A Little Life Update

It’s the first week of summer here in Michigan for my kiddos, and I’m so happy to have them home (and not be packing another lunch)! That said, being a work from home mom becomes just a little trickier. Especially when so much of my job is social media related and I’m constantly preaching to my kids about no electronics! Monkey see monkey do, right? It is hard to explain to my 11-year old that I’m on Instagram because it’s my job when she would like her own Instagram account (not happening!)  So, that means things slow down here a little on the blog. I only get so many summers with my kiddos, and at 11 and 8 it seems like my time where they want to hang out with mom is on the way out. My oldest starts middle school in the fall and there are only mere glimpses in my day where I’m not an embarrassment to her :)  So, I need to make them count!

A family standing in the grass

Additionally, this summer will be challenging because the Mr. is going to be gone for most of it. He was accepted into the Stanford Executive Program after his company asked him to apply. We are all super proud of him, but that means he will be in Palo Alto, California for the summer. This program is super intense and is a sun up to sun down, Monday through Saturday kind of thing. We will be heading out for a visit for a few days, but I really want him to be able to concentrate and get the most out of this amazing opportunity. Convincing my kids that I’m really the genius all knowing one in the family is getting harder and harder with him being such a smarty pants.

A group of people sitting next to a body of water

Thankfully my mom is home for the summer and we are all pumped to have Gigi back at the lake. I will once again don my boat captain hat and she will be my first mate and spotter for the many tubing and skiing trips around the lake. Sidenote, the best time to take your kids tubing is when they are really hitting that last nerve. There is nothing more satisfying then tossing them all off around a curve when you are pulling them tubing ;) If you grew up on a lake you know what I mean! I understand all too clearly now why my dad delighted in tossing us off in the weedy part of the lake!

A living room filled with furniture and a large window

I hope you all will extend me a little grace with what is sure to be a less frequent random posting schedule over on the blog. I’m sure I will be on Instagram a lot more trying to share little snippets here and there. I’m also thinking of just doing shorter form posts for the summer? A few quick photos of what we are up to? We shall see! Oh and I definitely will be blogging about the basement redo soon as well. The new carpet was installed and it looks SO much better. Here is a little sneaky peek!

basement family room beige carpet red area rug leather dining chairs

Thanks so much to all of you who have hung in here with me over the years. I started this blog 7 years ago just as a creative outlet when I was home with a toddler and a newborn. I really never expected anyone other than my mom would read it! God dropped this whole thing in my lap and it’s been such an adventure and blessing for our family. Our pastor just finished up a great sermon series about work found here. How all work matters from wiping little kids noses, to performing heart surgery, to designing a house. It made me stop and think that sometimes I feel like having the ability to run a blog or make a room pretty is a ridiculous job, but it has allowed me to connect with all of you. It has changed so much over the years and I’m so blessed you all have allowed this to become my full-time job, but with the flexible hours to work around being with my family. Truly thank you for every time you come over here to see what I’m up to, or click on one of my links, or buy something from the shop our home page. All the comments and encouragement and tips – it’s so fun to interact with this community and you all brighten my day!

Oh and for a little trip down memory lane here is how my kids looked when I started this whole thing –

A little boy wearing a hat with a little girl

and now – STOOOOOP!

Kids smiling for a camera

Huge shoutout to my friend Kari who has been photographing our family for years. She also talked me through setting up my first website, since I hardly knew how to turn a computer on (still don’t most days!).

A man running in the water

Our last photo shoot went a little awry when the Mr. (my biggest kid) fell into the lake mid-shoot. Yet these will go down as some of my most cherished photos ever, even if I look like a drowned rat.

A person standing next to a body of water

A young boy playing in the water

A group of people standing next to a body of water

Wow, I guess I’m feeling a little sentimental over here today so excuse my long musings! Happy Summer to you all!

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  1. We are just heading home from 2 weeks spent traveling the Lake Michigan shores when I came across your blog, how fitting!
    I am trying to decorate our Florida condo and searching Pinterest for ideas. Your home looks wonderful and I am sure we passed right by.
    I’ll be a new follower.

  2. My dad went to Stanford as well when I was about your daughter’s age. We moved from Lake Orion Michigan for a year to be with him & it was the best decision ever… although all he remembers is studying and tests.
    You must spend some time in Menlo Park & Sausalito when you visit. It’s magical.
    Keep blogging… I love seeing your pictures. I reminds me of growing up in Michigan on a lake.

  3. PLEASE DON’T STOP BLOGGING… NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU ARE ABLE TO FIT IT IN YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE…. YOUR BLOG BRINGS SMILES AND HAPPINESS TO ME EVERY TIME I LOOK AT IT… NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES.. (and trying to get plans together to build our own dream cottage — hopefully VERY MUCH like your beautiful home. Thank you!!

    1. You are so sweet thanks so much Donna! No plans to stop blogging as of now at least thanks for all your support and encouragement!

  4. That last pic says it all! Dan embracing his family, you looking lovingly at Dan, Dan looking lovingly at your children! It brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy your summer, Kelly. ?

