Stream of Consciousness

Barely dipping our toes into the January pool, and we are enjoying calm sunshine and a renewing breeze that is currently sweeping through the open doors and windows as I type. A lawn mower hums its song in the distance, and the temperature shift from inside to outside is unrecognizable as we escape outside, barefoot, several times a day to skip, bike, hoola-hoop and retreat back inside for coloring, babydolls, Go Fish.


It is good, this prolonged southern warmth that varies only on a small range throughout the calendar, and yet I wonder if subconsciously, I crave more dramatic season shifts and perhaps that’s why I celebrate the unveiling of new holiday tchotchke in the dollar bin at Target as if it’s the first drop of color veining up maple leaves in fall or the inaugural debut of snow in December.

I like the tchotchke. My kids like the tchotchke. And it’s sort of an unspoken vow of mine that somewhere in our house forevermore, there shall be hints of the next celebration around the bend. Spring chicks on tea towels, conversation hearts in candy dishes, obnoxious blinking snowmen on front lawns.

Love happens to be around the next bend, although it dwells pretty consistently around these parts. Regardless…

Let there be crafts.

Ever try making crafts in bed? Neither had we. But it was grand. A sleeping baby edged on one end of the bed and a mess of paper heart scraps on the other.


Easy Heart Mobile requires ribbon covered wire hanger, fish line, a needle and construction paper hearts. Sew hearts on fish line (Lainey did it with little help) and tie strands onto hanger. Voila.


Ours now hangs in the playroom. Free love for the taking.


So this is coming in the mail today.

And I’m this excited about it.

Lainey actually shot that.

She’s excited too.


…because when it comes, I’ll save it for tonight when I’ll hole up in the bedroom with a cold beer and twelve months of memories snuggled between the binding of my girl’s book, and I’ll relive it slowly, page by page.

See the book HERE. And more info on how I make the books in my Photography FAQ HERE.

I still can’t believe it’s almost been the enormous breadth of an entire year since she slipped into our lives, so dramatically and yet so purposefully, clearing muddled spaces we didn’t realize existed.

Nella’s first tea party in the side yard yesterday. Lainey insisted she wear a hat. It didn’t stay on for long. However, she did manage to handle a tea cup like a true queen.


And now she’s here, gaining more speed every day. Her little scoot ‘n drag is looking more and more like a crawl and always lands her in the same place.

You’re so totally busted, Nella.


These days, when I’m not nursing a baby with one hand or pulling out stuck ponytail holders or organizing closets or jumping up in the air while my kid takes a picture, I’m working on Nella’s party.

Inexpensive can be transformed into much loveliness with a tiny bit of effort and a lot of time in Target dollar aisles.

Frames, Target dollar bin, spraypainted.

Mailboxes, Target dollar bin, hot glued with blooms.

And the girls dig helping with the planning even though it usually involves more mess, more time, more frustration. I chant “just let her help, let her help, let her help” right about the time the ribbon is unraveled and the mailboxes have been adorned with Hello Kitty stickers that take an hour and half a bottle of mineral spirits to remove.



Other than that, we’re groovin’ to the sounds of rumbling lawn mowers and the chattering birds y’all northerners sent down to us. We’ll take good care of them before we send them back in about, uh, four more months.




And one of these days, I’ll actually make it to the post office to send my mama her belated gift. I hate going to the Post Office.

Necklace, Lisa Leonard Designs.

She’s gonna love it.

So there you be. Uneventful, but rich.

Check out mama blogging tips from Yahoo, check out this adorable McDonalds commercial I fell in love with, and check out some of my favorites from the incredibly insightful and amusing bucket lists you left on the last comments:

* Refinish the antique claw foot table that’s been in my parents’ barn since before I was born. ~Kristy
* Watch both my autistic sons graduate from college. ~Betsi
(this next one totally made me laugh)
* Go to Salzberg, dress in costume like Maria VonTrapp every day, live the Sound of Music tour (also, find a friend who is willing to put up with this or who is willing to drink enough to be able to put up with this). ~T Nelson
* Take a blanket, basket, my two dogs and my family to a park – any old park. Spread it all out on the grass – and stay there until it either becomes to chilly to enjoy it – or it’s just simply time to return home. ~Tee
* Donate my “power suits & dresses” to ~TRB Holt
* Become a professional photographer & leave this working-for-douche bag-dentists behind. I need to be my own boss; to hell with this! ~Sarah (okay that one made me laugh too)
* Zip Line through the Costa Rican rainforest. ~AussieMum
* Be part of a Flash Mob. ~Roksalanna
* Work on a house for Habitat for Humanity. ~Jill Carilli
* Do an airstream camper trip to yellowstone with my peeps. ~Farmgirl Paints
* Take a boudoir picture-stretch marks and all. ~Moosefan
* Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi Kenya, where i’m sure to fall head over heels in love with all the elephant babes being fostered there. ~Just Jen

Thank you so much for sharing!



Happy Midweek!



Leave a Comment
  1. Wow Nella and the tea party….absolutely made my day. I can’t wait to look at the first year book you made for Nella, I’m sure it is beautiful. That is so wonderful that Lainey is such a great big sis!

  2. Can’t believe that Lil Miss Nella is almost one – how did that happen?! Can’t wait to see pics from her first birthday party and I LOVE her baby book. Enjoy!

  3. You are a wonder :-) Lou x

  4. Just lovely! I can’t wait to look through Nella’s book…but I will save it for tonight when I’m alone for the tears will surely fall in sheets.

    And, girl, get yourself a bottle of Goo-Gone. It works wonders on sticky stuff!

  5. LOVE IT~~ Dollar bins and glue guns ROCK!!

    I am currently working on my Bucket List….it is actually my resoultion….create an actual meaningful bucket list!!

    Nella does doggy food too hey??? My 21 month old Jack LOVES ot….Grosses Mama out, but….

    Happy Wednesday Kelle!

  6. ok your house looks amazing being so close to post-holidays! Can you come clean mine?

    Nella and tea parties go together like crumpets and the Dutchess of York! those pictures are simply too cute too not be blown up way too big and hung in the play room. LOVE! and love Laineys dress!

    Also, love that Lainey was able to capture you jumping….a girl after your own heart!
    I’m going to peek at that book right now!

  7. absolutely IN LOVE with the photos of nella in a hat..she’s so grown up!

    kelle I love your’s amazing..your photos, words, EVERYTHING! Kudos, girl!


  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE Nella’s tea Party pic! So BEAUTIFUL!!!

  9. Wow….Nella is nearly one already….where did that year go?? The party is shaping up to be a lot of fun! Hope y’all have a blast xx

  10. I just have to tell you how grateful I am for your lovely little blog. I truly get a little giddy when I see a new post. I need a little “giddy” right now, as I am 8 weeks pregnant, and spend most of my day on the the bathroom tile floor praying that this goes away at 12-13 weeks. So, Kelle, thank you for your blog, and for the putting the “giddy” in my otherwise vomit (yuck) filled day.

  11. What a beautiful midweek post. I am having a terrible hump day feeling more like its down in the dumps day. YOur post lifted my spirits. Reminding me that our time with our littles is precious and amazing, even when we are having to remove a plethora of hello kitty stickers for hours on end from our finest china…oh ,sorry,I mingled our stories:) God bless, my friend. You are wonderful and amazing. Please get a twitter account. We all want u there:)


  12. It’s insane just how happy this little blog of yours makes me! Thank you for the little vacation I get every time I read your writing.

    Love and hugs.

  13. In Nella’s first tea party picture she looks so much like Lainey. Beautiful!

    And I’m in the middle of planning a joint party for my almost 6 year old girl and almost 1 year old boy. He came early and only 8 days after she turned 5. I figure I might as well throw one BIG shindig as long as I can before it’s not cool to share a party with little brother. I keep looking to your blog for party inspiration.

