Friday, January 7, 2011

Pay It Forward...Rock the ONEder Fund.

In two weeks, we will celebrate an epic day.

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And my heart is twisting in all sorts of beautiful ways just thinking about it, but mostly it is throbbing with love.

Any attempt at threading words to just how funny, how spirited, how healing her existence is...well it seems so small and unworthy. But, I'm used to that. Her sister's had me slayed from the start.

I can tell you this though.

I have changed. My eyes have been opened to the broad spectrum of beauty, the value of uniqueness and the amazement of the common thread that binds us all regardless of the color of our skin or the makeup of our chromosomes.

How could I not have been aware of their magic?

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I am grateful for the pain that propelled me forward this year for without it, I wouldn't have known the joy of this place.

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When I sat down to write this post earlier this afternoon, I intended to make this about Nella. But, I've learned something more this year. I've learned to look beyond. While yes, the rawness of loving my own child and imagining her almond eyed, milky-cheeked, tiny-toothed grin on the face of every other child with Down syndrome is what initiated my purpose in this new world, it has become more. I care not just because my daughter personally connects me to this greater world but because I have learned to see their hearts, their capabilities, their spirit, their determination, their love.

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And I want you to see it too. Beyond Nella. The faces of these children brighten the worlds of so many lucky families every day. And as I checked my e-mail earlier this evening after a quick Facebook photo all-call, tears rolled down my cheeks at the response. My e-mail alert chirped a continuous rhythm as pictures rolled in, and I couldn't determine what was more powerful--the faces of these beautiful babies or the words you attached to them in a desperate plea to express a fraction of how you feel.

The love of our lives. She changed me. Our joy boy. The heart of our family.


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So, here's the deal.

I'm going to ask you for something. And it's really important to me. To a lot of people.

I'm going to ask you to think about what you've taken from this space this year. I have felt incredibly inspired by not only the feeling of community here but by this productive push toward good that arises simply from the understanding of the power of a group of people connected in a small way on the Interweb but, more importantly, in a much greater way within this vast world. And so, I'm asking you again, have you gained anything from visiting this space this year? A smile, a thought, a connection, the encouragement to dig deeper or let your own voice speak out. If you have, I'm asking you to give back today. Please, pay it forward.

In honor of our girl's first year, we are asking you to give back to her. And the 400,000 other individuals living with Down syndrome in the United States alone.

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The mission of the NDSS is to create a culture that fully accepts and includes individuals with Down syndrome.

Let me say that more clearly. The mission of the NDSS is to create a culture that fully accepts and includes our little girl. Our Nella.

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Last year, the NDSS helped Annie Clancy, a Connecticut high school student, get closer to her dream of becoming a clothing designer when they gave her the once-in-a-lifetime chance to join designer Anya Cole in her studio to learn how to design and produce clothing. Without the NDSS, Annie wouldn't have known what it felt like to strut her fabulousness down the runway of a fashion show in a posh SoHo loft.

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Or how about Sara Wolff? A skilled motivational speaker, she serves on the NDSS Board of Directors and actively promotes Down syndrome awareness and understanding through personal appearances and inspirational speeches to educators, employers and community professionals. She is loving what she's doing. She's doing something amazing with her one wild and precious life. Not to mention, she got to meet Barbara Walters and Meredith Viera which is more than I can say. As Sara says, "I feel good knowing I can inspire people and make a difference."

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I want my little girl to have these opportunities, and I'm just one of many mamas who share this dream.


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I've set a scary goal. $15,000, People. (Actually, I'm editing this after 12 hours into the fundraiser, I'm doubling it, yikes! $30,000.) Editing this AGAIN about 2 days into it. $47,000. Yup, $47 grand for 47 grand chromosomes!) Alright, I'm back. 4 days, and our goal is now $63,000. That's 21 x 3. Three beautiful little 21st chromosomes, that's what. And I'm a little nervous about it. But, I believe you care. I believe we can make a difference together. If every Follower--a fraction of readers--gave only $5, we could raise $45,000. Forty Five Thousand Dollars to help change the world into a place that sees the beauty and potential of the magic of these amazing individuals.

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I want this life-changing year to mean more. I want to hold hands with my family in two weeks and know, when we sing "Happy Birthday Dear Nella" and watch her pat her tiny palms into sweet frosting, that something greater is in store.

For everyone.

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Please. Give Nella a birthday gift. Help her give back to her friends.

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If a magazine costs $5, think of how you'll feel if you spent that instead right here.


Pay it forward. Help us give Nella a very happy birthday.


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Nella's shirt and sweater used to be dresses. They were her coming-home-from-the-hospital outfit. Sweater, crocheted by my mama

Giving is easy. Click on any link to Nella's ONEder Fund on this page (the easiest being the large banner at the top of the blog which will remain until Nella's birthday.)

Spread the word. E-mail it. Facebook it. Tweet it. Blog it.
Together, I'm certain we can move mountains.

Give $5. Or give more. But know, you are appreciated and you are making a difference.

Thank you for your support, your love, your joining with us to make something grand of our one wild and precious life.

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And thank you to all the mamas out there who shared their magically enhanced little beauties with me tonight.

532 comments:

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Rocksee said...

Pledge made.. reading this blog.. and feeling like a part of your life each day.. 5.00 is so small for all you give to each of us..

GIRL I just looked at this about 4hrs ago and you raised like 8,000 in 4 hours.. HOLY MOLY!

I am blogging this, facebooking it.. and calling all of my Alaskans to action.. !


Happy 1st Birthday Nella!!

Jessica Engel said...

Happy Birthday, Nella! It's so amazing to see the power of a community of people working towards the unselfish good of others... thank you for leading, Kelle!

Renee said...

I totally agree with lesley-- my donation could never be enough for the inspiration you and the nella bean give me on a daily basis. I have come to love this blog--and you-- so much. And we've never met. Talk about a magic chromosome. True magic.

Lisa said...

I only made a small donation today, as much as I can right now. . .$5 for each of my two special girls, but it in no way reflects how much I've received from knowing Nella!

Looks like you are well on your way to your goal! Gives me goosebumps! There is still a lot of good in the world- sometimes you just have to know where to look;)

Happy Birthday Nella! Rock on girl!

Randi said...

Oh Kelle, I needed that push!
I have now Donated money to NNDS, the Norwegian Down's Syndrome Network http://www.downsyndrom.no/

I hope Nella will be happy with sharing some of her birthday present with Norwegian DS kids :)

Paytonsmommy said...

How can I say no- after looking at all of those beautiful faces! Lots of tears as I read this but it was that kind of day for me - of course we will dontate and spread the word. Happy Birthday 1st Sweet Nella! Kelle thank you for your inspiring words - You have made a difference in so many lives. I love reading your blog and looking at the wonderful pictures. We will be celebrating my daughter 3rd birthday a few days early -on the 22nd I am going to ask our guest to donate to Nella's ONEder Fund. I think you will get way beyond your goal!

Mrs. Fitz said...

WOW! I checked yesterday when the donation total was just above $200. This morning is it over $10,000! Kelle, you have a huge, unseen, and sometimes unspoken support network around the world. We love Nella and you've taught us so much this year about loving and living. I'm hoping you're wildest dreams are doubled - let's shoot for $30,000!

Colette said...

Kelle - This is my first time commenting, though I've been a reader since about Halloween of 2010. I always get excited when I see new blog posts from you pop in my reader feed. Reading about you and your girls has changed my life. Thank you for sharing.

