Things I’d Tell My 17-Year-Old Self

1. I know you’re more worried about what’s going on at school right now than spending time with your family, but one day, you’ll enjoy being with your Mom so much you’ll take road trips to some really pretty places together.

(1a. Pay more attention to the things she writes to you in those cards she leaves on your bed.)

2. When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Take half the clothes and twice the money. (Heller)

3. Start each day by looking up. It’ll widen your horizon.

4. The human spirit needs places where nature hasn’t been rearranged by the hand of man. Take more walks in the woods!

5. You know all that weird “old stuff” your Mom thinks is so cool right now? (screen doors, stone chimneys, old windows) You’ll be crazy about it all one day, too.

(5a. You’ll love that kind of stuff so much you’ll even start a blog about it.) (PS- I know you don’t know what a blog is right now, but trust me, you’ll be crazy about those too one day.)

6. Those architectural drawings your Mom works on in her office may not intrigue you now, but one day, you’ll be passionate about drawing rooms to scale for people too. Ask her questions about what she’s working on and take notes!

7. This may be hard to believe, but weeding the garden isn’t going to kill you.

(7a. one day, you’ll wish you had enough time, talent and space to grow all the amazing things your Mom does!)

8. Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. (Einstein) Follow your heart and fight for your dreams!

9. Riding bike might not seem like a very “cool” thing to do right now, but one day you’ll see a grass green Schwinn cruiser that’ll take your breath away.

10. Buy a bike now and ride it whenever you can! There are awesome bike trails all over the place, just ask your Mom.

(PS- I know you get cold easily and worry about your bullet-proof bangs getting messed up, but most of the trails in your area are sheltered by woods. )

11. In late September, spend less time looking at Tiger Beat magazine, and more time looking at the trees explode with color.

(PS- You aren’t going to meet and marry Jon Knight from NKOTB. Don’t worry- there’s another music man out there whose heart has your name written all over it.)

12. Pay more attention in photography class. There’s a road from the eye to the heart that doesn’t go through the intellect, (Chesterton) and one day you’ll slam on the brakes to take pictures of things you don’t even notice are beautiful right now.

13. Ask your Mom to teach you how to cook. If you don’t take the time to learn how to do it now, you’ll be eating cereal, sandwiches and Stouffer’s when you’re 37. I’m not kidding.

14. Cherish the sky-blue painted wood floor in your bedroom. One day, you’ll want to paint the wood floors in your own home, but you’ll be too scared to do it!

15. Do not, I repeat, do not try to use a fire escape ladder to sneak out your second floor bedroom window. You will regret it. I promise.

16. Being grounded isn’t the worst thing in the world. When you get older, you’ll actually enjoy sitting still.

17. I hate to break it to you, but you will always be afraid of the dark. Invest in a good nightlight and take it with you wherever you go!

18. The 3’s of life are choices, chances, and changes. You’ve gotta make a choice to take a chance in order to change. (unknown)

(18a. The 4th C is Chex mix. Not only will you carry a bag of it wherever you go when you’re 37 years old, but you’ll also use it to king your checkers on one of the road trips you take with your Mom that year.)

19. Your Mom is totally right about that whole water thing. Sweat, tears, and the sea can cure anything.

20. At different points throughout your adult life, your inner fire will go out. Don’t worry. Spend time with people who can rekindle your inner spirit and don’t ever forget to tell them how much they mean to you.

21. When it comes to solving problems, dig at the roots. Don’t just hack at the leaves. (D’Angelo)

22. Sometimes, the most important thing in a whole day is the rest you take between two deep breaths. (Hillesum)

23. You might not ever figure out exactly what you want to be when you grow up, but that’s okay.

Your parents are totally cool with your artsy-fartsyness, and life is more about the journey than the destination.

24. Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. (D’Angelo)

25. Be like the color yellow as much as possible. Optimistic and cheerful!

26. Read more books. Someday you’ll want to write one.

27. Blog about your road trips with your Mom and include lots of pictures so you can relive the memories you shared with her for years to come.

Some of them will instantly transport you back to the day Mother Nature seemed to be celebrating her presence by showering her with crunchy “leaf confetti” every time the wind blew extra hard. (Remember how she had to guard her coffee from the celebration!)

Some of them will bring back memories of exploring interesting places, sipping wine out of tiny juice glasses, and making up your own rules because neither of you knew how to really play…

And fortunately, some of them will be there for you to witness over and over again…

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. says

    That was a really sweet and thoughtful post. What an amazing trip you’re taking with your mom. I hope to do that soon with my mom…and someday with my daughter.

    Thanks Layla…have a great rest of your trip!
    xo. Cassie

  2. Sarah Teske says

    Aww…this is so sweet. I think it’s awesome that you and your mom have such a great relationship.

  3. Valerie says

    I never comment, but I couldn’t let this post go without saying something. I agree with all of your thoughts and they even brought tears to my eyes! What a sweet and thoughtful post. Thanks for writing it!

  4. Dayla says

    Gorgeous photos and wonderful post! I love being (Mostly) Grown Up (31) and enjoying each memory I’m able to make with my mother (and father too)!

  5. says

    Layla, this is such an amazing tribute to your mother. Something you will both treasure for years to come. Blessings to you for honoring her in such a beautiful and heartfelt way.
    Happy travels,

  6. says

    Thank you! I am 36, and I feel like you wrote that post to my 17-year-old self! You brought tears to my eyes, for goodness sake (and I’m at work)! Just such a lovely post.

      • says

        Thanks Layla, I went back and read the post again, and wanted to mention that although I always loved riding bikes as a kid, it wasn’t until my 30’s that I went back and bought a 1973 grass green Schwinn! I can relate on so many levels to what you’ve written. Thanks again!

  7. says

    Love the photos. Love this line: You aren’t going to meet and marry Jon Knight from NKOTB.
    I spent way too much time rearranging his pictures (as well as the rest of the group) on my wall back in the day. I like to think I was preparing myself on how to make a gallery wall and it was not wasted time ;)

  8. says

    Oh my goodness! I LOVE this post! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it. I am sitting here thinking about my 17 year old self now. Your pics are great too! Thanks for sharing!

  9. says

    I loved every word of this post. It made me think of the blessing of having my mom and being a mom. and thankful that we don’t stay 17 for ever! amen.

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Darlene! And you’re right about being thankful that we don’t stay 17 forever…Amen to that! :-)

  10. Michelle says

    I never post, but that was so beautiful! It almost brought tears to my eyes! The pictures are amazing and what a great memory you and your mother are making now. Love it!

  11. says

    OMG. I am crying. What a beautiful piece of writing about spending time with your mum. It makes me miss mine. Wish I could jump on a plane right now to Scotland and go visit her. The pictures are glorious. I love the one of your mum drinking her coffee,that you took through the door. Beautiful piece that I would love to share..May I ?
    I also want to thank you on your ceiling idea’s we finished all our ceilings that needed replaced with the wood that you wrote about in your blog…

  12. says

    What a beautiful post! Love the photos and the advice, which is so very true. I enjoyed seeing your home in BHG’s new Christmas Ideas magazine! Blessings, Pamela

  13. Perfecting Pru says

    A beautiful post. It all resonated with me so much. I’m off to show it to my mum right now. Thank you.