    I love the heart mobile. Do you tie the string at each heart? That would make sense in my head so they don’t all just slide down. Either way, I love it! Thanks!

  14. Oh. My. Gosh. The photo book is absolutely perfect!

  15. Oh my gosh this is the cutest blog ever!! I love it. Very creative, and I love all of your pictures!
    -rylie from

  16. I’ll be back. Running to pick up Griffin from playgroup and only had a minute to quickly look through the pictures. Oh. My. Heavens. How can every post just get better and better? The pictures from the tea party are incredible!!! And that book? I wanna come over and hang out and look through it with you. How’s tonight? :)

  17. Um, that picture of Nella when you busted her playing in the dog food? Priceless. And what is it about dog food bowls that is so attractive to babies?! My 13 month old is constantly scheming to get to ours.

  18. Love the heart mobile!! Such a great craft! Where do you get your ideas from?
    That photo book is another awesome idea! Such a great thing to have to look back on!!
    The tea party is a TEA-riffic idea!

  19. love the book. i’m using shutterfly also to complie my babies frist year. But yours seems to use many features I don’t have access to. more complex layouts, colors, font combos. is it more fancy if i choose a certain route/feature/size book?

  20. The book for Nella is amazing! How in the world did you do all that stuff on Shutterfly?? I use Shutterfly, too, and my stuff looks nowhere near as terrific as yours! Your girls are adorable!

  21. Wow that photobook is incredible! Are those custom layouts and backgrounds? How did you do that?!

  22. I just started reading your blog (I heard about you through the Raising Colorado blog) and I am just in love. While I am not a biological mother (yet), I am a step-mom. You fill me with so much inspiration to be the absolute best one that I can be. Your photos tell us a beautiful story and I commend you for taking motherhood by the horns and just savoring every moment. Your daughters are gorgeous (as are you!) and I look forward to following your story. THANK you!

  23. Forgive me for repeating myself…but Nella has to have one of THE most expressive faces I’ve ever seen! The picture of her with the dog bowl…”What? Latte said I could. I swear!”

  24. Love the book! It is beautiful – as is your family. I make these for my kids every year as well. I love how they line the bookshelf and I can just pick one up and thumb thru it as I wish. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Nella!

  25. I just can’t wrap my brain around how you can accomplish so much! Seriously girl! Nella’s cover girl shot is so sweet.

  26. I forgot to mention before – beautiful new header. It speaks romance.
    Fabulous tea party – I cannot believe Nella left the hat on AND held the tea cup AND smiled at the camera. No way could I get that with my 15 month old! And Dancing Lainey…so free!
    I do love that commercial.
    Great post!

  27. ok so I just spent a good half an hour looking through that beautiful book and girl I think there should be one made of you and the front cover should be you wearing your cape….supermom style.
    Beautiful…absolutely beautiful. Do you take orders? Cuz this girlfriend needs some digital book help.
    Great job!

  28. Nella’s 1 year book moved me to tears. You put together such beautiful books for your girls – what a treasure to have those memories for them!


    PS – Nella’s first tea party pictures – priceless! :)

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  31. I HATE the post office too, but I LOVE Nella’s book. How beautiful and what a keepsake for life. Lovely.

    I’ve decided this morning that visiting Florida is on my bucket list. I need to see the Isle of Capri or something similar one day.

  32. Wow! Wow! Wow! Nella’s book is INCREDIBLE! Brought tears to my eyes. She is so loved.

  33. Love it all.

  34. Your girls are so lucky. And not just because they have the MOST amazing clothes (OGMTHETIGHTSALONE!). I love your blog. I love your photos. I love the incredible amount of love in your heart. Thank you for “Enjoying the Small Things”. You are sincerely an inspiration to me as a mother, woman and human being. Happy New Year!

  35. So much to love!

    1. The pictures of Nella with her tutu, little teacup and beautiful hat! Just when I think Beautiful baby girl!

    2. Loving the colors for the birthday party.

    3. Those eyelashes in the sleeping picture!!!

    4. Cutest necklace ever. Now get to the post office. Your mom’s gonna love it!

    5. Laughing so hard at a few of bucket list comments. Seriously.

    6. Eating dog food has never looked so good!

    7. The cover girl shot! Incredible! I even bought a digital scrapbook software so I could make pages like yours. Not happening. Let’s plan a scrapbooking girls weekend. :)


  36. I’m almost 100% certain that more than one person has given you Anna Quindlen’s, A Short Guide to a Happy Life, but on the very off chance that you haven’t seen it, or just for the sake of sharing good words again and again, after reading this post, I had to comment to share this quote of hers with you: “Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.
    I am a new(ish) mama, and have been reading your blog for many months now, but have been waiting to comment for some unknown reason. When I read this little book of Anna Quindlen’s one of my thoughts was, I have to share this book with that nice Kelle Hampton (in my best Librarian inner monologue voice of course) and got a little chuckle out of how 21st century relationships amongst women are. We (you and I, that is) are, of course, strangers, but through the awesome connection of universal truths, I get a little glimpse into your life, and I am able to feel a little twinge of delight out of finding yet another soul out there that believes in glitter and ordinary magic and giggles and grit. We’re all a powerful lot! So while I’m not sending a physical copy of A Short Guide to A Happy Life, please consider this a virtual copy, and please also know that it comes with a hug and a thank you. Happy Tuesday!

  37. Yep, I’m pretty sure me and my little man are about to head out to Target in a few minutes. Thanks for scouting out the deals for us. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And Nella with the tea cup and big hat??? BIG Awwwww. :)
    Love that last one of Lainey and the balloons. Too cute.

    How do you always seem to get Nella to take a nap with all of yall around?? My little toddler can’t seem to sleep well unless he’s in his bed and we’ve left him alone. lol.

  38. Ooops, happy Wednesday that is…I better go round up a cuppa joe! :)

  39. Love the mailboxes. Tell me where you find the time to do all the good you do.

    Love that you share this beautiful life with us – it’s inspiring.

  40. LOVE the book! Your blog (and your life!) is so inspiring :)

  41. please share what you are going to do with those frames!!! I want to do something frame ish in my family room but can’t afford the frames, but I could do $1 frames and paint them! Can’t wait to see your ideas :)

  42. Just a quick note to tell you that I have been reading all your posts after Nellas birth and they always make me smile… :-) And I love your photos!

    Thank you -for just being YOU!

    My blog:

  43. Wow. I can’t wait to sit down and look through Nella’s first year book! And my On My Side t-shirt arrived yesterday. It totally rocks!! Thanks again from this gal down under in NZ!

  44. I love the heart mobile! That will be on our weekend agenda for sure. Also totally loving the tea party pictures. My girls are 7.5 years apart and with the baby now being 14 months they are starting to play together. I love watching the sweet sisters that I helped make.

  45. I am in love with this beautiful post and your blog.
    And I’m in love with your playlist totally opening another tab to do everything else so I can keep listening.
    Also you helped inspire me to write down my bucketlist

  46. Samantha, we’re using the frames at the party where kids will get to decorate their frames with glue and flowers and take home a picture of themselves from the party in it.

    I would, however LOVE to go back and get about 20 of these (they have them in 5×7 too for the same price), and spraypaint them crazy colors…orange, hot pink, turquoise, lime, red, etc. for a fun collage of everyday photos in our hallway. Just an idea!

  47. Also, I’d love to know more about the chairs in the play room, and the throw pillows on your bed. I want them!

  48. what a beautiful book kelle!!! i have full intentions to do a book like that for my kids, and just haven’t gotten it done yet!! someday, i keep saying! someday!

