Stop the Presses

Big news in the world of fried chicken everybody: Chick-Fil-A has come to town. That’s right, you heard me, Chick-Fil-A and all its glorious golden fried chickeness has landed just minutes from me and my life is finally, officially, complete. There are exactly two Chick-Fil-A’s in the great state of Massachusetts {which is clearly an atrocity} and one of them, as of today, is near me…be still my soul.


Also, there are fries…crisp heavenly little bites of all that is good in the world.

And there is sweet tea. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a proper cup of sweet tea in New England? Hard my friends.

And there are biscuits. Biscuits! Flaky, buttery biscuits drizzled with honey…I can’t even take it…my mind is blown.


The baby is pretty exited too. Actually, he won’t stop talking about this glorious manna with which he is now being fed and has humbly asked that I please feed him fried chicken every day; I wanting to be a good mother see no other way forward. I like Martin Luther must plant my feet and say, “Here I stand; I can do no other.” I’m almost certain Martin Luther liked sweet tea and fried chicken. It just makes sense, you know?

Winter Hues





I don’t pull my camera out very often in the winter. I forget to look for the beauty and the magic when the world is cold and gray— when it seems like everything is dead or asleep until a warmer, better day.

But sometimes I remember to look. Sometimes the light pouring in the kitchen window catches my eye and the sun falling sleepily below the horizon beckons me to come outside and see.

Sometimes dead things frosted and glittering with snow and ice are as lovely as a winter flower, blooming and blossoming from the grave.



Katniss comes outside with me and tip toes through the snow while we hunt for pretty things.



And sometimes, when we are patient with the cold, we find a whole living world of green and gold growing in our own back yard.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”   -Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The Cat Made Me Do It


This is what the cat does when I try using the computer instead of petting him.


{Pet me. Pet me now.}

So if I ever post anything crazy on here, just know that the cat probably wrote it…definitely not me ;]

Up In These Parts


Two crazy boys: Check.


One light saber

Two swords

One sling shot

One gun that shoots lightning

And a rocket launching airplane




The two best babysitters in the whole. entire. world.


kiss Sneaking a kiss in was loudly protested by the imps in the back

Check ;]

The Best Things in Life

DSC_0554The other night I made one of my grandma’s much-loved recipes–homemade pie crust topped with sugar-glazed strawberries and homemade whipped cream. I remember picking strawberries with my grandma out of her garden when I was a little girl. I love that the recipe card is written in her hand and I always think of her busy in her kitchen when I pull it out.

DSC_0536Speaking of strawberries…I curled up in bed with a big bowl of them the other night and dipped one right after the other in Nutella. Pure bliss ;]



Katniss likes to wake Darren up every morning…by sitting on his face ;] They are snuggle buddies and I love them both to pieces.

Sometimes the best things in life are the small things…like strawberries and kitty cats


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I love lazy weekends. The cat curled up in my lap and took a nice, long Sunday afternoon nap.


I drank a big mug of hot tea with lots of honey and cream and played with my new camera, trying to figure it out.


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I may or may not have looked into the sun for 30 minutes trying to see what color my eyes are in the light. I may or may not be blind now.


Oh the light though, it is great fun to chase with the camera. Katniss and I played games with the shadows.


And then I chased the sun flair, trying to capture it and make it immortal.

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The sun got caught in the bottles.


And then it slipped away behind the trees.

I Thought You Should Know…

This morning an elderly woman walks into Dunkin’ Donuts and painstakingly selects 12 donuts. The cashier gets all the donuts in the box and seals it up to hand to the woman and she says, “Oh no! That’s not what I meant to do! I came in here for a gift card!” True story :]

That is all.

Love, Kari

Letter to a Younger Me

Dear 16 Year Old Kari,

This is 26 year old Kari—don’t freak out.

It’s been ten years. A lot has happened.


You finished high school. High five.

You went to and graduated from college. You started as a journalism major and finished with a degree in counseling because you didn’t like other people telling you how to write.

You are still paying for college 😦

You got married and you married well.

{This is your husband. He is hot. I can not describe to you how much you will love him}

You moved across the country to Massachusetts.

You’ve moved three times in Massachusetts and you’re not done yet.

You don’t have kids. They still scare you. But you finally got a cat…and sometimes she scares you too.

You colored your hair. Can you believe that? Me either.

