Wild and Precious Life

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver

I sit here rubbing my tired eyes, moving aside the half-filled coffee cups on my desk to make room for my elbows. Sophie’s curled up and snoring beneath my chair and I can hear Captain Sig in the background whooping over a crab-stuffed pot (445 to be exact) from the Deadliest Catch rerun Brett is watching. And I’m attempting to arrange some sort of orderly thought structure on what it is I want to drop into the void here tonight, but there’s so much.

I could write about how Lainey found a dusty pacifier hidden in a pile of junk under the bed tonight before bed, and how after she cried and begged, I came this freaking close to giving it to her. I could write about how Nella had a blood draw yesterday and that, after an hour of three different nurses probing needles into her searching for a vein and my poor bunny’s gasps and cries, I was this freaking close to scooping her up and running like hell.

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But I faithfully come back to this wild and precious life thing.

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Because I am in the habit of asking myself what it is I want to do with this wild and precious life now every day. And sometimes the answer is as simple as making brownies and finishing a load of laundry. Or perhaps a very unpoetic go to Costco and peel the dried gum out of the car seat. But then again, the unpoetic answers are always balanced with the more beautiful ones.

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I plan to have elaborate tea parties with my girl.

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With real sugar. And real cups. The good ones. Tipped back with a proper pinky-out, of course.

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I plan to drag pails and soap and hoses out to the yard so my girl can wash a little dog in the afternoon sun.

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And when the little dog jumps ship, runs and feriously shakes sprays of sudsy water, I will laugh with my girl…because this is very, very funny indeed.

I plan to meet up with friends at the pool and take turns zooming through water slide tunnels, screaming and laughing all the while.

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I plan to stop fretting about sunscreen reapplications and how hot it is and who’s missing a nap and instead sit back and enjoy the moment…

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I plan to laugh at the sight of my girl walking with her friend and her friend’s sweet cheeks.

I plan to head to the beach after the afternoon storm to watch my girls sink their pink toes into the white sands of our little heaven.

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I’ve spent many a days in church over my life. I know and respect many faiths. I’ve listened to people declare their beliefs, defend their beliefs, question their beliefs. And I’ve declared my own beliefs, defended my own beliefs, questioned my own beliefs. And over the years, my faith has ripened to something bigger. And my blog is not the place for its logistics. Except to say that if I had to sum up what I believe about God and faith and all of it, it might be in those very words…what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Because these moments?

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These moments make me feel closer to God than any church ever could. These moments make me feel like, for all the times I’ve tried to figure it out…for all the years I wanted to know what it was really all about and what’s right and what’s not, I got it now.

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We are all different. And we all have different beliefs and ways of life, but I feel the more I open myself up to learn from others, to drink in moments like this, to love my kids, to watch a sunset, to be grateful for all of it, to do something with my one wild and precious life…the more I know God.

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It’s going to the beach, the woods, the park, the mountains, the store, the classroom, the office, a friend’s house, your parents’ house, your child’s house, your own house…searching for the marrow of life, and sucking the bejesus out of it. It’s the moment you held your arms out to welcome these flailing, crying tiny little creatures that fit deep into your grasp but even deeper into your heart. It’s loving your kids with every fiber of your being.

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It’s in accepting that we are unfinished projects and in loving the finishing challenges that lie ahead. It’s in happiness.

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And that’s it.

And while I didn’t intend this post to go the inspirational route, let me close by saying I didn’t really come this-freaking-close to giving Lainey that dusty pacifier. I let her have it. The fairies will do another swipe-through tomorrow.

…and thanks to Dig for introducing me to that Mary Oliver poem so long ago. xoxo

Comments

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  1. The fairies will do a fine job of getting rid of it again tomorrow. :)

    Beautiful pictures and thanks for sharing about your Faith!

  2. 1. Love your daughter’s friend’s red swim suit. So funny!

    2. Love what you saved to admit at the end of this post.

    3. Thanks for the inspiration tonight!

  3. Love this post. Beautiful pictures :)

  4. laurieg says:

    Kelle, this entry was so full of emotion that it made me tear up a bit. It’s amazing how someone’s words and photos can have that affect on Someone thousands of miles away.
    Loving that downward shot on Lainey by the ocean and the one of Nella bean with the white flower headband.
    Thanks for sharing and making me feel like I’m right there with you guys.

    p.s. Your closing confession made me laugh out loud. There’s always tomorrow.

  5. Twas beautiful and inspiring as usual :) Your Lainey and Nellabean are such beautiful little souls!

  6. You are amazing! Amazing mama,photographer, writer! You should be so proud. I love love love your blog and talk about you all the time over at mine. Also, people talk about you on facebook all the time and how your such an inspiration to us all to be better people.

    I love Nellas little leggings infact I think you made them from the knee high socks at target. I made them for my little baby too.

    and that little girls bum in that suit was soo funny.

    I look forward to your posts! Have a great night!! :)

    http://www.shawntaehemsley.blogspot.com

  7. By the way, my son had his “gotti-gotti” until he was 3 1/2 and he turned out just fine!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love when I’m all snuggled in bed and find a new blog entry. Nella is such a beautiful baby!

  9. My daughter is just a week older than Lainey. We did a “soo” (soother) cleanse in June. Then her Daddy went away for four days and I caved and gave her one back. Guess what? She still has it now. One day soon I will get the strength to take it away again.
    Great post. You have a powerful way with words.

  10. Oh Kelle… I put that quote in a comment here a little while back… it means so very much to me. To see you explore it & hold up those words today makes my eyes leak in the best way. It is one of my very favorite quotes ever & such a beautiful reminder to keep our eyes wide open & breathe each moment in fully.
    Just the reminder I needed to hear tonight. This beautiful life!
    xo
    kate

  11. Amen to your whole beautiful post!

  12. Ahh, thank you. Did you seriously just hear me and the hubby having a discussion about faith like 30 minutes ago?? so weird!! Anyhow, I needed this, so again, thank you. Your posts always seem to come through at the perfect times :)

    Sleep tight!!

  13. absolutely gorgeous.

  14. Ahh, thank you. Did you seriously just hear me and the hubby having a discussion about faith like 30 minutes ago?? so weird!! Anyhow, I needed this, so again, thank you. Your posts always seem to come through at the perfect times :)

    Sleep tight!!

  15. Love checking your blog in the eves, only to find a brand new post. Precious photos. Love the one of Lainey on the beach with the huge cloud overhead. Just perfect.

    Aaaahhhh…the soother battle. hahaha. We have also done some caving with that one. Life’s too short to worry too much about it…! 😉

  16. we are so on the same wave length tonight. because it is tremendous and wild and precious. all of it. glad to see diggy’s poem. glad to claim mary oliver at the center of some of the larger moments of my life. a through line, if you will.

    perhaps we’ll meet sometime soon!

    love all of it.

  17. Amen, sister! You know, I spend far less time praying since becoming a mother, but I whisper a whole lot more thank yous. Motherhood connects you to life in a way that nothing else ever could. You live the connectivity every moment, whether joyous or painful.
    And I’m sorry the blood draw was so horrible.

  18. Such a beautiful post. I am totally loving your beach pictures. Wish I lived close to a beach!

    Nella is getting more and more beautiful every day!

  19. Linda MG in Soquel, CA says:

    Oh my goodness, that “quote”? I have had it posted on my mirror for a long time! Love it! So glad to see a new blog entry here. You said you didnt intend for this to take inspirational route, but I am so glad you did. I so understand and agree with you. And, I have felt that when I have looked into my kids’ faces, their eyes, and now those of my grandchildren – that is when I see the face of God. Bless you, Kelle, for all the positive and light, & beauty that your bring to us.

  20. I was eagerly awaiting a post from you so I’m so glad I checked one more time before going to bed. This post was perfect … love that it took an inspirational route! I for one always need your beautiful reminders on how I know I should be living my life.

    Your pictures are amazing! My favs this post were the ones of your girls and their friends. The picture of Nella and her friend is heartwarming and beautiful and the one of Lainey and her friend is absolutely priceless. I hope they laugh over this in 10, 15 or 20 years :) I think these pictures resonated so much with me today because I’m in my 30’s and I’m BEST FRIENDS with a friend I’ve had since I was a baby. We laugh so hard at pictures our parents have from our childhood. This has reminded me to take more pictures of my little girls and their friends.

    You are an amazing person Kelle … your girls are so very lucky to have you for their momma :)

  21. Kelle…first off, I’m in the thick of saying good-bye to a binkie with my precious little that I so know where you are right now…and feel better because my sweet is 4! Anyway, you used one of my favorite quotes , thanks for the reminder.

    Oh, and I do know about blood draws so I want to point you in the direction of Emla cream. You put it on your sweet pea and 10-15 minutes later that spot is numb. No pain and a whole lot easier to take blood. It needs a prescription but I’m pretty sure your adorable pediatrician will hand it to you happily. Best of luck! Sorry about that excruciating experience, I know that pain as well. {{{{HUGS!}}}}

    Thanks for the beach pics, I’m craving the beach badly! ~Beth

  22. Whooops, I forgot to mention that your post reminded me of a children’s book that I’ve had my students present in the past. It is called “What is God?” by Etan Boritzer. It is about the connectivity of being human and it is beautiful for little people.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Wow! You are absolutely amazing. You truly inspire me with each and every single post you write. You make me want to be a better mom and person in general. You make me sit back and relax, to suck in every precious second of life. You rock.

    Oh, and YAY for giving Lainey her pacifier.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, could you tell me the exact name of that poem by Mary Oliver? So I can see if I can find that specific poem? Thanks so much!!

  25. Well said… The pic of Lainey and her Dad facing away from you is priceless. I have taken similar pics of my kids through out the years from the same angle and I feel the same about them… Have a great weekend from a friend in California.

  26. I’ve come here every day since I found you in December for a reminder to suck that ol’ marrow … thank you for sharing your thoughts, your family, your exuberance, your love, and your family with us.

    Loved today’s thoughts, but the one thing that made me want to comment for the first time was Nella and her sticks. I have many advanced degree nurses in my family and I am in nursing school. I’ve always been told that if a nurse doesn’t get the stick on the first or MAYBE second try, don’t let them try again. Ask for someone else. Being able to find veins that aren’t obvious is a real gift … it is too hard on Nella and ridiculously hard on you to have to watch as they dig and dig and dig.

    My brother is a nurse anesthesist and he is routinely called to different areas of the hospital because he is known to have the ability to ALWAYS find a vein. He says himself that if he couldn’t find it on the first stick then he would pass it off to someone else. Don’t go through that again!!!

