Thank you.

I have the usual smattering of photos tonight. And the corresponding stories that string together the trivial nothingness of loungey mornings, alphabet puzzle afternoons and Elmo bubble bath nights.


But diving into our cherished mundane without first acknowledging this beautiful thing that’s happening right now wouldn’t be right.

I don’t even know what to say. I thought $15,000 would be grand. And look where it’s going. I feel hopeful and connected, motivated and humbled. And this crazy rush to keep going. Like when you lace up your tennis shoes to run two blocks and find that twelve blocks, an adrenaline rush and a victorious smile later you’ve decided you’re going to run a marathon. And then you do.

If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches of the same tree.
W.B. Yeats


Perhaps it is that in itself that amazes me so much. That sense of community–that you all care, that you’re all clicking to watch that bar inch up the graph with us, that this is not our fundraiser but yours. And that’s exactly what I hoped for.

This belongs to a whole lot of families. And it’s not over.

Thank you, Friends. Thank you for your words I have wept over. Thank you not only for making meaningful donations and spreading the news, but thank you for seeing what we see. Thank you for knowing these families are lucky and blessed. Because that’s where it begins. Recognized potential.

Kind of like the potential you saw in a ‘lil ‘ol $15,000 goal. Let’s run a marathon, shall we?

Please continue to share the word.

And how do I proceed without seeming completely jolting?

I’ll soften the blow first.


There. That’ll do.

I’m in an interesting place right now. Ridiculously busy and juggling a mess of balls, and at the same time reflecting a whole heck of a lot on this crazy year. One year ago, right now, I was here.


I want to remember all of it. I want it to hurt and, at the same time, I want it to feel good, if that makes any sense. I’ve organzied a lot of meaningful to-dos next week. And I’m so very excited for what it’s all going to mean.

Mostly though, I’m just feeling a whole lot of love.



Our evening fire Florida chill has faded this week, replaced by the kind of weather that makes you say cheesy things to the neighbors when you’re taking out your trash…like “Pretty gorgeous day, eh?”

It’s always pleasantly ironic to see swimsuits drying on tree knots while somewhere, not far away, mittens dry over hissing heating registers.


This one’s growing gills like her sister. If she hears bathwater, she instinctively starts paddling toward the tub. And pools? Fuhget about it.





Lainey’s really into bringing her own grocery cart to the store with me lately. It’s the funniest thing. She looks like a miniature mom, picking up packages and pretending to read the price before chucking it in her little plastic piece-of-crap-on-wheels.




SWIPER in action. It’s her nickname. Wanna see?

Notice the way she’s eyein’ Lainey’s chalk all subtle like in the right hand corner.


…and makes her move when Sister’s out of sight…


…enter her signature swipe…


And there you have it. Swiper scores.



Finished this evening with a relaxing bath. Only Lainey’s Barbie head was creepin’ me out with her bug-eyed stare.


Ever heard of Yuzu? It smells divine. All grapefruity and citrusy. I think Barbie wanted to steal my new bath products.

Heal My Sole Natural body products (homemade!)


I’m happy to welcome returning sponsor, Loving Shop. Handmade Tutus which Lainey happens to love.

Lainey’s wearing Fall Skies Tutu.


Nice little Valentine’s Day treat, eh? Since Lainey’s ballet teacher once wore a real Nutcracker-ish tutu for class one day, Lainey’s been obsessed with anything that looks like it. Hence the frequency of tutu wearing around the house lately.
Check ’em out. And, for the next two weeks, 10% of all shop proceeds will go to…yup, you guessed it. The ONEder Fund.


So that is it tonight, my friends.


Thank you again, for everything you are doing to help rock the ONEder Fund. I’ve seen your blogs, I’ve read your Facebook statuses. You’re putting effort into this…and that makes it your race to the finish line too. It’s amazing, really. And thank you to all the new Facebook friends I’ve made this week! Welcome aboard. If I could bake a batch of cookies in Farmville, I would…and serve them to you with a “Nice to meet y’all.” But I’ve never been to Farmville.

Oh, one more thing. The Pitter Patter Shop has some precious handmade shoes and booties, and ALL the proceeds from the Nella Cordelia Mary Jane Bootie will be goin’ to the ONEder Fund, so head on over to check them out!

And Happy Monday!




Leave a Comment
  1. That is so great! Love Lainey’s tutu.

  2. Wow, amazing what the readers here are doing – CRAZY GOOD!

    Already donated earlier but had a cool thing happen yesterday. Found someone’s iPhone while running, took it home, and answered it when it rang. Dude was so happy to get it back, he insisted on pressing $20 in my hand.

    I figured, Pay It Forward, maybe?!!

    Then, hubby suggested viewing it like corporations do with Matching Grants/Funds, so I’m putting in $20 to match his $20 for the Nella OnederFund.

    Hey, that reminds me to check with my employer…maybe they will match my contributions…never hurts to inquire!

  3. Kelle –
    I haven’t taken the time over the last months to thank you for blessing my life. At our kids school, the theme is IMACT. Well my friend (can I call you that?), you have impacted me in so many ways. The way I interact with my own two girlies, my blossoming interest in photography and most of all, being the BEST, loving and caring person I can. So I thank you for that, on the cusp of your momentous week. I will be praying for you and waiting with baited breath to read about how you ROCK it.

  4. it’s really amazing what happens when we all join together for a greater purpose…

  5. Wow.

    You inspire me to fundraise for Cystinosis Research Network with more determination and urgency than I did last year. I’m terrified of what is to come of my health in the next few years and it scares me to think of leaving my soul mate to raise our daughter.

  6. i want to comment on everything … but moreso just want to say …
    way to go, mama. this is an amazing thing that you have inspired so many to do.
    thank YOU.

  7. That is an awesome tutu. And I’m very jealous of your bathing suits as it’s snowing here – at least it’s pretty though!

  8. Kelle,
    I am so in love with your family and we’ve never even met! I read your blog and nod my head and think, Geez, I need to sit and have a cup of coffee with this woman and let our littles play.
    Congrats on that amount growing and growing! What an inspiration you are… and of course, little Nella!

  9. It seems we’re in a forever circle of thanking each other… Your readers thank you for your insight on life, for allowing us glimpses into your family while you in return thank us for thanking you with a small monetary donation to a Oneder-ful cause… and all those small donations have added up to something amazing and wonderful and quite the opposite of small. Nella and all the 400,000 others with the extra chromosome, with the magic, are so lucky to have you in their family!! You’ve helped open so many of our eyes to things we may have been oblivious to before. So again… thank you!!
    My donation still isn’t in… lunch time tomorrow!! I’m thinking your goal of $47,000 will be surpassed as was your $15,000 and then $30,000. Hampton family – you’re doing great things! Thanks for letting me be a part of the fun and the magic!!

  10. I just found your site and love it. You and your children are beautiful. I can’t wait to find some time and read all through your blog :)

  11. Kelle,
    I LOVE your blog. I am so touched by the personal journey that you are on, and the fact that you have invited the world to be on it with you.

    I have a sweet cousin with Down Syndrome. She is now an adult, twenty years old and the most amazing woman. This fundraiser is so great because its for your Nella, but it’s also for my cousin. I really appreciate that. I am constantly clicking on your banner and watching the numbers rise. And your post on Sunday made me cry. :) I loved it.

    I love reading your blog and seeing your happiness. Thanks again!

  12. 47,000…psh. You got this girl :)

  13. Too funny – my nearly 10 month old does the swiping thing to our older daughter also. Except our older daughter gets all pissy when she realizes and tries to say she wasn’t done with whatever it is her sister now has… and if she snatches it back when we aren’t looking, the little one shrieks like a velociraptor and throws herself to the ground like her entire world is crumbling. It’s sad, really. But more so hilarious.

