Enjoying the Small Things

It’s late. My big girl is curled up in our bed waiting for me. My little girl is snuggled in her Moses basket next to me as my outstretched leg rocks the cradle it stands on just enough to keep her steady breathing from awakening.

It’s been a very good couple of days where, on reflective evenings like tonight, my soul settles into its grateful place…a very good place to be.

And grateful places need good rest. But before good rest comes our acknowledgement of good things.

With no further ado…
We are enjoying…

Our Tulips.

Our third bouquet this spring…and as those perfect purple cups open wide with their last hoorah, I can’t help but think they are celebrating something.

I forgot how full of life spring really is.

Photobucket

Responsive Smiles.

All the time. She drinks in our faces, our coos, our eyes…like a drug. And just when your heart’s about to bust, it comes…this tiny grin and squinty eyes and sometimes, if you’re lucky…a gkooooo. I’ve been waiting for this…and it feels amazing.

Photobucket

Photobucket

I love my kids to the moon and back and ask for nothing in return, but when they love me back and I feel it…oh, it’s heaven.

Photobucket

New Friends.

I’ve been blessed to have some amazing people brought into my life this past year. And, while I don’t have a ‘little black book’, I do have a rich blend of beautiful souls that have been poured into my life for good reason. I love my village of kindred spirits.

With that said…California Chick, you rock.

Photobucket

Sunflowers-to-be

Lainey’s pots have been transplanted, and we are enjoying watching our green friends stretch their stems a little higher each day, growing layers of broad leaves and promising happy blossoms to come. In the meantime, she learns the joy of watering and watching and knowing amazing things can start with the smallest of seeds. The smallest of ideas. The smallest of souls.

Photobucket

Her Creative Heart

I never tire of hearing her ask to color. to paint. to create. Or of watching her, all tongue-hanging-out and shy-smiling as she swirls her brush to make beauty.

Photobucket

Continued Party Plans

Planning my girl’s birthday makes my heart happy, and I can’t wait to see her take it all in on the day we celebrate the magical day she was born.

These can be found in the dollar bins at Joanns…and, with some tiny funnels and an array of shimmer dusts, our party guests can create their own layered fairy dusts in these sweet little bottles. Add some ribbon and a cool tag and voila…super cool party craft, not to mention a great take-home treat for little girls to lure fairies and ensure some sweet dreams.

Photobucket

Watch Dog

She may be little, but she is mighty. Latte takes the role of watchdog seriously as she oversees the sleeping babe. Dude. Don’t mess with a poodle.

Photobucket

My Second Mama

She knows my soul. She lives across the street. She holds and hugs my babies like they’re her own. She’s our Nana Kate, and she is special.

Photobucket

She asked tonight if she could have Nella forever. I said “no,” but we settled on a custody agreement of Friday mornings so I can have some alone time with the big sister.

And Nana Kate’s grandkids are here for spring break and consequently, my girls’ love-ometer is off the charts.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Friends

It’s magic to behold. The enchantment of little souls interacting. Smiling. Taking each other in. Oh to be little and to have friends.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Knowing what my village of kindred spirits brings me…what a joy it is to see her build hers…soul by precious soul.

Sock Monkeys

Ours come with lots of love from Aunt E. And Nella just got her own today. We think she likeys. Thank you, Aunt E.

Photobucket

My First Girl

I had a radio interview the other morning. And as I smoothly retold the night of Nella’s birth, I felt it happening again. The lump in my throat, the hot tears pooling, and the beautiful heartache of love as I neared the part where my beautiful girl taught me how to love. She teaches me more than that every day, but to her I am ever grateful…just for being her.

Photobucket

Oh, you little willow. You blonde little sprite. I love you.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Our Street

For it’s a happy place. There are kind souls that live in the houses that line our street…and that makes it the Boardwalk of our Monopoly. Prime location. And not for what its worth in dollars. No. Prime for its worth in friendly faces that smile and wave and run to see how big the girls have gotten when we walk by. For its driveway firepits on Saturday nights and doors that I knock on Sunday mornings because I’m out of coffee cream again. For its mess of bikes and trikes and wheeled thing-a-mabobs that end up in our yard every weekend, but that only means there’s kids inside. For its borrowed mamas and grandmas that fill in when mine are far away. And, tonight, for the happy huddle of souls that lined our friends’ driveway as we watched fireworks for no good reason but to celebrate togetherness.

Photobucket

And, as I watched as kids danced in cloudy smoke and friends swaddled my baby, I was reminded again that life is very good, we are very blessed and the good always, always outweighs the bad.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Hey, tomorrow’s Friday…and that’s always good. Celebrate life this weekend. There’s lots of it.

Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. You make me want to pack my bags and move in down the street. Oh it’s so lovely to read your posts! What a beautiful life! We all have SOOO much to be grateful for…thank you always for the reminder.

  2. Amz in NZ says:

    Wow :-) What a beautiful post, wishing your gorgeous wee family perfect Easter <3

  3. Lovely as always :-) So nice to have a Nana Kate in your life! And a list of things to be grateful for. My own list is long today. It’s shaping up to be a good weekend here…Daddy’s plane lands in about 25 minutes!

    (P.S. the quilted chairs: where from?)

  4. Quilted chairs were a gift from a friend who works at Arhaus Furniture. I believe they are called the Casama chair.

  5. Lainey’s hat is adorable. Love the flower on it.

    The fireworks with the neighbors remind me of 4th of July barbeques we used to do with our neighbors as I was growing up. They were so much fun.

    As always your family is precious.

