Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'll take 'Stream-of Consciousness' for $500, Alex (and a giveaway...yay!)

So, I've sat here in my chair for five minutes wondering how the heck I am going to de-jumble all that's on my mind, shave off a writable bit and actually have it make sense. I'll peck a line, read it and just as quickly backspace, backspace, backspace until I'm again left with the bright white screen of an unfinished post.

However, when the formatting portion of my brain is shut-down, there's this really cool back-up portion that runs on a generator apparently...and it's called stream-of-consciousness. Stream-of-consciousness and I are great friends. We coffee together in the morning and popcorn-and-beer it at night. Stream-of-consciousness knows me and loves me for who I am. Random and completely and utterly Type B.

So, Stream-of-consciousness...dance with me tonight, my friend. Take me.

Beginning with my chair. Let me tell you about my new desk chair. After cracking two cheap Craigslist chairs in half and spending a week sitting on a metal folding chair, I had it. Well, that and the fact that I was going to be Skyping an international interview for CNNI from my living room and I didn't want to be doing it from a folding chair. It dawned on me that in a hidden corner of our kitchen eating area, there's a favorite chair of mine that goes unnoticed and unused...and it's a beauty of a chair. It's comfortable and butts up nicely against my old white desk. The thing is, it's not a desk chair at all. It has tall arms that rise from the base like walls so that when butted against a desk, you're sort of pinned there. That doesn't stop me. I like the chair. Even if I have to get a running start and jump into it like I'm Bo hoppin' into The General Lee.

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I enjoyed a much-needed Girls Night last weekend that started with drinks at The Pub and ended at the movies. And, can I just say, if you haven't played M.A.S.H. as a grown-up, you're missing out. It's way funnier when you're in your thirties and that little piece of paper tells you you're going to live in a shack, drive a riding lawn mower and marry the pimpled, crack-exposing plumber down the street when you grow up.

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I hope we never grow up.
At least Anna Ruth hopes she never grows up because her M.A.S.H. has her working the streets.
Happy Birthday, A.R.

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Any excuse to be out with the girls huddled in a dark movie theater with a bucket of popcorn, a box of Sour Patch Kids and my jammied little babe is a good excuse.

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I hereby announce the first time in the history of mankind that we returned library books when they were due. This may not be a major accomplishment for many, but for us...top five of my life, I'm thinking. Regardless, she is in love with "mine libary books" -- carries them around, shows them to company, takes them to bed with her and counts down the days to exchanging them for new ones.

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She is also loving the bin of about a hundred old beanie babies a friend gave her. She counts them, names them and knows when any are missing. Because I took Jolly the Walrus and within five minutes, she knew he was gone.

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Dude, did we actually spend $5 a pop on those back in the day? I worked at a hospital when I was in college and, I swear, when news got out that the gift shop had new beanies in stock, there was basically a stampede of middle-aged women in scrubs knocking each other out to be the first ones to get their hands on Willy the Wombat. I was one of them a couple times. That's embarrassing.

The Sprinkler's Back. Because today the sun was bright and happy, and it felt like full-fledged Spring was begging us to join it in our yard. And so we did.

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I think watching a child play in a sprinkler is a spiritual experience. There is nothing more free-spirited or carefree than this willowly heavenly creature hopping sprays of cold water, braving the steady stream with her face and squealing with delight. It's poetic.

We got new bonnets from our friend Nicole, and after we fell in love with the one she made us last year--the one that has shaded that blonde head many a Sunday on Isle of Capri--we couldn't wait for a good hot, sunny afternoon to sport our new ones.

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After a strange long string of cold snaps, I am happily anticipating more warm afternoons. More barefeet in the driveway. More late-night bonfires and sparklers. More afternoons at the park.

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This afternoon, we ventured out for a late-afternoon walk where I let Lainey push Nella all by herself. She was too proud, hiding her shy smile as best as she could and stopping at any slight whimper to console her little sister.

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And the warm sun and the bump-bump-bump of sidewalk seams put Nella fast asleep.

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Much better than our earlier attempts to push her in a doll stroller. That lasted all of thirty seconds.

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...and warm afternoon sun makes for great little girl shadows.

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Fairy Party planning continues with invitations almost finished. We are enclosing a little magic for invited attendees...

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...and have been talking a lot about how to catch a fairy. We did a little party preview with decorating a couple fairy houses.

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But mostly? Mostly, right now, despite the random stream-of-consciousness, I am enjoying being a mama so very much.

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Between drinking up the blessed little moments of mamahood and having good writing opportunities lately, I've felt so fulfilled. And drawing so much inspiration from these past eight weeks and being challenged to really think about the broader scheme of life and circumstances, events and what we make of it, I've arrived at this greater understaning of purpose. Wanting to live purposefully and knowing that, at any given moment when things seem just as they should be --whether it's enjoying an afternoon on a blanket on the grass watching my girl dance in the sprinkler or sharing conversation with Brett over our morning cup of coffee -- my awareness alone for the good little things of our life is the beginning of my purposeful journey.

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And either that came out understandable and half-way poignant, or there's a really good chance I'm tired and am going to reread that in the morning and say What the - ?

Closing this post with two really good things:

Daddy and his girl hanging out in the garage. They do this all the time...sit in his car in the garage and listen to music. Except now she wants to learn the words to the song...and she wants to dance...and she wants to make my cheeks hurt from smiling because it's so cute.
Watch it here.

And Oh, what have we here?

A giveaway. For you sweet readers. A randomly drawn commenter from this post will be receiving a peice of jewelry (up to $100 value) of their choice from Lisa Leonard Designs.

Be happy.

