Monday, March 29, 2010

A Post of Many Colors

Come spring, my color receptors are particularly sensitive, noticing and appreciating every ounce of saturation in the season's teals and pinks and yellows. The world becomes a color palette, its paints begging to be dappled on our life.

We welcome them.

Its primary tones in our living room this weekend when Lainey participated in her first game of Twister.

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I smiled watching her tiny hands and driveway-dirtied feet twist and tangle as they stretched to land on big yellow circles.

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And Nella? That girl has immersed herself so beautifully into our lives, her presence is synchronously and flawlessly stictched in to the seams of all our family activities...Twister included.

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I've been thinking about perfection lately. I've stared at Nella so many late nights and marveled at her perfection. Because she is...perfect. And I wonder what it is about different that makes us think it's not perfect? Why is it that we set the bar higher and higher and expect ourselves, our children to be flawless? What is it we strive for and once we reach it--this perfection--what have we acheived? It's never enough. Even the razor I used in the shower this morning tries to outdo itself with now six blades layered to give a more perfect shave because apparently the five-bladed prior model didn't quite master the hairless perfection we're attempting to achieve.

It's just that I have learned so much about this perfection thing these past weeks, and I am finding myself cozily curling up with a new me. A me that has been cultivating for years, but is truly arriving to the place it's needed to be. The concept of perfect is not flawless or four-point-oh. It's happiness. Happiness with all its messiness and not-quite-there-ness. It's knowing that life is short, and the moments we choose to fill our cup with should be purposeful and colorful. And that's perfection. And our Nella--what the world may view far from perfection--has begun to teach me that.

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Accepting that makes our future with our new family seem so much more beautiful. And perfect. And it's amazing how much I continue to return to this theme of "beautiful and perfect" when, in what I thought were the most devastating moments of my life, I was told by Dr. Foley...She's beautiful. And perfect.

And so we strive not for perfection (although our imperfection is what is so perfectly perfect to me), but for color.

Oh, let us live a colorful life.

Embraced with Spring festivities last night with the Annual Coloring of Easter Eggs, a timeless tradition that reaches into me, pulls the blessed child that dwells within and funnels her out right where she should be. With my girl and her friends spooning virgin white eggs into jars of skittle-colored dyes and scooping them out, transformed into vivid little orbs of life. Spring-colored life.

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Holidays are a gift. Literally packaged gifts, tied up with ribbons and paper and little cards that say "Open me," and when we do...when we open them for all the spledor they're worth, there's crazy special moments inside. Moments we don't always think to take during holiday-less days.

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She loves her Beckham!

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Already looking forward to next weekend when, for the first time, the two little girls I've always dreamed of will wear their Easter dresses just like my sister & I used to do. And thin cotton socks with lace trim and little maryjanes. There will be baskets full of shredded paper grass and hidden jellybeans, notes from the Easter bunny and a good half hour of smile-strained cheek muscles from watching the boys help Lainey search corners of our house for brightly colored eggs full of chocolates and coins.

The house isn't clean. The laundry's in a heap. The Twister board is stretched out like a tent over the patchwork chairs in the playroom and weighted down by a stack of Down syndrome books. Our home seems far from perfect tonight. But, if you look a little closer, there are colored eggs in our refrigerator. There are sidewalk chalk remains in the driveway. There is a pile of pink fairy projects in the works on our kitchen table. And there is laughter.

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It is beautiful. And it is perfect.


And, I have a giveaway winner!
Generated by Random.org, Comment #1209

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Kelly C.
If I could end a day with having taken just one of the amazing photos in this post, I would be delighted. Stream of consciousness works for you...not only do I "get" your posts, they resonate .

Thank you, Kelly C. Please leave a comment with your e-mail address so we can get a beautiful Lisa Leonard piece your way!

Have a beautiful (and perfect) week.

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~k

254 comments:

1 – 200 of 254   Newer›   Newest»
Marla said...

Beautiful colors... You're girls are just perfect.

Jordan said...

She looks pretty perfect to me! They both do! :-)

Anonymous said...

Nelle is perfect - not disabled, just differently abled.

SaRaH said...

You're perspective on life is so inspiring! Thank you for spreading your joy as always!!

Valerie said...

Your photos are amazing...especially the last few...I love where Lainey and Nella are laying on the floor together. Now that's perfection!

Had my Level 2 u/s today...baby BOY looked good...very healthy. Brain and heart were perfect...all 4 chambers and no AV Canal defect (often common in kiddos with DS). Long bones measured normally, nuchal fold was normal as well.

Dr. F. reminded me that close to 50% of babies with DS do not show any of the soft-tissue markers on u/s, that's why they still "use the needle."

At this time we are opting NOT to do amnio...it's just not a risk we want to take and from watching an evening does of news there are so many worse things in this world that can happen to our kiddos than DS.

Thank you for providing me with the grace and strength to walk into that u/s this morning. I am going to continue to educate and prepare myself to possibly deliver a baby with DS, but I am not going to cry for the next 19 weeks over something that can end up being both beautiful and PERFECT!

xoxox,
Valerie

Anonymous said...

Wow - I'm 2nd (at least when I started writing this!)!!! Just went out and took a bunch of pictures of my children on the swings tonight... inspired by you, of course. Why wait until the big occasions?

And YES, your Nella is absolutely perfect! She is truly stunning.

And I feel so RELIEVED seeing your family because I've been so afraid that others will see my daughter as something far from perfect - something awful, but as an outsider looking into your family, I do see pure beauty. I wish I had more pictures of my daughter at that age, but I was still kind of scared.... and she did have some tubes that were not so attractive... but I'm making up for it now!

We picked up some dye today too... saving it until the holiday on Friday...

I adore the picture of your two girls doing "tummy time".

Can't wait to see the Easter dresses!

H. from Canada

Caroline said...

Nella is so beautiful and the way you knit words together to help everyone see that beauty is breathtaking. Thank you!

Mari Bryant- Marks said...

Some of the best pictures you have taken ever! I especially love Nella in her bunny hat with the eggs and Lainey and Nella holding their heads up together, completely in harmony, bonded. Lovely.

Mari Bryant- Marks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kim said...

just want to say, I love your photos so beautiful! and I am in LOVE with that ottoman in the background of the twister pics, lol
i have never dyed eggs before, but we are going to do some this week, ya'll looks so good!

Sarah said...

A friend introduced me to your blog...and I must say "Amazing and absolutely beautiful!!!" You truly do have a beautiful family!!!

Eliza said...

When I look at pictures of Nella I feel like I know her. She is so real to me, although we have never met. She has touched my soul and opened my mind. Mostly, though, when I look at pictures of her, especially the ones where she is looking at the camera, I feel like she knows us. All of us who have fallen in love with her and know that her heart and mind are so perfectly made and that she will bring so much light and laughter in the world (she already has!). Thank you for sharing your bunny with us.

Are you sure we're learning here? said...

I can't stand it! I LOVE the picture of Nella sleeping with her bunny hat & the Easter eggs on her arm. Too precious! And I think Lainey is about the cutest big sister ever!

Our Family of 5 said...

Those girls are gorgeous!!

Where is Nella's pretty little eyelet shirt from? I love it!

Aggie said...

Hi Kelle!

