Princess for a day

My sweet baby girl turned seven on Saturday.


As in no longer six.


She is currently at the perfect age for all things Disney Princess, so I decided that this was the time to make her a Princess for a Day.

So my mom and I packed a giddy little girl up and off we skipped to Disney World for an over-the-top girly girl day at the Bippidi Boppidi Bootique where Tia got all dolled up before heading into the Magic Kingdom.

No cake and ice cream, but a chocolate dipped, M&M covered Rice Cripey Treat? Yes, please!

Magic Kingdom was crowded, but we managed to squeeze in a ride, a show, an exploration to the top of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and quite a bit of prancing in front of Cinderella’s castle.

We capped off the perfect day with a dream come true dinner with Cinderella herself.

The look of awe and pure bliss on Tia’s face was worth it all. It was a magical day for all of us.

And less than five minutes after leaving the park, Sleeping Beauty herself fell fast asleep.

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful of them all.



I’m not one of those people who is embracing age with verve and gusto. Forget all the wisdom and knowledge and experience that comes with each passing year. All I see are wrinkles and blah, blah, blah

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

There are fun things about getting older, but most of them center around the fun ages of my children and where we are as a family. But just the plain old process of getting older? Meh. I’m not a fan. So…in honor of me growing one year wiser older, I present you with my very own….

Top Ten List of Signs You’re Getting Old

*drumroll please*

10.) Your left hip pops every time you walk up a flight of staris. Only if you turn your foot out *just so* and walk up the stairs at a sort of sideways angle, the popping stops. Then you just look weird and your eight year old asks loudly why you’re walking so funny so that everyone looks at you and you have to walk up like a normal, not-getting-old person and deal with the popping. Obviously this is just hypothetical…


9.) You get excited by things like Crock Pots and Foreman Grills. Let me repeat that – CROCK POTS EXCITE YOU!

*If someone would please just pass me my cane*

8.) You visit the eye doctor and he prescribes readers, which causes you to envision punching him in the teeth, but you don’t because you’re older and responsible and your children are watching.

Plus, you know, it’s not nice to punch people in the teeth, which in general is a pretty good rule of thumb to live by no matter what age you are, don’t you think?

7.) You call anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 “kids.”

Really? REALLY?! Weren’t you just one of them?

(The answer to that is a resounding NO.)

6.) You see the aforementioned “kids” and feel like you could easily merge right into a group of them and be accepted, and mistaken for, one of them. Then you look in the mirror and realize that, indeed, you could not. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. Not gonna happen, Grandma

5.) You find a new wrinkle every day and no matter how much silicone is inside your jar of face cream, they don’t seem to be fading.

4.) You train everyone in your house to automatically mute all commercials because Oh my heavens the noise. You also find yourself muttering more than once about the general decline of society thanks to television and you reminisce about when you were little and there were only a few stations, which meant you didn’t spend all day sitting in front of the TV because there really wasn’t anything to watch anyway.

3.) You are always quick to join any conversation that involves current gas prices or the economy.

2.) It physically pains you to type “LOL” on anything and “ROFL,” “LMBO,” “LMFAO” and other such acronyms nearly send you into spasms from the sheer ridiculousness of it all. And for heavens sake don’t even get you started on “text talk.” Is it really that hard to hit two more letters to spell the word “you?”

*seriously – forget calling me Grandma. Just jump right in to calling me Mamaw*

(For some reason, though, OMG does not bother you, but instead gives you the giggles. Especially when you hear a little girl, who has obviously been trained well not to take the Lord’s name in vain, utter loudly and proudly, “O-M-Goodness.” )

Bless her sweet heart.

1.) You spend the morning cleaning out the floorboards of your minivan…and you’re actually excited about it.

And there you have it – my Top Ten List of Signs You’re Growing Old.

I know, I know. 34 is not that old. Age is just a number.

Whatever. I’ll believe you tomorrow.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got anti-aging cream to apply and a minivan to clean.

Any of you have anything to add to that list?









Her daddy thinks we ought to ship her off to a convent in northern Iceland. I would tend to agree.

We might be in trouble with this one.

On her third birthday I told her everything I wanted her to know as she grew.

For her fifth birthday I made a video celebrating her.

Oh how she deserves to be celebrated.

The lone female, sandwiched between all that male.

And today she is six.

Happy Birthday, Katya Rose.

One more year

I am officially one more year older as of Saturday.  I am 29.

Stop laughing.

I have to tell my children that because the two youngest can’t say their “Th” sound, which means “Th” sounds like “F” so when they say my age they place me well into a decade that I’m not prepared to enter.

When I was a 19 year old college girl, I began dating a boy who was, at the time, a senior.  One night as we sat in his apartment, I asked him how old he was.  “23,” he replied.  And I almost had a heart attack because OMG 23 was so old.