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1,612 comments:

1 – 200 of 1612   Newer›   Newest»
ecjbailey said...

Wow, those are beautiful necklaces-great for Mother's Day! Kelle, I sure love your updates, and I'm so happy that you are hitting your stride.

lmjess said...

Beautiful, like always!

Powtera said...

such a sweet sleeping baby - i love the uber pink stroller too!

Jewllori by Lori said...

I'm so needing a girls night too! MASH...haven't thought about that in, oh 16 years or so!! Awesome, I'll have to try that :)

A perfectly random post, my favorite:)

Dee Dee said...

Love the fairy party preps, and the pics of your beautiful girls. :)

Amy from KC said...

Wow, I just happened on your site thanks to AOL, and I have to say that it is beautiful. We all have a powerful story, but you have such a way of telling yours. Thank you for this blessing.

love said...

my girls love the tubs of beanie babies, too. {and yes, WHAT were we thinking?!}

there is NOTHING like living purposefully and standing right in the middle of where you are supposed to be. i'm so happy for you.

thank you for sharing some of your journey.

Michelle said...

Kelle, You are amazing and Nella is the most beautiful baby! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing and heart wrenching story! Your reminders of how beautiful life is, have truly inspired me! Thank you!

Anne NC said...

Kellie,

After coming across your blog from the link on AOL and reading about the birth of your precious Nella, I had to go back and read the other posts. You have such a beautiful spirit and are a wonderful mama to those two beauties of yours. Enjoy the time, it does go by much too quickly. Thank you for sharing your joy with us.

Janell said...

Kelle-

I first stumbled upon your blog about a week or so ago on WeddingBook (crazy I know). But as the mother of a special needs child I have to tell you how much your story of Nella's birth touched my heart. What a beautiful talent you have! Nella is absolutely perfect! I'm so glad that you could join all of us in "Holland"!! Congratulations on your new baby girl!

Captain said...

I love reading these Stream of Consciousness posts on different blogs! Such a great idea!

Beautiful photos as usual!

http://ourimperfectlife.blogspot.com/

Meghan said...

The video of your husband and daughter is so adorable. I love that she is singing along. My son sings a long too, its precious.

can I just say how much I love that your computer desk is a disaster? It always makes me feel better to see that someone else's looks like mine.

Have a wonderful day!

K-Bar said...

The photos that you take of your girls are absolutely breathtaking. Even if you didnt write anything out, I would know the story. =)

Shauna said...

I loved the randomness of your post...

Nella gets prettier everyday...

You've inspired me to start blogging again...might take a few more weeks for me to actually do it.

Thankyou for being continually inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Kelle-
am still reading your blog and still loving it! :) Beautiful pictures... and beautiful kidos!
Kelly Knecht

Anonymous said...

Love the fairy houses, super cute. Thanks for another fabulous post!
xo
c

Lindsay said...

I am in love with Lisa Leonard Designs.
I also am in love with your beautiful family and your beyond beautiful story. I came across your blog just a few days ago, through Don Miller's blog. I just want to say thank you. You have inspired me and moved me in more ways than I can possibly articulate. For that I am beyond grateful.

Kara said...

Love your bigger sweetie pushing your littlest sweetie in the stroller. That's so sweet!

Melissa said...

lovely post. i hope to one day capture the beauty of my children through a lens like you do. your photos are inspiring to say the least.

Jade said...

The story is beautiful, as are the pictures that accompany it.

Christina Chantal said...

It has taken me a long time to get up the courage to comment on your blog, Kelle. I guess I have always just figured you've got so many adoring readers, and who am I to try and reach you? But I must say, you are lovely and make me long for the day when I have my own little babies. I can only hope that they are as loved and well-rounded as your little fairies are. Happy day to each of you. : )

Lawyerlove said...

I found your blog today after reading an article about you on aol news. I have been stuck reading for hours when I should be doing homework. I was in tears reading about your story. Especially seeing the picture of your oldest girl proudly holding her sister for the first time. It's true...children can teach us a lot about true unconditional love. I'm not a mother but one day I hope to be. You are truly blessed. Thanks for reminding me what matters most. You have such a perfect beautiful family. Please give your little bunny a big squeeze for me...she is adorable.
Connie

poohwear said...

I work in he newborn nursery in a NYC hospital...I just discovered your blog and read every last post from the beginning...I also love photography although shots from my second home in St. Thomas are my great love...my kids are grown, I'm ready for grandbabies...you inspire me, you are my hero, I love your girls and I've only just met them. I have had many moments like your first introduction to Nella, but from the other side of the baby blanket....I hope I can inspire others the way you have inspired me tonight...God Bless your family ♥

Sienna & Serena said...

You make me a better mom! Love your zest for life!

Lady Rink said...

I LOVE Lainey's green hat!!! I need one for my 4 year old. But I love your blog even more. I have a January 2010 baby boy so I kind of feel like our little ones are growing up "together" :)

Alison said...

Added to my list of things to do:

Get bucket of Beanie Babies down from the attic for my little girls to play with.

Your blog is beautiful. Your family is gorgeous. You words are inspiring.

Beth said...

Kelle...my calendar's quote for today:"I had the most satisfactory of childhoods because my mother...turned out to be exactly my age." -- Kay Boyle

My first thought when I read that quote was..."Yes!!! I always "want to be their age". What a great goal! And since I have four kids ages: 17, 14, 10 and 3 I'm pretty much allowed to be whatever goofy way I am at any time!

My second thought was...you. I paused and smiled to myself. That's the way you live, Kelle, and it truly is inspirational, wonderful and just plain fun. Most importantly, it shows your children just how much they matter. They feel it to their core and what a precious gift that is.