  14. Dear Kelle,
    This is AMAZING!!! I am in awe at the amount raised so far! I will post to my FB page tomorrow and hope it helps a little.

    Thank you for sharing your “mundane” life with us… It’s beautiful!

    Raimie @ The Prairie Hen

  15. Of course it is very cool how much money has been raised for this great organization. But I am extra touched by the fact that it has been done 5, 10, 15 dollars at a time. Nella & Lainey fans giving what they can afford, but put is all together and POW! what a difference we can make for DDSS.

    Just goes to show how many lives you guys have touched — and makes me a little weepy thinking about such a happy thing.

  16. just lovely all the way around.

  17. The Barbie Is Creepy! too funny! :)

  18. OH. MY. GOSH. The Nella Cordelia shoes are TO DIE FOR! Gah, do they make them in Womens size 9.5?!!! They are adorable!

    I am simply astonished by the incredible amout the ONEder fund is achieving! Wowza!

  19. I have never commented before, but had to this time to tell you:

    I first read your blog when I was pregnant with my little girl, Eden, who was born in June. You have been such a source of inspiration to me. You will never know how often I’ve woken after a sleepless night, swearing I’d give ANYthing for one. more. hour. of sleep, only to read a post by you reminding me just what is important. It’s the small things. It’s the having my girl beside me things.

    Happy birthday, Nella. The world became a brighter place the day you were born.

    (and Eden’s gonna be rockin’ the Nella Cordelia Mary Jane Booties in your honour!) :)


  21. The smile on Nella’s water-speckled face makes me think of summer and the way that my brother Brad (who has graced our family with his own magical extra chromosome) and the water take to one another. He is so graceful as he swims from end to end, collecting rings and sticks that he has meticulously tossed into the pool. He gets in that water and he. owns. it. Really, it’s just beautiful.

  22. LOVE this one too.

    So glad we’re doing so good with raising money for such a wonderful cause!!! :)

    Love Nella’s swiper motion. hah too cute! and that tutu is adorable! :)

  23. I’ve never heard of those bath products but I DO love homemade!! :)

    Loved these pics.

  24. I remember reading the post written by your sister when Nella was born. I read the comments (as I always do) because your readers are beautiful writers as well.

    I remember Digthischick wrote, “Little Nella. A reminder of all the ways beauty can enter the world. “

    It has stuck with me ever since. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since this little beauty entered our world and changed so many lives.

  25. Hide yo bath products, hide yo body, cuz Barbie’s creepin out everybody around here.

    :) Your blog always makes me smile.

  26. LOL Jamie!! That video on youtube is friggan hysterical!! And Barbie is lookin like a total creeper!!

    And icolossus/monster – love the pay it forward and the iphone story!! I wonder if my employers will match my donation! Great idea!!

  27. Love the pool pics and Laineys cape. Heck I’m 23 (almost) and I want one haha

  28. Wow, look at Lainey! She looks so very grown up in these pictures, and even has the grocery shopping down pat too! I think that’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, her with that little cart.

    I’m so so soooo glad that the ONEder fund is going amazing. Actually, amazing doesn’t even being to do it justice. Spectacular. Stunning. Brillant. Magnificent. I think those words are getting close.

    This world seems to pinpoint bad things, and a lot of people get caught up in the negative. I’d love to see THIS on the news, where people huddle around and say “hey, we’re gonna do this. We’re gonna raise 15,000 dollars and it’s gonna be easy, okay? BREAK!” and then we throw our hands up and get into formation- because we’re a team. We’re connected. We’re driven not to get to that $15,000 goal, but to help another soul, and in doing that we experience the love and goodness and beauty in our lives together, however unique or different we all are from one another. Because we’re not all that different from one another, and together we can move mountains baby.

    TuTu’s are one of my favorite things (i use to wish I was in ballet JUST so I could get away with wearing those at recital), and I think I might just invest in one because…who doesn’t want to feel like a freakin princess in one of those? Lainey understands! She rocks her tutu proudly (: And Nella, the swiper…that is precious. She looks so very lovely in that green dress. Before I was done reading your post I’m like “I need to tell her how fabulous Nella looks!” I can’t believe she’s gonna be one soon. That’s amazing kelle. She is amazing. She’s a gift, and I believe nothing less in my heart.

    There are so many things we can view as being negative, or bad experiences, when all we need to do is shift the picture to the side and take a peek- it suddenly becomes this whole different picture altogether. That new perspective gives us the knowledge to realize that maybe it’s not so bad; yes, there will be challenges, yes it’s gonna have rough patches, but overall? It is going to be breathtakingly wonderful. That’s the perspective I’ve started seeing things as.

    I feel like this is all very random and out there. Perhaps I’ve been working to many hours! Sleep is needed.

    Have a great week!

  29. yay!!! i am so glad that the ONEder fund is doing so well. people love nella, they love lainey, they love your family, and they love YOU!!! you rock!

  30. Kelle I am so very glad the ONEder fund is going amazing. I wish this type of stuff would get on the news, where people connected by love, goodness, and the beauty of our unique lives we live, and the differences that aren’t always so different, huddle together to say “Hey, we’re gonna raise $15,000, and it’s gonna be easy, okay? BREAK!” and we throw our hands up in the air, because together…we can move mountains, baby.

    Lainey looks so so grown up. It’s amazing how fast a child can grow, and you can see each post that each passing week she’s growing into her years and becoming a beautiful independent one-of-a-kind soul. And nella? I can’t believe she’s gonna be one! She looks so beautiful in that green dress, kelle. The moment I saw the pictures of her in it, I had to comment on it! She is truly a gift, me repeating the words probably gets old but I believe it so deep in my heart.

    I think I might need to get me a tutu, because lainey sure knows how to rock it, and let’s be honest…who doesn’t want to look like a rockstar with one of those sweet tutus? Kids aren’t the only ones who want to be princesses you know!

    Have a great week!

  31. Kelle,
    U r beautiful. Your girls, you whole family, are beautiful. Your blog, your photos are beautiful. What your readers are doing is beautiful.Can NOT wait to read about the birthday party:)!! Hugs & love

  32. Set the bar and follow your heart Kelle…47k for 47 Chromosones? Brilliant and beautiful and absolutely amazing. From the step mom of a DS teenager I salute you!!

    Love, Karen

  33. Lots of reflecting going on here too … Only somehow we are at 5 years. Not sure how/when that happened!!! I sobbed tears of immense love at Payton’s 1st birthday party … Good luck with that! :)

    And btw, crackin up at Barbie head … We have the same one, only it is buried in a bin somewhere.

  34. Totally loving you Kelle! How exciting that you way exceeded the goal! We so love Nella and your family.

  35. This is so exciting! But I’m not surprised. There are good people in the world, and a lot of them seem to congregate here. :) Selling some Mary Kay this week and hoping to use a little of it to give.
    The Swiper thing is so frikin cute. And I love her green dress. I SO need a girl next.
    Lainey’s tutu is adorable. But what’s even MORE adorable? She’s wearing red polka dot rain boots with it. lol.

  36. WOW!!! This is more than a marathon going on…I think this is a small testament to your impact on all of us who follow, comment, love and connect with you. Who would have thought? I aspire to leave even a fraction of the footprint that you are leaving on the hearts and souls of thousands.

  37. I’m so glad the fundraiser is going so well!
    I just love these photos…Lainey with her shopping cart-Gorgeous!
    The expression on Nella’s face as she swipes the chalk is adorable.

  38. Barbie has finally met her competition!

    P.S. Love, really love, the swimming pics of Nella. She looks adorable covered in water drops.


