Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hallmark: It Takes a Village

This post is another Hallmark sponsored post. I am being paid by Hallmark to write it, but all writing, ideas and opinions are mine. Thankfully, Hallmark and I share the same idea--that little moments are to be celebrated and that good people, good efforts and good intentions deserve a spotlight. See Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion for more details, like them on Facebook, and/or sign up for their e-mail messages HERE.


The Summer of '06 was a validating summer for me. I was planning our wedding, choosing table linen colors, and my friends took the role of bride cheerleader very seriously. They showed up, wearing t-shirts that said Bridesmaid, and they spent many a night folding programs, gushing over dress choices and saying things bridesmaids are supposed to say. Like "It's your day!" and "You're the Bride!" and, my personal favorite, the daily countdown text of "ONLY ___ MORE DAYS!" And yes, it was all caps. Basically, we were one "Let's Hear it for the Bride" cheer away from a great Saturday Night Live skit.

Most of us didn't have kids back then, so celebrating the bejesus out of each other was a nice hobby to fill our time. And it really did feel good to support friends that way. A couple weddings followed mine the year after, and I was happy to pay it forward. Bachelorette parties, showers, favor making, picture taking, and talking about upcoming weddings as much as possible at all brunches, happy hours and random rendevous.

Weddings are a really big deal, I get it. But, I think there's something so equally wonderful--definitely worthy of the same glorification and celebration among friends as a wedding. We don't get t-shirts made to support the occassion, we don't host catered receptions to celebrate. And yet I think there is no greater occassion to show up, no better time to celebrate, than when a friend welcomes new life.

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My best friend is having a baby next week, and I will be there to celebrate. If there's one thing Sisterfriend knows how to do, it's celebrate; and while, yes, I cannot wait to hold her sweet baby, I am also looking forward to the opportunity of showing up. I get asked a lot about my friendships--how we make it work, how we've built intimate relationships with each other and kept them. It's simple. You show up. And the big things in life like having babies? You celebrate. You let your friends know that you are well aware that moment of falling desperately in love with a child they've carried for nine months deserves one hell of a hullabaloo.

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The old proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." Well, it also takes one to celebrate a child. And I think any mama can agree that one of the best ways to feel loved is when someone loves your child. Which is why I can recall every single person who came to the hospital to see both my girls when they were born. Or why I saved every "Welcome to the World" card I ever received and have them wrapped in ribbon and tucked away in keepsake boxes. You don't forget these things--not even in the blackened haze of unexpected diagnosis grief. Especially not in the blackened haze of unexpected diagnosis grief.

Having a baby is a life-changing, soul-stretching, glorious occasion, and if there's one opportunity to deepen a friendship, it's rallying to celebrate the miracle of birth, the triumph of adoption, the undeniable fact that having your heart stretched with love for a new child is a very, very big deal.

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Someday, several years from now, my friends and I will gather for coffee, and we'll talk about our kids' college applications. How much car insurance costs for teenagers. How we love our daughter's boyfriend (Oh God, I hope). But we'll remember that the depth of our cherished friendships began when we showed up long ago. When we held out our arms to hold each other's babies for the very first time. When we made mothering an infant seem a little less isolating because we stopped by, we brought meals, we rocked and kissed those newborns and we celebrated.

Because it takes a village.

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Do you have a favorite memory from your pregnancy or your child's birth when you felt celebrated by your friends? Or, have you celebrated a friend's new baby in a special way? Hallmark and I would love to hear your stories. In your comment, please share how you help make welcoming new life a special occasion.

To see other Hallmark posts on this blog, click HERE.

131 comments:

The Annessa Family said...

Just beautiful! You captures so much beauty and with such honesty! LOVE the pictures and love your friendship.

Brooke
www.MarvelousLoveBlog.com

lynxymama said...

my best friend SOMEHOW was able to call me in the recovery room for all 3 of my c-sections. this is the recovery room mind you, my babies were still with their daddy getting apgars! this is devotion. the first 2 she called in to this ridic rotary phone they had on the wall in the room....ok it's not rotary but that's what it felt like, this last baby she got me on my husband's cell. the rotary still kills me though, especially with my first as it was a 20 hour labor, i didn't even know where the hell i was by then ;) i'll never forget those calls.

Maureen said...

Oh yes... I love birth, and I am so lucky to be invited into the amazing moment when a baby is born as a doula. It's the most beautiful thing to be a part of.

Shannon said...

Ahhh, Fiona's birth had to be not only 1000 miles from our families, but 2 hours from where we live- from all of our friends. And you know, I still had friends and family make the trip to visit us in the hospital. C-sections are very different welcomings, where barely your husband is allowed to be there. But they all made there way when they could, some within the day, some within the week. And instead of a baby shower, we had a welcome home party. If I were to ever do it again (which I am not) I say to hell with babyshowers- it was so much nicer to celebrate the life infront of us all together then the one behind the belly who had no face to ooo and aaa over yet.

Natalie Burke said...

My friend brought me a gorgeous little market basket full of fresh fruit when she came by to hold my newborn. I thought that was such a sweet & thoughtful gesture. Great post, beautiful pictures! I love the on of your friend at the table with her coffee mug. She looks beautiful & content.

TheHouseWifeRookie said...

Oh what a beautiful post, Kelle! I will always remember my 2 best friends and our families waiting all through the night until the wee hours of morning to meet my baby! I know they were exhausted, but--they were there! Thanks for your wonderful words!

Megan@TrueDaughter said...

I don't really have girl friends, because I have sisters so close...I have never really developed girl friends outside of that. But, I have NEVER missed the birth of a niece or nephew...and there are 13 of them. I wait outside the door. I rush in as soon as they will let me, and prepare to fall in love. I am glad I have never missed one yet. My cousin once asked me why we all go when one of us is having a baby. The answer was simple...My sister (or brother) was having a BABY. A new person was coming into the world, into our family. We were gonna be there to celebrate!

Hillary said...
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Hillary said...

holy macaroni this post made me cry.
not because i've been that mama, but because i've been the village that gathers around and loves. that drops everything to be there for both mom and babe. and even though i've never been the mom feeling the presence of the village, i know what its like to be part of it- its pretty surreal. enjoy being part of the village as you celebrate the birth of this new baby. the new life. and the amazing mom and dear friend Heidi.

cass said...

When my sister and brother in law adopted their beautiful little girl I happened to be the half way point on their long journey home! It was the most wonderful experience getting to spend that short time with my new wonderful niece. My sister and I laid in my bed just staring at this awesome new gift, that is a weekend I will never forget!

OnCallMom said...

My best friend is an amazing photographer. She showed up at the hospital with her camera, and took so many pictures I cherish. She also held up her cell phone to my baby's ear, so she could be greeted by our out-of-state BFF. For my second, she made a gorgeous quilt with vintage surfer fabrics that I adore. It was such a symbol of her time and love, and became the center point for my son's nursery. I love this post. I am a firm believer in 'showing up'. :)

Candice said...

