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What I Kept | April 2023

These are things I kept on my phone in the month of April.

Click here to read previous posts.

This one may be a little longer because it’s birthday month and there have been a lot of really cool universal things going on.

Watching Daddy leave for work

Cardinal on the first day of April


I saw this wall on Cup of Jo and it made me smile because…

We have one too. ❤️

When I told my friend (and hairdresser) about the peace sign tattoo, she pulled her sweater down and showed me hers.🖤

Mike dismantled the girls’ playhouse. We’d had it up since we moved into this house in 2005, but now that the kids are grown, it seemed like a waste of space. We wanted another family to be able to enjoy this.

We were going to give it to the family who gave it to us because they had a new baby. However, they did not have enough space. So we left it out on the curb for anyone who wanted it.

I must admit that I cried when he first took it down. That corner looked so empty. But it will soon be our soul garden, which makes me very happy.


Show compassion toward each other … just like my 4-year old showed love to a stranger in need ♥️ #nohashtagsneeded

♬ snowfall – Øneheart & reidenshi

They’re watching their “squirrelfriend” (rhymes with girlfriend)

I recently read something about ancestors watching us break cycles, so I changed this sign to give myself some motivation. It helps. 🖤

Hammock season began early due to an unanticipated “fake spring.” I’m grateful for any opportunity to relax in the hammock.

Ranunculas at Lowes. 💕

You don’t have to read my book. Instead, watch this TikTok.

Anna’s name carved into a table at a Starbuck’s I visited earlier this month. No, I didn’t do it. 🤣

From this book

“Forget the hours of suffering, but not what they have taught you.”

I’m thrilled that this is happening!

Oh, I think she knows…

This is where I do my soul homework. I wanted to capture it for the blog for posterity. This space has helped me heal. This is where I feel the most safe.

I was sitting in this room with Mike and my parents after dinner one evening a few weeks ago, talking about furniture. I mentioned that each chair in this room was given to us by someone I love.

My parents gave us the couch.

Rebecca gave us the white chair and footstool.

Kristen gave us the floral chair.

I had not thought of this before that evening, and it makes me even happier now.

We’ve had SO MANY cardinals this month.

He insisted on sitting on my lap even though I was attempting to photograph the golden glow on the yard’s trees. He then sat on my lap, licked my face (I’d been crying), and we kept watching the golden glow until sunset .

Spotted at World Market.

Buddy was looking out the window as my husband was taking Biscuits to get his nails trimmed.

In August of 2021, I posted this photo of Fern, my fiddle leaf fig. She almost died. You can learn more about her here.

When I was watering my plants the other day, I realized it was time for an update. Here is my lovely fiddle leaf fig right now:

Biscuits wanted to be included as well. She has evolved into a floor fiddle leaf fig.

In the spirit of plant mom bragging, I once shared a photo of my IKEA fiddle leaf fig, which I purchased in February 2021 for only 19 dollars:

February 2021

And here she is now:


I did it...and she was also able to cover an age spot. 😊

Long story short, a week after writing about tattoos here, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and noticed that my favorite plant shop was hosting an Earth Day “flash tat” event. They had two female tattoo artists who would only offer a few designs. A peace sign was one of them. 🖤


A rescue cat thanks her rescuer. catlovers kitten kitty meow pet cute cat cats of catstagram catlover

♬ original sound – Pets Pulse

Ella was talking with a mourning dove that was sitting on our roof. Because of the screen, it wasn’t very clear, but I love the colors in this picture.

When Anna and I are on Facetime and she is talking to Biscuits, he always looks out the window to see if she is coming to our house. 💕

They were doing road work on our street, and these two were completely fascinated. I had to capture it because it made me so happy.

This is 53.

My birthday was perfect.

I had a quiet morning with Mike in one of our favorite towns.

Lunch was at the lumpia food truck I mentioned with my parents, Kristen, her brother-in-law Joel, and Mike and Ella. We had a lovely little tailgate lunch in a parking lot.

My parents, Anna, and her boyfriend joined us for dinner at my favorite taco restaurant.

It was supposed to be cloudy and chilly all day, but it turned out to be sunny and beautiful.

