chicago and farmland…can get the best of both worlds at any time!

  19. Lovely photos from my lovely home. <3 Thank you for sharing and spreading the Michigan LOVE!

  20. How do you get Nella’s pigtails to have that delicate wave that is just so perfect? Everything about this post made me tear up! After reading Bloom, I can only imagine how much it really means to you to have your girls with you in Michigan at those dunes, retracing your footsteps years later… Your girls are just beautiful!!

  21. Thanks for posting wonderful things about our state! So many people have so much bad to say about it, they don’t take the time to see everything that we really do have to offer. Michigan is the only place I care to call home and I have some deep roots & hardcore love for it. If it never snowed it would be perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. Beautiful post and pictures Kelle!

  23. Nella resting on her dune bed – I love it!

  24. What awesome memories for your little girls!!! What I love about where I live in NH is that within a an hour or two drive we can either be at the beach or up in the mountains or down in a big city, Boston. We have the best of everything it seems like and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  25. Your pictures are amazing!! So glad to feel a part of your vacation. I love Florida (born in Jacksonville and live in Yulee) because we have a beach. I have always taken for granted that wherever I go, there would be a beach. Silly, I know, but that is one of my favorite things about living in such a hot state….water!!

  26. I’m from Missouri, and I love so much about it. I love how we have four seasons, though spring and fall seem to get shorter all the time. I love the trees and farmland, And that wrongly have to drive 5 min to get to a place where you can look up and see a sky full of stars. Anyway, it looks like you guys are having a lot of fun!

  27. Louisiana.
    Crazy, Colorful, artistic, soulful and full of people I love.
    I like, as much as I long to travel and live in other places, knowing that I live on the same land owned by my family since the 1700’s.

  28. these pictures are glorious. GLORIOUS! seriously girl…wowza. i grew up in central IL and it’s exactly the same for me. when i go back the town seems like an empty shell. the economy is so depressed. there is NO traffic. many stores have closed down etc… but that’s where my people are and the barns and fields and antique stores and all my growing up memories are there. it’s such a push and pull of emotions every single time i go home. leaving sunday by the way. can’t wait to see for miles and miles and to smell the corn.

  29. Oh…How I love WV?! I was born there…but lived in Ohio most of my life. Right on the border. So let me just say…OH/WV/KY Appalachia has the some of the most beautiful, lush, country mountains ever. And oh how I will miss them. This country girl is moving West. San Fran will be my new hometown and I will be loving on some Redwoods and the Pacific. Can’t wait!


  30. I am from SoCal…. I can’t wait to take Ellie there for the first time in a couple weeks and to show her a “real” beach, take her to Sea World, and let her experience life with my old neighbors.

    And now, I live in DC, which you saw for yourself recently, so you know it is amazingly awesome. Monuments. Museums. Cherry blossoms.

    Keep livin it up on your trip!

  31. I love reading your vacation updates. Your trip sounds amazing! I am from the Chicago area but my grandpa lives on Torch Lake, up there near Traverse City. The lake is beautiful and my grandpa calls it “God’s country”. Check it out if you get a chance and stop in the adorable town of Alden for some delicious muffins at The Muffin Tin. Or swing by the spice shop and stock up on some spices. Another favorite, about half-way up the lake is The Dockside. You can sit on the deck and eat greasy burgers and fries and watch the boats come in to the river from the lake. We have lots of wonderful memories from “up north”.

  32. I am from Michigan, too, and still live there! I love the great lakes, Charlevoix camping, Traverse City, 4 distinct seasons, and that Detroit is a major venue for most music tours.

  33. I love Nici’s blog and yours! I am from the wonderful state of Idaho and much like your love for Michigan, I feel a connection to the land, the smell of the air, the outdoor adventures. I also hate the snowy roads and the fact that I can’t run around barefoot 365 days a year. Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. i am from western new york and i LOVE the finger lakes!!!

  35. I love living in Kansas City. It is the perfect balance between city and country. Not too big and not too small. The beautiful Brookside neighborhood is chocked full of local boutiques and friendly people, as well as home to Loose Park, a beautiful, expansive, peaceful park. It is also very dog-friendly…people are out and about with their dogs and dog-related events are held fairly often. The famous Sheridan’s frozen custard gives out “pup cones” for patrons who bring their dogs along for dessert. This city is perfect; I belong here!

  36. I’m from MN, land of 10,000 lakes & that is exactly what Iove about it. Although we get a bad rap for our winters (I won’t lie, they are brutal), but the summers…oh, the summers. They are the best. We spend out weekends at our lake cabin & take FULL advantage of our summer, because they are much too short. You should check it out…maybe a book signing on your trip back. :)

  37. If you are heading back to Chicago on your way home I suggest driving out of MI along the lakeshore. Make sure to take time to stop in all the little towns. Love me some MI! Enjoy!!

  38. I just love that you find beauty and postivity (word?) wherever you find yourself.

  39. I’m a Georgia native and Pennsylvania transplant. Love both spots…my heart is torn at Christmastime–every year.

  40. Another girl that lives in and loves MONTANA! I love where I live because we have four awesome and amazing seasons, each one beautiful!
    I lived in Michigan growing up and also miss the beauty that is Michigan.

  41. Looks like you are having a wonderful, memory making trip as a family!! I’m now a Chicago girl, but was born and raised in North Dakota. The greatest state in the nation for reasons too many to mention. But mostly for the people. ND is good people :) I LOVE this post’s sponsor, and will be purchasing some ND gear for my family!

  42. MINNESOTA! I often yearn for the ability to go barefoot year-round. But, there’s something to be said for the ever changing seasons we get in Minnesota. Just when you think you can’t brave the cold, bitter air of February, Spring is just around the corner (with it’s lilacs and apple blossoms). And just when you think you can’t stand the heat and humidity of August, Fall shows up with it’s cooler breezes, colorful leaves and fun knit hats to keep us cozy.

  43. although I often dream about moving somewhere warm and beautiful…I do truly love Wyoming. Beautiful scenery and very kind people.

  44. ohhhh makes me want to visit there!!! Right now i’ll live vicariously thru you!

  45. I love that my beloved Atlantic hugs Nova Scotia on almost all sides :)

  46. I love Minnesota for the seasons. Since we have each of them they are completely relished and highly anticipated.

  47. Oh, wow! Your girls are so photogenic! Lainey is so elegant and Nella…. she is made for the camera. She is so delightful, she’s like a little Nella doll! Looks like you’re all having a lovely time there.

  48. I’m in Sacramento, California which is not all that glamorous, BUT it’s an amazing hub! I’m an hour away from the beautiful Napa Valley wine country; an hour from gorgeous Lake Tahoe; a morning drive to the pastoral and quaint Sonoma coast where water kisses the sky; and an hour from a San Francisco ferry ride! It’s perfect.

  49. I live in Western PA…love the fact that you can be in the city or the country within an hour’s car ride.

  50. I am a California native that has lived in Montana for the last 15 years. I LOVE MONTANA! Everyone is so laid back and friendly. It truly is the last best place :)

  51. My husband is from Michigan and I can’t wait to take our girls there one day to visit and show them where he grew up. Looks like a fabulous family vacation!

  52. Kelle… I grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, which borders Port Huron, Michigan, and I have to agree with you about the true beauty of Michigan. I moved to a beautiful little village about three hours from Sarnia eleven years ago, but I still miss the scenic view of Michigan from the Canadian side, and the trip over the beautiful Bluewater Bridge. I loved all the different things that were for sale over in Port Huron, and how friendly the people were there, and the strange looks I would get in Target when I asked where the bathroom was(I guess they call it only a washroom there…LOL). I miss the girls only trips we took to Birch Run, Michigan to shop at the outlet malls and eat lunch at Tony’s. Then the chance to be a child again when we went to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland and saw anything and everything to do with Christmas. Michigan will always have beautiful memories for me… my experiences there helped shape who I am… and my views on things… Michigan will always hold a special place in my heart. I have loved your blog posts on the topic. Sorry for the small book… I’m rather long winded today for some reason!!! :)

  53. I live in the Ozark mountains in Northwest AR, where creeks, streams and lakes flow all around us. Adventure can be found almost anywhere if you love outdoors and nature.

  54. MINNESOTA>>The pine trees, the lakes, the snow, the music, the grass, the loons, the leeches (OK, not the leeches, or the mosquitos), the maples, the lakes, the people, the attitude, the accent, the fireplaces, the tops down in springtime (50 degrees, holla!), the food, the people, the bikes, my family.

  55. Kelle, so happy to see you enjoying Traverse City! Downtown (my mom owns Toy Harbor, wondering if you had a chance to stop by for a peek), the Dunes, the lakes, the sand. I am now back in my hometown of TC – a long road back home after my time spent away after high school until we moved back when I was 32 – to raise my own two girls. Northern Michigan holds such a beautiful nostalgia, doesn’t it? Enjoy that dock – and the green leaves waving in the breeze, the fresh water, and the sunlight.
    Abby Walton Porter

  56. I miss Great Falls, Mt every day. Best Farmer’s Market in my life, not too big, not too small, a little bit of everything. And the library, park and 5th St Diner are within walking distance rounding out a perfect Saturday.

