We spent an intense 3 hours in counseling today. We went for marriage help (no crisis: tune up), but it ended up being transformative to/for me personally. As in “ummm, I think everything is different now. WHAT IN THE FRACK JUST HAPPENED?” . These 2 people who had never met me (it was a married couple working with us)—in such a small amount of time—pinpointed, communicated and corrected some major flaws in my core beliefs of myself/others/god; ones that Jesse and I have both tried to address many times before, but were too close to and emotional about make any real headway. They 100% blew my mind and showed me things about myself that I would’ve SWORN weren’t there. . I love counseling and think all humans need it, but I still resisted going when Jesse suggested it. I think something in me knew that it needed healing, but that it was gonna hurt and be hard, and fought like hell to escape that pain. . Here’s to choosing hard and painful as payment for living real and deep. Don’t believe the lie that easy and comfortable is making you or your life better in any way. Easy and painless masquerade as peace but are parasites of our time and relationships. . You can trust my advice: I’ve known this stuff for like 5 hours already. ——————— #ThatWasLong #EsoEsLoQueDiceEl #GetYourHeartsButtKickedRegularly
Finally trying out this Fence-tagram thing the young people talk about. #DukesSibLove
Love wins—because He lives! 🌄💛
People ask me all the time “how do you even handle her cuteness?”👼🏻👧🏻🎀 . Mostly we just surrender to it. We do a lot of bemused head shaking and OMGWUTHOWICANTEVEN-ing around this blue-eyed joy-nymph😍. . We are willing subjects under her tyrannical reign of adorability. #SheDoesPeeHerPantsOftenStillTho #NobodysPerfect
Giving entropy and chaos an L and claiming a win for peace and order—at least in this one small corner of the universe🌌🧘🏼♀️. (Undecided on which team the 6 bottles of🍷 play for. Honestly, could go either way).
Daddy and Judah are at the Atlanta United ⚽️ game, and in a delusion of grandeur earlier today I told these two we could have a girls’ spa day💆🏼♀️💅🏼🥒. . Hours later, when the time came to actually make it happen (balking at paying💰to go to a salon), I was NOT feeling it. This week has been like a case of emotional dysentery, and I was feeling grumpy that not only was I not getting my own spa experience, but that I also had to conjure up one for my relatively carefree, over-served kids. . I decided keeping my word to them was important and girded up my loins to get through it. I figured just painting their nails and would be plenty to satisfy the promise. . But while looking for nail polish I got hit with a jolt of energy, inspiration, and—at the risk of soundly dippy—conviction that this was a chance to serve them creatively. . So I went over the top with music, candles, robes, mani/pedis, bubble water in wine glasses, facials, bubble bath, cucumbers and pretending to be a whole other person who had never met them before. They ATE IT UP, and weirdly I ended up feeling so relaxed and filled up by waiting on them hand and foot (and cuticle and pore) and just buying in to being with them and FOR them for two solid hours. . These gale force Mom-ing inspirations don’t come often for me, and I’m so glad I didn’t shrug this one off! (More from Spa Mähmí in my story).
Running out of weekend like...
These two lil’ scooters have become so important to me in the past 8 months🖤💜❤️. . The 22 year old makes me feel ancient (“I saw Finding Nemo when I was 7!”, “no you CANNOT say ‘im shook’ Keight”), and the 42 year old keeps me young by whooping my butt every day with near-death workouts. . Today, our little ShayBae moves back to California, and the gym is feeling a bit in denial that our evening sunshine won’t be here anymore. . Cardio tear-suppression is how I’m handling it. Others are resorting to low-rep, high-weight nipple snatches in their grief(pictured)💪🏽🦀🍼. #AmShookTho
Their relationship/rivalry is a major gray hair-producer for us 😤👵🏻🧓🏼. . Judah tends to treat Layla very harshly. It’s more painful because of how infinitely sweet and nurturing he is to his other little sister. He’s told us he doesn’t like being considered as equals or twins with Layla (they’re 17 month apart). I think his firstborn, alpha, competitive personality—which he 100% inherited on his x-chromosome—feels threatened by any success, joy, love, knowledge or expression of hers. The lie he hears is “if she has something, it means you lose something” (ask me how I know😉). . The best thing we have done for their friendship is to take away the audience. To send them off on their own—just the two of them. He doesn’t feel like anyone is watching them trying to decide who is better at what (which is never happening anyway). He can let go of his need to outperform her and just see how funny and wild and cool she is as a person. . Letting them venture off by themselves to the the creek in the back of our neighborhood was a big step this week. Yesterday they came home covered in mud, today they came home soaking wet from deciding to swim in the creek after they’d eaten the lunches they packed themselves. . My mom imagination has thought of dozens of what-ifs, but what IS, is that they come home from independence and nature with better attitudes, better appetites and a better relationship🌳👦🏼👱🏻♀️🎒#DukesSibLove
DIY Daddy daughter date night❤️👨👧👧💗: the only way we celebrate dumb-dumb valentimes. Teaching our girls that they deserve to be pursued and made to feel magical. . But Judah and I don’t like being leftover chopped liver (swipe⬅️) and typically bust out for a less-fancy, for-green-eyes-only sarcasm-fest about how weird girls and valentines and basically everything is. . Magic and sarcasm: the hallmarks of any great romance.
