Enjoying the Small Things

When all else fails, there exists the ever present need to enjoy the small and simple things.
With that said, a mindless but needful Friday post:

E N J O Y I N G . . .

Nella Messes.
Her mad roller derby crawling skills and advanced mobility and curiosity bring with it new messes which are, in their own way, delightful to find. Messes like an entire bag of wheat puffs she dumped in the play room.

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The Angry Face.
She has to force it, but it’s so funny, I find myself prompting her. “Show me angry,” I’ll say. And she works so hard to hide her smile as she furrows her brow and purses her lips. Makes me laugh, every time.

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Sleepy Meals.
Eating is hard work. And this face clearly says, “I’m done.”

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You Gotsa Blizzard, We Gots Sunshine.
Not that I’m rubbing it in because, Lord knows, I miss the cozy feeling of Batten Down the Hatches and watching mad flakes dance and skip and join forces for a victorious whiteout. However, after a string of boot-wearing, quilt-hugging days, the emergence of warm pavement that calls for bare feet and higher temps that beg for suits and clover-hunting afternoons is happily welcomed.

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And our kickball doubles as therapy. It’s so funny to watch her strain her little side muscles to stay upright, and she’s gettin’ really good at it.

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Chutes and Ladders
She’s still figuring out the rules of the game and kinda cheats by going up all the ladders and avoiding all the chutes…

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…but she does think it’s really funny how the game pieces look like us.

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Daddy Lovins.

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Impromptu Getaways.
They are redeeming in that they erase the busy and craziness of multi-tasking days and have a way of reversing event-filled schedules to a seemingly blank slate. And the shorter the notice, the better. Like, “Hey Brett, can you meet us at Steak ‘n Shake in twenty minutes?”

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The excitement being that a family trip to Steak ‘n Shake is a first. And we handled it so–like tourists–requesting extra hats, a second shot of malt powder, a slab of bacon on an already greasy burger. When in Rome, Baby.

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Making Valentines.
My holiday-lovin’ heart is gettin its hit with lace and scissors and teaching my girl how to properly address an envelope…with stamps and stickers, of course.

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Hesitating For Just a Happy Moment Before I tell Lainey She Can’t Strong-arm Her Sister.

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The Return to Sacred Ground.

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Room 7, the walls of which hold our story. I debated giving it its own post, but it seems fitting the cathartic journey of returning to the room where Nella was born belongs, as it does in real life, amidst the rest of the current that has propelled us forward. It’s been interesting attempting to head back up there, first scheduled for the night before Nella’s birthday and planned to include several girls. However, a full moon delivered a wild labor ward that night, pushing (no pun intended) off our plans until a few days later, and then later, and again, another try. But Room 7 was busy blessing other mamas with their stories until last night, on a whim, I called up and found out indeed, it was waiting for me. Empty but alive. And, suddenly, I had butterflies in my stomach, and I’m not even sure why. It’s just that I feel so progressed from the devastation I felt in that place, and yet I wanted to reconnect with it in a way that would bridge the gap between there and here, then and now, before and after. I knew walking onto the sacred ground between those walls would reignite dormant emotion, and just thinking about it began its stirrings.

Fortunately, two kindred spirits came with me–one that was so very present that night and who remembers things even I don’t and one who wasn’t and wanted to hear the story from the place it started. So it was, Heidi and Nana Kate joined me for my journey to The Birth Place and I, in a moment of ceremonialism, scoured the house thirty seconds before we left, searching for divine tokens from that night. The plastic Sharpie-scrawled champagne cups we used to toast her birth, the same candles that flickered when we welcomed her. I tossed them in my bag and settled for a bottle of Coors Light to bring to fill the cups because we had no champagne, and off we went.

There was pain–the searing beauty of it when we stepped into that place. It was brief but concentrated. Like I could close my eyes and remember it like it was yesterday. Like I was standing in the room as a visitor at the edge of the bed watching my sad old self grimace and cry. I could feel the emotion that was so present that night.

We huddled, the three of us, for a small moment and cried. Hugged it out and patted backs. And then, it left. The pain left the building, and it became the room where we celebrated. Where flowers gathered and friends smiled and girls sat on my bed and told me she was the sweetest baby ever. I remembered the magic of that room very much like Room 10, three doors down, where three and a half years ago I heaved happy sobs when Lainey slipped into our lives. And so we popped the cork–or, in our case, twisted the cap–poured some golden bubbly and toasted to the love that began in that room…in the same cups that toasted that same love just a year ago.

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We told Nana Kate all about that night, remembering things we almost forgot and marveling at how small the room seems now. “I swear the room was twice this size,” Heidi said. Because what happened in that room seems too big to fit in that space.

We sat on the bed and told stories last night in Room 7 for forty minutes. And we laughed…a lot. Heidi reenacted my guttural labor sounds and ran back and forth to the door, interpreting the funnier events of that night that deserve their part too. And it was all so very good and healing.

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And I left, feeling lighter, renewed and restored by the full-circle revelation that pain not only brings healing, but redemption. I couldn’t help but remember the lyrics my sister wrote on her post announcing Nella’s birth.

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That’s burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful ~Sara Groves

And because meaningful ceremonies like returning to birth rooms occur amid the less meaningful ebb and flow of life everyday–and that’s where they belong–I will sandwich the celebration of our defining moment between the rest of this post.

Enjoying the Small Things, Continued:

Her Love-Me Eyes, One Year Later

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New Home Stuff.
…makes me happy and provides nice incentive to clean my house.

New Sponsor, Timeless Settings Boutique, features a lovely range of unique home goods.
Loving my new chicken wire planter from them that holds my rosemary plant.

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And our beautiful antique-looking tea caddy–tea being my favorite thing to serve to anyone who stops by because strangely, it makes me feel hospitable when the state of our house might suggest differently. Just waiting for someone to step into our wheat-puffed scattered living room so I can serve them a spot of tea, letting them select from this nice little box. Brushing up my British accent to go with it.

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A $50 gift certificate to Timeless Settings will be given to a random commenter on this post.

And the Elizabeth St. gift certificate winner is Commenter #207, Kelly Cach (Hi, Kelly!): Oh, so sorry! This hurts my heart to the core…my Gabe is 9 and my Eli is 7. Will be holding them even tighter today. Prayers for your friend and blessings to you today, Kelly

Kelly, you know where to send your info! xoxo

And a big sigh to follow a big post.
Many happy moments to you this weekend.

A Nella goodbye wave to you and you and you.
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Comments

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  1. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous post. Lainey’s angry face made me laugh and I wouldn’t be lying if I said I’m jealous of your weather… 😉

  2. Beautiful post…all of it.

  3. I’m so glad you got to go back. I’m very ready for warm weather…yep…little bit jealous here. Lovely post as always.

  4. I love it all…the little things are the big things! xo

  5. Loving all of the pictures from the hospital. I wish I would’ve thought of doing something like that the year after Morgan’s birth. And I love that you remember your room #s from both babies. No need to brush up on your British accent. I’ve heard it and you’ve got it down, girl! Love the distressed tea caddy!

    xoxo

  6. Once again, cue the tears, as I can only imagine the sea of emotions in Room #7. What a wonderful thing you did by going back…you liberated yourself :) That’s beautiful.

    Many Hugs

  7. Another great post! Love it! I think your daughters are beautiful and I am SO wishing we could have warm enough weathers for bare feet! Instead Utah is VERY cold!

  8. love it. all of it.

    and nice toenails. :)

    heading over to enjoy the sites you suggested now…

    blessings,
    Jamie

  9. As one who is currently living a fairly traumatic season of life, I appreciate your re-visit of where this part of your story began. Beautiful.

  10. As a labor and delivery nurse (and a mama) I LOVE LOVE the idea of revisiting the room where you gave birth. Gives me chills just to think about the magic that happens in these rooms :)

  11. Amazing post!! I love the ones of daddy and playing outside :) You are all such a great family!

  12. Love the tea caddy! Gonna try that “servin tea” trick to camo a lived in home!

  13. I love your life girl. So good to go back and revisit that place. What a difference a year can make!

  14. Happy Valentines Day, sweet Kelle!

  15. I wonder how the heck I’d feel if I went back to the rooms where I birthed my 6 babies. Every one in a different hospital, in 3 states. And we’re not military. Can you believe that? Anyway, when I deliver this next and final baby (#7) I will make sure to remember the room number so I can go back a year later. ♥

  16. Nella is so cute – I love her!

  17. Beautiful words from a beautiful soul!!

  18. Beautiful post. I love the look on Lainey’s face when she’s holding Nella. It made me chuckle.

  19. Oh wow, that planter is amazing! And I love the new header.

  20. Lovely post, great links – thanks!

  21. Loving this post, loving your visit of that sacred place.
    And also loving your tea caddy and chicken wire planter – I want them!
    Have a wonderful weekend xx

  22. Kelly,
    Thank you so much for sharing your stories.. for putting your life in photos and words for the rest of us to learn from. Thank you for believing that your life tells a story bigger than you know. Even like trips to Steak ‘n Shake. :)

    Anne

  23. Kelly,
    Thank you so much for sharing your stories.. for putting your life in photos and words for the rest of us to learn from. Thank you for believing that your life tells a story bigger than you know. Even like trips to Steak ‘n Shake. :)

    Anne

  24. Everyday I look forward to your post cause your words give such hope. to everyone who reads them.

    I love your tea/coffee/sugar holder!

  25. Amazing, the journey we can take in one year, just 365 days, and yet we live a lifetime…I’ve had one of those years too. The bruises are gone, the tears are dried, the calluses a reminder of the strength God gives each of us to endure the bleak reality that to live life to the fullest, means giving way to the ebb and flow of the waves. What a happy year.

  26. tea caddy so cool! Nella and Lainey adorable as always. I love Nella’s little knowing looks!

  27. What a full circle moment! I am so glad you went back to the room where sweet Nella entered this world!

  28. I think Nella is a mini Brett they look exactly alike!

  29. Oh, those love me eyes. Beautiful.

  30. You are so brave and so humble. Your children are so lucky to call you momma.

  31. I am brand new to your blog but am hooked!! Beautiful family and inspiring words! Was it really your first trip to Steak n Shake???

  32. Another beautiful post, as always.

  33. What a special thing to do, going to the birth room, to remember. You seem to be a very beautiful woman filled with grace. You have a beautiful family, your children are precious and I really enjoy your blog. I LOVE the tea caddy. I am also a daily tea drinker/server. Have a wonderful weekend.

  34. Such a refreshing post. Love the tea holder. Fantastic.

  35. Love Lainey’s adorable angry face! So hard not to laugh and grin ear to ear when our sweet little ones make these faces! Love this whole post, makes me smile:)

  36. Oh, how I wish I could wear a bathing suit outside without the fear of hypothermia or frost bite. Oh, how I miss the color green outside my window. I’m trapped in snow banks up to my ears in New Hampshire!

    I love Lainey’s strong hold on Nella! With their matching shirts, it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I hope that continues for them forever.

  37. Seems like going back to Nella’s birth room is just what you needed! She is so beautiful

  38. Lainey’s angry face is priceless. You have two very adorable little girls, who must just love their mamas attention, sense of adventure and ability to just enjoy life.

    The tea caddy is fantastic. My cupboard runneth over with all the tea that is in there, and one of those sweet little boxes would help with my lovely mess. Great stuff.

  39. I love your Enjoying the Small Things posts.

    I am so happy that everything went well with visiting the birth room.

    Love the planter. If I win, I’m going to give the gift certificate to my mom. I think she would love everything on there!

  40. Your post about Room 7 made me want to give you a great big hug and tight squeeze. Which would be strange, I guess, since I am, well, a stranger.

    Just wanted to let you know that this was a beautiful post that touched my heart – as all of your posts do. Have a great weekend with the fam. The girls are beautiful.

  41. Lovely Post!! Every bit! Love the photos of your sweet girls!

  42. So glad you made it back to the hospital room with your friends. Healing I’m sure. I loved how you tucked something so powerful into the day to day normalness of your life in this post. My little bean turns “half cooked” as I liked to call it this week at 20 weeks. I can’t wait for the opportunity to teach, love and enjoy as you do with your little girls!

  43. I love that you share these beautiful moments… Your words are so inspiring… I can honestly say I’ve never felt so moved by the love and emotion you share in each post, whether you are talking about heartache, or the “Unimportant” things.
    I simply adore your blog.
    Your daughters are beyond beautiful…

  44. Cheers to spontaneous dates and malted shakes

  45. Love the wheat puffs on the floor. I am stepping on rice cake bits- crumbled on the floor by our little one-as I type. This is why I will never be without a dog. She always comes and happily cleans up the mess before I can worry over it.

  46. what pumpkins they are…..love the sister outfits…..

    cindy

  47. a beautiful post as always.

  48. I love the mix of the messes and the lovely.

  49. What a great post! Love seeing your girls – they are just the cutest!

  50. I’m so happy for you that you got to go back to the room.

  51. Love Lainey’s angry face! That is so cute! Love Nella’s too tired to eat face. Lainey’s first picture with the Steak n Shake hat is just so cute! My husband walked up as I scrolled down to the next Nella photo and he exclaims, “WOW she is just so cute!” Yep, that’s Nella! Just adorable! Then I showed him Lainey’s angry face! LOL Great post today!

    Glad to hear you have come full circle. I had to do that too from having such a tramatic giving birth experience. Writing about it sure helps.

    I bought some stuff before Christmas to decorate with and keep putting off the cleaning to decorate! I’ll get there….

  52. It took me about 5 minutes to read this post and in those 5 minutes I felt the need to laugh, bawl, laugh, bawl, laugh while bawling, and smile. It’s like I was right there, knowing EXACTLY how you felt, cause I lived it too, and what turned out to be the most devastating day of my life, ended up teaching me so much and giving me the best gift I have ever been given in my life. “Goodbye” back at you sweet Nella!!

  53. Your girls are precious! And you inspire me so.

  54. I love the photo at the top of your webpage with the girl coloring. I am assuming that is a picture of your little girl. It reminds me of a picture of my mother when she was a little girl. There is a black and white photo of her on the ground coloring. It is one of my favorites. So beautiful!

  55. I love the look-alike sister outfits – and Nella’s bright blue love-me eyes are stunning :)

  56. You make me want to go back to the hospital room where Gabe was born. Sounds very special!

  57. That first picture of Nella in her bathing suit, toothy big grin and all, warms my heart and sweetens my soul. Thank you for sharing.

  58. I just discovered your blog yesterday and spent hours reading it. The photos drew me in ~ incredible photography! Then I discovered the story of Nella’s birth and I read it three times. I love how you share your heart and your soul. You do it with your words and with your photographs. Thank you for sharing!

    What a treat for me to read of your return to the birthing room where “only yesterday” (to me ~ and I suspect, in some ways to you as well) beautiful Nella brought her magic into your world.

