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Jennifer S

Oh MY!! favorite post ever. I have tears. Love you both! What a moment....

teresa b

TEARS!!! I love it!! I so so so have days like this still with my teenagers!!!


I have had similar mornings, afternoons, evenings.... These kids drive us to swear words but then they turn it around and have the sweetest moments too. Thanks for the "you're not alone" feeling. Happy weekend to you and the entire family!


Love this post. Thank you for sharing with us!


Ok, I totally cried reading this! What a victory that you were both able to overcome! Great post! Thank you for letting us all know that we are not the only ones who struggle with this kind of stuff! :)

Paula S.

Yep, tears! My boy and I do this same thing, rinse and repeat. Leaving eachother in a huff is just unbearable!


Awww! Well, it does sound like a movie, but art imitates life (or is it the other way around? Doesn't matter!). Glad you were both able to have a good day after a bumpy 20 hours :)


totally balling like a baby because this is so the EVERY. single. day.


but somehow whenever i try to articulate it, it ends up sounding more like whining and not like a "cheer for tired, run-down, worn out moms raising imperfect children."

you encourage me, always. thank you for that.

Karen P.

Finished reading this post with a smile. Thank You for sharing it! Ain't Motherhood grand?


I seriously don't know you "for real" (I took a one day photography class with you in Florida but that doesn't really count) but I feel like we could be friends. We both have children who have lost everything they own at one time or another. We both have left the house with forgotten stuff and both might have uttered swearwords when that happened. But the make up is so sweet, isn't it? Good thing boys are so sweet, huh? Love this post.


I've cried and laughed while reading your blog more than any other. I'm in tears again. I love your heart.

Michelle Adams

LOVE this...
Again - thank you for sharing with us and reminding us that there are others of us out here who do not have perfect lives!!! :)

Gessika Mount

so many of your posts tug at my heartstrings and this is definately one of them!!

Rachel Millington

Karen, you are awesome. That's all I need to say!


I'm about to cry. This was my so my day yesterday. With a crying boy in the backseat saying "mommy I just want to hug you" after I screamed about a backpack. I hated myself for yelling but it helps to hear it happens to the best of us. Thanks for sharing.


Great mom. Great kid. Yes, it was a rough day but there were so many love lessons in there. So many important ones that would have been missed on a "perfect" day. :)

libbi m.

Love this story. Thank you for sharing.


After my day today....all I can say is that this post is perfect. True, honest perfection. Thank you for your encouragement this evening.


ohh dear it sounds like you have the beginnings of a teenager on your hands, and a Mummy that is not coping with it (yes just like the rest of us) I laughed because I cant tell you how many times we have done the same thing and its all ended the same. My biggest dilemma is always do i drive out of my way to drop him off or deal with the consequences the good parent in me says take him home the bad one thats go a son who is never going to learn takes him to the birthday party or basketball match. Im not sure how we are meant to stay sane of not swear while they learn these lessons but perhaps we are not supposed to ?
I try to never swear in from of my kids but when i do my kids sit up straight and now that i mean business so perhaps a little swearing is kind of ok LOL ??
Kids loosing things and not knowing the times of when they are supposed to be somewhere must press a Mummy's buttons as it drives me CRAZYYYY and yet we are all still here loving each other and facing another day - thanks for that uplifting post on a day we all seemed to need it
Mette xx


Having 2 little boys, I will probably never ever forget this story.... And probably always always wish for my boy to come running back to me to apologize (just like a cheesy movie, that's the best part). Great post, as usual!

Mary Ann Jenkins

Thanks for making me smile :)


It's a crazy beautiful life, isn't it?


Okay, great... Now I am crying. I have two boys, oh and how me fume at one another. I love that he came back, yes... the best part of this story. Thanks for sharing it. I now need to go hug my son (I was mad at him for something he did... which now I realize it was not important.)

Julie in Aust.

So....when they make the movie...who would you like to play you?

That was the most riveting drama I've read for ages Karen...and it even had the tear jerker ending...had me a bit teary as soon as I read "So". I've looked into my boys eyes when they said that to me and its heartbreaking!

Absolutely beautiful, honest, real, just like most of us...and so very sweet of you to share.

Have a beautiful weekend...


