Enjoying Big & Small

I haven’t much to say tonight except that I am feeling deeply grateful for everything right now.  Brett’s been dealing with some serious health issues this past week, and after some scary unknowns, we finally received some answers today.  Poor Brett lost his appendix in the process, but tonight we are here.  Here is relief and gratitude and yet not wanting to jump too quickly from the place we’ve been because in that vulnerability lies hidden truths. Hard truths.  Truths that we sometimes let quickly fade when we find out everything turned out okay.

Everything turned out okay. 

It’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief and say “Thank God” and move forward because it’s okay.  But I also know that it didn’t have to turn out this way and that we’d still move forward and say “Thank God” even if we had different answers.  That’s part of life too.   I am remembering that tonight–so grateful for the comforts of life we have right now but also grateful for the things we’ve learned, both with every hardship we’ve endured together as well the triumphs. 

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One of the many cards and posters Lainey made for Daddy’s hospital room this week
Parenting was challenging this week.  But rich.  I am sewing up all the unpretty moments from this past week and making a little keepsake collage in my mind so I don’t forget. 

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I spent the evening last night in Brett’s hospital room.  We sat side by side, watched T.V., passed the baby back and forth and didn’t say a whole lot to each other, but the anxiety for today’s events was palpable.  Before I left, I felt the need to say something important, so I asked him if he wanted me to pray. 

“I will,” he answered. 

We don’t really “pray” out loud a lot together other than our holiday meal grace, the first mile safety prayer of our summer road trips and the “thank you” prayer that’s whispered on the evening of our babies’ births.

But last night’s prayer is one I will never forget. 
We huddled together while Brett whispered some simple and honest words that spelled out a love letter for our family. 

I know there will be hardships in life.  Sometimes I think I prepare for them almost too much–like I’m silly and naive if I enjoy the comforts of life without making mental notes about how it could be different.  That’s not the definition of gratitude though.  The best way to prepare for those moments when they come–and they will–is to focus on the present.  To love everyone around us as best as we know how. 

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I can see a big ball of sun slowly falling from the window next to me, and there’s still time to catch a beach sunset.

Every day is a gift.  I’m so happy to be able to share them with our family…and you friends in this space. 

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Enjoying big and small tonight.

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Happy Monday.

Our phone dump this week:

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And some of the moments you’ve been enjoying:

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Brett will hopefully return home later this week. 

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Much Love.


Leave a Comment
  1. Many thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for Brett.

  2. glad he’s going to be ok Kelle. isn’t it amazing how much we have to be grateful for when we pause and think about it. thanks for making us all pause.

  3. What a sweet reunion when he comes home! I’m so grateful all is well.

  4. love you.

  5. Hoping for a speedy recovery for your husband. Solo parenting is hard work! My husband was in the hospital last year for 10 days (we have 4 kids)…I was very happy when he came home.
    Hugs to you, mama.

  6. I seldom comment here but tonight I want you and yours to know that you are in my prayers. This post hit home with me, from one wife/mom to another. Take care and bask in the glow of the sunset.

  7. Sorry for a tough week. Seems to be going around lately.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    I don’t pray out loud a lot (still figuring out my faith…unlike you I was NOT raised in a family who did church, so it’s an interesting journey), but I have been praying more lately…for my family and some friends who need extra strength…I will pray for your family as well.
    Tell Brett I am without an appendix, too! We don’t need ’em anyway!

  8. :)
    Tonight you shared and made me feel better, -Thank you-all the best Kelle-Praying Brett gets home soon

  9. So glad all is well. What a relief. Sending love and get well wishes across the Atlantic xxxx

  10. I am so sorry you’re dealing with this- so glad to hear all is on the mend. And oh, that baby is getting cuter each time I check in. Hope this week brings much-needed peace!


  11. Praying for his health and healing and for the strength of everyone in your beautiful family, especially for YOU who has to carry everything during this stressful and scary time. Stay strong! Hope he’s home soon :)

  12. Sending prays! My husband fainted in front of me 2 weeks ago, he was okay but really scared the crap out of me. Love to your family.

  13. Thank you for sharing your beautiful sentiments today. Keeping your family in my thoughts. Sending wishes for speedy healing, peace and a whole lotta love.

  14. One of the defining moments in our marriage was when my newborn daughter was rushed to the NICU. They found a whole in her heart and pneumonia. My husband is a tough guy so I had never seen him upset. When we walked into the NICU to see her the first time, he turned to me and said, with tears in his eyes,”Sing to her Mama. Sing “Sunshine” like you do to Deuce (her brother).” It totally changed the way I looked at him. In that moment I loved him more than I thought possible.
    Praying for a quick recovery! Hang in there Mama!

