A Celebration of Life

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.
And I never thought I would ever be ‘celebrating’ it.
But yesterday, I did.

I woke up sad. The forecast predicted rain and storms in the evening and this was supposed to be my girl’s special celebration.
But more than that, I think I was afraid.
I was afraid I would get to the beach holding my white-gowned girl and see all these people together — the people who have been there for us through all of this — and it would hit me again. The loss of that dream and the sadness for what she may not have.

And as the morning dragged on, fear gripped a little deeper until I faced it hard. I looked that fear square in the eyes and told it to beat it.

This is a happy day. This is a glorious celebration. This is our testament to all of these people and to so many more that Nella is a blessing. Nella is a rockstar. And Nella is going to do great things. Today is beautiful.



And beautiful it was.

Beginning with this necklace (Thank you, Betsy) my dad gave me.

Three little copies of that beautiful 21st chromosome. How I love them.

The rain cleared just in time for our gathering and, as our car pulled into the very back parking lot of that quiet beach, my throat tightened hard. There were so many people standing there. Our people. And the cars just kept rolling in. And, as we climbed out to greet those we love, I was taken by how happy it was. No sadness. Just this amazing aura of celebration. Gratitude. And Life…in it’s purest, most beautiful form.

Did I cry?
Oh, yes.
I cried the happiest tears.
And a little bit of sad ones too.
I cried when my friend sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and I cried when Katie read the line in the Welcome to Holland poem that says “the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away.”
But, mostly, I cried tears of thankfulness for the amazing blessing of the girl I held in my arms and what she has done, is doing and will do for our family and our friends.

And as the sun went down and the whole lot of us stood there celebrating this beautiful amazing life we’ve been waiting for, I couldn’t help but be proud. …Of the amazing journey these eight weeks have brought us.

I am happy to be here…in Holland.

And we were blessed to have friends from Holland attend last night…and they made me an honorary resident…

…and blessed Nella with her first real pair of beautiful, pink, perfect wooden shoes.


Thank you, Jan & Francien!

It was perfect.

And just kept getting better.

After sunset, we gathered for a party.
Here I was all day, afraid of the evening being sad.
Oh, it was anything but.

There was so much life last night.
There was laughter. And Music. Candles. Huddles of warm bodies in every corner of the room. Wine glasses toasting and baby trade-offs. I couldn’t stop smiling and thinking this was exactly what it’s supposed to be.
A celebration of beautiful, amazing, unexpected Life.

My favorite moment of the evening?

The sky lanterns (thank you Aunt Janie for the idea!)

We gathered poolside. We listened to her song. And we watched as these big beautiful illuminated lanterns were ignited and set free. We watched as the dark sky welcomed their warm glow as they drifted far above us…slowly and beautifully.

Okay, I cried then too.

The night went on as did the celebration.

And 3-21 will go down as a triumphant festival of big, beautiful Life.

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.
And I was proud to be celebrating it.

We are so thankful for our family. For the two brothers who provide so much love for these girls. For our spirted little firstborn. And for our precious, amazing little bunny.

Yes, Nella is a blessing.

And Nella is a rockstar.

Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness Day to all of the amazing families we share this journey with! And thank you to everyone who has embraced this new journey with us. We can’t wait to see all the good stuff that extra chromosome’s gunna give us.

And to anyone interested, the sky lanterns are earth friendly and can be found here. They are worth every penny.

Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate! You all look beautiful!

  2. wonderfully amazing… so happy for you Kelle, again you are an inspiration and your words touch me everytime I log on. Congratulations on the celebration.

  3. I think this is the most beautiful blog post I have ever read. The words and the pictures and the beautiful, beautiful baby girl. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Congratulations on a beautiful day with beautiful family. Nella is a blessing to many, I count myself one of them. You have my gratitude for sharing your journey with all of us.

  5. Such an amazing way to celebrate a very special day! Thanks once again for sharing with us- loved the pictures AND the necklace!!!

  6. Beautiful post! I can’t help but shed happy tears as I read your words and imagine the love shared for beautiful Nella.
    She is one very very blessed girl. She’s gonna rock this world and do amazing things! How can she not with the supportive and wonderful family she has? :)

  7. mommytoCallieandCarson says:

    What a wonderful, special day! I wish I could’ve been there…but feel like I was through your beautiful words!!

  8. I like to blog surf at night and came across yours. I love it. I too am in Holland, although for something completely different. I love reading other people’s stories, hearing how they are doing, and what they are doing. We are embarking on our first NF awareness month (May) activity. Reading your post makes me excited to celebrate our little bug and what she brings to our family. Thanks for writing.

    Andrea
    http://munciemenn.blogspot.com

  9. Nella is a beautiful rockstar!

    (And so are you!)

    Marla @ http://www.asthefarmturns.wordpress.com

  10. Blessings, Kelle and Family.

    You made me bawl again.

    😉 I love your beautiful life.

    Cynthia Kleppang

  11. I’m so happy we have someone like you in our little family! Happy World Down Syndrome Day to you and yours.

  12. Absolutely beautiful & touching!

    Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us all!

    http://ourimperfectlife.blogspot.com/

  13. Nella is such a blessing. So beautiful :) Love your 21 necklace. Your family is such a inspiration!

  14. What a wonderful celebration of your family. Nella looks simply divine in her pearls. And all of you a vision in beautiful springtime blue. :)

  15. beautiful! beautiful! beautiful! love the lanterns too.

  16. Congratulations on a beautiful celebration on 3/21…it took me a moment to get the connection.

    Coincidentally, I also discovered that sweet necklace (designed by a brother of a little girl with Down Syndrome) and posted a picture of it on my own blog after I began researching Down Syndrome Awareness.

    Recently, my OB performed the quad screen on me (a repeat as I had the NT ultrasound and blood work during 1st trimester). My odds did change for this little one that I am carrying…went from 1:17 for DS at 12 weeks to 1:173 at 18 weeks.

    Regardless, your blog continues to inspire and uplift me as I progress thru this pregnancy and prepare for the “unexpected” at delivery.

    Thank you again for sharing your journey with us!

    Valerie

  17. Beautiful! I have literally been waiting all day for this… checking over and over again and I was so excited to see your post! I’m so glad yesterday went so well for you and your family. Nella is absolutely precious, beautiful and is going to do amazing things in life… but that is something you already know! May God continue to bless you and your family.

  18. This is awesome. I’m pretty sure I had no clue there was such a day the first March after my daughter was born, but a celebration like this would have done my soul good!

    My favorite thing is seeing friends and family gather to honor my girls … be it birthdays, Buddy Walks, whatever. When you know and see that all these people in your life just GET IT … yeah, the tears flow. Good tears. :)

    You are doing great Kelle … and Nella is a friggen rockstar. Love that last pic … I laughed out loud. :)

    BTW … you asked if I’m from Michigan … I’m not. :) We actually live in Virginia. My dad lives down in Orlando … perhaps we’ll be able to meet up one day. :)

  19. I’ve never commented on a blog before… but I have been so incredibly touched by your story, you passion, and your eloquence, that I could not help but say thank you for sharing such an incredible and heart-warming journey with us. You are incredible and I share in your belief that Nella will do amazing things.

  20. Nella is adorable. She looks quite determined in those tummy time pics. Your pictures are gorgeous.

  21. Congratulations to you and your family, Kelle! May blessing of happiness forever hold little Nella.

  22. Beautiful, just beautiful. You are amazing, and so inspiring, and I love reading your emotional and raw posts, insightful into your wonderful life. Brave, couragous, beautiful and embracing life to the full. Thankyou for making me more grateful, and more accepting.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful celebration! Thank you for sharing. Your words continue to be an inspiration to me to count the abundant blessings in my life.

  24. I started reading your blog yesterday when Don Miller posted an entry on his blog. I am already in love with your precious family! Your photography is stunning, and I love the little hats you put your girls in. Thank-you for blessing my day! I hope God continues to bless your wonderful family!

  25. Beyond loving the gathering and the laughter that the pics captured, and the wooden shoes and the lanterns that rocked the night sky, I LOVE that you were wearing HEELS to the beach… not gonna be hard for the girls to be rockstars following in Mama’s footsteps!

    Congrats on the beautiful evening… the sky always clears for royalty… 😉

  26. Anonymous says:

    You are so lucky to have such beautiful, divine little girls. nella is breathtaking. And you look way to good to have had a baby 8 weeks ago. Nella is bound for remarkable things and it will be an amazing journey for all your family and friends as they join her in her beautiful life.

  27. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your life with us! I’ve never seen or heard of the sky lanterns…how do they work?

  28. Anonymous says:

    “Looking at Baby Nella” has become part of our 4 year old, Quincy’s, nightly routine. She can’t wait to see new pictures of your precious bundle. She’ll say “Oh! Look at that Baby Nella!”

    Thank you for sharing Nella’s wonderfulness with us. Seems our night wouldn’t be complete without a visit to your blog :-)

  29. what a beautiful day it was and appears the celebration was just that. you and rockstars have a great week. me and mine sure will.

    and that is the greatest necklace EVER!!!! I am so jealous.

  30. What a blessing your little Nella is – to everyone who knows her and reads your story. Thanks again for sharing it! You are ALL rockstars!

  31. Now! What the heck am I gonna do with my red-eyes – and blubbery self, when I meet with my Realtor in 1/2 an hour – trying to look all cool and composed – as I sign the deal on my new home – the cutest little condo ever!!! Heaven knows what he’s going to think. :)

    Maybe I’ll just tell him about the most beautiful blog, about the most beautiful family – and the updates that I wait for, with “worms on my tongue” – (baited breath! :) :)

    Thank-you for sharing another gorgeous and celebratory day in the life of your family.

