…and it WAS a Beautiful Day

I don’t even know where to begin.
And so I sit here, just staring at the screen, wanting so badly to be able to take this storm of feelings and find words that are worthy.


For starters, we’ll use Bryan Adams’. Because they were playing the moment my hands reached out and grasped her tiny little self…the moment I pulled her close and kissed her head.

When you love someone, you’ll do anything.
You’ll do all the crazy things that you can’t explain.
You’ll shoot the moon. Put out the sun. When you love someone.

The celebration of her birth was a bit like her birth day–planned and prepped with anticipation of perfection. And, a bit like her birth day, the unexpected came–cold winds and languid skies. It wasn’t the way it was supposed to go but, turns out, it really was.

And while the house wasn’t ready for an indoor party, everyone came together and made it work. We passed out sweatshirts and blankets, lit a fire, cleared tables, and watched as huddles of bodies joined inside, outside, wherever…and it didn’t matter. We had our village and our family. And that’s all I ever need.

The rest is…well, cake.

Pinwheels: Elizabeth St.
Cake: My talented friend, Amy

Our girl had a party. And it was just as it should be.


Going to pick up our balloons was perhaps the funniest experience ever. We stuffed and pushed and crammed for fifteen minutes to make them fit, and my friend Nadya ended up having to lie on the floor underneath them to make it home.

Thank you, Gary, who spent three hours creating that arbor. And Nana Kate gave us the giant high chairs which were discarded Baby Gap display props. If you give a girl a giant highchair, whatever is a girl to do?



Nella and Lainey’s birthday outfits from Dream Spun Kids on Etsy


Lemonade on Ice

Marshmallows dipped in blue candy melts






Hair Blooms, gifts of our new sponsor, Little Lesiw.

Nella and her therapist, Jonah.



My favorite moments?

Meeting Libby and Sara.


Libby was a blog reader who e-mailed me a crazy idea a couple months ago and, long story short, she, her sister-in-law and their families flew down to be part of our weekend. And they belonged here.

Libby has her own story. She began a new journey this year as well–a different journey–but one that, like ours, took some time to accept and some courage to overcome. Libby is undergoing chemo for lymphoma and raising her precious little girl, Ava, at the same time. And I have to say, I am so inspired by her story, her love and the opportunity of spending the weekend with this amazing mama.

Thank you to my new friends for being here.

For those of you who have done this, you know what that first birthday means. It’s a medal of honor, a celebration, a flag at the peak of a summited mountain. It is a memory of that very day, and it is bittersweet. Mostly sweet, hardly bitter, but even so…at 4:24 p.m., the very second she was born, I held her close and cried. Because I can’t forget–don’t want to forget–that second that changed my life.


Overall, I searched for moments of meaning and found them. I mined my heart for any rawness, any unsettled grief, and prepared to feel a bit sad, but mostly? Mostly, I felt peace and love and contentment. The events of last year have been sewn together seamlessly with our present, and I hardly recognize anymore where the past shifts into right now.

My favorite photo of the day, my sister bears.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful, magical, much-loved girl.


Saturday evening was an unforgettable celebration of growth and strength and the very capable women in my life. It deserves a second post, so more to come.

There is more I’d like to say, but I am so emotionally drained. This week, I will revisit the room where she was born. I will return to the sacred ground of the place that began my journey and make a toast to the beautiful pain of that room. I will let it go and, at the same time, I will save a small piece. Because I want to remember.

Thank you for all your kind wishes here in this space, in my e-mail, on Facebook, in your thoughts. There has been so much love this year, and I am better for it.

I am thrilled to announce that the total online and offline total of Nella’s ONEder Fund surpassed our $15,000 goal. It surpassed our $47,000 goal and our $63,000 goal. I’m excited to report that you all have helped us wish our girl a happy birthday and spread love to thousands of families. Friends, together we raised $101,144.

…and it’s still growing. (Thank you to Dana Wainstein who spun off her own fundraiser to help Nella in honor of her son, Jake, and raised over $6,500). Thank you to every one of you for giving and for sharing. I never dreamed it could happen like this. But, then again, I never dreamed a year ago that a little moment could change my life so wonderfully.


I keep coming back to this quote today. A dear friend (thank you, Kleidy) shared it with me after Nella was born, and today, it means so very much.

Awareness born of love is the only force that can bring healing and renewal. Out of our love for another person, we become more willing to let our old identities wither and fall away, and enter a dark night of the soul, so that we may stand naked once more in the presence of the great mystery that lies at the core of our being. This is how love ripens us -by warming us from within, inspiring us to break out of our shell, and lighting our way through the dark passage to new birth. ~John Welwood

Basking in new birth today. Two days into her second year, and it’s going to be good.
Feeling blessed and in love and grateful for every experience that continues to shape our family.

For those of you who liked the little blooms party favor, we’re happy to have Little Lesiw on as a new sponsor. I knew Rachel was sending me a box of goodies for her new sponsorship, but I had no idea how amazing that box would be. I got it the day before the party and gasped when I opened it to find it was filled with the most beautiful, well-crafted barette and headband blooms–enough for Lainey’s friends with lots to keep. Okay, I stole some for myself too. The fabric choices alone are worth a trip to her site for some happy browsing. Check her out. For one week starting now, 10% of all her sales are going to The ONEder Fund. In addition, you get 25% your entire purchase using code NELLA25 at check-out until the end of this month.



And a lucky random commenter on this birthday party post will receive a $100 gift certificate to her store. You’ll have no problem spending it, I assure you!

As my sister shared in her post a year ago, yes…it was a beautiful day.



Leave a Comment
  1. what a beautiful birthday party!

  2. Beautiful birthday party for a beautiful little girl! She was truly celebrated that day (and every day!)

  3. You did such a beautiful job with everything. Love it! Happy Birthday precious Nella!

  4. Your daughter is precious! Happy Birthday Nella!!

  5. Beautiful Party and Beautiful bows!

  6. At long last, “The Post” we have all been waiting for. It looks like you had an awesome time. I mean even an arbor! That party looks better than my wedding decorations:) Isn’t it amazing how a year can be used to grieve and grow and change…for the better.
    Thank you for adding the fun(d) raiser to Nella’s special day. It will help so many of our kids with down syndrome. susan

  7. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your day.

    Happy birthday sweet Nella!

  8. happy birthday nella! and mama, you done good.

  9. Your pictures are always beautiful but I think you have a second calling as a party planner! What a beautiful sight it was. You have so many wonderful talents. Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Every post you write is like a breath of fresh air to me. Nella is beautiful and I’m so happy she found her family in yours.

    Happy 1st Birthday to the little girl’s birth that was heard ’round the world.

  11. Her party and decorations were so cute and bright! Happy Birthday Nella!

  12. As always the pics were amazing , your words even more. I want to write so much about how Nelle has changed so much and she did, but more as you mentioned is was Lainey when she saw her sister for the first time taught you that love for someone is expected no matter how unexpeted the package may be.

    I live up , more than several hours away for you, but you make us all feel like family .
    we love you all. keep relishing these beautiful moments.

    Trust me , if you let me Ill be visiting you with my littles , although right now , i have no spectactular story to tell or how i or any of my family has defined the odds but I assure you I love like no other and we have that in common.

    Great first birthday nella . thanks for changing the world!

    Happy first birthday being a big sister lainey .your changing the way love works.

    love and blessings

  13. it looks like she had the most wonderful first birthday ever!! she is truly blessed as i’m sure you feel extra blessed! her party looked beautiful!

  14. Sounds like an amazing day! I hope that some day when I have kids I can create a party as special as the one you held for your girl! Congrats on surpassing all of your goals for Nella’s ONEder Fund. That is fantastic!

  15. Just wanted to wish little Nella a very VERY happy birthday. You’re all so lucky to have each other. <3

  16. What a great day!!! I was cracking up with the balloons ( i have done that lol) then seeing Nella with her therapist brought me to tears there is SO much love there! Good job momma! You rock

  17. What a beautiful day. MAZEL TOV Nella on your first year, we can’t wait to see what else you have in store….

  18. I’m a new follower of yours, but you have a beautiful story, family, and life. I love reading your blog. Have a blessed week!

  19. I just found your blog and I LOVE it. What a beautiful birthday party! I can’t wait to read more :)

  20. Happy First Birthday Beautiful Precious Nella!! I have been waiting for this post for months! I love following this blog it is my absolute favourite blog! Thank you for sharing with the world your precious children, your thought provoking posts and gorgeous photos! I can’t wait to see what this next year brings!

  21. perfection!

  22. Beautiful! :-)

  23. What a perfect day!

  24. Wow, what an AMAZING first birthday for Miss Nella. You really are so amazing at bringing a party together. All of the decorations look fantastic, and every picture you posted just radiates love and happiness. Happy 1st birthday Nella! You are such a sweet angel.

  25. Happy Birthday Nella! What a beautiful party!

  26. What a beautiful post and fabulous party! Happy Birthday Nella!

  27. Happy Birthday, Nella!

    What a wonderful day you had! :)

  28. I’m in the to 20 for comments!!! YEAH!!! Your blog today made me cry (as always) and my favorite part was you holding sweet Nella at the exact time she was born. Our daughters are one month to the day and you out did yourself today with that FABOLOUS party!! You had a great year Mrs. Hampton and your story is just beginning. GREAT post today…GREAT POST!!! Heather Lavigne Saint John, NB

  29. Speechless! Beautiful story. Beautiful Nella. Is God amazing in His gifts?! Love how you celebrate and embrace life. So cool to read the story of her birth last year and then to read of her one year celebration. She is precious!

  30. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Nella, happy Birthday! It’s nearly a year since I found your blog and I’m so happy I did! God bless your family, Mali =)

  31. This is beautiful! Happy Birthday Nella!
    WOW what am amazing party- the crafts look beautful. The colors are so bright and perfect- Just like your sweet Nella!

  32. Happy, happy birthday, Nella! Your party looks like so much fun!

  33. What a wonderful day Kelle. I still remember the first time I read Nella’s birth story and how I cried. Sad for the journey ahead that wasn’t at all what you planned. But you’ve made it the most beautiful story! I can’t wait to hear more.

  34. Happy Birthday Nella! What an amazing party and I love all the decorations!! It is so wonderful to see so many people come together for such a special day.

  35. What a gorgeous birthday party! Happy birthday to your sweet Nella!

  36. My goodness…that looks like the nicest party ever. I’m loving the decorate a frame idea! Glad that you all had a great time :-) x

  37. An amazing birthday, little one!

  38. btw, the picture of nella and her therapist is amazingly beautiful , he definatly has love for her.

  39. My son looked at the pictures and said he wanted to go to that party! What a beautiful family and a beautiful day!

  40. Happy Birthday beautiful Nella.

  41. Happy Birthday Nella!!
    The party looked wonderful! loved the bright colors and the crafts, looked like lots of fun!
    Beautiful story and writing, I had tears of joy while reading it.

  42. Love the bows!!!

  43. What an amazing day! I love everything about that party. It’s amazing how I started reading your blog about a year ago and how I feel like I have just moved into your life! Your family and friend are so lucky to have such an amazing woman in their life. You are the original Rockstar. If I could only be one ounce of the mom you are…

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us.

  44. What a sweet day. Love how you captured it. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!


  45. we’ve been waiting all day for this. YAY!! What an incredibly stunning party. And what incredinly stunning girls you have.

    please please please tell us where you got those outfits for the girls. My credit card is already out and ready to purchase. LOL

  46. Happy birthday, beautiful baby girl!!!!!!

  47. Thank you for sharing your Nella with me. It is a beautiful life.

  48. You have a very beautiful family! And it looks like this birthday party was an amazing day! Your posts always make me cry, you have such a way with words!

  49. Aww Kelle. It looks like the party was a hit! Again, Happy 1st Birthday Nella :)

  50. What a beautiful party! I am in awe of your creativity in how you put it together. I loved every little bit of it. Especially the cake! Happy belated birthday to Nella and many wonderful wishes are being sent your way for you and your family. I hope this next year brings much more love and hapiness to your home.

  51. I cannot keep the tears at bay when reading your posts. It makes my heart so happy that Nella has such an amazing family who loves her so much. Thank you for taking that love you have for her and multiplying it the way you are. And thank you for inspiring me to be a better momma.

  52. Happy birthday to sweet Nella! I am so happy for you all. The party looks amazing :)

  53. I shouldn’t be surprised by your amazing party, they always are!! I am in awe of how you can reflect so beautifully on your lives AND have time to plan such an awesome party. (Not to mention their books that you must spend hours on!) You are sure welcome to plan my son’s 2nd b-day in March! Congratulations on such a wonderful celebration.

  54. Love the party pics. Love that you held Nella at the exact moment she came into your world.

    So proud of you and your accomplishments in the past year and the money you were able to raise. But more importantly the people you were able to inspire, change, open their minds, open their hearts, teach them that something unexpected and scary can be the most beautiful gift you could have ever imagined in more ways than one.

    Everyone deserves happiness. This is my new motto this year and partly thanks to you. 😉

    Happy Birthday Nella Bean. Your bunny is getting so big so fast!

  55. Happy birthday, sweet Nella, and happy birthing day to YOU, Miss Kelle. :) I began reading your blog just a few weeks before Nella was born–which was two months before my littlest bug was born, poking around searching for other mamas along the same journey, and it’s amazing to see how your family has continued to bloom over this past year. You guys are amazing. :)

    I LOVE the color scheme you went with for Nella’s party–I have such a weakness for super bright, fun colors, I’m in love!

  56. so glad your day of celebration was so delightful! happy 1 year, miss n!

  57. What an absolutely gorgeous party, and of course, an even more beautiful little girl to go along with it!

    happy birthday Nella!! :)

  58. And the journey continues. . . . . enjoy the ride! Thanks for sharing with all of us. xoxo

  59. What a gorgeous party -every little thing is perfect! Love Lainey’s matching outfit. Hope you continue to bask in the loveliness of the last couple of days, of pretty details, smiles on the littles faces, and on the big faces, and of the love from your family and friends.

  60. Looks like an amazing party! Such a wonderful way to commemorate your little girl :)

  61. What a wonderful (ONEderful?) day! I am so happy for you all.

  62. So much love surrounds Nella. The warmth and positive energy of your family and friends is so evident in the lovely photos. It is easy to feel the camaraderie of your sweet mates – love how Heidi is always there with her soulful eyes and Poppa with his radiating joy… and Gary who seems to modestly nurture and create beauty (your garden, that arbor!).
    Thank you for sharing your cherished village – along with your exuberance for life and your wonderful family.

  63. Happy 1st BD, Nella! Wishing you and your beautiful family continued blessings from above!

  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. Thank you for sharing the details of Nella’s birthday! You truly created a special day for all who attended!

