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August 2018

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Don't. Change. A. Thing. You are the most down to earth person (and about the only blog I read anymore because you are so down to earth) and I share many of your *musings*...I almost shed a tear when I started reading as I thought you were quitting blogging! I love your photos and they make me feel like we are next door neighbors and I am watching your kids grow up...have a wonderful day and hug done good :)


Well said!

Carmen King

Karen, I love reading about your life because even thought it isn't exactly like mine, we share a lot of the same views on life and I love how you express them here. Sometimes, I just need to see that someone else is thinking/feeling/going through something similar - that I'm not the only one and it does help to see how others muddle through.

Now that you've stated your purpose, I HOPE that you are having this blog printed ( or at the end of each year or something to preserve these memories and to be able to hold them in your hands. I had another blog years ago and I printed it out and it just makes me smile to see how I was becoming who I am now and how my children have changed. You should consider it!


'i've just found out that the very thing i've harshly judged ends up happening to me' so resonates (as does every other word in this blog post). i would love to buy you a drink. i hope you have a great long weekend.

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

Just catching up on this and your last two posts. I loved them all. Karen, we're here with you, and I hope you know how much I appreciate your honesty and kindness. You make us all feel like we're your friends. I "met" you through your blog, then took your class, and here I am still following along. One day, I hope you make it to NY and we meet in person, because seriously kid? You are awesome!

Julie McD

Amen, sista...and we so love you...especially how you write down exactly what so many of us think and live each day. I still think you need to come to Maryland so we could drink chocolate milk and hang out simply because you feel like 'that kind of friend' to me. Have a great weekend and know that we will miss you over the next few days!

karen y

I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures. I've been following you for years, from when you had your own scrapbooking products. I've also taken your full day photography class and I love how real you are. I can totally relate to your not-so-perfect parenting moments. Any real parent has been there!! I hate that jerks post judgemental comments and wish it was easier to just let it roll off your back. Hope you can ignore them and enjoy your family. Life isn't neat and clean. It is messy, but that's what makes it worth it.

Terri Emmons

I agree with what people have written. I dont think i have written on your page before but I needed to now.
I LOVE reading your blog and seeing the GREAT pictures you take.
As for anything anyone might say on your page that is bad or negitive Karen do try to take it with a grain of salt and just move on. There are people out there that just can not be happy. I have a blog and facebook. I am so surprised at what friends even say on facebook if i make a comment or post a picture. I tell them look if you dont like what I say or post then stop coming to my page..!!!!
IT is your page and you are so suppose to post what you feel and want to say..
Sorry there are people out there that can not respect other peoples feelings.
I think you have a great family and who cares if it is blended. I have 2 girls both my different dads. I am on my 3 marrage and thank God it is the best.
Who cares though we all have made mistakes and have things in our past we wish we could change or redo.
You know we are all human and with that life goes on..
Karen I hope you do not stop blogging or posting pictures.
Keep your head up and some how just try to let those people who say mean or bad things not get to you.. I no not so easy..
Just remember how unhappy they must be in life~~~
If I lived closer I would for sure love to meet you and I would buy you that drink!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.. Enjoy and THANK YOU..

Terri E


Amen Sister!!! You're honesty is ALWAYS appreciated. People that judge just plain suck.


Karen, I love reading your blog and think you are so awesome! I have more to add to that but I can't right now so I'll just say, I'll miss you over the weekend but look forward to when you'll be back on Tuesday. I hope you and your family enjoy the long weekend!


And all those things are why I love your blog. Enjoy your family, we can move without you, they can't.......but I'm glad it's just a break from us;)
Because I feel better reading your blog. It's real.


I love reading your blog--I love hearing your family stories because sometimes I yell at my child and yes-sometimes he goes without a bath and I AM SO GLAD to see that others do the same. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me sentimental, you make me know that I am human and I love you for that.
Just keep up the great job!


I've been reading your blog for a year or two and this is the first time I've commented (I think). I just wanted to tell you that sometimes you say the very thing I need to hear; like today, your comment about the thing you're judging happens to you. I'm there right now and have been mentally trying to work my way through it. I love your honesty and it helps me to know that there are others out there who go through many of the same struggles that I have. Thanks for opening up so much ~ it's helped me more than you will know.


Your blog is my absolute favorite of the few I even follow. I think you are an amazing person, mother, photographer and blogger. Don't sweat the idiots.


