Replenished.

It was a long day, the kind where nothing seemed to make its way off the to-do list.

Dishes, laundry, carpet stains, whiny spells all multiply while my patience depletes. I’m edgy, anxious, quick to bite and slow to forgive.

The sun sinks right as my awareness of my frustration rises.

“We’re going to the beach,” I declare.

Blankets are gathered. Suits are stashed. Carseats are buckled.

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We hit all four red lights on the way there. My jaw tenses, my fingers grip the steering wheel. I swear under my breath and plead with the sun to wait.

It does.

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We don’t say much to each other tonight. They are content without my coddling and I am breathing in the universe, releasing my stress onto the tide where the waves take it away.

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A man stands at the shoreline, still and bewitched by the pages of his book rather than by the great ball of fire that slowly falls against the canvas behind him. I make a mental note to add “Stand in the shoreline reading book at sunset” to the fabulous things I want to do someday.

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We are covered in coarse sand that sticks to our wet skin like salt on a pretzel. We dip our toes into the soft sand and watch as the sea foam bubbles over our buried feet.

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Sometimes it feels like I’m not enough, like I want to give so much but my reserves are low.

That’s part of loving too though…making it through the empty spots and finding ways to replenish the good.

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Feeling replenished.

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Three treats for you tonight…

A) Happy to announce the renewal of Tina Steinberg’s Sponsorship. I’ve raved about my fingerprint necklaces so much, but seriously…I adore them and everything they mean. A new favorite: feeding Nella and watching her reach up until she feels the edges of the charms…and she’ll clutch and twirl and rub her fingers against them until she’s asleep.

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They make a fabulous holiday gift and right now (until 11/30), Tina is offering complimentary additional inscription on the back of all Love Touch designs. Please order early to ensure holiday delivery (she also has gift certificates!) Thank you Tina! We are proud to represent you.

B) Jana Laurene, the artist that painted the portraits of Lainey and Nella in this post is offering a $50 discount on her commisioned paintings. She’s only selling 50 paintings, so yours will be one-of-a-kind (so get it fast!)

C) The giveaway winner for the $50 gift certificate for Lilian Eve Designs is Commenter #592, Gina: I so need something pretty to jazz up my boring tee’s and jeans this winter!

Gina, please e-mail your info to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net, and we’ll have your tees jazzed up in no time.

Oh, and thank you for voting for Enjoying the Small Things at The Bump. I’m sharing with all of you our honor as winner of Best Special Needs Blog. (Hollah!) ‘Cuz we all share the special need of drinking a nice cup of enjoyin’-the-small-things, eh? There really are so many amazing voices out there drawing awareness to special needs and showing that, regardless of abilities or disabilities, we share so much of the same challenges and dreams, so Hollah to them too. We’re all in this together.

With that said (ha ha), the ante’s apparently been upped and now we’re up for best overall blog award. Kinda like a spelling bee tournament. It’s Nationals, Baby. Again, happy to be considered…if you want to give a hollah, vote HERE (and you can continue to vote with the button on the sidebar).

With all that said (whew!), I’m taking my replenished soul to bed.

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Comments

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  1. As always, Lovin your posts!

  2. Loved, loved, loved this post. I know I’ve said this before, but I never fail to be inspired by your posts. Seriously.

  3. and sweet dreams Beautiful!

  4. I totally feel you on this! Great post and amazing pictures once again.

  5. love this post…nella gets cuter and cuter everyday..just want to eat her up

  6. I hear ya. Although I think we’re on opposite schedules. Today I got a huge to-do list done and was cheerful and patient and had tons of fun. Usually, when I have impatient, crabby, unproductive days, I’ll check your blog and you had a banner day. And it inspires me. But this one inspires me too, cause it’s good to hear such a great momma has days like this. Great pics…the ones of Lainey at the beach look so much like you!

  7. I totally understand anxiousness… I’m there too.

    Thanks for sharing, Kelle. :)

  8. Some of the most beautiful photos I have EVER seen. How can you not feel replenished after seeing that in person! WOW!

    And honestly, yes, I am (not-so) secretly glad to hear when other moms have those days too. Because sometimes it seems like I am having too many of them. But then I’ll have one great day (or even hour) and it will make up for all the other hours that suck!

    Here’s to feeling replenished! Love you, Kelle!

    Angela

  9. One day I will be within very close range of a beach, so that I too can just jump in the car for a refueling. The ocean is so many things to me and I can’t wait! Loving Nella in her fuzzy nubby hat on the beach.

  10. Beautiful as always! I have to say I learned my lesson when commenting on one of your posts though…I just started my blog about a month ago and yours was one of my first I’d found. I commented on one of your posts and hit that I’d like follow up comments. Wow! Never again…My e-mail BLEW UP for days just from the follow up comments…how do you keep up with them all? :) Love your blog.

  11. … And, by the way, nature replenishes me too. But because I’m not near the ocean, I let the trees in the forest near my childhood home fill me up again.

    Nature is amazing. I’m so glad you appreciate it for all it is and that you’re teaching your girls to do the same. You go, girl!

  12. Fyi I’m kind of in love with Nella.

    I can’t ever seem to be able to comment one those posts where you have hundreds of comments, but maybe this one will make it. Your blog makes me happy. Thank you.

  13. i wish i had a florida sunset to replenish myself…i so needed something like that today.

  14. I’m cryin’-the beach in November? Today, 50mph winds, leaves dry & blowing everywhere, clouds heavy with rain, dampness in the air..seriously, the beach in November??
    I love the pic of Lainey wrapped in her towel, gazing into the distance & the one of Nella, watching the waves, toes pointed like a little ballerina..ooh..they’re scrumptious!! Have a good night

  15. First. It’s good to know you’re still human. That you still have days where nothing gets done and you need a beach sunset to rejuvenate you. That sometimes you don’t feel like you’re enough. Because I’ll admit – you’ve had me fooled. There are nights were I ask Scot (my amazing husband) if our girls are ready for bed, if it’s too early, and he shoots me this look of, “Are you kidding? It’s 7pm. Of course it’s too early.” And I feel just awful.

    But they are what draws me out of bed in the morning. Their giggles and sweetness, and yes, even their challenging little souls that make me huff and puff and wonder how I will possibly handle the rest of my life as a mother of these wild little beings… And I’m happy. Truly.

