Family Marrow.

I have this problem. I am a life-lover. A marrow-sucker. An optimist on a life-long hunt for good and wonder and joy, and I find it. And that’s not even the problem. The problem is that, in maximizing good, sometimes I find it in so many places that when it’s abundantly flowing, I panic. And wait for the other shoe to fall. As if some tight-bunned type A chick with a clipboard is deliberately dishing out carefully allotted portions of good and somehow overlooked the extra helping and is now going to take it back.

I am learning to ride the currents–both good and bad–and rather than anticipating what’s around the bend whether it’s turbulent rapids or a serene oasis, I need to simply be in this moment and take what it has to give. Right now, things are really fabulous. And though I had to laugh at the last several posts with beach trips and parties and travels and this illusion of a rockstar life, I assure you it is weighted appropriately with the monotony of everyday life and stresses. I don’t photograph bills or the overflowing sink or the look on Brett’s face when he opens the washer to smell the sweet aroma of clothes that have sat for two days in putrid water. But, it’s there. Just this morning, I read these words from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and had to smile: “A writer’s job is to make the ordinary come alive, to awaken ourselves to the specialness of simply being. …A writer is a visitor from the Midwest to New York City for the first time, only she never leaves the Midwest; she sees her own town with the eyes of a tourist in New York City. And she begins to see her life this way too.” Hence the magic of what my blog does for me. …and in the process, I hope for you too.

I’ll spare you the putrid water pictures and instead share a little bit of the currents that have us dwelling in a lot of Really Good lately. And in sharing our place with my family these several days, I have come to love it all the more.

This is my brother…my Bubby. He and his wife met Nella for the first time the other night and this mama’s heart was swelling.

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This is my sister. Amazing doesn’t cut it.

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This weekend, we laughed and sipped and soaked, told stories and stayed up until even the moon was tired.

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Cousins swam early in the morning while the sun spilled magically into the pool.

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And finally, Sunday. Oh, Sunday.

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Perhaps that clipboard chick really did overlook the extra helpings.

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I have talked this place up to Utopian standards and while, yes, writing about the ordinary awakens hidden magic, this place is far from ordinary anymore. And the magic? It’s not hidden. It’s right there for the taking. In its salty craters and exhuberant dock dives. And maybe this weekend even in the vinegar soak my niece endured after a jelly-fish swung its tentacles to her thighs.

Behold, our Isle of Capri Sunday:

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Mending Barnacle Cuts:

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Nella’s a magnet to the sands and waters of this place. Perhaps it’s all the shells I plucked from this beach on walks here when my belly was large and round, and I was holding the hand of her big sister while we pointed out crabs and little fish and I dreamed of what exactly it would look like to have our entire family here.

It looks like this.

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And as we talked about Life under the palm-thatched roof of the cozy tiki hut until it was dark and raining and the beach was a mystery of moonlight and black waters, I made another grateful note on the ever-growing tally of this-right-here-is-good.

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More dollars on the beam!

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Family leaves today and we are off to Montana tomorrow. While things have been unusually crazy for us this September, I know they will soon be balanced with quiet home days when excitement visits us in the less-enthusiastic form of afternoons spent simmering lentil soup, baking pumpkin bread and maybe–just maybe–landing clothes in the dryer without a rewash cycle. Either way…it’s all good.

I’ll be blogging from the mountains next. And looking forward to nubby sweaters and tights and staying up late talking about life with a girl I love who I’ve never met. Life is crazy like that.

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Never mind searching for who you are. Search for the person you aspire to be. ~Robert Brault

Comments

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  1. Such a beautiful post! And gorgeous photos! Have a wonderful time on your trip :)

  2. I love this post! I often think about how optimistic you are and how I would love to be more like that. I realize it’s a blog and we don’t see the stressful things in life which we all have but I do admire and aspire your outlook on many things. Enjoy your trip!

  3. It is refreshing to focus on the positive. :-) Enjoy your trip!!

  4. So glad you got some time with your family. It is so precious to introduce littles to family members. Thanks for my virtual vacation to capri with you! Enjoy those mountains!

  5. LOVE LOVE the picture of Nella on the beach! And Lainey has no fears; just jumping in those waters! I am one of your followers who thinks your life is absolutely amazing and I don’t believe that there are dishes in the sink or clothes in the washer. I want to join you on the Isle of Capri!

  6. I can’t wait to see the magical photos from Montana :)

  7. You pictures are stunning! I wish you lived on Florida’s east coast so that we could use you for our family portraits.

  8. No matter what your post is about…I smile through it (ok & sometimes cry!!) That quote about the writer…fits you & your blog perfectly & I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one that has to use the re-wash cycle!

  9. Thank you. I needed this post this morning.

  10. Oh Kelle I loved this post. There are lots of ups and downs, but it is so much better to focus and spotlight the good. That’s why I find myself here with your every post. Thank you for that. Those pics were soooo happy and fun. You are going to love Montana. Can’t wait to see it through your beach lovin’ eyes;)

  11. What a beautiful family you have girl!
    I too am just trying to live in the moment and not worry about what is sneaking up around the corner both good and bad…
    like my poor little doggy who is still in the hospital after removal of a foreign object surgery and my home just simply doesn’t feel like home without the snorting little bugger..
    but life is good and my daughter is our world and your blog inspires me to be everything I want to be and to grab life by the horns because heck life is simply to short..

    and I am loving that quote

  12. I love that you have putrid clothes too! My husband strongly dislikes that! Welcome to Montana one day early…I hope you love it as much as we do!

  13. Love the quote at the end! Have a great trip to Montana. Can not wait to hear the story of you meeting Dig! Be safe…
    Natalie Jesup,Ga.

  14. I just love the dock shots! Lovely, it is good to know that everyone has a bit of good and bad – it makes my fantasizing about the perfect life seem silly which helps tremendously.

    Lovely fam, glad to have found your blog

  15. While I can’t get enough of your beachy photos, I gotta admit, I can’t wait to see the mountains from your view. :)

  16. Your family is so beautiful! What an awesome post! You make me wanna leave work, take my son out of school, pick my girl up from my mom’s and escape to the beach to pick shells and splash in the water. One day…I’m gonna do that!

    Have a safe and happy trip to Montana!! I hope to meet a “cyber” friend of mine someday soon too!! Enjoy this amazing experience!

  17. DIVINE. Thanks for not blogging with putrid washer pictures, I could walk up stairs and see that in living color. I needed and wanted a getaway and you gave that to me this morning. Thank you.

    Safe journey this week.

  18. thanks for letting us know things aren’t always perfect- i was beginning to think i was the only one with a sink full of dishes and whiny babies at home! love your blog!

  19. your pictures are always breathtaking… I love the one of Nella sitting in the sand and sleeping in her basket… and seeing Lainey with her cousins having so much fun! i have to go to this magical place someday!

    since finding your blog, my view has been shifted to that place where you look in the present for the sweetness of life… and find it in even the smallest of things… like having so much fun that you forget about the laundry :)

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  21. What a fun family time! Sweet pictures!

  22. Love love the pic of Nella in the basket. I got my Parents mag in the mail yesterday and I immediately had to flip to your article – always brings a tear to my eye….Oh, and I’m totally pumped that I’m not the only one that does the re-wash – totally made my day!

  23. I absolutely love when I arrive at your site to discover a new entry. Your words make me want to live bigger and better; it’s all just plain inspiring.

  24. I love this post. I too am a Midwest girl and my family is the most important thing in the world to me. I can feel the love through the photos of this post and the last. You are blessed. I too do the waiting for the other shoe to fall, it must be part of our Midwestern upbringing too:) I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving in our Indiana home,all the family gathers at my home for a comforting hot feast and then we all spend the day loving on each other and each others children.Possibly followed by lots of dessert, Rock band, dancing and of course, more loving! Have a fabulous trip to the Mountains. From blogging, many of my closest friends I have yet to meet in real life. God bless you for reminding me to enjoy the simple things on a daily basis.Big Hugs!
    Debi
    http://motherhoodthetruth.blogspot.com/

  25. Your blog does all of that for me and more!

  26. I LOVE THE NELLA BELLY!

  27. LOVE the shot of nella in the basket she is so adorable and LOOK HOW MUCH HAIR SHE IS GETTING!!! that girl is growing so fast…

    STILL WAITING on my parents mag…

  28. Nella’s tuft of hair sticking straight up in one of you photos put a smile on my face! It makes me miss my little who is at daycare right now!
    Also, I love Nella’s smile sitting in the sad, she seriously brightens my day :)
    Enjoy Montana!!
    lifeisbeautifulblogg.blogspot.com

  29. What a great way to start my day!! I always look forward to a new post.

  30. Thank you for ‘making the ordinary come to life’ for me! You do it so well!

    Have a fabulous trip!!!

    Love,
    Angela

  31. Just Magical!

  32. Safe travels and a wonderful trip to Montana. Say hello to your wonderful bloggie friend and don’t have TOO much fun or we will be envious 😉 And how about those adorable skirts she makes???

    Love this post…beautiful family!

    xxx

  33. Such a wonderful time! I hope you enjoy your trip. The weather has switched over to Midwestern “football season” so it should be perfect for all the things you hope to do and enjoy.

  34. funny, i was thinking this very morning if you ever have problems like we do. We had some bad stuff to wake up to this morning and I thought about you before i even checked the ol’ blogger. i was wondering why bad stuff happens to good people in regards to us and then i see your small tid bit that life isn’t always perfect….so i feel a little better. even amazing people have 3 day laundry in the washer. oh well. thanks

  35. I adore your blog, seriously, I just do! yours is the ONLY one that i have to site at WITH my cup of coffee and I just sit here with tears in my eyes at how beautiful life really is….adore YOU!
    tara

  36. I have just had to do a rewash cycle.. It’s very rare that clothes make it out the machine and into the dryer on the same day in my house!

    I love all the family photos. I needed this today. Something to remind me to focus on the positives. Thank you x

  37. I want to be your BFF just so I can nibble your little beach bunny Nella. Is that weird to say?
    I don’t care, she looks utterly delicious!!

  38. I am so excited in anticipation for your Montana posts. I follow both of your blogs… so I know it is gonna be great. But for now I am off to put clothes in the dryer.

  39. ah! these pictures make me want to come party and relax with you all! I can’t get over how your zest for life and love for your family/friends is just so infectious and
    wonderful. They are blessed to have you.

    The picture of Nella in the basket pulled hard at my Mommy heart strings. Wow.

  40. Have fun in Montana….and I think the picture of Nella looking straight at the camera in the sand is world peace personified. I’m serious. Marissa

  41. HA! I’m bad at switching laundry over too… : ) Love the new post and all the beautiful pictures! Enjoy your time in Montana. Life is crazy like that, thank you for reminding us to enjoy it! Have a safe trip!

  42. Lovin’ the ordinary. Thanks for opening my eyes to see its magic. Right there. Smiling me in the face. Just like your precious Nella.

    Can’t wait to see photos from Montana. Have a wonderful trip.

    Susan

  43. Ahh nubby sweaters and tights!! I am so very ready for a Midwest Fall! My sister and I were just talking, the other day, about how excited we are for sweaters and tall boots. Three Cheers for Autumn!! Enjoy your vacation!

  44. Kelle! What are you coming to MT for?? I live in Billings, are you going to be near? I’d love to meet you, and have our darlings meet! My littlest will be 1 on Oct. 2, and he loves all the pretty girls! My email is christina0469@msn.com. I’d love to hear from you!

  45. This whole blog is so disingenuous. I understand that your whole mantra is enjoying the small things, but bragging about your fabulousity with all your happiness and blessings and general cushy way of living is not. realistic. Where are these bad/turbulent times you speak of? You only show one side of yourself. The great side. The endlessly successful side. The side you want everyone to see. Where’s the Kelle that gets pissed and cries and sulks about it for a while and has arguments and frustrations? Yes, in the end, we overcome these things and life, on the whole, is good . . . but to skip over them as just a few words is passing as you wax poetic about yourself and your family is cheating your readers. Sorry, but it is.

  46. I’m really jealous of you that you’re going to Montana. The mountains are magical Kelle. Now that I’m living in PA, there’s nothing I miss more than mountains that raised me in Washington. I don’t know if you realize just how big of a sky you’re about to see, or the colors that you’ll be able to capture on your camera. Suck out all of the mountain marrow, and have a great time.

  47. I love that quote at the end. You always make me take norice in the magic of our flat, nothing much to do land. I’ve been putting much thought into a Sunday place we can find just as special. Although we have NOTHING around here like you do, I’m sure I can find it soon. “Do what you can where you are with what you have.” T. Roosevelt Have a most blessed trip!

