Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Year of the Unicorn

I turned 34 on Saturday.

Lainey was the first to wake up, remembering my birthday as if it was her own—a shy grin, enthusiasm her chocolate eyes could barely contain and a sweet little whisper: “Mama, it’s your birthday.” To a five-year-old, there’s no sweeter day.

Always one to be swept up in a good reason to celebrate, I embraced the day in appropriate Carpe Diem fashion. “Let’s get donuts,” I proposed to two barely awake girls, “and then go to the beach and chase the seagulls. Search for shells. Make sand castles!” They cheered and ran to grab pails and shovels, and we were out the door before nine, arriving to the tranquil scene of an almost vacant pre sun-blasted beach.

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A swimmer, a few runners and a metal detector-armed treasure hunter shared our beach Saturday morning. We quietly watched them as an army of seagulls plotted a donut heist. A couple friends soon joined us on our blanket, and we drank coffee, discussed the end of the year, and consoled kids who got wet and didn’t want to, got sandy and didn’t like it, got tired and didn’t want to stay any longer.

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It was fitting for a birthday morning—waves and sky, kids and friends…and possibility.

And here we are, the end of the year. The end of my thirty-fourth, the end of this great millennium’s twelfth.

Numerology says thirty-three is important, but they all are really--even the busted-up years, the ones we don't want to remember. I'll always, of course, remember this year.  The travel.  The people. 

The day my first book came out and how I cried when I saw it on the bookstore shelf.  Oh, that was a moment I will never ever forget. 

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The best family road trip ever.

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Jumping up and down with cousins in a tiny grocery store bathroom in northern Michigan after staring at a postive pregnancy test when I thought maybe, after all this time and a few lost hopes, my body was done with babies. 

The books I read, the things I learned. 

And the places--oh, the places we were blessed to be able to see.

Northern Michigan, January.  My girls experienced their first real snow this year--crunched boots in it, dragged sleds in it, shook needly branches covered with it just to feel it fling against their cold cheeks.  We bundled with cousins in a cottage and learned to distinguish bunny tracks from deer tracks.  I clinked beer mugs with my sibs and memorized all the best songs the Lewiston Lodge jukebox has to offer (Cranberries' "Linger, "Tom Petty's "Free Falling" and U2's "Where the Streets Have no Name"). And we rang in 2012 with a sky lantern engulfed in flames that never made it up to the sky--go figure.

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New York City, January.  I found my name etched into the cement on Tenth Street in New York City early this year.  Sat kitty-corner from a fur-clad Diane Furstenburg at a Broadway show.  Found the best brussel sprouts in the world.  And discovered at the Upper Breast Side that milk is a very serious business.  I learned more about friends I love.

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New York City, April.  Whirlwind week.  Whirlwind, grateful, full-circle week where I wanted to hug everyone I met.  A week where childhood dreams, mid-life challenges and a whole bunch of good people came together for a little pinch-me-this-is-amazing. After the Today Show and getting the NYT Times list call and toasting with people who helped make it all happen, I walked the streets of the city alone.  I guess you could say I prayed which is a very broad description that includes breathing, thinking, wondering, thanking, walking, smiling, connecting and dreaming.  But it did involve a church, Central Park, a hazelnut cappuccino, and a bench surrounded by pigeons.  And a look up toward the sky where I whispered, "All this?  Thank you for this.  I'll do something with it--promise."

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Baltimore, May.  New friends, a back seat full of four car seats, a White House garden tour, a Baltimore crab initiation ceremony, fancy napkin heads, street food carts, and  dear friends who welcomed us like family.  Oh, and I embarrassingly bit the dust while running and pushing a stroller through the streets of Washington D.C.  Like bloody knee, purse toppled over, baby crying, "'Mam, can I help you?" kind of bit the dust.

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Chicago, June.  Years ago, I dreamed of bringing my imaginary children here to this city I love.  It went a lot like how I dreamed except better because real life little girls pretty much blow away any daughters you could possibly imagine.  Watching them drink in the height of the buildings and the sound of the crowds, trace their fingers against old brick, count taxis, skip along Navy Pier, walk and walk and walk along streets their mama loves--bucket list, check.

