Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enjoying the Small Things (and bad pick-up lines for Life)

When I lived up north, I remember every year, post-Christmas, I entered a dreaded funk. Christmas was over, the cold continued, and all the ghost town store aisles of broken candy canes and clearanced winter scents echoed the let-down. I actually quit my college Victoria's Secret job the day after Christmas one year because I didn't want to leave my sister's and couldn't face the hour long snowy drive to a depressing mall. I just called up the morning I was supposed to work and said "I quit." This irresponsibilty, of course, led to the explanation that I could never be hired by Victoria's Secret again, and I think I replied with something like "Yeah, I'm cool with that." Thankfully, other things worked out. But I still regret the impulsive irresponsibilty. (Sorry, Victoria. I still dig your bras.)

Which brings me to this...

Florida rocks post-Christmas.

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It's like straddling the best of both worlds. One foot still grounded in that homey vibe of quilts and firelogs and mistletoe candles and one bravely stepping into the promise of a new year with sunshine, blue skies and palms unfurled.

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The bonus: I still get to wear boots and scarves.

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Okay, totally laughing...I just noticed... Dude, my zipper's undone!

Today is the last day I will bask in my thirty-first year. I am swimming vigoriously these last laps because I hear the crowd roaring, I see the blur of the finish line, and I know this year was one hell of a victory.

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Tomorrow I will dance. Tomorrow I will write. Tomorrow I will squeeze tight the goodness this year has brought and reflect on it all.

But today?

Today, I will enjoy the small things.

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SHADOW WAVES

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She spots her shadow all the time. Actually sets out searching for it and when she finds it...she waves. And smiles. Cutest thing I've ever seen.

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THE DISASTEROUSNESS OF THE GIRLS' ROOM

Lainey made a new sign for her door and hung it all by herself. I don't know what it means but I'm pretty sure, by the looks of things, it means "My room looks like hell. Stay out."

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Ever step on an upturned click-clack shoe? It hurts.

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CAMOUFLAGE DOGS

Thankfully, Latte is safe from any lake predators.

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It is not unusual for our lake trips to include us screaming for Latte who, we think, ran off. Nine times out of ten, she's right in front of us. Just hidden with the poodle-fur grass.

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THIS SONG PLAYING.

(Song not available for photo at time of post)

Love it. Dance, dance, dance.


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SLEEPING BABY EYELASHES.

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Can I get an amen?

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FUNKY MORNING HAIR.

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She has a wild chunk of hair, front and center, that kind of does its own thing, and I totally love it. Even if I have to barrette it down during the day.

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INVIGORATING SUNSHINE

You know, the kind that stretches through the bite of cold air, warms every puddle of lingering potential within you and possesses you with the thrill for the new year and everything it holds? Yeah, that kind.

We walked to the lake today, me a few steps ahead of the rest of them, her pedaling like mad to reach our strides, and the littlest her kicking, waving, and content to just be.

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We fished and lounged and called for the dog who was, come to find out, just rolling in the dead grass a few feet away.

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Lainey's sweater made by my mama; Lainey's dress made by the talented Kiki. I want everything in her shop, especially this and this and this.

And it was lovely.

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AS IS HER BUDDING LOVELINESS ON THE BRINK OF ONE

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She is changing, growing, beaming, blossoming into more goodness, and we are turning the pages to new chapters that hold more joy.

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I find myself laughing a lot these days. Mostly because she can make a hell of a beeline across the tile, around the bend of the laundry room door, to the dog dishes in a New York minute. I'll hear the ceramic bowl scraping against the tile, run in there, and here she is, just a grinning. Because she knows she's funny. It kills me in the I-wish-I-could-have-understood-this-happiness-last-January kind of way.

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I am feeling all sappy and celebratory and quite in love with Life tonight. In fact, if I bumped into Life at a bar right now, I'm pretty sure I'd have no problem embarrassing myself with bad pick-up lines.

Hey there, Life. The voices in my head told me to come over and talk to you. What time do you have to be back in heaven?

And then Life would say something back, I'd laugh and the two of us would run out the back door into a field of daisies. Cue sunset.
Or something like that.

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Dance. Dance. Dance.

232 comments:

1 – 200 of 232   Newer›   Newest»
Ebony said...

Lainey is such a little poser these days! Gorgeous! And I just adore the last photo of Nella :) Thanks for sharing this with us, have a fabulous day!

KY said...

Your photos continue to take my breath away!

www.travel-babbles.blogspot.com
www.ky-365.blogspot.com

Janie Fox said...

love your words- they make my heart smile...you have a beautiful family.

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

I would celebrate that warmth and sunshine too!

And your bunny's ear-flap hat -- and waves to shadows. Happy Birthday!

Joana said...

I think Nella is starting to look sooo much like Lainey and that's sooo adorable!!
Love your girls and your blog,dear!

Jamie Lane said...

I love the Russian girl doll dress! You made me even more excited for the new year with those wonderful words! Eeeeee!

wonderchris said...

Love that camo pic of Latte!! CUTE!

All great pictures - Lainey in that scarf is so frame-worthy!!

Kat said...

Pure joy personified!

Abbie S. said...

What a great afternoon pick me up post...just what I needed to get me through to quitting time (for the day:-)!

lightkeepersdaughter said...

Enjoy this last day of year 31! More joy, more challenge, more love, & lots more life awaits you - so, for today - just be!

Thank-you for sharing your "being" with us!

Rosemary

The Mac's House said...

You take my breath away as you capture the moments of "life"!

Bravo once again!

sigh.... breathing in life, thank you so much!

Jen said...

hey there sweet friend! ha!! don't even know ya but just love ya from reading here. :) i live in orlando, fl and couln't agree more about the beautiful sunshine in the winter. love it! your girls are precious, my daughter is almost 9 months and my husband and i were talking today about how fresh and new everything feels right now. i am also leaving my 31st year behind. looking forward to the next. :)

shell said...

Nella looks just like Lainey in that yellow top. two beautiful sister!! a wonderful year to all of us!!

irishtwinsmommababybook said...