    I hope you guys have a wonderful Easter weekend :)

    Katy

  6. Oh Kelle, I was on here tonight and had your blog minimized (enjoying your playlist) and then went to look at one of your camera posts (I need to make a few online scrapbooks) and I knew when the page renewed that you had posted because your playlist was different :)
    Your words, photos and music have me in happy tears. We are all so blessed :)

  7. your posts make me extremely happy and blessed. we should all look at the small things in our life and be truly happy. thank you

  8. Have never posted a comment before, but couldn’t resist tonight after feeling completely reminded of the “little things” that make life so rich. My son will turn 4 next month…4 years ago I felt exactly as you; I’m excited for you and for all that you are and will discover. Thanks for sharing your beautiful life…

  9. beautiful as always, how to look at life like it is the very fairy tale we all wished for is a talent. most of us see the wicked witch and all the horrible apples and you see the unicorns, fairies and happiness. thanks. thanks for opening your fairy tale for all of us to see. loving your babies from a million miles away, Patti

  10. Ah! I have one little boy and another boy on the way, and while I am LOVING (and reveling) in “all things boy,” it sure is nice to come over here and enjoy a little peek at “all things girl!”

    Your spring tea party was SO LOVELY to look in on!

    The women of Communal Global are having a special picture contest that I think you should contribute to! The theme is “Todays all around the world” and your todays are always worth looking in on!

    Go to:
    http://communalglobal.blogspot.com/
    To share your today all over the world!

  11. Seriously your words are just beautiful, as is your photography…love reading your blog…you bring so many thoughts and great feelings out that I don’t have the ability to do so naturally as you…thanks for sharing your journey with us all! We are all on a journey and I wouldn’t change a thing!

  12. So…I’m up late as all heck trying to catch up on orders from kind souls who say things like, “saw your hats on Kelle’s blog..they’re so cute,…and isn’t Kelle just great?” ..to which I say, “well of course she is!” (thank you again..)

    And dude, I would never mess with a poodle, because if anyone knows the wrath of a little dog, it’s this chick.

    Have an amazing weekend, and a beautiful colorful Easter.

    xoxo,
    nicole

  13. Amy from KC says:

    Your blog makes me look around in my own world and see blessings and magic all around.

    And oh my goodness, I remember leaning over my own son when he was a wee one…making him smile and coo. Never have I felt so powerful, all because I was able to make him light up with love and mirth, eyes wide one second and crinkled and laughing the next. Radiant memories. He’s 4 now, and I can still make him laugh and sparkle. It might be time to have another…he’s been asking for one.

  14. Such an inspiring post! Have. Great weekend! xx

  15. Your children (and photos!) are beautiful!! Your words (and beautiful pictures) have moved me to tears on more than one occasion. Thank-you for being open and honest and sharing your heart.

    ~Tricia~
    http://thebusymom.etsy.com

  16. I sit in awe, once again over the total beauty of your posts. Your love, your life, your girls, your photography.
    Beautiful-Love. It shows in every part.
    Thank you for sharing.

  17. This was pure magic to a soul that’s been really wrestling with all things love, happiness, and hardship.

    Thanks <3

  18. I just started a blog as a way to document my own two little ones… I have linked to yours because it is so beautiful! I love your photography and you definitely have a gift for spinning the positive! Your post made me appreciate my own friendly little neighbourhood. I am new to photography and will be following your blog – hungry for tips! Happy Easter!

  19. Anonymous says:

    There you go! Doin’ it AGAIN! Making, even if it is dragging me by one arm kicking and screaming, to relax and enjoy life’s joys. The small things, that we (as mamas) tend to miss in our hustle and bustle of life. Well, thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!

  20. Once again, a great post! I love Lainey’s ruffled dress – you’re so lucky you can wear great summery clothes like that year round in Floriday…winter clothes are such a drag compared to flighty, wimsical and fun summer clothes! :) Those b/w pics of you and Nella in her room are fantastic too – someone else in your house/family knows how to take fantastic pics too! :)
    Happy Easter.

  21. Thank you for your beautiful reminders of just how wonderful life really is.

  22. i’ve been reading your blog since donald miller featured you on his, and i am continually inspired. i wondered for a while what about you that was so inspiring and moving and just uplifting to the heart and soul… and it came down to this: you have an anne frank-like positivity, you know there is pain in the world but you choose to see the beauty, see the good. and it. is. so. powerful.
    bless you for it.
    xoxo, belle

  23. Anonymous says:

    Kelle,
    Thank you again for saying what I feel but can never seem to capture in words. Sometimes I am tempted to just put a link to your blog in my post and say “ditto” because my writing and photography pale in comparison. Always love your posts; love the poodle guard-dog!, love the shots of Nelle just soaking in the beauty of her family, love the photo of your “first girl”. Enjoy the Easter weekend, I know you will :)
    ~B
    http://www.oregondrops.blogspot.com

  24. Beautiful post. Thanks for the inspiring words and positive outlook. You rock!!!

  25. Hi Kelle- My sweet lil’ Lily was born the same week as your Nella…she has DS as well, so it’s so cool to read your blog and see all that your doll is doing right along with mine. I know we’ve never met, but it is just uncanny how similar your birth story is to mine. Thanks so much for sharing- the world needs to know how beautiful and perfect our little ones are:) Lots of love, Patti

  26. celebrate indeed. have a fabulous easter.

  27. Enjoyed today’s blog…. :o) Just love the stories the pictures tell.

    :o)

    Jennifer

  28. beautiful and heart warming!!! I always seem to close your blog with tears in my eyes. Tears of happy and sad tears of im not alone in this. Tears of hope and laughter. Thanks Kelle and baby girls :) luvs&hugs

  29. Yolanda says:

    Its that quiet time in my house when kiddos and hubby are asleep. What am I doing…making Easter treats for my daughters kinder classmates. I love making the mundane things beautiful. Love the inspiration you continue to give me. Love the latte watchdog pic and you cooing at Nella bean.

  30. Such inspiring photos and even more inspiring words. Reading your blog is like a square of chocolate melting in my mouth! Thank you!

  31. Wonderful blog, as always.

    The pictures…oh, the pictures. These photos are some of the best I’ve seen, truly.

    And your dog!!! She looks almost identical to my Ruby! Ruby is an apricot colored Cockapoo and we love her to pieces. What kind of dog is your little killer?

  32. martine says:

    I wish i could see through your eyes, in fact i wish i could see the beauty in this life.
    Thanks for sharing x

  33. Every time you mention the moment Lainey met her little sister I tear up. What a beautiful memory.

  34. I can’t get over how cute the tea party picture is!! :) Oh it steals my heart!!

    xoxo

  35. The toddler girls running hand in hand just makes my heart melt. Thanks for sharing…yet again!

    Have a wonderful and marrow filled weekend!

