Give a Penny, Take a Penny

A: I like analogies.
B:  Watch out. They’s a comin’.
(I searched my blog for the word “analogies” and–holy analogy, batman. (two more for the search engine).  I wasn’t kidding.)

So this weekend began like, let’s say dominoes, shall we.  One little trigger, a meanie shopper at Walmart who blew up at me over–get this–a box of Peeps (I’m so proud of this reason).  Long story.  I shall stand by my parenting advice of “we don’t name call,” but let me tell you, this guy was a real butt.  And he obviously prided himself of his–ahem–buttness (not a word?  well it should be). 

I tweeted something about how I wish I would have handled this situation (why does “the perfect response” always arrive five minutes too late?), and tweet replies followed:  funny retorts, other meanie shopper stories and one in particular I loved (thank you, Heather)–simply, “Live Well…Live Joyfully,” the best way to negate the unpleasant we can’t control in life.  I think it can be said that live well expands quite naturally to loving well.

Friendship and Beach–basically a home run for Living Well


hello, little crab

Well, one little domino set off the next, and the weekend followed with opportunities to both live well and love well.  I felt bummed out a few times this weekend (okay hormones, you can be going now) and found comfort in little pleasures of living well–friends for dinner Friday night, thumbing through the pages of favorite old books, good pancakes, my mama’s cherry pie, a nap with the newborn, Memory game with the girls, a trip to see the zebras on Free Zoo Saturday, good music, a night of feel-good movies (my mom brings wholesome Hallmark DVDs with her every time she visits), and humbly admitting “I need help.”

Sunshine–a necessity for living well.  Go to the light. 

Nurturing others–babies, friends, pets.  It feels good to take care of someone.

Mamas, Babies, Hugs–a Living Well Trifecta

And from this little pool of affirmation that I drank from this weekend, there was more than enough to share.  Sometimes, what pulls us up by our bootstraps and propels us out of Bummedouthood is the opportunitiy to help someone else.  Come, Thou Bummed Out Friend was the hymn we sang this weekend as friends emerged in texts and e-mails and phone calls, voicing their similar weekend experiences–broken hearts, bad days, minor life setbacks.  As I searched for words to share, reminding my friends of truths that would make them feel better, I was really reminding myself.  Together we created a nice volley of affirmations.  You hang up first.  No, you hang up first.  No, I love you more.  No, I love you more.  Okay, it was nothing like that.  It was good–encouraging words, bits of advice, good reminders to plunge forward but take care of yourself too.

Sharing–yes, yes…living well

Being Loved.  No matter how strong and independent we are, we need to be loved in order to live well.

Okay, I’m dying to use another analogy.  Let’s just say it’s a giant community bowl of Give a Penny, Take a Penny which is sadly disappearing in the age of debit cards.  For the record, if I ever owned a store that didn’t even accept cash, I’d still have a bowl of pennies at my check-out counter.  And a little hand-written card that said “Give a Penny, Take a Penny.”  Just because–hello, it spells love.  I borrowed pennies this weekend but I also paid them back–both acts equally important for living well.

So come thou bummed out friend.  Bask in our community pool of affirmation. Take a penny today:  Live well. Love well. And when you’re feeling a little not-so-broke…share that penny with a friend.


P.S.  He’s already changing.  Sinking a little more heavily into our arms, filling out those cheeks.

Thank you, Jennifer, for these beautiful knit overalls.

A whole week of loving well ahead…Happy Monday.


Leave a Comment
  1. Love, love, love the beach pictures! It makes me want to come to Florida, just for the beach! Pregnancy and post pregnancy hormones can be a real pain….way to seek out the good even on the hard days!!! :)

  2. You’re a breath of sunshine always. Whenever I’m feeling down I just go to your blog or IG, look at your photos, read your uplifting words and feel better. The beach pictures are gorgeous and little Dash is growing like a weed!

  3. Love it all! Enjoying naps with my newborn too! It is truly the best! Your little man is so, so, so handsome! Love the picture of him at the beach! Love the overalls too! I’m there with you on the crazy hormones! Hugs!

  4. I soooooo look forward to your blog posts! This one is up there with my favorites.
    My mantra of the month:
    Say good words~Think good thoughts~ Do good deeds
    Seems easy enough don’t you think?? xoxo

  5. that baby is the fricken cutest thing ever!

    now i want to know what the peeps guy said!!

    i actually got into a shouting match with a lady who ROLLED HER EYES at my 6 year old in target once. i lost it. it was pretty awesome in hindsight, despite the fact TWO of my son’s classmates were in the store someplace. i have confessed this to one of the moms and she said she didn’t hear it and that the mean lady deserved the rant. you’re not alone.