Happy birthday??!! ?? Yes?!

I thought I was the only one with a little girl with a pig stye mess of a room?? And mine are only 2 1/2 and 1 1/2!!! :)

LOVE the picture of all of your feet/shoes!

mandie lane said...

I totally get this one. We live in Wisconsin, and I LOVE me some winter .... in November and December. But January and February (FINE, and March)? Gah. With Christmas over (sniff sniff) I'm eying fun new spring clothes and baby girl swimsuits and haven't quite accepted the fact that it's North Face and Uggs for us for quite some time yet.

So keep those sunshiney pictures coming, Kelle. I'll be living vicariously through you for the next 90ish days.

Audra M said...

Delurking here. I can relate so well to your words. So glad I found your blog a few months ago. I am inspired by you and your passion for life. I find myself thinking 'How would Kelle rock this?' all the time. Thanks for your example and for sharing your talents.

Abby said...

As always Kelle, you bring tears to my eyes with words like soft yarn woven together with your photography. Beautiful!

Jennifer from NJ said...

What a great sunshine post as i sit next to a window that overlooks drifts of snow here in NJ. Since reading your post back in March you have opened my eyes to the beauty of life, Pure and simple life. I now embrace the good the ugly and the small things. wouldnt have it any other way. Happy Birthday too! going to find the kids to dance around the house now.

Jennifurla said...

Amen on baby lashes, and their sweet little pursed lips.amen amen

I LOL on the room sign! ha, can she make one for me??

Happiness is... said...

Bask in the sun of your thirties, regardless of it's today or tomorrow. And I was right to remember that you're a Christmas/New Year's baby. Happy day today. Happy day tomorrow.

Thanks for sharing and growing and forcing us to plant and to grow and to thrive where we are. You inspire. And you take inspiration too.

P.S. I got my guts up to to the blog thing as my 40th birthday gift to myself. Oh boy, now to fit this into my life too! LOL

butterflymom said...

Kelle,
Your posts always make me dance and smile... Thank you for sharing...and letting me live vicariously through your warm weather in Florida while I freeze in Wisconsin. ((hugs))

claire said...

Once again, another amazing, inspiring post. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing. I LOVE Lainey's dress. Too cute! Both of your girls get more beautiful every day. Happy early birthday! Enjoy your day!

Emma said...

Fabulous pictures as always! Looks like a great day! England at this time of year is grey and miserable but the shortest day is over and Spring will soon be here :-)

Chelsea Earnhardt Plax said...

Came across your site just a month ago and am so happy I did. I haven't read a post yet that hasn't moved me in some way. Thank you for that. And the shadow waves? Oh my goodness. Just want to eat that up with a spoon!! Soooo sweet.

heather said...

my heart is so happy when i read your posts ,in fact i cant wait to read the next one !!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last pic of Nella , adorable

love and blessings the doughtys

Michelle said...

Beautiful pictures! AGAIN!
Happy Birthday! So glad you have enough warmth outside to be able to go outside. (KY is freezing) My husband and I are expecting baby 1 in June and I am loving Lainey's outfits. I can't wait to see what my little bug blossoms in to.

Kate Lewis-Driver said...

such stunning photography. takes my breath away. i am loving being a new follower of your blog ;) Kate
liliesforkate.blogspot.com

McEngland like the McCountry said...

Oh, the "beeline towards the dog bowls" part had me rolling. If anyone told me two years ago (when our beautiful son was conceived) that the motherhood I had just embarked on would entail multiple blind finger sweeps of that perfect little cupid's bow mouth to retrieve dogfood (Always, with the dogfood!) I would have never believed it! It's a futile struggle, though, because we just can't get rid of the toddler OR the sweet girl dogs. We love them all waaaaaaaay too much!

Between You and Me said...

love your words.
love your celebration of the life you've been given.
never tire of hearing about it or seeing it in pictures...

such beautiful, beautiful pictures!

Hailey said...

Nella looks so grown up in the picture of her in the yellow dress. So precious!


Happy early Birthday to the woman who inspires so many of us, every single day.

Michiels Moments said...

Happy Birthday Kelle! Love the morning hair - our little girl's nickname is rooster for that very reason!

LeeAnn said...

My little almond-eyed-life-changer loves to shadow wave too! And a mirror will keep him occupied for hours! Happy birthday! May all your wishes come true. Lainey is looking more and more like you these days!

Dawn said...

The last picture...absolutely adorable...it needed to be after the zipper picture...which made me laugh out loud :)

www.piggfamilyblog.blogspot.com

Scott and Jean Lucas said...

Your girls get a little more beautiful each post. The pics of Lainey in your scarf are just too cute, and Nella is just adorable.

Happy Birthday! Hope it's another great year.

Hannah Joy... said...

Waving at shadows is a favorite game on our walks. <3

Happy Birthday Kelle!!!! Wishing you many blessings and much joy in the new year!!!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Nella wears yellow likes she means it. Can we agree that this is officially "her" color?

Kara said...

Echoing Jean Lucas' comment: Your girls just get cuter and cuter each time you post photos of them! I'm glad Florida gives you that post-Christmas pick-me-up!

loanesay said...

I love your kid's style. It's so eclectic and fun! I tried to dress my son in handknits but even at birth he rejected them.

check it:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/50805379@N08/5301613724/

He prefers sports jerseys and jeans.
:)

Jaclyn Hicks said...

Happy Birthday (a lil early!)....on my walks with Molly-girl, I will watch as she chases her shadows and think about life's greatest blessings....here's to you, your family, and the great year awaiting us all.

Rik said...

Yes, Lainey's room does look like a bad episode of Hoarders...maybe I can help her next week! And our Nella...it is like a little girl is being born from the seeds of a baby we so love. She still teaches me...as I celebrate her awareness, her utter and significant "brilliance" as she reaches for, grasps and greets her world. And I am blessed to be in it and want to be within her reach! And God gave her such superb brothers and a spirit-sharing sister too! Yes, on the eve of your birthday, they all make it a Happy one! See you soon...it is cold and quite sunless here in Michigan...but loving family warms it all!
--Poppa
PS...XYZ

cathy said...

happy birthday kelle!
hope you have an awesome celebration.
your babes are looking sweet and precious.
they make your heart just burst, i know.

