Stoppin’ in real quick today.

I have little words among many emotions and a happening schedule right now. I scour bathtubs for incoming guests, cut tissue paper for party blooms, reflect on this same week one year ago and strive to stretch open meaningful gaps of time where I’m fully present with my family…but forgiving myself when I’m not quite there.

A sudden drop-everything-and-head-out-the-door trip to the park yesterday was needful and reawakening.



…and there’s lots I could say but really, truly, I need to be someplace else right now. We have a busy week, and I am contemplating every memory, emotion, victory and moment. I am happy to be here, in this place, celebrating. While she will celebrate her birthday, I will celebrate her Birth Day. They are intricately different and yet intertwined in emotion and purpose, and the celebration of both will be good and healing.


And this one?


Not to be left out, I assure you. I call it “our party” because that it is…a celebration of family and growth and a whole lot of love…for all of us. She made me a mama, and I wouldn’t know how to do this if it wasn’t for her.

Thank you for your continued efforts in helping to make this birthday special by donating and sharing the important message of acceptance and awareness. Nella’s ONEder Fund will be rockin’ until a little past her birthday and now accepts PayPal. And the video is still being shared, so thank you.

And the following shops have all offered to donate part of their proceeds to the ONEder Fund:

* 100% of the cards in the “Nella’s Rockstars” section and 10% of the other cards, at WJC Designs through Feb 28th
* 10% of sales from Heal My Sole skin products until January 31st
* 15% of profits from Dirt and Lace (blog & print design) (until January 24)
* 10% of sales from The Pink Pickle
* $5 from the sale of every pair of Nella’s Rockstar Flip Flops
* 10% profits from any sale at Trisha’s Stella and Dot Site
* 10% of all store proceeds from Loving Shop Tutus (until January 24th).
* 10% of all store proceeds from The Meg Shop Jewelry (until January 31st).
* All proceeds from the Nella Cordelia shoe at Pitter Patter Booties
(bootie was sold out but keep checking…more coming)
* 31% of total purchase from Little Painted Polda Dots Personalized Art using code NELLA at checkout 31% of their total purchase to go to ONEder Fund and each customer will receive free shipping and a surprise amount gift certificate for a future purchase. (until January 25)
* 47% of all proceeds from Bekima Knits (until midnight January 21st)
* 100% all cupcake earrings from Gypsy Lane Studio Jewelry (until Feb 19th)
* 10% of all sales from Candle Conversations (until end of February)
* 40% of all profits from Tahnie’s Stella and Dot Jewelry (through January 27th)
(For this site go to ‘Next’ in the upper right hand corner. Underneath StyleWatch, there’s a link that says ‘Can’t make it to the trunk show? Find your hostess’ Click on that. Put in ‘Nella’s ONEder Fund’ for the hostess information, Nella’s for the first name and ONEder Fund for the last. Click search. It will say ‘the party starts on January 13th.’ Go ahead and click on Nella’s ONEder Fund, click continue and shop!)

Celebrating Life.



Leave a Comment
  1. Such cutie patooties you have there!

    And lots of wonderful companies sharing in the proceeds! So kind of them!

  2. What kindness! What generosity…It is nice to see such compassion.

  3. What an amazing thing you are doing to celebrate your sweet little Nella’s first birthday !

    I wish you a wonderful party filled with love and laughter.

  4. Love how you celebrate birthdays as a family, it’s all about family!! My 4 don’t really like ‘attention to me’ kind of focus, they like being part of the family & having each other around the birthday cake & opening gifts together to share them. Not necessarily something i taught them, but they did naturally. Makes me super proud. Happy birthday in your household. Love Posie

  5. i can not WAIT to celebrate nella through your pics and words of pure grace. digital high five >*< 😉 happy birday beautiful girl!!

  6. I am so excited to see the photos from the party. Candy, ladybug, fairy, and now BLOOM!

    I really love those photos of the flowers. ah, such a nice thing to read before I fall asleep.


  7. …one of my all time favourite photos of Lainey-all wrapped up in knitted love (I’m sure it’s one your Mama made) She has your eyes Kelle-so beautiful and full of Rock Star wisdom!!

    “she made me a mama, and I wouldn’t know how to do this if it wasn’t for her”-I feel this too of my eldest -your words continue to speak what is in my heart for my littles-thanks for sharing your mama insights…

    What an amazing celebration of love you are creating for Nella. And it is a day for you to celebrate her Birth Day-I already see the unicorns coming…

    Wishing you a day of love, laughter and celebration!!

  8. Just wanted to share that, while I know that your blog is a favorite of so many, all over, since you posted your ONEder Fund video I have seen it posted on my FB wall by several different people! It also has been shared by a few moms in my MOM’s club in our little town. SO cool! Small world and all…

    Blessings to you all!


  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Look at nella doing her thing, standing like a pro. She’s like “yeah, mom, i got this!!”

