Hey Buddy.

Oh boy…here we go.

Brett has this theory (among many) that when you have a moment of deja vu, it means you are exactly where you are supposed to be in life; that, somehow, if you feel like you’ve lived through a moment in life before, it has to mean the universe is letting you know you should be living that moment. And, I guess that’s how I’d have to summarize this weekend.


I just felt like I belonged, like it was exactly where we were supposed to be.

Sometimes I feel selfish. Like why didn’t I do these things before Nella? Why did it take my world being quaked to make me jump aboard this ship and would I have done it if it hadn’t? Up until this point, I have done it because every day, I peer into soulful almond eyes that belong to a child that is mine. And I love her with a painful, throbbing love that makes me want to change the world for her. I want to speak fearlessly and change stereotypes and possibly stretch hearts and minds to accept my baby more because she is mine and that’s what mamas do for the ones we love. We move mountains.

I consider myself a selfless person. I volunteer when I can. I give a dollar or three or four when the check-out lady asks me if I want to add a donation for diabetes or the homeless shelter or breast cancer research to my grocery bill. I cry when I read stories about children who are hurting, and sometimes I lie in bed at night forcing myself to think of how bad it would hurt to be one of those moms. And yet sometimes it disappoints me that it took opening my arms to the tiny slippery body of my baby–the one with almond eyes and little peanut ears–to make me want to look deeply into the almond eyes of the girl that sometimes bags my groceries at Publix. To make me want to hug her and tell her I think her blond hair looks beautiful tucked behind her ears or that I appreciate how she always bags the bread separately so that it doesn’t get smooshed. Because, to me, she is Nella.

And I wonder if that’s selfish–having to have a personal connection to make me feel it. But then, I remember that everything we learn in life goes back to connections and emotions and knowing someone who knows someone that something has happened to. We teach our kids to treat people how they want to be treated, and the suggestion of bringing it back to ourselves is selfish in itself…but it’s how we learn.

It’s how I’ve learned. Knowing what it feels like to love someone so desperately that has that extra chromosome and to slowly let that feeling seep in deeply until it goes beyond just my child…it makes me so very passionate.
And, I guess with all that said, I felt that Saturday. I felt connected. I felt like I was walking for every blessed soul with designer genes. I felt like, even if we didn’t have Nella, I would have wanted to be there.

And yet, the love still bleeds most deeply for my own girls…and I’m okay with that.



So, I walked with a few names in my pocket of babies whose mamas aren’t quite ready to walk yet. And I walked for all those on the path before us, all those on the path behind us.

And I walked for my girl. My beautiful blue-eyed kitten who rocks out a studded hat like nobody’s business.


I say I love adjectives but words fail me now.

It was…beautiful.


I thought of what I wanted it to be in my mind. I wanted happy. I wanted dancing. I wanted a crazy celebration. I wanted to rock it out.

And, well.


I cried a little bit when the choir sang the national anthem, but I cry at that before a big game too. And I cried when I huddled with our friends after the walk to tell them how much I love them, but that’s nothing new either. Other than that, it felt like a big freaking party where life is celebrated and the future is welcomed.



Also helped that we brought a boom box loaded with rock anthems, and my dad hoisted it over his head for the entire 2-mile walk.


And I didn’t know walking across Florida boardwalks just post-sunrise with friends, celebrating the magic of the 47th and jammin’ to the Black Eyed Peas was on my Bucket List, but it is now…followed by a big fat CHECK.


Nella’s P.T. Jonah, his son, and the little rockstar herself.

The tiniest rockstar representin’…Baby Grady, just seven days old.



It was Naples’ first year hosting, and our town delivered. We might be small, but we are mighty.





Thank you to everyone who came out to support. Three cheers for the Village.


Total craziness here. Coming up for air soon. But, there’s good stuff this week.




We drove two hours to get the best make-shift Michigan we could find, and Bradenton, Florida delivered pretty nicely today, I gotta say.

But, that’s for later.

We gotsa giveaway.

Winner (generated by Random.org) of the Vintage Pearl $75 gift certificate: Commenter #1271, Suzanne who’s loving: 1. Our 3 children already jumped into those leaves last night after supper…I raked a maze for them first!, 2. A “White Chocolate” coffee flavor I found for $4.99 today and drinking it right now in my fun insulated Halloween Cup., 3. Listened to Ingrid Michaelson as I drove down the winding roads of small town Wisconsin.
There’s lots of love right now!

Suzanne, please e-mail me your information to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net

And, I’m happy to announce The Vintage Pearl as a new sponsor this month. Their hand-stamped, sterling silver comes in eye-catching unique designs and makes for memorable conversation pieces and beautiful gifts. Use discount kelle10 at check-out for 10% off this week. Discount ends this Friday.

And I think that’s it. Or did I already say that? Whoa, Deja vu. Or maybe, I am just right where I’m supposed to be.



Leave a Comment
  1. So fun! Looks like all the Nella Rock Stars had a blast!
    I like B’s theory!

  2. Been waiting all weekend for this post!! Going back to read:)

  3. those last pics…lainey holding nella.. speak volumes. she adores her, and there is such a protective look on her face. nella will always be looked after. she will always be loved. she will always be safe.

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  5. I recently watched a documentary on HBO about a woman with DS and how she found love and independence. I cried the whole time. Getting to share in your story through your blog has made ME more aware of DS. My heart melted watching that documentary because I kept thinking about Nella and how much there is to hope for. Your story has changed me. Thank you.

  6. oh man, that picture of nella in the pumpkin patch, smiling! That smile slays me!

  7. sooooooooo sweet, and thank you for walking for us;) tears.
    Love nella’s headband in the pumpkin patch photos.

  8. totally diggin the rockstar theme for the walk!! SO SWEET :) cant wait to see the rest of the pumpkin pictures!

  9. What an awesome day it was! :o) Looking forward to the pumpkin patch pictures!

  10. You truly ROCKED it Hampton Style!! That Nella is one gorgeous Rock Star with the most beautiful designer jeans!! She has and will continue to bring unmeasurable joy and happiness as she grows within the love your stretched out heart gives to her. Those almond blues reach deep into souls that she has not even met and they are touched by her magic. I understand when you say words fail you, how do you describe such beauty, such love in its deepest form…

    Love the outfits, the energy…the LOVE!! You moved the mountains dude, you stretched hearts and sang your song: “more alike than different” for all to hear.
    I am so HAPPY for you, thank you for making the connections, sharing the emotions and although you don’t even know me, I celebrate with you the joy of almond eyes and LIFE itself. Thank you Kelle Hampton!!


  11. Ohmygosh! AMAZING. That looks like an amazing day. I love it!!

  12. Wahoo I’m in the first 20 comments! That never happens.

    Way to go Nella Rockstars – you guys totally rocked it! Wish I could have been there to support the walk. Love all the pics- such love. Nella is an adorable rocker! And love the pic of your dad w/the boom box- so awesome.

  13. You may not have done these things before Nella, but by what you’re doing now (writing this amazing blog) you are helping to change stereotypes and you are helping thousands of people around the world realize that we are more alike than different. So for that, thank you. You ROCK Kelle and so does the entire Nella’s Rockstars team … bless you all!

  14. I just have to say that I’m so jazzed that you posted a few of these on Facebook yesterday cuz it kept me from completely going crazy with impatience for this post!

    Did y’all rock this thing out or what? I just look at those pictures with a huge smile of my face. WOW.

    Love your dad, carrying the boom box, a la John Cusack in Say Anything!

  15. Wow. Not gonna lie. I teared up just looking at the picures, then teared up more on how you described it.

    Have a great week!


