Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Up and At 'Em

Lately, the sky has been less than cheerful, cast over rather with a gray haze that, if we're lucky, builds into an ominous blue in the afternoon. I like the storms, the thickness of the clouds, the sound of rain to rooftop.

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It slows our pace and keeps us indoors except for the occasional brave outing we make, equipped with umbrellas and wellies, to the bookstore.

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My girls love the bookstore. We hide between aisles of Dr. Seuss and Amelia Bedelia and chase Nella as she weasels between shelves, giggling and looking back to see if we're after her.

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This shot was kind of accidental. I crouched down to get a shot of her shimmying away from me and happened to notice the book to my right. Ha.

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We found our respective characters in a stack of Mr. and Mrs. books.

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...and we finished our afternoon shopping for presents for Brett's birthday, an annual tradition. The rules are simple: We walk in Dollar Tree, I hand a basket to Lainey, and I butt out. No suggestions, no interventions, not even when it's a completely inappropriate gift.

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Like Lucky Charms strategically shelved at a toddler's eye level, this collection of porcelain shitzus screamed "Buy me."

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She dropped two into her basket along with a silver glitter cell phone case, a light saber, a hummingbird feeder, a package of "I heart USA" yo-yos, some kitchen spatulas and my personal favorite, four sheets of Alleluia stickers.

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'cuz Lord knows he's been wanting those anyway.

The card is the best. She chooses Brett's card for its pictures--dogs with wayward tongues or googly-eyed cats--definitely not for its appropriate wording.

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My girl loves a birthday. Candles and songs and presents, she knows how to make them feel special. I know he felt special.

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*****

Yesterday was a long day.
I was't going to write about it because I'm already over it, and looking back it seems a bit silly now. But it's important to me to be especially honest about Down syndrome on this blog. It greatly pales in comparison to the myriad of rich events and moments in our home and therefore, it fades to the background of our life, evident in my writing as well. But there are times where I remember, if but for a moment, the inconveniences and extra worries an extra chromosome brings. Yesterday was one of them. We started with a quick dentist appointment to check out some concerns in her mouth which led to a doctor appointment and, by late afternoon, I was vulnerable and anxious, reminded of all the increased likelihoods that come with Down syndrome. I sat in my car holding a script for a blood test, Nella asleep in the back seat, and I cried for the first time in a long time. It's not really about Down syndrome either. It's far more related to the searing vulnerabilty loving a child brings. Maybe we feel it a bit more when we have a child with special needs, but everyone feels it at different places along the journey. I love them so deeply, so fiercely, so wholly that the thought of them not being okay is more painful than that of my own well-being. There is fear in parenthood, and maybe more with special needs parenting. That fear never really disappears, and I'm well aware it exists. My job is to find an appropriate place for it, not to bury it completely but to manage it, to never let it outshine our zest for life and adventure. Sometimes, it's good to go there. To think about the what-ifs and sympathize with the families that do experience this reality. And it's uncomfortable. But I am becoming familiar with the beautiful process of ups and downs, ebb and flow, victory and defeat. They depend upon each other. We wouldn't know defeat if we didn't have victory to measure it against, and we wouldn't understand that breath-taking happiness is so wonderful if we couldn't compare it with lesser days of disappointment.



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From the parking lot of the doctor's office, I drove straight to the grocery store with one goal in mind: I wanted sunflowers. So, while my girl slept in the back of the cart, I loaded up the front with a vibrant bouquet of happiness.

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This morning, things are better. Nella's spark has returned, and we're pretty sure she has a little virus in her mouth, nothing to do with Down syndrome which is generally the case. No biggie.

****

June concludes today and consequently, my June challenge. I learned that getting something done is far more achievable and enjoyable if the goal is shared. If you make it fun. If you give yourself a break once in a while.

I missed some days of running. There were a few days when I had great intentions, lacing up my running shoes, planning my course, pumping up my enthusiasm. But it didn't always work out. Nella needed me, Brett was out the door, Lainey requested a partner for sidewalk chalk art. I may not have made it past the driveway these days, but looking down at my tennis shoes while I chalked out an ocean scene or pushed a wagon, I smiled knowing just because I wasn't out of breath or timing my feet to hit the sidewalk cracks on the downbeat of Billy Jean, it didn't mean I didn't accomplish my June goal.

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I pushed myself. I learned something. I instilled a new passion to continually raise the bar and to accept that falling back is part of the game. It's how you pick yourself back up that really matters.

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I am up and running today. Tomorrow is a new month, and I will face it ready to run.

*****

July will be delivering several sponsors I'm really excited about. Stuff I love and want to share. One of my favorite jewelry stores, The Meg Shop, is back today. Remember my favorite earrings? Her store is stocked with many more like it as well as unique handmade necklaces and bracelets, all generously priced. Use code "Enjoy10" for 10% off your order. And one comment will be randomly selected from this post to win these earrings from The Meg Shop:

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We'll be back tomorrow for another post.

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Happy Day.

If you get BYU T.V. (we do), you can watch Nella's story along with two other beautifully inspiring stories on Fresh Take T.V. tonight at 7:30 p.m. (check your listings, this might be different for time zones).

Here's a sneak peek from the Fresh Take blog or check out yesterday's preview post.

401 comments:

1 – 200 of 401   Newer›   Newest»
nicole said...

Always enjoy seeing pics of Nella and another little girl named Lily (A Perfect Lily)that I have fallen in love with in blogland. They couldn't be any cuter!

Kimberly said...

Love this! Those pictures of the girls with the books are too cute. And I LOVE that Dollar Tree idea! Might have to borrow that one. My two-year-old would get a kick out of that!

Team Lando said...

Love the honesty. Need the honesty. I never know if my fears and tears are about Down syndrome or about parenting.

The girls are beautiful. And did you happen to notice if "Little Miss Stubborn" is still in print? We have many of the books from when Matt was little, but I need that one for Ellie.

mrc-w said...

AHH! I can't believe I'm in the first dozen comments!
I always love seeing what Lainey picks out for Brett for his birthday, haha, such a great tradition!

Nelly said...

I found you yesterday, and I think I read you for almost 6 hours. I needed your posts. I needed to choke up and realize "its not about wood floors". To remind me of so many things that are right in front of me! Its totally about the little things. You rock. I'm so happy that I found you :)

Nelly :)

Liane said...

