What does one do a half hour before live international interview?

One gets kiss from hubby.
One makes baby chug milk fast to induce milk coma.
One hopes baby doesn’t cry during interview.

The interview went great. I heard the show feed live right before my portion and, I have to admit, wasn’t prepared to hear that strange third person account. Made me cry, and then first question out was what it was like to see my daughter for the first time. I literally saw the words in my head on a sign. They were big, they were red, and they said: STOP. CRYING.

And the rest…went fine. I haven’t seen it yet, but it will be up soon on Connect the World’s site.

And, I’m pretty sure I did that subconscious rock-the-baby motion the entire interview because, if you gave me a million dollars for me to hold a baby and not rock back and forth, you’d be keepin’ your money.

Thank you again for reading, for supporting, for sharing the story. It hit me today holding Nella. Just this total “Wow” moment and this explosion of gratitude for her little life. It’s taught me so much and it’s just the beginning. Her little name is global. And she has no idea.

And Nella is just one of many special children. Extra chromosomed or not. We are so proud to represent these amazing blessings and to advocate for them. To show the world…every child is beautiful. Parenthood is beautiful. Life is beautiful.

Even when your older child chucks a book across the room and it hits the baby in the head. Because that happened today and, I kid you not, while consoling a crying baby, I leaned down to pick up the book and had to laugh. The title: Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives. My kid knocked her sister in the head with a book on Down Syndrome. Nice.

Real life rocks.
And so does the love of my sister girls. Lainey redeemed herself from the book incident when she so sweetly helped bathe her Nellabean. Just precious to watch.

And, by the end of tub time, she was so relaxed, her pruny little body just conked out.

Which is where we are headed now. Long day and the jammied littles are calling.
(and ha…lots of comments about the family bed. It works for us. Not sure for how long, but for now…beautiful. I get so excited this time of night because the highlight of my day is snuggling into cold sheets with one, two, three, four bodies just sandwiched together and this harmonious chorus of breathing fills the room. Heaven, I tell you.)

Also, our four part birth series is in the local paper here.


Leave a Comment
  1. Can’t wait to see the interview online. Thanks for sharing your story, and precious little blessings with all of us.

  2. I love your blog. You’re such an amazing woman, and your daughters are just stunning!

  3. I’m so happy to hear everything went well with the interview, so happy! I’m sure you did amazing, and I can’t wait to see!!

    Can you send me a 8×10 of that little Nellabean asleep after her bath!? Oh my gosh, is that creepy to ask? I just love it!!!! Or you could always come to good Ol’ Canada, and take a few snaps of my girlie!! kidding πŸ˜‰

    Have a wonderful rest,

  4. You have no idea how much you have affected my life and opened my eyes to so much more than they were seeing. Love you family! Thanks for sharing it with us all. You are a real life celebrity!

    I know this all must be happening so fast, and I’m thinking of you!
    Can’t wait to see the interview!

  5. i missed it! I thought i was recording it. Let us know what it’s online!

  6. WHOO HOO!! Congrats for your sweet little family!!

  7. I have the interview recorded and can’t wait to sit down tonight to watch it! Love the darling pictures of your sweet ones!

  8. The picture of Nella on the top right during the bath looks like she’s thinking “Girl, don’t hit me with another book!”

    So cute. Looking watching the interview.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Truly, truly beautiful! Thank you, for sharing your story, for sharing your photos and most importantly for showing the world that love truly does conquers all!

  10. *looking forward to watching the interview*

  11. Just beautiful bath time pictures. Some of your best I think. Can’t wait to watch the interview!

  12. yay! i would have been so nervous! i can’t wait to watch the interview

  13. Nichole B. says:

    I think it’s so amazing how many lives you have touched. And, it’s also amazing that you’ve been able to portray a life (that can often be difficult) with so much hope and love. Nella is going to grow up and be so amazed at how much her mom did for her.

    I look forward to seeing the interview!

  14. Can’t wait to watch!! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love that you laughed about her getting beaned in the head. You’re doing a fantastic job Mum :c)


  16. those bath pictures are beyond cute!! and nella’s blue eyes — stunning!!! And of course your accounts of Lainey just make me laugh… can’t wait to hear what she does to Nella when she’s 8 (my Lainey’s age)… I remind my girls every day how lucky they are to have each other… even when there are times that we ALL feel like throwing books! LOL!

    so happy for you that it went well!

  17. I just know it will be wonderful…how can it not be…you are you and Nella is a little angel!

  18. I don’t know where I went wrong..I recorded it (what I thought was it) I fast forward through the whole episode and it wasn’t on there…hmmm (scratching head) I guess I will just watch it on the link you provided.

  19. So, SO proud of you!

    A few things…

    -You look GORGEOUS. I am constantly amazed at how ridiculously (I only say “ridiculous” because I am Mama Frump 99% of the time) beautiful you look. It’s just not fair to look that great while changing diapers, cleaning house, entertaining littles..and all the other “stuff” we stay at home mommas do!

    -Sweet Nella’s eyelashes are coming in and they are so sweet framing her almond eyes. I’ve loved viewing your pictures of Lainey for a long time, and it’s so fun to love viewing pictures of Nella, too.

    Again, so so proud of you! What a great Tuesday!

  20. Kelle – You were made for THIS!!! So proud of you for holding your head up high and loving both of your girls with ALL of your big mama heart. I admire you and appreciate so much being a fly on the wall in your beautiful life. Heather

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  22. Can’t wait to see your interview!!!

    Kudos to you on the family bed!!! My daughter (14 months) sleeps in my bed and I LOVE it!! I think its one of the sweetest gifts we can give our babies!!! Thank you for “putting it out there!!”

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  24. Can’t wait to see the interview … was it on tv? I had CNN on and didn’t see it air.

    Good to hear you have the Gifts book … I was a contributor in book one … still need to go back and read a bunch of the other stories. :)

  25. And I must admit, I have played the annoying stage father well…to which I am sure Kelle is saying “Amen!” She…calm and collected; Me, pacing and perspiring. But Nella…our little star, sleeps unaware. I am convinced, there is no drama in the Hampton household more radiant than any of your homes…no miracle less exquisite than lies in your cribs and cradles. It is the lens through which we look…a loving lens that finds beauty in the unexpected and wonder wrapped in the everyday. I have been telling Kelle there is a clear correlation in her approach to photography and her attack on life. She gently lays an ornate frame around the ordinary and we…admire. We admire what was there all along. Like a sentence we have read before, now italicized and bolded. And life grows quieter, slower, simpler…and we can hear the giggles of the littles, and we hold them a little tighter because they are rushing like a stream in spring through our hands. I cannot wait to come see you this weekend, Kelle. Like a walk on the beach renews me…a walk with my giddles makes me young again. I am proud of you telling your story…prouder of you living your story. G’nite. (Go to bed, this is your dad talking)

  26. Anonymous says:

    I recorded the episode today at 4PM EST and the interview is not on there. It was on CNNi. Did I do something wrong? Is it possible it will be on tomorrow or does anyone know when it will be on again? I really would like to see it!!!

  27. Um yeah. So, basically, seeing pics of your “Nellabean” (EEK! so CUTE!) give me baby fever. BAD. Which is scary because I have twin 8 month olds. But Nella makes me want to pop out another. Like today. Insanity. Insanely cute. Ugh. I could die.

  28. CNNi is out of London and they don’t have a time change for another two weeks, so the show actually aired from 5 to 6 our time. But, it will be online sometime tonight.

  29. Nella is so beautiful. Those bath photos are just precious. Love it!

  30. I hope I can catch it on the website. I’m sure you were wonderful as always. Love the sleeping Nella after her bath. So peaceful, serene.

  31. Awe Kelle! I think of Nella’s birth story and when you had your dad come back into the room and he said a prayer….

    “And he smiled as his eyes welled up with tears and he said, “That’s okay. We love her.” He scooped her up and I asked him to say a prayer. And there, in the delivery room where moments earlier she entered the world, we huddled around my bed…Brett still stroking my hair, Katie crying on one side, Dot on the other and Dr. Foley kneeled down beside my bed. He prayed and thanked God for giving us Nella and thanked him for the wonderful things he had planned for us. For our family. For Nella. Amen.”

    Here is to the beginnings of the wonderful things God has planned for your family. God blessed you and He gave you Nella, the gift that keeps on giving. :o)

  32. Julie K. says:

    Congrats on the interview – so glad it went well – can’t wait to watch it online!

    The family bed – it IS heaven you are right for sure! My little ones are about the same ages as your little ones. I absolutely love snuggling next to them all night. Enjoy your peaceful sleep with your beautiful family!

  33. I am laughing at the book incident- not because poor Nella got hit in the head but because of the book it was- I don’t know, just funny. Ahh, siblings. My 5 year old daughter loves her little brother to pieces but sometimes so much she hurts him-lol! I can’t wait to see their relationship when he’s older- I have a feeling it’s going to be something very, very special. Lainey and Nella will have that too.

    Can’t wait to see your interview!!

  34. Can’t wait to see the interview. I look forward everyday to see if you have a new post. I have 14 month old twins and you have inspired me as well as all the other moms. So glad my friend sent me the link. Your family is beautiful. <3 TX

  35. Nella is a precious angel. I am so happy that the world gets to see her!

  36. So I haven’t gotten to watch the interview yet, I will as soon as it’s up on the web. The big question: did you wear your new lipgloss?! Ok really you have 2 of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen (tied with my own of course) It really neat to see other families who are dealing with the same emotions I am (I have a little guy with 47 chromosomes too!) I am so grateful for all he’s taught me in his 4 months so far and am so excited for the rest of our adventure! It will be awesome to watch yours too!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous photos! congrats on the interview too. That is so wonderful!

    melissa h.

  38. I recently stumbled upon your blog, being pregnant for the first time after 2 years of infertility. I must say, you are inspiring, and I love reading and looking at your pictures. Also, I must ask, where do you find all the cute little hats your girls wear?? Especially the little crocheted ones, do you make those yourself??

  39. Looking forward to watching the interview! I’m sure you rocked it! Thank you, thank you for bringing such positive attention to our sweet “littles” with a little something extra.

    LOVE the bath photos of Nella. She is precious! Sending lots of encouragement and hugs to you Kelle!


  40. We don’t get CNNI, so I look forward to watching the interview online!

    Love the pics of Nella’s bath! She reminds me of my beautiful granddaughter (born Jan. 21 w/ Ds), who loves her baths!

    Also love the irony of the book Lainey “chose” to let fly!

  41. ahhh family bed…. love love love it. It’s one of the best perks of having little ones:) I did, one time, get a fantastic shiner from a 2 year old’s HEEL. Yes, as in foot. Blamo- right in the eye.

    Family bed. Its beautiful, but its not always pretty.:)

  42. Anonymous says:

    I just HAVE to say–Yay for the family bed!! :)

    That and thanks for posting your lovely life. It reminds me when I need it most to enjoy my little ones, every precious (and not-so-precious) moment.

  43. Every time I come on to your blog I always get a sense of calm… and its so refreshing. I love your pictures and your strength… I wish I had that much. keep it up! πŸ˜€

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  45. I am just loving your blog. The other night I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading post after post of the last year. I love it. I love the journey you have taken. I love the evolution of it all. Thank you, thank you for sharing this with complete strangers. I am better for having “known” your little family.

    Yesterday I was at the grocery store with my four children. It was a chaotic experience as it always is! While in the produce dept I saw a group of sepcial needs young adults, many of which had DS. They were with some sort of “life coach” who was teaching them how to shop. I probably looked like a complete goof as I watched them because I had a HUGE grin stretched across my face. I couldn’t halp but stare and smile. I was entranced. My 6 year old finally tugged on my shirt and said “Mom, what is wrong with you?” It was funny. I just can’t look at these amazing people anymore without seeing an incredible light come from them.

    Again, thank you.

  46. How could anyone who chances past your blog not be hooked for life?! Can’t wait to watch Nella grow! Love the pictures and am delighted for you in your new adventures.

  47. Beautiful! I can’t wait to see it, assuming I can watch it somewhere on line, here in Australia.
    Your truly are blessed in so many ways. We all are really. But you’re different because you are also a blessing. Not all of us have that to offer.
    Thank you for all the beauty and honesty you share!

