Insta-Wednesday: The One with the Stories

I took a walk this morning because I live in Florida and February in Florida is a little slice of heaven. Cool in the mornings. Hot in the afternoons. Each day begs to be enjoyed, to be taken in and relished.

So I relished.

Screenshot 2014-02-24 21.17.39

I’m preparing to launch my new website next week. That will mean the official end of this website, and no kidding, I get emotional just thinking about it. I started going over my final post in my head today and got all misty-eyed, which made me want to eat Nutella in an effort to self-soothe.

Nutella is more than liquid crack. It is medication for the soul. 



I’ve seen several ads on Facebook this last month for a website called My Social Book, which takes all your Facebook activity in the course of a year and compiles it into a book. I’ve ordered two of the books so far, and I have to say I LOVE them. It’s like having a yearbook for each year I spent on Facebook. All the funny status updates, comments, birthday wishes and photos shared are bound together, and it left me misty-eyed.

Pregnancy hormones are no joke, you guys.

The Social Book from my first year on Facebook really gave me a bit of nostalgia for my blogging days of yore. The days when I had a plethora of hysterical stories to share of life parenting surviving young children. I miss telling those funny stories. Thank goodness we’re having another baby because BLOG FODDER!

My voice won’t change in the new site, but I am looking forward to the inspiration that comes with a fresh slate. Perhaps I will write less frequently, and most of the funny stories I have on the kids will have to be kept to myself, but there will still be plenty of life to share, plenty of laughs to laugh, and a lot of inspiration to soak in.

I’m excited. And I’m sad. I’m conflicted.

I want Nutella.

Here are a few photos from my morning walk. I sincerely hope you appreciate the close up of the bumble bee, because I had to get right on top of him to get that shot, and I am terrified of bees. I imagine that any neighbor who saw me taking these pictures must have assumed me crazy because I jumped and leaped and yelped every time a bee left his perch and flew at me. I was like the bee paparazzi, and they seemed entirely put out by me.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’ll see you tomorrow and Friday, and next week we’ll roll out the red carpet in a new place.

Sad Panda

Happy Dance






Nester Says Dance, and All I’ve Got is a Hobble

This photo embodies the carefree nature of childhood. That we could all be so free...

This photo embodies the carefree nature of childhood. That we could all be so free…

Friends, I’m afraid my time on this blog is drawing to a close. It hurts my heart to write those words, it really does. It’s so bittersweet for me to think of moving on, but the truth is, this blogging journey is evolving for me, and I’m slowly allowing myself to be okay with that.

I’m not done yet. I have a few more posts set up for this space in the next couple of weeks, then it will be time to officially say goodbye. That’s the bad news. The good news?

I’ve got a brand new site under design right now that will be ready very, very soon.


I’m not leaving the internet. Oh heavens, no. I like it too much here to walk away. But life has changed, I’ve changed, and honestly…I’m kind of tired of the race.

I wish that I was leaving this site on the top of my game. Not too many months ago, I had thousands of people visiting each week, and I enjoyed writing and sharing my life with everyone. Then, life got hard and something changed. People didn’t want to stay around and read the hard things, and I get it – I really do. The title of my blog insists on light-hearted humor, and I broke that rule, and it simply wasn’t fair.

The truth is, I feel like I’ve had a chair at the “big kid’s” blogging table for awhile, but I’ve never quite been able to scoot my way in. I’ve sat on the fringes, knowing the right people, offered amazing opportunities, and yet still I had to fight to be heard, fight to be seen, fight to stay relevant.

I got tired of fighting. That’s not why I started this journey. I started because I wanted to share the journey of motherhood with others who would laugh at with me. Motherhood is hard, especially when the kids are young and you are literally crawling through crap most of your days. Young mothers, hear me on this: YOU MUST LAUGH THROUGH THESE DAYS!

It is imperative that when you walk into your child’s room and find poop smeared on the wall, that you throw your head back and laugh. Trust me, the journey will be so much more fun if you do.

I loved writing those posts, but I can’t do it anymore. I cannot tell my kid’s stories, because…well, I just can’t. And really, the title of my blog dictates that I continue to tell these humorous stories of motherhood, but to do so would be to compromise my children’s trust in me, and I’m not willing to do that.

