Tea with Milk and Honey

I woke up early yesterday morning to vote–stopped and picked up coffee on the way there, stood in line for forty minutes, texted Brett half way into the process, asked him to make Lainey’s lunch and warned him we’d probably be late for school.  We made it just in time, arriving as the bell rang.  I quickly kissed my girl goodbye and ran back to the car.  And then ran home.  And then ran through the events of the day, subconsciously aware of this sense of urgency and anxiousness that has attached itself to me lately like a parasitic fish.  We’ve had some unhealthy symbiosis going lately–I give the fish a place to dwell, it nibbles off my calm.

I am excited about the coming months–holidays, preparing for this baby, welcoming family and friends to town and enjoying some of my favorite traditions.  But there is three-shots-of-espresso-in-a-styrofoam-cup kind of excitement and there is tea-with-milk-and-honey-served-in-elegant-china kind of excitement.  I want to be the latter.  Calm enthusiasm.  Content to just be.

I took Lainey to ballet last night–our first class in a while.  Instantly lulled into a state of peace by the Schubert melody that filled the studio, I sat–calm and still–and watched my little girl gracefully flutter across the floor.


“I have to get our Nutcracker tickets before they’re gone,” I thought for a panicked second.  But then I thought I should tell my urgency to shutthe$#@*up, and so I did.  I smiled and sank further into my chair.  I whispered to myself “she’s really mine” while she possé-ed across the mat.  I paid attention to every little kick that was simultaneously happening inside me.  I could have stayed there all night.


After dance, our friends asked us to join them for a milkshake.
And right as I was about to explain that we couldn’t because I had to hurry home, drop Lainey off and get to Fred’s, I said yes.  Because a calm night with my girl was exactly what we both needed.


I don’t have to go to the Nutcracker this year.  I don’t have to make it to Fred’s every single week.  I don’t have to have everything ready for a baby or make homemade Christmas presents this year.  I do have to be present though–for my family but mostly for myself. 

I skipped the election coverage last night.  Went to sleep with the girls instead and actually got the coffee rolling this morning before I even turned the T.V. on.  I’m happy the election is over and hope to see the partisan gap close as we all work together for our country. 

I loaded up my iTunes with new classical tunes today–lots of Schubert and Bach, Debussy and Mahler.  In fact Schubert lulled Nella to sleep tonight–over my shoulder–and it will be happening much more around here.  I felt very close to God indeed.


Preparing for baby and getting ready for the holidays–those are wonderful things.  But not urgent.  Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families. 


The produce mart close to our house reopened after being closed down this summer.  We celebrated with Plant City strawberries.


Brett and I got a babysitter and scheduled a date for this weekend.  I moved the teapot out in the open in the kitchen so I’ll be reminded more to stop what I’m doing these next few weeks and sit down for tea.  I ordered two used books on Amazon today–one for me and one for my girls.  And I cleaned my tub, stacked pretty towels next to it and organized a crate of my favorite soaps–an invitation that is quite the opposite of urgent.


I love these reminders.

And I’m happy we’re back to ballet.

oh, i love when she’s weird.


Sponsor Welcoming Walls is returning this month with lots of new holiday treats in the shop to “warm your nest for guests,” as owner Candi says.  Welcoming Walls offers an array of vinyl decals for your home, from simple statements for your front door to quotes and designs for lonely walls that call for more.


I love these simple festive statements in our home:


Welcoming Walls is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on all U.S. orders and a free gift (four of those cute little leaves) with your order. Candi’s holiday designs are beautiful, and she’s happy to make custom, personalized designs as well.


Also, check out Tea Collection’s Countdown to the Holidays, a daily dose of crafts, decorating and fun creative ideas for you and your family.  I’m sharing a fun fall wall hanging craft over there today.


What helps you turn urgency into calm?  How do you keep the excitement in your home this time of year from becoming the over caffeinated styrofoam cup kind?  Do tell.



Leave a Comment
  1. Love this sentence – “Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families.” I may need to frame it for the next six weeks!

    I love a clean house (a rarity around here) with candles and a mug of tea. Especially if Isla’s asleep in the nursery and Gabe’s playing LEGOs on the floor. It just all feels “right” then.

  2. exactly what i was thinking tonight.

  3. Getting my teapot out in the a.m. I need that reminder as I already am beating up myself over soccer registration, and gift lists, and holiday cards, and, and, and. Breath. Smile. Sink in to that chair, and just enjoy. Thanks.

  4. I’ve returned to yoga and meditation after a long, unintentional break. At long last the calm and balance are seeping back in to every facet of my life. It’s really so great!