One year after marrying my husband, we headed over to the home of a couple who was one life phase ahead of us.  They had three young kids, a big house and were everything we thought we wanted to be.  It was my birthday.  “How old are you today?” they asked.

“23,” I replied.  And they laughed.  “Do you remember 23, babe?” she asked her husband.

“Barely,” he replied and I laughed along with them but for a different reason because OMG 23 felt so old.

Shortly thereafter I began having children.  And I waddled around, 25 and knocked up.  Feeling so old. Despite the fact, however, that I looked to be no older than a teenager in a very precarious position.

Then I hit 29 (where I have remained) and I finally felt at peace with my age.  When you have three children and you’re under thirty, you tend to get a look or two.  It’s a look of pity and wonderment.  Three kids already, huh? I got asked more than once. So 29 felt right…it felt good.

So I stopped there.  Mentally, anyway.  The truth is, I’m only in my early thirties.  I’m two whole years away from my mid-thirties so there’s really no need to acknowledge the thirties at all, in my opinion.

And there sure as heck isn’t any reason to tell my kids my age.  Because if I do, then whenever they’re asked how old mommy is, their reply will be, “Mommy if fowty-fwee.”

And h@#^ no I’m not.  I’m nowhere near the 4-number.  I can’t be because OMG forty is so old.

Stop  laughing.

Obviously, age is just a number and it’s all relative.  Forty really isn’t that old, but in my mind, it seems old.  I remember my parents turning forty, for cryin’ out loud.  But whatever.  The older you get, the younger old looks…right, Dad?

But I’m a long way from the 4 number so there’s no need to worry about that anyway.  Moving on…

So the number may  not be my favorite thing but, I have to say, that in my 29-ish years of life the greatest accomplishment I’ve had by far are these three:


I still feel like that little 19 year old girl floating on the cloud of youth (just the fact that I am compelled to refer to anyone under the age of 25 as “little” or “kid” is evidence of my age…) but I will gladly grow older because each year brings new joys, new blessings and the chance to watch those sweet kids grow.

I’ll take that in exchange for a few new wrinkles.  But just a few!

Just please, don’t ask them to say my real age until we’ve had a little time to work with a speech therapist.  Deal?

Stop.  Laughing!

Don’t get me wrong…

I love my kids.  I love to be with them and I love to laugh with them and play with them and spend time with them.


These flippin’ snow days are MAKING ME BATTY.

*deep breath*

I think the children are going to start eating one another.

Sloan cleaned this morning.  He vacuumed and dusted, pulling dressers out and cleaning the floors behind him.  This is awesome, obviously, but it’s also evidence of the fact that we’re all going a little crazy.  A seven year old voluntarily scrubbing his room?  Not normal!

Did you know that the average four year old asks 437 questions a day?  So if I have a chatty three year old, stubborn five year old and headstrong seven year old all trapped under the same roof, using a model of mathematics called estimation, I can safely assume that I’m being asked 1,500 questions/day.  I’m also being told roughly 523 times that he/she kicked me, pushed me, hit me, licked me, bit me, touched me, breathed on me.  I’m being asked 47 times a day for a snack or a drink (they still expect to be fed!) and every ten minutes I’m asked if we can watch a movie, play Wii or play computer games. 

It’s tempting not to say yes and let them do that all day long.  But alas, I’ve found that when my children sit in front of the TV all day they turn into jittery, weepy zombies without the will to reason.

On the other hand…my kids are pretty dang funny and, despite being trapped, we have had some fun this week.  It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed it – it’s just that every day I enjoy it a little less.  And so do they

A few pictures of the happier times for your viewing enjoyment.



We’re not really sure who had a better birthday yesterday – Tia or Kit.





Seriously.  Where did this kid come from?  He’s yet to find a camera he didn’t love…





Five Extraordinary Years

All of my children are miracles.  They are miracles to me.  All three of them own my heart and are wrapped into the depths of my soul.  There is a feeling that is a little deeper, though, when I look at my daughter.

My daughter.

To hear those words when I had convinced myself I would never have a daughter…That moment is forever etched on my heart.  She’s my daughter.  Mine. 

And I adore her.

I want the world for her.

I want to protect her from the world.

She’s beautiful and sassy and funny and awesome.

She’s my daughter.

And today?  Today she is five.



5 Extraordinary Years from Kelli Stuart on Vimeo.

 Happy Birthday to my sweet girl today.  I look forward to many more extraordinary years…

Song by Rebekah Sullivant from her Little Lambs and Lullabies album.

Many thanks to Jim of BusyDadBlog for inspiring me to begin using video and for taking the time to teach me how to use the software.  Hopefully there will be many more videos to come.