Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rockstars and such.

It has recently been brought to my attention that, two years ago, on this very blog, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I wrote the following in my post:

"I took all the twenties and kissed them good-bye tonight...tucked them away in boxes with all their sweet memories and sorrows...

...and once the twenties were safely stored and a proper farewell was said, I brought out the new box. I can't see in it yet, but I can tell just by the outside that there is beauty inside. Sorrow too...yes, I'm sure. But there is in every box, and this one seems to come with more coping skills. More growth. More experiences. More challenges. More love.
I can't wait."

Little did I know...behind the flaps of that mysterious box was, indeed, love.

Quite prophetic, really.

I'm almost ready to cut my hospital bracelet off...almost. It's just that it's the last physical link to this entire experience and I still think about it like crazy...the shock still, I guess, and I'm wanting this thought process to die down because it is consuming.

The Power of the Mind.
It's amazing what control we really do have over our thoughts and what tactics we use to control it. Like, seriously, envisioning myself as a rockstar really makes me think I am one. And I tell myself every day I am going to rock this day out. Even when I want to cry and stay in bed. It becomes such a challenge to myself to see exactly what I am capable of and usually, the more down & out I feel, the more I rock it out. And that doesn't just pertain to this whole D.S. thing. It's all the crap in life...just rock it out.

My sister says picture a person who models what you're going through exactly how you'd want a role model to show it. Then become that person.

And that, I try to do.

With all that said, this blog has been the most necessary form of therapy for me and while I have had questionable views on various forms of socialization in the Internet before, I shan't any longer. I may not update my Facebook status every two hours with what I'm eating or where I'm going, but I will give credit where credit is due...and that is the pure good in human kind and the soul balm you all have been in your comments and e-mails...even phone calls from 'strangers'. I have come to 'know' so many of you and have been slowly healed by the photos and stories you have sent.

Do I read all the comments? You betcha. Every one of them. Often in the middle of the night from my phone while I am nursing the wee babe, but I have read them. And they are so incredibly touching. There's just so many good people who really do care about others who are hurting. And so many good mamas and daddies out there who are all striving for the same thing. Who love their babies and want to suck every bit of popsicle juice out of this Lifecicle.

And who knows...the Facebook updates may come...

Kelle Hampton is going to the bathroom. Kelle Hampton is nursing her baby. Kelle Hampton is laughing because updating in third person is really funny.

I actually forgot, for a minute, what I used to write about on here because I've been using this as total therapy lately. I'm beginning to bore myself. We'll get back to funny, random, beautiful moments eventually. And, for God's sake, I'll turn the sappy music to something more fun soon, but there's so many clicks still being made to the birth story post and Play that Funky Music, White Boy doesn't really jive with that kind of seriousness.

Needless to say, I'm craving that propeling force of Moving-on.

And let me make a tangent here for a moment to clarify the Holland thing. To all the beautiful Dutch readers, I would LOVE to visit Holland someday and my slander of wooden shoes was only referencing one of my crazy analogies brought on by this poem, a poem I actually think is beautiful...just a bit skewed as it likens having a special needs child to traveling to Holland as opposed to Italy. The only thing I have a problem with is the ending...that special needs' parents will always grieve never getting to which I say...GO THERE! No one said it was an imprisonment to one particular place. Perhaps it may take a little more effort to get there, but never say never.

In other news...

Our puzzle has been complete these past couple days because our much-loved Daddy is here, filling all the empties we've had while he's been away.

And we've been talking a lot lately about how our family is fueled by togetherness, and I've needed that so much more lately...because nothing is more important than family. And, I guess the absence of that feeling has fueled it even more and caused us to dig deeper into what life is really about and what goals we will make efforts to strive toward. With us, it always leads to each other. To our kids. And to the little moments we make with them...moments that carve deeper impressions than money ever can.

I love our daddy.

This weekend was again somewhat chilly for Southwest Florida standards, so we cozied up inside enjoying cozy things like homemade lemon poppyseed scones (okay, I lied. They weren't homemade. They were these from Cost Plus, but, with a smattering of butter, they were amazing), and long afternoon naps.

Nella is getting amazing with her neck muscles...something that's apparently delayed with D.S. A little tummy time and the girl becomes a freaking rocking horse, froggy legs all hoisted behind her and that precious little head just a stretchin'. That's because she's a rockstar, you know.

And Miss Lainey. Her head cold gives her the cutest stuffy voice, but it comes at the expense of a very runny nose which, if you're not watching, gets wiped on couch arms, dish towels and, um...Nella's clothes. But she's still a rockstar too.

And she hasn't left Brett's side since he's been home.

And, perhaps this is the world's most boring post...because I'm beating a dead horse here...but I had a bit more emotional blah-blah I had to spew before I get over the hump to more thought-out posts.

I did promise a few F.A.Q.'s. though.

A: Where do you get the knits?

My mom has made a lot of them and then people found out I'm in love with homemade baby knits, so they've bought them for me for gifts. But I have, over the course of taking newborn photos and obsessively scouring Etsy shops while pregnant, stocked up.

Some favorite Etsy shops:

The Bee's Nest
Wanderlust Creations

B. Lainey's Clothes

I get a lot from the coolest consignment shop here in Naples, Once Upon a Child, which is totally stocked with fantastic finds.
And then Baby Gap, Children's Place, Costco (yes, Costco) and wherever else we might happen to find something on sale.

C. What does Brett do?

He sells software.

D. How do you find time to do everything?

I don't. I can only juggle so many balls and, while I choose to keep one up, another falls. And when I pick that one up, another falls. And so on. However, I always make time for babies. For snuggling them, loving them, holding them...even if it's while I'm doing something else.

Which brings me to bed time. The girls are jammied and ready and all the balls get dropped at this time of night while I cherish my favorite task of all. Inhaling their goodness...their littleness...and the opportunity of moments I can never get back years to come.

My littles await.

Tell Facebook Kelle Hampton is loving her girls.


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JustBe said...

Your blog & photos always warm my heart. Your daughters are beautiful...thanks for sharing.

Jordan said...

Your daughters are gorgeous! Love looking at pictures of them! :-)

joykerns said...

How do you do it [make me cry] every time? Well done, once again. And I am just a bit addicted to Etsy. Thanks for sharing your favorite sellers and for answering some burning questions I've had.

Samantha said...

I found your blog when a friend linked the post "Birth Story" and have been reading since... your stories are incredible, your daughters beautiful. Thank you for writing!!

Lisa said...

Kelle -

I felt a bit voyeuristic reading your blog and never commenting, so here I am. I love your words and I love your photos. I am due with my second daughter in 8.5 weeks and you've inspired me to remember to cherish every moment, regardless of how challenging. Your babies are beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with your readers.

When I was very young, we briefly lived in Naples and it was one of the happiest times of my childhood and life in general. Your scenic photos feel nostalgic and therapeutic for me. I see many similarities between you and I, even down to the kind of baby knits we enjoy and books we read. It's nice to know you're in the world :)Have a fantastic week.

Casey said...

I, too, like hundreds (thousands?) of others enjoy reading your blog & seeing your beautiful pictures. I also, like many others, have a child with Down syndrome. I have a 15 month old daughter named Sunny. We did not know she had DS until she was about a week old. She is our first child and is the greatest joy I've ever known.

I guess Moms in general feel a connection, but "us" Moms with a child with DS, well, it feels like that times a little bit more. :)

Anonymous said...

Your babies are so beautiful! Motherhood is NEVER boring. I should know being a mother of 5 and 3 year old boys and a 1 year old daughter. I absoluty love your photos. I wish we lived closer so you could take some pictures of my children. I love your photos and your blog. I read the birth story and cried my eyes out. One of my best friends went through the same thing with her third daughter. She is now almost two and just started walking. Looking forward to more beautiful pictures and beautiful words!

AbbyS. said...

Tell facebook I am reading your blog and enjoying the pictures of your beauties. Your blog is a wonderful read. THANKS.

Becky said...

Love you, love your blog, love your family, love the beauty you bring to the blogosphere.

Wendy said...

Hi, Kelle. I, too, am the mother of a precious angel with Down syndrome. Our sweet, Delaney (sometimes called Laney), just turned 3 years old in January. She is also blessed with a wonderful older sibling, Cole, 9 years old, who loves and adores her beyond measure. Just wanted to say hello and to let you know that you have inspired this reluctant writer to start a blog. I enjoy reading your "life story" and would like to invite you to read mine. I'm a few steps ahead of you in our journey to Holland and would be happy to advise you in any way that I can. God Bless.

Anabel said...

Ahh Kelle,

You may keep that bracelet on as long as you need too. I'm actually very glad for your F.A.Q. because as I read them I realized, hmm I've thought about this too, hehe. I enjoy reading your blog soooo much, for various reasons:
1: beautiful words
2: beautiful girls photos
3: It shows so much LOVE
So, I can only say, Thanks for sharing.

P.S. - Facebook status... Anabel is reading Kelle Hampton's blog... again (lol).

P-nut said...

You are a rock star Kelle! And a rockstar that takes the time to answer questions too! seriously, that's awesome..

Thanks for sharing..

Love the new header too :)

Poppa said...

And I thought I might be a first to post a comment...I will dutifully stand in line here at the post office. Defining moments. Life is filled with them. More than defining us, they define life itself. I was thinking about perfection, performance and winning and remembered a quiet scene many years ago. I was the young daddy and Nella's Uncle Bubby (not to be confused with Uncle Buck) was with me as I introduced him to the game of miniature golf. Through the course of windmills (Holland?) and clown faces and other fantasies on the 18 hole course, I, being a good daddy, made sure he ultimately won. When the game was over, I tallied the score and announced to a waiting brown-eyed boy the results. "Daddy has 68 and you have 63!" Looking down, I saw a little blonde crowned face slowly dissolve into sadness...and suddenly I realized...he had never played a game where the low score wins. I had to interpret the score and make a champion of him. These are the moments, the events, the essence of life that demand interpreting the scores. And they are tallied different than the world might. Champions emerge from the chalice of life. Winners step onto the platform. Cheers stir from those who really know...and the applause spreads...and a wave begins in life's stadium. This is perfection. Defined. Sometimes, what we thought was a low score trumps all. Kisses to my little victors! They take my gold!

Shorty said...

Love your posts. So glad I've found your site...

Amz in NZ said...