    Once again … thank you! In sharing your days, you just don’t know how much motivation you give others to grab life by the horns and live!!!

  27. the poem is called “the summer day”

  28. Once again a wonderful post and gorgeous photos, though the ones of the dog washing make me miss our poodle so much.

  29. One day at a time! Maybe those fairies left it there for her 😉 Love your photos…and I leave your site up on my mac…the playlist is amazing! So thanks for inspiring me to start taking photos with the Olympus E420 I got “handed down” from my bf (he just got a Nikon D700) and for providing me with a good soundtrack every day!

  30. I love that quote! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

  31. Thanks for being real. You put into words what I am unable to. Thank you.

  32. OH! At first I am thinking,WOW you didn’t give her the pacifier? Then at the end, I let out my breath! Sweet Lainey, those fairies will get another package tomorrow. No worries!

    I am an advanced practice pediatric nurse and we try our hardest…but we are not always successful and needle sticks are never fun for us but necessary. Don’t let them try to many times and don’t be afraid to ask for someone else to try but thank you for not yelling at us!

    Beautiful post, I agree..we all have our own version of our God and you pretty much hit the nail on the head here!

    good night from MN!

  33. So breathtaking – I shouldn’t have read right before bed because now I want to get up and be active and do something to suck more marrow! :)

  34. Well Miss Kelle- thanks for another breath of fresh air. Sometimes I think you and I could sit down and have a really great gab about children and beauty and embracing joy and life and flushing all the other stuff.

    Your comment about blood draws hit home though- we have so been there- so many times in our girls 2.5 years. You know what- they suck and they suck more when she is brave and tough and tries not to cry. My brain tells me they have to be done- that they are part of a simple solution to what would otherwise be a huge problem but…yes on the scooping and the running.

    However, we turn joy and life and I too feel like it’s those amazing moments, those joyful times that have made me feel closer to God.
    So thanks- and thanks for showing me, us all really that there are other moms out there that embrace the joy, soak it in, leave the house and the laundry for another day when the kids are grown.
    Thank you for you, and your beautiful family and your joyful world.

  35. I’ve always thought along the same lines. No matter where I draw the line on God, it’s always those moments when the beauty of life surrounds me that I feel close to God. Closer than the four walls of any church could ever make me feel. It’s when life takes my breath away that I can feel the God who gave me breath.

    Beautiful post.

    Jaime
    http://georgia365.blogspot.com/

  36. I think one of the biggest “lessons” I’ve learned in life thus far has to be that God is not confined in a church building, nor is that the only place to find Him. Something swept over my soul reading this post, and it makes me realize that I feel His presence most through the heart and souls of others…and of course through His heart and soul- His creation.
    Your words and images inspire me, for sure…and for that I am thankful. Because, who you are, is who I have tucked inside of me…but most of the time is too “busy” or tired to show up. I look forward to motherhood some day in the not-too-distant future; there’s just something about the innocence and wonder of a child to evoke the same from us adults.

  37. your posts take my breath away. we could so be BFFs if we lived 3000 miles closer. 😉 i am so glad that you gave her the pacifier. i would have done the very same thing myself (and in fact when you were saying that you gave them away to the fairies in your last post, my heart kinda sunk a little)…

    love your words and your amazing photos…as always!!!

    <3

    -erika

    theurthmama.com

  38. haha, the end just cracked me up. i think most mommies would’ve done the same thing.

    i’ve been waiting for this post. my friend and i have just been sitting around talking like we know you… i love it!

  39. Beautiful… thanks for sharing.
    The photo of your friends daughter in the red swim suit is so cute!

  40. Hey Kelle! Did you see this blog? http://milasdaydreams.blogspot.com
    Not mine, but funny pics!

    Thank you frm the bottom of my hart for writing this blog. You have touched me, and found a place in my hart. You make me a better mother to my 3 year old and 3 month old.

    Love Randi

  41. annie b says:

    Thank goodness you gave her the pacifier – I was worried there for a while! Only because I would have done the same and didn’t want to think about you being tough with a crying Lainey. Doesn’t fit with my comforting idea that I am the same kind of mummy. Not in the same league of greatness but aiming for the same things. You seem to get closer, but you inspire me to keep trying to get there!! xxx

  42. What beautiful moments you have captured Kelle.
    So lovely to read the quotations from Mary Oliver and then your answers. You’ve inspired me to look into her poetry more.

  43. Photos and your everyday life story
    made me smile and inspired me more
    being a very good mother to my child.

    I salute you, Kelle!

  44. I needed this. Just needed to be reminded of what it is all about. If you will excuse me, it is 2am and my “what it’s all about” just woke up. Again. :)

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow…:)

  45. Ah Kelle,
    Once again you inspire and amaze. I’m not embarrassed to admit that it’s because of you I started a blog and begged my husband for a d-slr camera, that I now carry with me everywhere.
    It’s because of you I now take photos of my kids daily.
    It’s because of you I aspire to be a better mother each and every day.
    I’ts because of you I now take the time to enjoy the small things.
    A little stalker-ish, I know!! But you are inspirational. Thanks you.

    PS-can you tell me what photoshop actions you use on your photos to give them that dreamy quality (particularly the ones on the beach) or is this straight out of the camera and you’re just particularly awesome at this too?!!

  46. A good trick that worked for me with a soother – albeit with a 21 months old, not a clever 3 year old: gently slice the tip off the soother. It is not as satisfying to suck. My 21 month old knew that he had his soother but could not figure out what was wrong. (THis might be a problem with the older child). A week later I took another one or two milimetres and so on over 6 weeks until it was eventually a stub….by which time Baba had lost total interest.

    I found this less traumatic for poor lil Baba.

  47. oh no. you gave her the nuk. ha. no worries. i did the same thing! people look at me like i am C.R.A.Z.Y. totally crazy. it’s okay. my girl is 3 1/2, maybe that’s why. it’s okay. it’ll all be okay. i am pretty sure she won’t have a nuk when kindergarten comes. :) have a great day. mis.

  48. Anonymous says:

    know what kelle? you got it! I got it also, only a little later in my life–but that’s okay because sad to say some people never do!!! we ARE the lucky ones!! and just so you know, I would have given her the Binky also!!!

  49. Great photography. Your photos of the ocean take me to a wonderfully serene place.

  50. This is beautiful.

  51. Just as a lingering pacifier fuzzily dusted keeps the fairies circling nearby, so my continued stumbling on the journey keeps my helping God so close. I think more than our falls and faltering, God sees our truth in telling about it. The Bible, for those who find a guide within its lines, tells us God desires honesty within us and even tells us an honest answer is like a kiss. Again, maybe we misunderstood the “perfection” needed in a full relationship with the Divine…I believe it is perfect in love…in becoming and being real…and that is expressed on the sidewalk more than in the sanctuary. I cannot wait to do some serious baby-loving next week…all my babies, you included! Have a wild and passionate day in whatever your hands and heart encounter!

  52. I love your thoughts on god and fait and religion. They are very closely linked to mine. To be good, do good, and enjoy the world and people around us in an honest and passionate way is holy to me. I do not attend “church” in the tradition sense, grew up very religious with very passionate religious parents who broke away from the traditions and started a new very contemporary church as well as a missionary/outreach. I see why those actions are religion to them and I love that it fulfills their life like nothing else could. And after years of conflict between my parents world and what I was trying to make sense of for myself, i have finally found peace.
    Thank you so much for your blog, I began reading so long ago and it has evolved so lovely.
    PS, how about an update on how that summer list is going? mine is going wonderfully, played hookie from work yesterday to take my 2 1/2 year old to the water park with her best friend, and her momma just happens to be my best friend. Although I at first was worried about missing work, it all melted away as I saw her playing in the sun and smiling. And it didn’t hurt that she couldn’t stop talking about how much fun she had.

  53. Wow, did you hit a chord with me today. I would love for you to post the entire poem, but the quote alone from it hits the bullseye. When I was a dancer, I always believed that you should never say that you are the best that you’ll ever be because that leaves no room for growth. And I’ve taken that philosophy into life – it’s one big journey (so enjoy because there are no do-overs) and many opportunities to continually learn and grown.

    God is definitely all around us and I”m so glad that you shared some beautiful shots of the girls in the sand with an awesome halo of storm clouds. What a dichotomy and a reminder of God’s beauty and of God’s presence.

    After euthanizing my dog and hearing that a mutual friend has terminal cancer at 38 in a period of 3 days, I decided to put a dream into action. You know, those thoughts that simmer on the back of the stove in the “what if” kettle. It’s gone from simmer to full boil and I hope to enjoying a cup of rewards sooner than later. And that alone makes me so excited. So thank you for the extra reminder for me to just go for it.

    Thanks Kelle for reminding us to keep our eyes focused and our hearts full of joy.

    P.S. My very close friend was over the other night for dinner and started to talk about this blog she follows and goes into the story about the Dollar Store birthday adventure. And I cracked up and told her that I follow ETLT too. And it made me feel incredibly happy to be reminded that my friends have similar outlooks on life and also enjoy sucking the marrow out of it. If I were a dog, that was definitely a tail wagging moment.

    -Jennifer in Annapolis

  54. Melissa S says:

    I have 2 girls similar in age to yours (7 months and 2 3/4 ha ha-3 in October), my 7 mo old with some unexpected health issues that we discovered at her birth in Dec. I love your blog. I wish everyone could really understand how to make the most out of the precious life we are given and that we get to live it once and once only. I think that’s what I love about reading your thoughts on your blog, knowing that someone else, in the big wide world, is on that same journey you are, as confusing and wonderful as it can be. We are all in this together.
    The mantra for my little family lately has been “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” -Helen Keller….so true, so true. We’ve had a lot of change in our life recently, a huge move, etc, and I had a moment of seeing God last night when we took a walk on a beautiful breezy warm summer evening w/ our girls in their wagon..and I felt like God was saying “See? I told you it’d be okay.” And it is. :)

  55. amazingly beautiful pictures, as always! your life seems so wonderful. i am a bit envious, i have to admit! :)

  56. you know kelle, i think with each post i read of yours i become a little prouder of you..almost as if you were my own girl (and i am almost old enough to be your momma..HA!) when i explain to gracee who God is to me i tell her he is a guy who wants us to never walk past a field of blue-purple forget-me-not and not stop and breathe in all in. He does not want us to walk by someone in need and not lend a helping hand but mostly He wants us to love and celebrate each other and the fact that He has uniquely created each of us and given us different paths to walk.

    i love when someone is different from me just as much as i love how similar we are. so let me tell you how similar you and i are…the pacifier (we called it the “bink”), in gracee’s journey to “let go” of her precious bink, i actually craved once in wal-mart! she had money someone had given her for her birthday and instead of a toy she wanted a bink…she cried and i cried because she so missed her bink and i let her have it! she walked proudly up to the checkout put her two pack of binks down, paid for them and we drove home…she with a mouth full of precious bink and me with a happy heart. ♥

  57. My precious baby girl was 3 in March and I agonized and stressed and came up with all kinds of plans and ways to one day end the paci relationship…but after deep thought and deep expression of the mamma I am…she still has it, and loves it whenever she needs it, and it doesn’t bother me anymore. Why? Because childhood is a journey and not a race and it makes her happy which in turn makes me happy.