Heidi looks beautiful! Can't wait to "meet" her new bundle. She has some seriously adorable kids!!

I was in the delivery room when my best-friend welcomed her 2nd babe in July '09. She was in the delivery room with me when I welcomed my 2nd this past June. Both were amazing experiences that stregthened our friendship. It is hard not to admire and respect a woman after you watch her deliver life!! AWESOME!

onewink said...

This past August my dear friend was due to have her 2nd baby in just a months time. With the excitement of a new baby joining her little family, no one was prepared for the news they recieved that warm August day. Her 22 month old daughter recieved the diagnosis... she has a very rare, aggressive form of cancer (Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma). When the new baby came into the world I couldn't wait to meet her. There was no other place for me to be than with my friend's little family. When she brought the sweet new baby home I was so excited to hold her, to breath her in, and to watch the excitement she brought to her older sister. When I have a free couple of hours, or a free day I am there, holding my friend's children, cooking, cleaning, doing whatever I can by just being there. And I wouldn't have it any other way... her girls are my girls!

Kelly Leuck said...

Last Friday I was able to witness and celebrate the birth of my new nephew. It was fantastic and I was so proud of my sister.

http://mysuperherofamily.blogspot.com/2012/02/nolan-lee.html

Meagan Kenney said...

I am so excited for Heidi and I don't even know her! I know when I had my first two babies, I was alone in a state without close friends. It was sad. Of course I had my wonderful hubby and my parents came to visit and my moms girlfriend who lived nearby. But my last birth was wonderful. We moved back "home" and I was able to share it with my best friends from high school/college. Childbirth is so special regardless, but when your friends are there to share it w/ you truly is amazing! Good luck to Heidi, can't wait to see pictures of the new baby!

The Heffernan's said...

Nothing can really prepare you for the birth of your babies being carried by another woman. That is true celebration and amazement at the miracle of life through Surrogacy. The bonds our 3 daughters brought us is so beautiful especially given my 2 wonderful friends left their own families including 9 children to travel half way across the world to welcome our babies. They still say now that the bond between them and our babies is like they are theirs and they would do it all again in a heartbeat. True devotion to friendship.

OrangeHeroMama said...

you are such an amazing and wonderful friend! your love shows in all these amazing shots! <3

Mrs Mason said...

Good luck to Heidi! Hope all goes safely. xx

I started a conversation with a young man on the ferry today. We had a lovely chat. As we departed his mum said "thank you" to me for talking with him. I said, there was no need to thank me, he was captivating. She said that not everyone is as comfortable talking to him as me. I asked why and she said it was because he has DS. I told her I've a friend who has a child with DS and I've learnt more about babies and children from that child than anyone. She asked me how old the child was. And I said, "two, and her name is Nella". Is that weird? I've never met you and am not likely to either but I do feel I've learned so much about the "village" from you Kelle and, especially Nella.

xx

Sarah said...

I have to say the day we baptized our little one I felt A LOT of love from our church family. Something about getting baptized into the covenant community really touched my heart. This post was so sweet. Thanks for sharing =)

- Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com

Little For A Little While said...

One of my favorite parts about having a baby is all the visits and meals my friends and family shower upon up in the weeks following the birth. It's hard enough to sneak in a shower somedays, let alone make a meal for my family. Having one less thing to worry about reminds me how much they love us all. And when one of my friends is about to have a baby, i'm already thinking about their favorite foods, what their picky eaters will eat, and the like, so that I can pay it forward.

Such a beautiful post. Your friendship with Heidi is beautiful, as are the two of you. I love that you share that on your blog too, because friends truly do make our world go round. Pregnancy pictures are always some of my favs, capturing that anticaption, the dreaming, the hope, it is all just pure precious. Best wishes to Heidi next week!

Fresh Mommy said...

Precious life and precious friendships... they are one and the same :) Relationships like this is what makes life so stinkin' precious, that and our little angels cloaked in baby soft skin. I treasure those that are close to me and their littles... and one of the biggest ways we celebrate? Birthdays. The biggest holiday of them all.

xo

~Tabitha

Jennifer Weisner said...
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Elena said...

Your friend is SO BEAUTIFUL. I think she's gorgeous and every time you post pictures of her, I can't get over how beautiful I think she looks! Pregnancy done her good!

How exciting! Babies! I'm not there yet--at 23--no one is having babies around me, but boy, I can't wait!

As for weddings--my sister just married, and you know what stretches the soul, gives me goosebumps thinking about it, brings happy tears to my eyes? Watching someone else love a person in your life that YOU have so much love for--like your sister! It's like someone else is in on the secret that this person is special and wonderful and LOVES them. I was/am touched.

Jennifer Weisner said...

When my second child was born 7 months ago, we noticed within the first few hours that his eyes didn't look quite right. Over the next few days, we learned that our sweet Hudson is blind. I wanted to shut the world out for a while, but our friends (and especially my girlfriends), showed up. They brought us food, hugged us, prayed with us, cried with us, listened to my blabbering, and even gave us an "audio and tactile library" for Hudson. I reached in this huge bag and pulled out thoughtful gift after thoughtful gift - books that made sounds, Dr. Seuss books on CD, beautifully textured books. It was probably the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for us. As we continue to be inspired by our happy, determined, snuggly boy, my friends have been there, still showing up.

Lauren said...

I got my best friend a tray with a few cups and w pitcher to use while she nursed. It's been years, and I had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder.

MG Atwood said...

My son and daughter-in-law gave us the most beautiful baby girl last night. Champagne & tangerine juice in paper cups. We were high on love and all were feeling fine. Tonight my sons friends since utero showed up with ribs, cornbread, Mac and cheese. Greasy sticky lick your fingers clean. These guys have had photos taken together for all the big occassions. Wearing "big boy underoos" graduating from high school, being at each others weddings as attendants, and then tonight with an itty bitty newborn, friends gathered again. It's so special, I'm not sure words can be found for this type of friendship.

christina jo said...
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christina jo said...

Oh the birth of my daughter was spectacular! My best friend and her sister still tear up when we talk about it: rushing me to the hospital at midnight after going ten days overdue, scowling at the nurses when my epidural was slow in coming, sneaking me vending-machine snacks before I started pushing. The makeup we did together, the tiara they insisted I wear, the finger puppets they put on my toes when I was dozing and couldn't feel them... The hundreds of pictures they took. The picture of my daughter's first moment in the world, and, in the background, my best friend with tears and a look of such love and triumph. Her birth was nothing short of magical, and I love the two women who shared it with me with something deep and magical, as well.

Love is all you need said...

Our celebration is through the "triumph of adoption" around here. And I love nothing more than celebrating the day my baby I have been longing for gets to grows in my heart instead of my belly. We just found out we get to do it all over again in April and this time my very best friend will be there with me to take beautiful pictures of the bitter sweet exchange.

