Enjoying the Small Things


The Return of Bob & Sally
Bob & Sally are Lainey’s fish. Bob is orange. Sally is yellow. We’ve had them since pre-Nella. Until about a month ago when Lainey comes running in the kitchen laughing, “Hey, Bob & Sally seepin’ upside down.” And we look at each other and stifle our laughs because “sleeping upside down” means one thing in fish language. Sure enough, we followed her over to the tank where she taps the glass, smiles and says, “Him just restin’.” Restin’ he was. In peace. So, the fish met the sewer while we scurried to get new ones.

And, they’re back. Along with a little cleaner fish that has strangely disappeared a couple days ago. He’s just gone. We have no idea where.


Summer Crafts
Give my girl some pom poms and pipe cleaners and you’ve got yourself a permanent shy smile. With a little help from the glue gun, we made Leo and Henry yesterday, a lion and tiger respectively. And she slept with them last night. Consequently, Henry lost an ear in the night and Leo woke up this morning with one less eye than he went to bed with. They must have had some badass fight in the night.


Summer Feet
It’s poetic. The contrast of pure skin and baby pudge and little pea toes that fill the canvas of lush summer grass behind them with this smattering of white kyllinga weeds. It’s just so…summer.


Anytime Feet
Because, let’s face it…you don’t need summer grass for baby feet to be delicious, especially when they are lit by the morning sun and they are trimmed with soft cotton stripes. And they are see-sawing up and down and up and down as she thrusts them again and again with little forceful grunts, her grand finale ending with curled-toe rest and a sigh. It filled me up so much, I skipped breakfast.


Or, may I suggest the Sling-Dangle Feet, another menu choice and equally delicious.


Summer Piles of Crap
And by Summer Piles of Crap, I really just mean Piles of Crap…it’s just that the Summer preface makes it sound purposeful when really it’s just another day finding heaps of meaningless clutter in my house. Like I forgot to flick the garbage disposal on for all those shrimp tails I flung in the sink last night. And there’s about a hundred and fifty flash cards fanned out on my carpet…


…and the evidence of Lainey learning how to use kid scissors is in the kitchen. Not to mention the magazine I was saving to read in a hot bath tonight is now a shredded mess.


Small (but Large) Feats
Nella is a Toy Rockstar, reaching them, clutching them, biting them, and trading them from hand to hand like she’s been doin’ it all her life. Consequently, there are strings of plastic rings hooked to my purse, the diaper bag, the car seat handle…


And today, with just the support of a boppy at her base and some cheering from Mama and her therapist, she gave us a beautiful, erect sitting position for a full one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand before she started to wobble.


So, what? She’s a rockstar. She’s got her rock moves.


Summer Driveway Afternoons
Florida summers are hot. I’m not gonna lie. But, they bother me less and less. In fact, there’s something satisfying–something organically right about spending afternoons in the heat, barefoot with glistening skin. And once the sun has dropped past our woods, it becomes pure pleasure to sit in beach chairs drinkin’ beer, holdin’ babies, wavin’ to neighbors, wipin’ chalk off our hands from outlining Lainey’s fifteenth body sketch and watching as she fills it in with two eyes, a nose, a curved little mouth, one belly-button…and two perfect chalk boobs.





Oh, and she dribbles…because she’s a rockstar. She’s got her rock moves.


And then there’s just the Essense of Summer…
I don’t know if it’s that this summer really does have more to offer or if I’m just in a different place to notice it all, but I’m drinking summer in like a thirsty toddler sippin’ water from the hose. It’s refreshing. And everything seems so vibrantly there for the taking. And, in doing so…I’m finding myself…happy. I am thirty-one, and I am so entirely happy. And my girls are thick, rich, delicious icing on this cake I call life.



And, I can’t wait for this…where bombastic blasts of color and light will give me one more thing to celebrate, and more sweet traditions of holidays–parades and sparklers and red, white, and blue–will be etched in the memory bank of my little beans.


“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” -Henry Miller

Once again…thanks for the quote, KC!

Summer Lovin’ to ya.

And, Oh how I love this girl so very much…she’ll always be the one who made me a mama.


Leave a Comment
  1. From up here in Kissimmee, I’m going to have to agree–there’s just something about THIS particular summer that is somehow delicious, we’ve been eating it up left and right.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You look so different with dark hair. I like it.

  3. I once had a cleaner fish disappear. He comitted suicide out the back of the tank. Didn’t even leave me a note! I just found him all dried out behind the tank on the floor one day.

  4. I love the delicious feet pictures! Nella is suddenly getting so big and looks so grown up with her mature little facial expressions. I love summer time too…

  5. Anonymous says:

    my brother’s fish did the suicide thing too. check behind whatever surface your tank is on! i’m betting you’ll find a dried up (or gooey at this point) fishy back there!

  6. L and N are total RockStars-
    Good job on the sitting up!

  7. Another Kelle post makin’ me all misty eyed! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture of you and Nella with your matching headbands and your noses smooshed together. That girl is pure joy and boy does she LOVE her mama.

  8. gorgeous. all of it. especially the way little nella bean looks at her mama!

  9. Where did you get the gorgeous flower headband for Nella? I want to get one in every color for Lily:)

  10. Headbands…made ’em…with a skinny piece of elastic (sew it into a circle) and hot glue a flower. Voila, baby.

  11. Im coming to Florida in 10 days! Can’t wait for some Florida heat! Mississippi heat is getting old!

  12. I so could’ve been the 1st comment but I took forever to read it and really enjoyed the pictures. Oh and I had to get up to tuck my sweet little mini me in bed too, so that took time. Anyways, loved the blog, and loveeee the cute little nella toes-ies! I’m SO proud of her! She IS a rockstar! Both of your girls are rockstars and they don’t exactly know it yet! hah.

  13. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite book titles. “The Goldfish Went on Vacation” (posted on a sticky note on the goldfish bowl) A mom writes about how her son navigates the world of grief after the death of his father/her husband.
    Kelle, as always a great post and incredible pictures. Hooray Nella – can you hear all the applause?? Great job sitting up in the Boppy! Glad you are enjoying the summer.

  14. we came home from a mini trip to the beach one year to find our fish (or should I say Lainey’s fish!) belly up on her little pink chair that happened to be under her desk… looks like Mr. Fish went for some sky-diving moves while we were gone… we told Lainey he went to a neighbor’s for a visit and daddy would go there to get him back… by neighbors we meant pet store!! LOL! love how they believe in everything when they’re that age…
    gorgeous pics and Nella really is a rockstar — she’s amazing! giving her a big “woo-hoo” for her sitting up moves!

  15. Thanks, Kelle, can’t wait to make some! Yay for Nella sitting up like that, she IS a rockstar!

  16. Love this post… and those headbands!! Where did you get those!? Etsy!? I’m on a mission for my girlies!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well,I sure hope its a delcious summer for you because you really deserve it!

    My new fav pics are Nella in the grass displaying her chubba little legs and the one of her sitting up on the boppy. Bought such a big grin to my face. Go Nella!!

    And then the lucky last pic of Lainey with your words of how she made you a mama, well, that just had me in tears and gulping down the lump in my throat! So precious.

    Summer lovin’ back at ya too.

    Allison in Australia :)

  18. Seeing that picture of Nella’s feet in the black new native sling totally reminds me of a picture I took in the exact sling, 4 years ago with my first son…..sooo precious!!

  19. I bet you already know how to make these, but I figured I’d send the link your way, after seeing that last picture…it’s a fun craft!



  20. Maybe it is because I was asleep and woke up to shut off some lights only to discover this post, or maybe its because I just love those girls so much—whatever the reason, I just cried through their photos…sweet lovey tears. There is something so precious about childhood…fleeting as the wonder is. Today, on my way over to another section of our growing hospital, I passed a little boy waiting for an elevator with his mom and he was just bursting with joy as he blurted out, “See my Transormers coloring book,” (holding it up to me–by that time causing me to kneel down beside my new stranger friend), “I got it for my bacation,” he went on. Well, I marveled over it like it was the Shroud of Turin, saying how I wish I had one, and his precious voice went on, “You can get one at Walmart!” And I found myself telling him that I thought I would just go there after work and get one. I think I shall. And, as I walked away, down the corrifor, hot tears ran down my cheeks as I wanted my heart to burst for color books again. Instead, my heart bursts for little children with coloring books. Enjoy it. Every chalk traced inch of it…too soon, your driveway will be empty. I am taking my happy heart to bed now. I love you.

