It’s a good day when the front door looks like this.


This means the mail was good to us today. Like a box from Grandma Krissy. And packages with handwritten messages and thick paper envelopes that crumple delightfully when you squeeze them. Being that we are all shameless mail-lovers, when we see the mail lady get out of her truck, signaling a walk to the door for packages bigger than our little box can hold, it turns into a scene much like the alligator feeding frenzy at the zoo. We go bananas. Lainey once followed me out into the driveway naked, running, screaming. And then, because we are so excited, we don’t even make it much past the front door. Or take the time to look for scissors. I, in some animalistic satiation of getting to the prize, rip plastic tape with my teeth while Lainey rifles through bubble wrap and tissue paper like a mad bone-digging dog. And no matter what’s inside those boxes, there is happiness. There is squealing. There is the joyful proclamation of contents. “A book! A hat! A new part for the microwave!”

Today, there was a hat. A happy yellow hat my mama made for me.



And homemade sweaters for the girls that feel cold and heavy, like the perfect quilt. It was a very good mail day.

And Nella got her own pair of Nella Cordelia Mary Janes from Pitter Patter (all proceeds of the sale of this shoe go to The ONEder Fund).


Yes, a very good mail day indeed.

Also, another shop, The Meg Shop is offering 50% of the proceeds of Nella’s ONEder Fund bracelet to go The ONEder Fund. Me loves me some shoppin’ for a good cause.

The weather’s been a little wishy-washy, and I like it. Keeps me on my toes. I like waking up to the hissing of the coffee pot and shuffling outside holding both a hot cup and a bit of curiousity as to what’s in store. Flip flops or boots? Hats or tank tops? One day we’re suitin’ up for the pool, the next layering tights and sweaters for chilly winds and the promise of late night plumes of thick, delicious smoke from our chimney. Today was the latter.


We escaped this chilly morning, to the back of our neighborhood, where we climbed a fence to sneak into our favorite park.

Photos courtesty of Daddy

I wondered why I don’t do this every morning even though I know that’s a bit unrealistic. We need the balance of staying in our pajamas too long, dropping oatmeal-ed spoons on the carpet and remembering we left wet clothes in the washer overnight to make mornings like these more enchanting.

I felt small, in a good way, among this intricate web of slash pines that swallowed us like boats that disappear along the mysterious space where sea meets sky. We noticed everything–velvety cattails, cold red berries, prickly puffs of tiny dried blooms that danced in the wind.



Starting your day like this? It’s like the blast of the gun that triggers the screeching of tires at the Indy 500. You can’t help but move forward.




We need the push. There’s lots to do. Nella’s party is under way. It’s no secret I love parties, especially when it’s the celebration marking the day I held out my arms to grasp the slippery little bodies that would change my world. I may go big with details as I enjoy every bit of making it special, but we do very well at keeping cost low. I’d love to share more creative ideas on the blog on how to inexpensively make magical moments for your littles…will try to find more ways of doing that this year without overload. For now, a little peek into the party planning.

Found one of my favorite party shops HERE. Retro dime store notions…small dollah, no hollah.

And we’re happy to welcome back another fabulous sponsor, Elizabeth St., who’s supplied us with some more of our favorite treats for Nella’s party…whimsical pinwheels.

Lots more goods there to check out including beautiful handmade headbands and pins. Check it. Use coupon code ENJOY10 to get 10% off your entire order.

Of course all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy. Wait, did I slaughter that? That doesn’t rhyme. Is that really how it goes? Whatever. Anyway, after running in to the pediatrician’s for a catch-up on Nella’s shots (who, for the record, didn’t make a peep. Just puckered up in the biggest, sweetest pouty lip in the history of mankind), on the way home Starbucks hot cocoa called me like the sirens of Titan. And if you give a girl a hot chocolate, she’s going to ask for the perfect pale pink speckled donut to go with it.

From this day forward, I hereby swear never to serve hocho again unless it is heaped with whipped cream and drizzled with rich chocolate. Seriously.

And, as any other crazy day that begins with loveliness, it must be bookended–concluded with loveliness to match its beginning.

Two jammied sisters, desperately in love, playing in the crib together did the job.


Our P.T. would love this…her little upper body strength is rockin’ the crib bar pull-up.


But therapy takes a back seat to the real reason I love this time. I caught it–the magical glance of my beautiful spirited three-year-old and my sweet soulful almost-one-year-old. I caught a glimpse of their love like a firefly in a glass.


Bookend THAT, Baby.

Thank you again and again (it will keep comin’) for what you are doing out there with The ONEder Fund and these beautiful children. It is amazing where this has gone…where this is going. Powerful. And you know what I love about all of it? While there have been some amazing generous larger donations, most of this is from little bits. Five dollars. Ten dollars. Twenty. It DOES matter. Every voice matters. Look what it’s done. This whole fundraiser has been such delicious icing on an otherwise completely fulfilling cake of a year. It’s taught me more about how capable each and every one of us truly is. And I thank you for that.

Sometimes grace manifests as synchronicity-its energy brings together people or events in a soothing, helpful, or dramatic way when you most need it and least expect it. At other times grace is the energy that suddenly illuminates us with understanding, allowing us to see what we had not been able to grasp before. Grace can also lift us into an altered state of consciousness in which we feel suffused by an unfamiliar energy -an indescribable combination of love, hope, and fearlessness.” ~Caroline Myss

Thank you again, KC, for sharing a quote that is, without fail, what I’m hoping to convey.

Much love tonight. Something good coming for Friday. I think you’re gonna like it.



Leave a Comment
  1. I always look forward to reading your blog!!!! I love it!!!

  2. Thank you Kelle. Everytime I come to “enjoy the small things” on your blog-my day is immediately brightened. More than your pictures, your fab sense of fashion, your ADORABLE girls…and believe me-each of these is wonderful…it’s your realness that inspires me. You truly are incredible.