    I’m so glad that I found your blog. I’ve added a link to it on my blog roll.

  59. I love that last picture! Her little wave definitely made me laugh. 😀

  60. I swear (but don’t tell my mama that I did) that your life looks so far more dreamier than mine. My lense must be out of focus.

  61. Love the Nella goodbye way…to you…and you…and you! Makes me want to watch The Sound of Music!
    Hugs!

  62. Haha, all my births have been in the OR. Not exactly a romantic place to go back too!

    Still I do know what you mean about going back to a place of such import. My oldest was in the NICU for 7 weeks and when we went back to that hospital for a little scare during my second pregnancy all of those emotions came flooding back.

    Birth changes us, and for the better. It’s good to remember that.

  63. Love the last pic.. the wave is sooo cute! XOXOXO

  64. Oh, I love how you sandwiched the birth room re-visit between a post. I am so happy that it was a good thing and that it stirred emotion even if it was raw. Your friend Heidi is a lovely, lovely soul who loves you so. As does Nana Kate. Blessings sometimes are hard to count when they may be infinite.

    Happy weekend. :)

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  65. Kel I love that you visit your babies birth room. What an amazing year. Proud of your love for that baby and her amazing ability to really LOVE life!

  66. Glad to know I’m not the only one that laughs at the “mad face!” My baby is 10 months but still that mad face is to funny:0)

  67. Kelle,

    I am glad for you that you went back. What a remarkable journey you have all been on, and you have so many of us sharing some of this with you…beautiful.

    Again, I have noticed that since I have followed your blog for some time now I know it is more than the kid’s cute factor that makes me smile, it is their essence.

    ~thank you for that.

  68. it is so nice to know that other people have wheat puffs on their floor. and three year olds with angry faces. hers is adorable. the tourist approach to the local steak and shake is perfect–after all, if we can visit the town we live in like we don’t live there, we can have much more fun exploring it and appreciating what makes it unique!
    congrats on making it through the visit to the hospital room. just think, from that first post about nella’s birth to what you’re doing now, how many lives you’ve touched, people you’ve inspired, and moms you’ve encouraged…what a great gift.

  69. I’m so glad you were able to get back to Room 7 and that you had such strong, fantastic company. It sounds like it was just what you needed! LOVE LOVE LOVE the pic of Nella in the grass – nothing is better under perfect little feet. :)

  70. Thanks for sharing Kelle. I love that Nella wave at the end. She is so stinkin’ cute. Both of your girlies are. Gotta love ’em!

  71. Room 7, 7 is lucky! You’re girl is lucky and amazing for sure! What a fun blessing to be in Room #7.

    PS- love that Tea caddy!

  72. I absolutely love your blog!

  73. Look at all those teeth! Love it

  74. definitely the perfect friday post – thank you for your openness and honesty, and encouragement. we are all on different paths, but i am in awe of your strength and you inspire me to stay strong and face the storm… and the refreshing rain.

  75. So much beauty! Made me stop and think about all my beautiful moments over the past week, even in the middle of a massive snow storm!

  76. beautiful..thank you for sharing your journey with us..Nella’s so cute trying to be mad lol

  77. Serving Tea makes you feel like some proper English lady doing all the right things for polite society when in reality you are a slightly disheveled Mom with a bag of store bought cookies and microwaved water for the tea. Let’s face it Mommies never lose the desire to play pretend!
    Love your blog.

  78. I read your blog regularly and just love all that you share… my uncle was born with Rubensteins and through their experience, my grandparents started an organization in Ontario that provides so many options for children, youth, and adults with various challenges, such as summer camps, group homes, etc. Thank you for sharing such intimate details…. love from laura in British Columbia, Canada

  79. Glad you got to go back. Betting you’ll do it again someday.

    Beautiful photos as always…

    Love to you and those girls. Happy Friday.

  80. Sweet post! Thank you for reminding all of us to Enjoy the Small things!

  81. I love how you know what room you were in when you had your girls. I don’t remember my number but my little boy never saw that room for more then a minute before he was rushed to the nicu for 5 days,the total time we spent there. However I do remember where he was in the nicu and what bed. I have often wanted to visit, I might just give it a try, since it was a very painful 5 days.

  82. I love your story, and this post is beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us.

  83. It seems that all the important things of life are wedged among the mundane. And often, we don’t really see their importance until much later, when looking back, writing posts just like this one.

  84. How wonderful that you were able to come full circle in that room. Thanks for sharing!

  85. We also love those impromtu “meet us for lunch” moments to break up a crazy day. Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy some sunshine for me!

  86. What a lovely day! :0)

  87. Always a pleasure

  88. Nella’s Goodbye wave~ absoulutley adorable!!! Just precious xoxo

    Lainey’s angry face reminds me of my daughters angry face when she was little (she is all grown up now at 9, lol)

    Very jealous of your weather!!!

  89. You need to snap a photo of Nella crying or throwing a fit – it’s just so hard to picture her anything other than happy. Her smile warms my soul.

  90. I just started following your blog. So inspiring. Your girls are beautiful!

  91. With each post we invite you into our home as you invite us into yours. My boys all run to the computer to see Nella and all her beauty. “baybay”…says my Lucas, I scroll to a picture of her and his smile speaks louder than the words he has not yet mastered. I find myself so emotional reading your posts…joy, sadness, understanding. Thank you for sharing.

  92. Awww, I love the pictures of Lainey holding Nella. If I had to go back and do my kids’ toddler and babyhood over, I’d let them do more of that. I was too worried about somebody getting hurt or crying…but really, kids need more rough and tumble love together. My little ones are 9 and 6.5 now and they’re in a phase of not wanting to touch each other…breaks a mama’s heart. I miss watching those fresh little ones roll around in diapers like two puppies. <3

  93. Wow–how blue Nella’s eyes are! So beautiful. I love your smorgasbord posts : )

  94. nella’s eyes get me every time-they have so much to say and lainey’s mad face–how cute!

    i can’t believe i’m looking at pictures of yall lounging outside, it is FREEEZING up here in VA. i’m dreaming of warmer weather…

  95. From reading your blog, I believe you all are truly Blessings to each other.

  96. You WOULD put them in bathing suits and shorts as my small fry is in flannel and fleece!! I do love the homey feeling that we created this week but I am living vicariously through you and your Florida weather!!

  97. Beautiful girls, beautiful pictures, beautiful stories. As usual. :)

  98. I love hearing your growth and moving on, it gives me hope.

  99. I love how candid you are with your thoughts…your life. Your children are so precious.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us!

    Jen in OK

  100. Sometimes i feel silly when i read your blog and get all choked up but i am so happy that you allow us all to follow you and your awesome family. You are super cool, Lainey is the sweetest sister, Brett is precious (Go Gators!) and Nella…she is the sweetest bunny I’ve ever seen! Thanks for reminding us all that no day is guaranteed and to find the beauty & fun in the simple and ordinary. That’s what it’s all about.

  101. What a wonderful post. Happy weekend Kelle! :)

  102. my small things…
    – a new book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp
    – sleeping babes
    – uplifting, inspring words from a Momma in Naples…

    Lovin’ the angry face!

  103. So I normally don’t post, but it didn’t take me long after reading your sister’s post about Nella’s arrival to convince me to just do it. Not sure if you remember or have gone back, but 4th comment down Angie Seaman said “Embrace that baby girl – know that she was sent to you for a reason. Because you are a strong soul – one able to handle the job ahead when it comes to parenting a special needs/downs syndrome child. It takes a special few and YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!!! With your writings, the world is about to embark on some education when it comes to special needs children, life with them, and life in the world as others view them. God knows you can bring awareness if anyone can.”

    Do you know JUST how right she was? Check that number on the ONEder fund. Proudly wave that “Best Special Needs Blog” winner title from The Bump. Nella chose you for that very reason. You have done more than just raise awareness. You have taught each and every one of us to love special needs children for who they are rather than feeling sorry for them. And why should anyone feel sorry? Nella is beautiful and perfect. When I see her pictures, I never see downs syndrome…just beautiful baby blues and a smile that touches your heart. You are so very blessed. I’m glad you got to revisit her birth place and enjoy the laughter and the small things! :)

  104. Beautiful words, beautiful pictures…and OMG! How adorable is Nella in her teeny bathing suit!

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  106. Thank you…that is all!

  107. so happy you were able to go back to room 7 and be thankful for all it’s brought you a year later

  108. Lovely!

  109. Ahhh, her goodbye wave is too precious. So much love; it makes my heart happy.

  110. Thank you for sharing with us. It was one year ago I stumbled upon this blog and have been a follower ever since. I love the pictures and realness.

  111. Simply amazing, I felt as if I was there that day reading your post from last year. I love how you celebrate life…and you have so much to celebrate!

  112. Thank you. I think that you are helping a lot of NICU mommas heal as well. My little girl’s 1st birthday is in 8 days. I got to hold her for 2 seconds after she was born and than not again for 6 days.

    When I saw the picture of your hospital room before even reading the paragraph I was in tears. My hospital room was such a sad lonely place as I heard all the other mommy’s with their babies and I was alone with my pump.

  113. Such a sweet post- glad you were able to get back to the birthing room (those things stay busy). I love their matching stripe outfits and the trip to Steak and Shake- so fun!

  114. I love how Lainey and Nella look so much alike in the picture of Lainey holding Nella. Great post!!!!

  115. coming from a place that is covered in snow, it has seemed never ending, i am jealous of your sunshine

  116. Its nice to see your littles enjoying the sunshine….its a blizzard here in Michigan! 2 snow days for us though so we’re not complaining that much :o)

  117. Beautiful post, when I come here, I really am reminded to “enjoy the small things”
    Thank YOU!!!

  118. I am in love With Nellas good bye wave. She is such a sweet child. Thank you for all the reminders of the small things to be enjoyed.

  119. Beautiful. I am yearning for warm days and that tea caddy! :)

  120. Beautiful pictures as always. I always leave here and start clicking away. Love that tea caddy – so cute.

  121. great post…every word:)
    ps: LOVE the tea caddy!

  122. First of all, prayers to your friends family on the loss of their child. I read it on your fb post, but didn’t get a chance to get to the blog to comment. My son had his tonsils out yesterday, I’ve been busy basking him in love. And popsicles.

    Ummm Steak & Shake milkshakes are DA BOMB. Our local S&S closed a few years ago, and I drive past that empty building almost daily, longing for a millkshake!

    Beautiful post! My son cheats at Chutes & Ladders too, I don’t know why that game even has rules. And Nella’s love-me eyes, are just so, so beautiful. Oh and BTW- I can’t remember jack when it comes to numbers…appointment dates/times, hell, even the balance of my checkbook, but my kids were born in rooms 13 and 1, respectively.

  123. Aww what cute pics from Steak ‘N Shake!!

  124. Love the Steak & Shake pix. Try the guacamole burger sometime, it’s worth the calorie splurge now and then….Bye Bye Nella—keep workin those abs! xo

  125. Love the post, and I really love the antique tea caddy! That would look nice in my kitchen, I think 😀

  126. What a brave and beautiful moment to come full circle. Nella will ask you to tell her “her story” over and over as the years pass.
    Enjoy the sunshine, can’t wait to have a piece of it.

    Cheers to your moment from Indiana!
    xxoo

  127. Bravo on your bravery going back to that day. Who knew the wonderful adventure that would have unfolded?

  128. Oh I’m so glad you went back, right through the door, and now you can close that door, and remember the beauty that you have…a delightful family. Beautiful post, truly beautiful.

  129. I recently began reading your blog&i love it! Beautiful pictures, beautiful writing! :)

  130. Love it!!!! Those girls look like they have the time of their lives…everyday.

  131. Kelle – I’m a newish follower but your blog is such an inspiration! Keep on raising your beautiful children – their smiles are electric!

  132. This post was lovely, as always. I love the tea caddy, too–I have a friend who would absolutely love it–I may have to order one!

  133. so happy you came full circle…..it does the heart good, I know
    continued love

    xoxo
    cathy

  134. Just love your posts . . . so inspiring

  135. I am so happy that you had time to go back to the hospital room. I remember feeling the same way about my own trip back to the hospital room where I said goodbye to my daughter who was born still. But it was so very precious to me and helped me to remember that although it was the site of the most painful moment of my life, it was also the place where I met and held her for the very first time. So hard to bring together such conflicting feelings, but that’s what bittersweet is all about, eh? For me, 15 years later, it is still just as powerful, but much less bitter. In the end, the sweet is all that will remain.

    I love that you shared this. Hugs to you!

  136. <3 I want to visit my room now, the room my baby entered the world…

  137. Both your girls are as adorable as can be!!! So precious…and you capture that so beautifully:) Have a fabulous weekend, Kelle!

  138. I just want to say that you are an amazing woman! God has truly blessed you sweetie! This is one of my favorite blogs – May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. :)

  139. Thank you for sharing room 7 with us! I’m glad it went well for you. I love the tea caddy…and how freakin cute is Nellla waving!!!!!

  140. As always a beautiful post!
    I must say I’m jealous of your swim suits as I sit here bundled in two blankets!

  141. I remember finding you shortly after Nella was born. I remember just weeks later welcoming our little boy into the world. I’ve loved watching our little ones grow together this last year. Here’s to much more love and joy this next year!

  142. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now. No kids or creative craft-making abilities here, but your endless optimism and lovely pictures keep me coming back. Blessings to you and your family!

  143. Great post. And that planter is just beautiful. Love it.

  144. You were so brave to go back to Room 7. Can’t imagine the strength it must have taken from your inner core. Nella is a beautiful girl, as is her big sister Lainey. Look forward to your posts every day!

  145. Very jealous of your weather. I was happy for 40 degrees today which afforded our first walk outside since before my son’s birth 6 weeks ago.

  146. This comment has been removed by the author.

  147. I hope that Lainey always has to struggle to make her angry face.

    I hope I win. I love your little growing cage. :)

  148. Beautiful post. I LOVE your new header!

  149. Your little bitties are just the sweetest things. They are so photogenic and precious!

    I am loving your bird topiary cage. I just check out their website and I am totally drooling over all the bird home decor! Fabulous!

  150. Love how you celebrated Nella’s birth by visiting the room where it all began..Her love-me eyes are beautiful..The trip to Steak n’ Shake looked like fun–hats and greasy bacon-yum!…I so enjoy how you share all the big and small things that happen in your life..

  151. I noticed your new header today and just gazed at it for a while…so beautiful. And then your post just got better and better from there.

    Every time I work with my student who has Down Syndrome, I think of you and Nella. Today, she was in a fiery mood and threw a few choice names at me and her other teachers. And I chuckled to myself, wondering how you would write about that and make it beautiful. No matter what, she always makes me smile, as do your posts. Thanks for that.

