Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Passport to Grandeur

Sometimes, when I awake long before the babies and the sky is still dark and the coffee is brewing, I'll randomly click on an old, old post...to see my babies tinier, to remember something grand, to see how far I've come.

And this morning, I came to this one.

It was back in the day--just months ago--when my soul had only begun its stretching, when Holland and Italy were still grappling for my perspective's destination. And I remember saying that, although "Holland" was wonderful, the part of the poem that says the pain of never landing in Italy will never, ever, ever, ever go away (yes, I think there are three 'ever's) really got to me. Because I don't like being told I'll never get to do something. And then when you go and add a never ever ever, well--Hell, No.

With all that said, it dawned on me today...I haven't thought about that poem in months. Because I don't feel at all like I've landed in someplace I wouldn't want to be. In fact, it's been nothing but Roman cathedrals and quaint side-street cafes so far. I've got the best of both worlds for, while the windmills of Holland may enlighten parts of me that need to grow--say, when Nella straggles a bit behind in milestones or when we have an extra worry here and there--the vast beauty of Italian landscape still bewitches me every day with her smiles and her almond eyes and the way she kneads my skin with her grasp when she's trying to fall asleep. If you told me I haven't had Italy thus far, I'd tell ya you're crazy. Because I have both.

Italy pics compliments of my friend Laura, who just returned from her vacation

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Hello, Little Italy.

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And sometimes, I wonder if maybe my glasses are just too rosey. And, so I take them off and look at it all again-- what we have, what we don't have, the present, the future...and I'll blink my eyes and refocus, taking it in without the glasses, and...yup...still looks good. I'm aware of what the future holds. I'm aware that raising children isn't easy. I'm aware that Lainey will think I'm a bitch someday and will call her friends complaining about me...that my heart will drop to the bottom of my soul when she gets a license and steers her car onto roads that hold drivers that text and drink and run red lights. I'm aware that both of my kids will get made fun of...for being different, for being the same, for being too smart, not-enough smart, short, tall, fat, skinny, funny, nerdy, cautious, daring, compassionate, or what have you. I'm aware that birthing children means forever I will worry that I'll lose them. That the pain of watching them hurt or struggle or be sad will consume me until I'm eaten alive. I'm aware that it is very likely, at some point, Nella will stop making the incredible advances she's been making. That she will talk different or look different or struggle to make achievements we hope she will make. I've gone there--I have to go there--just to taste it for a second to make sure I can deal. And it might not taste like creme brulee', no. But, that's okay. If I have to go there, when I get there, my taste buds will be that of a sophistated epicurean--aware of all the hiddent hints of season and flavors many don't appreciate.

But for now...there's Italy. And, it's a shame to walk through cobblestone streets surrounded by beauty and culture and wonder and not drink it up.

I have two passports to uncharted lands...what joy they've brought me so far. What joy they will bring me.

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Ha. Wasn't expecting to write that tonight, but had to get it off my chest. Like writing it somehow proves to myself that yes, I know I could be sad if I wanted to. Sometimes, just to play devil's advocate with myself--because Lord knows how fun that is--I'll actually try to switch my paradigm for just a moment...to see what it's like. I'll try to wear the shoes of the sad girl, the mad girl, the this-isn't-fair girl. And those damn shoes just don't fit. Like when you try to make yourself cry and you close your eyes and think of something sad and play sad music and force yourself into tears like some sort of emotional laxitive--and you realize half way into it, you're tryin' way too hard. I'll think for a second I've tapped into it and then I'll laugh. Nope. I'm too far down this road of a better perspective to go back. And it's not just about Nella. No. It's about Life. This whole Nella thing is such a small part of a greater lesson--a lesson I am slowly applying in so many other areas.

And, for Heaven's sake, would the preacher get off the damn pulpit and call it a day? I'm done, I'm done...I really am.

In lighter-hearted news...

Yesterday was Brett's birthday. And, without really talking about it, we've kind of started this thing where, for birthdays and Father's Day and Mother's Day and what have you, we skip the presents to save the money and instead let the celebrated one choose something to do...a trip to the beach, Isle of Capri, a family swim, a picnic, some sort of outing, etc.

Brett was easy. He wanted a trip to the beach because, I've come to believe, he was a merman in a previous life. Not really, but his blood could very well be part sea salt because my man speaks Ocean very well. A storm was brewing so we didn't stay long, but we did get an hour of making our girls very happy--which is a birthday present in itself for Brett.

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And Nella's working on her sea legs...

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And his only birthday request? He wanted me to take Lainey to the dollar store and let her pick out what she thought Brett should have for his birthday. And he was adamant about it. Even called me in the store and said, "You're not helping, right? You're letting her pick it out all by herself?" And I answered, "Dude, I'm holding a sombrero, a bike horn and a poly-resin horse...what do you think?"

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And watching her in that dollar store? My cheeks were sore from smiling. Pure joy. Besides the fact the carpet smells a little bit like cat pee and the end caps are full of expired Cracker Jacks, we had so much fun on our little shopping spree. She meandered through each aisle, holding a growing pile of crap and I can't count how many times she said, "Him gonna be so excited. Him gonna lub 'dis."

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And when we returned home, she wrapped every gift all by herself. Cutting a ski-jawed edge along cheap puppy paper, pulling long stretches of Scotch tape that got twisted and stuck to her fingers, rolling up the edges of the wrapped mess and attempting to close it shut in some sort of presentable manner.

And when Brett opened each present, she beamed so proudly. Of course he made over the poly-resin horse with all sorts of "oohs" and "ahhs." And he loved the grandpa reading glasses she chose for him. And the water gun. And the beer coolie (okay, she pegged him there). And, once again, I was reminded how much the little things matter so very much.

And we've got the horse to prove it.

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And the best part? The beautiful card she chose for her daddy. It had a kitten on it. And it was pink. And, in lovely scrolled writing, it said..."For a Special Granddaughter."

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Dude, we do birthdays up right.

A dinner at Brett's mama's put the cherry on top where, once again, we sang a round of "Happy Birthday", dimmed the lights and watched as one of our blessed souls thanked their blessings for another year and made pretty wishes for the next.

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Happy Birthday, Daddy. Even though you're right behind me reading this while I type.

As for the rest of the week...

Note to Self: Before you wear cheap sunglasses and pass them off as hip, maybe remember removing the $5 sticker. I'm just sayin'. Because after running errands a couple places, I returned to my car in the parking lot, shot a glance toward the rear view mirror to confirm that yes, my new sunglasses were as hot as I thought they were and...um, yes. They're hot alright.