Nella is seriously delish, man shes gorgeous. Lainey will be a super big sister :) You must have awesome fashion sense yourself cos the wee girls always look so stylie - I think Lainey has a better wardobe than me for sure!

My little boy is 2 days younger than Nella :)


Cecilie said...

Looking at your photos has become an almost-daily treat for me since I discovered your blog a few weeks ago.

We travel to Naples once or twice a year from our home in CA. Next time we come, I will definitely be checking to see if your are available to take some photos of my little ones (ages 6 & 2)!

Beth Kane said...

I, too, found your blog when a friend shared with me your birth story. Thank you for sharing life's little moments - no matter how seemingly random! - with us. They never fail to bring a smile and a little bit of inspiration for us to foster our inner rockstar.

Lisa said...


I LOVE when I see a new entry from you :) Your posts inspire me to enjoy every little moment I have with my beautiful family.

I'm due in 10 weeks with my second child (a baby boy!) and I'm savoring the last 25% of my pregnancy. The kicks, the bumps in the night, even the heartburn. It's such a precious time.

I have a feisty 18 month old daughter who tests my patience every day and fills me with so much love, it nearly hurts.

And then there is my husband. My sweet, sweet, husband. Not many of us are lucky to find a true Prince Charming. Cuddling up with him every night is like coming home.

Just wanted to share what I'm savoring. Thanks for the frequent reminders to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and life in such an open and touching way.

Lisa, Syracuse NY

Kellie said...

Hi Kelle-

Found your blog on Nella's birth story was one of the most touching things I've ever read. Thank you so much for sharing-you've touched many!

Nella looks so teeny tiny. Gives me bad baby thoughts! :) So not ready for a baby, so I'll live vicariously so long as you allow me. :)

Lainey's outfit rocks, and her little red suitcase is delicious! I find myself repeatedly wanting to ask where you got each piece of clothing your girls wear! Love Nella's little wool (think they are wool?) pants, too.

Again, thank you for such pretty, candid posts. They always brighten my day! (And a girl in Minnesota NEEDS a little brightening this time of year!)

Jen said...

Nella's eyes are beautiful! As for the neck thing and what we are told is typical for "DS" development, forgetaboutit! Our babies do everything when they are ready. Nella is already rockin her imaginary Superwoman cape. I have had doctors (when My daughter was younger) not believe she had Ds because her tone isn't "low". I made myself stop looking at typical baby books, well, at least the development section, and it has made a world of difference in being able to enjoy each day without getting caught up in what Cameran can do vs. should do.

Keep rockin!

teresa said...

Thanks Kelle Hampton for sharing your loving heart (and your beautiful pictures). Your girls are so darling!! Thankful that Brett could be home - precious times for all of you. Love & Prayers,

heather said...

Your blog is so uplifting.. i love reading it... Your girls are gorgeous and I wish I could take pictures like you do..I love reading about nella.. My cousin was born with water on the brain,deaf and unable to walk.. Growing up with him around and in my life made me a better person.. He was the main reason why I started working with special needs children.. They are wonderful children and truly amazing at that( which i know you know that by now).. I just wanted to say you are truly blessed and a very lucky choosen one to have these beautiful girls... I look forward to reading more post... :)

Marla Taviano said...

Love the pic of frog-rockin' Nella!!

Christine said...

Rock Stars for sure :) The picture in the striped pants and blue booties is sooo cute...I can't take the cuteness!

kiwicpk said...

ohhhhh just total sweetness! all of your bloggie and your girls :-)

The Martys said...

Oh my goodness... your girls get more beautiful every time you post. I am glad Nella's story has led me to your blog. It is amazing and you are a rock star.

Kuddos to Nella for holding her head up. That is awesome!! I love the last pic with her big, bright blue eyes. I just want to hug that sweetie pie.


The Hall Family said...

Beautiful girls...just like their momma! Look at those eyes on that little Nella! It's like she knows something we don't...

Jen Toker said...

I am captivated by your blog, Kelle. You write so beautifully, that you make me want to pull out a pen and write....forever. I can only imagine the wonderful mama, wife, sister, daughter, friend that you are to all who know you. Your words allow others to see into you soul, which is beautiful. I wish you and your family nothing but goodness....and togetherness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelle=)

Nella is a total Rockstar. I am amazed to see how well she holds her head up! She is already creating her own chart of "Nella Milestones", not to be compared to any other child. Just Nella being Nella.........she's going to leave other little ones in the dust she's going to go so far! But we would expect nothing less from a child that is clearly surrounded by the most amazing LOVE=)

Susan from Boston

Katie said...

I know you hear/read this all the time, but your blog is the most inspiring in the world. Your eloquent words have touched me to my core. As a fellow SW FL girl myself, I thank you for your honest words. People like you make the world a better place. God bless you and your beautiful family.

Caitlin said...

WHat an absolutely beautiful baby!!!

Sarah Broadus said...

i look forward to your post all the time! I love reading about your girls and you realness. You are an amazing mom!

Anonymous said...

its funny that you mention your transition to the 30s, because I'm approaching 30 pretty soon, and I recalled your list of what you've learned... and I'm making my own. One thing I've learned is how possible it is to feel profoundly close to someone whose life is very very different... like I feel when I read about your life.. I have no littles yet, i've only just met the Daddy of my own life,and I live in the frozen Northeast.. and yet I'm drawn to how much intention and focus you bring to your day to day life.. I REALLY admire your honesty especially with your journey of mothering Nella. Your words are always appreciated, and your photos are amazing! i'm sure you have the support of a million other accidental readers like me.

Anonymous said...

its funny that you mention your transition to the 30s, because I'm approaching 30 pretty soon, and I recalled your list of what you've learned... and I'm making my own. One thing I've learned is how possible it is to feel profoundly close to someone whose life is very very different... like I feel when I read about your life.. I have no littles yet, i've only just met the Daddy of my own life,and I live in the frozen Northeast.. and yet I'm drawn to how much intention and focus you bring to your day to day life.. I REALLY admire your honesty especially with your journey of mothering Nella. Your words are always appreciated, and your photos are amazing! i'm sure you have the support of a million other accidental readers like me.

Katie said...

I love your blog! You are most definitely a bloggin' rockstar!! Your girls are beautiful and the knitted outfits are just presh! I forget how I found your blog but I am SO glad that I did! My family also lives in SWFL and we are here now visiting and enjoying the beautiful (somewhat chilly) weather! Thanks for sharing your babies with the blog world :)

Katie said...

I love your blog! You are most definitely a bloggin' rockstar!! Your girls are beautiful and the knitted outfits are just presh! I forget how I found your blog but I am SO glad that I did! My family also lives in SWFL and we are here now visiting and enjoying the beautiful (somewhat chilly) weather! Thanks for sharing your babies with the blog world :)

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Our Family of 5 said...

Your girls are just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

You & Nella & little Miss Lainey are all rockstars!! And we're all your groupies! Once again you've touched a million hearts with your amazing posts... I look forward to your updates each and every day! And it's the best reminder to hug hug hug my kids every chance I get... I dismiss the eye rolls and the "mom, PLEASE" and just grab my hugs & kisses while I still can!!

Joanna and David said...

I don't comment every time (cause I'm one of those who likes to read everyone else's comments and by the time I get to #645 I feel at a loss for words entirely!) but since you said you read them ALL...alas I shall comment this time. :) I really do love your blog - again I feel repetitive of all the other hundreds of people who love it too, but it has everything I love and can relate to - adorable babies, pretty things, fun photography, and REAL mommy/woman/human thoughts. I hope you get a chance to read these other amazing blogs as well. I find just as much therapy reading and communicating with other moms of the blogging world as I do writing my own. Especially those moms who have been through similar experiences, i.e. traveled to various european countries like myself... :) and have beautiful, miracles of their own. And if your like me you can never have to many comments. I check mine multiple times a day. I love finding comments but there are never enough. :) What I lack in numbers I gain in friendships though as I use the time I save reading comments to "comment" myself. :) It is truly a world I never would have found if not for my son - there is not a day that goes by that I don't experience another blessing born from what once felt like tragedy. Again - wonderful post. Love those girls! Goodnight. :)

Jen said...

I, too, found your blog from another reader and look forward to your posts. Your girls are absolutely beautiful and so are you. Just from reading the last few posts and seeing the pictures, you have taught me to cherish life a little more and also how important it is to keep taking care of ourselves as moms, whether it be through writing, photography or just taking a minute to put on a little make-up.

michelle said...

You are a rock star, really.
I am a mother of nine really great rock stars- from college to newborn, my hands are full. But honestly I have learned more from you than I though possible. I am usually the one telling the stories, giving the advice. Keep it going, amazing.

I do want to share a quote from Blessed Mother Theresa that keeps me in step....
"I know God won't give me more than I can handle- I just wish he didn't trust me so much." Ya gotta laugh!

p.s. I too love etsy- have to hide the mail from my husband some days, and I like the sappy music.

Coma Girl said...

Love your pictures and love your girls!

Laura said...

Rock star indeed! You 4 are rocking the world, and thanks for opening my eyes to such loveliness. As always, thanks for sharing Kelle.


Kacey said...

Having just found your blog, I find myself looking forward to your witty and thoughtful posts and beautiful photographs of your (equally beautiful) family. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

Kristen said...

Delurking to say how much I love reading your blog. I am the Mom of almost three year old twin girls, both of whom have special needs. From the moment I read your birth story I knew exactly what you were talking about. The joy, the sorry, the confusion. It is a wild ride but worth every single minute.

Groettum Family said...

I have completely fallen in love with your blog! And I wrote this to you once before, but I am constantly amazed at how similar our reactions/emotions etc were when receiving unexpected news about our children when their diagnosis' are so different. I too have a love/hate relationship with Holland (funny enough since my ancestors were Dutch), couldn't figure out how to update my fb status anymore, grieved (and still do sometimes) the life that "shoudla been" and immediately refused to follow the path that a particular diagnosis is expected to lead you down (I catch myself in Italy a lot lately, and I love it!). I love your positivity and strength and cannot wait to get to "know" you better.

p.s. I absolutely adore the two birth stories you have shared about your you have an exciting story about how you and your hubby met?

Gina said...

If I could sew, I'd make that little superbaby a cape. That's amazing!

Aubrey365 said...