The eggs look wonderful...I tried to make my European easter eggs this weekend and usually use a ton of onion peels that make them a gorgeous mahogany color, used beets instead but it was a big fat fail, you see beets dont work! Perfect!! Just get to do it the right way this week. Thanks for another wonderful post. The babies are beautiful. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Kelle-You make me smile from ear to ear! I think your girls are precious and so, so very lucky to have such amazing parents. I am sending you over an e-mail later.

Maggie said...

I love Nella's white shoes and her shite eyelit (sp?) tops or onsie!! Where did you get them?? You girls are beautiful!

cejer said...

Read your blog for hours today! Very inspiring .. you have a truly beautiful family and are blessed to have 2 sweet girls. I am glad you see such beauty in the small things in life and have the talent to write about them in a truly meaningful way .. what a gift! I hope you print this blog out for them one day to read on their own ... they have a great momma.

cejer said...

Read your blog for hours today! Very inspiring .. you have a truly beautiful family and are blessed to have 2 sweet girls. I am glad you see such beauty in the small things in life and have the talent to write about them in a truly meaningful way .. what a gift! I hope you print this blog out for them one day to read on their own ... they have a great momma.

cejer said...

Read your blog for hours today! Very inspiring .. you have a truly beautiful family and are blessed to have 2 sweet girls. I am glad you see such beauty in the small things in life and have the talent to write about them in a truly meaningful way .. what a gift! I hope you print this blog out for them one day to read on their own ... they have a great momma.

SColby said...

A friend of mine (who has a son with ds) shared your blog with me because I have another friend that just gave birth to a sweet baby with ds.
Your blog has touched my life. I admire you so deeply for sharing your soul. Thank you

Jodi said...

This post has sung to me in ways that can't be expressed by words alone.

Thank you.

lisa said...

Love the girls, love the color!

Poppa said...

I looked long and lovingly at the collection of colored eggs...each one uniquely beautiful...bearing the brushstrokes of the little artist who made them. Some sport rich and lush color--even and smooth. Some are a bit dappled...with shades of other colors suggesting they might have been "double-dipped." One has scratch marks like some little artist had some different plans to distinguish his expression of Easter love. But I can see the little faces--proud with their artistry. They all will fill baskets of joy. They all will delight their "finders."

I love all our eggs...each one so perfectly made, so completely beautiful. I don't change my definition of beauty to accommodate them...their pure beauty changes me to understand beauty. It is the truth told in Marjorie Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit, when LOVING and BEING LOVED truly teaches us what is real..."and once you are real, you can't be anything less than beautiful, except to people who don't understand...and once you are real, you are real for always."
Maybe this is part of the story of Easter...part of the new life of spring that frees us from the cold of winter. Perhaps.

Thank you for coloring tonight...outside the lines.

Nicole said...

A dozen eggs.....$1.89

A box of dye.....$3.99

Lainey's shy little smile while Beckham smooches her cheek.....priceless.

Ok, I made up the prices, and it doesn't tie togehter in exactly the right way, but I tried!

Bethany said...

Isn't it funny how it takes something like this -- the birth of a child with DS -- to show us what perfect really is? It is amazing how many of life's little lessons we learn through this experience -- if only everyone could experience this joy -- if only they KNEW the joy that is really is. :)

Kimberly said...

you take beautiful pictures of your girls! just beautiful! I always look forward to reading your blog.

Team JHB - Jeffrey, Heather, Benjamin said...

What a beautiful family and inspiration! We are waiting for our first baby, Benjamin to make his debut any day now and yes, he too will have that extra special 21st chromosome. Your photos and writing give me something to smile and look forward to every day! THANK YOU! =)

SarahRachel said...

Gorgeous post. Stunning pics. Beautiful, PERFECT children. =) You should write a book if you already haven't. You are such a gifted writer.

amy in NZ said...

Nella is perfect, she is seriously beautiful. If she wasnt halfway around the world I would be lining her up to be my Mr 9 weeks 1st wee girl friend lol ;-) Happy Easter

KWQR said...

My perfectly imperfect life... was the heading of something I wrote on my son's first birthday... thanks for the reminder.
Love the pic of your girls doing tummy time... can already see their whispered secrets & shared adventures to come.
Cheers,
Kate

Katy said...

Oh man I love twister as a kid.

Your pictures are amazing....as always.

Hope you have a good week :)

Katy

Bowen said...

I find it impossible that the world could view that baby has anything but perfect... because that is what she is; precious perfection!

I love Easter, too! Can't wait to put my little girl in her Easter dress and next year... both of my little girls! :)

Have a fabulous week!!

Anonymous said...

Your Nellabean is unbelievably perfect. I have started wishing more and more that it would be the right time for my husband and I to start our family.
I love your photos, the beautiful color, and can I just say...Your Laniey is just a dream. I love how she sticks out her tongue when she's enjoying herself. It makes me smile.

Happy Spring friend.

Anonymous said...

Kelle - beautiful once again. I so look forward to hearing your inspirational words and seeing your gorgeous girls' pictures! Have a Happy Easter! I look forward to seeing them in their Easter dresses!
Sue

Elizabeth said...

I also have two girls, mine are 13 and 15 now and our house is often not clean but always filled with fun projects. I am so happy for you that you already know the importance of the valuable time with your girls. It is so precious and fleeting.

P-nut said...

thank you kelle.. you said it all so well...
i love what your dad wrote about not changing your definition of beauty to accomodate it... so true..

i love the pic of beckham kissing lainey and the one of the three of them with peyton too... you and heidi make cute cute kids!!!

thanks again for being so honest, pure and raw... using everyday ordinary life to completely change peoples thoughts and hearts towards their own...

sending loads of love tonight...
xo

Ingrid Wilson said...

Kelle- I love your posts. I find myself "talking" back to you because I relate to everything you say. I especially loved this post about perfection, because it is something that my type A personality struggles with on a daily basis. I remind myself that there is no such thing, but still I find myself constantly working towards it...not for others, or for myself really, but just because. (My mom was the same way.)
Shortly after Mylie was born, I started to realize that her "imperfection" was perfect and wonderful and then a bit later I came to the realization that she is uniquely spared from the same burden that I carry. She is excused from all the "regular" milestone deadlines and academic requirements. That is not to say that she won't meet them, because SHE WILL! She just gets to meet them in her own time...when SHE is ready to meet them. I love that for her. I also love that she doesn't have to take pre-algebra if she doesn't want to. She is in control of her future and gets to do whatever she sets her heart and mind to do...even more so than her typically developing brothers. And what's more...she sees perfection in everyone. She sees beyond all of the social rules and stigmas and sees straight through to people's hearts. She is perfect, and on a daily basis I strive to be more like her. You think that you are learning things from Nella now?? Just you wait. She has so much more to show you.

Stephanie said...

you continue to inspire me. because of you and your blog, i have decided i want to learn photography and editing. i want to be able to show my life and my future kids life in beautiful pictures like yours. have a great week and happy easter!

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of your girls doing tummy time.
I was thinking about what you said about Perfection, and it reminded my about a workmate asking me if my elder son knew what was wrong with his younger brother, Peter, who has DS. I wish I had just told him that there is nothing wrong with Peter, he is absolutely perfect, but I didn't think of that at the time. I so believe it though.
Hugs from Bridget

Shawntae said...

your daughters are absolutly beautiful. You capture them soo well in your pictures. I love reading your blog you inspire me to be a better mom and person. :)

medina family said...

yes. she is perfect. and beautiful. a very blessed family.