  14. says

    This brought tears, joyful tears that you could appreciate the small moments and the beauty of your relationship with your mom. What a life changing trip, and you chose such unique places to stay. Can you tell us where that last, wonderful, multi-level treehouse with the hammock is? I must visit it someday :) Thank you for sharing.

    • Layla says

      Thank you Sandra! The treehouse shots, and everything in all the other photos, were taken at Camp Wandawega! :-)

  15. denise says

    Once again you’ve blessed my day! Thanks Layla! What precious memories you’ve made with your mother, knowing what a treasure they are. Now that mine is gone the precious memories are all the more sweet. Thank you for the reminder! Hugs!

  16. says

    Aw, loved it all, so true what we worry about when we are just so young, This too shall pass (I so wish I would have thought more about there being a season for things)

    Thank you Layla, beautiful journey inspiring words, grand memories with you Mom. :)

  17. says

    Love this! While you’re at it, could you swing by and tell these truths to my 17-year-old self, too? I’d be much obliged :)

    Thanks for reminding all of us to stop and take life in, once in a while.


  18. says

    Oh, I wanted to pin every picture in this post! I just might do that too. The biggest thing I’d tell my 17 year old self is that it is not the end of the world if you don’t get married and have babies…either right away or at all. I don’t regret getting married to my husband, but I do think we should have waited a year or two or four. College would have been a good idea.

  19. says

    What a neat post. Love all the things you say and love that you and your mom are so close. Reminds me of me and my mom. I also yearn to go to Camp Windings!

  20. jujubee says

    i have been reading you faithfully for a couple of years. this is the first time i have written (on any of the blogs i follow), but you were at your grandest today. so, so evocative. it needs to be published somewhere beyond your
    blog. probably most important, it is a great gift to your mother and a tribute to her mothering. and, it looks like you will be just as good a mom.
    by the way, i’m 71 years old.

  21. Letty says

    That was such a precious post. So many truths, lovely pictures, and a real sense of appreciation. The good thing is that your 17-year-old self made the journey to become the wise you today, so she was definitely on the right path, even back then.

  22. Cassandra says

    Wow! This was such a sincere and sweet post. Thank you for sharing it with us. I was fighting back tears of joy.

  23. says

    Oh Layla this may be my favorite post of yours! So true!
    I love your home stuff, but the heart stuff keeps my reading!

  24. Erin says

    Lovely post…I think I’m going to go call my Mom. Although if you really are 37 (like me) I think I will go and cry first. And then double the amount of anti-wrinkle serum I’ve been using. ;-).

  25. Gail says

    What a sweet post!! Makes me want to embrace life more and go hug my mom!! I have a date with her tomorrow walking around an old town full of antiques and going to lunch…I can’t wait!!


    P.S. If you’re wanting a good book to read, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp would be right up your alley! This post reminded me of that book…I just finished reading in a book club I’m in. ;) xo

  26. says

    This might be the best blog post I have ever read. I am 37 and I would love to be able to go back and tell my 17 year old self the same things.

  27. Michelle C. says

    Print and place this post somewhere you can reflect on it regularly, Layla. It is a treasure. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of the free world.

  28. says

    Wow, Layla, what a wonderful post!! Those photos are something else, girl. So happy you had this time with your mom & celebrated so many beautiful days together. You will treasure this time forever, I know. Hugs, my friend!

  29. Cynthia says

    That was beautiful…touching…and oh, so true. How I wish that I could have just a few more moments with my Mom. I don’t ordinarily comment, but this was one of the best blogs that I have read in a long time. The photos were exquisite. I forget how beautiful a Midwest Fall can be. Enjoy these precious moments with your Mother.

  30. says

    As I try to compose myself enough to compose this comment, I must first say thank you for sharing. Our oldest daughter began college this year. God blessed us with the most amazing young lady. Never did she think she would miss home,miss mom & dad, and miss the smell of home but she does. I was blessed to have her home for 2.5 days this past weekend and she wanted to do some of the things mom enjoys doing. Wow it was touching. Blessings

    • Layla says

      Oh, Roxanne! I’m so glad you were able to share an amazing weekend with your daughter! Thank you for sharing this special story with me…it truly warmed my heart! :-)

  31. says

    Every word you’ve written here rings true though I never tried the fire escape. Thanks so much for continuing to inspire me on so many levels.

  32. Elizabeth says

    I so love this on so many levels. It is a beautiful tribute to your relationship with your mother and the life lessons you’ve learned. It also hit especially close to home because I grew up going swimming at Lake Wandawega and my MIL is from Sparta. You captured so many emotions and then made them personal to me. Thank you!

    Now I think I am going to schedule a day to spend with my mom…just the two of us.

    • Layla says

      HI Elizabeth!
      How AWESOME that you grew up swimming on Lake Wandawega!!! And my bicycle ridin’ Mom LOVED Sparta! :-D
      I hope you have a beautiful day with your Mom!

  33. Melissa says

    This is such a thoughtful and beautiful post! Thank you! It brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my soul. Enjoy your wonderful trip!

  34. says

    you just made the most convincing statement in favor of time machines! How wonderful that you and your mom have such a special relationship! Enjoy your trip & by the way your photographs are beautiful!!!

  35. Beverly Palmer says

    This touched my heart and thank you for pouring out yours. Me and my mother don’t have a close relationship but you can bet your buttons that me and our 2 daughters will!

  36. Elaine says

    What an amazing post. Not only is it a beautiful tribute to your mom and your relationship with her, it’s an inspiration to others. I loved it. I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and I love it to bits, but this is my favorite post so far! Also, the pictures are gorgeious. Great job =).

  37. kelly in georgia says

    The beauty in this is amazing…beautiful images… beautiful thoughts, and a beautiful relationship.
    You made me cry.

  38. says

    This is the exact reason why I love your blog. It’s so thoughtful and inspiring. I just want to read, and re-read, and re-read some more, as I really related to everything you said. Thanks so very much for sharing. You are an awesome person, and the people who know you personally are very lucky to have you in their lives. :)

  39. says

    Layla, you are blessed and so lucky. Your trip sounds amazing and perfect for the soul. Cherish your mom, I wish I was lucky enough to have a mom who loved me and cared for me who would want to take trips with me. Your photos are beautiful and capture how special your trip is.

  40. Lisa says

    Brilliant! Thank you for taking the time to compose that post. I’m sure it has blessed many.


  41. Pamela says

    What a wonderful post, thank you for sharing your thoughts, photos, and some really great quotes. I came across your blog several months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve been going through a particularly difficult time in my life, and many of your posts, especially this one, have lifted my spirits and helped me to look at the bigger picture. Thank you again. :)

  42. Sarah V says

    Growing up nearby, and still living in the area, it’s almost surreal to see you post familiar pictures. That wood-clad mill barn in Springfield? It lives in my memory, so it was suprising to see it here. Love!