Steph said...

I almost can't stand the adorableness of every single one of these pictures. Even the open fly one.
Your girls are fabulous!

Steph
http://musingsofasarcasticmind.blogspot.com/

Pile-o-Kids said...

Happy Birthday Kelle!
Thank You for brightening my world!

Melissa said...

Love all of it, especially the sleeping baby lashes. Those are my favorite!!!!!

Maria said...

I know I DO NOT have to tell you how I wish I was in Florida post-Christmas. 20+ INCHES OF SNOW up here in New Jersey! How 24 hours can take us from warm, snuggly Christmas with family to this utter nightmare is beyond me. We were under a state of emergency for most of the storm. I wouldn't find a blue sky or a park or, God forbid, a palm tree if I kneeled naked in the snow & prayed for them. Not even pretty scarfs, hats & boots can make this nice. Ugh!!
With that said...it did look kinda pretty today with the sun shining & it's gonna warm up by the weekend. Have a wonderful, WARM, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! A million kisses to those delicious girls. Enjoy!

j210209 said...

The shadow waves... They're adorable! I'm also loving that last photo of Nella :)

This whole post had me smiling :) x

6512 and growing said...

Pictures of a smiling/laughing Nella always make my heart ring.
Thank you.

Victoria said...

HAPPY (almost)BIRTHDAY! Your girls are too darn precious and adorable!! I loveeee reading your posts!! So, thank you for sharing! :)

Sarah RDH said...

AMEN!!!! I love Nella's shadow waves!!! That is freakin adorable! Happy Birthday!

Hirano Family said...

Sigh. My favorite baby is going to be one soon?! Be still my heart. I just love your words and your look on life. It's beautiful as are you!

Mary said...

I love Nella's shadow waves and Lainey's fishing! Your girls are so gorgeous!!!! Happy birthday to you! I can't believe you and I are only two days apart. I will be 32 on the 31st. Have a blast celebrating one more year under your belt. I know I will:)

aprilanecdotes said...

A year makes such a differnce when your baby is born with down syndrome. At first it's what am I going to do and then after a few months it's hell yes I can do this! What a party we had for April's first birthday. Congrats on your birthday too. susan

Robin Cotton said...

Hi Kelle, enjoy following the blog... just wanted to let you know that the song tonight was just what I needed to hear .... it was a hard day and it gave me a little lift along with your pictures of your sweet family . tks for your precious blog , its really so much more :) happy new year to you and yours . robin

Sarah said...

waving, dog bowl splashing, beelining it across the floor all make my heart leap!

Send some warmth up north! This body needs some fresh air for more than 30 minutes without losing feeling in her toes!

Becky said...

I love that you quit VS altho I cringe a little that you probably missed out on some awesome freebie bras over there! :)

Stacey said...

Amen.

Krysta said...

AMEN Sisiter!!!! That wallop of Nellas hair is Sooooooo cute!

olivia said...

happy birthday kelle! i am so in love with that scarf, it's happiness in a yarn! where did it come from? i can't believe nella is almost 1!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Well happy birthday almost:) Life is sweet isn't it?!!! I quit a job like that once too. BUT it was because they were about to fire me and I wanted to beat them to the punch...shame!

Love all the pics. You capture the light so beautifully. I gave my Honey a list of books that you suggested for photography and got them for Christmas...along with that Donald Miller book you mentioned. So good!

The Stairs Family said...

I just love your pictures, they are awesome!

And I've noticed Nella hasn't had her glasses on lately, just a coincidence or does she not have to wear them anymore?

Christine said...

How does their hair end up like that every morning?? Random pieces of my sons's hair are always sticking straight up when I get him out of his crib, and I have yet to figure out how it happens!

Adorable pictures, as always! :)

Scribble Scrabble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scribble Scrabble said...

I was happy to hear you call out the after Christmas blues, not happy that you had them, but happy to know that it isn't just me having these feelings. After Christmas days are TOUGH to get through on Long Island. Bring on Spring!

Mama Lavigne said...

Nella is one month to the day older than my third baby and I read and watch Nella hitting all her milestones like a rockstar and it gets me excited to see what is going to be next for my sweet Maddie girl!! The wave/shawdow is adorable and that Lainey...she's going to be a movie star...just wait!! Happy Holiday Heather from New Brunswick!!

Jenny said...

I would LOVE your sunny and warmer than Iowa December....but we made the best of it today and took the older two boys (6 and 4) snow skiing today for the first time and made lots of fun memories. Mostly around how well they get started and keep balance but how poorly they are able to stop! :)

Loved the post and pictures as always.

-Jenny in Iowa

Callie said...

I needed to read this post tonight. Thank you.

I imagine, as I read your posts, in your house have several beyond huge, ginormous, Dr. Seuss style baskets. One for all of the girls adorable hats, another for their cute shoes, another for their sweet sweaters ect.... and as you walk out the door you just grab what ya need. Their accessories seem never ending and often never repeated. I know it's all in your magical combinations. It all speaks to fun.

Happy Birthday Kelle, what a year it has been. Is it strange to look back and even imagine that life? The path that you thought you were on, I am just curious because it couldn't have probably gone in a more different direction. So much better!

Katy said...

Love it!

Happy early birthday!! :)

LilianEveDesigns said...

Great opening.

Happy Birthday BABY!

Hope you got your Spirit of Winter package;).

LOVE YA!

xoox

The Little House That Grew said...

Oh..I Love Enjoying The Small Things..each sappy word and darling picture!!
Lisa

Stacy Hart said...

Seriously one of the best posts I have read. You rock! and will continue to do so through year 32 :-) Thank you for sharing your life and inspring others to bask in the small things.

Vonda said...

