I Am.

Last year, for my birthday post, I sat down at the closing of a quiet year to write these very words:

(pulled from post December 30, 2009)
It’s taken me awhile to grasp it all, but I have finally arrived at the grown-up place of life is what you make it and there are lots of things in life we go through that aren’t comfortable or ideal, but they could be so incredibly worse, and a simple life of comfort does nothing to change us, mold us, make us into better, stronger more beautiful versions of ourselves…I have been reminded so much these past couple weeks of just how wonderfully blessed we are and the older I get, the more I embrace change as opportunity to learn just what I am capable of.

I am capable of so much. And I am excited at the opportunity of new challenges, more love…

Perhaps I had been planted for too long and this little bit of discomfort will challenge me, in my thirty-first year, to push myself more toward new chapters in the story of our life.

They will be good chapters.
…it’s surreal to know in just a matter of a few weeks, we will know her and our lives as we know it will be changed for good.

A month later, 2010 truly began when I was again transformed by the beautiful miracle of pushing out a tiny pink body, slippery and smooth, in a defining moment that seared my soul.

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Sometimes I wonder if somewhere within me, there was a part of me that knew, a part of me that was preparing all along for the beautiful new journey our family would begin.

This year has been extraordinary.
This year has been painful.
This year has been enlightening.
This year has unearthed hidden treasure within me.

One year later, I am here.

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I feel blessed and content and excited to be writing a new and better story for our family.

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I’ve gone to write this post about four times, and I felt inadequate every time. Because there’s just so much.

And it’s not just that this “big” thing happened to us. Down syndrome is nothing compared to other defining moments that shift the worlds of so many. Many of you have had much more dramatic jolting moments of truth that began beautiful stories.

It’s more than that.

And I don’t even really know what it is.

But this year, I have uprooted the deepest beliefs within me. I have questioned everything. I have spent hours thinking in the shower, driving in the car, lying in bed at night while everyone else sleeps. I have pushed myself to be more, to see more, to do more.

And I have arrived not in a world of answers but in a world of good questions. Questioning is good. It draws the best from us. It calls us to action. And somewhere, amid the action, I’ve realized the answers aren’t even important anymore. Because where I am feels good. I am learning. I am striving to be more. I am loving, and that alone makes me happy.

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I love to love.

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She’s giving me a butterfly kiss. And I’m loving it.


My world felt a bit shaken earlier this year, but slowly, it rebuilt. Strong and mighty.

And I am grateful for all the amazing mintues this year gave me. All 525,600 of them.

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Sunset, Isle of Capri. You have no idea how happy my heart was at this moment.

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Nella’s Dedication Ceremony, Sunset, Barefoot Beach. With our beautiful Village.

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Three Men and a Baby…and I love them all.

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The girl who made me a mama turns three ripe years. May.


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Poppa turns 60. And the greatest Duo of all time: My Family and Dancing. September.

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My girls, Key West family trip. June.

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A blessed Sunday.

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My heart beating outside my body…in the form of two little blonde souls.

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Check off Bucket List: Picnic in Central Park, August.

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Check off Bucket List: Watching my girls play with kindred spirits in Montana hills, September.

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My girl found love and courage and confidence with pink leotards, plie’s and Miss Blair. September.

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My mama comes and all is right with the world. September.

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Didn’t know it was on the Bucket List, but it was. And so is going back. Park City, Utah. December.

Oh, it was a good year.

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And I know my heart will stretch so much more these coming years. More learning, more growing, more opportunity to rise to the occasion.

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For all the years I may have searched for who I am, I have found the answer in my thirty-first year.

I am capable.

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And tonight, at the end of another year and at the brink of a new one, I close with the very same words I wrote last year.

I am capable of so much. And I am excited at the opportunity of new challenges, more love.

They will be good chapters.

Happy New Year. Wrap up all the richness of this year, tuck it away and embrace the amazing potential of this next year. You are capable.

*Thank you to the amazing, talented, capable Kaity Ayres for these photos and for loving my girls. Kaity, I love you and your amazing heart. You are going great places, Baby.

And thank you to every one of you who have read, shared and supported with so much encouragement this year. Thank you.

Comments

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  1. OMG I’m first :). Beautiful post! Loved it.

    My son turns 4 today…New Years Eve…Happy Birthday to you too!

    http://www.piggfamilyblog.blogspot.com

  2. happy birthday, kelle! you are amazing!

  3. Love this. …. I am capable… new motto!

  4. Happy Birthday, Kelle! Thank you for being such an inspiration to me as a mother. I became a mother this year (in March), and your blog has encouraged me in so many ways. Watching you love your daughters helps me love my daughter even more than I could ever imagine. Know that your life has heart-ties to so many people out there…like me.

  5. Happy birthday Kelle. Those photos are amazing.

    Happy 2011 to you and your family.

  6. Happy birthday, kelle. The photos are amazing as always, both past and present. Your family pictures by Kaity are exquisite. Enjoy your 32nd year.

    Jen

    http://lovingpeanut.blogspot.com

  7. Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh! I am SO in love with the pictures of you and your girls. Like, they made me tear up. SO beautiful. Happy birthday Kelle!!! I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings to you and your beautiful family.

  8. What a beautiful post. You are a beautiful woman with two very beautiful daughters. Happy Birthday & New Year. Enjoy your 32nd year. :)

  9. I dont know that I’ve ever commented on your blog, but I have been reading for a few weeks. I feel compelled to tell you that I am absolutely moved by your words. Your spirit and your heart are inspiring. This post has me near tears, and I dont even know you. The images are incredible.

    I AM CAPABLE.
    Such simple words to live by.
    Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life!
    ~a.

  10. Happy Birthday!!!

    Thank so much for always sharing your most precious moments with us!!

    The foresty photos are simply breath taking!

  11. Happy Birthday! (It’s not your birthday yet where I am, but I thought I’d say it anyways!)

    I hope to find who I am by my 31st birthday…hopefully sooner!

    I think you’re girls are amazing, but of course you already know that! Thanks so much for inspiring so many of us with your kind, funny words, and your beautiful photography!

    http://www.amber-amphotography.blogspot.com

  12. Happy Birthday!!

  13. Beautiful…and inspiring as always. Congratulations Kelle and thanks for sharing…from your #1 follower in Mexico

  14. Kaity’s pics of you and the girls are absolutely breathtaking! Beautiful..and can I add, loving your dress! Happy New Year. :)

  15. Absolutly gorgeous photos – Kaity rocks!
    You are such an inspiration in all that you do.
    Happy new year!!!!
    xo
    Kate

  16. Happy birthday! Beautiful post and Thank YOU for this last year of inspiration and beauty in your words and pictures.

  17. Fan-freaking-tabulous!! It’s been such an amazing, soul-searching, learning experience for me to watch you grow and take hold of everything in your life with a brand new vengeance this year. I know everyone says this a lot, but sincerely, thank you for letting us go along with you.

    Happy New Year Friend!!

    (p.s.-first sonogram in one week! eek!!)

    xoxo~n

  18. You have me in tears. The pictures are beautiful, you are beautiful and your sweet girls are beautiful! I pray youhave continued blessings in this following year as well. Thank you for sharing your life!

  19. Kelle, this post just brought happy tears to my eyes! I absolutely loved this and needed to hear “I am capable.” You are so amazing. Your pictures are stunning too, your little ones are just dolls. Thank you for writing this! Have a beautiful 2011 :)
    Much love, Marci

  20. Happy Birthday, Kelle!
    These pictures are amazing. Truly beautiful family.

    This is my first time commenting (although I have emailed you in the past), and I wanted to let you know that one of the highlights of my 2010 was finding your blog. Your positivity and authenticity have affected me, and I’m grateful!

    Happy New Year to you.

  21. Beautiful thoughts and words. Thanks for sharing your journey-it has been amazing to watch from way afar. You are capable and help others believe that they, too, can be capable. I love reading your blog and always look forward to what you have to say-and your beautiful pictures. Happy New Year. It’s going to be a good one.

  22. Until now, I was one of those hundreds of readers I’m sure who read your blog and never ever comment. There were so many times I came very close but ultimately decided against it. Kelle, I love reading about you and your family. It’s something I so look forward to, at times I laugh out loud to myself, at others there isn’t enough tissue to wipe my tears away. Thank you.

  23. This is so what I needed to read right now. Thank you and Happy Birthday to one of the most inspirational women I know. (Okay, don’t really know you, but I really do know you…)

  24. You are wonderful. I live over in Palm Coast Florida. We are on somewhat similar journeys with our kids – and I have drawn stength, hope and wonderful meaning from your blog. Just want you to know your capabilities expand way out into the world. Wishing you a year filled with unimaginable happiness and blessings!

  25. Oh happy happy to you Kelle Hampton!! What breath taking photos of you and your girls…pure heaven!! Love the butterfly kisses…and Nella’s laugh…

    Thank you for sharing pieces of you-both the extraordinary ones and the painful ones over the past year since I first met you and your family along your journey through this blog. You inspire, you teach, you share your laughter and your quench for life, you truly have a beautiful soul and I feel blessed to have found you in this internet world!
    You ARE so CAPABLE of so much (and I only know you from what you share here! I can only imagine what you’re like in person!..beyond amazing I’m sure)…the next chapters in your life are going to be BIG ones-good ones…and I can hardly wait to read them all!!
    God Bless
    Monique
    Happy New Year to you and your family

  26. Happy Birthday, Kelle! Tears in my eyes, your writing and your blog is amazing. Happy New Year!!

  27. Beautiful post.
    I love the photos of you and the girls, absolutely stunning!

  28. Your so awesome Kelle! Happy Birthday and many wonderful blessings for you and your family in 2011!!!

  29. Beautiful post. Beautiful photos of you and your girls. I love me some Nella smiles. You can just see the joy exuding from her little soul. Happy Birthday Kelle…hoping your next year is even better than this last one!

  30. Happy Birthday, Kelle! I absolutely love the beautiful purity or the pictures of you and your girls…

    Your whole post, along with these amazing pictures, make my heart happy.

    Thank-you for sharing ….

    Rosemary

  31. Happy Birthday, Kelle!! You’re beautiful and your family is beautiful and so your blog even reflects beauty.
    I’m glad you had a great day. Even ‘gladder’ that you had a great year; a year of growth and realness.

    Also, I think there’s a typo, but I could be wrong {and I almost hate pointing it out} did you mean to say
    “A month later, 2011 truly began when I was again transformed by the beautiful miracle of pushing out a tiny pink body, slippery and smooth, in a defining moment that seared my soul.” ??
    Maybe you meant 2010? Either way, loved the post and love you!

  32. The first picture of you and the girls is STUNNING! You are beautiful, lady, and so are your girls. Inspiring and wonderful post as always.. you never disappoint =)

  33. Happy Birthday! And Happy New Year! I’m so glad to come across your blog this year. I look forward to reading about the adventures you share with your little ones, and I so look forward to all the adventures I shall have with mine next year.

  34. Happy Birthday & Happy New Year as well! Praying 2011 is an amazing year for you all! God Bless!

  35. Happy Birthday Kelle!

    Thank you for your beautiful Blog, it’s enriched my 2010.

  36. Beautiful! Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!

  37. Kelle, your shoot in the woods was amazing! And your dress was gorgeous….can I borrow it? :)
    Have a great birthday and an even better new year!

    http://www.ribbontwist.com

  38. happy birthday kelle! may 2011 be our best year ever!

  39. Happy Birthday Kelle. The photos of you and the girls by Kaity are amazing!!

  40. Happy Birthday, Kelle! And Happy New Year! I just turned 32 a week ago. It’s going to be a good year.

    The butterfly kisses picture is extraordinary! Actually, they all are!

  41. Beautiful, just beautiful!

  42. LOVE it! Happy Birthday Kelle! The pictures of you and your girls are gorgeous (well done Kaity). I think 2011 has amazing things in store for you … Happy New Year!

  43. I have been following your blog for a while now and can not thank you enough for how your posts have inspired me to savor every moment of life. As usual, you did not disappoint and I think I have even found my latest mantra…”I am capable”
    Thanks!

    greatgreenroom.blogspot.com

  44. Happy Birthday, Kelle. I hope the coming year is even more wonderful than the last one has been for you and your family.

  45. Kelle,
    This such a beautiful description of your journey this year.
    Happy New Year to you and your gorgeous family!
    Happy New Year fellow commenters too!
    Kelle look forward to more of your wonderful posts in 2011!
    xxoo

  46. So beautiful and so inspiring. I had no idea how much I needed to hear it tonight! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your life with all of us.

    -Lisa

  47. Beautiful synopsis of the past year! I am thankful someone showed me your blog so I could walk beside you in our journey this year.