And Nella, for you and your friends, I've made a donation in honor of your first year. Happy Birthday, beautiful girl! You give us all so much, even those of us you may never meet in person.

--Colette

http://littlelionslife.blogspot.com

Colette said...

Kelle - This is my first time commenting, though I've been a reader since about Halloween of 2010. I always get excited when I see new blog posts from you pop in my reader feed. Reading about you and your girls has changed my life. Thank you for sharing.

And Nella, for you and your friends, I've made a donation in honor of your first year. Happy Birthday, beautiful girl! You give us all so much, even those of us you may never meet in person.

--Colette

http://littlelionslife.blogspot.com

haveFaith said...

Oh, my tears. Kelle I wasn't exactly the most blind person before. I wasn't ignorant to unique or different people, or even to those perfectly "normal" around me. But through reading your blog, i think you made me open my eyes just a bit more and SEE them. For having eyes and looking around doesn't mean we actually see anything, but now I can certainly say I do.

I was bowling the other day, and I saw a boy with that 47th chromosome and i just thought, "I bet he bowls better than i do..." cause I freakin suck. It made me smiling knowing that people would include him in something that people who don't SEE would think would be challenging for him. I've learned through your blog that for anyone, anything is possible, as long as we love hard enough and we help each other.

That is why, tonight at my work, any tips I make will be donated to Nella's Rockstar fund. I don't care if I make the most I've ever made, it's all going to the cause. I've never really donated before, but I think if this is going to be the first time I do it, this one is most worth it (even though they all are!) I'll be the best waitress on the planet tonight, propelled by the need to help those who are overlooked, when really they just need a bit of help. To be accepted. To be loved. To be successful. (: I want everyone to have a chance at their dreams, because if I have the opportunity, anyone should have it, too.

Happy Early Birthday, Sweet Nella. You are so much greater than you will ever imagine, and so very beautiful and inspiring to your family and other familes, too. She's going to be amazing Kelle, because she already is.

Shelly said...

We have all been inspired from you, from Lainey, from Brett, and from Nella to do something wild and crazy with our one precious life. You have touched lives more than you realize. Our family will be celebrating with you as we are getting closer to bringing our little someone home with an extra chromosome. What a remarkable, astonishing village you've created with your words and photos!

Meagan said...

This blog post made me cry. So beautiful and precious.

Rojas Family said...

Giving is the least I could do for all I have received from this blog. I've read all the previous comments and all I can really say is "Ditto" with all my heart. Thanks for sharing a truly beautiful year.

Abby said...

Pretty much a big ditto to what everyone else has said. This post made me cry for sure. All of those sweet sweet precious babies! Adorable. I will be donating for sure. Thank you for your blog Kelle! Thanks for pouring out your heart for all of us readers so often. Your words, stories and pictures have touched my life more than you may know! I strive everyday to be a better person and mommy because of you! Thank you.

Kate said...

I discovered your blog, as many did, shortly after Nella was born, and I have been a devoted fan ever since. I even went back and read through all of your archives! You inspire me in many ways - as a woman, a writer, a photographer, but most of all as a mother. Thank you for letting us all into your life. Donation made - it is an honor to be able to participate in Nella's birthday bash!

Brooke said...

Kelle, every post you send out into the world is a smooth, sturdy brick for Nella to walk upon in the road of life. You are showing the world a beautiful and perfect little being who is destined for big things, no doubt. Because of your words and photos, eyes are being opened, hearts are being stretched and the world is becoming a more accepting and loving place for her to live. You and your family are so incredibly inspiring. Happy Birthday, Nella!

Sher said...

Holy Sh*t!!

OMG!

People Rock!

Already $11K!

Megs said...

Theres a reason why I can only read your blog when my fiancé isn't home. I'm sitting here while my babe, who while doesn't have your babe's blessed designer genes is designer-gened herself, is sleeping and I'm absolutely bawling and can't stop. He'd think I was nuts(again). While I can't donate as I am credit-card-less I am passing this on through my little fledgling blog and on facebook.

Thank you for sharing the wonder of your family with all of us crazy internet people. Thank you for the beautiful pictures that allow me to be crazy-inspired by you. You are the first blog I check to see if there's a new post as you're amazing.

Heather said...

What a beautiful way to honor your daughter and her first glorious year! Going to donate right now, and spread the word!

Betsy Jo said...

Oh, Kelle, I'm so happy for you guys! I just looked at the total and I'm thrilled for your crew. Last nite when I went to the site, the total was just over a hundred bucks. And now? You're almost there! Go, readers!

Savannah said...

The tears are streaming Kelle and I will join you on this journey!
I lost my brother to cancer and found your blog just before Nella was born so I have been following your journey (her journey) since her birth.
I believe wholeheartedly in our duty as beings on this earth to pay it forward every day and you have created a great way for us to support and love each other through NDSS.

Happy early Birthday Nella love.

Charla said...

I'm a "stranger" to you, yet I've gained so much for your blog this year. Nella has changed the hearts of so many people. I'm honored to be included in her birthday party. Happy Birthday Baby 'Ella . . . . I hope your birthday dreams come true!

AMags said...

Kelle, I've never commented before, but I feel compelled on this momentous occasion. Our babies are just a month apart (I think my Susie looks a whole lot like your girls), and I've been following your blog since Nella's birth. So happy to be able to celebrate a year of Nella. All the best!

Ann Marie said...

Donation made! I've loved reading your blog; thank you for sharing it with all of us.
I think you are well on your way to FAR exceeding your $15k goal.. :)

Skye said...

kelle...thank you for the opportunity to pitch in for such a worthy cause. i love the happy tears and happy heart i get from reading your little slice of wonderful. happy birthday to beautiful nella! the world is a happier place because of her.

happygirl said...

I shared this on my fb page and I will figure out how to put it on my blog. <3 you and Nella.

Every life is precious and given the opportunity to THRIVE!

happygirl said...

I did it. Your button is on my blog.

Sabine said...

Oh, this site has given me so much. I so desperately want to give back. And even though I'm not in the presence of such a beautiful little being, I have learned so much from her. Anyone can do anything.
Thank you so much Kelle. Thank you so much Nella.

Suzi said...

What a year! I've been following since your amazing post about Nella's birth. This year you've inspired me, helped me see the color in the everyday routine, and brought me to tears more times than I care to admit. You're an amazing mom, photographer, and blogger, and I love coming here to see what you're going to write next!
Happy Birthday, Nella!

Helena said...

My daughter Grace was stillborn 9 years ago and the Drs suspect she had Downs Syndrome (they couldn't grow the cells to kareotype so we don't know for definite) Seeing all these beautiful children has really filled my heart with sadness and Joy. I live in the UK so i will make a donation to the UK equivalent (the DSA). Happy birthday Nella.

J from Ireland said...

Happy Birthday dear Nella. I am honoured to contribute in my small way. This blog brings me pure pleasure, its like a breath of fresh air. I look forward to the fabulous pictures of Nella's party. Best wishes.

Becky said...

I'm so grateful for your blog! I'm a labor and delivery nurse and a couple weeks ago I helped a mama deliver her sweet baby wearing his designer genes. It was a wonderful feeling to provide her with such a wonderful resource! Thank you!

Heidi said...

WOW! Almost at $12,000 and not even 24 hours! That is amazing! Go, Nella! :)

Little Mrs. said...

