One year ago, at this very moment, I was grasping for anything to tell me it was going to be okay.

One year ago, at this very second, I was trudging through the most defining moment of my life.

It is hard…right now…to think of where I was. It is hard to remember those moments.

But today?

Today was beautiful.


Today was healing and good and so very full circle.

My heart is full.


She is one.


One year ago, I entered a night with my friends where they kept me afloat when I thought I was drowning.

So tonight, we are celebrating. Every beautiful woman in my life. We are joining together to celebrate each other. Tonight will be beautiful.

So much more to come from today.


Thank you for celebrating with us.

It is a happy day.


To Be Continued….


Leave a Comment
  1. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! :0)

  2. Happy Birthday Nella! And ohmygosh you throw a beautiful party! I can’t wait to see the details :)

  3. Happy birthday Nella, and Happy Day to your family!

  4. Happy Birthday, Nella Cordelia Hampton!

  5. Oh my goodness, is her little dress the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen?!? Yes:) Happy birthday, bella!

  6. Happy birthday sweet Nella! I can’t wait to see what amazing things you’ll be doing in the years to come. Thanks for letting me in on the first year of your lives. Your family continues to blow me away and has totally made me rethink my whole attitude to life. (and by that I mean when I’m in certain situations I think “what would Kelle do or say?”) :)

  7. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella! May all your wildest dreams come true!!

  8. Nella’s little dress/romper??? is AMAZING! Where did you find such a cute outfit?

  9. Oh Goodness, I am bawling already. Anxiously awaiting more.

    Happy Birthday Nella. xoxox

  10. Happy Birthday, dear Nella! You have changed all of our lives in more ways than you will ever know. We love you even if we have never met you!! God has big plans for you… we can already see them unfolding!

  11. Oh Happy Birthday Nella! When the song came up on the page it totally took me back to your Birth Story and how I cried reading it! So happy today was GREAT!

  12. Happiest days to all of you! So much good stuff to come. The beauty of these moments that you share with us touch my heart deeply.

  13. pure joy is captured in every photo. enjoy being 1 sweet nella

  14. Happy birthday Nella! The photos are so precious.

  15. *Sigh*. Happy ONEderful celebration! Happy Birthday dear Nella.

    “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  16. Happy Birthday Nella. The song brings back such memories of reading the birth story for the first time and how I was so touched by your mamas rawness and perfection in her writing. Thank-you for the year and I wish you the best for year #2!

  17. Happy BIRTH day, Miss Kelle, Happy BIRTH day to you :-) What a difference you’ve made in the world in the past year! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    From Elizabeth in NC

  18. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella! You have done so much in this one short year! Your family and friends are so lucky to know and have you…and you have made their lives that much more complete.

    Your Mommy’s readers are lucky to know you too…and you have inspired us to do great things big and small. If it wasn’t for you and your big blue eyes, this reader probably wouldn’t have researched DS, wouldn’t have found Reece’s Rainbow, and more than likely, wouldn’t have found her daughter…

    On your birthday, we can all thank you for the gifts you have given US!

    Many more happy birthdays ahead, sweetpea!

  19. Happy, happy birthday, sweet lil Nella! You are as beautiful and perfect as you were when those words were first spoken about you one year ago. Your sweet face and the words of your mama have touched my life and healed something inside of me that I didn’t even know needed healing.

    Joy is so evident here!

  20. Can’t wait for Part 2!!!

    Happy Birthday, Nella!

  21. I am so happy to see you updated! It may sound silly, but my marriage is a mess and I’m having a hard time, and I find solace in your blog. Thank you so much for sharing the little things in life!

  22. omg! I LOVE her dress!
    Happy Birthday Nella!

  23. Happy Birthday to Nella!! Beautiful pictures, as always. I’ve been reading for about a year now and never said hi, but hi now! It’s been so much fun to read your blog. I check for new posts every day. :) Nella looks a lot like Lainey in the first picture. Happy Nella’s Birthday to all of you!

  24. Happy birthday sweet Nella. Big hugs from Minnesota:)

  25. Happy Birthday Nella!

  26. Happy Birthday Nella!

    Just beautiful.

  27. Happy Birthday baby girl! We have loved following you this past year! What a wonderful journey!


    My three old, Parker, is sitting on my lap singing and signing “Happy Birthday.”

  28. There are so many things I could say to this beautiful post but the only thing that seems suitable is..


  29. Happy Birthday Nella!!!!!!!! YAAAYAYAY your ONE! YOur such a beautiful little princess:)

  30. Happy, happy birthday little one!

  31. I can see why your heart is full. What a wonderful, happy day. Beautiful photos. Happy birthday sweet Nella!

  32. Happy 1st Birthday Nella!
    You are such a beautiful lttle girl who along with your lovely sister Lainey has warmed our hearts as we have watched you grow through photos and stories of your first year.
    Lots of love to you Nella Cordelia and to your gorgeous family.

  33. Happy birthday sweet, sweet Nella! One year ago I found your blog…and it changed my life :)

    One year from yesterday I will marry the love of my life.

    January is a wonderful month.

  34. Yay!! Been thinkin’ about the Hamton clan all day today! Happy Birthday to Nella, and to all of you!!

    Much, much love,


  35. Happy Birthday Nella!

    Kelle – you my dear – have the most awesome crazy free spirited friends. LOVE IT!


  36. I love the photo of Nella waiving. You can see the crease across the palm of her sweet little hand!!!! One more little thing that makes her awesome!

  37. Happy 1st Birthday Beautiful Nella !!

    It’s looks like you had an amazing celebration today.

    I totally see you looking more and more like your wonderful big sister Lainey.

    Enjoy your day pretty girl !

  38. GASP!!!! I SOOOOO Did not expect a post today but am so excited to see some of the fun of Nellas big day. Happy Birthday Nella!!! I hope you and all of your family and friends are having a wonderful day!!!

  39. I TRULLY ADORE your blog. I rerad some of your major stories and I must say I am impressed! I lvoe looking at your photography you are truly talented!

    When I take pictures myself (I am a starter) I always think of your blog and your pictures!

    You are my role model when it comes to photography!

    I would LOVE to read how you budget your money, if you have any budget set up with your gorgeous family! I would love to get ideas for my own life!

    Your girls are adorable! The outfits are tooo cute!

    Anyway, keep up the great work sweetheart!

    Best Wishes!

  40. Happy birthday Nella enjoy being one.

    You’ve come a long way Kelle,

    Have a great day,

  41. HAPPY B-DAY TO NELLA! Best of wishes from my whole family!

  42. oh, such gorgeous pictures! She is such a doll! Happy Birthday to your beautiful baby! Happy celebrating to you all!

  43. Happy Birth Day….What are those 2 high chairs for? Anxiously awaiting next post. Have a blast at the party. susan

  44. happy birthday sweet beautiful baby.

  45. What a fun day! Nella’s dress rocks too, by the way.

    Joann caught some air there, huh?

    Have a wonderful night tonight celebrating sisterhood.

  46. Happy 1ST Birthday Nella…CHA CHA CHA!

    I bet you created some special special memories today that will warm your soul and last FOREVER Kelle!

    Sending a huge squeeze to your sweet cheeked one (and one to her beautfiul Mamma!)

    With love

    Diana x

  47. My heart is so full tonight as I watch and read about so many lovely people celebrate the amazing Miss Nella (and the rest of the Hampton crew of course). Thank you for sharing Kelle. I can’t wait to hear more.

  48. Happy Birthday Nella!

  49. matchy matchy birthday :) so cute :) love all the vibrant colors!


  50. Happy Birthday Nella!! Thanks so much for a quick post today. I have been thinking of you this weekend. Your ONEder fund is doing amazing. I love watching it grow and grow!

  51. Happy Birthday Nella!! I can’t wait to see more pictures from the wonderful party!

  52. Happy Birthday Nella!!! :) <3

  53. Happy, happy birthday Nella! And happy day to you too Nella’s mama! Thank you for allowing us to ride alongside this journey of yours this past year! You’ve done well!

  54. WOW! Looks like so much fun! And WHO sat in those HIGH CHAIRS??!!! :)

  55. Happy B’day little one. Tell your mommy that the best is yet to come!

  56. Oh Yay! Happy Birthday Nella! I love the color scheme!! So beautiful!!

  57. Ah, Happy 1st Birthday Nella!!

    And happy anniversary of the day you were reborn as the mama you have become, Kelle. What an amazing gift and blessing this life is.

