Work Day

“Mom,” Lainey whispered this morning as she poked my face, attempting to wake me up. 

“Mommmmmm!  I need to get ready for school.  And I want a cinnamon bread cream cheese sandwich.  Wake up.” 

She left me alone, tangled in sheets and rubbing my eyes for all of thirty seconds before returning to make sure I was out of bed.  I’m usually the first one up, so perhaps today is a good indication that we did a lot this weekend, that I went to bed too late last night or, I don’t know, maybe there’s a nearly full term child living inside my body who sucks a little blood flow.

I finally pulled myself from bed and headed to the kitchen where I simultaneously juggled making breakfast, searching for a motherfreaking sock match and tying together a broken hair tie because it was the last one I could find.  I hurried to get Lainey ready and went over everything I needed to get done today–a “work day”–in my head.  I randomly designate certain days as “work days,” although this means absolutely nothing because every day is a work day and going so far to call a day “work day” means it will turn out to be a nothing-got-done day.  Clearly.  Regardless, I made plans and pumped myself up.  Today’s going to be good.  You’re going to get so much done.


A blogging friend asked a group of writers a few questions at the beginning of the year to initiate some good conversation, one regarding goals for 2013.  I thought about it a moment and, without hesitation, answered a somewhat contradictory response that involved both professional goals that require time and effort as well as personal goals that require being more present for my family.  “I know these are contradictory,” I explained, “but I believe I can do both.”

Talk about balance; beat a dead horse.  We all deal with it, and even if we happen to be especially good at walking the tightrope, juggling responsiblities, rocking out the multitask, there are days when everything falls apart and we analyze how we can do it better. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been feeling very comfortable with the dichotomy of Chasin’ Dreams Me and Raisin’ Babies Me.  Both identies exist and need to be nurtured, and just as mamas can spread their love and attention to multiple babies, I too can create and write and connect while being present for this family I so cherish.

I love the creative challenge of molding these two identities.  They aren’t opposites, and I refuse to look at them that way.  To be honest, I am more creative and productive in my dreams when I focus on being fully present for my family.  And I am a better mama and more attentive family member when I also make time to nurture my talents and interests.  We are a great many things.


This morning, I wrote several e-mails, checked in on the fund raiser, edited photos and outlined some exciting ideas.  And when Nella dragged a baby doll into my room, held her hand out to take mine and babbled the equivalent of “Come, follow me,” I took her hand and let her walk me toward her room to play.  We stacked blocks, fed babies and pointed out things that are red in her color book.  She followed me to the kitchen where I cut heaps of vegetables for soup tonight, and I watched her pull Tupperware lids out of the cabinet while I savored the scensory experience of chopping.  The rhythmic movements of the knife; the sound of sharp metal hitting the cutting board; the scent of parsley and onions and garlic; the vibrant contrast of orange and green, carrots and celery; the cold drops of condensation formed on a leafy head of escarole.  I was present, and it felt good. 

Our living room reflects our busy weekend of company and sleepovers, and yes, there’s work to be done, children to be fed, homework to be finished, ideas to be manifested and a baby on the way.  Tomorrow’s a work day though, so…ya know.  It will all get done.

We push forward.  We pull back.  And we can do both.  I am excited about the coming weeks and what they hold for both this blog and our little family.  I’ve asked some beautiful women I respect and love–some who are a lot like me, some who are very different–to help me add to this blog space and give us a little cushion of family time as we prepare for and welcome our boy.  I’ll still be sharing, but there will be many layered posts in between with some new voices, good writing, beautiful photos and shared ideas.  We’ll celebrate mamahood and creativity and the balance of chasin’ dreams and raisin’ babies.  So get your drink of choice ready and prepare to make toasts.

With all that said, our weekend…

My friend Rebecca from Indianapolis, Beloved Houseguest #1 last week

My niece Savannah from Michigan, Beloved Houseguest #2 last week

And Saturday night, Heidi hosted the most beautiful, cozy, candlelit celebration for Baby Boy. I love this little village of women.  And I am savoring these last five weeks of waiting.  If I close my eyes, I can smell him already–that sweet newborn perfume you inhale when you go to kiss the top of their head where silky hair swirls into a little tuft.  Be still my baby-cravin’ heart.


And Friends, thank you, thank you for helping us launch N3lla’s Triple Crown.   Since launched, you helped us raise $8,000.  In one day.  The train’s out of the station, and it’s chuggin’.  I can’t wait to share more next week about our mission and continue our celebration of three sweet years with our girl, our family, and this community.