    :o)

  48. Happy Birthday Kelle!!
    This was so inspiring to read :) xx

  49. Happy Birthday Kelle!!
    This was so inspiring to read :) xx

  50. I just opened up your blog on my phone as I was going to sleep. Hoping for a birthday post. As soon as I saw the title, “I am”, I ran down then stairs to read it on the computer. I just knew it had to have my favorite song playing along with the beautiful words and pictures. What an amazing year! You are soaking up every little bit of goodness around you and I love it! The pictures of you and your girls are beautiful! And I think I recognize that beautiful dress on you . . . Park City? Stunning!

    Love you, friend!
    xo

    P.S. Love that returning to Park City is on your bucket list!

  51. and a very Happy New Year to you. I have spent this year with your family both online and in my heart. You were blessed when you didn’t know it but finding that blessing has made you bloom into such a wonderful Mom. I truly love your girls and even if we never get to meet I want you to know that. Happy New Year family, the best is yet to come…♥

  52. Amazing!

    I Love Your blog…You Inspire Me!
    Maybe Someday my blog will be something to read too…Right now, I just keep up with my kids.

    I too have a DS Diagnosis experience… My Son, Isaiah, is now 5. And even tho my DS experience was different than yours…Our Hearts felt the same. Zay is the Biggest Joy in Mine and My Daughters Life. We are Blessed!

    And…December 30 is My Birthday Also… So Happy Birthday To You Too!

    Thank You for Sharing so We can see!

    ~ God’s Blessings to You and Yours

  53. You and your baby girls are so incredibly beautiful, inside and out. Thank you so much for this blog… You are always so positive, inspiring, and real. I don’t know how many times your blog posts have brought tears to my eyes! I wish nothing but the best to you and your sweet, gorgeous family in 2011 and all the years to follow.

  54. Kelle…I have never commented before, though often moved by your posts. My sister a mother of a 17month old little boy became blog obsessed and told me about your story. I have faithfully followed you and your story. Your remark on how a year of questions led to more questions rather than answers was striking to me. I am not a mother, rather a twenty year old student, but I too set out the year looking for answers and found more questions. I became comfortable in not knowing the answers, but your statement of “I am capable” is revolutionary to me, and although I do not know the answers and am filled with more questions, you have brought me to the realization that “I am capable”. Though our struggles are very different and our questions come from different places we can both find comfort in that statement and I thank you for that. Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to share! You are an amazing mother and you are inspiring, thank you for sharing your journey it means the world. The joy and struggle you are share is inspiring and I never leave a post not feeling more empowered. Have a great new year and much love to you and your wee ones!

  55. Have a wonderful New Year – I re-read Nella’s birth story last night and once again tears filled my eyes. What a journey – amazing how in the midst of tough times, we find the beauty of life. xoxo

  56. I cried! Again!
    Happy birthday, supermom!

  57. Thanks for saying that questions are good. I needed to hear that. :)

  58. Happy Birthday! Mine was the day after Christmas!

    I love the “capable”. I ran my 2nd 10K on Thanksgiving and my friend said, “You are totally capable.” I wrote it on my hand and it is now a part of what I will always think of myself. I named a playlist after it: http://kymberliq.blogspot.com/2010/11/10kapable.html
    In fact, I think I will use that picture for my blog post about what I plan to accomplish in 2011.

    I will be with you in 2011 – keeping up with you and your precious family. Your blog has made me smile so much. Happy, blessed birthday. :)

  59. Hapy Birthday Kelle, may your 2011 be as rich and juicy and soul-stretching as 2010.

  60. kelle, you almost share a birthday with my husband! his is new year’s eve (12/31).

    i am so grateful that i found your blog almost a year ago, and for everything you put out there in your writing. you have made me a better blogger- more honest, authentic, and have encouraged me to focus on the good in my life and not the tragedy.

    you are an incredible woman, and YES, you ARE capable!!!!

    xoxo,
    erika

    theurthmama.com

  61. Just wanted to add to my previous comment Happy Birthday Kelle!
    Hope that you had a fabulous day!

  62. I’m crying, and you are just so beautiful in every way, your family and your village. I’m ten years behind you, and I’m bursting to see what I can become as I grow older. It would be a blessing beyond my wildest dreams to have what you’ve got right here.

    Lots of Love, Emma xoxoxo

  63. that was really beautiful.
    happy birthday.

  64. You are right: it’s the hard/challenging things in life that not only defines you but who offers you the opportunity to find out who you are.
    Furthermore you get be who you need to be, thanks to them.
    I have changed so much during the years and I know, for sure,I’m capable.
    It is such a solid feeling and a good thing to lean on.

    Happy New Year!
    (beautiful pics, of course, gorgeous!)

  65. Kelle, I only post once a Purim (rarely), but won’t pass up the chance to wish you a wonderful birthday and a capable 2011. Thank you for the past year’s words, pictures, laughter and tears. May they continue…

  66. Happy Birthday and New Year, I discovered your wonderful blog a year ago when our friend and neighbours baby was born with Down Syndrome, I also as part of my job go to the deliveries of baby’s with Down Syndrome and have to tell their parents often times. Your words and pictures have given me a new understanding and I have given your blog address to parents too in the days after the birth of their baby.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful family and story

  67. Happy Birthday Kelle..Your blog brings honesty, hope, silliness and laughter. Your girls are beautiful ! May 2011 be full of new accomplishments, joy, love and peace. The pictures of you and the girls are beyond gorgeous.. Your blog welcomes everyone and inspires all. Much love …

  68. Happy New Year to you and to your family! You are such an inspiration to me, raising two boys with autism. When I am feeling blue and defeated, I can turn to your blog and say “Kid, life’s not bad. It’s good. And you are going to thrive rather than survive.”
    Thank you for that gift. Because, it’s not in the peppy enthusiasm you exude that I feel most inspired, it’s in the reality, the acknowledgment of grief and the way that you handle it. It’s in the mourning turned to gladness that I see the silver lining.
    Thank you, not only for being a joyful voice but for being real.

  69. More learning, more growing, more opportunity to rise to the occasion…May we all embrace that thought in 2011. Thank you for taking us on your journey. We have all learned by watching you grow. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year! susan

  70. This post reminds me of a favorite quotation I found on my friend’s blog. It says:

    Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.
    -Rainer Maria Rilke

    You’ve got it.
    I love you. Even though I’ve never met you.
    Happy Birthday!!
    Happy New Year!!

    Cheers,

  71. Happy birthday to you beautiful momma!!! the pictures of you and ur girls are beautiful! I discovered your site this yr and am completely hooked and motivated by it! Best wishes to you and ur fam in 2011! Btw: we are the same bday!!! by the looks of it, u had a great one!

  72. Happy birthday Kelle! Thank you so much for sharing your words and pictures. I’m 30 years older than you are and still learning, still inspired by women like you who are living life completely, embracing its challenges, and above all, loving. You have discovered life’s essence, and your gift is in the telling of it. Happy New Year!

  73. Happy Happy Birthday! Beautiful writing and beautiful pictures as always!

  74. Happy Birthday, Kelle! :) I thank God for this blog…it has helped me see things a little more clearly and inspires me. <3 I wish you many more! Love from Georgia…

  75. have a bleesed new year!

    happy birthday

    xxx

  76. Happy Birthday Kelle!
    I have been following your blog for about a year now and have enjoyed reading every single post. I have learned from you, cried with you and laughed with you through out this year.
    I look forward to what 2011 holds for you and your beautiful family.

    Many blessings…

  77. You have a beautiful heart- the ability to transform life- allow one to await every word that dances off your tongue.

    May God continue to bless you in the new year. Happy Birthday.

    The woodland fairy photos are to be cherished baby!

    xoxo

  78. You have a beautiful heart- the ability to transform life- allow one to await every word that dances off your tongue.

    May God continue to bless you in the new year. Happy Birthday.

    The woodland fairy photos are to be cherished baby!

    xoxo

  79. In a world too often cold and critical, in a human family too often competitive and cruel, did God, through an extra chromosome, call and collect a village of vintage love and understanding to celebrate the beauty of imperfection? Hot coffee in a crudely crafted and lopsided mug made by your own precious child tastes better than from a perfect porcelain cup. Hold up your mugs, folks…high…with smiles and shouts. Beautiful, beautiful post. A message to carry us into a year where we will dance through brokenness and sing loudly above the cynic’s sour serenade. Live loud. Laugh hard. Hug deeply. And sometimes, skip when you walk. Here we come, 2011! We are capable!

  80. A very happy birthday and happy new year to you, Kelle! Thank you for inspiring me this past year to do more and be more and enjoy the smallest things in life. In this hustle-bustle world we live in, your blog is one of a few things that keep me grounded and remind me where I need to be (and also not to beat myself up about feeling certain ways sometimes). I’m so glad I happened upon it – thanks for taking all of us along for the ride.

    May you and your family continue to be blessed in 2011!

  81. Kelle,

    Happy Birthday! You have such a beautiful soul and are truly a beautiful person inside and out! Your post brought me to tears…as I reflect on 2010 and the birth of my first daughter! Thank you so much for every post that you write. You inspire me to be a better person! May you find greatness in 2011 in all parts of your life!!!

  82. What beautiful pictures of you and your girls.

    I think somewhere inside most of us, we knew. I dismissed so many things. Looking back now, I believe I was being ever so subtly prepared.

    That post is one of my favorites, and I admit I went back and read those very words a few times this past year to remind myself, that yes, we are capable.

    Cheers to bringing on 2011. So much goodness to come. Happy New Year.

  83. Happy Birthday! The pictures are beautiful of you and the girls. I look forward to reading your blog and watching your girls grow in this upcoming year.
    Happy New Year.

  84. Beautiful pictures! Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!

  85. Beautiful, beautiful post!! total tears while reading it.. you are such a strong, amazing, awesome person and Momma!! =)
    Happy Birthday Lady!

  86. Beautiful. Love the words, photos, inspiration!!

  87. AMAZING , you have enriched my life and Ive never met you.
    Happy Birthday .

    Love and Blessings
    The Doughty

  88. Everytime…your posts give me that that uplifting feeling, brighten my day and make me hold on to every single moment! Your are a true inspiration, with beautiful words and a beautiful family..have a wonderful birthday!

  89. Amazing. Your soul was guiding you before you knew it. Wow. Growth is painful, but oh so worth it in the long run. And if that’s Kaity (the young girl that you shot a few months ago), she has amazing potential. Cherish her beautiful gift to you.

    Mihaela – wonderful quote – thank you so much for sharing.

    Nicole – Congratulations on your pregnancy. That’s huge news. We are loving our hats, so thanks for being so talented. May 2011 give you a bit more balance.

    KC – can’t wait to read your wise words…

    Happy New Year everyone. May we all greet our potential of 2012 with open arms.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  90. Love the summary of the year! Zowie you crammed a lot in 365.5 days! And Kaity Ayres!!! WOW! Amazing photos! You knocked these out of the park and with a standing ovation to boot! xoxo

  91. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!
    It’s incredible how one’s heart can lead us into things we could not foretell, but knew that we needed the preparation for a special journey.
    Thank you so much for everything you have shared this year, you give inspiration to so many of us, that we can be capable too.
    God bless all of your family, 2011.

  92. I can’t believe I’ve been following your blog and story for a year now! Thank you so much for sharing your words and photos and your story with so many strangers. You’re awesome!

  93. Happy Birthday Kelle! I hope that this year brings whatever it is you want/need. Thank you for creating this little place on the interwebs that I can visit and be reminded that it is the small things that make this world so amazing. You are truly an inspiration! I can’t wait to see what small things you will enjoy in 2011!

  94. Kelle Happy Happy birthday! In Jewish tradition a birthday is a day of blessings we give extra charity on our day make a party and take on a resolution to do something more or better, and the very best idea is that we beleive that a birthday is so special that you have the power to give blessings to others on your day. are you sure your not Jewish, lol,because I think you’ve done all these things without thought just instinctually. Please continue to celebrate, give and bless us all with your life that you graciously share with us all. Happy Birthday, MAZEL TOV !

  95. Happy Birthday! This post made me emotional to think that I have been reading your blog for almost a year. You have changed and touched so many people you don’t even know this year.
    I also love when you sneak in a nursing picture of Nella. I nursed both of my kids for over a year and it’s so special when they are around Nella’s age and you’re still going strong with it. I have many nursing pictures because I always wanted to capture it but mine are with one arm outstretched while I balanced a baby with the other arm. Yours are beautiful.

  96. I love this post. The pictures are breathtaking. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year.

  97. Happy Birthday! I loved this post and the pictures! I think my fav is the one of nella looking at the camera, you looking at her, and at the same time holding laineys hand and giving her support (she is leaning and your muscle is flexed supporting her)! Ill be 32 in March and cant wait to see what the year has in store for me- I dont know how it can beat this year :)

  98. Happy Birthday! Lovely words, once again. Hope 2011 brings even more amazing things for you and your gorgeous family. x

  99. WOW! Beautiful post and beautiful pictures!

    Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!!!!

