Baby, It’s Cold Outside…but warm in Ikea

Wow. That’s all I can say on the response on the last post. It was really good for me to write that but even more to read your comments. There is a lot of pain–a lot of people going through finance problems and sicknesses and losses and deep hurts. But, there is so much color to balance it, and it was powerful to read about both. Thank you for your kind words.

I am doing well and am very accepting of the fact that we don’t know the future. That alone fuels me to change the future–to believe that great things will happen for our child and for others like her. And it is good for me to go there sometimes–to know that reality can be harsh. I take myself as far as I can go every once and awhile, like pushing a bruise and wincing from the pain. I come out stronger and go there less. But, thank you either way for so many encouraging words.

And kudos to everyone who spelled color colour…’cuz Lord knows I love a good “u.”

And with all that said, I’m on a total high right now.

Dude, it’s cold.


Forecast calls for a low of 48 tonight, and I couldn’t be happier. The sweaters are out, the hats are unleashed, the new quilt is currently tucked around a fleecy jammied baby. And we are loving it.




She totally knows what to do with chalk. She colours with it…swear.


And while that cold sends me into a creative frenzy planning Christmas crafts and preparing for holidays, it also commences this cozy calm in our home. Tonight, we had our first fire of the season, and it was delicious.



I’m painting the bathroom this weekend. After my first trip to Ikea ever today, I’m inspired. That place is nuts.





I have some pretty far-fetched ideas for the bathroom, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed they’ll work out. We can’t afford to do a real bathroom make-over as far as gutting the shower and ditching the gold fixtures and such, so I’m cheating like crazy to incorporate it all in a funky way with paint and some new textiles and such to hold us over. I love the challenge…more to come.

Ikea’s on the East coast, so we did our jaunt across the Everglades today and stopped to scout some gators. They freak me out in the alligator-nightmares-once-a-month kind of way. We found none, thankfully, but we did enjoy some crazy wind.




The weekend calls!

Lainey’s favorite barrettes right now from Lil Junebug Boutique, our new sponsor. Right now, you get a free hair clip for every $5 you spend. Check it.

And, the Bib Set Giveaway winner goes to:
Commenter #284, Misty: My gray is this morning sickness that is still lingering. This too shall pass. My color is the most gorgeous golden hues in the leaves of the Cottonwoods reflecting off the water of the Rio Grande River. Cutest bibs ever!!!

Misty, send your info on over to, and some bibs will land your way.

Finally, I want to thank you again for your comments, your support, and your readership. It really is a two-way street. I am continually inspired by all of you and am so happy to do this high-on-life-and-writing-about-it thing joined by others who share the same enthusiasm. With that said, I’m so excited to share that Enjoying the Small Things made Babble’s Top 50 Mom Blogs list and made #7 for Best Design. You all play a big part in these successes, so cheers to you and cheers to anyone who wants to grab life by the horns and ride it into the sunset.

I’ll lead the way.


Happy Weekending, Friends.




Leave a Comment
  1. I have to say your last post inspired me so much. I sat reading everyones comments forever, and it just really made me realize how much I take for granted in life…made me count my blessings, and motviated me to pray for so many hurting souls.

    As for this post- the photo of Nella grinning while you swing her in the air, just melts my heart. That baby is so full of life, she just oozes joy. ox

  2. man, your girls are GORGEOUS!! Love the pics as usual :)

  3. As usual, your post inspired me. They always do :) And isn’t Ikea amazing?! I’m in love. And I’m sad about the fact that the closest one is four and a half hours away…boo.

  4. Oh Kelle their hats are adorable. Glad you are getting a little taste of cool. That has to make the season change a little more fun.

    I love IKEA. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Congrats on the kudos. That’s always nice.

    Have a great weekend with paint under your nails.

  5. Can I just say how much I love the photo of Nella looking, with absolute awe, at the fire? So sweet!

  6. Beautiful. We’ve always had great luck seeing gators at the gas station along the alley, right on the right as you pull in … and they’re behind a fence (for the most part).

  7. Yeah I have to agree with Julie. LOVE LOVE LOVE Nella and her first fire!! And I love the pictures of Lainey outside but in the background Nella is yanking her hat off, fabulous!! Thank you for keeping it real. I think most of your followers would agree that we read your blog because it makes us want to be and become better people/mothers/wives/friends. But we all have those moments and it is nice to feel that even the greatest of moms have bad days. Happy Friday!

  8. Two things I love about this post? The fact that in the first photo of the two girls, even though both Lainey and Nella are wearing their toques (I’m canadian!!!!) there is a discarded one in the background! I totally picture Lainey bringing a second one just in case!!
    And Nella trying to get her toque off in the set of 3 with Laineys boots and her busting a move or something! SO cute!
    Love it! (and Ikea!)

  9. p.s When I started writing my comment I was #3, by the time I posted it, I was #8… hahahah

  10. Nella in the green sweater and the green cap…absolutely breath taking! And I totally believe that she is a coloring fool. Congrats on being recognized for the great blogger you are.

  11. Thank you for sharing the beauty and joy and sadness in your life. A little late – my grey is sometimes realizing that my best is just not good enough. My colour is realizing that a lot of the time it is. Blessings to your beautiful bambinos, they are a treasure in themselves.

  12. Heartstrings. You hit them every time.

    I love honest bloggers. Thanks, Kelle.:)

  13. What?! No way that was your first trip to Ikea.

    Really beautiful posts this week…love your honesty…THAT is exactly why you have such a following. There needs to be more of that in the blogosphere.

  14. Your blog amazes me every single time I read it. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    Love the picture of Nella looking into the fire-she’s beautiful and I love the look of wonder on her little face!

    Where do you get their hats? I love them!

  15. I find myself shamelessly checking on a daily….okay more like 4 or 5 times a day basis for a new post from you. It is easily one of the highlights of my day. And, you’ve seriously never been to Ikea? Dude. Glad you finally were introduced to Swedish Disneyworld! I hope you tried the cinnamon rolls. To. Die. For. Happy weekend, Kelle!

  16. … and look at that dimple emerging on your little sprite’s sugary cheek!

    Simply precious. I caught a glimpse of one buried deep within my little guy’s cheek this last week.

    Can there be anything sweeter?

  17. Don’t you LOVE Ikea?! It is better than Disneyland!

    Can’t wait to see your bathroom remodel and congrats on the Babble nod!

  18. Your heart is so beautiful Kelle!

  19. Love this post :) I’m a fellow Life Enthusiast and so enjoy reading about your joys in this blog.

    Enjoy the chilly weather!

  20. We can’t live a life of what-if…you know that better than any of us.

    I adore – ADORE!!! – the one of the girls and the pups by the fire. Love Nella’s face in that one, especially.

    And IKEA is magic. Try going for the super cheap breakfast!

  21. I love the picture, Kelle. Your kids are so beautiful. I hope some of that cold weather comes to California. It’s been in the 80s here lately!

