And We’re Off

The garden race has begun with the green beans giving the humble radishes a two-day head start but making a grand entrance once they sprouted and towering well above the other vegetation now. But then again, green beans tend to show off.


I’m realizing that this analogy lover’s favorite reason to have a garden lies more in the fact that any life lesson can be applied to the principals of what happens in that little plot of land than in the food itself. Any preachers stumped on sermon-writing Saturday night? Go sit in front of a garden and you’ll find a gammet of morals and messages. Plus, it’s really fun to drop in conversations that you have a garden. Like, when the waiter places your salad plate in front of you, try following it with a “Hey, these tomatoes are beautiful. Sure hope the tomatoes in my garden look this good” or maybe when your friend is talking about her daughter’s kindergarten class you could offer a strategic “Did you say kindergarten? …because that reminds me of my garden. Wow, are my cukes growing.” And everyone will be all we-get-it-you-have-a-garden. And I’m completely exposing my non-gardening-ishness here, but dudes…I have a garden. So, I suppose I look like an ass if I go out just to water my little dirt square dressed like this? It’s just I’m so excited to be a gardener that if I’m gonna do this, it’s gonna be balls-to-the-walls, man. Like if a real gardener wears Carhartts and wellies, then I’m gonna need to get them. And while I warn you that any discussions of my gardening on this here blog may sound a bit forced and lean on the she-doesn’t-know-what-the-hell-she’s-talking-about side, let me assure you, I’ll figure it out. This is all just one of the many exercises in being a life enthusiast and dabbling in all sorts of life’s glories, gardening just one of many. Be glad it’s not playing the cello because I checked and cellos are like $9,000 and then I’d have to get some black orthopedic shoes to wear during concerts because I think you have to have soft shoes at those things.

Much ado about nothing? Indeed.

Moving on.

(Disclaimer: I apologize for the use of the word ass in the above paragraph, but I tried butt and other variations of the word and none had quite the punch as ass. Try it. I dare you. It’s like Mad Libs but with swear words.)

So, yes we are a little under the weather but not so much in the woe-is-me fevers and Theraflu kind but more in the cough-and-stuffy excuse to cancel plans kind of way. So we did. We canceled plans this weekend and perfected the art of home.

Of tree-climbing (because it’s art, it is, and my girl is gettin’ into it)


Of afternoon vacationing just a block up the street to the lake.





Of recreating our garden in the realm of cupcakes and doing one of those panoramic scans of the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon to drink in good, productive, purposeful chaos. Frosting-coated counters, flour-spattered aprons, stools pulled up the edge of the cupboards where little feet tip-toe to reach the batter bowl.

Garden cupcakes made from Oreos, formed Starburst, Skittles and frosted cornflakes. From Hello, Cupcake…Heidi got me obsessed with that stinkin’ book.

Of pruning our skin in long mid-morning bubble baths and letting the phone go to voicemail, watching TNT movies and brewing a second pot of coffee, and grabbing a front-row seat to the footage that plays out in our home every day.





And now here’s the part where I have nothing left to say but a butt-load of pictures still left to share (and see there…butt was more appropriate in this tense, although the afore-mentioned ass would have worked splendidly as well).

So, please enjoy.







And, it would be really nice if I had some sort of closing garden analogy here, but I can’t think of any. So, with that said, a happy Monday to you, and you, and you.


…the text size is wackadoo on this post, and I can’t figure out html code for text size. So, I apologize if you needed your reading specs half-way into this.


Leave a Comment
  1. I had the EXACT same kind of weekend as you….in fact on Sunday we watched 9 episodes of Lost….how sick is that?! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Hi Kelle! I just started following your blog recently, and I absolutely love it! Your girls are precious, your pictures are gorgeous, and your writing is incredible.

    Raleigh, NC

  3. Bloom where you are planted.

    The End.

  4. ok, seriously. Your kids need to stop being so cute…it’s not fair to the rest of us.

  5. Love love love that last photo of Nella xx

    May your garden be bountiful


  6. sounds like a perfect weekend of refueling…
    happy gardening!

  7. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy looking at the pictures, reading your blog and listening to the music. I have 20 month old twins, one girl and one boy. My son has down syndrome.
    We all love reading your blog. Whenever I click to it they come right over to me and insist on sitting on my lap while I look at it. One twin on either lap, I love it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. I just have to tell you that your little Nella is so delicious (both girls are adorable!!) that seeing pictures of her smile make me want to move to Florida so I can see her cuteness in person! :-) Thanks for your always upbeat posts…they really do encourage me in my task as a SAHM, who homeschools two little boys with far too much energy, while trying to run a consulting business. LOL!

  9. Oh Kelle! one day when my backyard is an actual backyard I too will dive right into the garden.. until than I will live through you :)

  10. Thanks – I needed that on this Monday morning!

    Have a lovely week!

  11. Love this! You have inspired me. I started following you back in January-ish. I love how you put a positive spin on things, but don’t hide the humdrum of life. Love your kids. My daughter is 2 1/2 and my son is 10 months so I enjoy relating to you and your children here.
    Thank you!!!!! Kate

  12. My weekend was spent putting my garden to bed for the winter and re-claiming it as the perfect place for a fire-pit. I will miss my tomatoes, beans and eggplant but am lovin’ the s’mores.

  13. I love your garden, and the fairies that reside in it – you’re doing a great job bringing up these precious petals I can’t wait to see your next post! It’s always the highlight of my day to see your posts! Thanks!

  14. I adore the pictures of Nella with her glasses on and striped leggings. SO CUTE! Thanks for being SUCH an inspiration!

    Laughed my ass off about your use of ass and how butt would just not fit : )

    Sometimes we need to say ass, right?

    : )

    I hope all your sniffles and snuffles depart with a quickness.

    Sending love for a happy week,

  16. beautiful girls, beautiful cupcakes!