  57. I live on Long Island, New York. Home to the Hamptons, the wine region, beautiful beaches and the kind of suburbia were everyone really looks after their patch :)

    I love your white maxi and Nella laying on the dunes!

  58. I live on Long Island, New York. Home to the Hamptons, the wine region, beautiful beaches and the kind of suburbia were everyone really looks after their patch :)

    I love your white maxi and Nella laying on the dunes!

  59. I rarely ever comment but I just have to say that the picture of Nella in her Osh Kosh overalls in front of the red paint splattered wall is seriously my favorite picture of her…ever! So cute

  60. A: I love the pic of Nella napping on the dunes. Adorable!
    B: I love where I am- in a quiet fishing town that is a part of Suffolk VA. I have family and friends close by to hang out with and lend a hand when my husband is deployed, and I have a quiet dock (with crab pots) that photographs well at sunset.

  61. I am a native FLORIDIAN (yes, we do exist!). I was born and raised here and am proud to have raised our family here for the past 6 years. However, there are new adventures on the horizon and we will be calling Newport, RI home in less than 6 weeks! I LOVE all that my home state provides, but am looking forward to all that New England has to offer. ~Rebecca Breza Goff

  62. Wow, you make me want to visit Michigan! I’m from Utah and I must say I always miss it this time of year. The summers are goregous, with beautiful mountains and cool summer nights, and trips up the canyon for BBQs and fires and smores. Visiting home is just the best, isn’t it?

  63. I live in Michigan and I love the great lakes, especially Lake Michigan.

  64. I am full on CA Girl, went to college in Idaho, but came back because apparently I love 100 degree days, but they are much better then -6 any day of the week.

  65. Home is where the heart is and my heart belongs to Manitoba, Canada. With winters so cold and summers so hot the contrast brings out the vibrancy of it all. Farm land with gentle hills and valleys in every shade of green. Winter snows so white and heavy and colds so iceiy you have no choice but to cuddle up close at night. This is my homeland.

  66. Makes me long for a quick vacation to Door County, the talk of cherries makes me hungry! You’re going to need a larger vehicle to come home in to accomodate all your fabulous finds! Enjoy making more memories with your beautiful family

  67. Great posting Kelle! We love Michigan and go once or twice a year. It’s easy for us since we are in Chicago – where I am from. There’s not enough space to say why I LOVE Chicago – Lake Michigan, the city energy and sky scrapers, all the great neighborhoods with “mom and pop” stores and mini boutiques. I like things less traditional, so love the creativity in the small stores.
    And Chicago…….well, museums, friendly people….as I said, not enough space. Sorry I missed you when you were in Skokie (I was in your adopted state of FL then). :)

  68. I’m so glad you’re having such a great time here! It was wonderful meeting you at Wiegand’s on Saturday and introduce my daughter Julia to you.
    And thanks for sharing the beauty of Michigan with all your readers! Living here and traveling a lot around the country, I’ve heard so many negative comments about our state, but there truly is so much to enjoy and take in! We’ll be heading to a cottage on Lake Michigan for vacation this summer and I can’t wait!
    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  69. Eastern WA.. love the big huge skies, farm land (openness!), gorgeous mountains, amazing gorge… it’s the best place to live! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  70. I’m so glad your family is having the best time in Michigan. The memories you are creating are priceless! I love MT for so many reasons; the changing seasons, and the scenery. Mostly I love that huge majority of our large extended family is still here. My kids get to grow up with tons of cousins from both sides of our family, the same as my husband and myself.

  71. Beautiful pictures as always! What I love about Texas is the unpredictable weather and the people! I have found so many genuine people here as I have grown up who have had great impact on my life! Despite the miserably hot summers, I have enjoyed growing up here!

  72. I love Richmond, VA because it is two hours from the mountains and two hours from the beach; it is a city with the country just out the backdoor.
    Sunday drive? Sure – head West on Broad or North on Rt 1.
    Sky scrapers with a river running beside them? Head downtown.
    Want to live where you can walk to the grocery store? We’ve got it…
    Want to live where you can own cows? Got that too.

    Richmond, VA really can have the small town/big city feel depending on where you go and who you’re with. I LOVE IT!

    Really, Kelle – you should come check us out! I think you would LOVE Richmond too.

  73. How do I love California? There are too many ways to mention–the mountains, the sea, the trees, the valleys, rivers and everything in between makes it such a lush magical, place. It’s also incredibly diverse, with a vibrant muli-cultural flavor in nearly every part of the state. Born in Santa Barbara, raised in the north, I lived in Southern CA for 6 years before returning to my beloved Bay Area and am grateful to call Berkeley home. It’s so expensive to live here, but very well worth it. In fact, the only year of my life lived outside CA was when I moved to NYC after college–as fab as it was, I missed home too much to stay.
    (PS.I don’t need to be included in the giveaway though as I love buying clothes from Nici and would rather another lucky reader have a chance to win a gift card–I just couldn’t pass up a chance to wax lovingly on my home state!)

  74. I just got back from a trip back home to OHIO. I appreciate it more each time I go back, especially since I have two little girls now and I enjoy showing them special things in their mama’s history of growing up there. I don’t think I would appreciate it as much if I still lived there. It gives me the opportunity to see things through different eyes when I go back.

  75. I love the quiet evening on the docks as we look up at the stars twinkling. Then, waking in the morning, and heading right back out. The kids pull on their rainboots, right over their footie jammies, grab their fishing rods, and we start the day just as we ended it! One of our favorites in MN!

  76. I spent my young childhood in Michigan where my extended family lives and we are going to go visit next month so the last few blog entries have me even more excited for that!!
    And then I spent my older childhood years in south Florida, which I absolutely love and is where I consider “home” and have lots of family as well.
    The Air Force has us stationed in the Florida panhandle and I love love love it up here too. The beaches, the two-week-long winters, the green all year round. My two favorite states are the same as yours. :)

  77. Pittsburgh, PA… there’s just something so charismatic about this city… nowhere else I’ve lived really comes close in comparison. :-)

  78. I absolutely LOVE all the pics! :) You guys always have such great vacations! I’m a KY girl and I grew up in the hills, but when my husband and I married I moved to his home-state, MI, for about 3 years, and then we moved to Savannah for about 3 years. Both places are lovely, but my heart has always belonged to KY. We moved home nearly 3 years ago and I love the rolling hills, the seasons, and the stunning horses! Hope the rest of your vacation is wonderful!

  79. As someone who has been spending summers on an island in Northern Michigan my whole life (and the 6th generation of my family to do so), I love it more than ever after watching my husband and son experience, and fall for, its magic. Rock beaches, cold lake water, watching storms move across the lake, spying freighters and running for the binoculars, falling asleep to the sound of the waves, feeling the whoosh of a bat flying by my head, spending time with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins who love that sacred space as much as we do – all of these things make Michigan a piece of who I am. Thanks for sharing your love for that great state – can’t wait to get up there in a month!

  80. Aww, I love Nici! I recognized her skirt on Lainey right away :) I have lived in MN my whole life, and while our winters do get quite long and chilly, I still love that we have all four seasons. Just when we start to loose appreciation for one, a new one comes along and knocks our socks off. It’s always changing and keeping things fresh. Thanks for sharing your vacation, it looks dreamy!

  81. i’m from sunny southern california! i LOVE where i live and can’t imagine life someplace else. the fact that i can make it down to the beach in 15 minutes is pretty much the best thing ever!

  82. Tennessee! Tennessee…ain’t no place I’d rather be :)


  83. It looks like you are all having a wonderful time! Loving all the pictures!

  84. I love that I can get on the train or in my car and be in the heart of Chicago in less than an hour. I do love that the noise of lawn mowers in my comfy suburbia wake me up on the weekends.
    Nothing beats summers trips to pick strawberries or blueberries in our neighboring states of Michigan and Wisconsin.

  85. It looks like Nella had a fun time in the sand- those pictures of her are adorable. Much love xx

  86. IOWA — Northeast Iowa, to be exact. It’s the land that I love because of our rolling hills and the Mississippi River!

  87. I am vicariously vacationing through you and loving every minute.

    What I love about where I live: People speak. (That’s southern talk for say hello). In the grocery store, at the post office or just driving down the road. My son will ask me “who was that?” And most of the time, I answer “I don’t know, just someone being friendly. “

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation and keep the great pictures coming.

  88. I don’t know if I can describe why I love “my places” adequately. I love Nebraska and Kansas because they were home first, because that’s where family eats and plays and dances together and because that’s where the grass on the prairie dances with the breeze. But, Colorado? Well, Colorado is where I love, where I’m growing a family and where the mountains loom right outside my window, calling adventure and peace at the same time.

  89. I love seeing all of your pictures from Michigan! I’m from Michigan too (Detroit) and one thing I love about my home state is the car culture. I grew up near Woodward Avenue and remember many drives up and down this historic road and watching the classic and muscle cars drive by in the summer months. It was an extra special treat when we got to stop at Ray’s for some ice cream. To this day, I still really want an aqua 57 Chevy Bel Air.