LOVE your/Lainey's scarf!!! Did your mom make that? I'd love to know where she got the yarn. My girls want some colorful scarves and this would be perfect!!!

KWQR said...

Happy *almost* birthday to you Kelle! I recently re-read your birthday post from last year & it gave me goosebumps realizing how unknowingly prophetic your writing was. You are growing & stretching & rocking this life to the core. Wishing you an amazing celebration of you & 32!
xo
Kate
p.s. Shadow-waves?!?! So much cuteness fills me right up.

yasmeen said...

Hello there all the way from Singapore! I've been reading your blog for many months now (ever since Nella's birth) and I just want to say how happy reading your space makes me feel. You have an increadible way with words and your photos are phenomenal. You are inspiring and have never failed to move me. Thank you for sharing a part of your life. Happy holidays to your family.

Yasmeen

Jen said...

Love the waving at the shadow and the picture on Lainey's door is PRICELESS!

FEAS613 said...

I've said it before - and I'll say it again - Kelle Hampton - you NEVER cease to amaze me!! I was just about to head out when I thought I'd check quickly for a new post... and there it was in all it's glory!! I love all your small things today too!! Nella's wave has to be just about the cutest thing EVER!! And the pictures of Lainey by the lake with her scarf on (the close ups) are just absolutely breathtaking! She looks like such a big girl!! And now that Christmas is over up here - we northeasterners have moved right onto the next thing - digging ourselves out of 18 inches of snow!! If I could I would share with you - even send you a box of snow cause I know it would make you happy and it'd be a little less for us up here!! And we've got quite enough to go around!!
Well, thanks for sharing an extra-ordinary 31st year... I know 32 holds many more extravagant things for you!! And Amen to baby lashes!! And crazy hair, and dog bowl raiding just to see your reaction each time! Amen to it all...
Happy Birthday!!

Emily said...

happy last day as a 31 yeat old!

Adri Hunt said...

What a sweet, sweet post! Love the pictures and outfits!

Autumn said...

Happy Birthday Eve!! Beautiful post! Did your Momma knit the lovely scarf? If so---would she mind sharing what yarn it is?

Monique said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLE!! You are so beautiful! I love the warmth you send through your words and photos. I always leave your posts with a smile and the inspiration to look for the beauty in all that surrounds me. May your family and friends celebrate YOU as much as you celebrate them and life. You and LIFE have a beautiful relationship...it's because of your perspective, and the pure and unconditional love you have for your girls and family and for "enjoying the small things"
May YOU and LIFE always enjoy the dance in the daisy fields as the sun sets on your happy times! :)

God Bless
Monique

The Johansen's said...

Simply beautiful Kelle.

Rachael said...

Love your pictures! As usual!!
Love the shadow wave! So cute!!! I've seen kids chase their shadows, but never wave to them.
Love the Lainey's poses. Future model.
Love Nella's cute little hat! With the ears! That killed me.
Sleeping baby eyelashes....kills me!!! So cute!!
Happy early birthday!! Hope it's filled with love and fun!

MaryEllen said...

I have been following your blog for almost a year ... every day. "Wonder what Kelle is doing today?" And Nella ... a beautiful gift in the sweetest package ever. I look forward to every milestone she achieves ... and thank God for every Nella in our world.

CarylRz said...

I am laughing about how you quit your job. My employer wouldn't let me take a vacation, so I gave them my two week notice. I took a two week motorcycle trip with my dad and have never regretted it. Totally irresponsible and out of character for me? Yes. Worth every minute of the memories I have with my dad (he died in 2008), damn straight.

Love the feets!

XO
Caryl

Amie said...

You just sound so HAPPY today. You've brightened my night with your good mood. And your girls, once again, have stolen the show. Happy Birthday Eve!

Roksalanna said...

Kelle,
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday for tomorrow!
I love the way you write. Your analogy about the bad pick up lines really made me laugh!
xxoo

Heidi said...

Girl, you got a way with words. Love the pics...I have been enjoying your blog so much...:)

Nikki James said...

Touched

embracingtwentysomething said...

Kelly,
I just discovered your blog and I feel like I have entered into another realm - a heavenly sweetness of genuine truth, precious, beautiful and breathtaking souls. Your family and life radiates.

Your words and pictures melt my heart. Thank you for inspiring me today... I already know you will inspire me daily.

Enjoying the small things along with you,
Beth

Douglas said...

So ....and what a treaure to have captured that tuft of hair, those pudgy fingers covering her face and the shadow wave....ohh and those soulful brown doe eyes. A treasure indeed. Soak it all up....marissa

B's Mommy said...

Enjoying the small and the Big with you. Thank you for sharing your world with us. I hope the shadows always wave back with a great big smile and a cheer!

Alisha said...

Can you please write a book someday? Seriously, I make my husband stop so I can read some of your one-liners outloud, as I die laughing and he looks at me strangely. And PS-your family is gorgeous.

Jessica said...

I feel privileged to be able to share my birthday with you. So from one December 29ther to another, Happy Birthday!!!

Kathy Schumann said...

Hey, hey ... so tomorrow's your birthday??? My hubby's too. Lots of good comes out of December, doesn't it. You're living proof. (so's my hubby). Have a happy one!

Hillary said...

Kelle- You have such a wonderful way of taking everyday life and making it worthy, beautiful, spectacular because after all- it is! The post-Christmas celebrations can be a downer, but post-Christmas also means the celebration of your life! Your wonderful, spirited, created, talented you. Happy Birthday Kelle. I wish you a wonderful birthday full of love, laughter, family, friends and all of your favourite things. Enjoy.

The Smith Family said...

I needed this today. I laughed out loud when I read about you zipper and then laughed even harder when I looked back up to see that indeed it was unzipped! ha
Love your blog

Terrie said...

yay for the little things! i love yours shoes

Linda MG in Soquel, CA said...

Oh, KELLE, i just love you...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. I feel like many, that you are my friend. thanks for inspiring me and reminding me to enjoy the....

Rose said...

Love, love , love you! Your posts are better than getting my favorite new mag in the mail. Mwah!