    Beautiful photos as always girl!

  58. My favourite quote. Ever. <3

  59. My favourite quote. Ever. <3

  60. My favourite quote. Ever. <3

  61. Kelle, you are an inspiration as always. And you made me cry on a Thursday morning. Thank you for keeping me thinking about all of the little things that make up our lives every time I read one of your posts.

  62. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You totally inspire me to be a better person, better wife, better mother. Your writing is so inspiring!

  63. Kara Brown says:

    Love it. Thank you for this. By the way– I would’ve given her the paci too. :)

    Kara Brown

  64. Dianagoddess says:

    Beautifully written….you got me tearing up this time.

  65. Anonymous says:

    I was introduced to your blog through a friend about two months ago—and needless to say I am hooked! I immediately started reading your older posts every time my two boys were sleeping. I was on the computer so much in my free time that my husband jokingly called me a blog stalker:) But what was so funny is that my husband was always reading your post over my shoulder too. Your blog is so refreshing. We love the music too! I listen to your playlist all the time. Might I recommend a song I think you would enjoy…No One’s Gonna Love You by Band of Horses. It is a great song! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family Kelle!

  66. Dianagoddess says:

    Beautiful photos and music as well as the beautiful written words. You are blessed with many gifts to make us all better people.

  67. Thank you so much! I’m just echoing everyone else, but honestly…I look so forward to seeing your words and images here. Just beautiful and always seems timely for me with my own kids, somehow. btw, I’m glad you let Lainey have her last pacifier one more time…a nice little lesson in grace. :)

  68. Awesome post! So glad to come across your blog.

  69. Kelle- you are so good. I hope a book deal is coming and soon. You touch me with every post. You are amazing!

  70. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I am a new reader to your blog and I just love it! At 5:15 this am my cat managed to push open the door of my daughters room, make her way in and cry until of course she woke her up! Of course at first I was just livid! Oh great now what kind of day are we going to have?! A toddler up way to early can’t be good! After putting a gate in front of the door to keep the cat out I sat and read your latest post!

    You are so refreshing so calm and so the way that I need to be! I need to read your words and remember as your blog is titled “enjoy the small things” I have to stop worrying about as you were talking about sunscreen and missing naps! I spend so much time worrying about these dumb things that I miss out on the stuff that’s the here and now! My daughter by the way has been fine so far this morning. I imagine she may get tired later and want an early nap… how big a deal can that be nap time is NEVER a bad thing right! So anyway thank you. Thank you for bringing me back down to earth a bit and to try to remember to stop and take a breath. We could all use more “wild and precious” things in our life! :)

  71. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I am a new reader to your blog and I just love it! At 5:15 this am my cat managed to push open the door of my daughters room, make her way in and cry until of course she woke her up! Of course at first I was just livid! Oh great now what kind of day are we going to have?! A toddler up way to early can’t be good! After putting a gate in front of the door to keep the cat out I sat and read your latest post!

    You are so refreshing so calm and so the way that I need to be! I need to read your words and remember as your blog is titled “enjoy the small things” I have to stop worrying about as you were talking about sunscreen and missing naps! I spend so much time worrying about these dumb things that I miss out on the stuff that’s the here and now! My daughter by the way has been fine so far this morning. I imagine she may get tired later and want an early nap… how big a deal can that be nap time is NEVER a bad thing right! So anyway thank you. Thank you for bringing me back down to earth a bit and to try to remember to stop and take a breath. We could all use more “wild and precious” things in our life! :)

  72. aw. poor babies. i’m glad you gave her the pacifier. i sucked my thumb till i was 10, it’s all good. lol.

    poor nella, i could here her cries and gasps. her sandy feet make me feel better. :)

    oh and i want a tutu bathing suit like lainers.

  73. Preach it on the mountain tops, sister!! I am more amazed with every post by you, Kelle. I am so happy to be reminded that their are people out there that get it. That get life. That know how to live and love it!

    Love, Love,
    always, always,
    Lori McPherson

  74. Inspiring and beautiful, that’s all I can say about this post.

  75. Kelle, your thoughts on faith just touched my spirit with hope. I think time spend in church teaches us a lot about God. The moments outside of church, the moments when we’re actually doing life together, those are the moments when we’re given a shot to learn with God; he knows who each of us are at our core and he knows exactly how we will be able to see Him.

    My favorite quote is from the author Shauna Neiquist.

    “I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

  76. Beautiful, as always!

  77. Katie…that quote is KILLER. Thank you.

  78. AllisonKathleen says:

    That Mary Oliver quote has been resonating with me for years now. I feel the closeness with God when I live that quote. The thought of my wild and precious life being wasted gets me up off the couch, sends me outside with the dog, makes me go dress shopping with girlfriends. It has become a mantra for me.

  79. OH, and “Poppa” you are AMAZING! You make me think of the John Mayer song, “Fathers Be Good to Your Daughters.” :) Thank you Kelle, and Poppa, for always making me smile.

  80. I have said the same thing about church and God for years and years. Just not as eloquently as you. Thanks for another beautiful, inspirational post.

  81. exactly.

  82. And with that… We will now hop in the car and drive the 45 (well worth every minute) trip to the beach! Thank You for the inspiration 😉 Our littles, all 7 of em, will be very gratefull!

  83. Thank you for your beautiful post. Your blog posts are simply amazing!

  84. Roberta says:

    Love, love, love this post. The pics, the inspirations, but most of all, – I knew the paci would resurface somewhere – somehow. I don’t understand what is so wrong and what is the big hurry. If she was a thumb sucker she could have her bit of heaven forever!!! Love that you gave it to her . . if even for a little while.

  85. Christine says:

    My nearly 8 year old still carries around her ratty blanket. It has holes and is far from its original color. Now she wears it around her neck in a small purse I have made for “niney”. When the time comes and that last thread is holding on to nothingness our plan is to take the last bits of babyhood to Build a Bear, tuck it in the arm of a new animal and fill it with fluff. Then she will always have her niney tucked safely inside a bear. Pacifiers would go nicely into a Build a Bear hand too :)

  86. I get so excited when I see a new post by you. You give me daily inspiration through your words and photos. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m moved by your blog. Every time I finish reading your words I’m refreshed and ready to take on the day not wasting a second of it. My daughter is one month younger than yours and I have a 10 month old little boy and I want to enjoy every precious moment I have with them. You push me to be a better momma and for that I thank you!

  87. I love the beauty of life that you capture and share. You are truly talented. And real. I appreciate that very much.

  88. You continue to make me want to be better, better at loving every aspect of my life. Your inspirational posts make me desire to go the extra mile and I’m doing it. Wish there was a Kelle Hampton support group in my area where others want to suck the marrow out of life and cheer each other on in the process!

  89. Thank you for once again inpiring me and reminding me of the beauty out there. You remind me with each post to cherish all those little things, but most of all to cherish motherhood.

    You are a rock star Kelle!

  90. Kelle,

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a post where you “tried” to be inspirational…you just are. And this quote from you…

    “We are all different. And we all have different beliefs and ways of life, but I feel the more I open myself up to learn from others, to drink in moments like this, to love my kids, to watch a sunset, to be grateful for all of it, to do something with my one wild and precious life…the more I know God.”

    …really made my morning b/c this is exactly how I feel.

    Thank you!

  91. AMEN!

  92. So beautiful! I 100% agree with soaking in all the beauty the world has to offer. It can be difficult sometimes, but so worth it when we do. Thanks for the post!

  93. One of my favorite posts. And I love your confession at the end. It sounds like something I would do too. I am also stealing your idea of the pacy fairy. LOVE IT.

    Amy

  94. Kelle, I’m so glad you like that quote. :) The book is called “Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Niequist. I’d love to mail you a copy if you’d like. It blessed me so much to read her words and I’d love to share the gift.

  95. Those cheeks!!!!! Thanks for the laugh 😀

  96. OMG !!!!! You are an incredible person! Oh how we need more people in the world like you !

  97. I just love you. Thank you for making me think about what’s really important. You certainly have a gift Kelle.

  98. We took our sons pacifier away this week as well, actually, your last post inspired me to do so! He has adjusted really well, but he will wake up in the wee hours of the morning and come ask me where it is. Then he proceeds to say “mommy take away!” I feel so bad that I almost haul the one out that I still have in the house. It’s hard.
    Hope you have a great rest of your week. Great post, as always!

  99. Amen! And with all you said, again I feel like our minds are so similar as I just wrote a poem titled, Unfinished….. Life sometimes doesn’t seem to come to a head or to make sense. Death comes early to some and it leaves many things just undone and certainly not perfect. Those precious moments you took in AND captured on your camera this post were equally as inspiring as your words. I need to post tonight too! And I love in that one picture, how Brett’s wedding band just glows as he holds Lainey’s hand!

  100. I don’t quite know how you do it but you always seem to post the perfect words at the perfect time. Thank you Kelle for helping me to get through one of the hardest times in my life thus far.

    PS

    I had the biggest smile after reading that you caved and gave Lainey her goo goo.
    Eh, no worries…she will be over it before college I’m sure! 😉

  101. You get me everytime…I love your words and your photos.

  102. Preach it Sista!

    I think I mentioned in the comments many months ago, that even though you don’t bring up God, your draw us nearer to Him than any preacher could. Life is church, the people walking around in the world is what church is all about. Relationship.

    Thank you!!!

  103. Kelle, once again, you have touched my soul. This post was amazing! I felt like I was there with you at the tea party and the pool and the evening beach visit. I love how you bring us all into your life with your beautiful family! Love, love, love the picture of the little girl’s sweet cheeks! Priceless. And thank you for the lovely quote and your inspirational thoughts. I also love coming to your blog to see what new songs you are going to feature. Sometimes I come to your blog and just let the music play. Music makes my soul happy and I always enjoy every song you choose. I would like to pass along a couple of song suggestions. When I heard these, I thought that they would be perfect for you. They are Great Day by Paul McCartney and (even though it’s short) Sailing Home by Karen O and the Kids. Thank you for this blog and bringing us along on the fun ride of life! :)

  104. Anonymous says:

    There are so many more important things in life than pacifiers. You figured that out a long time ago. You are an inspiration to me.

