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  1. Love the book beautiful pictures as always!!!

  2. Love it! I need to learn to be so creative. You inspire me to start documenting my life.

  3. What a beautiful keepsake! I should totally do that for my son. I just wish I had such beautiful pictures! :)

  4. Beautiful! I scrapbook, but you make me want to scrap it all—no pun intended!–and start doing this! Such a treasure!

  5. I shutterfly too, but have never made one so beautiful. Are you using a program before you Shutterfly it? Do you mind sharing?


  6. I shutterfly too, but have never made one so beautiful. Are you using a program before you Shutterfly it? Do you mind sharing?


  7. I shutterfly too, but have never made one so beautiful. Are you using a program before you Shutterfly it? Do you mind sharing?


  8. So pretty!!!

  9. OMG, Kelle!!!! What channel is Rosie on??? You’re freakin’ amazing!!

  10. Oh my God! Clicked “publish” for the first time on your blog only to be blown away again by this beautiful book. Simply amazing! There probably couldn’t be a better birthday gift for a little girl. She will cherish this forever.

  11. Beautiful book. I make a book each year for my Isabelle too. I use Kodak Gallery, but maybe I need to switch. If you don’t mind me asking, how do you get the “scrapbooking” effect with the fun fonts and added images? Is that done soley on Shutterfly?

  12. I love the book!!! What an awesome tradition for your girls to have as they grow up. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  13. GORGEOUS book. How is this NOT supposed to make me feel like a bad mom??

  14. Beautiful!!! Makes me want to pick up my camera and learn to take amazing pictures of everything! How do you make the book?

  15. Your book is absolutely amazing! I am floored by how cool/wonderful/colorful/beautiful it is! I wish I had half of your talent!


  16. Holy cow, that book has got to be the best alternative to scrapbooking-challenged people like me! LOVE IT!!!

  17. love the book, am thinking this is a great way to document my life too.

  18. amazing…I’m with everyone else! What program did you use???

  19. Incredibly beautiful book!

  20. I haven’t had time to view the cute book for Lainey’s 3rd year but wanted to say congrats on the radio interview with Rosie. So cool! You rock, girlfriend!

  21. I love the book. I too wish I had just half the creativity you do to make a book like that. I have been trying to make one and it isn’t going so well. Doesn’t look nearly as good as yours. It also inspires me to learn how to use my camera that i have had for a few years but don’t know how to use very well.

  22. Ridiculously cute – I too, love Shutterfly books – but mine are no where near as cute at this… you just gave me some new and great ideas. I just started one for my son’s birthmom.

  23. OMG I adore Rosie! So exciting that you will be on her radio show. Good Luck! :)

  24. Beautiful book, I am so going to do this when my little one is born!

  25. Kelle,
    I’ve was introduced to your wonderful blog by a friend a few months ago. And I have been reading it ever since! You make life beautiful, thank you for your inspiration. And I will always think of little Nella, we share the same birthday! What a great day Jan. 22nd is :) Thank you for sharing your life-

  26. Beautiful, Beautiful, Just plain Beautiful!!!

  27. So beautiful what a nice keepsake. Do you do this every year very impressive. I wish I could hear your radio show can you listen via the internet?

  28. I need to switch over to doing photo books instead of scrapbooks beings I am sooooo behind on my girls scrapbooks and since I just had twins I will never get caught up…Love the idea!! Thanks;)

  29. Okay, the book is absolutely perfect. I did a Shutterfly book once but wasn’t able to do all the things you did with it!!!!! Man, I just want to send you my photos and have YOU do it. LOL. <> Well, maybe I’ll just explore the Shutterfly website to see what I missed. Or did you do the “extra” stuff first? outside of Shutterfly? I wish I knew your technique….

    Anyway, what a beautiful book. You amaze me with all that you do.

    Have a very blessed day:)

  30. Beautiful… That’s all I can say. Thanks for sharing your life and beautiful girls with us!

  31. So beautiful…I love your blog and your photos are fantastic!

    Where do you find the time for.. everything?? I have an 8 month and a 25 month old sons and sometimes I can’t even find time to shower by myself… How do you do it?

    I’m guessing you consume massive amounts of caffeine and don’t sleep, or you are super woman. But either way I love reading about you and your family so keep it up.

    Thank you for sharing everything even the ‘small things’ with all of us.

  32. I absolutely love the book! Lainey will treasure it forever! That must have taken you awhile, but the result is gorgeous! :)

  33. Kelle, this book is amazing! I love how you can find such beauty in a picture as simple as pushing a grocery cart! You are so talented!

  34. The book is awesome! What a wonderful thing to give Lainey. Any way to listen to the interview online? I’d love to hear it! :)

  35. Such a very special book for your girl to grow up with. I love it!

  36. Amazing! Love it!

    Now do you know make the scrapbook pages somewhere else and then upload them to shutterfly to use as pages?

    Just beautiful!

  37. I loved her book..awesome…what a cool way to scrapbook! She’s a doll!

  38. What a beautiful book. You have an amazing way of sharing stories and making a photo a life long memory. I’m big on pictures but I forget to do anything with them beyond file them away in my computer. I’m off to shutterfly to make one of these for my little love

  39. LOVE the book! I too want to know how you get the pages like that. My son was born Jan. 14th a week before Nella and I’m working on his book and have no idea how to get them like that. Thanks for sharing!!

  40. ,,,thank you for sharing,,,its a nice testament to “lil lainey’s” 3 wonderful years thus far,,,good luck on rosie,,,triple love her,,,

  41. Anonymous says:

    Awesome, amazing & beautiful!! I’m so jealous of your talent!!! You are amazing!!

  42. Gretchen W. says:

    Your girls are so lucky to have a mommy like you! Beautiful book, and from all of your other posts, beautiful writing!

  43. What a perfect and beautiful gift to give Lainey each year… this is something she’s forever going to cherish. Awesome job Kelly :)

  44. BEAUTIFUL book!! i so need to get my pictures out of my computer & into books before my son turns 2 otherwise i’ll never get caught up!