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Northern Michigan, June.  Michigan hugged us and didn't let go for two weeks.  I can still feel its pebbly shore, its cold waters that welcomed us every morning at the edge of the dock.  I miss the banana walls and angled ceilings of the room where we slept beneath thick patchwork quilts every night.  The old mismatch dishes where we served homemade chocolate cake, the hammock where cousins told stories, the pontoon boat that circled West Twin Lake and created the stage for our first family music video.  I passed a torch of my own childhood to my girls, and it felt damn good.

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Dallas, October.  What began as a passion to take meaningful pictures--photos that evoke emotion and connect us to our families and our love--turned into an opportunity to connect with a lot of amazing women.  I think everyone left Dallas with the urgent reminder to listen to that voice inside of us that dreams great things, to pursue interests, to never say "I'm not good enough," "It will never happen," or "That's too hard for me." I met a lot of readers who made the bridge between this little blog space and that great big world seem a lot smaller.  And we had a helluva lot of fun which was enough to tip my hat and click my boots and hollah "Dallas, I'll be back."

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San Diego, October.  Sure, La Jolla was dreamy.  The seal cove was mesmorizing, the Mexican restaurants a major bonus.  But the true purpose of this trip endeared me more to the families that share this journey of raising exceptional children with special needs and the greater goal of our community--every one of us--to recognize abilities, to celebrate differences, and to find ways to show the world that every child is an amazing gift.

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I learned a lot this year--some of my most precious moments coming from places where I didn't expect to find them

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I'm grateful for the opportunities this year allowed us and yet I know the things I've learned in my thirty-fourth year and the experiences I cherish most didn't require plane tickets or a book or a tally of new people who have been added to our village.  Through the excitement of realizing what I really love to do in life and finding that, mid-thirties, I can pursue these goals while raising my family, I am also recognizing that the greatest joy lies not out there but right here.

"No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it.  The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.” ~Barbara Brown Taylor

I'm excited for what this next year holds, and I will continue to pursue the things I love to do and connect with people in new ways.  Mostly, I'm excited about the X we're standing on--using what we already have to feed our desires and find ways to share what we've been given.  Oh, and another little person to love in seven more weeks.

Thank you, friends, for sharing a little part of our lives this year--the part so many of us share:  love for family and friends and all the little things that make us come alive. 

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To 2013--the very best.

107 comments:

vintage girl at heart said...

aweee happy new year!

Shel said...

perfect! Happy New Year!

yourfriendrobin said...

2013: the year of the fox. You are going to love being mama to a little guy.

April Vernon said...

Thank you for taking us on your journeys with you through your beautiful writing and photography. I admire you for staying real through all of the success. One of my 2012 highlights was getting a peep of you during a Bloom video conference I wasn't supposed to be a part of. I loved how genuine you were and think a lot of you. Happy 2013. Can't wait to see all that's in store for you in 2013!

Raelyn said...

Kelle....
We Blog on the same days!! Usually, that is!! Mondays and Thursdays!! Only you always beat me!! My year-end Blog post has not even started yet!! I had better get crackin'!! ;)
--Raelyn
PS. I might comment twice. I am writing this before reading your post!! ;-}

Wendy said...

Thank you Kelle, such a beautiful post. Abundant gratitude for enjoying the small things.
Wendy, from Seattle.

Darcie JoAnn said...

Oh man. What a beautiful post. Oh and Happy Birthday! Mine is the 30th! :) Happy New Yew to you and yours. <3

zosia said...

for our new year gift, could you give a hint to wear these square clips come from...i have tried to make them and find them, both fail

zosia said...

:)
..thanks for everything

Craftysquirrel said...

A belated happy birthday and happy new year! Loved your book and inspired by your photos. Cheers to you and hope you have a wonderful 2013.

Team Lando said...

Happy, happy New Year! And here's to 2013 being the year we FINALLY take our Naples vacation!

Cheryl Verver said...

Happy New Year! So glad you had a great birthday - hmm now I want a doughnut. So excited to see what is in store for 2013!

