Together.

I don’t know much about football. I know what a running back is, what a quarterback is, and I know that thick spandex stretched across a grown man’s backside makes for a nice tight end. Not that I’m lookin’.

I don’t have to know a lot about the game though to understand that when you’re watching a big game at a sports bar where a sea of navy & orange-wearing fans are joined to cheer, and your husband’s favorite team scores a touchdown, you jump and holler like it’s nobody’s business.

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Go Bears.

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Our Bears-loving comrades, John & Suzanne.

Nella learned the name of the game real quick. They score, we cheer. We cheered a lot yesterday (my condolonces, Seattle. I still like your coffee.)

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And I certainly don’t have to like football to like the idea of the celebration of people all coming together to root for something. There’s an infectious energy that wafts about the sports bar as big jersey-wearing guys bellied up at the bar clink glasses, spill beer and shout their approval. And we cheered with them from our table-turned-playground where baskets of hot wings were tucked into the small surface not covered with crayons and books and Polly Pocket dolls. To be honest, I don’t really care who wins. I just like the big to-do of yet another occasion that brings people together for a common cause…to celebrate.

We did a lot of that this weekend.

Our not-so-tiny twin friends turned one.

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And we danced and sang and remembered when we welcomed them a whole year ago. Happy Birthday, Cash & Rocco.

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It seems today is an appropriate day to celebrate all this togetherness, and I can’t help but let this glorious theme steep a bit in my mind right now. There may be different ways and measures of acquiring the need to feel united, to celebrate something good, but when it all boils down, the fact remains that I am fueled by the victories of the past, the potential of the present and the promise of the future. As cliche’ as it may be to link this all up with Martin Luther King Jr. today, I can’t help myself. I’ll spare you with the “I have a dream” speech and simply say that MLK paved the road with some impressive unifying achievements and fearlessly challenged people to dream bigger for a better world. I am inspired by the fact that the small things we are doing today can do the same. While there is war and hatred and discrimination in our world at this very moment, there is also a growing number of people who are working to create a culture where everyone is valued and celebrated. You’ve been doing it for over a week now, and there’s almost $70,000 to speak for it.

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So, if you’ve ever basked in the joy of celebration–in blowing out candles or leaping off the couch to cheer a touchdown, in clinking glasses to toast a new year, a new job, a new baby, in huddling around warm flames to tell stories, to catch up– you know what it feels like. And it’s good, eh?
I have a dream alright…a dream that there’ll be plenty more of it this week, and I’m pretty sure it’s comin’ true.

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The girls modeling togetherness in Lainey’s latest favorite game: Pirate Boat Ride. Where quilts are boats, wooden spoons are paddles, dogs are pirates, and Lainey looks a little bit like Rambo.

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This week, we are continuing the celebratory theme as we make the twenty-minute trip to the airport a handful of times to pick up loved ones and I, a half hour before they arrive, madly throw things into closets and drawers to prepare for their arrival.

There’s plenty to do in the meantime.

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I was just about ready to snap the photo on the right above when I *clicked* right as Swiper interfered (see left).

Rockin’ it together-style.

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The ONEder Fund’s still rockin’ until this Saturday. But you’re certainly welcome to come knockin’ by sharing THIS video or donating HERE. And many have shared that their employers have matched their donations, so it doesn’t hurt to check if yours does too! Thank you from the bottom of my celebratin’ heart.

This afternoon’s rain calls for wet boots and puddle dancing.

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With Lainey, of course, sportin’ her favorite cape from renewed sponsor Pip & Bean. Happy to have them on board again, and loved hearing from several of you that your kids rocked some Pip & Bean capes this Christmas too. We love ours!

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Happy Monday!
Life’s most urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Comments

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  1. As a fairly new reader, I have to say that you have some beautiful photos in this post! I agree about people coming together, no matter what the reason. I’m from Detroit and as much as we’re known for some crappy reasons, we are an amazing sports town and I have some lifelong memories that came out of victories (and losses!).

  2. Gotta love rooting for a team, even when you don’t really understand/care about the sport! So I totally rocked a blog post about the ONEder fund (and shared it on FB). LOVE the MLK quote. Here’s to an awesome birthday week…looks like you’re already off to a great start!

  3. Beautiful pictures once again. Your children are so precious.

  4. love lainey’s chicago get up…did you guys teach her to say, “daaaaaah bears.”

  5. Just for liking my Chicago Bears…you get an extra $5 in the ONEderfund!!!

    DA Bears! da bears! da bears!

  6. Oh goodness today is my LUCKY day!!! I didn’t even read the post yet, I just can’t believe that I am in the top 10 comments (there’s only one so far, but I’m sure there will be more by the time I finish typing this!) I know you’ve heard it all a million times and then million more, but thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the brilliant and blinding light that you share with the universe, that you share with my family. Gah! I’m gettign all tongue tied like a little kid who waits impatiently for the mic and then gets stage fright at the last minute. Dang. You lady are magic. MAGIC I tell ya! So, yeah, thanks :)

  7. Beautiful post, Kelle. I loved your cliched tie-in with MLK!
    It’s touching… and I can’t help but click over time and time again to see the impact Nella’s short life has already had on the world.
    She is a rockstar!

