Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grab Bag

Completely random, but my brain has some sorting out to attend to this week to recover from last week's craziness. Random I can do though. I'm great with random. Carrying on....

Isle of Capri
Our last hoorah before company hopped back on planes was a quiet Sunday at Isle of Capri last week. It had been awhile, and I sensed the beach was offended by the lull in visits. He'll get over it as we'll pick up the pace come Spring. But still, even in the quiet and chill of sea breezes and cold sand, it was home.

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Libby and Sara, there is no escaping now. You've been sworn in.

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Looking forward to when the beach forgives us and the sun shines warmer and brighter on our little place. I miss the salty craters and dock dives.

Super Coolest Story Ever. (in the history of mankind)
It's really long and complicated, but basically it goes like this. Mom is happy and content and we all want her to fall in love. Especially Heidi. So, last time she was here, Heidi begs her to go on EHarmony. I laugh and tell Heidi, "in your dreams" because I think I know my mom pretty well, and I think it will be a cold day in hell. Cue Heidi begging and pleading and eventually convincing her to let us fill out a profile. So, late one September night, we do. And we are laughing as my mom bashfully answers questions and I look over Heidi's shoulder while she types it all in. Fast forward to right now: She totally fell in love to the nicest, most amazing guy ever, and EHarmony rocks. And they're both staying with us right now.

Mom and George, meet the Blog. Blog, meet Mom and George.

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Nella's face stickers, courtesy of Lainey.

The craziest thing is he lives in NY and my mom lives in Michigan and the chances of them meeting without cyber help was near nil. Once they meet, we start finding all these crazy connections. Like we know people who know him. And they say he is wonderful. My best friend from college has known him all her life. Who woulda thought?

All I know is I'm washing dishes, looking out my window to this.

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...and seeing my mama happy makes me happy.

Life is grand and crazy, eh?

The Minivan
Looks like this.

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And smells like old hamburgers and stale sippy cups. And what's totally wrong is that I'm starting to be okay with it.

Brett calls me Billy now. As in Hillbilly. One of these days I am going to become a new person who keeps her car really clean and does laundry every two days and doesn't have to come running knocking on the bathroom door when company's over because she realized there's no toilet paper in there.

Daily Shower
So, as soon as I turn the shower water on in the morning, without fail, no matter where Nella is in the house, she scoots her boot as fast as she can, high tailin' it to the bathroom. Where she sits outside my shower for the entire duration, lookin' like this.

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It's like someone handed me a good day, all wrapped up pretty. Because starting your morning lathering hair lookin' at that face? It's Prozac, Baby.

Sidenote: When she crawls, she is so fast and determined, I call her Roller Derby. Because, I swear, THIS is exactly what she looks like.

And, for the record, she's still very wild and bossy with her babydolls. She yells at them. Really loud. It's hilarious.

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The End of Hectic
...is in sight. It's been a crazy couple of month. I've been working a lot and there've been several projects in the air, but things are finally winding down. I so badly miss slower-paced days, and I will cherish them so. The topic of how busy moms "do it" (not in the middle school humor kind of way) is always buzzing in conversation circles both online and in real life. And it's always funny to me...like we're all searching for the fountain of youth. No one really does it all. We all just try like heck to prioritize, be with our kids, fulfil our hobbies, make a living, etc. We all do it differently, and every time you see a mama shining in one area, I promise you, there's shadowy areas that she'll need to tend to later. And I love the fact that every day is a clean slate. Even on the busiest, craziest days, there are small fueling moments that allow the bulk of life to rise to the top.

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Bubbles and Sidewalk Chalk
I don't know what we'd do without them. They are must-have staples in every garage.

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Thank you, Pat, for making Nella's sweater and hat!

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Remember those Babysitter Club books? Remember the kit they made that they'd take to kids' houses? I remember thinking they were the most brilliant high-school businesswomen ever. Seriously. How cool would you think a babysitter was if they showed up with a giant kit of cool crap to make your kid happy?

Crap Kit would have to include sidewalk chalk, bubbles and cookie dough.

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Wrap-Up
I know posts have been heavily sentimental lately, and thank you for bearing with me. It really is surprising how much the idea of a date--the very day she was born--forces reflection. I still am going to the birth room this week, so you'll have to bear with me one more time. But, really? I'm ready to move on. I forget about Down syndrome all the time. Maybe not so much forget about it, but have found that it lives and breathes in our home, for the most part, comfortably and seamlessly. It's a part of who we are as a family and yet it is so very far removed from who we really are. Talking about it a lot during the couple weeks before her birthday and throughout the fundraiser was a bit out of character for me, but I realized, I'm comfortable with it--so far from the early days when I wanted to scream to the world that it doesn't define us. Sometimes screaming that something doesn't define you is letting it define you. But that's okay...I needed to do it. Now, we just breathe. It's there, it's not...whatever.

What I'm really trying to say is thank you for being a part of it--this strange and amazing world where the Internet connects strangers and somehow lets us all inspire each other and join the passionate quest of making the very best out of life. Thank you for thinking about Down syndrome and for making a difference.

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Ready for the fundraiser stats?

* 4,945 = The number of individuals that made a donation to The ONEder Fund between January 7 - January 27, 2011. (That makes the average donation about $17.)
* 51 = The number of states and our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. from which donations were sent – from the North Pole, Alaska to Key West, Florida and everywhere in between
* 350 = the number of donations from international supporters representing 12 countries
* 10 = the number of donations that came from donors on military bases in different corners of the world
* 14 = the number of online retailers (listed here) that agreed to donate proceeds from sales, including several that designed a custom product for the Fund
* 55,000+ = number of views as of now on the ONEder Fund video

Feeling inspired?

Molly Dunn, a young woman in the Cincinnati area, is hosting her 9th Birthday party next weekend, and in lieu of gifts, she asked her friends (all of the girls in the 3rd grade class) to make a contribution to Nella’s ONEder Fund. Molly has a good friend who has a sister with Down syndrome and she and her mom, Randi, have been following the blog for almost a year.

Dana Wainstein, a mother of three outside of Philadelphia, was motivated to put together her own online fundraiser using a link from Nella's donation page. She elected to solicit her family, friends and business contacts in honor of her son Jake’s 2nd birthday and before she knew it, she raised over $7,000. She was floored by the response and thrilled to be able to join forces with us in the effort to raise awareness about Down syndrome.

