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August 2018

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Jennifer C

so real and from the heart.... I love it! Thanks for the belly laugh!

And thanks to Josh Downs for fighting for my freedom.

Devon Trigg

ugh. tear jerker....


Can't imagine what you're going through with your husband being deployed. Courtney Lee- what a sweetheart. That look on her face! So young, yet so wise with empathy and caring.

Libbi M.

my tears won't stop flowing after reading this post. so so so very lovely! you and josh are so very lucky to have kiddos like that. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family while he's away.

maybe sometime we could get together and i'll treat you to a lunch at bella union. i would be my pleasure.


Chills and sniffling here. Hugs to you my friend!


I check your blog every single day...sometimes multiple times a I'm not crazy, just addicted. And here I am, sitting at my desk, trying to keep the tears at bay.

teresa b

okay now I'm crying!!! big hugs!!


Definitely a tear jerker. Maybe the bright side is that life is certainly going to keep you busy while Josh is gone? Hugs.


Ah- this one made me cry harder than your first deployment post. your kids are lucky to have you as a mom. You can do it!


love ya karen!!
stay safe and thanks josh!!


Ditto Christy's post at 9:53!! With kiddos like those you are going to be okay Karen. You will all be leaning on each other during this time and because of the love that you have for each other you will all make it through. You, Josh and your sweet babies are in my prayers.


My husband has deployed twice, once to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. For me, the first two weeks they are gone and the last two weeks before they come home are the hardest. I hope that these first few weeks are the hardest for you too, and then things can slowly get better, so you can reach some kind of normal until your other half gets back.

Just know that there are people all over the world thinking lots about you. Chin up, young person!

Tanya A

More good thoughts coming your way! And hoo boy...what a day you had! Your kids really are awesome!

May card recovery do what it needs to. I'm always so thankful when it does so for me.


You make me cry with gratitude that there are women out there that are perfect just the way their own life is. I will pray so hard for you, for you to have perseverance, because Lord knows we don't need challenges to make us stronger. Please remember that being tough sometimes means we are not that tough, but we keep going. Father God, I ask for safety for Josh Downs, and the time that he has to be away from his family to be swift. In Jesus name! Amen!


What a day. I have to say that again - what a day you had. Loved the way you described the tizzy you felt about the memory cards, your tears in the lobby then looking at the kids looking at you. So identifiable. I hope your last few days have been going ok in coping with your Josh away.

Stacey H

I kinda understand some of the emotions you are feeling. My son is in Iraq. Today is his birthday and sometimes those emotions just have a way of sneaking up on you! Hang in there...I can't say that it gets easier, but each day that goes by is putting you one day closer to Josh getting home.

I have my fingers crossed that you are able to recovery all your wonderful pictures!!!

Katie Smith

Karen, have you thought of writing a book. The way you are with words and your stories- not everyone has that gift. You children are so lucky to have you and it appears they know so :) I miss your class!! I owe so much to you!

Michelle Last

every time your write you tug at my heart strings - sending a massive hug to you all x

Desiree Chandler

BIG HUGE HUGS to you! I loved every word! You have some very awesome kids and a very awesome hubby. :) Thinking about you during this hard time.

Nancy McPeak

Karen,what great kids! They took a sh@%%y day and turned it into flowers - just for you!<3 Still praying for you...

Colleen S

I am so totally crying right now. Your kids are the good ones. I'm so glad you think of them in such a possitive light. My thoughts are with your family in this time of need.


It's going to be a rollercoaster of emotions and tears for a long while to can see how the day ended in tears but a great story nonetheless. It's amazing how kids can suddenly see what you are also going through and be there for you...a precious gift. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

Judy Webb

You kids think fast on their feet!! So do you and Josh Downs is very lucky to have you.


I think I'll be crying a lot with you through this deployment!! You are a wonderful, strong, and amazing woman...remember it is in our weakest times that we find our strength. God is with you always my friend....and you'll see Him in the eyes of your children. God Bless their little hearts!!


Karen, We've never met but I have been reading you blog for years. I am sending you a giant hug from my heart to yours. This difficult time will pass. Your kids are the best and that's because you and Josh are the best. Thank you, to all of you, for your sacrifices. I know how glorious the day will be, for all of you,when Josh returns and I wait to hear that tale. Hugs, Hugs, Hugs. Wendy

Michelle Arthur

Your life should be a Hallmark movie --- and I mean that in a really nice way. I could just picture every bit of this in my head (without commercials, no less). Thank you for not being scared to share yourself with all of us. And thanks to your husband for what he is doing for all of us, too. Stay strong.........


