Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Key to Failure

Sitting on the edge of our bathtub this afternoon, waiting for my hair dye to calm the rapidly growing grays, I watched as Lainey skipped into the bathroom wearing her usual getup--a princess dress/pajama top/three-hair-clip ensemble.  She carried her hot pink Fisher Price camera in one hand and wore a look of determination. 

"Whatcha doin'?" I asked.

"Takin' pictures," she answered as she kneeled down to the floor--an inch away from a spot on the tile-- pulled her bulky camera to her face and clicked.  She looked at the fuzzy image on the screen, smiled, and turned it towards me.  A blurry picture of a spot on tile. 

"Awesome," I commended.  She continued with her photography project, dragging a stool next to the toilet and climbing higher for the perfect composition of the porcelain throne.  She even thought to shut the toilet lid before she clicked because sister knows how to frame a good shot.  Again, she reviewed her work in the tiny camera screen, smiled her approval--okay, this time she laughed--and then ran off to take more pictures. 

I found her camera later and scrolled through fifteen hundred blurry pictures which included family members, stuffed animals propped up with blankets, naked dolls, tile squares, empty walls and yes, toilets.  I had to smile.  Go on, girl.  Look for beauty.  And if you find it in toilets then sister, you really do have unicorn genes.

We scored our beauty last night in a place that didn't require digging for it, or climbing stools to compose it.  It lavishly spills out at the orange grove, and it's more a matter of grabbing containers (a.k.a cameras, exclamations--er, happycusswords) to scoop it up.

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Oh, Nella had a fit about her boots.  And wanted to be held.  And our stroller wheels got stuck in deep sandy ant hills, forcing the stroller to come to an abrupt halt which kind of made everything inside--namely my kid--get whiplash.  Which made me whisper curse words.  And it wasn't perfect per say, but oh that doesn't mean it wasn't beautiful.  Or that those curse-worthy moments weren't far outshined by happy ones.  Because we drove to this lil' 'ol grove with that purpose, and I'll be damned if we didn't fulfil our mission. If you look for the good, you will find it.

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We stayed longer than we should have, stretching out a normal picking session by letting the girls do most of the plucking. Which, to them means taking five minutes to pick out one perfect orange (unfortunately, ripeness has nothing to do with it), pulling at it for a very long time, falling to the ground when it snaps, hauling it over to the bucket and beginning again with the search for the next one.  Times fifty.

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It was a good night. You might even call it picturesque.  I mean, rows of orange trees, golden sun flare, smiling girls, citrus scents, the gray grove cat that slithered between trees and brushed its body against Lainey's boots, sending her giggling.  In fact, based on the photos, it looks damn near perfect. And pictures represent someone's life 100%, of course, so we could just conclude that we have the perfect life--or at least that's what I would like to trick everyone into believing.  I poop glitter, remember?

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Sarcasm is not the most powerful tool and sometimes just the easy way out for me to deal with something, so I'll rein in the unicorn quips and cut to the chase.

It's a question I'm often asked, one that many bloggers or writers or artists or anyone who puts himself out there faces:  How do you deal with negative criticism, mean comments, etc.?  This topic spurred by definitely-not-the-first negative comment I received last night on Instagram, in reference to an orange grove picture that happened to include, I'm sorry to say, smiling and sunshine and cute boots in one picture.  Which is like, blasphemy, I guess.  And there I go again, letting the sarcasm creep in which is, in case you didn't know, a little red flag we use to detour people from the hidden truth of Mean Comments Sometimes Hurt Our Feelings. And saying "we" and "our" to make that statement collective is another little red flag we I use to water down the fact that it's personal.  That sometimes they hurt my feelings.

It was one of the usual (I can categorize them now that I've been doing this for a few years). Something along the lines of you-and-your-perfect-fake-life.  I think the words childish and glitter were also used--an interesting choice because kids and glitter happen to be two of my favorite things.  I don't always have time to read every single comment, although I try.  And it's very rare that I would respond to a negative one or even take the time to delete it because I understand people have the right to not only formulate their opinion about me or my work, but they have a right to voice it. 

I pick this particular occassion to write about this because the comment hit a lot of nerves on IG.  Over a hundred people wrote in response to this individual, and there was a lot of love shared that--I'll be honest--felt good, even though I think it's important to separate ourselves and our work from feedback, period.  Being praised can be just as harmful as being criticized if you're not careful.  Your work, your voice, your words, your art, your gifts you have to give to the world--their value has nothing to do with the response you receive from them.  Social media can complicate that truth, and good feedback can trick you into thinking "I am good because people like what I put out there."  That's not true.  Ever. 

Validation is an interesting thing though, and no matter how strong or unphased by criticism we are, there is an undeniable human desire to have people like what we feel passionate about--our art, our words, our stories, our styles, our writing, our opinions.  It's why we sometimes feel hesitant to publish or share.  What will people think? 

Let me answer that.  If you share, if you publish, if you write, if you speak, if you are brave and decide to put yourself out there, I promise you, someone won't like it.  Someone won't agree with you.  Someone will misinterpret.  Someone will think that you are silly, unqualified and that your work is crap.  That you are crap.  They might not just think it but they might tell you.  And that won't feel good, especially not the first time you hear it.  But it is necessary.  And it's okay.