May we both always be our kids age(s)! :) Beth

Brandi said...

What is it with little girls and wanting to put real babies in their play strollers, just precious. I have spent the last couple hours reading some of your old posts and you truly are amazing, you're one very blessed mama!

Rachel said...

Love your blog. Love Nella. Love your inspiring words!

Wishing many (more) blessings upon your family.

Kendra said...

beautiful pictures, beautiful girls, and I love the chair!

heather said...

I can't wait for sprinkler weather here. We still have a few more months though. Beautiful pictures as always. And your thoughts on living purposely were perfect--something we all need to do and remind ourselves every morning that that's how we are going to live each day.
XOXO

Jaimie Lynn said...

That jewelery is GREAT!

I love it!

Mark and Wendy said...

The comment form doesn't usually open for me, so I'm just a lurker who loves learning from your amazing perspective on life...thankful that you've reminded to "stop and smell the flowers" with my precious children more often!
You're a gift!

McKell said...

Lainey seems like such a wonderful big sister :) so cute.

Ryan, Miranda, and Ethan said...

Beauty exudes from you, Kelle... in your photography, in your writing, in the way you phrase what you say, in your smile, in your actions... I have been truly inspired and touched by you!! We just visited my brother in law in Sarasota, and the next time we visit I would love to come to Naples for a session. You've helped make my world a little brighter and help me to appreciate my husband and precious son even more. I come here for a little pick-me-up... even when you are down, you are still shining!!

Claire said...

LOVE Nella's sunhat. Adorable. And the fairy dust is awesome. I can't wait to see the photos from Lainey's birthday party. I'm sure its going to be fantastic.

joyq said...

Now THAT is an office chair:)

Love the photos, as always.

Rockstar and a half today. Seriously.

Jennilynn said...

Horray for a post! :) I was SO needing a pick-me-up today from a "friend."

We got to enjoy the park today too- I've always been a rainy/snowy weather kinda girl... and now I have an almost toddler and just love to see his eyes light up when we explore the outside world.

Jeremy and Jessica Litster said...

I am seriously loving those bonnets! Little Nella looks so precious in every single hat she tries on! And I love Lainey's green hat! It looks like her birthday party is going to be so fun! My own little one is currently in love with Tinkerbelle and wears little fairy wings around all day! So we are definitely a fan of the fairies over here! Oh and ps...my mom has 3 or 4 rubbermaids FULL of beanie babies! We stood in lots of long lines to get those! :)

Love all of your words! Thank you for sharing!
-Jessica

olivia said...

i adore your pictures--they make the countdown to spring very exciting! i can't wait!

Kristy Klaassen Photography said...

Ok...this may show up twice - not sure what happened there.
I love, love, love the pics of Nella taken after she's fallen asleep from the bumping down the sidewalk!! I could eat her with a spoon; absolutely delish!!
I'm also a HUGE fan of shadow pics - great job! :) You continue to delight...thanks!

Teresa said...

I've been reading your blog since Nella's birth. It's an incredible story. We have a story of our own and although I usually don't comment, I would love a necklace as a tribute to my little one. Thank you for your wonderful outlook on life. You're inspiring me to take more pictures of my little ones.

ChristiB said...

As always, a smile was brought to my face. :)
Christi

Kerrie said...

I want to thank you for sharing your wonderful journey through motherhood! I am a mom to 3 boys so I have enjoyed the beautiful pictures of your girls in their precious hats. My favorite picture is the one of Nella is the doll stroller!
kerriekg@yahoo.com

Breeann Bowers said...

I love reading your blog! I have been reading it for the last two weeks now. I just love the way you write and the pictures you post and most of all, your honesty.

lisa said...

oh how I love stream of consciousness. with an 8 month old at home, i feel like that's how I live my life these days.

you're girls are so sweet together. just love how lainey is with nella. i so look forward to your posts and pics.

BEAUTIFUL!
xx

Cynthia Helms said...

I've never really done this before...Ok nevermind... I have but I don't think myspace and facebook count much (nervous laughter)..So I came across your blog courtesy of AOL.And I just love it! It makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Tears of absolute joy mind you. I feel connected to you in some way and we come from two different walks of life. The connection (for lack of a better word) came to me when you referred to your girls as "my girls". I am a mommy to a 5 year old little girl and 8 month old little girl and when I first referred to them as "my girls" it was a feeling like no other. Thank you for sharing your life with us! You inspire me to be the best mommy I can be. God bless you each and every second of every single day. Your words have transformed my life. Thank you!

Crystal and Co said...

1) Baby Nella is the sweetest most beautiful sleeping baby ever! Look at those long eye lashes!

2) I owe one library close to $100 in late fees, another local library at least $50 in late fees. Currently looking for a new library. We are horrible with deadlines and due dates.

3) Lainey and her Daddy are so cute! Zac Brown Band rocks, too!

I am doing my first giveaway on my blog right now! Check it out if you get a sec!

Chelsie said...

I came to your blog via the parent dish article linked to aol news. Wow! Am I glad I clicked on that link, or what?!? ;-)
You're an inspiring woman and mama, and so blessed. Those girls are gorgeous! Just love all the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing your world with all of us.
Cheers,
Chelsie in AZ

peskypixies said...

gorgeous photos........

Kathryn said...

Well, I really like your streams of consciencenous...don't change a thing when you wake up!
The girls look so adorable in their bonnets, I may try to order one of those for my only little girl (she has 8 brothers) so a hip little bonnet would help her rock that out!

jenlar3 said...

I love all the hats in this post...the sun bonnets, Lainey's green hat, and the adorable one Nella was wearing when she fell asleep in the stroller!!