100% chance of sunshine 🌈👧🏻☔️
Icy hills + real sleds + waterproof gloves + friends = game changer for these ignorant southern snow noobs. . We usually spend snow days being prickly sloths inside after our initial morning excitement doglegs hard left into a sweaty, contentious hour of searching for and piling on clothing then playing for ten minutes before giving up ❄️🛷.
I love him. So dare-able. Currently claiming he has frostbite on his nipples.❄️🍼🍼 #SnowBurpees
“Live every day like it’s PJ day”—my best lifestyle advice😴🤙🏻👘.
I’ll not say “Go Dawgs,” but also not the automatic “to hell with Georgia” you might get from most other GT grads tonight 🐶🏈🐝. I’ll just yell “GEORGIA TECH!”, but the ‘Tech’ will be real quiet. . Why? My mom was a UGA cheerleader 🖤📣❤️ and used to run the mascot dog (uga/ugga? purposefully ignorant), across the field just ahead of the team coming out of the locker room. She was always afraid if she tripped that the players would trample her to death in their bloodlust🏃🏼♀️💨. . As such, I was a UGA cheerleader for about 4 straight Halloweens in elementary school (til I outgrew her uniform at, like, age 11). . Look what a freaking dang babe she was. And (swipe ⬅️) what a UGA-clad little smooshling I was! (those are thicccc rolls, not a front thong swimsuit! And tween Keight=Layla😱) . *I played volleyball for all 4 years at Georgia Tech, and as soon as I committed to play there, my mom became the most RABID fan—even once getting in a shoving match with an elderly male Nebraska fan when he besmirched the honor of GTVB! ✊🏻🐝🏐.
5-slide novella (Swipe ⬅️). . 1. When it’s so cold but you remember you have pockets! 2. And the pockets are so snuggly that you become giddy 3. And you’re so happy that you forget you’re wearing a skirt 4. So your mom tells you you’re flashing and you’re like “oh yeah i am.” 5. But it’s cool cuz you’re 3 and nothing is embarrassing and everything you do is cute.
Something so ridic happened to me that it made me break my 351 day blogging hiatus // Link in profile
In today’s #DukesWomensSummit we learn about the irresistibly loathsome practice of duckface selfies. 🦆😗 . Because in a world gone crazy, I refuse to let my daughters grow up without access to a facial expression that looks so vapid and calculated. . Mothering truly is a sacred calling. Namaste, sisters.
Noa is in 8/9ths of my #BestNine2017, and 0/9ths of us are surprised by this. . 2017 felt like a swift kick to the heart-crotch for us in a lot of ways. Hundreds of hours digging into hard situations and relationships and issues that used to just be easy and exist with no effort or intersection with our day-to-day (hashtag vague: ✅). . Our prayer the most has been “show us how and where to fight; tell us when to quit.” The answer we keep hearing is “people are always worth it.” It’s been exhausting. And worth it? Well, tbh...TBD. . We’re deliberately thankful for it all. In the words of Dwight/Benito: “for I say that IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO FIGHT!” . At least I got those amazing leopard/neon pink high tops to wear in the fight.
When @jessedukes parents the kids solo interesting things tend to happen. . He sends me a text with a GPS📍pin: “found a cool park, meet us after you leave work!” I show up and see 0% of my bloodline anywhere, but hear our family’s trademark dulcet tones (piercing shrieks) coming from a dense bamboo thicket. . This Chinese Narnia is about 6 miles from our house and was just what the doctor ordered after days of cabin potato fever. Cheers to daddy adventures! 🎋⛩🐼 . #WhyJudahLookAnimeTho #MoreLocoInMyStory
The crib is...outta here👍🏻. Tonight she sleeps in her new big girl bed. . Noa’s spent more time in a crib than the other two combined (even though her first night in it wasn’t until about 7 months old). She’s always loved her crib and asks to be put in it. We think she just loves sleep like her mama and sister though, because she is stoked about her new bed too. . I’m feeling less than fully stable about the end of this era. 😢🛏👧🏻
Freak❄️storm front blew through @legacysenoia for Christmas Eve🎄⛪️🕯. . Perfect for magical photos—don’t eat it though...🛁 (and Noa is terrified of it). #LegacyChristmas
2 of the schmoopiest snugglers: My lil’ Georgia BFF loving on my longtime Hong Kong BFF. 🧡💛
Such a magical wedding tonight for a wonderful couple; Jesse did the ceremony and the reception was stunning...and then the kitchen went up IN FLAMES 30ft away from us during the father’s toast and we all had to sprint out. . Thank God no one was hurt, but can you imagine going through this on your wedding day? Sweet Hannah and Hunter will certainly get a free wedding and probably a redo party as well—and have quite a story to tell forevermore. . Super promise I’m not an arsonist. . #ThoughTheAtlantaFiremenMakeMeConsiderIt #AllTheLadiesGotAPicWithThisBeefcake #WeDidItWhileOurHusbandsWereInsideRescuingOurStuff #Callahannah
“Oh, hello, I didn’t see you there. I was too busy enjoying these new leather counter stools my mom scored on eBay for $450 less than CB2 wanted for the exact same ones. They’ve only just arrived this week from The East Indies, and smell of exotic Bombay spices. Soon they will be peppered with pretzel crumbs and infused with our toots. As we do in the New World” . Full credit goes to Her Highness the Duchess of Babeington @jodimockabee for the shopping hack 🛒🏆
We’ve never bought any of Noa’s preschool pics before. And then these little numbers came home 🤣🤣🤣. . The hands! The feet! The awkward smiles! The business casual/senior photos vibe. . ¡Noa forever!