  36. Nana Kate brought back memories of our sweet neighbor, Rita. She was in her late 90’s when Morgan was born. She watched us come home from the hospital with her, oxygen in tow, tear stained faces, hiding in our house for awhile, hoping neighbors wouldn’t want to see our new baby quite yet. She came over with such love and hope. Adoring words for Morgan and shared how much she missed her Jill. She was her last daughter and born with Down syndrome. She had to fight all of the doctors to keep her. No one kept them during that time. She saw the worth of my baby when I was still having a hard time seeing it. I wish I had a picture of her with Morgan. She always asked me to please let her watch Morgan for me. I didn’t want to burden her with a new baby. Now I wish I would’ve taken her up on that offer. We miss her so much. Thanks for another moving, wonderful post.

    Happy Easter!
    XOXO

  37. As always, when the stress of my upcoming wedding gets to me (4 days!!!) and my son is having a cranky day (3 months old on the 9th!) I can come read your blog and remember that no matter how hard my day was, there is beauty in everything, and you capture it so perfectly.

  38. annie b says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Finished reading with tears in my eyes, took delivery of my groceries, came back to read the comments and I’m in tears again. But in a good way. It’s sometimes hard to see that the “small things” are really the “big picture”. Thanks for reminding me of that every time you post. It’s a wonderful world, after all xxx

  39. In the quiet of a Good Friday morning, I find my littles revealed again in a new post…and I drink in every delicious drop of them. I love seeing them individually…and as the duo I know they will be. It is that perception of children I want to keep in my eyes…I look at a traveling parking lot carnival and wonder if it is safe, if it is clean…they look and think “what fun!” I look at a pool of rainwater left on my lawn after a sudden storm and worry about drainage and they think, “Let’s splash–and they do!” I look at a warm brownie with dripping frosting and see calories and fat counts…they beg to consume it and think nothing of frosting on their face. Yes…Lainey leads us into things we worried about and teaches us to skip with soul’s abandon. And that puts fireworks in our sky! Maybe that’s the message of my Good Friday…seeing tomorrow’s worries differently because of what we see today! Loving you this morning…loving looking through your lens.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Good morning Kelle,
    Your words and pictures today have me teary! So very beautiful. You say your girls teach you every day to enjoy the small things – well you surely remind us also! LOVE the pics of your dog watching over sleeping baby – that is just too cute! Have a Blessed Easter with you wonderful family and friends.
    Sue

  41. Hey, Kelle

    OMG! Those pictures of Lainey and her little friend running and holding hands is just absolutely perfect. Made me smile and made me think of my dear friends back in Brazil, I really miss them.

    Have a great holiday and I am just waiting anxiously for pictures of Lainey hunting eggs. I know will be GOOD!!! Tee hee.

    Much love

  42. I am sitting here enjoying a day off with my little guy and loving the time with him. I have been reading your blog for the past month and thanks you to I have been Enjoying the Little things more than ever. Thanks you!

    Oh and I was quite shocked to read your entry today and see that Nana Kate’s grandchild are my friends kids! Such a small world!

  43. News Anchor says:

    When I first starting reading your blog I have to admit — I was jealous. I was jealous of your life. It all seems so perfect… even the imperfections are beautiful.

    But you have helped me to stop and smell the roses. During all of these years of me being a workaholic, I never stopped to realize that I had achieved all of my goals and I have more than I ever wanted. You have opened my eyes to the fact that we all have beautiful lives, we just have to learn to enjoy the small things :-) It’s those little moments of “real life” that now bring a smile to my face.

    Thank you!

  44. I’m glad you’re taking Nana Kate’s offer. Nate and I have our “special morning” every Friday. Can’t wait to see pictures from your own special morning!

  45. We do not have tulips yet but up north when you see the deep purple blue of the crocus you know spring has truly sprung…ours are right outside our kitchen window and I have to say it brought a smile to my face yesterday to see them peaking out of the tiny little pod that holds them..it almost looks like that pod is holding them back because when they burst out it is in 60 seconds flat (at least that is how it seems). I love that feeling when your hearts feels like it wants to burst..I think that is the point in life that we are totally connected with our Maker…I really think he intended us to feel that way ALL the time. That is why he gives us the Nella’s, Lainey’s, Gracee’s or whoever takes you to that point. I have to say I still get a little lump when I look back on your pictures to the picture of you, Nella and Lainey when big sister made everything ok…still my favorite! Have a lovely Easter..well I guess it is silly to say that because now that Nella is here you are experiencing loveliness in its purest fullest bloom..drink the nectar. ♥

  46. My toy poodle looks just like yours–scruffy and oh-so-cuddly. I imagine him guarding my little ones one day just the same. Bless you and your family and thank you for your inspiring words. Hoppy Spring :)

  47. Your girls are just so beautiful. And Nella’s eyes…so expressive. I love them!

  48. I have been reading for awhile now and I absolutely love your blog. I am convinced we would be fast friends. You have a beautiful family. Thank you so much for helping me remember how good life is!

  49. Lauren M says:

    I wish we were neighbours!

  50. Anonymous says:

    I love, love, love starting my day by reading your posts & looking at your gorgeous photos. Thank you for sharing your honesty & talents with an ordinary SAHM like me! :-) Now, back to relishing in my kids’ adventures….

  51. I just saw you posted an update and although I should be getting to work I had to read it and I am so glad I did. What a great and inspiring way to start the day! You have this way of convincing me to slow down and appreciate the small things! I love that about your posts because in all honesty we all need to slow down and look at what’s around us. I know how very blessed I am and sometimes you need to step back and remember that. Have a wonderful weekend with your beautiful family!