I love love love your blog, I check everyday to see what you have written and what you have posted pictures of! But what I love the most is that it's not perfect! It's real! While your life does look more put together than mine, with the wall colours, the cute Annie outfits, the family gatherings, it's not one of those blogs, the ones I call the 'beautiful people's blogs'. Not that you and your family aren't beautiful, you are, inside and out! But you know the ones, the surface beauty, the polly-anna life, the ones where the kids never fight, the mom is always decked out.
Thanks for keepin' it real!

ady abreu

Hi Karen, I used to be an avid blogger, loved reading other blogs but this year it has changed for me and it is no longer important for me to do this. I have to admit that I still read your blog religiously because it's funny, witty and has beautiful pictures to see. Your topic about having three children with different last names really stuck with me. I have only one adopted child and 3 years after his birth I divorced. I've since remarried but opted not to adopt any more children. The just of it was because I didn't want to them to have different last names. Thinking back now, I was really stupid for thinking this way. You are a lot stronger than you think because you brought beautiful children into this world. My son is 13 now and starting over is not an option for me. Believe me I've done some things I'm not proud of especially the time my son told me I ruined his life (he was 4) so I put him outside in his undies and told him he could leave. He begged to come back inside and has never ever remotely thought of telling me that again.

I think if I view my blog as a visual diary for my family that may inspire me to blog more. Making me think now. Have a great long weekend... This is the longest comment I've ever left anyone. I hope you enjoy it.


It's so funny... I don't even really think of your blog as a blog (please don't take offense to that - it's a good thing!). You're not the one constantly linking up to old posts get yourself extra "hits." You're not sharing your latest and greatest culinary/craft/perfect mom creation (other than your excellent photos and genuine fun times). You inspire without appearing superior. And yeah... sometimes I'm a little envious of your relationship, house, kids, clothes, etc. but I don't feel bad about anything by reading your blog. More often you inspire me to be more real, more intentional. Thank you for being you and for not quitting blogging!

Tanya A

Thank you for being you. And for sharing you. And for being so remarkably forthright and honest. Thank you for your beautiful photos, and your personable voice and for being will and able to relate good and hard things.

Thank you for being. Thank you for being Karen Russell. Thank you!


Karen, thank you for sharing :} I have enjoyed watching your family grow for a few years now and I find myself asking - why don't we do those cool kind of things? You have inspired me to be more active with our family. Not to get caught up in one aspect of our lives (sports, dance
). Enjoy your weekend !

Kim P

Since I've been reading your blog, I've always felt lucky to be part of your world even though you know absolutely nothing about me. It feels a little strange to know as much as I do about you without reciprocating, which is why I will write an occasional comment about how I'm glad you've shared a certain story or feeling because for the most part I've been right there on the same page at one time or another (I don't have a blended family and my husband has never been deployed...but I'm referring to that same life stuff that comes with being a mom of a few kids). I also feel lucky to have been part of one of your photography workshops. You are an awesome teacher and my photo taking skills are forever changed! And I just want to say that sometimes when you talk about Erin Cobb or someone else that has an amazing talent, I sometimes wish I had an amazing talent that would get me invited to your house to spend a day or two with you and your family. But I don't, so I'll just continue feeling fortunate to have this small glimpse into your world. Have a great weekend.


well said! i love coming here for the pictures & your stories & i would never think to criticize you or anyone else's blogs i read. it's your blog, your choice of stories & your right to raise your family just as you please. i never did understand the naysayers & if they had such bad things to say then why even bother reading? it's too easy for people to hide behind their computer as i am sure if they ever came face to face with you they would never be so mean. thank you for taking the time to share as much as you do! have a great weekend!!!

Julie in Aust.