  8. Go Bears!!! So glad to see you rooting for the right team :) It is truly amazing how much money has been raised! In true rock star style you rocked this too! I am continuing to share your video in hope’s you can reach 100,000. A girl can dream, right…

  9. i love your togetherness, full of joy!!!as always!

  10. I like you don’t know much about football but I will alway root for the Bears! Glad to see you guys are fans! Congratulations on an amazing fundraiser!!!! I have been spreading the word.

  11. Togetherness…..something that I can always count on to warm my heart & bring me sheer contentment….whether it’s the togetherness of a big party of children & adults joined in a celebratory event, or the togetherness of my little family of 3 huddled together on the lounge-room floor with toys, snacks & sugary drinks & ‘The Wizard of Oz’ playing for the 3rd time that day :)
    Each & every photo in this post represented togetherness in it’s sheer perfection Kelle!
    And….thanks to you…my little Ella rocked out a hot pink Pip & Bean cape this Christmas & she’s in love with it…BIGTIME :)
    Enjoy your family’s arrival & the week ahead!
    Much Love xo
    P.S. $70 000….WOW! You could move mountains Girl! Chase that dream!!!!

  12. I love all the little reasons to celebrate that bring people together. Although the negativ temps here in Mass have left most people around here clinging to their homes, I have hope for this spring when beauty of the season unvails and I will be VERY pregnant by then :)

    Good things to come, happy Monday and great pics as usual!!

    BTW I found out I am having a GIRL! Couldn’t be happier. She is healthy and now 20 weeks away from showing us her beautiful face. :)

    Pam in New England

  13. Every Little Thing…Kelle’s roots are here in the Detroit area as well! And I have to say, almost a year ago, when I least expected it, when I wasn’t watching, in the dark of night…the Swiper swiped my heart! I cannot wait to celebrate with you this weekend. Happy Birthday, Nella Cordelia…and Happy Family to the rest of you!

    –Poppa

  14. Great question (the MLK one)!!!
    GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love you guys! Wish I could be there to celebrate with you all!

  15. Oooo I’m feeling a lil goose bumpy if my comment is just after Poppa’s, I adore all his comments. Okay, u have the most beautiful gf’s & they all have adorable babies!! Wowzers, love Nella & Lainey in the one piece jammies, so cute!!! I shared your video’s link I’m a lil blog:)xo

  16. I like that “swiper” of a Nella girl. Swiper no swiping, swiper no swiping.

    I’m sure she just thinks it’s too funny.

    Love the pirate patch on Lainey by the way, she would make a fine pirate.

    Blessings, Kelle!

  17. Da Bears! (Actually, I’m a Cowboys fan, but we won’t talk about that today. Ahem)

    I am so excited about how many people came together to raise funds for NDSS. It is amazing.

    I just have this feeling that the tide is about to turn when it comes to acceptance for people with DS. I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like we’re all on the cusp of something big.

    Thank you so much for using your blog as a platform for all the little (and not so little) ones out there who have a little something extra.

    And to go a bit further with the MLK theme…I have a dream that one day that the world will love and accept every one, regardless of the number of chromosomes.

  18. Ok, I can even overlook the whole Bears thing (don’t tell my husband though ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’re in WI where it is Packer Country all the way, but I don’t really care either, I just love going to the parties and being surrounded by family and friends! Our kids just love the food.

  19. Lainey is a cutie, blond Rambo! HYSTERICAL! We are in fort mode….and I am making a felt house that goes over a card table. So fun – hours of adventure to be had!

  20. Kelle,

    I’m a new reader, and was so inspired by your words that I went back to the very beginning and read your ENTIRE blog like a book you can’t put down. I’m a newly engaged girl in my twenties who is SO inspired by the way you live life. And by the way you create such a beautiful life for your precious family filled with so much love and passion. I only hope to be such an amazing wife and mother like yourself one day. I’m also a new blogger motivated by the creative outlet it provides and the space it gives me to document life’s precious moments. And your blog has inspired me to paint beautiful pictures out of the good and bad that life brings at the end of every day. Your words resonate with me, and I’m so thankful for people like you who aim to make a difference in the world! You are doing it in one BIG way girl. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family.

  21. We are having an awesome MLK day here in Ohio. We have read the book, Martin’s Big Words, The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. to our 3 kids with down syndrome. April and I went to the Coffee Emporium in downtown Cincinnati to a book reading of Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community. Everyone that has a child with a disability must read this powerful book-life changing. I agree with you that Dr. King made a huge impact on civil rights that has spilled over into the disability community. susan

  22. Go Bears! Looks like a good weekend! Yes, bringing people together to celebrate…all good and pure.
    Love.

  23. reminder to myself- buy colorful rain boots.

  24. Kelle – I have loved everything about you and your family up until this moment… ๐Ÿ˜‰ My entire family (extended and all) including my husband’s family (extended and all) are from Wisconsin where we have thick GREEN BAY PACKER blood. And so…

    GO PACKERS!!!!!!! The Bears don’t stand a chance!

  25. Well, I’m glad you still love our coffee! I do, too, which is a good thing because Seattle in January doesn’t have **all that much more** to offer…

    I feel the same way about football. Who is playing? Wait, who cares! We’re all together eating things and drinking things and cheering! whooohoo!!

