Good Night, Moon

New York totally slayed me. Even though it rained.


It didn’t stop us. And I love that about my dad. Because he is always game for sucking the marrow out of life with me. Even if there’s only two hours left on your last day there before you have to hail a cab to the airport. And it’s raining and gray and not very going-out weather. And anyone else would say what the hell, let’s just chill. Nope. Not my dad. We got umbrellas and strapped the baby in the sling. Checked our suitcase at the hotel desk and ran crazy-like down rainy streets–laughing, drenched in electric city enthusiasm just as much as soaking rains–to drink in the best we could get out of those last precious hours. And we had some of the best moments of our trip in those last hours.

But then again, that’s kind of hard to judge. Because there were just so many best moments.


What this?


Oh, that’s just Tom Petty. That was just back stage passes. That was just a few rows back throwing my hands in the air to the chorus of Free Falling and feeling very free and falling and utterly in love with that moment and basically everything about life in general. Dude, if I had a lighter I would have put it in the air and lit the freaking place on fire. And it’s not even because everything is just peaches in life. It’s not. It never is. Today was figuratively a rainy day. But, Dude…there’s always moments–more often than not–that you’re sitting there in Seat 7K at some fabulous concert surrounded by people you adore and they’re playing some soul-stretching chorus that makes you woo hoo like it’s Mardi Gras…and you can’t help but love the bejesus out of everything you have. And I make no apology for being in love with life. Even when it’s raining.

Oh, where do I begin?

The color and details of the city consumed me. The intricate architecture. The way the gray skies cradled the shoulders of the buildings just so and tunneled the rain into this even soft scatter that played as just one more instrument in the symphony of city sounds. The welcoming face of front doors that lined the streets and accompanying windows embellished with spilling blossoms and greens…seriously.


The sounds. So far from my ocean waves and wind-rustled palms but strangely comforting in a different way. The rumble of the trains, the beeping, the buses braking, the people, the footsteps, the white noise of voices and engines and productivity all sang the song of many people–of all different kinds…all going and doing and being. And that ever-existing promise of the big city that good things, big things, important things, inspiring things…will happen.

14th Street Subway, Chelsea

Grand Central Station

My lovely ship-inspired room at The Maritime Hotel in Chelsea

The skies were clear on Tuesday for our picnic in Central Park. Oh, Central Park. Charming to say the least.


And with the cooler temps and calm skies, it felt prematurely Autumn which, I’m certain, was Mother Nature’s way of slapping me a big fat high five to my right hand. Why, thank you. I see your acorns and your crunchy leaves and I raise you one girl-in-tights on a picnic blanket and a very happy mama.



And then just when you think Holy Crap, this can’t get any better, you hear this clippity-clop and a white horse-drawn carriage comes strolling by. And I thought our park was cool because it has a twirly slide.





We sipped our coffee. We ate croissants. We stretched our feet across our tablecloth we packed for this very occasion and watched as Nella’s little eyes widened and her legs kicked, and I’m pretty sure she knew where she was and that it was special.



And in checking off Bucket List to-do’s, we ambled down the steps into a New York landmark, Serendipity, for frozen hot chocolates.



…and better than the hot chocolate was the company we shared. I had the beautiful privilege to meet KC, who some of you may have come to know through the amazing quotations she’s been leaving on the blog since Nella’s birth story.


KC is wise and loving and her beautiful soul has shared comforting words over these months. She has a niece with Down syndrome too…a spirited little thing I’ve only seen pictures of but feel I know through the way KC has talked of her. And though we had never met in person, it felt as though we had. We circled around a table–my dad, Nella, KC, another friend and I and spoke of the joys of babies and family and the heart of NYC. And there was love…so much.

And speaking of love…
…my friend, Meg.


Out of all the planets aligning and very meant-to-be moments arising from that blessed January day when our second beauty arrived, my friend Meg is one of them. We were meant to meet for various reasons but mostly because there were a trillion good times to be had.

And she loves my girl.


And she is just as much kind and good and loving as she is fun and beautiful and city-girl chic. And getting to spend the weekend with her was worth the 1100 miles. Every one of them.

Not to mention, she introduced Nella to another boyfriend. Don’t tell Cash and Rocco. Meet Otis–a.k.a. “Oti”–just a handful of pounds of edible love and cheeks that smell like cookies.


We kinda love him.

…and all the friends we embraced in the big city.


I miss the corner flower stands.


And St. Patrick’s Cathedral.



I miss watching my girl take in the sounds of the subway.



…and I miss Tom Petty.

And to our NY friends, new and old…we love you.





I may have left the bright lights of the big city, but both my littles are back together and my heart is complete…in the smallness of our home and our sea-kissed town.


And pulling from the KC archives tonight

“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others…for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” Albert Einstein

Good Night, New York. Good Night, Florida. Good Night, Moon.


Leave a Comment
  1. Wow, looks like an amazing trip, NY is on my bucket list, such a very long way for me though (half a world away- literally!). I adore the photo of you and Nella in central park, the grin on her face is priceless!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pics! Love Poppa’s new look. 😉

  3. Anonymous says:

    I so want to go to New York now. Thanks for sharing.

  4. It looks like such a lovely trip. My first time to NYC was 3 years ago just about this time of year, too. There’s something lovely about New Yorkers gearing up for Fall & enjoying the last little bit of summer. Love LOVE your blog… Nella couldn’t be sweeter.

  5. Looks like fun! I always have wanted to go to NYC.

  6. HOW FUN! NYC, Tom Petty, Serendipity, Central Park…You definitely lit up the town! Gorgeous pictures as always. Oh, and Papa looks like a very stylish man who needs to be photographed for The Sartorialist. He’s got steeze!

  7. What a fabulous looking trip! My friend just came back from NYC and raved of the frozen hot chocolates….maybe a trip back there now at 29 (instead of when I was 6) is in order! That Nella is beautiful and I love the picture of her and your dad in central park, gorgeous!!

  8. Amazing!! Not that I ever expect any less! It looks as thouhg you had a great time! It was very fall like weather here in this week with just a little too much ‘chill’ for me!! I’m the bring on the heat and bring on the sun kind of person with just the right amount of appreciation for crisp fall nights and clear spring days! I actually made it out of the house last night and all the way to Target … BAREFOOT!! Oh, I believe only I am capable of such things!!
    Your picnic looks perfect though not packed in a basket filled with goodies from the kitchen it is just as good from brown paper bags from street vendors!! I thought for sure the rain would have put a damper on your picnic with wet grounds and grey skies… Oh, I should have known better!!

    You’ve got me craving a city visit … but for me it’s under 50 miles to the big city. I can hop on a train at a station 2o minutes from my house and be there within an hour if I play my cards right!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    And is there ANYTHING more delicious than Frozen Hot Chocolate? I don’t think there is even a string of words more ly delicious than that!

  9. Something about this post brought tears to my eyes… Your words, the pictures of NYC (one of my all time favorite places on the planet), the pictures of your girl, and Tom Petty playing in the background—you sure know how to set a mood!!! I know what you mean about having one of those “THIS IS LIFE” moments at a concert… music is an amazing thing… especially live. The sound pumping through the ampitheater and the energy of thousands of people singing and dancing and feeling the same excitement as you… My husband and I just saw John Mayer on Tuesday and I had one of those moments.
    Your trip sounded amazing. :)

  10. Such a beautiful post. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Gosh, I want to go to NYC! Sometime I will. I WILL.

  11. Tom Petty! I freaking love him. Next time you have to bring that lighter:)

    It looks like it was a great trip!

  12. Hey city-chick! Looks like you had an amazing trip :) Such gorgeous photos…and little Miss Bean in the city…well, I can hardly stand it, oh so precious! I just can’t wait to see the girls in your 2010 mama-made autumn in FLA, lol! And Poppa, you are offically too cool for school in your red kicks and cool hat! Love it!

  13. Ok to say you have inspired me would be an understatement. I have been considering starting my own blog for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw yours that I finally took the plung. And how ironic is it not only that while you were creating your blog tonight, and I was creating mine – Albert Einstein has snuck into both! :) Thank you for your wonderful words, pics and inspirations! Your trip looks amazing and memorable! Your girls are such blessings and they are lucky girls to have you showing them all the wonderful things of life!

