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:

1 – 200 of 312   Newer›   Newest»
Brenda said...

A new post yay! Now for reading it :)

Monalisa said...

Laranjas! ahahahahaha

Kim said...

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." ---love love love this quote. Beautiful post tonight and something we all need to remember.

Stephanie Jane said...

I love that you are vulnerable and real, I love your perspective on negative feedback, I loved your response on IG last night (props for staying classy...not sure if I could have), I love that you shared your wisdom with us. You inspire on several levels, including the ways that you're not perfect. :) Thanks for sharing all of it with us!

Maheen said...

This is so so well timed, as I have just recently put myself "out there" and have already faced negative energy. But, like I wrote about on "The Change" I believe we need to meet all negativity with positivity. Have you read that children's book about the bucket? I think it's called "Have You Filled A Bucket Today"? Such a wonderful and simple read that explains many complex adult issues! The good always outnumbers. So glad you are at a place of peace so that one rotten orange doesn't ruin it for the whole bunch of us. And thank you so very much for sharing that wonderful quote and your lives with us.

Lynn Marie said...

Bravo to you for not letting a rude individual get the better of you. I am amazed at how nasty people can be from behind a computer keyboard. Keep enjoying your life, best revenge EVER!

KatieShea said...

This reminds me of something you said at the Chicago book tour meet and greet..."hurting people hurt." I never heard that before and it's really changed my perspective these past couple months.

Jennifer said...

I do believe this is my fist ime commenting, although a long time reader......just one question. How did you get so freakin smart? Seriously? This is one ofyour best post, in my opinionof course.

Life with Kaishon said...

I like that you are honest about life. I like that you focus on the good stuff, because Heaven help us, we all know there is plenty of negativity in the world. It makes me a little sad that you said you don't read comments. I guess we all want our voices to be heard.

Love your orange grove pictures! So funny about how they don't always pick the ripe ones.

Last if all, thank you for sharing. I appreciate you.

Momma Holmes said...

"Beautiful toilet photos to upload" makes me smile ear to ear and rejoice for you. Bet you were talking about G helping you and I love that since I'm sure you've been helping her too. No one lives a perfect life; love more, laugh more and give grace. I've learned that from you. Thanks.

Kelle said...

@Life with Kaishon,
Oh but yes I do! I try and read most of them. Always. And I've seen yours over the last three years and know that profile picture. :o)

Susi K said...

Beautiful pictures and beautiful words. Love it. We passed a few orange groves in our travels this past weekend and I was itching to get out of the car and pick a few...

Minnesotagal said...

I haven't commented in ages. Years perhaps even. But Kelle, this is one of your best posts to date!! So applicable beyond the blogosphere even. Thank you thank you! Keep on preaching sister!!

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

What beauty you possess. I am honored to read your blog. Xoxo.

Lisa said...

I agree with your friend who states that perhaps these 'negative people' are in need of some love, but it doesn't stop the sting when their words are aimed at you. I really don't understand people's negativity towards blogs etc portraying positivity? Surely they can understand its only a snapshot out of a life?

What do they want to read about? How shitty your day was cause you woke up to an untidy kitchen, got your period and then cleaned out the garage! Seriously?

I love reading about your positive outlook on life... It keeps me happy, positive and motivated!

Momma Of 2 TandK said...

I totally adore Nella's purple flower skirt!!! How much fun it must be to pick fresh oranges Mmm.xx

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

What beauty you possess. I am honored to read your blog. Xoxo.

Lisa @ Heaven Sent said...

For the record, these are my favorite kind of posts from you, Kelle. Your honesty makes your writing that much better and your perspective on it all is what so inspirational. My heart hopes you got just as much out of writing it all out as we did reading it. :) Have a beautifully imperfect weekend!

Ashley said...

I am so happy you posted this! I am an artist that got some negative criticism from a lady at church. After reading your beautiful post I feel like I can move on. Its been almost 6 months since I picked up a paint brush (Unless you consider applying mod podge with a brush onto some shrinky dinks as "painting") and have been doing some fun but "safe" jewelry making since. I have a jewelry shop which is what I do for a living but painting is where I find the most joy. Where I can explore the different parts of my creativity and personality. I'm painting as soon as I wake up. I've been living safe and have not been myself. Your words have changed so much in my life, already; I am so thankful you have been brought into it!! I look up to you in so many ways! Thank you for being there, Kelle!!!

Runner Mom said...

Way to bloom in the face of negativity! Loved your response last night and love your post tonight. Keep shining- you glitter pooping unicorn you- keep shining!!

Brenda said...

Now I've read it, I'm sad. Nothing like a big 'ol meanie to put a damper on things (I used poppa appropriate language, not what I really wanted to say). I just want you to know that I am touched by your words on a regular basis and I'm so sad that people are mean... It's a grown up version of "Queen Bees and Wannabees." It blows. I mean, really blows a big... Well never mind. I want you to know you are loved. You have taught me to shift my perception. And most of all you are NOT, and NEVER will be, crap. I realize you likely know all of these things; however, I feel compelled so --there you go. Sending you some love.

Angela said...

Possibly my favorite post. Ever. As a blogger with a smaller readership, I'm often discouraged and I feel like I'm lacking in areas that I wish I was rocking. Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning that the response we get has nothing to do with how valuable our gifts are. We all live imperfect lives but, we sure DO deserve to create, focus and enjoy the beautiful moments!

sarah russell said...

There is so much ugly in the world. But without it, would we notice the beauty? Thank you for reminding us why you do what you do and why we should do whatever it is we do: because we need to. Because it fulfills us. Not to make others happy. Or sad. But just to be ourselves. I love your glittery unicorn heart

Jessica said...

It's funny, your blog is where I come to "get happy". The world is filled with hate and hurt and coming here gives me hope - I don't give a crap if its fake or not ;) here's the thing - sometimes I come here and I admit it. I'm jealous. Not because your life is perfect but because you always have something positive to say. Because you have support of so many. Because you can make anything look fun and happy. My posts are usually the opposite - the craziest things happen to me broken brand new vans, brand new fridge leaks water all over, kids with night terrors, weird crazy random crap happens to me. Like every day. I post it because its funny to me. But the other day someone said they stopped following me because I was so "negative", I never had anything good to say and they were tired of hearing about my miserable life. The irony? I love my life. I'm the happiest I have been in years. Too happy, too sad - you can't win em all. Don't change a thing. Keep posting happy. Keep taking is to the damn unicorn farm. We love it here that's why we keep coming back :)

picsnapper said...

Oh, gotta love the toilet pics! So glad Orange Grove Cat got a mention :D Have a great night yourself!
@picsnapper

Colette said...

Awesome. I TOTALLY needed to hear this today. Thank you. :)

Posy Quarterman said...

While I admit my first response was "oh thank god she swears!" in addition, I found this post enormously valuable for this reminder: 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.

I needed to hear that. Thank you.

Nikki said...

I wanted to blast that woman when I read her comment...to staunchly defend unicorns and glitter and beach sunsets and all that is right and magical in the world. I commented, but held back because everyone has a right to their opinion, and I figure she must have something going on in her life that made her lash out at you. And as expected, you handled your response with perfect grace. Yay Kelle!!

Renee said...

And that is why I love you! Keep doing you, sister! I love your writting and your blog has lead me on a wonderful path filled with love and happiness! Seek the good and you will find it!! :)

Caroline said...

Once again you show your grace. Shall one forget the title of your blog. You are living your life true to who YOU are and for that I ( and many many others) applaud you.

I do not have this issue..being criticized by those who do not know me and the totality of my world. But I do know my own expectations of things. Which can really dampen being able to "enjoy" the little things in life. I am curious about your thoughts about how you handle your own expectations of how things "should" be and what actually happens. (Ie, the orange grove) I'm not naive. I have 2 littles and understand and accept there are more times than not when things just turn out the way you hoped. Acceptance. Patience. Faith. Would love other perspectives.

Benay said...

So well written. So wise!

Melina said...

I think my favorite (okay, second favorite) part of this post is the idea that compliments can be just as dangerous as criticism. That leaves me a lot to think about. This new years eve, I literally thought "what should i do that I can write about that will be as cool as maybe people expect it to be?" WOAH. it was my first solid 'image' over 'authentic' thought. So i combatted it: new years alone, eating a chicken sandwhich from subway because that's what i wanted, darn it, reading a book about how positive thoughts manifest real shit (yes, THAT book) and visiting with one good friend earlier on in the evening. (that I- shocker!- slept next to that night. because, you know, i had to work.)

xoxo
love this. love glitter. love boots. love you.

Melina said...

I think my favorite (okay, second favorite) part of this post is the idea that compliments can be just as dangerous as criticism. That leaves me a lot to think about. This new years eve, I literally thought "what should i do that I can write about that will be as cool as maybe people expect it to be?" WOAH. it was my first solid 'image' over 'authentic' thought. So i combatted it: new years alone, eating a chicken sandwhich from subway because that's what i wanted, darn it, reading a book about how positive thoughts manifest real shit (yes, THAT book) and visiting with one good friend earlier on in the evening. (that I- shocker!- slept next to that night. because, you know, i had to work.)

xoxo
love this. love glitter. love boots. love you.