  5. Mmmm… Hot baths with Lush bath bombs!

  6. Desperately needed this reminder. The holidays bring out the “Type A Crazies” in me! Finishing 3 homemade costumes and 60 themed cupcakes for Halloween nearly had me hooked up to a heart monitor- and I know it’s only the beginning. Hoping for a dose of your newly discovered serenity this year. You always seem to have your finger on the pulse of *real* mommyhood. It’s a gift to read your blog.

  7. I needed to hear this. The holidays, stressful work deadlines, so much on my mind lately, and I feel torn in far too many directions. I need to refocus, and get back to center, in so many ways. Thanks for this one Kelle.

  8. I know I won’t be first – but, as I start my comment – the ticker says “No comments”……. Oooh – to be near the top! :)

    Thanks for writing just exactly what I need to hear…….For about three months now, I’ve been fussing over – and re-thinking – and second guessing an event from this past Summer – and asking myself, “what if I’d said this – or done that – or should I do this – or maybe that? How can I ‘fix’ it??” What I heard tonight was “let go and let God”………..even though that isn’t exactly what you said……..you just said – relax, be kind to yourself, breathe, be present…………which to me, tonight, translated as “let go and let God”………and was e.x.a.c.t.l.y. the message I was meant to hear! So – thank-you! :)………..Rosemary

  9. Oooh..I loved this post. There is no better feeling than when you make that decision to say no to urgent & the calm that follows. This happens to me alot when I find myself rushing to get it all done or rushing out the door to go someplace I really don’t want to go..the moment when you finally say “I don’t have to do this, I prefer to just stop & catch my breath”. Delicious feeling.

  10. Your timing is impeccable; I needed to read these words tonight. I’ve been so caught up in preparing for the holidays, both of my kids ‘ December birthdays, and a vacation that we scheduled (obviously without thinking things through very well) in the midst of it all, that I have not been a very present mama lately. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and put the urgency – and my energy – on things that really matter.

  11. I love reading posts like this. I get over-busy trying to do-do-do instead of just allowing things to be.

  12. I also really love it when my kids are weird.

  13. What helps me calm: the usual the gym–teaching my classes –dropping the kids off at school! But when we are home listening to music really loud–nothing like a little Dave Matthews to get to put things in perspective–maybe a little thought of what life used to be like in college when nothing else matter except music, friends, and life!! I hope I am teaching my kids that too!! To be in the moment or at least get back there with a few reminders!

  14. I came to this realization a few weeks ago and even wrote a post about it! However, as I get pulled headlong towards December is getting harder to remember those lessons so thanks for the reminder. I’m actually on a bus to the hospital right now where I’m scheduled to have some surgery. I have up to a ten hour wait to be called, plus two days off work to recuperate. I have a stack of magazines and as much as I’m looking forward to two days of Real Simple magazine and the Ellen show, it shouldn’t be a stint on hospital that makes me slow down and take time out. Good luck with finding the balance, Kelle, and enjoy your tea breaks xx Laura

  15. I, too, have been feeling so much of this lately, and my distraction and anxiety has affected my blogging :). I have to learn that’s okay, too.

    I also have to dutifully and diligently find ways to usher in these quiet moments to be present, content, and relax. A stop for a red Starbucks cup on the way to school, a lit candle on the counter top, and Mumford and Sons instead of TV.

    My own mama, who is now hooked on your blog, surprised me with a ‘boo’ Welcoming Walls. I’ve now got my eyes on that gobble one :).

    Happy content, Kelle!

  16. love plant city strawberries. we all need little reminders to be kind to ourselves. deep breaths help :)

  17. This was just what I needed. Thank you.

  18. So refreshing to read your post today after all the negativity about the election. So sad and somewhat scary to see such a division in our nation. And i,too, have already started feeling the anxiety that comes along with the excitement of the holidays. You are always so wonderful about reminding us about what is really important in life. Thank you for ending my day with an uplifting and positive message :)

  19. Loved this post—and just the reminder I needed at the start of holiday clamor. Thanks, Kelle!

  20. Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families.   just what i needed. I love my little family so much and will be striving to slow down the go go go and just enjoy! Thanks for this :)

  21. I love Lainey channelling her inner “Flashdance” with her ballet outfit at the end!

  22. Funny to read this, as both my husband and myself have felt this same way- and are trying hard for patience, re-organizing/re-prioritizing and finding the calm in our days. Nice to read how you are making it happen as well. We thought things would somehow slow down when both kids entered school this year (one in preschool & one 1st grade), wow- they have not, but we are trying hard to make a point to find the calm for us all. love your sweet pics!

  23. Just yesterday, while I drove around in a nervous sense of getting things done, I changed my radio station to a classical one.
    We’ve been listening to it ever since.
    Great minds…

  24. Your blog is such a gift. You bring me calm, perspective, hope and writing motivation. Thank you.

  25. Be Present. Every Day is a Blessing. That’s our XMAS card this year…so loving reading it here. I stress over so much stuff…everyting being ‘done’. Mom and Perfectionist don’t go well together. (-: Always striving to Be Present.