  58. happy birthday Nella!

  59. Happy birthday sweet Nella! And to you Kelle – a year filled with more than you imagined. Celebration is so sweet!

  60. Happy Birthday sweet, sweet Nella Cordelia!! She has touched countless people’s lives in this one quick year; so many more to come! Can’t wait to see the rest of the party!

  61. Happy birthday to nella….
    I love all the decorations I see so far. can’t wait to see more…

    I remembered her birthday when i was coming home for my managing course.
    she’s such a joyful baby…
    kelle, you’re a very lucky woman!

    xoxo from Brazil

    can’t wait to know more details about her party, you know, parties are your thing.

  63. Happy First Birthday Nella!!

  64. Happy 1st Birthday Nella! Here’s to the beauty and love you’ve given your family and so many others! Enjoy every minute of this special day Kelle :)

  65. Oh Happy Happy Day! How far you have come together as a family :)

  66. Happy happy day sweet baby girl.

    I’m not sure I have ever commented before, but I am always awaiting the next post.

    I hope you have all had a wonderful , special day with your beautiful girls. I can’t get over how much Nella looks like lainey in the first pic!

    Just wanted to send birthday wishes all the way from Scotland xx

  67. Happy Birthday sweet Nella girl! It’s been so much fun watching you grow over this last year and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for you and your entire family!

  68. Happy Birthday Nella! Happy Birth Day Kelle! I am humbled by your journey- as a mother, as a parent, as a woman, as a person. You are truly an inspiration and I feel blessed to have found your blog- I feel like I know you and that too makes me feel blessed. Have a wonderful day- :)

  69. Happy Happy Birthday to Nella! We celebrate with you. January babies are awesome! (Our January baby turns One on Friday).

  70. My-Oh-My! Happy First Birthda Nella!

    Yourself, Your Mama, and your whole family have touched so many this past year…..please, I hope you can feel the love that is being sent to you, especially on this ever so special day!


  71. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella!

    Happy BIRTHday, Kelle.

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. :)

  72. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!! Stay Beautiful.

  73. HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY NELLA! What an incredible year!

  74. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella…Hope you had a wonderful day with your family :)

    Hugs…Pam and Ally

  75. Thanks for sharing this year with all of us, Kelle. As mentioned above – you and Nella have given US so many gifts this year. Happy Birthday to both of you.

  76. Her outfit is so stinkin cute! I LOVE IT!

  77. Her outfit is so stinkin cute! I LOVE IT!

  78. You all look so happy! Love her dress,cake,hat,really tall high—looked like a great party :)

  79. Happy Birthday to Nella!

  80. Happy 1st Birthday, Nella!

  81. A-MAZING! Happy Birthday to your sweet, beautiful little love. After a year, I feel like we are old friends. Thank you for that.

  82. Happy Birthday to Nella!

  83. Happy birthday to Nella! Happy for you that you are Happy and Celelbrating life! Yay!

  84. Happy birthday to Nella! Happy for you that you are Happy and Celelbrating life! Yay!

  85. Happy Happy Day to you all and us , we are blessed to be a part of something so beautiful . Thanks sweet nella for touching all of us.

    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  86. Happy Birthday Nella!! I have been reading on here almost a year now, my daughter was born Jan 29 and about a week later I stumbled upon your blog. I have been addicted ever since. I check every night, and when there is a new post its like JACKPOT! I love your photos and most of all I love watching the girls grow! Cant wait to see the birthday details….i have been awaiting this party

  87. Happy Birthday Nella! Adorable!

  88. Happy Birthday to your sweet Nella. Can’t wait to hear about those high chairs in your driveway!

  89. Happy First Birthday, Nella!

  90. I have been thinking of your community ALL DAY wondering how the celebrations for Nella are going. Thank you for giving us a sneak into you love. Now, go and enjoy the rest of the night!

    Happy 1st Birthday beautiful Nella.

    Congratulations on the AMAZING total raised for the ONEder, wow!

  91. Happy Birthday to the sweetest little girl. It has been a fabulous year of watching her grow and watching you grow as well. I’m sure you have had a wonderful time celebrating. Can’t wait to see more pictures of all the fun!!

  92. I was at the grocery store today in the checkout lane and the song Feels Like Home started playing. I just about lost it! My mind went straight to Nella and this time last year when I started following your blog with her birth story. The bag boy was asking me if I wanted paper or plastic and I was literally standing there not hearing him because I was taken back in time to a year ago when I read Nella’s birth story and I was undone. The beauty of this blog, Nella, Lainey and your love for them…it has changed me forever.

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  93. Happy Birthday Nella! Have been checking all day for a post, can’t wait for more pix! Love the cake, so cute!

  94. Happy Birthday to her–she shares a birthday with my husband. Love the colors of the party and Nella’s party dress she is adorable.

  95. Happy birthday from NORWAY, Lovely NELLA!!!
    Lots of birthday kisses and love from Tove

  96. Happy 1st Birthday to sweet Nella – she looks so freakin’ adorable in her party attire. Can’t wait to see more. Congratulations on a wonderful year, Kelle! Have fun with all your friends and family! :)

  97. Happy Birthday, beautiful Nella! :) Can’t wait to hear more!

  98. Happy Birthday Dear Nella!

    It has been our privilege to watch you grow!


  99. Happy Birthday to sweet Nella! May all your dreams (and your momma’s) come true!!

  100. Happy birthday Nella!!

  101. Happy Birthday, sweet girl! Your party looks like so. much. fun.

  102. Happy 1st Birthday Nella Cordelia! A wonderful celebration! All these photos are so beautiful. :)))

    Kelle, one year ago you were being initiated…What an amazing ongoing journey of unconditional love, joy, growth and wisdom…All will be well…

    Much Love~

    “When we ask the meaning of a mood, reflect upon our history, inquire into the dynamics of a physical symptom, ponder a dream, we are in dialogue with soul. When we are wrung by life, flung into dismal depths, then lifted higher than we thought possible, transformed from what we were to what we become, we are in the presence of soul…” ~James Hollis

  103. Happy 1st birthday sweet Nella- Wow, can you believe how many lives she has touched- amazing! She is going to love looking at this blog one day :) What in the world are those tall highchair looking things??? and those gigantic balloons?? I cant wait to hear all about the party! And many hugs to sweet Lainey for being a totally rocking big sis- 3 year olds are hilarious!!

  104. This is so completely beautiful. I remember reading Nella’s birth story almost a year ago and being totally floored by your honesty and courage in telling her incredible story. Now, I am still amazed and just so happy for you and how it all really did come full circle. Much love to you and your family- I deeply believe that you and Nella are a powerhouse to be reckoned with and that you will change how Down Syndrome is viewed in this country with your positive outlook.

  105. Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to see more!!

  106. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!! You are more beautiful everyday. You are such a loved little girl:) I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you.You will do marvelous things,you will. I love these photos.Just pure blissful happiness!!Love always,The Martel Family

  107. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!! You are more beautiful everyday. You are such a loved little girl:) I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you.You will do marvelous things,you will. I love these photos.Just pure blissful happiness!!Love always,The Martel Family

  108. Happy birthday, sweet Nella! Thrilled to see you posted a sneak peek of the party!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  109. Happy birthday, beautiful girl! Thank you for letting your mama tell us all about you and for making our hearts grow three sizes every day!

    Wishing you the happiest day, the most wonderful year, and a lifetime of being loved and treasured as much as you are right this very moment.

    Which is to say a LOT!

  110. Absolutely beautiful! Love it all! The dress (seriously out of this world cute!!!) The party hat. The hugantic balloons. Amazing cake. Tallest high chairs ever. And the happy family celebrating an amazing year. I love you and your family! Happy 1st birthday to all of you! Xo

  111. Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Little Nella :)

  112. Happy Birthday to your beautiful little 1year old Nella

  113. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! How absolutely precious you look today :) Kelle I am so glad that you are all having an fabulous and wonderful celebration. Thank you for sharing your awesome, amazing and completely real self with us! Inspiring & touching, I’m smiling while I’m crying.