  45. G O R G E O U S!

  46. your book is BEAUTIFUL! Just wondering what program you used to create all your pages. You should do a quick easy tutorial on your blog on how to make easy pages. Love your BLog!

  47. There is no words that describe some of the moments we share with our children, but your pictures capture those moments perfectly! I LOVE this book, you are so very creative and talented! I have said this before but you really do inspire me,

  48. Amazing and it’s no suprise :) Everything you do is a masterpiece! I visit your blog often, as I have my own personal struggles, and I always close the window with a smile on my face, or happy tears in my eyes.

  49. Beautiful, Kelle! I just made one for my 12 year old’s birthday…inspired by your blog, of course, and I can’t imagine another birthday without one. Can’t wait to give the Daddy the one I am working on for Father’s Day. :)

  50. Lainey’s 3rd year book is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! LOVE it!

    Congratulations on the radio interview with Rosie O’Donnel’s! I’m so happy for you, Kelle =))

    “Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.”
    -Natalie Goldberg

  51. mommy of two girls too says:

    Such a beautiful book. You have inspired me to create one for each if my girls! 😉


  52. Girl…you are so talented!!! Laney will treasure these books for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  53. Love it! I do this for my daughter too!

  54. Rosie O’Donnell! Wow, your head must be spinning with how big this has all gotten. You go, girl! Speak for all of us who ADORE our chromosomally gifted treasures!

  55. Just came across your blog! It is lovely!

  56. Beautiful book! I am so inspired! I am a scrapper, but now want to do a book like this for my new grandsons (I was blessed with three this year!) We all vote that you give us a quick tutorial. Or at least tell us what program you are using for those pages? Pretty please? Thank you for always putting a smile on my face. You are awesome!

  57. oh my gosh kelle.. the book is freaking awesome! Love it!
    and good luck tomorrow! you’ll do great :)

  58. Once again, Kelle, you demonstrate your rock-stariness. Your girls are so lucky to have such a creative and positive mommy. With all of the color, magic, and happiness in their young lives, it’s amazing to think about what fantastic women they’ll turn out to be.

  59. Yes, this is what I’m wondering too!!!

    I shutterfly too, but have never made one so beautiful. Are you using a program before you Shutterfly it? Do you mind sharing?

  60. PS so beautiful!!!

  61. From an older post she told us she uses Microsoft Digital Image Suite to make the pages.
    Love love love the book!

  62. Oh and do you have her other books available to see? I’d love to take a look.

  63. you sure have some lucky girls who will treasure their photographed memories when they are older!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, you continue to just blow me away with your awesome talents!! I love love love the book and am so inspired to make them for our 2 boys (have always wanted to, but now your book has motivated me).

    Like other readers, what program did you use to make each page? I have used smilebox before (for a birthday invite for my husband) and they have a great selection of scrapbook pages…I haven’t looked into the book making on their website though…

    Congrats on the Rosie interview!! All the best…you’ll ROCK it!

    Monique P

  65. Kelle, AWESOME, the book is FANTASTIC…

    I remember reading back in your blog and seeing her first yr book too…Memories she will cherish for generations to come, memories she will have at her finger tips…What a magnificent Momma you are …I can’t wait to see Nella’s book now ….*giggles joyfully*

    In fact, I can’t wait to have a grand child to do something similar as well, or maybe I should start scanning some of my Baby girl’s (now 23 yrs old)pictures that sit in box’s in the closet, and work backwards …Something to think about for retirement perhaps, or maybe sooner …*smiles warmly*…

    What lucky girl’s you have …they will have your blog and books of themselves even to check, refer to as to when this or that happened …

    Only word to describe YOU is

    !~! AWESOME !~!…
    *Applause Applause Applause….. as I wonder where to nominate YOU KELLE HAMPTON as MOM of the Century and of the WWW …*winks*

    Deborah, the Canadian Nurse …

  66. That book is awesome! It seriously brought tears to my eyes. Makes me want to finish the one I started for my little one.. only two pages to go! (But it’s not nearly that awesome! ;))

  67. That is so stunningly beautiful! What a treasure Lainey will have.

    (By the way… my middle name is Lane and my parents have ALWAYS called me Lanie and I love it. She’s lucky to have such a great name.) :)

  68. Wow, I cried…seriously, and I still am. Kelle, if I find the money to fly to Florida, will you spend a couple of days with me and teach me how to do such great things for my children??? I’m almost ashamed to admit that I have no photo album for my seventeen month old and my first daughter’s album stopped at about thirteen months. You’re an inspiration to an uncrafty mom like me…Hugs

  69. How cool, good luck tomorrow!

  70. 1. Your daughter is stunning.
    2. I hope when I have children they are as fashionably dressed as yours!
    3. I think its totally adorable that you and Lainey have the same smile
    4. You’ve inspired me to document my every-day life, and for that I thank you! :)

  71. Everyone wants to know…how do you do it? Not just the amazing, cool mom that everyone either wishes they had or is working to become, but the scrapbook pages. Here I was, thinking my Shutterfly albums are beautiful and you put them to shame! Please share…although I vaguely remember you saying once before.

  72. So amazing! I recently made a shutterfly book of my daughters 1-6 months of life and will be doing one for the next 6 then yearly after that. We are going to the bahamas this May and I am already thinking of ways to do a book for that too! You amaze me with how bright and colorful your pictures are!

  73. Gorgeous book! What program do you use for putting your pages together. Is it a scrapbook one, or photo shop? Great job. I would have loved one of those growing up. Lainey will cherish those when she is older, as well as her husband and children.

  74. oh be still my heart!!!! the book is are a true Rockstar and I do get XM and will be sitting on my lovely yellow couch tomorrow at is a date! HA…good things always happen after a good cry. I just love how you always give us something new to look forward to.

  75. I was so excited to see the finished product—Love it!

  76. Ella had the exact same Christmas pjs as Lainey this past Christmas. So cool! I feel stylish now (though my mom initially picked them out).