  66. Happy birthday, sweet sweet Nella.

    (the party looks like it was SO much fun, and it’s making me excited for my daughter’s first. It kinda blows my mind that it’s only 5 months away. Time FLIES.)

  67. Happy Birthday Nella Bean!!

    and i totally love any hair accessory especially flowers!

  68. I have been so inspired by your story that I started my own family blog! http://lennonnorahharrison.blogspot.com/

    Thanks so much for encouraging every mother out there! Keep up the wonderful work you do!

  69. What a beautiful birthday for a precious and sweet girl! Happy birthday Nella!

  70. Gorgeous, Kelle. All of it…just freaking gorgeous:)xo

  71. I am so inspired by your sweet baby girl. She shines. What a day to celebrate!

  72. I am so inspired by your sweet baby girl. She shines. What a day to celebrate!

  73. beautiful girl. beautiful party. beautiful post.

  74. I’m turning 30 this year. Can you throw me a party? I love it all – the colour scheme, the stations, crafts, food. Yeesh, why aren’t you a party planner lady?

  75. Gorgeous! You are all so blessed to have each other!

  76. Wow! So inspiring and just perfect for your little one.

  77. happy birthday sweet nella :)

  78. Wow, Kelle, such justice you do to your littles in making their moments count. What a beautiful party, and a beautiful day for you all. Happy Birthday Nella, you have an amazing life ahead of you!

  79. what a beautiful day! And a beautiful girl! Happy Birthday Nella!

  80. What an amazing celebration! Little Nella, along with your entire family, have truly changed my entire perspective on family, life and what it means to be a mother! After every one of your posts, I scoop up my little Lola and hug her so tight because I’m so thankful for her! Also, I LOVE those sweet little barrettes, and have been buying them off etsy for Lola for months now!

  81. What a rockin party!

    An awesome day. I super love those baby chairs, super cool that you were able to get them.

    Recently I learned that my sisters best friend growing up had to deliver her stillborn little girl a couple weeks ago. I know what you mean that there are no words that will help or ease the pain. I search and all I can say to her is “I’ll be there for whatever you need”.

  82. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!!
    What a beautiful way to celebrate such a grand entrance into this world and into our hearts!

    And what a wonderful year it has been!!
    Thanks for sharing your world, it has been truly life changing!

  83. The Nella’s story is so beautiful, and the celebration of her first year could’nt have been more amazing. (perhaps the sun could been appear….hahahha)
    Happy birthday Nella! Congrats Kelle! You are a example of determination, hapiness and love to your family.

    Best regards from Brasil!

  84. Red and Aqua! The most beautiful color combo for a beautiful little girl.

    Kelle,you look so peaceful holding your girl.What a feeling it is to hold your little one!

  85. What a perfect first birthday party! I love it all. Happy birthday again Sweet Nella! And Kelle- I cried when I saw how much money you have raised… amazing. Absolutely amazing!

  86. Everything looks perfect!

  87. Such a beautiful day! I love you and your little girls!

  88. What a beautiful birthday! I look forward to reading your posts every day for inspiration and ‘eye candy’. BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL

  89. Happy Birthday Nella! Congratulations on such a beautiful year…and thank you for sharing it with us. You are an inspiring family!

  90. I have been waiting all day for this post and it was worth it. Love it!!!

  91. Your creativity is SOO impressive! What an amazing party you threw! :)

  92. You are such an awesome party planner! I can’t believe how beautiful the parties you throw for your girls are!

  93. Beautiful!!! Such a special day for an amazing and beautiful little girl! Happy birthday Nella!!!

    Andrea xxxx

  94. Brings tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful day for such a lovely family! Happy birthday, Nella!

  95. What a beautiful, special party! Congratulations on raising so much money! you’re awesome!

  96. Sounds like the perfect day….the kind of day that reminds us what life is about, and how the moments we thought would break us, actually heal us. They heal our souls, and they remind us how to smile, how to love, and how to rejoice….how to rejoice “In the Small Things”….many more days just like this one await you.

  97. Holy Cuteness! Happy Birthday Nella!

  98. I can’t think of any party I’ve ever been to that can even compare to the magnitude of love that is so obvious in every photo on her first birthday.

    It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful!

  99. omg, Kelle. This was the most amazing post, evar!
    I’m so glad the day was beautiful for you all! Nella looked completely over-the-top adorable. The cake, the decorations, the favors, the huge high chairs – all fabulous-o!

    Happy 1st Nella!

  100. You are inspiring! Your children are gorgeous! And you brought tears to my eyes. It’s so great to know that in this world of darkness there are mothers who stand tall and show their children how much joy and happiness it also brings. You are truly a breath taking mother!!

  101. what a beautiful celebration! happy birthday nella!

  102. Kelle,
    Happy 1st Birthday to your beautiful Nella! I have been reading your blog for the past year, since a friend told me about Nella’s birth story. You are an amazing woman and mom and an incredible inspiration. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing your pictures. Your daughters, you, and your family are truly beautiful, and are blessed to have each other. Congratulations on a fantastic first year with Nella! Lainey is a fabulous big sister and Nella is so lucky to have her! Nella’s birthday party looks amazing. Great job!

  103. CAn I just say that I’ve been waiting for this post all weekend? And I also read Libby’s blog- so cool to see how you two have connected. The party was amazing, as are you.

  104. so beautiful and amazing. you should be so proud!

  105. I’m going to blame the pregnancy hormones for the fact that I can barely see the screen through tears. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and blessed day :)

  106. Happy Birthday Nella! Your party looks so sweet and cheerful – like a big bowl of cherries. I’ve just recently found your blog and I keep coming back because I enjoy the way that you add magic to everything. Happy mother-of-two day, Kelle!

  107. Happy Happy Birthday, Nella!

  108. Beautiful beautiful post. Beautiful girls and beautiful COLORS!
    I just love this little spot on the web!

  109. It’s all just perfect… especially the not-perfectness. Blessings to your precious one year old!

  110. Love it! Love it! Love it! What an amazing day for a very special girl and her proud (and very talented) mama! Beautiful pictures and beautiful words!

  111. Reveling in your colorful blog from Chicago. You are always an inspiration to live more! Love More!

  112. Absolutely beautiful and so inspiring. :)

  113. You are quite the party planner! It was beautiful! Happy Birthday Nella!

  114. Darling! Your birthday parties are so creative and full of fun! What a wonderful day I’m sure it was :)


  115. Beautiful, indeed.

  116. What a beautiful birthday party! I was so excited for your picture with Libby too! Libby keeps one of the most inspiring blogs I have ever been privileged to read, and to see two of my favorites come together makes me smile :)

    and now I’m off to buy something cute from little lesiw!

  117. Beautiful. :)
    The party was beautiful, but even more lovely are the people and the joy that has come from the experiences of the past year- and the learning, growth, and joy that have come to each of your readers!
    Thank you for your blog & for the frequent reminder to continue to enjoy the small things!

  118. Happy Birthday Nella!

    As a side note, I so enjoyed watching the totals from Nella’s ONEder Fund grow!!

  119. What a great post! Your ability to put emotions into words is just amazing. I’m so glad that Nella and everyone else had a great day!

  120. This really made my Monday. Thanks for sharing your joy! Happy Birthday, Nella!

  121. What a beautiful day. You must know, Kelle, that reading your blog for nearly a year now has changed my life. That may seem like a bold statement but it’s true. It’s true when I sit on the bathroom floor and rock my all-arms-and-legs 4 yo, Cecilia, after her bath. This didn’t use to be a regular occurence but now it’s my favorite part of the night. It’s true when I pick up my 6 mo, Joseph, from his crib at 6am and he reaches his arms around my neck and nestles his head into my chest. I stand and enjoy it even though it always makes me a few minutes late to work. It’s true when I reveled in the joy of watching my crazy husband dress as an elf for my family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner. The Little Lesiw goodies would be put to great use but more than that, I just wanted to say thank you.
    Abby Doyle in Kansas:)

  122. You are, quite simply, amazing.

    Happy Birthday not-so-little Nella!

  123. Looks like it went the way it was meant to be. Happy Birthday to a very special little girl who touched all of our hearts :)

  124. Happy Happy Birthday Nella!! What a wonderful celebration for an amazing girl. And thank you Kelle. You inspire all of us. You put into words what so many of us have felt when faced with our childrens diagnosis. Thank you for helping make the world a better place for our kids with designer genes.

  125. Amazing party!!! Kelle You are star!!!! All best wishes to LIbby!!!!

  126. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! What a treasure, and I am so happy that you had all the people you love around you! God bless you Nella! Onward with another beautiful year!

  127. what a beautiful party for such a beautiful little girl. :) she is blessed to have a momma like you- you have done so much with your situation and it’s inspiring!!

  128. Happy Birthday, Nella!

  129. Happy Birthday Nella!

    Love that photo of her and her therapist!

    What a beautiful day!

  130. What a beautiful party for a beautiful little girl!! Love the color scheme, too. Miss Nella looked like she had a ball. :-)

  131. beautiful party, beautiful girls, amazing story! Thank you for sharing with us all.

  132. Awww Happy Birthday beautiful Nella!! Loved all the pictures. You are def. the queen of the party planners :)My girl is turning 1 on Feb. 1st! Can’t believe it.

  133. My god, you slay me- Kate Bush playing in the background on your playlist as I scroll through the beautiful touching moments of a lovely celebration- how can I keep from welling up? We should all be celebrating life as you do.

  134. Love the comparison of her actual birth day and birthday party not going exactly as planned but both turning out perfectly! My mom just got back from Florida and commented on how cold it was. Thought of you and your party. Knew you’d make it all work out in the end though! Laughing so hard at the thought of Nadya laying flat on the floor to make room for the balloons. Just wish I could’ve been there with all of you! Happy Birthday Nella!

    P.S. Congrats on the amazing ONEder fund! Amazing work my friend!

  135. What a gorgeous day!

    Happy Birthday, Nella!!! You’ve changed the hearts of so many.

    OVER $100K!!!! Congratulations on your efforts, Kelle. You are such a beautiful person (inside and out)!!

  136. What a beautiful day! Happy Birthday Nella! I am 5 months pregnant with a baby girl myself and your blog touches my heart every time I read it.

  137. Happy birthday to sweet Nella – looked like an amazing day! xo

  138. I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog! I stumbled upon it a few days ago and what a blessing it has been! Happy birthday to your beautiful little Nella!

  139. I usually read your blog with google reader. So reading this with the backdrop of your playlist was quite a surprise to me. Way to evoke some intense after work emotions! The day sounds amazing, but moreover, your outlook gives me hope for so much in this life. You are bright, and beautiful, and your realizations that have developed over this past year are affecting so many. You honestly are teaching us how to live a more realized and beautiful life. Thank you.

  140. Can I admit that I have waited with great anticipation for this post… cause I have! :-)

    Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

  141. Happy Birthday Nella!

  142. Love everything you did to celebrate! What an inspiring story you have and the joy and love that spills out from your words. You are an inspiration. :)

  143. Such a beatiful little girl, Happy Birthday Nella!

  144. First birthday parties are so emotionally amazing aren’t they…reflect, celebration, love and gatheirng of those that have journeyed that first year with you…happy birthday Nella!

  145. Such a wonderful post- it looks like your party was full of sunshine despite the cloudy skies.
    It was fun watching you surpass your $15k, $47k, $63k and then $100k (!) fundraising goals with NDSS…
    Thank you once again for letting us see snapshots of your wonderful life – looking forward to more posts :-)

  146. Kelle–I absolutely love your blog. Your girls are beautiful and you inspire me to be creative and simply live life every day.
    Hayley from Michigan(:

  147. We have never met, but you are my dear friend. Our sweet girls are only months apart and I have shared this journey with you. Here’s to many more years of unspeakable joy and awareness!

  148. Happy birthday Nella! Too much beauty in this post to just mention one thing. I’ve been a reader since stumbling upon Nella’s birth story in February of last year, and wanted to say a quick thank you for the new perspectives and inspirations you’ve given me.

  149. Happy Birthday Nella!

  150. Today was a rough day for me, and I am so glad I took a moment to enjoy the small things. What a beautiful family, so beautifully depicted through your words & pictures.

  151. Kellie that is a great birthday party theme. In the last year you and along with all of your readers have “bloom”. I love reading your blog and see your great pictures! Great job in helping rasie 101,000+ I know it is going to do a lot of good for so many people and helping their dreams come true.

  152. It looks like she had a very good birthday!!

  153. Happy Birthday Nella! You have such unique party ideas! The high-high chairs are fantastic!

  154. I can’t believe it’s been a year! What a beautiful party for such a beautiful girl and her family.

  155. I love your beautiful life. I adore your beautiful daughters. I love “peaking” through your windows to see the beauty you create and nuture. Thanks for sharing it with me. Happy Birthday Nella!

  156. The party looks like it was a blast! I know little Nella loved every minute of it!

  157. your party is so elegant! thanks for sharing 😀

  158. Beautiful, beautiful family. Happy Birthday Nella! Congratulations on your day, your year and may many many more come your way!

  159. beautiful. my little leah will be celebrating four years next month. she has special needs of her own and i can assure you i’ll read this post multiple times in preparation to keep some of my feelings under control. and she’d look stunning in in those little lesiw accessories!

  160. so much beauty in this post! i love it, and i love how you go all out for parties!

  161. Love all the pictures of the party! Who knew that turquoise and red look so beautiful together!? Happy Birthday Nella. It has been amazing to watch you grow over this past year and I look forward to seeing you turn into a toddler this year!

  162. Girl, you definitely know how to throw a party!! How beautiful! I’m glad yall had a fabulous time! Can’t wait to hear more. :)

  163. Happy belated birthday Nella! I bought some of her clips a few years ago and they were well used. She has a great collection!

    The party looked like an amazing time….cheers to all!

  164. I came here from Little Lesiw! I love all the birthday decorations!


  165. Happy, happy, HAPPY Birthday Nella! Glad you had a beautiful day!!!!

    Love your friend,

  166. Thank you for sharing! Happy birthday to Nella!

  167. Looks like you had a wonderful day! Happy birthday Nella!

  168. What a wonderful day!! It’s so obvious that every little detail was done with a whole heart of love. Happy happy birthday to a little girl named Nella that seems to be changing the world with her very talented momma!