  39. Oh that little swiper! Too cute.
    Love what has been happening here… the rapid growth of the ONEder fund has renewed my faith in human-kindness.

  40. I love the Nella Cordelia Mary Janes! Beautiful, just like their namesake. Amazing work, Kelle – and like Margaret Mead said – it really does only take one or two thoughtful & concerned citizens to change the world. Way to rock it in such a beautiful way.

  41. My friend April @ JaneSays referred me to your blog. What a beautiful family you have! Nella is a sweetheart and reminded me of another special child with Down Syndrome named Jennifer. I used to babysit her and loved to playwith her for hours. She even learned a few words while my Mom and I were with her while her Mom worked. I am mailing a contribution to NDSS today. Hugs,

  42. Running that marathon with you Kelle!
    I’ve been so empowered & inspired by people’s generosity lately, especially whilst Queensland, Australia {where I live} is enduring a massive natural disaster at the moment with the worst flooding in over 30 years! It’s been horrible with lives lost & millions of dollars of damage. It’s chaos here! But people….people of all backgrounds & lifestyles are rallying together to help & support & love & donate….and it’s been MAGIC to be a part of.
    And again here…on your blog…MAGIC is happening….love is all around & support is a natural gift!
    Cheers to that! Life is crazy, life is tough….but Life is also so beautiful!

  43. I only started reading your blog a few days ago, and I am inspired and mesmerized by your loving, genorous spirit and zest for life. I am lost for words… I have donated already, and find it so wonderful how much has been raised. I will also be getting my dd a pair of Nella Cordelia Mary Jane Booties to rock out to. Keep doing what you’re doing, the world needs more people like you.

  44. It’s been a year since reading your blog. I’m in awe of you, in love with your family and inspired by your blog….the words that each day help me be a better person. Some days i need “kelle-intervention” because i am borderline obsessed (i can’t believe i’m admitting it) but your words just help me get through the day. My life is really wonderful and i take it for granted too often. i work full-time and have 2boys (about the same ages as lainey and nella). Too often i get wrapped up in the small things…time passing too quickly to actually enjoy them. your story…your blog really helps me to take a step back. to enjoy my little boys (as crazy as they can be) and enjoy the blessed life i have.

    thank you…thank you…thank you!

  45. Just got back to reading your blog after a long few months…went back to right where I left off, love it now just like I loved it then!!

    The girls are getting so big & more and more beautiful if that’s possible!! I see you have a facebook what is your account under? I wanted to add you, but could only find the photography page and wasn’t sure if that was the one!
    Hope everyone is well & god bless!

  46. Have Faith,
    Jess I always love your ramblings.

    Claire @ Rock Paper Scissors,
    What a beautiful comment. I love what you shared. It reminds me of Sept. 11 stories I’ve heard of my NYC friends. They say Sept 12 was the most beautiful day to live in NYC–that there was more love in that place than you can imagine, strangers hugging in streets and people coming together. I was so sad to see the flooding pictures of your beautiful continent on the news. But happy to hear people are coming together. Sometimes it takes the lowest points for us to rise to the top.

  47. good… is all I can say.. the tutu.. the swiper… the bath… the bath product…. the new fund.. the new nella boots… it’s all good.

  48. I love that you bring your camera into the bath! 😉

  49. Amazing, amazing… I have found myself over the past year since having my first baby checking and reading news sites less and less and reading blogs like yours more and more. And that is because of things like this… joining together for the GOOD of others. Thank you for leading, so inspiring and I’m so honored to be a tiny little part of it.

  50. Incredible in the truest sense of the word, Kelle. You, us, this world wide web power. Hard to believe…and yet, so easy to feel. Thank YOU.

    For all you and your family have given there is nothing I could give in return to match. We have chosen to make a charitable donation in our son’s name for his birtday gift (he hardly needs another car or book or any other object and the impact of donation on his and his friends’ futures is so important to us). This year – to Nella’s ONEder fund.

    I love the tutus, the chalk-eating queen, and all the fabulousness that is your “nothingness”. Not to mention the look back at a year ago (teeny belly!)…I am sharing in your emotional chaos of these next two weeks (comfort in numbers??) and am looking forward to celebrating one WONDERful year on the 22nd. Cheers to Nella, to Abe, to you, to us! This tree of ours ROCKS – amazing branches – hearty roots.

    Much love,



  52. Good Morning!
    I have commented on your blog every once and a while but I wanted to say today that you totally inspired my New Year’s resolution … I’m in the memory makin business this year baby!! And I might just document it with a few pictures:) We just got about 6 inches of snow here in north Georgia so my husband and I went out(children napping and babysitter in place) and tore up the sledding and our pic made it in the local paper … memory makin!! Your blog challenges my everyday to enjoy the simple and make the big stuff even more special.

    Praise Him for the overwhelming response to the Oneder fundraiser! Keep doin what you do girl!

    O and friend me on facebook … I sent a request:)

  53. I’m so happy that the ONEder fund is exploding! I love Lainey’s silver clogs/mary janes. So fun!!

  54. OMG! Just checked the ONEder fund! Amazing!

  55. A.MAZ.ING!!!! You, Nella, your entire family, your seasoned readers, your new readers … OMG the list goes on!!! Found out yesterday that the company I work for will match my contribution $1 for $1 ~ booooyaaaaa!!!!!! THANK YOU KELLE HAMPTON for all that you do and all that you are … ROCK ON!!!

  56. kelle, can you confirm that paypal donations to will go where they’re supposed to? my german cc doesn’t work on the original donation page. i don’t wanna be a party pooper, just wanna make sure i don’t give nella’s b-day gift to whoknowswho.

    thanks so much for this. it makes me happy to live in a world where something like this is possible <3

  57. Oh Kelle. The things you are achieving…It’s amazing!!! You are the most amazing momma and amazing soul. You are such a gift to your community and even to us just right outside of that community. I feel so connected. I feel so good for donating and making a difference for precious Nella whom I feel like I have come to know and love and the rest of those precious angels! You are a gift to all of us. You have changed my entire way of feeling, thinking and seeing the world. And for that, I am forever grateful.


  58. So excited for you and loving you extra big these next few weeks as you remember your old mindset and relive it in your new mindset! You are amazing kelle.

  59. Kim, YES, that is correct. My dad set it up and will make sure any Paypal donations to that site go directly to the NDSS (will try and get NDSS to make itemized receipt that so we can e-mail back your receipt. They don’t have Paypal account unfortunately) Thank you!

  60. Firstly, a belated happy new year to you Kelle (and a very belated happy birthday to you too)! Secondly, I am awestruck, flabbergasted, gobsmacked by the response to your appeal. BUT I am not surprised – I knew from the moment I started reading your blog all that time ago that you were capable of moving mountains. It is a wonderful thing that you are doing and the response gives one hope for humanity.

    I haven’t donated yet but I will. Can overseas readers donate???? If I can’t, I will make a donation to the UK DS charity instead. Or perhaps I’ll do both!

    I’ve loved all your recent posts and have been thinking of you lots lately. Can’t wait to read Nella’s 1st birthday post. Also don’t forget the anniversary of 29 Jan, which I think is the day you posted her birth story – that really was a life-changing piece of writing, wasn’t it?!

    I’m going through some worrying times with this pregnancy but your blog always makes thing seem a little better.

    Love to you all from the UK!

    p.s. Hope you got the Christmas card!

  61. I am OBSESSED with checking the bar to see how high the dollar amount is going and I’m amazed at how high it is every single time I look…and feel a little bit of comfort in knowing that kindness and humanity are not completely lost!
    Look at the magic that one little extra chromosome can create~!