  3. I saw some super cute cupcakes topped with marshmallows that were twisted to look like popcorn. Here’s a link w/ the directions if you’re interested:


  4. yes! that’s what made me well up the other day…….that most of the donations are not large……that so very many people are coming together doing what they can to make a huge impact all in the name of your precious Nella Bean.

    *sigh* life is good.

  5. I wish I could trade our 27 inches of snow (not to mention the at least 10 that were still on the ground from Friday’s storm) for a day like yours!!

    I love the b&w picture of you and Nella!

  6. That last picture with Lainey and Nella is amazing. You can just feel the love they have for each other. Make me wish I had a sister to share that look with. Your girls are beautiful and reading this post was the perfect way to end my night!

  7. Hi Kelle,

    I just discovered your blog yesterday and I’ve been making my way through the archives and have found the whole thing inspirational and beautiful. Your beautiful and honest story of Nelle’s birth brought me to tears (in a good way) and I LOVE the idea for your TV show :) Today’s post inspired me to donate to your ONEder fund. Can’t wait to keep following you :)

  8. you rock, Kelle!

    your heart rocks!

  9. Sounds like a perfect day! Your girls are just beautiful! I can’t wait to see Nella’s party!
    Thanks for sharing! I’m a mom of a cute little boy (Frankie) with Ds. Your beautiful words are so inspiring.

  10. What a sweet picture of your two babies, so sweetly in love with one another! That needs to be framed somewhere!

    I have been so amazed at the outpouring of support for The Oneder Fund! I check back multiple times a day to see how much it’s grown by and I am awestruck each and every time I check it. Thank you for showing me not only how much people care for Nella, but for all of our babies with a little extra!

  11. The picture of L & N in the crib….that ‘moment’….brought tears to my eyes. I LOVE to catch that glance from my biggest little to my smaller little. There is so much love between them! Thank you for sharing that picture!! <3

  12. I loved the crib shots of the girls! So sweet! And loved that one of Lainey while on the walk with her lips pursed up. Attitude! So cute!

    Will your mom adopt me? I’d like a hat! :o) You are so blessed Kelle!

  13. I love the pinwheels! A friend of mine said she’d teach me how to make them and I can’t wait. I’ll have them at every event after that, I’m sure.

    I love the pea coat on Lainey! She’s suddenly looking very much like a big girl.

  14. So in love with the black and whites – you capture such beauty…such love! I seriously hope you frame a very large picture of Nella and Lainey in the crib looking at each other…love, love, love! xoxo

  15. First off – I check the ONEder fund multiple times a day to see where it’s at, as well as peek at your Facebook to check out all the comments. And every single day, it takes my breath away & makes me tear up. Amazing.

    Second – That picture of Nella & Lainey looking at eachother? Yeah, THAT made me tear up as well. I hope that I have another girl, and that my girls share the love your girls do.

  16. Once again, Kelle, THANK YOU….for your grace, your humility, your passion, your appreciation for the beauty of life and these ONEderful children who have graced our worlds and our lives. Because of you, people’s eyes and hearts have been opened to the precious, priceless blessings of these almond-eyed children and all they have to offer. Through your voice and photographic eye, Nella is changing the world.

  17. book it, Dano. these posts, summarizing these amazing moments have me clutching the imaginary pearls, and squinting past tears that happy things inspire in sentimental mushy bucket-heads like me. can’t wait until Friday’s. would you recommend one wear water-proof mascara? never thee mind. i’ll go all Betty Davis ugly. no one will care.

    big love from AZ.

  18. Thanks for the part about your coffee, it reminded me I had a cup of tea I forgot about! Have fun getting ready for you ONEder Birthday party. Kids are a WONDER to behold.

  19. Dude, the 80’s called. They said keep the skirt and shirt, the whole outfit. You’re rockin in jes fine <3


  20. I’m a substitute teacher and today I had the wonderful priviledge of subbing in some PE classes of kids with that magical extra chromosome! What an HONOR! I knew this already, but today it was “icing on the cake” wonderful and they were so sweet and fun and so engaged! I thought of you and sweet Nella all day long! Blessings to you all … over and over again!!

  21. I love love LOVE your blog!! So inspiring. The way you write is moving and stunning.

  22. Oh that hot chocolate looks beyond sinful…truly delicious. And your girls, how they’re growing! I can’t get enough of your words, your pictures, your beautiful life Kelle. Can’t wait for Friday’s post!!!

  23. My heart feels happy~

    I thought $50k would be the magical number, but who can predict the ending of a wonderful love story?

    People are good, people are kind and Nella’s Rockstar’s have delivered the goods.

    Amen people. Amen.

  24. What a beautiful day!
    What a perfect day to pay it forward.
    :) Happy Day! Happy Always!!

  25. I would give anything to crash this party! I am SOOO excited to see the photos and “hear” the stories. It is so unreal to think about how many, MANY of us are celebrating little Nella’s BIG day.

    Your sister was right, you were chosen. YOU. You ALL were. And you are making SUCH amazing, powerful changes in our world every day. Just think, YOU and this BLOG have such positive and profound power. I am so glad you are using it. Using it for GOOD. To make lives better. Happier. And I know your words may SAVE a life. Improve a lifestyle!

    Kudos Kelle, to you and your amazing year that has impacted all of us and many more to come!!

  26. Loving the b&w images! Also…the hat your mama made you. :)

  27. Love your new hat

    Love Nella’s Mary Janes. Adorable

    Love the pics of Lainey and Nella in the crib.

    Great post to read right before my 23rd birthday…an hour and 20 minutes to go! (I’m just a little excited lol)

  28. I’ve only been checking your blog about every 15 minutes today hoping for a new post! So thanks for delivering!

    1. Love. No really love that yellow hat! It looks so cute with the red and your fabulous boots. And an extra bonus? It doesn’t slide off your head! Ha ha. Still love the red bowl.

