The grind

Howdy folks. Blogging is strange without Andrea around. It made more sense to me then. Writing love letters to her when she was medicated and a bit unreachable that I knew would reach her eventually made sense to me. I’m a pretty passionate guy like that. Now I guess its for her memory or for you guys maybe. Life has become sort of routine. I say sort of because every day with a toddler is an adventure. Grieving too has slowed to a slow ache rather than a sharp pain. I have a few dear friends who help me bear this and that keeps me going. I also really appreciate all the responses and those who are still reading. I love to think that our family is still in your prayers. Things are financially super tight but manageable (maybe). I am going to try to print some cool punk rock mommy t shirts and maybe even sweatshirts to sell for the Christmas season and hopefully that will help get us through the slow winter months. I am proud to announce that Jon and Holly Olshefski (Jon is the amazing photographer) are now the parents of a beautiful baby boy. In getting this news I felt Andreas loss the hardest that I have in a while. I told Jon that I knew she was smiling super big for them. Andrea taught me a lot and a love for babys is definitely one of those things. I am trying so very hard to be a good father to my own baby and kids right now. I feel like the other kids have a really good foundation but if clay is all screwed up well thats all me. Its hard being mommy and daddy all rolled up into one but that is my lot in life for right now & I love them all dearly. I hope they can see it shining through. Time to get a little sleep and start all over in the morning.

36 Responses to “The grind”

  1. Nat says:

    Still thinking of you… Clay will be fine, he’s got you and one hell of a good village.

  2. Hi Kelly,

    I haven’t gotten to the ‘slow ache’ yet…..the absence of my love is still palpable and sometimes I am startled by the pain that seeps into my daily activity. Today is one of those days …….. I have no desire to approach the world but of course, will eventually. Some days I just need to push a little harder.

    Am looking forward after the Jewish holidays to get together with you and the kids ….. in the meantime am comforted to know they are doing well in their new environments and you are hanging in (and on) !!!

    Fondly, Toni

  3. joshua says:

    this is still a major adjustment season. you’re doing great keep it up. get ripped.

  4. Heather says:

    So glad to see a new post from you, when I checked in this morning. I only knew Andrea through her blog, but I find myself thinking of you all on a daily basis. How is the new house? Sending thoughts of love and strength your way.

  5. Pat says:

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers here in South Carolina!

  6. Lhianna says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I feel dumb for writing before visiting, but I’m so socially out of touch. I appreciate when you write the blog. Thanks for the news about Jon and Holly! I’m so happy for them and you know Andrea is too. Please let me know if you and the kids need anything or any of them want to get out and about and hang with me and Clarence for a day. I know I’ve been a hermit recently but Clarence and I are still here for you guys. Lots of love to you and kids!…Lhianna

  7. British Julie says:

    Hi Kelly so glad to hear from you, was just thinking about how much Clay must be changing the other day. Do you still have the Paypal account? I couldn’t find the link today.. and do you still shop at Trader Joe’s or is there somewhere better to get gift cards closer to the new home? I bet that I am not the only one wondering exactly how to help right now, so please let us know. Love to all, Julie

  8. Melissa says:

    Dear Kelly,

    I have been reading this blog for awhile and I find it fascinating. You have so many wonderful people in your life. I only wish Andrea was still here and I could continue to read her insights. When people I know pass away I often think that they must have been really needed somewhere else. Hard to believe that Andrea should be anywhere but with you, your family and friends. I have to believe she is still there laughing, smiling peaking around corners to watch you all thrive. I have never been moved by so many people that I don’t even know.

    Now down to business. My husband, Lucian, and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary on 10.10.2008 and we both want to get a tattoos to celebrate this big accomplishment! Sounds like you are the guy for the job. Interested in helping us out? If so, how can I get in touch with you?

    Be well.

    Melissa Smith

  9. ByJane says:

    Kids are much more resilient that adults, and Clay will be fine. I love that you’re still writing in the blog. The connection to you didn’t end with Andrea’s death.

  10. Renee Khan says:


    Your family is definitely in my prayers. I also want to say that I have very little doubt that with you as Clay’s father and the children as Clay’s siblings; and the stories of a mother like he had that there is no way he can be screwed up.

    Keep doing what your doing Kelly and your t-shirt idea sounds like a really resourceful way to raise money. It takes your talents, remembers Andrea and raises money for you and the kids all at the same time.

    God Bless.