  16. Oh so fabulous! Those shirts! Now I need to do shirts for our Buddy Walk team here in Dallas next month! Love it all! So glad you had an awesome time today and especially glad that you are willing to speak fearlessly and change stereotypes for our babies!! We need you! Thank you so much for that!


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  18. Of course your Dad carried the music over his head just as you and Brett have carried those two little sweet pea’s and your site has carried all of us into your life.

    Everyone carries someone!

    You are where you are supposed to be!

    Congrats to Nella’s Rockstar’s!

  19. …me again…just looked at the pumpkin pics…
    Super Sweet! I can almost hear the laughter bursting out of that adorable little pumpkin herself!! And big sis giving the love…so genuine, so protective, so Lainey Love…


  20. Kelle,
    Just wanted to let you know you are touching hearts of others! I have found myself treating those with that extra magical chromosome different than before finding your story. While at the dr with my son the other day, Seth was sitting next to me and never before would I have interacted, asked his name or thought about him playing with my son in that waiting room. I made it a point to talk to him and enjoyed getting to know him for that short little while. I will make sure my children are brought up with a different outlook for those they might see as different from them.
    Thanks again for sharing your story and life.

  21. just love. love. love. and, yes, moms are all about moving mountains. we are a mighty force to contend with.

  22. You are awesome.
    Love the energy & beauty of Team Nella… looks like you had such a great time. I am seriously speechless about how amazing your writing is… you have such a gift for distilling down to the heart & soul.
    Rock on, rock on…

  23. Crying happy tears here! You guys really rocked that walk, you bring so much style and freshness to everything you do Kelle.

    You think you have to mission to get a pumpkin in Florida? Try Africa in the spring… we got some though and my kids are super excited to start carving them.

  24. i love that your dad held the boom box up the whole time. and that picture of nella’s PT with his son & her. precious. she is so loved. by many more than you will probably ever know. thank you for sharing some of your precious family!

  25. Beautiful, Beautiful post, Kelle! I am hoping that we can go on a Buddy walk soon for Laura <3 it seems wonderful!

  26. Wish I had been there just to walk with you guys. Awesome =).

  27. Go Rockstars!!! So awesome! :)

  28. Had to check in one last time before bed and you rallied. Of course. What a beautiful, moving, extraordinary thing. All of it. xo

  29. I’ve been waiting for this post and it was all I hoped for! Our family is planning to go walk in Seattle next year and I want you to know that YOU inspired us, to get outside our sheltered little box and think of others.
    The wagon pix of Nella make her look like such a big girl! I bet its because she’s growing so fast, but I normally refuse to notice babies getting all grown up :)

  30. i love stopping by your blog and always seeing such awesome pictures of your little ones! you truly have a beautiful family!

  31. So glad I checked in! Love, love and love! Poppa Rik carrying that boom box…of course he did that! Where is his super poppa cape??!!

    Jill B. (Overland Park, KS)

  32. I think your right–I’ve always felt like it means your right where you’re supposed to be as well. Such a rockstar feeling. :)

  33. Kelle, Through your blog, your words here, you ARE stretching hearts and minds to accept babies like Nella, all over the world.

  34. You make the world seem like it is going to be O-kay, and I love that! I have said that your blog is the best thing I have found on the internet, and with this newest post, you did not dissappoint. Such a beautiful heartfelt confession of feelings. And to think that when I was little I only thought the best stories were fictional?!…maybe because I wanted them to be real. You have the abiltiy of making what seems unreal REAL. Thank you for sharing. YOU ROCK!
    (Speaking of deja vu…LOVE that banner! – I remember that 4th of July post and the pic you snapped at the parade …too cute! 😉

  35. Love reading your blog – i find it very inspirational – your family is beautiful x

  36. I love this! I somewhat recently began reading your blog and I am a regular now. Someone, somewhere posted a link to Nella’s birth story and I was just so taken in. You see, I have two children with autism, and they were both diagnosed within two months of one another back in 2007. I can sincerely appreciate wanting to move mountains and bring about a change in the world toward acceptance of children who are perceived as so different – but who really aren’t so different after all.

    This was huge, I know. And it was amazing. This post left me a bit misty-eyed and smiling. Your Nella is a beautiful little girl, and she has some wonderful, loving support all around her. All children should be so blessed.

    Thank you so much for sharing so honestly with all of us!

  37. Hi Kelle,
    It was so lovely to see the photos of “The Buddy Walk” to read about the day.
    This post (as do all all your posts) spreads so much joy.
    I loved the Rockstar theme and how so many of your family and friends got involved. It’s so great the way Poppa Rik carried the music all the way.
    Nella you are a little star as is Lainey.

  38. Wow talk about beautiful. Seeing these pics makes me tear up. Thank you for sharing with us and really inspiring us all to give more, experience more and love more.
    Don Miller said: “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.”
    Well, Kelle, thank you for showing so many of us the way.

  39. Hey rock star. I’ve spent sneak-away moments this weekend going to facebook watching for photos of Buddy Walks in Atlanta (which is huge) and the 1st annual in Great Falls, MT where they had 465 show up. A parade of blue and yellow balloons on a cloudy day, lufting over love.

    …and of course, looking for an update on Naples’ first BW. I love it. I predict it will not stay small for long.

    I totally dig your vibe re “where I belong.” Didn’t pick this life, but here I am, and its a party like I never imagined. Thank you for adding your voice to the chorus….and what a voice!

    …you sure you can’t make it to Savannah to be one of the J-Walkers this Saturday?


  40. I couldn’t help but be all emotional seeing what a wonderfull support system you have. I love the T-Shirts and how even the 7day old baby had one to wear, Nella is a real Rock Star and may she continue to rock!!! You are a real inspiration to me Kelle, you have inspired me to see if South Africa has something similar…
    Love the Pumpkin Pics!! Romaine (South Africa)

  41. I am so glad you guys rocked the walk! Go Nella it’s your birthday!

  42. What a wonderful post. What an inspiration.

  43. love your blog kelle, your words are soul healing. and your girls are divine. you guys certainly rocked it out, looks like a fantastic day!

  44. Thank you, Kelle. For sharing your walk not just on Saturday, but everyday.

    Exactly where we should be. So true. Took me a bit longer to realize it, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one thing.

    Much love.

  45. I think this is my favorite post. By far. I don’t even have words to explain how I felt reading it.

    And HEY! I’m in Bradenton! Did you go to Hunsader Farm by chance?

  46. Smiles…beautiful…amazing …heartwarming….inspiring!!!!!!!

  47. This was so sweet.. All of you coming together for a special cause.
    The 7 day old baby just made me long to start trying for baby number 2!! :)

    So glad you had an amazing weekend. Thanks for sharing x

  48. ~tears
    big fat ones
    its so beautiful how nella bean has stretched so many hearts
    and filled them full of love
    sometimes i worry that the world is too cold and too harsh
    for my sweet lil grandarlings to be out there in it.
    but then i see something as beautiful as you and your freinds and your sweet family rallying
    and being such rockstars
    and my heart is made lighter
    thank you freind

  49. This is a beautiful post, I have a daughter with autism and now preemies and have immersed myself in both causes and wonder the same, why it took this for me to do it. Love all of the pictures but the one of your day holding up the boom box the whole walk had me all choked up… the dedication of grandpas :)

  50. Thank you for the pics of your Buddy Walk. We missed ours this year–we had JUST found out about our son’s DS and weren’t yet thinking of jumping on any bandwagons, so to speak. But my hubby’s aunt walked in the same one you did, so it’s neat to have that little connection. Thanks for walking for Nella and for all of us mommas who haven’t walked yet but will.