  100. Simply one of the most beautiful posts I’ve ever read.

    Happy New Year!
    xoxo

  101. Oh such beautiful pictures! Happy Happy Birthday and Happy New Year. Such a beautiful post. I love to reflect on what I have learned and come to know as true this time of year. You are amazing, not only because of your beautiful posts but you truly know yourself and share it with all of us. Heres to a wonderful 2011!

    momtothreegirls.blogspot.com

  102. Happy Birthday Kelle! Beautiful post.. Your Dad’s comments brought tears to my eyes. So touching, inspiring and beautiful.

  103. Kelle~What stunning photos of you & the girls! You look absolutely heavenly. Wishing you a divine New Year, filled with more of the same, only better. Thank you, Nella for bringing me to this blog. Poppa~I love you. Peace & love & happiness to each & every one of you.
    With love.

  104. Happy Birthday Kelle! The pictures are simply beautiful.

    Here’s to wonderful things in 2011!!

    Cheers-
    Amy

  105. Thank you for opening your heart and allowing all of us to go on this journey with you. You are an amazing person, and even though I don’t know you at all, I am grateful to you.

  106. Wow!! The photos of you,Nella and Lainey are breathtaking!! I love your quote “I am capable”. I have a feeling I will be using that little tidbit a lot in the next few months!! Thank you for that!! xo You have given me so much these past 6 months that I have been reading your blog. My mother past away and I was only 21 and I was not quite sure what to do…For a while I just went through the motions of life…I could not talk to anyone about it,it was just way too hard..After reading your blog I have my fire back. You have reminded me that life is something to never take for granted and to live life to the fullest taking in those precious moments that you will never get back:) I am forever grateful to you for this..

    Happy Birthday! All my love to you and your family in 2011! I can just see where 2011 will take you!!

    Live hard, Play hard,LOVE hard!!

    Chantelle

  107. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!
    Happy New Year!

    Those pictures are simply stunning. LOVE!

  108. Happy, Happy Birthday, Kelle! You are a gift to so many. I love your insight on questions. I realized a few years ago that the older I get, the less I really know but that there is joy in living the questions.
    Hugs from Michigan
    jodi:)

    PS – One of my favorite stories I listened to a few years ago on NPR
    Utterly Humbled by Mystery
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6631954

  109. Kelle, as they so often have over the last year, your words and photos have made me smile and tear up and feel so very full of life and love. Thank you for sharing your family’s journey. I think the picture of Nella and Poppa picnicking in Central Park is one of my favorites ever!

    Happy birthday, and happy beautiful new year!!

  110. As I am reading this, giggles are erupting through my home as daddy tickles my babies. It seems like this sound should be the soundtrack to life because, what better sound than to hear your babies laugh?

    Your words soothe my soul in such a unique way. Happy Birthday, Kelle. You have changed my world, made me a better mother, lover and woman. Thank you, and Happy Happy Happy new year!

  111. Happy Birthday. And Happy New Year to your Beautiful Family.

    Cheers to a talented amazing Mama!

  112. Happy Birthday dear :) And many more to come!

  113. “I have arrived not in a world of answers but in a world of good questions. Questioning is good. It draws the best from us. It calls us to action. And somewhere, amid the action, I’ve realized the answers aren’t even important anymore. Because where I am feels good. I am learning. I am striving to be more. I am loving, and that alone makes me happy.”

    I feel silly quoting this whole chunk, but damn if you didn’t write JUST the thing I needed. I’m glad the journey isn’t made alone.

    Happy birthday. May this year be a blessing to you, because you bless so many. Cheers to a fabulous woman, wife, and mama.

  114. Happy birthday Kelle, you are an inspiration to many.

  115. Happy Birthday and a very happy new year! The pictures of you and your girls are beautiful!!

  116. Beautiful post Kelle! Happy Birthday and wishing you a joyful New Year!
    xo,
    LuLu

  117. Happy Birthday, Kelle! You’re amazing and inspiring — and capable. On my bucket list one of the things would be to meet you and have you take a few photos. :)

    Lotsa love and much happiness to you for the remainder of this year and into 2011!
    –Hannah

  118. reading your blog is good for my soul. this post gave me chills. you are so inspirational! i am so happy that your year has been amazing. you have one of the best outlooks on life of anyone i have ever known, internet or real life :). happy birthday!

  119. You are so beautiful inside and out! Thank you for your blog. Happy Birthday!

  120. Happy Happy Birthday!

    I know it’s obvious, but you are SUCH an inspiration… My heart does a happy dance when a new post from you pops up in my Reader. I hope this year I will finally become a Mamma and strive to be as creative and open as you.

    I am so grateful that you have shared the story for your family and really thinks that Oprah needs a clue in that your TV show would be MUCH more appealing than Bono’s.

    Cheers to 2011!

  121. Happy Birthday!! What an amazing post!!! Great pictures too, you and your girls and your family are beautiful!

  122. Absolutely beautiful. Happy Birthday!

  123. Amazing post Kelle. Hope you had (and know you did) a great birthday.

  124. Gorgeous pictures, perfectly simple yet extremely profound post. Happy Birthday!

  125. Your dress is GORGEOUS

  126. I like that… I am capable of so much more. Hmmm. Thoughts to ponder now. Thank you.

  127. God has blessed you with much, Kelle. Being a wife. A mother of two darling souls. Capturing beauty through your words and pictures. And a truly sentimental heart. I love how you love. Thank you for sharing your life this past year. God bless you!

  128. Happy birthday Kelle! I found your blog about 8 months ago and I’m so glad that I did! I have been learning to enjoy the small things from you and my life will be forever better because of it! Warm wishes for a truly fantastic 32 year! And a wonderful 2011!

  129. Happy Birthday, Kelle. Your blog is one of my “best of 2010″ recollections and I’ll note it when I make my year-end journal entry this weekend. Thank you for your words, your eloquence, your inspiration, and your spirit. My friend and I text each other to have a “Kelle Hampton day” several times a week, and can’t wait to channel your energy if motherhood ever reaches us.

    Your light shines farther than you know, The world over, thank you.

  130. Beautiful. You inspire me. Happy Birthday to you! Thanks for making so many others feel capable by sharing your story with us!

  131. I am so thankful you choose to share your photos and words with us. I am so comforted/moved/motivated by it. We are the same age and my two girls are your girls’ ages. Looking forward to all that I am capable of in 2011. Thank you Kelle!

  132. Love this post Kelle, along with the countless others I have been so blessed to read this year. I am so happy I found this blog and you and your family have inspired me in countless ways. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and each post where you burst with love for your babies make me ache to hold and love my little bean.
    Happy New Year!

  133. Stronger AND wiser Kelle!

    Beautiful.

    Happy New Year!

  134. Happy Birthday! You have been such an encouragement to me over this past year and I thank you for it.
    Tomorrow is my birthday. I used to hate sharing my birthday with a holiday but now I love it! I love literally starting a new year of my life with the rest of the world.
    Hugs, Marilena

  135. happy birthday kelle! best wishes for another year full of new awakenings — lots of love from nyc!

  136. WOW! I L.O.V.E. Kaity’s pictures of you and your girls! Is one of them a picture of you nursing, Nella? Beautiful! I always enjoy reading your posts! :)

    Happy New Year!

  137. This post was beautiful from start to finish. Beautiful words and gorgeous photos. Happy Birthday! May 2011 bring you all your hart desires :) Thank you for sharing your story week after week. We all learn so much from you. Thank you!

  138. Kelle, I found your blog about 9 months ago and I have falling in love with your writing, photos, and your love for life! These photos are so beautiful! May this be your best year yet! Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

  139. Words can’t describe it, This just pulls at my heart strings. Happy birthday.

  140. Happy Birthday :)
    Thank you for taking us all with you on your journey. It has truly been inspirational.

  141. Happy Birthday Kelle! Thank you for sharing your life and beautiful family. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings for all of us. Many many blessings…

    Jenny
    http://www.bryanandjenny.blogspot.com

  142. Beautiful words, beautiful photos, beautiful family! :) Happy birthday, Kelle!

  143. Happy Birthday! You are blessed and I wish you more blessings in the new year!

  144. You always know the right thing to say. Your words have inspired me to become a better mom. A more patient, present mom.

    The pictures of you and the girls are stunning.

    Happy Birthday and Happy 2011!

  145. Capable, yes indeed, and don’t forget amazing. The mother daughter photos are fabulous! Happy New Year, looking forward to watching all three of the Hampton women growing.

  146. Happy Birthday fellow Capricorn! I just turned 27 yesterday! I love reading your blog!

    Happy New Year’s!

  147. you’re amazing. you inspire me on a daily basis. thank you. happy birthday.

  148. Thank YOU! And a Happy, Happy New Year to you and yours!

  149. Happy birthday and Happy New Year’s Eve, Kelle! The photos and your words, as always, are beautiful.

  150. Happy birthday, Kelle! This post had me sobbing at my desk this morning. (Embarrassing! I am a receptionist!) So beautiful! I added a quote from you to my facebook profile.

    “And I have arrived not in a world of answers but in a world of good questions. Questioning is good. It draws the best from us. It calls us to action. And somewhere, amid the action, I’ve realized the answers aren’t even important anymore. Because where I am feels good. I am learning. I am striving to be more. I am loving, and that alone makes me happy.”

    Your words inspire me like no other! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Happy New Year!

  151. Kelle,

    You are an amazing writer, mama, person. Your words make me want to rewind time somehow and find you when we were younger. I want to know the parents, the siblings, the family, the village, the experiences that made you this incredible person. I want to read the same books, have the same conversations, heck, even work at the same Victoria’s Secret store you skipped out on! Anything to be near your goodness. How can you at this young age be so far along? So wise, loving, moving, extraordinary? We are the same age you and I and I feel like the one trying to catch up, to be extraordinary in my own way. Thank you for being a voice, a friend, a blessing to those of us out here in the great big world of blogland. You really have no idea how you’ve made a difference in my life.

    Happy Birthday, dear friend.

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

    And those pictures are absolutely stunning. I adore the one of you nursing Nella. Precious!

  152. DUDE. Awesome post and beautiful song to go with! You look so ethereal/heavenly/goreous in those pics!

  153. As always Kelle, a tear. That is all I can say.

    Happy Birthday!

    My 31 is is march and as my mama told me the 30’s are going to be “my best.”

    Blessings, Kelle!

    http://www.littlemamaontheprairie.blogspot.com

  154. happy birthday Kelle ~ your blog is beautiful and inspiring. Many blessing to you and yours in 2011!

  155. Beautiful pictures, beautiful post. You are truly inspiring. Happy Birthday!

  156. Beautiful Kelle. You are a soul that speaks poetry and gives encouragement to all mothers, thank you!

  157. i’m so grateful that i discovered your blog this year. thanks for sharing your family with us. and these latest pix of you with the girls inspires me to get some done like this with my two little girls. you look empowered and bold and strong and just downright bad ass.

  158. Where is your dress from? It is to DIE for!

  159. Beautiful photos and beautiful post. As always. I read your blog for the first time when you posted Nella’s birth story. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year.

  160. Happy Birthday Kelle! Your post reminds me of one of my favorite poems…hope you like it too!

    I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
    Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
    in Letters to a Young Poet

  161. Tears of joy for you in your lovely and insiteful celebration of the beauty and wisdom of your life Momma- enjoy the big and small things this coming year.

  162. Wow! Gorgeous photos of you and your girls!
    Happy Birthday & Happy New Year1

    I found your blog in January and have loved reading about your year :)

  163. Beautiful and breathtaking.

    Happy Birthday.

  164. Oh God, you inspire me. Happy Birthday and Thank YOU!! Heather

  165. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Happy Birthday Kelle!

  166. I can’t believe it’s been almost a whole year since your family became a part of my life. I can’t begin to tell you how much good your writing and your family has brought to me. Sending love

  167. You are a truley beautiful person and I have learned so much from you. You’re writing is powerful and I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your story!

  168. Happy Birthday Kelle! Great pictures of you and your girls! What a post to end the year! Hope this next year is just as good for you, if not better! Wow! This is the first time I posted a comment! LOL! Yay! Happy New Year!

  169. Happy Birthday!

    OK, I always love the pictures on your blog. The one of you holding Nella, you can’t see your faces, her feet and she’s holding you. Something about that is so beautiful to me. It grabs my heart.

    Happy New Year!

  170. I’ve enjoyed following this blog so much this year. I find so much inspiration in your words and you truly have the talent to express what I can’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read with tears in my eyes and thought, “yeah, that”. I love that you mentioned you love to love. Just last night I was writing in the journal I’m keeping for my little girl (15 months) and told her how I love to love her! Anyway, thanks again and Happy New Year to your beautiful family!

  171. The Kaity Ayres photos are absolutely magical. Happy New Year, and thanks for continually making me smile!

  172. Thank-you for all you share. I always take away some sort of inspiration from your blog. You are blessed with a gift of writing and sharing. I am starting my 2011 with your words…”I am capable”.
    Happy Birthday & New Year from Canada!