  49. You are so lucky it stays warm year round! I am jealous.

  50. Kelle! Today while watching “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC with my little one while folding her laundry, I heard Oprah on the commercial, looked over, to see her advertising her next new show….and were YOU on it?? I think I spied you!! So exciting. You are famous. But you knew that already. You’re a rockstar!
    Megan from Tampa

  51. You are killing me with the picture of Nella in her tea party hat and the one with the cat’s food. Sooooooooooo busted, little one! Lainey is quite the craft master. I love it. All of it.

  52. Are the pictures on your picture wall canvas? I always wonder that and just decided to ask. I have a similar wall but with framed pictures and I like your style much better! Just trying to figure out if they are canvas or something else? Love your posts! Very inspirational!

  53. Hi Kelle!

    The photo book is amazing! I am amazed at how you get it all done!! (I know, you’ve told us your house is often in disarray, but wow girl!) So I’m totally looking forward to trying out the heart mobile with my 3 year old boy. Even though he’d really rather I play cars and roar at him. Sigh….! Maybe his baby brother will like doing arts and crafts and baking with Mommy :)

    Have a wonderful party for that beautiful girl of yours. And I’m looking forward to more party inspiration….my baby boy turns 1 on February 2nd!

    Happy Birthday Nella

  54. That book is so freaking adorable!! You are so talented! Your beautiful words and photos are so touching!!

  55. Oh yeah….and Nella at the dog bowl is freaking hilarious! She looks just like the cat with the feather sticking out of it’s mouth!!!

  56. those tea party pics are the cutest thing ever!

  57. I absolutely love the picture of Nella and the tea party. I can’t believe she is almost a year.
    I also just love the picture Lainey took of you. A photographer in the making. I have enjoyed watching your girls “grow” up.

  58. Nella, I could bite her! SO perfect. A year? Amazing. That baby is a world changer.

  59. The tea party pictures are adorable! I had to scroll back up after reading the whole post just to look at them a second time, so sweet!
    and the first year book turned out awesome, I love it!

  60. you should do black and white portraits more often, Kelle…love love love the bw of Nella!

  61. It’s official. Your blog is my happy place. I don’t remember the last time I haven’t teared up at a post, even a simple, uneventful one like this, just because of how pure and innocent and sweet your girls are. Your relationship with them is absolutely beautiful!

  62. Found one more that I had to add . . .

    8. The birthday invitation and pictures!!!

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  64. Megan, funny…several people have asked that. It’s not me. Now I have to check out who this imposter is who apparently looks like me. Ha.

    Angie, they aren’t canvas. They are “frameless” glass frames with clips (Ikea, $5 a piece) with 16×20 prints.

  65. Where in the world did you get Nella’s hat? I LOVE IT! I have a little girl getting ready to turn on on the 19th. Where did this first year go to?

    Can’t wait to look at her book.


  66. just got home from dr appt. ava is sleeping. and i am resting. checked your blog quick and saw you had posted. just read through and looked at every page of the nella’s book. love it. really. its a special one.

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  68. Soooo envious of your open windows, sunshine, and gentle breezes up here in frigid NJ.
    I know everyone says this and I have said it before, but honestly, your girls are amazingly gorgeous. We get to watch them grow through your wonderful photography and they have grown into lovely little ladies.
    And Nella’s one year book is awesome. Love it!

  69. The tea party pictures are beautiful!! I just went to look at Nellas first year photo book and I have to say that it is absolutely breathtakingly INSANELY beautiful.I could stare at it all day. Your little ones are so blessed.They will treasure this gift that you have given them. You rock!! -C

  70. I am about to *hole up in my bedroom* with a Diet Coke and relive your amazing Nella along with you. You have changed me. Thank you for that.

  71. LOVE your photo book for Nella! I do a photo book every year since our first was born. Yours is beautiful.

  72. I took the time to look at Nella’s book and I’m so glad I did. All the sweet words to her are beautiful as are the pictures of your family. What a sweet gift you have in that little Nella. Precious girl.

  73. I am absolutely, insanely in love with you and the inspiration of positivity you fill me up with every time I visit. If you were a Religion I would be Baptized if you were a club I would Join and if you were my friend I would cherish you…giggles, I already do!

  74. I was kinda proud of the little photobooks I had of my son’s first two years, until I saw Nella’s. In a word, WOW. You really are talented. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see the pics from Nella’s first b-day!

  75. it seems like only yesterday i heard about your amazing birth story and was in tears, so moved, reading it, over and over again. i feel like i know you. you have inspired me in more ways than i can ever say. it’s been amazing to watch Nella (and Lainey) grow. happy {almost} birthday to that beautiful little girl!

  76. Oh, I just love that 1st year book! Thanks for sharing it. It was good inspiration for me. Gotta get started!

  77. I constantly check your blog in anticipation of a new post!! Your girls are just lovely and I adore your writing! Regarding the annual books you do for your girls (which I LOVE)… I remember you mentioning in an older post how you did them, but can’t find it! What program do you use? I remember thinking it was one that isn’t available anymore… do you know of anything similar available now?

  78. Okay, I am working on my daughter’s photo book on Shutterfly. How in the world did you get all the cool backgrounds and page layouts? Now that I have seen Nella’s, my Ruby’s is looking pretty shabby! :)

  79. Aww..lovin’ the tea party and the one year book – how can Nella be so big already?! I laughed when I read that you hate going to post office; so do I – hubby goes for me. Love the McDonalds ad! I hope ya dont mind but i wanted to share if anyone wants to help – SLeep Train mattress stores are collecting NEW pajamas, socks, undies for foster kids. Oh, and I love the neclace too~ Kelle, both my dtrs, who are mommies with littles, now read your blog too! I just love that we all share this. Happy mid-week to you too and everyone else! from the blog mama

  80. wow kelle, that book is just gorgeous.

    and thank you for the target photo frame idea… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  81. I bought the same Lisa Leonard necklace for my daughter. At my wedding this summer my new husband presented her with it – it has all three of our names on it (you can see it on our blog header). I love it…and love Lisa Leonard stuff.

    I loved this post…I loved the heart craft you did with Lainey.

  82. Kelle~
    I’ve lurked for a while, but had to make an appearance to tell you how much I LOVED Nella’s book. I’ve made birthday books for my niece and nephew since they were born, and they are always full of meaning and memories, but yours blew me away. Love your book, your blog, your photos, and your family!

  83. Nella looks more and more like Lainey every day!

  84. I love love love the photobook. I do yearly photobooks..and would love to know what program you use to design your pages.

  85. Nella’s pink tutu with matching hat and Lainey’s blue dress twirling……perfectly precious!! Love your blog, your words, your pics, your music. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year and Happy (early) Birthday Nella!

  86. Love Nella’s book!!!

    I still haven’t figured out how to do digital scrapbook pages in my Microsoft Digital Image Suite, but I have version 10…not sure if that makes a difference. Does it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  87. I took my little one to the Dr. this summer for (what turned out to be) a virus. The Dr. needed to rule out Salmonella and asked me if my daughter could have eaten any dog food or raw egg. As much as I wanted to laugh and say, “of course not!” I had to say, “She really loves the dogs food bowl.” Needless to say, I loved he picture of Nella high tailing it to the dog bowl.

  88. Is it already mid-week? And, really, is it gonna take four months for the birdies to come back? That sounds like a long time. Today was a cold grey one!

    Sending love …

  89. Oh goodness Nella and the tea party and the dog food are just too cute!

    Love the idea with the frames – will have to search the dollar section next time I go now. Also love the heart mobile – that’s now on my list of crafts to do with my girl. :)

  90. So this almost seems too mundane to drop into your seemingly-fantasy world (really, you amaze me), but I have a hint for you about the post office. (I discovered this a few weeks ago and have been telling as many people as possible.) You know the flat rate envelope and boxes they sell for you to ship things in? You can order some of them off the USPS website for free and they’ll deliver them to you, also for free. And then you can buy and print the postage at home. And THEN you can actually request a pickup so your mail person comes and gets it from you, or you can just run out there when you see them. You can find all this stuff at the bottom of, under the ‘Ship Online From Start to Finish’ header.