Jill Taylor said...

I am you. Same story three years ago. it's a beautiful journey and you capture it perfectly. Many blessings to you and your gorgeous girls!

Laura Lee said...

Thanks for inspiring me and helping me end my hectic, crazy, messy day with a smile... love your blog!

Valerie said...

Hi Kelle.

I just wanted you to know that I linked to your blog tonight. I think you asked us to let you know if we did.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to others,

Valerie

Julie Harward said...

Don't worry about the mess...Real homes are that way! We still play Twister here too, I love to do it with the grands. How fun the holidays are for me too, always something to look forward to. I love Nella's little finger holding up the eggs! And the older one getting a kiss on the cheek! Your home and life are perfect...perfect for you..a real gift from God.
I have been away for awhile for major surgery..will be visiting your sweetness more often now! Love you! :D

Katy said...

Can't wait for the next post :)

BennyG said...

Having just got off the phone with my 86 year old neighbor, listening to her tales of days gone by, how she used to whiz by in a car with her friend and honk at people enjoying their quiet Sunday afternoons on front porches...getting married, having a son, going on travels, enjoying life and having the memories now to reflect upon and then I come here and get to see a glimpse of your life and I leave feeling inspired, more in love with your girls and the feeling of being truly blessed and wanting to make memories to carry me through my older years! Thanks!

Jewllori by Lori said...

Your definition of 'perfect' is well...uh, perfect! I've always said and thought Nella was perfect in every sense of the word...and here's what the word means :

*exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose.
*entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings.

She's a gem, an absolute angel sent from heaven..without a doubt!
I'm happy that your ideas are changing about perfection etc, but no one ever doubted you for a second. You're the 'perfect' mom for Nella and Lainey girl!

Be blessed my dear!

xox,
Lori

p.s. Congrats to KELLY C! I was so hoping it would be me :P hah!

Mel said...

I love your pictures....my favourite of the day is of your two beauties having tummy time together. How precious!

Sue said...

I absolutely love the tummy picture of your two perfect, precious girls.

Hi, I'm Susan! said...

love your outlook on life... it's so amazing how you find the beauty in each day. it reminds me to look for it, too. :)

can't wait to see the photos of the girls in their dresses!

bcsmithereens said...

YOU have brightened my day. Thank you!

Elena:) said...

Hey Kelle:) I spent a couple hours Friday night reading through your blog posts and I have to say- you've corrupted me! You have really reminded me to enjoy every little moment with my little ones, and I am. I wish there were more people in life to remind us of the little things we forget to be thankful for. I feel like I know you and your girls in real life, and I wish I did:) Can't wait for your next post- Elena

Ingrid said...

inspiring as always. i need to dye easter eggs with my little guy and get some easter candy for his basket. my husband and his daddy is coming home from afghanistan this weekend and we CANNOT wait!

Adrienne said...

Yep, after having Bennett I've said he's my new perfect. I have totally changed my ways of thinking about life and the "perfect life" since having him. I used to do the same thing and still do- just stare at him and all his perfect little body parts and think how could anyone not think he is absolutely perfect?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Where are you getting those adorable hand knits?

Donna

Anonymous said...

OK, I didn't win the necklace.....and I really didn't want the necklace, so will you still send me the girls????? ;-)
Too darn cute! They just put a smile on my face! Smooches to them both! XOXOXO

Vonda said...

My husband and I often comment that we believe that our Noah (Ds) is the perfect one and that we are the ones who are imperfect. If we all could live and love like he does!!! And here is a wonderful quote to live by:

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything they have."

Amy said...

Nella IS perfect! And Lainey too, who is looking so much like you lately!

Jess S said...

Another "day maker" for me. Your girls are amazing... simply amazing.

Annie said...

Girl- tell me how is it that your child can dye Easter eggs in a white t-shirt and NOT get dirty?!?!? Kelle- once again you inspire with your words about the ordinary and make them flow like ancient wisdom!! When I grow up can I be like you?!?!?!? Your razor blade analogy hit it right on the head. Bigger, better, faster doesn't make the world better it just distracts us from the Really important stuff- like coloring Easter eggs and playing Twister!!!Watching our beautiful children as they enjoy life!!

Wenona said...

Your posts always make me a little more optimistic and they encourage me to find the beauty in the small things. Even when our houses are turned upside down and a mess, there's always something perfect hidden in there, just waiting to be found. Just like easter eggs!
Beautiful eggs, by the way!

Mama4Real said...

You're so gifted at expressing yourself! I'll buy your book :)

My favorite picture is the one of both of them laying and looking down @ the ground. Nella's li'l new born cheeks are scrumptious!

Deana said...

congrats to your winner!

I love twister as well, and my house isnt always tip top perfect, but Im a mom and my kids come first as they should to any mom, as my mom said.... the toys are going to get scattered again one you clean them up and the dishes can wait another hour.... enjoy your kids while they are young as they grow up way too fast.....

Anonymous said...

There is just something about baby eyes. Maybe it is because they are so big, maybe it is because babies are still taking in everything around them but they are my favorite thing about bambinos (bitty babies). Nella's just lock onto you in pictures and you can't help to stare back into her baby blues and wonder what amazing things she has to share with the world.It doesn't hurt that they are so beautifully shaped either =) She has done so much for so many people already. This girl is going to accomplish big things in life as she grows up.

Elisabeth

SDM said...

you've done it again... amazingly beautiful pictures and words to go along with! just have to tell you I've been taking my camera with me everywhere & although I delete more than half the pics because I still can't capture the perfectly imperfect shot, I'm always happy to have it and if I can just get one pic of my kids every day that's one pic more than before I started reading your blog!!
so - thank you!!

Morgan and Travis said...

You inspire me to look at my life and "see" the color, not the mess or the cranky kids or my frustration. Thank you.

Diego said...

this morning i sat in the room after my sonogram that would tell me if my unborn child has down syndrome. what would i do if my child had "this"? i sat in nervous anticipation. now i stumble across this beautiful blog and know that it would NOT be the end of my little world. u are beautiful!

Molly said...

I loved what you said about perfection - because it is so true. As we purge the idea of perfection, we leave room for the beauty of reality, in all its imperfection.

lcl said...

My brother lives in your development and sent me Nella's Story a couple of months ago. I check each and every morning for new posts. I am addicted and am enjoying watching your girls grow right in front of my eyes. I love the comments also, especially those that Poppa leaves!

You are truly touching more lives than you know! Thanks for sharing your life, your time and your family!

Jenny Underwood said...

I was alerted of your blog by wonderful sister-in-law, Tiffany. She too went into delivery expecting a "perfect" baby girl and she too knew the second they showed her Elise that she had Down's.
A piece of my heart broke the day I got the phone call about my precious niece.... and yet, WE were given an even better gift. God does know best and in His infinite wisdom, he blessed us with this beautiful spirit, Elise.
I read Nella's birth story with tears running down my face because it gave me a tiny fraction of the feelings Tiffany must have been feeling-- at 26 with no warning that her 2nd child would have special needs.
My heart fills with warmth at your beautiful words about both of your daughters. I, too, have 2 daughters and envision their future of giggling and shopping together. Your girls will do the same someday.
Elise is now a ball of 7 year old energy with the best sense of humor. She goes to kindergarten, rides horses, plays baseball and generally commands her 2 little sisters around. :)
Elise is different, not because she has Down Syndrome, but because she is a precious, smart, beautiful soul that our family has been blessed with.
May God continue to bless your family!
I am now addicted to your blog....
Jenny Underwood

Kulio said...

