Chickens & Cats, Cats & Chickens

Key West.
Where hula hoops randomly dangle from street signs, a calm reminder never to take anything too seriously, I guess.


And the not-so-subliminal messages of the parrot-colored town sank into my soul, a consistent reminder…



We started our trip Tuesday morning packing the car to the brim with the essentials—suitcases, bathing suits, sunscreen—as well as the equally important non-essentials—granola bars, Sun chips, carbonated beverages, a bag of books and flashcards and toys that play noise, making a five hour drive with a baby a little more bearable. We sailed across the long strip in the Everglades, pointing out an alligator snout here, a colorful orange tree there. The sky was blue and vibrant; the car passengers calm and happy.

And then from there, it was bliss. Morning coffee on the balcony overlooking the ocean and evening beers at Hogsbreath overlooking the vast color and diversity of a town that has proclaimed itself One Human Family. Friendly cats roam the streets and curl up in shelves in little corner shops. Curious chickens wander through town, cackling and crowing and fighting the pigeons for their turf. There is so much flair here–so much who-the-hell-cares here.


And we walk and we walk and we walk, winding through gardens, a kaleidoscope of brightly-colored buildings, rickety stairs, soap shops, open bars, street misters, jugglers and fortune tellers, and cats…more cats.

Poppa hoists Nella over his shoulder where she slumps into a comfortable snooze. I offer him the baby carrier but he guffaws and says something along the lines of We’ve been holding babies without those silly things for a long time, and somewhere I’m sure my grandma—the one who rocked her grandchildren to sleep and laid them down on a pile of blankets long before the days of Pack N’ Plays—is smiling.


We return to our hotel at night, sharing a spaghetti dinner in Poppa’s room and late-night cookies. And later, I soak in the deep tub with the bubbling jets and close my eyes, entranced in the cloud of steam and hum of hot water. It is quiet and calm. It is the first time our entire family has been able to relax in a hotel since before Lainey was born. I am thanking Poppa and Gary in my head over and over for treating us. I am grateful.




There is much to be thankful for. There is much to enjoy. On the way home, I watch as the sun shines its golden face on my girls. They are happy. And so am I.



The little one peeks over the plastic edge of the carseat and catches my eyes…


And rewards my affection with a grateful grin.


I am in love with Life.

Our weekend in review…

Thank you, Poppa & Gary so very much.

And now for a grand giveaway.
Poppa (my dad) & Gary’s vacation rental business is giving away a 3-4 day Labor Day weekend stay (valued at $750) for up to 6 persons at one of their properties at Bonita by the Beach (exact dates and properties to be arranged with winner after selection). If you are able to travel labor day weekend and provide your own transportation to and from Naples, please visit their site and click on the “contact us” bar. Fill out a submission form, include your e-mail address and in the comments, write “labor day giveaway.” Submissions will be numbered respectively and the winner will be randomly drawn (generated by and announced Tuesday, July 13th.

If you can’t travel Labor Day weekend and are planning a vacation for later this year (or next), mention the blog and receive a 10% discount on your rental.

Look for Good…and you will find it.


Leave a Comment
  1. Kelle,

    Your blog literally makes my day!!!! Love the video! Thanks for the smile!!!


  2. Great pictures, adorable girls :) Looks like a fun trip!

  3. I also wanted to add that the pic of you in the black dress holding Lainey is breath taking. Very frameable! 😉

  4. Oh thank God, I was starting to suffer Kelle withdrawals!

  5. Key West is one of my favorite places on earth. Your pictures and video have me longing for it so much right now!

    Looks like you had a wonderful time with your beautiful family!

  6. I love the photo of Nella smiling at you! Thanks for sharing your photos!

  7. Every time I see a new post from you in my Reader I’m so excited to see your photos and read your words. Lovely. :)

  8. I always look at your photos and feel vaguely nostaligic for the time when I could dress my girls to match each other, my intended scrapbook paper, the holiday. Alas, with a nine and eleven year old those days are behind me….BUT we went shopping this week. It is so much fun to shop with bigger girls who sit in the dressing room and give opinions as you try stuff on, who get excited to find half price purses in Old Navy in the eleven year old only colour worth consideration-black, and who can actually run back to the sales clerk to find different sizes as you wait in the dressing room.
    Little tiny people are so wondrous and I thought I would mourn their getting older, and I do a bit, but though the journey changes, it is no less enchanting.

  9. Cute video…looks like a lovely time. There’s something magical about family vacations!

  10. Forgot to mention, I love the part in your video of you and your dad dancing on the sidewalk. And when you’re dancing a truck pulls up behind you. I wonder what they were thinking? ha ha

  11. I concur – that photo of you in the black dress holding Lainey with Nella in the sling is smashing! On another note entirely….that tiger cat in the middle of your video slayed me. He/she looks like me in the middle of yoga class. The caption might read, “Dude, I’ve just collapsed from a rather awkward downward dog and I can’t feel my hips. Look away, Jerry, look away.”

  12. I love that you were able to get away and relax for a few days, awesome memories for your little “chickens” (which is what I usually call my babies!). Love!

  13. My darn work blocks Photobucket so I can’t see these pics and I cannot wait to get home and check them out. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Key West and couldn’t describe it any better than you did. I was laughing out loud about the roaming chickens! Ha! Glad you had fun:-)

  14. I am in LOVE with that picture of Lainey! She looks like a little Kelle :)


  15. The picture of Lainey on the pilons is my new favorite, how cute!

    Also, what a grand giveaway, How incredibly generous! I think I’m going to start trying to convince my husband that the Naples area would be a grand place for a vacay next year!

  16. I love that you saw the Disney Magic cruise ship (greatest cruise line ever….)!

    But most of all, I love that you got to breathe, relax, and just be. You are so fortunate to live in such a gorgeous state with such fun vacation spots!

  17. Every time I see a new post in my blog reader from you I get excited. You’re always a great reminder to enjoy life!

  18. Ok, seriously? Your family is so awesome. I don’t know them, but I love them all. lol Those little snipits in the video of everyone waving at the camera made me smile SO big……then I almost peed in my pants watching Poppa and you boogie-ing in the streets. Just totally made my day.
    So glad you all enjoyed your little get away.

  19. Love your blog Kelle, I’ve been following for several months and always find something to inspire me. I’m curious if you have been “recognized” or approached for your autograph while out and about. You have such a large following now! I told my friend several months ago that you would be on Oprah before she retires later this year….and then almost fell off my chair when you posted the video for a show on the Oprah network (I still think you’ll be on Oprah!).

    I have a technical question about the blog setup (I’m new to the blogging world) – HOW do you expand the margins of your layout and then keep all your pics the same size…even in the collages? Sorry, that’s 2 questions.

    Looked like a great trip to Key West! Thanks Kelle.

  20. Love all the pictures. Love the videos where you are all dancing too. Your life is so beautiful and I’m so happy that you share it with us! cheers!

