Tia Kelly

love notes by tia… the blog.

bloom, baby, bloom.

As full of spirit as the month of May, and as gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.
— William Shakespeare

It's May, which means we're now five months into 2017. We're also in the midst of growth and blooming season. All you have to do is look around to see May flowers popping up all around us courtesy of those April showers. These blooms are the little reminders my spirit has been in need of lately.

My grandson loves the Philadelphia Zoo and on one visit, we decided to check out the swan boats. Okay, let me clarify: I stood on the sidelines with my grandson, because he had a stroller and, you know, I couldn't leave it unattended *wink* while everyone else picked their boat and paddled to their hearts content. It didn't take long for every single one of them to lose steam out there in that water. This was probably about five minutes into the ride, which I predicted mind you, but the kid and I got a kick out watching it. Yes, my family initially pointed out the graceful swan shaped boats floating around a lake in the middle of the zoo and jumped in line ready to enjoy it, too. Some were viewing the boat ride as a race and others as a calm, peaceful trek around the fountain. What they didn't expect was the amount of paddling that went on beneath the surface of these little boats. They also realized the more weight/bodies in the boat, the more difficult it was to both steer and peddle. I chose to sit this one out because I already know from experience what it's like to be a duck peddling like the dickens beneath the surface! And the potential extra load? I know that feeling, too. I think we all do.

Yep, that boat with the girl and guy in a bucket hat would be part of my crew. They ran up on shore a few minutes after taking this pic (we still have no idea how that happened) . These goofballs make zoo memberships fun and worthwhile, but I'll save the shenanigans for another post.

Yep, that boat with the girl and guy in a bucket hat would be part of my crew. They ran up on shore a few minutes after taking this pic (we still have no idea how that happened) . These goofballs make zoo memberships fun and worthwhile, but I'll save the shenanigans for another post.

It's familiar because I was doing the duck peddling thing for quite some time yet didn't feel like I was going anywhere. To some, including myself, it might look like above the surface I'm just sitting around floating through life, but nope. (A game show buzzer would be an awesome sound effect right about now.) It's when I stay on task and allow my own creative process to take hold do I start to see progress - the blooming happens. I am able to see even in the simplest things, ways to measure how far I've really come. 

So what's new with Tia Kelly this past week? Well needless to say, I have been paddling like a mad duck. Thank goodness each task had a beautiful reward:

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farmers market saturdays. Every month really is farmers market season, but this is when the little guy and I like to venture out to our local farmers market every weekend. We buy everything from fruits, veggies, meat and cheeses to local honey, chocolate, bread, candles and jewelry. Yes, jewelry! This week's haul included roasted tomato caprese ravioli that I prepared with a balsamic brown butter sauce. I added salad greens (also from the day's trip) and a crusty baguette (also from the haul). Yum! We also picked up a few steaks and some seedlings. I picked lavender to help keep stray cats out of my flower bed and the little guy wanted an heirloom tomato plant. He asked for it... who am I as his Yaya to say no? I am hoping my favorite pepper stand comes around soon so I can get a few of those in the coming weeks. Our purchases weren't the only reward... the little guy shared his excitement once he realized where we were spending the morning. That melted my heart. I get the joy of his company and feed my creativity while taking in everything that stimulates the senses. Win win!

lots and lots of writing. I'm basically doing double duty since I've been working on two novels. I've been sharing some of my WIP moments as part of Sample Sunday. Click here if you missed them. No release date announcements just yet and lots more words and editing to go, but I feel like the sun is shining on me whenever I type because I'm back to honoring me and my process. It feels like flowers blooming, baby!

divine secrets of the yaya glammahood. Mr. Editor needed tubes in both ears so I tagged along with him to his procedure. All went well and in the end we added post anesthesia footage of the kid to the family video collection. You know the clips circulating on YouTube of people saying the darnedest things while high on whatever anesthesia they were given? Yep, we have no shame in doing that to our own flesh and blood. My oldest son wanted to have a stare off with me after oral surgery when I was driving him home and it was the funniest thing ever to witness! Needless to say the little guy didn't disappoint. Okay, I didn't just show up to record the poor kid, I came bearing a big bag full of lollipops and a bubble maker, plus offered up lots of hugs and kisses. That's what grandmas are for, right? (By the way, even he got a kick out of watching himself acting just a wee bit silly.) It's a blessing any time I can actually be there for him. Forever grateful for that.

