Girl on Fire: A Monday Ramble

A bit of a long rambler tonight.  Apologies.

I read this article last week and loved it–confirmed so many things I believe about family and the importance of our stories, except now it has research, statistics and quotes from doctors behind it.  Now if I could just get a doctor to quote something about the proven existence of unicorns.  Lisa Frank needs some back-up.


We did the county fair this weekend–not went to the fair but did the fair, two entirely different things. 

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If we simply went to the fair, we wouldn’t have come home smelling like hay and pigs and corn dog grease or cursed the fact that it costs a bazillion dollars to ride a rusty flying shark.  And we wouldn’t have that famous fair story to tell–you know, the goldfish prize our kid won, the one that lived all of seven hours.  

This is what it looks like to do the fair:

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It’s a carnival hangover.

It does however come with its perks.  The fair is basically a crayon box.  A dirty one but nevertheless, colorful.  Nevertheless.  Sorry, just wanted to type that word one more time.

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Why is the sight of my man shoes dangling from a swing so funny? (photo credit, friend Andrea)

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Mama circled back to Naples for a day after some other Florida visits

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Lainey returned home from the fair with her friend Aleena, both of them toting plastic fish bowls with goldfish who didn’t stand a chance.  We did our best, we did.  Bubbles knew nothing but love for his short time in our home.  But ironically, early Palm Sunday, he started making his journey out beginning with an impressive sideways swim.  I actually still have a string of texts saved in my phone from his, um, journey. 

Friend: Did the fish survive the night? 
Me: Lying down but gills moving. 
Friend: I’m sorry. Do you want us to go get another one and do a switcharoo?  Is Lainey freaking out?
Me: It’s okay. She hasn’t noticed.

I didn’t say anything about the fish to Lainey, but mid-evening she asked if I could call her friend.  Without questioning, I dialed the number and handed the phone to Lainey.

“My goldfish is dead.” 
“I said, he’s DEAD.” 
“I’m serious, HE’S DEAD.” 

And then she went on as if it never happened–got off the phone and went on her merry way.  And I decided to sit this one out as far as life lessons are concerned because sometimes I screw things up when I get involved.  Sister’s working it out just fine on her own.  Rest in peace dear Bubbles, Hampton Goldfish #7.

***** (In case you wondered, these little asterisks mean “Hey, this blog post has no theme.  Hang on for jolting subject change.”)

I ran for the first time in a year the other night.  I’ve never really been Runner Girl for any extended period in my life, but I’ve occasionally become her similarly to how I’ve experimented with Hat Girl, Whole Foods Girl and Girl Who Clutters Her Fingers With a Cool Fistful of Turquoise Rings.  I think I could really become Runner Girl though, and not because I’m good at it either.  I mean, the whole reason why I don’t run with other runners is because I’m always the girl who’s pretending it’s not hard when really I’m dying inside.  And while everyone else is keeping a steady pace while they simultaneously shoot the breeze, I’m focusing on my breath and praying that nobody asks me a question because then I’d actually have to give up the oxygen it’s taking to not die to utter a response.  I can do the whole smile-and-pretend-it’s-effortless thing for all of about four minutes until I’m panting, hunched over, motioning the other joggers to “keep going, don’t worry, I’ll catch up, it’s just a foot cramp.”  So I run alone.  Or run/walk/jog alone. 

I was reminded the other night though just how spiritual an experience running is.  I had no sooner finished a few leg squats in our driveway and started off with a slow and steady jaunt to Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire,” and suddenly I was transformed to just that:  Girl. On. Fire.  Here’s a life tip for ya:  Feeling down?  Tired?  Doubt yourself?  Need some motivation?  Put your tennis shoes on.  Get your headphones.  Girl on Fire.  Write it down.  Now run.  Yer welcome.

She’s got both feet on the ground and she’s burning it down.

It was the first time in a while that I felt so completely alone in a good way.  I’m split in two when I run–the me who dwells within and the me who flies up overhead and gets a bird’s eye perspective of everything–tells me I’m doing good at some things but need to do better at others. I had a full half hour to focus, accompanied by good oxygenated breaths, the comforting rhythm of my own stride and the music–the music.  Good Lord, what I would do without music.  And even though I wasn’t running very fast and my shorts were too tight and I had some hot bra-on-top-of-bra action going on to keep the girls in line, I felt so strong.  Grateful for my capable body that shows the “keepsakes” of the life it carried weeks ago.  In just thirty minutes, I found a clarity and motivation I didn’t even realize was missing.  And I’m going to go tap into it again as soon as this post is done.

Cheers to Runner Girl.

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A top-off, a nightcap: happy things that make me smile:

Grandmas who brush hair in morning light.
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I forgot I snapped this picture this weekend.  Found it editing and stared at it for a minute.  I wish I had a picture of my grandma brushing my hair.  I remember her brushing my hair.