    Aimee Murray

  26. I have to turn things off- phone, tv, computer and just sit in the quiet, or read a book, do things that give energy instead of zapping it, and if the sun is shining, just standing out in the rays. And lately I have to put away the coffee and reach for the tea for sure.


  27. Thanks for the reminder Kelle. I started back to yoga again this week after a couple of year break not sure how that happened. I’m looking forward to the long Thanksgiving weekend and 2 weeks off at the end of December. Trying to be present and mindful and enjoy each moment over the last 2 months of 2012.

  28. Love this post. Such a great reminder. This time of year anticipating and preparing for holidays can be so wonderful but also so hectic. I don’t want that for me or my family. “Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families.” I love this. So powerful. So true. Thank you, Kelle.

  29. Thanks for your reminder- I am due at Christmas this year so rushing to get everything ready, both for Christmas and for baby. Meanwhile my kids (and husband) need me to be present. Balance is one of the most difficult things, I think.

  30. Exactly what I needed at exactly the right time! Thank you!

  31. Wonderful thoughts… A great reminder for me as we’re preparing for our 3rd (C-Section scheduled for Dec. 19) and for the holidays. I have lists and lists and lists of things to do, to buy, to make… but being in the present and enjoying our families are more important. Hope you have a blessed Thursday!

  32. I have been in rush mode ever since the beginning of October. I’ve finally realized that I really don’t know how to say no. It’s not a good thing. But this post reminded me . .. I need to get Nutcracker tickets before all of the good seats are gone! Lol.

  33. Taking it one day at a time and having a cup of sleepy time tea every night before bed. I make an effort to stop and savor the moments! By the way I love the first ballet picture with the little girl “flying” through the air!

  34. Good post. Much needed by myself and many others at this time of year I’m sure. I also love this sentence.
    “Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families.”

  35. I really appreciated this post. I need this reminder…pretty much every week. :)

    To stay calm? We Sabbath on Sundays–church, then chill by ourselves or with family or neighbors, keeping things low-key (and when we can talk both kids into it, we do a family nap so we truly ‘rest’). I also work on saying no to all the things I want to do in favor of yes to some of the things I want to do that are also things I should do. Easier said than done.

    Hope you have a peace-filled week! I think I’m going to pull out my teapot tonight before bed. :)

  36. Your posts help me turn urgency into calm. You make me stop to remember what is truly important. Thank you for that.

  37. This is just the reminder I needed. A reminder to be present and love the ones we love. I immediately feel calmer when I take a second to light a candle, grab a blanket, and watch a short show or write a blog post. Or journal about the things I’m thankful for.

  38. Such a well timed post! We live ten thousand odd kms from our family so we can make the holidays whatever we want but I still find myself trying to make Christmas a bigger than Ben Hur production. This year we have family coming to spend time w our daughter from New Zealand and Japan and I am fighting the urge to be super. I am booking our Christmas lunch at a nice hotel so the focus can be on family rather than food preparation. I just bought a tea pot today to help slow everything down! Thanks for reminding me what really is important.

  39. How to turn urgency into calm. Hmmmm. Don’t think I have figured out how to do that, yet. Prayer helps…when I remember to take time for it :)

  40. You and I must be living parallel lives because this is exactly the realization I had today. And I am a big time people pleaser, dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I know all too well that panic stricken manic mode. Awesome tips on how to be reminded about what’s important…Amen to that sister! 😉

  41. I loved this post. Last holiday season I made a very strong effort to relax and enjoy the season instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

    One thing I did that I loved was to pare down my kids’ Christmas lists, thus my shopping and wrapping. Over the past several years my eyes have been opened to all the stuff we have. We don’t need more stuff, so I told the kids they could each ask for 4 things: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

    I expected anarchy but that was far from the case. The kids loved it and it involved a whole new thought process about gifts. We had discussions about the differences between wants and needs and it gave them motivation to consider what they really wanted to ask for. It was great and so was Christmas!

  42. Oh Kelle, this took my breath away. As always, I leave here inspired and joyful. Thank you!!

  43. Realizing that I don’t HAVE to do things, just because that’s what I typically do or because it’s what I planned to do has been good for me in the last few months!

    As for turning my urgency into calm, that would be prayer and deep breaths.

  44. You put into words how I have felt this last week, I just need to chill and hang out more with my girl , less lists. This yr I have organised 10 days off prior to Xmas so less rush. Going camping or into the outdoors always promotes calm – and early nights – so need more of these.