    2. Lainey’s girl-got-attitude picture is to die for!

    3. I’ve already said this one but it’s worth repeating. Loving the turquoise/red retro themed birthday party colors!

    4. Jealous of that hot cocoa.

    5. Nothing and I mean, nothing beats the love between sisters. It’s what makes life go ’round! Check out the video of Morgan and Mia doing the Sound of Music together on my blog. Love that our girls have a sister who absolutely adore them.

    6. I was already excited for Friday but now I have something to read and watch over and over and over again on the long drive to San Diego for our cruise. I’m gonna miss your posts while I’m away!


  29. Makes life go ’round or the world go ’round. You choose! :)

  30. Ah this post was like getting outside and exploring the wonderful outdoors, with a light and lovely dash of relaxation and peace. I love your posts that have bright pictures, and new places, but I think I love them just as much when you speak of the wonderful days of just being a hop skip from your house, or staying inside for a drink (which might i say, looks delicious… I want me some whip cream and drizzled chocolate goodness).

    Every time I log into AOL I see things like “LIST OF WHAT IS ABSOLETE IN 2011″ and one of the things on that list was Mail and Books. I laughed. Mail is something everyone loves getting. And I don’t mean bills, I mean packages, a letter stuffed with romantic prose, or friendly wishes. When I get the mail I always look to see if there’s something special inside for me. And books, forget about it. They’ll never go out of style. reading is like breathing and no one wants to stop breathing, right? Right.

    That picture with Lainey looking at Nella is beautiful, kelle. You can see how Nella looks up to lainey, and how Lainey looks down at Nella with wonder, love and protection. There bond will grow with them, as they sprout up into amazing young girls.

    I gotta say, this ONEder fund is just amazing. I was looking on your facebook about how South Dakota hadn’t donated anything yet and someone was right there to say “Yo, I got this girl!” and I just…smiled. I felt like I was in this amazing club, where we got each others backs, where we’re standing together united by something so much more. We’re raising amounts of money that most fundraisers dream of raising. And it’s all just because we have this passion for life, to help, to want to pay it forward. So what do I have left to say? We got this. We can do this. we ARE doing this. We are all Nella’s Rockstars. it’s magical.

  31. Hey! I think those boardwalks might look familiar! :) I’m positively in awe of Nella’s Oneder fund. If I need a little boost of motivation during the day, I click on over to see what it’s doing. Feeling the collective love and grace never ceases to disappoint!

  32. Yep. The energy is bananas right now. And, yep, sometimes we have to get a little bit crazy to make stuff happen.

    Faves: yellow hat! (good job mama), Bloom Where You Are Planted, mama-kid photos on the walk.


  33. Ooooh, I can never get enough of your little peaches! I’m always sad when I scroll down too far and realize there are no photos left to swoon over. What a great way to honor Nella on her birthday! Loves.

  34. such beautiful pictures!!

    love those popcorn bags- way cuter than the ones i searched everywhere for and found for our 1st birthday bash that’s on SATURDAY!

    i have watched nella grow alongside my little guy- i can’t believe they’ll be 1 next week!

  35. Lovin’ the yellow hat… your Mom rocks. And that sister-love-look?!? THAT is pure magic.
    Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for Friday.
    ONEder fund makes me smile every time I check it.

  36. Would absolutely love the tips on low cost but memorable parties! My miracle who is 1 of 5 in the world turns 1 on February 1st and I want to make it earth shatteringly special for her, but unfortunately funds are incredibly tight for us right now because of my medical bills.

    You rock that yellow hat girl!

  37. Love the hat your Mom made for you Kelle!
    The black and white sister photos are just beautiful.

  38. Thank you so much for the link to Hey Yo Yo. I just found the cutest red and white straws and cherry red cup cake holders. I can’t believe my “baby” is going to be 5 this year.

  39. Sitting in Queensland, Australia while our home town has just come through the floods, your blog brings so much happiness.

    Your words, your images, the beautiful souls of you and your girls … Your blogs are the highlight of my day.

    I worked in a special school as a teenager, and within those walls I found the most beautiful, loving and gentle children.

    You and your family are doing amazing things to boost awareness of Downs Syndrome. Gone are the days of my grandfather’s generation where being born simply as deaf would land a child in an institution for life.

    With families like yours and organisations like NDSS raising awareness, we now understand that these beautiful souls will have lives just as fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful as any one else.

    I love the photo of the girls sharing the look of love. I have two girls and the most beautiful sound in the world is them giggling hysterically at something shared just between them.

    Keep spreading the love. We will follow you to the ends of the earth.

  40. Loved your version of the mail escapade. Hoping people feel that way when they get something from me:). And LOVE the birthday anticipation… can’t wait to see!


  41. Oh Kellee, I get so excited to see a new post from your gorgeous self and when they are filled with the breathtaking captured moments of your stunning princess’ well it just makes my day. I have LOVED learning your story and reading about your families journey. You and your family are such an inspiration. I have not yet read a post of yours that does not have me reaching for the tissues. you capture what words could NEVER espress. you have opened my eyes to many new things and I am forever grateful for you sharing your heart and journey. You my beautiful ‘virtual friend’ are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  42. Loving all of Nella’s party details! I’m using the same color scheme for my daughter’s 1st birthday snowflake party next January… she’s not exactly born yet, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t started planning her party 😉 I love it! She is actually due on Nella’s birthday (though I don’t know that I’ll make it until then) and my other daughter shares Lainey’s birthday! Have fun planning this special day! :)

  43. love love love your writing, please share when you publish your first book!!! love the outfit too!! :)

  44. I too am a birthday party lover when it comes to planning for my kids. I have all boys, so it is fun to see the frilly girly planning over here. 😉

    And THAT picture…. the one of the two girls in the crib. THAT is what mommyhood and love are all about!