    Love the pirate game. Girl has got an imagination on her….

    xox
    Melina
    http://www.thewildercoast.com

  26. I knew there was a reason I immediately liked you-a fellow Bears fan! (even if by marriage, it totally counts) My husband is a Packers fan, so there’s gonna be a throw-down in our house next weekend. Can’t wait to see pics from Nella’s upcoming party!

  27. beautiful pictures and beautiful kids!!!
    xoxo Cybelle & Fabi

    http://www.fromustwoyou.blogspot.com/

  28. Our weekend looked similar, but getting READY to meet our baby girl (which included lots of lame meetings with doctors) and celebrating the Bears. I learned “Go Bear!” in baby sign language to prep for next year…

  29. adorable

  30. adorable

  31. 70,000!! How cool. My husband’s team is the Bears as well….born and raised in Chicago and so we cheered and partied too. I love even the littlest things about family….like sports teams connecting us bringing a silly unity but unity nonetheless. Have a wonderful week!

  32. “I don’t know much about football. I know what a running back is, what a quarterback is, and I know that thick spandex stretched across a grown man’s backside makes for a nice tight end. Not that I’m lookin’.”

    This totally made me laugh out loud. I even reposted it on my facebook, because it was so funny to me. :)

    My husband played football in college, so we are huge fans of football season. :)

  33. Can’t wait until Nella Bean’s birthday celebration…oh, and by the way – I’m a Steelers fan!!! So the showdown begins….LOL.

  34. Everything about this post makes the day beautiful !!! I get so giddy everytime their is a new post !!! Even if their isnt a new one I re-read old ones :)

    I have to tell you this , over the past 5 years Ive been suffering with PPD , even though I have two of the most beautiful children God could give me (*note their beauty in the pic:)*) , I suffered with it. Alot of issues with my In laws and such and I had alot of harboring issues with my MIL , but ive overcome the PPD and one thing that your blog has done for me is make me realize , everyone has a story and a good one and that LOVE is contagious . So I thought that something was the reason I hadnt moved on …It was because I needed to FORGIVE, and Over the last year Ive finally let it go . I forgive my MIL , and my heart is full again. You have helped that in me Kelle , just your bright sould. Everyone has a story and I love reading yours.
    It makes me happy.
    Thank you so much.

    Love and Blessings up here in Virginia
    The Doughtys

  35. Hey Kelle,
    One of the wishes I am granting at Gifts From the Heart For Downs, is to Brooke a 16 year old who is going to meet Brian Urlacher from the Chicago Bears….she is going to their training camp in July/August some time….Awesome!!!! Have a good day
    Kim

  36. Congratulations to the Bears, but GO PACK GO! Happy MLK DAY-as a special education teacher, a mother, and a person with a soul…I am thrilled for his accomplishments and the many more to come in the future (from people like you my dear Kelle)!!!

  37. In reflection of MLK day, you are right, his teachings touch us all. If we diminish the value of life for anyone, we diminish it for EVERY0NE. If we suggest how precious life is can be altered by our color, our capability, our age, our education, our pedigree, our preferences, our faith…then we have surely damaged the superlative worth of our intrinsically connected human family. Life is to be celebrated…cherished…protected and preserved. We would honor MLK by sending a “You are precious” message to everyone within our reach…the shelved elderly, the distanced immigrant, those living with challenge and something missing or something extra…yes, all precious. End of sermon. Peace out…or maybe IN.

  38. Oh my gosh… we are HUGE Bears fans! LOVE IT!

  39. That Bears game the other day was a total blowout, in my opinion. Wow. Loved it.

    And as usual, I love the pics and everyone wearing the blue and orange colors. ๐Ÿ˜€

    PS GO PACKERS!! Sorry, I longtime Pack fans here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. Could swiper be any cuter!!!

  41. It’s wonderful to celebrate!! For big reasons, or small reasons! It’s good to recognize the need for that…and then to do it.
    Love Lainey’s cape!

  42. Well, I can forgive the whole Bears-fan aspect of this post. (-: I’ll just gloss right past it. Anyway, thanks for sharing your heart. Our blog (ourlivesworksinprogress.blogspot.com)
    only started in November, but I am proud to be helping spread the word about your ONEder Fund. We’re working towards the adoption of a little one with medical/developmental needs and hope that we can network with other families blessed by these sweet babies (no matter the age of the children). Maybe we can even inspire some others as you have done. That would be awesome! Thanks again Kelle and know that a lot of people are celebrating sweet Nella-the-swiper’s birth right along with the rest of your family.

  43. i have been following your blog for a couple months, but haven’t yet piped up to say hello! since stumbling upon your sweet little corner of the web, yours are always the first posts i read when i check my blogroll. this past week i’ve found myself peeking back to check on the fundraising, and as someone who’s raised money for a cause near and dear, i know how exhilarating it feels to see how many people care right along with you! it’s really amazing! much respect for the lovely voice you’ve given to this space, the sweetness with which you live and document your life, and for your fierce style! xoxo from a fellow florida girl.

  44. Kelle….I don’t think I have commented on your blog yet, but have come to look at your pictures and hear your stories every day since the birth of Nella. You inspire me to be a better mother, a better person and to see the good in everything that I do. I also have a little girl with Down syndrome, Lily, and she has been such a blessing in our life. She will be five this year, and along with her big sister Grace and little brother Lincoln they keep me on my toes. Congrats to you and all the wonderful things you are doing. You are a beautiful woman!!!!! If you would like to check out my blog email me at janebaker7@hotmail.com and I will send you access. You can see my Lily in action!