  45. My mom and I sat at the computer this evening and purchased 11 tickets to the San Francisco Ballet company’s Nutcracker performance this December. It is my girl’s fifth birthday, and to celebrate ten adults and my daughter are headed to San Francisco to watch her delight in the ballerinas, costumes and pure magic. I was four when I started going with my grandma, oh how I love tradition.

  46. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I NEEDED this tonight. I guess I needed permission to eliminate some things from my schedule that I just assume are “have to’s”.

  47. I really needed this reminder tonight. I feel like I constantly have a million things running through my head and sometimes I forget to be present.

    My calmness and serenity usually comes from a weekend of nothing but family. No plans, nothing that has to be done, just me, my hubby and our little. No rushing to appointments nor plans to fill just a weekend that stretches out like a lazy cat. That’s where I’m most calm and satisfied. Amazingly, I feel so connected to my family after a weekend of togetherness.

  48. Yoga and stopping my mind to take a long way home by the river with my babies after school. Watching how quickly my wee boys went from infant to thirteen, baby to nine and our baby girl is rounding the bend on five, catches me and reminds me to stop, take a deep breath and remember there is nothing more important than sitting at the river and watching them play, rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock. Living in the moment of their childhood is everything and it brings me to calm all on its own.

  49. Yoga and stopping my mind to take a long way home by the river with my babies after school. Watching how quickly my wee boys went from infant to thirteen, baby to nine and our baby girl is rounding the bend on five, catches me and reminds me to stop, take a deep breath and remember there is nothing more important than sitting at the river and watching them play, rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock. Living in the moment of their childhood is everything and it brings me to calm all on its own.

  50. Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families – I’m going to write this down and put it in my house. Somewhere I can see it everyday and be reminded. Thank you x

  51. Reading your blog is like a breath of fresh air for me. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. I wish we lived in the same state, as I know we would be best friends :)

  52. First of all I would like to say that I loved this post so much! I love all of your posts but it’s been a while since you have posted something like this. For a few weeks now I have been able to feel the busy and the rush in your life in your posts. This one just even feels calm, and it’s filled with wise words. I felt very stressed this week and this helped me switch gears. when im feeling stressed i just drop everything and i go out and have a fun day with my son. it freshens things up for me.

  53. So I don’t know if I’ve ever commented (maybe once or twice??) in the very long time that I’ve been reading your blog! But, to be completely honest…coming here and reading your blog is one way that “teaches” me to ‘turn urgency into calm.’ You inspire me to live in the moment and enjoy the delights of everyday….
    And I thank you for that. I really truly thank you!!!

  54. You wore on a post a while back “it SLAYS me when she’s weird” I loved that saying SO much, I loved everything about it. I love that it makes me excited for my little girl to be big enough to be weird. I love that it makes me feel ok about my weirdness. I love the thought of some little girl out there in America being weird and her Mummy just LOVING it. I just OVE it. Viv la weird Lainey!!! Your weirdness slays me too, keep it up!!!

    Thanks again Kelle, I look forward to all your posts and you inspire me so much. I was having a rubbish morning until reading this xxxx

    P.s. I write to do lists in my iPhone notes to calm me or I take pictures or I read your blog.

    P.p.s. The other I had a slightly spoilt “why aren’t my pictures anywhere nearly as wonderful as Kell Hampton’s” moment and in a thoroughly bad-workman-blames-his-tools kind of way I put it down to that you MUST have a ridiculously expensive camera… Looked through your blog and found we have the SAME (ish) camera! So I am reinspired! It’s all about creativity and I went out and had a wicked piccie taking session in the woods! 😀

    P.p.ps. Come to the UK! We’ll drink REAL English tea and eat scones and that will totally chillax you 😉

  55. I so very much needed to read this tonight Kelle.

    I’ve been overstimulated by social media lately and a whirring buzz of huge to-do lists. I feel rushed and out-of-time. I feel stressed and uneasy. I want so much for my family and for this time of year…that I have forgotten about MYSELF and the true meaning of this season. The year is almost out, and I want to finish it in the right way.

    A little something happened this afternoon that TOTALLY woke me up to my lack of presence and awareness lately. Nothing huge – just a little jolt occurrence that made me see how things really were at the moment! And then I read this post and now I feel not alone, totally understood and very much connected.

    Thank you Kelle!
    And yes….enjoy those cuppas of tea :)


  56. I love taking time out with a new craft magazine, or reading something inspirational. I feel most refreshed when I am inspired – having a new take on the everyday, be it a physical change such as refahioning something old (I loved your Mod Podge chairs!) or just a fresh mindset (usually counting my blessings and being thankful) makes it less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

  57. beautiful pics,

  58. I have been thinking of you often lately, envious of your amazing Christmas spirit and ability to retain such enthusiasm for the festive season. As this time of year approaches, I seem to feel a bit frantic and turn into a walking to-do list to get everything done in time (and we don’t even have Thanksgiving to think about!).

