Me Lub Life.

Nella had her four month appointment yesterday.


And, amid most of the time where I honestly forget she’s different, I am reminded every once and awhile. Like getting ready to go to the doctor and feeling a little flutter inside. Like what if they tell me something. Like what if they rock my world again. Like what if one of those “increased likelihoods” that happen to attach themselves to that sweet little chromosome comes true.

But, here’s the thing. Once you become a parent…once you start feeling a little funny and you buy that pregnancy test…once you see a pink plus sign…once you know it’s not just you anymore…well, you automatically carry around, for the rest of your life, an increased likelihood. To have your heart broken. And it’s a constant fear that we struggle to put to rest.

And we can choose to be afraid or we can choose to live.

And I choose to live.



Because an “increased likelihood of having your heart broken” also carries with it an increased likelihood to find yourself the happiest you’ve ever been in life.


And so we walked into that exam room, as a family, and everything was just as it should be. Nella is doing great–a robust eleven-and-some pounds–and happy to play patient to Dr. Foley and her assistant, the big sister.


And I am reminded, once again, of my gratitude for having the most caring amazing pediatrician…


…who has this incredible ability to compress all the scary things I might have to think about for the next three years into a few lines of chicken scratch on a small square of prescription paper…and then she takes all my freakish motherness with its dumb questions and silly comparisons and melts them into relief when she laughs with her warm, motherly grin and says things like, “well, of course she’s perfect!” or “she IS normal, Kelle…with just a little something extra.”



I made an appointment for her six month eye exam after our doctor visit yesterday. And I rattled off insurance information and birth date and spelled out her name to the kind woman on the phone, and then something happened. For the first time, I spit “it” out without the slightest of pain.

“Reason for visit,” she asked.

“She has Down syndrome” I answered.

She has Down syndrome. How many times I’ve said this these past four months and felt that pain. That sting that surges deep inside. Nella Cordelia has Down syndrome and, for once, it doesn’t sound like a statement from an obituary. I rattled it off to Karen the receptionist like I was announcing something as simple as a rash, a cold, a fever. I hesitated for just a moment after I said it, waiting for that sting, but it didn’t come. My shoulders rested and I smiled.

“Okee-doke, we’ll see in you July,” she finished. I could sense the smile in her voice. She didn’t flinch. She didn’t speak with apology like so many that obviously feel so sorry for us do. We were just two women on the phone, throwing around the D.S. term like it was no big deal and whether or not Karen the receptionist knew, she was part of a bigger deal for me. Another step along the journey of acceptance.


Oh, it feels so good to settle into this. It feels so good to know that we’ve transformed deep discomfort into a comfortable place of knowing that this is just a part of parenthood. Parenthood that comes with the increased likelihood of facing trials and coming out stronger, wiser, better.


I’ve already been on that journey…


…and this one’s not much different.



We spent the rest of the day as a family, grabbing a burger and fries late in the afternoon at a local cafe, watching Lainey dip her fries, lick the ketchep off and proclaim, “Me lub kep-kep.”


Me lub a lot of things. Like weekends and coffee and knowing that tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day. Isle of Capri, Baby. With a huge crew of our friends…some old, some new.

Me lub Life.



Leave a Comment
  1. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one of your posts with zero comments! That’s my reward for working on a Saturday morning. I’ve been reading your blog since Nella was born. Wonderful, wonderful family. Keep up the good work.

  2. Hi Kelle, I am still hooked on your blog and love your posts. I found myself driving my kids to school the other day and thinking about you and your attitude and how great it is that you just eat life up. That you always see the good. That you acknowledge the pain and uncertainty but at the same time, you see it’s all gonna be OK. The girls looks beautiful, as ever. Through your blog you have made the ordinary extraordinary and that’s just so rare don’t you think? Plus in this post – you captured that whole feeling of parental worry – DS or no DS – it’s there from the word go. I am OK with that! Louise x

  3. Beautiful. I shed a few touched tears. Thank you.

  4. Congrats on a happy healthy beautiful baby girl!!! …and on a well adjusted (equally adorable) big sister, zen Mommy, a wonderfully supportive Dad and the awesome extended family you have. WOW. So much to be thankful for. You have faced this latest twist in your life with such grace and beauty. I think YOU are amazing. I relate to you in so many ways, not just as another photog mama, but as someone who chooses to LOVE LIFE and LIVE IT regardless of the inevitable fear that pops up… I Love seeing these babies grow up… I’m amazed as I see in each post, you evolving as a mother and as a woman. Your photography is amazing. Continue to count your blessings and continue to LIVE LIFE to the fullest!! Thanks for sharing this… so well.

  5. I have been reading on and off for awhile (I found you through Tara at Blondiensc) and I have recently become a follower for lack of a better term. But, maybe that IS the best term… because I like what you are selling. You seem genuinely happy and content and that is so refreshing in this time when people are disenchanted and complainy. I have a little guy that is almost two, so I enjoy seeing mommies so deeply in love with their babies as I am. Lainy and Nella are both so precious and your photos are amazing.

  6. I absolutely love that last photo. I really appreciate your positive out look on life. When something stinky happened yesterday I told myself that we can choose to be grumpy about it or we can celebrate all the fun stuff. Thank you for that!

  7. I just want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I love reading updates on your girls because you write with such love for them. They are both so blessed to have you as a mommy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Me lub life too! A beautiful post Kelle! You have come to your place of comfort because of your amazing outlook on life. You take those little moments and explode them into beauty. You grasp the goodness in everyday and fly with it in such a creative fun loving way. And that has helped you settle into your journey with Nella. Nella is going places because of your outlook on life…it’s pure beauty!!!

    And there will be days that bring questions, wonder and pain (that’s parenthood), but you, as we’ve all be witness to it, will come “out stronger, wiser, better”!

    Your family, friends and those beautiful littles of yours are blessed with you and your passion that life is good! Your blog brings me such a sense of peace and ALWAYS a smile. Thank you!

    From Canada

  9. Thank you as always for sharing your life with us! Your calm, positive outlook is quite refreshing. And I know I appreciate your peaceful nature. And I adore how the love your have for your family shines through.

    God Bless your sweet family!

  10. Even though I eagerly look forward to your postings, I don’t comment–just lurk! But, today, I must tell you that I don’t feel sorry for you at all. Those who do, obviously don’t know you. Nella is a beautiful and precious gift that your family has welcomed with joy. I love her expressions–her adorable babyness. She will bring you, and all those around her (even us in “blogland”) ever increasing joy. Lainey is also delightful. Your photography brings your readers into your beautiful, not-to-feel-sorry-for world!!

    Enjoy those blessings!


  11. Once we have passed that bridge over the abyss “She has Down syndrome” we can find our path…and even see the delicate wildflowers nestled in along the way. Yes, when I would first speak those words, my throat would tighten and my eyes would flood with tears…and with that flood of emotions, I would also feel guilt that Nella had to accept the weight of all that baggage. Today, it is better…it is a sweet secret shared with some and not all–kept, not by shame but by the fact I just don’t have the time to tell the wonder of the story with everyone. And oh how my little almond-eyed angel is growing–holding that head up high, sharing smiles, reaching for all the tomorrows ahead of her. Enjoy your weekend with all your lovables. We lub life with you! We lub you!

  12. ok that pic of Nella peeking over the arm of the couch with her little smile just completely melted my heart. You have such a precious family and I love reading your blog.