  21. Anonymous says:

    ima go make those headbands too! your girls are getting prettier and prettier with each post and kelle you’re not so bad yourself 😉

  22. super ♥ the quote and seeing u enjoy your life :)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Baby Frida Kahlo! In the picture just above the fireworks photo, the one on the left, Nella lying on the crocheted blanket, turquoise and sunflower bursting from her dress, topped off by her lovely fuschia headband. She doesn’t have as much facial hair as Frida had, but hey, she’s got her priorities. First she’ll conquer sitting independently (oh, HUGE, high kudos to Nella!) and then get crackin’ on the unibrow and the moustache.

    Everybody take three steps back ’cause Nella’s gonna blow us all away!

  24. Kelle, your photos are so life-enhancing – I feel joyful just looking at them! If I lived in Florida, I would *beg* you to let me come over and love on sweet Nella. She is scrumptious! She is growing more beautiful and adorable by the day. And I loved the pictures of Lainey being such a good big sister (from yesterday’s post? Not sure.)

    Reading your blog just makes me happy! At 41, I aspire to be as content with my life as you are with yours. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!


  25. Rest in peace fish, chalk boobs, I was cracking up!!

  26. Seriously loving those feet! <3

    Will you pretty please give us advance hints on how to take fun photos of our kiddos with their July 4th sparklers? Their sparkles are so magical (the sparklers AND the kids) and I want to photograph it but fear I’ll be a bit of a hopeless cause without guidance.

  27. Fabulous post, as always.

    So Kelle, if you made the headbands, where did you get those flowers for them? Those are definitely some of the more attractive flowers I’ve seen on headbands. Love them!

  28. Sling-Dangle Feet are my personal fave… I can’t stand it.

    Everytime I read your blog I get a happy/wishful sigh.

    Thank you.

  29. My niece (who is 2 now) has downs. Can I just tell you her little toes are my FAVORITE piggies that have ever graced the earth. Nella’s are a close second. They are so lovely and stuby and perfect!

  30. Oh how happy I was to wake up this morning to find a new post from you, I needed it!

    Well done on sitting up Nella!! She is definitely a rock star just like her Mama! :) x

  31. Love the chalk boobs!!! My daughter always likes to give her women drawings breasts also. As usual, love the beautiful photos and lovely descriptions of your daily life.

  32. Your ROCKSTARS are simply awesome!
    Rock on girls, rock on!!

  33. Oh! Love this post! And it reminds me to get out the sidewalk chalk and trace some bodies! Fun stuff :)

    Your Nella is getting so big! Love the toes.

  34. great post! The fish story made me laugh so hard my husband wanted to know what was so funny, so I read it to him and he started laughing too.

  35. Anonymous says:

    HAPPY is such a yummy word…I’m happy you’re happy!! I loved how you described your girls-“my girls are thick, rich, delicious icing on this cake I call life” You so have a gift with words!!!

    Way to go Nella!!- you rocked out your sitting position like a real champion!!! Those little piggies of yours are super scrumptious!

    Summer chalk = hours of fun! And don’t you love it when they add those certain body parts to their works of art-such sweet innocence.

    Happy day to you & your family!!


  36. This is a beautiful post – and I laughed outloud at Lainey’s drawing and the inclusion of the boobs.

    However – I am sooo confused by the picture of you outlining around her with chalk – has it been photoshopped around the legs or is it just the perspective? I have been puzzling about that one for ages now, haha x

  37. Melissa says:

    Where is Nella’s gorgeous dress from???? Beautiful! :)

  38. I used to make those animal things from pom poms when I was a kid!
    Nella is just gorgeous. She’s making more progress with each post. So proud of her for sitting up.
    And Lainey – she is such a girly girl.
    I am so pleased you’re happy and in a great place :)

  39. OK, I had to go back and check out the photo that confused a reader…and I have to agree, the photo of you with Nella on your lap, drawing with chalk does look like it might have the caption: MOTHER WITH ONE LEG RAISES BEAUTIFUL BABY.

  40. Oh, and I hope someday, when I am settled into my little Senior Center lifestyle, Nella and Lainey might come over and invite all us oldsters outside where we will lay down on the pavement and they will trace our outlines. That would be nice. Bring lots of chalk…and lots of kisses.

  41. Can’t stop laughing at “Mother with one leg raises beautiful baby.” It’s just gone…like the fish. Where’s my leg??!? It’s underneath me…behind the skirt, I think.

    And headband flowers…from Joanns.
    And Nella’s dress was a gift from a friend boutght on Etsy…I can get the deets on which shop if you’re interested.

  42. And sparkler photo tips is a GREAT idea! I’ll include it in a post before the 4th…promise!

  43. Anonymous says:

    I just can’t get over how gorgeous you and your girls are! Those Nella toes are the best! Cracking up here with my coffee about the “suicidal” fish cuz it’s happened to me too! Those two sweet girls so love their mama!

    I’d like to see more of your pom pom animals and the whole body and some instructions – they are adorable!!

    Have a great weekend! I will now!

  44. what beautiful photos! and Nella truly is a rockstar! My baby couldn’t sit like that in his boppy at 4 months! I tell you, she is just going to keep defying the odds!

    I love Lainey’s chalk boobs. I’m glad she knows the human body so well. 😉 And could one of the fishes have eaten the other one? That’s really funny that it just disappeared!

  45. Sooooo funny about all Lainey’s critters. She is absolutely adorable. And Nella, oh Nella I am so in love with her! It is like her soul shines right through her beautiful blue eyes. My baby boy is 6 months & she is doing things just like him, it is so much fun to watch. Fat baby thighs, tiny little lips to kiss, soft dewy baby skin, little piggies …..it’s the best!

  46. beautiful pictures!! love summertime

  47. Your like a life cheerleader Kelle, and I have to tell you I’m loving it! Our Summer is beginning with a grand oomph and in large part thanks to your energy and inspiration…we are rockin it out!
    Love, love, love the picture of Lainey near the woods, and the one of Nella sitting up…go Nella!

  48. Anonymous says:

    La calidad y estetica de tus fotografias es muy buena, pero me cuesta entender tu filosofia de vida, es TU realidad pero no es la realidad de las personas que habitan en este mundo,Tu blog es un catalogo perfecto de familia perfecta, te felicito si eres feliz en esta burbuja irreal, pero eso no es la vida.Si yo tubiese una vida perfecta tendria mas pudor en mostrarsela al mundo.
    Aunque solo sea por respeto a la realidad de los habitantes de este planeta.
    Tienes talento y sensibilidad, pero lo utilizas muy mal, podrias hacer cosas muy buenas para el resto de las personas, eres muy joven, quizas un dia tu pastel perfecto de colores perfectos y decorado perfectamente, se ponga rancio y entoces empieces a ver ese mundo que sabes que existe y al que cierras los ojos.
    Es solo mi opinion.

  49. oooh, i love your blog posts! itsa special bit of brightness that definitely brings joy to MY day just to read about whats happening in your world. I love the beautiful pictures of nella’s tiny feet, and she IS a rockstar!!! sitting up on her boppy cushion- go nella! have you heard of a thing called a bumbo? they have them in australia and help support bubs to learn to sit? i dont know if it might help nella. Her muscle tone is brilliant, and i love that she is passing toys hand to hand- i cant wait til my Ella is at that stage. Lainey is such a gorgoeus sprite, and i love that her creative little heart has so much space for expression in your beautiful home! summer is delicious!

  50. Beautiful as always.

    Check all around that fish bowl. Our four-year-old beta fish named Doofus proved he was named correctly and jumped to his death one night. We finally found him later the next day when I picked up the bowl and saw him laying in the plate we kept it on. He was our last fish. We’ve been fish free for four years now. Less trauma.

  51. I love your blog. I love blogs that inspire me. When I get a little too caught up in the trivial crap in life. When I get too caught up in how many things I have to get done, or how tired I am or how much I wish my kids wouldn’t make messes for me to clean up after work…I remember how truly blessed I am and how much my kids just love me. And how sometimes, I get too busy to revel in them and enjoy it. Your girls are beautiful! And I love the baby toes!!!

    And since everyone else asked about Nella’s dress and headbands, I am going to ask, where did you get the pink cowgirl boots? My Olivia would be tickled to have a pair! Thanks!!!

  52. Anonymous says:

    OK – be forewarned……..there is an airport 5 min. from my home……I will NOT be responsible if one morning I fire up this here PC, see posted pics of those cutie patooties of yours and then head on over and buy me a ticket down to FL just to see them in person. I am IN LOVE LOVE LOVE with the Nella Wafer Girl and her Big Sis. Really…..who ISN’T?????!!!!

  53. Anonymous says:

    I speak Spanish…

    Did you read her FAQ?

    Q: How do you do it all?