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So, the moral of this post can be summarized by something like this: Birthdays are cool. Dollar store crap is cool. And being told I landed in Holland when I was expecting Italy only lasted for a little while before I was bitch-slapped by the beautiful reality that life has a trillion trials, but it also has the potential for sheer wonderfulness and happiness and go-out-and-get-it grandeur. And my two little beauties can take me anywhere they want to go from the windmill-speckled spaces of Holland to the gondola-strewn streams of Italy.

Amen! Preach it, Sistah!

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Oh, church ain't out yet, so just mind your pew there for one more second.

First, our happy place here has been nominated for the 2010 BlogLuxe Award. So please vote if you can. We're in three different categories, so make sure you check Enjoying the Small Things for all three categories: Best Eye Candy, Blogs You've Learned the Most From, and Most Inspiring. Thank you so much for the nomination. Click on the button below to vote, and I'll be putting the button on the sidebar here too (soon).

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Thank you, thank you!

And finally, we haven't had a giveaway in awhile so how 'bout THREE things to giveaway?!

I'll choose (random.org generated) three comments to win one of the following prizes...

One of the sun bonnets Nicole makes for my girls...

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(Winner can choose any bonnet from her shop, and if you order one this week, she'll refund your shipping if you mention in a note to seller, you saw her bonnet here)

And two other winners will win hand-embellished flip-flops from my friend, Suzanne's Snappy Soles.

Lainey's been wearing her flippies since she was a baby, and I just got new ones last week.

Love me some nice beach feet.

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One winner will receive a skull & crossbones pair and one will receive a child's ribbon bling pair. Winners will be announced next post.

Oh, we've got a nice rest of the week ahead. A quiet wedding on the beach tomorrow night for my friend, Poppa comes in, and Brett and I will set out on the first date in a long time Thursday for our anniversary. Sounds like Italy to me. Or maybe it was Holland. Regardless...it's all good.

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(Her Cabbage Patch smile...love it)
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1,182 comments:

1 – 200 of 1182   Newer›   Newest»
ErinsFoodFiles said...

Not very often when I type LOL am I really LOLing. But... when I saw the Very Special Granddaughter card I was full on GOLing. Giggling Out Loud.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I have totally been wanting one of those sunbonnets. Free shipping might just do it. :)

ErinsFoodFiles said...

PS. I too have purchased cheap sunglasses and left the sticker on. And I have a photo of me in it too! Except mine was of me asking a complete stranger to take my photo on the Brooklyn Bridge. And I didn't notice the sticker until afterwards. I later photoshopped the (barely noticeable) sticker out of the photo.

Erin said...

This might seem really random, but I have that sound clip from the Rosie radio show that you did about the Holland poem on my Ipod, and it always brings me back and puts things in perspective, and usually brings tears to my eyes. Love your blog-and the bday dollar store sounds awesome :)

Sherri said...

::tears:: Laughter-tears actually. The kitty cat card put me right over the edge! :-) Thanks for the belly laugh!

Kelle said...

ErinsFoodFiles...Love the pic! Someday I'll get to NY and take one of those. Maybe even with the sticker!

Poppa said...

I melted when you told me, the other day, of Brett's birthday instructions. So Brett. As I have said before, that is who I saw first when I met him...a dad...because when I met him for the first time, it was at the Mexican Restaurant Flaco's. You were done eating when we came to join you. We sat for awhile and chatted that awkward first chatting when you meet for the firs time. Then, you and he left...you had been there a long time already. But in a few minutes, in you walked...I asked why you returned and you told me, "Brett said you don't get to see me very often so he wanted me to come back and be with you for your dinner..." He had me...he understood "dadding." And ever since, I have seen the patient, gentle, un-rushed father who just "pools" with his children. That is why, I never worried or wondered about his "accepting" Nella...God chose well. Any dad who led his little girl to the wonder of untethered shopping in the aisles of the dollar store will be the perfect father for a magical daughter.

Anonymous said...

Like a lot of your readers, I came across your blog through a friend and the first entry I read was Nella's birth story. At the time I was 8 months pregnant and was worrying, hoping, and praying that everything with my little one would turn out okay. I was, still am, so inspired by your outlook, by your love, by your photography, and your stregnth. I have since gone back and read all of your previous posts and it just confirmed that your are AMAZING!!! you are leaving such a legacy for your little girls...not just through the pictures that you take (which are breathtaking by the way), but through the attitude you raise them with. You make me want to shine a little brighter for my own kids and for that, I am forever grateful!

Charlotte from NC

Kendra said...

I too have bought cheap sunglasses and left the sticker on them, not the price but the brand which isn't expensive! Love the hats and especially the flip-flops, my kids and I live in them all summer long!
kendra

Anonymous said...

I LIVE in flipflops and would LOVE a pair of those cute flops!

Becky
Beckomk@aol.com

Andy and Laure said...

I love both the bonnets and the flip flops. My little girly girl would be in heaven.

The Fischer Family said...

Kelle-you are awesome! I am so inspired by you I can't even tell you how much! Oh and I also agree that Dollar store crap is cool-in fact I just spent $30 there tonight buying stuff for vacation! Can't beat dollar coloring books and crayons! Have a wonderful week!

Liz Obie said...

You have my votes for sure on every single category! You bring great inspiration and so much of what you say I think every single day. You are truely amazing!

Meghan said...

That Dollar Store birthday is just awesome!

Whitney said...

I second these comments. I was literally Laughing Out Loud! This was great! I so look forward to your posts! You and your family are SUCH an inspiration! You can count on my vote!

Hayley said...

You go girl! Hayley and Baby Elly from Texas are casting our vote NOW!!

shelby valadez said...

I love the idea of foregoing the presents to do something instead. Seems like a great idea and you still get exactly what you want :)

Angela said...

Kelle - you have a way with words that just makes things right with the world. I adore your blog. I love your pictures and dream of the day where I can spend my time on the beach with my family. Until then I will watch you live my idea of the perfect life and continue to be inspired by you daily. Thank you for sharing your world with us!

Emily Hanley said...

Preach on, sistah! You totally deserve Holland AND Italy and especially the award for Most Inspiring Blog (amongst other categories, of course!) Couldn't agree with you more about your thoughts on life and your love for your girls. Tulips forever!

Mrs. Mother said...

