Florida Fall

We chose home this weekend.  Out of all the balls that begged to be juggled, we made the unanimous decision to make home our priority.  Together we folded laundry, put away clutter, washed windows and mopped floors, leading up to this wonderful crescendo of entertaining friends Saturday evening. 



That whole home environment mind/reality connection is astonishing. I wasn’t overwhelmed in the least bit with busy schedules or never ending to-do lists because things felt so much more balanced, simply with the presence of clean carpets, toys in their places, polished counters, linen closets stocked with fresh folded towels, and candles and music that whispered All is Well.


We have exclaimed every variation of “Holy Crap, our house is so clean!” numerous times because it’s been a while since every room has been spotless at the same time. This weekend we sat and waited, willing neighbors to come knock on our door, requesting an egg or a ladder or a can of chicken broth because we so wanted to invite them in while we fetched what they lacked. We needed to make up for all those times they showed up while we embarrassingly shoved toys aside and watched them stand next to our laundry-covered couch while we simultaneously searched for a can of chicken broth (which we didn’t have) and prayed they didn’t notice the wrinkled granny panties on top of Laundry’s peak.

Neighbors, neighbors. We have chicken broth. Come by and grab a can. Marvel at our clean house.

This weekend…enjoying:

Sophie Love. She is a lovely dog. Calm and loyal and as low-maintenance as a dog can be. The older she gets, the more I cherish these pictures.


Curly. She sits in the sink while I curl her hair. She is still and patient.


She looks at herself in the mirror afterwards and says “Pretty.”


Beach Sunset. Being pregnant, I’ve been especially unappreciative of Florida’s weather lately. I miss a true fall. I want to slap my dad when he calls and tells me about fires at night and stocking up the wood pile for the next few months. Some years I’m really good at making the best of what I miss most about the Midwest, but this year it’s been tough.

Last night, Florida bitch-slapped me…hard.


I’m going to both enjoy what we have and create what we don’t have. It’s my specialty. How silly of me to have forgotten.

The picture on the right slays me.  It’s my kid being a little bit weird.  I freaking love a little bit weird. 

Walking the sand balance beam. We had to announce them as Gabby Douglas and Jordan Wieber.  They had some serious routines, and Lainey’s little friend Aleena?  Dude, Sister doesn’t mess around on the sand balance beam.  Holy focus. Sand balance beams are not pretend.

This weekend, we officially welcomed fall. At home with our clean floors and candles and at the beach with our golden sunset and foamy shore line.

Lainey was so proud of this bun.  She did it all by herself.


It was a top night.


If it looks appealing, you can always come on over to our beaches. Several readers have stayed in one of Poppa & Gary’s rental houses (with your own pool and hot tub), and they’re offering 20% off any rentals before December 15th.


Friday Photo Dump:

Friday Phone Dump photos are taken on the Instagram iPhone app (free) and dropped into a 12×12 collage using a photo editing software (Photoshop Elements works). I am @etst (enjoying the small things) on Instagram if you care to follow the feed.

And your #enjoyingthesmallthings photos. (If you use Instagram and have a photo that makes you happy, share it by using the hashtag #enjoyingthesmallthings. Yours may be chosen to be shared in a Friday post.)



Pip and Bean is back in sponsorship this month, just in time for Halloween.
Pip and Bean hand makes beautiful reversible superhero capes for kids. They can be personalized and customized, and they also offer a range of custumes, from sharks and angler fish to pirates and, get this…unicorns. You heard me. Unicorns.


Our Pip and Bean capes are the first things visiting friends grab from the dress up trunk, and it is not uncommon to see a caped Lainey at the dinner table, riding bikes in the driveway or heading to the bathroom to brush her teeth at night.
I love these capes because they’re versatile. When Halloween’s over, the capes surely are not. We love us some Pip and Bean.

Order now to receive before Halloween!
It’s officially fall, folks. Good things happen in the fall.



Leave a Comment
  1. Always so inspirational!

  2. I like your comment about Lainey acting “a little bit weird.” If I ever have a kid, I’ve always said, I want a weird one.

  3. a little bit weird is good. :)

  4. My favorite season.
    I’m excited to see how you bring a midwest fall to florida, again!
    Happy, happy fall!

  5. I love that you are still nursing! I nursed my first child through my pregnancy with second and then 9 months of tandem nursing. What a gift! Good job, Mama!