  21. Oh my Lainey on the pilings (I think thats what you call that structure anyway) with the red sunglasses makes her look so grown up, a little glimpse into the future through the camera lens. I love when that happens! Glad you all had such a good time!

  22. You and Poppa dancing is by far my favorite of the video..well, that and Lainey with one of her brothers clowning around with the shark!
    I wish I could get in on that giveaway, but I doubt we could come out labor day AND there are 11 of us. I think it is incredibly generous of your Dad and Gary, and it looks like they made sure you guys had a wonderful time in Key West!

    and, thanks for the update!

  23. what a fun vacation!

    especially love the pictures of nella peaking over the edge of the carseat. what a sweetie!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    freaking love the video….seriously freaking love the!

  25. Seeing you dance in the vidoe with Nella — priceless! Glad you had a wonderful vacation! I sooo need one of these kinda weekends!

  26. I have to say that your blog is introducing me to a whole part of Florida that I didn’t really know about. The pics I usually see are of other folks’ trips to Disney.
    Key West looks absolutely beautiful and your weekend away looks like it was wonderful.
    p.s. I also love the video of you and your Dad dancing in the street- was there music playing?

  27. I have lived in Florida all my life and never been to the keys! I’m so ready to go, the pictures look great!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh that part of Nella in the water was DARLING! And you dancing with her was just priceless. Thanks for letting us see you guys on vacation. : )

  29. That Nella smile melts hearts all over the world – guaranteed!!!!

    Love it!

  30. SWEET dancing move :o)

    Jen G.

  31. I love Key West and have a pic of myself from college days by the Southern Most Point. :)

    The video is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Lovely. Lovely. l o v e l y.

  33. I was looking forward to a new post! I adore your littles! They make bad days seem 100 times better.

    Thank you for sharing.

  34. christy says:

    Awesome! my DH and i just last week took the drive along 41 as well..however, made the mistake of getting out to take a pic of an aligator and OWEEE the misquitos nearly ate us faster than the gator would have! AWESOME pics…your trip sounds AMAZING! oh..and hogsbreath…better than no breath at all 😉
    Christy ~ Erie, PA

  35. Loved, Loved , Loved the video! The dancing in the streets was my favourite! I’m so glad you had a nice holiday.

  36. Love that you had a wonderful little vacation. How fabulous is that? : )

    The girls are beautiful. Precious as can be!

  37. Sounds like a wonderful vacation!

  38. Oh wow, I so think I need to go there on vacation, sounds just like my kind of place…especially the “who the hell cares” attitude because that is my motto! : )
    Who the hell cares what others think as long as we are happy!
    And that picture of Nella smiling at you in the car seat? Priceless!

  39. Nella’s smile was so beautiful, I thought my heart might burst. You are a lucky lady with two lovely little ones. Thank you for blogging about them!

  40. Reading this was so great as I am sitting here on vacation with my little ones. Life is so good and Problems seem to be washed away by the waves.Great post!

  41. You are always the best medicine for a bad mood. After a very sad day yesterday (had a m/c at 8 1/2wks) seeing your beautiful pictures brought a big smile to my puffy face. Thank you for that. Also wanted to say the writing you did in the new “special needs” tab is some of your very best ever. You have big talent & I am so grateful to be reaping the benefits of your writings.
    Welcome home & happy weekend.

  42. Yep-made my day! Thanks for sharing! Loved the video.

  43. I have been to Key West once, spring break senior year of college and I have to say now it seems like we were too young to really appreciate it all!

    Loved the video. Favorite part was you dancing. And I am in awe of Lainey that she was able to eat pizza in a white dress and stay clean! I can’t see my 3 year old doing that until he is 12!

  44. KWQR – Sorry to hear about your m/c. :( May God bless you again in good time.

    Kelle –

    Ah, thank you once again for sharing the sunshine and reminding us to find the good in life. You happiness is something to cherish. And your good vibes are helping to fuel me up for the weekend.


  45. Kelle- can I enter this giveaway for a friend? She lives in Orlando and could REALLY use a vacation. Shes a SAHM of 2 gorgeous little girls and i think she is a GREAT mom who would really enjoy an affordable getaway (like, a free one).

    I’m Caren, and I want Trudi to win.

  46. So excited for your Key West post! Beautiful photos. My husband and I were there exactly 3 years ago on our honeymoon. Can’t wait to take my little ones there someday – my son will freak out over the chickens!

  47. I love Key West and your pictures were wonderful. As I was growing up my Grandparents took me to KW every winter. It is a magical and fun place with more spirit than any city I have ever visited. Thanks for the pictures…I felt like I was walking down back alleys with my Grandpa to pet cats and buy his cigars! He is gone from this life, but when I visit there I always feel like his memory lives on. Long live Key West!!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Looks like you had the most magical time with your gorgeous family in Key West!! Leave it up to Kelle Hampton to find the “Life is Good” signs…we bloggers LOVE how you always remind us of how GOOD life really is!! What better place to be than with your family in a sunny place, holding your Nella in one hand and a cold beer in the other…now that’s my kind of get-a-way!!!
    Nella’s smile just melts me!!! Love the rocking it out in the street “Poppa-Kelle style” And Lainey must of just loved all those cats and chickens!!!

    Happy summer days to you!!

  49. I sooo agree with the first comment. I LOVE reading your blog daily during my girls’ nap time. It is a fantastic reminder of how fast time goes unless you stop and live in the moment. I love your pictures (I think I have said that on EVERY comment I have left) and especially the one where Nella is smiling at you, what a fantastic moment. She is breathtaking and will change this world in more ways than you know. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your life with all the world to see. As it is so obvious with all your comments on every blog you post, we all just love you and your family! I am pretty safe in saying this, we all strive to be you which is such a great thing! The world would be amazing if we all cared for life and our families and especially our kids the way that you care for yours and yourself! Have a great weekend!

  50. Gorgeous!

    A total aside, but sometime might you talk about how you organize your digital photos effectively? You probably take thousands more photos than I take, but I already feel like I’m drowning in images!

  51. Loved the video! Glad you all had a wonderful time enjoying one another. Poppa and Gary are just too cute!


  52. I am in love with Life, too! Especially mine, but I must admit, I have a crush on yours!

    So happy for you and your family to have a nice break!

    Fabulous video!!!


  53. I LOVE your blog, I love that your happiness is contagious and I try to spread it with those around me.
    It looked like a wonderful getaway with your family.

    WHAT a wonderfully grand giveaway indeed!

  54. Today, Nella is a healthy and happy baby. Today, Lainey is a healthy and happy toddler. Today, Austyn & Brandyn are thriving teens who love their sisters. Today, we are blessed.

    Cheers to that, friend.