Happy Almost B-day Sweet Nella!! Thanks for the mid afternoon boo hoo! Im hoping we all blow the top off your goal!! Thank you for all the inspiration!!
XoOXoOX

megtruth1 said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl. You and your mama have made me a better person. I am lucky to be included in your lives!

susan said...

Happy to make a difference for our children!! Congratulations baby Nella, Mamma and family for making it an AMAZING year!

I have never posted here, but have read your lovely posts. Here is a link created to celebrate our little girl who is 3 and 1/2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsFN5xWlnY&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Her name is Charity Grace. And she is amazing and so many more things. I wish I blogged, but I am too busy because my girl inspired me to go back to school and I am going for my PA degree to make a difference for our children. I have been giving educational presentations to people in medicine. I use my video. I have also shared some of Nella with the groups :)

I was also 29 when my girl was born. I have 3 girls now.

I love this journey my children have taken me on. Being a mother rocks! Having down syndrome in my life ROCKS!

You can see our 3 minute video at either of the youtube links below (same song, slighty different pictures). Enjoy! If you wanted to share it, if you thought it could help others, please feel free to share!

Your life is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your heart, I am very connected to your sentiments. It's so nice to read! I have shared your messages with other new moms and I know it helps.


ENJOY and feel free to share:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsFN5xW1lnY&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

OR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YffNNmpZ-6U

HAPPY 2011!!

carol said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate Nella and all our ONEderful special kids. Thank you Kelle for the opportunity to pay forward.

Happy Birthday Nella!!

Carol from SW MI

Laura said...

Kelle,
What fun to come to your blog and see my Ryan and all the other gorgeous kiddos! Thank you for sharing with the world just how beautiful people with Down Syndrome are!

In the early days when DS first entered our lives, I was so scared and uncertain. Back when Ryan was born, there weren’t any blogs - so all I could do was imagine the worst, and it scared the hell out of me. I couldn’t “see” with my own eyes just how typical a life we were going to have with this special little boy.

So that's when I started blogging, in hopes that other moms & dads just starting on this DS journey could actually see for themselves just how “normal” life could/would be with a child with DS. I wished that by reading about and seeing Ryan in action, it would help ease some of the fears that new parents just facing this diagnosis have.

From the start, we were led to believe by some doctors and other trained professionals we spoke with, that Ryan would never be able to accomplish much in his life. Man, has he proven those @$$holes wrong! ;) I wouldn’t trade this little wise guy for anything in the world - I just didn’t know that in the very beginning.

So thank you! Thank you for sharing your sweet Bunny with the world. It's incredible the awareness you two together are raising! Keep up the great work! Happy Birthday Beautiful, Sweet Nella - I'm sure you're going to have one helluva party! :)

Laura & Ryan
http://nowimamom.blogspot.com/

Sarah said...

I am so happy to give in honor of Nella and every other beautiful, inspirational, amazing child with special needs, including the two that are mine. You give so much to all of us, Kelle. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Happy First Birthday, Nella!

Cathy said...

Done. Happiest of Birthdays Nella! And thank you Kelle for enriching my life with your magical words.

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday To Nella! I feel blessed that we are all included on her journey and I am happy to help pay it forward with my $5! Hope you all have a very blessed day!

Randi-Lee said...

Nella's first birthday picture is stunning. It was an honour to donate. Thanks again for sharing your story and continually gifting us with your gorgeous girls. To the goal and beyond.

Laura said...
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Looking Up said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate little Nella's first birthday! Being a mama to an amazing two yr old boy who has Down syndrome, I really appreciate all that you are doing to raise awareness & funds for the NDSS. We can make a difference! :)

Jannice said...

Happy, Happy first birthday to sweet, beautiful little Nella! Looking through your lens at the beauty of your family makes me want to love my own even more - as if thats possible! Your stories, words, pictures and thoughts are such an inspiration to me to everyday try and be a better mommy - I'm still working on not caring about piles of laundry! And I'm now CRAVING a REALLY nice camera! :)
Thank you also for sharing all of these beautiful little faces with us!

~ jessica said...

When I saw the honor roll on the fundraiser page, tears started pouring. And I can't believe how much you've raised already! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this. In the last year, I have been inspired to reclaim my joy and be who I am called to be. You have brought me that. Thank you so much.

~ jessica said...

When I saw the honor roll on the fundraiser page, tears started pouring. And I can't believe how much you've raised already! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this. In the last year, I have been inspired to reclaim my joy and be who I am called to be. You have brought me that. Thank you so much.

Carrie said...

Kelle,

My husband and I lost the sweet baby we were expecting to arrive in early June on December 19. The prayer on my daily calendar for December 19 reads, "Lord, I pray for children everywhere. Protect them from harm and guide them as they face so many challenges. May I not turn my back on a child in need. Amen" So, from my sweet angel baby to your sweet Nella, a contribution... Happy Birthday, Nella!! :)

Love, love, love your blog!! You inspire so many in so many ways!!

Carrie

~ jessica said...

When I saw the honor roll on the fundraiser page, tears started pouring. And I can't believe how much you've raised already! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this. In the last year, I have been inspired to reclaim my joy and be who I am called to be. You have brought me that. Thank you so much.

Meghan said...

Um, am I the only one checking the total raised so far like every couple hours?!?! Kelle---in LESS THAN 24 hours you have almost reached your goal. I hope you are ECSTATIC, because I sure am. Look at you mama!! So proud.

Pamela said...

I can't stop crying while and after reading this post! I found your blog several months ago, and I get so excited whenever I see a new post. Your dedication to your girls and the innate talent you hold is so inspiring. I knew at some point I would find myself responding to one of your posts, but this one definitely touched me. I am 4 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, and there are so many hopes and dreams that I have for my unborn child. Thank you for reminding me that we do not have to strive to be perfect mothers, simply ones that love our children as best we can... and everything else will work its way out. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NELLA! Even though I don't know you personally, I would be honored to make a donation in your name for your birthday!

Kelle said...

It's unreal. Your generosity. And it just keeps growing. We'll be upping the ante. What do you think? $30,000? Shall we double it??????

Married2MrWright said...

I just donated in honor of my Libby's first birthday, 01-25. I found your blog when I was on maternity leave last year and have enjoyed following it ever since.

Happy birthday sweet Nella!

You Are Here said...

Happy happy birthday! Love to all.

Sarah said...
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stangera said...

I've been reading your blog since before Nella was born. You love your children and life fiercly, and that's why I love to read your words. You make me want to be a better mom. You capture Nella's eyes so that they can pierce a heart. Looking forward to more good things to come from you and your family. God bless!

Maureen said...

I'll be donating and spreading the news! <3 to you and your family!

Cheryl said...

Pretty crazy but you are already almost at your goal! Fantastic!

carol said...

Kelle,

YES, double it! Then...triple it!

Carol from SW MI

Kate said...

what this blog means to me?

It inspires me to enjoy life and to savor happy moments.

It makes me want to be an amazing mama like you :)

It reminds me that hard situations can be used for so much good.

And the stunning photography...encourages me to capture the happy moments to remember during the sad ones.

For several weeks I've been wanting to give money to a charity foundation or family in need, and I was just waiting to feel inspired.

Well, I've been inspired! Here's a little gift for you and your friends, Nella! Happy Birthday!

Magnificent Adventures of Michelle & Mack said...