You have to wear contacts because you see like an 80 year old woman without them. You had glasses but you lost them somewhere between Massachusetts and Missouri. The glasses were pink. You chose them from the children’s section (even though you were in your 20s) so it’s probably best that they got lost somewhere between here and there.

You don’t cry anymore. You will find it doesn’t help and one day, you’ll just stop.

There will be this thing called Facebook. You will join somewhere around your junior year of college.

In college a fellow journalism major will ask you what a “blog” is. You won’t know.

You will write a blog.

You will grow more confident about some things, more insecure about others. Security will be a life-long journey.

You still hate fish. I hope you always hate fish.

There will be little tiny phones called “cell phones.” People will walk around typing little tiny emails into their cell Phones—this is called “texting.”

You know that ghetto coffee shop called “Dunkin’ Donuts”? Embrace. Soon you will be best friends.

You will work at an aerospace company. I know, I can’t believe it either.

You will gain weight. Lay off on the Twinkies now doll.

You will always love taking pictures but  you won’t need film anymore.

You will tutor in math. Stop laughing. No, keep laughing because you will hate every second of it and laughing is the only thing that will get you through.

Indiana Jones is still hot.

For one year you will live in the cutest down town apartment with brick walls and wood floors. You will feel like a bird in a tree house and love every second of it.

Max Factor is going to go out of business so buy mascara like it’s the apocalypse baby.

Video stores are going to go out of business too but they will have this thing called “Netflix.”

You know that song by OneRepublic Chris made you listen to? Pay attention; they will become your favorite group.

You will find the world is much bigger than you think and you are wrong about many things.

You will have to say you’re sorry many times.

You will learn to say “I love you” but it will take much longer than you think.

If I could go back I would tell you:

Sleep now. Like, a lot.

Listen more. Talk less.

Breathe in the fresh country air; it will be hard to come by later.

You will get knocked down. You will get hurt. You will feel stupid and ugly. You will get back up.

You are not stupid or ugly.

Those guys you hope will notice you? They aren’t all you think they are. You are fine by yourself and there is a much better guy waiting for you.

You will never stop being afraid you will just learn to push through the fear to accomplish your dreams.

Don’t study so hard in college. Make time for people and build friendships. People will matter long after grades have been forgotten.

Don’t be so sarcastic all the time.

Don’t try to forget where you’re from. Your roots are important and you could never be who you are without them.

In some ways you will be very different. In some ways you will be exactly the same; this is the nature of growing up.

Life is not easy. People are mean. Not all of your dreams will come true.


Even though life will not turn out at all as you imagine, it will be fine.

You will be fine.

You will be just fine.


Your old wrinkled self

{26 Year Old Kari}

P.S. The world is supposed to end this year. I’ll write you in another 10 years and let you know how that goes down.

I’ll Tell You a Secret

You named me what?

It’s not a big secret; just a little baby one. Huddle up. My name isn’t really Kari. I mean, it is Kari, but it’s really Carrie. I changed the spelling when I was 13 for no reason at all. It’s not my fault though. My dad started things off right by spelling it Carry on my birth certificate. Carry is a verb not a name, in case we aren’t clear on that. It’s fine though. One daughter out of six children and you make her a verb—no biggie. High five for the effort there dad.

My dad (who believes himself never to be wrong) claims he spelled it Carry on purpose so he could tell ask me to carry things for him. Good one, dad. I heard that joke about every two minutes growing up— “Carrie will you carry this” hardee, har, har. Of course my dad will deny all of this. I can hear him now– “I never said that!” Sure dad. I just hallucinated all the way through my childhood, that’s it.

Actually, when I heard “Carrie will you carry this” is the only time I ever heard myself called Carrie because my dad always just called me “girl.” I guess when you’re the only female running around it works but I still have a complex about it. My mom and my brothers just called me “sis” and still do. The boys (my brothers) were just “the boys”…although none of them were ever verbs. To level the playing field I would like to announce all their real names: Robert, William, Michael, Bradford, and Christopher. Shall we do middle names too? Yes, I think so: Robert Lee (the 2nd, mind you), William Eugene, Michael Harold, Bradford Neal, and Christopher Thomas. Bam. It’s on the internet. That’s what “the boys” get for not reading this—no say whatsoever when their full names are revealed on the ol internet. Wahahahaha <———————– Laugh of power and conniving. It’s okay, none of their real names are even that bad so we can all move on.

You mess with me, I mess with you

Changing the spelling of my name was fun until it was confusing. When I went to college, I had to list my legal name on everything but then when I turned in exams and such I would spell it the super awesome way with a K. Some of my teachers seriously started to question whether I even knew how to spell my name.