TheParkersest11 said...

Happy belated birthday!
I have so many mixed emotions for the new year, we move to Florida in 30 days, yay! Boo, my husband will get deployed :(. The last photo of the girls kissing is too cute.

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

WOOHOO! I feel so uplifted. Thank you for this year. I can't thank you enough. xoxo

tracyallegre said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and words with me. You are an inspiration.

Jennifer said...

Happy New Year! Great post!

Jennifer said...

Happy New Year! Great post!

kosenrufu mama said...

Here in Italy is already 2013!!! Happy new year and thank you for sharing your small things and enjoying those small things :)

Christine said...

Happy New Year! Happy Birthday!

Kim said...

oh, kelle, i heart you. thanks on this last day of the year for the things that you share with us all year long.

Jen said...

You had a great year! Thank you for sharing so much of it with us... I always get a little giddy when I see that you have a new post. :)

Tonight, I was on the Marco Island Princess and as we rounded the Isle of Capri, I was thinking about how I can make my own little awesome place, like you have there. Your photos and descriptions soooo made me want to visit, and I am so glad that I did. We stapled a dollar to the beam, and as a treat for my friends back home (who have lovingly helped me navigate the journey of special needs), I wrote their names in the sand here and will blow it up into big frame-able pictures to remind them of the hope and possibility that each day holds. I am excited to give them the gift. And thank you for yours.... Your Isle is an enchanting place.

Happy birthday, Kelle. Many blessings to you this year!!

Susan Martin said...

Awesome awesome awesome. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Kelle! You are an inspiration to me. Rock on Sister Friend. X

Monique said...

Beautiful recap of an amazing year for you and your family!! Thank you Kelle for bringing us along your journey. You continue to inspire and bring out the best in those around you...even those you haven't even met...through this incredible blog of yours!! And of course with Bloom!
Happy New Year Kelle Hampton. Cheers to you and to another incredible year ahead...it's bringing you a baby BOY! Yahoo! (I'm a mama of 2 gorgeous boys so I'm a little extra excited for you)
Many more blessings to you and your family
Monique

Maria said...

Happy New Year, Kelle! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful life with us & inspiring me to do oh, so much more with mine. Here's to an amazing 2013!!

Dylan'sMommy316 said...

i love this post!! I forgot how many times you went on trips this year. I'll tell you those summertime Chicago pics is really making me hate the cold we're having here right now.

Also, I can't wait to see new little man in the new year. He's going to be adorable!!

Amy Cappelli said...

Happy Birthday! Happy New Year! Happy Everything!

mistene said...

7 weeks!!! Oh my gosh! That is so soon! I am so super excited for you! Happy New Year!

Wendy said...

A very very happy new year to you and your family!

Mmyname said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

Happy belated birthday Kelle.
Your 2012 sure was grand! Wishing you another fun-filled, love-packed, memorable year ahead for 2013.
All the best for the safe arrival of your baby boy. I can't wait to experience & share your journey of life through this blog.
x
http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

Christy said...

Gorgeous! Your post, your year, YOU- both inside and out. Happy New Year Kelle! xo

nicolette gawthrop said...

I posted this heart felt comment on an Instagram of your this morning about how I've (almost) been knowin of ya for a year now and how fun it's been to read and watch your journey... and It erased or never send or something, and I was peeved and didn't re-do... either which way: I love ya. I l love yours and I'm here in Arkansas happy to be a part of your ETST community. all the best!!!

Special K said...

And a happiest new year to you and your family! I love that you are a go-getter who made her way in a unique way. You found your mojo. I read your book and remember you saying something about putting full effort into your nieces and nephews and then deciding you needed to be your own person and being impatient to know where that energy should go. Obviously you have put energy into your own family and into the mom-cyberspace! I am not the same personality so this kind of attention is not what I would enjoy, but I am so very happy for you because it seems to feed the good in you as a person. Wishing you happy new year thoughts and that the new baby gives you time to keep up with it all!

Jess said...

You are such a positive inspiration, have a great 2013! Oh and little boys are sometimes trying...but wonderful! Can't wait to read about your new adventures!