    Renee Khan

  11. Juanita says:

    Kelly-Just wanted to say hi, and glad you posted, and let you know that tomorrow is our local Run for the Cure…I don’t know if I’ve told you before, but I’ve dedicated it to my mom in law, and Andrea. I did good, for shy little me, I was aiming for $150 or $200, and I raised well over $300. 🙂 Much love and I’ll be thinking about you all tomorrow.

  12. debi says:

    Oh Kelly I am so glad you posted. I check a few times a week. I miss you when you stay away too long. Little Clay has a wonderful clan there. He is gonna be more than alright. The T-shirt idea sounds great. Hope I can buy one. Is there an address where we can send cards to you for the holidays? Even though I only know you and Andrea through this blog I find myself missing her and her wisdom. That’s when I go back and read her words. It really helps me. The example she set will always remain. Bless you and the family,love debi

  13. Michelle Wienke says:

    Hey Kelly-
    Yes, I too, like so many others have missed you when you cant write for a while-but I do understand the demands of a 2 year old,,,,,let alone his siblings!! Glad to hear all is well- I too, would like to see one of the t-shirts and would probably be interested in getting one also.

    Please also attach your latest tat-we still want to see it!

    Please know that you are daily in my prayers, for you, for Clay, for all of the kids! You became such a big part of my daily online life through Andrea and her wit and wisdom…I too, still feel the loss, although not in the way that I know you do!
    Be well, kiss the kids and write again soon-we miss you!!!

  14. Dina says:

    Hey Kelly. I have been thinking of Andrea so much lately. I miss her, and wish that I had gotten to know her (as well as all of you) so much sooner in my life. I have trouble believing she is gone, so I can not imagine what it is like for you guys each day. I would love to hear how Bailey likes her new school, how Jesse is doing returning to school, if Alec is still having a ball at college, how Asa and Tucker are liking St. Joe’s, and whatever new stuff Clay is up to these days. Tell the big guys to post!!!!! Sending love and peace and good wishes your way always! Love, Dina

  15. Anna says:

    Thanks for posting, going to bed with a smile now.

  16. Someone who cares says:


    So good to see your post and you are still doing and will continue to be a wonderful father . Cant wait to see these t-shirts as you have a sale here ! Keep us posted as much as you can as Im still dedicated to your site.

    God bless you and your family

  17. Tess says:

    You are doing a good job and don’t ever give up. You WILL get through this 🙂 You have many people,even if you know them personally or not, that love and care for you all.

  18. Donna Arnold says:

    Hi Kelly & Kids:
    I, too, am sending love and prayers always from SC. You are doing a wonderful job, even though at times, it may seem so overwhelming. Clay willl be an awesome little dude!!!
    As for the sweats and tees, I would be wanting one…I like the much roomier ones, like a 4x…so hopefully you will do some larger sizes for folks….
    We would like to send your family cards for the holidays so will be looking for new addy…:)
    Its always a treat to share in your lives, so look forward to posts when you are able to do so. Let us know how all the kids are making out with new schools, etc. I often wonder how Bailey is doing as well….bless all these kids….and you, too. Congrats to JonO!!!!
    Hugs and warm wishes always….Donna in SC

  19. MrsRobbieD says:

    I’ve been reading since about a month before Andrea’s passing. I sat for 3 days reading from post #1, at work trying to withhold tears and laughs. I’m not sure IF I’ve commented before either.
    I totally love the idea of the pink nautical star I told my husband the meaning and would love to get one in the future. I think I have everything pink I can get my hands on. I even have him eating pink strawberry creme Jello b/c it had a pink ribbon on the box.
    I’d like to get a shirt when you make some. Just let me know how much and where to send money too.

  20. Lita says:

    Clay won’t be screwed up, he has a great Dad and big family who are there to spread the love and joie de vivre they were taught from Andrea. Clay gets to feel that spirit now, even in your sadness. What you are going through is only natural, but try to give yourself more credit, trust in the love you have to give.

    You guys are still in my thoughts. Kia kaha (be strong) from NZ.

  21. S. says:

    Though I am nothing but a far away observer and reader, you should know that you continue to move us and inspire us and resonate in our hearts and minds.

  22. leah says:

    i’m sure Clay is going to be fine, i’m so glad to see the posts from you.
    i do think of you and the kids everyday!