  77. Wow! What a treasure. I just finished a Shutterfly book last week, but yours puts mine to shame. Amazing. I have a feeling Shutterfly’s business just increased. :)

  78. amazing!

    will your interview be posted anywhere to listen to? i dont get xm…

  79. Kelle, the book is breathtaking.

  80. wow! that’s brilliant! shutterfly should thank you for all the moms that will start doing this…including me, I hope.

  81. Kelle,

    Lainey’s book is fabulous! I wish photo books like that had been around when I was growing up! I’m definitely going to make a book for my niece this year :)

    You inspire me every time I read your blog.

    You are a true rock-star!

  82. OMG I just love love love her book for her 3rd year, I wish I had an inkling of the talent that you did, what an amazing way to relive each and every year!! I want to wish Lainey a magical fairy birthday!!! We will be celebrating my monkey Aydan’s birthday the same day… May babies!!

    Tons of luck with Rosie…..I will be listening, it will be such a treat to hear more from you, its all so exciting!! Have an ever fabulous week!!

  83. That book is gorgeous! I love all the pics :) It so inspires me to start taking more pictures of those I love.

  84. Goodness that book is beautiful. Inspirational, really. What a gift for her.

  85. Anonymous says:

    LOVE the book! I also enjoy making those books. What beautiful talent you have – both for picture taking and book making! Your family is so blessed to have you

  86. Your children are so lucky to get a book like that!

  87. Oh my goodness this book is delicious…

  88. Hee! My Shutterfly books look, um, kinda the OPPOSITE of yours. How did…wha…I need lessons!

    I love Rosie’s radio show. Am I going to have to go sit in the car tomorrow morning? I am, aren’t I? I knew I should have gotten that docking station thingee!

    BTW, I’ve been hoping that Rosie would be a great Ds advocate. We need more high-profile celebs to share that kids like ours are worth it…and so much more.

  89. I have been reading your blog for several weeks now, since you shared the beautiful story of Nella’s birth. And I just want to say that you are amazing and strong! I also have to thank you for your playlist, I can always get my baby to fall asleep listening to these tunes. Fantastic job on Lainey’s book, it inspires me to start my own traditions. Thank you for all that you do.

  90. Lainey and Nella are sooo Lucky to have such a wonderful Mom!!!!
    The book in INCREDIBLE!!!!

    And Rosie….You go girl!!!

    All the best!

  91. says:

    what a treasure she will have all her life. well done

  92. Beautiful! I made one of those books for my son….I had done a 365 project of his 2nd year. There ended up being so many extra pages, I thought my husband was going to faint when he saw how much I paid for it! LOL But it is one of my most prized possesions and worth every single penny. My son and I look at together ALL the time. I have another one in the works from Snapfish right now. They take forever to do but they are so much fun! Good luck with Rosie’s talk show. How stinkin COOL is that?! You will do awesome!

  93. LOVE, love, love Lainey’s book! Very cool!! I long to capture my children’s lives the way you capture Lainey and Nella’s. Your an awesome photographer!!

    And, today is my little man’s 1st birthday, born on Easter Sunday 2009. Justin has Ds also. What a year we have had, a great year. A year of GROWING both inside and out.

    Off to take B-day pics…

  94. Anonymous says:

    beautiful book! beautiful children! I second your reader above — a mini tutorial would be lovely!! You amaze so many with your talents… a little sliver of insight into what you do would be so wonderful!

  95. What a great book…with great photos! I love checking out your blog daily to see new photos of your little girls..they’re just too cute!!

  96. After a very crummy day, looking at your beautiful book made me smile. Thanks!
    p.s. Congrats on the Rosie interview… how very very cool. For those of us without XM will it be available online anywhere?

  97. omg…i just hopped onto and completely, instantly, emphatically knew it was your bunny in the header pic.

    holy moly…i’ve fallen in love with her as well.

    will be listening tomorrow at 11:15. Go girl!

  98. Anonymous says:

    I’m probably not as old as some of your other readers, considering I’m at the ripe age of 18, but I find your blog very inspiring. I look for updates every day, and it never fails to make me smile when I read your beautiful, heartfelt words about your wonderfully happy life. Your girls are beautiful, and although I’m young, you make me want to be a mother so badly. I’ll wait for my chance, because I want to give my kids the attention they deserve, and create enchanted memories just like you’re doing for your little ones now. Your blog gives me hope when I sometimes lose sight of it, like today. Today was a rough day for me, having hit bad news on the college front, but I looked at the book you made your little lainey, and I almost cried. You remind me so much of my own mom, who just wants the best for me & wants me to hold my dreams in the palms of my hands. You’re a beautiful mother, Kelle, and you’re doing just that. You’re giving your girls, both of them, memories, love, and dreams to hold close to their hearts in the palms of their hands. Thank you for being a kind spirited, truthful person.

  99. Heavens to Murgatroyd!!!!!!!! That book is stunning!

  100. Your honestly about life and all the emotions that come with it is inspiring. I have to admit, I went back and looked through your entire blog. Yes, from the beginning. The way that you document your life through pictures is breathtaking.

  101. You need to tell us how you got your shutterfly book to have all the “extras” in it… Did you use the program that transfers blog to book? GORGEOUS!

  102. 16 years ago today our “present” was born into our family. She truly is a joy and an angel and we can’t imagine how lonely our lives would be without her! Today she is a beautiful young woman who goes to high school just like every other 16 year old girl that I know and she is loving every minute of it! My oldest daughter was the same age as Lainey is when my angel was born and I am loving the opportunity to relive our life journey through you. Thank you for bringing back wonderful memories! It is not always easy but so worth it!

  103. You are so talented. Your gift to Lainey is INCREDIBLE!!! I wish I had an inkling of your talent and creativity. Best wishes tomorrow. You will do great. This is just the beginning…you and Nella have so much to teach. Thank-you for being you. The world needs it.

  104. i stumbled onto your blog via!!! i went through all the posts from the start. it amazes me and i sit here and cry sometimes, just being in aww of your pictures. you have reignited a fire in my heart to get out, enjoy and love, love, love!!! i feel i’ve become a better mommy in the past few weeks. i’ve certainly taken more photos!!! thank you for all the inspiration!!