  15. Oh Kelle, I am SO sorry for the scare. I am thankful there are answers. I will be praying for a complete and quick healing for Brett!!

  16. Glad it was *only* an appendix. We had a similar emergency when we were first married. I can’t imagine how hard it is with three kids. Be well!


    Prayers for YOU, too, mama! I have a hard time parenting my 4-year-old and 8-month-old solo.

    As always, you rock it! Love the pics of Lainey in the rain. I hate rain so I always miss out on taking pics like that of my girl. I need to make that something I aim for.

  18. Speedy recovery and much good wishes to Brett..

  19. Thank-you for reminding me how important it is to live in the moment. You continue to inspire me to live a better life.

  20. life is uncertain, it teaches us to savor the moments.
    life is not guaranteed, it teaches us to be present.
    life brings heartbreak, it teaches us to be grateful for what we have.
    life brings peace, it reminds us never to forget all of the above.

    (((((Big hugs)))))from Seattle,

  21. I am so sorry for Brett’s health scare. But I am also deeply grateful for this reminder that no matter what, it is all here, this rich, difficult life, this sun outside the window, this, this, this. Thank you. xox

  22. Glad he’s okay. And your words about gratitude were what I needed to hear tonight, so thank you. Hoping you have a good, low-stress week with the kids and that Brett returns home soon.

  23. So glad Brett’s okay. Sending love to you and your family tonight.

    Angie from Ohio (angiepics on Instagram)

  24. I will pray for him. And you.
    Sending love Kelle. Lots of love.
    Here is to catching a big sunset.

  25. I lost my husband of 40 years so I can understand how scary and stressful this was for you. Brett is so lucky to be surrounded by such a loving family. Those of us in cyberspace send healing vibes and wishes for a quick, complete recovery. xo

  26. Glad your husband is OK. Love that first umbrella in the rain picture so much!
    Mary, momma to many

  27. Kelle….
    My Mom had her appendix removed last Christmas. It can be a slow recovery process, but Mom rebounded rather quickly!! Sending my GET WELL SOON wishes to Brett!! 😉
    I loved this post. Something to ponder upon, as per usual. ;-D

  28. I hope Brett has a speedy recovery. Hopefully he’s already on the mends.<3

  29. Great news that Brett is going to be okay. It is difficult for us to remember how transient our good fortune is until something happens to shake our sense of wellness. As usual, your words and pictures hit home for me to try to keep it in mind when things are going well – not just when the inevitable tough times come. Hugs to you all! Have a great week Kelle.

  30. Sending you some majorly positive vibes. You’re such a good egg. Phyl

  31. Thinking of you guys tonight!

  32. Love and prayer for you Momma and for your sweet children and Brett. Thanks for being vulnerable with all of us. You truly are amazing.

  33. Sending you and yours lots of love and wishes for healing!

  34. As follow up to my instagram message, thinking about you guys and so happy to hear good news! These are the moments that are scary and change us. Your outlook is inspiring. Virtual Hugs to you and yours Kelle!

  35. One of my worst fears is something happening to my husband or my children so I can’t even imagine how you felt this week. I am glad that you were given good news and that Brett is on the mend. Just reminds us that we can’t ever take anything for granted. Every day is truly a gift. Praying that he has a speedy recovery and will be home to you very soon.

  36. Kelle: I’m hoping and praying for a speedy recovery for Brett and some peace for you and yours. XOXO
    -coffeemomma (Kym in Michigan)

  37. Kelle,

    Praying for your Brett..and YOU at home with all your little ones. I know God is listening all the time even if we don’t start our prayers with “Dear God”.. He hears your heart’s desires and that’s just that!!
    Much love to you!

  38. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Brett! Hang in there, mama!

  39. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Brett! Hang in there, mama!

  40. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Brett! Hang in there, mama!

  41. Thinking positive thoughts for you and your family.

  42. Glad to hear all is well. Speedy recovery, Brett!

  43. Good luck and Best wishes for a speedy recovery🎈

  44. Good luck and Best wishes for a speedy recovery🎈

  45. “Men {mankind} are that they might have joy..”

    I guess to really know the goodness of joy….life also gives us the sad, and hard times. How else would we really know what joy is? Thank goodness Brett will be okay and your family will feel that joy once again when you are all under the same roof again.


  46. hugs!