Shannon said...

I don't have a baby of my own yet, but I do have 10 nieces and nephews. I was able to be present for the arrival of some, but not of others, due to how far away siblings lived. I did, however, wrap them up in a different way. When a sister/sister-in-law would tell me that she was pregnant, I would make a blanket for the baby. In between the two sheets of fabric, before carefully sewing them closed, I would write a wish I had for them on a fabric heart and slide it in. That way, no matter how far away they were, the babes in my family knew my heart full of wishes was with them always.

Kelly Cach said...

*Pictures. I celebrate babies with pictures. Our church has a baby shower for every new life and I'm in charge of pictures. And when Nora was 2 days old, I remember at one point counting at least 20 friends in my room at the same time. I took pictures from my bed while they took turns holding her.

*But pictures were a different story in the delivery room. My sister was in the room when Nora was born. While I "checked out" my sister was snapping away. She took hundreds of pictures before, during, and after the birth. I am admitting that right after she was born, I could have cared less about photos, and even less about looking at them. I couldn't bare it. It was about 4 months later when I stumbled upon the delivery pictures and saw them in a whole new light.....my freshly birthed pink baby was BEAUTIFUL! My boys were beautiful WITH her. Those pictures no longer hold the severity of pain they once did. They are now some of my favorite photos ever taken.

So very thankful my sister celebrated her with pictures when I couldn't. That sentence makes me cry.

*Heidi is so beautiful! And so is her belly!

shell said...

when the village comes, the village delivers.
and i have a good village. they still deliver - for every broken arm, stitches and RSV stay in the hospital.

Jennjilla said...

I agree, every new little life deserves quite the party!

For my first child, my BFF took her role seriously and came dressed as a Doula (crazy outfit mostly for my entertainment) and cheered me through 12 hours of labor, holding my hand and shushing my mother when she was driving me crazy. it was a wonderful experience and i was so glad she was there to celebrate with me. we've since parted ways some, but I'll never forget her kindness and love for my lil guy!

Rebekah said...

Beautiful!

My mother started a tradition long ago that every new friend that had a baby, we would bring a warm meal to them one night. It's normally just a pot of homemade soup and bread, but they always greeted us with the biggest smiles. And then we would normally sit down and chat, admire the new little one and talk about how they are adjusting. Just be there for them. And it felt good. And I am sure they appreciated it too.

Julie Danielle said...

When I was pregnant with my first back in 2004 a friend gave me a shower. About 30 women came. Some were family, some friends. It was a special time. I will never forget it.

Hazel said...

It must be so exciting for you two, will you be there to take photos?
It's funny when my little sister had her baby last year she and her husband wanted to do it alone, so we only found out once Maisy had arrived, but I was in there as soon as I could be to meet her. It's funny how a baby who is related to you means a bit more. But I'm sure you and Heidi feel like sisters.
Looking forward to experiencing the village from the other side too one day.

k said...

I placed a baby boy for adoption in 2009. His birth was celebrated by an entire new family and all of their neighbors, many of whom did not know me or my baby. But there's something overwhelmingly comforting in a situation like that to know that the village DOES love and celebrate the child :)

Vanessa said...

What a lovely post! I wish I could have been there for more for my only friend so far to have a baby, and for my sister in her last two pregnancies (I live 700 miles away, and missed both). Distance and a lack of money makes things feel so impossible. But the love for these little ones, little copies of my friends wackiness or my sisters silly-face, it's still there.

Dee said...

'you show up' that's it! yes, so simple.
i think the ones who acknowledge the siblings when a new baby arrives are especially special.

Flying Lessons said...

This post is just perfect! And perfectly timed. I'm turning 33 tomorrow and have decided that my goal for this year is to build a village for my 9 month old baby. Thank you!

My Secret Rooms said...

Giving birth to my firstborn there was no such thing (since it was a destructive relationship) but with my secondborn so many friends came over, we were almost dizzy....!
And I myself particularly remember coming over to a friend when her daughter was only minutes old - such wonderful joy and love it was.

Indeed it's a very special occasion, one that deserves celebration for sure!

I keep my fingers crossed for Heidi!!!!

bforaker said...

Kelle...just want to add to the love around here. I really love your blog and so many of the sentiments you write about I share completely. This one reminds me of a post on my own blog that I wrote way back last May when my oldest child graduated from high school. In it, I thanked my "village" and reflected on all the love that had surrounded our sweet son his whole life from family and friends.

http://grace-in-the-ordinary.blogspot.com/2011/05/ending-and-beginninggrace-graduation.html

Anyway, sometime in the unbelievably not-too-distant-future you will sit at a high school graduation...numb and disbelieving. It goes entirely too, too fast. But you my friend, can say that cherished every single moment and made your way through mommahood in a mindful way. That's pretty incredible.

I want to echo your sentiment that the surest way to deepen friendships is showing up. That's all you have to do. You don't need the right words, the right book the right quote or song. You just need to be there. And with your presence you say: "You matter. There is no where I'd rather be at this moment. I'm here."

You are blessed Kelle! Best of all, you know it! Wishing the best for Heidi in these comings days! ~Beth

mamaathome said...

Beautiful!! not enough celebration goes in our world especially for important things like the birth of a new person into our world. I am blessed enough to have most of my babies at home surrounded by the people that love me and my family the most. It would of been so much harder to do it without them. My bestest wishes for your sisterfriend!! Go on celebrate!!

Lynne said...

i choked up reading the comment of 'K', who placed a baby for adoption...we adopted 2 our two beautiful little ones and i want k to know that not only love our village our children, but our family and our friends adore them as if they came from us. YOU are part of this magic allowing 'us' to become a family and to be loved by so many many people...

our social worker phoned us in the monday in the UK, on the thursday we flew to south africa, on the monday the birthparents met us and on the tuesday they signed our son over to us... we still had to go back to the uk to pack up and come back, but i landed on a friday morning, my sister in law and a friend picked me up from the airport and we drove to go fetch 'my son'. it was beyond magical... i sometimes forget that they were there...the moment was so huge and my heart totally totally overwhelmed...

with our daughter (8 months old now)...our social worker phoned us on the fridayevening in malaysia (heheh..yes... i know!), we flew back to south africa on the tuesday and we picked our daughter up from the airport on the thursday.

ALL my family and friends (30 amazing women) had a stork party for us that saturday. each one of them journeyed with us for 10 years to become a mama (and daddy) to a baby... there were tears of joy, of sadness being healed instantly... and i think, for me, the most amazing thing was to look down at my beautiful children and know that this is what love truly are.
xx

Team Lando said...

Congrats, Heidi!

We knew Ellie would be in the NICU for her tummy surgery when she was born. Our friends brought us dinner almost every night for three weeks. They came to visit at the hospital and bought groceries and sat with us and were present. And when Ellie was supposed to be a preemie, they threw my baby shower together right in the midst of Christmas craziness.

dag2dag said...