  48. Love love love love…..the photo of the little sleeping bathing beauty. So precious. Her eyelashes are dreamy….i want them πŸ˜‰

    I look forward to the interview, every blog entry and most importantly…..to your beautiful words. I aspire to look at life through your lens….inspiring.

  49. there is nothing like cherishing life. looking at life as beautiful. choosing happiness.
    thank you for sharing it. that is so hard to come by these days.
    you’re all beautiful!

  50. jimloey@aol.com says:

    you are amazing? this post made me laugh and cry. my five year old threw a book and hit my newborn in the head, and she got hit for the first and last time by her daddy.we had decided before we were even married that we would never spank our children. he smacked her and I threw a phone at him and that was the LAST time he ever hit our kids. I can’t wait to see your interview online. I love both your kids pictures, they are so beautiful.

  51. GO KELLE! Never a doubt in my mind that the interview would go well.

    Poppa….you are a poet.

  52. Family beds are a wonderful thing, especially when you’re breastfeeding. It’s so peaceful (not to mention much faster) when you don’t even have to get out of bed. Our 6 year old even likes to sleep with us on the weekends. His father and I don’t get as much sleep during those times, though, because we think he’s practicing tae kwon do in his sleep.

    I have fallen in love with your family and your blog and have shed many tears while reading. My 5mo daughter loves looking at the pictures with me and I just know she wants to jump in and play with your girls. You are a true inspiration. Thank you.

  53. I thought i had taped it but I guess I missed it..cant wait to see the interview online:))

  54. I cannot wait to see your interview! Every morning and evening (and sometimes more than a few in between) I check my bloglines…and everytime I do I look to see if you have a new post and read it first. Everything you write either puts and smile on my face or brings me to joyful tears. I have shared my new love of your blog with several friends…one of whom has a step sister with DS. Her and I were talking the other day and one of her goals in life is to adopt a baby with DS. Her step sister has touched her life in such a way that no other could do…even my 4 year old has meet her once and talks about her as if she is a true friend. I guess all I am saying is- each life is a blessing (as you already know) and you never know who a life can touch.

  55. Nella is getting so big! She has the most beautiful, angelic little face I’ve ever seen. Her eyes hold such magic. That’s really the only word I can come up with. I didn’t realize you live in Naples. I live in Venice, and it’s so strange to think you live so close! I can’t wait to see the interview online. You and your family are just so incredibly gorgeous, and inspiring, and full of love, I just love reading and following what you all do. You are truly showing me a new way to live, a different way to approach life. You’re little Nella is changing lives, and she has no idea. Your path and journey are changing me, my life, my path. I’m so thankful I found your blog. Thank you.

  56. I guess I don’t get CNNI. I keep checking to see if it’s online but I don’t think it’s up yet. Can’t wait to see it.

  57. I stumbled across your blog last week. I have been so touched by your story. I don’t have children of my own, though hope to someday. I was thinking about why your story resonated so deeply with me and I realized it today. I am the oldest in my family. My younger brother is 2 years younger than I am. While he was not born with Down’s syndrome, he was born with a birth defect to his eye. He had some other developmental problems and he looked “different.” He was never “different” to me. When we were in elementary school, he had to wear an eye patch to strengthen the muscles of his other eye and I remember some kids teasing him when we were walking home from school. I think I punched them. I was pretty fiercely protective of him. I made him cards when he was having multiple surgeries.

    Sure, we fought with each other like any other normal brother and sister, but the bond we share is intense. What an amazing privilege it will be to watch little Lainey’s love for Nella grow and develop. I anticipate that aside from you and Brett, Lainey will be her strongest advocate and protector. Thank you for sharing your story.

  58. I played with my Bunco group tonight and I had sent your story via email to several of them…none of them are bloggers….and we talked about you tonight…you leave us all wanting more….all wanting to experience the miracle of the small things…and we all want to make pictures like you do…You are amazing…..You have touched my life….


  59. You did great! πŸ˜‰

  60. Anonymous says:

    If you remove the “H-o” from Holland and add “Ne” you have “Nelland” (Nella-land). She was always meant to be your Holland…your beautiful, sweet Holland.

  61. …still….waiting…to…watch. Catch ya tomorrow I hope!

    Yay for bringing “Colors” back, perfect timing!

  62. I can’t wait to see the show online.
    The bath time pictures are so far my favorites, so sweet!

  63. Haha! Love the book chucking! Hilarious, oops, I mean not so hilarious… Can’t wait to see the interview!!! You are definitely rockstar status! :)

  64. Great job during the interview!

  65. beautiful photos. lainey and nella in tub pics are some of my fave yet!

    you rocked out that interview. rocked. it. out! xo

  66. Came your way via Teresa’s Treasures. Beautiful pictures and beautiful girls, what blessings!
    Congrats on the interview…knowing how many people you have reached and can reach must be an amazing feeling!

    BTW I have 4 kids, we’ve always used the family bed, in fact the 2 youngest are still in it…and asleep with their daddy as I type!

  67. Anonymous says:

    waiting… waiting… waiting… until the video posts LOL


  68. I drove home VERY recklessly from Saratoga (yes near the racetrack, lol) and MISSED IT!!!!!! I’m watching online for it and going to check out CNNi for it tomorrow!
    And family bed rocks too! :) We arent’ full time family bed , but when all 5 of us are in there, there is nowhere else I’d rather be! :)

  69. Kelle a friend of mine introduced me to your blog and I have to say what an inspiration you are to moms everywhere. I know for me you make me want to live my life differently!

    Your family is beautiful and I love how you tell your families stories!

    Much love from AZ!

  70. Anonymous says:

    Someone on a forum I visit posted a link to Nella’s birth story. I’ve gone back and poured over the years worth of entries before that.

    You inspire me to become a better mom, a better woman and to be grateful for the small things in life. I have never been so touched by words in a blog before. I have never felt so inspired. Thank you Kelly. Thank you. I have tears in my eyes writing this to you! Words just don’t show how much meaning your blog has.

  71. Kelle…I am not sure how, but I came upon your blog in January. I had just lost my father and I had just found out I was pregnant with this tiny new life we have battled so hard to concieve. I am ashamed to say this…but I was so scared of having a child with special needs. I thought, there is no way I can do it…there is no way I would want that for my other kids. Then I read your story. I actually started back a ways…when you found out you were pregnant. And i read, and read…and then came to the birth. And all the raw emotions that had me sobbing! I cried with you in a sense but honestly I cried for all the babies God could have blessed me with that I did not know if I was strong enough to keep or care for a baby “like that” Kelle, you shook my faith to an even stronger point. You made me come face to face with the fact that God gives us amazing miracles…and THANK GOD for that! I now know 100% that if we get the NT and Quad Marker Screening Results back with the markers all being there for DS, I know I can and will love this baby as much as my other children and their lives can only be enriched from that point on. I choose that have the screening because I really need to know before hand, be prepared…I plan to have this baby at home. But your strength, your brutal honesty, your love…I now know I can handle this if it comes MY way, Kelle. Beautiful, amazing, empowering words…I truly believe that you have helped thousands of women understand that grieving is ok…but you are still a NORMAL, HAPPY family with a few emotional days in there. I thank you for what you have given me. I thank you for what you have given others. I thank you for putting so much love out into the world that you are helping women everywhere. Thank you, Kelle. Love, Kate Bennett

  72. Nellabean’s beautiful almond eyes melt my heart every time I look at them. That picture, the one right before the one where she fell asleep? It made me cry tonight. What a sweethart. She’s already changing the world! She’s changed my life and my outlook. I have sent your blog to so many of my friends…she is changing the hearts of people around the world. What a precious baby, and what a great big sister!

  73. I am just like most of the rest of your readers and came across Nella’s birth story the week you wrote it.
    I cried before I even got the first paragraph done. My oldest daughter is now hooked on reading your blog and has done her fair share of crying also.

    We do our fair share of laughing also. Tonight for example the book throwing … I was laughing so hard and realized that would so happen in my house. :)

    I am amazed by your strength and I come and read your blog to draw from your strength.

    I do have one request :) Please don’t change the music at the bottom of the page to much. It has been healing me as I go through my own struggles in life. I admit to listening to it so much that the baby I am pregnant with has started kicking to certain songs.

  74. ,,,”once in awhile in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale”,,,

  75. How big is your bed that it can accommodate that much people? :)

  76. reading thru the commnts ( been reading since Nella’s birth as well)seriously cannot amagine how overwhelming and humbling all the posts and love have been, a life chnge in itself- thanks for sharing your life—love the nai polish matchin the top- and I sqealed with delight the nursing nella pic- go mama- and go fam bed!

  77. Yay just saw you online! So cool. You did wonderfully, of course. What great photos in this post. Doors continuing to open, friend. Much love.

  78. Hi Kelle,

    Just checked again to see, if I could find the interview online. Not yet, but…I’ll be checking in again. :)

    I stumbled across a music video today while I was on the phone. I blogged about it. Collin Raye wrote a song called She’s With Me about his granddaughter who has an unknown neurological disorder. But it explains SO well how we feel about our girls. How you and your family feel about Nella. Please search youtube for it, so you can see it, or take a look at my blog. I’ve got it posted there: http://confessionsofaclosethoarder.blogspot.com/

    I even got up the nerve to post a picture of our little darlings from 15 years ago. :)

    Please don’t feel obligated to go to my blog, but please get your tissues ready and search youtube for the video. You’ll be glad you did. :)

  79. I just can’t wait to see the interview. I am a total dingus and missed the airing…my mommy math skills must have taken a hit! I am loving your pictures this post. So clean…in inspiration, subject and processing. LOVE THEM!

    I feel so excited for you that you were able to tell your story to a world wide audience. WTG mama!

  80. It really must be the most surreal thing to see yourself on TV! The bath time pictures are just divine; they are like cherubs.

  81. You have a beautiful family.

  82. There is something so calming and beautiful about a sleeping baby, love those shots and all your amazing pictures you post here. I just got a Nikon D60 for Christmas and I am finally finding time to learn to use it.
    LOVE your desk chair too! Must find one here in LA!

  83. oh how I enjoy reading aboute your life, yur love, your family.. you are an inspiration

  84. We enjoyed a family bed when our littles were little. When the youngest was @ 18 months or so, we put a double bed in the girl’s room. I would lay down with them, nursing the baby, talking quietly with the eldest, until they were asleep. I would then carefully slip out of bed, knowing they had each other close for warmth and companionship. That gave my husband and I a head start on getting some sleep before one or the other or sometimes both joined us in the middle of the night, until they were old enough they didn’t feel the need to do that anymore. It was a precious time and I miss it. My ‘babies’ are now in their mid-twenties and don’t ever slip into bed with us anymore!!

  85. I was running out the door to the market when the story on CNN caught my attention all the way over here in Dubai.. I stood there with my purse on my shoulder absorbing your story. I was so smitten I wanted to know more. The moment I got home I looked up your blog and have been sitting here reading it ever since and probably will until it’s time to pick up my kids. Laundry, dishes, my workout, my shower and my own writing can wait….I am glued to my MAC with better than fiction till 2:20pm……..

  86. Hi…On, my God.I watched the show last night on CNN, and was inspired by your story. As soon as came to work this morning, I opened the blog and read your posts and took a look at your photos. I am still pretty much speechless…Some much love at one place.It’s unbelievable.
    Thank you for making my day.
    Lots of love from Macedonia.

  87. HI! I watched CNN until 6:30est….I did not see it. BUT just watched the video….WELL DONE KELLE! BRAVO!!!

    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

    ps….Yes,it is 3:30am my time….couldn’t sleep!

  88. Interview went great – I’m sure many more will join your extended “family” of followers. There are lots of us in the UK.

    Yes, you rocked her as you spoke, I remember when my little was tiny I used to bounce up and down even when someone else was holding him. Mama instinct!

    Love that I’ve “met” you properly via your interview, it was like seeing a familiar friend on TV – must be odd to you that we all feel like we know you but that’s your beauty and the secret of your success. It feels like you could live next door to any of us. Every morning I “knock on your kitchen door” and see if there’s another post to cheer, amaze and inspire.

    Thank you for sharing, you enhance the lives of so many people, and most importantly of all the children who will get those extra kisses, hugs and TIME. Laundry, what laundry? It can WAIT.

