a taste of spring

After a particularly cold winter, followed by what seemed like at least 40 days and nights of rain, we finally got a little taste of Spring last weekend. The sun came out, daffodils bloomed, birds sang, and we opened the windows and all collectively exhaled. I’m not sure any of us realized it…that we’d been holding our breath for months…until we took that first breath. It was magic. We all felt it. Our steps were lighter, our smiles bigger, our laughter more genuine.

The metaphor of seasons changing is not lost on me in the midst of this love story. The door opened almost a year ago, just as Spring started to warm us all from the cold, frozen winter. Our story began unfolding alongside the season’s new blooms, which seems both incredibly cheesy and impossibly perfect.

Summer arrived just as the move happened, full of warmth and sun. Those first couple of months are kind of a haze…days spent poolside, borderline desperate for a break in the heat, all ten of us figuring out how we would become a family. The days were long (some of the harder ones felt like they would never end), but that time of being home, without school and jobs, was a real gift and every sunny day reminded us that it was worth it.

In a lot of ways, summer felt like living in a bubble. We kept our kids close, our focus on helping them navigate the changes and trying to protect them from the fallout that would come. Sure enough, just as the trees started shedding their leaves, some of our friends and family fell away one by one. It was hard…harder than either of us thought it would be. And when it was over, we both felt a little exposed and raw, just in time for the freeze.

Winter came, and it was hard; temperatures that made everybody want to hibernate, the first year of new holiday traditions, and all of us desperate to feel less exposed. We filled the frigid days with people who love us, tried to create opportunities for our kids to feel a little warmth, but mostly just put one foot in front of another and trudged through.

And here we are, Spring in sight with her new blooms and smiles and warmth, thawing out the deep freeze and telling us all we can breathe again…

We made it, Babe. Here’s to Spring and sunshine and blossoming.

xoxo, k

coming home

The weeks that followed the March 23rd “door opening” were a whirlwind of timelines and schedules and moving plans, finding furniture and selling furniture, figuring out how to say goodbye to best friends and family, and making the transition as easy as possible for the eight kids involved.

I don’t think we did it perfectly, but the thing that I hope our kids knew and will remember is that we tried. We did the best we could with the information we had, and we really tried to make the move as easy and smooth as we could.

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We snuggled when they needed us close and gave them room when they needed space, wiped away tears when they were overwhelmed and provided plenty of opportunities for laughter.

We ate meals together. We did family days at the pool. Our kids organized video game tournaments and wrote a play to celebrate the Fourth of July. We laughed at its historical inaccuracy and ate popsicles in the backyard. We made a playlist with everybody’s favorite songs (including Jurassic Park and Let it Go for the smallest family members). There were water balloon fights, kitchen dance parties, and late-night talks about feelings and hard things over chocolate and peanut butter.

It wasn’t perfect. It still isn’t. (I’m not sure any family is.) There are still hard days, and we’re still doing the best we can. Our kids see it, and when they sit around the table talking and laughing – being their crazy, weird, amazing selves – my heart knows that we’re all going to be just fine.

xoxo, k



birthday month recap

Yesterday was the last day of my birthday month, and it did not disappoint. What began as an offhand comment about how much I love my birthday (well, everybody’s birthday, really) turned into a 28-day celebration. I was pretty good about posting at the beginning of the month, but missed a few days at the end. I figured I’d do a recap of all the days and all the ways she celebrated me.

Day 1 – love notes on the mirror

Day 2 – live jazz and late-night Waffle House

Day 3 – breakfast in bed and pool at a little bar on campus

Day 4 – champagne brunch and a bag full of makeup goodies.

Day 5 – breakfast in bed (again!) and a trip to the Social Security Office to reclaim my maiden name

Day 6 – kid free trip to Cincinnati and a surprise party with our people (and all the dancing)

Day 7 – movie night with rosé and leftover birthday cake

Day 8 – licorice, two for one margaritas, and a kid free trip to the mall

Day 9 – steak dinner…IN BED

Day 10 – tickets to see Chicago and REO Speedwagon this summer and a night out to see our friend Beth Burden do her thing

Day 11 – puppies and pints, brunch, and a cute little alley photo shoot

Day 12 – candlelit bubble bath

Day 13 – a run with the best wife, followed by ice cream (balance!)

Day 14 – celebrating Valentine’s Day with our kiddos, complete with a heart-shaped meatloaf “cake”

Day 15 – we sat in bed and made a wedding album together

Day 16 – drinks and dancing and karaoke with some of the best friends a girl could ask for


Day 17 – coffee with friends in the morning and sea salt chocolate covered blood oranges at night

Day 18 – “Friends” trivia

Day 19 – hers and hers new phones

Day 20 – quick trip downtown to see some art, including a Kehinde Wiley

Day 21 – summer vacation planning (this is not an easy or inexpensive task with 8 kids in tow!)

Day 22 – National Margarita Day and we celebrated accordingly

Day 23 – overnight at 21C Hotel and dinner at the cutest little French restaurant

Day 24 – sleeping in and brunch out before heading home

Day 25 – shopping day for some office furniture and decorative pillows for our bed (god, I love a good decorative pillow!)


Day 26 – “Obama: An Intimate Portrait”

Day 27 – Kentucky t-shirt

Day 28 – the best pajama pants ever (seriously) and the most delicious dinner, scratch-made by the most amazing wife

Thank you doesn’t even come close to adequately expressing how much I loved my birthday month. But even more than I loved February this year, I love love LOVE this life and this woman. (Y’all…this is what love looks like. Pleasepleaseplease don’t settle for less than this.)

 xoxo, k