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August 2018

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Rachelle S

OH man~ that is so sweet!!! What a great big brother : ) Here's to many more happy thoughts than tears!

Mary Ann Jenkins

OMGoodness I love these photos. That Coley is a sweetheart.


You have raised some pretty amazing kids! I had a hard time reading the rest of the blog, due to the sobbing I was doing.


That first shot....good grief!! I would no doubt frame that little gem. The dangling hearts just seal the deal. What a sweet boy you are having compassion on your lil sis Cole! Im sure you make your Mamma awful proud!


Wow. Your son is a good little man.


I love, love, love these shots! You have one very sweet family. Congrats to you and Josh for a job well done!

Amy Coose

Wow, this totally gave me goosebumps! What a wonderful young man you are raising. He's amazing!!

Nicole Prather

That's how God made us unpredictable and full of emotion!!! I'm so excited for you :)


I LOVE your family!!


I don't know about you, but it is a big deal for me when I see glimpses of the kind of man and father my son will be. Cole is going to be a good one. What a sweet moment.

Juli P

I think that this is the sweetest post that I've ever read on your blog.
and when you realize that your love runs deep and your patience runs thin with your children, read this again and again...
You're doing something amazing Karen Russell and Josh Downs, you've got some amazing and loving kids in your family. Wonder where they learned that?

nancy boothe

Coley is a genius. Or open to God's leading. It's both.


That is. So lovely Karen and the photos are gorgeous.
Ps I love all the hearts hanging from the ceiling.

tara pollard pakosta

this just brought me to tears.
that son of yours is one amazing kid.
seriously, he's so YOU!

Sally Davidson

That Coley sure is a sweet boy. Praying that you'll all be together soon and the only tears that will be shed are happy ones.


I love the relationship that your kids have with each other. That a big brother who could be off doing his own thing cares enough about his six year old sister when she is hurting is very sweet. What a blessing they must be in your life.

Every time I check your blog I hold my breath waiting for the exciting news that Josh Downs is home! I am so excited for you and your family!

young nanny

You go Coley! Pray you never lose that tender awareness of recognising when someone needs a hug. Bless you guys xxx

Tracy P.

My word, Karen. I came over here a few days ago because someone raved about your workshop which I can't take right now, is like a little slice of heaven over here. Heaven and real life mixed together. Thanks for letting us peek in. You're a blessing.

Nichole Czajkowski

This makes my heart sing and cry all at once! Soon Josh will be home!!!!!


This and your last post (the shirt) made me cry! I can't wait for your post telling us Josh is home! Also, can you tell us more about her heart mobile? I love it and want one in my baby girl's room.


This is a priceless moment. So happy for you that Josh Downs will be home soon!


I am thinking about you and checking in every day just WAITING for that picture of Josh hugging you guys and finally HOME!!! You have some very sweet kids! I love reading your blog! :) Thank you for all the inspiration! You ROCK! :)

Nancy Wyatt

Stop making me cry Karen Russell! hehe. Can't wait to see photos of his homecoming!! yay, so excited for y'all! My hubby has been away all month and I miss him terribly! He isn't off doing nearly as brave as your hubby but I do miss him and I know sometimes work has to come first. Thanks again to your family and to Josh Downs for all that he is doing for our great country! Hugs from Conroe, TX


I'm pretty sure Coley is the sweetest boy alive.


Awww, you can't teach that....Cole is a sweet kid! Love the pics--her little mouth reading is priceless!! :o


Can I have Cole? Please?


You and Josh Downs are raising an amazing man,

Kim Stevens

These are the sweetest, sweetest photos! And I know I don't know you, but somehow I have goosebumps for you....and a lump in my throat. I have been to the homecoming of a friends husband from Iraq and about 3 bus loads more and it was one of the most emotional days of my life. I felt deep emotions for people I didn't even know, it was a glorious day!