  43. bethanie henry says

    Oh Layla…you made me so homesick for my mom and Grandma. Living 800 miles away from them, it doesnt take much. I have learned over the years, (when I accepted the fact that I would probably always live 800 miles away…) that I need to cherish every moment I have with my mom and Gram, and I do. Also that I need to cherish every moment I have with my daughters. My oldest is a senior, and I cant tell you how many times I’ve thought, “this is our last…” Today was “our last last day of fall break”.” we went to see Footloose!
    Your post is beautiful, thank you for your words. They touched me today. xoxxo

  44. kelly says

    This maybe, just maybe, is the best post you have ever written. While I love the transformation of your home, objects, and design – its the transformation of growing up, growing back and growing together that speaks to the heart the most. thanks for the reminder…I now need to call my mom…

  45. Nancy says

    I love this post. It’s a wonderful thing how much closer daughters become to us as they come into their twenties. I love spending time with mine and I can tell your mom loves spending time with you. And obviously you feel the same.

  46. MyFrogs says

    I love what I call “slammy doors”, the kind of screen door on a spring, that bounce off the house when they slam closed. There was one on my great gmas house. I can’t see one and not think of her and her house in Louisiana. Some day I’ll have a house I can put one on.

  47. Lisa Mac says

    I really enjoyed this post. I shared it with my daughters aged 22 and 17. Thank you for your insight and pictures. Blessings to you and your beautiful mom.

  48. says

    I have a 17 year old daughter…you just gave me HOPE!.. Someday I may come to find out that she really did appreciate the things we took the time to do for/with her, the people we were, the lessons she learned. That was just a FABULOUS post. Thank you!

  49. Jody says

    Love this (I live in WI and from MN) and you’ve captured our lands in these photos..and the essence of it all. And, Im writing down your quotes to share with my four boys as they grow! (6 and 4 year triplets) Thank you. Great post.

  50. Erin says

    This post brought me near to tears. Such beautiful memories and gorgeous scenery for your mom and you to enjoy together. And seriously, what an enchanting treehouse! I hope you were able to enjoy a glass of wine and dance around like a little kid in there cause that’s what I’d be doing!

  51. Susan B. says

    I read your blog everyday and have never commented but today I have to say Thank You, beautiful.

  52. says

    This may be the most beautiful post you’ve ever done. For lots of reasons. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I give thanks for you,
    Mz V

  53. says

    Thank you for such a very, very thoughtful post. Some day, when you are older, you will be thankful for this time you had to spend with your mom. Now, if we could only get those 17 year olds to read this!

  54. Cindy Logan says

    What a beautiful post!!!! My Mom has been gone 8 years now. This reminds me of how much I have missed out on in the last 8 years.

  55. says

    Hi, what a wonderful post! You made me think about being 17 & oh my, I would have never thought at 17 I would be living with my mom, dad, gram & gramp at 39! Going on 3+ years & loving i….most of the time :) I’m so glad that you are getting the opportunity to spend fun quality time with your mom :) At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, it’s all that really matters :)

  56. cookingmel says

    I’m a long time reader, and I think this might be my first time commenting – although your blog always makes me smile. Having lost my Mom entirely too young (I was 25, she was 47)… It was so nice to read your latest post. I’m so happy for you that you are able to be “in the moment” and enjoy your time together. Thank you for sharing. Melissa

  57. says

    This was truly beautiful and moving. & so true.. I live 20 hours from my mom due to the military & I would give anything in the world to be closer to her & I would tell my 17 year old self to hang out with her as much as possible because she is simply amazing!!! Thank you for the post { I cried}

    Liz Marie

  58. says

    I love this post, Layla.

    My mom died when I was 36 years old. So it’s really poignant for me to read this. I find myself intensely grateful that you recognize the deep worth of your mom. And it makes me wish I had a daughter! Daughters-in-law someday, I hope. :)

    Thank you for sharing your sweet thoughts and your beautiful pictures. Reading this made my day.

  59. says

    Moms are the best…. it’s my prayer that my own children feel about me the same way I feel about my mom and you feel about yours. What a wonderful post to share….I think I’ll go call my momma now :)

  60. says

    oh so lovely, my friend. can’t wait to hear all about it. I hope this trip has been so very rejuvenating for you…you deserve it!

  61. says

    This brought tears to my eyes. How much I didn’t appreciate when I was 17! And to think that sometimes the highlight of my day may not be my kids or my husband, but the two hours I get to spend with my mom learning to sew button holes on my daughter’s new pajamas. Life is too short.

  62. says

    Looks like you and your pretty Mom had a wonderful time Layla, enjoy every minute!! My Mom passed away 6 years ago today…..loved reading your post.

  63. says

    That sounds lovely. I’m not too much older than 17, so I’m really taking your words to heart. Your mother sounds a lot like the kind of mother I want to be someday. Thank you for sharing and take care.

  64. Dorothy Brown says

    Goodness. This brought tears to my eyes. The photos are gorgeous, and the accompanying text is wonderful. It doesn’t hurt that I lived in Wisconsin until I graduated from college and that my late mother was convinced there was nowhere on earth as wonderful as her beloved state! It makes me wish I could spend more days with her as you have with your own mother. I’m so glad you appreciate it all. Thank you.

  65. tracyo says

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. I had to choke back the tears. Just beautiful Layla!! You and your mom are very lucky people to have each other. I have a wonderful relationship with my mom who is now in a nursing home.

  66. says

    Your post is beautiful. It makes me sad remembering the fun and crazy things that my mom and I used to do together, made me miss her more. But, also makes me look foward to all the memories I am going to make with my daughter.
    Thank You!

  67. says

    If we had only known! I agree, and my husband is sitting here depressed after I showed him the camp. He said we should have dreamed bigger!

  68. robin allen says

    Your mom ROCKS>… I want to lay on her bed in the tent, climb into the tree house, eat chex mix, view the trees, leaves and sunsets with her, I am a wee bit older than your mom, I MISS my mom she had been in heaven for nearly 11 yrs….what a treasure this trip would have been for us….it will truly become one of your most CHERISHED memories….as you age you my dear, will come to understand her love for you even more….these are the good times and make life just more fun….LOVE her….daily….I love her and don’t even know her….have a wonderful time with your mom…..

  69. Geri says

    Hi Layla.
    I was wondering where you were after you got back from vacation with your mom. I am glad I found out you went to heaven and back and shared it with us all.
    I was not blessed with a relationship with my mother, but I had the most loving awesome Grammy and auntie. all I ever wanted was my kiddies to feel about me the way you feel about your mom all the time. I am blessed and I thank God for my kiddies loving me and even better liking me and calling me their friend. You made us all smile and cry. You made your mom’s heart fill to the brim with love and joy. She is so proud of the that 17 year old girl then and now. Thank you for that from the heart post.

  70. says

    LOVE this post Layla! It was perfect and amazing! Im going to have to find a way to put your 3 C’s on paper some way some how….It needs to be hung up all over my house!!