I must say you are one lucky woman, and the women in your life are lucky to have you!
I wish i had friendships like that, I wish I had celebration like that when my son was born. I had just moved to a different country, and knew NO one, and I had no visitors in the hospital (except my mom who flew in three days after my son was born) and i had no celebrations not before or after- and no people running down our doors to see the new little life. and reading this it makes me wonder if anything will change this time around. my second is due in April, and ive lived here for 2 years now, and made friends. but if they are those kind of friends remains to be seen. personally i dont think so.

Im happy for u Kelle! And im slightly jealous too! but this is what its like when you move around after your husbands career, he is a pro soccer player in sweden, and in this business we all move around so much that real friendships are hard to come by..

Simone said...

What a beautiful post - the second one is absolutely gorgeous!!

Mia said...

I miss all of it! From the 2nd trimester on, that is. I had 3 baby showers!! There was such an outpouring of love, it was crazy. I was the one crazy chick in my class in nursing school not only to get pregnant, but to do it on purpose! My classmates threw a baby shower for me. I kind of found out at the very last minute. I totally wasn't expecting it. It was awesome!! Most of us were pretty broke, since it's hard to work and be in school, so it really meant a lot that they went out and bought things for my Rowan. One girl, and one of my teachers, crocheted him blankets, they are my favorite! He actually ended up being born on that teacher's birthday. I took him to see her the day before he turned one. I miss the wiggles and bumps, and all of those things that a woman feels during her pregnancy that no one else does. I miss the knowing that you have something wonderful even before your secret is evident. I miss it all, and I can't wait to (hopefully) revisit those wonderful feelings, nausea and all, this summer!

Brenna said...

With the birth of my second kiddo- I was living in Germany and my hubby was deployed to Iraq. I welcomed my son with two amazing women there supporting me. One taking pictures and sharing via Yahoo messenger with my hubby- making sure he was up to date on everything. The other- holding my hand. Both of them understanding when I said," I love you both and am grateful you are here but really miss my hubby." Still makes me tear up two years later! Great friends who show up- are a lifeline- especially for military wives:)

Marietje Pieters said...

What a great friendship you two have! Good luck Heidi next week!

Krissy said...

It was actually when I was pregnant that I discovered your blog. I was on bed rest in the hospital for 6 weeks before the arrival of my identical twin boys in Feb. 2010. You just had Nella and her birth story had gone viral. I was hooked from that day on.

Living in a hospital room decorated with pink floral wall paper straight out of 1987 could've been brutal. People ask me all the time how I managed to stay sane. But I did most days thanks to my friends WHO SHOWED UP. They moved my entire shower to the hospital and didn't spare a detail. We had 'happy hour' with music on the iPod, non-alcoholic wine (yuck!), cheese, and crackers. We had pizza nights and sundae nights in the hospital lobby. They showed up with take-out to watch The Bachelor and sat on the cold, uncomfortable, fake leather couch to keep me company. They sent packages, fresh fruit, bagels and coffee, funny cards, and helped me fill the long days.

And they didn't stop there. Once my boys arrived my friends made sure I wasn't alone as we navigated a 6 week long stay in the NICU. They showed up to hold my babies, feed my babies, and talk to me while I pumped (like a cow). They scrubbed in and used the harsh sanitizer that leaves your hands burning and donned the sweaty yellow gowns required to hold a preemie baby.

My sweet boys are now 2 and without these friends (and now their little ones!) our lives would be less fulfilled without them. Girlfriends and mommy friends are a lifeline.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

What a beautiful bump. Friends are just the family we meet along the way.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

What a beautiful bump. Friends are just the family we meet along the way.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

What a beautiful bump. Friends are just the family we meet along the way.

Giliane said...

the friendship you have is amazing. my best friend is my boyfriend, he is my everything. Yet it is wonderful to have a female friend who you can share everything with, because quite honestly I do not have that, so many people have put me down in the past and now I find it difficult to trust other people other than my family and boyfriend! Love your photos and your kind words,really keep it up and thanks =)

cathy said...

Kelle,
simply eloquent, beautiful & ever so truthful

xoxo
cathy

April Vernon said...

My first pregnancy was a very difficult one. My first of 4 hospital stays was at only 29 weeks. I spent a month being on bedrest at home. That was followed by a month of bedrest at the hospital. Then, Adam was born a month early! I was unable to attend any of the baby showers planned for me, so my family brought the baby shower to me! We played games and everything as I laid on the couch with my feet propped up. Our friends from church collected money and got all the big stuff we registered for...the pack n play, carseat/stroller combo. and more! Very special memories for me.

The Conner Clan said...

I love that Heidi is due next week cause I am too! :) March 4th to be exact but I had a dream last night that my sweet baby will come on Saturday...can't say it'll happen that way, but I can hope! I can't wait to meet him/her! Tell Heidi I wish her the best and can't wait to see pictures of her sweet little bundle :)

Mama Mandy said...

My bestie drove 3 hours to be with me when my third daughter was born just a month ago. She could only stay for about two hours because she had to pick up her son from mothers day out, but she drove all that way to welcome my baby into the world. Tears. Joy. Love.

idiosyncraticeye said...

I too agree with 'it takes a village' and have plenty of 'adopted' children in my life, parents need breaks. You also hit the nail on the head perfectly when you said friends show up, so true. :)

idiosyncraticeye said...

I too agree with 'it takes a village' and have plenty of 'adopted' children in my life, parents need breaks. You also hit the nail on the head perfectly when you said friends show up, so true. :)

Andrea J said...

My husband's best friend is a marine who is stationed across the country. He's always been like a brother to me. When our first baby was born, he came all the way up to Michigan to see her. He was there to celebrate, to lighten the mood, and to help in any way he could. He made me meals while my husband was at work and held the baby so I could nap or shower. Since then, he's actually become my brother... he married my baby sister! They have a beautiful 6mo-old baby girl and I'm so proud to be her godmother.

Cibele said...

I live far away from my family, my friends are all I have. They celebrated my pregnancy in big way. I have 5 showers. I was put on bed rest and I had nothing ready for my baby's arrival... My friends came over and put together the entire nursery in a few hours. When Lyla was born they were all there crying with me, smiling with me, loving my baby... I am so blessed to have them in my life... now as a single mother I cant even imagine doing without them.

Christi said...

Such a beautiful post, Kelle! When my son was born my sister flew out to meet him. I'll never forget wheeling him through the baggage claim in his stroller and spotting my sister at the other end of the hall. She shrieked and RAN to us and we cried and hugged for a few minutes before she even looked in the stroller. She was already a mom and she was SO happy to celebrate with me. One of the very best (and first) memories of someone else loving my baby. She stayed for a week and cooked for us, answered all my questions, loved on my son, and took care of him so I could rest. She totally understood what I needed. I'm so excited to pay it forward now - two of my other sisters are expecting and your post reminded me how important it is to be there for them.

