Monday, March 22, 2010

A Celebration of Life

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.
And I never thought I would ever be 'celebrating' it.
But yesterday, I did.

I woke up sad. The forecast predicted rain and storms in the evening and this was supposed to be my girl's special celebration.
But more than that, I think I was afraid.
I was afraid I would get to the beach holding my white-gowned girl and see all these people together -- the people who have been there for us through all of this -- and it would hit me again. The loss of that dream and the sadness for what she may not have.

And as the morning dragged on, fear gripped a little deeper until I faced it hard. I looked that fear square in the eyes and told it to beat it.

This is a happy day. This is a glorious celebration. This is our testament to all of these people and to so many more that Nella is a blessing. Nella is a rockstar. And Nella is going to do great things. Today is beautiful.





And beautiful it was.

Beginning with this necklace (Thank you, Betsy) my dad gave me.



Three little copies of that beautiful 21st chromosome. How I love them.

The rain cleared just in time for our gathering and, as our car pulled into the very back parking lot of that quiet beach, my throat tightened hard. There were so many people standing there. Our people. And the cars just kept rolling in. And, as we climbed out to greet those we love, I was taken by how happy it was. No sadness. Just this amazing aura of celebration. Gratitude. And Life...in it's purest, most beautiful form.









Did I cry?
Oh, yes.
I cried the happiest tears.
And a little bit of sad ones too.
I cried when my friend sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and I cried when Katie read the line in the Welcome to Holland poem that says "the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away."
But, mostly, I cried tears of thankfulness for the amazing blessing of the girl I held in my arms and what she has done, is doing and will do for our family and our friends.





And as the sun went down and the whole lot of us stood there celebrating this beautiful amazing life we've been waiting for, I couldn't help but be proud. ...Of the amazing journey these eight weeks have brought us.



I am happy to be here...in Holland.

And we were blessed to have friends from Holland attend last night...and they made me an honorary resident...



...and blessed Nella with her first real pair of beautiful, pink, perfect wooden shoes.


Thank you, Jan & Francien!

It was perfect.

And just kept getting better.

After sunset, we gathered for a party.
Here I was all day, afraid of the evening being sad.
Oh, it was anything but.

There was so much life last night.
There was laughter. And Music. Candles. Huddles of warm bodies in every corner of the room. Wine glasses toasting and baby trade-offs. I couldn't stop smiling and thinking this was exactly what it's supposed to be.
A celebration of beautiful, amazing, unexpected Life.



My favorite moment of the evening?

The sky lanterns (thank you Aunt Janie for the idea!)

We gathered poolside. We listened to her song. And we watched as these big beautiful illuminated lanterns were ignited and set free. We watched as the dark sky welcomed their warm glow as they drifted far above us...slowly and beautifully.



Okay, I cried then too.

The night went on as did the celebration.

And 3-21 will go down as a triumphant festival of big, beautiful Life.







Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.
And I was proud to be celebrating it.



We are so thankful for our family. For the two brothers who provide so much love for these girls. For our spirted little firstborn. And for our precious, amazing little bunny.







Yes, Nella is a blessing.

And Nella is a rockstar.



Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness Day to all of the amazing families we share this journey with! And thank you to everyone who has embraced this new journey with us. We can't wait to see all the good stuff that extra chromosome's gunna give us.

And to anyone interested, the sky lanterns are earth friendly and can be found here. They are worth every penny.

284 comments:

1 – 200 of 284   Newer›   Newest»
The Full Nelson said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate! You all look beautiful!

creativeinspirations said...

wonderfully amazing... so happy for you Kelle, again you are an inspiration and your words touch me everytime I log on. Congratulations on the celebration.

SarahRachel said...

I think this is the most beautiful blog post I have ever read. The words and the pictures and the beautiful, beautiful baby girl. Thanks for sharing.

Morgan and Travis said...

Congratulations on a beautiful day with beautiful family. Nella is a blessing to many, I count myself one of them. You have my gratitude for sharing your journey with all of us.

Tennille said...

Such an amazing way to celebrate a very special day! Thanks once again for sharing with us- loved the pictures AND the necklace!!!

Wenona said...

Beautiful post! I can't help but shed happy tears as I read your words and imagine the love shared for beautiful Nella.
She is one very very blessed girl. She's gonna rock this world and do amazing things! How can she not with the supportive and wonderful family she has? :)

mommytoCallieandCarson said...

What a wonderful, special day! I wish I could've been there...but feel like I was through your beautiful words!!

the three wise menn said...

I like to blog surf at night and came across yours. I love it. I too am in Holland, although for something completely different. I love reading other people's stories, hearing how they are doing, and what they are doing. We are embarking on our first NF awareness month (May) activity. Reading your post makes me excited to celebrate our little bug and what she brings to our family. Thanks for writing.

Andrea
http://munciemenn.blogspot.com

Marla said...

Nella is a beautiful rockstar!

(And so are you!)

Marla @ www.asthefarmturns.wordpress.com

Cynthia Kleppang said...

Blessings, Kelle and Family.

You made me bawl again.

;-) I love your beautiful life.

Cynthia Kleppang

Stephanie said...

I'm so happy we have someone like you in our little family! Happy World Down Syndrome Day to you and yours.

Captain said...

Absolutely beautiful & touching!

Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us all!

http://ourimperfectlife.blogspot.com/

Southerland Living said...

Nella is such a blessing. So beautiful :) Love your 21 necklace. Your family is such a inspiration!

BethP said...

What a wonderful celebration of your family. Nella looks simply divine in her pearls. And all of you a vision in beautiful springtime blue. :)

Ingrid said...

beautiful! beautiful! beautiful! love the lanterns too.

Valerie said...

Congratulations on a beautiful celebration on 3/21...it took me a moment to get the connection.

Coincidentally, I also discovered that sweet necklace (designed by a brother of a little girl with Down Syndrome) and posted a picture of it on my own blog after I began researching Down Syndrome Awareness.

Recently, my OB performed the quad screen on me (a repeat as I had the NT ultrasound and blood work during 1st trimester). My odds did change for this little one that I am carrying...went from 1:17 for DS at 12 weeks to 1:173 at 18 weeks.

Regardless, your blog continues to inspire and uplift me as I progress thru this pregnancy and prepare for the "unexpected" at delivery.

Thank you again for sharing your journey with us!

Valerie

Bowen said...

Beautiful! I have literally been waiting all day for this... checking over and over again and I was so excited to see your post! I'm so glad yesterday went so well for you and your family. Nella is absolutely precious, beautiful and is going to do amazing things in life... but that is something you already know! May God continue to bless you and your family.

Bethany said...

This is awesome. I'm pretty sure I had no clue there was such a day the first March after my daughter was born, but a celebration like this would have done my soul good!