  105. You sucker! I love it!!!!!! I would have caved too! Finders keepers! xooxoxoxoxoxooxoxo

  106. Loving this post, but then again I LOVE all your post and all your pics. Thanks for being so real. Reading you blog has helped me be more real with not only myself but others. Thanks again for all your wonderful words!!!

  107. Great post! Like so many of yours…it made me tear up. Beautiful.

  108. Mary Oliver has always been one of my favorites – I am reading a book of hers at the moment.
    But I have to tell you Kelle – you have rapidly become one of my favorites too. I was pointed to you shortly after Nella’s birth story (which btw TOOK my breath away with your honesty and pure emotions) and have followed you since. I truly look forward to your posts, you have become an inspiration to me. Thanks for letting us come along on your life ride – I am enjoying every minute of it and hope that I can learn to “be in the moments” like you are so beautifully.
    Pam

  109. ohhh…that last confessional thought made me smile so much :-) this post makes me happy.
    that sky makes me happy.
    okay so closing this computer and going to see what my own wild and precious life is like today.

  110. I need to be more like you in every way. Or perhaps, I just need to love me more?
    Anyway, the fact that you let her have the paci made me smile. I would’ve, too.

  111. I needed to hear this: “I plan to stop fretting about sunscreen reapplications and how hot it is and who’s missing a nap and instead sit back and enjoy the moment…” . I catch myself fretting about the same things on some of these hot summer days and letting these small anxieties cloud the beautiful day and memorable time with my ‘littles’. Thanks for the reminder!

  112. I am addicted to your writing, your pictures, your story. you are such a beautiful soul, Kelle, and your daughters are lucky girls to have such a wonderful mama.

  113. Your timing could not be more perfect. This quote is just what I needed to hear today. Today is the day that I am putting in notice at my job so that I can stay at home with my little girl. I am excited for the time I get to spend with her, scared about the loss of a paycheck, but ultimately so ready to live the life that I want. So thank you! You gave me just the pep talk that I was needing today.

  114. I usually cry when I read your blog… you encourage my heart so much… thanks for being honest and real!

  115. Anonymous says:

    I could not agree with you more! ditto ditto ditto! You say everything just perfect!!! Thanks for all you say and do:)

  116. My favorite quote from you: “These moments make me feel closer to God than any church ever could.”

    Bravo, I think you touched more ppl with this post than any church could. This is what living is all about. I love your blog and will continue to follow it. You are an inspiration Kelle!!

  117. Truly….Beautiful…..

  118. You are a breath of fresh air. I love your explanation of living a wild and precious life.
    What a great question to live with every single day.

  119. Phew. So glad you gave it to her. Life is short. Suck away baby Lainey. Suck away.

  120. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I cannot begin to tell you how this touched my heart today. Absolutely. Beautiful. Thank you, Kelle :)

  121. Loved the post, as always, but my face broke out in a hhuge smile when I read the last line and realized you gave her the binky! Good for you!

    Leah

  122. Anonymous says:

    this is so beautiful that it makes my heart ache. I keep coming back to it and reading it over and over again. I love the Mary Oliver quote. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, your pictures, your girls, and your “one wild and precious life” with the internet. I sincerely thank you.

  123. Thank you for sharing the challenges you go through.
    LOVE the girls outfits on the beach.
    WELL SAID for your beliefs. I really like that, you put it into words so beautifully.
    Peace to you.

  124. Two words: Amen Sister!

  125. I’m so glad you gave it to her! I wanted you to the first time she packed them up! It hurt my heart thinking that one day I will have to go through the same thing. My favorite photos of Lainey are with her paci. She just looks so little and sweet. The best is when she has it in her mouth, smiling behind it.

  126. My husband loves the Deadliest Catch too. Boys. :)

    Love your thoughts and photos as always.

  127. Oh good grief. (I love saying that. It totally reminds me of my grandma). You gave her the nuk!! I LOVE it. I wish I would’ve done the same many months back. Damn, that made me happy!

  128. Despite everyone’s good advice, I just couldn’t bring myself to take my son’s binky away cold turkey. But what did work out great was putting it in his bed. One morning as I was getting him dressed, I casually said, “Hey honey – how about today we keep your binky safe in your bed while you play today?” I explained that he didn’t really need it during the day anymore, especially since we had lots of things to talk about and the binky made it hard to understand him. We’d keep it by his pillow, and anytime he wanted it he could go plop on his bed and look at a book or take a nap – it would always be there. He didn’t miss it at all (although the first day he went to check on it a few times!), and fell asleep for naps away from his bed without giving it a thought. The first few nights it brought a grin like seeing a long lost friend at the end of the day, but after a couple of weeks he ignored it at bedtime, too, having gotten out of the habit of using it to fall asleep during the day. I kept it in his bed until I realized we hadn’t seen if for some time – it had fallen between his bed and the wall. I stuck it in his top dresser drawer, and a few months later, when he remembered it, I showed him where I’d put it. Of course he had to try it out, but it smelled funny to him, tasted worse, and felt weird in his mouth, so with a proclamation of, “Dat’s yucky!” he put it back in the drawer. That was about 18 years ago – it’s hard as a rock and still in a box of keepsakes upstairs. lol

  129. the clouds, the clouds!! so beautiful!

  130. Amen to that!

  131. I read one of your posts and I think I can’t be more touched by your words…..and then you do it again. You always dig deeper and it gets me every single time.
    And I sometimes think you are IN my head….because you say things that I feel but would never be eloquent enough to put into words the way you do.
    And I would have given her the dusty pacifier too.
    We all really do have wild and precious lives …and it’s wonderful that you share yours and all your beautiful words and pictures with the rest of us. Thank you.
    xo
    Kris

  132. To write a better story for our lives; one of love, kindness, caring and a little adventure. And to find the joy in life even during the hard times. Thanks for reminding us that it is wild and precious.

  133. Precious, precious, precious photos. Love Nella’s painted toes. I just introduced Samantha to the joy of painted toes, too. Nothing sweeter than baby feet!

  134. oh YAY!!!! so happy to hear you let lainey have it cuz man, was my heart breakin’ for her! i know my 2.5yr old still has hers at bed and i DREAD the time that i have to take them away..that’s not the biggest part, but her crying &/or begging, and with such senserity! ahhh yeah, just makes me cringe! Anyway….wonderful post! Just love them all! Thank you Kelle!

  135. hi. im a sixteen year old girl from norway, so you have to excuse my english. I just have to tell you this.
    I love everything about you. You have two beautiful little girls. your writing is awesome. you have one of the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. your picture are fantastic. your clothes is breathtaking. your whole style. I really admire you. when I grow up, I wanna be like you. You seem like such a good mother. I am sure that your two girl are going to grow up and bacome beautiful womens. and that is because of you. you’re a really good rolemodel.
    i hope you see me comment and mayby answer it. have a nice day.

  136. hi. im a sixteen year old girl from norway, so you have to excuse my english. I just have to tell you this.
    I love everything about you. You have two beautiful little girls. your writing is awesome. you have one of the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. your picture are fantastic. your clothes is breathtaking. your whole style. I really admire you. when I grow up, I wanna be like you. You seem like such a good mother. I am sure that your two girl are going to grow up and bacome beautiful womens. and that is because of you. you’re a really good rolemodel.
    i hope you see me comment and mayby answer it. have a nice day.

  137. Ugh, I would have given it to her as well. I hope Nella is feeling better. The thought of her being poked so much gives me a worry wrinkle! I am loving Lainey’s friend’s sweet cheeks. They’re pretty awesome.

    Thanks for the morning dose of happy!

  138. pictures*

  139. Ok so one of these days I will be in the first 50 to comment!!But not today! I love this post! I have had a transformation when it comes to feeling closer to God as well. And not to get to into it, I have the same thoughts. I feel like when I quit focusing on church and what a horrible sinner I was, the beauty that comes only from him was shown to me. In so many different ways I must admit and like you said I am just drinking it all in everyday! You have such a beautiful way with words it brings me to tears all the time and the pictures are just magnificent! You have inspired me to buy a new camera (yeah had it for one week!!) and take as many pictures of our beautiful life as I can. You are a great and lovely soul that has and will touch so many lives! Thank you for sharing your life and allowing us into your heart/home. Your girls are just beautiful. My little Ella loves to sit and look at Nella. She always comments about how beautiful she is and how “she looks like our little bug but her eyes are much prettier”. We won’t ever tell Kyndall that her sister said that :) but it is true. Nella just gets cuter with every picture! Thanks again.
    cameosangels.blogspot.com

  140. I know I’m not alone, but I absolutely ADORE your blog – pictures, words and all.

    Breathlessly inspiring….

  141. so glad you gave her the paci….I was thinking man this woman is a rock at the beginning. The ending confession was a good reminder that you are just like all of us. I hope Lainey loved that night with her binky!

  142. I read your blog all of the time but this time my 4 year old daughter was curled up next to me and when we came across the pic of Nella on the beach she goes, “Mommy there is something different about that baby.” I was kinda taken aback and was like “what do you mean?” She goes, “She is just the prettiest baby I have ever seen.” I said yes she is very beautiful. She goes, “Something tells me she has extra special angels watching over her.” OMG I started BAWLING. Who knew a 4 year old could be just so deep and sincere!

  143. I’ve been attending church regularly for over ten years now. It has meant to much to me in my life and my families. But it is life’s beautiful moments that really teach us who God is and how to grow closer to him. I guess I’ve kind of used church to build up my storage tank for when those moments come along. Although they might not seem beautiful when they first happen, the outcome always is. Like when a doctor tells you your baby will need open heart surgery. But then all of these wonderful people in your life rally behind you and lift you up, that is beautiful. Or when you just stand there, embracing your husband, because no one else can possibly know what you are feeling but him; that is beautiful. Or when that baby with Downs syndrome rocks out at therapy and proves all of those statistics you’ve read so many times, and inside you say, “KISS IT, cause my baby can do whatever she wants.” That’s beautiful. I’ve seen all of these moments more clearly over these last few months. That I am thankful to God for.

  144. Those were some sweet cheeks! So funny. I love your girls expressions.

    And Kaite, I’m totally jacking that quote.

  145. I would have given her the pacifier too. It’s kind of odd to write pacifier – we live in Australia and they are called dummies over here.

    Our eldest turned 3 in mid May and we haven’t figured out how to say goodbye to the dummy yet. We’ll get there … one day :)

  146. Thanks so much for this post.Just a great reminder again to look for that silver lining.

  147. I love this post.. thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos from the beach!! I felt like I was there with you while reading.