I laughed and cried throughout this post. I love the Dollar Store birthday presents. What a great daddy he is.

stephanie said...

I love your blog... so many of your posts perfectly sum up "mom-dom" Enjoy your Holland/Italy bliss!

Anonymous said...

AMEN AMEN AMEN and Alleluia!

That birthday card was too stinking funny! REALLY FUNNY!! I would have LOVED to have seen Brett's face! What a great daddy!

And I'll head on over to vote........just tell me you're still working on that book of yours and I'll have my 50 copies in time to wrap for Christmas presents!

Rell said...

Oh Kelle, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, reading your blog! It makes my heart sing everytime. And especially letting Lainey choose the present/s and the Granddaughter card made me smile, but I couldn't stop myself from LOL (literally) when I saw the price tag on your sunnies....too funny! Thank-you for writing it straight from the heart, you totally inspire me! :)

Amy said...

Oh, how I miss my daugther saying cute things like "him gonna lub dis" Toddler talk is the best.

Your blog entries always give me the warm fuzzies.

Anonymous said...

Oh - and forget the giveaways - just send me those girls! ;-)

Lindsey U. said...

I am in love with your blog. Thank you for sharing your life in a public way so others (like me) can benefit.

Brandi said...

you inspire me to be a more gentle, loving, patient mother. you also inspire me to be more spontaneous in my mothering and my children are loving it!

Ashley said...

I laughed and laughed at the kitten card until my soon to be 3 year old came over to ask what was so funny. I said "This little girl chose a grandaughter kitten card for her dad" to which he replied "that's not funny, I love kittens!".

Casey said...

I, too, LOLed at the bday card. So sweet.

Elizabeth said...

this is my favorite post you've written in a long time. while i love looking at your beautiful pictures and seeing your picture-perfect life, i appreciate your honesty and realness. no matter what happens, you guys will make it through stronger. you have such a wonderful support system. and even if Lainey does hate you at one point, she won't be able to deny that you love her. :)

Missy said...

I just love your blog and your spirit and perspective. I always read your blog first!

Sarah said...

love the "for a special granddaughter card" ahaha. i just bought a card for my brother's eighth grade graduation that said "for a beloved auntie." he was confused, to say the least.

love your blog, even though i'm seventeen, not a mother, i find it so touching and inspiring. plus your photography skillz, wicked awesome.

and last post you mentioned going to captiva? i was there early may. favorite place ever. that trip totally changed my outlook on life. but legit, yahgottago for the day, even though its not capri, it's still pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! YOU ARE SO THERE!!WELCOME TO ITALY!!
YOU'RE OFF TO GREAT PLACES!!!

Kelly said...

I've been reading your blog every single day since Nella was two weeks old. I think you're starting to sound more like your 'old' self - even though I didn't actually know that side of you. The way you deal with life is inspirational. Thank you!

Lindsey said...

I would love to have a pair of cool flipflops and I've got a very adorable little girl in mind for that bonnet. I love the way you dress your kids. Too cute!

Heather said...

I voted! I hope you win! Your blog is all of those things and so much more! I get so excited when you update:)

Deena said...

First I have to say I love your pictures all the time, but today I just adore the girls...how sweet are they! Ya know, you truly define the "life is what you make it" saying that many parents tell there kids as they are growing up. You are truly inspirational.
Now as for Brett's birthday wish...awesome, my favorite is the grandpa reading glasses. I can only hope that when my daughter gets older my husband takes her to the dollar store to shop and load me up on birthday goodies from the heart, everyone knows they're the best gifts.

Anonymous said...

I was reading your post, thinking it was all so cute, 'til I read about the kitty card. Then I laughed and laughed until tears came to my eyes. Gotta love little ones!

Valerie

Stephanie said...

How much do I love the Holland/Italy reference? I have only been reading for a few weeks. At my church, I work with a parent support group called "Living in Holland," because of that story. :)

Kristin @ Ellie-Town said...

I loved it all. Every word, every picture.

And my baby would look extra cute in one of those sun hats. ;)

Angela said...

Oh man, for just one ounce of the talent that you have in your little pinky for writing and taking pictures -- that is all I want! This is seriously one of my favorite posts of yours (not even including the giveaways but of course, they are nice too!) EVER! Bless you, bless you, bless you! You and your family make me smile, laugh, cry, love, live, and everything else in between! Thank you so much!

Love,
Angela

Rusulica said...

i voted for you.
i laughed SO MUCH when i red about the card lainey chose. so much :) thanks for that.
and nella is undescribebly beautiful in the last picture :)

J and A said...

Cutest sandals ever. I love the skulls and cross bone ones.

J and A said...

You take the most beautiful pictures of your girls. Beautiful family.

Alee said...

Very sweet post. I love your positive perspective, always. Those flip-flops are darling!

La TempĂȘte said...

These pics are so cute. Would LOVE the flip flops or bonnet. SUPER cute.

Italy, Holland, it's all Europe :)

Party of Nine said...

Oh my goodness. The dollar store trip made me LOL. The card Lainey picked rocked big time. LOVE her.

Corinne said...

The granddaughter card is STILL cracking me up.
I think I'll take my kids to the dollar store for my husbands birthday, what a sweet and fun idea!!
I went back and read the post you linked to - I needed to read that, and todays. You make me teary, girl! :) In good ways, of course.

Ann said...

I remember posting on Nella's birth story that what I thought was through that door you'd been given the key to was....truth. It seems you found it. I love your attitude and I'm glad you're loving Italy and Holland. Living and loving life is what we should all do. And the beret on Nella....made me chuckle out loud.

feijaozinha said...

I cried from laughing too much at the "special grandaughter" card. I have a little girl that was born one month after Nella and I love you blog.

Michelle Vandepol said...

the card got me too! too funny! love your life perspective. it's beautiful with the rest of it

Jess said...

Your family sure does know how to celebrate! Happy Birthday to Brett. I think that birthdays such as the one you guys did for him are so special. It isn't the gifts or the cake; everything behind a birthday is the thought put into it. It's the fact that you're celebrating someones life, and that in itself is so special.

The road isn't without speedbumps and roadblocks, and it never will be, but it's great that you can accept that and still appreciate what also has been given to you. Nella is a blessing and a gift, just with a little something extra. I've said it before and I'll say it again, she was meant for your family, Kelle. Every cells, every smile, every part of her was crafted to fit into your family.

Your blog inspires me in ways I can't image, you bet I'm voting for you!

Have a great week.