  14. So sweet! Love Nella and her big smile under the Bridge! I was out the other night and I noticed a little girl walk into the patio… She was about 6 or 7.. She had suck a powerful walk and a stride that made you think she was the “boss” She had DS and when I saw her my eyes just lit up.. thinking of Nella! When they left she yelled out to the servers ” bye.. see you later” OMG.. I just loved her and that she did and said what she felt.

  15. Wow! Those are gorgeous pictures and your baby girl is beautiful! My favorite are of St. Patrick’s Cathedral…. my husband proposed to me there and those pictures are breathtaking!

  16. Oh free falling with you and Tom, couldn’t get any better, oh I take that back the picture with Poppa eating french bread and Nella beside him is sooo awesome!! Us Naples girls gotta DO New York soon!! Thank you for the incentive.

  17. i marked serendipity off of my bucket list last fall. the chocolates were so pretty just too much for my taste. thank you for sharing these photos. i fell in love with NY on my first trip!

  18. Nella is just lighting up with those laughs and smiles. Glad you had a safe journey. :) Good night!

  19. There has never in the history of the universe been a more exquisite, delicious, grin-provoking photo as the one of Poppa and Nella on the picnic blanket. I now must save that picture to my hard drive because it is the ultimate in the Perfection and Brilliance of Random Silliness, and will chase away the clouds from even the darkest day.

    Thank you for inviting us all into your world. It is a most beautiful place to be.
    Love and blessings to you all,

  20. I am lovin’ the picture of you and Nella standing in front of a bridge in Central Park. Could your smiles be any more brighter and full of life…and the one of your dad in your hotel room….makin’ a pillow bed for the bean…so sweet….looks like a great trip!

    Where are the pictures of you and your publisher? HA HA!

    Hopin’ and wishin’ and wishin’ and hopin’….

  21. beautiful! i made my first trip to NYC 2 years ago and i just loved it! this just reminded me of all the things i loved about being there! and now i’m really sad that i didnt’ actually go INSIDE serendipity :(

    gah, and tell Nella to stop getting more beautiful by the day! if she ever needs another boyfriend- i’ve got one upstairs fast asleep!

  22. Yay, what an incredible post…you had a stellar time!

    Love, love, LOVE the Poppa and Nella pic in the park, with his dapper jacket (a very nice look for him, I might add!) and Nella lookin’ up to check on Mom.

    And yay for ~KC! So glad that you met her…she DOES have the coolest quotes and we all need a dose of KC in our lives.

    Can’t wait to show the pics to my hubbies, make him homesick…but excited for our Thanksgiving NYC visit.

    So glad you have such an extraordinary trip!

  23. Lovely! It looks like you had a wonderful time. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at your photos. Thank you for sharing.

  24. I’m so glad you had a magical time in NY. I think sometimes people forget how truly beautiful it can be because of the downsides of it (crime, crowds, etc). But the good has so much more potential than the bad- and I wholly expected you to see that!

    Nella was born to be a city girl! you can just see it in her eyes the way she’s taking everything in, she takes such beautiful pictures. I think it’s great you got to go up there and share love with people you normally wouldn’t see. It’s great to get to see those we unfortunately live to far away from.

    I gotta say, Nella is not the only one looking city-slicker divine! You and your Poppa sure do fit in nicely. Look at him with his hat and shoes! I love that picture of him, it made me smile. (:

    Have a great weekend. I wish I’d been in New York looking wonder-eyed at all the amazingness it holds. Instead I am in college, wonder-eying the homework that is slowly piling up!

  25. amazing photos!!

    nella is getting so big so fast! she is so adorable!

    what did you bring lainey back from the trip?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Carlotta? Have you ever seen a movie called “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”? You must.

  27. So much fun!! What a great memory you just made.

  28. Stealing the ES quote, loving your site, happy that you share your life through your pictures and words.

    Diggin’ the cowboy boots too. :)

  29. Wow. I fall more in love with your blog with each entry. I don’t think I’ve ever followed a blog THIS closely.
    You’re so amazing. Your Nella bean is SO cuteeee! I can’t believe how big she’s getting! So beautiful. I absolutely adore the pictures of her and your dad.

    I’m so glad you guys made it back safely and that you had a wonderful experience in NY! :)

  30. Wow. I fall more in love with your blog with each entry. I don’t think I’ve ever followed a blog THIS closely.
    You’re so amazing. Your Nella bean is SO cuteeee! I can’t believe how big she’s getting! So beautiful. I absolutely adore the pictures of her and your dad.

    I’m so glad you guys made it back safely and that you had a wonderful experience in NY! :)

  31. Anonymous says:

    Amazing trip! In addition to spending time with other friends, was very cool you were able to meet KC! Love her comments and quotes!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  32. Poppa- what are your secrets of parenthood?

    How do you raise such an amazing person… who goes on to raise amazing littles… who grasps every part of life and ‘sucks the marrow out of it’?

    Raising all of my kiddos I know I do not do it enough. Suck the marrow out of life that is. I am tired. And there is a house to clean. Childnren to feed. Car pool lines that suck the life out of me!

    Next year we will take that vaction. Tomorrow I will be more patient. Next Christmas I will pull out all the decorations.

    We sell ourselves short.

    Or I sell myself short….

    Tell me. How did you do it, Poppa? Cause I am the one chillin when it rains. :-)

    And look at that little Nella- hair flyin’ in the wind. She always makes my day!

  33. I love every.single.thing. about this post. Nella..gosh, could that girl get any prettier? Those tights just about killed me. Too adorable!

  34. I love every.single.thing. about this post. Nella..gosh, could that girl get any prettier? Those tights just about killed me. Too adorable!

  35. My dream…to visit New York one day. Thank you thank you for these awesome pics!! Luv the yellow flower pot and Poppa’s red sneakers! :)

  36. Anonymous says:

    Crystal, do you think her mother had anything to do with it? She is never mentioned. Did she pass away? If so, I’m sorry, but I often find it odd that she isn’t a character in this story. I haven’t read this blog much, but it doesn’t seem like her father is married to her mother. Maybe I’m missing something. Dunno!

  37. I have my Nella-fix!
    *virtual hugs* to both your girls, Kelle.
    How fun to see NYC through your eyes after getting back from there just weeks ago – and what a difference in temperature those weeks made! When we were in NYC it was hot-hot-hot – but we had a great time anyway!

  38. oh thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pictures of New York! I am so glad you got to have your picnic in Central Park.

    Nella is gorgeous and in the last photo you can see how happy Lainey is to have her back!

  39. Fabulous pictures! And, thanks for the last one. That is exactly how my living room floor looks. Now I don’t feel so bad for my mess. 😉

  40. beautiful pictures as always – :) nella seems to be losing the baby fat!

  41. Glad you had a great trip.

    Love your photos as always

  42. Even better than I could have imagined! When you are in SF on your book tour I will be first in line. :-)

  43. Looks like a wonderful time! I love how you and your father just cherish times like these. Never forget it.


  44. Wow, Nella is getting so big! I love the photo of her with the massive smile!

    I would love to visit New York at Christmas time, it’s on my bucket list! x

  45. Love this Kelle!!!!

    I have to crack a smile everytime I hear you mention tights :) Brings back memories of Ukraine and all the little ones wearing their tights in the heat! Those tights were EVERYWHERE and I had to sneak them off of Sofia in order to see her little toes! I made an inside joke to Sofia that she would never have to wear them again, but seeing them on sweet Nella…I just may have to get some this fall and winter.

    Nella Bean is just OH SO SWEET!

  46. ,,,new york it’s that good, it’s E.L.E.C.T.R.I.C.!,,,has enough energy to power the world!,,,

  47. Ah I needed this post! NY looks absolutely amazing! I love Nella’s outfits and your dads style! Time to start planning my trip!