  6. Oh yes, I am all about my kids being weird. It is kind of the best way to be.

  7. You’re the poster girl for that old Donny Osmond song “Life is Just What You Make it”. My middle school crush.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. what a great weekend. i love it all. too cute. i want a unicorn outfit. are you ever too old for one of those? awesome!! (:

  10. I am expecting my very first little one in February and something about your blog makes me so excited for motherhood. I try not to cry tears of joy at the overwhelming reality of what a blessing I have a ahead of me. Thank you. =)

  11. My sentiments exactly. We moved from Wisconsin to Arizona 3 years ago, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a balance, of enjoying the fact that we don’t have to freeze in our Halloween costumes, but decking everything out in fake leaves cause we miss those blazing trees!

  12. I love fall…and i am jealous of your clean house. Morning sickness has wiped me out (excuses, excuses i know) but the idea of a clean house and smell of candles might just give me the kick in the butt that i need.

    Beautiful pics! I love fall here in the west. We’ll be moving to florida in a couple years, though, so while i look forward to the beach, i will enjoy these last few years of my fall.

  13. Oh I want to come to your beaches!!

  14. My kid is weird. And I love weird, too!

    Also, fill us in on that beautiful owl behind Nella… I want!

  15. ,,,i love the final photo of nella. she’s so stinkin’ cute,,,

  16. my girls want to be unicorns for halloween…i tried to have one unicorn and one flamingo but they werent having it, they both choose unicorn :)
    i enjoyed this post, lainey was precious in that white skirt S girl shirt!!

  17. I LOVE “a little bit weird” too… my hubby and I love being weird together, our kids have no hope 😉

    Beautiful pictures as always, the girls are growing up so fast!!

  18. The pictures on the beach are so beautiful. A few of them are absolute perfection. I love your pictures!

  19. Kelle,

    I have recently found your blog and I am so happy I did. Your blog has been such an inspiration for me! I just recently gave birth to my first child. I just hope I can be half the mom you seem to be. Thank you!

    Ashley Wright

  20. How sweet are the pictures with the kid and the dog!! Lovely!

  21. Love! Especially that picture with Aleena in a preacher pose, with Lainey looking on behind! Seriously…I would love to listen to that sermon…pretty sure a five year old would rock some enlightment any day!! That bun is gorgeous, the curls are most definitely pretty, and you just pretty much glow, Kelle. Thanks for another dose of sunshine. :)

  22. Oh! I did a post on the fall! CHeck me out pleeeaaassseee I would kill for feedback from you!

    That picture of Nella with the sunglasses… Just the perfect mix of beautiful and quirky! I LOVE it! Ooooo I wanna I wanna I wanna of been the one of taken these pics!

    DO you know what I love the most about your blog? I have a little girl and it’s the only thing that stops me being PERMANENTLY heart broken about how quick her babyhood is going and makes me look forward to being girl together! Oh to eat cupcakes with her like you do with your girls! To marvel at her being a fabulous weirdo! EEP! Exciting!

    Thank you again and again! I always look forward to your posts! 😀 x

  23. oh, your pictures are always si full of smile!!! they are amazing!!!

  24. I can probably count on 1/2 of one hand the amount of times every room of my house was clean at the same time. And I hate it. It is a source of anxiety for me on a daily basis. But I’m one person and I have a big house. I need a cleaning lady :)
    Great post. Loved the words and pictures!! Thanks for sharing.

  25. I always invite EVERYONE I know over when my house is clean because goodness knows when it will be that way again! Nice to know I’m not the only one

  26. 😀 My kid is a little bit weird. Our whole family is. Embrace the weird. Lol.
    Lovely post as always. The pics make me miss Naples. Hopefully we will make a trip next year.

  27. I love your comments about wanting someone to see your clean house. Ours has never been so clean and clutter-free, but that’s because we’re trying to sell it. After three weeks, the novelty has worn off some because nobody has come to look at my beautiful home (that’s what I get for living in a small rural town in Tennessee). But I know the one day I don’t make my bed, leave a dirty sippy cup on the counter, or let my son leave a trail of Legos all over the house, that’s the day a potential buyer will show up. Hmmm, wait a minute. Maybe I need to rethink my strategy. . .

  28. totally get you with the wierd thing…..my Rosie was being wierd today in the supermarket and it was creasing me up….I couldn’t understand why all the shoppers didn’t stop and chuckle at my little girl’s funniness ;o)

    Love the sunglasses hanging off her nose pic of Nella……..and she’s totally right…she IS pretty with her lovely curls.


  29. It’s true! My sons are my most favorite when they are at their weirdest. That’s when I see myself in there.

    We’ve been faking fall here in Thailand, too. I think it’s going great! Soon it will be time for watermelon

  30. Beautiful photos as always, I love the close up one of Nella with the sand on her forehead. I would kill for Florida weather, England is grey, rainy and cold today!