Kelle,

Who knew a couple months back a google search for those silly grill cupcakes would change my entire perspective on life. But it did. And $5 is nothin' compared to what my boys (almost 3 and 18 mos) are getting in return from you sharing your life. Our benefit has nothing to do with DS...but all about love, love, love and the little things. I thank you for all the extra hugs, messes, photographed moments, snuggles, and sucking the marrow you have inspired in our lives.

Donation asked...and answered.

XOXO to the Hamptons,
Michelle, Maverick & Radley

Jill Carilli said...

Paying it forward on my blog.

http://jillcarilli.blogspot.com/2011/01/nellas-oneder-fund.html

and re-posted on facebook. And as soon as my bank stops being a pain in the ass my credit card transaction will go through.

Girl are you amazed at what you can do yet? Not only will you hit $15k but you will pass it I am sure of it. And to see how fast you hit it is crazy. Took me 3 mos to raise $1000 for pediatric cancer. Just goes to show how much you move people, inspire people and how much you girls are loved. :) Congratulations and Happy Birthday to Nella Bean!

queenbeegymboree said...

Happy Birthday to sweet Nella!

I was happy to donate to such a wonderful charity and I posted to my facebook. I hope you make your goal! Your blog is so inspiring; thank you for that!

Meghan said...

You upped it!!! Wooo to the hoooo!!! And, the fact that you responded right after I left a comment might just be one of the coolest moments of my life. Just sayin'. Cheers mama!

Kuskoski Family said...

Done...in honor of your beautiful girl and all others! Happy birthday to your sweet girl.

Lisa said...

Your blog is so inspiring and motivating. My smile grows with each post I read. Count on my family for a donation.

Lynn said...

What a powerful message. What a beautiful post! Thanks SO much for what you are doing Kelle.
Happy New Year! And Happy Birthday to Nella!

mcstephanie81 said...

Beautiful. Every single one of those adorable children. Nella and your blog have changed me and I am honoured to help pay it forward.
Thank-you so much for sharing your journey with all of us!

oreck said...

You go girl!!!
It was an honor to donate this morning when I read your blog...now I can't stop coming back every hour to see what amazing generosity your followers have!
You inspire me with your words, photos, compassion and love.
I don't have little ones anymore so I live vicariously thru yours.
Sending love to you and your family from the mountains of California (shout-out to Mt Shasta!!)

kecia said...

It is So fun when I see all these faces that I recognize! Nella looks SOO beautiful in all these pictures! I can't believe she is turning one! HOw fast time goes! What a neat thing for you to do to celebrate her birthday! I may need your help with some fundraising of my own soon....I can't say much yet but soon! I will be in touch!

Lafleche said...

You got me when you said to donate if I'd ever gained anything from this blog. So I donated, because I have gained so much from your little space. Im speechless at the love you've been shown through comments and donations. Happy birthday sweet Nella, and congrats to you Kelle for surviving and thriving in this first year and doing it with grace and style. You rock.

~ Lori ~ said...

Such a bouquet of beautiful faces...I made a donation to honor Nella and my favorite little red-head, Miss Molly! She brings such joy to my life, as does this blog. You're doing amazing things, Miss Kelle!

Maria said...

WOW! It's that surging power of love. What one little soul, the one who captured our hearts from day 1, has started here. It can only grow & grow stronger as more Rockstars join Nella. This sacred space just radiates love. I am so proud to be a part of it. Kelle~you R.O.C.K.

Alyssa said...

I sit here. Tears rolling down my face. Not only from the beauty of your Nella, or all the other precious babes. But the fact that I, a 16 year old high school student from Connecticut, never expected to see the ray of sunshine that struts her stuff in my schools hallways to be on a womans blog who I go to get inspiration to suck the marrow out of life. I know Annie, and her kind heart, and it's just amazing how small the world is. Happy Birthday Nella.

Jeanie said...

What beautiful babies! I am so inspired by your posts every day. Not only does your love for your family shine through, but the joy you have in everyday living. Happy Birthday, Dear Nella!

Ayesha said...

I would be delighted to donate, however the US donation page doesn't seem to recognise my UK card. Is there a way to pay via Pay Pal maybe?
Wishing Nella a very happy 1st birthday soon! Thank you for this amazing site.

Heidi said...

You. Are. Amazing. Reading your words and admiring your beautiful photos inspire me to feed my good wolf often. Thank you for your selflessness that encourages so many of us! Rock on woman!!!!

dig this chick said...

Holy shit! You're basically there. Amazing, powerful, really good stuff. Just awesome, friend. Feel proud. xo

Alyson said...

I just wanted to share with you my blog post that I wrote today about your story and your fundraiser.

Thank you for doing this.

Alyson

http://peacefulmamma.blogspot.com/2011/01/pay-it-forward.html

Michelle said...

It was a pleasure donating in honor of Nella, thank you for sharing the beauty of your family with all of your readers.

Kortnye said...

Thank you for the chance to contribute. Happy Birthday Nella, I hope you know how many people are loving watching you grow.

Sarah RDH said...

Kelle, this was an amazing post!! Such beautiful, beautiful children! There is nothing that could stop me from helping to celebrate Nella & all her friends! I'll link this to my facebook for others to donate. I can't wait to see the grand total! You're moving mountains girl. Going to donate right now & link up...

Sarah RDH said...

Oh and I forgot to include- what your space does for me....you know. You just know.

Erin said...

I mostly just lurk on your blog because I'm a fan of your photography and I happen to have a little boy with Ds. But today I recognize so many little faces and I have to say kuddos to you! What a wonderful gift in honor of Nella!

nana2caleb said...

I can't wait until I get paid to donate to nella's birthday! Happy birthday famous little!

Mommyto3Boys2Girl said...

Thank you Kelle. For everything. You are such a great soul. Happy almost 1st Birthday Baby Nella. You are SOOO going to reach your goal girl! God Bless.

Maureen said...

I posted it on my Facebook late last night...what a nice surprise to come back today and see the love pouring in!

LittleSarahD said...

Only $45 more to go for Miss Nella!

Steph said...

Thank you for this post! It gave me a very good cry. I will be forwarding and emailing, and facebooking this link. I know you can meet your goal. Who better to speak up for all these beautiful souls? You have a wonderful way with words, and I will donate my little bit. It might not be much, but it'll keep your ball rolling.

merlin said...

Read this post earlier, "how nice" I thought and "I should donate to the ONEderful cause".
Pay it Forward must have stuck with me, settled in my not-so unconcious concious, somehow I ended up choosing it on Netflix. Have you seen it? I don't know that I have ever cried so hard from watching a movie. I wanted to cheer myself up, so I come to blog land, your posts typically are uplifting. And then I see the title and I wonder...there are no accidents, I am meant to pay it forward to, we are all meant to pay it forward, and the beauty is that we can never outgive the giving....that's the beauty of paying it forward. Blessings to you for your desire to pay it forward in literally thousands of ways through the ONEderful celebration!

Kristin said...

YOU ROCK - over $15,000 donated in the first 24 hrs!!!! What a birthday celebration!

Diane said...

Goosebumps and tears. What an amazing thing to witness. I've been humming "What a Wonderful World" all day. I'm so full of hope for my new grandson and all the others who will benefit from your vision. Thank you, thank you!

Nikki James said...

Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

Kellan's momma said...

Love the pics, and a bit sad I missed out on getting my sweet Kellan's pic on here!! What a geat birthday gift for Nella!