    Sometimes those random outings are needed amongst the schedules we have stretched out along our horizons.

    I hope you are doing okay this week, kelle. I can’t imagine the wave of emotions you must be going through, from blinding happiness, to remembering when she was placed in your arms. Your family is going to have such a great time celebrating Nella turning one year old- wow I can hardly believe it’s been a year myself!

    There are tons of things I wish to say, and yet I feel like they wouldn’t be enough. This week is something you will have to go through- with family, with your nellabean, with those emotions and your love. Just know that Nella (and you!) has already moved the mountains people spend their whole lifetime wishing they could move, and all it took was shining awareness onto a group of people who already held the love and kindness in their hearts to do it.

    Nella is going to have a wonderful birthday, and her gift is past amazing, it’s 75,000+ dollars of pure, genuine power of love.

  11. i can’t wait to see what you have in store for nella’s birthday. my little guy’s 1st birthday is today (20th)! and i can’t wait for him to wake up- to share this special day with him- it’s something i could never have imagined. and while i became a new mother last year, i would say you became a “new” mother too. i have enjoyed growing with you and watching this journey.

    can you believe it’s been a year?!

    we did it! our babies did it!

  12. Kelle, I found your blog a week ago, and have nearly read the whole thing! Your life and family are beautiful, I have laughed and cried at many posts, but mostly I have been stunned by your loving attitude to what life holds. Although I live on the other end of the globe (Tasmania, Australia) I feel like I could walk out on the beach at Isle of Capri, your photos and words make me feel I’m right there. This must be an absolutely crazy, busy but wonderful time for your family, I look forward to seeing both Lainey and Nella grow up into beautiful loving young ladies just like their mama. Thank you for opening my eyes to the fun that can be had in enjoying the small things. Hazel

  13. Wishing you the happiest of weeks with your girls. Your love. Your family.

  14. Finally made my contribution…your goal is 90K right now, I am hoping my little bit to honor your love of Nella will keep it right on moving all the way to the 6 figures, you know ONEder fund, the ONEder is the 100,000 dollars (or more!!) that is going to be raised for the D.S. mission.
    Congratulations on eating the elephant one bite at a time.
    Happy Birthday wishes and blessings to Nella.

  15. On behalf of your readers, I want to thank you for sharing the journey of this past year with us. You continue to expose yourself to all of us and let us embrace you and your beautiful family on this adventure. Your children are loved across the world by people whom they’ve never met. Your words, photos and commitment to NDSS have changed lives and I thank you.

    Children shine brighter in their mother’s eyes than anywhere else in the world and let me tell you… your babies are a glowin’. Thank you for the constant reminder to celebrate and enjoy the small things.


  16. the amazing thing is, all of this, all of you, these cherub angel babes, this space, all of it has given birth to a motha of a movement, baby. move. ment. something stirred (and continues to stir) in so many who fell to knees right along side your story, as eyes swam in overwhelming tears, our throats burning, thinking, “oh, honey. i FEEL you.” some of us really FELT you, those glorious mamas with babes and magic chromosomes. while others of us…we felt the vibration. you know, that vibration. it’s the mamamcord that slings out into this big space, the land ‘o blog, and anchors deep into the lives of those who have reached our hearts and taken hold.

    so grab your man, grab those cherub babes, and swoon, baby. SWOON. ‘cuz we’re all swoonin’ right along side ya.

    big love, you groovy hearted girl. big love…

  17. Hope Nellas Birthday Party will be nothing but lovely and full of love. :)
    I tried donating some dollars, but I got an error message… I’ll try again!

    thanks for all the love you’re sharing! :)

  18. Happy days!
    Happy faces!
    Happy Memories!

    Have the greatest of times Kelle with your loves.

    BUT…I just have to know…how do you delete the troll posts so quickly!? lol!

  19. Hi Kelle,
    All the best with the final preparations for the big celebration!
    Looking forward to seeing photos!

  20. What a wonderful post. And the photos are beautiful.


    Thank you. Seriously. It’s been so awesome reading your blog for the past year, but this fundraiser has just blown my mind. :)

  21. It’s amazing how the Birth Day of our children with down syndrome is a Birth Day for us. We go in an entirely different, new direction and with each passing year grow “bigger” in our understanding and love of our new world. Happy Birth Day Nella and Kelle. susan

  22. yay paypal! a small donation from a broke student in Norway that loves what you’re doing :) Happy birthday to Nella – and happy birth day too :)

  23. I hope you and your family enjoy this week and the day that mark’s Nella’s birth. Reading your blog inspired me to celebrate my daughter Grace’s birthday this week. She is significantly mentally and physically disabled and last year it was too much for me to celebrate. But this year we celebrated with brownies and signing and my girl didn’t understand – but I did. And it soothed my soul. Thanks for the example you are setting. I know first hand this is a difficult journey but it is made much easier with love and joy. Enjoy your week!