  6. Oh. My. Overalls.
    I die! Those are the cutest things ever!
    And Well I’m happy you are happier now 😉

  7. “live well, love well” i like these words, thank you!

  8. Always good to take the moral high ground. Fight for peeps another day. Great overalls on the boy!

  9. Hmmm. I was having a few withdrawals this morning waiting for a refreshing post that just made me sit back and let out a huge sigh. It was a good weekend, but a stressful one in parts of it. Right now we’re waiting. We’re in limbo, and that game is hard. However, every time I visit your blog, I leave with a new perspective. Today I will not stress. I will remember and focus on all the good…all the LOVE and I will be happy and take each day as it comes. Here’s to a HAPPY less stressful week. Thanks Kelle.

    PS. He gets cuter each time I see a picture of him. He fits right in with your little brood, that’s for sure! Happy Monday!

  10. Okay. I gotta ask…which beach is this? I’m still new to Florida and I adore some of the pictures you’ve put up of it! :)

  11. Your children make my heart smile. Thank you.

  12. Ahhh post pregnancy hormones… Aren’t they a joy :)

  13. He is gorgeous!

  14. Thinking about post pregnancy hormones and beaches made me think about watching the movie “Beaches” right after my younger son was born 20+ years ago. Bad idea…

    Hang in there! Your family is stunning and your stories ever-inspiring.

  15. Beautiful post! I think as women we all go through this phase during life changes. I have recently been having such a hard time I had to see a doctor, but like my girlfrield said “they make a pill for everything”, hence, I am better. Looking forward to more pics of lil man and more stories of life with 3. I am so in love with your little family!!

  16. There is something so healing about going to the ocean, too. But oh, those hormones. Hang in there mama – and take every hug and snuggle you can get.

  17. Such great pictures. The grandma in me loves the one of your mom and the new baby.
    To think that the government wants to stop making the penny.
    Lots of love going on in your home.

  18. Mean shoppers are the pits, however, sometimes there is some kind of silver lining to it. The silver lining is this : You have released a word for the rest of us to cheerfully use. Buttness. I love it, and will use it well. Thanks!!! And of course, as a big fan of your blog, XOXO to you and your littles!

  19. Check it out, there’s a name for it: esprit de l’escalier. It’s that thing where you think of the perfect come back about 5 minutes later. I have it real bad. There’s no cure I know of but on the bright side it’s probably kept me out of trouble.

    The only thing cuter than those knit overalls is the baby in them. Have a great week.

  20. Beautiful, and he’s so precious. I hope this week only moves upward for you! xoxo


  21. What you said is so true. I find that giving a little, makes me feel a lot better. After seeing your beautiful beach photos, I really wish I lived closer to the sand and surf. It just looks so relaxing, and the sound of the waves…heavenly!

  22. I knew by coming here for a “visit”, I’d feel better…taking that penny right now. It was a bumpy weekend for many, myself included, and it snowballed into a bad Monday as well. Thank you for words. And I hope those hormones get in check for you soon.
    P.S. Your photos are breathtaking.

  23. You HAVE to go to this website

    This will warm anyones heart. It basically walks you through how to write a love letter, make it look pretty, and leave it for someone to find. That would lift even a grumpiest spirit if you ask me!

  24. Love Love Love!! This weekend We went to a funeral of a mother who had died of cancer and her children are 4 and 2 years old…It was a heartbreaking weekend but one that reminded me to give a little and be SO thankful for what we have! thank you so much for the reminder once again!


    p.s. If you can believe it Canada doesn’t do pennies anymore..a shame!!

  25. Where did you get the adorable quilt your son is lying on on the beach? The teal/pinkish one? LOVE IT!

  26. I die of the cute!

  27. This is beautiful, and perfectly timed for me. I’m having a hard day after having a rough night with my son and beating myself up for allowing my exhaustion to get the better of me. Work is dragging but the one thing keeping me going is the thought of picking up my baby and taking him home to cuddle, make him laugh, and drink in as much of him as I can. I know being a stay at home mom is a tough job, but right now I’m feeling being a working mom and missing my baby boy is just as hard and lately those feelings of missing him are getting the better of me and REALLY bumming me out. Thank you for you post it helped. :)

  28. Dash is adorable. I am trying not to be jealous…how I miss those cuddly newborn days (of course, I conveniently forget the sleepless nights). Hoping you continue to enjoy the fleeting moments.
    The picture of Nella sharing her doll is so sweet. As you said, “It feels good to take care of someone.” Agreed. May your mom’s visit also help you feel good about being cared for by someone!