My favorite thing is seeing friends and family gather to honor my girls ... be it birthdays, Buddy Walks, whatever. When you know and see that all these people in your life just GET IT ... yeah, the tears flow. Good tears. :)

You are doing great Kelle ... and Nella is a friggen rockstar. Love that last pic ... I laughed out loud. :)

BTW ... you asked if I'm from Michigan ... I'm not. :) We actually live in Virginia. My dad lives down in Orlando ... perhaps we'll be able to meet up one day. :)

Haley said...

I've never commented on a blog before... but I have been so incredibly touched by your story, you passion, and your eloquence, that I could not help but say thank you for sharing such an incredible and heart-warming journey with us. You are incredible and I share in your belief that Nella will do amazing things.

LJ said...

Nella is adorable. She looks quite determined in those tummy time pics. Your pictures are gorgeous.

Jessica said...

Congratulations to you and your family, Kelle! May blessing of happiness forever hold little Nella.

Alinta said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. You are amazing, and so inspiring, and I love reading your emotional and raw posts, insightful into your wonderful life. Brave, couragous, beautiful and embracing life to the full. Thankyou for making me more grateful, and more accepting.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful celebration! Thank you for sharing. Your words continue to be an inspiration to me to count the abundant blessings in my life.

Ashley Nichole said...

I started reading your blog yesterday when Don Miller posted an entry on his blog. I am already in love with your precious family! Your photography is stunning, and I love the little hats you put your girls in. Thank-you for blessing my day! I hope God continues to bless your wonderful family!

Rebecca MacIntosh said...

Beyond loving the gathering and the laughter that the pics captured, and the wooden shoes and the lanterns that rocked the night sky, I LOVE that you were wearing HEELS to the beach... not gonna be hard for the girls to be rockstars following in Mama's footsteps!

Congrats on the beautiful evening... the sky always clears for royalty... ;)

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky to have such beautiful, divine little girls. nella is breathtaking. And you look way to good to have had a baby 8 weeks ago. Nella is bound for remarkable things and it will be an amazing journey for all your family and friends as they join her in her beautiful life.

Liz said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your life with us! I've never seen or heard of the sky lanterns...how do they work?

Anonymous said...

"Looking at Baby Nella" has become part of our 4 year old, Quincy's, nightly routine. She can't wait to see new pictures of your precious bundle. She'll say "Oh! Look at that Baby Nella!"

Thank you for sharing Nella's wonderfulness with us. Seems our night wouldn't be complete without a visit to your blog :-)

shell said...

what a beautiful day it was and appears the celebration was just that. you and rockstars have a great week. me and mine sure will.

and that is the greatest necklace EVER!!!! I am so jealous.

Kristy Klaassen Photography said...

What a blessing your little Nella is - to everyone who knows her and reads your story. Thanks again for sharing it! You are ALL rockstars!

lightkeepersdaughter said...

Now! What the heck am I gonna do with my red-eyes - and blubbery self, when I meet with my Realtor in 1/2 an hour - trying to look all cool and composed - as I sign the deal on my new home - the cutest little condo ever!!! Heaven knows what he's going to think. :)

Maybe I'll just tell him about the most beautiful blog, about the most beautiful family - and the updates that I wait for, with "worms on my tongue" - (baited breath! :) :)

Thank-you for sharing another gorgeous and celebratory day in the life of your family.

Your photography is so beautiful....and your family, so inspiring.

Thankyou! ........ Rosemary

BellaBree said...

a wonderful day to remember for always! Both your babes are beautiful - it looked like a magical day...

Paige said...

Love your blog and love your photos.
Nella is a rock star! She is so lovely. I just love looking at pictures of her and your beautiful family. Thank you and blessings to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me that 3/21 as World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is also the first day of spring.

What a magical connection to celebrate life and new beginnings in this way and on this day.

Shelley said...

Happy World Down Syndrome Day. I am glad it was such a memorable event. Our first Buddy Walk was special to us in a similar way - it was the first time my son really started to realise that his twin had DS and at least recognise the term - mind you he was 3 and when he talked is sounded more liks 'bloody walk'!!!!
Beautiful photoes as usual.

Ps loved the interview - you are a fantastic ambasador for Nella and the rest of 'our community'. Thanks.

Mrs. Clutter said...

Oh, what an absolutely adorable photo of little rockstar Nella. I really, truly did laugh out loud.

Perhaps you remember me ... I shared the photo that I made of your lovely fountain several years ago.

Daniele said...

What a beautiful celebration. Everything looked perfect, and Nella was gorgeous in her gown. Last month held Congenital Heart Defect awareness day, and it was the first one that our family "celebrated" since our 7 mo old daughter's diagnosis with a heart issue. I remember feeling a bit sad when I woke up that morning, basically wishing I never knew the day existed. But as the day went on I felt it was a celebration of how strong these children are...and even after my daughter's heart is healed I will continue to celebrate these amazing children on that day. I know you'll have many beautiful Down's Syndrome Awareness celebrations to come as well, and will celebrate the happiness that is Nella!

theelizabethhighsmith said...

i own the exact dress you wore and one day if my heart wish of my own baby girl comes true and mine is just like yours i'll know to count myself blessed. thank you for your realness, it's beautiful.

Allison said...

I have been checking in and reading for awhile now and as usual I am moved by your words.

I am also overcome with every post by how adorable both your girls are. Just too cute!

This post, however, after the words and the adorable kids, I was struck by your dress. Love. That. Dress.

Shorty said...

What beautiful pictures... as always. Thank you for sharing your celebration with us... letting us in on your family and your journey. You guys are all very beautiful!

teresa said...

had been checking in to hear how Nella's beach celebration went. what a wonderful gathering of family & friends - filled with love, awareness, acceptance and support. love your attention to detail: delft blue, tulips, all so precious for your little bunny.

she is AMAZING with her tummy time!!!

Kelle, thanks for sharing the tough emotions. i appreciate that you deal with them and just don't sweep them under the rug.

Samantha said...

Looks like a beautiful day and what a wonderful celebration to Nella!

Angela said...

I was thinking about your celebration yesterday and so thankful that it was as wonderful as I had hoped for you! Congratulations! So glad to see the amazing pictures so that we could share in your joy!

Seriously, it only gets better! That extra chromosome in my 6 yr old daughter Casey Jane is still surprising me and delighting me!

Congratulations again! Love and blessings to your whole extended family!

Angela

Anonymous said...

I am LOVING, loving the pic with the pink holland shoes!

I celebrated with you yesterday, prayed for your family, and for sweet Nella to live a long, beautiful, and full life!

There IS magic in that extra chromosome.

Penny said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful family. I love, love, love the first picture of Nella. =)

Nicole said...

Oh...happy tears here for my friend and her beautiful family. I almost made it...but you hit me with that dang song again!!! just absolutely perfect...every last drop.