  5. I have been enjoying your blog sice you started. You have a very inviting and relaxing way of decorating.
    Greatings fron Ontario.

  6. I have followed you for years and love all you do! I love that you put your family first, my youngest of three just graduated from high school and it truly does go by fast so you making the choice to spend time with your kids will never be regretted. Thank you for being open about your faith too and sharing about your church. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. Thanks so much, Kristin I really appreciate the feedback! Sometimes I wrestle with how personal to be on here since some people are just here for decorating – thanks for the encouragement!

  7. I love the water pictures!! The comments about the tubing resonate with me too – I can’t tell you the hours and hours I have spent on the water doing the same thing.
    Here’s to a hot, sunny summer!!

  8. Absolutely the correct decision. . . but you already know that. You’ll never regret it. And we’ll still be here. Happiest of Summers to you.

  9. Thank you for sharing I hope your summer is full of lots of love and the energy you need for the two children in addition I hope your stay in California my home state is wonderful I’ll be just across the bay from you. Your blog always offer so many beautiful ideas and you certainly deserve some well-deserved time to enjoy your family and keeping your priorities straight is a wonderful idea they don’t stay little for long enjoy your time – God bless you

    1. Thanks Sandi the kids are so excited to explore your beautiful state, I can’t wait to take them! Thanks for your encouraging words!

  10. HI KELLY – Even tho I’m relatively new to your posts, I’ve enjoyed them immensely ever since discovering Lily Pad. But — I often wonder how wonder-women like you do it all, have it all, be it all, and stay sane! :>) Your last post here totally makes sense! You guys look like a wonderful family, with you as wife/mother/encourager/decorator, and all that goes into it! You sound like your priorities are straight, and doing all you can to have the best family life ever! Actually, I think your post is a call to PRAYER! I’m gonna pray for you, your summer, your husband, your kids, and sweet doggie, and family life right now! So glad yo mention these things in your blogs, so we can you are human and have needs to get through it all, even in your delightful setting!

    1. Ha oh gosh the sane part is questionable at this point!! And truly thank you for your prayers that means SO much to me!!!

  11. I have followed you since the beginning. We have two kids, 13 months apart, who also grew up on the lake here in Canada every summer. I’ve been a spotter, but never brave enough to drive with them in tow — I was afraid I’d run them over! They have now hit 22 and 23 (and one of them played for the Grand Rapids Griffins these past 3 years off and on). As they moved away for hockey and grad school in PA, I followed your blog more closely and hoped to run into you in one of the shops you recommended around GR (not a stalker – honest!) I loved all your ideas, bought the J Crew jacket, painted my furniture, and made your window boxes my window boxes. I wondered when you would have to slow down, as your two beautiful children required even more of your time than they always do. Enjoy every moment. Wishing your husband continued great success (we have a friend who did the program at Harvard and it was life changing — in a good way). Thank you for all your ideas and inspiration. You have a gorgeous family and a wonderful heart, thank you for blessing us all by sharing them with us all these years. I will have to spend more time on Instagram I guess :)

    1. Oh wow that’s so cool Lynette we love to go to Griffins games! And I would love to run into you anytime, here’s hoping it happens :) So good to hear that your friend liked the Harvard program the MR. debated about applying to that one too but he felt the Stanford program aligned better with what he wanted to study – we are hoping he gets a lot out of it! Thank you so much for you hanging with me this whole time!

  12. Hi Kelly,
    Love your family photos. I was often told when my kids were little “enjoy your time with your kids because they grow up so fast” Now I know how true that is. My youngest of three is a senior in college : )
    Have a fun and safe summer!

  13. Love this post! Nothing but grace for you. Enjoy your summer even through the tough times. I am alone a lot during the summer months as my husband is called out to the fires through out CA. you can do it, mama! I literally LOL’ed with the tubing comment as I am currently on a lake camping trip and all we have done is tubed with the kiddos. I have always enjoyed your blog and look forward to each and every post ❤️

    1. Thank you, Natalie and thanks to your husband for serving in that way – amazing! I can’t even imagine! Have a great summer!

  14. You have a beautiful family so enjoy them! They grow up too fast! I love your taste and enjoy seeing pictures of your beautiful home and your Mom’s Florida home too!

  15. Loved this post Kelly! You put your thoughts into words so well. You are an amazing mom, and you can tell from comments how many people enjoy your blog and what it has meant to them. I am so proud to be your mom and Co-Captain/spotter. Love you!

  16. You will never regret putting your family first!! Btw…. wow! What a difference the white carpet looks downstairs!! GOR. GEOUS. !!

  17. Enjoy your summer! Family first, the kids grow up so quickly before your eyes. Mine are 35, 33 and 27 and it seems like yesterday they were babes like your two.

  18. Enjoy every moment of summer. It’s as fleeting as having your children young…..it’s over much too quickly.

    I love your blog but wish you lots of fun outdoor activities at that amazing lake home – and much less time connected to technology – even if for just a few wonderful weeks. We will be here when you return. : – )

    And yes- your family photographer is amazing – what a beautiful family with beautiful you. ♥

    1. Thanks so much, Michele I feel really blessed to have Kari document our family every year! Thanks for sticking with me!