Shauna said...

It is SO awesome of you to post this: "Good feedback can trick you into thinking 'I am good because people like what I put out there.' That's not true. Ever."

The fact that you understand this makes your lifestyle blog, with all its unicorns and glitter, stand out. And for the record, I don't think it's fake. I know many, many people in real life that do the whole 9 yards with matching pajamas, photographs, and theme parties...not because they want to show off, but because it is FUN!!

And so are you.

Kristin said...

I don't want to compliment you too much, Kelle, but this was brilliant. :-) Seriously, so wise. I learned something from this too, and I love your perspective on it.

Rachel Rush said...

Thank you for your words! I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I wanted you to know how inspirational you are and how much you have helped me grow as a human being. Crazy to say to someone I have never met, but I only speak the truth :)
Ps. It's nice to know there is someone else in the world who loves unicorns just as much as me!

Joyeful said...

"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."

Love this. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing such gut level good truth!

Holly said...

So well said!

I read different bloggers for different reasons. You, I read for inspiration and beauty and your obvious love of life. I love that even the small things become fabulous in front of your lens.

Of course we know life is not picture perfect. Nobody's is. But I love to dream and imagine and find the ways life is beautiful each and every day. Your blog helps.

Much love to you!

Shannon said...

I loved this Kelle! Well said, for a girl who's name in google search pulls up Kelle Hampton is Annoying, you own your voice, and I am proud of you for it. Because for every Kelle hater out there there are ten that love you! Me being one :)

Courtney Daugherty said...

My pastor says " Hurt people, hurt people." It always seems to clear things up a little for me. Kelle.. Go forth and continue being your awesome dang self!

Jamie Thompson said...

I saw said IG comments and for a moment thought I would respond. In the end I decided that "hurt people, hurt people". Obviously there are people in the world who don't like you or me or the blog next door. Nothing we say, do, share or give will change that.
I did however venture over to her tumblr site and saw that she herself had had a bad week.
The saying is true that no one knows the battle we each face, kindness should always rule. But when it doesnt and mean comments come along the best I know to do is think about what terrible times the commentor must be having to have such nastiness inside them.
I hope that she finds some peace and happiness in her life.
Im proud of how you handle yourself in these situations...so many just get angry and before you know it comment world war 3 has broken out.
Chin up lady, you are living the dream...bad words, fussy babies, sleepless night and of course unicorns pooping glitter...and that is perfect. The world could use more glitter pooping unicorns! :-)

Sara Bell said...

It is always so strange to me, that people feel their opinions should be shouted from rooftops. Even the good ones could be watered down sometimes, but especially the negative and/or hurtful ones. I've said it so, so many times and will always say it I guess... but why can't we all just be nice?!
Why not just channel that energy into doing something GOOD and promoting whatever it is you're promoting. Be the change you wish the see, and such.
Well-spoken Kelle. So very glad to have found your blog recently!

Martha Rule said...

Your blog is like a fresh citrus smell in my life. Can't wait to see the little dude in cute footwear, too!

Ann Bagnaschi said...

Kelle, I met you very briefly in San Diego. I thought you were lovely, and when you spoke you seemed so real and authentic. It meant a lot to me watching you speak in person. I have to admit, it does sometimes seem like your life is all unicorns and fairy gardens, hell,I even envy the great relationship you have with your dad...but as with anybody, you choose what you choose to share. And we all know that your life isn't perfect. And if it were me, of course I'd share the best stuff too...its the same on instagram,I mean honestly, who wants to see a picture of my toilet? Keep on doing what you're doing.You seem great...Really. ;-)

Ms. Blake said...

I've been reading your blog forever and finished your book in 4 days and I'm pretty sure we are best friends even though we've never met. :) Love how you write, love your sarcasm and then you pointing out the sarcasm. Ha. Love every word of every post!

Max of Max California ★ said...

You know, I follow you on IG, and I have read some things people say. I just don't get it? WHY? Why waste the energy being a tool to bring someone else down when they could just click that button to unfollow you?

It seems so simple!

Sometimes life gets crap and it makes sense not to project it out to people. I mean people like the good and the happy. Something they can dream is perfect.

Anyway, I don't get why someone would think hanging out with your children is childish. I mean. They're kids. Are you supposed to make them act like mini adults?

You. Are. NOT. Crap.

You are wonderful and inspirational!

Tela said...

yes.

Stephanie said...

I'm sorry you were hurt! I witness comments often and am always left with the thoughts "if they don't like me why do they care enough to ____." The truth for me is that if I don't care about someone I wouldn't bother looking at their photo/page/post, but if I am jealous I might stalk and get emotional. I know that I'd never use words to put someone down, though.

Just keep being kelle. I'd love anything you posted -unicorns aside ;) You could post all pictures of the girls, your coffee, etc and I wouldn't get tired of you being "just a mom" like me :)

Staci said...

you're awesome ... so.not.crap.

words hurt so very badly. i'm still trying to recover from a very long, complicated relationship in which words became the weapon of choice and i don't care who ever quotes that 'sticks and stones' nonsense because that? that is crap.

keep spreading the good news about unicorns and glitter. there are a good number of us that appreciate it (and need it) more than you'll ever know.

Many Titles said...

I haven't commented on a post in years. But tonight I just wanted to tell you what your blog has meant to me. I learn by watching what others do. It's how I have to learn everything. I did not learn how to be a great mom; I think my mom didn't know how to be. The idea of fairies and unicorns, parties and glitter is very foreign to me. But I see so much joy, love and happiness in those things. It inspires me to find out what kind of mom I really want to be. Are your passions for those things mine as well? No, but I love to bake. And baking with my daughter is how I spread happiness and love. Do I think your life is perfect? No way. But this is your blog and if you want to show the world how you give love and see love then so be it. The world is full of enough negativity; we all have enough to share but finding enjoyment in the small things, well for some of us we need as much of that as we can get.

Courtney said...

Your daughter are so beautiful!!

Sarah's Here said...

You know, we aren't all perfect and we don't all lead a perfect life, that's what makes us unique. I'm 30 and I'm single and I thought I'd have been married and be leading that perfect life by now. It took me quite a long time to actually come to terms with that not being the case and I've come to see that right now the life I lead is as perfect as I can make it.

Last night I was talking to my mum about my degree in photography and how I don't work in that field anymore, how I've seen another friend pick up where I left off and how I feel that I really had no talent after all. Mum reminded me of many things(namely to do with my training after I graduated) that helped me realise again that we can't all be perfect.

I first started reading your blog because of your photography. I continue to read because of this but also because of the things that you do, with your family the fact that you show your faults and that you seem to be genuinely lovely. I look forward to your new posts and I wish you all the best for the future.

xx

Heather Kinkel said...

Kelle - I loved reading this. Probably because I've OFTEN struggled with this. The most hurtful ones for me have come from close family who have pointed out that my life just looks too damn perfect and would I just please tonethejoydown for lords sake.
Then I remember the hurt that these people have in their lives. The pain that they live. And my anger and hurt turns to sorrow and compassion. For them.
I love your work and enjoy watching your beautiful (and perfect lol!) family. Keep it up.
Heatherlil.

Amy said...

I love your positive outlook and how your blog always showcases so much beauty. You are so right, the stressful things will always be there, we don't need to focus on them any more than we have to. The reason I read your blog is to escape those stressful things for a little bit. Not sure if that's bad lol. Keep on shining!

Karey Culp said...

Loved it Kelle! It reminded me of the quote by Dita Von Teese -

"You can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches."

Thanks for always keepin it real.
<3

P.S. I found a picture that reminds me so much of Lainey! I will message it to you.

Shelly Cunningham said...

Kelle- thank you. I needed this. I have been inspired to "own my truth" this year, and this post fed the deepest parts of my soul. I am committing to writing what is in my heart on my blog, regardless of the consequences.
You are my hero.

Ghadeer said...

I love reading your blog :)

JulesInTheNo said...

I, like so many others, stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and the story of Nella's birth. I found your writing to have so much emotion and soul. I was instantly hooked! I have spent many breaks at work catching up on older posts....now follow you on IG. I adore your positive posts in a sea of negativity. You and your girls and your gorgeous Florida sunlight are a small shiny spot in my day. I am a mother of a nearly 7 month old boy...and I can't help but want a world full of joy and love for him. Your blog and your photos inspire me, and clearly countless others, on a daily basis. Inspire me to be a better friend, a better mother, a better wife. A better human! Thank you for doing what you do, and for sharing your life so openly, even after receiving not so nice words from people. Just makes you glitter even brighter in that amazing Florida light! :)

JulesInTheNo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
notjustanothermom.com said...

Thanks for this Kelle. Such a great post for me to read as I'm new to this whole blogging thing.. and I definitely struggle sometimes with what to put 'out there'. And for the record, I love that you poop glitter ;) Seriously though, I had been reading your blog for 2 years before I welcomed my son into the world last December (he was born, surprisingly, with a rare genetic condition, a form of dwarfism). It was a shock, to say the least. Reading about you and your family for those 2 years before I had him, well you inadvertently gave me so much perspective about welcoming a child into this world who was not exactly what I was expecting. My son is amazing, I freaking love my life (as far from 'perfect' as it is). You have changed and shaped how I see so many things. All that to say...just know that you and your blog are such positive things in this whole world wide web thing. Don't ever stop what you're doing!
Tammy

Koalabear1020 said...