  13. I lub your blog and this post and that summer is here. Enjoy every second. I have a 7 month old and boy is time flying. I just want to stop time and soak everything in.

  14. Beautiful. Beautiful! Enjoy your Isle tomorrow! :)

  15. I look forward to your blog more than I look forward to my favorite tv shows. Thank-you for being such an uplifting soul!

  16. This might be one of my favorite posts so far! I’m sitting in my favorite B&B, overlooking the ocean of the WAY Northern Cali coast, WAY before anyone else is awake. My heartbreak this morning…? Missing my boy- its our first trip away. But just like yesterday- I’m up at 6am, thinking of him. But I know this day is going to be AWESOME!

  17. I can’t believe how much Nella has grown lately! Gorgeous! That second pic of her looking over the cushion just made me smile so big. And my 3 1/2 year old says ‘lub’. It is so cute.

  18. I can’t believe how much Nella has grown lately! Gorgeous! That second pic of her looking over the cushion just made me smile so big. And my 3 1/2 year old says ‘lub’. It is so cute.

  19. I can’t believe how much Nella has grown lately! Gorgeous! That second pic of her looking over the cushion just made me smile so big. And my 3 1/2 year old says ‘lub’. It is so cute.

  20. Oh how I love that the girls proud Poppa posts comments on here as well!

    Sounds like a wonderful Grandpa and Dad for sure!!

  21. oh, i’m loving it, too!! have a sunshiney day, it’s gonna be a good one.


  22. Peace and “lub” !!!!! YEAH! What a great day!

  23. Kelle ~ the part about talking to the receptionist and saying ‘she has DS’ without that stabbing feeling for the first time was something I could relate to. With my triples having autism, I have been there. Each hurdle we conquer makes it easier to overcome the next. Loved this post! And isn’t she just growing up so fast! Beautiful!

  24. Without fail your posts always make me cry. Happy tears. The picture of Dr. Foley and Nella holding hands did it this time. You really do have the most caring amazing pediatrician!

    Enjoy your weekend and the wonderful Isle of Capri. Your posts about it have made it a MUST visit if I ever make it to your part of the world.

  25. ,,,me “lub” that Kelle shares her two “dollies” with all of us,,,and me “lub” the idea that lil nella vanilla-bean may have found her thumb?,,,me sucked my thumb for many years and “lubed” it!,,,

  26. Anonymous says:

    Your outlook on life is amazing! Can you share your secret? Nella is looking so much like you – she is so gorgeous. xxoo


  27. I love you pictures! I don’t know you dad, but i love him too! LOL!! He loves you all so much. I know exactly how you feel. It took me a while to actually say the words “Spina Bifida” even after she was born. It may have taken me a little longer than you even. I don’t think I came at peace with the facts of our life until just a few months ago, but I am completely at peace with “our normal” now. I also think I can give you some of that credit. It was just like, after I found your blog the beginning of this month, after that moment, I put all of the guilt that it could be my fault that she has SB behind me. I’m GOING TO LIVE BABY!!!!! This is not the end of the world, but a sweet new chapter.
    I’m Totally crying right now, but it is happy tears Kelle! I know I don’t know you in person, but I love ya girl! I love being a parent to both of my babies! They are my life, Samantha may not look perfect to others, but she is who she is and the SB does not define her, it is just a part of her.

    I love those little leggings you put on Nella. I use to want to get some of those for Samantha when she was a baby, where do you get them. Since she crawls a lot instead of walk, I may still get her a couple pair. Do they make them for a little bigger kids. She is 22 months.
    Take Care and keep enjoying those precious lives you made.

  28. And I Lub this post. I lub that Lainey is the sweetest little chicken, with not a care in the world, and loving on her sister like they’ve been bossom buddies from before time, and I lub that Nella has to be the happiest baby around, cause her love tank is filled to overflowing everyday of her life. It’s a beautiful life you have Kelle.

  29. Oh, I meant to tell you the words you speak are sooo very true. The increased likelihood of having your heart broken does also carry with that the increased likelihood of being the happiest ever.

  30. Bravo Kelle- what an awesome post! I hope that y’all have a brilliant day today, everyday- : )

  31. I love love love reading your blog. You have such a beautiful style of writing, which is so complimented by your amazing photography, and it always leaves me feeling so blessed and thankful for life, love and children.

    Nella just gets cuter and cuter! Love that smile!

  32. Oh Kelle…..everytime I read your blog, I just get the urge to snuggle my own kids a little closer. Nella and Lainey are so delicious. And perfect. The both of them. And just so you know……you are an amazing, wonderful mama…..and I thank God that I find your blog…….XOXOXO.


  33. Anonymous says:

    I love how you put the “inceased likelihood”! I just had my first pink plus sign show up this week! I can’t wait and reading about how much you love motherhood adds to my total joy! Thank you for sharing!

  34. Kelle – I check back for updates twice a day (seriously, I am hooked).
    And while I try to live my life better every day and try to become one of these the-glass-is-half-full, happy people, I bought bright red nail polish today. And I look at my toes and think of Lainey Love, Nella and all the small things in life that I can enjoy.

  35. I know you have a ton of comments, so I hope you do get a chance to read this. Peyton has CP, most likely mild but we won’t really know until she gets older what she will have difficulty with. For now, it’s just therapy therapy therapy. I find myself throwing around CP to strangers now. Before, it felt like every time I verbalized it, it made it real. Well, it was real either way and the more I talk about it, the easier it is. I think Nella looks great! And honestly, I’m not even sure most strangers would know she has DS. When I look at her all I see is a normal baby! We are going to a pediatric eye dr. in a few weeks too because P had trouble tracking. If you would like me to tell you about what they do I would be glad too, just shoot me an email Realisticdreams424 at hotmail dot com. I can’t email follow-up comments to myself because my inbox blows up!

  36. Melissa M. says:

    Oh, Kelle, what a beautiful post! My little man is 20 months old, and I toss around the phrase “Down syndrome” like it means that he likes cheerios. But when I read this post, tears came to my eyes again, and I remembered feeling that way, too, and how people like Karen the receptionist still mean so much to me, too. Your post made me think about how much my heart has grown in the last two years, and how I wish I had known then what I know now. And YOU are a big part of my journey of acceptance, too!! Thank you so much for your blog-it’s “special mama crack.” Beautiful words & beautiful photos of a beautiful life!

  37. Oh that picture of Nella and her mischevious grin over pillows!! Love it!

  38. My favorite post of yours so far. From the pictures Nella is doing way better with the “milestones” that my little lazy bun. :)

    I am glad you have so many great pockets of support like your pedi. Nella will have a little army of love to bring her up, lucky girl.

  39. I can’t believe Nella is already 4 months old!!! She gets more beautiful everytime you post a new photo. Tell Lainey, we lub kep-kep too!

  40. Nella just keeps getting more beautiful! And check out that awesome neck strength! She is certainly defying the odds! Happy 4 months, precious girl!