  114. Happy Birthday to your beautiful little 1year old Nella

  115. Happy birthday sweet Nella! Love the cake and those chairs rock!

  116. Happy Birthday Nella Cordelia!

  117. Happy Birthday to sweet Nella! I can remember watching my own son dive into his 1st “smash” cake, thinking about all our family had been through that first year & how far we had come. We truly had so much to celebrate. I know that you & your family feel the same way. Can’t wait for your next birthday post.

  118. Happy, Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!
    May year two be even better!!!

  119. Happy 1st birthday, Nella! Looks like a fabulous celebration.

  120. Happy Birthday Nella!

    Michelle, IL

  121. I’ve been thinking about y’all all week, knowing that you’ve been preparing for this amazing day. I have so enjoyed reading this blog and seeing your smiling faces. I keep telling my friends that I am in “baby love” with Nella. That little grin of hers just kills me.

    My little boy just turned one about a month ago, so I know how precious this time is. And I know you enjoy every minute of it … in fact, you inspire me to do that more often.

    Happy Birthday, sweet Nella! Congrats, Hampton family. What a wonderful year you’ve had.

  122. Happy 1st Birthday Nella!!! May all your dreams come true in life…I know they will! Can’t wait to read more Kelle…you are soooo blessed and deserving of this beautiful love and life!!!

  123. Happy Birthday Nella sweetie <3 You are one gorgeous little 1 year old <3

  124. It just so happens that I got my little puppy Zayd Todd, a year ago on this day. I know it is not quite the same thing, but I feel some togetherness in it.

  125. Happy, Happy Birthday Beautiful Nella

  126. i can’t wait to read about this day. as much as her birth story touched my heart, i know this birthday story will be even more glorious! kelle, your words are such a pleasure to read. all of them.
    thank you so much for sharing your beautiful life with all of us. you make me want to make mine more beautiful too.

  127. Isn’t it amazing what can happen in a year! Happy Birthday Nella, here is to many, many, many more wonderful birthdays and wonderful days.

  128. Happy Birthday beautiful Nella!! xox

  129. Happy 1st birthday, sweet, sweet Nella! I’m so happy to have been on this journey with you and your family. Thank you for allowing me a little snippet into your lives! Maddie’s 1st birthday is in 5 days! I can’t wait to be able to celebrate her the way we should have a year ago!

  130. Happy Birthday Hampton Family!

  131. Happy birthday Nella bella :) Every day you make me smile.

  132. I love it! Happy birthday, Nella! And Happy Birth Day, Kelle!

  133. I wanted to quit lurking for a minute to say that it’s been pretty amazing watching your story unfold. Thanks for sharing it so well.

    Happy Birthday to Nella!! and Happy Celebrating Nella day to her Mama!!

  134. Ahhh no I need more!!! Not like youre busy celebrating this amazing life or anything 😉 Happy Happy Day sweet Nella.

  135. Happy Birthday Nella!

  136. I’ve been a silent reader for a while, and just today realized our little girls have their birthdays one day apart! Happy Birthday Nella! It’s wonderful to see how God has healed your heart and given you the ability to completely embrace this precious life, and to ENJOY it at the same time. Blessings and love for another wonderful year with your girls!

  137. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 1st Birthday Sweet Nella! And Happy Birth Day Kelle! I love that you do it up so big…so ONEderful…so right! and so much to celebrate this year. Amazing! I love it. Can’t wait to see more amazing pics :o)

  138. HAPPY, HAPPY DAY, NELLA. It’s all for you, precious! To Lainey~her beautiful big sister, to her brothers Austyn & Brandyn, Mom Kelle, Dad Brett, Poppa & Gary & the rest of her incredibly amazing family~HAPPY, HAPPY DAY!!! We are all celebrating with you, the birth of this very special little angel, who has contributed so much by just being born. Much, much love.

  139. Kelle~

    Thank you for sharing this very special day with all of us:) The pictures are precious (LOVE the one of all 4 of you and the one of you holding Nella is priceless).

    My candle blowing wish for Nella would be a life full of health, love and happiness!!

    Had to do a “double-take” on the ginormous high chairs! Thought they were lifeguard chairs and was thinking a “rockin'” pool party was coming together for Nella:)

    Thanks for our gift of early party pics on your very busy day:)

    Susan from Boston

  140. Today, about this moment exactly one year ago, I told my husband I was pregnant with our first baby. My whole world started to shift that day. I found your blog a couple of weeks later and have followed your journey while I walked mine. I sit here with my girl on my lap, crying happy tears for you and for Nella. Thank you for sharing your life and family. It’s been a huge blessing in my life : )

  141. happy birthday nella and hugs to all your friends and family!! what a beautiful day. thanks for blogging your life!


  142. Happy Birthday to Nella!

    This morning I stumbled upon a blog post from The Bump of a momma who just went though the same scary/wonderful night as you did one year ago today. I recommended that she come on over here and see how things can really turn out beautifully.

  143. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella. You have made the world a better place!

  144. Amazing how much changes in a year… Your story has captured the hearts of so many…Through you, I believe we have also stretched our hearts and our minds to be more accepting….
    Hope you and your family had a wonderful day.
    Happy Birthday Nella…

  145. Kelle, I was clicking the little links at the bottom of your post while browsing earlier today, and I came across the post:

    Where you say, “She’s going to do big, big things, you know.”, in reference to an impact Sweet girl had already made on one Daddy’s life. When I read that, I got chills because DUDE! She already has and she is one years old. She has opened the heart and eyes of so many, myself included, to all sorts of beauty. I’m blessed for having been part of this journey that you have shared with so many of us. Nella was meant for greatness, and she is already on her way!

  146. Happy 1st Birthday Miss Nella!

  147. Happy Birthday Nella! Kamdyn’s birthday is in April, and we are already planning it. I can’t wait to celebrate her birth day.

  148. Been celebrating this day with you in my heart! Cannot wait to read all about it and share in the joy through your photographs. Happy Birth Day to ALL of you! Much love!

  149. OH WOW!!! Pure happiness! What a CELEBRATION!! Nella you are ONE! Happy happy to you-you scrumptious little!! And Kelle…that smile of yours goes to the moon and back…and girlfriend you have every reason to smile that BIG!!
    Looking forward to the other pictures…thanks for sending a sneak peek!



  150. Happy Birthday Nella! And thank you Kelle for letting us into your beautiful world.

  151. From 1 Mother to another, I wish you a glorious day with your loved ones Kelle! We too have been partying & celebrating life this weekend…for my daughter’s 3rd birthday!!!! And it’s been MAGIC!
    HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY SWEET, PERFECT LITTLE NELLA!!! Nella, you…your entrance into this world…your amazing little face…..your soulful almond eyes and your life has CHANGED me & for that I am so grateful & embracing life more than ever!!! Enjoy your special day gorgeous girl!

  152. Happy, Happy Birthday, Nella! I am so so glad you were born!!

  153. ~*Happy Birthday*~ Nella bella!

    Kelle I am crying right now because it was only a few weeks later that my daughter was born…and I found your blog. Somewhere along this journey God might decide that our family could be blessed by those magic chromosomes. Right now though we celebrate where we

    Its been a year? Has it really? Its been magic. Its been meaningful. And in a few weeks we celebrate our baby girls 1st birthday….and her own unique Birth Day.

    ~Blessings from Michigan~

  154. Happy, Happy Birthday sweet Nella! I hope your day is filled with happiness and joy. I’ve truly loved watching you grow!

  155. Your joy jumps right off the page – chills, dude!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NELLA BEAN! The world’s a better place with you in it. xo

  156. Happy Birthday Nella! And to your beautiful family, I wish you all the adventures and incredible joys this life can bring you all.

  157. happy birthday, Nella. in one remarkable year, you have inspired people all over this big rock and roll world.

    happy year one of big sisterhood, Lainey. o, yes girl. your heart reminds us all how we should see each other and ourselves.

    :::sigh::: swoon with your babes, groovy mama. swoon.

    big love.

    ps: the girl has her mama’s sparkly smile….

  158. Dear Nella,
    On your first birthday, I want to tell you a story. The story is about a mama who wasn’t what she wanted to be. A mama who tried, but wasn’t the best that she could be. One day she “met” you and your mama on the internet and you have changed her significantly. Your little life, your tiny little presence, made this mama BIG and I am forever grateful. Thank you sweet girl….thank you.