You are therapy for ME! When I'm being negative I come here and read. I started at the beginning and find myself reading slowly so I can savor it longer. And I'm sure you get this from other's but I feel like I know you (and I hope I don't sound like a stalker)....but as I've been reading I just can't get over that maybe we knew each other when you lived in Michigan because I live here.
But I'm appreciating the normal, the everyday of life because that is what its all isn't the one week vacation or the anniversary dinner, its everyday...and thank you for showing me that.
I started journaling all those daily little things my 14 month old does because of you.

aleajactaest said...

I love you, Nella! (kiss)

Co Captain aka Mommy said...

I love, love, love your blog. It is so beautifully written. I am in love with Nella!!! She is truly gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

You make me want to be a better mother, a better wife, a better person... You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your beatiful words and pictures with us. You truly are a rockstar! Can I have your autograph? lol!

Selina said...

Thanks Kelle.
I so enjoy reading your words...beautiful words. (and Poppa's comments aren't half bad either! :) I love the honesty, and the raw emotions that pour out in each entry. You inspire me to live bigger, and savor the moments.

Kendall Bethy said...

A long time ago, I spent quite a bit of time in Holland. Immediately, I noticed all the, let's say, rated R-ness of it, and was well shocked. But I had the best time ever. It is a weird, tiny, place packed with amazing people, cheese and beer. Yum. When you've finally settled in, I am willing to bet Nella will be full of surprises...just like those great little neck muscles she rocking out! Go Nella!

Logan and Jack's Mommy said...

Your blog is amazing; your photography is beautiful; your daughters are stunning, and your honesty is refreshing. I wish wonderful things to come for you and your family. Meanwhile, I will enjoy every picture-filled post!

AshleyRichelle said...
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A&A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A&A said...

Nella is just adorable. I also cry everytime I read your blog. Your birth story is my story when Arden was born. I knew the second we looked into each others eyes. I just knew. Arden is now 9 months old and I so love her. I love my genetically enchanced Arden.

Thank you for your blog. My tears are good tears.

AshleyRichelle said...

I absolutely LOVE your blog. A friend of mine sent me Nella's birth story a couple weeks ago and I have been hooked ever since. You have such a beautiful family. I think I cry every time you post something new. Haha.

Keep doing what you're doing. You are an absolutely amazing mother and an inspiration to all of us. I hope that I can show my daughter the same care-free, deeper-than-the-ocean kind of love that you have shown yours.

Kathleen connerton said...

Once again, I am prompted to post. You, Kelle Hampton, have quite the story. And, I might add, the most amazing way of telling it. You are so human... so easy to relate to... and you too, are a rock star ;) Keep writing, Kelle... we all look so forward to reading it. xx

Madisyn Andrea said...

Oh you make me laugh.

Dana W said...

Kelle... Hi again. I just want you to know that you are awesome. I love reading. In fact, you have really have helped so many and will continue to do so with your words and honesty. It’s funny, a few of us that are now Kelle Hampton blog groupies (See you really are a rock star!) We refer to you as our friend Kelle – oh, and Kelle says this and Kelle said that. And, did you read what she said... it is exactly on the spot. We have all felt they way you are feeling and we sometimes still do at moments with our sweet angels that have DS as well as with our "typical" children that do not. One thing that you have inspired me to do is to be ME more. I used to go all out with details. But, then I just got tired – SAHM with 3 kids and a traveling husband. But, I realized that I actually get energized by doing it. So, the 4 of us made Star Pop Cookies for Jake's 1st bday party and printed out a picture of him from a pre b-day photo shoot from my friend Sara and posted them on cute striped paper and handed them out as a thank you for coming. Then I made a cute little scrapbook for all the guest to sign, write a note or draw a picture for him to have to remember. I made sure that it was already filled with his pictures from Sara so they could see it partially complete. It was fun and everyone was loving all three special touches. And, it made me feel good. The messages about how Jake has been such a blessing to everyone that was there was wonderful to read last night after the last guest left. The families of our little secret club are truly blessed- yes we will face some challenges and we will have lots of mountains to climb – but every step is full of determination and celebration. We are the lucky ones! Anyway, last night was a great party. A Smilebox to follow – just waiting for photos from my dear friends Sara and Beth (everyone was calling them the “Momma-razzi”) Anyway... I hog enough of your blog comment space. :o) Lots of hugs! Dana

Ssirsta said...

I just wanted to say that Nella is so gorgeous. She has the most beautiful eyes and adorable chubby checks. She must get that from her precious sister because she looks like a little doll too.

Hope you're enjoying your cuddles. We're about to nurse, cuddle and sleep too. :)

Rachel said...

I just want to say I skimmed through some of the comments (because I saw there were only thirty some at the time instead of the usual 200+ and I can see where you get your wisdom and compassion - your dad's post about the low score trumping all was so simple and amazing. I can't say anything without repeating what everyone has said before me - I love it all.

The words "fear not" are used 365 times in the Bible. That means there is a fear not for every day of the year :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I love that last line!

The song on this post was my wedding song :-) Beautiful.

Proud Mommy Tara said...

Dammit! I am crying...AGAIN!! Have you ever thought about becomming a Motivation Speaker!?! You warm my heart. And that last pic of Nella...Oh I could reach through this screen and hug her. Precious. Lainey looks so grown is these pics too! Such beautiful girls just like their Momma. Thank you for lifting my spirits again tonight through another beautiful post. You truly are a Rockstar. ;)

jen said...

lainey looks so ... big. wow. she totally grew up these last few weeks, huh? (i'm feeling the same way about cora right now.)
the idea of becoming your role model really struck a chord with me tonight ... thanks for that reminder.
and present? did not make it out yesterday ... i got crazily obsessed with finding an antique cabinet for my new-ish computer room after having to move things around. sorry. tomorrow.

Lora said...

I cannot believe how many people leave comments on your blog!!! It's amazing how many lives you have touched! I am thrilled to hear that you read every one of them too. :) That's awesome! I have posted a few times before. I found your blog through facebook a few weeks ago through a link to Nella's birth story.

My child does not have DS....But, I can still relate to having a child with special needs. I was thrust into being the mother of a special little boy at just 19 yrs of age. We were told when he was diagnosed at 11 months old that he would not survive to the age of 3. He has spent his entire 13 years in and out of hospitals (mostly for pneumonias) brought on by just something as minor as a common cold. He lacks the strength to cough and therefore, a cold could actually kill him. He will be 14 yrs old in just a few weeks and we continue to stand in awe of what he has overcome in his short life. We live each day with him to the fullest as we never know when it will be his last. He has never walked, stood or even crawled. But, he is the most amazing child and has the most amazing attitude towards life. Thank you for sharing your beautiful girls and your life. Even being into this journey 13 years now, I am still growing and learning everyday. Nella will change you in ways you never thought possible. You sound like an incredibly strong person and I know you will do just fine. Poppa your dad? He sounds like an amazing father and grandfather! I can see where you get your writing talent! ((HUGS))

Chelle, Nick and Raya said...

Hi Kelle

I was led to your blog by your amazingly raw, honest, breath takingly beautiful birth story and it is the LOVE and FABUOUSNESS of your girls, fsmily and bond which has held me here. Your blog is now close to my heart and reminds me daily to scoop up my little treasure and breathe her in deep because soon she will be too big to scoop up!

I also have to say that I always read through the comments because the words of wisdom from Poppa and his beautiful way with words could be a blog on their own.

Nella is just delicious and Miss Lainey - what a gorgeous big sister.

Enjoy rockin it out with your girls.

Lots of hugs

Vonda said...

Oh I was just going to shut the computer down and I'm SO glad I checked/stalked your blog once more. I'm telling you that Lainey is the splitting image of you, she has your exact eyes, so so beautiful. And Miss Nella gets cuter every time I see her, if that's possible!!! Nothing cuter in this world and I SOOOOO want to snuggle in that neck of hers!!! What a post of yumminess!!! Thanks. Off to bed now!!! :)

Terisa said...

You have blessed me! Thank you for your transparency and for sharing life along the way. I have greater grace and understanding because of you. And I have passionate hope for the child I believe God will one day give me. You make me feel STRONG! I have a confident hope and peace for that season in my life. Thank you!

Jodee Leader said...

Your girls are just adorable! You are a fabulous writer and photographer too! I love visiting your blog!

Jana said...

Oh goodness...your posts always speak to my heart. You strike a chord in all moms with beautifully written prose that touches on the universal emotions we feel, the daily struggles, but mostly how it is all born out of love for our babies. I enjoy the little glimpse into your world that I get with each post...and it makes me feel renewed and ready to take on the next challenge.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on now....I can't handle such amazing photography! I just might have to plan a visit to FL so I can have my children photographed by you!! The close-up of Lainey in the green sweater(under where you wrote, "My littles await") captures her pure beauty! Love, love, love!!

Jill B. (Overland Park, KS)

Also, like your new header!

Megan said...

Beautiful. I know, redundant. and I hate being redundant. But your pictures, and your girls are really just breathtaking. Enjoy!

Rachel said...

In Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamont, she talks about how if a person is fascinating enough, you could really sit and watch them do dishes for an hour and totally love it, or if they call you and say, "Hey, you want to go to the Palatuma dump with me?" you could not think of anything that you would rather do than spend time with that person! : ) haha! you are totally that kind of person. The one we all want to be in the presence of while you wash dishes and drop your balls and love your family! and thanks to the blog, we get to do just that. You are a rockstar and a hilarious writer! Have a sweet night with your babes!

Jewllori by Lori said...

Kelle, just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a thoughtful comment. I will always be a fan of you, your family and your blog. So be prepared to see me here for a long time. :)

Your girls are real beauties, and I love Lainey in green!! She looks like a rockstar in green for sure. Nella on the other hand rocks the knits like noone else :) She is such a precious pumpkin, and her glossy blue eyes make me melt.

I'm glad your getting to the point of moving on. Not because I don't totally get so much hope and life from reading your emotional journey, but you totally could use the release. Praying for you always :)


Crystal said...

I am in love with Nella. I love the picture of her on her belly. Look at her.... growing, and doing and rockin' like a rockstar.

I, too, am so happy I found your site! Reading your every word!

Love the new look on your header, too!

Springroll said...

Kelle -
Words cannot express how much I have enjoyed reading your blog...I recently discovered it and have greedily read aaaaallll the way back to when you began it. Love it. You are truly an inspiration. My husband and I have suffered from infertility for three long years, and will be welcoming a little baby boy in 5 weeks (hopefully...) through IVF - your story makes me believe that I can do anything....