    Good start to my monday!

    font code is something like < font size=”3″ >font goes here< /font >

    forgive the spaces it won’t let me type actual html

  17. As I sit during my planning period trying to make use of my “prep” time, I find myself wandering to gmail, then blogger, and then directly to your site. Thanks for not lettin me down! This is just what I needed for a “7th graders can’t bring me down” pick-me-up this Monday morning.

    I had an “incident” on Friday with a student who decided to change a familiar nursery rhyme and its hand-gestures to a demeaning, horrific, r-word toting assine version and sing it to our homeroom. Rest assured he did not get very far, and my mama claws (appropriately) came out; (after) I gave him a “That’s inappropriate. We don’t use that language to make fun of others and I am the last person you should be saying this to” speech before (calmly?) walking out of the room, getting coverage from the nearest assisant, and bursting into tears.

    I am better now. But, was hoping never to have an emotional outburst such as I did on Friday. Oh well, our principal says showing students emotion makes them better empathizers. Thankfully most were concerned, and the offender is now parked in suspension for a plethora of other disruptive language.

    Now I am rambling. But, I get it, and the use of “ass” at times. Thanks for the Monday pick-me-up!

    Jen @

  18. Ass is a great word.

    Love the pic of you nursing your bean sprout.


  19. There is something sacred and healing about being in the dirt. The earth calms and enlivens, eases and reaffirms, balances and launches… There are too many ways to describe this. Being in the dirt, gardening, and watching things grow has healed me from a full fledged depression in the past. I truly believe it is God’s healer…

    I think it is so wise and good that you immerse your girls in nature. Sit Nella in that dirt. Let her feel through all her senses the magic that is going on underneath her and around her and in her. I love seeing Lainey in those trees. Grow, Reach, Be, Little One (something a wise healing garden teacher created and shared with me). Explore and be free.

    How many of us are concerned that we are not doing enough for, saying enough to, or being enough to the children of this earth? We go above and beyond, but how about if I could have said or did one more thing that could aid them on staying on their own path, feeling the power in their own God-given gifts, knowing how truly divine and precious they really are? How many parenting books are there? And they are wonderful and purposeful in their own right… but plop your kid in the earth. Teach them about digging holes and dropping magical seeds, about watering and tending that garden. Lift them up to a branch on that tree and help them search for caterpillars…or take them fishing, getting used to the casting and the reeling, the patience it takes to wait, the pull of the rod when there may be a bite… I believe doing all of these things can help us not worry about that gap we may or may not have filled…. because all of these things parent, teach, and guide in their own right. And they are better teachers then we can ever be. They have a way of remaining with our children, as they have with many of us, and fortifying them when they are grown. My father would say, “Nature is God’s gift to us… and it’s free.” I just feel there is sooo much wisdom in that gift for ourselves and for the children of this world.

  20. Nella’s smile makes my heart melt everytime!
    I envy you, I cannot wait till we own our own home so I can plant my own garden! I’m anxious to see how yours turns out and learn from your mistakes ๐Ÿ˜› Happy Monday!

  21. Lovely pictures (and post) as usual! How does sweet Nella keep those glasses on?! I can’t even get my niece to keep a ribbon in her hair.

  22. Oh my gosh, I adore that picture of you nursing Nella with Lainey around your neck! Beautiful and sexy in a maternal way lol

  23. It was impossible for me not to smile when I looked at the picture of Nella with her huge grin. I can’t imagine what those smiles must be like in person!

  24. Kelle, your grandma, proper as she was, would read the Bible to me and your uncle Lyn. When we were old enough to look over her shoulder and read along, we realize she would say “donkey” whenever “ass” appeared in the scripture. We, of course, being naughty little boys, would call her out on it. “That word doesn’t start with a D, mom!” And she would just tell us we don’t use words like that. To which we, even naughtier, would say, “Well God uses it.” We had even more fun when we would ask her what the biblical word “dung” was? “Dunghead” of course, was secretly spoken between brothers. Those photos make me miss my littles…and what a great big brother Brandyn is–she fits those arms so perfectly.

  25. Have fun with your garden! It is odd to be reading this from Ottawa, Canada, where the frost has now killed all that was left of my huge vegetable garden from the summer. the fact that you are PLANTING in OCTOBER blows my mind!
    Enjoy it! It is such a rewarding thing to do for oneself, and with children. And food never tastes better than when you’ve grown it yourself!

  26. Love, love, love your garden…and your sweet girls :) I am a county extension agent in Kentucky, and I know Florida has a wonderful Extension Service, as well. Lots of good information for gardens in your beautiful state :)

  27. I LOVE the photos of her brothers holding /kissing on her…SO SWEET!!!

  28. I want a garden now!!! LOL

  29. Are you amazed at how fast comments amass on your posts? Incredible. Your children’s smiles bring a smile to my face. Fun pics. Happy Monday indeed.

  30. Love all the pictures!! I love that you share your daily adventures with your family. Nella’s heart pants are adorable! your girls are precious!

  31. I absolutely love the picture of you and your girls and picture 13 of Lainey looking serious up close. They are fabulous! Hope you all feel better quickly. Enjoy your week.

  32. You are planting little seedlings and watching them sprout and I am cutting down crunchy peony plants and watching the squirrels eat my pumpkins. What a strange juxtaposition! Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I laugh whenever I see a picture of Nella with her left eyebrow all scrunched up high when she’s smiling real big or laughing up a storm.

  33. ,,,the photo of big brother and nella so sweet,,,

  34. As always your pics are incredible. You really capture the pure innocence of your children. I love the garden cupcakes and your picture frame wall. Very inspiring!

  35. Oh the pictures of Nella smiling are just the cutest things ever. I love the pictures of her in her glasses.

  36. Dear Garden Gertie, You go girl as you watch your veggie garden and your garden of life (your family) grow. Glad to see your hubby is a Gator fan. We lived in Gainesville 9 years before we moved to Ohio. Go Gators. susan

  37. have fun with your garden, i can`t wait til we get one as well:)
    you have a beautiful family!