  22. Thank you, Kelle.

  23. Looks like your getting a little taste of fallish weather! We’re hitting the mid-20s at night now… brrr! – and waking up to a frost covered ground in the mornings.
    I had off of work today and rearranged my living room putting the couch directly in front of the fire place and enjoyed my first fire of the season as well! I spent most of the day writing and reading “Writing down the Bones” with the occassional log onto your blog anxiously awaiting the post I knew was coming as well as reading all the new comments (I do believe I read every one since Wednesday!) that appeared from the last time i was on… We all have our gray – but in result we all appreciate our colo’u’rs that much more.
    “The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes never seen tears…”

    Happy Renovations & Friday – and an extra hour of weekend to you!
    I’d say enjoy – but we all know you will!

  24. lovely as usual :) thanks for a good note to end my day on!

  25. Thank you Kelle! IKEA is wonderful and FULL of color! Enjoy the bathroom makeover weekend! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and photography with us!

  26. Look at Nella colouring with the chalk!!! Love it. I love the feeling your blog leaves me with.

  27. Great post, hones, genuine &raw.
    Thanks Kelle

  28. Hi Kelle! You might want to check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore there in Naples. They stock lots of rescued, repurposed, overstock, etc., building supplies that they sell to the public at low prices. You don’t have to be in financial hardship to shop at a ReStore, and there is no type of membership. I googled the HfH Restores in Florida, and there are MANY. Maybe check it out? You’d be helping a good cause and who knows? You might get exactly what you wanted for your bathroom makeover on the cheap! Good luck! Susan

  29. and thank you Kelle. Happy chilly weekend to you and yours.

  30. Ikea is so good for the soul! LOL I absolutely love shopping there and I swear my house could be in a catalog for the store…computer desk, tv stand, chairs, bookcases, lights, tables, picture frames, dining room table and chairs. And that is just in this one room I am currently in.

    Your last post really put Miss Nella on my brain for the last few days. She is such a doll and you can really see the love that the entire family beams to her. I think that is what I love most about your pictures. The love…

    Have a great weekend!

  31. love, love, love, baby’s pretty green sweater, where did you get it?!

  32. Nella’s face watching the fire cracked me up!!! Her expression says it all (Holy sh*t!)
    I love that she already knows just what to do with the chalk… nellabean the artist emerges.
    Enjoy your cold outside… can’t wait for winter sweaters & cocoa & red cheeks when you come inside.
    We re-did our bathroom at ikea on the super-cheap. That place is dangerous… in all the best ways.
    Happy weekend!

  33. Ikea is my favorite. I am also loving your new quilt and want one just like it! One question, where do you get your girl’s clothes? They are both dressed so adorably all the time.

  34. Ikea is the bestest store in the world. :) Love it.

    The pictures of the girls outside are just beautiful!

  35. I really wish I could share your enthusiasm for the cold, I really, really do. Today is was cloudy & damp & in the 40’s outside.
    I was in all day & by mid afternoon I had the thermostat turned up to 75 degrees..I could not get warm. Your fire did look cozy especially with the pups sharing the quilt with the babes. Tomorrow I’m gonna try to turn the thermostat down to 70 degrees..the sun is supposed to be out!

  36. I never ever get to your posts this early, but Im excited to be in the 30s for comments! Anyways I just wanted to let you know that Im pretty sure I read a whole lotta those comments. It really really makes me stop and think about how truly blessed I am. Thanks for your blog, it brings all these people together for one similiar purpose and thats to read what you write. That HAS to be the brightness in your day right? Well besides those sweet sweet little darlings. :) Have a wonderful paintful weekend!

  37. Self-confessed IKEA addict here :) I love the big white photo frames so much that I’ve designed most of my prints I sell on ETSY to fit those frames :)) Cheers to Ikea i say ;o)

    And…I was one to use an ‘u’ in COLOUR….not just because that’s how we spell it here ‘down under’ but because it’s how I roll lol :)

    Congrats on making the top 50 blog list….no surprise though…YOUR BLOG ROCKS!!! My favourite read for sure!

    And the photos of Lainey & Nella in today’s post… friggen cute! Loving them in their warm pj’s with hot chocolate & beanies…oh life is grand!
    Happy weekend Hamptons!

  38. Cheers to you, Kelle! And cheers to Ikea! I adore that place. For some odd reason every time I have ever been to Ikea there has been some catastrophic thing going on in my life and Ikea is actually really calming. Some serious bonding has gone down in Ikea for me and my bestie.

    Anyway… Great posts! Love the photos, per usual!

  39. The picture of Nella in front of the fire is priceless! I always, always, always love reading your blog. Everything you share with us is amazing and beautiful and I appreciate your words so much!

  40. Girl! You’ve never been Ikea?! Oh man. Glad someone finally exposed you to the amazing-ness it is :-)

  41. Ikea is the sh!t.

    Having said that, I admit that I’ve been there exactly 1 time. And it’s twenty minutes from my house.

    Target usually sucks me in and I don’t escape LOL


  42. Umm…hello! Matching pj’s by the fire…adorable! Color baby!!!

  43. OMG, Nella is getting so big…and she so knows how to colour!
    Hopefully you were able to indulge in IKEA’s hotdogs and frozen yogurt, delish!

  44. The fall weather in the NW has been amazing lately. I’ve been wanting to build a fire so bad, especially with my evening hot cocoa, but it causes my asthma to flare up. I think I’m gonna put the inhaler on standby because I can’t NOT build a fire after those pictures.

  45. your posts are always absolutely incredible and your photographs are one of my favorite parts as well. your writing is the best though. wow. your last post had me reading it over and over again and i completely relate to the last sentence of your first paragraph. but especially in the last few words “i’m treading, i’m figuring this out, i’m doing what works for me” because that is exactly where i am too. my parents are going through a divorce and i’d be lying if i said i was fine but your blog makes me smile every time you post and i check it hourly to see if there is a new post. know that whenever you post you put a smile on my face and top my day with a cherry. if that made sense haha. keep writing and loving, i love your blog and your photography so much. you are so inspiring. you are amazing.

  46. Hi kelle,

    You don’t know me, but I read your blog and I am inspired by you. I first read Nella’s birth story when I was pregnant with my own first child.

    He has since made it into the world and has had a hard fight. He is 3 1/2 months old and has had 2 open heart surgeries and a leg amputation. He has never made it home yet to see his room or to enjoy the comforts of a cozy home.

    I get all your worries and the pains of the unknown. It can be so overwhelming, but I, like you, try to focus on all the good and the here and now moments that are sooo sweet.

    Thanks for inspiring me to be a better mom! Kim

  47. It’s cold here in Washington state too and I just finally convinced husband to start our first fire…your toes and wine did the trick I think lol. Love the pic of the girls and pups in front of the fire and has made my excitement to have my grandsons here tomorrow even bigger if that is possible. I just want to say Kelle you absolutely have a love of life and all the small things but don’t let yourself get lost in the thoughts of “what if”…we don’t know what tomorrow brings and that goes for parents of all children, just love those babes as only you can do every minute of every day, and it will be enough. It will!