Thank you for knowing that beauty comes with individuality!

Much Aussie love to your family. x

FootPrints said...

hurting people hurt people. blessed people bless people. keep being the blessing you are.

Soaking Up the Happy Life... said...

You are an amazing light in this world Kelle. You uplift me and thousands of others with your view of life and I am a thankful reader. Thank you for not allowing a negative person to take away what you share with us all. The Bill Cosby quote was very enlightening for me...thank you.

Kelsey said...

I've been reading your blog for long time now, and have never commented until now. I just have to say that I literally laughed out loud and almost woke my family up because I use very similar sarcasm :) Keep on pooping glitter because the rest of us love it! Does that make me a unicorn too? OMG, we need Team Unicorn shirts! Too far?

Kelly Cach said...

So proud of you, so love you!!!

Jen said...

What a good read! Such food for thought. I was just thinking today about my little ol' blog post from the day before and how magical things had felt and how I wrote to hold onto the feelings because sure enough today had its moments that were not so beautiful. I love reading your posts and seeing your photos. They help me remember to keep those magical moments present. I tend to write about the good stuff, too. I don't feel the need, desire to write the bad stuff. I have had friends comment to me about feeling bad about some stressful parenting moment. I will share a similar stressful story and they say, "Oh good. That makes me feel better. I imagine you doing all these great things." I am sorry, but anyone with kids cannot be magic every moment.

Sometimes we need to highlight the beauty so when the opposite occurs we know how to find our way out. Thanks for the reminder about even the good comments aren't what make you valuable. I think this is truly divine! It is my wish for my kids that they may be intrinsically motivated to be who they are because it is good to them. As I think of wanting it for them, it is a good reminder to want it for myself, too. Happy New Year!

Anna said...

Seriously?! SERIOUSLY? as if you haven't talked about all life's difficulties to know that you haven't had your fair share of challenges? Wow...I can't believe people would still feel that you view your life as perfect. Maybe I'm feeling unicornish at the moment too...but hey...its either that...or being a negative nelly. You do receive some weird comments every now and then...I'm glad you have people who can support you through those discouraging moments. You are strong...I'm mostly too scared to blog because I'm too scared of criticism. I think there is a large part of me that isn't comfortable in who I am yet and I don't want to be judged on my forming and ever-evolving identity. I am proud of you too...and why don't people remember what their mum told them?? If you don't have anything nice to say...DON'T say it.

Lovely Love said...

Kelle I find it almost weird that you wrote this today. All this week the criticism of blogs has been on my mind. Early in the week the feminist breeder mentioned a website called get off my internets and its a whole website used to talk badly about popular blogs. I read and read amazed at how much time these people took to be mean to someone they don't know at all. It really bummed me out because all the blogs I love were being beat to a pulp over and over again and it hurt me. 1. One because its just plain mean and 2. Because I felt judged for liking what I like. It made me even wonder if I like reading pure crap. They bash the followers just as much as the writers.I even found a comment of mine being used as an example with a little pukey face next to it. It hurt :( and its weird how much all of this was buzzing in my head and buzzing around me and it felt so good to see u write about it and know u r trying to rise above it. I'm glad for that
None of us should be treated like that and maybe one day no one will be. In my life I get made fun of for how much unicorns and rainbows come out of my butt, buts its really who I am and their ain't nothing perfect about my life. 3 blogs in 1 week talking about this its for a reason.I'm just not sure what yet. But something good is going to come from this I know it I feel it in my bones. Sorry this post is so random I have a hard time writing from my phone.

Liane said...

"I poop glitter" - Love love love this!


It amazes me sometimes how mean someone can be from the comfort of behind their computer screen. They are obviously very unhappy in their own life and don't like that fact that you can take Lemons and turn them into Lemonade.

I happen to admire you positive outlook. Since I started reading your blog nearly three years ago you have inspired me to become and better Wife, Mother, friend and person. I take your words and learn from them. You have a talent Kelle and I hope that you never let the few people that leave negative comments deter you from what you were obviously meant to do!

Have a great weekend :)xx

alexintransition said...

Kelle- first off, I am so happy that you took your girls to the orange groves. I just came back from working in Florida from March to November and I was so mad that I came in the end of orange season and left before the start. I still can't get the taste of fresh squeezed orange juice out of my head, now that I'm back in Upstate NY.

I found your blog through my Mom and I was so awestruck at your life. You seem so kind and genuine. Don't let anyone bring you down about it- I don't know you but from what I see you're a terrific mom who is going somewhere in this life. My last job assignment (I work in the political field) put me under a lot of scrutiny. When people found out what I was doing in Florida, even those who knew me for years (which is what hurt the most), they were so quick to throw me under the bus. As if I wasn't even human just because I worked for someone who didn't align with their politics. It got to the point where I found myself putting disclaimers on my Facebook that if they don't like what I'm doing, just unfriend me. Then I realized "why am I doing this?" The truth is, the people who love and care about you will be your biggest cheerleaders and will not question you. To those who bring you down, they are truly insecure people who only look at the surface and forget that you are a human being and have feelings too. It's too bad for them, because honestly their constant attention shouldn't be focused on your every move. Instead why don't they care about the people who truly need direction in their lives and help them out?

Keep on shining Kelle. You're on the right track.

Spiral Grey said...

I love this...I'm an artist too...one too often struck down by criticism & negativity. I've heard everything you've said in some form before but just now I felt it stick in that deep place where all change finally happens. I've been waiting a long time. So I actually wish I could thank that miserable commenter...cause they made you react...and in turn, I think it might open the door for me. And isn't that what really is the balance and beauty of our life? The amazing way that negativity creates inspiration... And in turn creates more negative and positive ripples that create the rich, dynamic, flowing thing that is existence. Thank you.

mack said...

geez - didn't you actually gain popularity by writing candidly and honestly about the pain of something that wasn't glittery and pefect?! obviously someone forgot to read the "start here if you're new" link on your blog. they should at least do their homework before throwing stones! :-P

...and at the same time probably the most important topic in that post was for us to really take a (eyes-open-brave) look at why criticism hurts so much and why we want to please so badly.....and to somehow let some of that go so we can go on being daringly creative!

-mackenzie

CheCiara said...

Very well handled Kelle!
Cynical as I am as a person about a lot of things, I am a big fan of happiness and admire people like you who squeeze it out of life.

Roksalanna said...

Kelle,
Sorry to hear that someone would make a sweeping statement that's not true. It's a privilege for your readers that you write so eloquently, realistically and with humor about life. You are very honest and articulate about the challenges and triumphs in living. Love your blog. Thank you for sharing and encouraging so many people through your writing and photography.
xo

Litt Om Mitt said...

"say what you mean, mean what you say, but don`t say it mean" is a quote I try to live by every day. There will always be a rotten apple in the fruitbasket, haters gonna hate and it is often that we can`t change that, no matter what we say or do... But hey! That is actually their problem and not ours :) You are amazing Kelle! And a great rolemodel- you see the possibility instead of challenge and you manage to make a helluva party out of it too! Keep inspiring us with your writing and beautiful pictures Kelle. We LOVE it! Big hug from Lillian. HAPPY NEW YEAR! :) :)

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

Perfectly said.
That is all.
xx

http://blog.scissorspaperrockdesigns.com.au/

Janine Boyd said...

What a lovely post. I like that Bill Cosby quote a lot - I hope you don't mind if I instil it mantra-like to myself and my boys! And may I just say you are so lucky to poop glitter!

Rebecca Taylor said...

I've been reading your blog for a little while but never commented until now- but this post really hit home for me. At 28, i am only just now beginning to 'put myself out there' and the fear of what people will think or worse still, say about me feels very real. My partner told me the other day that i should only ever write for myself, not for other people, and then today i read this post of yours and between the two of you i think i am finally feeling brave enough to begin. So thank you.

Gina said...

Thanks for this; I love when I encounter multiple things on the same topic at the same time; means someone above is trying to tell me something.

Leah said...

Awesome! :) I always tell my kiddos, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!" I wish more people would live like that! :)

Bohemian Beautiful said...

dude, this post is freaking awesome. so well written, as always :) I love every word of this!

Also, you were the first person I followed when I joined instagram, and I still love reading about and looking at all the happy rainbows and glittery unicorns that you choose to share with us (even my boyfriend follows you on instagram :) because he kind of loves all the shiny unicorns too)

You are partially responsible for helping me find my own rainbows and unicorns :) so thank you for being you and sharing your life with us and not letting the haters win! xo

Cheryl said...

So you post mostly the happy good photos...don't most of us?
My friends are always commenting that my 2.5 year old is always smiling and happy and ask "Does he ever cry?". Ha! If you only know him through pictures he is! I'm not exactly pulling out my camera when he is mid-fit, hands and feet flailing becauuse I said "No, you can't have a 3rd cookie".
If only we could all poop glitter!

Stephanie Precourt said...

Kelle, this is spectacular. Thank you. I admit that I still don't understand - and am honestly appalled that these naysayers exist - because I'd much rather everyone at least be civil to each other! - but everyone has to deal with this somewhere in life, online and off/ blogger and not. While I am winding down even more with my own online presence this was an unexpected encouragement to me.