  169. Looks like it was a wonderful day! I love Libby’s blog too. How exciting that she was able to come to the party!

  170. my heart feels full after reading this!
    Happy Birthday Nella and thank you for awakening us

  171. So inspired by this, by you, by your warm weather… 😉

  172. Happy Birthday, Nella! Beautiful party, beautiful baby. Thank you so much for sharing.

  173. Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughters with us. I completely see love, promise and acceptance in Nella’s sweet face. May your message of acceptance and love be carried througout all of our lives. *Hugs* The Fletcher Family

    PS We love your playlist and it is routinely dinner background music at our house! :-)

  174. Happy Birthday to Nella! What an adorable party!

  175. Oh kelle, tears welling up in the eyes. Thinking about you squeezing your little at the exact time of her birth. Shes is miracle. I feel privileged to have found your blog and your family.We too are in full fledged party mode in these parts. It’s my last first birthday. Bitter sweet indeed. Happy happy birthday again Nella…we are so glad God made you.

  176. I have a lump in my throat and I can barely see my computer screen through the tears in my eyes. It was a wonderful party for a truly wonderful baby girl! It looks like it was a beautiful celebration not only to celebrate Nella’s first year of life, but to celebrate an amazing year for your entire family!

  177. What a beautiful party. My daughters first birthday party is in a few months and I can only hope it is half as beautiful!
    Happy Birthday to all of you!

  178. Such Joy. so much love. Happy Birthday Nella. PS sorry about the Bears

  179. What a beautiful and perfect birthday! Happy birthday to your sweet baby girl, Nella! Thank you for inspiring all of us each day!

  180. what a beautiful b’day party!
    so {{full}} of cuteness and coolness.

    Nella is beautiful!

  181. Amazing. What a special day!

  182. Happy Birthday, Nella!!!

  183. Beautiful! Your photos are inspiring.

  184. Beautiful! Your photos are inspiring.

  185. The photos are just amazing, Kelle! The colours are so vivid. You don’t do anything by halves, do you? Thank you so much for sharing Nella’s birthday with us all. Thank you for letting us feel what you feel with your words.

    Ky from Melbourne x

  186. Wow! You know how to throw a party! This is beautiful!!

  187. Just a few days ago, I read Nella’s birth story – posted on Facebook by a friend. In tears I emailed it to my dear friend, Carlee, whose experience echoes yours in the sweetest way. Her Ellen, age 3.5, is a beautiful little wonder and, like your Nella, was a heart-breaking, miraculous surprise. Your story made Carlee’s week, so thank you. And happy birthday, Nella! Cheers to many more birthdays!

  188. As usual your words make me cry… not out of sadness but out of how beautiful and unexpected life can be. Happy Birthday Nella!

  189. That banner on the birthday table is perhaps my favorite ever. You have such wonderful party ideas!

  190. Was that one single tear in the cake eating photo? I too have cried over the absolute perfection of buttercream, sweet Nella. I simply can’t imagine trying it for the first time. The idea of it is bringing a tear to my eye just trying to imagine. You are a dear heart, lovely lady. Happy.

  191. Just beautiful, all of it, and you. Thank you for inspiring me to be happy in everything, every way!

  192. what a brave little girl! beautiful…

  193. Oh my, you throw an amazing and beautiful party!!
    You have been an inspiration to me since I started reading 1 year ago–in many ways. And my kids are no longer babies–my youngest is 9.
    And love me those flowers! They are gorgeous! What an awesome party favor!

  194. Beautiful. Happy birthday dear Nella.

  195. Simply magical. I love it. Happy {late} birthday Nella!

  196. Aww, Happy 1st Birthday, Nella!! Such a beautiful party and the picture of the two of you at the exact time of her birth is so sweet.

  197. Happy tears abound!


  198. Happy birthday to Nella from a new follower (me) and my newest family member (Maya) asleep on my lap. Hope I can throw her half as nice a 1st birthday party 11 months from now :)

  199. Everything came together beautifully. The amount of money raised for Nella’s ONEderFund is exceptional. What a fabulous way to commemorate such a monumental event for your family.

    & on the “blooms” — absolute perfection!! I just checked out Little Lesiw and with one little girl and another girl on the way, I don’t think I’ll have any problems spending that $100 to stock their hairbow collection. Needless to say, PICK ME, PICK ME!!

    nikkih610 at cox dot net

  200. Happy Birthday, Nella! That photo at the end, with the pink bow is my favorite from today! Your party planning is just so wonderful and I’m thinking that I may just want to start that b/c of the village it requires to pull it off! Great bonding experiences…..and Kleidy is an AWESOME nickname!! 😉 there is so much you could comment on from this post, but I’ll stop here!! Love to you and the family, well…village!

  201. Happy Birthday, Nella…you beautiful, special, little, girl! =)

  202. My favorite is of Lainey and Nella looking at her candle all lit up! Lainey just steps in to her supporting roll of Nella’s special day just so perfectly in her expression.

    Beautiful party!


  203. My favorite post yet, Kelle. . ..beautiful. Happy Birthday, Nella!

  204. What a beautiful day! Happy Birthday Nella!

  205. Looks like a perfect party! Happy Birthday Nella! Look how you have rocked this world already at only 1 year old!

  206. Beautiful party, beautiful girls, beautiful story, and beautiful pictures!!

  207. I’m always so impressed (& envious) of the creativeness you put into your celebrations. Good work!

    Happy BIrthday, baby girl!

  208. You have been blessed with a God given talent to write! I find myself emotional and teary eyed when I read your posts. And as a blogger above mentioned – it’s not out of sadness, but out of how beautiful & unexpected life can be. You leave my cup more than half full with inspiration. You have a beautiful family & especially two beautiful girls! May God continue to bless you & your family.

  209. Why do you always make me cry?! Happy Birthday to sweet Nella! The party looked amazing – I wish I could pull one off like you.

  210. It truly looked as if it was a great day. And the party ideas were so creative. I LOVE the arbor! I’m so glad you all had a wonderful birthday celebration.

  211. Kelle,

    Words cannot express how moving your blog is! You are such a wonderful writer. Your way with words is incredible and I oh so enjoy seeing your updated blog in my blog roll.

    Your girls are beautiful and just precious. Happy belated birthday Nella!

    God Bless!

  212. What an amazing celebration of such an amazing little girl’s life. Beautiful.

  213. When your babies are grown you could be a party planner! :) Beautiful!

  214. It was beautiful Kelle, and it still is. The day was magnificent! And watching you at 4:24, not letting anyone else hold her until then, making sure she was in your arms, while the magic struck once again, was amazing. I get goosebumps all over again just thinking about it. I have BOOOOYITFUL pictures that I will keep and remember this day, twice! One from her BIRTH day, and some from this day a year later. :)
    You did an awesome job with the party & the ONEder fund!

  215. It is PERFECT – all of it – just like your little “Nella Wafer” :) Congrats, Mama…

  216. Happy Birthday Nella! What a beautiful day!

  217. Your girls are so very lucky to have you as their mama. Beautiful party, beautiful family!

  218. Happy Birthday Nella!

  219. Your creativity always makes me smile. Happy birthday Nella. Thank you for sharing your special day with us!

  220. agggghhhhh!!! I knew you would make over $100,000! What an accomplishment. I hope you take some time to think about what an impact you have made. It really is incredible. The party looked amazing. You continue to blow me away!

  221. Kelle – what a fabulous celebration you threw for your sweet baby girl.

    I have so enjoyed reading every single one of your blog posts since I found your blog.

    You, your girls, and your family are amazing. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

    Happy Birthday Nella :)

  222. Kelle- You have this way…a way of writing that makes every single one of us readers feel like you are writing to us. It’s amazing. YOU are amazing.

    What a beautiful party, for a truly beautiful girl.

  223. As always, tears flow down my cheeks when I read your words. You are an inspiration and I thank you for sharing your life with us. <3 Happy Birthday Beautiful Baby!

  224. Amazing party! The small touches were so cute to see.

  225. Happy Birthday Nella! What a beautiful day!

  226. I’ve been following Nella’s 1st year in step with my niece’s. Corinne (who I call Coco) was born on January 19, 2010. What a blessing this year has been for all of us!

  227. A beautiful party for a beautiful little girl!

  228. P.S. The picture of Nella and her therapist, Jonah…LOVE.

  229. what a beautiful, special day. your pictures and words brought me to tears. you are an amazing mother and your daughters are just beautiful. you are inspirational, thank you for that!

  230. Beautiful! Everything and everyone!

  231. What a gorgeous party! Love the colors and those outfits! AMAZING. Your words never cease to overwhelm, inspire, and leave me wanting more! Thank you for always sharing!

  232. Gorgeous birthday. What a lucky little girl :)

  233. Over $100k?! Wow! Happy Birthday to the entire family!

  234. What a wonderful day!! Looks like it was an amazing party!!!!

  235. Looks amazing! Happy Birthday Nella :)

  236. I dont know if it’s because i have just finished reading every single post on your blog, or if you are just downright inspirational but girl, i am moved. I’ve never been a huge fan of blogging but once i had read nella’s birth story there was no going back. You have helped me truly believe that i want to be a mother, and that i would do a bang up job of it too. Keep writing and inspiring and living your one wild and crazy life. Love from all the way in queensland australia! Rheyanan.

  237. This is the most beautiful birthday party I have ever seen! You must be exausted and so proud! We do the same for our little sweetness, who has Tri 21. Every year is party to celebrate her and who she is! Happy Birtday Nella and Congrats Kelle!

  238. Happy Birthday Nella. I enjoyed the pictures ( especially touching was Jonah loving Nella!). You are blessed to have her in your life and we are blessed that you share her and your family with us!!! MUAH!!XXXXOOOO

  239. Beautiful birthday party! Beautiful girls, beautiful mama, beautiful family and beautiful friends. (And beautiful ‘blooms,’ too! My girls Ella + Kate would LOVE them!

  240. Happy Birthday Nella! Here’s to a fabulous second year! Love, LOVE the girls dresses and the whole colour scheme of the party.

    As for the $101,000+ fundraiser–I am proud of you and I don’t even know you. :)

  241. Happy 1st Birthday Nella!

    Wow! What an awesome 1st birthday party!

  242. Happy Birthday Nella and Kelle!

  243. This post, like most of your posts, made me cry. You are an inspiration, and your girls are incredible.

    And you throw one heck of a gorgeous party.

  244. I just bawled reading this and thinking of my own little man’s 1st birthday coming. It was a bittersweet day for me for very different reasons, but similar feelings all the same. Thank you for your beautiful blog

  245. wow…i am speechless!

  246. That was one rockin party! I recall one of your first posts after Nella was born you held Brett’s hand and said someting big is going to happen and has it ever! Wow, little Nella has made a huge change in the world and so have you mama!

  247. Happy Birthday to sweet little Nella. I am beyond grateful, yes, grateful!, for stumbling across this blog and for the little light you have shined (shone? shined?) on my life. a little light that is a reminder, to look closely and to be present in my life-for myself and my family. thanks for that!

  248. Beautiful :). It sends my mind spinning in all directions for our little one’s first birthday party in 3.5 months. Her birth day, too, was unexpected, but somehow right.

    and, of course, I love the blooms. I am now going to go spend an inordinate amount of time browsing her store and dreaming of spending $100 (or a little less even if I don’t win :)).

    Happy days to our whole family.

  249. Stunningly beautiful! An amazing day celebrating a gorgeous girl who brought her family on a journey far better than they ever could have imagined. Thank you for sharing!

  250. So happy your day was so special. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

  251. Happy Birthday to Nella!

  252. I always have to find some time to myself before I open your blog because many times I sit here and laugh, but many times I sit here and cry. Thank you so much for sharing your emotions and reminding all of us that life is never perfect and we all just do our best and love our little ones as much as we can!

  253. Happy Birthday Nella!

  254. How fast a year goes by. Thank you for sharing your magical little girl with us, for being such an inspiration, and for raising not only an amazing amount of money for our kiddos, but an amazing amount of awareness.

    Happy Birthday Beautiful Nella!

  255. You are a wonderful, amazing, strong woman! I applaud you and your husband. You have two lovely little girls and you deserve all the happiness and love life sends your way.

  256. This post made me so happy! I love it. What a party and special day! :)

  257. What a beautiful party, for a beautiful, inspiring little girl… Off to drool at the bow store!

  258. Beautiful!

  259. Just from the pictures, I can tell that it was a great party! The color scheme is so bold and fun, and I love all the details. What a wonderful celebration for Nella! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her!

    It’s clear how much you love her and your positive attitude towards life will help her accomplish so much! I hope you see that Nella is incredibly lucky to have you as her mommy.

  260. Loved everything about this post…the sweet sister photo, the one with Nella and her therapist – beautiful!
    Would love to read Libby’s blog…can you share that info with us?
    As always Kelle, your words and photos inspire me!

  261. She is just so precious! I’ve smiled and cried along with you while reading your posts. So happy to see all the amazing things for her first birthday for her and for your family! Enjoy all the things to come :)

  262. Happy Birthday to a beautiful little girl!! Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us.

  263. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella!! My goodness, Kelle…I know you’ve heard it before, but you have a way with words. And with love. :) Your blog makes me want to jump into my life more than I already am…you make me want to love with every fiber of my being…you inspire me and encourage me as a mother. I so appreciate this place you have created here!

  264. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  265. Wow I am a huge fan of your blog. I just finished reading all your posts from the beginning!! So inspired by you and your story and I feel like I know your little girls. They are beautiful and what a beautiful day to celebrate!!

  266. Happy Birthday, beautiful Nella!

  267. Sounds like a beautiful day! I love the theme and the photos. As always, inspiring…

  268. THANK YOU for sharing the beauty of everyday life with your readers. your honesty pricks my heart & reminds me to enjoy the small things in my own life as well.

  269. Beautiful! Love all the pics but I think my fave is the one of you in the corner while your dad holds Nella up high. Brings back the memory of your post when asking for your dad that day a year ago when your village was in the hallway. I can see the emotion in your faces. I can feel the love in your hearts. Sometimes a journey of the heart isn’t easy but it’s like the melt of the snow in Spring. Beneath the coldness lies a beutiful bud waiting to bloom where it was planted.

    Lisa in CA

  270. it’s been one year since Nella changed your life and consequently the lives of so many of us! I’ve been waiting to hear/read all about this much anticipated day.
    girlfriend knows how to throw a party! Wow I wish I could have been there! Everything was beautiful! Love that you had to have a friend babysit the balloons in the car, love the marshmallow dips and love those new hair clips!
    Happy Birthday Nella. Great job supermom!

  271. Kelle,
    SO very happy and excited you have raised so much for NDSS. It thrills my heart. It’s really just amazing how people can come together!

    The birthday party looked FABULOUS!! :) Really just fantastic!

    ~ Meg :)

  272. Lovely words, Lovely photos…. Happy Birthday lovely Nella!

  273. Though it’s probably the most frequently used word in this comment section, I have to say it – beautiful. What a beautiful day for a beautiful little soul. Happy birthday, Nella!