  48. such amazing photos, as usual. my favorite is the one of Nella smiling, in the sand with the shells. A close second is her sleeping in the Moses basket. She is so beautiful!
    have a great trip! :)

  49. Great post. I don’t know if it was everything leading up to the photo of nella in the Moses basket, all of the good& happiness tinged with an under current of sadness (knowing soon your family would be going their own way-back home) or if it was just the photo. I burst into tears. Nella looked so peaceful, this photo screamed contentment, where I long to be. The photo was beautiful Nella is beautiful and life is beautiful.

  50. Thank you. :)

  51. Love how you absorb all the happiness life has to offer! You’re going to have such a phenomenal trip. By the way, we all do the re-wash thing. It’s cool.

  52. Nella’s eyes have magic in them!!! She is an old sole who is taking in ALL the good and sucking the life out of everthing just like her mommy!!! I loved your quote at the end!!!

  53. Kellie, I love that quote about writers looking at their own lives like a first time tourist to New York City. And I’ve got to tell you… after I read your blog, I feel as though I look up from my computer screen to discover that, wow, I am in fact standing right in the middle of Times Square. Thank you for reminding us that the ordinary really is magical if you look hard enough.

  54. Lovely!
    An above commenter was complaining about your lack of complaining on your blog……
    I just have to say that this is why I really enjoy your blog. It reminds me to see the magic in everday moments.
    There is enough whining and complaining in the world, why do I need to spend my free time reading about someone’s everyday crap.
    I appreciate your blog and thank you for it.

  55. Sometimes I look at your blog and it’s hard to imagine life less than perfect. That’s a silly thought! Of course you have a dirty kitchen, and blow out diapers, and days you don’t want to get out of bed. You are human! I think what’s important though, is you make the most out of what you’ve got! And, if we all took the time to look I think we’d all find our personal Isle of Capri. Have a beautiful trip north!

  56. kelle,
    you take such sweet pictures.
    id love to have talent like that.
    god bless you!
    cathy

  57. This is exactly why we love YOU! I LOVE that your clothes smell like putrid. ‘Cause I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that. A little vinegar helps with that, btw. I think a lot of us focus on the bad and try to get people laugh with us about our issues..and then you come and teach us all how we should be, thankful for all the good. Your posts might not be “funny” all the time, but they are heartfelt and good..all the things we long for in our lives. I think that’s why most of your readers are always crying. You make us feel guilty about the post we just wrote – not in a bad way, but in a good way. In a you-inspire-us way. You rock :)

  58. Oh my! That pic of Nella sleeping in the moses basket…HEAVENLY! Takes my breath away. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  59. I love, love, love the picture of Nella asleep in the Moses basket <3 So adorable!!!!

  60. Oh Emily, while I appreciate your comment here, I was part of the weekend…maybe the reason for the surprise reunion, and really take offense at your thought these words were anything less than genuine. It really was pretty magical–even the weather, in the midst of Florida’s rainy season, was perfect. I was trying to look back and remember a part of our weekend that might have pleased you–some raw argument or family disruption and all I could think of was Sydney’s being stung by a jellyfish–but it turned out to be a non-event. There are shadows on the journey. Some peek their heads out at unexpected moments. Some continue and are just absorbed in the routine of life. Sure, some might make great journalistic fodder for those who seem to enjoy them, but I, and I am afraid Kelle genetically reflects the same vivew, like to fire the bright spots–like building up speed and enjoying the breeze on the downhills to help you on the uphill struggle. Also, while this wonderful broader public audience is a tremendous source of support, there are some whose circumstances so parallel Kelle’s that, through emails, phone calls and conversations, they are very aware of every sinister shadow, every time the bike chain falls off, every nasty bump on the path. Their counsel is sterling and support spot-on. Just sayin’. I still appreciate your candor but disagree with your assumption Kelle “edited out” the bad in a weekend that was pretty wonderfully special.

  61. My, oh, my! you Florida people keep the sun screen companies in business! Beautiful post!

    asIfrolicThroughLife.blogspot.com

  62. rik,
    i wish you were the minister of my church!
    can i get an amen!
    you speak so eloquently!
    your gentle but honest.
    no wonder all these women want you to adopt them, tee hee!
    kelles right to focus on the good
    all of have eneough of the not so good
    better to have your glass half full!

  63. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” –Philippians 4:8. If I were the minister of your church, LOL! I am what I think about…I have a choice in what I focus on. I steer toward what I stare at. I look for beauty. I am not blind to this world’s blemishes. I cannot paint away the painful realities of living, but I can hopefully weave the dark threads with the bright ones and help create a tapestry I find joy in. Thank you, Cathy, for your “Amen!” (We obviously have some Church in our history!)

  64. Emily,

    Perhaps you should read the title of Kelle’s blog: “Enjoying the Small Things”.

    I for one love Kelle’s uplifting message in each of her blogs. I am certain her life has it’s ups and downs, just like the rest of us. Since I come from a very large family, we constantly have some roller coaster ride going on and Kelle’s blog is my therapy, the place I go to escape what is going on with my own life and a place I find some joy and a smile.

    Refer to birth of Nella, Kelle opened herself up raw for the world to read and judge. So in all fairness, she is honest about her bad days too.

    Kelle, keep it coming….I think you are AWESOME!!!

  65. Such good advice….”I need to simply be in this moment and take what it has to give”

    Ahh Montana, may just be your new favorite place, it too, like Capri, is magical.

    One request from this Gram, a wee skype with you, 4 jammie clad girls and “with a girl I love who I’ve never met.”

    Say hello to Montana for me Kelle!

    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

    ps…Rik,Cathy & Emily
    I double that AMEN & raise you two!!

  66. thank you for welcoming us into your life and your family…. even though its just a peek into the happiness, joy, excitement, and magic …. and although you keep the wet laundry, piles of bills, and sad babies on the outside we know they are there, its what makes the rest that much more magical…………….seeing the little glimmer of magic everyday helps me look past the cruddy parts in my life and try focus on the magic in my own house instead of the shoes all over the entry way, the bills that are like a deck of cards, and my own wet laundry :)……. thank YOU!

    ….enjoy the mountains of montana…..my husband and i left our life there in may for the alaskan tundra…….we were just chatting the other day about how much we missed it……..hug the trees and mountains for us…….you will have a wonderful trip….

  67. rik,
    you have a beautiful soul……..

  68. I guess we are soul sisters , I just love family reunions and I think that being a family is such a uncounting blessing , specially nowadays in the century of individualisms. Your photos are great as ever . God bless you all !!!
    Tomorrow will be my mom 80 bday and I will host a family party to her…but this is a su r pri se ….

  69. Keep on suckin’ that marrow girlfriend!

  70. safe travels!
    by looking at life with this viewpoint … you are leading so many others to do the same. keep it up mama!
    cannot wait to see what you two mamas come up with in montana! enjoy.

  71. Kel I am a sucker for a naked baby and that picture of Nella on the beach in her diaper makes my mama heart melt. Perfect. I love that your brother got to meet Nella. What a precious and perfect time. That daddy of yours is leaving this weekend with his love tank on full and so are his babies. I love this Kel.

  72. Amazing post as usual.

    Have a good trip to Montana.

    Can’t wait to hear all about it

  73. Oh I always love, love, love your posts. How I wish I could go and love on your little ones. Nella is growing and becoming more beautiful than ever. And Lainey her swimming skills, wow! She could teach my Madilyn who is 7 yrs old and still can’t swim! My Tristan has to meet Nella he loves babies he’s 2 yrs old and when I’m reading your blog he is usually sitting next to me and he always says, “oooooohhhhh she’s so tute!” His way of saying cute.

  74. Oh Malu, I haven’t seen you on here in awhile and I have missed you. Give your mom a faraway hug from me on her 80th! Celebrating her 80th is Hawaii–not bad!

  75. Oh POPPA RIK- YOU always “nail it”. Thank you, always, for that. Emily, you, of course, think what you think. But I agree with ERIN – and I don’t think I am being cheated by Kelle. I have read about, and understand, that Kelle has the mundane things in life. I have read the birth story and other thoughts since. I have never once thought that Kelle presents only one side. I dont think she needs to share all that with us, nor does she probably want to. and..she doesnt HAVE to. I am sure she has her hubby, family and friends for that. I dont think i expect her to share ALL with us. And I, for one, can hear complaining and a litany of problems from everyone. It’s not what i come here for. KELLE, I loved this post – good to know there are putrid clothes. And thanks always for sharing the Isle of Capri – such fun! And I am so glad you had a lot of Family time with your extended family; what a blessing! Have fun in Montana~

    erin vs emily

  76. Kelle,

    Thank you for reminding all of us to find joy and beauty in the simple things! I love your optimism and excitement in relishing all of God’s wonders. Since I started reading your blog, I’ve been challenged to be a “overflowing full cup” instead of the “sometimes half-empty cup” kind of girl. Thanks for the nudge!

  77. Love, love Rik’s post. Love this blog. I’m inspired. Keep it comin’!

  78. People crack me up. Blogs can be about whatever you want them to be about. Of course you have regular life stress and difficulties…you are HUMAN, but your blog offers people a retreat. A place to unwind from the daily stresses to soak in the beauty that life offers. Beauty that so many people miss because they are too consumed with stress. It does us all good to slow down and enjoy the small things. Your blog is beautiful, your pictures are amazing, and your love for life is contagious!

    Keep on ROCKIN’, Kelle!!!

  79. Look at that “Nelly Belly!” Too cute – I love baby bellies.

  80. Yes, POPPA – you can get an AMEN from me too! Yep, there’s Church in my history too. And I would LOVE for you to be the preacher at my church. I think you are a great preacher in the church of Life. I, too, like many, have dark times. Just now – very recently I have been walking throught one of THE very toughest things I have ever had to walk thru in my long life. Gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, the dark night of the soul. Believe me. And I have had to struggle with keeping the faith. And yet I CHOOSE to get thru it, not like I am Pollyanna but, rather, realizing that *I* can have much affect on it – on my thoughts and, thus, the final outcome and how I move forward. Just sharing here a bit, from a long-time follower of Kelle’s and her appointed “blog mama” (haha). Love you, Poppa Rik

  81. Oooooooooh, so many exciting things happening for you! Good things do indeed happen to good people. I’ve been away for the past fews days so I totally used your blog as my incentive to sort and start laundry before sitting down to read.(confession: some days I find shit lying on my floor, can’t decide if it’s been previously washed or if it’s dirty, become paralyzed with confusion and toss the damn thing into the laundry basket to avoid making a decision, or worse, ironing.) A few things:
    1. Happy birthday, Poppa! You’re brilliant, beautiful and bold – best of all, you’re kind. You give sixty a good name. Glad to see that God was thumping out the bass with the brilliant light show!
    2. Uhm, does your sister not have a few kids? If so, I would suggest it’s illegal for her to look that sensational in a bikini. Yes, that sound is me sharpening my claws. Booooooo….Hisssssssss. OK, I’m done now. Please ask her to share her secrets for swift and merciless “muffin top” elimination.
    3. I will be on the hunt for that magazine so I can have a copy of your beautiful story.
    4. LOVE the photo of the bird on the treetop. He’s like, “Dude, did you snap the picture yet? ‘Cause I need to go kill me some mice.”
    5. Have a fabulous time with Dig in Montana. If you girls get into trouble and need to flee the country, I’m just to the north in Saskatchewan.

  82. Nella is getting cuter by the day! I love seeing that round little face! Thanks for giving us a break from the reality of smelly laundry & dishes…it’s a lovely little escape.

  83. I signed up for a Google account so I could finally comment to you, even though I have been following for a while now :) Reading your blog brightens my day and uplifts my soul. Your vibrant words and exuberant love for life is inspiring, to say the least. I also think it is so fitting that you included the Robert Brault quote to close this post, because I was just talking to my friends about you and how incredibly awesome it would be to be half the woman you are when I become a mama. I thank you from the deepest corner of my heart!

  84. And unless there were indeed fish fillets dropping from the sky, I meant thumping out the base, not the bass…

  85. I love what your words and pictures do to me! So beautiful! I am sitting her with tears in my eyes, happy that you had such a wonderful time with your family. And I’ve never even met you. Looks like a fantastic week! -Kim

  86. ~even the moon was getting tierd~
    i love this

  87. I always love your Isle photos but these are by far my favorite! Everyone looks like they had a great time – jelly fish sting and all!

    I wish I could hit the beach but my ‘little bit of Florida’ is coming to visit me here in Connecticut instead… I’ll be down in Naples soon enough!

  88. I’m so glad I’m not the only one with frequently funky smelling laundry :)

    I read your article in Parents in line at the grocery store today- and even though I’ve already read your birth story numerous times- it still gave me chills and a tear.

  89. Kelle, Thank you for being sunny and happy and overly wonderful. Thank you for pointing out that even the small things are wonderful things!