  90. I’ve lived in Idaho my entire life and wouldn’t trade it – love my mountains!

  91. I am from the east coast. A small town called Altoona, Pennsylvania, but I was transplanted by the love of my life 3 years ago to the Rocky Mountains. I love and miss the fall colors in Pennsylvania. The bright colors – Red, Orange & Yellow all over the rolling hills. But it didn’t take long to get used to the snow capped mountains year round in Colorado. I never take our view for granted. I am sending lots of love to you – you are such an inspiring person Kelle. xo.

  92. The photo of Nella and her lady bug is my favorite of her yet!

  93. Minnesota – love that North Shore air. Similar to your beloved Michigan!

    (also love Dig This Chick!)

  94. More and more I miss my home state of Washington. Tennessee summers are far too warm for my taste. What I wouldn’t give for some evergreen trees and constant grey sky!

  95. It’s Brennigan from the Monroe signing! Adam and I are spending our 1st Anniversary at Sleeping Bear Dunes and spending a day antiquing in Traverse City! :) I’m so glad you’re loving your home state again! We love having you in it! I love recognizing your Instagrams!

  96. The picture of Nella and the lady bug is precious! It has to be one of my favorite photos of her. :-)

    Michigan is calling my name now. Looks like I have new places to add to my bucket list. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  97. The picture of Nella and the lady bug is precious! It has to be one of my favorite photos of her. :-)

    Michigan is calling my name now. Looks like I have new places to add to my bucket list. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  98. Love your pics like always! I’m in so Cal (San Diego), and I love that in every month of the year, flip flops and beach trips are totaly appropriate

  99. I can tell you numerous things I love about this Michigan post!!! One being the fact that Nella laid down on the awesome dune, as if to take a snooze. That pic is amazing. As is the one of you holding her on top of a dune!!! Love Lainey on the stone wall…and your cute fashion rags from DIG THIS CHICK!!! {I do, I do!} And I love so much about San Antonio…of course the Alamo, the rich history. But the riverwalk holds a very special place in my heart!!!!

    Love, Meli

    p.s. It’s been about a month since I last visited…and little sister looks like a BIG girl!!! Those leetle curls hanging from her pigtails just lay me down. Sweetness…

  100. I’m from MO, Kansas City specifically. I love a lot of things about my state- it is beautiful, parts are flat prairie, parts are very hilly. There are lots of streams & lakes & great spots to canoe & hike. Kansas City is one of the best kept secrets of the midwest, I love it when friends come to visit because they are always so pleasantly surprised. I guess no one expects much of our “Cowtown”! Lots of great independently owned stores & restaurant, a thriving urban farming community, low cost of living, full 4 seasons, a vibrant live music & are scene, & the Chiefs! We’ve got football’s most loyal fanbase & going to Arrowhead stadium each fall just proves it! So much fun. I could ramble on & on…but, you should come check it out for yourself sometime!
    Anyway, I follow Nici too & I’d love to win the store credit. Thanks for encouraging us to reflect on the things we love about our homes.

  101. I’m a Michigan girl with a deep love for everything “Up North”. These pictures made my heart smile. My family and I vacationed in Glen Arbor each summer for a week – our trip the Sleeping Bear Dunes was ALWAYS a favorite… we would run down those hills so fast that giant wipe outs were always counted on (My husband about peed his pants after watching a home video of my 6 year old self losing any and all control of my body as I tumbled down the dune).

    Have you heard of the children’s book about the dunes?! It is a must have for your girls if you don’t already have it.


    Enjoy the rest of your stay – I myself will be on a dock enjoying a tucked away lake in this wonderful state over the weekend :)

  102. Oh, this post…I miss Michigan so much!! Commenting on what I love about where I came from will be super easy! I love the four distinct seasons of Michigan and all the rituals and traditions with which we celebrate each season – watching the snow fall outside as I sit by the lights of the Christmas tree, those brilliant colors of spring and the feeling of everything coming to life, the fun summer days of jumping off the dock into the lake, the 4H Fair!, and walks to Dairy Queen…and beautiful autumn, with its fiery red and orange and gold and its traditions – bonfires, apple cider, Halloween. Australia is so…so far away, in culture and in geography! I just have to remember all that I’m grateful for here. xx

  103. Michigan! Even though I gripe about the cold winters and ever changing weather that we have, it makes me appreciate the beautiful days all the more. A trip to the lake after spending the winter inside is even more special.

  104. I love the photo of Nella laying on the sand!

    What I love about our tiny wheat town in Washington state:
    -Wide open spaces. It’s easier to breathe here
    -You know your neighbor. Heck, you know the whole town (pop 1,100)
    -It allows me to appreciate the smalls things: the way wheat mimics ocean waves when the wind blows or how county fairs are the highlight of summer
    -being able to raise my kids to be free spirits without worrying about the problems of a ‘big city’


  105. I Love where i live. in central NJ. about an hour to the beach, mountains, lakes, and everything inbetween. We can go to the town pool, enviornmental center, or fishing lake within 15 minutes. and with 2 boys and a little girl they are having the best outside nature loving time of their lives. As always thanks for sharing your life with us and taking on this amazing south to north traveling adventure!

  106. Your girls are just beautiful. Nella just gets cuter and cuter as her personality shows through each picture. Love the one of the lady bug on her arm…frame worthy for sure.

  107. Kelle – Your blog is such an inspiration! I just want to bake, quilt, and go to the beach after reading this post. Thanks so much for what you do!

  108. I am a Georgia girl. I love it here. It’s not because of the hot summers, mild winters, and amazing peaches. It’s because my family is here. I’m new to your blog and have been completely captivated by your story and your truly contagious, positive attitude. Thank you!

  109. Mississippi <3 Magnolias, sweet tea, and southern gentlemen :)

  110. What I love about Arizona where I’m from: sunny hot days, monsoon season, mexican food. What I love about San Diego where I live: being minutes from the beach, weekly farmer’s market with beach view, the most beautiful sunsets, and the love of my life

  111. We’re not that far from Michigan being from Ontario, and I love that spring always arrives!! After such darkness and cold and snow (not this winter though) you are yearning for warm sunshine and no socks and eating ice cream under big green trees! Seasons are definitely my favourite part of Ontario.

  112. West Virginia. . .most beautiful state in the country, hands down.

  113. Arizona all the way!! Where else can you go from boiling hot deserts to cool mountain pines in a couple hours? Swimming to skiing in the same week.

  114. Born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin right across from Michigan. You might know us for our bratwurst and beer and the recent recall fiasco (Stand with Wisco, yo!) I miss watching the sunrise from my parents lounge window. I love drinking Alterra coffee at The Weather Center Cafe, a little walk from my parents house. I miss the sailboat races every Wednesday evening during the summer, but what I miss most about home are the four seasons! I lOVE autumn! I just moved to Atlanta in March and whilst I do love it, there truly is no place like home!

  115. I just have to say you made me laugh quite a few times, like chuckled out loud! Cargo shorts, stripes and Moses comment was priceless. The Dunes are amazing. We went there years ago and my husband ran down them while I sat at the bottom with a telephoto lens and shot him making a complete fool of himself. Thanks for reminding me of that great memory. LOVE the photo of the lady bug on Nella!! Your girls will have such great memories of this trip. Thanks for a great post!

  116. This post brought back some wonderful memories for me. My husband and I honeymooned in Michigan and the dunes was one of our stops. We took the hike to Lake Michigan and ate lunch on the shore. We even stayed at a B&B in Traverse City that evening. Great memories and such a neat place!!!

  117. Just thought I would let you know that I saw your book today in my local library (tiny library) in Red Deer, Alberta Canada. It stopped me in my tracks and had I not been chasing a 3-year-old out the door, I would have checked it out. Next week!

  118. Some amazing pictures. Lainey looks like she is absorbing all the newness of a different place. Love the Nella picture with the cute smile and the falling down strap.
    I live in Ohio but also have 8 of my family (children and grandkids) in Colorado. I love both states. There isa lot to do in Ohio that alot of people don’t see. The lakes, the trees, hills, change of seasons, friendly peopleee make this a great state. I don’t even need to say what I love about COlorado……the views.
    So glad you are having such a good time with your family. My family used to go to HOughton Lake in the summer as well.
    Have fun.

  119. i love arizona, for the smell the desert has after a summer monsoon.

  120. Love this post, I am from NW IN and am in love with Michigan.
    I have to tell you, that I recently was given a copy of your book, Bloom and have read it cover to cover and I’m starting over again. It is so inspiring and hopeful. My daughter who is 7 months pregnant with my granddaughter was informed that her baby has myelomeningicele (spinda bifida) and hyrdrocepheles. We were devestated and racked with grief. we still do not know until delivery the outcome of her defects. I hurt so bad for my daughter who had such hopes for this her first stab at motherhood and she’s the one who gave me your book. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts so that others can begin to see the Bloom.

  121. I’m an Idahoan, born and raised, but just moved back to Boise six years ago after a 12 year stint away in Oregon and Minnesota. Like Nici, I’m deeply in love with Idaho’s landscape; its high desert sagebrush smell comforts my soul. Thanks for sharing your Michigan story! -Amy

  122. Oh it looks like you are having a fabulous vacation!!! I have never been to Florida or Michigan! I am from the california coast but now reside in Colorado. I love both places equally- but Colorado is taking the lead slightly just because Colorado is where I became a mommy!!

