Photos by Erica

I just wrote this, in short, on instagram…but I thought I’d share it here as well since I normally don’t do this sort of thing.  Here are 5 things you might not know about me (a chocolate bar for those who make it all the way to the end!) :

1.  I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 11.  I had seizures…violent shaking and sometimes foaming of the mouth.  I had no idea it was happening, other than feeling really sore and fatigued the next day.  I think it took a bigger toll on my parents who worried about me constantly, wondering if it was something I would have to battle with all my life.  Or if it would eventually cause me some sort of brain damage.  I remember going into middle school my mom had to inform all of my teachers of my condition in case something was to happen in class.  I was put on an anti-seizure medicine called depakote for 2 years, which caused me to gain weight pretty quickly.  I was always a runt, so I remember those years feeling even more shy, awkward and unconfident than I already was.  By the grace of God my seizures went away before high school and were labeled as juvenile onset, with no clear explanation.

2.  I’m a slob.  I don’t share a lot of pictures of my house because more often that not it is scattered with clothes, art supplies, toys…you name it.  It’s gotten worse since I’ve started working from home.  I’m good at making messes, and not so good at picking them up.  Sometimes I just wish I had a house keeper following me around all day.  My husband on the other hand is a neat freak and overly minimalistic (he gets rid of everything!).  So basically, I am his biggest pet peeve.  I’m kidding, kind of.  I’m by no means a hoarder….but I do like to save my Christmas ornaments for the NEXT year! Yeah, it’s that bad.

3.  I was kind of a jock in high school, though most people would never guess it.   I played basketball, volleyball and softball year around.  I actually played travel ball (softball) since elementary school with my 2 sisters who are 1 year older and 1 year younger than me…and our dad was always our coach.  I traveled all over the place for tournaments with my family….dad as the coach and mom as the snack lady… and I remember that being a big part of my childhood.  I see now how lucky we were to have parents so invested, but back then I just thought it was normal.  I love that I am able to throw a football like a guy and school the boys in a game of horse….in heels.  I think my dad’s way of accepting the fact that he had a house full of women was to at least get us into athletics.  He sure did and we loved it.  Since then, I have fallen off the athletic wagon in a bad way.  I despise the gym and find every excuse not to go, though i’ve been trying to motivate myself for years.  It just doesn’t compare to the thrill of competitive sports, and a lot of times, I really miss it.

4.  Sometimes I dream about packing my bags, moving to the country, and living a simpler life. Maybe in an old southern house with a big porch and a lot of land where my kids could  run and play.   But then I think how much I would miss the post office being down the street, Trader Joe’s around the corner, and the beach just 5 minutes away.  And oh, not to mention the weather.  I think I would miss that the most.  And then, when I flesh out all the things I would miss about home, I realize I am better off staying put!  But boy, sometimes that big porch is all I want.

5.  I call Rylee my miracle baby.  Not because it was a miraculous conception (although it was close to that too….surprise!) but because she healed me. Before I got pregnant I was battling severe food allergies.  It was back when the “gluten-free” isle at the grocery store didn’t exist and most digestive problems were diagnosed as IBS. It was a long time before I discovered that gluten and dairy were the culprits of my pain.  I was put on a strict diet and tons of daily supplements.  When I first discovered I was pregnant, I was just barely beginning to feel better, so my first reaction to the news was fear.  I just didn’t know how my body could grow a strong healthy baby, when I didn’t feel healthy myself.  But I slowly discovered as I was pregnant, that those foods that used to leave me curled on the couch for days, no longer had the same effect.  It was like a reset button was pushed….and it literally changed my life.  Rylee changed my life.  I picked up some pretty terrible eating habits while I was pregnant because I was finally able enjoy the foods I was deprived of for so long…..but that’s beside the point.  My allergies never returned.  And hopefully they never will.

I decided to add 6….because there’s more.