Mindy said...

I busted out laughing about the birthday card!!! And was really touched about Lainey's bday gifts to her Daddy.. SO PRECIOUS. Such a good idea to make her feel joy too!

Jessica said...

Love love loveeeeee your blog posts! Im loving the flip flops too!

Priscilla said...

Love love love your blog!

Mike and Amanda said...

Just had to post after I was in hysterics over Lainey's trip to the Dollar Store. I was laughing so hard that my husband wanted to know what was so funny and, of course, after reading it to him...he was laughing pretty good. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.

Hilary B said...

I literally laughed so much I was crying during all the birthday shenanigans. "Him gonna lub dis." Ahhhh, I can just hear it. And the card!!!

Happy birthday, Brett! Such a good daddy deserves such good gifts! :)

Anonymous said...

oh what a beautiful post!! the pictures and words are perfect! the card=hilarious!! what a wonderful family, all of you!! so glad lainey and nella have the 2 of you for parents!! and what a great poppa they have as well. i have voted for you!!!
~~Hilary~~

Sian said...

I think I'll be taking my little one to the dollar store next week. glad Brett's birthday is a week before my hubby's :-)

Mandi Clark said...

Hi Kelle! I live in Birmingham, AL. A friend of mine sent me your birth story of Nella - it touched me in ways I didn't know I had. Since then, I can't stop reading your blogs.....from the music playing, to the words & feelings & photo's that have come to life on my computer - your life is an inspiration to me! All the way from Birmingham, AL - SALUD!

Sandra said...

I love the dollar store shopping spree and laughed so hard at the lovely card she chose! Really enjoy your words and pictures! Thanks!

Leah Alexandra said...

You have my vote, as often as they will let me enter it! I cried when I went back and read your "setback" post. I think we all have those days, regardless of our circumstances, and it's amazing to see how much we can grow and learn, and then look back and laugh at those "bad" days.
I laughed my ass off (can I use that language here?) when I saw Brett's bday card. That is priceless!
Your blog defidenlty is inspiring Kelle, to remind all of us that we should all enjoying all the joys and trials that life can throw at us.

PS I would Love a pair of those flipflops!!! :)

Leah
www.lovelifeandmommyhood.blogspot.com

Amy said...

I love the birthday card! That is the best idea! Lainey has great taste!

Michelle said...

You have the most beautiful blog!! Love it!

JenO said...

I discovered your blog about a month ago and I am totally hooked. You are such an inspiring writer and I love your pictures! Thanks for giving me something to look forward to!

Jennifer said...

What a fabulous way to celebrate a birthday. Brett's one special dad, and Lainey's gift selections were deliciously random. Love it! I'll bet there was lots of laughter during the gift-opening fun.

Tonya said...

I'm not unique in saying that I love reading your posts. I check everyday and you've really been delivering the goods lately! :) I sat here tonight cracking up as I read about your Dollar Store trip, Brett calling you and seeing the card your precious girl picked out. Just when I think she cannot possibly be any sweeter, she out-does herself!

Nella's beautiful head was made for hats. She's gorgeous.

Fabulous, story-telling photos as always. Thank you so much for sharing your day with me, again.

jami said...

That card almost made me pee my pants I was laughing so hard. Happy birthday to your Hubs! Thanks for reminding me every day to enjoy the small things!

Cassie Spencer said...

I totally love those flip flops. I might just have to get them if I don't win, for me and my little girl. PS Love your blog!!

Katherine said...

I LOVE the card Lainey got for Brett! I was seriously cracking up! I also love DOING something fun with the family instead of buying some present that will be forgotten after a while. I think events and memories are what we will remember not the things we recieved! Great post!

Alex said...

ive done the same thing with some cheap sunglasses. the glasses are always soo cool that they have to be worn right away--why would they have a tag on the glass?

and i LOVE that card Lainey picked out. perfect.

Sara said...

Seriously. I just went from tears to full-blown laughing in this post. Reason #574 why I love your blog!!

Whitney S. said...

I love reading your blog. It is so heartwarming to see pictures of your sweet family. You are an amazing photographer and have such a way with words. :)

Holly said...

Going to the dollar store for Brett's birthday totally cracked me up. Such a cute idea..I love it!

jlmama said...

I voted! Seriously, your pictures bring me to tears, your words are a reminder to enjoy everyday things, and I happy cry pretty much every time I read your blog. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

Love that Brett made sure you were letting Lainey pick out the gifts...to sweet!

Love the crochet hat on Nella & love the cabbage patch smile!

And I laughed so hard I tinkled when you posted about running around town with the $5 price sticker on the new sunglasses. Totally something I'd do!!

Jen G.
Indianapolis, Indiana

MelissaKeaster said...

The Dollar Store story made me cackle so hard, I won a spectacular look from my better half. *sigh* Oh, that is so priceless. I'm glad that you've decided not to worry about where you land, and to just enjoy the ride. It sounds easy to achieve in theory, so why is it so damn hard in actual practice?

Good luck on the blog award!

Nat said...

LOVE the card, that is just priceless ... well if it wasn't because it was $1 it would be priceless.

Jasmine said...

Amazing as always! My two year old son was looking at the pictures with me and saw Nella in her bonnet and said, "oh, look!" Happy Birthday Brett!

Hilary said...

Can I steal Brett's dollar-store idea? I love it...and I love Lainey anticipating how much her daddy is going to love a fabulous poly-resin horse. (When I was in second grade, I made my dad a very clunky penguin out of clay in art class because we lived in Naples, and he hated hot weather. I figured he would LOVE the penguin because it would remind him of cold weather. I congratulated myself on my brilliance for weeks...so I know that "Daddy-is-gonna-love-this" feeling. There's nothin' like it!)

Happy, happy!

Anonymous said...

I love getting online and seeing a new post!! Happy birthday to Brett!! How lucky your girls are you have you all!! I can't wait for pic's of the girls with Poppa! You are such an inspiration for all parents. You guys just seem to have so much fun as a family. Enjoy Italy, it looks delish!!

Misty said...

I was so pleasantly surprised to sit down tonight, after my littles were in bed, to read a new post from you! I sure needed to hear some positivity at the end of this crazy day. And, as usual, you delivered. Keep preachin' cause you sure do minister to us! :)

Jorie said...

Love the birthday idea Brett had! I can only imagine how much fun that was for Lainey!

The card made me seriously laugh out loud! Adorableness!

Have a happy week!

Erin Dougherty said...