My friend Melina is a fabulous writer.  She lives an adventurous life and writes riveting accounts of her excursions.  She is funny and witty and brave in her writing.  Sometimes I read her stories and think "I want to write like that."  Her blog readership has understandably increased the last year and I wasn't surprised when I recently received an e-mail from her--sister's first really really nasty comment. Girlfriend took a punch to the gut, and I'm not going to lie--it was a doozy.  The commenter went for the jugular and beyond.  In summary, the comment wasted a lot of needless words to say "You. Are. Crap."  And Melina's e-mail to me went something like "I am shaking, I am pissed, I am processing this."  And I shook my head and smiled and thought, "I get it, I get it, I get it."  I promised her that she would grow confidence and understanding faster than a Chia Pet grows sprouts--that it was good and normal she felt this way and that this whole experience would help her own her words, her style, her work and be proud of it.  I told her that the hurtful words shared had nothing to do with Melina and everything to do with this commenter's pain or insecurities or desire to do what Melina is doing.  Within two days, Melina was on a roll again.  Wrote a hilarious piece in response to that hurtful criticism and then moved on...fiercely.  She's more confident in her writing--I can tell.

For me, receiving negative criticism has been an important tool in self awareness and owning my voice.  I've gone from believing what mean comments pointed out (I am a horrible person and I suck at writing), getting angry with the people who wrote them (You are a horrible person and you suck at leaving comments) and doubting if writing publicly was really something I wanted to do to a completely different place of understanding and compassion--both for myself and the people who are hurting enough to project it in a carefully crafted you-are-crap comment.  I have a dear friend who has helped me with this.  She talks about pain--how we are all hurting--and she helps me see nastiness in the world as the need for more love.  Does that sound unicornish?  Maybe, but it has helped me move forward and embrace cutting comments both in and outside of this little Internet, as an opportunity to initiate more kindness.  We've all been there--the hurting one. 

Honesty is important too.  It's easy to snap back at nastiness with "Sorry you're so miserable," but it's okay to simply acknowledge that, yep, it feels icky to hear or read bad things about ourselves. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves "Why does this bother me?" and to face the answers that awaken--maybe things that aren't easy to face.  Growth follows...Chia Pet growth.

Where does it get you in the end? Well, there is no end. And there shouldn't be because when we lose the ability to have our feelings hurt, we are no longer vulnerable. I love vulnerable art and writing and music and sharing. It's what makes it good.

The risk for citicism for any endeavor we take on is guaranteed. You face it bravely. You own your voice.  You learn from the good and the bad and you use it to be better. Bill Cosby said, "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." I love that quote.  I'm learning to live that quote, to teach it to my kids.  Their happiness depends on it.  And it's helped me focus on what I love to do and to navigate the path of "putting myself out there" with confidence.

Tonight, I am happy to share photos that make me smile, reminders of a world rich with things that make us come alive--people and places, sights and scents that draw us away from the other things we share--the stressful stuff.  Those things are a given and will naturally emerge.

But sometimes, perfect evenings appear among not-so-perfect lives. Cute boots, optional.

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I have some beautiful toilet photos to upload from a five-year-old artist, if you'll excuse me.

Have a wonderful night.

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312 comments:

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amberbarnesblog said...

There is nothing wrong with focusing on the positive, and everyone has the freedom to put out there what they choose to the world. That being said, the coin falls both ways. You have many people who love your blog and outlook on life. But, as everyone is different, there will be others who disagree on views.

I understand when people feel the need to stick up for someone they feel is being "attacked", but often times I am disappointed when people who disagree are called "jealous", "haters", "negative", etc. for is it not possible for people to share their honest opinions (while being respectful, of course) without being attacked themselves? More often than not the answer is no. So people feel frustrated and annoyed. By putting one's life out there, not everyone is going to feel the same towards a representation as others. Everyone is free to do and say as they please. But sometimes a read comments by people simply trying to voice their own opinions and views about someone, and why a particular blog may not be what they once loved anymore, and they are attacked by fellow followers.

I don't know where I'm going with this. It's more of a constructive criticism towards your followers instead of you. We need to accept that everyone is different, everyone will have their own outlook. If someone on Instagram is simply stating why he or she cannot relate to you anymore, then they are valid in their own reasons. If people disagree, then they disagree. But this whole "you're a jealous hater" is crap. Just because someone has a different opinion, does mean they are trying to be negative or petty.

ali bradley said...

Thanks Kelle! Such an inspiration. I love to write but have been afraid of what people will think of me. If they saw my heart, maybe they would not like me. This posts encourages me.

www.raisingcathedrals.blogspot.com

ali

kmbutler said...

"But sometimes, perfect evenings appear among not-so-perfect lives."

You hit the nail on the head. I love reading blogs and I've got enough self-esteem to know that no one's life is perfect. But sometimes I do tire at the endless praise poured on bloggers for any little thing-- People fawning over a recipe that someone used, as if they can't find their own pumpkin bar recipe and absolutely need the one this blogger used.

All of this is to say that we all should only take a blogger's posts for what they are. You had a beautiful evening with your adorable daughters and were fortunate enough to document it. You took beautiful photos. Do these few hours at the orange grove equate a perfect life? No! And why any adult would think that is beyond me.

I am such a lover of the small things. And really, a small pleasure after a long, gong-show-of-a-day at work can make things feel perfect. Even for just a moment. It's a wonderful feeling to stop and embrace that moment. It makes me feel as though all is right with the world... even though we all know it isn't.

We all need these moments of peace and beauty and feeling content. You can find them anywhere, in anything.

Blogs can be uplifting and inspiring. I hope more people can take a deep breathe and remember that a blog is not a mirror of a person's life. It's fun to read posts that inspire and encourage. I don't think we need to know all of your faults to appreciate your posts.

Thanks for writing and sharing so well, Kelle.

Tonya said...

and one more thing, why do people feel the need to say when they don't like something. I read a particular blog, and while I usually enjoy it, I don't agree with this person's religious views. However, I keep that to myself. It is her blog, and if it bothers me that much I can just choose not to read her anymore. I would never even think of voicing my thoughts to her. That is just rude! If I wouldn't say something to someone's face, I don't say it on social media. It is a rule we should all live by!

Rachel Bee said...

Am I the only one who really wants to see Lainey's bog-art? loo-fest? lav-stagram?