    So happy to see that you got to spend a wonderful weekend with your family and have a fabulous trip to Montana! Can’t wait to see pictures!!!

  90. Haha I had one of those washer accidents recently and had to rewash. I’m glad I’m not the only one who forgets. I love making homemade lentil soup and I can’t wait to come in from a crisp fall afternoon and have some warm soup with my little girl!

  91. have so much fun in montana! i’m so excited to see your posts…i grew up there and have a very, very special place in my heart for that state! enjoy it’s fabulousness!

  92. Oh that tight-bunned-clipboard lady… just enjoy & appreciate your extra rations. The moment is where it’s at, be it good or bad. You have spread so much light & love & creative energy in the world… you’ve got that times ten coming back at you.
    Enjoy that big sky.
    Safe travels!
    xo
    Kate
    p.s. Poppa you rock! I dearly hope that it will be you who writes the forward in someone’s upcoming book?!?

  93. I have loved your blog for a while now. It makes me stop and remember to seize this moment and make the most of it because tomorrow isn’t promised. I like you always feel like the other shoe will drop but I am trying to not stress about what’s around the bend like you said.

  94. I just want to zurburt Nella’s chubby belly in that pic of her sitting on the beach. She is delicious. I fight urges to have another when I see her in all her beautifulness!

  95. Ahhhh, your posts are so calming. They work wonders everytime for me. Enjoy your trip! I can hardy wait to read all about it!

  96. I heart Nella in the basket. What a snuggly photo.

  97. kelle, im sorry for takin up so much space on your blog
    but you truly are an inspiration
    two things then ill shush
    linda mg in calif
    im sending lots of love and sunshine and rainbows to you in your trying times-you have a great attitude.
    and rik thank you for saying kind words to me-your never know when a kind word can make so much difference in a persons day.
    one more thing- i promise
    rik , you write so beautifully, just like kelle.
    i propose we take a vote on here. all who want poppa rik to start a blog say “me”! if we get more then 10 votes then you must start a blog. fair eneough?
    people who comment on kelles blog know what theyre talkin about.

  98. Kelle~ I for one am glad you do not focus on the negative. We know you are human. We know you hit the bus from time to time but you make the most of it. I for one look for your blog for encouragement. You made my WHOLE weekend by writing me back when I was so discouraged last week. Keep on being real and the awesome Woman that God created. I would not want you any other way.

    Oh and the picture of Nella in the Moses basket totally melted me.

    Have a wonderful trip.

    Ps.

    I keep showing every one that will stop for 5 seconds your artlicle in parent magazine. I swell up with pride every time I show some one because I am so proud of you.

  99. I love your blog… and it’s nice to know you are human and forget the clothes in the washer sometimes too :)

  100. The picture of Nella laying in the sand is one of my favorite pictures ever …. of any baby!!

    Enjoy your trip!

  101. Rik – Amen, brother! Thanks for your words. Life is always going to have the good, bad, and ugly; but what are you going to make of it? My daughter threw up all over me and the big bed the other night, but do I dwell on that? Nope. Because I choose not to dwell on it. Life is all about choices and perspectives.

    And yes, will you be the one to write the beautiful preface for Kelle’s book (ah, you know there’s something bigger and beautiful out there that’s brewing!).

    Kelle – Enjoy your visit with Nici. I get goosebumps for the two of you. I spent 12 summers out in Oregon, growing up with my grandma at the base of the Blue Mountains. There’s something very special about the Northwest. There’s so much history, so much beauty. Suck up every moment because it’s spectacular. I truly miss the West.

    Best wishes to you! Love the Nella Belly and Rik, Happy Birthday. You got to feel lots of love last weekend. You’re blessing are priceless.

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  102. nella gets more beautiful every picture, and i enjoy reading about the marrow-sucking.

    vinegar: rinse your clothes in vinegar, and the overnight smell clears up much more quickly. if it’s just one night, just vinegar in a rinse cycle. two nights, run a new load and add vinegar to the load with your usual soap. i know this works, ’cause i do it all the time.

  103. Nella asleep in the little moses basket makes me melt! I remember just a few months ago when my little one was that little and I swear there was nothing more precious than watching him snuggled up and sleeping. Now..I let him sleep in his crib and do a happy dance outside of the door as he talks himself to sleep and I get an hour or two of time for me! :)

    Have a fabulous week!

  104. You can really tell how much Nella has grown seeing how much of the Moses basket her cuteness takes up!

  105. Rik, I don’t argue that you had a great weekend. Who am I to say what was and was not enjoyable and wonderful? Looked like a blast. You guys have it good. Congratulations. In no way whatsoever do I want the good in life to be or seem any less good. I just happen to find people more relatable – more HUMAN – when I can see that they, too, struggle (sometimes with small things) and have bad days and need to vent. Having those feelings, those days, those emotions, are what makes the good even better. I’m not suggesting that Kelle doesn’t have those days, nor do I begrudge her her happiness, but whatever hiccups she does have . . . she certainly doesn’t share them in a way that feels honest. I feel like this place has gotten to the point where she feels like she HAS to be so inspirational that she can’t just leave it at: “I had a bad day, bought myself some lip gloss to feel better and kinda helped. Hope tomorrow is a little brighter!” or “I really sucked at letting go when Lainey had ballet. That was hard, and I didn’t like it.” Not everything in life needs a positive spin. Sometimes it is what it is, and THAT’S OKAY. Does Kelle know that? I realize I’m leaving this comment to a very hostile audience of ferocious Kelle-lovers and that’s fine. I also realize that I’m making myself sound like a miserable bitch, which is also fine. I just know that on my own blog and with my own friends, I share the good and the bad, and they read me just the same.

  106. fantastic quotes! beginning and end! woah.. like those :)
    your family looks terific.. i love how you make ordinary life seem fun – and hearing hte little moments where life is messy is encouraging too… thanks for being so open and sharing kelle! i hope you’re having fun with nici.. i love her blog too!
    xoxo

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  108. “Stayed up until even the moon was tired” = Lovely wording of the day.

    The photo of Nella sleeping in the moses basket is just perfect. Oh my.

    And Lainey’s “sand”balls made me giggle. Brilliant.

    Jennifer in Cowtown

  109. Beautifully written post….sometimes I find myself wondering, “how would Kelle spin my day” It’s not always perfect, but there are gems in each day and it’s our job to find them, grab them, and treasure them. Thanks for the reminder.

  110. Emily, if you have read previous posts, Kelle has certainly shared those moments when she was hit by the bus again. She is well aware and quite comfortable with not being inspirational, not feeling creative, not cutting her French Toast into hearts and sprinkling them with powdered sugar…but believe me, this revealed spirit is real and constant. There is no hostile audience here, and I am sorry if you felt that way. I just find it difficult to hear someone who doesn’t have the pleasure to really know her day to day take the time to select and assemble some words in a comment with a goal of–well, I’m not sure what. I know you now write as though your motive was to compassionately remind Kelle it is okay to be less than sparkling but in my life, (and I’ve lived alot as my birthday seems to whisper)I have come to be convinced there are some who seem to love others whey they are wounded and broken but when they appear strong the whole, they go back to being critical of them–to shake the pedestal they seem to think they are on. I don’t really understand that. In acutality, everyone is wounded and broken–but not everyone needs to know that–those are healthy boundaries. That fully vulnerable view is for those precious inner circle friends you are fully comfortable with in your brokenness–because with them, you find your wholeness. Kelle is fully in touch with her sadness as well as her joy…and the sadness isn’t healed with the purchase of lip gloss…but I am often deeply impressed with what she does and how she gets her equilibrium after life’s bumps. I am sure gorgeous models get pimples and Mother Teresa may have had some less than saintly moments–but I have no need nor desire to be provided the evidence–I can just appreciate their beauty on the runway and the radiance of the soul… I do not want to be one who, when my happy friends face adversity, smile and whisper under my breath, “Finally–now they seem real.” Oh, and I have never subscribed to that phrase “It is what it is.” My children actually use it…and they will tell you I abhor it. If everything was what it was we would never know what might be. The present tense wasn’t meant to be a prison. It is a springboard for what might be. But oh…I ramble. (A privilege of being 60)
    (My apology for making comments a chat room!)

  111. Emily, if you have read previous posts, Kelle has certainly shared those moments when she was hit by the bus again. She is well aware and quite comfortable with not being inspirational, not feeling creative, not cutting her French Toast into hearts and sprinkling them with powdered sugar…but believe me, this revealed spirit is real and constant. There is no hostile audience here, and I am sorry if you felt that way. I just find it difficult to hear someone who doesn’t have the pleasure to really know her day to day take the time to select and assemble some words in a comment with a goal of–well, I’m not sure what. I know you now write as though your motive was to compassionately remind Kelle it is okay to be less than sparkling but in my life, (and I’ve lived alot as my birthday seems to whisper)I have come to be convinced there are some who seem to love others whey they are wounded and broken but when they appear strong the whole, they go back to being critical of them–to shake the pedestal they seem to think they are on. I don’t really understand that. In acutality, everyone is wounded and broken–but not everyone needs to know that–those are healthy boundaries. That fully vulnerable view is for those precious inner circle friends you are fully comfortable with in your brokenness–because with them, you find your wholeness. Kelle is fully in touch with her sadness as well as her joy…and the sadness isn’t healed with the purchase of lip gloss…but I am often deeply impressed with what she does and how she gets her equilibrium after life’s bumps. I am sure gorgeous models get pimples and Mother Teresa may have had some less than saintly moments–but I have no need nor desire to be provided the evidence–I can just appreciate their beauty on the runway and the radiance of the soul… I do not want to be one who, when my happy friends face adversity, smile and whisper under my breath, “Finally–now they seem real.” Oh, and I have never subscribed to that phrase “It is what it is.” My children actually use it…and they will tell you I abhor it. If everything was what it was we would never know what might be. The present tense wasn’t meant to be a prison. It is a springboard for what might be. But oh…I ramble. (A privilege of being 60)
    (My apology for making comments a chat room!)

  112. Awesome, as always. Because I’m sure you needed just one more person to tell you that! 😉

    Seriously, there is so much “right here” that is good. Thanks for always reminding us of that.

    Gorgeous photos. Beautiful family.

    And here’s hoping at least ONE of us gets some laundry in the dryer without a rewash cycle sometime soon. (You have no idea how good it makes me feel to know that I’m not alone.)

  113. Oh Emily….Did you not read the post of Nellas Birth….How much more raw emotion can one person show…Did you not read the post about how her house can be a mess, and she reruns the dishwasher so she doesnt have to empty them- how much more real can she be!!

    She puts a positive spin on things because that is Kelle and who she is!! She sees the best in everything….that is why we all LOVE her!!! She has a way of making the mundane task seem magical and wonderful. Something we all need and should do more of!!!

    XO
    Another wonderful post Kelle…and I cant believe you are really going to meet Niki!!!! CANNOT WAIT FOR THAT POST!!!!

    Hugs,
    R

  114. I’m seriously going to figure out how to get down to this Isle of Capri of yours to check out all of this reported bliss. I have bliss envy:) Your family is lovely and your blog is fab. Keep seeing the sunshine like you do. . . we need more sunshine people.

  115. I’m so happy you get to see Digs! I think one of the first posts I read was about that peach butter and I wanted a care package full of that yumminess too! :)what beautiful tune shall accompany this “reunion”???

  116. You are always amazing and wonderful and bring out the beauty in life. Thank you!!!

  117. Believe me, I take no delight in the unhappiness of others. To say that writing about Kelle’s misfortune would “please” me is a misnomer. But anyone who says that they haven’t been relieved to see what celebrities look like without makeup or before retouching is LYING! It’s part of life. It’s real. This blog, to me, in my humble opinon, reads like life retouched. That’s what I’m saying. And I agree that there are those in life who are privy to EVERYTHING, and that is special and I don’t doubt that Kelle has that network. My point is that this honesty is not evidenced here. That’s all.

    So Kelle forgot laundry in the washer and I sat on my sunglasses. What of it? What does that tell anyone about who we are? That’s not a flaw. That’s not a vulnerability; that’s a cute mistake. And if you say that this blog is not intended to be revealing, then it shouldn’t be masquerading as such.

  118. Oh, Kelle, I just love it, LOVE IT ALL!!

    Have an incredibly amazing trip to the mountains. Can’t wait to hear about it …

  119. Emily – you need to accept that some people do see the world the way Kelle does. If you don’t want to read the way she writes, don’t! But why try to prove that Kelle is not being honest?

    I’ve read every post Kelle has written, going back through the archives, and this lady is very honest. She writes with emotion and passion, giving us a glimpse into her family.

    It is Kelle’s choice to share what she chooses to share – who are you to demand more?