  51. Thank you Kelle! I just emailed you and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my name!

    If you ever need leaves or cheese (he he) or anything from Wisconsin, you just let me know…

    Happy to be a reader and follower of your blog and fellow mommy! :)

  52. The Walk was so awesome…and I now carry some new names in my heart, like Mia and Lauren and Chase and Marisa and Eli and Fiona and Steve and so many more who I can’t wait to see next year at the second annual Buddy Walk in Naples. The strength we find in walking together is so incredible…and it was so fun to have some of the little wonders with Ds walking among us, catching the rhythm of the music and dancin’ on the way…they truly led the way on the walk. Love was everywhere in North Collier Park…and it’s alive in our world!
    Thank you to everyone who planned that walk, and to those who walk with us!

  53. What a fabulous weekend! And, everyone was stylin!! The pictures speak volumes, so much love going around.

  54. i love this post more than words can say. it is truly beautiful. i feel the same way about wondering why i didn’t notice the world of ds before i had my daughter. now i find myself doing everything possible to do just as you described, helping people accept my daughter for exactly who she is.

  55. Amazing!!Rockstars indeed! Love, simple and pure. Thank you!

  56. Wow! What a gorgeous celebration!!! Yay for the walk. :) It looks like it was a blast! And yay for celebrating those little lives that are touched by an extra chromasome.
    Congrats to the winner of the giveaway!

  57. I prayed it was a wonderfully blessed day. So thankful. I just love your family of rockstars.

  58. Love it. Love starting my week with this. Love that y’all all rocked it as usual. Love the pumpkin pics. Love it all!!!

  59. It looks like it was perfect!!!! Gorgeous day, and such amazing group of friends and support you have!! loving life to the fullest, and nella looks like she was right where she was supposed to be too;) xoxo

  60. With tears streaming down my face and smiles smearing across my face- you rock. I had shivered up and down my body as I looked at the amount of support that was surrounded you on such a special day. Beautiful, uplifting post. Way to go.

  61. Love it. Love it. Love it. I cried while reading today. I’m glad the Buddy Walk was such a fun day for you all! Way to rock it out!

  62. Amazing! I have been to walks before for diabetes (my husband and cousin) but man you really ROCKED it! =) I loved how everyone went with the rockstar theme and the wagon…too cute!

    I have worked with special needs kids throughout my life in different jobs…but since your blog I look at them…no…I look into them more now…into their souls. I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to share your life with some many people who you don’t know. You are opening the eyes of many! I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way!


  63. You all looked amazing! What a wonderful group of friends you have!

  64. love the thought of dejavu.
    makes sense.
    and you guys totally rocked it.
    nice job, mama.

  65. Exciting, energizing, amazing and fun! Told you that you’d love the Buddy Walk………….susan:)

  66. So glad you had a great walk this weekend surrounded by loved ones.

    I can totally relate to you pondering “would I have done this before Nella” I ask myself the same thing. In my heart I know I would have but this blog and getting to know your family through it has given me that passion and drive to breakdown the stereotypes and to be welcoming and loving to all.

    Thank you for inspiring me and pushing me to become an even better person throught your writing and sharing your life experiences. Rock on Kelle…Rock on :)

  67. Boy, do you know how to ROCK IT OUT! Fabulous post about what looks like a truly AWEsome experience.
    You, Kelle Hampton, have rallied. They say God does not give us more than we can handle, that He provides us with the tools to survive…you (and your amazing support system) are proof positive. God surely knew what He was doing when he blessed Miss Nella with that extra special 47th chromosome. You are not only surviving, but THRIVING – and changing the world in the process.
    Much love and gratitiude,

  68. I think your entire family could be described as “rock stars”.

    Something about kids and pumpkin pictures make me smile and giggle out loud. They are both so cute.

    What an awesome looking group for your big walk. Great turnout and incredible looking people. Lovin all the kiddos pics.

  69. Thanks for sharing this event with us all….all of us who would have LOVED to have been there and walked with OUR little Rock Star! You have touched us all, Rock Star Mama, with those littles, and I would have been there myself if I could have been! But I know like myself, MANY of your blogland friends were with you in spirit all day Saturday! ROCK ON….the best is yet to come…..


  70. Tears steaming of course…

    And the cycle continues Ms. Kelle.

    (cyclical is one of my favorite words)

    You see I read this blog by this mom in Florida who has this sweet little girl born with an extra chromie who has touched my heart like crazy. Who has opened my eyes to something I may not have thought about everyday, until now. This little girl’s smile melts my heart every time I see it and plants me firmly on the ground. DS has never been personal for me until now. Until Nella. And I have never event met her in person.

    Isn’t that where we all get our passion from? Our understanding of the need to make a difference. The push behind us that makes us know we will move that mountain?

    It’s the connection. It makes us even hungrier….

    I have been waiting for this post… you guys totally rocked it out. Not surprised at all.

    1) Your dad with the boom box is priceless like a mastercard commercial.

    2) Those tights that Nella and Lainey are wearing are so awesome and match these really cool socks I just bought at Target that I wear with my cool black Converse tennies. Rock on!

    3) Lainey walking with that precious little boy (who is wearing the coolest hat ever) is so stinkin’ adorable!

    4) Your crowd of friends is amazing! AMAZING! It speaks volumes.

    5) And to know you walked with other names in your pocket for the reasons that you did is just beautiful!

    6) I want to be a part of this. The rockstar crowd that moves a mountain. There has got to be a Buddy Walk here in Dallas. I want to walk with Nella’s name in my pocket… or on my shirt with a boombox over my head!

    You are making a difference. For Nella. For your readers. For every name in your pocket.

    Rock on, Momma!

  71. A-mazing!!! Seriously, you guys rock!

  72. So glad you had a great time!! I knew you would! I feel that same passion, you just want to do everything you can to change the way others view DS. We’ll get there.

  73. beautiful, simply beautiful

  74. I think beautiful is a perfect way to describe it! It looked beautiful! Your words describe the passion so perfectly. Would we still be passionate about these issues if we didn’t have these children that are part of our heartbeats? I cried when I read that your Dad held the boom box on his shoulder for the entire 2 miles. So sweet.

  75. Love Nella in the pumpkin patch very cute!!! That little girl at the walk in the plaid pants is a cutie pie!!! Glad your walk went great.

  76. Love Love Love!!! Doesn’t the Buddy Walk put you on this HIGH that you wish you would never come down from? SO many almond eyed wonderful people!!! And I LOVE how you described Nella’s ears as little peanuts!!! Noah’s eyes and ears are my favorite part of my little man those tiny perfect ears are scrumptious!!!

  77. I am from Michigan and I live near Tampa now. We drove an hour to get to the pumpkin festival in Bradenton this weekend too! It was perfect. I am loving the pictures I got of my 7 month old with the pumpkins!!

  78. Go Nella’s Rockstars!!!! Looks like you had an amazing day for your walk. You have me thinking ahead for our walk next year. Love your theme. Your post, again, was wonderful and again, tears. Your love for kids and others is simply beautiful. You are inspiring to this mama.

    Looking forward to your pumpkin patch post. Love Nella and her big smile among the pumpkins.