  48. Just now getting caught up on your entries…yes, yes, I fell behind…shocking, really, but I have been away from my computer! I loved your last entry – so poignant. You are an amazing person – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
    The extra “u” in “colour” is the way we Canadians spell it…very British, wouldn’t you know…
    Anyway, love the photo of Nella by the fire…man, she gets more and more beautiful by the day. Yes – can’t wait to see how your bathroom turns out!! Take pictures! (Hahahaha…of course you’ll take pictures!! Hahaha…my attempt at humour…)

  49. We don’t have Ikea in NEBRASKA, I’ve been once in Chicago, and I agree-it’s crazy in there! Can’t wait to see how your bathroom turns out, it’ll obviously be fab. Have a great weekend!

  50. I must say I feel like we are kindred spirits. Your posts are my soundtrack. You say stuff that I feel. It is like listening to that favorite song of the moment (my husband says that every song is my favorite song). That song that fits exactly how I feel but I couldn’t express. The song that I want blare as loud as I can with arms outspread as I spin in circles and feel, feel, feel with all the power of every one of my senses. That is how I feel about your writing. You inspire me to be me and not worry what anyone else thinks about it. THANK YOU!!!! BTW The pic of Nella in awe of the fire is priceless!!! And happy weekend to you, too!

  51. I cannot wait to see what you do with your bathroom. I have no doubt it will be super cool! LOVE your blog, pictures are gorgeous as always.

  52. Please tell me that pic of the girls by the fire is your Christmas card picture! It is amazing. And the one of Nella staring open mouthed in front of the fire? Forget about it! The cuteness!

    Oh, and congrats on #7, although I think you deserve #1:)

    PS, I got your thank you note for donating to Nella and the walk last month! I blogged about it too:)

  53. On days like today when I feel alone, like I’m standing in the middle of this crowded room but no one even notices, I love to read your posts. It reminds me that there are people feeling the same thing. You remind me to focus on the good, love where I am, and just keep going. Thanks.

  54. So glad to see that you posted, it always brightens my day! We don’t have an IKEA out here in Colorado, but I used that place to furnish all of my college dorm rooms out in CA, great memories! Have a great weekend!

  55. oh, NELLA, and that chalk! Girlfriend is an ARTIST!

    love it.

  56. could your little cherubs be any more fashionable? sooo stinkin’ cute!

  57. Kelle,

    I love that I know those girls and you. Thanks for making it happen…funny I have all these I wish we would haves from when you were here…but, mostly, I just want another. Yes.

    All those beautiful words came your way because you put the beauty out there. It has nowhere to go but straight back into your arms.

    Love you and yours.

  58. Oh, I love Ikea! If you look at the name on the furnitures you can learn Swedish and Norwegian!

    I really love the picture of you and Nella from Ikea! It really made me smile!

  59. I don’t always have free hands to comment.. but tonight I do. My babies are FINALLY asleep and I have a few moments of peace before I have to crash hard into my pillow.

    I have linked your posts over and over again to my sisters and my dear friends. They love you, I love you. I love those girls and honestly, as I write, I am listening to Sara B. song, “Basketcase” and looking at a photo of your sweet Nella and my eyes are welling up. I am so in love with every photo of her. I want to eat her up.

    I know you know you’re lucky to have those girls, and that’s why I keep coming back to read you. And look at your photos. You remind me to be a thousand things, but most of all, grateful for those little moments.

    (I love them too).

    xoxoxo times a thousand.

  60. You are beautiful, your children are delicious, and your words are inspirational! Your positive vibes and ability to relish in the everyday things is contagious. It reminds me to appreciate every moment, to take it all in, and savor my time with my own two girls, who are two and five. Thank you for inspiring me to remember and absorb all of the small things; the softness of my two year old’s cheeks pressed up next to mine, the fascinating mind of my kindergartner and her thirst for knowledge, the amazing small things that make up the every day…

  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. I don’t think Nella’s smiles could get any more “ear to ear” than those with her mom and some chalk.

  63. My 3 favourite pics
    1) Nella staring at the fire
    2) the girls with the dogs in front of the fire…its just so candid and perfect that it makes me smile :)
    3)Lainey with that “what cheezie?” caption that should be under her.

    This post made me smile!


    p.s. you’ve never been to IKEA?! girl you’re gonna be hooked.
    This weekend is gonna be full of colour for you!
    Lovin’ those crocheted hats btw!

  64. Seriously, I don’t think they could be any cuter…you are one blessed mama and you better lock em up now! Those pictures of Nella with the chalk just kill me…oh man! I want to eat her up!

  65. Kelle, I SOOOO want to hear whats up with the bathroom! I have a “gold” and peach themed bathroom…bleh! I need ideas to spruce that place up and make it lovely! Please please please share!!!

  66. such cute photos!!

  67. Yep you make my day. And lots of other people as well. I know there is a lot of pain out there and my heart breaks. But I guess we just push on and also see the beauty in the world. I love how you just tell us how it is and we love you for it. Keep up the great work honey bee.
    lots of love
    Carol xxx

  68. Marshmallow hot chocolate on a cold day = perfection!!

    Can’t wait to see how the bathroom turns out – good luck!

  69. Kelle:
    Quick question…do you seriously read ALL the comments every post!?
    Just curious.
    Thanks for sharing your sunshine. I don’t know what 48 degrees is in Celcius but I’m guessing it’s still warmer than what we have up in Alberta, Canada at the moment. We’ve been sporting our winter jackets off and on all week…
    Anways…wanted to ask if you read the comments. I’ve often wondered.

  70. I had to laugh because not only did I spell color with a u (being a non american) but I also had to google to find out how cold 48 is in celsius!

  71. Oh my goodness…I just want to kiss those Nella cheeks in that last pic. What an adorable fire pic of her with her mouth open like, “this is what a fire looks like?”…LOVE it!! Your weather in Florida is similar to ours in Texas – hello gulf neighbor! Your photography and writing go hand in hand like marshmellows and hot cocoa! Much Love, Melissa

  72. Firstly, congrats on your award! It’s well deserved :)

    Secondly, I cannot decide which photos I love the best!! They’re all so good lol.. The ones of Nella with the chalk and also the ones by the fire.. Simply gorgeous.

    Cannot wait to see photos of your bathroom. I’ve been decorating our hallway, stars & landing this week and although it’s hard work and the rest of the house fell apart around me, the results are well worth it!

    Enjoy your weekend x

  73. i am fairly certain there is nothing more adorable than the picture of nella holding the big fat chalk with her little hand and sitting all scrunched getting ready to draw a masterpiece! i love it!

  74. Congrats on your blog nominations Kelle! Well done! I am gobsmacked that you have never been to IKEA…… know you’re gonna be back!!! One of my favorite items in my home is a big rainbow stripey rug I got from Ikea and I love it!!!!

  75. TO Beth – I LOVE that quote “The soul would have no rainbow..”. TO KELLE – Congras on the awards! And as always, I just love your post and your love of the cold,you love of ALL..