  123. I live in Vermont… It is so beautiful here. We get all four seasons,which never get old. Winters are long and cold, but thats why we ski. Spring is just what we are waiting for after a long winter and you get to see the flowers springing up and start to plant your garden watch the leaves come out after a long winters sleep and the green grass starts to pop up, thats when we know summer is on its way. You head to the beach and farmers markets to get all the goodies for the backyard BBQ’s.There is always a county fair to attend along with a yard sale on almost any street. Then along comes fall and the leaves on the trees are begin to turn,that brings alot of leaf peepers to Vermont to enjoy the most stunning view. We all head to our last county fair. Then we are back to snowfall and heading to the mountains for a ski trip or through the woods for a horse drawn sleigh ride. As it starts to warm up for spring once again all the talk is tapping trees and the best maple syrup you can find to put on everything from snow to donuts to pancakes in the cold brisk mornings. That is just some of the things that make Vermont a lovely place to live.

  124. The picture of Nella with the lady bug is absolutely delightful. That girl is as cute as a bug’s ear!

  125. I grew up in Indiana and spent my summers at Indiana Dunes State Park. It is such a special part of the country. Thanks for bringing back memories!

  126. I have loved all the places I have lived and visited, from the beaches of New York, to the Smokies and the Rockies, from the wild Pacific Coast to the high deserts of Arizona and Utah, from Northern England to the French wine country, from New England summers to sunny Florida winters, from the deep South to my current home in Texas. If you only look, there is something to love wherever you go.

  127. I love NY, because the rush of the city gives me life.

  128. I’m originally from sunny lovely San Diego, but I do love where I am now…Portland, OR. Portland is so full of lush, green trees and the most gorgeous clouds I’ve ever seen!

  129. born and raised in minnesota. love the weather (the cold as well as the hot and humid summer), the people, the arts and culture, and the lakes. leaving it behind for cairo, egypt come august, though! hope you enjoy the rest of your trip home!

  130. Oh this post just made me relax — so beautiful, so colorful – “coming back” to Michigan is sometimes necessary to see all that it has – when we moved back from Florida it was the same way.
    I just love how Nella made a bed on the dune! That is the cutest thing ever – also her curly pigtails? Yah! Supremely cute. Finally, the candids of your girls together always melt my heart – they reach out toward each other, lean in toward each other – it’s not something you can fake in a photo. ah…family

  131. BLISS, pure Bliss…all of it. You’ve got me craving a holiday with my family. You’ve got me craving nature & peace & calm.
    Just beautiful Kelle.

  132. Beautiful post, Kelle! I have been so busy following you on IG, that I forget to comment here! Boo on me. Follow my IG feed too….leeannarmitage. xoxo

  133. Nella is so beautiful that is hurts. I never tire of seeing that sweet face.

    I live in Washington State – specifically the Pacific Northwest. I love it because it is so green and there are impossibly tall trees all around me. Also, I love it because it is home and I am finally back.

  134. I love that everywhere I look I am surrounded by mountains. They are my mountains and every summer they wait for me to conquer them.

  135. What I love about where I currently live (Boston)? That it’s the place where I met and made a life with my husband. What I love most about this post? Nella’s curly little pigtails! Adorable! :)

  136. Some days I think I would love to live at the beach, but Pennsylvania is home. We love it most because our family is here but also because we get to watch the seasons change, have amazing Pittsburgh sports teams, a wonderful Children’s Hospital and so many entertaining places to visit.

  137. I love Dig this chick! If I won I guess I’d have to pick a state. I’ve got a few that I consider home. Right now I am loving the Oregon summer sunshine. In a couple of weeks it will be almost a daily guarantee!

  138. Damn girl you know how to do a vacation (or holiday in Australia).

    Loving these photos of you all.

    Why do I love where I live? Although the economy is pretty bad in Tasmania, I’m a small town/state girl at heart. I don’t do big cities all that well.
    I love that we can go walking up a mountain or a forest or a long a beach all only 1/2hr-1hr away. I drive by the sea and through eucalypt forest every day to work.
    I love the space, the air, even the cool weather.

    I still can’t believe you had to buy socks! I can not even imagine a life without socks.

  139. I’ve lived in rural New York State and rural Japan and loved them both. There is beauty everywhere and every season if we take the time to breathe it in.

  140. I am from Ohio, but I have lived in Naples (Yep-same as you) for 31 years. I love the bright blue skies in January, the green waters, the searing sun, the soft sand, the palm trees…heck, I even love the heat in the summer (OK…don’t LOVE, but I sure like it better than Ohio winters). I just can’t imagine living anywhere else.

  141. Oh Kelle, this post made me teary. It reminds me so beautifully of our Canadian summers and the glorious weeks we used to spend at a cottage, with our aunts, uncles, and cousins occupying the one next door. Those quiet mornings, the bed head, the docks, the picnic tables. Painting rocks, eating outside, playing baseball and badminton, roasting marshmallows. Walking to the corner store. Playing silly games on rainy days. Oh, I loved those weeks. I carry them deep in my heart, always. Summer at its finest. Thanks so much for the reminder. Good for my soul.

    Also, your white skirt is positively dreamy.

    Enjoy the dock and your girls.

  142. Born and raised Michigan girl! I live it here!! :) glad you guys are having a wonderful family vacation!
    I love love love the picture with nella and her lady bug! So cute!

  143. I’m a Michigan girl too, and after a two-year hiatus in Chicago and a five-year hiatus in Colorado, I came back to raise my babies here. My favorite thing about it it is the U.P. and the way life slows down when you cross the bridge. :)

  144. Missing home–Miami, Fl–and flip flopping EVERY day but enjoying being able to walk my little one EVERYWHERE in our now home, NYC!

  145. I went to college in Michigan and considered making it my home! But then I realized I’m an ARIZONA girl at heart! The summers are spent in air conditioning or playing in the sprinklers with the kids (it wears them out!) but the winters are when we hike and walk and enjoy life.

  146. Kelle… I am so loving this post as I, too, am a “relocated” Michigan girl… actually spent my childhood not far from where you are now in Gaylord and all of the places you highlighted today are the exact same places I went to as a child. It’s been so wonderful to see them all again. I’m so happy for you and your family to have this fabulous time in the truly fantastical Michigan!

  147. Born and raised in Illinois! The best thing about where I come from are the sweet memories of childhood, growing up next door to my grandparents. Every time I smell a tomato plant or work in the dirt, I think of them.

    Where oh where did you get that white skirt and can you send one to me?! :) Glad you’re having a blast on your vacation!

  148. I grew up in Michigan, lived in PA and NJ, and am living in Michigan once again!

    I loved winter trips to Houghton Lake for Tip Up Town, ice sculptures, swimming in the lake, tubing, getting ice cream, walks to the park…I love looking for stones with our 2 1/2 year old in the shallow end of the lake, going for pontoon rides, and roasting marshmallows (oh, and the smell of leaves or wood burning!)

    So glad you had a wonderful trip. Looks like so much fun at the dunes — you took some amazing pictures.

  149. I’m from Nebraska, and even though I’m NOT a Husker fan, I love how excited the whole state gets about our football games :)

  150. I love different things about all the places I’ve lived (all six, not counting places I’ve just spent summers). I just moved away from Wisconsin and am feeling nostalgic for the great people, the beautiful rolling hills with cows and barns (that’s for real!), and the abundance of bratwurst, beer, and ice cream.

  151. I love Kansas, because that is where my family is. Oh, and Rock Chalk Jayhawk, ya’ll!

  152. I’m a lifetime Michigan resident. You should be the face of Pure Michigan ads! I love living here, the dunes, Eastern market in Detroit, the museums, Grand Haven, Mackinac Island, my families cabin on Trout Lake in the UP. I could go on and on. I cannot wait to give my kids all the Michigan memories I have!

    And the pic of Nella w/ the ladybug!!! Gorgeous. I would frame that.

  153. I love this post. As a military wife we have lived in many states in the last decade but and while I always find a way to fall in love with them all, coming home always pulls at my heart strings. We lived in Chattanooga, TN for a while and when I saw you visit “Las Mas” Mexican restaurant on your way North it brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for always sharing!

  154. Southeastern Wisconsin.
    I love it all. The summers, winters and springs. But mostly the falls. The close-by family. Trips downtown to see fireworks, summer fest, museums, shops and shows. Teaching kids about my love for Wisconsin.

  155. I love living in a town where you will almost always bump into someone you know at the grocery store.

  156. I love following Nici’s blog and I would love to win! What I’m loving now…this little life growing and growing inside of me. Can’t wait to be a momma!

  157. Love this Post especially the picture of Nella with the lady bug..
    Love Dig…I just ordered a shirt for my son. It is my favorite!!
    We live in New York! I love living here because we get to enjoy the 4 seasons.
    Glad you are you enjoying your trip!

  158. i love Hawaii for the beaches, the delicious food and most of all for the generosity and kindness known as the aloha spirit … can’t find it anywhere else :)

  159. Beautiful! This post really hit home for me. My husband and I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Traverse City was one of each of our family’s favourite summer vacation spots when we were growing up. We now live in southern Ontario, but every summer we take our two boys back to Traverse City to enjoy all of the wonderful things it has to offer. It’s so lovely to watch our children enjoy the very same places that are fondly etched in our own memories from years ago. We are headed to TC in just a few weeks. Looking at your photos makes me hardly able to wait — just like a kid! :) Glad you’re all enjoying such a wonderful vacation.