So I’m winding down, and I’m preparing to launch Kelli The way that I write will likely not change there. I still love to laugh, and every opportunity that I can do so, I will. But I’ll feel less encumbered by the title of my blog, and I feel like I’ll have more freedom to share this place that the Lord has led me to:

A place where I’m motived by the inspiration of the world around me. A place where I get back to my first love, and the dreams I held as a wide-eyed college graduate – writing books. I traded that love for blogging some time ago, and while I don’t for one second regret the journey I’ve taken these last six years, I do feel like it’s time to move forward in my craft.

My friend Myquillin wrote a beautiful post today in which she processes her return home after a second trip to Africa with Compassion International.

“Dance in your kitchen.

Do your thing well.

Share what you have.”

Nester writes these words, and they stir in my soul. I haven’t been dancing in this space of mine. I’ve been trying so hard just to keep up, to be noticed by those sitting around the “big” table, and somewhere along the way I got tired. I’m sorry for that.

I don’t feel like I can dance here anymore. All I’ve got is a hobble. But can I share where I have been dancing?

Yesterday I wrote the first three pages of my second novel. My first novel is in the hands of an editor, and my heart hopes and prays it will be picked up for publication by the end of this year. Words make my soul dance, and stories give me song. In my new space, I will continue to let the words dance, and I’ll do so less encumbered by the title of the site, and more free to dance in the inspiration that moves me.

This isn’t my official goodbye. I have a few more words left to document here. But I’m getting close, and as I do I feel a dance coming on. I do so hope you’ll join me there.

Blessings, my friends.

I’m Baaaaaack

So apparently I’ve got this burgeoning bandwidth that cannot contain the awesomeness of this website anymore. I’d like to say it’s because of my massive traffic to the site, which would, naturally, point to my spectacular blogging prowess these last few months, and the unendingly hilarious posts that have brought hundreds of thousands flocking to my little square of the internet.

But you and I know that’s not the case.

So why the exceeded bandwidth?

Turns out my laziness does indeed have bounds. One of the things I have never been good at in this blogging journey is dealing with photo issues. The time it takes to resize photos so that they’re smaller has long been a suggestion by top bloggers for several reasons, the biggest being it’s much harder for someone to steal your images if they’re smaller.

I just figured that my images were never really good enough to be worthy of theft, so I didn’t pay close attention to it. Turns out, I should have, because large files also eat up your bandwidth, and I have six years of large images in my archives that are munching on my space at an alarming rate.

Super Duper.

So this week I will be figuring out how to deal with that. Neither one of my options for handling the issues are overly appealing, so I have that going for me. While I head off to figure out how to best crawl out from this hole I’ve dug, here are a few pictures from the last week. And yes, I took the time to resize these images. Live and learn, eh?

Also, I’ve got some news regarding this here site to share soon.

Consider that your teaser to come back and visit.



This sweet girl turned 8 yesterday. So, apparently, did her American Girl doll, because the doll got the best gifts.


I got a lens for Christmas that attaches to my iPhone and allows me to take macro shots. To say I love it is an understatement. I love the way your can see the world through this lens.


Today was the 100th day of school, so Landon dressed like a 100 year old man. He is the cutest 100 year old I’ve ever seen in my whole long life.

resized spiderweb

A spider web hanging from a tree, covered in morning dew. This world is really magical, isn’t it?

If it isn’t posted on Facebook, did it really happen?


I hardly remember how life existed before Facebook. How did I survive the hilarious moments of the day or stressful World Series games without my funny friends laughing alongside me?! I love my little online community…but sometimes I love it a little too much. I need a break from the world of the internet.

Plus, I’m kind of curious to see what will happen if I stay off of Facebook for awhile. If I stop posting, will the world stop spinning? Will life go on?!

If I don’t take and post a photo a day, then did that day even exist, or will I get lost in some sort of Matrix of suspended life? WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!