If you are able to put wheels on your new desk chair, it might be easier to climb in and out of!!

Ben and Jenny said...

My mom and I have emailed back and forth about some of your beautiful thoughts on life and children. You are a great writer and I am a faithful reader of your blog. You have inspiring words and I look forward to every post.

Jessica Cagle said...

I love the sun shades! I'm so excited summer is here, its an instant pick me up when the sun is shining and the warm sun is out.

junerose said...

I love the picture of Nella in the doll stroller. I guess many little girls think alike- http://junerose81clarkcorner.blogspot.com/- and have so much fun in pretending to be "mommy"

Portraits by Mary Ann said...

I found your Blog thru a Photog forum and have been reading ever since, You are a great photographer, Mom and Awesome Blogger!. I just updated mine after a year! Oh and your little Nella. What a beauty! and a miracle too. She is destined for Greatness I can just tell!

angelmaryy21 said...

My mom used to always tell me that babies with DS are sent to the world to bring peace and happiness to all those around them.
I thought that was her way of shedding light into an obscure situation, but every time I read your blog I am reminded that my momma was right. =) XOXO

srh_rn07 said...

I love looking at your beautiful pictures and reading about your days with you beautiful daughters

Jenn said...

loved your post, as always, kelle. and love lisa leonard designs!

Daniels said...

I just came across your blog & love it! I am a mother of three, my youngest is turning 8 weeks old on Saturday. I was touched when I read your blog, you have brought more of a realization to my life of appreciating all we are blessed with, especially the tender moments we spend w our lil ones. I tend to overlook them sometimes when I am focused on trying to get housework done. Thank you for documenting all you have been blessed with!

s'me said...

Beautiful pictures as always. Nella and Lainey are just so photogenic!

tinkster said...

I love how much of you we can FEEL in your photos. I can almost here Lainey giggling, and Nella making those newborn sounds because I can FEEL you in both the photos and the words. LOVE it

KristinMZ said...

A friend of mine linked me to your blog just shortly after the birth of my littlest love....which was just two days before the arrival of Miss Nella. The photos of your girls together bring me to tears every time. An unbreakable bond that only sisters can share. Such a lucky Mommy you are!

La TempĂȘte said...

Your photos of your girls always put a smile on my face, so lovely.

abbey bernardi said...

You are so inspiring Kelle, I am writing Bayley's birth story soon and I have you to thank for the courage to do so. Love the fairy house and your precious pics of the girls!!!
xoxo
Abbey

Kassandra said...

I read the birth story of Nella several weeks back... probably sometime shortly after you posted it. I was pregnant at the time (my baby boy is 5 weeks old today) and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever read... and I read a lot. :o) I read the AOL interview today and decided to pop back by. I love the way you write... I have a feeling I'm going to become a regular reader. :o)

Anyways, just wanted to say that your girls are beautiful. :o)

Hillary's blog said...

Love your photography so much! Thank you for sharing so openly!

Brooke said...

Oh my goodness, I was just thinking about M.A.S.H. the other night... but I'm an Aussie and the version we played was slightly different. So funny :)

And what is it with these kids knowing exactly which toy is missing even when they have way too many? Now, if only they could remember where they last put said toy, we'd be set!

Great post as usual :)

Robynne said...

I don't think there was one thing in any of those pictures that wasn't adorable. At least from your pictures, you seem to have the cutest life ever. Thanks for sharing!

Mel said...

I'm lovin' the sprinkler photos! Too cute:)

cupcake_queen said...

I love the shadow pic of Lainey!! Very cool.

Shauna Quintero said...

Awww! The best dance moves are always in the car with the radio up!

And I love baby Nella in the baby stroller.

Summer said...

Even your stream-of-consciousness posts are amazing and inspire me! I love all the pictures! You really are a great photographer and capture the moment so perfectly! Glad you had a girls' night out. We all need those !

Mrs. C said...

Lisa Leonard jewelry is adorable, so is your blog! :)

Sneaker Teacher said...

The Fairy Birthday invitations are so cute! Sounds like a fun party! Beautiful pictures as always!

Brandi said...

I love reading your blog! There is always so much happiness and love. Thank you so much for writing.
I absolutely love the girls bonnets! They are adorable. I think I will have to get my little princess a few :)
Where did you find such a cute sprinkler?????
Thanks so much for sharing your life with us!!!

Jeanne said...

Ok, so this is how I read your blog. First, I pretend I am an adult and I can read and view the pictures in the order in which it is presented. But within the first few words, I just start getting all googlied eyed and need to jump all around. Viewing the pictures and reading small snippets really randomly! Then, once I have finished, I go back and actually read it from the beginning! MAybe one day I might be normal.

Anyway, thanks for sharing! I really am inspired once again by your great points of view! I am constantly striving to tell my story in a new fresh way. So, thanks for the inspiration!

Oh and thanks for knowing how to use that umbrella stroller cover. I have that same stroller and never knew about the cover! LOL I really should have since I live in Seattle!

daphne said...

I can't believe I just only found out about your blog and frankly, I'm in LOVE. I cried reading your story and your pictures are just out-of-this-world awesome. And Nella, oh, she is so beautiful!

I'm going to figure out a way to fly over from Singapore to have my kids' pictures taken by you sometime. I'm telling everyone I know about your site. Can't wait to see more!

Amy said...

I LOVE the pictures of Lainey pushing Nella in the stroller! Too bad my son is only 2 1/2 months old or i'd be already for a little sibling for him to push around too lol!