    Also… Is it just me or is Nella turning the toddler leaf?! Every post you’ve made in the last month or so I’ve been astounded by her awareness and interaction and… well… Her zest for life. She must’ve got that from her Mama 😉 I so enjoy watching her discover the world and revel in it :) Thank you for sharing. She makes me feel alive.

    -Theresa

  16. Looks like you might have left a word out of this sentence below. Ha!

    I make a mental note to add “Stand in the shoreline reading (MY!!!) book at sunset” to the fabulous things I want to do someday.

    As in, your book, your name on the spine as the author! Now, that deserves a Hollah! So excited!!

    Jill B. (Overland Park, KS)

  17. Any momma who recognizes the need to “replenish” AND heads to the beach with her sweet girls to the replenishing, is actually doing “enough.” hug yourself.

  18. I was smitten with the photo of the reader on the beach and wondered…what lines, what narrative, what themes could call your eyes from the sinking, radiant orb to black words on white pages? What can rival the pure perfection of nature. And then I saw it in the silouettes of my girls against the setting sun. Their precious perfection, their little stacked chromosomes–eonugh and more than enough–present a beauty that makes me focus on the foreground rather than the horizon…and I am that reader standing in the crashing waves, lost in love. And I too am replenished. Our days weave stories if we can just open the book. And these are the stories of our life. Thank you for giving from your drained spirit…for it is in that giving we are all replenished. I love you. Sleep in peace. Tomorrow is being polished somewhere beyond that sunset, riding on a wave to you.

  19. Ha! Usually I’m commenter #9 billionth and something, woo hoo!I’m so jealous you can just head to the beach. The sound of the waves would do wonders for a stressed out mama, I would think. Although..that’s a lot of packing.. If you sold the picture of Nella looking out onto the water with her hat and dress.. I would buy it. Absolutely breathtaking. Get some rest, the greatest thing about having kids is that they are quicker to forgive us than we are ourselves. They will love you just as much, if not more, when you wake up and smile at you..and you’ll know that it’s a new day. I love being a mama! PS) You rock. Even rockstars miss a note every once in awhile :)

  20. 1. Similar wavelength again tonight. (I’m sorry to keep saying that, but I can’t seem to resist the urge when it strikes.)

    2. I can’t get enough of Nella’s feet. I am soothed with the knowledge that you reside in a warm climate, thereby increasing the number of months those puppies will be on display.

    3. Hello? Congratulations!

  21. On those draining days, ever find yourself turning away from the whiner/meany/tantrum storm of a child with a sigh. I sigh at those moments and catch myself and giggle at my own drama. I even caught my brother doing it with his twins this past weekend. Ha.

    Terrific blue sky shots. My friend Jana (a wonderful professional photographer) says that you never forget your first blue sky shot. I don’t care if it’s your 999th shot, they are still cool. I can’t wait to capture my first.

    Love seeing a man loving a book so much that he can’t put it down. That’s definitely a moment.

    Go to bed. Enjoy a time of quiet and renewal.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  22. Oh, how I enjoy reading your blog!
    I voted :)

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  24. So last night I had the most vivid dream with you in it… I was giving birth a couple of months ago but the ultrasound was wrong I was not having a girl “my Lanie” it was a Boy. They rushed him off right away to the nursery. When I Went to find my Baby they said we were wrong you did not have a girl and there is something else… He has Down syndrome. I collapsed I was in shock. I was walking down a long white hallway and there you were… Standing in a cute dress with a camera around your neck. You said lets walk back there together. We together can get through this. You already have once. Then you took pictures of him and I. I did not dream his name. I woke up the last thing I remember is you holding him and kissing him. It was so real there were tears on my face when I woke up. I guess I just want you to know I think so highly of you I was dreaming of you and that you are so very special to me and other women.

    PS. LOVE the pictures of the girls and the sunset.

  25. Ha, just thinking today how I should come up with a good blog post but I’m so tired and empty and my kids are taking all the words right out of my head right now. I need to go find my replenishment :). Thanks for this post.

  26. I had a day just like this… minus the beach :)
    Love that last picture!

  27. I think Nella has your toes. :)

    Congrats on the award! Definitely gonna vote for you!

  28. That picture of Nella with hand on the string of her knitted hat looking at the ocean? It takes my breath away.

  29. Mother nature is the best elixir for those late afternoon/early evening budgies… love your florida skies & beautiful beaches!

    Gorgeous photos as always… technical question for you… what settings do you use for those fabulous shadow shots as the sun goes down?

    Sweet dreams to you & yours.
    xo
    Kate

  30. okay, so DUDE, did we have the same day or what?!!!!

    i wrote about mine last night on my blog- it’s the last post i wrote…after one of THOSE days, i skiddadled over to the beach (3000 miles away from your beach)…because i was feeling at the end of my rope.

    you have a way of saying things that remind me that it’s okay to have THOSE days and that it doesn’t diminish the love i have for my girls either…

    xoxo,
    erika

    my blog is http://www.theurthmama.com

  31. I love those toes. I love how you honor both of your girls but as a Mom who’s daughter with DS is now 11 I crave those toes, little squished sausage toes. Sigh… even kids with delayed development grow up faster than you’d like when all is said and done.

  32. Thank you for this post. My RSS feed was empty and then your post popped up. I always look forward to reading your posts and seeing your photos. The following line hit home after 7 days of single parenting while my husband travels for work, “Sometimes it feels like I’m not enough, like I want to give so much but my reserves are low.”
    Glad you are replenished…maybe I need a trip to the beach.

  33. Aww, I love those two little front teeth!

    I had a similar day only it’s -15C and the roads are so bad we couldn’t make it to a couple of our intended destinations. Your pictures are gorgeous, though, and thanks for reminding me how lucky I am to be visiting Florida in January. Warm sandy beaches, here I come! :)

  34. I had one of those days last week. I paced the floor waiting for my husband to get home so I could just get in the car and go. I ended up going to Walmart and browsing. It’s hard to get your head clear when you’re constantly hearing, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” It was nice finally getting the chance to do so.

    And I agree with Angela. Sometimes it feels like I have a lot of those days, but then that day (or hour like she said) comes and makes it all better.

  35. the part on your post that jumped out to me was that sometimes you don’t feel like you’re good enough…I just turned 50 and I’m barely starting to feel that I am good enough. We just need to know that we are! We all do our best every single day and that is good enough!