Thank you, Pam, for the NDSS stats!

Friends, I think this is amazing.
And there's a grand total over $103,000 because of all of you.
Thank you.

A year makes a lot of difference. And while this blog will remain exactly what it's always been, I am excited about how I can make a difference in the world of Down syndrome. I am thrilled to be joining Down Syndrome Pregnancy as a trustee and hope together we can bring more understanding and acceptance to this sometimes intimidating journey. If you are an expectant parent with a Down syndrome diagnosis or somewhere else along this journey, I highly recommend you visit Down Syndrome Pregnancy. It combines well-researched medical and scientific facts with such a warm, welcoming approach to give hope and peace during those scary first days. I am so proud to become a part of their efforts.

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Bambaroos
I'm happy to have Bambaroos Boutique joining Enjoying the Small Things as a new sponsor.

Their beautiful hair accessories come in a range of styles and colors (check out these gorgeous feather ones, perfect for Valentine's Day).

We love ours!

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Use Code BLOGS for 10% off your order right now. And a random commenter will be winning a $25 gift certificate!

Alright, I've said enough.
Grab Bag finished.

Winner of the Loving Shop tutu:
Commenter #174, MC: Sounds like you had an amazing night! What a wonderful "net" you have. I'm sure they feel blessed to have you in their "net". Love the pics of your girls in their tutus they remind me of my little dancer!

MC, send your contact info over to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net and we'll get your tutu in the mail!

Happy Weekending!

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Don't forget to check out this week's winners on I Heart Faces!

396 comments:

1 – 200 of 396   Newer›   Newest»
Jessica said...

Love your blog Kelle! So great to hear that so much money was raised for such a great cause. Thank you for giving us a window into your life.

celena10 said...

Ok so I thought I was the only one with a crazy car..lol love the pics and congrats on everything... Awesome!

Dawn @ Musings from the Pigg Pen said...

I know the picture of your mom and her new man was supposed to be really sweet (and it was) but I couldn't help laugh out loud...loudly...at the sight of Nella with stickers on her face. So freakin funny!

LOVE the picture of her with her baby doll (the one on the right). She looks beautiful!

PS - I love random posts. They are some of my favorite ones I do.

Deborah said...

Wow, the amount of money raised in such short period of time is amazing! Love the pictures, as always!

Crazykiddies said...

How did you get the picture of my van? LOL My husband says it looks like we live in it. All week long I am constantly shuttling kids from schools and therapy so it leaves little time for cleaning. I just stumbled across your blog and absolutely love it.

Robin said...

wow!!!! the fundraiser was a success! absolutely love the story of nella and the shower!

Shirley @These Moments of Mine said...

Random is good, it's real life :) Love the stickers on Nella's face! LOL

Shirley @These Moments of Mine said...

Random is good, it's real life :) Love the stickers on Nella's face! LOL

Meghan said...

You are so right in that down syndrome does not consume your life, just a part of it. I love your blog!

amyuhl said...

Wow! The ONEder was was a huge success. You should be so proud of your effort!

Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries said...

Congratulations Kelle! You should be so proud! You are really making a difference! In the world of Down syndrome and in my perceptions! :) THANK YOU and Happy Weekend Dear!
xxx

http://gypsy-diaries.blogspot.com/

Anne said...

The girls look adorable, as usual. Nella's hair is getting so long, perfect for all the fun hair accessories!

In the Heart of Happy said...

Even in your randomness, your posts are wonderful!! Loved the sidewalk chalk and the bubbles!!!

Those are the cutest hair doodles!!! Stinking cute!

A Rancher's Wife said...

Yay for Mom and George and the fun filled craziness that is life!

Adrienne said...

I love this: Maybe not so much forget about it, but have found that it lives and breathes in our home, for the most part, comfortably and seamlessly.

I feel the same way. Down syndrome is a part of our lives but it just fits, it's no big deal. And I would have NEVER thought I could feel that way because it seemed like it was going to be such a HUGE deal at first.

Our lives go on just as before but a little bit differently and that's okay.

Glad you've had such a wonderful birthday month for Nella!

The Super Seven said...

What an amazing post. You continue to inspire me to want to do better and to be better. I laughed when you talked about the Babysitter Club books.....I LOVED those as a kid and have been thinking how fun it would be to get my own kids reading them. I'm going to have to see if my Mom still happens to have them. Also LOVE that you guys got your Mom on eHarmony and that she is so happy. I always love the commercials that you see on TV and it's nice to hear that it works......and how small the world truly can be with the whole people knowing people connections!!!

Louise said...

I LOVE all the new pictures, life with children is pretty amazing isn't it? :)

Roxanne said...

I just love waking up in the morning to find a new blog post from you. It makes my day just a little brighter.

Jane said...

Wow, what a success the fundraiser was for NDS! Your blog has touched many lives. Thanks Kelle and Nella, too!

A Cappelli said...

I am so glad that we are not the only family whose vehicle smells like hamburgers. And, I honestly don't remember the last time we transported hamburgers in our car.

I love the pictures of you and Lainey putting on each other's make up.

Ali Rockwell said...

That makes me so happy for your mom :) And your whole family! And how crazy that you know people who know him and such??? Wow.

I love Nella's face stickers :)

Shadow said...

Wow, well done with the fund raising! I love your blog and look forward to seeing the lovely Lainey and Nella, they are the cutest.
x

b. said...

there is still good in the world, thank you for shining an even brighter light on it.

Cassie said...

Wow, there's so many good things to comment on from this post. Nella watching you in the shower is precious. The story of the 9 year old girl immediately brought me to tears because it was such an un-selfish thing to do. I love a good love story-yay for your mom! And of course the girls are both cute as can be. Have a wonderful weekend!

Jenny said...

SO in love with your Mom being in love. What a wonderful thing to be able to watch grow as an adult. I wish them the best!!!!

-Jenny in Iowa

SarcasmInAction said...

I want all of your girls' hats, headbands, crocheted sweaters, & clothes in MY size! They always look super cute :)

kmrf said...

Your mom's story is so great! I have a cousin who met her husband on Eharmony and they seem very well matched. Isn't the internet wild!

Tina said...

Love your blog Kelle! I always look forward to the next posting. What a great way to finish a great week.

Joy: said...