  29. Wow. Love the analogies.

    Side Note: Sadly the next generation of us Canadians will no longer even get to hear or know the term “Give a Penny, Take a Penny” now that our gov’t no longer is making pennies…and businesses are no longer accepting them. Crazy world. Changes so fast.

    P.S. Dash is so adorable! Growing up and filling it fast.

  30. Your French speaking readers might have covered this already, but:
    ‘l’esprit d’escalier’
    It means you thought of the perfect retort too late. I think it literally translates as ‘the wit at the top of the stairs’. It’s so true, the perfect comeback is always about 10 paces too late.

  31. I (and I’m sure other readers) would adore sending little tangible signs of love to your family, PO Box?

  32. It’s not you, it’s the hormones. It’s not you, it’s the hormones. Just say it over and over again, haha. It’s true! Our family is very similar to yours. I have two girls of similar age and we just welcomed our son last October. Sometimes I think our brains are one in the same.

    We had kind of an icky weekend. The song, “Give Me the Simple Life” made it all better for me. :)

  33. P.S. It’s the perfect song to slow dance with a newborn to. 😉

  34. You are always such a grown up!

    I have been noticing lately that when S#@t hits the fan, I am looking frantically from side to side, wondering where all the grown ups are (like the adults)? And then I realize that I AM the adult, and I quickly change the course. Like…say…I was going to have a temper-tantrum at Walmart…something always makes me stop and remember that I am a grown-up and that grown-ups don’t behave that way (in public). It’s just so hard to see the good sometimes. I do challenge myself to not fall into the “judge-y zone” often.

    Anyway, off on a tangent I go and all I wanted to say is that you are a Grown-up, all the time and I admire you for it!!!

  35. Gosh I love reading your blog! Love your words & precious photos. I was feeling a little down and this was the perfect medicine today. :)

  36. I love analogies : )
    I am glad your mama came to visit.

  37. Kelle, I admire your take on life even the times when you need to take a penny. Your photos always impress.

  38. Will you pretty pretty please post where you picked up Dashel’s pilot caps? They are so darling and I’d love to get some for my soon to arrive lil squeak. Thank you! :)

  39. Seriously needed this. Thank you!

  40. You guys make beautiful babies. Seriously! I know a thing or two about the blues. I struggle a lot in the Winter. Doing better since we moved here. The best thing is to do the opposite of what you want…which for me was to distance myself from everyone and nap all day. Good for you for turning to your net. They will definitely bounce you up.

  41. He is one of the most beautiful newborns! And your girls are growing up way too fast!

  42. Kelle, I just read this and had to laugh…it even tops your Walmart peep story!

  43. I love your blog, your lovely pictures, and this quote I saw recently…”Being deeply loved gives you strength, Loving deeply gives you courage.” attributed to Lao Tzu
    There is a lot of truth in those words. Enjoy all the wonderful small things that line your path this week.

  44. Your children are so beautiful! I love your pictures.

  45. Oh Kelle, he’s just plain beautiful! I love your words today.
    Have a wonderful week with your peeps xx

  46. Loved this post. Thank you! And the photos, oh the photos!

  47. There’s something really funny about calling somebody a butt. I can think of a few bad-at-texting-back boys in my life now that I’d like to call butts.

    I love YOU more!


  48. Can’t say much more than I love it. Ebb and flow is so amazing and so much apart of our daily lives.


  49. Just came home from Disney but Oh how I want to come to your beach and get just a small jar of those shells, would have just made my trip complete. Dash is growing so fast.

  50. Love the love in this post. xoxoxo from Seattle!

  51. Thank you for the penny my friend! After being with my 4 year old in the hospital for 8 days and trying to maintain a normal household for my almost 2 year old and husband, your penny is much appreciated:) Love your inspirational words and pictures:) I will be sure to pay back my penny soon!

  52. Those overalls are lovely – I do so love hand knits!
    J x

  53. For real?? You have shells like that on your beaches? I think my store would have a sign that said “take a shell, leave a shell.” just cause they make happy and they are so pretty!
    The last photo of your son…breathtaking. Like sea shells.

  54. Another beautiful collection of photos, thoughts and encouragement!

    I love the shot of Nella ‘sharing’ – though, I suspect that new, little knit bunny is actually Dash’s – so, perhaps Dash is learning to share at a very young age! :)

    Take care………and keep on ‘mommy-ing’ just the way you are!…………….Rosemary

  55. Dash is just so beautiful <3 I feel like I could get lost in his eyes for days. So looking forward to experiencing all that crazy amazing newborn stuff soon! We’re on month #4 of trying to conceive our first :)

  56. your blog is my happy temple of joy!