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

tee said...

You have such an amazing way with words and your photography talent is out of this world. I love your blog! I have a 17 month old son who is delayed. We are in the process of figuring out way and how we can help him best. Your words and story help warm my heart and remind me how God doesn't make mistakes and my little fella is just the way he is meant to be and may not be just like his older brother, but that's okay. Your family is gorgeous. Best wishes always!

KC said...

Every time you open your heart and share -the way YOU do- how much you enjoy the small things about “your real, beautiful life” you are able to connect deeply with others. That is why every post gets so many comments, that’s why so many people follow your blog.

Kelle, your blog is like an open book (:until you publish your bestseller:) that grows with every post and every comment. This corner of your precious world is a community of love, where we all come to visit and share our thoughts, stories and beautiful energy, inspiring and empowering each other, always coming back for more.

“We become what we love. Whatever you are giving your time and attention to, day after day, this is the kind of person you will eventually become.” Wayne Muller

Wishing you Love, Light and Laughter ~

Jorie said...

As always, your post is inspiring. You inspire so many people to be better parents, better people.

So many moms and dads know what you are talking about when you say there are so many balls to juggle. But, like you, I will gladly drop them all for my babies!

Thank you for your inspiration!


P.S.My almost 18 month older daughter yells "shoes!" every time I pull up your blog to read! She's in love with shoes!

Hannah said...

Beautiful photos and a beautiful thing you wrote about tucking away the twenties.

Love & Blessings,

Jennifer said...

Beautiful! The post and your girls. You inspire me each time I come here. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Megan said...

What beautiful photos. You are an amazing photographer!

dani said...

i am pretty sure that every time i comment it is to simply say how beautiful your girls are. but i have to say it again! and if i had never seen my sweet girl as a newborn i would have to say nella is the most beautiful newborn i have ever seen.

you are such an inspiration, kelle. thanks for sharing your loves and life with us!

ecjbailey said...

Aw. I just found your blog a few days ago via and I'm falling in love with your beautiful girls too! I'm originally from Florida and it is so nice to see your pictures bring out the beauty of that state. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

teamaldrich said...

Love, love, love! Thanks for sharing another post and more delicious photos. Having exhausted the archives earlier this week, I now devour everyone's comments. Teehee! Would love to hear the story of how you and Brett met ... Take care! xoxo

Shipley Family said...

Aww Kele, you're bringing back memories! Hang in there! Mommies like us are rockstars! ;)

mountainmomma said...

I have been reading your blog now for the last few days and I have to thank you so much for writing this all down, you are incredibly inspiring. And your girls are beautiful! I too have a two year old and the other day she woke up from her nap and I had the laptop open to your blog and after seeing pictures of Nella started pointing excitedly "Baby! Baby!" she yelled over and over. Now she insisted multiple times during the day that I log on and show her "pretty baby" as she calls her.

Rachel said...

Would you take it the wrong way if I told you I think I love you?

I want to move to Naples, knock on your door and become your best friend. Assuming you'll have me of course, and that you won't find it weird that a random internet stranger moved her family across the country to be your friend...

But it's true, in some weird, internet stalker way, I do love you and your sweet family, and we are friends. You don't know me, but I know a little about you, and I like what I see.

Thanks for doing this. You have no idea how much enjoyment, hope, love, inspiration, etc. we get from every single one of your posts.

Have a great week, Kelle. You ARE a rockstar.

Cassie said...

Rock on you Italian-Dutch Rockstar, you! Yes, you heard me, you are an Italian-Dutch rockstar. Lainey took you to Italy and Nella took you to Holland and they were both beautiful and both life changing and both wonderful and you are better for having been both places! Rock on Kelle, rock on!

Angela said...

Hi Kelle,

A faithful reader (and 'sorority' sister -- my Casey Jane is 6) here now for several weeks and I continue to be inspired by everything about you! Facebook statuses have nothing on you and your blog! Just wanted you to know you have inspired and reminded yet another mom to squeeze every last drop of juicyness from her littles and am so thankful for that! Hugs last longer, kisses are sweeter and I am the happier mom for it!

I also wanted to tell you that my dear, dear friend -- my 'Heidi' -- (connected by our daughter's chromosome count and their adorable friendship) is about to move away to another state and it has been so hard for me to say goodbye. Even though I know we will always be each other's 'best down syndrome friend' I feel like part of my heart is heading North. But, thanks to your blog, we have yet another way to stay close while miles apart. We are the first to text each other when there is a new Kelle post and I know neither of us can wait to chat about yet another amazing way you have reminded us to be better moms and wives. Thank you for keeping us close!

Sending love your way to you and your BEAUTIFUL family! Keep writing, keep inspiring, and keep rocking it out! You are doing an awesome job!


Anonymous said...

Somehow I happened upon your blog and I am completey in love! You are so inspiring probably to so many! To me, you have inspired me to live more and count my blessings more. Thank you, thank you! I love baby knits! That's why I started knitting and crocheting. I hope one day you'll find my shop!
Thank you again! Keep it up!

dg darling said...

Oh my goodness, your photos of your girls are always so delicious! Someday I will take pictures like yours....someday....

Harnisch Family said...

I love and am addicted to your blog! Your girls are so adorable. I have been checking in frequently ever since you posted your amazing "birth story".
I too gave birth to a precious baby girl 8 short weeks ago. Our little Miss Macy has Down Syndrome as well. I can relate to your thoughts and feelings so very much! Macy, like your Nella, is blessed to also have a big (2 yr old) sister. :-)
thanks again for sharing your journey!!

Caroline said...

Nella is one of the most beautiful newborns I have ever seen...Your words hold so much beauty. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jenn Ryan said...

Although I am not entirely sure how I stumbled upon your blog but for the past week I have become enthralled in your life, your work, your photos, but especially your words. I have wanted to post but always thought that was silly because you would never have the time to read all the comments. I now believe that it was God's will that I stumbled across your blog, as it has breathed a new energy into my life. After today’s post and the talk of role models I just felt compelled to tell you that you are my role model. I don't have any children yet but when I do if I could just be a fraction of the mother you are I know it will all be ok. You have truly inspired me and I think about you and your girls daily.

Jenn Ryan

Ami said...

The last picture of Nella is absolutely breathtaking. I am so jealous that you get to snuggle that little piece of heaven. Knowing that those eyes are looking right at you makes me smile. It's as though she is saying, "Hi Momma. Thank you for loving me." Once again, great post. :)


Anonymous said...

I love your blog, your honesty. Your story inspires me. Although, nothing like my own, I still can relate to most things you say. You are a wonderful writer, and your family is beautiful. I cry at like every post I read, thank you so much you have touched me in a way I will always remember and things you say will stay with me.

Beth said...

Ok, dear Kelle, I have written to you one time before but I read this poem recently and it perfectly captured why I have been so taken with your blog. It is called Art and Heart by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Though critics may bow to art, and I am its own true lover,
It is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

Though smooth be the heartless prayer, no ear in Heaven will mind it,
And the finest phrase falls dead, if there is no feeling behind it.

Though perfect the player's touch, little if any he sways us,
Unless we feel his heart throb through the music he plays us.

Though the poet may spend his life in skillfully rounding a measure,
Unless he writes from a full warm heart, he gives us little pleasure.

So it us not the speech which tells, but the impulse which goes with the saying,
And it is not the words of prayer, but the yearning back of the praying.

It is not the artist's skill, which into our soul comes stealing
With a joy that is almost pain, but it is the player's feeling.

And it is not the poet's song, though sweeter than bells chiming,
Which thrills us through and through, but the heart which beats under the rhyming.

And therefore I say again, though I am the art's true lover,
That it is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.

Kelle, thank you so much for your "warm full heart" and letting us see it so clearly. I look forward to your words and pictures and hold my kids a little closer because of them. Beth

Tina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina said...

Hi Kelle,
I have read your amazing birth story and have come back to your blog time and time again. I am a mother to twins. I had them last year on Valentine's Day. They were born 10 weeks early and weighed 2 lbs 14 oz and 2 lbs 13 oz. We were in the hospital for 10 weeks. I had a boy and a girl. Six days after I had them I was told that my son has Down Syndrome. We were shocked and totally not prepared for the news. It was a tough time. But now over a year later my husband and I look back on that time and wonder what we were so upset for. Our son is amazing and we cannot image our life without him. His smile lights up the room and his giggle is the best sound ever.
Keep up the blogging. If you want to read some great books read Gifts and Gifts 2. I am sure people have told you how good they are. They are short stories and I really enjoyed reading a couple before I went to bed.
Take care.

Jennie said...

I hope you do realize that YOU are that model that others picture and become. :)

Cassie said...

I only found your blog a couple of days ago from a Facebook friend, and I've been hooked with reading about your family! You are truly a great writer, a wonderful photographer, and an amazing Mommy! I am a new mommy to 4 month old, and I completely envy your girls' rockin' wardrobes! You truly are a rockstar! Nella's birth story was the most touching thing I have ever read in my life, and I've read alot! Congrats on her, she is truly a little beauty and I know she will be such a blessing to you and so many others! Little Laney is a doll too, and looks like a wonderful big sis! I look forward to reading your new posts, they give me a new perspective on life and uplift my spirit, and I just wanted to say thanks that you and your family have been a blessing in my life!

Susan the Singer said...

Kelle, I love the new header; it's adorable!

Nella lifting her head already, at a month old, is about the time that kids who aren't "genetically enhanced" start to. But you know, I think in your situation, I'd never consult another book or chart on child development. Nella will do things in her time. Whether it's at the same age that Lainey did or not doesn't matter; she'd do things in her own time and way even without an extra chromosome. And she's still getting cuter!

Hirano Family said...

Beautifully written per usual! I just love your perspective on life.

Can you please post an address where we could ship goodies to you? Time to get a P.O. box or something! :) Thanks. -Ann

Julie Harward said...

You just have to throw that killer photo in at the end don't you...the one that steals my heart and makes tears come to my eyes! SO BEAUTIFUL!
The pic of Nella and her daddy...I think she is smiling at him, his sweet! When you talked about "family being everything"...You are so right. That is the whole purpose of this come here, to be tried and tested and find great joy in out posterity and to be together forever. Wasn't God so kind and so all knowing to put us together, to let us go through this time on a family?! I am so thankful for SUCH blessings! I just love my sister in this earth time. :D

Madisyn said...