    A: I don’t. If you saw my house, you would certainly understand this. I am always juggling a trillion balls and while some balls remain up and flying, there are always a few that are falling and scattered. We choose each day what we will attempt to juggle well. I am a multi-tasker so there may be a lot of projects going, but rarely do we finish one from start to finish. I will say, I blog and edit photos in place of other activities some find fulfilling. I rarely watch t.v. and I wake up very early to do some of my more time-consuming projects. While I do take a lot of pictures, what you see on the blog is still a very small fraction of our lives, and there are many unphotographed moments you probably wouldn’t want to see. Van Gogh didn’t paint toilets and dumpsters…so it is, I choose to capture and write about the very best.

    She chooses to blog about the best and that’s why she’s happy. She’s not saying her life is only that. And if you’ve read her blog long enough, you’d know she writes about hard things too. It’s all in how you look at it. Perhaps if people got out of their “bubble” of negativity, they’d be happy too.

    Julie, WA

  54. Okay can I ask, how do you look so beautiful everyday with two babies??? I can’t do it with one! I am sooo jealous. Please share your secrets!
    I love these pics

  55. I love finding other Mamas who love their Mama life in the same way I do. I wanna smooch mine on the forehead, daily.

    Beautiful girls you’ve got!

  56. Just like you, I am drinking this summer up. It’s an awesome feeling, isn’t it?

  57. I am a full-time attorney and mommy to two little ones. I have never wanted to be a stay at home mom but your posts make me wish I was!!!! That may seem contradicting but it seems like you really just enjoy life! It’s inspiring. I am envious! Love your blog!

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Ahhh I LOVE Summertime!!! These photos make me want to leave work right now, go scoop up my babies at my mother’s house and break open that new box of sidewalk chalk that is begging to be played with!! Thank you for all of your inspiration. This is going to be one creative, fun weekend for my kiddies!! You, Nella and Lainey are total Rockstars!!!!! :)

  60. Hi Kelle!
    Thank for inspiring me.
    You’re truly a good mother to your
    cute lil’ girls.


  61. Hi Kelle!
    Thank for inspiring me.
    You’re truly a good mother to your
    cute lil’ girls.


  62. Your post makes my day! And I go home and pretend to be a rockstar too and my little Ivy is already a rock star so I’m learning from her as well.

  63. Perfection!!

  64. your blog and your photos are so incredibly beautiful.
    love the pictures of you chalking with your baby. adorable!

    and yes~~ this is turning out to be a terrific fun~filled summer full of blessings.

  65. Jessica says:

    Oh, baby feet. My fav = hangin’ out the side of the crib feet

  66. Anonymous says:

    Claro que lei el blog.
    Kelle es feliz rodeandose de cosas hermosas y Puede elegir hacerlo, no digo que sea malo, solo que encuentro que ella es inteligente y semsible y su talento desperdiciado, al menos es mi opinion, pero no es mi vida. Ella se expone a las criticas( buenas y menos buenas).No hablo desde la negatividad, al contrario,sino desde el realismo que viven el 99% de las personas.Kelle es sublime, pero en otro mundo, en un mundo que no existe, y sus fans quieren imitar.O tener como referente , eso si me parece muy triste.
    Una gran madre no es quien cuida de sus hijos teniendo TODO, una gran madre es quien cuida de sus hijos sin tener NADA.
    desde España con todo el respeto.

  67. Summer piles of crap! LOVE it!!! (As I sit in the midst of leftover spring piles of crap, that have turned into summer ones, that will probably last until fall – while I enjoy small things!)

    The chalk outlines are fabulous! Can’t wait to do that with my babies! <3

  68. Amazing! Nella is growing so much!! I am in love with the picture of the 2 of you, nose to nose! Her smile is pure joy and love! I always get teary eyed at your fathers comments as well! What a loving family! xo

    Love from Ontario, Canada!
    PS: I hope you get that mommy show :)
    Im following you on Youtube.. Im (meredegaby) :)

  69. Your comment about the lion & tiger’s fight made me laugh outloud! Thanks for my daily smile that I get from your blog!!

  70. Shari H says:

    I’m going to make one of those headbands because I love them and so does my daughter. I love the pictures with the blog today. Give Nella a whoo hoo from Shari and her daughter Rebekah way up here in Canada. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see that you also have Summer piles of crap around your house, I thought it was just me :)! Have a great Friday and I can’t wait to see how your weekend went.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Cowgirl boots will make any girl feel like a rock star!

  72. hahaha I love the chalk boobs!!

  73. I’ll be honest. The first time I read your blog was when my sister sent it to me after you’d posted Nella’s birth story. I was moved to tears. My sister had a very unexpected birth outcome 6 years ago, so a lot of what you said really hit home.
    So I kept reading.

    Then I was annoyed by the, I know this sounds weird, prettiness and sugary-ness of your blog. Like, wow- how nice to spend the day at the Isle of Capri! Where does she find the time to put on makeup? Does her 2-year old REALLY dress herself like that or is that all staging for the photos? And aren’t things easier to cope with when you aren’t struggling to pay your mortgage? (sorry- just being honest here)

    I am evolved enough to realize that there is envy here on my part, to a degree. I feel like I have no time to plan the parties like you do (I work fulltime- away from home for 11 hours a day altho I stayed home until they started school), no money to buy them the gorgeous clothes your girls wear, (mine are 8 and 11 and deserve gorgeous clothes), a home that I am so grateful for but never seem to get to spend much time in. My husband’s ex-wife is a nightmare and my stepdaughter is really struggling at 18 despite a lot of effort and unconditional love on our part. We live paycheque to paycheque despite my being university educated, and my husband in a secure job.

    You don’t need to hear my whining… and, generally, green is not a colour I wear. But I wanted you to see where I am coming from.

    Maybe the real thing that bugged me was not you at all, but it’s how- in my experience–staying positive and being grateful and loving what and who you’ve got sometimes is not enough. And anyone who knows me sees me this way! As we face another financial blow from the person who I have prayed for, been fair to and respectful of , who was married to him for four months while we have been together 13 years-I feel discouraged about it all. And I just feel really tired sometimes about trying to stay positive with so much negativity hammering at me. So, that’s why sometimes I just can’t bear to read about perfect watermelon nail polish! :)

    Today, I read your post about Nella’s toes in the grass and seriously, she is some cute. And I like the things that you appreciate, as they are the things I appreciate, too.
    My children are healthy and we have a beautiful circle of friends and family. I know that makes us very rich.

    So, I will keep reading. And I will keep on keeping on. I know every family has it’s tough times, and I know that the window we see of your life is just a window.

    You have a beautiful family and I wish you the best.
    Thanks for sharing your stories and your photos.

  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

  75. Love your stories and pictures. It always makes me smile!

  76. If Daniele is directing that last comment to me- then she misunderstood. I NEVER said anything about what makes a great mom. What I wanted her to know was that I admire her despite some of the differences in our lives.

    Perhaps I should have just emailed Kelle myself. There was no intent to insult anyone.

    I do think Kelle is a wonderful mother and since she invites her readers to comment, that’s what I did.

  77. And, there again, You Miss Kelle, making me wish I was a stay at home mom again! This time, I would do it totally different – Kelle “Enjoying the Small Things” style!

    Giving a total shout out to Nella Rockstar – Good for you!!!!!

  78. Lana lol, no it was someone anonymous that posted that in spanish =)

  79. Thanks, Daniele! Wish I could translate for whoever that was.
    Oh well! Did not mean to stir anything up!

  80. Andrea M says:

    Ah, your posts never cease to inspire me to look at all the wonderful little things that I may not have always noticed and enjoyed so much.

    Love the quote- just wrote it down at work and taped it to my desk. I needed a good quote to get through to a glorious summer weekend :)

  81. Anonymous says:

    thank you so much kelle- for leading me to see every beautiful part of my own gig. your blog is my cherished treasure. funny, isn’t it, how powerful this has become?

  82. and btw I’m so not debating the person from Spain or anything…I don’t get into that lol…really I can’t believe I even commented back because I don’t ever feel compelled enough…. I was just surprised when I read, translated to english, that “A great mother isn’t one who takes care of her children with everything at her disposal (resources) A great mother is one who cares for her children with no resources”…
    It was just such an odd statement to me. Like, really, that is what makes a great mom? I know moms with not much who are not great moms and some that are, and moms with lots that are also both great and not great. It just doesn’t equate. So I just responded to them that a great mom is one who loves her children unconditionally. period.