  105. I love Lainey’s book. I am also working on a book for my daughters first birthday. I was wondering what size you chose. I am having a hard time deciding between 8×8 and 12×12. Also, is there any trick to uploading the pages from your photo program to Shutterfly?

  106. I LOVE your book. What a beautiful keepsake. Good luck on your interview with Rosie!

  107. The book is absolutely beautiful! I just recently started reading your blog and you have captivated me. Your writing is beautiful and so heartfelt. I love it. Keep on writing and taking your gorgeous pictures!

  108. I had to leave another comment now that I had time to check out the amazing photo book. I think you need to dedicate a post to how you made it. Did you create the pages and layouts on a different program and then add them to the book? The things that make these books so amazing are all of your beautiful pictures and journaling. You have such of incredible pictures from each outing of Lainey. She will always treasures these books and all of your written words and feelings that capture this time of her life. Love it!!!

  109. Love it! Your girls are so lucky to have such a creative and fun Mama!

  110. I LOVE the album!! I need to make one of these for my 3!! I always do it the “old fashioned” way, TOO much time, LOL!
    And now I’m kicking myself that I let my XM expire……..

  111. Anonymous says:

    Checking in at Rosie. Hey! I know that sweet angel. Rock Star!

  112. I’m jumping on the, “Please share how you made this amazing book!” bandwagon. Would you be able to share some of your secrets? I desperately want to make a great book for my daughter’s first 2 years.

    By the way, you are simply awesome. Keep writing, photographing, and sharing. You are touching so many people and you have surely inspired me!

  113. What an absolutely beautiful book! I am in awe of your creativity!

  114. Great book and how fun about your interview with Rosie. Go Kelle, Go! Thanks for sharing your heart with so many.
    Jodi B:)

  115. L.O.V.E. the album – just, well, just amazing.

    Life is beautiful no matter how you live it, just live it (this is how I always feel after reading and looking at your posts).

    Thank you!

  116. Thank you so much for sharing Lainey Love’s book with us. It was beautiful and a keepsake she can have forever! God Bless!

  117. Oh my goodness. The book is so beautiful! I saw Rosie’s comment to you on her blog and it just made my day : ).

  118. Wow-love this! My son will be a year old in June and I would love to start now on a book for his first year. I was shocked to see you could do this in Shutterfly….I would LOVE if you would post a tutorial!

  119. I love love love the album! It’s literally a work of art. Thanks for sharing!

  120. Good luck on Rosie radio! I sent her an email to “ask rosie” to see if she had read your blog a while back, but I am sure it wasn’t the first. I hope it goes well…I so wish I had Sirius to listen in!!

    Love the birthday books.

  121. looked up the definition of Rockstar in the dictionary and guess what… it says Kelle Hampton!!! You inspire the crap out of me….. how about a webinar to teach us all… in all your spare time!!! Amazing, realy!

  122. It’s beautiful! I wish I had a quarter of the talent you have. I’m sure Lainey will love looking at her books when she grow up. You pictures are amazing!

  123. Beautiful Book! You are so talented. Can I ask you what digital imaging program you would recommend for a Mac? I really want to have a program like the Digital Image Suite you mentioned using before but its Microsoft only. I love your pages and it doesn’t seem like you can do that much only using Shutterfly?!? Thanks!

  124. You are so blessed to have the wonderful talents to share your children’s memories so vividly, both through your photos and writings. I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog. You inspire me to be a better mother as I read about your experiences. We can all find reasons to dwell on the roadbumps of life, but to find the hope within ourselves and the situation when faced with them is truly the mark of grace. How graceful you are!

  125. What a BEAUTIFUL book!!! Teach me how to do that! Please? I think I’m too ADD … haha.

    Do you do the pages yourself in a editing program and upload them to a full page or do you use some of the layouts they give you?

    Its so wonderful! 😀

  126. Gorgeous. I think we need a photo book tips blog entry :)

    Thanks for being so inspirational, my boys are benefiting so much from the joy you bring to our lives <3

  127. Love the book–please do tell how you do it! Would love any tips.

    Also, congrats on Rosie Radio–very cool. You bless your readers with your gifts–thank you.

  128. Kelly you were amazing on Rosie :) I have been following your blog for a while and it is one of the best parts of my morning routine! Your girls are goreous, your photos amazing and your writing…beyond fantastic!

    From a big fan :)

  129. First…I agree with are stunning. Second I love. love. love. your accent…I have a sister-in-law from Toledo Ohio and when I hear you talk it gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling of spending time with her and her kids and smiling over their yummy accents. Third I adore that your husband asked if Nella could come home..he is a true daddy and sounds very much like my husband..I am verbal his very private and we just compliment each other. Last and not least I cried so hard when you talked about the Lainey FAVORITE moment of your whole blog, oh and to hear it from you made me cry HAPPY tears! oh yeah..Heidi is so lovely and I can see why the two of you are are without a doubt stunning inside and out! ♥

  130. how cool is it that Rosie wants to “hang” with you!!

  131. I read your birth story after finding the link on Rosie’s blog. I heard you on her radio show today. Having worked with an adult Down Syndrome man. He has the happy gene. We must be missing. He never comes to work without a huge smile. He loves everyone. He does a fantastic job, and is proud of his work. I met a little girl coming out of my eye doctor. She was alone, just having had her eyes checked. She was chatty, articulate, friendly. She raced off to meet her Mom. I believe on some better distant planet a baby is born and put in a mother’s arms and the doctor says, he’s missing that extra 47th chromosome. He is quite fussy but perfectly healthy. I think we are the ones disabled. We are missing that 47th chromosome. There would be no wars, peaceful. Hugs would abound. Think about it. Wherever that distant planet is, I wish I lived there. You rock Mama Kelle.

  132. I have been reading ever since Rosie put your blog on her blog about two weeks ago. Every blog article is great quality. Inspires me with my own creativity. I love seeing you grow with Nella and Lainey, finding a place in yourself you never knew you had.

    My gf is mute we met online and she didn’t tell me right away because she was afraid I couldn’t handle it. The more feelings she had for me, the more she was afraid. It was 2 weeks before she told me. I had shock, and then I thought to myself, ok how am I going to adapt? So in a way I feel that because you always have an image of who you will fall in love with. Thought I would share.