That post was absolutely hilarious! I think it is so sweet that she picked out those gifts all by herself :-)
When I saw the first bonnet picture I thought, wow, I need to get my daughter one of those! So I am really hoping to win one, but if not I will definitely have to look into if she ships to Canada.
Thanks again for this window into your life!!

VeryGratefulLife said...

First, although I LOVED the Holland and Italy analogy when i first heard it, I love what this post says about the two destinations even more! I LOVE you Kelle Hampton. We've never met and I'm still claiming you as a best friend! Second, I love love love the birthday present idea! My husband's birthday is next weekend and I'm so very excited to let our 2 year old pick out his card and presents at the dollar store! What a perfect, fun, beautiful idea! I loooove it! A perfect idea for a segment on your Oprah show, which I'm sure you'll get!

Aimee said...

I am always inspired when I "visit" you!

And I love those bonnets! My Annelise would be scrumptious in them.

Sarah said...

I actually LOL'd at the card too :) Loved this post.

AnnaLeigh85 said...

Loved this post. I was giggling at certain parts and read some sentences out loud because everyone was asking what was so funny. Thank you for sharing.

The Lu's said...

love your blog, so inspiring and full of joy!

joykerns said...

I must say that I have never ever ever ever been let down by one of your posts. This one has to be one of my favorites. LOVE the dollar store idea and the b-day card. Brett is one lucky (or should I say special) Granddaughter.

Hilary said...

Laughing at the "granddaughter" card!! How cute that he wanted Lainey to pick out his stuff! She did a great job!

Moonstonemama said...

I just read this to my husband and we both had a great laugh. Thanks for the smile!

Candice said...

I could relate to so much of what you're saying. As for me, I tend to go through all of the emotions. I will tell you it gets harder as they are older...because more is expected of them. When they're only a few months old, they are not that far off from "normal," as they get older the gap widens. I do great day to day. Being around Graham is the best thing in the world. He is so happy and he's my best little bud. Then we go to a party and all the other little 2.5 yr olds are speaking in sentences, and it hits me. Sometimes I have a good cry, then I push it out of my system because it's not productive to dwell on. I do know that it will be harder as he gets older, then I have to face how other kids will treat him, etc. Right now he's 2, so everyone loves him. I am relishing this time of pure acceptance! By the way, here's my fav quote, I'm sure you'll love it:

Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late. Today, this hour, this minute is the day, the hour, the minute for each of us to sense the fact that life is good, with all of its trials and troubles, and perhaps more interesting because of them.

- Robert R. Updegraff

Kimberly said...

love the flip flops! so cute!

Liz said...

love love love your blog! its in reading your blog that I am reminded just how gorgeous life really is. Helps me keep things in perspective after a long day at work and coming home to a (still) messy house, that what really matters is that smile that awaits me from my one year old when I walk in the door. Thanks for reminding us that life is beautiful.. even when its messy :)

Candice said...

By the way, I LOL'ed at the grand-daughter card!!! HILARIOUS!!

Shari H said...

Love how Lainey shopped for her Daddy. The card was the icing on the cake for me LOL!!!!!! Nella's smiles are just so sweet. Glad Brett had a wonderful birthday.

Diana said...

Kelle ~ love your writing and your style!! Just recently found your blog and I have been going back and reading your past years... your kids are precious and adorable.

Love what you do for b-days - loved the card Lainey picked! I guess I need to let me kids do that instead of letting them choose from the two I pick!

Thanks for the inspiring words!!

K said...

Kelle-
I'm sitting here nursing my 9th child. My oldest is 17. I have a busy, busy life (obviously) but I would like nothing more than to sit all day and wonder over my newest little one. When I only had a couple little ones I was so wrapped up in the next milestone, the times to come I didn't enjoy the moments/ages they were in. You do and you will be glad in future years that you did.
You are right, the capacity your children will have to hurt you (on purpose and by accident) is huge BUT the love and happiness to make it through those moments is huge too.
P.S. My 4 year old knows who Nella and lainey are by sight now :D

KWQR said...

It feels better than Christmas to find yet another new post this week. I love how reading your words has me go from tears thinking of my own journey in Italy & Holland... to laughter... real milk-out-the-nose laughter... with the pink card & dollar store goodies Lainey picked out. Brett sounds like such an amazing Dad... Happy belated Birthday to him!
Cheers,
Kate

Megan. Greg. Avery. said...

Hi Kelle - I stumbled across your blog not long ago, and I can't get enough. You are a beautiful writer with the most beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your family's story. You're more inspiring than you'll ever know!

K said...

P.S. I just had to say (after reading ooooollldddd posts) that I like the brunette look on you better than blonde. Just in case you were wondering what a random mom is S. TX thought of your hair :D

Kristi said...

ok I'm going to vote right now! And I LOVEEEEE those flip flops!!! I hope that hyperlnk is a blog store or etsy! I need me a pair of those!
I'm with you on the Holland. I think it's a poem to help people with the initial shock, is my opinion. However we forget as parents that OUR dreams aren't always our KIDS' dreams. Our "typical" kids could grow up to be cab drivers or work a McDonald's. NOT that there is anything wrong with that, but the point is, it's their life and not ours. We are just here for love and guidance. :)
Kristi

AngelaH said...

"I'm aware that birthing children means forever I will worry that I'll lose them. That the pain of watching them hurt or struggle or be sad will consume me until I'm eaten alive. "

This completely speaks to me tonight. I love reading your blog and find your girls beautiful. Thanks for writing what I needed to read.

Debbie T said...

Love the blog, really inspiring!

Aura said...

and I was just going to ask you where you get the adorable bonnets, now I just have to convince my hubby to let me buy one...

I have to agree that Holland has its perks. Although disappointed at first you end up enjoying things along the way. One of my twins was born with a congenital heart defect and an undiagnosed syndrome 6 years ago. Knowing during my pregnancy led me nowhere but to depression during what should have been one of the happiest times of my life. You were a lot more accepting of Nella than I was of my son the first few weeks. He proved to be a fiesty little man and everyone that met him ended up falling in love with him, as I did during his first few months. He passed away not long after his 3rd birthday but those 3 years, although very stressful and hard, and some of the best 3 years of my life. He led us to many places and people that we have come to include like family and taught me and many others more than we can ever imagine. You're doing an unbelievable job! I love reading updates on Nella and comparing her to our new little prince, the same age as her. Honestly, I think Nella is quite advanced. After reading about her being propped in the Boppy I tried it with Kovi, he toppled instantly but he did get my kids to laugh.