Erin said...

i just love your blog~ and your girls are too precious! i have 4 boys so i really enjoy reading about girls! your words and pictures are so great! keep up the good work! much love and blessings from ga~ erin

erinand4boys.blogspot.com

heather said...

Happy Day-Before-Your-Birthday Kelle!

Love you!
xoxo

Kelle said...

Thank you, friends for all the kind words.

CarylRz...love that you quit your job for a motorcycle trip with your dad. Sounds like you need to write about that trip, if you ask me.

Questions on:

Scarf: $10, Forever 21...go figure.

Nella's glasses: I forgot to mention it in blog but will try to remember soon. 2nd opinion from University of Miami Eye Dr.: prescription is very minor and not necessary for full-time glasses at this time. She swipes them off the minute they go on now, and doc says don't bother. Appts. every 6 months will keep an eye on it. Sadly, I kind of miss the glasses. I love them. We put them on her every once in a while for kicks. She hates them though.

susan said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Kelle:) You are amazing. Jana and Nella are so alike:) her favorite thing is to get in Buddy's food dish. Love the girls, love your outlook. I was just telling Jason today as my heart was swelling when Jana was playing with her Baby and her new doll house that I wish I could tell myself two years ago that she WOULD play with Dolls and be the girl I had always dreamed about. Life is good:)

Rojas Family said...

Love this post. Your words ring true and the pics are gorgeous.

Lainey's room actually makes me feel a whole lot better about my boys' room. I have to kick things around just to walk through.

Hope you have an absolutely wonderful, fantastic, fun bithday.

texasmacks said...

Thank you for posting a picture of your girls' room being a wreck because sometimes when I read your blog I feel inadequate. I love that you are a supermom and human all at the same time! Great post!

Happy Birthday!!!

lynxymama said...

love it!

love nella's hat!

love the Victoria's story!

lainey is getting beyond cute and going into that pretty land that will one day make her father very very papa bearish!

Aunt Kiki said...

Happy Birthday, Kelle! Enjoy your day. . . you young pup!
Have you ever read the book, "The Big Tidy Up". Colleen and I were obsessed with it all little ones and I actually found a copy of it on Amazon and sent it to her for Christmas. Your girls would LOVE it and Lainey had the right idea by putting up a big sign that reads, KEEP OUT. Please look into the book if you have a chance. It's a classic - heck, I'm still in love with it over 28 years later.
Happy Birthday, friend. You continue to inspire. . . thanks for bringing so much to all of us this past year!
Kate and Henry

Marlies said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! :)
Do you edit the eyes in the pictures? Or can eyes really be that beautiful? (If you do edit... do you mind letting me know how you do it?!)

Laura said...

I LOVE your blog. These pictures are just amazing fantastic. Thank you so much for living your beautiful life and sharing such gladness with us. :)

PamJ said...

Those shadow waves are precious. And so are the lil chubby baby fingers in the last pic... You are so blessed!

Mommy to a Peanut said...

Wow, Nella's lashes look a mile long!!

Nikki Crockett said...

AMEN for those sleeping eyelashes...one of my 2 favorite things to photograph on my kid's faces..eyelashes and freckles. happy birthday!

Ingrid Wilson said...

Kelle-
We share rare, but beautiful treasures: lovely little girls with more chromosomes than most and birthdays on the 29th of December...like a Christmas encore. I have 3 years on you, though. ;)
Here's to a fabulous birthday and year for both of us. :)

Corine said...

LOL ~ I'm so happy that YOU get to live in Florida! :D Idaho is great for me... I love changing the seasons. I love the snow! :D And I love that you get to have the weather that you love! ;D

Corine :D

Stef said...

Happy {almost} birthday!!

Also, isn't it a rite-of-passage for Mommies to leave their zippers down. I feel like I read it in one of those "what to expect the first 18 years" books, or something like that. Either way, I noticed and I was thrilled when I realized you saw it and left it there. Shows me you're even more REAL than I thought, and I thought you were pretty darn real.

Enjoy your day tomorrow, you funky, wonderful you.

Erin said...

They are so so pretty.

SimchasJewels said...

Happy birthday!! Love this post. I love Lainey's sweater, and I was wondering if your mama made it, (which you answered) and if I could somehow get the pattern, lol. I love seeing all of the hand-made items in your pictures.

I also love the picture of Lainey's room. It's encouraging. Your house always looks so perfect (the advantage of being the picture taker and poster?) My girls' room looks like that most days.

Bethany said...

Isn't it funny in that not-a-joke-kinda way but more in an nothing-can-beat-an-experience way, how Nella has just captivated your heart? Your soul? I know so many of us moms of babies with that extra something spectacular try to explain to the newly stunned, way out of her comfort zone mom that it will be ok. Heck it will be better than ok! Ok, hell, it's gonna be awesome! And while the new mom is searching and desperately longing to hear someone say that, the new mom is still very skeptical. And so now you know... You know that Nella's smile has you at hello. You know her love gaze. You know her cling-to-you-oh-so-perfectly body. You know her diamond infused eyes. Her teeny tiny pancake hands. And now you couldn't trade your Nella bean for the universe. She completes you in ways you didnt even know needed completed! Kelle, you are so lucky to have her. And so now you KNOW. You know what we tried to tell you when you started this newest journey last January. And what you can't know yet, but soon will see, is that it just keeps getting better! So welcome to the team of the ones who KNOW!

Summer Loving Gal said...

I will definitely give you an AMEN!
Your girls are beautiful and you capture not only that beauty on the outside but what seems to be flowing from inside them also. Your words warm my heart.........thank you. More than you can ever know.

Denise

Bikini By 30 said...

I need your scarf. Darling!

mommymae said...

those hands! yummy yummy! enjoy your day tomorrow!

Jennifer said...

For some reason Lainey's bedroom door sign made me laugh out loud so hard! :o) Just so funny the way you were interpreting it. HA HA! Thanks for the laugh!