    Kelle – your girls are beautiful and I aspire to be a mama like you someday. *hugs* to your family and to Poppa Rik.

  120. Kelle, I adore your blog, it is so inspirational, and nothing makes me smile more than seeing a pic of the gorgeous smiling Nella (not forgetting Lainey of course!)

    I’m visiting FL next week and am considering visiting Capri to discover it’s wonders.

    Have a great time in Montana and looking forward to the photos to come.

    Ang

  121. HollyElise, I’m not “demanding” anything. I made an observation; it started a conversation. I’m sharing my. opinion. I’m not angling to convince anyone of anything. I’m only trying to clarify my own point of view, which I am entitled to.

  122. I personally LOVE getting my cup of coffee and snuggling down to read the latest adventures of Ms. Kelle and her perfectly perfect ‘littles’ and the amazingly flawless family and friends she surroundes herself with. And read about all the adventures they take – whether it be to their magical backyard forest or the corner pizzeria with all the ‘gang’ or (my absolute fav!!) The Isle of Dreamy Carpi…..*DAYDREAMING* I have piles of bills to pay and I have a teething fussy baby and I have a car with the check engine light that’s been on for the past 6 months – I don’t want to go read about someone elses bills or fussy babies or check engine lights. I want to escape to a ‘perfect’ world and dream of spending my days at my pool or laying on the sand or evening picnics by the lake…….that’s why I LOVE Kelle and her blog. It’s my DAYDREAM. Thank you KELLE!! YOU ARE MY ROCKSTAR!!

  123. That photo of Miss Nella with the sun peering over her shoulder is pure magic! So beautiful!
    I know how you feel…when life is traveling along blissfully, I wonder when my luck will end & the jinxed times will come-a-knocking :) But really…it doesn’t work like that…we just have to take life as it comes & the BLISS usually follows the positive people…like you Kelle!
    Have a beautiful week in Montana! I too have a bloggy, online friend who i’ve known for 3yrs but never met… I live in Australia…her in Canada. We will meet one day & it will be the most magical of days…I can not wait! Isn’t it crazy that the dearest of friends can be someone we haven’t even met in person yet :)
    xo

  124. While I generally don’t get involved in blog controversy and try to let readers “work it out,” I’m stepping in. Hi.
    While the increased readership does indeed affect this blog, I try not to let it affect my writing and purpose for doing so. With that being said, I write for the same reason I always have…for me. And what helps me me a better person is to focus on the good. Some find therapy in venting on their blogs about the bad and while that may happen from time to time here, I generally don’t find myself becoming better from it. Venting sometimes happens on phone calls to friends or family where it is safely embraced and understood. There are a number of well-written blogs that have a lot of venting and many that are funny, intuitive and relatable. I can’t cover all the genres here but instead write what’s best for me and that is to do what I love…and I love taking pictures and looking around to find some good shit to enjoy.
    And I’m sorry I said shit.

  125. Just wanted to say…that pic of Nella lying on her back in the sand completely took my breath away….great job mama!

  126. Thank you, thank you, KELLE, for stepping in. Whew -as YOU said, POPPA – this seems to be turning into a chat room here. Kelle AND Poppa, i am so glad that you are both obvious life-lovers! And POPPA< I love what you wrote earlier from Philippians – yes, the BIBLE! I may have to post that somewhere at home, to help me get thru this very difficult time. KELLE (and Poppa), bless both of you. I only wish there were more people in the world with the kind of spirits and hearts that you have. Love~

  127. Please take one picture of dirty dishes in the sink, a toilet needing scrubbed or of the vegetable in your refridgerator bin that has passed over to vegetable heaven.

    We ain’t buyin’ it sistah!

  128. Holy Moly I just saw the commentary…I better clear up my statement!

    I meant…that I don’t believe you have a hair out of place! I am in a magical place when I read your blog, so when you claim to have putrid water in your washing machine, I say “bottle it baby and send it my way” …I need proof of your faults! lol

  129. LOL at your comment Kelle! I love reading your blog because it is real to me. It reminds me to open my eyes and enjoy the smallest of moments and as you say “suck the marrow” out of them. It is also comforting to know that there is someone else out there (many someones from all the comments) that can identify with stinky, unfolded, piled laundry; dirty dishes in the sink; and just general disarray. Thank you for being you, writing how you write, and putting a great blog out there for readers like all of us to enjoy! :)

    P.S. Have a great time in Montana!

  130. Sher…no offense. Ha ha. If it’s of any consolation, I’m not packed for our massive trip tomorrow, I’m procrastinating like hell, and watching Dora on the couch with my girl seems like way more fun than cleaning the house.

  131. Oh how I miss everyone. Everyone looks so great! I understand how you feel….being with my family is my very FAVORITE thing. I am sure you never wanted it to end.
    I hope we can all get together soon. Want to meet Miss Nella so badly.

    Love to you

  132. This is how I think you blog works… or at least how it effects me.

    You are the little girl

    http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/94000?fp=1

  133. Safe travels Kelle!

  134. I am relieved that I am not the only one who envisions an abundance of goodness being taken away at any moment because it can’t truly be this great! And yes, your blog does exactly what you hope it does for many readers!

  135. Maybe I’ll see you in Missoula….if that’s where you are coming to visit! The weather is in the 70’s here….the leaves are starting to change…cool mornings and evenings. It’s beautiful! I hope this is where you are traveling.

  136. I love the final sunset pcture…it’s gorgeous!

  137. I have been reading your blog for a little over 3 months now and I have fallen in love with your gorgeous family, your beautiful words, and just the way you capture all those perfect moments in life that are sometimes so easy to overlook. You are inspiration! My Husband saw me scrolling through your blog today and he said “are you really reading about some strangers life, you are such a snooper!” he obviously doesn’t get it!!!! I am a lover of people and when I find a person who exudes so much joy and happiness I can’t help but snoop!!! Thank you for allowing me in to your beautiful life!

  138. totally agree with sher….love that video and great analogy to this blog! :)Have a fABULOUS trip, Kelle!! I know that blog will make me cry b/c I believe in the power of friendships.

  139. I just had to leave an additional comment. I think it was Rik who equated some of our “moments” to a chain falling off the bike”. I LOVE that. That is perfect because what happens you get mad, frustrated or even pissed off, maybe cry then what do we do…we put the chain back on, dry our eyes, get on the bike and move on. It was just a great word picture for me.

  140. Poppa, you always seems to have the right things to say! As I was reading through the posts and the comments of Emily, I was struggling to put my feelings into words (probably why I’m not a writer :). You are so RIGHT ON!! Please, please, please start a blog so we can recieve some more of that inspiration! It’s very obvious where Kelle gets her eloqence..and good looks too! 😉

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  143. ‘it was dark and raining and the beach was a mystery of moonlight and black waters’

    Wow, I am quickly memorising that to recite to myself.

    Also, the picture of Nella ( the one underneath the phrase ‘It looks like this’) is maybe,and there are so many it is a maybe, my favourite pic of her that I’ve ever seen.

    Lovely family, lovely times. I am not sure if I will be able to read ‘the Montana posts’, it may all be too much for me and I’m not kidding! But I somehow think I will be reading them though…

    Don’t worry about the packing, I always work on the theory that it will realise it has to do itself if you leave it late enough, and so far, it always has 😉

  144. Kelle,
    I just wanted to say thank you for writing such beautiful things and taking such wonderful photos which give us readers such a special experience. You help all of us strive to see the beauty in even the littlest things. Have a wonderful time in Montana.

  145. they say life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% how you handle it. the optimism you use to interpret your life makes me think that your 90% spills over into that 10% a little more than most, making for a wonderfully beautiful life experience. thanks for letting us tag along. :)

  146. I do that ALL the time with the laundry!! So glad I’m not the only one!!

  147. I’ve never commented before (although I check daily for posts).
    Life is hard. Friends get cancer. Kids throw up on our couch. Husbands annoy us. Some blogs are a great venue for venting, some share information, some make me laugh until I pee; Kelle’s blog shares joy and beauty. When my girl has bad news from her cancer treatment, I let her cry it out but I lift her up with brunch, friends, tissue paper pom poms… living. I can’t kill tumors, but I can make her laugh until she holds her tummy, I can decorate her office and I can make enough pop poms to decorate our town in pink – that’s something. For real.

    This blog helps me channel that joy when I am low and reminds me to take pictures, look for love and hug and kiss more than I whine.

    There are millions of blogs, enough for everyone to have their very own voice and each of us to find the shoulder we need to rest upon. I just like this one, it is one of a handful that I stick with and I am grateful for the amazing women that create these magical little spaces.

  148. Virginia Satir once wrote “We are friends in spots.” It is true. There are some people we connect with on many points and spots. There are others we might just share one. We are wrong to say one is not honest just because they don’t view life the same as we do. Is not the human family so diverse one can see the same thing yet have a dynamically different response? Saying that, I am one who honestly, genuinely swear-on-a-stack-of-Bibles does not like to see those paparazzi pilfered grotesquely angled photos of movie stars looking their worst. I don’t care if it’s Alec Baldwin’s belly or Meryl Streep without makeup–stolen “honesty” is just wrong. What is up with that? It seems to me they were violated. It was no moment of honesty–it was a form of rape. And I never watch any of those Housewives from Anywhere shows that boost their ratings with bitchfights and meltdowns. I do not find entertaining the talk shows where the huband selects the moment when millions are watching to tell his wife he has been sleeping with her best friend. It just disturbs me. But ratings tell me others feed on them like sharks tasting blood. It might help them appreciate their own lives more…I am not sure. But I don’t think it has much to do with honesty. I have never deified people. I don’t need them to display their struggles to tell me they have them. I don’t tune in to find anguish…it seems to find us. But I will search for the rainbow in the storm and celebrate the tiny and beautiful moments that are woven even in the darkest hours for I know they lead us to the light. I find people–all people–so facinating and intricate. I like to try to understand. On our trip to NYC we enjoyed a great conversation with a New Yorker who told us about 9/11. What she focused on was the incredible outpouring of love that filled the City following the horrific event. It is strange, but I will forever remember her stories and her still touched heart, and it is like a bright colored tapestry I pull over the ruins of the toppled towers. Do I still remember the incredible loss? Yes, but I choose to remember more the incredible love and I wonder if those precious souls would choose this as their legacy. Perspective is determined by where we stand, not what we are looking at. I will stand right here. (I will be getting a phone call from Kelle. She will say, “Let it go, Dad.” And I will.)

  149. I have to stop and give a shout out today – as I have a brother Bubby too. He is now an Uncle Bubs and loved so much by our sweet daughter Ceci.

    Enjoy Montana – my very bestest friend Allison is in Missoula – if you cross her path and her three crazy boys, give her a hug from me and tell her I’ll see her soon.

    When will your travels take you out to Oregon – there’s a lot of marrow here!!

  150. I don’t have time for blog reading every day, but I love that almost ever time I feel stressed out I can fire up your blog (love your music) and be uplifted by your attitude. And tonight I was just tense (nothing bad, just a long day) and that picture of Nella in the basket just relaxed me – so sweet and snuggly and perfect. Thank you!!

  151. I love this post…the realness is wonderful and refreshing. Thank you

  152. Hi Kelle and Family,
    Thank you once again for sharing these joyful moments with us.
    Have a wonderful time in Montana! Really looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing some more lovely photos. x

  153. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Emily was right on.

  154. You have a sweetie for a dad… Love the support and comments!

  155. Kelle, I read your latest entry at a time when I needed a serious pick-me-up. Thank you once again for reminding me to focus on the good life has to offer.

    I don’t feel I am being cheated reading this blog… Poppa Rik hit the nail on the head when he said we should search for the rainbow in the storm. I live in the Philippines and we experienced the worst flooding in our history last year with Typhoon Ketsana… yet instead of dwelling on the overwhleming loss and devastation, focus was given to the incredible outpouring of of love and generousity from people… people who had so little to give still gave all that they could to help those in need and in turn renewed my hope in the human spirit. It’s a different perspective on life, I know, and I understand some people want to be “realistic” and “real” rather than being optimistic… but being the latter makes one appreciate life so much more and can even allow HAPPINESS – the feeling of joy and contentment. I am not kidding myself; life isn’t perfect and it never will be. Smelly laundry and bad days will always be there. But taking it all in stride and just focusing on the overwhelming plentitude of blessings God has given us (He has, you know; sometimes you just gotta open your eyes and SEE) makes like a little less ordinary and a little more magical… and there is nothing dishonest about it.

    I’m sorry. I count this blog as a blessing in my life and I hope others will put aside expectations and just take Kelle’s words as they are… I’ll stop now. A few more sentences and I’ll be talking about unicorns already!