  36. Congrats!!!

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  38. How I long to stand on that shore!! I have tried to throw my problems – my sorrows – into the crazy winds that we’ve been having up here. It seems to only be making things worse as they hit me full force on their way back with the cold wind behind em! I got another e-mail prolonging my move to Florida… and each and every time I see my eventual employers name in my inbox my heart stops knowing if it’s an e-mail it’s not good news – where texting is our normal means of communication. It seems that when I signed my employment agreement for the daycare I didn’t notice the clause that handed over the reins of my life to my boss… It seems after the holidays is the big move now! So let the countdown begin…. again!

    If I were you I would have those pictures of Lainey and Nella blown up and framed hanging from every wall in my house. They are absolutely, amazingly heart warming!! You’re one blessed mama for sure!
    As for reading during sunset – I’m proud and simultaneously ashamed to admit that I have done this. But I wasn’t reading another person’s work. I prepared for days before heading to Wiggins Beach writing what I was ready for the sun to set on – a long time need for a resolution with an ex, for insecurities and inadequacies I felt I had to list just a few of the things I read. I read each one to myself sitting just far enough from the water that just my toes were grazed when the tide rolled in. And when the last line was read I dug a shallow hole, threw in the paper and watched the water soak the paper until it was flimsy and torn – so the words were illegible – watched as the tide rolled out and the sun set over the gulf. I grabbed one little piece of paper that was still at the bottom of the hole, filled it back up with sand and walked away from everything I had to move on from… I got in the car feeling lighter and cleansed of burdens that had been holding me down for far too long – and for the first time looking down at the piece that I had salvaged from the hole. One word remained unscathed after all that — “love”. Unfortunately the only place on the paper that love was written was in the part about my ex… but I chose to take the word for itself and not in the context of which I had written it. Love had survived the ebb and flow of the gently lapping water … I try to remember that when times get hard – as long as you walk away with love you’ve got enough to carry on…

    ~Beth

  39. I have a bracelet that says “I am enough”. I wear it to remind me that even in my deficiencies God made me just the way I am…and that is enough.

  40. isn’t it healthy to be at wits end and knowing exactly how to balance and bring yourself back? Good on ya for finding your way to balance. If only we all had the sea at our fingertips. THose pink sunset pics rock dude! Good thing you were ready to snap because it brought about a perfect reason to get some of your best little portraits yet!

  41. WEIRD..I have been frustrated and edgy all day long! I just wanted to stomp away from it all and slam my bedroom door!! Nothing went right! I actually gave Gracee the day off from homeschooling because I was frustrating her with my shortness! I don’t get that way often but when I do get that way it kind of freaks her out and then I feel bad. So your words “making it through the empty spots and finding ways to replenish the good” are just so profound because even after our “out of sorts” day my girl still went and got “Lamb-a-roo” and we got back into the rhythm of our nightly winding down ritual of reading our book. She is now sleeping and I am calm and replenished…k..I must confess, I did have a tiny glass of wine just to encourage my “calm” a tad!

    Loved this post oodles and oodles…between your post and Heidi’s post this week, I am feeling very validated and we all need that every now and again. Congrats on the award..you deserve it. ♥

  42. we’ve had a week like this too. rough and tough. a trip to the beach is in order this weekend. can’t tell you how gorgeous the shots are of your girls this post. every pic is carefully crafted. hang in there. we’re all trying to climb back up the rope this week. :)

  43. I had a really tough day too. My 2 year old whined at every opportunity, our sewer line backed up pouring sewage in to our basement, etc etc. Good to remember God makes each day fresh. I have never commented but lurk often but I had to take the time to tell you that the picture of Nella (from the back) where she is steadying herself with her toes pointed absolutely took my breath away!!!

  44. I had a day similar to yours, list of to-do’s piled up high, overwhelmed and mental overload from trying to get it all done. All the forces of God’s green earth were working against me so I quit about halfway through the day and let it go. Cleared my mind and enjoyed my girls. I think I feel just as good tonight as I would if I had all those things done, maybe even better. Love your blog, your girls are precious. Hollah’d for you tonight on The Bump.

  45. looks beautiful! Glad you’re feeling better! :)

  46. Love the picture of the random guy reading a book. Wonder what he was reading? Sometimes when I see people driving down the road, I wonder where they are going? All of these lives racing around us. Crazy. We are hoping to go to the Imagine the Possibilities Conference in Philadelphia, PA in February. Most of the speakers are people with DS, and they are promoting inclusion in schools and awareness. Karen Gaffney is one of the speakers. If you haven’t heard of her, check her out. She swam the English Channel. I think it would be good for us to see/hear some of the amazing things they have done. I hope I can be one of these parents who helps my daughter reach for the stars and accomplish anything she wants. Thanks for sharing your down days too. Nice to know that everyone has them, but tomorrow is always a new day, full of promise.

  47. Oh man I had one of those days yesterday! The whining, the list of to do, short on patience and I went to bed with a “I blew it today feeling.” But we ran hard today, spending the day at a ranch, riding horses in a fresh dusting of snow, and my two sweet kids had a great day! I love how as a parent we can wipe the slate clean, jump in feet first, and turn feelings and days around. Sweet dreams!

  48. I’m reading “No Greater Love” by Mother Teresa, on the back of the book is one of her quotes that fits many of my days:
    “What we need is to love without getting tired. How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. What are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting. Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there; He is in you. Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize Him” Beautiful, no?

  49. Kelle thank you. I needed this today.

  50. Do you share where you get all the knitted caps on your littlest dolly? My Granddaughter needs some, I’m sure! ;D

  51. i need that sunset in my life. like now. i think that one or two nights of that might just replenish me for the year. gorgeous.

  52. Your pictures are just MAGICAL tonight … especially the one of Nella from the back. The beach is the most calming place I know, too! Breathe!

  53. TO FEAS613 Beth – Oh, Beth – I just was so touched by what you wrote! Truly. Congrats to the latest winner of the giveaway! KELLE, I love reading about your needing replenishment, as we all deal with that. ANd trust me, you are enough, and do enough (and more!). Rest and replenish. RIK – oh, poppa, you just always so reach in and tug at my heart! Love you..** KELLE – i know many asked, and i didnt see if you responded, but IF you can, on your last post- you showed the cutest pajamas. Can you tell us where to get them?? Thanks and love to you and yours. – Your blog mama

  54. just wanted to say i’m in love with these pictures.

