Three Whole Weeks

Hi!!!  Gosh, it’s been three weeks since I’ve stopped in and typed my guts out on these keys.  It’s been a whirlwind in so many ways.  November is a weird month for my anxiety and sadness.  It’s my birthday month and the month my Mom died in.  The day she died was just the weirdest day because her death was sudden and on set and I was by myself when some serious decisions needed to be made and a doctor yelled at me and I was 29 and very clueless about ALL THE HOSPITAL & DEATH THINGS.  So it often feels like a lot of replaying the whole day over and over again in my head and remembering not so great feelings and words said and I can feel some serious anger about it all.  We do always celebrate her and this year it was with Dairy Queen.  Amon and I got her favorite Butterfinger Blizzard and all felt mediumly right in the world for a moment.

I wrote this about her yesterday:

“I love this photo of us. She was my person. She is my one true parent. The one who stuck it out and loved and cared and gave with zero strings attached. She always wrapped me up tight. She always called. She always loved us and our kids to absolute pieces. She taught me my #1 parenting goal…To always pursue my kids. To chase after and love them fiercely and unconditionally no matter what. I miss her hugs and laugh the most. She felt like straight up home and acceptance just as I was…no fixing required. 8 years feels like far too long.  Another day closer in all the ways.”

I’ve been working some.  I put together 40 kindness advent kits and then sold them.  That’s how that works right?!?!  HA! 🙂  Now I’m working on key fobs.  Creating makes me feel better.  It’s this weird push and pull because it is insanely hard for me to get started creating these days, but once I get into my groove it’s just what I need.  I’ve been trying to push myself some everyday to create something no matter how big or small…just something.

We nailed down our own kindness advent activities for this season.  This will mark our 9th year of doing this which seems so insane.  You can read all about it HERE…my mom’s death inspired it all.  This year we are doing things that are completely free or things we already have the supplies for around our home because medical bills are legit.  I thought we’d have a hard time coming up with 25 things, but after a few car rides to and from school we had brainstormed a whole list.

I also put together a PDF of 101 Kindness Activities and listed it in my shop for $5.  It’s all the things we have done over the years or are doing this year.  I love this little list and it weirdly means so much to me.  Anyways, if you’d like to snag it CLICK HERE!!!

Winter and Leo are now the #1 school picture takers in our home.  These gems landed in my email and a smiled stretched so far across my face I almost broke.  I mean, Leo’s crooked glasses and giant wet spot on his shirt = perfection.  Winter was recently gifted some gold necklaces from Mrs. Diana at church.  I’m not sure who was working the kids’ photo line that day, but apparently they thought the necklaces should be neatly tucked under her collar and on full display.  Thank you whoever you are!  We’re considering getting personalized mouse pads made. 🙂

We get to celebrate 3 birthdays in the fall.  Josh Kelley busted into his 37th year first.  He requested things like sausage balls and orange juice with pulp (Gag!) for breakfast and chocolate chip cookies and a date night at Bar Taco.  So we did all of that.  I even lost his birthday card…already filled out and sealed…at the hospital…and didn’t even buy a replacement.  I just told him about his card…provided a spoken visual…and he was good with it.

Hudson was up next.  He turned 11 and Josh and I wondered how we got so lucky to parent this giant man child.  Donuts and a Little Debbie birthday cake and Taco Bell and some new soccer gear and a game of soccer at the park with Icees were all on the agenda.

He’s the funniest guy.  Our resident comedian and sweet love.  When I look at him, I feel his feelings so strongly.  I feel his smiles and laughter and his sadness and nervousness.  I hear his words and feel it all and I’m so glad I do.

As part of his gift Josh, Hudson, Solomon, Big Daddy and their friend Adrian all went to a Nashville Soccer Club game.  They had THE BEST time and now Josh and his dad are ready to buy season tickets next year.  They had an absolute blast.

And I’m the last Kelley birthday of each year.  I turned the big 37 too.  I’m usually super strategic about special days, but this year I felt pretty meh about it all.  Just my luck, some friends stepped in and made my birthday weekend a little extra.  Ashley, Alissa and Leah shoved me in the car at 5am and instead of hitting up the gym like we usually do they whisked me off the Waffle House for breakfast.  Leah hung up a birthday banner and even pulled champaign out of her purse to make mimosas.  Come on now, amazing.

Jen and Chad bought ridiculously amazing tickets to the Avett Brother’s concert and Jen and I had a night out.  It was insanely good.  We laughed and cried and talked about all the big and small things.  Jen’s one of my most favorite people to chat with because nothing will shock her.  She’s as open and accepting as they come.  It was such a good night and the cherry on the very top was when the rainbow lights lit up the stage and I felt Everett so close.  Miss that little boy like crazy.

For my actual birthday not much was on the agenda other than watching some amazing kiddos play soccer, finding the funniest penis shaped gummy…it’s supposed to be a carrot, but we all know better…and hanging some leaves at Everett’s grave.  That’s all I really wanted…minus the penis gummy. 🙂

And now the end of November is close.  Like so close.  I’m hoping to stop back in again sooner than later.  It feels good to type and share even the most mundane of things.  I think about this little space on the internet and I hope I never wander too far away.  Thanks so much for stopping by, reading and caring.  Means the world.


  1. Your family is AMAZING! Thank you for the update and sharing your pictures and life with us. I LOVE that Everett’s name was on the list. He is thought of so often. We can’t imagine your pain and hurting hearts. Our Christmas tree is up and our ornament with his name is on there as well. Happy Birthday to Josh, Hudson and you. I hope you have a crazy, noisy, loud and fun Thanksgiving. Hugs from West Virginia.

  2. Do you realize just how beautiful that you are? You are beautiful to look at. Your heart & your soul are too beautiful to describe. I love your family without ever having to meet you. While reading the above, so many emotions went through me. My Mom has been my one true parent as well. She’s going to be 84 at the very end of February. 29th if it’s a leap year. She has always been there for us. I would give my life for her. Every Thanksgiving (ours is the 2nd Monday in October) when I make supper for the family members who still talk to each other, I have everyone give me their cell phones and they are not allowed to start taking food until we’ve each said at least a couple of things that we are thankful for. Breathe in here. Every year when it’s my turn I burst into tears (I’ve trie not to but can’t) because I’m always thankful that I have my Mom. Dad died June 3rd 2009. I didn’t get to say goodbye because he was in a drug induced coma. I cried, smiled, smiled big time, cried a lot of tears, decided Ron’s getting a donna cake for his 63rd birthday on February 2nd. He forgot mine again this year, but I’m too old to care. You have wonderful friends who are just so good. Leo with his glasses and the wet stain on his shirt. That little guy stole my heart the first time I saw him. Again, I wish I lived near you. Laura, you are beautiful in every possible way. ❤

  3. I’ve missed your words and all the things about your precious family. Thank you for taking the time to tell us how your sweet kiddos are doing. I hope you have a special Thanksgiving with that gorgeous family of yours xx

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