    Voila! Post Office trip averted. I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s actually very easy. I hate going to the Post Office too!

  91. Yes Kelle! Thank you for sharing your dislike of the post office. It is such a pain to drag kids in there and wait in line just to mail something and then have someone let the door slam on you while you are holding your baby and a package, and then tracking down your other two kids screaming at them to “hold on to my pants,” because you don’t have a free hand to hold. OK, I vented. I’m with ya girl!

  92. The picture book was beautiful . Also I cant wait to see her first birthday party pics. And we all love target dollar bins !!!!

    BTW, kelle your post and music give me so much joy and richness.

    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  93. Kelle, I just found your blog and I LOVE IT!!! Love your story, your photos, your amazing photo book, your playlist….hugs, Margie Rowles

  94. We’re all set for Valentines Day here too! My girls are already saying “Happy Valentine’s Day!” LOL. BTW, Bennett’s FAVORITE thing to do is sneak into the kitchen to play with the dog bowls! He’ll peek in there to see if I have them on the floor and if I do, he makes a bee line to those things so fast-too funny!

  95. THREE more months please, not four!! :) Early April her in IL can either be in the 60’s and 70’s or still pretty cold. So maybe don’t take such good care of those birds and they’ll want to come back sooner :)

    Nella is so gorgeous! She is looks so much older in these pics and her hair is suddenly so long and darker.

    Thanks for the mobile idea, very cute.

  96. I am so jealous that you can get your little one to nap on your bed. Even when we were co-sleeping, my little one thought the bed was a playground. I wish she could just fall asleep snuggling under the covers. Your girls are so beautiful! And your heart is just as gorgeous! I love reading your posts- definitely lifts my spirits every time. I often forget to shift my perspective and find the little wonders through out the day With four kids who have 4 different agendas and wants and needs, the view can get a little muddied. But your posts are a gentle reminder so savor, savor, savor each moment with them. Thank you for that :-)

  97. I had so many “Kelle” moments today!
    I went to Target and totally made out with the dollar aisle. I saw the little mailboxes as well. And holy cow, Target is going to town with the Valentines Day stuff already, and I KNEW that you were eyeing all the “LOVE” decor. Bed Bath & Beyond has a small 8×8 picture that says something like “write your own life story” and has an old b/w picture of a typewriter that says “XOXO” on it. And I am now obsessed with Shutterfly and have been making many, many books. Top that off with some coffee, and that was my coincidental Kelle Hampton day. Ta-da!

  98. How we Minne-soo-tans long to hear the hum of the neighbors’ lawn mowers and the little birdies in the morning. We look forward to May. Really look forward to May.

  99. I am so excited you found my bucket list funny! But seriously, I work for a giant douche bag. I won’t even go there…agh!! Thanks for the shout out!

    There is so much excitement in this post- I was torn between immeidatly clicking on the book link & continuing on….I am going to the book link right this second! And I must know, where will we be able to get this book? I would love to have it! Your blog is one of the few things that grounds me back to reality these days…I love life, but sometimes its crazy, and its hard, and I know you know it just as well as I do, sometimes, I just need to re-read one of yoru posts, to get back the feeling it gives me.

    I cannot wait to see Nella’s party pics!! yay!!

  100. Love the hat, tea cup and curled toes. So cute.

  101. How do you look at the photo book??

  102. I think your post just pretty much inspired my next day off with my kids- tea party and Valentine’s mobile! Ha ha. Seriously- l love the mobile. SO cute! Everything crafty you do is so inspiring!

  103. the book is simply beautiful. What a keepsake!

  104. That book- INSANELY beautiful! And that picture of Nella and the tea cup? INCREDIBLE!!! I love Nella caught in the act! My 10 month old ALWAYS goes for the dog dishes- soaks himself from the water and has to get changed several times a day….. Love the crafts and birthday plans in progress!! Can’t wait to see more!!!

  105. The photos of Nella with the teacup… gorgeous!!!!

  106. Beautiful pictures, beautiful words, beautiful girls! Love Nella in the dog food! This past Thanksgiving someone took the dog food bowl and put it on the counter so all the little ones wouldn’t get into it – and my husband’s uncle thought it was an appetizer and ate quite a bit before anyone realized! We couldn’t stop laughing… :)

  107. I just recently started following your blog and I love it! You have an absolutely beautiful family!

  108. Nella handled that tea party like a pro! So so cute!

    Loved the book Kelle! I cried and laughed! Love that so many get to watch this journey of her’s!

    I almost want to buy the book to have on hand to share with everyone!


  109. I have to know where you got the hat Nella was wearing in the precious tea party pictures??? I did a blue and red party theme for my Little Lilah’s birdie themed 1st birthday party last month! Check out pictures on my very amateur blog…

  110. You get me every time Kelle. The book is adorable and precious. So talented you are <3

  111. Kelle, your photos KILL me every time. I love your creativity and uniqueness. Have a fab week.

  112. Oh my word … tears are streaming down my face at Nella’s one year book. Whew! My daughter was born a month and some days after Nella and her book just made me relive MY little one’s firsts. Whew again!


  113. The book is truly amazing!

  114. amazingly perfect, every bit of it. and the 1 year photo book is beyond great. treasure it.

  115. Is that round yellow pillow on your bed from TJ Maxx? If so, I bought 4 in different colors last week at ours, because they are, well, amazing!

  116. Whose kid doesn’t eat pet food of some kind or another? My 22 month old just spit out her first 4 word sentence when she saw that picture, “I see baby doggy!” She wouldn’t let me scroll down the page. Your pictures are truly worth a thousand words!

  117. My darling hubby gifted me with the exact same necklace for Mother’s day last year. I cherish it and wear it everyday ! What a lovely gift for your mom.

    Can’t wait to see Nella’s party !!

  118. Your pictures gave me that touch of summer that I’ve been needing, because once christmas is around the corner, I am ready for it to heat back up and this chill to be long gone. No such luck, it’s still cold and I still need to slip on a jacket before I go out. Even standing on my steps outside barefoot feels like I’m auditioning to be in the next season of Survivor.

    Nella is amazing beautiful, but sometimes you will take pictures that just make me jealous of you. Your girls are absolutely divine, and you can see the personality and spirits they hold in their twinkling eyes. And i wonder each time i read your blog what it must feel like to know you’re raising them to become these amazing independent individuals. I’ll have that one day, i know, but sometimes it sucks knowing that life can only bring you so much at one time, and you must take the steps to get to where that point in time is. (:

    I enjoy the steps i’m taking lately, and so far 2011 has been a great year, ya know, the whole 5 days we’ve been into it. I just have a good feeling about it (;

    now i shall go look at Nella’s book because you have some serious talent when it comes to making these. & so far nella’s birthday plans look like it’s going to turn out to be a blast! Those mailboxes look lovely.

    Have a great rest of the week, and enjoy that nice weather for me!! Us PA people are stuck coat-hat-and-gloving it.

  119. I love how Nella just falls asleep on your bed with her sister hanging out around her….so sweet!! As always, thanks for sharing your wonderful ‘small things’ with us! xo

  120. Love this post! But the thing I just gotta know is where did you find the bright fabric on your armless chairs?!?!?!? Seriously, I have to find myself some.

