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Kelle Hampton  writer, mother. I take a lot of pictures, with my camera and with my heart. Author of New York Times Bestselling memoir Bloom.

This little book has pulled me out of a journaling rut, and I love it. More favorite things (a lovely perfume under $10, the best summer straw boater hat, the cutest romper that goes up to 5T, magic concealer and Brett's contribution--a pot strainer he's very proud of) on the blog, link in profile.
I love the list prompt I opened to this morning: "List the compliments you want to give to others". Any favorite unique compliment you've received that stuck with you?

We're going for Palm Springs I cropped out the rusty grill, Nella's abandoned panties and the pool water chemical kit Brett uses to check the water every hour, on the hour, because he's #safetydad. Today was the last day of state testing for this girl, and while I have lots of mixed opinions on the whole subject of standardized testing, I'm glad it's over and look forward to a little more relaxed vibe at school. We purposely don't put it on the calendar and I totally forgot about it until she mentioned it last week. "You know it's like any other day at school, right? I don't care about anything other than you do your best, every day."
"Yeah, but we get snacks."

We've been talking a lot lately about family adventures–how to make them such a natural part of our life that our kids enjoy them well through teenage years. Or is it a rite of passage to do the whole “I don’t want to go” thing when you’re 15? I’ve seen far too many movie scenes where the family station wagon is all packed up to go to grandma’s, and the sulky teenager with the headphones on is refusing to go while the dad’s all “Dammit, get in the car. You WILL go to Grandma’s.” The positive unicorn in me smiles and says, “That will never be us.” But maybe it’s just part of life, and a softness for that sulky teenager will grow with time. A bit more on the blog with some Capri sun, link in profile.

You're gonna push the automatic door button on the van when you knew I wanted to push it? That's cool, bro. Just don't mind me painting the back of your head when you're not looking. #twocanplay #nellaanddash

This is how I know everything's going to be okay. Because my cousin--one of my go-to motherhood role models--found this old drawing today, made by one of her daughters years ago. All three of her kids turned out to be kind and wonderful and still text their mother every day. But seriously, that remote in her hand. #somanybuttons #passedout #ilikeyourredpantsthough @jocryder
Addendum: cousin just discovered this was not one of her girls. Was told it was for a joke by another teacher cousin and believed it because she spent a lot of time lying around doing nothing. 😂 new goal: find the real hero mother this belongs to and make her my idol. #andprayherkidsturnedoutokay

A: Nella's pissed I took the ball she kept throwing so she's shooting daggers at me here.
B: In the background, Dash seems to be amused that someone besides him is in trouble.
C. I taught Dash to pee in a cup in the car today, and he #nailedit.
D: Lainey said she's--and I repeat--"never ever riding in this car again." .
Motherhood, you slay. ❤️

Found this quote today and was all "Dammit, Rilke. Why ya gotta say it simpler and better?":
..."the knowledge of impermanence that haunts our days is their very fragrance."

There is that panicky ultra awareness that childhood is fleeting, and that this precious window of everything that is good about right now is closing. It tries to sell you that it's gratitude, but it's not--more just another form of anxiety-ridden want--for time to stand still. That feeling swallows me whole too often, leaving me unproductive...paralyzing sentimentality. And of course there's the other side--too busy, stressed and motivated to stop and notice at all these tiny perfect things in front of you. And then there's the middle--this calm quiet recognition that settles in your bones. It simply says "this is good" and holds the moment like a hug but not too tightly, knowing there's more hugs to come. This sliver of life will set with the sun and make way for another rising tomorrow. Today was a good middle day. I hugged what I noticed--her smile still with the baby teeth, his nose freckles, her quest to find the sea stars--and now go to bed looking forward to more rising suns.

I will always view this place as where we became a family--from first dates jet skiing here after work with Brett, to post-wedding parties, to lugging Lainey's walker here so we could watch the sunset while she rolled between other diners on the tiki hut floor. I imagine returning here someday, years from now, for memories that will both hurt and feel so good. Our Isles of Capri. ❤️

We did absolutely nothing on this slow rainy day, and it was glorious.

Restraining myself from grabbing her umbrella and performing a theatrical driveway cabaret dance.

For Earth Day, Nella and her classmates were each to bring 5 things they no longer played with to swap with another kid. She couldn't wait to reveal the contents in her backpack when I picked her up today but told me "Don't look, close your eyes" while she got them ready. After a minute or so, she said "Okay, you can look" and I turned to the backseat to see this. "I'm Batman," she said with a straight face, and I AM DEAD.

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