  45. Hi,

    Beautiful pictures once again. Thank you for sharing.

    :-)

  46. Well….we are HUGE Seahawks fans – so I won’t hold that whole “Bears fan” thing against ya!! :) STILL THINK YOU’RE AWESOME LADY!!

  47. poppa, beautiful sermon preacher!
    preach on!
    kelle, you are an amazing lady, with one beautiful family.
    GOD LOVE YA!

  48. Growing up in the Chicagoland area, we too are Bears fans.You are right there is something quite awesome about all the unified rooting and cheering. I;m so excited about how well the donations are going.I will continue to spread the word about it. Again, you were born to do this. You are cahnging the world, my friend.God bless. And oh how I absolutely adore the photo of your little pirates.Just wait til they are having you string tents from the cielings and pretending they are in the dessert or camping in the woods.Keep smiling with your heart,It is contagious!

  49. great photos, as always! i love the BEARS support! (I am from chicago, too!)

    have a fantatic week celebrating Nella and her one year of birth!

  50. Kelle: I’ve been lurking around your blog since precious Nella was born! I adore your family and your lifestyle. And now I am forced to speak. GO BEARS!!!!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

  51. In the theme of togetherness…

    I am in Queensland, Australia and we have just endured devastating floods. The day after lives and homes had been lost, the calls for volunteers had been replaced with announcements that there are more volunteers and donated goods than the officials knew what to do with. In one day in our little city, 120,000 people had volunteered to clean up other people’s homes. Other people filled their cars with food and drinks and simply drove the streets feeding the volunteers and the displaced.

    That’s the kind of togetherness that warms the heart.

    While our togetherness has come in response to a disaster, the togetherness you are creating with your beautiful Nella will last a life time.

  52. I love this blog.I always leave feeling warm and fuzzy and inspired inside.
    Glad you had a fun weekend hootin and hollarin’!

  53. love it.

  54. I didn’t know you all were Bears fans!! Makes me like you even more! Wonderfully thoughtful MLK day words too.

  55. I’m the same way about football and any sport really. Don’t know anything about it, but I love the experiences it brings for families.

  56. BEARS FAN !!!!! BEARS FAN !!! I LOVE YOUR BLOG !!

  57. GO BEARS!!!!!!!! I don’t think I’ll be able to rest easy till this Packers game is over on Sunday haha

    LOVE from Chicago! =)

  58. my jaw just dropped. 70000!? how amazing.

  59. Oh, I had to come back one more time just to see ya’ll wearing our navy and orange….LOVE it =)

  60. Loving: Lainey dancing in the rain. Dr. King’s quote. The ONEder Fund video reaching so many people and the 70K+++

    Have a beautiful week celebrating Nella’s first year. I will be celebrating with you in spirit. :)))

    “To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us…that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being…” ~Pablo Neruda

  61. Just looked at the total in Nella’s ONEder Fund and wow, what a wonderful birthday present for Nella and her momma, and what an honour to be part of such a wonderful cause! I always read your blog but seldom post a comment. Like so many of the readers here, I can also say that your blog has inspired me to capture more moments with my three little girls and to really appreciate all the good things in our daily lives. I also wanted to thank you for making me more aware of and comfortable with differences in other people, whether those differences involve Down syndrome, problems with mobility or any other difference. By “getting to know” Nella, I have learned that the differences can be gifts and certainly are not something to be afraid of or embarrassed by. Where in the past I would have made sure “not to stare” at a person with a difference so as not to make them feel embarrassed or awkward, or I would perhaps have been overly friendly in an attempt to show that I was not feeling awkward (all with good intentions but not quite comfortable), I now feel quite natural and don’t even think about “how” I am chatting with someone who sports an extra chromosome, or their mom or dad, or someone who has any other visible difference. And the real gift is that I can share this with my daughters who will hopefully grow up without ever feeling that awkwardness. So thank you for that. Go Bears Go and Happy Birthday Nella!

  62. Oh my gosh – I LOVE Nella’s orange cable-knit jumper (sweater?) It’s gorgeous!!
    Congratulations on the ONEder fund – it’s fantastic to see that kindness, love and acceptance are still alive and well in the world :)
    Oh – and for Christmas my husband bought me a Vintage Pearl ‘To the Moon and Back’ necklace with his and our daughters names on it. A big thanks to you for inspiring him, and for inspring me to be all that I can as a Mum and a wife.

  63. totally love your blog – your pictures are fabulous – your girls are adorable – and that upholstered chair in the last picture absolutely rocks

    keep it coming! I’m so glad to meet another Mom who takes as many pictures as I do.

  64. My 16-month-old sits on my lap as I read your posts and she bounces and claps and loves the music. My 3-yr-old says “pretty baby” every time he sees Nella. I’m pretty sure after seeing the pirate scene he wants an eye patch! Thanks as always for your clear message of enjoying the small things.

  65. Lovely! I love how beautifully you capture life and it’s fullness. xo catherine

  66. I love that quote so very much.
    Love. Love. LOVE!

  67. Your doing lots for others Kelle, MLK would be proud! PS I love me that little snipper!!!

    Thanks for using Tyce in your video!

