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:

1 – 200 of 532   Newer›   Newest»
Patti said...

What an honor to be included in Nella's birthday celebration! Since Nella and Lily are on opposite sides of the country, this was a delightful way to get them together for their first birthdays- thank you, Kelle...it's been a FABULOUS year :)

Krysta said...

Happy birthday sweet Nella!

Meghan said...

love. makes me teary. happy #1 baby girl n.

Ashley said...

Beautiful post, those babies melt my heart! Count my family in for donating!

Lauren said...

Passing on the word on Facebook. Because Nella, you've rocked my world. I remember the day I wandered onto your blog and saw her sweet eyes. I'm investing in designer genes!!!

Katy said...

So I teared up reading this post for sure.


:)

B's Mommy said...

Wow Kelle! Amazing idea to include us. I can't believe it has been a year. We all look forward to many many more. Thank you. BIG HUGS!

FEAS613 said...

I have learned so much - grown and changed in so many ways in the past 10 months... I feel $5.00 is nothing in comparison to what I feel I've gotten out of your blog - of Nella's 'existence' in my life. You've opened my eyes to so much... I would love nothing more than to donate to NDSS - I just need to get paid first!! So Tuesday (most random pay day in the world!! seriously - who gets paid on tuesdays!?) on my lunch break I will donate to Nella and 400,000 others... Thank you for exposing me to so many oppurtunities to help out!
I cannot believe Nella's going to be one already! Time flies!
~Beth

Katy said...

Oh and how could I forget to add HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY NELLA!!!! :)

Jennifer said...

I will be honored to pay it forward for Nella and her friends!

Loved all of the photos! Just beautiful! All of them.

:o)

Jennifer in Texas

M said...

Kelle, I have gotten so so much from your blog this past year; tears, laughter, inspiration, beauty, simple moments of pleasure in my day. Nthat was worht so much more than my small donation that I wish I could give more. Thank you so much.

Maria said...

How fortunate for any organization to have you as a spokesperson, Kelle. Your way with words, your compassion, your love of all things beautiful (and what beauty in those photographs!) are awe inspiring. I'm so glad I found this blog. It encourages me to be better, do better, see better. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I'm sure you'll have no problem meeting your goal.

Megan said...

They are all so beautiful. When I was in college I trained to become and early intervention specialist because a beloved high school teacher had miscarried a baby boy with DS and was so devastated to learn he had DS, and then doubly broken hearted to lose him. She was dear to me, and I was so touched by her fears for him, I wanted to do something that would help families like hers get the help, services, whatever they needed to get their sweet babies learning, growing, everything, as soon as possibly, and try to stave off some of the mama fears they understandably had. Well, I got my degree, but had two babies and was pregnant with a third at graduation, and life got in my way. It is still my dream job... someday!

Holly Hough said...

I can not stop crying..My daughter was born about a month after Nella and I have watched Nella grow with my daughter.I am donating to honor your beautiful daughter and my daughters peer. Happy Birthday precious Nella!!!

Brigetta said...

What a way to celebrate! Congratulations and Happy Birthday Nella. I have a feeling you are going to meet your goal several times over because of what you have shared this past year; it is a gift for your readers. So thank you, this is a celebration not only for your family but for all of us who have joined you this year on your journey as cheer leaders.

Casey said...

Thank you for sharing my Sunny Bunny's picture. I <3 what you're doing for our (DS) family.

tb.taylor said...

Thanks so much for the regular doses of beauty and inspiration!

My kid's birthdays never ceases to amaze me. Your blog has reminded me to document and make them extra special for my 12, 9 and 2 year old - here's to many more cupcakes, tiaras and loot bags!!!

Happy birthday sweet Nella! Love and Joy.

I will be donating - and challenge all my Canadian neighbours to do the same!!! Come on, Mamas!

BrittanyGodfrey1 said...

I have been lurking about for some time... your blog is simply beautiful. From you, to your little ladies and the honesty of your journey. My brother is disabled..not with DS...but yet the journey is so similar. It is a pleasure to join you in reaching your goal... and join these sweet little ones in reaching theirs.
It is a joy to read! And the picture of Nella looking up in blue is simply amazing, I assume you have already thought about posting it to an entire wall. :)
Brittany

Erika said...

what an honor to donate in nella's name. she has already done so much for kids all over the world with special needs. gooooo nella! off to donate!

xoxo,
erika

theurthmama.com

Jen said...
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SmallTownGirl said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and with tears rolling down my cheeks, I applaud you. Happy Birthday to your little girl and may your little piece of the internet reach many and bring awareness and hope to DS. You have a reader in me.

Bonni said...

I'm not sure how she came across it, but my mom sent me your entry about Nella shortly after you posted it last year. When I got to the part about Lainey meeting Nella for the first time, I cried so hard because it was such a beautiful moment. From then on, I've been a follower and I've loved watching your babies grow. They are so beautiful, and so are you. You are doing great things! Happy Birthday to your rockstar, and best wishes to all of you!

Melissa LaRue Photography said...

I have never seen as much beauty in one place than I do on your blog. and I am not talking physical beauty...im talkin' raw, soulful, powerful beauty. How lucky we all are to share this journey with you. Thank you, Kelle. Thank you Thank you a million times over. and of course, Happy Happy Happy Birthday Nella. You will change more lives than you could ever imagine. Love from my little family to yours...

p.s. can I trade some Michigan cold weather for some mild Florida weather?? Even just a day?

Best,
Melissa LaRue

Jules363 said...

I can't tell you what an honour it is to have Georgia's photo on your blog. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Shared on facebook, of course, to give all my friends the opportunity to see all these beautiful kids. Happy birthday, Nella!

Jennie said...

Happy birthday, Nella!
Kelle - You are one of the best things to happen to Down syndrome awareness and advocacy! Thanks for letting Micah be part of it.

Mrs. Mazzei said...

I am speechless. Beautiful...every detail of this post and your blog. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us this past year. Happy almost birthday, Nella!

Kelly said...

Kelle,
Nella and your family literally changed my life. It has changed the way I see the world, the way I parent, the way I see beauty in the small things. I had no idea a blog could be so powerful. Thank you. I will be paying it forward!

celena10 said...

Paying and more.. Happy bday Nella:)

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SunflowerStories said...

Honored to be a part of this campaign and eager to share the world. Thank you, Kelle, for you drive and your love!

Cloud9Climber said...

How lucky you are to have Nella and how very lucky she is to have YOU as her Mommy. You are a true inspiration. Happy birthday Miss Nella C! xoxo

Heather said...

That is the sweetest post ever! I think Nella and all those precious babies are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for posting and for sharing your little angel!

annamae said...

you are so inspiring! whenever i see a new post on your blog, i am excited t read it. yo inspire me, not only to be a part of this campaign, but i have dreams of being a photographer, and seeing your posts inspires me! thank you!

erikatx said...

there's my baby boy...Ethan.. the reason I am who I am today...

All I want for him (and others like him) is for him to be accepted and be able to have the same opportunities in life as his sisters and everyone else.

Happy Birthday Nella!

jolie said...