  160. I always marvel at Nella’s apparent ability to take naps just about anywhere. We have two sleepfighters and I so wish they would just nap crash on a sand dune or in a hammock some time.

    -Peter Rebuffoni (Minneapolis)

  161. A trip to Michigan is in the works as we speak (except we’re going to South Haven). :-)

    We’re about 25 minutes outside of Chicago, and I feel like there’s nothing I can’t love about this city-splash pads, parks, the city, good restaurants. It’s awesome.

  162. This has been the perfect Michigan week weather-wise. The sun is warm, the wind soft and slightly cool, the humidity low. Birds sing and chatter and the air is filled with the smell of the grasses gently drying in the sun. Long walks in the woods with giggling boys and the happiest baby around in her stroller :) Blissful.

    Soon, though, the humidity will come and those giggling boys will be camping out in front of the air conditioner LOL And at that moment, I will miss the dry heat of Texas :p I grew up in MI and we live here now but my few years in Texas got me away from snow that I never really missed ๐Ÿ˜‰

  163. I love the local farm stands–about every 1/2 to 1 mile–from back home (southern New Jersey–it’s not at all like you see on TV!).

    I love the hills that my kids pretend are roller coasters (whee!) as we drive in my transplanted state of Pennsylvania, and I love how you can see so much from the top of a hill.

  164. It’s funny how this post spoke to me. In two weeks, I will leave my sunny Pennsylvania home for Montana, following my boyfriend who relocated to that mountain filled state for new opportunities. After realizing how hard it is to be apart, and how beautiful Montana is, I made up my mind to relocate for the summer – return home for my last semester of college – and to move back. Today, I’ve felt so nervous about leaving this state I call home but between your words, and the coincidence of Nici and her love of Montana, I’m feeling inspired and excited for the change.

  165. Minnesota! I love the crisp fall air & fall colors in October :-)

  166. I grew up in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Though it was technically a “big city,” the area I grew up in felt like the smallest city in the world. My grandmother (whose house I now live in) lived two blocks from us. Two blocks the other direction was the “duck pond,” a local lake. Gramma would meet us at my house, pick up my sister and me and we’d go through a full bag of bread feeding the ducks. My Gramma passed almost six months ago and my family took a walk around the duck pound the day of her memorial service. I’m so thankful for ducks.

  167. Love that you are enjoying such a wonderful family trip!!! You are brave too make such a looong road trip w/ the kiddos – but looks like it’s totally worth it!

  168. I feel very similar about my move to Virginia and my love for Tennessee. I love the beauty of the countryside I left, but I appreciate the opportunities my children have here…like my daughter who can do swim team. I didn’t even know about swim teams growing up. XO

  169. Isn’t that canning building in glen haven the best? I have pics of my girls in front of that awesome red from last summer :) and your typewriter??? Love!! Did you guys do Pierce Stocking?

  170. Arizona is my home and I love it for the warmth, open spaces and cactus! Any place can be home – just open your eyes and appreciate all that you have. Love your recounting of the journey, the pictures are out of this world!

  171. What a glorious trip!! Love following you on instagram as well.

    Tennessee – love the Smokies, UT football, fall, curvy country roads, and the friendliness of the South :)


  172. Ohhh, grew up in Michigan. This of course made me miss it.

  173. What I love about Georgia? It’s got a little bit of everything; pretty beaches, gorgeous mountains and lakes, along with a big city & wide open country. Whatever atmosphere you’re in search of can be found in some part of the state. And of course, Georgia peaches. :)

  174. portland is full of bikes and babies and bookstores- and lots of great wooded areas when you tire of the city.

  175. Loving miss Nella’s curly little pigtails!

    What I really love about my hometown, Sweet Home, OR is the close knit community support and the gorgeous lakes and mountains just a few minutes away!

  176. Loved sleeping bear dunes! My husband’s grandparents have a house in Sutton’s Bay (right near Traverse) so we spent many a summer up there. Did you get the chocolate covered cherries from the lady’s house? It was always so funny to just walk in, greeted by cats, leave money on the table and take a bag of those cherries…but man, they were soooo good! Love Nella’s red dress and matching toes! And her sleeping on sleeping bear dunes is hysterical!

  177. I grew up in IL and spent the past 11 years in AZ with my husband. We had 2 baby girls along the way and decided IL was calling to us. We have been back for 3 months today and the best part about it is seeing my girls with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I have realized that family is where home is to me. I am loving every minute of this Midwestern summer and making so many memories with my family! Thanks for sharing yours with me!

  178. I’m from Washingtn, and just moved to Iowa! I’m loving the farmland and big sky!

  179. I am from Arkansas. Currently I live in northwest Arkansas, home of Walmart. I love that our little nook in the state fulfills both city and country within a matter of just a few miles. Though our weather is completely random I adore experiencing all four (most years) seasons. The natural beauty here is quite spectacular and keeps us outside a lot of our days.

  180. I love all the trees in upstate sc and that we are minutes from the mountains but only a few hours from the beach! Greenville is also a fun up and coming little city. Love this area for sure might have to get a shirt:)

  181. I lovelovelove Minnesota! I love the changing seasons and the lakes. I’m happy that so far, the home where I raise my sweet babe is a quick drive away from the home where I grew up.

    I do love Michigan too! In fact, I spent my 21st birthday in a bar with lots of peanut shells on the floor and a moose head on the wall in Petoskey, Michigan! So… did you find any petoskey stones?? :o)

    Thanks for your continued inspiration by the way. A few friends of mine have borrowed Bloom and are now readers of your blog too :o)

  182. Michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!! My family heads there almost every summer to the shores of the beautiful Lake Michigan and I savor every single second of time spent with cousins and all the beauty found in that wonderful state! I just finished reading your book (I read it in two sittings within 12 hours) and I really, really loved it. Thank you so much.

    Have a great rest of your trip!

  183. Ooh, what a colorful post! I love all the red in these photos, looks like you’re having a great trip. I’m from Oregon & I love all the green, our beautiful summers and the diversity of landscape… Coast, mountains, desert, it’s all beautiful!

  184. I love reading about you and your family! I live in West Virginia, but New Jersey has mine and my family’s hearts, and someday we will live there =)

    Happy Summer!


  185. I could look at your photos all day. Not only are they beautiful, but they tell your story so well.

  186. Hi Kelle! The San Francisco Bay Area is where I call home… love being near the water (both the ocean and the bay) and having my family nearby. Come visit!

  187. I’m from Tauranga, New Zealand. I love our city. I love that we can drive 15 minutes one way, and be at the beach, or drive 15 minutes the other way, and be in the bush. I love our tropical climate. I love looking at photos I’ve taken here, and thinking about how my children are going to look back and remember all the wonderful places we have here, and remember how much fun we’ve had splashing in the lake, climbing up to the waterfall, walking along our beaches, scrambling over rocks and finding treasures, hiking through our beautiful bushland, and so much more…..

  188. Ah, I am so loving these wonderful Michigan posts :) and those Sand Dunes look GORGEOUS!

    What do I love about where I live? I love that I can be wandering the rocky ocean shores one minute then driving up a mountain the next. And not to mention being able to tell people that you live on an island! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  189. Loved the pictures as always. We have a digthischic shirt…for my 3 year old. It’s one of her favorites! It has MONTANA on it. We live in this beautiful state and in Missoula too. I hope you will come back here one day so we can do a book signing here! :)

  190. Lainey’s quilt looking dress is to die for!! so freakin’ adorable!

    And, what do i love about where i live? Mmm.. I live in Los Angeles and I love that everything you could possible think of is a short drive away! Beach? check. Observatory? Check. Hiking trails? Check. Disneyland? Check!

  191. I am originally from Italy and I love and miss my family and friends from there!

    the pic of Nelle with the ladybug is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen!

  192. Even though I’ve been living in Germany for the last 3 years and I did 2 years in Naples, FL myself and I even did 4 years in AK as a child, TEXAS is THE greatest state there ever was. It’s true that Texans are fanatics but what’s not to love? We are so big it takes 3 days to drive across the state, we have just about every climate available from mountains to desert to piney woods to beaches, and just the pride that every Texan has for their state. I will be back in my beloved TX in just 3.5 weeks and hopefully (God willing) I will be there for the remainder of my life!!!

  193. I love this post, all the photos capture your words beautifully. Especially the sand dune pictures – I love your mama-stance (as I call it), you wear it beautifully, the outfit only compliments you more. I may never have my own children, but this post particularly stands out, seeing you travelling and experiencing life, lets me live a life through the eyes of a mom and her children and makes the possibility seem so real to me. Maybe one day. I hope.

  194. As always – invited into your world for a few mins w/ the amazing pics. Come on, a ladybug landing on a perfectly bare shoulder?!!! :) Too much – love it!

    I am from Indiana and wouldn’t trade our falls for the world. I went to College in S Indiana (Bloomington) and the crisp air, the smell of leaves and the painted scenery there in early Fall takes me away…maybe add a good tailgate or a stop at a winery and stir and it makes life feel like “the good stuff.”

    Enjoy MI!