Amy said...
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Amy said...
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kathrynmichelle said...

as i was getting ready to try and sleep, i stumbled upon your blog.. i must say that i really enjoy the way you write, even most of your sentences have some sort of poetic beauty to them. it makes me smile reading about all the simple things you notice that everyone else seems to forget.. i also really love your photos, you have quite a keen eye! & your little girls are soooo precious!

giftsofthejourney said...

That green hat Lainey is wearing is adorable ... did your mom make it?

I spent a fortune on beanie babies too, but I was a young mother back then. Now I qualify for middle aged mom or perhaps older. Is 49 middle aged ?

Loving the honesty in your story and the telling.

I'm practicing my stream of consciousness delivery too.

Sarah said...

I love your blog. I read it holding my baby (born 12/11/09) and almost always end up crying happy tears. The pictures of your girls are gorgeous and you inspire me to be the best mommy I can to my two littles.
Thank you.

Lynn said...

I must live under a rock! Please tell me how you play this game called "Mash"? Sounds Amazingly fun. Or twisted. LOL!

Thanks for the give-away chance. You are SO fun!

But more than that, I love coming here daily and being SO inspired. Inspired in ways that I could never put into words. I adore the way you write. The way you think.

You have the most beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

Your posts never fail to make me smile, you know that?

- Kayla.

Shan said...

I was drawn to your blog by an AOL story about your growing popularity, and I have to say, I was brought to tears on more than one occasion. You and your family are just beautiful; I almost feel as if I know you! My fave pix are the ones with a doting Lainey pushing Nella in the bright pink stroller. Precious! The most important thing I have gotten out of reading about your new life with a Down Syndrome baby, is that, as much of a blessing as Nella really is to YOU, the true blessing is that YOU are her mother. How lucky this little girl is that she will grow up with such unconditional love from her whole family! That is the 'tear-inducing' blessing to me. Lucky Nella. ;-)

Kailis said...

Kelle-

Your blog has been a huge inspiration to me. Especially little Nella. I'm younger than most of your readership (I assume so; only just entered my second decade) and this has just inspired me to not waste a minute of it. Thank you.

Maddie said...

You really are an inspiration. Your two beautiful, perfect girls are so lucky to have you as their Mama.

And your photos are beautiful.

Maddie x

layne said...

you, quite possibly, have the two most beautiful girls in the world. lainey is such a rockin' big sister. nella is so lucky.

those lisa leonard necklace are to die for! fingers crossed for a win!!

Melody said...

I just adore your girls! They are so precious and your ability to capture all the sweet little moments inspires me to do the same.

Summers Family said...

Beautiful pictures! I was laughing at the mad libs and beanie baby memories. Love Lisa's jewelery.

familyofgirls said...

I'm not sure if your giveaway is open to people outside the US but I will comment anyway :P
It's quite funny looking at all your spring photos when here in NZ our weather is slowly cooling, the slip and slide has been put away, days are getting shorter and winter is fast approaching. At least your little window into the other side of the world makes me feel a little warmer :)

familyofgirls said...

I'm not sure if your giveaway is open to people outside the US but I will comment anyway :P
It's quite funny looking at all your spring photos when here in NZ our weather is slowly cooling, the slip and slide has been put away, days are getting shorter and winter is fast approaching. At least your little window into the other side of the world makes me feel a little warmer :)

Anonymous said...

Could you dress your daughters any cuter? They are so adorable! Great post today. I always enjoy reading them.

~Heidi

Cassidy said...

was instantly taken with your story on AOL. I'm always inspired to keep my head up when I read other mommies painting their life beautiful by blogging. Thanks for reminding me to shed the shallow stuff.

Frau said...

Beautiful pictures! i had a beanie baby addiction for a while I cringe at the thought of all the money I spent...yikes!

Anne said...

Okay, so it's 3 a.m. here in and I was awakened by some pretty freaky dreams. So, what do I do????? What else is there to do but get on Enjoyingthesmallthings blog and view your adorable family and read your funny and inspiring words:) Thanks for keeping me company at wee hours in the a.m.:) Loved the video of your hubby and Lainey:) Absolutely adorable!!!

crazy bunny lady said...

A friend of mine shared your blog with me, and within minutes I smiled until my cheeks hurt, cried until I couldn't see, and was truly inspired. Thank you so much for sharing.

j210209 said...

The video of Lainey and her Daddy is so adorable, it brought tears to my eyes!

I am loving the desk chair!

Once again.. Awesome xx

j210209 said...

The video of Lainey and her Daddy is so adorable, it brought tears to my eyes!

I am loving the desk chair!

Once again.. Awesome xx

The simple things in life... said...

Kelle, I love reading your posts and seeing how the little things make you and your family happy. Your family is beautiful!

Jessica W said...

I swear, reading your blog has awakened my insides:) I am 15 weeks pregnant and have been pretty much in shock since I found out. I am however, 28 married and happy and financially stable, but it wasn't in "the plan" to have a baby yet. I've been waiting for the day to wake up and just cry my eyes out because I'm so happy to become a mother. And that happened tonight after I caught up on your blog. I started reading right after sweet Nella was born, and I feel like the me that has been missing in action for the past 2 years is awake again. And I'm ready to start living again and be the best mom ever. Thanks so much for being so inspiration Kelle, you are really really special.
Jessica

Evie said...

Your girls are so gorgeous and I love your writing!

Lisa said...

I look forward to each new post and tonight was no exception. Thank you for a wonderful view into your world, I am so blessed that you share it with us all.

Robyn said...

It is 3:48am est it is always a treat to have a new post for me when I can't sleep! Thanks Kelle.....here's to sunny afternoons

Teddie said...