I’m taking a week off of blogging and Facebook. I am a weak creature indeed, so I’ve deleted the Facebook app off of my phone, and I am turning off all notification so that I can stand firm on my resolve to stay away. I will still be checking email, working on my book and doing some editing work, but the vast majority of my days will be spent looking up and around instead of down at my screen. I’ll let you know next week if life truly does exist outside of the internet. 

In the meantime, if you didn’t have a chance to read my 31 Day series on becoming an author, I’d love for you to check it out. I loved writing this series. It was stimulating and exciting, and it reminded why I love this business of writing so very much.

So, friends – I’m off to take a walk, and I will leave my phone behind. What?! Walking without my phone?! What is that all about?!

I’ll see you all in a week! Wish me luck. *wink*

A Post About Nothing, Everything, and the One BIG Thing

Okay, friends. It’s confession time. 


I’m bored with blogging.


I know! It’s like I just insulted my dearest friend and her mom in one fell swoop! I feel like I should buy the internet an “I’m So Sorry” bouquet of daisies and an Edible Arrangement to make up for what is clearly apathy and a bit of laziness on my part.

I think this is just a temporary lull in the old blogging Mojo. I sense that it will return to me at some point and that when it does you all will roar in delighted laughter and the internet will forgive my indiscretion and will sweetly ask me if I enjoyed my little jaunts away from the the glimmering screen.

To be clear, I’m not leaving the internet. I like her too much to walk away completely. But there are other delights calling me and I feel like I need to answer. I miss writing, and by writing I mean the art of getting lost in a story. It’s a funny thing, writing a novel. It’s like the longest, most mentally exhausting labor in the history of ever, and then when it’s all over, you look at this little creation in your hands and think, “Man. When can I do this again?!”

There are other issues that make blogging more of a challenge these days than they did in the days of yore. (Because the internet moves and changes and matures so quickly, it’s very easy to refer to two years ago as “Yore.” You understand.)

First, the kids are older and I just feel kind of squicky sharing all their secrets now. I mean, they’ve provided me with a truck load of stories lately. There’ve been some real humdingers, to be sure. But somehow it feels like those stories should be theirs to tell, not mine.

Well, okay. That’s not entirely true. Some of these moments I’m just saving up to share with their prom dates, at their wedding rehearsal dinners, or any other occasion when it feels appropriate to dig into my cache of awesome and give away these treasured stories that I hold. I just don’t want to tell the whole world every little thing any more.

I’m also (lean in close, now, so I can whisper this in your ear) kind of enjoying my long quiet days. When the kids get on the bus in the morning, I know they think I head into the house and weep softly, but I don’t. I put a little music in the iPod, grab the dog and shimmy my way through the neighborhood for a walk. I come back and enjoy a long shower without fear of someone walking in to tell me how deeply they’ve been offended by a protesting sibling. And when those two things are finished?

I sit at my computer and think, “Huh. I have all this time. I bet I could start making a little more money now.”

So I’ve been brainstorming ideas, writing, editing, querying agents and publishers, and talking with friends who are in need of a writer and have the funds to hire. Then I scoot over to my little corner of the web and dust her off a little, wishing I could give her more of myself.

That’s where I am. I’m here, but my brain is a few other places and my brain has never been very good at doing two things at once. I do have an upcoming project that I’m taking part in, though. I can’t give you all the details yet because…well, because I don’t have them. But I have a little teaser, a photo to show you something big, something HUGE, that we can all do together.



Check out ‘dem apples!

We’re going to be a part of this one big thing together, my friends, and this is a good thing. This is the sort of thing that makes the internet happy and makes me never, ever want to leave blogging ever because our words and actions are going to change the world.

This one big thing is something we can all be a part of. We can help make huge improvements to this amazing ministry from the comfort of our own homes, while still wearing our slippers! Glory!

So I’m not leaving. I’m staying. I’m just confessing that I know I’ve been a little stale, but the internet is quick to forgive and you all are so very patient while I work out the kinks of this new phase of life.

So hang with me just a little while longer? And if anyone would like to send me an Edible Arrangement, I’d happily accept it…on behalf of the internet, of course.

Peace out.


Guest Post: On Waking Up Wondering if You’re Depressed

Today’s post comes from my internet friend, Nicole Unice. Nicole reached out to me a couple of years ago after reading my blog and realizing we are basically the same person living in different parts of the country. I love making friends with people who share common ground.