  195. I live in Vermont and I love it because it has all the seasons. Right now we are starting beautiful summer in VT. You should check it out!

  196. Love this post, makes me very happy for your family. The lady bug picture is fantastic, great companion to Lainey’s butterfly picture.

    I am a Upstate NY girl and love it here. Four season with fall being the crown jewel. Leaves that I could never get sick of. Apples, pumpkins and all the fall fun you can stand.

    My husband is from Puerto Rico (we are visiting now) so he has wanted to move to Florida for our entire 13 year marriage, your writing inspires me to grab life by the nuggets and I am seriously considering taking a big fat leap and moving the family south. Yikes!

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  197. I’m going to have to see if they have PA and OH shirts. I’m from PA, my husband is from OH where we currently live. I don’t mind OH, but I do miss the rolling hills and crazy sports fans of PA

  198. Hello and Happy Friday! So I have just started reading your book and oh how beautiful it is!! I have laughed, cried, and laughed through my crying! Thank you for writing this book and sharing your story. When I know you didn’t have to! Thanks for sharing your road trip with us also! We took a family road trip last year….2100 miles to South Carolina from Minnesota. Littles were 1 and 3 yrs at the time….and they exceeded our expectations and were amazing on the trip! I love how they soak it all in and teach us adults so much about adventure! Best way to travel….I think ( : Our new favorite road trip CD…Okee Dokie Brothers-Can You Canoe?…..LOVE IT! Happy Day!!!

  199. I love the berry and cherry picking in Northeast Wisconsin. It is so much fun to take my 3 kids back and watch them pick and eat berries or cherries until they are red from head to toe!

  200. Two city loves..Port Hawkesbury and the east coast, where I was raised, and my current city, Barrie, Ontario, where I now raise my three babes!

  201. I was born in the lovely city of chicago you just visited, but that place, that’s not where my roots are. Kentucky is my home, kentucky is where we talk southern,drink sweet tea, and share of love for horsracing… Kentucky is where I always go back too….

    love all your pics, in fact i’m quite jealous, I’ve been to michigan before, but never seen all that beauty!

  202. Oh, what beautiful pictures. I am from Grand Rapids, MI and we will be heading North in July for a long weekend in Petoskey…nearly not enough time to enjoy the beauty of what Michigan offers, but we will make the most of it. Enjoy the rest of your time in Michigan.

  203. Love this post. The pictures are perfection! I am Katie from North Carolina. My favorite parts about living here are simple. sports, sea and snow. In a matter of hours you can be in the mountains or the ocean. It makes for easy roadtrips :) And our immense love of College Basketball along with one of the greatest rivalries of all time. NC <3

  204. I love the pictures! Traverse City is one of my favorite places on Earth. My family has been going there since my grandmother was a baby. My children are the 6th generation to put their feet in the water of Silver Lake. We go every summer! Did you get any fudge?

  205. I was born, raised, and still reside at the Jersey Shore… no, not THAT Jersey Shore :) Rather, the town where I live is literally Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway – any further south, and you’re in the Atlantic. Cape May, NJ: recently voted the #3 best beaches in the country, great school district, lots to do for kids and adults but still with that “small town” vibe. Hundreds of thousands of people come here to vacation every year, but my son will most likely have the same kindergarten teacher that I had. Cape May is awesome – I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

  206. You family is breath-taking. Love the pic of you on the dune holding Nella and Lainey is walking/running towards you. So special.

  207. Lady bug photo totally needs to be framed on on your wall! Glad you guys are having fun!

  208. I too am from the Midwest (Columbus, OH to be exact) but now live in NYC. I don’t really miss it but like going back to see family and share in traditions like the great Ohio State Fair. Taking my then one-year old last year was so fun! Like you mentioned it is nostalgia-inducing to see your LOs take part in things you experienced and remember fondly as a child.

  209. Nashville is the place for me; born and raised here by Michiganders. We have small businesses, polite people, and good music. We do NOT all wear cowboy boots, listen to country music, or go honkey-tonking. Even though I have yet to see a celebrity recently, I love that they move here because of how respectful of their privacy we are.

    The girls look so happy! Michigan suits y’all well!

  210. Reading this post makes me think of all the fun things I want to do with my son and daughter next month when we visit my family in Idaho. Thanks for reminding me about all the fun we have had there before and all the fun that is to come. I will miss our garden and life here at home, but will be ready to embrace the slow, beautiful, natural world and family time, oh it’s the best.

    PS. Thanks for promoting Dig This Chick a while ago and now again today. I found her blog after reading about it on yours and love it as well. You both hit close to home. I love it.

  211. I am glad you and your family are having so much fun in Michigan. We just got back from a trip to our home state to celebrate graduations and birthdays.

    My husband is military so we have lived in Virginia and Texas so far, but Indiana is home for me and always will be. It really has nothing to do with the geography or attractions, but the fact that no matter where I am I have family back home that I miss and that miss me (although I’m certain my two littles are missed more!) It makes our time even more special when we head back home for a visit.

  212. We live in Michigan and we’re in the process of adopting a little boy from Russia. I have butterflies right now because as I read this post all I can think is how I can’t WAIT to get our little boy home and visiting all these places and seeing all these things with him. Going to the same old places with children makes them new all over again, doesn’t it?

  213. I live in a small Louisiana town right on the banks of the Mississippi River. I love the river, Mississippi right across it where the antebellum houses are~ providing gorgeous backdrops for an amateur photographer’s pictures. :) Most of all~ I love that most of my extended family is in this area. I was raised on the Mississippi side with both sets of grandparents on either side of us. Sweet hometown memories. :)

  214. I love the accessibility of Nashville. You are close to a little bit of everything: mountains, farms, rivers, lakes, oceans. With everything being so affordable and family friendly, every weekend feels like a holiday. Just big enough to hold arts and entertainment, just small enough to recognize folks wherever we go. Love.

  215. It sounds like you are having such an amazing time.

  216. Beautiful photos… glad that you and Brett are relaxing and making memories with your girls :)

  217. I so love California yet I just don’t know if I can pinpoint why. Maybe it’s because it is the state where my entire family lives? Maybe it is the weather? Or the beach? I can’t fully figure it out but cali has stolen my heart

  218. I moved to Louisville, Kentucky four years ago and never want to live anywhere else. What I love the most about Louisville is my neighborhood, the Highlands. I knew the Highlands was where I wanted to call home when I visited for the first time and felt giddy. It has the hustle and bustle of a city, but the old houses from the late 1800s and early 1900s give it amazing charm. It is full of quirky local shops and restaurants and the people here are amazingly open-minded. I live in a beautiful old carriage house built in 1873. This neighborhood is full of wonderful memories for me, as this is where I met my love while walking my dog down the street. And I live walking distance from one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever seen! I frequently reflect on how lucky I am to call such a beatiful place home.

  219. These are my old romping spots! Born and Traverse City and returned there often to vacation after we moved from Michigan. I loved taking my kids back to Sleeping Bear dunes and reliving my childhood, too! And great photos of the excursion!!

  220. Awesome!! I am a faithful follow of Nici ever since you sent up to visit her for the first time and my son loves her stuff. I am from and still reside in NH. I am thankful for the fact that within a few hours drive, I can either be at the beach or in the mounains. Such fabulous diversity here :) Happy Friday!

  221. Kelle! I have SO enjoyed all of your photos and posts about Michigan! I am also a Michigander living out of state…although I live in Chicago (which I also love!). I LOVE the lakes, trees, rolling hills, and little farms of Michigan. And LOVE letting my little city dog roam free and turn into a country pup every time we go home!

  222. I’m originally from Michigan, so I loved this post! Your photos of sleeping bear dunes and Traverse City bring back great memories. I have a distinct memory of wind blowing sand all over me at the dunes and stinging my legs yet having the time of my life. And my cousin stepping in sandy doggie doo.
    Now living in Kentucky, I have a love for both states.

  223. I absolutely love the pictures at the dunes….beautiful! I love where I live. Wisconsin is a beautiful state with diversity, deep roots, nature in abundance, and culture. We have cheese curds, amazing beer, all of the seasons, and I’m only a 3.5 hour drive from Chicago. I’ve seen many beautiful countries, but I’m always very happy to return home to Wisconsin. Thanks for reminding me through your own trip how much I love calling my state “home”!

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  225. You have such a big heart…it’s okay to spread it between two places. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Being from Western Washington where it tends to be gray and rainy much of the year, I love that we can drive 3 short hours across our state and feel like we are on a sunny vacay.
    Oh, and with rain on our side comes lots of green, and I love the green!

  226. I’m an Indiana girl and although it’s actually a fairly boring state – besides the beautiful 4 seasons we get to enjoy – I grew up on a small lake and my 3.5 year old daughter is now enjoying all the things to love about hanging out at Gma and Gpa’s beach/lake all.day.long when she visits in the summer – she likes to get out there by 8:30am!!!

  227. Absolutely beautiful pictures as always. I write to you from Columbiaville (North East of Davison). I must ask – did the worm make it into the cake? :)

  228. Another MI girl checking in! Even though we moved away when I was 11, I still have MI in my blood. All my extended family is still there. I just booked a ticket yesterday for a long overdue visit to be paid in September. It’s been two years since my last trip there and,after this post, I’m even more excited!