I am totally new to this world of 'the blog', I have been reading yours since it showed up on a birth board. I have followed since the birth of Nella, but I am allowing myself some time in the evenings to read back through all your blogs to the beginning. I also check every morning when I get up at about five thirty with my littles to see if there is anything new. I feel like I know you all though your words and you photos.
I like 'Family of girls' am in New Zealand, so too far away for any giveaway but I am glad to have finally left a comment after all this time, it seems a little rude to just 'read and run'.
Anyhow your girls are beautiful and you have insipred me in so many ways that I cannot begin to explain. Here's to all the beautiful things in life x

martine said...

May every day be filled with sunshine and sprinklers for you xxx

♥ a said...

I loved your stream of consciousness post! Your daughters are beautiful.

kiwicpk said...

Hey you lovely rock stars!

Love those cute hats the girls had on and Lainey's fab pants she has on on the swing... :-)

Bella_K said...

I love your blog, I love how open and candid you are, it is refreshing and divine. It is stunning.

Thank you Kelle.
xx

LisaGirl said...

Thank you for touching my world, Kelle, and putting things back into perspective.

BellaBree said...

ooooo I do love Lisa work - its precious....sweet, swwet photos Kelle, your wee dolls are adorable.x

Eunice M. said...

Lainey is such a cute little fashionista:) Nella is sooo adorable! I'm so addicted to your blog! Haha. Keep 'em coming...

Eunice M. said...

Lainey is such a cute little fashionista:) Nella is sooo adorable! I'm so addicted to your blog! Haha. Keep 'em coming...

Eunice M. said...

Lainey is such a cute little fashionista:) Nella is sooo adorable! I'm so addicted to your blog! Haha. Keep 'em coming...

Tracy said...

I am always excited when I see you posted in my google reader. You are doing such a great thing with your blog. I love looking at all your beautiful pictures.

Sarah said...

Gorgeous video and beautiful girls...your blog is a new favorite!

Maria said...

I just tried to post and don't think it came up, so if I double up, sorry!

I stumbled upon your blog shortly after Nella bean was born and I have been so incredibly inspired through your thoughts,writing and beautiful pictures.

Your girls are adorable and I love Lisa Leonard's jewelry, also so inspiring.

I look forward to your next post!

Jennifer said...

I love reading your blog, thank you for being so open and sharing with us.

mamabeck said...

Your girls are just heartbreakingly beautiful, and I'm so glad you and your friends had a blessed time out together...

Kint said...

ahhhh sprinklers... such lovely memories from childhood, but living in australia, which has been in drought for years now, sprinklers are a thing of the past... we are not allowed to use then, so sad my kids dont know the joy of running through a sprinkler on a hot hot day....

oh and the pic of nella in her jarmies, all i could think was miss nella bean wearing ice cream...

Jes said...

What beautiful bonnets!

Littlest Learners said...

You're the best! I am giddy with excitement over seeing the finished product of your fairy party. Such a sweet theme.

Lisa said...

Ok. I'll make your day. You have made mine. I am also a parent of a special needs child. Although with my Rebecca Rose, it tooks me a while before I knew what was going on. That year when she strugged was so heart breaking. I so wanted to help her, but did not have all the tools in place. When I got her diagnosis, it was big, and scary and so, so sad. After a week, I got over being sad and got Fierce! She's now got everything she needs to be successful and she is. Rebecca Rose is my Rock Star. I am so so proud to be her MAMA! here is to Nelia and you MAMA!

Carol xx said...

More Beautiful photos of your precious little girls. You brighten all of our days with your words and photos. You are very special! xxxxxxxx

The Sanchez Family said...

I love your stream of consciousness! Keep it going! Beautiful as always.

The Sanchez Family said...

I love your stream of consciousness! Keep it going! Beautiful as always.

The Full Nelson said...

your posts make me smile!

Sue said...

Beautiful post as always.

Wendy said...

You have a beautiful family and your photography amazes me!

Sara said...

Oh my goodness, Kelle, I just love your posts...this one might rank up there with one of my top five favs. Your girls? Adorable. Your words? Beautiful. And those sweet bonnets? Ordering one ASAP!

Nelle said...

I so love your photos!

Victoria said...

I love her designs, and your photography, writing, and those sweet girls of yours even more! I hope you have the most blessed day!

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emilie said...

another gorgeous post. thank you so much for all the beautiful things you capture. And Damn, you don't mess around with your movie snacks. :)

pixie* said...

Beanie Babies are awesome! I have lots, they're for my future kids you see, I'm planning early (like 5 years early) ;)

Your bubbas are so adorable! And so stylish!

Your photography is stunning. I wish my photo's were so nice, one day I hope they will be :D

If you ever need to rid of that chair I have first dibs! (dunno how much shipping to NZ will be but I don't care cos it's so beautiful!)

Rebecca Hamilton said...

Just discovered your blog and love it. I also love jewelry, so I hope I WIN!!!!! Thanks!

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

Those sunbonnets are AWESOME! Love them. And I love that last picture of Nella...so cute.

Cole said...

Oh those bonnets are so darling! I'm headed over there to sort through them! Yay for some GNO time as well. What movie did you see?

Anonymous said...

I love Lisa Leonard, if I don't win one of her giveaways soon, I am just going to have to buy a piece on my own. We are having a baby girl in June, I can't wait to put her name on one!

rebeccajeanbradley at yahoo.com

nocton4 said...

Having just found you, I am catching up with your wonderful blog and amazing family, smiling through tears and sending love your way.
Gorgeous photos of a beautiful family, I look forward to sharing some of your times with you xxx

Beautiful Chaos said...