I'm glad Nella is ok!
Well done on completing your June Challenge! You're an inspiration to us all :)

Patti said...

I love the bookstore photos, too cute. And I keep forgetting to say so, but your new header is my favorite one yet...I hope you keep it up for a long time!

And Megan (team lando)- I thought of that right away when I saw that book- you DO need that for Ellie! :)

Kelle said...

Welcome Nelly. We love our Nellas and Nellys 'round here.

The Korporaal Family said...

Can't believe I am commenter #4 - usually I am in the multi hundreds... maybe my lucky day! Great post once again:)

Jen said...

I love how you are able to go buy sunflowers to brighten your day that you had! I should try that!

You are a FABULOUS Mama!!

Denise H. said...

My sons are now 12 and 9, and are sometimes too cool to hang with Mom (what? already?!) Visiting the bookstore together, however, remains a beloved pastime, I'm happy to say. We go to our respective areas, coming together to share our finds every so often.

Blessed be, Kelle and family!
Denise

My Secret Rooms said...

Wow, what a sky!! I guess the storm season is about to show, over there?
I'll save reading your post 'til tomorrow after work - will need it to look forward to :-)
Feels great knowing it's there.

Love your wonderful feeling in the post already, though.
/A

kris said...

Can totally relate as I am a mom of a special needs teenager. Love the earrings! Kris in MD

LiBe said...

The line in which you say: "I love them so deeply, so fiercely, so wholly that the thought of them not being okay is more painful than that of my own well-being." is one that really hit home for me.

My daughter is currently experiencing some medical issues herself and, although they may be small in the grand scheme of things, they are huge in our world and, if there was anything I could do to make it better for her, I would.

Thank-you for putting things into perspective for me and showing me that it is ok to have my moments of sadness and vulnerability, but it is important to see the silver lining too.

B's Mommy said...

We are all here for you! Always.
I hope you purchased that book! LoL!
Blessing to you and your beautiful family!

Koru Kate said...

I always think about buying myself flowers to cheer myself up but I never follow through. Next time, I'm treating myself! I'm glad you picked yourself back up & found the strength to greet another month with joy. Every day is a gift!

Meagan said...

I adore those earrings. And was thrilled to see a post from you just before I head out for the weekend!

Jill said...

I love the Dollar Store ritual. It's such a great idea to let her do her thing. :) I love those Meg Shop earrings!!!!! Happy last day of June.

Alli said...

What a sweet, thoughtful post. I always enjoy reading your writing and envy your flow. Currently reading "If You Want To Write" per your recommendation :)

Also, those earrings are glorious!

XOXO,
Alli

Kathlyn said...

Thank you for being so honest. Thank you for sharing so deeply. Thank you for making me cry, yet again with your words.

I LOVE the picture of Nella escaping!!

Dina said...

Love the vulnerability and honesty that comes through in your posts. When you wrote that you sat in the car and cried worrying over Nella, I wanted to cry with you. I've been in that position many times, not because of Down's Syndrome, but because I'm a mom to a preemie with heart defects and just because I'm a mom.

Brett's birthday tradition had me hysterical though. I might just go ahead and steal that idea since I never know what to buy my husband. Might as well let my girl shop for him.

Your girls are beautiful. Take care :-)

Callie said...

Kelle, I guffawed outloud at work at those alleluia stickers. I LOVE the dollar store birthday. Seriously it is awesome.

Sorry to hear that Nella's got a little mouth bug and even sorrier that it brought you down. Your attitude is awesome though. And you're right. Parenting (any child) is scary sometimes but you do an obviously great job. And that love you feel for those two little girls is so evident and amazing and it has rubbed off on a whole internet-world full of Lainey and Nella (and Kelle and Brett) fans.

Mama Bee said...

Glad to see you are raising two book monsters!

KalynErnest said...

I would love to win the earrings, I am trying to redo my wardrobe and these would be a great addition.
I LOVE your Dollar Tree idea, my daughter is only 6 months but I will try to remember this for when she is bigger for her dad's birthday, what a great idea.

KP said...

love those earrings and love your blog!! :)

MeganMR said...

You never cease to inspire me.

Abby said...

I love this summery post...the summery girls, the summery boys' haircuts. I love Naples. I got some flip-flop/beach chair wall art there once that hangs in my bathroom...it gets rave reviews and I love saying, "thanks. we got it in Naples." And we did. At Wal-Mart for $9.99. ;) Here's to an amazing July!

Jill said...

I was laughing so hard as I read the gift choices Lainey made that I had to read it outloud to my kids...then I laughed so hard again I cried...especially the card...:-)

emmiewyatt said...

love love love the birthday tradition! What was Brett's reaction to the stickers??? LOVE this post.

michelle Jaffe said...

Love. Love. Love.

Christine said...

Every time I read this blog I want to really learn to photograph. Your pictures are always amazing as are your words.

Kelsey J said...

I love the books. I am definitely Little Miss Trouble :)

happygirl said...

"There is fear in parenthood, and maybe more with special needs parenting. That fear never really disappears, and I'm well aware it exists. My job is to find an appropriate place for it, not to bury it completely but to manage it, to never let it outshine our zest for life and adventure."

And speaking the fear takes some of the scary out of it. Thanks for writing it down and sharing your fear. My adult autistic son, living with us, may live with us forever. But what then. This is my fear.

Karen said...

Ok, the Dollar Tree idea is great! And the items Lainey picked out are hilarious. I think it is great to see what their little minds are thinking and glad to hear Nella is fine :)

Scarehaircare said...

Been there done that: dr visit for regular checkup which leads to trip to see phlebotomist. The Love Magnet quietly sits for blood work - doesn't cry- and then has to hug everyone in the office while she shakes her finger at them and tells then "Don't do that again!" Quick stop for milkshake cuz The Love Magnet knows we ALWAYS get a milkshake after bloodwork. Then scary call about bloodwork telling us to head to cardiologist/rheumetologist/anyologist in order to have something confirmed or denied. It usually turns out to be nothing and we're back home, swimming at the neighborhood pool. At that point, I start to look around at the other kids The Love Magnet's age and reminisce on what 'normal' was like before the 'new normal.' No. I still wouldn't trade this life.