  24. Cannot wait to see what you’ve cooked up for this birthday celebration. I’m sure it will be awe inspiring!

  25. Wow, Nella is getting so big! I love seeing how she changes every day – and I’m garanteed a chuckle each time I look at your photos – great way to start my day :) I posted a message about the ONEder fund + your video on my blog so hopefully some of my readers will show you guys some LOVE!

  26. xoxo.
    my memory from one year ago?
    sitting with my new little boy nestled on my lap.
    reading this story.
    my friend’s family’s story.
    and the tears streaming down my face.
    i was so excited to finally see her name.
    at the time … i thought your words and your emotions were exhaustingly beautiful. and i thought you were amazing. and i wished only great things for you and your nella.
    wow. friend. this has gotten so big, hasn’t it?
    and yet.
    you continue to rally.
    happy birthday to you too mama.
    take all the time you need. i know this first birthday is eating me up inside. i can relate.

  27. I can’t to read about Nella’s party! Happy Birth Day to all of you!

  28. amazing babay ! so sweet !

    Love ur blog <3

    if U want follow me and write comment ;*

  29. It’s amazing that a year has passes since wonderful Nella was born! Enjoy your family and celebrate all the good around you.

  30. Beautiful. Enjoy time with family being right where you’re supposed to be. Happy Birthday to Nella!!! I’m sure the celebration of Nella’s life will be stellar! She is BEAUTIFUL, Kelle! So impressed with what you’ve done with her ONEder fund! You’re amazing. And what you said about Lainey, “Not to be left out, I assure you. I call it “our party” because that it is…a celebration of family and growth and a whole lot of love…for all of us. She made me a mama, and I wouldn’t know how to do this if it wasn’t for her.” That brought tears to my eyes. That was a beautiful statement and SO true. Will be thinking of you as you celebrate her Birth Day and revisit those at one time scary cold hospital walls. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for those with D.S. but the way you’ve supported it and portrayed Nella… it makes me feel as though I would be so blessed if God ever chose to bless us with one. They are precious children! You’re so brave, and have made us all have a sweet spot for the beautiful babies with a little extra something special! Ps. I just can’t believe how your followers total increases! I’m sure you’re amazed too! :) <3, Amber

  31. Happy Birth Week Nella!

    Kelle, having read your entire blog from start to finish from the very beginning (It took me about 5 days off sick to read every word!) I just want to say how strong you have become in the last 12 months.

    Lainey may have been your teacher, but I think Nella has taught you an entirely different chapter which is beautiful and as amazing as those first chapters Lainey wrote.

    I also wanted to mention – that last portrait of Nella – wow! She’s really got some of the same looks your other munchkin has! They are quite similar at the same age I think! :)

    Enjoy your birth week guys!

    Love Melani

  32. Happy Happy Day to You All! Congratulations on your goal!!! Amazing the power of one. Kelle you are paying it forward. God Bless.
    BIG Hugs!!!

  33. Oh, the emotions leading up to the first birthday! Whew…I remember it all like it was yesterday. Cry, remember, celebrate and enjoy!

    I ordered that adorable Valentine’s shirt (that Lainey is wearing) from Dig last week. Can’t wait for it to arrive!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  34. Happy Birthday Nella!!! Thinking about the Hampton family today…enjoy!

  35. Have a good rest of the week
    and happy early birthday nella!!!!

  36. Thinking of you as you and your sweet family reflect and cherish the special ones in your life. What a beautiful blessing those girls are. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t make mistakes?! He knows just what we need and when we need it. Have fun with the planning.

  37. Wow – I didn’t realize until this photo that Lainey is the spitting image of you! Beautiful girls, as always – and wonderful thing you have done with the Oneder Fund.

  38. Happy Birthday Miss Nella! Keep on rockin!

  39. Thank you for being you. Every word I read on this blog inspires me to the core. You are doing more than you know.


  40. I keep wanting to leave the exact same comment which is totes boring. But, I just feel so proud of you (not in a parental, back-patting way but a that’s my friend and she is so cool way). The last year has been huge, epic in so many ways for your family. And celebrate you will this weekend. Tomorrow will be amazing. Saturday will be love.

    Like this honesty and self-compassion:
    …strive to stretch open meaningful gaps of time where I’m fully present with my family…but forgiving myself when I’m not quite there.

    And I LOVE seeing your sweets in my clothes. xoxoxo

  41. Beautiful. Blessings on lovely little Nella’s day — may it be a insanely gorgeous, heart-throbbing, tear-dropping, joy-filled celebrating of life. REAL, beautiful life, baby.

  42. Happy Birthday Nella girl!
    Happy mama-of-two day Kelle. Enjoy the family and the making of memories.


  43. “She made me a mama, and I wouldn’t know how to do this if it wasn’t for her.”

    I love this.

    Today is my girl’s half-birthday. She is six months old. She has taught me more in her six months than anyone else I’ve ever met.