  47. It sounds like Brett might have had his appendix rupture? Usually after an appendectomy there’s not a lengthy hopsital stay…regardless (!) glad they got it out and he is on the mend. I was wondering why it took awhile for you to give us more from your magical blog. I don’t know you, but I sure feel like I know you all. Hang in there, girlie!

  48. so glad all is well . oxox

  49. Here’s hoping Brett is home soon and fully recovered.

  50. Oh Lordy. Glad that he’s ok. Sending out a prayer to him. And for your family.

  51. So, so glad Brett is alright. Prayers of thanksgiving and healing for your family tonight, Kelle. You Hamptons are such a blessing to me!

  52. I am so glad to here that everything is o.k. sending prayers your way!

  53. love & prayers for Brett’s recovery and thanks for your constant inspiration :)

  54. Thoughts are with you, friend…prayers up for B. xo

  55. Oh, Kelle you ARE an inspiration. You inspire me to NEVER put a blog before my family and to NEVER invade my family’s privacy.
    You have officially fucked yourself over. Despite the fact your husband is in the hospital you are still out and about staging your life. And having someone come help you with your children? Holy hell. If you can’t handle three children by yourself for a few days then you don’t DESERVE to have children. But, your parenting has always been questionable

  56. I am so happy to hear that Brett is alright! keep on enjoying!

  57. Wishing Brett a speedy recovery. Knowing that the love of your sweet family, and the love and prayers from all of us will make a difference. They always do. And so I send much much love. And big hugs.

  58. Praying for your family. When my infant daughter returned home from the hospital after being gravely ill, I was changed as a mama. Tantrum, shantrum. Dirty house? Whatever! As long as you have a healthy family, nothing else matters. Today may be a circus, but we are healthy and happy. God bless you, Kelle.

  59. Praying for your precious family!

  60. Thinking of you all. Hope Brett comes home before you know it. Precious, precious children the two of you share!
    Tejas love,

  61. Great post Kelle.
    Wishing your family well.

  62. Hoping your husband is home soon. There is nothing more important than a healthy family. Thinking of you & your family during this difficult time. xo

  63. i can’t help thinking of “madeline” when i hear about anything happening to anyone’s appendix… prayers to you. thank you for your honest words about God, prayer, and teaching both to your children. i think it hits home for a lot of us. your words make me feel a little more normal!

  64. Sounds like a very scary week on your end Kelle! Praying for a quick recovery and that you will be back to being a family of 5 at home together soon! How nice that Rebecca could come and keep you company. It’s always easier to travel down a tough road when your friends are by your side. Thank God for great news today!

  65. Oh my Kelle, I am so sorry you have been dealing with such a health scare with Brett. I was quite nervous to read this post but so thankful that he is on the mend and that you received positive news. I hope he is released soon to be home with his amazing kids and you Kelle to all help restore him to good health. His home is where is best healing will take place surrounded by his family and living in the present.
    I wish him a very speedy recovery and some peace for you all in your hearts and minds. xoxo Mich

  66. Glad everything turned out well for Brett, you and your family….Scary times always make us appreciate everything that we have and everything that we are all the more. If there’s any upside…maybe that’s it?? Best to you all ~

  67. I’m so so sorry to hear that,but I know you’ll soak in the beauty of life ‘after the storm’.

    Not much more to say but to send love xx


  68. Praying for you and your sweet family. Here’s a quote from Victor Hugo that I have written in chalk in a huge frame in my entry:
    “Courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

  69. Sounds like a whole lot of Grace. You’re lovely.

  70. Glad to hear that Brett is on the road to recovery and home soon to his loving family and friends. You inspire. because. even through the hardships in life (and we all have them) you rise above and you love. You lOVE today. In the NOW. And this is how you get through and because you share this here at etst you have taught others the importance of the present. So, as much as your heart has been saddened by what Brett has gone through this last week, it has also grown in happiness because you are present for Lainey, Nella, Dash and yourself. So go catch those sunsets…you do it well…like it was your job :) (wink)

  71. Get well soon, Brett. And take care of yourself Kelle. Jude.x

  72. Hoping he gets to feeling better soon. Hang in there.

  73. Prayers for your family, glad to hear Brett is doing better!

  74. oh hon I am so glad everything is okay xxxx

  75. Thoughts & prayers with you all.

  76. Sending love and good vibes from London. Your family is in my prayers today.


  77. Adding you and your family to my prayer list.

  78. Such beauty and truth in this post. My husband is chronically ill and we spend many quiet days in hospitals with me having plenty of time to ponder life and love. Our kids have learned to face this family battle with courage and for that I’m thankful. Having half your heart at home and half in the hospital is so tough, so wishing for you to have all reunited very soon.