    Have a blessed Wednesday! Enjoy the small things! :-)

  156. My day started with a dead car battery,lost cell phone,late to work, bad mood. The middle was a celebration of my now five year old daughters life with pizza,arcade games,hot pink iced chocolate cupcakes and twisty balloons. Then an hour ago the frustration of a long day,3 kiddos, a mountain of things to do (including sour laundry), and a hubby that wanted to go play cards with the guys, I felt the “I hate lifes” coming on. So on a whim I stopped…tuned to your blog praying for some inspiration and girl! you delivered… thank you! You truly have inspired me to STOP daily and “enjoy the small things”…and to quit stressing about everything else. The pile of dishes,mountain of laundry, stinky trash and gritty floor can wait…imna go watch my babies sleep! xoxo
    Michelle from Austin

  157. Oh, what a magical weekend full of memories at the Isle of Capri! Nella sleeping in the basket and Lainey’s sand balls are my fav pics. Also, your sister and her daughters jumping off the dock screams framer!

    Safe travels! I am so excited..
    I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it…Oh, sorry…starting singing! hehe!

    Anyway, I’ll try to wait patiently for your amazing update from Montana!

    Jill B (Overland Park,KS)

  158. I know you love GAP from following your blog…

    http://www.stretchingabuckblog.com/2010/09/ebates-double-cash-back-this-week-gap-banana-republic-victorias-secret-more.html#comments

    I don’t know about you, but a coupon always is a good excuse for me to shop. Found this on (my maybe soon to be sister-in-law’s)blog!

  159. Wow. I see where you get you get your special-ness from. Good for you all.

  160. Yeah, So, crying again!! This post made me miss my brother so much. He passed 8 years ago….long before my littles were a thought. Just the other day I sobbed as I held my 4 months old who was sleeping on my shoulder b/c I knew he would never meet her…or her sister…in this life. I hold tight to my belief that God above allowed him to meet them both and get all the lovings and kisses from him before they ended up in my arms the day they were born. I would give ANYTHING for him to meet my girls. You are amazing, Kelle….thank you for sharing your life with us….

  161. Yeah, So, crying again!! This post made me miss my brother so much. He passed 8 years ago….long before my littles were a thought. Just the other day I sobbed as I held my 4 months old who was sleeping on my shoulder b/c I knew he would never meet her…or her sister…in this life. I hold tight to my belief that God above allowed him to meet them both and get all the lovings and kisses from him before they ended up in my arms the day they were born. I would give ANYTHING for him to meet my girls. You are amazing, Kelle….thank you for sharing your life with us….

  162. We come here to be inspired, to soak up the love that pours out of you, to be enlightened, to rejoice, to cry, to experience the beauty of your everyday…you truly are a gift from the Heavens Kelle Hampton!! I personally thank-you (as so many have before me) for teaching me to love deeper, to suck the marrow out of life, to be in the moment no matter what waits for us around the corner. And YES the magic of your blog has so many times turned my “midwest” into New York City.
    Thank you for being you, for sharing the beauty in life…Lord knows we need it!!

    God Bless
    Monique
    PS Rik, I simply LOVE YA!!

  163. To SOMER – if this blog is so “blah blah blah” as you wrote, WHY are you reading it? You dont have to! As you said, you agree with Emily – well, again, why would you want to read this, then? The rest of us, we LIKE what we are reading.

  164. Well hell. I heard there was a ruckus over here at my friend’s space. So I am here to check it out.

    I skimmed and got the gist and FER REAL.

    Dear Kelle,

    I am so thankful that your blog is like it was way before CNN and Rosie. All the peeps who don’t dig it don’t have to. I dig it.

    I love blogging for the freedom of expression, opinion and purpose. I love that there are some blogs that make me batty. I love that I don’t have to read them! I check in on the crazies that love Sarah Palin and don’t recycle because I am online and interested in constructive dialog but, good god, I do not read them and make myself twitchy with anxiety and anger.

    Rik, I love this: Oh, and I have never subscribed to that phrase “It is what it is.” My children actually use it…and they will tell you I abhor it. If everything was what it was we would never know what might be. The present tense wasn’t meant to be a prison. It is a springboard for what might be.

    cause fuck yeah. I really don’t like that expression. Always room for growth…and enjoying the small things.

  165. Love,

    dig

  166. ,,,diggy great minds are thinking alike,,,”love”

    ,,,kelle safe travels to big sky MT,,,

  167. *applause* at dig this chick’s comment!

    Life is beautiful! Enjoy it! :)

  168. Have a great time in Montana. Cant wait to hear about it :)

    I am so glad that you have had so much fun with your family. I have 6 siblings and my favourite time is when we are all together with our familys just enjoying one anothers company!

  169. Have a great time in Montana. Cant wait to hear about it :)

    I am so glad that you have had so much fun with your family. I have 6 siblings and my favourite time is when we are all together with our familys just enjoying one anothers company!

  170. Kelle,

    You are my Crayola bomb!

    Sending lots of love from sunny South Africa!

  171. Lovely photos! And I’m glad you had a great time with your family. I always come away from time with my own family (I have 5 siblings) feeling elated, refreshed and wanting more. Have fun in Montana!

    Cyrene – http://muminflipflops.com

  172. Nella looks like she is holding a treasured secret and she is waiting for just the right moment to disclose it. I love that, it makes me wonder if we all smile in our sleep.

    You are right Kelle, we all have dirty dishes and wash that needs to be run again, the key is to spend our “emotional energy” on that which can give back to us.

    As far as the chores, they always seems to get done….eventually.

  173. TO DIG – Man, I just love YOU, too! And I, too, love those words you quoted from Poppa Rik ( I always love all of Poppa Rik’s words though. heehee).

  174. Thank you…

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  176. Hi Kelle,
    I’ve been following your blog for a little while and I love to have a peek at your pics and know I’m not the only one in the world who has to re-wash loads of washing – heehee.

    I’ve been shy of leaving a comment as you have so many avid followers, but I would just like to say that I think your blog is wonderful. And Lainey and Nella are just gorgeous. They remind me how lucky I am to have my little Peanut – she is fair and spirited like your Lainey. And Nella – well, she has a pure soul in her eyes, that’s for sure! And I’m sure you’ll agree with me that looking at Nella in her pics, you see a gorgeous little baby girl exploring her world and learning what love and family is all about. And nothing else.

    I hope you keep inspiring people for a very long time and continue to enjoy the beauty of life – it just has so much to offer, as you remind us all the time.

    Enjoy your trip to Montana…

  177. Its awesome when you can be with family. I love when mine come down to vist. So its vinegar for jelly fish stings? I may be moving there in a few months so that will be good to know. You aren’t the only one who does the rewash cycle. I have done that many times. Have a great visit with your friend in Montana. Can’t wait to hear about it!

  178. I think Emily has a point. While most of you clearly love reading Kelle because your lives aren’t like this, the fact is, HER life isn’t like this. She admits that she only posts the good because that’s what she likes to focus on. If there are bad things, she doesn’t mention them, or mentions “cute” bad things, like, OH, I didn’t do the dishes so I could watch tv with the girls! She couches her faults as assets, which is I think what Emily means when she calls the blog disingenuous. It can’t be lost on you all that 90% of Kelle’s readership came after she posted about Nella’s birth; that one post of her being fully human- flawed, not at her best, upset, grieving- is what attracted most of her readers to the blog. That post seems to be the most honest one she’s had, the one where she admitted that her life isn’t perfect, bad shit happens to her, and she’s not always okay with it. If beautiful pictures, flowery language and marrow-sucking is what you’re here for, that’s great! But as a previous commenter said, this blog is her daydream- just keep in mind that it’s Kelle’s daydream, too.

  179. Actually, we had heard human urine is a great antidote to the jellyfish sting. Sydney did not seem to agree. Go figure.

  180. Rik,

    I can vouch for the urine thing. On a trip to Hawaii in high school, some friends of mine got stung by a Portugese man o’war. We had hiked down a couple of miles into a valley, and there was no vinegar around. The locals told us to go to the woods, pee in a bottle, and pour it on them. They (all girls, mind you) were in such pain that they let us do it. They said the relief was instantaneous.

    So, for future reference…

    I’m glad your family had such a wonderful weekend. Happy birthday!

  181. rik, u said it best with “that sadness is not cured with lip gloss” i can only speak for myself when i say i come here to b uplifted, i come here for the positivity so emily can take her negativity and sit on it.
    kelle u r awsomeeeeee
    and gig this chick u rockkkk

    liz

    p.s. ok those of u who r claiming kelle only posts cute bad things like oops i forgot to do the dishes have no idea what it is to have special needs children, her daught has ds for gods sake is she not intitled to celebrate the good things that come along, my daughter has cystic fibrosis and u can bet ur ass that when the doctor says well she is loosing weight again but her pulmonary function is good we friggin celebrate that.

  182. I love the pics, you really do make life come alive with the images you post. Hope you enjoy the mountains and am looking forward to hearing/seeing how it went.

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  184. Is it just me or do all of the negative commenters sound like the same person posting under different names? Hmmm…something smells fishy and it ain’t the jellyfish from the Isle of Capri!

    Happy belated birthday to Poppa and, Kelle, keep doing your thing–you rock!

    -Jessica from NJ (not the previous, negative Jessica!)

  185. I always come to see your lovely photos. They inspire.
    On a music note, did you hear Ingrid’s new tune ‘Parachute’yet? Just released yesterday. And also, Allie Moss has a new song (unrecorded to date) called Late Bloomer that you can youtube. I think you will love them both@

  186. I would hope that someone wouldn’t have enough spare time on their hands to come and make the same comments in different ways under different names throughout the days. Sharing an opinion or seeing what someone is trying to say does not mean you ARE that person posting over and over. It IS possible that, like the rest of you who all feel the same way about Kelle and enjoy reading her for the same reasons, that the people who don’t worship the ground she walks on agree with each other. I come because I like looking at the pictures, and I think Nella is beautiful. I just take Kelle with a grain of salt is all.

  187. If anyone’s doing the “deifying” it’s the people who come here believing – hook, line and sinker – that Kelle somehow owns the moral high ground on motherhood. I’m not the one who needs proof of her humanity; I know it’s there.

    Again, I resent the implication that I somehow feed my angry black soul on the misery of humanity. Being “real” doesn’t mean dwelling on the negative or being pessimistic. It means accepting that life’s complexity includes ups and downs and that sharing BOTH doesn’t detract from either. Let me say that again: Sharing both doesn’t detract from either.

    Also, Rik, I disagree that PhotoShop = better. I don’t feed into the paparazzi or reality TV’s bitchfights and meltdowns, either, but you might recall the 3×3 photo in Glamour last year of a plus-size model before retouching that, according to Glamour, spurred the greatest outpouring of accolades and praises in recent history. It shows that FLAWS ARE BEAUTIFUL!

    http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/08/on-the-cl-the-picture-you-cant.html

    I’m not here trying to change anything. It’s fine that you look at the world through rose-colored lenses. Just don’t blind straining to see through them!

    /rant

    I’m done.

  188. I know what you mean! Love this: “…I need to simply be in this moment and take what it has to give.” I am an eternal optimistic and I love the truth. I am realistic and can be very optimistic at the same time…

    Your family photos are absolutely beautiful! Love seeing pictures of your nieces, sister and brother! Love Natalie Goldberg’s and Brault’s quotes. :)

    Safe travels! I’m happy you are going to meet your friend Nici. Have a wonderful time there and please say hi to MONTANA’s beautiful mountains for me! LOVE MOUNTAINS!

    Rik, your comments have me in tears…your words touch my soul…I love you. “I find people–all people–so facinating and intricate. I like to try to understand.” I feel the same way…

    Still catching up on your posts! Sending lots of loving energy your way~

    “Optimism is an elected attitude, a form of emotional courage. It is a habit that can and must be learned… we must master optimism, not as a form of denial but as a deeply rooted faith that we are somehow partnered in ways that we cannot see. We must look for the silver lining, knowing that there always is one.” ~Julia Cameron

  189. bells!!!
    YAY…time for your trip!!!! can. not. wait. to hear all about it!!!!

    keep on living large because it is infectious (yeah, i had to look that one up in the dictionary for spelling;) to everyone around you!

    whether we are enjoying the biggest and best times we have ever had orhiding-from-the dogs-in-the-bahroom-with-a-bowl-of-spicy-mexican-soup and laughing away what ails us with tears of laughter, an avocado facial mask and the promise of movie night, your enthusiasm for life shines through. you shine. you always have and will! that’s just you.

    oh, i just love you because you are one-of-a kind and amazing and help me see the good in just about anything.