Tara Michiels said...

Very well said! And we keep on celebrating...in our home we like to throw "Because YOU are Special" parties! For children of all ages-mommies and daddies are big kids too!

Wally said...

Absolutely loved this. This was by far not the longest Hallmark post you've ever written, but it was just perfect in length and content. The pictures, the thoughts you shared. Beautiful.
I know three women expecting in the next few months and I can't wait to meet their little ones. Celebrating the excitement with your friends, whatever the occasion makes it all the sweeter.

Sarah said...

I loved sharing the amazing experience of our brand new baby with our family and friends. I think that it brought us together so much stronger than before. My friends were there for me when I needed them and they helped me so much! It really made me love them even more!
PS: Just per-ordered my copy of "Bloom".....SO EXCITED!!!!!

Emily said...

I have an amazing best friend, a friend that I can share anything with, including my struggle to get pregnant. She heard all the details, the shots, the crying, the struggles. She cheered me on like no other. So when I found out my son was on his way, she made the occassion so very special. I have so many special gifts from her throughout the years, but one of the best things she has ever made me was a memoir of my pregnancy. She saved all my emails to her and all my texts, all the pictures I sent of my growing belly and of the many showers we had. She made them into a book, and it's absolutely beautiful. I have read it several times in the past year and I am so glad I have this book. It is truly what I was feeling throughout my entire pregnancy and the birth of my son. I will cherish it forever. She is getting married in a couple months and plans to start a family. Like you, I hope I can do her justice and pay it foward. Lovely post!! Thanks!

Heidi said...

kelle...i love you...thank you for capturing my dream.

my dream. our dream.

we are so lucky. i said it earlier...i'll just sit here and sob if i say more.

so blessed you are in my life and have felt that way since we met 9 years ago. xo


i'll see you in about an hour...sesame seed bagles!

Sara said...

When my daughter was born I knew my friends would love her, I never knew how much. The amount of love they show her blows me away. The day my daughter was born my best friend was there to witness her birth, not just because she is my best friend but because she is my daughters god mother. When my daughter was born and I saw the tears in her eyes I knew her love for her was just as strong as mine. In the year since my daughter was born she has been there for her and written her beautiful cards letting her know how deep her love runs and how she will always be there for her.

amypins said...

Yes, i have thrown a baby shower for each of my closest friends, for each of their babies. Even 2nd and 3rd babies deserve a celebration, right? I make meals for each of my friends to have in the days following the birth too. and my friends have reciprocated this with both of my girls' births.
My sister has been present for both of girls' births, just making it in time for the 2nd one as I accomplished my goal of pain-med free delivery. It was really special for her as all 3 of her babies have been born by c-section and being a part of my births was a way to live vicariously as part of something she wouldn't be able to experience.

KWQR said...

Damn girl... you really got me with this one! Tears started flowing as I read the first few sentences. Because that June of 2006 I was just starting out on this journey... of motherhood, of down syndrome, of learning who I am meant to become.

My son was born 5 weeks early with a surprise diagnosis of DS just hours after his arrival. The last thing I knew how to do at that moment was celebrate. My primal self just wanted to curl into a ball & disappear. Thankfully my village knows exactly how to show up. Our friends, families, colleagues & even distant acquaintances showed up in force... reaching through our fog of confusion, hurt & newborn haze to celebrate our new life. I have never felt so loved as I did seeing my world embrace, love & accept my son.

This may sound strange since I don't know you In Real Life... but one of the things I most admire in you is how you love. I love how you love your friends, family & yes even things. It is your fierce sincerity that comes through this blog. Something that can not be quantified (or replicated - sorry Forbes!) that is so appealing.

Whew! What a way to start a Wednesday...
Big love,
xo
Kate

The onion Farmers Wife said...

I have made an effort to "show up" with food soon after wee-one is home. I try to take my girlfriends fave food, love your blog Kelle!

Claire said...

http://claireandfiona.blogspot.com/2011/02/i-have-secret.html

A couple days after I learned the gender of each of my babies, I shared the news with my girlfriends using the "pink or blue frosting in the middle of a cake" trick. Those evenings -treasured celebrations out with my girlfriends - gave me some of my best pregnancy memories ever.

C Turn said...

What a great post! My son was 9 weeks early and I really thought my village would rally around us and help carry us through. Many of our "best" friends didn't show up to visit or would volunteer to bring meals only to bail at the last minute. Yet the flip side is a neighborhood church - that we don't even ATTEND- heard of our situation and brought us dinner twice a week for the first month our son was in the hospital. So the flip side for us was that we re-evaluated our "village" and are trying to surround our miracle baby with the people that will be there for him (and us!) in the future. What an amazing post - and an amazing friendship!

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

My best friend was at the birth of both of my babies and since she worked as an L&D nurse at that hospital she was allowed to be my actual nurse. For my son she pulled a 24 hour shift to be there for me. For my daughter, she was at my bedside at 3am and stayed until we were checked into the mother and baby ward. So special. Another friend who is also my OB was there at the birth of my daughter, also coming in at 3am on her day off. Needless to say it was a magical, calm and beautiful birth. I couldn't have been any more at ease. Good luck to Heidi can't wait to see her baby on here!

Oklahoma Mohrs said...

I don't tend to have smooth pregnancies or smooth deliveries. The birth of my second daughter proved to be no different. Luckily she was fine but I had complications… rushed to the OR… blood transfusion. You get the idea. At our hospital there is no nursery, baby is in room all the time. Which I LOVE. Except when there is an emergency and your poor white faced husband is left standing there with a newborn watching his wife be wheeled away to the OR unsure of the outcome. My best friend of 25+ years happened to be in town and had planned on coming by. She called my husband and he told her what the doctors had said. She asked if he wanted her and her husband to come up to the hospital. He said no. They came anyway It was the best thing they could have done for us. I was still pretty out of it and honestly I barely remember their visit but I know at the time it saved my husband from complete psychosis and of course meant the world to me. I grew up with a brother that I adore but I also found a sister a long time ago in a little preschool in my hometown and I’ll love her and her sweet family forever.

Aleyta said...

Ah yes, I agree with this post 100%!

Griz said...

This post is so perfectly timed!! My wife is expecting our 2nd child in July and we have already seen friends & family start to converge to dote on our first little girl. We have also had one of your new friends, and hopefully one of our new friends also, Margaret Cardillo, bless us with a perfect gift. I'm sending you a personal email to explain the whole story, so as not to clog up your comments.

Michelle said...

Best friend #1 had her baby almost a year ago. Best friend #2 had her baby just over a week ago. I love those babies so much more than their mamas know and I've been thinking of ways to make sure they know that. Thank you for the affirmation of the importance of this.