Milk Coma Trances
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“My Son”
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Confession:  Sometimes I say “my son” just to feel the way my heart flutters when I say it. 

Squeaky Park Swings
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Spring Traditions
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Brown eggs and regular Paas dye gave us some pretty jewels this year

And one of our last cold, windy nights this season–last week’s Down Syndrome Awareness celebration with friends on the beach:

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Sorry for the ramble.
Carry on, friends.


Leave a Comment
  1. It sounds like an incredibly awesome time. All of, minus of course the floating fish.

  2. Girl. On. Fire. I know. :)

  3. you go, girl on fire! you make me laugh so hard. and it’s really impressive, the way Lainey handled that goldfish situation. seeing your new baby boy makes her look so big.

  4. I think if I went out and tried to run I would die, but you have inspired me to grab my ipod and walk briskly! Thank you for that :)

  5. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. :) runner girl definitely chooses to show her stride ’round these parts every once in awhile too… although in MICHIGAN those days are only a few months in the spring and fall..

  6. I have the same feeling while I’m running…Girl on Fire def helps…as does my other new fav workout song “Hall of Fame” by The Script…check it out if you haven’t heard it…:)

  7. I love rambly posts and looking at your pictures. The fair ones reminded me of our own yearly jaunt to the fair in January. It’s a tradition now. Can’t wait to color Easter eggs this week and might just try the brown ones!

  8. so happy and so nice :)

  9. I love your pictures and the way you describe things. Very inspirational. You have a very beautiful family. God bless you!!

    Please check out my blog at

  10. I love what you say about Runner Girl. I split into two parts as well. The Me who is breathing and running and the Me who gets introspective and thinks about things so clearly. Lovely.

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  12. Moving Comfort sports bras..worth the extra $$$!!!

    At 23 weeks pregnant I’m a sausage in spandex running these days. I can’t handle the pavement anymore, but the treadmill in the movie room is a lifesaver. Running is my therapy.

    And 23 weeks pregnant with a girl after having identical twin boys 3 years ago. I cant wait to say “my daughter.” Cue lump in throat….


  13. forever in love with your words and pictures. thank you for sharing. <3

  14. So your Runner Girl segment really hit home with me. I always swore I hated running. Then last year I went out and started the couch-to-5K program. I needed a workout that didn’t require a gym or fancy equipment. I struggled, until I found the right mix of music. And then – I flew. Oh I run slower than molasses, and am out of training after a long winter off so I am still in run/walk mode, but it’s an amazing feeling. Pushing my body to the point of exhaustion then just when I think I can’t do it anymore the perfect song comes on and I can glide another 1/2 mile. Running has become my ultimate escape. Go, Runner Girl, Go!!!!

  15. Love the Lisa Frank reference. I mean–I might need to run out an grab a Trapper Keeper right now. I’ve always wanted to rip the Velcro of one of those babies during an important meeting at work.

  16. Did you just apologize for this post? No need. No need.

  17. I enjoy the ramble. And the pix. And being able to type in fragments like we talk, “we” being Gen-x mamas, of course. xo to you & yours.

  18. I wish I had a fabulous wardrobe like Lainey & Nella; Kelle, want to be my stylist?! :)
    As for running, I am totally one of those wanna-be Runner Girls who still can’t fathom the idea of holding a conversation while running; really, how do those people have enough oxygen to talk?? But now I’ll be hitting the snowy trails of the (still winter, praying for Spring sunshine) U.P. of Michigan to go on a jog with my pup.
    Happy Monday! :)

  19. we’re kindred spirits in the runner girl department. every word you wrote is truth, and hilariously so :)

  20. we’re kindred spirits in the runner girl department. every word you wrote is truth, and hilariously so :)

  21. That last picture of Nella is both timeless and breathtaking.

  22. Beautiful … There’s nothing like running really… No one knows how it makes you feel until they start that journey.. Next step 5k :) you are an amazing spirit and I just love rocking my son at night and reading your blogs. Cheers!

  23. These photos are beautiful. Congrats on the running too!

  24. Mama Girl, Blogger Girl, Runner Girl…you are Awesome, Girl!

  25. Kelle, this post was so great and I could connect to many things. By far, my favorite line… “I had some hot bra-on-top-of-bra action going on to keep the girls in line”

    Been there!!! And gettin’ out of those bras is similar to your descriptions of getting out of those pants in the dressing room at the gap.

    Thank you for your beautiful, honest, writing.

  26. Funny thing to read this now, because just today I was feeling really really down, put my tennis shoes on and got a great 45 minutes run that completely changed my perspective of things.
    It is always about perspective… Running totally rocks!