    LOVING these pics…carin and the girls jumping off the dock…perfect. i love sav’s face! katie’s shot is pretty cool too.

    lainey and sav in the pool and little nella bean on the beach…!!! i miss them already and your not even out of the state yet.

    your family rocks. all you cryders share somethin’ special.

    love you lots and hurry home!

  190. Emily, I don’t read Glamour so I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. I just disagreed with you when you said that anyone who said they didn’t enjoy seeing less than glamorous photos of movie stars in the tabloids was lying. That was another assumption that is unfair and untrue. I don’t enjoy seeing them. I’m not lying. We’re not talking about photoshop (I hadn’t a clue where you pulled that from) I am talking about those who follow the people they have termed “the pretty people” waiting to catch them less than pretty, less than perfect. Why? I always knew they probably weren’t pretty all the time–I have no need to confirm it…I always knew it. Also, I tried to access your blog through your ID as I visit many blogs, but it appears to be private. You referenced your blog and I wanted to see how you weave the ups and the downs into your writing as you claimed to do. Open it up on your ID. I am sure it is beautiful. I am sure you have quite a following. So I really don’t understand your hovering here, at the blog of one who never intended her readership to be more than the 10 or 15 she began with, but has always written for herself and always been true to the mantra that is her masthead. There must be blogs you are more in synch with. What part of you just needs to stop by and leave your carefully crafted messages? Kelle isn’t really phased by them, but I just wonder, before you click publish, if you don’t ask yourself “What is my goal with this message?” I think I know Kelle’s goal when she writes–to celebrate the small things. Truth in advertising. If it is her “Daydream,” than I’m happy to be a Daydreamer. There is enough in life to weigh us all down and their are enough naysayers to fill the air with din. I like tracing the tiny details of the sweeter, richer, nicer things in life. I like nice people and wow, we have met so many here. I have friends who read the blog every new post and they have told me they skip over the “sour comments.” I liked their term. You know them within a couple words and you wonder why one takes the time to add them. It is like someone standing at a podium shouting “Life is Beautiful” and another saying, “Now for the rebuttal.” It’s actually quite funny.

  191. This post had an unusually high number of photographs that just made me say “ohhhhhh” even for you. The seagull of course, but also Nella looking up at you from the damp sand, a niece with her hair blowing in the wind, Nella sleeping in the Moses basket, and the last picture with the trees and bird and sunset. I can’t wait to see what you share with us from Montana (I grew up in Wyoming and my brother is in Montana now). Have fun!

    Adele

  192. Love this post. I feel the same way so often and worrying about that other shoe dropping just takes away from the happy times and doesn’t get me anywhere. You put it into words perfectly. Oh, and I just opened my washer this morning to find a musty load of forgotten clothes…

  193. Oh EMILY – SHIT, give it up already! You have been back and forth on here. YOu made your view clear. Why the need to keep trying to convince us (or yourself maybe?). Must have tons of free time to go over the same thing and write so often to prove one point. Get over yourself and move on and find something to do. ANd JESSICA- your extreme negativity shows thru when you say us who “worship the ground Kelle walks on”. Sounds very sarcastic and judgmental. No, worship implies we almost think she is god and that is not true. I detect much jealousy and insecurities in you women and it is not appealing.

  194. THANK YOU AGAIN POPPA RIK, you just nailed it again. Hmm. I also cannot help but wonder WHY people keep coming here and also keep commenting if they are so negative about this site? One doesnt HAVE to; one can seek elsewhere! Really, if seeing thru rose-colored lens is so disturbing to you and that is the attitude one sees here, one can choose not to come here. It’s really very simple indeed.

  195. rik,
    what you told emily is so right on.
    i try to pray for bitter people
    as i cant imagine how miserable it is i like what you said about someome standing at the podium saying life is beautiful- and another with a rebuttal. how sad actually.
    i think you are alot like sweet nella-seeing goodness and lovliness
    in people you meet.
    i find what we all need is summed up in 3 things. 1.kindness
    2. kindness
    3. kindness
    amen and love ya!

  196. Kelle & Rik – I so love your positive outlook and writings! All my life I have felt the same as you both in that I look at the good and beauty in life and people.
    Throughout the day in different situations I think ” What would Kelle do? It helps me be nicer, more positive, have more fun and live life better. I can then see the effect this has on the people around me. Sometimes people want to spread negative energy, I try not to get sucked in and instead try to change the mood or conversation to happy and positive things.

  197. This blog is exactly why i read you every single day. Your blog pushes me to find the beauty to savor in every crap-filled corner. your blog inspired me to buy my first “big-girl” camera. Your blog has encouraged me to find joyful aspects of the most mundane moments. A person can choose where she shines her spotlight- look out and notice the sea of beauty surrounding all our tasks. I don’t know if i could ever express how much I’ve come to rely on it. I’m inspired, again- reading this and can’t wait to discover what the heck you’re going to be doing in Montana.
    Keep it coming, sister-

  198. Hi Kelle, I’ve been reading your blog for many months now and I want to thank you. Thank you for your blog. Thank you for the way you see life. You inspire me to look past the mundane and embrace the beautiful. I do see ordinary things in a different light because of your words and photos. You have such a gift for positivity and it rubs off on others (on me). Thank you for embracing life the way you do and sharing that with others.

  199. Oh thank you for being constantly guilty of speading hope, joy and positivity. I choose to drop in from time to time to get a push to the positive. It seems we are surrounded by “reality” in tv and media that wants us to question if we have enough and are enough, that rewards ugliness of spirit and celebrates the failure and struggles of the individual as good TV and the like. I am reminded in many ways, one of them being your blog, that life is good, maybe not easy but for sure good.
    Thanks for letting us “peek in your windows(in the non creepy not stalker way)! Is it always easy to look to the positive, to push and pull ourselves though the muck of life with a smile on our face and a great song in our head, of course not. But it is always worth it to try and next time try even harder!
    Thanks for the reminder..oh and the great music!!

  200. Your words and your photos are magical to me and they awaken my heart everytime. You are living the dream 😉 Although we struggle financially so I can be home more with my kids…it is WORTH every lost penny and every moment with them. And as a pediatric physical therapist it has been a true joy to watch Ella grow and I LOVE seeing her sitting in the sand 😉 I will continue to read as you always inspire me XO ~Julie

  201. I suppose everyone has a right to say what they want, however I don’t react well when people shit all over goodness. Before saying or writing anything, we should ask ourselves 3 questions: Is it kind? Is it true? And is it necessary? To the few of you who don’t appreciate the message Kelle is spreading, then find another park to play in. I highly recommend being less judgemental; trust me, you’ll feel better for it.Take a chill pill, scratch your itch and fall apart in your own backyard.*

    *Although this statement was indeed intended to be kind, true and necessary, it may result in bouts of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, erectile dysfunction, weight gain and increaed irritability.

  202. janita,
    ha ha ha ha oh i love it!
    that was so good!
    thank you for making me laugh out loud today
    at your disclaimer-it was priceless
    as are you

  203. Amazing I felt like I was there with you guys! It looks like you had an amazing time!!

  204. *shrugs* I adore this blog, and I understand completely what Emily and Jessica are conveying, as well as what Kelle is doing. As far as calling this a “controversy” or “ruckus” of some kind, I find quite silly and blown out of proportion. It’s a minor criticism, and it’s totally fine to have those. I may not completely agree with them, but I don’t see any venom from either of them. Just a different opinion. It’s totally cool to have those.

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  206. Kelle (and Poppa Rik) This is my first time writing a comment
    ( Actually opened up a google account today just to respond to this nonsense) You inspire me to be the best me I can be! I have been reading and enjoying and loving and crying and laughing and following this blog since Beautiful Nella was born. I feel like you are treasured friends.I want to thank you Kelle ( and Rik) for sharing your family with us. I am a mother of two and feel you totaly get life…I look forward to reading your blog/seeing the beautiful photos/and feeling good reading the comments by this wonderful blog community that loves life. Kelle,Please just delete out the haters. They don’t belong here.They are just looking for the negative attention. Delete them away…God Bless your beautiful family. Gina xoxoxoxo

  207. Emily,

    Before you are “done”…please publish the link to your blog, that you refer to. Not to criticize or negatively critique it…rather to openly see your blogging soul the way Kelle so openly shares hers.

  208. i don’t know if other people say this too (because quite frankly, the comment list overwhelms me so i don’t read them) but i seriously wish someday i could just meet you in person. the way you describe your life, although in general its nothing like mine, somehow its so much like mine that i feel like i’d have another person who understood my role as a mama. sometimes i’m far to pensive and over-dramatic and, in your words, a marrow-sucker, that i find it hard to find friends on the same level as me. or in the same place in life. so thank you for your far-off friendship and for unintentionally confirming that it is just as awesome to be a mama as i’ve always thought it to be.

    -amanda (but everyone calls me goody)

  209. I don’t read and enjoy Kelle’s blog because I look at her posts and desire her life of the kind of life she has. I read and enjoy because when I watch someone appreciate the random elements of their life – the big and the small – it helps me remember to do the same.

    Likewise, when I blog I blog because there are things I need to say. They’re not reflective of my entire life because I’m inspired to write by particular facets of my life. Some of them are difficult. Some of them are wonderful. For example, I recently had a later miscarriage and lost a baby girl. I write a lot about that. But in writing about that, I’ve also tried to focus on enjoying the tremendous pleasure I have of being the mother to the child I DO have here – my Gabe – and appreciating that for all it is. I have found that the more I appreciate what I have, the more I am able to positively handle (and not obsess over) my troubles and heartaches.

    Does Kelle have heartaches and problems? I’m sure! She has mentioned some of them – the pains of a mother watching her child grow up, the difficulty of adjusting a dream to reflect a new reality. In the past she has talked about her husband traveling; as someone whose husband also goes through periods of travel, I’m sure that places burdens on her life. But she does not need to say all those things and more in detail in order to be authentic. In fact, depending on a person’s personality and life circumstance, I think it can be LESS authentic to focus on the negative. There is a balance between positive and negative, reality and desire, and every person has to strike that balance based on what resonates in their hearts.

    It also makes more sense to me when I think of this blog as a whole. After finding Nella’s birth story, I went back and read many of the older posts. Kelle’s voice and writing perspective sounds the same to me pre-Nella as it is post-Nella. Consistency over time is a great sign of authenticity.

    Kelle – I really enjoy reading your blog. I’m not under the impression that your life is perfect or more inspired than anyone else’s. But when you share your stories and pictures it reminds me to more fully enjoy the blessings I have in my life, too, and I appreciate that!

  210. Everyone needs a “Poppa”…. xxo

  211. beautiful words. beautiful family. i found your blog several months ago, read your article in “parents” mag, and cannot get enough of you! hope you have fun in my state, MT!! taylor

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  213. I never mind a good debate, but I can’t help but wonder why I, who have always been quite a sceptical person, have never seen these things in Kelle that the negative commenters here claim to see. I remember that somewhere on this blog, when I read back through it, Kelle said something about how you can find women who can be happy for you and want you to succeed without being jealous or bitter. I think I’ve seen a lot of that here, in the blog and in the comments. So many people who have such difficulties have commented here, but they never seem to want anything but for us all to be as happy as we can. I like them.

    I’m not saying that the critics are bitter, I just think they’ve missed the mark in their assessment of Kelle. I know I don’t know her, but I have been on other blogs written by ‘nice’ people who emphasise the positive, and somehow I can sense a snideness or snobbishness. Never felt that here. Only ever seen openess and a wish to find the best in everyone and not judge. I just trust my instincts that I can look in someone’s face and see a kind genuine spirit, and I can know that you don’t get friends like Kelle has by being some kind of fake.

    Also, can we just say that this blog has beautiful skilful writing and fabulously gorgeous photos. There is room online for all kinds of people to create whatever their talent level, and good for them, but let’s recognise real quality when we see it.

    Sorry to go on.

  214. i definitely read your blog to hear how wonderful every day life is through your eyes… but it makes me smile to know that you have stinky wash and dish piles too. :o) beautiful pics – i think my fav is a tie between nella in the basket and her sitting on the beach. have fun in the mountains!

  215. I just sat down tonight to read the comments and I came across “Emily’s”…I just don’t understand…if you don’t like the blog (any blog for that matter), log onto another website/blog, or simply hit the “x” on the top right hand corner of your screen. It’s really that simple. People who read Kelle’s blog and leave comments, love Kelle’s blog and support and love her. If you don’t like what she’s saying, stop reading and log off.

    Kelle, thank you for your blog and your wonderful outlook on life. I can personally say you have uplifted me on days I want to crawl back into bed and get away from the world. We who follow your blog love and appreciate the honesty, inspiration, and positive outlook on life you share with us. Thank you.