I soak up every word you type and every picture you post. DOn't worry about the sentimental stuff, we're soaking up that too. It's life. It's real. That's why we all keep coming back and wht we love you and your girls.

gkey said...

dear Bag of Goodies,

You always brighten my day....your words, photos and wonderfully inspiring attitude towards life.

love,
Keepin' it Real and Simple
in
NE

Jorie said...

Just think...in just one year, you are already a trustee for a wonderful cause! Sending you vibes of strength and peace for your visit to the birth room!

Mari Bryant- Marks said...

Wow! I haven't thought about The Babysitter's Club in... it seems like a million years! I'm thinking about introducing my daughters to them now. We're still working our way through the American Girls. I am stunned by the amount raised. Congratulations Kelle, you should be so proud!

CandiceM said...

She looks so much like Lainey now!!
We don't let Felicity into our bedroom (not baby safe.lol), so if she see that the door is open she hightails as fast as she possibly can. LOL. it's hilarious! and cute!

jodi said...

Ok, that photo of Nella at the shower door....cutest thing ever! Seriously!!

LibTenney said...

I love to see your mom happy with someone new! We are hoping the same thing can happen for my mom. Oh and I'm completely jealous you get to go to the beach in the winter. We are in Utah and it's freeeeeeeezing. But at least we have the gorgeous mountains to enjoy :) Happy weekend!

FEAS613 said...

Amazing - Over $100,000, your mom finding George, face stickers, fast crawlers, bubbles and sidewalk chalk new sponsors... it's all amazing - as are you!! When I was younger I was addicted to the babysitters club books. I most definitely forgot about them!! What a throw back!
What gets me most is that your random and on your way to recovery from chaotic is still motivational and inspiring.

I wish I could hit the beach right now. Instead we're buried in 2 1/2 feet of snow and expecting another nor'easter on wednesday... Random days off are fun but when it comes to work - no go, no dough!!
Enjoy the Florida Sun for me!
~Beth

J and A said...

Love the random post. Face stickers were so cute. I love your blog!

Tra le foglie del mio giardino said...

Bellissimele foto dove vi truccate a vicenda =) !

Ashley said...

I love Nella's little crocheted vest. Super cute.

Taylor said...

Congrats to your mama I Love that she is in Love :)
The pic of Nella bossing those baby dolls is hilarious :)
The pic of Lainey eating milk and cookies made me jealous...we just finished our cookie dough and I wasnt going tobuy more right now but Im going to have too...yum :)
The stats on the Oneder fund are amazing- Im glad I was a part of it :)

Just the 3 of Us said...

I agree eHarmony rocks. I met my husband on there and we were married this past summer.

Andrea said...

Amazing fundraising stats! That's so awesome! :)


And, what an awesome story about your Mom how sweet!

Jay said...

Wow! I cannot believe the amount that was raised in Nella's honor for the ONEder fund. What a wonderful accomplishment. And congrats to your Mom, love is hard to come by in this large and unforgiving world!

~ Lori ~ said...

First of all...your MOM...how awesome is THAT! So happy for her...what a beautiful story.

Makeup...looks so familiar. Little girls love the lip gloss!

Bubbles and sidewalk chalk....I agree. They should just be packaged in when you buy a new garage door as a "bonus buy" or something!

Fundraiser...recently someone posted the question "Can one person really make a difference" and I used YOU as one of my examples of exactly how one person can make a HUGE difference. Rock that Oneder fund, girl!

Thanks and keep on doing what you're doing...the minivans will get clean ONE of these days! I usually break down when the smell goes from a little strange to disturbing!

Lisa - Happy Mama said...

I am SOOOOO excited and happy for your mama! Hearing she is in love made my day. Good for her!

Debby said...

I just wanted you to know that I so enjoy reading your blog. I have an adopted son with challenges. We adopted him when he was 5 after being his emergency foster home for a year.
I love your Mom's story. Congrats to her.
Your pictures are so adorable. Both girls are so cute. Love the one today with
Nella in her fancy dress and the way she watches you in the shower. I'd love to see how fast she crawls. That girl should be a cheerleader some day......she is so flexible.
So glad that
Nella has been such a blessing.

Aja said...

Major congrats on the fundraiser!!! And how sweet are your mom and George??? I love it!

Katie said...

I hope you have a fantastic weekend with your girls! And congratulations to your mom for finding love :) Watching my mom find love again was an amazing experience as well, and now I have a wonderful step-father and step-siblings!

SkittleSkattle said...

Very sweet!

the Lola Letters said...

Oh Kelle, those numbers are so exciting. :) I didn't cry the whole way through until I got to the birthday girl story. And the third graders. And the mom who was blown away.

All of it is so beautiful.

ABUNDANTLY happy for your Mama.

Happy weekend. Thanks for making me cry. Again. For the one millionth time. ; )

Jannice said...

once again...such inspiring words. You remind every mama that we're not alone - none of us have it together...we all have messy cars and piles of laundry...but who cares! those days when it starts to bother me...I'm going to think of you - and drop everything to go outside with some giant sized chalk and slimy, sticky bubbles!! Thank you! Love the pics as always!!

Danyelle said...

Congratulations on the fundraiser, that is wonderful!

Nella at the shower door cracked me up. My Maggie is the same way, except we have just a shower curtain so she just tries to tear it down and climb in.

Your mom and George look very happy together.

wendyorozco said...

so happy for your mom! nella hightailing it for the shower is too funny. ;) good post. loving the headband party going on here!

just jen said...

grab bags are the best bags. random bits of things you never thought you'd love and cherish above the obvious.

thank you for taking us on this journey to tender underbelly spots in your ever so big heart.

let the happy times continue to roll.

big love, groovy-heart girl.

ps: i can smell your car all the way here in Arizona. wait. no. that's my car. nevermind.

aprilanecdotes said...

It turns out your random thoughts post is pretty amazing. Loved all the pictures especially the last one-Nella, profile, hat! susan

Sarah said...

Wow those fundraiser stats are incredible. And that last pic of Nella...positively breathtaking.

Year of Jubilee said...

I'm a substitute teacher and I have a "bag of crap" for days I go teach too...always good to be prepared! So happy for your mom!

Lauren said...

Amazing. Everything about this post is amazing.

Nicole said...