Kelle...awwwwww...beautiful! I love ever single picture...made my eyes tear up just looking at all those beautiful sweet faces!!! I wish I had enough money to give back for all I feel I have gained from you...you are such an inspiration! My littlest one will be 1 in February...so it has been a joy to share in your journey as we are on ours. Thanks for being real...thanks for being you! I am honored to pay it forward for Nella's Birthday! Hugs to you!!!
Jolie N.

Stef said...

gosh, this post made me cry and I'm not one to cry easily. But I love when stuff evokes true, deep emotion.
Every time I see a picture of Nella with an ear-to-ear grin, I get choked up. She melts me in seconds.

Looking forward to seeing her birthday post in a couple weeks!

outdoorber said...

Thank you for continuing the fight "to create a culture that fully accepts and includes individuals with Down syndrome."
My grandma started it in our area when my uncle was born. She started the first school in the western united states for people with Down syndrome. (This was after they had to steal him out of the hospital!)
These are pictures of my Uncle Joe with his Sister, my mom.
http://picasaweb.google.com/outdoorber/JoeSep82010?authkey=Gv1sRgCMDUmIaPzqHevAE&feat=directlink

sue said...

Beautiful. Every post is beautiful. Happy Birthday Nella.

MarieCri said...

What a great idea! Just went and gave what I could. I just thought "if that blog were a book, I would buy it right away". So I paid what I usually pay for a book (and books are more expensive in Canada where I live so Yay for you :P). By the way, you deserve way more than what I could afford to give for all the inspiration you've provided my with since I've started reading you Kelle. But for now, being a poor student :P, I can't do more. But I hope everyone is generous and you get a beautiful birthday gift for Nella!!!

Cheri said...

Okay, we are all still up... Reid included, and just clicked over to your blog. As we read your words together and scrolled through pictures Reid kept saying, "awww, cute", or "baby" and then when he saw himself his eyes got big and he took a deep breath and chirped "Reid!" and kept pointing at himself. Thanks for the new smudge finger marks on my computer screen....they are a treasure to me! ...and THANK YOU for this pay it forward, what a beautiful way to celebrate Nella's first birthday and to honor all 400,000 of our extra chromosomally kissed kiddos. You are a beautiful soul!

Janet said...

So what have I taken from this blog this past year?

A lot of love.
Great music.
Support.
Validation.
Inspiration.
A reminder that we are all more similar than different.
Some great laughs, and some quiet tears.

Happy Birthday Nella. And thank you.

Alaina and Kyle said...

Happy first birthday nella! We are honored to be included with all these beautiful children!

Amber said...

The love in this post... just overwhelming! Happy birthday to Nella, and thank you for touching my life. Wishing your family every happiness in all the small things. :)

The Lincolns said...

Donation made and I posted to my FB page for others to see as well. I feel we can ALL learn something from sweet souls like your Nella and all of those beautiful babies in this post (and the world). Thank you for enriching my life through your words and pictures. You inspire me. Best birthday wishes to your sweet girl.

Cloud9Climber said...

Sorry! Triple post! I don't know what happened.

lauren said...

happy birthday nella!!! you are so loved and chosen by God to be the face of something new that is happening in the hearts of so many! thank you for sharing your joy with us!!! :)

Summer Loving Gal said...

Kelle, how well you expressed it! I had just showed a friend your blog the other day because....it just touches me when I read it. Today was no exception. LOVED seeing all those smiling faces.
Happy 1st Birthday,dear Nella!

hugs
Denise

Jen said...

Oh, my heart skipped several beats on this one. Kelle, I wish I could put into words what your writing has done for me (and continues to do). I appreciate your honesty and openness in all of this. So many times I've laughed and cried. So many times I've nodded my head in a knowing kind of way. And for the record, not just about Nella. About runaway dogs and fiercely independent toddlers/preschoolers and messy rooms. My boy is also coming up on his first birthday and I know it's gonna be a doozie in the emotion department. If Nella's birthday can bring me to tears, imagine what my own child's special day will do to me. Nella's birthday around the corner also means it's almost one year of me faithfully following your blog. One of the first posts I read was about Brett teaching Lainey to swim and the song "Daughter" was playing. To this day, that song does something to me because it brings me back to the early days when it was all fresh and new. And I suppose, it was still pretty new to you too. Thank you SO much, Kelle, for making this journey called motherhood all the sweeter.

DisneyRose said...

I reposted on Facebook and will keep doing it every chance I get... proud to be a part of such an amazing opportunity to honor and improve the lives of such an amazing group of extra special people!
Happy Birthday to Nella...look at the number of lives she has already touched in one short year...imagine what she will accomplish in her lifetime!
Thank you, Kelle!

Sher said...

I am so there! These faces! These GORGEOUS faces!!

Slices of cheesecake everywhere!

We can do it! We can certainly reach this goal as a token of our appreciation of you Kelle and all that you give and do all the while letting us watch you and comment and learn from.

You are an inspiration and these kids are the inspiration to pay it forward.

(((Hugs)))

Sher

Jill said...

Oh, Kelle! This is amazing. Beautiful! What a wonderful way to celebrate Nella...and all of our little rockstars!

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

Sarah said...

This is amazing! Happy Birthday to Nella!!! My cousin has Down Syndrome and he's almost 40. This is so inspiring and an awesome cause!!!

Littlest Learners said...

I've been inspired so much by your blog. The thing I am most grateful for has been gaining the motivation to take more pictures and write more words to document my own little life with my family. I created a gorgeous 12 x 12 photobook of all our 2010 pictures as a gift to my husband (following your lead) and am in love with it. I'm so grateful to be documenting the simple things in my world so that I will remember them. Thank you Kelle!

Poppy's Mom said...

Count me in, and I will spread the word!!

Thank you for all of the beauty you've given through your blog. It is my honor and pleasure to give back.

BobbysMommy said...

Kelle,

It's impossible to put a pricetag on all that your blog has taught me about being a better Mom and a better human being. I'm thrilled to donate in Nella's honor. Thanks a million for everything you do to make the world a better place! God bless your sweet family, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NELLA!!!!

mmariemk said...

"Investing in designer genes" I love that! Count me in! We love you guys. And the birthday hat is ad-or-a-ble! Tut please. :) id love to make one for ny February birthday girl.

Laura said...

I smiled and smiled over and over at all those sweet and blessedly familiar faces...and then to see my sweet famous Amos included there too - thank you for including our little lovey rockstar. And thank you, Kelle for cradling so many new mamas fearful & uncertain hearts by your way with words, and your great big love.

I love all of these little ones. So precious & perfect & beautiful. Happy 1st birthday Nella!

The T Family said...

donation made :) and so pleased to have done so in Nella's honor and the least I could do in return for the inspiration you have brought to so many Kelle!!

Rosa said...

Oh my godddd, can these children be any more georgous? Thank you for opening my eyes and you can count me in!:)

sarah said...

crying. will be able to give as soon as my husband gets paid next week. what a beautiful joy nella is. she has changed MY life, that's for sure. please give her extra kisses on her sweet baby head from the stranger in alabama who thinks she is so fabulous and special and bright. what a gift.

j210209 said...

