One of my favorite people and not to mention bloggers, is Kelly Smith from Cloudy Day Gray. Thanks to my friend Beck, I met Kelly in Philly where we enjoyed some amazing food and adventures last spring. Here is how Kelly Spends her mornings with her two sweet babes, but make sure you read all about her story over on her blog.

Are you a morning person? If not, how do you handle getting up early with your kids?

I am really not a morning person and have the hardest time getting up in the morning. Thankfully, my husband lets me sleep while he gets the kids up, feeds them, gets them dressed, makes lunch for our five-year-old, Parker, and walks him to school.

Do you get up before your kids? If so, how do you spend that time?

Both of my kids are really light sleepers, so if I want to get up before them (which is only when I have a deadline or other work that needs to be finished) I have to get up WAY before them. I am talking 4:30 or 5 am.

Do you have a morning routine? What’s it like?

We have very consistent mornings. My son Parker wakes me up with a kiss before leaving for school, I stumble out of bed, and I am greeted with the biggest hug from my daughter at the bottom of the stairs. We usually sit for a few minutes while I whisper prayers of thanks into her ear. I set her down and change the TV channel from Curious George to Pandora music – we like contemporary folk. Then, like clockwork, the phone alarm chimes and it is time to prepare Matilda’s morning medications. She had a liver transplant when she was six weeks old, and will take medication twice a day for the rest of her life to prevent rejection and combat some side effects. After medicine, I make a cup of coffee, grab a banana or a hard-boiled egg, and head to the playroom. Matilda is like me in a lot of ways. She also prefers slow mornings and is more than willing to snuggle up next to me with some books or the iPad while I answer emails, write to-do lists for the day, or take an occasional call for work. As I get to work on projects, she prefers to paint, play outside on the porch, or engage in imagination play with her stuffed animals.

What’s the best part of your morning?

Hands down, the snuggles and hugs from my little ones are the best part of my morning. We take them very seriously around here, knowing that they very easily could be nonexistent.

How are your mornings different on the weekend?

My husband really likes to take advantage of his weekends, so he makes plans for each day and gets us going a bit faster than during the week.

What were your mornings like before you became a mama? 

Before I had kids I insisted on showering every morning. My day couldn’t start without it. Now it feels like the biggest waste of time. If I do shower, it is typically at night or during my daughter’s nap and it is most definitely not every day. I would much rather spend that time being productive – I feel much more invigorated when I can start checking things off my list first thing.

What’s your dream morning?

I would love to wake up at a cabin in the woods with no Internet, to-do lists, or work commitments. Just a slow morning, with fresh air, and my family snuggled close. That would be a dream!

If you could get someone to take over any part of your morning, what would it be? 

If I could skip over getting ready, showered, dressed, and being put together, I would. Who am I kidding; I do skip it most days. But it would be nice if someone could take care of that for me!

Describe your morning in just 3 words.

laid-back, quiet, predictable

Coffee or tea?

Coffee, always!

 What comes to mind when you think of mindfulness?

Mindfulness means to do something driven by a clear purpose. To be in the moment and listen to your child – to show them love, respect, and compassion. To read the news to gain an understanding and awareness of what others are experiencing in the world. To plan and prepare good food, as a way to nourish the body and encourage quality living.

 How do you find mindfulness in the morning?

I find mindfulness by avoiding social media, by turning off the television, and by focusing on my priorities.

What do you do the night before to make your mornings feel easier?

I don’t like to fuss with breakfast in the morning. So I hard-boil eggs so that they are easy to grab and go. I actually place them in a cupcake pan and cook them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

 Bonus: What are you working on right now? Tell my readers about what you do and any fun projects you are working on. Shameless plug! 

I have a lifestyle/DIY blog that I started a few months after returning from NYC after my daughter’s liver transplant – it’s called Cloudy Day Gray. I believe that we all have cloudy days, but it is what you do with those days that define who you are. I try my best to give, live, and love while celebrating the everyday as a mother, crafter, and donate life advocate. Over the summer we bought our first home and so right now I am really enjoying taking the time to do some updating to make it truly ours. I like to think I have a very modern and minimalist taste, but I also don’t take style too seriously. I love to mix the old with the new, add pops of color whenever I can, and reveal the beauty in everyday objects. I would love for you to stop by and say hello, join in on my #howidonatelife campaign, and let me know what I should make next!