Grab Bag

Completely random, but my brain has some sorting out to attend to this week to recover from last week’s craziness. Random I can do though. I’m great with random. Carrying on….

Isle of Capri
Our last hoorah before company hopped back on planes was a quiet Sunday at Isle of Capri last week. It had been awhile, and I sensed the beach was offended by the lull in visits. He’ll get over it as we’ll pick up the pace come Spring. But still, even in the quiet and chill of sea breezes and cold sand, it was home.



Libby and Sara, there is no escaping now. You’ve been sworn in.


Looking forward to when the beach forgives us and the sun shines warmer and brighter on our little place. I miss the salty craters and dock dives.

Super Coolest Story Ever. (in the history of mankind)
It’s really long and complicated, but basically it goes like this. Mom is happy and content and we all want her to fall in love. Especially Heidi. So, last time she was here, Heidi begs her to go on EHarmony. I laugh and tell Heidi, “in your dreams” because I think I know my mom pretty well, and I think it will be a cold day in hell. Cue Heidi begging and pleading and eventually convincing her to let us fill out a profile. So, late one September night, we do. And we are laughing as my mom bashfully answers questions and I look over Heidi’s shoulder while she types it all in. Fast forward to right now: She totally fell in love to the nicest, most amazing guy ever, and EHarmony rocks. And they’re both staying with us right now.

Mom and George, meet the Blog. Blog, meet Mom and George.

Nella’s face stickers, courtesy of Lainey.

The craziest thing is he lives in NY and my mom lives in Michigan and the chances of them meeting without cyber help was near nil. Once they meet, we start finding all these crazy connections. Like we know people who know him. And they say he is wonderful. My best friend from college has known him all her life. Who woulda thought?

All I know is I’m washing dishes, looking out my window to this.


…and seeing my mama happy makes me happy.

Life is grand and crazy, eh?

The Minivan
Looks like this.


And smells like old hamburgers and stale sippy cups. And what’s totally wrong is that I’m starting to be okay with it.

Brett calls me Billy now. As in Hillbilly. One of these days I am going to become a new person who keeps her car really clean and does laundry every two days and doesn’t have to come running knocking on the bathroom door when company’s over because she realized there’s no toilet paper in there.

Daily Shower
So, as soon as I turn the shower water on in the morning, without fail, no matter where Nella is in the house, she scoots her boot as fast as she can, high tailin’ it to the bathroom. Where she sits outside my shower for the entire duration, lookin’ like this.


It’s like someone handed me a good day, all wrapped up pretty. Because starting your morning lathering hair lookin’ at that face? It’s Prozac, Baby.

Sidenote: When she crawls, she is so fast and determined, I call her Roller Derby. Because, I swear, THIS is exactly what she looks like.

And, for the record, she’s still very wild and bossy with her babydolls. She yells at them. Really loud. It’s hilarious.


The End of Hectic
…is in sight. It’s been a crazy couple of month. I’ve been working a lot and there’ve been several projects in the air, but things are finally winding down. I so badly miss slower-paced days, and I will cherish them so. The topic of how busy moms “do it” (not in the middle school humor kind of way) is always buzzing in conversation circles both online and in real life. And it’s always funny to me…like we’re all searching for the fountain of youth. No one really does it all. We all just try like heck to prioritize, be with our kids, fulfil our hobbies, make a living, etc. We all do it differently, and every time you see a mama shining in one area, I promise you, there’s shadowy areas that she’ll need to tend to later. And I love the fact that every day is a clean slate. Even on the busiest, craziest days, there are small fueling moments that allow the bulk of life to rise to the top.






Bubbles and Sidewalk Chalk
I don’t know what we’d do without them. They are must-have staples in every garage.


Thank you, Pat, for making Nella’s sweater and hat!



Remember those Babysitter Club books? Remember the kit they made that they’d take to kids’ houses? I remember thinking they were the most brilliant high-school businesswomen ever. Seriously. How cool would you think a babysitter was if they showed up with a giant kit of cool crap to make your kid happy?

Crap Kit would have to include sidewalk chalk, bubbles and cookie dough.


I know posts have been heavily sentimental lately, and thank you for bearing with me. It really is surprising how much the idea of a date–the very day she was born–forces reflection. I still am going to the birth room this week, so you’ll have to bear with me one more time. But, really? I’m ready to move on. I forget about Down syndrome all the time. Maybe not so much forget about it, but have found that it lives and breathes in our home, for the most part, comfortably and seamlessly. It’s a part of who we are as a family and yet it is so very far removed from who we really are. Talking about it a lot during the couple weeks before her birthday and throughout the fundraiser was a bit out of character for me, but I realized, I’m comfortable with it–so far from the early days when I wanted to scream to the world that it doesn’t define us. Sometimes screaming that something doesn’t define you is letting it define you. But that’s okay…I needed to do it. Now, we just breathe. It’s there, it’s not…whatever.

What I’m really trying to say is thank you for being a part of it–this strange and amazing world where the Internet connects strangers and somehow lets us all inspire each other and join the passionate quest of making the very best out of life. Thank you for thinking about Down syndrome and for making a difference.


Ready for the fundraiser stats?

* 4,945 = The number of individuals that made a donation to The ONEder Fund between January 7 – January 27, 2011. (That makes the average donation about $17.)
* 51 = The number of states and our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. from which donations were sent – from the North Pole, Alaska to Key West, Florida and everywhere in between
* 350 = the number of donations from international supporters representing 12 countries
* 10 = the number of donations that came from donors on military bases in different corners of the world
* 14 = the number of online retailers (listed here) that agreed to donate proceeds from sales, including several that designed a custom product for the Fund
* 55,000+ = number of views as of now on the ONEder Fund video

Feeling inspired?

Molly Dunn, a young woman in the Cincinnati area, is hosting her 9th Birthday party next weekend, and in lieu of gifts, she asked her friends (all of the girls in the 3rd grade class) to make a contribution to Nella’s ONEder Fund. Molly has a good friend who has a sister with Down syndrome and she and her mom, Randi, have been following the blog for almost a year.

Dana Wainstein, a mother of three outside of Philadelphia, was motivated to put together her own online fundraiser using a link from Nella’s donation page. She elected to solicit her family, friends and business contacts in honor of her son Jake’s 2nd birthday and before she knew it, she raised over $7,000. She was floored by the response and thrilled to be able to join forces with us in the effort to raise awareness about Down syndrome.

Thank you, Pam, for the NDSS stats!

Friends, I think this is amazing.
And there’s a grand total over $103,000 because of all of you.
Thank you.

A year makes a lot of difference. And while this blog will remain exactly what it’s always been, I am excited about how I can make a difference in the world of Down syndrome. I am thrilled to be joining Down Syndrome Pregnancy as a trustee and hope together we can bring more understanding and acceptance to this sometimes intimidating journey. If you are an expectant parent with a Down syndrome diagnosis or somewhere else along this journey, I highly recommend you visit Down Syndrome Pregnancy. It combines well-researched medical and scientific facts with such a warm, welcoming approach to give hope and peace during those scary first days. I am so proud to become a part of their efforts.


I’m happy to have Bambaroos Boutique joining Enjoying the Small Things as a new sponsor.

Their beautiful hair accessories come in a range of styles and colors (check out these gorgeous feather ones, perfect for Valentine’s Day).

We love ours!


Use Code BLOGS for 10% off your order right now. And a random commenter will be winning a $25 gift certificate!

Alright, I’ve said enough.
Grab Bag finished.

Winner of the Loving Shop tutu:
Commenter #174, MC: Sounds like you had an amazing night! What a wonderful “net” you have. I’m sure they feel blessed to have you in their “net”. Love the pics of your girls in their tutus they remind me of my little dancer!

MC, send your contact info over to and we’ll get your tutu in the mail!

Happy Weekending!


Don’t forget to check out this week’s winners on I Heart Faces!


Leave a Comment
  1. Love your blog Kelle! So great to hear that so much money was raised for such a great cause. Thank you for giving us a window into your life.

  2. Ok so I thought I was the only one with a crazy love the pics and congrats on everything… Awesome!

  3. I know the picture of your mom and her new man was supposed to be really sweet (and it was) but I couldn’t help laugh out loud…loudly…at the sight of Nella with stickers on her face. So freakin funny!

    LOVE the picture of her with her baby doll (the one on the right). She looks beautiful!

    PS – I love random posts. They are some of my favorite ones I do.

  4. Wow, the amount of money raised in such short period of time is amazing! Love the pictures, as always!

  5. How did you get the picture of my van? LOL My husband says it looks like we live in it. All week long I am constantly shuttling kids from schools and therapy so it leaves little time for cleaning. I just stumbled across your blog and absolutely love it.

  6. wow!!!! the fundraiser was a success! absolutely love the story of nella and the shower!

  7. Random is good, it’s real life :) Love the stickers on Nella’s face! LOL

  8. You are so right in that down syndrome does not consume your life, just a part of it. I love your blog!

  9. Wow! The ONEder was was a huge success. You should be so proud of your effort!

  10. Congratulations Kelle! You should be so proud! You are really making a difference! In the world of Down syndrome and in my perceptions! :) THANK YOU and Happy Weekend Dear!

  11. The girls look adorable, as usual. Nella’s hair is getting so long, perfect for all the fun hair accessories!

  12. Even in your randomness, your posts are wonderful!! Loved the sidewalk chalk and the bubbles!!!

    Those are the cutest hair doodles!!! Stinking cute!

  13. Yay for Mom and George and the fun filled craziness that is life!

  14. I love this: Maybe not so much forget about it, but have found that it lives and breathes in our home, for the most part, comfortably and seamlessly.

    I feel the same way. Down syndrome is a part of our lives but it just fits, it’s no big deal. And I would have NEVER thought I could feel that way because it seemed like it was going to be such a HUGE deal at first.

    Our lives go on just as before but a little bit differently and that’s okay.

    Glad you’ve had such a wonderful birthday month for Nella!

  15. What an amazing post. You continue to inspire me to want to do better and to be better. I laughed when you talked about the Babysitter Club books…..I LOVED those as a kid and have been thinking how fun it would be to get my own kids reading them. I’m going to have to see if my Mom still happens to have them. Also LOVE that you guys got your Mom on eHarmony and that she is so happy. I always love the commercials that you see on TV and it’s nice to hear that it works……and how small the world truly can be with the whole people knowing people connections!!!

  16. I LOVE all the new pictures, life with children is pretty amazing isn’t it? :)

  17. I just love waking up in the morning to find a new blog post from you. It makes my day just a little brighter.

  18. Wow, what a success the fundraiser was for NDS! Your blog has touched many lives. Thanks Kelle and Nella, too!

  19. I am so glad that we are not the only family whose vehicle smells like hamburgers. And, I honestly don’t remember the last time we transported hamburgers in our car.

    I love the pictures of you and Lainey putting on each other’s make up.

  20. That makes me so happy for your mom :) And your whole family! And how crazy that you know people who know him and such??? Wow.

    I love Nella’s face stickers :)

  21. Wow, well done with the fund raising! I love your blog and look forward to seeing the lovely Lainey and Nella, they are the cutest.

  22. there is still good in the world, thank you for shining an even brighter light on it.

  23. Wow, there’s so many good things to comment on from this post. Nella watching you in the shower is precious. The story of the 9 year old girl immediately brought me to tears because it was such an un-selfish thing to do. I love a good love story-yay for your mom! And of course the girls are both cute as can be. Have a wonderful weekend!