  68. You have beautiful girls! And you take beautiful pictures! Love it!

  69. Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly like you anymore….it happened. You are a bears fan.
    Go bears.
    We will be at the game next weekend!

  70. Love that FL residents are Bears fans too! From a suburb of Chicago…GO BEARS!!!

  71. Happy Monday, Kelle. So proud of what you’re doing for DS awareness. I’ve been telling everyone I know about you!! Amazing!

  72. Ever since I was in grade school and we had to give our own “I Have a Dream” speaches I have been moved by MLK and his passion for equality and acceptance. In my school years teachers commented on how I seemed to be friends with everyone and not just my click. We all have problems, joys, sorrows and our own internal critics and at the end of the day that’s what makes us all the same. I’ve been told I have an old soul, no one has ever explained why, but I assume it’s because from a young age I seemed to have figured out the bigger picture. It wonderful to see from the ONEunder Fund that there are many more out there with the same feelings. Rock it Village.

    Thank you for your post on life and it’s many reasons to celebrate.

    Cheers!
    Lisa in CA

  73. I have to say that I will definitely be cheering against your husband’s team this weekend. GO PACK GO!!!

  74. I love that you guys are Bears fans! Cheers!

  75. GO BEARS GO! I’m right there with you celebrating the victories, enjoying the crowd, and company and energy of those around.

    Kelle I also wanted to share with you a poem that was brought up in one of my classes today. It’s called “Welcome to Holland” and all I could think of was you and sweet Nella. I thought of your birth story, but mainly as I read the last line of the poem tears streamed down my face because that’s exactly what you, your family, myself, and the rest of these wonderful supporters of ONEder Fund are doing. They are celebrating and and enjoying the very special things about Holland.

    Here is the link:http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html

  76. The pirate boat ride photo KILLS me! Love it!

  77. I can’t say “Go Bears” b/c it was “Go Ravens”, but that ended up in a sad muddled mess.

    KC – the quote of the day rocks. Kelle – I told you via FB that I’m so proud of you and your ability to use your blog and your God-given gifts to make a difference for your Nella and for so many others. And now the fund is at $70K. Holy holy!

    BTW, I got a cape for one of my best friend’s boy for his birthday (pre-Christmas) and it was a big hit. Seriously, getting a 10 pack for a birthday party would be awesome!

    Here’s wishing you and all of your family a wonderful week for the birthday celebration.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  78. Kelle, I can’t believe how much Nella is starting to look like Lainey…what beauties you have!!

  79. And how bout this one? “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    So fitting, right? Your passion and dedication will surely further our progress, Kelle. Thank you!

  80. And how bout this one? “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    So fitting, right? Your passion and dedication will surely further our progress, Kelle. Thank you!

  81. I love their pirate play time! That is just too cute!

    I love checking the total for the onederfund! I have shared it a few times on my facebook.

    Look forward to Nella’s birthday party pictures! I would love to be a fly on the wall!

    :o)

  82. Yes, GO BEARS! I was so happy to see that orange “C” on a shirt in your first picture ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Lovely pictures, as always! Thanks for sharing!

  83. We were rooting for our team, the Seahawks, but the Bears pulled off an awesome win! I’m sorry to say though, I will be rooting for the Packers come GAME day, if they win :)

    Love the pirate pictures! you’ve given me a new use for my old paper towel rolls :)

  84. Whoo! Go Bears!!

  85. Great post as always Kelle! I am in awe of what is happening with Nella’s Oneder Fund…and I love how it is showing that there is still so much good in the world.

    Wanted to let you know that I share your video on my blog the other day. I don’t have a ton of readers, but many expressed to me how much it touched them and several reposted on their blogs. Thanks for allowing all of us to be a part of the amazing thing:)

    http://chiaseedme.com/2011/01/15/a-must-see/

  86. You are incredible my dear. Just.simply.incredible.

    I do have a question: Will donations still be accepted after Nella’s birthday? I’m donating 40% of my sales from here http://stelladot.com/tahnie however I won’t actually get paid until the following week. Please let me know! I don’t want to miss out on something so beautiful.

    xo.

  87. ugh, brett’s a florida fan AND a bears fan?! i can’t handle it!! (my husband is a bears fan too- my team. eliminated)… :(

    shared your blog on mine. i don’t have many readers, but hopefully someone felt led to give something!

    http://ohbabyitsababy.blogspot.com

  88. Looks like you all had a great time watching football!
    I love the stripey mother-daughter combination you and Nella are wearing in a couple of the pictures Kelle!
    xox

  89. many thx for the condolences to Seattle…*insert sound of my heart breaking* at least we still have coffee, you are quite right. :-) love watching the meter climb for Nella and company. keep up the great work!

  90. You crazy woman You make my life upside down since I found Your blog!!!
    I dont know football (Im Polish in UK, and here they love soccer (I think Americans call it in this way) but I dont mind family meeting then I support team with most sexy players ;)btw I love girls orange jumpers(?) (I love they way You compose their outfits, I wish I had daughters) and Im so addicted to Your photography.And don`t stop writing because you are the best and thanks to You many people see how lovely, amazing, smart and beautiful are kids who got one extra chromosome!!!!