  83. ,,,i recognize that “rockstar” mug,,,indeed “little and littlest” rock it out like the stars,,,

  84. Anonymous says:

    No culpo al traduztor el que no me entiendas, sino a tu escasa capacidad de comprension.

    desde ESPAÑA

  85. Now I can’t wait to trace our bodies in chalk tomorrow. Nothing like summer weekends :)

    I also love your sandals in your “piles of crap” picture. We also have lots of piles of crap, and every evening, our 3 yr old piles the book piles and the matchbox car piles into his dump truck and dumps them by the bookshelf. And every morning he piles them into his dump truck again to re-dump them in the living room :) The piles of crap are never-ending!

  86. Kelle, you are just so pretty! I love your style. The pictures of Nella’s little Watermelon colored toes are DARLING! And I love the chalk pictures. Have a great weekend!

  87. Nella has the most expressed little face! She is beautiful. I am also stealing the Henry Miller quote, it’s just perfect. Happy weekend, Kelle!

  88. Your girls are beautiful! I love the vibrant colors in your photos and love the “sleeping upside down” comment by your daughter. Too cute for words.

  89. A word on missing fish…
    My 3 year old nephew decided to make it easier for his fish to get something to eat…by putting the fish in the can of fish food so the he could “help himself”, kinda like a fishy food buffet. Nice thought, but my sister found the fish a few days later…looking all crispy coated and stiff. How can you debate the logic or the cuteness of that?!?
    So…you might want to check the can for crispy coated goldfish. Just a thought!
    Great blog!
    (from a loyal reader in Saint John, NB, Canada)

  90. I have 2 girls the same age as your girls and you so eloquently write everything I feel about my life. The joy, peace and completion I feel is echoed in your words everyday. Thank you for expressing my thoughts and feelings in a beautiful open forum.


  91. What a fabulous post!
    Chalk boobs made me laugh and laugh!

  92. What a great summer start!!! i am so proud of Nella, sitting up!!! She ia amazing :)

  93. oh blessed feet!! i love baby toes! is it wrong that i want to paint my baby boys toes? lol.

    magical summer indeed!



  94. I love, love, love this one! Just when I think your entries can’t get any better, they always do! I love how Nella is becoming a Toy Rockstar! I can totally relate! Keep ’em coming, because I just can’t get enough! 😉


  95. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I’ll admit it. Bob and Sally’s sad demise made me laugh. Just a little. Thanks for the smile, and sorry it was at the expense of your fish :)

    And your daughters are just too precious! I’m hardly ever around kids, and my maternal genes haven’t really kicked in yet, but your blog reminds me just how sweet and beautiful they are.

  96. Kelle…come on let it out…THOSE BOOTS please tell me where to find them for my prancing princess!!!

    You ROCK that’s why your girls rock! You make me work hard everyday to keep my head up with my special girl.

  97. Every member of your family are rockstars if you ask me! And I love the ‘rockstar’ mug in the background of one of your shots! Please humor me and tell me that was not put there on purpose! too cute!


  98. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, anyone – WHERE can I get a headband for my little, like Nella is wearing here and you too? HELP!! THanks from Linda MG in CA

  99. finn rocked the sitting up thing yesterday too.
    at a concert of course. where he sat(!) mesmerized by the banjo and the guitar.
    yippee! nella!!
    and lainey. those firstborns are so incredibly special.
    happy summer mama.

  100. Jennifer says:

    Am I the only one that sees the third “cleaner” fish in the picture? He’s up against the glass, front left. ? Or is it another one that’s missing?

  101. Mommy of Two Girls too says:

    Hi Kelle!
    I love the pic of you and Nella and your matching flower headbands. So cute! I want one!! :)
    Have a wonderful, happy, weekend!


  102. You have two platy fish. We have two platy fish. Your algae eater went missing. Our algae eater went missing. Do you see the common denominator? I firmly believe our platies ATE the algae eater. NOM NOM NOM.

  103. My mom asked me why I take so many pictures of my baby’s feet. It’s quite simple really—-I can’t stop! I don’t know if there is anything cuter!

    Your girls are beautiful, as always!

  104. Beautiful post and pics as always!! You are so inspiring!! PS – how are you doing on the Opera contest?


  105. Actually, I sometimes laugh when people think Kelle’s life is lavish. If only others knew the shrewd shopper I do, the innovative crafter I do, the transparent “I-paid-three-dollars-for-these-shoes-at-Marshalls” self-effacing individual I do. I have had a quick walk through Target detoured when she sees a mark-down aisle-end display of gaudy, awful stockings and grabs them, 80% off and says, “I just cut the feet off and they make adorable leg warmers for the girls!” It took years to try to teach her a simple “Thank you” was sufficient when others say, “I love your outfit.” She was more prone to share the entire clearance table mark down story, complete with total-cost-of-the-outfit details! A little mystique is not deception. The girl would use wild berries if she didn’t have the lipstick or a piece of found limestone if she had no sidewalk chalk. Oh, and the second-hand children’s clothing store says “Hi, Kelle!” when she walks in the door. While it is sweet of readers to defend her…I say we should all just believe the best in others–our assumptions are usually so far from reality. And we should celebrate who, whose, where and what we are. But then, growing up, my favorite books were The Boxcar Children.

  106. Another lovely post. Just: Yay! :) Can’t wait to see sweet little Nella’s outline in chalk one day!

    Rock ON! :)

  107. LOVE Lainey and Nella, love everything about them! You are very welcome, always! Thank YOU for sharing your wisdom, lovely writing and beautiful photography!

    “…I’m finding myself…happy. I am thirty-one, and I am so entirely happy. And my girls are thick, rich, delicious icing on this cake I call life.” Love this and I’m happy for you!
    To be happy for being who we are and who we are becoming … wherever we are in life … embracing and loving our life as it is … This is the best place to be and the one that matter most. C:


    “Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.” -Fulton J. Sheen

  108. Kelle – can your dad adopt me? I seriously love your blog…and your pictures. You make me want to move to Florida. I miss the ocean. And your two sweet girls are amazing.

  109. My, my! Some mama drama in comment land…ha ha.
    And speaking of…someone asked about the cowboy boots. They were $4 at Once Upon a Child, our local consignment shop, so touche.
    Yes…hoping everyone can always believe the best in others!

    I have learned the greatest lessons on love and motherhood from all kinds of mamas–rich, poor, working, stay-at-home, crafty, organized, calm & quiet and wild & boisterous. Good dwells everywhere. Selah.

  110. Lana…
    yes you are trying to be honest but that’s still probably not very enoucouraging for Kelle to read! “you annoy me but i still keep reading”.

    you make it sound like a person has to have “stuff” in order to find happiness. no, happiness is an attitude of gratefulness for what you already have. that’s what reading kelle’s blog has taught me, anyways! pretty sure she would still find ways to find beauty and happiness even if her kids were wearing rags.

  111. LOVE this post!! Love the matching headbands!! :) Where did you get them!

  112. Hi All – especially Kelle,

    Wow. I did not mean to incite such drama or defensiveness or anything like that. I meant to let Kelle know that I really DO enjoy her blog and I wanted her to know that although ORIGINALLY, I was “annoyed”- I am not now. I wanted her to see that although our lives are SO different, she still touches me with her words and her photos. I didn’t mean to criticize or judge or anything.
    I absolutely know that stuff does not make a person happy. It may make life easier, but it is being loved, and having good health, and doing what makes you happy that it’s really all about.
    Enjoying the small things in my own life is what keeps us going when things are rough!
    I am so sorry that what I said was misinterpreted. If you only knew how I debated even putting anything down. It was really meant to be a compliment in the end.

    Kelle-you DO NOT annoy me. :) Keep up the beautiful blog!

    Let’s end this silliness now, shall we?
    Blessings to all.

  113. While I agree with Poppa 100%, I still feel the need to defend Kelle and this blog. As the mom of a special needs child, hell as a mom period,this blog reminds me to enjoy the small things. And while Kelle seems to have a wonderful life, most of what she takes pictures of are free or cheap. Popsicles, Ice Cream, sidewalk chalk, baby toes in the grass these are all things most of us take for granted, neglect to make memories out of, or just plain ignore. Kelle is just trying to show us all those things are special. As with an blog, we only see glimpses of someones life, she chooses to show the beautiful.
    I want to thank you for making me remember to be a happier mother.

  114. I just want to drink from your cup of life. I’m going to take that quote you put in the post and write it on the chalkboard at my entry way. Have a HAPPY weekend. As always thank you for sharing your perspective. Pure joy! Oh, and if you had a show on the O network I would watch it. : )

  115. ok :)
    peace from now on!

    (i wonder if any other blogger has such fiercely loyal readers? maybe just dooce… but she has more haters too!)

