Category Archives: Motherhood

Time For Bed, Sleepyhead


This month, we [kelli and vanessa] have the honor and privilege to review another great book by Zondervan. Time For Bed, Sleepyhead is written by New York Times bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen. This cozy bedtime book uses visualization techniques in the storytelling to encourage a child to stretch and even exhaust their imaginations to help them drift off into peaceful sleep.

I have to be honest with you and start out by saying that my amazing husband does the nightly bedtime routine with our son, Ezra. So, I figured I should let the main bedtime storyteller, review this book! Rather than ask him a bunch of questions….and relay it all to you, it is my pleasure to introduce you to REED…..


Hello blog world! Yes, I love that Ezra and I get to share stories and prayers before bed every night.  I am really trying to soak in every moment and enjoy this time every evening.  Ezra has always been a night owl, like his Mom [ha!], so we have been working on getting him to bed earlier now that he is getting up for pre-k three days a week.


I have tried everything…..three books, four books, telling made-up stories, the list goes on.  He would still be awake…..Until….I started reading “Time For Bed, Sleepyhead.”.  He now requests this every night and it is the only book I need to read.  Ezra always wants to be “Aslan” the white german shepherd puppy in the story, and he assigns me to be the “Daddy” bear.  The story is great about repeating certain words, which helps to set the mood to safe, warm, and luckily for me, sleepy.


At the end of the story, Ezra will turn to me and say, “good night, Dad” then rolls over and closes his eyes.  I usually stay a few more minutes and say more prayers over him, thanking God for the little arrow he is, knowing all the good that’s in-store for him when tomorrow comes.

I would definitely recommend this book and you can find it here.
Thank you Zondervan for publishing such great children books. We’ve enjoyed building a library of great books for our son.



Photography by: Kelli Trontel
Bed Sheets: Land of Nod
Comforter: Pottery Barn Kids
Pajamas: Gap Kids
Stuffed Animal: Anthropologie

First Day of Pre-K

img_9466I went round and round in my head with this one.
Was I really ready to send my baby boy off to school? Was he ready for three full days of school? Was it a matter of mama not being ready, but Ezra bursting at the seams to enter into a new season?

I sent an email to Vanessa late one night….and her response [as always] was just what I needed to hear. Honest truth…..and her birds eye perspective looking into things from the outside in. While I read her heartfelt words, I cried. Everything she wrote was spot on. I knew it deep down in my heart. And in all honesty, I knew this was the right decision for this season……but theres something about kind, loving and encouraging confirmation. Motherhood is HARD! It’s a priceless friendship to have where there is no judgement, but a cheerleader in your corner…..who always has your back.

As expected, Ezra woke up before we had the chance to wake him ourselves. The first words out of his mouth were “Is my classroom ready for me?” Yea, he was ready…..and this mamas heart couldn’t argue with the fact that this was going to be such a great day for him. One for the books.

Of course, we took the infamous 1st Day of Pre-K photo out in front of the house. And shortly after that we drove around the corner to his school….where he walked in, without holding our hands, expectant for something AWESOME to happen.

I tried my hardest to hold back my tears, but they kept streaming down my face. I was boarder line ugly cry. As soon as I got into my car…..I let out the biggest cry and it felt SO dang good. The day felt long….as I couldn’t wait to pick him back up and hear all about his day. I reminisced about the past 4 years where we have spent EVERY SINGLE DAY together. What a blessing it was to be able to stay home, as well as raise our son in our brick and mortar shop these past few years. My heart is seriously filled with gratitude.

Allowing our babies to grow up….and spread their wings is not for the faint of heart.

Ezra, we are so proud of you and we look forward to seeing you grow in all area of life this year. What a privilege it is to have you attend Whitefish Christian Academy. We believe that this new season will be one that we remember forever- and we look forward to all the memories we will make and the stories you’ll tell each and every day after school. You are THE HEAD, NOT THE TAIL. You are a LEADER. You are SMART. You are BRAVE.
xoxo, mama & daddy



IMG_8857I say this every year…..and I’m sure I’ll continue to say it year after year.

I can’t believe my baby is FOUR!!!

The biggest change in Ezra was from three to four. He seems so grown up these days. His vocabulary has expanded greatly. His imagination is wild and fun. He still loves to sing….all day long, which makes this mama so proud. I love it with all my heart.

Sweet boy, what I love most about you is your curious mind and compassionate heart.

I pray that your natural awareness of people is something that never dims. What a powerful and unique quality this is, in a world where we can all be self-absorbed and consumed with our own happenings. I love that you notice people…..and you step out of your little comfort zone to engage with friends, as well as strangers- whether that’s at our shop or the park. It’s the sweetest thing. Even when you play “shy” it’s so sweet.

We had four whole years together as a family of three….and in just a few months we will be welcoming a new baby sister to our family. She is so lucky to have YOU as her big brother. I can’t wait to see you as a brother…..your love for her is already so sweet, I can’t wait to till you see her for the first time, and hold her and kiss her. You were born for this…..

Thank you for being such a sweet boy. You have brought such joy to my life, even in the midst of pain and loss this past year. You are indeed “Gods Help” as your name means. You have been tender, loving & encouraging….and you have taught me much about the love of our great God, who loves us so perfectly.