  52. As always, a great way to start my day. Just love everything about your blog.

  53. I love tulips… my kids already have theirs sitting on the window sills waiting for them to bloom because when they do grandma promised a visit!
    Neighbours that are friends make life so very rich.
    Your photos are stunning (I say again)
    Have a splendid Easter with your little fairies!
    :)

  54. Your posts always leave me a little teary eyed. There is so much beauty and truth in every post. I love seeing the world through your eyes…or lens? =)

  55. Another beautiful, inspiring and tear jerking post. Everytime I read your blog, I shed a tear…not a sad one, but one filled with hope and love. Your girls are absolutely beautiful. When I had my son in December, I was really worried how my 5 year old daughter would react. Well, seeing her with him brings out a whole new kind of love…she is so gentle, loving and protective…it warms my heart.

  56. Kelle- Beautiful post! I don’t often have the time to read the blogs, but love catching up! learning the true meaning of love here too! A friend told me that CS Lewis once said, “God will stop at nothing to bless us!” Blessings to your precious family this Easter!

  57. Oh tulips! Ahhh.. :) Yay for Nella smiles, and for Lainey w/ friends.. so cute, the 3 of them on the blanket. Have a great weekend, Kelle!

  58. Beautful words & pictures….as always!

    http://ourimperfectlife.blogspot.com/

  59. I just read your “Nella birth story” blog post the other day and I just wanted to thank you for sharing it. It really touched me. You have a beautiful family. I also love your photographs!

  60. Beautiful post and pictures. I really needed this after meeting with the court investigator yesterday for Sara. She will be eighteen in 15 more days!

  61. Your blog is my favorite.

    That is all.

    Have a fabulous weekend! :)

  62. Oh, I just love your blog! The pictures just suck me in and then I read the words that go along and can’t believe it could get any better. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and feelings!! I love the picture of the puppy watching Nella too, but please put her to sleep on her back…it’s just safer for her :) Have a blessed weekend and keep sharing!!

  63. its amazing how many lives you and your family has touched :) God Bless You and your girls :)

  64. Thank you for reminding me that the good always outweighs the bad. Because it’s so true.

  65. beautiful. just beautiful.

  66. your blogs always inspire me to look on the bright side of things… to find those special moments in the small things… if ever i’m feeling down in the dumps, i just run over to your page and my spirits are automatically lifted. thank you for that. thank you for sharing your story. and thank you for lifting my spirits when i need it the most.

  67. With almost every post, you bring me to tears. Not tears of sadness, though, but tears of understanding and hope and love. My two-year-old son and I tell each other we “love you to the moon and back” and what you wrote about that in this post really touched me to my soul because that is exactly how I feel for my boy. In such a crazy world, I love knowing that there are moms out there cherishing each moment of each day with their kids.

  68. Your posts bring me to tears most days. Today is no different. This weekend will be full of life. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

  69. Kara Brown says:

    You are so blessed to have all these wonderful people in your life. Positive people bring in positive energy into their life. Thank you for this new post. I needed it this morning. Enjoy your weekend. :)

    Kara Brown

  70. you are a poet.

    and i love it.

    i have a photo of my golden retreiver looking into my newborn son’s bassinet next to the bed just like yours. and it makes me smile every time i see it. have a great weekend girl! can’t wait to see what you doll your girls up in!

  71. The fairy dust is a great idea for her birthday party! My daughter’s 2nd birthday was luau themed and we did something similar for sand art. Thank you for your amazing posts; can’t wait to read the next one! Happy Easter to you and your family!

  72. I LOVE sunflowers and tulips. They have always been my favorite. My grandfather would always plant them for me when he was alive (I’m sorry to say that I did not inherit his “green thumb”).

    Kelle your photos are breathtaking as usual, and your words make me smile. I hope you, and your two precious daughters have a wonderful Easter weekend. I cant wait to see pictures of them in their dresses :)

  73. It always does my heart good to come here…I loved the shots of the girls running together and Nella smiling at her daddy! Have a wonderful weekend and come say hi 😀

  74. Beautiful post! Thank you for everything, Kelle.

    Favorite song: #12. Between The Bars, Elliot Smith!

    Favorite photos: Nella with Daddy and Lainey with her arms wide open :)

    Love and peace~

    “Go out into the world where your heart calls you. The blessings will come, I promise you that. I wish for you the insight to recognize the blessings as such, and sometimes it’s hard. But you’ll know it’s a blessing if you are enriched and transformed by the experience. So be ready. There are great souls and teachers everywhere. It’s your job to recognize them.” Sy Montgomery

  75. Kelle, I agree with so many of those above who say that your posts “make me look inside my own life” and “you bring so many thoughts and great feelings out that I don’t have the ability to do so naturally as you”. I wanted to quote them because I couldn’t have said it any better.
    I want you to truly realize what a difference you are making in so many lives. Not only because of the awareness you are bringing to DS kiddos but the heartwarming feelings that make each of us recognize our own blessings.
    I feel as if I can step into the photos of your life and I so adore being there!

  76. God Bless you this Easter and always..thank you for sharing your penny candy moments with the world.

  77. I love reading your lovely words, but especially love seeing your beautiful pictures! I look forward to every post!

  78. I was just outside yesterday taking pictures of my tulip..but Im jealous..you have had three bouquets already..and i have only one tulip so far..lol!!!

  79. as usual your pictures and words never cease to amaze me. You take the kind of pics I have always wanted to take but havent achieved. Thanks brightening up my soul today…and always.

  80. Love the photo of Latte and Nella! My lab Klaus was the exact same way with our son Jack. Klaus is worth his weight in gold, and it’s nice to see other good watchdogs/babysitters around. :-)

  81. I just had to comment and tell you how much I LOVE your blog. Your pictures make my heart smile EVERY time!

    Also, I introduced my sister to your blog a few weeks ago. She’s not a blog-reader and she’s definitely not the “mushy-gushy” motherhood type. BUT, yesterday, she told me how much she LOVES reading your posts. She said you look like such a cool mom and it made her want to have kids one day — that’s not really typical of her. :)

    Just wanted to remind you what an impact you are having… just by living (and photographing).

    THank you!!

  82. I was fine… until you reminded us of how Laniey taught you how to love… damn it gets me every time!

    Thanks for the tears… I need them sometimes. They humble me!