  41. My sister has this funny memory about my little brother. She was playing with him in the back of the car and dropped him about a foot onto the floor where a circular saw blade was lying flat. We are both in our 30s, and two years ago she told me that she thought she was the reason for his mental disability. It had to do with one day at the park where my sis and aunt and mom were all gabbing away and my brother had reached the edge of the blanket and grabbed a handful of grass. She thought he could crawl and that after she dropped him he couldn’t. All of these years she had blamed herself. When my parents divorced she was the best mother ever to him at age thirteen I shook my head when she told me this. “No, I watched how he reached the edge of the blanket. He didn’t crawl any better before than he did after that moment. It wasn’t your fault.” Still, when he was so young there were so many unknowns! He was so little and we didn’t know if he would ever develop fully, speak, walk, run, dance. He has been such a joy. I grew up feeling comfortable around many different people, and no matter what happens for you, all of you will do so also! He is always so happy to see me, and loves me unconditionally! I took the time to learn the difference with disabilities, which ones are mental and which are not, because CP is not mental, but many treat those with CP as if they don’t have full comprehension. It’s made me a better person, something I never could be without him. Those who feel awkward are really missing out. Their hearts may not have enough room yet for everyone to fit inside.

  42. I too have the joy of an older sibling and a younger one with that extra something special. As time passes, the words and emotions become less. Every extra Dr appointment or complete blood count or early intervention review still brings up an extra flutter of concern. But every milestone reached is such pure joy and source of pride.

    I had a wonderful pediatric chiropractor (to help with reflux) tell me once that children with special needs come with “books” that tell you all the things your kids will never do, but those books don’t take into account intervention, attention, and especially love.

  43. Kelle, I do not think you have mentioned it, but is Nella involved with the programs that do the PT and OT in the home, with social services help and follow ups? I am assuming yes, because you usually get talked to after birth with any special needs child, but I was wondering, because it is SO important that be started ASAP after birth. I love your Nella, and Lainey, too, of course!

  44. Your posts are touching thousands of lives. :) Thank you.

  45. Laura F. says:

    Oh, I so know what you mean. It’s funny… just this week I was talking to my mom and telling her that “Down syndrome” comes out of me just as I would say that Joey loves Goldfish and Ian loves Ritz crackers. It comes out without the sinking feeling in my stomach, without aches and pains… and it has for a long, long time now and I did not even realize it. In fact, when I tell people that Ian has Ds, I say it with pride and gratitude… I’m so proud of this sweet baby! Ian has started signing “more”, army crawling, and on Thursday I walked into his room to get him after his nap, only to find him sitting up in his crib, all by himself! And at each of those times, my heart swelled and my eyes filled… and then when big brother Joey hooted with praise and genuine pride for his little brother, my heart soared and the tears rolled down my face. How my two sweet boys make every part of life better. As a psychologist friend says, kids are buddha masters… they stay in the moment and love life right now. I am grateful for my buddha masters. And one night I said to my husband that Ian is so sweet and fun and full of life and that he does not realize the he is different. And then I told him that maybe it is because he is NOT different. He is beautiful and he is perfect. He is Ian. Thank you, again, for putting into words what is in my heart!

  46. lightkeepersdaughter says:

    One of my all-time favourite quotes is from an obviously-very-wise woman named Elizabeth Stone. The quote? “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”.

    Though I wasn’t introduced to that quote, until my own child had reached adulthood, it resonated immediately!……..and, I can totally see that your heart walks around outside your body on a pretty much continual basis.

    Thank-you for your amazing posts – for your amazing photos, for your amazing self and for the amazing family, you share so generously with us ……

    (I don’t comment every day – because I always feel that everyone else says exactly what I was going to say, anyway! :) ) But, I never miss a post – and am always looking forward to the next one!……..Rosemary

  47. You have the two most BEAUTIFUL girls! Oh my goodness! Nella’s story has touched me SO much. I could just eat her up. Sweet baby!!

  48. Oh Kelle!! Look at little bean all strong holding her head up on that boppy!! She IS perfect, PERFECT!!! What a beautiful start to a beautiful Saturday morning..seeing all your shining happy faces :o)

    Have an amazing time at Eye-oh-cup-pea…so wish I can join you there some day!!

  49. Almost forgot…Lainey’s little straw hat, TO. DIE. FOR. Have we seen her yet in this hat in a field of wildflowers?? If not, get on that sister!!

  50. This post made me cry again. I love your whole “gettin’ on with beautiful life” attitude; it’s very inspiring. And your honesty is so touching. Thank you for sharing the journey.

  51. Needed this one today – thanks.

  52. I am sitting here, going through my third miscarriage, and I would gladly take a child with Down Syndrome then another loss. Thank you so much for your honesty. Whether you know it or not, you are making the scary less scary for all of us too. Thank you so much!

  53. You are such a beautiful writer!

    “Because an “increased likelihood of having your heart broken” also carries with it an increased likelihood to find yourself the happiest you’ve ever been in life”.- so poignant, so gorgeous.

    I think your girls are perfectly perfect and Nella is clearly such a happy little girl.

  54. Nella is changing so much. Thanks for letting all of us see that. And does Lainey ever not look at the camera for you?? It’s like pulling teeth to get my 3yr old to look and smile for the camera!

  55. Your outlook on life is truly inspiration. There isn’t any other blog out there that makes me feel the way yours does. It give me hope, makes me smile, and makes me realize the importance of life– every single time I read it. You have a gift to write. Perhaps turning it into a book? I think you have the talent and story for it. Thank you for always sharing your journey with us.

    :) Marcie

  56. I totally dig you… thank you for making me consistently smile & cry and think of ways I am going to showcase how much I love my girls :)

  57. YES!

  58. Love it, love it! Your words, photos, are always so inspiring…thank you for sharing those two sweet girls!

  59. Oh my goodness, in this new batch of pictures, Nella is looking so much like you! Your girls are beautiful, mama. Also–it sounds like your magical little girl is incredibly healthy! My littlest one is just about six weeks younger than Nella and is about 10 and a half lbs (up from 6 lbs 9 oz at birth). Way to go mama & Nella! :)

  60. You made me cry over my morning coffee. Happy tears of course. They are both so beautiful, perfect, and normal. You are one lucky mama. Now time for me to get movin. My toddler is screaming “beach” and as you know we must jump and do as the toddler says or she will eat me alive. Have a great weekend!

  61. as I read this post today my almost one year old little girl stood beside me, caught eye of Nella…and smiled the biggest smile..she loves:)

  62. Nella looks so stunning in that blue & white striped shirt. If she ever has to get glasses, melt me here and now. There is nothing more delicious than wee ones in tiny glasses.

    I used to lick all my ketchup off too, Lainey! Until the fry fell apart and I started over with a fresh one.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, this post it so sweet. Nella was such a good patient it looks like she’s sleeping during her check up. Of course Lainey was the ever patient sister/assistant, she has to make sure they know how to hold her sister properly LOL!!!!! You take beautiful pictures and then share them and your family with us and for that I thank you, for reminding me to get out there and love life, not try to keep my house perfect.

    Shari H

  64. I Lub You and your girls, and we have never met.


  65. You ARE a rockstar. Have a great weekend.

  66. Awww…I love hearing you say “She has Down syndrome” and hearing that it didn’t sting…I know and feel this all the time too…soon you will say it with pride…I promise! We are so blessed to be touched by that little something extra.

  67. Kelle, I think this is the most well written of any post I’ve ever read from you. You are always amazing….but this one SOARS. So eloquent…you’ve put into words what so many others have felt and thought but haven’t been able to articulate. Amazing. My favorite photo is of Nella smiling from behind the couch back. She looks so grown up!