  24. SO in love with your Mom being in love. What a wonderful thing to be able to watch grow as an adult. I wish them the best!!!!

    -Jenny in Iowa

  25. I want all of your girls’ hats, headbands, crocheted sweaters, & clothes in MY size! They always look super cute :)

  26. Your mom’s story is so great! I have a cousin who met her husband on Eharmony and they seem very well matched. Isn’t the internet wild!

  27. Love your blog Kelle! I always look forward to the next posting. What a great way to finish a great week.

  28. I soak up every word you type and every picture you post. DOn’t worry about the sentimental stuff, we’re soaking up that too. It’s life. It’s real. That’s why we all keep coming back and wht we love you and your girls.

  29. dear Bag of Goodies,

    You always brighten my day….your words, photos and wonderfully inspiring attitude towards life.

    Keepin’ it Real and Simple

  30. Just think…in just one year, you are already a trustee for a wonderful cause! Sending you vibes of strength and peace for your visit to the birth room!

  31. Wow! I haven’t thought about The Babysitter’s Club in… it seems like a million years! I’m thinking about introducing my daughters to them now. We’re still working our way through the American Girls. I am stunned by the amount raised. Congratulations Kelle, you should be so proud!

  32. She looks so much like Lainey now!!
    We don’t let Felicity into our bedroom (not baby, so if she see that the door is open she hightails as fast as she possibly can. LOL. it’s hilarious! and cute!

  33. Ok, that photo of Nella at the shower door….cutest thing ever! Seriously!!

  34. I love to see your mom happy with someone new! We are hoping the same thing can happen for my mom. Oh and I’m completely jealous you get to go to the beach in the winter. We are in Utah and it’s freeeeeeeezing. But at least we have the gorgeous mountains to enjoy :) Happy weekend!

  35. Amazing – Over $100,000, your mom finding George, face stickers, fast crawlers, bubbles and sidewalk chalk new sponsors… it’s all amazing – as are you!! When I was younger I was addicted to the babysitters club books. I most definitely forgot about them!! What a throw back!
    What gets me most is that your random and on your way to recovery from chaotic is still motivational and inspiring.

    I wish I could hit the beach right now. Instead we’re buried in 2 1/2 feet of snow and expecting another nor’easter on wednesday… Random days off are fun but when it comes to work – no go, no dough!!
    Enjoy the Florida Sun for me!

  36. Love the random post. Face stickers were so cute. I love your blog!

  37. Bellissimele foto dove vi truccate a vicenda =) !

  38. I love Nella’s little crocheted vest. Super cute.

  39. Congrats to your mama I Love that she is in Love :)
    The pic of Nella bossing those baby dolls is hilarious :)
    The pic of Lainey eating milk and cookies made me jealous…we just finished our cookie dough and I wasnt going tobuy more right now but Im going to have too…yum :)
    The stats on the Oneder fund are amazing- Im glad I was a part of it :)

  40. I agree eHarmony rocks. I met my husband on there and we were married this past summer.

  41. Amazing fundraising stats! That’s so awesome! :)

    And, what an awesome story about your Mom how sweet!

  42. Wow! I cannot believe the amount that was raised in Nella’s honor for the ONEder fund. What a wonderful accomplishment. And congrats to your Mom, love is hard to come by in this large and unforgiving world!

  43. First of all…your MOM…how awesome is THAT! So happy for her…what a beautiful story.

    Makeup…looks so familiar. Little girls love the lip gloss!

    Bubbles and sidewalk chalk….I agree. They should just be packaged in when you buy a new garage door as a “bonus buy” or something!

    Fundraiser…recently someone posted the question “Can one person really make a difference” and I used YOU as one of my examples of exactly how one person can make a HUGE difference. Rock that Oneder fund, girl!

    Thanks and keep on doing what you’re doing…the minivans will get clean ONE of these days! I usually break down when the smell goes from a little strange to disturbing!

  44. I am SOOOOO excited and happy for your mama! Hearing she is in love made my day. Good for her!

  45. I just wanted you to know that I so enjoy reading your blog. I have an adopted son with challenges. We adopted him when he was 5 after being his emergency foster home for a year.
    I love your Mom’s story. Congrats to her.
    Your pictures are so adorable. Both girls are so cute. Love the one today with
    Nella in her fancy dress and the way she watches you in the shower. I’d love to see how fast she crawls. That girl should be a cheerleader some day……she is so flexible.
    So glad that
    Nella has been such a blessing.

  46. Major congrats on the fundraiser!!! And how sweet are your mom and George??? I love it!

  47. I hope you have a fantastic weekend with your girls! And congratulations to your mom for finding love :) Watching my mom find love again was an amazing experience as well, and now I have a wonderful step-father and step-siblings!

  48. Very sweet!

  49. Oh Kelle, those numbers are so exciting. :) I didn’t cry the whole way through until I got to the birthday girl story. And the third graders. And the mom who was blown away.

    All of it is so beautiful.

    ABUNDANTLY happy for your Mama.

    Happy weekend. Thanks for making me cry. Again. For the one millionth time. ; )

  50. once again…such inspiring words. You remind every mama that we’re not alone – none of us have it together…we all have messy cars and piles of laundry…but who cares! those days when it starts to bother me…I’m going to think of you – and drop everything to go outside with some giant sized chalk and slimy, sticky bubbles!! Thank you! Love the pics as always!!

  51. Congratulations on the fundraiser, that is wonderful!

    Nella at the shower door cracked me up. My Maggie is the same way, except we have just a shower curtain so she just tries to tear it down and climb in.

    Your mom and George look very happy together.

  52. so happy for your mom! nella hightailing it for the shower is too funny. 😉 good post. loving the headband party going on here!

  53. grab bags are the best bags. random bits of things you never thought you’d love and cherish above the obvious.

    thank you for taking us on this journey to tender underbelly spots in your ever so big heart.

    let the happy times continue to roll.

    big love, groovy-heart girl.

    ps: i can smell your car all the way here in Arizona. wait. no. that’s my car. nevermind.

  54. It turns out your random thoughts post is pretty amazing. Loved all the pictures especially the last one-Nella, profile, hat! susan

  55. Wow those fundraiser stats are incredible. And that last pic of Nella…positively breathtaking.

  56. I’m a substitute teacher and I have a “bag of crap” for days I go teach too…always good to be prepared! So happy for your mom!

  57. Amazing. Everything about this post is amazing.

  58. Yay for new happiness for Mom, and my goodness…I had to go back three times to look at how big Lainey looks putting lip gloss on you…it really does happen so fast doesn’t it? Happy you’ve got some nice peaceful days ahead of you…it really has been nice being on the sentimental reflection train with ya though :o) Sending love and strength with ya when you walk back into the special room in a few days.

    <3 nicole

  59. Nothing wrong with random posts!
    Aww, I love that your mom met someone on EHarmony!! I joined it once myself, but maybe I wasn’t really motivated to find someone. But it’s great to see that it works!!
    So cute that Nella comes in the bathroom when you take a shower! Such a cutie pie!!
    I also love that she yells at her dolls! Funny.
    Love the picture of your girls playing with the drum sticks! And the photos of you and Lainey putting on lipstick! Such great little moments.

  60. My baby girl is just a couple of weeks older than Nella. She likes to pound on the shower door while I’m in there, too. :) Love that Nella yells at her dolls. That’s hysterical!

    The bambaroo headbands are adorable… I could really use them since my girl is still bald. :)

  61. Love it. Love the blog, the attitude, the randomness. All of it.

  62. I love your sentimentness. ( I think thats what I want to say 😀 ) I love how you write everything down and seem to remember it all. <3

  63. You can be mushy anytime. And those hair bows are beautiful. They would be a great gift for my childhood girlfriend that is expecting their first baby, a precious baby girl.

  64. Your Mother is a beautiful woman! It’s the best knowing our mother’s are happy. I loved reading about your “net”. I’ve got my very own “net” and I’m struggling because I’m moving 500 miles away from my “net” this year. I know that, no matter the distance, they’ll still be my girls!

  65. LOVE long blog posts. What a great way to start a Saturday. I love, love, love the story about your Mom! That’s terrific. And I just read Libby’s blog~Kelle you ROCK!!
    What a great person you are.
    Once again, thanks for the stories, the pictures, the sharing, the inspiration, the laughs, the beauty..all wrapped up in one incredible space. Loving it all.

  66. I always get that warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy after reading your blog. I love your sentimental posts as well as all the others. You have such an amazing way with words, thank YOU for everything!

  67. So much to comment on…but the one thing that struck a heartstring with me most was your mention of coming to that point of ease- I remember that so well. What a relief I felt when I realized that I no longer was adjusting to our new life. I was adjusted and Mylie’s Down syndrome was finally as comfortable to me as the fact that she was my only brown haired babe. I love sharing so much of her and our story with the hopes that others feel the same way about her, and they always end up head over heals, too. :)

  68. I feel like I’ve discovered your blog @ the perfect time! YOu’ve helped me realize our life can still be everything i’d always imagined it would be <3 I cant wait to see my little Audrey grow! Your family is beautiful. Thank u

  69. I’m so addicted to your blog!

  70. I’m so glad everyone showed up and did their part to make the fund raiser a success! That’s just amazing. Love you and the girls puttin’ on makeup. How sweet was that:)

  71. Kelle,
    I am a new reader of your amaaaaaazing blog and after I discovered it I read pretty much the entire thing in four days, I couldn’t stop. I have to say I have never been so completely moved and inspired by a total stranger. I admire your spirit and the way you can find beauty in everything. As a mommy, I can relate to you on so many levels and even when you are writing about something I have no personal experience with I still connect with your words. Some day, this blog is going to mean SO much to your beautiful girls.

    PS I love that your Mama is in love. So fantastic!!!

  72. Eharmony DOES rock! I met my husband through that site. I lived near Boston and he lived near St. Louis. I moved, we got married and now have an amazing son! I hope you and your family have a great weekend!!

  73. ahhhh….I wish I could get my mom on Eharmony. I want her to fall in love too! And I love the new site for the skinny headbands. I found the exact one I want for my girl (who I”ll be meeting in 5 weeks time!)she’s going to rock that red flower with her teeny weeny jeans with a guitar on them. :)

    Happy Weekend!

  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

  75. yeah for little ones in cute headbands! i’ve gotta get one (or more) for my little girl…

  76. I love the Mom and George story! How awesome.

  77. I love your screaming, raving, breathing…whatev…it is beautiful.

  78. Congratulations on all the money you’ve raised!

    Whether you realize it (and admit it) or not, you’re an inspiration to a lot of moms, and I’m so thankful to have found your blog!

  79. BILLY!!! Cracks. Me. Up.! That pic and the one of your living room after the Sat night out are SO perfect! Add me to the list of people that are always so happy when there’s a post. I am also so happy to read that the Ds doesn’t rule your thinking every day. It’s just one other element to life. My baby is nearly 15 and it rarely enters my mind – mostly she’s just my girl! Enjoy the weekend – relax and enjoy the small things!

