Camped out so Rock the Vote

Just returned from camping weekend, and the thick perfume of dirt and woods and campfire embers is embedded deep into the fibers of everything that made its way back into the house.

I am still reeling from the fuel of spending two whole days confined with family and friends to the woodsy quarters of Lot 7 at Collier Seminole State Park, and I have lots to say about it–or at least some photos–and will do so tomorrow.

In the meantime, voting ends Tuesday for The Bump’s Best Blog Award, and we’d love your voice to be part of the voting. You can vote everyday, and you have to scroll down to find us (click on “Enjoying the Small Things”). CLICK HERE to vote!

Bug spray needs to be rinsed off, babies need sleep, Mama needs a long bath.

More of this tomorrow and a new sponsor I’m really excited about…



Thank you, Friends.


Leave a Comment
  1. Sounds like you had an amazing weeked :) Can’t wait to read more about it! I wish it were warm enough here for a camping weekend!! Last time we went camping was in August and we were freezing then!! Good ole’ New England!!

  2. Glad you had a great weekend camping.

    Can’t wait to read all about it tomorrow.

  3. What a treat! Can’t wait! x

  4. How fun! Looking forward to more photos!

  5. So adorable. Sounds like a great weekend. Nothing better than hanging with the fam!

  6. You would make your Grandma and Grandpa very proud–a campfire, S’mores, stories told in the flickering light and the smell of bacon in the morning was truly their idea of the Ritz Carlton! These are the stuff of memories. I have to take off my hat (well, I never really wear one) to you to attempt such things with your littles–but it looks like you planned and packed well and it came off well. Glad you are home. A hot bath never feels as good as when you couldn’t have one! I vote every day, and annoy my friends into it as well! Love ya and looking forward to sitting down to a sumptuous meal and a gathering of pure gratitude with you this Thursday!!!

  7. ohhh camping! what an experiance. I’m sure your girls loved it. can’t wait to see photos and hear the beautiful stories you probably have from that adventure!

  8. VOTED! And you had BEST win, those other blogs have nothin’ on you! Can’t wait to see more pics tomorrow!

  9. i love the bump and the nest, voting every day!
    love how lainey goes camping with perfect little red bows in her hair. adorable. did some thanksgiving crafting this weekend thanks to your inspiration!

  10. I voted ! Hope you had fun camping:) Happy Thanksgiving from Lily to Nella ox

  11. So glad your weekend was marvelous. Girls are as adorable as can be! As per usual! Happy Thanksgiving week!

  12. Voting every day!!! Spamming all of my FB friends to vote everyday!! I have already had like ten friends call, text, FB chat me that your blog is amazing and they already can’t stop reading. You can ROCK this, Kelle!!

  13. Gosh. You camp AND craft?? I knew I liked you…but everytime I read your blog I like you more :)

  14. Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten about it!

  15. Kelle, I just read your special needs button and I’m glad you have that but I don’t know that everyone sees you have it and reads it. While I don’t think you’ll have any problem winning overall best blog, I do know some question whether you deserve the best “special needs” blog because you hardly ever speak of Down syndrome or what it’s like to have a child with special needs. I myself felt the same way but after reading your “special needs” button, you explained it well. So I’m glad I know how you feel about your journey right now. I have to admit I thought you were slightly living in this dream life, like Nella didn’t have DS and all was fine and good and all probably is fine and good but you know what I mean. I know you know what I mean.

    I myself want others to know my life is very normal with a son that has DS and his siblings love him more than anything but I guess I write about my frustrations a little more than you. And that’s totally okay. I also wasn’t blogging before we found out about our son, unlike you. We’re all different, we handle things differently whether it be privately or publicly. I guess I’m just glad you have that little button up there to express your feelings about your journey with Nella and her diagnosis because it is what it is and we all have to face it and handle it in our own way.

    For what it’s worth I think you’re a great mommy to your girls and we all know Nella is loved and cherished as she should be.