    PS Yay for the family bed!

  89. Well done on such a great interview :)

    You did do the rocking thing! I do it all the time.. Yesterday I was in the hospital with my little boy and my husband took him off me and I still stood there swaying back and forth! I have yet to find one Mama that doesn’t do that :)

    Congrats again x

  90. OK, I just woke up at 5 am and rushed to the computer to see images of my little, with her story shared with a British accent…and then YOU…I was so very proud of you, honey! Eloquent but natural, poised but real…and THE ROCKING!!! At first I thought, will she ever stop and then I prayed you wouldn’t because the rocking told me, told Nella, told everyone that Nella was a priority over the international interview. I didn’t doubt it…and it was like she in your arms energized the telling. And she will. You truly are a ROCK star…you ROCK!!!

  91. BRAVO Kelle n Nella, you both shined on the CNN interview. Kelle, you answered the termination question so very well, absolutly well put, BRAVO…As Nella wormed in Your arms, and YOU rocked her. Beautiful Momma and child…Only was I disapointed when the picture froze and it ended …*warm hugs*

  92. Anonymous says:

    I have just seen your interview, it was great! Sitting here in my house in a wintercold Norway, the snow slowly melting outside my window, I’m waiting for spring and the warmt to come back again. And there’s your blog, instantly filling me with warmt and sunshine. Reading your blog fills my heart with love and strength. Strength I need, beeing a mum of a spesiale need child myself. I’m soo trilled you can be this strong, warm and loving voice for our children. Take good care – keep on making sunshine everyday!

    Loving hugs from Hege, Norway.

  93. Oh Kelle!!! The interview was PERFECT!!! And yes!!! You answered the termination question beautifully and with grace. You were so well poised and well spoken. A true spokesperson now (YAHOO!!!) and a quite possibly a supermodel too :)!! Thank you for sharing, thank you for speaking about motherhood and babies and life and the beauty in all things perfect and imperfect!

  94. Your interview was beautiful, Kelle. You are an amazing person and mom! I know I’ve said this before… Thank you for sharing your beautiful life and showing everyone that the small things make our lives especially beautiful. Love, Liz

  95. Anonymous says:

    You did awesome with the CNN interview! Way to go! So proud of how you represent LIFE… TRUE LIVING… and TRUE LOVE. Thanks again for the reminder that it’s okay to have a messy home, but happy kids. And how something so little can make these tots so happy! You are truly a blessing. May God continue to bless you and your family abundantly! I agree, Life Rocks! Love, Katie

  96. Anonymous says:

    You did awesome with the CNN interview! Way to go! So proud of how you represent LIFE… TRUE LIVING… and TRUE LOVE. Thanks again for the reminder that it’s okay to have a messy home, but happy kids. And how something so little can make these tots so happy! You are truly a blessing. May God continue to bless you and your family abundantly! I agree, Life Rocks! Love, Katie

  97. a) Laniey and Nella are going to be such great best friends when they get older b) the family bed – good for you! I have friends who love the family bed and thought in my head “who could do that” until I had my second child…he’s been in my bed for 2 months now and I wonder why I didn’t do it with my first, I love waking up to my little Dayton and his milk crusted mouth – people shouldn’t judge you on your parenting style/choices…

  98. Anonymous says:

    Im up . . with my coffee again. . reading. Just watched the CNN interview – you were awesome! Made me laugh with the “rocking” and remembering a time when my three were home with their dad and I was at the grocery store standing at the deli counter – moving the cart back and forth, back and forth like there was a little one in the seat and I was trying to keep them in motion BUT no one was there. I had to laugh at myself once I noticed (and others started to giggle!). LOVE today’s pictures – Nellas’ eyes are mesmerizing!

  99. Thank you so much for sharing your family, your life. I have become one of the many obsessed with your blog since I first read your entry about Nella’s birth. You have an amazing way with words and your photos are beautiful.

  100. Love the irony of the book throwing. :) Glad all is well – hope today is a relaxing one for you!

  101. I think you handled the interview very well and took it all in your stride.

    Your blog has inspired me to take more pictures and see the beauty in the little things in life.

  102. I’m so proud of you and we have never met! Great interview!

  103. A big standing ovation from Gracee and Mommy! We just fell a little more in love! And on the rocking thing, that is what we mommies who become one with their babies..I miss doing that. When Gracee was a baby and I would feed her I would do the mouth thing..you know when their mouths open into a full circle to receive the food so does yours! My friend would ask if she could come and watch because she thought it was a hoot..I was not even aware that I was doing it. I told her that I was so connected to my baby that it was almost as if we became one at certain times and I was on the other end of the spoon..it’s a good thing! And after hearing you speak I was so shocked that you had a good solid up-north accent..I expected that Floridan twist that my brother-in- law (born and raised in Florida) has. So Gracee and I have one more fabulous memory on our lovely yellow couch with lips on the arm and if you could see it you would smile..and the chatter after from Gracee was all about how much you look like a princess and when we go to Florida to visit Aunt Beth can we have a play date with Lainey and her bunny! I just love how uncomplicated their little minds are. But I think my favorite part of the memory was after me trying to tell her that Nella’s name was not Nelle for weeks, she turned to me after watching the interview and said “you are right mommy that is her name”! It took someone with a british accent to convince her! ♥

  104. The picture of Nella conked out after the bath is simply……heaven.

  105. Perfect. Elequent. Pure.

    And I loved hearing your name spoken with a true British accent!

  106. You and Nella were Perfect!! Just like I knew you would be!! Even more special with the British accent!!!!
    This is just the beginning!! next stop OPRAH!!!!

  107. Finally got to watch this morning!
    As expected, you totally rocked it out it out!! This is absolutely only the start of something bigger for you guys…excited to watch it all happen for you. I can’t even imagine how proud of you your whole family must be.

    Well done my dear, well done!


  108. I saw the interview this morning and had to tell you, I love the rocking of Nellabean! After 9 kids I’m sorry to say I still rock even when I’m not holding a baby, I have to catch myself..especially at church…habits of getting to hold these slices of heaven I guess!
    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m one of the ones going back through all your archives, I’m loving all the inspiration I’m getting and lots of great ideas too. This old Mom needed it (I’m not that old, just feel it).
    Keep on enjoying the small things, and thank you for sharing that with us…it means a great deal!

  109. I just came across your blog when the story of Nella’s birth hit the Internet. Just about two weeks or so after, we found out we were expecting. (I have since figured out the little one was conceived on Nella’s birthday). Sad to say, we lost the baby this week. This was only my second child (we have a boy that is Lainey’s age) and we were so hopeful and looking forward to this blessing. I am reading your blog as daily inspiration, not for my new baby or a baby with Down’s but to appreciate my son who is here while my baby resides in Heaven. Thank you for your inspiration; today we are going to play with chalk outside. (we live in the northeast and are so glad the sun is out finally!) Have a great day and congrats on the interview…it was perfect. Enjoy your Nella and Lainey today.

  110. Finally got to watch it! You were FANTASTIC!!!! Holy Moly, can you believe it?!

    You looked hot and Nella looked like a little angel! ok and the guy interviewing you had a british accent, were you swooning just a little bit?

    and how are strangers finding your address to send you presents? thats kinda creepy.

    LOVE you!

  111. What an awesome interview! You did an outstanding job! Thank you so much for sharing your story and your hope with us. I had tears in my eyes while watching it.

    Reading about your two daughters makes me SO excited about the arrival of my second daughter due in a few months.

    Have a wonderful day!!

  112. I watched it live from over here in Italy last night… You did great! I was worried for you that the emotion would take over but really glad that you pulled it together after the first 2 seconds!!! You didn’t even seem nervous… Brava!!

  113. Completely off topic, but I LOVE that chair! Such a beautiful fabric.

    Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees those big flashing letters sometimes. Mine usually say “Slow Down and Breathe.”

    So proud of you for the interview. Way to go!

  114. Hello! I am another reader who found this blog shortly after Nella was born, and I’ve become a faithful reader since then. I keep up with a handful of blogs, and I’ve often thought to myself that it’s a bit of a waste of time – reading about someone else’s life with precious moments of my own.
    Your blog is different, and reading it truly inspires me – to make the most of time with my daughter, and to focus on the Important Things. And to pull out the camera I bought last year but had since given up on, because I didn’t learn fast enough. I’ll give it another chance.
    Just yesterday my daughter sat on my lap while I checked your blog for any CNN updates (great interview!), and she saw Nella’s picture and declared “Baby!” And I said yes, that baby’s name is Nella. So now I believe I will get to read your blog each day to a chorus of “Baby? Nella? Nella!” as I scroll through your beautiful photos.
    Thanks for sharing your stories here! They make my days better.


  115. Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:47 PM
    Fortunately, CNN brought me a wonderful interview in this morning!
    Thank you for your lovely pictures!
    From Sapporo city Japan.

  116. I watched your interview online before I left to start my day. You did an awesome job and sweet Nella slept through it all. I just want to say thank you for sharing your life with us.

  117. Hi Kelle,

    I set the DVR to record for two hours yesterday while I was at work but for some reason it did not tape your interview. I can not wait to watch it online! The new pictures you posted are beautiful.

  118. Giving more family bed props to you!!
    Its ancient, its instinctive & very very sweet.

  119. I can’t wait to see the interview!

  120. We have a family bed as well: a little 2 month old Bean and my 4 year old Monkey, hubby, myself, and our overweight cat. :) It works for us… for now.

    I enjoy reading. Thank you.

  121. Can’t wait to see the interview! I just love Nella’s eyes- so much expression for such a little girl.

  122. Anonymous says:

    Since Nella’s birth story, everyday when I get to work, I do my usual website stops: gmail, facebook, kids.woot.com, then your site. You truly are an inspirational mother! You were amazing on CNN and I cried watching the interview!

  123. I just watched your interview online. It was wonderful. Kuddos to you and your family.


  124. Great job on the interview! You are touching so many lives, it’s just wonderful.

    Love the book throwing story – it’s these real moments that make us all love you so much! :-)

    Thanks again for sharing your beautiful family!

  125. Just want to share this poem with you:

    My face may be different,

    but my feelings the same.

    I laugh and I cry and take pride in my gains.

    I was sent here among you to teach and to love

    as God in the heavens looks down from above.

    To Him I’m no different, His love knows no bounds;

    It’s those here among you, in cities and towns

    that judge me by standards that man has imparted,

    but this family I’ve chosen will help me get started.

    For I’m one of the children, so special so few,

    that came here to learn the same lessons as you.

    That love is acceptance, it must come from the heart;

    we all have the same purpose, though not the same start.

    The Lord gave me life to live and embrace,

    and I’ll do it as you do, but at my own pace.


    PS! You did a great job at the interview! And you look amazing!

  126. Anonymous says:

    Kelle…oh girl, be careful with the family bed…they might NEVER leave. Sofia will be 11 soon, and Marina is 8!!! All joking aside, I wouldn’t do it any other way, waking up in the middle of the night and moving the hair from their faces, stealing a kiss on a warm cheek, turning over and realizing that I’m surrounded by at least 20 of their favorite stuffed animals- heaven.

    Tania(the one whose dying to place an order as soon as you put our shoot back on your online order page!!)

  127. i’m going to watch your interview right now! i’m so excited! i don’t get cnni so i had to wait.
    i think isay this everytime i comment, but truely you do have a beautiful family and your pictures, ahhh…, just breath taking:)
    and yes real life and family bed’s rock!
    thanx – for keeping it real!

  128. Kelle,

    I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now, I can’t even remember how I came across it.. but the minute I did I put it up on our family blog as well. Your writing is beautiful, your photography is stunning – I can’t wait to check each day to see what else you have to say!

    I found out last week (only a week after starting to read your blog!) that I am pregnant with my second child! I couldn’t believe how much your blog hit home for me right at that moment. Because I too, now have all these dreams of what my second child will be like, and to be honest, until I read your blog I don’t think I could have kept a baby with DS. I am so grateful that the universe somehow brought your blog into my life before this new child inside me was created so that I can see a new perspective on life.

    You are such an inspiration, please keep on doing what you do!! :)

    Sara Neville.