  80. You do random really well! Great post! My little guy bangs on my shower door each morning too. It’s the best! Love that you are helping out with DS Preg…..xo

  81. OMG I made a babysitter kit when I was young. I didn’t babysit much, but if I would have I would have been prepared.

  82. Nella is one determined little bean isn’t she?! She’s amazing! Truly blessed to ‘know’ her.

    That’s so rad about your mom, maybe one day it will be them on the commercials making known their love found via Eharmony :)


  83. We just had a baby girl, after six years of raising two boys. We are in need of some girl shopping so a gift certificate for some hair bows would be mighty exciting! Pick me, a sleep deprived mama of a little GIRL!

  84. OMG your girls are so beautiful! Love them (well, maybe not love as I’ve never met them, but hey I love them). Remind me of my girl.
    And your minivan? THANK YOU AND AMEN. I thought it was just me who can never keep the car clean. hehe. :)

  85. My first comment! I just want you to know how you’ve made me find joy in hard times and realize, as my son’s most fabulous urologist tells us, that we were chosen to have our special children. When my son was born (with just one mild little issue) I said
    “why me?” Why did I get dealt a bad hand? Now it’s why did you choose me to have this amazing child? How did I get so lucky? I plan to tell my son that God was so busy making him perfect in every way that he forgot to put in that second kidney. Or, who needs two kidneys anyway? Mommy likes things to be different! I’m sure you have a million ways to describe how you got your own special child. The best thing you’ve helped me remember is that love, love, love is the most important thing! Thank you!

  86. Congrats for so many things!
    -First to your mom for finding love again!
    -For raising such a large amount of money!
    -And for having such a wonderful blog that we are able to read and be inspired every day through.

    It means so much to me personally being able to read your blog. I don’t have children yet, but you are the kind of mother that I aspire to be. I remember seeing you once at JoAnns and was too shy/didn’t want to sound like stalker to say that I read your blog daily. I loved the way you were holding Nella and talking to Lainey. You are an inspiration.

  87. I love the pics of your girls! your posts always inspire me to bust out my camera and point it toward my sweet girl!

    I wish you’d say where you get your girls clothes from, I’m always so envious of the bright, cheerful, clothes you’ve got them in!

    Have a happy weekend!!

  88. Everyone looks happy , esp your mom , there is so much love out there for each and everyone of us. You tell us thank you , but we thank you for letting us be a part of your world.

    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  89. I comment often, but today i just want to send love and say THANKYOU! :0) Much Love, Val-Marie :0)

  90. I love the 2nd picture of Nella with her baby doll. She looks so satisfied with herself for screaming. haha

  91. I love how sentimental you’ve been lately. That’s one of the many reasons why I love to follow your blog. I’d love to get some hair accessories for my little Lucy. Little girls are so much fun.

  92. I so enjoy reading your blog I always look forward to new post’s random or not :) Your girls are beautiful and so happy for your mom!! Keep them coming you inspire me!!!

  93. So great to hear the ‘grab bag’ of the Hampton household (and community)! Always love hearing and seeing photos.
    The pic of you applying lipstick to Lainey- this will be one that will have to be re-enacted at her wedding one day. Too perfect!
    Happy Weekend-ing!

  94. I don’t usually comment but I love what you wrote, “We all do it differently, and every time you see a mama shining in one area, I promise you, there’s shadowy areas that she’ll need to tend to later.’

    Thank you for reminding me!

    $103,00…I have nothing…Just tears!

    Murdocks Mama

  95. I was so glad to find a post today!! I “needed” you!! I am having a crappy day and your posts always help. I realized today that a person I thought was in my “net” really isn’t and I am going to have to set her free. It is a very hard decision but necessary. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do!!! I am so happy to be one of your blog readers and supporters and couldn’t be more proud to be able to include my self in Nella’s Oneder Fund. Love, Love, Love your randomness!! Thanks again and have an awesome weekend.

  96. Love this weeks pictures! My mini van looks just about the same except mine has cracker sticks everywhere. I used to do a rush clean up job on Monday mornings before preschool drop off. Now I just don’t care! We are moms right???

  97. I am honored to have been a part in raising money for such a good cause!! Thank you so much for blogging, I look forward to every post. And by the way, I absolutely adore that last picture of Nella she is truly and absolutely beautiful.

    Heather @

  98. Billy – as in..Hillbilly made me laugh out loud!! HAA Love it! Glad Mama found George – how cool is that?? Love the pic of Brett and Nella in this one.. Adorable.

  99. I love the randomness of this post! The sticker face, the shower photo, Lainey putting on your lipgloss. All of it!

    The story of your mom made me cry. (ok so I’m pregnant and hormonal, but still, it’s a great story)

    Nella is looking more and more like Brett. She’s so adorable! And I know sometimes you wonder what characteristics are syndrome and what are family, but she definitely takes after Brett! (at least I wonder that about my daughter, so I figure I can’t be the only one that wonders what is syndrome and what is hereditary)

  100. LOVE the post, love the photos, and love that your mom found happiness on e-harmony.

  101. I can’t get over your pictures…beautiful.

  102. this blog never disappoints. I love the pictures of Lainey and Nella.

    I came across this quote today and immediately thought of you and your blog.

    “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
    — Pema Chödrön

  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

  104. Sometimes a grab-bag of randomness helps us realize just how blessed we truly are. Thanks for helping us all remember that, and thank you for letting us share your journey.


  105. Love your Mama’s eharmony story! I’ll be using it to work on a friend of mine. Gotta love a good love story :) Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  106. Oh my gosh, so adorable. Everything. I love can’t ever get enough of you and the fam. Nella’s hair is getting long, by the way! She’s looking so grown up!

  107. We are moving to Hawaii this Spring. Just after my little turns one. Bubbles [which she LOVES] and sidewalk chalk are on her Birthday list. And WILL be in our garage year around out there for sure!

  108. I LOVED this post! I had forgotten about the Baby Sitters Club taking a ‘kit’ (I LOVED those books and yes, I’d think my babysitter was awesome if she showed up with a kit!) And I loved the part you posted about how Mom’s ‘do it’ so much that I emailed it to a couple of my Mommy friends even though some of them already read your blog :)

  109. oh kelle….the picture of you putting lip gloss on your sweet, little lainey brought tears to my eyes. what a beautiful memory captured. i love it!

  110. Love the accessories! I’m having my second BOY and my husband won’t let me doll them up. I’m going to be my own girl and wear more accessories.

  111. Oh, the adorable-ness of these hair thingies! SOO cute!

  112. I love a good online love story – since that is how I meet my husband – it wasn’t E-harmony but another sight – his friend was trying to get more free day by having friends sign up so my husband did being a good friend. I signed up being sick of everyone setting me up with a guy just because we both like cats or some other random thing. We found each other he lived in Seattle Wa and I lived in Portland OR not to far away -met in May and were married the next April. Funny thing is his friend didn’t meet anyone even with the extra days. He is now married but he didn’t meet her on line. I never thought I would meet “the one” online but I did – just proves you just never know where you will find the right person.
    I loved the babysitter club books! I always wanted to be a cool babysitter and have a kit – I have know substitute teahers who have kits that are similar.

    Happy weekending to you too. We are having Maternity pictures done tomorrow – can’t believe 10 weeks or less and we will meet our little guy! His big sis can’t wait.

  113. Love the minivan picture….having 5 kids I can totally relate! I find all sorts of interesting things when I take the car seats out to clean (which isn’t often enough!)

  114. Love Nella’s sleepy pictures,especially the one with the stickers. Priceless!

  115. adorable!

  116. What a beautiful post :). So sweet about your mom and it’s incredible to see those we love happy. Great day. :)

  117. What can I say? It’s a wonderful life every minute of every day! SO happy for your mom, and I love that the fund went wild!

  118. glad to hear things are settling down, well a bit! that’s great news about your mum & george! love the pics of Lainey & Nella playing in their room, and Nella’s face at your shower door. But I swear I don’t know how you’d finish with that cute little face watching, I’d keep forgetting to wash my hair or wash it twice I’d be so distracted!

  119. my mom met my adorable, gentle, kind, incredibly loving step dad on e harmony. I couldnt have had a better dad if I picked him myself. wish I had him all along. Getting him at 35 will hafta do.
    The stickers on nellas face caught me and made me all emotional. have you ever read the book You are Special by max Lucado? You NEED to. Like today. It comes in a babys board book. Please get it and read it. Her stickers stick. and they are STARS. In the book, stickers dont stick to the main character, Lucia, because she doesnt want to be designated good/bad by her peers, the stickers fall right off her. I have always thought Ciarras stickers (her labels) only stick when SHE wants them to. she chooses the ones that stick, and gentle, sweet, loving are her labels that stick, and shine SO bright, like nellas in that picture. I love all your pictures, but that one makes my heart leap. Im silly. But really, read the book. Hug the girls for me Kelle, and tell them they are both SPECIAL. :)

  120. Beautiful…just beautiful. I hadn’t had a chance to donate, but will be doing so as soon as I post this comment. And HURRAH! to your mom!
    Thank you for inspiring me to be the best mom I can be for my little Bean (Ella).
    And I can’t wait to assemble my own “net” sometime later this year and do the charm thing. That is amazing.

  121. Thanks for the reminders to always cherish the little things, like the face in the shower door. Sometimes I just want a moment to shower alone, but seeing my 2 little girls’ faces in the shower door is such a blessing and I need to always have that perspective!

  122. So nice to see that there are so many caring and wonderful people in this world!

  123. I am so, so inspired by the amazing feat of the fundraiser. When I saw $15K as your goal, I thought to myself, “No problem, I hope she changes it to 47″. Now I am amazed by the difference you have made. Thank you for inspiring me to be a little more grateful each day.

  124. What a beautiful little family! I have to laugh that she yells at her dollies, my mom says I used to do that also :) And what a blessing to see your mom happy!

  125. I love the photo of Nella and you can see the bubbles in her hair! Very cute! We here have weather that is very freezing and when you blow bubbles in the very cold they freeze and then shatter like its thin glass! Hope you have a great weekend!

  126. Congrats to the winner – love all the giveaways. Yay for your mom, love seeing her with her guy! Yay for the ONEder fund! Yay for Isle of Capri. Love your new sponsor and the hair accessories. Thanks, as always, for showing us how to really live and enjoy every moment, Kelle~ From your Blog Mama

  127. Nothing better than sidewalk chalk and bubbles! Maybe add a water sprinkler in the summer.

  128. Can I just say your mom is gorgeous!

  129. Love this post. Randomness is the fun which fills our months. Hope you have a great weekend! <3 Much love from Illinois!!

  130. LOVE it all!!! Nella is so gorgeous I can see how starting your day looking at that face is the best medicine ever!!

  131. I love your blog- I feel like I have spent hours on it since I found it this week!! Nella is beautiful and I love your attitude and passion for live. Your girls have the COOLEST clothes and I love how you sprinkle little knitted pieces in with the fun patterns! Did someone make Nella’s hat in the last picture???

  132. I love what you said about screaming that something doesn’t define you sometimes defines you. So true. But I wanted you to know that several weeks ago when you started preparing and giving all the info on Nella’s fundraiser…for a second, I wondered why you chose Down Syndrome. I had forgotten. Because your girls are so cute and funny and individual, and just…girls. It truly doesn’t define Nella. At all.

  133. i often thought that i came here to be envious of your beautiful life, but i always leave feeling so appreciative and blessed of my own. thank you for pointing out those small things that make life amazing!

  134. That little face looking in the shower! What a cute and happy way to start the day!

    Congrats to your mum and George – well done Heidi for persisting!