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  1. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella! I can’t believe three years have passed since we first met you via the blog world. What a difference you and your family and village have brought to so many of us. I am a better mama and wife since I have been introduced to “Enjoying the Small Things” and you, Kelle. You bring so much intentional and defiant joy to your world and to ours and for that I am grateful. It has helped me put things into perspective in my own life and to be sure to seek out as much simple joy and love as I can possibly find in each day! Thank you again for sharing so much with us, especially your beautiful girls. Even my 4 year old daughter loves checking in on the blog and your instagram feed to see what Lainey and Nella are up too. Looking forward to contributing again this year to her fund and seeing just how far your love train goes!

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  3. Post malfunction by me. Sorry.
    Balance can be tricky but you seem to be able to do it! Enjoy your maternity leave. Bloggers need them too I guess! I look forward to meeting your friends, some new to me and some old favourites. Enjoy these last few weeks of that little boy bump and don’t forget to rest. Take care Kelle.

  4. I think of you often as baby boy’s arrival time draws near… you and the sharing of your life have inspired me in so many ways. I wish you the best of everything in the weeks to come – warm snuggles, sweet kisses, and most of all, time to breathe it all in and welcome that new little member of your family. And a happy birthday to Nella!

  5. Happy Birthday, Nella! Also, Heidi’s new house is A-mazing. And, I just so happen to have the same/similar birdcage door with photos. :) So glad to hear how well you’re balancing your job and family, while preparing for a new addition. Seems like you’re doing great! Triple crown to you!

  6. my favorite line:

    “To be honest, I am more creative and productive in my dreams when I focus on being fully present for my family. And I am a better mama and more attentive family member when I also make time to nurture my talents and interests. We are a great many things.”

    yes yes and more yes. cheers to you and your beautiful family as you make this transition. i can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of you.

  7. What a fun, yummy, friend filled party that Heidi gave to you and your sweet baby. Looks like Lainie had a great time, too. Can’t wait for you to hold that little bundle (and share pics, natch)

  8. I can’t believe Nella is almost 3! I can’t believe you’re five-ish weeks out from having your prince! Your family is beautiful, your photos are beautiful, your updates make me smile. Thanks, as always, for sharing. <3

  9. I’ve been tuning in since little Bella was only a few months old. What a pleasure it’s been to watch your wonderful family blossom, change and grow!

  10. Ack! Nella autocorrected to “Bella” on that first post! Whoops! Oh well, she IS bella, after all.

  11. So glad that you are allowing yourself more time to nest and be with family by having guest bloggers. Oh and I want that kitchen!!

  12. Due in a mere 4 weeks, I know that sweet baby smell you are craving. I don’t think it ever goes away, the craving, as this will be our 5th, and it NEVER gets old. Good luck preparing in your last 5 weeks, resting a bit more, and savoring those baby movements from inside <3

  13. HAPPY #3 LITTLE MS. NELLA!! I have been following your Mama’s blog right after you were born and she had me hooked after reading your birth story. You and your big sister and soon to be baby bro are very blessed littles to have a Mama that is “present” and attentive to your growing needs and to your own talents and dreams. Tell your Mama that she has been an incredible inspiration to me and to so many other people out there. She is making this world of ours a better place and putting warm happy smiles on faces around the world.
    Enjoy the train ride…it’s chugging at a great speed and hopefully everyone jumps aboard!!

    Kelle, happy restful Mama days to you and your family. I loved your saying “Be still my baby-cravin’ heart”…I have the same kind of heart

  14. Is it bad that I’ll take away from this post that AMAZING kitchen?!?! I can’t wait to meet your little Fox (via the blog, of course)!

  15. What a beautiful baby shower! Congrats :)


  16. This is just what I needed to hear today! Thank you. I’ve been sick for two days and so my work and babies are both trying to dip from a very shallow well. It’s moments like this I question if I really can do both. Your confidence reassures me.

  17. Loved your description of making soup. It inspired me to ENJOY the drive home from work and the process of making my own dinner :).

  18. Goodness sakes….you said what I’ve been feeling lately so perfectly. In relation to blogging and motherhood, I feel like I’ve finally found the perfect balance and peace that I CAN and WILL do both.
    It’s not an all or nothing type of thing. It’s more about doing what we love to do and celebrating the different layers that are in us. Women never cease to amaze me and the fact that we can make babies, nurture those babies and then create our own art is huge.
    I’m excited for this new chapter! Thank you for sharing your heart and inspiring so many of us!

  19. I love this post so much….it’s funny, I wrote a post last night quite similar to many of your feelings in this on. (of course, not half as eloquently). I struggled for so long to find my balance with work and motherhood. But it really wasn’t until I got my priorities straight and made my family my #1 focus….that my inspiration and motivation for work picked up again. Thanks for constantly sharing your heart here. You inspire me!

  20. Love that you shared a day in your life. I’m a juggler. Sometimes I just want to put all the balls down and roll them on the floor instead…ha! So excited for you and this next addition. I cant wait to “meet” him.