    It’s hard for me to imagine that I have enough for another – but I’m so so excited to find out :)

  44. How wonderful this week will be.

    My best girl just turned 1 at the beginning of January and words could not even describe how I felt leading up to this day.. my day of labour, her day of life, our day of becoming a family.

    Her birthday is so much better than any birthday of mine and now I “get” it.. this celebrating of life.

    Her day will be great and everything you ever dreamed and almost certainly more

    so go enjoy, scour tubs and bask in the glory of your family and loved ones and snuggle that Nella of yours extra close for us :)

  45. Go be present! Love those littles, they make us who we are.They make us better for having them in our life.Happiest Birth Day celebration.I’m sure there will be raving ,raging, and lots and lots of love.Feel it all, embrace it.God bless you all! HUGS!

  46. Her (YOUR) big day is coming soon and it will be wonderful! It’s a time for reflection and a time for love…embrace all of the feelings and emotions. I’ve been reliving this time last year each day for a little over a week now, some days are good others catch me off guard…but mostly they are happy tears!

    Happy almost birthday big girl!!!!

  47. Always a pleasure to read (and look at) your blog, Kelle.

    I told Husband the other day, we need to celebrate everything. Life’s too short!

    Celebrating the start of my newest blog, it’s a little thing, but brings me some joy. :)

    Suzanne (formerly of Mommy Moves Again)

    Suzanne’s Blog-Share The Wonder {blog}

  48. I love your blog. please visit my blog as well. have a nice day. also to your family and kids :)

  49. Love Nici’s shirt and skirt on the girls. Got some coming for my little one too!

    Happy birthday Nella! And happy day to all of you who were made whole by her joyful spirit!

  50. My precious girl turns SEVEN on January 30! I SO KNOW what you are feeling as you approach this 1 year milestone! Boy, do I ever remember Aleena’s first birthday. Emotional on so many levels. At a huge party, we celebrated not only Aleena’s birthday and but, her BIRTH DAY. I cried on her Birth Day. I CELEBRATED her on her Birthday!!!
    Wishing your family lots of love and celebration!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Oh I am so happy to hear that it now accepts paypal, will be donating once I can get the kiddos all settled down for the day!

    Happy Happy birthday Nella and Happy Happy Birth Day momma and family! I just love your blog and following your family! I am amazed by how positive and amazing you are and wish I could be the same. Thank you for sharing with us!

  52. Okay… where to begin??? I have wanted to comment for so long, but I am never able to come up with the right thing to say in my limited amount of time. I am home sick today and my babies are at daycare so I have a few minutes to think about this!

    Let me start with “THANK YOU and you are AMAZING!”. On June 18, 2010, my life changed in so many ways. Both unexpected and simply wonderful. We welcomed our twins Jack Henry & Avery Elizabeth into the world at 7:51 and 7:52 AM. It was an amazing and wonderful pregnancy… seriously LOVED being pregnant with my sweet babies. Even though I was totally huge!!! All in all it was an easy twin pregnancy, and I worked as an elementary school counselor until a week before they arrived.

    Long story short…our sweet Avery Elizabeth arrived with a little something extra special. You know how it goes so I don’t need to rehash every painful detail of the unexpected news. One of the wonderful blessings that day was both Jack and Avery were born totally healthy… a big plus for twins and one baby with Ds. We were home in 4 days (I had breech babies so had a c-section)!!

    Life as you can imagine being a first time mom, having twins, and coming to terms with Avery’s Ds,and going back to work full time in Oct. has been a blur… but a truly wonderful blur. Evan (my husband) and I call our little family “Team Routzahn” and that is how we have approached life since June 18th. J & A are doing awesome and we can’t believe they are already 7 months. Avery is so fortunate to have Jack and they are like 2 little peas in a pod :-)

    I found your blog last summer when I was just “searching” for information, resources, answers to my million questions, and I have been hooked. I was in need of something I could relate to and I craved the need to connect with someone else who was walking this journey… and although we have never “met in real life… I so feel like I know you…” don’t worry I am not so crazy stalker girl! I have shared your site with so many family members and friends, and we all love reading the updates about Nella, Lainey, and the rest of the Hampton family. And we love the comments from Poppa! You have provided me with so much inspiration, hope, and entertainment (yes, I laugh a lot b/c I can so relate to what you often write…. as my husband walked out of the door this morning he said PLEASE do not forget the clothes in the washer that need to go in the dryer!!! haha… I so have an issue with that and have to rewash all the time!). I have experienced the wide range of emotions you write about and I am happy to report that TRUE LOVE and HAPPINESS wins out most of the time… of course I am a Mom and I have my moments when I totally stress about the future… you know the scary part… but I try to refocus and live in the present. Your blog helps me do this. Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing your life with Lainey and Nella. Thank you for all that you are doing to be a great advocate for sweet Nella, my Avery and the entire Ds community. Please know “Team Routzahn” is in Maryland doing our part as well and we think of Nella often :-) We know with people like you, Phil & Brooke May (Deedah), the awesome people we have met in our local FRIENDS group all doing their part the future is so bright and awesome for our kiddos.
    Enjoy this wonderful week! Happy 1st Birthday Nella!