  76. we love you kelle hampton!!! your posts are a hot chocolate, warm quilt and sunshiney part of my day! thank you for being so inspiring and just such an awesome person on this planet. loving your creativity and cant wait to see what comes of your bathroom bonanza. Love the pics of lainey and nella love too= especially nella’s big grin with you in ikea! such beautiful girls!!!! you are spreading so much love in the world and im so glad you are writing such great words for us to be reading! have a fantabulous weekend! xoxo

  77. Ikea, 15 minutes from my house-bliss! Your “models” are adorable. Happy Weekending. susan

  78. Congratulations Kelle on your wonderful blog being voted into the top 50 blogs and your well deserved #7 spot for Design.
    I love the picture of Lainey, Nella, Latte and Sophie in front of the fire.
    Have a great weekend! xo

  79. Thank you so much again for that last post. We can now all go back and read the many comments, and know we all share something in common, whether big or small and draw strength from each other.

    So glad you had fun at Ikea! Ours is about 30 minutes away. Making a trip Monday with a girlfriend as a matter of fact. Can’t wait to see the bathroom.

  80. …No kudos for those that spelled gray ‘grey’? Sad face.
    How was the your first trip to Ikea?! Our house is practically sponsored by Ikea. Love it! Thankfully for our finances, we have a tiny car…(and a tiny cottage-y house) and I’m too cheap to pay delivery charges.

    Happy weekending!

  81. *How was THAT

  82. Love, love, love reading your blog kelle! So inspiring! Love’n you and your girls style… keep on keeping on! Glad to see you’re relishing the cooler weather…..a stinker here…that’s a bit of crazy, Aussie slang, meaning hot!! Those 2 girls of yours- just divine.

  83. Your daughters’ personalities just shine through in those photos. So gorgeous.
    Glad you are feeling good.

  84. I didn’t want this post to end! Love the pictures of Nella chalking it up. Too cute! I’m loving this cold south Florida weather, too.

  85. I think I’m still in shock that you live in FLORIDA, yet your house comes with a fire place?? 😛

    I’m from Boca originally and that just would never happen! So I’m enjoying my fire place in South Carolina now :)

  86. Precious lady … you have the most beautiful heart. Thank you for bringing colour and vibrant, healthy perspective to so many of us who follow your blog. Have a happy weekend. Janine

  87. I am so happy for you! the cold has a great way of rejuvenating the soul. We just got our first snow fall this morning and i’m lovin’ it! Happy Weekend!

  88. long time reader, first time commenter. i have fallen in love with you & your beautiful family! thank you for sharing your life with us.

  89. I have got to know what type of marshmallow was in that cup of hot chocolate?????? There is such beauty in your photos…they speak wonders!

  90. OHEMGEES Kelle, I frickin’ LOVE Ikea. Every time we go there I secretly hope that we’ll get locked in so that I can just LIVE there. For me, it’s like the grown-up versions of those amazing toy stores that you dream of being locked in overnight so you can play with all the toys. Only BETTER!

    When I’m not in-store, swooning over all the Swedish homware delights, I’m at home, feverishly markering and dog-earing the pages of my catalogue. My boyfriend jokes that I should save myself the time, and just dog-ear a corner of the catalogue itself :oD

  91. All I can say is WOW! I just found your blog on Thursday and I have been reading ever since! You have amazingly beautiful children! When I was 20 weeks pregnant they found a DS indicator on my sons heart and we had to go to a specialist for another U/S. They gave me the option of a amnio, but I chose not to do it for the risk of harming my baby. He came out w/out DS and I was filled with a mix of emotions. I can’t imagine, your birth story is one to be remembered. YOu are truly a wonderful mother and again you have such beautiful daughters. Your story is inspiring!

  92. Beautiful pictures, your girls look so adorable in their knit hats! It’s been getting cold over here in Canada for a little while now, here in Ottawa we’ve already had snow and I totally share your enthusiasm for all things winter and Christmas!! Oh, and that was your first trip to Ikea ever?! It’s pretty awesome in my opinion! Your words and pictures are both beautiful and inspiring, thank you for sharing.

  93. Hi Kelle,
    I’ve been reading your blog since Nella was born, I enjoy it so very much. I don’t usually comment, but I came across this quote today and thought of you so I wanted to share! “Enjoy the little things, for one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things”. –Richard Brault

    Your family is lovely. Thank you for sharing with us!

  94. I love the picture of Nella looking at the fire. Simply too much!

  95. Your pictures of the girls by the fire made me long for a fireplace. Our 130 year old farmhouse doesn’t have one – it had a pot-bellied stove at one time that is no longer there, but when the previous owners removed it and the wall it was on, it created a pretty cool 15×30 living room/dining room combo. We make do (creativity with where to place stockings and a “magic key” for Santa to gain entrance since we no longer have a chimney) – and I’m thankful for our beautiful century old trees and large yard for the littles to play in.

    Best of luck on your bathroom revamp – can’t wait to see it. I’m sure it will be fabulous.

    Happy weekend to you and yours, Kelle! :)



  97. Nella and her first fire is adorable… I also love the chalk pictures of Nella in the background trying her derndest to take off the hat! I love Ikea… our closest one is about 3 hours away…

  98. kelle, those pictures of your sweet
    lil babies leave me smiling
    and my heart constricting a little
    and a few tears even
    your making the world a little better place to live in
    belevie it kelle
    we all come to your blog for the same reason
    because how could loking at the sweet smiles of lainey love and nella bean
    not cheer a person up.
    love to you and yours.

  99. Hey Kelle,

    I haven’t read your blog for about a week, at least. There is a lot of pain in my life right now. But I like what you said, about mixing it all up, the mundane with the marvelous (ok, those may be my words…)

    Even more intriguing, the quote “To Thine Own Self Be True.”

    My pastor said the same thing to me a few days ago, and after years of jumping hoops and questioning who I was, there’s nothing left for me to do but to be true.

    I didn’t think I’d be able to read your blog and smile again, but I did, because you’re real, your story is real, the good and the bad…

    So I’m thankful and happy to see a mom, a wife, being true and enjoying it all. You’re more of a role model than you realize.

  100. Ummm hot chocolate. It’s that kind of day here.


  101. The pictures of your girls bring such pure light and happiness. Now that my 3 oldest kiddos recognize a camera pointed at them- the only shots I manage to capture are expressions filled with exasperation or extreme goofiness. I am forever grateful for the images I have of my kids from when they were your girls’ ages.

    I love IKEA! The closest store to us is nearly 2 hours away across the border in Canada. When they changed the border crossing laws to require a passport or an enhanced driver’s license, I was pregnant with #4 and $ was tight so I never upgraded. I think that will be my Christmas present to myself because I am long overdue for a trip to IKEA. It’s such a happy place.

  102. Ikea, really? I was there yesterday, too! Not the one on the East coast of FL, but one nonetheless!! We have some family visting from Northern MI and it was a fun outing. I, too, agree that the place is crazy! I can’t wait to see your bathroom makeover … my master bathroom is in need of something like that, too!!

    Congrats on the Babble success … you, my friend, deserve it … keep on doing it …

    Happy weekend!!