  129. Yippie for the co-sleeping! It is hard when they are not there. I miss it. Mine are both in their own beds now, but I miss that. They still come in and visit on the weekends, but it really isn’t to snuggle – it is to jump and play. But I love it anyhow!

    Great job on the interview. You have just extended your outreach of support for your family and others like yours! =)

    BTW – you have inspired me to want to UPDATE my Nikon D1X and to also to ask others to take photos of their children. Something my family has encouraged me to do for 10+ years . . .


  130. Ahhhhh! Beautiful. The interview was fabulous. Your accent! You really are from Michigan! :) For the first time in a year, I’m actually behind on your blog, but i did sneak a peek at your interview and want to continue to support your writing!

  131. Kelle, you did a great job on your interview! It was cool to hear what your voice sounds like…what lucky kids you have.

  132. I watched your interview this morning and loved it! I’m amazed, too, at how your little family has inspired so many thousands of people around the world. Personally, Nella’s life has given me peace and perspective as I get ready for my baby’s arrival. I know that no matter what happens, life is so good as long as we have the people we love.

  133. I have been reading your blog for the past few months, and I love it. My name is Lainey and I see so much of myself in your own daughter. Her enthusiasm, she really lives out the meaning of her name. Your story is so beautiful, so real, and I appreciate how you are so real.

    I have started my mom on ready your blog. What a beautiful story of love. My own mom has had to deal with many heart breaks. My youngest sister was diagnosed with Autism when she was three, and that has been a life long journey of love for all of my family (all five kids and my parents). Your blog continues to reminds me to search for the beauty. Thank you for sharing your story.

  134. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and your blog. This is my new favorite daily read and I’m so thankful to have found you and your beautiful family. Much love, many Blessings,

  135. Okay…after the tear fest I had watching the video, I found myself laughing (I bought a DSLR camera recently!), and desiring to give many “amens” to comments you made. I am so thrilled for you that the readership of your blog has exploded for not only truly enjoying the small things, but seeing the beauty in that extra chromosome. I have mentioned before that I had a prenatal diagnosis, and one of the things that lead me to acceptance is we NEVER know what challenges we are going to have with our children, extra chromosome or not. Thanks for saying that! I don’t think that is something parents can hear enough.

    I have spent way too many hours on the computer trying to decide whether I should go for Photoshop or Aperture (I’m an Apple user). I will add my fifth child will not feel neglected in the photo department!

    Maggie Warren

  136. Oh my gosh those pics of Nella getting her bath are AWESOME. She looks like she’s enjoying it so much and about to just doze off to sleep. I especially love the one when she’s looking sideways, maybe at her sister?

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  138. You are a ROCK STAR!!! Just watched the video and am so proud of you! You were made for this greatness! Thank you for embracing this journey and taking us along for the ride… you make me want to be a better momma!!!

  139. Kathleen says:

    Your part about the book made me laugh too. It reminded me of the time my son and I were in the library. He was about a year and a half, in the stroller. I was in the business section and he yanked a book of the other shelf. As I placed the book back, I happened to glance at the title “Parenting the Gifted Child”. I laughed out loud in the quiet library. I think he was trying to tell me something… :)

  140. Kelle, I saw your interview!!! You rocked the house!!! Incredible! I am so grateful for your voice and your photos!!! Beth

  141. Good job, Kelle!

  142. Bravo!!!!! I have to say, the rocking is a mom trait. I sat and just watched you rocking Nella and started doing it myself! She was so good!!! I heard a few grunts that were precious!

  143. A friend sent this to me years ago and when I realized that it was St. Patricks day I pulled it out and read it again…now I am sending it to you:

    My wish for you
    I wish you not a path devoid of clouds, nor a life on a bed of roses,
    Not that you might never need regret, nor that you should never feel pain.
    No, that is not my wish for you.
    My wish for you is:
    That you might be brave in times of trial, when others lay crosses upon your shoulders.
    When mountains must be climbed and chasms are to be crossed, When hope can scarce shine through.
    That every gift God gave you might grow with you and let you give your gift of joy to all who care for you.
    That you may always have a friend who is worth that name, whom you can trust and who helps you in times of sadness, Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.
    One more wish I have for you:
    That in every hour of joy and pain you may feel God close to you.
    This is my wish for you and for all who care for you.
    This is my hope for you now and forever.

    Beautiful…I wonder why I only read it on the 17th of March each year…I should be reading it every day. Happy St. Patricks day.

  144. You rocked out that interview! Congrats! Thanks for continuing to inspire us.

  145. I’m one of your newest followers! You are SUCH an inspiration! Reading your blog makes me so happy and it makes my day to see what you’re doing and how you’re feeling! Good job on the interview! You did great! :)

  146. Loved, loved the interview!! Great job : )

  147. Kelle,
    I watched it and cried. Cried when you did. I had a hard time talking about Jana’s Birth without crying for a year. Still do some times 20 months later. We all watched it as a family. Cole said Nella is so beautiful she looks like Jana did. Thank you for being a voice of Mothers with of children with Down syndrome. I recently shared your blog with a friend that received her special bundle last August. She loved it as well. She said where was Kelle when we had our girls? You have inspired us to be the voice for other Mom’s. I called the Hospital and told them I would love to meet with a new Mom if they want to talk to some one. Keep up the good work. Pray for you and the girls daily. If you ever come back to Michigan would love to meet.
    Aka Princess Jana’s Mom.

  148. Well done!! Fabulous!! Thank you for being willing to share with the world! Your family is making a difference!

  149. Anonymous says:

    ijust read your dad’s post and cried. he is right! Nella is a dream- but it’s not her that has me continuing to check your blog every day. it’s your dedication to savoring your life and expanding the joy of your experience through your stunning photography. i am inspired by you! thank you.

  150. Kelle,
    I heard about your blog a few days ago and have gone back as far as Nella’s birth story which was so beautifully written!!! I shared it with my Mom and we have been very touched and extremely gratified by what you are doing by sharing your beautiful family with what has now become millions!! Your words, photos and spirit is such a beautiful gift to all of us! My wonderful sister Angela is almost 51 years old. When she was born with DS (although we call it the happiness chromosome!),my parents were told she would never walk among other terrible things that were never to be… My parents decided that they would not accept any of that until proven otherwise. Well, she walked at age 2 and has been a treasure to our family, friends and everyone she comes in contact with for 50+ years and hopefully many more to come!!!! She was my bridesmaid when I got married, my first child’s godmother and now the most loving great aunt my grandson could ever want!!! And so much more… Has the journey been easy or perfect? Well, when has anyone’s journey ever been easy or perfect? Our journey as a family has been loving, joyful and full of fun and laughter thanks to the gift of our Angel. And I can see that your family has been blessed in the same way!I look forward to following your story for as long as you are able to continue to share it with the rest of us!
    Much love, laughter and happiness to you and your beautiful family!!

  151. I just watched your interview online, it’s wonderful! Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring so many people.
    Yesterday I went to a lecture (I’m in college) and a girl, another student, with Down Syndrome walked in the room. I immediately thought of Nella and envisioned her as a beautiful young woman with endless possibilities in her future. Nella- thank you for opening my mind and touching my heart.

  152. Awesome job on the interview! Thanks for sharing your lives with so many. WOW what a positive impact Nella has had on the world in just a few weeks.
    Oh the blessings. Enjoy!!!

  153. Kelle — I love your blog. Thank YOU so much for sharing your life and your beautiful little girls with us.

    (I can’t wait to watch your interview!)

  154. Just watched it! You did an amazing job. My favorite take away for my own life . . . “They (our children) just want our time.” So true. So I’m gonna run and give my kiddos some lovin’ and time.

    P.S. I rock bags of groceries when I have a baby. :)

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  156. So glad to put a voice with your words! You did a great job on CNN!

  157. Finally got a chance you watch your interview!!! Loved it, you have the best choice of words!! And I was loved the rocking, I used to do it even if I was not holding my own and someone else was, its just a relaxing thing!!! You are the best inspiration everyday, thank-you!!! Thank-you, you really brings smiles to me on days that I could use them!! I appreciate how much this has taught me to just sloooooow it down and be a better mother to my little boy!! Hope you have a GREAT day!!!

  158. You did so great on the interview! I thought about how I would answer the question about people who are considering terminating their preganancies because of Down Syndrome…Colin’s diagnosis was as much of a shock for me as it was for you because it was not what I was expecting shortly after his birth…but…he IS a blessing. He just needed a chance…and I just needed a chance to see that. Thanks for showing the world that our babies ARE blessings.

  159. I DVR’d the interview and my husband and I watched it last night! You did a great job, Kelle!! I also loved the rocking…every time I hold a wee little babe, I lapse into that motion!!

  160. Dearest Kelle,
    we waited and waited and waited and no interview, hehe didnt realize that whole London thing.But i rushed to the computer as soon as i sent my biggest little to school and it was up! did i mention i logged in about every hour in beetween then and now,hoping it would be up:)girly it was awesome! i know i dont know you personally but i am so proud of you,and can i say that your rocking made me even rock a little for you:) it was so nice to put a voice to the gorgeous face for the times when i am reading and in my head i hear you talking, like old girlfriends sharing our lives.I know i have thanked you before but i will most likely do it a million more times,thankyou for making me “enjoy the small things:)”because of you i have held my babies tighter, spent days walking the lake with our hot chocolates and my camera around my neck,ignoring the laundry for just a few stolen moments.For years i have tried to do this,ive been a stay at home mom since my oldest was born almost 8 years ago,but i have always struggled with the balance of children and our “life stuff”, but since finding your blog i honestly have found the balance and can i honestly tell you,i will be forever greatful.You and I are very alike in certain ways, when i read your emotions i feel them,in their raw honest beauty,you have made me see the beauty that was right in front of my face so much more clear, you have made me see their is no shame in feeling life the good the bad and the holland,i at times have walked around in the times i have tried to embrace lifes beauty and have been told, that i need a reality check that life is not all daisies and sunshine,but my friend because of you, i now turn my back to those ideas and people.I grab my babies hands and run barefoot in the new spring grass,take pictures of anything and everything, treat myself every now and then and continue to “enjoy the little things”.(and can i tell you how much happier and more alive everyone is for it)

  161. Thank you for being an international proponent of breastfeeding, baby-wearing, and co-sleeping. I know you don’t mean to be, but you are. I love it. Thank you.

    And isn’t the best part of the night snuggling down with your babies and your husband?

    Last night our 6 month old daughter Emma had one hand on her daddy and one hand on me. Just to make sure we were both there as she fell asleep. It’s amazing.

  162. Anonymous says:

    thank you for sharing your life through this blog. you’re very inspiring. one day when i have kids of my own, i’d like to document their lives just like you do with lainey and nella. God bless.

  163. Watched the video.



    The greatest difference is that you KNOW you are blessed, while so many others keep looking for their blessing here-there-and-everywhere completely missing the blessings right before them. You, Kelle, are a gift to the world

  164. Anonymous says:

    You are an inspiration! You have inspired me. To look at life differently. To look at my children differently. To jump out of bed with great expectations of what “small things” the day will bring. Extraordinary things. Things that use to be ordinary. But now they are extraordinary. You have inspired me to buy a camera. And a cute camera strap. πŸ˜‰

    I always read your posts with tears in my eyes and just when I feel that I’ve made it through your post without completely losing it…I read your dad’s comments and the tears spill over! The other day my 5 year old son came in the room and asked, “Mom, why are you laughing AND crying at the same time???” Thank you for helping me see what I already had! You are a blessing to so many!

    With Love,

    Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

    – John Petit-Senn

  165. Kelle,

    Your right, I do want to leave a comment…..finally. I have been secretly stalking your blog since Nella’s birth. Your story is remarkable. Your family has touched my heart. Strange. It is strange to be soo impacted by your words and pictures — a complete stranger. But not really. You have become a friend. Reading Nella’s birth story connected us. Maybe because I have recently become a mother? Maybe because I work as an SLP and have children with DS on my caseload? Maybe because I am in awe of the beauty of your writing and the wonderful candid pictures you so graciously post for all of us. Thank you for being so real. Brett, Lainey and Nella are so very lucky to have you in their lives.
    (((hugs))) Stephanie

  166. Kelle,

    You Rocked! (and I don’t just mean physically).. You rocked the interview! Loved seeing you! You and your family should be so proud! Congratulations! Thank you for being such a huge and positive advocate for our kids!