Yay for new happiness for Mom, and my goodness...I had to go back three times to look at how big Lainey looks putting lip gloss on you...it really does happen so fast doesn't it? Happy you've got some nice peaceful days ahead of you...it really has been nice being on the sentimental reflection train with ya though :o) Sending love and strength with ya when you walk back into the special room in a few days.

<3 nicole

Rachael said...

Nothing wrong with random posts!
Aww, I love that your mom met someone on EHarmony!! I joined it once myself, but maybe I wasn't really motivated to find someone. But it's great to see that it works!!
So cute that Nella comes in the bathroom when you take a shower! Such a cutie pie!!
I also love that she yells at her dolls! Funny.
Love the picture of your girls playing with the drum sticks! And the photos of you and Lainey putting on lipstick! Such great little moments.

sarah said...

My baby girl is just a couple of weeks older than Nella. She likes to pound on the shower door while I'm in there, too. :) Love that Nella yells at her dolls. That's hysterical!

The bambaroo headbands are adorable... I could really use them since my girl is still bald. :)

Gage said...

Love it. Love the blog, the attitude, the randomness. All of it.

Amberlee said...

I love your sentimentness. ( I think thats what I want to say :D ) I love how you write everything down and seem to remember it all. <3

Katie said...

You can be mushy anytime. And those hair bows are beautiful. They would be a great gift for my childhood girlfriend that is expecting their first baby, a precious baby girl.

Brandi said...

Your Mother is a beautiful woman! It's the best knowing our mother's are happy. I loved reading about your "net". I've got my very own "net" and I'm struggling because I'm moving 500 miles away from my "net" this year. I know that, no matter the distance, they'll still be my girls!

Maria said...

LOVE long blog posts. What a great way to start a Saturday. I love, love, love the story about your Mom! That's terrific. And I just read Libby's blog~Kelle you ROCK!!
What a great person you are.
Once again, thanks for the stories, the pictures, the sharing, the inspiration, the laughs, the beauty..all wrapped up in one incredible space. Loving it all.

Brad & Rachel said...

I always get that warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy after reading your blog. I love your sentimental posts as well as all the others. You have such an amazing way with words, thank YOU for everything!

Ingrid Wilson said...

So much to comment on...but the one thing that struck a heartstring with me most was your mention of coming to that point of ease- I remember that so well. What a relief I felt when I realized that I no longer was adjusting to our new life. I was adjusted and Mylie's Down syndrome was finally as comfortable to me as the fact that she was my only brown haired babe. I love sharing so much of her and our story with the hopes that others feel the same way about her, and they always end up head over heals, too. :)

ddnice said...

I feel like I've discovered your blog @ the perfect time! YOu've helped me realize our life can still be everything i'd always imagined it would be <3 I cant wait to see my little Audrey grow! Your family is beautiful. Thank u

Melissa & Doug Staker said...

I'm so addicted to your blog!

Farmgirl Paints said...

I'm so glad everyone showed up and did their part to make the fund raiser a success! That's just amazing. Love you and the girls puttin' on makeup. How sweet was that:)

Lisa said...

Kelle,
I am a new reader of your amaaaaaazing blog and after I discovered it I read pretty much the entire thing in four days, I couldn't stop. I have to say I have never been so completely moved and inspired by a total stranger. I admire your spirit and the way you can find beauty in everything. As a mommy, I can relate to you on so many levels and even when you are writing about something I have no personal experience with I still connect with your words. Some day, this blog is going to mean SO much to your beautiful girls.

PS I love that your Mama is in love. So fantastic!!!

Jennifer said...

Eharmony DOES rock! I met my husband through that site. I lived near Boston and he lived near St. Louis. I moved, we got married and now have an amazing son! I hope you and your family have a great weekend!!

Live.Love.Laugh. said...

ahhhh....I wish I could get my mom on Eharmony. I want her to fall in love too! And I love the new site for the skinny headbands. I found the exact one I want for my girl (who I"ll be meeting in 5 weeks time!)she's going to rock that red flower with her teeny weeny jeans with a guitar on them. :)

Happy Weekend!

Live.Love.Laugh. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenniwaka said...

yeah for little ones in cute headbands! i've gotta get one (or more) for my little girl...

Krysta said...

I love the Mom and George story! How awesome.

The Funny Farm said...

I love your screaming, raving, breathing...whatev...it is beautiful.

Nicole said...

Congratulations on all the money you've raised!

Whether you realize it (and admit it) or not, you're an inspiration to a lot of moms, and I'm so thankful to have found your blog!

Ali's Mom said...

BILLY!!! Cracks. Me. Up.! That pic and the one of your living room after the Sat night out are SO perfect! Add me to the list of people that are always so happy when there's a post. I am also so happy to read that the Ds doesn't rule your thinking every day. It's just one other element to life. My baby is nearly 15 and it rarely enters my mind - mostly she's just my girl! Enjoy the weekend - relax and enjoy the small things!

LeeAnn said...

You do random really well! Great post! My little guy bangs on my shower door each morning too. It's the best! Love that you are helping out with DS Preg.....xo

Cara said...

OMG I made a babysitter kit when I was young. I didn't babysit much, but if I would have I would have been prepared.

the girl said...

Nella is one determined little bean isn't she?! She's amazing! Truly blessed to 'know' her.

That's so rad about your mom, maybe one day it will be them on the commercials making known their love found via Eharmony :)

xox,
Lori

For the Love of Naps - Sarah said...

We just had a baby girl, after six years of raising two boys. We are in need of some girl shopping so a gift certificate for some hair bows would be mighty exciting! Pick me, a sleep deprived mama of a little GIRL!

Rosa said...

OMG your girls are so beautiful! Love them (well, maybe not love as I've never met them, but hey I love them). Remind me of my girl.
And your minivan? THANK YOU AND AMEN. I thought it was just me who can never keep the car clean. hehe. :)

scgrits said...

My first comment! I just want you to know how you've made me find joy in hard times and realize, as my son's most fabulous urologist tells us, that we were chosen to have our special children. When my son was born (with just one mild little issue) I said
"why me?" Why did I get dealt a bad hand? Now it's why did you choose me to have this amazing child? How did I get so lucky? I plan to tell my son that God was so busy making him perfect in every way that he forgot to put in that second kidney. Or, who needs two kidneys anyway? Mommy likes things to be different! I'm sure you have a million ways to describe how you got your own special child. The best thing you've helped me remember is that love, love, love is the most important thing! Thank you!