    Your photography is so beautiful….and your family, so inspiring.

    Thankyou! …….. Rosemary

  32. a wonderful day to remember for always! Both your babes are beautiful – it looked like a magical day…

  33. Love your blog and love your photos.
    Nella is a rock star! She is so lovely. I just love looking at pictures of her and your beautiful family. Thank you and blessings to you and your family.

  34. Anonymous says:

    It just occurred to me that 3/21 as World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is also the first day of spring.

    What a magical connection to celebrate life and new beginnings in this way and on this day.

  35. Happy World Down Syndrome Day. I am glad it was such a memorable event. Our first Buddy Walk was special to us in a similar way – it was the first time my son really started to realise that his twin had DS and at least recognise the term – mind you he was 3 and when he talked is sounded more liks ‘bloody walk’!!!!
    Beautiful photoes as usual.

    Ps loved the interview – you are a fantastic ambasador for Nella and the rest of ‘our community’. Thanks.

  36. Oh, what an absolutely adorable photo of little rockstar Nella. I really, truly did laugh out loud.

    Perhaps you remember me … I shared the photo that I made of your lovely fountain several years ago.

  37. What a beautiful celebration. Everything looked perfect, and Nella was gorgeous in her gown. Last month held Congenital Heart Defect awareness day, and it was the first one that our family “celebrated” since our 7 mo old daughter’s diagnosis with a heart issue. I remember feeling a bit sad when I woke up that morning, basically wishing I never knew the day existed. But as the day went on I felt it was a celebration of how strong these children are…and even after my daughter’s heart is healed I will continue to celebrate these amazing children on that day. I know you’ll have many beautiful Down’s Syndrome Awareness celebrations to come as well, and will celebrate the happiness that is Nella!

  38. i own the exact dress you wore and one day if my heart wish of my own baby girl comes true and mine is just like yours i’ll know to count myself blessed. thank you for your realness, it’s beautiful.

  39. I have been checking in and reading for awhile now and as usual I am moved by your words.

    I am also overcome with every post by how adorable both your girls are. Just too cute!

    This post, however, after the words and the adorable kids, I was struck by your dress. Love. That. Dress.

  40. What beautiful pictures… as always. Thank you for sharing your celebration with us… letting us in on your family and your journey. You guys are all very beautiful!

  41. had been checking in to hear how Nella’s beach celebration went. what a wonderful gathering of family & friends – filled with love, awareness, acceptance and support. love your attention to detail: delft blue, tulips, all so precious for your little bunny.

    she is AMAZING with her tummy time!!!

    Kelle, thanks for sharing the tough emotions. i appreciate that you deal with them and just don’t sweep them under the rug.

  42. Samantha says:

    Looks like a beautiful day and what a wonderful celebration to Nella!

  43. I was thinking about your celebration yesterday and so thankful that it was as wonderful as I had hoped for you! Congratulations! So glad to see the amazing pictures so that we could share in your joy!

    Seriously, it only gets better! That extra chromosome in my 6 yr old daughter Casey Jane is still surprising me and delighting me!

    Congratulations again! Love and blessings to your whole extended family!

    Angela

  44. Anonymous says:

    I am LOVING, loving the pic with the pink holland shoes!

    I celebrated with you yesterday, prayed for your family, and for sweet Nella to live a long, beautiful, and full life!

    There IS magic in that extra chromosome.

  45. Beautiful pictures, beautiful family. I love, love, love the first picture of Nella. =)

  46. Oh…happy tears here for my friend and her beautiful family. I almost made it…but you hit me with that dang song again!!! just absolutely perfect…every last drop.

  47. What a special day!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I love the necklace – and your family photo is simply stunning!

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. AMAZING!!!!!!!!

  50. I felt like I was with you on that beach. Celebrating with you. Nella’s life, the very essence of this journey. That we travel together but separately. As part of an extended family.

    It just gets better, you know. I swear at least once a day I look at Lila and think, “How? How am I so lucky to be the mother of this amazing little girl?”

  51. Anonymous says:

    How beautiful! Nella has already made a big impact on the world in her short life. She will do amazing things as will her mother. You are simply amazing. Michelle

  52. Anonymous says:

    Hi there,

    I feel like I know you, which I don’t, I actually live very far from you, all the way up north in Vancouver BC. But I wanted to tell you that I came across your birth story one evening through facebook and it simply inspired me. I am in school getting a degree in social work and for one of my classes I have to journal my special learning in the field of disabilities. I knew right away I would share your story, and journal all that I have learned from you. I cry every time I re-read your birth story and I aspire to be half the woman you are. Your entry today was no exception, I’m glad to hear you celebrated such a special day and that necklace is amazing! Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us out here in the internet!

    Erin

  53. Kelle,
    As some of the others have said – I also have been anxiously awaiting your next post! I swear, it is so uplifting. I feel HEALTHIER after reading what you have to write.
    What a beautiful celebration! Nella is such a loved little bunny. She really is! And I have to say… Kelle, she is BREATH-takingly beautiful. I mean, really. Every time I see one of the pictures you post of her I just think… WOW. She has the most beautiful blue eyes, and quite frankly I am just dying to kiss those plump little baby cheeks! They’re the best!

    Anyway, as always it is great to hear about your beautiful family :) Thanks for sharing this – it’s life affirming.

  54. What an enchanted evening we enjoyed last night…your friends are amazing–and so our ours who came to stand in the sand with us and celebrate Nella, love and life. I thank God for His perfect gift of Nella and the gifts she brings to us all. My heart has been stretched, my vision improved and my mind opened. To hold her in my arms and baptize her, knowing she has already been baptized with tender tears of love and joy, was my incredible honor. She is not a mistake to be explained–she is a miracle to be enjoyed. She is not broken, destined to struggle–she is beautiful and destined to soar! Oh the life we are going to share with her…it has only begun. And hopefully, our world is becoming a better, kinder, warmer, brighter garden for all our children to reach their highest dreams within. Yes, we celebrate Nella…we celebrate life. I loved the comment, “…the sky always clears for royalty!” She was certainly our princess that evening! I will be sad to leave tomorrow, but will plan my next trip soon…she will not forget her Poppa’s voice!

  55. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Your family, your outlook on life, your ability to accept– no not accept– CELEBRATE life’s unexpected gifts, it’s all so incredibly beautiful.

    I heard this quote recently and thought of you:

    Life isn’t about how to survive the storm; but how to dance in the rain.

    And you are definitely dancing! Hugs to you and your family from just north in Georgia. :-)

  56. What an amazing celebration! Those shoes are so precious on Nella, and that cake is just beautiful!

  57. What an amazing day! You looked fabulous in your little Holland style hat and apron. :) I adore Nella’s little fish lip pictures and her new pink clogs. This post makes me smile. A nice way to end the day…thanks! xo. M.

  58. Yea, what a beautiful day! I love the little pink wooden shoes! I have not heard of sky balloons but how cool are those! Thank you for sharing the day.

  59. Nella is a Rock star. She is really growing into herself not looking like a newborn anymore. Maybe my Rozie and Nella could be best friends!

  60. What a beautiful celebration…and I love your Holland style! You are so blessed to have friends and family here along the journey with you. Tonight I sat at my son and daughter’s band concert, and a beautiful little girl sat in front of me with Down’s. She was about 4 years old, and just precious. She’d tap my knee, and I’d smile. She’d giggle and wave, then play shy. Then tap my knee again. What a treasure…and I thought of you and your charming blog, and your celebration of Nella.
    julie
    p.s. You look fantastic!

  61. How WONDERFUL!!

  62. Hi Kelle, I have been reading your blog ever since you posted the birth story of Nella. The link was posted on the babycenter site (I’m expecting right now) and I haven’t stopped reading it since. I had a sister who was also born with DS, she was my oldest sister. Unfortunately, she had many complications besides the DS (she was born when my mom was only 6 mths prego), so she passed at 6 y/o when I was only 2 months old. But I do cherish your blog, because God wouldn’t have given you your blessing, Nella, if He didn’t think you couldn’t handle it. And you def are showing you are more than capable to handle her and whatever may come with her. =] GL! And I will def continue to follow you through your blog.

  63. Bravo, Hampton family!!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Sweetness!
    xo
    c

  65. Beautiful. And your Nella has the most amazing blue eyes.

  66. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has been a privilege for me to meet you all. Nella is a beautiful girl! Much love to all. xxx

  67. Anonymous says:

    Your story, your way with words, your passion for life. What can I say…it melts my heart.

  68. If it makes you feel better I cried just reading your post!
    It looks like it was a beautiful day for a beautiful girl. May your blessings continue.

  69. It looked like a beautiful evening full of love and family and friends. You are truly blessed. God bless!

  70. What a beautiful celebration! Love the necklace your dad gave you.

    Nella Bella is changing so much and so vibrant and beautiful!

  71. What a beautiful day!

  72. I have been waiting all day for this post!! (And of course it goes up as I’m making, then eating dinner)

    You all look fantastic, but Nella especially, looks like a little angel. What an amazing day and celebration of your beautiful little girl.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Happy World Down Syndrome day. Your post made me cry, with happiness.
    Nella is so beautiful.
    I always think, that after you have a baby with DS, you change your perceptions a bit. Babies without DS just don’t look quite right.
    Thank you for making me appreciate my little boy even more.
    Bridget

  74. You, my dear, are the true rockstar. I love how you have embraced this beautiful gift with all your heart and soul and yet admit that you are still not completely sure of it. I love that you are not trying to force it, not trying to make it seem like it’s an easy thing.