    I’m STILL reading every post, even if I don’t comment on them. I kinda get intimidated by 300+ comments and just save you a few lines to read. lol

    Congrats on winning the blog award lets hope you’ll win the overall blog award too! (I’m voting!) :)

  55. Ahhhhh! we always post such similar emotions!! And, these pictures are all beautiful! Lainey is looking very grown up!!!!

  56. Ugh, those are such difficult days!!!! But the beach will always be beautiful and refreshing!

  57. Particularly loving your images tonight…so calm and serene. And I’ve had the same kind of day…except mine has extended over the last two weeks. Looking forward to the weekend!

  58. Oh I hear ya on this one. The pace of the days seem to spiral out of control before I can even get out of my jammies. I huff and puff at the simplest task and my body aches from rushes of adrenaline. So after a morning of this I find a $50 parking ticket on my car for being on the wrong side of the street. Where is my brain? I’ve lived in this hood for 13 years. Then later I run over the median in the road because I’m not paying attention, no damage done though. All that being said I feel blessed for the run in with a sweet little 7 year old girl at our lunch destination. She was disabled from some sort of accident, so her 12 year old sister told us, and couldn’t speak much or walk. My son didn’t notice what she was lacking he only noticed that she smiled and said “hi” and he asked if she wanted to be friends. She couldn’t answer him to his knowledge and asked me why she didn’t. She did I said because she smiled at you. Her sister confirmed this by telling him that she gave him “sugars” (a smacking with her lips) and that meant that she liked him. Just like that they were all friends and my son and the older sister shared stories about having little sisters. Touching to say the least. Just that simply I’m reminded of the fragility of life and all it’s beauty. Then I get your wonderful post tonight and the huffs and puffs are replaced with sighs of care and tenderness for a family I’ve never met (yours), a family that I probably only saw today and today only, and all the other families out there dealing with their stories. I think I will have to take my littles to the beach tomorrow for sunset. Ahhh…sigh and smile. Thank you Kelle.

    Lisa in CA

  59. I like those 2 Nella teeth and how her little toesies point right down into the sand. And somedays our flag is just a little frayed and so just hold it high…

  60. We all have those days kelle. Either you wake up feeling like it’s just going to get worse, or something happens to start a snow ball, but…I bet even Superman woke up on some days and was like “crap, not even my awesome ability to fly will make this day any better”. But that’s okay too. Because after we have this not-so-good day, or we snap a little too harshly at our loved ones, we come back the next day, replenished and ready to forgive and forget easily.

    You have taught me that with good must come the bad, or at least the stuff we don’t always want to do/don’t like. But I’m also starting to see that those are great things about life too, in there own frustrating ways.

    You made it through Hump Day, girl. You got this.

    Also, your girls will wake up tomorrow with smiles on their faces and they won’t remember that you were quick to snap. They love you no matter what. (:

  61. Living life to the fullest has never looked so beautiful!

  62. HOLLAH!! You won The Bump’s contest!!! I knew you would! Woot woot! So happy for you all. And also too tired to post any further comments. Congrats!

  63. This was my day yesterday. Tired, grumpy, stressed, anxious, a million things to do and a tantruming 20 month old little boy.. It’s kind of nice to hear that you have days like this too :)

    Both the girls are getting so big!
    Hope your day is better tomorrow :) xx

  64. Holla!!! Congratulations, girl, and I so voted for you again for overall!! Rock the vote, baby!! I won today too! In the housing market that is. New house, baby, here I come! I think I have now exceeded my daily limit for exclamation points!!! Okay, maybe the week or even the month!!! It’s an exciting day!

  65. I am so having the same feeling. Maybe it’s time for refueling?

  66. Thank you, Kelle! x

  67. Love the sunset picture.

  68. what a perfect antidote to ‘one of those days’ needed to do the same today and wish I did. Instead going to bed tired grumpy and not having won any mother of the year awards today. Big sleep and a new day thankfully. Thanks for some perspective and encouragement. And beautiful photos of your gorgeous girls bathed in sunset so lovely x

  69. Your photos are so beautiful…how can you stand not having every single one plastered to your walls like wallpaper? There are too many…just too many wonderful moments captured and if it were me, I would have a very hard time not printing them all up and displaying them somewhere in my home :) My favorite in this series is the one with Nella on the blanket, with the toy in her mouth, looking off to the side. I don’t know what it is about that one, but I just love it :)

    How lucky your girls are that you live so close to the beach. I live about 15 minutes away (driving in a car) and really, I should just drop everything and go…just like you do…when things gets tense around here.

    Thanks again for the inspiration :)
    xoxo

  70. VOTED! I hope you win! And I just want to thank you for blogging because your posts got me thru some rough times and with your encouraging words I was able to wipe off my tears and love my first born with DS to death!

    He is almost 6 months and I can’t wait for him to sit and get his little chompers too! :)

    Gosh, I feel like I have told you that often, but dangit whenever I read a new post I get little flash backs and realize how much I needed those blog words and still do, they rock! so thanks again and again and probably a few more times in the future!

  71. would you mind sharing what camera setting you use to get those wonderful silhoutte shots. Do you turn your flash off and set something?

  72. Oh Kelle,
    somehow your posts always seem to synch in with how I’m feeling, or the kind of day I’m having with my two little ones. As always, I find your thoughts inspiring and just what I need as a gentle reminder that life is grand, and I am spoiled with love and a wonderful blessed life, despite the sleepless nights, the odd tantrum and of course that pile of washing that never manages to get itself folded!
    A big fan from Australia,
    Eira

  73. Wow what an amazingly beautiful post!

  74. Thought you might like this video! I first heard this song on your blog and now it’s one of my favorites…it’s this little guy’s favorite too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnBau6fL8S8&feature=share
    There are many things I love about your blog and your song list is one of them! My husband and I often play it during dinner parties.

  75. i had just such a day where patience was wearing very thin, but i don’t have a beach to run to and replenish! looks awesome. congrats on your award!

  76. Love it! :-)

  77. Oops! I missed the Christmas jammie question. They’re from Old Navy. Ready for this? They’re on clearance for (drum roll)….$10!! They are lovely in person.

    http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=6297&vid=1&pid=795876

  78. I think I might add to my bucket list also: Read a book while standing at the water’s edge at sunset.

    It’s just random enough for me!

  79. I think I might add to my bucket list also: Read a book while standing at the water’s edge at sunset.

    It’s just random enough for me!