  57. Little babies are so precious. I almost forgot the magic and mystery that sourrounds them in their first days of life. Your photos capture that so beautifully. Best wishes to you and your family!

  58. You two sure produce beautiful children! All three are just gorgeous!! You are truly blessed.

  59. Dash is lovely, congratualtions.
    And yea, light is an essential element for living well: that’s why you are soo lucky for living in FL 😀

    A 17-year-old girl from northern Italy

  60. Can you believe they are phasing out the penny here in Canada?!?

  61. Kelle….
    I love analogies, as well, so between the two of us, we can bounce them off of each other!! Hee, hee, hee…. 😉
    Zebras are one of my very favorite Zoo animals!! Why? Because God designed their stripes individually!! No two zebra stripe is identical!! Like the human fingerprint. Like a giraffe’s markings. Like our unique personalities!! I love a God Who heeds attention to such small detail!! ;-D
    That picture of Lainey with her doll!! Adorable!! That picture of Nella sharing her teddy bear with Dash!! Sweet!! And those colorful overalls!! I love Dash’s colorful overalls!! 😉

  62. A couple of weeks ago I was having a blissfully wonderful day when the man who parked horribly crooked next to me got out of his car and said to me as I was getting into my car, “Did you just hit my car?” I had not, and I told him so. This exchange made my heart feel so heavy off and on for the remainder of the day even though I kept telling myself to shake it off. I don’t know why I let a complete stranger and total creep take up space in my day. I have enough real issues in my life that could bring me to my knees if I let them and I don’t so why let this guy get away with it? Sorry you apparently met his brother!

    That new baby is just so doggone cute! Blessings to all of you!

  63. Oh, Kelle, this post was perfect for me to read this morning. I had my little (okay not so little) bummed out moment over the weekend and your reminder to find the good things in life and enjoy them was such a mood/attitude changer! Thank you for the encouragement to live well and care for others. Caring for others is definitely a mood changer in and of itself!

    p.s. That photo of the crab on those little seashells makes me want to go to the beach right now! :)

  64. I love the idea of giving a little bit and letting people give to you a little bit too. Too often I find myself more than willing to give rides, food, and even money sometimes to people that need them, but unwilling to receive them myself. You can only live the abundant life when you are first, willing to give, and second, humble enough to receive.

    I’ve included an article below that we published about living the abundant life.


  65. those overalls just made my day! joy & sunshine, right there!

  66. I needed your post today after a day of poop all over the bathroom, clogged toilets, a lip that was bitten all the way through, and an “I’m really sorry I drawed all over the walls”. You are an inspiration to me. I crave just a slice of your tranquality.

  67. You can sure write, sister! It would’ve taken me 3 months to put all this together. And then there would still be typos!

  68. Congratulations, Kelle. You have such beautiful kids. You are such a cool chick.

  69. In Canada, they have stopped making the penny!

    I heard in my mom’s group this am that asking for help shows confidence and not asking for help demonstrates insecurity. Good job!

  70. Those overalls are to die for! Gorgeous wee dude!! Gorgeous family! Nothing like daddy cuddles :)

  71. Stunning pictures as always…the sea shells/crab pic is breath taking…I literally gasped out loud

  72. Hi Kelle! I’ve read your blog for a while, but must admit that I just found your playlist at the very bottom. Wanted to thank you for getting me out of soft-rock FM all day (shudder). So much better a day goes with good music, and your playlist definitely, shall we say, rocks! (I started out Yoda-style there, I must be in a totally relaxed Jedi state from the sweet tunes playing in the background, haha!) Anyway, thanks for your uplifting words and music, and just for sharing in general. :) Your kids are precious! Now it’s back to counting down the last minutes of my day til I get to go home to my babies!

  73. oh my, your baby in a yellow bonnet. perfection.

  74. You need to try a wrap style carrier!!! Makes shopping/trying on clothes SO much easier! I love Sleepy Wraps, which I think are called BOBO now or something. It’s just a tad stretchy unlike the Moby wrap. I had my sixth baby recently and have used a wrap the past four years and it changed my life. Not even kidding! It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have both of your hands back!!!

  75. You need to try a wrap style carrier!!! Makes shopping/trying on clothes SO much easier! I love Sleepy Wraps, which I think are called BOBO now or something. It’s just a tad stretchy unlike the Moby wrap. I had my sixth baby recently and have used a wrap the past four years and it changed my life. Not even kidding! It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have both of your hands back!!!

  76. I LOVE those dungarees! :)

  77. My blog title is “Give a Penny, Take A Penny” and the address is we_all_need_change. It’s wonderful to see you love the analogy too :)

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