  274. I have tears in my eyes at the sheer love that has showered your beautiful family the past year. I am so blessed to have been part of this year getting to know you and falling in love with your little girls every single day.

  275. I love when one day you realize that Down syndrome isn’t something to cry about, but rather something to celebrate. My buddy carries his extra chromosome with pride.

  276. ….and it was a beautiful day and picture pefect party!! Sweet Nella is one very lucky girl and with family and friends behind her with each and every step….she is going to do GREAT things!! I know that everyone says that you inspire them…but you do more than that!! You see the beauty in everything and that I wish I always saw the world threw your eyes!! You reallyhave defining moments in your life and you make me think of those…with each blog!! Thank you Kelle and HAPPY First BIRTHDAY Miss. Nella!! Hi to Lainey Love as well…one of the best big sis’s around..lol Heather Lavigne Saint John, New Brunswick

  277. This day looked like it was beautiful.. just like your beautiful daughter and family… everyone always says that the mom is lucky.. But I think Lainey and Nella are 100 times more lucky to have a mama like you!!! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY NELLA!!!

  278. What a beautiful day! I could feel the love looking at your photos. I feel blessed that you have taken us on this journey over the past year with you.

  279. I love reading about your experiences are your beautiful daughter. The party looks like so much fun, and love the frame decorating idea.

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  282. Happy birthday sweet Nella. You are absolute perfection!

  283. Happy Day – i love the high chairs –

  284. having a disabled daughter of my own….I just couldn’t bring myself to read all about this special day…i just looked at the photos. :)

  285. awww Kelle. What a wonderful day for your family. Happy Birthday little Nella.

  286. Happy first birthday Nella! My sweet baby girl Jesenia celebrated her first birthday the day before you did. And, you both share that extra special chromosome. Here’s to another great year!

  287. I hope you realize how inspiring your blog has become to so many. You are a part of my every day conscience – I find myself playing, learning and exploring with my little one and time after time I think, “Oh Kelle would love this!” I hear a moving song and think, “This would be perfect for Kelle’s blog!”
    I’m creeping myself out.
    Did you notice in the pics of Nella eating cake, there are tears running down her cheeks? These photos moved ME to tears.

  288. Oh my gosh – that has to be the most wonderful first birthday I’ve ever seen! You are an amazing Mum and I have to say that your girls smiles are testament to that! Congrats for little Nella on reaching the first of many milestones in her life and congrats to you for the ONEderFund and the difference it will make :) cricket001(at)live(dot)com

  289. It’s amazing that Nella that is already one!! You guys have quite an incredible story and I know it has blessed so many of us! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your beautiful journey! We are expecting a little girl in May…

  290. I don’t know who is more luckier you & your husband or sweet Nella…..what an awesome family you have! The party looked so awesome, you are so inspiring!


  291. Love love love the pictures…Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella!

  292. I am more then amazed with your story, your blog, your littles, and you! You are a remarkable writer and I look forward to reading each inspiring post. I have a journey of my own, My 2 year old with CF, however, we are not nearly as well documented and expressed as the wonder in your story. The party amazed me, The decorations beyond belief! Happy Birthday Nella…….

  293. Nella Bella, you have taught me sooo much and I haven’t even met you. Happy First Birthday!!! I will be back to write more but for now I just want to say thank you, Kelle… and Congratulations!!! Love, Val-Marie :0)

  294. Amazing birthday party for an amazing little girl. Nella is destine to do amazing things!

  295. Everything looked beautiful! You did such a great job! What a special, special day to always cherish.

  296. What a beautiful job you did on little miss Nella’s party..I’m sure it was such a magical day!!

  297. tears, joy. happy birthday sweet nella. what a beautiful post.

  298. Kelle…
    Your story is beautiful. Your daughters are beautiful and I have learned so much from your blog.
    Thank you for helping to make me a better mother and cherish every moment with my children.
    Happy Birthday Nella!

  299. Been a blog stalker for awhile and had to come forward to say that the party was gorgeous (all in it’s own right!) and made even more beautiful by all the pure love surrounding it :)
    Happy birthday Nella.

  300. Your party for Nella looks to have been filled with love and more love. Wonderful job! I celebrated the first birthday of my beautiful son on Saturday as well. He was born on January 24, 2010, 10 weeks early and has become my little miracle. It’s amazing how fast a year goes by!

  301. What a perfect day to celebrate the day of your birth! Even more perfect is the many who came to show how much you are loved.

    Happy Birthday, Nella!


  302. What a beautiful celebration of your girls! I am soo happy for all of you =)

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  304. Happy 1st Birthday, Nella! Looks like you had a most wonderful party! Cheers to another fantastic year!!! Thank you Kelle for sharing your family with the world.

  305. What and absolutely gorgeous birthday party for your beautiful girl. Thanks for sharing with us.

  306. I get baby fever everytime I see pictures of cute little Nella.

    You are an amazing mama and you help me see motherhood in a different way.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us and Happy Birthday to beautiful Nella!

  307. Thanks for sharing such beauty and love with us all. I wish I could’ve been there to celebrate with you. Maybe next year when we have our little one home. (-: Those blooms are beautiful and I know lots of little girls who would be thrilled to have one.

  308. Happy Birthday Nella!!!
    My favorite photo…the one that brought some tears to my eyes was the photo of her with her therapist. Super precious. You can tell he really cares for her a lot.

    You throw a spectacular birthday party, Kelle.
    It’s the kind of party I’d love to throw if I could.
    You are inspiration in more ways than one!

  309. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!!

  310. Such an incredible day, so filled with rejoicing! Thank you for sharing it with us, for teaching us to turn our own sorrows into joy!

  311. Oh my heart. What a precious day! I have been so desperately waiting for this post since you teased us!!

    As always I have tears in my eyes and have made a pact with myself to hug my littles Even tighter tomorrow. I am also going to treat myself to reading your blog on my laptop , instead of my iPod, so I can enjoy your playlist. I never get to hear it as I can’t wait to read your posts when I see them in my blogroll!!

    I hope the next year is every bit as magical for your beautiful family xxx

  312. those hair bows are the cutest–what an awesome giveaway!!!

  313. Nella never ceases to make me smile. The way she scrunches her eyes when she smiles warms my heart every time. Thank you for sharing her with me.

  314. Happy Birthday sweet baby Nella!!! I have LOVED watching you grow into the sweet baby doll that you are. Many more birthday celebrations await you love.

    kelwood9 at gmail dot com

  315. You & your Nella remind me of this quote by Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards:

    “Happiness is not a place, it is a way of life.”

    Beautiful party!

    Love, Bree

  316. Happy Birthday Nella!

  317. The party was beautiful.
    And while I do make those same bows myself. I would find great joy in stocking my girls with match blooms without having to do all the work :-)

  318. your posts always make me cry, because of all the love and beauty you have in your soul and your heart and how amazing your family is. I feel lucky to sort of be kind of part of it. I cried at the part where you held her at 4:24 because as a new mommy, I can picture that I will be doing that myself next November 23 at 5:49 am, and I will treasure it just as you did. Much love 😀

  319. So glad your day was perfect!

  320. Looks like a beautiful party. Nella’s 1st birthday has reminded me of my son’s birth. He was born with Down Syndrome which was quite a surprise to us.

  321. What a beautiful birthday party! The colors are fantastic, and all the tiny touches … just, wow.

    As I was reading, when I got to the number – $101,144 – the tears started to flow. That makes my heart SO happy to know there’s that many people who cared. It’s an overwhelming thought, really. I hope it helps NDSS further their cause!

  322. Wow! You’re party is beautiful! And what a great celebration of the little life that has changed yours! Happy birthday Nella!

  323. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella.

  324. YOU are amazing.

  325. You have the most amazing birthday parties. They are so beautifully put together and the color schemes are amazing. Love the red-blue-aqua theme and all the favors. The barrettes are the sweetest little barrettes I’ve ever seen. Heading to her shop now <3

    Thanks :)

  326. Happy (belated) Birthday Nella!

    What a beautiful party, looks like it was truly a fabulous, special time… just like the day she was born.


  327. I love, the balloons, I love the Birthday outfits, I love the posies, and I especially love the message!

  328. What a beautiful party for such a beautiful little girl! Happy 1st birthday!


  329. I have been waiting for Nella’s birthday recap:) What a beautiful celebration! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl:) I was thinking of you on the 22nd. xoxo

  330. Love Nella’s party! You and your family inspire me :)

  331. I am so happy to have found you and read about your journey as it inspires me to appreciate everything as a mama. Much love to your little loves. And HAPPY 1st to Nella!!! Gorgeous. (And seriously, GAP would discard those treasures – so cool!)

  332. you are the craziest, most beautiful person I know…!

    bravo to you…

    AND wow… Libby made it down:)! Glad to hear it:)!

    AND… the theme of robin’s egg blue and the reds with all the old fashion mod- LOVE IT.

    God bless you and your amazingly beautiful baby! How I love the last pic of her smiling- she looks so mature!

    Be in touch.

  333. Your gorgeous post brought tears to my eyes. Happy, happy birthday to Nella, who’s already changed the world so much and will continue to do so!

  334. I have been waiting all weekend for this post! It was totally worth the wait. What a beautiful family and beautiful girls you have. Happy Bithday, Sweet Nella! You are so loved!

  335. I have been anxiously awaiting your post in regards to Nella’s birthday and it is as beautiful as I imagined it would be. You have helped me in ways I could never imagine. We received our diagnosis last April and welcomed our beloved miracle on October 1st, 2010. I have found new strength and faith in myself and your blog helped with that. Thank you for all that you do and say, your rawness, your honesty and your joy. Happy Birthday sweet Nella…Happy Birthday.

  336. thanks for sharing your wonderful day…
    your 4:24 is my 10:13…even two years passed and the days leading up to THAT time on THAT day bring tears…but also smiles, love and wonder…
    happy birthday to your gift!

  337. Kelly your words comfort and heal my grieving heart. Thank you

  338. Wow, what a great party! Nella is so beautiful!

  339. A beautiful party for a beautiful girl. Kelle, even if you didn’t have a magical way with words, your pictures tell the whole story.

  340. WOW!!! The colors, the smiles, the friendships…it’s all beautiful. thank you for sharing with us nella’s special day.


    aleytac at hotmail dot com

  341. Happy Birthday, beautiful baby Nella!!! :) You have changed so many lives & inspired so many moments!

  342. Happy Birthday Nella. You are so talented Kelle. Such an inspriration to all of us.

  343. Happy Birthday Nella. You are so talented Kelle. Such an inspriration to all of us.

  344. happy birthday sweet girl!!!

  345. The photo of Nella and her therapist Jonah made me cry. It is so so sweet. Happy Birthday Nella!

  346. What a special party for a wonderful little girl. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I found your blog. Today is my 33rd b-day and I’m getting ready to go celebrate with my family, including my mom. Now that I have my own 2 little girls, I know how special birthdays are not only to the kids, but to the mama!

  347. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, beautiful Nella! Your Mama did a fabulous on your party. I love the color scheme (may have to steal some ideas for my sweet baby’s 3rd birthday next fall).

  348. What an awesome, beautiful day full of life and love!!!

  349. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella! Kelle~I find such a kinship with you. My daughter, Hailey has tons of medical problems and we spend a good part of our lives in the hospital, but I have taken it upon myself to find the good in every moment. To embrace these things in our life instead of resent them. Thank you for sharing your life and your beautiful girls with us!

    Oh, and Hailey’s lost her hair again, but she would LOVE some of these adorable blooms!

  350. happy birthday, nella!!!! :-)

  351. I’ve been reading every post for the past year and I’ve been so excited for this one! Everything looked beautiful and you look so happy. Happy birthday, Nella!

  352. I always cry when I come here. Cry because I am so happy for you and the love that is in your life. It is beyond beautiful! Much love. Becky

  353. You are such a complete joy Kelle, to read your blog is to love you and your darling girl. I am glad she had the perfect party! You have done so much for her and she is one smart little girl to have chosen you as her mama! God sure knew what he was doing!!! the photo of her and her therapist brought tears to my eyes, how fabulous he adores her so much!
    what a beautiful party for a gorgeous little baby girl! I am so proud of your Nella, she’s amazing!
    happy birthday Nella!

  354. What a wonderful rally of friends and family. All to join in the joyous occasion of Nella’s Birthday!
    Thank you for allowing us readers who are far away into your circle. I feel just as blessed for having this opportunity.

  355. Happy Birthday beautiful girl!!


  356. Phenomenal! I love all of the special personalized touches! We can all seize the present and BLOOM where we are currently planted!

  357. Happy times! Great work on the fundraising, thanks for sharing her birthday with all of us. you are all amazing people. Happy Birthday Nella

  358. what a gorgeous birthday for a pretty princess. congrats n the success!

  359. What a wonderful, beautiful celebration of an amazing little girl! Been thinking of you and your family so much lately. You’ve inspired me to create a fantastic bash for my little guys this June/July . . . circus theme, here we come!

  360. Happy Birthday Nella! What a wonderful birthday party….Kelle, you are so creative and wonderful!

  361. So beautiful! And more than 100k?? OMG! So you see how Nella touched much more hearts that you possibly could imagine huh?

    And because of her, I came to find your amazing blog and was inspired by your inspiring words, pictures and transparency. I am sure you helped a lot of people.

    Here is for another extraordinary year!

  362. Wow – you thought of everything for the party…it looks absolutely wonderful! Happy Birthday to Nella…and what an amazing fundraiser!

  363. A big happy birthday to a beautiful little 1 year old girl! I have had the honor and pleasure of following you all for a year, and look forward to the next year ahead!!

  364. Your creativity, your zest for life, your happiness. All if it is enviable, and all of it makes me come back for more. Thank you, Kelle – and I hope Nella enjoyed her day. (As if there was any doubt that she wouldn’t!)

  365. Wow, that is the most fancy party I have ever seen. And she is so beautiful. I have a friend who gave birth to 3 children with down syndrome and then adopted a child with down syndrome from Russia. They are beautiful children of God and you are blessed to have her. I hope I win the gfit certificate.

  366. Truely amazing.

    “Decorate a frame” is such a good idea!

    Have a great week!

    :) Melissa

  367. Nella’s party looked awesome and so much fun…wish we could’ve been there!

  368. I cannot believe how much you raised, congrats and congrats and more!

    The party was beautiful, Nella looks beautiful, and I’m so glad the day went well.

  369. WOW! The party looks like it was amazing and the amount of money raised is outstanding. I read this post with my 7 year old son and explained to him Down Syndrome and the importance of accepting everyone just as they are. You do great things Kelle…thank you.