  159. Happy Happy Birthday to a very sweet little girl named Nella!!!

  160. Happy first birthday Nella!!

  161. Happy Birthday, Nella! And Kelle! It seems like it’s just as much your birth day as hers. Congratulations on rockin’ it this year! I hope I will handle adversity with the same tenacity you displayed through all this. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  162. Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

  163. Happy Birthday Sweet Little Nella :) you are so blessed to have a wonderful family :)

  164. Happy Birthday Nella! Can’t wait to see more pics!

  165. Today was full circle for you through my eyes, when I was pregnant with my son T21 just a a few weeks before his birth I read your birth story, today your smile in these photos and laughter heard through the images, speaks volumes and to date is the most beautiful form of advocacy. Happy Birthday Nella.

    Hugs Erin (and Grady)


    Kelle, Can you believe that in 365 days your world was changed for ever. You grew as a mother, a wife, a friend… and not to mention how everyone else has grown to be more compassionate, loving, aware, open-hearted and more.. we all learned so much of love.
    And it took one little soul, one beauty that you shared with the world… and so we all get to pay it forward… maybe for some not monetary but we share this love that you have for your children and use what we learned to give more to ours.. so Happy birthday Nella and thank you Kelle :)


  167. Beautiful as always! and moving…..
    I could feel the joy and love through the pictures.

    Happy Day of Birth, Sweet Nella and for you too Kelle!
    Can’t wait to read more!!!!!!!

  168. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to Nella!!! The awesome-palindrome-birthday-girl!
    Those super-high high-chairs in that last picture are so funny – were they part of a game or something?!? Love you guys! Say hi to my sister for me!!! :)

  169. Dear Kelle…
    Just found this article on facebook today and immediately I thought of you. Please read and post… Maybe you were born for such a time as this… to be a voice in this world. Say NO to abortion… Happy Birthday sweet Nella :0)

  170. What a sweet blessing you are
    I love the pictures. So glad that life has changed so much for you in one year.
    Happy Birthday Baby Girl.

  171. Happy Birthday Nella! My best friend just had a little girl this morning!!! Little Madeline will share your birthday :)

    Happy happy day!!!!

  172. From the bottom of my heart: Happy birthday Nella! You and your family have changed my life!

  173. Happy birthday princess!

  174. Happy Birthday Nella all the way from Houston!
    Kelle, you have been an inspiration to so many people, especially in the last year! I can tell you that this blog has really changed me and I look foward all the new posts. I am still catching up with the earlier one.
    Cheers to you, Nella and the whole family!

  175. happy birthday nella,
    even though i dont know you, i know you have inspired so many mothers.
    many thanks to you.

  176. happy birthday precious life!

  177. Happy day of birth nellabean!!! your life has made this world a better place! so glad you exist and so glad your mama is such a beautiful soul who has shared this journey with us all.
    what a remarkable day!!! can’t wait to see all the pictures.. your heart is bursting through the computer screen kelle. love love love you all HUGE tonight!

  178. Happy Birthday Nella!!

  179. Happy Birthday, sweet baby. Your smile is contagious, I am so glad you enjoyed your 1st Birthday!

    Heather @

  180. Yay! Was hoping for a sneak peek. Gorgeous… can’t wait to see the rest. Lovin’ the crinkle-nose smiles. Pure joy.
    Happy Birthday sweet Nella girl!
    Big Love,

  181. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! Thank you so much for sharing her with us!

  182. Happy Bday Nella!
    I have followed you throughout this year and has been a beautiful journey
    I can’t wait to see the details of the party :)

  183. Happy Birthday, Nella. And Happy Re-Birthday to the whole Hampton family. Many blessings and much love to all of you.

  184. Love her dress and LOVE the balloons. Cannot wait to see the rest!!! You are such a good mama.

  185. *tears* The very happiest tears. Happy birthday beautiful Nella. Those balloons are freaking amazing, dude!!! Smiling for u for my friend. Full circle, is a beautiful thing:)

  186. Happy Birthday little Nella!!!

    This first song… it was your blog where I first heard it from Nella’s birth story. So beautiful. You’ve come a long way! It’s been wonderful to see how Nella’s changed your life. Thanks for sharing with us Kelle!

  187. Happy birthday, Nella. :)

  188. Happy Birthday, Nella! The party looks amazing!

  189. Can’t wait to read/see more! Happyness to Nella and your whole wonderful family!

  190. Happy Birthday, Nella!

  191. I’m so excited to hear more, to see pictures of true happiness! Happy Birthday Little Nella!

  192. Congratulations on this very special milestone Kelle and a very Happy Birthday to your beautiful little girl. May the upcoming year and every single one after be the happiest one of your lives.

  193. Buon compleanno, bella Nella! Even though we don’t know you, your journey has inspired us. And thank you, Kelle, for sharing the beauty of your life this year. All the best!

  194. Happy Birthday to Nella! Happy birthday to all of you as that was the birth of your new amazing family!
    I cannot wait to see the rest of the details from her party. I just started to plan my daughters 1st birthday today. It is in 5 months haha.

  195. WOO HOO!

    Nella Cordelia you are a bright star that lights up my life! Happy Birthday big girl!

    Thank you Kelle and family for sharing.

    Many Blessings~

    (from Chicago- Go BEARS!)

  196. Bellisima Nella, from sunny San Diego, me and my sons, Nico (22 months-old) & Marco(4 months-old) wish you a very happy 1st birthday. Feliz Cumpleaños, preciosa!

  197. Happy Birthday, sweet Nella Cordelia. I am so thankful for you, your life, & your family.

    Love, Bree

  198. Happy Birthday Nella!! You look beautiful! I hope you had a wonderful day today and got to spend lots of time with all the people who love you most!

  199. Happy Birthday sweet Nella. I can’t wait to see the rest of your most fabulous birthday celebration. Can’t wait.

  200. Happy Birthday Nella!

  201. Where in the world did those high chairs come from? LOL Cannot wait to hear how the party went!


  202. Happy 1st Birthday, Nella Bean!!! It has been a true joy following you since birth! You have changed so many lives!! xoxo

  203. Happy Birthday Miss Nella! May you all get to enjoy many, many more! Can’t wait to see more about this joyous day!

  204. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! That first year is a huge milestone and the first birthday a true celebration of so many things with love and joy most certainly leading the way. Can’t wait to see and hear more about the ONEderful celebration!


  205. Happy Birthday Nella! Thank you for sharing this amazing year with us. It was been quite the journey.

  206. Happy Birthday to dear Nella!
    Happy Big Sister Day to sweet Lainey!
    And Happy Parents of Two Day to Kelle & Brett!

  207. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!

    Love the dress!

    PS What are those really tall high chairs in the last pic?

  208. Happy, happy 1st birthday, Nella Cordelia!! You’ve captured so many hearts, and have so many people from all over this world who love you!! You are going to do so many great things with your life!! You already have!!!
    Thank you Kelle, for letting us share in your joy!! God bless you and your precious family!

  209. happy happy birthday, sweet nella! thanks for helping your mommy share so many of the life lessons you and your sister have taught her, with the world…your blessings ripple through the lives of many…..singing birthday wishes and saying prayers of thanksgiving for YOU from michigan…
    love, jodi

  210. Happy Birthday Nella!! The world has been blessed by your life this year!

  211. Happy Birthday Nella! You’re only one and you have changed a lot in this world. Imagine how many people you will have touched by next year! You are a very lucky girl Nella, you have the best mommy, daddy, sister, brothers, and more family/friends!

  212. Happy birthday, Nella! Blessings upon your family, Kelle.

  213. i can’t wait to read and see more of the nella celebration!! :)

    i LOVE that picture of you all around nella while she is eating her cake; a great moment to capture.

    happy 1st birthday, nella!!

  214. That dress Nella is wearing is so cute!

    And what about those tall-@$$ highchairs. Holy crap!

    Can’t wait to hear the rest!


  215. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!! Can’t wait to see more pictures!

  216. What a beautiful celebration and beautiful little girl! I’m loving the dress Nella is wearing – so adorable! She is an absolute gift. Happy birthday to your sweet little girl.