  173. Thank-you for all you share. I always take away some sort of inspiration from your blog. You are blessed with a gift of writing and sharing. I am starting my 2011 with your words…”I am capable”.
    Happy Birthday & New Year from Canada!

  174. Your post = excellence. Yet again.

    Happy New Year from me, another mommy of 2 amazing little girls.

    Steph

    http://musingsofasarcasticmind.blogspot.com/

  175. Nice Pics! Beautiful family!

  176. Beautiful! Simply amazing. I can’t believe it’s already been so long. I’ve been reading since I can remember and I still get teary eyed… Happy Celebration Day of You! May the next year bring even more happiness, joy, and loves from your littles than the last year.

  177. You are beautiful, inside and out!

  178. Oh Kel I love it. You SO look like mama earth in your pictures with the girl. I love reading this and time flies! I feel like I just stumbled on your blog with Nellas birth story! Thank you for letting us love your girls!

  179. So very beautiful, all of it! Happy Birthday, Kelle … you are amazing!!

    xoxo,
    April

  180. Happy Birthday!!!

  181. Wow…Happy Birthday…and Happy New Year to you and your family. I am so thankful I stumbled across your blog one evening awhile ago. The new photos of you and your girls are amazing.

  182. Happy Birthday Kelle!! Beautiful pictures of you and your girls! I love your dress!

    Bring on 2011!! I am ready for an amazing year!

  183. Happy birthday. Happy New Year. Happy life!

  184. Happy Birthday Kelle, mine is today 33 years young!

    I know I saw this every time I comment but you make me cry everytime I read your blog but today, I can’t think of anything better than reading your birthday post and shedding some lovely happy tears on my birthday!

    Here, Here to your 32 year and my 33rd!
    Carissa

    carissalayla.blogpost.com

  185. “For all the years I may have searched for who I am, I have found the answer in my thirty-first year.

    I am capable.”

    Wow…what a defining statement…so simple, yet so deep and full of a million emotions. This post was so touching. I truly applaud you for your honesty and openness. The pictures of you and the girls are so gorgeous they brought tears to my eyes. I really feel like reading this blog has allowed me to work on myself and the type of mother I want to be for my children. This post really touched me because I am still (as I turn 30 in 2011) STILL trying to figure out my place in this world and I always question if I am being a good mom and the type of mom I want to be. Because of you, I am better and I thank you for that. You are such a wonderful inspiration.

  186. This comment has been removed by the author.

  187. Donald Miller wrote “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can really love it yourself.” Thats what you do for us Kelle. You’ve taught me and truly changed my entire world this year. My life is different because of you. Thank you.

  188. OMG! Tears!! It doesn’t hurt that I am 7 weeks pregnant today with baby number 2(WOW), but everytime I read your beautiful words, my heart leaps and is grateful for everything in this world. I am grateful for wonderful writers/photographers/moms like you that motivate us others to be more, do more, live more see more, and love most of all! May God bless you and your gorgeous family throughout the next year!

  189. Oh my…how incredibly beautiful!! :) You are very, very blessed. You have such amazing, adorable little girls.

    I actually stumbled upon your blog a few months back…this is my first time leaving a comment. You have a great blog indeed! Love visiting whenever I get a chance.

    Happy 2011!

    Chris xoxo

  190. I am capable. I am capable. I am capable.

    Thanks for my mantra for today. I needed some joy and positive thinking.

  191. Yes, you are capable! Thank you for letting me be part of your blog world this year. You’ve truly blessed me, along with Lainey & Nella and Brett and boys!

  192. Once again, my heart is full reading your words. I sit here today growing our miracle baby at 22 wonderful weeks and each time I visit your “Life Portrait” I’m challenged and encouraged to be the best Mama to this baby that I can possibly be.

    You’ve taught us so much about Life, Love and Challenges…and Dude, (spoken in true Kelle fashion) that is wonderful!

    Thank you again for sharing your Life Portrait and 2 very special little girls that always make my heart sing :)

    I raise my glas to you! Happy New Year!!!

  193. gorgeous…all of it. here’s to a wonderfully blessed 2011. it’s going to be a great year. love ya girlie.

  194. This is my first comment to you but I can not click away without telling you my thoughts on your posts. You are the most beautiful person and I truly look forward to reading your posts and looking at your pics. Your words bring me to tears every other day. Thank you for sharing your gift with all the rest of us who strive what you have already accomplished.

  195. You have a serious way with words! Great post and the pictures are superb!

  196. Oh WOW these pictures are amazing! Great job to Kaitie!

  197. Oops, meant for my comment on the previous post to be on this post, but either way you’ll see it and know that I love all your beautiful posts.

  198. Amen Kelle.

    Enjoyed the honesty of your post. I love your pictures of you and your darlings.

    I am so glad that I am not on this adventure alone and I know there are many amazingly different people out there riding the bike with me and ready and willing to help me when my chain falls off. Cuz you know we just put it back on and get up again.

    Here’s to 2011 and all of the potential that is holds!
    Cheers!

  199. Happy birthday, Kelle! My 31st is in 8 days, and I can only hope it’s as amazing a year for me as it was for you.

  200. Happy birthday! Love your blog :-)

  201. Kelle ~ I know a load of people keep telling you how their lives have changed since finding your wonderful blog. And….add me to the list!! I look at life a little different now. For instance, both me and my daughters are sick this week but instead of being annoyed and frazzled – I look at it like “Now we get to stay home and snuggle and watch movies and take warm soapy bathes and drink hot choc. and soak it all in.” You inspire me to leave the load of laundry on the couch and go play tea party (cause we all know that laundry will be there later!!) I think without having read your blog – I wouldn’t realize that being a mom to young children won’t last forever and I need to suck the marrow out of everyday I have with them and make as many memories as I can before they are teenagers or in collage. So – THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING US TO PEEK INTO YOUR WORLD.

    Have a fabulous 2011!!

  202. Those pictures are gorgeous. I absolutely love your dress, and the ethereal feel of those pictures. Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year!

  203. BEST. POST. EVER. Now let me swallow that lump in my throat and go on with my day! :)

  204. Girl!! You are an ethereal beauty! Love these photos of you and your girls, and having read your blog for over a year, You’re beautiful on the inside,too!! Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!

  205. Happy Birthday Kelle! I can never comment what I am really feeling because after reading your entire posts and looking at beautiful pictures I think and go through a million emotions! The pictures are GORGEOUS!
    And I can tell if we were friends in real life, I would be in your make up drawer playing, LOL! You always look beautiful, but different, LOVE that you have variety!! Happy birthday girlie, enjoy it! :)
    Kristi

  206. Happy birthday! An amazing post, as always! Thank you for sharing your family, heart, and soul with us!

  207. Beautiful…happy birthday Kelle!

  208. Oh Kelle, you are beautiful heart and soul. You are a blessing to many and I thank you with all my heart for sharing your journey with me. You inspire me to be better.

  209. RIK – LOVE your words. Yes and LOVE freely and deeply. KELLE, I love this post, Yes I AM and I am capable. and…they will be good chapters. Great words to meet and greet the new year. 2010 was such a mixed bag for me. I went thru one of the most unexpected, darkest times of my Life and had to put broken pieces together after the dark night of the soul. (thanks again to Rik and others here for support. It truly is quite the village/community here). And I also had two of the most magical events occur this year – two new granddaughters born within six months of each other! So, 2011, here I AM. I am ready for you, for the challenges you will bring, for the shadows and light, the heartache and Joy.. ALL of Life~ HAPPY NEW YEAR to Kelle and your entire wonderful family, including Poppa Rik. ANd the same to everyone reading your blog and these comments, everyone a part of this community. A special “Hey” to Beth and to KWQR… And no, Kelle, *I* thank YOU, for your words and sharing and inspring me and so many, for what you have created here. for reminding me to enjoy the small things, to not miss them. From the Blog Mama

  210. Thank you for your thoughts on this one… that’s the question that’s been haunting me lately: Who am I? And what am I supposed to be doing right now? And with the rest of my life? Thank you for a great year of blogging! I am so thankful that Donald Miller linked your post on his blog so I could find you and your amazing family!

  211. RIK, your words are so eloquent and deep and beautiful and I learn so much from these words of yours…is it okay with you that I copy your entry here and tack it to my fridge for all our New Years Eve guests to read: “we will dance through brokenness and sing loudly above the cynic’s sour serenade. Live loud. Laugh hard. Hug deeply. And sometimes, skip when you walk. Here we come, 2011! We are capable!” LOVE THIS!!!
    Now I will go enjoy my coffee even more because it is in a “crudely crafted and lopsided mug made by my own precious child” LOVE THIS TOO!!
    YOU are a gift to all those around you. Your family is blessed to have a Father full of wisdom, humour and the important life lessons. You are JOY!!!

    God Bless and Happy New Year
    Monique
    December 31, 2010 4:14 AM

  212. “I am capable” I love that. It’s so simple and says so much.
    Your blog is really inspirational for me. It’s been great for me this year to discover it and I love reading about you and your beautiful family!
    Cheers to you and yours for having a wonderful new year!!

  213. Happy Birthday Kellie. The world is a much more beautiful place with you in it. Thank you for sharing your life and in doing so bringing inspiration to so many. Every post you write reminds me to find the good in life, there is so much of it to be found.
    the pictures of you and your girls? stunning! Happy New Year!!!!

  214. I am so glad I found your little space on the web this year. I hope your 2011 is lovely just like you :)

  215. * OH, i wanted to add, to share a quote that I think you have printed here before, but i think it is a good one to start the new year with, too… “Don’t ask youself what the world needs; ask youself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is pople who have come alive. – – Howard Thurman

  216. Glad your birthday and reflection on your 31st year was fabulous! I turn 32 in February and am reflecting a lot my self as so much in my life is going to change come spring when I become a mom for the first time. we find out the sex next Friday!

    You inspire me with every post and it has been just over a year I was introduced to your blog and it has helped me find the positive in all things, enjoy the small things and importantly learn how to live life to the fullest without regret.

    I thank you for writing things I have only felt inside and never expressed and giving me the courage to to take on life full force. Hope you have a rockin’ new years eve, i will be spending it with my patients as I’m a nurse and it is my holiday to work. That’s okay, I will still ROCK OUT 2010 with a little sparkling cider and good co-workers. :) And hopefully make it home to my hubby by midnight!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011! and to another year of beautiful life living!

    Pam in New England

  217. Happy Birthday! Beautiful pics, love it!

  218. Happy birthday to a beautiful woman, inside and out! Thank you so much for letting us witness your amazing journey! You inspire so many of us to be better, to do better, and to never take one single second for granted..and for that I’m grateful. :)
    Have a wonderful New Year with your precious family! God bless!!

  219. Just when I thought your girls couldn’t possibly get more beautiful…they do. And just when I thought your words couldn’t possibly move this “non-crier” to leak one more tear…they did.
    Happy New Year!

  220. Love Love Love the pictures and you said it best abot 2010. We too had a rough year with our twins being born early and Braden being diagnosed with skeletal dysplasia but we have grown and loved more than thought imaginable. I read your blog daily and laugh and cry every time. I love it. You make me want to be a better mom :) Have a fantastic birthday, a fantastic new year and 1st birthday for sweet Nella.

    Thanks for making me smile with your words and pictures!

    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bradenandjacobbyersdorfer/journal

  221. Happy Birthday to an amazing mother, woman, friend (in my head!), and one of the most inspirational woman I “know”. Keep growing and doing what you’re doing…you and your family are an inspiration and motivation to us all!
    Tracie

  222. You are a beautiful person…inside and out!! Good things for you and your family in 2011!! Heather from New Brunswick.

  223. Happy Birthday, Kelle! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us!

  224. I am capable. I love it. And your blog. Happy New Year!

  225. Happy birthday and happy New Year. Thank you for giving me so much of yourself this past year.

  226. Happy Birthday Kelle! I had no idea you shared a birthday with my baby girl Grace. Born a year ago with alittle something special. We celebrated today and we celebrated big thanks to you. Thank YOU for your words this year, you inspired me to be the best I can be and I too can not WAIT to see what awesomeness will come our way in 2011! You are beautiful Kelle! You, your girls, your family beautiful! Happy New Year! Love from Chicago! Katie, the boys and the baby girl Grace!

  227. Those pictures of you and your daughters are absolutely beautiful. If I had a picture of me and my mom like that I would cherish them forever. Happy Birthday.

  228. The photos are breathtaking! You have such a way with words, putting down what so many of us feel, but just can’t get into words. Thank you and a happy happy New Year to you and yours!

    xoxo

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  230. Thank you for energizing my creative gene in 2010 with every blog entry.
    Cheers to the year 2011!

  231. beautiful photos!!!
    amazing post!
    you are truly such an inspiration to me in the way you live your life!

    tara

  232. You touch the souls of many,including myself! Your wording ia fantastic and your pictures, stunning! Happy birthday and Happy New Year!