    PS- My sweet girl is at 2:41 in the video… have watched a zillion times and cry happy and hopeful tears each time. Sorry to be so long winded!

  53. Kelle-
    I am so happy for you and your family! You have so much to celebrate!! RELAX and enjoy every minute – just breathe and know that everything will be great and each year will be better and better!

  54. Lainey’s and Nella’s outfits are so cute. This post’s pictures are all beautiful. :)))

    When we share…when we think we can’t give because we don’t have much to give…and we still give what we may need for ourselves…that is when we know a higher power is working through us…

    Sending you lots of love~

    “That’s what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.” ~Simone de Beauvoir

  55. And I have tears in my eyes with the chorus of voices kicking in in the song just as I read the words “She made me a mama, and I wouldn’t know how to do this if it wasn’t for her.”

    I LOVE that you know how to do this, and that you are a fearless pioneer, wading ahead of so many of us, leaving your careful and lovingly created trail for the rest of us to follow with a little less floundering and a little more confidence.

    Blessings, my fellow mama friend from sunnier places. Blessings this very special week, and every week.

  56. Happy Birthday Nella!! I must say that having a child with down syndrome was my number 1 fear…and reading your birth story took away all those fears. You’ve shown what a blessing it can be to have such a special person in your family. Both of your kids are absolutely beautiful..and where did you come up with the name Nella? I love it!!

  57. i just went back and read nella’s birth story, and it is still the most beautiful thing i’ve read. it’s amazing. i can’t believe it has been a year! nella looks like a little girl now, and not so much like a baby. she’s growing so fast! and lainey, too – she’s grown so much in the last year. i can’t wait to hear about the rockstar’s birthday party!

  58. Can’t wait to see all the birthday festivities…enjoy this time..what you’re doing IS incredible. Knowing you’re making a difference has to feel SO good!

  59. You are such an inspiration on a very gloomy day!! Love your blog and how you share your family with the rest of us!


    You all so deserve it!!!

  60. I just wanted to tell you I have been reading your blog for a long time now and today is the first time I have worked up the courage to leave a message!
    You are such an amazing person! I love how intune you are with your family! We too are just like you. Family is your everything! YOU ROCK! You give me so much hope and I am always sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for your next post.

    God has truly blessed you! Your girls are beautiful and AMAZING!!THANK YOU for being such an awsome person!

  61. Love all the precious pics of the girls!

    Stop by for a SUPER cute give away coming soon!

    Lots of love!


  63. Love that you still make time for pictures during such a crazy time! Also, where do you get such a variety of tights for your girls? I can only seem to find the same look of brown and bright colored stripes or plain colored ones. So excited for Nella’s celebration. We’re celebrating an adoption court date for our little Rebekah in our house!

  64. Wow. You are doing an amazing thing here, you and sweet Nella.

  65. Happy happy Birthday to sweet Nella and Happy Happy Birth Day to you, sweet Momma! I remember Casey’s first birthday all too well. The emotions were overwhelming at times but our big celebration of all of us, making it through a tough year and celebrating her life, was so worth every tear!

    Will be thinking of you this weekend! So much fun stuff in store for you, too. (I know — Casey is now 7 and she totally rocks my world, in an awesome way!)


  66. I hope that I’ll be able a “drop everything and run to the park” kind of mother.
    Your sweet girls will never forget that.

    Happy Birthday beautiful, Nella!

    And happy birth day to you, Kelle. :)

  67. great post as always! Love seeing your girls in their digthischick goods! adorable!

  68. Kelle~

    Thinking of Nella’s upcoming 1st birthday, have you ever seen these photo baby board books?


    They would be simply amazing for Nella with your gorgeous photos and she could really get her hands, and mouth and teeth into her reading:)

    Happy, happy birthday Nella!!

    Susan from Boston

  69. I just wanted to share this post that I read, it made me think of you and your journey.


  70. I am loving those leg warmers-
    sandy toe

  71. Hi Kelle-
    Happy Birthday to sweet Nella!
    Not to be a pain… just not sure which you will see first comment or email.

    I am interetsed in making the blanket that is shown with Laniey above, and wondering if you would mind sharing the pattern with me.

  72. Dude, I just let your playlist play for about 70 songs today while at work, and let me tell you something: we are music soulmates, sista. I kept thinking I was listening to my iPod! Good job.

  73. Kelle, happy upcoming birthday to the sweet girl!

    When you get a chance, I was wondering where you get your kiddos’ shoes- I love kids shoes and always interested in finding cute ones…what brands do you like the most?