  229. I LOVE Tennessee! It has completely captured my heart and my soul feels at home there. I love the people! So friendly and warm and all so different from me, which I love. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been! And it has great thrifting and yard sales :)

  230. I am born and raised in Alabama. A state most recognized for not really the best things in the world but we are striving to change that. My little Corner of Al is typical southern small town where you are either Alabama or Auburn and you go to church on Sundays. I love so much about my town. I love the trees that line the road entering our neck of the woods and especially my home, which was my grandmothers. I love to live here and now share her home with my children :)

  231. Looks like a great place to visit!! I have a friend that moved back home to Michigan last year, so a trip to visit is due :)

  232. I was born and raised in Northern CA. When people think of CA…they think Hollywood of San Fransisco….but for me…it is farmland and rolling hills. Northern CA offers a green, lush environment, mild weather…but still enough variation to really feel the seasons. We are 2 hours from the coast and 2 hours from the mountains. I grew up going to the ocean often and the mountains to ski in winter and enjoy the cooler weather in summer. Overall, I just think it has sooo much to offer…the variety is astounding. As an adult I could do without the political/financial mess this state is in…but for a child…oh my…what a beautiful world there is to discover all around us. My kids are getting the full California treatment.

  233. What an amazing vacation to a place that your body and mind know so well. One of my close friends also has a family house on the lake in Michigan, and is always egging me on to take the trip out there. What an amazing space to share with your girls. Yes, memories being etched. And those dunes! I’ve officially added a visit there to my bucket list.

    For us it’s Martha’s Vineyard. We both spent most of our childhoods up there with family and camps. Got married up there. And we try to visit the island 2-3 times a year. It’s worth the drive. Just to see memories etched into Alex’s mind means so much. Sharing the love is just so…oh! Amazing. SImply amazing.

    Keep enjoying. Thanks for sharing these wonderful moments with us.


  234. I can never read through your blog without getting that ache in the back of my throat. :)

    I love living in Maryland– this crazy beautiful state squished between huge metropolises and the wild outdoors. I love it for it’s variety–a jaunt through history in nearby DC; some sushi and National Aquarium in Baltimore; breakfast and sailboats in Annapolis; a quick trip to the beach; or our favorite: hiking and camping in one of the many lovely overgrown things around the state. There’s always something to give my wild heart a chance to muse.

  235. The lady bug photo with Nella is to die for. So sweet, glad you’re showing your girls your roots.

  236. I’ve never had a desire to visit Michigan….until now.

  237. Love reading about your travels and seeing your wonderful pictures. I live in and am from Washington state. I love how green it is all year round and how we have every type of geography to enjoy-ocean, forest, mountains, desert, etc. Only thing seriously lacking most of the year is sunshine. Enjoy your trip!!

  238. Oh those dunes are gorgeous!

  239. Sending love from Washington state, Pacific Northwest! we have so much outdoor goodness: ocean, rivers, mountains, desert. We are coffee drinking, apple growing, fish throwing, free spirit, socks with sandals people. :-)

  240. From Idaho, like the potato state, not Iowa as it is sometimes confused with ๐Ÿ˜‰

  241. Rocky top! You’ll always be home sweet home to me! Good Ole Rocky Top! Rocky Top Tennessee!
    If you’re a fan of country music this is the place you want to be. I love TN from the music to the beautiful mountains. A wonderful place to raise a family.

  242. I don’t have a place that I came from because we moved around so often when I was growing up and I am so incredibly jealous of people who can “go back home” and know so many people and things there. Home is definitely where the heart is with me, wherever my parents happen to live now! I would love to give my daughter a hometown to call her own! I love where I live now because the summers are not crazy hot but you still get great summer weather. I still want to move south one day though!

  243. Ah, what to say about Missouri. I was at first a reluctant inhabitant, but have really grown to love it. Though it is right in the middle of “flyover country”, it has lakes, mountains, and one BIG river. There’s tons of history, art, and loads of fun, free stuff to do year round. Plus, my husband is the director of the coolest place ever (www.citymuseum.org) so that doesn’t hurt. But it looks like we need to plan a trip to michigan, STAT!

  244. Your pictures are just lovely. They actually remind me of my home state, Minnesota.

    What do I love about Minnesota? I absolutely love the lakes and “up north” … and I love that there is a ton to do, all the time, even in the middle of winter when the temps are well below zero, there’s still something to do!

  245. good ol’ SC!! peaches, boiled peanuts, rocking chairs, etc :) But mostly, striking distance from the beach, forest, mountains, lake.. all in-state!

  246. I can so relate to you. I moved to Chicago 5 years ago and while I’ve definitely made this place as home as it can be I miss my REAL home, Minnesota, just about every day. Every summer I itch to get back to the lakes and pine trees and Minnesota nice. LOVE Dig, have bought a few of her things for my two girls. Thanks for the chance to get some more!

  247. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but am not one to comment much (this is my first one). This post, however, has made me homesick for my home state! Thank you for sharing the beauty of Michigan! I have many memories of summers spent along the shores of Lake Michigan.

    “Yes, Michigan! The feeling’s forever!”

  248. I couldn’t care less about football but I do get swept up in the mania every fall. Nebraska has some crazy sports fans!

  249. I remember visiting that part of Michigan a few summers ago and had NO idea how gorgeous it was there. And the cherries… awesome! Thank you for sharing your family and your vacation.

    I love Colorado because of the mountains. No matter where you are in the state, fresh air (really fresh air), breathtaking views, and peace are just a short drive away. Not to mention you always know which way is west. And I love the 300 days of sunshine – it’s really addictive. And in fall and spring the weather jumps back and forth daily from summer to winter, like it’s trying to help you prepare for the new season. And when it snows, everything is quiet and calm. And “Colorado casual” is a way of life, not just a dress code. Excuse me, the mountains are calling!

  250. Iowa, corn for miles, quiet clear night skies, winter white snow, cardinals nesting in the grove of trees behind our house.

  251. I live in San Diego, CA. It really is “america’s finest city.” I moved here out of college and planned to live here for just a year or two and then become a travel nurse….it’s 8 yeas later and i’m still here ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I love nici’s shop and would love to buy more from her with the gift card ๐Ÿ˜‰

  252. love it in MI. became more acquainted with it when i met my husband’s family. :)

    from TN

  253. I am always trying to get away from “Misery,” as some locals call Missouri, but the truth is, I’d never move. The four seasons are the biggest reason. I may curse the winters and the humid summers but secretly, I love watching each season turn – little miracles.

  254. Oh my LORD I want to jump into your pics and vacation with your gorgeous fam!
    Nella is SO stinkin cute in those little pigtails!!

  255. I’m from Washington! I love Pike Place Market and my kids love all of the giant piggy banks.

  256. I live in San Diego. I just love being in a big beach city. We have diversify, great beaches and awesome weather. I am from Connecticut.

  257. Awesome. I remember you mentioning on my blog once that you wanted to get those girls to the dunes! yay! You went!

    I would move out of MI in a HEARTBEAT to live in my beloved Florida. You are blessed. Lucky.

  258. Looks like so much fun!

    I love my home state of NC (still here!)… we’ve got it all: skyscrapers, the mountains, and the beach. The weather is fabulous, and most importantly, all of my family lives about 30 minutes from us. :)

  259. Seeing the pictures of the dunes makes me want to take a road trip. :)

  260. As cliche as it may seem, I’m from Michigan and love Michigan! We live less than 29 minutes from great sandy beaches, have hiking right outside our door and have fabulous winters! i have so enjoyed your Michigan posts.

  261. My friends mom surprised me w/a signed copy of your book-so excited! Check out The mitten state so you can show your Michigan pride in Florida! My husbands friend founded it-great shirts. Also have you listened to of monsters and men?

  262. I am from Georgia, and I love that we have mountains, ocean shores, cities that have hosted the Olympics, and cities that revolve around cotton farming. It’s the best of all worlds!

  263. Posting issues…From Washington, it rains a lot, but it leaves it beautifully green!

  264. I’ve lived in Philly for three years now, and Massachusetts the four years prior. I grew up in Lancaster County, PA, home of rolling cornfields, cow pastures, and the Amish. I love going home and just going for a nice drive on back country roads past cute farm houses, quiet streams, and the occasional wooded area. It’s so beautiful.

  265. Hi Kelle, Would you consider doing a blog post sometime during the Father’s Day weekend to honor the fatherless? There are thousands, tens of thousands, of orphans with Down syndrome languishing in beds all across this planet. They have no voice. They need a voice. I’ve adopted 4 sweeties with Ds through Reece’s Rainbow and left so many more behind. Would you please consider honoring these angels this weekend? You can see my crew here if you get a sec. http://the-scenic-route-momto6kids.blogspot.com Thank you, Kelle!

  266. I am from Cape Coral, FL, right down the road from you. I admit I sometimes focus on the negatives of our area so it is nice to have a reason to pull out the positives. I love living in SW Florida because of the waterways and having the beach and Gulf right at my fingertips. I grew up here and have such fond memories of growing up on my Dad’s boat. Love both of your blogs!

  267. My hometown of Mechanicsville, Va: I love the school spirit that surrounds the Atlee Raider community, brings back memories everytime I ride past the high school and football field.