    PS — Man, I just LOVE your dad! I mean, I really adore him! Does he need anymore daughters? I’m willing to volunteer!

  167. Great job! I love that you exposed our secret…that having a child with Downs isn’t that much different than having a “typical” child. The love is just as strong. Sure there are challenges but there also some suprising and exciting rewards that continue to amaze me. We’ve been blessed. I hope people start seeing this rather than viewing my child has a burden.

  168. What a fabulous interview! You did a great job, and I think people around the world can relate to the rocking thing, whether or not they have babies. I don’t have any of my own yet, but drop a baby in my arms, and I am swaying and rocking like you wouldn’t believe.

    I loved your answer about what you would say to those considering terminating a pregnancy because of DS. Your answer was amazing. And I must say that I think you have shown a LOT of people that they might be more capable than they think they are. And that little babies like Nella can be such a blessing. Each person will still need to make a decision for herself, but I think you’ve opened up many minds and many hearts. You should be proud.

    I must say… isn’t it crazy that one teeny, tiny, little extra chromosome can affect the world like it has? Little Nella is more special than she’ll ever know. She sleeps, oblivious to the cameras and the *fame* and the notoriety. She goes on with her little life the way she knows how… we could all learn a thing or two from her.

    I also always look forward to reading the comments from Poppa- your father. I sometimes scroll through, skimming down the comments until I see his name. He’s so thoughtful and insightful. And he has SUCH a way with words… a beautiful gift that he has passed along to you!

    I hope you don’t mind- I wrote about you on my blog today. I only get a few comments a day, but I actually get quite a few hits, so I am hoping to spread your love a little.

    Take care. Great job on the interview!

  169. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for bringing that sweet baby in this world. You are amazing and you have such a gift with words.

  170. ,,,beautiful, simply beautiful,,,i watched the video this morning and when i heard your voice start to qwuiver, i could feel the lump starting to form in my throat,,,i reached for the tissues and watched with extreme focus and dried the tears that marched one by one from my eyes,,,it’s your way of just being you, lainey & nella’s mother that makes me enjoy you so,,,you & nella did it you told your story,,,it’s beautiful!,,,now i shall wash my face from all the tears and reach for the cucumbers in the refrig to place on my eyes because they are good for swollen, puffy eyes after a good tearful cry,,,

  171. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, I look at my grandchildren and great grandchildren differently now. You probably do not realize how many lives you are touching everyday. The moment that precious Nella was born began moments of happiness and hope for others. God is sharing her with your family and all of us who need strength in our lives.
    The interview was so ‘special.’

    Thank you Kelle for touching my life….A mom, grandmother, great-grandmother.

  172. Just watched the interview…It was great! I loved your answer to the first question (about terminating a pg.) You were so non-judgemental yet had a wonderfully simple answer, to just read your blpog and see what a blessing Nella is to your life.

    I have a little something I would like to send to Lainey if you wouldn’t mind. She is such a precious big sister and I have been thinking of her and how her life has changed since loving sweet Nella. You can e-mail me at hutchtina@bak.rr.com

  173. I loved it. And it was awesome to finally hear your voice. Weird? Maybe, but I am odd like that. :)

    I take pictures every day now…of the smallest things, and, looking back on them, realize they aren’t so small. And I am getting better at it!

    Thank you.

  174. I have been reading your blog since Nella’s birth story and along with the other readers have had tears in my eyes many times! I am also a mom of two little girls (4 and 18 months) and have been touched by your love for your family and the joy of the little things in your life. Your photos are FABULOUS and along with your words truly jump off the page, you are such an inspiration and can’t wait to see what you guys are up to next!

    Calgary, AB Canada

  175. Hey! Great job with the interview. You nailed the tough question! and for the record, I would have rocked the entire time, too! That’s what you do with babies, right?

  176. Hey! Great job with the interview. You nailed the tough question! and for the record, I would have rocked the entire time, too! That’s what you do with babies, right?

  177. Anonymous says:

    Great interview! Finally got to see it a few minutes ago. Kudos from California!

  178. Hi – Saw you on cnn.com today and went to your website. My 2 kids, 2 year old Bryce (boy) and 7 month old Scarlett (girl!) are sleeping. I just spent the last 45 min reading your posts, looking at your pictures and crying. My goodness you are inspirational. Thank you for sharing, I am going to check back often. But maybe you can change your music to something less vulnerable, I can’t cry every day! :) Thank you again. You are beautiful.

  179. Jennifer says:

    Congrats on a wonderful interview! Have you ever checked out this blog: http://www.filthwizardry.com

    She recently posted a craft for fairy mushrooms that you could use for Lainey’s birthday party! :)

    So proud of you and your family,
    Jennifer in Michigan

  180. ~Favorite quote from today’s post:

    “We are so proud to represent these amazing blessings and to advocate for them. To show the world…every child is beautiful. Parenthood is beautiful. Life is beautiful.” Kelle Hampton.

    ~Today’s favorite interview moment (just watched it again): I felt your words when you said “my children inspire me more than I inspire them.”

    ~What I think about your “subconscious rock-the-baby motionrock”: Bravo! for being a mommy first, your girls are your number 1 priority :)

    ~Today’s favorite photo:
    Lainey kissing Nella, you can see how much she loves her little sister…

    I feel Nella “knows” what she is doing, she will continue to inspire and amaze others.

    You “literally rocked” that interview ;). I’m very grateful to you for being so inspiring!

    Love and Light~

    “We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.” Anne Lamott

  181. bridget s. says:

    dear kelle,

    you did a fantastic job on the interview! love love loved it!
    i also like your response on the question about aborting a downs baby. just because this baby has downs doesn’t make it less of a human being. i also noticed your michigan accent! πŸ˜‰ you are amazing. i hope one day i can be just a little as cool as you are. and i would be happy. viva babies!

    love and prayers from
    omaha, nebraska

  182. Kelle, so very proud of you and utterly amazed and thankful for all that God has brought into your life so quickly. Overwhelmed much? You seem to be handling it beautifully, but if you need to step back and regroup we’ll all step back and let you. Feel no pressure from this huge group of new friends that are beginning to take an interest in you. Love you, my sweet cousin!

  183. We did the family bed for YEARS. My daughter nursed til she was just about 3 years old, so it worked for us very well. In fact, my 10 year old is still on our floor in our room with 2 down comforters for her bed because she refused to sleep in her bed. and my 8 year old still falls asleep on my bed and we then move her to her own bed once she falls asleep!

  184. Lurky Mommy says:

    Aw, Kelle! Your interview was great! Sweet and sincere. God is using you, girl!

  185. Kelle – my sister in law introduced me to your blog just a few nights ago and I’m already hooked. My husband and I have been going through a very difficult time as we were pregnant with our first baby and found out at our 12 week apointment that our precious baby was gone to heaven already. There was no heartbeat. I have felt so sad, devastated, and just miss my baby so much. We then had quite the scare as I hemorrhaged due to some complications with the miscarriage. I am pressing on for the promise God gives us of brighter tomorrows. I am trying to see the beauty in the small things of life and to remain happy. Thank you for sharing your life and your story through your blog. It’s beautiful.

  186. It was beautiful, Kelle. You have so much support here, it’s indescribable. But you already know that..

  187. Thank you so much for sharing your blog and your beautiful family with everyone! As a mommy of 2, ages 4 and 2, you inspire me to be a better mommy! i look forward to reading your blog! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

  188. Hi, Kelle,

    We’re going to meet in April when we visit my in-laws and have our family photo shoot, but I can’t wait that long to tell you that I just watched your CNN interview, and something you said resonated with me: At the end you said that kids don’t need fancy activities; they just want our time. My mom was a teacher for a long time, and she often says something similar: Half of parenting is showing up, being there, being present.

    So thanks for sharing such a simple, beautiful truth. My hunch is that your interview inspired more parents to make more time for their kids–and if that’s true, you’ve just given bunches of children a blessed gift.

    Hooray for all of these good things!

  189. Hi, Kelle,

    We’re going to meet in April when we visit my in-laws and have our family photo shoot, but I can’t wait that long to tell you that I just watched your CNN interview, and something you said resonated with me: At the end you said that kids don’t need fancy activities; they just want our time. My mom was a teacher for a long time, and she often says something similar: Half of parenting is showing up, being there, being present.

    So thanks for sharing such a simple, beautiful truth. My hunch is that your interview inspired more parents to make more time for their kids–and if that’s true, you’ve just given bunches of children a blessed gift.

    Hooray for all of these good things!

  190. Anonymous says:

    Kelle: I watched your interview today and just thought you did a GREAT job at answering the questions in a very real, motherly way. Good job girl!

    My husband walked up behind me while I was watching it on our home computer and (without even knowing who you were) said .. “Oh.. she seems like a really good mom.” =) I said, Yup.. she is SUCH a good mom! =)

    I enjoy you and your “realness” to the enth degree!

    I hope that God blesses you with much happiness and special moments with your family today.


  191. Watched with tears as I held MY little baby Taylor Bear.. thanks for sharing.. It’s so encouraging… and so good to be able to relate.

  192. I had a little sweet baby girl about a month before your Nella, on Dec.21st. I have been reading your blog since a friend sent me the link to the birth story you wrote.
    You have a beautiful way with words and your sweet Nella has the most stunningly beautiful eyes!
    Oh- and I’m with you on the rocking, I find myself doing that at the grocery store… when my baby is at home.
    Blessings to you and your family!

  193. great job on the interview! I must say I loved your dad’s words too on the comments…both of you have an amazing writing ability that goes straight to our hearts…thank you for sharing.

  194. Loved the interview Kelle! I love your blog, your children are absolutely beautiful.

  195. Just had to comment again, saw the interview. You did FABULOUS!

  196. Great interview! You did such a fantastic job and the baby rock is just a sign of a mama in love with their baby. After I had my baby and someone else was holding him, I still found myself standing and swaying back and forth! lol.
    I’m excited to continue “watching” your journey with your beautiful, perfect family!

  197. Your interview was wonderful – you did such a good job, and I love your perspective and your honesty. Thank you.

  198. Melissa M. says:

    GOOD FOR YOU!!!! And Big Hugs!! I watched your interview yesterday with my three year old tying my shoes in knots and my precious toddler with Down syndrome balanced on my lap. And when you cried, I cried at what a beautiful, life changing experience it all is and at what a beautiful mother you are and at what a beautiful family you have! I was so nervous for you yesterday bc I imagined myself being interviewed by someone who hasn’t walked in my pink hospital slippers and who hasn’t fallen in love with an angel with polka-dot eyes. You did an excellent, outstanding job of showing that it not only okay to have a child with Down syndrome, but life can be beautiful, wonderful, and amazing, too. I am so, so, so proud of you! Thank you for representing our community so well!

  199. Kelle,

    Is that surreal, and just absolutely amazing to watch your live traffic feed in real time??? I’m in Howell, Michigan and I can see people from all over the world arriving on your blog just seconds apart. CNN was right – you were a perfect choice for their “Connect the World” segment because you are doing just that.

    I read on one of your posts that you want to inspire others. It should be evident to you by now that you are reaching that goal! Parents are reminded by your words and your photos just how precious life is and they are, in turn, inspired to be so much more present in their own lives.

    Congratulations on not just this success, but your attitude and how happy you are with your life.

  200. I was thinking about you all day yesterday, and keeping my fingers crossed. I tried checking the link online, but guess it wasn’t up yet. Hopefully my pathetic dial-up will be nice and let me see it. Glad it went well!

    I still do the baby-rocking motion even if I don’t have him in my arms! I notice it while standing in lines, like at the supermarket.

    Gotta laugh at life’s little ironies, eh? And I’m sure it won’t be the last time something is chucked at Nella’s head. One of my brothers was hit in the head with a brick – and he was fine! Although – one of our infamous family stories – my sister had just learned about the temples on the side of your face, and she went running to my mom saying “Ben’s gonna die! Ben’s gonna die!” Hehe… classic.

    Ooh, those eyes that are just endless pools of blue… amazing.

  201. I let my boy play with the hose. He made a very big muddy mess and came inside leaving wet dirty streaks all over my floor (one I just cleaned, btw). But the smile of proud glee….so worth it. Glad I took a moment instead of freaking out.

