Living In Suburbia


For the third time this summer season, I spent the afternoon pruning roses. And wondering what the neighbors thought about my compulsively well cared for rose bushes.

An hour or so later, I pulled a vanilla sheet cake from the oven. And caught myself looking through each of the kitchen windows to double-check my mad pruning skills.

I asked my teenage son immediately as he arrived home from school for his opinion. I also called my husband to demand that he examine my handy work from the street on his drive home from work. To be sure I didn’t miss anything.

Hang on. It gets better… This morning, I nearly had to tie myself to a chair in order to keep myself from running out to the curb where two other moms chatted after seeing their kids to the school bus. My having passed by the hall mirror was probably what saved my 3 year-old daughter from being towed curbside.

   My hair looked as if birds had taken up residence.

One day last week when taking a walk with my daughter, I noted the cul-de-sac where our home is located is adjacent to three additional cul-de-sacs. How is that possible?

I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience just thinking about all of this. I mean, when did I become Bree Van de Kamp?

   Apparently, I missed the metamorphosis.

I don’t recall the exact moment I truly realized I had landed in suburbia. I thought it was merely a move into a new family home in the beginning. I guess the freshly baked blueberry muffins delivered by one of the neighbors immediately after the moving vans pulled away should have helped to clue me in.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our little burb. The crime rate is low. The schools are great. Everyone recycles. The grass is literally greener. But I never imagined myself in the role of suburban stay-at-home mom blogger.

I never imagined myself not directing business functions, not leading others professionally, and not checking in and out of the corporate culture each day. It was a difficult transition. But I would make the same decision again if offered a do-over.

Now, my children and I can actually stop to smell the roses. It sure beats looking at them from the car as we pass by.

  • Parga's Junkyar

    Hopping along, trying to catch up on my Sunday Blog Hops still! Please follow back @ and/or on facebook @

  • Missy | The Literal

    Not only can you stop and SMELL them, but you can spend hours pruning them! That's pretty cool!

    • Kelli

      So true! But worth it in the end.

  • Ange

    I so get this.

    Also, I thought about my own roses while I read this. I’m not so much a pruner like you. I’m trying to harvest hips for tea because it’s so good for you, but the birds always beat me to them…
    Perhaps this is an official syndrome? A good one, though.

    Loved your your thoughts.

    • Kelli

      Thanks. So nice to find others like-minded. I agree, it’s a syndrome and indeed a good one.

      I appreciate receiving positive comments like yours. I write as I am and as I think. I enjoy reading posts and books by others that do the same. I like to be real and as they say, “keep it real.”

      • Ange

        Looking forward to more posts!!

  • Heather Jones

    Funny – as I read this post – I literally saw myself in it. I can not tell you how many times I would walk outside & stand & inspect my landscaping. I would even take photos to make sure that I was not missing something. I would send them to friends & family just to get their opinions. I would drive thru the neighborhood to make sure that my landscaping was fitting in with the rest. I would even drive past my house both ways to get the views of those who would pass by.
    Your neighborhood sounds much nicer that the community I lived in in the burbs of Cleveland/Akron. I am not one to compete – I just like things to look nice & in order. But in the burbs where I lived for far too long – the competition was high. In the end, I decided that it just was not the place for me. (15 years later) I have returned to the tiny town of my childhood & am really enjoying the little things in life. For me, this is what is allowing me to step back & smell the roses.
    I too have given up the corporate america life. All the worry about work while I am not even there – – I want to focus on my family. So, now work, is just work.
    Here’s to hoping that my 9 yr old son makes the transition from the burbs to tiny town america just as well.

    • Kelli

      It’s nice to have a go-to place for sharing common feelings and behaviors, yes? I’m a perfectionist as it sounds like you are. So generally I’m my own greatest competition and worst critic. There’s nothing wrong with small town America. It suits many people well. Your little guy will be fine because he has love and encouragement. :)

      • Heather Jones

        Perfectionist – trying to be perfect at not being a perfectionist. i am jsut that complicated!!! Also, I hardly fit in in small town America either! Unsure where i fit in. I am very different from most people I know. I do not blend well in the cookie cutter communities. at age 37 I have finally started to embrace my individuality. Lucky me, ive connected with a man who is as unique as I am – in his own cute lil quirky ways. And of course I am passing on the encouragement of individuality to my son!
        WOW! I am exhausted – who knows how many errors this has – but im off to bed! (Letting go of the need to check) UGH! night all! :0)

  • Melissa

    Too funny. The Bree van decamp reference-hysterical! You have what seems to be a wonderful life! I wouldn’t trade it in either. Happy Monday!

    • Kelli

      Thanks, Mel. I appreciate all you’ve done to help. Have a great week!

  • Julie

    I’m totally ok with becoming Bree Van de Kamp. Without the murder and alcoholism, of course.

    • Kelli

      I’m so glad you mentioned it! When I wrote this, I considered including that disclosure. But then I thought, Nah… let them assume I’m a little dangerous. You know, to camouflage the neurotic behavior and all. Ha!

  • Stasha

    Just like the roses, motherhood is worth every thorn.

    • Kelli

      Agreed! Thanks for reading, Stasha!