  71. Morag says

    I am totally hooked on your blog. I just found your site this past July and since then have gone back and read every post you and your wonderful husband have ever done. Every morning when I turn on my computer your blog is my first and often my only stop. I have been lost this past week without your posts, but this one was well worth the wait. FANTASTIC! You are an inspiration on so many levels. I wish you luck with all your endeavors, but please don’t stop posting.

  72. Jessica says

    Absolutly beautiful! Thank you for sharing this experience with your mother. I am 34 years old and my mother is my best friend. We don’t live near each other, but she is actually coming to see me this weekend for my birthday. I have been married for 15 years and we have 5 children! I pray that one day my children feel the same about me. I would love to plan a vacation with my mother. That is a wonderful idea! Again, thanks for posting this part of your lifes journey for all of us.

  73. Deneen says

    Ok you got me! Tears feel because of the sweet genuine words you used. I hope my daughter will be looking back at all the special times we have had together and cherish them like that. I never met your mom but she must be a special lady because I met you and you give out a spark! Keep it glowing.

  74. Linda says

    Oh Layla! This must be your best blog ever! Beautiful pictures, beautiful sentiments, beautiful you!


  75. says

    Awesome post. Loved it. Beautiful pictures, Fantastic trip with mum. To live where you live!! The scenery takes my breath away.

  76. Jil says

    Aw, Layla. This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for touching our hearts and lives. I think all of our 17 year old selves appreciate this sage advice. :) <3

  77. Roxanna says

    What a lovely post. Such a blessing to be able to share this time with your mother and wonderful memories to cherish.

  78. Alicia says

    I’m 25 and I’ve been following your blog for a long time now, but I’ve never commented until now.
    Your posts always make me feel like I’m coming up for air, out of the thickness of how life is… allowing me to see how it could be.
    This post especially speaks to me, as 17 was a major turning point in my life. Reading about your relationship with your mother makes me yearn for one just like it. I can tell that your future children will be blessed to have parents like you and Kevin. It makes me wish that I’d had an opportunity to be included in a loving family, like yours, after my parents passed away. Thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us; and for sharing your home with children who could truly use a love as bright as yours.

  79. Julie B. [Holland] says

    Layla, just loved this post and the all the photos. I just lost my Mom in June, so this post meant alot to me, thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts with us.
    There is always, always, ALWAYS, something to be thankful for. ………….. Julie :)

  80. says

    What a beautiful post, Layla! I wish you and your mum have many more such road trips and I wish God lets you again see the beauty in them

  81. says

    The pictures are really beautiful. I wanted to step inside each of them. And your mother is really beautiful, too. She looks very much like a good friend of mine who lives in a lakeside cabin in Kentucky and makes handmade soap. We don’t get that kind of fall in Florida and something in me actually craves it. I really enjoyed this post.

  82. says

    Layla, I think I love your decorating eye so much because it speaks to the part of me that loves Fall and home so much. Something in me says, “Yes, that is how that room should look!” I have so enjoyed watching the success of your blog and the life that you and Kavin are building.

  83. Anna-Ruth Murphy says

    Thanks for such a beautiful & well written post! Your mom seems like a wise woman…I love her “water” philosophy….

  84. says

    I have read and re-read this blog post. By the time I got to the photo of your mum (mom) sitting on the deck through the flyscreen door I had tears rolling down my face. I need to ring my mum.
    Thanks for the gentle reminder to be present and grateful for life.
    Cheers Kylie

    • Layla says

      That photo gets me every time too, Kylie!!!
      I hope you had a nice conversation with your Mum, and thank you for leaving such a sweet comment- I really appreciate it! :-D

  85. says

    Can I just say that now I know where you get your inspiration and style! This post was amazing! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  86. jaxcheryl says

    Beautiful and so full of wisdom we never seem to learn until we get older. I’m crying, wishing for one more road trip with my 90 yr. old mom, who is now blind and unable to travel. I wish I had enough sense at your age to document those past trips like you did instead of just a few photos. Keep making these memories.

  87. says

    That was so wonderful…both the images and the words of wisdom. My mom passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. Believe me, you are so right on so many of your points. What a treasure to have had this road trip for you and your mom.
    Love the tree house!

  88. says

    Layla~ so beautiful! My mom passed away suddenly in July. It has been so hard. There are some times when I am feeling strong that I can look back special little things we did together and smile…drives in the country…nights out on the town…this trip will be treasured forever. Moms are so special!!!

  89. says

    Just beautiful. Amazing thoughts (and gorgeous photos!) to start my day, and what a wonderful tribute to your mother and your sweet time spent together! Thanks for sharing!

  90. says

    I’m only 6 weeks away to give birth to my 3rd child. I love my mother but she’s too far away, and all that I really wish in my soul right now is to mean something to my kids as your mother means to you. Be a good mother is my biggest goal in life. So hard sometimes… interesting, but no matter how much you give to yourself you’ll always wonder if you’re doing right. I hope I am.

    This post touched my soul.


    Luciane at

  91. Paulette says

    Oh my word, what incredible pictures/memories…and being with your Mom! So many of your comments resonated…I was way too cool and much too busy to appreciate the time with my parents and now some of my fondest memories are those childhood scenes. Thanks for a beautiful post, Layla!

  92. says

    Oh my Layla, what a lovely post! Sometimes I wish I could go back to that time and do things over again, but back then I wouldn’t have listened to such sage advice. Thanks so much for sharing!

  93. Ashley in Nashville says

    It’s interesting that you should post this today, as I decided just last night that I need to spend more time talking and walking with my mom. Thanks for the reminder!

  94. SuzyMcQ says

    You’ve accomplished some pretty incredible decorating, but this is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever done. The best quote….your own about sweat, tears and salt water. I love that.

  95. says

    Lovely post! I’d also tell her that nothing lasts forever, not the good or the bad. Learn from the bad and take the time to enjoy the good!

  96. Candace D says

    It’s amazing how much wiser we get when we get older! This was beautiful and the photos are so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  97. says

    Layla, as I read this post, I began to cry. Your words are what I would tell my own 18 year old daughter right now. We have had a distant relationship for the past few years, and everyone keeps telling me that it will get better when she “grows up”. And recently she has moved out into an apartment, and I think our relationship is on its way to healing. Spending time with your mother is something you can carry in your heart forever. I am spending the weekend up in Traverse City, Michigan this weekend with my mother and sister, visiting winerys and enjoying the changes of colors that Michigan offers so willingly. I hope to one day share that with my own daughter. But until then, I will continue praying and hoping. Thank you so much for sharing your photos, your thoughts and your memories. I love all the things you share here on your blog. Hugs to your mom, from another mom! Peace.
    – Karina

  98. Karen says

    I am totally in love with the post. I will definitely be forwarding this on to my daughter so many miles away. One of my goals is to take a long road trip with her.

  99. Joanne says

    Layla..I have always looked forward to seeing what you and your husband are up to, but this post was by far my favourite. I lost my mother this past May and I have to say what I read today brought tears to my eyes. Tears of gratitude for the things I got to do with her and tears of sadness for the things we never got to do. Your writing is just beautiful. Thank you.