  48. Kelle….I happened to stumble upon your blog and was overwhelmed by the sheer love, determination, spirit and graciousness you display here. It is beautiful and I am honoured to have found your blog. Nella is beautiful…simply exquisite, perfection of a little human being. Ive never met her, but I adore her, simply because she is! Your birth story was profound, heartbreaking, enchanting…I only wish I could face my demons with half the grace and beauty that you do! Lainey is beautiful and what an amazing big sister for Nella to have!
    My path was severe anorexia, and when I was in treatment for the 100th time, unsure whether I would find a way out…I discovered a little life was growing inside me. Most people said she would not make it…most people said I would not make it…but we went against the odds and my life is forever changed. I understand the gratitude, the blessedness and the wonderment you speak of, because I see it in my daughters eyes every day.
    I know you dont know me from a bar of soap, but please give Nella and that gorgeous Lainey a big hug from us here in South Africa.
    Thank – You for being an inspiration to us all.
    xx Kerri

  49. Wow amazing pictures,I hope to go to New York myself once.

    I wish you and your family a great weekend.

    Hugs Mirella

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  53. To the anonymous commenter inquiring about Mom and admitting that you haven’t read this blog much….

    When I found this blog I feel in love – so much so that I went back to the beginning and read each in every post in order… It was better than a good book. I could not walk away from my computer. I printed out pages upon pages of blog entries and brought them to work with me so I could read them while the kids were sleeping at work… But unlike a good book these character’s continue being – there has been no end – and I check daily for a new post… okay, I check a couple times daily for a new post. And I strongly suggest reading the whole blog if you have the time. Kelle has some amazing words, stories and love to share not to mention pictures that can melt your heart and make you smile. There were entries that made me literally laugh out loud and ones that made me cry – like all out tears, blubbering mess!! And in there you’ll find that Mom and Poppa are divorced and that Mom is very much around sending lace dresses and mary-janes (if I remember right?) from Michigan. This family truly has an amazing story that I can’t help but be addicted to!
    Thanks again, Kelle for sharing with us!

  54. my last little was not wanted by her dad. i remember listening to this music right after she was born. dancing with her to settle her. and it worked. i ask her now..when the song comes on.. “do you like this song amanda?” She’s all “yes … i really do”. and i tell “i played this all the time right after you were born.”

  55. Looks like an amazing trip — thank you for taking us all along with you :)

  56. Hi Kelle – my goodness you have such a talent! I floors me so many times I visit. ‘I see your acorns and your crunchy leaves and I raise you one girl-in-tights on a picnic blanket and a very happy mama.’ LOVE that. Made me laugh out loud. Your blog is just a gift to us. You have the deepest of souls and like others I wonder – how did she get that way? What’s the secret? But then I figure – that’s just how it goes sometimes; one very bright shining light star amongst many. Lou x

  57. Yes, Kelle checked this off her bucket list at a far younger age than I, but I am so glad she invited me along. Make plans to catch the magic and energy of this incredible city. Kerri in South Africa, I am so glad you fanned the flame of life, little as it might have been, to glow today! I loved the glimpse of your story in your comment. And yes, there very much is a mom here–check Kelle’s daily cell phone records and a special glow in the sky up here in Michigan and you will trace the profile of her pride in her children and grandchildren! She is planning her next trip down there but is pretty involved with the lives of three grandgirls here too, had just returned from a family reunion on her side of the family and also, Brett wanted the protective presence of a strong and guardian man to accompany his girls (but instead let me go!). I so enjoyed my Nella and swear she knows my voice, my face, my touch. We subwayed and navigated our way through the city like Batman and Robin! Once, we made our descent into the subway station and I heard surreal and beautiful music growing louder with each step…and then we saw them. A small choir of singers blending children and adults, black and beautiful offering the tones, no lyrics, of Ave Maria. It was heavenly! I stood with Nella in my arms. Others rushed to their destination. I had found mine. I just held her like I was standing at some altar of thanksgiving and allowed my tears to fall from my cheeks onto her little head like another baptism as the music filled our underground sanctuary. Serendipity in the subway–just one of our sacred moments in this City that never sleeps. And the clothes, what can I say, I got “yorked!” (KC–could we love you more?!)

  58. Hi Kelle,
    You really brought New York City alive for me. I loved the pictures of Central Park and gorgeous Nella enjoying herself there. Looks and sounds like you had a very memorable and wonderful time.:)

  59. The picture of you and Nella in Central Park made me laugh – how big is your little one’s smile? You could see the joy in her little face, and it literally made me laugh with joy.

    Thanks for sharing – your pictures are beautiful! (And your family, and your writing…all very inspiring!)

  60. Great shots! We went to NY as part of our Honeymoon (Ok, I’ll be honest… we were supposed to honeymoon in Palm Beach, FL and part way through got a bit bored and decided hey! Lets grab a flight to NY!) It was Christmas and beautiful.

    Next stop… London? You’d totally love it!
    Big love from England xx

  61. Kelle, You, Nella and Poppa ROCKED NYC, beautiful pics, beautiful friends, beautiful recolection, thanks so much for sharing…
    Deborah, the Canadian Nurse …

  62. Wow looks like you had am amazing trip. Such gorgeous pics and your little girl is so cute!

  63. NYC has such an amazing energy…..I definitely want to get back there again one day. Based on that frozen chocolate pic, looks like Serendipity will be the first place I hit on my next trip! :) Thanks so much for sharing.

  64. Looks like you had a blast in NYC. I envy those who got some cuddles with Nella. I would love to hold her, oh! So if you’re visiting Chicago, please call me!

  65. That picture of you and Nella where she’s laughing made me laugh out loud. Your blog never fails to make me smile.

  66. Wonderful post Kelle. What a fantastic trip for you, Poppa and Nella Bean!!
    The photo of Nella and your Dad at Central Park is adorable…she can spot her Momma anywhere…I love how she has her eye on you!!

    Poppa you rocked that outfit big time!!
    Looking good!!
    Love your comment- You really seize the moment everywhere you go!!!
    So inspiring!!

  67. Oh my goodness! It looks so amazing!

    And KC, what an amazing soul.

    Rach x

  68. frozen hot chocolate from serendipity is God’s sweet gift to this world! ah-maz-ing!

  69. You would never know that you just spent a few days in NYC. Your pictures look like at least a weeks worth of city fun! And Tom Petty? Lucky! I would imagine seeing in him in NYC beats when I saw him at our little Germain Arena:)

  70. What a fun trip, incredible post and beautiful pictures! Love Tom Petty- and KC and her wonderful quotes!

  71. I was supposed to be on a plane to NY this morning but unfortunately, life got in the way and the US Open trip will have to wait until next year. I love that city and all it has to offer. I am not an adventurous girl but something happens when I am in NY. I want to take my “babies” (19 and 13) and have them fall in love with the city too.

    Thanks for showing me what I am missing this week. Makes me a little less sad to see Grand Central Station, the wonderful entryway doors, the subway and Central Park in your pictures.

    I love that family of yours!

  72. What a wonderful trip! Love all the photos – and SO glad you were able to have your picnic in Central Park! :)

  73. Thank you….

  74. Your beautiful pictures just made me realize how much I would love to visit NYC! I am so jealous, but glad you all had an awesome time.

  75. Ah New York, thanks so much for bringing me back to the city that has my heart. It’s been too long since I’ve been! I’ve crossed a few things off of my bucket list in that city! Carriage ride, ice skating, and of course frozen hot chocolare:bought the make-it-at-home mix. It’s not the same!!

    I’m glad you had fun, and are home safe.

  76. I can’t wait until you publish a book. This made me want to experience NYC all over again :)

  77. Glad you had such a wonderful time! It was nice to visit through your pictures. Ohmigoodness – you holding the cheshire-grinning Nella? Priceless! Frozen hot chocolate?! Someone please remind me why I’ve given up sugar. Poppa holding bunny-eared Nella, precious… then Poppa in red shoes, awesome! His red shoes, your red boots, what a pair. :)

  78. Hey Kelle-

    Thank you for your wonderful post about your time in NYC. I have lived in the city for seven years, and it is still a magical place for me. Even though your trips was a little gloomy weather wise, you at least had some cool weather! It was the first time in months I curled up with a book and a hot cup of coffee without turning my AC on! It made me excited for fall weather to come, just like you said.

    It looks like you got to see a lot of the city, and your photographs are amazing as always. Glad to hear and see you and your family had an amazing trip!