  202. forgot to add…
    Saw the show, you made me laugh watching your mama rock, totally used to do that all the time. I still catch myself swaying back and forth when I stand, even though I have a toddler and kindergartner – mama habits die hard. Have a happy day : ).

  203. Kelle – You did amazing. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  204. I just watched the interview, that was wonderful to see you “in person”, you did a great job! I can’t hold a baby without rocking either! πŸ˜‰ You truly have inspired so many people, I hope you can understand it. I swear since coming across your blog I am just, more aware. Can’t explain it. After reading you for a couple of months now, it is nice to put a voice to the words. You sound like you have a little “midwest accent”…I’m from Chicago, I have one big time πŸ˜‰
    Love the bath pictures you added here too. I love the one where Nella looks like she’s rooting toward Lainey’s hand, another one of my favorite fleeting newborn things. :)

  205. wow! I am amazed at how easily you handled this! I cannot imagine the nerves and the emotions you must’ve been feeling to get ready for this big moment! i feel like i really “know” you !! Thanks for sharing your story!

  206. Congratulations, Kelle! You really rocked! (no pun intended).


  207. just watched your cnn interview, and i have to say … i’m so proud of you, kelle!!! you have taken your surprise of a miracle {and how you’ve handled it} and turned it into many miracles … b/c you’ve inspired so many to live life {as it’s been dealt} and enjoy the small things!!! how cool is that?

    did i ever tell you that i have a bean of my own? ella bean, that is! g was reading your blog last night and commented on that. how cute!!

    and the sleeping bath pic, mmm.mmm…

  208. I always read, but don’t always comment – loved the segment – I was so nervous FOR you, but you were awesome. Just as real as you are on here.

    Very inspiring, but of course you already here this every day!

  209. I can’t get over her sweet face and pouty lips. Thank you for being so honest and genuine in your post.

  210. I loved the interview and it was nice to kind of meet you! You get me so excited to become a mama. Totally off topic…….. I must ask, from one photographer to another. Why don’t you use a Mac? I have to laugh when asking this because I get asked this all the time. Personally I am so stuck in my PC ways and have CS4 and elements 7 for the PC that I feel fine and that it can do whatever a Mac can. What’s your reasoning? Just curious! PS I read your blog from start to finish the last couple of weeks and I just am in love with your sweet little family. Please keep up blogging so we can watch your beautiful girls grow! Thank you so much for your blog it is truly inspiring and fun to read, you’re fabulous!

  211. I just watched online! Great job!! :) Keep blogging, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we love our little “peeks” into your lives. Simply amazing.

    Nella is so lucky to have you as her mother. (Lainey too!)

  212. I just watched online! Great job!! :) Keep blogging, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we love our little “peeks” into your lives. Simply amazing.

    Nella is so lucky to have you as her mother. (Lainey too!)

  213. Anonymous says:

    Awesome interview, Mama Kelle!

    I have this on a pretty plaque in my home – and it seems to be how you think and live your life. You will NEVER regret giving your children too much of your time!

    “Nothing should be more highly prized than the value of each day”

    XOXO to those little munchkins! We love them!

  214. To Kelle and Yours,

    (cause you all feel like family to me)

    Happy St. Patrick’s day.
    “May God give you…For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”

    ~Irish Blessing~

  215. We were a co-sleeping family as well when the boys were smaller. We LOVED it as well and while it doesn’t work for everyone, it DID work for us. My boys are now 7 and 4.and kinda too big for the 4 of us :)

  216. Kelle, Thank you for posting the link to the CNN interview,I had my PVR set, and sadly lost satelite signal and the portion of the show with your interview did not record, I was quite upset, bu so glad when I signed on today to see you had posted a link. Your an amazing mom Kelle and I look forward to reading your blog everyday. Thank you for touching my heart (((HUGS)))

  217. I loved your interview…and yes you rocked the baby the whole time, very cute :-) My brother has Down Syndrome (he’s 29 yrs old now!) and I’m so glad I found your blog. Your other daughter will have such an enriched life being the sibling of a special needs child. I am who I am b/c of my brother…period.

  218. You did a wonderful job! As always, LOVE your photos.

    We are contemplating our second child and I don’t look forward to the jealously/tantrums (book throwing, etc.) of the older child reacting to the younger that has somewhat removed them from their pedestal. Stresses me out to say the least. :) How do you deal with it?

    As you said we can learn so much from our children. While I was watching the interview, my 18 month old was so excited to see the baby as pictures of Nella where on the screen. She just kept pointing to the screen excitedly saying “Baby.” Just as Lainey was when Nella was born, my daughter saw nothing “different”– just a sweet little baby for everyone to love. I think that is something we all desire, the innocence of our children.

  219. Thank you for continuing to share your story. I saw the interview and you continue to inspire me. Your children are beautiful and your photos are breathtaking.

  220. Madisyn Andrea says:

    You were AHMAZING! I had goosebumps! You are truly beautiful inside and out, and so is your family. As I said the moment I found out Nella had a blessing, the day she was brought into this world; if there is one best family for this blessing to occur in, it was Kelle’s. Her spirit and mind will rock this out like no other, and find the beauty in this “Little”. I love you guys!


  221. Madisyn Andrea says:

    You were AHMAZING! I had goosebumps! You are truly beautiful inside and out, and so is your family. As I said the moment I found out Nella had a blessing, the day she was brought into this world; if there is one best family for this blessing to occur in, it was Kelle’s. Her spirit and mind will rock this out like no other, and find the beauty in this “Little”. I love you guys!


  222. You did great!! You’re famous =)

  223. Glad it went well. A gorgeous post – thanks

  224. Dani, momtoAlyse, in Nebraska says:

    Kelle, job well done girlie. Thank you for being a voice for all parents of children with Ds. Really, I think what you have accomplished here on your blog, the world wide attention, articles in your local paper, all of those things are simply amazing. So thank you. Keep talking, keep writing and most of all keep those amazing pictures of your beautiful family coming. I am truly a fan!


  225. Brava! Brava! You were poised and elegant and so put-together! I’d hope to be half that self-confident if I did an international interview.

    Well done! It was a marvelous interview. :)

  226. GREAT interview! You did the rocking motion the whole time…but it was nuturing and perfect! :)

    I had to giggle when I read below the window who other Connectors of the Day had been: Black Eyed Peas, Jesse James, Sharon Osbourne, etc. I bet you never thought you’d be on that list?! You deserve it though!

  227. I love reading your blog and seeing your beautiful pictures! I am 15 wks. pregnant with my 3rd!!! I never thought much about down syndrome with my first two, but now that I am 33 I became more concerned. All that worry goes away when I see Nella and see just how perfect she is extra chromosome and all!!! πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing your story

  228. We love our family bed. There’s nowhere else I’d rather have my little man, since I don’t have to get out of bed to tend him when he wants to nurse in the wee hours.

    I am sure you did just fine during the interview; you are a very capable lady.

  229. Holy moly! I wasn’t expecting that either! Seeing your life in pictures with music and a narrator with a strong accent set the tone. So glad you were able to recover because I would’ve broken into the ugly cry right there in front of (inter)national tv and became famous with Tom Bergeron on America’s Funniest Videos! Well done Mrs. CNN; they’re going to give you your own CNN channel for Cute Nella News!

  230. Anonymous says:

    Kelle! You rock! How does it feel to be an inspiration to the WORLD :) You are such an amazing giver. The world is a brighter place with you in it!!!! Poppa, you too. You rockrock. Love your words. Love your pictures. Love your love.

  231. Anonymous says:

    Kelle! You rock! How does it feel to be an inspiration to the WORLD :) You are such an amazing giver. The world is a brighter place with you in it!!!! Poppa, you too. You rockrock. Love your words. Love your pictures. Love your love.

  232. Hi Kelle. We’ve never met, but your blog was forwarded to a support group of MOMS here in Los Angeles–all of whom have at least one child living with Down syndrome.

    Your birth story and the candor and emotions that you share have resonated with so many of us–because as much as we are different, it seems as if we’ve all been where you were. Four years into my journey, you have already seen glimpses of the beauty and magic that awaits you.

    We are all so blessed.

    I also wanted to send a you tube video that gave me much strength and inspiration in the early days. It is a video that is featured on many websites of DS organizations and coincidentally has an accompanying instrumental that bears your little one’s namesake.

    Congratulations on your precious Nella!


  233. AWESOME interview Kellie! You did a great job and so did Nella. I for one am so very glad that you continue to let us into your life everyday- I feel connected to you just because of Laney and my little girl. They are only a month apart. Thanks so much for your daily dose of inspiration-I can’t get enough!!

  234. I just LOVE how you are between the Black Eyed Peas and Eva Longoria. You rocked that interview and I don’t just mean figuratively. Thanks for making me bawl in my classroom as I watched during a break. Hope to see you Friday.

  235. Kelle,
    Your first T21 Conference, you will be MOBBED! You are so loved by so many of us. I called Darrah (my oldest) in to look at your blog the first time I visited and I told her through tears… “She’s going to do big things for our community!’ 7 weeks into it… I say with gratitude and love and from the bottom of my heart, “I love your family, and thanks for accepting and loving ours through your reactions, your words and your photos!”

  236. Brit Girl says:

    I loved your interview! You were so poised and conducted it with your trademark grace and panache! The rocking made me smile too! I wonder what will happen next on this big adventure…!

  237. I’ve wanted to write you a post many times in the past few weeks since I first visited your blog. I wanted to write a comment when I read Nella’s birth story, but I was too overcome with emotion to do so. I wanted to comment about a post I read from a 2009 when you wrote how a parent shouldn’t think too much about raising their child and just love them with every bit they’ve got (the “buy your kid stickers” post :)). (I love that one by the way! It’s changed the way I mama.) I wanted to comment about your posts on a random day in your life that remind me so much of my own reality, but I find myself still wanting to emulate yours!
    I write today, because I LOVED your interview. Mostly I love how you were so genuine. I could tell you were very much yourself. The way you welled up with tears in the beginning touched me. I could see and feel how much you loved your sweet Nella, who is beyond words beautiful!
    Your blog has taught me to be a better mama. The love you have for Lainey, Nella, and life is so beautiful. Thank you for bringing more joy to my life and showing me how to savor every bit of it. Please keep doing what your doing! You inspire me!
    Thank you!

  238. Lexi Lago says:

    You did GREAT, Im soooo happy for you! I loved the way you ROCKED Nella the whole time. I would most likely too. I had goosebumps ( wait… not goosebumbs… MOUNTAINS) on the back of my neck and arms! You answered each question wonderfully! Love you all! Send ALL my love…
    Lexi L.

    Tuna told me about Nellas “321”, so im going and we can finally meet! Love you!

  239. Can’t wait to check out the interview and I just wanted to add that we family bed too and you put it pefectly…it IS heaven!

  240. Steve and I just watched your interview. WOW!! I am so incredibly proud of you, inspired by you and just in awe. I love you so very much.

  241. Anonymous says:

    Yay! That was so great! You spoke so well and gosh you were so strong to hold back those tears!!! I started welling up and got a huge lump in my throat as soon as he asked you that first question and I thought…oh god, cmon Kelle, hold it together!!! πŸ˜€
    So nice to hear your voice and kind of get to know you a little bit more as well, in “real life”.
    Oh and those bath pictures are simply divine…and possibly your best ones yet.
    Congratulations again on a successful interview….will you remember us all when you’re really famous?!? lol
    Keep on keeping on, I love sharing my daily coffee with you and reading your latest posts :)

    Allison in Australia
    P.S And silly me,thought you pronounced your name like “Kel” when now I know its really “Kell-EE”. Duh! :p

  242. Anonymous says:

    Great interview! I thought you handled the questions like a pro!

    Oh, and I brought bubbles to the park today with my 2… everyone loved them and thanks you πŸ˜‰


  243. Anonymous says:

    You are truly gifted! I am so touched by your words. I was told about your blog from a friend of a friend-after reading your birth story i realized who your Dad is-he married me and my husband here in Naples and baptized our son! What a small world. I am amazed at how many people I tell to read your amazing words have already heard of you!

  244. Anonymous says:

    You did wonderfully on CNN! I am amazed and inspired by you!