Foster and Jim F. would be proud of what a great mom you are!!!! And, I know YOUR mom is proud of the great mom you are.....and the kids are SO lucky to have YOU as their smart, loving, and "true" mom that you are. You are they are!

S McKay

definately had those days.. <3


Im serious when I tell you Ive had nearly the same senerio. Also my middle child-hes 11. Hes just as forgetful and always needs to know we're ok after a disagreement. Im so glad you share the realness of life.


I love happy endings! What a great kid to come back and make it right!

tara pollard pakosta

that boy is a special one,
seriously, what a great story,
broke my heart and gave me tears.
I love that little guy of yours!

laura b

oh. you did it again. made me tear up. thank you for sharing!


Thank you for sharing, Karen! <3


I love that you share the "real" part of life. I go through the same stuff with my kids all the time and it drives me crazy but it also reminds me that we all need grace!

Michelle La Grue

So humbled that you shared your horrible day - with a happier ending! My days have been like that and strung together with incidents that make you think that this stuff only happens in my life and other peoples are perfect! So Thank You for your honesty, your candid telling of the story and the moral ending. Sadly I have yet to find the moral endings but am inspired to try.


It is scientifically proven that the "wires" in our brains are not fully connected til we are around the age of 19.... some earlier, some later. John Stossel (?) did a report about this years ago. Luckily for me I have a neighbor who taped this, and is willing to share said recording of Mr. Stossel himself reporting that when teens answer 'I don't know' to whatever offense committed they really don't, that sometimes as teens, or kids, we just screw up because we are still developing.

And doesn't this explain how you can have intelligent kids who sometimes just don't seem to have a clue (yes, I may be internalizing, because I may or may not, be one of those kids).


I just love your stories. Glad things worked out in the end (assuming the notes made it to the coaches and didn't get lost again).


I think we all have had days like that. I can see my 5 yr old being like Cole.. forgetting everything, even though you tell him to put it wherever. I am glad he came running back out and you two made amends. Makes for a hard day to leave on bad terms.


Just love your blog! This post has to be one of my favorites because you have so eloquently and honestly expressed the struggle to raise responsible children in a world that sometimes isn't always so supportive of that effort (i.e. where was the revised schedule anyway??). You try to be responsible and organized but it's almost as if life conspires against you, but in the end the kids will always remember how you made them feel. Your kids are so lucky to have such a real person for a mom! I love how your writing and photography reminds me to be reflective and take a moment to consider my role as a mom, a wife, a teacher, a friend, but mostly a human being just trying to be alright. Thanks!


He must be 10... My heart goes out to you, because I have a 10 year old of my own, and I feel like recently we've played this out on more occasions than I'd like to admit. Thank you for your honesty... Because it ain't all roses is it? You're a great Mom, and it makes me feel good knowing I'm not alone in my thoughts/actions.


Yup. I still want to put that kid in my pocket. Amazeballs.


Oh wow Karen...that just brought tears to my eyes! Haven't we all been there!? I'm so glad your "movie" had a happy ending which made me smile through the tears. Hope you had a nice weekend...I was at a two day scrapbooking!!


Love this! Absolutely beautiful and well written account of the plight of mom's raising boys. I have an 11 year old that this could have been written about. Thanks for sharing, Karen!


Thank you so much for sharing this! I have so many moments like this with my kiddos, and you vacillate between feeling guilty, and being tough. It so reminds me of a moment I had with my daughter last weekend. I swear that girl won't make it to her 18th birthday! I love her so much, but she drives me so crazy.
Thanks for being real and sharing this.


Love the story. I've lost everything up to age... 14? 16? I even lost the key to our home twice. Yeah. Thanks for sharing the story :) All the best for you!!


I could laugh and cry at this post. Thanks for putting into words the life and times of almost every person who reads this blog. That's why we keep coming back to read more and more about your life - 'cause we see the humor or pain or love in our own, through your words.


thank you karen for sharing your mommas heart, your REAL life, and your learning experiences. it's a breath of fresh air and sometimes what i remember to do while I'M fuming at my own kids.


And I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face because that was the most wonderful story of love and redemption I have heard in a long time. So kind of you to share it. Thank you.