  80. That would replenish me any day! Thanks for sharing.

  81. Your photography and words cut me deep and it makes me sit back and look at the small things. I loved the pic of the man reading the book. I am starting to look at the little “looks” Wyatt gives me or way he runs or studies things. Thank you for making me see these things.

    Lara

  82. Yay yay yay!!! Loved the post and I am expectant to have that same replenishing vibes in just two weeks when we put our toes in the sand and dip in the warm Gulf! After being away from Fl for a year, I am yearning to feel the soft warm air again. I can’t wait to view the beach from my children’s eyes… Ahhh bliss.

    And my ever so favorite beach tip for cleaning up? Baby Powder! Just rub it on your kids (and you too!) and the sand just melts off and your skin is baby soft! Lifesaver. Seriously.

  83. Can I just tell you how jealous I am that you are at the beach in NOVEMBER??!! I haven’t been to the beach for many, many years…over 10. Probably closer to 15. At least. (I’m 25.) My hubs has never been to the beach! I sit here in Ohio, it cold, foggy & rainy today…I used to hate winter, until I had kids. But now, my son gets so excited when it snows, that I seriously cannot wait until it snows. A friend of mine always says “It feels like we’re in a giant snowglobe.” And it does. May not be the beach, but it’s magical nonetheless.

  84. Thanks for reminding me even people living beautiful lives sometimes have whiny kids. :) I needed that.

  85. 2 of my favorite photos of your ever! the one of Nella watching the waves holding onto the string of her hat. And the one of Lainey with the blanket over her shoulders w/ the sweet bow in her hair. How ever do you pick what to frame in your house?!! :)

  86. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the picture of Nella, where she is sitting with her side to the camera, looking out into the ocean! Awesome photo!

  87. Does anyone else want to trade a moment in time with that guy reading the book?? I’ve been (loudly) hinting at the fact that I’d love a Tina Steinberg piece (or two) for xmas and birthday…hopefully when I forward your latest post to the husband, he’ll be inspired. Lindsey gives a big hollah to Nella and hopes she’s looking forward to Turkey day!

  88. Hi Kelle!! A friend introduced me to your blog about two weeks ago and I have to say I am in LOVE!! Each morning after getting my girls breakfast I make up a cup of coffee and hungrily and greedily go to your blog to read your posts. Each day your words make me want to be a better mom to my two girls (about the same age as your two beauties). I could completely empathize with your post today, this week I have been feeling the need to be replenished, my nerves have been frayed and my patience has been low. THANK YOU for reminding me that there are days like this for all moms. You inspire me!!

  89. beautiful pics! one of these days i am going to show up on your sunny doorstep with 2 little boys, it’s snowing already in MN! huge to you, we had a week like that last week.

  90. It’s like you take my thoughts right out of my head..although you are much more fluid and inspirational at writing them on paper. I wish I had a beach to go to at the end of the night…:)

  91. This was an inspiring very honest post… I loved every single word and picture… surprisingly I went to bed last night with a replenished soul as well, coming from very different but very marvelous sources, we are in sync girl :)

  92. Absolutely love the pictures of Nella nursing. Love the feeling of soft little finger massages while they comfort themselves to sleep. Beautiful

  93. I totally understand this statement “Sometimes it feels like I’m not enough, like I want to give so much but my reserves are low.” I am a mental health therapist for adults with developmental disabilities. Then I go home to my 20 month old son and my husband. I just have nothing left at the end of some days. Man do I wich I had the beach and the ocean nearby to replinish me. Thanks for sharing your beach with a midwesterner.

  94. I think your kids are getting cuter by the day. Just sayin’.

  95. Hi…this is my first time leaving a comment on your blog. I read your article in Parents and admired your strength and honesty. Now I journey to your blog daily and feel like I am reading a wonderful book that never ends. Your words inspire me to be a better mother, woman, friend, and enjoyer of life! Other than your magical words and your beautiful babes, another thing I enjoy so very much from your blog is WHERE your quilt will show up!!! I’ve seen it used inside on the floor, outside on the grass, as a tablecloth (my personal favorite), and now on the beach! I love it! It’s become my own fun game of Where’s Waldo. Thank you for brightening my day every day!!

  96. These are some of your most poignant photos yet. The profile of Lainey is gorgeous. Next to your birth story of Nella, I think this is my most favorite post. Beautiful!

  97. sunset pictures <— !!!

  98. What amazing photography. Your daughters are gorgeous and you capture it beautifully.

  99. these are some of your most beautiful photos I’ve seen! seriously..breathtaking. maybe it’s because I am so in love with the ocean. but I must say your daughters are exquisite.

  100. I know exactly what you mean about not feeling like enough sometimes. With three little ones myself and working full time I feel that way more often than I care to write here. But each night when I check on them before I snuggle into bed myself I say this prayer: God please heal the difference between the love they received today and the love they needed.

    And every morning I am woken with hugs and kisses and “good morning Mommy” and I know my prayer was heard or that for once there was no difference between what they needed and what they were given.

    {{Hugs}} from one Mom to another.

  101. HI there,

    I just wanted to let you know that the other day I was out shopping and saw a lady with her little who had Down’s. Normally I would avoid eye contact so not to make her think I even noticed that her babe was any way different then any other. This time, because of you and your blog, I looked her right in the eye and told her how sweet her baby was. She gave me the biggest smile and said a heart felt “Thank you”. Now I’m saying thank you to you, for setting me straight.

  102. Kelle,
    I have only commented a couple times but I wanted to let you know how much your blog has meant to me. 1 week ago we found out our 3 year old son has autism. I know it’s not the same as DS but maybe that doesn’t matter. We both have hopes for our children and challenges ahead. If I hadn’t beeen reading your blog for the last 6 months I’m not sure I would’ve handled this news with as much grace. Following your lead I’m keeping my head held high and my heart full of hope. I’m determined to enjoy the small things. Like the kisses and hugs he gives me.

    Your photos are beyond gorgeous and I love this set. They are so dreamy and I can smell the ocean and feel the warm breeze.