My dad sent me this song first thing on my birthday morning:

When I was a little girl, my dad and I used to dance to this song. Every year on my birthday, he sends me this song. ❤️

My father instilled in me a love of music. At every birthday celebration, he plays Birthday by The Beatles on his phone. He did that at the restaurant this year, and I feel bad that he was shushed by several of us because we were in a crowded small space. Unfortunately, our egos get the best of us. But, I truly love that he does this and it means so much to me.

I came across this picture and it made me happy.


With an iced mocha from @weareburgundians , anything is possible #fyp #2000smusic #2000s #icedcoffee #destinyschild #millennials

♬ Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child

During my birthday week, I got to see my soul nephew perform at his talent show. He performed his original song and it was incredible. He was entirely self-taught and is absolutely brilliant.

It’s been a truly meaningful month. Nurture was the word I chose for 2023, and it has definitely manifested in so many ways this year.

Celebrating myself was the best decision I ever made all those years ago.

I ask that you do the same for yourself.

Thank you for reading my (and others’) words. It’s an honor to share them with you.

40 thoughts on “What I Kept | April 2023”

  1. There’s so much here. I love your pet photos and the glimpses into your rooms/spaces. The video of the woman alone in her house doing things after her kids left for college – yikes. That spoke to me. I think my fav thing you’ve shared here is the video of the band following the runners. If that happened to me, I’d have to stop running because I’d be laughing so hard. Glad you enjoyed your birthday month. 53 looks happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought that your hairdresser’s peace sign tattoo was so awesome (I bet they are wonderful people!) and then I saw YOURS! Yay! Congrats! It looks awesome and I’m glad you did it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you had a sunny birthday. I love that you shared so much of it with us. Ok, those desserts . . . pure happiness seeing those. It reminds me of going to Vegas buffets with my kids and seeing the assortment of desserts in shot glasses (actually, it was seeing their faces when THEY saw it).

    Amber on that Tik Tok video is absolute truth. She reminds me of me, walking around my house alone. And she reminds me of Lisa Loeb.

    It’s never a good idea to wait to get gas. It’s either raining or the prices went up overnight. Or you’re running late.

    Is that your childhood list?? I can relate to so much on there. I was just thinking the other day how much I loved frozen treats as a kid (Push-Ups, the double Popsicles moms would break in half, Fla-Vor-Ice). It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures to live long enough to live it again with your children and grandchildren. And possibly great grands. Seeing my grandson on his Big Wheel is the best.

    Millennial Kyle totally reminds me of Ron! I can see Ron doing all those dances. LOL!
    Have a super-de-dooper-week, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was from our Whole Foods date night! They have the best bakery! I wish I could have seen your children’s expressions!

      She DOES resemble Lisa Loeb!! I remember coming home after Anna left for college for the first time, and it was something I wasn’t prepared for.

      That is one of my journal books! I’ve actually added more items as I’ve thought of them. Pushup pops! I love that you get to relive those memories with your grandchildren.

      I CAN SEE HIM DOING THOSE THINGS AS WELL!!! He’s such a blessing. I am eternally grateful to you for introducing him to me.

      I hope you have a wonderful week as well! I see it’s your birthday month now…I gladly pass the torch. 😘


  4. Kari, that photo of your cutie, little dog sleeping on the bed is ADORABLE! And so is the one with the kitty in the photo above.

    The room where you do your soul work is glorious. And I can see WHY you do it in that room. All that beautiful sunlight!

    Happy to hear you had a fantastic birthday! Happy Monday, my friend! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love those pictures too. That’s my oldest daughter, Anna, with her adorable kitty.

      Isn’t that room magical? I love a light-filled room. Sunlight HEALS, doesn’t it?? 