It just couldn't start off easy could it? So sorry for the crazy-ness of that day. But so proud of your beautiful children for feeling your pain. They know you and they love you. Soon there will be a new rhythm and things will flow. Joshs absence will always be felt, but things will fall into place with more ease. I pray for you to have the strenghth you need. Sending you hugs.

amy jupin

well karen, this post is forcing me out of my shell...
i read your blog every day but rarely leave a comment.
(not because i'm not inspired. oh no, quite the opposite.)
but today, reading this post, i felt like you might need me to comment.
you might need me to tell you that you inspire me. because you really, really do.
that your relationship with your husband, with your kiddos, with your families, inspires me.
i will be praying for all of you, for the strength to get through these months, for his safe return.
please tell josh downs that we are all so thankful for his service and for your sacrifice.
lots of love to you!


First I was launging so hard (about the poo). Then the tears started coming. I must have looked like a crazy lady in my office. You have the sweetest kids. Hugs to you Karen! And praying for your entire family.


Seriously wrecked by that post. My heart is heavy for you but totally warmed by your story.


A tear jerker for sure! You so had me crying! God Bless your family!!

Jennifer O.

God Bless you all. I know I said this in the post when you said Josh was being deployed and now its all I can think of to say again.


Ok, I'll confess, I've been reading your blog for a LONG time but don't ever comment (mainly because i read it through google reader) but this post made me feel compelled to. Your my VERY favorite blog to read. I love the way you write, your stories you share and of course, your amazing photography. You seem like such a cool family and you've inspired me so much. I am not a great photographer and get frustrated with the quality of my photos sometimes but more often than not I read your blog and realize how much more important it is to capture the moment than the perfect quality picture. This post is no different. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I pray that this deployment goes by quickly and that God has his hand of protection over Josh and your whole family. Thank you Josh for serving our country! Blessings to you all!


What a sad, funny, sad, sweet story! Hugs to you and your family!


aw, (((hugs))) Your kids are super sweet. I love the pic you got, even if it means that you won't get those other pics back ever.


How thoughtful!


Oh my goodness, I have been reading this blog for a very long time, but this is the first time I filled up with tears and so I felt I should actually comment! That was a real rollercoaster ride you took us on there, Karen, from the hilarious mental image of you struggling with the puppy to the children's wonderful response to your 'moment' in the hotel lobby - priceless. They are adorable and a real credit to both you and Josh. xx


I'm sure those tears will not be the only ones but they hopefully will be get few and futher between and one day soon be very happy tears of a return home for Josh Downs! I just adore your stories, even the sad ones, although, the dog-doo bad part had me rolling on the floor first, I was crying with you at the end of this one! Big hugs to you Karen!


And even bigger hugs to those wonderful, adorable kiddos of yours!


I know it's not at all about me, but please, please Josh Downs, come home soon safe and sound. I can't handle it!

Lisa Adair

Now this is the sweetest story every! I'm still wiping my tears! I'd say you are all very blessed to have each other! A big thanks to Josh Downs for all he does for us... and to you for being so strong and holding everything together so that he can! Sending you big hugs and warm thoughts!


I have so much respect for our military and their all sacrifice so much to protect our freedom.
And a funny story...when I was little our yard was FULL of blooming azalea bushes and for my sisters bday present I picked and put them in giant coffee cans. My mother was horrified when she came home and saw the flower-less yard, but how could she be mad at me?? ;)


oh honey. ((((HUGS)))). you're the best storyteller in blogland. i love how real you are. and i wish we could meet someday.

dear God, please put a hedge of protection around karen's family while she manuevers through this deployment and give her exponential strength when she feels the burden is too difficult to bear. i ask that you poor out your blessings to her and give her many more moments of clarity as she notices your love displayed through her children. keep Josh Downs safe in Your arms until he returns and they unite again. in the powerful name of Christ Jesus, i humbly ask and pray. amen.

((((HUGS))) to you karen. :)

mandy friend



and that photo now has a story! I love it!

jennifer Camplin

Bunch of hugs with you!!

tara pollard pakosta

and you are sure lucky to have 3 kiddos like that, wow!
made me CRY!


crying buckets of tears here. hang in there Karen and stay safe Josh D.

hugs from Bermuda.


those kiddos are lucky to have you as their momma. thank you and thanks to the kids as well for your sacrifice with Josh so far away. lotsa love to all of you and prayers for his safe return! <3

 Tess S.

you always make me cry, ms. russell.

Julie in Aust.

Karen that is the very best post you have had me laughing, crying, in shock, it was all happening!

God love those kids of yours.

And Josh...he must have been doing all that I did too while he was reading it...

Keep blogging Karen...we are all really great therapists here...

Hugs from Oz

Mandy Smith

I can't help it..........I'm all teary-eyed!


You know their really lucky to have a mom like you too!!!

Kim S.

wow, I think that's my favorite post EVER! I know that tizzy feeling all too well. My thoughts and prayers for Josh's safety and quick return, and for you to stay strong. I have a feeling those kiddos will see you through!


What a crazy day~I laughed, I cried and I laughed and i awwed! I feel for you and your family. I love your posts Karen, you are a wonderful person and a wonderful mom and they are lucky to have you too!!!! GodSpeed.

from the ocean state~Sylvia

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