Love you to the moon and back!

A 4th Of July Tradition


Our 4th of July celebration wouldn’t be complete without visiting our local and favorite firework stand… take photos!

The story begins here, at week 39 in my maternity photo series with Ezra, in 2012. Then again in 2013, which we called BOOM POW! And again in 2014…..then 2015. Cant believe this my fifth year returning to this stand and Ezra’s 4th year joining me. This tradition is sweet to our hearts. We also love seeing the owners of the stand, year after year. They greet us with smiles and hugs- so sweet.


Same location. Same 4,000 SPECIAL FIRECRACKER. Same baby boy [in salt water sandals], who is just getting bigger. I can’t believe my BABY BOY will be FOUR YEARS OLD tomorrow!!
IMG_8554IMG_8569IMG_8544IMG_8542This year IS a little different though……we have a another baby on the way!!! So we had to document a little bit of that too! And for the first time ever….DADDY got in a photo with us! He’s the one behind the camera for this, but someone offered to take our photo and Im so glad we got a family photo this year!

IMG_8550IMG_8585IMG_8582IMG_8595Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!


A Way In The Wilderness

kelli_ezra0034Just a few days before Valentines….two pink lines appeared before my eyes.

As one might expect….I would be over the moon, ecstatic. Shouting with joy at the top of my lungs. Dancing throughout our home….dreaming up all the creative ways we would share this news with our family and friends.

In fact, I was not like that at all. Yes, I was happy…..but my spirit felt suppressed. My joy was quenched. Fear immediately began to take residence and steal every bit of celebration in what was to be a super special moment, day, season…

When I found out that I was pregnant with Ezra….I honestly never thought I would/could lose the pregnancy. I saw the pink lines. It was set in stone. He was in there…..and I would see him in 9 months. End of story.

After having an early miscarriage in November 2014….my world was rocked. It was so unexpected. I was blindsided. And just like that… story included a miscarriage. Another loss.

In August 2015, I realized how much my wounded heart was affecting me. It was keeping me from living wholly. What was once the happy-go-lucky, all is well, everything will work out, glass is overflowing…..was now speaking nothing fruitful over her life and allowing fear to rule all thoughts and dreams. I began to believe that I should no longer expect goodness or blessings in life…and that any and all joy, happiness, gifts…..are all reserved for Heaven. Don’t expect much here, Kelli. Look at where it got you these past 5 years.

I found myself in Nashville just two weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Every trip to Nashville is always refreshing to my soul. I crave being there, especially when I feel like I need a little boost….as I know I will leave being filled up by friends that fully know and love me. Friends that speak LIFE. And its those conversations that I can’t wait to get around the table to hear and take part of.

My dear friends Cameron and Heather took me to dinner…and that night was a game changer for me. Through all the tears….my heart began to patch up a bit. Their words over my life, my future, this new life growing in my womb….was like healing balm to the deepest parts of my heart. Y’all to be loved in such a way….that people just freely speak over you….speaking things to our Heavenly Father on your behalf because you can’t even muster the words yourself. THAT is friendship. And that is love.

“Kelli, you have been in a long season of mourning…..and THIS IS YOUR SEASON OF JOY. RIGHT NOW!”

Those words still ring in my head, every single day. Its a truth that I continue to cling to. [Thank you, Cameron!]
kelli_ezra0012Something changed in me…..and I fight for it daily. I know and have always believed that God is good….no matter the valleys that I have walked though these past 5 years. He was always near. I was never alone. But this life is meant to be lived wildly…..shining brightly of His goodness. God delights in us. He wants good for us. He desires to bless us…..and not for us to be selfish with it, but to be a blessing to others. He loves us and He is a giver of good gifts….not just in Eternity, but here on earth. I am worthy of His love…. [including all the mysterious ways He chooses to shower us with love]
kelli_ezra0057This pregnancy was extremely emotionally for me during the first trimester. There were phone calls that I wanted to make, that I will never be able to make. I would sit in the parking lot after my doctors appointments and just cry out to Jesus……and ask for Him to comfort my heart and to fill the voids that I was feeling in that moment. Isn’t that how it should always be? I was taking a social media break during this time….so picking up my phone, getting that digital hit to distract and suppress my feelings by scrolling through other peoples stories was not an option….and I was forced to sit, to be ok with the silence and to reach out to the One who desperately desires to be our first call….and ask Him to draw me near. God not only wants to satisfy our hunger, but he desires that we hunger for more….more of Him and more of what He desires for us and from us.

So, the verse that has been my theme this year is this:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” –Isaiah 43:18-19

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When my sweet friends, Jeremiah & Rachel dared to dream with me on a baby announcement shoot….they were in it heart and soul. Their ideas and visions were as if they had read the writing on my heart. They blessed me with their time, love and talent. We spent the afternoon together at our local nursery and they so wonderfully captured my sweet Ezra and I. Its rare for this mama to be in front of the camera….so these images are a treasure to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you’re still reading…..thank you. Thank you for your time…..and for listening to my thoughts in this season. Thank you for your prayers. For thinking of me when you do. And before I end this post….I want to encourage your heart… remind you that you are LOVED and WORTHY of His love.