  16. Voting has become part of my morning routine. Glad you had fun camping…I had a weekend in 4 feet of snow. So lots of time outside building snowmen and going tobogganing. Looking forward to hearing about camping in November :)

  17. You have the most adorable kids ever!
    Love the photos, Kelle!

  18. We had a discussion about camping a couple of months ago. It ended with the conclusion that neither of us are “outdoor survivor” type people, despite my week long survival course in 6th grade. I think we’ll try camping in the back yard first. haha.

  19. DONE. You deserve it.

  20. I can’t believe how grown up Nella looks! Voted, b/c I enjoy your blog so very much.

  21. I love to camp and craft too! I know we would be good friends!!! EVERYONE VOTE!!!!

  22. Voted. Enuff said.

    Back to listing crap on Ebay…

    -Jennifer from Annapolis.

  23. I love your girls outfits!

  24. Thank you Adrienne for understanding. Motherhood comes with a lot guilt trips…a lot of “wow, she does it that way? interesting, I do it this way” kind of things. And there are a lot of hot button issues. Immunizations. Formula vs. Breast Feeding. Public School vs. Private. Discipline. Family Bed. You name it. There are so many different ways of doing things, and a lot of moms I talk to (including myself sometimes) have insecurities about motherhood not because they don’t believe in what they are doing but because other moms judge them. And that’s without being a mom of special needs. Once I entered the special needs category, I realized there’s a whole new set of issues. What therapy you do, when you start therapy, if you read the books, what books you read, if you do the mineral supplements, if you don’t, if you talk about D.S. a lot, if you don’t, etc. Talk about walking on eggshells!!! I did at first…but I don’t anymore. I realize there are so many different ways of doing things and they are all good and appropriate for different parents with very different personalities. We are all on the same team. Some need to be talking about it all the time, lobbying on the White House steps for funding and awareness, hosting information blogs, etc. There’s a huge need for this and I am ever grateful to those who do it. My girl and my family benefit from it. But there is also the need of desensitizing the public. I hope we educate the most important goal of D.S. here on this blog…and that is that we are more alike than different…that these beautiful individuals are amazing human beings who laugh and cry and dream and love. We might do it subliminally, but I hope we do it effectively. And when it comes up that I want to talk about it, I’ll do it naturally here on the blog too. Just so happens these days I’m not feeling the need to talk about it a lot. Tomatoes, Tomahtos. Family Bed, Private Bed. We handle D.S. this way, other people handle D.S. that way. But they are all working for us, and there is no one right way, no one wrong way.
    Thank you again for your kind words! (and believe me, I get the need to have a place to write about your frustrations. I think it’s awesome the Internet provides such a great place where we can do it openly and find support, and I’m glad your blog does that for you!)

  25. Can’t wait to see these photos!

  26. Sounds like a fun weekend with the kiddos! I voted right away, first of course because I LOVE your blog and i have been following the bump every week as i’m just about 12 wks pregnant right now :) can’t wait to rock my bump! :) If you ever want to follow my simple little blog ( as of yet) I started a baby blog and i will message you on facebook with the address. Take care and have a happy Monday!

    I know I will make it amazing because I have been working all weekend. (ugh) but i can’t wait to read about your camping trip! :)

    Pam K

  27. Just voted again!!
    Kelle, how FUN, you went camping!! Nothing like the scent of campfires finding their way back into homes after an adventurous trip in the woods! My boys Lub camping…as does the Mama Bear & Papa Bear. Looking forward to the stories and photos of your camping adventure!!
    Nella is getting so BIG!! That little smirk of hers makes me want to squeeze her!!! (give her an extra hug for me tonight…someone she doesn’t even know, but someone that believes in her strengths and magical spirit).
    Best of luck to your BLOG…she’s a WINNER!!

    God Bless Hampton Family…you are changing the word, one post at a time!!!