  62. Kelle:

    Nella continues to inspire…what an amazing little girl and an amazing momma to turn this fundraising into such a meaningful project that we all love to be a part of. I have so selfish enjoyed hearing from friends who tell me that they have donated after reading my blog – or even them discussing in amazement how the total keeps being raised – and surpassed. It shows that people do not have to give a great amount to make a gigantic impact because of just the sheer number of people donating. It really is amazing. I firmly believe it takes a village and Nella (and Lainey) has one hell of a village!

  63. thank you kelle. just one more thing: without a “donate” button or direct link your dad will have to pay a fee when he receives money. i don’t necessarily wanna pay paypal so do you think it’d be possible to set up a donate button maybe here and/or on facebook? that would make things much easier. it’s pretty easy to set one up from nella’s paypal account! that way donators would receive a receipt as well.

  64. WOW Kelle! You have almost tripled your goal, AMAZING! Thank you for letting me be a part of this and thank you for letting me into this wonderful life of yours. You are beyond inspiring!
    As always, I adore all of the beautiful photos of Lainey and Nella!

  65. I’m PROUD to post a link to Nella’s ONEder fund to my blog and my Facebook.

    Thank you for sharing your lovely girls with us all.

    And, you have nice feet. I hate feet except for baby/toddler feet.
    But yours are nice. Don’t know why I had to add that :)

  66. New favourite quote, “If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches of the same tree.”
    W.B. Yeats
    So wonderful – thanks for sharing. Your ONEder Fund rocks!

  67. I love water babies! Cameran is a little fish too. We have to give her baths in “pool water” fashion (cold water) otherwise they are not quite up to par with our budding fish. It was amazing to see her in a pool in November when we visited Ft. Lauderdale. What bliss!

    Continuing to spread the news while we brace for impending PA snow.

    Oh, and if you get a second, link to this YouTube tribute my friend made of Cameran and us. It’s a collection of pictures from birth to 21 months with a voiceover telling “our story”.

    Happy Tuesday,


  68. Way to go on the ONEder campaign. Reading about Nella turning one reminds me so much of when our little guy had his first birthday over 5 years ago. It seems like yesterday. I was so overwhelmed with emotion for weeks before his birthday. His DS came with numerous, serious health problems and his first birthday party was a celebration of his life because it was a miracle he survived it all. We also used it as an opportunity to celebrate and thank all the people who supported us and helped us through our son’s first year. His birthday is in Sept and that’s when we have our local Buddy Walk. We asked for support of his Buddy Walk team in lieu of gifts and it was amazing. He had one of the largest teams that walked that day and we beat our donation goal. It made me realize how wonderful people can be.

  69. what an amazing thing! I am so excited that this goal of yours was far exceeded. It is going to such an amazing cause and I couldn’t be prouder to support it!

    p.s. Laineys tutu is gorgeous! When I was little I used to run around the house with a white tutu that had a sequence waistband. (It was literally my favorite thing in the whole world!!!)

  70. Way to go, Kelle…Your one voice is doing amazing things!!!

  71. You have let us into your world. You have let us experience the raising of your two beautiful girls. You have shared your heartache and joy over down syndrome. We have come to know you. We have come to know Nella, and love her. And though we have never met, I consider us “friends”. It’s weird. When you ask for our help, you should not be amazed that we give it. That’s what friends are for. And Kelle, you have made A LOT of friends!

  72. I have spent the last two times reading your posts in tears, maybe because of pregnancy hormones…but probably just because of your words and wonderful photos.
    You have inspired me to learn more about photography, to take more time “enjoying the small things” with my own beautiful little family, and to keep our family blog updated more often. (A “thank you” from my mom to you for this)
    I just copied your link into the same spot on my blog and thought you would be inspired even more by how much you are inspiring others!
    My daughter “helped” moving the mouse and clicking where I directed, and as I explained what we were doing she said: “We’ve never met her.” I said you’re right, but I feel like I know her. She said “We should go over there for coffee.” I smiled and sipped my coffee thinking we are probably enjoying our coffee together right now. So cheers!

  73. Unicorn mama from St Louis steps on to the soapbox…..
    I would love to see an awareness focus on how this whole Ds diagnosis is given to new parents. Why does it have to be so negative? We have all felt remorse after-the-fact for how we felt at that moment and how we felt it was all something beyond what we wanted or could handle, only to find out just a short time later what kind of magic this experience would bring us & what kind of magical little being would now be a part of our lives. I would like to see this blog connected somehow with this group of people who may have just received their child’s diagnosis or will soon receive the diagnosis. My son’s diagnosis was prenatally – I would have LOVED to read this blog at that time…… Can I get a witness?????
    Unicorn mama out.

  74. p.s. Love that you take your camera in to the bath with you! You’re a hoot.

  75. I love your blog, your family, you…and I always want to help out. So I donated.

    And I want to support you and your blog..I click your sponsors. They’re great…and they make adorable products…for girls.

    But here…we’re all about dinosaurs and monsters. :)

  76. Love the colors in your bathroom.
    And, I use the BB Peach Willow Bark face scrub too. Just got it. Starting to love it.

    Just posted on my FB site about the fundraiser.
    I hope you are able to raise above and beyond your wildest dreams. Thank you for making a difference.

  77. Oh the serendipity of wearing polka-dotted rain boots with a tu-tu. Yes, I have watched in wonder as that little fashionista selects her wardrobe and with confidence and poise, walks out of her room with…an interesting combination. But it is deliberate with her. She is invested in every choice…I know, because I have gently tried to direct her choosing and there is no changing the girl. I am sure Nella will compose her own serendipitous style as well. They are destined to turn heads. You simply need a T Shirt that says, “Don’t look at me, they choose their own wardrobe.” And we love it!


  78. that’s so awesome! I’m so happy for you! :)

  79. Thanks for your eloquent writing and your phenomenal pictures. Often you take my breath away and there are tears streaming down my face. Almost a year ago my 3rd baby was born sick – unexpectedly. He spent days on life support and in the ICU. He is now perfect and healthy and almost 1. We are getting ready to celebrate our year as well…your words, “I want to remember all of it. I want it to hurt and, at the same time, I want it to feel good, if that makes any sense.” are EXACTLY what I am feeling. Thank you.

  80. Love the photos, as usual!! Love the commentary with the photos! Swiper in action! And Lainey with her own grocery cart. Too cute. And little Nella all wet…Your kids are too cute!!!
    I’m so glad you’re raising so much money for a great cause!! It’s very inspiring!

  81. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I’ve thought over the last few days, “Boy, I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Hampton home during this fundraiser!” So happy for what you’re doing and for the success of it.

  82. Note to self: Don’t read Kelle’s blog at work… or the mascara will be gone for the rest of the day and people will ask if I’m sick.


    Our family will rock the ONEder fund and will have your family in our hearts everyday, but especially 1/22.

  83. This is great, love it! And I totally just scored some adorable Nella mary-janes for my little girl.

  84. The photos of Brett with Lainey and Nella are precious! You can just feel his love for his girls.

    Love your new goal “47 grand for 47 grand chromosomes”. When we all come together as a big family, we become such a motivating force. People’s response has been absolutely amazing. The out~pouring of love and generosity is so moving…

    Donated few times…I feel the best way to send positive energy is to add to the OnederFund. :)))

    Poppa Rik, I love when you use the words “serendipity” and “serendipitous”. It makes me SMILE big!

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

  85. Love these special moments and your Swiper-in-training shots! But for heaven’s sake, mama, turn the Barbie around next time you take a relaxing bath! :)


  86. xoxo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram!

  87. My my you have some beautiful girls!

  88. Forty

    Wow. You are doing amazing things and making even more amazing things possible. One Mom…with a gift for telling and showing us how beautiful life can be when you just slow down and enjoy it.