    James Blunt’s song “You’re Beautiful” was on the radio this morning and I had just finished reading your blog for the millionth time and I was struck by the first few lines. It’s a song about a guy loving a girl but these first lines “My life is brilliant. My love is pure. I saw an angel of that I’m sure,” could so easily have been written by you. Your life is brilliantly beautiful. Your love for your family is so very pure. Nella is an angel. (And so is Lainey.)

    Thanks for sharing your story. Everybody’s got a story but few are as beautiful as your’s.

  75. Dearest Kelle,

    I’m pregnant with my first and my best friend shared your blog with me. The first night I read of Nella’s birth story, I cried…and then cried some more. I’ve shared her birth story with many others because it is so touching and uplifting. And I come back for more!

    I love your posts, so well written and eloquent. I love your pictures. I love Lainey’s outfits. I love your lil bunny because she is the most precious gift. I love that you married into a blended family (as I’m about to do the same). I love that aren’t afraid to express your emotions, all of them. I am in love with your playlist and listen to it at work all the time. I love Poppa’s comments!

    You are inspiring and amazing. Thank you.

    Love from Las Vegas,
    Karisa

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. Tears are running down my face because it’s so nice to see the life of yet another person that has truly been blessed with a child that has that extra chromosome. I want to share this comment I got on my blog right before my son was born (I knew about his extra chromosome) and I wrote a post about the “what ifs” and quite frankly I was scared, in response to that post this was one of the comments:

    What if you fall madly deeply hopelessly in love with your new baby?

    What if he is the most amazing human being you will ever know?

    What if he makes you a better person?

    What if he makes your other children grow to be better people than they would have been without him in their lives?

    What if you fall in love with your husband all over again for the way he fathers Bennett?

    These are the things that make me say “if I knew then what I know now”. I look back on my worries while I was pregnant and wish I hadn’t put so much energy into them.

  78. you touched my heart once again.
    beautiful day.
    beautiful family.
    beautiful words.

  79. Awwww.. My heart is celebrating with you right now. How perfectly beautiful! Thank you for always reaching out and touching our hearts and making the world a positive beautiful place to be in! God bless you and your family!!

  80. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful evening. What a beautiful life. It was truly amazing. It is truly amazing. No need to be scared, although you will be, everybody is once in awhile, but we are all with you, you are not alone. When none of us are with you, its one of those little souls bundled up close to your heart. Precious precious precious. Thats all I can say. I love that extra chromosome so much! Life seems so amazing when you hold Nella, actually it IS so amazing when you hold her. All I do is just talk to her and I got a smile out of her too! I just look into her breath taking eyes and features and it’s like she just puts magic into you! The magic of Nella. Such a soul, in a little body! I have never seen an eight week old change so many things for the better!

  81. Hooray!! What a wonderful day!! You all look so beautiful! Love the blue!

  82. Madisyn Andrea says:

    from madisyn! starts with what a beautiful evening

  83. There is no greater gift than a beautiful, strong, loving family. It feels so wonderful to see one in action. What an incredibly sacred day for you and your family. Blessings to all but especially to sweet Nella on her special day. ~The Foraker Family

  84. Anonymous says:

    you continue to amaze & inspire!! and little miss nella can rock those leggings & shades like no other babe!
    so happy for you & you family…
    and the pic of everyone looking on during your celebration — I bet nella had no idea how much paparazzi would be there!! so many cameras and so many people with big smiles!
    fabulous!

  85. Kelle,

    Beautiful post. So glad the day was as amazing and filled with love as you needed it to be!

    I couldn’t help but notice.. NO hospital bracelet!

    Did I miss when it came off? Did I miss it hiding up in your armpit?

  86. Oh Kelle! You and your family and friends are amazing and so full of life and celebration. What an amazing advocate you already are for Down syndrome and for LIFE and LOVE! Beautiful…just beautiful!

  87. I have been looking forward to this post to see what you guys did to celebrate this day!! I knew you would do something great and you did! I LOVE LOVE the pink HOlland shoes!! I might need those…are they from Holland or can I get them somewhere else? I always LOVE to read Poppa’s comments!! Without fail they bring me to tears!! He really has a way with words and expressing so much of what we all feel…so beautifully! Happy WDSD and many more to come!

  88. How perfect for a day that started out a little sad to end with such a wonderful feeling of celebration.

    I am glad for you.

  89. Michelle Downs says:

    I read your blog….then I come and read the comments to see what “Poppa” said :) You are all so beautiful.

    I’ve been a stay at home mom for 4 years. I had so many days that I wished I could work…I felt guilty for not appreciating my time. Ever since stumbling upon your blog I take time to enjoy the small things.

    This weekend we built a chicken coop. We spent the entire day outside. We ate breakfast at the picnic table, played in the dirt mountain that a construction crew left on our road, and we just had a great time.

    Looking back now I dont understand how I let so many opportunities for fun go by.

    I am having my last and third baby in August ( I have a 3yr old, and a 1yr old) and I am so excited to celebrate him or her the way I celebrate my older girls now. I realized that I dont need money or extravagance to have a good time with the girls. I appreciate my life so much more because I learned through your words that the little things all moms do (painting little toes, coloring with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles, making cookies) are all extravagant for children.

    Thanks. You changed my family. (You too Poppa! I love what you said when you came into the delivery room when Kelle told you that Nella had Downs Syndrome…Talk about make a girl cry!)

  90. WOAH! the bracelet did come off! when?! how!/

  91. What a fabulous way to celebrate the day–and to just live life. Thank you for being such a wonderful advocate on your daughter’s behalf–everytime you post and change people’s perceptions, life for my daughter gets a little better too.

    I love the rockstar picture!

  92. What a beautiful celebration of life! A life that is full of love, laughter, friends, family and yes, even some tears. As always, thank you for sharing your journey Kelle. Your words and amazing photos are showing the world how beautiful an extra chromosome truly is. {And were those *almost* rolls on rock star Nella’s arms? Way to grow sweet babe!}

    Hugs, Libby

  93. Who’s with me on “Yay, Poppa’s back?!”

    And glad that I’m not the only one who has been checking your blog ALL day for a new post!

    There is something so PURE and SACRED about this post. Nella is a wonderous treasure who has woven her mysterious enchantment the world over.

    Looks like she’s getting her big sister’s lashes!

    And those lanterns, wish I could have seen them floating up to the night sky. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous family and this day and evening with us…breath-taking.

    – iColossus

  94. Absolutely amazing, from beginning to end. Thank you for sharing your family’s special day.

  95. Happy Down Syndrome Day to you!!! I’m choked up….::tears:: Holland has become home, it is a very beautiful place..sometimes too beautiful for words! Your day was awesome, the pics beautiful!

  96. So, I follow Donald Miller on Twitter which is kind of a joke because I don’t fully understand Twitter… He had put a link to your blog on his Twitter status, but anyway I was sitting in the waiting room of my husbands eye doctor this morning waiting for him and I started to read your story. I tend to cry easily but for whatever reason, I was pretty sure Donald Miller was lying to me when he typed, your gonna need tissues. I cried. I looked like a crazy person crying as I concentrated on the screen on my phone as I read. When my husband finally did reappear after his appointment my eyes were all puffy and I think that made him curious and probably a bit worried.

    I don’t have children, but becoming a mother is something that I have pretty much just been waiting for since I was 4 years old. But your story struck me so much, and I thought “What a brave woman!” My husband likes to pull the “what if our kids turn out to be…” questions and my answer is always, “We will love and cherish them no matter what.” Your story is heartwarming and I appreciate your honesty in sharing it with the world. God Bless.

  97. Julie K. says:

    A beautiful celebration for a beautiful family. Nella couldn’t be more perfect in every way. I want her for my own!! As always, thank you for sharing.

    The necklace from Poppa is so cool. So very, very cool.

  98. I’ve been reading simce you posted your birth story and have not had the words to tell you how much your story has changed me and the way I parent my two little boys. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Nella with us – she is really truly a blessing! What a lovely perfect way to celebrate the newest addition to your family.

  99. Okay now you guys seriously need to go to Dutch Village in Holland (Michigan) this summer – with those pink shoes and your flying-nun hat, haha!
    The pictures look like such a lovely ceremony! Nella is just plain adorable!! :)

  100. jimloey@aol.com says:

    the other day I was talking to a new friend and I was telling him about my family. Of course I told him about my brother who has downs syndrome and he said ” oh I am so sorry” and I said ” sorry?, no no he’s been a blessing to our family” People just don’t get it sometimes, but I am the first to point out that my brother was and is the best thing that happened to us. Nella is so presious and from reading your blog, I KNOW you know this. She will and has changed your life for the better. God bless you all. Keep smiling Kelle, you have been blessed, always believe this. Love to your family

  101. Your blog is the most captivating, beautiful, and lovely thing I have ever read. I am a better mother and person because I have read this. Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures. You have an amazing and beautiful family.

  102. She looks so beautiful in that white dress — wow. What a wonderful celebration!

  103. It looked like a wonderful celebration! Nella is so adorable, I loved the picture of her wearing her pink wooden shoes!

    I have a question about DS. Is having DS a “you have it or you don’t” type of thing (like pregnancy, you either are or you aren’t), or are there different degrees or levels? Can you have just a little bit or a lot of DS? Hoping these questions are offensive, apologies in advance if they are, I just have no knowledge of the syndrome and was wondering?

  104. ….who knew that some of the most inspiring words would come from the skin care line I use:

    “to expect is to be disappointed. to surrender to what will be is to know peace. in each moment of our short life we have the choice to be grateful or to dwell in the unhealthy space of “this is not enough.” the answer to all questions related to hope or disappointment is simple. practice eternal gratitude for each high and low note, and you will be dancing with the stars.”