  27. Blog rambles are the best! :)
    I’m so glad you posted those pics of the brown dyed eggs. I bought our Paas dyes and a dozen BROWN eggs without thinking! I thought I was going to have to go out and get white eggs! They are beautiful!

  28. Love it! “Girl on Fire” has become my job interview pump song! Love. Your family just keeps growing more beautiful everyday! Run girl, run!

  29. Never apologize for a ramble, my friend..I do it every single Friday. I have only had one person tell me that they really weren’t quite sure what it was about. But that’s o.k. That’s what rambles are all about.
    Oooh. Might feel the Hokey Pokey coming on.
    See? I ramble in comments too!

  30. Hi Runner Girl, I’m Runner Mom (literally the name of my blog). Running is my soul-searching-sanity-saver. There is nothing else like it in the world. Hope you keep it up!
    Gorgeous photos (as usual).

  31. Love your bit about “my son” and the flutters. Mama of two boys, I cry every time I hear the phrase “my boy” as screamed by Cedric Diggory’s dad, or exclaimed by Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast.

  32. i don’t even have time to read this. But just seeing some pics lifted me up. I need to finish dinner. I need to get my butt on the treadmill cuz nothing fits me (oh, my ‘baby’ is 6). :p Thank you for this. :)

  33. Love the rambling! I also love that you have been “Whole Foods Girl”, “Hat Girl” and now “Runner Girl”….heck at least you give things a shot!

  34. The picture of Nella and your husband at the end of this post might be one of the most beautiful pictures ever! Definitely a framer :-) <3

  35. Spit my mouthful of wine all over laughing at Lainey’s phone conversation! “YES! DEAD!” as in “what do you NOT get here, girlfriend??!!” I could totally see her having this conversation! Dash is growing like a weed! And Nella – still melts my heart – that smile, those sparkling eyes. LOVE HER!

  36. I did so well with not crying till I got to “my son”. I would do the same thing, Kelle. Lol. Beautiful pictures, I love them all!! I love running, too, and am a total, OMG I’m going to dye soon, type. I definitely don’t make it look good, but you’re right, it feels SO good. I go in spurts. I think that’s the best way to do things….just when you feel like it. :)

  37. Girlfriend, I DREAM about being a runner! It feels so good. Funny, the timing of this post. Earlier today I was drooling over my new Sundance catalogue and began to fret over my weight (those lovely clothes I wouldn’t fit in, yet). Which led to thinking I should start exercising. Which led to missing my leg. Gotta find a way to walk with a prosthetic! As I read your post, I thought “Kelle, don’t mention your breasts!”. You did. And, I was missing them today, too. i.hate.cancer.
    Use your body! Run, Kelle, Run! Put it at the TOP of your list of “Enjoying The Small Things”! You Inspire Me. love, Jo

  38. umm, clarification **** I was missing my breasts, not yours. ; )

  39. Hey hot stuff, you crack me up…nevertheless I find myself here everyday. Wait that really makes no sense I just wanted to copy you and throw in nevertheless somewhere.

    I miss the fair bad! They knew how to do it in the Midwest. I’m afraid to even go here because I know I’ll be in for a colossal disappointment.

    I forget to wear my running bra a lot, which of course lets me off the hook and I get to do the much easier elliptical. There is something magical to be said about that runner’s high though. *oh and don’t feel too bad about the fish. Little chicks won the newts at school…two of them. Didn’t even last two days;)

  40. I can relate to Runner Girl. Except I’m the Accidental Runner Girl. One day I was on the treadmill. I always walk it because I am afraid to run it and fall off the end. And then I look and see others running, not holding on to the bar in front of them. I am sure that I can’t be Runner Girl. So I am Walking Very Fast Girl. Until the day that I clicked up the speed and accidentally started running. I didn’t mean to. It just happened. And I did it! I ran without falling off the back of the treadmill! Ever since then I’ve been Runner Girl. Well, once or twice since then anyways. // Thanks for the post and the smiles. xo, ab

  41. I love your ramblings.
    Perfect pick me up this fine Tuesday {Tues here….still Mon there! Aussies are ahead of you Americans in some things….even if it is time difference haaa}
    Happy new week Hamptons.
    Claire x

  42. Jo’s Corner,

    Just went and checked out your blog and love your heart. I hate cancer every day but tonight I hate it for you. xoxo Much love as you keep on!

  43. I keep thinking about running again, especially when I have the ocean right here, I even got new running shoes, but I keep putting it off. This has got to get me moving. Also I’m really hoping we have a fair around here somewhere, that was something we did every summer, never missed.


  44. Hell yeah, we DO the fair and it is worth every overpriced ticket! Love the photos of Brett with Dash and Nella, and of you and your mom. Funny the things kids come out with, like Lainey and her fish, they always catch so much more than I expect them to. We’ve been watching our 4-year-old blossom into such a big kid lately … he was break-dancing for us tonight and dropping signature moves.