  79. Your comment about seeing Nella in the sweet girl that bags your groceries reminded me of an experience I had a month ago. A family from our small town had their sixth child a while back and her name is Caroline and she has red hair and she has Downs. She is a doll! Well, I brought a meal over to them and Caroline wasn’t have such a good moment right then. I couldn’t leave! I so wanted to take care of her and after about 15 minutes, I asked if I could just hold her and try to comfort her. Her exhausted mother agreed, and I felt when I picked her up that I was in some strange way finally getting to hold “Nella”. I love, love, loved it! I walked and gently bounced with her and in about 10 minutes she was sound asleep in my arms and I still couldn’t give her up! Anyway, Nella makes me love these beautiful people more and more ~ thought you would like to know that.





  81. This might be one of my favorite posts yet…because I can FEEL it. I can feel the love and the enjoying of this crazy amazing life. You guys rocked it out! Thanks for being selfish for your girls. I think this world needs more “selfish” parents like you. :)

  82. I haven’t lived it, but with your words and pictures I feel so close to living it. Again, you are amazing Kelle. Thank you for opening our eyes.

    P.S. Still making my own makeshift Michigan in Texas! :-)

  83. I just read this post with tears streaming down my face… I can’t even begin to describe how your blog has changed and effected me Kelle…

    Thank you. xo

  84. so beautiful! love the outfits. you have so many lovely friends.

    that pic of nella in the pumpkins is so precious and i adore lainey’s cut-off shirt!

    the “mamas move mountains” comment really touched me. so true.

  85. ooooh! did you head to hunsader farms?! we were there yesterday (sunday!) it is so much fun :) your rockstars look amazing! way to go!

  86. My almost 3 year old son loves to look at your pictures when I read your blog. Today he said, “Baby Nella has lots of friends!” :)

  87. What a great story to start off the week! Nella is so blessed to have such an awesome Mom!

  88. oooh, I do so love this post! You guys rocked out the walk and everyone looks grand!
    I especially your use of ‘village’, it has personal meaning to me, because I used to fear the village and worry about how it may hurt my children, I learned slowly over time just how WONDERFUL the village can be when you let yourself open to its goodness. I love the village, I love your village!

  89. What a great walk!! It looks like you all had so much fun!

  90. Beautiful! You had me in tears, you had me smiling wide… LOVED IT!!

  91. You got me crying again! Every new blog post is like opening a beautiful present created just for me. Thanks!

  92. Between you and Nici I have a hard time keeping my eyes dry!

    An important message here Kelle, so well said ~ “Everything we learn in life goes back to connections and emotions and knowing someone who knows someone that something has happened to” Have a great week!

    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  93. Well…you did it again! Made me cry 😉 What a beautiful celebration of Nella’s life and lots of others as well. Thanks so much for sharing these – absolutely love it!

  94. Love the picture of Nella riding in the wagon! We similarly decorated little Cameran’s wagon as well, but in blue and yellow Gerbera daisies and signage for her Buddy Walk.

    Way to rock it out!



  95. For over 10 years I have walked the March Of Dimes walk here in small-town MN. Every year more and more people join the march, and I often wonder ‘why’…personal experience, a loved one’s experience, the experience of a friend of a friend, or maybe just the need to feel like they are helping to make a difference.
    But it’s not the reason that matters in the least, it’s that overwhelming feeling you get seeing hundreds and thousands of people digging into their pockets to contribute, joining hands to walk, and hugging each other in support for the babies,
    the ones arrived too early,
    the ones who were held for only moments by their mamas before they were taken to be attached to machines to help save their tiny lives,
    the ones who didn’t make it,
    the ones who did!
    And to see those who made it strolling along, walking, and yes running; amazing!

    Your ROCK STAR team; AMAZING!

    Everyone all gussied up for the occasion; Amazing!

    Your dad and his boom box; AmAzInG!

    Your ability to bring me to tears in just about every post; amazing!

    Sitting at the dinner table with my husband, and kids last night and feeling this strong sense of ‘deja vu’ and then reading Brett’s theory on it this morning; Amazing!

    many AmAzInG thanks!

  96. You are an amazing mom!!!!!! Rock on Nella!!!

  97. what a beautiful post!! i especially love that photo of nella with her studded hat and star glasses!! :)

    i totally know what you are talking about when you see another person with ds and you just feel connected. my sister has cp so whenever i see someone else like her, my heart just open a little bit more…

    God is great! Thanks again for your amazing posts and photos! I love reading your blog!

  98. Sheesh Kelle! You’re doing it again. You’re making me cry again (in a good way.) We will be heading to our first buddy walk next weekend and it’s all my 3 year old can talk about. I do the same thing, where I see young men with DS and think “this could be Caleb in 15 years.” Thanks again for sharing. You do an amazing job!!! Wonder MaMa!!

  99. congrats to the winner!! Man, it looks like all of you really rocked it at the Walk!! Wonderful!!

  100. I am moved to tears, you are starting something so good. I hope you move others to wake up and make a difference. Thanks for the wake up cry. :)

  101. What a great post. Your love for those two girls radiates off of the screen and it’s truly wonderful to read. I look forward to your posts.

    P.S. I agree with Andrea. I would definitely buy a Nella’s Rockstars tee shirt. The money could go to the charity of your choice. If not, I would love to donate to the charity of your choice. Could you let us know which one?

  102. Oh, the love!! I know I’ve said it before, but you are seriously one rockin’ gal. Your family and friends are so lucky to have you on their team.
    Your love of life is infectious. What a gift to give L & N.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration to us all.

    Lots of love from Denver!

  103. Hi Kelle! I tried using the discount code, and it didn’t work! :[

  104. JOY! I just read an article this weekend about colleges who are offering degrees tailored to meet the needs of young people like Nella who have some form of disability. Degrees that will take them as far as they care to go. Degrees to prepare them to lead a full and contributing life. There were two young men with Down’s Syndrome featured. I’m so sorry that I don’t know the link. It was so very uplifting.

    That Nella is a rockstar in her rocking outfit!


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  107. I am so glad the Buddy Walk was everything you were hoping it would be, plus more. It looks like it was a really wodnerful day for all of you!

    Once again, I love what you do… keep doing what you do, because you’re amazing!

  108. I started crying as soon as I saw the first picture. You delivered it Kelle. So proud of you and your family and friends. Nella is totally rockin’ in those pink shoes. I showed Jana the pictures and she was grinning and pointing at Nella saying “Baby”. I love the sign and “more a like” it is so true:)

  109. Awesome pictures of an amazing day. So happy for you guys. Reminds of the Spina Bifida Walk n’ Roll we have each year here in Atlanta. We walked last year with 5 month old Jet and it was so special. :)

  110. Crying. In my office. Must pull it together. Meanwhile, thanks for the inspiration again and again. Feeling so blessed to be a mama right now.

  111. Looks and sounds like it was perfection in every way!!! I hope to next year walk in ours. You are amazing!!!

  112. You are so awesome!

  113. I love your dad’s theory. What a good way to describe it. I’ll never think about it the same way again! Couldn’t wait for this post…love all the pictures. You can just tell it was SO TOTALLY amazing. Precious friend/family time for sure. Looking forward to seeing your pumpkins in the patch. I woke up this morning with an insane need to have some kind of unbelievable fall fest day. So I think a trip to the pumpkin patch or baking up a bunch of fall shaped sugar cookies is in order today!!

  114. those pics are fantastic!! Way to rock the walk!

  115. I LOVE Brett’s theory….

  116. THe picture of Nella in the pumpkins is pure awesome.

  117. Smiling. Thank you.

  118. That is quite a good theory I must say….I’m really glad the buddy walk went well, looks like you guys had a blast!

  119. Ohhh, looks like it was a great Buddy Walk! We’re so bummed we couldn’t make it, but my CT buds didn’t get here till 2am and I didn’t want to make them wake up early or leave them alone… (I owe you $$ for the cute tees!)
    Great pix! (We ended up taking all of our punkin pix in front of Whole Foods. heehee)
    Hope to see you soon!