BLT Edmundson said...

love the pic of nella escaping you at the bookstore...so cute. Your hair was also a plus. xoxo

Ms.Curdy said...

You have alot to be thankful for.
thank you for reminding me that I do too.

my favorite part:
"We wouldn't know defeat if we didn't have victory to measure it against, and we wouldn't understand that breath-taking happiness is so wonderful if we couldn't compare it with lesser days of disappointment. "

a s h l e y (: said...

I love your blog so much. I recently began a career in social work and I am finding that I get very involved and my emotions are just drained. Your blog has been an escape for me and I could never express to you how much I appreciate it. Give those precious littles a hug for me.

Tina said...

What an awesome post. I love the fact that you had a good cry yesterday... even though it was during a time that you felt helpless and vulnerable. A good cry can be very healing. However I am really super happy to hear that Nella is likely going to be just fine.

I'm dying to know Nella's height and weight. She seems so petite nestled on your hip, it is very endearing!

Delhibound said...

am enjoying that you wrote the heart-wrenching right along with the happy-happy.

Love that she picked out all of that ... amazing stuff ... for Brett's birthday .. what a great girl she is !!!

Love the Sara Bareilles instrumental too ....

(and is it wrong to say that I'm grateful to you for admitting "online" that you didn't run every day in June ... cuz we're not all perfect and shit, right???

Kasey said...

Sunflowers have been my favorite flower since childhood! They're the perfect pick-me-up, because sometimes you have to make your own sunshine :)

Danyelle said...

What a great birthday tradition! I am planning on doing an unbirthday party for my husband next week and I may let my girls do that for his gift.

Anne said...

Lainey's birthday gifts and card made me laugh out loud, as they did last year. And one of our favorite outings (2 1/2 year old and 1 year old girls) is the bookstore. Your time there looks a lot like ours, and coincidentally I TOO saw Catch That Baby while pulling my 1 year old off the shelves :)

kimalli1 said...

I truly believe that being a momma means having your heart live outside of yourself. I hope all is well with little Nella. Peace.

Shel said...

I totally get it. Those days when the fears about what can happen when you have a child with Down Syndrome. I still remember with perfect clarity the day my Chloe was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was the first and worst of all my fears when I heard she had Down Syndrome. Now after having lived through the scariness, we are back to enjoying the gifts she brings us every day by being her special amazing miracle of a girl. Even the worst fears can still bring incredible feelings of gratitude and faith.
Oh, and the pictures of Lainey and the birthday shopping trip, had me literally laughing out loud!
Caringbridge.org/visit/chloemalena

melifaif said...

Wow, I am loving that storm picture. Just wow. Impressive lil storm cloud, eh? And I am just dyin' to know....did Lainey snap the pic of Mr. Messy?!? Impressive, once again...she has your talent!! Bwahahahaha...so precious you three are. The Dollar Tree shopping....what can I say? Other than PURE RIOT!!!!!! Alleluia stickers and the card take the cake. Pun most definitely intended. It is fantastic to see all of his kiddos surrounding him on such a special day. And GO YOU!!! Whooo hoooo for June and onto July. Wow....the time. Where does it go? Happy 4th to you and your clan!!!!

Rachael said...

Thanks for posting such honest pieces of your story with Down Syndrome. Although, I agree, I never knew the depth of pain and worry I could feel until I had a child. Just a part of parenting...

Rebekah said...

love those earrings! so glad they are back :)

jan marie said...

What a wonderful birthday tradition! Reading Laney's gift choices made my day. Thank you!

Emma Krueger said...

I am always encouraged, enlightened, and enriched when I read your blog. Thank you so much for sharing and glad sweet Nella is okay!

Stephanie said...

I love the Dollar Tree gift idea, it makes it so much more special when the gift is handpicked by a child.
Happy to hear Nella is okay as well.

Paige said...

Brett's birthday sounds like fun! Love the stickers and the card. Hope Nella's mouth is better soon!

The Manrings said...

happy birthday brett!!!!!! how i love that family picture with him and his birthday cake. the love of a family all together...goosebumps!!! hope nella is feeling better today. that picture of you and her with morning coffee is the best! babies in jammies....ahhh! lets talk soon. xoxo

Jennifer said...

Love, Love, Love the birthday gifts from Lainey, especially the card ;)

KellyLane said...

As much as I enjoy your pictures (and I really do), I also enjoy your moments of raw honesty. You are absolutely right...if we didn't have pain, how could we celebrate joy?

Debby said...

I have a son with special needs. There were times I felt just like that. I think it was a bit like mourning the fact that his life was not going to be perfect. But it would soon pass. It is so hard. You want the world for them.
Hope Nella's little mouth is better. I just think she is the cutest thing. She reminds me alot of my granddaughter Mabel. When I look at Nella I forget about the Downs. I just see a super happy fun little baby.
My grandkids do the Dollar Store thing at Christmas. The gifts are so darn cute. I loved the stickers.
That sky is scary. Love the book store pictures.
Love your blog.

KaitlinCole said...

Thanks for being honest Kel. I have been struggling with a fear, the kind where you only remember the horrible stories on the news and you vow to never let your kid out of the house again. Loving somebody so much is exhausting (emotionally) sometimes but it feels great to love hard. I would LOVE some new earrings:)

Johnna said...

Those dollar tree items just crack me up! I remember when she did that last year too!

Earrings are gorgeous! :)

Johnna said...

Those dollar tree items just crack me up! I remember when she did that last year too!

Earrings are gorgeous! :)

Johnna said...

Those dollar tree items just crack me up! I remember when she did that last year too!

Earrings are gorgeous! :)

waishan said...

I love the dollar store idea! I may have to borrow that one when my son is old enough - though i think you've got way more restraint than i do when it comes to butting out! Hope all is well with Nella and she kicks this virus soon.

Jess said...

Love your thoughts on parenthood. It is so true...we love them so deeply and with all of our hearts that the very thought of something hurting them brings pain to ourselves...

and p.s. love the earrings!

Sara said...

Your blogs are always so inspiring, especially when the worries of motherhood seem to be an ever present dark cloud. Thanks again for your outlook.

Jeanene said...

Crying is a "reset" button to get us back in the game. And, there has to be opposition in ALL things. We have to know the bitter to really enjoy the sweet.