  68. Oh happy, healthy, beautiful Nella!!! She is so strong & gorgeous & growing before our eyes. I will never forget the first time I told someone Quinn had Down syndrome with no sting, with the same emotional level as telling someone he has brown eyes… it’s a circular journey, but one that is oh-so incredible. My little guy will be having his 4th birthday very soon… am working on writing his birth story… thank you for that inspiration.
    Happy weekend!

  69. Amy…hugs and pats to you…you are in my heart now, and I will pray special comfort for one who longs for a baby.

  70. Hi Kelle, just thought Id tell you how helpful your blog has been! I am a social worker and work with parents whom have children with that extra special chromosome too! Your outlook on life and positive attitude helps ME be a better resource for them! So thank you! Your family is beautiful! xo

  71. Thanks so much for sharing Kelle, sometimes I find myself struggling to “live” through all the fears of being a parent. It’s a powerful force that you can get caught up in very quickly.

    I also wanted to tell you that after seeing so many pictures of your girls, I had honestly forgotten that Nella had D.S. I guess I just always see smiling Nella pictures in adorable outfits smoothered with joy and the thought of D.S. just kind of slipped my mind.

    Your girls are so lucky to have you. I have no doubt that your positive, yet real attitude will take your family very very far.

  72. I love how protective Lainey is with her baby sister! Yay for great- easy- baby- is- perfect appointments!
    Have a fun weekend, can’t wait to see the pics!

  73. I woke up this morning to an email from a good friend saying, “I started crying when I read her latest post ‘Me Lub Life.’ She’s a great writer, that Kelle Hampton.” I knew one of the first things I had to do upon getting up was to read it. Me lub life too…especially sharing it with others. Thanks for sharing yours with me.

    P.S. That little Nella, she has STOLEN my heart!

  74. I love your heart. A friend sent me the link to your blog and it is truly a highlight of my day. Thank you for sharing your lovely family. I’m a wanna-be mother and reading your loving thoughts on life help to tide me over until I can have a family of my own.

  75. Kelle I love your blog soo much, I had my beautiful baby boy on Feb. 7th and he too has Ds. I want to thank for writing down the thoughts I am thinking. I kno I do not know you but having someone else out there that completely understands, is a true blessing. And it’s perfect that Nella and my little Liam are so close to the same age, you are going thru all the exact same things as we are and it’s comforting. Thank you soo much for sharing your little family with us. Love Stormie

  76. Me lub your posts….
    And I get so exited for every new one.
    I’m in love with the Hamptons… ..hehe…

    Happy weekend! 😀

  77. Your doing great Kelle. Nella IS perfect for sure!! {{{HUGS}}}}

  78. Anonymous says:

    Sitting here reading your blog today with my oldest Grandaughter age 3, While looking at the pictures. She sees Nella and says awww Poppy look shes beautiful,just like me, I love her.

    Love poppy

  79. That picture of Nella holding the Dr’s hand had me burst into tears. You are very very blessed to have a Dr. who actually cares – truly and deeply. Nella is so beautiful, and Lainey – gorgeous as ever! I always love her outfits.

  80. Your optimism and perspective are a breath of fresh air! I vow not to let my cold coffee or cranky toddler ruin my day! You are an inspiration…and your family is beautiful! Thanks for the smiles you consistently bring to my face!

  81. Tallcurlygirly says:

    What a great day to read your latest post. Kinda down and needed someone to lift up my chin. My brother’s best friend had an accident with his youngest son while mowing the lawn. A total freak accident now leads Liam to losing most of one foot; but he’s alive and stable. Even though Liam is not my child, I bawled for him and for his parents Chris and Terri. All of the “what ifs” filled my head. My husband acted controlled at the news, but I saw him sneak upstairs to check on my napping angel.

    Oh, parenthood is a whole mess of fears, doubts, joy & sheer happiness. You take the bad because the good is SOOO good. I’m so happy to read that you’re able to say DS without the host of anxiety and fears that we naturally tie to the words. You are very, very blessed to be growing through this experience; and so blessed to have a rock star pediatrician and your incredible host of friends and family to help support you too.

    And thanks for reminding me to not apologize to those parents who have a D.S. child. Let’s always cherish the child – the most spectacular gift. Babies and children teach us more than we could ever teach them. Have an incredible weekend in Capri.

    P.S. I heard a good-humor truck yesterday and drove around Annapolis like a wild woman with my child in pursuit of the Ice Cream truck. I will have to put off that summer goal for another day. :)


  82. Your pictures are exceptionally beautiful this time Kelle…not quite sure why but I was compelled to comment today :) But now as I was about to write something about how inspiring you and your littles are…my 3 year old rides across the wood floors waking the 1 year old up…so I don’t have time!
    Enjoy your weekend :)

  83. Yay for Nella!! She is growing so fast! Adorable pics!! Your girls are so beautiful like thier mommy!! Hugs!

  84. You should lub life you have a perfect one at least from my view. Nella is so adorable and so lucky to have you and you to have her. Have fun at Capri Isle.

  85. You should lub life you have a perfect one at least from my view. Nella is so adorable and so lucky to have you and you to have her. Have fun at Capri Isle.

  86. They way you see life is truly beautiful. And that is such a beautiful gift to your daughters. Nella IS normal and she IS perfect. And I am always in awe of Lainey’s eyes. They are magical.

  87. shivaun says:

    This is one of the most beautiful, truthful and insightful posts I have ever read. Thank you, Kelle!

  88. Greta S. says:

    Nella picked the absolute BEST family to be with!! (I believe children are re-born angels from heaven)

    Although we have never met, I can tell there is SO MUCH LOVE in that house. It makes even ME want to live there, too!

    You are an inspiration to me, being a mom to my girls, ages 7 & 2.

  89. thank you, thank you Kelle, reading your blog at the end of my day keeps me going when i’m not going through the best time.

  90. Im not entierly positive my comment posted on your last entry but ive had this song stuck in my head and im positive it used to be on your play list and i dont think its there anymore. its a female singer, its kind of foly/country and i think its about a sailor…

    whats the name?

  91. I lub your family, you and your blog! I never leave with a dry eye, and those are SUPER happy tears! I’m in between kid events and had a few mins to visit! :)

  92. gillian says:

    I’m outing myself as another lurker – your posts cheer me up a bunch. Your girls are amazing – and like everyone else has said, your positive spin on things is so easy to read. What a pick-me-up.
    My daughter has special needs also – though she was healthy/typical for the first 2.5 years of her life. So yeah, I get the newness of saying what’s different about her.
    Thanks for lifting me up.

  93. Anonymous says:

    I’m so happy to hear that Nella’s 4 month checkup went well and also that you’re getting more and more comfortable with her diagnosis! :) Believe me, it will keep getting easier as your little girl grows and brings more light into your life.
    My husband has two sisters with DS and even though they are the best, I was always scared by the possibility that I could have a child with DS myself. Then as I got to know them better and took a job teaching Early Childhood Special Education, I realized that kids with Downs are irresistably the SWEETEST kids ever! The facial expressions and sense of accomplishment they get when learning something new make my life so much happier and brighter. I would take any of my students into my home in an instant if needed.
    I’m now 18 weeks pregnant with my first child and so thankful for whatever the stork brings us :)

  94. I’m glad that everything went smoothly at Nella’s appointment! And that’s true, parenthood is an increased likelihood of a lot of things. I think it’s amazing how positive you are kelle. So many parents get discouraged, and with reasons to be, but I think they also need to see the good in the bad. And you are doing that. nella wouldn’t be nella without here little extra something. I love her almond eyes and her smile; you have such a beautiful daughter and this has only given her one more reason of why she’s an amazing baby!