  116. p.s. just wanted to add that, i think the main reason kelle’s “pretty” life doesn’t bother me is because i can tell she does everything because she TRULY loves it and enjoys it. all the holiday-themed decor for parties and gorgeous everyday outfits and makeup would probably make me roll my eyes if i knew it was from someone who was just trying to impress others. i’ve just never gotten that impression from you, kelle.. it’s so clear to me that you just do things because they make you feel pretty, special, happy and grateful. it’s not a competition to you; it’s all about making children gasp with delight and having awesome memories.

    once again, thank you for your blog :)

  117. I have piles in my house too…so glad someone else does! I love the diaper cover Nella is wearing…I always covered my girlies diapers…we made them out of all different materials and called them Fancy Pants. We are listening to Soul Sister right now, thanks for the introduction to it, we are all addicted!


  118. My little girl Molly (4months) has found her feet and I just love it!! I wish I could have you here to take the pictures for me, but because of your perspective, I feel like I soak up the joy in the little dance she does on her bum with her feet in hands a little more fully. And I attempt to shoot the pics.

    I agree with the comment that said you lead us to not take things for granted. That is your gift to us, and my gratitude abounds for that simple attitude shift that helps me enjoy our children more fully. Because of you, moms are enjoying their babies a little more. Think about that tonight as you go to sleep…how you are giving children in homes all over the world the gift of their mother’s awareness a little more keenly.

    And all these comments is EXACTLY WHY YOU NEED A SHOW;) Happy Summer to you…Sarah

  119. Sometimes, all of our lives are, in reality, like the Wizard in Oz…don’t look behind the curtain. When my mother, years ago, was told “My, your boys are so sweet–they get along so well.” She simply said, “Thank you.” She could have said more. So much more. Celebrate the best, let go of the rest. And with that…we move on. I somehow know Lana would be one of my best friends…honest, real, growing, changing…that’s what she was really saying…”At first…but now.”

  120. Smiles. No problem, Lana. What sweet comments…so many mamas out there doing the best they can. Thank you to all the mamas just doin’ their best!

  121. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, does it matter if the boots cost $4 or $400. Geez.
    Kelle’s taught me to see more of the beautiful things while I have been going through a very difficult phase. She’s not trying to sell anything, she’s just documenting her life.

  122. Hi Kelle,
    Can’t tell you how marvelous it is to read all about you and your girls. I love your passion for all things…could you please rub some of that off on me :)
    Sidenote, where did you get those fabulous headbands that you and Nella are sporting? I simply adore them. I am a frequent sporter of flowers in my hair, as is my almost 8 month old daughter.

  123. I live a pretty simple life myself, and this blog has helped me find even more beauty in the simpleness!

    I guess I’m just not a fan of blanket statements, “a great mom is one who does xyz, not abc”… so was compelled enough to comment back… as in my response I stand by my own blanket statement that a great mom is one who makes her kids feel happy and loved. No matter who you are or where you’re from you can do that for your kids. How lucky are we moms?!?!

  124. My daughter had a molly named Goldie. She lasted 11 months. She died one night and I had to put stuff infront of the tank, on kitchen counter, so she wouldn’t see before school. So after school showed her Goldie and we had a funeral/burial in the rose garden. I even teared up just watching her grieve. She was quickly cheered up when we said we would go to Target to get a new Littlest Pet Shop figurine! :o)

    Have a beautful weekend!


  125. Poppa….I was just going to say about enjoying our children…it is like the Wizard of OZ!!!! Dorothy had it all along, the power to go home…just like we had it all along, the chance to stop and enjoy our children. Kelle is who helped us see it. (So kelle, I’m tempted to say you are the good witch, but I’m not invoking more mama drama, b/c I’m NOT CALLING YOU A WITCH!)

  126. Thank you, Poppa and Kelle.

  127. Poppa my mom has been trying to teach me for years too that a simple thank you is fine, as I’m going on about my $6 shirt that was an additional 30% with my coupon. haha
    I’ve definitely been known to give a paragraph when a sentence will do. I don’t know where that comes from! =)

  128. Reading this made my heart happy today and smile!!! Have a wonderful weekend!! :)

  129. ok….one more thought. I love that kelle opens up the curtain, and makes me think with a little makeup, some sidewalk chalk, and an attitude of gratitude, I can do that beautiful life thing too:) Keep the bargain tips coming!!!

  130. Kelle,
    I’m so thrilled that you are loving life right now! I know back when Nella bean was born you probably wondered how you’d ever get back to happy – how would your life ever return to normal?! I know because when our twins were born and we found out one had Down syndrome I felt the same way. I know because when I found out I had Breast Cancer and had 4 children under the age of 7 at that time I wondered the same thing. And when we held our baby girl, Scarlett Victoria, two years ago for the first and last time, I wondered the same thing. But all these things that felt like tragedies have changed my heart and have helped me live BIG. Perspective and love overflows around here. And you, girlfriend, live and love BIG! And, Braden – our little guy with Ds, has turned into the biggest suprise and pleasure of my life. Enjoy your little Almond Joy!


  131. This post just drips and oozes sunny summer days and happiness :) Thank you!
    (and your headbands are adorable!! Where did you find them??)

  132. Anonymous says:

    Seriously…can Poppa be my dad? Or granddad? Or even neighbor? :) It is very true what one commenter had to say. If you notice most of the things in Kelle’s blog are free or pretty cheap. If you are a happy person and look at your ‘glass half full’, you will be able to make anything unbeleivably wonderful. Pipe cleaners and googly eyes. Picnics in the yard with the littles. A ten cent fish. Afternoon naps and morning bathes. Painted toenails and getting together with girlfriends. Picnics on the livingroom floor and evening walks through the neighborhood. Sure all those things could be ‘annoying’ if you have a bad additude doing it. Or FABULOUS if you let it be. YOU ROCK KELLE!! P.S. I just spent all morning at JoAnnes and Micheals stocking up on elastic and flowers. I am a crazy-flower-headband-making mama today!! Thanks so much for all your adorable in-expensive ideas!! LOVE THEM!! Keep ’em coming!! :)

    Jamie P. from Colorado

  133. My son desperately wants a pinwheel! Where did you get it?

  134. Kathleen says:

    Wonderful post, as always. I saw this post on another blog for Homemade Sidewalk Paint and I am totally going to try this. I thought it would be right up your alley as well. Simple recipe is here: http://www.petitelefant.com/homemade-sidewalk-paint/

  135. i love nella’s flowery monogrammed dress – where did you get it? and of course, as always, i love your blog. oh and i am voting like crazy for you to get your show from oprah!!

  136. CRACK ME UP. “IN PEACE.” i was hit with a bout of mama insomnia last night (what kinds of sick joke is that by the way) and LOL’ed when i read that one and the matching headbands = to die.

    also got a kick out of poppa revealing your explaining every little piece of your outfits to people, i can SO relate :) i have this insanely expensive diaper bag that i found at a thrift store for $12 and i love telling people about it.

    have a fantastic weekend. we are going to hit the beach! we’re in MN so this is a super duper treat!!

    p.s. crack up on lainie’s boobie drawings.

  137. Just wanted to pop in and say hi. Still lovin’ you and your little blog. Your girls, and your dad. Love reading your tidbits of life. So, that’s it.


  138. Kelle,

    I don’t even usually read your comment section or comment because you have so many. Today’s post hit home with me because, altho I’m a mom of twenty-somethings, this post brought back so many wonderful memories of summers, and days, past. I love your upbeat tone and although you, like all of us, have struggles, choose to focus on the positives in your life. Thank you for putting them all out there for our benefit and consumption.

  139. Thank you so much! I just love your blog so much more everytime i read it.

  140. I don’t comment often, but read regularly….
    I’m sure you’ll get 1000’s of comments saying this, but that picture of you and nella with the matching flower headbands is pure perfection! what a lovely, lovely picture. and the final shot of lainey…truly the essence of childhood bliss! Thank you for sharing your littles :)

  141. Love comment controversies on blogs! But as Poppa said, we’ve moved on.

    Have you ever tried frantically throwing books off shelves whilst trying not to crush the goldfish that has thrown itself behind them? Because I have and I thought I was the only one! Thank you everyone for sharing.

    Nella, you gorgeous cutie, you’re a hero! You look so happy with your mummy. These pics are so interesting because she is one of those ages where she is changing from post to post.

    My living room currently contains, as just a small sampling..two unassembled tv stands in boxes, a laundry rack, a hoover, a large tub of cat repellant, a six pack of water bottles, endless clothes on sofa, two plastic boxes of unsorted paperwork…oh my gosh, I’m depressing myself, I’m off. But yesterday, amongst the mess, was a massive collection of brightly coloured plants waiting to go in the garden and they were so life affirming. They, and the fact that I’d gone and got them and was celebrating them, made me think of you Kelle there and then. Thank you for all your encouragement, you make a difference to so many people.