    -philosophy

    you danced….you danced….you danced a beautiful dance with all your bright shining twinkle stars on Sunday. Beautiful post…Beautiful photos….beautiful..beautiful family.

  105. Anonymous says:

    Kelle….did you remove the bracelet?

  106. Anonymous says:

    Ah, so, so beautiful Kelle. Thank you for this post today – I needed it.

    Also, I’ve mentioned it before but it’s certainly worth repeating – I simply cannot get over the incredibly intelligent look in Nella’s eyes. Especially when she lifts her head, she just seems to say, “See world? I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

  107. The day sounds wonderful, amazing and memorable.
    Saw the last few photos of Nella lifting her head and all I could think of is “GO NELLA!” Love her pick wooden shoes. :)
    Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  108. WOW Kelle, thanks so much for sharing your perfect celabration of Nella’s life, absolutly beautiful, all of you …Kelle, did you teach Nella to give the peace sign for this ?…Cause she’s doing it in 2 pics Girl …*winks*
    Kelle, You and Your Dad both made me tear tonight, thanks, as they are joyful tears, thanks for letting us feel just a lil bit of the love you all shared during this International Down Syndrom Day !….BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO !….

  109. I’ve been checking in throughout the day to see all about your WDSD celebration. Amazing!!! Nella looked so cute in her white dress. And I LOVE the T21 necklace. What a perfect gift. Everything was amazing and I loved the lanterns. What a way to celebrate your sweet bunny!

  110. This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. Simply beautiful!

  112. Hello fellow country woman. I, too, live in Holland.

    I think I laughed out loud seeing you in your Holland attire. And her pink shoes…too much, seriously.

    I wanted you to know how inspirational your blog is. It’s the last one I read at night because I always feel like there is a little bit better in this world. And I feel better for having read it.

    Your kiddos are beautiful.

  113. Just when I think I cannot be touched more, you do it…just when I think I have seen the cutest picture of her, you post another one…I find myself reading every post again….now I am going to go back and read your entire blog….It is the most beautiful blog I have EVER read…and I have read MANY….

    Teresa

  114. Happy 3-21 day!!! :)

  115. Fantastic post Kelle! I think your celebration looks and sounds amazing. Nella is a very lucky girl!

  116. Love it all Kelle! And once again, you have me in tears! Your family is absolutely beautiful!
    I think I might be purchasing some lanterns! 😉
    Kristi

  117. Hi, just wanted to let you know that your blog, your photos and your words inspire me in every ways! Thank you for sharing!
    And your girls are so beautiful, and I am so happy for you and your family to get to celebrate this special day in such a great way :-)

  118. Kelle I love the celebration, the recognition that Nella’s Trisomy is something to rejoice, to find beauty in. She is beautiful and I just love, love, love her pink clogs. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful day of happiness.

  119. your positive spirit once again jumps of the screen. with you as her mom, anything is possible. lucky her, lucky you and lucky family.

  120. Senator Nella pics and Pink wooden Shoes!
    You just cant get any cuter!!!

    Sometimes the things we fear most, turn out to be even more beautiful then we could have ever expected!

    Glad your day was perfect!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Kelle for sharing your special sweet day with us. As I was reading I kept thinking how you draw us in with your words … how we all can “see and feel” those words through you. I am in awe of your ability to capture the moments of life so beautifully and take your readers there with your thoughts. And Kelle — you are so beautiful. You have inspired and united so many from so many different places. What a gift you have been given! Keep sharing that gift Kelle. You are giving so much of yourself – if there is ever anything WE can do for you – well, just let us know.

  122. Amazing celebration – amazing baby.
    Love the necklace…and Holland looks good on you :)

  123. You know Kelle..it is funny what we fear. I remember my fears at Gracee’s dedication. I feared that the one negative comment that I got about adoption was what everyone thought about adoption. I feared that if I looked into the faces of one of the many of friends who would be there and saw even a drop of what I had experienced with my friends words..the fragile bubble of being a new mommy would burst. I feared the anger that was in my heart at the one who said it..I had never felt it before, of course now I know that anger was my right..a momma’s right. I feared that everyone in the crowd was thinking..she is a borrowed baby..not really mine, just one that was filling the place of the baby that I lost. You know I am not someone that worries about what everyone thinks, but for some reason that beautiful July morning I did. I remember sitting in front of my dressing table shaking..afraid of these things spinning around in my head..PRAYING for a way to be strong. That is what one negative comment from a dear friend did to me. Then as if God was talking to me directly I heard “you are a vessel that I am using..be still and know that I am”. That is my favorite scripture “be still and know that I am”…I had used it so many times in our journey to Gracee..everytime we hit a hurdle it was there in my head and heart. So I faced the crowd of friends..all with so much love in their faces I almost could not stand it. And I thanked each and everyone of them for loving this treasure God had given us. From that point on I was stronger..more vocal about the heartbreaks of losing a dream..and the joys of having a different dream placed in my arms to be loved for a lifetime. It is funny how when I read your blog it at times is like revisting our early years..before Gracee and after. So my dear, you are the vessel that God is using for Nella and all Parents and Children who share your story or bits of your story. When I hear people talking about the negative side of Adoption…I am right there telling them about the positive. For every adoption horror story that I have heard in my days since Gracee, and you would be very surprised at how much it happens, I balance it with our story and I show them the face of adoption for me..and that face has double dimples and a smile that will melt any heart! So our hearts were with you that day on the beach and may I say that the picture of the six of you took my breath away..God knew just where to put Nella. ♥

  124. Anonymous says:

    I’m afraid you are wrong about the Chinese lanterns being earth friendly, I don’t know where you got your information from. Remember, what goes up must come down. These lanterns are no different, they are pollution when they land back on earth or in the ocean.

  125. You are blessed beyond measure! Tell your Dad that he just made Betsy famous in our T21 world. I want a necklace!!!! She better start producing those in mass quantity!

    I love sharing your blog with others. You are such a beautiful woman Kelle, and we are so lucky that you blog so that we can share your life with you!

  126. You are blessed beyond measure! Tell your Dad that he just made Betsy famous in our T21 world. I want a necklace!!!! She better start producing those in mass quantity!

    I love sharing your blog with others. You are such a beautiful woman Kelle, and we are so lucky that you blog so that we can share your life with you!

  127. someday I will be able to read your blog without crying.

    But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read it without smiling.

    Because the rock star? Um, amazing. :)

  128. I don’t comment very often b/c I know it will just be one more in an avalanche, but I had to say today that you had such a beautiful celebration. I have to admit that DS day isn’t even on our radar…just an ordinary day, which is good in its own way, but I like yours better. :)

  129. i’m in awe. you truly are so inspiring. what a beautiful day filled with beautiful people.

  130. i’m in awe. you truly are so inspiring. what a beautiful day filled with beautiful people.

  131. Kelle-
    Thank you once again. I am truly thankful for your words, for your emotions and for your ability to see things from a different perspective. You are incredible! Nella is beautiful and perfect and seeing pictures of her make me thankful all over again that we chose to move to Holland. :)

    We moved to Holland voluntarily and happily. Our son is adopted and we chose to adopt a child with Down syndrome. Reading your story helps me to see things from a different point of view and I am so happy that you are willing to share this with others.

    Stay strong, kiss those beautiful babies and remember that there are so many of us out here who are cheering for you and praying for your sweet family.

  132. what a beautiful celebration… something you will remember for a lifetime…your nella is beautiful as well!

  133. I feel the same way about Autism Awareness day!

  134. Well that was just beautiful. I got all teary eyed right there with you. Nella looked so adorable in that first shot. Squishy and kissable!

    P.s., I just figured out why DS awareness day is 3/21. Duh. LOL. Very cool.

  135. Kara Brown says:

    I can’t stop crying! I am still amazed how you, your family, this blog can affect me so much!! Here I am a mommy of three in CT, and I feel so drawn to you and your stories, and pictures. I am proud of you, you are an AMAZING mommy, to celebrate this day and in such style too, Nella is ONE LUCKY baby to have you, and you are so incredibly lucky to have her. What a sweet gathering to celebrate life, and to see all those people there for her and you and your family was so awe inspiring. It just goes to show you, it’s all in how you choose to perceive something, you are an inspiration to all Mommy’s
    especially those who were fortunate enough to be blessed with a child with down syndrome. Congrats again, on your absolutely beautiful Nella. May you continue to be blessed everyday of your life. :) Phew….never used to be a commenter on blogs before, I just can’t help myself!! :)

    Kara Brown

  136. Beautiful post and a beautiful message.

    Love & Blessings,
    –Hannah

  137. What a wonderful celebration! Nella is a rockstar! You are so very lucky to have been blessed with her and she is very fortunate to have been chosen to be your daughter.

  138. Another beautiful post. What an amazing way to celebrate Nella. We, too, had a little celebration for our Emma. I love all the special touches you did. I may have to remember that for next year.

    I absolutely love your necklace. Is your friend willing to make more? I would love to buy one.

    Thanks for sharing part of your day with us. It looked awesome.

    Amy

  139. O.k. I just went and re-read your post and saw the link for the necklace. I guess I was too enthralled before to see the think. Can’t wait to order one.

    Thanks again for sharing Nella and your family with us.

    Amy

  140. love the pictures and the way you express your vulnerability. fab necklace!

    oh and i’m glad that wood post was behind you…you know which pic i’m refering to. lol.

    oh and as for holland…i realized today that i’ve actually BEEN there. seriously. and i loved it. i was trying to find holland on the map when i realized it was also called “the netherlands”. i spent a day wondering around the city of amsterdam and it was beautiful. you might remember when i flew to SA by myself.

    anyway, i love all your dutch accoutrements. (yes, that is a fab word). i have been pulled over to the dutch side. :)

    welcome nella bunny bean! you sure know how to Par-Tay!