Your girls are beautiful, your pictures are gorgeous, and I just love your writing.... lucky, lucky, lucky lady :)

Anonymous said...

Love Lisa Leonard but especially look forward to your updates! Such sweet babies! Aren't they scrumptious? I think I need to go bury my face in the neck of one of my shorties.

Judy W

Anonymous said...

Love Lisa Leonard but especially look forward to your updates! Such sweet babies! Aren't they scrumptious? I think I need to go bury my face in the neck of one of my shorties.

Judy W

Kira said...

Just beautiful. All of it.
You make my scheduled, planned, Type-A personality want to try to be more Type-B. If I can fit it in the schedule, that is. ;)

Sending warm wishes from North Florida for you and your family!

ETS said...

I LOVE the pic of Nella in the doll stroller! ADORABLE!!!

The Gava Family said...

Love reading your blog. I always feel better after reading. Your girls are adorable.

Jen said...

My daughter is the exact same way with beanie babies. If she loses one of them we have to hunt for hours until we find it. It is the funniest and sometimes the most frustrating thing. Especially frustrating when she sticks it in one of her many hiding places.

Alethea Lee said...

Love the pics. Hopefully, one day, we will have the money to afford one. For now, I jusst use the camera phone for mine.

rootedinlove said...

Beatiful.

Valerie said...

Cute post!

I love the bonnet pictures! While on vacation last summer, we were driving thru southwestern Missouri and realized we were mere miles from Laura Ingall Wilder's homestead...with Almanzo. Of course, I insisted we make a detour and visit the family farm and homestead.

In the gift shop, they sold the most amazing bonnets. I bought one for my daughter. I love it when she wears it in the Kansas sunshine...so fitting!

Great give-away...and just in time for Mother's Day. Thanks as always for reminding me of the small things that I too should be enjoying!

B/c really, eating cheetos at 8:00 AM is not truly the crisis that I sometimes make it out to be...even if it involves little orange fingers on the couch!

XOXO,
Valerie

Carrie said...

The photo of Lainey pushing the stroller is priceless. It's amazing to watch an older sibling become a big sister or brother.

The Leivas said...

Just discovered your blog and I love it! I'll comment more later, still a little raw...

Tiffany said...

Beautiful pictures as always. Your girls are so beautiful. I love the bonnets, I have boys, so I don't think they would look as cute on them lol.

beret said...

I can't get enough pictures of your sweet Nella sleeping. The lips, the eyelashes! I think she looks a lot like you.

Danielle said...

Oh wow...don't know where to begin. My cousin sent me a link to your blog late last night and said, "you must read." I started to read your daughter's birth story and started my day off crying and not because I feel bad or sad but because you have reminded me that life is about the little things that we take for granted on a daily basis (or at least I take for granted on a daily basis).
Your talent with the camera stirs envy in me. Gorgeous way of capturing life. Thank you so much for sharing.

Tricia O'Loughlin said...

Oooh your sprinkler weather pics are such a teaser, we're nowhere near that blessed turning point up north yet! Your girls are of course darling, the bonnets are so sweet, and I think your desk chair is perfection.

Kimberly said...

beautiful pics once again of your children. Enjoy the sunshine and being outside with your girls!

Nicole said...

Your girls are gorgeous!!

michelle said...

You have a beautiful family. Love your whole outlook!

michelle said...

You have a beautiful family. Love your whole outlook!

Jen said...

Your messy desk escaped my attention until another commenter mentioned it. I like that you post real photos of your house without embarrassment.

Love Lainey's kelly green crocheted hat. She's a hat girl!

You may be nostalgic for Michigan, but I'm a little jealous of Florida. It will be a long time before we get out the sprinkler here.

Alyssa said...

I lovvveee those bonnettes! AND Lainey's pants in the swing pictures. AND your new chair! =)

mrs.magoo said...

Living purposefully - so true...it's a very hard thing to remember as often you get mucked-up in life's daily tasks or struggles - it was nice to have this reminder - thank you.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the chair! Nella is such a beautiful little angel! and Lainey such a good big sister! I for one hope your book is BIG and is half pictures! Thank you for sharing Kelle!
Sue

Jessica K. said...

Your girls are BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you for sharing them with us!!

Grace said...

Hi - I asked this question on the CNN pre-interview spot on their site, but it wasn't addressed in your interview (which BTW I actually set an alarm so I wouldn't miss it!)- you mentioned that you were homeschooled - do you intend to homeschool the girls?
I llove your outlook on life - thanks for making my day, every day!
Grace

Meredith said...

It's kind of embarrassing how excited I get when I see you've got a new post up!! I kept checking and checking last night...what a great morning treat. My daughter Hannah and I read it and watched Lainey sing with her daddy before Hannah headed off to school. She said, "Mom are there more pictures of the baby?" So we looked at all of them together too.

I love your "stream of consciousness" writing...it's like a nice little sampler of all that's going on with you and your family, and it's so much fun to catch up with you again.

Have a great Thursday, Kelle.

Amy said...

Total lurker here. :) I LOVE your beautiful pictures! I'm trying hard to learn how to take pictures, but being a mom of 2 cute blondies myself, plus working doesn't give me a whole lot of time to work on this hobby. :)

Michelle said...

Kelle - I was just touched by the sweet picture of Nella yawning with her hat on. Thne i saw the picture of her with the head held so high. Too precious...it can't get cuter...then is the picture of her all stretched out, lounging. She is just precious. thank you for sharing!

Tallcurlygirly said...

Kelle-

Finding inspirations in the little things - ah yes, that always resonates with me. Your posts remind me what I tell myself everyday - you have one life. There's no rewind. Find joy everyday, even if it's only for 5 minutes.