    Wow. Thank you for lifting up our days with your words and helping us to remember to Enjoy the Small Things.

    Did I mention Forty THOUSAND Dollars?

  89. I absolutely love it that you allow Lainey to take her own cart to the store. That’s just beyond precious. You’re a good Mama, that’s something she will remember until she’s old and gray. I can just imagine her as you described her-checking the label for nutrition facts and trying to remember if she has a coupon at home. :o)
    What a year it has been. I’m so glad you’ve continued to share it with us. Your positive outlook and need to see the good in all things is infectious. ♥

  90. Love the picture of Lainey with her arm around Nella. Their sister bond is amazing. You are truly blessed.

  91. Lovely post. The girls are such sweethearts. “New post days by Kelle” are my favorite days :)

  92. I love that your goals are being surpassed and rising with each little click of the mouse! I have to say, I am so glad that I found your blogs months back and I have been sucked in daily ever since just to see what the haps is around the Hampton household….Also, I was super excited to order up the Nella Inspired Mary Janes for my best friends soon to be baby girl…they are adorable and to know that I’ve now donated twice to the ONEder fund in honor of Nella feels great!
    Keep up the great work Mama! Life is a beautiful thing when we stop to check out the little stuff….

  93. What an amazing effort you’re spearheading over here. I feel a bit silly writing this, but I thought that you might appreciate that I just purchased the Nella Cordelia booties – they’re gorgeous! We’re expecting Baby Girl #3 this April and I’ve been contemplating a lot lately what I wanted to buy for her first – the booties won! Of course, with 2 older sisters, she won’t need much, but I wanted her to have something special of her own to start and they’re perfect!

    Thank you so much for all that you do. It’s very hard to put into words how much your blog has moved me in the few months that I’ve been a reader. I check somewhat obsessively for updates and just love every minute of it. I’ll also confess that sometimes I pull up the blog just to listen to your playlist while I work at night. My girls are about the same age as yours (born 12/07 and 10/09) and your beautiful spirit, overwhelming love and passion for life is so very inspiring to me. I especially like to read your blog on the days that I feel particularly bogged down by “life” – a full-time job that I’ve love to ditch for photography and motherhood, bills, etc. I love the reminder of the beauty of life, the beauty of my many blessings and the simple beauty of my little girls. Thank you, thank you.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to comment for a couple of days about the picture of Nella and the tea cup – I just about melted. What a beautiful little bean!

  94. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have made a small contribution (only $5) to your sweet daughter. My heart wanted it to be much bigger, but hopefully it will add up to even greater things when combined with other donations! You are inspiring, Kelle. Thank you for sharing yourself with me, a stranger, but only because we’ve never met face to face. If we did, we would get a long famously!!! From one mama to another, Heather

  95. Time to bump that goal up past the $50,000 mark!
    I always say… when one person throws a pebble into water it makes a ripple when many throw pebbles it creates waves! Your making WAVES girl!

  96. I would love to help but I don’t have a credit card. Is there any way I could donate via paypal?
    I really love what you do here. You make my day every time you post.

  97. to BRITGIRL..I think just above your comment is someone asking about the Paypal method. That was mentioned in the previous blog’s comments, as a way to donate from other countries I think. Also, there is a “print form” where one could mail in wiith payment info I guess. hope that helps. WOW! I am amazed at how fast the total monies keep rising!! YEAH!!

  98. So exciting, goal far exceeded!

    As a full time blogger, I hear a lot of sideways comments about blogs being ‘lesser’ forms of publication and writing and expression. Those comments used to really bother me (especially when they came from my then boyfriends mom!). But they don’t anymore.

    And if someone ever presses the issue…I’m going to send them the link to that little bar inching it’s way up the towards 50,000.

    Amazing, Kelle. And wow is Lainey looking grown up!


  99. wow. it is absolutely awesome, amazing, exciting and mind blowing to watch that total going up up up…
    and how cool for Nella (and you and your family) to be the inspiration for such an outpouring of love and support:)

  100. Love the chalk swiping series and the mini-cart. I am due in less than three months and you blog makes me SO excited to become a mama;)

  101. Over $40,000 in donations so far? I do not even know what to say! Together we all really can make a difference and you are teaching us that!

    Kelle, you’re making such a profound impact. Nella has touched so many lives.


  102. I almost fell out of my chair this morning after seeing the One Fund billow. Holy Moly! Marathon?!? Girl, this is turning into a Triathlon. And we are all there running right next to you…but no bowling shoes, you hear?!?

    Speaking of shoes, I am crazy over Lainey’s collection – the pink saddle shoes and now the silver ones from Hannah. Ugh!!! Loving those details.

    Amazing. I’m left speechless over the swelling love of this community.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  103. Watching this support network grow and seeing how many lives you impacted through blogging is truly awe-inspiring. Thank you, Kelle.

  104. Felt good to donate to such a good cause! One of my best friends from High School gave birth to a baby with D.S. just days after Nella’s birth . . . she looks forward to your awesome words everyday.
    PS – My oldest daughter, Jocelyn has the same birthday (different year) as Nella :)

  105. I just clicked over to the donation page. Amazed by the total, but what was even more touching? That continuous scroll of $5 & $10 donations. This really is an effort of a lot of people pulling together what they can. I’ve loved your blog since before Nella was born because I too have a life that largely revolves around my children (with some photography and writing thrown in where I can) and since DS isn’t at this point a part of my daily life it’s usually those moments between kids, your appreciation and validation of those little moments that resonates with me, but so many days I’m just completely blown away by how you’ve used your voice, your experiences and your talent to help all those kids you shared with us on your previous post and the thousands of others we haven’t yet had a chance to meet.

    Love that you use your talents to make the world a better place. Love even more how you inspire others to do the same.

  106. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this fund-raiser! I check the total at least twice a day and literally squeal out loud when I see the rising amount! It encourages me as I have always thought “It only takes one to make a difference!” Lots of “ones” together can make a BIG impact :)

    Love your blog~ thanks for sharing your life

  107. I simply cannot stop watching the numbers grow on Nella’s ONEder fund…refresh, refresh, refresh and the number changes every couple minutes! Over $42,000. Outstanding!!

    Lainey ever watch Dora? My daughter is always telling her little brother…”Swiper, no swiping”! =)

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  108. I LOVE Lainey’s tutu outfit. Just adorable. She’s such a free spirit….she makes me want to jump in mud puddles! :) I keep checking the donation page and when I saw it just now so close to your goal, it left me in tears. It’s simply amazing!! And I am so proud to be a teeny tiny part of it all. Thank you for what you do, Kelle.

  109. Over $42,000!!! – happy tears of joy over here in Utah!!!

  110. i love nella’s baby cleavage when she is swiping :o) very sweet pictures.

  111. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t check your blog and am inspired by it! Thank you for your openness to express your life adventure. I would like to contribure to the ONEder fund, but every time I click on it, I am told that the page won’t open. Is it just my computer or are others having this problem? Once again, thank you for sharing your family with us–your girls are beautiful.

  112. Kelle Hampton! I bet you are the only person that has 2,241 friends on Fb. You are amazing. I am going to have to try that soap. I am so glad you are having such a good week. I so wish I could have told myself when Jana was turning one not to be sad… Not to focus that she was not walking. To be more thankful for the amazing girl she was is..She totally made me laugh today insisting that she put a bow on Buddy. She reminded me of something Lainey would do.

  113. Lovin’ your swiper. We’ve nicknamed my middle daughter “the gypsy” because she’s quite accomplished at sneaking things out of pockets and bedrooms. It all ends up in her purse, which we raid to collect all the missing goods. :) Did i mention she’s two and hasn’t outgrown this?? Sending you warm wishes this week as you reflect, relive and rejoice over your past year and the wonder of your precious Nella.