  91. You crazy woman You make my life upside down since I found Your blog!!!
    I dont know football (Im Polish in UK, and here they love soccer (I think Americans call it in this way) but I dont mind family meeting then I support team with most sexy players ;)btw I love girls orange jumpers(?) (I love they way You compose their outfits, I wish I had daughters) and Im so addicted to Your photography.And don`t stop writing because you are the best and thanks to You many people see how lovely, amazing, smart and beautiful are kids who got one extra chromosome!!!!

  92. LOVE that you are a Bears fan. Here on the mid-atlantic east, it’s not a popular thing. (I don’t want to be negative, but yukky, yukky steelers)
    Love your blog. Love your pics. Thanks.

  93. “I know that thick spandex stretched across a grown man’s backside makes for a nice tight end. Not that I’m lookin’.”

    You are too funny!!! Love you Kelle Hampton!!!!

  94. Your children and pictures are fantastic! Absolutely beautiful! :)

    And I couldn’t agree more – I’m not a sports fan, but I tend to use it as an excuse to see friends and family from time to time.

    Ashley
    http://www.afterninetofive.net

  95. Woo-hoo GO BEARS! That just reminded me of another add on to my bucket list, take my hubby to a Chicago Bears football game. Hope you all have a great week!

  96. Okay, Brett sporting the necklace while watching ‘the game’ is pure manliness, LOVE.IT!

    Great post Kelle, as always!

  97. Ummm… you are cheering for the wrong team. GO PACK GO!

  98. I love your final quote

    “Life’s most urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
    ~Martin Luther King Jr.

    I think about this all the time. And amidst differences in religion, race, values at the bottom of it all i try to remind myself and others around (who may not like that I have no specific religion) that I truly believe what matters in this life is not what go you believe in or what culture you follow, but what we do for another as a member of the human race. What have you done for others this year, this month, this week or even in your life time. It’s easy to judge the pan handlers, the homeless, and even the millionaires, but we have not clue what their story is. What matters is that we are all connected at the most basic and raw level. And b/c of that we owe it to eachother to take care of eachother.
    Of course i’m a social worker, no wonder huh, and this ideal is truly part of the blood that pumps through my body.

  99. Yes, togetherness is very good. Our little girl turned 3 yesterday, and I’m recuperating from 3 solid days of celebrations with family and friends. It’s a good life.

  100. Bears Fans?! This Wisconsin girl is not a fan of that :)
    Sunday’s game should be a great time regardless….I agree….getting together with friends is a great thing!
    GO Pack! hehe

  101. I have really enjoyed your blog! Your desire for simplicity, your ability to stop and soak it all in and your love for your family… it’s a breath of fresh air on the internet!
    Just thought you should know! :o)
    http://www.jessharvey.net

  102. What? The Bears? No,no,no.
    I love me some Nella, but I can’t hop on board with the Bears.
    GO PACK GO!

  103. Well, this is the first time you’ve lost me.

    I’ll be rooting for the Packers this weekend. I married a Wisconsin boy, so I know you’ll understand :)

  104. Ah Kelle -Seattle still loves you. There is so much more than Coffee here and Hey the Seahawks beat the reigning champs in an Amazing game so-we were there -you are right their is nothing like people coming together. Maybe that is why I went to every game dragging my pregnant self plus toddler and backpack. It is that sense of being part of something – My daughter at 2 1/2 loves it I think she is the biggest fan in our house it is to cute – she wil have to teach her little brother when he comes this April.
    Payton loves the song One Day but she sings it Monday , Tuesday , Wednesday – pretty funny.
    If you are ever in Seattle _ I can show you some great places – the places we love to go.
    Cheryl

  105. Just three words for you:

    GO PACK GO!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  106. $71k + !!!!! AMAZING!!

  107. New reader. This is an absolutely beautiful blog! Can’t wait to read more!

  108. I’m a brand new follower and i LOVE your blog! I read Nella’s birth story and i could not stop crying, you write so beautifully. God Bless You!!i LOOK FORWARD TO ENJOYING YOUR BLOG:)

  109. LOVE IT!!! And oh so true…GO BEARS!!! It kills me how I’ll be wearing my Hawkeye T-shirt in the middle of California and someone from across LAX will yell GO HAWKS! or I’ll be in Florida and there are all the Bear fans…the craziest things can bring us together. Which is why I’m glad I read your story in Parents magazine because it brought me to your beautiful blog…your words soothe me during my craziest of days…THANK YOU!!! (sorry for the cheesiness) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  110. Wow, I am stunned by the beauty of your words and your two little girls. This blog is truly inspirational. Thank you!

    Hugs from Norway,
    Astrid

  111. “We would honor MLK by sending a “You are precious” message to everyone within our reach…”
    Poppa Rik

    So in that vein, let me say “you are precious Bears fans”. =D

    I will be rejoicing with you in spirit on Saturday as you celebrate Nella. Sadly, she will learn disappointment the next day when she and your family watch the Bears lose, but at least there will be one joyous day in your weekend.

    Enjoy the small things and enjoy watching the tight ends!

    A precious Packer Backer
    (alas, we do not share unity in this)

  112. GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Can’t wait to see everything about Nella’s bday.

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  115. GO BEARS!!!! :) My husband has been a die hard fan since 1985… and no he’s not from Chicago. He grew up in the Bay Area!! When trying to teach our oldest last year to say “da Bears!” she would say “du chu.” :)

    Also– “Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! OHHH man!”