Jen Gallacher

You are a GREAT mother! You pushed through a rough spot, and Cole KNOWS you love him. He knows because you care on such a visible level. What a lucky kid and what a lucky Mom! I adore that you share these stories so I can relate and recognize that sometimes I'm a good mother too (now I need to get a tissue because for some reason this story made me cry).


Thanks for sharing... being so real... so honest... so open... Love Love Love this blog and your transparency with us!

Michelle T

Hang in there! This is exactly why I read your blog. Sharing each others burdens and lifting one another up - confessing your sin and being real, showing the inside of the cup - just what Jesus says we should do. Thank you Karen.


You are a good Mama. Period. I learned a dozen things while reading this post tht I will apply to my own family. Thank you for Glorifying God through your humility. And, a side note, your post about Annie's lie.... Hit the spot. My family is dealing with an (adult) member who started lying, hardest thing ever. Your story helped me describe what was happening in my heart. Keep up the good work!

Cate O'Malley

I love how you share real life. Because it's so very relatable. Especially how we can never get out of the house with everything we need AND be on time. It's always either or. Even though each kid has soccer bags for just their soccer stuff, we are forever looking for soccer items after we're already late for a game. It never stops. But I'm hoping, eventually, it gets better. It has to, right?

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

no matter how much they torture us, we love them ... hang in there Karen, you're doing a great job! Happy Thanksgiving to the Downs/Russell clan!

Karen, you are a wonderful mom. Your children are all blessed to have you!!!!

Aimee B. in Oregon

...tears... Karen, so happy that Cole came running back. He listened to his heart and did what was right even though he could have gotten in more trouble. He loves you. You are important to him. He wants you to be happy. Happy with him. When I have had mornings like this with my kiddos I just feel sick. Sick with feeling disappointed in myself for being the 'grown-up' and letting this 12 kid totally turn my morning upside down and I've yelled and fumed and now I just dropped them off at school trying now to put on a straight face like everything is fine in their world and now concentrate and do your best and remember their spelling words, bible verses etc. be nice to their friends.... All the while I, being a stay at home mom, gets to go and just be with my feelings not have to pretend to anyone that Im okay. I guess what Im saying is that I get what you are saying. I loath mornings like this one. And after each on I try to be prepared for the next one, because there will be a next one. But it doesnt work....

Good luck, Karen.

Jo E

I love your stories and it gives me a glow to know I'm not alone in feeling / doing / saying the things I do as a Mum. Thank you.

Rebya Falk

I started reading your blog while Josh was overseas...loved your Josh, if you are reading your family lives put out for the world to see...many blessings to you and yours.


Best post ever. Love, love.

Kim S.

Karen, that story is so real and just like my life. I've got two boys, 16 and 10, and sure have heard my share of "so"s. We try to never leave each other mad, it ruins everyone's day if we do. You've already raised a young man. You probably know this won't be the last time?!?! :)


Love this post! This sounds so much like me and my oldest daughter, she's 13. Thank you for sharing!

Lyndsey G

I love to read your posts because you put into words what so many of us experience every day!!! I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

linda t

How do you always manage to make me cry... wow, what a beautiful picture of love and grace and forgiveness. Thank you for being so real, for living your life without a mask. Your kids are blessed and all the better for having you as their Mom.


I am sure you must be saying to yourself that that though this ended in a heart warming experience, it would be wonderful if you don't ever have a morning like this again. Any chance you are in for a resolve suggestion? What about putting lists next to the door with everything each child needs when they leave for school... with a pad of stickies to be attached for the special things that next day? All they would have to do is give it a quick look... just to check that they have everything and be off! My days get busy too and lists work GREAT for me. It sure beats driving 10 miles to town and forgetting something!


Thank you for this!!! It was much needed here. I have similar struggles with my 13 year old boy and I am in tears because we don't get to that happy place enough. We need more of the tickling , dancing and forehead kissing! Thanks for sharing this. Karen!!!!


oh karen-how I miss your class. You are such an amazing mom!!!


Love, Love that story! Reminds me so much of my 9yr boy. So forgetful, but so, so sweet. Thank you for reminding me that they are still little boys and there is a important life lesson to be learned in every moment.
You are something special Karen Russell!

Maria Glazener

What a great story! I too have a child who forgets everything and drives me to the brink of insanity...but I wouldn't change my life for anything! Thanks for the teary uplifting post!