Kellan's momma said...

Love the pics, and a bit sad I missed out on getting my sweet Kellan's pic on here!! What a geat birthday gift for Nella!

Andy said...

these kids just took my breath away.
If I could I'd live near all of them and love on those little souls non-stop.
great post as always, Kelle.
Andy, From Brazil.

Scott and Jean Lucas said...

Kelle,
You have inspired and changed the lives of so many others including myself.
Today my twins turn 2, and I'll be making a donation on their behalf. I hope you far exceed your goal.

Sierra said...

Kelle, I started reading your blog, like many others, soon after Nella was born. I was 7 months pregnant. Since then, I have been inspired. Inspired to love my baby with all that I have. Inspired to stop...and enjoy the moment. Inspired to see the beautiful even on days when I have to look REALLY hard for it. Inspired to be the mom that I dreamed of being. I can't really explain what your blog has been for me....But today,I can say without a doubt, that it has clearly had the same effect on many others. More than $16,000 in less than 24 hours. This is how the world is changed. Dream big, Kelle --- the world is clearly behind you. Lots of love to sweet Nella on her upcoming birthday!

Emily said...

I've been following your blog for almost a year now and look forward to each and every post. I absolutely adore your photography, writing and positive outlook. I donated for Nella and think you should be beyond proud of what you're doing. Good luck.

DeAnn said...

$16,300 in 24 hours!!! Absolutly Astounding!!! I am in tears. You are all Rockstars! Kelle, you an amazing inspiration!

bowen9188 said...

just beautiful ~ many thanks from one mom to another!

Sprouts Mommy and Daddy said...

Blame it on being due in 3 weeks but I am sitting here bawling like a baby. Happiest of birthdays little Nella. Your mommy's telling of your birth and your first year have inspired me, healed me and made me feel whole. I have donated and will pass on the information via facebook also.

Thank you Kelle ... thank you for opening up my eyes to the beauty beyond 'normal' and letting me breathe easier during this unknown world of pregnancy. If you are ever in the Los Angeles area - please please please look us up.

Jule said...

Thank you for giving us a way of joining in Nella's first birthday celebrations. I love your blog in a way I can't quite find the words for.It's very soul satisfying.

Allison said...

im about to donate.... . just so you know . you're totally going to blow your goal away. I can feel it.

Sarah said...

What a testament to "Enjoying the Small Things." You've encouraged us to give just $5 and make a difference, just like you've encouraged me to take a blanket in my back yard for a picnic or all the other small ways you have made me a better mother... a small step done with love makes a difference. The way all the $5 donations has added up so fast to something BIG shows how much you've impacted our world. Now, I lose you on the birthday parties or the photobooks...those are NOT small things, but I'm still inspired. Happy BIRTH day to you and Nella.

Liz Siebenaler said...

I wait in anticipation for a new blog post. I love your blog. I am so happy you share your family with us. It reminds me to take time to enjoy my small things all 4 of them that fill my house with noise, chaos and fun. I hope you reach your goal. I donated and will post to my facebook to help you reach your goal!

Max-n-Sam's Mommy said...

You've done it again Kelle....so amazing. So beautiful. You must feel so proud!

I was only too honoured to contribute to sweet Nella's Birthday wish and to post to FB as well. Your blog has inspired me in so many ways...reminding me to enjoy every hectic, chaotic, and insane minute of raising my 2 busy boys. Your words and your photos capture so much of what I feel in my own one wild and precious life right now.
Have a wonderful time celebrating all the joys of the past year. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Beautiful Miss Nella! You Rock!
p.s. Can't wait to see pics from the party!
p.p.s How fun is it watching your fundraising goal climb higher and higher by the minute ? Too cool!

The Broach Family said...

Happy Birthday Nella! I've not yet posted on this site, but I've been following for the last year, and in honor of my own brother-in-law who has down Syndrome, I've made a donation to help celebrate Nella's first year. Kelle, thanks for all you do, and the awareness you bring. As a mother of three, I am inspired by your pictures and your posts. As the wife of a husband who has a brother with down Syndrome, I read each post and continue to want to make a difference for this seemingly small, yet big community.

Chrissy said...

Anything for this darling! So has Nella charmed the world, she has also charmed me. Happy birthday, sweet baby. I am so happy that you are so so loved.

RAJEEV KUMAR KULSHRESTHA said...

क्या कहने साहब ।
जबाब नहीं निसंदेह ।
यह एक प्रसंशनीय प्रस्तुति है ।
धन्यवाद ।
satguru-satykikhoj.blogspot.com

Jamie said...

Beautiful!

trdmosgrls said...

I am tears. This post is simply stunning in every aspect!!!! You inspire me daily Kelle!

~Sessa said...

Happy Birthday sweet Nella! I am inspired by this post. I KNOW that we can all make a huge difference. Whether it's getting the word out, or donating a few bucks. Let's do this!

Marylène said...

I'm spreading the love on my blog, in the hopes it goes back your way in the ONEder Fund.

http://unepetiteplume.blogspot.com/2011/01/spreading-love.html

Happy Birthday Nella!

Colleen said...

What an amazing post!!! And what an awesome way to honor your daughter's 1st birthday. I'm so glad I decided to click your link in a friend's blogroll today!

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday sweet baby Nella! This post was exceptionally heart tugging, all of the pics are beautiful. Nella's pic in her blue dress toward the end brought tears to my eyes. What a precious baby, precious family, precious life. Our family made a donation today because we feel like we "know" Nella from your blog and could not turn down an opportunity to support her! Onward baby Nella with much love and prayers!

Julie said...

First time commenting... long time reading... Thank you Kelle for such a beautiful gift. "Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely... think on these things." Your blog is pure and lovely. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to be BETTER - a better mother and to fully appreciate (to a new level) my two beautiful boys and to live a more optimistic life. I have stayed up many nights, way after my babies have gone to bed to read your blog from beginning to end. I look forward to every blog post, so thank you for updating us often. :) Happy Birthday Nella! You already have the best gift of all - the immense love of your family! It was a joy to contribute towards your birthday "gift" and to be able to participate.

pittfamily said...

I am honored to make a donation. I am new mother and though my little girl doesn't have Downs, our girls are more alike than they are different. Bless you and your family.

Sara Dunkelberger said...

Spreading the word on Facebook. So happy to help out. Happy Birthday beautiful Nella.

pittfamily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara Dunkelberger said...

Oh...and you are SO gonna blow right past your goal! I just donated and saw that you are already at $18,000!!! So awesome!

donnaheal said...

I have followed your blog faithfully over the past year. You are such an inspiration to me in my day to day life.
I have been watching your donation page #'s all day since donating this morning. Amazing to see those #'s climb at such a steady rate. You have already surpassed your original goal. Good for you. What an amazing cause for an amazing little girl!

Rachel said...

how beautiful, sweet, heart-warming and inspirational this is. here's to hoping and praying that your goal, and much more, is met

Sulli said...

What a beautiful and inspirational post. You are doing amazing things to raise awareness and I completely admire you, your friends, and your family for all that you do to support the cause. I am HONORED to contribute to the cause. Happy Birthday Nella!

Señorita Carolina said...

I was stunned to see that the goal had been met & you doubled it! AMAZING!

Patti Adams said...

Honestly, your blog has made a difference in my life. Although I do not have a child with DS, I do have a two year old with developmental delays and it's been hard (filled with worry) yet so sweet (filled with love) being his mom thus far. I am honored to be able to make a donation to NDSS in Nella's honor. Thank you for sharing her with us!