  45. I love a good ramble. and a good jog. enjoying the small things, county fairs, and Ramble Girl too! :)

  46. Your boy (and your girls too of course!) are just the sweetest. It’s refreshing to see such love. xox

  47. Thank God I’m not the only one who wants to be Runner Girl but is slowly suffocating as she jogs along, pretending it’s easy. That whole spiel right there made me laugh! I love your ramblin’ posts, Kelle- and thanks for sharing that article. I’m into genealogy and I think that article reiterates why that is important too. :) P.S. The last picture of Nella in the bonnet= heart melt.

  48. Wohoo for Florida Fair Time!!!! Loved ‘doing’ the fair when I was younger, but I don’t think I could handle it now! The lingering smells that you question… the food that taste’s OH so good now, but not later on the swing ride… haha! Such a cute little family!!

  49. Really enjoyed the fair pictures. Up here we have our fair every fall and it’s truly those cool, Sundays once a year that I’ll remember riding questionable rides, eating candy apples, and laughing with my best friend. Continue to take your girls as it still is one of my favorite things to do.

  50. I too am a sporadic Running Girl, (caps essential) and I love the feeling when I get back to it,

    Most recent return to running was brought to you by no longer being in the African heat and by Mackelmore’s album The Heist. Amaze. Especially ‘Castle’

    I mean come on, it has the word unicorn in the title. Go download it, xxx

  51. You have put into words what I’ve never been able to in regards to the running! I’m a mom of 3 (2 boys and a girl). There is something about running with a beat that just releases all the stuff in me! Loved this post!

  52. That final picture of Nella is just mesmerizing. She is almost from another time and place…like Little House on the Prairie. Beautiful girl!

  53. That picture of Nella sleeping in the stroller? love it! I just want to snuggle her up! (Currently snuggling up my 7 month old that’s sleeping in my arms).
    I love the random post – totally know how you feel about Runner Girl – I’ve never been Workout Girl (for the same reason – I look and feel like I’m going to die) but I’ve been doing the Insanity workouts with a friend now 6 days a week for the past month, and I love it! I still look/feel like I’m going to die, but at least with a best friend who looks/feels the same way, it’s not too bad!
    Thanks for the link to the NY times article about family – love it :)
    This blog post just made me oh so happy tonight!

  54. First time commenter. just wanted to say I actually prefer the ramble to a “themed” post :) Ramble On. Said Zeppelin.

  55. A few weekends ago I ran past our little local cemetary. A funeral was taking place. Now I am wondering why I didn’t blog about it. I think I will.

    There I was, lungs forcing in and out air, legs burning, eyes watering and skin stinging from the cold wind, food throbbing from my neuroma; but good heavens. The contrast was shocking. I couldn’t imagine feeling any more alive — any more aware of my physical body than I was at that moment. And there, across the street, was a family placing their loved one in the ground — all his or her living — in this realm anyway — done.

    Running is miserable sometimes, but it is another one of those things that definitely force us to realize what a gift these bodies are — with all their aches and pains and struggles. It is another of those ways where we can conquer ourselves. Another way we can really feel LIVING.

    It is spiritual.

  56. That photo of Nella and Brett has to find its way to your photo wall. It’s incredibly beautiful and their love for each other just explodes!!! That “I love you more than you can ever imagine” on Brett’s face….just an amazing photo Kelle!!!

  57. I have tried to comment many times but can’t seem to get it to work. I have really enjoyed following your blog! I started following shortly after Nella was born. Lost the URL and then stumbled upon it again at a later date. You are so inspiring! I am thankful for your beautiful photos (the last one on this blog takes my breath away) on the blog and instagram. I am thankful for your writing; so down to Earth and true to life no matter how crappy or happy life is at that moment in time. I don’t have a birth experience quite like you had with Nella. (My great-great uncle was once in the world record books for being the oldest living person with downs and died at the age of 82.) But I have a somewhat unique birth experience that changed my life in good ways and bad. It caused me to “bloom” in ways I never thought I would have to nor did I know I could! My first child, a little girl we called Babe B. from the time we knew we were expecting (and didn’t know she was a girl until birth), was stillborn at 37 weeks. Our world literally came crashing in on us. It is still a process reliving that tragedy even 5.5 years later! Thank you for doing what you do! It gives me something to look forward to! Not to mention your little Lainey reminds me a bit of my blonde haired beauty, my second born (also a daughter) named Jesstine (after Jessie and Christine, her great grandmothers). Thank you!

  58. @Nancy,
    Wow. That is food for thought for sure–spiritual indeed. Thank you.