  152. Your daughters are BEAUTIFUL!

  153. beautiful! Would love to go barefoot!

  154. Your girls are so sweet! I love all of your pictures! :)

  155. On Fridays I get so excited because I know that there is usually a post from you. And it is always a doozy.

    This was wonderful. A wonderful collection of thoughts about your days. Your 80 degree days!

    I love the celebration with a Coors Light instead of champagne. And I LOVE the pictures of the girls. Especially Lainey’s mad face. Funny.

  156. Oh Nella…how those love me eyes work. you are so loved and brought about so much love. I like the matching outfits, Kelle. Happy weekend to you! :) Sarah

  157. I am so amazingly happy for you that you returned to room seven, and toasted to such an amazing year. The song selection is so wonderful for this post – because of you and Nella you are definitely making a difference in the world of other babies born with DS. You are changing the world.

    On a lighter note! I love the exersaucer of Nella’s. In Canada we aren’t supposed to have ones with wheels! Crazy!

  158. Thank you for sharing your Room 7 experiences with us! It has brought so much awareness on accepting differences.

  159. It seems very appropriate that you have started this post with Nella’s delightfully alive act of spilling the cereal all over the floor! Then you go back to her birth-room- a place of such tumultuous emotion. May she bring you much joy with her smiles and her messes as her second year gets underway. And much love to her big sister Lainey as well.

  160. there’s just something about little sisters wearing matching outfits…

  161. i even make my husband stop what he is doing to see Nella’s melt my heart sweet smiles and faces…

  162. Your posts are therapy for my soul. God bless you and yours.

  163. Beautiful.

  164. aww, look at Nella waving. i love her. i’m so glad you got to go back to the delivery room…and i’m really happy that it was theraputic for you.
    And ummm…I’m sitting her with a blanket on my shoulders because it’s freezing IN my house, and you’re flaunting bathing suit weather. Gah!
    Going to check out the store…love your tea caddy!
    Enjoy your weekend!
    xo
    Kris

  165. Your girls are precious and I love reading your blog! Reminds me to stop and enjoy life more. :)

  166. I love that tea holder. Your pictures are, as usual, beautiful, but only half as beautiful as your family.

  167. I LOVE the new header. It makes me want to be 3 again. enjoy the sunshine! It’s freeezing here in CT.

  168. I was telling my co-worker about your friend’s loss yesterday. We talked about how unimaginable her loss must be. Sending some extra strength her way.

    Thank you for the new post-something to encourage my strength for the weekend. And I need it.

  169. Such a beautiful post!
    Quite jealous of your wonderful weather, will be dreaming about swimsuits and sidewalk chalk on a scorching day now [oh sunshine, please come this way asap!]:)

  170. Ooh, it’s time to start brainstorming on valentine ideas…photo cards of my new little girl perhaps?

  171. Love..love love your blog. It inspires ME to be the BEST PICU nurse!!!!
    Thank you

  172. Loved going back with you to room 7, and the angry eye brows … and the weather.

  173. I always love the enjoying the small things posts. Makes me remember all of the small things that I love so much in my own life, which is always good after a busy and eventful week at work. Thanks as always for posting!

  174. Magnificent post! I love the last minute lunches with daddy. We do that too and my Little Lilah lights up when we see daddy unexpectedly for lunch!

  175. I’ve been waiting for this post about room 7 & love how you did it! Happy weekend!

  176. As always, your beautiful writing remind me to look at life from all angles…

  177. I swear your babies get more and more beautiful with each and every post.

  178. I could seriously munch on those chubby little arms of Nella’s. Her smile, her eyes, her tired little face. She’s too precious for words!

  179. I get so excited every time I log onto blogger and see Enjoying The Small things in my new posts list. I know I am about to be renewed and refreshed to find beauty in this crazy life. This post didn’t fail me.

  180. Just a quick question…are your toe nails always painted red? Just wonderin’

  181. Every time I read your updated post I either laugh or cry. And not always sad tears. Today as I scrolled down and saw the picture of you in room 7, well out came the tear. Neither happy or sad but I guess proud. Thanks so much for sharing your incredible journey with such honesty and grace.

  182. I love the matching dresses!

  183. Love your posts—it’s like a delicious unopened letter from an old friend in the mailbox.

  184. You are so very brave to go back to room #7…you are a very strong momma! Oh…and the sleepy eating Nella is one of my faves…EVER!!!!! But the one of her eyes closeup…another fave…and she looks like you in that one! I just love her to pieces…and I love your tea caddy. Pick me, pick me, pick me! :) xoxo

  185. What a gorgeous baby. I love the girls’ matching stripey outfits!

  186. I’ve decided that’s the key to hostessing as a parent of young, messy little loves. Have some good eats or a nice drink to offer to cover my desperately-need-a-scrubbing bathrooms and dust-ridden surfaces!

  187. LOVE that you revisited your hospital room- what a cool idea! Bet it felt great to reflect on the past year. Beautifil pics, as always!

  188. Newly married, and no kids yet, but I hope someday I love mine like you love yours.:)

  189. gotta love a nella wave! she is so stinkin’ cute I just want to squeeze her :)

  190. I LOVE that you went back to your hospital room … just love. Ditto with the angry face and the one of Nella and her ball. Too cute.

    I also LOVE that tea holder … I’m a tea convert as of late and I think that is the bee’s knees. :)

  191. I love the new banner and . . . glad to hear I’m not the only one who decides things need cleaning when one or two new favorite things enter the home! 😉

  192. beautiful experiences, wonderfully beautiful girls…

  193. They can all seem like such insignificant things, but when you add them all up they are really what life is truly about. And it is so good to stop and appreciate every one of them!

  194. I love your random posts! I love love love the photo with the Nella cups. :)

  195. I love tea! And I’m so glad you went back … and put it in the middle of your ordinary days. :)

  196. I loved this random post AND the very significant part snuggled in the middle.

    Also, I’ve been eyeing those “Splendid Littles” outfits at Target every time I’m there for the last few months and I think this post just convinced me to buy one for my Mallory. Happy weekend!

  197. Thanks for rubbing in the warm weather! I’m a floridian too, but we’re freezing up here in the panhandle!

  198. Love the post, especially the Chutes and Ladders section. I have a 6, 4, and soon to be 2 year old. My oldest still loves to play this game together and my 4 year old is very much like your daughter and only enjoys the ladders! :) Thank you for another wonderful post!!!

  199. i swear they both get more beautiful every day :)

    jealous of the weather.

    love the new header. loooove!

  200. Wow, I am so happy you went back to the delivery room. I think it is so brave, and I am sure you feel so much better because of it! I love the last picture… awww!

  201. So beautiful! I found your blog only a few weeks ago and am so inspired! Nella is such a blessing!

  202. Time really does heal all wounds, doesn’t it. Thank you for such a hope filled post. I am suffering through the loss of a love at the moment, and this post helped me feel that all is not lost. Thank you.

  203. So glad you were able to go back to your room. It must have felt like a big weight was lifted off your chest. I get super sentimental just returning to the hospital where Evie was born, I can just imagine what being in her room would be like.

  204. Beautiful post, as always. Can’t believe your sweet Nella baby is 1 already. Time flies when you’re having fun and soaking every moment up!

  205. Check out the children’s book “My Heart is Like a Zoo”. I’m a teacher and my class just had fun making all sorts of different animals out of heart shapes based on that book today – I bet it’s something you’d enjoy crafting and turning into valentines with your girls! Beautiful post – happy you were able to reminisce that special day on year ago.

  206. Touching….just touching.

  207. Holy guac do your girls have beautiful eyes. Sooo different from one another yet both so soulful. I love the matching outfits!!

  208. I love the girls matching! Is that a Lainey request? My sister is 19 months younger and we loved matching when we were little :)

    I’m so happy you were able to go back to room 7 and find some happiness! Happy weekend!

  209. I love steak and shake’s chicago style hot dogs! … jealous about the swimsuits!!

  210. Oh Kelle.

    I feel a bit of being there with you–thank you for sharing that intimate part of your family with us. We are so blessed to rejoice with you, ache with you, and raise our glasses around the world to the “cry-til-you-laugh-til-you-cry” moments of life.

  211. Such a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your love for all in touch with your family and us.

  212. A friend of mine who’d just experience deep grief linked your blog just after Nella was born, saying she was so moved by that post. I read it. I cried. And I’ve been coming back for more ever since. Reading your return journey post, I teared up again. Mostly, I think, because I can see how you’ve grown, how your love, and hers, has given you cause to celebrate. And I am so thrilled to see someone shouting it from the rooftops.

  213. Beautiful post, thank you.

  214. What a wonderful giveaway! I just went to the Timeless Settings website and am completely enthralled.

    Thank you for constantly reminding the world to enjoy the small things. You are an absolutely beautiful individual, and you inspire me personally to find the beauty in each day.

  215. I will be in Naples in 4 weeks!
    Can’t wait to trade snowflakes for sunshine.

  216. Oh Steak and Shake how I miss thee. Good memories.

  217. That was the quintessential Kelle way to embrace, and describe, that sacred place. Thank you for trusting ‘us’ with the myriad of emotions that that hallowed ground holds for you.

    And, the “Her Love-Me Eyes, One Year Later” triggered some tears. She completely knows how loved she is. That will never cease to amaze me how they just know.

    Kathleen in Chicago

  218. I absolutely love how you shower every post with lots of pictures. You truly have a gift with photography!
    I also love the chicken wire planter and the tea caddy! They are both so unique. I would love to be the winner of this one! :)

  219. Wonderful post. I had never considered going back to the room where our journey started… Glad you felt like it came full circle and provided healing where it was needed.

  220. i love how nella’s eyes show just how truly happy, blessed, and loved she is. makes my heart smile. :)

  221. Thank you. I am a new reader and absolutely adore reading your blog and seeing pictures of your beautiful girls. I love the opportunities to win goodies at the end too! Thanks Kelle. ~Melissa in Virginia

  222. A beautiful and powerful post, thank you!

  223. Oh, Lainey’s “angry” face is adorable!
    Love that you were able to return to room 7 and find healing and laughter there. Cheers to that (*as I lift my own beer*)!

  224. Oh, Lainey’s “angry” face is adorable!
    Love that you were able to return to room 7 and find healing and laughter there. Cheers to that (*as I lift my own beer*)!

  225. I have had a pretty lousy week – in so many directions! Your post today was such a lovely reminder for me to remember all my “small things”. I have so much to be grateful for and I will spend the weekend dwelling on those, not the bad stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  226. I love Lainey’s angry face 😉 Your family is a blessing to us all. Thanks!

  227. I looove the picture of Nella’s eyes. so blue and beautiful. Have a great weekend!

    Melissa

  228. Your post today has taken me back to my special day July 31, 2010, when we welcomed our beautiful daughter Allison into our lives. Your posts inspire me everyday and I am truly thankful to have discovered your blog. Keep rockin’ it Kelle!

  229. Yet again cue the tears and pass the kleenex. Every time I read your blog it moves me. I’m so happy for you that you were able to revisit the place where you were blessed. Sometimes life hands us things and it takes a while for us to make sense of it all, but it sounds like you are getting it all figured out. May your journey be filled with love, laughter and joy.

  230. Oh that picture of Lainey holding Nella. Lainey looks like such a big girl!–It must be the ponytail.

    As always they are beautiful and I am so glad you got to go back and celebrate in Room 7.

  231. I see that you have a sing-a-ma-jig! We love ours, what do u think? It entertains my kids, plus its fun for the adults to make jokes about!!:)

  232. Oh, this so touched me. Thanks for sharing this journey. As always,love the pics. LOVE the home items and what a great giveaway! Love to you and yours~

  233. I recently read a beautiful quote, “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain”. You seem to have the dancing part mastered.

  234. I’m not sure which I love more: Nella straining with all her wee might against that blue ball, the matching red stripped tee’s or, on a completely different note, that tea cupboard!!

  235. Lainey’s angry face cracked me up! And when we were little we’d always ask for the touristy stuff at Steak and Shake too. Can’t wait to do it with our family!

  236. I enjoyed this post! Thanks for the reminder to get on making those valentines!!

  237. You are an incredibly strong woman to have the strength to go back to that delivery room. When my son was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he wasn’t breathing. I went hours before I ever got to see (or hear him) for the first time and the doctors weren’t sure he would make it. He turned 6 last Saturday and I have never had the strength to return to that room.

  238. Steak and Shake! SO JEALOUS.

  239. So glad that your return to the birth room was a success! hugs to you and those happy girls! xo

  240. Love it, as always. So amazing that you got to go reconnect with Nella’s room. Oh, and you look beautiful and happy :)

  241. I love enjoying the small things with you Kelle.
    And as always, a lovely list of goodness to make me smile!
    Nella’s soulful eyes melt my heart everytime! And Lainey’s angry face….priceless! Love it! Love it all!
    xo

  242. I think I love your random posts the most. Nella is really starting to look like a little girl instead of a baby, and with that, I see more of Lainey in her!

    Love the matching outfits :)

    How wonderful that you got to revisit your birthing room. I imagine that brought a lot of good closure. <3

    LOVE the tea caddy! Even if I don’t win, I may have to pick one of those up :) Tea is the most comforting thing in the world.

    Have a great weekend!

  243. A spot of tea … what a beautiful sentiment these days, and the perfect thought for one who’s looking for just a spoon full of sugar (http://kj-style.blogspot.com/2011/01/just-spoonful-of-sugar.html).

    I must tell you, your blog is enlightening … and thought-provoking … and absolutely brings just that little bit extra to so many days.

    Congratulations on all of the little moments … from those that shake your being … to those that just Steak’n’Shake you.

  244. Thank you for sharing this!

    I wonder if I’d ever be able to revisit the maternity ward of the hospital where my still born angel was delivered.

    Love Nella’s eyes in that last photo!!

  245. We’ve been drinking the weather in. Even though our impromptu trip to your part of the country brought sadness, the weather keeps reminding us that it will be ok. So glad we are here and not back home in Houston where it has been in the 20’s all week. xoox

  246. I adore the 1st photo of Nella in the black bathing suit, her smile is perfect. IT makes my heart happy.ANd you going tot he birth room and letting go & rejoicing, leaving lighter, that makes me happy! Happy Mothering!
    Debi
    @Truthfulmommy
    http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com

  247. LOVE to end the day by reading one of your posts…. thanks so much for sharing and helping the rest of us focus on enjoying the small things!

  248. How nice that you were able to come full circle and go back and visit your room. I can’t believe its been over a year since all of this has happened. Your journey has been amazing and beautiful. Thank you for allowing us to come along with you!

  249. I have an eight month old boy and it always happens. Whenever I see pictures of another beautiful baby I think of him. I also have a three year old boy and everytime I come here, I think about my two when I look at your two.

