I really did not intend to stay away this long.  My friend Amanda’s little boy Toby had open heart surgery almost 3 weeks ago and has been working so hard to get off ECMO ever since.  Honestly it just felt weird and yucky and not right to write about all the random things I had in my head when Toby was struggling so hard.  I remember when Everett was at Mott it was bizarre to me to see and read all the things going on in everyone’s lives when what I felt should happen is for the world to halt right where it was.  So I just took a break.  It was some time I needed.

Toby is still on ECMO, but a lesser form.  He is making steps forward, but still needs all our hopes and prayers.  His heart function is good, but his little lungs still need some time.  I think about Toby and his precious family (Amanda & Meredith) every single day.  I so desperately want them to walk out of that hospital all together.  For updates and ways to pray check out Amanda’s IG feed.

(Meredith’s pic ^)

Life has felt weirdly hard and sad lately.  The holiday season is always funky feeling without Everett.  We’ve been carrying on doing our thing the best we can.  Leo and I got to have lunch with Hilliary and Jessica recently which was insanely nice.  Right after we got to Everett in China I will never forget sitting in our Zhengzhou hotel and reading the kindest message from Hilliary.  She had found me on facebook and I sobbed over her loving words for our boy and us.  She’s also the one who shared with us about Leo so we have been deeply connected ever since.  I will hang tight to those who are not afraid to say Everett’s name and ask those tough questions and don’t run from my answers.

I’ve been working some over the past few weeks.  Momentum came from the stack of medical bills we had going on.  Ha.  I suppose that will do it, but it was crazy nice to create and fill MY SHOP twice.  To everyone who purchased items…THANK YOU…we are beyond grateful for your support.  There are a few canvases still available in MY SHOP if anyone is interested or looking for a sweet Christmas gift.   My stationery and Online Bible Journaling Class are on sale as well.

Hudson, Solomon & Amon were in our schools’ Veteran’s Day program this year.  Our elementary school does a program every single year and has for the last 17 years.  I have actually never attended, but with 3 of our boys having parts I knew this was my year.  Amon could not wait for me to watch him sing You’re a Grand Old Flag and Hudson and Solomon had speaking parts as local Navy and Marine soldiers.  There was honor and sweetness and sentiments and cute kids singing and all the tears.

November held World Adoption Day…which kind of feels weird in general.  This year we followed suit with one of my favorite IG feeds Kindred + Co instead of drawing smiley faces on our hands we chose our own personal symbol.  There should be 9 hands in our photo.  Some days the grief and loss that fills each of us and each child’s story out weighs the joy and goodness.  Our kids have experienced great loss and trauma and some days we feel the physical weight of it all.  There are more questions than answers and I wish I could be every answer they need.  So we look for the good…the bright spots…the pinholes of light.  They are always there.  Brave birth parents and brave kids shine the brightest.  Everett’s light carried within ours hearts always.  We may not be smiley faces this year, but we are colorful love.  These 7 kiddos will always be my greatest honor.

I just adore anytime our niece Campbell gets to do everyday normal things with us.  She went with Harper and I to run some errands the other day and she simply makes everything that much more fun.  She makes me excited to have teenagers because I think teenagers are pretty great.  She adds humor and weirdness and enjoyment and laughter to everything. 🙂  Campbell is one of the special ones.

The 20th marked 7 years since we lost my mom.  I still think about her everyday and how she would just be over-the-moon about all her grandkids.  She was an amazing Mom, but she was an outstanding Grammy…I think it was her greatest joy.  I miss her a lot.  I miss having a parent and being someone’s daughter.  Her hugs were top notch and I definitely got my hug skillz from her.  She made you feel seen and special even shortly after meeting her for the first time.  It was her gift and she shared it well.  She taught me the importance of the little things like making birthday desserts for my kids, sending mail, noticing that perfect little something for just that one person, the importance of good ice-cream and that laughter is key.  7 years feels far too long and I often think about her and Everett together.  Miss them both fiercely.

And we’ve been soaking up sweet Leo.  Our days are filled with all his appointments and I will always know it is an honor to advocate and fight for what is best for him and all our kids.  Every day I catch myself staring at him all googly lovey eyed.  I’m so thankful he’s here and each day is an undeserved gift.  He makes us better.

Blogging is out, but it is one of my greatest loves even still.  I hope I’m still sitting here pecking away at these keys long after my hair turns grey.  Thanks again for those of you who are sticking around for my rambles.  Means the world.


  1. Blogging is out??? What??? Noooo… I will continue to read and follow and creepily stalk you until we can meet in heaven!!
    Though I am old!! I host a bible study mostly of younger women and I was asked if I take Venmo(?). I quickly said I do not. They then told me it was a paying system. I thought it was a drug! Uffda I feel old at 43!

  2. I’ve missed you!! So happy to read your words today. Keep blogging! Love you guys

  3. Rachel Wilson says:

    Laura Kelley you make me proud to know you. I tell you every chance I get that you are a brave badass. I admire you so much. Your mama was a great light in this world and she passed that on to you. I was thinking about her yesterday. And about how all these people love you. I was thinking specifically about how quickly the key fobs sold out ( mainly because I missed out again) but then it made me think how possibly she’s part of making sure all these people love on you because she’s not here to get to love on you. To me that sounds like a Sandra thing to do. ❤️❤️

  4. The picture of your mom with your 3 oldest babies is the best!

  5. I have been reading since forever and love it your blog and your positive spin on life even when it is impossibly hard – blogging may not be cool anymore but keep on sharing or you will be so missed

  6. Blogging will always be cool for those of us who love reading and writing about real life. I was so happy to grab some fobs, do I have to gift them? Nope!

  7. Vanessa in Texas says:

    I love reading your blog entries and have “followed” you for years. I have laughed, cheered, cried, sobbed and prayed right along with your other “blog readers/online supporters”. Laura Kelley, we think you’re pretty amazing and an inspiration to so many.

  8. Therese Schulle Stokes says:

    I can’t imagine not having your blog to read! Is that weird? I don’t know exactly how long I’ve been following along on your journey, but it was well before your mom passed. Maybe 9 years!! Your love runs deep for her and your family. Through every tear, smile, and laugh I manage while reading I’d like to think I grow somehow in your little wisdoms. Thank you for always being so open and candid with your feelings. Sending big hugs your way always!

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