    Also, did you rock those little black heels all day while sightseeing? If so, I am very impressed! :)

  79. Gorgeous post…makes me want to go more now than ever. Has anyone ever told you your dad is super uber cool? He looks HOT…HA! Seriously. You and your wee one were stylin’ of course. Serendipity is on my bucket list too. Lucky!

  80. What an AMAZING post! I so enjoy reading your blog Kelle, and you are such an inspiration to all! Nella is just the most adorable little sweetie ever! Love the tights! And Poppa, he is FANTASTIC – What a great Dad and Grandpa – So wise he is! I am so glad you shared your trip with all!


  81. I Love it all. I LOVEd getting to stay in NY a few years back and I have been readdy to head back ever since! That Nella. Adorable as usual! And your daddy! The shoes! The hat! Perfect!

  82. Wow, thanks for sharing this trip! Makes me want to go there even more. I want us to take our little one and experience Christmas in NY. Looks like you had a fab trip (well, I think you made it a fab trip), glad you’re all home safe and sound.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Your friend holding Nella in that picture is gorge!! xo

  84. I spent some time in new york once upon a time…I would love to go back. It is a dream land in a lot of ways.

    thanks for sharing your adventures!

  85. Anonymous says:

    Kelle I love the pics of Nella bean at Central Park, they are amazing. Poppa you really need your own blog your comments always touch my heart and bring tears to my eyes.

  86. YET ANOTHER beautiful post Kelle!
    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  87. 1. The fact that you got to screech out the lyrics to Free Falling at an actual Tom Petty concert has me writhing in physical pain and envy. I’m happy for you….truly….now look away…
    2. The photo of Nella and Poppa having a picnic, with Nella’s clear expression of, “What, this ‘ole thing?” slays me.
    3. You rock the classy black and white, babe….radiant.
    4. Your friend Meg? Tell her Vogue called. Me, by mistake. They want her on the cover. Lord have mercy, she’s absolutely stunning.
    5. So very cool that you got to meet KC…she sounds like a gem.
    6. The photo of Lainey welcoming her little sis home….priceless.
    7. The fact that you created this wonderful blog…well, let’s just say it’s my clear umbrella, which provides shelter and a view to the top on rainy days.

  88. Did you happen to submit a picture of our gorgeous babe to the NYC Buddy Walk promo video that is to be shown on one of those huge screens in Times Square? The Central Park pics reminded me of the time Ben’s pic was chosen and we were able to come to NYC and watch it in person. The walk in Central Park was amazing…if you haven’t done it this year, submit next year! She is sure to be chosen. (Ben was chosen again this year, woo hoo!)

  89. Anonymous says:

    I have always wanted to go to NY and seeing these photos and reading about your wonderful trip has made me decide that I need to get it done now! I am already looking for tickets =) Thank you for helping me check off another thing on my bucket list.

  90. Love love love the photos. So glad that you were able to meet up some fantastic women.

    Oh those pics just take me right back to NYC.

    Any bucket list to Virginia Beach or Williamsburg, VA? :)


  91. Thank you so much for these beautiful pictures and words – I feel like I took a little trip to the Big Apple just now :) Look at Nella sitting up in Central Park – she looks so big!

  92. And I make no apology for being in love with life. Even when it’s raining

    ^that, i love!

  93. I LOVE the photo of you and Nella in the park. I can only imagine the squeal that goes with that precious smile. The church photos were amazing. And frozen hot chocolate?? Oh my, my. Can you get that anywhere in MI do you know? It looks heavenly!

    Thank you for sharing!

  94. Anonymous says:

    Wow, gorgeous photos, gorgeous Poppa, gorgeous Nella, gorgeous friends (Meg?? Holy crap stunning). You look like you had an amazing time!! City girl!!

  95. I’ve been waiting (anxiously…I confess) to hear more about your NYC trip. And it seems quite wonderful. All the places I, too, would love to see. I must say the photo of your father and Nella, in the park I believe, is classic. What a beautiful shot. Thanks for sharing!

  96. ahhh..i love the city. can’t wait to go again!

  97. Anonymous says:

    well..i live in that amazing city! and yes! it is as awesome as it looks!!! eventhough i fall in love with where you live through your pictures..wanna swap..for a couple of days???
    rania in nyc :)

  98. Anonymous says:

    These pictures are incredible Kelle. You have such an eye!

  99. What a beautiful quote by Einstein! I love it!

    On the flip side, NYC is one of my favorite cities; I could spend hours walking and exploring! Great pictures!

  100. Man, that is one gorgeous babe you have.

  101. chills. love, love love these. And dad’s hat and tennies…fierce.

  102. Kelle… I put on Seriously Senatra to read this! LOL…I havent commented in a while but I read all the time and still get inspired and I wanted to ‘say’ hello.
    I was in a store the other day when I spotted a Mom with 3 kids one of which had DS and this little boy was the cutest thing ever, so I smiled really big at him and he turned to his bigger brother to ask “is that your girlfriend?”…Bigger brother was annoyed so I turned to him and said “No I’m YOUR girlfriend” to which he responded with an enthusiastic “YES!!!”. His Mom and I had such a laugh….a completely hilarious moment standing in line at Office Max with school supplies in our hands. Anyway… thanks again for inspiring me everytime I read your posts and the great life you CHOOSE to live. xoxo

  103. Sounds like a great getaway! I think we all want to know; What’s in the FAO Schwarz bag?!

  104. LOVED everything about this post. What a fun and neat trip!!!! :)

  105. Oh this post makes me want to head down to the city this weekend (Chicago) to show my girls the hustle and bustle, stand at the foot of the Sears Tower and look up(supposedly called the Willis Tower now, what a waste of money those poor guys spent on trying to change the name haha), stroll Millenium Park, stop at my dear friend’s shop the Fudge Pot for some sweet treats… I love being close enough to a big city to make that a weekend reality when the mood strikes.
    Now I really need to get to NYC. My dearest Uncle moved from Chicago to there about ten years ago to take a job as a federal immigration judge. I STILL haven’t made it to visit him there. Definitely on my list of things to do in the next couple of years.
    Glad you had such a great time and how cool to meet one of your blog readers. I know you’re going to call me when you’re in Chicago right?! haha

  106. Aghhhh, I’ve always wanted to go to New York. Your trip looks fantastic and your pictures are beautiful. Nella is a doll. I just want to squeeze that little precious girl.

  107. Anonymous says:

    While I am so insanely jealous of people living near the ocean and being able to hear wind in the palm trees, this post reminded me how lucky I am to live so close to NYC. We can just hop a train anytime we want and be there. You have inspired me to be the thermostat of my life!!!!
    I am more than blessed that I can visit FL 2 to 3 times a year and hop a train to NYC when the mood inspires me.
    Great post!!

  108. What a fantastic post! I’ve never been to NY and seeing it through your pics was different to any other view I’ve seen, more real than a tv or film clip. I can feel the atmosphere.

    Not so much in terms of seeing the city, but overall, my favourites are the ones of Poppa and Nella in Central Park, they are wonderful.

  109. In the beginning of the month, I went to NYC. First time ever. I fell in love with the city. I could have stayed another week and not seen everything I wanted to see. Your post has just made me add it back on my list. Back on the bucket list.

    Am smiling though. I ate at that very Serendipity with a group of amazing friends. That had been on my bucket list as well.

    ps. Love the photo of you and Nella. Beautiful.

  110. How fabulous Kelle! I managed to fit this read in right before class, and let me tell you, girlfriend, it’s making my day a little sunnier.

    Don’t we all wish that Kelle Hampton would come hang out with us in our town. You’re lucky KC!

  111. For some reason, I really needed to see hear and see through your wonderful pictures someone else enjoying life. It reminded me how lucky I really am. Thanks…love the quote KC

  112. For some reason, I really needed to see hear and see through your wonderful pictures someone else enjoying life. It reminded me how lucky I really am. Thanks…love the quote KC

  113. Awesome post! The highlights for me are your dad’s shoes and hat {tres chic}, Nella’s pig hat, Nella’s tweety bird hair-do she’s got going on AND you rocking your red boots on the streets of NYNY. Well done. :)

  114. bells, you captured it so well that i am ready to leave my kids and empty my account to book the next flight out to new york and meet kc and hang with meg and her super cool friends. i miss meg.

    rik and those shoes, nella in the park looking right at you with the camera, the subway, the cathedral,…

    the piggy hat and you lookin’ like you really belong in that city.

    glad you had so much fun! i’m jealous…i want to go to serendipity!!!
    love you, man.