    And like your sweet neighbor… I would love to keep baby Nella {forever and ever}! How awesome of her to give you Friday mornings with Lainey. You’ve got something special there in a friend! Having five boys and no room to breathe, I would pass out if someone offered that to me!

  83. This post made me remember the good ole days when spring time meant more time to play outside with the friends, and more tea parties with those precious friends. Your pictures of your daughter & her friends were amazing and I could almost hear laughter coming from them!

    You’re such an inspiring person.

    Keep up the amazing work (both as a mom AND a blogger!! 😉 )

  84. Beautiful post. Your writing always takes my breath away and leaves me with a lump in my throat and the desire to hug my own daughter a little tighter and love her a little more (if that’s even possible). You and your family are gorgeous. Thank you.

  85. I’ve been following your blog ever since a friend posted a link to Nella’s beautiful birth story on a parenting board. I have never been so touched and inspired by someone I have never met. You are truly awesome, and are such a gifted writer. You have such a unique and captivating way of expressing your thoughts. What a beautiful family and how lucky they are to have you. :)

  86. I agree with the Sanchez Family. Since finding your blog, it’s made me want to pack up my NY bags & move down yonder. My great grandmother actually lived in Naples for the longest until she passed several years ago. My hubby wanted to know why the interest in FL (he’s been wanting to move forever). But the way you tell the story of life with friendly neighbors, beautiful, enchanted beaches, & cozy lights coming through windows, you could outsell any real estate agent! :)

    I just love the picture of that precious puppy watching over sweet little Nella. Reminded me of my childhood cat, Lucky who I fully believe still watches out for me. Animals & children are just an amazing, amazing pair.

    Oh, and can I just say how happy I am to have discovered the addition of Sia to your playlist! Sweetness! Sia & Zero 7 together again :)

  87. Ps. Today’s steal on babysteals.com is EXACTLY the kind of thing Lainey would love. Sweet, pretty knit hat with flower that doubles as a purse? Umm hello…divinity!

  88. Wow. All your posts are great, but a special few literally give me chills and this is one of them. The love is right there on the screen for me to revel in. My particular favorite photos this time are your poodle watching over your babe and Lainey running holding hands with her friends. You are definitely blessed and you remind me that so am I. Thank you.

  89. Mommy of Two Girls too says:

    Your words are just magical! Love this post..especially a fireworks display – for no particular reason! But, I suppose the reason would be to celebrate Life, Love, and Friendship! Sounds just wonderful!! :)

    Have a nice Easter!

    ~Deanna

  90. Anonymous says:

    Kelle-

    With your playlist playing softly in the background, I am getting everything ready to color
    Easter eggs with my 2 girls! Mine however are almost 16 and almost 13, and it seems like yesterday they were little like Nella and Lainey. I, like you, treasure every single moment with them. I cherish every small thing and drink in these childhood traditions, as I know that in a few short years they will leave the “nest” . You are giving your girls such a precious gift in your photos and words to document their amazing lives. It is precious beyond words.
    Lainey and Nella are simply beautiful.
    Have a perfect, pastel, flower filled Easter filled with all the yummy candies you photograph so well!

    Susan from Boston

  91. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never posted a comment but have been a faitful reader since Nella’s birth story post. Kelle, just two things: (1) you are an AMAZING person. You have literally changed my perspective on life and my 2 1/2 year old daughter is the beneficiary. I get home early every day to play in the street and watch her on her tricycle. I drink in all the little moments (the ordinary) and that’s thanks to you. You’ve heard it a million times, but you truly are an inspiration. Thank you for being such an amazing beacon for the rest of us. And (2)… your dear Poppa is a treasure. I read his comment on yesterday’s post and was totally moved. He’s thoughtful, genuine and has a truly beautiful soul — the apple didn’t fall far from the tree this time! You are inifintely blessed with such a wonderful family. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. We hang on every word. Can’t wait for the book! 😉

  92. Somday, I’ll be able to read your blog without tearing up and/or crying. Thanks for letting us in your world!
    p.s. I’m an old friend of Rebecca Bell (DeBoer). I heard about your blog via DesignMom. :)

  93. kells bells…california chick does ROCK. we miss you already. i need to ‘borrow’ that pic too.

    okay, on to the photos…oh, i love the ones of you looking down at nella, the sock monkey (one of my faves of her), lainey on the blanket drinking out of the tea cup with the light behind is beyond beautiful and very lainey.

    your neighbors/family do have it goin’ on! and i love your words. love you so so much soul-sistah.

    xoxo today is so beautiful!

  94. kells bells…california chick does ROCK. we miss you already. i need to ‘borrow’ that pic too.

    okay, on to the photos…oh, i love the ones of you looking down at nella, the sock monkey (one of my faves of her), lainey on the blanket drinking out of the tea cup with the light behind is beyond beautiful and very lainey.

    your neighbors/family do have it goin’ on! and i love your words. love you so so much soul-sistah.

    xoxo today is so beautiful!

  95. I was going to post a comment last night but was too tired after work. And now I am so thankful because I got to read some other great comments! Especially your Poppa’s! I love when I have something beautiful to read after a long night of work before I slip into bed.

    Rowan’s birthday is also coming up so I think our “fun” activity for this rainy day will be heading to Joannes and finding some treasures for the kiddos.

    And I wanted to thank you for convincing me that coloring eggs with an 11 month old would be a good idea (I was checking out Lainey’s 1st year book pics). I now have some great memories and photos with my boy. And everyone was surprised I let him help, but I think THEY all need to let loose a little bit more 😉

  96. I look forward to drinking in your words…in gulps, then rereading ion sips of flavor. Gorgeous! Breathlessly awaiting more photo tips….what do you do to get such vivid color? Is that in the camera or the editing? I keep trying to recreate lush lips and vivid eyes, but can’t quite get there…

    Happy Easter to your house from ours. :)

  97. This may be the corniest comment I have ever left on a blog, but every time a read a new post from you refreshes my soul. I am sitting here right now struggling to write a post for autism awareness day, reading this post totally shifted where I was going.
    I was talking to a mom of a child who was just diagnosed with neuro issues and I sent her to read your blog. You remind us all that we can find joy everyday, even in sorrow or frustration.
    Thank you.
    Also your dad is AMAZING. His comments leave me weeping. He needs to start a blog!