  100. says

    This is just beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes! I am 56 years old and very close to my 78 year old mother and my 27 year old daughter. These thoughts are all so true. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve copied a few of your “words of wisdom” to use sometime! Thanks for sharing these lovely thoughts! :)

  101. Jackie M says

    Tiger Beat! LOL, my 17 year-old self was doing the same thing! Sigh…now if only I could find MY own cute music man :)

  102. patty reed says

    Wow… i am at work and tearing up at my desk trying to look serious..I always love your posts, but this one was over the top….. i would say so many of the same things to my younger me…
    I would love a trip like this with my mom.. Im pea green with envy!
    So glad you had a great time!

  103. Judy says

    You have obviously touched many people with this well-written, sensitive post…I, too, have that special relationship with my daughter, and I know she will pay it forward with her three girls. Your mom is truly honored by your simple, personal expression of love and wisdom. Thank you.

  104. Pattyb says

    WOW! Thanks for sharing…just a wonderful, helpful, inspiring post! I am going to send this to my teen-age nieces! WHAT a Blessing!~ Bless you~

  105. says

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am so guility of rushing, rushing, rushing…no matter what day it is-it’s always filled with lots of things to check off. I have been so busy getting my own blog up and running and spending every waking hour getting all those Halloween/Fall posts up and on the blog. Yesterday, I just stopped-called my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law to see if they wanted to go to lunch. I called my husband and we all met for lunch-something that hasn’t happend in a while. I felt so content and happy afterwards. Your post today just reiterated to me that I did the right thing! By the way…my new blog is and I KNOW THAT YOU WOULD BE INTERESTED IN SEEING MY PICTURES FROM THE COUNTRY LIVING FAIR IN ATLANTA LAST YEAR (I didn’t share these pictures with anyone last year because I was waiting to get my blog up and going. I was busy beating breast cancer (I’m 37) and held a lot of my ideas until I could get things going. Thanks so much for your inspiration daily! Heidi in Atlanta

  106. says

    What a GREAT [pst…it made me miss my momma!!! So thankful you and your mom had such a great time and you will treasure those memories…WOW – what wisdom & great advice!!!

  107. Ann W says

    What do you mean, Jordan Knight? You got your own rock star. That afraid of the dark thing goes away eventually. You also stop having dreams about being late for final exams. Love this post. I want that tree house. Ann

  108. says

    Layla …. that was beautiful.
    What a beautiful journey / trip post. It sounds like you are having an amazing time and really soaking it all in. We all have those days when we wish we could talk to our teenage self. You put so many of those things perfectly. What great inspiration!!! Makes me feel really lucky that my mama is coming to have lunch with me today.
    – Carrie

  109. Jane-Ellen says

    You hit the nail on the head girl! I just got back from a trip with my mom to Seattle, WA and Vancouver, CA! I can truly say that at 52, I should have done it sooner, so glad that you and your mom have. Note to self, take trips with my boys, starting now!!! Thanks!

  110. Gail Lane says

    Wow Layla! What a wonderful post! It brought tears to my eyes. I wish I’d learned all these things when i was only 37. You are very lucky to know these things now AND to have such a wonderful friendship with your mom. I had to wait a lot longer to stumble onto most of these wonderful truths.

  111. Wendy M. says

    Wonderful post Layla. When I was about your age, my mom and I took trips together in the fall for a number of years. Once down thru Pennsylvania, another time up thru northern Ontario. The leaves were beautiful, the little towns so quaint, the shops so interesting, and the company so great! I have those memories to treasurefor the rest of my life. We are older now and I am so blessed to still have my mom in my life. Even if she isn’t ‘up to’ taking those type of jaunts anymore, we still are very close and go out most every Sat. afternoon to nose around at some shop or another. May you and your mom be blessed with many trips and years to come!

  112. says

    What a lovely post, Layla (and such beautiful photos!). What a blessing to be able to spend this time with your mother, and she with you. And I can’t imagine a more perfect spot to spend some quiet time in together. Your words and photos express perfectly how special this trip and your time together was. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all to take time, make time, and spend more of it with those who are dear to us. Blessings. :)

  113. Jamie O says

    That was a beautiful post and so true….it truly is amazing how all those things are so much more important when you get older!

  114. says

    Your post has me both laughing and crying, sometimes at the same moment. And I know my comment is incredibly shallow compared to your post, but, really, you are 37? You look so young!
    I took the liberty to use the sentence you found in an antique stote somewhere in your road trip and frame it for a colleague of mine who’s having a real hard time in life…

  115. says

    Hey Layla,
    I have to say this is one of my all time favorite posts you have written. Probaly because it so close to home, of where I am these days! Thanks for being so open and honest. The pictures were awesome as well, and I want to go to that camp with my husband!

  116. says

    what a gorgeous story. it was such a treat to have met your mom (& you!!) in person. thank you SO much for paying our little campground a visit :) you are a talented beyond words and a true inspiration to more folks that you can possibly imagine. thank you for sharing your views, photos, stories -and yourself- with the world. we all love you!

  117. Angela says

    Such a beautiful post, Layla! You’re so blessed to have such a wonderful mom, and she a wonderful daughter! I don’t have the pleasure of that sort of relationship with my own mother but pray that my daughter (soon-to-be 13!) & I will enjoy a relationship much like yours with your mom when she is grown!
    P.S. I was sure I was going to marry Jordan but am so very glad I didn’t! ;)

  118. Molly says

    I absolutely love this post. Reminds me of the amazing relationship I have with my own mom. Everything you wrote is so true..I’m going to start taking notes :)

  119. Robbie Zeller says

    Layla, Thank you for this beautiful blog. The pictures and especially your words brought joy to my heart! I hope one day I will be fortunate to have a trip with my sweet girl just like yours!

  120. Carol says

    LOVED this posting! Very thought provoking. Thank you for your sharing and I think I really like your mom:)

  121. says

    Your post took my breath away. I think I will have to actually go back and look at the pictures. It really really touched my heart. I can’t wait to borrow some of these quotes…love the three C’s.
    Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us:)

  122. Gloria McMahon says

    I loved this!!! I am going to have my 18 year old daughter read it! Thankfully, she is coming over to “our side”. We spent Saturday scouring yard sales and antique stores here in New Hampshire. She loves the idea of the two of us starting a mother/daughter blog together too~! Love your blog and your story.

  123. Lisa says

    Lovely post. -Made me miss taking roadtrips with my mom, but she’s 82 and not quite up to it these days. I guess its important to always savor those opportunities and memories. -And ah, the things I wish I’d known at 17! : )

  124. stacy says

    What a beautiful post! I am going to make my 10 year old daughter read this…and also my 67 year old mother who can’t find the “right” time to retire!
    Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

  125. Susan says

    This is just a beautiful post, Layla. My mom died of ovarian cancer at age 68, and I never got to take a trip with her.

    Add #28–cherish every moment with your mother and tell her you love her often, because you have no idea how much you will miss her until it’s too late.