    So… while I don’t have any particular ‘remedies to busy-ness’ to share, I just wanted to say thankyou for another timely reminder that it really is more important to be present in my life than get carried away by the busy stuff. Tea with milk and honey sounds like a much better approach xx

  59. wow – i guess i’m not the only one loosing her cool (and her sleep)!!!

    sometimes i do feel like i need some kind of permission to chill and let go of the worry…maybe i’ll use this post as “permission” until i’m chill enough to grant myself some no-worry time.

  60. During this season I feel like a train. Starting slowly and then rushing head on into it. I needed the reminder to take it slowly. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

  61. Love, love, love. The espresso vs. tea excitement is such a great analogy. And you are so right. Only kindness matters, and sometimes what we and our children need is a quiet, calm night together. xox

  62. I’ve been following you blog from the other side of Atlantic…Portugal… for a long time now but never commented.
    As a do-do-do person myself i sometimes have to read this: “Liberty”
    Ah, how delightful
    Not to do one’s duty,
    Having a book to read
    And not read it!
    (1935)in «CANCIONEIRO» by Fernando Pessoa

    anabela xxx

  63. Reducing distraction and that urgency that creeps up so often for me is usually done by focusing on my spiritual side. I also read your blog and instagram feed because for a long time now you have been someone who helps me focus to be the mother that I want to be. Thank you for that.

  64. Kelle,
    are you going to get Nella into ballet??? please say yes! My dance studio works with so many beautiful girls with the extra chromosome and oh how much they improve just by dancing with other girls in pink tutus! :)

  65. Another great post! Loved the pictures of Lainy “being weird.”
    Also, just an FYI – The first link to Welcoming Walls doesn’t work. The second one does though. :)

  66. I love the first pic and the girl in her jump:) amazing:)

  67. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. I have said “In a minute” to my son too many times lately in response to “mommy, come play (with) me”.

  68. “have to’s” they are a vicious beast. To combat them I remind myself that I am creating an attitude my kids will live with for the rest of their lives. Do I want it to be the kind they have to seek therapy for or the kind that is therapy for the crazy world around us. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to, as the grail keeper in Indiana Jones says, “choose wisely”.

  69. Happy Thursday, Honey! I’m happy that I got a hit on my blog today. Too bad I can’t read it but apparently they love me in Slovakia (or somewhere…)!
    I’m a former teacher (don’t ya love Florida where you can retire after 10 years?) and my forte is planning. (Granted, no littles in the house.)
    I loved throwing my completely filled-in and notated planbook over to my principal at a second’s notice. It was a game to me – a game I say! to have my planbook excrutiatingly prepared whenever it was asked for.
    You’ve got to stay ahead of stuff! I have a one-year calendar on my refrigerator and I love seeing how the year will shape up. If there’s a big event like Christmas – I start on that day and work backwards, filling in certain tasks to do months, weeks, or even days beforehand.
    I started my Christmas presents (handmade as well as purchased) in July. Some are wrapped!
    My cards are made and in their custom-printed envelopes, stamps affixed (because I know you’ll love that word) and all ready to go into the mailbox.
    I don’t bake tons of goodies, other than treats for my immediate family, so that frees up a lot of time I’d rather be spending crafting, or decorating, or having holiday lunches with friends.
    Does Brett cook? Tell me a cooking husband isn’t THE greatest timesaver EVER! My husband is in charge of the menu and cooking for our extended family’s get-together, so I’m hardly responsible for that little bit of timesaving!
    The biggest time-saving tip I can give you is to let go! You can go to Publix and get cookies and your little ones won’t care in the least!:-)

  70. I too have been getting myself worked into a frenzy on making this holiday season extra special. (I got married in October so this is our first Christmas as the Kulps!)

    I think what helps me calm down is prioritizing what’s really important to me, and taking regular breaks to just *be* with the people that matter.I have to say I am going into a full blown Christmas craft frenzy tonight, I can’t help myself 😉

  71. Thank you for this reminder to just be :) I needed it desperately. I am also having a baby in February and was feeling urgency to GET EVERYTHING DONE for both the holidays and the baby! THANK YOU!

  72. Kelle, thanks for this post. It is so good to know I’m not the only one who gets over-excited, over-urgent, at this time of year. So much to do, so much I want to accomplish. But what is the point if I miss everything else happening around me? Thanks for the reminder… maybe I should make my teapot front and center too.