    I want to come there for Labor Day! What a generous giveaway, Poppa! I need to meet you some day. I think we’d have fun. Perhaps get into a bit of trouble…

    The video isn’t working for me…I’ll keep trying! Love you! (and thanks for your very sweet recent comment…totes worth the extra minutes)

  55. Love love love love the video!!!! Key West is one of my most favorite vacations ever!!! But you know what, our trip to Naples ranked up there pretty high too! We’re hoping we can win that getaway since we loooove the Naples area so much! What an awesome thing for Gary and Poppa to do!!!

  56. Love love love love the video!!!! Key West is one of my most favorite vacations ever!!! But you know what, our trip to Naples ranked up there pretty high too! We’re hoping we can win that getaway since we loooove the Naples area so much! What an awesome thing for Gary and Poppa to do!!!

  57. Man this makes me wanna go to Key West! Looks awesome. I’m glad y’all had a good time :)

  58. Oh, the creativity you inspire in me with every post is out of control!!
    Thank you for reminding me to find the beauty in life, to LOVE life, every single day.

    p.s. Poppa looks like he is beyond fun, what lucky girls you all are!

  59. The video was great. I love the smile of Nella in the car and her looking at the dog blanket. Glad you had a great trip.

  60. Wow…how do you make your slide show? Do you have a certain program? Love it!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Looks like you had an amazing time in Key West! LOVE the video! Da**, does Poppa have some moves or what?!! ha!

    Speaking of, I’m about to head on over to check out the properties at Bonita by the Beach. You bet ya, I’m gonna fill out a submission form! I’m ready to hop in my car now…only a short 24 hours on the road and I am there!!

    Oh, and bravo on the Special Needs tab. Well said!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  62. I want to hang out with you and your dad. I’m serious!

    Key West is one of my favorite places; I try to get there at least once a year. Thanks to your beautiful photography, it is now fresh in my mind why I love it there so much.

    Blessings to you and yours.

  63. So glad to see you back…and even happier to know you had a great vacation! :)

  64. This post took my breath away, oh how badly I want to escape down there and what is that word again….????? oh yeah that’s it something called “relax”?

    My husband has been talking about Hogsbreath for some time now. Apparently he listens to the radio at work and it is mentioned all the time. Exactly what he wants to do is to sit back and have a beer there. I hope to grant him that one wish one day, he so deserves it for putting up with a household of females.


    PS: Love the header of the blog, your smiles are contagious how can you not open this and smile with a greeting like that. :)

  65. Greta S. says:

    Ok, that video you made was hella-good! I felt like I was watching a hollywood movie, with the music and all.

    BTW, those songs are now my 2 new faves! Please tell us the artists and titles!

    My 10th wedding anniversary is next week and we had our honeymoon in Key West…LOVE it, and I hope to take take our 2 girls there someday. Used to live in WPB but Atlanta is kinda far. Orlando is as far as we seem to make it for vacations in FL.

    Keep dancing!

  66. Beautiful!!! Thank you!!! “Look for Good…and you will find it.” — I will! You made my day again. Your family is gorgeous. =)

  67. Kelle, I don’t usually comment on your blog because you always have such a wonderfully full comment area. However, I wanted to say thank you for sharing your family’s fun in Key West. It brought back so many great memories for me, especially as our children were growing up. We travelled and camped in the Keys so often when they were young. I know my daughter learned to swim at Looe Key. What a wonderful time you had and again, thanks for sharing and thanks to your dad and Gary for offering a great giveaway.

  68. Dig This Chick got it right… I <3 quote about “today”:

    “Today, Nella is a healthy and happy baby. Today, Lainey is a healthy and happy toddler. Today, Austyn & Brandyn are thriving teens who love their sisters. Today, we are blessed.”

    I am getting better at choosing to think about and enjoy today thanks to you. You are so uplifting. My daughter is still recovering from seizures, and sure it has added more therapies and medicines, but thankfully her team OT, PT, DT, and others love her and make it enjoyable for us to learn tips and tricks. Yes, she might encounter problems and delays down the road, but today we are celebrating one more seizure-free day, and counting down the days until no more shots. Through this we choose to be happy :)

    Hugs from PA

    PS Did Nella and Lainey’s matching blue and red dresses come from bella sol bebe by chance???

  69. Wow, that video is such a treat, thank you! So glad you had a wonderful time, there is so much cuteness in those pictures that if I started pointing them out I wouldn’t stop, so…cheers to you, love Lainey in the white!

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  71. WOW! Thanks so much for sharing your vacation video and photo montage with us! It’s so fun to ‘get to know you’ a bit better!
    LOVE you and Nella dancing on the side of the road! 😀

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. I love Key West and I think everyone should get to have a picture of their family at the Southernmost Point….I know I have a few!!! I’m with Poppa on holding the baby. I don’t think I could have put Nella down at ALL, no matter how much I was sweating or how cramped my arm became, I’d DEFINITELY be holding that precious baby!!!

    The last time we visited Key West the girls were amazed at the chickens. Who would have thought CHICKENS would be roaming free in Key West!!!

  74. Dang! Makes me wanna grab my husband and little ones and jump on a plane! : ) In the meantime, I’m looking for the good and sucking the marrow out of life! THANK YOU! Glad you had a nice little get-away!

  75. Your girls look like such little water babies!

    One of these days, I will get down to Key West. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Florida sixteen years and I’ve never been there. Bad Floridian!

  76. AAAAAAhhhhhhhhhh,just looked at the video SLOPPY JOES!!!!! How could I forget!!! Now I’m totally missing the Keys!!!

  77. Oh Kelle, thanks so much for the much-needed respite from our crazy NY life LOL. Hubby and I went to the Keys for our honeymoon 10 years ago (it was the ONLY place we wanted to go) and it beckons me/us every day. We stood at that same southernmost point in your picture, probably pet some of those cats, drank a beer at the local pub, visited the same shops, toasted on the docks at 6ish… HEAVEN!
    Nella and Lainey are spectacular! Beautiful! And Poppa can sure bust a move. Thanks for sharing.

  78. thanks for allowing me to come on vacation with you!! i need one! i have always wanted to go to key west- but now i live so far from florida, when i used to be just a state away..

    what a wonderful, generous giveaway. i only hope i could be so lucky as to win

  79. BEAUTIFUL! i love getaways! life is truely beautiful. =) we just need to open our eyes a bit wider everytime. =)

  80. One of my favorite post, I think! I’m glad y’all had a grand time!! Your family is crazy-beautiful!

  81. One of my favorite post, I think! I’m glad y’all had a grand time!! Your family is crazy-beautiful!

  82. Greta…

    First one is Michael Buble “Everything” and second one is Mika’s “Stuck in the Middle.” Might I suggest anything and everything by Mika as well…love his “Rain.”

  83. What a great trip!! thanks for sharing!

  84. It looks SO beautiful! I’ve never been to the Florida Keys – your pictures and video make me want to hop on a plane right now!