  141. love, love nella’s rockstar picture!

  142. Rock on, baby! You make us all want to change the world.

  143. what a BEAUTIFUL celebration of life! Nella is a doll and a rockstar for sure!!! I love the laterns, as well- my friend had those at her wedding-they ARE worth every penny!!!

  144. I love your celebration. I love coming here. Even though I cry like a maniac every single time. Your family is very, very beautiful. And just filled with rock stars.

  145. oh my. You dear woman, have just started something very big. Thank you for your shining example to so so so many. Nella is a gift to us all. I hope you feel the many good thoughts sent your way.
    bless you and your family.

  146. I’m sure you already know this, but you are so blessed! When I was scrolling down and saw the pictures of ALL those people on the beach there to support you and your beautiful family, I nearly burst into tears. How wonderful to have so many there to celebrate the beautiful life of Nella! Lovin the Holland outfit too :)

  147. What a beautiful post for such a beautiful day! And your Nella just keeps getting more adorable. Congratulations!

  148. Simply beautiful – the pictures, the thoughts, the feelings that came through in your words, your family and YOU!

  149. Beautiful…simply beautiful. It is ok to be afraid and sad and all happy at the same time. Real life causes real feelings. Thank you for your honesty.

  150. When I thought you couldn’t be any more amazing, you go and show all of us how to rock a pair of high heels in the sand. 😉

    What a beautiful celebration! Thanks for sharing with us.

  151. It looks like such a perfect celebration for your family. And if there was any doubt that Nella is a rockstar, those baby legs prove it!! Way to rock the rainbow stripes little bunny!

  152. Hi Kelle.

    This is my first time commenting, but I have been reading since Nella’s birth story. I am a complete blog addict and yours is by far my new favorite. Your writing and photography are so awe-inspiring, but even more than that your outlook on life is so real and pure and it’s contagious.

    I can’t even tell what an amazing mommy I think you are. You are so brave for honestly sharing your heart and I LOVE your heart!!

    Thank you for writing. Truly!

  153. Beautiful, beautiful girls!!!

  154. So amazing! Welcome to the world little Nella – you are going to do great things. She is so gorgeous. Those eyes – those wise, wise eyes. They are magical and it’s like they hold a special secret that she’s just aching to share with the world. It’s fair to say that your little Nella has a very special spot in my heart. And your Lainey – she is such a brilliant star.

    Thanks for your lovely post!

    Heidi (mama of 2 beautiful girls).

  155. I waited so patiently for an updated post yesterday, anxious to read about your celebration. What a treat to be rewarded for my patience (LOL, I actually have none!) by such great words and photos from both you and Poppa.

    I think my favourite this post is the family photo of you and Brett with both your girls and boys.

  156. The necklace that your dad gave you gives me goosebumps. I love it! Your dad is such a special man, you truly are blessed to have such a wonderful and beautiful family!

  157. Kelle, I found your blog while I was still pregnant with my daughter. I was reading it just days before I was scheduled to give birth. And I cried for you, with you, as I read about your experience. I imagined how I would feel if I were to suddenly face a similar experience with my yet-to-be-born daughter, my fourth baby. I was thinking that I was so glad that it was unlikely that I would have to deal with such a difficult situation.

    Little did I know, I would be facing something quite similar indeed! My daughter was diagnosed with a rare heart defect on day four of her life. About a week later, she was diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder called 22q11.2 deletion. It is the genetic disorder that is second most common after Trisomy disorders.

    I wanted to tell you how much I have appreciated reading your blog, and how connected I have felt to your journey as I embark on my own. I was trying to find a way to e-mail you, but I didn’t see one. Sorry for this crazy long comment! Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing with us!

    I haven’t started a blog about our journey, but I do have a caringbridge website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cassidyjoy

  158. What a wonderful celebration! The pictures captured it beautifully, as always!

    April (Elissa’s Cousin)

  159. Beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes.

  160. Can i just say..BEAUTIFUL!!! The words you write and the family you write about..all so BEAUTIFUL! I just wanna snuggle your little Nella to the moon and back! Thanks for sharing your story!

  161. wow.
    that’s it.
    just one word.
    wow.

    you amaze me.
    more tears comin.
    thank you for this beautiful post.

  162. What a beautiful day! I almost died from the cuteness of the belly pics of Nella. Those puckered lips warmed my heart. What a sweetie.

  163. what a beautiful post! Your pictures help paint the picture of your story and of Nella’s story. I think so many of us read not only because you do such a wonderful job of sharing your heart and life, but also because we each picture ourselves in your shoes. We wonder…what if I had a child with DS? How would it change me? How would I react. I think that with a mom like you Nella will go far!

  164. to Poppa..every Rockstar Princess needs a Poppa in her life. You have done well in raising your children and I KNOW that you are and will be a rich part of the next generation..I am in tears over your comment..not sad tears, but tears that come when you have witnessed something so beautiful it takes your breath away.

  165. Truly one of the most lovely posts I’ve ever read. Families are as beautiful as it gets. And so is your Nella.

    =)

  166. I had tears in my eyes by the time I got through the post today. The pictures are beautiful as is your family. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  167. Such a beautiful celebration of your sweet Nella’s life.

    I have made a little something for Lainey and would like to send it to her. Copy & paste this link to see it:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bakersfield-CA/Mama-Mia-Custom-Handstamped-Jewelry/139107226532?v=wall&viewas=1398261523#!/photo.php?pid=4184224&id=139107226532

    and you can contact me at hutchtina@bak.rr.com

  168. What a wonderful way to celebrate little Nella!
    Once again the photos are gorgeous.. I love the last one of Nella. She is definitely a Rockstar! :)

  169. Beautiful.

  170. Those shoes are AWESOME!! She really is a rockstar!

  171. Wow, what a great afternoon and evening! I’m so glad the rain cleared so you were able to still celebrate. The pink wooden shoes are just the cutest!

  172. Mama of 2 girls too says:

    Kelle,
    Sounds like a glorious afternoon and evening! You have a gorgeous family…and little Nella is lucky to have you as a Mama! And so is Lainey. Just like you are lucky to have her (and them). Truly blessed! Love the sky lanterns…so pretty! I enjoy reading your blog, I’ll admit it, I am so hooked!
    Hugs!

    Deanna

  173. I was waiting for this celebration post. And? It was worth the wait! I was thinking of you guys yesterday and sending my love. That picture of your sleeping baby (w/my favorite hat on) … seriously, Kelle, I just want to nibble on those cheeks … okay, and little arms, too!! That little bunny of yours, she is most definitely a rockstar …

    PS – I FINALLY ordered my kh prints yesterday! I know, it’s almost a year after you took the pics … but I can’t wait … so stinkin’ excited!!

  174. Beautiful pictures Kelle! Thank you for including us in your celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Day. <3

  175. This comment has been removed by the author.

  176. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for embracing the perfectness of your little Nella..I believe wholeheartedly that God creates every life with purpose – He doesn’t make “mistakes”. Gob Bless you for sharing Nella’s with the rest of us. That little life has already made a HUGE impact in the lives of so many others.

    Meredith

  177. what happened to my comment? ack.

    That necklace is amazing. I read through the whole post and the millions of comments and still have tears and goose bumps. It’s simply stunning.

    And what a soulful day. We were there as much as a family can be on a beach in Florida while actually in a snow storm in Montana.

    xo

  178. A gorgeous family! A wonderful, perfect celebration! Moving words! Beautiful photography! Thank you so much for this lovely post, Kelle. :) :) :)

    Sometimes we can investigate and explore our emotions. If we make friends with them and invite them in for coffee, they become profound teachers, reminders to go deeper, to discover what is real. When we can embrace our emotions, they lead us directly to the love beneath, an ocean of love beyond our wildest dreams.

    Lots of smiles coming your way~

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson.

  179. This is just so beautiful and such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with us… Nella is a darling blessing.

  180. ,,,rockstar = yummy,,,it just doesn’t get any better than that!,,,thank you for inviting strangers into your days and into “baby bunnie’s” life,,,her photos always bring a large grin to my mouth,,,

  181. Nella’s Prayer–printed in her baptism program:

    Dear God,

    You knew me before I was born.
    In your eyes, I am perfect and whole.
    In your heart I am cherished and loved.
    You chose carefully my home—
    The big sister who will be my confidant and friend.
    The two brothers who will be my protectors and teachers.
    My mom and dad who will celebrate my every success
    and stand with me through life’s every struggle.
    but best of all, hold me close to their hearts forever.
    And you chose well my larger family—
    For in my neighborhood, my community and all around the world
    you have sent those who will help me to break down
    every wall that confines and shatter every ceiling that contains
    the spirit you will awaken in me.
    Please guide my mommy and daddy
    as they raise me to be all you have planned me to be.
    Make me bright enough to fully live—
    But if I cannot know great wisdom,
    Let me show great love,
    Make me confident enough to make a difference—
    But if I cannot be the president,
    Let me change my world with kindness.
    Make me strong enough to keep the pace—
    But if I cannot win every race,
    May I make every day brighter for those I run with.
    Please protect me as I grow older;
    Put Your guardian angels around me to keep me safe.
    Help all those around me to always remember to shield
    my tender heart and innocent spirit
    as they help me reach my highest dreams.
    And thank you for sending me…here.
    I love you.

    –Nella Cordelia

  182. YOur making me want some of those adorable pink wooden shoes! I love this post, I love how you embrace this treasure! I wish I knew you for real, I think you make the world a brighter place!