  268. Kelle, if you do decide to do a Father to the Fatherless post this weekend, you could tell a little about Brady Murray, an inspiring young father who also has a son with Ds. He is the founder of RODS Racing…Running for Orphans with Down syndrome and he has the chance to be interviewed on national TV, NBC, if he is in the top two of this Ironman contest he has entered. http://rodsracing.org/

  269. Could you please share this video about our orphans with Down Syndrome and help us give them a voice. If Brady’s video wins his story will be heard across the country. It would be HUGE for these kids.


    Voting ends June 18 and you can vote as many times as you want, VOTE, REFRESH, VOTE, REFRESH!

  270. I haven’t been to your blog in a few weeks, basically since I had my baby girl in May, and I am so glad I got to see this post! My husband is originally from Michigan and talks about it all the time… now I can see some of the reasons why it is so loved. :)

  271. I’m from South Carolina, but living in central Florida at the moment. While my heart longs for SC, I am embracing our season in FL and counting my blessings. I love the old, beautiful live oak trees and the flowing moss that they wear like scarves. They are magical and grab my attention every day.

  272. Love love loving the clothes from Dig this Chick! A VT hoodie would be stellar as I just can’t get enough of my home state recently. There really isn’t something quite like summer in Vermont.

  273. i am a michigan girl too – transplanted to chicago – and it is so fun to see you taking your girls back for such a nice long vacation! Enjoy every minute!

  274. I am from Chiclayo, Peru, and I’m absolutely in love with its food, it’s delicious!!! I moved to San Antonio, TX four years ago, and every time I see a picture of a Peruvian dish, especially from the North part of Peru my mouth waters and memories come to mind.

  275. In this little place I call home (Ohio) the one thing I will always love is the summer lightning bugs. My three year old son swears they are “magic” and we go out in the early evenings and catch them and put them in a mason jar :)

  276. KENTUCKY…Girl I bleed BLUE!!!

  277. Love the lady bug picture and the one of Lainey on the rocks! Great shots!

  278. I am from Michigan, currently living in Croswell…what I love about it here is the laid back,and friendly people here…and we have a pretty badass swinging bridge! Longest suspension footbridge in Michigan :)

  279. Nella’s hair is getting so long!

    I live in Pennsylvania and love warm summer nights by a campfire, watching the fireflies dance.

  280. So glad you’ve had a great trip! I love living in the Mitt and after living on the East Coast for 3.5 yrs it was soo good to come home! Welcome back Kelle and hope it has delivered BIG for you!

  281. I totally need that long sleeve t-shirt with Indiana on it! We moved to PA and I love to remember my home state!!

  282. Michigan girl.
    Moves to Florida.
    Now I’m back to raise my kids.
    Love it. Love this place.

    The dishes on which you ate your chocolate cake? We had/have them. My parents couldn’t afford dishes and these were given away at the grocery store if you bought a certain amount of food. Did your parents do the same? I love eating off of them and thinking about my folks being young and poor and happy.

    Love the blog. Beautiful.

  283. Have lived away from my home state of Massachusetts for over 10 years, but will always consider myself a New Englander at heart. I love the cool nights in the summer, and the cozy, snowy winters. I love the sassy Boston accent that manages to escape whenever I talk to my mom on the phone about the great “mah-tinis” I had at dinner last night. I love the fact that a city’s heart can beat in rhythm with a baseball team in the summer. It will always be Home.

  284. The close up pic of Nella with the orange/red paint in the background might just be my favorite ever!

    There are two blogs that in which I never miss reading a post — yours and Nici’s. Love!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  285. I am so in love with the dune photos! Especially the one of Nella laying down. That’s what I’d be doing :) zonk!

    Pennsylvania doesn’t have any beautifully awesome dunes but we have so many fabulous parks I am never in a shortage of places to photograph clients and for that I am grateful. Each one is unique and gorgeous. But I’ll certainly be adding Sleeping Bear Dunes to my bucket list.

  286. I live in fort lauderdale florida and there is so much to love here. How close the beach is to my home, how it’s beach weather almost all year round or how there is soooo much to do. There is tons of state water parks and regular parks. I like how there is so much to do locally. Everything is so close there is cool museums and old looking movie theathers I just love Fort Lauderdale.

  287. My favorite state is LOUISIANA…I might live in NE, but my heart is in LA. :)

  288. I love this post! My dad is from Michigan and we spent a week around the 4th of July “up north” every summer. I have pictures from the dunes when I was around five years old, and remember sleeping in a camper by the water at my great grandparent’s house in Traverse City. I may live across the globe in Sydney, Australia, but I can close my eyes and see all the beauty of a petosky stone!

  289. Gorgeous!

    Look at Nella go… a few months ago walking wa sa big deal and now she’s fully pelting down sand dunes!

    It’s nice to go back to where you grew up. I lived in the UK until I was 8 so I doubt I’ll ever get back there but from the age of 8 I lived in a semi-rural town an hour out of Perth (Western Australia’s capital city) and my little Miss 5 went to that town on a daycare excursion a few months ago. She was so excited to see the town where I grew up, the school, the trees, the shops, the parks etc. There’s a sculpture park and one of the sculptures is of a group of tourists (it’s a tourist-destination town, hence the daycare excursion) and i swear every single child who comes through that park has climbed onto the shoulders of those ‘tourists’ and i can’t wait until my girls are old enough that I can get a pic of them doing the same!

  290. oh and maybe (probably) i am a bit stupid but when you said about the automobile factories I thought “i wonder if michigan is near detroit” coz my uncle and cousins moved to detroit to work for general motors for a few years.

    So, i just dicovered that Michigan is a state and contains Detroit. And chicago is inland, not on the west coast, like i thought. And washington is on the west coast, not the east coast like i thought.

    Thanks for the geography lesson, Kelle and Google Maps hahahahaha!

  291. I am from PITTSBURGH!! I love our big city lights, culture and sports teams! I love the fact that within a short drive from the city, you can be surrounded by trees, rolling fields, hiking trails and waterfalls. It’s the best of both worlds!

  292. You have the most adorable family! I always love the photos of your girls and you. Your blog is chock full of inspiration.

  293. HAPPY SUMMER TO YOU TOO! First trip to Door County on Lake Michigan coming up….have you ever been?

    Montana in one month…whoot!

    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  294. I’m a military spouse so I’ve learned to love a lot of places!! Currently we live in Annapolis, MD and what I love most about here perhaps is obvious. The water. Oh the water, the sailboats, the crabs – anything to do with the water! Great post, I’m so happy for your beautiful vacation “home” with your beautiful family.

  295. I grew up in the Midwest, 45 minutes North of Green Bay, WI in a little town called Marinette. Summers were spent vacationing in Door County. I love bringing my children back to relive all the wonderful memories I experienced as a child. THE BEST!!!!

  296. I’d love to go antique shopping with you! I love the pic of Nella and her grandpa in the hammock.

  297. I love everything about Colorado. I love traveling elsewhere but there is nothing like the clean air, beautiful mountains, perfect water, and friendly people of Colorado. It’s my home and I crave it when I’m away.

    I also loved Michigan the one time I went there…we went to the sand dunes and hung out in Traverse City…I want to go back so badly.

  298. man, i have overwhelming love for both my hometown on lake superior, and my current home on the california coastside. beautiful places all around.

  299. Your pictures make me realize how lucky we are to live here. So glad you enjoyed our city. Safe travels.

  300. So apparently I need to go to Michigan! Love this!

  301. Oh wow, Kelle. Some of the best pics yet! What a wonderful holiday for you all. You make me want to visit Michigan. Something I have absolutely never thought to do in my whole life!
    My favourite shots are with you and Nella on the dunes. Priceless!
    Have a safe trip home.

  302. Exactly why I love living here, we’re headed up north to the dunes next week and can’t wait to watch the kids run through the sand.

  303. O, Wisconsin, your politics are giving me some serious angst lately. But I love your rolling hills, all four of your seasons, and those beautiful people who welcome me home here.

  304. As a Midwestern girl myself, I know that it is truly a magical place. Your vacation looks ever so wonderful!

  305. Love how beautiful WA is … with such a juxtaposition of landscapes: mountains, water, wheat fields. Love it!

  306. I love savoring the image of visiting the Piecrust Cousins again.

  307. I used to have a t-shirt when I was a kid that said “Traverse City Cherry Capitol of the World” Ah. Memories.

  308. A fellow Michigander here, I too left the state in search of work and adventure. The winters are far too cold (and long!) for me but seeing these pics reminds me of how wonderful it can be. I am so homesick now!

  309. Hi Kelle! As usual, your pictures speak a thousand (or more) words! I’d L-O-V-E to know what camera you use…or better yet…what lens you typically get the most use out of? Thanks in advance!


  310. Beautiful, beautiful pictures! The one of Nella and your dad in the hammock was the sweetest thing ever. Thanks for sharing!

  311. My family moved from Michigan when I was a teenager. I spent all my summers as a kid in Old Mission at my grandparents cottage. I loved reading your post, loved reading about the sleeping bear sand dunes (I’d almost forgot how much fun that was!) and about searching for Petoskey stones. Thanks for jogging my memory :) good times.

  312. I love seeing blog posts about our great state! I love spending summer days in Traverse City!

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