  103. I could seriously be in IKEA for HOURS! I can’t wait to see what you come up with! The photos of the girls and the doggies by the quilt is absolutely precious — especially Nella’s facial expression — as if she doesn’t want to share the quilt! LOL! Have a fabulous weekend, Hamptons!!! Oh, and that photo of you swirling Nella with her gorgeous smile! She is living one HAPPY LOVING LIFE!! Amen, guys — enjoy, love, laugh! Can’t wait to read more!

  104. where are the girls knit hats from?

  105. Congrats to you friend. I have a favorite quote from Bill Cosby and I beat it like a dead horse and will continue to beat it!

    “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

    One of the traits that I realized about you early into my reading your blog is that you do not buckle to the critics, the I wanna change everyone to think like me and the I wanna make this blog about what I want or think it should remain the same. TRUE baby doll to who you are..Strong but kind..I like that.

    So here is to many more good times together and the photo of the kids and the dogs on the quilt cracked me up! In my house if you pull a quilt out it is like pulling a t-bone steak out..the dogs come running! ♥

  106. first trip to ikea? i remember my first time there too. it was like disneyland for adults. we live hours away from any ikea, but i make it a point to get there at least twice a year! please send some cold to the west coast.. we are in desperate need of some holiday-inspiring-chills.

  107. Seriously, if there was a “BEST DRESSED” superlative for blogs, your girls would DEFINITELY win! Your blog always speaks to my heart… But, it also always speaks to my love of fashion! Man, you dress your girls in the CUTEST clothes! I would like to have their wardrobes for myself!
    Thanks for being so real, and so cute!

  108. Kelle- I am inspired daily by your writing. I love how you do touch on reality and relating it to the color to balance it. It’s funny as you are craving for a low of 48 I often think at this time of year in NH when it quickly gets colder and darker by the day, man I want to live in a warmer climate with sun everyday! I guess we always crave whats on the otherside. I love IKEA and am planning a trip myself. Great picture of you and Nella in the store. Can’t wait to see pics of your bathroom! And Congrats on the top 50 mom blogs and great design, I love it! Have a fabulous weekend.

  109. Oh, the picture of Nella transfixed in front of the prehistoric television (fire)…

    And your quilt. Deedah has a very similar quilt made by grandma when she was born. It’s still her favorite. All the gingham patches have names like hoo-no. When we visit, we bring the blanky and grandma sits down to repair. It is returned with fewer loose threads but still marinated in love.

    Your last post got me a little foggy. Fears I too block off from my mind… its too much to process. God bless your father for what he did in that last week.


  110. Oh how I love me some Ikea!!! We live in Maryland, so they are everywhere and we spend no less than 2 hours in that store at a time. LOVE IT, and the prices are fabulous.

    Bathrooms. I usually keep my house decorated with earthy tones, but dang sometimes you need COLOUR!!! :) It’s happy. It makes me happy to have color, and MANY of them, all sorts of colors that don’t really go together when you lay them side by side, but if you spread them all out through the room they look splendid. The bathroom is now BRIGHT SUNSHINE yellow with Magenta trimmings. TJMAXX has the best picture frames in YELLOW AND MAGENTA!! woo hoo. And they have fabulous canvas paintings, which are $50.00, so I didn’t want to spend that so I took a picture of them and came home and made my own, WHICH I might add look exactly the same and go with the bathroom so well!! All flowers and sparkles and just FUN. My kids love it and I’m so happy to put HAPPY in my house.

    Oh and one more thing. Holy Mother of God I am going to EAT your children one day. I was thinking to myself, “that Nella DOES know how to use that chalk, look at that girl go”, and you know why? Because she has a sister who is teaching her everything she will need to know in life. Lainey is the best thing that Nella will ever have. Love them both!!

  111. Oh and I thought of something else. I did a Christmas project a few years ago with my kids and it turned out SO sweet. We made cardboard houses, plain thrown in the trash cardboard, glued it together to make houses, glued it on a platform, then painted them, added sparkles and fake snow and they are to DIE for. I have pictures if you want to see them. SO easy and they look like they came off the shelf in a fancy store!!!!

  112. Your girls are so beautiful! I look forward to your pictures every day! And I love thier outfits! Good luck with your bathroom revamp!! I change mine often too…I just like so many things, I can’t pick one!

    And of course she knows what to do with the chalk! She’s got a big sister to teach her!

  113. Your girls are so beautiful! I look forward to your pictures every day! And I love thier outfits! Good luck with your bathroom revamp!! I change mine often too…I just like so many things, I can’t pick one!

    And of course she knows what to do with the chalk! She’s got a big sister to teach her!

  114. I am terrified of alligators AND sharks….I sweat just thinking about them, really I do!!!

    CHEERS to winter…bring it!

    xo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

    ps….U R right Ikea is nuts!

  115. Speaking of IKEA, here’s a comment from Sweden. I happened to read your blog while my twelve year-old passed by and she went Oh and Ah at the sight of Nella smiling, just like me.

    I had to let her watch ten or so entries until she found out that we would be spending the day at it if we continued and she gave up the idea of seeing them all…

  116. “I will not dwell on tomorrow, for it is unknown and filled with voids. Today is quite the contrary. Today is good.”

    Kelle, when I read your words above I cried. I can’t tell you how helpful those words are to me.

    I think it’s normal as parents to worry that our children will leave this earth before we do. And like you, there are times those thoughts bring me to my knees. But you are so right. The key is to acknowledge the fear, walk through it and then remember that today is good and dwelling on tomorrow doesn’t make any sense.

  117. This was your first trip to IKEA say what?

    That play IS nuts and full of nuts and full of ideas! :) The deals you can score there are totally nuts!

    Congrats on the blog awards!

    And that picture of Nella in front of the fire with pure amazement on her face…. GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME! I just wanna kiss her!

    And Lainey is such an incredible sister. She is right there… every time. What a love bug!

  118. The sweater Lainey is wearing is amazing!! Love it.
    And, the first photo of Nella looking at the fire with her mouth gaped open, WHAT a great shot. Made me both LOL and tear up. :)
    Happy weekend!

  119. Oh Kel you just opened a door that can NEVER be closed again! Once you experience IKEA you can’t go back to normal life. We have one 20 minutes from our house and even when I can’t purchase I still take my babe there just to browse and enjoy everything.
    Love that Nella!

  120. I loved your last post. Well what am I saying I love your blog. I too have thought of what the future holds for our sweet Emma Grace. I have my thoughts. But I am not in control of it. Wish I was . life expectancy is not something I have ever thought about with our 46 chromosome babies. But why not? We don’t know our days so I wish to make everyone of them count. That is why I love your blog. I have a friend her in Phoenix whose daughter has 47 chromosomes and she is going through leukemia treatment. She is only 2! Handling with grace and hope. There but for the grace of God go I. I choose to see Emmas future like the new documentary (which I have not seen I might add since I don’t HBO) titled Monica and David. I want her to find that man of her dreams and get married. Like her older sister. Awwww the dreams I have for this magical little girl! I took those dreams for granted with her sister but not with Emma Grace!

    I love your blog and I love that we share a common bond! Our sweet daugthers. I want to come over and have some coffee and let the kids play!

