Eleven Things

1. We’ve practically been living at the hospital and doctor’s offices.  Leo has one special little heart and body and getting to the bottom of everything is taking patience and time.  In the meantime, he’s pretty dang cute and snacks make everything better.  Everything.

2.  Leo got his glasses a few weeks ago.  Ummmmm, I’m pretty sure he’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  He did really well the first few days, but now he’s a glasses tosser. 🙂  I thought at first I had been hoodooed by the optometrist office for paying way too much for “indestructible” glasses, but sure enough they were much needed.

3.  Amon brought me home the sweetest gift from school.  Having three heart warrior sons makes me a total sucker for hearts.  I immediately grabbed a thumb tack and up on the wall this beauty went.  Amon was beyond proud.  Love that boy to smithereens.


4. Speaking of suckers…Harper is a total sucker for Amon.  Has been since the moment she met him in Ethiopia when he was a tiny baby and she hadn’t even started kindergarten yet.  Six years later and he’s still got her wrapped around his adorable finger.

And now Leo’s on the scene and she’s a goner again.  She just can’t help it.  She’s a sucker for all these littles and they love her fiercely right back.

5.  Leo is an amazing sleeper during the day, but come night time, well, sleep is his arch nemesis and apparently he loathes us.  Hahahaha.  If Josh Kelley and I can ever get another date night we are sure to nap during it.  It’s been awhile since we’ve been this tired and we’ve tried every last trick in the book.  We’re crossing all our fingers and toes that one day he’ll get the hang of it and surely he won’t go to college waking up 54 times during the night.

6.  One of my most favorite memories was watching and listening to Everett talk with his Uncle Andy and Aunt Becky in Mandarin.  Watching his face when they started to speak his home language was priceless to us.  Leo has some speech issues, but his facial expressions are the same.  He lights up when they start to talk to him in Mandarin and it’s priceless.  He understands every word they say and I love watching him listen and respond the he can.

7.  10 months came and went.  It sucked.  I feel like these days become more and more painful.  They are often lonely days stuck in our grief.  There are just far too many emotions wrapped up in these days and I find myself thinking back through the past 10 months and all they have held.  I miss my old self, but every day I’m becoming more and more okay with having a hope and love and religion that has been put to the fire and that’s quite rough and messy.  I’m learning to embrace what creates more compassion and love in me.  I’ve felt first hand how those who have suffered tend to and love those suffering around them so well.

8.  I emotionally eat.  Like if I have a bad day you better believe I’m into some chocolate or Cheetos or something crazy tasty.  On the last full week of school I bought these at Target and then opened them IN THE CARRIDER LINE and then devoured them all within days.  Buy them, eat them and thank me later.

9.  Josh Kelley and I haven’t had a date since I can’t even remember.  Our Medication Administration refresher course at 9am on a Saturday morning served as the hottest date we’ve had in a long time.  I did fix my hair, apply makeup and enjoy a mini tube of Pringles DCS provided us with so that was a bonus.

10.  Sundays are now our flag football days.  You will find us at the park with Big Daddy and all the snacks and icees and sweating in the shade and trying to find Leo’s glasses in the grass and cheering our boys on.  It’s always fun and it’s always nice seeing our boys smile and enjoy something they didn’t know they would really like.

And 11.  Leo is the quirkiest, cutest little thing.  He just marches to his own little beat and squats anywhere and everywhere and his hair grows in it’s own natural faux hawk and he always smiles with his entire face.  Sometimes he’s really quiet and we find  him doing something incredibly cute all by himself.  Snacks are his love language and he loves a good cuddle.  He adores the water…give him all the water, all the time.  Pool.  Water table.  Hose pipe.  Bath.  Water bottle.  Sink.  Bird bath.  Any water source will suffice.  We love love love getting to know him and learning more and more about his little personality every single day.


  1. Frances Dunaway says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your family has never left my prayer list and I am glad happiness is slowing making its’ way back into your lives.

  2. Marianne cupples says:


  3. Laura I feel like you would dig the podcast Terrible Thanks for Asking. Have you listened to it?

  4. Thank you for sharing. I pray for your family often and it’s so nice to see your pictures. The kiddos are growing up and Leo looks like he is loving life and fits right in. Still praying for your broken hearts. Sweet Everett won’t be forgotten. Hugs from WV!

  5. This is one of your best posts ever. It is full of hope and fun and joy, all in the midst of unspeakable pain. The pictures say it all. It is plain to see how the Holy Spirit is surrounding, lifting, and guiding you through this journey. Can you see it? Do you feel it? You are more brave than you know and your courage to keep moving through it is, as you might like to say, “crazy awesome!”

  6. So happy to see you all adjusting and finding fun in the little things you do as a family. Leo looks so happy and like he has always been one of the Kelley clan! Prayers for good news with his heart issues and hoping this will soon be a distant thing for all of you. Enjoy your summer and every precious moment you have together. You are both doing an amazing job as parents..never underestimate all you do everyday to keep your family going. High five Mama.. ✋

  7. Leo is definitely a Kelley. That’s all there is to it.

  8. The picture of Harper & Leo with the icee is amazing.

  9. You may have already thought of this/tried this with Leo…essential oil before bed? There are multiple ways you could use them….in a bedtime bath, a couple of drops on a tissue tucked inside his pillow, or running a diffuser in his room overnight. Praying he starts to sleep better so you and Josh can get some rest!

  10. Your 11 Things posts are my favorite! The picture of Leo giving the side eye in the target carriage is the cutest!

  11. Gretchen says:

    That photo of Harper giving Leo a smooch and him with the Icee is the absolute best! Love it and all of it!

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