Since becoming a mom and quitting my full time job, i’ve struggled a lot with the direction I want to take with my career.  If it would be better to invest more time in this blog and grow it as a business, or if I want to invest more time in my art and design, and have that be my source of income.  As a new mom, I found it really hard to do both (i’ve talked about this before).  To be honest, I havn’t made a dime off this blog.  Not counting the occasional free clothes or products I get. Some people think i’m crazy for declining sponsorship opportunities….but there has always been a part of me that doesn’t feel like it’s right to be taking people’s money, when I wasn’t comfortable yet with devoting 100% of my time and effort here.  Does that make sense?  You still probably think i’m crazy….but it’s just how I feel.  I told myself I wouldn’t take on any sponsorships until I felt like this space was exactly how I wanted it….re-branded and 100% me.  I talked about re-designing my entire site in early 2012….and obviously, a year later, that still hasn’t happened.  I feel like last year I failed in a lot of ways…..but I also think I know so much more about what I do want because I’ve contemplated this decision for so long.  But I’m sick of thinking…tired of worrying.  I finally feel like I am ready to take the strides to make things happen, and i’m more motivated than I’ve been in a long time.  Changes are a comin’.

If you are a blogger and you haven’t already read Megan’s re-cap of Alt Summit, you ought to.  I didn’t go to Alt, I wish I would have….but so much of what she wrote rang so true for me.  I love what she said here:

“The truth is, keeping up is not what matters, instead just do what you love. Tell the story you want in the way you think it should be told . There is no mold or formula to success. Create what you want to see, work hard, and be nice. That is it.”



  1. christine

    so where’s my chocolate bar?! Juuuuuust kidding..I happily read your entire post. Your honesty is beautiful. It’s amazing how hard we can be on ourselves yea? Let’s vow to be kind and gentle with ourself, as any feelings of Resistance work against us. Just as you said “DO what you LOVE” and the rest will follow. We must BE and GO with the FLOW, just as effortlessly as mother nature works – in harmony xo

  2. Bergen

    Kelli — you are an inspiration, a breath of fresh air! You have so many gifts and you are one of my favorite bloggers, not to mention you as an artist are my absolute favorite! You are truly blessed by all you have and I always look forward to seeing all you do & create!! Continued blessings in 2013!

  3. Rachael

    honesty! i can’t get enough of it. thanks for sharing about blogging.. i feel like there is not enough said about what really goes on behind blogs. thanks kelli!

  4. Skye

    I have celiac and have struggled with infertility for years. you are very lucky you didn’t have problems conceiving.

  5. mary

    Beautiful, and simply stated:
    “The truth is, keeping up is not what matters, instead just do what you love. Tell the story you want in the way you think it should be told . There is no mold or formula to success. Create what you want to see, work hard, and be nice. That is it.”

    It’s true that we are our toughest and most cruel critic. It is SO easy to focus on what we believe is negative in our lives rather than the positive. I agree with Christine (above). “Let’s vow to be kind and gentle with ourselves.”

    I can relate to most of the things you mentioned above..to the point of my wonderful husband who embraces my organized chaos of art projects strewed about the house! Kelli, your work is beautiful and you have been a wonderful inspiration for me to get back into my art work. I worry far far to easily about whether my art will be “excepted” by others and will fit into whoever/whatever others perceive of me to be.. Your quote was a wonderful reminder that it’s not the acceptance or approval of others that makes you beautiful. What’s beautiful is the raw truth of who we are.. and the courage to step out in faith and create what YOU see as beautiful..in YOUR own timing..with YOUR own interpretation..

    ..and now I’m rambling..!!

    Thank you so much for your words today! Have a wonderful February 1st!

  6. Angela

    It was a pleasure reading your post. I really enjoyed, especially the 6th fact. It sums up the true meaning of blogging! If you’re not enjoying it and you’re not doing it with all your heart, then don’t do it at all.

  7. Jen

    I just read Megan’s post yesterday and I love love loved it. It made me want her as a friend, life coach, and reminder of where to place my focus on a daily basis. What she wrote was such a breath of fresh air, to so many it seems, and I also took it to heart.

    Excited for your upcoming changes.. Just so you know, I love everything you do :) And as long as YOU still do, I’d say you’re on the right track.

  8. maddie

    Thanks for sharing those insights about you. You definitely have an interesting story to tell. My close cousin was epileptic so I understand how frustrating, embarrassing, and worrisome that can be.

  9. kellyhicks

    Love this post – thanks for sharing some deep thoughts and emotions – hard to do in the blog world! I totally relate to number 6 – I feel the same way after having Jack. I can’t decide what direction to take and know I don’t have time to do it all. Good luck with the new things you mentioned and when you figure out how you got there – fill me in :)

  10. Natasha

    Kelli, I think it is your honesty which keeps bringing me back to your blog. And it is so brave to decide to share what you have, for your readers.

