A year ago today my sweet Penelope Mae was born. And with her arrival our lives were thrown into a chaos deeper, more tender, and joyous, and frightening than I’ve ever known. And the three of us–David, Penny, and me–have emerged from it all. We have stepped (yes, even the tiniest of us, stepped!) into the light. We survived.


I cannot put words to all the new feelings that live in my heart. I cannot explain or describe the myriad of ways in which I have changed in the last year, and the ways in which I have stayed exactly the same. I am always cracking open, each day a new split or break as I find even more ways to love my daughter and my husband and nearly burst with the immensity of it.

Motherhood is so hard. It is relentless and desperate and rewarding and magical. I am so fortunate to have an amazing network of support. People who have encouraged me, helped me, carried and sometimes even dragged me through this first year. I am so grateful to you all. Your friendship and kindness and wisdom has meant more than you can know.

But today is about Penny. My funny, cautious, curious daughter. I love her sing-song voice and her stoner laugh. I love that she inherited my nose-crinkled smile, and David’s incredulous facial expressions. I love that she is her own, whole person and each day I have the honor of getting to know her better. I am so excited to see more of who she’ll be.


Being Penelope’s mother is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Here’s to her first, shining year.

About Kelly

Kelly grew up in the suburbs of Boston, mere minutes from the Atlantic ocean. For several years she lived in New York City where she found the two loves of her life: Publishing and David. She moved to the Twin Cities for her husband, and eventually managed to pick up the pieces of her career as well. Although she’s learning to appreciate lakes, she misses the ocean ferociously.

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