  114. You are an amazing human being. It’s funny because I don’t know you or your girls and my husband said the other day “it’s like looking at pictures of cousins that live far away because I see their picture so much.” Which cracks me up because I never really thought of it that way. But when he sees me reading my blog he’ll say things like “How are they doing?” Almost like we talk on a daily basis.

    I always intend on donating to things to do my part but I never do. It’s always one of those things that somehow slips my mind in this crazy whirlwind we call life but when I was reading the “Pay It Forward” post the other day I told myself that I had to do the $5 donation and I went to get my check card. My hubby asked what I was doing and I told him and he said to please give more than $5, so I did. And when I saw that you had $20,000 in about 24hours I felt my heart flutter. Not just anyone can do that. You are doing great things and I’m sure your daughters will too.

    Keep up the good work and positive way of life that you lead with. You have effected more people than you will ever realize.

  115. Your family warms my heart! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with everyone. Blessings to you and yours.

  116. The response to the call to action is amazing. Just awesome. Adjectives that get thrown around a lot here, but so true.

    Thank you!

  117. Kelle,

    Am I reading it right? Are you really at over $43 000? As in almost 30 000 over your goal?
    I’m in awe if that is in fact the case. Not that I would be surprised!
    It really does take a case of “misfortune” sometimes to pull people together at which time I believe that the perceived “misfortune” is actually a very fortunate case.
    Bravo to you!
    This is absolutely amazing!!!


    p.s. why didn’t I have all of those cute tu-tus when I was a kid. Oh how I live vicariously through Lainey sometimes. Too cute!

  118. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
    ~A. Frank

    I LOVE what you’re doing and I love you Kelle! (I don’t feel the need to preface my love you’s with any “not to be weird” statements anymore, I have told you enough that I love you haha).
    This is amazing. I feel so privileged to be a small part of it.

  119. I am so happy to see everyone come together…yoou’re right, it’s all our families.

    I’ll try to look u up on facebook, but since it’s been changed a lot late;y, I can never figure out how to look ppl up, oddly enough/…

  120. I check the amount like crazy! It’s so amazing that everyone has chipped in!!

    Good stuff. It’s just good stuff :)

    The swiper thing is hilarioius! We’ve got a little swiper in our house too :)

  121. Kelle, your right. I feel lie we are all running this Marathon with you now. I’m so proud to be part of something so grand. Miss Nella, you aren’t even one yet and you have change the hearts of so many, mine included!

  122. I’m so glad for you, Nella, and NDSS! You have reached so many people. I put a link on my blog to direct the few mere readers I have to you. :)

  123. I just want to say that every picture of Nella melts my heart with those amazing blue eyes. I don’t even know her but I love her. Not to leave out Lainey who is the most adorable big sister, and boy can she rock a tutu!! Your pictures make me smile everyday! Thank you for sharing your journey.

  124. NDSS must be like WTF is going on in Naples, FL?? They’re all in their New York cubicles doing paperwork in when suddenly there’s this explosion of $$$$$$ and love down there and then they go to see sweet Nella’s face and it all makes sense.

    This. is. unreal. but so real and makes so much sense!

    Love Lainey & the shopping cart!

  125. Beautiful photos!

  126. Just donated, wish I could give more! Your last post with all of the children’s photos made me sob. It was so beautiful. My aunt has very severe down syndrome and she was born in a time where kids, even those not as severe as she was, were put into hospitals and group homes. She is thriving even being as severe as she is. She is in her forties and my grandparents were told she would never make it that long. It is wonderful to see the strides that down syndrome awareness has made. Your girls are so very precious!

  127. I think this is so great – I do keep checking to see how much it is up to – We are all running this marathon together and it is great – really who wants to run it alone.
    I think it is so important for people to not judge and to just love everyone – My husband has CP and my Sister in law has Turners syndrome and they are both amazing people. I feel that my husband has taught me so much and I know he will teach our kids so much too – that being different is not a bad thing -it is an amazing thing – I feel truly blessed to be his wife. My daughter loves looking at the pictures with me and she Loves Nella – she will say what is Nella doing? or That’s Nella she so cute! She also loves the music and tells me not to turn her music off. I am so grateful for your blog and I know once this baby comes in April it will give me something to read when I am up late. I can’t wait.
    Thank you.

  128. your Target sells watermelon? 😉 thank-you for brightening my day

  129. Your blog is so amazing!! I love reading it… Thanks for your honesty and optimism and for making such a huge difference in all of our lives. I’ve learned from you to try to find the good in every little thing… :-)

  130. Kelle,

    Thank you for all beautiful words of encouragement and pictures over the past year. I am a 20 year old college student without any children and I have taken away something positive from all of your posts.(also I really hope you are writing that book) You are a beautiful beautiful soul!

    I read the birthday post a few days ago before bed and had intended to make a donation the next day when I had my wallet with me. Consumed with other things, forgetful me forgot. Until… I went to Culvers for dinner and a local beautiful gymnast who shared some D.S. characteristics opened the door for me with a huge infectious and contagious smile. I was immediately reminded to pay it forward asap!!
    Thanks for reminding me of what a great feeling giving is, no matter how small. I thought I felt good leaving the gym this morning but this is SOO much better.

    Warm Wishes to you and your awesome family

  131. I am obsessively clicking on the fundraising link throughout the day to see how much has been raised. A huge smile comes across my face as it grows by hundreds of dollars each time. So freakin’ awesome!!! I can only imagine how you are feeling Kelle.

  132. I am honored to give Nella a birthday present and support the NDSS. I take so much inspiration and hope from your blog, that it’s the least I can do. Thank you, and God bless your family.

  133. you made this possible kelle. you opened up your world and shared with others. i come back over and over to be inspired, watch your girls grow, and to just smile. you’re an amazing mom, and you’re awesome at connecting with people. i continue to click back multiple times a day to see how high that number has gotten and i smile each time. i’m proud of my fellow donators, but you also have to be proud of yourself. you helped us all get here :o) cheers to you!

  134. I found your blog through a recent feature on AT of the space you created for your girls. Your creativity, passion for life, love for your family and friends, courage and playfulness inspire me. Thank you, Kelle, and Happy Birthday, Nella!

  135. This is amazing!!!!! I haven’t been on the computer much over the last few days and I am thrilled to see these posts from you. What an amazing, amazing thing that happens when people come together. It is inspiring and so heartwarming.

    I remember your sweet Nella being born right around the time my brother died…and I remember always smiling when I came to your blog during a time that was very difficult for me. It has continued to make me smile throughout the year and I am thrilled to celebrate your girl by paying it forward!


  136. Hey Kelle,

    I know you are super busy, but I just wanted to send this to you if you haven’t already seen it. It is right down your alley. Made me cry to see such joy.

  137. Laughed out loud at Kelly’s comment:

    “NDSS must be like WTF is going on in Naples, FL?? “

  138. I’m sure you get this all of the time, but your blog can make me laugh and bring me to tears. You are amazing, and a true role model of a mother. Youa re inspiring and I look forward to more of your parties…your ideas are SO creative!
    All my best,

  139. in the “ask ro” section on Rosie’s site I asked if she would post link to Nella’s fund raiser…hopefully she will do it…we’ll see

  140. wow, kelle, what an amazing goal and an amazing thing you are doing. i am going over there right now!!

  141. Kelle, there is always so much I want to say after reading another blessed post. It is amazing that you have brought together this community of people, sharing the craziness of this thing we call life. So much so, that paying it forward was not even a decision, it was obvious. I love your words, I love how they sink into my heart and change how I feel and make me want to be better and strive for more. Thank you for sharing it all with us – it has changed my life in so many ways! I have been wanting a little one of my own for a long time and now, with one on the way (eeek!!!) I know you will continue to inspire me to be the most amazing, creative, loving mama-to-be.