  31. Where is Nella’s bathing suit from? LOVE it!

  32. Loving your Florida fall. Often it’s not warm enough for me to brave our seawater in the height of summer. What a lovely feeling it is to have a perfectly neat and tidy home. I’m itching to do a proper spring clean but I can’t quite stomach the cleaning products yet. Happy Fall to you Kelle.

  33. Hi there,

    Leslie above asked about the owl. It’s from Darly Bird, $18. So cute.


  34. Wonderful !!!! I just follow your blog and cannot stop follow it. I like the way you think, and the way you spread out your thought.

  35. I love the fall it’s my favorite season. I love the colors, the smells. Loved your post, you really tell a story through your words and pictures. I love reading about your girls, your adventures and love looking at the photos. I brought my digital camera in hopes to take pictures like yours but have not really had the time to work with it. You inspire me to make time.

    I love your candidness, I love how you keep it real.

    I feel silly saying this but I did not know you were pregnant and have been searching your blog to see when you first announced it. But let me say congratulations, my husband and I are trying for our second. We have been truly blessed with our son Jacob who has “designer genes” and is truly my greatest accomplishment.

    Keep doing what you do. Love ya!

  36. Your pics are always beautiful, but really loving the ones in this post. The pic of Nella looking at her curls in the mirror, awesome Lainey on the beach, and the one of Lainey holding Nella in a hug on the beach makes my heart thump; I love sister pics! (awesome owl on the wall, by the way)

  37. Isn’t that the way it always works….clean house and not a sole stops by….it’s messy and everyone stops by. HA!! After I hosted a baby shower a few weeks ago ~ I vowed to keep a cleaner home. It’s so nice to look around and everything is in it’s place. I’ll see how long it lasts. ha!! 😉

    Love the pics with Sofie…so cute. Nella’s curly hair and Lainey’s bun. And my fav ~ Lainey picking up Nella…


  38. I’m sorry you’re missing fall right now. I’m from Minnesota, and I’d miss it too. But winter? Can kiss my butt, because I hate winter!!
    Your photos are always so beautiful. Love that beach, and the Superman shirt, and sand balance beams. Glad you enjoyed your weekend at home. My favorite picture of all is Nella against the blue sky…GORGEOUS!!
    It is such a good feeling to have a clean house!!

  39. Why is it that they never stop by when the house is sparkling? Not fair!! I love that Nella sits quietly while you curl her hair. I sure wish Giselle, my granddaughter, would sit still. I had to part her hair five times for her little pigtails because she was thrashing around. She and Nella remind me so much of each other. However, Giselle could definitely use a bit more of Nella’s patience. :)

    I love your blog posts, they always make me feel good.

  40. i love florida fall too, mama. i want to drive over from delray beach and hang with you guys! :)

  41. Hi Kelle,

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now which inspired me to read your book which I found to be well, breathtaking. Both your blog and your book reveal a gift to get to the heart of the matter with both words and photos. A double whammy!! And on top of that your blog is one of a very few that inspired me to get back to blogging which I left for awhile to focus on other things. I’d like to invite you to drop by kstyle and say hello if you have some free blogging time. I’d love to get to know you. Plus I think you’d enjoy the photography I feature from time to time as I hopelessly brag about my son the photojournalist. Take care and have a great day.

  42. Love your (now) baby nursing next to your next baby. I nursed baby #1 for 40 months, straight through baby #2 in my tummy and for 4 months tandem. It is not the easiest thing I have ever done, but I know I will never regret it!!

  43. Love the bathroom sink hair curling! That is painfully adorable.

    There are few things that give me immediate serenity like a completely cleaned house. Every other Monday I hug my house cleaner and have each of my children pour out their thanks and hugs too. She changes our life, most specifically by changing mine.

    Cleaning woman day also is the perfect excuse I need to go out to dinner every other Monday…wouldn’t want to mess up the kitchen the first night!

  44. I think Lainey’s friend Aleena looks sooooo much like a VERY YOUNG Jennifer Aniston!

  45. THANKS! I just smiled the most that I have all day. Why do large sunglasses make kids look so adorable!

    Your kids are precious.