Lauren said...

Congrats for so many things!
-First to your mom for finding love again!
-For raising such a large amount of money!
-And for having such a wonderful blog that we are able to read and be inspired every day through.

It means so much to me personally being able to read your blog. I don't have children yet, but you are the kind of mother that I aspire to be. I remember seeing you once at JoAnns and was too shy/didn't want to sound like stalker to say that I read your blog daily. I loved the way you were holding Nella and talking to Lainey. You are an inspiration.

Nicole said...

I love the pics of your girls! your posts always inspire me to bust out my camera and point it toward my sweet girl!

I wish you'd say where you get your girls clothes from, I'm always so envious of the bright, cheerful, clothes you've got them in!

Have a happy weekend!!

heather said...

Everyone looks happy , esp your mom , there is so much love out there for each and everyone of us. You tell us thank you , but we thank you for letting us be a part of your world.

love and blessings
the doughtys

Monte8750 said...

I comment often, but today i just want to send love and say THANKYOU! :0) Much Love, Val-Marie :0)

Lacy Hope said...

I love the 2nd picture of Nella with her baby doll. She looks so satisfied with herself for screaming. haha

Genia & Shaylon said...

I love how sentimental you've been lately. That's one of the many reasons why I love to follow your blog. I'd love to get some hair accessories for my little Lucy. Little girls are so much fun.

Kelsee said...

I so enjoy reading your blog I always look forward to new post's random or not :) Your girls are beautiful and so happy for your mom!! Keep them coming you inspire me!!!

LCR said...

So great to hear the 'grab bag' of the Hampton household (and community)! Always love hearing and seeing photos.
The pic of you applying lipstick to Lainey- this will be one that will have to be re-enacted at her wedding one day. Too perfect!
Happy Weekend-ing!

Murdock's mama said...

I don't usually comment but I love what you wrote, "We all do it differently, and every time you see a mama shining in one area, I promise you, there's shadowy areas that she'll need to tend to later.'

Thank you for reminding me!

$103,00...I have nothing...Just tears!

Murdocks Mama

Heather said...

I was so glad to find a post today!! I "needed" you!! I am having a crappy day and your posts always help. I realized today that a person I thought was in my "net" really isn't and I am going to have to set her free. It is a very hard decision but necessary. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do!!! I am so happy to be one of your blog readers and supporters and couldn't be more proud to be able to include my self in Nella's Oneder Fund. Love, Love, Love your randomness!! Thanks again and have an awesome weekend.

Laura J. said...

Love this weeks pictures! My mini van looks just about the same except mine has cracker sticks everywhere. I used to do a rush clean up job on Monday mornings before preschool drop off. Now I just don't care! We are moms right???

Heather said...

I am honored to have been a part in raising money for such a good cause!! Thank you so much for blogging, I look forward to every post. And by the way, I absolutely adore that last picture of Nella she is truly and absolutely beautiful.

Heather @ http://icthroughyou.blogspot.com

BLT Edmundson said...

Billy - as in..Hillbilly made me laugh out loud!! HAA Love it! Glad Mama found George - how cool is that?? Love the pic of Brett and Nella in this one.. Adorable.

Sarah said...

I love the randomness of this post! The sticker face, the shower photo, Lainey putting on your lipgloss. All of it!

The story of your mom made me cry. (ok so I'm pregnant and hormonal, but still, it's a great story)

Nella is looking more and more like Brett. She's so adorable! And I know sometimes you wonder what characteristics are syndrome and what are family, but she definitely takes after Brett! (at least I wonder that about my daughter, so I figure I can't be the only one that wonders what is syndrome and what is hereditary)

jennifer said...

LOVE the post, love the photos, and love that your mom found happiness on e-harmony.

Alison said...

I can't get over your pictures...beautiful.

claire said...

this blog never disappoints. I love the pictures of Lainey and Nella.

I came across this quote today and immediately thought of you and your blog.


“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
— Pema Chödrön

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

Sometimes a grab-bag of randomness helps us realize just how blessed we truly are. Thanks for helping us all remember that, and thank you for letting us share your journey.

Caitlin

Sarah said...

Love your Mama's eharmony story! I'll be using it to work on a friend of mine. Gotta love a good love story :) Thanks for sharing your life with us!

Emily said...

Oh my gosh, so adorable. Everything. I love can't ever get enough of you and the fam. Nella's hair is getting long, by the way! She's looking so grown up!

mylovesmylife said...

We are moving to Hawaii this Spring. Just after my little turns one. Bubbles [which she LOVES] and sidewalk chalk are on her Birthday list. And WILL be in our garage year around out there for sure!

bobbiebrownphotography.com said...

I LOVED this post! I had forgotten about the Baby Sitters Club taking a 'kit' (I LOVED those books and yes, I'd think my babysitter was awesome if she showed up with a kit!) And I loved the part you posted about how Mom's 'do it' so much that I emailed it to a couple of my Mommy friends even though some of them already read your blog :)

Maggie said...

oh kelle....the picture of you putting lip gloss on your sweet, little lainey brought tears to my eyes. what a beautiful memory captured. i love it!

Jose and Candice said...

Love the accessories! I'm having my second BOY and my husband won't let me doll them up. I'm going to be my own girl and wear more accessories.

Michele said...

Oh, the adorable-ness of these hair thingies! SOO cute!

Paytonsmommy said...

I love a good online love story - since that is how I meet my husband - it wasn't E-harmony but another sight - his friend was trying to get more free day by having friends sign up so my husband did being a good friend. I signed up being sick of everyone setting me up with a guy just because we both like cats or some other random thing. We found each other he lived in Seattle Wa and I lived in Portland OR not to far away -met in May and were married the next April. Funny thing is his friend didn't meet anyone even with the extra days. He is now married but he didn't meet her on line. I never thought I would meet "the one" online but I did - just proves you just never know where you will find the right person.
I loved the babysitter club books! I always wanted to be a cool babysitter and have a kit - I have know substitute teahers who have kits that are similar.

Happy weekending to you too. We are having Maternity pictures done tomorrow - can't believe 10 weeks or less and we will meet our little guy! His big sis can't wait.

Alissa said...

Love the minivan picture....having 5 kids I can totally relate! I find all sorts of interesting things when I take the car seats out to clean (which isn't often enough!)

