succulent fever


it’s official….


i am completely obsessed.

you can now add succulents to the list of things that i have bought because i thought they would fun to photograph.

it started with this one sempervivum i bought with my mom a few weeks ago.  i loved the color and shape of the leaves.  the almost architectural way the leaves branch out from the center making the rose shape.  and don’t even get me started on those little babies coming out from the sides.


this is where they get their common name of hens & chicks.

the thing about succulents, besides their being ridiculously photogenic, is that they are fairly inexpensive, require almost zero maintenance, are drought tolerant, and super easy to grow.

i found this great square planted at the garden center a couple of weeks ago and decided it would be a perfect container for my patio table which sits in full.


to start with i added about an inch of rocks to the bottom – that’s the one thing critical to succulents…they must have good drainage.


next i added some potting soil and set my plants in.

IMG_6672_blogIMG_6677_blog-3as a final step i covered the surface of the soil with the small rocks.  not only is it a nice decorative touch, it helps to keep any water away from the succulents’ leaves.  with succulents…wet = bad.  they only require a tiny bit of water.

a great tip from my mother-in-law is to put one ice cube per week on the surface and let it melt in.

IMG_6698_blog-3so that was the first planter of succulents i made……


but then after a second trip to the garden center, i came home with this.


can you say slippery slope?


and now i have three more planters of succulents.


i totally get it now.


and i can’t wait to watch these guys grow!

happy friday friends!





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around here

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around here i’ve been spending the past several weeks getting the flowerbeds ready for summmer. replacing the pansies with impatiens and begonias.  adding color to my porch pots.

you know those nights when you have to scrub the mud off in the shower before you can get in bed?  yeah…that.  i love it.  i love being outside, away from the computer, and noise.  but happy to have it done and now ready to be in the ‘sit back and look at my pretty flowers’ phase.

around here the peonies have come and gone.

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peony season is basically like this:: watch and wait for the buds to open for a month.  then they finally (!!) bloom.  then a week later all the petals fall off.  but it’s ok. because while they were inside my whole kitchen smelled like peony heaven.

around here peony season has given way to hydrangeas and daylilies.

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around here the drought is official over.  weeks and weeks of regular (sometimes heavy) rain has quenched our parched state.  rivers and lakes are coming back to regular levels.

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around here the rain is doing wonders for the grass in the backyard that tripp has been working so hard on.


around here we are harvesting our first ever crop of strawberries.  a bumper crop at that!


we’ve been eating strawberry everything.  and i’ve now frozen some as well. thinking about trying this jam recipe.  and maybe some dacquiris!

around here i have been bitten by the succulent bug.

IMG_6726_blog IMG_6735_blogi’ll share more about this later, but they definitely fall in the category of plants i’ve bought because i they are so photogenic.

around here my dogs still like to dig in my flowerbeds.


around here life feels full. but if i’m being really honest, this week has seemed exceptionally full – overflowing – a little too much.  sort of like the rain lately.  and feel like i’ve been barely treading water.  times like these are when i am completely grateful for this guy.


for letting me vent and picking up the slack.

around here i am looking forward to getting back into a more regular routine.  looking forward to summer and golden hour walks and daisies and all the magic that summer holds.


so that’s what is going on around here…  what’s new with you?  how are things in your neck of the woods?

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lines, shapes, learning to see

although we attached meaning to them, at their most basic level, the letters of the alphabet are really just combinations of lines and shapes.