Jenna said...

‎"But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise, and happiness has it's own way of taking it's sweet time..."

A little mantra as we roll into the month of July!

Peeper said...

The thing I miss most about living in Florida is the afternoon thunderstorms - how you can smell them coming and the air cools ever-so-slightly just before the sky turns purple and the rain pours down.

Tim and I had the 'vulnerability realization' when Ada wasn't quite one year old. The feelings had been there but once we gave the feeling a name it was easier to manage. Still, it was so unexpected. People tell you all about how the time goes so fast, and the terrible twos, blah blah blah. Never along the way was I warned of just how exposed you become when you have a child. She is my strength and weakness all in one. Amazing.

Glad Nella will be OK :)

Becca said...

We dollar tree for parents, grandparents and siblings for Christmas. It is SO hilarious. I have this tacky cookie tray and I bring it out every year because its just so funny! Adorable girls and pictures as always... hope Nella feels better soon!

Laura said...

Looking at the Etsy show is dangerous for my credit card! She has so much cute, simple jewelry.

And I have to tell you I laughed out loud to myself when I saw the card Lainey picked out for Brett's birthday! I looked back at last years card as well - priceless!! I think you may have started a new tradition in our household - next year I'll be letting my daughter pick out my husbands birthday card!

Bridget said...

Glad to hear Nella-bean is OK...I hope she feels 100% soon.
Those earrings are so cute! Adorable.

Enjoy the day. :-D

Julie said...

Kelle - Your words are always an inspiration and have a way of reminding me to be grateful for every precious moment. Thank you.

Kat said...

After reading last year about the dollar store birthday trip I decided to do it this year for my husband's birthday (June 10th). It was so much fun watching my 5 year old walking around the store saying "Daddy would love this!" as she held up glow in the dark necklaces, a blue flower lei, captain America puzzle, a plastic beer mug and lots more including one of those porcelain dogs! It's such a great idea and I plan on continuing it because he loved it!!!

OhanaMama said...

What a great tradition for Brett's birthday!

I know you like to focus on the positives and silver linings, but I really appreciate when you share your struggles, as well.

Life is beautiful through and through, even the rainy and tearful days.

Keep at it, mama!

Libby said...

The traditon for Brett's birthday is adorable, and Lainey is so gorgeous, as is Nella. Cutest little girls!
And I appreciate how upfront you are about your struggles. I think reality is so important when it could be easy just to share the most beautiful part of your day, and not let people see the bad moments. Your attitude is inspirational too.
I shared the outcome of my June challenge today at my blog & I'm pretty happy with what I achieved!

Jen said...

My daughter is a Meg! I would love a pair!

And I love that pic of Lainey almost at the end... All blurry at the edges. Spontaneous and delightful. She is a sprite, you are right!

Sarah said...

I totally sympathize with those panicky feelings that come with having any child, especially a child with special needs. I feel them at every echo test. But your blog inspires me to do just what you say...putting those fears in their place and make life as amazing as possible for my family. Keep taking those steps Nella. Can't wait to see her do it all by herself!

Sarah said...

and those alleluia stickers! hahaha. what a great gift! so sweet

Heather Bird said...

I seriously cracked up, laughing out loud, at the card for Brett. So fun! I did this for Christmas one year with my 3 year old and it was awesome to watch everyone open their gifts from him on Christmas morning.

Nicole said...

I have never commented before but, just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your life stories. They give me such a pick up that I cannot really explain. I have had a very difficult year. Reading your blog takes somewhere that I just don't have to worry for awhile. Thank you so very much. Nicole

A Cappelli said...

My brother and I have a tradition of picking out the most inappropriate card for the occasion for each other. It's become a game now- who can get the quirkiest card. My older daughter- left to her own devices- would have chosen just as Lainey did based solely on the adorable factor of whatever creature graced the cover.

I am glad to hear that Nella is ok. I do not have a child with Down syndrome- but each of our children has presented (over the past 14+ years of parenting) needs which were special- whether it was a health issue (as we are facing now with our 17 month old trying to figure out her gastrointestinal issues) or a learning disability. I can relate to the feeling of worry which makes you hold your breath, makes you ache for them and fight to get to the bottom of whatever is hurting them, or holding them back or affecting their quality of life. Your children are so very fortunate to have you for so many reasons- but in particular this sentiment you shared "My job is to find an appropriate place for it, not to bury it completely but to manage it, to never let it outshine our zest for life and adventure." I will take that line to heart because I know that it is something that I need to work on in my own parenting- not allowing the anxiety to completely overshadow the living- the embracing of life. Thank you, again, Kelle for sharing your experiences- the worries and the wonderment of your life.

Jess said...

You write some of the most inspiring & beautifully honest posts. Reading them and seeing the photos make me strive to be an even better mother :)

The Longos said...

Ok, the Dollar Tree idea is brilliant. Snagged and stuffed in my bag of tricks.... :-)

Cheryl said...

I am so glad Nella is ok! It is so hard when you don't know what is wrong and you just want them to be ok.
Congrats on completing the June challenge. Thank you for challenging me to get off my but and get moving - we have had some fun walks mostly in the rain but they were so much fun. I had two kids at the door - saying walk - they were great little motivators and it didn't hurt that I got to snuggle my little guy in the baby Bjorn.
I Love the Dollar store idea - I especially love the card! My 3 1/2 year old picks card for the picture- you just never know what you will get.

Angie said...

Those earrings are simply beautiful! Loving them!

Caitlin said...

I'm loving those instagram shots or hipstamatic or whatever they are (I currently don't own an iphone, therefore am behind on all the cool doodads). I also love what you let Lainey do for Brett's birthday, how special is that? What a great idea, and it brings plenty of laughs and smiles all around too.
Oh, and those earrings in my ears would be divine. :)

Caitlin
from black currant thoughts.

Riley and Tyler said...

Sunflowers make everything better... I always enjoy the "Brett Birthday Adventures'. The cards gat me everytime I read the posts...This one tops the cake.
"Happy Birthday Son, Love Lainey". I LOVE IT. Tomorrow my Mounted Police Officer will march in his first Canada Day parade...so tomorrow should be great. Sending Canadian celebration love your way!

Melissa said...