Sulli said...

Love Nella's sleepy pictures,especially the one with the stickers. Priceless!

Suzi said...

adorable!

Debbie B. said...

What a beautiful post :). So sweet about your mom and it's incredible to see those we love happy. Great day. :)

amber k. said...

What can I say? It's a wonderful life every minute of every day! SO happy for your mom, and I love that the fund went wild!

Hazel said...

glad to hear things are settling down, well a bit! that's great news about your mum & george! love the pics of Lainey & Nella playing in their room, and Nella's face at your shower door. But I swear I don't know how you'd finish with that cute little face watching, I'd keep forgetting to wash my hair or wash it twice I'd be so distracted!

Michelle said...

my mom met my adorable, gentle, kind, incredibly loving step dad on e harmony. I couldnt have had a better dad if I picked him myself. wish I had him all along. Getting him at 35 will hafta do.
The stickers on nellas face caught me and made me all emotional. have you ever read the book You are Special by max Lucado? You NEED to. Like today. It comes in a babys board book. Please get it and read it. Her stickers stick. and they are STARS. In the book, stickers dont stick to the main character, Lucia, because she doesnt want to be designated good/bad by her peers, the stickers fall right off her. I have always thought Ciarras stickers (her labels) only stick when SHE wants them to. she chooses the ones that stick, and gentle, sweet, loving are her labels that stick, and shine SO bright, like nellas in that picture. I love all your pictures, but that one makes my heart leap. Im silly. But really, read the book. Hug the girls for me Kelle, and tell them they are both SPECIAL. :)

http://www.epinions.com/review/You_Are_Special_by_Max_Lucado_and_illustrated_by_Sergio_Martinez/content_313020944004

Evelyn Louise said...

Beautiful...just beautiful. I hadn't had a chance to donate, but will be doing so as soon as I post this comment. And HURRAH! to your mom!
Thank you for inspiring me to be the best mom I can be for my little Bean (Ella).
And I can't wait to assemble my own "net" sometime later this year and do the charm thing. That is amazing.

The Gustafson Family said...

Thanks for the reminders to always cherish the little things, like the face in the shower door. Sometimes I just want a moment to shower alone, but seeing my 2 little girls' faces in the shower door is such a blessing and I need to always have that perspective!

elimy said...

So nice to see that there are so many caring and wonderful people in this world!

Kate said...

I am so, so inspired by the amazing feat of the fundraiser. When I saw $15K as your goal, I thought to myself, "No problem, I hope she changes it to 47". Now I am amazed by the difference you have made. Thank you for inspiring me to be a little more grateful each day.

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful little family! I have to laugh that she yells at her dollies, my mom says I used to do that also :) And what a blessing to see your mom happy!

Danielle said...

I love the photo of Nella and you can see the bubbles in her hair! Very cute! We here have weather that is very freezing and when you blow bubbles in the very cold they freeze and then shatter like its thin glass! Hope you have a great weekend!

Linda MG in Soquel, CA said...

Congrats to the winner - love all the giveaways. Yay for your mom, love seeing her with her guy! Yay for the ONEder fund! Yay for Isle of Capri. Love your new sponsor and the hair accessories. Thanks, as always, for showing us how to really live and enjoy every moment, Kelle~ From your Blog Mama

Southern Gal said...

Nothing better than sidewalk chalk and bubbles! Maybe add a water sprinkler in the summer.

Yuliya said...

Can I just say your mom is gorgeous!

Kait said...

Love this post. Randomness is the fun which fills our months. Hope you have a great weekend! <3 Much love from Illinois!!

Sharone said...

LOVE it all!!! Nella is so gorgeous I can see how starting your day looking at that face is the best medicine ever!!
xoxo

Rebecca said...

I love your blog- I feel like I have spent hours on it since I found it this week!! Nella is beautiful and I love your attitude and passion for live. Your girls have the COOLEST clothes and I love how you sprinkle little knitted pieces in with the fun patterns! Did someone make Nella's hat in the last picture???

Megan said...

I love what you said about screaming that something doesn't define you sometimes defines you. So true. But I wanted you to know that several weeks ago when you started preparing and giving all the info on Nella's fundraiser...for a second, I wondered why you chose Down Syndrome. I had forgotten. Because your girls are so cute and funny and individual, and just...girls. It truly doesn't define Nella. At all.

Joni said...

i often thought that i came here to be envious of your beautiful life, but i always leave feeling so appreciative and blessed of my own. thank you for pointing out those small things that make life amazing!

Lucy said...

That little face looking in the shower! What a cute and happy way to start the day!

Congrats to your mum and George - well done Heidi for persisting!

Superjules said...

Your photos are gorgeous, your girls are gorgeous, and what you are doing with the ONEder fund is amazing.

redheadreverie said...

Please tell your mom congrats on finding love on the internet. I met my true love on the internet too...two kids and 10 years later we are still going strong.

And yet again wish I had little girls ... ugh all the bows, and tutus and girlie stuff is so dang cute!

Melissa said...

Thanks again for your blog. And don't worry about the sentimental ones... I get that way around my girls' birthdays too. Keep them coming :)

MC said...

Great pics in this post...as usual! How wonderful that so much money was raised for Down Syndrome! I can't believe I won the tutu giveaway! A big thank you to you and the Loving Shop!

Sarah McK said...

God, I love Nella's striped tights! So adorable! I'm so grateful for the random forum poster that led me to your blog...you've changed my outlook on life. Thank you.

Autumn said...

Seriously-Girl-Your blog astounds me sometimes!! Your God given talents are so abundant, your photography and the way you piece words together so incredibly well. Your blog is one I love to read and look at. It simply is BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you for opening a piece of your lives to the rest of us. The journey is encouraging and amazing!! I am Very happy for your Mom. My Momma met her Prince Charming at 58 and he has blessed our family beyond measure!! Thank you, Kelle!

RMAinMD said...

,,,so happy your mama has found "love",,,good for heidi who encouraged and gave her that gentle nudge to "go for it" and explore her options,,,a good friend of mine, his parents experienced the same ending to their marriage as your parents have,,,with his father's announcement to his wife of many years, his children who he loves "to the moon and back" and his "community" that he is gay,,,and the moral of the story,,,everyone involved is living happily-ever-after,,,as life should be,,,

Danielle said...

those are such cute headbands! love the post. what an amazing difference you are making kelle! and thanks for posting the blog on your 'net'. really got me thinking about the women in my life, and how grateful i am for my 'net'. thanks for blogging and be so open. love & peace

http://theadventuresofbort.blogspot.com/2011/01/net.html

Gretchen said...