  216. Love this post. There is nothing better than real life with family to store up memories. Thanks for sharing. You seem to capture the moments and often can put beautiful words to exactly what I’m thinking or feeling. Have a great time in Montana. Nella is adorable! My Silas is 14 months and has Ds. He has a fraternal twin and a two year old big sister. Fun and crazy times!

  217. Nella’s baby belly = beautifully luscious!

  218. Goodness gracious! I never have time to read all the comments, but I skimmed through and am just shocked that anyone would have any ounce of ability to criticize this blog! My only logical guess is that Emily is a mama full of insecurity and maybe a lack of support and truly has not been able to enjoy the small things and really drink in the love (easy and hard) of her babes. Kelle’s blog is a source of encouragement and inspiration to so many…but only to those who are willing to be encouraged and inspired will find it the fullest.

    Kelle, thank you thank you thank you for the beauty you see in life and share with us!

    Rik, you are wonderful! Will you please start a blog, too? Or perhaps be a “guest blogger” on Kelle’s blog?

    p.s. I wish I could reach in to my computer and squeeze Nella’s sweet little rosy cheeks and play dress up and apply lip gloss with Lainey Love. My goodness, my two little boys would melt over your sweet darlin’s!

  219. Wow! I just saw at the bottom of the page, where you have passed 3 MILLION “Visitors”. Yahoo!!

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  221. To all of Kelle’s negative “my-cup-is-half-empty-so-your-cup-cannot-be-half-full” readers –

    Perhaps you can’t look beyond the grey cloud of negativity that resides above your head to find the sweet silver lining like Kelle (and Poppa – Rik) do so effortlessly. We all have our bad days and anyone who denies that is lying. But Kelle never denied having bad days – she simply didn’t write about them. And when she did write about the bad things it was the so-called “cute bad” things because no one wants to blab to their 7,056 followers that they fought with their husband over something that wasn’t such a big deal but it was the final straw. No one needs to know that looking down at her baby sometimes makes her burst into tears because she can’t bear to think of the hard times her little will face, the challenges she’ll fight to overcome and being reminded every moment of every day that sometimes life has the ability to knock the wind out of you at any given moment without any notice whatsoever. So instead of a blog filled with moaning and groaning about how life isn’t playing by the rules and that the girls were both crying relentlessly as the dog left a present under the dining room table because Kelle was trying to take five minutes to get dressed so she could head to ballet and physical therapy and a quick stop at Target on the way home to pick up milk and yes maybe some lip gloss, she instead fills her space on the vast World Wide Web with something there is not enough of in the Real World – a positive attitude, a “Dude!-My-cup-isn’t-half-full!-It’s-overflowing!” outlook in an otherwise negative place. (Sorry for the world’s longest run on sentence there! I do apologize but it can’t be broken down because I feel it would decrease the effectiveness of it all!) So instead of posting negative comments on a blog that puts an amazing spin on an average life go in search of your silver lining and look beyond what is right in front of you and soak up every ounce of goodness there is to be soaked! And if you don’t want to do that – find another blog to read. One that’s more your tone. Stop raining on Kelle’s parade – not to mention the parade of all of her readers as well.

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  223. You doubt Kelle’s humanity – read Nella’s birth story… Even Lainey’s. It shows pure emotion unedited and unbridled. I don’t believe she can get any more real than that! And to whomever said to realize that it was her “negative birth story” that brought all the attention to her blog – I feel you have missed a great deal of what Kelle has tried to pass on to her readers. Nella’s surprising birth wasn’t negative. It was simply unexpected. Life threw her (and Brett and her whole family and all of her friends) a curve ball – it stole her feet out from under her and the shock caught her breath in her chest. I don’t believe there is a single one of us that would not react in that same exact manner. She wrote so purely of that moment, of how shock took over but love prevailed. Nella’s extra chromosome is just one more small thing the Hampton’s embrace. What you consider a negative story I perceive as heartwarming, as an inspiration to a lot of people in similar situations. When Kelle claims the picture of her friends toasting to her new baby as she stared emptily, “feeling nothing” and her friends and family carried on for her, my heart near bursts with sympathy as tears well in my eyes … for a complete stranger! If that’s not real enough, not human enough for you, I don’t want to know what it would take to bring her down to a “real world” level for you. I suppose this brings us to perception – and how two people can look at one thing and see something entirely different. To me Kelle couldn’t be more real. She seems so incredibly down to Earth, in love with life and I’m sure in the midst of all that she has mornings that she has to convince herself to get out of bed but simply chooses to write about the uplifting, soul shaking beauty she has found in a world that can seem so heartless and unforgiving.

    Well – with that said, I’ll move on! Hopefully you think twice before posting negative comments on a blog with thousands of “my cups half full when it’s not running over” and “I can find the sliver lining to any cloud” readers… It will not go unnoticed and unmentioned.

    Poppa- Happy Belated Birthday! Oh, and another loud, whole-hearted “Amen!” from me! I do wish you would start a blog! But I suppose searching Kelle’s comments for yours will do!

    Kelle (& all the Hamptons!) ~ Keep sucking every ounce of marrow that life has to offer! Don’t let a few negative comments and oh, the controversy over whether you’re “real or not” bring you down! The naysayers can’t stay quiet forever! Perhaps they’re just jealous of your beautiful girls and the wonderful life you have! Keep enjoying the small things – and sharing them all with us! I check your site daily (if not a couple of times daily) waiting for a new post to put a smile on my face, to inspire me to be more of a “my cup runneth over” kind of person instead of a “my glass is half full (empty – depending on the day)” person. You really have changed my outlook on life – not entirely … yet! But your love for life is contagious! After reading the quote from “Writing Down the Bones” I ran to Borders and bought it! I must say as I drove around my small hometown – the only place I have ever called home – I tried to look at it as an out of towner would. I fell in love with Brookfield all over again. Thanks for leading me to another great book. Have a great time in Montana! I can’t wait to see the pictures and read all about it!

    Keep Rockin’ Hamptons!
    ~Beth

  224. Long comment, part one:

    Comments directed “against” other commenters, are sometimes well-meaning, but also sometimes divisive, and at the worst, hurtful.

    Name-calling, ad hominem attacks, flames. They do not bring out our best selves. Shakespeare said it better, “…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    Debates, scuffles, criticisms, etc. in Kelle’s comments have happened before. I am sure they will happen again. And do they change Kelle’s content at all? Think about it. Would someone who “looks for the good” put much credence in “anonymous” comments which are the equivalent of graffiti taggers, spraying under the cover of night?

    If someone is truly constructive, if they want to express their opinion that actually makes a difference…there are more effective methods:

    1. After leaving aside any hint of sarcasm or disrespect, offer up constructive feedback that is kind yet honest. You can be truthful to your own integrity without attempting a massacre. You might find that the effect is quite enrolling. One way is to say something like “this really works about your blog…this other part…could be improved and here’s how.

    (cont.)

  225. Long comment, part two:

    2. Another way to make a difference is to contact Kelle privately, i.e send her an email with your honest feedback. She probably would welcome it and maybe respond, who knows if you don’t try to find out. Create a new email account if need be. Do you know how many of these “constructive feedback” emails Kelle has ever received? ZERO. Her email address is listed on the Contact Me tab. Heck, if the email is respectful, she might actually publish the exchange on her blog, you never know.

    So, those are the two methods that could actually move something into the direction you desire. The current way being executed is like that old saying about a tree falling in the forest. Sure, it might make you “feel better” momentarily but at the end of the day, it’s a bit like flipping someone off on the freeway…a fleeting charge of “I really showed
    em!” But is that putting goodness into the world, is that how you’d like to be treated, how you’d like your children to be treated?

    If you are going to take the time to post a so-called “negative” comment, then you have probably visited the blog more than once and you might like parts of it but not all of it. And that’s OK. You’re a “stakeholder” as well. Take it to the next level by altering the method of communication, and you could be surprised: you might hit fertile ground. They say the definition of insanity is using the same method and expecting different results. Old method…not working. Try something different, mix it up.

    Sending good thoughts to ALL commenters and readers of this blog.

  226. Amazing family! Amazing girls you have! Amazing pictures!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Filipa, from Portugal

  227. With Kelle on the road (on her way to Montana), I am not sure how soon a post will appear. Thought I would give you a glimpse of her travels. She called me while connecting on a flight in Minneapolis…she was schlepping through the airport terminal with Nella strapped on her chest, three bags hanging on her shoulders, pushing Lainey in a stroller as she made her way to the next gate…and she was laughing, Apparently Lainey had dropped a doll and a lady had semi stumbled on it and just glared at Kelle–no offer to help her, no sympathy for this solo sojourner. Again, Kelle just laughed, I am not sure I would venture on this trip–you have no idea how many hours it was from departure to arrival, but finally she called me late last night and she was safely in the car enjoying Montana’s beauty with her blog friend, Dig…and she was laughing! Sheesh, I think they are going to make some memories. Make today special…and laugh.

  228. i love kelles blog. it makes me happy to read it and to see pics of her oh so beautiful babies.
    it is very uplifting
    i go to a job that i hate everyday.
    no really i dont hate the job.
    i have a co worker i work directly with who is possibly the most miserable person i have ever met
    and he shares his miserableness quite freely.
    ive tried to kill him with kindness
    (that made him act worse)
    ive tried praying really hard for him,
    didnt help.
    now i just ignore him and do my best to pretend he isnt there.
    the man is 47 lives at home lets his parents take care of him
    and seems to find great joy in others trials.
    i dont know what happened to him to make him so miserable, but i refuse to let him bring me down
    although right now it seems to be his one goal in life- to bring me down.
    i made my work area across from him visually as pleasant as possible with lots of pictures of my sweet grandarlings and listen to positive music and do my best to pretend he isnt there. i have to to be able to keep coming back everyday. okay my rants done!
    god bless kelle
    and her lovley blog.

  229. Okay, Cathy, I am now praying for him too…praying he gets another job offer he can’t refuse and your life brightens! Seriously, I am praying for you. I am sure he would be a trial for anyone. I worked with a cynical, bitter person once and I really, really tried to make things better. I wish I could tell you he changed. He didn’t. He eventually was actually let go. Strangely, I felt bad for him and actually kept in contact with him through email. I still do. He has new reasons to be bitter. I am afraid he will be until he leaves this world. If he makes it to heaven, he will probably complain there. I cannot fix what I cannot fix. But I am afraid I will always want to. May the bubble around you be bright today!

  230. Hi Kelle – I have been reading your blog for sometime now and came across it while reading up on DS. Our beautiful baby niece was born with that extra special chromosome 4 years ago. Your love for life was something and still is something I could soooooo relate to. Life is worth living. My life has recently been turned upside down and I surprised myself by finding out how cathartic blogging is. I recently began to chronicle this recent tragedy and wanted to share with you. http://www.familyrestored.blogspot.com

    Just thought I’d pass on. Enjoy!

  231. rik,
    thank you so much for your bright wishes for my bubble!
    you are a very sweet person.
    i guess we all know someone who is miserable to the point that they would probably even complain in heaven.tee hee! you have such a way with words. i love it.
    this young -ish heathy mans mom fell down some steps last year and broke her hip, and my co worker was very upset because as he said- his words- ” now who will cut the grass?! and he was dead serious.
    ugh ugh ugh
    thanks for brightening my day rik
    smile god luvs ya!

  232. Nella’s little turned in feet in the sand – scrumptous!

  233. TO FEAS613- Thank you for your great words! And to POPPA RIK**- thanks for the update on Kelle. I hope she just has fun and she can share with us when she returns. Poppa, i sense that you can be a prayer warrior, as I’ve seen you mention here before. YOu know i’m a ‘regular’ here. I feel we are family, community here. I shared in a comment yesterday how I’m going thru real dark times, heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. Seriously, one of the worst things ever for me. Could you pray for me? I’d so appreciate it. thanks and love to you, Poppa, and Kelle and family. From Kelle’s appointed “blog mama”, Linda~

  234. Linda, I already was…you are not alone in the dark. These shadows will not last. Your heart will not hurt forever. I love a couple phrases that have helped me: Mother Teresa: “The heart stretched out by sorrow, God later fills with joy.” and an Old Testament promise: “I will restore to you what the locusts have taken.” Not sure if these help you, but they do me. Did God ever anticipate the connections of blogworld? Ha…I think so!