  142. Nella is so pretty! Her little face just beams contentment and peace…those precious eyes…they speak to us! Thanks for sharing, you always make me smile.

  143. your posts make my day…I think my blog buddies are probably getting tired of me telling them about your blog every post….I just do not want anyone to miss it.

  144. Nella is amazing. My daughter is almost 8 months and just learned to sit up this last month! Isn’t it sweet to watch them hold something in their hands and just stare at it and study it!
    Lainey is simply precious!
    Someone recommended the Bumbo to you and I thought I should warn you that many physical therapists are against them as they hold the baby sitting before their body is ready and can cause future damage, as well as have been known to cause dislocated hips. Just something to look into if you consider one.
    I also LOVE little girls in dresses. My daughter is pretty much always in a dress, and I am a fabulous deal finder. I almost started a dance of joy today when I found an adorable dress for the baby girl for $3!! I bought one for this year and one for next :-)
    Have to stock up on those crazy good deals when you see them!

  145. Anonymous says:


    I love this post so much. It’s like a page from our life. The one eyed lion especially made me laugh. One of our golden retrievers has an obsession with our son’s Webkinz. She routinely nabs one and chews out a single eye. Then she leaves it alone. Anyway I started making little triangle patches out of black velvet and yarn. So now we have lots of little pirate stuffed animals. (The otter says “I wish I had my otter eye. Arrgh”)

    Thanks Kelle for sharing your family and your light. Your girls are perfection and you, my stranger friend, are looking so radiant. Now go enjoy the heck out of your weekend !


  146. I love, love, love your blog! How do you stay so positive all the time? I find that motherhood can be really rough some days and I’m not always feeling so positive. I read your blog at night and am inspired to do better the next day and to just enjoy the moments with my twin girls but some days I’m just really, really tired. What is your secret?

  147. nella is EDIBLE

  148. Your girls are beautiful : ) I voted for you on the Oprah tv show thing, I would watch your show for sure!

  149. ,,,some people have an eye for things, whether it be clothing, shoes, a handbag, a piece of furniture, a decorative item for the home or a headband,,,often people have the impression (albeit the wrong one) that i spend lots of $$$$ on my purchases, i do not,,,in fact, what is most fun for me is the seek and the find in the item that i purchased for little $,,,i shop at tjmaxx, target, marshalls, h&m, filene’s basement and when people compliment a pair of designer shoes or handbag i found for cheap i simply have learned to say “thank you”, my mother taught me to graciously accept the compliment and not feel compelled to explain where i found the item and how much i paid for it,,,
    kelle, from one gal to another who has a good eye for all things good, keep rockin the finds,,,i
    can’t tell you how many times i have come across something that has nella and lainey’s name on it and wanted to make the purchase,,,(smile)

  150. Johanna says:

    Anonymus: Hmmmm…I know spanish too! And I did not like your comment at all (sorry, besides knowing spanish, Im honest too)..

    Querida anonima: If you dont feel this blog is apropiate, then, what brings you here?
    Creo que al mundo le hace falta alegria, entusiasmo y energia para que lo dificil se haga mas facil, asi que no comentes cosas desagradable donde venimos a buscar tranquilidad…

    Kelle girl ,keep it up…
    Your attitude, pictures and the way you embrace life makes a family in a small Dominican Republic feel happy, inspired, proud and blessed to have (as you have) a happy family..
    Keep it up girl!
    As I have said: You rock!
    Many blessings to you and your beautiful family,

    Johanna (Dominican republic)

  151. Nella looks so cute sitting up! I love the look on her face. AND, leave it to you to look gorgeous chalk painting your drive way!!!

  152. Anonymous says:

    “They must have had some badass fight in the night.”


  153. This summer IS better, and it’s all the perspective! I am STEALING your dad’s “Celebrate the best, let go of the rest.” LOVE IT.

  154. Anonymous says:

    perhaps a fine time to share something that has been on my heart for a few days . . .

    why do i LOVE this blog? (let me count the ways)

    the answer that was so deliciously Graced to me is:

    ~ yes, the “stuff” of kelle hampton is so beautiful but the soul of kelle is what sings to me, resonates in the depths of my being so that loving harmonic overtones echo over and over again long after i read her words and revel in the photos of her life, lived fully immersed in Love ~

    thanks, k. inthought. inword. indeed, u rock ~ ~ ~

  155. sending some summer lovin’ right back at ya!! i, too, am 31 and head-over-heels in love with life. so happy to know you, kelle, cheers to all that makes us happy …

  156. Shannon B says:

    im obsessed with making flower hair pieces, just bought elastic to make newborn ones for Fiona a couple days ago :) Nellas dress is so precious and in love with Laineys pink cowboy boots! 7 weeks and counting til Fi arrives and enjoying keeping up with your blog

  157. Anonymous says:

    Hey, LANA – I’m glad you posted and so sorry some took it wrong or were offended. KELLE seemed pretty cool about it and, a you wrote, Kelle does invite comments. I think I understand about feeling somewhat jealous. And, hey, cant we allow for people to be so honest in their comments? I found the honesty refreshing. I love Kelle and her blog. And I agree with another post here, can POPPA be my dad too?? he is great! And great, open attitude~

  158. Anonymous says:

    OH, still looking for info on the little headband with bow for Nella,or the one you are wearing Kelle. You wrote that they are from “Joanns”. ???? What/who/where is that? I am in Calif. thanks!

  159. Look @ sweet Nella sitting up. Kelle she really is a beautiful little girl. And Lainey, she is a little, blonde version of you! So nice to see you all so happy.

  160. Such a fun post. I just love those sweet little toes with polish on! Nothing could be cuter.

    So funny that you mentioned the missing fish. I used to have newts, 2 of them. One day, one was just gone. A few days later, the other one was gone, too. Closed aquarium. Very weird. So, you’re not the only one with fish type things that go missing! LOL

    Have a great weekend!

  161. Kelle! How do you do it all?!? Enjoy every moment of the day and be such an incredible momma AND take the time to inspire and entertain ME? Thanks for doing it all!!!

  162. The photo of you and Nella smooshing noses with matching headbands and matching smiles is the most adorable thing ever!

  163. I always read all your blogs, and ALL the comments – and today really made my day! Can you feel everyone putting big arms around you? Your readers are SO protective of you!!! Usually you make my eyes water, today Poppa gets the award! I don’t ever want the children playing on the driveway to be gone……

    Can’t wait for your book, can’t wait for your show (I voted at least!), can’t wait for your fireworks photo tips. Maybe you could help us out with super toe picture tips while you are at it! :)

    -Jenny in Iowa

  164. Hi Kelle-

    I just had to say thank you. I was having one of those days–the kind filled with frustration over my ever growing to-do list and worry wondering if I am doing enough for my kids. I have a little rockstar too. She is 18months and has DS and she is the cuddliest, sweetest little thing. But I worry because the walking is coming slower than I would like and I hope I am doing enough for her. Anyway, then I stopped by your blog, and you made me smile. Your blog, your words, your pictures…they always make me happy! They remind me what life is all about and what really matters. So, thank you! You inspire me to live life to the fullest and enjoy the small things!


  165. Anonymous says:

    Kelle- as always, love the words, love the pics and looooove the painted piggies! So much sweetness! Thank you-and Poppa- for putting the positivity out there!

    Carmen in Boston

    Para Anon de Espana, yo no tengo mucho, bueno, los problemas economicos no me son escasos… Lo que si tengo es la actitud positiva que me contagia Kelle con su blog. Te equivocas en lo que piensas de ella y de sus lectores. Que lastima.

  166. Anonymous says:

    esto es para JOHANNA.
    Si lei este blog, es por lo siguiente;
    Me intereso la relacion de Kelle con su hija Nella, el nacimiento de esta es un relato muy hermoso y muy valiente.
    Entiendo que no te guste mi opinion, incluso me alegro.
    Ha sido un error por mi parte hacer comentarios en el blog, aqui solo gustan las palabras aduladuras, no las criticas.
    Mis valores no incluyen sentir admiracion por ciertas cosas que aqui disfrutais con tanta vehemencia.
    Mi mundo es otro y no debi intervenir en este. Yo tambien disfruto de las pequeñas cosas de la vida, pero MIS pequeñas cosa no incluyen pasteles de colores ni diademas de flores ni esmalte de uñas en un bebe.
    y como estamos condenados a no entendernos, os digo adios y disculpas.
    adios desde España

  167. Oh how I remembered my high school Spanish…some words I can identify. If this is the continuing thread of having or not having affecting a mother’s love–I am sure this voice would blend with Kelle’s and say…maybe in “Spanglish” NOT AT ALL! I see a single mom quite often–she works the counter at a nearby Starbucks, and when she finishes that shift, the walks a coupls storefronts down to put in some hours at another business. At the second business, she often puts up a little framed picture of her little girl on the counter. She is her inspiration to work long hours–she is that committed to provide her the best she can. One glimpse of mothering does not diminish the other…and I am sure the mother I see at the counters does her best to make those precious moments with her little one so lavish with love. Someday, I hope she has more and is with her more–but for today, her “I love you” is expressed in simply providing. The fact she carries that little framed photo and puts it up at work touches me deeply. I always complement her little sweetie and remind her what a wonderful momma she is. My dad used to say, “Worldiness is not having alot, it is wishing you did.” We all work to maybe have more, but hopefully, we celebrate and are grateful for what we have at the moment. Some of my favorite family memories were, interestingly enough, from leaner times when we struggled. ‘Nuff said.