  250. Geesh, your posts get me every time. Your girls are beautiful.

  251. I absolutely love the picture of her standing up against the beach ball. So reminds me of my little one when he was learning to stand (and fall) with ease.

  252. so glad you were able to go back to where little nella came into your lives. such a beautiful baby!

  253. As always, a wonderfully, beautiful post. The words, the photos – never fail to touch me…real deep down. I’ve never met you or your girls, but I feel so much for all of you. Have a lovely weekend!

  254. Beautiful. All of it.

  255. What a beautiful post! Love the pictures.

  256. Thanks for taking us with you, back to that place and that day… that day is how so many of us found you. :) And by the way, you can have your clover. I’m loving our 3 snow days this week and our 18″ of white!

  257. Kelle, You have such a way of capturing the beauty in your everyday life…or should I say beauties! Puffed wheat and tea sounds good to me!

  258. SImply beautiful!

  259. When I found out about Deo she was in the NICU and I was in different hospital they let me leave the hospital for a couple hours to go visit her. When we got to the NICU they told us about the DS. I thought I had died. I won’t say I don’t still hurt but the happiness is so much more. She was born on Dec 19, 2009, and we found out on the 20th. This last year I have been taking up donations up to the hospital and for Christmas I did a gift collection from family, friends & coworkers to take up there for Christmas. When I made the plan to go I set the date and didn’t even think about it. About a week before I took the donations up I realized it was Dec 20th a year after. Let me tell you I was so scared, but it was so healing and perfect. It was the best way for me to celebrate and be thankful for where I am today. I know I say this on every post but I mean it. Thank you for your strength and honesty it helps me be strong and honest with my joys and pains. Happy Friday hugs&Luvs from SLC, UT.

  260. I know it’s been said many times, many ways…but you all are a truly wonderful, inspiring, beautiful souls. Thanks to you and your wonderful blog! Merry weekend to you!

  261. That Nella Bella sure is rockin out that leg strength. Go, Nella, Go!

  262. I have that same chicken wire planter!! I recently put green decorative spheres in it to bring some “spring” to our home decor, even though we have had 4 days of (way) below freezing temps and 4 inches of snow this morning. This is so unusual for our area, so I was really nostalgic for those enjoyable outdoor weather photos you put in this post!

  263. Cheers to Nella – she’s truly changed the world already in one little year!

    I LOVE tea. Can’t get enough of it, and love trying new kinds!

    My favourite pictures from today’s post? The one of Lainey at Shake & Steak wearing the silly but adorable hat lookin all sailor-like, and the one of Nella sitting outside that you put beside the one of the clovers. A-DORABLE!

  264. Funny butterflies and tears in my eyes when reading about you going back to that room. It made me remember the first time I read Nella’s birth story and how it touched me so deeply. I’m glad you got to go back, and I’m glad you get to go forward happily!! – Amy

  265. Sweet post. All of it. Loving the photos of Nella’s pucker lips. Pretty girl

  266. Love a Nella wave and that you went back to the delivery room. It’s all come full circle now.

  267. As i sit here in blog land tonight, I am sipping my tea and loving every minute of it! Beautiful post. enjoyed going back to Room 7 with you! Happy Weekend!

  268. Kelle, I loved every single part of this post…Nella on the therapy ball, she is doing awesome!! Love lil Lainey’s mad face:) So happy you made it back to room 7, full circle, baby! Can I just say I always thought Heidi was your blonde friend…crazy, lol! xo Happy Weekend:)

  269. Wow. I did not have near the experience you did when giving birth to my almost-1-year old, but I was just back in the same hospital where I had him while visiting a family member who just had her baby. It was amazing how I was instantly transported back to February 23rd of last year. Even the variety of smells were all too familiar :-) Thank you for sharing!

  270. Nella’s eyes are gorgeous. That one photo of her is just stunning. This was a great post, as always. I enjoy your blog so much.

  271. Thank you!
    *waves back to nella*

  272. this was the perfect thing to read before i drift off to sleep :)

  273. so beautiful kelle! love it. absolute medicine for my soul. ~melody

  274. I love how you stand up and face the very thing that sounds scary until it shrinks into its proper place and gives you room to breathe again. LOOOVE your blog! Thanks for what you share with us…

  275. As a labor and delivery nurse, it is overwhelming to think of how much history and beauty is in each of our rooms. Furthermore, I absolutely love the game piece twins and Steak and Shake! Fabulous.

  276. Like you, new household items or a bouquet of flowers make me crave a very clean house enough to dust with an actual rag and some spray (as opposed to my sleeve as I pass by).
    I’m stuck up here in Chicago with sick kids, sick neighbors, and 2 feet of snow and had to drag my1 year old away from the (oddly enough) rice puffs, too, today!

  277. what a journey….. what a lovely family you have!

  278. Love Lainey’s angry face and the beautiful wave by little Nella:)

  279. Thank you for keeping the “real” so beautiful. From wheat puffs to baby “rasslin'” it’s all perfect.

  280. Gorgeous photos! Such an inspiring story you share with everyone! :)

  281. Wow!! I love your blog!! I love hearing about your beautiful daughters and seeing all the amazing pictures you take! I love your honesty and bravery:)

  282. beautiful post. your words captivate me. thanks for sharing your story.

    p.s. so jealous of your warm weather! we are snowed in and freezing in northwest arkansas!

  283. I too am getting ready for the day to say thank you to my particular room, the room that gave me sooooo much! PS I need to win a giveaway so I love commenting 😛

    Again beautiful post!

  284. I just lucked upon your blog about a week or so ago and I’ve been touched ever since!

    Thank you for sharing Nella’s story, your story…your beautiful family’s story with us.

    Seriously, every time I come to your blog and find a new post, I immediately feel like I’m cozying up on my couch in fuzzy slippers and coffee cup in one hand sitting back and listening to the heartfelt words of a dear friend.

    You have a gift Kelle (two beautiful blonde headed gifts for sure), but yes, YOU have a gift… for sharing life. Life with its ups, downs, twists and turns, smiles and tears, etc. and with every word and picture that you post, you wonderfully capture and welcome us into your life. It’s real and it’s honest and it’s WONDERFUL!!!

    Thank you so much! And if words could be hugs then please know I am sending a great BIG one out to you (and yes, yes, yes, please share the hugs with Nella and Lainey as well!) Oh, and your sweet hubby of course…after all, he rocks too! Okay, and add your friends and the rest of your family, and (well, you get the picture…LOL!)

    Love reading about all of them!

    God Bless!

  285. Oh and BTW you make Michigan sound Beautiful, snow has covered our mailbox beat that for beautiful!!!? hah uggg we need some sun, thanks for sharing it!

  286. I love the angry face! Too funny…

  287. Oh my gosh, I love the tea caddy! I so want one! lol

  288. I simply just love taking in all you’ve put into words and pictures on your posts! What beautiful girls you have and how blessed you are!

  289. Such a beautiful post. Full of memories and emotions. Thank you for baring your soul and making me a little less afraid to bare mine.
    Blessings to you all!

  290. Wow, I love that tea storer thing. I was just thinking I needed something to prevent my tea from flying all over the place when I open the cupboard!

    And awesome post. :) I love the sleepy Nella face.

  291. Wow, what a good post to read after a long week. Glad you feel lighter and at peace. What a journey.

    ~skylar meinhardt

  292. My chutes and ladders game has the red, blue, green, yellow people with little personality! Such a fun game!!

  293. Yeah! Beautiful remembrance of your birth story. And Yeah for Coors Light, my hubby and I grow the barley for that fine drink….enjoy for Idaho!

  294. I am absolutely in love with the picture of Nella balancing herself on the ball. What a picture!!! Beautiful!!!

  295. Love this post! I have been waiting for your “trip”. I started reading right when Nella was born and now am addicted!

  296. “Her Love-Me Eyes”……how fitting you say….I’m so glad you are able to put into words what I saw a year ago..when I first found your post. When I first saw her eyes…Hugs to all!

  297. Pain not only brings healing, but redemption. Thank you for those words today. I needed to hear them!

  298. AH! Nella’s little good-bye wave was the best way to end such heart-filled post. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. We are indeed blessed to be a part of your life.

  299. What a beautiful idea, returning to where it all began. I’m reliving the birth of The Love Magnet vicariously through your post. I knew before the doctors figured it out. That entire night of agony and wondering how on earth I could be the mama she needed. 8 years later and now I wouldn’t change a thing. What keeps me afloat during the hard times is the love of my family and the moms in my DS community. Sending cyber hugs to you all.

  300. Beautiful girls!

  301. Candy Land was one of my favorites as a kid, and WOW, has it changed a lot. It’s on my list of games to get now that my little one is getting old enough.
    And I must admit that Lainey’s angry face made me giggle. Such a sweetie!

  302. Thank you for sharing true feelings on your life, from the smallest of things to the most life defining moments. You have opened my eyes up to a new way to share and enjoy the little things in my every day life with my family. Your family is beautiful!

  303. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

  304. If I didn’t love all the beautiful photos so much (and have insane jealousy for the tea caddy) I’d say something mean and more insanely jealous about the weather! What a great glimpse into the little gifts of life!

  305. That box is amazing! I love tea and love it!

  306. So cute! I would kill for a bathing suit and a shake right now!

  307. I love love love Nella’s goodbye wave picture. She’s too precious!

  308. Your beautiful Kelle, your momma heart is Grand!

  309. Please keep writing ’cause I sure can’t stop reading. Just beautiful-your words and your photos!

  310. I think this is my new favorite post. Too beautiful for words all of your images and words… And the Chutes n Ladders people-LMAO! You have a gift!

  311. And now your circle is complete and may it continue to go round and round! So happy you were able to find that closure and have such wonderful support with you!

    I could fall into those big blue eyes!

    Once again, thank you for taking us along on your journey and portraying it so beautifully!

    Happy Weekend!

  312. Love, love, and more love. I love watching beautiful Nella grow up, and looking foreward to what is in store for my sweet Sarah just a couple of months down the road. I’m so glad your trip back to Nella’s birth room was such a wonderful, healing experience. I’ve been thinking of making that same journey at Sarah’s first birthday. Sarah was in the NICU for 7 days after her birth, and several months ago we went back to visit the nurses who took such good care of her. They all loved on her, and ooo’ed and ahh’ed over her fabulous self, and took pictures to hang on their wall. That would be my healing place.

  313. Oh my….lovin todays post!

  314. Isn’t is amazing how our very “daliness” –when noted and remembered–can be as special as those moments which define us?

    I wonder often, if when my son is grown, if it will be his birth day, or the little things–his lashes when he sleeps,his first breathy coos–that I will remember most.

  315. Kelle, I think one of the reasons you manage to inspire so many people is because you just do things that so many people want to do but don’t- in fear of being questioned. Ie: busting out a not so hideable camera at any public gathering to capture the moment, or visiting the room with friends in tow to sip coors light. You are an inspiration! Your heart must have very little in the way of ” I wish I could have done thats”
    The post is very comforting. Love those baby blues and the angry face!

  316. What sweet, sweet “love-me” eyes!

  317. Love the birdcage!
    Denise

  318. What a beautiful and inspiring post. Its the little things in life that make it all worth while for sure :)Love your blog

  319. I don’t think your girls could be any cuter!!! And if you’re looking for a place to visit and watch some snow fall, I’m thinking Connecticut is a pretty good choice!! I’m sure we could find an extra room or an igloo for you to stay in. 60″ of snow — and expecting more tomorrow!! I’d gladly trade my winter coat (gloves, hats, boots and don’t forget the ice scraper and shovels!) for your bare feet and bathing suits!! I’ll be there soon enough – March 10th! YAY!!! =0)
    Happy Weekend Hamptons! Soak up some rays for me!
    ~Beth

  320. I {love} that you visited Room 7, perfectly fitting. That last chubby wave from Nella is scrumptious! PS Now I want a chocolate shake.

  321. i cant believe its been a year already!

  322. It’s so lovely that you were able to revisit the scene of Nella’s birth with two beautiful friends.
    I love your sister’s words also.x

  323. beautiful post!
    Oh how I love the tea caddy, so cute.

  324. You seem to be enjoying a lot of things, but you can never have enough small things to enjoy, am I right?

    It’s so very brave that you went back to Nella’s room. Some people would have had an even harder time than you, and for some might not even want to face that room at all, but not you. I’m glad that instead of heartache and pain, it only came briefly and then you could create a whole new memory about retelling of the good memories of Nella’s birth. From what you write, there must have been some funny and great things that happened.

    It is wonderful, and completely amazing, that something people can think of as so “terrible” (such as a baby having DS) can actually be a blessing, and become something you accept and love just for what it is- Nella. It is Nella and she is beautiful and lovable and so very perfect. So is lainey with that “angry” face. Love it!!

  325. L O V E L Y post.. As always!

  326. Hello Kelle,

    I love your blog and pictures, I wish I was so good in taking pictures! I see I have to learn a lot.

    Your daughters are really beautiful.

    I wish you a fantastic weekend.

    Mirella
    http://trinji.nl/

  327. There is nothing greater then sipping on some tea to start or end your day. May god bless you and your beautiful family!

  328. I love winter, but tonight your weather looks divine. Love where you live.

    And I love the first wheat-puff photo! Sometimes we forget to photograph the messes.

    Your trip back to room 7…so healing, so full circle, so great the hospital accommodated you. I ended up needing a cesarean with my girl, and would love to revisit the OR, but not so sure they would let me. Maybe I’ll call.

    Also, I dig your new sponsor!

  329. You are a remarkable mother. :)

  330. they just get more beautiful every. single. day.

  331. You are seriously such an amazing writer! I could read your stuff over and over again. I try to do that and I can’t get the words to invoke the feeling that I want. Thank you for being such an inspiration in so many ways!

  332. Sweetness. Love those cups. And your girls’ sweet faces. Glad you took the memory lane trip, and that it was good. Mine looks a bit different, but I don’t know that I want or need to do it. Hm. We’ll see. Nella’s wave? Pure gold, darling!

    lauraluyt.blogspot.com

  333. I’m so very glad you went back and made peace with room 7. Perfectly posted.

  334. Beautiful and inspiring to read how you are so present in you childrens’ lives as well as YOUR own life! Thank you for sharing it with me.

  335. I love seeing a little number out to the side of the name of your blog on my Google Reader. I never get tired of seeing those pictures-I am in love with your posts!!

  336. I love all your family adventures! It inspires me to cherish every moment with my girls. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  337. My 2-year-old daughter caught me reading your blog the other day – before you changed your header pic – and every morning since then has asked to wear “a dress like the ‘ady” (she can’t say L’s; slightly problematic given her name starts with one…).

  338. thank you!!!!!

  339. How on earth did you get the hospital to allow you back in there? Ours would never let me do that. I’d love to go back to the room where I labored with my twins, where at 2am I gave up trying to labor (pitocin induced, they just weren’t ready) and told the OB to just cut me open, the boys needed out for their safety. I would give anything to go back in that room, over 8 years later.. sigh.