    Looks like a fabulous time was had by all – thank so much for sharing it with all of us! And loved the footage of you and Poppa bustin’ a move! :)

  85. yes! my first comment and I’ve been reading you for months! and MIKA’s Stuck in the middle was my sign! haha
    You are wonderful! Congrats on your family… you are trully an inspiration…Ü
    This is my sunshine every mornig …just sharing. Love and light to you and yours all the way from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. xx

  86. Shari H says:

    Looks like a great time was had by all. I just love the kissy face picture of Nella asleep and then the one with the smile!!! Lainey petting the cat is another one of my favorites!!!!!

  87. I truly hope my 2nd baby is as calm and chill as Nella….we went to Kauai last month, where there are more chickens than people, I swear! Loved it.

  88. Oh my freakin’ word!!!
    This/these are your best E V E R!!!
    love it! :)

  89. ok, Im weird. But I have often felt a “connection” to your dad, maybe because he has written on Ciarras blog or something, he just makes me wish I had a dad like that. So THANK YOU for the little peek into his life, too. It confirmed something I wondered about, and it was kind of cool to “see” into HIS world a bit, too. LOVE his properties, I did enter to win. I would love to win and force my man to take a much needed vacation. My mind is already going over “bring the kids or nooo…” lol How wonderful it would be to go there AND have a babysitter to watch the littlest so I could relax!! You need to throw in a babysitter for this contest, kelle!! LOL. Oh, and if I win, I would so want to meet you and your crew, and hug on baby girl for a bit. LOVE the pic of her smiling at you, all crinkled up and toothless. :) By the way, my Mom lives in palmetto, not far at ALL. Cool contest! Tell Poppa I enjoyed seeing his gary, his beautiful houses, and that I really hope to win and get to meet him, too!

  90. kelle-Im glad you had a great time in the keys. I love that you took pictures of the signs..isnt it amazing how “signs” appear when you need them the most. I smile and say yes I see that. Lainey is so stylish. Just curious is lainey short for delainey?

  91. Oh I didn’t realize Poppa had a vacation rental business. I hope he’s fareing ok, what with the oil spill. Keeping my fingers crossed that he hasn’t been hit too badly (and keeping the site bookmarked in case we’re ever able to head Florida way).

    “Look for Good and you will find it” – what a mantra. I saw a NY Magazine article ( about how parents are fundamentally less happy than childless people and it made me so sad. They quote an expert as saying ” ‘When you pause to think what children mean to you, of course they make you feel good. The problem is, 95 percent of the time, you’re not thinking about what they mean to you. You’re thinking that you have to take them to piano lessons.'” And I thought, then good god make the effort to spend 95% of your time thinking about what they mean to you and 5% about taking them to piano lessons. Because really, what’s more important here? And if parents looked for the good every single day, they would see the studies they quoted do a radical flip-flop. Parents would be the happiest people on earth.


    I hope this trip helped heal some broken bones after the bus accident on Tuesday. And if the trip didn’t, maybe the smile peeking over the carseat did.

  92. That was a wonderful video! I love the girls matching dresses and the picture of you raising your hand under the Sloppy sign! Mine’s up there too! and that gray cat had the GRUMPIEST face! I love it!

  93. mommy of two girls too says:

    Loved the video! Especially the dancin’ moves! Looks like you all had a nice time. Family vacations are always a fun time. Love the pics of Nella and Lainey,too! Hope you are nice and relaxed!
    Have a great weekend!


  94. i’m so happy you had a wonderful time!! the video was awesome, i also love the video… you and poppa’s dancing are hilarious! :o)

  95. Anonymous says:

    Just listening to Macy Gray’s Beauty in the World while soaking up the heat from our summer sun and can’t help but think of you (and dance) when listening to this song and wanted to tell you THANK YOU for your beauty and inspiring me to love life more deeply because LIFE IS SOOOOO GOOD!!! We need more Kelles to brighten this world of ours…THANK YOU KELLE!!!

    From Canada

  96. Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos with us!
    This sounds like it was a wonderful trip.

  97. Love love LOVE the video. What a great recap of your trip! Looked awesome!

    Chris makes dvd’s of our Florida trips each year and I love them more then the pictures I think. It’s just a neat story to watch. I would love to post them but they are all over 20 minutes long and I just don’t think someone would want to watch that long of me and my family! Ha!

    Love your posts, as usual. So fun to check every day.

  98. This is the best giveaway I’ve seen on ANY website. Wow… completely awesome.

    Also, cute post – loved the pictures!

  99. Dear Key-ed Up,
    Superb! I love this little peek into your vay-kay. Those little moments between a mama and her babies are SO sweet… i need to be sure I taking the chance to catch their eyes… Sure beats looking at dirty dishes!

    My Small Things Are Getting BIG in NE

  100. i love the picture with you and the girls (with the baby in the sling)!

  101. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Lainey needs a cat of her own!

  102. I love when I open up Blogger and you have posted! By far, your blog is my favorite.

    Where oh where can I find that Look for Good sign? I think I need two…one for my home and one for my classroom!

  103. Inspiring as always! Awesome giveaway, jaw-dropping photos of darling family vacation moments, and a video to boot! Lovin’ it!

  104. Your slideshow just made my night…. and kind of made me want to go wake my kids up to have some fun because today wasn’t all that much of a fun day around here 😉 Inspired for tomorrow….

  105. Awesomeness! Love, love, love the video and have to agree that the dancing was my favorite part!

    Thanks for making me smile!

  106. love love love seeing Nella blossom! I just LOVE your blog!

  107. Love it:) The video is priceless and I am dying to know what you use to make your slideshows. Animoto? Something cheaper or free er:) ?

  108. Lovely! Wish you would have posted the photo that reflected you in the sunglasses. Loved the slideshow! I need your diet secrets too! I would love it if you did a tab with the photos that mean the most to you, and why, because you have so many great ones that I always wonder how you could choose a favorite.

  109. Wow — that’s a generous gift! I’d love to go but only if I get to hang out with Poppa & Gary! :)
    Thanks for sharing your Key West video, photos, and words! Absolute perfection!

  110. Linda MG in Calif says:

    First, to the post from “Kristen’s Mom”- YES< the movie POLLYANNA, one of my faves too, and i also love the “Look for the good” in your blog today, Kelle! And to Amber (7/9, 3:36), oh that was really something what you wrote and about being happy and enjoying our kids! Oh, Kelle, thanks as always for sharing a little glimpse into the lives of you and your wonderful family. So glad you all seemed to have had a really fun vacation! Loved the video. You dancing with Nella. And Poppa always has the moves, huh? How generous of him to give you this vacation, AND to have to giveaway vacation! Thanks for taking me on a mini “virtual vacation”, as I think that is the only one I will be taking this summer. Ha..Love to you, Kelle, as always – and to all of your family.