  38. I’m sorry, was this post about gardening with adorable pics of kiddos? I didn’t realize! I was so cracking up over the use of ass vs. butt and the like.

  39. OMG! Kelle~those pics of Nella on the chair with the hat & glasses & overalls – how can you stand her?? I’d never get a thing done. She is sooo
    freakin’ cute!! I also love the one of Brandyn kissing her – so sweet.
    And Lainey, of course is princess of all things adorable. She’s getting so big. I love your blog.
    Love everything about it!

  40. Such fond memories of my grandparent’s big vegetable garden! So far, my gardening has included only flowers, but maybe we’ll get around to veggies next year.
    Nella is an adorable little farmer. How fun for your girls, and so true that there are many life lessons in that little plot. Gardening is an awesome hobby!

    Happy Monday.

  41. I love seeing Nella’s little wisps of blondness.

  42. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant….

    I have that on my living room wall…too bad I don’t have a garden. Totally a Sunday sermon phrase though. Darling photos as always

  43. You are so blessed to have a garden in the fall/winter! Just does. not. happen here in the Pacific NW. :)

  44. Sharing a smile with you … happy, happy Monday! I just love the pics of your tree-climbing girl … and her tights, I NEED some of those!! I also can’t get enough of Nella in the grass staring right up at me! Okay, last picture comment … the pic of you and the girls lakeside is just perfection. And we, too, are nursing stuffy bubble-blowing noses!! We’ve been having a lazy morning where the boys are playing and my camera is snapping away (and the coffee is traveling around with us, too). I just love stopping by this place … etst, that is, a place filled with love!

  45. Ah relaxing weekends at home are the best although I did have a rather relaxing weekend with my husbands family in the mountains of North Carolina.

    P.S. My daughter and I rolled in an “ass-load” of leaves on Friday afternoon, it was quite epic!

  46. Um, excuse me Mrs. Hampton, but do you sell any goodies from your garden because I believe that little sprout in the purple and blue looks ready to pick and looks yummy enough for me to gobble up and I WANT THAT ONE!!! :) OMG every time I see her smile with her eyes closed tight in the crescent moons I MELT. There is nothing cuter.

  47. Oh and Kim, up there, I’m with you, I think we need a road trip to Florida to see all this yumminess in person!!! :)

  48. your girls are beeeuuutiiifulll!!! Love the blog. I read it almost every day. Puts so much into perspective and simply, makes me smile :)

  49. Kelle, I love all the pictures of your sweet family, but for some reason, I extra love the pictures of Nella sitting. The way she turns her feet in & they are almost flat is the cutest thing ever! I guess it’s enjoying one of those small things. Much love!

  50. I can’t get over Nella in her specs. I smile every time I see it.

  51. love that you are gardening – seems funny that as yours is springing to life, ours is holding out for one last gasp before winter. Our tomatoes are still producing flowers, and the frost-nipped vines are still heavy with fruit.

    I once saw a quote, and believe it to be true, “He who plants a garden and waits, believes in God”.

    Love the pic of the tree, and sitting in the dirt…
    Thanks for making a dreary Monday, just that much brighter.

  52. Hey girl!

    A bit off topic, but…have you read any DS books? What I mean is…well…I’m considering adoption of a DS babe…so…books that are a good resource…give me an idea of what I’d be signing up for?


    Not gonna lie.

    P.S. sent you an email last week…not sure if you got it or if it was buried in spam somewhere. :)

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Jeanette, not to interrupt or anything :), but Baby’s with Down Syndrome is great!!! But don’t believe everything you read, cause all children are different. :) Also, Gifts 1 and Gifts 2 are great books. Are you going through Reece’s Rainbow?

  55. I love you and your blog. Happy Monday to you!

  56. I just LOVE Nella’s picture with the glasses…she’s just soo darn cute and your photography skills are PHENOMENAL

  57. I love all of your pictures always but, just wanted to say that I love your photo frame collage wall! I’m getting ideas just looking at it!! Thanks!

  58. Really, who doesn’t use the word ass at least once a day?! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    The other day I was talking to my husband and referring to someone who cut me off in the target parking lot as an a-hole. My 3 year old cut me off and said, “Do you mean azzhole mama?” I couldn’t believe it, was trying soooooo hard not to laugh. HAHA ok so apparently I use the word too much!

  59. Love it

  60. Your pictures are beautiful and inspiratinal – as always. Thank you for sharing, and allowing us to be a part of your life :)


  61. I wish I had amazing pictures nursing my 7-month-old boy like you have nursing Nella (at least I assume you’re nursing her in that picture). I think that is so beautiful but I’m just not sure I can pull it off as tastefully as you did and have in the past. Seriously….beautiful. Love all of your pictures as usual.

  62. Happy Monday! Love gardens. I have many sweet childhood memories of my grandmother’s garden. It was one of my favorite places. The photos of Lainey tree-climbing, Brett with his girls and Nella with her brother are so beautiful. ๐Ÿ˜€

    “When you drink in nature through your senses, you deepen your awareness of the great silent intelligence flowing through all things. You nourish your mind, body, and spirit as you connect to the divine love of Being.” ~Deepak Chopra

  63. Those have got to be the cutest cupcakes I have ever seen!

    We had a similar weekend with one child curled up on the couch with a fever. We made homemade biscotti (with a little secret ingredient of whiskey to spice them up). They are delicious! And I didn’t even care that my kitchen was a disaster after. It was a warm and cozy day.

    Your girls are simply the cutest!

  64. Kelle, you make my day.

    And the photo of Nella smiling…swoon! No one does JOY like that little girl. She is the embodiment of the word.

    Happy Monday!

  65. Those kinds of weekends are the best! Me and my hubby love hunkering down on rainy saturdays, making grilled cheese for lunch, picking up a six pack of blue moon and doing nothing but cuddeling with the baby, watching movies and talking!

    And sometimes you just have to use the word ass. My hubby and I both have made a big effort to cut out all swear words, and the other day he was doing something that was irritating me…. and I turned into a 5 year old and burst out with “You are being such a butthead!”lol.