  142. Kelle,
    What you are doing for Nella and the NDSS is absolutely wonderful and brings tears of happiness to my eyes! I really enjoyed your previous post of all of the other children with DS, just like my little girl Ellie. Lainey completely rocks the tutu.

  143. I happened upon this blog one day and one of the first posts I read was Nella’s birth story and I was hooked on reading your blog. Anyways, I just finished reading a book by Karen Kingsbury called Just Beyond the Clouds that was a romance novel but had the story of a couple of down syndrome adults woven into the story. I couldn’t help but think of your Nella while I was reading it. Good read!

  144. of course I love it all!
    LOVE that tutu girl & her shopping cart.
    I saw this today (you probally have too) but I totally thought of you and your blog when I heard the song.

    Home – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Acoustic Cover (Jorge & Alexa Narvaez)

  145. Kelle, I am in awe of the goodness of people. I proudly made a donation… thank you for making a difference. Words fail me in the way you are making the world a better place. I will probably never meet you, but you have changed me and the way I look at everything. xoxo

  146. by the way I LOVE your picture of you and your girls on the top of your blog!! Also i cant believe it has been a year since i found your blog!! (first one i found was right after you had Nella!! your blog is SO inspiring!!! Thank you and Happy birthday Nella!!

  147. i keep watching your total grow and grow! Just like I did when you did you Buddy Walk! Amazing! Love seeing the generosity and kind comments in honor of Nella, all those with DS and YOU!

  148. I LOVE YOU Kelle!! Little strong? You’re blog is inspiring, exciting, and pulls at my heart strings EVERY time I read it. Tears came to my eyes after seeing where the fundraiser $ amount has gone in just a few days. Congratulations to You on that.

    By the way, I think my 11 month boy, John, has a crush on little Nella. :) He reads the blog with me quite often … and can’t look away.

  149. I am so happy to see how much people have dug deep into their heart to help. I feel like there is so much good in this world that isn’t shown enough.. this just warms my heart completely.

    How sweet is the picture of Nella with the water on her face, it reminds my of us taking our girl to guardian swim yesterday and her face all covered in water.

  150. tears…..again. i feel honored to donate in nella’s name. thanks for giving me the opportunity. kelle, you are changing this world one person at a time and i think we all have nella to thank for it….for bringing you and your voice into the limelight where it belongs.

  151. You have reached and reached and surpassed your goals!!! So happy for you all. Both of our children are so close in age and I stay at home with them and I so enjoy peeking into your life and your honesty and positivity. Love to you all. Happy Birthday Miss Nella Bean (as my son fondly calls her!).

  152. Wow, look at that total grow!!! Something amazing is happening here! Way to go Kelle :)

    ps-I’m so envious of your weather! The only way we can get outside lately is after a 30 minute layering process with boots, big jackets, touques, mittens…. You have me seriously considering a move to Florida 😉

  153. I understand the feeling that on the big day you want to feel it, remember it, experience it all again. There are so many feelings that you experience the day your child is born and adding an extra chromosome adds an enormous bucket of emotion. The funny thing is on Madison’s 1st birthday (She’s two and a half this month!) I was expecting so many different emotions to come out. I knew of course joy would be front and center but I thought there would be some pain lingering in the back waiting for me to drop my guard and then burst into tears all over again. Well I did burst into tears but it wasn’t pain or sadness that opened the flood gates, it was love. Cheesy as it sounds it truly was. I looked around our backyard overflowing with family and friends doting on my baby girl and to see how much they loved my baby and remembering how they’ve been there for us through all the tests,doctors, therapists, and our first Buddy Walk, they were there and they are still here rooting us on and loving our baby as their own. The tremendous amount of love was so overwhelming the only thing I could do was cry. The day was for and about her but at the same time it was also for all of our loved ones who have helped us and at times kept us sane so that we could get to this amazing place we are now. To see all of our friends and their kids playing with our girl and knowing there was no question of acceptance made for a beautiful day.

    Enjoy your baby girl’s big day and don’t be surprised when joy, love and happiness fill you up so much that pain has no fighting chance of making an appearance.

  154. WOW!!! so impressive! you’re amazing!! happy almost bday to nella!

  155. Happy Birthday Nella. I’ve just started reading your blog and your daughters, your photos, your words, BEAUTIFUL.

  156. Just by seeing this, I too know the heart of life is good. Even given what happened just a few days ago in Arizona.
    Kudos friend.

  157. Pshhhhh-shaw….and you were scared of $15k….you have so GOT this! Amazing miracle happening here. It is a privilege to bear witness to all of it. Thank you.

    And now to give back a little more with another musical suggestion for ya. you may like….

    Have a Little Fun With Me – Glen Phillips…

    a suck the marrow song. for parents. My boys love it and so do I.

  158. i just want to tell you that your beauty comes through. Your heart, your dreams, your vulnerability and your honesty…you are beautiful. what a blessing you are…just being real and telling it like it is.
    thanks for sharing your story.

  159. I think Uk people can wouldn’t let me last night, seemed odd, then the bank rang this morning to confirm it was me (payment in dollars – they are so on it with security, so far!) so I said yes and I should be able to go back and do it now!

    Love this and the last post, brought into mind the speech Eunice Kennedy Shriver gave at the 1991 international Special Olympics, which had its roots in family – her sister, and holding summer camps for children at her home…too long to type up but will put a brief extract in comment below.

  160. ‘Where we face to face with a miracle..It happened through the toughness, anger and determination of parents. You as parents forged a movement in the molten emotions of your hearts. You, like my own mother, looked at the lonely rooms of twenty five years ago and said we can do better. Today you survey crowded playing fields and stadiums around the world. This is your miracle..tonight is as great a miracle of love and family as can be imagined. I thank and praise you for this miracle.” Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 1991 International Special Olympics

    They had come so far already then, and now so far since then, just think where things can go from here! I want all those little children to grow up with so many opportunities to fill their souls, thank you Kelle for making this fundraiser happen.

  161. I don’t know if you read these, Kelle, cause I understand how hard it must be to read all your comments…you are super popular. :) I just wanted to tell you that you lift my spirit just enough to make it though the next day. See, I have been having problems with depression lately (don’t worry, getting help) but when I am feeling really down all I have to do is come here and read about your life. Nella gives me so much happiness, I wish I could be your nanny, just to be around that joy everyday. You are an inspiration and thank you.


  162. I echo everyone’s sentiments, Kelle. I love to read your blog and love your littles.

    I made a donation to Nella’s fund… and then remembered… my company matches donations made to organizations that support children/health of children (I work for a children’s health foundation). So, double the donation! Hooray. Though I wish I could donate bazillions…

    Can’t wait to see how this all unfolds. Happy Tuesday!

  163. You are everything I could possibly want to be in a young mum.

  164. Amidst the devastating floods here in Brisbane, Australia, I knew I could count on your beautiful words and gorgeous photos of your lil misses to put a smile on my face. Thankyou kelle…for all that you do. Xxx

  165. Hello :) I a new reader of your blog, and I am just finish with reading your story. It is soo heart warming!!! I am really grateful that you shared this with us!
    Your daughters are BEAUTIFUL!!!
    Hugs from Lillian, Norway.

  166. Woot Woot! The ONEder Fund is rocking it! You go girl!

    Thanks for the links…love that the proceeds benefit the fund, will have to snap up some cuteness for my little.

    I hear you on lots of reflection right now…like you…this time last year I was 9 months pregnant, awaiting the much anticipated arrival of my little one.