  45. Hi Kelle, I’m a long time stalker :) but I just wanted to share with you how inspirational I find you and your blog. Every day you encourage me to be a better mother and to really celebrate the little things. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. I just love your photos and your girls’ fashion. I think Lainey has brilliant taste for an almost-4-year old! I donated to Nella’s fund and want to thank you for allowing me to give something back to you and your family. It was an honour to, in a very small way, join in the celebrations for your little Nella-bean’s special, special day. When it was my daughter’s second birthday, I went all out, thinking along the way “What would Kelle do with this celebration?”! Thankyou so much for letting us see the beauty of yours, and therefore our, lives. Cheers, Elisa

  46. When I think about the excitement and frenzy at the Hampton household with a delivery at the front door, I look back at our delivery at our door one year ago. The box was not what we were looking for or waiting for. We questioned the address. We had no idea the wonder and magic, the crumpled-paper joy that was within. Had we known, had we seen–we wouldn’t have greeted our gift with tears but with cheers! What a difference a year makes. What a difference a cheer makes! Rock on, Nella, we’re right behind you!
    Lainey led us with her coyish, concealed grin when she looked at her new sister–perfect in her eyes. And big brother Austyn, at 15 and knowing all about his new little sister–he has texted the Down syndrome diagnosis to all his cool buds on Iphones–confidently asked, as we all stood around our newborn, “Can I hold her?” Yes, the Postman had the right address.

  47. Rik- you are absolutely right, as per usual! :) What a difference a year makes. If I had known a fraction of what was inside the little package at my door this time last year, there wouldn’t have been one single tear of sadness, just pure joy! I’m excited to start this year with my daughter off on that foot.

  48. You look like a celebrity walking the kids at the park! Cute seeing them in the crib together. Glad things are going well with the fund.

  49. im REALLY looking forward to more PARTY tips !! my son turns 5 on March 28th and im thinking a super hero theme… im definitely going to get him one of the capes ive seen on your girls. thanks !

  50. my son had to keep looking at laineys funny face pic. he loves silly face pics….therefor hes loving his editing tool on his DS. lol

  51. You can’t help but smile when you see your two girls together :)

  52. pretty, pretty,it’s all so pretty!

    ” I caught it. the magical glance of my beautiful spirited three-year-old and my sweet soulful almost-one-year-old. I caught a glimpse of their love like a firefly in a glass.”

    Those glimpses are like a quick endorphin rush right? Inevitably I will be trying to do something mundane but not getting it done and instinctually turn around to request quiet from the background noise and what I see becomes the present- those little girls of mine tumbling over each other. All it takes is one of them to giggle at the other’s antics to spread a grin over my face and heart. It just gets better the more mobile the littlest becomes. Sweet Stisters (as Maddie pronounces it).

    Love, love, love that grace quote as well.

    I’m so thrilled for you Kelle- you’ve embraced Holland- you can see that Holland and Italy are both places that rock. It’s how you choose to travel through each place that makes you glow. Going to one doesn’t forego the other. You go in to Holland and scoop up it’s pastoral and loveliness and tuck it into your pocket to introduce to all the Italians. You’re doing it. Hugs!

  53. I just wanted to tell you what a fabulous job you are doing of keeping lainey from getting lost in the mix….
    my sister is a special needs child and the appointments, therapies, research, attention, etc, etc are things that are familiar to me. however, my parents did a fabulous job of remembering me. :)
    no matter how busy they were or how much of their time my sister consumed, i was never “forgotten.” i think that in and of itself is a major accomplishment: to have your other children feel just as “special” as your special needs child. keep up the good work momma!

  54. Kelle you have such a wonderful gift! I love how you make us feel so apart of your life. Your family is amazing. My words can’t even do it justice…I feel so happy reading your blog and am working to “enjoy the small things” in my own life. I want to squeeze those beauties of yours. So a simple “thank you”, but to me it’s so much more.

  55. I love your blog!
    ooo that laSt picture melt my heart!

  56. I rarely comment, but I wanted you to know how much I enjoy your photographs and your words! You are so very gifted and your family is something beautiful! So glad you share!

  57. Beautiful Kelle! May I borrow the quote from Carolyn? I also am a blogger and would love to write a post about this very thing – grace under stress and grace with living.

  58. Kelle, as an Auntie of a beautiful boy with DS, thank you for making people aware of the beauty of these little souls. Jory is such a blessing in our life as Nella is in yours. Oh, we love us some good Birthday Cake doughnuts from Star. B’s Have memorable fun planning Nella’s party. Blessings, Abby

  59. Oh, they are too beautiful together, those sweet little sisters! :)

    I can’t give much to the ONEder fun but have given what I could, with love! It was moving to see what the actual total has grown to compared to your original “little” goal 😉

  60. Oh, I so wish I had a tiny girl to wear those Mary Jane shoes. I could eat them, they’re so cute!!!

  61. Keep meaning to tell you how much I love the things your mom crochets. She needs her own blog about crocheting and to share her patterns.

  62. Kelle, I love the pictures of the girls in Nella’s crib. You caught the moment perfectly!

  63. Wow! Just checked out the fundraising page again. I cannot believe how that has grown. It is amazing! I also cannot believe how fast little Nella seems to be growing. She is suddenly looking so much older, and she is getting prettier every day. I don’t comment on here very much, but I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate all that you are doing to help our kids be accepted into this world. My Rachel is seven, you can see her at our blog The older she gets the more I worry about how she is going to be treated by others out there in the real world. Each of us can do our part to help them to be fully accepted, but you have a rare opportunity to reach out to the world. Keep up the good work and thank you!

  64. Pure joy and pure love. And can I just say that I love little almond eyes!?! The quote was perfect. I will be sharing it. And the only thing better then hot cocoa with whipped cream and chocolate sauce is to add a dash of cinnamon on it. SCRUMPTIOUS!

  65. You love for life is contagious! ANd it’s obvious your beautiful girls will grow up with that same passion.

    BTW … LOVE your outfit in the photo. Absolutely DARLING!