    I love reading your posts Kelle, your girls are beautiful and so are you!


  66. I’ve got to say I love that blue lamp in the background of the pic of Nella sitting in the chair with her glasses.

  67. This is one bad butt post.
    Nah, bad ass. It was definitely bad ass.

  68. Ass was perfectly acceptable. And, its in the King James version of the Bible, so tell people who don’t like it, to deal with it :)

    I love the garden! We’re going to be planting some veggies in our plot dirt in the spring. Can’t wait. Maybe I’ll get some silly garden clothes too. I feel like I’d be turning into Betty White, but whatever… she’s nice and frisky for her old age.

  69. Every picture of Nella makes me smile but when I see *HER* smile, it makes me all sorts of giddy inside. Thinking about all that she has to smile for makes my day. She is just beautiful!

  70. I’m relieved to learn that climbing trees is an art form. I always thought I had no hope of being an artist, but I rocked at climbing trees all growing up. Phew.

  71. I’m relieved to learn that climbing trees is an art form. I always thought I had no hope of being an artist, but I rocked at climbing trees all growing up. Phew.

  72. Ok, I just want to gobble up little Nella’s feet! In every post they are pointy!! I just love them!!!

  73. Hi Kelle,

    I love that you use the word “ass.” Most everyone does use it at one time in their day/week, and it’s funny to hear and fun to say. Not only are you a brilliant writer/photographer, but you seem like a funny person to be around.

    Your girls are so, so cute. Love that picture of your step-son hugging and kissing your Nella. So sweet.

    –Erin :)

  74. Lovely! Tree climbing and family time looks like fun:)Nella’s glasses get seriously cuter every blog entry.

  75. Love the cupcakes!!! I just bought Whats New Cupcake, and have made cupcakes for my sister’s birthday, and my little Willy’s 1st birthday! Sooo much fun! And they always turn out so great! I’m sure it will be such a fun thing to do with your little girlies!!

  76. So glad to see your garden and your littles blooming. In no time you will be making a feast with all of the garden goodies. That’s my favorite thing about summer her in OH is the fresh produce and berries from the garden.

    I agree with the earlier poster who said you do a wonderful job of blooming wherever you are planted.

  77. Kelle,
    I’ve come to realize that I don’t know what I would do without your beautiful words and pictures. They brighten the darkest of days…Love you and love your girls!

    …And “Nella’s Rockstars” logo ROCKS! I’m sure I speak for many when I say I’d love one of those t-shirts…because through your blog we are all Nella’s Rockstars…profits to NDSS maybe?(Are you still accepting donations from the walk??)


  78. i am in love with your girls, Kelle! they just keep getting more and more beautiful! And could Nella look any more huggable?! those overalls!!
    and i have to add that your step sons look like some of the most caring boys ever (or else they’re really good at posing for pictures haha).
    hope you all feel better soon!

  79. Kelle, are you high on cold medicine?? Because, this post reminded me of myself… high on cold medicine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s not a dig, I promise!

    I just love that when you are feeling sickie you still run around and play with your littles. Let me tell ya, girl, you are one amazing woman! Anyone else, myself included, would say screw it, I am going to bed!

    Love your enthusiasm girl! You really can rally!

  80. Ah Kelle,

    We were sick this weekend, too. Must be going around. I am loving your garden. I have more of a “brown thumb”, plus I have no place to put a garden even if I wanted to. I’ll live vicariously through you.

    You amaze me with your creativity (the cupcakes). Just so you know, I read your blog and steal your ideas shamelessly, though I do give credit to you when asked where I came up with the ideas for things.

    Three cheers for nursing Mamas. I haven’t quite gotten comfortable enough to nurse in public. I still confine myself to the car with a breastfeeding shawl. I hope to one day be confident enough to “whip em out”.

    Keep the great posts coming. Sometimes your words are the only thing that makes me “rally”.

  81. Good luck with that garden of yours… I’d bet it’s gonna be something to be proud of… I’ve got a gardening quote for u, XOXO:

    “Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.” ~Lindley Karstens,

  82. Those cupcakes are so cute! I read another comment about DS books. I would love to know if you have any to recommend too. My husband and I are praying about adopting a baby with DS.

  83. 1. I’ve never been more jealous (at least on a Monday) over the fact that you are gardening RIGHT NOW while we spent recent days tearing ours out for the Winter. I’ve always said that weeding a garden is the purest form of therapy. It’s even better than eyebrow plucking.

    2. I want Laney’s outfit with the grey and the green stripeys. Like, for myself.

  84. i would love to have your kids hand me downs, they have the best clothes.

  85. Is it sad that my heart skips a little beat with excitement when I log onto your blog to discover a new post has been added? Love it!
    I love your ‘subtle’ I-have-a-garden drop lines ;o) And as always the photos that provide unspoken commentary with this post are so delicious & beautiful!
    You have an amazing family Kelle!

  86. Love the photos, as always!

    Love those cupcakes.

    And I always love looking here for your poppa’s comments as well.


  87. The picture of you and your girls by the lake is breathtaking. Definitely one to print big and hang up in your home to admire!

  88. The picture of you and your girls by the lake is breathtaking. Definitely one to print big and hang up in your home to admire!

  89. Kelle-

    You have to read “Seedfolks” by Paul Fleishmen – quick read (actually a young adult novel), about 70 pages – I just read it for the second time today while my two littles napped I got through the whole thing and thought of you right away. Talk about the symbolism of gardening! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy reading your blog. Planning a trip to Marco Island in December and will be heading to our favorite beach at Tiger Tail – loved your post about our favorite place!

  90. Just wanted to tell you that my 4-year old daughter was looking at the photos in this post with me and she saw your daughter in the tree and said “(GASP) That’s dangerous!” heehee. And every time she sees your little one she says “awwww…that baby is so cuuuuuuute!” Love your photos.