Nicole is a beautiful writer and a speaker. In her new book, She’s Got Issues, Nicole explores the ordinary issues that are keeping you from the full and free life you were meant to have. I would encourage you to read today’s post and be blessed. This was exactly what I needed to read after what has been a terribly difficult and exhausting weekend. I needed to hear that my brokenness is being met – that I am not forgotten. 

Thank you, Nicole, for encouraging us all today!

From Nicole: I wrote this post a while back, and I find it strangely comforting. To be encouraged by God is one of the best gifts he gives us in this life. If you are brokenhearted today, my prayer for you is that you would boldly and desperately ask God to make himself known to you, and I will join with you in faith to see Him answer that prayer.


Last Tuesday was a very bad day.


I woke up, ready to go back to bed. I felt like I had a giant swab of cotton wrapped around my head. I shuffled around the kitchen like a zombie, mumbling at the kids and chugging coffee. No particular reason. Just fuzzy. Low. Sad. Teary.

My husband is a morning person and almost immune to bad moods. He might as well whistle “zippety do dah” as he springs out of bed, he’s so cheery. But on this day, not even his sunny disposition could lift my spirits.

A few minutes later, I’m dragging around our room, avoiding the children and trying to will myself to not crawl back into the bed.

“What’s wrong…” he says.

“I don’t know,” I say.

What is wrong with me? I wonder.


“I know what’s wrong,” I say, five minutes later, teary, “I have nothing to look forward to. I feel like I work from the second my feet hit the ground until the second I close my eyes.”

Now I’m gaining steam.

“OK, you know how you hate to write (he hates to write. even emails.) Imagine if you are working hard at something you don’t like, and someone is deleting every line immediately after you finish it.”

Then I cry.

Because that is how I felt that day. Like days were endless amounts of work, me running, others coming behind me and deleting everything that I do. Endlessly serving with no return.

This is not a good place for a mom. Or a ministry leader. But this is the place I was in. And like a dark cloud inching across the horizon, this mood threatened to steal my joy and my hope, and even my faith, at least for one day.
The morning drags, the tears continue. The diagnostician in me wonders if I am depressed. Do I meet ten of the twelve required criteria on the DSM-IV manual? Am I sleeping too much, eating too little, enjoying nothing?


As I leave the house that morning, I whisper a desperate prayer.

God, I don’t have the strength to seek help or encouragement today. If you are real and you care about me, would you care for me today? I need you to show yourself–in a word, or a person, or somehow.”

It’s 9:30AM. I’m having coffee with a dear friend–more crying–more wondering if I need medication–and I get this text, at the bottom of the screen:

Prayer Answered.

What else can I say to that? Except that I felt loved even when I couldn’t ask for it. I felt encouraged, and not because I have wonderful people in my life (although I do).

But because when my heart is broken I feel God.

He is so faithful to me with his presence. Maybe not in his answers or in his gifts or in the things I call “blessings”, but in the reality that my brokenness always calls his presence.

And that’s worth looking forward to, for the rest of my life.

Click here to read more of Nicole’s encouraging words.

Five Poetic Years

“Blogging is the new poetry.”

Author Unknown

This contest is now closed. I will inform the winners momentarily. Thanks for participating everyone!

Five years ago tomorrow I sat down at the computer and entered my first blog post. I did not understand blogging, but I am a natural crowd follower and all the cool kids were doing it so I figured, why not?

To be honest, I’ve often thought about going back and deleting most of those early blog entries because…well, because they’re pretty bad. It was clear I didn’t understand the purpose of blogging and in some cases I overshared while in other cases I just wrote poorly.

But it’s all a journey, isn’t it, and blogging is no different.

When I began this blogging endeavor, I had three children under five. Landon was weeks old and most days I blogged while he napped in a pack and play next to me. Fittingly enough, as I type this entry he is laying beside me on the chair. It is only 5:40 in the morning, but my children all have a sixth sense, which means that there is no such thing as early morning alone time for this Mama.