  183. What a beautiful and honest post! You have a beautiful family and a beautiful heart. And look at Nella lifting up her little head already in those last pics! She is strong…and so are you.

  184. Anonymous says:

    Rockstar Nella IS going to do great things! “Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience and with faith she’ll make her way” No doubt about it for she is one of the wonders…

    “WONDER” by Natalie Merchant
    Doctors have come
    from distant cities
    just to see me
    stand over my bed
    disbelieving what they’re seeing

    they say I must be one of the wonders
    of god’s own creation
    and as far as they see they can offer
    no explanation

    newspapers ask
    intimate questions
    want confessions
    they reach into my head
    to steal the glory
    of my story

    they say I must be one of the wonders
    of god’s own creation
    and as far as they see they can offer
    no explanation

    I believe
    fate smiled and destiny
    laughed as she came to my cradle
    “know this child will be able”
    laughed as my body she lifted
    “know this child will be gifted
    with love, with patience
    and with faith
    she’ll make her way”

    people see me
    I’m a challenge
    to your balance
    I’m over your heads
    how I confound you
    and astound you
    to know I must be one of the wonders
    of god’s own creation
    and as far as you see you can offer me
    no explanation

    I believe
    fate smiled and destiny
    laughed as she came to my cradle
    “know this child will be able”
    laughed as she came to my mother
    “know this child will not suffer”
    laughed as my body she lifted
    “know this child will be gifted
    with love, with patience
    and with faith
    she’ll make her way”

    Much love and celebration,
    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  185. oh kelle, it was a beautiful night. it stopped raining just long enough for us to celebrate nella and everything she is…but mostly to thank god for sending her home to you…and all of us!

    poppa rik and gary rocked that party out…the ambience, food, prayer,…oh, and those lanterns too. what a powerful string of moments!

  186. Hello. You do get lots and lots of comments so this may not make its way through but I just wanted to say…

    Seriously you are doing so well!! So many Mummies are still wearing their pyjamas at noon by week eight – but you! You have visited Holland, had many many sleepless nights (night feeds and adjustment to Holland), you look amazing, you have been on CNN for goodness sake, had housefuls of people, spent quality time with your girls, taken fantastic pictures and shared them on your blog. You really ought to give yourself a very big and well deserved pat on the back. xx

    P.S love the rockstar look – especially the januty sunglasses!

  187. Beautiful post. I still follow your blog daily and I’m always excited to see the pictures and read the days’ happenings. I don’t always comment -but I always enjoy it. It’s like watching a favorite t.v. show. :) Thank you again for keeping up with this lovely little blog – it’s simply precious.

  188. Anonymous says:

    This post is truly beautiful… as is your very special little Nella. So much love radiates from your words about Nella and your family. It is amazing when true blessings come …the most miraculous are often totally unexpected and often perceived as sad. How can anyone look at Nella’s beautiful face and see anything but pure love, joy and happiness.
    Thank you for sharing this special day with all of us.

  189. Poppa..again you raised a Rockstar because you are one yourself. Thank you for sharing Nella’s Prayer with us..just beautiful.

  190. You really need to put a Kleenex warning at the top of each blog post; every single time I start crying (happy tears though!)

  191. made me tear up with joy for the love that surrounds you!

  192. I smile every time I come here, for your joy and Nella’s beauty, but even more for the gift of hope you are to our community. SO many of our babies are aborted, over 90% and counting. 9 out of TEN of these beautiful, precious faces. Maybe, (a girl can dream) just maybe your blog will help someone who has to make that awful decision see the truth. DS isnt bad or awful, it isnt terrible. It just IS. Thank you for joining the chorus.

  193. The celebration looks like it was beautiful. You have such a wonderful group of friends to love and support you, and I know that it is not a coincidence. God only gives us what we can handle, and it is evident that not only are you and your husband strong and loving people, but everyone in your life helps make you stronger. May you all be abundantly blessed. Your life truly is beautiful (like the header in your blog says). Thank you for sharing it with us.

    And also, way to go, Nella, with the neck strength! :)

  194. and i love the prayer in Nella’s baptism program that your dad shared. how beautiful, and how perfectly worded.

  195. I’m so happy that you are happy. And you have such a beautiful family. And I know that your babies are proud to have such a loving mommy like you! Love is a great thing. And you can tell that you love these kids with all your heart and then some! I love your blog, truly beautiful.

  196. so sweet and so perfect. how could you not cry? blessings to you and yours!

  197. What a beautiful celebration of a special baby girl and her family! Our children grow up too quickly…much too quickly. Nella will cause that clock to slow down and that is a blessing too.

  198. I cried reading this blog post. So beautiful. You sound like an amazing family. Your little bunny is very lucky! Her clogs are lurverly.

    Greetings from Holland :)

  199. I only ‘met’ your gorgeous family yesterday evening and just read and read and read your blog for 4 hours straight, getting to know you all! What a treat to get an update again today, and such a delightful one. I got a little inspired last night and woke up this morning just a little more thankful for my own little bundles of joy. Must keep it short as you have 201 comments ahead of mine and probably more to follow it!

  200. Anonymous says:

    Words can not express how beautiful that day must of been! You are amazing & your family is precious. True beauty!!!

  201. Found your blog through a friend and have been on here with a tissue for the last hour. Your family is beautiful. Nella’s story is awesome. Congrats on the beautiful baby girl.

  202. Beautifull Nella and beautiful you!

    Thank you for sharing

    -Malin, Norway (mother of two)

  203. I read your blog while I’m at work. I ususally have to shut the door before I start because I know I will cry, not because it’s sad but because it’s contents are just too beautiful.

  204. It WAS a beautiful night! From hearing Laineys laughter and talking about her party to holding Nella and looking at those beautiful blue eyes. Your family is SOOO precious! There wasnt a dry eye in the house! 321 chromozones are magical… sooo magical it hypnotized me and every voice in my head screamed dont let go of Nella… dont. It was truely amazing to see you surrounded by loving family and friends (now including me(: ) We have to get together sometime! I love you all!
    Give Lainey and Nella a BIG hug from me!

    P.S.- Yesterday i recieved the most beautiful bracelet… A down Syndrome Awarness Bracelet. With two blue beads, and in the middle of the beads a beautiful yellow rose. I havent taken it off since!

  205. I’ve been following your blog since your post about Nella’s birth. Love this post!! Love the pictures as always! I especially loved the family picture with you all in matching light blue! And I noticed you took off your hospital bracelet?? Love and ((HUGS))

  206. Nella IS a rockstar!!! And seriously she keeps getting cuter by the day :)

    Cheryl in MI

  207. Sniffle, sniffle…beautiful beyond words. Also, as I was reading this, I kept thinking of how blessed Nella also is to have you guys as her family. A family that embraces her, loves her, and knows that she is going to do great things…blessed all around, I’d say!

  208. What a wonderful celebration! I cried just reading your post. Beautiful!

  209. Anonymous says:

    You really live life, every moment. So amazing how in 8 weeks I look to you for inspiration and motivation. Why do I look at you for this? Because, you really LIVE life!

  210. I am struck by the presence of light in your physical celebration – Nella will bring light to dark places in her life – as she has brought the light to the dark places in your own.

  211. And I cried when I read this too…what a beautiful way to celebrate such an amazing life.

  212. Anonymous says:

    Love! Love! Love!Thank you for sharing your special day with us! You are wonderful!

  213. I have been following for quite some time and always end up with tears. Good ones! I am the Mom of 4, and have a nephew and a cousin who have downs syndrome. All I know that is you will probably experience unconditional love from your sweet Nella like you have never experienced before. That’s how I feel about my cousin and nephew anyway…

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  214. You are so tranparent in your feelings. Thank you for that!
    You are right- she is a gift. A gift perhaps to all of us.

  215. Anonymous says:

    what a wonderful celebration! and I just LOVE Nella’s pink wooden shoes , they suit her well :)

  216. Beautiful! Wish I could have been there. And wish we could celebrate life like this every day. :)

  217. Just. Wow.

    Your girls are amazing. And beauty personified.

    YOU, Kelle, inspire me. I’ve been feeling flat and uninspired for a LONG, long time and reading your blog has sparked something inside my soul again.

    So….thank you.

  218. Wow – you guys really know how to celebrate in style. What a fabulous gathering!!

  219. Andrea,
    Share away! I love when people share the blog.
    Thank you!

  220. How beautiful….how beautiful! That celebration on the beach looks so special. I absolutely love how you’ve documented those moments…also, your babies are always dressed so nicely!

  221. P.S. I love Nella’s pearls!

  222. Krista Specht says:

    What I love about your blog is the awareness that it is bringing to what Down Syndrome is all about. That it really isn’t all that different, yes there is a different path we take at times but they are just kids. Our kids. With a beautiful extra chromosome.
    This entry was another special tribute to just that.
    As I scrolled down to read it, I got to the picture of everyone on that beach and it brought tears to my eyes to see all that support. LOVED IT! What a blessing.
    Thank you for continuing to share your journey with the world.

    Krista
    (kristaspecht@hotmail.com)

  223. Kelle,
    I started reading Nella’s birth story last week through a link and have cried tears of sadness and joy for you. That baby is amazing and your family is so beautiful. Your story is such an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing!

  224. Our day was filled with sniffles and fevers, so it was nice to have a vicarious celebration through your blog. Even though my son is four years old, this is my first year experiencing the internet and the worlds it has opened for me. You blog was a door to a whole family of other mothers (and families) who have children with Down syndrome. And what a beautiful welcome it has been. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us!