  115. I have been itching for this post for a week now! Your website helps me get through my day as a teacher, and although I didn’t catch it first thing this morning it was a refreshing way to end my planning period and gear up for the weekend!!! :)

  116. Coffee, Kelle and a Cry- it’s becoming routine…
    For so many reasons today. Because my Mom and I took a trip to NY before my 2 girls were born and it was, well, magic. Because hearing Tom Petty gave me goosebumps remembering the outdoor festival my hubby and I saw him at where he outshone JayZ and Coldplay. Because Nella looks so darn grown up in those Central Park photos. Because loving little bitty girls is so darn LOVEly!
    Thank you. Yet again :)

  117. Love the pictures. I absolutely love NYC!! So jealous. Nella is getting so big. She is still cute as ever. I still Love the red boots. :) I love the city when it is raining there is something that is almost refreshing about it. Looks like so much fun.

  118. I am sooooo not a city girl, but you made NYC seem charming in its own way. :-)

    And please share your secrets sometime for getting Nella & Lainey to look at the camera!

  119. Your girl in tights on a picnic blanket in Central Park is one of the cutest things I’ve EVER seen!

  120. Oh, my gosh. OH MY GOSH!!!! I love the pictures, love that you took this fun exciting trip and I LOVE you shared it with us! This is my dream trip…If you only knew how this is my dream trip. And since I don’t see me going anytime soon, thank you for sharing this.

  121. I just LOVE your blog. And your pics. I’ve been to NYC several times, and you capture it perfectly!

  122. I think I have finally met someone that shares the same kind of exuberant love for NYC that I have. There are so few words to describe it just so and the fact that you got to share it with your little, to say I’m jealous would be an understatement. I can’t wait to take mine there, let her pick flowers from the corner flower stand and enjoy a hot pretzel on a park bench while watching the boats sail past Lady Lib – i can almost taste it. I can tell you love the city the same as I – your pictures almost make me feel like I was walking down Central Park South with you.

  123. This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. I got to spend a few hrs in New York back in 2002 and I also fell completely in love. Though I only had a few hrs, it was by far the best tip I have had. Your beautiful pictures caputre the essence of the NY I remember. And they light that fire in me to return one day. Thanks for sharing your amazing trip. Is it possible for Nella not to get any cuter? Such a doll.

  125. Beautiful. it looks like you had an amazing time. i have only visited the great city once, last summer. However, it was amazing there is so much to take in. i had three days of exploring and i needed many more.

    Have an amazing weekend.

  126. It’s usually your posts Kelle, that bring me to tears, however this morning it was the post of Poppa describing his “heavenly” experience in the Subway where he baptized the lovely Nella with his tears, it moved me so. What a beautiful family you have my dear, you are truly blessed!

  127. says:

    Crystal! I’m with you! I can’t wait for Poppa’s response as I also need to know!

    Kelle…just loved this. Nella couldn’t be more perfect. Her fluffy blonde hair is killer.


  128. I love the pic of Grand Central – it looks magical!

    My son has a board book called “Good Night New York City” that he is obsessed with. We took him to Central Park for a picnic when he was about Nella’s age and we’re going back in October just after his 2nd birthday so he can see the stuff from the book like the Empire State Building and the lions at the library. Such a great city for photo taking and memory making!

  129. before i had even gotten to the picture of Mr Tom Petty..I was hearing that song…and it is one of my favorite songs of all time!! I too went to NYC in April with some girlfriends and was in awe of this city that never sleeps!! I couldn’t soak it all up fast enough!!!! Thanks for helping me relieve those wonderful moments! beautiful pictures, beautiful baby, beautiful words! Love them all! Thanks Kelle!!

  130. Kelle, you’re adorable!! Absolutely love your New York pictures–looks like you had a wonderful time! Definitely tops my list of favorite cities, with the second being Chicago!!

  131. Tears…Thank you so much for sharing this magical post, Kelle! Thank you so much to all your readers, family and friends for their beautiful comments. :)

    What an honor! Meeting Nella, Poppa and you was AMAZING! Loved it!

    Nella, I was enchanted by your beauty and sweetness. I felt so blessed when I was holding you…

    Kelle, I could tell from reading your blog that you had a beautiful soul…and my heart was right. You are full of love, life, kindness and beautiful energy…

    Poppa, your eyes spoke volumes to my soul. You are an extraordinary man. Love your beautiful soul. Your loving words are always music to my heart…

    I know from experience that If you love New York she loves you back. NYC is always ready to embrace you with its powerful energy. NY brings all those who loves her here to experience NY minutes that will always stay with them. NY brings back all those who loves her again and again. :)

    Much Love~

    “There are no strangers, only friends you have not met yet.” ~William Butler Yeats

  132. What a wonderful post and as a born-bred New Yorker, I LOVED seeing all the pictures!
    Reminded me of “home”!!
    So glad she (NY) treated you well and yay, Tom Petty!!

  133. So not a city girl, but seeing Central Park and reading your words stirred a little longing…

    And, your baby girl is amazingly adorable!

  134. Your Dad is a ROCKSTAR!!!! Looks like you had a great trip!!! Heather from New Brunswick :)

  135. So this was not a sad post…. but I am so very tearful while reading it! I don’t know why… I am sure hormones have something to do with it. First when Tom Petty came on and you were talking about the concert I almost starting singing, very loudly, at my desk! My father and I have always gone to his concert together and its our band… I miss my dad. Second, Could Nella be any cuter in the Big City? And that smile is just pure sunshine. Lastly, your photos are amazing from the trip. Wow… So glad to see a post today, I needed to be reminded, yet again… enjoy the small things!

  136. What fun. Nella’s a city girl, I can tell.

  137. Anonymous says:

    OK, Kelle, I just have to ask… I was looking through old posts yesterday, (before you posted your latest one) because my daughter loves looking at your girls’ pictures. I came to the 7/28 post and as I started reading it, I remembered it had a great picture of Lainey and one of her little friends, walking in their swimsuits, with the little friend’s “cheeks” hanging out of hers. I scrolled quickly to get to it, knowing my daughter would love it, and it’s not there! But in its place is the picture of Poppa and Nella that you just now posted in your latest entry. Another picture from that day’s post had also been replaced with a Poppa-in-New-York picture. Then today, I was looking at old posts again, and saw more New York pictures in the 7/16 post.
    What’s up with that? I’m way too curious!!

  138. Today is my birthday and oh, your post just made me cry…so beautiful (as always). Thanks for this birthday present! New York is my favorite city and I try to visit once a year.
    Nella is so beautiful…I just want to squeeeeze her. Poppa was stylin’ in NY…love his NY look! So special that you took a trip with Poppa and Nella (only)…thanks for sharing these memories with us!

  139. ,,,*poppa* indeed she knows your voice, face and touch. she knew, the first time she laid eyes on you, that you would be a pivotal pillar in her life. she knows you are a man of many who will always love her unconditionally. she knows you will protect and keep her for all your days and hers. she knows you will guide her down the journey of *life* allowing her to stumble and fall though always lending your love, wisdom and strong hands to help her brush herself off. she knows you poppa. indeed (if not already) will learn that her poppa never shys away from a good moment in the unfamiliar new york subways to feel the love of stangers, embracing the music with his little *piece of heaven* who safely rests in his arms. i wonder if nella was thinking “poppa does it rain in the tunnels too?” (your warm tears upon her head) nothing but LOVE,,,oh to have a grandfather who rained on my head, i wonder.,,,

  140. Your dad’s shoes are the best!! That man has style!

    What a great trip – and Nella is getting so big – she is just gorgeous. Her Central Park dress is one of my faves.