Still got it.
🎅🏼🌲🧝🏼♂️HE COMES HE COMES!!! OUR YULE OPPRESSOR APPROACHES!!! . Cheers and 🤦🏼♀️ to all the parents who thought this twee tradition would be a cute way to fill their many free hours (rather than simply eating cheese and going to bed early like sensible people), and who now, years later, are wallowing in regret for opening this Pandora’s gift box; enjoying the charm of fighting with their spouse in bed every night over whose turn it is to get up to go move the little turd. . Forget intricate Pinterest-inspired set ups with props and storylines; after years under his bondage we are just looking for places up high to chuck this monster! (Because Noa would grab him for SURE and he other kids would stroke out or attack her). . We discovered this past weekend that we had LOST our original year’s-old Frosty George, to whom I had made biological modifications (inserting wire limbs under his skin like an adamantium skeleton for more pose-ability—on a day that I had clearly had too much coffee and/or Ritalin/PCP as well as delusions of grandeur). . We had to shell out THIRTY DOLLARS to get a new one because the kids were so concerned that it was December and he wasn’t here yet that they actually wrote letters to Santa inquiring about their friend. . Frosty George is tormentor of our own creation, we’ve painted ourselves into a corner, annually confronting our Sophie’s Choice: destroy our kids’ sense of magic and wonder when they fully believe (which we all know is endangered and ticking away anyhow) by killing him off, having him no-show, exposing his falsity, turning him scary so they cry and beg him to leave etc. OR continue this first-world, basic, extra nonsense night after December night. . #NotToMentionTheNewJesusVersionsOfThisSchtickThatMakeOursLookLikeFrostyPaganSatanByComparison . I figure they have the rest of their lives to think there’s no magic—and all of middle school to think everything is lame. I’ll score some cheap magic/wonderment points by shoving an elf’s skinny felt body into Barbie’s jeggings and halter top for as long as I can (that plan is the coffee talking...we’ll see). . *Hunger Games salutes my elfin brethren* #InstaBlog
When it looks like daddy’s going to back out of the driveway and squish mommy with his car while she takes your picture. Simply hilarious.
They came for the AstroTurf city playground, but opted instead for the partially-drained lake goose poop reservoir of sandy sludge. When you nix the skeeters and humidity/temperatures of a moist armpit, nature is quite fun 🌱🕸🦆. #DukesSibLove
Lil’ baby lookin’ so grown.
Excellent recent tradition/life hack: Utah grandparents fly in for the insane busy week leading up to thanksgiving and provide tons of help and fun. They fly out on thanksgiving day after WaHo breakfast. They avoid cray airport days and we avoid multiple family gathering-stress. Also sausage and hashbrowns. Everybody wins. 🛬🎂🦃🧡🧘🏼♀️🥓🛫 . Ironically, Layla was the only one who looked cute in last year’s Waffle House photo, so she had this coming. #DukesAndUtes
💞🌟💜Nothing more American nor Girly than the flippin’ American Girl Doll store.💜🌟💞 . Sakes alive, these evil retail geniuses overstimulated me so hard with their fuchsia cardboard and twee little backstories that I was like, “please yes I’ll pay $20 for you to spray water on and braid this toy’s hair if it means I can leave.” 🤑💸💳 . I have a 7 year old who’s pretty worth it though, and this outing with her favorite (bday-twin!) older cousin plus a sleepover afterward was all Layla wanted for a party this year. . LouLou came along for backup because she is the most game Grandmama in town, and because God is merciful upon my weary introvert bones. NoaLou came along because 5 dukes girls are even better than 4 (and for snuggles). . I learned so much today that i may have a future in crafting new doll stories: . “Becketta’s historically accurate daub and wattle lean-to is a 1:64 scale version of what her family subsisted in during the Bolshevik revolution. Take home the ‘Lil Proletariat’ play set today, complete with borscht service for two, mink stole, framed portrait of Vladimir Lenin, and a Faberge egg looted from the palace! Becketta’s hands come charmingly pre-callused from her special job: digging in her family’s frozen potato garden. 1-in-1,000 sets sold contains a limited edition ultra-rare replica of Tsar Nikolai’s bayonet-tattered surcoat! $495+tax.” #ActuallyThatsSovietGirlDoll
‘Tis a wondrous thing to be so deeply known by the people in your life. . As evidenced by some of the earth’s most on-point and astute hostess gifts to ever be received: 10lbs of holy manna-fudge, a custom Rae Dunn-esque mug (bc her “ZEN” and “WIFEY” ones don’t quite capture my essence), and a talking Kenneth bobble head. . They get me.