    And on another note. Yeah for Ikea. We have one here in Phoenix and love visiting that store. Hope you had a good time

  121. You have an entire closet filled with nothing but the cutest hats ever, don’t you?!

  122. ikea totally inspires me to live in the smallest space possible.
    and then i remember … oh yeah. i already do.
    and i’m trying my best to rock it – even though we are bursting at the seams.
    definitely a two way street – your blog is.
    love my dear.
    oh and the u in colour? taking an online photography course now from sheye rosemeyer in australia – and by far my favorite part (beyond all the incredible knowledge i’m gaining!) is the vocabulary and extra “u”s.

  123. Kelle~

    Of course Nella knows how to draw with chalk! You have given her so many amazing experiences to explore it and watch her big sis (and you) doing it that I would expect nothing less:)

    Oh and the pic of Lainey and Nella where Nella is trying to pull off her hat is priceless!

    The last picture of Nella in her green hat and sweater made me and my almost 13 year old daughter smile HUGE!!

    Susan from Boston

  124. Oh my gosh – Love Nella’s jaw-dropping at the fire. The best part of being a parent is seeing the world through our kiddos’eyes, hands down!

  125. Kelle,
    As a father of 3 that loves photography and life, I enjoy reading your posts each day. My wife has a Christmas present on the way from one of your sponsors! Keep putting it out there and we’ll keep reading and participating.

  126. Nella seeing the fire for the first time was awesome! I can’t wait for little Levi to see our fire soon. It’s the little things right?

  127. LOL. I hope you brought drove one big-ass car with you to take home all of your Ikea treasures. I love that place. And Alex is jonesing for the pink toddler bed that’s made out of plastic. Their designers do a great job, and I so LOVE the marketplace. I swear you walk out of there with more stuff that you didn’t know that you needed. It’s worse than Target in that way. Going back in the next two weeks for a ton of picture frames.

    Good luck with the renovation on your bathroom.

    Gotta chase Glinda and her magic wand around and get her down for a nap.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  128. The photo of Nella drawing with the chalk is precious. I work with young children and dont worry, I believe you that she IS drawing! She has such a great sister to look up to and follow in her footsteps. I also love the photo’s of some first for Nella, like the seeing the fire place, she looked so amazed!

  129. I have to ask… since you live in Sunny Florida… what exactly IS freezing cold to you guys? :-)
    We’ve had our highs in the low 50’s lately and I LOL at my family in CA complaining about the low 70’s :)

    CUTE pictures! We love IKEA too.

  130. Oh, like lots of others I’m amazed by your blog!
    Fantastic photos and really interesting reading.
    I’ll come back för sure.
    You have a beautiful family and an eye for moments that tells of a fine soul 😉
    I wish you a wonderful saturday evening!

  131. mmm, i wish i had a delicious fire to put my sweet baby boy by- 48, the low?! it’s almost 2 o’clock and it’s 43!! i don’t want to know what the low is going to be!! brrrrr! here’s to having sweet, snuggly babies!

  132. Adorable post! I really want to curl up with some hot coco! Your girls are beautiful and its an amazing thing to see the happiness. Keep up the awesomeness!!

  133. I bought 3 of those black, victorian frames, from Ikea, (it’s in the pic with your hubby) and put them on Mae’s wall with pictures that were blown up from our last fall photo shoot. They look amazing. And Greta giggles every time she goes into Mae’s room and examines the photos of her and her big sister.
    Well, gray is the hot color of fall this year. So baby you are tres chic. This whole week was pretty gray for me. There is never enough time and I am simply worn thin (figuratively speaking due to all this Halloween candy). I was so tired on Thurs. that I had to go to bed at 7:00pm b/c I had the worst headache. I hardly spent anytime with my family that day. My color came to me at 3:30 am this morning. Mae crawled into bed with us and I thought to myself, “Do I have to wake up in 2 more hours?” I then realized it was Sat. and I didn’t have to teach today!!! I get to spend the whole day with my family. Then Greta fussed and I went and cuddled her and warmed her up and we all went back to sleep until 7:00am. The End
    PS Thank you for sharing your grays as well as all your colors. You have really helped me through my journey with Greta.

  134. Hey Kelle! I have to say, I follow the blog quite religiously and I have to comment on the picture of you and Nella in IKEA. Your photography is amazing and your pictures are always beautiful, but I LOVE the little snapshot of the two of you. She is just so happy and that smile just kills me. Thanks for making me smile! :o)

  135. Yes, I love IKEA. Hoping that you found the fabulousness you sought. But here’s the thing, you seem to make fabulousness out of sidewalk chalk and funny shoes. The thing I love about this blog is that it is always lemonade… never lemons. I always look forward to reading it and I send all my peeps to read it. Have a great big fabulous weekend!!

  136. Thank you for sharing such precious smiles. Your blog is so delightful!

  137. I am in complete and total shock that you have never been to an Ikea before. Get out of the city : )
    Sometimes I love going there. Sometimes, not so much. It can be pure crazy busy-ness : )

    Can’t wait to see your bathroom and it’s new colour : )

  138. I ADORE the picture of Nella looking at the fire!! You captured a beautiful moment with that picture!

    Last night in my awesome Missoula town it was 1st Friday and some friends and I hit a number of art galleries downtown. I thought of you as we went to the Opportunity Recource gallery where all the art is made by adults with diabilities. The art is all for sale! I visited with Marium a sweet girl with Down Syndrome and listened as she talked about her piece of art created with markers. She is the “January girl” in a calandar that is being created!

    When she would smile her tongue would go out in that that only extra chromosome way that it can be done! She was a snuggly young lady and kept hugging me and visiting. It was a joyful moment in our art walk night! Just thought I would share!

  139. Hey Hun, there is an IKEA in Tampa too! :-p but I bet its about the same distance for you!

  140. just… this.
    i love that picture to the right where the professor is chalk coloring with her left hand, unless the image is flipped… she (by the look of the top of her head mind you) looks so serious…<3

  141. the joys of comfy pyjama’s, the smell of the fire and taste of sweet hot chocolate. Happy weekend indeed.

  142. I love the picture of Nella coloring…rock star behavior as usual! And the one of her looking at the fire…adorable.

  143. NELLA COLORING WITH SIDEWALK CHALK…. cutesy thing on this planet! I am certain of it. We way up north in Jacksonville are enjoying all the same loveliness this weekend, except for the footed jammies…all mine are officially too old, but the idea of footed jammies make me want to jump back on that bandwagon! Babies…totally addictive. I think Mylie needs a sister…and baby…it’s cold out side. **wink**wink** (The scary thing is that my sexy hubby is just as addicted as I am!).
    And there must be something about the cold weather that makes us want to refeather our nests…I’ve got visions of change in the dining room and playroom. Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on the weekend. :)
    Thanks for all the great posts this week!

  144. Dude… I Work at Ikea!!

  145. Absolutely love your blog, Kelle! The pic of Nella laughing with the sidewalk chalk just gets me. SOOOOOO precious.

  146. I love the pictures, Your girls are adorable. I too love the cooler weather – wearing slippers, warm snuggly sweaters and warm drinks – that warm the belly and the soul. I also love snuggling with my daughter and feeling the new little life inside kick what ever is laying on my tummy. It makes all the lingering morning sickness worth it. Congrats on the awards- I love reading your blog and tell all my friend about it.