  225. Elizabeth says:

    Absolutely beautiful post, Kellie. Thank you for sharing. Would you mind sharing what Nella’s song is? Much love to each of you!

  226. simply. amazing.

  227. I just want to say that I absolutely love your blog. Sometimes when I see a new post on my google reader I get so happy. You have such a beautiful family

  228. PS I want to order a necklace? CNB 6-27-98 :)

  229. I found your site through Donald Miller’s blog and I was so moved by your story!!! Thank you for having the strength to share it. It was truly inspiring and your girls are gorgeous!

  230. What a beautiful celebration!

    Your daughter, Nella, is gorgeous!

  231. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pictures. Beautiful celebration. Beautiful Nella. So happy you had a wonderful celebration!!

    ps: Love the rockstar Nella pic, cute!

    melissa h

  232. i just read your story on donald miller’s blog and now have a puddle of tears at my feet. but after linking to your blog, a smile broke across my face as i see the the beautiful life you’re living with your beautiful family. your children are beautiful and i know they’re just as beautiful on the inside. my heart is full for you. i love the way your photography documents all those treasured moments. keep smiling…you are beautiful. :-) i look forward to following your blog. God bless and give those little ones lots of smooches!

  233. Anonymous says:

    I thought I would point out that is is actually spelled….Down syndrome. (No capital s). I so appreciate you representing our “family” that I would love it to be acurate. You are an inspiration.

  234. Your family is beautiful. I teared up at the beauty of your story and these pictures. I’m also of the understanding that it’s ok to be a little sad that your dreams have to be altered – I definitely was when mine were.

  235. Dear Anonymous…
    We know the s is lower case and generally proof and correct it…but in my daughter’s defense, everything she does, she does “Big S.” I have long since gotten over it…in her words, “Go Big or Go Home.” We will still strive for accuracy…even more for love. (Gosh, does the tiger leap from the jungle to protect the cub?}

  236. The picture of Nella as a “rockstar” cracked me up. Those sunglasses are way to cute. I now see a photo opp. for my 5 month old. Thanks for making me smile this morning.

  237. Such a rockstar Nella is…actually, all of you are rockstars.

  238. Kimberly says:

    Kelle, just loved the necklace and I had to order one. My precious Aiden was born on 2-25-10 with that extra special chromosome. For those wanting a necklace, she’s running about 4 weeks behind. He is the best thing to ever happen to me next to the births of my first 2 sons. Love your blog. It has helped me so much. I experience a lot of the same joys and feelings that you so bravely post on here. I love your pictures of your beautiful Nella and Lainey. I try to make pics that look like that, but mine don’t turn out so well…. kinda frustrating. I want a camera like yours. Maybe sometime soon. Looking forward to more wonderful posts and know that we are right there with you experiencing the same wonderful joys of that extra special 21.

  239. I would have expected nothing less then a grand celebration in style from the dear Hampton Family! Bravo! Happy World Down syndrome Awareness day to you all as well. Thank you for being such a lovely advocate and voice in our community and family.

  240. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry Poppa. I did not mean to offend in any way. You are so right when you say of your daughter,

    “We will still strive for accuracy…even more for love.”
    I know that is exactly what Kelle does in all aspects of her life. I was just watching the force of good and powerful influence she is gaining in this community and want her to know how she is “educating” people. Down to every last detail…even her “capital S”.
    You are a good father to watch out for her. Know that there was not ill-will intended.
    I think everyone who is lucky enough to be in the Down syndrome community has things that make our protective claws come out. Only because we know how perfect and full of love these individuals are and want them to be perfectly represented and respected. My son is 3 now and we love every bit of his genetic makeup.
    So that’s all. I’m sorry again.
    ~Anonymous

  241. I found your blog from AOL…I read every single entry. You and your daughters are so beautiful. Your words are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing. <3

  242. Anonymous says:

    Ok so I’ve read this post three differnent times now and every single time I can’t manage to get through without sobbing my eyes out!
    And then I just *have* to read all the comments as well and look for Poppa’s comments and then I start crying all over again!! lol
    Seriously though, it looks like it turned out to be an amazing Christening day filled with so much love. Its funny how this day started a little like your whole journey has been with Nella thus far. You were sad and despondent at the start and then as you came to terms with everything your life (and day) was to become it actually was better and filled with more love than you could have ever imagined!

    And those clogs? Now those there are some seriously cute clogs!

    Rockin out with ya all the way over here in Australia…

    Allison x

  243. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure how to use this lol

    Bless you and your precious gift! And believe me as you raise her you will continue to discover what a beautiful gift she is. I just read your story at parent dish and just had to come here to tell you what a joyous journey you are beginning. In November 1982 I began the same journey with my daughter Nicole. Only in my case we were discovering at 12 months old that she had CP. We were told that day that she would definitely be both mentally and physically handicapped. Due to the large degree of damage through out her brain they could not give us any answers on how sever the handicaps would be. Through the following years we discovered this child was in many ways the most precious gift we were ever given. That feeling was and is shared by her entire large family as well as most if not all that came to know her. I sometimes suspect that she taught all of us much more than we ever taught her. Some people look at these children as a burden. I and my family say she was a blessing we will always be so grateful for. Both of your daughters are Beautiful!

    Deb Zilka@facebookor
    zilkad@aol.com

    Something I wrote a few years ago inspired by my special girl I thought you might appreciate.

    Why Are We Different?

    A little bird sat
    on his perch.
    Thinking of the creatures
    on this earth.
    Pondering as the
    time it went by.
    Why some could walk
    and others fly.
    Why some had feathers,
    others hair.
    Why some lived in packs,
    others pairs.
    They are so different
    I must know why.
    So off to find out
    he then did fly.

    He flew to a pond
    where he saw a deer.
    He then flew down
    and landed quite near.
    Can you tell me sir,
    why you’re not like I?
    Why you must walk,
    while I can fly?
    And why I have feathers
    all over me?
    While you have short hair,
    that is all I can see?
    The deer he paused
    with brown eyes he stared.
    But silent he was,
    and no wisdom shared.

    So off the bird flew,
    soon a squirrel was seen.
    Hunting for food
    for a winter so lean.
    He landed near by,
    his question to ask.
    Of the scampering fellow,
    busy at his task.
    Sir, can you tell me
    why you run around?
    While I have to fly
    where ever I’m bound?
    The squirrel, he chattered
    all that he knew.
    But the bird understood not,
    so off he flew.

    The bird he soon saw
    a mighty oak tree.
    He flew there and said,
    how old you must be.
    To have grown so tall,
    must have taken you years.
    So you must know all answers
    to what ever you hear.
    Please answer, Sir Tree,
    these questions for me.
    Why all are so different
    where ever I see?
    The mighty oak tree
    stood silent and strong.
    So again the bird knew,
    he had been wrong.

    So he then flew on
    and such a sight was seen!
    First feathers, then hair,
    then fur it seemed!
    To closer he went,
    so better to see.
    For he had to know what
    this creature could be?
    He then could see
    it was a cute little girl.
    She was putting hats on
    her golden curls.
    As she then came closer,
    the bird did stare.
    For the chair that she sat,
    it went here and there.

    Now he really did wonder,
    how could this be.
    He then thought maybe
    she will talk to me.
    He hopped right up,
    his questions he asked.
    He added then,
    why she rolled to her tasks.
    That I am different
    from other kids is so true.
    The reason’s the same
    as why you are blue.
    That we are all different
    is part of God’s special plan.
    Yes he made it for all creatures
    and not just for man.

    By: Deborah A. Zilka©2005

  244. Anonymous says:

    your children are absolutely beautiful. I am so happy that I came across your blog and look forward to reading your blogs everyday. You truly have a way with words. Have a great day

  245. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful healthy attitude you have it is beautiful. Lord Bless you and your precious newborn baby girl.

  246. As always, just beautiful….

  247. What an amazing day this must have been! I have always had a special spot in my heart and deep inside my soul for D.S. I grew up with an aunt who had Downs. She was born 1952, and oh how I wish my Grandparents could see how the D.S. community has grown and inspired! How lucky we are to have such blessings in our lives, and angles in our hearts!!! Thank you for sharing!

  248. What an amazing day. You are an amazing mother and person and you just inspired me deeply. Congrats to you on everything you have accomplished and for your wonderful life. Thank you.

  249. Anonymous says:

    Dear Kelle,

    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful Nella!

    My mother gave birth to my brother Chris forty five years ago on this day, March 22, 1965. Oh how I wish she had a Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness Day and the support that surrounds you. She was told to give her first baby to an institution and my strong dad said absolutely not and my brother and I are forever grateful they made the right decision. Chris is an absolute joy, my right hand man and best buddy. We have a bond that is so special. He is my inspiration.

    My parents took no pictures of Chris in his first year of life… their grief was so deep. Yours are so beautiful and will be cherished by sister Lainey.

    And don’t worry about Nella.. I lost my mom in 2002 and dad in 2007and I will take care of Chris forever with joy. He lives a wonderful life in an independent group home with friends he loves…his life is much more than my parents ever expected.

    Enjoy each day.

  250. What a wonderful day! So happy it turned out perfect for you! Nella is so beautiful and precious. Love the picture of her with her wooden shoes, adorable!

  251. Just returned from out of town and I couldn’t wait to check out what’s been going on in the “House of Hampton” as I like to call it! Your celebration of Nella’s special day looked amazing and beautiful – you truly know how to celebrate life! Thanks you once again for sharing this amazing experience/journey with the rest of us! I truly feel blessed to be able to check on it every day – it does bring others so much joy! Congratulations to your whole family!
    By the way- I took SO MANY pictures of my little girl this weekend while visiting my mom in Florida for a “girls weekend”- I think I would make you proud and I can look back on our weekend again and again and enjoy it all the more! All those little things that normally get overlooked-Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  252. …it was “the shoes” on those tiny, kissable toes that suddenly transformed Holland into “Heaven on earth”.