There will always be people out there who want to bring you down Kelle. I wonder if people hurt badly if they need to comment in a nasty way towards others?

Now, please can we have a few loo pics?
x

Tracey VanSickle said...

I do not use instagram (gasp I am living under a rock, I know I know), so I didn't see the comment that inspired this and this is not a comment for that. This is just to say that I think this post was beautifully written and is great for anyone to read. I don't need to know the back story to appreciate the words written. They can apply to us all. Thanks for sharing your heart on this one because that is what you did. It's not easy to do, but you did it and you did it in a way that made me take a moment to take it in. This was really a beautiful post. You should be proud of it. Thanks for letting us in your head and heart some, and thank you for inspiring me today. You are appreciated!

Evelyn Louise said...

Can we just one of the toilet pictures?

The Trousdell Five said...

Loved loved loved this post. I think it is those of us who find and cherish the moments of perfection in our not-so-perfect lives who appreciate your blog, and more specifically your outlook on life, even more.

Anna said...

Hi Kelle, I read your book last year and started reading your blog after finishing the book. This is my first time commenting, and thought it was time to let you know that yours is one of the most well-written, thoughtful, inspirational blogs I read.

I have a teeny tiny family blog that nobody been reads, so I've never received a negative comment, but I'm grateful for your advice, because the absence of comments from the ones I love hurts in a different, but similar way. Thanks for sharing your talents and experiences. Carry on, warrior!

BriBrooke said...

Sometimes people seem to write negative things just to be different.I've noticed this lately on some of my favorite blog. It's like oh the blogger just got 50 nice comments- let me knock her/him down a notch and write you suck/your dog is ugly/ your kids are annoying etc. It's a power trip for some. Not all of course. Some people just flat out disagree and want you to know it. Haters are gonna hate.

amberbarnesblog said...

And the more I think about it, this post is severely disappointing. It seems you yourself have adopted that same mindset of "if they don't like me, it's because of an issue with themselves and not me." Why can't you take constructive criticism like a mature, grown woman? You obviously did not truly sit and reflect on these views.

I used to love this blog, but this post is a perfect example of why people are becoming frustrated with it. You deny anyone who doesn't agree with you. Because you know what? Some people (a lot, actually) have issues with mothers who deny their children privacy. Who make their living off of photos of them. Who are so, so privileged, yet get rid of their plans to help out a family in need around Christmas time. THAT was when I had had it with this blog. You could have done great, wonderful things for the needy. Donating, getting sponsors involved, getting your followers involved. But instead you chose to "shine your inner flashlight". Which helps no one. How would you feel if you asked people to donate to a DS community and was met with responses of "we won't give anything, but we will shine our inner flashlight for you!"?

You could do great things with your Internet fame, but really you just sit back and let your daughters and sponsors do the work for you. Am I jealous of you? He'll no. I find this all despicable. But keep living in your bubble. It's obviously the only way you can exist.

Kelle said...

@amberbarnesblog
I'm sorry but you must be mistaken that we "got rid of plans" to help a family in need at Christmas time. It's something we do every year and if I didn't post it here, it doesn't mean it didn't happen. The rest of your comment is certainly an opinion you have a right to. I guess that I'd ask why are you still reading and coming here if a while ago, you were fed up?

Sara said...

For anyone who might think that Kelle isn't genuine- I've seen her in public with her children and she's just as real in person as she is on the blog! I saw her at the beach with her family and was too shy to talk to her (well that, and my husband said I would seem like a stalker if I told her I read her blog). She was in every way the same person that she portrays on her blog!

Kelle, you are an inspiration to me as a mom and I'm so happy that you do what you do! I admire you for how family oriented you are and I have become a better mother since reading your blog in the past three years. Keep 'em coming!

amanda said...

Thank you for this. I'm a new blogger, and your words are very meaningful to me. You inspire me as both a blogger and a mother. Keep up the good work!

Ashley Ellis said...

I recently commented on an article on NPR that showed kids who committed random acts of kindness were more popular among their peers. My boys and I have been doing random acts of kindness and blogging about it for the last year. I wrote that I thought it also boosted my sons' self-confidence and that it had been a wonderful experiment in our house and invited people to come visit our blog. I was taken aback by one snarky comment. Really, who has something against kindness? My friend reminded me that 3 percent of people you meet will never like you so we should all focus on the other 97 percent. That sounded like great advice to me. I did stew for a few days then threw him in the 3 percent. Great post! Love visiting your blog!

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing this!! It is something that I try to teach my children everyday. Mainly because it is so much easier to understand people & go through life when you understand that most of the time people's critism of you (esp if they don't know you!) is just a reflection of how they feel about themselves. So thank you for writing about something in a realistic fashion that is helpful & possibly healing for others! You are a blessing!

Brenda Wilkerson said...

Being praised can be just as harmful as being criticized if you're not careful. Your work, your voice, your words, your art, your gifts you have to give to the world--their value has nothing to do with the response you receive from them.

Man, did I need to hear this. Thank you!!

chele-shocked said...

Thank you for sharing your perfectly imperfect, unicorn and glitter filled life with us! In this world filled with so many awful things, your blog filled with cute kids, fun projects, stripey clothes, Hunter boots and trips to the orange grove (which I am insanely jealous of, as I sit here freezing my butt off in PA!) is a little piece of happy that never fails to make me smile and reminds me to enjoy the small things!

Abby Lynn said...

Ditto Sky.

I also think one could argue that excessive adulation for a blogger/public figure could be born out of the same issues (sadness, insecurity, emptiness, etc.) It's just as unhealthy as mean spirited criticism, imo.

Leigh said...

One thing you said in this post struck me in particular: that people have the right to voice their opinion about you and your work.

