Hi! I'm Kelly and I've been blogging for nearly nine years now. Where? Oh, you don't need to know that. Suffice it to say that I once lusted after lanky boys and shared intimate details online. And then my then-boyfriend-now-husband spent a day back reading and asked me to shut it down. So I did.
And then I popped up somewhere else. And I participated in fun games like online Survivor (which I ran one year) and made great friends. But it was a different life, and again one that was detailed in secret and behind my boyfriend's back. So when he proposed and I accepted, I decided to live life in the light and blog about us and our little family -- because honestly? That's enough to worry about!
Billy: My mountain man. Billy was born and grew up in the mountains of Tennessee and Georgia. He once tried to raft down the Emory River on a pool float. He wound up swimming/belly surfing for 2 miles with the float at the bottom of the river. Because that's what mountain folk do, I guess. He also attended a school where he was one out of twenty and worked at a sock sewing factory before relocating to the land of opportunity and meeting me. We were best friends as teenagers, but reconnected in 2001 when he came to visit his nephew, who happened to be my son.
Javier: The aforementioned son. Soul of my soul, light of my life. Javier was born to my sister in December of 2000. A mere three weeks earlier I had convinced her to allow me to raise him rather than put him up for a closed adoption. At the time, the deal was that I would raise him until she was able. But her boyfriend had other ideas and never wanted Javi to come back to their home. My sister was pregnant again 5 months later and I was so attached to my sweet baby boy that she couldn't have pried him out of my arms with a crowbar. Since his birth, Javi and I have been a little team. When he met Billy for the first time, he cried as though he'd seen a monster (shh, baby, he's from the mountains). Fast forward to now and Billy is now "daddy" and those two boys are the best of friends.
Isabella: Our little sunshine. Bella was born in April of 2007 to two very proud parents and an even prouder older brother. I honestly believe he thinks she's his baby, too. Bella is spunky and smart and funny. This is where I tell you that God closed a door (you know, when I got laid off at 7 months pregnant) and openned a window (I decided to try freelancing and it worked). I am so lucky to be able to work from home for the first 15 months of her life and spend all that time observing and documenting her development. She rules this roost, and I don't mind admitting it.
Me: I am the mother of two, wife of one, and sister of four. Whenever I think of myself in those terms I flash to something Sandra Cisneros once wrote: "I am nobody's mother and nobody's wife." I think this blog helps me remember that there is more to me than my relationship to others.
I double majored in English and Women's Studies while working part-time and running my school's literary magazine at UNC-Greensboro. I then studied Writing, Literature & Publishing at Emerson College in Boston where I interned at Harvard Magazine and Beacon Press. I also taught adult literacy, job skills, and computer literacy at different homeless and transitional living programs across the city. In my spare time, I worked as a publicity assistant for New Words Bookstore's reading series, which is now called The Center For New Words. Do I need to say that I had a love affair with Boston?
But one day I got the call that my sister was pregnant (again) and that she was giving the baby away. And my brain was split between "stay and have the life you've dreamed about" and "your family needs you." Did I mention I was slightly co-dependent and definitely grew up The Savior in my family? (My older sister is The Scape Goat and my younger sister is The Golden Child, just so you know.) I agonized over what to do and finally decided that I couldn't live with myself if I didn't at least try to keep this child in my life. So I went home for Christmas and came back with a baby.
And we made it work. I had an amazing best friend who helped me tremendously. Yet, after five long, cold, desperate months in Boston (where winters are killer), I had to admit defeat. We packed everything into a u-haul and made our way back to North Carolina. That one decision led me to Billy, and to Bella. It insured that Javi has a wonderful father and that I have the kind of husband I never believed I'd find. It opened up the doors to freelancing and gardening and good credit.
But inside of me, somewhere hard and shiny, is the dream of city life. Of walking and public transportation and city scapes. Of anonymity and diversity and free pitchers of beer simply for having a Southern accent.
I think those dueling aspects take form in this here blog. I hope you find something here you can relate to and something that makes you think. I hope you -- unlike so many others -- will simply get it.