  370. Happy Birthday Nella! That party is…AWESOME.

  371. i love the therapist picture.

  372. what a BEAUTIFUL party!

  373. What a party planner you are!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NELLA!!

  374. That is the sweetest story ever! I sure would love the gc for the hairbow collection.

  375. I have just started reading your blog. You have touched my soul and I am so grateful that you are sharing this beautiful experience of life with us. Happy Birthday sweet girl Nella!

  376. Dear sweet little Nella – Happy Birthday! Wishing you not only a beautiful day, but a beautiful life :-)

  377. I have never commented here before, but I must say, this post brought tears to my eyes.

    In our society, people tend to (rather unfortunately) fear the unknown. If fear is left untreated, it can manifest itself in ugly ways. I always try to educate myself so that my own fears don’t turn me into someone I wouldn’t be proud of.

    When I first found your site, I took your recommendation and started with the story of Nella’s birth. I knew nothing about DS. I grieved with you as I read. I couldn’t imagine what I would do if I were in your shoes. As I brought myself up to speed with your more recent posts, my eyes were opened to beauty and love.

    As I look at the pictures of Nella’s beautiful milestone, I can honestly say I now know exactly what I would do if I were in your shoes. I would embrace and celebrate the gift I had been given. Your blog is bringing understanding and education to something people fear.

    I admire the way you chose to celebrate this occasion by giving back, but the words you write everyday are what’s truly priceless.

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  378. All of the pictures are gorgeous–just like Nella–but the one that stands out to me personally is of her therapist giving her a big, sweet kiss. As a mama with twins who both get a variety of therapies, I absolutely LOVE seeing how much your therapist loves your girl. Heartwarming. :-)

  379. Love every little detail of the party and the view from your eyes. Happy Birthday to your Nella. The headband looks fabulous on her. I have a 7 month old granddaughter to whom I would love to gift hairbows!

  380. The party looks absolutely beautiful! Just reading it makes me want to cry. We celebrated my little boys first birthday in November and I completely agree about it being bittersweet.

  381. ah, alas. wonderful post. but truly, as someone who craves her girlfriends like wine, and chocolate and naps in the afternoon, i can’t wait for your next post!

  382. Beautiful pictures as always!!

  383. Such a beautiful birthday party!!! Happy birthday Nella Cordelia!!! And on another note, is Nella’s therapist single? Hahahaha, he looks, you know, really nice 😛

  384. Beautiful.

  385. Happy Birthday beautiful Nella. It looks like you had quite the beautiful birthday party!!!

  386. I cannot believe that Nella is already a year. This blog makes me so happy.

  387. Happy Birthday Nella!! What a gorgeous party and a gorgeous little one year old! I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Xoxo


  388. she is so precious. so dear. so inspiring. so beautiful. that arbor made me cry. thanks for sharing.

  389. Happy Birthday Nella! I was thinking of the party all weekend and hoping it went off beautifully. Looks like it did.

  390. Happy birthday, Nella! What a lovely party.

  391. I have been waiting to see pictures and hear about Nella’s special day! I literally had tears of joy as I read and looked at the pictures. Beautiful. Happy Birthday Nella!!

  392. What an amazing celebration. The party looked like it was a huge success and the amount you raised is incredible. You really are an amazing person and completely inspire me. Thank you, thank you for being you.

  393. Oh Happy Day! Beautiful as ALWAYS!

  394. This just looks like the most beautiful day ever. I am in awe of your family’s love and strength! And the amount of money you were able to raise for your fund is just amazing.


  395. Beautiful! Looks like you all had a wonderful day despite the weather! Happy Birthday Nella!

  396. Thanks for sharing Nella’s birthday with us!!!

  397. Happy birthday Nella! What a beautiful party! And your “one”derfund total so far…absolutely mind blowingly fabulous. This is also the one year anniversary of reading your blog and being enlightened to stop and enjoy the little things. Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

  398. Beautiful Party!!! Happy Birthday Nella!!!

  399. Love those birthday outfits! I love the decorations <3 Happy Birthday Miss Nella

  400. Thank you for your brutal honesty and love you show on this blog. You continue to reel me in with the truth you portray with your words and pictures. Much love to you and your sweet babes!!! Happy wonderful birthday precious Nella girl! ♥

  401. Perfect just like Nella

    Be blessed

  402. beautiful!!!

  403. Beautiful! You, my dear Kelle, excel in the party planning department. What a WONDERFUL celebration of the past, the present, and what lies ahead. Very well deserved congratulations on a wonderful year. I’ve been following since Nella’s birth – and I thank you for taking us all on this journey with you. Your honesty is so raw, your elation and excitement palpable, and your pain and emotion so real. You have most definitely enriched my life this past year. Our children are not that far apart in age (just a couple of months) and I can SO identify with so many of the beautiful words you write. Thank you, thank you, thank you – and contests on the ONEder fund – AMAZING!! :)

  404. Beautiful party – I lOVE the colors! I’m so glad that your year has come ‘full circle’ – the love that oozes out of your posts makes that very clear to the reader. Enjoy your beautiful, precious girls (and enjoy the hair bows and ruffles – they out grow them – sadly!)Much love to you all as you embark on Nella’s second year of beautiful.

  405. Kelle
    Thank you. Thank you for the bottom of my heart. Because of you and your girl-I am better. Your words heal me.

  406. Your ability to celebrate is a God-given Gift. You make me want to be a better person. You inspire us all!

  407. Teal and red! Could her birthday outfit be any cuter? I think your last year has been an amazing journey and I am so amazed at your strength and the beautiful two girls you are raising.

  408. Rather “congrats” on the ONEder fund – darn spell check!

  409. What a beautiful party, and a beautiful birthday girl! First birthdays are the best- I have a seventeen month old (my last of three kids), and that “last” first birthday had such great meaning!

  410. What a gorgeous party! Love your color scheme! Happy birthday Nella!

  411. Wow. There really are no words! I honestly can’t say I have been more inspired by anyone else ever! This past year has been an amazing one for me too but mostly because my outlook on life has literally shifted since I started reading your blog a week ago this week. Thank you really isn’t enough!


  412. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella! I can’t wait to watch your second year unfold in this beautiful blog!

  413. Love the colors and theme you choose! Your birthday parties always look so amazing, what lucky little girls!

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  414. what a fabulous birthday for such a sweet little girl!

  415. I didn’t think it were possible for someone to make me love my little boy any more, but once I discovered your blog a couple of months ago I see more beauty to the world of being a parent than I ever thought I would. You’re an amazing human being, Kelly <3

  416. It looks like it was a beautiful celebration.

    Jonah, Nella’s therapist seems to love her so! The photo. of him squeezing her, and then looking on in the background of other photos are so sweet.

    I will be thinking of you as you return to your birth room, and as you continue on your journey…

  417. Happy birthday Nella! What a beautiful post :)

  418. Tears are flowing over here. What a beautiful birthday for your beautiful babe!

  419. What a beautiful party! Happy Birthday Nella!

  420. What a beautiful celebration of a life that has already touched so many. Congratulations on your first birthday Nella, and congratulations to you and all you have accomplished in this last year Kelle!

  421. Good for you for celebrating such a special day to the absolute fullest!

  422. This comment has been removed by the author.

  423. Happy Birthday Nella!

  424. YOU, Kelle Hampton, have given me many sleepless nights, since finding your blog over a week ago…and I, THANK YOU for that! I wake up in the middle of the night, after putting my own 3 darlings to sleep..start reading your blog, and I read, and read, and read! And I feel your love that exudes greatly from your own “sweet little words”, and I take something huge with me after every single post. You have chosen to share your life with millions, and your reward (one of them) must be that you’re changing lives, and helping us all see the little things.
    I have a fashion trend blog, and after the first night of reading Nella’s story, I posted it on my own blog…stating that because I want my blog to be about all things beautiful INSIDE & OUT, I had to share this amazingly rewarding & beautiful story!
    Check it out if you feel…
    http://www.treschictrends.blogspot.com. It’s under the title, “Sharing all things beautiful”. The most beautiful story I’ve ever read…
    Happy Birthday Nella Cordelia! You’re loved by more than you could ever imagine.

  425. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella!

  426. Happy birthday, sweet Nella. You sure know how to do birthdays right!

  427. You are so blessed. My baby is due in less than 3 weeks and if I can have the kind of happiness and joy you share with your family, I will be forever thankful. Thank you for sharing your story and for constant inspiration to live in the “now” and be thankful for all we are given.


  428. I’m sitting here fighting back tears while I read your post and am just amazed at the things you do. That party looked amazing and full of life and happiness! The favors and decorations, everything was beautiful and Nella was the most gorgeous of all. Congrats to you for living life fully and embracing it!

  429. love it! you are awesome! my three little girlies and i would love, love, love to win! thanks for all the amazing party ideas!

  430. Happy Birthday Nella! We thought about and prayed for you and your family throughout the day! Happy blessings for a fabulous second year!

  431. What a sweet and fabulous day! I’m totally dying looking at the beautiful aqua-and-red-ness;) And the hairbands are beyond adorable. Happy birthday, sweet Nella!

  432. Happy Birthday Nella! What a blessed day!

  433. lovely pictures of a lovely day. I remember walking this path not to long ago. I get it. Again I say happy birthday Nella Cordelia!

  434. What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post! I can not tell you how awesome it has been to see such an inspirational woman share such a wonderful story of the most beautiful baby! Happy Birthday to baby Nella! It looks like everyone enjoyed the day so much! Thank you so much for sharing all that you have!

  435. I have been looking forward to this post for days, and it did not disappoint! I think that birthday posts are my very favorite. Definitely a Cherry-on-top-of-the-Sunday situation.

    Man, you dream big with your events and your crafts, and it’s inspiring.


  436. Almost everytime I read your posts I cry. You are a woman of God! Love all the details!

  437. Kelle-

    You are an inspiration to so many. Keep up the good work. Your girls are absolutely beautiful, you are so blessed.

    Kim K.

  438. Nella’s party looked like it was perfection! Didn’t expect anything less from you. Can’t thank you & your family enough for helping to raise more than $100,000for Down syndrome awareness. Knowing that there are so many people out there who are so passionate about our cause gives me great hope for my son’s future. :)

  439. such an inpiration…i have been looking forward to reading this post for a long time. Thanks for making it a better day!

  440. I cried when I read the quote from John Welwood. How beautifully he described what it truly means to be a mother, or parent.

    We were also surprised with the birth of our little boy…he was born with Tetralogy of Fallot and DiGeorge Syndrome (Deletion of the 22Q11 chromosome). He is perfect and lovely in every way. He had open heart surgery to repair his heart, eats through a gtube, but is doing wonderfully with learning how to orally eat and learn and grow. He is amazing!

    What incredible and beautiful things our precious children teach us. They are so innocent and full of the purest charity and love.

    Your little girl is beautiful and perfect in every way!

  441. What an absolutely beautiful birthday! You have an amazing family…you are beyond blessed for sure!!

  442. OH I love Little Lesiw so much, what an adorable idea for party favors.

  443. So lovely!!! I loved all of the details of the party!!!! You could be a party planner!!! Thanks for sharing so much with us. You don’t know how your writing has touched me. Happy Birthday sweet, sweet Nella! :)

  444. Your posts always make me cry! You have a way with words I envy!

  445. What a beautiful party and celebration for a beautiful little girl! Congrats on year one, and wishing you many more blessed years to come!

  446. Happy birthday Nella! You are wONEderful!

  447. Amazing party….. that’s all I can say! You have a real knack for bringing beauty and creativity together. Cheers to the next year of Nella’s dear little life!

  448. The birthday looked absolutely magical. I am so happy for you and your family to celebrate the first year of Nella’s life together. I have so enjoyed reading your posts about your family and your journey with Nella. You have also inspired me to start my own blog, and for that I thank you.

    Happy birthday Nella! I feel blessed to be a small part of your day through the ONEder Fund!

  449. Oh, her party and everything looks like it came out beautifully. Happy Birthday Nella!

  450. Happy Birthday Nella! Kelle – you should consider a career in party planning! It looked amazing!

    From Debbie (reader from NY, mommy to 5 awesome kids)

  451. This post brought tears to my eyes. I checked your blog 4 times today hoping you had updated with a birthday story. And it was far better than I could have imagined! Beautiful!!

  452. Wow!what an amazing party you threw! Can you just come and organize my babies 1st b-day in April:) happy birthday beautiful nella.

  453. Wow!what an amazing party you threw! Can you just come and organize my babies 1st b-day in April:) happy birthday beautiful nella.

  454. Truly a beautiful party for a beautiful girl. Congrats on surviving your first year with two gorgeous daughters!

  455. happy birthday nella bean! what a beautiful, perfect party.

  456. Goosebumps. Thanks for sharing this wonderful day with all of us!

  457. What a perfect party for such a sweet little girl. Happy Birthday Nella!

  458. What a beautiful birthday party for Miss Nella!

    God bless all of you. What an inspiration you guys are.

    And that picture of Nella with her therapist? Ohmygod adorable. You can see how much he adores her.

  459. Happy birthday, sweet Nella.

  460. wow. such beauty! she’s a lucky little girl.

  461. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella!
    I love the beautiful colors of the party, and your theme.
    Congrats on a ONEderful year and may the next on be just as awesome!

  462. Happy Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!

  463. Every time I read your blog I have tears in my eyes. Not only is your Nella ever so beautiful, she makes me gasp when I see her. Your photographs never fail to invoke emotion in me! Thank you so much for sharing Nella’s big day!

  464. Happy Birthday, dear Nella! What beautiful images from an unforgettable day.

  465. I honestly love every word you write, you are so inspiring and so strong. Nella is beautiful and I am so happy that she had a wonderful 1st Birthday with her FAMILY!

  466. I honestly love every word you write, you are so inspiring and so strong. Nella is beautiful and I am so happy that she had a wonderful 1st Birthday with her FAMILY!

  467. What sweet memories for a sweet girl. Happy birthday, Nella! We are inspired.

  468. In awe of all the party details … amazing Kelle!

    Happy 1st Birthday to a beautiful little girl :)

  469. Amazing birthday party!! Amazing little girl!! :)

  470. What a great party!!! I am always amazed at how awesome your pictures and ideas are!!! Happy Birthday sweet Nella!!

  471. Everyone else has taken the words out of my mouth. Absolutely Beautiful. You are my hero.

  472. Happy birthday Nella!!! what a beautiful party, you did a great job, I love everything!


  473. What a beautiful day indeed! Oh, Nella is gorgeous, and she shines in any picture.

  474. i have never met u but i love your photography and your story captured my heart. happy bday sweet nella.