    You make me think about things I wouldn’t otherwise think about. Your words make me want to see every shine in the sun until the day casts it’s shadows into full darkest. I’ve started to see every flip side to every down side. Thank you for broadening my horizons to the amazing things in life.

    By the way, those pictures of nella in the stripes, kinda holding herself up? LOVE! Probably my favorite pictures of her to date. And your little lainey looks so cute playing doctor for her lil sis.

    (: Have a great weekend!

  95. my first time here.. YOU are simply DELICIOUS!!! I’m addicted!
    I’ll be back..need to read more..
    my 2 boys have autism..and my heart felt at home reading your words..i felt much!

  96. This one caught a soft spot for me today…
    i have been pregnant 9 times… & i have 7 lovelies at home with me & two that went home early…
    Each pregnancy is a huge leap of faith – another chance to open yourself up to the unbelievable…
    The way you mother this perfect little one with so much gratitude speaks to my mothering instincts that still long for the 2 i didn’t get to keep & even the gratitude that i feel for their little lives.

    Beautiful, beautiful job… me lub life too..

  97. I “lub” almond eyes, capture the feeling photography, and your posts. Thank you for making me see/enjoy the small things in life. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  98. that little girl certainly knows how to ham it up for the camera, doesn’t she? she honestly gets prettier each day~
    and you, you are such an inspiration. truly.

  99. OH MY GOSH!!! – the smile on Nella’s face made me laugh out loud!! – ya just gotta love it – she’s soooo CUTE!!

  100. That extra chromosome is just a little bit of extra love and kindness that Nella will be giving to the world. Because you’ll never be treated as well by anyone as you will by a child with down syndrome… or an adult for that matter. Glad she is healthy and happy, what more could you ask for as a parent, right? Nella picked your family to be hers because she knew you were the perfect one :)

  101. the second nella shot in the blue stripes. that expression. im obsessed. and i love the “increased likelihood” twists. brilliant.

    do you like band of horses? their new cd is refreshing.

  102. I love your blog.I always look forward to reading it. It makes me cry & laugh & is just so sweet.Nice work. Just wanted to tell you that:)

  103. Do you make your bed every day? :o) Lub Nella’s on the bed shots!

  104. Both your girls are simply gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your story :)

  105. Georgia is just over two, and though we were rocked to the foundations at the start, our hearts were filled with love for our girl, and we rallied quickly. But there is still something that stiffens my shoulders when people meet her for the first time, or peer into her pram at the shopping centre. Being told they are sorry. In the “early days” I used to look un-comfortably at the floor, and mumble that it was ok. Now, I look them straight in the eye, say incredulously, “What on earth are you sorry for?”, and THEY look un-comfortably at the floor. I remember booking my first paediatrican appointment, and answering the same, “reason for visit?” When I uttered those still painful words, she said “OH”, then I realised there was a bright voice, which was followed with, “I bet she’s GORGEOUS”. Yes, indeed she is. I just realised that the spell check is underlining “realised”. I’m not spelling in-correctly, just American in-correctly. Anything that ends in “ized” for you guys is “ised” for us in Australia! Now, it’s 9.03am on a Sunday in Australia, and I am off to lub life with my husband and 4 beautiful daughters!

  106. Anonymous says:

    Wow you always know how to say it. And that gorgeous baby knows how to put a smile on everyone. She is beautiful. Both your girls are so lovely. Lisa L.

  107. Another beautiful post. Your positive attitude is wonderful! Have a great weekend with your girls!

  108. Me lub “increased likelihood”…

    I have this saying that either I made up, or immediately adopted as my own as soon as I heard it:

    I’d rather fall in love, and get my heart broken into a thousand pieces, than never to risk falling in love at all.

    Playing it safe doesn’t really cut it for me, you know?

    All the way, baby!

  109. I hope you don’t mind…but I just quoted you on my blog (and linked to you). Your words rang so true for me…and helped this postpartum mama…

    Bless you!! Love your family, blog, and words!

  110. She’s so beautiful Kelle. Both of your girls are. I adore your blog, you are fabulous and inspiring. Love,

  111. Anonymous says:

    You are amazing. Your blog is such a wonderful reminder to find good in every single day. Thank you for sharing!!

  112. It’s not good for me to read your blog at work because I tend to cry and I’m a dispatcher so it’s not good to answer a 911 call choking back tears! Your post reminded me of two months ago making the appointment for Madi’s ear surgery. The nurse on the phone asked her age and I replied 20 months, she said “and she’s walking?” I replied no and she not very nicely replied “what’s wrong with her” and I was so proud that I calmy told her “nothing is wrong, she has Down syndrome.” Its a great feeling to say it proudly and as easily as though Im saying she has blue eyes. Congrats may be an odd thing to say but being in the place that you can say it without that little pang is a wonderful thing!

  113. I’m so pullin’ for you guys. Not because you have a family which includes a child with down syndrome but because you, like so many of us, are just dealing with the ups and downs of life and you do it with grace, positivity, and honesty. I’m pullin’ for you guys like I am for all us trying to ‘enjoy the small things’ in a crazy, loveable world.

  114. Isn’t it such a sweet thing when you can utter those words and not feel the sting? Our youngest has mild cerebral palsy. I can remember when speaking those words was so hard. When I could feel my throat get tight, and my eyes begin to sting with broken-hearted tears. It was as if it hurt every bit as bad as hearing the words the first time when he was diagnosed. But thank heavens for time and love and accepatance and… you get the idea! I wouldn’t wish any of it away now. It’s ultimately been a blessing. It has been 7 years, and it has made our family stronger and tighter. And I have no doubt you’re well on your way there, too!

  115. You are such a beautiful person– both inside and out.

  116. Melissa says:

    I have two girls as well. 2 1/2 yrs and 5 months. My youngest was born with some health issues as well. And I can relate to you….the struggle…towards acceptance. I am on that road too. And the learning that I cannot control other’s reactions. I love your blog. So inspiring. God Bless you.

  117. Thank you.

    Thomas was born 2/22/10 with that little extra chromosome. I took him with me to a friend’s baby shower today and still felt that my heart dropped a bit each time I informed an old acquaintance that he has D.S.

    I’m glad to know that it won’t last forever. My heart might not make it.

  118. p.s. A friend emailed me the link to Nella’s birth story while I was in the hospital after Tommy was born.

  119. I love watching her grow right before my eyes. The sky is the limit Kelly! The sky is the limit!

  120. Lovely post and awesome pictures.

  121. Pleased to hear the little one is doing so well and such a good big sister she has there :-)

  122. I have wanted to leave a comment for some time…I feel I have a special connection to you and your little Nella – I hope that you will see it as a positive one like I do. I (like many others I am sure) started reading your blog a bit after Nella was born. As I read I realized that your Nella was born 4 days after my mom passed away. Your wonderful Nella as she grows reminds me of the circle of life. As I see her change I realize that I am changing too and learning to cope with the loss of my special mom. Thank you for your gorgeous photos, your amazing words and your reminder that life is to be lived even in the hardest of moments.