After college came work and marriage and the confusion continued. Everything legal has to have it spelled with a C. This always goes down the same way: I’m at the bank, new job, wherever filling out paperwork. I sign my name first with a K and then realize it doesn’t match my license and such and won’t fly. So I, blushing, try to explain that, oh actually, I spelled my name wrong on that…I’ll just ex that out and try again. This is of course not the best way to open a bank account or start a new job. The people at the bank always look at me like I’m a criminal trying to steal someone’s identity.

After I got married and changed my last time, I tried to legally change the spelling of my first name to end the confusion once and for all. They wouldn’t let me do it. Can you believe that? Geez. It’s my name isn’t it. Well, at least that’s what I told my parents in junior high when refusing to spell it the “right way” as they call it.

Oh, and to rub it in that I spell my name the “wrong way” my parents started spelling everything the wrong way. My dad spells daddy “dadi.” Are you kidding me? My parents have always called me Ladybug. I have no idea why. You would think if you had a nickname your whole life you would remember some story or reason as to why. Nope. No idea. Anyway, now my parents spell it Ladibug. Funny aren’t they? It wasn’t that bad until I started blogging and my mother decided to go ahead and call me Ladibug in all of her comments. Oh good, she’s using my childhood nickname…spelled wrong 8/

It’s okay. I get my vengeance by telling stories about them on the internet. Who knows what I’ll decide to talk about next. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it though…it’s just your whole life spelled out on the World Wide Web :]

Call me Ladybug one more time…

Mad Love

Today I should be writing about something awfully important. But I’m not. I tried you know. But I’ve just been sitting here in a standoff with my computer screen and the two of us (the computer and I) decided it’s best if today I just drink coffee and write something unimportant. I hope you don’t mind. If you do, well, don’t read it genius. So, today, I’m going to just tell you that I have mad love for a few things in life. Isn’t it funny how we all have our likes and dislikes and how our loves and hates make us each the unique people that we are? fascinating :] Here are a few of the things that make me who I am, for better or for worse. I wrote them down in the order they came to me so now you see how cluttered and befuddled my brain is:

Potatoes. coffee. beige. Thoreau. scarves. boots. leather bags. Fossil. Harrison Ford. mocha. Dunkin’ Donuts. books. tea. blogging. brothers. words. nature. birds. Faith. pasta. architecture. paper. Darren. Rachel T. laughter. letters. Ashley B. adventure. dreams. flowers. Quick Trip. Missouri. dirt roads. sweeping plains. moody oceans. the woods. Jean Webster. Daddy-Long-Legs book. Boston. cannoli. Italy. travel. walking. poppies. feta. art. brown gravy. french fries. dresses. ruffles. hugs. warm blankets. fireplaces. the smell of smoke. birch trees. fall. pumpkin spice lattes. black nail polish. camping. flip-flops. green chilies. Anthropologie. OneRebublic. barns. the country. Gilly Hicks. journals. maps. sci-fi. sweaters. jeans. ink. Relevant Magazine. The National Geographic. Prison Break. Little Women. silence. wood floors. colonial houses. Massachusetts. bookstores. cafes. Chipotle. trees. fire flies. flying. clean sheets. American Eagle. home. Pontiac. America. cello. navy. sleep. writing. typing. Cracker Barrel. a clean house. nephews & nieces. pictures. sarcasm. poetry. warm clothes. bacon. tree houses. WordPress. #2 pencils. decorating. creating. honesty. surprises. school. birds singing. fire. black eye liner. rain. seltzer. Arnold Palmers. cheese. olive oil. bread. being left-handed. 7. Twilight. Shakespeare. Hugh Jackman. archaeology. typewriters. vintage. Abercrombie & Fitch. mud. Country Living. The Office. blush pink. canvases. psychology books. home. feathers. gray. Bryan Adams. rotary phones. down blankets. York Peppermint Patty coffee creamer. family. freckles. florals. cider. Pottery Barn. Cavallini. green beans. mom’s fried chicken. spaghetti sauce. blue prints. Brian Regan. murder mysteries. staying up late. mascara. C.S. Lewis. getting packages in the mail. changes. mason jars. Xbox. pie. you. dandelions. red woods. tire swings. typography.

Unfortunately, potatoes outranked both my husband and my faith but at least I’m honest :]

What makes you you?