    *(*(*(*(For everybody that doesn’t have sirius*(*(*( and want to listen to the interview until tomorrow morning there is one way to listen. Register for an account at there is a 7 day trial you can sign up for with just an email that automatically quits after 7 days. No credit card just your email. After you sign in and fill out the captcha click on TALK/ENT and then Rosie Radio then Rosie Radio again.

    The show will loop (it’s a 2 hour show, Kelle is on for about 30 mins in the second hour) until tomorrow which is the 14th. Hopefully someone will youtube it but this is one way you can catch it. They rerun the show on the weekend too if you read this a day or two late. Just thought I would help.

  133. Kelle, I’ve been following your blog and Rosie’s for quite a while, but don’t have Sirius. Any way you can ask Ro for a way to post your interview on her or your blog so we all can listen? That would be so amazing!

  134. Anonymous says:

    That book is awesome! and could an untrained person put that together with just shutterfly?


  135. Listening to you on Sirius XM Rosie Radio now!

    Also, Lainey’s 3rd year book is incredible – love it!

  136. Love your photobook, I made one for my son, and now I want to re do it. How do you make your own pages, I have only ever seen how to use the template?
    I have been following your blog since you posted Nella’s birth and I have been hooked ever since.

  137. Your book is beautiful. You are inspiring me to do one like that. Thank you for letting us look at your masterpiece.


  138. I have been following your blog for about a month now and I love it! You are so inspiring…and your shutterfly book is gorgeous!

  139. I just wanted to let you know that I heard your interview on Rosie this morning – I’ve read/heard your story multiple times and you STILL made me cry this morning. The depth of your love for your children is so apparent in your voice and your story. Thank you for being a voice for so many families.

    Also, my mom is a pediatric nurse practicioner and I sent her the link to your blog weeks ago. When we talked about it later, she said she teared up when you described your amazing pediatrician and how she shared the news with you. She has printed out your birth story and takes it with her to each center that she visits to share with the peds who go on hospital rounds. She says that if one of the docs learns how to share such news, she will feel that she’s done something to help.

    And, you mentioned much earlier that your little Nella was rolling over (at what, 3/4 weeks?!?) I responded to that post and told you that my daughter (born 1/2) hadn’t rolled yet – she just reached that milestone this weekend and it is amazing how much our little family applauds her!

  140. I think you should hold a class on how to create such a beautiful birthday book. I’d started doing the mini books for my daughter (7 months old today), but now it seems I’ll have to do my best to create a big book like this for every year too. I’m going to have to put more effort into our books now. I can see that it’s absolutely worth it.

  141. Have you have made me smile and cry again. :) Lainey’s book is just stunning. With 4 kids and 1 on the way I really need to break out my camera more often.

    You inspire me in so many ways. Your readers that leave comments inspire me also. When I come here I realize that I am (we are) not alone in this world with our struggles.

    Kelle you really are a Rockstar!

    Keep on rockin girl :)


  142. Brit Girl says:

    Just wanted to stop by and say hi! And also Lainey’s book? Tremendous! I smiled when I saw some of the spreads as I remembered when you wrote about them – like the road trip one. Do you think you’ll take another road trip this year – this time with your TWO beautiful girls?!

    Hope the radio interview went well. What questions did she ask you?

    Guess what? My friend just got back from her trip to the US and she visited Naples! She said it was “lovely, posh and peaceful”!

    We’ve had some much-needed sun over here (at last!) and it just makes me love life with my beautiful two year old even more! I get to spend the rest of the week with my girl – can’t wait!

    Love and hugs to your two lovely ladies!

    p.s. Apologies for long, rambling comment!

  143. Love the book!! Your Lainey Love is a doll, so precious.
    My girl is 10 tomorrow. Nella’s birth and your writing has brought back so many happy memories for me – if you ever wonder what it’ll be like in 10 years, take a look here:

    Please give your Nella a big hug from us.

  144. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!

  145. I heard about you and your blog on Rosie Radio this morning and sat in my car in the supermarket parking lot, overheating, just to hear your entire interview. I was riveted and could not wait to view your blog. So here I am, viewing it with tears streaming and jealousy at your talent and abilities brewing. What a beautiful blog in every way. I only wish you lived in Vermont. We seem to be cut from a very similar cloth. Thank you for inspiring me in different ways today. All the best : )

  146. Oh my goodness!!! LOVE THAT! What a great book!!! Your pictures are amazing!!! And your girls are beautiful! -Jessica

  147. there you go making me cry again! what a beautiful gift this will be to her… and to you… and to everyone who reads it. positively stunning. i’m in the process of making one for my daughter but i was only doing pictures, what a FUN idea to add words and do the scrapbook style. i am officially doing that now, good job mama!

  148. You know Nella’s a big hit when her picture is on the Rosie O’Donnel website! Dont become too famous! Its jaw-dropping to see your life now and compare it to before Nella was born, you now have much more heart-wrenching moments, your talking to celebrities, youre on friggin CNN! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Just amazing. Cant wait to see Miss Laineylove and Miss Nellabean again! Send my love!

    P.S. oh no! i forgot what i was going to say! Gosh darnit, thats happening to me all the time now-a-days!

  149. I’m so excited I was able to hear your interview online this afternoon. You did a great job and I teared up every time you started to when telling the story of Nella’s birth. LOVE Lainey’s book. What amazing work. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing future works of art that you have in store for us readers:-)

  150. Callie Stephens says:

    thanks for showing me how to be a rockstar mama to my Kate Louise!

  151. I am so glad you did the if you are new to this site link, everytime I tell someone about it I always tell them to scroll back to the birth story, now you just made it easier! Thanks!

  152. What a beautiful gift for your daughters. i am constantly amazed and in awe by how you manage to make the time for all of your projects. I know you told us before, but please remind me what program you use. I think you need a link to frequently asked questions. LOL. Not that it means anything coming from a stranger, but you are a good mama. Blessings, always.