  135. Your photos are gorgeous, your girls are gorgeous, and what you are doing with the ONEder fund is amazing.

  136. Please tell your mom congrats on finding love on the internet. I met my true love on the internet too…two kids and 10 years later we are still going strong.

    And yet again wish I had little girls … ugh all the bows, and tutus and girlie stuff is so dang cute!

  137. Thanks again for your blog. And don’t worry about the sentimental ones… I get that way around my girls’ birthdays too. Keep them coming :)

  138. Great pics in this post…as usual! How wonderful that so much money was raised for Down Syndrome! I can’t believe I won the tutu giveaway! A big thank you to you and the Loving Shop!

  139. God, I love Nella’s striped tights! So adorable! I’m so grateful for the random forum poster that led me to your blog…you’ve changed my outlook on life. Thank you.

  140. Seriously-Girl-Your blog astounds me sometimes!! Your God given talents are so abundant, your photography and the way you piece words together so incredibly well. Your blog is one I love to read and look at. It simply is BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you for opening a piece of your lives to the rest of us. The journey is encouraging and amazing!! I am Very happy for your Mom. My Momma met her Prince Charming at 58 and he has blessed our family beyond measure!! Thank you, Kelle!

  141. ,,,so happy your mama has found “love”,,,good for heidi who encouraged and gave her that gentle nudge to “go for it” and explore her options,,,a good friend of mine, his parents experienced the same ending to their marriage as your parents have,,,with his father’s announcement to his wife of many years, his children who he loves “to the moon and back” and his “community” that he is gay,,,and the moral of the story,,,everyone involved is living happily-ever-after,,,as life should be,,,

  142. those are such cute headbands! love the post. what an amazing difference you are making kelle! and thanks for posting the blog on your ‘net’. really got me thinking about the women in my life, and how grateful i am for my ‘net’. thanks for blogging and be so open. love & peace

  143. So excited for your mom. I met my husband through eharmony and it is crazy how many times our paths had already crossed. Hooray for love!

  144. I spent the morning at the beach with my little girl, and I thought of your blog. Those moments are so special!

  145. I love to hear that Nella yells at her baby too! My Lilah does that all the time! I was beginning to wonder if I should worry, but then I see her trying to feed the babydoll a bottle, give it hugs and smooches and I know that we must be on the right track! As if there is a normal anyway :)

  146. eHarmony strikes again, met my now husband on eHarmony and we now have almost 4 years married and 2 babies. I think it’s one site that does matching the way it should be done. Yeah for Mom!

    Oh my goodness, Nella looks like she is really growing. She looks like she’s really adding some height. Love that yellow sweater.

  147. Loved the post! Looks like you’ve had some really great visits!

    How do you keep headbands on your daughters? My daughter has had a lot of hair right from birth, and for a while I just decided that we’d cut her bangs…but that was irritating too. So now we’re growing them out. At least now she’s figured out how to push her hair out of her face:-)

  148. Love, love, love. The picture of your van looks like the inside of our Highlander. I know it drives my husband absolutely nuts. I’m working on it, I am. I just have so many more important things to do! Like read blogs and take pictures of Lila. LOL

  149. Truth…I got tears in my eyes seeing your Mom and George. Knowing small bits of each side of the story…AMAZING! And so happy for both of them!
    I am amazed at your total donation. People are SO kind! Can’t wait to hear about your future efforts. I didn’t post on “the net” because I couldn’t see my keyboard. Y’all are so blessed to have one another!

  150. Two things:
    1. I love your mom’s love story! I wish the same for mine… I wanna see her happier…Let me know if George has a brother…lol
    2. You didn’t run a marathon, you did a whole ironman! You rocked it!!! $105.000 is just amazing! it feels good to be part of your stats

  151. $103,000 – THAT IS FREAKIN’ AMAZING! You inspire me to be a better blogger!

  152. Great post today! Just the right amount of random!! LOL!!

    Have a wonderful day!! xoxo

  153. Ohhh that pics of your friend and the baby-kissy-pouty-sleepy-lips made me melt!
    …and Bambaroo’s shop has the nicest things I’ve seen in awhile.
    Enjoy some ‘down’ time!
    You are so imspiring, especially knowing your van is ALMOST as bad as mine….almost!

  154. that last picture of nella is my favorite. maybe because i am a little insecure about my hat. but sweet nella looks so good sporting it ‘libby style.’

  155. Are you sure that wasn’t a picture of my van you took?
    You are absolutely right about how we all have our strengths and weaknesses. So I can’t keep up with laundry, at least the toilet is always clean.

  156. Are you sure that wasn’t a picture of my van you took?
    You are absolutely right about how we all have our strengths and weaknesses. So I can’t keep up with laundry, at least the toilet is always clean.

  157. Loving the blog, like always. Also loving that Mom found love. She is positively glowing!

  158. Love love love this post. You definitely have a way with words – I LOVE following your blog and seeing your beautiful family. Your girls rock! So do you. xoxoxo

  159. Per usual just wonderful and uplifting! When I read the “hectic mom” part it made me giggle. I snuck in a pedi earlier this week and the young (childless)very sweet woman asked me what I did. When I told her I had 3 kids 7, 5 and 2, stayed home to care for them and was in the midst of opening a photography business she said. “Oh nice…then you have lots of free time” I wanted to laugh out loud at her genuine naitivity. One day…she’ll understand.

  160. I like how you strung all that together!!! So sweet about your mom!! Your blog is making a difference in so many ways. I teach 8th grade and another teacher took my idea to post the comments from you and other readers about what we could say to our 13 year old self. I wrote about it, but in a nut shell, the girls were writing mean things about each other…we put up the nice thoughts, the mean writing has stopped.

  161. Thank you..for sharing, for the photos, for the music, for the fundraising…everything about your blog makes me happy!

  162. As a former teacher you may appreciate this. My sister-in-law is a teacher and one day they had a fire drill and the kids were in the parking lot, next to her car and one of the said “Miss Kelley, do you live in your car?” Mine doesn’t look much better!

  163. Kelle –

    $103K. Wow…insane. And congratulations for being a trustee for the Down Syndrome Pregnancy. I think more of us would be less afraid if we knew. Many of us are thanks to the blessing of your blog.

    I have to say my favorite part of randomness had to do with your Mom. That’s So sweet (in a Necco heart kind of way!). And way to go Heidi for being the ultimate instigator.

    Peace Out,

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  164. Wow! That’s an amazing total for the fundraiser! So glad I was able to make my own small contribution!

  165. Good random post! Sometimes you’ve gotta be random. Waiting for your post about the birth room!


  166. Kelle, you’ve made my day sharing that picture of your car!!! I feel so much better now! Lots of soul food in this post… thank you.

  167. Love this random post & the photos. Congrats to your Mom & George~what an awesome story!

  168. I am sitting in the airport waiting my flight back into the frozen tundra and already missing life here…so happy I was able to babysit the girls today! I have told both my daughters their vehicles might be survival vessels someday as they could feed a family of four for a week with the remnants between and under the seats. We who laugh at them might just be knocking on the windows begging for handouts! Drive on and attend to the more important and lasting things in life!

  169. Just had to say, in September 2007 I was matched with a man on eharmony. Today, we went to tour a model home we plan to start building as husband and wife. He is from GA and I am from VA. He was stationed in VA at the time, but over 2 hours away. My life would not be the amazing blessing it is now if not for eharmony. I love hearing stories of other eharmony loves. So happy for your Mom!

  170. Gorgeous photos, funny stories, and finding out about the nickname “Billy” (I will NOT be letting my hubby hear this b/c he will use it on me)…fantastic post!

  171. I can’t wait to someday make it to the Isle of Capri. Meeting you is on my bucket list :) Congrats on reaching the 100,000 goal!

  172. Mrs. Hampton, what a beautiful post! I love when you post random things you love every once in awhile, just because it stays true to the title of this blog that has become so much more.

    Keep loving your life and inspiring others to do the same!

  173. And thank you Kelle, for being brutally honest and open in the truest raw form in this blog. Nella, Lainey and your stepsons are all very lucky to have you as their role model and mommy.

  174. Love the story of your mom’s newly found happiness! Sounds like they were truly meant to be together, with all of the twists on people you know knowing him! Once again, viewing your blog just makes me downright happy myself! You have such a gift and we are all lucky you choose to share it with the blogging world.

  175. Yay for a wonderful weekend with friends! Yay for your Momma (and a Woohoo, too!)! and a super-yay for everything you have done, said, shared this past year. Nella looks like a fairy princess in her turquoise flower.

  176. This grab bag of thoughts is one of my favorite posts…not that I don’t check nearly every day for a new and beautifully worded and photographed post of your sweet girls.

    I love that your momma found her love and for also for your website raising so much money to help our world see how precious these little lives are, extra chromosome and all.

  177. Great post, as usual. I don’t mind the sentimental posts a bit. You’re just keeping it real, and they always touch my heart. So happy for your mom!

  178. That is just AMAZING about your MOM! So meant to be! :o)

    Beautiful writing today and pictures too. Nella has changed a lot it seems in the last week! She is growing up so fast.


  179. A perfect mix of goodness in today’s grab bag Kelle :)
    I LOVE that your Mum is in love…what a fairy tale story :) And Nella bossing her babies around….HILARIOUS :) Your amazing stats from the fundraising…..WOW!! And as for bubbles & chalk….I couldn’t agree more….on days where we crave home time but are looking for something to do….BUBBLES & the splash pool always WIN :)
    Kelle, you also nailed it on the head with the busy Mumma thing :) We all do our best….something will lack in consequence to our first focus….but that’s ok! BALANCE will occur again soon & we do it all again :)
    You wise gal Kelle :)

  180. <3 this blog post.

    <3 that your mom found him. He sounds great.

    <3 the van. Looks similar to mine.

    <3 the NDSS totals. You are all so amazing. Everyone who helped the fundraiser in anyway. :)

  181. really love reading your blog. the story about your mom is great. thanks for sharing!

  182. I hope you hear this a lot and that you know that it is the truth… YOU ARE AMAZING. Seriously amazing.

  183. iloved your post today. a few comments-
    My mom is recently widowed (my dad passes 1 1/2 yrs ago) and she is only 62. She went on her first date on Thursday night and when she told me – i cried. But in my heart i just want her to be happy. it wasn’t a love connection but a first small step.
    Regarding Nella roller derby crawling, my 18 month old climbed out of his crib today – yikes!
    Finally, i was speaking to a client who has a baby and she said, she doesn’t know how mom’s do it – some make it look so easy. i told her – trust me – it’s not easy for anyone. everyone just finds the balance that works for them.
    thanks as always for your inspiring words – you really help me find that clean slate and right balance everyday!

  184. LOVE that your mom has found love again! Good for her for “getting out there”.

  185. I love this post. So much real life. So much fun. You inspire us. All of us trying to find the balance. And get lip gloss on our lips. And our child’s. Love it so much. Thank you.

  186. SOOOOO on this Etsy site, I have all my fave’s picked out, waiting for the big win!!!

  187. How great that your mom has found love again! Love reading your blog Kelle.

  188. I’m so happy for you mother, and so pleased to hear you have such an open heart to welcome in new family members.

  189. kelly, you are so blessed and through that and your willingness to be open and honest to us all we are blessed. may you continue to share your love of life through this blog, because you are such an inspiration. still waiting for your book to come out!! :)

  190. I love the Grab Bag. Your sweet little girl’s smile outside the shower, baby smiles are truly some of the best medicine on earth. Thank you for the military base stat, as a milspouse it’s nice to see that recognitition!