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there’s a fun challenge going on at focusing on life this month….finding the letters of the alphabet in our surroundings.  this past sunday i set out to see if i could find all 26 letters in my neighborhood.  i’m sharing my discoveries on the focusing on life blog today and would love to have you come visit me there.

it took some practice, but it’s like anything else – once you start paying attention then you start see them everywhere.


happy tuesday friends.

love, kelly



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the {A}rt of motherhood

i had every intention of publishing this blog post post last weekend on mother’s day.

there are some things i am really good at….writing and scheduling blog posts in advance isn’t one of them.

the truth is that last weekend i was still caught up in the excitement and emotion of kelsey’s college graduation and couldn’t find the headspace to collect my thoughts into some type of coherent post.  if i’m being really honest, i am still unpacking what feels like a huge milestone…not just in kelsey’s life but my own.

four years ago, when kelsey graduated from high school, i was happy and excited for her of course.  but along with those positive emotions, was this dark and heavy dread.  this fear that my motherhood experience was coming to an end.  which now that i sit here typing this post feels so utterly ridiculous.  because clearly that was not/is not the case.

motherhood is for life.

i recently stumbled across a quote by spencer kimball where he states that “mothers have a sacred role” and that “motherood is a holy calling”.  which sounds alot like {A}rt to me. and so for the past few weeks i’ve been pondering what motherhood looks like through the lens of {A}rt.  how motherhood glorifies God.  certainly watching my girl cross that stage to receive her college diploma was a proud moment for me as a parent and a mother. there are these joyous moments of motherhood that make me feel that i am indeed doing sacred work.

but it certainly didn’t feel like i was glorifying God the night i washed red hawaiian punch vomit out of my daughter’s hair at 2:00 a.m.  it didn’t feel like {A}rt sitting on the couch night after blessed night doing times table flash cards.  there was nothing sacred about the night that i made her write an apology letter to the parents of the boy she had picked on in fourth grade.

or was it?

these days, my motherhood experience has moved away from math facts and ‘clean up your room’ and my role in my daughter’s life is evolving into more of a confidante and sounding board.  but i would dare say that it is not any easier…some days i swear it’s harder.

now the {A}rt of motherhood is in having honest (sometimes difficult) conversations. it is practicing the sacred work of letting my daughter make her own decisions.  it is trying to glorify God by reminding my girl of her worth in a world that deems worthiness by size of your jeans or your number of twitter followers.

i have come to believe that this really is the {A}rt of motherhood – this beautiful, joyous, messy, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching experience.  moments of sheer joy living side by side with fear and doubt.  the sacred work of reflecting God’s selfless love in our childrens’ eyes, all the while depending on God to help us make the right decisions.  letting go and trusting God.  relying on God’s grace to fill in the gaps when i drop the ball.

as i look forward to this next chapter in my story, i no longer fear motherhood coming to an end.  i have faith and hope that God will continue to help and guide me in my relationship with my daughter.  and that is the greatest blessing of all.

kelsey and me

peace, kelly


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a day in the life

yesterday i played along with ali edwards and her ‘day in the life‘ project.


when she announced a couple of weeks ago, that it would fall on may 12th {my birthday} i decided that i would just take a pass this time around.  that it would feel a little too self-indulgent.  but then as it got closer, and especially that my girl would get to be home for a couple of days after graduation…well it seemed like a perfect day to capture.

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the first part of my day was very typical.  morning coffee, get ready for work, take some pictures, talk to my mom…


yesterday though was great because  i got to celebrate with a birthday lunch with my girl.

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and then thanks to my wonderful husband, had a gloriously relaxing afternoon at the spa.



oh but it was heaven and i enjoyed every blessed minute of it.

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later, after tripp got home and after he got back from his run, we went to mi cocina for dinner with our friends jen, gavin, and sweet anabelle.

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mambo taxis.  yes please!

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and then it back home for some cake.  feeling very thankful that i didn’t have to blow out 47 candles.

ordinary life returned…bedtime rituals.

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as i sit here putting together my blog post, my girl is finishing her first day at work as a college graduate.  this week she is going to start looking for a place of her own near her work.

it’s not like she’ll never come home again…i know that.  but it also still feels like we’ve crossed the next big threshold.  and the opportunity to capture this day in such detail…i don’t know…it’s like it added another layer to an already special day.

as of today, i’ve had the great blessing to be on this earth for 17,155 days.  each one of them worthy of being documented.  so glad i took the time and effort to document this one.

thank you for letting me share it with you.


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