  153. Anonymous says:

    A lot off subject but was wondering if your Poppa has a blog? I love his posts to you and enjoy seeing his perspective as a grandparent.

  154. kelle

    i love ur words
    ur photos
    ur “story”

    i have a nella
    my son mario

    life is
    a fine balance

    he was r
    “golden child”
    31 ap credits

    those r
    other people’s
    others expectations

    to me
    a funny
    who put too
    much pressure
    on himself

    i want him
    to be healthy
    and happy
    what works
    for him

    we tried
    as his parents
    to help
    find balance

    give and take
    u take ur ap’s
    u also
    have to work
    or do a sport
    life is too short

    r society
    is way too competitive

    we live in a school district
    top 100 in country
    for me
    too much pressure
    on the kids

    my son
    felt like
    a failure
    when u penn
    rejected him
    and “had to go to nyu”

    i’m a nurse
    cancer nurse
    my husband
    a doctor
    it doesn’t matter
    where u go to school
    what MATTERS
    is u find
    and create ur life
    that fits u

    my son
    now is
    on an organic farm
    in hawaii
    coming home
    this week
    he’s been gone
    3 months
    i miss him
    so so much

    xoxo rosa

    u rock
    i wish i had
    ur strength
    when my kids
    were young
    ur daughters
    r blessed
    to have u and ur man
    shelter them
    from this scary world

    u rock
    xoxo rosa

    my words
    about u
    and ur family

  155. kells bells…beautiful! aw, you do an amazing book! i know how hard you work on this and your passion for these memory books shines through.

    love love love it!!! so simple and beautiful! i can’t wait until you get it and it sits on your coffee table!

    xoxo h

  156. That’s so cute!

  157. That book is awesome. I have wanted to do something like that for my kids for oh, I guess 5 years now! LOL. Are you for hire? LOL.

  158. you’re joking, right? that book is amazing! she is going to cherish that when she is older!

  159. Anonymous says:

    Can you please share how you made the book? I would absolutely love to do this for my daughter!

  160. Your book turned out awesome. She is so lucky to have these. How incredible of a keepsake. XO

  161. I love the book. I love your blog, you are truly an inspiration. Your daughters are breathtaking. I agree with the other people that commented, you must share with us what program you used to design the pages. I went to ShutterFly and tried to figure it out, then realized that you must have used a program to design the pages and then uploaded them to ShutterFly. Please do share with us!

  162. Did you do all of the layouts in shutterfly? Could you please tell how you made it? Thanks! :)

  163. Kelle,
    I do not like Rosie but listened to hear you…and it was amazing. And then when driving home from a photography workshop last night, I tuned into Rosie briefly and she played Macy Gray’s newest release, “Beauty in the World” and thought of you and your beautiful girlies! Maybe a song for your playlist…especially on those rainy days! It is a fave to dance to at our house!
    Much love to you all,

  164. Kelle and Brett,
    I love your honest, poignant story; the love shines through!

    I thought you would enjoy “our story” of our son, Michael, soon to be 32 next week.
    I hope it blesses you. (Because of its length, I had to post it in parts.)

    “My Grace is Sufficient for You”

    The year was 1978. My husband, Santino, and I had been married a year and a half and were expecting our first child. The pregnancy was going well and life was good. I remember telling my aunt how fortunate we were as a family and how amazing it was that even though our family was so large, we had been spared from heartache and tragedy. We had no untimely deaths or disasters; we were so blessed.

    Sunday, April 16th was my due date and Sandy and I went to church as usual. Though I was certainly big enough to deliver a house, there was, as yet, no labor activity. I was anxiously excited and feeling fine. The message preached that day by our pastor, Tom Bowden, will remain in my heart and mind forever. It was a sermon on the grace of God oftentimes being more significant and glorious than healing. He referenced Paul‘s thorn in the flesh (eyesight) and how Paul had learned the power of God‘s grace.

    Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart
    from me. And He said to me, ―My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength.
    is made perfect in weakness.‖ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
    infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure
    in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ‘s
    sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:810

    I remember holding and storing this truth in my heart, as if I might need it at a later time. I had not imagined how soon that day would come. Eleven days later, after a long and difficult delivery, our son, Michael, was born. He was a strapping boy: 9 pounds 7 ounces! We were so thrilled; I had so wanted my first child to be a son so our future children would have a big brother. My parents were especially ecstatic because this was their first grandchild (named after my father and brothers), and they had longed to be grandparents. It was well after midnight when we all finally got to sleep exhausted.

  165. continued (part 2)

    Early the next morning (about 6 AM) the pediatrician came to my room. She had first called Sandy to inform him that she suspected our baby might have Down syndrome, and she wanted him to tell me. Sandy knew the implication, thanked her for calling, and after whispering. ―Lord, I leave it in Your hands,‖ returned to bed. The doctor no doubt felt he was ―unable to handle the information‖ and decided to tell me herself. I was not familiar with the term and the doctor told me if Mike did have it, he would be ―slow.‖ I was not shaken and remained confident, knowing that the Lord could do anything. Having a child that was ―slower‖ than I might have expected was certainly not a tragedy to me.

    A nurse came into my room right after the doctor left with my beautiful, big baby in her arms, and I innocently asked her what she knew about Down syndrome. That‘s when the roof caved in. She told me, ―He‘ll never be an engineer; you can institutionalize him.‖ (Later, when told of this, my brother Mickey retorted, ―Well, we know he can be a nurse!) I sat up, shocked and horrified as she proceeded to paint the most horrible picture of a vegetable that was to have been our son. Without taking a breath she blurted, ―He‘ll never walk, talk or know you. He will always be sick. He will need constant care,‖ and on and on. I tried to hide my terror and fear. ―Lord, I take it back: this is not what I meant
    when I thought, ‗Together we can handle this‘ ― The nurse left and returned with a book she said I should read. I later learned it was ―standard issue‖ and was burned into the memories and minds of many new parents. It consisted of accounts and pictures of institutionalized people with Down syndrome; their demeanors (and lives) were pathetic. Now I cried. Holding what seemed to be an otherwise beautiful, healthy baby, I prayed for God to help me. I asked for wisdom; I asked for grace.