    And of course your girls outfits are rockin’ too :-)

  66. “I caught a glimpse of their love like a firefly in a glass.”
    Good Lord woman! Happy tears. That picture just did it. Sweet, sweet love. Doesn’t get any better than that. What it’s ALL about. *sigh*
    Your description of the three of you when the mail comes makes me want to send you stuff!! lol That hat is pure awesome-ness. Your Mom rocks. And you look so cute in hats. What a gorgeous day you enjoyed. Yay! I’m filled with giddy excitement to see what you have in store for Nellas party. It’s going to be so magical, I just know it. I’m a huge lover of party planning myself and love that you will be sharing some of your secrets. I’m going to send you a website via Facebook….something I know you would enjoy checking out. Party ideas for just about everything. And it’s just your style. :)
    Kris ( from Rhode Island)

  67. I am in love with the pictures of your two beauties in the crib together. Just darling. I dream of the day my sweet Sophia has a little sister…maybe soon :) I would love to hear all about the party planning. I’m planning my little girl’s 1st birthday and would love some inspiration!

  68. Does your mom have an etsy? I love that hat!

  69. What I love about this blog is not only the inspiration infused throughout, but your great writing, such juicy turns of phrase sprinkled throughout – “I caught a glimpse of their love like a firefly in a glass” Love it!

  70. i was thinking the exact same thing divinefrenzy just said. <3

  71. you all are adorable…nough said!

  72. Oh, the sisterly love shots make my heart twinge! I can’t wait to give my little N a sister. :) Adorable photos!!

  73. Had to comment…sitting here with my two littles, the one year old bopping his head to your music while shoveling oatmeal into his chubby face – too much. We here also love the packages! Grandma is great with little boxes filled with tiny goodies. My older son (3 1/2) calls the UPS man the “PBS man.
    Love the blog – don’t always comment though

  74. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what’s happening with the ONEder fund! Can you believe it?! I mean seriously, can you BELIEVE it?? Amazing!! Look at what you are doing with your ‘one wild and precious life!’ You rock, you are my hero :) Keep it up and I absolutely CANNOT wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow!!!

    Angie from Ohio

  75. Love your hat. Your mom should go into business.

  76. I love it!
    A lady at my church used to call my sister and I “Debi’s bookends” because we sat on each side of her every Sunday for our entire lives. Your bookends post was special to me, for that reason, and because it also tells the story of two precious little girls.

  77. Always SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited when I saw a new post of yours pop up in my dashboard…and I wasn’t disappointed! LOVE your blog, Kelle — and love your photos. Keep on writing. :)

  78. Your family is so lovely–and Nella is the prettiest little girl I’ve ever seen! I just started following your blog and I’m loving every post.

  79. Kelle,

    I saw cupcake wrappers that are red with white polka-dots at Hobby Lobby in the Valentine aisle. I think they match the fabric from one of your earlier posts.
    Love the b&w of you and Nella and the pics of you and your girls! Wish my husband was that good with my camera!

    Karen H.

  80. Kelle,

    Your Mom ROCKS too! Love that hat. I miss my Grandma so much who use to shower us with those little gifts of love every now and then. I’m trying to get better on trying to achieve her generosity of love in those ways.

    So many women in the world that are inspiring me lately and I have to say dear lady YOU are one of them.

    I love that you share your house isn’t 100% clean all the time, that you get tired, have sick days, have days where you just want to curl up in jammies with the cuties.

    Lainey’s pic with her squishy face cracked me up.

    Love your sense of style, can’t say that enough!

    Oh and Nella, you are getting so big and so strong.

    Your cup truly runneth over!


  81. Kelle, you are very welcome, my friend! xox

    Love all the things your Mom makes, she is very talented!

    Lainey and Nella’s picture looking at each other is so beautiful. :)))

    Seeing how many people have been touched by Nella, everybody doing their best, whatever they can, to support Nella’s OnederFund and all her friends with a magic extra chromosome is heartwarming…

    “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

  82. You continue to amaze and engage me with your words and stories mama. Incredible!

  83. Okay. I’ve waited long enough for this comment window to pop up, seriously, my computer is working like molasses! Maybe it is cold and needs to warm up? Who knows!!

    I love your bookend posts. And that yellow hat, come on now, love it! And Nella’s birthday party details, pretty exciting.

    Beautiful day to you …

  84. PS – Where has Poppa been? Missing him!!

  85. The pics of the girl in the crib is magic!!! It so beautiful i am crying. LOL!!! Happy Thuesday

  86. Loved this post….so much! The crib photos, the packages. Oh, that hat your mama made, Love that! Looks great on you. And, I know you now have plenty of Love from South Dakota going toward the ONEder! PS. LOL, I love how we can describe a “chilly” morning, and yet we are still outside w/o coats on!!! 😉

  87. Love Love Lover Nella’s Mary Janes. I am blessed with two boys. 4 years old and 18 I don’t get to enjoy such cute mary janes. Oh well..I do have some amazing hats for my boys.

  88. I just posted about the ONEder fund (SO EXCITED that it’s going so well!!) and I’m now reveling in the feeling that comes from being a part of something good and real. Thank you again for being such a bright spot on the landscape of the internet, and I really hope that a couple of my readers will send some love your way!

  89. My goodness! That hat, those shoes… SQUEAL! I love the mailman (woman) too hee hee esp. when there are packages under his arm.
    Love to see them sharing those heartful glances. Oh, time does get away from us too fast. I dearly long to hold a little girl again. My girl is now 19 and showed me a sketch of her future wedding dress. Waaaaa!!!
    Your girls are gorgeous.

  90. Morning! I was just going back in time with your blog and came across a quote you posted from those first weeks home with Nella! I am so glad I found it, because I so needed it TODAY!

    “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

  91. Thank you , Kelle! We just went to our first ultrasound today to see our new little one, Punkin. I can’t wait to see Punkin and our little girl, Jane in love with each other like your girls are. It is a magical thing.