Karen...I'm not going to read everyone elses comments, because I know that by the time I have read just a few...I will have no reason to comment anymore because everyone will have already said whats on my/our minds! We...your most faithful and trusted readers...all understand everything you said and agree with you...I dont know where the disagreers are...I've never read one. But we...the honest, faulted, real life human... mostly women I guess, who are your faithful readers, want you to know we appreciate your honesty, down to earth attitude to blogging, and appreciate that you do this openly so we can share in your real life and its open-ness. We appreciate your braveness in being so open and transparent...and use your example to be the same in our lives, without you to guide me I wouldnt ever have been be brave enough to even respond to your post. It is your blog in which I have developed my guts to be so brave as to even make a comment. I took years to do this...which is a good thing because earlier what I would have said would not have been terribly 'read worthy'.
Personally...for me alone...I discovered "Karen Russell Narratives' in my local Scrapbooking store almost 5 years ago I think, and the product was what got my attention because its style was what I liked...I still have some, and I was totally shocked when I discovered that 'Karen Russell' was a real person and was writing about her very real life in a very open honest and almost transparent way. I couldnt believe that she would allow me...a 50 something scrapbooker on the other side of the world to share in her everyday world with such honesty. Me...the Mum with 2 fathers to my 3 sons, Army wife and all that comes with that, 2 marriages and 1 divorce, no career, stay at home Mum who spent 5 years volunteering at the kids schools to show I could amount to something in real life while the women I admired had careers and earned actual money...yeah...real issue showing there! I remember being very disappointed that I couldnt get anymore 'Narratives' because you stopped designing...I felt quite lost knowing there was going to be no more! You had issues and relationship problems just like the rest of us...and kids didnt always brush their teeth or bath every night or go to school with the 'healthy' lunch or a clean shirt. I felt so damned useless for so many years while the 'perfect Mums' covered their own insecurities with their white smiles and perfectly matched outfits. Ugh! Then along came Oprah and Dr Phil and Karen Russell! And I started to listen and read and realised I was normal for pitys sake!!! comment is getting a bit long...I just want you to know you are seriously appreciated...I know, realise and understand you write this blog for your family...I deeply appreciate that you share it with all of us, and teach us all how to be a little braver in the process. You have done wonders for my own photographic bravery, I wish so much I could do a course with you but I cant right now only because I feel like a very small fish in a big pond of educated, experienced photographers. So instead I just try to absorb anything you write and learn on my own with my ordinary little Olympus!!!
Stay in my life have a place here...I saved you one. Hugs and smiles a plenty from a grateful Australian Mum!

Julie in Aust.

OMG...did I do that! Crikey!!!! Who was that person? Smiling to myself here.....


I think one of the reasons why people divorce so often and why people have such a hard time with their kids (they expect perfection) is because not enough people in this world are willing to talk about the sometimes crappy moments. I appreciate reading this blog because you don't mind sharing when you and Josh get in an argument, or when you have to discipline your children. It's truth; everyone's life is like this whether they want to admit it or not. I just think it's poison when all everyone focuses on is the good/perfect stuff and is ashamed or simply unwilling to admit to 'real life'. So, thanks for not doing that. Thanks for telling as much of the truth in the story as you can. :)

Toni Trainor

I love your honesty and your blogging style. I am disappointed when you don't post but completely understand why you don't post every day all the time. I love how you work hard to communicate and your story telling. Thank you!


Karen, thank you for sharing. I enjoy reading your blog, and I appreciate your honesty and openness. I don't judge because I'm not at all perfect.

Denise Armbruster

Your blog is one of very few that I consistently read. I love your photos, I can tell that you blog because you want to stash the memories somewhere where they won't be forgotten. Keep at it.

Theresa S.

"I've just found out that sometimes, the very thing I've harshly judged ends up happening to me. So wield that judgment carefully." Love those lines.

Have you ever heard of the 4 agreements? Well the #2 agreement is "don't take anything personally." Words to live by. If someone leaves a mean comment it is due to THEIR issues not yours. You are awesome Karen.

lynn boyle

Well your good in my book. Except one thing.... Why did you ever leave Columbia County? I know we would of been great friends if our paths ever crossed....

lisa houpt

I don't leave comments very often, but I do read EVERY blog post and I love them Karen!! You are an amazing person - and you are real...and I love that about you!!

Took your class at Scrappy Boutique in Orlando, FL, and got to meet you and I think you are awesome!!

God Bless you and your family always!!



I always visit your blog. i love to hear about it all. So thanks for sharing and thanks for those words to explain it all.


First, so happy to hear you're NOT quitting blogging. I don't get time to stop by as often as I'd like, but I always leave your site inspired.

Second, having lost my mom at 68 just a few months ago, I know I'd give anything to have her words from the everyday of our life growing up. We have so few photos of her as a mom, even though she raised nine kids and it was the role of her life.