  120. You rocked it out Florida Sista! LOVE it! Just posted your blog again on Facebook to spread your love over and over again!

  121. This post had me in tears the whole time, joyful ones! What a wonderful time full of connections! I admire your family and all the love you share with us!

  122. No, Kelle….it’s not selfish. Because sometimes God uses people like you to spread the message to others…some people need to hear an impassioned mama holding an almond eyed beauty to inspire THEM to change the world….and you, my friend, are that voice for many. That gorgeous little has changed your world and you, in turn, are changing others. And that’s exactly as it’s supposed to be. As an ESE teacher, I always wondered how more people couldn’t see what I saw. I’d explain what I could to who I could, but you, Kelle, have such a stronger and more passionate voice! So take it and run and don’t look back…the world is waiting for your message. Congrats on such a rockin weekend! Marissa

  123. Kelle you are the coolest mom!

  124. Kelle you are the coolest mom!

  125. Great post! I know what you mean about waiting until something happens to you until you really get out there. I was like you – always being charitable, but now I am a full fundraising powerhouse because this time it is for my child. Good for you. LOVE the shirts!!! I have a cousin who has Downs Syndrome – we will have to do something like this in our area.


  126. So wonderful! Can I just say that the first pic of Nella in the pumpkins is amazing? AMAZING. So beautiful!!!! LOVE it!

  127. I cried through that whole post and then bawled when I saw that last picture of Lainey holding her baby sister so tenderly.
    Really, Kelle? I’m at work!
    Seriously, what else can I say…everything about this post is just pure love. A-maz-ing!

  128. I am in love with the fact that your dad hoisted that boom box. Only shiny love could do that to a man.

    I am adoring your truthful heart that sees the world a little differently now. I find myself drawn to a different kind of almond eyes, and to dark little girl hair twisted up in 10 crazy bits and bobs all because God cracked my heart open and poured in the love of babies that come from different tummies.

    Life is beauty full.

  129. Just curious….does Lainey ever comment on how much attention Nella gets? My daughter notices and comments on how much attention her special needs brothers get. Has Lainey noticed it yet? Love your blog by the way!

  130. That big group shot actually made my eyes water. So happy you had such a beautiful day!

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  132. Love it, Kelle! You all rocked it out to the 47th degree.
    Back in January, I remember reading sister’s post on the blog-a bittersweet day, but I remember thinking that I’m so glad He sent Nella to YOU, because I knew you would shine the spotlight on this precious and usually overlooked community. Well done.

  133. Thanks so much for saying that you did the walk for those that weren’t ready for the walk yet, we are too soon into it, I didn’t get to do it this year, but next year for sure! You guys looked awesome!

  134. Def teared up a bit! Awesome pics and I wish I could have walked with y’all!

  135. You rock’d it girl! I LOVE your style. Thanks for inspiring so many with your words!

  136. As soon as I started reading my eyes were filled with tears…Few minutes later, of course, I was crying happy tears…By the end of this post and after reading your reader’s beautiful comments…I’m sobbing…

    Love this: “It’s how I’ve learned. Knowing what it feels like to love someone so desperately that has that extra chromosome and to slowly let that feeling seep in deeply until it goes beyond just my child…” Beautiful! Perfectly said!

    What a wonderful weekend! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing experiences with all! LOVE this emotional post, Rockstar Nella, Rockstar Lainey, Brett’s theory, Rik lifting your spirits higher with his love, your beautiful energy and all your family and friends loving support. 😀

    This deep love I feel for our J also makes me wish for a more loving and accepting world for her and all her “buddies”. It is so important to realize how similar we all are, to accept we are all different in our own way, to learn from our differences and to know we are all just the same in the most important ways…

    “Every human being intuitively recognizes at their core the value of unconditional love. We experience the greatest joy in loving when we can open to another without reservation, suspending judgments and fully appreciating the other just for who he or she is. And we feel most loved when others recognize and respond to us this way as well. Unconditional love has tremendous power, awakening a larger presence within us that allows to feel the vastness and profundity of what it is to be human. This is the presence of the heart.” ~John Welwood

  137. Wow! You guys are amazing! What a rockstar group of buddies you have. I’m having my own Deja vu moment here, as a feel a bit like a broken record – but thank you. Thank you for sharing your story, your love for your littles, your love for that magical extra chromosome and yes, for helping all of us mama’s move those mountains for our little ones.


  138. You are, as always, amazing! My husband and I sat together last night and drooled over pictures of Nella and Lainey. Especially Nella, though, because she is exactly how we picture the daughter we hope to someday have. Our son Tyler is six, has designer genes and is adopted. (All of our children are adopted.) We want to complete our family with a baby girl with DS and someday, when the time is right, we will. Nella is exactly how we picture our little someday girl. We are in love. :) Thank you for selflessly sharing your amazing family with all of us!

  139. Oh my gosh…the picture of Nella laying in amongst the pumpkins is priceless! It made me laugh–that’s how infectious I imagine her giggles to be!! Thanks for sharing! : )

  140. You are, as always, amazing! My husband and I sat together last night and drooled over pictures of Nella and Lainey. Especially Nella, though, because she is exactly how we picture the daughter we hope to someday have. Our son Tyler is six, has designer genes and is adopted. (All of our children are adopted.) We want to complete our family with a baby girl with DS and someday, when the time is right, we will. Nella is exactly how we picture our little someday girl. We are in love. :) Thank you for selflessly sharing your amazing family with all of us!

  141. You are such an incredible writer and artist. I come to your page for centering and appreciation of life…and I find myself shedding a tear every time..a tear of joy mostly and a tear that I’ve had welling in me as I feel so much of what you experience…even without the gift of my own Nella. Thank you. Thank you for sharing…the world needs more of you.

  142. Kelle-thanks to this post, I had to get off my cozy couch for a tissue. And I’m totally okay with that. Just beautiful.

  143. I love this. Love it.

    I think we all try to make the best world for our children that we can. Nothing wrong with that.

    There is a woman I see everyday on my way to my girls school. She sits waiting for the bus. I believe her to be about 25 maybe. She has DS. Sun, rain, snow…she is always there. She has blond hair and for some reason when I see her I think of your Nella.

  144. We all work to assure Lainey, Brandyn and Austyn all realize how infinitely and singularly special they are as well…and that this whole experience doesn’t define them, but distinguishes us all. Lainey was given a special trophy for the big sister and she loved the bounce house and fun the day held for everyone. I appreciate the reader’s concern–it will not be helpful or healthy for Lainey or the family if the focus is only on our Nella…the camera moves around and everyone shares the glow…but they can keep the camera away from me, ha!

    • This is an older blog post but I found it trying to find some info on a bounce house inflatable and some pricing info…then I actually ended up reading the blog post lol. Anyway, Bounce houses are AWESOME, and I’m glad that everyone had a good time! I can tell you, people ALWAYS like bounce houses, and it seems anyone who rents a bounce house, especially in Tampa from A & B Bounce houses, are ALWAYS happy. I was reading about an experience from someone who got a bounce house and a face painter, they had the face painter paint half the kids a tiger face, and the other half a zebra face…then they created a game with points using the teams and a basketball hoop that was inside the inflatable bounce house. Check it out abbouncehouse. blogspot. com and look to the Bring The Bounce House Party (and face painters) to You in Tampa post it is half way down…there you can see some examples, they can paint the faces two or three different colors with different animals or personas, and allow them to setup their own games even (kids are good at that) inside the bounce houses with something as simple as a nerf ball. Good times. Bounce houses are always good times!