  141. Oh Kelle, what a great time it looks like you had! I am a long time reader and first time poster here and the NYC post just grabbed me! I love NY, my fiance grew up in Manhatten and going back to visit his family is always so much fun. I love the electricity of the city and you captured it so beautifully! It is so special that you had that time with your dad and Nella, what great memories you have made! Thanks for the beautiful pictures, it makes me wish I could jump on a plane to the city now!
    –Jenn in Seattle

  142. Kelle, your posts always make my soul smile! Thank you :)

  143. Oh how I love NYC. My husband and I lived the first three years of our married life there, and I miss it. As much as I love our life in Michigan with our little ones, the city is so unique. And if you loved it in the rain, oh you should see it some time in late Oct/early November. The park is so amazing then, the air is crisp. Sweaters and boots feel so good. Ahhh, I love this post.

  144. Anonymous says:

    Your friend Meg is quite possibly the prettiest non-celebrity I’ve ever seen in my life. What is her secret.

  145. Brit Girl says:

    Wow, that hot chocolate is enough to make me want to book a flight right now! I was lucky enough to visit NY back in 2003 – I’d love to go back, though. I also love the fact that a bit of rain doesn’t bother you – that just proves that you are meant to visit England at some point! London is waiting to welcome you! Also loving your dad’s city style – Daddy cool! And it’s great that you got to meet KC – love her quotes. And how perfect was the one she posted today?! Have a great weekend, Kelle. Hugs to your Florida babes!

  146. can’t decide who’s cuter! Poppa or Nella! hahaha!!! they are cute in their own ways. =) i LOVE NYC!!! makes me want to go back! such an inspiring post. your posts are always amazing..again…inspiring! =) LOVE LOVE LOVE! come to CA next. hahaha!!!

  147. I got to see Tom Petty live a few weeks ago, and I can totally understand that euphoric feeling of Free Fallin! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time!

  148. You don’t have to miss Tom Petty, he’s from Florida. Maybe he’ll come visit you and play a private concert. If he does, I’ll be there. Because, yeah, he’s awesome.

    Glad you had fun on your trip, what fabulous pictures!

  149. KC…tears as I read your comment and was happy to see the face behind the wisdom and love you share with your quotes!!!

    I love NYC so it made me so happy to read about some people I have fallen in love with (without knowing really) loving it too. And MEG..if you are reading, you are so beautiful! :)

  150. As usual, a beautiful post that inspires me to love life, if not for its complexity, in spite of it. I live in a big city – Chicago… and I know that tonight, we will be running around with our little monkey, reminding him of our joy in him and how fortunate we are to live in an amazing city … and right now. Thank you, Kelle!

    Also, could your dad be any more hip? He’s way cooler than I am.

  151. This post made me miss Chicago! When I moved back to Mid-Illinois from Chi-Town I actually could not sleep for weeks because it was too quiet. I missed the sound of cabs flying by at 2am and people shouting in the streets for no apparent reason. I missed all the city sounds that lulled me to sleep every night. Now if the radiator kicks on at night I wake up! Funny how life changes. :)

    Oh, how jealous I am of you Tom Petty seats!! I love me some Heartbreakers. I missed him in Saint Lou this year. I will have to catch him next time.

    And I just have to say, Poppa, you looked so very NYC!!

  152. Anonymous:

    about the random photos showing up and disappearing. It is most likely something to do with whatever photo site Kelle uses to upload/download her photos.

    I tried to make one of my photo albums private once and all of my blog photos disappeared.

    It works like this. If you upload your photos to a photo site. The site gives each photo its own URL. Then you can paste that URL code into another site and the photo will appear. If you delete the original photo it will be deleted everywhere the URL code appears. Likewise if you change the photo or replace it in an album with another photo, the new version will show up wherever that URL code appears.

    Hope this is helpful. I know it can be quite frustrating!

  153. L-O-V-I-N-G this post. My favorite picture…Nella and Poppa in Central Park. Adorable.

    Looks like a lovely trip.

  154. i now miss new york like nothing else.

    i can’t believe how big nella is getting – she is growing up fast before my eyes :)

  155. Kelle while you were gone I missed you and your wisdom. So I decided to start from the beginning. December 2007. I am in March 2008 now and still reading. Loving noticing how your blog has grown, progressed, improved. And your photography. OMG how it has grown as well. I look at your photos from back then and it is almost like I can see the way you were learning with each project and each photo you posted getting better and better. It is so inspiring!

    I love it. And you make me ache for New York again in ways I have never ached before. I wanted to ask where you were when you took the photos of the outside of the homes with the blossoms and greens in the window boxes? I have never been down to Chelsea or the Chelsea Pier. Did you hit the pier?


  156. could your dad look ANY cuter!! that sweet nella bean is going to take over this world one city at a time!

  157. Though I was born and raised in CA, I live in NY and NYC is my heart. We were also at the Tom Petty show and it was utterly amazing. I miss him too!

  158. Again… you make me realize how I just need to love every moment and make the most of it. My dream is a trip to NY; one day I will get there and hope to have an amazing time. Nella is getting so big. I love following your blog and being inspired. Here’s to a great fall season.

  159. Oh New York… how I would love to visit! Glad you guys had a great time and I’m loving your Dad’s red shoes haha

  160. Beautiful pictures! You just missed me at Saks!

  161. As always your blog never lets me down. It is my 5 minutes of peace while I read and my friendly reminder to live each moment, to take it all in!!

    Hugs!! I am so happy you enjoyed visiting our Lil City. Hope you come back very soon!!

  162. Looks like an awesome trip! Great photos and storytelling as usual. :)

  163. Anonymous says:

    Poppa you are amazing! Can you write a book too?
    Kelle – how did you meet Meg? Is she involved with your book getting published?

  164. I read your blog regularly, but this post particularly resonated. You wrote about your weekend in New York and your love of life during that concert like I felt about my summer interning and living and loving in Chicago for two entire months.

    Dude, if I had a lighter I would have put it in the air and lit the freaking place on fire. Hilarious…but completely relatable.

    I blogged all summer, but thank you for writing so beautifully about similar feelings. It’s nice to know other people can love a time and place and life so fiercely.

    …Also, the picture of Nella and your dad on the blanket in the park is freaking fabulous.

  165. Kelle… Did you drive up to NY? If so how did Nella do in the car for the trip and nursing etc.? Thinking of doing a road trip with my 8 month old whom I am still nursing. I have to admit I thought it would be too much trouble until I read this post and see how positive you make everything.

  166. You are so talented. Your pictures, your words. . . amazing. I love this blog.

  167. you captured the city, beautifully! I miss that town!

  168. Linda MG in Soquel, CA says:

    Kelle, so glad you and Poppa and Nella had such a great time. Love the pics! Yum, frozen hot chocolate sounds great. And TOM PETTY, woohoo! Love it!!

  169. Anonymous says:

    can you see how this city pulls you in ? nella starting to look like poppa-just sayin…glad you guys had a great time!!

  170. I spent three summers in NYC working with the Missionaries of Charity. The weekends, however, were free and even us poor college students found plenty of ways to amuse ourselves.

    Every time I go I think the same thing, it’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to raise my kids there.

  171. These lines: “And with the cooler temps and calm skies, it felt prematurely Autumn which, I’m certain, was Mother Nature’s way of slapping me a big fat high five to my right hand. Why, thank you. I see your acorns and your crunchy leaves and I raise you one girl-in-tights on a picnic blanket and a very happy mama.” PERFECTION. Love it.

    And the dress and cardigan Nella wore for your picnic in Central Park: I so want one. (For my daughter, that is.) Lovely.

  172. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful city. I came here because I am the mother of a sweet soul who has angelman syndrome and I read your ‘special needs’ section, and was touched by your wisdom. I am further along the road of loving life with a beautiful spirit entrusted to me (my son is twenty-four), but I always feel like a sister to other mothers in the same blessed situation as me.
    So I just stopped by to say hello and wish you the very best, for you and your family.
    You have such a lovely blog.

  173. Kelle I am aching to go there! Your photos make me feel one step closer to going there! I plan to go there for my 25th wedding anniversary in two years :)
    Love the pics of Poppa and Nella!
    Glad you had a great time. Aren’t new friends wonderful?

  174. Kelle I am aching to go there! Your photos make me feel one step closer to going there! I plan to go there for my 25th wedding anniversary in two years :)
    Love the pics of Poppa and Nella!
    Glad you had a great time. Aren’t new friends wonderful?