  191. Thank you for your blog. I think I say that in every comment I leave. Today I got a call that could change our lives and your sharing of the link to Down syndrome Pregnancy was very timely and much needed.

    Thank you for teaching me that no matter what is coming our way, the world will be all right.

  192. I have your blog on my google reader, I come and read whenever there is an up date and Im totally inspired by you. I dont usually post comments but wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey with us. My journey is with autism, its part of our family but its not who my son is and he is so much more than autistic just as Nella is so much more than Down Syndrome, she is such a beautiful little girl and your family is beautiful. I will continue to lurk and maybe leave a comment here and there

  193. I love reading your blog and was so happy to donate to the ONEder Fund!

  194. I love that your minivan looks like my minivan. I love that you show us the messy reality. It makes me feel better.

  195. I love posts like these – a little light into everything going on. And yea for your mom! I met my husband on eHarmony, so I know how well these things work out!

  196. Congrats on the ONEder Fund! That is amazing.

  197. Awesome to hear the total amount raised…sadly I tried to donate here from the UK but had some issues with payment. I will make it up to Nella when I move back to the US in May :)

    And I would kill for an Isle of Capri!!

    Happy Lazy Sunday…

  198. Kelle, I love that your mom is in love! Such a sweet, romantic story. Wonderful!

  199. Lovely to hear your Mum has someone to share her special moments with….

    My Dad who’s 77 was so lonely after my mum died from cancer. She was his soul mate.

    He’s since met a lovely 72 year old…also a widower, and 2 years ago, we were blessed to have a wedding where the average age of the guests was 70!

    Tell your mum fairytales do come true…yes, even at 77! Good for her! :)

    In regards to Nella’s fund….truly EPIC effort!

    Congratulations Kelle for bringing all of us who love your blog so much together to touch others.

    Happy Saturday to you!

    Love Diana x

  200. The bubble shot looking down on her where you can see the sidewalk all chalked up is a great shot!

  201. OMG, Nella’s shower face, love it! My son Gibson, give that same grin. I love seeing my child in face in others.
    And little Miss Make Up Artist, love the look of concentration as she is applying the lipstick.

    Congratulations on the amazing total raised for the ONEder fund and reaching so many people all over the world!
    Also congrats on your new Trustee position!

  202. Kelle, thank you for becoming a part of my life with your blog. Reading your words and looking at your pictures reminds me what life is really about. (And reminds me how “normal” we are.) My parents are down in Naples now for a few months, and we will be visiting in April. It would be awesome to randomly run into you down there. Wishing all the best to your family for a restful next few weeks!

  203. Hi Kelly!

    You should have the website you mentioned, Pregnant with Down Syndrome, create a button for us to put on our blogs! I think it is a great resource to have made known!

    I went looking for one immediately for that purpose.

  204. Molly Dunn’s mom here! There’s LOTS of inspiration going on in our home right now. My daughter Molly and her 7 year old sister Emma have birthdays one month apart from each other and decided to have a combo party. So I have 2 girls collecting donations instead of birthday gifts! Molly is collecting donations for NDSS/Nella’s ONEder Fund and my 7 year old Emma is collecting for Operation Smile! I am speechless and my heart is dancing at their excitement to raise donations for 2 AMAZING causes! They are decorating donation cans…making posters…the hot glue gun is begging for a break! On Sunday I too will sit back and watch beauty unfold…the beauty of friendships…the beauty of my girls and their friends giving with their great big giving hearts…

    $103,000….no words. Just amazed. What a community of loving and giving people. Again…no words.

    And WOW….GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Dana Wainstein, her family, friends and business contacts. That is just super cool.

    I have to say thank you to NDSS and Operation Smile for all the goodies they sent for my girls to pass out to their guests. That was so kind of them. Watching my girls rip open the boxes was like Christmas morning all over again! I could see the plans unfold in their daydreaming eyes as they sat in the empty boxes.

    And to Kelle..Thank you for opening up a part of my soul that I never knew existed. Your words, photos, music..all of it..all of your “grab life and love big” inspiration…
    I. Am. Changed. If I could squeeze your hand and give you that quick “thank you…thank you..” look into your eyes….I would. So I will leave you with this….

    “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom” ~Marcel Proust

    xoxo Randi Dunn

  205. I needed someone to say that about juggling and when you excel in one area there are others that need help…. and thats ok, it really is ok. (My car always looks like that, I bought kid sunshades just so people couldn’t see in the backseat, its ok.)

  206. you are blessed!!!

    lovely, pictures & a lovelier life


  207. That’s wonderful that so much was raised to support this important cause. You’ve brought so much awareness through your fabulous blog!

  208. Life is a grab bag. Loved this post…as I do all your posts. There is always something that hits the perfect chord to help me through something I just experienced the day I read your posts. Thank you.

  209. THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB! haha, my sister, who is my kindred spirit and best friend on this planet (along with my TWIN sister) started babysitting when she was 12. And she had a Babysitter Kit with the coolest crap in it. little finger puppets, markers, stickers (which are also vital) and I’m sure bubbles.
    And 103,000! YAYYY!!! Inspiring. Beautiful.

  210. Kelle, I love how you are sitting in your bedroom there with the girls on the floor, somewhere just random, putting on make-up and lip gloss…and just soaking it all in. what a lovely moment! You’ve come so far and truly are blessing so many other woman with the strength you’ve gained and shared. How awesome that you have become a trustee to Down Syndrome Preganancy…Amazing! You go girl! enjoy your week and hoping you have some quiet down time coming!

  211. such a beautiful post. i loved all your little stories and the photos that went with them

  212. Awesome post. I love how it has a taste of everything.

    Wonderful for your mom. Love is grand. That is amazing that the circle of life is so small.

    It’s always nice to see a new sponsor. Those flowers are so sweet and delicate. I love the blue one on Nella.

    A happy weekend it is. We might be getting fresh snow tonight. :)

    Lisa in CA

    Oh, ? for you. What do you do when Nella eats the chalk? My little girl does it too.

  213. I missed the Isle of Capri pics.

    Love the headbands :)

  214. I’m so glad that my small donation helped make a difference. Putting the numbers in perspective like that is mind-blowing. We really do help shape the world!

  215. Lainey is looking more and more like you, and Nella is just getting more and more beautiful. What gorgeous girls you have mama! I’m sure their beauty is internal as well :)

  216. Congratulations Kelle, at such a young age, you’re making a huge difference in many people’s lives!

    I am so happy for yor Mama too!!!

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  218. Amazing, those numbers, just amazing, a true reflection of just how wonderful that soul of yours is Kelle!

  219. I was laughing when I saw the pictures of the car. Mine looks just like it and my husband keeps getting mad at me about that…oh well..glad I’m not the only mom with a nasty van driving around.

  220. Loved this post. My girl, now 16, is that girl from the Babysitter’s Club books. She takes a bag filled with books, crayons, crafts and snacks. It rocks and her clients LOVE her. I taught her to do dishes and clean up toys after the kids are put down because I loved coming home to quiet and clean when mine were small.

    I love how you love your kids Kelle. Makes me wish I had a couple of do-overs in my mama bag, but I did the best I could and have sweet girls to show for it.

    <3 Teresa

  221. My van looks like that too!!! lol

  222. I have always noticed this, but never commented on it, until now. :) I love how Miss Nella sits. With her legs apart & feet/toes pointed inward/downward. So incredibly precious. :)

  223. I really like the look of George. Look at the warm way he is holding Nella…she loves him too, I can tell :-) What a great story. Thanks also for sharing pictures of the inside of the mini-van, I’m going to show my husband, so he knows that I am not alone..yep, that looks like my car. Oh, and Georgia always has stickers all over her face and body too, with three big, sticker lovin’ sisters to lavish them upon her!

  224. Hi, I love your blog, your writing and pictures are extrodinary. I hate to do this, and if it wasn’t for my daughter, I wouldn’t but Please help us. I have entered Riley in a contest to be in a FANCY NANCY book, and would love her to represent kids with a fancy extra chromosome. Please help, the voting ends soon.

  225. Love these random musings…you’re right, the story about your mom and her new man is incredible! And your minivan made me LOL! I hear you on taking time to reflect on the past year now that our littles have just turned one. Watch out world…these toddlers are taking you on!

  226. For some reason, I read to the end of your blog posts each time and forget all I was meaning to say to comment… I just <3 reading. 103Gs – that is AWESOME. So amazing.

  227. This post as usual made me happy. :)
    Kelle, you dreamed big and you got it!!!! The numbers are insane!!!!

    Love the story of eharmony. So true that the happiness of your own mother is your own happiness.

    And Nella looking through the shower door was my favorite!!!! You describe it so well, just like Prozac!!! :)
    She has so much personality!!!!

    Thank you again for bringing a big smile to my face!

  228. SO cute about your mom and George! My husband and I met on Match – hee hee, I’m very thankful for the internet.

  229. ok I seriously let out a few chuckles at the photos of Nella looking at you in the shower… why so many chuckles? Because my Lennon follows me EVER’WHERE I go. and I LURVE it. I call Lennon my “puppy” because it is exactly what she reminds me of.. all cute and cuddly.. spitting up everywhere, me following behind cleaning up, making messes of the house, me following behind cleaning up, chewing on everything, even my son’s pants legs .. oh my soul giggles because she moves with determination… she’s getting around so well!! and so fast! A swift little thing.
    *** I literally called my husband away from ESPN to see the photo of the minivan because it made me feel OK with being… “me”. (hoping he would see the silver lining!)

  230. Hi Kelle,
    I have been reading your blog since it first appeared on AOL Parentdish. I love checking it out; your pictures are beautiful as is your family!

  231. Wow, Kelle! I am always inspired by your photos and words, but I especially love this post. Your girls are just TOO sweet! I love the way they dress, from head to toe! How stylish are they? It’s been really neat following along with you on your journey, especially now that I have a (mutual) friend who has a son with DS. Thanks for sharing all that you do! :)

  232. Waw, can you believe you raised all that money? You must be so proud. Your girls are beautiful, and so are those little bows! I’m checking them out right now!!!

  233. Nella is about the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen.

  234. love your grab bag, kelle :) it’s funny that you should mention it, but i’m working on some of those shadowing places right now. love that metaphor.

  235. Thanks for your inspiring words. They continue to inspire me to be a better mother, wife and friend. I was so touched to see your mom with George. Have to share my little story…here’s the short version.
    Married, 2 kids (4 & 7), husband passed at age 42; moved back to Wisconsin from Florida, waited about 3 years to start dating, went on, “winked” at Michael, exchanged 6 emails, found out we graduated together and were friends in HS; engaged 14 months later and married 5 months after that. He loves all 3 of us and loves my 2 like he loves his 1. I am a firm believer in “When God closes a door he opens a window.” Life is grand!

  236. Love this post. Thanks for reminding me that my ridiculously messy car and 6 piles of dirty laundry are OK. You are more validating to more people for more reasons and in more ways than you know! And go Kelle! $103K? Pretty fantabulous.