  233. Beautiful pictures, beautiful post & beautiful girls! Looking forward to what your blog brings in 2011 ~ Happy Birthday Kelle!

  234. happy, happy birthday, kelle. i read every post but never comment. i found your blog 8 months ago and fell in love–with your girls, with your photography, with your words…so i guess, with you! thanks for testing out those “32” waters. i’ll be diving in shortly.

  235. Oh Kelle…this is my first time commenting on your blog but your post made me cry as many of them have this past year but not tears of sadness but tears of happiness and great joy. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your beautiful family with us! Whenever I read your blog, I am inspired and filled with the love that so obviously comes from your heart! “Happy New Year” and I know that 2011 will be your BEST year ever! P.S. Your girls melt my heart and now that I have had my daily dose of joy and inspiration, I can go out and face those challenges myself! Many, many blessings to you and yours! :)

  236. You are beautiful.
    Your family is beautiful.
    Your way of sharing with all of us is beautiful.
    I pray that you have a Blessed New Year!
    Biz
    http://busybizblogs.blogspot.com/

  237. Lovely photos. love reading your blog, looking at your photos and always smiling with a slight tear of joy! Happy New year!
    Sarah

  238. what lovely photographs! happy birthday.

  239. I certainly hope others take the time to read these comments…my heart fills like the reservoir below a growing plant when I read them. I don’t know you other commenters, but then I think I do–we all are parts of each other each time comments resonate and awaken our spirits. Happy New Years, everyone…we are sharing a journey of wonder and light. I think I love you!

  240. SUCH A BEAUTIFUL POST………..the pictures and the words. I truly have tears in my eyes. Happy New Year to you and yours!!! Cannot wait to follow your beautiful family in 2011!

  241. We love you, too Poppa Rik!!

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

  242. You can tell by how she looks at you….she picked you to be her momma. Your blog from last year is amazing. You are an amazing mom and an amazing person. Sending love from AZ and Birthday wishes.

  243. you and your girls are beautiful! thanks for sharing your inner soul!
    happy new year and birthday!

  244. Very touching post! I think you may be right about “knowing” in your soul even before Nella arrived that a challenge was ahead. A wow moment indeed. Once you “step through the looking glass” life is never the same and you wonder how you ever existed “before”. Happy 2011. May you continue on your wonderfully amazing journey & help those just beginning theirs. xo

  245. Happy Happy Happy Happy!

    Birthday, New Year’s, You name it. Hope it’s all Happy!

  246. Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year and thank you for sharing your beautiful journey and your creativity and your heart here with us.

    Many many blessings to you and your beautiful family.

  247. No matter how many blogs I read, yours always gives me chills and rocks me to the core! I admire your strength, awareness and love for life! You are my inspiration to live happier and more positively. You are also my inspiration to become a mother.

    Thank you for all of this!
    Marcie

  248. The first picture of the 3 of you… you look like THE EARTH MOTHER.. simply beautiful…

  249. Those pictures are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this year of your life in such a beautiful way. I can’t imagine how much work a blog like this is but know that it has become a part of our lives. Happy Birthday and looking forward to seeing all the good that comes to you this year!

  250. Beautiful post and GORGEOUS pictures of you and your daughters! Happy New Year!

  251. Am I ever going to read one of your posts where I am not moved to tears or just simply moved in some way? You’re so awesome. Thank you thank you.

  252. Those pictures of you and your girls are beautiful! Very Vogue! Happy New year Kelle! My little Olivia turned 2 yesterday. So much to be thankful for and so much to look foreword to in the New Year. Here’s to Enjoying The Small Things!

  253. I think each and every one of your posts has brought me to tears for one reason or another, whether it be tears of sadness, joy, appreciation or admiration for you, or the face that you just have a simple, yet beautiful talent to capture and word things in such a perfect and beautiful way. You’re a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul and I think you for sharing it. I look forward to 2011! Happy Near Years and Many blessings to you and your family this coming year.

  254. Dear Kelle, I almost never comment anywhere, but had to take a moment to say… You are lovely. These words you write and the lessons you’ve learned and share with us are so powerful. I have followed your story, and you truly are lovely in every way. Love and blessings in the new year to you and your wonderful family!

  255. Happy Birthday, Happy Birth Day, Happy New Year. Lots of happy round here and I love it. Beautiful photos of beautiful souls I am honored to have in my tribe. Love.

  256. Happy Birthday!

    The photos are amazing. Breathtaking actually & the new header is definitely my favorite. I hope you have a blessed new year

  257. First, happy happy birthday! These new pictures by Kaity Ayres are extraodinary. I don’t know her or her work, but I like her because of her last name. It’s my mother’s maiden name…the name of my beloved grandfather…a name that now exists in my baby girl’s first name (Ayren) because there were no more men to carry it on and I couldn’t bear for that to happen.
    I hope this year brings only more happiness to you and your beautiful family and more of your wonderful blog for all of us!

  258. Happy Belated Birthday Kelle!

    Although I don’t comment much I come here often to read your words, see the beauty, and find inspiration and 90% of the time shed a few tears! :) You are an amazing, insightful, beautiful, courageous individual. Thank you for sharing your life, your family, and your thoughts with us because of it I find my own life is richer and I am always enjoying the small things 😉

  259. Wow. Those pictures of you and your girls in the woods are stunning. And I simply LOVE your dress. Looks great on you.

    I am capable.
    Yeah, I needed that more than you’ll ever know.

    Much love. <3

  260. Kelle, I hope your birthday is the best celebration you can have! You deserve it. I’m not a mommy at this point in my life, but the way you embrace loving your family is artistic and inspiring. You remind me that life is about finding creative souls and celebrating life together. Happy New Year girlie!!!

  261. Happy Birthday!!!

  262. “I am capable” – your words so often speak to me and such a simple statement really touches on what I am struggling with. I am capable of being the mother that I want to be – not just what the rest of the world expects. When i look back at my childhood, it seems magical – i want that and so much more for my boys and I am capable of doing it!
    You have inspired me and thousands of others in this blogworld to be better people, better friends, and bettter parents – thank you. Happy New Year!

  263. 1)Happy Birthday

    2) I LOVE THIS NEW HEADER!!! I have many favorite headers on your site, but this one, keep it ’til your 80! I love it!

    3) I see how much Lainey has grown- esp in the picture of her lying on her back with Nella on her chest. She has grown so much since then.

    4) Nella. Sweet Nella. Look at how much hair she is getting. And to think her birthday is around the corner?!! No! She has to be a baby forever! :)

    5) You are capable. And you’ve taught me in many ways that I am capable too! Thank you!

    And by the way, it’s been a while since I cried. I needed that- thanks!

  264. I think I have finally figured out how to explain why I love your blog posts. Please bear with me while I compare you to a prison film; I promise it’s worth it.

    Have you seen The Shawshank Redemption? I love that film, and one of the reasons I love it is because there are at least three places where the film could have easily ended and most Hollywood productions would have declared the story done. And if you were watching in the theater, you’d be gathering up your coat and purse, leaning toward your friend to begin to say, “That was SO good.” And just as you were doing that, the story would continue…. Morgan Freeman on a bus. Morgan Freeman on a beach. Morgan Freeman reconnecting with his soul mate. And each time, you’d settle back into your seat, so thrilled for MORE.

    I realized today that’s how I experience your posts. I’m scrolling through, thrilled to be let in on your world, content that you’re closing the story where you do. But then you don’t; you give more. An extra picture, an extra thought. And for each little bit of more, I’m grateful.

    Thank you for sharing your warmth and happiness with all of us. I, like so many, came to your blog for the first time right after Nella was born. You’ve opened my eyes to so much. And on New Year’s Eve, I thought it was high time for some gratitude.

  265. Wow, what a year it’s been!
    Kelle, you continue to amaze me with every word, with every photo, with every post! From you I draw so much inspiration & strength…and always leave your blog knowing that in fact…I AM CAPABLE & have so much to give in this crazy world!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Lovely Lady!
    May 2011 be just as AMAZING & rich!
    xo

  266. I just wanted to say your new Header photo took my breath away, it is SIMPLY STUNNING!
    Also have to tell you, your hair is GORGEOUS!
    Thank you for accepting life as it was meant to be and for sharing it with all of us. May 2011 be even more wonderful than 2010!

  267. I love the new pictures! I adore reading your blog, it gives me so much inspiration and hope into my own life! Thank you so much for sharing and for the words you write.
    Happy New Year to you and your beauties!!!

  268. Such a beautiful post!!! And a wonderful way to cap off a year of eloquent, truthful and delightful blogging. I loved reading every post! Your pictures are breathtaking. Keep doing what you’re doing with this blog, you bring so much meaningful reading to so many people!

    Have a wonderful 2011!

    Jennie from Ottawa

  269. Happy Birthday Kelle! Thank you for bringing us along on your journey this year. I love your outlook on life and you remind me, who has been at this mommy gig a little longer, about what is important.

  270. Happy Birthday Kelle!! Your pics are beautiful and here is to a new and wonderful year full of new adventures!! Love your blog and Happy new year to you and your family!

  271. Happy Birthday Kelle! Love the beautiful pictures…you and your girls are GORGEOUS! (And what beautiful outfits, too!)

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful spirit and thoughts with us. I know I’m a total stranger to you but you mean a lot to me! Your blog can actually transform my mood and my day.

    Have a beautiful 2011!

  272. Happy Birthday! You are so stunning–beautiful, as are your girls and your words! I so enjoy your blog–you have an amazing with words and life…and I love it!
    Thank you!

  273. my year in photos, if you want to peek! thanks for all you do, kelle.
    http://www.vimeo.com/18330080

  274. thank you for allowing me to folow your life and story thru your blog. blessings pour from you in aways that you will ever know. may you always be able to feel gods presence and bask in his love. blessings abudently in 2011….kiss all your beautiufl babies, big and small

  275. You are truly incredible. I have cried so hard on some of your posts and laughed and smiled till my face hurt on others.

    Happy New Year!

  276. Happy Birthday – Happy New Year! You are amazing. You have a gift that you have kindly shared with us – we are better for it. – Carrie

  277. No words, just tears of joy for you. For blessed mamas everywhere!

  278. Happy New Year and lots of love to your family, Poppa and you~ xoxoxo

    Love this post, the new picture header with your girls, you and the threads connecting love~life~all! Wonderful words, great music and gorgeous photos! You are an old beautiful soul! I’m grateful that I was drawn to Nella’s birth story. Thank you so much for sharing your love, wisdom and the story of your lovely family. Loved meeting Nella, your amazing Dad and you in August.

    “Sometimes I wonder if somewhere within me, there was a part of me that knew, a part of me that was preparing all along for the beautiful new journey our family would begin.” Yes,
    I feel your soul knew about it and it was preparing you for this amazing and empowering journey.

    Questions are important, I agree. I love questions, they are like friends that guide you. To me there is no ordinary inquiry and good questions are essential to a soul’s journey…powerful questions can be life~soul changers. And, I have learned that the meaningful answers…come to me…unexpectedly…just in time…when I need them most…always.

    Rik, thank you so much for sharing your love and wisdom. Your comments are so true, they brought tears to my eyes…

    Jennifer from Annapolis, thank you. I love to read your beautiful comments and your wise words too. :)

    Rainer Maria Rilke’s quote is one of my favorites.

    Happy New Year to all~

    “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ~Sylvia Plath

  279. Happy birthday!
    Your dress is gorgeous, and so are you and your girls. May God bless you with an even more amazing year this year.

  280. Happy birthday…Happy New Year…Happy Family!

    Your new pics took my breath away…as did your blog when I first found it almost a year ago!

    I can’t wait to read where 2011 takes you and your beautiful family. :)Thank you for letting us in.

  281. you’re beautiful, your girls are beautiful…your whole family is beautiful. thank you for sharing your lives with us.

    happy birthday! here’s to an incredible 2011!

  282. Happy Birthday Kelle….You are a gift to so many of us! THANK YOU!

    You look almost ethereal in the photos…a godess!

    Enjoy everything 2011 brings to you and your special fam!
    love
    diana x

  283. Thank you Kelle for sharing your world with us. But more importantly thank you for helping me see this world in a new way! Happy New Year! :)

  284. Happy Birthday – what a lovely way to share the celebration. Happy New Year to you and al the family.

  285. tears and smiles. You and your girls Kellie are beautiful in every way. Happy 31st birthday gorgeous mumma and happy new year to you too xx

  286. Thank you Kelle for letting us in your beautiful, transparent, heartfelt world. You are a true inspiration!

    Happy New Year!