His legs are slung over the side of the chair, all gangly and skinny. He’s asking me how to spell DOG, CAT and FART. Awesome…

The passing of time is so easily measured when one blogs. Moments are recorded and sent out into the void and sometimes those moments contain a huge piece of your heart. If you’re lucky, the heart pieces that were entrusted to the internet come back to you a little more whole and infused with joy. That’s what you all have done for me this half decade. You’ve infused me with joy and returned my heart just a little bit bigger.

I’ve been fortunate these last five years to have cultivated a small, but dear, community of readers who are the good ones. You all are kind and encouraging. You love to laugh (particularly at my husband) and you’re not afraid to cry. You want to help others and you are always willing to bless.

Google Analytics tells me that on average, there are 10,000 of you who visit this site monthly. That’s not very much in the grand scheme of blogging, I know. My corner is small. But it’s a nice corner. It’s peaceful here. The sun shines and the grass is fluffy and warm. We all sit around the table and drink tea out of Mason jars and eat Nutella without gaining weight.

That’s what this space is to me. It’s peace. It’s a gathering of friends who get to enjoy the best parts of life with me. Even when those best parts are hard.

I don’t share everything about my life in this space. That would be weird. I share the good, mostly. I share the funny, the sometimes mundane , the deepening of faith and the always changing craziness that makes life so exciting. There are times in the last five years when I’ve considered throwing in the towel on the whole blogging thing, but then I write a post that resonates and I remember that this life journey is much better when taken together.

I don’t know what the next five years holds. Hopefully more blogging, more growing and a lot more laughter. I may even have a book for you all to read by the end of this year! Who knows.

Life is an adventure, isn’t it? A grand, grand adventure.


I’ve decided to thank you all, my sweet readers, for walking this path with me. Especially the last few months as we’ve worked toward our adoption and as we now hang in the balance. I can’t tell you what it’s meant to know you guys have our backs. I have two awesome giveaways for today and tomorrow that I want to share with you all to celebrate five years.

Today, I am going to give away two $50 gift cards to Target.

Because if there’s one thing we have all agreed on over the years, it is that Target is The Promised Land (LEE!). So, leave me a comment for an entry to win $50 to the land of milk, honey and super cute, reasonably priced clothing. I will draw the two winners randomly on Friday, January 11 at 2:00 EST.

And come back tomorrow for a chance to win two more great prizes that I’m so excited to give away!

Now at the end of the week, I will only be able to give away four prizes, unfortunately, but NEVER YOU FEAR DEAR READERS! No one will walk away completely empty handed because everyone (EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU) who comments is going to receive a cyber hug, a cyber fist bump and five cyber high fives – one for every year I’ve been a blogger.

You. Are. Welcome.

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment to win 50 smackers! Want me to sweeten the deal? Okay, sure! If you share this giveaway on Facebook, you can come back and leave a second comment for a second entry. If you share this giveaway on Twitter you can come leave a thrid comment for a third entry.

This means you not only have three times the potential to win – it also means you will receive 15 cyber high fives! I am nothing if not generous.

I love you all. I really, really do.

(And to keep the government people happy, I will let you know that I am purchasing the gift cards to Target myself to give away. I have not been endorsed or paid by Target to write this post, but if Target would like to endorse or pay me, I wouldn’t argue so…)


I’m leaving this afternoon for the dotMom conference and the timing could not be more perfect. It has been a long, emotional, trying week. I need the refreshment. I need to get away. I need to be reminded of so many things. I’m so grateful and honored (and a little flabbergasted, to be honest) to have been asked to come to the conference by Lifeway. I look forward to soaking in all the wisdom offered by the many amazing women who will be there.

I’ll only be gone for two days, but I think it’s just what the doctor ordered to lift me out of the funk. I have packed dresses and scarves and boots because by golly if ever there was a chance to dress cute, this was it. I don’t need my yoga pants or my tennis shoes for any reason at all!

Hot dang!

Are any of you headed to dotMOM? Find me, please? Let’s hang out and get to know each other in real life!
Happy Thursday!

Funky little me

I am in a blogging funk.

And also, there are five kids in my house.

So I’m taking some time to stop and breathe deep.