  91. Kelle, your brown-eyed and blue-eyed girls are over-the-top adorableness! I check every single day to see if you have new pictures.

  92. We LOVE our garden! Tongiht, Merrick picked a green bean and cheered that he got to eat green beans with dinner…….this kid HATES veggies!
    It is amazing that if they are involved/can witness the process “they will come!”

  93. Could Nella’s big brother hold her more tenderly than that? Like he knows exactly how precious she is. She is a lucky girl.

  94. Could Nella’s big brother hold her more tenderly than that? Like he knows exactly how precious she is. She is a lucky girl.

  95. lookit those little beans! and i don’t mean the greens… loverly fambily

  96. Love the garden and the garden cupcakes. Spending time with family at home is always welcomed time to chill out.

  97. Yer garden SHORE is purdy…

    Your girls are beauties as well! Enjoy your Monday adventures!

  98. To KIMBERLY(Yeptheyare allmine)- I love it “Bloom where..”. Been one of my fave quotes for a long time. Mary Engelbrait uses on her cards. To MONTE8750-I just LOVE what you wrote!! KELLE!! Good luck with your garden. I have a black thumb but hubby is always working in yard or garden. Cupcakes-Yummy! I so love seeing the big brothers with your girls, so heart-warming. Love tree-climbing- makes me wish I were a kid again. REALLY, I almost feel off my chair from laughing, with your commentary on ass v. butt! SO FUNNY! Thanks for the laughs; needed them today! Oh, just wanted to share, the 4 mo-old baby of our family. Needed something to keep her bare legs warm, with her little dress on. I remembered your great idea for cutting a pair of larger socks and VOILA, LEGGINGS!! Love you & yours, your blog mama

  99. Cheesy garden quote from plaque I bought at a garage sale… seeing as you wanted for one at the end of your post :)

    “Plant Kindness, Sow Love”

  100. You are cracking me up. And I am extremely jealous of your cupcake art. Well done.

  101. Kelle, I think that picture of you nursing Nella with Lainey’s arms around you is, by far, the most beautiful picture you’ve ever posted. :)

  102. I’m incredibly jealous that you get to garden year ’round. here we are out of luck for beans, and radishes etc as the ground is on its way to freezing. :( I can’t wait until next spring when I can start a garden again for the first time in years. As always your girls are gorgeous!

  103. Can i just say the picture of you and your girls is so very beautiful? I stopped and just stared for a minute and wished I was young like that again so I could hang all over my mama.

    You are a great mother Kelle, you girls are beautiful and you can tell there personalities are too. You and brett are doing a great job, keep it up (:

    and yes, gardens are awesome. We started our own a year or two ago but it’s hard to maintain if your busy, which my mom (who mostly takes care of it) is. Ours this summer looked like a weed garden, to be honest, haha.

    have a great week!

  104. I can barely stand it……AGAIN!!
    Too freakin cute……….the kids, not the garden lady!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Lovin all those smiles! The little Prof. is really making me nuts……..I am cwazy, cwazy about that girl! So I have absolutely no problem when you run out of words and still have lots of pictures to share!!

  105. This is one of my favorite posts of yours. And that’s saying something because I love every post of yours. A lot. I also love the way you dress your girls. I don’t have a girl, but if I did, I’d dress her just like yours. :)

  106. THIS put a smile on my face~

    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  107. I’m an editor turned stay-at-home mom and one heck of a persnickety grammarian, but I say “this here” and “that there” all the time. Drives. my husband. bonkers. All that is to say that I loved that you used “this here” in this post!


    bug and the sweet banana

    Sign Posts

  108. BEAUTY….the pictures are spectacular, especially Nella in her brother’s arms.
    Hope you all feel better soon.
    My boys are 26, 23 & 19 and not feeling well, either. On my way up to see my youngest little to bring him some home made food up to him at his dorm because this afternoon he told me he wasn’t feeling well……
    Mamaness never ends, thank goodness

  109. Have you seen the movie “second hand lions”? There is a great gardening scene that involves correct garden attire. It is a fabulous coming of age movie, warning, I usually cry.

    I love your blog, as a 24 year old unmarried, non-mama, grad student. It reminds me that one day when things are right, I’ll get there and have lazy family sundays with my babies. I love getting glimpse into that future, enjoying my present, and remember that everything IS going to be ok. Thanks :)

  110. beautiful garden…and the gardener in the middle is cute too:) Keep it up…fresh produce is so much yummier and when it is gone and you go buy some at the store…it just won’t ever be the same again:)

  111. beautiful garden…and the gardener in the middle is cute too:) Keep it up…fresh produce is so much yummier and when it is gone and you go buy some at the store…it just won’t ever be the same again:)

  112. i absolutely love the photo of you breastfeeding nella and lainey leaning in for a little love. i had to go back and look at it again cause it made me happy.

  113. Great post – love the on going of the gardening and the lazy weekend home, climbing trees and end of the road vacationing… it all sounds wonderful!

    But I must say – the whole “ass versus butt” debate was by far my favorite! I was literally laughing out loud — to the point that my neighbors must have thought I was crazy! Swear words mad libs sounds intruiging(sp?). I’ll have to try it some time!

    Awhile back we (being all your readers) all agreed “your voice was back”. I feel that is more true now after this post! You seemed to be having fun while writing it, while researching the perfect gardening attire and the cost of cellos all while hesitating to swear in YOUR blog but choosing to do what you felt was right in the end!

    Simply in love with this post!

  114. I am over the moon excited to hear about your garden! I am also incredibly jealous that your able to garden year round in FL. I’m in Calgary Alberta and our growing season lasts 4-5 months. Oh girl a garden year round would keep my spirits up (especially after the snow fall this morning). I sure hope that this garden “dabbling” your doing becomes a much loved hobby and gift of healthy food to yourself and your family!

    Happy Gardening!!!

  115. The year after my daughter was born, we planted over 150 tulips to celebrate and enjoy our own little stretch of “Holland” right in our front yard. Beautiful!