I love that picture of Lainey staring dead on at the camera. Love that look. But also, the smiley on where she is looking off to the left -- THAT IS KELLE! oh my goodness looks just like you. And love love those eggs with Nella - it looks like she is asleep, but there is a part of her that is still aware enough to keep that egg from falling by putting her little finger out. SO cute! And the one with the two girls lifting their heads, haha, I love Lainey's tousled bed-head. Beauty :-)

Katie said...

Kelle I have been reading your blog since someone turned me onto it via email. The very first post I read was your very first post about Nella and her birth. What you say in your blog leaves me wanting more. Every day I check back to see if youve put up a new post and when you havent I find myself a little sad. I know how busy life can get without two beautiful children and so I understand that not everyday you have something witty or honest or something that just needs to be said to your readers around the world. But the days you do post you say so much. I think about what you write, how you must feel in each situation. Your descriptive writing makes me feel. You bring back my childhood memories too. When I saw those pictures of Lainey playing in the sprinkler it made me realize how simply I used to be amused like that, and how I need to smile like that again. Or that somehow I had lost those memories until you and your children reminded me. Ive been lead to believe I need "things" to bring me happiness. But I know it doesnt have to be like that anymore. I know how happy Nella makes you just by being Nella. You are an inspiration. And as I type that I think to myself "shes gonna think thats so cheesy and generic" but its true. Your not different from someone who is being challenged with a disease or struggling to get through a messy divorce or the loss of a spouse. But what is different about you is how you deal with the obstacles and challenges youve been handed and how you overcome. You remind me that God never gives you more than you can handle.
You remind me to be kinder than necessary because you never know what someone else is going through. You have also taught me that I need to get a new and amazing digital camera (and learn how to use it) when I have a family of my own because your images are simply amazing. Thanks for sharing yourself and your family with the world

GraceesMommy said...

I always tell Gracee love is just a word, easily said but real love is what you show people and how you feel. Perfection is just a word...nothing more...a word made by man..the standard set by silly men who think they are so wise. I believe that God has a whole different meaning for the word perfection. It is what our hearts feel when we look into the eyes of our children..mother to child..that is perfection..there is nothing more and nothing bigger, because if there were our hearts would burst from trying to absorb it, and it doesn't matter if that child is born with DS or adopted..they are perfect to us and we know it because our hearts tell us it is so. This was your best blog so far...your heart is being made perfect by a pair of almond eyes.

p.s. Gracee has the same dress as Peyton is wearing...your sister has good taste..just sayin"..lol.

Cristi said...

Again I am thinking "What a beautiful post!"

ASDmomNC said...

I swear, I just want to scoop up Nella and kiss and sniff her perfect little head. She is delicious.

Holly said...

"The house isn't clean. The laundry's in a heap.

Our home seems far from perfect tonight.

And there is laughter."

there is nothing better than the memories you made with the easter eggs, playing twister and laughter.

THAT is what makes a house a home and a home...perfect.

Brian DiGiovanni said...

Outstanding blog, vivid photography, keen thoughts. I hope other families with kids who are extra special can switch, if only for a moment, with you, their eyes where yours are behind the camera.

Katie said...

Just a beautiful post! I have been wanting to leave you a comment since I came across your blog last Wednesday. Someone in our ups for downs group sent your birth story out and happened to click on your story and was Amazed! I felt like I was looking through a window at my own life! if you added 5 boys to the mix! :) I have 5 boys and just had my 6th and final baby GIRL and she too has DS. She was born just before Nella on Dec 30th 2009. I feel like you write the words in my head. We were blessed to know about that DS before Grace was born and I was able to do most of my research on the subject during those weeks awaiting her birth. We are now in full swing but still adjusting to our new family and a new way of looking at life. Gracey is my cherry on top of a very awesome Ice Cream Sunday! :) If you ever want to chat, my email is tkdriscoll2000@yahoo.com it is absolutely amazing that our 2 little angels are weeks apart in age! BTW I love your pictures and the gorgeous hats the girls have on!! I have an etsy addiction and I just ordered up a bonnet for Grace to add to her very special hat collection!! There is something about a hat that makes everything better. Happy Easter to your gorgeous little girls!! Katie

Kelly said...

"...and I am finding myself cozily curling up with a new me."

Months after my son was born I came to the realization that he brought the gift of myself to me. I love myself so much better now that I refuse to be defined by the farm-fencing life puts around all of us. I'm out of the silly pen now, and I never have to go back.

Kelly said...

love love loving your precious little easter bunny. x

Randi said...

perfection is...

Lainey and her perfectly crooked smile that showcases her perfectly crooked tongue....I hope that when she is 20 something she'll still be smiling that perfectly crooked tongue smile.

Nella's perfectly peaceful gaze that to me says...I am feeling so perfectly loved...from my perfect pinky toe all the way up to my peachy perfect pinchy cheeks.

Mom and Dads perfectly profound... pounding...pulsing...pitter pats of love that pours perfectly into their little peoples precious peepers. The eyes of those girls are like books to the soul. You read one page and you are hook... line... and sinkered into the story.

The story of Hampton Family perfection.

~KC: said...

"It's knowing that life is short, and the moments we choose to fill our cup with should be purposeful and colorful. And that's perfection. And our Nella--what the world may view far from perfection--has begun to teach me that. Accepting that makes our future with our new family seem so much more beautiful. And perfect." Wise words! I "know" exactly you mean, so very true.

I completely agree! Nella is beautiful and perfect. Lainey is her beautiful perfect big sister and they have the most perfect amazing parents!.

Loving the photos of Lainey and Nella together :) :) :)


The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust

jimloey@aol.com said...

your daughters are perfect,both are amazing and beautiful. your posts make me laugh and cry. nella is such a beautiful child, her eyes are amazing. she sees and she knows....i can see it. you are blessed

dig this chick said...

Poppa! Remember all those years ago when we bonded over the Velveteen Rabbit? I was so TOTALLY thinking of that same verse with this post. Oh the Holts and the Crydermans are soul mates I tell ya.

My favorite photo is the one of Lainey on her back holding Nella on her belly. Love Love's little grinning eyes.

To color! To spicy! To Unique!

*°º¤♥-=|F®äñ|=-♥*°º¤ said...

ⓛⓞⓥⓔⓛⓨ ⓢⓘⓣⓔ๏๏๏ⓗⓞⓟⓔ ⓨⓞⓤ ⓗⓐⓥⓔ ⓐ ⓖⓡⓔⓐⓣ ⓦⓔⓔⓚ๏ⓖⓡⓔⓔⓣⓘⓝⓖⓢ ⓕⓡⓞⓜ ⓜⓨ ©ⓤⓣⓔ ©ⓞⓡⓝⓔⓡ

Canadienne2k8 said...

Kelle,

I'm a graduate student in Boston, and have just been through a crazy week where I wrote over 80 pages in papers (in psych, ironically). Your posts kept me centered and sane - and your pictures kept my heart dreaming of the babies I hope to start having when school is finally done!! Thanks again.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

You did it again...and the colors are the prettiest of pretty along with your girls....A nice way to end a long day....reading your words...