  111. Anonymous says:

    I adore your blog. I have noticed lots of pictures of your little one in the bright sun… she is so precious… may I please suggest she wear a hat or be in the shade. Sun can be harmful to babies.

  112. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog and look for new posts often. you are an amazing photographer. Wish I lived in FL so you could photograph my babies..

    What type of sling are you holding Nella in, It looks comfy. I cant find a sling I like and my 3 month old likes..


  113. Anonymous says:

    Soooo good! You should make a vid every time! I really enjoyed watching that-loved all the chickens and cats too (how many were there?!)

    I love the pic in the vid montage where you are sitting on those wooden pilons looking at Nella with your hat on…very sweet. And you and Poppa dancing on the street-hilarious!

    Also I do have to agree wth the above poster…and maybe this is just an Aussie thing but do you put hats on your girls all the time in the summer? We have it drummed into us here in Aus (mostly because we have such a high rate of skin cancer coz of barely any ozone layer here anymore) and sometimes I see your fair haired girls and I wince for the feeling of that hot sun on their little heads! PLEASE don’t be offended, I love and adore you and your blog so much and I know that you are an advocate of sunscreen for your girls also as you have mentioned that before, just wanted to check in that you were aware of the dangers of little ones (and big ones too!!) in the summer sun these days.

    Anyway, sun safety advice aside, thank you soo much for brightening up my rainy windy Wintery Saturday morning here in Melbourne Australia!

    I’ll certainly be looking for the “good” today too :)

    Allison in Australia :)

  114. Super excited about the giveaway since I have family in Naples! Crossing my fingers 😀 Tell your dad thanks!

  115. Oh, and p.s. my mom LOVES Key West. She grew up in Florida and is always raving about moving to Key West someday :)

  116. This was a lovely post. Those pictures of Nella and Lainey in the sunlit car were so beautiful that they brought tears to my eyes. Thank you :)

  117. Anonymous says:

    Love this! And can just say that I have noticed that In prior posts your little ones seem to wear hats more than most little ones do. I have a fair haired little one and I have a dickens of a time getting her to keep them on, what is your secret?


  118. You always make my day with your posts – I was laughing so hard at you and Poppa dancing that I think my husband wondered what I was seeing. I showed him that part. :)

    And to Poppa – thanks for being such a great dad and grandfather. Happy belated father’s day to you!

  119. reading your blog tonight makes me want to go back to Key West. This was one of our family vacations when I was in high school and college and I have been back only once with my husband before our 2 girls were born. I loved seeing several very familiar sights!
    What an awesome giveaway! Super generous! Glad you had a great trip.

  120. Kelle, the picture of Nella in the carseat made me cry! I’m in love with her.

  121. Hey, I have those pictures! We visited Key West, where my dad lives on a sailboat, last summer.

    I have the picture of larger than life cruise ship at the same doc. I have the picture of the chickens with their babies. I have the pictures of Mallory Square. I think we might have had the same trip!

    In fact, there was a rescued sea turtle at the aquarium we named our daughter after – Lola.

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful blog as always!

  122. Your blog always puts me in such a peaceful and grateful frame of mind over the (Australian) weekend. You’re an inspiration, the kind of mum I hope to, one day, be. x

  123. Loved the video and the Mika music! That grumpy cat cracked me up! Glad you had such a good time! Love you guys!

  124. I’m sure it’s an Aussie thing… the sun here in Perth will burn you ten kinds of red in mid-winter (yep, seriously!) and I too sort of cringe when I see pics of Lainey in the sun. Then I remind myself that the your sun is surely much kinder than ours, and I know you have the sunscreen sorted, and I relax again. Just backing up the other sun paranoid Aussies! 😉

  125. i love to read your blog. i feel like we are kindred spirits. :) i check every day for a new post and it always makes it feel like i have someone out there that is going through the same things as me ! thank you for sharing!

  126. Kelle, you, poppa, nella, ALL of you are awesome!!!!! Nella is wonderful, she makes my heart sing, no other words. I am grateful, oh so grateful, that you share her….

  127. Hi Kelle,
    Please mention in your blog the name of the font you used at the end of the Key West video. I love it!

  128. Oh Kelle, now I see why my momma loves Key West!! She’s there this weekend on vacation. She a park ranger at the national park Dry Tortugus. She ferriesback and forth on her days off. So amazing to see pictures that go quite well with her stories!!!

  129. Oh I ‘could’ see The Divine in your photo-story Kelle ~ you’ve a beautiful family and I love how you love to show it!!! xx

    God Bless,

  130. O my goodness…. made me laugh with pure joy when I watched poppa dance and then you….

    So the proof that you are the real deal and are not “ignoring” the DS and just trying to play the part…. In the video when you are a dancing fool and that car pulls up and you do not even look, you just keep on grooving… Sorry all you anonymous haters… the proof is in the video, Kelle loves life and does not care if you are on board or not… she thinks LIFE IS GOOD!!!

    Thank you.. you really are the real deal!!!

  131. What a fun vacation! And what an awesome giveaway!!!!

  132. Super cute pics. Someday, when I get to Florida, I will definitely check out Key West. Roaming chickens and cats are just the way I like a town…


  133. So glad you guys had an amazing time in Key West.

    Loved the pictures as always!


  134. Nella crashed in the beach towel & Lainey trying to figure out what the heck the guy on the tight rope was doing TOTALLY made my night! :o)

    And “Look for the Good”- how absolutely perfect!

  135. Amazing vacation pictures. I love Lainey with the cat, the car pictures, and the pic of you holding your girls…& Nella smiling… make me want to carry your adorable family around in my pocket. Warm fuzzy sunshine in my pocket.

  136. says:

    wow this post took my breath away. poppa is the best and the video was awesome. sweet nella continues to make my heart smile. your family is beautiful.

  137. Anonymous says:

    Vacation pictures are the best! I just love your family, almost as much as my own!

  138. Wandered over here via another blog – and so excited to see photos and clips from Key West! I lived there for three years, and my daughter was born in The Conch Republic. Glad your trip was such a good one. Thanks for sharing and making my day a little brighter.

  139. You and your Poppa are SO generous to give someone such an incredible gift! I never win anything, but it doesn’t hurt to try! A getaway with my hubby and kids would be an incredible time and make fun memories. I am going for it!

    The video is great – LOVED it!

    -Jenny in Iowa

  140. I just love your blog, your photos, your outlook on life. You are truly living….always looking for the good. You inspire me in so many ways and show me how to look at the wonderful little things all around me that I never saw before. Thank you for being you and for sharing who you are with me.

  141. It looks like you had a great holiday! The photos of Nella in her car seat are just the cutest! x

  142. Aren’t photo slide shows with music just amazing! they seem exert even more powerful emotions when you tie a song or 2 with them. I love it! I plan to do that with my next birth, can’t wait! Love the short video clips, wish i could hear your voices, that too brings on so much more realism to this virtual family i’ve come to know through reading your blog for so long. (hint hint). Love lanie with the camera, she’s going to be so artistic, how could she not. glad you all had a great family vacay!