  145. I totally want to buy a Nella’s Rockstar shirt!

  146. Your feelings are real, not selfish. You are an amazing mom and role model!

    The photos and your discription of the event have brought tears to my eyes.

  147. You, your family, and your friends are all so amazing and inspirational. It is beautiful that you all came together for this wonderful event. Such love. Such support. Such family. I love it. And those t-shirts are awesome!

  148. I was thinking of you and little Nella as we were walking at the Buddy Walk in Tulsa, Oklahoma for my brother-in-law. Your blog is so wonderful and has given me a new apreciation for my husbands family and their journey that began 12 years ago when Ethan was born. Thank you so much!

  149. I was thinking of you and little Nella as we were walking at the Buddy Walk in Tulsa, Oklahoma for my brother-in-law. Your blog is so wonderful and has given me a new apreciation for my husbands family and their journey that began 12 years ago when Ethan was born. Thank you so much!

  150. What an awesome weekend you had! Thank you for making a difference for all of us who aren’t quite ready to attend a buddy walk yet…but the magic of your words and pictures make everyday feel like a buddy walk here at home. As we read your words and heal a little more with each new post you continue to provide a place for others to feel support and love. Thank you for allowing us to be part of Nella’s Rockstars (in spirit)!! Our little Lauren is definately a groupie :)

  151. You totally rocked the walk, I had tears rolling down my face as I read and looked at your pictures!
    Can’t wait to see more of the “pumpkin patch”!

  152. so great to see such a great turnout! did you meet your fundraiser goal? Total sidenote..but is it a requirement for you that you have to be so dang pretty to be friends with you…??!! LOL all of your loves are so pretty! How blessed you all are to have gotten to take part in such an amazing event!

  153. Looks like so much fun and what a cute theme!! Love all the pics, especially your dad. You all are an amazing family that is changing the face of DS and motherhood.
    Oh and those beautiful pictures of pumpkins at the pumpkin patch-priceless. Nella’s smile/laugh is just the best thing on a Monday and the sisters together, just sweet. Looking forward to more.

  154. Kelle – Haven’t commented in a long while – but. If you question yourself as to whether you would have been there, changing things, before Nella came into your life… don’t question yourself. You’ve MORE than made up for it. You have changed countless lives. I know you changed me. You make people more compassionate. That really is moving mountains.

  155. You guys are TOTAL rock stars. I’m so glad you did the walk! I see BIG things in Nella’s future!

  156. Sounds like you had a fabulous day! I love the pic of Nella in the pumpkin patch LOL! She is so expressive!

  157. Your post, the pics, the walking, and your beautiful daughters…were all so touching and moving…

  158. ,,,way to go team “rockstars”,,,

  159. Rock On, RockStars! We ARE all more alike than different. One Human Race. One Love…

  160. Beautiful post…
    The part about wanting to tell the girl who bags your groceries that she is beautiful with her hair tucked behind her ears brought tears to my eyes. It’s true what you say, that sometimes it takes experience to open your eyes. Whenever we are stopped at a stoplight and we see a homeless man or woman, I can almost guarentee I will look over to see my husband in tears…he always says, “That’s somebody’s baby, somebody’s baby that possible wasn’t loved enough”. We are all connected; connected so we can learn from one another.

  161. I know you’ve heard this from other commenters but you have already changed the world. I look at people with DS in a different way because of this blog and Nella.

    You have changed more hearts and minds than you realize. Just think how much more you will be able to accomplish. Seriously girl you are just getting started!!

  162. oh what an insane blessing for your little Nella to have that many people who got her cute little back!!

  163. I love the theory behind deja vu. I will have to remember that next time I get the deja vu moments.

    I always love your pictures. Great post as usual.).

  164. I do not have my own Nella, but reading your blog and following her amazing life here has made me “see” Nella so much more. I see her all of the time and it makes me want to interact with her…she has opened up MY eyes.

  165. Oh, Kelle, I want to be just like you when I grow up.

  166. Looks, and sounds, like it was a beautiful time!

  167. I’ve been waiting all weekend to for this post and was thinking about you and hoping that you had a GREAT time at your buddy walk. You REALLY rocked it!

    Oh and love the pic of Nella in the pumpkin patch. I just want to kiss those cheeks!! :)

  168. tears…you, your family, your endeavors, your friends are so beautiful!

    Lately, I’ve been reading several of the blogs of these mamas on here who have children with the designer genes, and it seems pretty apparent some angels know exactly what they are doing when they choose the mamas for those little souls.

  169. OMgosh, I commented already about the similarities between Nella’s and my Cameran’s wagons, but jumped the gun before adding how stinking precious the pumpkin patch pictures are! Thank you again for weekly reminding us of all of the fabulous things in life.


    PS. I just finished posting our walk pictures as well @

  170. Those socks that Nella is rockin look just like a pair I wore on Sunday although, She makes them look WAY better!

  171. Bonnie…good question. I was very concerned about Lainey being included…even sent out an e-mail to everyone attending to make sure to give her high fives, etc., but it was unnecessary. I think she thought it was just a party for kids to get together. It’s good for her too. She gets a lot of attention and I used to worry that she would expect the world to revolve around her because of how much we all doted on her. I know sharing the attention with Nella and having a special role as her big sister will make her a more compassionate advocate and community member. A lot of parents with special needs have shared some really neat ways to make brothers and sisters feel special too (someone even suggested we have a special big sister walk around the sidewalks of our neighborhood with friends and wagons if she felt slighted…ha ha)

  172. Love…Love…Love “The Buddy Walk” photos and so in Love with the T-shirt. Having been around kids and adults all my life with Down syndrome I think you Rock for heading it up in your area. Also are you possibly selling the t-shirt that you made for the walk… I’m know I would wear proudly.

  173. love it!

  174. The love jumps off the screen! So happy for friends/family to support you and LOVE the theme! So true about our human nature not to be moved to care until we are touched by something. THe beauty comes when we are not only touched, but moved to action. It’s the action that counts…not what created it! Can’t wait for more pumpkin pics…we, too drove over an hour to get our “northern” fill only to find out the pumpkins were GONE! Looks like you had much better luck!

  175. Adversity creates resilience, develops maturity pushes the envelope of future performance, provides great opportunities, brings unexpected benefits, and motivates. There are almost always positive benefits from a once negative experience.

    Lovely clicks.

  176. Just so you know, pictures of your girls MAKE. ME. SMILE. :) :) :)

  177. Cried through this entire post. So precious. I love Nella, I have never met her and probably never will, but I am so in love with her!

  178. Y’all totally ROCK!! :)

  179. This life that you share so openly with us is simply BEAUTIFUL and real. Thank you. You are a true inspiration :)

  180. I’m a longtime reader, but I don’t know that I’ve commented yet. Maybe because I’m one of those people that fears that my little comment on the blog of a BIG blogger would end up sounding really incoherent and stupid, and then I would’ve embarrassed myself, and had you saying, “geez, that lady is a total whack job…scary”! I just had to tell you though, we were at Hunsader Farms on Sunday, too! I’m so shocked you and your beautiful family were enjoying the same pumpkin patch WE were! To me, it’s kinda like being in the same small area as a ginormous celebrity that you admire and are in awe of, and knowing they were THAT CLOSE! It was a great festival, wasn’t it? I’m 33 weeks pregnant so I was dying slightly of heat exhaustion, but our little man loved it. Especially the mini-maze of hay bales for the kids. He could’ve ran around that joint for HOURS had I not started to sweat so profusely, people around me were staring. Anyway, I’m in love with your blog and your family is amazing; but most of all, you are one incredible mother and woman and soul. I’m so happy I found your niche that’s been carved in bloggyland. I feel blessed and lucky to get to see how marvelous life can truly be, through your enlightened eyes. Hoping your pumpkin was the best one in the patch. And it looks like Nella’s Rockstars totally tore it up at the Buddy Walk! The girls looked FABULOUS, and obviously, so did you. It looks like it was an absolute blast, and the pictures were fantastic as well.