  148. So glad you let her have the binky! It is nice to know you aren’t perfect, just perfectly loving – I picked up my sleep training daughter last night…..helps to know i am not alone, today will be beautiful.

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  151. Life is beautiful and precious. Thanks for sharing yours with us. You are truly an inspiration.

  152. Beautiful post and pics! I have questioned my faith throughout my life due to things that have happened in my past but the moment my daughters were placed in my arms there were no more questions because in that moment it was clear to me that a miracle had just happened.

    In reference to your “this close” moments, I’ve given Madi bottles just because its a wonderful sight to see your little with a bottle and be reminded of when they were tiny. And those awful times she had to have her blood drawn (tears welling at the painful memory and knowing I’ve procrastinated having to do it again this month) I actually did scoop her up and yell at the nurses because they kept stabbing her with that damn needle and to watch her cry in pain was too unbearable. Now when I go in there I am quite bossy and tell them how she reacts and how she needs to be held in order to do it and I don’t care that they don’t like me and they think they know better than me because that is my girl, not theirs, and if my sounding like a crazy lunatic helps keep her out of pain well then bring on the crazy!

    And on a much much lighter note….where did you get the lovebug shirt? Love it!

    God Bless!

  153. such a wonderful post! i always love reading your blog, but this post especially struck me. i couldn’t agree more with all that you wrote. beautiful!

    also, i love the font you used to tag your photos, where did you find it?

  154. Really beautiful!! The pictures and the words – just loved it.

  155. Anonymous says:

    Have you read Anne Lamott? She resented the fact that babies don’t come with a user’s manual, so she wrote the story of her son’s first year and called it Operating Instructions. I think you’d really like it because you could relate to so much of her experience. She has also written some books on faith and grace that I’m sure you would love, as would your dad. Those who know Anne Lamott, please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s in her book called Traveling Mercies where she wrote that there are “really only two prayers. One is ‘HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME!’ and the other is ‘THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!” Which I think is just another way of saying what you’ve written about in this post.

    I agree with the others who have encouraged you to ask for someone else to try if they don’t get the vein on the first stick. I, too, have a brother who is a nurse anesthetist, and he started working at a Children’s Hospital, so he’s had a lot of practice with blood draws on babies and children. His habit is never to stick more than twice, and he always encouraged parents to ask for someone else to try.

    Your experience with Nella’s blood draw was definitely a dark, “HELP ME!” moment, but you are a very strong woman. Strong enough to know that when you pray HELP ME!, help will come, and you find the “THANK YOU” moment as soon as possible because to linger in the fear is to miss out on your wild and precious life.

  156. I LOVE reading your blog! It makes me smile and inspires me so much. Thank you!

  157. I know how you feel. I’ve discovered more about faith and life in the past year since my second daughter has been born than all I thought I knew in my whole life.
    awww, Julie’s comment was so sweet. I want to be like you when I grow up too Kelle!

  158. Thank you for that beautiful post. It was exactly what I needed to hear on this cloudy un-summery day in Washington.
    I can still choose to do something with this wild & precious life!

  159. Have I told you how much I love your happiness over life? We’re on the same boat, I think.

    I appreciated hearing your God thoughts. I keep renegotiating who God really is, too. I see him in all of those places you mentioned. Just this week, I saw Jesus in a McDonalds hairnet. In the words of Father Greg Boyle, “…indeed the Lord comes to us disguised as ourselves. And we don’t grow into this – we just learn to pay better attention.”

  160. PS – Just returned from my son’s bi-monthly needle poke. We scored on the first stick today! Sweet. :)

  161. Anonymous says:

    but at the end of your wild and crazy life – will you be in heaven? That is what really matters.

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    John 14:6

  162. Wow Kelle, you went there.. and you said it. Yes there is ‘one wild and precious life’ and man are you and your family making the most of it.

    Your posts have me at the brink of tears every time, LOVE them.

  163. The beach pictures are absolutely beautiful!!!! It makes me want to be there! All your pictures are so great & inspire me to practice with my camera & maybe one day my pictures will be half as good as yours!

  164. Yes, and we won’t be anonymous to the Father…for he knows wild and crazy is not wanton and unkind. His way is to live abundantly and His truth is felt in the way it draws us to Him, not shrinking away in shame, But thank you for asking…live so others want to live like you and speak so others cherish your words. Bless you!

  165. WOW! I don’t even know where to begin. You ALWAYS and I mean always take me to a place of reflection, you’re words in this post hold so much truth. God can be seen in many facets… in your daughters eyes, in the crash of the waves, in the laughter of the day…… whether you know it or not or even intended, you have challenged me to see and look for God in the small details of my day, the moments that get swept under the rug but should never go unaware. Thank you so much for this post. As always, beautifully written!!

  166. Beautiful girls… beautiful photos! I LOVE your camera strap! Where did you get it?

  167. She won’t go to college with a binky – I remind myself of that often. Beautiful post.

  168. Beautiful post! And don’t worry about the binkies. I let my daughter enjoy hers until well past four years old!

  169. LindaMG in Soquel, CA says:

    Wow – I am always amazed to see the broad spectrum of readers you have, like seeing a post today from a 16 yr-old girl in Norway or somewhere! It’s not just here in the U.S. that you are appreciated! TO POPPA** – OH POPPA!! You always so touch me with your words, and bring me close to tears and wow, you are so incredible – I love what you wrote about God. To Melissa- I love that quote too! And to KATIE – Love the quote! ANd to AND OTHER ADVENTURES – Yay! GOOD for you! It will all be fine. Many of us have made that decision and worried, but we made it work. You will not regret it, spending this time at home. (I realize not everyone can do so, and that is ok too). Thank YOU, KELLE, for finding your way into my heart and the hearts of so many. OH, to the person who wrote about a KELLE HAMPTON SUPPORT GROUP- now THAT would be great, huh?

  170. LindaMG in Soquel, CA says:

    OH, for people interested in Mary Oliver..I also love her poems “When Death COmes” AND one of my all-time faves “The Journey”. The Journey really spoke to me cuz, well, it spoke to me of my dysfunctional family and of everyone in the world wanting me to do something and telling me things and how I had to walk thru the struggles of turning away and not listening and saving my own life.

  171. I loved this! I just love your blog, period.

    I also wanted to share this:

    With 2 of our kids (each with different medical issues), we have spent countless horrifying hours in dr’s offices/hospitals doing blood draws…and we have adopted 2 rules:

    We allow 1 nurse 2 tries, if she/he doesn’t “stick” it in 2 tries, we LEAVE. After 2 pokes, the nurse has lost confidence, and we’ve endured all the poking we’ll allow. So, we go back later that day, the next day, the next WEEK…

    Unless my child is in a life-threatening situation, I see no reason why that blood draw can’t wait 24 hours, or 7 days :)

    Nella is too little to get it now, but my older kids are so much more comfortable going in now, knowing there are limits to how much they’ll have to go through. And the MOMMY is much more comfortable now, too 😉

    Keep doing your good work, mama, your kids are blessed to have you!!

  172. This post really struck a cord with me. I am at the same place with my relationship with God and my understanding of the bigger picture of life. It’s not something I could ever find inside of a church. I have God’s gifts around me every moment of every day. My kids. Sunsets. My garden. My friends. My family. You name it and I’m thankful for it.

  173. Thanks so much for that uplifting post. I really needed that. You are like a warm hug in the middle of a rough day. What a delight it must be to be your “friend”. Those that know you and are close to you are so very blessed.
    :)

  174. Thank you. That was beautiful. I don’t know who you are or where you live but I’m crying over your post, thoughts and beautiful pictures – good crying, happy crying, crying at the beauty of life. Thank you :)

  175. Kelle
    I’ve been reading your blog for months now and every other post brings tears to my eyes. Your so inspirational…Keep doing what your doing…Please! The world needs it =)

  176. Beautiful! Keep on living and loving life! You are so inspiring to so many of us :)

  177. Anonymous says:

    I admire so very much about you and the gift God gave you to connect with people…he does want us to live abundantly and wildly, but with the purpose of His Son shining through us, not having the spotlight on anything or anyone else clouding it over. You have an amazing platform here and although I believe more in sharing the Gospel through our actions rather than our words, there is only ONE Word that will lead us to heaven and that is the Holy Bible and His Son Jesus Christ!! I pray you have that relationship. We should live our lives to the fullest, but with the purpose of Glorifying Him and Him alone…”I’m just sayin”. God’s blessings to your entire family – you have much to cherish!!

  178. You are so inspirational! Every time I come to this blog and start reading I tell myself “I will not cry, I will not cry, I will not cry” but at the end…I’m always boo hooing, happy tears of course. You remind me in every post to “suck the marrow out of life”. Thank You!

    ps love coppertone baby hineys : )

  179. Anonymous says:

    “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” —Alfred D. Souza

    A great quote I read today from The Foundation for a Better Life.

    Love your blog…very poignant and uplifting.

    Carrie in Ohio

  180. ,,,”lovebug” in the sand tickles me,,,

  181. Anonymous says:

    kelle I also made the binky a bedtime only rule it was an easy transition and also alot quicker than I thought! ps. she was four and a half!!! ha..ha..did it hurt her in any way? she grew up happy and healthy and now has her own binky babies! the world didn’t end and we were all very happy!!!

  182. Tea parties and pinkies out! LOVE IT!

    Thank you for this delicious dish of inspiration! You’re incredible!

  183. Hi Kelle,
    I have been reading your blog for a few months now and I love it! I love reading about your girls and looking at your pictures! One of my photographer friends posted a link to Nella’s birth story, I read it and got hooked :) I went to the first post of your blog and read the whole thing from day ONE :)
    This is my first time commenting though :)
    I’m not sure if anyone has suggested it yet but I’ve heard that some people make a small hole in a binkie so it’s not much fun any more. Then make the hole a little bigger the next day. Many kids don’t like it after that. My daughter is also a binkie lover, she is 2 years old and sleeps with it at night and during the day.
    Good luck and thank you for your posts :)!

  184. Mommy of Two Girls too says:

    Very inspirational post, Kelle! Love it! Of course, I looked for Poppa’s comment, because he has infinite wisdom, and always makes so much sense! This one was no exception.

    Maybe the goo-goo fairy left one last one for Lainey to find…how nice of her! For the record – I totally would have let her have it, too!;)

    Hugs to you!

    Deanna

  185. Janinebenedict123@yahoo.com says:

    Beautiful post in every way. Loved the pics and loved the spirituality of it. Thanks.