  475. WHAT a beautiful day for a BEAUTIFUL one year old!
    Happy Birthday Nella!!

  476. I just wanted to share something with you: First off what a Beautiful birthday you planned for your sweet girl, I loved everything about it, you are so creative!!! :) That little girl is so loved. I am a proud mommy of twins boys who will be 4months old on Feb 4th, I have a pretty big journey of my own…in July i went in for a routine sonogram and had to have surgery that same day to keep my cervix closed or my little guys would come way to early…so months of bed rest and waiting your blog help me get through each and every day. So thank you for your blog and sharing your family and thoughts with everyone. I love photography also so your pictures just are breathtaking. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella :) May God bless your family now and always. And CONGRATS on raising OVER and BEYOND what you ever thought you would raise, woo hoo! Our God is so good!!!

    Stephanie Pacheco
    Orlando, Fl

  477. oh happy happy day nella!!!
    what a beautiful party for a beautiful little girl..

  478. The photo of Nella and Jonah: precious. Made me cry! She is a blessed girl to have so many who love her so.

  479. what a fun, amazing party. nella is a lucky girl with a great mama!

  480. Happy First Year Nella! thanks so much for sharing your family Kelle…peace n love to you all!

  481. We just celebrated the first birthday of my baby girl who made me a mama! Reading this post flooded back memories of our day.

    Nellas first birthday looks wonderful and perfect in everyway just like her birth-day

    She is strong, she is blessed and she sure as heck is loved :)

  482. Beautiful post, Kelle, as always. You & Nella are so very blessed to have each other- I can literally feel the joy you bring to each other’s lives. Your love is overwhelming, and it’s rare for me to finish reading one of your posts about your girls without a tear in my eye! Thank you for sharing the beauty of your life with the rest of us!

  483. It looks like Nella had a wonderful birthday! The photo with her therapist is very beautiful.

  484. I recently found your blog and am so glad I did. Beautiful family, beautiful photos, and beautiful posts. You inspire me! Thank you.

  485. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!!! What a beautiful day indeed!!

  486. Wow- your words (again) are so beautiful and move me- thank you again for sharing sweet Nella’s special day!

  487. You really should look into writing a book on party planning and decorations!!! Completely stunning.

  488. I feel like I sat down in my favorite chair and attended Nella’s party myself. I have tears in my eyes. It is absolutely beautiful. And the words, oh the words, they are beautiful too. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy birthday to Nella, and happy sister-day to Lainey.

  489. Beautiful! I am grateful to be a part of your family through reading your beautiful story!

  490. A gorgeous party…….so beautiful!

  491. I can’t believe it’s already been a year of reading your beautiful words. Thank you, Kelle for sharing your life with us & Happy Birthday sweet Nella.

  492. Congratulations on a beautiful and special day Hampton Family!

  493. Happy Birthday Nella! Beautiful party! and congratulations on raising more than $100K! Amazing!

  494. what a beautiful party…I am half tempted to move my family to Florida (instead of rainy Seattle) just to be at one of your parties, they look AMAZING!

    xoxo Carissa

  495. Your words made me teary eyed. What a wonderful, wonderful day! Happy birthday, sweet Nella! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    And the blooms… those are awesome. I want some for both me and my little girl.

  496. Happy birthday Nella! What a great day indeed.

  497. Looks like a magical, beautiful day!

  498. What a beautiful birthday party and such a wonderful story I always look forward to reading your new posts.

  499. What a fabulous birthday party! You are all so blessed!

    Headed to Naples in just a few weeks – how fun would it be to run into you all out and about:)

  500. It was tough, but I was able to read through my tears to enjoy this wonderful post, and beautiful pictures!! Thank you for sharing.

  501. Beautiful! More stunning than the pictures are your words. Happy Birthday Nella!

  502. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella. I’ve followed this blog for a long time and have reveled in each joy and triumph…and cried tears when needed.

  503. Love your words. Love your honesty. It is hard to fathom that one little baby, one tiny little scrumptious baby could turn someone else’s world upside down and just like that. But she did. She does. Thank you for sharing Nella with us.

    I feel honored.


  504. Wow! I was waiting and waiting for this post and it was all I thought it would be. Amazing. Beautiful. Thank you again for sharing her day with us.
    And seriously, you should be a party planner. That party? Was da bomb. :)

  505. So very happy your sweet angel had the birthday of royalty! And how AMAZING… the total raised so far! Wow! Wow! Wow!

  506. Happy birthday Miss Nella! Many many more happy ones to come in your future.
    Kelle – ((hugs)) to you. what a beautiful birthday you put together for a beautiful little girl who rocked your world in all the best ways.

  507. Happy Birthday to sweet Nella! Love the color scheme!!!

  508. I have never commented on your blog before but all that you write is truly inspirational! What a birthday party and celebration you had for your beautiful little girl and her loving family.

  509. I loved how you said “For those of you have done this, you know what that first birthday means. It’s a medal of honor, a celebration, a flag at the peak of a summited mountain.” You get it…..tears came to my eyes reading your post. It was beautiful. Congratulations! Happy Birthday beautiful baby girl.

  510. What a delightful party. Love the “bloom” theme and those gorgeous flower barettes. That little Nella just melts my heart everytime I see her.
    So sweet that Libby was there. I read her blog as well.

  511. what an amazing journey- you are such an inspiration for blooming!

  512. Happy, happy birthday Nella! And many more to come. Watching all of you on this journey is so inspiring!

    Esther D

  513. Happy birthday, Nella!

    It looks like it was a truly beautiful party.

  514. one word….beautiful! Happy birthday Nella!

  515. one word….beautiful! Happy birthday Nella!

  516. Looks like such a fun party. The picture of Nella with her therapist chocked me up-you can see the bond between them. Love your color scheme…and all the little details to make the day perfect! Looks like she enjoyed herself!

  517. thank you so much for your sharing heart…this day, this one of the most precious days of your life day, was absolutely marvelous and so full of joy & celebration…looking forward to the “to be continued” :)
    thanks again dear friend

  518. Happy Birthday Nella!!! Your party looks like it was absolutely perfect! I wish you many more healthy and happy years!!!

  519. Amazing! How wondeful to have raised so much money!
    And what a beautiful party! Happy birthday to little Nella!

  520. gorgeous day!!! love everything about your special celebration– happy belated birthday nella!

  521. I just LOVE your blog! I check in all the time to see if you have posted. Happy Birthday little Nella!! Amazing birthday post, I can only aspire to pull together such a beautiful party for my boys… the frames are such a great idea- I may just have to steal that one for my son’s second birthday in July! Thank you Kelle for such beautiful words and photos. I have a son with special needs and you inspire me. All the best!

  522. happy birthday sweet girl!

  523. What a celebration! You give me motivation to be creative with my daughter’s 2nd bday party in March.


  524. A beautiful party for a beautiful girl! The total amount raised has me in tears. Amazing!!

  525. you go girl! i am amazed at the parties you throw. they are grand and beautiful and including and fun. it’s been great to watch you grow and accept over the past year. i’d love a good win. 😉 mis.

  526. Happy Birthday Nella! Your posts are always so beautiful.

  527. Such a beautifully planned out and colorful party! Love it! Congratulations on your little one’s first birthday!

  528. Happy 1st Birthday Nella!
    You inspire me Kelle. My sister (in law) forwarded your blog to me a couple weeks ago. I’ve gone back to entries months ago to read all about your little family. I now find myself excited after checking my own blog to see what you’ve been up to. My sister was right, Love is in the details!

  529. Happy Birthday day sweet Nella !!

  530. Absolutely amazing!!! Happy Birthday Nella!!! Great job Mama!!

  531. What a magical day for your amazing ONE year old!!! Thank you for sharing her special day, I loved every single detail!! You and your family are truly amazing!!

  532. Such a pretty party for a beautiful baby!

  533. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Wonderful. Love it.

    Thank you for sharing. :)

  534. So happy Nella’s day was everything it was supposed to be. I have five children and know the love you are feeling that is so hard to put into words…but your words are beautiful and your love so evident.

  535. A beautiful day- a beautiful baby! Happy Birthday Nella!

  536. I especially love the pic of Nella with her therapist, Jonah… my daughter has had the same 3 therapists for almost 4 years now and they become a part of the family. You are such an amazing family to “know”…such an inspiration to so many.

  537. Kelle, thank you for sharing your gift with us. Your experiences, your words, and your disposition never fail to deliver happy tears. Whenever life starts to pull me down, I read your blog. Within seconds, I experience the sweet release of emotion….it’s amazing how one blog entry can change the direction of my day.

  538. What a sweet little lady…and what a beautiful party!

  539. Doing ok until I read the 4:24 line and saw how she so perfectly had her head on your shoulder. And there is no other shoulder more perfectly made to hold her head than yours. You have rocked this year, rocked it as a mama and a wife and a friend … and most importantly … as you.

    Happy Birthday Nella! Congrats Kelly … you did good.

  540. I love 1st birthday parties – they’re so, so special. I’m starting to plan little man’s big day and your photos give me inspiration. (Though I’ll probably have to skip the ruffled dress!)

  541. I absolutely LOVE the way you do parties!! So gorgeous! I can only hope I find a way to plan such a party for my soon-to-be baby boy. And I absolutely LOVE the emotion in each and every one of your posts. I usually get teary eyed. Today I cried. You are truly gifted (on so many levels) … Thank you for sharing with us Kelle!

  542. I was supposed to have a girl. Lexi Morgan Ackles. We prepared for her with pink and purple. I dreamed of birthdays like you through for Nella. I looked forward to tea parties and finger nail painting. Everything you do with your girls… I dreamed that I would do with Lexi. When I went into surgery (scheduled c-section), at 9:08am, I was given a boy! Levi Alan Ackles. The shock also came with DS (as you know.)
    I am very happy to have 3 boys, but I do get saddened when I see how you are with you little girls. I will just have to live though you!

    What a beautiful party! I don’t know how you find the time. But as the lyrics tell.. “When you love someone you’ll sacrifice. You’d give it everything and you won’t think twice.”

    That’s what we do for our children!

  543. So glad for a wonderful day! Decorations were beautiful!

  544. Kelle-

    Simply Magnificent.

    You WERE chosen…as your sister said at Nella’s birth. And one year later-it is so obvious that we all can see why!

    You are blessed beyond words. You have blessed me beyond words-you have given me such inspiration.
    Thank you!

  545. Beautiful day, beautiful party. Thanks for sharing!

  546. Oh my goodness. I follow Libby’s blog and I saw she was going to Naples (but I had no idea why or for what) and since you are the only person or connection to Naples that I have and we both follow your blog I said “Ok, well, if you have any Kelle Hampton sightings let me know!” I was totally joking and behold she was there WITH YOU! Crazy!

    Nella’s party was beautiful. You did a fantastic job!


  547. What a beautiful Birthday party! What a perfect way to celebrate a year of life! I love Lainey and Nella’s outfits! I hope that spending time with friends and family rejoicing in Nella’s first year was all that you hoped for and more! :0)

  548. Just amazing! Thank you, Nella … for all you’ve done and all you will do!!

  549. She is GORGEOUS. Beautiful party – I’m so happy for you all.

  550. I just love your originality with parties and your go-with-the-flow attitude! I am so grateful to have the chance to follow your journey. Thanks for sharing. And Happy Birthday again, to a very precious little Nella.

  551. Happy Birthday, Nella!
    It has been a blessing to watch your beautiful family take this incredible journey together! Thank you for your transparency, Kelle! Blessings to you!
    (not sure if my other comment posted, so I left this one too…)

  552. Of course the day was amazing! I am so glad that you beat ALL the goals that you have made for the ONEder fund!! Congrats!

    I absolutely love the big high chairs, HOW FUN!

  553. There simply aren’t words for the emotions you feel if they are emotions of intensity and love. They overcome with such a beautiful mix of equisite feelings that it can only be experienced, never described. I believe that is what heaven will feel like. :)

  554. What an amazing party for your amazing girl! Your photos make me feel like I was there….and frequently bring tears to my eyes.

  555. What a beautiful day (inside and out!)! You inspire me to be a better mama….thank you so much!

  556. Kelle you are such an inspiration. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl and so wonderful that Lainey got to celebrate so much too. I am in awe of your love of life and I can only hope that one day I can find that kind of love and “suck the marrrow” out of my life. I enjoy all of your words and use them to find joy in my everyday.

  557. Oh my Goodness, I follow Libby’s blog and she said she was off to Naples for a couple days (although I had no idea why or for what) and since when I think of Naples, I think of you, and since we both follow your blog, I commented and said “let me know if you have any Kelle Hampton sightings” . I was totally kidding and then there she was. WITH YOU! Crazy!

    Nella’s party was beautiful!


  558. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella! Such a beautiful post Kelle. You are so blessed!!

  559. it looks like it was a wonderful day…I’m so glad for all of you.

    Your journey continues to inspire me, and the faces of your littles brighten my days.

    Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us. Lovin’ the mailboxes!

  560. Your party was so precious, your daughter is truly a very special blessing, the pictures brought tears to my eyes. Simply priceless.. Happy Birthday to Nella

  561. WHat a wonderful beautiful celebration of life!!!

  562. Wow Kelle you did a great job. I’m inspired. The 1st is a huge milestone in so many ways…heres to more milestones in the years to come.

  563. Such a beautiful day! I have enjoyed following Nella and your family for the past year. You have been so inspiring~ I hope your happiness only grows through year two!

  564. Oh my word, you SO know how to throw a birthday bash! LOVE it. What a beautiful day.

  565. I love all of the details! I think the bows/flowers are adorable and can’t wait to purchase some for my little one!!! This post makes me so excited to plan my little’s first birthday in August!!!! And how amazing are your readers…seriously, over $100k!! Simply AMAZING!! You’re changing the world one reader at a time!!

  566. Kelle, the party looks amazing, what a great job you did! The picture of Nella and her therapist melts my heart. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  567. I am shamelessly in love with your ability to put joy, love, and passion into all that you do. Nella’s birthday party turned out beautifully~ I *love* the color combo and abundance of blooms, and those gigantic high chairs!?! SCORE!! I saw the mini mailboxes in Target’s Dollar Spot last week and thought of you and your stellar creativity—kudos to planning the perfect party and celebrating the birth of an amazing little girl! <3

  568. Beautiful party. Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing!

  569. Beautiful, precious, and celebrations for the ONEder fund. I shared the video with my 4th grade class at school. They were moved and touched. Thank you for sharing your life with the world.

  570. So delighted with the success of the ONEder Fund! You are the mother many of us wish we had been! Congrats and many blessings for a happy new year!

  571. Happy birthday to beautiful little Nella! It has been an honor to be a part of the last year of your family’s lives through this amazing blog.