  74. I love the chubby baby knees and thighs above the leggings….my one year old boy wears the same and I can’t stop tickling them!!!! Also, I’m a physio and I gotta give a holla to Nella for her awesome standing and upper body strength!!!

    Wonderful post and pics, as always

    Happy birthday celebration, family!

  75. I miss you. I’m soooo excited for Nella’s birthday and all that may bring. I love those moments in life when you’ve faced hard situations but overcame them beautifully and God gives you an opportunity to reflect. Those soul stretching reflecting moments. Gotta love em’!

  76. Hooray! I just donated. Paypal makes donating so much easier and quicker.

    Thank you so much for sharing your Nella and other DS children with us. They are all truly beautiful and the wonderful teachers.

  77. Good luck with the Bday plans! We played your playlist at our dinner party this week! Fab!

  78. so i must say that i find it so righteous that lainey is wrapped in the very cozy blanket that was wrapped around you the moment you welcomed sweet baby girl number two nella!!!
    and also, my own thought… sometimes we wonder our entire life why things are the way they are… sometimes we can see why god put us in situations… and sometimes we never know and never see. do you realize that what you have done in the 360 odd days that nella has been here, that you have changed the world? nella has changed the world. and that, that is one of the greatest gifts of all. to meet a glimpse, just a bit of god’s plan before we ever even are close to meeting he himself.
    i sit in oneder and amazement.
    i feel the love. i include myself in the love.
    and i am so greatful.

  79. You are rad.

    Go get that 90K, You are totally gonna do it.

    Can’t wait to see the birthday bash shots!


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  81. I will be celebrating an 18th birthday and 18 years since a birth day in July. Quite a time for reflection.

    My guy also has designer chromosomes. I’m here to tell you, the journey from then to now has been so amazing. What a wild ride. I wouldn’t change a darn thing.

    Happy Birthday Nella, you are going to take your parents on the journey of a lifetime.

  82. Love kids in swings!!!
    Gosh, now that I’m away from kids on a day to day basis, I miss them so much!
    Luckily, your kids bring a smile to my face, so I don’t feel so bad!

  83. Love the blessings you have , continue to love like no other.

    Love will conquer all.

    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  84. Enjoy her birthday week! You are right – it’s a celebration for the whole family! :-)

  85. Happy Birthday, Nella :)

    Wishing you an amazing day. Can’t wait to see pictures and hoping to see that ONEder fund reach $100,000!!

  86. Can’t wait to see pictures from Nella’s first birthday. Wishing her the best first birthday…EVER. And that ONEder fund, unbelievable. Congrats!

  87. You are inspiring. Congrats on raising so much money!
    …I was honored to give!
    Thank you!9

  88. Happy Birthday Nella!!! You are a beautiful baby girl. What a lucky family you have!

  89. Happy birthday Nella

  90. just found your blog and LOVE it. what sweeties you have. and you really are soo inspiring.i loved reading your post. i’m a follower and can’t wait to read more! can’t wait to see how the party goes! i love the party planning process but it is so much more than that!! celebrating the joy and blessing that your little ones is in your life. have fun!

  91. Enjoy your time with your family. Soak it all in. I am sure you are going through so many emotions this week. Hugs to you. And happy birthday, sweet, amazing, wonderful Nella.
    Lots of Love!
    P.S. I love the pic of Lainey wrapped up in Nella’s special hospital blankie :)

  92. Just ordered the cupcake earrings. I call my grandaughter “my lil cupcake” so how perfect. How generous of the sponsor to give 100% of proceeds.

  93. I share Nella’s birthday. While I celebrate turning older, I’ll be thinking of her. God bless you and your family. Nella is truly an amazing gift to this world. She’s beautiful and I hope she enjoys her party. I’ll be celebrating with my husband and little one, I just wanted to spend time with them alone this year.

  94. Holy cow! $12,000 in just a couple of hours?!

    Way to go, Nella…you are changing the world!

  95. tried several times to email this and the server was down – just gonna print it here. i know you’re craZy busy right now, so no rush. just when ya get around to it, my email is, hutchbox.amber@gmail.com

    ——-copy of email

    hey kelle~

    I tried this once already and it said it failed going through. just in case you happen to get both, don’t want you thinking I’m the annoying overbearing reader demanding an answer by sending an email TWICE!! 😉 wondering.. if you have a p.o. address set up yet? I picked up a little something for nella girl yesterday and would love to give ya guys some mailbox joy! it’s not family in michigan, but a friend in canada is sorta kinda close!! I know it won’t make it there in time for her birthday, coming from the frozen tundra so far away.. but I think ANY day is a good day to let someone know you were glad they were born!!!

    grateful for your blog & the life you share with us all.

    much love,

    amber hutchins


    happy party planning!!

  96. $15,000 is what you asked for and look what you’ve got! You are truly AMAZING! Happy Birthday to your beautiful Nella!