  237. Oh! And love that your mom found love on eHarmony! My husband and I met on!

  238. i love how you show us your messy car :)

  239. I love going on your blog it just makes my day espically looking through the beautiful pictures of your girls!

  240. I am so proud of us for raising over $100,000–I have been telling all my friends and family :)

    Love you and your whole family <3

  241. Your mother is so beautiful:) I think that every time you post a picture of her. My son loves bubbles and chalk too! So does my girl but she likes to try to eat the chalk instead of draw with it!

  242. Oh Kelle, how I adore your blog! I just cannot get enough of it! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful blog to all of us! And, I have to mention that in the first pictures of you swinging Lainey, I thought to myself, “is that Lainey or Nella?” Your girls are looking more and more alike as Nella becomes more of a little girl and less of a baby!

  243. I love reading your blog. The way you love being a mom just makes me want to be the best mom I can be. My daughter is 6 months old and has already brought so much joy to my life and I cant wait for all the other fun adventures we will have together as she gets to be your girls’ ages. I also love dressing my daughter up in all the fun things that little girls get to wear!

  244. Kelle!

    you are amazing! LOVE the last pic you have posted! It captures everything so well!

  245. WAY TO GO ON NELLA’s ONEder FUND! I am seriously tearing up over here! That is totally awesome!! & Cute new sponsor! Would love to win!! :)

  246. That shower picture is the best ever.


  247. Thank you so much for sharing. I love reading your blog.

  248. LOVE that last shot of Nella. She is certainly thinking deeply about something. Thanks for your awesomeness Kelle!

  249. Kelle as usual your posts make me smile :-) So glad to hear that your momma is in love! Love, love, love the B&W photo of you and Laney putting on lipstick. Thought you might laugh at this minivan youtube video-it’s pretty hilarious! Hope you are having a relaxing-do-nothing-kind-of-weekend!

  250. I love the photo of Nella looking through the shower door!
    Also the ones with you and Lainey putting lip gloss on one another are so sweet!

  251. Where did you get the grey hat (last photo)?! LUV.

  252. You are just too much of awesomeness. I am 5 months pregnant and truly believe if my baby was born with DS I would be at peace right away just a little bit more because of your blog. Thank you!

  253. Lovely post! Once again, congrats on what you have done through Nella’s Oneder fund, truly amazing! So many times when I read your blog I see a refection of myself 5 years ago and want to tell you the great things you’re going to learn! It’s so refreshing to hear you say that sometimes when you have to scream that DS doesn’t define you that maybe that’s what you are fearing the most at the time. I felt the same and spent the first year of Ruby’s life trying to show everyone how “normal” my life was, screaming out to the rooftops that it didn’t define us. Down Syndrome lives in our home every day but it only exists, it does not truly LIVE or BREATHE in all that we do. Well done on coming to grips with that, not everyone does!
    Happy Days Kelle!!

  254. Amazing stats from the fundraiser!

    BTW, I LOVED the Babysitter’s Club! I am trying to put together a Crap Bag of my own for going out with my toddler twins!

  255. Esp. loved the bits about your mom, mommyhood and Nella yelling at her babies. The first pic (of Nella with her dolls) made me laugh out loud!

  256. I should probably be asleep at 3:20 after my baby’s middle of the night feeding but I was so excited to see a post with your beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing a peek into your life and your photography.

  257. The picture of Nella at the shower door just melted my heart. Probably the sweetest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. seriously!

  258. Hi,

    I’ve been following their blog for a long time and read with pleasure. And all the beautiful pictures of beautiful girls you have. Yesterday I read my favorite magazine, a Norwegian magazine called KK. There was a very nice article about you. You have clearly touched the hearts all over the world.

    You have a great talent for writing. Keep it up. Have a nice Sunday.

  259. Great post as always, love the randomness. Yay for Mom finding love with a great guy.
    And the fundraiser stats, that is truly amazing!

  260. I love the pictures! It’s so refreshing to see you all shine in “everyday life” moments. Thank you for inspiring us all!

  261. What an amazing post. You continue to inspire me to want to do better and to be better. I laughed when you talked about the Babysitter Club books…..I LOVED those as a kid and have been thinking how fun it would be to get my own kids reading them. I’m going to have to see if my Mom still happens to have them. Also LOVE that you guys got your Mom on eHarmony and that sheLove the story of your mom’s newly found happiness! Sounds like they were truly meant to be together, with all of the twists on people you know knowing him! Once again, viewing your blog just makes me downright happy myself! You have such a gift and we are all lucky you choose to share it with the blogging world.

    LOVE long blog posts. What a great way to start a Saturday. I love, love, love the story about your Mom! That’s terrific. And I just read Libby’s blog~Kelle you ROCK!!
    What a great person you are.
    Once again, thanks for the stories, the pictures, the sharing, the inspiration, the laughs, the beauty..all wrapped up in one incredible space. Loving it all.

    is so happy. I always love the commercials that you see on TV and it’s nice to hear that it works……and how small the world truly can be with the whole people knowing people connections!!!Lovely to hear your Mum has someone to share her special moments with….

    My Dad who’s 77 was so lonely after my mum died from cancer. She was his soul mate.

    He’s since met a lovely 72 year old…also a widower, and 2 years ago, we were blessed to have a wedding where the average age of the guests was 70!

    Tell your mum fairytales do come true…yes, even at 77! Good for her! :)

    In regards to Nella’s fund….truly EPIC effort!

    Congratulations Kelle for bringing all of us who love your blog so much together to touch others.

    Happy Saturday to you!

  262. No apologies necessary! Be sentimental or not. Have a righteous cause or not. It’s all good. Back to your net, a recent death in the family helped me recognize mine. I thanked them for their support, and told them they are the sports bra of my life!

  263. The van…. oh this is my life.

  264. I hope people tell you all the time that…YOU ARE AMAZING!! From the dedication to your family, fundraising for a great cause, and just being you!! I have never met you, but can just imagine what trouble we could get into! :) I realized the other day that my car had turned into the “Billy” type of car…and you know what, I am fine with it for now.

  265. Totally awesome! Every day I’m in love with your blogs – your photos, your girls, your words. I love the stories of new friendships that you’ve created as a result of your blog, and I love everything you share.

    PS: I agree 100% about the bubbles and sidewalk chalk :)

  266. Your mother is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to see a video of Nella yelling at her dollies. And the new sponsor has just made it into my favorite shops on Etsy. Thanks for the post today and I love the sentimentality of your blogs lately.

  267. I love that you are a “normal” mom with a smelly van. You keep it real for all of us moms just like you.
    Way to raise those funds. Truly amazing!

  268. Randomness can be so right sometimes :)

  269. Yay to ur mama for finding love and yay to u for being surrounded by love in the form of donations. U are totally amazing!

  270. YAY I’m the North Pole, AK girl! WOOT! GO NELLA!!!!!!!!!

    Kelle- Thank you for helping me look for all the small things in life.. Currently the smalls things I love right now is this lovely pile of M&M’s in front of me.

    It’s always a joy to read your space.

  271. YAY I’m the North Pole, AK girl! WOOT! GO NELLA!!!!!!!!!

    Kelle- Thank you for helping me look for all the small things in life.. Currently the smalls things I love right now is this lovely pile of M&M’s in front of me.

    It’s always a joy to read your space.

  272. Wow, unbelievable! What a huge world-wide success!

  273. I love the pictures of Lainey helping you with your makeup! You make the every day moments so special.

  274. I’m really looking forward to the blog where you revisit your birthing room. It will be the end of a chapter, and the beginning of a whole new world! Chalk and bubbles, can it get any better???

  275. Love it! I need my husband to see your car and blog so he can see I’m not the only one! :) You are so real, it’s amazing. And I love it!
    And congratulations on being a trustee! I’ve been waiting for you to announce it! (I am in the KIIDS group with Nancy). So excited to see what the future holds for because it is amazing.
    Lastly, congratulations for your fundraising efforts! Truly amazing!

  276. Thems some pretty impressive fund-raising stats! I’m proud to have been a tiny, tiny part of the shaping of them!

    Love this post – like all the others – and the picture of Nella at the shower – well, I have to add my “adorable” to all the other responses! But, forgive me for asking the dumbest question ever – how did you accomplish that photo without getting your camera soaking wet?

    Your make-up shots are so sweet. I remember clearly, make-up and tea parties that took place over 30 years ago, now! The best tea – and the most beautiful make-overs came from those tiny plastic cups and tubes…

    Sooooo happy for your Mom – such a lovely story – It’s easy to see that your Mom exudes a quiet class and genuineness through pretty much her every pore – from just the pictures you post and stories you relate – so, I can imagine that the people who share her real-life are lucky indeed….

    Take care………Rosemary

  277. Bubbles and Blooms and Pinks..oh my!
    Enjoying the small things today, my mom’s 55th birthday!

  278. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture of Nella with stickers on her face! Adorable!

  279. I love your girl’s style! So cute!

  280. Accidentally stumbled upon your blog …. so happy I did….inspiring to say the least…

  281. Your posts are amazing. Your daughters and you are beautiful! You and your writing are an incredible inspiration:) Never stop!

  282. Among all your beautiful photographs it was fun to see a few messy ones:) Thank you for showing the real you and not hiding behind picture perfection.

    How wonderful for your mother!

  283. Of course, we are absolutely thrilled to have you join us on the board. By the way, our inside joke is to call it downsyndromepregNANCY. So happy for your cute mom and love, love that your car looks like mine.

  284. I love how Nella screams and bosses at her babydolls!! So cute

  285. So happy for your Mama… maybe I should get my Mama on EHarmony.. she’s been single for 20 years!

    Hope you have a great week!

  286. My daughter would love to wear one of those to class and show off!!

  287. Nella is the sweetest most precious little girl ever !!!

  288. randomness makes me happy!

  289. You write like I wish I could. You tell my story and write my feelings. Bless you and thank you for helping me with my journey and helping me see the beauty in life and all its perfections. Luvs&Hugs

  290. Adorable, inspirational photos – as always! Your blog has motivated me to really do something with the photos I have of my little boy…. I’m making a scrapbook for him!

  291. Your random grab bag posts are always my favorite. Nothing greater than the little slices of life that make the big picture all that much sweeter. I love, love, love that your mom found love again; they make a handsome couple, and I truly hope them happiness. What a great story!

  292. You are such an inspiration to us all! I know your followers, including myself, will be thinking and praying for you this week as you continue your journey!!

    On a side note, my family and I are looking forward to our vacation next week in the area, at one of your father’s rentals actually. Any good kid friendly stops we should include for a 3 1/2 and 15 month old?

  293. Beautiful photos as usual :) And don’t be embarrassed about the messy car at all! I don’t have my own kids and mine looks just as bad. It also contains melted crayon spots on the backseat from this past summer. I can only imagine how it will look when I have kids in there full time! YIKES!

  294. It’s been cold and frigid here in VA, so I’m a bit jealous of the pics of you and the kiddos at the beach. I keep telling myself “2 more months, Rachel”.

    Thanks for the picture of the van…makes me feel like I’m not alone!

    Your eHarmony story brought a tear to my eye. Seeing your parents happy is the absoulute best, isn’t it?

  295. Loved your thoughts today re. thinking about Ds. When our dtr, Ella, was born 4 yrs ago I was convinced that I would never go a day w/out thinking about the label or her challenges. I’m happy to report that that was short lived! She is Ella and just happens to have an extra chromosone. Yes, I am reminded of the dx, but it does not define her. Thanks for sharing your dtrs and your families story.