  92. Hahaha! I feel the same way about mail. I abosolutely love mail and stationary, and brown paper packages tied up with string! (cue Sound of Music number)

    I also feel the same way when the pizza delivery guy shows up with pizza – however instead of tearing through the box with our teeth we save it for the pizza ;).

    Great Pictures today – my favourites were the ones of your girls in the crib. It only reinforces my wanting a sibling for my little girl.

    Nothing beats the fun and giggles of two little sisters playing before bed – not even mail or pizza. :)

  93. love that yellow hat! love your blog posts.

  94. love that yellow hat! love your blog posts.

  95. Hi there. I’ve been reading your blog since the time of Nella’s birth and have yet to leave a comment. I guess I’m celebrating this almost anniversary by breaking the silence…:0) I felt so moved to donate to Nella’s Oneder Fund, I guess that kinda broke the ice! I just wanted to let you know that I adore your sweet girls, often find myself reflecting on your words, admire your photography ( I am SO amateur ;), and LOVE your style. Not only your clothes ( but I think you rock a pretty mean ensemble!! ), but your thoughts, your outlook on life and your mad party planning skills!!!!!! You rock KELLE!

    Thank you,
    Stephanie ( from chilly Calgary Alberta )

    PS Happy Birthday to sweet Nella!!!

  96. Oooh…love your new yellow hat!!! Does your mom have an Etsy shop? I think I need a yellow hat like that! I have been really into yellow lately. In fact, my cutest purse right now is yellow:)

    Go Nella pulling up on your crib, sweet girl!

    Cute pictures, like always!


  97. beautiful photos of a beautiful day.

  98. Your Mama makes beautiful things! I adore your hat!!
    And those Mary Jane shoes made my heart skip a beat… TOO PRECIOUS.

  99. Your blog is always so inspiring.
    And her little hunters?
    To die for.


  100. Poppa is here…posting earlier…as Rik, ha! And thank you for missing me! I sit in wonder of the flow of life and love that is channeled through this blog and relish every comment–yes, I read them all!


  101. oooo those sister shots (as always) are so sweet and amazing!! :)

  102. You are amazing. My little sister (not so little anymore, I guess) has special needs. And what you are doing to let the world know about the love and joy of all people is so wonderful. I admire you and your little gals.

  103. Your girls are so cute. And getting post is simply amazing, handwritten letters, magazine subscriptions or exciting parcels…

  104. Your girls are so cute. And getting post is simply amazing, handwritten letters, magazine subscriptions or exciting parcels…

  105. A few weeks ago on my blog, I officially declared January MAIL MONTH. I’ve been mailing little packages left and right. And getting them too!! So much fun for the most depressing month of the year!

    Do you share your address with strangers? If so, I’d love to mail you a little something.

  106. OK, Libby, you had me with “getting post.” I shall no longer say “mail,” I shall say “post.”

  107. Thanks for the party store link! My kiddo is 6 this month and we are deckin’ things out with a Cat in the Hat theme.

    Too funny about Lainey, we love our mail carriers as well. The UPS man always leaves with a big smile as my kids bombard him at the door to get the goodies. He must feel like a celebrity!

    Speaking of celebs… Yay for ONEder! Something so amazing is going on, thank you for letting me be a part of it.

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  109. I love reading your posts – I check morning and night with great anticipation, as I know I will never be dissapointed. I will smile and maybe tear up, but feel love and happiness after reading your posts. you are such an inspiration, and you are a part of so many peoples daily routines. I must ask – I love your hat your mom made. does she sell them? have an etsy shop? or just make them for her favorite 3 hampton girls? I am so looking forward to this coming week, and all the celebrations I know you have in store and looking back over the last year. i know there will be tears, but lots and lots of joy! I can’t wait. I can’t wait to celebrate nella’s bday with you, eventhough we have never met….i feel like we have.
    let me know about the hat! she is so talented. I love everything she sends your girls
    have a happy day!

  110. I know I say it often and it’s probably lost in all the comments that you get, but you so inspire me to want to be more, do more and love more and live more. and not be afraid! and to get in more photos with my girls!
    I LOVE your blog!

  111. TO DOMESTIC DIVA – you asked about Poppa. Oops, i see RIk already replied. Yah, i was gonna tell you, he has been here all along, now under “Rik”. I, like many, always look for his comments here. TO ANIN – YES< I just love that “normal day” quote from way back. I have it posted on my mirror! There sure have been times in the past year where I longed for the “nrmral day” – instead of the sudden, dark, sock-you-in-the-gut days I was having. I also realized how fast a normal day, an oridinary moment can turn into a crises or dark times. Yes, Thank God for normal days, for the ordinary! from the Blog Mama~

  112. Love your hat, love your girls, love your party ideas! Please share with creativity challenged…it couldn’t be overload. I need all the help I can get.

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  114. Love it !!! And glad there is others like me , One of my favorite things is to check the mail !!! Love you all and your right the small things add up to much bigger things. Im one that gave just a simple 5.00 (which i mailed btw to the NDSS in new york with the NElla ONEder fund sheet ), but it helped raise the bar that much more . your doing fab things , keep on !

    Love and blessings
    the doughtys

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  116. BTW , we are in love with Poppa too !!!
    he is full of joy in wonder.
    They say you never leave until you live with the heart of a kid … you guys are great !!!!

  117. Awesome. I LOVE when I can catch those love-filled sibling moments. So very precious.

    You are an inspiration, Kelle. You remind us mamas (-and others) to drink it all in and enjoy the moment. I’m so very excited for your ONEder fund! It truly is a beautiful thing to see so many people come together to support something so wonderful. Can you imagine what a better place this world could be if more people could catch that fever? WOW!