  46. Kelle! I had the exact same weekend, sans beach. I tell ya, a clean house is definitely towards the top of the list for best feelings. Talk about feeling accomplished. :) Those beach pictures are so sweet! The one of Lainey jumping and Nella in those glasses, just epic! Have a great week! Thanks for always making me smile and cry all at the same time. :)

  47. Weird kids are the best kind. All 3 of mine are weird in their own way, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

  48. OMG!!! pics are on fire tonight!! Stunning. All of them.
    Inspiring. Inspired.

  49. Yes Pip & Bean! Yes Alyssa! So happy about the unicorn capes! Aww, I miss SWFL…we moved from the Fort a couple months ago now…and although it is starting to get fall up in the midwest…I do miss my home there. Enjoy the beach for me, Kelle.

  50. I also live in fl so I know how you feel. Although I have lived here my whole life, I wish for trees that changed colors and for my ‘crisp’ air. But at the same time, while other bundle up for winter, we get to go to the beach!


  51. I too am so happy fall is here. In Wisconsin it’s crisp and perfect outside. But I’m jealous of your beach :) Nella’s curls are precious!

  52. haha… you too??? I thought it was just me that the neighbors only come by when the house is a disaster. 😉

  53. with every post and picture I wonder how can it get any better and then I continue to scrool and you continue to AMAZE me Kelle. THANK YOU for allowing me to follow your blog. You are such an inspiration.

  54. I love coming here at the end of a long day and read your words and see your beautiful photographs and just breathe. Such an inspiration! Enjoy fall… I’m trying to make the best out of our Florida fall with everything Pumpkin Spice!!! :)

  55. sorry for the mispelled word **scroll

  56. you are still nursing Nella?? AWESOME!!! Go YOU!!

  57. I adore the picture of Lainey picking up Nella on the beach for a hug. And the pics of Nella in those sunglasses are hilarious. As always, good to read your blog.

  58. oh this was so funny to me because i sooo relate to the clean/not clean house thing. my neighbor came over today to laundry piled high on the couch and coffee table strewn with newspapers, magazines, board books, toys, and a dirty bowl to name a few. needless to say, once she left and my littlest one went down for a nap, i spent those couple hours cleaning. i love your pictures at the beach. they remind me that i should go out to our beach in Santa Monica with my little ones more often.

  59. LOVE the picture of Nella modeling in the sink. :-p TOO CUTE.

  60. Good for you for still nursing Nella! I had to quit at around 13 weeks but I admire the mamas who can continue throughout!

  61. Goodness, your girls are both so beautiful. I love the fall, I live in a little town (way up in Canada) that is nestled between to lakes.. The maple trees are already turning that lovely shade of red. It’s fabulous. Though, I think I would love Florida’s fall, too. I’d love to not have to worry about if I/my children might need to wear snow pants on Halloween! :)

  62. Hi Kelle, my name is Carina. I just finished your book and the entire time I was reading it I wished I could have told you what it meant to me, lucky for me you had this site in the back..
    Our stories are completely different but in some way I understand how you feel. My daughter is 7 Weeks old, the love of my life but the most stressful thing i’ve ever dealt with.
    She had seizures, strokes, hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She’s had one open heart surgery and will have to more before she is 3. I never said the things I thought about her out loud but I thought many things you did.
    Your book helped me so much and i’m just so glad that I was told about it. I feel so close to your family and I love reading your blog and i’m hoping that you will write another book about life so far.

    Thankyou for opening your heart and helping me and many others.

  63. I love, love all of your pictures! Indeed, a picture paints a thousand words!

  64. Love, love the pic with the sunset in Nella’s hair :)

  65. My daughter is 10 months old and has the same blue dress as Nella (the blue polka dot one from Target). Needless to say, she’s growing out of it, and it’s breaking my poor heart!!!! We rock it with gray or red leggings for fall (and a cardi, because in NY it’s a little brisk!!!)

  66. AS a Florida girl living in Canada, I have to say I love the early-October Thanksgiving we have here. You can put out your fall stuff without looking stupid! I’ve done some decorationg and posted my photos on my blog.
    Florida fall has always meant two things to me: sweltering in the east stands of Florida field, and having a 2nd, outdoor (US) Thanksgiving dinner. But face it, when the first snowfall hits us you’ll be dancing around on the beach!

  67. We are on TDY in Georgia right now (25 minutes from Jacksonville – I LOVE IT!) We’re from WA though…and so I have to say that the beaches here are the bomb. If it wasn’t for the insane humidity, and the fact that we just bought a house in WA, I’d love to live here. Been trying to talk my hubby into taking his next 3 day weekend, and driving down to Isle of Capri, because your pictures make it look gorgeous. He thinks I’m crazy. :) Congratulations on your babyontheway, and please stop making Isle of Capri look like so much fun! Ha!