It reminded me of something I read on Captain Awesome today (she's . . . awesome): "Freedom of speech means the government can't lock you up for voicing opinion, but it doesn't mean you won't get kicked out of a party for peeing on the carpet." People have the right to HAVE an opinion about you, but you are well within your rights to delete ANY comment you deem rude, hateful, etc. towards yourself or anyone else. Don't leave the hate there to fester, whether it's a comment directed at you or at another commenter in your "defense."

Just leave the love. There's plenty of that here!

Adrienne said...

I LOVE this post and I love your reaction/response to the criticism. I'll never understand one person's need to make themselves feel better by trying to destroy another one's happiness. Sadly you are probably dead on about their unhappiness with their own life. Praying for them is all you can do.....keep writing and sharing!

adeledigirolomo said...

I must admit I'm shocked about the criticism. I've been a fan of yours Kelles Bells for 6 months now and have never found you fluffy or laced with too much faerie dust! My old school punk self wants to tell the negative person aka douche to "suck it" which of course is immature. You're honest and forthright and I hope you've let this attack go. They aren't worth your time.

Hanna said...

I find it quite funny,that if people really do not like what someone says/does/is they just write hurtful mean comments freely as if that does not have consequences... I guess the online world gives them the anonymity protection... anyway, my point is: if they really hated you, they would not see your instagram pics, they would not read your posts or books or whatever... but they care, and they react negatively and that is just a reflection of what they are missing in their lives. We all feel miserable once in a while, and it is true that sometimes we take it against the world to try to feel better, but that is notan excuse... Bullies: mean people, they are not entitled to hurt others physically or verbally...

Hanna said...

This discussion could go on forever... if I do not believe in certain religion I do not go into their church while in their service to tell them how wrong and stupid I think they are for believing in what they believe, right? I just walk by, go away and move on with my beliefs... online world should be the same, you do not like or agree with something or someone, then move on, look for what you share and love. there is plenty for all of us! Thank God we all do not like the same!!! this would be a boring world!

Laura Shane said...

You are a beautiful, strong woman with the prettiest little girls in the world. I love that you wrote this with such honesty. This world needs more honesty. You are one of the most honest bloggers out there, and I admire it. You're lovely, your girls are lovely and so are your words. Keep going.

Melanie said...

As a Community Manager for a blogging platform, I deal with negativity on the Internet day in, day out. As a blogger, I deal with it in my off time, too. I absolutely love your approach. Thank you for sharing it!

Jenny said...

I just want you to know that I often turn to your words when I need that "I can be a better mama" oomph. None of us are even close to perfect, but providing inspiration to be better, and to do more, is nothing to sneeze at.

April Vernon said...

Nicely done, Kelle. Have a great weekend.

Dianagoddess said...

While 99% of the viewers love your blog and truly admire you, I wouldn't waste my time and energy on the 1% who don't. Everyone is not going to love us all the time.
Like an old song said "See you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."

Nicole said...

My dear, sweet, beautiful ( inside and out) Kelle: being subtle is a criticism I've never been accused of, so here goes: some people are just friggin' crap. Hence they exude crap unto undeserving others. You, my friend, are not. You are amazing, and are to commended for the good and beauty that you share, and the inspiration you provide to others. Glitter, unicorn poop, and all. Love u to pieces. Keep on keepin on girlfriend. And good lord, when is that little boy gonna grace us with his amazing prescense? I CANNOT wait to blog meet him!!!!

Much love,
-N

Heidi Richard said...

I just wanted to say that I love, love, love the way your girls dress. It's obvious that you let them express their own sense of style and they look absolutely adorable doing it! The boots/floral skirt/striped shirt combo is beyond adorable. I wish I could pull of that look and look as cute as your little one does! :)

Shaun said...

YOU GO GIRL!!! And for those that are so negative...stop reading!!! *Hampton Power*

Averyl Minori said...

Ok, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading every single post your write. You put into BEAUTIFUL words, thoughts I have about my son & life in general. You are AMAZING....and DO NOT think for one second that you are not!! I know criticism hurts though. I now follow you on instagram and when a new picture pops up, it always makes me smile! Keep doing what you do!! You are fantastic at it!! Xx

Unknown said...

The Instagram troll does realize that your blog is called ENJOYING the Small Things, right? Just sayin'.

Holly said...

Kelle, I was able to meet you at your book signing in Monroe, MI. I only spoke with you briefly, but I could tell you are a kind and beautiful person, inside and out. Your blog encompasses this and I appreciate your positivity. I don't come to your blog to read about stress or negativity...we all have enough of that in our life! Life can be downright hard, we are all aware. We all have our hardships, but I appreciate your ability to see light through these hardships. You see the good in life and in people.

I think some people want so badly to be validated, they're willing to hurt others to get the validation they desire. That negative comment stood out like a sore thumb in a sea of comments filled with positive praises and love. Though negative, this commenter received undeserved recognition. Perhaps this person had a bad day and they're having a hard time seeing the good in life right now. Regardless, there is no excuse for the hurtful words said. Like the old saying goes, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. There is a huge difference between constructive criticism and just being plain mean and hurtful.

You are loved. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart.

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” ― Kathryn Stockett, The Help ;)

Erin Bettis said...

Kelle,

You're a very popular blogger/writer/photographer/crafter for a reason - women and men love to see your creativity through your words, photos and crafts -- because you found your nitche and rock at it. You shouldn't feel like you have to defend yourself. I do think people who critisise goodness has awefulness in their life, and it seeps out in a nasty-gram like puss from a blister. You find the good in life and you're teaching us to be the change we want to see in the world. How can that be criticized?

Heather said...

Thank you for writing this. Thank you. Thank you. I write a small blog about my family and have had one person say some horrible things....that yes, boil down to 'you are crap'. This post is lovely, important and full of honesty and I am so thankful you were brave enough to write it. Thanks again.