Oh my god.. All those photos! So beautiful, you've got me crying at 7.04am :)
As soon as we get paid you can count me in for donating! x

Mimi said...

SO HAPPY TO CONTRIBUTE!!!!
Loved every picture, read every name, they are wonderful beautiful little beings and we can give because we all care!!
Love shows and springs forth!!!
Happy Birthday Nella --you and I share the same birthday by the way, so like it or not you and I are connected BY HEART Strings forever!!!!
Love ya,
mimi--jamie

Sher said...

Done!

And if the amount donated so far is any indication of how you will do in 2 weeks...YOU ARE THERE GIRL and then some!

Kudos to you Kelle~ You and your family make all the difference.

jujubird said...

Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your beautiful life with us. It has meant so much to me. Your photos are inspirational, you and your girls are inspirational. I have been a lurker here for almost ten months when my amazing baby boy was born. Most of your posts move me to tears and leave me full of hope and joy. I feel like Calder has grown right alongside Nella. He has a few more months to one though! Happy birthday Nella!

I hope you surpass your goal!

Kimberly {YeP, they are all mine} said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday! I made a donation in honor of Nella and my real-life friends Joaquin & Sofia. :-)

Ky said...

Every single one of those faces are just beautiful. There sure is something magical about them. I just want to hug every single one of them! I don't know what it is about Down Syndrome people, but they are extra special and extra beautiful. And they don't even know it which makes it even better.

Mackenzie Rice said...

THERE'S MY LILY! you go girlfriend. and happy birthday to sweet nella pie :)

Roksalanna said...

Thankyou for sharing these photos of these beautiful children with us and thanks for showing us how we can give.
xxoo

Kristi said...

Thanks for the opportunity to help such sweet little people! Happy birthday, Nella. You are so lucky to have a family that loves you so very much.

Teanna said...

I have followed your blog silently for a little while and I want to thank you. You have opened my eyes to the world of Down Syndrome. I see these children for the beautiful little miracles they are. Your Nella makes my heart sing. Happy Birthday little Nella!

sandy+bails said...

it makes me so warm inside that you are doing do much.. it makes me half wish my mum and little sister (shes almost 18 has it as well) lived in america there seems to be alot more oppurtunites and help over there.

your amazing

and happy birthday to the gorgeous nella

DeAnn said...

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am to have found your blog this past year. My sweet Sarah was born just a couple of months after your precious Nella. Like you, I had no idea in the moments before her birth, just how much our lives were about to change. In those early weeks after her birth I would sit up late at night on the computer trying to find every bit of information I could about DS and what I could do to give Sarah the best life possible. I'll never forget the night I stumbled across your blog. I felt like I had found a kindred spirit who was traveling this same road, just a couple of steps ahead of me. Along with your beautiful photos, reasuring words, and infectious music you have reminded me countless times, what I knew to be true the very first time I held Sarah in my arms. That this is the life God has prepared me for, and I am going to rock it out! I am honored to make a donation in Nella's name, and pass this on on Facebook.
Happy Birthday beautiful Nella, and Happy Birthday to you as well Kelle. You are changing the world in a most wonderful way. <3

Laura said...

What a beautiful beautiful post!!! And a stunning initiative!!!!!

The Sanchez Family said...

Kelle- you are my hero! I can't wait to see this play out. It's going to be AMAZING! Happy Birthday Nella...we all LOVE you so much! So happy to have Joaquin & Sofia share is some small way your amazing first year! Cheers to MANY MANY MANY more years!

heather said...

So much beauty in one post! I am seriously loving all of those beautiful pictures! Each one so unique and so beautiful. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Nella's first year than by paying it forward. Thanks for including my little ray of sunshine in your post. I love seeing her picture surrounded by so many beautiful faces. Many who I recognize and love. I shared this on my blog and hope it's ok that I swiped the banner and put it on my blog post. I'm terrible with copyright laws. Ha ha. But really let me know if you don't want it on there. I just really wanted that cute little Nella bean's face to be on my post. Epic day indeed.
Love you!
xo

laurieg said...

I was an educational assistant for a little boy with an extra chromosome for two years and my life will never be the same. He lit up my world. It's been a year since I've been following and I couldn't think of anything but giving to your nella and every other little with a little extra magic.
There's a special spot in heaven for you girlfriend. I'm going to click right now!

Laurie

Ps the picture of nella with the white background and Barrett is stunning!

Jamie Thompson said...

Those are some of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. You Momma's and Daddy's have much to be proud of and what an honor you have given to all of us by sharing. Not only all of these wonderful children but by sharing your own wonderfully wild journey. To offer us a window into just how crazy beautiful life is with your super special girl! Thank you Kelle and Happy Birhtday Sweet baby Nella! Can't wait to help you reach well beyond your goal! :)

Anna said...

Happy Birthday Nella!
Kelle, you are soooo great and amazing! Thank you.

Alyson said...

I just found your blog and I am in tears. Your story is amazing! My husband's younger brother has down syndrome....he is now 21. He has accomplished so much in his 21 years and such an inspiration. He has met the president and the governor of Utah, was homecoming king, sang the national anthem at his high school football games, local rodeos, tons of motivational conferences, and local baseball games. He is an amazing individual. If you are interested in hearing more of his story...email me.

I will be donating to your fund and will be passing it on through my blog and facebook.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Alyson
peacefulmamma.blogspot.com

Finally_Some1's_Mommy said...

I am honored and a bit humbled to be able to help out! Your blog makes my heart happy every single time! Happy 1st birthday Nella!

Julie H. Schaal said...

Happy Birthday Nella!

betsey said...

Done and Done...What an amazing idea! I've loved reading your blog this past year and have been inspired to love a little more each day! Thanks for everything, Happy Birthday Nella!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Headed to make a donation in honor of your Nella...who has change ME too. Happy Birthday Precious Nella. YOU are making the world a different place. A better place. Thank You for being YOU.

LilianEveDesigns said...

Beautiful job,. Bravo. You amaze me everyday. Happy birthday to your lovie. God bless the innocent hearts.

xoxo

mrsmacolsson said...

Beautiful beautiful pictures of beautiful beautiful babies, toddlers, children and young adults.
We have been blessed with 3 "normal" children, and have just lost a baby at 13 weeks pregnant for the second time in two years. I spent Christmas Day in hospital miscarrying. We long for a 4th child,but as I will be 40 in 2 weeks time, we also know that time might be running out. Still, hope is a wonderful thing! With that in mind, I am donating to the Oneder Fund today, to give hope to another precious child.
What a wonderful way to say Happy Birthday, to a very beautiful Nella Cordelia.

Becca said...

Ah, so many beautiful (and FAMILIAR!!) faces! Lovely. :-) Happy almost birthday Nella!

Dayna said...

Thanks for letting us be a part of this celebration!
To the parents of the children posted here: If your child isn't already featured on my website please send me a picture. Luke inspired me to create it and it's designed to offer hope and encouragement to new parents. www.alifeworthliving.us email@alifeworthliving.us Birthday Blessings Sweet Nella!!