Oh and Lainey's eyes in these pics look amazing! Totally looks like she has eyeliner on too! ;)

Cynthia Kleppang said...


Like so many of your readers, I came to your blog from a friend who shared with me, and I have bawled again and again over your story, over your absolutely yummy, adorable, heaven-sent Nella.

Thank you for the path you are walking and for sharing your adventures along the way. In case nobody has said it, Nella and Lainey are taking you so many places beyond Holland and Italy....your girls and your generous heart have made friends around this entire, big, beautiful world!

With LOVE LOVE LOVE from a reader in the Puget Sound who is and will always be CHEERING you on!

Anonymous said...

I am a mom of 2 little girls as well and need to take a lesson from you about dropping the balls more often instead of continually trying to juggle them.
And thanks to trying to be more like you, my girls got to splash in the rain puddles so much yesterday that their clothes were soaked and muddy...but they had the biggest smiles (just like yours do). Thank you from me and my girls.

Sharlene said...

Hi Kelle,

Your family is beautiful, and Nella has stolen my heart. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Sandy and Allison said...

Hi Kelle,

I've had a hard time commenting because I just don't seem to be able to find the words to express my thoughts. But, today you wrote that you read all the comments and I thought to myself that it really isn't fair that I am getting to enjoy so much beauty (in words and thoughts and photos) from you while providing nothing in return.

I found your blog through an internet site - someone had linked to your birth story which I eagerly clicked on because I love birth stories! I always cry when I read them, but they are always so amazing, so I continue. I have to honestly tell you that your story did make me cry (very hard), but it also made me smile and laugh (Lainey was so cute in her crown!).

Your girls are adorable ... seriously adorable. You are a beautiful person (inside and out!). You take lovely photos. Your outlook on life is real and honest and wonderful. I'm glad your hubby is home to wrap you all in his arms and make you feel safe.

I won't comment all the time, but please know that I am reading. I am thinking about your family on a regular basis. I am sending up prayers for you and your loved ones. Please continue to enjoy life ... and live it out loud!

Again, thank you for sharing. And, one more thing ... I LOVE the last two photos of this post ... what extraordinarily perfect babes.

Kristen said...

I love reading your cheers me up and reminds me what life is all about. I think it's awesome that you are cherishing the moments with your little ones. My youngest is now in first grade. My house is quiet during the day, and while I enjoy more time for myself, I miss them. I am thankful that I was home with them, playing and enjoying them while they were small. You really can't get that time back and so many people don't realize that until they are grown-up and it's too late. Have a great day with your babies today!:)

Mamarazziof2boys said...

Hello, my name is Carrie and I'm a Kelleoholic...completely and TOTALLY addicted to her blogs ,her precious baby girls,her photography and "Kelle herself" for just being Kelle and opening up her life to all of us!
Sista/friend.......I look forward to your every's like a drug that I can't kick!
I just adore the picture of "Daddy holding Nella" and looking into her eyes".....uhhh, needed a whole box of kleenex for that one. You have this way of making me bust out laughing one minute and crying the's a good thing :-)
I have to tell ya that I love your it so much that I was finding myself going to your page (daily) just to let it play as I carried on around the house doing my daily mommy really calms my soul....I like it so much that I added many of your songs to my I don't need to stalk your page hahaha!
Because of you Kelle...I started my own Blog but since I'm not much of a writer I'm feeling stumped and not knowing where to start...any advise?
I'm trying to figure the whole blog thing out and how to navigate it...I added a picture of my Boys and a lil tidbit about myself and that's it!
Any advise on where/how to start would be so appreciated :-)

Looking forward to my next Kelle fix :-)
Your friend,

Jeanne said...

Hi Kelle, my name is Jeanne! How are you doing? :)

I guess I just wanted to introduce myself to you since I feel like I know so much about you and your beautiful family. Wow, that kind of sounded stalker-y! LOL My son is 1 year 10 months old and my daughter is 10 months old. YIKES...I know! We live in Washington State about an hour from Seattle on our little piece of paradise.

You have inspired me in so many ways due to your blog. I feel like everyday I look at my kids with a deeper since of awe and wonderment. I see the beauty in everything now. Even when my son Devon decided to eat off the top of the dishwasher door. :) And of course your photography has really impacted and inspired me to be better and learn more about my camera. So again...thank you!

Enjoy those froggy legs and stuffy noses!

Barbra said...

Dear Kelle:
I read you words and feel like I shall not move----not a whisper. Your words freeze me into stillness at a kind of reverence for the miracle in family found on these pages Kelle. Yours is a freshly found discovery this blog enjoyingthesmallthings.....I've been captured by the beauty of your weaved words and the tenderness of two, tiny faces looking out into my space and this very space has been blessed as a holy hush.....from a 'sister view' I honour a brother who too was special needs and in my own familiar way discovered reflections to days gone by and what grace 'became me' just in being 'big sis' to 'billy'. Italy will be yours Kelle.....
God Bless Your Nest,

jen byard said...

Go Nella! She's so strong...hope you have a great week with your girls...

Turducken said...

You are so beautiful, as is your whole family.

I too had a time in my life when I needed to remind myself that I was/am a rockstar. Back in 2008, I became pregnant with my 3rd child. During the pregnancy I was diagnosed with placenta accreta. It is a condition when the placenta embeds too deeply into the uterus and doesn't separate the way it should after birth. It is a rare condition, that is hard to diagnose and many times is fatal to the mother. I was so scared throughout the entire pregnancy.

I started to bleed in mid September at 32 weeks. My dr. decided to do a emergency c-section/hysterectomy. He saved my life as well as my baby's life. But I felt so broken and different from everyone else. It was such a odd and painful feeling. As I was laying in the ICU with a tube down my throat minus my uterus, the singer Pink was featured on Entertainment Tonight, singing her song, "So What, I'm still a Rockstar". I have never paid much attention to Pink, but man that song was just what I needed! In many ways it has kind of become my theme song. Just reminding myself that I am still a rockstar, made me feel like I could/can do anything I put my mind to.

Your blog is amazing and you are amazing. I love how truthful and real you are. I will be praying for you as well as Nella. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Man, I know I'm going to sound so sappy…seriously, I'm the least sappy person around, but man, your blog just does something to me. I think about you and your beautiful family many times a day and pray for only good things for you all. I have been thinking about why it has touched me so much and I guess it's because when I was going through postpartum depression, I remember my mom telling me the old adage "God does not give you what you deserve, but what you can handle." When I read each posting I remember this adage. I remember telling her that I couldn't handle it, that I didn't want to handle it and that I was flailing and drowning in my own sorrow. But...I did get through it…I could handle it...I was stronger then I thought I was. We all are. So, not to sound trite, but God must think you are so amazing and strong because he has given you Nella…sweet, sweet Nella. Nella - who brings a smile to my face, and sometimes a tear to my eye when I see her - will change everything for the better. She is exactly the one thing you never realized you always wanted. How blessed are you that your story has and will continue to touch and bless so many lives? We read it and it brings us to a place where we think "I can handle anything that comes my way." We realize that life is full of surprises that teach you and others around you how to be a better be better people. Okay, the sappy portion of this entry has ended and I will finish it off by saying…keep on rockin' the sexy shoes hot mama!

iColossus said...

Hey there Kelle!

I was thinking towards the end of last week, darn, probably will have to wait until Monday to get a new post outta her. BUT a post Friday AND Sunday, yeah!

Re: your Friday post, Passport to Italy. I really LOVE that you are not letting your circumstances dictate your happiness. YOU are dictating your happiness and I just love how empowered you were to make it over to Italy, REGARDLESS!! So awesome.

There are real rockstars and celebrities and the rich and famous who have no idea how to be happy. Who search far and wide for things, fame, money, recognition, people, circumstances, drugs, etc. to make them happy. And these people, who "have everything," live such lives of quiet or loud desperation.

You are CAUSE in the matter of your life and, dammit, you have a SAY!

Just was totally cheering you about that post and what it must have taken from you to get there! Rock on!

And loved today's post. I have a similar saying about becoming that role model, it's "Imagine coaching someone who is going through what you're going through, what would you say to them, how would you coach them?"

Here's a random list:

1. I love the new header. It's beautiful and representative of TODAY, what's present for you now.

2. I want to hear the story how you met your hubby. (I also fell in love with my hubby while watching him parent his little boy, who is now 17...we've been together since he was 8. It was completely the most enrolling thing he could do to have me fall in love with him. "Sign me up!")

3. How about a post on pics and impressions from your wedding day?!

4. Thanks for creating your life as a work of art.

5. We're in LA but if we lived closer I'd also sign up for a session for you to take pics of the kidlettes.

6. Thanks for your previous post on your camera and lenses. I just have a point-n-shoot but am giving serious thought now to a DSLR, based on your lovely work, and how beautifully you're documenting your children's childhoods. Since I work for Sony Pics, I probably will research getting a Sony (cuz of the discount and company loyalty) but will also see how it measure against what you're using.

7. I really love your "commentiers" as well and always take the time to click on their blogs and check out them and their families. My kids aren't 'genetically enhanced' so I am celebrating the opportunity to "meet" DS families that I wouldn't normally have much exposure to, and they are so lovely and beautiful and brave, especially the ones who continue to have more kids, hats off to them!

8. Dead Poets is also one of my top favorite movies. My hubby is an artist (painter) and also an art teacher and IS the Robin Williams character (I was a student in his class so that's how we met, hee!)

Well, that's it for now.

Can't wait to see what adventures will await you this week, make it a great one!

Anne said...

Hello;) Okay, last photo of Nella is breathtaking. Seriously, how can I get tears in my eyes just looking into her eyes???? I don't even know her for gosh sakes! You would think she was my very own daughter or something. Beautiful. Beautiful. You inspire me to want to be a better mother, with all you do for your girls and all your wonderful love you give to them just makes me want to do better for my son. Can you have an "open house" someday and any of us blog readers can come meet you all???? I don't think I have ever wanted to meet people I don't even know so much!! I've always said if anyone asked me the question, "Who would you like to meet if you could meet anyone in the world?" My answer would be "Cher!". Well, my second answer would be The Hamptons from Florida, of course:) Take care:)

♥ Michelle said...