  79. Kelle – sending big hugs to you from Oz! I love, love, love your Blog and am finally commenting for the first time after following for a few years!! You are total inspiration – just sayin’ :-)

  80. oh girl…rejoicing with your family that all is well. that’s a major relief. praying a quick recovery for him and you. that stress is hard on a person.

  81. Wishing Brett a speedy recovery and sending all the Hampton family my good thoughts.

  82. You’re such a beautiful person! I admire your strength and your ability to see everything in the correct perspective. You inspire me to be a mum as good as you are. Thank you!

  83. Glad to hear that all is well with Brett and that you will all be back home together soon. xo

  84. So glad all is okay. How scary! Big virtual hugs sent your way!

  85. I’m sorry to hear all you and your family went through this week. Make sure to take care of yourself as well. Wishing Brett a speedy recovery and sending lots of good thoughts for all.
    xo Kris

  86. You made me smile when you mentioned not being able to enjoy the comforts of life w/o making mental notes of how it could be different. That’s me! Esp when something happens to those around me, I say a little prayer of gratitude. I somehow feel I prepare myself mentally ‘just in case’. I call it wisdom, knowing that everything will always be wonderful. So glad Brett is ok!! Hugs to all.

  87. Real life – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. Prayers for a speedy and full recovery for Brett and a hapy homecoming as a family whole and together again.

  88. So glad things turned out okay for you! Wow! I have found that in those vulnerable moments I become a better wife, mother, daughter…writer! Just a better version of me.

  89. I’ve been contemplating a move to FL. St. Pete Beach/Clearwater area… I have cousins in St. Pete. Your pictures make it oh, so tempting. At almost 50, I’m searching for the courage.

  90. Oh goodness… how scary for Brett and you! Hoping for a speedy recovery Brett….hugs to you all.


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  92. So sorry to hear about Brett’s health issues. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for him. You are absolutely right, these moments are powerful reminders of what’s really important in life. I’m glad he’s going to be okay.

  93. Sending wishes for a quick recovery for Brett! And I just have to comment on Nella’s smile – pure sunshine!!!:)

  94. Kelle, You are a uniquely special person, who’s way of moving in the world is so different from most that some just can’t get it. I saw that comment from AJ and I just prayed that you knew straight away that it has nothing to do with you.
    I can’t bare to think of my husband getting sick or worse, and I know from less scary situations that the ability to continue to be your true self as a mother in the face of those deep fears is the feat of an amazing woman. It would be such a simple and common thing to have fallen face down and swam in the fear, but you brought light to the darkness instead. You remained constant for your kids, while honoring the hard stuff. You brought energy to your husband when he needed it rather than becoming someone else. I have no doubt that it was hard to be all of those things for your family, to draw up the energy that such a spirit requires, but you did it. No matter what happens you are stable in your conscious way of being in the world, and the light that it brings. I hope that somewhere in there you can be proud of what a feat it is to be who you are in a world that falls so short of that way of being.

  95. Oh, this post put a lump in my throat. The good kind. But I’m thinking good thoughts for your family :)

    I love what you said about gratitude vs. “being prepared.”

  96. I’m so happy that things turned out OK! I can really relate to your comment about “making mental notes about how it could be different.” I do that all the time…

  97. Thank God Brett is going to be ok. Life is like this tightrope and sometimes when it’s shakey you think wow, I should be prepared for anything at all times. but for me, anyway, that doesn’t really work. (: You just get thru each day. And be grateful. your kids are more beautiful every day, Kelle. x SarahLICMom

  98. Prayers for a speedy recovery. I almost lost my husband when we were dating to a ruptured appendix. I couldn’t imagine feeling torn between taking care of him and taking care of my kids.

  99. Watch Forks Over Knives. We are really standing up and taking notice of what we are consuming because it plays such a huge roll in the health and strength of our bodies. Glad he is okay. I remember a couple of Father’s Days back my husband had to go to the ER for a kidney stone. He is rarely sick so it really scared me. It’s always scary when something like this happens. Reminds us how truly fragile life is.

  100. I’m glad Brett is going to be okay. You’re right, things could’ve been very different. We have to always be thankful we have it as good as we do. It’s so easy to take the little things for granted but those should not be overlooked. You and your strength are inspiring to me!