Kim said...

What a beautiful post and a beautiful way to honor Nella and all of those other adorable faces. $5 is a small thing to give when you and Nella and your family have given your readers so much inspiration.

Masonmansmommy said...

Every parent wants what you ask for for Nella--to be loved, accepted, and cherished. Nella deserves it, Lainey deserves it, and my boys as well. So we will happily support Nella and all her magical friends.
And Nella's gift to me has been getting me to watch, really watch, my boys as they grow. I gave a little to her, but she (and all the Hamptons) have given far more to me.

Jorie said...

Kelle, over the past year of reading your blog, I have been inspired, motivated and uplifted. Thank you for that. And thank you for this post...these precious little ones are beautiful in every way possible and are making the world a better place one day at a time.
Happy first birthday Nella!

Dawn said...

Donated to your sweet Nella Cordelia and all the other little stars! How is she ONE already????? Happy EARLY birthday! love love lllllllloooovvvveeee that her first birthday outfit was her coming home outfit. That, my dear, is super! Can't wait to see pictures of the party! And you ask what I have gained? Inspiration........keep it up....

Tracy said...

Wishing a first birthday filled with blessings both big & small Nella! It has been a treasure following you & your family this past year. So many memories for me have resurfaced; especially knowing that we began our own journey at Healthpark & Fort Myers.... so bittersweet. Your mommy is so much more than most, & you have blessed her, Daddy & your big sister with gifts the "typical" family don't get.
Kelle it is a comfort to snuggle into your blog & feel the reassurance of unity.... of knowing that in a world where fear & ignorance can make me feel defeated I can tune in to you & take a sip of triumph & LOVE. Thank you.

sweetnektar said...

Will DEFINITELY pay it forward!! What a blessing it has been to share in the joys of your family. It has inspired me to start my own blog as I always considered myself someone who "enjoyed the small things" but through your blog I saw all that is possible in SHARING this attitude to life with others. My cup has always been and will CONTINUE to be half full, HELL, I'd go one further and say it's brimming with joy and THAT is largely due to the purity of SPIRIT we have experienced through our daughter Ruby. Reading your blog is like experiencing that 1st year all over again and I feel honored to be included in this momentous occasion that is Nella's 1st Birthday. Shout it out to the rooftops.....Nella is ONE!!!

Kimberlee said...

I love each face.
This is going to be big. Huge!
Thank you.

GraceesMommy said...

seriously...what a great way to start a day! Beautiful faces..be still my heart..sitting on the couch with my girl looking at each one..we love them all but Gracee was taken with Ruby as the second choice for my girl's name was Ruby and it appears that it really should have been her name...we occasionally have to call her by it just to humor her. Oh and the giving...is there anything more soul satisfying than giving. If it had been up to my girl you would have had our bank account..makes me know how important it is to go beyond ourselves, our bills, our wants and give..parents teach your children early!! Sit them down with you and share the incredible experience of giving with them. Happy Birthday dear Nella..you have in your one year stolen the hearts of many, changed the minds of many and just made this big blue marble a better place to be. ♥

rachel b said...

happy birthday nella!

in the small school district i teach at, i've had one ds student in my 6th grade class. he joined the basketball team this year as an 8th grader and was recently in the newspaper!

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/article_90ff4dde-0fc0-11e0-b583-001cc4c002e0.html

i love reading your blog and i love the awareness you are raising for ds!

i'll be paying it forward!!

Maggie said...

How could I not have been aware of their magic??? Well said. I have changed Kelle. Because of you, your blog, and your beautiful baby girl. I hope you know that your girl (and other magical little ones) are loved by strangers and mamas around the world because of this space. How wild is that?! An amazing mission, one worth fighting for, one I am happy to help. Happy Birthday Nella!!!! And thank you to all you brave mamas out there!!!! (Ok, I have officially reached my tear quota for the day.......) Beautiful, so very beautiful.

Sarah said...

You are an amazing person - for your daughter, and for all the other DS kids out there!

I miscarried a baby girl at 13 weeks because she had downs syndrome....as devastating as that was on both accounts, I now have a different outlook of what our life might have been like....thank you for putting that positive energy into my mind!

Thanks for letting us help celebrate Nella's birthday! Happy birthday sweet girl!

Philip May said...

Kelle, count the May's in times 4! I'm so bummed for missing the call for pictures. (Figures you made that call after I made the New Years resolution to spend LESS time on facebook! Drat!) Ha!

I don't have to repeat what your blog means to me personally; I am converted apostle of the Kelle Hampton church of "A lot of little really good things are going to happen today, so take note and be grateful!" (need the marketing people to work on that name.)

God bless you for all you do!

much love,
Phil
www.deedahandme.com/blog

TheHouseWifeRookie said...

It would be my honor to pay it forward! I just wish I could do more! your blog has been such a blessing and inspiration to me this year! Happy Birthday to that sweet little girl!

Furrla said...

I don't usually comment, but I've been a follower since I found your site with Nella's beautiful birth story almost a year ago.
Your words and pictures are always uplifting to me, so I'm honored to be a part of uplifting sweet Nella, your family and the whole down syndrome community! :)

A Cappelli said...

I was holding my little one, Violet, who will also be turning 1 this month (Jan.28th) in my arms when I was reading this post. I couldn't help but squeeze her more closely because your words, the photographs you shared of these beautiful children, just overwhelmed me with love. And when, we came to the photograph of Nella staring up with her gorgeous eyes- Violet became so excited and started pointing as if she recognized a friend. We, of course, made a donation.

The Martys said...

I will be honored to pay it forward in honor of my daughter and sweet Nella and all the other beautiful children out in there. What a beautiful post. IT had me in tears. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful faces. It warmed my heart and I too, have those same dreams for Emma, my angel eyes. Thanks for this blog to open the eyes of so many, so they too, can experience the beauty of Down syndrome.

Thank you,
Amy

teal915 said...

Once again, you've made me think about something I had never thought of and given me hope for whatever may come. Thank you for your words.
http://teal915.blogspot.com/

heather said...

what a blessing it is to be included in something so beautiful and magical . Thanks to nelle and her extra sweetness !!!

I will def pay it forward, You are an amazing person and you have an amazing family.
and i loved the pictures of all the littles that have that something extra.......extra dose of gods love.

love and blessings the doughtys

Hannah Joy said...

Oh Kelle! Those face, THANK YOU. What a beautiful post, what beautiful little lives. I wish I could express how much Nella's first year, your journey has impacted me. You have shown the beautiful face(s) to Down Syndrome, one that has so desperately been missing in our culture. I have learned so much from this blog, there is so much more I could say...But I'll keep it to: THANK YOU. Hubby and I are talking how we can help...Have posted on facebook and also will share on my (small ;0) blog.

Happy early Birthday to Nella, and Birthing day to you Mama!

Rik said...

This has been a year of tear stained keyboards and stretch-marked hearts. Yes, I echo those words--how could we have been so unaware of the magic within these children?! I was so proud to show off your girls last night--and Austyn was such a gentleman! I am smitten with the wonder here...the Oneder! You know we will be making a contribution...for she certainly has to us! --Poppa and Gary

The Mac's House said...