    That said, beautiful post. All of it. 😀

  340. Wonderful post…your positive attitude is inspiring, and I would LOVE to be able to take photos as beautiful as yours!

  341. Your blog always inspires me.

  342. I’m a big fan of the angry face.. how freakin cute is that?!?!?!

  343. Nella is a gift to this world.. She is so beautiful. Her big sister is also adorable. Thanks for your blog, full of hope and love beyond words…

  344. I admit that I get excited when I go to my blogger dashboard and see your blog has been updated. The pictures of the girls at Steak and Shake warm my heart!

  345. I am so glad that you went back and made peace with it all. You are so blessed to have such beautiful, wonderful children.

  346. Love the posts like this. You do enjoy the small things, but first, you notice them. Thanks again for the wonderful reminder to do this more. So many people rarely slow down and pay attention to all the little details of their lives.

  347. Love the vintage tea caddy. As my mother always says ‘Tea won us the war!’
    Keep practicing your Briddish accent 😉

    Big love from England x

  348. Love the vintage tea caddy. As my mother always says ‘Tea won us the war!’
    Keep practicing your Briddish accent 😉

    Big love from England x

  349. I’ve been waiting for this post, for the visit back to the sacred place. Thanks for remembering to include the details- like the plastic champagne cups, and the candles. Your remembering helps me to remember. And I need to do that more.

    I bought a little plaque from Target the other day. I brought it home, put it on an easel, and proclaimed to my husband, “There’s not enough laughter in this house. From now on, this is our motto. ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain’.” And while this isn’t a new saying, it’s a new addition to our house. And I intend to make it happen. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  350. these posts are my favorite! We’re waving to you, too, Nella.

    Susan

  351. I’m a new reader. I’ve only been reading for about 2 weeks, but I am mesmerized by your photography skills. They are amazing. And your family is just beautiful. You inspire me.

  352. I read your blog in the early morning’s and late nights, when my heart needs to feel hugged. Lainey and Nella, Brett and you Kellie do that for me. Your words hug my heart and make me know, life will be ok!

    Thank you for all the tender Hugs!

  353. I enjoy reading your blog so much. It inspires me to be better, and make this day just fantastic for the people I love. Thank you for sharing!! And I really just love your photos too.

  354. LOVE that picture of Nella waving! She and LL are too precious! Congrats on going back! Truly a beautiful post!

  355. Timeless Settings were have you been all my life? I love that stuff!

    I can’t believe you guys are in bathing suits. I’m so over my cozy sweats.

    Thanks for always sharing your life with us!

  356. Hey, Kelle, I am really jealous that your Nella is crawling :) My son is 1.5 month older and he is not ready to crawl yet :) I cannot wait for this moment, so I am very happy you already enjoy it!

  357. So sweet. Nella’s good-bye wave is my favorite. She’s scrumptious!

  358. Love being with you on your adventure of life…….I seriously would love to pack up my kids and just come play at your house……too bad I am so far away……

    Glad that you went back to the delivery room. At that time you probably couldn’t even imagine how wonderful this past year has truly been and how special that little girl was going and is going to be. God has a plan for all of us and sometimes we don’t even know what it is and where it is going to take us.

    Thank you for being awesome!!!

  359. My favorite thing to do is to wake up on a Saturday morning and spend some time reading your blog. Loving the new header, the angry face, the too tired to eat any more face, and my fav… the wave.

  360. kelle,
    i would love to come to your house for “a spot of tea” admist the wheat puff covered floors. sounds lovley. i bet you are a most gracious hostess. you have such a sunny beautiful soul which always comes through in your writing and pictures.i really love the pics of your two sprites together, you can feel how strong the bond of love between them is. my 14 month old grandson logan just recently learned how to throw tantrums, and it is so cute and hilariously funny! he throws the biggest fits just for paw paw to take him with him-because his paw paw is indeed his most favorite person on earth.
    God bless ya kelle!

  361. Amazing how going back to the delivery room brings closure but reminds us of how far we’ve come and how much new love is now in our lives!

  362. you bring so much beauty to life’s simplest moments! i love how easily you accept and embrace both pain and joy. thanks for your inspiration!

  363. Beautiful post as always! Glad you got a chance to go back to room 7. Blessing to you today!

  364. Congratulations on a beautiful year. I can’t imagine what its like to have done what you do, but hope that someday soon, I’ll have my chance to give it a try!

  365. I love that you embrace wheat puff littered floors and little “cheats” during Chutes and Ladders. Those days go by so quickly. Our baby boy is home from college this weekend (sometimes he just gets a hankering to sleep in his own bed and hang out with mom & dad). He brings with him his own Nella messes but come Monday it will be orderly and quiet around here again…too quiet. We’re enjoying the happy he brings…enjoy your happy moments this weekend too!

  366. i adore the little things you find after a day when the kiddos are asleep. magic wands put away in the silverware drawer, little mouth marks on the front door from baby “kissing” the window every time a neighbor, dog, salesman walked by and a trail of cheerios leading to a hidden stash by a 16 month old. :) we will all miss these things terribly when they are older. it is indeed the good stuff.

  367. It amazes me how BIG some places are in our memories, how much space and weight they acquire. I hope the return to the place where Nella’s life began was cathartic for you.

  368. Another beautiful post. Your girls are just dolls and I love their little matching outfits. Thanks for sharing your visit back to the birthing room. It made me cry just a little.

    Amy

  369. brave and wise and empowering of you to go back there. thank you for your ever-triumphant posts amidst the everyday crazy.

  370. You had me at Steak n Shake … YUM! And send some of that warm weather up here to Virginia. On another note, I recently had the opportunity to revisit an experience that I remembered as painful and in it I was renewed. I feel ya, girl. Live it. Love it.

  371. Here in Delaware, we’re right on the edge of the blizzard-y weather. Sometimes we get buried in snow, sometimes we get frozen in ice and most times – we get rain. But whatever the weather (which, coincidentally never matches up with what the weatherman predicts) I’m getting a little bored of this cold, wet stuff and am admittedly jealous of your bathing suit clad girls and there sunny backdrops. But, as always, happy for you!

  372. I am always so happy to open your blog and see a new post. I definitely needed an “enjoy the small things” reminder today. I hope you enjoy your wonderful weather. I’m in Michigan and got so incredibly jealous of your outdoor babies.

  373. Oh my goodness. I checked out the store…such cute stuff. – Melany

  374. I have never read a blog that made me laugh and cry in the same day’s post. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.

  375. I am so jealous of your weather.. The fact that we have harsh winds that have blown down our garden fence and there you are in bathing suits!

    The photo of Nella after she had finished eating is gorgeous! Love her eyes! :)

    Such a happy post.. It has made me smile.. Thank you x

  376. I find myself obsessively checking the blog each day…yearning for a new post! They are pure soul food- and for that, I thank you!

    http://journeyinthesunshine.blogspot.com/

  377. Awesome post once again. I love love love your post and get so excited when I see that a new post has been added by you. Have a blessed weekend with your beautiful family.

  378. As always, another beautiful post! Your pictures are simply gorgeous! Lainey has the cutest angry face, and I find myself getting happily lost every time you post a close-up of Nella’s warm and inviting eyes. So glad you had a nice trip down memory lane in the room where your journey with Nella began!

  379. Thank you for sharing your life with us Kelle. From fantastic parties to simple outings to Steak n Shake, you really embrace being a mom!

  380. You are amazing! Nella and Lainey are lucky to have you as a Mom!

  381. Amazing! How wonderful you got to visit the room where Nella was born. As someone who has been with women in labor for support, that was so wonderful and healing for you!
    The cold temps are done here for awhile. No heat and bare feet yet, but 20’s feels like a HEAT WAVE! Cannot wait until Spring!

  382. Your girls’ eyes eat me alive in those pictures. What angels.

  383. Such a sweet, special moment for you!

  384. Your writing is amazing. One minute I’m smiling at my computer screen at how precious your family is and the next, I’m wiping tears. What a touching celebration of coming full circle.

  385. Love this post. It is so beautiful… the photos, your daughters, your words… everything!

  386. I stumbled upon your page just last week after seeing the link on an old classmate’s blog. Checked it out and it was The Net post. Shame on you for making me cry when I don’t even know you!! jk. Loved it, read Nella’s birth story and it was (as all birth stories seem to be) beautiful and sad and earth-shattering and lovely.

  387. Kelle, as always a wonderful post that helps me refocus my feelings and energy to the important things in life.

  388. Your posts brighten my day. I was awakened by my screaming 14 month old today, I was just grumpy.

    I’m no longer grumpy and have a better outlook on my fifth snowed-in day.

    Bless you. And your sweet family.

  389. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Your post always touch me deep in my soul.

  390. I am shamelessly in love with your blog. You’re quickly becoming my hero. And how much do I want to just squeeze Nella and Lainey? Every.Single.Time. that you post pictures of them.

    Love from Iowa.

  391. love this post…and love the way your daughter plays chutes and ladders…;)

    the tea caddy is so neat!

  392. Thank you. You are such a blessing in my life through the words you write and pictures you share <3

  393. Love it! (as usual)
    P.S. Going to my “magical place” today bc ever since your post about the sanctuary I’ve been longing to go!

  394. Lovely post as always. I love to see how you made it full circle.

  395. It is good to ‘go back’ sometimes and wrap up those loose ends. It helps us to look to the future with renewed vigor and focus. I’m glad you were able to go back!
    Nella’s stiff leg pose with the ball made me relive Olivia’s pre-walking days. So cute.

  396. Such a way with words friend- such a way!

  397. I remember about a year ago when I stumbled upon your blog and the very first entry I read was the one of Nella’s birth. IT was raw with emotion and I was hooked. I love to watch your little girls grow up and to relate to your every day life! I am now enjoying the small things also!

    Thanks!

  398. I have a daughter that was born right around the same time as Nella and I know how important it is to remember and cherish those small things. And good for you for visiting the hospital room. That is amazing. :)

  399. Love this post so very much! You’ve done what many of us *should* do. I think about my days of giving birth to Gabe many times, reliving and sorting through the “I should have…”. But I am happy to be here right now.

    My absolute hands down photos of this post is Lainey holding onto Nella! OMG. Those two are beyond adorable and I can see them way into their teen years doing the same thing!♥♥

  400. What a beautiful post. I like that you sandwiched going back to the hospital amongst all the other things going on in your life. Lainey’s angry face is so cute! And Nella is just adorable. :)

  401. Amazing memories are created each day. I love all that you share with others. Our hearts are open and connected, Great friendships from far away.
    Enjoying the small things- Illinois Style:
    Snow day from the Blizzard of 2011.
    February, it’s the beginning of a new “try” for pregnancy with the help of FCIL.
    New friends.

    <3 Much love,
    Kait

  402. I love how you find the joy and beauty in everyday life. I need to remember to do that because I often find myself running around forgetting to see the beauty in the normal. Thanks for this post!

  403. I love Laney’s angry face. My 4 year old does the same thing, and strangely enough it looks nothing like her “real” angry face!

  404. Steak N Shake! Wow, wish I could have been there with you! I’m an Indiana girl who’s been living in Colorado for 10 years, we don have S&S out here nd my trips home every year just don’t calm the cravings for a Frisco Melt sometimes! Hope you enjoyed, and next time you go, think of me and my run on sentences. =)

  405. Love the girl’s matching outfits…I just bought my girls..Ella and Lucy who are the same ages as your girls the same outfits from target! :)

  406. I am SO jealous of your sunshine!

  407. Love your post. It tends to always put my day in perspective. I am leaving here a little lighter today!!! Thank you!

  408. I love that you’re such a good mom that you go to SteakNShake. I’m so sick of the do-right moms who won’t let their kids enjoy the wonders of my own childhood–like steak-n-shake. You do exactly what I want to do when I have kids. Thank you!

  409. Absolutely beautiful. You are quickly becoming my favorite blogger. My time spent reading your words and looking at your photos is so good for me.

  410. Happy for the next steps of your journey….thanks for sharing the first year – your steps are far more impactful than you will ever know. And on a lighter note – here’s to Splendid for Target – we have the same “comfy” outfit here in Tally and are looking forward to slightly warmer days to rock it :).

  411. Uh, that little wave has got to be the latest thing today. Absolutely blessed you are to have received sweet nella as your daughter. He chose the right mama on that one.
    And don’t you love the new line at Target? So Ralph lauren/ screw, but so much much cheaper. Makes playing outside so much less stressful.

  412. Lovely post – thanks for all the randomness…

  413. Wtf? That’s what I get for trying to send msgs on my new smart phone: the words that don’t make sense, should be, cutest and jcrew. Sorry. I’ll get this thing someday. Bear with me and read weird posts from me until then!,

  414. your day in the sun with bathing suits looks absolutely wonderful! i am jealous. i have piles of snow 4 feet deep in my backyard right now in chicago. can’t wait to get my little ones outside again :)

  415. I love the new banner! I am glad you were finally able to get back to Room 7 and I am insanely jealous of the weather you are having.

  416. I believe the first thing I said to my husband after reading this post was… “We’re moving to Florida! Swimsuits in February are my kind of Winters!” Even though I’m born and raised in Indiana, us getting hit by this crazy ice and snow has done me in this Winter. I’m looking forward to Summer. I can’t wait to see my little girl in bathing suits. She loves the water! We’re going to be welcoming a new addition in September, so I’ll be in the pool with her all summer too!

  417. I love your blog, and look forward to new post everyday! You have a beautiful family, thanks for sharing it:)

  418. great post! I love how you really do make every moment count, and took the time to go back to that special room

  419. A post full of yummy things. From smiles to planters. What a way to start my day. Thank you as always for sharing your beautiful life with us.

  420. I love reading your blog. I have to say it is one of my favorites…your lovely little angels bring a smile to my face each and every time and your writing brings a peace to me.

    Love and hugs from snowy Minnesota.

  421. ooh I love that tes box!

  422. Such a beautiful post, as always. :) I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since Nella was born!

  423. So glad you finally made it to room #7. Wish I could get to the operating room I delivered my greatest miracle in this April! Living vicariously through you. Loved Lainey’s “angry”. Happy weekend to you, Kelle!

  424. I’m so jealous of your weather. My pictures are so different from yours because of all the snow!
    I love that you let Nella taste the milkshake at Steak ‘n Shake too. My Barret (13months) loves those milkshakes…and it kind of makes me feel like a bad mom giving into his sweet tooth, but what would life be like without it?!

  425. What a beautiful post! You know how to live life to the fullest…lessons we all should live by.

    Denise WI

  426. I live in Michigan so I’m holding it down for you with all the snow and the snow suits and the snowmen in which we want to but a bathing suit on to have a glimpse of summer. What a fond memory of returning to the room I hope it fulfilled you in every way you needed it too. Cheers :)

  427. Whenever I see a post titled thusly, I know I’m going to fall in love with life just a little bit more in the following moments.