  147. Just got around to reading your “Grays and Colors” post. My husband’s uncle died in 2005, the same week we were married, and he had severe Down Syndrome. He was 68. He outlived both his parents and a sibling or two. As I understand it, at the time of his death he was the third oldest living Down Syndrome person in the U.S., or it was third oldest living in Utah. Either way, he had a very nice long life and I wish at minimum the same for your adorable Nella.

  148. Your pictures have inspired me to get more creative with my own shots. Because of this I have captured my own beautiful children enjoying the small things. Thanks so much!

    Also, baby legs + tights = brilliant!

  149. Dude, not only is Ikea inspiring and funtastic, it is a great place to go to play “house” with little ones. We spend hours there;jumping on the beds, answering phones in the office, pulling everything out of the drawers in the kitchen. Then we eat yummy meatballs. The challenge is to leave without buying everything!.

  150. Congrats on the recognition for having one of the best mom blogs! Your dedication to your passions–family, home, celebrations, photography, simple everyday life–inspires me with every word. I think I have a better appreciation for my own ‘momhood’ by reading about yours. A sincere golf clap to you. 😉

    P.s. We’re all a little ‘coloUr’ crazy over here north of the border!

  151. I too was touched by all the comments. This is a special place…your blog about your family and your readers, and the beauty you are, create and bring out in others.

  152. Girl your last post made me drop to my knees!! I couldn’t get explorer to load yesterday and I thought I would suffocate when I saw you had posted and couldn’t get to it….you are my inner soul…you totally say exactly what I am feeling and I say out loud…thank God someone else gets it!!

    Thank you for your words….you make my world feel so less empty♥

    Now, that bathroom…every detail!! Don’t leave anything out!!

    Hugs!! Thanks for being YOU!!

  153. There is just something about a roaring fire that makes for total comfort! Love Nella’s expression when looking at the fire- too cute!!

  154. they look sooooo adorable!! you will be amazed at how much nella picks up from lainey, i am floored everyday with my little guys! where is lainey’s dress from? it’s really cute! happy weekend.

  155. I LOVE that picture of Nella in front of the fireplace! It could go on the front of a greeting card with a caption like, “WHAT?! You didn’t tell me Christmas was on the way!” (because I’m from the Gulf Coast of Texas and fireplaces are pretty much only lit around Christmas time!)


  156. Love Nella’s almond eyes so much. They are so delicious… I really want to tell you something important about how you’ve changed me in a hugely important way, but I would have to admit something really awful first and that makes me lose courage to tell you. :( Even though I think you would not judge me, I worry your readers would.

    Love all the knits and sweaters. It is still in the 80-90’s here in Phoenix. UGH!!!!!!!!!! I love Nella with chalk and Nella with her expression at seeing the fire. And the two girls and two dogs on the floor make me want a fireplace of my own. :)

    Happy Weekending to you!

  157. okay so I have a tip for remodeling your bathroom. If you don’t like your gold bathroom fixtures you can totally go to a craft store like JoAnn’s or Micheal’s (do the have those in florida?) Anyway, Kyron has a spray paint called “Fusion” and it will turn your gold hardware satin nickle, bronze, copper…any other metal color your heart desires. And it works like a charm. Did it to my kitchen hardware and I’m in love! Try it out!

  158. IKEA IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAV PLACES!!! My husband hates it, but I can spend hours just wandering and creating rooms and spaces from all the fabulous things in that place! And as far as inspiration goes, I have to say that your blog inspires me everyday I read it (and I try to read it everyday). My husband and I are both out of work and have been for 2 years – Our reality SUCKS! But it could be much worse, so we are fortunate. My little boy is my whole world and he makes everyday colorful for us. Thank you for being so real and open with your life.

  159. I love reading your blog, cute little girl faces….Carol

  160. Nella’s expression over the fire is priceless! I wish it got cold enough for fires here in AZ :)

  161. the hats, sweaters are on, but you’re still out chalking the driveway! Gotta love Florida, you might have to don a sweater once in awhile, but it’s always sidewalk chalk weather!

  162. Your girls are precious! Love your post. Great blog.

  163. I just have to say that those pictures of Lainey standing outside in your driveway are adorable. They aren’t anything extraordinary until you look at Nella in the background. She is steadily tugging at that hat! What perseverance! That determination is sure to take her FAR!!!

  164. I want to let you know that I find your blog incredibly inspiring. When I have one of those days that is gray, cold, and windy on the INside, sometime I’ll just pop onto your blog and pick a random post from the archives for a much-needed dose of positivity. Thank you for that. 😀

  165. Kelle, I just watched the video
    Firework by Katy Perry and I said
    to myself that is Kelle, you are
    the definition of that song. You
    boom, boom, boom this website and
    inspire many, you live your life
    loving and with great consciousness.
    Rock on girl, note to self and all,
    today is the day, don’t regret.

  166. I love a good cardigan, and Lainey’s is just to die for. Love it.

    Nella in front of the fire? Such a shot. Lovely.


    bug and the sweet banana

    Sign Posts

  167. please tell me you guys had meatballs at Ikea! =) i’ve been craving for them for a month now!!! =)

  168. I went to Ikea yesterday too! That place is ridiculously brilliant–I wanted to buy everything. Not possible, monetarily and the fact that we were taking the bus home. We still walked out with two full backpacks and two full blue Ikea bags though. Enjoy your cold, it’s getting pretty chilly here in Edinburgh as well–hats, scarves, and jackets, my kinda thing. :)

  169. Which seller made the beautiful quilt on etsy??? I absolutely love it!! I need a quilt! :)
    Thanks, Kelle

  170. Isn’t Ikea fun?!? All of our furniture that we have purchased has been from there. And we love it!!! Glad winter finally made it down there for ya.

  171. So…I am pretty stoked that you were at Ikea, which is a mere 7 or so miles from my front door! I proclaimed this loudly, which of course has caused my hubby to query about my stalker status. Actually, I am quite shy, but I have no doubt if I had dragged him to Ikea this weekend (as I do QUITE often!)that we would have had a conversation…because I would have been the other mom carrying a big camera around taking pictures of my almost one year old. And if I hadn’t been brave enough to say hi, well, Miss Saeryn would have certainly taken the initiative, being the little flirt she is, especially with other babies her age.

    I am glad you enjoyed Ikea, Kelle!

  172. Oh we love us some Ikea here in Chicago!
    Got the adorable “thank you” from you and the NDSS yesterday, we have little Nella hanging on our fridge now…so cute! =)

  173. I am loving the cold weather! Your girls look so cute in all their winter clothes.

  174. Ikea is addictive!!! I would go there everyday if I could. Next time you have to try their soft serve frozen yogurt, it is awesome!

  175. Ooh, yes, love Ikea. And your girls! Little fashionistas with their hats and sweaters and skirts and pants. Adorable!