🦃🌻Squat-O🌽🍁. . Her given Native American name in puffy paint on the back of her shirt is “Star Dancer,” festooned with many MANY Stars of David 🇮🇱 and no non-Jewish Stars. An unexpected yet delightful move from our Church Preschool 🤔.
L A Y L A I S 🌟7️⃣🌟 . From a lil’ love gnome on my chest to the gorgeous girl in our arms today, she’s been spicing us up and filling us up since day 1. . Her 7th year was something magic; she and I learned so much about the best ways to love each other, and we’ve never been closer. . She’s a mixed media artist (aka trash resurrector), devoted doll mother (received her first real AG doll last night!), snuggle-addict, and violent extrovert who neeeeeeds social time and sleep more than anyone in the family. . She’s loud in volume, feelings, and style. She’s a great listener and knows where things are in the house better than anyone. She can usually manipulate Judah and Noa into doing what she wants OR into rage episodes. She loves candy, avocados with salt, pistachios and bananas. . She does math worksheets for fun, loves playing Barbies with Noa, is a HUGE help to her daddy and me, and cracks us up regularly. She’s beautiful to look at and even more so to know. . You’ll never out-love this girl. But we’re giving it our best shot. . Happiest Day to our pure fire. You rock our worlds, Layla-pie, never stop being exactly who you are! . #LayBaeStyle
🌿👧🏻Magnolia Baby®️: Get yours in time for Christmas. Only at Target. . Jesse brought a snoozing Noa in from the car after school today. I’m looking at her thinking, “she looks adorable, obviously, but why does she also look so chic and au courant?” . I turned around and saw the open Target box that had just arrived with all my online #HearthAndHand items. . I looked back at her like 🤔, so I grabbed the apron and the luggage tag and put them beside her—and about lost it. . I know you probably won’t believe me that this happened utterly unintentionally (that’s a green PJ top from a matching set that she peed in the pants of this morning. Jesse just put the striped sweat pants on her and left the dry top for school. He picked out her shoes by himself bc I was already gone to work). . I understand if you cannot believe*. My heart knows it’s true. And somewhere in Texas, I bet JoJo does too. . *I will sign a blood oath before Lord Jesus that we did not plan to dress our toddler to look like Chip and Joanna designed her as part of their new collection. I would also sign a contract letting her become the line’s official mascot.
👣🌿 Smells like pee currently, woke us up at 2:30am, only eats applesauce and yogurt. Is better than everyone. #ResistanceIsFutile
🌿🛒Woke up at 3am to shop the new Magnolia/Target #HearthAndHand line. Despite having one firm and reasonable list ready to go, i placed two online orders in my sleepy delirious weakness. . I realized that ONE thing I wanted was in-store only(that tote bag) so i girded my loins (literally in sweatpants/figuratively with coffee), and dragged all three kids to Target by myself (bc Sunday morning pastor’s wife) before 8 am for the opening. . First time I’ve ever stood in line for a store to open (though it was just a line of 4 other ladies chillin’ no shovesies). #SeeMyStory . When confronted in-person by the entire line of goods, I fully lost control. I can quasi talk myself down from impulsive purchases when shopping online, but when the goat-shaped cookie cutter and the cognac saddle leather passport holder are RIGHT THERE and I only need to reach out and grab them: I am tested and found wanting...like you can literally *find me WANTING* them—and then buying like 17 other extra items. . Don’t send help, it’s too late for me. Just send me my PhD in being Basic. And Jo-jo. Send me her too.