  296. Being by the water is wonderful!

  297. Love that your mom is in love with someone she met through eharmony. Love that Heidi is the one who edged her on. Love that you took Libby & Sara with family to the Isle of Capri. Love that last photo of Nella wearing the hat “libby style”. Love that you’re not embarrassed to share how your minivan looks like! 😉 xoxo — continue keepin’ it real, sister! Share what you wanna! Much love to you and the fam — may the blessings continue on and on…

  298. A completely random comment: Flipping through the channels the other day and somehow landed on an E! special with stories of people born with rare disorders, or who’d become quadriplegics, etc. … basically all the stories were of people who had beat the odds, overcome diversity, etc.

    Anyway, one was about this woman named Andrea Friedman who has Down syndrome. She’s an actress, went to college, lives on her own, bought her own BMW, is a motivational speaker.

    What struck me was one of the sound bites from her story:

    Her mother said that she lets nothing stand in the way of her dreams and she is super positive and optimistic. She said, “We tell people she has Up syndrome, not Down syndrome.”

    It so reminded me of Nella and of the positive vibes she is surrounded by. I think maybe she has Up syndrome, too. :o)

  299. LOVE the random-ish posts, so keep them coming!

    Isle of Capri was quiet on Sunday??? Or did Brett not watch the game there?

    So happy for your mom- super cool story! George looks so sweet…

    ADORE ADORE ADORE the picture of Nella at the shower door!!! Sounds like my little guys.

    And since I have guys, if for some reason my name comes up, give my bows to Sara/For the Love of Naps. I’m a reader of hers too (we’ve never met/emailed/etc.) and I think her wee one would put them to good use.

  300. Love that your mama found L-O-V-E!

  301. Kelle–You are an amazing woman! The story of your Mother and her new love is so great! It gave me the chills just reading it. And as always, the pictures and words bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story the way you do. You are an INSPIRATION!

  302. Love the pic of your car! I’ve been feeling super guilty about the state mine is in, this made me feel much better knowing I’m not alone.

  303. *Hurray for your mama!! So sweet of her girls to encourage her :)

    *Lainey is so beautiful…putting lipstick on HER mama…love that photo!

    *This may sound so strange, but I think Brett and my husband would get along…hahaha! He looks nice. My husband IS nice :)

    *And when in the world did Nella all of a sudden look so grown up???

    *I love grab bag, random kind of thinking….can you tell?

    Many blessings,
    Kelly Cach

  304. Kelle, I’m so happy for your Mom! I’m a huge Eharmony fan myself because of what it did for my Mom. My father unexpectedly passed away in 2005, at the young age of 52. My Mother was devestated, but also couldn’t imagine living the rest of her life without a partner. In 2007 she joined Eharmony, met a wonderful man whom she never would have met on her own (since he lived 90 minutes away) and now they are happily married. YAY for love, no matter how you find it! =)

  305. Kelle- I love your blog. Type in Help Justin meet Bon Jovie it’s a cool, inspiring story of our friend Justin who has Downs. He’s celebrating his 40th b-day!!!!! His sis Sara and effort from everyone helped achieve his dream of meeting Bon Jovie. Anyway- love your blog! Smiles, hugs and love from Idaho!

  306. ok. so i think you drove all the way up here to minneapolis and opened my van door and took a picture.
    because that’s my car.
    and i’m going to share this post with my husband … because apparently i’m the only woman in the world that doesn’t enjoy the cleaning.
    and the defining me part. and the baby that all of a sudden looks one. and the mom that needs a boyfriend but would never go on eharmony.
    we must be twins.

  307. ok. so i think you drove all the way up here to minneapolis and opened my van door and took a picture.
    because that’s my car.
    and i’m going to share this post with my husband … because apparently i’m the only woman in the world that doesn’t enjoy the cleaning.
    and the defining me part. and the baby that all of a sudden looks one. and the mom that needs a boyfriend but would never go on eharmony.
    we must be twins.

  308. So happy for your Mom!!! Yeah!!! And gorgeous pics of your girs as always! Hope you get more relaxing in! Enjoy your week, Kelle!

  309. I like your shower view ….ha ha.
    i miss when my daughter used to just wait there for me!!
    so happy for your mom too!

  310. I always love your pictures from Isle of Capri – brings a little sunshine to Michigan, which is most definitely needed at this time of year!

  311. Kelle,
    I love your pictures,
    I love your writing,
    I just LOVE your Blog!
    You are AMAZING.

  312. omg. So many cool things- your mom finding love on eharmony?? ROCK ON!! That is so awesome! Ummm and Nella is the most beautiful child ever! Love those last 2 pics…and Lainey putting on your lip gloss for you- so brave, yet so cute!! Ahhh!! And my suv is a constant mess, but the hubs is nice enough to clean it for me, bc clearly, I do not do it myself. I can’t wait to see more beach pics as the weather warms!

  313. oh yeah and the shower pic….PRICELESS!!! That is just too, too cute!! Love her!

  314. What a fun post, and I love the title. I am anxiously awaiting to hear how your visit back to that room goes! Best wishes!

  315. Love the last picture! And my car looks a lot like that:)

  316. bahahaa, I love that your van is trashed. It takes about ten minutes for the kids I nanny to do that to my car. :) Learning to let go is a big part of learning to live fully.

  317. Just stopped back to this post … for some reason (crazy!) I’d been thinking about your mom and George this weekend! So, I just reread their story … coincidence? I don’t think so! Divine providence! How wonderful for both of them … and how special that George has been hovering outside your circle forever! Just a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing! They both look so happy! I hope it is forever!! 😉

  318. This post made me so happy. Thanks for sharing and the pictures are heart warming, as is your life.

  319. You are such a wonderful women and my daughter Jaelyn would love to have hairbows to match your beautiful daughters :) Please keep being such an inspiration to people everywhere. You are such a blessing.

  320. I love the randomness as I laughed a bunch! The shower picture cracks me up because my little love, Kate, does it with the curtain over and over (she gets wet a little each time so she closes it and reopens it!). And can I please win??? BTW, Nella IS a rockstar and so are all the amazing people, including myself, that donated! We can make this world amazing!

  321. Your blog always inspires me and tonight it inspired me to post on my own blog about my non-perfect self. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not perfect and I love me for being that way.

  322. I hesitate to say this, but here goes. Have you thought about putting part of the fundraisor to Reece’s Rainbow? It is such a blessing to so many families looking to adopt babies with Downs.

  323. Love the pictures of you and Lainey doing make-up! So cute! Can’t wait for those days with my little girl. (:

  324. I have been reading your poignant words for some time, but have been remiss in commenting, after all in reality I am just a complete stranger.

    But I must admit your stories make me laugh (and sometimes cry), your photography makes me pick up my camera far more often, and your girls take my breath away.

    I am in love with the absolute clear unadulterated truth that you have brought to a difficult situation, a bend in the road if you will. Because really, we all have bends in the road. And your strength insipires more strength in me to keep going…to find joy in all the small things.

    Thanks for offering so much to little readers like me.

    I am SO inspired by the final fundrasing number. I posted it on my own blog and FB page, and had several people comment about who they dedicated their donation to. I believe in Random Acts of Kindness, and I believe in paying it forward. I also absolutely believe that Nella deserves a world that loves her as wholly as her family. You’re making that happen. I was honored to be able to contribute to that journey.

    Thank you, Kelle.

  325. random commenter leaving random comment… remember when you asked what we wanted for christmas? i said a + preg test….well i got it!!! a month later, but who’s keeping time! :) love your blog. Happy belated birthday, Nella.

  326. Perfect randomness to wrap up your craziness of the past few weeks. And BRAVO on all of your fundraising. It goes to show how a little bit from a lot of people really does go a LONG way. Have a fab week! XO

  327. I love reading your blog, it always makes me happy and puts life back into perspective. :) And, Nella looks like a baby doll in that last picture! She is so adorable!!

  328. I am always so excited to see a new post! :) I just had my daughter’s first birthday party yesterday and today I am worthless. Like you, I am ready for the chaos to die down.
    Bambaroos has the cutest things! I do believe she is the next town over from me. Small world!

  329. I just LOVE the picture of Nella at your shower door. Also love how she likes bossin’ around and yelling at her babydolls, how cute is that?! (please please share a video of that with us sometime, that would make my day)!

    My little girl loves seeing the pictures of your 2 beautiful girls…. we love your blog!

    The story about your mom and George is so cool! I LOVE happy sweet love stories like that.

  330. Wow, Nella is really starting to look like a big girl now! She’s growing up so quickly — I can barely believe it and I only “see” her in pictures. hehe.

  331. The small sock in the car is exactly where I find Violette’s socks if she doesn’t have shoes on – that totally makes me laugh – toes must be much more fun without socks!

    So thrilled you are a part of DSPregnancy in an even bigger way now!

  332. your baby is sooooooooo adorable. that is all.

  333. Beautiful post…again.

  334. Kelle… I swear I love your blog more and more every day. Brings me to tears, but today was happy tears!!

  335. Love the Minivan! I was looking at the disarray in mine today and feeling bad, but now…I’m much better about it ; )

    And yay for your mum that is awesome! Love is the best feeling in the world!

  336. This internet thingy is crazy isn’t it? So happy for your mama!
    Love the pic of Nella outside the shower! My little girl (17months) just started this new thing, when I am in the shower, she gets her dads hand and leads him to the bathroom then lays down on the floor and waits for him to take off her clothes, so she can get in with me! So funny!

  337. You guys are just so great. Giving me hope and courage to strive to be my best for my littles. Thank you a million times over!

  338. Love this post Kelle! :)

    Love the party pictures, Loved reading about & seeing your “net”! Love all these random shots and congrats to your Mom and George, how freakin’ cool is that?! :)

    As you return to the place of Nella’s birth, please take the time to appreciate your visit – soak up the good and the bad feelings too, it’s all a part of who you are and how you got to where you are today.

    Hugs from NY as you & Nella venture on………

    Laura & Ryan

  339. “Crap Kit” – i lost it. I was laughing so hard. My poor boyfriend was so confused :]

  340. “To thine own self be true, Kelle.” In a world proliferated with viewpoints and voices that are dangerously, as Rilke put it–“too consistently ironic,” your sentimentality, your sensitivity to the matters of the heart is a welcome one. So rock on with your big, weepy, loving embrace of all the heart’s wonders! :)

  341. A few random comments:
    Thanks for having an inspiring blog that makes me remember how precious all of life is.

    Beautiful party for Nella. Wondering if I could borrow your colors and bloom painting ideas for my daughter’s 1st birthday in June.
    Already used your Thankful banner idea for a Happy Birthday banner for my twin daughters’ 2nd birthday party this weekend. (I would love to send you a picture if that’s ok with you.)

    My husband and I met through eHarmony and were also amazed at the number of people we both knew and interestingly enough we grew up our whole lives 20 miles away from each other and attended the same college but didn’t meet until we were connected online!

    Anyway, hope you have a good week ahead!

  342. OBESSED>
    Your style is so super cute.


  343. Beautiful post! My husband and I met on eHarmony, and I love to hear when it has given as much happiness to other couples who have tried it and loved it and found love. The headbands are adorable.

  344. Love, love, love your blog. It’s refreshing and inspiring:)

  345. Kelle- That last picture of Nella…can’t keep my eyes off of her eyes! LOVE it! And your van?!?! Well….my van (aka “swagger wagon”) could kick your van’s butt :) in the mess department!!! LOL!