  168. The first thing I do after I devour each post is scan comments for Poppa’s, or Kelle’s. Because the posts are never enough. They are so incredibly amazing, and when I finish reading one, I keep thinking I have a great book to get back to. And then I’m a little sad.

    The photos are simply stunning, and I study them endlessly. Kelle, trite as it may sound, your beauty bursts from your center, not from that gorgeous face. I think part of the charm of the whole blog is the obvious beauty of your family, your home, your clothing and other fun stuff, mixed with the messy couch and ordinary mom stuff.

    I have two kids on the autistic spectrum, one of whom has recovered completely, and a son who, at 19, has been having two or three seizures a month for the past 20 months as I detox him from his vaccine damage, which caused the autism in the first place. Every morning, after horse chores, I grab my coffee, turn on my computer, and check this blog for inspiration before I get back to the book I’m writing about my kids’ recovery from autism. As I write this book, this blog feeds me in a way that I can’t even begin to describe. I don’t think I could get through it without Kelle right now.

    Poppa, I can see why she’s so amazing, with you for a dad. I have a special place in my book for my dad, who died two years ago. I couldn’t have recovered my kids without my dad, and now I can’t seem to tell my story without the beauty of Kelle’s world.

    Your whole family is a family of rock stars …

  169. These are so sweet. Your photography is awesome! I just LOVE those flower headbands that you and Nella had on…where did you find those?? I know you’ve got a million things going on but if you get a chance would love to know!

  170. I’m obsessed with baby feet, too. And I’m totally not a foot person at all. Mine are sadly neglected. But those baby feet– they’re just so perfect and pudgy and they just have this whole life of their own– dancing and wiggling and kicking. Adorable. :) I love your blog, by the way.

  171. Well, this is the day.

    I have been reading your blog for about 4 months now and have yet to leave a comment.

    I suppose I was looking for the right words. Something to equal the light you have brought to my late nights and early mornings. The quiet moments where my babies are sleeping and I sneak a peak at the computer.

    I just wanted to let you know, on this blue skied Saturday morning in Texas, that the dishes are piled in the sink, there are loads of laundry in the closet, my oldest boy had goulash for breakfast and we are loving every minute of it!

    I recently went from being a stay at home mama of three, to a full-time working mama. My husband is going back to school to start a new career in funeral service. I am so proud of him and of our family for tackling this challenging goal. However, I have struggled with the transition. Poppa your words – struck like lightening in my heart and the tears began to fall (I am a weeper, what can I say I love hard) My love right now IS expressed in the fact that I am providing for my family!

    Thank you for those words, thank you for reminders to find beauty, everywhere we look. There is so much garbage in life, that finding beauty is necessary for our survival, isn’t it??

    So get up and dance, celebrate your creative soul and just know that you have touched this mama’s heart thousands of miles away thru words and pictures.

  172. It’s a great day to celebrate. You are all rock stars!

  173. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot big Poppa…I just love a good morning cry! Seriously, the Starbucks lady with her daughter’s picture out on display…good grief! Yup, that put things in perspective a bit. I live in a gated community…half these Momma’s here are so darn stuffy and self centered they wouldn’t think in a million years to go sit out on the driveway with chalk – could you imagine what the neighbors would think if there were messy chalk all over the driveway – GASP! I doubt that Candy Spelling did much chalk drawing with Tori – and they have just an awesome adult relationship lol! Money makes not a Mommy my friends :)

  174. lightkeepersdaughter says:

    Another ‘makes-me-feel-so-wonderful’ post!

    I discovered this week, Kelle, that your posts are also medicinal! :) My job is one with many deadlines, fairly high pressure – with not enough people to do all the work – I’m often at my desk 90 minutes before my official start-time – and still there 90 minutes after my official end-time – trying to keep all the balls airborne! :) One early morning this week, with my coffee in hand, I fired up my computer, – and instead of going straight to the “Summer piles of crap!” – :) on my desk, I thought, “I wonder if Kelle has a new post”………To my absolute delight, I found your “smorgasbord” post – with all its amazing pictures, and scrapbook pages – each word, picture and page oozing with the joy, love and enthusiasm that you put into everything. I feasted my eyes and soul for 10 minutes – and could feel myself relax and decompress, with each “awww” I smiled, as I shared your life with you for that brief interlude. When I switched my computer over to what I was really ‘supposed’ to be doing, I felt soooooo calm and happy, and enjoyed a great day, despite the presures, deadlines, and all the “Oh-do-you-have-time-to-fit-this-in-today?”. The medicinal part? When I got home from work that night, I realized I’d forgotten to take my blood pressure meds in the morning – and I’d been fine all.day! :) So, there you go, folks – start your day with Kelle’s blog – and the little red and white pills may not be quite so necessary! :) Of course, I’m not actually advocating stopping prescribed meds – but, there just might be something to finding other ways to reduce the old b.p! :)

    And this post of yours is no exception. Yayyyyyyy to little Miss Nella – sitting up all by yourself! Your Mommy’s so right – you and your big sister are rock-stars! Love Lainey with her little pom-pom critters – and her pin-wheel.

    And finally (isn’t it about time I end this epic comment?!?) Poppa – I somehow don’t think your Kelle’s driveway will ever be empty…..I see Lainey and Nella and all their friends gathering in that driveway – to share in the love of the Hampton family – for as long as Kelle & Brett call that house ‘home’… Right now it’s babies, children & sidewalk chalk – but, that will evolve – and the delicious memories of this life-stage, will be augmented by the delicious memories of times spent in that driveway, over the years to come! I’m so looking forward to being a part of Kelle’s blog family as she shares with us, all those memorable, precious times…….Thank-you Kelle…………..Rosemary

  175. Anonymous says:

    Ok I will leave a comment! I am a blog stalker, I have been since Nella birth Story. I must admit seeing you gracefully go through your ups and downs and sometimes I think your life is the one I want. You pause the moments that matter most even if they are hard. You seem to make being a mommy so easy even when its not. I need to find that place. Your life seems like a book to me, I can’t wait for the next chapter aka-post. Your blog helps me put things in perspective and makes me want to cherish the moments with my baby girl! It’s really enjoying the small things! Thanks for your writing and your honesty!

    Ps. You should talk more about where you get your wardrobe for your girls, you could call me a shopaholic for my baby. I find that I you and I have the same taste because I often find my daughter wearing the same clothes as your daughter! :)

  176. This comment has been removed by the author.

  177. Well, I had to wait TWO DAYS to get some peace and quiet to read your post, but it was worth the wait! Love your outlook on life. So refreshing.

    As for that fish? Check the filter or the floor-they are ESCAPE artists! Ha!

  178. Anonymous says:

    i have a question that i’m sure many others share… how did you meet your husband? I hope its not too personal, but i work with the elderly, and that question seems to bring up the best stories! i’m sure many would like to hear about it :)

  179. Dear Kelle,

    I was watching the movie “TiMER” and I found your celebrity doppelganger! The actress Michelle Borth!


  180. Oh sweet Lord, that’s all this world needs, a Kelle Doppelganger!

    And Anonymous, that is my favorite question to ask old couples–how they met and who pursued who. One of my favorite stories was from an elderly lady who say next to her husband who was in our critical care unit. She told me she wrote to him while he was a soldier in the World War. He was a paratrooper and he had to parachute over enemy territory when his plane was shot down…she told him to save his parachute, which in those years was made of white silk. When he returned home safely, he proposed. She took the white silk of his parachute and made her wedding gown. She told me, “When it saved his life, it saved mine too.” How sweet the story! Keep asking…and Kelle will eventually tell the story–I do know it will be in the book she is writing, so she may make you wait! Ha! Sorry!

  181. Where is your fabulous floral headband from?

    dfrautschy@gmail.com (Dawn)

  182. Kelle ~ if I could put summer in a jar; I would just HAV’TA sprinkle in the sunshine I always find here!! :o)

    God Bless your wee Nest this day Kelle (right down to tiny toes and chalkie little gals of ‘cute’….mmm hmmmm SO ‘double cute’!)