  143. Kelle!

    Nella is growing so beautifully and sweet Lainey too! How wonderful for them to have two big brothers!

    I would love to meet your family some day.

    Great post….xo Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  144. We lived in Key West for two years, and up until about two years ago my husband was the resort manager of the place you stayed at! Now he runs the Vacation Club here in Estero. He was very proud to see the resort on your video! And thanks for making me feel nostaligic about my time living in Key West–at the time I had two toddlers and no Target and it was a pretty rough existence! HA!

  145. I loved you video. You and poppa got some rockin’ dance moves. It looked like you guys had a great time. Nella hanging out in the hot tub and Lainey with the kitty were my two favs.

  146. Anonymous says:

    I just love Key West. Beautiful pics and I am just in love with little Nella. She is amazing.

  147. Thanks for the video – I feel like I just went on a little vacay in my pajamas!

  148. Love, love, love your blog! Reminds me to celebrated the goodness on a daily basis.

  149. ,,,my favorite, poppa feeding nella the pickle,,,love it!,,,

  150. Anonymous says:

    So sweet!

    What kind of sling do you use for Nella? I’m in the market.


  151. Kelle…we are so very bonded! First off, the FLorida Keys is one of my top three places I MUST visit! Living in California that seems a bit decadent but I will get there. Thanks for re-igniting that dream.

    Secondly, Life is Good is one of our family favorites. We all have a shirt from them. Our Patrick, who has DS, also had to contend with leukemia and part of what got us through that awful time was thinking of ways to celebrate the end. Part of the celebration included giving every single person who hand a hand in Patrick’s care (about a dozen or so people) a special shirt from Life is Good. Our favorite doc got the one that says “Half Full” since that is simply how you must think if you are a pediatric oncology doctor.

    Our good/amazing/miraculous news: August 2nd,2010 will be our five year anniversary of ending all treatment — a HUGE milestone! So blessed to say sweet Patrick is thriving.

    So, yes, Life is indeed very Good! High fives for a beautiful post! Your soul sister in CA ~Beth

  152. Kelle, I wish that I found your blog sooner. I am trying to catch up on reading from the beginning! You are a wonderful person and your spirit and energy inspire me. Your girls are precious!! Thank you for sharing your world with us!!! :)

  153. This post makes me want to book a one-way ticket down to Key West for my family and I! I need a place like this right now! I absolutely love you photos!

  154. What a gorgeous video. Those pics of Nella in the car about stopped my heart! So precious.

    Glad you had a wonderful trip.

  155. lightkeepersdaughter says:

    Every day I check for a new post – and if there isn’t a new one – well, that’s OK – I’ll re-enjoy (is ‘re-enjoy’ a word?!)your most recent one – being inspired again again by the gorgeous pictures and words of wisdom – or – I click on links to “older” posts. I love that you provide those links – by the way – I feel like I’m “catching up” on your life – reading posts from “before-I-met-you”! :)

    I don’t leave a comment very often – because I tell myself that when I have something profound to say, I’ll leave a comment then, for sure!

    Today – a little revelation came to me! “hey, this is Kelle’s blog – not mine – I don’t have to be profound – that’s Kelle’s job!” So that frees me up to just say what I like – and forget all about profundity! :)

    I love your blog…….I love the pictures, the fun, the laughter, the joy – the sometimes-seriousness, and most especially the joie de vivre that just jumps off every inch of the life you share with us.

    Your family is an amazing one – and I’m grateful that each one of them (and you!) allows themselves to be shared with your friends here in Blogland!

    Your pictures where the ocean is involved – make me teary-eyed, as I am reminded of my own years growing up as the daughter of a lighthouse keeper – on a small island, in an isolated spot on Canada’s West Coast – approx. 300 miles from civilization…..cuz, well – you know what they say – “you can take the girl out of the salt-chuck – but, you can’t….” Is the ocean called ‘salt chuck’ anywhere other than where I grew up? Ocean is for cruise ships – I grew up on the salt-chuck!

    I absolutely loved your video – you’re so amazingly talented! And little Miss Lainey, stylin’ and profilin’ her red-framed sun glasses……too stinkin’ adorable! Those pictures of Nella – sleeping, in the car seat, with her little pursed lips – and then, catching your eye – and rewarding you with the sweetest grin ever – just melt my heart…

    I could go on and on – but, I have to leave some space for others! Now that I’m freed of the weight of being profound (!), I’ll make sure to post more often. I will at least try to ensure that my spelling and grammar are correct! :)

    Thanks for being you……Rosemary

    P.S. I noticed another “Rosemary” poster on your blog. There aren’t alot of us in this world…… I’m the one that posts as ‘lightkeepersdaughter’!

  156. Karen11010…the font is called Suzy’s Hand.
    Hope that helps!

  157. KWQR…do something fun this weekend. So sorry about your loss. It is a real, deep pain…I know. Best wishes to you on your journey!

  158. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, thank you for adding that special needs tab to your blog. It is so beautifully written. You are so gracious to explain yourself so beautifully. You shouldn’t have to, but you are gracious and loving to the extreme to do so for your readers and parents of special needs children. It is a wonderful addition to this space. Thank you!!

  159. A BEAUTIFUL post and an amazing video! Poppa is the best! C:

    Kate, sorry about your loss. Sending prayers your way…

    Love and Peace~

    …Listen with your hearts
    for we are one global heart.
    Become the beauty, peace, love and harmony
    that you so long for in others.
    Remember that it is in the silence of the mind,
    the roaring of the wind,
    the incessant rhythm of the waters
    and the song of the birds
    that we are reminded that
    life is perfect.
    You are perfect.

    Move into your authentic selves.
    Shine the radiance of pure love upon all those whom you meet
    for there are infinite possibilities in the grand mystery
    we call life.
    Reach out for the calling.
    Become the human being you have always been
    and give your soul permission to soar.
    For this life as it is given to us
    is the most precious gift of all.

    Move into the consciousness of caring for the sacred.

    -Barbara Altemus

  160. I love Key West – the vivid colors, the laid back vibe, and mostly the attitude. Since having children (a 2.5 yr old and a 7 month old) I had perhaps mistakingly written it off as a vacation destination. You’ve inspired me to put it back on the list!

    I’ve been an eager follower of your blog for a couple of months now, but this is my first comment. Your photographs are stunning, your writing is always smart, and your children are beautiful. I was a blogger and “documenter” of my kids’ lives before I found your blog, but you have inspired me to step it up a notch. Thank you!

  161. Anonymous says:

    Agree with the previous commenter–you’ve made me a better blogger and a better person!!

  162. Looove the ones of Nella in the carseat! What a little love! And that video! Oh my gawd awesome! Makes me wanna hop in my car for a vaca stat!