P-nut said...

This is incredible! and i'm also in tears! I love nella bean and her life and I'm so so so happy that her existance has touched so many people... I'm so incredibly thankful to God for giving me a place where I feed my soul, question life and all the unknowns and feel so connected spiritually and emotionally to a family i've never met! love you all loads!

Laurel said...

So happy to be able to help pay it forward in honor of Nella, all the beautiful children on your post today, and all the rest of the hundreds of thousands that couldn't be represented here. I'm sending so much love out to each and every one of them!

Kelle as you celebrate the birth of your beautiful little, I'm so thankful that fate brought me here because I have become a better person and a better mommy because of you. You are such an inspiration. Your inner beauty shines through with every single word you type and I love to drink it all in with every new post. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself and your family with all of us. Can't wait for another wonderful year!!!

Andy, Brooke, Jack & Rosie said...

Hi Kelle, Lainey and Nella,
Have made a donation but it feels tiny compared to the huge of inspiration that you have given me. Happy Birthday beautiful girl - I know your goal will be reached in no time.
Lots of thanks from Sydney, Australia xxx

~KC: said...

Chills and lots of tears...Loved this powerful and emotional post! Since I read it this morning, I came back few times to read it again and again. Every time I looked at these lovely pictures, I took few moments to honor each child's spirit. I can see the same purity, unconditional love, beauty, wisdom, joy and magic I see in our own almond eyed girl.

Nella, Rozie, Mayson, Elise, Colton Reese, Joaquin and Sofia, Morgan, Cami, Brooklyn, Drew, Ryan, Grace, Georgia, Ruby, Natalia, Micah, Abbie, Emily, Dominic, Sunny, Zachary, Noah, Austin, Sophia, Luke, Molly, Olivia, Natalie, Caleb, Will, Sean, Wes, Addison, Lilly, John Michael, Sammy, Gage, Quade, Jackson, Ethan, Bennett, Amos, Hayley, Lucas, Addison, Ian, Lillian, Gabriella, Lily, Reid, Melia Rose, Cole, Kassidy, Kayla, Zachary, Beau, Lainey, Jack, Brooke, Mia are all beautiful and perfectly made just as they are. Thank you to all their families for sharing their treasures. :)

Annie Clancy and Sara Wolff are amazing, I love them!

Kelle, thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures of all these precious souls so that all your readers can "see their hearts, their capabilities, their spirit, their determination, their love", as well. Thank you for supporting the NDSS's mission and thank you for creating awareness all over the world. Thank you so much for everything.

I wish people around the world could see the beauty and potential of individuals with any genetic makeup and could appreciate and value their unique and amazing abilities. We are all connected. We are here in this world to love, accept, understand and help each other.

I'm happy to make my contribution. I can feel the love. I will keep sending positive energy to Nella's first birthday donation's page until you reach your goal. :)))

Much love~

“If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree.” ~W. B. Yeats

Erin B said...

Kelle I so wish I had $5 to donate for every time one of your posts has made me smile, cry, or laugh. Nella would have an amazing birthday present. Thank you for doing what you do and for putting a face (lots of faces on todays post) to the story of Down syndrome. You had me at...that first picture Babe. I would be more than happy to donate!!

Sarah said...

My first comment! I am so grateful to have found this blog this past year, I love being challenged to see all the beauty that life holds. I have "invested in designer genes". The donation does not even begin to compare for everything I have gotten from your blog!

Micaela said...

Donating is the least I can do for all that you've given me this past year. Happy 1st Nella!

colby said...

so very happy to help give back for all that i have gained from your blog.

Stephanie said...

Dear Nella, you have already changed the world. She is blessed to have you for a mother, Kelle. You inspire courage, walk in wisdom, and instill joy in the lives of many.

Supporting designer genes in Grand Rapids, MI for Nella and friends.

This past November I celebrated the 11th anniversary of my kidney transplant. It's not what happens to us that defines us, it's how we handle it. All we can do is keep breathing.

Amy Flege said...

awesome awesome awesome!! blogging about this as well!!! what a wonderful thing. happy birthday to sweet Nella....

The Vronko Family! said...

Kelle - you and your beautiful family continue to amaze and inspire me. Your words, courage and spirit makes me want to do more, to stand up for something and to make a difference. Thank you for sharing your life with us, I am honored to be a part of it. Happy Birthday Miss Nella!

Maheen said...

HaPpY DAy Oh Happy DAY! The little precious Nella is going to be the LUCKY ONE!! Kelle, I am so happy to have been able grow, through Nella since becoming a follower of your Blog. Her story, your story, and your Blog; they have changed me. As a mom and a teacher I have learned SO MUCH. I have SEEN DS, as an "outsider, my whole life. In school, family, students, community, and in passing. But, until your world became a part of mine, I had never FELT IT. Like, from the "inside". THAT is powerful. You put the feelings into all of our hearts through your words and your photos and it is SIGNIFICANT. I am different for it, and I am thankful. Your birthday book, thank you for sharing, was such a tribute to her first year. I was almost afraid you could never do it justice. But, as usual, you never fail to deliver. I am happy to contribute even a small amount to your cause, and hope all of your readers will do the same.

Dana said...

I am honored to make a donation & hope that the money you raise does awesome things for those with the magical chromosome! You are an inspiration Kelle, NEVER forget that. Please forgive me if this is forward or a little creepy, but I just love Nella. Every single picture & story of her makes me smile, I can't imagine how it makes your family feel to read about her, probably hard to contain such love.

Love your blog, it has made me quite the shutterbug myself so thank you for that. And I get so so so much more, don't know what I'd do without you.

Happy Birthday sweet Nella, I can't wait to see your 2nd year and what all you are going to accomplish! Love to all of you Kelle!

Michal said...

Thank you for giving me the opportunity and honour of helping out.

The site wouldn't let me put in the recognition with Nella's name, but she is sooo recognized and cherished... I feel like I love her (and Lainey) like my own sometimes just by getting to know her through your blog.

I would love to put this on my facebook... what's the best way? Include a link to your blog?

-Michal

Brenda said...

Happy almost-birthday Nella! I love the words your sweet mama writes about you, your big sister, and your family.
Kelle: I am a speech therapist who has followed your blog for nearly a year now. I love how it feeds my soul :) I've been checking back to see how the donations are going and I see you have doubled your goal! Congratulations! Thank you so much for letting me peek in on your world and allowing me to learn and grow with you. Love to you and yours...

Springroll said...

I smiled and cried and smiled some more as I read this post and looked at all of the photos of those beautiful children...what an amazing entry. And you are an amazing woman. What a special birthday request...for a special little angel. I can't believe Nella's turning one!! Happy Birthday, sweet pea!!

motherofangels said...

Happy birthday to little Nella! Thanks for making me and many others better people and better mothers!

Mama-in-training said...

I just realized that Nella is my "Happy Birthday Buddy"... we share the same birthday!!!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful life. I'm moved to tears by most of your postings. You inspire me to drink in my little ones every day and I'm soooo incredibly grateful for the reminder of how precious life is. :)

Tara Strohman said...

Wow--you surely know how to give a girl goosebumps! The adorable photos with the precious names on them spoke a thousand words! It was absolutely moving! Here's to reaching your goal!! Much love to all those beauties blessing your blog tonight!! I want to hug each and every one of them!!