  103. Do your girls ever cry or throw temper tantrums??!?!!! Or are they as perfectly behaved as they look? LOL

  104. Sorry you had that kind of day but glad you were able to get your stress out and feel rejuvenated. Hopefully today is a better day! :) xo

  105. Horray for you!

    Did you notice that their “vote for me” blog button looks like a cartoon image of you and Nella??
    (Well, if you and Nella didn’t have faces, that is… 😉

    Good luck! You touch so many people, a blog award is the least they can do. :)

  106. Kelle,

    Thanks for keeping it real. It’s not all rainbows & sunshine. Sometimes it’s sunsets & darkness, too. I’d love to know what other blogs you read that resonate with your soul.

    XO
    KK

  107. I think the next time I need replinished I’m going to head to the sands of the nearby lake, it would do some good battery charging of me I’m sure!
    Love, love, love this post!

  108. beautiful!!!

  109. Goodness, it’s a comforting thing to read that we ALL have days like this. I actually breathed the words, “I’m a terrible mother…” to my husband this morning when my sweet two-year old said “hit you” as I tried to calm him back to sleep. Wow. I was ruined for the rest of the day. He cried and screamed and generally threw the worst tantrum ever, but ended it by saying, “mommy I need you,” and “mommy, I dreamed about you last night.” But despite these things that under normal circumstances would make me cry tears of joy, I sat stone faced and unsmiling. I just couldn’t do it. Not even for a sweet child. And that’s when I uttered those words to my husband. And even though I secretly know we all have moments of utter emptiness and guilt-ridden adult tantrums, I still feel rotten. So, long story short, thanks for a reminder that we’re all there sometimes. It’s certainly reassuring. The sun will come out again tomorrow – I’ll start over then. After a nice glass of red and an afgan on the couch. Cheers from Chicago…

  110. Oh I so know how you feel…sometimes we just need to drop everything and go refuel! Your photos are amazing! :)

  111. Whenever I need a pick-me-up (which I do today and it’s only 11am) I come here to read your inspiring words and see the beauty that is life. It reminds me to be thankful for all the wonderful little things and to let go of the gray, ugly things. So thank you for that today, I needed a little color :-)

  112. Loved your post today … just what I needed to hear – it is normal to have days like that!
    Congrats on the blog award – well deserved!
    Just something I would like to share with you: My daughter was born with a deformed arm/hand and a dear cousin of mine brought it to my attention that she is not disabled but ‘differently abled” – what an awesome mind change that brought to the way I handle my daughter and others with different abilities!!

  113. I love love love the picture of Lainey with the towel wrapped around her. It’s breath taking!

    I want to share a poem by Danna Faulds

    Let it go
    “Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold; the holding of plans or dreams or expectations — Let it go. Save your strength to swim with the tide. The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for. Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders. Take this on faith: the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward nonetheless. Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.”

  114. I love love love the picture of Lainey with the towel wrapped around her. It’s breath taking!

    I want to share a poem by Danna Faulds

    Let it go
    “Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold; the holding of plans or dreams or expectations — Let it go. Save your strength to swim with the tide. The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for. Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders. Take this on faith: the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward nonetheless. Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.”

  115. Thank you so much for putting into words what I feel sometimes – but am ashamed to admit. You do it so wonderfully and eloquently. I have been replenished too – isn’t it great? :)

    Kudos on the awards!

  116. I have been feeling the same way all week. This post spoke directly to me, and I needed that! I think I am going to make a long list of things that I am thankful for to replenish. Man, I love lists. Feeling better already!!!

  117. Sweetest Nella…

    That perfect little face fills my soul, warms my heart and never fails to make me smile :)

    She IS wonderment!

    xxx

    ps thanks for sharing the joys of motherhood, even on days that seem a little stressful. I call that “keepin’ it real” and its beautiful in its own right :)

  118. I can’t believe you have this stunning and varied natural world within such easy reach (4 stop lights). Beach and forests and fields.

    I love being by the water and so get how it replenishes. The girls are beautiful!

    I hope one day you’ll put some of your images on cards and sell them.

  119. Congrats on the bump award Kelle. I just voted for you for best overall :)

    I can see the emotion in your photos in this post. Absolutely beautiful! I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I am having a tough day full of the mundane and frustrating tasks that are so necessary but tough, I look at my littles and am reminded of how blessed I am. I’m reminded of the beautiful and amazing future that lies ahead of us, and I am so thankful.

    Yesterday was a one of those days for me, and seeing these photos reminds me of how beautiful life is, and that I need to open my eyes to take in all of that beauty.

    Beautiful post Kelle. Thanks for sharing your heart and giving us all a much needed reminder to take it all in.

  120. I feel like this… often… love your beach pictures… amazing how the beauty all around can take our breaths away!

  121. This post makes me want to move to Florida! I’d kill to go to the beach to de-stress right now. It’s so darn cold here though that you don’t even want to be outside, let alone by the water. Lovely photos (as usual!)

  122. We don’t live near a beach. But we do live near a beautiful park nestled at the edge of our city…We have lived here for 3 years and just discovered this treasure! It breaks my heart a little when I think about it. In the park there is this expansive field (almost half a mile long) edged with woods on one side and marshes and creek on the other. The grass is the perfect kind for flopping down and watching clouds. And on hot days there are two clumps of oak trees that you can sit under. It is my refreshing place. We just got home from there a bit ago. After a long teething night we needed OUT. We walked the paths, played in pine needles. Collected leaves and watched clouds.

    It’s amazing what those places do to refresh you! Thank you again for your blog. I actually thought of you when the girls melted down 3/4’s of a mile from the car…It’s all part of the experience, no?

  123. Kelle,
    i was just thinking the same thing. I do so much and somethimes get worn out. In those times I just leave it all there on the floor and go outside to enjoy nature. In our case it is the mountains of our little college town. Something as simple as doing homework in a park makes me feel so much better. I was about to get some chores done and thought…let me see what Kelle is up to…your little blog helps replenish me : ).