    One thing broke my heart: I wept, begging God to let this child have enough mental (and spiritual) ―ability‖ to know Him. That‘s all I wanted: that my child could and would know and love Jesus. At that moment I felt the presence of the Lord so intensely. I knew He heard my prayer and He was pleased with the request. I felt like Solomon—I believe I had touched the Lord in faith and could have asked anything. I asked the thing that pleased God. It never occurred to me (or my husband) to ask God to remove or heal the syndrome; we knew the Lord had brought this baby into our lives. This was not an accident; he was not a mistake. (I knew God had a plan and I wanted ―in‖ on it.)

    It was then the Lord brought to mind Bro. Tom‘s sermon. Yes, that was the key. Understanding flooded my heart: God‘s grace in Michael‘s life would bring the Lord more glory than healing him of Down syndrome could. Michael‘s life would glorify Jesus. The years and events that followed have borne out that truth. The doctors said he would not live past age two with the severity of his congenital heart defect. Our God does miracles; nothing is too great for Him! We just need to seek and know His will and pray according to it. We prayed for this healing and his heart was miraculously healed, to the amazement of the doctors.

  166. (3)

    Throughout the years the Lord has faithfully touched and healed our son of so many (sometimes lifethreatening) illnesses. Jesus even healed and opened his ear canals (1992) right before he was to have a very painful and extensive reconstructive surgery. The doctor was astounded and had no medical explanation, but we all knew it was a miracle by Jesus: especially Michael. We have no fear or anxiety over his future; he‘s in the Lord‘s hands. Mike has a tremendous faith in God along with an incredible understanding of spiritual things. In the spirit he has no disability; in fact, he‘s gifted and talented. I don‘t know exactly when Michael was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking in tongues; he seemed to have it ever since he was able to speak. He‘s always loved to be in the presence of God and going to church to worship the Lord is his favorite thing to do. When he was thirteen he chose to be waterbaptized in Jesus‘ Name for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) – it had meaning for him. The Lord is so faithful.

    ―But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are
    mighty …‖ 1 Cor. 1:27

    Because of Michael‘s faith and fervor for the Lord, he can (and does) say profound things to many people about Jesus. He ―preaches‖ the gospel with his life, and can do it without offending. He has spoken truths to our extended family and prayed for them with power and anointing and the Lord has answered his prayers. He is able to just speak the truth lovingly (without premeditation or motive) – things I would hardly dare to say.

    Michael is now twenty-one years old and he has been such a blessing to us and those who know him. He is a true ―big brother‖ to our fourteen-year-old Daniel, who looks up to Mike in many ways. Dan loves and respects his brother for his many accomplishments and his loving heart. Mike cares about people and comforts those who are hurting. He has childlike faith and loves God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. Through him we, like Paul, have all learned that God‘s grace is truly sufficient for us; His strength is made perfect in weakness. That scripture (2 Cor. 12:9-10) has become Mike‘s own personal testimony; he shares it with many people and also read it at his high school graduation banquet. I know in the end Jesus will say to Mike, ―Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord‖ (Matthew 25:21). We are so thankful for his life; we are so grateful to the Lord!

    We pray this testimony has blessed you and perhaps even given you a renewed thankfulness for the gifts the Lord has given you. ―To whom much is given, much is required‖ (Luke 12:48) -– we hope you will not waste them.
    with love, Barbara, Sandy & Michael Cardella (1999)

  167. (4)

    “The Rest of the Story”

    It has now been 30 years since Michael‘s eventful birth. Though our family blatantly refused to believe the doomsday prognoses, we never expected or even dreamed of what has become our reality!
    What does everyone really want for their children‘s lives? What defines success? While we have met many exceptional people with Down syndrome who have graduated college, have outstanding talents, set athletic records, etc., what about the accomplishments/successes for those who may be more ―average?‖ For us, we define success as having joy, peace, relationships and fulfillment in our lives. Becoming all you can be, who you were created to be, is my personal definition of true success.

    Michael currently holds three part-time paid jobs: he works at Applebee‘s Restaurant (for 8 years), Hannaford Grocery (1 year), and is a speaker for the NYS Self Advocacy Speakers‘ Bureau (over 5 years). He insists he only wants to work part-time because, ―I don‘t want work to interfere with my life.‖ He truly has a great life. He is a dually certified Toastmaster (international public speaking organization with rigorous certification criteria), and has been the Sergeant-at-Arms for our club for years. He‘s spoken at conferences and workshops locally and around the country, as well as done keynotes as far away as Guatemala. We never imagined such accomplishments, though we never limited his abilities or opportunities; the grace of God abounds so deeply within him.

    Michael is profoundly committed to Jesus and our local fellowship, New Covenant Community. He is involved in all church activities including church services, men‘s workdays, prayer meetings, and the occasional, spontaneous, young people‘s gatherings.

    From the beginning and for many years, my husband, Sandy, and I would look at Michael and just gush at how very cute he was. When would that feeling wear off, we marveled? Being our first child, we constantly wondered if other parents still did that after so many years? (When our son, Daniel was born almost 7 years later, we learned that yes, this was typical parental behavior … at least for us.) The decision to have more children and when, is a personal family issue dependent on many factors. We decided to postpone our original plan until Mike was well on his way. We wanted him to be a big brother in as many ways as he could, and spacing our second child seemed to make most sense to us. Other families make different decisions for other reasons (like peer availability), and while nothing is ever perfect, we are pleased with the outcome.

    As a baby and young child, Michael filled our life with his adorable antics and expressions; he was bright and charming: he had numerous routines that he would ―perform‖ on cue. ―What does a cow say? What does a monkey do? Who says ‗oink‘?‖ Being our first child and the first grandchild for my parents (not to mention the first baby in my close, extended family in over 10 years), he received so much attention and love; he lacked for nothing. If there was a toy or item that would aid Mike in his growth and/or progress (like a full-sized trampoline: long before they were available for home purchase), my parents made sure he had it! Consequently Michael‘s progress physically, spiritually and socially grew by leaps and bounds; he was such a joy to all.