  572. Wow. A beautiful day indeed. I stumbled upon your blog a year ago, after Nella’s birth story was sent to me via email. I have been coming back to your site daily to have my dose. Your blog is inspiring to me in so many ways, but mostly to remember that for my two babies, every moment to them is meaningful and to not wish the time away. Love each moment. Every minute of every day. You have taught me that. Thank you. Happy Birthday Nella!

  573. I have anxiously been awaiting this post! What a beautiful day! Congrats to all your family has accomplished in this pasy year! CHEERS!

  574. The picture of Nella and Jonah was my favorite. She is a lucky girl to have someone who loves her so much to work with her — you can just see it in his face! Happy birthday, Nella!

  575. Oh. My. Goodness. I have been looking forward to this post for days. I couldn’t have loved it more. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Happy Birthday, Nella Bean!

  576. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella!

  577. What a beautiful story! And that day is special and close to my heart as it is my wonderful husbands birthday too!

  578. Happy Birthday sweet Nella :) I hope my daughter’s first birthday comes out as cute as Nella’s did. 3 more months until my little one turns 1!

  579. I love your blog. Except it makes me cry every time. What a beautiful party!

  580. Happy birthday to sweet Nella! And a happy birth day to you! It looks like it was a beautiful party. We also celebrated my little one’s birthday this weekend. She was born on the 19th. Thank you for your as always awesome words. I look forward to them every week!

  581. I love the pictures on the clothesline. Such a cute idea! It looks like it was such a special day and YAY! about how much money is being raised…truly amazing! The bows are sooooo adorable…almost as adorable as Nella and Lainey!

  582. Joy! It is the word that comes to me (sometimes between tears) when I read your and your beautiful family’s stories. Thanks for bringing joy to so many of us out here in blog netherland! Happy (Belated) Birthday Nella Cordelia!

  583. Just beautiful! Happy birthday Nella! xx

  584. What a wonderful party for an amazing little girl! I came to your blog shortly after Nella’s birth story was posted and I am so grateful that I found you! I’ve loved every minute spent reading your blog, even when your beautiful words have tears streaming down my face as I read. Thank you so very much for sharing this year with all of us and Happy Birthday Nella!

  585. What a beautiful party, for such a beautiful little girl. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    Happy Birthday again, Nella!

  586. I love reading your wonderful words to describe the past year and the hope in the words of the future! Happy Birthday, Nella! You ROCK!

  587. Happy 1 year and 2 day Nella! I’m truly in awe of what Nella’s Rockstars have accomplished. Horray!!
    Kelle her birthday was beautiful. I dont’ know where you get all these wonderful ideas but I wish I could pull a party together like that. Seriously impressed!

  588. That girl loves her momma and it’s so sweet to see. What a great party way to roll with the cool winds! Happy Birthday little Nella.

  589. Happy birthday to Nella and happy Birth Day to you! What a beautiful part – looks like you all had a ton of fun!

  590. HAPPY 1st Birthday!
    Your so creative such a beautiful party!

  591. As usually, you did a beautiful job with the party. I love, love, love all the fun details and those giant balloons ROCK!

    The flowers are adorable, I must go check ’em out! :)

  592. Wow it looks like everyone had an amazing day! I am happy for you.

  593. Everything was beautiful, especially the birthday girl!! Congratulations on a special year!

  594. I’m in a big tub of bubbles taking a hot bath after a long day and I have iPad in hand looking and reading this blog and I just closed my eyes and thanked God for baby Nella and thinked him for You because I think you do more then you could ever imagine. Thank you for sharing your babies with us and thank you for bringing a smile to my heart. You give baby Nella a big ole’ Birthday hug from Nashville.

  595. Happy 1st Birthday, Nella! Your momma is an amazing photographer…what great stories she tells with her pictures alone! :)

  596. Happy Birthday Nella!
    I am so overjoyed that you raised over $100,000 for NDSS. You are such an amazing person. I love reading your posts. Keep them coming!

  597. What a beautiful party!

  598. so much love! The party looks beautiful and I love all the happy and smiling faces. So.much.love. I am so impressed with the parties you throw for your girls. Any chance you want to help me brainstorm ideas for when my firstborn turns 9 this April? Last year before my baby hits double digits!

  599. Amazing kelle. All the detail and all the work you adn others put into the party!
    That picture of you holding nellabean at 4:24 made me cry cry cry.. i could feel the emotion in it. you are beautiful. and I will think of you as you take those steps into her birth room. as you remember and let go.. you will keep those life changing moments and never forget.. but it’s incredible to see how you’ve healed. thank you for letting us all be part of the journey. i’m so grateful to be able to read your life and see your babies grow. congrats on a great and terrific party!

  600. What an amazingly beautiful day! Happy birthday, sweet Nella!

  601. I cry every time I read your blog for one reason or another. And you throw pretty rad parties!

  602. Happy Birthday Nella! What a beautiful party and a beautiful family! Celebrate!

  603. Everyone looked like they had a wonderful time, and you could definitely see all of the love in the air! Happy Birthday, Nella! You are very special, beautiful little girl and are very, very loved!

  604. Happy Birthday to Nella. I have truly enjoyed your blog this past year and have watched you both grow so much. Thanks for sharing your life with the world….we all learn so much…

  605. Happy Birthday to Nella. I have truly enjoyed your blog this past year and have watched you both grow so much. Thanks for sharing your life with the world….we all learn so much…

  606. Simply Stunning. That’s all I can say. This is my first comment. I started following your story in the Parent’s magazine article, and I wept. I was so happy to stumble across your blog. The photography and raw emotion is breath taking. You amaze me.

    happy birthday sweet Nella!

  607. Gosh, what a beautiful party!!! What a lucky and blessed little girl you have!

  608. What a beautiful first birthday celebration!

  609. Happy, happy birthday to Nella, Lainey, Kelle and Brett…after all, it’s a celebration for the whole family! What a beautiful year, beautiful girl and amazing pictures for such a special celebration! Here’s hoping that every year of sweet Nella’s life are even more spectacular than her first!

  610. Everytime I read your blog, I get inspired. But when I read your birthday-posts, you inspire me more than I thought possible!
    I hope that one day I will be as good as you are when it comes to throwing a party, everything looked perfect! I hope you’ll give your self a round of applause!

  611. You did it up right. I am so amazed by your celebrations. I too have a special person. He is deaf or hearing impaired or hard of hearing or how ever it is supposed to be say. It is hard and special all at the same time.

    Thanks for rocking it.
    Momma to 3
    *Shay B*

  612. What a beautiful party…and a beautiful family! Happy birthday – to all of you!

  613. Kelle, you have such an amazing blog! It’s so incredibly uplifting. You have such beautiful words to share. Lainey and Nella are two lucky little girls to have such a wonderful, loving mommy! Happy first birthday to blessed Nella!! I wish you all nothing but lots of love and happiness!

  614. happy birthday nella! love all the details of the day and great pics! thank you for including us on on your journey through the past year!

  615. Awe! I would LOVE some of those precious flowers! I’m so glad you and your sweet family had a wonderful day in spite of that old lemonade from lemons bit. I’ve always been a fan of lemons anyway. :0)

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  617. What beautiful memories.


  618. What a wonderful day it looks like you had! Happy Birthday to your girl!!
    My daughter’s 5th birthday is coming up. Hard to believe she turned our world upside down 5 years ago already. Didn’t think I would get to this place of calm and stability but we got here.
    I am glad that you are finding that special place as well!

  619. such a nice post… for a nice girl…

  620. I started my journey with you after hearing you on Rosie O’Donnell, only a month or so after precious Nella arrived. I was hooked so quickly and my heart was connected to your story so immediately. Thank you for sharing with me your story and for giving me something to aspire to when I become a mother…which is actually happening in a few months, my first baby is arriving at the end of March.

  621. What a party!
    I am so happy you are goiNg back to the hospital, healing is AMAZING!

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  624. I love your creativity and your love for you children! It’s so contagious…it makes me want to go throw a party for the baby in my womb that is 5 months! I love your creativity so much that I even make my husband look at your blog pictures!

  625. Wow, you throw an AMAZING looking party! I love the colours.

  626. Such a beautiful party for such an amazing little girl! Happy birthday, Nella!

  627. Happy Birthday Nella!!
    So glad it was such a great day for you and your awesome littles.
    You deserve all the happiness life can find for you!

  628. What a simply lovely party!

  629. Happy Birthday Nella!! Your first year has been so exciting and wonderful for your family and everyone who your story touches. Thank you for bringing my family along on your journey.

  630. Been following for a little less than a year. Your words are true and honest. Thank you for not sugar coating it all! Heading over to buy some beautiful head bows. :) We are anticipating our third foster baby…a little girl! (we have had her brothers who are 2 and 1 for the past 12 months. Thank you for your honesty!

  631. What a beautiful celebration. I feel so warm and fuzzy. Even during the cool Southwest Florida day on Saturday, I felt warm and fuzzy knowing that something very special was happening.

  632. I simply love the girl’s outfits. LOVE. Beautiful Party for a beautiful girl and her family. Great Job!

  633. A beautiful birthday party for a beautiful baby! Nella is such a cutie! I’m so glad her birthday was a good day, and I’m also thrilled at how much the ONEder Fund raised!

  634. I love Nella and Lainey’s little outfits! So cute and such a beautiful day. Congrats to you all!

  635. Kelly,

    Thank you so much for your posts. They make me smile. I eagerly await each update.

    Have a wonderful day.

  636. Happy Birthday Nella! Kellie – you are surely an inspiration to moms! :) Thank you for sharing your story freely with us!

  637. beautiful. simply beautiful. I am amazed and thankful for such wonderful families like yours. I work with individuals like your sweet Nella and love finding families who embrace the path they’ve been given and make it a beautiful garden!

    Many blessings to all of you as Nella rocks her way into her 2nd year!!

  638. Thank you for sharing Nella’s birthday! Your pictures and words are always so inspiring! I always look forward to checking out new posts and this one was wonderful :) Happy Birthday Nella & Happy being a proud Momma Day to you, Kelle! So happy for your year of happiness and truly enjoying the small things :)

  639. Awesome…your story just gets better and better. I have been reading your blog over the last year and I love every minute. Happy Birthday Nella <3

  640. i wasn’t expecting to, but i never am expecting to do this in your space here and usually do anyway, but the pic of nella and her therapist is the most precious thing. that moment…oh my heart. happy birthing day. happy birthday. happy-ness. :)

  641. What a wonderful party!!

  642. I can not believe it has been a year!!! She is just georgous. You are an amazing photographer, party planner, mom, and blogger. I love reading about what is going on in your life!!

    I would love to outfit my 2 girlies with some “blooms”!!

    PICK ME!!!

  643. Thank you Kelle, you are such an inspiration! And congrats on raising so much money, it’s truly amazing!

  644. Happy Birthday Nella! Congratulations on such a beautiful year…and thank you for sharing it with us. You are an inspiring family!

  645. Beautiful party for a beautiful little girl!

  646. Wow. Where do you find the time to do so many cute things?

    Ali B.

  647. What a precious precious post! The images are beautiful as is your sweet Nella! Happy Birthday sweet girl! God is so good, you are perfect and blessed to have people who love u so much!!

    xo Hana
    MomTog Diaries

  648. wow! beautiful party…beautiful girls!! so glad you had a perfect day…blessings to you :)


  649. I love this post! I know what you mean on a bitter sweet first birthday party and all that goes with it. It’s much needed, and unforgettable! Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

  650. Wow! What a delightful birthday party you all threw! That color scheme is fun, fun, fun! :)

  651. Loved the decorations and all the details put together for Nella’s party! LOVE the details, you can tell you really thought of something great to put together for her. How much she is loved!!
    And I’m so happy you surpassed your goal for Nella’s ONEderFund! Congrats!!!
    Happy day all around!

  652. WOW! You sure do ROCK parties!!! I love how everything comes together…so creative! The hair “blooms” were perfect favors!!!

  653. What a great celebration of life!

  654. I’m always so inspired when I read about how much you love your girls and cherish each moment. I’m trying to make the most of my life and my girls, too. Thanks.

  655. Her party looked like a first birthday spectacular – nothing short of what her first year was! I cannot believe she is a year old already – and if that’s how I feel I can only imagine how you and your family feels!

  656. Happy Birthday Nella! I usually always cry when I read your posts – I am moved and touched and encouraged. xoxo

  657. Happy Happy Birthday Nella!! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    and kelle – you are such an amazing woman. you have been such an inspiration to me. may you continue to be blessed.

    – jen
    jehling2 at gmail(dot)com

  658. What a beautiful party and what a way to celebrate such a sweet little one’s birthday!

  659. Happy 1st Birthday to Nella! That looks like SUCH a fun party! I love how creative your celebrations are – gives me a lot of inspiration for celebrating my own family. Thank you for sharing!

  660. Such a beautiful party, and little girl. :)

  661. We lost someone very dear to us on Friday – our Cre Cre – and I have struggled the last few days asking WHY WHY WHY?! Your words and photos always have a way of touching my heart and helping me feel the love and not the despair. Much love to the Hampton family and HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET NELLA!

  662. What a beautiful celebration. i’m happily planning my little boy’s 1 year birthday party as well…it’s turning out to be more work than my own wedding! but it will be sooo worth it.

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  663. the details, the beauty, most importantly the love…it’s what dreams are made of. happy 1st birthday nella cordelia!

  664. Happy Birthday Nella! Kelle her party was just beautiful and as always, I am teary reading this post!

  665. Happy Birthday Nella! What a beautiful post, beautiful party and beautiful family. You really are an inspiration to us all.

    Thank you for being so willing to share.

  666. What a special today for a very special little girl! Happy Birthday Nella!

  667. Happy Birthday! I can’t believe that Nella is one! I have been reading your blog for the past year and it has been an amazing year. I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your family with all of us.

  668. I found this blog through a post by The Girl Who (one of my favorite bloggers) and this blog is now right next to hers on my list of mommy blogs. I don’t have kids yet (about 10 years down the line) but I like to read about the stories of different people and yours makes me truly happy, because you are positive no matter what. I hope I can face everything life may throw at me with the same grace and love that you did when you gave birth to Nella. Your story inspires me and I will continue to follow this blog, probably until it ends. {and if you are still blogging when I have kids I’ll be posting comments asking for advice}. Love this blog and your family!

  669. Beautiful post yet again! You brought me tears. My last baby turns one in 3 days so I totally understand the bittersweetness of it. Your blog is so inspiring, thank you for sharing your life with us. Happy Birthday sweet Nella.

  670. Happy Birthday Nella! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Kelle, I read you blog everyday but don’t comment often. Thank you for sharing this amazing year with all of us!