We're just feeling our way, doing the best we can, and I too love capturing some of the stories with words and photos on a blog, or on a scrapbook page. Rereading my old posts always makes me re-commitment after neglecting my blog. And reading yours makes me feel less alone during a time in my life with no colleagues (work-at-home mom to three boys). Thank you.

Carrie T

Well said!!! If you stopped blogging I would be really sad! I look forward to your words and pictures!

Enjoy your weekend.

ps...if you want I can beat that mean person up! lol


Karen, I don't remember how I once stumbled upon your blog years ago but I visit it at least weekly, if not daily sometimes. I love your writing and photos and can relate to alot of your postings. I think there is a reason that I do, perhaps one I may never truly understand - but isn't that one of the wonderful mysteries of why God places certain people in our lives! Thanks always for your inspiration and honesty.

kati harvey

I love reading you blog and hearing your stories. It makes me really excited to be a mom and have a wild and crazy family one day. A family that takes long bike rides and has special birthday lunches and always takes lots of pictures! I think you're really awesome!


I read all the time and I hardly ever comment (have I ever commented?) even though I frequently find myself thinking "I totally get that!" I think it's great that you've made so much of a life that hasn't been easy and a road that hasn't been straight. I can completely relate to that. I think it's fantastic that you're committed to your family- and to your spouse- despite how tough things can get! I have 4 kids. I've been married for almost 10 years. We've gone through business school and law school- living apart for 3 years- and it's been TOUGH. And not always pretty. And it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to get messy sometimes. Thanks for being honest about it. I'll be reading. :)

wendy mckee

you have four beautiful children...and quite frankly how you came about having them doesnt matter....four beautiful children! you are lucky and blessed. I am a crappy mother some of the time...i have been working with children for over 20 years and i am still sometimes a crappy mother. My son has done over 4 days at times without a bath, he was fine :) just like yours where. I find your blog refreshing. So many blogs out there come across as having the perfect life, with perfect homes and perfect children...ugh! i dont read them anymore as they make me feel an even more crappy mother. Yours i visit every day to see if you have posted. Every day to see the photos of your gorgeous children, hear your REAL LIFE STORIES!!!!! some days i sit here and i could have written your posts,and those days are the best and some days i sit here and find tears rolling down my cheeks. You are an inspiration to me and you always will be.


I love reading your blog. I love your honesty. I love that it makes me feel that it's ok sometimes to lose it. It makes me feel normal.

A couple of months ago I was looking for a red pen. I'm an accountant and I use red pens A LOT. I couldn't find one. I can never find any pens because the children constantly take them. Obviously if they are in a pot on MY desk that means that they are there for anyone to take and keep. Anyway, I lost it. BIG TIME. I was getting really angry, far more angry than the situation warranted (realised later that it was THAT time of the month...) and I realised this so thought I should take a time out for myself. We were in the kitchen so I left but as I left I slammed the door. I slammed the door so hard the handle came off in my hands! I ended up in the hall crying on the stairs whilst the children (not small ones just in case any one worries, 16, 13 & 9) were stuck in the kitchen.

I calmed down, we laughed about it and then I had the shame of telling my husband about it when he got home (him of whom I am regularly correcting his bad temper...!).

So no, you are not alone.

kristi b

you rock...that is all :)


Love it!


And I thought I was the only mom with an alarm on my phone for when the kids come home from school! I love reading your blog! Thank you for sharing! Maybe one of these days I will take your photography class.

Steph Connor

There are no words to adequately express how much I LOVE your blog --- the photos, the insights, the funny anecdotes, all of it! Your candor is so refreshing in a blog world of "sunshine and rainbows" that can be so disheartening for all of us just trying to survive in the real world with real problems. Have you ever read Stephanie Howell's blog? She is a scrapbooker as you used to be, but she is also real and genuine. She often posts "blog from your heart" entries that I think you would appreciate as well :) Please keep on bloggin' for a loooong time!


I love reading your blog and really love your photos. I have never posted a comment although I read your blog faithfully. I hate the thought of someone leaving negatives comment when you open yourself up to us. I hope you will always blog knowing so many of us really enjoy reading your stories and seeing your beautiful photos. Ive never posted before, and Im sure there are many others out there like me who want to say we love your blog!

gina f.

have a great 3 day weekend!! If i were a blogger I would blog for all the reasons you do... those stories are so important to get down and fun to look back on. Even though i don't know you or your family in real life i enjoy seeing them grow and the adventures they have. Thanks for all your shares! I don't always leave a comment but your posts always make me smile or laugh (except the ones that make me cry) and i love, love, love your pictures. I for one am so happy you blog!