Loved this blog today! Love all of them, but today was just great! You are really sucking the marrow out of life! :o)

Happy Birthday!

Erin said...

I always wait for it....that moment in your post where something grabs me and I break into a grin.

Nella's shadow wave did it!

The Moser Fam... said...

i love reading your writing...so good and just makes me FEEL something inside! you rock and your girls are precious!

Paytonsmommy said...

Happy Birthday Kelle. I love the pictures , everytime I see that wagon I think of the summer at the wading pool with my daughter and little boy I watch since he has the same wagon and my daughter got one for Christmas -she LOVES it - today was to cold and rainy for a walk so she sat in it and watched a movie. I love sleeping baby or toddler eye lashes - I enjoyed them today as my daughter napped and snuggled up with my book - You definitely get an Amen from me.
I hope you enjoy your birthday - 32 has been great so far for me ( ok so it has only been 4 months) I have learned a lot and know there will be more to learn as I try to finish my masters all around the time our baby boy will arrive - but I know I can do it. Anyway I hope you have a great 32nd year.
Love the photos - they always make me smile. I love Lainey's sign _ sometimes I think I need one of those to post on my front door :)

queenbeegymboree said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and pictures with all of us, I really needed the pick-me-up tonight!

Happy Birthday to you!

Emily's Endless Words said...

Happy birthday, Kelle! That scarf Lainey is wearing is so-o-o adorable. Where did you find such a marvelous creation? Between two beautiful girls and your endless optimism, I don't see how 32 could be anything other than fabulous. Happy day, and thanks for helping me enjoy the small things!

paixjoie said...

Happy Birthday, Kelle! Bask in the glow of those candles.

Crystal said...

Stepping on click-clack shoes must be like stepping on Legos and Tech Decks with the wheels removed.

Dogs bark when I step on those!

I love to see Lainey's room a mess. My kids' rooms look like that all the time. :)

Nella. I love her crazy front and center hair. I love her fat fingers that cover her sweet little face. And I just adore her smile. It has gotten me through many days in the last year.

I can not believe ONE is almost here!

Gussy said...

you do a beautiful job making words dance inside my head.

thank you :]

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday Kelle!

Nella's face is getting cuter by the second. The set of photos of her in the yellow dress took my breath away. I am so excited to see her b-day photos. I know you have something AWESOME in store.

Loving the pics of Lainey and her cute scarf. I like her twisted piggys too.

To Bethany: I love what you wrote to Kelle. You said it perfectly.

Our house still looks like a bomb went off. We are having too much fun with the electric kit or the pottery wheel/spin art machine and the new baby dolls to put them away. The movers are coming soon so I figure it will all be packed up in a week. I'm hoping I will figure out how to drive in the snow pretty quick. Wish me luck. Good thing for snow tires and 4X drive.

Lisa in CA

J said...

I love that scarf! Did you knit that? It's so beautiful! I have been reading you ever since Nella was born--oh how i love your stories! Happy birthday! Please tell me where you got that scarf!!

Jill said...

Happy birthday to you, Kelle!! Wishing my favorite blogger a wonderful day and year ahead!

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

thefancyflea said...

What a beautiful post, Kelle. What a year you've had! Happy Birthday for tomorrow ♥

hawkeye23 said...

Kelle, your girls just make me grin like an idiot. Love the open fly photo! Something I would do, but without the lovely flat stomach in the pic...

Happy Birthday!!!!!

jdevore said...

The pictures at the lake, Lainey looks like she is 3 going on 30! So sophisticated! I can't believe our little Nella is going to turn 1 in less then a month. From the looks of Lainey's last birthday you will decorate for Nella's in a fantastic over the top sort of way as well lol.

Monica said...

Happy Birthday, hope your day is a great one! I know you'll rock the heck out of it :)

Katrina Louise said...

Happy birthday Kelle! I am another December 29th baby - today I turn 20.

Your blog is incredible and inspiring and I have loved reading it this past year. Thank you for the glimpse in to your life and for sharing your beautiful daughters.

Laura @ Just For Love said...

*Squeel!*Oh my sweet goodness gracious...would you just look at those two little chunk-a-lovins! Your baby girls are so precious. Your photography is absolutely gorgeous, too.

Found you through Gussy's blog--so glad I did : ) I'm looking forward to reading more of all the goodness I've found here. So nice to "meet" you!

Lots of love,
Laura

Bree said...

As another MI to FL transplant (Northville to Sarasota), I totally get what you mean about FL Christmas. People down here complain that it's not very "Christmas-y", but it is what you make of it...then you go to then beach!

Sarah said...

I love this post! It is great and full of joy!
I know what you mean about the after Christmas depression. I find that looking forward to the next fun thing we have planned helps out. Also enveloping myself in the silly things the kids do and say helps. :)

lbfoster said...

To a girl I just adore...Celebrate big and dance through those daisies with Life! You keep on reminding me to do the same...and there are plenty of times I need it! Happy, Happy Birthday, Kelle.
You are wise beyond your 32 years.

xo

Justine said...

I haven't been here for a while and wow the girls are getting so grown up. I so love that Lainey made a sign for her door.

Your posts are as beautiful as ever. I wish I had just a pinch of your passion and talent for what you do. It shows through in everything you're doing.

eileen said...

I read your column regularly, and I really enjoy it, but today's just made me laugh out loud! My son Rory is 18 mos. now and almost walking, but the speed of his crawl is amazing! He makes a beeline for any open cupboard, the dog's water and food bowls, the laptop if it's left on the coffee table, any remote control and any cell phone. I don't remember his big brother ever crawling as quickly! I think it's an added bonus that comes with the extra chromosome. He also loves to look at his shadow when he crawls. It cracks us both up. Such pure joy. Isn't it amazing how much a mom's perspective can change in 1 year? I remember thinking just how awful our lives were going to be after Rory's diagnosis, and I was SO, SO WRONG!!!

Rachel McPhillips said...

I swear... every post is like story time for mamas.. you make me want to go grab my camera RIGHT.NOW.

sunshineyou said...