Jenny said...

What a wonderful idea - I completely believe you will meet your goal and go well beyond!

I decided that as well as making a small contribution towards your goal amount, I would donate a bit more towards Down Syndrome NSW, in Australia - to also care for those local to me.

Happy almost birthday Nella!

Miss Lea said...

Happy birthday to beautiful beautiful Nella.
Seeing all these beautiful, precious faces brought tears to my eyes. You are such an inspiration. I'm happy to pay it forward. God bless. <3

Samantha said...

They are truly some of the most breath taking beauties I have ever seen.

Anna said...

I only started reading this blog yesterday and I am mesmerised, inspired by it all. There needs to be more love and acceptance like this in the world. I'm definately donating, though having a little trouble processing - could be cos I'm in Australia. Regardless, I will be back to try again!

Thank you. Because your work will help those who, like me, will still proceed with pregnancy should we ever get results showing an increased risk with DS. Thank you once again x

Lola said...

Just made my donation! :)
The least I can do for everything you give.
Day after day I come to this space for inspiration, reminders of love and what's important in life, a good laugh, tears, or just to admire your beautiful family and photography.
This is powerful Kelle!!!!!!
And you should feel so proud!!!!
Xoxo!!!!!

Courtney Williams said...

Holy Cow! I just checked again and you're up to $20,000!!! Such amazing things happen when you just ask! I feel so proud to be a part of this for our children, thank you again for the opportunity!

Corisa W said...

done. you are inspiring the world and inspiring me, honestly. thank you.

Lori said...

I wish I could have donated more...it is inspiring to see how much has already been raised...in just a few days the original 'goal' has already been surpassed! WOW...just another way in which we can see the good in the world...I am blown away:)

I started following your blog right after Nella's birth. Another 'mommy' friend passed it along to me...I check it several times a week. You rock!!! I work as a peds nurse practitioner and have had the honor to work in a specialty that frequently works with children who have DS. I, like you, find that the 'extra chromosome' contains something super special!

Thank you for helping me see the good in the big and the small things:)

Happy early birthday Nella!!!

Lori

Heather said...

You're blog is such an inspiration to mothers everywhere. I get something out of it everytime I read, I am honored to give money to this foundation for Nella's Birthday!

Cathy K. said...

This was a beautiful post. Thank you for taking the time to share so many children's beautiful photos. And thank you for sharing Nella's story.

My boyfriend's sister sent me your blog a few weeks ago and ever since, I fell in love with it and visit daily. I read Nella's story first and cried. I was reminded of how I felt when my nephew was diagnosed with a genetic disorder. I remember wishing so hard that things could go back to how they were. Back when he was an infant and I told him that one day he would graduate college, drive a car, start dating, get married. The things everyone expects to see a child grow up to do. And that was all taken away with the diagnosis. I was heartbroken.

Then I realized that he had been the same little boy all along. We just didn't know it. But the little boy we all fell in love with from day one had that genetic disorder, and it's what made him more beautiful. More special. It's what gave him that bright smile and contagious laughter.

I learned from your blog that I should connect with even more people in the Angelman Syndrome community this year. I should share my experience as an aunt to a child with special needs and be honest about it, just like you were honest about your journey with Nella. I love my nephew and want people to know. I want people to know that although he is different and doesn't talk, he is an amazing person. And if you get to know him, he will change your life for the better just like he changed mine. :)

kel said...

wow, what an amazing and powerful post. I was motivated to run and get my credit card... impossible not to. Nella is so adorable! happy birthday and many more to you.

beautiful beautiful way to start my day.
love.

L_McConnell said...

Kelle, I stumbled onto your blog many months ago, and have spent countless hours searching though it (during my daughters naps of course!). I look forward to your posts every day! I am captivated by your outstanding photos of your beautiful family, incredible talent as a soulful writer and your true ability to share your life with such honesty. Our family is so pleased to have donated in Nella's honor! Happy 1st birthday beautiful little girl!

Theresa said...

I stumbled upon your blog a couple of weeks ago. It is such a breath of fresh air. I truely enjoy your outlook on life and it's just what I need right now. Thank you for taking the time to blog and for reminding me to "suck the marrow". $5 isn't much but every little bit helps, right?

Cammie Heflin said...

Just saw this on Facebook, your post appears to be working :)

Maureen said...

You're going to have to up the ante again Kelle!! With 2 weeks until Nella Bean's birthday, I think you'll pass the $30k before then. Yay Nella!

Jenny said...

I just made my donation, much more than your request. Because my donation is not only to Nella and the community of beautiful people living with DS....it's for you. You've given all of us so much this year through your writing, pictures and inspiration. Thank YOU Kelle and Happy Birthday (early) Miss Nella!

-Jenny in Iowa

EmilySmith said...

Wow. I was on yesterday morning and read your original post; today I log on and see that you have already raised over $21,000. I can only imagine how it must feel to know how many people out there have been inspired by you and your beautiful family. I am studying to be a yoga teacher, and every time I read your blog I think that you are an example of what it means to be a yogi-a compassionate soul who finds contentment in whatever comes. My teachers say that the best way to achieve happiness in this life is to do all you can to uplift the lives of others; I think you must have been a yogi in a previous life, because this seems to be woven into the very fabric of your being. Happy, Happy Birthday, beautiful Nella. xoxo

Deborah said...

We absolutley loved these photos and the posts. We will post to our wesbite which serves parents who have children with special needs www.abilitypath.org. We would also like to interview you for our February focus on moms. Keep up your wonderful work!

Manda said...

Holy wow. What a tear jerker it is to see all those sweet faces and know that by giving the $ I am helping those sweet little ones and YOUR lil bunny have a chance at a brighter future.

I can't believe Nella is almost one! She's SO cute.

This year I've learned to look on the brighter side of things and make an adventure out of everything I do. I love reading your blog and it inspires me to my bones.

<3

ANETTESHUS.COM said...

Beautiful. Inspiring. Loving.
Thank you!!

Happy Birthday, Nella!

xx
Anette, Norway:)

Erin said...

Thank you. My weekend started with the wonderful news of the birth of my best friend's daughter. Later, the news from Arizona brought sadness to my otherwise perfect joy. This post couldn't have been better timed. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us "in". I hope one day if I'm faced with such a challenge I can handle it with your grace and strength.

The Funny Farm said...

Small donation...BIG love for your blog, fam & that sweet Nella :0)

rainbows said...

honoured to be included in this campaign. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this blog - and into everything . x

Minnesotagal said...

You and your family have given us so so much! So much beauty. So much optimism. So much love. So much positive energy. I was looking for a way to pay it back and now I can do that and pay it forward at the same time. Donated and passed on the word via face book. You said months and months ago that little Nella was going to rock the world - Kelle she is more than on her way!

Steph said...

I found your blog shortly after Nella was born and Ive loved reading it since. Your pictures are beautiful and your spirit has amazed me as you travel on your journey. We are in the hospital with our 3 month old and he's having genetic testing done for syndromes and your strength and beauty has been on my mind and in my heart as we go through this time. There is so much beauty in this post, every single face. Thank you for sharing your journey!!

Jen said...

I'm amazed and shocked, so I can just guess at how you feel, Kelle. I saw this right after it was posted, and there was about a hundred dollars in there. Not too long afterward it had jumped to a little over a thousand (thanks to one person donating a thousand). I just checked again, and it's up to twenty two thousand?