  73. Love this post! Really timely for me right now (and I’m guessing parents everywhere gearing up for the holidays). I have to stop and ask myself “What do I *REALLY* want to be doing right now?” I remind myself to pick up a book instead of turning on the TV. Bubble baths with candles, wine (maybe cocoa for you 😉 ) and Pandora’s Iron & Wine station. And going to bed early. Sometimes I have to remind myself that staying up later does not make me more productive. In fact, the next day it usually makes me LESS productive. So, yeah, there’s that.

    Also, I *LOVE* tea. I have given up coffee altogether now and only drink black tea or green tea when I need a punch of caffeine. It’s less of a punch. It’s more like a coach giving you an encouraging shoulder rub before you are thrown back in the ring. Which is why I love it.

    Happy relaxing! :)

  74. Love this post. Anted to share a funny story. My 6 month old grabbed the iPad last night. I was too tired at 11 pm (when bed time is 8), to take it from her. After a minute, she was really giggling so i had to investigate. She managed to open it, open a browser, get to your page, and blow up the picture of Nella in her frog suit. She was just talking to Nella and laughing. :-)

  75. My husband becomes the calm – he always says – what is the reason you are doing this? It brings my attention front and center to pay attention to the moment. I have become the crazy holiday momma – wanting to create so many amazing memories, I sometimes just forget that its okay to lay back and just be. I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays..so weird I am the person who likes to go the grocery store the Wednesday before Thanksgiving..I love seeing and experiencing all the excitement…

  76. Laney is even stylish in her ballet leotard with black tights! My son is weird too and that’s what I love most about him. I’m jittery thinking about all that needs to be done for the holidays. It’s mostly excitement, but also nerves since we’re hosting Christmas dinner this year. I’ll have to take you up on that tea with honey and see if it helps.

  77. Oh, this sounds so much like me Kelle! Thank you for the reminder to slow down and enjoy. Life is short and our family is really all that matters.God bless and I love the ballet pics of Lainey,it is so calming to watch:)

  78. You take the words straight from my heart! You are the best writer!

  79. Love this! I have found a much greater sense of calm over the past few months when I’ve started saying “no”. We travel a LOT on the weekends, and my weeknights were starting to get jam-packed full of stuff – and it was just that, stuff. I started saying no to activities and events I didn’t really care about, and found that I don’t even miss them. I usually like to be on the go all the time, but I’ve found it to be very peaceful to spend quiet weeknights at home with my husband and my puppy. I am less stressed and overall happier :)

  80. As always, simple, spot on and humbling. Thank you Kelle!

  81. Yes! I need to read this as I scramble to parent and get my holiday orders filled. I never regret sitting still (or moving fact!) with my family.

    And, amen to the election being over and moving forward together. Together!


  82. What a sweet and tender post. I have been simplifying lately. That was my word of the year. I’d like to do more life simplification…be available….take moments of pause. Thank you for this sweet reminder.

  83. Howdy ho from Michigano! Long time reader (stalker?) but rarely comment.

    Girl we just went did something crazy! My husband came home in Sept. with two 5 yr olds from China and a mere 5 days later we had our surprise baby! That makes 7 children and this has been the hardest (but coolest) thing ever!

    Going from 4 to 7 THIS time of year is nuts, yes….but I wouldn’t change a thing.

    We’re staying home more, trying to figure each other out (English they understand but can’t speak much of yet) and play charades as we figure out what they’re saying or try to explain what we’re saying!

    I’ve got the easiest baby ever (THANK YOU JESUS) and the sassiest 2.5 yr old ever (GOD HELP ME!) and 3 bigger blessings that make my life mostly easier….

    Simple holidays coming up for us! Can’t wait! (But chaos does ensue!)

  84. Kelle,
    Once again your post rings so true and heartfelt for me. Thank you for putting this topic into words that resonate so clear. I love the espresso and tea analogy :)

    Happy Fall!

  85. This year is especially hectic. We just bought and moved into our first house (2 weeks ago actually). We are getting married in December just before Christmas so of course the entire family and all of our friends HAVE to stay with us… I am definitely panicked but ya know, I want it. I want everyone to come to MY house and stay here over our wedding, Christmas and some are staying though new year.

    I *force* myself to sit and just daydream once a day. It’s how I come up with some of my best ideas. It sounds silly but it helps me slow down, even for just 15 minutes.

  86. I do one of two things:

    1. I start clearing out the messes in my house. I just do it. Put that away. Clean this. Finish that over there. A little momentum goes a long way to calm my anxious-ness.

    2. I ask myself why I’m feeling so antsy? Why my mind is racing? What will happen if I don’t do it all? Will people still like me if I’m not everything to everybody while I act calm about it all?

    The first one covers up the root issue. The second one brings deep peace and a big dose of Jesus’ grace in my trying to fix it all heart.

  87. “…love when she’s weird.” LOL…had a good hardy giggle on that one!