So excited for your mom. I met my husband through eharmony and it is crazy how many times our paths had already crossed. Hooray for love!

The girls said...

I spent the morning at the beach with my little girl, and I thought of your blog. Those moments are so special!

Stunningly Sweet said...

I love to hear that Nella yells at her baby too! My Lilah does that all the time! I was beginning to wonder if I should worry, but then I see her trying to feed the babydoll a bottle, give it hugs and smooches and I know that we must be on the right track! As if there is a normal anyway :)

Drvance19 said...

eHarmony strikes again, met my now husband on eHarmony and we now have almost 4 years married and 2 babies. I think it's one site that does matching the way it should be done. Yeah for Mom!

Oh my goodness, Nella looks like she is really growing. She looks like she's really adding some height. Love that yellow sweater.

Casey said...

Loved the post! Looks like you've had some really great visits!

How do you keep headbands on your daughters? My daughter has had a lot of hair right from birth, and for a while I just decided that we'd cut her bangs...but that was irritating too. So now we're growing them out. At least now she's figured out how to push her hair out of her face:-)

Linda said...

Love, love, love. The picture of your van looks like the inside of our Highlander. I know it drives my husband absolutely nuts. I'm working on it, I am. I just have so many more important things to do! Like read blogs and take pictures of Lila. LOL

Elissa said...

Truth...I got tears in my eyes seeing your Mom and George. Knowing small bits of each side of the story...AMAZING! And so happy for both of them!
I am amazed at your total donation. People are SO kind! Can't wait to hear about your future efforts. I didn't post on "the net" because I couldn't see my keyboard. Y'all are so blessed to have one another!

Hanna said...

Two things:
1. I love your mom's love story! I wish the same for mine... I wanna see her happier...Let me know if George has a brother...lol
2. You didn't run a marathon, you did a whole ironman! You rocked it!!! $105.000 is just amazing! it feels good to be part of your stats

Marti said...

$103,000 - THAT IS FREAKIN' AMAZING! You inspire me to be a better blogger!

kate said...

Great post today! Just the right amount of random!! LOL!!

Have a wonderful day!! xoxo

Skeelabum said...

Ohhh that pics of your friend and the baby-kissy-pouty-sleepy-lips made me melt!
...and Bambaroo's shop has the nicest things I've seen in awhile.
Enjoy some 'down' time!
You are so imspiring, especially knowing your van is ALMOST as bad as mine....almost!

libby ryder said...

that last picture of nella is my favorite. maybe because i am a little insecure about my hat. but sweet nella looks so good sporting it 'libby style.'

Cheryl said...

Are you sure that wasn't a picture of my van you took?
You are absolutely right about how we all have our strengths and weaknesses. So I can't keep up with laundry, at least the toilet is always clean.

Cheryl said...

Are you sure that wasn't a picture of my van you took?
You are absolutely right about how we all have our strengths and weaknesses. So I can't keep up with laundry, at least the toilet is always clean.

tomsgirl1129 said...

Loving the blog, like always. Also loving that Mom found love. She is positively glowing!

Sheri said...

Love love love this post. You definitely have a way with words - I LOVE following your blog and seeing your beautiful family. Your girls rock! So do you. xoxoxo

myfavoritethings said...

Per usual just wonderful and uplifting! When I read the "hectic mom" part it made me giggle. I snuck in a pedi earlier this week and the young (childless)very sweet woman asked me what I did. When I told her I had 3 kids 7, 5 and 2, stayed home to care for them and was in the midst of opening a photography business she said. "Oh nice...then you have lots of free time" I wanted to laugh out loud at her genuine naitivity. One day...she'll understand.

Sarah said...

I like how you strung all that together!!! So sweet about your mom!! Your blog is making a difference in so many ways. I teach 8th grade and another teacher took my idea to post the comments from you and other readers about what we could say to our 13 year old self. I wrote about it, but in a nut shell, the girls were writing mean things about each other...we put up the nice thoughts, the mean writing has stopped.

http://thequeensofthekingfamily.blogspot.com/2011/01/words.html

Jeannette said...

Thank you..for sharing, for the photos, for the music, for the fundraising...everything about your blog makes me happy!

Katie said...

As a former teacher you may appreciate this. My sister-in-law is a teacher and one day they had a fire drill and the kids were in the parking lot, next to her car and one of the said "Miss Kelley, do you live in your car?" Mine doesn't look much better!

Happiness is... said...

Kelle -

$103K. Wow...insane. And congratulations for being a trustee for the Down Syndrome Pregnancy. I think more of us would be less afraid if we knew. Many of us are thanks to the blessing of your blog.

I have to say my favorite part of randomness had to do with your Mom. That's So sweet (in a Necco heart kind of way!). And way to go Heidi for being the ultimate instigator.

Peace Out,

Jennifer from Annapolis

Courtney said...

Wow! That's an amazing total for the fundraiser! So glad I was able to make my own small contribution!

...all of us said...

Good random post! Sometimes you've gotta be random. Waiting for your post about the birth room!

~skylar

MadCraftyMama said...

Kelle, you've made my day sharing that picture of your car!!! I feel so much better now! Lots of soul food in this post... thank you.

Suz said...

Love this random post & the photos. Congrats to your Mom & George~what an awesome story!

Rik said...

I am sitting in the airport waiting my flight back into the frozen tundra and already missing life here...so happy I was able to babysit the girls today! I have told both my daughters their vehicles might be survival vessels someday as they could feed a family of four for a week with the remnants between and under the seats. We who laugh at them might just be knocking on the windows begging for handouts! Drive on and attend to the more important and lasting things in life!

MrsMann said...

Just had to say, in September 2007 I was matched with a man on eharmony. Today, we went to tour a model home we plan to start building as husband and wife. He is from GA and I am from VA. He was stationed in VA at the time, but over 2 hours away. My life would not be the amazing blessing it is now if not for eharmony. I love hearing stories of other eharmony loves. So happy for your Mom!

Emily said...