  123. I love your blog. I hope you don’t mind but I posted a link to your blog from mine. I wanted to write to you many times but tonight I am writing because I saw these cute lil’ fairies on ebay from a doll maker that I’ve already bought 2 dolls from. These dolls reminded me of your two precious fairy babies. Maybe it’s the way the fairy has her head tilted, kind of Lainey like.


    p.s. my blog is I hope you don’t mind that we posted a link!

  124. I first “met” you just a few weeks after Nella was born … and now she’s 4 months old? She’s growing us so fast! I love those new curls on the top of her head!! You seem to be “growing” up along with her … in your own new way! So happy for you! Can’t wait to see all new pics from that wonderful Isle! Have a wonderful weekend!

  125. “…she IS normal, Kelle…with just a little something extra.” That’s right! Nella IS your beautiful, perfect, healthy, whole, happy and deeply loved baby! And, she has a wise soul! Always remember these truths!

    It’s liberating to know that Down syndrome is not a big deal, you have to take it for what it is. The extra chromosome is part of our little love’s life, yet she IS so much more than a Ds diagnosis. Our little love is the joy of our lives, she is an individual with many strengths and weaknesses, just like all her family members and friends. We are all unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. We are as different as we are similar, all of us. C:

    ‘Because an “increased likelihood of having your heart broken” also carries with it an increased likelihood to find yourself the happiest you’ve ever been in life.’ So very true! To love is to be vulnerable, when loving we expose our tenderness and nakedness. At the same time love is the most powerful force in our lives. Love makes us feel larger than life. Love gives us the courage to conquer all…

    All is well! Everything is going to be OK~

    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin

  126. I know exactly how you felt after hanging up with that receptionist. Like, finally someone that doesn’t really care if she (he in my case) has DS-big deal! I absolutely hate for people to feel sorry for us because we have a great life, DS or not! Thanks for sharing your feelings once again.

  127. me lub your family, Kelle! you are AMAZING! I hope you are working on your book – I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  128. First and foremost, I want to let you know I have been following for a little while. I love reading the loving stories of families all over the globe, especially yours. I had a test come back positive for Downs when I was pregnant with my second son (he’s nine months now). I have to admit, it was devastating. I knew nothing about raising a Downs child. But, we came to terms with it, did our research, and turned out that he wasn’t. I look at your baby girl and wonder why I was ever worried or scared. She’s perfect! I see how precious they are and how much they are a part of someone’s life just like anyone else. When I looked at your pictures and read your blog, I cried. I thought, ‘How in the world could I have been so silly?’ She is gorgeous. I love the way you spend time with them and play dress up with them. Their clothes are the cutest. And, I’m relieved that people are taking to her and accepting her as a normal child, well, because she is…with a little something special. :-) You and your husband are very blessed to have such wonderful little girls, and I look forward to watching them grow into fine young ladies.

  129. Nella really IS perfection, isn’t she? Sigh. I loved this entry….

  130. Dear Kelle

    Lovely pictures – I adored the ones of little Lainey helping the doctor!

    I am so glad you felt that weight lift from your shoulders and felt comfortable speaking to the receptionist.

    I went to a conference about disability this week. There was a poignant line – ‘your condition or your decision can define and change your life’. I believe your decision to live, not be afraid, has defined your life. Your blog is so powerful.


  131. First of all . . . amazing head control. Way to show off Nella!

    I don’t think others realize the heartache that can sometimes come with saying “She has Down syndrome”. Before I had Morgan and saw mothers who had children with wheelchairs, feeding tubes, etc. I just assumed that was who they were. Had always been that way. I never realized how it must have been for them when they found out their baby had special needs. I know now.

    I remember when Morgan was getting her 4 year old evaluation for preschool and I saw the written words, “intellectually disabled”. It still hurt. Four years later and it still hurt. It was hard to see it written out on a paper with her name. I held back the tears and I knew the team (teachers, therapists and special ed director) had no idea how I was hurting. Everyone just assumes that it stops hurting and it does. But sometimes it just hits you all over again. And it’s hard to predict where and when it will happen.

  132. I have a cousin with down syndrome, he’s 38, which is part of what draws me to your blog, the other part is the life that’s in it. You are amazing, as is your blog, your daughters and your husband. Keep on posting these wonderful blogs, you are inspiring!!!

  133. Mommy of Two Girls too says:

    I just lub your blog, Kelle! Your sunny disposition never ceases to amaze me. I read your words, and it makes me appreciate being a mama and all that comes along with it…. the worry, the angst, the happy times, the sad times….all of it. I lub being a mama!! 😉

  134. While shopping today I glanced at a shirt and saw the words written on a tiny crest ‘Holland’ and I immediately thought of you Kelle. It seems that the power of your pen has made a great impression on me for there right in the middle of a busy aisle of a busy shop was “Nella” on my mind. Your little munchkin has ‘more than’ found her beautiful way into my heart Kelle. Anyways, I know that this has nothing to do with your post and yet, perhaps it has everything to do with your post……your storytelling of Nella has formed a sisterhood among we readers Kelle where we all see our own Hollands and learn to live with acceptance, joy and trusting in what ‘is’. I come from a special needs family & it would be safe to say that the best part of me is because of my own Holland….you’re in for some scathingly brilliant ‘beautiful days ahead’ Kelle. xxx Your blog ‘tenderizes me’ with every visit Kelle; there are 2 baby girls that know how to ‘delight’ and ‘light’ us all.

    God Bless your wee Nest this day,

  135. I fully understand. 20 months into my daughters birth and DX of cystic fibrosis and i sometimes still get that pain when they ask why and i say “she has cystic fibrosis”. i feel like screaming sometimes, why do you have to ask me?
    but on good days, i dont even think twice. and its a blessing to be able to live those days.
    stay happy!

  136. I am so glad to have found your beautiful blog. You are an inspiration to many, including myself. My youngest son started having seizures just before his third birthday and it rocked our world. Now I too have come to the place where I don’t feel that jolt of pain when I tell people he has epilepsy, but I still have a ways to go before I can look into the future without knots in my stomach full of worry and uncertainty. Thank you for your beautiful posts!!

  137. Amazing post! I lub your blog and everything it represents (you, your girls, your family and friends). You help put life into perspective for me … thank you!

  138. Beautiful! ~ As always. :)

    Thank you.

  139. Anonymous says:

    Your girls are lovely!

  140. Your babies are beautiful! Just like their mama.

  141. oh kelle hampton, what an absolute gift to the world you are! i love reading your blog. you share your life, your greatest loves, and your heart with the world, and inspire and make it easier for for others to love. lainey is so beautiful, such a wonderful big sister, and her shy smile is growing bigger and brighter every day. Nella is pure perfection and it brings joy to my heart to see her blossoming in every post.

    your writing connects people. so much so that when my baby was in NICU fighting for her life after coming into the world 10 weeks too early, your words, your heart and your spirit lifted me like a trusted friend from the other side of the world. So i put on bright lipstick, and painted my toes red, and wore magic boots, and knew that i could rock it out, get through every day, and that soon i would have her home and with us, bringing so much joy to our every day. so i put on magic boots on the way to doctors visits and as the journey goes down places i never imagined i’d go, i trust that i can rock this out, that there is beauty in everything, and that despite the bad, the scary and the unknown that everything will be ok. thank you so much for sharing so much with so many. it is such a gift. ps- i cant wait for your book, and im so in love with your photos!

    love Darly, Rockhampton, Australia

  142. You just keep rockin it out girl! I lub your smiley Nella and well done bubba on your check up! Enjoy the weekend and as they say id rather have my heart broken than never have known what it is to be in love….and it’s so plain to see that you’re head over heels, a smitten kitten with your 2 gorgeous babes!