  168. (5)

    Michael would note and imitate anything and anyone who did something habitually: thus attracting Mike‘s eagle eye. He would spontaneously act out how my husband started his old jalopy car (back when we had to keep cars beyond their natural lifespan), expressions Sandy would use, and even his ―procedure‖ for taking a shower. Apparently Sandy has a daily routine that he does not deviate from, so Mike could easily mimic him, much to my husband‘s chagrin. Even Sandy‘s back adjustments and stretching exercises gave Mike new fodder for play-acting, and regular entertainment for the family. Similarly in Church, he would spot the person whose worship movements he especially liked and everyone always knew which person he was emulating. Whenever Mike watched and enjoyed a movie (like way back in Sesame Street‘s Follow That Bird, or as he got older with ones like Karate Kid or West Side Story), he would watch it repeatedly and be able to recite every character‘s lines. He still does that with all of his favorite movies, much to our amazement, speaking the dialog just before the rest of us hear it in the film. If it was possible for Mike to have an acting career while still living in our community (instead of Hollywood or NY city), we might have seriously investigated that …

    Overall, Michael‘s school experiences were positive and produced excellent social skills and proper etiquettes. Though we had to yearly visit the ―why‖ of inclusive education: alongside nondisabled peers in the least restrictive environment (demonstrating the school really didn‘t ―get it‖), we continued to persevere and prevail. Mike was never in a segregated environment, first because of our insistence, and later because of his own.

    Onetime after being compelled to visit a high school vocational [special ed/BOCES] placement, Mike resisted it vehemently, stating, ―It‘s not regular, Mom!‖ Consequently, he never went there. Instead, we carved out a unique school-to-work transition program
    in our local community where Michael would ―intern‖ at various businesses accompanied by an aide/job coach. It was so much more successful and also was much less expensive for the school (an added side benefit).
    I believe we may have forfeited some [segregated] academic education in favor of socialization and real-life learning, so in high school we supplemented at home with a reading specialist/tutor: a dear friend in our Church. Knowing so much of education is developmental, I trusted Mike would catch up and eventually have what he needed. Michael only really wanted to learn to read the Bible and since the school system had determined him ―unable to read‖ it posed a problem for them. When Mike went to school on his tutoring days with flashcards of the books of the Bible in his backpack, the special education teacher and aide were in disbelief hearing him randomly read them. (The teacher later commented disdainfully, ―It doesn‘t count; his mother taught him!‖) Sadly, she was wrong in both regards but I never did understand what it didn‘t count for? We weren‘t counting anything, but Mike reads [and understands] the Bible daily and writes scriptures and his prayer list every evening. He will often ask us how to spell someone‘s name, frequently a person we haven‘t seen in years, but obviously put on Mike‘s heart by the Lord. Even when he graduated at age 20, the school‘s testing showed Mike had a pre-kindergarten reading ability. (I‘ve yet to meet a kindergartner who reads and understands the Bible.)

    Mike prays in the night watches (from just before midnight to 2 AM) each night; that‘s his unchanging routine. He regularly prays for people he‘s heard reported on in the evening news, as well as continually for family and friends. Michael‘s ‗self-talk‘ seems to be redirected to the congregation he preaches to and the ever-present company of angels. You are very fortunate if you make it to Mike‘s prayer list; you can be sure Jesus and the angels will respond.

  169. (6)

    Michael now has a self-determination plan (which took about 3 years to set up), allowing him to pursue his personal goals, hire his own support staff, transportation, etc., and will soon live in his own apartment adjacent to our home. That‘s his choice: he wants to stay connected to his family and Church community, while achieving more independence and autonomy. He is surrounded by natural supports and activity. He loves to travel for speaking and vacations (immensely enjoying hotel life), and is actively pursuing what he loves. He regularly attends the Potential Unlimited Music Institute where he plays drums, congas, dances, and is a member of their company troupe, which plans many upcoming performances and increasing opportunities for creativity and enjoyment. His life is abundant and full.

    This Book of the Law shall n
    ot depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

    Now, wouldn‘t you call Michael‘s life a total success? … I certainly do!

    Barbara E. Cardella (5/08)

  170. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for posting that beautiful photo book… I’ve been at a loss as to how to save the pictures of my children as I find a lot of the digital scrapbook layouts too “busy”. I love the simple, elegant look of your book! I wondered if you’d consider posting any others that you had done… or maybe they’re at earlier posts. I’ll check back.

    I know you use a Microsoft program but I’ve been able to do similar pages with PSE… so much fun!

    Thanks again for inspiring – I’m even taking a photography course from a local photographer – amazing lady – who took pictures of our kids when they were young.

    Happy weekend… :) heather from Canada

  171. I love your blog. Your album is incredible. I, too, would love to know what programs you used to create it. Amazing. THANKS.

  172. That is THE most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. You’ve totally inspired me!

  173. what a wonderful thing to do! The book looks amazing and I cant imagine how precious it will be to both you and her in years to come. :) The photos are amazing and very creative and inspiring. :)

  174. That is positively beautiful. Lainey will love looking through this time and time again.

  175. Hi Kelle,
    I would love to feature this post on “My 5 links for the week”. I was wondering if I could include one photo (the one of the cover of the book) to go with the link back to this post?

    Thanks so much!
    (pls leave a comment on my blog to reply. Thanx!)

  176. Hi Kelle – You’ve said before you use Creative Memories for your scrapbooking – I am trying to put together a book for my baby’s first birthday – I downloaded the free pages from CM, and almost have a book together – but I have a question. Do you publish it through them or Shutterfly?


  177. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful book! What wonderful talent you have…

    FOr those that were wondering how Kelle may have put this little gem together, I found this tutorial on how to do something similar if anyone wants to make books from their digital scrapbooking. Hope this helps!

  178. I absolutely LOVE the book! My daughter is 1 and I am still working on her one-year album *hangs head in shame*. Your album defintiely inspires me to get moving with it. Did you make years 1 and 2 the same way? If so, do you have links to those books, as well.

    Thanks for sharing the book, your photos and your inspiration!

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