  97. Loving the park photos! Look at Nella standing!

    I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating her 1st birthday. I cannot believe how quick it has gone. My son turns 2 next month and it feels like 5 minutes ago I was pregnant!

    Happy Birthday Nella!! xx

  98. Happy Birthday to Miss Nella. And peaceful Birth Day to Ms Mama.

    Much love,

  99. This comment has been removed by the author.

  100. Happy Birthday-Eve sweet Nella (and family)! I’m sure everyone is going to have a magical and very special time.

  101. Happy Birthday Nella and Happy Birth Day to you Kelle! What an exciting time for all of you! We will be partying here too – my little girl will be 3! I seems like just yesterday I had her – now she is 3 and we will soon add a little boy to our family!
    I hope you have a great time tomorrow and enjoy every minute!
    I can’t wait to see pictures of this fabulous celebration!

  102. Holy Mother of God, this morning you were a little over $78,000 and this afternoon over $90,000. I nearly fainted. Holy crap I feel so honored to have been a part of this, if just a tiny part!!!

  103. yay for the money raised , how aaaaammmmaaaazzzziiiinnnngggggg~~~

    Happy Birth Day to you all !

    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  104. I think it is truly amazing and inspiring how much money you have raised! What a wonderful platform in which to do it, and for such a wonderful cause. Nella will be so proud and honored :)

  105. Who knew the POWER of ONE!!!!

    Yes, to 100,000$
    Yes, to ONEderful ONE.
    Yes, to Happy #1 Birthday Nella.
    Yes, to the power of love.

  106. your photos and blog are stunning ♥

  107. I was so moved by your video.
    I am amazed at how you’ve embraced becoming such an instant public figure; you do it with grace and style and humility and cheer.
    Your family is beautiful, your attitude even more so.
    Thank you.
    (ps, I donated today).

  108. Thinking of you on the eve of your little one’s special day. There is no doubt how much Nella is loved. Happy celebrating her wonderful, beautiful life. She has only been with us a short while but what an impact, what purpose she has, many people spend their whole life searching for their purpose.

  109. TO Merlin – amen! Wow!! I just checked and saw that the $90,000 goal was reached AND surpassed! Incredible!! To Vonda – I KNOW, isnt it great to be a part of this wonderful-ness?! Happy Birthday eve to Nella Bean~ Love from the Blog Mama

  110. Wow Kelle Hampton! You are gonna do it! Amazing work, motivating so many of us to support sweet and special babies like your own Nella. You really do inspire me daily…. :-)

  111. I love them. How sweet and adorable.

  112. Kelle, One year ago I wrote the following on your blog….Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    “I love Wednesdays because of my daughters’ weekly Hump Day Nuggets post.
    As soon as I get up I turn on my laptop; let the dogs out… feed them …. knowing when my canine chores are completed I can pour my coffee and go to my Blogger Dashboard and feast my eyes on my granddaughters and their mama’s inspirational, informative and often hilarious words. Today when I started down the list of Blogs I read, looking for digthischickmt.com…there was yours…Nici’s would have to wait. I had to pause before I continued because I have been so anxiously waiting for this gift. Usually, when I read Nici’s Blog I zip through it first to get photo fix…then go back and read. When I saw yours today, I felt like the person who has just received a long awaited gift. So I slowly read….savoring the opening of this gift. I already knew what it was in this package, but I want to take the time to open it carefully capturing the moment because it will never come again. Thoughtfully untying the ribbon; rolling it up, cautiously peeling off the tape, folding the paper and then staring at the box before you open it. I knew the gift would be a photo of Nella… what a gift she is.

    Thank you Kelle for sharing this precious bunny bundle, what wisdom she already possesses….I look forward to watching her grow.

    Bug and Ruby’s Gram”

    January 21, 2011~
    WHAT a beautiful year!!! I will continue to watch Nella and YOU grow….love to you, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nella bunny….
    xoxo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  113. Just wanted to wish sweet Nella a very Happy 1st Birthday tomorrow!!

  114. Happy early Birthday Nella & Mommy

  115. Happy Happy Birthday Sweet Nella! Kelle, I hope today is absolutely fabulous for you and your precious family as you celebrate and remember all the joys this past year has brought.
    How sweet that Nella is swinging with Lainey’s puppy in that first picture. Such a wonderful big sister she has. <3

  116. Wishing miss Nella bean a ONEderful birthday! It has been an honor & a privilege to watch her grow this past year. To watch both of you grow, that is! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family & your beautiful heart with all of us.

  117. It’s the 22nd in New Zealand and I’ve just come home from work and re read Nella’s birth story. I thank you for having the courage to write about it and every single post you’ve made since.

    Happy Birthday sweet Nella, may your birthday be as fantastic and wonderful as you are. You are brillant, you will be brillant and I can’t wait to see you grow up more.

    To big sister Lainey, may you continue to be a darling older sister and I can’t wait to see you grow up even more than I’ve seen!