  121. The book you made for Nella is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope you don’t mind, but after first hearing about the annual photo books you make (when you posted the one you made for Lainey for her last birthday), I had to steal the idea. My son turned one this past September. I loved your idea of making a book each year remembering all of the wonderful moments, so I had to start the tradition in my own little family. The book I made for him is much simpler (since I’m quite the amateur at taking photos and scrapbooking), but I enjoyed every second I spent putting it together. I loved reliving his first year while creating it, I love looking through it whenever I get the chance (which is often), and I will love sharing it with him when he’s old enough to understand what it is. What a great way to celebrate how special he is!

    So, thank you for the wonderful idea, thank you for sharing your life and your family, and thank you for the beauty and inspiration you give to your readers. By the way, my sweet little boy enjoys sitting on my lap and looking at the pictures of your adorable babies. It always puts a big smile on his face.

  122. Ok so ignore part of my earlier comment where I asked how I could buy your book. lol Now I am reading back through comments, and now that I actually looked at it, I didn’t realize it was like, a baby book, I thought you were writing like, a published book. (But are you doing that too?? If not, you totally should!) So my apologies, I am not trying to rip off your baby book. lol

    And the book is fantastic by the way! Going to look at it again… so awesome!

  123. Seriously, LOVED SO MUCH about this post, your girls’ having a tea party together, (this completely inspires me to have one with mine), the heart hanging mobile, Nella’s book is GORGEOUS – I smiled through every page flip.

  124. I absolutely LOVE the photo book! What a treasure you have created for her. Nicely done!

  125. I was also wondering if you will share what your planning for Nella’s 1st birthday, as my Avalynn is 4 days younger than Nella and I am in heavy birthday planning mode myself would love to hear about your plans for Nella’s celebration!

  126. Hey happy midweek to you! I thought of you and your beautiful Nella today. I work at a high school and Sara Wolff (, a motivational speaker with Down Syndrome came to speak to our students about accepting people with differences and to motivate them to use their talents. She attributes her success and participation in life to her mother who always believed in her and gave her many opportunities not just to survive but the thrive. As I sat there I thought, “Nella can be this, Kelle will totally give her the same opportunities Sara’s mom gave her.” Yup, I am a total stranger and today I got the chills in a high school assembly imagining Nella’s future. Hopefully someday she will understand how awesome it is to have a Mom who doesn’t just make the crafts or bake on her own but lets her girls help her even though all the ribbon unravels and those Hello Kitty stickers are stuck where you never intended. :) Kudos to you Kelle and to all moms of children with disabilities who believe their children may be different but just as able to lead a happy, fulfilling, and productive lives!

  127. Hey happy midweek to you! I thought of you and your beautiful Nella today. I work at a high school and Sara Wolff (, a motivational speaker with Down Syndrome came to speak to our students about accepting people with differences and to motivate them to use their talents. She attributes her success and participation in life to her mother who always believed in her and gave her many opportunities not just to survive but the thrive. As I sat there I thought, “Nella can be this, Kelle will totally give her the same opportunities Sara’s mom gave her.” Yup, I am a total stranger and today I got the chills in a high school assembly imagining Nella’s future. Hopefully someday she will understand how awesome it is to have a Mom who doesn’t just make the crafts or bake on her own but lets her girls help her even though all the ribbon unravels and those Hello Kitty stickers are stuck where you never intended. :) Kudos to you Kelle and to all moms of children with disabilities who believe their children may be different but just as able to lead a happy, fulfilling, and productive lives!

  128. Wow Kelle!
    Seriously you are amazing!
    So much inspiration…..everything you do is so beautiful.

    The book is amazing!!!! Made me cry….Love that as I read and look through it I could remember from following the blog the pics and postings.

    Can’t wait to see what you are creating for Nella’s party. can’t believe she is turning one already (and Sienna) :)

  129. Oh, I hate going to the post office, too! You’d think I’d love it. Getting snail mail is pretty much my favorite thing in the world (next to visits from my favorite people).

    But, no, I detest going to the post office with all my heart. I spent 40 minutes in line there today, and it dashed my chocolate-chip-cookie-making plans. Lame-o.

  130. I just have to say how much I adore the idea of our Illinois birds hanging out “on loan” in Florida.

    Your sleeping baby pics are magical. So sweet.

  131. I so look forward to this blog! Love the heart-mobile. And so grateful that you have shared the story of Nella so honestly and so well. She is a treasure and I cheer her on! Blessings to her first year! I shall raise my teacup to her this month. :-)

    p.s. Are you writing a book? You should. For realsies.

  132. As always, your book is amazing!!! You truly are an inspiration, Kelle. How do you choose your photos? I don’t take nearly as many photos as you, but fret over which to include in my books. Advice? :)

  133. your colour scheme for nella’s party is the exact scheme in my daughter’s bedroom. and the best colour combo OF ALL TIME.


  134. p.s. yeah, i’m canadian. “color”, if you will!

  135. OMW. Every day I evaluate if we should have a 3rd baby or not (I have 2 boys, 3.5 and 1.5), and OMG Nella’s baby book may have pushed me over.the.edge! Beautiful!

    PS> I just nominated your blog for a few different categories on the 2011 Bloggies :) Another blog I read requested nominations, but I made sure you got in there too :) Love your blog. It’s my perfect morning coffee.

  136. “You’re so totally busted, Nella.” made me LOL. Thank you for your positive energy and gorgeous pictures. When I’m feeling down or disheartened, this blog is a ray of sunshine. ^_^

  137. What sweet, special girls you have. I cannot get over how much Nella has changed in the past month or so. Looking more like a toddler and less like a baby each new post. I’m sure that’s hard on your mama heart, but the progress she has made is incredible!
    I know her birthday will be fabulous! You’re so creative!

  138. I have wanted to post a response for so long, but the words I want to express don’t seem to flow the way I want them to. If you knew me, you’d know how rare and unusual that is. Thus, a simple thank you for allowing and reminding me and my two little girls how to enjoy the small things. God bless!

    P.S. – We LOVE the picture book! It was amazing…

  139. Hey Kelle, I was behind on my Google Reader due to holiday busyness (not business, or as my son used to say, “bi-ness,” which sounds… sketchy), so I had 6 posts to read in a row today. (Which, since I read it on your site to get the full effect, meant listening to “Soldier” three times – not that I’m complaining, since Ingrid is, of course, awesome.) You totally had me laughing tonight! And Nella’s tea party hat is afreakingdorable. It’s been fun to “get to know you” (hmm, the quotes make that seem sketchy, too…) over the past year. I totally feel like I know you guys. (Okay, that just sounds creepy.) At any rate, I loved what you said about the other side of the Santa photo – SO funny! It was like that for us this Christmas, too, only it was a random snowman and I ended up having to stand in the picture with my daughter as she attempted to flee the scene. Is there anything lamer than being in a Winter Photo as an adult?? Oh, and your Christmas card pictures are probably the best I’ve seen. Did you experience the hell everyone else seems to when your kids are all crazy and distracted and it takes 659 frames to get good ones? Because they look perfect.
    All right, as much as I’m a fan of Sufjan, I can’t deal with another round of “Chicago.” Gotta get to bed. Anyway, thanks for the laughs and the insight. I appreciate you.

  140. Lainey reminds me a little (in a good way) of Stevie Nicks, spinning in her beautiful blue, swirly dress. And coincidentally, today Nici posted a picture of her little Ruby with a “D’oh! Busted!” look on her face, similar to Nella’s at the dog food bowl. All the girls, Nici’s and yours, are SO CUTE! :-)

  141. Wow-your book of Nella’s first year is AMAZING!!!! I love it!!! I also think it’s awesome that my baby girl (also just 1)is having the same color scheme (turquoise & red) for her birthday party!! Great minds, right?:0)

  142. I am in love, love, love with Nella’s book. I’m gonna do the same thing for my sweet Ali girl. If only I was as talented of a photographer as you are!