    This post was just all around goodness and love.

  181. I love how rawly and purely you lay your emotions and opinions out there for all to adore! As always, love-love-love it!

  182. So happy the Buddy Walk was a success. As for Nella’s smile in that pumpkin patch, all I have for you is *swoon!

  183. You have some of the best looking friends! You all rocked it out and of course Ms. Nella just looked fabulous. I love the last pictures of Lainey and Nella in the pumpkin patch. True sisterly love if I’ve ever seen it! So glad the walk was everything you hoped it would be. XOXOXO

  184. Pardon my inability to come up with something a little more lady like but this post made me so bleeping happy.

    I adore you.
    I adore your girls.
    I adore how you’ve taken on the gift handed to you.

    I kinda just love stopping by and looking at your little/big life.

  185. Loved the “rockstar theme”, you took it the nth degree and it was great! would love one of those t-shirts, any chance of a giveaway or selling them?

  186. xoxo
    Rock on!!!

  187. oh what a beautiful description to match the festive pictures of a very special day. we were there in spirit wearing our nella’s rockstar shirts all weekend. kisses to both of your sweet little rockstars. xoxo

  188. love love love :)

  189. Looks like you guys had a beautiful day for a great walk! I have been waiting all weekend for this post and the pictures. I am so glad you had a great time am I look forward to seeing this post for many years to come! It was my fifth buddy walk this year (in Ohio and Michigan) and I’m here to tell you it never gets old and just keeps getting better! Have a happy monday!

  190. Amazing! Looks like the walk had an amazing turn out!

  191. Love this.

  192. XOXO


    love this post- everything about it…the pic of Nella with the hairband:)- is precious! awwwwwwwwwwwwww thank-you!!!


  193. The discount code for The Vintage Pearl should work now, they fixed it, happy shopping!

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  195. What a beautiful and blessed event. You are an amazing and strong mom– Nella is as lucky to have you as you are her.

  196. cried. the whole time. mostly because i think you were chosen to be nella’s mom and maybe because of that the world will see DS through a different lens. and because it made me want to wake up my little girl from sleep and hug her real tight.

  197. AMAZING…growing up with 2 brothers with DS I have walked a few Buddy Walks…I took my kids with me on one this year to support a friend…it was so much fun to share with my kiddos!

  198. Your last two pictures make my heart smile (more than usual).

  199. I’m swooning over the little guy with his guitar.

  200. You’re such a great mom, Kelle! You are such an inspiration!

  201. I have also heard Brett’s theory on deja vu and strongly believe in it as well. But I’ve been told in my travels and during discussions of this theory that you can’t mention in that moment that it’s a deja vu moment. Something about how you didn’t say anything the first time you “experienced” that moment and saying something the second time then changes everything completly… Kind of makes sense and I’ve since hearing that sworn of saying “deja vu”! Crazy – it is and crazy it makes me… but whatever works right?!

    Looks like your Buddy Walk was a huge success! I love the Rockstar theme, outfits and the wagon is just soooo flippin cute! =) Not to mention the almost painfully clear blue sky!! I’m glad you guys had such a great day!

    I read this post at 7:45am and had to be at work by 8:00… I swear your blog is just way too addicting for me! The post wasn’t there last night so I knew it would be there this morning and sure enough it was! And I got to work (daycare – 8 babies in by 8am) just in time to have to evacuate the building because of carbon minoxide! We had our own walk down the street to our other building after the firemen and police instructed us that it would be hours before we could get back into the building – and it’s COLD here (46 on my way to work!). 8 babies in evac cribs being rolled down the street followed by 8 other rooms of children two by two for an 1/6 of a mile… got pretty interesting. All morning all I could think was “I can rally!”. I thought it as I went through the grocery store buying diapers, bottles, binks and wipes while a building full of kids awaited my return in soggy diapers and with empty bellies! “I can rally” got me through!!

    Seriously – addicted to your blog! =) Keep rockin – Nella’s rockstars!!

  202. With each time I come here to read your blog, my heart smiles even bigger! You are truly a gift, everyone that knows you in life and in blog world! :)..is enriched by your beautiful soul. Glad to see your weekend moved mountains!..Pics are priceless. Where can I get a Nella’s Rockstar shirt!?….<3

  203. Beautiful. Tears in my eyes, lump in my throat. What an amazing community and friends you have.
    I can’t wait to see more of the pumpkin patch.

  204. Oh my Heavens to Betsies….LOVE LOVE LOVE your buddy walk pictures. Very cute theme. That little Nella is a super star.

  205. I LOVE the Buddy walk. I have walked it with my good friend Nicolle, who like your Nella was also blessed with an extra chromosome. I mentored her through college and we became great friends. She is 33 now and when I had my son Emmett last year she was my biggest cheerleader. She loves him and he loves her. He likes that she is so reactive and laughs at everything he does.

    Buddy walk NYC 2010 was missed this year but will be happening next year and we already can’t wait!

  206. I have tears in my eyes, loved seeing the pictures & great to see that it was a great turn out, you all definitely rocked it, especially Nella!

  207. I went to the buddy walk at hunsaders last year, that place is awesome! Noone rocked it quite a awesome as you guys though – beautiful!

  208. I love how you said that you belong right here, because that’s how I feel too. I know that God has placed me here for a reason and that every moment has been leading up to this. And there are so many amazing things to come too. You’ve given me encouragement to keep being that voice and advocate for my little “designer gene” baby.

  209. Kelle, your posts always make me cry. Looking at your pictures shows how much you are loved by the ones around you. How does it feel to be loved by people all around the country and the world?

  210. Preach it, sister!! The world needs more people to open up their hearts & love as big as you do. Have you seen this guy?? He’s awesome.

  211. My heart cries and smiles for you simultaneously.Your heart must burst on most days with all the love for your little almond shaped eyed girl. Something about your Nella touches my heart in a way that moves me beyond words. I have two little girls who are my world and if anything were ever in their life to be an obstacle for their happiness or health, I would move mountains. Every mother wants their baby to have the opportunity to have all that the world has to offer them. I wish that peace and fulfillment for you and Nella; for your entire family. I just know how it feels to want to be able to do more and be restricted by circumstance beyond your control.I am sending you big, strong hugs of strength.It looks like you guys made the walk amazing. I love the pic of Nella in her wagon.God bless!

  212. Nella’s Rockstars banged drums, strummed guitars, slammed piano keys and the music rocked. I can hear it. My heart is beating to the bass. And my tears are streaming. The picture of your community of friends and family…a symphony!

    This thing called life? You so get it. Thank you for helping me to get it. L’chaim, Kelle.

  213. This just freaking rules.

    I am so glad that you were able to participate in this event.

    Everyone is rocking the outfits. LOVE it!

  214. I love your beautiful family!!! You’re so right about experience and connection opening our hearts up to loving ‘outside the box’. Hearing your story has definitely opened my eyes up and helped me to see people and love people who I would have felt awkward around before. Your story is making a difference. Thanks Kellie!