  217. Happy Birthday to your baby Nella. I love the love you have and share. Thank you. Thank you so much Kelle.

  218. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Nella! And congratulations to you all on this beautiful milestone!

  219. Happy day sweet little Nella!

    Thank you Kelle, for sharing your remarkable journey this past year. It means more to me than you can ever know, as we have alot in common. My son, Wyatt, was born exactly one month before Nella on Dec 22, 2009. He too was my second child and he too is also blessed with a big sister. Like Nella, Wyatt was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. At that very moment, I too began to walk down my new path. (Or should I say crawl, as I also felt as if I were drowning those first couple of days.) Who knew, that in just one year, we would be walking, running and even skipping down that path?! Thank you for being a kindred spirit on this amazingly beautiful journey.

  220. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! I can’t wait to see more pictures of the beautiful day.

  221. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella! It looks like you had an awesome day!

  222. $93,000.00+ Amazing!! Congratulations!
    Happy Happy Birthday Beautiful Sweet Girl!!
    May all your Birthday wishes come true.

  223. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!
    the tears starting rolling as soon as I heard “your” song playing…brought me back to about a year ago when i found your wonderful mom who changed me for good!
    thanks for an amazing year Nella!!

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  225. amazing what one little tiny girl can do, hundreds of readers, 70,000$ donated. the blessings we can find in trials and rainbows in rain!! Happy Birthday sweet girl!
    can’t wait to see the rest of the party i LOVE the colors!
    that last picture? are those chairs real or what??

  226. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET LITTLE NELLA!!! (And happy BIRTH DAY to you, Kelle!) :)

  227. I never leave a comment because I feel so insignificant with all of the other hundreds (or thousands!) of comments, but today is a special day. Thank you for baring it all and showing us how beautiful each and every day can be.

    Happy Birthday sweet Nella!

  228. Just checked…over $100,000 on the main page that counts up total donations! Woo Hoo!! Simply amazing!!

    I posted a comment earlier and wished Nella a happy birthday. However, I forgot to wish you a day of reflection…who were you then and who are you now? Oh, how each child changes us!

    Much love,
    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  229. Happy Birthday Nella!
    Kelle, thank you for all you have unknowingly taught me this year.
    you are a beautiful, strong and amazing woman.

  230. With eyes full of tears…. heart bursting with happiness… soul mingled with mother’s love… I wish Nella the happiest of birthdays and to you her momma, a day full of healing, blessing, and sheer, unexplainable joy. It appears it was all that and more! Can’t wait to hear all about it. : ) Thank you, thank you for sharing your journey and your family with me.

  231. Isn’t it amazing how different it is a year later?! Happy BIrthday to Nella! She looks SOO cute! And you look gorgeous as usual too!

  232. Happy Day, Nella Cordelia! What a sweet celebration this must have been…

  233. Happy 1st Birthday beautiful Nella!!! DARLING pictures from today! LOVE THE COLORS!!! Can’t wait to see more!!!

  234. Love to you, Kelle, and your sweet family. What a day and what a life!

    Colleen and Lilly

  235. She is so adoreable in these photos!

  236. Happy Birthday beautiful, Nella! So fun!

  237. Happy Birthday Nella! I’m sure your day was a perfect one! Can’t wait to see all of the details but I’m loving the sneak peek!!

  238. I knew it was today! :) Earlier I was sitting with my littles and thought of you and thought, “I bet you guys are celebrating this awesome day”! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NELLA!!!

  239. Happy Birthday precious Nella! You have changed so many lives! All for the better! <3

  240. Happy Birthday, Nella…and oh-how-far you’ve come beautiful mama! I’ve enjoyed being part of your journey this past year and looking forward to all this new year has to offer you and your family! Beautiful candid shots of you- so expressive and full of JOY.

  241. Happy Birthday Nella! Happy Birth Day to you too, Kelle. My daughter Ellie shares her birthday with Nella and just turned one today also. I was full of emotions today looking back to this exact date, last year. Reading Nella’s birth story inspired me and my husband to write Ellie’s birth story, and it was one of the best things we did! It was like living the experience all over again. My husband Matt posted a link to your video of Nella’s Oneder Fund on his blog(along with Ellie’s birth story) in honor of Nella and Ellie’s birthday. Thank you for sharing your life with so many of us, and for being so candidly beautiful. Your words touch me and your pictures inspire me! :)

  242. Happy birthday Nella, you rock!

    Its amazing, when you think about how much this beautiful little person has achieved in her first year of life, just by coming into the world and being born who she is, inspiring people all over the place! Some things are just meant to be. Some people are born rockstars, and Nella is clearly one of them. and it looks like she is partying accordingly!)

    I hope you keep bloggin’ forever Kelle, because I have this feeling she’ll keep rocking, and blossom into an amazing young lady. :)

  243. Happy Birthday 1st Beautiful girl. I hope all your birthdays are as beautiful and joyous as this one. Kelle, thank you so much for taking us on this journey with you. What a magical beautiful 1st year. I can’t wait to see where the next years lead you xxx

  244. Happy Happy Birthday Miss Nella!

  245. Happy birthday sweet Nella – sending you much love from Australia.

    Thank you so much for sharing your joyus family with us all.

  246. happy birthday, nella!

  247. Happy birthday Nella! Looks like you had a blast!!

    ~Erin, St. Louis

  248. Happy Birthday Miss Nella!!!

  249. Happy Birthday, Nella! I’ve never met you, sweet girl, and I probably never will, but you’ve changed my life! You matter to me!

  250. Happy birthday, beautiful girl!

  251. Happy Birthday baby girl!

    And oh my god.. That cake looks amazing! Cannot wait to see more photos :)

  252. Happy Birthday Nella!

  253. Happy birthday to Nella! I started reading your blog when she was just a few weeks old, and I feel like I have watched her grow up through your blog. Thanks for sharing your life and your precious family with all of us out in cyberspace.

  254. Happy birthday Nella, and happy birth day Kelle. That is such an adorable outfit for a perfect birthday girl does it come in larger sizes? 😉 Can’t wait to see more of the pics!

  255. Aww! Happy Birthday sweet heart!!
    I can’t believe she’s already one! Congradulations Mama!

    That cake looks scrumptious. It would be perfect for my daughters birthay (4th of July). Did you have it made somehwere or did you do it yoruself?

  256. L’augurio più grande che posso fare a Nella e a tutti voi è di riuscire ad avere sempre il sorriso raggiante di questa giornata! …grazie di darmi sempre il sorriso quando sono un pò giù…è meraviglioso che esistano persone come te che hanno davvero colto l’essenza della vita e che sanno trasmetterla così bene e così semplicemente agli altri.

  257. Nella is looking so beautiful. Particularly in the smiley photo with you holding her. You must be so proud of your little girl.

  258. Happy Birthday Beautiful Nella! And Happy Birth Day Kelle xo

  259. Happy Birthday Nella :)

  260. Happy belated Birthday to Nella, & Happy belated Birth Day to you Kelle! What an amazing year long journey you both have been on,and we have been privileged to witness :)

  261. Kelle (sorry but ever time I see your name I have to say Kell rather than Kell-ee!).

    First, happy first birthday to your beautiful Nella! Also, happy first birth day to you, Brett and Lainey. Congratulations!

    I have been reading your blog since just after Nella was born. I have always thought I wasn’t a prejudiced person. Seeing your amazing pictures of Nella though have helped me to see a beauty I have never seen before. Thank you.

    Finally, I have just re-read the posts following Nella’s birth and her birth story. I have always wished I could write in the way people like you do but never thought I could. I have just now realised something though – it’s because I am too scared to let the joy/ pain/ enthusiasm… life, consume me. You have taught me that I need to face that fear and live and breathe for the now. You have set me a challenge…

    Much love and good wishes to you and yours from Australia. xxx

  262. happy Birthday Nella,
    what an amazing year for and your family.


  263. Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday
    With love from me to you
    May your wishes all come true!
    Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday
    to youuuuuuuuu!!!!
    Happy 1st Birthday sweet Nella xo

  264. She is so precious!! Happy day sweet Nella. We need dress details. :) :)

  265. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!

  266. Happy Belated Birthday Nella! You have touched so many lives, you and your Mommy and you are just starting! Can’t wait to see what your future holds!
    Kelle you are amazing and such a wonderful mother!