  143. Love…love…love! I really needed a mid-week pick me up! You never disappoint Kelle! I still have to make my bucket list…but I can start by marking one off the list! I actually made an appointment to do a boudoir photo shoot! I’m excited and SCARED OUT of my MIND!!! Oh…and for Moosefan…I was concerned about my stretch marks too…after 4 babies…I was told I would look flawless! Now…to get my butt in gear and lose this baby weight for good!!! The photo shoot is my carrot…hee hee ๐Ÿ˜‰

  144. Wow, Kelle – the book is amazing! What an amazingly cute little girl she is!

  145. Kelle,
    It was such a nice surprise to see my Bucket List item mentioned!
    It really made my day :-)
    Your book is beautiful.
    I particularly love the cover shot of Nella.

  146. LOVE Nella’s book – I can’t believe she is turning 1! And I wish you won the Oprah talk show host. I’m due in a week with my second girl, and your book made me teary-eyed.

  147. Love your book! I order some from time to time.

    What a year!!! What two great little girls you get to raise. :)

    Happy 2011!

  148. Would you also please share a source for printing you cards? I just *know* that Christmas card layout was your own!

  149. You give me so many smiles… glad to know I gave you one too. :) And btw, “Nella Busted” could be my fave pic yet!

  150. I love the pictures of Nella in the hat…those are great! Lainey’s blue dress is marvelous!!! Thanks for sharing your life with us!!! I love your blog, pictures & playlist!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  151. Is it me or is Lainey like a foot taller since I saw her in my mountains?

    Love the jumping shots. That’s how I remember you.

    The book is wonderful. I am always in awe of your books. It’s like knitting. I love a good knit object but I don’t knit, don’t really want to learn how to knit. I try to learn but then realize other people can be good at it and I’ll just buy their stuff. Except if I bought Nella’s book Ruby might think that’s weird at some point. You know. Your girl’s books are impressive and loving. Good job, mama.

    Love that last photo of Lainey. And, thanks for sharing some bucket items! Those made me a little teary. And my mom made the list!

    Nella’s almost one! Ah! xo

  152. T Nelson~
    I am SO down with going with you :o) And I wont need a single drink to put up with it!!!!

    Off to look at Nella’s book!

  153. <3

  154. all your photos are beautiful as usual. i can’t believe nella can just sleep on the bed like that- mine would never stay still long enough.

    tears at the mention of the 1st birthday- we have one in our house in 2 weeks. 2 weeks!

  155. I love that you are bragging about the warmth and it was 14 degrees here tonight as we were returning home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I also adore the fact our miracle girls, sent here to deliver a message much bigger than all of us, are upcoming on their 1st birthdays.


  156. hi there, , you have a beautiful family, and your girls are so very cute!! you are a great source of inspiration with your very outlook on life, and although I have just just found your blog a few weeks ago I have very much enjoyed reading it so far…I look forward to reading more in this coming year, happy new years to you all.

  157. I have long had a pet theory, that the further we get away from our agricultural heritage, and the acute awareness of the seasonal rhythms that were necessary to live that life, the more we need other rituals and reminders to mark the changing of the seasons of our lives. It’s still part of our DNA. Now that I’m aware of this primal urge to mark the passing of time, I try to honor these passages more as things I do (rituals, celebrations) rather than things I buy. As always, another wonderful post.

  158. Nella’s tea party pics put the biggest smile on my face! You are so talented!! I am in love with Nella’s scrapbook and need to figure out how to start digital scrapbooking. I am still “old school” when it comes to scrapbooking. Happy first birthdaying!

  159. Loving Nella’s beautiful first year book, Lainey’s style and your amazing creativity. :))

    “Our greatest gift to the world may be in sharing what gives us the greatest joy…” ~Sam Keen

  160. Nella looks like she’s got alot of tea parties in her future :)

  161. You’ve been busy girlie. Love all the little crafts and things.

    When I have more time I’ll be back to pour over Nella’s book and how you did it. I’ve always wanted to do one of those.

    I am lovin’ those photography books you suggested. I started a class this week and seriously the book are way better;) The good thing about the class is that it will force me to put into practice what I’m learning and that’s just what I need.

    Have a beautiful day down there. I would kill to have my windows open. It’s been bitter here. Loved seeing my bucket list in your post…thank you for that:)

  162. What a beautiful book! You tell an awesome story of your little Nella :)

  163. I can’t believe it! It seems like just a few months ago “we unwrapped our gift of Nella”….A year ~ already so soon?…..
    xoxo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  164. Oh my goodness how do you find the time to make such lovely photo books?

    I may need to make your heart “mobile” for Valentine’s Day!

  165. What an amazing memoir of Nella’s first year! Kelle you rock! Thank you so much for sharing. I love your choice of theme for celebrating Nella’s 1st. I can’t wait to see what fabulosity you whip up!

  166. Love the last picture of Lainey skipping away with the balloon. Heck I love all the pictures and Nella’s one year book! Now I know what a tchotchke is and how to say it. Thanks for the midweek smile fest as I read your blog. susan

  167. my five year old and i enjoyed sitting here together looking at your post~ our favorite pic was nella in the dog food!! :) she’s such a doll~

    wanted you to know i totally copied your idea on your birthday blog and linked you on my site!!

    thanks for the inspiration.

    love, a.

  168. Love the mobile, love the tea party, love Lainey skipping! I love the richness of your uneventful!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful commemoration of sweet Nella’s First Year. I am working on my son’s book and am equally as excited to pour over it upon its arrival in the quiet of night. What an awesome experience.

    My little man, who was born on that same fateful day in January, is a true treasure(just like his big sister!)and I am so grateful for that seemingly insignificant connection – I am not a blog follower, but that little coincidental birthday thing rocked me to the core when I read Nella’s birth story. Knowing that Nella and Abe were erupting into this world at almost exactly the same time and embarking on this magnificent journey of life…I felt a bond, I fell in love with her, and you and your family that day. My love and appreciation of what you do for those girls, your community, your readers and the world continues to grow daily. So, this January 22 – we are celebrating, Baby! And while we toast the boy and his first 365, I will be saying a prayer of Thanksgiving for you and Abe’s little Florida “twin.” You have changed the way I parent, you have been a remarkable influence on the way I live every day, and you have challenged me to ENJOY the smallest of things right along with the grand.
    Happy party planning! And I second the Goo-Gone recommendation…in case Hello Kitty finds herself stuck to any other places she doesn’t really belong…

  169. LOVED Nella’s book! It is simply amazing! I, too, a total stranger, cried when I read it and looked at the awesome photos of that precious little girl! What an amazing gift to give to her, one for her to treasure for years to come! Kelle, you are an amazing mother and you inspire all of us!

  170. Totally amazing, as always! I love the idea of the Valentine’s mobile and think that we’ll be making one of those after school today.

    I dislike going to the post office, too, and you can schedule a pickup from your front door as long as you have at least one item going Priority Mail. You can print and pay for postage online, then schedule a pickup – it’s so easy and the mailman leaves a receipt to show he’s gotten your packages.

  171. Wow! I’ve noticed just in the last few weeks that Nella is looking older, like her hair is longer, face maturing, something… Dang! Both girls are so precious! Cuties!!! Love the photo book, too. Thanks for sharing (:

  172. So excited to see Nella’s first book! I have been so inspired by your story over the past year as your life has changed forever in such an incredible way. It has truly changed the way I view parenting and the kick-ass quality of mothers.

    Thank you for your transparency and dedication to love those girls!

  173. Kelle:

    I feel my comment will be long winded and many pointed. Here goes!

    1.Your pictures today seemed especially clear, lively and gorgeous. Perhaps it’s because we’re moving onto the bright red hearts of valentines day and away from the deep, rich hues of Christmas and dark winter days that I was just immersed in (in Vermont) for the last month. Either way….a breath of springy air. Ahhhh….