Steph

Life in the 40's said...

People that openly want to criticize have too much time on their hand and perhaps they should be looking for unicorns instead of trying to bring another being down to their unhappy level. If you are creating wonderful memories for yourself, your children and family, who is anyone else to complain--how are you hurting them? Ignore the negative and keep pooping glitter because life is too short, our kids grow too fast, and in the end all you have are the memories and love.

A New Life said...

Keep on "pooping glitter" my friend! Like everything else, you do it so incredibly well! It's the red, the green, the gold and silver mixed with shades of brown that keeps me coming back for more. Your blog is an inspiration to so many - including me. Like a breath of fresh air, it's something I "need". What would the world be without an "Enjoying the Small Things" blog? Why I just can't imagine. . . it's a horrible thought! You just keep on keeping on sista. Your lil blog? Why, it's a beautiful thing!

Melanie said...

I understand that criticism hurts, but at the end of the day, you are running a business. You are going to get criticism. If someone stumbled upon your personal blog, written for friends and family, and said "wow,you suck" then I think that would be much different. This stopped being a personal blog a long time ago! You have chosen to make your life (and your children's lives) a business. My husband and I own a restaurant, and it sucks getting a negative review, or someone says they didn't love something, but it comes with the territory.

Rebecca Maier said...

Thank you for sharing this! I feel more aware and understanding. It makes me want to hug people who aren't nice! They just need more love.

SmithShack71 said...

You rock.

When I got my first hater comment, I was all - I got my first hater comment!

Totally weird that I was stoked, at first. But then it sucked. And then I deleted it. I wish I would have left it there now, but I'm new at this and learning things as I go.

I guess I thought it something like this...
If I don't clean up the rat droppings (mean comment), then others will see that a rat (mean person) was/is here.

I was trying to keep it all in the land of unicorns until I started keeping it all in the land of real. Which is much better... for me. rat shit and all.

-Angie

Jennifer Weigle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Martin said...

You have an amazing voice, my dear. Keep using it...and keep those awesome pictures coming!

Danielle said...

My mother always taught me "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything." A good friend of mine also taught me that when people make negative comments, they are fighting some internal issue, like jealousy, but they are aiming it at you. I've learned that when I'm nitpicking someone, it's because I have something inside that I'm not happy about. I'm jealous of something they have. Everyone has a right to their opinions and they can express them however they feel the need, but at least try to do it nicely. Always treat people the way you want to be treated. That's the motto I'm teaching my kids. This world is small and you never know who you'll run into later in life. That person you were mean too my remember that and guess what....karma's a bitch! Preach on sister. We know your life isn't all glitter and unicorns. No one's is. This blog is your public diary of the good in your life. If people don't like it, they shouldn't read it.

Danielle
sweetwoodrufflane.blogspot.com

tarynddavidson said...

Sticks and stones... Sticks and stones.
(Trying to rein in my sarcasm, which tends to be my glitter sometimes ;))

Tracey said...

I love all your beautiful photos! Do I post the ones on my facebook page of my kids being hellions, trashing our house and me screaming at them, LOL?? People need to worry about their own reasons behind their negativity. We post photos of what we think is beautiful. I don't get it, do they think you do it for the attention? Like you are that insecure that you need strangers' praise. You would not put so much time into this if it wasn't something that makes you happy and maybe, just maybe you are trying to put some of that happy energy out into the universe! I wish the haters would consider, would I say this to someone's face?? No worries, Kelle! Love your blog!

*Jess* said...

I have a hard time understanding why anyone would publish negative comments after something they have read. I mean, sharing your opinion in a discussion is one thing. Totally being rude and negative about the poster? Uncalled for. If they don't like your writing or pictures, they can stop clicking on your blog and IG. :) Its as simple as that!

Sara said...

One thing I love about reading your work is seeing how you do always try to see the good, the beautiful in things. And that you're trying to teach your girls to do the same thing. You're teaching them to be happy where they are; not to become complacent by any means, but to be happy along their journey to where ever life may take them. You encourage Lainey to take pictures of tiles and toilets, and allow them to pick bad oranges; all while snapping adorable photos of the process. Bravo to you, Kelle.
The world needs a little more positivity in it. We'd live in a totally different place if more people saw things with unicorn genes. :-)

Sara said...

One thing I love about reading your work is seeing how you do always try to see the good, the beautiful in things. And that you're trying to teach your girls to do the same thing. You're teaching them to be happy where they are; not to become complacent by any means, but to be happy along their journey to where ever life may take them. You encourage Lainey to take pictures of tiles and toilets, and allow them to pick bad oranges; all while snapping adorable photos of the process. Bravo to you, Kelle.
The world needs a little more positivity in it. We'd live in a totally different place if more people saw things with unicorn genes. :-)

Crissy Smothers said...

This is beautiful, Kelle! But in all honesty, don't some people just need to be punched in the face when they say crappy stuff?! Some people are so absolutely miserable and they try to pull people down to their level. I am SO GLAD you posted this and showed that moron (yes, I said it because frankly, if they didn't like you or what you stand for, WHY are they following you on IG?! That makes them a Moron with a capital M) that negative only inspires you. You go girl!!

Jodi Ann said...

Love! This post was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

Rosie Keisha said...

Kelle..this was one of your best blogs ever. And it has nothing to do with orange groves. I've often thought about blogging but know I'm way too sensitive to handle so much negative criticism..yes even from strangers who should not matter. No matter what you write, photograph, share there are always going to be people who get satisfaction from criticizing others. That is how they deal with life's disappointments. Jealousy is always going to rear its ugly head. And Bill Cosby was so right. Just keep doing what you do. It is always a breath of fresh air to connect with someone who can find happiness enjoying the small things.

Amy said...

This was beautifully written. I want to thank you for putting yourself out there, for teaching others it's OK, rock out with who you are. We need to hear it!

I started my own blog a few months ago, mainly because I wanted to feel the release, I wanted it out there. Your writing inspired me to do this. Keep doing what you do :)

Amy
www.muststopbinging.blogspot.com

Yellow Finch Designs said...

i've been racking my brain how how to comment on this post.

well, i decided to just be honest. this is so well written. glittery, unicorny kinda perfect (inside large smile). you have such a way of taking the emotion you feel, that emotion rooted deep in your heart, and bundling it up with the appropriate words.

i am so glad that marissa introduced me to you. i can't believe i didn't find you before.

i just added you to my daily blog roll on my blog ;)

cheers my friend! here's to fairy tale lives and vulnerability because we all have toddlers with tantrums, strollers that get stuck and soft curse words that we sometimes whisper.

xoxo

meghory said...

Kelle, I think you're fantastic. I so look forward to your posts and can't tell you how any times I've been inspired to find unicorns in my own life and with my own child (soon to be children) because of what you've written. I also can't tell you how any times I've read my husband or my mom one of your posts crying through it because it was so touching. I truly feel like we are going through this journey of motherhood together even though we've never met. Never stop doing what you're doing!

Sydney said...

Ha ha! I love this post and love you too! Trolls will be trolls, you just have to pity them.

Jennie said...

Your blog and Instagram photos are the best part of the World Wide Web, if you ask me. Keep on truckin'. Truly, you always give a boost to my day -- and I have a darn good life already!

Kristin Hicks said...

Your blog and pictures are some of the most enjoyable things in my life. Blessings to you for shining through the vitriol of an unhappy person.

Katherines Corner said...

I have dealt with some negative comments at Katherines Corner on occasion. Not sure why I let them sting so much. I respond with kindness as it is the only way I can not let the negative in any way overshadow all of the positive. Hoping you will share this at the Thursday Hop ( it's still open) Hugs P.S. the new giveaway started today too

lynxymama said...

well, here i am, one of your mindless, drones who love you ;) but seriously, your blog is called "ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS" and if people don't like the concept then JUST MOVE ON! in my own life i have a tendency to get really pissed off over little things when they pile up so reading your blog is a breath of fresh air for me. what brought me to your blog was the vulnerability, the journey. i think that is the key, the difference between writing about the mundane negative details of life (which yeah, we all have plenty) or writing about the vulnerabilities of life. i recently picked up BLOOM again for one of those quick drive by reads and i re-read a passage where i thought "this is why i love kelle hampton." it was about your choice to embrace the positive. can i remember exactly which passage? no i cannot, why? because i have 3 kids, one is nude and i think may be peeing on the floor right now......does this make sense? am i using capital letters? no i am not ;) rambler!!! my point is, i don't read your blog and send lainey fur coats because i am a mindless kelle wannabe craving attention from you (we're a breed dontcha know) i do it because i feel a connection to the journey, to the strive for something kick ass, the desire to make my kids lives not perfect but special.

Kulio said...