  267. Happy Birthday Nella!!!!!

    I love the pictures! Her dress is so beautiful! She is so beautiful! She has been a blessing to my life and I have never met her in person.

  268. Happy Birthday to Nella! Can’t wait to hear everything!

  269. What a great preview! Thank you so much — you know we were all anxiously awaiting photos of “our” birthday girl! It looked like it was such a BEAUTIFUL DAY! She looks so adorable in her awesome outfit! The photos are all so beautiful & heartwarming & happy! Can’t wait to see more! xoxo

  270. Happy Birthday to you beautiful Nella girl!

  271. Our Gabe would be singing to you. And most likely blowing out that beautiful ONE candle with you! And we would all toast you with cake!

    Happy Birthday Nella!!!♥

  272. Your blog has become my endless page turner, the book I just can’t put down! Love it and can’t wait to see more. I adore Nella’s ruffle outfit!

  273. Happy Birthday Nella! I am looking forward to many more with you guys. Oh, and I noticed you hit the 100k mark last night, how awesome!

  274. Hi Kelle, I am an italian follower of your fantastic and so sweet blog…happy B-day Nella, you are a lucky little girl because you have a great fantastic mum!!!

  275. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! You and your momma are so blessed to be on this journey together. I find hope and inspiration in every post and every picture of your beautiful little face!



  278. Happy Birthday sweet Nella Cordelia! I’ve been thinking about you guys all weekend. I can’t wait to hear all about Nella’s special day and the things you did to celebrate her first 365 days. She’s a gem and your mama love for her and Lainey speaks to my mama soul. Thank you Kelle for allowing the glimpse into your lives.

    P.S. Just watched as your followers reached 10,000!! Seriously, you are such a rock star!!

    Angie from Ohio

  279. Happy Birthday sweet Nella Cordelia! I’ve been thinking about you guys all weekend. I can’t wait to hear all about Nella’s special day and the things you did to celebrate her first 365 days. She’s a gem and your mama love for her and Lainey speaks to my mama soul. Thank you Kelle for allowing the glimpse into your lives.

    P.S. Just watched as your followers reached 10,000!! Seriously, you are such a rock star!!

    Angie from Ohio

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  281. This comment has been removed by the author.

  282. Congratulations from Norway!
    Love Silje, Elena&Caspian

  283. I’m so glad I didn’t put on mascara yet :) Happy happy birthday to both of you. God Bless you, thank your for sharing your heart this year.
    Its been such a pleasure to follow this journey or yours!

  284. Happy Birthday sweet Nella Cordelia! I’ve been thinking about you guys all weekend. I can’t wait to hear all about her big day and how you celebrated her first 365 days. She’s a gem and your mama love for her and Lainey speaks to my mama heart. I love you guys.

    P.S. I just watched as your followers reached 10,000! You are such a rock star!!

    Angie from Ohio

  285. YAYYYY Happy Birthday Nella!!! 😀

  286. Happy Birthday Nella! Kelle enjoy this weekend.

  287. Happy Birthday, Nella!

  288. Happy Birthday sweet Nella. You are a blessing to so many.

  289. Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

  290. Wow, Happy 1st Birthday Nella! Might I add that those Balloons are magnificent!

  291. Happy happy birthday to sweet Nella, and happy BIRTH day to you too Kelle!!

  292. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! Can’t wait to see pics from the big day!

  293. Happy Birthday to your sweet little Angel. I’ve been following your blog for a year now, and enjoy reading it.

    I know you’ve probably received a TON of awards, but, since I enjoy your blog so much, I thought I’d pass on the award to you.

    If you’d like, you can check out my blog @


  294. Happiest Birthday sweet girl.


  295. Thank you for letting me glimpse into your life. As so many readers have said, I am better for having been here and will stay for as long as you continue.

    Happy Birthday Nella and Family!!!

  296. Yay! Go Nella you big one year old cutie pie!

    GORGEOUS photos.


  297. SHOOT I thought of this several times yesterday! HAPPY late B~Day sweet SWEET Nella!

    xoxo, Bug % Ruby’s Gram

  298. Happy, happy birthday little one! And happy birthday to your whole family! It’s quite an anniversary.

    So excited to see how much has been raised on behalf of little Nella and all of our other little beauties with that extra chromosome.

    I’m inspired as always.

  299. Happy Happy Birthday Nella–thank you for teaching all of us so much! And Happy Happy Celebrating to Kelle & the rest of your family–thank you for sharing so that we could all fall in love and learn right along side you!

  300. Dear Hampton family !
    i would like to wish you a big Mazal Tov !!!
    A lot of Mazal (luck)
    and a lot of Tov (good)
    Kelle, I AM accompany your family throut your words and pictures with smiles and tears, and mostly with love !
    Kelle, you are a great mother: taking care of everything: from the little to the bigest thing.
    You have a beautiful family: an internal beauty beside the external one…
    Just…. keep going !!!
    Tami, Israel

  301. Happy Birth Day Kelle! Happy Birthday to Sweet Nella!

  302. Love this! Happy happy birthday, Nella!

  303. Oh please hurry with the update! I can’t believe I have been following your blog for almost a year. I smile creeps on my face everytime I see there is a new post.

    Happy Birthday Nella! Love that dress!

  304. Happy Birthday Nella!!

    I have been reading your blog for almost a year and you are a true inspiration. Your family, photos and writing are just beautiful… but I haven’t cried reading your blog until today! I’m so happy you are so happy! Congrats!


  305. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my cheeks while reading this and seeing these photos this morning. And as I wipe the drops of my keyboard I am happy that these are tears of joy.

    Happy Birthday to Nella. You and Nella and Lainey and Brett, have changed me. As a Mother, as a person, and I am forever grateful. :)

  306. ♥ Happy Birthday Nella! ♥

  307. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! We are thinking of you and feeling so blessed your Mommy is sharing your love and life with us. You are a firecracker, and you bring so much light to so many people.
    With love, from Texas!
    ~The Wilkins
    p.s. your momma has impeccable taste in music :)

  308. Oh happy day to everyone! Now maybe, a trip to the hospital to wipe away those demons? You have accomplished SO much. God doesn’t make mistakes, Nella and her mama are amazing.

  309. SHE IS SO CUTE,
    WOW. I want a baby as cute as her!!!
    Happy Birthday!
    Your blog is so inspirational.


  310. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Nella!!

    Sara Kathryn

  311. Happy Birthday, Nella!!!!! My favorite colors are red and aqua, can’t wait to see and hear about the rest of the party, I am sure it was amazing! Please tell us where you got those giant high chairs lol

  312. BEAUTIFUL, all of it! Happy Birthday, Nella Cordelia!! Sending you love, lots of it …

  313. Oh Happy Day indeed!

  314. this means I’ve been following your blog for a year now!!

    Happy Birthday sweet Nella! Our family has enjoyed getting to know you and see your pictures and beautiful face on Mama’s blog. You are one blessed little girl.

    Kelle, I love how you did the throw-back music. Made me cry, because it brought me back to that first post I ever read… Nella’s birth story.
    Loved this. Can’t wait for the rest!

  315. Happy 1st Birthday, beautiful angel! Nella, you are only one and so much you have done for so many people! May all your wishes come true today and always!

  316. Happy Birthday, Nella!! And a beautiful Happy Nella’s Birthday to you, Kelle! It’s been a beautiful year that I’ve been so blessed to follow on your blog. Thank you for sharing, the sorrow, the worry, the fear, the triumph, the peacefulness, the bliss, the excitement… thanks for sharing it all.

  317. Happy Birthday Nella!
    I crochet a bunny for a friends daughter who is turning one on the 24th and how strange it was to think about Nella and how you call her your bunny! Shows what kind of influence your blog has on me:) Hope you enjoyed your day Nella!!

  318. Happy, happy Birthday sweet girl! xoxo!

  319. Happy 1st Birthday Nella! <3

  320. Happy Birthday Nella! Looks like you are all having a fabulous time! xx

  321. That day for you opened up a whole new world for me and many other readers. I by some chance caught the story scrolling across my aim homepage screen, and it all started there. It has been a year now since i have begun reading and searching and skimming and learning from you as a women and mother and a lover of all things amazing.