Thank you for posting that glorious storm photo. I miss deeply those skys, the sounds, the smells of a good florida thunder storm.

teal915 said...

I certainly don't know all there is to know about Down syndrome yet, but I was wondering how the whole mouth thing relates to Ds? I tried to google it, but didn't really see anything come up. Anyway, glad she is ok after all. The hardest days for me have been days like that. After bad news at he cardiologist or the day we got our nebulizer. Seems silly now, but I remember crying as I sat with her on my lap giving her first treatment. It's SO not a big deal, but it was just the idea of it, I guess.
http://teal915.blogspot.com/

Benay said...

After you posted about your favorite earrings, my husband surprised me with them for my birthday. It was so sweet and they're lovely! I would just adore another pair.

I love the bookstore pictures and the thought of Lainey picking out special gifts for her Dad. Such a gorgeous idea! :-)

Kelly said...

I love how you call Nella "sister." It's sweet. Thank you for once again delivering an inspiring post.

X-Country2 said...

Congrats on your June challenge and get well soon to Nella!

kacey said...

another beautiful post. i don't know how you do it time and time again. we are not given more than we can handle and clearly you are AMAZINGLY gifted to be a mama to both of your adorable girls. thanks for sharing.

Adriana Iris said...

glad your keeping the posts and self honest. it is in those moments when we can connect and yet not ever feel alone.

Jaclyn Hicks said...

Is there anything better than a trip to the bookstore with your little ones....I think not.

Glad to hear all will be sorted out soon, and to see what a wonderful birthday celebration was had by all.

Sometimes you've got to snuff the fear out, seek it, find it, squish it, mash it, and make it more like a pesky companion, fully aware it will never leave you, but taking it along for the ride.

Fear drives us forward, and with fear comes the courage to do the unthinkable, to challenge the road ahead.

Hugs and all things good in life.

Joanna said...

I laughed out loud at the beginning of the post, too. And felt for you when you talked about Nella's mouth, among other things.
Your blog is the best. I recommend it to everyone. And, since I forgot to get in ridiculous shape in June, thanks for reminding me that I still have July. :) xo

Ashley @ Coffee and Apple Juice said...

Love this post. no surprise there ;) Lainey is too cute picking stuff out for her daddy. I think we will have to start a tradition like that. The card made me laugh out loud... which was nice, I needed a good laugh today.
Nella is beautiful!

Denise said...

I love your ability to display the truth while not delving into the negative on a constant basis. It is important for us all to know that we are all human, with worry and bad days. I am glad little Nella is ok. I love the pic of her watching her sissy's ballet. It is like my boy watching his brother and Dad on the ball field, he loves it. I always longed for a Momma's boy, a son who just adores his mother. But it brings unmeasurable joy to my heart to see my boy worship his Daddy....it is really quite something.

Tasha said...

I love reading your posts and I rarely comment because I have 'comment anxiety' but I just wanted to say that Nella is so lucky to have a family that loves her so deeply. You have a beautiful and amazing family. :)

dig this chick said...

The vulnerability in parenthood is something. I am so not a fearful person and about 3 1/2 years ago, with the birth of my kid came some fear I had never felt before. Talking about it, how different moms experience it and deal with it is one of my favorite mama topics. Because it is EVER changing. Sometimes fear is more like concern and other times more like panic and other times more internally focused. It's a ride, but we're in it together. Thanks for sharing.

Run!

Great to talk today. Hugs to Nella bean.

x

I'm My Favorite said...

My kids (6 and 8) are at sleep-away camp this week for the first time and I've been an emotional wreck. Your Mr. Messy photo was just the chuckle I needed to perk me up. Thank You@

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing, again. Being a parent is so heart-wrenching sometimes. I have three little girls 5 and under and the mere thought of something happening or when they get really sick.... it's just so overwhelming there are no words. Enjoy your sunflowers and your littles :) Thanks again for sharing! Your blog has inspired me to keep going with mine even though I am sure no one reads it but me :)

TammyW said...

Love this post! The birthday present idea is great. My son also has DS and has had significant medical issues lately. I understand the need to have an occasional cry. He has to have a daily treatment and it's unpleasant. It's usually a fight which breaks my heart. Today was tough and as usual he cried after. I just sat in the floor and cried with him while my younger daughter patted our backs and told us it was okay. We had our cry, felt better and moved on with our day.

Carly said...

I live in Utah so I'm pretty sure I get BYU TV. I will make sure to tune in tonight!!

fullofgracex7 said...

Some days I read and some days I just look at pictures...always fabulous. You're a good mom. Best wishes for a very productive July...productive being a very relative word. :)

Teresa said...

As usual, I love all the great pics of your adorable girls! -Teresa

Melissa said...

I totally get the mama ugly cry after having to put on a brave face for my kids and try to totally understand whats going on. You are an awesome mama to those girls!

Joelle said...

already set up my DVR for the show tonight

LilianEveDesigns said...

I see you climbing a very tall staircase to success. Very TALL.

You have a talent, a beautiful heart, and hope for much happiness to you...

XO

Amy said...

I love Lainey's presents for Brett. I remember laughing out loud when I read about them last year too. What a fun idea.
Thanks for the goal inspiration this month. I had a goal to exercise at least 15 days of the month. I made it to 15 yesterday, and am gonna go one better to make it 16 today. Next month, who knows? Maybe 20!

Anne Lightner said...

I love those earings! I set my DVR for fresh take tonight! Can't wait! I also loved the pictures of the bookstore, I love taking my kids there on rainy days too! :)

Meagan Kenney said...

I am so glad Nella is okay, and it's just a virus. I too, love so fiercely, deeply and wholly. Sometimes I wish I could just be one of those moms that doesn't worry. 'Cause we all know worrying doesn't do anything but create more stress and wrinkles! My little guy developed some weird rash a couple weeks ago and the pediatrician was "concerned," and sent us for some blood work. Didn't really know what she was "concerned" about (she kept beating around the bush when I asked her) until I pulled up trusty 'ol Google and read about this rash being indicative of Luekemia or Meningitis. Of course I cried the whole 4 hours it took to get the results back. He's fine. Just a virus.

Sorry for the novel! :) Love the Meg Shop earrings.

xoxo, Meg

courtsimms said...