    2. I love how even though your photography will always be so characteristically ‘you’- your subjects keep changing in that your little girls are growing up. Even the way they interact with the lens is changing considerably, and that means your photography keeps growing and changing and stays so fresh and fun.

    3. Dude. I was so bummed that Christmas, my absolute favorite holiday and time of year, has ended and I’m back to drudgery of work and rainy seattle. But this post reminded me that hey! Pretty soon there will be candy hearts and spring chick decals! It really is the little things…

    4. Those mailboxes? Might be worth me taking a trip to target. And I hate shopping.

    5. Nella’s little mouth looks like a tiny rosebud. She is so so so so beautiful I can hardly stand it!!

    Thanks, my first morning back to real life really needed this!


  174. Is it just me or is Miss Nella’s hair turning just a bit red? Lovely!

  175. OK, I have been a bit teary lately thinking about a year ago when we were still just imagining our Nella. And all the while, angels were preparing her for her debut…smoothing that wispy hair, separating each perfect eyelash on those almond eyes, holding tight those tiny creased hands until she left heaven, filling her heart with such love and joy and then, when all was ready, sending her to our hearts…knowing as only heaven can, the wonder, the growth, the deep, deep joy and love we would discover in her…yes, I am just reflecting…and looking forward to celebrating one year of Nallalicious life. Her Poppa’s heart is so full…so full.

  176. Wow. One of these days, I’ll remember not to look at your girls’ books while I am at work. It makes me cry, first of all, and then makes me want to ditch work, and go home and get my baby, and take pictures of her. I have to admit, I am jealous that you can create these works of art! So beautiful!

  177. such STYLE those girls and their mama have.

  178. wow the book is amazing! your girls are beautiful :)

  179. The photo book is such a treasure. Thanks for allowing up to take a look at it. Thought you might enjoy the froggy legs on my latest post…
    I’ve decided that I need to come up with a bucket list but still haven’t done so. I am thinking “having a photo shoot done by Kelle Hampton” will go at the top of my list!

  180. OK, so is it so bad that the Target dollar bins bring us creative mom’s so much joy? And why is it that an hour lazily shopping the aisle of Michael’s bring me, a un-admitted-crafter, so much joy? It’s all about the presentation, and we know it—who cares if it came from a dollar bin – a little hot glue and some pretty’s and it’s amazing.

    Love the photo book! An fantastic keepsake. Thnx for sharing.

  181. I LOVE your Nella book…. just lovely. My little Will just looked at the whole thing with me and kept saying Baby! Baby! and giggling. My son, Ben will be 4 on January 22nd… it is a splendid birthday. I really love your blog, Kelle! You’re a ray of sunshine and I love looking at your pictures :)

  182. I am absolutly in love with the tea party pics! Nella and Lainey are truely queens.
    I think I will borrow your idea for a craft! I love it and what isn’t more lovely than paper hearts hanging around the house?!?!

  183. oh happy midweek to you too kel! love love nella’s book and can’t wait to see it in person! can’t believe its almost been a year and precious nella is going to be ONE! horray! the hearts gave me a great idea to string on my new holiday tree for garland…so fun. the pic of nella looking at kinsley in the last post is just lovely…i love it! xoxo

  184. Can I just say again that I love your blog! You take such amazing pictures and you are a wonderful mother.

    I love Nellas book…it’s amazing!

  185. So many sweet pictures! I look forward to your posts…as do many. So thanks for keeping us happy.

    I can’t believe Nella is about to be a year old. Time really does fly, doesn’t it. Congrats to you all for a wonderful first year with Nella. Her book is just delightful.


  186. I sometimes get nervous reading about you sitting there with an open window and the sounds of a lawn mower. I get nervous because it really pulls at my heart strings to pick up my little family and move somewhere hot. I really really really hate the cold. I never hated it THIS MUCH but now that I have littles, it’s so much worse! I’m not against going outside in the winter, even though it takes 20 min to bundle them up. But when you get out there and no one wants to play or move because the wind is slapping you with what feels like wooden ors it’s really hard to be grateful for the change of season. So after 20 min of bundling up two kids (who decide they have to pee or one has a dirty diaper just as you walk out the door, only to unbundle and rebundle with 40 min gone) it makes me crave those barefoot-sunny-lazy-sitting on the grass afternoons… like really crave them…
    But I know you used to live in the snow and probably miss it sometimes.. the grass is always greener? I don’t know – it’s just your pics look so lovely as I look out my frost covered window with my 3 three bored as I type!! ha ha!! (i should mention that i am in love with summer) it’s so nice to tap into other parts of the world! love you!

  187. Lovely pictures as always! I totally know what you mean about warm climates and no real defined winter. We are in North Queensland (australia)- hot and hotter and humid year round – and each year we escape south to Tasmania for a few precious weeks in winter to feel the cold air on our faces for a while. This year we’ll be taking a newborn with us – scary. Enjoy re-living Nella’s first year through your lovely book.

  188. I love, love, love Nella’s baby book. Your girls are so lucky to have a mommy that captures all these awesome memories.
    I am getting better and better at that. I am also in the process of trying to create a first year book for my son…Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
    BTW, the tea party pictures are so adorable!!!

  189. The photobook is amazing. You are amazing. Happy birthday to your sweet Nella.

  190. As a blogger I know how awesome it is to get a comment, but even so…all these comments! Wow…I cannot even imagine. Anyhoo…had to say that the photos of sweet Nella having her tea is just about the sweetest thing EVAHHHHH….wow. That one just warms my heart!

  191. Kelle. I have emailed you before about the inspiration you give to me. This read today, though, has me in tears for the first time since I read Nella’s birth story. We don’t know each other, we never will, but on some strange level, I feel like all of us (your readers), we are all your friends. Your very lucky friends. Lucky to have someone willing to share their life, their family, their beauty with us so openly. Someone who sees no shame in not editing their life for others. As I have told you before, your honesty in the words you share with us, is beautiful and strong, and it makes me proud to have a “friend” who isn’t afraid to let it all out. Nella’s book is beautiful, and I sat teary eyed looking at and reading each gorgeous page. My daughter will be a year old on the 19th, and reading all of this has only excited me more about that day we have longed for, for so many months now. Congratulations on Nella’s first year. Keep on truckin’ Mama. Keep on finding that beauty in life and enjoying all of the small things God has so blessed us all with. Keep gracing us all with your words, because these “friends” of yours, we’ve got your back ๐Ÿ˜‰

  192. Kelle, This has to be one of my favorite posts of yours! It was beautiful! I especially loved the pictures of Nella at the tea party. So cute the way she is holding that cup! And thank you for allowing us to see Nella’s first year book! I always enjoy seeing them and as always, it is absolutely beautiful! It’s funny how time flies..going through the book I can remember specific posts. It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year! Just think, fall will be here before ya know it! :) Thanks again, Kelle!

  193. Nella having her tea party is so presh… I loved how she knew what to do with the cups and i loved her little hat.. Such a little queen in training.. Hope yall have a great weekend :)

  194. Tooooooootally making that valentine heart mobile! How cute is that? I MEAN REALLY?!

    I’m so jealous of your weather. I am over this stupid Utah snow. My 4 year old Harper told me yesterday in the car “Mom, why can’t we live where it’s summer all the time?” and I said “babe, where is that?” and he replied “duh, San Diego. It’s the best.” Yes Harper. Yes it is.

  195. Kelle, your pictures never fail to bring a smile to myself, but your words… your words touch my heart everytime…. Today, it is these words:

    “I still can’t believe it’s almost been the enormous breadth of an entire year since she slipped into our lives, so dramatically and yet so purposefully, clearing muddled spaces we didn’t realize existed.”