Chelsey said...

What a special day!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I love the necklace - and your family photo is simply stunning!

mom2nji said...

I am crying along with you. Another beautifully written raw post. You are blessed beyond measure with wonderful friends and incredible family. You remind us all to be grateful for the friends and family we have. That necklace from your dad? Incredible.
Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. Your family is a shining light of hope to us all.

mom2nji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
andrea said...

AMAZING!!!!!!!!

Linda said...

I felt like I was with you on that beach. Celebrating with you. Nella's life, the very essence of this journey. That we travel together but separately. As part of an extended family.

It just gets better, you know. I swear at least once a day I look at Lila and think, "How? How am I so lucky to be the mother of this amazing little girl?"

Anonymous said...

How beautiful! Nella has already made a big impact on the world in her short life. She will do amazing things as will her mother. You are simply amazing. Michelle

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I feel like I know you, which I don't, I actually live very far from you, all the way up north in Vancouver BC. But I wanted to tell you that I came across your birth story one evening through facebook and it simply inspired me. I am in school getting a degree in social work and for one of my classes I have to journal my special learning in the field of disabilities. I knew right away I would share your story, and journal all that I have learned from you. I cry every time I re-read your birth story and I aspire to be half the woman you are. Your entry today was no exception, I'm glad to hear you celebrated such a special day and that necklace is amazing! Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us out here in the internet!

Erin

Theresa said...

Kelle,
As some of the others have said - I also have been anxiously awaiting your next post! I swear, it is so uplifting. I feel HEALTHIER after reading what you have to write.
What a beautiful celebration! Nella is such a loved little bunny. She really is! And I have to say... Kelle, she is BREATH-takingly beautiful. I mean, really. Every time I see one of the pictures you post of her I just think... WOW. She has the most beautiful blue eyes, and quite frankly I am just dying to kiss those plump little baby cheeks! They're the best!

Anyway, as always it is great to hear about your beautiful family :) Thanks for sharing this - it's life affirming.

Poppa said...

What an enchanted evening we enjoyed last night...your friends are amazing--and so our ours who came to stand in the sand with us and celebrate Nella, love and life. I thank God for His perfect gift of Nella and the gifts she brings to us all. My heart has been stretched, my vision improved and my mind opened. To hold her in my arms and baptize her, knowing she has already been baptized with tender tears of love and joy, was my incredible honor. She is not a mistake to be explained--she is a miracle to be enjoyed. She is not broken, destined to struggle--she is beautiful and destined to soar! Oh the life we are going to share with her...it has only begun. And hopefully, our world is becoming a better, kinder, warmer, brighter garden for all our children to reach their highest dreams within. Yes, we celebrate Nella...we celebrate life. I loved the comment, "...the sky always clears for royalty!" She was certainly our princess that evening! I will be sad to leave tomorrow, but will plan my next trip soon...she will not forget her Poppa's voice!

Hannah said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Your family, your outlook on life, your ability to accept-- no not accept-- CELEBRATE life's unexpected gifts, it's all so incredibly beautiful.

I heard this quote recently and thought of you:

Life isn't about how to survive the storm; but how to dance in the rain.

And you are definitely dancing! Hugs to you and your family from just north in Georgia. :-)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

What an amazing celebration! Those shoes are so precious on Nella, and that cake is just beautiful!

Malissa said...

What an amazing day! You looked fabulous in your little Holland style hat and apron. :) I adore Nella's little fish lip pictures and her new pink clogs. This post makes me smile. A nice way to end the day...thanks! xo. M.

ScrappinAway said...

Yea, what a beautiful day! I love the little pink wooden shoes! I have not heard of sky balloons but how cool are those! Thank you for sharing the day.

Sheva said...

Nella is a Rock star. She is really growing into herself not looking like a newborn anymore. Maybe my Rozie and Nella could be best friends!

Julie Johnson said...

What a beautiful celebration...and I love your Holland style! You are so blessed to have friends and family here along the journey with you. Tonight I sat at my son and daughter's band concert, and a beautiful little girl sat in front of me with Down's. She was about 4 years old, and just precious. She'd tap my knee, and I'd smile. She'd giggle and wave, then play shy. Then tap my knee again. What a treasure...and I thought of you and your charming blog, and your celebration of Nella.
julie
p.s. You look fantastic!

The Macons said...

How WONDERFUL!!

Betzaida said...

Hi Kelle, I have been reading your blog ever since you posted the birth story of Nella. The link was posted on the babycenter site (I'm expecting right now) and I haven't stopped reading it since. I had a sister who was also born with DS, she was my oldest sister. Unfortunately, she had many complications besides the DS (she was born when my mom was only 6 mths prego), so she passed at 6 y/o when I was only 2 months old. But I do cherish your blog, because God wouldn't have given you your blessing, Nella, if He didn't think you couldn't handle it. And you def are showing you are more than capable to handle her and whatever may come with her. =] GL! And I will def continue to follow you through your blog.

Kristy said...

Bravo, Hampton family!!

Anonymous said...

Sweetness!
xo
c

Southern Gal said...

Beautiful. And your Nella has the most amazing blue eyes.

mylifebyfaith said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has been a privilege for me to meet you all. Nella is a beautiful girl! Much love to all. xxx

Anonymous said...

Your story, your way with words, your passion for life. What can I say...it melts my heart.

Mrs. T said...

If it makes you feel better I cried just reading your post!
It looks like it was a beautiful day for a beautiful girl. May your blessings continue.

Aggie said...

It looked like a beautiful evening full of love and family and friends. You are truly blessed. God bless!

MyRayOLite said...

What a beautiful celebration! Love the necklace your dad gave you.

Nella Bella is changing so much and so vibrant and beautiful!

Megan said...

What a beautiful day!

Claire said...

I have been waiting all day for this post!! (And of course it goes up as I'm making, then eating dinner)

You all look fantastic, but Nella especially, looks like a little angel. What an amazing day and celebration of your beautiful little girl.

Anonymous said...

Happy World Down Syndrome day. Your post made me cry, with happiness.
Nella is so beautiful.
I always think, that after you have a baby with DS, you change your perceptions a bit. Babies without DS just don't look quite right.
Thank you for making me appreciate my little boy even more.
Bridget

Jennifer Andersen said...

You, my dear, are the true rockstar. I love how you have embraced this beautiful gift with all your heart and soul and yet admit that you are still not completely sure of it. I love that you are not trying to force it, not trying to make it seem like it's an easy thing.

James Blunt's song "You're Beautiful" was on the radio this morning and I had just finished reading your blog for the millionth time and I was struck by the first few lines. It's a song about a guy loving a girl but these first lines "My life is brilliant. My love is pure. I saw an angel of that I'm sure," could so easily have been written by you. Your life is brilliantly beautiful. Your love for your family is so very pure. Nella is an angel. (And so is Lainey.)