  116. Go Bears!!! What an awesome post!! We are pretty excited here in Chicago – should be a fun weekend! Congrats on the ONEder fund – how amazing that must feel! What you’re doing for all of us is just amazing – thank you!!

  117. GO BEARS! I live in the Chicago area and have been following your blog for almost a year…I was super excited to see the Bears post…Also, I’m super excited for the ONEder Fund! Amazing what can be accomplished with a voice that reaches as far as yours does!

    I wish that doctors would have expecting parents read your blog and then watch your video and then when they have to “break” the news of ds to them say, “I have great news for you….you are about to be blessed with an incredible child…” INSTEAD of, “I have some bad news…please…sit down…your baby has ds but there are options….”

    That would trully start to change the way our “normal” society looks at these precious angels from heaven…

    Anyway…thank you for sharing your life in such a beautiful way…Happy Birthday to Nella!

  118. GO BEARS! I live in the Chicago area and have been following your blog for almost a year…I was super excited to see the Bears post…Also, I’m super excited for the ONEder Fund! Amazing what can be accomplished with a voice that reaches as far as yours does!

    I wish that doctors would have expecting parents read your blog and then watch your video and then when they have to “break” the news of ds to them say, “I have great news for you….you are about to be blessed with an incredible child…” INSTEAD of, “I have some bad news…please…sit down…your baby has ds but there are options….”

    That would trully start to change the way our “normal” society looks at these precious angels from heaven…

    Anyway…thank you for sharing your life in such a beautiful way…Happy Birthday to Nella!

  119. Ahoy me Matey!! Your little pirates would be welcomed to sail their row boat over here in our Pirate waters:) My Mad Dog Matt and Zippty Zach promise they won’t make them “walk the plank”…:)

    As always, you ROCK Ms. Kelle Hampton…the ONEder fund is reaching numbers that are out of this world!! God so knew what he was doing when he decided to bless you with your beautiful Nella. Through your personal experiences, raw honesty and your talent to share it with the world…you are “cracking this planet” and it is about time!! Time that our society opens the doors to all. To see how much we are more alike than we are different! You are an AMAZING advocate for so many-what a strong voice you have…and people are listening-just look at your ONDder fund!!
    God Bless
    Monique

  120. Me again…I forgot to tell you how moved I was from the beautiful video you and your friend put together…so motivational, powerful and beautiful!! AMAZING is all that keeps coming to me when I think of you…

    PS Now all Lainey and Nella need to add to their pirate play are pirate names. Along with Mad Dog Matt and Zippity Zach we have Marvellous Mama and Captain Stinky (Dad’s)…no need to explain…

    Happy Sailing (and #1 Birthday planning)
    Monique

  121. Love your blog and love the ONEder fund and all the good it will do.

    But…is anyone else feeling sorry for that poor baby called Cash? Cash?
    :(

  122. Oh if you’re referring to Cash of Cash and Rocco, the twins…nothing to feel sorry for there–they are incredibly adorable little boys and I love their names. It is really Cassius and Rocco and their rock star names fit these boys perfectly! They are Nella’s body guards as they are all the same age. This is a name you can take to the bank!
    I personally love creative names and always realize, those parents carefully selected the name so I always respect that! I recently met a little boy named “Dash” and I couldn’t help but think it fit this darting little boy perfectly and later learned his full name is Dashiell–cool!

  123. :) Thanks for the explanation, Rik! Cassius is a great name and ‘Cash’ a cute nickname.
    It was just the idea of Cash as a given name that kind of flummoxed me. (Like calling a child ‘Mammon’ or ‘Dollar Bill’…)
    And yes, they are both beautiful babies. As is the gorgeous Nella. xx

  124. man, i already adore you and your family but now that you’re actually BEARS fans {screams} …. GO BEARS! <3

  125. my honey loves football. i so need to develop an interest there. we are from illinois so the natural choice is the BEARS:)

    i’m so curious what lens you were using on your camera in that one picture. I’m a little camera obsessed lately…due to you;)

  126. I’m with you. Football is only good for the parties. Especially if those parties come with cold beer, hot chips and queso and a group of people in the mood to cheer. I’ve been asking my football-lovin’ girlfriends to teach me to like football for some time now, but I’ve given up. I’ll stick with the mini sausages. :)

    Lauren
    SIPPINGLEMONADE.com

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  128. I am anxiously awaiting your book! You know how there are those people who you quote and appreciate their wise words beyond belief? Well you are now one of those people for me, I have a little list of your beautiful perspectives, and reassurances of this awesome life. Thank you for writing, and sharing.

  129. pirate boat ride is now my favorite thing ever. so good.

  130. fave description is that of a tight end. That might be the only thing good about watching any sport. Other than watching my kids in sports.

  131. fave description is that of a tight end. That might be the only thing good about watching any sport. Other than watching my kids in sports.