momager. *waving* Hey TaylorPlans! My big pretty girl recently attended Go Wild Planner Conference in Nashville, which is like planner lover heaven, and she's been pretty busy featuring several product launches. She is quite the Girl (wait… scratch that) Woman Boss on her own, but she will always have Mommy in her corner. (She says I'm the Kris to her Kim.) Well the night before "Kim" was to return home from Nashville, she called both me and her father at two in the morning because someone stole her drivers license... and she was due to fly out four hours later! (I was already awake reading this and literally just hit the last page of the novel when my phone rang.) Dad drove to her place to get her passport while I sent over copies of other documentation to prove she is herself, then waited for TSA to open at 3:30 Nashville time to see if she needed anything else. That was the "mom" side of things, but during the week the manager had to help communicate with sponsors and other business reps. Why do we do this? It's always good to bounce ideas off someone you trust and that has your best interest at heart... and that's pretty much my role and a good portion of what I did this past week. P.S. Every day she enjoys what she does is a day I smile harder. She also helps me stay on track with my own writing life by supplying me with pretty planners and such. I also get first dibs on everything when she has a destash day. I guess I have to keep her!

other projects and ventures. You ever want to share something, but you know it's still too soon? Sigh. Yep, that's me. The cool thing is that I am finally starting to see some of the blooms from a couple of these projects and it's not only rewarding, but motivating. It's moments like these that keep me going when the tiredness sets in after paddling beneath the surface for so long.

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my baby girl went and grew up on me. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh! So my youngest daughter is graduating from high school next month and they just had their prom this past weekend. Can I say I wanted to curl up and CRY? It felt like yesterday I was connecting with this little life growing inside of me, volleying between names that matched the personality I was sensing from her. (Those kicks told me right away she was going to need a strong name!) This particular occasion was probably years in the making. Half the texts I received the past year were pics of dresses. She's not on my sharing a shopping trip list with because baby girl can live in a fitting room whereas I am one to buy and try it on at home with a receipt in hand in case the garment didn't work out. I discovered early in that we needed to establish things like a budget, because if given a chance she would've wanted a wedding day worthy affair. In the end, when we saw her all glammed up it didn't matter how many dresses she tried on, how many stores we had to go to (sometimes three and four times!) or that I was trying super hard to censor myself with the stylist that scheduled her hair appointment but didn't touch her head until two and a half hours later.  (Proms are stressful y'all!)  She was definitely the prettiest flower to bloom from all the roots growing beneath the surface of my week. Now I can check off my last girl prom (only one school age kid left and he broke my heart the week before by officially becoming a teenager *tears*) and gear up for graduation day. Oh and the graduation party... how could that slip my mind? Thank goodness baby girl reminded me while I was recovering from her Say Yes to the Prom Dress moment. Sigh. Pray for me... I have two months to prepare. Yes, I must sigh again.

I guess that wraps up my last week's highlight reel.

What is the lesson? What's the takeaway? (Okay, so that's more of a Moana reference than anything. One day I'm going to upload Mr. Editor performing this song. He thinks he's Mini Maui. He gets mad if I call him Hei Hei so he tries to beat me to it and shout out that's me. That kid gets his weird sense of humor from me. *giggle*) Anyway, I didn't write today's post to teach anyone anything, just sharing my randoms as usual and hoping I take this feeling into the week/month ahead.


Oh yeah, the takeaway? I almost forgot: Whatever I do, live in that moment... dig myself deep into it... and in time something beautiful will bloom.

Or as the sticky note on my computer says, since I went from flowers blooming to ducks in water paddling their little feet: 

Just keep swimming.
— Dory

Happy May!

- tia.