    We’ve not had the same challenges you’ve had this year, but we have been challenged…in other ways.
    Lots upheaval and loss and unexpected, sock-you-in-the-guts moments that have brought me to some of the darkest places of my life (and that’s saying a lot…I’ve overcome many, many challenges and still, I am always surprised when something can “get to me”).

    Your positive, sunny outlook is an inspiration for this cock-eyed optimist. When I am feeling low all I have to do is check out your blog, read your awesome words and drink in your photos. It inspires me to buck up and get to sucking the marrow of life…even if it’s just taking the extra time to snap a few pics of my little as she plays with her toys or reads through her books.

    One thing that has been magnified for me this past year…life is too short to be miserable. So I choose to be happy…and screw the lemonade! I’m making margaritas with neon umbrellas in them!

  167. Only hundreds away from $47,000! Yippee!! Heck, at this point, you’ll be able to raise $63,000 for NDSS and $63,000 for NDSC! =)

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  168. I didn’t think twice about donating in honor of Miss Nella- thank you for sharing your story and your life with all of us- you truly are an inspiration. This would be a wonderful annual fundraiser for NDSS and I would happily donate every year for her birthday. Thank you again and enjoy the birthday celebration- Happy Birthday Nella!! (can’t wait to see the party photos)

  169. Your blog happened to pop up when I was looking for another Small Things site but by no accident! I have been inspired by your story!

  170. Your blog happened to pop up when I was looking for another Small Things site but by no accident! I have been inspired by your story!

  171. Well, you know by now I come here to feed my soul. And I’ll admit, the days I stop by, hungry, and there is no new post, I sigh. But I know that you are much better about keeping up with your writing than I am, so I try to remain patient. Now, with Nella’s ONEder fund, whenever I’m hungry and there is no new post, I can check out that ever changing goal and feel full, knowing thousands of people across the country are standing beside you, cheering Nella on. You rock – no wonder Nella’s a rockstar.

  172. My daughter Sofia’s “Dora the Explorer” days are behind us, but there’s a cute little Swiper in there. He’s a fox, I think. Not as cute as Nella, though. I remember Sofia yelling, “Swiper, no swiping!” when she’d watch Dora.

  173. Kelle,
    I just wanted to let you know that I think you are doing an incredible thing here, for an incredible cause. I used to teach a dance class for handicapped adults, and during that class became very close with a woman that has DS. This cause is very close to my heart, and it’s so amazing to see what an online community can do.
    Thanks for being inspiring!

  174. Kelle,
    Do you realize what you’ve started?? I can’t even put into words or an eloquent phrase… Your precious Nella is changing the world…You, her beautiful Mama, and your incredible photographic skills…you’ve changed me; you’ve changed my mind; I believe…and I know I am not the only one. You are doing something big, and beautiful, and so very important for the “world” of so many. God Bless YOU for loving that little girl so much. And sharing her with us. We will never be the same. I’m just sure of it.

  175. and I keep coming back to see the amount grow!!! wowowowowowow!!!!

  176. Congratulations on the ONEder fundraising! How amazing to see so many people paying it forward! I’m glad I was able to help…even if it was just a small amount!

    I look forward to your beautiful blogs everyday…your amazing photos have inspired me to dig deep into my own love for photography by taking some photog classes at my local community college! Maybe one day when I have littles of my own, my photos of them can be half as beautiful as yours!

    Thanks again and keep on rockin’ it!!

  177. Wow, the little brown streaks in Nella’s blue eyes! Heterochromia or an optical illusion? Either way, beautiful!

  178. I just love all your pictures :)

  179. Kelle,
    I’m sure you’ve already heard of this movie/documentary, but I just had to tell you about it if there is a small chance that you haven’t seen it. It is about two adults with down syndrome that are getting married. It’s called Monica and David and it’s a HBO documentary. Before your blog I would have passed right over it, but now I’m watching it because of Nella. Your blog is wonderful. I look at it almost everyday and talk about it to family and friends.

  180. A dear friend just told me South Dakota was the only state not represented in Nella’s ONEder Fund. I’ve made a donation, so your story has now reached every state in the U.S. I love reading your blog and looking at the beautiful pictures that accompany the words. Thanks for sharing!

  181. I posted a link to your fundraiser under one of the points in my most recent blog post (where I talk about inspirational stories & donating to a good cause):

    I hope it helps motivate even more people to donate.



  182. I loved reading about your beautiful family. I am so humbled by your love for your family and life in general. Your daughters are gorgeous, like their momma xoxo

  183. I just wanted to say that I now think you are even more awesome than I did before, for posting breastfeeding pictures. While most people wouldn’t even know that’s what it is, I think it’s awesome. Thank you for supporting something I believe in, just by sharing that photo.

  184. UNbelievable….Did you ever dream 50,000.00, i mean really. There are good people out there and it warms my soul every single time I check the total and it is going up.. up.. up..No doubt “our” goal will be reached. Thank you for all you have done to increase awareness.

  185. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3])

    I just read this today and thought of you. Keep shining Kelle, because the world is brighter because of you and Nella!

    Karen H.

  186. i started reading your blog awhile back when nella’s birth story was mentioned on donald miller’s blog.
    i’m 19 and you are truly an inspiring woman and the kind of mother that i hope to be someday.
    and your photographs are phenomenal.
    thanks for all of the inspiration and life living. :)


  187. You are such an incredible woman! Oohh, you are rockin’ the oneder fund! AMAZING!!! Congrats!!

  188. your kids was totally cute.
    Edina MN Realty | Gift Baskets

  189. I must admit, I used to be a bit of a blog skeptic. I didn’t feel totally comfortable sharing or connecting with that “anonymous someone” over the computer. But just look at what this great group of “anonymous someones” have done together – raised almost $50,000 to date! Now that is the power of connection.
    God bless you, Kelle!


  190. This comment has been removed by the author.

  191. We have that same froggy bowl from Ikea. We got it when my 3 year old was born. Its a fave in our house.

    I’m a regular reader! Thanks for the online encouragement I receive on being a momma from you! 😉

  192. The pool pictures of Nella, oh my. What a sweetheart! Her smile is perfect, love those sweet little toofs : ) And what a rad mom. You let Lainey bring her own shopping cart to Target! Awesome.


  193. oh my gosh your pregnant belly this time last year was so tiny!! : ) was that your full term? wow i feel gigantic compared to you, tiny woman.

  194. I have been wanting to write you for a while. My daughter just turned one last weekend. I have been folowing your blog for a while and your words could be my exact thoughts. You have helped me in so many ways articulate my thoughts, not feel alone and know by your example that life goes on and we can cope. I went through the same thoughts about reliving the birth of my daughter..pain included. It was good for me to look at it, I know those memories are there, but I also can now pick the good ones out and focus on those. Having her Birthday was so we have good momories of her Birthday and we celebrated.

  195. Kelle
    You are an inspiration to others. Hey just a thought. I love your hat your mom made you. The one you were standing in front of the mirror. Maybe your mom can make some and you sell them and the money goes to your wonderful site. I know, when do we have time for that. I know I would buy one. Just a thought
    Thank you

  196. Kelle….all I can say to you is that you are absolutely amazing and so inspiring to me! The past year has been one of my hardest times in my life and we are still struggling with a lot…but just sitting down in the morning with my coffee and reading your blog has helped me in so many ways…I almost instantly get a new way of looking at things right from the start. We have a very sick newborn baby girl and yet after reading some of your posts and definitely your birth story it makes me feel stronger and that I can get through this time in my life and I will do and will do it in a positive way for my other two children. I just want to say thank you for everything…for just putting it all out there….you are amazing!


  197. $77,942 WOW! Kelle, you are absolutely AMAZING!!

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