Gorgeous photos, funny stories, and finding out about the nickname "Billy" (I will NOT be letting my hubby hear this b/c he will use it on me)...fantastic post!

Bonnie said...

I can't wait to someday make it to the Isle of Capri. Meeting you is on my bucket list :) Congrats on reaching the 100,000 goal!

LittleSarahD said...

Mrs. Hampton, what a beautiful post! I love when you post random things you love every once in awhile, just because it stays true to the title of this blog that has become so much more.

Keep loving your life and inspiring others to do the same!

PapillionMom said...

And thank you Kelle, for being brutally honest and open in the truest raw form in this blog. Nella, Lainey and your stepsons are all very lucky to have you as their role model and mommy.

amy said...

Love the story of your mom's newly found happiness! Sounds like they were truly meant to be together, with all of the twists on people you know knowing him! Once again, viewing your blog just makes me downright happy myself! You have such a gift and we are all lucky you choose to share it with the blogging world.

Ginny said...

Yay for a wonderful weekend with friends! Yay for your Momma (and a Woohoo, too!)! and a super-yay for everything you have done, said, shared this past year. Nella looks like a fairy princess in her turquoise flower.

Hi, I'm Jami! said...

This grab bag of thoughts is one of my favorite posts...not that I don't check nearly every day for a new and beautifully worded and photographed post of your sweet girls.

I love that your momma found her love and for also for your website raising so much money to help our world see how precious these little lives are, extra chromosome and all.

Jeanie said...

Great post, as usual. I don't mind the sentimental posts a bit. You're just keeping it real, and they always touch my heart. So happy for your mom!

Jennifer said...

That is just AMAZING about your MOM! So meant to be! :o)

Beautiful writing today and pictures too. Nella has changed a lot it seems in the last week! She is growing up so fast.

:o)

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

A perfect mix of goodness in today's grab bag Kelle :)
I LOVE that your Mum is in love...what a fairy tale story :) And Nella bossing her babies around....HILARIOUS :) Your amazing stats from the fundraising.....WOW!! And as for bubbles & chalk....I couldn't agree more....on days where we crave home time but are looking for something to do....BUBBLES & the splash pool always WIN :)
Kelle, you also nailed it on the head with the busy Mumma thing :) We all do our best....something will lack in consequence to our first focus....but that's ok! BALANCE will occur again soon & we do it all again :)
You wise gal Kelle :)
xo

ali said...

<3 this blog post.

<3 that your mom found him. He sounds great.

<3 the van. Looks similar to mine.

<3 the NDSS totals. You are all so amazing. Everyone who helped the fundraiser in anyway. :)

elisabeth (bovagoods) said...

really love reading your blog. the story about your mom is great. thanks for sharing!

Aimee said...

I hope you hear this a lot and that you know that it is the truth... YOU ARE AMAZING. Seriously amazing.

kms070107 said...

iloved your post today. a few comments-
My mom is recently widowed (my dad passes 1 1/2 yrs ago) and she is only 62. She went on her first date on Thursday night and when she told me - i cried. But in my heart i just want her to be happy. it wasn't a love connection but a first small step.
Regarding Nella roller derby crawling, my 18 month old climbed out of his crib today - yikes!
Finally, i was speaking to a client who has a baby and she said, she doesn't know how mom's do it - some make it look so easy. i told her - trust me - it's not easy for anyone. everyone just finds the balance that works for them.
thanks as always for your inspiring words - you really help me find that clean slate and right balance everyday!

Kelly said...

LOVE that your mom has found love again! Good for her for "getting out there".

Laura said...

I love this post. So much real life. So much fun. You inspire us. All of us trying to find the balance. And get lip gloss on our lips. And our child's. Love it so much. Thank you.

Maheen said...

SOOOOO on this Etsy site, I have all my fave's picked out, waiting for the big win!!!

Jenny said...

How great that your mom has found love again! Love reading your blog Kelle.

JSS said...

I'm so happy for you mother, and so pleased to hear you have such an open heart to welcome in new family members.

j said...

kelly, you are so blessed and through that and your willingness to be open and honest to us all we are blessed. may you continue to share your love of life through this blog, because you are such an inspiration. still waiting for your book to come out!! :)

rovingrose said...

I love the Grab Bag. Your sweet little girl's smile outside the shower, baby smiles are truly some of the best medicine on earth. Thank you for the military base stat, as a milspouse it's nice to see that recognitition!

Lisa Coleman Boutilier said...

Thank you for your blog. I think I say that in every comment I leave. Today I got a call that could change our lives and your sharing of the link to Down syndrome Pregnancy was very timely and much needed.

Thank you for teaching me that no matter what is coming our way, the world will be all right.

momentstotreasure said...

I have your blog on my google reader, I come and read whenever there is an up date and Im totally inspired by you. I dont usually post comments but wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey with us. My journey is with autism, its part of our family but its not who my son is and he is so much more than autistic just as Nella is so much more than Down Syndrome, she is such a beautiful little girl and your family is beautiful. I will continue to lurk and maybe leave a comment here and there

nickletastic said...

I love reading your blog and was so happy to donate to the ONEder Fund!

UrbanCountryMom said...

I love that your minivan looks like my minivan. I love that you show us the messy reality. It makes me feel better.

Gina said...

I love posts like these - a little light into everything going on. And yea for your mom! I met my husband on eHarmony, so I know how well these things work out!

Tom and Emily said...

Congrats on the ONEder Fund! That is amazing.

p.o.s.h. said...

Awesome to hear the total amount raised...sadly I tried to donate here from the UK but had some issues with payment. I will make it up to Nella when I move back to the US in May :)

And I would kill for an Isle of Capri!!

Happy Lazy Sunday...

alisha said...

Kelle, I love that your mom is in love! Such a sweet, romantic story. Wonderful!

Diana Doyle said...

Lovely to hear your Mum has someone to share her special moments with....

My Dad who's 77 was so lonely after my mum died from cancer. She was his soul mate.

He's since met a lovely 72 year old...also a widower, and 2 years ago, we were blessed to have a wedding where the average age of the guests was 70!

Tell your mum fairytales do come true...yes, even at 77! Good for her! :)

In regards to Nella's fund....truly EPIC effort!

Congratulations Kelle for bringing all of us who love your blog so much together to touch others.

Happy Saturday to you!

Love Diana x

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