  245. Great job on the interview!! Love the bath photos!

  246. Anonymous says:

    Just watched it Kelle, you were awesome rockin babs and all…..I do that too…proud of you :) Sue NY

  247. Haven’t watched the interview yet, but wanted to tell you, don’t let anyone give you any guff about the family bed. Family beds rock. You suck every minute of enjoyment out of that, and don’t apologize for a second. Sniff those baby heads and enjoy the sounds of middle of the night nursing. One day they won’t be babies any more, and you will have those memories to cherish.

    Off to watch your interview. I’m sure it’s fabulous.

  248. Loved the interview! But I gotta know, what was the lipcolor you were wearing? You looked beautiful and I just had to ask.

  249. Loved your interview! It was so neat to see and hear you in that way. So cute how you were rocking Nella the whole time.

  250. The interview was fabulous! You are fabulous!

  251. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle:

    The interview was wonderful…you always have the right words. You are giving a voice to these babies – our babies. Don’t stop. They are beautiful…they deserve this.

    My Alex is now 7 months. And I am ceratin that he will end up teaching me more than I could ever teach him.

    Found a great quote and thought I’d share:

    Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
    Helen Keller

    I am learning to embrace adventure and change through Alex, and he is teaching me “strength undefeatable.”

    Love to you and your sweet girls!

  252. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle-
    Finally got a chance to sit down and look at your interview. It was awesome…I had tears as usual. I am so grateful I found your blog. You truly have changed my life. Every day I love the beauty that surrounds me everywhere I turn. You are so inspirational and so honest and most of all so simple. Keep it coming…you ARE a rock star! THANK YOU!!!

  253. Kelle- I am so proud of you and thankful that you continue to share your story with everyone. That’s what is so awesome about you – you’re not afraid to say – “yeah I was scared, yeah I was shocked”- you rock girl! About the baby rock thing – I still catch myself doing it- even when I am not holding a baby!- now that’s embarrassing! You did such a fantastic job with that interview! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures tomorrow!

  254. Anonymous says:

    You were great! So poised like you interview for CNN all of the time. Your blog has made me squeeze out the joy from the little moments with my children that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. That is a gift and I thank you!

  255. I look forward to seeing the interview on the internet! I can only imagine how it must’ve felt to have the world watching you. To be an advocate for your child where all eyes are watching your every move, all ears listening to hear what you have to say. THank you for being so brave and honest.

  256. I have to finally post. I’ve been following your blog since the day you posted Nella’s famous “birth story”. I am so inspired by how you view life and how well you can express yourself in words~not to mention how breathtaking your photos are! How lucky and blessed are you to have the talent to be able to capture in such detail the little things that we all think of when we remember certain moments in our childeren’s lives. I can only imagine how your girls will love to look back at all these gorgeous photos and words you’ve captured and written. Not to mention how you’ll love to do that to. I only wish I had done the same thing 15 months ago when my daughter was born.
    Good luck with all the things this wonderful blog is bringing your way. You inspire me to look at all the little details with my 15 month old daughter and every time that I read a new post by you, it reminds me of just how beautiful being a mother is. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures with me and everyone else.

  257. You were amazing on CNN! I have a serious addiction to your blog (and photos!) As a preschool teacher, I am always open to learning new ways to “enjoy the small things”.

  258. Kelle-

    I love your blog! I’m sure someone has already mentioned it to you, but you HAVE to read Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. I read this book recently and it really touched me. I saw that you mentioned a few posts ago that Nella has something magical about her and this book popped up in my mind instantly! I swear you will not put it down!

    Keep writing and taking pictures of your beautiful family.


  259. Nellabean’s after bath picture is the best ever!

  260. Hi Kelle .. I discovered your blog only last feb 11 and I am pretty sure lots from here in the Philippines have read your amazing and inspiring journey. And today I watched your taped interview on CNN .. and just the same, I as touched and moved by your story,of Nella’s and the whole family of course.

    As a mom like you, I want to express how proud I am to be a part of your life (even just through your blog). You are an inspiration to everyone.

    And oh, don’t mind the “rocking” you still looked beautiful. Kisses for Lainey and Nella.

  261. That pictures of that little precious in the bath-oh my heart just beams with love for her!!! Such a doll….

  262. Anonymous says:

    Great interview. You have, and will continue to inspire many people. You have a way of touching peoples hearts. You inspire me to be a better person.

  263. I watched you online last night, crying all the way through (what’s with that?). You really are a beautiful person, live on TV and in the blogosphere!

  264. Hi Kelle,

    Just watched your interview and it felt funny to hear your real voice as opposed to reading your inner voice! You did a great job. Ever since I discovered your blog, I have to read your new entries everyday. Your words and views in life are such inspirations for all moms out there. Thanks for sharing yourself and all those beautiful pics of your children!

  265. Nella is adorable. I can’t stop looking at her pictures and just want to squeeze her.

  266. Ilsa Lund says:

    A friend (who served as a doula at my younger son’s birth last April) forwarded Nella’s birth story when it was first posted, and I’ve been following your blog since I first read your beautiful, heartbreaking, powerful, and joyful story. Just days after my son’s birth, a dear friend had a precious daughter born with Down Syndrome; this summer, her brother also had a daughter born with DS. Reading your blog has helped me understand much better what they’ve both been through this year: the loss and mourning, but also the joy and gratitude for what their beautiful little girls bring to their lives every day. Thank you for being so brave to put all of this out there.

  267. Okay so I have been obsessed with your blog for about 3 or 4 weeks now and have read your sister’s blog (also amazing) and now… your dad comments and I love him too! You all have an amazing way with words and I honestly already felt like he had to be great because of how close you guys are and how much he obviously loves those girls but reading his comments brought tears to my eyes! Way to go Poppa! and you are right your daughter is a Rock Star! Thanks for allowing us all to share this with you, you are an inspiration.

  268. Aw, I loved your interview! You’re so honest about everything. Maybe you will get more interviews, I’m surprised you haven’t by now! Good job.

    Oh p.s. my family lives in Naples, it’s beautiful there!

  269. You know Kelle…even when I check back to see if you have posted anything and you have not…I am never disappointed because everyone that is leaving comments are leaving little pieces of who they are and it is incredible how moving they are. I guess everyone has a story that if shared will either challenge you to be a better person and make changes or make you feel good about the choices you have already made. I am just in awe of how much alike we are..some may live half way across the world but we have so many things in common. I am praying for Tina who lost her baby..and laughing at how many family beds there are..we have been hiding ours for years (some people are so not cool with it..like the inlaws)! I feel liberated! ♥

  270. Hi from Corfu (Greece), I caught your interview yesterday on CNN and then visited your website for the first time. You have been doing amazing work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beautiful photographs with us!

  271. Anonymous says:

    Who takes the great pix of YOU? …like the one of your husband kissing you, and all the others? Do they use your camera?

  272. You did an amazing job Kelle with the interview!
    And if you were a mom out there watching, you barely noticed the rocking, because as a mom, you do it all the time…even standing in line at the grocery store!

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  273. This comment has been removed by the author.

  274. Kelle,
    The interview was flawless. You did great!! And Nella had her first taste of fame! :)
    And I had to laugh because I am forever doing the “rock the baby even when no baby is present.” Someone actually commented once as I did it on my work elevator! Ha!

  275. This comment has been removed by the author.

  276. Wonderful wonderful video!!! Bravo!!!

  277. Love you and the beautiful life that you have created around you. Thanks for sharing, as always.

  278. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, thanks for a good cry this morning while I was watching your interview! This cry was almost as good as the cry I had when I read Nella’s birth story. I know exactly why God gave her to you – your life is so colorfull and all the pictures are a proof of that! Your amazing honesty is inspiring.

    Kansas City, MO

  279. Wonderful interview! You did great.

    I’m one of those lil ‘ol people who read your blog every day – often when my one year-old is going down for a nap or when her daddy comes home to relieve me after a long day. And I’m one of those people who leave the house messy and read her extra stories. And give her extra hugs and know that she’ll never be 13 months old ever again.

    All because of you.

  280. Kelle – I loved your interview, even the whole baby rocking thing. Used to do that with a shopping cart, and no baby with me. Love reading your blog, having been there, done that, 14 years ago. Can’t tell you how many times I crawled into the crib and held my baby and cried. Time goes on, life is good! I knew it then, as I am sure you do, that life was good. And that life would continue to be good. And it is. And yours is too! Keep writing, and keep the beautiful photos coming!

  281. Thank you SO much. Your words inspire me to be a better mom. You ROCKED that interview. Your girls are blessed.

  282. So, you are like famous now :)

    Watched your interview, it was pretty great. Just like you.

    Love the new pics, love seeing that little Nella and her big sis. Wishing I was vacationing in FL this year just like last year – we could visit :) How cool would that be? We could all do brunch.

    Hope you are having a great week Kelle.

  283. Also, congratulations on your local paper 4 day birth series story,
    Kelle! :)

  284. i am one in many to you. but to me you stand out above others. my soul has found courage and a desire for beauty in your words and pictures. thank you.

  285. The interview was awesome!! I cried from the opening segment too, it was a great interview!!!

  286. I love your blog and it finally got me off of my butt to start my own. What got me going is all of the earlier stuff, just writing about your day to day life. It seems like it comes so naturally to you that I thought I’d give it a shot.

    Thanks for writing :)

  287. Way to represent, Kelle!

  288. Way to go on the interview! You and Nella looked fabulous “) Hope you have many, many more to come!

  289. I love it so much.
    The post.
    The pictures.
    Your words.
    I can not wait to watch the interview!
    You are a blessing. Thank you.

  290. Anonymous says:

    You leave prints in so many peoples hearts. Meaningful life with beautiful girls. You have a perfect life and you appreciate it to the fullest. Not so many people do. Keep on living, rocking and telling the world about it! Greetings all the way from Norway-Mamma to 4 kids. Loving every minute of it.

  291. *Wesley* says:

    Nella has beautiful, beautiful eyes! Can’t wait to watch the interview online! Love your blog!

  292. That was a great interview. :) Congratulations on all of your successes!

  293. It was so exciting to see you on CNN!! You did an amazing job!!!

  294. Kelle,
    You have shown that there can be joy in suffering and what a beautiful lesson to share.
    May your family be blessed.

  295. I saw you on CNN and had to come look at photos and read… I read your birth story along with a few other dates and I am in aw with your pictures and words… not to mention your beautiful family… Your pictures are precious, your words… inspirational and your love for your kids… illuminating and overflowing… I thought to myself, – This Mom “gets it”. I am so happy to have found your blog… you speak right to my heart as a mother… Thank you!

  296. I watched your interview earlier today and I just wanted to hug you. You seem like a fantastic mother and exactly the type of person we all need in our lives. Thank you for all that you have shared and all that you have opened my eyes to. My camera had been shoved in the closet for months and now its living on my counter so I can capture the precious moments as they come. With a one year old and a three year old they come often.

  297. FANTASTIC job Kelle! Cried. Goosebumps. Killed me.

  298. A few months ago someone on a message board I regular posted about your photos. Since that day I read your blog and break into tears almost every time. Your strength is amazing and inspires me. You are amazing. Your children and amazing and this blog is amazing!

  299. You are everything beautiful and inspiring. I have been touched by your blog and the pictures of your adorable girls. I believe that people who are in the right place at the right time are able to touch the lives of others just by being themselves and sharing their own story. I am a better mother for reading yours!

  300. Awesome job, Kelle! You were poised and secure and grounded and came across as a loving mother and avid photographer.

    As a relatively new follower of your blog, it was great to see you in person (and Nella, too!).


  301. Such a wonderful interview. Nella looked so sweet in your arms. I honestly want to nibble on her she is so precious. The tub pictures are just too much. I love tub time with my little one and you captured it so well!

  302. I have a question totally unrelated to this post… Sorry… Haha. I’m not sure you will have time to answer me, but I thought I would give it a shot.