    *I try to have a few moments for a devotion in the morning. I use my kids version….simply stated and easy to think on through out the day :)

    *I learned a long time ago to say no….or respectfully decline; to signing up for every event that came my way or volunteering to bring every item on the snack or supply list, or staying late to help on the clean up committee or being the parent that takes on extra kids so that their parents can stay late. I’ve had to find a balance between yes and no….it’s called “sometimes.” If it works for my family and our schedule, then it’s okay.

    *One is enough. We usually host Christmas dinner with about 30 of our family members!!! Whew! I stress out easily when it comes to cleaning my house in preparation for company, so hosting that one event is enough for me. For other holiday events, we let ourselves be “the invited” instead of being “the inviter”….does that make sense? And if invites don’t come, we are SO okay with that. We have our advent calendar in December filled with simple activities (ie: read a Christmas story, drive around and look at lights, make hot chocolate with candy cane stir sticks) to fill our time as a family.

    *And the BEST thing I do for myself, is to take a bath every single night before I go to bed. I don’t have a good track record for sleeping, but being warm in the cold months helps me to slumber off into a cozy sleep :)

    I loved this post and could feel your calm exuding from it!!!

    Love to you,

  88. You just spoke my hearts desire. I am completely not being present to my family because I am always rushing off to cross the next thing off my list. Thank you for this beautiful reminder Kelle. xo

  89. I have really loved your last two posts. They were written extra beautifully and so relevant to my life right now. My husband even told me last night to just let everyone eat cereal for dinner b/c then I would have so much more time to just BE with him and the kids. I savored our bedtime ritual instead of rushing through it. And I keep thinking about what you said about gratitude and enjoying the little moments. Well done, Thanks for the inspiration.

  90. I love this: “Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families.”

    Something we need to be reminded of way too often. Thanks for reminder.

    I’m working on finding ways to shut off urgency and restore calm: hot bubble baths, tea, solo walks usually do the trick. But the difficulty lies in convincing myself to do them.

    Thanks again.

  91. Really enjoyed this post. Perfect to get our minds focused on what is important this busy season. Love the sponsors you post every week.

  92. You should know that I cannot even open my laptop without my two year old shouting “See the girls?!” She then climbs into my lap and we scroll through your blog checking out the photos of your girls with her narrating each one. And about once a week I have to go back to your “Everybody Plays” post so we can see the kids playing in the kitchen. She is constantly playing with her own kitchen and she just loves seeing other kids playing and having fun too.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful images with us!

  93. Oh, how I needed your words today. My trick to get calm is to experience the moment through all 5 senses. I read that somewhere. When I start feeling tense, I smell the Johnson & Johnson scent of the boys’ freshly washed hair, feel their sweet soft cheeks against mine, focus on the taste of that cucumber water I’m sipping on, focus on the beauty of what I see and listen intently to the sounds of giggling little boys in my living room. Works every time.

  94. So much I loved in this blog. I think I may be a first time commenter? So that says something!

    I thought about your question a lot recently, actually, as I’ve been bombarded with emails and mailings offering discounts on Christmas cards. Well, last year I realized I the anxiety it gave me to do them. From getting the “perfect” shot of my boys, to remembering who not to forget, to printing out labels, etc. etc. etc. I had a tough year last year and though I went as far as to actually get them printed–they never got sent. (Not to fear though, my family in Brasil will eat them up next time I visit!) Anyway, all that to say, the stress I took off my shoulders just from that simple gesture was amazing. I had always felt guilty thinking I was just being lazy or something. But no, I was actually doing it for all the WRONG reasons. And this year, it’s not a second thought. I am ALL about the handwritten card and letter–it’s a lost art I hope to revive in my little circle of friends. But I do it throughout the year. And that way they know for sure my season’s greetings are also with them during the holidays. Without that picture of my son hanging on their fridge. 😉

    On a side note, I LOVE the sponsor you featured! Definitely going to order something for the home!

  95. I love Doterra oils and I am a distributor here in Idaho…..I love my kids nightly rituals of using them. I hate clutter on my dresser but leave the oils out to remind me……breath….touch those little piggies while they are still little. And I love to read….so winter time means early nights of sweet smelling oils, warm covers, and loved pages of books.

  96. I love the montage of Lainey’s ballet pictures. Definitely suitable for framing. :)

  97. I’m not quite sure I understand. I mean, I have never in my life known anyone that is more present with their family than you. The special moments that you create with your littles seem to come around daily. The way you absorb their every move and celebrate them to the fullest has always been mind blowing to me. Maybe it’s the hormone overload that you are feeling. Rest assured, there are a gazillion women out here in the blogoshere that think you do it all right. Carry on and enjoy some tea and a warm bath~

  98. Oh so good! Like many others, my heart starts racing when Nov 1 hits. And I’ve spent most of this week speeding through life saying just let me get through the Bazaar that I am chairperson of this weekend instead of saying things like come snuggle with me. Forcing myself to think about what relaxes me… a fire, a good book, some Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas Music (yes I know Thanksgiving hasn’t come yet, but I happen to think that 2 months of Christmas music is just right for my heart), a fall scented candle and a glass of wine. Ahhh. Some of that might just help me get through the next 48 hours.