  186. In between checking e-mail and seeing what Facebook land has going on, I scamper over to your site in hopes of a new post. On the days that you have written, I feel like Christmas morning. You have a way with the words and I really dig the clouds you captured in Lainey’s tutu swimsuit photos!

  187. Anonymous says:

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!!!! I love how you heard the thoughts in my head and put them down so eloquently on paper (er..the web!)I am living my juiciest summer ever!! (My way of saying I’m sucking the marrow out of life!)LOVE LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!

  188. LOVE this post! Love Mary’s O. quote and poem. Love your beautiful pictures!

    I feel the same way you do about God and Faith! I love learning about all different faiths and find fascinating the fact that there is only one God who loves and accept us all just as we are. C:

    “Everybody prays whether [you think] of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad. The ah-h-h-h! that sometimes floats up out of you as out of a Fourth of July crowd when the sky-rocket bursts over the water. The stammer of pain at somebody else’s pain. The stammer of joy at somebody else’s joy. Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life. These are all prayers in their way. These are all spoken not just to yourself but.” ~Frederick Buechner

  189. Anonymous says:

    You are so right in saying we have a God who created us all out of love…so much love he gives us the choice to follow his way or not…..we should never be haters of others, but there is only way through to the Father. It is always our choice – that’s why are God is so loving, we are not puppets on a string, but it is ultimately our choice to choose Jesus and eternity in Heaven or the alternative. Where does God say he accepts us where we are at. He loves us where we are at, but then will gently nudge us toward his Son if we so choose…God is Love, but we can’t put Him in a box of who or what we think He is…He left us with His Word for that. No different we are as Christ Followers, just forgiven….Love!

  190. Amen sista’! :)

  191. Lovely photos – as always..
    LOVE the post! :)

  192. Hi Kelle! I love your blog, I’ve been reading it since your precious Nella was born. This is my first comment. Just had to say that this post, this post right here gave me goosebumps all the way through (a lot of them do actually). :) You are such an inspiration!!

  193. Linda MG in Soquel, CA says:

    TO POPPA, as someone here said, you have such infinite wisdom it seems. Yah, I saw the post from Anon re: Will you go to heaven tho?(for that IS the question i guess they mean). AHEM..I was thinking HOW to respond to that and I saw YOUR reply and as always you nailed it and said it great (as always). Then I see another comment later about Ooh, but do you have a relationship with Jesus or God or such? Ok, ok, I think we get it. We get THAT is YOUR belief and I think it’s been covered and thanks for sharing already. But I wanna say I do believe that God is more humane than he’s been made out to be (not human). I think, too, that Kelle pointed out that she has spent time in church, etc, so she has heard of Jesus. I’m just grateful for Kelle and her blog and her inspiration and I think that is what we come here for, really.

  194. You could shoo those faries and be her hero.
    My youngest was very attached to her “Nuk”. After much agonizing, I finally decided it would be wrong to deprive her of something that comforts her, so adults around her would feel more comfortable. She eventually gave it up in favor of her thumb!! …..something nobody could detach:)
    For what it’s worth she’s now in her second year of college and didn’t take the nuk with her and no longer sucks her thumb:) In other words, I wouldn’t sweat it.
    By the way…love your blog. It really takes me back to some of the sweetest times. thanks!

  195. Absolutely beautiful!! I adore Mary Oliver, too. AND you are making God glad He gave you the gift (great quote by Katie.. I love it). Thank you for the ways you inspire me to enjoy life and my children. I had a picnic in the back yard inspired by the Hampton girls yesterday:)

    Bless you and your beautiful family.

  196. I just died laughing reading that you let her have it! All in good time. That is what my mom tells me about my two year old Abigail giving up her bottle. Although I think if she had it her way she would go off to college with it! Maybe fill it with something besides milk :) Love the tutu swimsuit. Abigail has the same one but sadly it is too small.

  197. Of all of the things I could say about how much I adore your blog and literally jump ship on everything else I’m doing just to read it, the one thing I really want to ask right now is so silly and trivial: WHERE did you get that amazing camera strap?! I’m doing a furious google search right now and can’t find it anywhere!

    Love,
    Emily

  198. I just found your blog today, through another one I frequently read. Your blog is beautiful. Your photography is breathtaking, and your girls are gorgeous. I read Nella’s birth story, and you have a gift for words. I look forward to visiting again!

  199. Love it…as always. Do you ever feel pressure to have the perfect words and pictures? I hope not. We love you and your family however you come. Sometimes I get writers block on my blog because I think too much about what I “should” say vs want I “want” to say. I want to keep it real as much as possible and I love reading your blog to remind myself of the bigger picture and the importance of the small sweet things in life. It’s such a happy place to be. I just posted some sweet pictures of our newest daughter Sofia age 17 months (adopted internationally and she has DS) and our youngest son Joaquin (who also has DS). A few of the photos she is wearing a flower headband that reminds me of you :) I look forward to watching Nella grow! Have you had the pleasure of meeting other babies Nella’s age with DS in your area? Hope so…such a sweet special bond the mamas and the babies can make. Her in Sacramento there are over 20 of us moms with littles under 3 years old and we call ourselves the Sisterhood and we truly feel so close, like family. I feel so blessed to have been connected to these women as a result of our babies with a little something extra. I know you have such an amazing support system but I hope you can find this too…for you and for Nella :) Bless you Kelly!
    http://www.savingsofia.blogspot.com

  200. I hate the blood draws. Kira says “all done. all done. all done.” the second she sees that damn chair.

    I’d of let her have the dusty paci, too.

  201. Oh wow! I love that first pic of you with Nella and her smile!

    Beautiful beach pictures!

    And the “cheeks”! HA HA! Like the coppertone babe!

    God is in every nook and crannie of life…. He is the sunshine, the smile on our kid’s faces, the I love yous that are shared, the wind that moves through your hair, the sand between your toes, the hugs from our littles, God is the breath of life that we breathe and we give it all back over and over when we keep sharing His love. It’s a beautiful cycle of love and life.

    :o)

  202. Your posts just keep getting better and better! The picture of Lainey sitting facing the beach is one of my favorites! And the one of her walking away with her friend — priceless! I laughed out loud at those adorable cheeks.

    So glad the fairies thought to leave an extra binkie for little Lainey to enjoy — of course you had to give it to her!

    Thank you for making me smile and laugh today!

    Love,
    Angela

  203. Camera Strap: Capturing Couture

  204. Anonymous says:

    see my take on a found binky after the fairy came through was a little aha moment that maybe the fairy actually came back and left it for a reason…a little suck here and there a few moments for the wee one to remember what it’s like only to say two days later “i’m too big for this, let’s send it back mama…” we had many of those days and i think my little man is a big big boy when he realizes that the binky fairy actually needs to come back to collect those dang things. so there, it’s not you who forgot one, it’s the fairy who brought it back for a reason. for little lainey to realize she’s too big for it in the end, when she’s ready. enjoy your babies….they are precioius

  205. Magic post Kelle.
    I read your blog often and totally love it. Today I loved it even more. I stuggle with trying to nail down my own faith and sometimes feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t have a church, religon or god. Your words made beautiful, perfect sense. Thank you.
    P.S. Swimsuit cheeks in the summer are one of my favorite things!

  206. well, what should I do with my one wild and precious life today? take my dog for a walk in the river that runs through downtown, sort my clothes by color, and drink a double latte out of my favorite mug. The little wonderful things. ahhhh. by the way, I have a dog named Latte, too! I had one named Mokka, and now have a rescue puppy named Coco, (and a little corgi named Hometeam.)

  207. This is my favorite post ever! Is it ok if I link it for my next blog topic?
    It is always refreshing to hear someone have the same priorities, inspiration, and similar belief system. Those are words I say. Thank you for saying them too. It is encouraging to know that sprinkled through out the world there are people who are guiding children in this open thought process of faith and love. My children will grow up with playmates on varying continents who will help them shape the world into something even more worthwhile than it already is.

  208. Anonymous says:

    I love that u gave her the pacifier back. I hope u let her keep it. She will give it up naturally when she is ready. Both my kids did.

  209. Another amazing blog.

    Thank you.

  210. I SO did not buy that you didn’t let her have that pacifier! Glad to see lainey got her fix, at least for a few more nights or two! LOVE the picture of storm clouds at the beach…very Heavenly, indeed. xo

  211. Thank you for sharing your family’s journey with us! You have two precious little girls (and the big boys are pretty handsome too!)

    My little girl’s (Fiers aka Pacifier) was taken by the Easter Bunny and the “Fier” basket was left full of baby dolls!! Everything went great too until Grammie came and when Baby Girl (who was three) cried for her “fiers” , Grammie “found” some left behind in an easter egg!!
    We love our Grammie!! I can assure you that your Fairies will find another time to take the pacifiers again!! As for now…enjoy your babies

    A Mommy in Kentucky

  212. As always … absolutely amazing photos! I think you’re my favorite photographer. You do such a beautiful job at capturing my heart!

  213. So. Three things here:
    1 – I am obsessed with Nella’s friends butt cheeks. The fact that she’s quite obviously strutting with such confidence only adds to my love for her coolie pic.
    2 – The photo of the water and clouds is breathtaking and I want to know if it’s in any way possible to purchase a print for my wall…?
    3 – I hear you on the God thing. I go to church with Ang and the kids on most Sundays because that is what brings Ang joy and that’s good enough for me (!), but my own personal “church” is the beach… my religion lives in all things lovely and kind, and maybe very tiny but quite big at the same time…
    Good shit, yo. Jenny likey.
    ;o)

  214. You make me cry {again}. I want a piece of your happiness. I NEED it.
    Thank you! And I am sooooooooo HAPPY you gave the pacifier back to her. :)

  215. the comment from katie on reading “cold tangerines” made me dig mine out and it is so funny how many lines are highlighted (in my world that is a sign of a good book. I highlight the good stuff in yellow and the REALLY good stuff in pink. the following is my one of my favorite and very pink thoughts from the book:

    To all the secret writers, late-night painters, would-be singers, lapsed and scared artists of every stripe, dig out your paintbrush, or your flute, or your dancing shoes. Pull out your camera or your computer or your pottery wheel. Today, tonight, after the kids are in bed or when your homework is done, or instead of one more video game or magazine, create something, anything.

    Pick up a needle and thread, and stitch together something particular and honest and beautiful, because we need it. I need it.
    Thank you, and keep going.”