  19. I agree with everyone else. My “babies” are 26 and 23. Enjoy every single second of them being little becaue the years go by faster than you think. Please keep posting pictures of your family cause we all love seeing what you’re up to, but don’t sweat the fewer posts. As someone else said, we will all still be here. Blessings from Missouri!!

  20. Oh my goodness! I’ve not seen that younger picture of your babies! How precious! They are beautiful children, but those baby picture (not to mention THOSE EYES) are just the sweetest!

    Enjoy your summer and good luck to the mister!

    1. Oh my gosh they were just the sweetest little nuggets when they were little! And yes my little guy’s eyes – I can’t even! Thanks Renee!

  21. As a widow and now great grandmother,I love your blogs! They have been an inspiration to reconfigure my townhouse and activities for a happier lifestyle with other retirees and family. Time zooms by so do enjoy this time at the lake with the munchkins!

  22. Love the water photos at the end! I see no drowned rats, only a family full of love & joy, having fun together. What great moments to have captured on film! I would definitely frame those. Have a great summer.

  23. What great family pictures, you will cherish those through the years! I’m a young widow and I wish I had more pictures to look back on than what I have, such beautiful memories and great times! I also love that you got a blue lake blue sky picture of the great room finally, with the Charlie photo bomb, love, lol! How about a picture of you and your Mom as Captain and First Mate, I love that! My boyfriend and I (moving forward in life) bought a lake house last year, a total fixer upper that took away a lot of the summer fun, so this year my BF said I had to learn to drive the boat so he will be able to ski without the neighbor having to be around to drive! Let’s see that Captain inspiration! Enjoy the summer, we both can take a break from home improvement projects and sit back and take in the beauty around…..

    1. Hi Karen, I’ll have to work on the captain shot for you! And you can totally captain that boat, if I can do it you can too! Thanks for sharing your sweet words!

  24. Beautiful family. No worries, your readers will wait it out. Good for you for having high priorities. And thanks for the blog. I’ve done it briefly and know that it’s SO MUCH WORK, if only everyone knew what went into a post. I really enjoy every one.

    1. Oh my gosh so much behind the scenes stuff in blogging that is hard to explain to people. Thanks for the encouragement!

  25. Time goes by so fast, my kids are 34 and 30. I often wonder where the time has gone. Cherish each moment.

  26. Good for you for making the time to enjoy your family while they “still want to be seen with you!” Those years are so precious, and it looks like you are living that time! That’s a great opportunity for your husband and you all will benefit from his hard work for the rest of your life ( retirement too) even though it’s hard to have him away for the summer. You made me laugh about your dad tossing you off in the weed part of lake!

  27. Happy summer to you too! My six-almost-seven-year-old can’t wait for tubing on the he lake this summer. I’m always the spotter but maybe I’ll follow your lead and don the captains hat. :) Thanks for all the inspiration over the years.

  28. Take all the time you need. We will all be here when we see your email and will click in. If you are wondering about your impact, I started following your blog when my son was deployed to Afghanistan. Before he deployed, someone told me, “you will not only know the names of foreign cities, you will know how to spell them; oh, and you won’t sleep until he returns.” So on these months of sleepless nights, I have read your blog as well as a few others in the middle of the night. This kept me from reading Afghanistan news and filled my mind with something beautiful. Many thanks to you.♡.

    1. Yup! I had a little one, a newborn, and a husband in Iraq. Blogs were the distraction from the news.

    2. Oh wow, Peggy this made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing this with me and thank you to your son for his service. I’m so happy I was able to provide a brief distraction in your day. Many thanks to YOU for your encouraging words.

  29. There is nothing quite as wonderful as summer on a lake in Michigan! That was my childhood and I cherish every memory with my brothers, sister, mom, dad, and my grandparents.
    Unplug this summer and enjoy every day with your beautiful children.
    PS- Maybe you can post just a “few” outdoor pics? ?

  30. Enjoy the summer, the years they do go by fast. I’m trying to grab each minute with my grand kids even though I have trouble getting up off the floor sometimes.
    Beautiful photo shoot of your beautiful family!

    1. The best years were spent at the cottage tubing and water skiing and wakeboarding. I too spent countless hours hours driving the boat and pulling my kids around. Being a single mother I was lucky to have 3 children so I always had one spotter. My children are all grown now, one is married and an ER doctor, the other is getting married this fall and works in the oil business and the “baby” is in 4th year Queen’s science with hopes of going to medical school and follow in her brother’s footsteps. Although they are extremely busy the cottage has become a place where they come back to when they happen to have some downtime. They are all thankful for the . years at the cottage as we have spent every summer for the last 29 years in a place I call, “my little piece of heaven.” I am fortunate enough to be able to be here all summer as I am a high school teacher. Cherish the times spent with your kids as you know, time passes all too quickly. Enjoy!

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