And, I wish you were my neighbor!
And if you were my neighbor- I'd buy you a drink... Maybe even three!
You are awesome and insspire me with each and every post.


And I do know how to spell INSPIRE- but apparently I don't know how to proof read! ;)


I'm so glad my first fear wasn't true. I'd miss your stories and your pictures. I am grateful that you share the details of your life. I stop by for a bit of normal and a bit of beauty. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your world with those of us who have come to know you through this blog of yours. I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!


i love you :) a LOT


Karen, I've commented before about how you and I have different backgrounds, and how much I love reading about your life; I LOVE your blog! You are so interesting and funny, your family is adorable and you keep it real. Who cares that the kids have different fathers?! I can tell that each one of those kids are bright, happy and well-adjusted people. Life can be rough and throw us a few curve-balls every once in a while... it keeps things interesting and also keeps us on our toes. I don't like it when bloggers clean up the nitty-gritty in their lives so they can seem perfect to the rest of us. I appreciate your honesty when it comes to being a real mother, with real feelings and imperfect parenting moments.

Keep on keepin' on!

Laura L.

Well thank goodness you're not quiting, because your struggles let me know that I'm not crazy or alone. I often wonder at the fact that I care so much about a family of perfect strangers, but I'm half way around the world and disconnected from most of the people I love, and I lost my Mom since leaving the states and so somehow your posts feel like letters from home. Weird, but I love your blog. And very soon I am moving back to the States and I will be not all that far from you and so sometimes I think "maybe I'll make it to Karen's neck of the woods and if I do maybe I'll try to meet her". Who knows? Anyhow, thank you for not quitting, even though I understand you do this for your family and not for me!!


I'm glad you write, for whatever reason that may be - thank you for sharing!! It's so true that sharing creates a bond between people and I think that's essentially what this life is all about. Love it!!


Just wanted to pipe in and say that I really appreciate your blog. I really appreciate your writing. I really appreciate your stories. I really appreciate you sharing it with all of us strangers.

I feel a bit like a stalker, because I've never met you but feel like I would stop and say "hi" if I saw you in the grocery store. It's nice to hear about your kids, your family activities, even your struggles (what you share of them at least). Reminds me that I'm not the only one who lives a less-than-perfect-but-still-happy life. So thank you.

Victoria Hassink

Love your always keep it real.I wish blogging had been popular long ago so I could reflect back on my mother's words of wisdom now she is no longer with us.
Have a great weekend with your wonderful, complicated could be any one of ours!


oh karen. i love reading your blog. i look forward to it! please keep sharing stories. and keep being you!!


gosh karen you are so real and raw.. and i always look forward to your blog posts. i continue to widdle down my rss feed... but i keep on coming back to you. hope you keep doing this.


Your blog is a joy to read. The things you talk about are REAL! I am often moved to tears. You make me feel normal. Thanks for keeping it real.

Gill Robertson

Hi Karen,
I have followed your blog for a long time now. Your Annie and my Grace are almost exactly the same age and just from what I read about Annie very similar in nature, so challenging to put it mildly. We live in New Zealand which is a world away from your life, but through your writing I have felt such a connection to you, thanks. Keep doing what you are doing its great!

nike free running shoes

Většina z toho, co zdůraznit, je překvapivě legitimní a který je pro mě zajímalo, proč jsem se podíval na to s tímto světlem dříve. Váš článek opravdu dělal přepnout světla na pro mě osobně, pokud jde o tento konkrétní předmět jde. Ale v tomto okamžiku je vlastně jeden konkrétní pozici nejsem příliš pohodlné a ačkoli se snažím se smířit, že se hlavní téma pozici, dovolte mi jen to, co všechny ostatní čtenáři si say.Nicely udělat.

Lisa Wyckoff

Karen, I loved you before and I love you more now! Your blog makes me happy! You go girl!!


Wonderfull words.. I love to read your blog.. my english is not that good to explain all my feelings that I have when I read your blog and see your fotos.

I just wanna thank you for your amazing inspiration to me and my live!!

Nina from Germany (Cologne) single mom, two kids (david 6 and eva 4), scrapbooker, hobby fotographer..