  68. I super love that Nella continues to get her “Nummy” love through your pregnancy. Way to rock it mama! (“nummy” is nursing at our house!)

  69. I’m loving Nella’s sweet curled hair! Both of your girls seem to have such sweet, distinct personalities.


  70. I spotted a meow-sic piano. That’s the preferred toy in our house right now. I once had a cat named Applebee…

  71. I want to be a SAHM and live near the beach, too! What beautiful memories!!

  72. You have to share where you got that adorable owl in the pic with Nella in the crib!

  73. My almost 4 year old has some funny…okay, weird, dance moves. And, I’m pretty positive she’s gotten them from watching Mama on the dance floor at weddings after a couple of glasses of wine. Either way, I love weird, too. :)

    Welcome fall!


  74. Can´t say wich photo I like the best, all are lovely

  75. kelle, as always, I love your words and photos. Nella is getting so big! I hope you are feeling well :)



  76. I love that picture of beautiful Nella smiling in the mirror with her pretty hair. :o) She is beautiful! I’m sure we’d all love to see some more videos of her and Lainey together. It’s always so beautiful to see how much she’s grown and learned!

  77. Did Nella just grow about 6 inches over night??! She’s looking so grown up.

  78. I LOVE the owl above Nella’s crib. Where did you find it?

  79. First comment here. I ALWAYS read your blog and simply looove it.

    Wanted to let you know I’ve just read this particular entry with a soundtrack (my daughter was listening http://soundcloud.com/nomad-soul-collective on the other room)and the combination of both you writing and the music was EXQUISITE.

    Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
    Loli (from Argentina)

  80. The photos of Nella in this post are absolutely darling, particularly the last one. She is such a beautiful little girl, and you have such a beautiful family. Thanks for reminding me once again just how lovely life can be. :)

    -Jennifer @ JennJill Designs

  81. I just recently discovered your blog and have listed it under my favorite places to visit!! I love your photos and stories…and both of your girls are so beautiful and precious!!! I am instantly happy when I visit your little space in the world 😉
    Tara :)

  82. A new header? I’ve been staring at chalk feet for months now! And I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love a little “weird” in their lives 😉

  83. Love the photos of Nella with her curly hair! She is looking so grown up lately!

    A little bit weird is always good.. It totally agree.

    And yay for a clean house! You may have just inspired me to clean mine own.. :) x

  84. Kelle,

    I am a first-time reader to your blog and am completely amazed. I just received my masters in Speech Pathology and started my first job at an agency working with preschoolers with various disabilities. I feel like your stories have given me an entire new perspective and am even more grateful for my professions, and my preschoolers!

    Thank you,

    Alex Becker Zanetti

  85. It’s amazing how much a clean house can bring peace… even when we think it won’t because the thought of cleaning it is hell lol!

    – Sarah

  86. I have been reading your blog for a long time – and so inspired by your beautiful pictures, beautiful family and the beautiful way you write, that it has got me back into posting everyday and to indeed enjoy ‘the little things’ everyday. I am in New Zealand and always envy the sunshine and warmth!! xoxo

  87. How fantastic that you are still breastfeeding Nella.
    You fabulous Mamma you!!
    I fed my 4th until we did a countdown to the last feed.
    That was back in June when she was 3.7 years.
    I didn’t expect to feed for that long, but I treasured every moment.
    Good on you for doing the same.

  88. Happy fall!! I love that you make ‘lemonade out of lemons’! And as the early mornings get cooler up here, I would take a little bit of that beach sunshine (especially when the windows need to be de-iced … brrrr), so you got that going for you! I envy your clean house – mine is to follow suit this fall, with my sister’s visit in a couple weeks as my kick start – yaa! … oh and I love a little bit weird too! Have a wonderful week!

  89. Yay for still nursing Nella! I wish more moms would be honest in every area of life like you are! Thank you for your honesty and amazing, inspirational blog!
    I nursed my oldest (same age as Nella) until a couple months before my next was born…..it was wonderful! :)

  90. The pictures really show how big Lainey is getting. She looks like such a girl, instead of a little girl. Squeeeeeeeeze those girls for me. I love them so!

    Thank you for the house rental information, gives me something to dream about! Maybe next year!

  91. I love sunsets! How fun, I know it sucks missing a Midwest autumn :( It’s okay to wallow! xx

  92. This post brought tears to my eyes, it’s so beautiful to see truly happy children…

  93. just amazing stuff. great blog. 5 stars.

  94. I’m way behind on your blog, but I love the owl behind Nella’s crib. Did you make it?



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