    Today, I am celebrating the first birthday of my Little Miracle, Patrick and I am without words adequate to express how this day is resonating with me. Enjoy Nella’s Birthday. It is awesome.

  196. Hi! What an amazing memoir of Nella’s first year! So many lovely pic! Tea-party, now I am in love :-)

    Thank you for sharing – all over the world.

    Love from Norway :-)

  197. So amazingly cute!! Love all of it!! You are a rock star for sure!!

  198. Love the red and turquoise for the party! I did a red and light blue theme for my son once and have quite a few mini red “double bubble” gumball machines left! They are yours for the asking….post on my Facebook wall…let me know….

  199. Dawn Van Brunt by the way…thought my last name would post too

  200. Needed a tea party today. When I get bogged down with life I come to check on your girlies and my day turns around. Thank you. Nella’s book is amazing and I just know that she will flourish, how could she not with all of that love. Now that I have enjoyed your small things I think I will go kiss mine as they sleep in their beds.

  201. dear kelle,
    I am enraptured by your blog.
    I gave birth to a 2.6 pound preemie last December, welcomed him tentatively/trepidaciously/lovingly/all-encompassing into a home with a rambuctious two year old sibling and sometimes I think you are typing my exact thoughts.

    the sentence “an entire year since she slipped into our lives, so dramatically and yet so purposefully, clearing muddled spaces we didn’t realize existed” touched a nerve I didn’t know existed.

  202. Kelle
    The book is DARLING! What a great mama to put in the work of documentation. She will be dragging that book to her first kindergarten show and tell. She is so loved!!

  203. To Love what you shared – i have read much of Quindlen’s works. To Bloom3008 and Julie: love what you wrote. As always, Poppa Rik, love your words – mostly the “Nellalicious life”. Oh, YOU! I, too, love many of the Bucket list ideas. Happy mid-week to all, indeed from the Blog Mama~

  204. * Zip Line through the Costa Rican rainforest. ~AussieMum

    I don’t know if I would say it was in the rainforest but I did go zip linning in Costa Rica–amazing would be an understatement! Definitely a good one to be on the bucket list!!

  205. Your book is amazing…and moving. :)

  206. Hi Kelle

    I stumbled upon your blog almost a year ago now and pretty much religiously follow your posts. I was so surprised to see the new little girl you have emerging in Nella. I missed the last 10 days and from the last time I looked at pics of her, to this post, there is a new face :) She is beautiful.
    *Rosalind, South Africa

    I love sharing in your daily glimpses. Thank you for sharing.

  207. OMGoodness that picture of nella in the hat at the tea party, seriously cute beyond words. she’s posing already, taking after lainey. smiles.

  208. Both of your girls are just breathtakingly beautiful. Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring blog!

  209. I absolutely LOVE this post and these photos!!! Simple and perfect… The pics, your words, your beautiful girls. You are blessed in so many ways and we are blessed with your sharing… (I discovered your blog through another blogging photog, out here in N CA & am looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store!)
    Take care… ~Rachel

  210. * Love the necklace, your mom will too! Lisa Leonard rocks!
    * Nella is too cute in the hat!
    * Get a bottle of Un-Du, I promise you will love it for getting stickers off anything! ANd they stay sticky!
    * Your photos are to die for!

  211. New bucket item for moi…a tea party with Ms. Nella Bella in her pretty pink tea party hat!! Just scrumptious she is!! And of course Big sis would join in with her oh so happy spirit!! I haven’t had as many “girly” tea parties over here…I’m usually in the middle of a Star Wars lightsaber battles or finding treasure with fierce pirates-although adventurous and fun and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything…a sweet tea party always makes a girl’s spirit smile:)
    Happy Tea Parties Hampton girls!!

  212. I glanced through the book and I LOVE it! I also LOVE the dog food pic of Nella and the pic of Lainey (from the last post) holding the dog and telling him its ok…so cute and sweet my 3 yr old is sassy and says things like “mommy, daddy is talking back to me” but she is also hilarious and prayers for numbers and clean towels at night! I LOVE my girls and its so easy to see you LOVE yours :) Happy New Year

  213. How is Nella already so big? The book is darling.

  214. Love this post and Nella totally rockin’ the tea party. :)

  215. Love jumping pictures especially when they are taken by mini photographers! That Nella of yours sure is a looker… what a beautiful baby.

  216. love the girly tea party shots!

  217. Oh my! The book…the book is ABSOLUTELY amazing. I wish I had one-tenth of your creativity. WOW! Beautiful. Well done. What a treasure for Nella.

  218. nella’s first year book is AMAZING… it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year, my how it flies. zachary will be 1 on tuesday and i reflect on the complete shock, sadness, worry that came on his first day that seems so far away now. i wish someone could tell all mommies in that moment that it is the best little miracle that you can imagine and have them believe it.

  219. Another AMAZING birthday book! I cannot wait to see the party pics, makes me want to start planning my own little one’s third b-day party (that’s not until July!). :)

  220. beautiful, all of it- your blog is a dose of happiness.

  221. your life just looks like a dream! i am sure it’s very real but it looks dreamy!
    i am in die for love with those pictures on your wall!!!

  222. Ooh! I am doing red+turquoise too for my Libby’s first birthday (on 01-25, but the party is on 01-22)…love it! We’re doing polka dots as well and I found TONS of great things in the Target Dollar bins.

    Love that you’re doing those colors too…we’re having a “bee” theme since I call Libby my busy bee…so there’ll be some yellow and chocolate brown too. Lots of polka dots!

    There will be PLENTY of time for pink and purple (or orange and gree and blue, if that’s what she wants) in the years to come!

  223. Your blog is amazing! I just spent way to much time on here Your girls are beautiful as are you! You have a way with words!
    Have you thought about posting some pics of your house? I love your style and would love to see more

  224. My shutterfly book is getting delivered Monday too…and I can’t wait! It was my son’s first year as well and that is hard to wrap my mind around. Time goes so fast sometimes I want to fall to my knees and start sobbing. The love and joy cannot be contained…and time will certainly not slow down. Am I doing enough to take it all in? Those moments when I sit and just zone out…will I regret them terribly in five years when all my babies are at school? Your blog has helped me smooth out these fears. Because when you subtract enough from good enough, you are left with just good.

  225. Love your craft ideas! So awesome!

  226. Loved the pictures of all those sweet spirits!! I had a 1st cousin that had downs, how I wished that his parents had been more like you… I’m not sure but it always seemed to be a unhappy struggle, Nella is so lucky to have a Family like yours to help her be the best she can be! What a blessing!

  227. Thank you so much for your blog. I discovered it several months ago, and it’s one of the first blogs I click on when I open my Google blog reader. You are such a daily inspiration. Also, I love your clothes and your girls’ clothes. Where do you like to shop? I’d love to know where you get some of your girls’ cute things!

  228. Hey Kelle!

    I get excited to read all of your posts, but I am just trying to catch up tonight.

    See our house had a horrible flood that has left us homeless and our insurance will not cover enough to make our home liveable for myself, husband and baby girl. EVERYTHING was destroyed. So as you can tell I have not had much time to be reading and messing around on the internet.

    I also wanted to post b/c I know that you have such a large following I felt that if I posted something maybe other people could help me figure this out.

    So, any ideas or tips on how to get through this time in our lives. We have a frame of a house with no way to fix it at this time b/c we have no money to fix it. We have very little supply of clothing, and NOTHING else. What should we do? Are there any places out there that help people in our situation?

  229. sorry I forgot to click the e-mail follow up comments box….sorry I have a lot on my mind

  230. I am currently working on an album for my daughter’s first year. What service do you use to create albums for your children? Also, how many pages does your albums generally contain? I take tons of photos and love them all. I estimate I will have close to 70 pages. Any advice or tips when creating an album?

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