Just my eesny lil’ BFF. I knew I’d always love this daughter, but I had no idea/guarantee how much I’d genuinely LIKE her. She’s flippin’ weird and interesting and creative and complex and funny. Imma keep her. #LayBaeStyle
For your consideration: the #DukesHalloweenFamJam 2017 offering: . The Belcher Family of “Bob’s Burgers” 👨🏻🍔🦄. . Jesse transcended himself and positively BECAME Bob. Judah’s Gene has lost some babyfat but no panache. Noa Lou(ise) isn’t as diabolical as the original, nor is Layla’s Tina as hormonally angst-y. I can’t do the sublime voice of Linda to save my life, but I inhaled a bottle of black hair color spray trying to at minimum look fly like her. . If you haven’t watched this show, I hiiiiiighly recommend it. It’s in my top 5 comedies all time. (No, the kids don’t watch it). . All costume elements borrowed, thrifted or homemade, as usual. My apron with the logo already on it was the first half apron of any kind I could find at 4 thrift stores. Kismet. . . . . . . #BobsBurgers #FamilyCostume #TheBelchers #FullBars #bobsburgerscosplay #belcherfamily #TinaBlecher #GeneBelcher #LouiseBelcher #LindaBelcher #BobBelcher #BobsBurgersCostume #BobsBurgersislife #BelcherKids
Concessions: Since I make them participate in group costumes that they aren’t necessarily knowledgeable or passionate about, I must be prepared to let them be whatever they want at other celebrations. . Luckily (lies) there are about 13 local/school parties and events pre-Halloween that require costumes. (PSA did you know candy from the trunk of a parked car is 50% less satanic than candy acquired door to door🍬⛪️🚙?) . EXTRA lucky: local thrift store had all Halloween 75% off last night. We were there at 4:30 pm throwing the kids a costume decision-making bone, before their school “Meet n Treat” (everyone comes back to school at 5 pm just to get candy. Honestly, the mind boggles). . Layla was thrilled to find a retro dress for $2 to be become a diner waitress. (I was thrilled to put back the “classy lady” referee sleeveless halter dress that had been her initial choice, and which was clearly tailored to be a much shorter garment on a much taller, and hopefully older—female...based on all the baggy chest fabric😬🙅🏼). She turned out creative, adorable and so happy. . Noa’s destiny was in this AMAZING AUTHENTIC VINTAGE SPACE CAMP FLIGHT SUIT which perfectly matched the hat we already own (bc nerds) and was exactly her size. Thrifted metallic space Uggs for (basic) moonwalks complete the look.👩🏻🚀🚀🌖 . Judah was a 50¢ polyester skeleton guy. I dunno. He’s 8 and there’s no telling him anything. . My posts lately force me to admit that we are undeniably—if accidentally—Halloween costume junkies. I can admit that now. As long as all KitKats from these event flow unimpeded unto ME.🍫
Our costume stash is limited. For today’s school party, she wanted to be a Disney princess, and I wanted her to be Iron (Wo)Man. Stalemate. . The mathematical average of a princess & avenger is: Wise Old Fortune Teller🔮/Village Midwife Herbalist of Yore🌿. . Obviously. . She only approved because her headscarf is one of her “mankies” and she can stick/twist the corner in her nostril all day (her incredibly strange, cute-to-us-but-gross-to-everyone-else little addiction).
👻🎃What’s that you say, you’re positively yearning to see the entire* anthology of #DukesHalloweenFamJam laid out chronologically in one glorious place??? De nada 🙏🏻. . Can you ID them all? Which was your fave? 👻🎃 . #ThisYearIsGonnaBeMoreNiche #GetYourHopesDown #HadACocktailAfterTheFiestPicAndPeopleJudgedHard #TwasADeflatedKickball #PlayingTheRoleOfSeanPreston #PillowHeadMcSoySauce . . .*missing Pooh/Tigger, robbers, and Samson/Delilah years pics)
Here is a picture I took with my new phone camera in the dreamy light of my office conference room on a day I dressed like a grown-up. . It is of my face and like it. If I ever write a book or keynote speak at something (Cheese Bingeing Summit 2k18?) , I’ll have them put this on the jacket/flyer. This lady looks much more in charge—and less sweaty—than I ever feel (Though if she’s such a winner, why didn’t she move that chair out of frame?). . And just to keep it real, here (swipe⬅️!) is another photo I took of my same face, minutes later. *This* lady looks like I feel 95% of the time (100% if a front facing camera is involved). She also looks like a spiteful warlock shrunk her head. . Proof that angle, lighting, posture, pose, touch-ups and filters are powerful things. . #GetAGirlThatCanDoBoth?#YesIDidMakeAVersionWithABookTitleSuperImposed #NoYouCantSeeIt
🌈+🎹=😍. Swipe ⬅️ to unfurl this dreamboat. . 🎼One day we’ll find it, the ainbow-ray onnection-cay, the lovers, the dreamers and me🎶. . When I made my BFF @huntlena a quilt for her first baby (who is the exact same age as Noa) I didn’t anticipate her having two *more* babygirls within three years, and having to churn these quilts out on the semi-reg to keep the traditional auntie k8 gift alive. . Good thing she’s worth it. And good thing I put their names on the quilts so I don’t steal them for myself✂️. . Third babe drops any minute now and this is baby #2’s very late blankie—because she was born the month before the fire and punctuality does not number among my giftings. So I have about 9cm of cervix or a few days to enjoy NOT being behind on a baby gift.
Thank you, Judah, for capturing this stellar parenting moment. . 4pm is my kryptonite. iPad is our backup parent. That couch is my comfy lover, and my baby a warm snuggle bean. . I regret nothing.