Amy from KC said...

Kelle, I thik your posts are a bit like daily devotionals. They help me set aside all of the mental clutter in my life to re-focus on what is truly important: loving the life I have. You have a gift, thank you for sharing it.

Melissa said...

i love this post.

here's to the new perfect.

JennyG! said...

It is so incredible that you have been able to give your family the gift of these pictures. I was inspired the other day when I read that you had no formal training in photography. It gave me hope that my little hobby could some day become something much, much more. It can serve as a reminder of all the life we have lived. All the best from Texas! Please keep blogging!

Barbra said...

.....two rainbowed eggs nestled in the crook of your wee Nellabean's arm; p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n. xxx

jodi said...

Kelle, Kelle...don't tell me you can too as I wondered with your eye dye in mason jars:) Beautiful pictures of your perfect princesses. Thanks for sharing your gifts and talents with the world. Many blessings from Michigan....
jodi:)

Mamarazzioftwoboys said...

Loving the pictures and my favorite quote from you
"life is short, and the moments we choose to fill our cup with should be purposeful and colorful".
Love it and oh so true.

jodi said...

so I should have proofed it that would be "egg" dye...that is due to typing at 11:30pm after a walmart and sam's trip..after work!
jodi:)

Heather said...

LOVE this Post! And you have inspired me to pull out my twister game- while doing some egg dying!
Perfect combo!

Jenn said...

I really love reading your posts. I love they way you write. Your girls are absolutely beautiful and so photogenic!

Mc Allen said...

wow, what a seriously precious post. I was really blessed by this. thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us. xoxo LA

RMAinMD said...

,,,perfect is whatever we wish it to be,,,perfect lives along side the precise piles of clothing waiting to be laundered and or folded,,,the fairy party goodies that grace the kitchen table,,,the tents precisely stretched among the larger furniture secured with DS books,,,perfect is the easter eggs painted their spring colors sometimes double painted for "perfection",,,perfect is the small, dirty, from the sidewalk feet that prefers to be naked of any protection,,,perfect is whatever we wish it to be,,,lainey & nella are perfect,,,happy spring, happy easter

Mommafo said...

Hi Kelle- I didn't see your email address on your blog, but I wanted to let you know that we link to your blog in my latest blog post. :)
http://mommafo.blogspot.com/2010/03/people-i-love.html

Chelle, Nick and Raya said...

You are creating the sweetest, colour filled memories with and for your girls and that is rockstar perfection!!!

Happy Easter

Anonymous said...

Love this post...our Lexi is our beautiful and perfect butterfly!

"A child is like a butterfly in the wind. Some can fly higher than others, but each one flies the best it can. Why compare one against the other? Each one is different. Each one is special. Each one is beautiful." ~ Unknown

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

Sarah said...

Where did you get the sweet little knit bunny hat Nella is wearing? I know you said many are handmade? Any "store-made"

Heidi said...

kells bells!
i love me some colors sister-friend...how i love the pictures here!

our little ones loving and coloring eggs was heart warming and fun. i love our traditions!

lainey twisting with nells...so cute!

xoxoxo

can't wait to see the girls in their easter best!
love ya.

Amy K said...

I love that you state you are shamelessly in love with our sweet little words, when we are all madly in love with yours.

Your girls are amazing, but you already knew that. :) I hope that YOU know that YOU are amazing too!!

I work right now, and have a wonderful and perfect one year old boy (who I am madly in love with). I will be a full time stay at home mommy in 10 weeks and all I can think about is how desperately I want to be you when I start to stay home. I want to have that LOVE for life that you have. I want to capture life the way you do in your pictures. I want to throw caution to the wind and LET my house be messy. :/ THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for showing me that I CAN do all those things!!!

Your words inspire me and mystify me more and more with every post. I am so grateful that my friend told me about your blog. Thank you.

Peeper said...

Next to our children, those patchwork quilt chairs are about the most delicious thing I've seen in a while. Who is the manufacturer and where are they from?? Please, I beg you to tell me!

On a more serious note...as a 100%-type-A-wed-to-her-Franklin-Covey-planner perfectionist I have no idea what I've been striving for my whole life. What is a perfect marathon? What is a perfect case work-up? How can I be a perfect, wife, mother, friend...What is a perfect creation?
I don't know. I don't know! So what in thee hell have I been doing? In reality the things that really matter are not the things that fit into neat little definitions and categorizations. As much as my right brain wants it to be so -- it simply isn't. What is beautiful and perfect is that which is done in love. Period. Your daughters. My daughter. Your work. My work. Beautiful and perfect - rooted in love.

Darcy said...

Imperfection is a beautiful thing. You should check out this book: "Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid!" by Gina Gallagher & Patricia Konjoian. It is self published, but they have a 2nd edition published through Random House coming out in August.
It is a book that celebrates imperfection.

Yolanda said...

Favorite Post pic is the one with Nella in the bassinet. Totally sweet. Going to dig out my mason jars for the dyes this year - thanks for the tip. Also going to reread my Velveteen Rabbit - thanks to Poppa for that.

btw- totally cute bottom knits...if only they were made of wool they would make the perfect cloth diaper covers.

Peace Love and Leener said...

Your posts are always so perfectly written and uplifting. Thank you for sharing your world with all of us.

BeautyGiveawayADay said...

The colors are so beautiful is this entry. Loving the eggs! Brings back so many memories of dying eggs as a kid. I am making a mental note to pick up some dye this week before easter.

Jenny said...

After we found out our son had Down Syndrome there were many, many, nights where I would look down at him laying in my arms and think "how,how is this little boy not absolutly perfect!" There were days where I thought this had all been a mistake because to me Russell IS perfect and so very beautiful...talking to a friend one day I explained to her how I felt and she said to me somthing very beautiful and I wont ever forget it, she said "He is perfect, he is perfectly Russell. And your Nella, well, "she is perfect, she's perfectly Nella!"

Anonymous said...

"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly." ~ Sam Keen.

Sarah said...

i wish all mothers could see the world the way you do, children would grow up so much happier and self assured. I know I try to especially after finding your blog, just reading you gives me the energy to face my four small children and BE HAPPY. Thank you for sharing your gift with words and pictures with the rest of us.

The Shortt's said...

I just want you to know that I'm totally wrapped up in your family. I'm due in May with my first child and came across your blog when you first blogged about Nella's birth. I was brought to tears and have been a devoted reader since. I've went back and read almost every entry you've posted. Your words and photos are absolutely inspiring. I have my mother & sister hooked as well. I'll call home(I live in Japan) and my mom always asks, 'Have you read anything new about baby Nella & Lainey' just like you're a part of our family.

I tell my husband who is deployed in Iraq that I want to just come to FL and hang out with you and your girls for an entire day. If I can be half the mother that you are, I will be 110% satisfied. Keep that pretty head up girl. Your little ladies are absolutely beautiful, just like you!

Neha said...

The mess does not matter with so much of happiness and colors around you.

You are blessed with beautiful children!

Loved the pictures and colors!

Nancy said...

OK, I am addicted. I seek an update on your blog all the time, though I do not expect you to be able to update daily, taking care of those precious daughters.