  287. Happy Birthday Kelle! Have a beautiful birthday and a great New Year. I look forward to reading your blog in the new year. :)

  288. To Miheala and Caroline – you both shared the same by Rainer MR and thanks for that – one of my fave authors! TO KIM – Yes, I agree, about nursing and am glad to see Kelle doing so. I, too, nursed my babies longer than some do. To Nikki James – Amen to that! I echo that sentiment indeed~ Love from the blog mama

  289. Happy Birthday u dont look a day over 25:)

  290. Oops, meant to also say to Pamela Jean – Congrats! our older dtr became a mommy for first time on the 8th and it is such fun. To Karen – OH, shawshank redemmption, one of my very fave movies and i love how it makes one feel. TO POPPA RIK – oh i think many of us do read thru all the comments. I do! I feel like we are all connected and do know each other and are a community. I am so touched and inspired by the commenters, and thankful for them and in awe of such wisdom and compassion and joy that shines thru them! Like many here, I feel like i know you after all this time, Rik – you are such a blessing to all of us and i wish you were my poppa too. I will just pretend you are – kelle has said she is fine with sharing you here. haha…Love..

  291. One of my all time favorite posts. You made me cry. I love the new header and I love the pics. You all look so beautiful. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  292. Beautiful, Amazing, yes but the word that popped into my head when I saw those pictures…Angelic.
    I hope 2011 turns out to be as Beautifully Amazing as 2010. Happy New Year.

  293. Kelle,
    Like you, we had a year of “shock and awe” when our fourth child was born with Down syndrome. Thank God, my sister sent me your blog. It took 3 weeks to read it, but when I finally did, I felt as if your hand reached down and pulled me from the abyss. You sewed my heart back together with the needle and thread of your beautiful words and gorgeous photos. You have inspired thousands of women, who are in turn, inspiring thousands more. God chose YOU for this huge project…and you have delivered in a big way. Thank you.
    Happy New Year, my friend. Can’t wait to spend 2011 with you!
    Julie

  294. Beautiful. Just….wow.
    Thank you.

    and Happy Birthday :)

  295. First, beautiful pictures of the girls and you.

    Second, Happy Birthday!

    Third, like I have said before. You are an amazingly strong woman that I totally adore. I find you truly inspirational. You amazing me, and give me the hope that I can be an amazing mother too. And that I have hidden strength yet to find.

    Best wishes for the new year.

  296. I’ve been waiting for this post and came to check in before new years festivities begin. These photos of you and the girls Kelle are beyond stunning! I am awe stricken! Love the string love your dress love your hair love laineys pout love nellas smile love love love!
    What a beautiful post of a beautiful year! Amen to 31!
    Happy birthday and happy new year!!

  297. Happy Birthday to you Kelle! And Happy New Years!!!

  298. Vogue called me again…by mistake, AGAIN. Kelle, seriously -these photos should be in magazines. (Tell Kaity she’s awesome as well.) And again, I find myself praying to baby Jesus that you have fat ankles or something. I’ll take it back right before the clock strikes midnight so I go into the New Year with a clean soul.

    Would you mind sharing where you found that dress you’re wearing? It’s one of the nicest maxi dresses I’ve ever seen.

    And for the record, you are more than capable – you are magnificent.

  299. How is it possible to feel connected to someone I’ve never met, yet that is exactly how I have felt since I began reading your blog over one year ago. I am a 63 year old grandmother with life experience, yet I learn something new from you every day when I read your inspiring words. You are a beautiful soul. Happy Bithday to you and best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy New Year.

  300. Breathtaking pictures! Thank you for the daily inspiration. Please share where you got your dress. I’m in love!

  301. Happy Birthday.

    WOW every time I read your posts and see your pictures I cant hold back the tears. My heart swells. Your story has been incredibly inspiring to me. I love your realness and am eternally grateful for your blog. Sending all my love.

  302. CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!!! More power to you birthday girl!!!!!

  303. Kelle you have made my world a better place this past year!! Happy New Year to you and your incredible family!!!

    Your words are so real…that is what I love, and those new photos….WOW….who ever had the idea…WOW…You are stunning and your girls simply angelic!!
    Love them!!!

  304. Happy Birthday Kelle. You have found a very interesting answer to the question of who you are, one that defines your response to things, and thank goodness for that response. I once read a description of someone as ‘a woman of bedrock strength’ – and I think women like that feel everything as hard as everyone else, but they don’t cave, they keep supporting and giving back. For all the happiness you have found this year you’ve been giving it back in spades to family, friends and
    through your blog!

    I felt a bit scared at midnight, I suddenly had a silly feeling that something bad was approaching. But I realise I just have to adopt your attitude and Rik’s words to ‘dance through brokeness’ interesting of always wishing I could mend it. I want to take what I read and see here and, this year, really try and put it into play in my life.

    You know some friends of my family have been having a tough time, their newborn has had multiple major heart operations over Christmas, please say a prayer for their little girl, who shares my name actually. I hope in a year they can look back and feel they’ve come a long and a good way too.

    Kelle, you will go from strength to strength this year. Nothing succeeds like success, and you’re succeeding!

  305. Such a beautiful post!

  306. Those photos are amazing, you look like a goddess!
    Your words inspire and move me so 😉
    Happy birthday and Happy New Year!

  307. Kelle,
    I am inspired by your artistry and the way you have captured the beauty of your family. I am also so happy for you – the way you have met your challenges and become a stronger woman because of them. I too have been blessed with a little girl this year who happens to have Down Syndrome. I am excited for who she will be and how she will impact those around her! Blessings to you in the New Year and Happy Birthday!

  308. When I read, “I Am” my first answer was “beauiful” and that doesn’t just mean your outer beauty, but your inner beauty trumps it all. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your life with us. A birthday ad new year full of blessings for you, Kelle.

  309. Happy new year!! Beautiful post, and breathtaking pictures!!

  310. In love with you and your beautiful family and perspective!

  311. Once again your beautiful post has left me in tears. The photos are wonderful. Your girls are beautiful. God Bless and Happy New Year.

  312. Wow, what a beautiful post! Those pics are amazing, you all look like angels. Thanks for sharing with us, I can say that you have changed my life and you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for everything and thank you for being such a strong woman who has changed my outlook on life! I love you and your family.

  313. Wow. Holy gorgeous photo shoot! I love love love your blog. These pics of you and your girls are absolutely stunning. Happy Birthday!

  314. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing! And Happy Birthday!

  315. A beautiful end to a year filled with every emotion you could possibly have experienced.

    The ropes around the trees like the entanglements of our lives, joining the rough with the smooth, the tightness of our chests and the give of our hearts.

    Great pictures Kaity~

    Happy Birthday Kelle in so many ways then just your age.

    Happy New Year.

    (((Big hugs from Los Angeles)))

    Sher

  316. I have one word to say about those photos…ETHEREAL.

    What a great post. I find myself going back to read it and have your words echo in my head.

    We have lots going on in life right now and today I looked up to Him and asked Him why? (Mind you it’s just stressful stuff.) My internal diolague said I can’t do this, I’m not made for this…then it switched to yes I can, YES I can, YES I CAN! Change is ahead in it’s scary but when the dust settles I will be happier for it. Thank you for the positive outlook in 2010 and I will continue to follow you in 2011. You are my daily dose of what is possible.

    Happy New Year!

    Lisa in CA

  317. I love the part where you say “I have pushed myself to be more see more and do more”. I feel that is also what i have learned this year. I feel so blessed to be going through being a mamma with you and being a mamma to a child that has something extra and specials and amazing. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year

  318. those photos are breathtaking
    happy new year!!
    can’t wait to keep reading your blog : )
    it’s my fav
    xoxo
    Abbey

  319. So in love. Happy new year. Thank you for the inspiration to face our last year and record it with the insight of having completed it. Looking ahead to the uncertainties of 2011 don’t bring JOY, but they do bring hope. I will take the time today to journal about love, loss, reality, pain, strength, brokenness, and most of all for the endurance to LIVE life admist it all. 2011 brings the hope of so much GOOD! I will find the good. Rejoice in it and put the pain of 2010 in it’s own place that it might be an on-going source of growth. God love you dear!

  320. Thank you so much for those last parting words.. you have no idea how much they mean to me.

  321. in the pics of you and your girls in those beautiful off white dresses you all 3 look like princesses.

  322. love the colors and outfits in the photo shoot pictures.. and the rope.. it’s so medieval meets… modern.. Happy Birthday

  323. Happy Birthday Kelle. This was such a moving post and in many ways summed up my own year. The pictures of you and your girls are breathtaking. Happy New Year!!

  324. Sounds like its been a year and a half for you :)

    The pictures are, as always, stunning! Your daily journaling of your childrens lives in pictures have inspired me to do more with mine!

  325. I started redaing right around when Nella was born and just keep on coming back, love your pictures and you have such cute girls. My little one just turned one in september, so it´s fun to watch Nella grow since they are only months apart.

    Just found out now that we have the same birthday, so happy birthday, happy new year, and may it be a great one.

    Best wishes from Iceland 😉

  326. Kelle,
    I’ve been following your blog for a little under a year now. Like so many readers, I am often deeply touched and inspired by your words and anxiously await the next post.
    This particular post, tho, touched me more than any other has. I have read it several times to try to get everything out of it I can. I even wrote down your quote from last year’s birthday post.
    I live my life completely out of my “comfort” zone and not out of choice. I have a husband and a five year old son, both of which I thank God for every day…I also own my own business and my husband is a chiropractor who has his own practice. Needless to say, our lives are busy. But that’s not to say we’re busier than anyone else. There are people in this world far worse off than me and who have problems that I can’t even begin to imagine. I’m just completely overwhelmed with my life right now. I have an incredible life and am so wonderfully blessed, it’s just that I’m having a hard time manageing and juggling everything. There are days I know I would not get out of bed to face the day if it weren’t for my five year old.
    Anyway, I am having a really hard time right now, with no one really to talk to, and this post has really made me think. I don’t view myself as capable. In fact, I view myself and weak and failing, but I’m going to keep your words that I wrote down and re-read them as often as I have to to try to be a better, stronger person and realize life is what we make it and that everything is not always going to be comfortable.

    Thank you, Kelle. And the pics of you and your girls are absolutely beautiful!

  327. I’m thankful that 2010 brought me to your world. Thank you for the lessons learned, the inspiration, the realization that there really are happy people in this world and the hope that I can live my life with the joy and appreciation that you do.

    Happy New Year!

  328. Stunning….absolutely stunning all of it. Your words, your sentiment, your amazing photos, your honesty, and your beautiful family.

    Thank you for allowing me a window into your world through all of your posts this year. It was like having a chat with a friend or a quick read of my favourite novel. Your blog has had me laughing, crying, and smiling more than you will ever know in 2010…. thanks :o)

    Happy Birthday! Love, good health, laughter, and happiness and comfort in the year to come….I wish you “enough”….enough of all of the above to fill your soul to the brim.

    Happy New Year!

  329. Lesa –

    Another phrase that you can write down and turn into your own mantra is something that Kelle’s friend Dig says, “I can rally.” We all can. Just keep breathing. Find strength in the little victories and pleasures.

    Happy New Year. 2011 is full of promise for all of us.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  330. Happy New Year!!!

    Kelle this is going to sound really shallow after that beautiful post but your hair is so gorgeous!!! lol :-) love u.

  331. Absolutely gorgeous :)

  332. These pictures are absolutely amazing. I. LOVE. THEM. Happy New Year!

  333. First comment on a blog…here I go! Thank you a thousand thank you’s. (You’s is a word, right?) I’m on your path, as well, with my little bundle of overwhelming, felt-like-I-got-punched-in-the-stomach with love, JOY…a daughter with Ds, who is now nine. We found out when I was 16 weeks pregnant, our first pregnancy (we went on to have a little sister and little brother). My process was slightly different…I didn’t know a mother’s love yet, and didn’t have my pink bundle, smelling so good, and being so damn helpless, to grab and cling to when I needed it. I couldn’t even have a (very) stiff drink to help process it all…just the raging hormones of pregnancy. First I tried to sort out all the questions, find neat little answers to each one…that would make sense of it all. But when perfect little answers didn’t come flooding in, and I looked up, exhausted, my beautiful village of loved ones was standing there. They were pouring support from huge buckets, then running back to the well for more. No one took a break, they didn’t tag team, they just ran back and forth from the well. There was SO MUCH BEAUTY around me. Was I going to miss it all, and look down again? It didn’t happen over night, but at some point, I, too, decided to embrace the questions, and quit waiting around for a neat little answer to be delivered, wrapped with a bow. I relate to your eternal optimism. It rises up from me, too…and not just in a lemons to lemonade kind of way. In a big way. So now I use that to celebrate my little blessing (and her sister and brother, and their daddy…my hero). We decided one week before getting our diagnosis, before there was even a thought of the words “Down syndrome” (I was 27 at the time), to name her Hope. Turns out the only answer I ever really needed lies in her name, those four little letters, that came to us when we didn’t even know such a beautiful path was right around the corner. Happiest of Happy New Year’s to you, Kelle…I promise you, it only gets better. Can you even stand that?