Thank you Thank you Thank you :)

Carole R

Amd that is why we all read and love your blog Karen. Because you are real and say those things many of us feel and experience. So many blogs offer up the 'perfect family' and it just makes me feel worse about my own life (and horribly envious too). My own situation is complicated and painful - reading your day-to-day life and seeing how real you are is a joy. Do whatever you want (re blogging) and you dont need to apologise for anything.

casquette new era

Interessante Post und thanks for sharing. Manche Dinge im hier habe ich noch nicht before.It ist wirklich nützliche Informationen gedacht
Keep it up ................


Thank you, for sharing your journey, your talent, your real life and for doing Thank you to Josh for his imeasurable contribution to our country and its freedom. Enjoy your weekend.

stephanie ackerman

I LOVE you and your heart!

Katie Keele

I love love love this post and you! Your class changed so many things for me, your personality, strenght, and love that you show in your blog has changed even more. I think I may have to copy/print parts of this (don't worry, you'll get the credit) for my daughter's scrapbook/blog. Thank you so so so so much for being you and for sharing your wonderfulness with all of us. And someday I want to find a way for my family to have dinner with your family.

Jen S

Beautiful!!!!!! And thanks for making me cry :)
I think the best reasons are exactly what you wrote, these words can live forever - and that would mean the world to those you love :)


I love you Karen. If you stopped blogging I would miss you terribly. I would probably have to start stalking you in real life. And that would just be creepy. :)

Kristi B.

Karen, thanks for keeping it real! I love your willingness to be open about life and its ups and downs. Your writing inspires me in my digital scrapbooking to tell stories, whether they're pretty or not. Keep doing what your doing. Your photography class will forever be one of my favorite times in growing as a storyteller for my family. You encourage others, God is using you. Thank you.


I like you Karen! Love this post!


Karen you write your blog for all the right reasons. You, your family and your family traditions. I still don't understand why some people like to comment on people's blogs saying they are a waste of time yet they continue to read them. This to me is completely crazy in the first place and I still don't know people actually do this. I love your blog, your photos and your real life stories like your wonderful weekend away and then you both were lets say, not as tolerant of each other. Life is not all rosy and people are only human and relationships are like this. I still love seeing fruit on your kids dinner plate in your photos. Enjoy your time away from blogging. Kathy A (Brisbane, Australia)

Staci O

I happened upon your blog a few years ago (I can't even remember how I found you). I could not stop reading it from that day forward. I am a dental hygienist. I love to take tons and tons of photographs of everyday adventures (but not nearly as beautiful as your photos). I have 5 children and a husband who is gone alot....I saw myself in you. I was so worried when I read your last post-I thought, here it goes, another person stopping blogging. And then I read your post and I was astounded! Who on earth would leave negative comments on someone's personal blog??? If you don't like something, stop reading the blog for pete's sake! The rest of us love hearing about your ups, your downs, your embarrassing moments-because we ALL share them. You make me laugh, you make me think, you inspire me to keep taking pictures, and yes, you remind me that I can't even remember which kids had baths on what day:) Please don't ever go away! Ignore the ignorance in the world and just keep on living it just the way you do! And keep on flossing and giving sonicare toothbrushes for Christmas presents:)


You Rock! What you are doing is wonderful!

Suezi Gurzi

RIght On Karen! I love that you are so real and honest! You are a breath of fresh air!! Enjoy your family time and thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your family! It almost makes me want to start blogging just for the reasons of when we are gone our kids, grandkids might find some comfort in reading and looking back...almost!
One more thing, I am the Mom that forgets to set the alarm and her kids are the only ones around on the school corner more times than I would like to remember! I would tell them that it just adds strength to their character! :)

Tina B.

I took a one day photography class you taught in Lafayette, La. Since that time, I follow your blog. It is so refreshing to read your blog. Thank you for choosing to share your life moments with us.


I love reading your blog because it is so real, so perfect in its imperfection, so human. You make me laugh, you make me cry sometimes. I love reading your blog because it makes me feel like my imperfections are way okay also - after all, we're all humans and perfection doesn't exist and emotions are, well ... emotions, that means joy, sorrow, pain, anger, frustration and so on. I love seeing your photos, love seeing part of your family life described in photos, love seeing your children grow up, love reading their arguments, their joyful words, their feelings, etc. You are a great mom and I thank you for sharing part of your story here !