  163. Thanks so much for your good thoughts… just spent the day with my boys on a beautiful hike & picnic. Lots of love & a little sunshine are the best medicine. And life goes on…

  164. This comment has been removed by the author.

  165. loved the video! so glad you were able to have a big family vacation!

    i love nella’s smiles oh and lainey eating ice cream and sticky donuts in white shirts, now THATS living!

    :) you are brave my friend, well either that or lainey is really neat. course i’m used to jonah the barbarian eater. ha!

    thanks for the post!


  166. Anonymous says:

    love the special needs section. well-said and so true. bravo!
    and enjoy today.

  167. Catie's Mom says:


    I have not checked in on your blog for a while (been crazy busy) but what a joy it was to come back and see how well you are settling in with everything. Your girls are simply stunning and Nella puts me SO much in mind of my Catie Rose when she was that age. Hang on to it mama, next thing you know they are turning 5 and starting kindergarten in the fall. I can’t believe it’s here already. I read your words and I realize how far I have come from the minute of the diagnosis. Now? It’s like “Down syndrome, shmown syndrome, can someone get this kid to stop running all over creation for 5 minutes and eat her lunch!!!!” You will get there too and I can’t wait to re-live those moments through your blog. Be well Ms. Kelle and meanwhile, I will be looking for the ‘good” as you say to!

  168. Kelle!! I just adore your blog and your family!! The video/picture slideshow was quite the treat, thanks for that!! I love the video of you and your dad dancing, smiling and truly sucking the marrow out of life! You inspire me to suck harder!! You make a difference in my life and we’ve never met! Thanks for all you do!!
    <3 Shannon, Nashua NH

  169. Oh! So jealous that you and your beautiful family were in my happy place! I was just there in june to celebrate my 37th birthday, and my spirit is already crying “Take me back!” I hope y’all had a wonderful time in that wonderful, wonderful place! Life IS good!

  170. My daughter has asked to watch the “lainey video” a hundred times now.

  171. I just love your blog. I have shared many links to it on my fb. I love how you just love life. So many moms would just curl up in a corner and wither away. Nella and Lainey are so blessed to have you as their mom. Keep it up, especially the pics of Nella’s smiles. Seriously, who goes not love that!?!

  172. labor day giveaway!!!

    Oh, I could make it happen if I won! :) I was in FL last September and wanted to go to Key West, but it didn’t happen…

  173. Kelle, after being away for a week I’m so enjoying catching up on your blog. And especially thrilled that there is so much Poppa this week!

    I just hit the second trimester of my current pregnancy and am feeling so blessed to be the momma of a two year old fairy princess and feel the joy of pregnancy again. Your blog always helps me to put my worries about money, pregnancy, children, etc into perspective.

    Poppa – a few months ago I mentioned that my brother was deployed to Afghanistan and you were kind enough to say a prayer for him. He leaves on a flight at 11pm tonight to go back after a two week leave. This time he’ll be gone for nearly 5 months and is so much more worried after all he saw and experienced the first time. Would it be too much to ask for another prayer?

    Sorry for the long post but it’s been a week and I’m happy to be back online and see all that you’ve been up to and share how you and your family have impacted me and mine.

    God bless!

  174. I have to admit that I am a new stalker…I mean… follower! 😉 I can’t get enough of your pictures and you have a way with words, Kelle! For the first time ever, I entered a giveaway on a blog because I am secretly hoping it will mean I can drive by and get a sneak peek at the beauty that is “isle of capri” that I dream about daily because of this blog!

  175. Erin Mulholland says:

    It makes me so happy to hear that the music you set your “weekend in review” to was Mr. Michael Buble. He is from my home town of Burnaby, British Columbia Canada and I am a groupie of sorts! Your taste in music inspires me and I love that I can read your words, look at the beautiful pictures and also listen to your music :)

  176. I anxiously await your next post! I Love Love Love reading your positive outlook on life! Not to mention the love I feel through the lens of you camera! I strive to ” look for the good”!!

  177. hi, kelle! i’m always reading in my reader, but have an extra minute to comment [because our 5 little ones are asleep!]

    thank you for speaking up for postive parenting, loving life and how we CAN be a woman/mom/wife/friend all in one. and one that LOVES life at that!

    and nella’s smile? gets me everytime. i love her. =)

  178. While they are all beautiful pics, the three of Nella in the car are absolutely breathtaking!! Love them! So glad you had a wonderful mini-vacation! Key West is great!!!

  179. looks like a fabulous vacation..and no i am not included in your giveaway as i live overseas 😀

    and that photo of nella grinning at you..priceless… :)

  180. Another beautiful post Kelle, the girls are so adorable and that photo of Nella smiling literally made my heart melt.

  181. World Cup Final-Italy vs. Holland! Go Holland!!!!
    My son was diagnosed with DS at birth, three weeks before Nella was born. I too was given many, many, many copies of that Holland story. It is a beautiful story about a family who expected to go to Italy and landed in Holland!
    Enjy the World Cup final today!!!

  182. Wooops, my husband just informed me that it is SPAIN vs. Holland today in the world cup finals! (not Italy) I still say Go Holland!!! But I think both Italy and Spain look very beautiful and I would be happy to visit all three places (Holland, Italy and Spain)!!Well, enjoy the world cup finals, soccer is fun to watch-great athletes.
    Love, Kimmy

  183. Love the video and Key West AND the Gulf Coast!
    My husband and I had our babymoon last September on the gulf coast and would love to return with our little in tow!
    I already pegged out a labor day
    5k if we win. You and your family should join us!
    “labor day giveaway.” woot, woot!

  184. My now husband and I love Key West! We went there on our 7 year dating anniversary and he proposed there on a beautiful Sunday morning!

    Thanks for sharing these pictures!

  185. how FABULOUS are you?!?!? these photos are great (im always wondering who is taking the pics with YOU in them????)

  186. how FABULOUS are you?!?!? these photos are great (im always wondering who is taking the pics with YOU in them????)

  187. Your life is so beautiful! I am so grateful to have found your blog and be able to catch a glimpse into such a wonderful family!

  188. Love your eloquence, Kelle. Love Key West. Love your blog.


  189. Hello!

    I do not know if I have commented here before or not, but I just have to tell you that you blog makes my day! I love your attitude towards life, and I LOVE your photography! You really do have an eye and you catch all the small yet inmeasurable joys in life! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  190. How the heck can you wear a hat in the middle of summer in FLORIDA!!! And keep your hair looking so good! Must be magic!

    From the looks of it, you guys had a blast! And your father could not be any cuter! That is really generous of him to offer such a grand giveaway. I can see where you get your awesome factor from.