    Kelle, such pure beauty in your “story” this day; twinned with your photos only enhanced the calm moments I have just spent here enjoying the small stuff. May God bless your cozy Nest this night Kelle.
    Barbra.

    ….”For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope”. (Jeremiah 29:11)

  253. Kelle this place you are in, this Holland, will only become more beautiful, more soul stretching, and more endearing as the time goes by. Nella will show you who you really are, who you have always wanted to be. You will never be the same woman you were before you birthed her. You will be better, wiser, kinder, and lovelier in spirit. This I know to be true.
    Hugs from another mother…

  254. Kelly from Michigan says:

    Kelle-

    My kids have been on a Shirley Temple kick lately specifically Heidi (luckily that is my fave S.T. movie since we have watched it almost every day for a week). Anyway, there is this scene in the movie where Heidi is dreaming that she is a little Dutch girl in little wooden shoes, I have always loved it and now everytime i see and hear it I think of Nella…thought you might like to see the lyrics…when I read them with Nella in mind, they make me smile :)

    Movie:Heidi
    Year:1937
    Song Name:In Our Little Wooden Shoes
    Copyright 1937 by Movietone Music Corporation, N.Y.
    Lyric by Sidney D. Mitchell
    Music by Lew Pollack

    Have you seen my new shoes
    they are made out of wood,
    Such nice little shoes,
    don’t you think they look good?
    I can dance all around
    with the greatest of ease
    I jump from the ground
    to the tops of the trees.

    I’ll tell you something
    I’m going to try
    Put on your shoes
    and away we’ll fly,
    We’ll take a trip
    where ever we choose,
    We’ll dance and skip
    in our little wooden shoes.

    How many miles will you travel with me,
    One mile or two miles or may be three.
    We’ll make a stop where ever we choose,
    We’ll skip and hop
    in our little wooden shoes.

    Here is the clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS34el5_DIA

    -Kelly from Michigan

  255. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I have a sister who has a down syndrome and she has been a blessing to the family, especially to my parents. She just fills the house with laughter, and she never cease to amaze us. Nella is a blessing and will keep bringing joy to you and your family for a long, long time. She will never cease to amaze you and other people. Take care and God bless Nella, you, and your family.

  256. A belated Happy World Down Syndrome Day to you and your family from Belle Glade, FL. My friend just forwarded me the article in Parent Dish that features your story. I am yet another young woman who was shocked to have given birth to a child with Down Syndrome. I was 25, in fact, and also never had any testing done. The ultrasounds showed that my daughter’s liver was becoming enlarged in utero, but the cause was never isolated. When she was born, she was so ill that doctors weren’t sure if she would ever come home to me. I jumped into survival mode, and two hours after having a natural delivery, was up with no pain meds, dodging the nurses who would surely chastise me and prevent me from going to the NICU to see my baby. No mention of Down Syndrome was ever made until two weeks after we brought her home, when I got a phone call from her pediatrician. I admit, I cried a few tears of sadness, because I knew there was going to be those people in the world who would treat her badly. I also felt my own mortality for the first time in 25 years. Even though I already had another child, he would be ok if something were to happen to me. But her…?
    Destiny will be 2 on Easter Sunday. She is a fiercely independent girl who has just started walking. She brings joy to everyone, friends, family, and strangers alike. She doesn’t give evryone the benefit of a doubt, like my four year old son does. Either she likes you, or she doesn’t. But she is much stronger than I could have evr given her credit for, and she has made me much stronger in turn.
    Congratulations on the birth of Nella. She is absolutely gorgeous. And “Welcome to Holland”. I have come to love it here.

  257. Anonymous says:

    Nearly 23 years ago I, too, gave birth to a wonderful little girl who had down syndrome. She changed our lives in indescribably positive ways. I promise you that your daughter will bring you far, far more tears of joy than sadness. We feel like the luckiest family ever to have been blessed with her. Get ready for the ride of a lifetime!

  258. I am new to your blog, but will be reading regularly. Your family is beautiful, and what an amazing bright star your new baby is. I have a child with autism, and we ‘celebrate’ autism awareness day and month, so I really enjoyed this entry. What a beautiful way to show the love for your child!

  259. Kelle,
    I read Nella’s Story from January because it was shared with me on Facebook. I don’t know you, but want you to know that you are a wonderful mother and your family is beautiful. I’m envious of all the crafts and fun things you do that are extra (like the blankets, bows, and party favors for Ella’s birth). You are so talented. Your photography talent is amazing. I’m so happy you shared your story because it brought the wonderful spirit of God into my heart a little more today. You are a very blessed woman and Ella and Lainey are BOTH beautiful and PERFECT! :)

  260. Your blog is absolutely amazing!! You are so eloquent with your words… they bring tears to my eyes everytime I stop in to read. You really are so blessed with the most beautiful girls!!

  261. Beautiful post, beautiful pictures. I love the tulips on the cake.

  262. Hey Kelle,

    Not sure if you will make it to ALL of these comments, but wanted to say first, BEAUTIFUL. The whole thing. Thanks for sharing your life. It inspires me so.

    Next, thank you for sharing the pendant. I am honored and humbled by the amazing response.

    Last….did you ever get my other necklace? Every time I see the word “rockstar” I wonder…

    Thanks so much for being so open, and honest, and willing. You are amazing!

  263. *High Five* Poppa …OR can I just call You Popp’S, with a BIG ‘S’…*winkS* …But anyways, thanks to the Anon for making it clear what the correct spelling is with caps n not!.. I was not aware either yet I’ve known the term for over 35 yrs …However, I do like IT like this too…
    DowN SyNdRoM…*winks*..(No offence to anyone, I do understand the stigma of lables) Deborah, the nurse in Canada…

  264. Kelle,
    What an amazing tribute to such an amazing little girl. Nella is absolutely blessed to be part of your wonderful family. You are raising so much awareness for DS and Nella has already done big things!!! Congratulations! :)
    Love,
    Tara

  265. A beautiful celebration of new life!! your girls are beautiful and very special.

  266. What a beautiful family and celebration of joy for a new and wonderful, precious baby.

  267. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful interview, Kelle. So refreshing and real. I know you are so grateful and blessed with all the positive support and feedback you are receiving, but do you ever wish you could go back to the days where the comments to your postings consisted of family conversations, inside jokes and goofy back and forth banter between family and friends? Looking back at your way back when postings, you were able to reply to your comments and interact. Your family could enjoy the “closeness” of your blog. Do you ever feel like you’re posting to satisfy your followers instead of posting to keep family visually close to your daily life? Has this become or ever felt like a “job” to you? I know that I am just one person, but for as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE your amazingly BEAUTIFUL, poetic, additive, squeeze the feelings out of my core blog, I would be willing to let it go if it meant you had your meaningful small moments back into the palm of your hand instead of the palm of the “world”. I find it interesting that your posting on “A Celebration of Life” currently has 271 comments. Your posting for the free giveaway currently has 1340 postings. How can that be? I would think that the most beautiful day in Nella’s life would be flooded with thousands of heart warming comments. Does seeing that high comment number make you feel commercialized? Give us the low down, Kel…. :O)

  268. Your family is incredibly beautiful. I know it’s been said 1000 times by 1000 readers. But that’s it in a nutshell. What a gorgeous, sweet, PRECIOUS family.

  269. THANK YOU for putting into text the feelings and emotions of having a child with DS. I normally never read blogs but yours was sent to me and now I read it whenever I can. I have three little boys and my youngest has DS. He has made me a better person and opened my eyes to living life. Nella is a blessing and she is blessed to have such a wonderful family. Welcome to the club! It is a club you never thought you would be part of but once you have joined you can’t imagine not being part of this exclusive club.

  270. Kelle, you were chosen to be the kind of mother that we all aspire to be.

  271. Ok, you da bomb!!! Have you met this fellow DS blogger?

    http://downwithoz.blogspot.com/

  272. That was an amazing and beautiful post. I am trying to find a way to share your blog with my boss (our Superintendent of Schools) who just had a beautiful baby girl with that 21st Chromosome. Dont know why I am hesitant. I should just send her the link. :)

  273. I somehow stumbled upon your blog and it’s beautiful. I have a brother who is almost 17 who has Down Syndrome. He is the best thing in our family, hands down. You’re lucky to have an angel in your family, too. :)

  274. Kelle,
    I have to tell you that I was just sitting next to our laptop and my 22 month old points to it and says, “Baby please.” Which means, “Mom, let me see some new pics of Nella.” So, naturally I started to scroll down and my 4 year old son joined in on the fun. We got to Nella’s pic w/her pink shoes. My son said, “Those are the most beautiful shoes on the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen.”
    And he was 100% right.

    Love,
    Tara

  275. I enjoyed your blog. I checked out your interview online, it was nice to see you live, and hear your voice. You are so talented.
    Andrea

  276. Love your story and your photgraphy! I’ve added a link to your blog on my website.
    http://www.alifeworthliving.us
    Blessings,Dayna

  277. Thank you thank you so much…”Our” baby is 2 weeks old…You have helped us so much..Love Nonno and Grandma…He was born on StPatricks day…Sweet little Calder

  278. I was browsing and I happen to come here and I just wanted to say I loved this post and that Nella is just so beautiful!

  279. What a wonderful way to celebrate!!!!!
    God bless you!!!! and your people.

    see also my blog

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>