  175. Kelle I am aching to go there! Your photos make me feel one step closer to going there! I plan to go there for my 25th wedding anniversary in two years :)
    Love the pics of Poppa and Nella!
    Glad you had a great time. Aren’t new friends wonderful?

  176. Your writing inspires me…I love the way you connect your words into a type of poetry.

  177. Beautiful post! I love New York!

  178. Oh thank you for taking us to NYC!! Just going there is on my bucket list :-)

  179. It’s suppose to be a beautiful warm summery weekend — sunny skies — it stopped raining!! Come on back!! I’m so glad you, Poppa & Nella had such a wonderful time! So sorry it’s been chilly, gloomy & rainy these past few days! Come back soon! I was sad to see this post end — I want to see more photos! Thanks for sharing, Kelle! xxx

  180. It’s suppose to be a beautiful warm summery weekend — sunny skies — it stopped raining!! Come on back!! I’m so glad you, Poppa & Nella had such a wonderful time! So sorry it’s been chilly, gloomy & rainy these past few days! Come back soon! I was sad to see this post end — I want to see more photos! Thanks for sharing, Kelle! xxx

  181. Oh — and that last photo of the girls — scrumptious! They look so happy — you could tell they missed each other!

  182. I started crying as soon as I saw the pictures of NY :) My favorite place on earth! Its my home in my heart and I will live there someday… Thank you for remonding me how much I love it and cant wait to return, and see my precious surrogate boys!

  183. I started crying as soon as I saw the pictures of NY :) My favorite place on earth! Its my home in my heart and I will live there someday… Thank you for remonding me how much I love it and cant wait to return, and see my precious surrogate boys!

  184. Oh Kelle, you really got me this time, I am a lifetime Tom Petty fan, American Girl being my very, very favorite song of all time. New York is my very favorite place to visit and man was it awesome to see all your pictures.
    Your relationship with your father is the most precious, wonderful father/daughter relationship ever and I am so envious without being jealous, just happy for you that you guys have it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this trip with all of us, your fans, stalkers and admirers.

  185. The picture of you and Nella, where she is grinning a mile wide grin, it makes me cry. I love it!! What a precious little girl. I can sense her amazing spirit through the pictures, without ever having met her.

    Glad you had a great trip. Its on my list… one day NY and I will meet!

  186. Yay! What a great trip!

    I’ve been following your blog since Nella’s birth story was linked on my Mommy message board:

    Now a few of us are frequent followers!

  187. I have not visited your lovely little blog lately as I am busy setting up Gracee’s homeschool room..formerly known as mommies den. I am always amazed at how much at home I feel in your lovely blog/world…your blog/world has a way of sucking me in and making me feel like part of your is kinda like sinking into my big comfy yellow couch at the end of the day.

    p.s. can I tell you how stinking jealous I am of KC and the picture of her holding Nella and spending time with you and poppa..serious case of jealousy going on in PA today!!!!♥

  188. This comment has been removed by the author.

  189. Kelle,
    So happy to see you made it to my favorite city on Earth! Your pictures made my mouth water… oh, how I’d love to be right in the middle of it all ~ plopped in front of Rockefeller Center with a hot cup of coffee and a chocolate cupcake from Dean and Deluca ~ now, that’s my kind of heaven. There’s just something about it… its energy is unlike any other city I’ve visited. You’re such a lucky girl!

    I love that you’ve met so many friends during this journey… it’s amazing how many people your blog has touched. I hope that you’re able to make a trip out west sometime soon. I’d love for you to meet my niece, Lilly, and visit with my group of dear friends that I’ve met along the way. I’d love to show you Greenbluff (a harvest farm outside of Spokane, Wa) where there are hayrides to be had and apples to be picked!

    Thanks for sharing your photos! You’ve just made my day!!!

    Your friend,
    Kate ~ from the Pacific Northwest

  190. Wow…what a journey. I found your blog through a friend on Facebook. She had posted Nella’s birth story and warned me to have tissues on hand and she was so right. But, I couldn’t stop reading there…I went way back to the beginning and read the whole blog. Whenever I had a few moments I would sneek away and devour every post. THANK YOU for inspiring me to enjoy the small things and be thankful for all the many blessing that God has put in my life.You truly have a very special family and I look forward to enjoying the small things of the future. I will be sharing your blog with others too! :)

  191. Anonymous says:

    Mmmm…the pictures of NYC make me want to plan a trip there this fall. Fabulous shots of the city. :)

    If you like Tom Petty, check out Lady Antebellum’s version of “Learning to Fly” on their iTunes Session album on iTunes…

    Have a great weekend!

    Leslie L.

  192. I’ve always wanted to go to the big city…and now I do even more. It’s so great reading about new friendships and re-kindled old friendsships… simply beautiful.

    PS: It can’t be stated enough how INCREDIBLY ADORABLE that little Nella is!

  193. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t the older kid get to go, you know “The Sprite?” ( cue people gagging). Or was it a trip to sell the disabled child for a buck? Got to love the fact this woman writes a story saying she basically couldn’t accept the DS kid at first (God forbid it wasn’t her idea of perfection) and now that she has she should be treated like a saint. What a freakin’ joke. And BTW, your father resembles a NYC bum in some of those shots. And to all the kiss asses…I am not jealous. That rant is getting old.

  194. Poppa, reading your post about a small choir of singers blending children and adults, black and beautiful offering the tones, no lyrics, of Ave Maria, brought a tears to my eyes. This special time you shared with Kelle & Nelle will be a cherished memory for you always.

    Kelle, once again you have shared with us your love of family and life. Thank you for reminding us that each day is a gift. You are a wonderful mother. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    Anna (Nana)

  195. Your dad is an absolute gem. I love the pictures of him with your littles. He looks like he enjoys every minute of every moment spent with them. I hope you realize what a special Poppa he truly is. My children don’t have any male grandparents who spend that kind of time on their grandchildren. Every post I see with your wonderful father I just want to hug him and say, “can you be my dad too?!”

    Your girls are precious. Nella has the greatest smile that just thrills my heart and Lainey’s eyes draw me in every time I see them.

    Thank you for your blog. It makes me smile.

  196. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous August 28, 2010 10:20 AM
    Your comment -and all similar comments are getting so old- just confirmed that you are very jealous. You are so unhappy with your own life that have nothing better to do than to spread the poison that is killing your spirit every time you feel like it. If you don’t like this blog go and find another blog that appreciates your comments. Your souls is as ugly as your pathetic words.

  197. This comment has been removed by the author.

  198. @ anon…seriously. My daddy always told me that all people had two things in common..we all have an opinion and we all have an a$$hole. With what I have seen in all my years I will agree with him. Not only do you have both of the forementioned but you also are one of the forementioned!!!

    Am ha-aretz..look it up because that is what my Jewish Auntie would have called someone like you!

  199. p.s. Poppa looks like a new york hottie to me!!! seriously!!

  200. I love Chelsea so much. Especially the fact that my brother-in-law lives across the street from a 3 story Loehmans. Must. Restrain. From. Booking. Flight.

  201. Anonymous says:

    Your Jewish Auntie? I won’t even comment on that one. Right back at you Gracee.

  202. Yes Aunt (by marriage)was jewish..she gave one hell of an Evil eye! Scared the be-gebbers out of some people..HAHAHA..would love to give it to you right now but you know what they say..”don’t get into a pissing contest with a skunk” I won’t!! Oh my you are so predictable..your rants just get a little funnier each time you post!!!

  203. @ Anonymous (August 28, 2010 10:20 AM)

    “Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.” ~Elie Wiesel~

    Thank you, Kelle, for sharing your happiness and therefore spreading hope to all who read this blog.

  204. It’s obvious that “Anonymous” is a very angry, bitter person. Kelle, I hope you don’t give that comment a second thought. You and your girls are shining a bright light on this world and I hope you focus on all of the wonderful comments you receive each day. Please ignore those that try to bring others down! It’s obvious that “Anonymous” hasn’t had to face much adversity and challenge in his/her life… if he/she had, there is no way a comment like that would have been written.

    Cheers to you, your darling family (including your Dad!) and all that you do!!!