  191. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kelle, when I saw Poppa dancing… and then you… my first thought was, you truly are your father’s daughter! Lol! I LOVE the music on the slide-show, and my husband will be very pleased he picked the first song was Michael Buble!
    Donna from New Zealand

  192. Kelle~ That was an awesome post! I LOVE the video! Too cute! Someone else commented too about the truck behind you when you were dancing…I wonder, too, what they were thinking! :) But who cares right? Life is short!
    I have to tell you on my bucket list is “eat a key lime pie in Key West.” No joke! By Labor Day weekend, I’m sure I’m going to need to get away with my sis after the difficulties that lie ahead. Thanks for making me smile!

  193. Loved the video. . .love your life!

  194. Look for good…so, so true. Love the video! You guys are nuts and it’s so fun to watch what you come up with. Would love a trip to Key West. Thanks to you and Poppa for the chance.

  195. Oh I sooooooooooooo wish I could enter the giveaway!!! I’m too far :( FL is one of the few states left that I haven’t been to. Soon…
    How sweet Poppa is for doing it!

  196. Oh that sweet smile. Just precious. You look a little like a super model with that kerchief around your head. What a fun get-away:)

  197. Marsha Colbert says:

    Ahhh… I love this post! It brought me right back to one of my favorite places… Key West. The video was awesome! The dancing in the street was my favorite part.(both you and Pappa!!) I love you and your family and I’m so glad you enjoyed this trip together. :)

  198. love the light-hearted post! so happy you had a good time!!

    ps – heading over to enter poppa’s giveaway! how cool would that be if i won? okay, it’d rock!! (does anyone say that anymore? who cares, i do!!)

    oh, i almost forgot … did i mention that a kelle photo shoot would be awesome, too? b/c if i was headed down, that would be on my list :)

    goodnight, sweet friend …

  199. The picture of Nella smiling at your from her carseat is absolutely precious! Love it!

  200. On Friday afternoon I was perusing facebook and noticed a friend had recommended your blog to a mutual friend that is a photographer. She told her to read the “if you’re new here tab”. I wandered into your blog, read Nella’s birth story and bawled my eyes out. My husband looked over at me like I was a blubbering fool (I was) and asked what I was reading. “A blog”… “Whose?”… “A lady I don’t know”. Needless to say he probably still thinks that I’m a fool.
    So I went to your first post in December of 2007 and by midnight I had read everyone up until August 2009. Saturday I was inspired to do more with my kids, so we had a picnic by the river and at night I took a walk/hike with my oldest daughter at dusk. Since I actually invested some time in doing more fun things, I only got to April of 2009 on Saturday. Sundays are busy with morning church and evening church, and family time in between. So a little before midnight I just got to the last post.
    I LOVE your photos!! I scrapbook (the non-digital cheesy way) and you’ve inspired me to get more detail shots and unexpected angles and such. Gorgeous.
    I LOVE your love for life and family. I obviously love my kids, and they know that, but I need to do a much better job of finding something fun and thrilling to do with all of them and each of them. (I have 4).
    We are so different… I’m not into fashion (think it’s cute, but don’t actually invest in it). I’m a go to church 3 times a week person. I’d NEVER want a family bed. :)
    But at the same time there a lot of similarities… I lived in Ohio most of my life (to anyone not from Ohio or Michigan they’d think they were probably similar… they don’t know the football rivalry that makes that a horrible thought) and am now in New York away from both sets of grandparents. I’m a stay at home mom. I have a girl born in January and a girl born in May. I love my kids. I love chronicling their lives in words and pictures. I have an extra-special blessing, too… our 11-year-old son is autistic and we’re seeing signs that our almost 2-year-old boy may be, too.
    I just want you to know that reading your blog has changed my life… nothing to do with the DS… just your love for every little blessing and how much time you spend making your children feel loved. And prayerfully, the lives of my kids are changed now too, for the better.
    I can’t wait to see what happens next. I feel like I know you all ( you must get that a lot). It’s going to be worse than a cliffhanger tv show at the end of a season, because I want to see Nella graduating from high school and Lainey getting married, and Brett loving on grandbabies NOW and I’ll have wait YEARS AND YEARS for it!
    Thanks for sharing and making all your readers better for it!!

  201. Great job, Kelle. Loved the vacation montage, but love the new Special Needs tab even more. I just love the way you express yourself…it makes me smile. :)

  202. Anonymous says:

    the hula hoop on the one way sign looks like male and female parts – and in key west, well it could very well be!

  203. Thanks for the beautiful pics and such inspiring thoughts! Your “life is beautiful” philosophy is contagious!

  204. Hey, Kelle – thanks for the insider’s look at your wonderful weekend! Talk about living vicariously;-)……
    I SO registered for the weekend. I checked out Rik`s webisite – love the photos of him & Gary. What a handsome couple – it`s wonderful to see people who have found happiness together!

  205. You are so right, Kelle. ANY Mika song is fabulous!! I love Mika. He is just so real. I was just listening to an Ani Difranco song and it made me think of you. I have been thinking about you a lot this week and what/how you must be thinking/feeling after the crazy blog war of 2010. :)

    I know you will keep your head high and come out better for it but, I also know that eveyone has feelings that are sure to be hurt by nastiness.

    Anyway, I was listening to some Ani and had to stop by to tell you that it reminded me of you.

    The song is Joyful Girl on her 1996 album Dilate. If you have not heard it you should check it out. It should be your theme song. 😉

    Love and Happiness,
    Lo Mc

  206. Looks like an amazing family vacation! :) As always…love all the beautiful pictures! :)

  207. Nella’s smile… gah! melts me every time!! 😀

  208. Nella’s smile… gah! melts me every time!! 😀

  209. Nella’s smile… gah! melts me every time!! 😀

  210. i’m sure you hear this so much that i hesitated to even comment.. but HAD to! =) you are a beautiful soul and truly an inspiration~ thanks for sharing so much of your heart here. such an inspiration.

    blessings to you and sweet family.


  211. ^ ugg. typos. :/ still.. you get the point. ha 😉

  212. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, YOU are the good. You have helped me so much.

  213. Missy, I’ll be thinking of your brother and all those with them, I am so in awe of their bravery that words fail me on it, but please wish them godspeed and tell them that they are so often in my mind, I am here in the UK but I mean all our troops. Hearing about your brother’s fear on returning is so heartbreaking, I pray he will go safely and be back with you soon. Thank him, more than we can say xx

  214. Wow, just beautiful! Your family is lovely. And, so nice to see another happy woman who was raised by a gay father! Yes! :-)

  215. Maldives vacations. This is the 1st step for your Maldives Holidays. With over 100 Maldives resorts suited for perfect Maldives Vacations for any holidays.
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  216. You have an awesome blog! I found it through another blog 3 months ago and love your poetic writing style, pictures and how you enjoy life to the fullest!LOVED the video!!! How did you do that? You mixed pictures with video. Did you use some special software?

  217. The video was awesome, you make looking at vacation pictures enjoyable! :)

    You make me excited to be a momma…one day…

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