  21. I love this post Kelle. Those first few paragraphs really spoke to me. I, too, am a Mumma on a mission to chase dreams, raise babies and live fully. I strive to be a better writer, blogger, teacher, parent and wife. I have big goals and big dreams and look forward to it all.
    Heidi did an awesome job celebrating your baby boy. Her new kitchen is divine too :)))
    Sending lots of baby dust and love your way Kelle.
    Claire x

  22. That house is beautiful (Heidi’s house ?) Love the kitchen…….Does heidi have a blog ?

  23. A very happy birthday Nella!! Looks like a fun party & you look amazing :)

  24. Teehee. Ang and I are laughing so hard at how horrific I look in those kitchen shots. I mean… I can’t…
    (Love everything about this post, btw. Everything but my frightening expression, that is.) ;o) xo

  25. Teehee. Ang and I are laughing so hard at how horrific I look in those kitchen shots. I mean… I can’t…
    (Love everything about this post, btw. Everything but my frightening expression, that is.) ;o) xo

  26. I love your beloved guests : )
    And the tree pictures.
    The dichotomy.
    The chopping.
    All of it : )
    Glad you had a sweet get together with your friends. I think Heidi is the nicest girl around.

  27. bang up job on the 8K in one day! very proud of you!

  28. I love this post, Kelle. I confess I don’t always READ your posts. A lot of times I look at your pictures and in a frantic hurry, I try to soak up a few of your delightful sentences, but I rarely just sit and read.
    And how funny that this morning I decided I need to stop being so much in a hurry. I need to stop taking the fasted route and actually, enjoy the small things. Read an entire blog post. Listen to the words, just like I would listen to a friend if she were sitting on my couch. This online world and I have a love/hate relationship. I love the ease of it all, but I hate how much I’ve become accustomed to hitting the ‘like’ button and not really fully paying attention to all the paragraphs, sentences and words.
    This post is actually similar to what I’ve been thinking about. Doing both. Family time and me time. Work and family. Me, work and family. It can be done. As with everything else, there will need to be care and balance, but it CAN be done.

    Thank you.

  29. Couldn’t help but think of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans who did so much to further the cause of these precious children. Love her song, Angel Unaware.

  30. Hi Kelle.. I really want to thank you ’cause you have been the first to let me think about shouting to the world my happiness, and 1 year ago I also made a website. My little angel’s name is Emma, and she ‘ll be 3 years old on the 14th of february, and Tommaso is 6 years old… they are both special in their own way! here in Italy discrimination is still heavy, but, like Ghandi says, I want to help to tear down the stereotype behind people with down syndrome… thanks again and happy happy birthday to Nella!

  31. I love your blog, I love your words, you have inspired me in so many ways. I am a different woman and a different mama because of you. So Thank You.
    Happy Birthday to Nella!
    Happy Baby Shower to You!
    I spy Glennon in the shower photos – it is ridiculous and just too cool that you all are friends!!

  32. So I just checked the Fundraising Page….. In what, 2 days? $219,625 has been raised. Girl I think you need to up that goal….. 😉



  33. Loved the post. Also been loving those rectangle shaped hair clips in Nella’s hair. What are they? I’d love to make a few for my daughter or buy one. The look like they hold the hair well. Thanks and blessings!

  34. I love that I recognized Glennon at your baby party :) This internet community is kinda cool. Best wishes to you as the final weeks tick by. My sister gave birth to her fourth baby on Dec 11. The midwives didn’t quite make it in time so our mother and I caught my niece! It was kind of surreal but miraculous and five weeks later, I can still conjure up the smell of her sweet newborn head. I haven’t seen them since Dec 29 so I need to plan a weekend visit soon. Nothing like a new baby.
    I am always trying to find the work/family balance but it’s tough. I work fulltime out of the home, and I have an hour commute. Thankfully, I stayed at home with my girls for 9 years before going back to work out of the home. I am always dreaming of ways to work from my home so I can be more available for them, so we’ll see what happens….

  35. Kelle….
    “If I close my eyes, I can smell him already–that sweet newborn perfume you inhale when you go to kiss the top of their head where silky hair swirls into a little tuft. Be still my baby-cravin’ heart.”. Love it!! ;-D
    I noticed the tag on that oil jar said: “Thank-you for celebrating baby Hampton”. So. You are keeping his name a secret from even those who you’re in close proximity to, huh? I respect that. 😉
    Those cupcakes!! I want one!! Make mine fluffy vanilla with creamy white frosting!! Wait. May I have one of each? Hee, hee, hee…. ;-}
    I love, love, love that last picture of Nella!! Sweet!! 😉

  36. Ohhh, I love this post. Thank you!

  37. “Both identies exist and need to be nurtured …”

    Good God I needed someone to say that this morning. I’ve been feeling the tension lately between going back to who I was a month ago, and being a new mommy – feeling like I have to choose and feeling guilty either way.

    Maybe I CAN do both. Here’s hoping …

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