  346. I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and after reading a few post decided I want to be you when I grow up (never mind that we are the same age). I am revived by your beautiful, positive, real words and images. Thank you.

  347. Nella looking at you in the shower is hysterical!! My 17 month old son feels the need to join me in the shower :) All 3 of my boys can’t understand why I would ever want to shut the door to the bathroom! Who needs privacy when your a mom 😉

  348. Your Blog is amazing Kelle! Loved the pic of the girls playing in their room together! So sweet to have a sister to share things with (I have 3!), they will truly be best friends for life!

  349. Simply amazing how much money was raised for a wonderful cause! And it seems that in just a few days of pictures, Nella has transformed from a baby to a little girl, she is just so cute!

  350. I remember playing with sidewalk chalk and bubbles all the time when I was little. They are defiantly essentials for any summer’s day.

  351. Always love your randoms! The shower photo made me smile so big…how could you have anything but a good day if it starts with that?

  352. Wow, great news on just one post! I am so happy for your mother (I should advocate for my mother either, it breaks my heart to see her so lonely). And the ONEder fund results – amazing! We are so proud of you! You have such an inspiring, strong personality, that has a power to change people’s lives. You are very gifted, Kelle!

  353. What a wonderful way to give back by joining with Down Syndrome Pregnancy! Such a great resource for expectant parents. And the Oneder Fund? Oh.My.Gosh! Girl, you have rocked it BIG TIME!!!

  354. Your amazing and you inspire me with every post!
    I love it!

  355. kelle, your babies are so sweet and so beautiful.
    nella yelling at her baby dolls is so hilarious.
    lainey putting make up on you is priceless!
    you my dear are wise beyond your young years!
    yesterday hubby and i were taking the grandbabies to church with us, 5 year old emily and 14 month old logan.
    i turn around to see what that logan is up to, he has his shoes and socks off. not only that he has his coat off and his shirt most the way off, kinda stuck on his head-but he is still workin on it!and we live in missouri where it is cold cold cold.
    them sweet babies keep this maw maw always laughing!
    God bless you kelle!

  356. I love it that I sat here and smiled at seeing your mama in love. :)

    Esther D

  357. I love how your words come to life every. single. time. I read your blog. You make me cry the good kind of cry.

  358. I got a new camers recently *dances*, so when I saw a little bucket of sidewalk chalk in the Target dollar section, I immediately of some of your photos that include things written on the sidewalk, and I had to scoop it up! In my little area of Kansas, the high is supposed to be 20 today, so it will clearly be awhile before I can play with colors on the pavement, but Springs on its way! (Or so I tell myself on these dreary, bleary days). Love the latest pics of the girls! They get cuter every day!

  359. So awesome for your Mom!!!

  360. I love when you post pictures of things that are so “real” like a messy car or your clothes all over the bathroom floor as you shower.

    Not as much as I love pictures of your blonde angels… but still.

    Stats of the ONEder fund are simple amazing. I am proud to be a part of it.

    Keep on rocking.

  361. What an amazing, life-loving post to read this morning as I start my day. Love it! Thank you for sharing your life – and your love for it – with us.

  362. Kelle,
    I love your blog! I just had to write and say congrats to your Mom! I met my wonderful, amazing husband on EHarmony and am thankful that I took that leap of faith every single day!
    Thank you for sharing your life with us….

  363. Your blog is always good for a healthy happy cry! The outpouring of donations warms my heart.

  364. Yay for you Mom and her handsome new beaufran! Great story.

  365. I love the Nella yells at her dolls – so cute!

  366. My 4 yr old boy just saw Nella and said “Awwww….what a cute little girl” :)

    So happy for your mom….my dad just passed away and my mom is so sad and lonely. I hope one day she can find love again…..

  367. Thank you for pointing out that for every area where mama’s shine, there is one that isn’t so shiny. It’s hard to remember that when you read blogs with pictures of perfect homes, perfect parties and these moms seem to have endless time to devote to being creative and crafty. You bring out the real mom stuff and I love it!

  368. Love the headbands and I know the perfect sweet new baby head-fresh this last Friday-to wear it! Hoping to win one for little Emelia!

  369. Love love love your blog and seeing your cuties grow before my eye! Thanks for sharing them with us!

  370. What an awesome story about your mom…good for her! :)
    Oh and let me just tell you, my mommy brain is a big ol’ random grab bag, all of the time. haha

  371. Congrats on raising so much money! Your story is truly inspiring!

  372. My mom insisted my sisters and I bring a special bag of toys, etc when we’d go babysitting. As a young teen I thought it was a pain to lug it along, but the kids always looked forward to it. Even if the games seemed lame to me, they were ‘new’ to the kids I was babysitting and therefore fun. I so appreciate that my mom gave us the idea and didn’t let up when we whined about it!

  373. My husband and I met on eHarmony! I always joke that it was the best sixty (+) bucks I ever spent. :)

  374. As always, love your blog and so very happy for your mama 😉

  375. Usborne books rock, my 3 year old and I enjoy the Farmyard Tales and the ‘Boot’ family. We have the SNAP games too….and about 20 other books! My 10 month old likes any book….

    My place to breathe deep and reflect on my one life is typically in our back yard. We are on 6 acres in Iowa. During the winter, it is typically a winter wonderland and almost every morning I can look out Keghan’s bedroom window and watch deer slowly make their way across our yard. In the summer, I like to go outside at night to star gaze with my hubby. He even pulled me out of bed and our son (2.5 at the time) to see a meteor shower. It was an awesome family moment.

    If I had to say an ultimate spot of peace and tranquility would be, I would have a tie breaker between getting as close as you possibly can to a sleeping baby to smell them and listen to them without waking them and/or sitting on a ski lift on a nice sunny day and enjoying the wonders of the ‘hugemongous’ trees and the snow sometimes sliding off of them…(I would pick Tahoe or Utah and then Colorado….)

    Thank you Kelle for reminding me to ‘lead’ my 1 crazy life…

    Krystal Maher

  376. I’m happy for your beautiful Mom and George, for the $103K+++ raised and for all the positive awareness the ONEder Fund video is creating! I feel everything begins with AWARENESS and just love the way you advocate for individuals with Ds all over the world. And, congratulations for joining the Down Syndrome Pregnancy team. Thank you so much for all you continue to do. :)))

    “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” ~Patanjali

  377. Just want to let you know by far the best blog Ive ever seen..You and your family and so beautiful and blessed. I enjoy reading your stories and seeing your pics:)

  378. Brave woman! I would never take a picture of my car!!!!

  379. Is it weird that I’m 28 but sometimes I want to dress like Lainey and Nella?

  380. Randoms are my favorite. Awesome job on the fund!

  381. So again, it is weird to leave this comment talking to you as if you have been aware all the times you told me a story that made me cry or laugh or smile or swoon at your beautiful girls but I will go ahead with it.
    About a year ago a friend of mine told me i had to read “this amazing birth story.” Well I am a step mother to an eleven year old and at that time had no idea what a birth story was but I read it, and sitting at the front desk at the law firm I work for I cried, and cried, and cried some more. It was so real and raw and strong and I was hooked. I have read your blog ever since. I have watched your girls grow up and every once in a while I go back to read the beautiful birth story. As time has gone on I have to say the sting isn’t as strong here either. The pain I felt for you then now screams at her baby dolls and makes the cutest faces, and the uncertain future that was so tragic now has the whole world hanging on her beautiful smile. You have shown us all how blessed you are, you have brought us along for your trip and we all thank you for that!

  382. Your minivan picture makes me smile :) I also tell myself that someday I’ll also have a clean vehicle and do laundry every two days and remember to have TP well stocked in the bathrooms! For now I’m content with imperfect…

  383. Just stumbled across your blog…and love it. What an inspiration!! Congratulations!!

  384. thanks for posting te picture of your minivan because it makes me feel so much better that I am not alone in having stray socks, drinks and such on the floor! HA great post as always Kelle!!

  385. I laughed when I read your babysitter kit line. I always have, and still do, carry a fun bag full of goodies including crayons, coloring books, finger puppets, bubbles, and other things depending on the age of the kid.

    PS congratulations on the amazing fundraiser!!

  386. Kelle-

    With all your passion and all the people your blog reaches, you could really help out this organization:

    They help place orphans (mainly from Eastern Europe) with DS and other disabilities with families here in the US.

  387. I just signed up to your blog. Your story makes me want to never-ever give up!! I am a mom of 4 and a recent survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Today was my “after” scan 😉 I am waiting patiently for some good results!!
    Anyway…you have the sweetest girls ever and the beauty of your family and spirit shines through your wonderful photographs. Thank-you for sharing them :)
    I want Nella’s hat!! The beige with the mini flowers- precious!!!

  388. my favorite place to visit, my isle of capri, my sanctuary is my bookshelf – though i may escape for awhile alone in between the hugs and snuggles of parenting, i can also take someone with me – we can read together, share an experience, laugh at it later and bond over a word, a phrase a sentence or a chapter of being somewhere else alone together at home.

  389. This comment has been removed by the author.

  390. Kelly, I am a nanny (even though I really babysit for a lot of families, I call myself a nanny as I’m 24 & have a Early Childhood Degree). Anyway, I TOTALLY have a “Kid Kit”. That’s what they called it in Babysitter’s Club books. It’s a big tote and I keep: TONS of craft kits, Barbie theme kits (Doctor Barbie, Teacher Barbie) and of course, I always have a stock of cookie dough!! The kids love it when I bring the kid kit. I keep it in the trunk of my car so when I go to jobs it’s always at my disposal. I thought no one knew about this but me so I was exited when I saw it in your post! :)

  391. Kelly, I am a nanny (even though I really babysit for a lot of families, I call myself a nanny as I’m 24 & have a Early Childhood Degree). Anyway, I TOTALLY have a “Kid Kit”. That’s what they called it in Babysitter’s Club books. It’s a big tote and I keep: TONS of craft kits, Barbie theme kits (Doctor Barbie, Teacher Barbie) and of course, I always have a stock of cookie dough!! The kids love it when I bring the kid kit. I keep it in the trunk of my car so when I go to jobs it’s always at my disposal. I thought no one knew about this but me so I was exited when I saw it in your post! :)

  392. So, I LOVED this post and it had me laughing so hard I cried…the car (looks SO familiar!), the shower (my daughter does the same thing!), the roller derby (GREAT illustration!), the yelling at her babies, etc. Thanks for putting a smile on my face tonight! =)

  393. Kelle,
    I just found your blog a few days ago and I am addicted! My husband came home the other night and I was in tears, cincerned he asked if I was ok. I was reading Nella’s birth story. You are an amazing, loving woman and Nella is lucky to have you! I LOVE all your pictures! Each day I read a few more of your posts.
    Dawn H

  394. Love your mom’s eHarmony story! Such a great one. Congratulations to her and her new husband!!! :) I have a very similar eHarmony story… Even though my husband and I were in diff. parts of the world (US -> US Soldier in Afghanistan) when we “met” on there, we gradually found out that we were from the same area of the US. Then found out that my cousins went to school with him AND my aunt babysat his sisters. He was the only one I had met face to face from eH and we’ve been happily married for 2.5 years and have a 16 mo. old treasure of a son. Amazing thing-that eHarmony… :) Blessings and prayers for your mom’s new life.

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