Genius idea for Brett's birthday! So fun! You are very, very creative with every single thing you do. I always tell my friends "I wanna be like Kelle Hampton when I grow up".

&& also I love Meg Shop's earrings!

Annette said...

I never knew that I could love something so much until the birth of my boys and the thought of something happening to them is sometimes crippling. As mama's we want to protect them from all the bad. I think we all have days where we could sit down and cry and I think that is okay. I think it makes us stronger in the end. You are a wonderful mother and Nella is so very lucky to have you.

Kaitlin Godfrey said...

I am sorry you had a bad day yesterday! you're girls are so adorable and I literally busted out laughing at my desk when I saw the birthday card!

Love those earrings...I had some like that in gold in college. They were my ultimate favorite until I lost one.

rickwsmith said...

Looks like you guys had some fun! The girls are growing up sooo fast!

-Rick
Check out our daily one minute video about our son who was born with Down Syndrome!

Sandy said...

congrats on the june challenge. i completed mine, too--morning walks with kids and a 10lb weight loss!

the dollar tree is a great idea. what a fun way to make her dad smile. now my question is, is brett going to use the glitter cel phone case? :)

Ashley said...

That parental fear that you speak of is so intense! I can only imagine with a special needs chid that it's much worse. I'm so glad to hear that Nella is ok!

I love those earrings, they are gorgeous!

Nikki @ Saving For A Rainy Day said...

The Dollar Tree experience made me laugh out loud just as it did last year!

Krystle said...

Loving the dollare store idea for birthday! So cute! :) Your photos are amazing and your words are so beautiful! Thanks for making my day!

sweet tea in a pink glass said...

You have a way of putting my words together so perfect.
We had one of those days yesterday, shed a tear and worried for my little and then I woke this morning and rested so assure that she is perfectly made and we soaked it up today.
Love the idea of the dollar store...

Niki said...

Being a parent is scary business, but you do a wonderful job!

LOVE those earrings!

Our Family said...

The last day of June and my bathroom did not get painted!! UGH!! But I did reach my goal of 4 bootcamps a week.

July, bathroom is getting done, or maybe the bedroom, I just bought a teal distressed table. She's a beauty and I am thinking of changing my bedroom so she can fit in........

Have a great 4th!!!

Jade said...

Seriously, Lainey's choices made me laugh out loud. I love her serious face as she decides which doggie to buy and the card is just priceless!

I'm so glad Nella is okay. You are right about there being fear in parenting. I didn't GET that until I had my son. I swear everyone forgot how to drive the day he was born! I feel like I should be hovering in a bubble above everyone on the highway!

I just added your button to my blog. Keep on doing what you're doing-I love reading!

Laura said...

I love your blog, Kelle. I have a 6 month old baby girl, and your posts inspire me to truly enjoy each and every moment I have with her. I'm glad Nella is okay :)

shawn said...

those earring are my fave! so simple and classic.
love reading your blog! thanks for sharing such great pics of your fam. have a HAPPY 4th!!

Lisa said...

I was literally just thinking yesterday that the worrying is the one thing I can say that I completely despise about parenting. I can handle the bad days, the fits, the whiny moments, but the worry can kindly jump of a cliff. I have to constantly remind myself that it is just part of it all, but being quite a worrier even before kids doesn't quite help my case. :) It does, however, help me to understand my own mother a million times more! I owe her big for all the times she kindly told me, "You just have to trust me that you will understand if you have children someday..."
I get it now. :)

Summit of Glory said...

Love your book store adventures! Fun times. Relieved to hear Nella is ok. Oh, and tell Brett I said "Happy Birthday, son"!!! LMAO

Sarah said...

Glad to hear that things are looking up for Nella. And I love the Dollar Store birthday idea, and what a cutie, with all her wonderful birthday presents for her daddy!!! SO sweet!

Rhi@FlourChild said...

I laughed out loud SO HARD when I saw Lainey's picks in the Dollar shop.. Brett must have loved those. We started that tradition last year here too, and my husband got a pink pencil with love heart eraser, among other things. It will be the only present he remembers from the day, I bet!
Love your blog, as ever.

Julie said...

Cute earrings! Crossing my fingers I get picked!

lynxymama said...

happy birthday to brett! he is a fellow cancarian, explains the love of the ocean. i still want to know how you guys met! is he a florida native? i am a small town minnesota NOSEY NELLY! LOL!

J, T and Theo B. said...

such a moving post...keep strong, buckaroo! you are doing a marvelous job with everything and just think: if you are such an inspiration to your readers--whom you've never met & who have never met you--just imagine the impact you have on all those people, big and small, who live under the same roof with you. so plaster those Alleluia stickers everywhere, girlfriend. JOY TO YOU!

E said...

Of the myriad times I heard/read advice, thoughts, opinions, facts, theories on all things motherhood, not once did someone or something lay it on the line for me as you did in your posting: loving a child brings searing vulnerability. But even if it had been laid on the line for me as such 6+ months ago, what in the world could I have done to prepare?

The Dollar Store tradition is brilliant!

Love the pictures...they tell a story all on their own.
E

Ellen said...

I read your blog because while I struggle to remember all the perspecive that comes with parenting, you always remind me of it. Today I am struggling to enjoy being a mother to my two wonderful children. Junk in my heart and head is keeping me from remembering their awesomeoness and from giving me grace. But to read your words about how fiercely and wholly you love your girls reminds me that while I may be struggling today, I do, indeed, love my children to the ends of the earth. And a bad day isn't the end of the world. It's how youpick yourself up from it that really matters. Thanks for the really important reminder.

mamipdx said...

our children- our hearts outside our bodies. this mama-love is fierce, isn't it?
shen

Kathy G said...

Such beautiful photos- there's just something about Florida rain...
As usual, your little ones are lovely. Thank you so much for this blog!

Heatheroo said...

Thank-you for sharing the good and the not-so-good...that is what sets your story apart...love love your trip to the dollar store!!

candy_mercer said...

My little emma is 4 months old and she has down sydrome. Thank you for the honesty. I have so many fears of the "wait and sees' but you've reminded me that parenting any child is a wait and see.

LauraH said...

your post got me thinking about goals and how I define achieving my goals. my goal for june was to get a job since i recently finished grad school. did I get a job? no. did i push myself to work hard and think positively and pray harder than i have in years? absolutely. hopefully learning these lessons helps me not only get a job but be a better social worker!