Jen said...

i am always grateful that you put yourself out there for all of us to read. i have a blog, too, that i have edited down to a few scarce entries... ones that i am okay with others reading. i want to start another... start fresh... but i'm also not sure that i want to start another... start fresh.

there is a delicate balance of what to put "out there" and you should know that i appreciate you. i always love looking at your photos and take much inspiration away from each post. :)

thank you!!

mediocre mommy said...

This is a great post!!!

Olivia {i am still learning} said...

I have a small blog that gets a comment or two per post.

I pour my heart into it, and on NYE I even posted a drunk, half-assed, poor me- blog post. Ha! That nobody commented on thank God!

It was a bit embarrassing but it's me. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be you and get all these crazy comments... and I know my heart might not be able to take it.

I'm not good at always seeing the glass half full, but I think you are.

I think it's a strength you have.

Something I admire.

Write for you, and you'll never go wrong.

But it does suck balls that one negative comment can stick out like a sore thumb among the positive. I believe the term it called, "trolls." lol

Keep it classy ;) <--- sarcasm. I cuss like a sailor.

Raelyn said...

Kelle....
I did a snorting laugh at "happycusswords". Too funny!! ;)
"It wasn't perfect per say, but oh that doesn't mean it wasn't beautiful. Or that those curse-worthy moments weren't far outshined by happy ones. If you look for the good, you will find it.". I so needed that tonight!! I experienced a short-lived mood swing earlier this afternoon. My Mom, aka "support" helped be crawl out of it. So I am better now.... ;-D
I'm sorry that you have had to deal with nasty comments.... :-(
--Raelyn

Carmen said...

Kelle,


I haven't commented in a while....but this post really got to me. The world is filled with so much anger, pettiness and negativity, and I'm sorry that some of that got you. I read your blog because I know you poop glitter, and that's just an awesome little trick! :D Seriously, I read your blog because you parent in a way I admire and can relate to, your photography is out of this world and I like your positive way of looking at the world. I see that people project so much stuff on you and I think it has much more to do with them than it does with you...anyway, that's my two cents, mi hermana. Keep on keeping on, girlfriend. I'll keep reading and enjoying the unicorns, glitter-shite, and those beautiful pics. :)

Carmen in Boston

Brandi said...

My mother use to tell me that people who feel the need to criticize other people are jealous of the life they possess. Sometimes, while it may hurt, we get hit hard by a random thing said. Rise above and keep smiling, they hate that.
Brandi
xo

Scott, Erica, Mason & Izabella said...

Thank you Kelle for reminding us all how no matter what life brings our way and who we become, we can't please everyone. Because of you and your blog, I am inspired every day to see the beauty in the everything no matter how big or small and to be happy to be me! Thank you Kelle and I wish you all the best with your little bundle of joy to come!

Shutterbug Mama said...

You have such a way with words! Well said!

Stacy and Mike said...

Kelle, loved this post. Also love all the love shown on IG. Ditto to everything said! Love the sarcasm. My little girl with DS is 1 year now, cute boots... Not optional. So fun to look ahead to see the beauty that will be in my future when my lil one is exploring her world. Thanks!

Sharmaine said...

thank you for writing this! you are so insightful and inspiring to others. thank you for braving the criticism. i know i love hearing about your day, seeing your photos! wish i knew you personally! you seem like such a good friend and person! would be such a blessing in anyone's life. :)

Kaylee said...

I have been quietly reading your blog for several years now and rarely comment. But tonight, after your last post, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate that you dwell on the positive, while still being real. So many bloggers are fake and phony or they dwell on the negative, esp in regards to their kids. I love your beautiful photos and that you journal what your children will want to read when they're older. They want to hear their mom speaking like they're almost perfect...I have our family blog and before I ever post anything, I think: "what will my kids want and appreciate reading when they're older and have these journals (I turn my blog into a book each year)?" You're amazing--as a person, as a writer, as a photographer, and as a wife and mother. Keep it up!

The Trailer Park Chronicles said...

Wow. I saw the IG comment and seriously, your rabid fans overreacted (just as they did on these comments). Everyone who criticizes a blogger is not a "hater" or a "moron" or jealous of said blogger. Not everyone wants be a "famous" blogger. No amount of money in the world would convince me to expose my children to the masses ala Kelle Hampton. I used to enjoy this blog. Now it is all about the sponsor, and the next giant overwhelming party, and where Kelle bought what and OMG can I get one of those?!?!? I've lost any affinity I had for this blog, and I can understand why the person posted what they did on IG.

amber said...

i'm one of those who can react to the whole, "my life is wonderful and yes i wake up looking like a super model" kind of bloggers but to me, it's more of a SPIRIT about someone, their attitude, then even their writing and pictures - and for what it's worth, YOU ARE SO NOT THAT!

it's why i keep coming back!

xo

amber said...

.. and can i ask those who don't like kelle's blog, WHY are you still reading?

move on already! i'm sure there's lots of other blogs you could spend your time on.

Farm chik said...

I never comment...but had to say thank you for your post, your insights in dealing with the difficult. Your writing brings me joy and help every.single.day.

Lori said...

Orange you glad you have saved the grove memories with your beautiful photography? Orange you glad you make me smile with your daily life stories? Orange you glad the you have support of a greater community of friends than enemies? Orange you glad?

FerZeLucasJulia said...

Kelle: you have such a joy in everything you do! Love your little family and looove to read your posts ... and your photos... awww... you are my inspiration! Thank you for all you are.
xo

L said...

"Over a hundred people wrote in response to this individual, and there was a lot of love shared that--I'll be honest--felt good"

Seems like what you crave the most is attention, Kelle. Those posts that were written in response to the person who "criticised" you were nasty and mean. You could stop the bullying but didn't. Maybe you allow it to continue because you love hearing how perfect you are?