    Thanks for sharing these glimpses into ya’lls lives! They remind me to see the magic and the joy all around me in my own.

    Nella is getting more darling by the day- quite the feat for so beautiful a girl to begin with.

  428. Oh, that sweet wave! She’s adorable, Kelle. Both your girls are. And I think that Lainey’s been watching your poses :)

  429. Love the post! So happy for you and your beautiful family. Btw – how is the garden?

  430. What a beautiful way to remember Nella’s birth! Your girls are absolutely beautiful!

    wish that it was sunny up here!
    Enjoy the weather and all the small things!

  431. This made me cry….a good cry!

    xoxo,
    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  432. My husband walked into the office at the moment I was looking at Lainey’s angry face and he said, “hey, that’s the face you make!” Haha. I also like to make that face with him and try not to smile. Thanks for the good feelings that come from your post!

  433. Jealous of your Beautiful weather! And the last picture is just adorable!!

  434. Since I’m in the midwest and we have about 2 feet of snow, I am also jealous of your weather! Also, Nella has the most Gorgeous eyes i’ve ever seen!

  435. Your girls are so precious… I love their matching sister outfits.

    I agree – I love new things for my house – it does provide an incentive to clean.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  436. Kelle, I haven’t commented on your blog before, but I want you to know how much I enjoy it. Those small things in life that you are enjoying are so amazingly wonderful! Blessings, Julie

  437. wow! swimsuits??? how nice. even here in texas we have been stuck in the house for 5 days because of ice & snow. so not used to such things…

  438. Love it all – beautiful. I love the picture of Nella on the ball so cute.
    I love the your tea caddy – I didn’t realize I needed one until I saw it.
    Happy Weekending to you and your family.

  439. You inspire me to embrace life every time you post. I am a mom and a grammy and there is much to be joyful about, but your blog always rings the little bell I need to hear, regardless of the events of the day. Thank you, Kelle!

  440. I simply love your blog and your photography! I’m trying to learn to take better pictures of my little pickle – he’s 6 mo. older than Nella, and frankly, I think he might be in love with her! He does the head-tilt onto my shoulder with the big sweet smile aimed at the computer when he sees pictures of her. :)

    And to add to the random-column: Lainey and I share an awesome name (great pick, momma), half of my family is from MI – Muskegon area, while I am in Nebraska. Most of my daily business is in FL and have been to Naples (the Ritz is fab!) and I Want, wAnt, WANT that tea-holder. :)

  441. I love the girls’ matching outfits…so cute and so perfect for a spontaneous trip to Steak-N-Shake!

  442. Oh my! That’s a dangerous little shop to browse through!! I already ordered a few goodies! Blessings to you and your sweet family…

    =) Diane

  443. I love that you went back to the birthroom. I have often wanted to, just after normal births. It’s a spiritual thing, giving birth to your baby. So glad you got to go…

  444. Kelle~

    Always love your posts and your very fun family!
    I know you love doing craft with your girls:) I have 2 girls too and when they were little we loved making painted toast…..all you need is white bread, little cups of “paint” (milk mixed with food coloring) and paint brushes. Let your 2 little sweeties paint the bread, lightly toast and eat your art!~ Yummy. There is a SIMPLE, fun way to make butter too with both of your cuties. Give them each a cold, empty baby food jar filled with heavy cream (2/3 full). Then let them shake it like crazy. Doing it to music is even more fun! Soon the cream changes to butter!!

    And, we also loved just going out on the driveway with fun buckets of water and different sized brushed and painting the pavement with water!

    Nella waving bye-bye to all of us melted me……

    Susan from Boston

  445. I just have to say I’ve been “stalking” your blog for a long time and haven’t commented. I say a prayer every day for you and for strength. You are doing an amazing work by getting your story out and you are a blessing to those out there who are going through similar situations. Love to you!

  446. You have got some super cute little girls.

  447. Woke up this morning and sipped my chai tea as I read your post. Thanks for reminding me to go and enjoy all the wonderful things today has to offer!

  448. Another beautiful post! How brave are you to return…I say brave because I have yet to be able to walk into the NICU to remember that deeply. :) but it should be done soon I know…kudos to you.

    ps. Laineys mad face cracked me up…my daughter Delaney (weird lol) does the same thing…tries so hard to be mad looking but always ends up bent over laughing.

  449. I don’t know how you do it but, girl, darn near every one of your posts has me catching my breath and brushing back tears. Thank you for sharing (I know I’ve said it before but really, can one ever be thanked enough?) your beautiful family and your amazing story with us.

    I love – LOVE – the angry face from Big Sis! Kills me . . . now I have to go capture my big boy’s angry face!!!

  450. My friend came up with this beautiful concept: Enjoyifying God.
    It occurs when we soak up the beauty of nature, our friends, family, children, our very lives. It happens when we sit around a fire pit at a backyard barbecue with beers in hand and laugh into the dark with loved ones. It is there when we sit by a pond for an hour doing nothing but skipping stones and making duck calls with blades of grass. When we choose to enjoy His creation and gifts, we glorify Him. Enjoyify.
    You, my friend, do it very very well.

  451. Nella has the most beautiful eyes!!! I think it’s amazing that you finally went back. What a blessing to realize how much joy the initial pain of that room brought to your life.

  452. Wow, what great reminders to stop and enjoy the small things…even the looks of our children. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in cleaning the messes that we forget about the precious little hands that made them. Thanks for sharing.

  453. Oh, Steak and Shake. It used to be my guilty pleasure — and always random! My college friends and I dropping everything to run there for a cheeseburger, or my FAVE — midnight chocolate shake runs.

    In other news, my nephew regularly falls asleep in his high chair, still holding onto whatever he happened to be enjoying. We finally have pictures to prove it, and it just makes me cackle.

  454. Beautiful post… & tea caddy:)

  455. beautiful post. beautiful person 😉 You are full of inspiration!

  456. I miss the days of dry cereal ending up all over the place…for us it was Cheerios.

  457. I love looking at the small things but I forget the small things because I’m always focused on the big things. Thank you for reminding me!

  458. I loved the randomness of this post! I’m also so jealous of your warm weather, because I am stuck with awful snowstorms here in Canada.
    Thank you for sharing these moments with us!

  459. So glad you went back – maybe now you can finally put the pain behind you and push (no pun intended!) forward with the pleasure of a life spent being her Mommy.

  460. How do you remember not only the birth room number of one year ago but also the one from 3.5 years ago?!? Remarkable :)
    -jessicalynette.com

  461. happy weekend to you! So glad your visit to room number 7 was meaningful and healing. so glad that sweet nella was born that day!

  462. just found your blog, and it’s truly a touching and meaningful space you create here – thankyou for sharing your story, your family, so beautifully.

  463. Few things:
    love the matching outfits.
    Lainey has such a pretty eye color.
    And the faces of your girls when Lainey was picking up Nella cracked me up. My favorite pics of my kids are always the ones with funny expressions.

  464. Your posts inspire me! Especially because my little Megan dumped out a box of Nilla Wafers on the bedroom floor yesterday! Now why didn’t I think to take a picture?

  465. Thank you for sharing the small & grand moments of this week & your lives for the past year. What wonderful retrospectives. Oh, I could definitely use some hospitality around here–love that little Tea caddy!

  466. Love it – thanks for inviting us in.

  467. so jealous of you beautiful weather. wisconsin isn’t treating us kindly

  468. I think these “Enjoying the Small Things” post are my favorite. Your girls are so beautiful! :)

  469. Another awesome post. You really inspire me to continue to live in each moment as my girls are growing…and enjoy the small things!

  470. I LOVE your blog. Every time I read it, I want to live life better. THANK YOU for posting, once again!

  471. What a memorable journey back to the room that brought so many emotions to you that day. Beautiful gals!

  472. I love those champagne glasses!!! They are my favorite! I remember them from your birth story, so great that you kept them and now a year later, you can celebrate with them :) Wonderful post.

  473. If you preface something with a “not that I’m rubbing it in”, then you’re rubbing it in!! haha :)
    But, I totally would be if I were you…we have about 20 inches of snow here right now, it’s a bit obnoxious really 😉

  474. You and your kids are beautiful. What a difference a year makes.

  475. oh wow….lovely post….brings it all back for us (your readers) too….beautiful!

  476. I love the new header! Your posts remind me of that spring is right around the corner – especially while I am surrounded by mounds of snow! Thanks for sharing your hospital revisit!

  477. Kelle,
    I have loved your blog for a long time, but it’s not always that I’m able to enjoy the background music, but when the opportunity presents itself, it’s such a delight because your choices illuminate in such a lovely way the joy of your life and the moments with your beautiful girls who, as far as I can tell from your photos, have inherited your zest and talent for squeezing the best out of each day.

  478. Beautiful post… you are truly inspiring.

  479. I’m ready for spring! You lucky little duck! This tinder has been so long I find myself making promises of all the tings I will do outside when it gets warm.

  480. *I meant to say WINTER not tinder… I’m still thinking warm fire thoughts!

  481. Such a sweet post. I love your outlook. I also love the girl’s matching shirts!

  482. What a wonderful idea to go back to the place that introduced so many to this wonderful blog!
    I’m sure it was healing to go back and come home and realize all the good that has happened since.
    Love your blog!

  483. So jealous of your warm weather..beautiful post!!

  484. we just pulled out our chutes and ladders game yesterday for our 2 year old, and i thought it might need a makeover- being sent down the chute for accidentally breaking dishes seems a little unfair. :-)
    shenais

  485. What a beautiful moment and addition to Nella’s story. She is blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love her so deeply.

  486. I started reading this blog when Nella was just about a week old. I cannot believe it has been a year. Thank you for the many blessings I have received from your posts. Keep up the good work.

  487. Our Kate also does “angry face” vs. “happy face” all the time. Love it! Enjoying the small things in Michigan…

  488. I live for the small things that always make my days better…

  489. Great post, Kelle, as always. I’m so glad your trip to the birth room was such a wonderful experience!

  490. Small Things I’m Enjoying? Shopping days with my mom (which I did today), $2.97 racks at JC Penney, movie nights with the girls, and staying in on a snowy day and enjoying a good book. Thanks for sharing your “small things” with us! I love a good dinner at Steak ‘n Shake! Delicious!

  491. As a Floridian transplanted to the North, I’m so jealous of the weather. I so want to take my two kiddos outside and let them feel the sunshine on their faces, grass between their toes, etc., but the 38 degree rain isn’t really allowing us to do that.

    (And I’m really jealous of the Steak n’ Shake – so delicious. What I would do for a chocolate shake and a side of cheese fries right now….)

  492. Lainey’s angry face made me LOL!!
    My Caleb(age 4) likes to look at picture and say ‘I like that girl!’

    He does it almost every time he catches me reading ETST!

  493. One of the things I love best about reading your blog is that you actually *DO* things… things like re-visiting the place where your adventure began. Most people would only just think of going… but you not only go, you do it up in style!
    xo
    Kate

  494. once again leaving me with tears in my eyes. the happy & the sad all at once – isn’t that the life!?

  495. Adorable! Just a bit jealous of your awesome weather :)

  496. What a wonderful and inspring post! HUGS to you and your family! Happy weekend!

  497. So brave of you to go back to the birth room. And so perfect a year later to help you heal even more! Your girls are lovely!

  498. You’re adorable and so are your girls and so is this post. It makes me smile because you are so brave. Lots of people can be successful without being significant, but you my friend are significant!

    Keep on Loving Life!

  499. And a chilly Indiana wave to you, Miss Nella!

  500. Your story of visiting room 7 brought tears running down my cheeks – what a wonderful step in healing. So happy to hear that your tears subsided quickly and that you were able to focus on the joy.

  501. Hi Kelle,

    I’m so happy to have found your blog. I really look forward to each new post. You make me laugh, cry and strive to be a better mom. Thank you!
    Erin

  502. Love this post!! Love that you put the visit in the middle of life – as usual, so appropriate. Your girls are so beautiful. Love Nella’s brown spot – one of my kids has that too! Thinking of making milkshakes now eventhough it’s so cold and snowy in Chi-town today. Enjoy the weekend!

  503. I’m not sure I could go back to where my Jack was born…it was in a broom closet. :-)

  504. Thanks for the Nella Goodbye Wave. It made me smile on a grey and cold day.

  505. I love your blog, Kelle. I love the way you dress your kids – someday, you should do an entire post about where you buy their clothes. You can do a whole post about that, right? I think so :)

    I loved the part about going back to Nella’s birth room – what an awesome experience!

  506. Beautiful post Kelle. Love the pics of you revisting Nella’s birth place. So touching.

    Jessica C.

  507. Your posts are always so beautiful and inspiring.

  508. Your posts are always so beautiful and inspiring.

  509. You make me smile! your girls make me smile :) Life is good :)

  510. ~On a sunny afternoon
    Brew a pot of tea.
    Since we can’t be together,
    I hope you’ll think of me’
    As you enjoy your cup of tea.~

    What is it with hot delicious cuppas, that warm the soul and bring everyone closer?

  511. there is such power in returning to a place where we were changed so deeply. so glad you had the courage to do it and that healing was found. i love your blog and always take something away from every post!

  512. I am so proud of you for going back to room 7! xo

  513. Wow, that’s the best blogpost ever! Your daughters are beautiful, and your pictures are great.

  514. Oh, I just love your little family, Kelle!

    Sweetie pie Nella, I know that “I’m done” face you’re making….Nora makes it, too :)

    Such a special post! Wishing I could hug you all ~
    Kelly

  515. OH MY!! I LOVE that tea caddy! It would be a lovely addition to my teeny apartment kitchen. :)

    p.s. I loved this post. :)

  516. Seriously you have the cutest girls!!Love your post, as always!

  517. lovin the matching outfits. and that trip must have been so cathartic! Wish I remembered the delivery room # where my baby was born, it would be cool to go back!

  518. Your girls are amazing. They look so much alike at times. Wonderful!

  519. Oh, how I’d love warmer temperatures these days!

  520. Oh, how I’d love warmer temperatures these days!

  521. Love Lainey’s “angry face”, way too funny!!!

  522. thank you for sharing small joys of your day that alwasy brighten mine as well. beautiful post!

  523. Those eyes of Nella’s are too gorgeous. Thank you for always writing the right words for what I am feeling at the moment I read them (they might soothe or entertain or surprise).

  524. Oh, how I love Lainey’s angry face and sweet Nella’s I’m too tired to eat another bite face!!!! So dear!

  525. Glad you got to go back, Kelle. And I LOVE those “Love me eyes”!

  526. Loved this post! & I love that you went back to the birth room. I don’t have any littles yet, but I think that’s an amazing way to celebrate life & remind us of where we’ve been compared to where we are now. Just beautiful.

    ps. totally jealous of the weather – we got half an inch of snow in san antonio!