  124. Lainey looks so very grown up in these photographs, and I am so wishing I lived closer to a westward facing beach!

  125. Oh Kelle . . . I find so much joy in reading your blog . . . you’re such a great mom!

  126. I am so glad I found your blog. You are an amazing writer. An amazing photographer. An amazing mother.

  127. How do you always know just what to say when I so need to hear it. Thank you for being so honest. I constantly feel like I’m pulled in so many directions, I’m not giving anyone enough. And when my patients runs short, I feel like a total failure. Sometimes I think “Kelle Hampton would not snap at her kids like this”. So, thank you for reminding me that I AM normal and am truly doing the best I can. Oh, and I’m a pretty good momma anyway. :)

  128. Congrats on your award! Just voted for the best overall blog award too!

    Love your girls, North by Phoenix and this: “…I am breathing in the universe, releasing…” Breathing is such a powerful tool. It connects us with the essence of our being. Difficult emotions dissipate with conscious breathing (spine straight, eyes and mouth closed, inhaling and exhaling through nose) because concentrating on the breath enables us to refocus our attention inward. Deep belly breaths help us ground ourselves and regain our usual calm. And, if we add a smile, it will help us relax the three hundred + muscles in our face. :)

    “…Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle…Divine am I inside and out…” ~Walt Whitman

  129. My thoughts, your words. Thank you for reading my mind and writing about it so perfectly :) Breathtaking pictures…again. Well done.

  130. what an amazing way to switch gears on a tough day. thanks for sharing

  131. YES!!! Thank you for this post Kelle. I just had a baby on Nov 5th and I am struggling to balance the newness of it all with a uncooperative, 2 1/2 year old at home as well. Yesterday, I lost my patience more than once, had a good cry and pulled it together just in time to enjoy the evening with both my my girls and my husband. I hate bad days so it is good to hear that you have them also! Here’s to more good days. Thanks for being real!

  132. maybe he, the man reading on the shore at sunset, was saying a prayer of thanksgiving by reciting from the book

  133. I needed this so today. Mu hubby and I are leaving tomorrow for our first weekend away from our kids…EVER. In 6 years!. My patience is at an all time low and I just want to get out of here. Thanks for reminding me how great “the small things” are. LOve this blog!
    dizzyhappymama.blogspot.com

  134. So glad to hear I am not the only one who loses patience. How wonderful to remind us how special our kids are and time with them is. Thank you!

  135. Voted for you, Kelle!

  136. the good news.. although frustrated you still brought your camera and captured the beauty that is your life – now that is love mama!

    nothing captures it better than that picture with the sun going down and both your girls got their arms out accepting whatever comes their way..

    all of us moms are there or have been there Kell – and we still feel the love.. just. like. you.!

  137. Those days…oh, those days…

    Here’s to being refueled!

  138. Good for you for knowing when to refuel. I live near the beach (on the other coast) and I hardly ever allow myself to go…it’s a huge waste really. I am going to change that.

    The photos in this post are wonderful.

    You touched my heart again.

  139. ,,,i’m thinking the man who was reading the book, at the edge where land meets water was enjoying both his book AND the sunset,,,

  140. Gosh, I wish I could have you and Nella and Lainey and your boys and hubby to Ottawa for Thanksgiving Dinner! Our kids would have so much fun and I would just love talking to you over a glass of wine while our littles play. Thanks for your post…it reminds me that other mamas struggle too!

  141. Kelle, I don’t know how you can continue to create such touching posts. I’m moved and inspired and reminded to truly enjoy the small things. THANK YOU.

  142. I need a beach. *sigh*
    Another post that hits right at the core of my emotions today. :)

  143. Though I know it somewhere in my heart already it is soooo so good to be reminded that I’m not the only mother who sometimes feels like she isn’t enough. Thank you for the encouragement, I feel a little less alone. :)

  144. ps. You need to stop getting so many awesome sponsers. I need a bigger wallet. It’s torture to look at them all and not buy anything! lol.

  145. I really love your blog. You make me want to be a better mom. Not sure if I’ve mentioned that before. Also as another mamma fighting for her baby please check out my blog for yesterday, National Preemie Awareness Day. http://girlmeetscamera.blogspot.com/2010/11/fight-for-preemies.html

  146. We’ll never meet, you and I. I will see you only through these pages, through your photos and the bright love which shines through photos and words.

    But you’ve somehow replenished ME, in the last while. I had been very fond of a wonderful website on which one harsh young woman began to dominate the voices of all the other very good women writers. She wrote with fists and hammers and mean-girl words which demeaned fellow writers and readers alike, blasting out at readers and answering their comments with such sharp, angry rebuttals that they gave up and went away. And so withered away the entire website.

    Only in her appearance and her intelligence did she slightly remind me of you, simply in that you’re both extremely sharp, intelligent young women, and vaguely alike in appearance—nice figure and wonderful hair and lovely clothes—but her manner did, indeed, make you feel as if the schoolyard bully HAD stolen your candy at recess.

    And now—your sweet words and kindness and bright outlook and gracious manner have absolved and erased and covered over those unpleasant things–with your absolutely fierce love and caringness, your portrayal of every day and the everyday in some weird combination of plain talk and magic which are fascinating and soothing all at once.

    Being smart and writing well are of them selves a talent, but using them wisely and well in making your audience of readers live it with you, and WANT TO—that’s another thing entirely, and where you most excel.

    Please know that I appreciate you so much, and join your hordes of admirers in dropping by every day to see what’s going on with you and your family. I’m so glad you chose to share your days, for they are joyful and wonderful, and we all need more joy and wonder.

    Thank you,

    rachel

  147. You always know exactly what to say to lift me up. =)

  148. My 2nd grader & I read your Blog for homeschooling! We loved the sunset (we dream of living on the beach)So after Today’s Blog she said “Daddy has to get a job at The Beach!” Looking at your sunset made us warm ..cause it’s 50 here!

  149. Kelle,
    Such beautiful pictures!
    Love the photo of Lainey kissing Nella.
    What a cool way to read a book by the edge of the waves at sunset.
    xo

  150. This line:
    “Sometimes it feels like I’m not enough, like I want to give so much but my reserves are low.”
    is exactly how I feel today. Not enough. Beaten up by the world and by fighting for the best for my boys.

  151. wow. thank you for sharing your heart. these photos are amazing and your children will cherish them for years to come.

  152. I am going to tuck this post away for when I need the extra lift on days like that. You? Are a very powerful writer and I enjoy reading your blog every chance I get. Thank you for being so honest.

  153. just beautiful pictures!!
    glad you are taking time to have a “moment”. someday you will stand at the shorebreak and read. i am there and i miss the kid days terribly!!

  154. “Sometimes it feels like I’m not enough, like I want to give so much but my reserves are low.

    That’s part of loving too though…making it through the empty spots and finding ways to replenish the good.”

    … This speaks to me, I almost feel like I wrote it! Thank you for being so honest, it makes me feel better knowing other Mom’s feel that way too!