    @Stephen and Lacie,
    82 is incredible–love hearing that. And I’m so sorry for your loss. No matter how many years separate you from that memory, it will always be with you and yes, forever changed. Much love to your family!

  59. Love love love the visit to your life. And the “say “my son” just to feel the way my heart flutters” – I get that, sigh and a tear. But I will be laughing for days on the “hot bra-on-top-of-bra action going to keep the girls in line”!

  60. Everything in this post is gorgeous. Love the photography and your style of writing. I especially love the black and white of grandma brushing hair, and the eggs with bubba in basket. Gorgeous!

  61. What a fun time at the fair : ) I can hardly wait until it comes to our town again. I love the color it brings. Color always makes me smile. Today the color all around is white. White snow.

    So glad your Mom could come to visit. There is something so magical about Grandmoms. I miss mine also. They were the best people on the planet.

    Happy Tuesday night to the coolest runner girl around. I see sparks.

  62. I could read that kind of “ramble” all the day long :). So sweet.

  63. i love this post, like puffy-heart love it.

    but, that photo at the end? i die. priceless. perfect. want a canvas of it and she’s not even mine! 😉

  64. I can sooo relate to the runner-girl sentiments and it looks like by my scan of the comments I am not the only one. I have been running for years now (I am slow, and don’t have a body that would be considered the ‘runner’ type) and most recently injured my back so severely it has been difficult to get out of bed and take care of my kiddos, much less run. Drs are saying my running days may be over but I am hoping against hope they have no idea what they are talking about. It is not just the physical benefits that are important, but the feeling of strength and confidence and relief that comes after a good long (or short) run that is so addictive, in a good way! Not to mention it is a fabulous time to get lost in some awesome music!:)

    Thanks as always for sharing your awesome words and pictures. Your babies are truly precious!


  65. I absolutely love the hair brushing pix and the pix of Nella with her daddy. Gorgeous and Priceless!

  66. Love, love, love your writing. Just adore it. It makes me feel so inspired.

    Also love, love, love that last pic of Nella. So delicious!!!

    And congratulations on “my son”… hoping after three “my son’s” for me that I will get a “my daughter.” If I do, I imagine I will utter the words out loud as often as possible, too.

  67. Oh sister friend. I heart your posts, but especially your rambles because they embody who I am on a daily basis. Thanks for the breath of fresh air and the reminder to enjoy life. I have to say the relief I felt when I read your runner girl predicaments was tremendous. I refuse to run with anyone because my gasps of air are just that embarrassing. Thanks for the mood booster! PS That last picture of Nella is phenomenal. It’s like being caught in time. Beautiful. Peace out!

  68. Love it!! all of it!

  69. Sometimes a ramble is good. I love your share about running. I know I am not the best when it comes to physical things like that but like you I like that feeling a peace of being that comes from going out for some exercise by yourself. It is time to concentrate on yourself and that happy endorphins from exercise make everything good.

  70. Oh, the fair! We. Love. Fairs. Just me and Bob at home now. And when the state fair rolls around. We are there. Turkey races. Pig races. All you can drink lemonade. Brand new calves. Smelly piggies. Silly llamas.Buying a new toe ring. Listening to the screams of the kids on rides. I love it. When I think about it even though its months and months ago, I can feel the sun on my face, taste lemons, laugh inside at the llamas and look down to admire my ring! I’m with ya sistah. We Do The Fair! ain’t it the best?
    I’m sighing over your son’s baby toes. Love me some baby toes. And sweet girls carefully dunking eggs. Adorable.
    Your blog is a blessing to read. Thank you!

  71. When I ran the mile at school a few weeks ago, I sang Girl on Fire to myself the whole time. Yeah that’s what I’m talking about. I would be runner girl, but apparently over developed quadriceps are not good for ballet. But girl on fire can get one through the toughest of exercises. Good job DOING the fair. I love the fair! Funnel cakes for days.

  72. I had never thought about the stuff in that article before. I do think it’s really important for kids to know their parents aren’t perfect and to see how they deal with that.

    That IS the perfect running song! And that last pic is also perfect!

  73. Oh thank gawd I’m not the only one rocking the bra-on-bra action! Girl on Fire, noted. Happy running!

  74. Your description of runner girl sounds exactly. like. me.

  75. Rambles are good. Good stuff.

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  77. loved the ramble :) // lainey’s fish story had me laughing out loud — the running… i just can’t do it, the whole connecting “spiritual experience with running” thing… i’ve tried so hard. every time i run… i pray for the spiritual light to greet me at the end of the driveway, but i’m always met with wheezing, exhaustion, and spite for those who feel at peace while running ha ha ha!

    props to you runner girl :) you can do it for the both of us!

  78. love the ramble!