Thanks for sharing your story. Everybody's got a story but few are as beautiful as your's.

Karisa Lynn said...

Dearest Kelle,

I'm pregnant with my first and my best friend shared your blog with me. The first night I read of Nella's birth story, I cried...and then cried some more. I've shared her birth story with many others because it is so touching and uplifting. And I come back for more!

I love your posts, so well written and eloquent. I love your pictures. I love Lainey's outfits. I love your lil bunny because she is the most precious gift. I love that you married into a blended family (as I'm about to do the same). I love that aren't afraid to express your emotions, all of them. I am in love with your playlist and listen to it at work all the time. I love Poppa's comments!

You are inspiring and amazing. Thank you.

Love from Las Vegas,
Karisa

Karisa Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adrienne said...

Tears are running down my face because it's so nice to see the life of yet another person that has truly been blessed with a child that has that extra chromosome. I want to share this comment I got on my blog right before my son was born (I knew about his extra chromosome) and I wrote a post about the "what ifs" and quite frankly I was scared, in response to that post this was one of the comments:

What if you fall madly deeply hopelessly in love with your new baby?

What if he is the most amazing human being you will ever know?

What if he makes you a better person?

What if he makes your other children grow to be better people than they would have been without him in their lives?

What if you fall in love with your husband all over again for the way he fathers Bennett?

These are the things that make me say "if I knew then what I know now". I look back on my worries while I was pregnant and wish I hadn't put so much energy into them.

Amber said...

you touched my heart once again.
beautiful day.
beautiful family.
beautiful words.

momijitomitsukoshi said...

Awwww.. My heart is celebrating with you right now. How perfectly beautiful! Thank you for always reaching out and touching our hearts and making the world a positive beautiful place to be in! God bless you and your family!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful evening. What a beautiful life. It was truly amazing. It is truly amazing. No need to be scared, although you will be, everybody is once in awhile, but we are all with you, you are not alone. When none of us are with you, its one of those little souls bundled up close to your heart. Precious precious precious. Thats all I can say. I love that extra chromosome so much! Life seems so amazing when you hold Nella, actually it IS so amazing when you hold her. All I do is just talk to her and I got a smile out of her too! I just look into her breath taking eyes and features and it's like she just puts magic into you! The magic of Nella. Such a soul, in a little body! I have never seen an eight week old change so many things for the better!

Marla Taviano said...

Hooray!! What a wonderful day!! You all look so beautiful! Love the blue!

Madisyn Andrea said...

from madisyn! starts with what a beautiful evening

Beth said...

There is no greater gift than a beautiful, strong, loving family. It feels so wonderful to see one in action. What an incredibly sacred day for you and your family. Blessings to all but especially to sweet Nella on her special day. ~The Foraker Family

Anonymous said...

you continue to amaze & inspire!! and little miss nella can rock those leggings & shades like no other babe!
so happy for you & you family...
and the pic of everyone looking on during your celebration -- I bet nella had no idea how much paparazzi would be there!! so many cameras and so many people with big smiles!
fabulous!

Brandy said...

Kelle,

Beautiful post. So glad the day was as amazing and filled with love as you needed it to be!

I couldn't help but notice.. NO hospital bracelet!

Did I miss when it came off? Did I miss it hiding up in your armpit?

The Sanchez Family said...

Oh Kelle! You and your family and friends are amazing and so full of life and celebration. What an amazing advocate you already are for Down syndrome and for LIFE and LOVE! Beautiful...just beautiful!

kecia said...

I have been looking forward to this post to see what you guys did to celebrate this day!! I knew you would do something great and you did! I LOVE LOVE the pink HOlland shoes!! I might need those...are they from Holland or can I get them somewhere else? I always LOVE to read Poppa's comments!! Without fail they bring me to tears!! He really has a way with words and expressing so much of what we all feel...so beautifully! Happy WDSD and many more to come!

Holly said...

How perfect for a day that started out a little sad to end with such a wonderful feeling of celebration.

I am glad for you.

Michelle Downs said...

I read your blog....then I come and read the comments to see what "Poppa" said :) You are all so beautiful.

I've been a stay at home mom for 4 years. I had so many days that I wished I could work...I felt guilty for not appreciating my time. Ever since stumbling upon your blog I take time to enjoy the small things.

This weekend we built a chicken coop. We spent the entire day outside. We ate breakfast at the picnic table, played in the dirt mountain that a construction crew left on our road, and we just had a great time.

Looking back now I dont understand how I let so many opportunities for fun go by.

I am having my last and third baby in August ( I have a 3yr old, and a 1yr old) and I am so excited to celebrate him or her the way I celebrate my older girls now. I realized that I dont need money or extravagance to have a good time with the girls. I appreciate my life so much more because I learned through your words that the little things all moms do (painting little toes, coloring with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles, making cookies) are all extravagant for children.

Thanks. You changed my family. (You too Poppa! I love what you said when you came into the delivery room when Kelle told you that Nella had Downs Syndrome...Talk about make a girl cry!)

Madisyn said...

WOAH! the bracelet did come off! when?! how!/

Carrie said...

What a fabulous way to celebrate the day--and to just live life. Thank you for being such a wonderful advocate on your daughter's behalf--everytime you post and change people's perceptions, life for my daughter gets a little better too.

I love the rockstar picture!

blessingsandglory said...

What a beautiful celebration of life! A life that is full of love, laughter, friends, family and yes, even some tears. As always, thank you for sharing your journey Kelle. Your words and amazing photos are showing the world how beautiful an extra chromosome truly is. {And were those *almost* rolls on rock star Nella's arms? Way to grow sweet babe!}

Hugs, Libby

iColossus / The Monster said...

Who's with me on "Yay, Poppa's back?!"

And glad that I'm not the only one who has been checking your blog ALL day for a new post!

There is something so PURE and SACRED about this post. Nella is a wonderous treasure who has woven her mysterious enchantment the world over.

Looks like she's getting her big sister's lashes!

And those lanterns, wish I could have seen them floating up to the night sky. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous family and this day and evening with us...breath-taking.

- iColossus

Melissa said...

Absolutely amazing, from beginning to end. Thank you for sharing your family's special day.

BennyG said...

Happy Down Syndrome Day to you!!! I'm choked up....::tears:: Holland has become home, it is a very beautiful place..sometimes too beautiful for words! Your day was awesome, the pics beautiful!

Beth said...

So, I follow Donald Miller on Twitter which is kind of a joke because I don't fully understand Twitter... He had put a link to your blog on his Twitter status, but anyway I was sitting in the waiting room of my husbands eye doctor this morning waiting for him and I started to read your story. I tend to cry easily but for whatever reason, I was pretty sure Donald Miller was lying to me when he typed, your gonna need tissues. I cried. I looked like a crazy person crying as I concentrated on the screen on my phone as I read. When my husband finally did reappear after his appointment my eyes were all puffy and I think that made him curious and probably a bit worried.