I'm pretty impressed with people right now.

Meme said...

Such a beautiful collage of the world's most beautiful babies! Thank you sharing your world with us!

Christie said...

My daughter Hannah was born shortly after Nella and I have loved watching them grow up "together." I am donating for Nella, but also for the renewed spirit that your blog offers me on a daily basis. Because of your blog, I care more about life, less about my dirty dishes, and take many more pictures of my baby girl! Thanks for sharing your world with us!

Linda MG in Soquel, CA said...

TO JEN - I, too, am pretty impressed with people right now, as you said! Wow! At times, people can let us down; we let them down. THe world can seem uncaring and then something like this restores a little faith in human beings. As someone else wrote, it IS amazing what can happen when one ASKS. Yes, indeed. I feel so proud and honored to be a part of such a giving, thoughtful, kind community here~ Love from the blog mama

Sarah RDH said...

Kelle, in my earlier comment I told you are moving mountains. I just checked and saw Nella has helped raise over $22,000!! I can't even believe it! But I can, bc everyone that reads this blog, we all love you & your family so much; we dont even know you, but we don't have to. I posted the link on my facebook, on babycenter and on gymboplace-which I got several msg's from others thanking me for posting & they contributed! And all of this started with sweet little Nella. This is for her. If it was my child, I could only hope & pray for such a response. It is so moving to see all your readers come together like this!! Way to go everyone!!

Jessica said...

What an honor it is to be able to give and pay it forward. Thank you for this opportunity! I have learned so much from reading your great blog and continue to read faithfully. It's the one blog that I remember to check religiously. :) Thank you for sharing about your life and the way precious Nella has impacted it for the the better. Much love to you and your wonderful family. Can't wait for Nella's birthday post! :)

~ Jessica

Jennifer said...

Thank you Kelle, for honoring not just your beautiful Nella but also all of our babes. You are doing such a wonderful thing and you have definitly changed the face of DS and the way so much of the public perseve (sp?) our children. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

myitalics.com said...

Reading your blog for the first time this afternoon was like taking a big gulp of cold, fresh water after running a marathon - invigorating, exhilarating, life affirming - to throw out a few adjectives. You truly have a gift for writing and photography, and they both flow naturally out of your beautiful spirit and love of life. You are truly blessed. Thank you for blessing us by sharing your incredible story!

cathy said...

Kelle,
honored to be a part of this...
Happy birthday to Nella & all the othe Ds Rockstars
They are celebrated in my home

We all have those busses waiting around the corner & it is up to US to rejoice in the times the bus is out of site & accept our feelings when we see the bus coming...it's ok

xoxo
cathy

LeeAnn said...

Someone told me after my son was born that "once I saw his magic. . . I would forever run TOWARDS all individuals with Ds". How so very true it has been. How could I not have seen this before in all these wonderful people who fill this world with their magic? Kelle - We are in the midst of social change --- heck, maybe even a revolution --and it is very exciting! You are a part of this and it is such important "work" (I say "work" b/c I know this is all a labor of love for you) you are doing to spread this word.... and the pictures you take and share are a huge part of the connection you are forming. To see Nella just being. . . is so powerful. Strange I know, but to SEE her and your family is so amazing! I hope your following continues to grow. Happy Birthday dear little Nella! xo

Tracey said...

Beautiful babies! We are going to adopt a baby or young child with DS this year (I hope!). I can't WAIT to add one of these precious people to our family. I gave! I posted on my Facebook! Now I'm going to subscribe to your blog. ;o) - Tracey

heather said...

your goal for 30,000.00 is so amazingly close at 23,000.00 , im praying for the rest fast. Amazing family , Amazing readers !!!! Amazing Nelle !



love and blessings the doughtys

Anzana Woodward said...

I am a new follower of your blog - and it's already brought me to tears.
My precious 10 year old cousin named Brynly has Downs Syndrom and she's the most magical & enlightened person i know. Her spirit and smile make me realize that life really is more simple than i give it credit for. We just need to love eachother & have fun. thank you for this post. it's made my day.

gin said...

I have learned more from you in the last year that I ever thought I could from someone I've never met. In April, I will have someone with the precious extra chromosome enter our family. My nephew, Jackson, will arrive and I can't wait to meet him and see the love in his beautiful, perfect face.
My birthday is Thursday. I always get at least $100 for my birthday. Whatever I get, I am giving to Nella's ONEder. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl.

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

Pssss: I think you need to raise your goal :)

mostlymorgan said...

I too am proud to donate...for Nella and my sweet cousin Donna, my friend's daughter Katherine...and all of the amazing kiddos that touch so many lives.

Thank you for your blog. It's been such a blessing--teaching me to slow down and enjoy the small things. Where some would find a disability you found joy and a purpose!

mostlymorgan said...

I too am proud to donate...for Nella and my sweet cousin Donna, my friend's daughter Katherine...and all of the amazing kiddos that touch so many lives.

Thank you for your blog. It's been such a blessing--teaching me to slow down and enjoy the small things. Where some would find a disability you found joy and a purpose!

Catherine (WA in PA) said...

I'm happy to donate Kelle.

Someone asked me today who my motivator is, and I didn't think twice and started talking about your blog. It's amazing what it became and what it has the potential to do for this world.

Do you have a "Pay it forward" button that we can put on our blogs?

Catherine (WA in PA) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

I stumbled upon your blog after someone posted it to FB...what a blessing you are! Our children are all precious and beautiful regardless of their differences! Happy Birthday to your darling daughter! Our family would be honored to take part in paying it forward! And I too will post to FB!

Kristyn said...

Thank you for opening the hearts and minds of so many to the reality of living with a babe with DS.

Your words and pictures have allowed so many to walk this journey with you over the last year. How could we not want to celebrate with you?

Michelle said...

I get so much out of your blog and pictures, and am so thankful you have given us the opportunity to pay it forward! I have loved following your blog and being inspired by your photos, particularly as my youngest was born the day before Nella.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh girlie you know this blog has meant so much. If I'm low on time yours is the only one I read. I just love you and your littles...so I'm off to do what I can to help this amazing cause. What a wonderful thing to do. Those pics really touched my heart!

blessingsandglory said...

What a wonderful way to truly celebrate Nella's first beautiful year of life. Thank you Kelle for your hopeful and encouraging words and of course for sharing your beautiful photos. Your spark is contageous!

Thank you again from one mama with a sweet child who is magically enhanced to another....

-Libby

Lani said...

You are such a gift to our amazing children. Thank you for what you do. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

megben18 said...

Happy Birthday, Little Nella.

LeeAnn said...

OK, so my elegantly said comment prose was just lost into the blog-o-sphere....but it was something about positive social change, a revolution, and the future standing on our shoulders. You can imagine where I was heading with it! Anyway, this is really good stuff you are doing both with your words and your pictures. Believe that it is changing and will change the lives of those coming after you on this wonderful-eye-opening journey into the human soul.

Happy birthday dear little Nella. xo

momMYsliceoflife said...

Kelle, thank you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey with us. Thank you for sharing a window into the world of your beautiful family and your beautiful, beautiful Nella with us. And thank you for the opportunity to be part of something so big and important. Happy Birthday to sweet Nella.

Bugg's mama said...

It is amazing how God manifests himself in this world. Through extra special little souls like our children, and through inspired people like you. Thank you so much.

Love, Bree

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