  79. How wonderful to find your beautiful blog! I’m jumping over from Life Love & Hiccups. Were those a gorgeous red pair pair of Saltwater sandals I spied on your daughter on the swing? Such a sweet pair of shoes! And I adore grandmothers who brush hair too. Lovely to find your blog, Fi xxx

  80. Thank God, Kelle, that we share the same sentiments on running.


  81. Love that song for running! I actually joked to my daughter that I was Alicia Key’s inspiration for the song. She was not humored, but I was. I even thought of making a video of all the incredible women I know doing what they do.

    Fun post. You’re juggling those balls well!

  82. Dash is growing all the time! It is amazing to see! And Nella is so beautiful in her clothes in that black/white foto! So Great!

  83. Your family is beautiful. Im not a runner but I hope to be… 1 day

  84. That last photo of Nella is stunning, and looks so much like Lainey! It’s so fun to see them both in big sister roles now. You’ve got some beautiful babies!

  85. Yawn again with the obligatory random completely irrelevant feet photo. Why…??? For what purpose the everyday a foot photo??? Fetish much???

    Frankly I used to think you showed promise but your framing is all wrong, your positioning so predictable and the constant mirror reflective shot is just too trite. You clear,y are not feeling your subjects

    You clearly do have an eye for composition etc why are your shots so trite, predictable and lazy??

  86. your posts are always inspiring and funny!

  87. Go Runer Girl Go! My favorites this post, drunk milk photo with Dad, Grandma hair brushing, full face with hat photo of Nella and you on the swing! Long days, short years… enjoy.

  88. I loved your piece on running. I have tried the running girl thing a many of times- but never stuck with it until a dear friend of mine convinced me to run a half marathon (her husband passed away this past summer). We did it together, I trained, I hurt, I turned 40, I wondered why my belly was not flatter from all the cardio (I have three children too), but I did it. That was February and I am still running – not for results, but because I feel strong and god bless the music and breathing.

  89. I love the ramble and the pictures. Nella’s coat and hat bring back lots of memories! AND your son is precious!

  90. Running is cheap therapy. I love it! And I love that pic of Nella in her bonnet :)

  91. Girl on Fire is on my running playlist. Running is therapy. I’m a runner girl…. though not that good. You guys are awesome!

  92. Nella in that hat & cape! One of my favorite Hampton looks yet. I like the rambling posts, by the way 😉

  93. I’m officially addicted to your blog!! I look forward to every new post and all of your wonderful photos!! Thank you for keeping things real. You’re a blessing to the blog world!! : )

    ~ Wendy

  94. I love how easy it is to relate to your posts! I just downloaded this song and added to my workout playlist over the weekend! :-) The right song totally helps me push through when I’m feeling tired, or about to hit another up-hill! And yes, “my son” feels so good to say! Boys have such an amazing way of filling your heart with a whole new kind of love! Such a joy to experience the blessing of having both girls and a boy!

  95. Thank you so much for this post. Girl on fire is a favorite for me when I try to run. My three year old sings it pretty loud through out the grocery store and because I adore it, I let her annoy the rest of the shoppers. I love the pictures of the kids and their dad…such love in the way he looks at them. Have a wonderful week!

  96. Running makes me a better person. I’ve been running for almost four years and I wish I had “discovered” it long before that. And I absolutely could NOT do it without music. Loved this post!

  97. I don’t know how many times I can say it before you’re like, “I know already,” but your family makes me smile big time.

  98. yes, in your running description…yes. Just dying inside pretending to be okay when I have to run with others- so much better alone!

  99. I love the skirt Lainey wore to the carnival. Running is the best release. Running helps me to relax and clears my mind, it is the best therapy. Even just twenty minutes does the trick. I come back calmer, happier and have more energy. It is a great time to be alone and recharge. You don’t have to be a great runner you just have to do it and walking is great too. The ap Pandora is great, they have an 80’s cardio station that is awesome! Love the carnival pictures. Have a Happy Easter!

  100. Ah the carnival hangover…haven’t had one in a while!

    Wish I had a precious picture like that of my grandma brushing my hair, too. How blessed your children are to have you take so many wonderful pictures!

  101. Loved this post! The pictures are gorgeous, especially the one of Lainey’s grandma brushing her hair- I too wish I had a picture like that. I feel the exact same way you do about running- I’ll try putting on “girl on fire” this week and see if it helps:) Going go the fair is a great childhood memory, and looks like you guys enjoyed it! Glad Lainey wasn’t too heartbroken about the fish- those darn fish! The same thing happened to my sister when she was younger and she was so upset she held a funeral in our backyard and invited the neighbours! Complete with a hand drawn funeral program and a large rock for a tombstone. She never brought a fish home from the fair after that! Have a great week:)

  102. Your son’s looks are changing so much. I too say my son, just to hear the words. Your post was good and then you posted that picture of your Mom brushing Lainey’s hair…..I cried. Such a sweet, sweet memory.