What a great idea. I have a friend that adopted a child from EE with Downs Syndrome who has a birthday party for her child and asks for donations in lieu of presents.

I see some familiar faces in your photo montage. :)

Definitely will be donating. I am an avid donator to those that are adopting children thru Reece's Rainbow. I feel it is an honor to help out those who are adopting to help offset their costs.

Happy Birthday Nella, can't wait to hear all about your birthday celebration of life!

;)
Teri

Roxanne said...

A wonderful idea Kelle, so happy to support you in your goal, I truly hope you reach and exceed it.

You are an inspiration!

Cameo's Angels said...

What a beautiful post! I just love all of those beautiful babies. It was fun to even see some that I follow. Their smiles, just like Nella's, are well like looking at God. I know that has been said over and over, but it is so true. Ds children have this magic about them, this air that says Im special and I want to love you! We will be happy to donate to NDSS in honor of Miss Nella and we want to wish her a very happy birthday! I have said it before and will say it again, she has already changed our lives for the better. She has made this family, where Ds has never touched our lives in any way, strive to find a way to bring that joy and love into it. Happy Birthday Miss Nella and Thanks Kelle for blogging about your beautiful life!

KWQR said...

Dude. Just when I think you can't rock it any better, you go & bring it... and I mean bring it... to the next level. I love this post with all my heart & all of the love & beauty behind it makes my soul feel buoyant. I only wish I had checked my FB yesterday so my Quinn could be a part of it... figure on the one day I "unplug"! :-)
Thank you Kelle - you are amazing beyond words.
xo
Kate

Corey said...

Oh Kelle, this is so beautiful! I loved seeing all of the beautiful, magical faces. Nella is such an amazing gift! I will be sharing this with everyone I know! And of course donating : )

It would have been a privilege to see our precious Bennett alongside Nella and the other adorable children. I was a little late getting the picture in : (

Thank you for all you do!

Samantha said...

Happy early 1st birthday, Nella!

I stumbled on your blog earlier this year and it has easily become my favorite to see in my google reader each week. It has been a beautiful experience.

I think, like most people, I didn't think of Down Syndrome much before, and if I did come across the issue, it was with sadness because I didn't understand. I no longer feel that! Thank you for sharing the joy. I donate with a happy heart.

Taylor said...

Loved this post and seeing all those beautiful children! Just made a donation in honor of "Nella and all the DS rockstars" out there...So, happy birthday baby!
PS- I love all the pics of Nella in the bday hats my favorite leans towards one of the close ups of her precious smile but if you really made me chose (which you aren't) I double love the ones where you see the red chair and those chubby legs in tights and the mary janes- darling :)

Courtney Williams said...

What an amazing way to spread the love! I love it! I will donate and spread the word not only for Nella, and my daughter, Maddie, but for all the people living with Down syndrome. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an advocate, not only for your daughter, but for all of our children as well. You inspire me to do more, and be more. Happy early birthday to Nella! We will be celebrating Maddie's 1st birthday 5 days after Nella's! What an amazing journey this 1st year has been! It's been great to "share" yours with you.

Autumn said...

Beautiful Post, What beautiful individuals!! Will absolutely give, wish I could do more. This whole idea of giving on a birthday is amazing. ONE-derful!! :-)

Mrs Mason said...

Consider it done! Happy Birthday Nella and thank you for the 12 months of joy and happiness you have brought to me and my friends too.

Love Helen xx

heather said...

EVERYONE CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO. HE HAS A LITTLE SISTER WITH D.S AND ITS FOR HER AND ALL THE OTHER BEAUTIES . ENJOY IT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b7y9UYt_fM


LOVE AND BLESSINGS THE DOUGHTYS

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Pay it forward, Party People!!!!!

Oh, this just plum made my day. I do believe this is the happiest post ever written, in all of Blogdom.

Off to click that link...

secrets of a suburbian wife said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate Nella's Birthday! Such an honor to be part of it. Thank you for sharing your story over this past year, it has truly melted my heart.

lbfoster said...

Oh Kelle,

This is just perfect! This story, keeps getting better and better! Thank you. Thank you for the amazing voice you are lending on their behalf.

All those beautiful faces looking back at us, and I'm so proud to be the mama of a certain lil blue-eyed one. Such bright futures ahead...Oh the places they will go!

For the past nine months now, I've been asked in some capacity to be more, to do more. There have been plenty of times I questioned and doubted that I was up for it. But, we put one foot in front of the other and...well, here we are. With a life that is blessed, happy, and far richer than I could have EVER imagined. We're still learning, but what a beautiful journey unfolding.

Much like my boy, you have also asked me to be more, to do more. You have been such a gift to me these past nine months. I look forward to continuing this journey with you. Think I've said this before, but you really are a great traveling buddy.

Thank you also to everyone of you readers who are making a difference for our kids. Every little bit counts.

Much, much love to you! And looking forward to Nella's special day!

andrea said...

oh this post it amazing!
the beautiful pics, the challenge to give!
i'm all about it!
i'll be donating :)

thank you!

Robin said...

just donated... so in love with nella! happy birthday beautiful baby!

Lisa L. said...

Happy Birthday little girl. I just left a birthday gift on your donation site. Have a great one!! Lisa L.

babydayphotography said...

kelle-
you have changed the course of my life-and i am forever grateful for so many things. starting with pushing me in the direction of a million miles in a thousand years. what a life changing book-and you are the same way. i will happily give, happily because your outlook and vision is contagious and so many of my friends have also connected to you. and the fact that you dislike post offices, you chant "let her help", your taste in music, and your honest way of loving every child makes me keep coming back for more inspiration-because we all need constant encouragement to become the story that we want. thank you for such a beautiful year.
happy birthday nella-you have made so many changes in the world already-i can't image what is in store for your amazing life...

Adrienne said...

Beautiful Kelle! Thanks for all you do for our DS community! Thanks for including Bennett and I loved seeing all these precious kids! Amazing!

Jannelle M said...

ha ha you always pull on my heart and soul strings!! Sitting here with coffee and tears!! Going to donate now, and share with 600 people on FB!! Happy Birthday Sweet Sweet Nella!!! I hope the goal is reached!!!!!!!

The Fischer Family said...

Kelle I can't even begin to tell you how much reading your blog over this past year has affected my life! I fell in love with your sweet little Nella at first sight! You've made me laugh, you've made me cry, you've made me realize how blessed we all are, no matter our circumstances. Now, I am trying to talk to my husband about adopting our own child with DS. But until then I will gladly donate to this wonderful cause! Good luck in meeting your goal. I have a feeling you will surpass it spectacularly! Happy happy 1st birthday sweet little Nella!

nmassie218 said...

Wow what an amazing post. So many beautiful faces. I am so inspired. Happy birthday beautiful Nella!!

Midwest Girl said...