Love, Chelsea said...

I am completely stealing the dollar store idea for my husband's next birthday!

Angela said...

i love that you are so brutally honest when it comes to well, everything. thank you for sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. yours is my favorite blog... :)

Heather :: AFD Jewelry :: said...

This is such a beautiful post. Your honesty is inspiring, and your girls are just precious!

Wenona said...

Being a mom is downright scary, you're right. But, we are all strong, capable women and it's how we put one foot in front of the other that gets us through and brings us out the other side stronger and more capable for the next challenge :)
Those earrings are gorgeous! I want!!

Aimee said...

LOL. The book shots are priceless - perfectly placed little bubbles of content via a book cover. Love it.

hope said...

your daughters are just way too sweet! thank you for always being such an inspiration!

Jenn A said...

Your girls are so beautiful! Your family is so beautiful! I love what you do for your hubby's birthday. I should do that with my kids!! The last time I let them pick out what he got, he ended up with underwear! What's more precious than the heart of a child?!?!?! Blessings to you!

Natalia said...

I love the catch that baby shot :)
And having family members with special needs can be tough, but it's such a blessing to have wonderful... well, a sibling in my case, a daughter in yours :)

Sara said...

I'm loving the vintage feel on the photos. =)

Deedee said...

I just discovered your blog the other day, and am amazed at your talent! It's too bad you're not here in Canada to take pictures of our family!! :o)

Leslie said...

I can't wait to have kids and start a Dollar Tree store tradition. I think it is absolutely adorable, hysterical, and a great memory maker.

Louise said...

Your decription of those little/big things that come with motherhood are always spot on and couldn't be said more clearly and beautifully.

Mrs. C said...

You just caused me to snort out loud when I saw the presents your sweet girl picked out for her daddy! Can't wait to adopt that tradition for my own nonexistent, future kiddos :)

Kat ~* said...

I love accidentally perfect pictures like the catch that baby one! We used to do the dollar tree thing for birthdays and Christmas. Unfortunately Peru doesn't have a dollar store :(

CoyGirl said...

I just moved back to Orlando from Indiana for a while. The rain has been making me homesick, so thanks for showing me the beauty. Tell me if you bring the girls (and boys) to see Mickey :) I know some "friends" that would love to meet them!

Amber @ Life Will Never Be The Same said...

That Dollar Tree idea is wonderful, I will have to use that with my little bean when she gets a little older! :)

Jennifer said...

Really love the dollar tree idea - a dear friend of mine told me that she did that last Christmas with her boys. I had to laugh when she said her oldest bought her floor cleaner!

Emily said...

I love that your girls love books! My mom always bought my little sisters and I a ton of books and I am happy to say I love them still :)

Jennifer B. said...

Thanks for being such an inspiration! Love the gift idea - my parents used to do that with me and my sister when we were kids too. My mom got lots of little figurines for birthdays, mother's days...

Johanna said...

What a great post. Some days life just feels a bit hard aye. I had one of those yesterday. A moment in the car with floods of tears then shoulders back and off we go. Much love.

Kristen said...

Today has been a trying day and a post from you is just what I needed. Thank you!!!

Alissa said...

I love your tradition of Lainey getting gifts and a card for her dad. My son picked a birthday card out for me a few years ago that was in Spanish and said "para mi esposa". The best card I've ever received and it makes me laugh everytime I look at it:))

Crystal said...

It's still overcast here in Oregon...just waiting for sunshine to come. Maybe in July, here's hoping.

Monica said...

I am jealous of the full length glass your ballet studio has. Our 2 year old is in gymnastics and little sister LOVES to watch, but the viewing windows are about 3 feet too tall, I know she would LOVE to be able to stand and watch and point out of my arms.

The Hickman Family said...

Your photography is WONDERFUL & I just love reading your post & seeing all the beautiful pictures of you kids! You inspire me in so many ways!!

Megan said...

I love the pictures at the bookstore. And I checked my channel listing; it comes on at 9pm for me but I set my reminder on the tv. :)

pakosta said...

I am sorry for all the worrying about Nella!! she's so beautiful! enjoy every second! I have been having alot of hard days with my 11 year old...hugs to you mama!

oh and the June goal thing, I did 97 miles for june! My goal is 125 for July!!! thanks for doing that!
tara

Lesley, Dennis, Landon, and Natalee "Lou" said...

Rainy days and book stores are the perfect combination! I may just steal your idea if the rain keeps on the other side of Florida!
Hope Nella recovers from her little virus. No fun!!!

Lesley, Dennis, Landon, and Natalee "Lou" said...

Rainy days and book stores are the perfect combination! I may just steal your idea if the rain keeps on the other side of Florida!
Hope Nella recovers from her little virus. No fun!!!

Shelby said...

Your dollar store idea is too cute. I laughed all the way through that part of your post.

Aunt Kiki said...

Thinking of you today. Thanks for writing the bit on Nella and being honest about the ups and downs. I'm so glad to hear that you took her and checked things out. Boy, these kiddos can sure worry the heck out of us at times. Lilly is doing well and healing up. Henry and I (just the two of us) are making the trek to Portland (6hrs away by car) on July 10th. Let's cross our fingers that the trip goes well - yikes! We'll send you an update and photos of our visit with Lilly girl. Just can't wait to gobble up that wee-one. Give your girls an extra squeeze.
Take care, friend!
Kate

Erin said...

Our children are our biggest joys...but yet our biggest worries. I completely understand - and sometimes a cry is just what you need!! Thanks for sharing!! BTW...Love those earrings :)

Nic said...

Loving the honesty you portray in your posts.

And those girls? *swoon*

Happy nearly weekend!

Amanda said...

Those birthday gifts were the best:) Too cute

Jacinda said...

This Texan is very jealous of your rain day! Love the pics of the girls at the bookstore, sounds like a perfect day!

Amanda Wells said...

Totally identify with the fear associated with being a mom. That helpless feeling we get sometimes. You put it into words so perfectly.

Loving those earrings!

http://www.amandadovewells.com/?p=824

Michelle said...