Leah said...

You've truly been blessed. :) Happy New Year! Looking forward to seeing what this year brings for not only me and my family, but for you and yours as well!

Lizzy C said...

Thank you xx

cade said...

love every single word,every single memory and every single picture! happy new year, hamptons!

Whitney said...

We share a birthday! Thank you for sharing everything you do. Have a great 2013!

Maheen said...

Oh what a fun recap, because in a way I felt like I did all those things even though my bum never left Wisconnie!! The quote from B. B. Taylor... just hit the nail right on didn't it? What a perfect way to see the New Year, X marks the spot no doubt!

Sara Bell said...

Happy New Year, and Happy belated Birthday!
You have been so many places this year... both physically and metaphorically! Very awesome to get to join you on this journey, even if I only recently joined you!
I am excited to see your little man and your journey with him! I have my first baby due in 17 weeks and it is so fun to see other mamas in action and imagine my little guy or girl! =]

Tammie said...

Happy Belated Birthday and A Very Happy New Year to you and your great Family!! I can not wait for each and every post that you share with all of us and I want to Thank you for taking the time out of your day to share with each one of us. I blog and it takes time daily when you don't always have that time to share, so Thanks for every post and more that that the pictures that are always amazing, I am counting down the next 7 weeks to see how that lil guy is going to be loved by Lainy and Nella. Here's to a Great 2013!!!

Midwestgirl said...

We're the same age, yet I totally look up to you. It's a little like "Can I be her when I grow up?" So much ambition and passion and zest. Keep it up, you're awesomely inspiring!!

Love is all you need said...

Thankyou for sharing your life and changing mine in the process.

Jude said...

Happy New Year to all of you. May 2013 bring everything you need. :-) Jude.x

Kimberley T said...

Happy New Year

notjustanothermom.com said...

Happy belated birthday! I loved looking back at the year you had...amazing pictures, amazing memories. All the best in 2013!! And it's officially midnight here...off to bed I go ;)

Ingrid Danvers said...

What a beautiful post. Your pictures are amazing and the last picture of your girls is adorable. So glad I found your blog recently. Happy New Year!

Et tu, tutu? said...

What a great year! Happy 2013!

-Lindsey

Kelly said...

This was a great post, probably one of my favorites. I love reflecting on wonderful things that have happened in my life. It looks like 2012 was an amazing year for you and I am wishing you many more amazing things for 2013! Cheers!

84829942-3a88-11e0-83da-000bcdcb5194 said...

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
Why American men should not marry American women

http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

I encourage ALL American men to NEVER MARRY American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

Tens of millions of American men have had their lives completely destroyed by American women through the following crimes:

1. False rape accusations (it has been proven that up to 80 percent of rape accusations are FALSE)

2. False domestic violence (DV) charges (same as above, and up to 40 percent of domestic violence victims are MALE, with their female partners INITIATING the violence)

3. False sexual harassment charges

4. Financial destruction of men in divorce courts through alimony and support payments (women get up to 95 percent of their ex-husband's income and savings, as well as the house, car, etc)

5. Emotional destruction of men by ex-wives who have stolen their children from them and forbidden the fathers from having custody or contact with their own children

6. Divorced dads who commit suicide as a result

A few more reasons to stay away from American women?

-25 percent of American women take psychiatric drugs for mental illnesses.
-25 percent of women under the age of 30 have at least one STD.
-85 percent of divorces in America are INITIATED by women, thus women are responsible for the vast majority of divorces.
-70 percent of criminals in America were raised by single mothers, thus feminism is responsible for most crime in America.
-The majority of child molestation, child abuse, and child murder in America is done by WOMEN.
-American women are NINE TIMES more likely to murder their own children than the biological father

Another thing I noticed, is that whenever you bring up the topic of American men marrying asian women in front of an American woman, she will make some racist and hateful comment about asian women, calling them "slaves" or "mail order brides". My question is this: If American women are so "independent", "confident", "strong", and "empowered" like they claim to be, why do they feel threatened by Asian women? Why are American women so jealous towards Asian women? The real reason is this- Asian women are 1000 times superior to American women, and any American man who has dated/married an Asian woman will tell you this.