When I was first starting to write my own music, I asked a young friend about the music he was writing (which I loved) - I said, "How do you know that it's a good song?" and he said the best most simplest answer, "I guess I just write what I like, and I figure that if I like it, there are gonna be some people out there who like it too." Since then I realized how poor my first question was -- it was a bad question, and his answer was good, but it eventually led me to a better answer: You don't know something is good because anybody else likes it, you know it's good because YOU like it. And the music that simply everyone likes is sometimes pablum - the really cool stuff often has a very select audience. Anyway, this post is such a great way to explain the process of coming to terms with criticism - I like that you noted it's a process that never really ends - and it's not just about growing a thick skin, it's about becoming so strong that we can extend empathy. Or maybe extending empathy makes us strong. Anyway, I tell that to my kids - don't give away your power. Be kind. Love u.

ali caudill said...

i just devoured half of 'daring greatly' tonight and it was mostly about this -- vulnerability and shame -- attaching our self worth to the response we get from others. i thought of you immediately because i can remember how you've handled it with such grace and how much you've grown since it first started happening. you're right, haters gon' hate (hahaha, sorry, had to), but what's most important is that you're a lover and you speak from your heart and show the importance of vulnerability and true connection. unicorns unite!

Jennifer said...

Go Kelle :-)

Ashley said...

Thank you for this post. Your words show depth, understanding and maturity. All of us can benefit from listening to the wisdom you have gained over time. And we can apply it in so many different ways in each of our lives. Mostly, thank you for being humble to see the one with a sharp tongue as one also worthy of and in need of love, and for being thoughtful and patient in your response. Honestly, this makes me love reading about you and your life even more. I know you don't need to hear this but I appreciate your voice in this world, Kelle. Blessings to you and your beautiful, sweet, imperfect family.

Happiness is... said...

Kelle

You are woman full of grace and compassion. I am so glad that you took the time to respond to this IG post and to the criticism; which is intended to be destructive. It's a reality that crappy people are out there and feel the need to dismember others. It doesn't matter if the content is on the web or within our daily lives. I think of them as the joy crushers, and it's our job to push forward.

I remember reading Melina's post earlier in December, and then a week later dealing with an amazingly negative situation in my own life. A (married into our) family member who always is demeaning and critical decided to make me her next victim. And weeks later, I feel that God gave me the perspective from this last experience to I know that it's who she is. She treated my mother poorly, her own family poorly, me, and I know that eventually the pattern will transfer to my child. And I might not be happy to know that she will not change, but I feel wiser; and I still chose to be joyful and grateful.

Thank you Kelle. Our lives are not perfect or without stress, but we can chose our perspective. I so appreciate your creativity, your perspective, your ability to share with so many of us.

-Jennifer

VPost said...

While I loved the orange grove pictures and even saw the picture on instagram before the rude comment and thought it was cute (love the tunic top! I'm pregnant as well and can't find anything cute to wear) I'm surprised you would even mention the comment. Why indulge the person who wrote it? There are always going to be trolls out there who will slam your life, mostly because they are unhappy with their own. I do understand your underlying message.

Nicole said...

Such an adorable family you have. Love your style of photography.

Deanna said...

I think this is my favorite post that you have ever written. I've been struggling something along these line recently, and it's amazing to see how you have processed the negative and let it just make you stronger and more confident. Thank you as always for sharing with us all.

We're the Kruses said...

Spot on. Really really well said and lots of nuggets to take with me into my day and my life.

Tracy said...

Brava! I love this so much!

IRWSMom said...

Keep on living, Kelle. The people that are negative in this world are upset with their own lives and are just jealous. Jealous of what? Of your perfect (fake to them) life? No, it is not perfect. No one has a perfect life. And if this person truly reads your blog for any period of time, they would know that. You keep it real. You embrace life and love your family. The mean people in this world don't have that. If that is what defines you being perfect, let them think that. They are L o s e r s ;-) Happy Day~

Tami Zv said...

Kelle - I am just going to praise you, I love your blog. It does look like you live a perfect life, but I am a hobby photographer and I also have pictures that look just the same and know that I have those days when my life looks way better in the pictures. I appreciate your writing and that you realize the negative comments are just words on a page and that person doesn't know you. I don't know you, except for the words you write, but I can tell you are trying keep a tight hold on the happiness in life and with your family and I think you have a great mind to keep the negative out of your life and see beyond to happiness. That's all. :) Take care and I look forward to more posts with your adorable little girls.

Lana said...

Great post- am going to forward to my sisters who both blog. As one of my sister's said in a post once- "just because I post pictures of me crafting with my kids in perfectly unmatching homemade summer dresses with perfectly messy hair does not mean that earlier in the day I wasn't screaming at them to turn the tv down after I'd stubbed my toe and dropped my coffee all over the floor." What we all see are SNIPPETS of a busy life.
If YOU posted all of the not-so-unicorny moments in your life, then you would have to change the name of your blog. You are posting about ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS and sharing personal thoughts about your rough times and joyful times but mostly doing it all in an uplifting way. Good on you!!

Starr said...

I think negative comments are a good sign. If everyone agrees with you, I'm not sure you stand for anything. I'd much prefer having real friends and real enemies over having a bunch of cordial acquaintances.

Deborah said...

:-)

Unknown said...

I teach high school English and have received, over the course of years, a few really hateful e-mails from parents. When I was younger, they really stung, but as I've grown older I realize that it's never about what it's about...I read your blog every day, and I believe it helps me to have a more positive influence on my kids at school. Thank you!

Hayley said...

Bravo, Kelle. And I'm glad that your community of loyal readers (the best, best BEST sorts of people!) are all here to lift you up, and drown out the noise of that one nasty comment.

:-)

Paige said...

Rock on girl! I was (and always am) in complete shock that some people take the time to share their negative thoughts, especially on a personal blog. It's bugs me. Oh well. Blehhhh to them. Happy Friday! Have a great weekend.

Angelique said...

Love it. Love your words!! :-)

Daniele said...

Heart u always!!! Xo

Rosanne Hubert said...

You are so "growed-up". I would have just cussed, and be done with it.

Like A Lady said...

Jealousy is a disease! I hope they get well soon.

Daniele said...

Oh and I stopped commenting a while back because I didnt think it possible you could read them all.....glad to know you do. I should leave one more like I used to

Shannon Brown said...

You go, Kelle! Your blog makes my day and though I'm naturally cynical I've read your words and they make me want to be more...unicornish, myself.

On another note, Nella's outfit...in the words of Rachel Zoe, "I die."

Love,
Shannon

Lisa said...

Nice post, Kelle. I haven't commented in a long time because you get so many commnents I feel mine justs gets lost among the others, but I check your blog every day and truly love your writing, your pictures and your view on life. Anyone who has been following you for any amount of time knows, Kelle, that your life is not perfect nor do you lead us to believe that it is. But seriously, who wants to read about the "crap" goings on in every day life, every single day? Alot of us, I believe, escape to blog world for insipiration and sometimes hope and I love that you mix it up. You show us that, yes, sometimes life hands you bad/terrible moments, but that there is a choice to look at things positively and work through them. I have never understood people's negative comments on a blog post. I read several blogs and I don't always agree with or like what the writer is saying, but I keep my opinion to myself because IT'S THEIR BLOG and I am not being forced to read it!
Thank you so much for taking us on all of your journey's. I for one love your blog and thankful to be able to read it!

Jorie said...

This is why I love you. You just take what is thrown at you good or bad and turn into something productive and beneficial. I love the fact that you can turn poop into glitter! Keep on being positive and making the other99.9% of us smile and feel good!

Pamela Hunt Cloyd said...

Thank you for this! I waste a lot of time trying to please people and I needed this.

Heliotrope Tree House said...

Well, you are not the first blogger to be hurt by criticism and won't be the last. I don't mean to sound cold...I understand. But the problem with the medium of blogging is it does at times, have a tendency to come off a little one-dimensional. After all, we are not going to post the ugliest photos of you and your children. We are not going to share the ugliest bits and yes, they are there as we are all human. So, we tend to blog and share the goodness in life. Sometimes, yes...it can come off a little "syrupy sweet" like the decaying fruit in the Langston Hughes poem, "Dreams." I have often thought about not reading blogs anymore for that reason. It is like throwing one's self into a fantasy land that is built intentionally to only show one side of life. We must face it realistically. But yes, it hurts and we get insulted. I know of several bloggers who actually got "it" and changed there style of blogging because the criticism and hatred being directed at them was so great and they just didn't want to deal with it anymore. And maybe that is a good thing...to acknowledge that not everyone has a perfect life no...some far from perfect...and in recording only the fantastic moments and presenting "perfect" may come off as phoney or gloating to some. It's about sensitivity. I get both sides. Peace to you. Just my humble opinion.

Jillian22 said...

This is exactly in line with what I have been contemplating over the last few days. I feel that social media, with all of its connecting and positive attributes, can often be detrimental because it becomes difficult for us to hear our own voice over the cacophony of opinions and negativity that tries to smother our original thoughts. I have come to the point where I feel like I cannot share or post anything that I stand for in fear of offending someone or starting a debate on FB or on my blog, so I don't. But by doing that, I feel like I cannot be true to myself. I have done a lot of deep thinking lately, and this blog helped bring some of that into focus. My goal this year is to be true to myself, to express myself when it is necessary and to not be afraid of repercussions. Thank you and keep on being brave!

girlguydogcat said...