I don't have children, but becoming a mother is something that I have pretty much just been waiting for since I was 4 years old. But your story struck me so much, and I thought "What a brave woman!" My husband likes to pull the "what if our kids turn out to be..." questions and my answer is always, "We will love and cherish them no matter what." Your story is heartwarming and I appreciate your honesty in sharing it with the world. God Bless.

Julie K. said...

A beautiful celebration for a beautiful family. Nella couldn't be more perfect in every way. I want her for my own!! As always, thank you for sharing.

The necklace from Poppa is so cool. So very, very cool.

Ashley said...

I've been reading simce you posted your birth story and have not had the words to tell you how much your story has changed me and the way I parent my two little boys. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Nella with us - she is really truly a blessing! What a lovely perfect way to celebrate the newest addition to your family.

mrc-w said...

Okay now you guys seriously need to go to Dutch Village in Holland (Michigan) this summer - with those pink shoes and your flying-nun hat, haha!
The pictures look like such a lovely ceremony! Nella is just plain adorable!! :)

jimloey@aol.com said...

the other day I was talking to a new friend and I was telling him about my family. Of course I told him about my brother who has downs syndrome and he said " oh I am so sorry" and I said " sorry?, no no he's been a blessing to our family" People just don't get it sometimes, but I am the first to point out that my brother was and is the best thing that happened to us. Nella is so presious and from reading your blog, I KNOW you know this. She will and has changed your life for the better. God bless you all. Keep smiling Kelle, you have been blessed, always believe this. Love to your family

Randi-Lee said...

Your blog is the most captivating, beautiful, and lovely thing I have ever read. I am a better mother and person because I have read this. Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures. You have an amazing and beautiful family.

Katrina said...

She looks so beautiful in that white dress -- wow. What a wonderful celebration!

jenlar3 said...

It looked like a wonderful celebration! Nella is so adorable, I loved the picture of her wearing her pink wooden shoes!

I have a question about DS. Is having DS a "you have it or you don't" type of thing (like pregnancy, you either are or you aren't), or are there different degrees or levels? Can you have just a little bit or a lot of DS? Hoping these questions are offensive, apologies in advance if they are, I just have no knowledge of the syndrome and was wondering?

Randi Dunn said...

....who knew that some of the most inspiring words would come from the skin care line I use:

"to expect is to be disappointed. to surrender to what will be is to know peace. in each moment of our short life we have the choice to be grateful or to dwell in the unhealthy space of "this is not enough." the answer to all questions related to hope or disappointment is simple. practice eternal gratitude for each high and low note, and you will be dancing with the stars."

-philosophy

you danced....you danced....you danced a beautiful dance with all your bright shining twinkle stars on Sunday. Beautiful post...Beautiful photos....beautiful..beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

Kelle....did you remove the bracelet?

Anonymous said...

Ah, so, so beautiful Kelle. Thank you for this post today - I needed it.

Also, I've mentioned it before but it's certainly worth repeating - I simply cannot get over the incredibly intelligent look in Nella's eyes. Especially when she lifts her head, she just seems to say, "See world? I can do whatever I put my mind to."

RLE said...

The day sounds wonderful, amazing and memorable.
Saw the last few photos of Nella lifting her head and all I could think of is "GO NELLA!" Love her pick wooden shoes. :)
Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Deborah said...

WOW Kelle, thanks so much for sharing your perfect celabration of Nella's life, absolutly beautiful, all of you ...Kelle, did you teach Nella to give the peace sign for this ?...Cause she's doing it in 2 pics Girl ...*winks*
Kelle, You and Your Dad both made me tear tonight, thanks, as they are joyful tears, thanks for letting us feel just a lil bit of the love you all shared during this International Down Syndrom Day !....BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO !....

heather said...

I've been checking in throughout the day to see all about your WDSD celebration. Amazing!!! Nella looked so cute in her white dress. And I LOVE the T21 necklace. What a perfect gift. Everything was amazing and I loved the lanterns. What a way to celebrate your sweet bunny!

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

Simply beautiful!

Shauna Quintero said...

Hello fellow country woman. I, too, live in Holland.

I think I laughed out loud seeing you in your Holland attire. And her pink shoes...too much, seriously.

I wanted you to know how inspirational your blog is. It's the last one I read at night because I always feel like there is a little bit better in this world. And I feel better for having read it.

Your kiddos are beautiful.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Just when I think I cannot be touched more, you do it...just when I think I have seen the cutest picture of her, you post another one...I find myself reading every post again....now I am going to go back and read your entire blog....It is the most beautiful blog I have EVER read...and I have read MANY....

Teresa

Jill Carilli said...

Happy 3-21 day!!! :)

Sneaker Teacher said...

Fantastic post Kelle! I think your celebration looks and sounds amazing. Nella is a very lucky girl!

Kristi said...

Love it all Kelle! And once again, you have me in tears! Your family is absolutely beautiful!
I think I might be purchasing some lanterns! ;)
Kristi

Scapa said...

Hi, just wanted to let you know that your blog, your photos and your words inspire me in every ways! Thank you for sharing!
And your girls are so beautiful, and I am so happy for you and your family to get to celebrate this special day in such a great way :-)

margaret said...

Kelle I love the celebration, the recognition that Nella's Trisomy is something to rejoice, to find beauty in. She is beautiful and I just love, love, love her pink clogs. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful day of happiness.

shock of life said...

your positive spirit once again jumps of the screen. with you as her mom, anything is possible. lucky her, lucky you and lucky family.

Rhonda said...

Senator Nella pics and Pink wooden Shoes!
You just cant get any cuter!!!

Sometimes the things we fear most, turn out to be even more beautiful then we could have ever expected!


Glad your day was perfect!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kelle for sharing your special sweet day with us. As I was reading I kept thinking how you draw us in with your words ... how we all can "see and feel" those words through you. I am in awe of your ability to capture the moments of life so beautifully and take your readers there with your thoughts. And Kelle -- you are so beautiful. You have inspired and united so many from so many different places. What a gift you have been given! Keep sharing that gift Kelle. You are giving so much of yourself - if there is ever anything WE can do for you - well, just let us know.

mrs.magoo said...

Amazing celebration - amazing baby.
Love the necklace...and Holland looks good on you :)

GraceesMommy said...