I love your words, your photography. Your colors are so intense, your angles are so perfect, and your subjects are out of this world beautiful.

They will treasure this journal of their early days.

I know I do, and I don't even "know" you! Thanks for sharing it all with us.

Mer said...

Just discovered your site today and want to say thank you. I do not often lack words to say, but after reading your beautiful post about Nella's birth and then the days...and then months that followed, I find myself pensive and reflective. Your transparency touched me profoundly. Thank you. And your pictures compliment your words beautifully. Keep writing. I'm sure I'll stop in again. Mer

Karin in Canada said...

I absolutely adore your words and pictures, BLESS YOU!

Kelli said...

What a beautiful post, and what beautiful thoughts - your daughter certainly is perfection, and it's refreshing to hear you say that.

Thank you for your comment on my blog the other day - it made my day!

Anonymous said...

The way you ended this post hit me hard - I've heard it said before how the cleanliness of our home isn't important, etc, but the way you described the presence of perfection - the colored eggs, the chalk - that is what I need to focus on at the end of the day vs all the chaos that reigned. Thanks for the re-focus and a new definition of perfection!

Rachael said...

I can't think of another word but "perfection" for the picture of Lainey and Nella lying on their tummies together. Absolutely perfectly adorable.

Wonderful post, as always. Loving the love.
:)
Happy Easter!

Rachael

Sarah said...

I love the Easter eggs. I can't wait to see your little ones dressed up.

Daniele said...

I just love the pictures of the girls together. Esp. the tummy time one. That has been my most favorite thing about having my two girls since my 8 mo old was born last Aug, just to see them together and to see them touch and cuddle and play. It melts my heart beyond words. Now that my baby laughs at my 2 yr old all of the time I am just in heaven all day. The sounds of my kid's laughter when they're together, what's better!? Also wanted to add that I realized just now, that you blog will become a go-to for so many ds families, new and and not new, because they'll relate to your journey...but for so many other people, like me, it's just a mommy blog that I love. I look at your two girls together just the same as my two girls. There will be some small differences on things Nella does perhaps, like her therapy- but I don't look at or read your posts as "that family" at all. I read your blog as one mama of 2 girls to another mama of 2 girls.
Love your beautiful pictures, can't wait to color eggs too!

Smocking with Gwen said...

Kelle....the girls look so cute together. Lainey is doing a great job as big sister! I know the girls will have a wonderful Easter. One little thing I started that our little Emma LOVES. The night before, I start a little trail of those tiny little chenille chicks from her bed to the Easter baskets. She follows the trail but has to stop and pick up every little chick....so getting to the basket can take quite a while. It helps slow down the pace a bit...which I keep trying to do. Happy Easter!

Tisha said...

hands down favorite pic of the post - lainey and nella side by side on the rug both looking at the same thing.

that picture is the future. 2 sweet sisters doing the same thing together.

Nicki said...

You have inspired me to splurge on a new camera and experiment with photography so I can document my daughter's childhood. Such a beautiful thing...

To Love Endlessly said...

I love all these photos! I especially like the one with Lainey getting a lil smooch & Nella holding her Easter eggs. Too sweet. :-)

Ashley said...

Kelle,

I love the picture of Nella in her bunny hat holding the easter eggs, and the one of Nella and Lainey on their tummies looking at the same thing. Those pictures just make my heart & soul smile :)

I find myself constantly checking your blog to see if its been updated. I love your pictures and the way you express your words. When I read Poppa's comments, I can hear the love in his words.

Your family is beautiful and y'all are blessed. Here's to having a colorful week :)

~Ashley

karla@westernesse.com said...

I can't decide which picture is my favorite - they all capture such beautiful moments!

I took my 2-year old for her first Easter egg hunt this past weekend, and it was so much fun watching her (even though she got impatient because she had to wait for all the other kids to get there first, then it was over so quickly). I told my parents I hope they continue the tradition of my grandparents, hiding little Easter baskets of jelly beans and other goodies around the house. It was so much fun for us, and we'd start peaking around for them as soon as we got there, giggling when we saw them sticking out of their hiding places, especially if we noticed they were in the same places as the previous year.

I'll take Nella's perfection over the World's standards any day!

TRB Holt said...

HOPPY Easter to all!

xo, Bug & Ruby's Gram

The Johansen's said...

You encourage and inspire me and all of us!!! Happy Easter to your sweet family :) luvs&hugs

*Wesley* said...

Loved this post. You state what some of us have always THOUGHT in our minds, but could never find the words to SAY. Perfect IS happiness and as long as you have happiness, your life and heart will be full.

Mrs. Cline said...

Ah Kelle. They are both so beautiful, Lainey with her little tongue sticking out so cute and Nella with those eyes. Oh, those eyes.

They are perfect. Beautiful and lovely and perfect and yours. What an amazing gift.

Lori said...

I love this post. I love that you are have reached that point of "getting it". What it is exactly? I don't think I could ever put my finger on it, but I remember reaching this conclusion myself. I remember looking at what society deemed a chromosomal mistake and thinking..."who am I to decide what is perfect?" I remember breathing in Natalie's baby smells and listening to her little midnight breaths and thinking that that is what I had really wanted all along. She has changed my family and I so much. She has taught us to be the kind of people that we couldn't quite seem to be before we had her and she taught me how to be a mommy with my heart first...stereotypes and opinions be damned. Enjoy your little girls because there is nothing better than sisters snuggled up with their mommy and daddy. <3
-Lori-
http://nat.aboutmybaby.com
http://free.aboutmybaby.com

mommy in a small town said...

You inspire me to be less concerned about a clean house and more concerned about the fun and experiences my kids can have.

A wise woman once told me "Happy kids are more important than a clean house."

joyful said...

Thank you for reminding all of us of the preciousness and beauty that is found in this wonderful life. You remind me every day that it is indeed the small things that we must not take for granted. Today I will attend the funeral of one of my fifth grade students...but he will live on, not only in my memories of him, but also in the bodies of those that are lucky enough to receive one of his organs.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful girls with us. And now I will go hug my own three year old fairy princess, smell the lingering freshness of her shampoo, and thank God for the beauty of life. Have a wonderful day.

Maureen said...

What you wrote was beautiful... you have such a precious family.

Brandi said...

Beautiful Pictures. God Bless!!!!

JILL S, N IRELAND said...

Nella is such a beautiful, beautiful baby girl. Thank you for allowing us to share your journey with you. You have been such a blessing to many, many people opening our eyes and our hearts.

God bless.

Kimberly McGuffey said...

Hi Kelle.... your post speaks volumes to me today... as a stare at my sweet Aiden sleeping in his bassinet next to me. I love what you have said about perfection and what it is about being different not being viewed as perfection.... I see perfection when I look at my 4 week old son... his extra chromosome shining through. He is just what our family needed.... he has brought us closer together, showed us that things don't matter, that love is all we need.... perfect love. My house is messy too... the laundry in a heap..... but who really cares. I am basking in springtime with my family.... staring at my precious baby... adoring my two older boys. Thanks Kelle.... I needed this today. Blessings to you and your family.

Nicole said...

gorgeous colors in the gorgeous pictures of your gorgeous girls :)
and congrats to your lucky winner!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the photo of Nella & the two colored eggs. Quite possibly my favorite photo of Nella yet!
Beautiful family but especially 2 beautiful girls :)

Krista

Kristine said...