    P.S. I love the hat your mama made for you. I didnt get the chance to comment on your bucket list post, but one (or two if you want to be technical) of my items is to learn to knit and to also put the sewing machine that my mother gave me to good use and learn how to quilt. I’m hoping that with the career change I’m planning on making I can make those things happen. :)

  118. oh, those girls are just soooo sweet! i need to get off my duff and get the credit card out! thanks for the cute pots to brighten our day!


  119. I SO can’t wait to see what you have in store for Friday!!!I think giddy is the only word to describe how excited I am!!

  120. Oh I am so like you when it comes to the mail. If I am home it is never in the box longer than 5 minutes…the mail lady doesn’t even make it off the street.

    And I have so so loved watching the ONEder fund inch up…truly, truly amazing. You all have a fantastic village!

  121. LITTLE MOMMY!!! My favorite favorite book. Had a copy when I was little and HAD to buy a copy for my little ones! Oh so cute!

    and Grace, Grace is the name of my sweet and sassy almost five year old. Just ten days to go!

    Great one Kelle!

  122. Nothin’ better than the love sisters have for eash other. Love that you captured that. Can’t wait to see more from the up-coming party! Yay!

  123. Kelle,

    I love your hat. Does your mom sell them? She should have her own Etsy shop. I would buy that hat in a second.

    I am looking forward to seeing your ideas for an inexpensive Birthday party. I am planning a
    1st Birthday Party for my son in March.

    Also wanted to congratuate you on what you are doing with the ONEder fund. I look everyday to see how much more you have raised. It is an incredible thing. I also had to puchase those Nella Cordelia shoes for my niece.

    I am also a mail freek so I can’t wait to get them in mail!

  124. When did Lainey become so big? She looks so grown up in the board walk pictures. She is breath taking beautiful, with that cute little hat and her barrette.

  125. Love, love, love. All around :)

  126. Your sister photo is priceless. I can only imagine what it’s like to have a sister and the bond that they have. So precious and you really caught quite a beautiful moment. Your blog again has made my day as I sit in the snowglobe of snowy MN :) Have a wonderful day!

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  128. This post made me wish for a mama, a sister, and a yellow hat…..

    All is well, for I am enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, reading this, and listening to the slumber of my two little fellas as they nap (I should be doing laundry, paying bills, ect.).

    Lainey’s “mean/mad” face…..terrifying stuff… And can I please just stick my face in Nella’s neck and inhale :)

    (Sorry…commented on previous post….maybe, I should be napping too….lol)

  129. Just picked up the second Nella ONEder bracelet… I knew I should’ve ordered this morning to get the original. Regardless, the red pearl is lovely as well. Great post, as always!

  130. Dude, do you dream in metaphors? :) They are so so real. You make me love the many facets of motherhood.

    I love the crib shot… it doesn’t get any better!

    Happy birthday planning!

    Kathleen in Chicago (where our only choice for clothing for my little guy was which cute knit hat to put on him!)

  131. Those babies of yours are too sweet and dress way cooler than I do. Love the pictures.

  132. Your heart makes my heart smile….no matter what kind of day I am having, I can always visit ETST and brighten my whole perspective!
    I know I’ve said it before, but thank you for that.

  133. That picture of your girls in the crib made my eyes tear up.

  134. So squishy and beautiful!

  135. A firefly in a jar…that is really lovely imagery, and it’s stayed with me since I read this post for the first time yesterday. (I had to revisit today, just as a pick me up…)

    I love the doughnut and hot chocolate photos, they are oddly soothing….

    And finally, I love that you celebrate a messy house. Whenever I look at my torn apart, clothes flung everywhere bedroom, I remind myself: my room is in this state because I’ve been busy getting out there and getting after it. I can sleep on a pile of laundry if I need to, because there are things out there I need to do….

    Thanks, looking forward to friday’s post!


  136. I’m totally relating to your grace quote today. And just seeing those precious babies – and their eyes locked in love – that’s what being a momma is all about! I’ve been thinking a lot about “grace” lately. It’s the middle name of my second born, my sweet Kate who also has DS, and it fits her perfectly. It is a gift that God gives us – and what we, in turn, can give each other. Thank you for your grace, Kelle! And for all the supporters of our precious babies.


  137. I’m the blessed Mom of a charming 19 year old young man, named Mitchell.
    He’s finished 4 years of highschool, and is now working at a doctor’s office…he has more compassion in his little finger than most of us have in our whole being.

    What a treat to be able to enjoy your photos and your prose on your blog…you take me back almost 2 decades to the time when Mitchell was a wee one…so precious and tiny (4lb. 9 oz.)…
    I look forward to watching your little Nella mature and become wiser than most, as my Mitchell has become…
    Thanks for sharing…

    Phyllis C. London,Ontario Canada

  138. The pics of them together, so sweet! My 3 and 1 yr old love to do the same thing :)

    Poppa, love what you wrote…so sweet…I always look for your comments too…they never fail to brighten my day!

  139. oh and “same thing” would be play in the crib together haha…nice if I’d explain what I’m talking about :)

  140. It’s always great to get mail!
    Love your yellow hat by the way!
    It’s also always great to go outside once in awhile and take in nature.
    Cute sisterly love going on in that second-to-last photo! There’s nothing like love from your sis!

  141. Already commented yesterday but just wanted to add that I would give my eyeteeth for a father like Poppa. I lost my own dad in 2002 and although we didn’t have a great relationship, I do miss his support and fatherly advice. Poppa, if you ever decide you want more kids, consider me…Much love xo

  142. OH, MARGARET, I, too, lost MY Dad in 2002!! Our relationship wasnt always the best but I miss him. In his later years, we were closer and he was a good dad, and a good grandpa to his grandkids. Yes, I have written here before, and others too – we all want Poppa Rik to “adopt” us. ha..But I think, in a way, he has, by his words and prayers and support. And Kelle seems fine with sharing him to some degree. heehee..You are so blessed Kelle,as we all are by your Poppa. Love from the blog mama~

  143. I wish blogtext was in color, you would know you make me blush. But you see, I have already adopted you and feel you our family. I have seen the power of a positive perspective and the energy of mere kindness through the years…I honestly believe it makes you healthier, immune to the downward pull around us. Your words and sentiments make full my heart. Anyone would be blessed to be your “dad.”