If you want to get married, find a nice foreign girl from Asia, or South America, or Russia/Eastern Europe. DO NOT MARRY AN AMERICAN WOMAN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!

Over 50 percent of American women are single, without a boyfriend or husband; so the fact is most American men no longer want to marry American women. Let these worthless American women grow old living alone with their 10 cats.

American women are living in their own pathetic little fantasy world, where they think they are a perfect little princess. Sorry, but you are NOT a perfect little princess.

Give American women the husband they deserve- NONE!

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

Sincerely,
John Rambo, Anti-feminist Soldier
John.Rambo@crimesagainstfathers.com

Win said...

Happy Birthday Beautiful! And Happy New Year! Thank you for making this world a better place, for being a friend and blessing in my life- so to speak. You are AAAAAA-mazing. Cheers to you and this next year.

Simply Life said...

thank YOU for sharing your journey with us and inspiring us by your words, stories and photos! happy 2013!

Clara Hinton said...

Kelle,
What a beautiful capture of the year that has just passed and such insight and enthusiasm for all of the small, treasured moments to be enjoyed in 2013.

I found myself doing so many things "out of the box" (for me) this holiday season, asking, "What would Kelle do? How would she make this moment magical?" You are amazing, talented, creative, and real! Thanks so much for sharing "you" with so many of us! I'm so grateful for your example of making every moment count!!!!

A belated happy birthday, and a most wonderful, blessed New Year to you and the entire Hampton family!

God bless!

Clara

toi said...

This is such a beautiful recap of your amazing journey. Your writing and pictures always take me on a great inspiring journey. Thanks for sharing, may we cross path in real life and not only through a blog this year.

Love and happy 2013 and your family

Stacy said...

Happy, Birthday, Kelle, Looking forward to your new baby in 2013! You are 34 which means you are DONE with your 34th year and onto your 35th year. Love your blog and jealous that you live on the Gulf, LOVE the gulf.

Best,
Stacy

Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three said...

What a beautiful post and an amazing recap of what looks to be an amazing year. I discovered your blog in 2012, brought your book off Amazon and spent my holiday in Spain reading it and savouring every bit of your journey. Here's to 2013.

Katie
www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk

Stacy said...

So when you are born to when you are one is your first year. from one to two is your SECOND year, 33 to 34 is your thirty fourth year, and the day you turn 34 you are starting your thirty fifth year. KWIM? Either way it will be a great year for you I am sure!

searlaid said...

Happy New Year! I enjoyed reading about your year.

You've actually just completed your 34th year, though, right? Not your 33rd. You turned 34, which means you've lived 34 years and have begun your 35th year.

No matter, it's still a good year, whatever you call it.

Erin said...

Happy birthday! It sounds like you guys had a fabulous day! I loved your little recap too and got your book for Christmas! It's sitting on my nightstand and I read it every night. I'm in love with it so far. You have such a beautiful story! I can't wait to see all the amazingness 2013 has to offer you!

Averyl Minori said...

Happy New Year!!

Whitney Fisch said...

What a beautiful blog. I've visited twice so far and each time I cry, but good, sweet tears :) Happy New Year.

Life with Kaishon said...

Happy Birthday Kelle : )
You sure did have an incredible year. I hope this one is even better.

avasmama said...

Happy Birthday and 2013, Kelle! I loved your 2012 recap, you certainly had a blessed year. Wishing the same and more for you in the new year. I came across your blog from a teaser for your book at a time when I was feeling pretty down. Your words and photos (I aspire to be a better photographer) inspired me and got me out of my funk. I started being much more creative with my toddler-and having more fun with her than ever. Love your energy and zest for life-it is contagious to us readers. Lastly, Loved your book and have recommended and lended/bought it to many friends and family! Looking so so forward to "meeting" your little man! Best wishes to you and your adorable family!!!!