Cute pics...Where'd you get your cute scarf?

jen said...

smiles on the brink of 1. finners is so there too.
it's like they just stepped from baby to one year old. crazy-cakes.
we might just be celebrating finners bday in florida ... i'm trying to make a little vacation happen before jeremy's potential job change ...
you have no idea how excited i am for sand in my toes. (even if i have to wear a scarf while doing it.)

-Ashley- said...

Your girls are gorgeous as always.

And I totally noticed your zipper was undone before I read it in tiny print under the picture. Ahh well, it happens. ;)

LOVE the pictures! And jealous of your sunny skies...

HomeSpunPrims said...

Your pictures and words are beautiful. You have a sweet family. I really enjoy stopping by your blog.

emily said...

amen to florida in the winter---seriously!
although, it's a bit chilly for my liking right now (i'm in orlando)...

Libby said...

Nella is so sweet--she looks like the happiest baby ever! And I am so very jealous of Lainey's gorgeous dress and I want one in my size :)

Jo said...

Reading your blog has helped me appreciate the little ridiculous things my son does all the more. He's 7 months and I think he looks a little like Nella. I think my favourite thing is when he decides to open mouth kiss my nose. I get totally flooded with drool, but I let him do his thing.

Up here in Boston, we just weathered the first blizzard in ages, and it was AWESOME! No work, just a lot of hot chocolate and attempting to make things out of wheat flour, because there was no other food in the house...

Teresa said...

Happy Birthday Kelle!!

Amberlee said...

I am in awe of your talent. Your words inspire me. Somedays your my pick-me-up. <3
My son too has the same bit of hair Nella has. We called it duck hair, like a new baby duck. He was born with it and now with a head full of hair still has that peice that is longer and all over.

Sheryl said...

Happy Birthday Kelle!
Hope you have a great day!

AE613 said...

Thanks for sharing. The photography is fantastic and the models are just amazing!!

You truly are blessed - as are all of us with young kids.

God bless you all in the New Year

Kristine said...

I love your post Christmas sunshine. So pretty. We had a day after Christmas snowstorm which was fun in it's own way. Just a bit messier. ;) I ADORE Nella's little fly away hair. It's so cute either flying free or pinned down with a barrett. She's beautiful and makes me smile everytime I see her. I can't believe she is going to be a year old!!!
The bedroom made me laugh. Sorry about the click clack shoe. I feel your pain....but my injuries come from little Transformer feet. Ouch!
I love Lainey's poses with Momma's scarf. She's a model in the making.
And how cute is Latte? heee!
xo
Kris

~KC: said...

Have an amazing birthday celebration! Love what you wrote about Nella, Lainey posing for photos, the sweater your mom made for Lainey and Nella's hands. Rik's beautiful words about Nella touched my heart. :)

Hokusai Says

Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.

He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive --
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn't matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn't matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn't matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
are life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.

He says don't be afraid.
Don't be afraid.
Love, look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

by Roger Keyes

Kim said...

I am OBSESSED with Laineys outfit with the red tights. Are those leg warmers pushed down at the bottom? If not, what are they? It looks adorable.

The Harvin Family said...

This last photo just makes me smile. I love baby hands! Keep saying that I need to take pictures of my baby babies hands so I can remember how I obsess over them. So cute and dimply! 6 months to one year is my favorite. They are so precious and are soaking up all they can. AND they can't talk back yet!
Lainey does so good with photos. My 3 year old won't let me anymore! So sad...

Janita said...

Dude,
Loving this post! In particular:
1. You noticing your fly is down. If I could count the amount of times I've left the barn door open since becoming a mom, well, I'd be rich. Long live Victoria, 'cause at least sometimes there's a sliver of pretty panty showing vs. a glimpse of my vile collection of grandma gitch.
2. "My room looks like hell. Stay out." Tell Lainey I'll take an 11x17 poster please.
3. Has Nella morphed into a little grown-up overnight? My goodness. Simply put, she's a doll.
4. Hey there, grand 'ole life. If I could change the alphabet, I'd put "u" and "i" together.
5. Oh, and Happy birhtday, you sweet bowl of goodness. You continue to grow more beautiful and radiant with the passage time. And today's a pretty cool day in my books, 'cause it's the day the world got you. xo

Erin said...

A very happy birthday to you Kelle! I'm a relatively new follower and I must confess that your blog is my favorite internet find of 2010! I wish you all health and happiness in the year to come and look forward to all of the beautiful pictures and thoughtful commentary!

Nettie said...

Your pictures are breathtaking!! Those girls get more beautiful everyday.

Hope you have an amazing birthday!!

MissMolly said...

Ahhh.. great post! I was thinking just this morning that I didn't want to let myself get into the post-Christmas blah's like I usually do. So, this morning, as I was sipping my coffee out on the porch and watching my dogs run around in the snow, I realized I'll be craving this weather in the dreaded July humidity, so I embraced it!

Your girls look adorable as always. I can't believe I've been following you almost a year! I feel like I've watched Nella grow up this year, and she is just lovely!

I think 2011 is gonna rock it!

Emilie said...

I wish I could pick up and move to Florida right now. I want to be a snowbird. I want to just throw Greta in a stroller and Mae on her bike and put on my running shoes and take off for the park. I love the last picture. I also love the picture from the last post of you pregnant last Xmas and you holding Nella this Xmas. You look so much like Lainey. Cheers to 32. It has been a much better year then my 31! What a difference a year makes!!

Callie said...

Thanks for keeping me focused. Happy Birthday, today your actual day. I know it will be good. Cheers.

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

Have a wonderful birthday Kelle! Mine's tomorrow, and I'll be spending it with my two girls, just as I'm sure you are today. Enjoy it!

Caroline said...

My 36th birthday is tomorrow too. Thanks for inspiring me once again to sing, dance, and enjoy the small things today :)

Tiff and Seth said...