  28. Kelle, just read the comments from the other bloggers, you handle everything with such grace. I am absolutely overjoyed that you are doing so well at this blog poll thing. Testament to your beautiful outlook, photography, children, writing and life. You don’t let drama get to you, and that is some tough business. If someone questions your “right” to win a special needs blog poll because you choose to write about the beautiful you see, feel, and create rather than constantly complain/focus on the negative, well WOW. I can’t even conjure up a clever or appropriate response to those individuals. Only thing I can do is feel deep sadness that their world is revolving around that kind of thinking and that the sound “wah-wah-wah” (SNL’s Debbie Downer soundtrack) is following them around. Kudos to you for all of this recognition and the entire DS community which benefits as well! XO from Wisconnie baybee!

  29. Kelle, I don’t even know you, but I love ya girl. Hope you enjoy your bath- way to be brave, I’m preetttyyyy confident my camping adventures will never go past my backyard! lol

  30. I enjoy reading comments on your blog almost as much as reading your blog itself. I am always entertained when i hit the “email followup comments” and guestimate how many hundreds/thousands will flood my inbox. God bless you for managing to read them.
    It’s always interesting to see the various perspectives people have in their interpretation of this blog as being one of special needs. I take it for what it is, seeing and appreciating the world’s beauty, which now is populated with an enhanced Hampton. I am forever grateful to my friend who forwarded me your birth story the same week that Nella was born. It took me back to Cameran’s birth, and allowed me an articulate way to share the similar emotions of finding out about Cami’s Ds with some friends and coworkers. It inspired me to get back into writing/journaling, which resulted in

    For me, I have stayed connected to your blog because of it’s beauty and rawness. Knowing that you wrote before you had Nella and still continue to write makes me not question for a second whether or not the blog is deserving of Special Needs blog or not. Showing the world beauty in ALL things brings out the beauty in Nella, Ds or not, and is further proof to those who may be in the 90% who would never bring a baby with Ds into the world that your family has much life, laughter, and love.

    God bless.


  31. Just voted….AGAIN

    Yes Kelle, you did deserve the award for the best Special Needs Blog. I read many blogs, none inspire us like yours to see our littles as the perfect angels that they are.

    Thank you
    Carol from SW MI

  32. Kelle, I just want to squeeze those girls! They are so adorable! I voted for you today because your blog has inspired me more than any other I’ve read. In any category. :)

  33. Am listening to the howling wind & the rain pelting our front stoop… the thought of camping couldn’t be further from my mind! So glad I will get to experience it vicariously through you instead of literally. My two littles are getting sleeping bags from grandma for christmas… I’m sure camping will be high on the list around here… once spring hits, that is!
    Voting daily for your blog… it really is the best I have ever seen… no matter what the category.
    You inspire us all to be/do/see/live better.

  34. Just to clarify, I don’t think you don’t deserve to win the blog award, I think your blog is great! Read it all the time, love your pics, style, etc.

    And I don’t just use my blog to write about my frustrations about my son because I don’t really have that many. Heck, I get more frustrated with my typical 3 year old than him! I guess it came off that way and by no means did I want it to. Again, I want others to see I live a normal life too.

    Just pointing out an observation I found on your blog tonight and I’m glad I found it, (your special needs button) that’s all really because I had never really read your thoughts about a lot of that stuff. Thanks for your response, hope it didn’t feel like I was attacking you or your blog writting because I wasn’t.

  35. that green color looks AWESOME on Nella!

    Looking forward to more pix on this fun adventure :)

  36. Ugh, you make me want to go camping… but it’s getting cold and rainy in our neck of the woods. Of course, it’d be a full-blown adventure, but… sometimes I’m just in the mood for an adventure, jr. Glad you had a good weekend!

  37. Adrienne you have a sweet little blog too, you ladies are all amazing.

  38. Your blog makes me smile!

  39. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you Kelle! Hope you win!
    Look forward to hearing all about your camping trip. x

  40. Goodluck on the vote! We LOVE camping, love it…I can’t wait for pics!

  41. Just voted (for you, of course)! Your blog(and accompanying photos)brings much joy.

  42. Aw, not at all, Adrienne. I always appreciate your comments and your explanation was perfect. (and yes…how funny that our frustrations so much more often are not about D.S. but are about toddler fits and balancing time and keeping the house clean. I love that!)

  43. I voted! Good luck! :0)

  44. voted. you’re so close…. !!!