  98. happy easter to you and the fam! It sounds like you live in a wonderful place…I hope I can live somewhere with friendly neighbours and community spirit someday! Great post as always!

  99. Sadness and gratitude today as I read your post. So glad that we too have “adopted” nana’s. They are such a blessing to my girls…but it reminded me of how far away my mom is and how much I miss her and her ability to share all the wonderful days that we have with our girls…and the granddads too!

    Thank you.

  100. Holy Cow! You just posted today, right? I can’t believe I’m comment number 100 or something! I can’t read all your comments like I did before, but as I scrolled down to leave one, the name News Anchor stood out. I read that comment and yes…..of course! That is it! And then, I’m sure that even in this post’s comments alone, there are many more just like it. Inspiring as always! And yes, changing lives. My life for sure. LOVE the Lainey close-ups this time! Gorgeous!

  101. Rob-Lynn says:

    Hi Kelle. I was thrilled to see that Rosie O featured you on the front page of her blog.I obsessively and obnoxiously sent her the link to Nella’s beautiful story about 6 times in 2 days (as I am sure many others did also) and then voila! There you were! Not sure if she got the tip from me, highly unlikely odds she did (although she has posted 3 of my comments/questions on her blog so who knows)but am just glad that Nella’s important story made it’s way to her whatever the route.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say you inspire me. I posted Nella’s story link at a number of other places too (again, as I am sure hundreds of others did too).

    My brother is about to have his first child ever (at age 50) and the OB-GYN says sweet little baby Christina (named after our great grandmum) has major “markers” of DS. Your blog and Nella’s story really lifted our collective family spirits. Now we feel this will be ok, no matter what form Christina’s sweet spirit takes when she comes into the world. It will all be right and as it’s meant to be. Thank you for your heart, your wonderful writing skills and awesome pictures. Most of all, thank you for introducing Nella to the world-she is already an important teacher for us all…..

  102. Anonymous says:

    thank you a million times to infinity and back for your inspiration. i was going to just hurry and go to the grocery store and leave the 2 little ones here (to be babysat by the older brother), but after reading this post I’m bringing the girls. I’m slowing down, and we’re going to take our time, and do something that’s just for fun while we’re out. the key is to do something without being in a rush, i’m always in a rush. 7 kids can do that to ya, I guess. but your posts inspire me to slow down and just enjoy. thank you Kelle!! you are such an inspiration :) I think i would read and highlight your book just as you did to, Donald Miller’s. i cherish your posts.
    Sheri

  103. Kelle you are amazing and as many have already said an inspiration. I truly enjoy reading your posts and the way you view life, including the bad things. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing your little bits of wisdom, telling me (and others) to slow down and enjoy life. I know I dont do it enough and I want to for the sake of my beautiful boys. You make me realize I need to take the time to soak them in every.single.day.

    You are a beautiful amazing person and your girls are so blessed to have you as their mother!

  104. okay … after reading your post, i actually scrolled through all the comments just to see what the old-timers are up to. i so love and understand what nella and her story has done, but i kinda miss the old gang that used to hang out here in the comments section. so every once in a while, i scroll through and look for the familiar names :)

    happy easter weekend, kelle …

  105. I hope that you have an Easter magic that is filled with much happiness and great love. I know you will already.

    The sock monkey is AMAZING!

  106. so glad you get a little one on one with your l.l.

    my husband just told me today that he plans on taking baby 2 (after her arrival sometime in mid-may) out “whenever she isn’t nursing,” because he thinks it will be so important for avi and me to have some one on one together. funny how all these things are so universal for each family — different and unique and special, of course, but really, the same.

    it’s also funny how big and small this whole world is with the blogging thing . . . if not for gillie, who moved to montana and met nici, who told her to blog, who told me to blog, i never would have known about you or your story . . . anyway, so glad you and your family are doing so well and that you keep putting all this good stuff out into the world. it’s a really beautiful thing.

    plus, like i say all the time on dig, your girls are just too adorable. avi is in big-time love. and it makes me so excited to have a little girl . . .

    happy easter!

  107. Hey Kelle,
    Please get to work writing that book right away because I am sure it will be a best seller that will be a tremendous gift to all of us.
    Your writing is inspirational and your pictures are just a gift. You are truly blessed with many gifts including your beautiful family!
    You are a ROCK STAR!
    Keep Blogging! I look forward to all of your posts! Enjoy that gorgeous Nella and gorgeous Lainey.

  108. Ok, so your sister posted a link to the video of when you were preparing for your CNN Interview. I was DYING of laughter for many reasons, in one video, your husband just has nella and sees what is going on and to him, it’s normal life. HA! Then, I love what your sister is doing in the background…awesome! Third, the video of you talking in your british accent and having a conversation with the computer…helarioiuso! I went and got a pedicure yesterday and had them paint my toes a bright blue! It is so fun. I agree with your post of colors, welcome Spring! I love this blog, it is an inspiration to me and automatically places me in happy spirits! Thank you, Kelle, for opening my eyes! Is it ok to love something this much over blogworld??

  109. Anonymous says:

    Where do you buy all of Lainey’s beautiful clothes?

    Thank you for sharing your life, I read a lot of blogs but none so eloquently written. Your words are perfect and warm and delicious. We lost a baby when he was 8 weeks old to SIDS, I never thought I would feel joy again. But it is people like you, sharing your tragic times and your joyous times that remind me that I’m not alone, we all experience extreme pain but also extreme happiness and we grow and learn from both.

  110. Anonymous says:

    Where do you buy all of Lainey’s beautiful clothes?