Mrae3 said...

Hello I love reading your blog because it is so positive and happy. You are inspiring because you put positivity out there. No one has a perfect life but you always help us see the good. And that is so nice to read daily on your blog. Thanks. Monica

Morgen said...

Great post. Really love the way you think. Thanks! M

Becky said...

You are so right, the negative usually comes from the misery in the life of the giver and we shouldn't take it personally. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we hurt others, it's important to remember! And did I say you are SO lucky to live in Florida, my dream-life state? Off to the Keys in a week and can't wait!

greensteinfamily said...

You always manage to bring a little happy tear to me , your voice is so real and I loved seeing you in person in San Diego at Barnes and Noble.

Janet said...

I can't tell you all the times your words have picked me up. I know you are not perfect, who is?? I don't think you portray "a perfect life" in your blog, if anything you help illustrate that life isn't perfect, but you can find joy in other ways. I can't help but want to kick their butt, whoever it is that would leave a mean comment. LOL You are the best, Kelle! We all love your pictures and beautiful words.

Cheryl Verver said...

Love it all - ok I really love that my little girl is not the only one who takes pictures of everything - mine likes to take up close pictures of our faces etc or we the crotch shot - nice that is just what I wanted a picture of - ha ha.I really do love that my daughter loves taking pictures as much as I do. A few weeks a go she had a session with her little brother and was directing him where to sit/ stand it was cute.

Bridget said...

SO GOOD KELLE SO GOOD.

Bridget said...

SO GOOD KELLE SO GOOD.

Bridget said...

SO GOOD KELLE SO GOOD.

Melissa said...

I really really do not understand why someone would comment on someone's picture or blog post something mean. I mean, i have definitely disagreed with bloggers before & when that is the case i usually just x out of it & keep my thoughts to myself - but even then, i don't think the writer is a horrible person; i just disagree with whatever they said.

I love reading your blog & your pictures are fabulous! :) I did feel myself get a bit jealous of someone's perfect life recently - someone i only know through IG & her blog- and i knew exactly what it stemmed from. The fact that i am still childless after two years trying to conceive. And it hurts sometimes to see such happy kid pictures. I still wouldn't ever write something ugly to her b/c it's not HER fault she has kids and i don't! But it was just a thought that crossed my mind while looking at her 100th pic of her precious babies. I think that is normal, and i'm just glad i recognize that it's ME, not her! i usually DON'T feel that way when looking at pics of other people's kids - it was just a rough day. So i know you're right about it being about the commenter's own insecurities and fears.

Keep doing what you're doing. Obviously you are very loved by a lot of people! :)

Samantha said...

Keep posting exactly what you want to post. Anybody who really thinks that your life is perfect, or who resents you for it, is not worth paying attention to. Your focus on positivity is one of the reasons you have such a following. Of course, if you were having a rough time and posted sad things, we would still keep reading, because we have grown to love you...the point is, write what you want to write, focus on what you want to focus on, and forget the haters.

Jenny said...

Haven't commented in a while, but I read EVERY single post. I check often to see if a new one is up - oh how I look forward to them.

Had to take a minute to tell you "YOU GO GIRL". Love this post, love your honesty, heard a tone I don't remember ever hearing before? It's easy to hide behind negative words on a comment on a blog. It's actually sad to imagine what life is like for a person who could write mean words.

Stay true to you and what you do and keep the unicorn-glitter pictures and posts coming! I for one, love and need them and oh how they make me smile. My photography has improved 10x since I started reading your blog years ago and I always tell people you were and are my inspiration.

Hugs! -Jenny in Iowa

melissa said...

Hey Beautiful!
I am so proud of you for keep on keeping on. I KNEW this would happen to you. I warned you about it & you have handled it beautifully. It is jealousy because why on earth would someone even want to come over to your world and hate? WHY keep coming back if you hate it?? "I was merely pointing out, or I am afraid to disagree"...why go there when Kelle is NOT invading your space? As the general saying goes, your enemies know more about your life (or are experts) than your friends half the time...who knew (and why) is beyond me? LOVE the Bill Cosby quote! I don't comment as much, but LOVE you just the same.
Many blessings to you in 2013 and take care of yourself.
Heartfelt hugs from Tejas,
Melissa

jane said...

I concur with what Sky said. I really don't know Kelle or any of the commenters so I have nothing to say about the little incident. Reminds me of the school yard where all the girls would get in a pet about something minor and spend weeks disecting it. Exhausting. I think I'll get my daughter into sports (not that I am L)). I take from ETST what I find to be interesting and that's all...it's not my job to review/critique or get involved in complicated family business. Having said that and seeing Poppa's instagram Kelle perhaps tell him to stop being such a mischevious imp 'cos its making trouble for you & you're busy!:)

Jillian22 said...

Kelle, this jives SO MUCH with what I have been thinking lately, that I actually wrote a blog post about my thoughts and quoted this blog, with a link to it. Is that OK? Thanks!

Try Vermont First said...

You are a beautiful mom and I am so glad that I am one of your many blog readers. I could go on and on about the happiness that your blog brings me. TRY not to let other people's bad days, harsh words and/or jealous get to you. What are are giving to your children everyday is very special, and you know that! We are lucky to be able to see it!

Sky said...

@Kelle -

Thanks for responding to my comment. I am happy you took it in the spirit that it was intended.

I do think it's a fallacy though, to assume that someone making a rude comment is **necessarily** doing it because they are somehow hurt, wounded, unhappy, or anything along those lines. Sometimes people just disagree, or get frustrated with us, and say it in a less than elegant way. While it's true that all humans have hurt and wounds, it is not true that all criticism is borne out of those wounds. Having read that IG comment, and her blog post, I don't think she was speaking from her own personal hurt. I think she was speaking from a place of being frustrated and fed up with someone. And that is just part of life. We have all experienced having someone snap at us, and realizing, "OMG - I really upset her without knowing it."