I’ll confess, as a blogger it’s kind of scary to take these little breaks from the blog. Any blogger who says they don’t care about comments or how many readers they have isn’t being fully honest. None of us write online without the hope that someone(s) is reading.

But I’m in a blogging funk. I have bloggers’ block. I don’t know what to write about, what I have to say that is productive to the betterment of the world. Funky funk, funk, funk.

You really have to be careful when typing that word….

I’m sorry I don’t have anything exciting to share with you – anything to change your life today. I can tell you that yesterday I tried out a new hairstylist and let her do my pink and my head ended up looking like a giant piece of Bubble Yum.

It took another hour and quite a bit of highlight, but she managed to get it looking much more natural and normal. I know that’s not going to change your life, but it almost changed mine, so…

See what I mean? Blogging funk.

I should go. I hear the children stirring. If I don’t immediately get them up and moving in a direction of productivity we will never get out the door. It’s like trying to herd a group of electric chihuahua’s.

If you’re a blogger and you’re comfortable sharing, can you tell me what your purpose is in blogging? Why do you do it and what motivates you to keep going? What message do you want to share with the world?

These are all questions I’m having a hard time answering. Because today my message was Bubble Yum hair and electric chihuaha’s…

The Pen Hovers

My first diary was a soft, red-bound book with tiny bears covering the front and back in orderly rows. It was a thrilling gift for a nine-year-old with serious secrets to keep.

Dear Diary,

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone but I like Brandon D. I think he’s really cute and funny but I don’t want anyone to know. Thanks for keeping my secret safe.

That was the first thing I wrote in my beloved book. I remember penning those words as if the moment had just slipped past. I was serious about liking Brandon D. and I seriously didn’t want anyone to know.

Through the years, that little red book ceased to be merely a Diary for my angsty gossip and soon became the book of my heart felt anguish. In those pages I recorded my struggles with body image and insecurity. My pen hovered gently over each page as I searched for the perfect words to capture my emotions. I remember writing things like, How do I quench the thirst in my soul? and The little leaf flutters to the ground in a dance just as my heartache flutters in haphazard turns and twists.

Clearly I was a bit of a dramatic, yes?

But writing in those pages became a source of comfort for me. It was there that I felt free to shout, to cry, to dance and to sing, all through the flowing rythmn of pen on paper. Writing in that journal was my worship.

Sometime in high school, that little journal was lost, most likely dropped off at a local Goodwill in a mix of discarded books. Perhaps someone picked it up and chuckled at my girlishness and the dramatic ponderings of my youthful heart. Perhaps it was simply tossed into the trash bin. I don’t know what happened to those treasured words, but I do know that a passion ignited inside of me and writing became more than a hobby.

It became my anthem of praise.

I filled the pages of many, many journals as the years progressed. Late nights and early mornings were spent writing the story of me. I penned poetry and songs. I wrote luxurious prose in the times when my soul danced and ravaged, fragmented sentences when the storms rolled in. There were ups and downs and every day, as my pen hovered over the pages, I felt a surge of energy knowing that these words would only be read by One Other.

Somewhere along the way, though, something happened. I think it occurred sometime around the birth of my second child when life got chaotic and crazy and suddenly the pen didn’t hover so freely any more. There were other, more pressing, matters to tend to and the pages of my journal remained blank and untouched.

And I forgot how to praise.

When I began blogging four years ago, I tried to treat this space as a journal of sorts but the truth is, it can’t be that. For one thing, no one would read it because it would be a jumbled mess. Who could possibly read a blogger that said such things as, The quivering ache for freedom doth shake me deeply. *eyeroll*

(Incidentally, as a young girl, I really loved to write a lot of Thee’s and Thou’s in my journal. It made me feel all Jane Eyre…)

But beyond the inner romantic that seeps out of my pen, the simple fact remains that I cannot tap into that worship and praise through my keyboard. To a degree I can, but not the way I used to. I can’t really let loose when I know that other people are reading. I worry too much about what the readers might be thinking. It’s time for that to change. It’s time for me to sit still  over a blank sheet of paper and watch for what might flow forth.

It’s time for me to pick up the pen, open the book and make the words dance.

This is my 2012 goal. What are your goals for this fresh new year?