    Kelle, you are an inspiration, both as a mother and a blogger. I can’t wait to see more of your amazing words and wisdom.

    Hugs to your entire family.

    With much love,


  118. It’s midday on the 22nd here in the UK and I just wanna say…

    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday dear Nel-la
    Happy birthday to you!

    And Kelle, I want to say happy birth day to you. And that the last year has been epic for your family and I’m so proud that your original positive spirit, grace, flair and panache hasn’t been diminished in the way you have dealt with everything – if anything, it has increased tenfold!

    Now, I think you are several hours behind us so go and put on your party gladrags, girlfriend! (Although I have a sneaky suspicion you may have already been up for hours as you can’t wait for the day to begin!). Wishing you and your family and friends a day filled with love, laughter, light, healing tears if needed, and lots of cake!

    Sending so much love to you all on this very special day.


  119. It is January 22, which means HAPPY BIRTHDAY NELLA!! And HAPPY BIRTH DAY KELLE. This is my first time commenting, but have been reading your blog for a while now, and absolutely LOVE IT!! Your girls are so absolutely beautiful!
    Hope today is wonderful!

  120. It’s the 22nd so….
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A VERY SPECIAL (and very sweet) NELLA. Hope you’re all having a fun filled fantastic day.
    Sending you much love from the UK.

    Emma xxx

  121. Happy Birthday Nella! The world is a better place with you in it!

  122. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella!
    In this first year, your life has already touched countless others, including mine. Thank you.
    Thank you, Kelle, for continuing to share your life, your story, for reminding us what it is to live and be human. Have a blessed day!

  123. your girls always look so cute and their outfits are always so creatively put together… I wish that I was more creative.

  124. You are such an inspiration! Reading your blog brightens my day everytime! Happy Birthday Nella!

  125. The happiest of birthdays to beautiful Nella! Today is the best of birthday days!! ;0) I wish you the continued love of your family and so many of us who receive the gift of knowing your beautiful soul, and joyous spirit through your amazing mommy! May all of your wishes and dreams come true! HaPpY BirTHdaY!

  126. Happy Birthday, Nella! I am sure you are all soaking up many precious moments today. Can’t wait to read all about Nella’s special day!

  127. Happy Birthday sweet girl! Hope you are enjoying your special day.

  128. Happy Birthday Nella!!!! XXXOOO

    Kel, I share your blog with my students at school. Especially one special girl who shares the same uniqueness as Nella. “J” enjoys looking at the pictures and seeing the likeness she shares with your girl and others who have posted pictures. It is our special time during the school day that is usually filled with math, spelling, and life skills. Thanks for making our “J” feel so special in her own way! XXXOOO

  129. Happy Birthday little Nella! What a blessing you have been to your Mama and Papa, your big sis Lainey, your big brothers Austyn and Brandyn, your grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. But little did they know what joy you would bring to thousands of others a year ago. Hope you all have the BEST day!

    I donated last night and gasped when I saw the amount raised. Beyond amazing Kelle.
    After I donated I reflected on the past year… thought of the good I’ve felt since your family became a little part of my life. You can never know how much light you’ve brought to so many. Love to you on this epic day … xo

  131. Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday dear Nella :)
    Happy Birthday to you.

  132. Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday dear Nella :)
    Happy Birthday to you.

  133. Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday dear Nella :)
    Happy Birthday to you.

  134. Happy birthday to Nella!



  135. Wishing Nella and family a beautiful day of celebrating this momentous day. Happy birthday sweet little one!

  136. Lovely blog. Lovely day. Your daughters are beautiful.

    My daughter, Lauren, is the PitterPatterShop girl. I’ve been blessed to dive in and lend a hand with her project on behalf of NDSS via the Nella booties.

    What good things you are doing here. What a good world this is. God bless.

  137. “If you have not suffered then you have not lived, for to persist on this earth is to endure the brokenness of things… But still a sweetness blows from heaven, grace in the small things” -T. Woodlief. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl.

  138. Kelle, I featured you and Nella in my blog entry today


  139. This comment has been removed by the author.

  140. Happy 1st Birthday Nella!!!!
    Kelle, you and your girls are beautiful. I love coming to your blog is like a burst of sunshine… and my 1 year old little boy loves the music :)

  141. Kelle,
    Words can not describe the AMAZING job you did on Nella’s celebreation! You all deserved a spectacular day and it looks like one was had by all. You have such a beautiful village! :)

  142. I’m so annoyed…I had been thinking about Nella’s birthday all week and I was going to comment on her birthday. Unfortunately, the night before her birthday I came down with TERRIBLE stomach pains. After a long painful night, urgent care that sent me to the ER, I had an emergency appendectomy on Nella’s birthday! Ugh…what a day. Glad to know you all had a much better day than me. Looking forward to your posts about your week visiting the room that started this all.

    ~skylar meinhardt

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