Seeing your lovely photos WITH your friend made me realized I have missed out on something terrible -- I don't think I have a photo with either of these precious ladies while they were pregnant. I am terrible about getting into photos and I'm so sad now that the moments are passed and I missed them -- I need to start getting into photos too!

Daniele said...

I loved those first visits after with friends and family too. I have to admit I preferred those first visits with my second baby to be once I got home as opposed to at the hospital like they mostly were with my first- because I loved to just sit cozily on my couch and watch my loved ones marvel at their new family member. Watching them inspect fingers and toes, stroking cheeks...the awesome act of seeing a family member for the first time, just nothing like it.

Stacy said...

When I had my son almost 6 years ago no one made us a meal. A few came to visit. Since then I have made new friends, the kind that show up. My husband and I bacame foster parents last December. We took our first placement, a 19 day old beautiful baby boy, in Janurary. The best friend of my entire life insisted on throwing a baby shower for this little guy. Even though he's leaving us in a couple of weeks, he has been blessed and my family has been blessed by these awesome families that have prayed over him and shown up for us all over and over again.

Elena said...

I remember when my son was born with an extra surprise chromosome, there were a lot of uncomfortable hospital visits. But then my sister-in-law took her lunch hour to visit with us. We've never been close, but she just sat there rocking him chatting with me giving off the vibe that everything would be fine. 3 plus years later and I still remember how she made me feel.

Jules said...

Such a GREAT post!! I'll never forget after the day following the birth of my first baby... My best friend had gone home for awhile and called to see if I needed anything. I asked for whoppers, I was craving them so bad. She brought me a dozen whoppers from burger king, mistaking my chocolate craving for burgers! She said it was the oddest thing I had ever requested but she figured it was from just having a baby so she didn't question it! It was still the sweetest thing and I've never forgotten how loved I felt by such a simple gesture. <3 BF are the best things in life!

Leah said...

Lovely. My only experience becoming a mama (at least thus far) was in a blur of diagnosis grief and a drawn out hospital stay with impending heart surgery. As much as there was a lot of support, it didn't feel much like a celebration. In fact, I received only one congratulations gift, and it was from an aunt I am not particularly close with (a bouquet of flowers). But it meant SO MUCH to me that she wanted to celebrate with a gesture of congrats (even though i was in the NICU full time and didn't really get to see them every day). Reflecting on my introduction into parenthood I've felt a little wistful and selfish that I didn't get the celebration. Of course supporting my daughter's life was important. I guess I'm still hoping for a little more celebration...

Lisa Hewlett said...

I love this! When I had just had Jack, I was so excited to have my friends come visit us. But as it turned out, there was only one night where I had visitors - a Saturday night, because that's when everyone could come. Turns out EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON. came at the SAME TIME - so we had like 15 friends with us at once. I was elated, but my nurse kicked everyone out b/c apparently my blood pressure didn't like it! I loved it though.

Jennifer said...

One of my best friends has shown up after each of babies (3) to hold them and "put her eyes on me" as she calls it. And, after my second was born, she was hospitalized at two weeks of age (similar to what Nici's Ruby went through) and that same friend came to the PICU with food and hugs and love. She wasn't "allowed" to come in but boy was I glad she was there and to know how much she loved my kids! And, for the record, I was there to see her two boys enter the world (being a NICU nurse, I was able to sneak into the OR for her C-sections). CELEBRATE!!!!

Amy said...

In the adoption community, 100 Good Wishes quilts are very popular. We didn't do that for my 2nd boy, adopted from South Korea, in fact I barely received any cards in the mail. (Compared to the birth of my first son (home grown) who had 200+ cards....)I am glad you mentioned adoption in your post,as sometimes people don't react the same way as biological birth. I'm sure other adoptive mothers have had wonderful celebrations, but we didn't experience that. We had to make our own "party" and celebrate the new big brother and little brother in the house ourselves. :)

Rose said...

It takes a village to raise a child is my favourite phrase, has been since I had my two who are now nearly five and nearly three.
The sweet thing is the person who showed up - who was there welcoming both my babies into the world, who held them at the same time as me was my sister and she's become my best friend. We celebrate each other and our children better than anyone we know. I wish I had a bunch of friends like you Kelle, I love seeing you all in your photo's but I'm glad the person I'm closest to is my sister now that friends have drifted away on different paths. When she got married eight years ago I stepped up as chief bridesmaid and wore that badge with pride and I took the role of auntie very seriously years before I fell pregnant myself. I know that when friends who are currently childless eventually bear their own they too will understand what I've been banging on about for years and maybe they will wish they'd been part of my childrens lives more.
X

ellen said...

My friend had her first baby a few weeks ago (after a few rough patches and some bedrest along the way). I bought some cute cowboy fabric to make a quilt for her little boy. Four days after he was born I got a call from my friend's mother letting me know that the baby was going in for a very serious surgery. At 10pm that night I started sewing the quilt and finished at 2:30am. The baby is home and doing well and they love the quilt.

Catherine said...

Just like your friend, I'm due with my third next week (oh hopefully!!!!) as well, and without my "sister friends", I couldn't imagine how I'd do it. :) Sweetest post. xx

the newtons said...

I was pregnant with my son and around here you don't get a shower with your second baby. I wasn't really looking for a shower/gifts or anything fancy, I just wanted to celebrate and my friends knew it. So my 6 very best girl friends threw me a surprise shower! They all wore blue (one forgot and wore pink and said it was in honor of my daughter), they each made a dish to share, got balloons and gifts and gushed over how excited they all were to meet my sweet little bundle. Most of these ladies are single (1 in a relationship, 1 engaged) and none of them have kids and are not very comfortable with babies, but their love for my two little ones makes me so happy I could cry at the thought. I already called dibs on throwing all of their baby showers and promised I will come over and clean up their kids throw up for them...haha, and love them just like they love mine. Because that's what friends do!

Kristina said...

My first born came 8 weeks early and we spent 31 days in the hospital. I can count on my fingers the number of people who showed up and they hold a VERY SPECIAL place in my heart. You learn who IS your village when you go through something like that. i I LOVE that you love your bestfriend and love her babies :)

cheryl said...

Nothing and I mean nothing bonds you to your best friend...like being in labor together! In 1992 my circle of girl friends was expanding, several of us expecting baby number two or three or first born. For me, it was number two, for be best friend Kim, it was number three.
No, we didn't plan it, somethings just happen. We were due on the same day. Odds of us actually going into labor together, not sure, but you know how full moons work. It was a Wednesday, the first day of school, we both managed to take our older ones to school and pick them up. My water broke that afternoon and I foolishly stood in the front yard taking photos while church members rode by on the way to services. By the time I got to the hospital, half the church knew our child was on the way.
I called Kim from the labor room to tell her half the church was stopping in. She laughed and said, "Thanks for the warning, I'll wait an hour or two before I show up." I asked if she was in labor, she was.
Our poor doctor was sure we planned this mass attack of two natural child birth best friends with a huge support group, but we didn't, God did. I had John first, Selby followed 6 hours and 10 minutes later. I was just outside the door crying, ready to meet the twin. We had both boys together before they were 10 hours old. It was the greatest joy of my life to hold both boys and know we would have each other for life.