You know Kelle..it is funny what we fear. I remember my fears at Gracee's dedication. I feared that the one negative comment that I got about adoption was what everyone thought about adoption. I feared that if I looked into the faces of one of the many of friends who would be there and saw even a drop of what I had experienced with my friends words..the fragile bubble of being a new mommy would burst. I feared the anger that was in my heart at the one who said it..I had never felt it before, of course now I know that anger was my right..a momma's right. I feared that everyone in the crowd was thinking..she is a borrowed baby..not really mine, just one that was filling the place of the baby that I lost. You know I am not someone that worries about what everyone thinks, but for some reason that beautiful July morning I did. I remember sitting in front of my dressing table shaking..afraid of these things spinning around in my head..PRAYING for a way to be strong. That is what one negative comment from a dear friend did to me. Then as if God was talking to me directly I heard "you are a vessel that I am using..be still and know that I am". That is my favorite scripture "be still and know that I am"...I had used it so many times in our journey to Gracee..everytime we hit a hurdle it was there in my head and heart. So I faced the crowd of friends..all with so much love in their faces I almost could not stand it. And I thanked each and everyone of them for loving this treasure God had given us. From that point on I was stronger..more vocal about the heartbreaks of losing a dream..and the joys of having a different dream placed in my arms to be loved for a lifetime. It is funny how when I read your blog it at times is like revisting our early years..before Gracee and after. So my dear, you are the vessel that God is using for Nella and all Parents and Children who share your story or bits of your story. When I hear people talking about the negative side of Adoption...I am right there telling them about the positive. For every adoption horror story that I have heard in my days since Gracee, and you would be very surprised at how much it happens, I balance it with our story and I show them the face of adoption for me..and that face has double dimples and a smile that will melt any heart! So our hearts were with you that day on the beach and may I say that the picture of the six of you took my breath away..God knew just where to put Nella. ♥

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid you are wrong about the Chinese lanterns being earth friendly, I don't know where you got your information from. Remember, what goes up must come down. These lanterns are no different, they are pollution when they land back on earth or in the ocean.

All 4 My Gals said...

You are blessed beyond measure! Tell your Dad that he just made Betsy famous in our T21 world. I want a necklace!!!! She better start producing those in mass quantity!

I love sharing your blog with others. You are such a beautiful woman Kelle, and we are so lucky that you blog so that we can share your life with you!

All 4 My Gals said...

You are blessed beyond measure! Tell your Dad that he just made Betsy famous in our T21 world. I want a necklace!!!! She better start producing those in mass quantity!

I love sharing your blog with others. You are such a beautiful woman Kelle, and we are so lucky that you blog so that we can share your life with you!

Jeannett said...

someday I will be able to read your blog without crying.

But I don't think I'll ever be able to read it without smiling.

Because the rock star? Um, amazing. :)

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

I don't comment very often b/c I know it will just be one more in an avalanche, but I had to say today that you had such a beautiful celebration. I have to admit that DS day isn't even on our radar...just an ordinary day, which is good in its own way, but I like yours better. :)

Amanda said...

i'm in awe. you truly are so inspiring. what a beautiful day filled with beautiful people.

Amanda said...

i'm in awe. you truly are so inspiring. what a beautiful day filled with beautiful people.

Brent & Jodie said...

Kelle-
Thank you once again. I am truly thankful for your words, for your emotions and for your ability to see things from a different perspective. You are incredible! Nella is beautiful and perfect and seeing pictures of her make me thankful all over again that we chose to move to Holland. :)

We moved to Holland voluntarily and happily. Our son is adopted and we chose to adopt a child with Down syndrome. Reading your story helps me to see things from a different point of view and I am so happy that you are willing to share this with others.

Stay strong, kiss those beautiful babies and remember that there are so many of us out here who are cheering for you and praying for your sweet family.

amy flege said...

what a beautiful celebration... something you will remember for a lifetime...your nella is beautiful as well!

*Jess* said...

I feel the same way about Autism Awareness day!

ASDmomNC said...

Well that was just beautiful. I got all teary eyed right there with you. Nella looked so adorable in that first shot. Squishy and kissable!

P.s., I just figured out why DS awareness day is 3/21. Duh. LOL. Very cool.

Kara Brown said...

I can't stop crying! I am still amazed how you, your family, this blog can affect me so much!! Here I am a mommy of three in CT, and I feel so drawn to you and your stories, and pictures. I am proud of you, you are an AMAZING mommy, to celebrate this day and in such style too, Nella is ONE LUCKY baby to have you, and you are so incredibly lucky to have her. What a sweet gathering to celebrate life, and to see all those people there for her and you and your family was so awe inspiring. It just goes to show you, it's all in how you choose to perceive something, you are an inspiration to all Mommy's
especially those who were fortunate enough to be blessed with a child with down syndrome. Congrats again, on your absolutely beautiful Nella. May you continue to be blessed everyday of your life. :) Phew....never used to be a commenter on blogs before, I just can't help myself!! :)

Kara Brown

Hannah said...

Beautiful post and a beautiful message.

Love & Blessings,
--Hannah

Lisa Coleman Boutilier said...

What a wonderful celebration! Nella is a rockstar! You are so very lucky to have been blessed with her and she is very fortunate to have been chosen to be your daughter.

The Martys said...

Another beautiful post. What an amazing way to celebrate Nella. We, too, had a little celebration for our Emma. I love all the special touches you did. I may have to remember that for next year.

I absolutely love your necklace. Is your friend willing to make more? I would love to buy one.

Thanks for sharing part of your day with us. It looked awesome.

Amy

The Martys said...

O.k. I just went and re-read your post and saw the link for the necklace. I guess I was too enthralled before to see the think. Can't wait to order one.

Thanks again for sharing Nella and your family with us.

Amy

Tisha said...

love the pictures and the way you express your vulnerability. fab necklace!

oh and i'm glad that wood post was behind you...you know which pic i'm refering to. lol.

oh and as for holland...i realized today that i've actually BEEN there. seriously. and i loved it. i was trying to find holland on the map when i realized it was also called "the netherlands". i spent a day wondering around the city of amsterdam and it was beautiful. you might remember when i flew to SA by myself.

anyway, i love all your dutch accoutrements. (yes, that is a fab word). i have been pulled over to the dutch side. :)

welcome nella bunny bean! you sure know how to Par-Tay!

Gina said...

love, love nella's rockstar picture!

medina family said...

Rock on, baby! You make us all want to change the world.

Katie said...

what a BEAUTIFUL celebration of life! Nella is a doll and a rockstar for sure!!! I love the laterns, as well- my friend had those at her wedding-they ARE worth every penny!!!

Life with Kaishon said...

I love your celebration. I love coming here. Even though I cry like a maniac every single time. Your family is very, very beautiful. And just filled with rock stars.

Momza said...

oh my. You dear woman, have just started something very big. Thank you for your shining example to so so so many. Nella is a gift to us all. I hope you feel the many good thoughts sent your way.
bless you and your family.

McLainesMommy said...