    Happy Birthday Nella!

    Happy Birthday to you Kelle for the amazing little girl you have brought into the world and the changes you continue to make to this world.

    You and your family are amazing and i am so excited to see the rest of the party!


  322. Happy first birthday Nella!!!

  323. Happy birthday to you.
    Happy birthday to you.
    Happy FIRST Birthday dear Nella…
    Happy birthday tooooo You!

    Kelle, thank you for sharing Nella with us. Thank you for your raw transparent look on life, letting us come on this journey with you.

  324. How wonderful. I love Nella’s dress and the last shot with everyone jumping in the air! Celebrate! :)

  325. How wonderful. I love Nella’s dress and the last shot with everyone jumping in the air! Celebrate! :)

  326. LOVE the first batch of pictures documenting what I’m sure has been an unbelievable day…can’t wait to see more! Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Nella :)

  327. Yay! Happy Birthday Nella!!! :)

  328. Happy Birthday sweet Nella! My son was born on the same day that you were, and it’s been a blessing to watch you grow along with him.

    Thank you Kelle for letting me share in this journey with you. I’ve cried and laughed while reading your blog entries. I hope that this next year is filled with even more joy and happiness than the last one was.

    -Brittany (And Caden, your birthday buddy!) :)

  329. Kelle,
    We are all celebrating with you! Can’t wait to see more photos, it all looks so beautiful. Happy Birthday, Nella!

  330. Happy, happy birthday sweet Nella! You are loved by SOo many!!

  331. Happy Birthday precious Nella. Kelle, you and Nella look smashingly beautiful together. Can’t wait to read all about the day!!!!

  332. Happy Bierthday Nella, Mommy and family!!!

  333. Happy birthday to a sweet girl.
    Happy day to a sweet family.

  334. Oh Nella, you are one blessed little girl! Your parents deserve some of the recognition on this special day. I just read that 9 out of every 10 pregnancies where down syndrome is the diagnosis, those little ones are aborted…Your momma and daddy rock little one and we are all so happy to celebrate your blessed, beautiful, wonderful life!

  335. What a difference a year makes!! Looking forward to all those to come (and hoping you’ll keep letting us all peek in and enjoy them too).

    Happy birthday Nella!

    From Siobhan and her boys in Belgium

  336. Glad Nella’s first birthday party was a blast! I cannot wait to see more photos. Libby’s first birthday party was yesterday too, I’ve blogged about it here:

    And linked to this post of yours and to Nella’s ONEder Fund. Happy birthday Nella and happy birth day Kelle!


  338. Happy happy first birthday sweet Nella! You are so beautiful and I’m so glad that I got to follow your first year from KY! I can’t wait to see all the pictures of your wonderful life celebration!

  339. Looking forward to reading/seeing more. Thanks for the sneak peak!

  340. Kelle ~ Wow, I just checked Nella’s Oneder Fund and Wow, Wow, Wow. Right now there are 93,000 ways that you are showing the world that everyone deserves a chance at excellence.
    Happy Sweet 1st Birthday Nella Cordelia:)

  341. Happy Birthday beautiful Nella! You are one special little girl who in just one year has touched the heart of so many! May the favor be returned and multiplied!

  342. Happy Birthday, Dear Nella!

  343. happy birthday, little nella! the world is a better place with you in it. thank you for sharing your journey with us! :)

  344. Happy birthday yesterday! January 22th is my birthday too :)

  345. Such darling pictures…just sweet. Happy birthday to Nella.

  346. Happy Birthday Nella!

    Congrats sweet Mama on a year full of love, laughter, and tears! You are an amazingly strong woman and are a great role model for Lainey and Nella

  347. Happy Birthday sweet Nella!!!! Enjoy this day mama!!!!!

    Can’t wait to see more!

  348. Happy Birthday sweet Nella. Your entrance into this world has changed so many lives.

  349. Happiest birthday to Nella!!!! Happiest baby-versary to Kelle!

  350. So so beautiful! Happy birthday sweet Nella!

  351. Oh Nella! Happy Birthday!! How lovely to celebrate all your friends too. So happy for you all.

  352. Happy Happy Birthday Nella! I hope you had a magical day! My eyes are filled with tears of joy every single time I come to this blog.

  353. Happy birthday to your sweet Nella.

    Interestingly, your sweet Nella was born on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Statitics show that 90% of Downs babies are aborted. If only those women knew the beauty they held within.

    Lots of love to your precious family.

  354. happy birthday cutie nella!! looks like it was a fab celebration <3

  355. Many, many Birthday Blessings to you, Little Nella! I have to say, I’ve fallen in love with you over the last year – thanks to your mommy for sharing you and your big sister! Keep smiling and keep inspiring, our little hero! XOXO
    (how weird that I’m listening to the radio on my PC as I type this and Josh Groban comes on singing “You Raise Me Up!” :-) Thanks, Hamptons, for Raising us ALL up!

  356. Oh Kelle, Happy Birth-ing Day! I keep deleting every thing I want to say. My heart is full for you. And in a small way I can so relate to your feelings. Each birth, each child births some thing new in you…And what Nella brought with her is beautiful. She is SO beautiful. The pictures of her, she’s changed so much the past few weeks! She’s turning into a one year old, that look that little knowing look. sigh.

    I’ve been following your journey (some what silently) since right after you wrote Nella’s birth story. I have watched you process and grow…And I’ve grown too because of your journey. And I’m so thankful.

    Happy blessed birthing day to you Mama. And Happy Birthday to Nella. May God bless her with a rich and beautiful second year and a wonderful future!!! He’s given her a wonderful Mama and family, and it has ben a privledge to be a tiny part of watching her grow!

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  357. Oh Kelle, Happy Birth-ing Day! I keep deleting every thing I want to say. My heart is full for you. And in a small way I can so relate to your feelings. Each birth, each child births some thing new in you…And what Nella brought with her is beautiful. She is SO beautiful. The pictures of her, she’s changed so much the past few weeks! She’s turning into a one year old, that look that little knowing look. sigh.

    I’ve been following your journey (some what silently) since right after you wrote Nella’s birth story. I have watched you process and grow…And I’ve grown too because of your journey. And I’m so thankful.

    Happy blessed birthing day to you Mama. And Happy Birthday to Nella. May God bless her with a rich and beautiful second year and a wonderful future!!! He’s given her a wonderful Mama and family, and it has ben a privledge to be a tiny part of watching her grow!

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  358. Happy Birthday Nella! You are loved. :)

  359. Happy 1st Nella… Biggee girl!

  360. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella!! Cannot wait to see more from your beautiful party! God Bless you sweet thing!

  361. Happy belated birthday Nella!!!

  362. Happy 1 Birthday Nella!!!

  363. Happy birthday to lovely Nella,
    i just love your blog and you really have a beautiful family.

    My boy Sebastian was also 1 year January 22 :)

    Hug from Norway

  364. Happy Birthday to your sweet Nella!

  365. Happy Birthday, Nella! What a difference a year makes. Good job, Mama! Beautiful photos.

  366. I almost didn’t want to post a comment because you were at 365, and that seems just perfect.

    I’ve loved being “in” on your full circle journey this past year. What a beautiful gift you were have there!

    Happy Birthday Nella!

  367. Yay! HBDTY! Cute cake and great ruffle onesie!

  368. Happy birthday, Sweet Nella! Your life has brought joy and sisterhood to so many.

  369. almost as good as your year coming full circle is looking back at the photos of your expression one year ago as you entered this defining experience and then looking at the expressions captured exactly one year later. You are beaming kelle and it is so so beautiful to see! all because of a little bean…nella bean :) happy birthday nella!

  370. Happy Birthday Beautiful Nella. Thank you for allowing us to watch you grow and to share in all the joy you bring to those who love you :)

  371. :) BIG.

  372. Happy Birthday Nella! Thank you for coming to your mom and helping her inspire the rest of us.

  373. Happy Birthday Nella! Kelle your journey has really been amazing, it’s beautiful really, just like your family!
    And the details at your parties and the vibrant red and teal/turquoise is just gorgeous!

  374. Happy Birthday, Nella! I had a baby in Feb 2010 and someone had posted your birth story to our board. I was so touched, and I have followed your wonderful blog on and off since then. My baby didn’t have Down’s Syndrome, I am just following as one mother who is amazed at your mothering. It has been a rough year for me, but I just love reading about the way you are with your kids and that is inspiring.