    Don’t miss the miracles, they are blooming all around us!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  116. stopping by at 11:15 for some tunes.

    just cleaned my garbage can with bleach. why? because I don’t want to do homework. I am amazed at all the tasks that are becoming appealing when homework looms…

    love you.

  117. Monte8750 please tell me you have a Blog I can stalk as well?

    Kelle: Your amazing and strong following loves your realness. Is that a word? It is something we all relate to, so not using words like “ass” would suck serious ass. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I am a new follower (since Parent’s mag. article) and wonder how you do it all with such style: being a wife, a step mom, parenting 2 young kids, learning new things like how to garden, and yet make kick ass cupcakes. Please tell me your house is a disaster. I will just imagine that it is…

    I hope that someday you will shoot every room in your home and post it. Maybe I am crazy but I am enjoying the backgrounds of the images as much as the cutie-patootie’s in main focus!

  118. Love, love, loving your blog. Nella and Lainey are stunningly beautiful. Looking forward to updates on the garden. In the summer, my husband would refer to our garden as having dirt. I was constantly reminding him, that I much preferred the term soil. It seems much more soul satisfying to have ones hands in the soil. Happy gardening as you dig deep into the soil! Have a great week!!

  119. I love this post. It is rambling and hilarious. Like you might be a little bit tipsy, or just overcome with happiness.

    I have nothing constructive to say, except to reiterate that I am loving this post.

  120. Ha! I love your writing! Sometimes you are so middle-of-the-night, sleep-deprived, unabashed, crazy-funny and WTF…it’s great!


  121. You have some of the cutest girls I’ve ever seen! They are so full of happiness and light and the joy and love they have for each other shines through your photos. Gorgeous as always. Love your blog! :) Happy Monday to you too!

  122. we don’t see enough photos of the boys….I think the one of which ever young man is holding Nella is probably my fav out of this batch.

  123. ahhh, thanks for the great photo dump! So many beautiful smiles especially some wholehearted ones from miss Nella. I am really proud of you for gardening. I love that you’re trying something so new, and jumping in with all of your sweet self! Those cupcakes are incredible. That inspires me to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a while but I’ve never done: BECOME A MORNING PERSON! I’m going to try and wake up like a normal person, make breakfast, brush my hair, even read the paper or take the dog for a walk before going to work. for now it’s just misery and running out the door and being late and never any makeup, no time!

    Okay, so keep growing those veggies and I’m going to go to bed now so I can get some sleep and wake up happy!


  124. I just love Nella’s overalls! She is the cutest little gardener!

  125. Kelle Hampton, I think you’re genuine. And that is refreshing and rare. Props.

  126. You have the most BEAUTIFUL girls! I love reading about all your adventures. Have a fantastic week!

  127. Hi Kelle,
    Such beautiful, happy family photos. Nella and Lainey have such gorgeous smiles! :-)

  128. hello cupcake rocks.. I love it.. I have done a lot in there… I love how yours came out. great post

  129. You have the most beautiful kiddos. :) LOVING the tights and the overalls. What a great blog, I am adding you to my favorites!

  130. I have a 9.5-month-old boy, and I am always struck when looking at Nella’s pictures by how much they are the same-same impish grin, same sweet hand postures (it will pierce me to the core when he outgrows those.)

    But this time, I am also struck by her raspberry beret. So thanks a lot for that song in my head all day :)

    And, because I firmly believe there’s a quote in Steel Magnolias to cover every contingency, “Because that’s what Southern women do – we wear funny hats and grow things in the dirt.”

  131. SO much synchronicity in our weekends! I love LOVE seeing and hearing about your garden. Gardeners are like runners and writers. If you do it then you are. There’s no way to dress, body type or degree that can make you one or take it away from you. So, add it to your resumé.

  132. Life’s a garden…dig it. :)


  133. That picture of you nursing your little bunny is one of the most gorgeous shots I’ve seen of you yet (and there have been lots of contenders! lol). Thanks for posting it – it’s great to see a nursing mama who’s proud of her milky achievements. And I’m so happy you’ve started your vege garden – may it bring you and your girls as much pleasure as ours does to us!

  134. do you water your garden with a red watering can? me thinks you need one…

  135. Dig – I love the quote about being a runner and a gardener. And KC – always in anticipation of what quote you have to top her post. Here’s my 5 cents on gardening.

    Dirt is good. And worms in dirt are really good.

    Nothing you can wear can make you more of a gardener than you were yesterday. When you really get into it, you’ll find yourself stained, muddy and in clothes so durable that your friends too will call it your “baby-making clothes” (nothing sexy about it!). Enjoy watching and talking about how your garden grows. It’s a perfect way to nurture your soul too.

    Have a wonderful week!

    Jennifer in Annapolis

  136. Yay for gardens! Yours is coming up just as ours is on its way out. :) It’s amazing the things my bigger girl will eat if she can pick it straight from the plant (raw kale, chard, TONS of cherry tomatoes, raw broccoli, etc.). Have fun!

  137. Can I please borrow your beautiful children for the day. I am in love. You don’t mind shipping internationally right?


  138. Seriously, Nella’s smile is contagious. And tree climbing is so fun. :)
    Good luck with the garden. We’ve had one the last couple of summers and it’s a lot of fun. You feel so earthy. :)

  139. Are your ears burning?? I just had the sweetest conversation about you with my neice Annette. I told her to come over for a “visit” this summer, and like me she’s smitten! Completely 100% smitten with your beautiful pics and…well just you. Anyway she mentioned she wrote you. Thank you so much for writing her back. I can’t even imagine how many emails etc…that you get on a daily basis. It really meant alot to her and me. And just so you know I’m a young aunt only 37…only;)

    Now back to your post. I think I have those exact same heart shaped pants as Nella. Only they are my pj’s:) That’s kind of weird right?

    Love the garden cupcakes…they are so beyond cute. Weird to think of gardening now when up here in Minnesota the leaves are flying past my window and it might SNOW tomorrow. Holy cow!!

