8 Things

1. Valentines has come and gone, but it’s always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with the kids.  I actually got a stomach bug on Valentines Day this year…come on…nothing’s sexier than puking your guts up for 12 hours straight.  I had planned a fun celebration before I got hit with the bug so Josh Kelley and the kids enjoyed their heart shaped pizza, fun brightly colored bottled sodas and angel food cake with strawberries, whipped cream and heart sprinkles while I stared on in straight jealousy.  I was crazy bummed to miss out.

Every Valentine’s Day I give the kids the same thing…books and beans.  Josh gets them something on his own…usually fun candy and cards.  They love it and I always have fun picking out books for each of them.  This year every book was a hit.  Must reads!!!!!!

My Heart

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

True Colors

The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade

The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

2.  Leah, Ashley, Alissa and I also went out the weekend before Valentines for RosePepper’s Galentine’s special…chips, salsa & quesso, a ton of tacos and two pictures of margaritas.  It was Sunday night dinner perfection.  We hit up Jeni’s Ice-cream afterwards too and all was right in the world.  Leah and Alissa are the queens of finding amazing food options and deals…Ashley and I are just along for the ride. 🙂

 3.  If you have not read The Hate U Give I cannot recommend it enough.  I feel like it should be required reading for everyone in middle/high school and all adults.  Such an important piece of literature.  Harper is almost done with it and she has deeply enjoyed the read as well.  It has spurred on many good, much needed conversations.  Author Angie Thomas recently released her second book On The Come Up and came to Nashville on her book tour.  Jen, Campbell, Harper and I snagged up tickets and made it a night out.  We got dinner at The Nashville Farmer’s Market and then headed to hear Angie speak at The War Memorial.

It was so good.  Angie was incredible and bold and honest and I filled a piece of paper in the dark with her words.  Two things she said that struck my heart the hardest:

“There are more books published with animals and trucks as the main character than black kids.  That’s not okay.”


“Racism is not an issue for black people to fix because we didn’t create it.”

For me as a white privileged woman, listening and learning from other races, identities and cultures is key.  I will never ever come close to understanding the depth and magnitude of how racism impacted and still impacts others’ lives.  I have immense privilege and I know there is so much work to be done.

4.  Our local elementary school participates in Jump Rope for Heart each February.  As mom to 3 heart warriors, it’s easily one of my most favorite things they do.  Every single year I walk into their gym and want to burst into tears immediately if not sooner.  I always cry watching Amon jump his sweet little heart out.  He feels so seen and recognized because he understands what this is about…his heart & his brothers’ hearts and the research that has changed and will change so much for them.  This year when I left with Leo in my arms, I felt Everett’s absence so heavily.  I was grateful for my role as their mom.  I was a puddle over the way each of my heart boys love.  I was ready for some chocolate and a nap.

5.  I look for pieces of Everett everywhere.  Basically I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for rainbows and hearts and so are our kiddos.  We are not a “Don’t mix the play-doh” kind of family..far too tired for that battle…so when I came upon this giant beautifully mixed rainbow play-dohness I

1) Though of sweet Everett and how he should be playing here with us

and 2) How I’m glad were cool with the mixing of dohs. 🙂

Aunt Jen’s Valentines ^ …swoon

Amon’s waffles ^

Harper’s strawberry slice ^

6.  My girls.  Gosh, do I ever like them.  They are too much fun and a lot of sweet and spicy.  They fight hard and love harder.  Winter knows exactly what to do to push Harper’s buttons and half the time Harper falls for it completely.  Harper also tells her almost daily, “You’re my girl.” and Winter smiles the biggest googly eyed smile back.  They make this family even better.

7.  My new most favorite oil blend.  Smells like straight up spring and I’m 100% here for it.

And 8.  Leo sleeping, Leo in his face masks and Leo in surgical gloves will never ever ever get old.  It just won’t.  It’ can’t.  Leo for president!

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  1. I’m so glad you can show us Winter’s face now. She just lights up the screen with her personality every time!

  2. Toni :0) says:

    Your family is just so beautiful. Every one of them. I have to agree with the other comment, Winter is just joy on the screen. Such a precious little gal. God bless you.

  3. As I sat in my wheelchair at the self check out line at Walm*rt yesterday, I had the joy of watching a small girl on her knees playing with some toys with spinners on them. She was oblivious to the world and totally focused on the spinning colors. I just took her in, enjoying the innocence of childhood. I finally glanced up to see how far along her Mama was with checking out and the final item she was checking out a Rainbow piñata! Tears filled my eyes and my heart just plain ol’ hurt! I miss Everett and his beautiful presence. Always, always, almost every day some small thing brings his face and life to my mind. So, I say “Thank You, Jesus for allowing me to know Everett Shuai Kelley and his family.”
    Know that he will be forever a piece of my world, as will each of your children.

    Love You, Laura.

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