  205. Do you ever take a bad pic?!!? I know, I know you do, but seriously!? Gorgeous! I LOVE NEW YORK CITY!!!!(that’s me yelling)! I want to live there…so bad.

    What a fun little getaway for you and the beanster, and poppa of course. Makin memories!


  206. I posted a comment efore ut it must not have worked!!!

    It looks like you have a wonderful time!!!

    I agree Poppa you seem like an amazing father!!!

    I have the recipe for the iced hot chocolate from serendipity if you would like it I can post it on here!!!

  207. This comment has been removed by the author.

  208. Oh that should say before and but!!! lol, its early in the morning here!!

  209. Oh that should say before and but!!! lol, its early in the morning here!!

  210. You always make the rain look so fun.

    That’s the second time I’ve heard about this Chelsea part of New York. Never heard of it before, but one more time and i just might have to go there.

    Always love the pics of Nella. She’s precious.


  211. I live in a little beach town, too….actually, kinda close to your little beach town: Venice, Florida. And we traveled to NYC last November (my husband bought me VIP passes to the Lucky Shops event, and it was incredible). I have to tell you, I feel head-over-heels in love with that city. It energized me in a way that I haven’t ever felt before. In a way that made me want to walk faster, and hum a tune, and fall in love with my sweet papa all over again. Looking at your pictures and reading this post brought back all the beautiful memories from our little trip to the big city. You really captured the essence of Manhattan SO perfectly. I love your work, Kelle…you’re such a gift to those you touch. Thanks for sharing your trip with us….and your beautiful life and your beautiful family. That Nella….she’s such a shining star.

  212. @Anonymous 8/29 at 10:20 am- are you freakin serious? You are sick! Are you being forced to read Kelle’s story? Move. Be swift. Find something else to read. Your words are so so hateful!

  213. So fun Kelle–we lived in NY from the time Andy was 3-5. It was beautiful, wistful, and electric. I miss it. I have the best pics of him at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade–such a cool (and freezing cold) experience.
    Stephanie Meredith

  214. That. Was. Awesome.

    All of it.

  215. I love the picture of Nella laughing in your arms in Central Park, that’s amazing!!! Thanks for taking us on your journey!!!

  216. to anon…calling you jealous is a nice excuse for your meanness. Why do you read this blog if it festers such hateful thoughts?

    Kelle…I hope you don’t let that sentiment affect you, although it is easier said than done for me.

  217. Kelle,

    I love the photo of you and Nella under the bridge, with her beautiful smile as big as can be! Always remember these experiences. They pass quickly and don’t last nearly long enough. Your life is absolutely beautiful.

  218. Actually, my trip to the big apple (this is Poppa, if this new identity thing doesnt’ work for me) dispelled some myths and mindsets for me. I had somehow thought the City would be cold and unfriendly but I found no lack of friendly New Yorkers to help me find my way around the city, and Nella had no shortage of welcoming smiles from passersby–including a sweet homeless man who talked baby talk to her and made her smile. Maybe they just felt sorry for the baby with the “New York bum!” Whatever, I was blessed to be able to visit this iconic city I have only seen in movies, on the news and through the gazillion episodes of Law and Order I have watched. I was doubly blessed to see the city with Nella in my arms. I will be triply blessed if I can go back again soon!

  219. New York is such a special city!!!
    Love there!

    Sorry for the following question, answer it if you want, okay?
    Is Lainey starting preschool this year?

    Loving your blog. Loving your photos!

  220. oh RIK…you crack me up!!! Isn’t good that these comments only make us chuckle and not have the effect that the critics intend!! Seriously though it is like I told your daugher…”Dude is dashing”.

  221. Good Night Moon, Good Night Gorilla and Good Night everyone. My little said tonight “I love Night Night.” Music.

  222. Okay so I am commenting for the second time on the same post… stalk much? Anyway, I read some of the comments, first I read Poppa’s and like always he brings tears to my eyes and makes me so envious of the father/daughter relationship you guys have. Love it. I also read KC’s, how could you not love her? I came back because I had to look at the photos one more time. Amazing. I can’t wait to go back someday now, I loved it last time and now you just made me want to see different things.

  223. Annoymous… really! You couldn’t even use your name. Sell-out. Take your evil to another blog, you don’t belong here spewing hate.

  224. To GRACEESMOMMY and JILL- I totally agree about Anon’s post! To LISA – Aw, your comment really touched me ~

  225. Kelle, we are so excited to come to florida, only one week away! Did I mention how much we need this trip! I hope we can get inspired by you and reset our minds into sucking some more of that marrow out of life. You and your family are I amazing and you touch so many people everyday. What are you up to now like 7000 followers, you are a total superstar! I feel blessed that we get to go on this vacation, thank you thank you thank you!

    Oh and I have to brag that I too got to sing along with Tom Petty at the Gorge ampitheater! It overlooks the columbia river and is absolutely breathtaking, you should google it, it is a one of a kind venue.

    Thanks for all you do!


  226. ahh my hometown at its finest. i grew up right there, and i bet you didn’t know that only a half hour away is the ocean- rockaway beach. :). ironically enough, we live in orlando now. glad you enjoyed yourself. can’t wait to go back myself!

  227. Wonderful pics! Thank you for sharing!!

  228. Gorgeous pictures from the city!!! Really beautiful. I’m headed there for the first time at the end of September and now I must find Serendipity for frozen hot chocolates! Yum!!!

  229. TO RMAinMD** Oh, I just LOVE what you wrote! What a way with words!!

  230. Happy Monday! Love balanced weekends too. :)

    A creativity storm is brewing here too! Trips to the craft store(S) check! I’m so happy (can’t sleep). I’m going to be creating some beautiful art and having so much fun with my AN for the next 3 weeks. They are coming tomorrow…

    “Oh, lucky beyond most human beings is the…person who is bold and crazy enough to defy the almost over-whelming chorus of complacency and inertia and other people’s ideas and to follow the single, fresh, living voice of his own destiny, which at the crucial moment speaks aloud to him and tells him to come on.” ~Katharine Butler Hathaway

  231. OK, I’M JUST GOING TO BE BOLD AND SAY IT! Poppa does not look like a bum in NY, Florida, or any other city he may be in, LOL.
    Poppa just melts my heart, not only is he the best looking POPPA I’ve seen lately, it’s his heart and devotion to his family that just makes me smile :o)
    I am divorced and believe me you cannot find many POPPAS out there who come anywhere close to him,,,but I’ll keep looking :o)
    There, I said it and I am oh so glad I did.
    Anna (Nana)

  232. It is a great city, isn’t it? For so many reasons; perspective, delicious tastes and smells, beauty and sounds, the list goes on. It’s one of my favorite places, and I loved seeing more of what to look for, next time, from your perspective.

  233. What absolutely GORGEOUS pictures!! It makes me want to hop on a plan right now and go travel somewhere asap!!! :) Looks like such an amazing and fun trip!

  234. This comment has been removed by the author.

  235. i LOVE your work – and those apron dresses are adorable!! My 3 month old would be a quilted bundle.
    You seem to capture the pureness and raw forms we are as humans. I admire your artistry as I am very left-brained. I’ve looked at your website many times but had never ventured to your blog. I love that you say what I often think. I attended Andrea’s shower last weekend and finally put it together that you are *the* Kelle. If you decide to accept new clients again please let me know.

  236. LOVEY new york….the picture of Poppa eating and Nella looking at the camera is top notch. Love St. Pat’s…and just the ‘feeling’ of Manhattan….good times!

  237. LOVEY NYC! Even though I have been trying to slow down my life and not get worked up about anything….NY is still fun, fast and totally loveable. Even when it is August and 102 in the subway! Thank you for sharing! As always I am loving pics of Nella…my sprout is a couple of months behind her so it is fun to watch progress!
    Krystal Maher
    (Norwalk, IA)

  238. you made my home city look stunning.

  239. you made my home city look stunning.

  240. loving this post – and LOVE Tom Petty just saw him in Toronto..

  241. Your dad’s shoes are truly wonderful!

  242. ahh fantastic! i stopped my packing to come and do some kelle catch up (we are leaving for NY in 2 days! woo hoo!) and how exciting this was the blog i started my catch up with! makes me even more excited!

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