Gina said...

Oh my goodness, did I need this post. Not because I needed the giggle at the birthday card, or the scrumptious pictures of your girls (even though I did) but because I posted the whiniest pity party post this week about my kid's food allergies and how that makes life hard. And you are so right, that I need to suck it up and look at things differently. Because you know what? Dairy-free sorbet and gluten-free bread are blessings in disguise. Thanks. I needed this one.

Kristi said...

I keep forgetting this! Brett's mama has some STRONG STRONG genes!!!! She and Brett look EXACTLY alike and the boys look JUST like them too! WOW! :)

Sandbox said...

Such a great post!! I laughed out loud for the sunglasses one!! But if anyone can rock it out it would be you. Once again I feel inspired and moved by your blog. Thank you.

mamaoftwo said...

I read your blog religiously (and yes, I will indeed be voting for you), and love all of your posts, but this was truly one of my favorites. My story is very similar to yours, but I'm just a year further down the road. And I'm happy and blessed and wouldn't change a thing. I think people think I'm nuts sometimes because I'm not more devastated over my son's DS. Sometimes I do what you do and take a step back and evaluate if I'm living in denial, but nope, I've got a lot to be thankful for so I'm going to spend my time enjoying my family because I have the two greatest kids ever and wouldn't trade them for the world. Am I scared of the future, sure, but I'm not going to let that paralyze me.

Being a parent is so hard, so thank you for always reminding me to ENJOY it all when I'm running out of patience and energy. You are an inspiration.

Michele said...

As always you Rocked this post! Love love that we got three post in three days! Amen Sister, Holland/Italy you are so there baby! Love your inspiration that you continue to give me to be the best momma I can be! Living life big and loving even bigger! You Rock Kelle! You defintely got my vote! I'm hoping you go all the way to Oprah! You are the bomb! And O' my aren't those bonnets way to cute, and the flip flops they are so bling and adorable. Ordering some for my 3 1/2 year old for sure! You Rock! O' and enjoy your date night and Happy Anniversary!

cassidy said...

Kelle- I have been reading your blog for sometime now, because of the suggestion from a friend, and I absolutely LOVE to read about you and your family! I have a little girl that is 13 months old and think of her each time you write a post! I also must admit, I aspire to be like you when I grow up...well, I am already quite qrown up well into my 30's, but a girl still can dream, can't she?

Lola B said...

I just want to say that your blog moves me...in such a way that I can only read it alone because my hubby always says that he will never understand why I want to read something that makes me cry EVERYTIME. I just adore your blog that's why! You are so eloquently sincere and your pictures are divine. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

LibraryGirl62 said...

STOP MAKING ME CRY. You can make it up to me with a pair of those awesome flip flops-its really the least you can do.
Since you are so wise, I need some advice...My oldest went to her first college class tonight. I want to wrap her in one of those hand crocheted blankets and snuggle her in my bed for the next 20 or so years-do you think that is too weird?? Enjoy your babies-time flies!

Dana said...

So much fun reading your stories! love the dollar store idea!! Ever since I read the holland poem on your blog I have been following the authors blog.
Thank you again for a smile and I am off to vote!

st said...

I really enjoy your blog!!Yours is the only one I follow! I just had my 3rd baby a month after yours so its interesting to watch them reach their milestones around the same time ...like sitting with support with a boppy pillow!! Best of luck to you and your fam!

Jennifer said...

We're expecting our little girl in August, and a sun bonnet would look lovely on her I bet.
P.S. Everytime I see a picture of your Nella I smile.

The Birth of KLC said...

A great post! I laughed and enjoyed it a lot! You are inspiring....good luck on winning one or all three of the blog contests.....i have voted for sure!!

Kelle said...

LibaryGirl62. Go drive up to her college, wrap her like a baby and take her home! ha ha. I can't IMAGINE being far away from either of my girls and yet I know how proud that must make you to see how far she's come!

rachel b said...

my daughter & i would love love love those flip flops!!!

LT said...

I love the Dollar Store idea! The card Lainey picked out made me laugh out loud. Sounds like it was a perfect birthday.

LT said...

I love the Dollar Store idea! The card Lainey picked out made me laugh out loud. Sounds like it was a perfect birthday.

Sarah Stewart said...

I voted for you in all three catagories because I ADORE your blog! I loved Lainey's pick's for her daddy's birthday, but my personal favorite were the grandpa glasses!

Sarah said...

that card is the funniest thing! Such a great birthday idea...him gonna lub dis :) awesome!

Jen said...

I laughed REALLY hard at the "birthday" card and then giggled pretty good at the sunglasses! Thanks for bringing a ray of sunshine to a rough week (and yes, I know it's only Tuesday!)

Christine said...

OK, the beret is killing me! I can't stand the cuteness!! The card made me laugh out loud! I needed that. Can't wait to take my girls to the $1 store for hubby's Christmas gifts! Great idea!

jess said...

Wow! You are an inspiration to me. I LOVE reading your blog and it helps me to remind myself to enjoy every minute with my family. I try to realize my daughter will not be little for long so I spend as much time as possible with and not get angry or annoyed with the daily tasks. Thank you! You are what I needed!

Kim said...

I think your blog is amazing and very inspiring. I would love to read your book. Both of your girls are perfect! Awesome giveaway too! PS I also married a mermaid! :)

Lauren said...

My husband and I always go to the chitzy beach stores with $5 bills to pick out dust-gathering gifts for each other! Such fun little reminders of the simple things in life.

Kristen Rapp said...

I will vote for this blog, and for you to have a show on Oprah's network! You are an amazing mother, and your words inspire me daily.

Amy said...

I am in love with the dollar store idea! I am going to have to do that!

Phyllis Sommer said...

all that and then the $5 sticker....i nearly fell off the couch laughing from the emotion of it all...

those flipflops are to die for.

Ryan, Aubrey and Mirabel Bucher said...

Love Nella's little green dress!

Christina said...

i haven't laughed so hard reading a blog in awhile. The cat pee...special granddaughter card...$5 shades...!! :) Love it all.

Shannon said...

I LOVE this post...especially the part about "Holland."
A little more than 8 years ago, when I was 22, I was expecting a nice trip to Italy when I got thrown on a plane that took me to Holland.
And wow did it throw me for a loop.