I check several times a day to see if you've updated. I'm well aware you have a full and busy life, but this has become almost as big as my addiction to coffee. Forgive me. Your girls are so charming and freaking adorable!
I know I haven't gone through nearly what you have, but we all have our ups and downs and from your blog it seems as if you're handling your downs with ups, which I just cannot get enough of. I love your attitude and your vision through your photos. Keep it up. You're girls are going to relish in you forever.

Jill Carilli said...

Kelle: Do you ever find it so amazing how wide your blog has spread and how many people are glued to every post? I think it should prove to you that you and Nella and your family are meant for bigger things, and maybe this is happening to you because you are meant to touch so many lives, and inspire people like me to be a better Mom everyday, to live life to the fullest. To stop and smell the roses (or in this case the babies...). Your blog has become my Chicken Soup for the Soul. My Tuesdays with Morrie and my Last Lecture. Thank you for writing. I am a better person for having found your blog and a better Mom to my kids. PS I wrote about how you have inspired me on my own blog and got a lot of my friends addicted to your blog as well...

heather said...

Funny you mention FB. I found your blog right after you posted your birth story and pre-celebrity/rockstar status. There is a huge Down syndrome community on FB and we've all gotten to know each other through it even though most of us haven't ever met, we all feel like besties. So I searched your name and wanted to add you as my friend. Little did I know, you'd have thousands of new friends wanting to add you. :) You definitely have a way of making everyone want to have you as their bff! Heidi must realize how lucky she is to have you as her bestie!

I started from the beginning of your blog and read up to the present after I read your birth story and that excerpt you posted was probably my favorite thing I read . . . you were so right. "More growth. More experiences. More challenges. More love." It's like you just knew.

I wanted to share a poem that one of my bestie's wrote for me when Morgan was just days old.

Morgan's Poem

So small she lay there in your arms
With heaven still in her eyes.
You truly are the blessed ones
For she is a special prize.
Your Father took His extra care
and gave a piece of His heart.
In creating your little girl,
He created a work of art.
He sent this child to you,
not by luck or chance.
God knew you were the perfect ones
worthy to have her first glance.
You see your little girl, Morgan
brings with her a special light.
That will touch all those around her
And raise them to a new height.
She has something special
that she brought with her to earth.
For there were heavenly angels
that stayed with her through her birth.
Morgan has been given a gift
that she will share with us all.
She carries with her the Savior
in her spirit strong and tall.
All those that are blessed to know her
will come away the better.
Feeling the Savior's spirit
Just because they met her.
An eternal gift to treasure
Morgan's piece of priceless worth.
We truly are the blessed ones,
For she is heaven on earth.
(Written by Tiffany Wilko)


Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

Facebook is overrated. The deliciousness of our children and father's like Poppa aren't!

Anne Jaze said...

I am turning 30 next year and have bookmarked your post so I can be a rockstar and welcome my 30s with a bang. You and your angels demonstrate the purest and most fundamental form of love - thank you for showing us all the way. Will pray Italy grants you and your family permanent residence status. Till then, rock those hot wooden shoes! GOD BLESS you, Lainey and sweet little Nella. :-) Hugs from across the Pacific :-)

Anne from the Philippines

everydaymomma said...

Dearest Kelle,
This is my first comment as i am not great with words and feel as if i couldnt possibly convey what i feel, but i will try.Everyday i turn to your blog i laugh, i cry(bawl)i envy(you have an amazing talent for words,photography, and dressing your children)and i get inspired.My husband thinks its a little creepy that i feel as if weve been friends for years, and slightly goofy that i include your familyy in my prayers, and dare he say insane that i have researched plane tickets to naples from idaho because after all your children are only this small once and i NEED some gorgeous pics, and you capture with your camera the beauty i see but am incapable of portraying with my mediocre camera and abbilities.I am too a hypersensitive woman i feel so very deeply and am very empathetic i have read each one of your blogs(stayed up all night last week cozy on the couch while my babes where sleeping with my chocolates and diet coke, going over each entry)i am in awe you are ...amazing.The reason i am commenting is to say thankyou, for the past few days my husband has been out of town(hence the staying up all night on the computer)being with his"our" beloved grandma as she is passing, and i have been inspired ,i have been learning to embrace life,love,the stolen moments with my babes and i have been able to instead of being a mess over what we are losing,been able to embrace all of the good, i have escaped to your reality and been able to realize it is ok to feel, all of what life gives us to feel and be completly in love with my life and all i have, today instead of freaking my kitchen would get messy i took my 3 year old girls and made the most stinkin awesome crazilly messy cobbler , took a bunch of pics, and enjoyed every second of it.thanks to you, and i will continue to do all of this while reading this beautiful journey with you, just remember when you are shedding your tears or laughing till u pee a little so will all of us, and i will also put up a fare watcher alert on travelocity for when i can afford to fly all of my children to naples for pics:)

Adrienne said...

I have to say I'm excited for you because whether you realize it or not you are helping Nella and the many other children with Down syndrome and special needs by blogging. You now have over a thousand followers and it's so important for people to accept our kids. But if they don't know much about DS or that life can be normal (it will get there, in time I promise) there will always be that stereotype that goes along with DS. I know that you're just being Nella's mommy but you're also her advocate and your story will allow more people to see life with a special needs child may have it's challenges but it can also be wonderful and so rewarding. You're already seeing that by all the people that have reached out to you.

You are perfect for Nella and she is perfect for you. Keep being the great mommy that you are!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued by your take on that poem. It seems as though you are denying the point of the poem while living the exact same thing the poem is talking about. Your struggle to come to terms with DS when you expected "normal". And if there was ever a woman who would embrace "what IS" it seems that would be you, dear lady. Your openness about your shock and sadness are so refreshing. Oh, Nella is such a lucky little girl to have a Mama like you!

Elizabeth said...

Kelle, Your lemon poppyseed scones may not have been truly "homemade" but they were homebaked...and that always counts for something!

I'm so glad another mom admits to not doing it all, all the time! I also have a lot of "balls in the air" and often, despite the guilt, I have to let many fall.

Enjoy the time with your sweet Nella. I so miss the nursing time with my own sweet girl. It's bittersweet watching them grow up, for sure.

I hope you have another rockstar day, full of many blessings!

Amy, queen of the world. said...

My son turns 2 months old today. We were in the NICU for a month of that, and put back in the hospital for a week after we finally got home. I'm overjoyed to see that Nella seems to enjoy great health, as I'm sure you've found out that lots of Ds babies do not. Dylan (that's my boy) is in good health too, minus the doudenal atresia he had to have repaired via surgery the day after he was born, some small congenital heart abnormalities, which should correct themselves with time, and jaundice. I hope you feel as blessed as I do that other than the developmental delays they're bound to have SOMEWHERE along the road, they're just typical babies. Eat, sleep, poop, repeat. Where I get hung up, though, is comparing what my big boy (he's 2.5) was doing at Dylan's age, because Dylan isn't doing any of it yet. I try to remind myself that even if Dylan was born without his bonus chromosome, he might still not be doing the things my big boy was doing, because *tooting my own horn* my big boy is, and has always been, very advanced. :) Anyway, I've gone into rambling mode, so I shall conclude this with saying that your two girls are insanely beautiful (as are you), and I'm glad you're sharing your journey with us.

Jem said...

Kelle I have been thinking that I would LOVE to knit a little pair of pants for you gorgeous, gorgeous Nella. Might take me a little while as I tend to knit in the rare moments I get in hospital without my baby in my arms. If you want to, leave a quick comment on my blog and I will get knitting. I adore the way you dress your girls!!

Texan in UAE said...

You blog fills my heart with warmth and happiness. When I wanna reflect on my life, i come here to see how your journey in your life has lead you. Thanks for making someone in UAE a little more happier. God bless, from UAE.

Frau said...

Love this post, you have such a beautiful family...your girls are little angels. I love your pictures they are bright and beautiful. Happy March!

Niki said...

Kelle - You have such an amazing way with words!...and photography! I am green with envy over all these beautiful pictures....but then again you have two beautiful models there, don't you?

Thank you for sharing this journey with so many people you don't know. In Nella's short time here, he has already stolen so many peoples hearts! She is amazing!

Malina said...

I just discovered your blog last night, and since then have been reading and reading and reading. Every chance I get. It’s fantastic. You’re fantastic. I hope you recognise you have an extraordinary talent for writing. (And of course for taking pictures) I will bee following your blog from this day on.

-Malin, Norway (Mother of two girls)

Mattanja said...

I started reading your blog just after Nella was born. I found the link on another site. And let me say, I am hooked!

I am loving your honesty, your story's and most of all, the pictures. Your girls have the most beautiful eyes!

Oh, and by the way, I am from The Netherlands, and I also do not like wooden shoes... ;)

Tricia said...

I'm a new reader here! and Ive been captivated for over 1/2 an hour! Ive laughed and cried and cried some more. I'm a 31 year old mother of 4. My youngest Adam is 10 months old and has D.s. Your Daughters are beautiful! I look forward to following along on your journey.

Tricia (BC Canada)

Susanne said...

You are beautiful and your words have been therapy for me too in the last view weeks. Thank you!

ashleyenfrance said...

ROCK ON girl! And show those girls how rockstars dance!!

PS- On your way to Holland stop by France... We can eat scrumptious pastries, eat cheese, drink wine and have a great time. Thanks for commenting on my blog...

From the Kitchen said...

You, my blogging friend, are an amazing person with a beautiful family and a gift with words. All will be well in good time. Thanks for the beautifully photographed updates.

Liz said...

Hi Kelle,
This is definitely one of my favorite posts! There are so many aspects about it that I love...

Your blog as therapy... It's NOT boring, it's been "therapy" for me, too! I use my blog to give a voice to my inner thoughts just as you do... and I SO appreciate reading your thoughts because you say it SO beautifully and because it lets me know I'm not alone as we try our best to make the best of our lives. :)

Your sister's advice... Here lately, you've been that "model mom" for me. You savor life and your children to the fullest and, at the same time, aren't afraid to say you don't have it all together all the time. That has truly been an inspiration for me!

I read a little saying yesterday that I loved: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all...

I know you hope to "move on" and I hope that for you, too, but in between those funny, random posts, please still write about the "set backs," too, because we all have them and those posts help others going through the same things.