  216. Beautiful post!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  217. Anonymous says:

    @ Linda MG – it’s not that it’s MY belief….you either believe Jesus Christ existed and lived and if you do, then you either believe what he said and taught in it’s entirety or you think he was just some crazy radical And believing in what He stands for is not mixing in other “comfortable” beliefs to suit our living….Christ and our Mighty and Holy God deserve our allegiance and deserve our love….He is a Fatherly God, who teaches His kids His ways through the Bible – He warns of other “false religions and false teachings” that often feel good and fit the times, but are the path to destruction. It’s out of love and hope for no others to perish that Christ’s teachings stir us. I’m no better of a person and fall short of the Glory of God everyday…but I purposefully attempt to follow just His ways and know who to solely go to when I do fall short. Love!

  218. Kelle, this is my favorite post yet! I look forward to every new blog entry that you post. Thanks for the inspiration!

  219. I love Lainey’s tutu bathing suit. Will you share where it’s from? Thanks!

    Beautiful post! Beautiful pictures! Beautiful girls!

  220. I love Nella’s pouty lip in her lil’ sand pile!

    I think you feel closer to God in those moments because He’s all about Life and People; He’s not contained in a church.

    Thanks for sharing, and beautiful pictures, as always.

  221. Anonymous says:

    “Jesus Christ should be the master of your hearts, not religion”…Oswald Chambers

    and another of my favorites –

    “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car”…my pastor has quoted this often. The point I was trying to make is Christ and His teachings are not about religion, but are about “the Way, the Truth and the Light”

    Your love for your “littles” is beautiful truly!!!

  222. You are so inspirational. Thank you.

  223. I would give my eye teeth for 1/10 of your outlook on life. I get too mired down in everything I “have” to do instead of enjoying the moment. I think of your blog every time I find myself doing this and I try to enjoy life and my children just a little bit more. I try a little harder to put down the iphone, the regular phone, or the computer. Thanks for inspiring me.
    Kim

  224. Bethany sent me over, beautiful absolutely beautiful.

  225. been reading your blog for several months now, thanks to a friend who sent me a link to nella’s birth story.

    today, i had the scary, awesome privilege of telling a momma that her little boy has the magic extra chromosome — for the first time in my life. i’m a pediatric resident, and this month i’m in the nicu. and all i could think about was nella, and how this little boy is truly perfect and handsome, just like nella.

    just wanted you to know. thanks for your blog.

  226. MommyofThreeinNJ says:

    Kelle,
    What a beautiful post!
    I am so thankful I came across your blog 6 months ago.
    It is a gift to all of us who follow it.
    And I know I have said it before but I can see that your gift of writing came from your Poppa.
    You have a gorgeous family! And please dont worry,Lainey will outgrow the binky.My oldest had the binky until he was 4 and now he is 15 and he survived it just fine! Lol

  227. Reading your blog every day has become an important part of my routine. I found your blog shortly after Nella’s birth. I had just returned home to California from Virginia where I attended the birth of my nephew, on the very same day that Nella arrived in this world.

    Seeing Nella and Lainey’s daily smiles (and delicious toes) often makes me feel in some way closer to that nephew. My own children are (not so cuddly) teenaged boys and the daughters that I always believed that I would parent were not to be. But somehow seeing Nella and Lainey daily helps in some way to heal that place in my heart that as much as I love my boys is still missing daughters.

    My energy waxes and wanes with the tide (and the bi-weekly cycles of chemotherapy) but your posts never fail to raise my spirits with a visit to the beach, a fairy tea party, or the reflections in a puddle on a rainy Florida day.

    Thank you for sharing so beautifully your thoughts, and photographs, and for connecting (without even knowing) the powerful affect that you have on the world.

    ~~ sarah ~~

  228. I must tell you that I think I have a girl crush on you. I love this blog and the photos. The way you were so honest with Nella’s story and how you adore her today.
    You appreciate time with your girls and willingly admit that housework sometimes piles up into numerous piles.
    I’m jealous also of your Florida days as I’m stuck here in Ohio.

  229. Sweet cheeks – love this Kelle cant get the smile off my face.. I love me some baby sweet cheeks :)

  230. I really admire your photography. You really capture the essence of living. Thank you for your blog.

  231. can you be any more awesome?

  232. Thank you. In a week where I’m struggling and then re-struggling with my faith…I needed this…tears streaming down my face and all…perfect timing :)

    (and taking the paci away completely sucks!)

  233. I love reading your blog for a ton of reasons!

    Tonight, it is being able to see a glimpse of what my little is going to be like when she is Lainey’s age! The picture of her drinkng tea in the princess dress….YES, that is going to be my little! I think that they would be grand friends! IF only I lived closer to you all :)

  234. Beautiful post, Kelle! :) So well said.

  235. Long ago, I adopted the “Steel Magnolia’s” theory of religion. “OH, HONEY, GOD DON’T CARE WHICH CHURCH YOU GO TO, JUST SO LONG AS YOU SHOW UP”. Having been raised Methodist AND Episcopalian, marrying a devout Catholic, I have conceded to his religion, as it was a deal-breaker for him. In this journey of faith, I’ve realized that God let’s YOU pick what your provisions are. I believe in gay marriage. I don’t believe in divorce. I’m Episcopalian AND Catholic all in the same regard. I drink and repent at Thanksgiving rather than confession. It’s a glorious occurrence.

    I admire your ability to observe your girls everyday. I long for that. You are such an inspiration. I only hope to be half the mom you are.

    xoxo
    katie

  236. Oh that was a good post! And I love the paci thing!

  237. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air! Thank you for sharing your sweetest moments with us!

  238. Tears. There is so much truth and beauty in your words. Thank you.

  239. All I can say to that is A-M-E-N!!
    Amen, Amen, Amen!!

  240. the mirror pic of you and nella is so adorable.. she is getting so big and beautiful as always!!

  241. Love this. You know I do.

    Love that you gave Love the mookers. Why the hell not?

    September.

  242. Had to come back AGAIN tonight to read your awesome post and see your pics. You really do have a beautiful life — in what looks like a beautiful little nook within heaven!

    Hope you’re having a wonderful week and I look forward to more… (as usual!)

    Love,
    Angela

  243. i am so touched i am sobbing and snotting all over myself bc your words just reached in and twanged something so guarded and raw and deep in my heart. the music you select to accompany the poetry of your words is always SO perfect… soooo soooo soooo… and this time – particularly so.
    thank you. seriously. for just being who you are. honest. real. inspiring – not by being “perfect” but by just speaking your heart and reaching the hearts of those who you may never know but who will be better – changed – because you spoke it. You wrote it down. You created an emotion, a catalyst. A change in others.
    I will, after ignoring my 6 year old today for no god forsaken reason, NOT waste another precious moment of my one wild and precious life. thanks in part to reading this… :)

  244. Anonymous says:

    Humans need a long babyhood. We just do. Make your little one happy. Let her suck. “She will not be sucking it in college.” :)

    Thanks for your gorgeous blog. I fall in love with your kids and mine a little more every time I read it.

  245. 1) Your children are absolutely breathtaking.

    2) I love your take on God.

    3) My 7 month old has Down syndrome too. When he was 4 months old, they tried to draw blood from the veins in his arms. The woman tried and failed so many times that I just told her to stop. Today he had to have blood drawn again. That woman got it with only 2 tries. I think I’ll hunt her down every time from now on. :) She better never retire.

  246. Anonymous says:

    Lovely post! Let your little one keep her pacifier…. my mom always says that no child ever goes to kindergarden with a bottle/ pacifier/un-potty-trained. Don’t sweat it in the meantime. When it happens… it will be right. No tears necessary!! Love your photos!

  247. What a beautiful day it looks like you had, Kelle.

    I was wanting to add your website/blog to my favorite link list on my blog. Please email me and let me know if that would be okay!
    (nwoutdoorgrl@gmail.com)

  248. Can you post more pictures of Nella’s bedroom? I had visions of how I would design my daughter’s room when we are finally able to buy a home, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that vision in Nella’s bedroom – the pink striped walls, chair rail, and pink paint on top.. exactly what I had designed in my head! I can’t even find the post where you had pictured it, so I’m asking for more pictures to save, to show my future designer/painter! Thank you so much!!

  249. A friend once told me, “there are many ways up the side of the mountain but the view from the top is pretty much the same.”

    I don’t profess to know any of the answers, but, I do have faith that we ALL are waves in the ocean of humanity. The ocean that was here before we were and the ocean that will be here after we disappear into the foam and continues long after anyone remembers us. After all, I don’t even know the names of my great-grandparents.

    But until my time’s up? I’m going to “suck the juiciness from this Lifecycle,” quoting (or mis-quoting!) something you said in a post a few months back, I believe.

    Thank you for being a beacon of light, a wayshower. It maybe not always be easy…the road that you’re on might be thorny with a chance of tears but, you carry your own weather and a hurricane lamp, illuminating the darkness, inspiring…and having tons of fun along the way!

    Blessings, love, and hugs.

  250. Lainy’s tu-tu bathing suit is SO freaking cute!!!! My 4 year old would love it.

    Also, my 22 month old daughter {Kara} has a major fondness for baby Nella. She climbs up on my lap, whenever she sees me using the laptop {because she thinks I’m ALWAYS on your website} and she says “can I see? can I see?” and then once she’s on my lap she says “I wanna see bee-bee Nella!!!” and when I go to your website, her face lights up and she scream “HI BEE-BEE NELLA!!!!!” and giggles like crazy at all the pictures.
    We love having you in our home :-)

  251. lovely!! I read EVERY post but dont think I have commented yet which is silly because I live for comments lol guess I am not being very fair. well I love you and your family as crazy as that sounds. You are incredible! and go on give in to the goo goo for the night. they dont stay young forever

  252. Anonymous says:

    Ummm, my daughter had her “dummy” (I’m in Australia) til she was FIVE YEARS OLD!!!! No harm done to her! 😀
    And she even has perfectly straight teeth and no cavities at all.
    I must say though I was pretty strict in that it was only ever for sleeping or resting times in her room/bed. Never for playtime and definately never when we were out in public!! :)

    We tried and failed a number of times so get her to give it up and then finally one day she got the courage to do it on her own, it was a rough week for her as she had trouble going to sleep as fast as she was used to with the dummy but she got there in the end Albeit we had some very tired days with her for a short time. In the end she was so proud of herself, and I’m glad I never took it from her earlier really. It was a big part of her sleep time and a very big comfort to her.
    A lot of people/family/friends couldn’t believe that I let her have it for so long but I just shrugged it off…hey, whatever works for a calm and happy kid!!

    Allison in Australia :)

  253. Anonymous says:

    beautiful, inspiring post. You always remind me of all the best parts of being a mom.