Incredible. If someone is so nasty as to leave a comment like that, they must lead a very unhappy life and that's sad. Their problem, not yours (easy for me to say, I know). It's YOUR blog/IG feed, you put whatever you want! If they don't like it "change the channel". I just found your blog yesterday through Nella's birth story and after I was done crying because of the beauty and raw honesty, I spent a long time going through the archives and then made sure to put your blog in my reader. While I am new, I can tell you that I never found your writing to be one of presenting a perfect life. Rather you have a limited space and choose to focus on the positive with a healthy amount of humility and honesty. We all need to commiserate from time to time but reading blogs for me is about learning (sewing, cooking, about other's lives). I've quit reading blogs for being preachy and for being too negative. We all have shit in our life. No one wants to read about more of it. It's a balance. I look forward to reading more.

Lily said...

Optimism allows us to help make the world (IncludIng our own little worlds) a happier place. I say keep on focusing on the good things because that's what helps us get through the crappy stuff in life.

Unknown said...

In the world of today, to many people speak before they think. Act before they think and sadly many just do not care about anyone but themselves!

Personally, I get great joy from reading your blog. No One makes me sign on and come to Enjoying the Small Things!! I come because sometimes on a sad day, you cheer me up, some day's you are down too and I just feel better knowing I am not alone.

You are who you are, happy, sad, bored, relaxed, overworked, overstressed...you are just YOU!

Keep On...Keepin On and thank you for allowing those of us who choose to, to follow your journey!

Lily said...

Optimism allows us to help make the world (IncludIng our own little worlds) a happier place. I say keep on focusing on the good things because that's what helps us get through the crappy stuff in life.

Stacey said...

Obviously, so well said! (And thought through, mulled over, and emotionally processed, I'm sure!). My favorite part is Lainey with the pink camera. My 4 year old does the same thing (with a pink camera too, of course!), and while she's finding beauty in things like the dog's collar, I sometimes catch myself watching and learning from her. My internal self-critic would probably prevent me from even considering looking at the things she focuses so intently on. I'm so glad we have our children to teach us how to see the world differently. Maybe I need to pull out her pink camera while she's at school today and get to work?!

tricia*kushman*anderson said...

All I have to say this morning is this: this post completely inspires me and I think you rock. SO HARD. I love everything about you and your unicorn loving ways, sprinkled with glitter. My daughter is in first grade and in Kindergarten her teacher always said "be a brave writer." I'm on it! : )

Kate said...

hey there,
I've been reading your blog for a while, but I've never commented. I didn't see the instagram thing and honestly I'll never understand why people feel the need to leave nasty comments, but that's another story. What made me want to reply to you today was that as I started to read this blog entry, my first thought was, wow, she's actually talking about some not so great things that happened today.

Now don't get me wrong, I know you've shared lots of not great things, but often times you show your life through rose-colored glasses. I get it, I do, that's why we all love your blog. You choose to view and highlight the beautiful moments and not dwell on the less enjoyable stuff. I admire your optimism and I find it inspirational. That's why I read your blog - to try to help myself see more of the beauty in day to day life with my own kids.

However, as I read the beginning of tonight's post (not knowing where you were going with it) I really appreciated your honesty. I liked that you shared the normal, everyday mom stuff - kids that don't want to wear their shoes or who insist on being carried even when your back is killing you. I'm not ignorant, I realize that these moments happen everyday for you, just as they do for moms all over, but it was nice to hear about it. I think it helps the rest of us, your readers who don't know you in real life, to relate better. To be able to say, hey, look at her, she's finding the beauty in life despite the fact that her life isn't perfect, not because it is. We know this, but sometimes it's nice to have it spelled out for us again.

Thank you.

JoAnn Hallum said...

Sometimes I feel to fragile to be a blogger, so I tuck in my world and hug my children and keep all the good (and the bad) to myself.
Thanks for writing this.

Lynn Fern said...

Not much I can say...it's already been stated. This is your life and you write about it. Life for some is never unicorns, rainbows & cute boots because they simply don't allow the door to be opened for them to come into their lives. Keep writing from the heart - you have lots of readers that enjoy it!!
http://fernavenueblog.blogspot.com/

Stephanie said...

Well said!

Crystal said...

I totally second Kate's comment above.

And I wish you could have written this last June 20th. I was the race director of a local charity 5k/10k to raise money for an awesome mama/baby program in 3rd-world countries (Compassion International's Child Survival Program). I worked thousands of hours for more than a year on this baby, all from home while raising my babies. I poured my heart into it.

And no, the race didn't turn out perfectly, but we raised $6,000 (I know that sounds miniscule compared to your awesome readership and Nella's ONEder fund, but I was really happy about the amount). And raised awareness for a really awesome cause. However, that night all the post-race surveys started rolling in.

And there was a criticism about EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE RACE. Even the perfectly sunny weather! (Apparently I have control over that). There was lots of positive comments, but the negatives cut me deep. And I spent the next 3 days sobbing my brains out. It hurt, so so so badly.

So thank you for writing this. I needed it. My best friend told me as I was crying into the phone, "Crystal, those people would never have dreamed of putting themselves out there like that. YOU were the one who had a passion and went out and did something about it....not just leave anonymous internet whinings about how you wish someone would do it better."

Much love to you and yours, Kelle.

Katy Hornaday said...

Like many in the chain above, I've never left a comment before, but I just wanted to say that this blog, you, your book, have single-handedly shifted my perspective in life. It was never a gloomy perspective, but your writing has helped me see everything through "joy-colored" glasses. And your honesty, has been the catalyst for my being honest with other mommy friends who have needed a little "you're not alone and it'll all be awesome in the end" compassion over the last few years. So, while compliments may not be the sole validator of your incredibleness, I do think small chain reactions of love certainly are.
thank you for everything.
xoxox
Katy

Shea Family said...

We all come here for your beautiful photography, eloquent writing, and inspiring optimism. I love every single thing about your HAPPY blog and your cute little family!! No ones life is perfect, we know that, but i come here for smiles and i always get them :) Also, I think some people forget what brought most of us here. Reading your story about Nella's birth was painful and raw and real and of course, in the end- INSPIRING. Years later, we are still here, because we LOVE it here :)


Where are the orange groves you go to?! I have a place in Bonita Springs and would love to take my kids!!

Rach said...

I have been reading your blog for over a year now, best freakin post ever! As I have said before in a comment, I feel so motivated about life after I read your blog and that is due to your pure honesty in your wrting. Keep it up!

norcalfireball said...

You are amazing. That is all.

JILL said...

Well said! Some people!
I found this on pinterest today and thought of you Enjoy!
http://pinterest.com/pin/194780752605628955/

Frost Cake Co. said...

"I poop glitter". I cannot stop laughing. I love this. I have loved reading your blog - you bring happiness and joy to my day by speaking the honest truth!

Penny said...

One reason I read your blog, and your book, is because of your honesty. :). Not a fan of the perfect, fake lives. I do not get negative commenters. There are so many blogs out there~ just keep scrolling til you find one you do like. Don't read the pnes you don't. It's not that hard to be nice and encouraging...or say nothing at all. :)

HicksVille said...

I have been following this blog off and on for a few weeks now and I have to tell you that you are SUCH an inspiration. I love that you are all unicorn-y and glitterish! I love that your stuff is positive. You have given me so many ideas for spending more quality time with my son...I mean hello? We just bought a new camera on Tuesday (that had been on the to do list for a while...but still)! It's mind boggling that anyone would have something negative to say about you. I think you do a great job of balancing the good with the bad in your posts...to me, it's YOUR real...it's Lainey's real...it's Nella's real...etc. I don't know I just think you are a wonderful mother, a wonderful person and you have made a lasting impression on me. Thank you and please...NEVER STOP BLOGGING!

Brooke said...

The timing of this post couldn't be more perfect, personally. First of all, I am sorry it happened to you. I know it is inevitable, but it's also just annoying. I have thought long and hard about rude, negative comments before I recently started out on my blog because my topic is somewhat controversial to some people. At the end of the day, my intentions are good, your intentions are good and those whose intentions are not so good will eventually become tired from their own negativity. As usual, thank you for the inspiration on my new, scary path. ~Brooke http://loveunintentional.com

Ms. Pollywog said...

"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."

Well said, Kelle. I wanted to e-mail you about this very topic and this post really hit home for me. I have received a nasty comment that was so hurtful that I didn't even allow it to be published. More recently, I've been told about some things that a relative has been saying about me that are completely untrue and shook me to my core. Being reminded that "hurting people hurt" is exactly what I needed. Your perspective is amazing.

Blog on, sister, because YOU are awesome. I come here for your stories, your photos, the smiles that you give to be and for incredible take on things. I can't get your North Pole party out of my head (one of the many things I'd love to try that you've posted. The Pioneer Woman used to be my favorite. I still love me some Ree, but you are officially my blog crush.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Lacie

http://funnylittlepollywogs.com

Rebekah said...

As always, you use words to inspire the thousands of us reading to become better people. I needed to hear this especially:

"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. "

Thanks.

Julie Stephenson said...

Kelle,

What a beautiful post! I was reading the IG craziness before I saw this post and had been wondering how you handle the negative that comes with putting yourself out there. One of my favorite quotes about this very thing has helped me a lot as I deal with insecurity and hurtful feelings!

"The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Please keep on doing what you so!