Yellow Finch Designs said...

kelle! you have me in tears over here. what a beautiful post. beautiful photographs, words, children and family.

happy birthday friend! i'll be rounding the "34" mark in just six short months ;)

Alicia D said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Janet said...

Happy belated Birthday!! I hope "34" treats you wonderful!! :) You are an inspiration to me, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I love how you can make me cry and yet make me laugh all at the same time.

Katherines Corner said...

wishing you a very happy new year filled with more ups than downs xo

Kenalie Musing said...

Happy New Year Kelle!
As an occupational therapy student your site melts my heart.

http://kenalies-musings.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

thank you for those beautiful words. you have inspired me to try my damnedest to make 2013 the best it can be.

Deb said...

If you want the BEST Brussels sprouts, you must have the crispy Brussels Sprouts at Roka Akor in Chicago.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lildebweb/7544169764/
http://www.rokaakor.com/#!/locations/chicago/dinner-lunch

marissa (stylebook) said...

happy birthday and happy new year, my friend! loved this post.

Kelly said...

Kelle,

You are freakin' awesome! I have learned so much from you this year about just enjoying life and making the best of everything. I feel like I have a "best friend" that doesn't even know me. WWKD...that's my mantra lots of days...What Would Kelle Do


Kelly

Jenna | The Paleo Project said...

Happy New Year Kelle!! I'm so excited to see this new little baby of yours, to watch your family grow and to in a strange way be a part of it! XO Jenna

Kristen said...

Beautiful post. THANK YOU so the Barbara Brown Taylor quote. As 2013start I am trying to appreciate where I am at this exact moment in time.

Angela said...

this post brought tears to my eyes! what a beautiful year you've had. wishing you a 2013 that's just as incredible!

heidig said...

Lovely!

Kimberly said...

Kelle, you are amazing girl. Happy New Year!

Meeghan said...

I started reading your blog this year and it quickly became one of my favorites. Keep up the great work. And thanks for revealing your age. I am only one year younger than you, and I don't know anyone in this age range that has had a child w/Downs. I simply assumed you were older, given the increased risks of Down's with age. Thanks you for sharing your life with us.

Mammamisia said...

Happy New Year!
Pozdrawiam!
Iza z Polski

Roksalanna said...

Kelle, Belated wishes for a very Happy Birthday. Looks like you had a lovely day.
Happy New Year to you and all your family!
xxoo

17enne said...

I rellay like this best of, they help us to remind beautiful things and enjoy the very best, as you often say. We should probably do this every year to balance the beautiful moments and the hard ones.

Happy new year Hamptons'.
A sick 17-year-old girl in a warm southern Italy

Stef said...

Kelle, your blog, the way you write and express yourself - everything about it is often the highlight of my day. I always bring my coffee, grab the laptop and find a cozy spot on the couch to "visit" with you. Seriously, its like I've just had a friend over and we've gotten deep.
Love it.

Thank you. Happy New 34th Year to you!

Rhonda said...

Happy Birthday! I received your book Bloom for Christmas this year (from both my hubby and MIL!) and it was one of the best gifts ever. Thank you!

Rach said...

Happy New Year! And thank you for your awesome blog!

Tracey said...

Your blog... the words and the photos always make me feel good. What is better than that?!? Thank you and Happy New Years!

Farmgirl Paints said...

This was absolutely beautiful. Thank YOU for sharing your crazy awesome life. I really hope I'm in one of those pics with you someday. Here's to an awesome new year. Love ya girlie.

Ami said...

Kelle, I don't usually read here. Well, once in a great while.

I just wanted to tell you how beautiful Nella is getting. She has the most precious little face and is such an adorable little person.

Lainey is growing up... but you don't have to tell her about Santa until she asks. :)

dig this chick said...

LOVE that photo of you with your book on that day. Awesome. x

The Apple Market said...

Amazing.. you're special!
Happy new year!
Annalisa

Happiness is... said...

Thanks for reminding us to always dream big and to be mindful and to be thankful. To think that publishing a book (a huge dream) became the the launching point for all of these other realities of 2012. It leaves me without words and only a huge smile.

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year Kelle!

Jennifer

CON said...