    I’m in the process of researching new camera’s so I can finally get a little business going. My plan is to start small with friends and family and see where it goes. I have ALWAYS wanted to do this… Needless to say, you have inspired me, which I’m sure you have heard a million times by now. :) I’m going to do what I love and I am SOOO excited… but back to my question(s)… I was checking out your photography blog and noticed your newborn sessions and a few with older babies are with all black or white backgrounds. LOVE IT!!! Do you have a studio that you use? Do you use natural lighting only? Or is this all just in the way you edit? I have Photoshop CS3 and I’m still trying to figure out how to make my colors as bright as yours. HAHA.

    If you have time to give me a little direction I will… Uh… Be your friend forever? LOL. Thank you thank you for your everything you’re doing!!! You make mom’s everywhere feel normal about our day to day struggles!!!

  303. Love reading your blog and looking at your pictures…..Amazing!

    The family bed works for us too. I have a 14 month old son and 2 month old daughter. And every night our family of four snuggles up in our full-size bed! Yup, you read right, full size!!! It may be a tight squeeze, but we love every minute of snuggle time we can get!

  304. I just want to snuggle those babies and smell their necks! (I’m a mommy with big boys NOT an internet stalker!) How do you get anything done? I would be snuggling those two all day long!!

  305. Finally got to watch the interview online… very well done! Thanks for taking the time to put such positive words out in the world.

  306. Loved the interview. It is incredible to me how many of our stories are alike in this Down syndrome community. I, too, grieved for a night over the baby I didn’t have and the unknown of the baby I did have. By morning the sun ceom up im my heart even brighter than it did outside my window. We consider The Love Magnet an incredible blessing in our family and wouldn’t change a thing.

  307. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never followed a blog in my life until I came across yours- it has truly sucked me in. Your story, your life, is inspiring. Nella is beautiful and so is Lainey. How could you not be happy with those two lovelies in your life every day? :)

  308. I predict Canon’s Q1 profits will post a 200% gain because of your blog!

    BTW, you were super adorable on TV! You rocked that interview. Far more interesting than the Black Eyed Peas.

  309. Kelle! I saw your Dad’s display of sweet Nellabean at work, and just had to send out a hello, and a huge thank you! I will try to be brief (not something I’m good at). It does not at all surprise me that you are doing huge, wonderful, beautiful things. I have always known you to be the definition of Lainey’s name–your kindness, sincerity and beauty shine!! Congratulations on your two beautiful girls–it makes perfect sense to me that these two sweeties were chosen just for you, and you for them. And thank you for sharing so much—you truly are an inspiration to so many! So good to see your pics and read your words–you are one awesome mommy!!Sending hugs and prayers, AngelaF (from ‘echo’)

  310. You truly are an inspiration! I am so glad I was forwarded to your blog! You and your precious girls are going to touch so many lives, it is awesome!!!

  311. I heard about your blog just recently and have been following for a few days. I am a speech pathologist and have been privileged to work with many amazing children with DS and other special needs, and although they are not “mine,” I carry them all in my heart and am grateful for all I have learned from them about life and joy and yes, “enjoying the small things.” Thank you so much for sharing your story and congratulations on your two beautiful girls! I have so loved seeing your gorgeous photos of both of them. I am also the mom of a young daughter, and you have inspired me to get out my camera and take more pictures of my beautiful girl as well.

  312. Having lived in Europe for the past five years, I just want to thank you for using the situation you were presented with to touch the world. I don’t see many with DS over here (at least not in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland or Germany!), and I suspect it is due to more testing or perhaps less awareness.

    A couple of years ago a fan at one of my husband’s games talked to me about his decision making process with his wife regarding an amnio. I smiled and told him of my uncle, whose extra chromosome brings more joy and light to this world than most others I know. His childlike innocence keeps the entire family young and laughing.

    Because of your special outlook on life, I wouldn’t venture far to say that your interview touched at least one soul trying to make an important decision. Not only Stateside, but across the globe as well. Thank you Kelle.

    Cherish those sweet and beautiful littles of yours and have a simply beautiful day. :)

  313. family bed=good thing

    thanks for your updates, the pictures warm my heart.
    love those “fish-lips” too!!!

  314. Great interview! It’s because you are so open with sharing Nella and your life with us that perceptions about those with Down syndrome can change! So – thanks! It seems so different from when Matthew was born 8 short years ago, so many more “I’m sorry’s” than congrats even then!
    And LOL – so Matthew’s story bonked Nella. Ack! :) He says he’s sorry! :)

  315. I’m curious, do you find that people attempt to make a hero of you for parenting a child with unique and special needs. Its something I feel in my conversations with people about my son and I. I’ve decided so few people get the opportunity to parent a child with Downs that they think its different than parenting “typical child”. May be I’m off, because I don’t have any typical children, my relationship with Zion feels typical and what I’d do because I’m someones mother. Regardless of who the child is, us mother’s just show up to care for our babies, to love our babies, to assist them in being who they came here to be. Something in my heart breaks when I hear someone say they can’t do what I do. If they had a child with Downs they wouldn’t do it. I always remind them that they don’t know what they would do until… Just the way I didn’t know until. We all find a hero within when its needed. God bless you. Thank you for making having a child with Downs so normal and extra-ordinary.

  316. Moniquer…
    Sorry I’m using the comment board to answer your question, but it’s such a good question and thought you’d might see my answer here.

    Yes, so many say things like “I’d never be able to do that” to suggest you’re some kind of hero…but how many parents of special needs children said that same thing before they were blessed with these kids? Probably all of them. It is amazing what you learn you are capable of when it’s handed in your lap. I laugh and say, I didn’t choose to be a “hero.” It was that or curl up and die. And I’m only into it 7 weeks. Right now, it’s easy and no different than a child without D.S. I like to look at “hero” as “rockstar” instead. That it’s not raising a child with D.S. alone that makes me a rockstar…it’s doing it in a way that shows the world all of these families are BLESSED and no different. We rock out life like no other and do all the things we imagined we’d do with a new child…just a teeny weeny bit different. And we make sure the world sees that. Yes, it IS normal and extra-ordinary. And tomorrow, on a day dedicated to showing the world what it’s like, I will raise a glass to you and every other parent out there doing what we do (NORMAL life!!)…and say “Cheers!”

  317. Kelle,
    Just watched your interview today online. You did a terrific job! I appreciate the thoughts you shared on each subject. And you didn’t seem the least bit nervous. Bravo!

    You DO have a wonderful road ahead of you. My daughter that has DS is now 3 and right up there with her peers in EVERY area except speech for now. Needless to say, she is amazing everyone! I wish you could meet her. :) She’s the best!! :)Totally enriched our lives and opened doors we never knew were there. Just wait and see…

    Also, you gave me an incredible amnount of hope today when I heard that you didn’t go to school for photography! Are you kidding us??! Maybe I CAN learn. I LOVE your photos! It makes me sad to know I don’t have pictures like these of any of my children – yet! I love taking pictures and have hundreds -no thousands! But none like yours.

    Where do I start to make changes?? And do I really need to get a fancy camera like yours? Or can something anywhere simliar be done with a smaller digital camera? I have a Kodak Easy Share ZD8612IS that has a 10x optical zoom. I know you are extremely busy, but if you have time to answer, I would so appreciate it!

    f not, please consider addressing some photography tips inyour blog. I will eagerly await them!!

    Have a wonderful day enjoying the small things!!

  318. Ha ha… As VR4Jen said, Canon’s Q1 profits will skyrocket because of you – how about Canon as a blog sponsor!!??

    Love your blog! Can’t get enough of those sweet babies of yours! We love the family bed in our house as well – I have a 2 year old as well and a little girl born just a few weeks before your little Nella! Life was wonderful with one and even more so with two.

    Keep up the beautiful blogging, the baby loving and inspiring others with your camera and love of your babies!

  319. Lovely, lovely pictures. Just got back from vacation and had to check in — I need to see your interview! So excited about that!
    ( By the way, we do the family bed thing, too. Always have. Wouldn’t have it any other way!)

  320. Just catching up— your girls are sooo beautiful.

    and you are an amazing photographer

  321. Anonymous says:

    I want you to know how much you inspire me. My future career is in Special Education and every time I read your blog I’m reminded why. No child is ever defined by their disability, Nella is proof to this.

  322. Anonymous says:

    I just found your blog and have enjoyed it. I have to say that when I wrote my essay for the “Gifts” book I didn’t picture the collection as a flying saucer for toddlers-but hey whatever works:) I’m just glad new parents are getting copies of the book.

  323. I watched the interview online. You did great! I do the same rocking or must-be-moving-somehow thing when I’m holding babies. . . must me that “mama-ness” in us women :).

    So neat that you realize you are blessed! That is such the truth! My brother has been the biggest blessing in our lives. It’s hard to think of what we did 5 years ago before he was with us! We always say, our life was so dull.

  324. opaliris says:

    The family bed…such a wonderful thing! It was nice when they were tiny and I was breast feeding…snuggling up with each other. first our son and then our daughter 2 years later…then with another son four years after her… of course when the oldest started school he wasn’t getting enough sleep with all of us in bed so he moved to his room, still when his dad who is a firefighter would work his 24 hour shift he would know and then it would be just the kids and I since dad being gone gave us enough room :) My babies are 17, 15 and 11 and still every third day when they know dad is gone and there is room they come sleep with me, not every night but still they know they can whenever they want…some may think it’s weird…I say do what works for you and your family. They will always be your babies no matter how big they get.

  325. What a lovely interview. I had a little chuckle at you rocking Nella the whole time. As a mum that seems ingrained into us, I found myself rocking the trolly at the supermarket the other day even though I was by myself!
    Keep doing what you do so well. I love reading your blog :)

  326. I didn’t get to watch the interview live, so I am so glad you posted the link.
    I am with you as far as rocking goes. It is natural. It is good.
    We also have a family bed and I know how heavenly it is. So warm and full of nothing but love and comfort and safety!!!

  327. Family bed rocks! I slept with Allie on my chest from the time I came home from the hospital until she was 3 months old & then she slept between my husband & I until she was about 10 months old. Now she sleeps in her crib half the night & our bed the other half. When he’s working overnight at the hospital, I almost anxiously await Allie’s cries so that I can bring her into bed with me. Though I pose a mathematics question: how is it that the smallest, most wee little one most often takes up the largest surface space? We’ve all but realized, as wonderful as it is to have your little one tucked in next to you, it’s not so fun waking up with a cracking back or your elbow on the nightstand :) Either way, I’ll take it!

    Bookmarked your CNN interview so that I can see it tomorrow!

  328. The family bed is perfectly ok. Never let anyone tell you it is not. It is also ok NOT to let the baby cry it out. It is ok to carry a baby all the time. I hate all that motherly advice and ferber parenting method that tries to put every family into a cookie cutter type of raising a family. What is right is to do what works for your family. Not what works for someone else.

    Off the soapbox now.

    Love to you and your family Kelle

  329. Dear dear Kelle,

    Thank you. For being you. For sharing your life, your story, and your beautiful daughters with us. And for doing it with such beauty and simplicity. Like many of the people who are now following your blog, I found a link to Nella’s Birth story about a week ago, and I can’t tell you how much it moved me. I’ve probably read it 30 times by now. Nella was born just a week after my own little girl, and the afternoon I read the story I held Olivia tighter than I ever have and cuddle with her all afternoon. Not that I didn’t have a thousand things I needed to get done – but here it was, your story kicked me hard, and I had no other wish but to “enjoy the little newborn things” all afternoon. So – thank you, for teaching all of us about love. I’ve always been one to try and pay attention to the little things – but your story and pictures make me want to take it to the next level. You are such an inspiration to me, as a mamma, as a photographer, as a woman…as a human being

    I’ve spent so much time reading your blog these past few days, and your writing is so genuine, that I now have the feeling that I know you and your girls. Wasn’t it yesterday that Nella and my little Olivia had a play date? :) Seriously though, I find myself going to a store to pick up some clothes for Olivia, and find myself thinking “Oh this would look so cute on Nella!”…the way the internet can connect people is just amazing :)

    I am not going to wish you happiness for the future – because I know that no matter what you are going to be looking for it, and I am quite sure you won’t give up until you find it around you :)

    Keep enjoying the little things and rocking our world!


    PS: Given the amount of comments you are getting these days, I don’t quite expect your to read this one for a long time, if ever…but if you do, please send me your mailing adress at audrey.belliard@gmail.com . I would love to send a little handmade present to both of your girls :)

  330. Beautiful, love all the pics

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