  334. The pics are beautiful….and a great way to start a new year. Thanks for sharing with us and helping us be better people through your own evolution and journey. Many blessings…Marissa

  335. Happy Birthday! Thank you for the inspiration to be positive and suck the marrow out of moments!

  336. Perfectly said – Happy New Year – You are right We are capable – It is just what I needed to hear as I enter one of my last classes for my master’s – gearing up for the end of that and the beginning of a new little life – it may get a little crazy but I can do it. Thanks for the reminder. Can’t wait to see what is in store for this year!

  337. So beautiful. The pictures are always wonderful but the one of Nella’s feet and hand nursing was spectacular. I love it! Makes me look forward to having another little love of my own!

  338. Your writing and your photography is beautiful. It inspires me to do more with my blog and my photography. Thank you.

    http://soulsearching4something.blogspot.com

  339. Happy Birthday, Kelle!!! And Happy New Year, it’s like a rebirth everytime …. we may be older and a bit more wiser with each one~ But you are still so young at heart!!

    The beauty of you and the girls just swirl around like a sweet little potion of happiness and I am always so happy to read and be lifted by your words!! You have taught me so much in the past year, and I am amazed at how much a stranger can change me!! —

    Enjoy your birthday mama!! You deserve it!!

  340. I am capable….can I please use this? You are amazing and beautiful…oh, and I try not to envy others but I totally want your hair – IT’S GORGEOUS and I’ll admit that I’m jealous. Happy New Year!

  341. Love, love, love! I’m realising that learning that we’re capable and trusting ourselves and our instincts is perhaps life’s biggest lesson. I’ve loved reading your blog this year, thank you again for all your inspiration xxx

  342. happy birthday kelle!! thank you for sharing your life with us for the last year+! your words are always so inspirational!

  343. Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year, Hamptons from The Dana Family.

  344. Happy birthday and Happy New Year! Shouldn’t be in the same sentence, as I am a December baby too and hated the Christmas wishes with the birthday wishes. :)

    So Happpppy birthday!

    Your pictures make me smile and tear up.

    What a year you’ve had. What a year everyone has had!

    Cheers to 2011!

  345. love this….love that you share you.

  346. continue to take life by its sweet handle bars and ride, baby, ride. happy birthday to a mama who inspires us all. who knew the written word could be so powerful to so many. happy, happy birthday. may you feel insanely blessed as you embrace one of god’s greatest gifts: LIFE. xo, t.gray

  347. Love the new header :)

  348. Friend, I wanted to come back again and look at this beautifully stitched-together story of a life well-lived.

    I am thankful for cameras because I think I would wonder if I had dreamed your visit to Montana. But there’s Lainey and Margot running down 10th street to prove it.

    I love that photo of Nella nursing a whole lot.

    Happiest of New Years. Let’s start looking for plane tickets.

  349. What a beautiful reflective post, kelle. let me just say that those pictures of you and your girls? They’re absolutely breathtaking, and so is the love that shines clearly from them. Your little girls have such a deep place in your heart, and you in theirs, and it is so very easy to see that.

    I know some people don’t believe in gut feelings, or knowing when something bad/good is going to happen, or anything like that. But I do. I believe that perhaps a part inside of you DID know about the journey your family would be taken on. I think you were also very prepared and capable of handling that tough journey, too. Your heart had enough room to grow and stretch and accept nella for the beauty that she is, and that is going to get you through. Your love was all you needed, and all you will need, to get through.

    It’s amazing that people, from tiny baby to aging elder, can affect us so greatly that it can change our personalites, our love, and our outlooks for good. I want to thank you, Kelle, for giving me a bit of the love and outlook you feel for life because I’ve needed it in 2010, and I shall carry it with me in 2011 and the years to come.

    We didn’t have all the answers in 2010, and we certainly won’t have them in 2011. Sometimes our days won’t always be good, and those bad ones will hit us hard, but one thing I’ve learned is that those things shouldn’t stop you from just living to experience things, to better yourself, and to spread the love that knows no bounds. That is what I plan to do more of in 2011.

    I hope you had a great birthday!!

    Happy New Year, Kelle & Hampton family.

  350. Happy New Year Dear Kelle,

    Hope you had a great birthday and wishing you an even greater year ahead in every way!

    love,
    Looking ahead with Joy
    in
    NE

  351. Whew! That was a doozie! So beautiful and meaningful.
    Thank you,
    Kelly

  352. Such a lovely post…these pictures are so beautiful. Happy 2011 and birthday to you.

  353. beautiful words….
    what a gift you have to write from your heart that is overflowing…

    happiest new year ever~

  354. Wow! Great post…those pictures are incredible…almost other worldly. You all look like forest sprites. Gorgeous!

  355. I thought I recognized that “I wanna nurse” look in one of those pictures. I love the sweetness of Nella’s little hands and feet as she nurses.

  356. Sweeter words have never been spoken!!!!! FABULOUS post, photos and music selection. You ARE, Kelle, and you have given us so much!!!!! THANK YOU for sharing your spirit and writing the words that compel us all to search for more joy in our own lives and have more gratitude each day. ♥♥♥

  357. Happy Birthday! Absolutely gorgeous family! This is my first comment but have been reading for 6 months. Thanks for the laughs, tears and inspiration. Shani from Melbourne, Australia

  358. I’ve been looking forward to this post for awhile…and it was everything I knew it would be. Thank you for continuing to share your journey, and for inspiring me to fearlessly embrace my own journey as well. Happy Birthday!

  359. Beautiful pictures.

    Beautiful words.

    A beautiful energy you send off with every post. I hope all that positivity returns to you 100 times over in 2011.

    Happy Birthday …and thank you.

  360. Happy Birthday, Kelle! Hope it was fantastic!

  361. Goodness, why does that photo of Lainey in ballet class always gets me teary eyed?! Ugh! It’s YOUR birthday and you keep on giving to us — people you don’t know! But goodness gracious, I’m so grateful for it, for you, for Nella, for your talent! God bless you and your family today and always!

  362. Beautiful pix! Happy Birthday! and love “i am capable”

  363. This comment has been removed by the author.

  364. Beautiful wonderful amazing

  365. These photos are BEAUTIFUL! YOU are BEAUTIFUL. Nella and Lainey are BEAUTIFUL!! Wowza!

    I am capable..I totally need that this year. I’ve taken on a much larger work load (outside the home) and my 2 babies have had to resort to a lot of chicken nuggets and hot dogs, quick baths, and less story time and more TV watching than I would like.

    I am capable..I can do it all..I know I can!

    Happy Birthday Beautiful lady!! Thanks so much for sharing your life, dreams, ups, downs, and most importantly..for being an incredible inspiration!!

  366. Happy Birthday Kelly! I love those photos of you and your girls. You are so beautiful, even at 32 😛
    Have a great year 2011, I look forward to another year of reading you :)))

  367. This comment has been removed by the author.

  368. Kelle I have enjoyed reading your words this year.
    I am a couple of years ahead on this unplanned journey and I have been so inspired by your blog and your outlook. I always leave your blog a little happier than I arrived.
    Thank you.

  369. I read your words, “I am capable,” and they took on great inspiration for me. I am pretty much home bound by illness, but today I thought about how much of that home boundedesss was given to my by doctors, family and friends and how much is actually me. So…today I started researching train trips. I vow to take at least one by may. I AM CAPABLE.

  370. Awesome :) Happy Happy Birthday… May the coming year be wonderful for you and your family!

  371. Those are wonderful words of wisdom and those are AMAZING pictures! Happy Birthday!

  372. I am in awe of you.
    This blog gives me so much hope and the feeling of love. You are an inspiration to the world and you are a beautiful human being. I am in anticipation of you next post every time. You make me want to be a better person. You are beautiful and strong and yes you ARE capable. You have a beautiful family and I cant thank you enough for sharing it with us. As my husband and I are getting ready to start a family of our own, all I can do is think about how beautiful your birth story is and how you have over come so many hurdles with such grace and humility. I cant thank you enough. <3

  373. I just discovered your site a few months ago. Since then I have been thrilled to read about your life. Thank you for sharing. You write with such honesty and compassion. I know it may sound silly, but you have inspired many in many little ways. Thank you for sharing your love of life with all of us. It is infectious!
    Cherish
    http://cherryspickings.blogspot.com

  374. Wow, you have such a beautiful blog. I love the way you write, it makes me feel like I’m right their with you just hanging out.
    Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with all of us stalkers out here! :) Happy belated birthday!

  375. Kelle, you are absolutely beautiful in the first picture with your girls! (Of course in all the others, too.) It’s clear that you are right where you belong!

  376. Happy Birthday!

    The photos of you and the girls are wonderful – love the outfit(s)!

    Happy happy,
    Caryl

  377. Hope you had a great birthday, Kelle! You have inspired my New Years Resolution: to notice and find joy in all aspects of life.

  378. This comment has been removed by the author.

  379. Happy birthday!! so beautiful

  380. This comment has been removed by the author.

  381. I know I have said this countless times in the nine months I have been following :::alright, stalking::: your blog and I’m not sure how many more times I can say it before it gets overused… but here goes – at least one more time! Kelle Hampton, you’re amazing. You’re inspiring and honest, beautiful inside and out. I feel that each and every post that you have written has been ‘soul searing’ for countless readers as you’ve given us glimpses into your life. I believe because of your posts so many others are left thinking “I am capable” too. And maybe if they’re not ‘capable’ yet, perhaps they’re rallying… or maybe they’ve rallied and were capable and now “there they be”. I know that there are hundreds of people out there that were inspired and motivated by your blog… and if not hundreds, at least one… Me. I attended a Buddy Walk in honor of Ms. Nella Bean because of how ’real’ she feels to me in result of your blog. I donated to a cause (Nella’s Rockstars) – to a foundation I may never have known about if you never brought it to my attention. Because you’re capable so are so many other people. You truly are an outstanding person and an extraordinary mom, woman, wife, role model. The world could use a few more Kelle Hamptons in it! Something else I’ve said a hundred times but I’ll say it again – Keep Rockin, Kelle!
    Happy Birthday! Happy New Year! Happy Happy Everything!

    Poppa – I do believe a lot of people read through all the comments. I know that I look forward to a new post not just for the post itself but the reactions from the readers. I truly feel as though I have made ’friends’ through your daughter’s blog. Not only have I read their comments but have also blog-surfed and found countless gut-wrenching, heart warming and mind blowing stories of the lives that people live each and every day… of cancer survivors, adoptions, losing kids, family members in Iraq and Afghanistan. My life is forever changed in result of the community that has formed here!

    Linda – Happy New Year! Hope your getting to spend lots of time with your granddaughters! My nephew was born in May and I simply cannot believe he’s already 7 months old!! It’s happening too fast!

    All that said I’ll close it up now…
    Thank you and Happy New Year to everyone who is part of the ETST community ~ especially Kelle, Brett, Lainey, Nella, Poppa & family!
    ~Beth

  382. Both of your daughters are beautiful! I am in love with your youngest!

  383. I seriously love each and every one of your posts! Not to be a creeper, but it is kind of a goal to read them all! Hahha

    Also, you always have photos. I love that.

    I thought you might be interested in joining in a project365 this new year!
    Today, I posted a link up for everyone starting out their project365 to post their first picture!

    Head on over!
    http://right-here–right-now.blogspot.com/2011/01/project365-link-up.html

    Thank you for having such wonderful posts! I love them!

  384. You get life. You inspire me with my three girls. I love how you move on and rock like a rockstar. Take it and go. Your post awhile back about your grandma passing away got me. It was so like my story of my grandma. I miss her every day, but she taught me how to live. Happy Birthday Kelle!

  385. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year! Hope you and your family have a blessed and fabulous 2011.

  386. Amazing photos! I’m sure your New Year is off and running! Thnaks for sharing such precious thoughts!

  387. Your words truly hit home. I’m battling Postpartum Depression/Anxiety and often times I’ve wondered WHY? Why is this happening to ME? And while I haven’t figured that one out yet, and I may never, your words are so true… I AM CAPABLE. I can and WILL get through this, no matter how hard it seems at times. Thank you, Kelle, for your always inspiring words. May you have the happiest year yet!

    http://katieblake.blogspot.com

  388. Happy birthday Kelle! Wishing you many more years of love!

  389. To BETH (FEAS–) LOVE your words and so agree! Happy NY to you too. Wow, your 7 month- old nephew; I KNOW, it all flies by. Our one granddtr Harper is 6 mos old already! To KATIE, dealing with PP depression, anxiety – I am sure you are working with your doc and you know that this is so common with moms. It doesnt “fix it” but maybe it helps to know this is not uncommon. I went thru it, so did both my daughters. (The one just had a baby). You will get thru it. Hang in there and I am saying a prayer for you. – The Blog Mama

  390. I’m a new follower, looking forward to reading your posts!
    http://www.thenilsensnest.blogspot.com
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tweetertiff

  391. I wish I could come up with something more eloquent and powerful to say to you that would let you know just what a GIFT you have been in my life since happening upon your beautiful blog. Everything seems to fall so severely short of expressing my gratitude. And so, I will simply say, “Thank you”… and let my actions speak instead…striving each day to make the most of this one wild and precious life – and enjoy the small things along the way…
    Can’t go without mentioning those photos…breathtaking!
    -E

  392. Da nanananana you say it’s your birthday… In my family, we play The Beatle’s “Happy Birthday” song first thing in the morning for your special day! This is either in person or via phone. It never gets old. This last year we have also added the Ting-Tings “Happy Birthday” from Yo Gabba Gabba.