🛁 Double bubble trouble 🛁 . (reposted bc I love the B&W ⬛️⬜️ version more)
Three bumps on a log got their hike on this morning while we gave daddy man a few hours to write a paper for grad school. 🌲🌲🌲 . They all *insisted* on their own backpacks. I insisted on filling them all and carrying nothing myself. Because foresight. 🎒🎒🎒 . Felt a tad guilty about my hands free status at first, but recovered when Noa not only gave up on carrying her pack, but BECAME mine for the final 2 miles in the ergo.🏇🏼🏇🏼🏇🏼 . #SweatCanyon #PiggieBackPeanutGallery #SeeInstaStoryForMore #DukesSibLove
“What Will I Be?” day at school found us with limited *nonfiction* dress-up options/career paths. . Here, we’ve opted for “Casual Friday Astronaut” or possibly “Nerdy Trucker”👩🏻🚀🤓🚛. . Her refusal to stand for a pic we are spinning as “sitting on the surface of the moon.” 🌖
This weekend may never be topped in the categories of: wild kid-fun experienced AND sheer tonnage of sugar consumed. 🌭🍭🍿🥞🍬🎡🏰🏕🚜🎠 . As I was tucking Layla in, she creepily whispered “seven pieces of cotton candy.” I shook my head in disbelief and terror of possible nighttime barfs, and leaned in to kiss her, when she whispered directly into my ear “one blue piece...the rest pink.” 💙💗💗💗💗💗💗
🔸T H R E E 🔸 . This number is too high. Three years old is dangerously into kid territory and out of babyland. . I’d be a blubbering mess today; missing that tiny, joyful, easygoing infant that you once were—IF you hadn’t lived up to and wildly surpassed every hope and promise that that squnchy little version of you merely hinted at. . You’re so fiery, but lightning quick to apologize. . You LOVE people. You always ask strangers their names at the store and tell them “I’m noaLOU!” You remember your loved ones when they’re far away, and tell them how much you missed them when you see them again. If you know someone is sick, you constantly remind us and ask us about how they’re doing. . You adore playing with your big sister but cannot stand being controlled or bossed by her. Judah is much less of a peer to you and is just your heroic beloved “du-dah boy-eee.” . Youve become a stone cold terrible eater and are mostly subsisting on apple sauce and cheese these days—unless mommy and daddy feel like doing aerobic cajoling at each meal. . You’re getting so witty, would take three baths a day if you could, are still mad addicted to your paci and blanket (“papi and mankie”), flop on the floor moaning when asked to bring your backpack inside, enjoy bossing the dogs around, love helping with jobs and chores (but not doing any on your own), and call your navel a “belly bean.” . You’re a freaking little treasure, Noa Lou, and today you’re 3!!! #NoaLouBday
Noa’s first ever report card and we must regretfully announce that she’s failing (evidenced by cruel check minuses!) at hygiene and prayer.🙏🏻💩. . We are, however, in this desert place, clinging fast to the hope that her glowing check plus in “identifying four shapes” brings us.🔺🔸🔵◾️ . She may still have a future...it might be stinky and spiritually shallow, but, by the hammer of Thor, triangles will be made known! . Sarcasm. BUT it’s funny because this is legit the kind of spiraling meltdown I had when I would get Judah’s 2year old progress reports because: first child of a type-A mom. “He got a flat smiley face 😐 in ‘showing kindness?!?’ OMG Jesse we’re raising a sociopath, let’s give him to a nunnery bc we are blowing this!!”. . #DearLordHelpHerPoopInThePottyAmen #CanYouIdentifyTheWhiteOvalShape? #AndPooThereinPlease
Getting my chitinous mandibles legally on this fool 11 years ago today was the best thing that ever freaking happened to me. 🤵🏻❤️👰🏼 . Happy is overrated. Do we have a happy marriage? I dunno, not really; because it’s like kilometres: a unit of measure that’s mostly irrelevant to us. . We stopped selling ourselves short years ago by tearing down the happiness idol for far better and messier ideals. . What we DO have is an always growing, often failing, quickly forgiving, Jesus-clinging, violently committed, relentlessly authentic, scrappy, silly, and SAFE marriage between two broken/healed(repeat) hearts clawing for every inch of the oneness that marriage promises but doesn’t come free or without a fight, and sometimes moves backward before it can go forward. . I choose whole over happy every time. I choose you, fool. . #WhollyEverAfter #Elevenses #ILoveYouAndILikeYou#JesseAndKeightForevaEva #AwesomeKissyFaceSpazz
Utah grandparents inbound 🛬 , local grandparents on duty til they arrive⏱, Up & Vanished episodes loaded on my phone 📻, and @jessedukes 💋waiting for me in NashVegas 🎸🌆for a little 11th anniversary trip (tacked on to a conference he was already attending there). . #DoIEvenKnowHowToDriveWithoutListeningToCuriousGeorgeEpisodes #OrHearingHeyMommy95TimesAnHour #OrDislocatingMyShoulderTryingToParentTheSecondRow #TennesseeIsForLovers #AndMuchSleeping
Eyes for luring ✅ Robot claws for pinching ✅. 👀🤖🦀 . (Creepy pose brought to you by a simple request for her to please be chill and still for just one sec? And by #LayBaeStyle)
Posing goals #MeanItBothWays.
🚽🎈👧🏻📖 #PooperParty #DiscoveringToiletJoy #HowDoDinosaursSayGoodnight
Heading upstairs and spied a little sista sugar. I loved this moment even more than I hate shoes on furniture. Which is saying a LOT.