  99. Thank you for sharing.

  100. Sweet post. I needed to read that today. Thank you. x

  101. Kelle, I am in love with this post because I can so completely relate to your sentiments. I am expecting baby #2 (in January) and I constantly feel this pull between being on overdrive with to-do-before-baby lists and relishing in the small, sweet moments with my little boy. Crazy… calm… crazy… calm is how I feel all the time. I’m excited for the holidays, too. Cozy and pregnant. Happy and present. I must remind myself to enjoy. Thank you for your beautiful words and a post that hit oh so close to home for me. xo

  102. oooh girl, plant city strawberries are the best! i’m a Florida girl (Go Gators), born and raised but moved west. i miss my family, the beach and good citrus.

  103. Thank you for this post Kelle, I can’t tell you how badly I need it this week (as evidenced by the fact that it’s 12:49 am, and I missed bedtime with my husband to load the dishwasher.)

  104. Thank you for that wonderful reminder. Everything need not be so urgent. We all need to slow down. Great reminder. Thank you.

  105. I try to remind myself each day, that you only have this day once and it’s gone, these girls of mine are growing up way too quickly and I want to enjoy them while they still want to be with me (almost 13 and 11.4 years old)….LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I am going to practice being in that calm unhurried stage more. thank YOU~

  106. Will you remind us when your baby is due? Thanks.

  107. so true!

  108. So right on! am a crazy espresso guzzler and always look at tea drinkers as infinitley more zen:)

  109. I love this post!! I have really been trying to slow down and just enjoy the moment recently. My baby is really 14 months and I don’t want to look back and realize that I missed it because I was too busy running around.

  110. I completely understand what you mean about the sense of urgency. The holidays are supposed to be lovely, not stressful. I have a massive Homemade Christmas pinterest board and the other day I found myself stressing about all the stuff I needed to do to create a magical Christmas for my family. And then I realized that a magical Christmas includes a mama who is happy instead of psychotic. So I’ve adopted a wonderful air of “Que sera, sera” and our children will have a wonderful holiday season regardless of whether I craft a thousand paper snowflakes out of coffee filters :p

  111. I absolutely love you analogy of the “over caffeinated styrofoam cup” urgency. I’ve had a little too much of that lately too! Thanks for this post.

  112. I have to remind myself that if it doesn’t get done, it just doesn’t get done. No one is going to give me a hard time about not making Christmas “perfect” except for me; I’m the only one who can see that picture-perfect, oh-so-totally-amazing-and-chic table set up, tree, and matching presents in my head. Everyone else is just happy with the way things are. I’ll try my best, but in the end, all that matters is being with family.

    And THANK YOU for mentioning the wall decal shop information. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. We’re renovating and just had custom doors installed. While they’re charming, this is going to add that extra touch! So perfect.

  113. this is a wonderful post. i hope you find peace in each day, lots of it.

  114. From a former dancer, sisters got POINT in that third picture at the bottom! I’m sure she’s a beautiful ballerina.

  115. Beautiful! Thank you for the reminder to be present in the moment with our families.

  116. I love posts that remind me to slow down and enjoy the now rather than stressing and fretting about what is to come. I find that whenever I can put this into practice life is calmer and more enjoyable. Everyone’s happier when we slow down and take the time to enjoy life and one another. Thanks for the reminder!!!

  117. Am loving the little ballerina in the 1st picture kicking her heels up!!! Was so busy looking at Lainey and thinking how graceful she looks that I nearly missed it but she brought a big big smile to my face! Ax

  118. I haven’t commented in a while, but I had to with this post for 2 reasons.

    1) You gave a shout out to my hometown! Hello from the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World aka Plant City. It’s weird that I should live in such a place with that kind of title and not even care for strawberries. Though my boys love em.

    2) Today the Chirstmas spirit rushed over me. I have already bought several presents (haven’t wrapped them though), but it didn’t really hit me until I got on Pinterest. I decided to do a little search for some Christmas decor and whew I was a goner. I’m so ready for Christmas now.

  119. I noticed you ordered some used books. I have a fave website for that. One that is even cheaper than amazon! Abebooks.com, it’s a place for used books and is fantastic! I order all our kiddos books from there. You can’t beat 3.50 for most children’s books. :)

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