  132. ** TO Lisa in CA ** You sound amazing, and like you have been since very young. Wow! I wish there were more people like you in the world. Yes, I, too, love the MLK quote about doing for others. Also how that can mean not just out in the “big” world but for our closest loved ones. Just as important. Telling and showing them each day how we love them. Picking up the phone to call someone. Sending a card or note just because. Just our presence, spending time with them, listening~

  133. I am veer humbled by these comments. So excited that you will hit your goal by Nella ‘s actual birthday. I am so proud of you! Roberta

  134. WOW!! Look how close we are to the goal in the ONEder fund!! Amazing! As the song here says, The heart of Life IS good!! From the blog mama

  135. TO TINA- Me, too! I keep some of Kelle’s..words or quotes and some from commenters and especially Poppa Rik’s! And I share with others. Isn’t it great?! TO HEATHER – yay for you. Glad you overcame the PPD and your heart’s full now. Good that you forgave your MIL. So true that we all have a story that so wants to be heard. And I wanna say we can never know what may be going on with another person or what it’s like to live in their skin; where they’ve come from. That isn’t always revealed. So it’s good to give people the benefit of the doubt. Peace out, indeed Poppa Rik, or IN – as we must start with that peace within~ From the Blog Mama

  136. I’m just loving watching the dontation amount get higher and higher!!! Are ya gonna shoot for 100K next???

  137. I’ve never been a big fan of sports. To my husband disappointment, but I think I need to take more of your attitude about it. Mike would be so pleased!

    Great post. As usual.

  138. So proud of you, and your oneder fund. Loved the video, have shared it on FB and twitter, and through email..our little Rowdy was a super star in our eyes, thanks for including him! Oh, and congrats Bears, we are sad here in the NW…those hawks are an incredible group, just couldn’t get it done against the Bears…next year I tell ya!

  139. Da’ Bears! Make my family happy :) My hubby is a die hard fan has been his whole life so seeing your post made us happy!

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  141. WOW! Just WOW! $75K+
    So ONEderful!!!

  142. You did it! You did it! We did it! We did it! High 5! You are officially over $75,000 raised. Way to be the change you wish to see :)

  143. Woohoo!! I just checked and you did it! We did it! OVER $75,000!!!!!!!1
    Amazing! Congratulations on a great idea!!

  144. I am one of the many who have been regularly checking on the ONEder Fund. Congratulations on, and thank you for, raising over $75,000! Wow! I know it was a team effort, but it would have never been done without you spearheading the campaign. Thanks for lending your voice to this important mission and for showing the world the beauty of those with that magical extra chromosome.

  145. Go Kelle! I’ve been checking the ONEder fund obsessively and was so happy to see it finally go past $75,000 today!!! And, Go Bears!

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  150. Daaaa Bears. Chicago native/resident loving all of the orange/blue in this post. :-)

    Love the picture of Nella sneaking in the cameras way!

  151. I echo everyone else – YAY! YAHOO! AMAZING! I have been checking the totals and i see it is OVER the $75,000 goal! WE DID IT!! I am, literally, sitting here and screaming and clapping and cheering and dancing to your music list! I have goosebumps, realizing how many peoople it took to make this happen – how many HEARTS and how much Love. And it all started with YOU, Miss Kelle! I am so in awe of you; you are such an inspiration. wish i could give you a real hug, but a cyber hug will have to do. Love from the Blog Mama ~

  152. I just stumbled upon this on TheBump.com. What a wonderful website! Your photos are amazing! I am starting a blog for parents and trying to get the word out. It’s all about reading with your young child and some activities you can do to promote literacy. Hope you can check it out and hope it helps!
    Hi!

    http://cuddlenread.blogspot.com

  153. CONGRATULATIONS KELLE!!!!!!!!

    $75,439!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But, it’s so much more than dollars. It’s the awareness that you, Kelle, are generating. And, it’s 75,439 messages of love for you and Nella.

    Carol from SW MI

  154. Wow. I am blown away.

  155. And (to be a repeat commenter today), our Nella Cordelia booties arrived today!! They are absolutely adorable! Now we can’t wait to meet the newest member of the family and lucky girl who gets to wear them – only 12 more weeks to go!!

  156. To manninglaura – YES YES! As Ghandi said “BE the change you want to see IN THE WORLD”.

  157. we’re from wisconsin, so we love the packers. then moved to chicago and had to cheer for the bears. then we moved st. louis and indiana and north carolina and the east coast and didn’t really care.

    now we’re back in wisconsin and the packers have stolen our hearts again. actually i just have a crush on aaron. our quarterback. but i digress.

    anyhow. this weekend will be a good one. with lots of yelling and cheering.

    i don’t care who wins. really. it’s just a game. but i will watching some of those tight ends, too :)

  158. the chairs in the last photo!!! i’m in love!

  159. You’re at $91,600!!!!! Did you EVER think?!! People are good. You are good. What a ride!

  160. Happy 1st Birthday sweet sweet Nella! Can’t wait to hear about her party, hope she has a wonderful day celebrating with her loved ones!

  161. Hi Kelle –
    What a beautiful day for your beautiful girl! Love all the special touches and thought that went into celebrating Nella’s first year…
    Jen

  162. I usually don’t comment…just soak up all of your words and leave with a smile on my face…Today, I must comment. :) First, the picture of Nella and her therapist made me sob. My son, who is almost 2, has spina bifida…and I get that love between our babies and the people who are helping them, the love that is written all over Jonah’s face. I love it. Also, I totally stalk your blog and Libby’s and to see you two together…it’s like two of my close friends have met! Ok, now I’m really showing my craziness. :) Anyway, Happy Birthday Miss Nella!!

  163. BTW, trying to order from Little Lesiw and can not seem to figure it out – there is nothing on the site to buy!

  164. Happy birthday beautiful Nella! The party looked gorgeous and most importantly, every single person looked happy.

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