  126. says

    I have to say this made me a little teary- thanks =)
    I’m going to share your Mothers Quote about sweat tears and sea- on FB….and I’m saving this post on pinterest….so I will never forget how blessed-ed life is.
    Thanks dear one- Have a Happy Day.

  127. says

    What a wonderful post. Gorgeous photos. I would have a fair few things to say to my 17 year old self too.

    Don’t be embarrassed by your parents would be one. No one thinks you’re ‘uncool’ for hanging out with them.

    Do what you think is right not what everyone else is doing.

    Don’t sleep the day away.

    I could go on forever but you’ve definitely got me thinking. It might be a nice thing to write down for my kids (when I have them) while I can still remember being 17!

  128. debra says

    Oh my, Layla – who are you? This is a truly magnificent post. Touching, profound and so, so deeply wise. You are my new hero. Debra

    • Layla says

      Well thank you for leaving such a sweet comment, Debra! I really appreciate your kind words and I’m so happy to “meet” you tonight! :-D

  129. debra says

    Hi Layla – me again! I’ve just read a number of the above comments. Yikes – it sounds like you brought alot of people to tears. As such, I bet they as much as I, would love to hear how you feel about this outpouring (no pun intended) of what? – gratitude, affection, awe… Will you respond?

    • Layla says

      Hi again! :-D
      I am so touched by all the heartfelt comments on this post. I teared up several times while putting it together, and reading through the comments has been a very emotional experience too! :_-)

  130. Jenny Walker says

    I lost my mom 4 years ago yesterday. This was an incredibly beautiful tribute to your mom. Treasure every moment you have have with her. This is the best post you have ever done…!

  131. Sierra says

    Please please please tell me where that amazing tree house is! I need to visit it with my mom!

  132. Jane H says

    I can only hope my daughters might cherish time with me the way you clearly do with your mother. And, while I am not certain your 17 year-old self would have understood the messages you so beautifully conveyed, I do believe her 37 year-old self took in the experiences in a very meaningful way. You remind me of a quote from Jack London’s To Build a Fire – only I need to modify it a bit: (S)he was intelligent in the ways of life, but [not] only in the ways, but also in the significances… Your mother must be beyond proud of the woman you have become, and are becoming.

  133. says

    So far, my most favorite post you’ve done. I would tell myself many of the same things (we are the same age) and you’ve made me want to take a road trip with my mom whom I already get to see many times a week. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post. Just beautiful.

    • Layla says

      Thank you Mindi!
      I hope you do take a road trip with your Mom, and that you have an amazing time together! :-D

  134. says

    I think that this is my very favorite post of yours – ever. I love it on so many levels – the insight, the trip with your mom, the message. Bravo my friend – brilliant!

  135. says

    :) This made me smile! You have such a sweet spirit. I’m so glad you enjoy spending time with your Mom so much! That’s really awesome. My mom and I are really close too and I don’t know what I’d do without her. I’d be saying alot of the same things to my 17 year old self! I’d add,,,wear a bra everyday, the girls aren’t gonna be perky forever! LOL ;)

  136. says

    Beautiful. I have to save these since I would have told it to myself as well… I was going for Jordan back then :)

    If you do not mind, I will share Einstein quote on my FB page. That is the best!
    Hugs, Ilke

  137. Julie says

    Oh, that was so lovely. You made me cry. You made me call my mom. And you made me paint my kitchen yellow. :)

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post.

  138. Cheryl says

    How beautiful….what sentiment. I really wish my daughter could understand the big picture in life now…but I suppose that is just part of growing older. We definately get wiser with age and are able to look back at the drama of all the little things that occured during our youth with a much smarter perspective. Well most of us can.
    It is great that you and your mom were able to have this time together. It gives me a great idea and want to do a road trip with my 3 sisters and my mom before out time is up with her.

  139. says

    Absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I don’t have that kind of relationship with my mother anymore, but I can start my own traditions with my sons. I’ve been wanting to start and I suppose this entry has pushed me closer to that path. Thank you for such a briliant post. I can tell this really came from a special place inside of you.

  140. Miss Daleen says

    You have a lovely way of sharing. It was a treat to read your blog today (and always). You have a unique way of sharing grace and sweetness. Every single time I check in with your blog I feel like I just opened a special gift just for me.

    Thank you, simply thank you.

  141. Anne says

    Layla, such an inspiring post! I truly value each comment and got teary eyed reading through this. Absolutely lovely! BTW your mom is a beautiful woman, please pass it on. I so enjoy your blog and view it daily. Thank you again.

  142. Bonnie says

    Beautiful post and oh so very true. I wish I could have told my 17 year old self the same thing. And try very hard not to forget what you’ve written as you go forward. I’m 44 years old, I lost my 65 year old mother in May. All I have are sweet memories & pictures, won’t be making any new ones. It makes those memories so much more a treasure. Such gloriously beautiful treasure, wrapped in a drop-you-to-your knees desire to be able to make just one more…

  143. Holly says

    That is a beautiful post. I still have tears in my eyes as I write this. I have four daughters and will be sharing this with them. What you wrote is so true!! I also live in WI and know theses places :) I love jumping in the car with my camera on any given day and snapping pictures of the roadside scenes. It is a pretty cool place to live!

  144. AzieBazie66 says

    I have a 22-year-old daughter and she is just beginning to recognize many of the thoughts you have blogged about today. Its such a beautiful thing to watch them discover all the wonders life has to offer. You appreciate them even more.

  145. says

    i’m pretty certain all i need to tell myself at 17 is to stop being so hard on my mom, that one day well before i am even 40 she won’t be around and i’ll miss her desperately.

  146. says

    Simply beautiful words and photos! My hasband is from Wisconsin, I think he has been holding out! I have a 17 yr old daughter I wish I could have her read it AND that is would sink in! If only we would have listened when we were young! thanks

  147. says

    Oh my friend, this is so beautiful! Your mom must be so proud of such a thoughful daughter with such a wonderful spirit. It looks like you’re making real memories there, so delighted to see this landscape through your eyes!

  148. says

    Shut the front door!!!! When I saw Sparta Bike Statue I about died. You have no idea how many times I have been in that town. Ft. McCoy is right down the road and my husband was stationed there for 4 years.
    Also, I grew up in Black River Falls and now live in Eau Claire.
    You totally were up in my hood girl.

  149. Jaci says

    Beautiful, perfect, sweet, intelligent, and straight from the heart. I loved it. I cried, I chuckled…I think I will call my mom! :)

  150. says

    What a beautiful post, Layla. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. It’s…..beautiful….like the teary eyed kinda beautiful.

    I TOO was going to marry a New Kid. Mrs. Donald Edmund Wahlberg. I am NOW a very happy Mrs, David James Allison. He has Donnie’s lips though….my goodness does he have Donnie’s lips! LOL

  151. says

    This was a fantastic post. I lost my mom this past summer to cancer and so many of these things were things she said to me growing up. And I hear myself repeating them to my 7 year old daughter. Oh how I would love to hear my mom say these things just one last time. And hear her laugh when she would hear me repeat them as well. May the memories of your trip warm your soul for years to come.