I've learned a lot from being his mama. I've changed. I've grown. He has made me a better mom than I think I would have been had he been born healthy.
He is amazing and I can't wait to see what he teaches his baby sister about life and differences and being kind to all people. She is a lucky, lucky girl and my husband and I are lucky parents.

Sam said...

Love this post - can't wait till the next birthday rolls around in our family! Dollar Store here we come...

Leah said...

I have only been reading your blog for about a month but I just want you to know it has become my absolute favorite (and I read a lot of blogs...) I get excited every time I see a new post. I love your writing, your photos, everything. It is amazing to read something positive and full of joy everyday. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

Jen said...

tomorrow, my daughter who remains diagnosis-less has ear surgery. i have mixed feelings about it. and your words made me cry, and then they made me laugh. and it was EXACTLY what i needed. thank you.

Heather said...

LOVE it!!!

Michelle said...

LOVE your blog! You are so inspiring!! I also love the idea of taking the kids to the dollar store to buy Dad's bday gift! So cut!

Jay said...

I love the champagne sating headband of Lainey's! I need to take style advice from her!

My 4 yr old son likes to buy gifts from the Dollar Store too, it's cheap and the reward he feels for giving them is so worth the $1.50 on a bunch of faded, plastic flowers for Grandma....

Nancy E. J. said...

I absolutely LOVE the way you celebrated your hubby's birthday! The card...hillarious! I seriously laughed out loud.

kancell24 said...

Your blog is just what I need some days. Throw in a contest and its even better. I will vote because I truely believe all those categories your blog fits.

Wendy said...

I absolutely love the idea of letting your daughter pick out whatever she wants for your husband's birthday! What a fun idea! And the granddaugther card...so hilarious!

Kim said...

Definitely LOLd at the granddaughter card. Hysterical. Brett seems like such a sweet husband and Daddy. And I'm totally taking my kids to the dollar store for an afternoon activity soon. Good idea!

KCanada said...

Kelle you know you inspire us - you teach us so much. But today's post has me inspired to do something very special tomorrow. I am taking Natalie (my 3 yr old) and we are going to buy our Daddy some awesome gifts at the Dollar Store! YOU HAD ME FALLING OUT OF MY CHAIR...the card did me in!! How fun...can't wait to see what she picks out!

You are so right - I think many of us are actually in Itay, but have fooled ourselves that we are in Holland, or even worse. Thanks to your inspiration, I CHOOSE to be in Italy.

Keep preachin' sistah!!!!!! Love your thoughts.
~Kathy

The Kelley Family said...

i was literally LOLing at the granddaughter card! Lainey reminds me so much of my daughter! They are right around the same age too!

julie said...

I enjoy reading your blog. My perfect 3 year old son has CP so I have the whole Holland thing going on too. Love the dollar store birthday shopping. What a great idea.

Krissy said...

Italy..Holland.. its all beautiful... As are your children =) thank you for letting us peek into your lives.

Anonymous said...

So, the first and last pictures of Nella...awesome! And I laughed totally out loud with the birthday card! The dollar store gift idea is great, I never thought of that! Totally doing it though from now on! Karen

Colleen said...

Kelle, you seriously crack me up!! Not only are your words inspiring and your outlook on life admirable but you are pretty funny too!! I was cracking up at the sticker on your sunglasses. Nella's squinty eye smile just warms my heart! You are truly blessed to have such beautiful girls. Thanks once again for making me laugh and forcing me to look at the small things in life.

Donovan Doins said...

You know, I think being happy in the present is life's best gift. Thanks for the reminder.

The Fluck Family said...

i can just now see how rachel is slower than her peers and i have to say it doesn't bother me like i thought it would. i am enjoying her more, she isn't fast forwarding through her little life. i just wish she had another little girl to grow slow with and be BFF's.

mommamarge said...

Such a beautiful post! I laughed, I cried, I shed a tear and made me think of my own to children and how young and sweet they are and at some point I know they will experience pain of growing up and living life, but at the same time I hope they take the experiences they have and grow with them to be a better person and see the light at the end of tunnel.

Stephanie said...

Best birthday card ever! What wonderful parents you two are. Your girls are very lucky (and little beauties, too).

Veritas Academy said...

Your blog always makes me smile -- thank you for always being able to brighten my day.

- Kristin

Amy said...

Those pictures of Brett with his gifts and card are HYSTERICAL!!!
Thanks for the giveaway opportunities! ;)

Caitlin said...

Kelle,
I read your blog daily...but am usually too shy to post! However, giveaway or not-I had to tell you how much reading this made my night. My husband and I laughed so hard together at Brett's birthday gifts and cards. I could just hear Lainey saying "Him gonna lub dis". Your writing is very profound yet so "real life". Thank you for allowing all of us readers to share your journey and become friends :)

SarahM said...

It's not very often that I CRY and LAUGH in the same 60 seconds. You are an amazing writer, photographer and mama. I enjoy reading your blog so much. Is it weird to say that it has changed my life? I now Enjoy the Small Things like never before. For that, I thank you.

jill said...

i had tears when i read the "dude" comment you made to brett...and the kitty card made it worse. i was laughing so hard, lub it!

Carrie Harmsen said...

OH, Kelle! I live for your posts, I swear. 'For a special Granddaughter' just about made my day. You inspire me to be a better wife, mommy, photographer, and blogger. Thanks for everything.

Aubrey365 said...

I love this post...my husband and I just celebrated our five year anniversary and we wrote letters about where we have been and where we are going in life. You have to look back to see how far you've come and you have to look ahead to point yourself in the right direction. And I love the ending too....I was laughing out loud at that card Lainey picked out...love it dude!

Summer, Justin, Blake, and Sutton said...

I've never commented before, but I LOVE your blog! Although I'm not much of a blog reader, I adore yours! :)

Melissa :) said...

Here I checked, but was sure you hadn't posted, & you had! What a sweet gift after a hectic day. ♥ it all, as always. :)

Oh, How Happy We Are said...

I enjoy reading your blog. My perfect 3 year old son has CP so I have the whole Holland thing going on too. Love the dollar store birthday shopping. What a great idea. If your interested.....I have a recent post (with video) showing the progress my son made ove this past year. Check it out. I am super proud of him.

Vickie said...

Kelle--I am so glad that I found yoru blog and that even though I don't know you, I feel as if we are traveling together. We began our journey before you, but knowing that I had and continue to have all of the same feelings that you do makes me feel better. Have a great 4th of July weekend. Looking forward to your pictures.

Kelly C said...