I made a comment when I first came onto this site and read Nella's birth story that I believe that children with down syndrome are more special than we will ever know. I think they are the most kind, gentle, caring people on the planet, there isn't a bad bone in their body. I met a lot of children with DS while I was a camp counselor and those children and all their goodness have stuck with me over the years.

Kelle, you asked as to write what we have taken away from this site. I have taken your positive attitude and your love of the world into my daily life. Reading your posts is a highlight of my day. I've strived to take more photos of my one precious life. I've always known that when little ones ask for my attention, to give it because it they won't always ask. But it's even more apparent in my life now that I'm dating someone with children who aren't with us all time. The weekends they are here I want nothing more than to soak up every moment of joy that they put out in the world. I have always known this, but reading your words reminds me of it in wonderful ways.

Nella, Happy Birthday! May you grow more beautiful with each passing year. May you always remember that you have potential to do amazing things. May you know that you have people who think you rock close to you and others who reside miles and miles away. May you and your sister treasure your bond and support each other through everything. May you find the goodness in your life and the loving world around you. Cheers to another amazing year!

Kristy said...

I have been reading your blog for the last year and I absolutely love it! Thank-you so much. I am currently a full-time student doing an unpaid internship, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to donate in honor of Nella's birthday! Happy first birthday beautiful girl!

Jen said...

Ah.maz.ing.

After seeing your facebook picture all-call about 45 minutes too late, I figured I would send a picture anyway, if only to share with you and your sweet family. I was totally surprised to see our sweet Cami's face amidst the sea of beauty (some familiar--Bennett, Reid, Morgan ;)in your post. Thank you for including our sweet peanut. I will be blogging, sharing on FB, and emailing to all. You are moving mountains, Kelle. I am proud to have Cameran be a small part of it.

Happy Birthday Nella!

Jen

http://lovingpeanut.blogspot.com

CandiceM said...

Happy Birthday, Nella!!

I'm not eloquent like you but you have taught me a lot....opened up my eyes....and opened up me!

You have also helped me heal a little bit. My daughter was born early and spent 10 days in NICU. While I know it's nothing along the lines of what you have gone through you have helped me deal with a birth experience that was not at all how I pictured it.

~Shannon~ said...

I can't donate alot, but I sure can do a little, and I'm more than happy to do it! Happy Birthday, Nella!

Linda said...

I missed this opportunity to share Lila with your readers but I was thrilled to see all of the beautiful faces that were spotlighted on this post. Thanks for everything you do to advocate for all of our kids.

We are blessed to have you in our extended family.

Rachel said...

Kelle-
Thank you for your realness and your desire to share your heart with us. I am blessed beyond words with gratitude. You've made me look at life different -- you've made my daughter (Hannah from Aspire) look at life different. Better. With a clearer and yet more gentle lens.

Happy Birthday to your sweet Nella.

Blessings beyond measure to you.

Rachel

Team Lando said...

Will Nella be friends with our Ellie in a couple months when Ellie is born? Thanks for all you are doing for our special little ones!

craykray said...

Happy Birthday Nella! I think my new favorite pastime is clicking "refresh" on the donation page and seeing how many other people have donated in the last few seconds. Just in the past few minutes, other beautiful souls have donated over $1000! This blog has inspired me to see beauty in everything. Thank you!

Melissa M said...

I'm bummed I missed your photo call. I loved looking at all the pictures of our enhanced friends, so many of who I recognize through blogs. My little one will be turning 1 right along with Nella. And like you said, what a year it's been. I've learned so much, my eyes have been opened, and my heart won't ever be the same.

Jill said...

Oh my goodness! I was in PURE JOY looking at EACH and EVERY photo! PRECIOUS! Will pass this along...FOR SURE!

Tricia said...

Happy birthday Nella!

I cannot express what an impact you all have made on me. Especially Nella. She is beautiful, irreplaceable, and precious. You, Kelle, inspire me to be a better person. Your family is wonderful and you are all such bright stars in our world. I will sharing on FB, emailing, and blogging, anything I can.


http://ablessedquietlife.blogspot.com/

Michelle said...

I have been reading your blog for a year now and I pass it to everyone I can because you are just that good! I met a woman a few weeks ago that is the chairperson for the KC Down Syndrome chapter and I asked her if she "knew" you. Of course she knew exactly who you are. Because of you, I am getting involved in DS fund raisers. I want to pay it forward in everyway that I can.

Nella is a very special girl who has already done great things in just one year.

oursweetstory.com said...

I don't even know where to start, but to say that you and your story have inspired me doesn't seem to do it justice. As a young mom to three kids under four you words lift me up when I need lifting. Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter. Thank you for letting us be apart of it.

Mike and Amanda said...

I've been a follower since January, when my sister told me about Nella being born. I'm going to be donating to the fund in honor of my baby sister, Abbey, who is 22, born with down syndrome and is in the hospital right now fighting for her life. This week she was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and has been intubated. You have so inspired me this past year to appreciate life, love my kids better and make every day a little more special for anyone I have the blessing of coming in contact with. Thank you for the awareness you are creating for our littles with DS...its about time the world sees how much better it is with them in it.

(for a picture of my sister, just search for me on facebook. She's my profile photo)

picture.girl said...

You INSPIRE me soooo much to do something great with my one wild and precious life and I can not find enough words to even thank you! Happy Birthday Nella, please know you have one special mama there with you. You are so blessed!

Vonda said...

LOVE THIS, my heart is beating so hard!!! Loved Miss Nella SO much you just don't even know!! Well I guess you do, but just sayin. Loved seeing my Noah's face with all of these other almond eyed beauties. I cannot wait to make my contribution, but will do so tomorrow when hubby gets home from his business trip, cause then it will be BIGGER!!! Love you!!!

Oh and seeing all these beauties together makes me think, YOU SHOULD DO A CALENDAR. Just say when and we'll be at your front door!!! :)

Mommyof3 said...

Kelle-
Thank you for including my sweet niece, Elise, in your latest post! I know you love to suck the marrow out of life, and Elise does just that. :) She is a joy & inspiration to us and has changed our family for the better!
I have been following your blog for several months and have been inspired by your beautiful pictures and your enthusiasm for living.
I will be thrilled to donate to ndss in Nella's honor! Happy, happy birthday sweet Nella!
Keep the beautiful posts coming,
Jenny

byHisGrace4HisGlory said...

Oh my - do you see this? I know you do - you are having an amazing day watching the counter for donations going up and up! All I have to do is refresh my page, and it has changed! Only 24 hours or less have passed, and you are almost at 50%! I think your goal was a little "o ye of little faith"-ish! Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Nella! I have so enjoyed your first year!

Kelle said...

Tears. I don't know what else to say. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep 'em coming. I'm not the only mama checking, I'm sure.

SeƱorita Carolina said...

I don't think you're going to have a problem raising your goal amount- you're nearly half-way there now! Go Nella's Rockstars!!!

Moosefan said...

Last night at a high school basketball game in Silverdale WA, a group of Special Olympians from local schools here in our area played a scrimmage game during halftime. Every step, toss, basket was met with the loudest applause. When the teams came back out and the buzzer rang, we gave a standing ovation, the players from our HS highfived and fist bumped their friends, their equals in sports!
Our family is happy and honored to help Nella and the many other children to have the opportunity to high five, fist bump and receive standing ovations!
Carole

Rik said...