I'm sure you already know this, but you are so blessed! When I was scrolling down and saw the pictures of ALL those people on the beach there to support you and your beautiful family, I nearly burst into tears. How wonderful to have so many there to celebrate the beautiful life of Nella! Lovin the Holland outfit too :)

TwolittleN's said...

What a beautiful post for such a beautiful day! And your Nella just keeps getting more adorable. Congratulations!

Neha said...

Simply beautiful - the pictures, the thoughts, the feelings that came through in your words, your family and YOU!

Stormdancingmom said...

Beautiful...simply beautiful. It is ok to be afraid and sad and all happy at the same time. Real life causes real feelings. Thank you for your honesty.

Fernanda said...

When I thought you couldn't be any more amazing, you go and show all of us how to rock a pair of high heels in the sand. ;)

What a beautiful celebration! Thanks for sharing with us.

Steph said...

It looks like such a perfect celebration for your family. And if there was any doubt that Nella is a rockstar, those baby legs prove it!! Way to rock the rainbow stripes little bunny!

Ashleigh said...

Hi Kelle.

This is my first time commenting, but I have been reading since Nella's birth story. I am a complete blog addict and yours is by far my new favorite. Your writing and photography are so awe-inspiring, but even more than that your outlook on life is so real and pure and it's contagious.

I can't even tell what an amazing mommy I think you are. You are so brave for honestly sharing your heart and I LOVE your heart!!

Thank you for writing. Truly!

Googsmom said...

Beautiful, beautiful girls!!!

Heidi said...

So amazing! Welcome to the world little Nella - you are going to do great things. She is so gorgeous. Those eyes - those wise, wise eyes. They are magical and it's like they hold a special secret that she's just aching to share with the world. It's fair to say that your little Nella has a very special spot in my heart. And your Lainey - she is such a brilliant star.

Thanks for your lovely post!

Heidi (mama of 2 beautiful girls).

Missy said...

I waited so patiently for an updated post yesterday, anxious to read about your celebration. What a treat to be rewarded for my patience (LOL, I actually have none!) by such great words and photos from both you and Poppa.

I think my favourite this post is the family photo of you and Brett with both your girls and boys.

Dee said...

The necklace that your dad gave you gives me goosebumps. I love it! Your dad is such a special man, you truly are blessed to have such a wonderful and beautiful family!

Gretchen said...

Kelle, I found your blog while I was still pregnant with my daughter. I was reading it just days before I was scheduled to give birth. And I cried for you, with you, as I read about your experience. I imagined how I would feel if I were to suddenly face a similar experience with my yet-to-be-born daughter, my fourth baby. I was thinking that I was so glad that it was unlikely that I would have to deal with such a difficult situation.

Little did I know, I would be facing something quite similar indeed! My daughter was diagnosed with a rare heart defect on day four of her life. About a week later, she was diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder called 22q11.2 deletion. It is the genetic disorder that is second most common after Trisomy disorders.

I wanted to tell you how much I have appreciated reading your blog, and how connected I have felt to your journey as I embark on my own. I was trying to find a way to e-mail you, but I didn't see one. Sorry for this crazy long comment! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing with us!

I haven't started a blog about our journey, but I do have a caringbridge website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cassidyjoy

Rick, April, Matt said...

What a wonderful celebration! The pictures captured it beautifully, as always!

April (Elissa's Cousin)

Jenn said...

Beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.

PILCHERS said...

Can i just say..BEAUTIFUL!!! The words you write and the family you write about..all so BEAUTIFUL! I just wanna snuggle your little Nella to the moon and back! Thanks for sharing your story!

amy said...

wow.
that's it.
just one word.
wow.

you amaze me.
more tears comin.
thank you for this beautiful post.

MrsPatterson said...

What a beautiful day! I almost died from the cuteness of the belly pics of Nella. Those puckered lips warmed my heart. What a sweetie.

Naomi said...

what a beautiful post! Your pictures help paint the picture of your story and of Nella's story. I think so many of us read not only because you do such a wonderful job of sharing your heart and life, but also because we each picture ourselves in your shoes. We wonder...what if I had a child with DS? How would it change me? How would I react. I think that with a mom like you Nella will go far!

GraceesMommy said...

to Poppa..every Rockstar Princess needs a Poppa in her life. You have done well in raising your children and I KNOW that you are and will be a rich part of the next generation..I am in tears over your comment..not sad tears, but tears that come when you have witnessed something so beautiful it takes your breath away.

Sue said...

Truly one of the most lovely posts I've ever read. Families are as beautiful as it gets. And so is your Nella.

=)

Shari H said...

I had tears in my eyes by the time I got through the post today. The pictures are beautiful as is your family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Tina said...

Such a beautiful celebration of your sweet Nella's life.

I have made a little something for Lainey and would like to send it to her. Copy & paste this link to see it:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bakersfield-CA/Mama-Mia-Custom-Handstamped-Jewelry/139107226532?v=wall&viewas=1398261523#!/photo.php?pid=4184224&id=139107226532

and you can contact me at hutchtina@bak.rr.com

j210209 said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate little Nella!
Once again the photos are gorgeous.. I love the last one of Nella. She is definitely a Rockstar! :)

Erin said...

Beautiful.

Tiffany said...

Those shoes are AWESOME!! She really is a rockstar!

Tara. said...

Wow, what a great afternoon and evening! I'm so glad the rain cleared so you were able to still celebrate. The pink wooden shoes are just the cutest!

Mama of 2 girls too said...

Kelle,
Sounds like a glorious afternoon and evening! You have a gorgeous family...and little Nella is lucky to have you as a Mama! And so is Lainey. Just like you are lucky to have her (and them). Truly blessed! Love the sky lanterns...so pretty! I enjoy reading your blog, I'll admit it, I am so hooked!
Hugs!

Deanna

Domestic Diva said...

I was waiting for this celebration post. And? It was worth the wait! I was thinking of you guys yesterday and sending my love. That picture of your sleeping baby (w/my favorite hat on) ... seriously, Kelle, I just want to nibble on those cheeks ... okay, and little arms, too!! That little bunny of yours, she is most definitely a rockstar ...

PS - I FINALLY ordered my kh prints yesterday! I know, it's almost a year after you took the pics ... but I can't wait ... so stinkin' excited!!

Jenny said...

Beautiful pictures Kelle! Thank you for including us in your celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Day. <3

dig this chick said...
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dig this chick said...
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for embracing the perfectness of your little Nella..I believe wholeheartedly that God creates every life with purpose - He doesn't make "mistakes". Gob Bless you for sharing Nella's with the rest of us. That little life has already made a HUGE impact in the lives of so many others.

Meredith

dig this chick said...

what happened to my comment? ack.

That necklace is amazing. I read through the whole post and the millions of comments and still have tears and goose bumps. It's simply stunning.