I've been reading along since Nella was born and everytime I read an entry, I say I am going to post and I never do. So today, I am. I just want you to know about yet another life you have touched with your amazing outlook, beautiful words and absolutely stunning way you capture life through the lens. Thank you for reminding me, so very often, that the little things are what matter most. Your family is beautiful and such a treasure.
xoxo
Kris

Kristine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LisaJ said...

Oh the colors of Spring....and a post bursting with rainbows. Thank you.

Tukuafu's said...

Wow. YOu are amazing! Thank you for sharing your beautiful girls with us. Thank you for your words, your insight and your wisdom. I needed it!

Bert Bell said...

Bravo! You have discovered what true perfection is....those moments where a beautiful child laughs is one of those moments. I am with you on who cares if the house isn't spotless, laundry is in a heap....nothing beats a delightful child enjoying a game of twister with her sister! Praying an Easter full of God's resurrection life and blessings for you and this beautifully PERFECT family you have. Keep those posts and pics of Lainey & Nella bean coming. Like I said before, when I am having a down or blah day one look at your lovely girls brighten my spirit...thanks for sharing them!

social scientist said...

Hi Kelle,

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your posts... and look forward to them!

Your girls are beautiful and perfect, the photos informal but precise - just the way I like them.

But your words... OH, the words. So strong and inspiring. I'm 3 weeks away from the due date of my second child and can't wait to meet him or her... last time I was afraid of the "what ifs" but this time it's just pure excitement. Thanks to the words of yourself and a few other incredible birth stories, I feel prepared for anything.

Happy Spring!

Lots of love, Julie

adelev said...

I love the picture of Nella with the Easter Eggs. What a cute little bunny! :-)
Lainey looks like she is having a blast playing Twister. This is a fun, colorful post.

Adele

Susan said...

How gorgeous is the photo with the two of them on their tummies?!
Hope you all have a happy Easter.

Kathy Wagner said...

I found your blog through a friend. You are such an inspirational person. Your daughter's birth story is so beautifully written. Both of your daughters are so precious, and so fortunate to have been blessed with such wonderful parents.

Lora said...

Love the picture of Nella with the eggs. Too cute!! Love all your pictures, though! :)

Caterpillar Creations said...

*sigh* It has been a while since I posted. After reading your "post of many colors" I had to respond...PERFECT!!!
Yes, I tell my little Chloe everyday, "you are perfect". (okay more than once a day).
I agree, Nellabunny is PERFECT, too.
LOVE the pics and Miss Lainey is ADORABLE as always!

~~Ann~~

p.s. mama is looking pretty fly on that new go cart :)

Darlene said...

Kelle - your daughters, your words, your pictures - your life -the "new" you......are ALL PERFECTION!!! I read this and immediately thought of you...I remember an old saying: April showers bring May flowers. Instantly, my mindset changes and I look forward to the “good stuff” that the rain brings.
these two authors, Mac Anderson and BJ Gallagher have done a wonderful job of reminding us that “Life’s not about waiting for the storms to pass….it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” If, like me, you find yourself a little down because of one of “life’s showers,” I think you’ll find the book Learning to Dance in the Rain to be both invigorating and memorable. Enjoy!

Mama H said...

Your girls and photos are simply perfect... Your blog brightens my day every time I read it... Thanks for sharing your life with the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Post! Beautiful Pictures! Will you tell your "Poppa" that it's time for him to start a blog too!?! :)

Andrea said...

I've been a blog lurker since Nella was born- a friend on a parenting forum suggested I visit and read one of the most amazing birth stories ever. I've loved reading about your family since that time. And I love today's post-- reminding me to forget the pile of laundry that is growing, ignore the counter full of mail that hasn't been sorted and to hang out with my girls and play princesses :) Thank you for your inspiration, Kelle.

Andrea said...

I've been a blog lurker since Nella was born- a friend on a parenting forum suggested I visit and read one of the most amazing birth stories ever. I've loved reading about your family since that time. And I love today's post-- reminding me to forget the pile of laundry that is growing, ignore the counter full of mail that hasn't been sorted and to hang out with my girls and play princesses :) Thank you for your inspiration, Kelle.

Amy Tubbs said...

Thank you for another wonderful post that made me cry. I let my girls make their own beds this weekend and they were not perfect but they were so proud! Even though they were not done to "my standards" it was so cute to see how proud they were (and the beds looked pretty good too!) I also had a busy weekend but set aside time to color eggs with the girls and I smile everytime Iopen the refridgerator and see the beautiful colors and designs. Thanks for helping us remember that things do not have to be perfect to be perfect!

C and J said...

What do you use to dye your eggs? The colors are beautiful!!

Marie and Justin said...

You have two beautiful and perfect girls. Can't wait to see pictures of your little girls in their Easter best!

Anonymous said...

My son's Down Syndrome also caused me to re-evaluate "perfection." Someone was once talking about removing the Down Syndrome and I realized I wouldn't change a thing. My son's Down Syndrome doesn't define him but it does make him who he is. What would I remove? His beautiful almond eyes, his stubbornness, his determination, his huge capacity to love, his empathy-all things that will serve him well. God created him perfectly.

~KC: said...

If you can, check this out :o))

http://cinnamonsfloridakeysart.com/about-cinnamon.htm

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” Jean Houston

Angelina Taumaoe said...

oh those girls seems so in love!
I looove the Nella song by the celtic woman, beautiful!

Kelly said...

LL makes me wanna play me some twister! And the one with Nella under her? OMG, come on with the cuteness! Love her in the moses basket too! Yummy!

Sara said...

I have fallen in love with your blog, your spirit, your spunk, your perspective and your writing. Seriously girl, you ARE a rockstar!

JO said...

I love your blog. You photos are awesome and your girls gorgeous, but even more, it is your spirit that shines through.

JO

www.teensandtriplets.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Kelle,I love reading reading your Blog...all the way from Ireland. Your words and pictures are so inspiring!!! Your girls are beautiful. Lainey reminds me so much of my daughter Ella. I have 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl. Nella is a beautiful baby!! Congratulations!!!!

Best wishes,
Tracey

The Real Estate Talker said...

Your pictures are beautiful, you will have these pictures forever. I love them, and your baby is perfectly beautiful. A gift from God, she does need you and you need her. Your not a professional photographer, I wouldn't have known. I think I need to get me a camera like yours. What do you have for a camera?

The Real Estate Talker said...

Your pictures are beautiful, you will have these pictures forever. I love them, and your baby is perfectly beautiful. A gift from God, she does need you and you need her. Your not a professional photographer, I wouldn't have known. I think I need to get me a camera like yours. What do you have for a camera?

kecia said...

once again you resinate to my soul and make me want to live a more colorful and perfect life and leave more of the laundry in heaps....I have a quote I love on my wall that says "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful" I love it!

Kendall Bethy said...

Ah, Kelle, yes I've thought about this many times. About what is wrong with "different" or perhaps "unexpected". Your early postings mourned the loss of what you had expected, and I think as parents, we expect and want kids to be what we want them to be, not necessarily what they are. Whether it's a dad who wanted a baller and ended up with an artist, or a stage mom who wanted a princess and got a tomboy, letting go of what we wanted and enjoying what we have, is a universal struggle i believe every parent will have at some point. and the sooner we can let go of our perfect fantasies, the better. way to go!