    Thank you for sharing your life, I read a lot of blogs but none so eloquently written. Your words are perfect and warm and delicious. We lost a baby when he was 8 weeks old to SIDS, I never thought I would feel joy again. But it is people like you, sharing your tragic times and your joyous times that remind me that I’m not alone, we all experience extreme pain but also extreme happiness and we grow and learn from both.
    Carey

  111. Anonymous says:

    Ack! Tears again! You are SO right, the good always always DOES outweigh the bad. I just love your blog and seeing little snippets of your life. I hope you have an amazing Easter break, surrounded by your precious and amazing family..you should be so proud of all you have done!

    Allison in Australia xx

  112. You sum up motherhood beautifully! Thanks for putting my feelings into words!!

  113. Beautiful post — full of love and life. Nella is precious — especially love the sweet pics of you and her together.

  114. jimloey@aol.com says:

    This week was a very hard one for me. Lots of stuff happening that made me sad. when I’m having a bad day, week, month, my grandson always puts a smile on my heart. Today I couldn’t stop and see his little face, so I was feeling especially sad. I got on my computer and went to your blog, hoping for a new post, and there you are with your beautiful family and my heart is smiling again, thank you so very much. Have a great easter weekend.

  115. Your pictures are amazing. Oh how I wish I could do that. :) Oh and your words are pretty good too. :))

  116. I just love your little drops of sweetness in the coffee cup of life! You never forget to remind me of all that there is to be grateful for. Thank you for seeing those small things that are so beautiful that we sometimes takes them for granted (especailly those friends who will lend you creamer when you’ve run out!) I so needed to read this today!!!! Have a wonderful Easter- can’t wait to see the pics!!!!

  117. Kelle,

    My family was beaten down by a horrible flu this week and between cleaning sheets and clothing filled with vomit and other unpleasant things I’ve been able to smile and thank God for the blessing of our overall health and the fact that I have a Littles of my own to love. Thank you for your blog and for sharing the parts of yourself that have enabled me to be more aware of all the wonders and blessings around me.

    Happy Easter!

  118. your girls grow more & more beautiful each day! and now I have a new love… Latte!! and not just because of the name (happens to be my absolute favorite drink – hands down!) The pic of him looking over baby Nella is so sweet!!
    happy friday & happy weekend!

  119. Anonymous says:

    You are AMAZING, better than a rockstar!I am always cheking at work and at home for you new post!
    Don’t forget to tell us how to edit pictures, I want to get those colors too!!!

  120. Wow – what a beautiful reminder of all the small things we should all be happy for. I want to wake up my little man and snuggle him close now ;)…

  121. Beautiful…You give me perspective. When I return home from my work as a nurse I long to read the updates that you write. They give me peace, I scroll thru the pictures that bring me smiles, and drink in your words that give me hope. You are beautiful, your family is beautiful, and dear sweet, sweet Nella is most beautiful.

  122. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle,

    What a beautiful post. Life is good indeed:)

    Hey, I really admire your creativity on everything. I hope it’s ok if I bother you with a tiny question. I have an upcoming wedding and I’m running out of ideas for cool/budget-friendly wedding favors. What did you use for yours?:) Thanks for your time. Keep enjoying life!

    EM
    gazettely@yahoo.com

  123. Thanks for being you, Kelle. Everyone who is surrounded by you should know how lucky they are!

  124. Anonymous says:

    Oh, you are going to get so much goodness from Nella. Truly – she will open your eyes in ways you never could have ever imagined.

    I sit here typing with the absolute, resolute conviction that she was destined to be exactly who she is right now. (: Nella Cordelia – total perfection.

  125. As always you bring a smile to my face. The puppy picture is absolutely precious!!

  126. Did you take off your hospital bracelet?? Did I miss a post about it?

    If so- I’m so proud of you.

    Your girls are amazing, you are amazing, I just have no other words for it, I feel the warmth coming from your words and pics, its amazing

  127. Jennifer G. says:

    As I was reading your blog, my 5yo asked me your baby’s name and when I told him that her name is Nella, he said, “Oh, like a Nella wafer!” :)

  128. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear, why is Nella sleeping on her stomach in her moses basket? That is a huge SIDs risk!

  129. Absolutely beautiful!!!!!! :)

  130. Absolutely beautiful!!!!!! :)

  131. Tallcurlygirly says:

    Kelle –

    I had similar experiences yesterday as spring is in full bloom in Annapolis. All the cherry trees and tulip magnolias are in full, crazy, come-and-climb-me bloom. And I bought more flowers just because because there’s nothing that spells happiness like colorful tulips and the sweet scent to Violas. I was saying to my friend Cindy last night that I feel so grateful and so much more alive thanks to my daughter Alex. All 22 months of her – Happiness, exploration, and endless smiles. Oh, it makes my heart want to burst with joy or my tail wag for an unmeasured amount of time. So thank you once again for sharing the joy that’s bursting in your life. I’m glad that all of us can share the same excitement and renewal that comes with Spring. Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful Easter. Enjoy. Thank God. And eat chocolate before 9am while wearing your Sunday best….just because you can.

    Peace,

    Jennifer

  132. you truly do have a gift indeed. Thank you for your honest and inspiring posts.

  133. You cut off your bracelet!!! Where is the post?

  134. Kelle,
    I just found your blog, and read your birth story. It moved me beyond tears. I have shared it with a dear friend of mine who’s story paralells your so closely. She is my inspiration to be a more patient Mom and to accept life in it’s full beauty.
    Life is always as we planned, but, it is always beautiful!
    You express this so well, and I have since spent many a late night reading your other posts and I am awe struck by your outlook at life and the ease at which you see the beauty in simple things!

    Your photos are also breath taking…I wish I was near you so I caould us e you to take our family shots…..Victoria, B.C, Canada is a little to far away 😉

    Congratulations on your beautiful chldren,
    Sincerely,
    Leona~

  135. love, love, love the watchdog photo! and the sock monkey too – all precious.

    Happy Easter! I am enjoying getting to “know” you and your family through this blog. Thanks for sharing!