  140. I am just so in love with your happy girls!

  141. Ha! You use the word wackadoo…I say it all the time like it’s a regular everyday word for most people lol (I have been told it’s not apparently)

  142. That picture of Lainey and her daddy fishing is so precious. She looks so beautiful and grown up in it. That photo would be PERFECT for her four year old book. Not that you need me to tell you what to put in your daughter’s book. I just think it is a striking picture capturing such a special moment.

  143. Nella’s knees are just too pinchable. like popping a pea out of the pod. POP!!! how’s that weak analogy!!

  144. Nella’s knees are just too pinchable. like popping a pea out of the pod. POP!!! how’s that weak analogy!!

  145. Three things:
    Love the puckery lips in the first pic.

    Love the “buttload” of pictures at the end.

    Love the term “wackadoo”

  146. Your ass comment is making me laugh so hard!!!! I think it sounds so much better with ass instead of butt:)

  147. My baby girl just turned 3 and I finally wrote her birth story…thanks for being so inspiring.

    Cute Halloween costumes!

  148. OH MY CUTNESS, the costumes in the header picture made my DAY! Especially the cat gnawing on the mouse’s tail!!

  149. I haven’t been around much, because I’ve been off having my own little pumpkin princess.

    Your Nella sure is growing up quickly. And those glasses? OH. MY. SO. ADORABLE.

  150. Oh My! Those costumes are so darn adorable and that middle pic is just perfect! Love it!

  151. Omgoodness!!! Love the girls costumes!! Darling!!!

    Love your girls!! They are so precious! My 5 yr old Ava always runs over to see the new pics of baby Nella! Ava thinks she is the cutest!

  152. The photo of Nella the cat made me laugh out loud. Cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time! Of course your mouse is as cute as can be as well, but something about that big smile….too much!

  153. Sweetness exponentially–the new header

  154. Oh-em-gee, the new header!!!!

    Love when siblings have “coordinated” Halloween costumes. This year my little guy (age 2) and girl(4) are being Cowboy Woody and Cowgirl Jesse from Toy Story. They picked and I must say it is so stinkin’ funny! We been running around the house all month on our stick horse perfecting our Yee haw’s and Whoa, horse!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)
    And, crazy about the pic you posted on FB!

  155. I love how the kitty is smaller than the mouse :)

  156. rik,
    how proud you must be of all your beautiful grandchildren.
    they are something arent they?
    i love your new header.
    the kids in their costumes are sooo cute.
    you have the greatest imagination.
    have a beautiful day!

  157. LOVE the header!! So cute. And, I really enjoyed the Home song by E. Sharpe and I’ve got it playing on my little corner of the web, as well. Thanks!

  158. oh. my. goodness. that new header rules!

  159. LOVE the halloween costumes! they are adorable!

  160. That is the cutest header EVER!! So sweet.

  161. Love the header!!!! Our family is going as the Mouslings from Angelina Ballerina:)


  163. ,,,love the “cat ‘n mouse”…i see the cat has found the mouses tail,,,(smile)

  164. OHMYGOD!! I LOVE YOUR HEADER witht he costumes!! The littles of our family, 4 m0-old baby is gonna be Tinker Bell and her big brother (2 yrs) is gonna be Peter Pan! So cute together!

  165. OMG, the cat eating the mouse’s tail…To Die For!

  166. This was FUN to read!

  167. This post insn’t particularly about this entry, but when I check for new entries and don’t fine them, I go looking and find one i read long ago. I have a theory. I believe that you, your husband a both of your children are so beautiful because of the love for life that you add to their juice and milk in the morning. I can only imagine there are tantrums and unreasoned cries…but I just can’t picture it! Now all you have to do is bottle up that “love for life – marrow sucking – living in the moment” syrup and sell it to only the most specil people…please let me be one…btw i used to be

  168. I can’t imagine planting in the fall and seeing veggies sprout before your eyes. We are bracing for winter in MN. It has been so windy today. I was sure I was going to blow off the road while driving home from work. Love the cat and mouse. When I was 3 my dad and I dressed as a cat and mouse. It was one of the coldest Halloweens, so I’ve been told, but we still managed to trick-or-treat. This year Mae (3) and Greta (14 months) will be cheerleaders from NDSU. I never thought I would dress my girls as cheerleaders, but they look adorable sporting the little outfits. Have a Happy Halloween!

  169. AHHH! Your new banner is ADORBALE! I love Halloween, littles make it twice as sweet. My 6 month old, Alexander, is going as a triceratops. :)

  170. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. the new banner..seriously sweet!!!!
    Well Kelle if you give a girl a garden then she will want a canner..could be in your future. I adore canning all the good things we grow..right now I am doing some kick ass kraut in a huge old crock that would be one of the few items I would go back into my house to save if it was on fire!!!! If you grow beets I have a recipe that was given to me that came from my grandmother..I am famous for my beets babydoll! Our growing season is over so I am so excited about seeing your garden while we have snow on the ground..and if you need any help canning the fruits of your labor let me know. I taught my sister who lives in florida how to can over the only took 8 hours and one bottle of wine but we sure did get some giggles and some great memories out of it!
    Your cupcakes are fabulous and the book that Heidi turned you onto is one of our favorites and we also love the Martha Stewart cupcake book. Gracee and I just made mini-oreo cookie and mini snicker bar cupcakes…the girl can pipe icing like nobodies business!!! ♥

  171. LOVE LOVE LOVE the new header!! happy trick or treating!!

  172. I love the new header… I wish I had more of those creative juices you have…

  173. Oh my goodness the picture at the top of your littles in their Halloween costumes is absolutely adorable! Nella’s smile is precious!

    p.s. those garden cupcakes are adorable! I hope your garden is prosperous!


    Love your blog….your photography is beautiful. Thought of you today when I saw this video. You might have already seen it. It’s beautiful….just like you and yours! Blessings to you.

  175. Love the new banner!!

  176. Kelle,

    I love Love LOVE the new header. Nella chewing on Laineys tail is so flipping precious.