Fit Mama said...

Our babies were born the same day, but your Nella seems to take to tummy time so much better than my little Jill! She looks so strong and alert and interested in the world :)

T Stoll said...

What a beautiful post and even more beautiful pictures... as always.
I, too, found a new perspective when my Olivia was born 19 months ago. And after everything 'shook out', so to speak, I felt right. I feel like the me I'm supposed to be. And it feels good.
Hugs to you. Would love to have lunch with you. :)

hilahil said...

one of my favorite quotes, and i can't for the life of me remember who said it, is this: "i am perfect in my imperfection."

love your blog, your babies, & your beautiful spirit!

Vickie said...

Perfection

Stacy Kaye said...

Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. These thoughts have been my thoughts since becoming a mother. I have wondered about everyone else's view of perfection and what my life should be and how I should be mothering and I get so overwhelmed by it all sometimes. Then, I realize that my munchkin is smiling and "holding on tight" to my neck-our words for a squeezy hug! I realize that my husband is smiling and laughing with me. I realize that my friend knew she could call me and I could drop the laundry and it would stay right there until I finished listening to her...that is perfection! THANK YOU! I will be sending this posting to my friends and family. You are one of those people that I could see myself meeting for coffee, cautiously, and leaving the coffeeshop three hours later as good friends because you are real and you get it, it's these things that make life perfect! THANK YOU KELLE!

Kay Martin said...

I love the pictures of your girls together, especially the one of the two of them lying on their stomachs, lifting their heads. Adorable!

I check your blog constantly for updates and love your words and photographs. You are a beautiful human being and your family is equally amazing. May you have the most perfect Easter with your husband and daughters. God bless you Kelle Hampton.

Meredith said...

I LOVE the pics, but especially of both girls with heads up on their tummies. And I haven't told you, but any picture of Lainey doing something fun with her little tongue stuck out is PRECIOUS!! I don't know if she's feeling proud or a little shy, but that little tongue sticking out while tricycling around cracks me up. So cute.

I love your colorful life and wonderful posts!!

Anonymous said...

Our imperfections ARE our best parts. How boring would it be if we were all alike? All vanilla? Who always wants vanilla?
I am in love with your blog. And your little girls. "Perfect" little family you have there!

Kala said...

HELLO! your girls are beautiful! you are very blessed with not just 2 perfect angels, but the ability and skills to make each moment into a magical photograph! I was curious as to what type of camera you use? I have also been interested in photography and the pictures you take are simply amazing!

Midwest Girl said...

OK, not only do I love your posts and think that the love you have for your family is perfection. But you just got so much cooler by playing Elliot Smith. He was a tortured soul who made beautiful music.

Keep spreading the joy through your own life and into ours!

Sarah in Sydney said...

I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I have two boys - 23 months and 4 months and fine myself turning to your blog every day for inspiration and a reminder of what is true and beautiful. Thank you for everything you are sharing.

Sarah in Sydney said...

I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I have two boys - 23 months and 4 months and fine myself turning to your blog every day for inspiration and a reminder of what is true and beautiful. Thank you for everything you are sharing.

MWD said...

I'm going to quote you on my blog, I hope you don't mind. I feel a need to share you, you are a treasure and you inspire me to be a better mother. Thank you!

RMAinMD said...

,,,have you taught lainey how to play simon says?,,,i dare you not to giggle while playing it with her,,,simon says rub your tummy, skip down the sidewalk and sing you are my sunshine,,,

Anonymous said...

Thank you, your post was just what I needed today:)
As we are in the Holy Week, your post reminded me of the resounding fact that not one of us is perfect. That we are only perfect through Christ's perfect gift. That He does not see Down Syndrome or the number or chromosomes we have. That He only sees our love for Him.
Thank you.

Danielle said...

I found your blog through the link Donald Miller posted on his blog, and I've been reading every post since. I love the creative blend of fabulous photos (especially the sister ones) with detail-laden words. Keep up the great work! (I just spent an unplanned amount of time looking through the photos on your website, too...) Thanks!

Daniegirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shirley said...

Your definition of perfection has officially replaced my old definition, which sounded a lot like "flawless." Nella IS perfect. All children are. Thank you for the reminder:)

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos, as always, your blog always makes me smile. Such a great attitude towards life. Have a super Easter weekend with the family!

Melissa H

Angela said...

Hi Kelle,

I actually have a comment from my 8year old son, Danny. He desparately wanted to leave a comment on his own earlier tonight but I promised him I would leave one for him (and therefore, appropriately edit his content). Basically, he wanted to tell you that he loves the pictures of Nella that you take and that he has a little sister with DS (my little Casey Jane) that he loves dearly (most of the time, he truly does! he is an amazing big brother!:) He also wanted to say that his mom (me) seems to be on your site alot and talks about how great you are with all of her friends. (He is right about that!) Finally, he says thank you for sharing your pictures with us -- Danny.

I so loved your post today -- it was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. So glad you are loving your life as much as you do and so thankful that you are able to share your joy, your fears, your growth, your perfection that is so 'purposeful and colorful' with all of us!

Love to you and your family -- Angela

KWQR said...

Kelle,
Wanted to share another site with you just in case you have not yet heard of this woman:
www.connywenk.com
She is a photographer, has a daughter with DS & takes amazingly beautiful pictures as well. Her series "a little something extra" is just wonderful. The two of you are my current favorite photographers. Like so many others you have reached, I have been inspired to dust off my camera & start seeing life in a different light.
Cheers,
Kate

Ashley said...

I read your blog for the first time today. I started with Nella's birth story, and I couldn't stop. Your joy and strength is such a testament. What beauty in life there is!

Reading Nella's birth story brought back many of the emotions and thoughts I experienced eight years ago when my incredible brother Mark was born with Down Syndrome.
I can't believe there was ever time I wasted worrying about unknowns with him when he is such a gift to be treasured.

Thank you for reminding me to live in every moment especially since my precious firstborn is currently cradled in my arms.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kelle, I have just recently stumbled across your truly beautiful and inspiring blog!
You deserve to be congratulated sincerely on your exceptional family, your stunning treasures...Lainey and Nella and your inspiring and breath taking talents...........you're a credit to the world and thank you for sharing the beauty of your life.

For now, Irish eyes are smiling at you and your gorgeous family
J xxx Have a wonderful day and thanks for inspiring me to snap some bubbly tub photos of my little magoo!

Thing said...

Did I tell you how much I love this blog?
Yes, I think I did! ;)

HAPPY EASTER!

LL

Lochhead Family said...

I love reading your words because they say so eloquently what I feel in my heart when I look at my perfect little one who also happens to have DS. My wish is that everyone who finds out they are pregnant with a child that has DS reads your blog and understands that they can still have their "perfect" family. Mine is perfect. And so is yours. Thank you again for sharing your life story.

Marianne said...

My kids are 20 and 22 now and beyond their Easter Egg hunt days, but your post has inspired me to find my inner child...today I will be coloring eggs for the first time in a long time.

Love that last pic of Nella, she is beautiful and those eyes can see right into your soul!

Ripe for Reading said...

I never know what to say except that your blog is so unbelievable. I love it. Your family is lovely, but your little Nella peanut, she is SO beautiful!

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