  155. Oh, how I wish the beach was within my reach on days like these…LOVE, love, love the picture of Nella from the back near the water. So sweet!

  156. Life gets better when we can take a break and just breath!

  157. What a lovely photos and beautiful children you have!

    http://momfashionworld.blogspot.com/

  158. Can’t say anything more than all the wonderful things already said. You entries and photos never cease to amaze me! Blessings!

  159. I needed this post today on a dreary, blustery, Michigan Thursday. I’m living the sunset through you. Thanks. XO

  160. Congratulations on the award, I’m heading to vote for you again and again. I draw inspiration from your blog every time I visit.

  161. As frustrating as it can get sometimes, consider this… you guys are at the BEACH in November!! I am so jealous! And second, I am really excited that I saw this because I just wrote a post on my blog about a bucket list for the “lay mom”… I’m totally adding reading a book on the beach during sunset to the list! Thanks :)

  162. Hi Kelle, this is my first time commenting, although I’ve been following the blog since shortly after Nella was born. I just want to thank you so much for your blog. It is such a wonderful ‘pick me up’ and you are a great role model for parents….scratch that….for EVERYONE! P.S. I love the music you post!

  163. ‘like salt on a pretzel’
    that alone is just awesome….except now would be so good to have a hot pretzel straight from a somewhat shady carnival 😉
    Wonderful post as i had the same day, sans the beach. With temps just above the freezing mark…sand and surf are out.

  164. Love your posts. Love Nellas hat, whereever did you get it?

  165. See, this is why you live in Florida for the winter- so that while here in Washington we’re experiencing a half inch of snow, you can fly to the beach with your worries and not get the tip of your nose frozen off. ^_^

  166. LOVE THIS POST!! I almost touch those kids, your kids. It’s like your photo touches our soul. In love:0
    happy health pad

  167. Oh, to live only 4 stop lights from the beach. That could be a book title. I used to live in Manhattan Beach, CA and I get the pull to the ocean to soak up that calming feeling. It is something about the vastness, smell and feel of the ocean at sunset. That and looking at Malibu in the distance:) Loved Nella’s “toofers”. susan

  168. Oh what wonderful shots you were able to take. They have a calm, relaxing feel to them. So pretty!! I wish I lived close enough to a beach to use it as you did this evening…what a beautiful way to end a day!!

  169. TO Birdie3008- Oh, how I just LOVE, LOVE, that prayer! That is surely a ‘keeper’. Thank you SO much!!

  170. A couple of things..

    1. Thanks for keepin’ it real. You choose what to put out there and I appreciate your honesty.

    2. The picture of Lainey with the towel is breath taking…and yes I meant to separate that word.

    3. If I were Kelle Hampton I would have the walls of my house covered with photos from ceiling to floor. Seriously, how do you choose what to frame???

    4. And finally, your dad’s comment…love, love, love!

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

  171. ** KELLE , thanks for the info on the jammies! ALSO, maybe i missed info posted from you but i think several asked abouto the great knitted caps for your daughters, where you get them? Thanks!

  172. I read all your updates but haven’t commented in a while because I sometimes I problems with the comment form. We’ll see how this goes…

    Anyhoo, I feel this is me all. the. time. The impatience, the gripping of the steering wheel. *sigh* But yes, it all comes with the territory, and I wouldn’t trade my two littles for anything in the world.

  173. needed this. hoping for some replenishment today or this weekend….

    beautiful pictures of your beautiful girls. and i love the way nella loves your necklace…that’s so sweet.

  174. These are some of my FAVORITE photos of yours. Beautiful work. You inspire me on the daily to pick up my camera and capture my child in the moments that slip away all too quickly. Thank you.

  175. i’m hoping my readers will jump on board and vote for your family….

    i’ve asked….so i hope your numbers sky rocket!
    you deserve this award !!!

    and that beach….what tease. we’re supposed to get snow next week….yikes.

  176. Congratulations!
    And I just can’t get enough of Nella’s little pointed toes.. I love it.

  177. voted! I hope you win! Your blog is truly a treasure! BTW love Nella’s crocheted hat!

  178. I was glad to see you way in the lead when I voted. No one comes close to you–you are the best!

  179. I find a nice rest and a revitalizing moment here.
    I love these photos and think you are really gifted.
    You are also very wise.

    Thanks!

  180. oh sigh. You have a beautiful blog. I could look at your photos all day long.

  181. I need a BIG cup of that sunset right now… Canadian Prairie livin’ is grand – big skies, slow pace, mmmm… but just got our first storm of the season & I know I, for one, would relish the feel of sand between the toes and warm water to wash away the stresses & pressure of life.

    And those necklaces = rad.

  182. Found your site through “be yourself…everyone else is taken” and never so glad I did. I love your blog, your children are precious! And your photos, I could waste my day away, just gazing at them! I voted and the results show you in the lead! I wish you much luck!

    I am absolutely in LOVE with the fingerprint pendants. Wow, what a fantastic idea! <3 MK

  183. Hello –

    I’ve recently stumbled upon your lovely blog, lovely photos, and lovely family. You’ve been bookmarked and I look forward to reading more about your life (I do feel weird saying that…)

    -Ashley

    P.S. Nella’s Birth Story was so beautiful. The honesty made it even more touching. Thanks for sharing.

  184. I voted and shared the link on Facebook. I hope you do win Kelle because you deserve it. ♥

    We all share those moments of depletion. There are days of mommyhood when I think someone played a terrible joke on me and proclaimed me “mommy”. But I don’t wanna go back to the days when I would never had heard my son proclaim that I was “the goodest mommy evah!”

    Your photography just takes me away…I love it!

  185. Ok, pretty please tell us where you got nella’s hat from… I’m in love, and want one under our Christmas tree for my sweet girl!

  186. once again I am in awe … in awe of your love of life, your photography, your beautiful girls.

  187. You make me long for the beach…getting cold in Michigan!

  188. These pictures are great! the girls are beautiful!

  189. Oh I love that photo of that man on the beach reading his book in the surf. I know you crave the cold, blowing, gray days I have but know that I crave bare toes in sugary sand. I read book under a down comforter and quilt in flannel sheets and it still takes a bit to warm. You read books in the ocean. It just means we have to visit each other more.

  190. I just wanna say I love your blog. I love the way you write, I love your photos and your girls are adorable. I always feel uplifted when I read your posts. thanks you!

  191. I love how you bring that blanket every where!!!

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