Today John is a disabled young adult. Vaccine damaged at 18 months his life has been different, hard, and yet, there is joy in the hard times. Selby is now in the army. He is John's biggest support. John is Selby's. John wears an army shirt in his honor almost everyday. Both boys feel bonded as brothers for life.

As for Kim she is my rock and has been all along this journey. I got to be her rock when her husband was deployed twice and she developed MS.

I will always be thankful for such an amazing friendship and the gift of a double birth 20 years ago.

Jen said...

Seriously, this post, and all the comments, just made me cry (though I cry at everything nowadays!). We're expecting our first at the beginning of august, and it's the first baby in our families and among our friends - already our village is lining up to be supportive! It's beautiful, and I love all of my friends (especially my newfound fast military friends - because as a military spouse, that's how you have to make friends - fast!) and I am so looking forward to seeing my baby loved by all my friends and family :)

Jennifer said...

I was living away from my family when my first child was born.

Half an hour after her arrival, at 7am, an older work acquaintance arrived at the hospital - driving past and saw our car there.

Not only did she bring the news to the world, she never left my side through and was a surrogate grandmother to all four of my children throughout their childhood(s) and into their current teen years.

How blessed we are to have this woman and her family in our lives!

Jenn A said...

Love it, Sister!!

tracyallegre said...

Showing up! I love how simply you put it. It's so easy yet sometimes so hard to do!

Sherri Mitchell said...

My mother posting "It's a BOY!" and my son's name on the lighted sign out front at the Nursing Home where she worked.....that was something I'll never forget. Driving by, seeing it in full glory, Like, YEAH, he's finally here, and he is most loved.

I enjoy your posts so much, and best wishes for your sweet friend getting ready to welcome a new bundle of joy! xo

alisha said...

This is beautiful, Kelle. And the photos of Heidi? Stunning.

The Salty Dogs said...

Feel like a dork that I didn't know showing up with a meal was so much better than impractical newborn clothes, until I welcomed my little man. And "I know these first weeks are tough, but you're giving him just what he needs" is pretty awesome, too.

A dear friend who shies from attention confided in me that as an expectant adoptive mother, she was disappointed to field more questions about the birth mother's situation than her own plans and dreams. I now make extra sure that friends and acquaintances awaiting a baby by adoption or surrogacy get the same level of happy focus on their expectant state.

Candace said...

This might just be the most perfect post for me at the moment. I am 17 weeks pregnant. I am enjoying every minute of it and love sharing this time with my friends.

My best friend and I have a standing date on Sundays for photos. She is an amazing photographer and friend. This journey is so much more than I ever imagined.

http://thesnozberrydiaries.blogspot.com/

Heidi will be in my thoughts and prayers during this joyous time :)

xo,
CC

Pam said...

Several years ago a friend invited me along to a prenatal Dr. appt. so I could listen to her baby's heartbeat. It was amazing and a memory I will always cherish.

Tonia said...

When I was 8 months along, a couple dear friends from high school, who are sisters, took me to get my very first pedicure. What a treat to have someone else tend to my poor aching feet.

Tracy said...

I am currently home with my second child who is only 2 weeks old. A very good friend researched my Pinterest food board, cooked up some of my favorite recipes and brought them over. It was amazing!

Meg said...

I'm the single mom of a beautiful 6 month old girl, conceived via anonymous sperm donation. I couldn't be happier, but a lot of people criticize my choice to bring a child into the world without a father. So my heart almost burst when one day I was at our local coffee shop fixing my coffee, and a neighbor commented "look at your kid, she was born with 4 Aces in her hand". Confused, I asked him what he meant. He pointed over to her (she was across the room with my brother, his kids, and 3 of our friends and neighbors), and he said "she's got her own posse, and she doesn't even know it".

Your post made me cry, thank for reminding me that it takes a village, and we are lucky to have such a loving and supportive one.

Meg
annabelleandmeg.blogspot.com

Isabella's Mommy.... said...

I love reading your blog. It always seems to tug at my heart in one way or another & I love that. You have a way about explaining every detail that makes whatever it is come alive... it's so very touching & I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on the everyday that makes us us and fills our worlds. Thank you!

Kelle said...

i have never met another 'kelle' before so i was so excited to see the watermark on your pictures :) you have a lovely blog, lovely daughters, and a lovely outlook on life. your pictures are beautiful and i look forward to seeing more.

- kelle

Emily Lum said...

My friend since 1st grade came to see me the day of or day after (i cant remember now!) I had my first child, a daughter, and told me she was having a best friend for my little girl. She had just found out her first child was going to be a girl also. When her daughter was born 5months later I couldn't wait to get to the hospital to see her. And we did the same when we each had our second daughters 2 years later. I was also lucky enough to videotape another friend's 2 yr old daughter meet her New baby brother for the first time. There's nothing better than welcoming a friend's baby into the world.

Lael said...

As a doula I have been so so blessed to be at many of my friends births. Even caught a few fast bubbas on their way out. I think I often cry of joy more than my friends do as I witness them become mothers. It is so incredibly special and so bonding. Enjoy the birth x

Amber said...

The day following the (home)birth of my first daughter my darling friends organised groceries to be delivered to my door. A week's worth. I nearly exploded with happiness - and thank gawd, they'd even included a bottle of white wine!! xx

Kelly said...

Hi! I just love your blog, and your sweet little girls!!! Thank you for sharing your life with all of us! Also, I have to know, where do you buy their clothes at?!!! I look at each picture, and just melt over (their little faces, of course) those adorable outfits! I love your style!!! Please share!

Kelly

Ryan said...

Okay I can barely see through the tears to write this comment, but write it I shall! Your comment about just visiting with a meal to lessen the isolating feeling of mothering a newborn and just showing up, pulled at my heart strings. My now 7 month old baby girl has happily changed my life completely. The intense happiness of having friends visit me in the hospital (a long drive for many!) and bring meals and hold my little girlie in those early days still holds strong in my heart. I have told my girlfriends with babies that they saved me emotionally more than once and how special to have all of them by my side to share in all the memories that are to come. Enjoy Heidi's new arrival next week! I am so happy for all of you!!

kdactyl said...