Oh and I was happy to read that you will continue blogging for the time being. Your blog is the only one I read regularly, as in once a week and it is my special treat to sit down at the computer and read well-written words of life and see beautiful photographs of people and nature. THank you !

Mary Ann Jenkins

OK, I'll admit that I scrolled to the bottom really quick because I was sure you were saying good-bye to your blog. I'm so grateful you're not.
Just know that I read your blog every day, and there are some days I could have written exactly what you wrote word for word.

I started reading your blog back when you were with Creative Imaginations. I've stayed because of the amazing photos (of course) and the stories that make me feel like there's another Mom out there that struggles with the same things I do day after day.
Please keep writing. My morning bowl of cheerios would never be the same without you.

Deb Wisker

delivered with class and dignity. you are an amazing woman.

jill e.

i love every stinkin' word of this post! perfectly written. enjoy your weekend!


You are awesome Karen!!! Xoxo!!!


wow, i just counted how many blogs i follow on my google reader...98. and of that 98, yours is the one i look most forward to reading. i don't generally read your comments, so not sure what people are reacting to negatively. your blog is lovely. i tear up all the time reading it b/c i can see the love you all have & in the hopes that one day i'll be lucky enough to have a spa day with a daughter. anyway, keep it up.

Joanna Jerome

No problem here with what you say or what you are real, honest, open, and hilarious. I enjoy your blog and wish I had the courage to do the same....but all the reasons that you do the blog are the same reasons that I started a 365 project this year to document the ordinary and extra-ordinary things of my life, for my boys. More power to you, girlfriend....and if I'm ever in your neck of the woods I would love to buy you a drink or two! Cheers!


I love visiting your blog because...
you take great photos
your crazy family reminds me on mine
you tell real stories
And you would make seriuosly good drinking buddy...
shame I live in a different country


I just wanted to say, YOU are seriously amazing. I've admired you for years and you should be proud of yourself for handling all life's curve balls so well--I wish I handled them as well as you do! YOU are AMAZING!!

Joyce G

Karen - I follow your blog because you are HUMAN and admit to not being perfect - I like that in a person. Met you on a scrapbooking cruise and knew that I liked you when you took the time to schedule an early morning photography class because you knew we wanted one and didn't have enough time during the day to have one. I liked that! I don't know why people have to be negative but feel we grow stronger as a person when they are mean. At least that's what I tell myself - ha ha. You are a fantastic person - never forget that.

Cheryl M

I'm so glad I stopped by and read this post. I love your writing and it always makes me feel like I'm sitting down with my best friend having a chat about life. Life's too short to bother with "negative", just let it roll off your back. It's obvious you have way, TONS, more positive responses that outweigh anything negative.
Big HUGS!!

Robin Nowak

I love you life-your kids, your husband, your relationships, and your passions. I love that you're juggling it all and still able to see the best in it.
Thank you for continuing to blog. You really bring the sunshine when I visit!

teresa b

Amen to that!!! I am thankful for all that you share. I may not have throw sugar across the kitchen...but I guarantee it was something else!!

mary t

you are a brave woman!! good for you !! (raising a glass in a cheer! )thanks for making me feel ok...
mary t


You're awesome and amazing, and I love your honesty. The way you are so honest inspires me and makes me feel bold enough to do the same. Thanks for sharing...and I have an alarm on my phone to pick my daughter up from school, too. My worst fear is forgetting her somewhere! :-)


Well I've been following your blog for years now (from way back in the scrapbooking days, then doing your first photography) and I have to say I either cry or laugh when I visit. I think you and your family are amazing and I love it that you share your life with all of us strangers out here. Why, cause it's real!! Enjoy your time off ;)

Brandi Talmadge

You're one in a million Karen. Thank you for sharing this post. I totally understand where you're coming from and I admire your dedication to keeping current with your blog because your right, it is very time consuming but worthwhile all the same. BTW - it's one of my fav's!!! I love your photo's, your openness with everyday life stuff, your beautiful family and you just being you. If there's one thing that's certain in this world is that we are surrounded by some negative Nellie's that dedicate their lives to being flat out mean. I have never and don't desire to understand their type of personalities, I just pray that they find a positive walk with God and turn their energy into time spent doing good things that lift people up rather than tearing them down. The negative comments do hurt and they are very difficult to ignore. Mike (my husband) and I will occasionally receive negative reviews on our product, it's the 1 percent and is expected but still not easy to process. And while consumers have a right to their opinions, it's when these opinions become a personal attack and are flat out wrong and non-factual - they hit below the belt and it hurts pretty bad sometimes. Mike has an easier time with letting them roll and moving about his life but me on the other hand - it will sometimes stick with me for days and affects my emotions pretty badly. I get you Karen - so thank you for sharing the portion of you and your families life that you do. Rock on Girl and God Bless!