  103. I’m a runner, and I just wanted to say we all start out that way — the huffing, the hoping no one talks to us. It gets better, I promise. :-)

  104. So many things to comment on! LOVE the bonnet/coat on Nella. Dash is adorable and getting that baby fat – love. Mostly though – the picture of your mom brushing your daughter’s hair – reminded me to take a photo of my mom doing the same. My mom brushes and styles my daughter’s hair many days of the week, and I know my mom is reliving the memories of when she did her own four daughter’s hair each day. I hadn’t thought to capture this memory in the making. thanks!

  105. I call my boy “son” too. After 2 girls as well, it’s just different. Love your analogy hot bra-on-bra…..I seriously laughed out loud.

  106. LOVE.THAT.PIC. of grandma brushing Lainey’s hair. Makes me sad that I don’t have any pics of my grandma and me together (aside from her holding me as a baby). I was in college when she passed so why wouldn’t there be more photos of us. Lainey will really treasure that one. Truly lovely.

  107. I love, love, love the last 2 pictures! So beautiful. Daddy smiling with pride and sweet little girl in her bonnet. Thanks for brightening my day!

  108. Ramble away anytime, Kelle. :-)

  109. Keep running girl. You get better. It gets easier. The spirituality of running only grows with your strength.

    17 marathons in and won’t stop until I’m old and injured and forced to stop…

  110. Kelle….
    The county fair!! We used to do that when I was a girl growing up!! It produced so many fun memories!! Growing up in the city, my favorite part was always the farm animals!! Dad knows all about different breeds of cow, which fascinated the oddball within me!! And I am certain that my love of smelly, snorting pigs was on account of our local fair!! Hee, hee, hee…. ;-D
    “It’s a carnival hangover.”!! Crack. Me. Up!! 😉
    “The fair is basically a crayon box. A dirty one but nevertheless, colorful.”. I like that analogy!! You know what? LIFE is basically a “crayon box” come to think of it!! ;-D

  111. Things I love about this post:
    -‘the carnival hangover’ goes perfect with Nella’s picture…too funny!
    -that your mama circled back to Naples…what a loving gesture
    -sounds like Lainey gets that goldfish are a death thing 😉
    -George’s small camera and his sweet intention
    -milk coma trance
    -brown egg jewels
    -and, of course, your ramble
    Love from Tejas,

  112. Came across your blog a few weeks ago, really a joy to read! Thank you for reminding me about that awesome feeling during and after running! Been trying to get myself motivated to get back in routine with running, thank you!

  113. that last photo….laura ingalls wilder comes to mind….omg, the sweetest hat and jacket !!

  114. Ramble on Kelle. I absolutely love this post and all your rambling. Your mom sounds extraordinary and is so beautiful. I can imagine how much you must have loved her quick visit. You are such an inspiration Kelle. Loved reading your “running” portion and am inspired to try myself. Probably more of a “fast” walk for me right now but welcome the chance for clarity in my mind/heart myself!!!

  115. Ramble on Kelle. I absolutely love this post and all your rambling. Your mom sounds extraordinary and is so beautiful. I can imagine how much you must have loved her quick visit. You are such an inspiration Kelle. Loved reading your “running” portion and am inspired to try myself. Probably more of a “fast” walk for me right now but welcome the chance for clarity in my mind/heart myself!!!

  116. So much good stuff! I’m especially grateful for the reminder on how good it felt to have my grandma, Nanny, brush my hair. thank you.

  117. “I’ve never really been Runner Girl for any extended period in my life, but I’ve occasionally become her similarly to how I’ve experimented with Hat Girl, Whole Foods Girl and Girl Who Clutters Her Fingers With a Cool Fistful of Turquoise Rings.” OMG Kelle, I am dying you are so funny. And you and your son are gorgeous. x SarahLICMom

  118. Kelle, we are the same girl when we run. The-praying-no-one-will-talk-to-us-such-that-we’d-have-to-give-up-oxygen girl. Not sure what would happen if I listen to Alicia, because I’m also the girl-who-has-done-yoga-for-13-years-but-somehow-still-pulls-a-groin-muscle-3-minutes-into-a-run.

    Thanks for a good smile today!

  119. nice photos!