      Thank you so much, my friend. 😘


  5. This was a very pleasingly long post! So many fun things to check out. Cardinals are so cool – seeing that splash of red against the greenery never gets old. Love the Ted Kooser poem. I am on the precipice of that gas decision myself. Perhaps I will make a wiser choice? LOVE the fuck social media shirt, even though I have not yet been able to disentangle myself from it. Look at your fig!!!! That’s a proper tree, now! Your birthday sounds perfect and lovely. May the year ahead be full of wonder and meaning!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Happy Happy Birthday week, month, year. It was just yesterday that you had your Covid 50th! Right?
    Love that so many signs pointed you towards your tattoo.
    This post made me laugh, smile, giggle, and cry. Your Dad: he is the absolute best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love all these little tidbits of your life. It’s a fun glimpse into a friend’s behind-the-scenes life. Love your tattoo! And I’m glad you had such a nice birthday. My little town has a food truck by the lake almost every day and Lumpia is one of the ones that come here. I haven’t tried it yet. But seeing your photo…I’m going to now! That looks delicious. I can see why your sunny room with the leather sofa is your soul homework space. It’s inviting, comfortable, and zen.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. That silly straw poem is brilliant! I love it so much. I have had “Unwritten” stuck in my head for a while, and occasionally I will think “live your life with arms wide open” and it makes me smile. This did the same trick. Also, the April poem. And of course I love your selfies, it makes me happy to see your face!
    Oh! And I love the Doobie Brothers but especially that song.
    Ooof on getting rid of the playhouse, but the soul garden will be a thing of beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it too!

      I’ve noticed an increase in the number of bloggers taking selfies, which made me smile when I saw it in my Feedly feed yesterday. LOVE! 

      I’m looking forward to seeing the soul garden bloom. 💕


  9. When I saw your tattoo I squeeeeeeed! So happy for you! Awesome design too.

    Your selfies!!!! You glow with happiness. Of course your bday turned sunny & beautiful! Just like you! Happy Birthday!

    Fern is gorgeous! Look at how well she is doing! Omg that’s a turn around. (Totally random but I’ve always adored the name Fern. Excellent choice for a fiddle leaf fig.)

    Love the house plant message sign! Your mention of our ancestors watching over us, watching us break cycles reminded me that last night I had the best dream. I was hanging-out with my grandparents. Just spending time with them in a beautiful sunlit room with houseplants & comfy chairs (not anyplace I’ve seen) while they were waiting for my mom. And of course I remember this dream & start bawling… just as my phone rings. It was my mom. More bawling… 🙂

    The pics of your dogs…. awww. Seriously cannot get enough of them (and also your houseplants and beautiful light filled rooms).

    I’m glad your Birthday Month was filled with wonderful moments ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I squeeeeed, too! I love it so much.

      It was such a great month! Thank you so much, my friend!

      I’m so glad Fern survived. I was convinced she was a goner. She serves as a reminder that we can go through hard times and come out stronger on the other side.

      Oh, Maddie! I love this dream for you! You had visitors in your dream, for sure. All of those people were with you, and what a lovely way to spend time with them!

      It was a month full of plants, dogs, sunshine, and love. 💕


  10. I liked Suzanne’s comment because she mentioned all the things that were my very favorites, too. (Ted Kooser is one of my favorite favorite poets.) And that t-shirt! Where did you get it? I’m not sure which one I like more–that one, or the “I am not for everybody” one.

    There are so many things in this to love. I’m glad you had such an uplifting birthday month. My babies were supposed to be born in April, and I’ve always thought it would be such a great month for a person’s birthday. (They came in February. Not even close.) A time of coming into light and color and growth. Maybe you are in the spring of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fuck shirt is from this shop:
      So many shirts, so little money.

      The I am not for everyone shirt was in a shop and it was a ridiculous price, like 70 bucks. I found one similar online for 11.99 here:

      (PS-The shirts I’ve purchased from Crazy Dog are incredibly soft)

      I was actually due in May! But I love having April as a birth month. I was at Starbucks getting my free drink when the barista mentioned she was a fellow Taurean and that her birthday was in May…my due date. That felt very cool and universal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the links. Somehow, seeing all those “fuck” t-shirts made me like them less…But I do like the aesthetic. And now I’m wondering what I should suggest for a new one. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh that old lady’s video about menopause had me laughing while also feeling somewhat scared and horrified! LOL. I can not get over how much your fig has grown. And that reminds me that I need to go water all my plants…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was hilarious! I wouldn’t have needed to write my book if I had found her three years ago!

      I found a tip online about how to help fiddle leaf figs grow taller by clipping the bottom leaves every now and then, and that’s how they’ve thrived!


  12. Happy Birthday! It’s my birthday month too but I’m, you know, a decade or so older! Not that we’re counting. Love all the delicious links, the new tattoo, the darling dogs, and a womb for the soul! Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey, your toenails match the sky! Cool!!

    (That’s a less creepy version of Matt’s comment, lol. Not that Matt’s creepy.)

    We’re seeing tons of cardinals, too. And you know what? It never gets old!

    Liked by 1 person

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