I just checked and I do get BYU TV and you are on tonight at 9:30. And to top it off you are followed by Anne of Green Gables! Also good for you for letting yourself cry it out. Everyone deserves a good cry once and a while!

kcampbell said...

In those last photo's Nella's hair seems to be a little darker... Love that you let Lainey pick out gifts for her Dad <3

The Hartsfield Family said...

Kelle,

Your honesty is appreciated so very much. It reminds me that on the challenging days, it's okay to feel "off", and that others are experiencing similar days as well. That it's in a sense, normal. It's funny though how the meaning of the word "normal" can evolve with our experiences. For me, it changed when Chloe came into my life and the world of special needs. I realized we create our own sense of normal...the-whatever-kind-we-want and that makes us happy kind. :) I wouldn't trade it for anything!

The dollar store birthday gift shopping? So fantastic! I smiled as I read the title on Brett's card. Too cute!

Another great post as always! Happy almost July. :)

~ Katie

heather said...

I wanted to ask on your last post if you had taken Nella to the doctor to make sure something else wasn’t going on with her increased neediness and lack of sleep but I didn’t. It can get annoying to have that ‘nurse friend’ who always thinks about medical things first. I just know from personal experience that whenever Morgan isn’t her usual self there’s usual a good explanation (i.e. ear infection, cold, etc). Glad it was just a viral thing for Nells! And yes, I do believe we feel a little more and deeper when we are a mother of a child with special needs. It’s one of the many blessings that came into my life along with Morgan.

Happy Birthday Brett! Love the Birthday slash Easter stickers!

Cares and Mimi said...

I totally understand your need to grab those bunches of sunflowers. Bright, happy, from the earth, connected to something bigger, beautiful flowers.

And your tradition to let Lainey have at it in the Dollar store just might become a tradition we start here - awesome.

Ali's Mom said...

Love the Dollar Store idea - totally remember that from last year! I can relate to both the good cry and the need for flowers! We hurt when ANY of our kids hurt. Happy Birthday to Brett and Happy Independence Day!

Wheaty said...

Love those earrings! Also, love reading your words about motherhood. As someone who has a hard time putting my feelings into words, it seems like so often you hit on exactly what I'm thinking about and word it so much more eloquently than I ever could. It feels good to have the feelings out there in words, even if I'm not the one who came up with the words.

Taylor said...

I love that you went and got sunflowers...my husband thinks the lilys I keep on our kitchen counter are a waste of money (I do get fresh ones every week or two, we are NEVER without) but they make me happy! Does Nella have hand, foot, mouth? Both my girls have had it and it would totally explain her being off schedule the past few days, poor baby :( My oldest has a few dental issues (soft teeth in the back that causes her some pain) and as soon as the pediatric dentist saw it he said was she a preemie and or under some kind of light as an infant...check, right on target she was 2.4lbs and was under a light which led to dental issues. We love the book store also although I think the workers hate when we come (my almost 2 year old grabs books by the armload and wants to carry them off and the 3 year old pulls out stuff looks at it and then carrys it to me to look at and then leaves it laying there for me to clean up)!

Amanda said...

I think if you don't have those days every once in awhile, you're not doing something right! Hugs.

I love miss thing and the Dollar Tree. She's hilarious!

Sunnie said...

Special needs or no special needs we all have those moments Kelle and it is A O K!!!
I just can't believe how fast Miss Nella Bean is growing!!! Love watching your jellybeans grow through your photography!!!
Thanks for sahring with us!!
Sunnie in NC

{andthisiswhatshesaid} said...

Amazing post, I love this. Love the sunflowers... a girl just sometimes needs flowers.

Gina said...

I too love the occasional dark skies and stormy weather. Makes me appreciate the warm and sunny days even more!

Glad the hear Nella is ok.

Inspiração Inesperada said...

"There is fear in parenthood..." so true, so consuming, so heart-wrenching, so worth it...

Happiness is... said...

Ah Dollar Store adventures. Love the "son" birthday card. Brett must be hiding a smirk behind that card. Love that you're passing your passion on for celebrating people with your daughters. Happy Birthday Brett.

And as for your recent low, I was there in the beginning of May when Alex was bit across the face by a dog that we adopted. It's true - it's the degree of passion and vulnerability resulting from our love that makes us so unprotected at times. To have their lives compromised in anyway is horribly painful. But it's true you that you cannot fully relish the sweetness without experiencing the swells.

I have to post something to the flicker site. I've been working my arse off in June, trying to finish a custom photo book. I have to thank my dearest friend, the salty dog, for giving me the encouragement to finish what I started.

Enjoy the 4th. Can't wait to see the photos from your local parade.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

aimee said...

That birthday tradition is so cute! What a great idea! I might have to start that around this house!

Seelife3d said...

your honesty with parenting is what I need during my darlest moments as a first time momma...thank you.

Kate said...

I love the Dollar Store shopping! We do something similar for the kids at Christmas. I give them each $20 and turn them loose. Whatever they want to buy for Dad, grandparents, etc., they pick it out all on their own. I always love seeing what they think someone will love. Priceless.

Kendall said...

Your birthday tradition is awesome--it's hilarious seeing what Lainey picks out! Especially the card.

Have a great day, and congrats on completing your June challenge! :)

Summer said...

I love the earrings! Thanks for your inspirations.

craftymama said...

Happy belated Brett. Lol.....just got part of my June challenge done, my living and dining room cleaned! Really cleaned.....like Great Aunt Helen coming over clean! Here's to July!

Knowitall said...

I love the $ tree idea!! I might have to enact this for coming birthdays! I feel for you with mouth virus'...my triplets all had one last year, apparently smei-common, semi-non-emergant but totally scary. Have a great weekend!

Katy said...

<3

Alexa Mae said...

Seriously, cutest birthday shopping idea ever.

You are an AMAZING mother, wife and person. I learn so much from this good ol blog of yours. You are raising magnificent human beings...and it's your victory for the taking.

I'm sure you've heard this before but your twins with actress Michelle Borth! Like really. Google it. :)

The Halbert Home said...

Sad to hear that Nella has a virus. Feel better soon Nella!

Danielle said...

Love today's post. Brett's birthday posts always make me smile (: Love the earrings too!! (:

Covey and Justin said...

We <3 the bookstore too . . .getting lost for hours and scouring the sale racks for the latest interest. Love those earrings too!

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