  235. Oh, RIK, I heart you. Thank you SO very much. Yep, I’ve been feeling very alone. You don’t know how much it means to me, your connecting and your praying. Oh, those words you just wrote do so help me and I will tape those to my mirror, as I have others! Indeed, perhaps God did anticipate the connections of blogworld. hee.. And how much it is needed in this world of busyness and isolation for some. I know, it is the “virtual world/reality”, but I really feel like I know you thru all the words and sharing, and Kelle. You are such a bright light, as is Kelle. You have such a heart and spirit. I know that you touch many here, and you are doing more good and helping more than you may know. I wish I could give you a hug in real time, but I am sending you hugs. I keep trying to focus on the fact that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it won’t be a train coming. ha.. Love, Linda ~

  236. I enjoyed this post and some amazing pictures, Nella asleep in her Moses basket and Lainey making sand balls on the beach :) I truly cherish what Kelle’s blog and amazing photography-stories help me do…be more present in the small things in MY life. Not that I wasn’t present before I stumbled into this blog but now I am more concious of how beautiful and important these small things really are.
    Hope you’re having a fabulous trip Kelle!

  237. linda,
    im praying for you too
    that the bad times will soon end
    and there will be so much light you ll need your sunglasses.
    heres one i really like-
    “He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.” ps 147;3
    and you so right about rik and kelle,they are gems who make a difference in this world.

  238. linda,
    im praying for you too
    that the bad times will soon end
    and there will be so much light you ll need your sunglasses.
    heres one i really like-
    “He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.” ps 147;3
    and you so right about rik and kelle,they are gems who make a difference in this world.

  239. Super beautiful family pictures. Can’t wait to see what Montana brings….

  240. Poppa Rik, thanks for the travel updates of Kelle. Gosh that lady who stepped on Lainey’s doll probably has never had any kindness in her life to be able to offer it back. :o(

    People need to learn to just pay it forward and it becomes contagious!

    I too look forward to the next post! I know all too well the joy of meeting people in real life where our stories began online. I have had 4 families come stay with us and have been to 2 reunions with many where our stories began online. People think I am crazy! Well, these people are all still in my life and we are very close.

    :o)

    Jennifer

  241. Oh, CATHY, Thank you so much. Hugs to you ((( ))). Bless you. Really, many blessings to you, too, and Rik and Kelle. I love the quote from the Bible that you wrote. I guess, the really dark times will make us appreciate the light even more. And i like your words about needing sunglasses. Kinda reminds me of that song from late 80’s (?) or such, the line “My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”. Luv, Linda~

  242. Simply said, family marrow….I love it!

  243. When I ran in the door this morning holding my copy of the oh so wonderful parents magazine, my husband thought I was nuts. I have been following your blog long before Nella was born and I cannot even express how much I enjoy your posts. As a photographer I find joy in the little things and your blog is infectious and one of those little things I enjoy daily. Even if it is just editing away while listening to your blog music. Thank You for putting your life out there so we can look at our lives and soak up just a little more than we thought we could.

  244. Want to give Poppa Rik a big big BIG hug for your last post (9/15, 8:19am). That is all I’m saying because I couldn’t say it any better than you.

    -Jenny from Iowa

  245. P.S. And I too would like to check our your blog Emily! :)

  246. Linda, I clicked on your profile after I read your first couple of comments on this post. I thought, she sounds like such a great character. But I saw that like me you don’t have a blog at present. But anyway, I want to tell you too that you’re not alone. I wish I could be on hand but, if not being alone in a virtual sense is a comfort I am sure I’m not the only one thinking of you after reading your post, and sending you lots of well wishes and hugs. Hope you see some relief from your difficulties soon, but till then I think the fact that even with your current troubles you’ve been on here showing vivacity and humour and good wishes for others….well, it is a good sign that you are a strong and lovely person. Lucy xoxoxo

    Ps. Sorry to hijack the comments board! Maybe someone needs to set up a forum for all us readers!

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  248. Linda (aka blog mama) – Thinking of you!!

    Can’t wait to hear all about what Kelle and Dig are up to in Montana!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  249. This comment has been removed by the author.

  250. Rik- thanks for the update on Kelle! And no doubt she’s getting a kick out of the juggling airport act…that’s what happens when ya love life. :) When life gives you a crowded airport, full hands and a dropped baby doll, give a smile and remember the whole scenario so you can blog about it and share with the rest of us how to enjoy the small things…and continue to inspire and encourage all of us bloggers! :)

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  252. Kelle! Beautiful as usual!
    I live in Missoula too (yet have never actually met nici), and I am so excited for your bunch to soak in the wonderful Montana air.

    After months and months of reading about your life, I’m excited to see how you camera captures the place that I’ve called home my entire life!

    Safe Travels!
    Laci

  253. Oh, LUCY, THANK YOU so very much. Well, I am humbled by your kind words about me. No, I don’t have a blog. I am a novice – Kelle’s blog is my only venture into that world. ha..Yes, I do try to always keep a sense of humor and realize many people have problems. your words mean so much. And JILL – HEY to you, I remember you here! Thank you for your kind words too. I know, we almost need a forum for all of us. Take care~

  254. When two spirits meet and for a fleeting second hold each other in the fast current of life, it is no accident–so never apologize about “hijacking the comments!”

  255. What a gorgeous weekend! Have a wonderful trip to Montana.

  256. I can so relate to you, especially in your first paragraph. I can let myself go down that highway at jet speed. I love your pictures and words. I write about the daily nonsense of life in a humorous way, but today I wrote about Alzheimers, a BIG change, and I’m feeling “the fear” of wondering how it will be taken by my readers. I’ll get back to making fun of all the nonsense of family life tomorrow but at least I tried something new?? Thanks for inspiring the rest of us.

  257. Hi Kelle! I’m sorry you are going thru all this stuff. Just ignore them.
    Anyway, I don’t know if you read all these comments, that would be difficult.
    Have a wonderful trip to my Montana! We go to Lakeside Montana for the summer and at Christmas. We live in Orlando. If you can try to get to Flathead lake, it’s 2 hours north of where you are. It’s an amazing lake and a beautiful drive.
    Enjoy your trip and the weather!
    KarenSue

  258. I just want to kiss little Nella. I love her sitting on the sand, her little legs poking straigt ahead like arrows. You always make me realize while things may not be perfect, they are how they are supposed to be. There is a reason for things to be the way they are, and I am concentrating much more on being happy with what we have and my choices then ever before. And you remind me that spending my time loving on my baby is soooo worth it. They get big so fast…

    Hope you have fun on vacation!

  259. I just want to kiss little Nella. I love her sitting on the sand, her little legs poking straigt ahead like arrows. You always make me realize while things may not be perfect, they are how they are supposed to be. There is a reason for things to be the way they are, and I am concentrating much more on being happy with what we have and my choices then ever before. And you remind me that spending my time loving on my baby is soooo worth it. They get big so fast…

    Hope you have fun on vacation!

  260. I just want to kiss little Nella. I love her sitting on the sand, her little legs poking straigt ahead like arrows. You always make me realize while things may not be perfect, they are how they are supposed to be. There is a reason for things to be the way they are, and I am concentrating much more on being happy with what we have and my choices then ever before. And you remind me that spending my time loving on my baby is soooo worth it. They get big so fast…

    Hope you have fun on vacation!

  261. OH POPPA RIK – thank you. You said what I was thinking, but surely said it much better. YES. Lucy, surely there is no need to apoligize for hijacking. I just love how you worded this, Rik, so simply, yet perfectly and beautifully as always. I have truly been helped by your words here, and Lucy and Jill’s. Just feeling the love and care of others. Many blessings to you~

  262. oh. my. word. i LOOOOOOOVE the pic of your sis and her girls all jumping in the water. i HOPE they put that on their Christmas card. that photo is PRICELESS. jealous…

  263. You guys are always doing the funnest things!! I love all the photos! especially the one of Nella in the sand and her sleeping in the basket. She is absolutely beautiful and so very precious.

  264. LOVE LOVE LOVE Nella in the sand.

    Your brother is gorgeous!

  265. shit…i feel like i have been M.I.A on your posts. shit i just hate that!! oh my lordy..kelle..now what are you doing not pleasing EVERYONE in the blogosphere again!?!?!?!? shit girl what are you thinking!!?!?! i will leave you with one of my favorite quotes :

    “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everbody.”…Bill Cosby.

    ok..here is another truly valuable tidbit from Bill:

    A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.

    stupid people piss me off..just sayin’ ♥

  266. To GraceesMommy…OH, I just LOVE what you wrote!! Love the quotes, too~

  267. Reading old an old post and found this…

    “Back to the bus. The thing is, I hate being sad. I hate being negative. And while I may be teased on my over-positivity or need to find a cape emblazoned with “Enjoying the @#!*-ing Small Things,” I too wallow in a bad mood from time to time. However, I’ve found I am quite healed by the Fake It Till You Make It Strategy–searching for the good (and there’s lots to find), writing about the good, taking pictures of the good, talking about the good–basically bathing in the many little things that bring joy to our life until I am no longer faking it, I believe it completely and have allowed the good to rise above the bad in that ever present glass of “Half Full.” Unrealistic? Perhaps, but I don’t think so. Regardless, I’d much rather live life as an unrealistic optimist than a realistic miserable pessimist. It’s so much more fun.”

    You are brilliant I tell ya! Just brilliant. I think this tidbit settles the whole thing LOL…seriously!!
    Sounds like you are having a blast.

  268. Beautiful. Beautiful post. I love your writing and I love how you make me feel when I read your posts…. Happy about life again. It is too easy to get wrapped up in the things that are not going right or the laundry that is still sitting in the washer!

    I love that quote you ended with, I’ll be using that! Thanks!

  269. Kelle, your blog has become my daily fresh breath, after all day in the classroom. I get my baby fix, and get to enjoy your fantastic writing. I feel like i am with you and your beautiful family. I am a mom of five, one adopted with special needs. Please keep on, it is amazing. The girls look so happy all the time…Dana McQuien

  270. wow, I usually skim the comments (looking for Poppas comments which are always another treat for the heart and soul the way Kelle’s words are). I am stunned about the negative comments. I struggle sometimes with what to include on my own personal blog when I’m feeling stressed and its not always positive but it helps me get it out and I usually feel like I can better put it in perspective. I MUCH prefer Kelle’s outlook and she helps inspire me even on the hard days to look for that silver lining always. There are so many blessings and gifts in this life and I much prefer the way Kelle sees the world than the naysayers. Thank you Kelle for sharing your life and wisdom and sweet family with us!!!

  271. Absolutely gorgeous photos! I’m here from SITS and see you have 270 comments right now so I’m going to peruse your site to see if I can figure out where in FL you live.

    I just moved to Venice, FL from WI and yes, yes, yes!!!! The sun is soooooooo different here than it is “up north”.

  272. It’s so refreshing to visit a blog that radiates so much positivity. Your ability to focus on the GOOD and BEAUTIFUL in life is inspiring. Sure, we all have our days when things don’t go as planned, but this outlook is one I think we should try to adopt whenever possible.

    Looks like you had a great time with the family. Pictures are breathtaking :)

  273. Your photos are so beautiful! I could spend all day browsing through them (and I just might!) And photography tips for other bloggers? :)

  274. I read Nella’s birth story first thing this morning with tears running down my face. So beautiful. So honest. As the mother of a special needs child, I related to so much of your emotional journey.

    Your words and pictures do such a wonderful job of showing the world just how beautiful and perfect both your children are. I’m so glad I found your blog and I’ll definitely be coming back.

    Amanda
    “Life is a Spectrum”
    http://www.AmandaBroadfoot.com

  275. Glad there is no need to apologise! Just seen the latest post, happy that another blogging connection is going so well.

  276. First off, it looks like a little piece of paradise where you are. And what glorious pictures. Everyone looks so joyful — full of life and love.

    Secondly, I understand your feelings about a shoe dropping. I like to live life 100 percent with optimism but there is always a hidden part of me that is just waiting for the happiness plate from the buffet. You put my thoughts into words so beautifully!

    :-)
    Traci

  277. love this post and your explaining about how you see life — i think it has a lot to do with gratitude journalling :)

  278. It looks like you guys all had an amazing time and your photos are simply breathtaking.

  279. stopping by from your feature on SITS. what an amazing story you have. I read Nella’s birth story and cried my eyes out…. she is sooo beautiful!!! what a doll and how bold of you to open up your heart like that.

    God has blessed you with 2 beautiful girls….

  280. Beautiful blog, beautiful photography!

    Randi @ MommyReview.com

  281. I’m new to your blog (found you on SITS), but I will definitely return as often as I can. Your post about your trip lifted my spirits this Monday morning. The pictures are absolutely breathtaking!

  282. I have to see Isle of Capri myself, you make it look so wonderful. We went down to Clearwater recently and had such a nice time, I thought about you when we were down there.

    Thanks for all the beauty and also for reminding us here and there that you are human also.

    (and why is it that all the haters don’t have blogs linked in their profile? Not that I have one, but I am reading the blogs I love and not hot the ones I do not)

  283. The baby in the basket – I love that photo so much.
    Hubby loves it too!

  284. Love your blog. You put so much thought and creativity into your words. I look forward to pouring over your posts every single time.

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