📰LOCAL TODDLER STILL CUTE AFTER LAST WEEK'S FULL-SPRINT CONCRETE-FACEPLANT!!📰 . 🕵🏼But when questioned further regarding allegations of photoshopping the more gruesome areas of the photo, mother responds, 'no comment' followed by 'come on yall, no one needs Hitler-mustache scab memories.'🤕
🎥Yalllllll, he's so freaking cute and awkward on camera, but self-motivated and beggged me to post this for more exposure (after dragging me outside in my robe after getting himself into wardrobe and writing his script). . 👉🏼IG only let me add some of it so I choose the part with the blooper reel. . #BobDoleArmSyndrome #LastYearInThePast #SuchAnOnscreenNatural . *it's a run for funds a-thon, sponsored by lap--he did 43 last year! 100% of money going to his elementary school for supplies and improvements and 20% of his sponsorship $$ go right to his teachers classroom budget.
⛈Irma, you ignorant tropically-depressed slut!⛈ . You've taken our power for 8 hours (and counting), but given us an unasked-for little glimpse into a life that goes hours without screens, takes a lot more work (um hand washing/drying dishes for the first time in life), and is way more connected to the planet and each other (and also solicits hilarity each time we continue to be flummoxed by switches not doing our bidding). . And it hasn't sucked. Turns out we 5 like each other a lot, and are fairly entertaining (see my story for glimpses). . Aside from a brief outburst of mourning for my soft cheeses, my all-or-nothing/0-to-100mph Keighty style feels today's successes mean we're ready to buy a bus and live off the grid as hairy, peaceful nomads--with only menstruation and hydroponic farm yields to tell us of the date. . Balanced Jesse style says hey, it probably means it's good for our family to unplug more often and live life without the safety net of Netflix every now and then. . I'm like whatever man, you don't even get me, as I retrofit our DVD player to be a patchouli diffuser.
📣ATTENTION: I needed a jacket this morning and it won't get above 78* today🌡: . This is fall's pheromone broadcast to all us basic babes: as the salmon know the time to swim upstream to mate, so too do we know when it's time to swim to the Target dollar spot + seasonal aisles to mate all our disposal income with every harvest/pumpkin/autumn tchotchke... 🍂🌻🍁🌽🎃 ...to dreamscape the perfect latte+boots+scarf instagram photo of our feet standing on leaf-strewn brick... 🎃🌽🍂🌻🍁 ...to elevate the word and lifestyle of cozy to demigod status, and force our mildly-willing families into every conceivable local harvest, orchard, fair, patch and maze in the name of the season! 🍁🌽🎃🍂🌻 Rejoice, ye womankind, the swampass and underboob sweat has been vanquished, and sweater weather and blankets shall reign! 🍂🎃🌻🍂🌽 Love, your self-appointed fall version of the groundhog (sky squirrel? ⛅️🐿).
Just your basic pastor+pastors wife workday devotional text. 💃🏼💒#WelcomeToMyMarriage #Traditionalists #HelpMeetPleaseLookAtMyHelpMeat #SomeonesBeenSquatting #JesseAndKeightForevaEva
I frickin' dang love cartwheels. --Layla Dukes, in a rare moment spent right side up🤸🏼♂️🤸🏼♂️🤸🏼♂️
Son+Sun Spottings. 🚴🏽☀️
Well, Au-gust it's time for a new month 📆 #1seputapuredukes #1se #1secondeveryday
🍎1st day of school!🎒 . So proud of my man for following his dream (and natural gifts), starting the process of becoming a licensed counselor by heading off to grad school online/in our guest bedroom (this campus has a zero-tolerance policy for bullies and bras, I hear). 📚 Almost all of our friends, when told Jesse was going back to school, immediately guessed it would be for counseling. Because he's already one of the safest and wisest and most empathetic people you could know. 📚 We are so thankful that his employers are supportive of and encouraging us toward this, and hope that having a minister who is also a professional counselor will benefit everyone! 📚 But just to be clear, I've already told him he may not psychoanalyze me or use any new Jedi mind tricks against me. I need it in writing that I'm still allowed to act like a freak show and that he will endorse and support such behaviors, and not write papers about me. 📚 #TobiasFünkeInTheMaking
Doing a little mid-banquet bathroom mirror self-talk affirmation, Hey superstar, you look amazing girlfraaaan! You to-ta-lly put your new wet n' wild highlighter in the right places, and people. are. NOTICING. The room loves you; you're a lion, take what's yours! . I sassily turn to leave and notice a massive swath/racing stripe of dark sweat down my back-through *both* my shirts-and the self-talk quickly deteriorates: you stupid swamp monster HAG! You dared to slither out of your elastic waist pants and string cheese residue to feign fanciness among cleaner folk! No one is fooled and you deserve all the tragedy that will befall you tonight, crone! CRUCIO!!! . Soooo it's a bit of a mixed bag, self image-wise in my head. But, hey, they had a back-swamp dryer, so I give that ladies room visit about a B!