  183. I love feet! :) Yay for learning to use kid scissors and yay for sitting!

  184. Sooooo…these comments have me thinking. Because I am a big fan of this blog. I now see things with my Kelle glasses on and something routine with my littles turns special. What a gift! But I also understand there may be some frustrations because Kelle is like Martha Stewart (a much happier and prettier Martha clone) and most do not have the patience for beautifying up their lives quite so much. I mean the themed-out father’s day cupcakes…most would not/could not chop up gumdrops into meat kabobs. That said, good for Kelle because she found that fun and shame on us for being annoyed that our husbands maybe (maybe!) only had burned hambers or some such thing.

    And as for Kelle not writing about real life or negative experiences often enough…she is also sheltering her famly by not sharing every tear, family dynamic, fight, loss, trouble, etc. The good things in life happen to be the less private ones. Those are the ones she therefore shares. If anyone is waiting to hear a sob story from Kelle, I do believe she is saving it for her husband or for a call to a good friend.

    Keep up the lovely work, Kelle!

  185. Anonymous says:

    I love watching you grow as a person. Some people get off on other people’s misfortune. We love you for seeing the good in everything, even if others might have a hard time doing the same. You’re an inspiration. Keep growing into yourself. It is truly a pleasure to behold.

  186. I was driving today and running really late and got stuck in traffic and was super annoyed… and then out of the blue I remembered

    “”Him just restin’.” Restin’ he was. In peace.”

    And I CRACKED UP. I started giggling and then suddenly I was out right laughing until my three year old asked me what was going on.

    Thank you <3

  187. Yolanda says:

    My daughter had those pink boots, and boy, did she wear them like a rockstar! I was so sad the day they didn’t fit. I still have them and plan on growing flowers in them so I can always enjoy them in our garden. (For those who wondered they were originally from Target).

    Love the baby toes in the air…though all ages of childhood are delicious, I do miss the toes oh so much!

    I’ve asked before, and I will ask again…Poppa, please adopt me!

  188. I, like a previous commenter, am confused by the missing fish… Unless the photo was taken prior to the disappearance of the cleaner fish. Because he is clearly on the left side of the picture! Please confirm :)

    I adore all of your pictures, love reading your blog, and wish I could look half as put together and cute as you do! I am struggling with baby weight still (I have an 8 mo old little boy) and just don’t feel pretty on the outside. Thank you for working on changing my perspective from the inside. You have inspired me to see things from a different angle and soak up life!

  189. Holly's Mum says:

    When I read your blog, look at your beautiful pictures, am bowled over by your creativity…what constantly shines through is a line from a faithless song that pretty much sums it all up for me..’you don’t need eyes to see, you need vision’. Thats what you have Kelle..vision.

    Holly’s Mum.

  190. Holly's Mum says:

    ‘Faithless’ are a dance band over here across the pond in case anyone is wondering!

    Holly’s Mum.

  191. ha ha cute fish! I want to eat nellabeans pink piggies! Lainey’s cow boy boots and your matching headbands with nella are adorable!

  192. oh…i love “baby pudge”, stripes and Nella’s painted piggies!

  193. Anonymous says:

    Kelle once wrote
    “i choose to write about the good, to photograph the beautiful…and by doing so, the bad has disappeared, even in my mind.”

    That’s what it’s all about. And while we may all think we’re less than perfect, we all are a little bit perfect.

  194. Make sure you get some algae wafers for that sucker fish otherwise it will starve to death:(

  195. Heather from Colorado says:

    Little curled over baby toes are the best. My son is almost two and I still take pictures of his little feet. They are the cutest! Your little girls are just the sweetest. Nella’s pictures give me baby fever… just a bit.

  196. Anonymous says:

    thanks to Poppa for the response… and for the precious story that brought tears to my eyes! I find that no matter how impaired/demented/confused my patients are, they can almost always articulate something about how they fell in love, which tells me just how precious it is. That’s why I treasure telling my own little love story (to others and to myself at times!) and why i’ll be intrigued to hear Kelle’s. I’m glad the book she’s mentioned will be at least a bit autobiographical. Kelle is such an inspirations toward choosing joy.

  197. A great movie to watch regarding old souls and love is Ladies in Lavender. It is exquisite.

  198. That fish tank picture was taken before the sucker disappeared. Ha.

  199. That fish tank picture was taken before the sucker disappeared. Ha.

  200. GO ARGENTINA!!!

    Oh wait, I’m not on fb, I’m on Kelle’s blog comments.

    LOL j/k! 😉 but really, I was just going to write that on fb and for some reason came here without thinking hahaha

  201. Anonymous says:

    Freedom of Speech. Everyone is entitled to differ on how we raise our children, but I don’t think it’s fair to bash another one’s comments. We have people dying everyday to protect our freedoms.
    So please stop, or this is going to become a commentary where your readers will start looking only at the comment page.
    We all love and enjoy our small things in life!! Lighten up readers!

  202. your girls are simply beautiful.
    At least Leo and Henry both survived the fight minus a few limbs!

  203. Just wanted to say Thank You for sprinkling my day with a little bit of sunshine…There is just something about the way you so graciously share your life with us that is so powerful and I never leave without a smile on my face.

  204. Kelle –

    I’ve been obsessively sewing for a baptism-related gift, so I had to give up reading up on my favorite blogs. And at my first chance I came to see what happy elements of life you have to share with us. What a great post. Thank you for finding humor and beauty in the everyday. And thanks for the tips on your headbands. Really too cute and too damn simple! Back to Joann’s again…see this is why my friends say that I have an “issue” when it comes to Joann’s.

    You crack me up about the fight with the pipe cleaner animals. Can you imagine the scuffle?!? Someone got their As* kicked. And there was some serious mama-drama, which is something I’m not used to seeing on the few blogs that I love. But I love the chatter especially from you and poppa; and damn, I wish that I knew Spanish! Poppa – the wizard of Oz commentary was perfect.

    We all have the good, bad, and ugly in our lives; but it’s a matter of how we decide to get out of bed every morning. I’ve always believed that you can’t go back, so live today for today – even if today might ultimately be a bad day, and kick you in the shins.

    We are facing losing our dog (poppa – Buckley is still hanging in!), selling our favorite sailboat, and dealing with unforeseen setbacks; but I want to know that I have given the best I can to my daughter, my family, and friends every day. I will admit that it kills me to see moms at home b/c I am the breadwinner, but it “is what it is.” It’s not an option to quit, so I go forward and be and do the best that I can for all of those in my life.

    Thanks girl for keeping the cup in the half-full versus half-empty perspective.



  205. Hi, my names Emily, and I’m 15 from Australia. You’re blog is so beautiful, and inspiring. All this talk of summer makes me so jealous, because all of us Australians are still shivering! Thankyou for all your photos. They’re so gorgeous!

  206. Hi, my names Emily, and I’m 15 from Australia. You’re blog is so beautiful, and inspiring. All this talk of summer makes me so jealous, because all of us Australians are still shivering! Thankyou for all your photos. They’re so gorgeous!

  207. Cracking up at the fish story!!! ew! kinda grosses me out at the thought of where the missing one could be though!!
    and I’m now officially bummed that I never thought to paint my baby girls’ toenails :( they are bigger now and get it done but I never even thought about it as a new born. Way cUtE!

  208. Love the matching pink headbands! how cute!

  209. Michelle says:

    Dear Kelle, I know you get hundreds of comments everyday so im going to add to the growing list of them.

    Thank you are 2 simple words that alot of people take for granted. I however need to say them to you with more gratitude then I have ever used with those 2 words ever in my life.

    Thank you for making me see what a wonderful life I have. Thank you for making me see that life is a blessing. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for making me cry. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us….thank you thank you thank you……


  210. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a suicidal fish? I had a fish jump out of tanks and then found it quite crusty and un-fish looking. Not sure how that bugger got out of there.

  211. Love the blog.
    A friend of mine released a CD. It’s available as a free download until July 1st. Based on the music you have at the bottom, it seems like something you may enjoy.
    “Spare Me” is my favorite track. Gorgeous song.

  212. OMG! Your pics are breathtaking! I am a visual person so my eyes enjoyed drinking the details of each and every photo. I love love love the pink boots. Kinda makes makes me wish I were a kid again so I could wear pink boots.

    Your fish story put a smile on my face. Especially the part about them resting…in peace.

  213. I love Lainey’s pink boots!!! Those are awesome!!! I love Nella’s beautiful soulful smile!!!

  214. I think you are obsessed with feet!

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