When we are children or young adults, it is easy to justify that snippiness as THEIR character shortcoming, not ours. But I believe that as we age and grow, we naturally should look within ourselves, and not within others, to explain people getting angry or rude with us. Yes, sometimes people ARE just crazy asses. Occasionally their words come from a deep personal hurt or jealousy. But other times, they are very valid points that are just wrapped up in unpleasant packaging. I don't think it's wise to automatically assume that the reason people dole out criticism is because they are hurting. That is not using the opportunity to look in the mirror, it's turning the mirror back on them. Which, as adults who want to (hopefully) grow and change for the better, is not productive. From a psychological standpoint, thinking that people who criticize you must be lacking something is a defense mechanism, a wall meant to guard us from honest and pure self-evaluation and introspection. It's dismissive. It's also much easier. True introspection is painful and messy...and in the midst of it, it is a lot easier to flip the mirror on others. But the most personal growth comes when we keep it on ourselves.

Jillian and Jonathan said...

Mean people suck, but girl, you keep on doing YOU! I love reading your blog and feeling that I am peeking in on the magical life you create for your girls! I know your life has its ups and downs but your girls' world seems so doggone happy! I borrow (okay, I steal them) ideas from your parties and traditions that you share with your readers to make childhood magical for my little guy! Keep on with the puppies and unicorns... Those things matter and help with the tough not so fun stuff!

Jen Currier said...

I LOVED your honesty here. That it is just as dangerous to accept all of the compliments as it is to take on the negatives. And yet, that thought deserves compliment. You have taken a risk all of these years, and we don't all have to see eye to eye to appreciate it. Thanks for sharing, for making a commitment to your craft and a commitment to your readers. It is appreciated! oxox

Jennifer said...

You are one amazing woman! So glad you wrote this. I needed a reminder too :0)

- jen

Kathy said...

Well my goodness. I don't understand why anyone thinks that leaving criticism on another person's blog is acceptable. It is not. It's mean, unkind and quite immature. If we don't like what's written then we have the great power to simply move on. And in the words of the greatest mothers out there, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Hugs to you.

Katherine Karen said...

Being vulnerable doesn't mean that you are weak, it means that you are real. Where is the room for growth if we are not honest with ourselves? If everyone walked on eggshells, we'd have a slippery (yoke-covered) floor. No, we need to put ourselves out there.

We need to take chances, make mistake, get messy! (& have fun / learn, laugh, love and grow from these experiences)

Also, so much more joy in sharing I find, keep sharing lady!

Tracy said...

Kelle...while I agree with you that people have a right to voice their opinions, I also think you have the right to utilize the block button when commenters are downright rude or abusive. Some people just suck and don't deserve to be heard.

Olivia Cole said...

I feel the same way as so many many others. Your photos and your gift with words inspire me, make me smile (and sometimes cry), help me watch for the joy in the everyday moments in my own life. Your blog, and your Instagram feed, brighten my days, and I love your enthusiasm, creativity, style, and most especially, what a good mama you are to those beautiful children of yours. Thank you for sharing with us. Hope your week is fabulous, and full of glitter and stripes and giggly girls!

Natalie Rader said...

Have you read "the four agreements"? It may be helpful to you and bloggers everywhere. It is wonderful AND short. Which is helpful for us mommies ;)

KWQR said...

Just catching up in blogs... somehow missed all the IG drama. I have always admired your response to negative comments. I recently received my first one on our business blog... itl hit me right in the gut. It never feels good but is just a part of living in public I suppose. Personally I live by the "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" philosophy. Wish the Internet did too.
Stay classy lady!
xo
Kate

tbest1234 said...

Kelle, I just want to sincerely thank you for being so real and honest. This post spoke straight to my heart and is exactly what I needed to hear. Again thank you
Many thoughts and prayers to you and your family,
Brittany

MeWoman said...

Well said.
I blog too and I know the feeling of owning what I write.
I don't need to apologize! I teach my kids that hurtful comments is not your truth! Just because someone says something (out of jelousy, lack of self esteem, plain rudeness)does not make it true! They might not even believe it themselves!! But they know it will hurt you and it might make themselves feel superior. But!! Remember, they have to sleep with themselves EVERY night!! While I can brush off their dirt, they are living and breathing it until they decide to change their lives, because they sure won't change mine! xoxo

MeWoman said...

I was refering to straight out rudeness! Not someone not sharing my opinion! Very different.

Brooke Schmitz said...

Good for you for having not only the courage to write, but to eloquently defend yourself. My mom sent me to your blog, because although I doubt you remember, I was blessed to have your family in my life many many years ago. I started reading your book last night, and the reference to Horseshoe Drive... was surreal. I grew up on Forge and your family was a big part of our lives for many years.
Someone in a previous comment asked how you were so smart? Your Dad too had a profound way with words.
So I once again commend you for being so vulnerable. It's nice to see little Kelle Cryderman all grown up.

LauraLaiche said...

Have you run into these wonderful prints on Etsy by Katie Daisy at The Wheatfield... they remind me of you so!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/92097531/wild-and-precious-life-5x7-greeting-card

Rosie Keisha said...

Kelle this is YOUR blog..you can write whatever you want and post all the photos you want to share. I'm sure you did not start blogging to deal with people who are looking to argue, complain and criticize. It's YOUR life and you can write whatever you want about it without having to worry about what others will think. Those of us who follow your blog enjoy doing do. We enjoy your posts and beautiful photos and love to follow the development of your beautiful girls Lainey and Nella. We are honored guests here and don't want to overstep our stay. This is not a political forum open for debate. The handful of readers who whine, complain, lecture and are confrontational are not only disrespectful to you but are very annoying to us as well! If they don't like what you have to say why do they continue to read your blog? We come here to hear about YOU and your kids and enjoy all the beautiful photos. If I were you I would just delete/block anyone who come here to stir trouble! Keep doing what you do...this blog is always a breath of fresh air and don't let a handful of miserable complainers spoil that!