🎒👧🏻✏️Things that are true about preschool orientation yesterday, but sound like utter social media mommy-lies: ✂️ 1. Noa's beloved teacher from last year missed her so much that she cried when we went to visit her room and hug her sweet neck. ✂️ 2. The school director told me a K4 teacher has already offered her money to place Noa in her class in 2019. ✂️ But if you know Noa, you can maybe believe that she leaves tears and corruption in her wake--in the name of love. Child is easy-breezy huggy-squeezy 99% of the time. And funny. She's getting really funny too. ✂️ #PK3 #ButWillBeDemotedToPK2ifSheAintOnThatFullTimePottyFlowByOctober #ThePottyTrainIsNowTheStruggleBus #ThirdChildMagic
So totality in love over here. 💛🖤#YesISewedElasticOntoOurShades #YesWeAttemptedABlindKissingSelfie #YesItwasHighlySuccessfulAndEroticAsYouCanTell #YesBasicallyWeArePhantomOfTheSolarOpera #HappyBirthdayToTheMoonOrWhatever #jesseandkeightforevaeva
#ApocEclipse NOW!!!! 🌞🌚☄️ . Me: Judah, get out here, it's a once in a lifetime event! Him: Well, maybe for YOU it is #LifeExpectancyBurn
My feelings on Noa + this pose: -at age 2 👌🏻 -at age 15 👎🏻
🤔when I hear her say we bohf ahw buckled, mommy! and it's only me and her at home🦉🚂. #OwlAboard #TheHootHootTrain #FastenYourTweetBelt #PunsStrongTonight #LaylasChristmasTrashIsNoasAugustTreasure
Her main source of income lately🕳🕳 #TheGapPaysWell
When I said I never wanted daughters, I didn't know anything like these two was even possible. 💜👭🎀. #DukesSibLove
My fave way to get a real smile out of this chump is to do an impression of his terrible fake one. Gets him every time.🤓🤣 . Loving the changing dynamic of parenting a big kid, he's so damn complex and interesting and deep. I still have many memories from my age 8, and it feels like I really *WAS ME* by then; so seeing him at that same point is really cool.
Somehow** I haven't given her a sink bath since moving back in and having this enormous sink (which we paid a bit more for and instantly became worth it 10x over today😍)! 🛁🚰👶🏻 #SinkAndSwim #EverythingBUTTtheKitchenSink ⬅️hashtag stolen from @garlandandpendant along with sinkbath inspo! **constant dish-pocalypse cesspit.
Monday comin' at us like...🦅👾🦇
We just ate flowers, and livers, and popped sorghum--you guys: SORGHUM, like from the old timey books--and it was somehow all freaking transcendent borderline-sorcery in my mouthface. . Fancy din at @staplehouse (every single August reservation was booked within ten minutes of release back in July and I snatched one! Impulsive online shipping skills FTW) for my husboyfriend's late b-date. . #StapleHouse #IKnewMaybeAQuarterOfTheWordsOnTheMenu #SoFreakingGood #JesseAndKeightForEvaEva
🛁my bubbly girl🥂
When you're committed to pouting, but also can't resist your daddy. ☹️😚
(Swipe⬅️) May their 3rd and 1st grade school years be more successful than this attempt at synchronized jumping📈👫📉. . #LaylasLandingMusclesTho #SquatGoals #AndThoseCreepyPreJumpFaces #DukesSibLove
Foy-YAY! 🚪🖼🛎#NoThatsNotChalkBoardPaint #YesItDoesLookLikeIt . . Still to do: -paint inside of front door/trim -re-cover bench cushion -commit to barn handles (we have bought like 4 versions and waffle always on which) -replace stair carpeting with wood+runner (once kids fall down less often) . #PutBackUpYourDukes #DiyDukes #handmademodernhome
Summers almost over? Surely Ju-ly!! . #1seputapuredukes #1SE
My sun and stars, my lobster, my soup snake, my density, my pubeshirt (massive props of you can identify the reference of each of those terms👊🏼📺). . If you know him, you most likely love or have been helped by him. If you don't know him, you can at least appreciate his hotness (before we started dating I told him his face could be on roman money!) and his phenomenal butt. And even if you hate him, you probably still kinda respect him. . He doesn't always take selfies for me when I need one for a post, but when he does, he truly goes for it. . Happy Halfway to seventy, dream face. You're easily the best human I know (even when butts and faces aren't factored in). . I love you and I like you💙.
💩🚂 All aboard the potty train. #PooPooChooChoo #TheCabooseIsLoose #ActuallyLetsHopeItsFirm #NoasLoo
It's not [just] that she's the cutest; she's the only one who sits in one place long enough for glamour shot. 🌾⛵️🌅
Bucket o' Love 🌊🛀🏻💙👧🏻
At night they name every star, they know who they are, who they are 🌊🛶🌌#AueAue #Bruncles #Csb2k17 #DukesVayCapetion
Glow bocce really brings out Layla's Sith undertones.🔮🏮💣#Palantir #InfinityStone #MaerlynsGrapefruit #NerderyLovesOrbs #DukesVayCapetion
🌕🍑🌊 #FromSeaToShiningCheek #DukesVayCapetion
Mornin', sunshine. ☀️💜
Bedtime: swoon 💃🏼😴. #PassTheSmellingSalts #JkDont #IfYouWakeHerSheWILLAttackYou #ComesUpWildEyedAndSwinging #SleepFighting #LikeASwanson #MostNarcolepticDukes