Praying for Abbey here, Amanda!

Libby said...

Heck, I owe this blog more like $5000.

hly_s said...

I've been reading your blog for about a year now Kelle, and let me just say you have a beautiful soul. You inspire so many to reach beyond just being and to start doing, which is what life is all about. Happy Birthday Nella, sweet girl, know that you are so loved by those you know and those you don't know. You and your sister are so blessed to have such an amazing family who reach the hearts of millions.

PS- you can bet your sweet ass I'm contributing my weak college wallet this week to you and all the other amazing children who deserve this and I'll be asking the same of all my buds <3

Jessica said...

I donated and am putting a link on Facebook. Happy Birthday Nella!! You inspire me every day! -Jessica Huffman

Kelly said...

I love the picture of Nella and her friends...looks like she is waiving :-)

You have made a difference. Just by reading your blog, you have made me more aware of DS. I think the first step is educating others so that we CAN recognize that we are all the same, all deserve the same chances and opportunities in life and should all be treated the same. Thank you for opening up my eyes. Nella is so beautiful and truley a blessing.

angie and the boys said...

Happy Birthday SWEET Nella! I just made a donation and was thrilled to see that in less than 12 hours Nella is 1/2 way to her goal! Nella and Laney's Momma is a rock star too! God is working through her in a wonderful way.

Memzie said...

wow. I lost it when I got to the picture of Nella looking up. I would love to donate in honor of precious Nella and all those other darling little faces! Kelle, your words inspire me daily and encourage me to suck the marrow out of everyday life in ways I never thought possible. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella! In your first year of life, you've already won so many hearts and opened the eyes of so many. And the best is yet to come!

Chelsea said...

Happy early birthday Nella!

LittleSarahD said...

Mrs. Hampton, there is so much I have taken away from your blog since I started reading it this past summer. I have grown to love your girls as if I truly know them, and there is nothing more I'd like to give sweet Nella for her birthday than a donation.

Thank you for the opportunity, as you've touched my life with your words and stories, and I've always wanted to give something back to you.

Best wishes in the New Year, and happy birthday to Nella!

Kate said...

I don't have much, but I gave for Nella. Thank you for sharing her first year with us. My daughter turns one on Thursday, and I love mirroring their journeys. Thank youi. Happy birthday, Nella!

TV's Take said...

What a beautiful post and excellent idea. We dontated! Happy Early Birthday Nella and thanks for sharing the thoughts of your heart with all of us. You are indeed appreciated.

Susan said...

Kelle~

This is by far the most beautiful post since Nella's birth......both in the pictures of beautiful Nella, pictures of other angels (I thought maybe you had photographed all of them since they are so stunning) and your giving heart with paying it forward:)

I am speechless...........

Susan from Boston

K said...

I have always had a special place in my heart for people with DS.
I'll never forget the little boy who came out of nowhere at an indoor playplace and hugged me. His mom was running behind him and starts apologizing to which I wave her off smile and give him a big hug back and introduce myself. He went off to play but occasionally would come back for a hug from a stranger.

Ever since I started following Nella's story almost a year ago I notice children and adults with DS a little more. I pause in my crazy, kid chasing life and I smile and the phrase "when almond eyes are smiling" always goes through my head. Because, you know, those almond eyes are almost always smiling and bringing that much more unadulterated happiness into this world.

Katie said...

Happy Birthday to Nella! And THANK YOU Kelle for reminding me this Saturday morning what life is all about. Helping others and what better way to do that than to give to a cause that helps littles like Nella achieve their dreams. This post brought tears to my eyes and I wish you and your yours the best first birthday celebration possible. I hope your giving goal is not only reached, but surpassed! I will be posting this on Facebook in hopes of spreading the word!

JugiBuji said...

Lovelovelove all the pics of the adorable kids! You are rocking your donation goals:) So exciting.

April but some call me Prilyy said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Rockstar!!!
Kelle-i donated, made me cry with joy to be able to help out. Your a true ROCKSTAR!!!

Alex said...

It is a honor to help in Nella's name.

Thank you for showing people that down syndrome is as beautiful and amazing as a person with 46 chromosomes.

Mom Starting From Scratch said...

My sweet, funny, beautiful, smart, joyful, third daughter was born with a rare genetic syndrome called Fraser Syndrome. There's a bunch of medical issues that she faces and has amazingly overcome, and there are also facial differences. How I love to kiss that wide, flat spot between her eyes! We loved her sweet, little webbed hands that her big sisters called her "froggie fingers". We liked 'em so much that had a frog themed birthday when she turned one. :-) Through these past four years I have been able to see so much more clearly. When I meet an extraordinary little one, when once I would have seen a wall of differences, I now see the child. I have learned that you can experience both intense pain & incredible joy at the same time. And most of all I have learned that there is nothing that love can do.

Crystal said...

I'm going to make a prediction: you will smash your goal posthaste! Nella has inspired so many people, I don't see how it won't happen! :-)

Betsi* said...

I discovered your blog when Nella was only a couple weeks old and have felt like you have taken me into your family.
I once quoted you to my sister and found myself calling you my friend! I had to hastily explain that you were actually the writer of a blog that I am so inspired by that I FELT that you were my friend!
I don't have a designer genes baby, but I do have two boys out of three with autism. Your blog is a lovely soft spot to land in the evenings after my crazy day has finally been put to bed. I find in you the strength to love my boys extra hard and to keep enjoying the beauty in them and our lives, even when someone is having a meltdown and someone else hasn't pooped in a week!
I am donating towards Nella's happy birthday and spreading the word on Facebook and my blog!

Erin said...

Kelle, I am happy to make a donation and support these beauties. I love the honesty of your blog and your appreciation of every day life. I like hearing when Nella has a milestone and when therapy is working so I can cheer with you.

Keep it coming.

Shannon said...

Kelle- Thank you so much for doing this. Wanted to let you know Fiona had her heart surgery yesterday and it went very well. Its hard to see my baby in so much misery but her sweet heart is beating soft and easily, no more pounding that feels like its going to burst through her chest. Thank you for sharing your story and furthering awareness for kids like Nella and Fiona. Cant wait to see your little ones birthday, I'm sure it will be fabulous, Kelle style

Shannon

Kristi said...

My eyes swim every time I read your blog. I am in love with your optimism and brave approach to life. It is infectious. You are wise beyond your years, Miss Kelly.

I share in your joy of motherhood (I have four little lovelies that make me whole) and loving big in all aspects of life. I've learned to choose happiness, because it's a great way to be.

Thanks for your words, your wisdom, and for sharing a piece of you so fully, each time you post.

A click on your blog is an inspiring part of my day, and currently I am crushing big time on your Nella Cordelia. I don't know how you don't just eat her up daily. That face, oh, that little adorable face. She is precious and her spirit is even more beautiful, you can tell in her smile and that amazing sparkle in her eye.