Moosefan said...

When you put your self out there, you have to expect some critics. Some of those may be good and others, well, seeing from this post, not so good. How you deal with those critics and the criticism is entirely up to you. Learn, grow and continue to move.

courtney said...

Kelle, you have such a beautiful soul. And you are freaking funny. I've followed your blog for a long while now and have never commented. You inspire me and have influenced my outlook on life on so many levels. Thank you for sharing, you make the world a much brighter place! Cheers to you!

Jaq Cov said...

Keep on writing your wonderful blog. Surely people get the fact your life is not perfect if they read your blog or even bother to read your book? You chose a path of positivity, as opposed to so many who are negative. There is so much that is wrong with the world today. You blogs always cheer me & make me stop & think. Ignore those haters & keep on writing. We love you down here in Australia x

Jaq Cov said...

Keep on writing your wonderful blog. Surely people get the fact your life is not perfect if they read your blog or even bother to read your book? You chose a path of positivity, as opposed to so many who are negative. There is so much that is wrong with the world today. You blogs always cheer me & make me stop & think. Ignore those haters & keep on writing. We love you down here in Australia x

Jaq Cov said...

Keep on writing your wonderful blog. Surely people get the fact your life is not perfect if they read your blog or even bother to read your book? You chose a path of positivity, as opposed to so many who are negative. There is so much that is wrong with the world today. You blogs always cheer me & make me stop & think. Ignore those haters & keep on writing. We love you down here in Australia x

Fifty-two pairs in 2012 said...

Just one more thing.
Melina is not a good writer. Don't write like her, K Dude?

Heather Counsellor said...

Beautiful.
Tonight you inspired me. Touched a nerve in my own heart. Helped me face a fear in the face - and punch it.

Thank you.
and I love unicorns.
:)

Amanda said...

I love this post and wanted to share one of my Mother in Laws favorite sayings - "Sometimes perfect isn't perfect."

Brook said...

Wonderfully written and, even better, wonderful content. Thank you for sharing. (Also, your kids are gorgeous!)

barronfamilyus said...

Kelle, I've been following your blog for almost a couple years now. I don't comment much, but I think this is a great post to let you know how much I appreciate your writing. So I hope it doesn't get too lost among all the other comments ;)

In 2011 we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. We had 6 weeks of new baby bliss and teaching our other son how to be a big brother before we found out that our little baby has an uncommon combination of heart defects. And then they told us his heart defects told them he probably has Williams Syndrome. Told us to read up on it before our genetics appointment and sent us on our way.

In my frantic search to find anything online that would tell me my new baby would grow up just like his brother, I stumbled across your blog. Nella's birth story moves me to tears to this day whenever I read it because it was the same way I felt. I'm sure you hear that a lot. But I felt like I didn't have the same baby I took home from the hospital. Reading current posts about every day life helped me to cope and gave me hope that life wasn't going to be as hard as I thought it would be.

So anyway, I wanted to say thank you for you and your writing :)

Kristen Barron
barronfamilyus.blogspot.com

Tesha Vann said...

Kelle, great post on how all of us bloggers feel about the 'cuts' we get being out here. I stepped even further out of my comfort zone and published my first children's book - perhaps the hardest was silence from those in my circle.
Perhaps for one day you should consider changing your blog name to 'Enjoying the Yuck of Things - for they make me stronger'. Congrats on your upcoming bundle!

heartsweetphotography said...

Such wonderful, inspiring, encouraging words! Thank you for sharing :)

niki-jean said...

thanks for an honest and also glittery post. the bill cosby quote is great and came JUST when i needed to read it. i'm so glad that you continue to share your journey with us (us being random strangers!). it's so brave and so generous. this blog is a little treat everytime i read it.

dspence said...

This is EXCELLENT.

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

You. CAN. Write. And photograph...and love. And you are damn good at all three.

Marilyn (who is posting under the guise of our dog blog...)

Loved, loved and loved your book!

t.party said...

i never cease to be baffled when people choose to follow someone on IG that they don't even like. good for you for not letting the haters get you down =)

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Brittany said...

Kelle, thanks for this. It is so applicable to life, not just blogging. I don't know how you bloggers do it and put up with the negativity that can come. But I am glad you do! You and E Tells Tales got me through pregnancy insomnia and sleepless nights nursing my little baby. I am definitely a grateful reader and just wanted to write an encouragement to try to keep outnumbering any rudeness you might encounter. ;)

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Unknown said...

I so needed to hear these words tonight!! Thank you!!

Unknown said...

I so needed to hear these words tonight!! Thank you!!

My Writing and Editing Coach said...

This post inspired me so when I was nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award and asked to nominate 15 other noteworthy blogs, I nominated yours. To learn more, please visit http://livinglikeatticus.blogspot.com, the 2.8.13 post.

Jenny Fitzner said...

I stumbled on your blog through pinterest.com, what started out with me reading a birth story has ended in me reading post after post for a couple hours. You've officially been added to my blog list! I love your written expression and zest for life. Thank you for taking that leap and sharing your life for all to see. I personally love it.

wordsofhisheart said...

Beautiful, Kelle! And if you really do poop glitter - more power to you! The world needs more glitter.

Between You and Me said...

You're brave.
You're smart.
You're beautiful.
You're honest.


I rarely EVER comment, but I just had to tell you that you are so not crap. I'm learning from you...to take the negative and let it grow you is no small thing.

I truly believe it's a supernatural work being done in your heart and mind....and it's amazing.

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