It's 7am and I'm tired because after an evening with my giggly, singing 22 month old daughter (she is my lollypop), I sewed little treasure bags until midnight. So much fun and the time flew and my stress from work disappeared. And I relish the reward of sewing for children and barely for myself anymore.

Peace!

Jennifer (aka tallcurlygirly)

Sarah said...

Love your blog. Love Lisa Leonard! Pick me!

GraceesMommy said...

When I was younger I was notourious for lateness on the book thing (now I am just known for total lateness..on everything! I even got my Mom's card revoked..they use to do that..she was sooooo mad at me. If we would see the Librarian anywhere public Mom would run the other way..geez..you would have thought I stole something..well actually that is another story (I will never forget that lesson)! I had like 6 books extremely (like years) overdue book stashed away in the attic and then the heavens looked down upon me and McDonalds had a special day that if you brought in your OD books you got a cheeseburger...woohoo..I fed the neighborhood that day! So it is ironic that I do library at Gracee's school...I take it REALLY easy on those that are ALWAYS (it is like they are my own)...I have been known to hide an overdue book card or two!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the new hats! And as for the chair..I am eyeing up a chair that I have that I could redo and put with my desk..I too have an lovely old desk with a chair that is from our first kitchen set that our first puppy used as a chew toy....Have a good day Kelle..and this post was just fabulous to read..nothing is shutting down on you! ♥

Southern Gal said...

That picture of Lainey leaning over Nella in her stroller...sigh. My heart can't take it!

Love randomness posts. They are my favorites.

And I love Lisa Leonard and her jewelry. Thanks for the chance to win!

Brighton said...

Beautiful, as always : )

I am going to order a chromosome necklace for Sara's 18th birthday : )

Hannah J said...

Oh my word, we try so hard to return our books on time. . .sheesh.
Your girls are so beautiful and your photos so lovely. Thank you for inspiring all of us!

Jen said...

im so glad this blog exists.

Monica said...

You inspire me to be a better Mom. To slow down and let Corporate America spin past me. To grab my little beauty and rink in her sweet littleness that will be grown-up-girlness far too soon! I adore your blog, and your outlook on life! Thank you!
Oh, and just let me give a shout :) I'm from Michigan!

Shannon said...

I love this! Your pictures are beautiful.

C said...

Another amazing post. You are so inspiring. I love those bonnets and may have to order a few :)

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing your random thoughts- they were very well put together.
I now would like to play MASH and afterward run through a sprinkler. Thank you for reminding me how important the little things in life are. As always your girls are beautiful! Such sweet faces!

JustBe said...

As always...I enjoy reading your blog...the photos always make me smile.

Anonymous said...

My friend just has a baby with Down's Syndrome; they knew from the start that she was the perfect baby for their family. Your blog is such an uplifting encouragement, too.

emilyslinger at juno dot com

Jacki said...

As always, Kelle, your post has me smiling and tearing up. Such beautiful littles, captured so perfectly by you to share with us! Nella did not look too impressed with being in the doll stroller ;) But Lainey leaning over her baby sister in the real stroller? Precious. Thank you once again for sharing your beautiful photos and bits of your life! ♥

Lisa Lapeyrouse said...

Love you, Kelle!! Keep writing...keep loving those babies...and please, keep being random! I so understand :)

Jana and Brian said...

kelle. you've taught me to slow down and enjoy every precious moment with my two little nuggets. thanks!

megan douglass said...

this is the best thing on earth to read while drinking my coffee in the morning...prepares me for my 3 little beauties that will awaken any second! you are honestly such an inspiration (hope you don't tire of hearing that) for me to be a better mom!

sidenote: we did fairy party for my elle's 5th and sprinkled poprocks, aka fairy dust, on the top of each girl's punch cup. great fun! ;)

christine said...

Thanks for all the little reminders, that life is beautiful and every moment counted and enjoyed.

Bonnie said...

I love the way that Lainey's party decorations are coming along...beautiful! As always I look forward to your posts as they inpsire me to enjoy the little things everyday. The jewelry is gorgeous!

Bonnie said...

I love the way that Lainey's party decorations are coming along...beautiful! As always I look forward to your posts as they inpsire me to enjoy the little things everyday. The jewelry is gorgeous!

Kelly said...

Wonderful post.

Thanks for sharing!

Kelly C'de Baca

www.onceuponacupcake.com
kelly@onceuponacupcake.com

Tammy B said...

mmmm, that was a good post. makes me feel fulfilled. Love all those cute pics. Love the new bonnets. Seems like all is right in your world.

Elisa said...

Your words are always so beautiful and the pictures are breath taking! Thanks for sharing your world.

Missy said...

I have been having a horrible week just reading your blog makes it easier to breathe. Thank you so much. I envy you being able to spend those precious moments with those girls of yours!!! Please keep posting. How is the book coming???? lol

Danielle said...

A friend of mine sent me your blog last week and I can't stop reading it! I check it daily to see all your beautiful pictures and you've inspired me to write more, which was never very easy for me. You have a beautiful family!

Kelli said...

I'm expecting my first baby in August, and your blog makes me more anxious and excited than ANYTHING ELSE to have this baby in my arms already! Thanks for writing and for posting such precious pictures, they make my day!

jodi said...

Hi Kelle,
Love the shadow picture! I think you should look at the submitting some of your pics for greeting cards. Keep finding joy all around you! Thanks for continuing to share.
Happy Thursday!
jodi:)

Monkey Business said...

It makes my morning to see your pics, and your ramblings are quite entertaining too!!

Tiffany said...

Ohhh, LOVE Lisa and you too!

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