    Keep smiling – thanks for all your inspiration and all you do for me

    Jen x

  143. Anonymous says:

    Me lub this post! I have ten children ranging in age from 3 months to 16 years. And somewhere between number 6 and 8 I realized……we ALL have special needs. How nice that you came to this much sooner!

  144. This blog is seriously magnificent – I love it, and I love reading what you have to say, your writing is beautiful, your photo’s are amazing, and your girls are divine. Keep it up :)

  145. elisabeth says:

    i am a reader from norway. i read the nella birth story and i cried a long time, but i understood every thing you wrote. and i think you have to of the most beautiful children i’ve ever seen! good luck with everything!

  146. Love, love, love this post! It is true that being a parent means risking your heart every day, but like you said, the wonderfulness that happens because of that is more than worth the risk. Thanks again for sharing your story so truthfully, I’m a big fan! xxx

  147. Deborah says:

    Dear Kelle, just beautiful, thanks for sharing the 4 month appointment, she shines there on the Doc’s table, so brave, so strong, so lovely how you made it a family day visit, special for sure …

    I lub so much in this post, all the pics, for they speak volumes of deep love and caring…just so braautiful Kelle…thanks again, for your lifes journey lifts my rt stress and my heart is full and so warm with a visit to your blog ….Thanks Hampton Family …
    Deborah, the Canadian Nurse …

  148. we call it “your heart walking around outside your body” around here. and it is ok. In fact, it is a really really beautiful thing.

  149. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle! I have been trying to reach you because we have a family reunion in Naples (end of August) and I would lub if you can take us some pictures. I wrote you 2 emails to the different address that you have and had no answer. I tried to call you but your voice mail is full.
    Please let me know how I can contact you.

  150. Anonymous says:

    Your family is beautiful, but you obviously don’t need anyone to tell you that. Your artistic sense is flawless.Everytime I read your blog it makes my day better-like finding a glorious flower you did not expect in your garden better.
    Thank you

  151. Wonderful post, as always. What a big girl Nella is becoming! :)

    Have a wonderful holiday weekend with your family, Kelle!

  152. Carrying around the “increased likelihood” once you become a parent is so so true! My daughter having the vsd has especially taught me that. I happen to know ahead of time that she has a possible increased likelihood of having to have a surgery as a child…but every parent has the possible unknowns… and like you said, you can either live in fear, or you can live. We live!!

  153. You are INCREDIBLE It sounds nuts, but I love you and I love your spirit and your love for your two girls! Amazing amazing post. For me, it’s right up there with the one where Nella came into the world. AWESOME.

  154. Both Nella and Lainey are the prettiest girls I´ve ever seen, and Lainey looks a lot like you. Your blog inspires in a level I can´t describe from where I stand. I want to read your books so badly, I want to have them in my room just so your idiosyncrasy and class are with me. You are improving my English skills and gives me hope for a loving future. You made me loving life. I´m so grateful.

    Lots of love and thoughts from Norwegian girl (15)

  155. Once again you manage to bring tears to my eyes from your blog posts… Nella i ssuch a beautiful, blessed little girl, and I`ve come to love her as if she was my own (In an non-stalker kind of way, hihi!).

    My love and greetings from Therese, Norway

  156. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle, It gets so much easier and the celebrations come more often. My 3 kids, who happen to have Down syndrome, are playing Wii with their big brother, laughing and having a ball. Off to the pool later where everyone swims like Ester Williams! April bummed out because she has to go to work tomorrow. Life is great and very, very normal. Susan

  157. Kelle, you are an amazing woman. I am not a big “blog follower” but I find myself looking forward to your new posts. The ability you have to infuse words with beauty and turn them into inspiration just touches my heart. Your outlook on parenting, and mostly- on just “rocking” life- makes me smile and inspires me to be better- to do better- to live happier and with more joy. Life IS good. It’s beautiful- and it’s so worth stopping to enjoy the small things. As a busy mom myself of 4 young children, I can appreciate the time it takes for you to create your posts and I just want to thank you… I think you’ve become a role model for many of us moms! You rock, girl 😉

  158. Anonymous says:

    I found your blog through Sandra Grasty’s blog – she’s my daughter-in-law. Must tell you how much I’ve been enjoying reading your blog. And loved viewing the pictures of your daughters – they are both so beautiful – you’ve been truly blessed!

  159. This is really beautiful. Thank you for continuing to share your ever-developing thoughts and perspective with us.

  160. That “something extra” is wonderful. Nella’s grins just melt my heart!

    My little guy just had his 6-month apt, and there are always fears and anxieties, even without that magical chromosome.

    So happy for you that you’ve embraced your reality wholeheartedly. I love keeping tabs on your family and seeing the precious photos; I’m rejoicing with you and your lub of life. :)

  161. Kelle, love the pictures of Lainey watching over Nella during her check-up, and even reaching out to hold her hand on one of the photos.She has so much love-what a good big sister! Nella is so lucky to have her! Your girls are both beautiful, as are your photos, and the way you tell your story. Thanks for sharing. xxx

  162. Kay Martin says:

    You are the most amazing writer. I can’t get enough of your blog, your words, your photos, and your girls. Wonderful!

  163. You go to the isle a lot, and yet, you could post photos from every trip and I’d LOVE ’em!

  164. Jennifer Horner says:

    It just gets easier and easier to tell others that Nella has Down syndrome. My Vivian will be 2 on Tuesday and now it’s just like water off a duck’s back to tell people about her. She is my universe along with her brother Tommy who is I think a week younger than Nella. Life is sweet, isn’t it? I love your blog and pictures, it’s really a treat that I look forward to. I hope to see you at the convention in July, are you going?

  165. Hi Kelle,

    I am just some random reader that flips to your blog everytime I need my heart to smile. All I need is a quick look at your precious Nella. What a gift you have been given.

  166. I just have to say, once again, that you’re daughters are so beautiful and wonderful little girls!
    The fact that Nella has DS don’t matter so much now anyways, she’s gonna do just fine – they all will :) Thank god we live today, and not 50 years ago!
    I have a little sister with autism, and she gots a little problems and so, but she is still doing just fine, in the things that she masters! And so will your Nella – and Lainey of course!
    Have a good day, no matter what you are doing!
    Greetings from Norway ;p

  167. Hi…I just had to tell you how much I love your blog. It cuts straight to my heart. I have an almost 6-year-old girl and a 2 1/2 year old boy who was diagnosed with autism last fall. Entries like today’s ring SO TRUE…I can feel everything you’re feeling. The pain, fear, acceptance, joy. Your blog makes me smile and lifts my heart, as our family travels on a semi-similar journey. Your words and pictures make life beautiful –or better help us see the beauty that is all around us!

  168. Oh your way with words makes my heart smile. Thank you. And I can’t get over how beautiful your children are. I look at Nella and after reading her birth story my heart just melts when I see her and am so thankful that this lil’ baby I do not even know has found a home full of love.