  120. Is it sick that I scream laughed at “Hampton goldfish #7″?

  121. Kelle…I started reading your blog about two months ago after reading a short Q&A you did in a magazine. YOU…ARE…FABULOUS!!! I am a mama to a precious 1 year old girl who is the absolute love of my life…she is the sprinkles to my ice cream cone, the whipped cream to my mocha latte, the chocolate chips in my cookies :)
    Your style of writing is so honest and fun and I cannot get enough of it! I borrowed your book from our local library, read it in 2 days and will definately buy your paperback when it hits the shelves!
    When I read Nella’s birth story I cried long and hard for you and what you went through that day. We had a scare at 20 weeks and although Vada was born healthy I imagined for the last 20 weeks of my pregnancy that it was not going to be that way. I admire how brave you were to say the things all mothers would feel in the situation you were in but perhaps are to afraid to say out loud. You are an amazing Mama and your babies are so fortunate to have you!
    Congrats on your baby boy he is beautiful. Dash is such a cool name!
    Ps…When Vada is old enough to understand, I’m totally stealing your party idea for the “North Pole”! The reindeer food was too much! So creative….keep it up Mama!

  122. Rambling maybe, but beautiful post nonetheless Kelle – although I must be completely honest and admit that I got a little bit distracted seeing that photo of the pig at the fair. I’m a sap for all things swine, and that is one incredibly handsome guy lemme tell ya. 😉

  123. Long time reader first time poster…I just had to comment on this post.

    Are those really man shoes you are wearing on the swings? because I love them and must find myself a pair.

  124. I LOVED this post!
    And Nella looks like she belongs in a Jane Austen movie in those last two pictures, and seriously that’s my way of saying she is so fricken ADORABLE.

  125. Oh wow I love the hair brushing picture! I’m so anxious for Spring and warm weather… I can practically feel the shorts on my legs and some awkward sideways jump I’m imagining doing with my girls when we can finally get outside. Your fair pictures have momentarily taken me to a warmer place than Illinois right now :) Thank you!

  126. Beautiful! :)

  127. This whole post made me smile BIG!!!!!!!!! :) XOXOXOXO

  128. I feel so refreshed after reading this!

  129. Would love to have a full running list of songs!! :) And where is Nella’s cute bonnet/coat combo from? Reminds me of one I had as a kid!!

    Also… Dash… such a little darling!!

  130. Kelle,

    I have been reading for quite some time but have never commented, mainly because I never really felt I had much to add that someone else hadn’t already stated. But today I actually have something for you, and it is a running tip. I am exactly like you in that my desire to run is quite sporadic, and it used to be that I could not run for more than 60 to 90 seconds without getting totally out of breath. This will change your running life. Get a heart rate monitor. Practice keeping your heart rate between 100 and 140 bpm for starters. When your heart rate exceeds 140, start walking. When it dips below 100, start running again. At first it will feel like you’re not exercising your body at all because you’re doing so much walking. But within a very short period of time, you will start to notice that you can actually control your heart rate. This will allow you to run at a steady pace, and yes, engage in conversation with a fellow runner. Good luck!

    I have really loved following your blog. I can tell that you love your family so much, and I really admire that quality in you. I read your book, and I have tremendous respect for the relationship you have built with your father, despite the obstacles you faced early on. I know some people criticize you for always having such a “glass half full” attitude, but for me, it’s refreshing. When I see a new post from you, I look forward to reading it because I know I’m going to feel happier at the end. If I want to read about struggle, unhappiness, the horrors of the world, etc, I know where to find that. ETST is a place where I come for inspiration, peace, warmth, and love. Thank you for sharing your life through this blog.

  131. I just wanted to say that sometimes if I am feeling down I pop into read your blog. You bring a ray of sunshine to the world and it is wonderful. Cheers to you.

  132. Was your mom and her husband in Daytona Beach Shores at all? I could have sworn it was your mom and her husband in the elevator the other night at the condo.

  133. That last picture of Nella is absolutely precious. I too wish I had pictures of my grandma brushing my hair. :) Oh, happy day!

  134. If you don’t want to post about it–post as an anonymous commenter; have poppa post in comments — but post something anything more than two odd colored (nostalgic? Sweet memories? Tough day?. and an I’m proud to know what the day means. People are following your lets not get wrapped up in dS approach but you are in the boat but HAVE a tribe & ds supporters. When you don’t share or imply you don’t it leaves people who really do not at all – well it leaves them alone with just your words & hope

    Which is great and might be enough but chatting & connections to a few ds families is important too.

  135. Post about ds awareness gatherings at any time, next summer reflect back and say why you waited to post or don’t but share general thoughts impression good bad or boringly fun & mundane. Share who your best connections are (a family similar age? Plus someone a few years ahead? Parents of your dancing & texting buddies? Sage advice from your buddies with ds themselves? Head honcho at Ndss? Fellow blogger you know or read ? Therapists well versed in dS?!!). Odds Are you have a few. Point out how important they are & that like anywhere — 95% of the group is not your cup of tea but that 5% and watching the kiddies grow and chance? Beyond priceless. Or connect online with people in a yahoo group or Facebook.

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