  152. Melanie says

    Absolutely perfect! This intimate, very real post brought tears to my eyes. I am deeply touched by your words and photos. You and Miss Mama are beautiful women. I can see her wisdom, grace and peaceful spirit shine through, not only the photos but through you and you thoughts and outlook during your time together! Truely a blessing! Seemingly, she has done a fabulous job as a Mother and friend and I believe you will be just as lovely when your time is called. I kept thinking, boy, if I could actually get one 17 yr old to belive me when I tried to explain these things to them-oh how my soul would be fed, the very feeling you brought forth while I read this. Thanks for the bottom of my heart and part of my gizzard! I needed that cleansing breath though I was not able to experience the great trip and company you had-the post delivered fully! Layla, you ROCK! Kevin is a lucky man =)

  153. Anne says

    “The cure for anything is salt water~ tears, sweat, or the sea.”
    Isak Dinesen

    Love it! So true!

  154. Allyson says

    Wow. That is a beautiful post. You could bind it and it would be one of those little books I’d have sitting on a table by a chair to look at for inspiration. It really is touching. I’m wiping little tears from my eyes. Thanks.

  155. says

    This is beautiful! So many good quotes in here, I may have to do this for myself!

    And… I thought I was the only one who liked Jon from NKOTB best! Glad to know I’m not alone :)

  156. says

    Catching up on my blog reading and I got to this post. Am now sitting in my office with both my eyes and heart full. Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts, hopes and pictures!

  157. Leslie says

    Love this so much! At (almost)50, I find my 23-year-old daughter such a delight – my favorite girl on the planet! Hope we can roadtrip like this one day soon! (Where on earth is the treehouse looking place? With the hammock beneath? Can I go there?) Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt post!

  158. says

    I cannot think of anything lately that has touched my soul so much. It really puts life into perspective. This post is truly a masterpiece on the insights of life! Bravo!!

  159. Tanya says

    Layla you made me cry and I NEVER cry.

    I miss my mum so much right now – what I wouldn’t give to have received that note at 17. I didn’t get the chance to appreciate my mum nor tell her the things I should have.

    Appreciate your mum extra for me.


  160. amberglow says

    i didn’t comment yesterday but the posting has stayed with me and i wanted to tell you that i sent it to my 30 yr old dtr….not so much as a message to her but to have a perspective on motherhood (which is, hopefully, in her future!) all the things that you do with love and joy do carry on in your children, sometimes we forget how important the little daily things are. thank you, layla

  161. raylene karns says

    Thank you for reminding me how much I enjoy my Mom’s company. At 83 and 54, we still laugh, learn and share with each other. Now, I will send this to my grandchildren because you have said this so perfectly! Thank you again for sharing, Raylene

  162. says

    I know you wrote this post, but read this while listening to “Draw Me Nearer” by Meredith Andrews. I was just going through a million blogs listening to Pandora and that song came on while I was reading this post and it almost brought a tear to my eye (almost, I can’t cry at work lol). What a sweet post about your mom!

  163. Janita says

    Please turn this into a small book Layla; it’s magnificent! I lost my mom when she was just 64 so missed many years to take more trips like this. Those we did take looked a lot like you and your moms. I’m going to share all your wisdom with my 15 year old…thank you for this wonderful post and the follow up. (It took me two tries to read them thru the tears. :-)

    PS my childhood bike: the Schwinn Green Breeze. My Tiger Beat men: Davy Jones and Bobby Sherman

  164. Karen says

    Brilliant! The only thing I would add is this:

    Bullies will always be there. Ignore them when you can. If you can’t, fight them with the truth.

    • Kayce says

      This is my favorite post. Ever. I laughed and cried. Thank you for sharing from your heart…it caused me to think about life and search my own heart. Beautifully written!

  165. says

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts and gorgeous images. Makes me think of my mom and some of our trips together. Just sent it to all my sisters – who I’m sure are remembering how special she made each of us feel. You and your mom are lucky (and deserving) to have each other!!!

  166. says

    Amazing! I just dedicated a floral photograph to my mom, at my RedBubble site, and found your site through someone else, (I don’t even know how I got here) but I guess I was meant to see this awesomely, wonderful post!

    It’s so heartfelt and lovely, thank you for sharing! Hugz to you and your mom! Aren’t moms the best, best, BEST things in the world???


  167. Peggy says

    I so wish I had known some of these things when I was 17! I read through the post with tears in my eyes. It is so great that you get to travel with your mother now. And to share the same interests is so cool. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that age and know what I know now.

    I never really fought with my mum, but I didn’t try very hard to get to know her either. She was always rushing somewhere, work, laundry, meal preparation, cleaning. And I helped out, but only when asked. I wish I would have volunteered because she had so much on her shoulders.

    My dad passed away 2 years ago and I now have my mum living with me. Well, back and forth between my house and my little sister’s house. She is 93 years old now and I know I’m not going to have her forever. I cherish every single minute with her now.

    Mom loves to work in the garden and for a 93-year-old lady, she can work! I spent all last week putting together a surprise for her. She is with my sister, but comes home to me in December. I made a raised planter bed on wheels so she can plant and tend to her own little garden without having to bend down. I’m so excited to see her face when she sees it. And I hope it holds together! I’ve never built anything before, so this may fall apart when I get the soil in it. Wish me luck!

    And thank you for sharing that post with us. It made my heart swell

  168. Belinda says

    A beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your heart with us….And reminding all of us mothers and daughters alike what is really important!

  169. says

    I love your post, I often think what would I have told my 17 year old self. But the person I was would have said no that will not happen, your wrong….lol I really got this line
    Cherish the sky-blue painted wood floor in your bedroom. One day, you’ll want to paint the wood floors in your own home, but you’ll be too scared to do it!
    I think back as a kid and it was so easy to make choices and you just did it and hope it worked out. But as an adult we know some things cant be undone so we hold back. We have been in our home for a 1 1/2 now and its sad to say we still have enrty that is blank nothing but texture cause I dont want to pick the wrong paint color….lol so sad! Part of me wants to pick a color that is bright and cheerful but then the safe michelle says no go with basic beige color. I am so confussed its at times like these I wish I coul dbe a kid again, she would have picked a colro by now and had it done….lol

  170. Rebecca says

    Thank you for this post! I loved seeing pictures of your trip and your time with your mom. I would love to do this with my mom and sisters! Thanks for the inspiration….I want to get on planning it now!

  171. says

    LOVED this post! Loved the sentiments, loved the tree house and have been by the building in Springfield many a time… love that too! Thank you for sharing with your friends in cyber-space!

  172. Susan says

    #22 has always been my favorite number and your #22 is now also a favorite. We must all remember to “just breathe”. My husband makes fun of me sighing and I tell him that the reason I do it is because I realize that I have been holding my breath.
    I so enjoy your blog and loved seeing the camp again.