  527. You always give such great ideas, things I wish I had thought of or done after Chloes birth. But now so much time has passed, I don’t know that it would mean the same to me now. Now we have different memories some painful some not..of her cancer diagnosis, completion of treatment…first real no diaper day! I love following your blog because somehow it makes me feel more centered and aware in my own life with my kids. Bless you Kelle

  528. Love your pictures!! I also love hot tea. I drink a cup every morning and every night!!

  529. I loved it. I remember Stake and Shake. I used to live in Georgia. Good shakes.

    I bet you feel so much better now that you went back to her room. Thanks for posting and taking such wonderful pictures.

  530. http://www.joyshope.com/2010/06/carnival-of-tiered-trays.html
    Saw these today, Kelle. Totally thought of you.

    *Swooning* over this post and especially the trip to Steak n Shake. Wendy

  531. Love all the little things- especially the girls’ matching outfits! Where did you find them?

  532. Kelle,

    Both of my sweet baby boys were born in Room 7 at that very hospital. Seeing those pictures brought me back to my own journey through that doorway :) The funny thing is for about three years after his brother was born, every time we went by The Baby (Birth) Place (as He called it), Mason would want to drop his brother off…
    Happy Birthday to Nella :)

  533. Your blog is so very inspiring! I just love how you truly cherish and celebrate every moment you can – enjoying the small (and BIG) things, I guess! I just told my husband that we have to toast our daughter tomorrow night…she will be one tomorrow! Thanks for inspiring me yet again!

  534. I’m glad you went back to Rm. 7.

  535. Love your blog Kelle! Such a nice tribute to Nella…re-visiting the day of her birth! It’s crazy seeing the girls in shorts and t’s…we just got dumped with snow yet again here in Ontario! Enjoy your sunshine!!!

  536. I so appreciate your perspective! You make everything seem beautiful.

  537. Thanks for sharing…it’s such a good reminder that the special, meaningful, life-changing moments come in the midst of the everyday. It’s a like a little sign in front of my face to say “Hey. You. Don’t take a single moment for granted!” Also, your new sponsor may be my new favorite place to shop!

  538. Thank you for sharing your life with us. God knew what He was doing in room #7 one year ago. Nella couldn’t have asked for a better momma. Your posts always move me and make me want to be a better person.

  539. Why I would LOVE a spot of tea… as long as Lainey serves it with her angry face! Oh, and a bowl of wheat puffs, carpet lint and all, please. Laughing, crying and smiling all at once.

  540. And things are so sweet a year later. And will get even sweeter. Time heals not all, but alot.

  541. Nella reminds me so much of my sweet boy! Yes! Very jealous of your weather!

  542. This comment has been removed by the author.

  543. I love to see the photos of your girls in all their sisterness…so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

  544. Awesome post, as usual. Your photos are just gorgeous.

    I, too, am nearing the one year anniversary of when I found out my Brooklyn had Spina Bifida. I was 18 weeks pregnant, and it was a night I’ll never forget. I have all sorts of emotions welling up as the chill in the weather and the smells of the air remind me of “the day,” but I can say that now I can’t imagine it happening any other way. Our Brooklyn is the light of this family, and we love her…just the way God made her.

    On a lighter note, LOVE, LOVE that tea box (and I don’t even like tea)! 😉

  545. I have no idea how on earth you read all these comments! Still, I’m leaving you one just the same. I’m a mom of three. Maggie-4, Mac-2, Mary Brooke-1. I first saw about your blog on facebook so I just clicked, being a fellow blogger myself since 2007. Anyway, I read your birth story first. Oh my. Tears streamed. Your writing made it feel as though I was in the room feeling each emotion with you. You are a very talented writer and photographer. Your daughters are just beautiful. And yes, Nella definitely has “love-me” eyes.

  546. Fantastic new pics of your girls, Kelle – they are so gorgeous! Loving Lainey’s angry face – totally reminds me of my little niece (she loves pulling those types of faces… usually at Grandpa). I love your new planter & tea box, I agree that new stuff for the house is SO fun – and always a much needed incentive to tidy up!

  547. I think it was brave to return to that room, the memories of those moments a year ago. I bet it would do a lot of people some good to go back and relive certain experiences. Everyone could use a little closure before moving forward right?:)

  548. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your sincerity. I am an Intervention Specialist for students with special needs. I love my job because I get to witness, daily, how awesome they truly are. You are so very blessed!

  549. what healing you must have now! and Nella is waving!!! She’s my hero!:)

  550. Everytime I read a post about Nella I crY. I’m pregnant and thinking about that name if it’s a girl.

  551. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and admiring your pictures.

  552. Love the full circle post :-)

  553. Thanks for another wonderful post. Pictures are beautiful as always. I hope your weather keeps up (My girls & I will be heading to Florida next week from Canada).

  554. When your girls are older they’re going to realize how lucky they are to have such a loving mom. Not to be depressing, but I can only wish that my mom would have been half as enthusiastic to be a parent.

  555. Those love me eyes melt me every time. This post took me back so I can only imagine what it was like for you.

  556. oh- wishing for sunshine! thanks for the shot of vicarious warmth… i think i’ll put on another sweater now. so glad your trip to the delivery room was healing & beautiful- thank you for sharing the emotions with us!

  557. I had two of my kiddos in the same delivery room and I really agree that those room have their own magic.

  558. My 3 1/2 y.o. said to me this morning… “Ugh… Mommy! Look at that! (pointing outside to the frozen tundra here in Wisconsin)…” “What do you see, Brooke?” “It’s snowing AGAIN! That makes me upset! I want green grass to come back!” ;-)))) Your photos send warmth to my heart and are a reminder that our green grass is right around the corner :)) Hey, how’s the garden coming? Enjoy your weekend!

  559. Love the “mad face” – too cute!! I’ve seen it before from my own kids – they usually don’t have to force it though – lol. – Maureen C

  560. This was so precious. And actually, yall kinda do resemble the Chutes and Ladders people! lol.

  561. Such beautiful pictures! Wishing you a happy weekend!

  562. You know what my favorite thing about this post is? Exactly what you already pointed out. How you sandwiched something so terribly beautiful in between the somewhat ordinary but not really ordinary —such is life!

  563. nella’s whole-body grin in the clover photo steals my heart. what a pure happiness you captured.

  564. What a beautiful post!!!

  565. Wow! You are so brave. It’s been a year this month since I’ve started following your blog. You are an amazing woman and you give strength and wisdom to so many others! Thank you for sharing.

  566. I’m so glad you did that. I would say, “I’m going to do that” and then I would never do that.

    Talking about visiting room 7. :-)

    Love it sandwiched into the small things too.

    love you!

  567. I just read “return to sacred ground” and the tears came! But I was smiling at her “love me” eyes in the end :)
    Thank you 100 times for sharing your life.

  568. Enjoying the small things might just be my favorite post title of all time! There was so much in this one and I loved it. I cannot believe your girls are running around in their swimsuits! I swear, I am drying snow gear at least twice a day right now … C R A Z Y! Oh, your new header, I just love new headers!!

    Goodnight … xoxo … April

  569. Love Lainey’s angry face! Too cute!

  570. I LOVE your tea caddy, and I applaud you for visiting the room that rocked your world. Your daughters are such sweet gifts and I love how well you enjoy them. That, in and of itself, is inspiring.

  571. SO precious Kelle. Thank you for sharing.

  572. my little 2 year old girl has some love my eyes as well. so cute.

  573. I am so proud and in awe of you for going back to that room. When I had Melanie in November I knew she would be born with down syndrome, so I don’t know that revisiting that room would be healing for me. We received her news in July from a specialist at the hospital whom we were not fond of…but we had to go back to see him the next week, and 2 weeks after that, and 2 weeks after that…perhaps next November we too will find a spot to reconcile.

  574. Oh gosh! I love that last photo of Nella!

    Esther D

  575. Beautiful – all of it! Every word, every picture, every thought; thank you for sharing them all with us. Happy New Year!!

  576. I can’t believe your girls are wearing swimsuits in February!! :) It’s snowsuits up here in Alaska. :) Love the matching stripes on them!

  577. Love love love your antique decorations!

  578. love, love, love the photo of Nella on her fitball, if only I was as coordinated, and the pic of Lainey and her dad is so cute! glad the visit to room 7 was a time to remember the happy memories too.

  579. Good post: I laughed & cried.

  580. Beautiful! I love all the pics as always! The girls are getting so big! Hugs and Love!

  581. I love how you organized this post.. like a nice juicy hamburger – the meat right in the middle. That was incredible to read and see it all go full circle.. what is it about us that loves things to feel complete.. not “be” complete but feel complete. Lvoe you and the girls kelle belle. xo

  582. Thank you for sharing the return to room #7. I think deep down every mama would love to do this. Your girls get more beautiful every day!

  583. Congratulations for a cleansing and meaningful return to room 7.

  584. This was a lovely post! I love all of the pictures.

  585. Ah those big baby blues! So precious! My little one has eyes so blue too. I can’t stop taking pictures of them.

  586. I’m glad that you were able to get back to your room. How cathartic that must have been!

  587. I love the girls’ matching clothes! And Nella’s wave is darling!

  588. I love how you included the visit to the hospital room in this post … it’s to true how the sacred things in life are weaved in next to the simple things. Thanks for sharing yourself with the world!

  589. Healing comes in many different forms and levels. You have healed in yet another level being able to visit the delivery room. I’m so glad you are enjoying the small things in life, there are so many.

  590. I just love your blog, and the photos are amazing. The one of Nella with the Steak n Shake hat on has to be my favorite from this post!

  591. As always, love your blog! Nella’s sweet face always makes me melt.

  592. Good morning kelle…
    …just here in my kitchen baking up a storm with my little early riser (oven was on at 6:30 am)…listening to your grooving, heart warming, fun loving music and loving the start to my Sunday. My Zach (6 years old) now refers to himself as the “grooving chef”. I just wanted to say thank you for being YOU!! You are celebrated all over the world for your wisdom, inspirations and your beautiful blog. These last few entries have tugged my heart in all directions…and the photos-spectacular!!

    Monique
    Happy Sunday to you and you and you!!!

  593. I love the picture of you and Heidi together..the two of you make me smile. I have a friend us knows me inside and out and I may not talk to her or see her everyday but when returning to those “sacred grounds” in life she is always by my side. ♥

  594. Painted toe nails and bathing suits… jealous in PA!

  595. I will be sooo happy when we can go play outside again and not worry about freezing! Love Nella’s wave at the end! :) She makes me happy! Thank you for blogging, you really do make peoples life different.

  596. Room 7. The birth place of all my niece, twin nephews, a family friends baby was born in room 7 two weeks ago, and the birth place of sweet Nella. Although all different hospitals, different countries, different days and different years, there is clearly some magic in room 7. Thank you for sharing you experience in that magic room.

  597. Beautiful post. Beautiful family!

  598. My favorite posts are your random posts, they give such a wonderful snapshot into your everyday life! I think next time my husband and I are in Florida, we may have to find that restaurant, those milkshakes look super yummy!

  599. I love the steak & shake! I wish we had one up here in Canada! It seems to have such a cool vibe to it. Your girls grow cuter by the day, Kelle, you should be (and clearly are!) so incredibly proud.

  600. Full circle has never looked (and felt) so beautiful.

    I am happy for you. 😀

  601. so glad you were able to head back to the room and finally have your full circle celebration and closure.

    and seriously, Nella’s love me eyes are just a moving today as they were then.

    xoxo

  602. Loved Laineys angry face and Nella’s messes.

  603. I think the idea of going back to your child’s birth room is a wonderful idea! It is a very special place and should be re-visted. Thanks for sharing!

  604. beautiful and brave…

    such sweet faces, too.

  605. I enjoyed reading your small things! Thanks for sharing! LOVE that tea box! :)

  606. Gorgeous post. Your girls are beyond sweet and make me giddy with anticipation to have my own someday soon.

  607. love the tea box…tea is so comforting but takes so little effort.

  608. I love all the little things :) They are the big things!

  609. love the angry face!

  610. Lovin’ the mad face !!

  611. Woo hoo, we do all love us some free stuff. And I have to say, you are one strong, powerful woman… and congrats on the yeariversary of visiting that room and giving us all a glimpse of the new amazing feelings surrounding it.

    :)
    ~Tabitha

  612. LOVE this post. Love that you sandwiched your re-visit to room #7 right in between all of your other everyday enjoying the small things! Beautiful. The pictures of you and your friends back in that hospital room made me tear up! LOVE Nella’s precious little hand and her wave at then end too!

  613. The angry face – I love it! It must be the age as Nathan just started doing it too. Along with the very forced and fake smile for when I ask if he is doing something that I just asked him not too do, the snarl/scowl, etc. And I am so glad that you went back to where Nella’s life began. It must be freeing, reminisce, joyful for the year past and a little sad, all at once.

  614. This post brought tears to my eyes…but that’s a regular occurrence when visiting your site :-) I’m so glad you were able to go back to that room and bring it full circle. Thanks for sharing!

  615. I wish I could be as eloquent with all the small things…but I do hold them in my heart..and I think that’s what counts 😉

  616. It’s all important to go back. You can’t really move forward until you’ve conquered all of the past. Enjoy moving forward with your lovely girls!

  617. just found your blog…LOVE it!

  618. great post! thanks for the glimpse of summer while most of use are freezing! haha!!!

  619. Beautiful post…Nella is sure looks like a toddler, it is amazing how fast the first year goes.

  620. Sometimes, I have only a few words after I read your posts … today it is ‘thank you.’

  621. You are such a strong, inspiring person that I really apprecaite you sharing your “stories” daily on the blog……and then you have prize drawings too, you are awesome! Now if I could be so lucky to win either of the giveaways I would be beside myself!

    ~Stacey
    csfish@roadrunner.com

  622. LoVe <3

  623. I love reading your blog. You are so introspective and have such a way with words. It makes me wish that I had revisited the place my son joined our family. What a special trip.

  624. Somedays the little surprises my kids leave around before they go to school is what keeps them close to me while they are gone and I miss them so much.

  625. Kelle, I love your blog. I don’t tend to follow blogs, but yours is such an inspiring “experience” everytime I read it.

    I love the pictures, the music, and your writing.

    I just ordered the Tea/Coffee caddy for my kitchen.

    I live in Naples and love how you capture the beauty of this area. My husband and I love launching our kayaks from Isle of Capri. Hope to see you and your girls out there!

  626. I just recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading about your journey to this point and look forward to reading about your path ahead. What an amazing experience it must have been to walk back into that room.

  627. Love the post.
    ~Jada

  628. lovely post, as always!! it is summer at the mo so we to, are enjoying the nice warm weather!!