I hope it's really soon that Josh comes home, because I find myself holding my breath every time I go to your blog. I wonder "will there be homecoming pictures today?". If I am feeling this anxious and I don't even know you, then I can only imagine how anxious all of you must be feeling! I hope it's soon...for YOUR sake.

Gayle S

What a great big brother! And what a great moment you captured between them.
love it!


This is the sweetest post. I just love it.

Laura M.

That boy of yours is such a sweetie. Can't wait to read that post that says Josh Downs is finally home. Will be praying for a safe return.

Linda Atkins

Every so often I want to fill my husband in on your life, and I start to tell him about a blog post. He says "wait, who is this?" and I say, the blogger I read who's husband is now in Afghanistan...? and she ends every post with 'and if you're reading this Josh Downs...? Remember?" And he says, 'oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, go on..." and I read him your post. Right now he's watching Biggest Loser, but next can be sure I'm sharing this post with him. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I pray for your family.

Linda Atkins

P.S. I read your post to my hubby at the next commercial and then I said, he must be coming home soon. He said 'I hope so'. We are strangers to you, but please know we are praying for your family.

Lisa Valente

What an thoughtful, loving big brother Coley is! Can't wait to see the "He's HOME!" posts! Thanks for sharing the journey with us. You have an amazing family, Ms. Karen.


Love the love that's shared in your family! You and Josh Downs are doing a great job! I can't wait for all of you to be together again!

Katie J

I so cannot WAIT for the homecoming photos! Such sweet, loving kids you are raising. Love your stories, Karen!

Kim S.

oh, will you just hurry home Josh?? :) I keep checking for the homecoming photos.
this post makes me teary and happy at the same time. Coley carried her away? oh my goodness. Could you be any prouder, Karen? Amazing kids and an amazing mama.


This post shows exactly what being raised by a wonderful, loving momma is all about. Karen every time you feel unsure of your parenting skills look back on this post (and several others are good examples too) and know that you are raising good kids. Coley is going to grow up to be a fine young man like Josh and Ross. You are so blessed! Have a wonderful day chica!

Kelly Goree

Now THAT, Karen, is what big brothers are for. Cole is an amazing young man :)


It's totally a girl thing.

I'm looking forward to that joyful post when Josh Downs returns!

Debbi G.

Thank you for raising a compassionate boy who will one day become a compassionate man :)

Kelly B.

You have the sweetest kids!! So, I am secretly waiting for that one homecoming picture to tell us Josh Downs is safe and sound in your arms with your message that you will be ditching your loyal blog stalkers to hang out with your family!! We are all so grateful to you, your family, and Josh Downs for your whole family's sacrifices for our country.

Tess Smith

tears, ms. russell. tears. always.


What a sweetie that Cole is!!! I am also a lil teary reading this, I guess it's because I am a girl :) most likely though because I am a wife and a mother and I can't immagine what you guys are going through.

Ann S

I'm so happy for you all that Josh's homecoming is getting closer. What a beautiful soul Coley has. I wish I could give him a big ol' hug for looking out for you and Annie so well. Continuing to keep your family in my prayers.


I know you often post little tidbits that show you're pretty hard on yourself as a mom, but when I see a post like this, it shows that you're doing a fine job! I don't have kids yet but I pick up little tips from reading your blog that I think I'd like to implement someday. We'll see, but I do think that from what you've show here on your blog, you're a good example! And I really hope that one day, my kids will love and respect one another and their parents, as much as it comes through that yours do.


Dear Cole,
You are one terrific kid and one terrific big brother!

You Rock!

Alissa H.

I love that boy of yours.

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Ya, got a little choked up my self when I saw this picture, as family is everything. So happy for you and your family that you made it back to them safe and sound Josh. May God continue to bless you all. Big hug coming to you all from Canada, enjoy each other always.

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summertime means it's pouring with rain.That's the UK for you!My new camera and lens were stolen from a burglary at my house this week.It took lots of camera envy during your workshop to buy it,and now I'm back to a point and shoot,again.Just as I'm off to Paris and a holiday with fab light in Spain.

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