Oh my...this post touched my heart! After years of being the "baby supporter and celebrator" for all my friends, my turn seemed to be taking forever. We had to go the fertility clinic route and suffered losses and a lot of tears and pain on our journey to parenthood. So when I was finally 33 weeks pregnant withour first ... my girlfriends... hosted the most wonderful celebration. I had friends fly in from out of state, people gave up family functions and we all celebrated the new life. It was finally "my turn" and it was that day that I exhaled and actually believed that it was happening to me. I started crying that morning and pretty much cried all day because I just felt so much love for our baby and it was really my first "mommy" moment where I "got it". I had fiercely loved my friends' babies for years and when those mommies had the chance....oh did they love back...ten fold. I was overwhelmed, You could feel the love and support in that room...but it didn't stop there. One of the gifts we received was a nicely prepared calendar and on it were the names of our friends who would be delivering meals for 4 weeks following the birth...All our friends chose a night and signed up to bring us dinner. Every other day or every third day for the first 4 weeks...we had a visit and a meal delivered! It was the BEST gift ever. We had this tradition with our other friends and I had delivered many meals myself...but it had always been kind of off-the-cuff and sometimes more than one meal would come at a time. This was a very organized (oh how my friends understand my love of spreadsheets) effort and it then pretty much sealed a visit with each person. I got some girl time and a great meal, they got to love on that new baby and be a help (which was very important to each of them). So yes...celebrating and showing up really are the BEST things you can do with and for your sisterfriends! I would be lost without them. (oh..and 6 years ealier...they had all gathered around for support when we lost a life and I buried my mother....showing up is important then too).
kd

Chrisse said...

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 5 months into my pregnancy. I still can't wrap my brain around the range of emotions I experienced even 2 years later. I was induced early so that I could begin treatment but my son wasn't quite ready to come out yet. So besides my wonderful family and friends, my "village" consisted of nurses, doctors and other hospital staff who knew what lay ahead for me and helped keep my spirits up when, after 2 days, I still hadn't started active labor. They knew it was important for me to avoid a c section since I'd be having major surgery 3 weeks later.
My son saved my life before he was born and I will never forget the relief I felt seeing his face and knowing he was safe.

SuperMilf said...

Heidi is such a beautiful prego momma

SuperMilf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mad Science said...

You're so blessed to have a Village to help you. Unfortunately not everyone does.

paige said...

holy smokes... that is a convicting post.
i suck at friendships.
& "easy, show up" - is the best advice ever (though for an introvert like me, it's never, ever easy to show up... it's always, always easier to hide) - but dang... people are important... & i want to grow to be the kind of friend that my friends feel like they can count on. Thanks for this post. (& congratulations on your book - lovely :)

J.Mo said...

This makes my heart hurt.
I had a best friend when my daughter was born. She was great.
Then she judged my parenting abilities. I'm sorry I'm not perfect. I wish I were. But I do the best I can. Friends like you should be cherished, I wish I were so lucky.

Mrs. Buckingham said...

Wow! What a beautiful post! I LOVE the photos of Heidi and her baby bump! She is so pretty! And your pictures are so very inspiring, Kelle! I want to take photographs like you when I grow up! :) You're right... there is something that runs so deep in a friendship when you celebrate your friend's babies as if they are your own! I'm in the works of planning a baby shower for my sweet friend now! ...Just days after I sent one of my best friends an email saying that it was my turn to shower her and her baby, she received horrible news at their 21 week ultrasound. They went in anticipating the news of whether their baby was a boy or girl, and instead they were told that the only thing normal with their baby was the heartbeat. They were told that the baby's heart could simply stop beating any moment between now and birth, or the baby could make it to delivery and only live a few minutes after birth. My friend and her husband were given the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy. They chose LIFE and chose to carry this sweet little baby. She has an AMAZING attitude and faith. She is celebrating every single day she has with this little one! So, I am continuing my plans to throw her a shower and we'll be having a Meals & Mementos shower for her on Saturday, March 10th... a shower to celebrate this little life and pregnancy. Guests will bring a frozen meal so the family will have meals stocked up if/when something does happen. Guests are also invited to bring some type of memento for either the baby and/or Mama. Something for Mama to pamper herself or something small for the baby - something for Mama and Daddy to have and cherish to call the baby's own. Any life is worth celebrating, and we're gonna celebrate big next Saturday! You can read about my friend's story here: http://sprinklesandwrinkles.blogspot.com/2012/02/counting-it-all-grace.html

melissa said...

PS - In Thursday's post you said yesterday (Wednesday) was a special day and you were 'jumping in the street' because your book came in...just realized how fitting...it was 'leap day'!!!!

melissa said...

(2-29-12)

Happiness is... said...

Oh, you are so right - friendship is about being there - pregnancy, birth, rearing. I had a major bump through out my pregnancy, and each one of my close friends was there to keep me strong. I will never forget their strength. And my talented photographer friend took bump shots of me near 37 weeks; and now I am left with spectacular artistic shots to remember how beautiful I felt.

And I do remember those friends who trekked up to Baltimore to visit us. And my best friend who drove down from PA the afternoon I returned home only to fill my house with fresh groceries and fresh flowers; and to hold my dear baby and celebrate her arrival. And the other PA friend who drove down a day later to fill my freezer full of prepared meals. I've learned so much from these ladies. Simple acts of love endure. Little gestures go a long way.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jennifer

Sara Korber-DeWeerd said...

When our unexpected diagnosis came, one of my best friends jumped in her car at 6 a.m. and drove 6 hours from Buffalo to show up at my hospital room door with a giant chocolate cake, pizza, and a bouquet of flowers. "I came to give you a hug," she said. She didn't leave my side for two days. And I will never ever forget that.

Kunklebaby said...

Love, love, LOVE this post!! Tears as I read it!
I blogged about a birth experience with my friend here:
http://kunklebabystyle.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-beginnings.html

Susan said...

One of my best friends is expecting her little boy any day now, and today her sweet girl turns 3. I have had gifts sitting on the dining room table for them, for whenever I see them next, when the baby is here. A big sister gift, a new mama gift, and of course baby boy gifts. Because of this post I'm making today's mission to get these gifts packaged up and to the post office. Why wait? I know she is sad to not live closer to friends and family and that a little package can mean a lot. I'm excited that possibly before she even leaves for that hospital, or as soon as she returns I have a way of "showing" up from afar.

Thank you, as always, for reminding us what is important, and what to make time for.

Congrats to your gorgeous friend, can't wait to see that baby in your arms! (And hers! :)

Kate said...

http://liveactionnews.org/opinion/down-syndrome-does-not-equal-defective/

Kelle-- I found this article today and thought you and sweet Nella! Thank you for being such an inspiration to all, and for being such a influential advocate! You and the author of this piece show me that there are still great people out there! And give me continued appreciation for going into the field of special education. I look forward to your posts I check five times a day I swear, and your photography brings a smile to my face every time!! Thank you for sharing with the world!!

Unknown said...

I love this... And i love new life. And best friends. And bridesmaid shirts :)

DanBin said...

How do u create intimate relationships and keep them... Just show up!!! I LOVE that and truly believe it too. It's sad that people don't have time anymore. I envy your relationships. I have good ones, but I always wanted the kind u saw on friends.