I may know you only from your blog and you may not know me, but please know that I thank you for sharing your moments. They mean so much to me!

medina family said...

I love the rock star idea...I shall try it...although you look more like a rock star than I do. Wonderful post as always. Beautiful pics, beautiful girls, beautiful words.

Anonymous said...

My babe (now 9 months) had that little ON onsie Nella is wearing in the last pic, but it never looked that trendy or cute on her. This is proof, of course, that she IS a rock star. Only rock stars can take an ON onsie and make it look couture. <3

Before you go thinking my babe is a wanna-be, you should see her take control of Mini Boden. ;)

babyjourney said...

I am an addict. Addicted to your words and your pictures. How does it feel to be able to touch a life halfway across the world from you? :)

You are blessed. :)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your feelings. You truly are inspiring. Your girls are so adorable :)

want to answer another FAQ? :) what lens do you use? :)

How do you ever find the time and the inspiration to write these amazing posts? With wonderful pics and inspiring words? :)

Ann said...

Once again - beautiful - your words, your honesty, your pictures, your girls - just beautiful

Marie in NH said...

Oh . . . those pictures! I just want to scoop up those girls and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! Nella's cheeks are just crying out for smooshy kisses!

Cathy said...

You know, that is one thing, among many, many lessons I've learned since having our sweet Lauren. Having her has taught me just how interconnected we all are as humans. I bought her that book, "Everyday Angels" for her baptism. It is beautiful and makes me cry. I believe she is a little angel who has made me so aware of all of the other angels around me, those that have touched our lives, helped us in some immeasurable way.

You are right about the Italy thing- it all is what you make it, how you perceive things. You can go anywhere, do anything. The trick is to not set limits and close doors. You are doing amazingly well, by the way.

Karen said...

Kelle, I just had to write and say I was at work the other day and I looked over and there was a picture of Nella laying was on a sheet of paper of a poem that your dad wrote. So, of course I asked my friend where she got it and someone in our building gave it to her so she can pass it on to the families she works with (we're pediatric therapists). So amazing, how your little girl and your family can inspire so many people and help them get through some of their "tough" times.
My MIL forwarded your blog to me (she works with your dad), and I, like everyone else, am inspired. Your little Nella, melts my heart! Karen

Mrs. Fitz said...

I didn't start reading until your birth announcement so I don't know what you wrote about before Nella's birth (I really should go back and read...), but you have never once bored me in your "therapy" posts. My heart has ached with yours, I've cried and I've laughed, I've shoved the computer in my husband's face demanding, "Look at these babies... aren't they precious?!" I've sent the link to your blog to my mom and my friends... it has made it through all the nurses in the L&D ward where my friend is the head nurse.

I've seen the joys and sorrows of DS in year two, year three. Will there be struggles? Yes. Will you experience immeasurable joy? Absolutely. The pouty lip, and those beautiful blue eyes just taking everything in, soaking in the sights and the love of her Momma. Just wait until she starts to walk... she'll never stop. She'll pull things off shelves faster than you can clean up and you'll look back at these pictures and wish for the days when you could just sit and snuggle. And then you'll hear the telltale drum beats on your tupperware... she's found your new hiding spot.

My favorite little baby has started mimicking every move of the adults in her life. I fold my arms, she folds her arms and if she doesn't get it right she will sit in the corner and practice. I yawn and cover my mouth, she makes a perfect little 'O' with her lips and slaps her hand to her face. I laugh until I cry and I'm not her momma or even her sister... I'm just a friend, a babysitter, a baby snuggler.

All of this to say... I'm just another stranger, but I love your blog, I love your stories and pictures, I love the raw emotions. Keep writing!

Nicole S said...

Thank you for helping start a dreary Monday on a really good note. I love reading your words and come back often to reread them and find inspiration. Your photos are always breathtakingly beautiful.

For Facebook, Nicole is avoiding work by reading Kelle Hampton's writing . . . again! :-)

Nicole S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren and Brandon Bice said...

I came across your blog with the trusty "next blog" button. I have been following the story of your beautiful family ever since. And then, of course, I had to share you link with every woman/mother I know!
Not only are your photos breathtaking, but so is the way you write...and the love you have as a mother and a wife! It melts my heart! Thank you for makes my day that much better!
Lauren Bice

The Full Nelson said...

I just love how you write and your pictures are incredible. If I wasn't clear over in Nova Scotia, I'd love to have you take pictures of my babies!!

Laurie said...

Hi Kelle,

I absolutely LOVE your blog! I have been following your journey since I came across your Little One's birth story.

Just wanted to give you a big hug - as I can empathize while we follow along on a similar path.

My little guy, Dylan, is now almost 2 and has Ds. It was also an unexpected diagnosis...

Ahh...It's going to get better, you will see! No, not just better, but it's going to be wonderful, it truly truly is...


Shari H said...

Beautiful post, beautiful mother, beautiful girls!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Malissa said...

Good morning Kelle. Love your little rock stars. My Nella is a wild woman, no problems with her neck muscles!! I am 37 and I love my thirties. I will be so sad to leave them in a "box" in a few years. There is so much strength and emotional security that is established in the thirties I think. You have been challenged very early in this box filling process with an unexpected event. But girl, I can see you expanding and growing and becoming a more beautiful spirit than you already are. A book I love that helps me cope with life in general and to stay positive with my thoughts:
Deepak Chopra- Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul.
Happy Week! xo M.

Kulio said...

Wow, I love the green!

And I think all of your readers know that the craziness of your life right now is on account of suddenly having two babies instead of one, we know it's not all about DS - that's just another little layer of life you have. :-) But I remember those first few months of adjusting to two children and it's SO overwhelming. So keep on just telling it like it is, it does NOT feel boring! This is your life baby, and like it or not, we're all fascinated, haha. Even if it's about Lainey wiping snot on a dishtowel :-) Love you!!!

Erin said...

Again, you have made my day brighter and the world a little easier to deal with due to your beautiful words and amazing pictures.

Jenny Lynn said...

Your blog is such a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing!!

Kate said...

Confession: Each time an update from you comes into my Google Reader, I open it immediately, forgoing all other blogs until I've read yours.
Also, after I read it, I keep the window open so I can listen to the music while I work.

Thanks for being real!

MommaBeast said...

You certainly are a rockstar. More rockin' than the real ones. Doubly so for your girls.

Vent as much as you need to, darlin'. Never feel like you need to censor yourself, or change your thoughts to suit random strangers in the world peeking into the crinkling pages of your personal journal. *hug*

Mary said...

Beautiful girls.

Ripe for Reading said...

Your family is beautiful and your new baby girl is a cutie patooti. Give her a squeeze for me!

Sarah said...

Rock on mama!!!! Youv'e got it right - when the world gets hard/sad/lonely/happy/exciting just keep rocking on!!!

"want to suck every bit of popsicle juice out of this Lifecicle." <---- this part from your blog rings so true. I am learning to get every drip that might fall from the lifecycle and eat it up. Every moment, even the hard ones, are precious!!

I shed a tear at almost each of your entries - not because I feel sorry for you and your girls, but because your lifecycle is beautiful and you have agreat way with words, and analogies, that pulls at the heart strings. You inspire me on my hard days to still look at the good in it all.

Hugs and love!!!!

Modern Frills said...

thank you for sharing.

Bowen said...

Reading your blog always makes me feel so good! To know that you are handling such a tough situation with grace and dignity helps me put things into perspective. Life isn't perfect, but it's as good as we make it, and I love your outlook on life!

I too am obsessed with Etsy. I just ordered a knit hat for my little girl due in July (and some Easter stickers for her big sister). :)

Here's hoping you have a wonderful and blessed Monday!

Misc Jenn said...

I have loved reading your blog the past few weeks and just basking in your love for your children and your life. Thank you for taking the time to share it with all of us.

miscjenn at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

when i listen to your playlist, for some reason i always keep expecting to hear "blackbird" by sarah mclachlan.

"take these broken wings and learn to fly......"

Melissa Moss said...

I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and I have just finished catching up from the beginning until now. I love your photographs but most importantly I love your honesty. Especially when it came to your feelings about the birth of your new little girl. In December of 2004 I gave birth to my daughter Emma Noelle. She was born crying and pink but I immediately knew that something was wrong. Shortly there after she was diagnosed with a rare condition known as MIDAS syndrome and hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The doctors at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD told us that there was nothing that they could do to save her. I was already grieving over the fact the my daughter wasn't "perfect" and now I had to grieve over her loss. Just like you I spent her first day sobbing and I found it hard to fall in love with her as I had my other children. It didn't take long for her to steal my heart though. I was so thankful that I was able to rock her, sing to her, nurse her, bathe her and most importantly let her know how much she was loved and would be missed. She passed away peacefully in my arms when she was 4 days old. I am so glad that your story has a happier ending and that you have been given the gift of a lifetime to love and be loved by your precious little girl. I am also glad that you now realize how wonderful that gift is. Thank you though for being so honest about how you struggled those first few days. I have felt so guilty about how I felt and have now been given some peace because I am not alone and my feelings were normal. Thank you for sharing the laughter, the tears, the struggle and triumph of your life. Your truly have been a blessing to me!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, beautiful pictures, beautiful babies! You are amazing. You are a rock star! I am so in love with your blog as are so many others. I don't even know you and yet you inspire me to want to be a better person. I hope you realize how special you are. You touch so many people's lives in such a positive way. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

ebeck said...

I just wanted to say that both of your girls have the most amazing eyes! Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Nella's eyes bring back such emotional and fond memories of my little sister's infancy. I don't think we've seen them in full color until this post, and they really struck me. My sister is 21 now and also sports those unique blue eyes with brushfield spots that are special to kiddos with down syndrome. She is beautiful and the best sister I could ask for. Your Laney will be so blessed in her lifetime both because she has a beautiful family but also because her and her little sister will have such a special bond. I bet sometimes you wish you had your quiet blog back without all of this activity, but know how much we appreciate you opening your world.

MrsPatterson said...

Looking into Nella's eyes just turns me into a big pile of mush! They are so gorgeous. What a special soul she is. And Lainey! Oh my gosh what a little sweetie. I love your blog, thanks so much for sharing your beautiful perspective on the world.

Amy said...

I love reading your blog and seeing pictures of your beautiful family. And FWIW, I love the sappy music. I have already bought two of the songs for my iPod. :)

Anonymous said...

