My name is KELLI [@kellitrontel] and as Vanessa and I shared the other day, it’s been 91 weeks since we shared anything about ourselves with you on this page……and this community has grown a lot since then so we thought it was time to share a bit of our heart and life with you.
I'm living life out with my husband [Reed] and 2 year old son [Ezra] in Whitefish, Montana. We own and operate an adorable little cafe called @Red_Caboose....& yes, if you're a fan of House Hunters, its true….that was us on that one episode from Montana! I’ll be honest with you. Montana wasn't my first pick of places to live. I grew up in Southern California, spent a few years in Phoenix, AZ and it was in Nashville, Tennessee where I met Reed. I love Nashville! The people, the community, our church, the creativity, the music, the photographers, the shopping, the food....I could go on and on. I was comfortable there. I really could have stayed there forever.....plus, I was pursuing MY life goals [touring with a band and learning about photography from a few of my heroes]. Why would I WANT to leave?
In 2010 I got a call that brought me to my knees. My dad, who I was extremely close with and had just talked to earlier that day.....he passed away. Unexpected. So quick. Gone. A lot of tears have fallen since that day, but it was this pivotal moment in my life that changed my perspective on Montana. All of a sudden my long list of "hell no, I can't move to Montana" was being outweighed by the list of people's names in Reeds family who live in Montana who don't know Jesus. My dad was all about people and one thing he taught me by example was....people matter. So, our move to Montana was fueled by people. Our focus at our cafe is people….and the love and experience [and the best coffee] we can give them. When life isn’t about making ourselves famous, but pointing people to Jesus…..it’s just better that way. It’s more of an adventure. Its an honor to be on that team.
So, here I am in Montana....and it's nothing like I had dreamed. It's more. God always has a way of showing up and giving us more than we deserve. There was an amazing church [@freshlife] awaiting us, where I am currently a worship leader and have had the honor and privilege of traveling and documenting the life and ministry of our pastor. Photography- check. Music-check. I mean, how good is our God? He truly cares about the things we are passionate about. Or maybe I'm caring more about what He's passionate about.
...& passionate is definitely something that I am. I've never been able to answer "so, what do you do?" with a one word answer. My plate is on the bigger [not better] side and I've recently learned to embrace that and not compare my platform to what others have. It’s important to me for my son to see me living the life that God custom made for me and whether thats leading worship or creating an inspiring atmosphere in our coffee shop or using my voice online….whatever God places in my hand, I want to steward that and steward it well.
And this whole KELLI & VANESSA thing….yes, it’s a way for Vanessa and I to continue to collaborate together while being miles apart, but its also about YOU. Its about building a community of women. It’s about sharing what we love, sharing our stories and journeys in life- our highlights, our darkest days and everything in between.