Im a grandma now of three beautiful girls 4, 6, 11 and a mother of two beautiful girls, one beautiful daughter-in-law. and three unique and handsome young men. One son is now an angel in heaven taking care of the other "special" kids in heaven and rocked by his grandparents. My girls' all love your blog because we find the same beauty in life. I think a couple of us have a deeper sense of love and compassion because of having my son, Benn. He had Down's. Your blog pays tribute to the beauty in all life. Congrats to your success and may the joy of the new baby and your upcoming delivery be shared tenfold representing the dignity and value of all life as a gift from God.

MamaNina said...

A belated Happy Birthday, Kelle! I hope this new year brings you even more blessings and opportunities to grow and and share your gift with others!

Jeanie said...

My goodness, I can't believe I missed wishing you a happy birthday. It sounds wonderful! A very happy 2013, also. Can't wait to meet the little guy.

Kelly Cach said...

Love going down your Memory Lane...I remember all of it :)
Excited for your 2013!!!!

Ryan Elizabeth said...

Kelle, your blog, insight, photos and perspective continue to amaze and inspire me! Thank you for another year of beautiful words on my screen and helping me see that true passions and goals are already being accomplished and that the rest is possible as well! You make me smile, laugh and cry, and for it all, I thank you! Beautiful post as always! Happy new year! And happy happy birthday!!

Momma Holmes said...

Happy Birthday!
Happy New Year!
That pic at the bottom of the girls is just Happy Happy!

VPost said...

This is a fantastically written post. I receive almost 25 or so RSS feeds of blog posts, and they all had the same New Years message, best of 2012, resolutions, etc. ...but this one was the most creative and fun to read. And most of all---professionally written.

MandyJ said...

I've been following your blog and IG since the birth of my daughter (a year ago next thursday ahhhh!!). I just want to thank you for sharing your lIfe with us and spreading mommy power and positivity to all of us! I've learned alot about the balancing act of parenting and I am trying to teach my daughter to see all the fun and beauty that life has to offer and The 'X' that we are standing on everyday!! Thank you again so much for helping me with that! Much love and a happy healthy 2013 to you and yours! Xo MandyJ

SH said...

Beautiful photos! Happy New Year:)
thehartungs.blogspot.ca

Leah Mraz said...

Wow! What an awesome year 2012 was for you. I've been absent from reading blogs for a while, but seeing your year end summary is a pretty fantastic catch up. Congratulations to you in all your success and may your 35th year bring you continued joy and many more fulfilled dreams. :)

Kym Showers said...

I love you and your family and your honest writing. Thank you. Thank you for being brave and real and disciplined enough to make this beautiful space. I don't follow many....but I follow you. Love and peace in 2013 dear friend.

Leah said...

Happy birthday and happy new year.

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SuperMilf said...

Happy Birthday Kelle...I love following you here and on IG..thank you for sharing your amazing beautiful life with us
XO
*Jazzmine*

jane said...

Nice to see a pic of Brett. He really does seem like the best dad ever! the kids are so lucky to have him :)

Lisa McCully said...

I've just spent the better part of an hour catching up on your blog (for the love of all things great and small don't tell my employer, they allow me goof time but this might have pushed it). 2012 was a kinda difficult but full of good moments year, thank goodness for the good moments! One of those moments was attending the IHF Dallas Conference, meeting you and Sue Bryce! You are very kind and giving in person, total treat!!! I still love all your family photos. Your post about the negative comments was wonderful. I have been struggling with putting myself out there because of negative reactions but part of my resolution for the new year is to be more of me, all of me and it will be perfectly ok if someone doesn't care for it or like it. Naturally I would love to be liked but sometimes when I read a too sweet, could not possibly be me, super nice comment I cringe and think ohhhhhhh I need for them to see the whole me, for me those comments are just as negative as a truly negative one is (go figure). I do realize I don't get the media attention you or others get so I can agree on a much lower scale! LOLOL!! (yes I use LOLOL, over use it in fact and I can live that). Rambling! Your photos and writing inspire me, looking forward to more of that in 2013! Thanks, Lisa

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