Brandi Talmadge

In continuation of my previous comment - this thought came to my head as it was pounded in by my mother as I was growing up. "If you don't have something good to say, say nothing at all". While this phrase isn't entirely true it certainly does have Merit. I always keep it in mind when approaching a situation that may need addressing. When I think about a situation that I'm ready to spew on or that I disagree with or one that has ticked me off, I think to myself that what I'm thinking or about to say, will it do any good or change this persons point of view for the better or will it be an unjustified flippant comment/input? But sometimes we all have to deal with less than desirable situations but I take great strides and long thought on how I'm going to deliver the words that will be heard or read by another human being. It's the courteous, right and just thing to do especially being a Christian woman. It's what is demanded and expected of us all. At any rate Karen, your a wonderful person and I can tell by how your share your life with the outside world that your a wonderful wife, mother, daughter and friend. I wish the world consisted of conscientious people but it's not and it reminds us to hold on tight to those that bring us great joy and pray for those who need the slap over the head. :-)

Heather in Ohio

Thanks for sharing!! I think you are amazing, real and genuine so thanks for putting your self out there. I found you through Erin Cobb (who is amazing too) and I'm so glad I did! Hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. Cheers, Heather in Ohio


I read your blog regularly and I thoroughly enjoy it. I can SOOOO relate to many of your parenting moments and it does make me feel more normal to read about someone else going through similar things and sometimes losing it and resolving to get back on track. That being said, I don't really comment most of the time. However, this post deserves a comment. It deserves a big high five! It deserves some accolades because I think you put words to how a lot of people in blog-land feel and how readers feel. You keep it real and it's refreshing to read. Thank you.

Kari G

Karen, we LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!!! And adore your family even though I've never met them. Always enjoy seeing your photography and hearing your stories. You are REAL, like a lot of us, and sometimes we're further from perfect than we aspire to be...which is what makes life interesting and memorable. It is a wonder more mothers don't end up in the looney bin though :)


I love reading your blog and I read it daily since I first found you and your class. I love how you share and I appreciate your honesty. I wish there was a mechanism in computers that detected negative comments before you or anyone else could read them.


Karen, I love reading your blog because you are so genuine and honest. And that authenticity and honesty of yours somehow empowers me to feel GOOD about myself and all of my flaws and weirdness. Thank you for that, for putting yourself out there. Thank you for helping me to embrace being perfectly imperfect.

Hugs from Portland, Oregon!

Beth Phelps

What an awesome and inspiring blog post! You are an amazing, unique and inspiring role model. Don't allow anyone to clip your wings girlie!

Nicole Campbell

I don't understand people who leave crappy negative comments on a persons blog or facebook!!!!! I'm the same as you, if you don't like what you're reading...don't come back!!!!! and my facebook is like a window to my life, so I only allow people who I want there...and if you piss me off and I don't want to talk to you anymore, than I remove you. Thats pissed some people off.....but like you, I share my life, good or bad. I'm an open book, and sometimes I share too much! And we have a blended family too, and we have exes and while I would LOVE to share my opinion of them, I can't. Its not right. I don't want my kids to see it. They already feel it enough and see it with their own eyes. I LOVE your blog, and I look everyday for something.....I have my own blog, and I've been HORRIBLE with updating it, and with facebook too, but like you, when I'm struggling with something that hurts me, I get quiet and don't talk about it. Some things are just too personal. and also, I love your parenting and I think you've done a great job. And you have nothing to be ashamed about, just like I have nothing to be ashamed about by staying in an 18 year marriage that should have been done after the first 8 years!!!! And i'm happy to hear that i'm not the only one that yells at my kids and struggles with them. it's hard...especially the blended part!!! And my son was an only thats where is really hard for me because he lays the quilt on me all the time now that he has to share me!!! UGH! Keep blogging Karen because I for one LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!

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