I need to try to pretend I'm a rockstar (or movie star, etc.) sometimes instead of waiting to "feel like doing" some things! I may could get more accomplished that way. Good idea! :)

I love your posts, and I love that you tell about the "ordinary" we all go through: how your house is a mess (or WAS I should say since you had it WONDERFUL a gift,) the struggle to balance it all, the (sometimes) sadness, the joy, the intense LOVE we have for our kids, the joy in coffee or a baked treat, etc. It's kinda like reading my own stream of running thoughts through the day. Noses wiped, lunches packed, kisses and hugs, adding something else to the grocery list before I forget, picking up toys, trying to decide (AGAIN) "what's for dinner," wondering if it will even be eaten anyway, laughing at yet ANOTHER "staring contest" that my 8 yr old is hooked on having constantly, baths with bubbles, bedtime stories, etc.

Sorry to ramble. I just want to say, I enjoy reading immensly. And ps. Lainey looks SO much like Brett in some pictures but like a minature Kelle in others!? It's SO cute and sweet!!

Love from South Carolina,

Anonymous said...

I need to try to pretend I'm a rockstar (or movie star, etc.) sometimes instead of waiting to "feel like doing" some things! I may could get more accomplished that way. Good idea! :)

I love your posts, and I love that you tell about the "ordinary" we all go through: how your house is a mess (or WAS I should say since you had it WONDERFUL a gift,) the struggle to balance it all, the (sometimes) sadness, the joy, the intense LOVE we have for our kids, the joy in coffee or a baked treat, etc. It's kinda like reading my own stream of running thoughts through the day. Noses wiped, lunches packed, kisses and hugs, adding something else to the grocery list before I forget, picking up toys, trying to decide (AGAIN) "what's for dinner," wondering if it will even be eaten anyway, laughing at yet ANOTHER "staring contest" that my 8 yr old is hooked on having constantly, baths with bubbles, bedtime stories, etc.

Sorry to ramble. I just want to say, I enjoy reading immensly. And ps. Lainey looks SO much like Brett in some pictures but like a minature Kelle in others!? It's SO cute and sweet!!

Love from South Carolina,

..Soo.See.. said...

Heehee, love Nella's little pouty lip in the last photo. And Lainey is just a doll, in her golashes! I'm a little jealous, b/c I want a pair of my own. I live in S.Florida too, btw. I'm over on the east side, just south of Ft.Lauderdale, and North of Miami. If we're ever in the same space, I'd love to meet you and your beautiful lovelies. I totally believe you're a ROCKSTAR! :D I admire so much about you, and I don't even 'know' you. You're outlook is awesome, real and beautiful! I love your photography, and it's partly b/c I'm aspiring to do the same. :) After 172 comments, it's a little weird to post one, and hope you read it, but I believe you when you say you do. So here I am!

Fernanda said...

I came across your blog through a friend that had gone EXACTLY the same thing with her daughter. Finding out right there when she was born that she was unique and special in more ways than others. Anyways, since then I can't stop obsessing with you and your family. The pictures, your words their eyes. Your girls have the most captivating eyes that I ever seen, or is it just because we see them through yours? Anyways, just wanted to say hi and thank you for sharing your small things, they make my small things look more special too.


Katy said...

Let me say this for the millionth time...Nella just takes my breath away. So precious and so much thought and pondering going on behind those eyes. I wonder what she thinks of all this-this crazy, funny world and adorable family she's in.

I loved her little pouty face in the last post-my Grant did the same thing! It always made me laugh instead of his intended purpose-to soothe him.

I'm lovin your little girls and seeing Nella so new and fresh makes my heart hurt for when Grant was that little.

Liz and Brian said...

Thank you for "grounding" moments every day or so. Your beautiful words and emotions make me cry tears of sorrow, tears of sympathy and tears of joy. And I love all the tears, because they remind me of what is most important in my beautiful life. You inspire me to be a better mother, wife.

Nicole S said...

Oh, just remembered two things I wanted to share with you!

First, check out this Etsy shop - I think she's from across the pond to boot! :-)

Second, there's another great consignment (just had to look at your post to spell it correctly) shop in Bonita at Bonita Beach and US41 (next to Kmart) called Twinkle Twinkle Little Store . . . great stuff too! I have even found Polo, with the tag still on!

xoxo :-)

Miranda said...

i think my new favorite word is "Lifesicle." Thank you!!!!

keep writing. i love reading your posts. :)

WineCountryWife said...

I have been following since I found your birth story linked on my March Baby Boards on babycenter. Your strength, courage, perseverance, and attitude toward life inspire me so much. Your writing is beautiful, as is your family. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts on life, and love, and family, and what it really means to be a mom. I know I can be a better person and mom because of reading your blog. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so open and honest with everything you're dealing with. Keep it coming! I love the serious just as much as as the "jumping and jiving."
And OMG you're photos are absolutely stunning.

Ingrid said...

while i am not a super religious person, sometimes i enjoy some christian rock music because it makes me think about all my blessings. i have this one song on my running playlist because it is just so inspirational to me. it makes me thankful for all the good things in my life, even when you are stuck in holland :o) it is called blessed be your name by tree63 :o)

Melissa M. said...

Hi, Kelle! I found out that my son Aidan would have Down syndrome at our regular 18 week ultrasound. He's 18 months old now, and I'm now pregnant with our third child. Someone on our pregnancy message board on Baby Center posted a link to Nella's birth story, and I read it over and over and cried my eyes out and the beauty and honesty with which you were able to capture your experience. Even having Aidan in our lives and hearts for a year and a half, I still can't find the right words to tell his birth story. I can say that he, like your Nella, is loved beyond measure, and I can't wait to read all of your adventures in the years to come!
There is a group of mamas of babies with Down syndrome on (search Down syndrome)that are following your blog :). It's a really active group with lots of posts daily, and has been such a source of support to me these past two years. Check it out!

Thanks so much for sharing your posts-I am STILL laughing over your Holland post :).

kelly said...


my sister introduced me to your blog and i am obsessed. with you, your beautiful babies, your love, the music on your there a more beautiful song than "dream" by priscilla ahn? i think not!! what an inspiration you are--you have made me realize how much i take for granted. i am not yet a mother--i lost a child at 13 weeks--but i hope to one day provide for my children the way you do for your beautiful girls. keep writing! i can't get enough!


Katie said...


your girls are one in a million precious. I started following your blog about a month ago and can't get enough. You are such an inspiration. You have totally humbled me, as well as other readers as well.

Thank you so much for bring so raw-such a rockstar in your words! :)

Nella (and Lainey)are such sweet blessings. Although I don't have children yet, you have touched my heart with how a mother should be!

keep on rocking it girl!

katie (louisville, ky)

Jillinebinny said...


I've been reading your blog now for a few weeks, since your birth story was introduced to me by a friend. I love reading your posts, they bring me such joy and hope.

9 months ago this last saturday (the 27th) i gave birth (at 32 weeks) to our little girl Grace who passed away shortly thereafter. We had found out during our first ultrasound that she had cysts in her kidneys and would not live.

A friend shared "welcome to Holland" to me during all my struggles, and it has such important meanings to me. I've been transported to a different world, and no matter how hard i try, i cannot get to where i wanted to go, my life will always be different. I'm sure i can visit 'italy' and come close to the 'ideal', but i will never get fully there i think...

Now i don't even know what i'm trying to say hehe, but i guess i want to thank you for your blog. These last 9 months have been very very hard for my husband and i, but we can see happiness ahead as i am 14 weeks along with our second child.

Life is hard, but i know there is hope on our horizon. Thank you for your blog, it puts so much joy and hope into my life. Thank you thank you thank you!

And just one last thing i wanted to share (although i'm sure you hear this a lot). I know a very special gal named Kimmie who has DS. She is one of the HAPPIEST most joy filled people you will EVER meet. She LOVES to sing, loves Disney and loves sharing the love. Whenever she sees you she just has to give you a hug and ask you how you are doing. She is an amazing person :) I know some people think DS is a horrible thing, that they have to 'spare' their child from it.... but when i look at Kimmie, i know that just isn't true. She is so happy with her life. She works, she loves and she's amazing :) (and she hopes one day to get married and have kids hehe) Her parents did help her very much along the way (they got her involved in lots of therapy when she was little), but she is such an amazing women :)

So thank you again for your blog, your happiness, our pictures (which i LOVE) and your hope. I hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles :)

Jen said...


Just started reading your blog this past Friday, starting at sweet Nella's birth story.

Our baby girl Lydia was born in August with a genetic disorder that we had no idea she had, that includes a very short life expectancy. I wept when I read her story because I know those feelings much better than I would like to.

I will be keeping you and your beautiful family in my prayers!

Jen said...


Just started reading your blog this past Friday, starting at sweet Nella's birth story.

Our baby girl Lydia was born in August with a genetic disorder that we had no idea she had, that includes a very short life expectancy. I wept when I read her story because I know those feelings much better than I would like to.

I will be keeping you and your beautiful family in my prayers!

Mama4Real said...

You are such an absolutely beautiful person.

Niki said...

Rock on sista!!! Rock on!

ASDmomNC said...

Ah, Nella is truly a beautiful, uncommonly adorable baby. She really, truly is. I just want to smoosh her. :)

Your blog has been balm for MY soul, especially these past few weeks, where I have been fighting my own special needs mama battles. Your blog is not anything close to boring.

Rock on.

Patty said...

The blog, your family, the way your write is all beautiful. I too was introduced by a link to your birth story. You are in inspiration. Thank you for sharing your experience with the world.

Momma Maven said...

Just wanted to let you know that I left you a Beautiful Blogger Award on my blog :) love your story and photos

RLE said...

I love your photos Kelle - your daughters are beautiful and reading your posts always make me go "awww!'
Hope today is a wonderful day for you, filled with joy!

Aggie said...

Kelle...I also loved this from your "thirties" post: "i've learned...that there are women in the world who are wonderful...not catty or cutting or jealous or competitive. there are women who love and support. there are women who fill all the little nooks of your soul with goodness and kindness. there are women who really want you to succeed and be the best you can possibly be. ...and i have found them."...and you have found thousands more here. THANK YOU for helping so many of us, this might be therapy for you but it sure as hell is a wholelotta therapy for so many of us too, so, thank you, a million times over. God bless! <><

- Aggie

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