  23. Aja Beech says:


    So many people love you all so much and think of you all often. Things will always be different, but it will get better. Thank you so much for continuing to share your life with all of us.

    much love and peace

  24. Adam & Erin Shields says:

    I am sure you are doing an amazing job at being a single father. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I know Andrea is proud of you. You have a lot of people praying for you and your family and lots of love always.
    I am happy to see you are still blogging. I always wonder how your are doing. I think of Andrea often, especially since I just had a baby boy two weeks ago. Andrea and babies…I hope to be a fraction of the mother she was.
    Anyway, Andrea had given me your old address and I realize now that you have moved. Would you mind passing on your new mailing address? Maybe one day in the future we can have our boys meet you and clay. I know our son Jameson and Clay would have so much fun together.
    Take care,
    Erin Shields

    p.s. punk rock mommy t-shirts and sweatshirts are an awesome idea.

  25. wendy says:

    It was so good to hear from you. Thank you for taking a moment to blog. I know how hard it can be to do ANYTHING with all that responsibility (and I only have 2, unless you count Chris!) You are such a good Daddy. You are doing great. I too would love a T-shirt. Thinking of you, Wendy

  26. elesha says:

    Hey kelly,
    Please make those t-shirts I would deff want one of those. You are doing great everyday hes fed had a laugh and put to bed as a parent is a good day.

  27. alaina says:

    Hello Kelly,

    I cant help but think of my husband when I think of you. Andrea and I used to talk about you both. I know Andrea would be proud of you. My husband is one of the great loves of my life too. He is a great father, just like you. It makes me so very sad to think of him doing it alone. But I suppose he wouldnt be alone, he would be with the other great loves of my life, our children. I can only imagine how much you miss Andrea. UGH… I miss her voice and sharing with her. I miss our conversations and knowing she knew and understood me. I miss sharing our experiences with our great loves. I learned so much from you, Andrea and the children. Andrea and I were the same age. In my younger years I used to be one of those fluff chicks, I suppose. Andrea was the first punk rocker I ever got to know, haha What an education I got through her. Her beauty, love, intelligence, spunk etc. I learned through her to appreciate things outside of my own very small circle.

    That tattoo that you now have, I think is beautiful. And I suppose that is what I am talking about with Andrea. Before I met her I would have not even given that tattoo a second look. It wasnt my bag and so I would have missed the art, the meaning and the beauty of it.

    When you do the punk rock Mommy shirts, you can count me in on at least two.

    Do you have a place on this site where people can send money?

    May God bless you Kelly. May He give you the strength you need to continue your journey well. Love, alaina

  28. Tamara says:

    In the short time I got to “know” your wife, what was so impressive to me was her amazing presence. Andrea was that gravitational pull that made the beauty of life so present. I watch you and all these kids wander in search of their natural core-
    You are all living life.
    You are all being kind to one another.
    Andrea would be so proud.

  29. Tina, French Creek, WV says:

    You’re doing it, Kelly – you’re carrying on just like Andrea would want. There seems to be so much of her in you now. I think Clay will be just fine. He’s got you and the other children to guide him and, most importantly, love him. I’m excited to see what you come up with for a tshirt or sweatshirt – I’d be proud to wear one!

  30. Jodi says:

    Continue onward and upward. Your life will never be the normal you knew, but you will make a new normal for you and all the children.

    I think selling the t-shirts is a super idea!

  31. Julie says:

    Kelly my friend, you have nothing to worry about. You are an amazing man with amazing kids and an amazing support system. You are good! Remember, I’m right across the river – if you need anything – don’t hesitate.



  32. Allie says:

    I don’t know any of you, but I spent last night bawling as I read your families struggles! I just wanted you to know that I know that families are forever and you and clay will see andrea again. I know you don’t want that religious crap preached so that is where I leave it. It doesn’t make it any easier to be alone though… and I would be interested in a Punk Rock Mommy t-shirt or hoodie… so let us know when you come up with the design.. also post them on etsie (spelling… more will see them:)) We will pray for your family!

  33. Lo says:

    Can’t wait for the shirts!!!!

  34. kayla says:

    This made me cry, i wish you nothing but the best and god bless you.

  35. Laura K says:

    I know this is a little late but I love that you are still blogging. I check in on it but with school getting busy with all those benchmarks coming its getting a little harder. I love to read about you and the family. I miss you all so much. Clay will be just fine, your so good with him and you love him. Don’t worry hes gonna be fine. If you need anything don’t hesitate to call. All my love and prayers are with you all.

    Love always,


  36. Roads says:

    It’s hard being mommy and daddy all rolled up into one.

    Yes, that’s an understatement. But preparation and empowerment from a good teacher is such a fantastic start. You can do it, and pull through this.

    Best wishes from London, and spirits up.