A Bunch of Summer Faves

1. Our “peace corner”.  We’ve been learning all there is to learn about Autism and best ways to help Leo.  Sensory issues are definitely high for Leo.  I get really angry inside when people don’t understand this…he doesn’t hit to be mean, he doesn’t bite to be mean, he doesn’t scream because he’s trying to be rude or bothersome, he doesn’t stomp his feet or jolt his body because he’s throwing a fit…he’s trying to meet his own sensory needs when he gets overwhelmed, over stimulated or excited.  And that’s okay.  We have been learning different ways to help Leo in those moments and after reading about a lot of different ways and techniques and tools we created what Hudson dubbed The Peace Corner.  It’s a comfy bean bag chair with a basket full of sensory tools to help Leo during those moments when he’s trying to meet his own sensory needs.  What was created to help mainly Leo, has actually helped us all.  Every kid and adult Kelley has been found chilling in this corner…some using tools from the basket, some wearing noise cancelling headphones, some taking a nap.  It has been beneficial for us all.

Noise Cancelling Headphones, Chew Necklace (just for Leo), Motion bubbler, Stress Balls, Fidget Cube, Stretchy Strings and Pinball Toy. (affiliate links)

2. ALL THE DOCTORS/THERAPY VISITS TOGETHER!  And I do mean, ALL OF THEM.  I will swear by us knowing the best in the business and we love all our teams.  They know who we are and they are totally okay with us just as we are.  All our regulars never made us feel like too much this summer and that was incredibly nice as we rolled into waiting room after waiting room as a party of 7.

3.  This print.  My friend Meredith sent it to me and I could not pick up a frame quick enough.  Now it’s sitting by our sink…another physical reminder of Everett…and of Meredith.  She’s literally one of my most favorite humans.

4.  Our rainbow balloon arch.  My friend Ashley taught me how to make balloon arches and then I couldn’t be stopped.  And by couldn’t be stopped, I really mean I made just one additional one. 🙂 But it was the very next day.  Since Leo would be headed to Mott middle of July and then Everett’s death anniversary and then his birthday I thought the house could use some bright colored balloon love.  And currently it’s still up because I love it so much!

5.  Sugar cones.  I mean, other than Leo’s world renowned heart surgeon and entire cardiology team 🙂 sugar cones were are real summertime MVP.

6.  Melon baller.  Harper bought this with her own money and why does balled melon taste way better than regular melon?!?!

7.  Wave Country‘s hot pretzel.  Coming in at a whopping $1 and an additional $1 if you want cheese sauce, I might recant my comment that the sugar cone was the real MVP of our summer.

8.  Leo’s ankle braces.  As if we all thought Leo could not get any cuter, we were all collectively wrong.  The boy got some dinosaur printed ankle braces to help with his strengthening in his legs and feet and he’s soooo adorable in them.

9.  Amon’s red, white and blue 1/2 cast.  He got ALL the compliments and the 1/2 cast was waterproof and changed Amon’s summer mood instantly.  Freedom in the pool is life for this kid.

10.  Crayola Sidewalk Chalk We drew and drew and drew in our driveway this summer.  My favorite addition to our drawings were the kids chalk body outlines…hilarious and disturbing all at the same time.  Long live the sidewalk chalk!

11.  New rainbow wall in our neighborhood.  Maybe my top favorite photos from the summer.  Thank you rainbow wall and sweaty, hot, adorable Kelley children.

12.  Slushies and Icees.  No other words are needed.

13.  Rainbow bunting lights.  Fun Ashley sent these to the kids and Winter immediately made them her own making her entire life forever and ever amen.  Every night she turns them on and we have burned through 537 batteries in two months time.

14.  Ellsworth Kelly stamps.  Come on now.  Has there ever been a more perfect stamp?!?!  I think not.  Now if only Ellsworth would fix his last name because everyone knows Kelley has an extra E.

15.  Harper & her bestie Audrey.  These two are ridiculously sweet together.  They had a few weeks apart when they couldn’t see each other so they wrote each other a note for each day.  And then I died from the absolute sweetness & love that is their friendship.  Gah I love tween girls!!!

16.  Cypress & Rose Ointment.  I’m back with yet another oily combo I am loving!!  I roll some cypress under my eyes and then rub it in with some rose ointment and I really really really love it!  It makes my eyes brighter and feel more awake…plus the smell is amazing.  I’m technically a Young Living distributor, but really signed up so me and my friends could get the discount and don’t push selling them, but again, if you need some help with them, hit me up.

And 17.  Sandy’s Amazing Chocolate Chunk Cookie.  I don’t want to be overly dramatic about this one, but I dare say this is the best cholocate chip cookie I’ve ever had.  My friend Aimee sent me one while we were in Michigan and I then proceeded to re-order this cooke 4 additional times.  It is AMAZING!!!  And it has little pieces of salted pretzel and cream cheese and giant chocolate chunks and just THE BEST!!  Someone local tell me if they have seen these in Nashville STAT!


  1. Sandy kreps says:

    What a great post!! Do tell how you make a balloon arch!

  2. I love your posts! And it’s amazing to see all the kids smile and grow. Thanks for letting us all gathe rround this summer for Leo. He is the best antidote for feeling like it’s a bad day.

  3. Where is the rainbow wall/mural?

  4. Where is the bean bag chair from?

  5. Leo’s little ankle braces are adorable. It reminds me when my son was in kindergarten and my daughter, who is a couple grades above, told me about a girl in his class who had braces. This was in the midst of all sorts of information being given and I didn’t think anything about it. She mentioned it again at a later date, and I told her that I never saw this little girl with braces and I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. Well, a couple months later, I saw the little girl and saw her ANKLE braces and finally put it together that the ankle braces were what my daughter was talking about! I thought she had meant braces on her teeth the whole time. Silly story but I thought of it seeing Leo’s cute little ankle braces. This little girl had glasses also and I always think little ones in glasses are the cutest too!

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