We always let our children shop at the Dollar Tree every Christmas. They get exactly what they want to get everyone in the family..everyone loves to see what they will receive! My favorite was when my son got his grandfather a toilet bowl scrubber. ;)

Sara said...

Kelle - your post had me laughing out loud SO many times....at Brett being part merman....the birthday card....hilarious!

Great post - and a very happy birthday to Brett. My husband's birthday was Monday - and we celebrated at home enjoying each other's company - the small stuff.

Congrats on your nomination - you really have inspired us more than you know! :)

Shannon Leigh said...

i Love, love, love the things Lainey chose for Brett, haha, ESPECIALLY the kitten card :D Too precious! and i Love, love, love the skull and crossbones flippies!! I look forward to your new posts, and get really excited when my little feed shows one that i haven't read yet :D Thanks, Kelle! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Your family is beautiful.

Crystal in IL said...

I voted for you this morning :P I've been reading your blog from the beginning and I'll admit I was jealous of your charmed life. Hell, I'm still jealous! Love your blog!

Shinsa said...

I think we need to start the dollar store birthday gift thing. So stinkn cute.

oneilfamily said...

Love your blog it always inspires me to live life to the fullest and enjoy my children and family a lot more. Definitely voting for you in all three categories. Thanks so much for taking the time to do it!

Runningmama said...

After my daughter was born, I was convinced I was in Holland...funny how now, just a year later, if you told me I was in Italy, I would believe you, cause I believe I am!

jkwatermelon said...

You not only know how to take fabulous pictures, write inspiring words, but also know how to bargain shop. Love it!!! Most of all, your wisdom to take in all the small things in life with such enthusiasm is what makes me fall in love with your blog even more. Thank you for sharing.

Terisa said...

I absolutely LOVED this post!!! What a miracle time can bring to our perspectives. Thanks for sharing in such a REAL way!

Patti Adams said...

I love how Lainey picked out the granddaughter card and you let her keep it. This uptight momma would have said, "No, no...you need to look for a Daddy card!" I love the laid back and positive outlook you have in life. I read your blog daily and have passed it on to many people. I love your girls and think your family is fantastic!!

I will definitely be voting!! :)

Patti Adams said...

I love how Lainey picked out the granddaughter card and you let her keep it. This uptight momma would have said, "No, no...you need to look for a Daddy card!" I love the laid back and positive outlook you have in life. I read your blog daily and have passed it on to many people. I love your girls and think your family is fantastic!!

I will definitely be voting!! :)

Kelly said...

Okay so you totally had me in goosebumps & tears with that first part and then I was laughing so hard over the dollar store trip that I was crying again. Loved this post - every single word!

Lissa said...

I love the card she picked out for her Daddy! It's something my mom is famous for, she picks cards cause she likes what they look like. Only after does she realise it says Happy Birthday Niece instead of Happy Birthday Daughter. Either way, it's the thought that counts!

Denise said...

I certainly laughed at the birthday gifts... can't wait to do this kind of stuff with my daughter (to be born in September). Thank you for your blog, Kelle.

Mommy of Three said...

Kelle,

You are truly a gift to all of us to follow your blog!
I found your blog a couple of months ago and just love it. You remind me and all of us to enjoy each moment and to always look a bright side. You are a gift!

Mikaela said...

my fav post yet. i love how you can make me laugh and cry at the same time. i wanted to call everyone i know and tell them to hurry up and get to their computer and read the most beautiful things i just read. i just relate to you on so many levels...and i'm glad i'm not the only one who's feet don't fit the sad and bitter shoes of a mother of a special needs child. my daughter may need in a special way but she GIVES in a special way too...and both are what make my life sparkle. i just <3 you and your beautiful family.

BeckShoe said...

Always honest and true. Love reading it!!!

The Montgomerys said...

you are a breath of fresh air. i LOVE reading your blog. can we be friends? ;)

Joann said...

Your blog continues to inspire me. I look forward to reading everyday!!
Thank you.
Joann

The Hall Family said...

So beautiful, I think it is always easy to think of what you dont have, that is until your little one loks deep in your eyes and says "love you mommma" and you realize your world is complete. Love you blog!

The Dixons said...

When I see a new post I run through it and read a bit of this and that, look at the pictures and see how many comments there are. Then, I go back to the top, and look at the pictures again. Then I go back to the top and read it all. And soak it all in, and take from it something that will make me a teeny bit better of a mom, or a sister, or a daughter, or a friend or a wife. I love your writing Kelle Hampton, and I love thoses babies of yours. The first picture of Nella in that green dress with that little hat has to be my most favorite yet. Thank you for sharing. This post was raw, and real, and I thank you for sharing you with us.

Leona said...

Christmas came again, another post, lol!!!
Enjoy your date night and Happy Anniversary to you both!
XO
Leona~

Dawn said...

I adore your blog! I've been reading since you have had Nella when a friend pointed out Nella's birth story which had me balling my eyes out!!

And I love your posts! They are amazing!

Erin said...

loved your post and all the pics. would def love one of those bonnets of some sweet flops!

Stacy in Plymouth said...

Oh Kelle. Thank you so much for this post. I haven't laughed reading a blog in a long time. The dollar store had me in tears, I can just picture it.

Lea said...

Thank you for choosing to write and share it. You could have lived your life without. You could have been happy and never proclaimed it to the world. But, thank you for doing so.

Noelle said...

LOL-ing at the card! What a FUN way to celebrate a birthday!!

Mrs.BigTime said...

This may be my favorite post ever. Thank you for sharing your heart and your sweet, sweet girls with us! The kitty card...oh.my.gosh. So stinkin' sweet!!

Mommy of Three said...

Forgot to add that your Poppa rocks! I love his posts too! You are so lucky to have such a great Poppa. Enjoy your beautiful family!
I have not been close to my Dad my entire life and your blog has inspired me to try to fix that.
So thanks to you and Poppa!

Michelle said...

First time for me to comment although I've been lurking since the day you first posted about Nella. I just want to say that not only have YOU gone on to Italy, but you've taken me there as well! lol! Thank you for the journey! :)

And p.s. I absolutely ROLLED when I saw the granddaughter birthday card! I love kids! :)

valerielovesyou said...

I LOVE Lainey's headband!! Wherever did you find that??

Stacey said...

Love the Dollar Store idea!!! And the card...priceless!! Inspiring post as always!!

tiffany said...

Dollar store birthday gifts - what a fabulous idea!

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