  629. I don’t know how you do it. And then you come home and write about it so that we can feel it all, too. Hat’s off to women that inspire.

  630. I look forward to your posts everyday! Love the Angry Face and the puff filled room! Looks a little like my house and it makes me breath a sigh of relief.. we aren’t the only ones! Happy Weekend! :)

  631. You guys make Steak ‘n Shake look like a grand event…happy living life!!! :)

    ~CC

  632. I just found your blog, and I have to say I LOVE it! I’d love to win the gift certificate. They have some pretty awesome stuff.

  633. I love your “Enjoying the Small Things” posts – they always remind me to smile and be happy for the smallest things that happen everyday!

  634. It is with great joy I read your blog, soooo happy I came across it.
    I am the proud mother of two girls, and my youngest one have Down syndrome.
    When she was born and MY world was falling apart for a split second, my dad said to me: “These children pick their own parents, you know, and I am so proud that my daughter was chosen!” Those words kept my head above water for the first heartbreaking days.
    My baby is turning two in two weeks, and I am so grateful she came to us, she is everything we could have hoped for.
    Thank you for sharing, Kelle- you have lovely, lovely girls!

  635. You write so beautifully… Your post gave me goosebumps! Cheers to motherhood!

  636. This is way late (due to baby consuming most of my time and being too lazy to post from my phone), but I want to say the story about your mom and her new beau totally warmed my heart. I so want that for my mom.

  637. Reading this post, I am celebrating with you – you have such a beautiful way of documenting your life!

  638. Nella has such sass in this mealtime photos, much like my little sister has pretty much all the time. I love it!

  639. Love the chicken wire planter!! Super fun!

  640. Beautiful post! Im loving Lainey’s angry face and all the beautiful pictures of Nella.

  641. I wish I could tell my stories and write like you :) Love keeping up with your blog and your sweet family.

  642. I am so in love with Nella’s big, gorgeous blues. Lucky girl!

  643. You have the sweetest little family. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  644. Love the tea/coffee holder thingy…super cute.

    Love the way you live, girl. Thank you for sharing your life with us. It really does mean a lot.

    <3,
    Chandra in Alabama

  645. I’m a tad jealous of your weather. I felt bad for you not having a white Christmas…but yeah, now I’m jealous. :)

  646. I also went back in time this week…I delivered baby girl #5 and thought that everything would go as planned and it didn’t and I was forced to place my heart out there again as another one of my girls faced the NICU and some trials, but all is well now and we are home enjoying everyone. Thanks for sharing your heart:)

  647. Such a beautiful post! The return to room 7… loving it! And Nella’s wave? Priceless! She’s the cutest thing ever!!!

  648. A full circle, sandwiched in the middle of the straight line of life. Love it.

  649. I just have to tell you again :0) how much I LOVE reading your posts…it inspires me so much and I find myself in a totally different space…a much better place…when I leave your happy blog. Thank you so much for sharing your world with us Kelle!

  650. Love the angry face! So fun to watch of children’s personalities bloom, especially their sense of humor! Have a great week!

  651. BEAUTIFUL AS ALWAYS.

  652. It’s wonderful that you could revisit the birth room where the journey of your past year began. Love the pics of your girls :)

  653. Love that you match your girls the same!! I have 3 girls and love putting them in matching outfits, gotta do it while we still can right?! :) Beautiful post, Kelle!!!

  654. Beautiful pictures!

  655. I love your pictures and the way you tell your story. What a gift to be able to celebrate in the place where you had pain!

  656. My word is “Powerful” . . . not pitiful :).

  657. As usual, your post was heartwarming. How empowering to back to the day it all began and remember it – and how wonderful to see how far you’ve come. (And as a mama sharing a similar experience, how far I’ve come!) Lots of love to you and yours.

  658. “Love-Me Eyes…” That brings me right back to the beginning of your blog. So lovely.

  659. Like others have said, jealous of the weather :) Alhough, here, we have an inch of snow, and I’m so disappointed, because back home (in northern Indiana … they have like, oh 18+ inches of snow) … and I LOVE snow. OK, enough of me rambling.

  660. Like others have said, jealous of the weather :) Alhough, here, we have an inch of snow, and I’m so disappointed, because back home (in northern Indiana … they have like, oh 18+ inches of snow) … and I LOVE snow. OK, enough of me rambling.

  661. Like others have said, jealous of the weather :) Alhough, here, we have an inch of snow, and I’m so disappointed, because back home (in northern Indiana … they have like, oh 18+ inches of snow) … and I LOVE snow. OK, enough of me rambling.

  662. Nella’s eyes are GORGEOUS!

  663. Sounds like a wonderful visit you had to the birth room.

    I really enjoy these random tid-bit posts, and, as always, your lovely pictures.

  664. Nella is growing up so quickly. She is blossoming into a beautiful young lady!!

  665. Kelle, you are so brave. I find your words beautiful and your stength more so.

    Yay for family trips to steak and shake. Laney looks like she had a blast!

    p.s. i will send you some mental snow from michigan this week. we have almost two feet in some places!

  666. Oh! Look at that Nellabean wave at the end of this post. Isn’t that the cutest thing ever? I can’t wait to have a family of my own and do these things that you did. There are things to enjoy even to the smallest and simplest day indeed!

    ~ Christine, Philippines

  667. I absolutely LOVE your driveway pictures. I think they capture America and the things that are still great here!

  668. What an amazing journey. Thank you!

    Mel

  669. Amazing how things come full circle. Love the angry face and wave goodbye. Jealous of your weather as it is so cold here. Beautiful post.

  670. Life is sweet, and a year ago I had the opportunity to meet my three nieces for the first time. The baby, Sami, who was just over one, did such a “mean baby” face she made herself belly laugh the morning I met her. We were lucky enough to capture it on camera. My little lovies have changed my world and I would never, ever want to go back to what it was without them.

  671. A fabulous random weekend. Glad you finally got to revisit the room that changed your life forever. You’ve taken the night and created the most amazing thing. You make a difference.

  672. Amazing. How is it that each time I read your posts, I smile, but with a tear in my eye? Helps me to remember to appreciate the small stuff…all of us could use a friendly reminder!

  673. The Steak and Shake pictures are my favorite! So much fun!

  674. I can only imagine how hard it was to go back to that room again. I think it would be quite an experience to go back to the room my son was born in too. Those rooms have a special place in our memories and it’s funny because we spend so little time there, but it’s the experience we have within the walls that changes us forever.

  675. Love your cute family! You are an inspiration :-) Thanks for the wonderful posts!

  676. Oh how I love Nella’s “love me eyes.” They are as beautiful and piercing as they were when she entered the world. Beautiful post Kelle on a day when I really needed one. Thank you!

    Tara

  677. Kelle,

    Although we don’t know each other and I occasionally write a comment I just wanted to tell you that I am so proud of how far you and Nella have come since her birth. I remember first reading Nella’s birth story and crying so hard. Your positive outlook on life and your emotional strength helps others, as well as myself, look at things so differently and so much more positive and I just want to say Thank You.

    Xoxox,
    Kim from NJ

  678. Lainey is too cute with her angry face! Nella tired of eating is just breath taking. Those to are such beauties. Their personalities really shine through.

  679. I love the girls’ matching tops.

  680. Just love this post! Nella’s smile is infectious and Lainey’s angry face is hilarious!

  681. I want me some Steak & Shake!! Or maybe just two shakes! :)

  682. Virtual “high-five” on going back to the delivery room!!

  683. love the tea/coffee caddy! so adorable.

  684. Nella is so beautiful I’m moved to tears every time I visit you here.

  685. What a wonderful way to wrap-up the first year of Nella’s life. You are a beautiful family!

  686. It is amazing to see your transformation over the course of a year. Good for you for honoring where you were and letting it go.

  687. Always love your posts!

    Also, RANDOM, but my daughter likes to watch youtube videos of songs featuring sesame street characters, and whenever I see the one of Feist singing her 1, 2, 3, 4 song I think of you. Maybe it’s the hair, or her joy, but I always think “is Feist Kelle’s alterego?”

  688. I think that so much of who God is shines through your life and who you are.
    I feel blessed to read your blog, truly.

  689. Wow, I am envious of your sunny, warm weather. I’ve got some serious cabin fever, and I’m only in AL. We’ve had more snow this year than even my grandparents ever remember us having around here. Enjoy it!

  690. loved your post…as always…

  691. Nella is so cute, and Lainey’s angry face is so funny.
    I’m glad that you were able to make it back to the birth room, and how nice that you had 2 close friends to share the reflections with. I always enjoy reading about you guys’ life!
    We had a blizzard here in Kansas City, but I really have been enjoying hunkering down this year. I’m sure I’ll equally enjoy the warmer weather when the time comes, though!

  692. Great post… I agree that you have to come full circle.. Sometimes you have to take yourself back to that time when you thought your world was shaken and would never recover… You have to relieve that pain to TRULY appreciate the beauty and knowledge that you have gained from pulling through it and becoming a better person as a result… I love this blog and this post just affirms why I love it so much!

  693. love this post & your pictures. wish i didn’t live so far away from where i birthed my son. i’d love to go back down memory lane..

  694. Love the matching outfits. And good for you for returning to the delivery room….wow does a year go fast!!!

  695. Beautiful post! What closure to go back to the beginning where you thought life was ending and found out it was a wonderful beginning….

  696. My word from this past year is redemption.

  697. AHHHH I love steak and shake!!

  698. My Steven has a very similar birth mark in his left eye as well. Nothing like a big of extra magic to make already gorgeous blue eyes even more striking, huh?

  699. I love the knack you have for introducing ceremony and tradition into unexpected places and times. It will make your girls’ childhoods so special and memorable!

  700. Well – ya know.. someone has to have warm weather while we try to stay warm!!!

    :)

  701. ooh! I would love that tea caddy!!

  702. It takes a lot of courage, healing and love to go back to that hospital room. Amazing how far you have come and so, so wonderful!

  703. I love your posts – they remind me to be mindful of the all the present everyday things in my life and my daughter’s life. Your children will have a wonderful legacy to look forward to.

  704. You are renewed. Love the post.

  705. Inspiring as usual! Your posts continue to keep me grounded. <3

  706. You are so strong! You inspire many, thanks for the wonderful blog!

  707. I love the idea of going back to the room you delivered in! I can remember every single detail of the rooms my children were born in…even what shows and episodes I watched while in labor. Anyway your blog is a inspiration. Thank you

  708. closure is always a good thing. :)

  709. This has been a hard year for me. I have struggled with myself and my emotions. The knowledge that exists deep in my soul that I’m meant to make something tremendous endlessly battles with the desire to be settled and simple and the result is an exhausted me, sometimes too confused to move. Through all of that, what I’m most proud of is the fact that I haven’t given up, that hope is still a big word in my vocabulary, and that I keep pushing on towards my tremendous creation. So, my word this year is Perseverance.

  710. Completely jelly over your weather! Here in Jersey it’s been snowy, snowy, snow time. Blah!

  711. Beautiful words! Congratulations on the continued healing!

  712. What a sweet post, I loved the mix of small things and big things.

  713. You managed to again make me smile, say “ahhh” and get teary-eyed all in one post :) Thanks for another wonderful post full of great pictures and your words…

  714. I’ve often thought about visiting the room where I stayed when I had my babies. Even though I had c-sections… the first room knew things that know one else knew when my sweet girl was in the NICU.

    I’m glad you came to a sense of relief and have moved past the day.

    Enjoy your beautiful weather! Sitting in sunny CA, in the Bay Area, it’s a nice 75.

  715. i absolutely love the pic of Nella under the blizzard/sunshine header. Her smile brightens by day (just like my son)…she is beautiful.

    p.s. i love your music player. I stay logged onto your page so i can have good music to listen to while working…good job :-)

  716. I’m rocking my daughter to sleep as I read this and I am crying!!! I’m glad you are at peace. Nella is just beautiful

    aleytac at hotmail dot com

  717. I love that you went back to the irthing room. it must have taken so much courage to go back and experience something like that.

  718. Love the tired from eating face, the angry face, the clover, how the Chutes and Ladders people look like your fam, making Valentine’s, tea…Random note: I love Carebears and recently won a purple one (my favorite color) from one of those ‘claw-grabber’ machines… it cost me six dollars I think over two days, but I won it… and snuggling with it makes me happy. I’m 28 and I’m cool with it… Love how you attempt to connect then to now…pain to joy… Much Love and Continued Blessings, Val-Marie :0)

  719. Your girls are so adorable…just beautiful!

  720. Beautiful full circle! I have to say how precious the picture of Nella with her daddy is! Just the looks on their faces, pure delightful play, reminds me of my hubby with our three.

  721. Kelle…I fall in love with you the more I read your posts. You are an amazingly beautiful person who can express the rawest of emotions in the most touching way. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your special moments, sad moments, happy moments…LIFE MOMENTS with me.

  722. Reading about your sweet daughter’s birth day makes me even more excited for the hopefully soon birth of my sweet little girl!

    As fun as it’s been blogging about my bedrest and pregnancy I am ready to start blogging about being a mommy!

  723. Love the angry face, the sleepy face, and the love-me face…we’ve got those around our house on a regular basis too. If only I could get around to capturing them more often (and getting them OFF my camera).

  724. Patience… My word this year.

    With three kids and one on the way, I tend to lose it more than I have before, and it makes me sad to think I take it out on my kids.

    I’m choosing to be more patient and give my day to the Lord before anything else :)

  725. i’m sure it was so cathartic to revisit the place where your lives changed forever, for the best.

  726. such a sweet post.. we’ve been watching mad flakes all week and looks like more to come here in oklahoma! more making hot tea and staying inside i guess. enjoy that warm sunshine :)

  727. Simple, beautiful. And you look gorgeous a year later after 2 kiddos. :)

  728. I’m in love with making Valentine’s with my girls! We have everything set up right now and will randomly come over to the table to create with one another!

  729. You yearned for another baby. You wanted your family to grow. You looked forward to meeting her. You wanted her birth day to be a wonderful day and It was. Her first birthday was a magical celebration. And, most important of all, your Nella is so beautiful, so perfect and so amazing. I’m happy you were able to go back to Room 7 and honored that sacred ground with such good company, your Heidi and your Nana Kate. :)))

    I feel that whatever happens is what is meant to happen…what we get in life may not be what we imagined we wanted…however…it is what we needed…our soul always knows exactly what we need…

    “It is the intensity of the longing that does all the work.” ~Kabir

  730. So grand. I love the tea caddy :)

  731. I would say you’ve come full circle…but that would imply the story finishes with the completion of that circle, which it most certainly and wonderfully has not!

    So, let’s just say that you circled your way around one half of your fabulous and infinite 8.

    Just.Beautiful!

  732. I want coffee, tea or me pleas!
    Cool pics Kelle!

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