  215. Kelle – I have followed your blog for a while now – this post brought me to tears today. The photos, the event, your writing style – absolutely beautiful.

  216. It looks like a great day for all! Thanks for sharing your pics- they are lovely. may I ask, did your Buddy Walk have every team pick out their own t-shirts? How did that work?

  217. this is sosoooosososo sweet.

  218. We just did the shirts ourselves when we began to see our team forming–and we had seen others do this at other Buddy Walks. There were other teams at our Buddy Walk with T Shirts, another with buttons–just a fun way to rally the team. I ordered the shirts in Michigan and had them shipped down–and as you can see, some of the ladies personalized their shirts even further. It was all just a blast…and we are all really one big team! We met so many wonderful families and incredible children!

  219. What an awesome tribute to your tiny rockstar. Looks like you have an awesome support system, and you all looked great!

  220. looks like it was a beautiful time…

  221. loving these pictures and the amazing support you have in your town! Nella is such a famous rockstar already & not even a year old!
    those last couple pics of the girls together (with nella in a bit of a headlock) are adorable!!!!!


  222. Congrats on a very successful walk! You have changed lives by opening up eyes to the magic of the 47th chromosome! Thousands of people continue to be inspire by your words, your actions and most of all your love for everyone. I am one of those people who watch for another post because it makes me “think” of the choices I make on a daily basis for my family and for those that surround us. You are amazing!

  223. This was BEAUTIFUL! You’ve made my cry with the wonder and joy of it — thank you for sharing this amazing experience.

  224. LOVE this post.

  225. Kelle – i just started checking out your blog and I have to say, your family is BEAUTIFUL…I love Lainey and Nella’s cool clothes! Hang in there – you are a GREAT MOTHER!

  226. I’d buy a t-shirt too!

    Lainey kind of looks like she has Nella in a headlock!

    Oh and how cute is Nella’s PT? She’s nine months old and got his number! Cool, go Nella!

  227. Your writing moves me to tears whenever I read “Enjoying the Small Things”! Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me to live this wild and crazy life to it’s fullest!

  228. The theme was GREAT and so were the pictures! Loved them all! Little Nella was so cute in the wagon photo.

  229. A couple of things…

    1. Brett and I share the same theory on deja vu…and I’m certain you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

    2. I adore what you said about the Publx check-out girl. I love that.

    3. On Nella & Lainey; I’m sure Lainey will have many moments to shine and that Nella will be her biggest fan, her most enthusiastic cheerleader and best friend. Don’t fret, they will be fine…better than fine, they will soar.

    xoxo, Angie from Ohio

  230. Nothing but inspiration…and love. My screen was oozing gratitude and wonderment and I couldn’t get enough!

  231. Totally rockin’ it. Funny, when I was pregnant with Paige, who has DS too, my oldest daughter used to kiss my belly every day and say, “that’s my rock and roll baby,” lol.

    You should go back to the post you wrote early on in this journey where you say you are accepting DS, but you aren’t diving in – you aren’t going to be joining any support groups, meeting gaggles of people with DS, or any of that business, lol.

    We got you, girl. We got you. That extra chromosome snags even the heartiest of them – it opens your heart just a bit wider until you realize you are just where you want to be…hopelessly, madly in love…

  232. You do everything with such passion, love and creativity. Lainey and Nella are absolutely blessed to have you as their mama. Nella is a Rockstar. This is the most beautiful post yet. Congratulations on your accomplishments! You’re amazing!

  233. Kelle- I started reading a few weeks ago and I’m just smitten. I have a new little one with an extra X chromosome and I just love reading your blog. Tears, chuckles, everything! Your kids are adorable!!!

  234. LOVE the pics from your Buddy Walk! We had our walk on the 16th and had “Brianne’s Fans” – we weren’t QUITE as dolled up as you guys – but it was still just sooo amazing and such a fun celebration of those designer genes. :O) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and pictures – LOVE how you manage to put so emotion into your writing – makes me feel like i was there w/ you guys for your walk! Go Nella – she’s soooo precious!

  235. So beautiful Kelle! Your pictures are amazing and the story, just completely touched my heart. This year I heard someone talking about the Buddy Walk held here … I didn’t know they had one here. Next year, me and my two girls are totally there!

  236. For what it’s worth, Kelle, I realized while reading one of your blogposts that completely unintentionally, I have never made any special effort to look at, speak to, or connect with, children with D.S. And I felt sick to my stomach about that. Because now, whenever I hear the term D.S., I think of and see Nella. And like many of your readers, I feel a deep love and affection for sweet Nella. You ARE moving mountains, Kelle. Next time I see a child, teenager or adult with DS (or any other type of difference), I’ll think of you and Nella. And I will be sure to ‘see’ them. To look into their eyes. To connect with them and ensure they know how beautiful and special and treasured they are.

  237. We had our Buddy Walk for my little niece Mia a couple of months ago, aren’t they great? I know exactly how you feel about not knowing if you paid attention to the sweet girl bagging your groceries before your Nella was born. I fall into that category. I am trying to use my new knowledge to be more open minded with all differences now.

  238. i can’t tell you how fun the buddy walk pictures were for me… to see.. I love the name nella’s rock stars… and I loved your outfit… and Nella’s.. the shoes with cross bones… real? or foam stickers? love it.. and all your friends and family showing up and making it cool.. and rock on… loved it… music.. and boa’s and the design of the shirt.. very creative and thought out… Great ispiration for my son’s NF walk…. thanks

  239. This post is Wow. Just wow. Your blog is my Fuel. I seriously cried when I saw the pic of your dad holding up the boom box.
    (I love reading your blog cause our babies are just a few days apart. Oh, and you are totally awesome)

  240. What a blessing you all are. THANK YOU.

  241. Thanks for helping me to realize that I need to learn to rock out to the dance we’ve been given!

  242. Oh your words made me some tears. You are phenomenal! You are exactly where you should be. I am serious I always leave your blog filled with more love. And I love the peanut ears description! It describes those precious ears of our babies so well! I might just borrow it!

  243. I look forward to reading your posts every day. I love it! You’re an amazing writing and you make me appreciate the little things and to accept things that try to bring me under. You’re a super mom!

  244. Fabulous rockstar theme! LOVE it!

  245. I found your blog looking for positive stories on DS. We found out 7 days after my son was born (our 1st, born 7-7-10) I found U for a reason and so thankful I did. Thank you so much for all you do! It’s so positive and up-lifting. Your girls are beautiful! Thank you for walking! I didn’t this year, but I will be walking for my son, Colt Carter next year!!!

  246. I found your blog looking for positive stories on DS. We found out 7 days after my son was born (our 1st, born 7-7-10) I found U for a reason and so thankful I did. Thank you so much for all you do! It’s so positive and up-lifting. Your girls are beautiful! Thank you for walking! I didn’t this year, but I will be walking for my son, Colt Carter next year!!!

  247. yeesh, i cried all through this post. oh the beauty. the passion. the love. i too wonder sometimes why it takes something to rock my world to spring my into action…but maybe that’s where passion arrives…from a world rocked.
    thanks for capturing this day. it was beautiful :)

  248. Hi Kelle, I found your blog through a friend and just wanted to say how inspiring you are. Your little girls are adorable!!


  249. Kelle……..YOU ROCK! Way to go, girl!

  250. Love your team for the walk! You are a rockstar. I do the walk every year, sometimes even twice (in Council Bluffs my hometown, and Kansas City my cousin’s home) to support all those familes with Downs. Its always heartbreaking and uplifting both.

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