  176. Loving the quilts, fleece jammies, and evening fires here too. Sweet, sweet pics.
    I would totally show up, paintbrush in hand, if I lived nearby. Nothing like a weekend makeover project….so much fun!
    Hope all goes well, and of course looking forward to seeing the creativity that’s been flowing.


  177. You will LOVE IKEA!!! We lived about 10 minutes from one until we moved and I could have set up camp and lived there! Also, love the matching knitted hat and leg warmers….did you get them online or do you have a contact person? We have a four year old daughter and a son on the way in February and they would be great Christmas gifts!!

  178. I love, love, love Ikea. I just wish the closest store to us wasn’t 3 stinking hours away!

  179. Nella gazing at the fire….priceless. Can’t wait to see her reaction to the Christmas tree!

  180. As a native Swede (living in Australia, but hey..!) I love IKEA. It is referred to me as the ‘mother ship’ – my ‘home away from home’ where (despite the craziness.. I agree!) I find peace. I read labels with familiar names like ‘Bestå’, ‘Herräng’ and ‘Poäng’ and feel nostalgic. And once I have hugged enough familiar IKEA classics, and eaten a good serve of their ‘daim cake’ (try it!. on a ‘grey day’..!), I head over to their food shop to stock up on lingonberry jam, cracker bread, pickled herring and other life essentials.. Sigh..!

    I also nearly started crying again (I just about dried up from your former post that touched me so deeply!) when I saw the ‘chalk pictures’ of Nella. And the one where you hold her & she giggles.! She is ADORABLE! And Lainey looks so strong. Those eyes! What beautiful girls you have Kelle! There is something so special about them and the ‘love through the lense’ when you capture them is tangible.

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

    x Charlotta

    P.S. My Swedish/Australian kids love ‘Kex choklad’.. Also from IKEA.. If you want to feel terribly Swedish one day!?! :)

  181. Kelle—ebb & tide, I’ve learned to appreciate it….

  182. Love the photo of Nella with the fire! Adorable! Your last post was so touching!

    I can’t believe you’ve never been to IKEA! It’s pretty amazing-maybe try using metallic spray paint to redo your fixtures :)

  183. Thank you as always for keeping it real and hopeful all at the same time! Your blog is such a regular part of my life and makes me so happy when I see a new post.

    Many months ago when I started to read your blog, you inspired me to take hold of the reins of my life, to celebrate the amazing little things of everyday life and at the same time, you inspired me to finally celebrate and build upon a passion for photography that was long inside me waiting to be explored … and explore it I will as I continue to fall even more in love with my new amazing camera.

    Thanks for making so many lives more colourful, while you strive to do the same for your own and those of the people in your life!!

  184. Dear Sunset Rider,
    I love so many things about this post…

    The fact that you think 48 degrees is COLD! 😉

    The constant stream of sidewalk chalk pix!

    Laney’s driveway dance moves!

    Laney’s DARLING dress.

    Nella’s AMAZING smiles.

    Nella’s beautiful eyes.

    THe darling windblown look you’re sportin’ while being freaked out by gators!

    Being totally jealous about IKEA.

    And of course, gotta love another pic showing where your feet are taking you.

    Following, horns grabbed in NE

  185. Ohhh IKEA how I miss you so! Hawaii (and I) are so in need of one in the islands.

    Great pics and such a beautiful fam.

  186. Ohhh IKEA how I miss you so! Hawaii (and I) are so in need of one in the islands.

    Great pics and such a beautiful fam.

  187. My favorite pic is Nella looking at the fireplace.

  188. Kelle,
    Have you ever seen the film, 500 Days of Summer. It’s one of my favorites and I LOVE the scene when the young couple heads to IKEA. Your photos made me chuckle and reminded me of the fun they had there one afternoon. The music in the film is totally YOU, too!
    Lilly is doing pretty well. Looks like she might be heading home tomorrow! Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  189. Oh Nella in that green sweater! somebody needs a warning on these pictures! Oh my yummy! I love the shot of them in front of the fireplace with the doggies! So Norman Rockwell. or something like that. xoxo

  190. Your blog totally deserves to be in the top 50, although I think it should be a little higher up the list! I love you blog, it inspires me! Congratulations though. Writing a blog is hard work.

  191. Lovely!

  192. We are from North Florida and (try) to make it down to the everglades every year. We do a week long camping trip. On one trip down the Tamiami Trail, from Naples to Miami, we counted over 200 gators in the canals running along the highway…and that was while we were moving, imagine all the ones we didn’t see!

  193. Sweet little girls! Can I borrow Nella for a bit ~ I might give her back 😉

  194. the girls are cute, loving your christmas spirit, BUT I am stuck, nee’ fixated on the fact that it was your FIRST trip to Ikea?!?!? Seriously?! wow.

    oh and nella – serious creative genius in the making. i can feel it.

  195. I love Nella’s face as she is looking at the fire. You truly have a way with the camera. I’d love to have some of those skills!

  196. First, Props! But, just so you know, you are number ONE on my list (and really the ONLY, and that may say more than anything!)

    Second – adorable pics. Love the cozy fireside snuggles and the sidewalk chalk artwork ‘n’ hats spread.

    Lastly, super cute blue cocoa mug – I may not be the first to ask this (I have NO idea how you could possibly read all these comments, but I hope you get to enjoy some of them!) But – where did you get it? I would love to see my little’s tiny fingers holding its teeny handle…

    much love,

  197. You….. far fetched idea for a bathrom…. you’re kidding? Everything you do is far fetched…. but comes together so wonderfully! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Whatever it is, I’m most certain it will be colorful!

  198. ,,,i love cold weather apparel on nella it suits her perfectly, she needs to live with me in DC! i promise to always suit her up in lil uggs, really cool woolen sweaters, caps, scarves and mittens that match and plenty of too cute for words tights ‘n leggings that scream “baby it’s cold outside”!!! (smile)

  199. I loovve reading your Blog1 i am New to this whole Bloggy thingy ..but the amazing colors of the knits with the girls beautimus faces ..well it blesses my Artsy Heart!Continue on in Blessing me thru your blessings!

  200. Congratulations on making Babble’s top 50 blog list! The pictures of Lainey and Nella outside and by the fire are precious. :))

    “The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created–created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.” ~John Schaar

  201. I log on to my blog and see you posted TWO in the time that I haven’t even had a chance to log in! you are an inspiration to me for sure. my only baby is about 3 weeks younger then Nella and I think, hell, if she found the time so can I!…. off to blog, thank you.
    ps. i heart ikea too!

  202. I’ve been following your blog since your little angel was born and just want to say that you inspire me…your posts help remind me what being a mom is all about….thanks!

    ps…where do you get your little girls’ clothes. i just love your taste in girls clothing.

  203. I love your Blogs…my cousin got me reading your blog about 1 month ago, and I look forward to all your postings…you inspire me, and you make me look at my life and my stressful times in a different light. And I just wanted to say….thank you. :)

  204. Love the girls “fall” outfits .. and love the picture of them in their jammies in front of the fire. I jut want to jump through this screen and join you all!! xoxo

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