  173. Meredith says

    I loved this post!!!! Thanks so much for sharing. I thought I was going to marry Joe McIntyre but I am so glad I didn’t. The place you stayed at is beautiful!!!

  174. Bethe says

    WOW. . .
    I loved that. What an amazing trip you had. And how you will cherish that time down the road. You’ll never be sorry for creating memories like these. How wise Kevin is to encourage (tolerate?) Mother/Daughter bonding. It makes you a better wife. Thank you for another glimpse into your world.

  175. Sonya says

    I have been following along on your website for some time for your great home decorating ideas. This post however really struck a chord & I wanted to thank you for sharing. My Mom died 6 years ago when I was 30, how I wish I could’ve taken a trip like this with her! Thanks again, that was beautifully written….

  176. says

    Gorgeous photos! I love all the places you go & you take pix of the details. I do the same w/photos but I just wish we could travel more! By the end of your post, the tears fell. It touched my heart. I’m going to share this w/my 13.5 y/o today. The past two months for me was a wake up call. Before I was going 250+ mph each day & someone above brought me back to zero in a flash. I reached my darkest moment bcuz I was in back spasm pain beyond belief. A close friend came over an hour after I had horrible scary thoughts in between screaming in pain, she prayed over me & that same night I was able to sleep till the am w/out any spasms & I had good happy thoughts when I woke up. You have to always believe, may need a knocking over to get back on the path, but most of all be thankful. I’m on the road to recovery & thank God each day for Ana coming to my house last minute that one Sunday 2.5 weeks ago. =)

  177. says

    Layla, this is such a beautiful post. The photos, the memories, the honest truth… I just loved it. For awhile now I’ve been hoping to take a trip with my mom similar to this. Peace, quiet (which she so deserves!) and some exploring of our many shared interests. Thanks to you I’ll be scheduling that trip this weekend.

  178. Jean says

    I’m seldom speechless and not easily moved, nor do I leave comments on blogs, but that was an awesome post. I would love to read something like that from my daughter one day. That was truly beautiful and inspiring.

  179. Melanie Castleberry says

    I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this post! You are such a sweet soul. I love that you appreciate your mom and that you have acquired so much wisdom in the 20 years since you were 17. My mom passed when I was 10. I wish I had her now. I would savor every minute with her. This is my first time commenting. I am 10 years older than you, but I’d like to be like you when I grow up. :)

  180. says

    sweet, sweet words of wisdom. you are both very blessed to have this wonderful relationship (not everyone gets that gift in life).
    you wrote 37, but I swear I thought you were only 27! looks like you inherited good genes too;)

  181. says

    I’ve read a lot of blogs, but this is an awesome post! Well done. I’m going to go look for my checkers set right now and try to get a game going with my 16 year old daughter! Thanks for sharing! Marie

  182. AJ says

    Thank you for this gorgeous post (that is making the rounds on facebook…I’ll be off in a moment to share it on)! Both the words and the pictures are absolutely lovely. I’ll be emailing a link to my mom, and making plans to visit with Camp Wandawega with my 7yr old son. Just as soon as I find out where it is, that is…thank goodness for google. :)

  183. ginger says

    Hi Layla. I think we have a lot in common. I love the way you adore your mom. I hope one day, my daughter will feel that way about me. Your mom must be a precious person.

  184. Sherri Gordon says

    I know that this is an old post…. but this post totally blessed me. Thank you for sharing. My favorite pic was the one of you and your mom playing a game at the kitchen table in the black and white . It takes me back to sunday night supper at my grandmother “Honey’s ” house. Thank you again , so so much !!!!! Sherri Gordon

  185. says

    You are wise beyond your years! I wish I had and ounce of the relationship you have with your mother, with my mother. Our relationship has been pretty much non existent my whole life, more so in the last 4 years. I envy that you can sit and have conversations with your mother – and have memories with her and of her, that will one day be an incredible source of comfort for you. Enjoy the relationship you have (and have had even as a child) with her. I am blessed to have an incredible daughter. What I never had with my mother, I have with my amazing daughter. I can see her and I getting closer as she grows up and moves on with her life. I know I’ll always be very present in her journey, as she’s a huge part of mine. My daughter just happens to be 17, and a lot of what you wrote above, i will be sharing with her.

    Keep up the good work!

  186. says

    I loved this – made me get a little tear in my eye while I laughed while reading aloud with my not-yet 17 yr old minime. Really glad I came across the Lettered Cottage – great stuff.

  187. Gina R says

    I stumbled upon this post and I am so glad I did. Although reading it has put a little lump in my throat, and a stinging in my heart. I lost my mom when I was 15 and never had the chance to experience a “friendship” with her. This post fills me with hope that that one day, my 16 year old daughter will be able to consider me her friend, and we will be able to enjoy life’s adventures together.

    • Layla says

      Thank you for stopping by today, Gina. I appreciate you taking time to leave a comment! :-) My mom and I weren’t always close (teenage years- ugh!), but I’m so glad we are now, and I’m confident you and your daughter will share many wonderful adventures together, too! :-)

  188. Helen says

    Thanks so much for the wonderful tribute to the time spent and love shared with your mom. I know you realize how blessed you are to have one another!

  189. says

    Oh Layla, you never cease to inspire. Never has a blog post brought me to tears – but that one sure did!
    Probably because I’m about to hit the flea market with my mom and I know days like this won’t be here forever! Memories are such precious gifts! Thank you for reminding us all of this – it makes today SO special!
    -Emily Knotts

  190. laura says


    You are so talented and soulful! You are lucky to have your Mom! I lost mine almost 6 years ago… Sounds like you appreciate her and enjoy each other! Lucky you!

  191. says

    I came here to find the original source of the tree house photo. What a pleasant surprise to find myself absorbed in this incredibly sweet post. I pinned the tree house photo (which is amazing), but I think the post itself is even more amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  192. Pam says

    I keep re-reading your blog about your Minnesota road trip…I grew up there, and have been inspired to purchase our childhood home there, to be used for a summer home, and re-do it.

  193. Sunny Beamish says

    How heart drenching was your blog a cool drink of water for a thirsty heart..I always fall in love with fall..God’s nature displays her beauty before she goes to sleep.
    I like the pumpkins best for the giveaway esp the white, rust. and green ones..the acorns remind me of the squirrels who caused us too much grief.

  194. Heather says

    What a beautiful post Layla. This is was the second stop for me on your blog. I’m sure I will be coming back to this one again and again. And, I will be sending it along to my own mother, with whom I’ve just begun making road-trip memories with. Thanks so much and keep posting

  195. Nichole says

    A wonderful mother is such a beautiful blessing. I love this blog & will visit often. Enchanting!
    Does anyone have recomendations for old kitchen remodels on a tight budget?

  196. Danielle says

    This post is beautiful. I’m in the process of losing my mom (terminal lung cancer) and celebrating our last Easter has been hard. Cherish the time you have with your mom and all the memories you are making!

  197. says

    Love this…I think it is time I grab my mother, grandmother, and daughter and take a road trip. Oh how you really become much wiser with age. God has blessed us with so much and that post was what I needed. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>