    The pictures are beautiful! They are so whimsical.
    There are times that I can only look at your pictures b/c I start to cry when I read your words. This post was one of those times.
    However, I do go back and read after a few tissues:) Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!

  393. happy birthday. happy new year. to one capable chic, from another who you’ve inspired to be even more capable than i believe myself to be. :)

  394. I mean seriously…could you be any more inspiring? Ok- don’t answer that…because I think we both know the answer!!! Thank you!

  395. KELLE!! TOday, soon after YOU wrote I AM..well, I read a daily devotional book and the title for today? I AM !! They say there ARE no coincidences; it is synchronicity. I was so struck when I saw the title! Thanks, Kelle, for being a bright light and uplifting and encouraging and reminding us – in a world that can too often be cold and unkind and disconnected. From the blog mama

  396. 3 things:
    1- Happy Birthday! I too am 31, maybe that’s why I love your post. It’s nice to relate to someone my age, too see where other women/mothers are in their life.
    2-You are gorgeous–stunning actually. I’m jealous you can pull off bangs so well. My forehead is too big and my hair too thin for them.
    3-You have such a gift to be able to express life so magically. I think things in my head, but its another thing to try and put it into words on a blog. Thank you for sharing your life.

  397. JOYFUL. What joyful pics.

  398. Beautiful, Beautiful photos! Love them! Happy Birthday!

  399. Once again when I read your posts I find myself feeling more relaxed and calm as I walk away from the computer. Your family is beautiful and you are a true inspiration. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

  400. You made my 2010 just a little more inspirational- thanks
    Kellie

  401. You are amazing!!

  402. I just discovered your blog through a link on a friend’s Facebook page…and I have to say, what a fantastic discovery to start off the new year. You are living the life I hope to someday live (I’m 24, living with my boyfriend and another roommate in a small apartment with no doors, and trying as hard as I can to save enough money to move and quit my not-so-awesome job), and you also have the attitude about life that I am struggling so hard to attain right now. I can already tell this is going to be a great resource to turn to on all of those days when I am feeling stuck (aka: 6-7 days a week). I love photography and writing and tasty foods that are bad for me and adorable children, and your blog has it all. So thanks for being an inspiration as I start what I hope will be a big year for me!

    Oh, and happy belated birthday!

  403. Beautiful words – gorgeous photos!

  404. LOVING your photos!!! You all look amazing with the forest as a backdrop!!! amazing!! Also, I posted about your blog on my blog today…you got the Trendy Blog Award!!! Just a fun and fancy button for your blog!!

    http://www.joshandkel.com

    LOVE your blog friend!

  405. You are a capable inspiration to all, would love to know whats on your future bucket list:)

  406. I hope you have the happiest New Year and a very marvelous birthday! These pictures of your three are magnificent! Kudos to Kaity Ayres, I love the strings in the trees it adds such a whimsical touch.

    I have found myself without a functioning computer for the past couple of weeks so I was doing everything through my phone but I came home to a fixed computer this weekend! Now reading your blogs with the accompanying music is possible yet again! I must say this year you have given me new favorite artists and new favorite songs. So thank you for that as well as sharing your life with us!

    Enjoy the beauty and abounding love this year has to offer!

  407. Hi Kelle-
    I read your blog about your family and love it. Your photography inspires me so. And those adorable babies of yours! Thanks for sharing,
    Kris

  408. Dearest Kelle,
    once again your words fill me up with so much goodness and happiness and hope for so many things.You help me to find the beauty that i some times struggle to find on my own.I cant believe i have been following you for over a year now,every couple of days becoming giddy as i tune in for another dose of beauty,even more excited than i am when i recieve my new issue of people:)this year i have chosen to be filled with so much more happiness,so much more joy.I have become so much less anal about the stuff that doesnt matter and i have sat back and just held my children,what an incredible gift you have given me.I know you probably hear that alot but it is such truth.I became pregnant with my 5th child,after so many miscarriages i came to you knowing i could tell a momma they joy that was stirring within me and still have my secret from my family and friends,i have chosen to pick up the camera and take pics of my ever growing belly,because of you.I have zero pics of myself pregnant with my other 4 because i am so self consious,but after finding you,i have fallen in love with my camera and have taken some pics for my precious baby.I delivered my beautiful charlotte on dec 21 and the whole time i was in the hospital,i couldnt wait to read your posts and stop by and thankyou for letting me share my precious secret with you 9 months ago, and thankyou for all the beauty you have brought to my life.
    siobhan:)

  409. Looks like we share a birthday! The picture’s of you and your girls are amazing! I have so enjoyed reading this past year of your journey.

  410. Capable and so much more!! Oh, Kelle…there aren’t enough words to describe you! You are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

    Love,
    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  411. Happy birthday. Love everything about this post. It. Is. Beautiful.

  412. Happiest Birthday Wishes!!
    I’ve only recently started reading your blog and following you through your amazing journey of love and life… and you have now taken away my breath and moved me to tears. wishing you many, many more beautiful, happy moments – may you continue to share and inspire so many of us; moms living day to day life with their loved ones… you truly know how to bring out the essence of each and every moment! Thanks for sharing your trials, discomfort, courage, and achievements! Happy Birthday!!!!

  413. OMG! Is that you? Not here, but there…you know right… what I am asking?

    I swear it’s you, one of 10?

    White shirt, black belt….

    If you have no clue what I am talking about…then consider me a whackadoodle and I’ll explain it later! Lol!

    Sher

  414. I just want you to know that this was an amazing post as all of yours are. I’m so grateful that I found your blog this past year. You and your precious family have definitely made an impact on me. I wrote about you in my blog in case you want to check it out. Thank you!!! Happiest New Year!!!

    http://www.graham-footballsandfairies.blogspot.com/

  415. Those pictures are so beautiful and so are you and your girls :) Happy Birthday :)

  416. Happy belated birthday Kelle! What a truly amazing post! First of all, I love this song! I had to go back and replay it on your playlist several times. (I will go to iTunes later to find and purchase it.) Secondly, the pictures are absolutely breathtaking! Kaity is quite a talented photographer. Definitely magazine material! I love your look back at your year through pictures and your beautiful way with words. One thing really struck me with your quote, “For all the years I may have searched for who I am, I have found the answer in my thirty-first year.” Many people spend most of their lives searching–you are very fortunate to have found that at such an early age.
    Happy New Year–may 2011 be even more fabulous for you and your family!

  417. I just wanted to say…beautiful! I love the new pics with you and your girls. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2011!

  418. What an inspirational post for the first part of a new year. Kelle, you are an incredible person who touches so many peoples lives, so deeply… thank you for always challenging me to take some good out of every situation and realize how precious and wonderful life is. It is so easy to forget that when times are tough. Happy new year and happy birthday! I look forward to another year of reading your powerful words, seeing your beautiful photos and hearing about all of your fabulous events!

  419. Thank you for your amazing inspiration. I read and re read every post and I talk about you like we are friends!! haha You give me so much motivation and hope and I just want to tell you you are amazing. I love your photography and your way with words. You make me want to hug my baby girls tighter and try to enjoy every moment that much more. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  420. Thank you for your amazing inspiration. I read and re read every post and I talk about you like we are friends!! haha You give me so much motivation and hope and I just want to tell you you are amazing. I love your photography and your way with words. You make me want to hug my baby girls tighter and try to enjoy every moment that much more. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  421. Happy Birthday Kelle! Beautiful post. Beautiful pictures. I wish you and your family a healthy and happy 2011!!

  422. Well, I’m always hesitant to leave a comment because a BILLION other people are always leaving comments. But I had to leave one this time, even if you can’t read it. (I’m your 1 billionth and ONE customer today =p ) but you INSPIRE me – to be a better mom, a better person, a better woman… just better. My family is not without our own personal challenges, but you seriously have helped me through some difficult times with your attitude of perseverance – as hard as it is to always stay positive in the face of disabilities when it comes to our children. Lots of luck and love to you and your family this new year!

  423. The pictures are breathtaking! I love everything about them. Happy Birthday and thank you for all of your inspiration this year!

  424. A beautiful post filled with photos of your beautiful family.

    Continued blessings to you…

  425. Happy Birthday! What a great recap and the photos are gorgeous.

  426. You have the same birthday as my one year old!!!! Happy Birthday Kelle!!

  427. Your husband must just be exploding with pride for all of his beautiful girls. Those pictures are pure lovliness. Happiest New Year to all of you – and happy birthday.

  428. Amazing blog, beautiful writing, gorgeous photos and a wonderfully blessed life. Always uplifting. Thanks for having the courage to share it.

  429. Beautiful! You are an inspiration.

  430. Happy Birthday, Kelle! Those pictures are SO beautiful!!!

  431. What a beautiful post. And what great photos to remember this year of your life. I continue to enjoy following you on your journey. Happy Birthday! XO

  432. I have fallen in love with your blog! I’ve never been given the chance to give birth to a child, but have 3 step-kids and a wonderful grandson named Jude. Jude is 9 months old, we were told he would die upon birth. He has “Dandy Walker” Syndrome. I found your blog before he was born, and it gave me strength! Jude will need lots of help, but love seems to be “healing” him. Thank you and God Bless

  433. You are gorgeous, in every way possible. I am a new reader and you inspire me. What a beautiful family and a beautiful soul you have!

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  435. Ive been reading your blog since Nellas birth. This is the first time Ive posted.. LOVE this post, everything about it. My youngest shares a birthday with you! Happy new year.

  436. Wow. Thank you for your beautiful post! Your family is so lovely and your grace shines through your words. Wishing you a happy 2011!

  437. Happy Birthday! You remind me so much of my friend! She writes a blog (http://ltih.blogspot.com/) and is a wonderful inspiration in my life! Thanks for writing this blog, I have read it for over a year! You are gorgeous and so are your girls!

  438. OK Kelle- I am absolutely mystified by the imagery of that picture of you and your precious littles standing inside the the tattered (is that really a word- oh well I just decided it was!)and worn rope. You have taken life by the horns girl and you are only inside that rope because you CHOOSE to be there not because life is forcing you there! And I just love that about you – you embrace what is unknown and somewhat scary and what others may run from. You are an artist of life, girl not just photography. Thank you for sharing your positively sparkling view on things and helping those of us who need a good dose of loving life!

    Happy birthday!!!

  439. A Beautiful post…..I hope your new year is full of butterfly kisses!

    xoxo,
    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

    ps…lovely photos by kaity ayres

  440. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year Kelle!!! I so look forward to spending 2011 on blogland with you! xo

  441. In true New Years resolution fashion, I’ve decided to finally stop lurking and leave a post. I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year now and I cannot begin to tell you how much your passion for life and really living it, has impacted me. Thank you. In this new year, I vow to learn how to actually live rather than just endure life. I owe that to you. 2011 will be a great year. Thank you!!

  442. Happy late birthday. I just LOVE your new “fairy” pictures! :)

  443. Happy Birthday. You are an inspiration and I love visiting your site because it makes me want to be a better person too and to live a completely full life.
    Stunning pictures by Kaity Ayres – they capture the love and awe you have. You 3 shine!

  444. better late than never, happy birthday!!!!! love the new pics! keep on growin’

  445. Kelle – These photos have literally taken my breath away…. I am speachless!

  446. love your blog, love your honesty and love the gorgeous photos! wishing you a great year ahead in 2011!

  447. This is one of my favourite posts of all time. I’ll be quoting you on my blog. You say the things that are on my own heart sometimes. It’s amazing.

    And that picture of you and Nella laughing as you hold her up and your hair flows around you… speechless.

    You three are a picture of beauty.

  448. as always…truly amazing. Photos of you and the girls are breathtaking. It’s been a joy and inspiration following your blog this year and I truly look forward to seeing what’s to come for all of you in 2011.

  449. I love Nella’s book!

  450. this was fantastic! so glad you were born kelle!

  451. Amazing. Amazing. You all are so lovely.

  452. Kelle, just found your blog and was so moved with your words and honesty. What an empowering woman you are to so many of us… Thank you for yours words… etched forever in our souls. God bless!

  453. Kelle…i came across your blog from another and really glad that i did… you are beautiful and i’m sure an ispiration to many :)

    P.S. where did you get the lovely dress that you are wearing in the photos with your daughters in the forest…my niece is pregnant and looking for a wedding dress similar to the one that you have on.

  454. What a beautiful post – brought tears to my eyes. Love you and love your girls and love your blog. You are incredible and an inspiration!

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