10 Things

1. Easter…I know…was like 6 weeks ago, but nevertheless deserves some documenting.  Let me break it down…it was hard and sad and sucked the life from Josh Kelley and myself.  There you have it.  Gritty grief truth…it was pretty craptastic feeling, but we gave it our best go.  The kids had 4  Easter egg hunts.  We randomly dyed eggs with a cheap dye kit from Walgreens.  They got more candy than they did at Halloween.  I did not go to church.  I cried a lot.  I especially cried when I pulled Everett’s egg carton out with everyone else’s egg cartons.  I can’t bring myself to get rid of it, so I re-tucked it away again to cry over next year.  It was all hard.  I don’t even know what all to say about it because it feels like such a weird holiday to feel devastated on, but I was a wreck.  Oh and Amon ran out of room in his bag during one egg hunt so he grabbed a collection plate.  Alas.

In other news, Leo loved his first Easter.  He was hilariously sad hunting for eggs because A) He cannot move fast due to how winded he gets and he’s not good at running…hello heart defect and physical therapy.  And B) He had to open each egg immediately upon picking it up.  No gathering as many eggs as quickly as possible for Leo.  Nope.  He must know what is in that egg right away and if it’s edible it must be eaten that very moment as well.  Gah, I love him.

And I cannot remember the last time my kids had “Easter clothes”…pretty sure it was when Harper was one and then again in 2012 when a friend of my Mom’s bought Harper, Hudson, Solomon and Amon all Easter outfits.

But Winter did get fresh Easter hair…rainbow beads and all…so maybe that counts for something.

2. Cuties and weirdos.  I love them.

Please Leo, let’s stand closer to the TV so you can see with your glasses propped on your forehead. 🙂

3.  Leo has this new obsession with wrapping his blankie around him like a legit old lady.  It’s hilarious and a piece of me wants to get him a bunch of cats and hopes he will do this forever.  He loves his blanket, but it’s been amped up a notch lately and it’s pretty fantastically cute.  My favorite moment was when he was casually riding the elevator.


4.  Our nephew Cooper graduated and it was this whole emotional thing in my heart.  He’s this full on man child now and he’s kind of the best.  Coop made Josh Kelley and myself an uncle and aunt and he makes us better people.  He is funny and kind and brilliant and he makes this world so much brighter.  Crab kisses and sleepovers at our “compartment” and adventures and celebrating every small & big thing and rides home from middle school have now been replaced by food and game nights and confetti cannons and hanging with him & his friends and watching him love our kids. He’s giant and dreamy and forever our Pepe.  Love that guy so much.  Excited to watch him soar.

5.  Leo had the best IEP meeting to end his year.  I was so impressed by his team and all their goals for him.  I walked out feeling so good about this team of educators and specialists who love our boy something fierce.  It was so nice to sit among a team who ALL had his best interest at heart.  Having so many knowledgeable people in our corner…on our kids’ side…deeply wanting what’s best for him not just now, but in the long run too…and being kind & loving about it all…well, I cried and told them how encouraged I felt.  They know he’s joy and brilliance and magic and we all know how lucky we are to love him.  Afterwards Leo and I went straight to Five Daughters Bakery to celebrate.  A donna was definitely in order.

6. Anyone want to guess how many times I had this pairing during soccer season?  A lot.  That’s how many.  I’ve never been a soft pretzel kind of gal and then my friend Leah told me about Sonic’s new soft pretzel stick and it’s amazing.  So then I tried the ballpark’s soft pretzels and well, it’s a slippery soft pretzel slope and I fell straight down it.  I was legit sad at the last soccer game of the season and not because I wouldn’t watch my kids play organized sports for a brief period of time, but because I wouldn’t be able to get a pretzel.  Hard times.

7.  Come on.  Josh Kelley is such a great dad and Amon Kelley is the cutest human kitty cat on the planet.

8.  Everett & Winter were 7 months apart.  Last week Winter graduated from pre-school & Everett should have been right there beside her.  They were instant besties…minus the first two weeks where Winter made him cry a lot.  Hahaha.  We’ve felt our sadness really heavy lately.  When Winter walked into the gym with her class and saw the giant rainbow arch I saw her audibly gasp and then immediately search the room for my eyes.  We landed on each other…she pointed & smiled and tears instantly were mine.  I hate that he’s not here. I hate that she didn’t have him by her side, but the way she loves him even in death takes my breath away.  Forever grateful for their sweet bond.  Forever grateful for the way she carries him with her.  Sometimes grief is just so overwhelming and despite wanting and trying to focus on the joy of Winter finishing pre-K and starting kindergarten, as I watched her I just continued to cry because all I could see was Everett missing and another little heart that misses her big brother.

9. My friend Lindsey from Bottle of Tears sent me her new Terra Cotta Teardrop Seed Bead Earrings.  When Winter saw them she said, “Mom, they look like upside down rainbows.”  And that’s why Lindsey sent them and because she’s crazy kind.  They are my new favorites because they are gorgeous and so light weight I often forget I’m wearing them.  And there are so many other color combos and I’m already thinking about what a great gift these will make.

And 10.  The last day of school was a doozy.  There were a lot of feelings and a lot of tears from a lot of kids.  Next year is a big year for everyone with new schools and Hudson and Solomon starting middle school.  I know they are going to do awesome, but change is still hard and leaving friends is extra extra hard…even if they still live down the street. 🙂  Grateful for the hope of a new school year in new places with new people to meet and get to know.  Next year we’ll have a 7th grader, 2 5th graders, a 1st grader,  a kindergartener and 1 in pre-k…in 4 different schools…that all start and end at the same time.  Ask me if Josh Kelley and I are crazy…just ask me!  Big big year, but for now we’re welcoming in summer and catching our summer groove.

A lot of change this school year, but mainly just more hair. 😉

August 2018

May 2019


  1. Lisa gilliam says:

    When I see your pictures I see an incredible gift. These kids are so full of love for each other. I’m sure there are times it gets touchy but overall they look sincerely happy. I look forward to seeing the adults they become and what they will do. They are learning life lessons by being in your fun,diverse,crazy,loving family you both provide. You always get my mom award.
    Have a wonderful summer

  2. Mary Ann scanlon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey. These kids are the future of what we all should strive for in our family and communities. Diverse and loving and so supportive of each other.

  3. Jillian says:

    I really appreciate how much you value being an aunt- and that special relationship- even though you’re also a mother. Made me start bawling. Maybe the most random part of this post to connect with, but I just appreciate it. Lots of feelings swirling around here too. Thank you for always mentioning that bond. It’s a beautiful thing 🙂

  4. Haha the boys hair. ‍♀️ I love it! Higher the hair closer to Jesus y’all.

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