    For wackadoo HTML don’t know if you’ve ever checked out but I use their site often. I’m sure you have plenty of help for those kinds of troubles though.

    So jealous of your garden. I live in Michigan. No winter gardening for me. Can’t wait for next summer to give it a shot!

    Thanks for another wonderful post! They always bring a smile to my face!!

  177. Also, that photo of you nursing Nella and Lainey draped over your back is, hands down, my all time favorite photo of you three.

  178. Gardening is an art and just like your photography and writing, practice makes perfect! I am a daughter of a self-taught gardener by evening and painter by day and I must say the combinations of colors in his gardens are to die for! I love the artwork my father created throughout our yard as a child and to this day I weed when I need to destress or feel productive! Your children will grow up to appreciate the beauty of hard work and nature (not that they won’t learn that without a garden, but it helps!)

    Be proud of your garden! Your family is beautiful as always!!

  179. The Halloween costumes are adorable! I love the new header at the top of your site…PRECIOUS!

  180. I love………………the new header. The girls are adorable. They are the treats! Have a great trick or treat night.

  181. LOVE the new header – the girls costumes are ADORABLE! :)

    I, too, would love to have a garden. We have almost 2.5 acres inside the city of Indy – which is almost unheard of – but I shudder at the thought of (1) getting it started, and (2) the maintenance. There’s nothing better than home-grown veggies – they have a different taste! Perhaps I will garner the courage to attempt my own garden in the next year.

    Kudos to you – and hope you all feel better soon!

  182. I LOVE the new banner! It`s so cute!! :)

  183. Oh!!! My!!! Check out your new header! Soooo cute! You are so creative and talented! Girls are absolutely adorable in their costumes!

  184. Love your pictures. Love your blog. LOVE, love, LOVE your taste in music!! (In fact, our playlists are 80% the same thing! How does that work?! Awesome, awesome!)

    How have I missed out on your blog for so long? So glad I found it! Can’t wait to get caught up :)

  185. Kelle, OMG Nella in those glasses!!! Too cute for words…Everytime I see your girls I just want to snuggle them and cover Nella in kisses. Thanks for the peek into your happiness…life truly is beautiful.

  186. Love the new header. My 3 1/2 year old twin daughters loved it too!
    We had a garden (it’s too cold here in Maine now) and there is something so amazing about watching it bloom and grow.

  187. Hi! My mom recently turned me onto your blog and your story is amazing. You have a beautiful little family and I just love reading your posts and looking at your wonderful photos. Oh! & those cupcakes are amazing!

  188. super cute pictures….lots of Hampton family fun!
    those cupcakes are precious….I couldn’t bring myself to eat ’em they’re so cute.

  189. I love that you’re not afraid to say ass, LOL. And that you don’t talk about God like a lot of the mommy blogs I read. Not that there is anything wrong with God, LOL, but I am not really all that religious and it’s a nice refreshing break when I read your blog!!!!

  190. Is it possible to post an evolution of your “header?” I have enjoyed watching the pictures change since I have been following your blog, and it would be so neat to see them all again!

  191. Kelle,

    What do you use to get your awesome white backdrop for your photos?

  192. OMG!!! I love LOVE the new kitty header!!! Nella chewing on Lainey’s tail….TOTAL CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!!

  193. That new header is delicious! Please tell us if you made those costumes or bought them! Adorable! Love it!

    Happy Halloween! I am sure you have fun stuff planned for those cuties! Can’t wait to see!


  194. Oh Dear Lord, that Header is the BEST yet!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TOO cute…..Your girls are incredibly adorable!!!

  195. This comment has been removed by the author.

  196. I really love your blog! You inspire me so much ๐Ÿ˜€ You move me with your writing, either it’s laughter or tears, you are amazing! And I just want to say that your girls are adorable!

  197. Such delicious photos, I love them! The photo of you nursing Nella and Lainey leaning over and hugging you — oh my! But the header just steals me away — Nella chewing on Lainey’s tail… oh too much! I’m sure your cheeks were sore from taking those pics!! Much love to you and that beautiful family!

  198. oh, and I LOVE girls who climb trees — your kids rock!

  199. Your blog is so my favorite “wind-down” activity to do in the evenings. I check every night for a post – and find myself truly disappointed when you skipped a day. Your writing is AMAZING! Truly gifted – a book may be in your future…well I’m hoping.

  200. LOVE LOVE LOVE your new header!!!

  201. I love Nella’s smile! I wish I had the motivation to garden! You’re looks so nice!

  202. I absolutely LOVE your blog title! Those are the cutest pictures and I always love your post.

    To be organized, that would be wonderful! Expecting our third any day now and trying to stay as organized as possible!!! :)

    LOVE IT!!!

  203. i don’t think one needs to know what they are doing with a garden, i found this summer that it was a lot like having babies, you just plant the seeds and let em go WILD!

  204. Glad I’m not the only one into the Halloween candy.

  205. I love pockets galore in diaper bags… makes my life easier… if I don’t win – I’m just going to sew somemore into the diaper bag I have now… :)

  206. Oh, Kelle! Those girls are just too cute :)

  207. i love the picture of nella in her glasses she is so cute!!!!! Why dosent she ever wear them in the pictures????????????????I love your new header it is so cute!!!!

  208. I’ve always wanted to have a red door! But a mini red door would do. :) Have a Happy Halloween! We are having a nice one.

  209. I’ve always wanted to have a red door! But a mini red door would do. :) Have a Happy Halloween! We are having a nice one.

  210. Kelle….so I have to admit….I follow your site for a couple of different reasons…I can’t get enough of the Professor….I LOVE LOVE your writing….but the other reason is your photography. I think I need to breakdown and get better lenses…not that mine aren’t super, but the water pictures just blew me away….WAY COOL. And your sprout said mama……I keep thinking my sprout is about to say it too….she is almost 8 months….I am thinking it is time???!!!!!???

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>