I can't believe it has been a little less than a year since I started reading your blog- Nella has changed and grown so much over the year and I LOVE the pictures of her and Lainey. Your blog inspires me to just enjoy life- not to worry about the mess if my little girl is wanting to play! Thank you so much for being "real". I can't wait to see what 2011 has for me and my family- along with your family! :) Happy New Year!

merlin said...

Some people take a lifetime to change the world, some just quietly leave a faint impression whose evidence of existence quickly vanishes, while others change the world by being born....NELLA.

Blessings to you and your much loving family, and if I understand correctly, Happy Birthday Kelle.

Also, as a P.S. thank you for your grace in answering my question.

laurieg said...

I totally get it... That post Xmas funk.... It's what I imagine a heroin addict feels like coming down from a high.... The sun in your pics has me dreaming of a vacation! Love this post Kelle! Love how happy you are, how you've found home away from "home", love how much nella is growing and how she is hitting milestones like she owns them and love laineys poses with Grammas sweater!
You rock Kelle! Can't wait for the post birthday post! Happy early birthday.... I don't know if your 32nd year can top this sweet trip around the sun!

Lynn said...

This is my first time visiting (came by from sugarpiefarmhouse) and I just gotta say, your blog is amazing. Have you written a book about your parenting experiences? You've got talent, my dear. Thank you for so honestly sharing your life.

T. Nelson said...

You can get an Amen right here, sister-friend. I love your blog... it brings me such JOY!

OhanaMama said...

Amen, sista. Keep dancing.

Heth said...

The shadow wave is the cutest thing ever. Fat little baby hand shadow...made me all gooey inside.

Jenn said...

I know that funk all too well. It's made worse for me by the constant rain yesterday and the fact that we've already taken down our Christmas decorations due to the limited space in our house =(

Jenn said...

I know that funk all too well. It's made worse for me by the constant rain yesterday and the fact that we've already taken down our Christmas decorations due to the limited space in our house =(

Kathleen said...

Happy Birthday, Kelle! I have no doubt that you are enjoying things big and small today. Thank you for putting so eloquently into words how I, too, feel about this beautiful, challenging, humbling role as a mother.

MarkyDsMom said...

OH EM GEE... i soo super HEART sleeping baby lashes!! :o)

Bodil said...

The girls are beautifull and so are you! Love, love, love your pictures!

And beautifull little Lainey has your eyes! :)

Kristi said...

I want you to know that your blog quite often brightens my day. You always have such nice photos and such lovely things to say. That photo of your sweet little pup hiding in the grass made me chuckle.

May your New Year be as bright as your blog makes our days. Thanks for taking time to share.

Charla said...

"It kills me in the I-wish-I-could-have-understood-this-happiness-last-January kind of way."

That's the funny thing about happiness to me . . . the getting-there part. I hate it when anyone has doubts or worries, and I wouldn't want anyone to go through that . . . but I hope it makes the happiness that much sweeter.

Ashe's said...

You crack me up! Thanks for making brightening my day once again.

Hunniebun said...

I am so glad to know that I am not the only person who gets post-christmas depression! I live in Northern Canada and the sun doesn't rise until nearly nine and it starts disappearing at about 4 pm. It is cold, it is snowy, it is dark which is nice for the holidays, but not so great for commuting :)

Thanks for sharing your wonderful family with all us random reads around the world!

jessica said...

Hi Kelle!
your words continue to inspire me... thanks for sharing! my SIL had a down syndrome baby last february... so pretty close in age to little Nella. he is just the cutest little guy.. go here to check out the cuteness: http://jessicakesti.blogspot.com/2010/12/from-pine-trees-to-palm-trees.html
anyway, I've been meaning to send her a link to your blog.. I better get on that!
your family is adorable!

Jenney said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Marissa said...

Can I just tell you that I am in LOVE with your playlists? Like, seriously. I love reading your entries, too, of course--I started reading about a year ago, in fact. But after I read what's new, I will just go to your site and let the music play while I go about what I'm doing at the time.

Thanks for having great taste! I would buy your CD mixes.

Trina said...

Beautiful! Happy Birthday!

Vonda said...

Happy Birthday!!! On this day, 17 years ago I welcomed my sweet twin daughters, and then 4 years later their sweet brother who was born with a little something extra, and then 19 months later, his little sister. Life is good!! Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

pranapt said...

Happy Birthday, doll! Here's to another year of livin' like a rockstar! XOXO

Angela said...

Thinking of you today and wishing you the happiest of birthdays. It only gets better!

PS -- My angel who is now 7 had that same tuft of hair sticking up on her head for four straight months before it finally got thick enough that gravity took hold but I loved it and still miss it. At least now though we get to do fun braids and pony tails! Like I said, it only gets better!

Love,
Angela

The Manrings said...

oh kel...i feel your after-christmas emotions and have always had a little let down after all the excitement and wonder of the holidays went away too. actually... not just christmas but most all holidays, vacations...etc. hehehe. anyway, the girls in the sunshine makes me smile. can't believe that nella is almost a one year old...both girls and their sparkling eyes...so pretty! happy birthday birthday girl!!!!! xo

Erin said...

Amen!

aackles said...

Happy Happy Birthday to you and almost sweet Nella. I have enjoyed reading your journey. It truly has made my journey wonderful. You have really helped me with my little one and to just ENJOY life and DANCE! I am so thankful that I found you! You have truly blessed my life. So.. Happy Happy Birthday!

TK Kerouac said...

Love the honesty in your words and photography!

Megan said...

found your blog via gussy and i am so in blog love! i love finding a good mama blog. i read your birth story with your sweet little girl, seriously beautiful. thank you for sharing your words and thoughts we all of us. count me as a devoted reader!

JD said...

Happy Birthday. May it be another one filled with one filled with joy and laughter (and amazing pictures!) for you and your beautiful family!

Tracy said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it'sAMAZING!!!

Bugg's mama said...

Happy Birthday, friend!

And AMEN to the eyelashes. (sigh)

Love, Bree

Kelly Cach said...

*Once again....so filled with hope after reading your post.

*Love every word, every photo.

Relating in sooo many ways,
Kelly

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