  101. Sending lots of love & hugs your way… hope B is feeling better very soon.

  102. Hoping Brett is recovering well and will be home giving snuggles and kisses to all his cute kiddos very soon.

  103. Look at your support team! So precious and loving. Those smiles could heal the world. Take care. xo

  104. Dealing with a few of my own ‘big and smalls’ …
    Job stuff with hubs and a brother’s suicide threat and the realization of possible mental illness are obviously the ‘bigs’ as is my inability to remove my ‘strongmom mask’ and really cry the ugly cry that’s just beneath the surface, but I rejoice for you and with you that there are answers for Brett’s medical scare and he will be home soon.
    Keep praying, keep looking for the small joys (and doing whatever you can to ensure that the girls have them), and as I’m sure you’ll do, have an ugly cry or two with your besties when you need.

  105. I am glad that he is feeling better. I will pray for you and yours. Thank you for this post. The realness was needed more than I realized.

  106. Blessings on your sweet family. Thank God.

  107. Oh Kelle–so glad things are looking better. Best wishes to Brett and the family.

    I do that same thing too, acknowledging my blessings while telling myself it could be worse. I think I do it to let myself know that when it does get bad, it’s not because God doesn’t care, or because I’m somehow being punished, but just so I know bad things do happen, and they can happen to me too. But I agree that gratitude needn’t have that asterisk next to it to be meaningful. Enjoying and acknowledging the blessing is gratitude. Anyway…hugs to you.

  108. Saying prayers for a quick recovery!!
    Love reading your blog!! It is always so refreshing to me. :) While reading today I got to explain to my 6 year old son what a blog is. He would like me to start writing one about him. :)

  109. Wishing your husband a speedy recovery! In these times of worry and stress, we do feel such gratitude for what we have, and we value it even more, don’t we?

  110. Thinking of you all and sending you lots of undesignated vibes of strength to use where and how you need them. So glad you have some help.

  111. Prayers for Brett. I’m so glad everything turned out okay. Just for good measure, prayers for you and the rest of your family, too.

  112. I’m sorry you and Brett have been facing so much. Praying with you for him and your family. I hope he’s home with the rest of you soon! XO

  113. Thinking of you and your family and sending healing thoughts and prayers. xo

  114. i’m so pleased everything turned out ok for you as a family. much love and i hope brett is home soon.

  115. kelle,

    i loved this post. my anxiety often causes me to do the same, “preparing” by worrying about the scenario. loved this writing and if you have the time, would love it if you read this post.



  116. Thanks for sharing your struggle. When we are weak, “He is strong!”


  117. God is good and he is present. Praying for continued healing and for God’s presence to become even more stronger.

    Loved Lainie and the umbrella. Would be a great oe to crop and frame.

  118. I am so happy to hear Brett is doing okay!! Enjoy your time as a family when he gets home and God Bless you all! I look forward to reading your posts and often save them for Saturday mornings when I can enjoy reading them over a sacred cup of coffee. . . “me time”:) Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  119. You’re a narcissistic cunt

  120. prayers for you all, added to my very long list. we need to ‘live’ every day.

  121. I’m glad Brett is okay and that he’s home now. I had emergency surgery on my gall bladder this week, and finally get to go home today. It’s the longest time I’ve been away from my babies. Enjoy your family snuggles – I know I will be enjoying mine xx

  122. Angie Johnson, what a hate filled person. I pray for you, too.

  123. Love to you Kelle……after 3 years of following your blog, I feel such friendship for you and your family. Prayers to you and Brett.

  124. Kelle,
    I have to confess, I used to read your blog regularly, but in the past few months haven’t.
    I just read yesterday post and was curious about Bretts illness so went back. Well, after “getting caught up”, and a whole box of cheese crackers, many half eaten apples on the floor and a few redirected fights between the the older two I remember why I loved reading your blog so much in the past.
    You are honest, real and transparent. I can relate to you, even though my fashion sense and photography skills will never compare.
    Two years ago after a preterm, emergency c-section birth of our third baby and ruptured appendix about three weeks later I changed. I mean really changed. And two years later life is nothing like it used to be and we are so grateful.
    I read the part about the prayer with Brett in the hospital room with your littlest baby as witness and specifically remember a similar moment with my darling and our youngest while in the hospital the second time. We will be praying for wellness and gratitude for you and your beautiful family. Gratitude for the challenges, that give us opportunity for growth and we look back at down the road and actually are grateful for them.

    I know how busy you are and how successful your blog is. The direction may not enable you to help our family much, but we have an amazing story to tell. One that we know God used our experience two years ago to prepare us for today. We need to get our story out, we need it to be shared with as many good people as possible. We want to ask you to consider reading our most recent blog posts and consider sharing some of out story.

  125. I’m just so relieved that he is okay. Prayers for his continued recovery!

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