Kristi in Idaho

ch said...

LOVED seeing all those beautiful faces celebrating along with sweet Nella! (ESPECIALLY excited to see Miss Brooklyn in the first set!! She's in Biggie's baby class at school and he would absolutely agree that she's one of the more gorgeous faces out there...the boy has a MAD crush on that girlie...)

ch said...

LOVED seeing all those beautiful faces celebrating along with sweet Nella! (ESPECIALLY excited to see Miss Brooklyn in the first set!! She's in Biggie's baby class at school and he would absolutely agree that she's one of the more gorgeous faces out there...the boy has a MAD crush on that girlie...)

Tara said...

Loved every single word and every single picture. Look at all those happy, shiny, smiling faces. They're amazing!
Can't believe it's been a whole year. Wow. Time flies and what a fabulous year it's been for your family!

jenhiatt said...

You are amazing Kelle. Thank you for doing this for all of our kiddos. I am heading over to give Nella her birthday present.

Thank you does not seem like enough. I have waited 6 years for someone with a loud enough voice to let the world know just how special and normal our kids are.

Thank you for including my Zachary's picture.

Muffin Cake said...

I linked you in hopes everyone I know will see this and send it to everyone THEY know. Thank you for sharing your beautiful perspective and kindness with the world.

http://theazkahles.blogspot.com/2011/01/touched.html

fullsoulahead.com said...

I will be happy to make a donation in Nella's honor, and I also shared the link on Facebook.

We are blessed with your presence on the web. Thank you for your beautiful blog.

Sarah said...

What absolutely beautiful children! Good luck to you and your goal... I think it's going to go over 15,000 :).

You are not only blessing the children with DS. You are also blessing the other children with special needs. It's all about awareness.

Heather said...

Wow - how fast a year goes! What fun it has been watching sweet Nella grow :) It would be an absolute privledge to "pay it forward" in Nella's honor!

Thank you Kelle for opening my eyes to these beautiful little gifts from God!

Full Price? NEVER! said...

Happy Birthday Nella! I just posted a link to Nella's birthday post! Just had to spread the joy!

http://fullpricenever.blogspot.com/2011/01/coupon-friends-spreading-love.html

Kalen said...

Beautiful post, BEAUTIFUL babies. Will be contributing & spreading the word. You're doing a great thing, here. Nella (and your family) has inspired so many of us. Seeing the faces of all those other babies inspires me even more.

Amberlee said...

Inspiring. Beautiful. Loving.
Thank you
Happy Birthday Nella <3

Kathleen said...

I've been able to hold back tears for a few weeks since finding and reading your blog, but not today. Not today when I saw the beautiful, joyful children decorating your entry. To all those families, thank you for sharing your angels!
To Lainey, from what I have read/seen you have been an amazing big sister this year, even if you make Nella look like a zebra! :) I still find it so touching that you helped to introduce her to your mommy and daddy! Such a gift! While she may pull your hair now, she will love you forever.
And, to Nella, Happy Birthday sweet girl. My wish for you is that you dive into that cake the way your mommy dives into the ocean of goodness we call motherhood.
As my little 15 month little guy, Jack, would say, "hippybdaaa" He sent you a little gift of gratitude for making his mommy smile after every post. And for encouraging her to soak up this time and, of course, enjoy the small things.
Love,
Kathleen in Chicago

Million Dollar Mamma said...

no brainer! Of course we will donate!

Tonya said...

All of these sweet, Beautiful babies has my heart full this morning!!!

Sara said...

Donating to this wonderful cause was the least I could do for you, for all that you've done for me during this past year. Even though we've never met, or even had a conversation, you have changed my life in so many ways! Every day I am thankful for finding your inspirational blog! Happy birthday to Nella, what a special time!

Jessica said...

I've been a faithful follower of your blog ever since Nella was born. And this is the first time I have ever left a comment. Tears were streaming down my face by the time I got to the end of this post. Seeing the faces of all those beautiful children is such an emotional thing.

I am so impressed with the fact that you just posted this last evening and it hasn't even been 18 hours yet and the response has been amazing. $15,000???? I see a much bigger outcome. I'm making my donation and I hope every reader of this blog joins in.

You are right Kelly about hoping that we get something out of your blog... but you can never know the joy you have brought to so many people who you so graciously share with the world.

We thank you for sharing and we thank you for allowing us to see Nella's first year.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!!!!!!

Missy said...

What an amazing way to honor Nella! While my son's extra chromosome may not be the same as your daughters I can tell you that you will begin to relish the accomplishments and will be even more in awe of her strength and beauty. My son's 16p11.2 duplication is rare and not heard of by many. He's such a fighter! He is my reason for being and I am amazed at what he can acomplish.

Happy birthday to your beauty! Have a wonderful day mama and family!

Linda MG in Soquel, CA said...

KELLE! What a great idea, and great way to pay it forward (I have long loved that concept). Yep, just like when you were raising money before, many of us wrote on here that if we ALL gave even a small amt, you would raise loads of money. $5 is next to nothing and many of us can give much more, and I am sure we will. Count me in. Yes, I have received so much from YOU and your blog, more than you could know. AND from Miss Nella! Love from the Blog Mama

Lynlou82 said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Nella and Lainey have touched me; they are beautiful. Happy Birthday Nella sweet girl; keep rocking : )

cathy said...

happy birthday sweet nella.
when God was making you he looked down on earth and said let me find the perfect family for you.
one who will know and cherish what a special special gift they are getting,and then share her with the world. and cause people all over to see the real beauty in that extra God gave her. kelle, you are doing amazing things, and its no accident he picked you to be her mom.

Janie Fox said...

I donated and I am going to post to face book. Nella has changed my loife too. We are expecting our grand daughter in Feb. Suspicion of DS. Nella made it not scary. We are anxiously awaiting our girl DS or not.... celebrations will occur!!

Amanda Ermanis said...

Kelle: I am forever changed for happening upon your fabulous blog. Thank you for opening your heart and helping so many see beauty in a fresh light. Happy Birthday sweet Nella Cordelia. It is an honor to donate to your cause. XO from California...

Jenn said...

Kelle, I have followed since shorty after Nella was born after randomly finding your birth post on my facebook feed! Typing your website in on my computer has been a daily occurence since...and when I miss a few day's I've always gone back and caught up. Your words, pictures, emotion and raw honestly has lifted me, encouraged me, propelled me int his last year. You have an incredible mission on this earth and you are doing it! Happy Birthday to sweet Nella...I will be donating to her and all the other sweet children who share her wonder.
Jenn- Victoria BC

Lesliek0211 said...

I couldn't donate much, but hopefully it will help you along to your goal a little. Your posts have inspired me so much this year, and I am so glad I found this blog. I have a friend that told me "I think that people with Down Syndrome are what you would get if you stripped all the bad out of people". I think he is right, and all of those beautiful smiles on your post today shows that!

Lesley said...

My donation is a small price to pay for all that your blog gives me. Sometimes a good cry, sometimes a good laugh, an introduction to a good song, a reminder of how much I love taking photos of my own family. THANK YOU!

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