  45. I’m inspired. Gonna go make a Thankfull Banner, on the cheap, using paper bags and from the yard leaves and acorns and twigs-oh my! susan

  46. I voted twice, becuse your blog makes my uneventful work days all that better-especailly mondays :)
    Thank You.

  47. Voted…more than once! It’s close, good luck!

  48. Glad you had a great weekend…can’t wait to see more pics. I voted – hope you win!!! xoxo

  49. Dear Kelle, I discovered your blog and your family just yesterday.
    Reading the story of the birth of your beautiful daughter Nella… I cried. Tears of emotion.
    I am Italian. I am 31 years old like you when you were pregnant of your second daughter and two months ago I became mother of a sweet baby boy.
    I have a brother with the syndrome of Dawn, Lallo is his name.
    I love Lallo with all my heart and it could be impossible for me imagine a brother better than him. For this reason when I discovered to be pregnant I didn’t wanted to make the amniocentesis.
    Davide, my son, is sane and in health. He is not a Dawn boy, but if he was it we would have love him at the same way or maybe more. Anyway I can’t hide that when he was born I breathed a sigh of relief. All the parents want just the best for their babies! It would be hypocritical to deny it.
    I can imagine the pain, the dark moment of your soul at the beginning. Anyway, these special babies are a gift of the life. Maybe they arrive to teach us the beauty of the little things, better than anybody can do.
    I feel you near my heart…
    I voted for your blog… for the special person you are.. for your wonderful girls… for your beautiful photos.. for your words…
    A big hug

  50. Camping. In November. Sooooo, soooo jealous. In my neck of the woods it is -27 degrees farenheit as I type this (-33 celsius). I have to go to the grocery store, but I hate to step out of the house.
    Can’t wait to see more photos of this trip so I can live vicariously through you.

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  52. I think you deserve top blog for all those categories, not just special needs!! Your blog is such a wonderful mix, that is why we all love you and your girls!!

    You are a true inspiration!!

    Love your realness!!


  53. Voted for your wonderful blog! LOVE the photos :)

  54. Voted last night and today! Good luck, Kelle!

  55. This is my first time commenting… I L.O.V.E reading your blog! I can’t wait for your book and love your beautiful children and your outlook on life. The first thing I do after coming home from work (I am an oncology nurse and some days can be pretty rough) I read your blog. You are amazing! Looks like you guys had a blast camping.

  56. You are blessed with a BEAUTIFUL FAMILY and a beautiful life! I am HAPPY for you! What a great camping trip! LOVE guitars! 😀

    “One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.” ~Archibald Rutledge

  57. I finally clicked and voted. :)

    I just went ahead and bought a 6-man tent for our much larger than a 2 man tent that my husband and I had from when we camped pre-kids and am going to reserve a spot for May… you talked me into it.

    Great giveaway, too. :)

  58. Ah, camping. We did that last November. My boys were 2 1/2 and 11 months respectively. It was slightly nightmarish, especially when it dipped below freezing at night. I’m so glad your adventure was more on the wonderful side of things!

  59. …I meant to type “changing the WORLD, one post at a time” not word…ooops!

  60. I loved your girls’ version of a double stroller. Too cute!

  61. I’m digging the camping in dresses!

  62. You never cease to amaze me with your heartfelt words that are so touching…enjoying reading every minute of it, and love the pictures even more :)

  63. Just swooped in for a quick visit and dropped a few votes for your kick-ass blog……fingers (and toes) crossed. xo

  64. love your blog.. love your pictures.. love your inspiring story..

  65. Your blog is beautiful… It makes me so excited for when I have a family of my own. Thank you.


  66. Such cuties! And absolutely beautiful jewelry, what a cool sponsor.


  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Normally I don’t like camping, but these pics make it look fun. Maybe I will give it another chance now that I have a little one!

  69. Awesome as always. I am not sure how to vote for your blog this time I couldn’t find the list.
    I think the key to camping has to be sharing the work equally. We do love going to Lost Valley Lake and camping in a condo though. r

  70. That’s by far my favorite featured vendor yet! Love it.

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