  169. Beautiful post! I really love your blog…your words, attitude and pictures…everything. I’m happy whenever I see you’ve updated. :)

  170. This post made me cry, it is SO SO beautiful. I have a daughter who has some “increased likelihoods” for some very scary things, and what you said about being a parent is EXACTLY why I don’t spend my days sitting around worrying about her… but in the five years I’ve had her, I’ve never been able to put it into words the way you have. Thank you.

  171. Kelle- I just love reading your blog- your love of life is just a breath of fresh air and I can almost see your smile as you are writing it!- I believe it is contagious!!!!! I love the “Nella Belly” picture of her doctor’s visit and Lainey is just adorable as the little assistant!

    You are so honest in your posts about how you feel about your journey through motherhood and family life. You are so right about choosing to live your life rather than being scared-thank you for sharing your courage and joy with others , it really is inspiring.

    I don’t know why it is called “Down Syndrome” because you have taken it up, up, and away girl!

  172. i lub it all.
    and this song makes my heart happy.
    i just want to scoop little nella up and kiss that smiling face.
    she’s got a good 4 days on finn … and yet … i’m thinking he’s pushing 20 pounds right now.
    my arms hurt.
    this must be a boy thing … ’cause my girls were never this big this early.
    i’m not kidding when i say my arms hurt.
    and i love your pediatrician’s view. what a great woman to have standing with you on your journey with your girls.

  173. Kelle, I am constantly singing your Nella Cordelia song when I see her smiling face. She is a delight.

  174. Kelle,
    Thanks for yet another fabulous post. I really look forward to reading your blogs, and like many of your other readers, they always make my heart fill that little bit more with love for my own littles.
    As I was painting my toenails yesterday, my 11 month old daughter watched me, the whole time making those delicious “ooooooh, ahhhhhhh” sounds only they make. I decided to paint her toes too….not as easy as I thought! How do you get your girls pedi’s looking so professional?!
    Your girls are precious, and thanks again for touching my soul. You are one inspirational mummy. -x-

  175. This recently happened for me too. I was like “wow” I just said that. There were no tears, no tightening of my throat and uncomfortable cough. No there was none of that and it felt good.

  176. as always, love this post and love you even more each time I read your beautiful blog!
    Is Nella going to have curls? Her hair looks like its a little wavy…so sweet!
    I love how Lainey is hovering over Nellabean making sure she is a good big sis!
    Keep recording your life, my kids are loving how I’m capturing ours more fully now thanks to your inspiration!
    I’m not kidding about that, I had a posse’ of teens sitting around me as I pulled your blog up this morning!

  177. Congrats on the milestone. I remember getting there too with my Mylie. :)
    Honestly, to me now, it’s like saying she has blond hair or blue eyes. It is such a part of her, but it doesn’t define her or change her into a strangely different kind of person. Just like blond hair doesn’t. She is so much more than that!

    Happy MEMORY Day!

  178. You have the most beautiful children! Thank you for being so honest with your feelings here! You are an amazing mom and photographer!!!

  179. Fantastic post as always…and great pics…makes me want to bring the camera to Libby’s 4 months appt. in two weeks (which is actually 4.5 months, but whatev.)

    Thanks for your inpiring words and pics…as always. Me lub.

  180. I have to tell you how much I love your blog. I happened by it a few weeks ago and fell in love with it and your family. I can relate so much to what you’re feeling and the milestones you go through having a “normal child with a little something extra” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and being so real about it. It’s beautiful!

  181. awww baby, you made me smile today. Love you and your girls. Hope your IOC day was fabulous.


  182. Anonymous says:

    My second time reading this entry and would have to say it is one of my favourites!! And just wanted to add that Nella IS beautiful and perfect and full of goodness and her gorgeous blues reach deep into your soul in each picture you take of her. She’s holding up her head with great strength-GO NELLA GO!! I adore the pic of Brett soaking her up…he just melts around her. Being parents is a GRAND thing that I lub it very much!
    From Canada

  183. wow this was a huge one! what a great feeling when you know you’ve overcome something without even knowing really when you did…i love surprises like that… there is no defining time but just a moment that changes everything without changing anything really…

  184. Crystal says:

    I enjoy your writing style; thanks for sharing honestly. It’s good to be reminded that no matter what I’m facing, I can find something good in it if I look hard enough.

  185. I just stumbled across your blog and you, my friend whom I don’t know, have an amazing blog and an amazing gift for making people cry.

    What a beautiful post and what gorgeous daughters you have.

  186. Kelle, haven’t been around for some time, but you always leave me with a great sense of understanding and peace.

    Thank you. Nella is beautifully growing. xox

  187. Wow! Each time I come to your blog, I want to cry happy tears! Your words really touch my soul…The love that you (and I) feel for our daughters is AMAZING and no matter who they are or what they become, we will always be their biggest cheerleader! Thanks for posting about your life!

  188. This post made me super happy and to know you passed yet another milestone.
    And every time I see a picture of Nella smiling, I smile along.

    Hope you had a great holiday, I can’t wat for the pictures!


  189. oh to live that dream and become a mommy one day- I hope it’s in the stars for me :)

  190. this post was so great- i had to have my husband read it. increased likelihood… so well written. beautiful pictures too.

  191. you are so, so, so right on. the best description yet – “increased likelihood to have your heart broken.” that is exactly how I feel, and it is terrifying and wonderful.

  192. Anonymous says:

    Nella is an absolute doll. She is precious. When I look at her I don’t see DS, I see a beautiful happy baby girl. Her smiles melt my heart.

    – Loyal Reader

  193. I just want you to know that God has a plan for you and Nella. And as long as you have faith, he will bring that plan to you.
    She is beautiful Nella. And, I am so happy to see that you are coming to great terms with this:) you are a great mother. Nella, and Lainey are both very blessed to have you:)

  194. It has been awesome to watch you find peace with this challenge/blessing that has been given to you. It helps me to realize that maybe I can find peace with my struggles, too. Thank you Kelle for sharing your family and your thoughts!

  195. Laylani says:

    I’m so proud of you and I don’t even know you in person. Your words are inspiring and I look for a new post every day. Thank you.

  196. Me Lub Your Post. Absolutely beautiful. You captured the spirit of mommy-hood, the magic of babies capturing our hearts before we even know it, and the joy we have to pull from deep down when life is challenging us to do otherwise.

    I was introduced to your blog just last week. I am a lover of photography and of my one year old boy… thanks for a beautiful blog to follow…Nella is touching hearts before she is six months old! Thanks for allowing us to share in your adventures.

    -Charity Mack

  197. You’ve come a long way baby… happy that you lub life!

    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram


  199. Anonymous says:

    Been reading your blog for a month or so….just wondering how a stranger like you can change my life so much?!?!? All for the better….I stop and actually think about life and all its treasures now.The only bad thing is that you don’t write EVERYDAY (lol) I have to wait patiently usually every second day or so for the next post!!! Words can’t even discribe how cute your family is and how much I LOVE your positive outlook on life!!!
    Two thumbs up…..RA From Canada

  200. She is so beautiful, your older girl too, but Nella is such a sweetie, your blog has really made me rethink what it would be like to have a baby with D.S.

  201. Your blog and photos are beautiful. The clear joy and love within your family is amazing.

  202. I love that feeling of acceptance, and being able to rattle off my daughter’s diagnosis in a nonchalant manner, like it’s no big deal! Thank you for writing about that moment and describing it so beautifully! You brought a tear to my eye. 😉

  203. kelle i love your blog so much! i can’t for more!!!!

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