And what a soulful day. We were there as much as a family can be on a beach in Florida while actually in a snow storm in Montana.

xo

KC said...

A gorgeous family! A wonderful, perfect celebration! Moving words! Beautiful photography! Thank you so much for this lovely post, Kelle. :) :) :)

Sometimes we can investigate and explore our emotions. If we make friends with them and invite them in for coffee, they become profound teachers, reminders to go deeper, to discover what is real. When we can embrace our emotions, they lead us directly to the love beneath, an ocean of love beyond our wildest dreams.

Lots of smiles coming your way~



“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson.

hopefuls #1 said...

This is just so beautiful and such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with us... Nella is a darling blessing.

RMAinMD said...

,,,rockstar = yummy,,,it just doesn't get any better than that!,,,thank you for inviting strangers into your days and into "baby bunnie's" life,,,her photos always bring a large grin to my mouth,,,

Poppa said...

Nella's Prayer--printed in her baptism program:

Dear God,

You knew me before I was born.
In your eyes, I am perfect and whole.
In your heart I am cherished and loved.
You chose carefully my home—
The big sister who will be my confidant and friend.
The two brothers who will be my protectors and teachers.
My mom and dad who will celebrate my every success
and stand with me through life’s every struggle.
but best of all, hold me close to their hearts forever.
And you chose well my larger family—
For in my neighborhood, my community and all around the world
you have sent those who will help me to break down
every wall that confines and shatter every ceiling that contains
the spirit you will awaken in me.
Please guide my mommy and daddy
as they raise me to be all you have planned me to be.
Make me bright enough to fully live—
But if I cannot know great wisdom,
Let me show great love,
Make me confident enough to make a difference—
But if I cannot be the president,
Let me change my world with kindness.
Make me strong enough to keep the pace—
But if I cannot win every race,
May I make every day brighter for those I run with.
Please protect me as I grow older;
Put Your guardian angels around me to keep me safe.
Help all those around me to always remember to shield
my tender heart and innocent spirit
as they help me reach my highest dreams.
And thank you for sending me...here.
I love you.




–Nella Cordelia

Kathryn said...

YOur making me want some of those adorable pink wooden shoes! I love this post, I love how you embrace this treasure! I wish I knew you for real, I think you make the world a brighter place!

Christina said...

What a beautiful and honest post! You have a beautiful family and a beautiful heart. And look at Nella lifting up her little head already in those last pics! She is strong...and so are you.

Anonymous said...

Rockstar Nella IS going to do great things! "Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience and with faith she'll make her way" No doubt about it for she is one of the wonders...

"WONDER" by Natalie Merchant
Doctors have come
from distant cities
just to see me
stand over my bed
disbelieving what they're seeing

they say I must be one of the wonders
of god's own creation
and as far as they see they can offer
no explanation

newspapers ask
intimate questions
want confessions
they reach into my head
to steal the glory
of my story

they say I must be one of the wonders
of god's own creation
and as far as they see they can offer
no explanation

I believe
fate smiled and destiny
laughed as she came to my cradle
"know this child will be able"
laughed as my body she lifted
"know this child will be gifted
with love, with patience
and with faith
she'll make her way"

people see me
I'm a challenge
to your balance
I'm over your heads
how I confound you
and astound you
to know I must be one of the wonders
of god's own creation
and as far as you see you can offer me
no explanation

I believe
fate smiled and destiny
laughed as she came to my cradle
"know this child will be able"
laughed as she came to my mother
"know this child will not suffer"
laughed as my body she lifted
"know this child will be gifted
with love, with patience
and with faith
she'll make her way"

Much love and celebration,
Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

Heidi said...

oh kelle, it was a beautiful night. it stopped raining just long enough for us to celebrate nella and everything she is...but mostly to thank god for sending her home to you...and all of us!

poppa rik and gary rocked that party out...the ambience, food, prayer,...oh, and those lanterns too. what a powerful string of moments!

LouBoo said...

Hello. You do get lots and lots of comments so this may not make its way through but I just wanted to say...

Seriously you are doing so well!! So many Mummies are still wearing their pyjamas at noon by week eight - but you! You have visited Holland, had many many sleepless nights (night feeds and adjustment to Holland), you look amazing, you have been on CNN for goodness sake, had housefuls of people, spent quality time with your girls, taken fantastic pictures and shared them on your blog. You really ought to give yourself a very big and well deserved pat on the back. xx

P.S love the rockstar look - especially the januty sunglasses!

Joanna and David said...

Beautiful post. I still follow your blog daily and I'm always excited to see the pictures and read the days' happenings. I don't always comment -but I always enjoy it. It's like watching a favorite t.v. show. :) Thank you again for keeping up with this lovely little blog - it's simply precious.

Joanna and David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This post is truly beautiful... as is your very special little Nella. So much love radiates from your words about Nella and your family. It is amazing when true blessings come ...the most miraculous are often totally unexpected and often perceived as sad. How can anyone look at Nella's beautiful face and see anything but pure love, joy and happiness.
Thank you for sharing this special day with all of us.

GraceesMommy said...

Poppa..again you raised a Rockstar because you are one yourself. Thank you for sharing Nella's Prayer with us..just beautiful.

Susan said...

You really need to put a Kleenex warning at the top of each blog post; every single time I start crying (happy tears though!)

C and J said...

made me tear up with joy for the love that surrounds you!

Michelle said...

I smile every time I come here, for your joy and Nella's beauty, but even more for the gift of hope you are to our community. SO many of our babies are aborted, over 90% and counting. 9 out of TEN of these beautiful, precious faces. Maybe, (a girl can dream) just maybe your blog will help someone who has to make that awful decision see the truth. DS isnt bad or awful, it isnt terrible. It just IS. Thank you for joining the chorus.

Elizabeth said...

The celebration looks like it was beautiful. You have such a wonderful group of friends to love and support you, and I know that it is not a coincidence. God only gives us what we can handle, and it is evident that not only are you and your husband strong and loving people, but everyone in your life helps make you stronger. May you all be abundantly blessed. Your life truly is beautiful (like the header in your blog says). Thank you for sharing it with us.

And also, way to go, Nella, with the neck strength! :)

Elizabeth said...

and i love the prayer in Nella's baptism program that your dad shared. how beautiful, and how perfectly worded.

Naysel said...

I'm so happy that you are happy. And you have such a beautiful family. And I know that your babies are proud to have such a loving mommy like you! Love is a great thing. And you can tell that you love these kids with all your heart and then some! I love your blog, truly beautiful.

Nicole said...

so sweet and so perfect. how could you not cry? blessings to you and yours!

Smocking with Gwen said...

What a beautiful celebration of a special baby girl and her family! Our children grow up too quickly...much too quickly. Nella will cause that clock to slow down and that is a blessing too.

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