  375. Nella Cordelia may have changed you. Your unquestioning, undeniable love for that sweet baby has changed ME – and I can assure you I am not alone. Thank you ever so much for sharing your story. You have given so many hope, and with hope, so much can change.

    ~ A former special needs teacher from Dallas, TX

  376. Happy Birthday Precious Nella!!! Your birth has helped so many of us new mamas who come to this site for strength and inspiration and for your help dispelling the myths and misnomers about an amazing extra little chromosome. Thank you for helping me celebrate my precious little guy who has an extra chromosome. We can feel your birthday love all the way up here in Ohio. Go Nella, Go!!! Jen Dawn

  377. Happy Birthday sweet little Nella!

  378. Oh so much love and joy in these photos! What a journey, rich with highs and lows….but, mostly, rich in real beauty.

    What a cool path you’re on. I know you didn’t choose it but you were shoved down the road and you didn’t look back, you navigated twists and turns, felt sad and hopeful, defeated and purposeful. AND shared it all with the world who learned and continues to learn from your exquisite journey.

    xo sweet Nella. I am so happy to know you. I so look forward to seeing where you land. It’ll be fabulous, I know.

  379. Happy Birthday sweet Nella Bean!

  380. Happy for you, Kelle, and happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!

  381. Kelle, youre so amazing. What an eye for color. complosition. beauty. love. So impressive. Love love love this birthday post, and oh my goodness! put us all out of our misery and tell us where we can buy that adorable little dress!!!! I’ve been combing my shopping engines for an hour with no luck. :)

    Happy birthday Nella Cordelia, you beautiful perfect, precious little thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  382. I echo everyone here – Happy Birthday #1, Nella Bean. And many blessings to you. To Sarah B – I LOVE your little story!

  383. Happy Birthday, Sweet Nella!

  384. happy happy 1st birthday Nella!!!

  385. happy belated birthday nella! i was thinking of you on saturday!

  386. happy belated birthday nella! i was thinking of you on saturday!

  387. Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

  388. A late Happy Birthday from Norway! :)

  389. Happy Birthday, Nella!! I was going to post on Saturday, but I was so busy with 3 of my own birthdays that day…my husband and twins are January 22nders too…that I didn’t have time :) I hope your day was wonderful!

  390. happy first birthday to nella! happy re-birthday to you kelle noelle! cuz i know it was the day your soul was reborn.

  391. i should specify – reborn as a person not as a mama, cuz lainey made you the great mama you are today. but as the person inside that you were supposed to be. THAT day was the first of what have been the most soul stretching. xoxo!

  392. Looks like Nella had a grand birthday. Love her party dress! Thanks to you, I’m now obsessed with red and turquoise.

  393. Happy Happy Birthday Sweet Nella! You are such an amazing little girl with a ton in store for you. You and your mommy have inspired me to truly enjoy all the small things and to be a better mommy to my own babies. Thank you both for that wonderful gift! Cheers to you!!!

  394. Happy belated Birthday Nella!

    So beautiful!

  395. Happy Birthday Nella!

  396. Happy happy Birthday!

    On a superficial note: I love the color scheme!


  397. Such a beautiful little girl! <3 Happy Birthday, Nella :)

  398. Happiest of happy birthday to a beautiful sweet girl. Just one year down lady – many, many more purposeful, amazing ones to come. What a gift you’ve been to your family and so so so so many other families out there – it’s been a pleasure checking in on all of you every once in a while. Happy bird-day, as my littlest says. Tweet tweet.

  399. happy birthday sweet girl. you have changed so many of us.

    thank you kelle for sharing your journey with us. i’m already crying . one is big and hard for us mamas, but nella’s first is glorious and wonderful and full of beautiful change in all of us! i can’t wait to see more and cry and laugh with you and your beautiful family.

  400. This comment has been removed by the author.

  401. happy birthday sweet girl. we are all so in love with you and can’t wait to see where this one glorious life takes you! crying already with joy to see how big you’ve gotten from day one.

    Kelle, thank you for sharing your growth with us. i know that i have grown so much inside my soul because of your words.

  402. Not sure if you are reading all your comments with each post, but I hope that one way or another, you’ll find this link. It’s from ABC recently regarding the public’s reactions to store clerks with special needs (particularly DS). Well worth the 8 minutes of viewing. No, it’s not a hoax video. It’s circulating Facebook as well.

    Happy Birthday to Nella – and may you all find strength to continue this journey with joy.

    spot (aka Sara Pot)

  403. My husband lost me to your blog yesterday. I spent almost all day (besides the time I tok to knit a hat and even some of that time)losing myself in your beautiful words. I cried as I read Nella’s birthstory and fell in love with Lainey the most beautiful big sister. You are a beautiful person and a beautiful mommy.

  404. Happy BIrthday NELLA!!!
    a bit late but from all my heart!!!

  405. You know what’s funny. Until I read your birth story I never knew nella had ds. She is beautiful and God has given her to you. Isn’t it awesome? I have a few friends whose children have ds and autism and cerebral palsy. They are treasures. All of them. It’s just too bad and sad that people want to throw them away if they’re not “perfect”. I day they are perfect because that’s the way Jesus made them. Jesus bless you and your beautiful family. What an awesome testimony of love.

  406. I cannot believe it was one year ago that I began reading your blog. I remember crying and crying and crying as I read your sweet, beautiful words about the birth of lovely Nella. I have been a regular ever since! I have never left a comment, but figure now is a good time to do so:). You have positively influenced my perspective on life and actually made me excited about the possibility of one day becoming a mother. Thank you! Happy Birthday Nella! You are so blessed to have such wonderful parents and such a beautiful, caring big sister.

  407. happy birthday, nella! i love your blog, kelle…you are such a sweet mama…such an inspiration!


  408. Can not wait to see more photos – what a perfect one year celebration.

  409. What a wonderful reason to celebrate. Happy Birthday sweet Nella.

  410. Happy Birthday to your beautiful Nella.

  411. Happy Birthday to a beautiful amazing girl who is already changed the world in her one little year! Heres to the amazing wonderful changes that her many years will bring!

  412. Happy 1st birthday beautiful Nella!!!!!!!!!

  413. Oh Nella, how you have changed all of us! You bring so much light, and we celebrate the joy that you are. You are so very beautiful in every way imaginable. I thought about you all day Saturday and can’t wait to see all of the pictures and writings your mama posts about you.

    We. Celebrate. YOU.

  414. Happy Birthday, Nella!!!

  415. GORGEOUS! Will you throw my birthday party?!

    Love to you, you’ve come a long way, baby.


  416. Happy Birthday sweet baby Nella! Kelle I have followed your journey this past year when I saw a link to Nella’s birth story on I am so glad that I came across your blog. Your daughters are perfect and soooo adorable! Your take on life has had such an impact on my life….it has rocked me to the core and changed me for the better!

  417. This comment has been removed by the author.

  418. What a beautiful, sweet little girl! You are so blessed to have her and what a wonderful birthday party!

  419. Gorgeous…the party, the pictures, the post…

  420. I love her dress!!

  421. Beautiful!! Happy 1st Birthday, precious Nella!

  422. Happy Birthday little Nella, you had a beautiful party!

  423. omg

  424. Love how you capture your days… it definitely helps to have such beautiful subjects to photograph! Congratulations on one fabulous year!

  425. Through your blog- I have learned you are an incredible mother, wife, friend, and gift to the world…

  426. A beautiful year!

  427. A beautiful year!

  428. Love the color scheme.Everything is soo beautiful!

  429. Happy Birthday, Little Bunny! (Sorry we’re late)

    xoxo and love from Anthony (and his parents too!)

  430. Happy Birthday Sweet Nella Bunny. I am so amazed at your skills being a mother, a photographer, a party planner. It inspires me :)

  431. Her party was absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful job and on the pics as well!

  432. Wish you happy birthday to Nalla.Party Store | Party Supplies | Balloons | Costumes

  433. I love your blog. You are an inspiration. :)

  434. This is one of the sweetest parties I’ve seen in a long time. I absolutely love the action shots. It truly looks like fun was had by all. Love the all the ideas!

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