Julie

Carolyn Savage said...

Hi Kelle, Timely post for me. Our story is about to be broadcast on Dateline this upcoming Sunday. Every time we get national exposure the haters come out which literally took my breath away in the beginning. I guess after doing what I did, I was stunned that I'd get criticized for it. I know I'm "in for it" over the next week or so, but this time I feel better equipped for many of the same reasons you've highlighted in this post.

Anyways, thanks for reminding me. I feel a little better armed for reading this!



Catherine said...

It bothers me so that people use your happiness as a weapon and then take their negativity and use it as a blogging opportunity. There are many people like this out there, and its almost as if they just don't get what this whole life is about. We have a limited time on this earth and why spend it telling people why their beautiful words are annoying? Your blog has been an inspiration to many. Time and time again for myself. It is a daily reminder to look for the good things. Even the green oranges are stunning, even it not useful right now.

I wrote about the Bloom party that I threw this Summer. It seemed just too important not to take the opportunity to share your book with others and have them share their experiences.

http://www.imwashington.com/2012/08/in-praise-of-kelle-hampton.html?m=1

Maybe people don't like you. But you have changed my life and I will try to change others as a result of that. Thank you for making me more aware of what the wod has to offer and more grateful for what it has given me.

Alycia Turner said...

i'm feeling bad. I'm re-reading my blog post now, to see if I should edit it, because what I said could be misconstrued as criticism, and I didn't mean it that way.

I have been reading your blog since October, when you posted your Pumpkin Carving Party, and I thought it was fabulous.

I've always felt like your life "looked perfect" but anything and everyone can look "perfect" in pictures. SO many of your photos look like they just leaped from the pages of a magazine, and that's not a criticism, but I said as much in my blog, and I hinted that it's almost unbelievable at how perfect your life seems, even having said "No one really lives this way, do they?" And again, i didn't mean it as a criticism, more of an awe stemmed from jealousy of your big open spaces in your house. Regardless, I love your blog, and the only reason I mentioned you on my blog, was to give you credit for the North Pole Party, since we tried to create our own and used your ideas as a base to run off from.

So now I'm going to go browse my blog, and determine if I am sounding critical and need to change some wording.

Gentle Blue Mom said...

People are mean...obviously everyone has their ups and downs and I have to say, I really like reading your blog and seeing how you mostly focus on the positive aspects of your own life. It helps me focus on the positives in my life of raising a special needs child. You have the creative license to post what you want to - and if it's about glitter and rainbows and beautiful pictures - I say bring it on.

I was reading this blog last night at 3:00am with my little guy who resting his head on my shoulder and his criticism was, "I like dat pick-tah, but dey need s-no Mommy."

Much love from snowy, cold New England! :)

Tara B said...

Kelle - don't stop inspiring the rest of us, just because a few people have anger issues. Please don't stop! You are making a difference in this world.

Becca said...

I haven't commented in *ages* but I saw that Instagram comment, and it really angered me. Pretty freaking nervy to do that, to think that you wouldn't read it or be affected by it. I always told myself I'd be able to handle any kind of negative comments that come across my blog or my FB page, but on the few occasions they've come, I can honestly say it feels like being hit by a bus and it definitely makes me curb what I write or post sometimes. I appreciate your honesty. Thank you for that.

Mandi Lacy-Hulse said...

Thrilled to have discovered you today. I love your way with putting your real self to paper. It's so not rehearsed and that's something I can engage with.

I'll definitely be back for more!

XOXO,
Mandi

Michelle said...

As always, thank you for this post. As I was reading, I felt my lips pursing in a bit and my chin quivering a bit -- seems I'm still holding on to some hurt from some unnecessary negatives words that were spoken to me that I can't seem to shake. Looks like it's time to deal with that some more. :o)

Lisa said...

Love this post, love your honesty, love the photos and especially the boots.
You are incredibly inspiring and while putting yourself out there can't be easy at times, I love that you do it because I have enjoyed reading every single post of yours.

Enjoy your weekend!

Danielle said...

It is a shame that more people don't take the time to capture the beauty of their children's lives on film. My daughter will have albums of simple, amazing memories from her childhood. Our life is far from perfect, but she is magical to me. Thanks for sharing your beautiful moments with us, Kelle. Especially the hard ones. Lots of love from San Diego, Danielle

dodgingacorns said...

Kelle, Thank you for this post. I'm new to the public world (blogging, thoughts of a book), and I know that there is a LOT of this ahead, and it scares me sometimes. But what you said is exactly the point - what I give to the world, I do because I want, and often, need to create it. It's not perfect, it's not what someone else might like, but it's mine. My creation. My expression. And someone else's opinion of it, good or bad, is irrelevant in the end.
Thank you. As always, your words touch a special place in my soul that needed a hug.
Thanks for the pictures - your girls (and your bump) always make me smile ;-)

Molly said...

Kelle, you have always spoken to my heart. I so wish that more people could see my writing. It's really hard and embarrassing to admit that I would like more people to read my blog. But then I think about the negativity that could come with popularity. I don't know if I'm strong enough to deal with it. So I stay cozy comfy in my own little blog land.

Last year I did my very first vlog and I was so proud of it. Until I got an anonymous comment telling me I was ugly. It hurt like hell and I don't even know who it was. I doubt I'm cut out for fame.

And this is coming from someone who is writing a novel!

dig this chick said...

Oh sister you KNOW I get this! I love and value our long chats on this subject. Also love and value your friendship.

xxoo

tara. said...

"The jealous are troublesome to others, but torment themselves the most."

amy.messer said...

You are an amazing writer Kelle...great post. You inspire me so much on how I want to raise my future children!

CampMom10 said...

LOVE the Bill Cosby quote. In fact, in my unicorn filled, confetti farting, bubble burbing world this quote is now hanging from a post-it on my bathroom mirror. It will be joining me in the classroom in three days time. Thank you for reminding me to Enjoy the Small Things.

<3

Betsy Brock said...

Thanks for posting this, Kelle.

I can relate! I have three boys with autism and I blog about the bad times, but mostly I choose to see the beautiful and the good every day in my life. I had another blogger begin with the criticism and ultimately posted a shockingly nasty poem on her own blog about 'you think you're so perfect with your perfect boys...' kind of thing. Yeah, it hurt...and felt weird.

I supppose they are miserable and it is jealousy. And I hope those kind of people can ultimately choose to find the beautiful and the good in their own lives, too! And it IS a choice!

Christie said...

I love the idea that there is beauty in every situation, and I try hard to find it. It is what keeps me coming back to your blog. I love that you put yourself out there, and I have learned so much from you. Keep pushing forward....your work is amazing!

shell said...

that was wonderful. I also believe (and I think you said it in different words) that as mom's, sometimes we feel like failures or that we drop the ball too often, atleast I do. But when I can look back on my "unicorn" pictures and realize that my kids did enjoy the outing, in the memory..... they can forget the yelling and the imperfectness too. So together, my kids and I can share their happy childhood.
Love you Kelle.

Marjorie said...

Great post! I get those "your fake happy life" comments because I choose to keep my blog a positive place. I think it makes people feel good to say that. They are unhappy and they want to believe everyone else is too. Anyone who appears happy must just be putting on a show.

Thanks for always putting yourself out there, despite the cristism!

lifewithkymberlyjanelle said...

Thank you so much for this. I needed to read it!!!!

Abilew-who said...

I am a journalist, so when I read this recent post I had to get to the bottom of it - figure out what happened because I missed it. I read the tumblr of the gal who made the comment, and she seems smart and her writing voice is clear and ... good. She gave some pretty exhaustive reasons behind why she decided to be so mean, in the course of doing so only being that much more awful. I would suggest steering clear of the blog if you can stand it. The thing that struck me though, is that she was a reader and an enjoyer - and a lover of the small things. She's probably a mom and a professional and a woman doing the best she can in a difficult world, just like we are. Despite her best efforts to convince me that her one very nasty comment was justified, and that she didn't deserve the wrath of the people that were standing up to her on your behalf, going so far as to insult THEM in the process; despite that, I'm left only wondering why. Why did she feel like cutting you down a notch? She certainly doesn't seem unconfident or jealous, outwardly anyway. It just comes down to the fact that some people are just. Plain. Mean. And frankly, as someone attempting to raise two thoughtful and kind people - this interests me greatly. And it's why I read your blog - and dig's blog - and a few others. I need all the help I can get. I DO need inspiration to facilitate kindness in my babies. It's worth the effort. And I recognize that we're not all perfect, Goodness knows I am NOT. And I don't think ONE person has all the answers. But I find the way you guys operate to be something worth paying attention to - I like the vibe and I learn from it. Which is good. If I EVER find out my kid left a mean note in someone's locker, or on Facebook, or in a blog comment post, I will feel like a failure. Be inspired by kindness. Teach it. Learn it. If not, unsubscribe.

maryanne said...

Kelle, I hate that people are mean to you. It reminds me of when my little boy was being bullied at school. I told him the standard "use his words" in response. Later, I checked in with my husband to make sure his advice had been the same. "You told him to use his words, right?" I asked. "Absolutely," he replied. "I told him to say, 'F*ck You, A**hole." Next time you read something negative, just remember those three little words. You can just say them in your head; you don't have to type them.

maryanne said...