    I loved finding out that you are a messy person too. I call it the creative aftermath. It drives my partner to distraction, so he is constantly picking up after me.

    I have an intolerance to gluten and some reactions to dairy, which intensified during my pregnancy, but eased off during nursing and are coming back again. I’m a firm believer that we get the baby we need, and I think you needed this relief in your health, and to know how perfect nature is. You can grow a perfectly healthy baby. I have always referred to Hugo as my miracle baby. He came along when I’d been told it might be a very long time before I could conceive, and all the midwives, and sonogram technicians, and obstetricians I saw all told me what a miracle it was too when they heard my story, and saw how well he was growing.

    Do what makes you happy and what inspires you. We’ll all be here to see what you do, because it’s always beautiful, and written with such honesty xxx

  11. Ling

    Great post, amazing photography again! Really enjoyed the end bit where it says “The truth is, keeping up is not what matters, instead just do what you love. Tell the story you want in the way you think it should be told . There is no mold or formula to success. Create what you want to see, work hard, and be nice. That is it.”

  12. jodi inkenbrandt

    I loved reading all of these. I’m a newer reader of yours and I’ve been meaning to comment and tell you how much I love your art work and this space too.

  13. Meg

    It’s so amazing that Rylee cured your allergies! What a blessing, especially since many pregnancies cause a lot of health problems. Unfortunately, I brought my mother quite the opposite in the health department. Her pregnancy caused intense varicose veins, and when I was four i have her my chicken pox which became so intense for her it ultimately triggered the Multiple Sclerosis she has to live with.

    On another note, I have never seen a blog or a family that inspires me more than yours does. You’re honest and real, and your art is amazing… I can’t believe i haven’t bought any prints yet! thats definitely on my to-do list. look out society 6.

    much love xoxo

  14. Krista

    Hi Kelly,
    I just wanted to let you know that I found your post really inspiring! I love your blog and don’t think you have failed this past year in anyway. As much as I adore perusing blogs and writing mine, life isn’t lived online… It can only be shared there and you’ve certainly done a great job of that! I find both your honesty and beautiful creativity refreshing in an inter-web full of people trying to be what they’re not. Thanks for that!

    I thought Megan’s Alt Summit post was pretty great too, thanks for the share!

  15. Crystal

    Always amazed at you! There are so many wonderful things you do and it is so interesting how motherhood can thrust you into a total revamp of your previous life and soul.

    It is neat how Rylee reset your allergies. I was diagnosed with IBS a month ago and I am finding it extremely difficult to combat. I think I am done with having my babes so no baby birth to reset my clocks just rethinking how I cook and eat, which is a struggle because food is AWESOME!!

    As for the messiness, we are probably all like that. Especially as mamas. We are pulled in every which way and so goes our house. It literally looks like some giant came to our house, shook it upside down and left me with the aftermath. He usually goes away to sleep the night and then does it again the next day.

    Know that we all support you and we love everything about you. And don’t feel guilty about taking sponsorship. You work hard, we adore you and you provide us with joy.



  16. Kim

    Thanks for sharing Megan’s recap that quote was just what I needed.
    I’m looking forward to a focused and fabulous Feb :)

  17. Jamie

    You’re doing the right thing!! Even if all you’re doing is looking at your sweet baby all day, don’t worry. The rest will work itself out. Ten years from now, being a mom will be your most important achievement. But, you’re so talented, other things are bound to happen for you, too. Thank you for being so honest and inspirational!

  18. krystal/village

    i loved reading this! i totally get what you mean about sponsorship, when i’m working full time i don’t accept them because i don’t have time to be at my blog.
    and also, pregnancy cured my migraines! i’m so glad that it was a great experience for you!

  19. Emily Kinsella [Bubblegum Cigarette]

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s nice to know that you’re messy! Haha… I am too and I always wonder how people can share these immaculate photos of their homes. My house usually has dog toys, art supplies, books, and clothes all over the place. Anyhow, your blog is great and I love your illustrations. Thanks for sharing your creativity :)



  • (will not be published)