  136. I have been reading your posts for months now. Checking everyday just to be inspired by you. You are the most amazing Mom and person. Your children are beautiful and are very lucky to have such an amazing Mom! Alyssa~ Truely Inspired Mommy to Kendra and Kaydence

  137. LOve the new picture of Nella toes touching the big blue sky!!!!!

  138. SO lovely! The picture of Nella with her little monkey is PRECIOUS! And I love the watch dog too :)
    I have to tell you, “Celtic Woman” just started playing in the background as I type this and my 2 year old daughter stopped playing with her princesses and came over and placed one hand over the other on my lap and just laid her head down to listen. Tears! So sweet :) Thanks again for sharing your beautiful lives with the world!

  139. Morgan Ossorio says:

    Hi, I dont know if you remember me but I’m Shawna’s daughter, Morgan. I came to Nella’s baptisum and I just wanted to tell you how wonderful your family is. Ever since I started reading your blog my life has changed. Nella’s baptisum was so beautiful I couldn’t help crying at all the love. The way you pulled me in for a hug at the end of the night and told me it was nice to meet me, all I could do was studder out a thanks. But there was so much more, oh, so so much more I wanted to say. I wanted to babble on and on about how your blog has inspired me to live a beautful, different life. How you’ve made me cry tears of joy while reading your blogs and looking at your pictures. I wish I could begin to tell you how much I’ve changed but I’d have to sit here for hours. Just the other day I was at the store with my grandparents and I saw candles and couldn’t resist buying them. When we got home me and my grandparents stuck candles in donuts and just celebrated…life. You’ve moved me and inspired me to be a better person and for that I give you more thanks then I have ever given. I have never met a person as wonderful and inspiring as you. You make the world a better place. Now when I walk in the park, I look around and study the small things and take deep breaths and just…enjoy. Thank you Kelle Hampton for teaching me how to live.

  140. your new header… gorgeous!

  141. beautiful post, made me smile! I think I need to stop reading your blog though because I leave depressed with my Irish weather every time I visit! Tulips, what are they;)We had snow on Mon and we don’t get snow…..

  142. beautiful post, made me smile! I think I need to stop reading your blog though because I leave depressed with my Irish weather every time I visit! Tulips, what are they;)We had snow on Mon and we don’t get snow…..

  143. Anonymous says:

    Love the new header!!! Even your baby’s feet are amazing!!

  144. lightkeepersdaughter says:

    I read every one of your posts – sometimes twice! :) I look at – and love – your pictures….and, always ‘plan’ to leave a comment – but, I can never think of anything that matches (or even comes close to) the eloquence of what you’ve written – or for that matter – of the comments that are left by your readers. So…..I think “next time” – I’ve realized that if I’m waiting for eloquence, I may never leave another comment(!) – so, I just want to thank you for your updates, for your ability to teach by example – and for admitting that sometimes your house is untidy! :) Love the shot of Nella with her Daddy – and of your beautiful first born lying on the grass, laughing. Nella and her sock monkey are so cute. ……. and the little watch-dog, loving and protecting his family – too sweet! Thanks for adding your special brightness to my already blessed day! … Rosemary

  145. What a beautiful life! Your photos remind me how much love and life and joy there is in the most regular moments…just breathtaking. I showed my husband the photo of Lainey and her friend running while holding hands, and said I hope I can take just one photo this amazing of our future children. Thank you for sharing your family, your photography, and your amazing soul…you touch people far deeper than you probably know.

  146. Hi Kelle! I have read a couple of your blogs and I just want to come back for more! You have such beautiful girls, and your photography is so inspiring, it really makes me appreciate the colors of life. Have a great Easter!!

  147. What precious photos. I love the tea party and the sweet baby with the sock monkey – adorable.

    So glad I found your blog. Have a blessed Easter.

    JO
    http://www.teensandtriplets.com (hosting a small giveaway – come visit)

  148. You have a beautiful family and I love the pictures. I’m mom to an extremely handsome 19 year old with Down syndrome : )

  149. I know I know I know!!!!! When my daughter (who has Ds) smiled at me at 9 weeks, I was so THRILLED to get that huge feedback from her. I really really needed it. And now I’ve had 2 years to figure out my mission in this Ds world, and it’s to help promote an education program for parents of kids who have Ds. Please vote for the grant I submitted:
    http://www.refresheverything.com/dsanvlearningprogram

    It really matters to the families we have enrolled now, and we’re looking to grow it more for next year. It’s based on the VERY BEST education research on children with Ds out of the UK. For example, visual learners, strong social skills, skip phonics early on, etc.

  150. You inspire me . . to capture the moments, to let me kids make their messes, to be themselves, to just let life guide us. Thank you for sharing your talents and your beautiful girls.

  151. I love Target :-) My “boo” sported the same outfit as your Lanie just the other day! http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs444.snc3/25500_792092149095_27401575_44412983_4666526_n.jpg

  152. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle,
    I have been reading your blog for awhile now and you have such a way with words! Congratulations on the birth of your second daughter. I just loved your birth story, you are an inspiration! My in laws live in Naples (Lely) and my husband, 3 boys and I visit all the time. We have often thought about moving there (from NY) but we have never found the type of community we are looking for. However, after reading your post about your neighborhood, it sounds exactly like what we are looking for!!!! I was hoping you could tell me the name of the development you live in!
    Thanks so much,
    Christine
    I dont have a blog so I will give you my email: cdknopp@aol.com

  153. Hi kelle…love ur blogs and ur little girls, esp sweet lil nella..i felt like i love her like my own already. your blogs always never fails to remind me the beauty of life and love…Thanks for sharing them..

    Leah from the Phil…
    ps i had noticed u had a lot of Lea’s in ur life :) just a hapi thought

  154. I just recently found your blog and have fallen in love (and have told all my friends about it, too). The pictures are beautiful and really capture what life is all about. Thanks for sharing our life with us!

  155. I just recently found your blog and have fallen in love (and have told all my friends about it, too). The pictures are beautiful and really capture what life is all about. Thanks for sharing our life with us!

  156. I love love LOVE the watch dog!!!

  157. This comment has been removed by the author.

  158. the first BW pic of you and nella…LOVE IT. seriously, my fave.

  159. I love all your photos and beautiful words. I love the picture of your puppy watching your sweet baby. Love it!

    Bless you and your family!
    Katie

Leave a Comment

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

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