  254. This was my favourite line from your post:

    I plan to stop fretting about sunscreen reapplications and how hot it is and who’s missing a nap and instead sit back and enjoy the moment…

    I need to stop fretting about these things and others as well. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

  255. Anonymous says:

    kELLE,only two cuestions.
    Khow what is modesty?
    You khow what family privacy?
    Them are girls. They deserve all kinds of protection.

  256. @anonymous

    WTH…could you clarify what it is you are trying to say in that mess of a comment you posted.

    cause if you are saying what i think you are saying you have offended me!!

    so before i speak my mink…please clarify..or maybe you should apologize and if i have taken your comment in the wrong way then i apologize. geez.

  257. GraceesMommy…
    Perhaps the incoherency of that commenter’s post was like the Tower of Babel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel)…obscured because it was absurd. I have an “ignore” button on my mind. I press it frequently.

  258. poppa..i need to work on that ignore button in my head!!! i normally do pretty well with it but that comment was such a mess..i was like WTH!?!?!?!

    actually as i read it i was watching my seven year old dance on our lawn in her undies…after all it is national dance day and hey if i was seven i may not even have my undies on as i danced!!!! HA!!! ♥

  259. I just have to say, your blog is beautiful. Your words and they way they flow are beautiful.
    You inspire me to find the beauty everywhere and enjoy this life we have.
    Thank you for sharing your stories!

  260. I so needed to read this today. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  261. You are smart enough to know this – but just shake off varying opinions that do not suit. I agree with your poppa. Some people are hurting, while others have different beliefs on protection that scare them so they are trying to protect you but after all- it is ultimately your choice. You are protecting the girls in a different way- you are with them tons and have set them up with millions who care about them. It is all about perspective.

    And as for those strong religious commentators. It is out of fear that they quote verses and come off strong and self righteous. They think the are saving people with their words and if they do not say it- that they are somehow failing God. ( The irony. God is fully capable to take care of himself one would think.) They do not see the grace in acceptance. Or remember other words from their textbook when their God accepted more than the religious people of the day.
    It is all out of fear. And fear is not an attribute worth basing life on. Unfortunately I know all this because I grew up in the culture since birth and for 2 years I was a conservative fundamentalist. I have a lot to make up for. Just know that they actually are really blind and they will argue and argue and bring up bible verses and persist. The only thing that will change this is perhaps time and varying people dealing gracefully and gently with them yet putting out the boundaries. Whenever someone disagrees with them they feel they are being”persecuted.” Some will stay this way and miss out on many life giving things. Some will change and live out grace a bit more.

    We all have flaws. It is just too bad some extend that to strangers who do not know their backgrounds. I do not think they realize how they come across. But they are still worthwhile people but maybe for someone who is closer to home and deals with them on a more constant level.
    To ease the hurt and indignation you must feel just keep in mind that we all struggle ( some a bit more twistedly than others.) They just need firm boundaries until they can be more appropriate.

  262. I would have let her have the pacifier too! don’t even worry about it! I am sure she will give it up when she is good and ready!
    i love this post, you are a beautiful writer, mom & wife! so inspirational. love your blog so MUCH!
    tara

  263. This post brought tears to my eyes, and is giving me a new perspective on my day. Thank you.

  264. Kate =) says:

    Please, please, please, please, (seriously!), please get a formspring account! There are so many questions I would love to ask you!

  265. ….pouty lips and tutu’s and little girls sweet cheeks just made my day…hehe…Great post!!

  266. You inspire me!!!!! I found your blog by chance through another blog and read Nella’s birth story, and you had me. I hang on your every word. I almost feel like a stalker intruding on your life because everyday I’m checking to see if you posted. As parents I think we alway think of the what ifs and how would we react to them. You make it seem so easy and it reassures me that it is. When you love your babies anything is possible. So thank you for sharing :)

  267. Beautiful post Kelle!

    I have to admit that I scroll your comments looking for what “Poppa says”. My dad died just over a year ago and I miss him dearly. I miss that my three beautiful little girls won’t harvest a precious relationship with their Papa, and I miss his voice, just the sound of his voice. Sometimes I can hear his voice in the words your dad writes. I can only imagine that you and your dad have amazing relationship and that he is most likely one of the best Poppas around!

    Thank you “Poppa” for writing from the heart, your words are inspiring. Your kind spirit and immense wisdom reminds me so much of my own father.

  268. I love it! I was thinkin’ at the beginning: Man, I couldn’t have done it! HA! I’m not the only one! LOL!!!

  269. I just discovered your blog! It is fabulous!!!
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

  270. kelle, while i was facing cancer i decided to keep a little notebook full of the all the little messages God was sending my way..every now and then i get it out and share it with gracee and today we came across this lovely message of hope..hope you enjoy!

    “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”…Corrie Ten Boom.

    Corrie knew what she was talking about!♥

  271. Oh, Misty, you made me misty…and also hopeful to know that a father’s voice can still be heard after we have left the stage…because we want to tell our children we love them and have it last for all their days! I am so happy you hear him in whatever package God wraps his words in–just to send them to your heart!

  272. Love this post. Love that you gave her the dusty paci! Who cares if it’s a no no. Whose “rules” do we have to live by anyway. I love your blog so much. You inspire me every day, especially on down days. I look to you and find happiness. I have a similar take on faith and religion. God lives everywhere, not just in a building. As always, I LOVE your photos and your precious family.

    ps. Can I borrow your Poppa for a day?! Mine has been gone for 10 years now. I miss him. You have the BEST dad ever! :))

  273. Anonymous says:

    Kmarie – I love my God so much and fear is the last thing I worry about…it is by HIS Grace I am saved nothing else…but it requires a sole allegiance to Jesus Christ, that’s all. I don’t feel the least bit persecuted—I welcome the challenge, because it gives me more reason to dive into His Word (the perfect Love Story) to find answers to ?. The Bible may be deep, but it sure isn’t complicated. We all have the choice to choose our own paths for sure and as you are “preaching” one way, I am praying the truths of God are what capture peoples heart. :-)

  274. I give-in on the pacifier thing everytime. It’s what the best mothers do :)

  275. wow, I am so glad that I found your blog! Your photography and family is so beautiful! i hope you have a wonderful weekend! I am a new follower.

    http://ourhappyhomeblog.blogspot.com

  276. Anonymous says:

    My favorite post ever. Thank you! And big hugs for the blood draw experience. Had the same thing happen to my little girl 6 years ago when she was one. Even the nurse was crying afterwards when she apologized to me. How do people with seriously ill children get through? God bless them and you.

  277. I came back tonight and spent some more time reading, just like I said I would. I was reading your posts in the 3 weeks following Nella’s birth, and I just kept saying over and over to myself “she’s so beautiful” as I scrolled through the pictures. (I adore newborns. It’s by far my favorite stage.) Finally, at one point (I can’t remember which picture exactly), I said to myself outloud “she’s so perfect”. And she is.

  278. I just love your blog! You inspire me to be the Best Mommy I can be and to take the time to enjoy each and every precious moment with my “littles”
    Hugs!
    http://www.olsontime.blogspot.com

  279. Wow! what an inspiration you are! I love to sit and read your posts. and i only wish i could write mine as good as yours. lol your little ones are just too cute. keep doing what you are doing! :)

  280. beautifully written. your words and pictures touch my soul. thank you!

  281. Funny fotoblog!!!
    http://milasdaydreams.blogspot.com/

    Her maternity leave hobby is to take pictures of her baby when shes naping. Imagining what shes dreaming and captureing it.

  282. Beautiful pictures!!!!!!!!!! Reading your blog is one of my favorite things to do when I take a break! I love your positive energy!Thanks!

  283. Hey, as long as you cleaned it, who cares if you gave her the pacifier? The little luxuries of life…..

  284. Desr Kelle
    Beautifully written and as always a poem to our souls and minds.
    It is always a pleasure to come and read your posts.
    GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY!
    Malú

  285. Anonymous says:

    great post! Lovely littles! In reading between the lines, I couldn’t agree more…”god” is in each of our hearts, and means something different to everyone. There is no such thing as a universal “god” or an omnipotent being.

  286. I agree, its the little things that make us feel closer to God. Beautiful post, Kelle. Hope the fairies get a clean-sweep!

  287. Your post reminded me of a beloved quote that inspires me to dig deep and enjoy my life and loves:

    The question I am asked daily by the world, Was that all you wanted?

    Genine Lentine

  288. Your writing gives me sweet chills, momma.

  289. Gotta love it…and I think God would say, “Kelle, you’re one of my fav creations, cuz you get it…ya just get it!”
    I heard The Bird and The Worm in the grocery store background music with my teenage daughter in tow, which is unusual these days…she started absentmindedly humming along and dancing a bit as she perused the soaps…I enjoyed watching her, thinking of your beautiful blog that makes me stop and enjoy those moments…thanks for all the words you imbed in your readers’ hearts :)

  290. Oops…it’s Everybody, not The Bird and The Worm…in all honesty, I’m way outta the loop on great music and I absolutely LOVE your playlist…it’s just such a song to dance to and I think of your blog anytime I happen to hear it anywhere else…it’s quintessential Kelle Hampton…there you go, you’re a celebrity in your own right :))

  291. i don’t know why it is so soul satisfying to know you gave her the soother – or the “doo doo” as it was called in our house. Out of 7 children, i have only had 1 that loved that thing – & i miss the way her perfect pink mouth fit around that little piece of comfort. She’s 6 now… & i’m glad we were so gentle with our little peanut during those needy moments when she was giving it up :) keep writing beauty – you’re doing such a good thing…

  292. you are an incredible writer. this is one of the best blogs i’ve ever come across. thanks for sharing your story.

  293. Beautiful post. I couldn’t agree more. I wish more people in this world had an open mind to everyone’s beliefs. Those truly are the moments that we are closest with God.

    PS….Don’t worry about the binkie. Let her have the darn thing. My daughter stopped using hers the day she turned 4–her choice-and never looked back. To some that might sound way too old and crazy, but I think she turned out just fine. Who cares what other people think. Plus, she did it all on her own..no tears (from her or I).

  294. Your children are beautiful, your photography exquisite and your spirit inspiring. I love the look on Nella’s face when she is laying in the sand. So adorable. She is doing great! I have been following since the beginning and just love your blog. You are so honest with all you emotions and that is so refreshing and healing/helpful to so many other parents out there.

    God Bless,
    Katie

  295. I think you will love this…
    http://www.mormon.org

  296. it’s so refreshing and wonderful to hear your words, words that are full of the divine nature of a woman and of motherhood. Motherhood truly is the closest thing to knowing God.

  297. Wow. you nailed this right on the head kelly belly.
    I’m behind on reading all your posts because we were on vaca. Miss you and your family. Love this. Love it.

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