  671. I’m so glad Nella had such a wonderful birthday party. You really know how to throw a party and I can’t believe how much money was raised. Thank you for doing it. It will help out my Jimmy and so many families. I have no hopes of winning the gift certificate but maybe if I write that I will win? Lots of Love!

  672. So THAT’s where those massive high chairs came from. I wondered how in the world one comes up with such a party prop. Beautiful birthday for a beautiful baby. I’m continually amazed at your eye for putting it all together – the table, the favors, the colors, the outfits. Amazing…I’d like to borrow some of that eye a little boy turning 3 in a couple weeks.

  673. Happy Birthday Nella! One year already! Kelle, I read your blog everyday, but don’t comment enough. Thank you so much for sharing the past amazing year with all of us!

  674. LOVE the pinwheels! It was a beautiful day for a beautiful family with a beautiful story :-)

  675. What a wonderful, beautiful birthday party. Happy, happy Birthday Nella! I hope that one day you will know how lucky you are to be born into this fabulous family.

  676. Happy Birthday Precious Nella!!!!! What a wonderful gift for people to give so much in her sweet name. She is truly loved as are all the other precious children that that money will help. You are such a loving, giving, beautiful mama. Thank you for sharing those precious memories with us. I wish I had been at that party. I would have loved to give Nella a birthday hug. Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the blooms. I have four girls that they would be gorgeous on:)

  677. You did an awesome job on her party! Happy Birthday Nella!

  678. okay, the tears came at the pic of Nella & Jonah…God, doesn’t it feel just so damn good when you know other people, really, truly, deeply, love & care for your child?? Gives me goosebumps…

    Nella’s party was absolutely beautiful! Those highchairs are the coolest, I love the girls outfits, and I’m heading over to maybe buy some blooms for Miss Brynn. And probably myself too.

  679. Girl you KNOW how to throw a party! I love it! You’ve inspired the birthday party I’m throwing for my roommate…she’s turing 22. :) It’s so nice that celebrating never goes out of style.

  680. I continue to be inspired by the beautiful words that pour out of you as you express the joy’s and sometimes sorrow that comes with remembering the beautiful and emotional overloading day that Nella arrived. I to continue to have the roller coaster of emotions over our now 3-month old Rachel, even a couple days separated from her by snow about rolled me under the waves. Thank you for continuing to share you story and being so raw.

  681. I feel the love.

  682. Simply amazing. Happy Birthday Nella.

  683. What a beautiful party! happy birthday, sweet and beautiful baby girl!!! God has great and mighty plans for you :)

  684. Happy Birthday to Sweet Nella! It is amazing how time has a way of gaining our acceptance, our love and our gratitude. What a difference a year can make! Here’s to many more happy, loving and fun years ahead for your entire wonderful family. :)

  685. Beautiful.

  686. Happy birthday, Nella! The pictures were wonderful, as always, but these were extra special. All those smiling faces? Those were because of little Nella. The picture with her therapist says it all. Your family has been entrusted with an incredible treasure. God bless you all!

  687. Happy Birthday Nella Cordelia. May 2011 be even more fantastic year for you and your mommy than the one before!

  688. I’m not much of a commenter, but have been reading and anticipating your posts over the last year. I could barely make it through this post, as I celebrated my little Taylor’s one year a couple of months ago myself. What a precious little blessing and star Nella is. I love it all. Erin

  689. Beautiful party for a beautiful family! Happy Birthday Nella!!!

  690. what a beautiful birthday party celebration!

    and what a small world! i started reading your blog about a month ago & tell everyone i know about it & i know libby!

    thank you for sharing your life.

  691. I love your party planning abilities. I’m hiring you for my daughter’s next birthday :)

  692. Everything turned out beautiful, I am so happy Nella had such a wonderful birthday! And I am soooo excited for how much everyone donated, I have been checking the total every day since it started!

  693. A perfect party for a perfect little girl!
    Katie Routzahn

  694. Happy Birthday to sweet Nella – and what an awesome party you gave. Way to go Mom!

  695. Such a cool party!!!! Everything so beautiful, the colors so great! And uh, I need me some of them thar giant highchairs : )
    I have a little girl, Daisy. I hope I get to buy a hundred bucks of bows for her!

  696. All is just as it should be … what a beautiful message and a beautiful day!

  697. Amazing party! And how amazing is it that so many people donated and raised so much money in Nella’s name! I couldn’t believe it when I clicked on the link to see if you had reached your goal and it was almost $100,000!

  698. Beautiful as always! I teared up when I read the awesome amount raised for the ONDer fund! You are an amazing woman!

  699. Happy Birthday Sweet girl!!!

    What a wonderful, precious day!!

  700. you and nella are both remarkable. on my best day, i wish i was half the mother you are. you’re inspiring! happy birthday to sweet nella and happy Birth Day to her amazing mama.

  701. Wow, I can seen that it has been a big week! And more to come.

    I think it is good to give children names, and associations for those names, that they can look to later as a guide or talisman. Some months ago I was thinking how appropriate the poem that accompanied the name,
    ‘Nella Fantasia’ turned out to be…and how many of the longings for ‘a just world’ and ‘a bright world’ Nella, through entering the world and your lives, has already brought about, before she even was one! What an incredibly wonderful girl! It could have ended up being a poem for years to come, but it is happening now! When I come here and when I read about your world, and the commenters, I often feel that ‘warm wind,
    That blows into the city, like a friend.’ And with the oneder fund, I rest my case!

    And Cordelia? Well, as you say, your grandmother taught you so much, and I believe you’ve used a lot of it this year making all this come about. She has played her part in all this,and it is so perfect that Nella carries her name.

    On a lighter note, if I have any room – love the cute little fellow with the red tie on his shirt! And the little girl who is in the egg and spoon but seems, unconventionally, to be carrying a lollipop and monkey instead – love that! And lying under all those balloons whilst the ground under you moves- trippy! – you’d pay a lot for that in certain spa retreats!

  702. Beautiful!!!!!

  703. Such a beautiful day ~ And perfect decorations for the event.

  704. Beautiful! Happy Birthday Nella! So happy for you! Our Nicholas just turned two and I also was reminded of our “birth day.” A day that had some pain, but today that pain is replaced with overwhelming love.

    For Libby, many prayers to her…also have her check out this site:

    Any little bit will help her spend more time with her little Ava.

    many blessings to you! Traci

  705. I aspire to be able to decorate half as good as you for my littles’ first birthday party!

  706. And in this past year, not only have you been changed, but all of us readers have been changed as well. We have been changed by your story as we begin to open our hearts and eyes to children all over the world like Nella. Thank you for continuing to share your stories with us :)

  707. what a celebration of love :) Congratulations and happy birthday, nella!

  708. I’m so glad you and Nella had a wonderful birthday :) Happy Birthday Nella!

    momma2kayleigh04 @ gmail .com

  709. The party is just over the top gorgeous! I am sure it was a very special day for everyone involved! Happy birthday sweet Nella girl! And happy rebirth day to you!

  710. Wow, gorgeous birthday party for a gorgeous little girl. Congratulations on the amazing gift that you are giving to the NDSS!

  711. I love the pictures. Your birthdays are any little girl’s dream. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again-thank you so much for sharing.

  712. Kelle-

    Like many of your readers, I don’t know you personally, but you have touched my life with your story & your life in general. Your blog has made me want to be a better Mother to my 5 precious children. I love to read your blog simply because I enjoy the way you write and the things you say. I wish I could get my feelings out in such a beautiful fluid way like you do. You are amazing! It looks like you had a great birthday weekend! Your family is beautiful and litte Nella is so precious!


  713. It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to visit your blog, but I’m glad I finally made time. Nella’s birthday party looked absolutely beautiful! I especially like how well the girls’ dresses matched the color scheme of the party. Super cute! I’m glad it turned out so well! And those barrettes are AWESOME :)

  714. I first started reading right after Nella was born and I have loved reading ever since. Thank you for sharing your zest for life!!! Happy birthday Nella!

  715. Wow. You did a FANTASTIC job. Happy Birthday Nella!

  716. Happy birthday Nella!! I love the theme!

  717. Happy Birthday precious little ONE! You are blessed and so perfect in every way. Sending you all the best!

  718. What a beautiful post, a beautiful party, and a beautiful celebration of life and change. I love how everything was pulled together through your color theme :o) Fantastic!

    Those hair blooms are adorable! I can’t wait to check out her site.

  719. Happy Birthday Nella! I have been reading for over a year now and can’t believe how quickly it has gone by. I was pregnant with my son when Nella was born and your story touched me so much. Looking forward to what this second year will bring!

  720. Excuse the cheesy Jerry McGuire reference, but you make me want to be a better mom. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  721. LOVE THE birthday outfits.

    Happy birthday baby Nella!

  722. Excuse the cheesy Jerry McGuire reference, but you make me want to be a better mom. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  723. What a beautiful, emotional and love-filled celebration.

    Congratulations Hampton Family and love to you for this next year. Happy Birthday Nella love.

  724. What a beautiful and precious day for your girl! Everything was so beautiful.

  725. Aww, what a sweet & special day you had. I’m already looking forward to the next post to hear more :) Kelle, you just amaze me. Your heart has no end…the way you welcome more into your village with open arms is yet another way you inspire me to be better and love bigger than I ever have. I just love ya!!

    Angie from Ohio

  726. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! Cried just as I did when I first started following your blog– right after I found out at 12 weeks pregnant that my precious boy would change our lives as well! I LOVE the quote your friend shared– here is another one for all the mama’s who love so hard and so fierce that our hearts could just burst– this was our Christmas Letter quote this year:

    I’ll tell you what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter–as I did. Great Expectations ~ Charles Dickens.

    Happy, Happy Birthday Precious Nella and happy sisterhood beautiful Lainey!!

    Way to go Kelle!!!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful day!


  727. Just wanted to say, I am a part of your village in spirit! thanks for the chance to win such lovelies!

  728. Beautiful pictures… beatiful party… beautiful girls. Happy 1st birthday to your sweet Nella. Wow! is all I can say about the money raised.

  729. What a beautiful birthday girl, party and family! simply amazing!

  730. Your blog and words are precious and inspiring and your beautiful little Nella has changed our world!

    (She looks exactly like my baby Lucy, who is a month older.)

  731. Happy 1st birthday to sweet Nella!

    We just celebrated a 2nd birthday on the 19th. It was a wonderful celebration, especially considering we recently received good news about my girl’s health. My Maia was diagnosed with a subglottic hemangioma (a fancy way of saying a growth in her airway under her vocal cords) when she was five months old. We’ve spent quite a bit of time in the hospital and had a few day trips so her doc could check it out. The last scope showed great improvement and my sweet pea is now off her medicine. Here’s to hoping that was her last scope!

    Happy birthday to two strong, beautiful January babies!

  732. I just love birthday parties…but nothing beats a great 1st Birthday! Happy Birthday Nella!!

  733. So beautiful. I cried and smiled and laughed. Just beautiful, mama.

  734. The parties you throw are unreal. Wish I had half of that talent. Happy Birthday to your precious baby.

  735. A beautiful day for a beautiful girl and her family. I look forward to your posts so much, and you never fail at making me laugh and cry! You guys are amazing! Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

  736. Gorgeous party! You are talented in so many ways. Thank you for continuing to inspire me to be a better mom, daughter, friend and crazy crafter :). Happy, happy birthday to your beautiful Nella!

  737. I was so moved by your post. You are a beautiful woman (inside and out!) with a beautiful family. I could feel the love at your party. Congrats on the ONEder Fund total!

  738. aaaah- happy tears. your story touches me every time i visit your sweet blog. i can’t wait to see how your girls grow. isn’t it amazing?
    divertida at fastmail dot fm

  739. Beautiful photos! Looks like you guys had an amazing day – what a celebration!

  740. beautiful!!!!!!!!! I, like you, have so much I want to say but there are hardly any words…just, beautiful, all of it. xo

  741. Beautiful.. I have been waiting for this post all week…I have enjoyed following Nella’s first year of life. I have reread your birth story and it still brings me to tears. She is beautiful and LOVED!

  742. Happy Birthday, beautiful girl!

  743. Kelle,
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I always look forward to reading your posts.

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  744. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us.

  745. Happy birthday nella. You have changed so many lives, including mine. Thank you, kelle, for sharing your gorgeous daughter with us. Can’t wait to see what year number two holds!

  746. Happy birthday Nella and thank you for touching so many this past year.

  747. Magical and beautifully illustarated as always! Lainey and Nella are SO very blessed!

  748. What a beautiful party! I’m lovin’ the color combo. I cried so hard when I saw the picture of Nella with her therapist. My son has a severe speech delay (develepmental apraxia) and the love between him and his speech therapist makes me get the tight-throat-burning-eyes when I think about it. It’s a beautiful thing when someone loves your children so much. Best to you and yours!

  749. GORGEOUS!! what a perfect day for a perfect miracle baby <3

  750. I cried reading this post…it is just so beautiful :-)

  751. You throw the best parties. Happy Birthday to Nella! I started following your blog shortly after her birth; I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

  752. What a beautiful most perfect fabulous day for you sweet little Nella. It looks like you poured your heart and soul into the party! I love the mailbox idea and I am seriously thinking about using it for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party coming up. You are truly inspirational to me and I enjoy reading your blog! Thank you for sharing your family with all of us:)

  753. Such a beautiful post. As we near our own little daughter’s first birthday on Feb. 1st and whose party is this Saturday, I have enjoyed following your journey with Nella this last year and Lainey is the same age as our other daughter. You are such an inspiration to me. How can one person who I have never met, be such an influence on my life? You are 😉 I wish Miss Little Nella Happy 1st Birthday! And thank you, Kelle Hampton, for who you are, a very special lady to a lot of bloggers 😉

  754. I am in awe of the beauty of your family!
    Thank you for eloquently sharing your heart!

  755. It looks like such a magical day. I love love love the party colors!

    I know revisiting the hospital room will be big. Sending you lots of strength!

    Hugs from Chicago!

  756. That looks like the most amazing party I have ever seen in my life!!!!!! What is in the little mail boxes?

    How did you pull all of that together!!!?? Do you hire help!? You are wonder woman!

    I would love to see how you pull something like that together (time frame/ supplies …). I am in awe.

  757. Happy birthday Nella!

    You’ve got such a nack for parties, I hope when my LO’s first rolls around in Oct. I can throw her one just as pretty :)

  758. Happy Birthday Little one! It appears you are greatly loved!

  759. Happy Happy Birthday! You create birthday parties that I could only dream of doing!

  760. What a darling one year old party outfit! Celebrating the first year of like is amazing!