Maria Glazener

Everyday your wit and honesty make me smile, laugh and get a little teary! I too have a cherub that drives me to the brink of insanity, but I wouldn't change my life for anything, and I know you wouldn't either!


just wanted to say that I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and i'm looking forward to your next post.

Steph. D.

My son is 13. This could have been written about a lot of days in our life. Thank you for making me feel like there are moms out there who understand...who also beat themselves up for those frazzled frustrated moments and angry words said. Moms who struggle with a child who forgets it all. Most of all, for reminding me that in all of that day-to-day...there is love. That is what we hope will stay with our boys, after all. The love.


I love that you both got back on the same path, together..and it meant your didn't have regret all day...I have to say that I love that Josh said take him home. This lesson, to me as a teacher, is one of the best parts of this story.Accountability instead of rescuing him...that is life and he needs to learn this now...before the consequences are huge..thanks Josh and Karen for raising kids who are being held accountable. What a blessing! It's not easy!


Hi! Just wanted to say that I miss your posts. I love reading your blog because it's always so real and makes me feel normal:)! Hope all is well with you and your family.


Where did you go?!?!? are you coming back?

Cele Schaffer

This post had me crying at the end-you are such a wonderful momma! You must always remember that even in the midst of having to discipline. It is up to us to shape our kids to be the kind of people they can be proud of.


Karen, I hope you are crazy busy and that is why you haven't posted. I had a rollercoaster of a ride called life since beginning of November and just now had a chance to check out your blog. I love the post. It reminds me of my oldest. I hate when we fight and it makes me crazy when she does things that she knows will push my buttons (she's almost 10) so God help me when she is a teenager. But I wouldn't trade her for the world. Just as I know you wouldn't trade Cole. I hope life is treating you well. take care!

laura plunk davis

HOPE ALL IS WELL, missing your post...

laura D

lisa houpt

Hope you are okay Karen and your family too. Miss your blog posts very much! Will make sure to pray that God embraces you all in love and mercy. Take Care!


Missing your blog posts! Keep checking for your fab Thanksgiving pictures. They are my favorite! Hope everything is okay with you. Come back soon~

Kelly B.

I keep checking for an update post from you. We all love your real-life posts and photos. Hoping you and family are well and simply enjoying all of the holiday fun (madness!). Josh, if you are reading this, would you please give your lovely wife a hug from all of us and tell her we miss her! (No pressure, mostly want to make sure all is well!) Thinking this sounds stalker-like, especially since I have never met you all in person....we have all gotten to know your wonderful family through posts and pictures!:)

Louise in NE OK

Praying that all is well. Miss your pictures and your posts.


Miss you!!!

Rebya Falk

Would your hubby please tell you again to blog for your peeps...we really miss your updates


Where are you, my friend? I miss you and your wonderful posts! Hoping everything is okay. xoxo


Hope everything is okay, and if not, praying you'll be okay.


we miss you hope your just doing so great and enjoying life that you have no time to blog - that is what i pray for anyway that you and yours are all wonderful and in His Loveing care- love you lots!


Have a Merry Christmas Karen!


Hope everything is OK with you Karen and a Merry Christmas to you and your family xxx


Karen - are you okay? Will you please come back?

Beth W

Karen I miss you, I hope all is well with you and your family.

theresa blohowiak

ope all is well. We have not heard from you in a long time.

Jenn Bergamini

I miss seeing you in my google reader. Been lead to pray for you for the past several days. Praying you are savoring the season and all is well.

Carrie Thompson

I am praying that everything is going well in your world Karen! I miss you not just the pictures, but you and your guidance as a parent...I admire you and am hoping that your absense is something that will be explained later by something as simple as stepping away to fully emerse yourself in your family this Christmas season and leaving the business behind...but if not know that you have all of my love and support!


jacqui anderson

I love love love reading your posts .... so real, so relatable, so understandable (is that even a word!!) Thanks for putting a smile on my dial this morning!!


What a wonderful post! I feel connected to you already (just had this particular post forwarded to me by a friend who thought I'd appreciate it - she was right!). Tears in my eyes, gonna go find my son & give him a huge hug & a kiss - just because.


You made me a cheesy movie. I have the same issue with my 12 year old.

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