I don't think you write your blog for the haters. I think you write it for me -- a mom who yesterday had to sit through the particular kind of torture moms of kids with learning disabilities have to sit through every 3 years -- the dreaded "results of the neurospych tests." This can be a heart-wrenching ordeal, especially for moms like me, who are "glass is half empty" kind of folks. I look to your blog for help in reframing how I view my kid, the world, and myself. I'm not pooping glitter or flying on unicorns quite yet, but there's hope for me. So thanks for that.

Schwieso's said...

Thanks for the reminders. Not just in this post but in many of your posts. Thank you.

P.S. I stole your Barbara Brown Taylor quote from your last post - love that one!

KaPa said...

I will keep this post to my heart as if you wrote it for me...Thank you Kelle!!!Kisses from far away...I love your pictures and you...writting your words...

Coffeemomma said...

I loved this. You are a class act, Kelle

Carrie said...

A perfect post, from a perfect person, just at the perfect time! No sarcasm included!! Ha Ha. I think you are very brave to share your family with us.

Annastacia said...

I am sorry someone said something mean and hurt your feelings. I know you don't need anyone to say that, but just as I would say that to a friend who had been hurt I'll say it to you :) I rarely comment on blogs but I just wanted you to know that I love your life and the way you choose to share it with others. It inspires me to be a good mom and to make and find beauty and good in my own life. Anytime I see something cute and wonderful on your blog (which is all the time :) I quietly celebrate with you. Keep doing what you're doing.

Sky said...

I appreciate this post of yours, addressing the criticism. However, I do feel that a greater point was lost. Criticism is a big impetus for introspection, or at least it should be. To reduce someone to being jealous, hurting, or insecure because they criticized you or criticized a friend, is to lose (or ignore) an opportunity to explore whether any of their points had validity. I think it's oversimplifying and dismissive.

I see that the IG commenter has blogged about this as well. And I found it interesting that not only is she a long-time follower and fan of ETST (someone who even emailed you personally to tell you she was touched by a post), but she does not seem in any way to be jealous, insecure, or a hater. She calmly articulated on her blog why she felt the way she feels, which is a longer version of why she unfollowed you on IG. And honestly, I do not think she was bullying when she made that comment. I don't think her flounce was necessary, but she has as much a right to comment as anyone else, I guess. This is what troubles me, though... I DO think it is bullying for the ETST fans to call this woman a troll, a moron who should be punched in the face, a hater, "just jealous", etc. Because then, who is acting like the real bully here? Someone referenced "Queen Bees and Wannabes" in an earlier comment. They were talking about the IG commenter, but I find it ironic in light of some of the rude comments here and on IG. I don't think it's you bullying, Kelle, but I do think you allow your fans to gang up on people, which creates a culture of being afraid to disagree with you. Hell, even I am afraid to disagree with you, because I know I'll probably be called a mean nasty troll. But I'm not. I've been enjoying your blog for years. I just cringe when I see this lynch mob mentality, anywhere. And it seems to be happening a lot more frequently with your readers. You said that there were over 100 comments in regards to that one IG commenter. That feels a lot more like bullying than the one commenter's post. Also, you said you felt the "love" from those comments. But most of them were extremely negative and rude in nature. Where's the love in that? It's validating, sure. But that is not love. There was anger, spitefulness, and defensiveness, and a whole lot of it. I guess I question why that makes you happy, when you seem to want to encourage people to put positivity into the world?

I know you can't control what your fans say. But I do think that you have a responsibility to steer the conversation away from them ganging up on anyone who says anything critical. I have seen this happen on several IG photos, including the Goodwill picture. There seems to be a crowd mentality amongst your fans that criticism, no matter how constructive or polite = hating. Or can be dismissed as jealousy. Or trolls. And I really don't think that's the case. I do think last night's IG commenter was rude. The response by your readers was far ruder, though. And I have seen several other polite and informed people disagree with you and get lambasted. That's really not fair. And a blog post that encourages that kind of behavior (by saying you feel the love) definitely turns me off as a reader.

Anyway. That's just my two cents, and regardless, I think this is an important dialogue to have.

Chelsea Hanninen said...

Go Kelle!

As an avid reader of your blog and someone who is a sucker for pictures of your girls, I can honestly say I would be devastated if you stopped writing and sharing your life with all of us. It's an incredible thing that we're all able to see how the Hampton's live, and so many lives have been touched and inspired. To let one crappy comment ruin the unbelievable thing you have going would be crazy. When YOU personally decide you've had enough with writing, then that's YOUR call and an outsider should never have a say in that. (God help us all when you stop writing!)

Negativity sucks, but you handle it amazingly. Power to you, and tell the miserable people who think they have a say to get the hell out.

Kelle said...

@Sky,

You've made very relevant points, and unfortunately I can't control other people's response. When kind and constructive criticism is brought, as you have here, I will validate it (if I see it!). Several photos on IG have been removed for that very reason (including the one from the orange grove). It got out of hand. It's not a matter of insecurity and jealousy (in Melina's case, it clearly was) as it is hurt. Pain. Which we ALL have, including commenters and people who respond to commenters with matching attitudes.
These are certainly not the comments I feel love from. And out of over a hundred comments in reference to that particular IG photo, perhaps you missed the many I saw--highlighting kindness and reacting with grace. I don't use the term haters or trolls because it's not a fair term. Hurting people? Yes. We all are hurting in some way, friend.

Andrea said...

I think all the time of that scene from Mona Lisa smile where Kirsten Dunst's character is saying really, really mean things to Maggie Gylennhall's character. Then Maggie's character, instead of getting mad or yelling back, just pulls her into a hug. Maggie knows that Kirsten's husband is cheating on her and she is hurt, and that is where the negativity is coming from. I so wish I could see past the meanness and hug people or at least not take things personally, but that is so hard to do. I don't know why blogs and instagram, etc. are a place people argue and criticize, but I'm glad you keep writing and taking photos. Keep being an inspiration and keep supporting Lainey's toilet photos. That's just pretty awesome.

Farmgirl Paints said...

girl i've often wondered what you thought and how you dealt with the negative. when you look around, anyone with a big "following" on ig or in blog world they all get the crazies. hurtful...nasty...mean things are everywhere in their feed. i'm so glad you addressed it. and what you said about the positive comments was just as truthful. we share ourselves and we have to just live our lives and not let the bad or good affect who we are...unless of course it's to become better...constructive. on that note i love ya...big hugs. hope you read this;)

Farmgirl Paints said...

girl i've often wondered what you thought and how you dealt with the negative. when you look around, anyone with a big "following" on ig or in blog world they all get the crazies. hurtful...nasty...mean things are everywhere in their feed. i'm so glad you addressed it. and what you said about the positive comments was just as truthful. we share ourselves and we have to just live our lives and not let the bad or good affect who we are...unless of course it's to become better...constructive. on that note i love ya...big hugs. hope you read this;)

Alicia D said...

I have long wondered if or when you might ever address the criticisms you sometimes get - i know it's out there and you've always kept silent about it. I can not tell you how poised and perfect your response was and, more importantly, it felt like such a genuine response that gave me more insight into YOU the person - not just the blogger. I am impressed with your response and your willingness to share it in a 'non-nasty, non-defensive' way. Totally in awe. You are grace personified.

Karyn said...

"Your blog is where I come to get happy" one of your other readers said-- couldn't agree more!

Your writing has been a comfort to me through some tough days and nights this year. I watched your family adventures through this internet filter and the happiness you shared gave me hope and motivated me to *make* things better. :)

You're an inspiration! Keep writing, Kelle!

Tonya said...

I must say one of the things I admire most about you, is the way you gracefully deal with negative criticism. I don't know how well I would do, and I would probably be an emotional mess if someone said the things to me that they say to you. You are a strong mama! Just know, that these ugly things are so far from the truth. I don't know how they get this idea that you only portray your life as perfect. One of the things I enjoy, is when you talk about the not so perfect things that go on. Maybe "they" have a problem because you do it with humor? I guess they want you on here moaning and bitching, but really who wants to read that?! My father recently was diagnosed with liver cancer and died within 2 1/2 months. My family dealt with this devastation with humor, no one more than my Dad. Life is hard, we can either choose to be positive or negative when times get tough. I am so glad you choose positive!

The Howards said...

It's like people that tell you "just wait"...wait until you have a kid, then you will see how bad it really is...wait until you have two kids, then you will see how bad it really is...wait until your kids are older, then you will see how bad it is...

I'm tired of the "just wait" for the bad mentality... What if it is just that? A mentality. If we could move on from that, wouldn't we all have a little more glitter in our poop?

Maggie said...

Saw this today and thought of you. Which is kind of awkward because I don't know you. But nonetheless...

http://www.incrediblethings.com/food/this-gold-pill-makes-you-poop-glitter/

Have a nice day!

Ana said...

Thank you for writing this. I have a small blog, that I mostly just do for fun. I stopped writing it because I felt that I was not being taken seriously. When it comes down to it, I do it for me. I take pictures and edit them and share them because it's something I love. My resolution this year should be to write once a week for ME! Keep on keepin' on. You do so much good, and I admire all of your honesty and kindness.

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