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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.

http://kellehampton.com/

You seriously didn't think I'd forget to mention the first day of fall now, did you? Throwin' it back to when I'd throw baby Nella in a pile of leaves, watch her play and just geek out at the happiness of it all. A hot cider cheers to all tonight. Happy Fall, Y'all!

Aqua front doors, impish smiles, flannel in September...of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. Irma Evaucation Part 2 and links and deets to all our North Georgia finds on the blog.

How strange it was driving in to our neighborhood tonight--trees and debris everywhere. We were home five minutes and the kids were all in the pool. Irma cleared out so many trees in our woods...bonus: more sun comes through. So tired after driving all day, but I've never ever been happier to be home. ❀️

Alarm set for early in the morning to carry the kids out to the car and start the long drive home. We miss our normalcy and our men but secretly admit we could go another week--I mean, we've joked we're going to run for Blairsville City Council and start a book club here (vote for us! πŸ˜‚). We started this trip off anxious and bracing for the storm and ended more bonded than ever with all these crazy adventures in our memory book. Not to make light of the devastation Irma has brought--we've followed that too, and know we are headed home to be part of getting our city back on its feet--but I'm grateful for this crazy detour "evacucation." Climbing in a van that smells like cheese with three kids, a long drive and no plans of a destination isn't for the faint of heart, and my sidekick--the Thelma to my Louise--has been nothing but supportive, adventurous and the best company I could ask for. She said "yes" to every crazy u-turn we made, and during those moments when the kids (okay, and me) were losing it and I felt that "This is not our good side" shame, she'd calmly react with "You're such a good mom, Kelle," and in no time at all, it was natural and comfortable--so many meltdowns with total freedom to have them! Tucking that in my notes of how to be a good mother-in-law someday. We committed to 324 stairs (down and back up) to see breathtaking views of Tallulah Falls on the suspension bridge today, and everyone made it back up without being carried. So worth it. πŸ‘ŠπŸ» @dnnahampton

And then we found a life size fairy garden in the mountains. What the actual hell is happening?

Lainey & Dash, sunrise kayak ride, skimming fog. I don't know that we would have ever picked this corner of the country if we planned a trip. Thank goodness we found it accidentally, thanks to Irma. #wandernorthgeorgia

Chicken soup on the stove, wine poured, Nina Simone playing, sunset coming. Our return date is set, and suddenly I'm drinking up every little moment of this evacuation as an unexpected gift. We got to "play house" for a bit, and it reminded me of how many hidden pleasures are buried in everyday life.

Another day, another Trading Post. ...at which Nella shares her Pop Rocks and I admit that I've said yes to far more sugar than is necessary or healthy because, at this point, I cannot deal with otherwise. At home, we cleanse.

1. We find our walls, wherever we go.
2. Laughed so hard when someone messaged me today, "why do I feel like you're going to pull your kids out of school, road school them and become a squatter at your friend's place?". These little mountain towns though. 😍 Obsessed.
3. Dash's outfit, courtesy of Blairsville Walmart...again. πŸ˜‚ #didntpackalot
4. Starting to miss home and normalcy and sharing/trading parenting duties with Brett 😩.
5. Driving back to this little Sunrise grocery again tomorrow because I can't get enough of their spicy peanuts that you eat with the shell on, and, oh my lord, they are ridiculous. 🌢

When one of my favorite people in the entire universe texts me and says, "I think we evacuated not far from you...want to meet at the orchard tomorrow?" ❀️ The weirdest blessings keep falling in our lap on this trip...picking apples in the mountains with my mother-in-law, one of my best friends, our kids who adore each other and a baby on my hip. @manringmemories (also, Clayton, Georgia? Fell in love. In the area, go to Tiger Mountain Vineyards and eat at the Red Barn Cafe. Omg.)

The gracious owners of the home here took us on a boat ride and built a fire ready to go for us tonight, but of course we sent pictures to our men at home suggesting we made this fire ourselves. Caramel apples, apple cider and popcorn fireside tonight. Lainey mentioned we could just pull up a fire screensaver at home to recreate this to which I replied, "Compare this to a screen again and I'll take devices away FOREVER." She made up for it by locating the Little Dipper on her own five seconds later.

In search of wand sticks because Nella's wand got thrown into the lake (guess who πŸ˜‚). #whydoilooklikecousinit

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