  144. Kelle, I want some of you style so badly! I swear after I have this baby and get back into my skinny jeans I am going to focus on dressing mommy too! Every time I hit the store in an attempt to find something for myself I walk out with something for my hubby or my little Lilah!

  145. awww poppa , your sweet !!!
    kelle , i say you head up a slumber party and we all come visit and play with our babies and drink coffee , eat donuts and soak up lots of love !!!

    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  146. hawaii right now is much the same, swim suits or boots, kind of love it but miss that sun!
    your posts are so wonderful and that picture of your girls in the crib should be blown up!!!

  147. so excited for the party planning tips.

  148. I clicked on the Pitter Patter link, but couldn’t find the Nella Cordelia shoes. Am I too late?

  149. The crib shots are amazing. I used to love when Ian would climb into the crib to play with Chloe, they were such special moments.

  150. I’m both upset and estatic that the PitterPatterShop was sold out of Nella’s shoe! I’m upset because I wanted to buy a pair, but I am naturally estatic that people responded so quickly!!! Please inform us if she makes any more. They are too cute… :)

  151. Kelle I gotta tell ya girl, that first post where you introduced your amazing fundraiser did me in. I think you could sell manure to a farmer. Great job and this is all because of your blog and those two beautiful little girls. “If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” Keep feeding that lamp!!

  152. Ha! Lainey’s strip love caught on I see! Gorgeous pictures Kelle:)

  153. Opps, didn’t mean to shout MUCH LOVE, i just meant much love(normal voice)!lol

  154. Was just reading some of the comments and stumbled upon “poppa’s” wonderful words.(i.e. Rik!) With a Dad like that, I can see why you have such a beautiful perspective on life, Kelle! How lucky the kiddos are to have a grandfather like that.


  155. Nella’s sweet face in that last photo just made my tired eyes smile! The moments between siblings is glorious <3
    Hubby gets paid tomorrow, I’m glad we’ll finally be able to donate to the cause!

  156. After reading this entry, all I want to do is curl up with hot chocolate (complete with whipped cream) and watch The Shining.

    In the interest of a good night’s sleep, I think I’ll stick with only the first for now. :)

    Here’s hoping for six figures in the ONEder fund. TOTALLY possible!!

  157. Neat story on a friend’s son with d.s. So much love these special children and people have!

  158. Too. Stinkin’. Cute! Love the lower lip drag Nella is sportin’ and all that sisterly love!


  159. Utterly lovely :)

  160. I leave the ONEderfund counter up on my desktop and refresh it every now and then…and I love to see it increase by 5 dollar increments…not that I don’t celebrate the bigger gifts–wow, they are incredible–but I love to realize this celebration of Nella and all her “family” of friends is from thousands and thousands of people all around the world! Oh that we will all celebrate others and see differences as beautiful distinctions and not deficits–not something missing but something added! That’s what I want for my Nella Bean…as she grows. I don’t want her to shuffle along behind us…I want her to skip ahead and make us catch up. I don’t want her in the shadows, I want her in the spotlight. I don’t want her in the audience watching life…I want her on the stage making life! We are watching something wonderful happening here…far, far beyond the little girl in our arms. And that is good.

  161. I keep going to check in on the Oneder fund! Wow! I’m just amazed when I look every day and see the jump over night. What an amazing amount of good that can and will be done with all of these donations. Way to go Kelle!

  162. Love the first picture inside the front door! I found it so funny that that is all the further you made it into the house before opening the packages! And your description of your reaction when the mailman gets out of their vehicle because you KNOW there’s “something” too big to fit in your mailbox…so funny! I was picturing while I was reading!
    I loooove your new hat. Gorgeous. She could sell those. Does she??

    Great post! Love the pic of Lainey and Nella in the crib…priceless, indeed.

    As a side note, I read one commenter’s comment about how she just discovered your blog a few days ago and has been going through the archives…I remember doing that about this time last year. Your blog was the “book” I sat down to at night for awhile while I went through the archives. I still go back and read past posts when I need a little pick-me-up!

    Thanks, Kelle, for all you share!

  163. I love the picture of your two girls eyeing each other in a crib. There is nothing like a loving sister! And I love the picture of you three walking to the park, where Nella is smiling so huge at yall’s feet!

  164. Skipped on over to etsy to order me that fabulous bracelet in honor of your little Nella. So excited to wear it and to be able to look down and feel the inspiration you are pouring out to this universe!

  165. OK – first:

    LOVE the mama made yellow hat!
    LOVE NellaBeans little mary janes!
    LOVE the daddy taken pics!
    LOVE the red/turquoise party planning! (I’m TOTALLY copying that for my girls party….just so ya know!)
    LOVE the sissys in the crib. My girls do that and I just stand by the door and listen to their silly little conversations. Makes my big mama heart melt….every time. That’s something I’ve dreamt about since I was a little girl. LOVES IT!!

  166. love your pictures, the girls are adorable :)

  167. Hmm..I think someone commented, and I noticed the same. The “Nella” mary janes – i see them NOWHERE on that website. DO they have them> Will they get more? thanks!

  168. You’re my Happiness Hero.

  169. Is it too soon to tell you that I love you?

    I think my talent is discovering treasure in various places. Today it happened to be a blog. Coming across your blog and reading your words is something I consider myself grateful for. I have shared this with my facebook community, because I think tuning into what you have to say is the best thing most of us can do for our day.

  170. Kelly, I ditto all of the above comments! You truly are wonderful and I just love reading your blog, and browsing your pics.

    And now, from one girl to another…where did you get those boots????? I must know!! 😉 please! i have been looking for that style and color and would love to know where you got your hands on them! thanks babe!


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