Dirty Bit.

We had a hot date Saturday night. I wore a dress; Brett spritzed cologne. There was the rare ritual of lipstick, hair curling, hobbling out into the living room with two different shoes to ask Brett which ones (he chose the closed-toe flats; I, of course, wore the open-toe sandals). I explained the baby food and bedtime routine to Brett’s mom while he kissed the kids, and we were out the door–late, as usual–two seconds later to pick up our friends and head to our swanky destination.

Swanky Destination: The fellowship hall of a Catholic church where a yellow balloon arch was erected in celebration of the North Naples Kiwanis Club fundraiser. Plastic cups, buffet line, all-you-can-eat coleslaw. Oh yeah, we go all out.

We had purchased tickets a couple months ago to support the cause and represent our dear neighbor who works with the club, and, despite the fact our hot date was a stone’s throw from an altar and a crucifix, it was still just that…a hot date. My dress was a little overdone among the throng of shorts and flowered shirts, and we may have been the youngest couple there, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a complete blast. The deejay ripped Chubby Checker and Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs, and we twisted and cha-cha’ed and joined Conga lines where the tipsy grandpa behind me tickled my sides and asked where my husband was…swear. But the entire night was full of deep inhalations of sweet, sweet life. Ones that included toasting red plastic cups and cheering on the limbo line and whispering amongst friends, pointing out which fun crazy grandmas on the dance floor we hoped represented our future selves (for the record, the future-self I’ve had my eye on–oh, for the last seven years since I’ve known her–is Kathleen, the most beautiful, vivacious, high-on-life sixty-something-year-old I’ve ever met).

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Matt & Dede, fellow neighbors and friends.


Bonus of the night: Kathleen taught me the polka. And let me tell you something…those people were serious about their polka dance. Definitely not amused by the girl in the long dress who was stepping on their toes and crashing into their moment of polka glory. My jerky side-skipping looked nothing like the polka, and I must have apologized twenty times. But I totally made up for it when I taught Nana Kate some new moves to Black Eyed Peas’ Dirty Bit.


So, the clubs may wanna take all the credit for where the party was Saturday night, but I’m tellin’ you, it was happening on the dance floor at St. John the Evangelist Church.

Oh, I’ve had the time of my life, and I’ve never felt this way before, and I swear this is true, and I owe it all to you. …Dirty Bit.

The rest of the weekend in snapshots:

Nella’s new found love is toilet paper. She is thrilled with the fact that one good tug of the roll spins a huge mess, and she drags it around the house with a mischeivous grin while the dogs paw at the paper trail behind her.

Our neighbors across the street have the best tree swing in the history of mankind. It looks very Swiss Family Robinson.

We went for a 6 mile bike ride yesterday–three miles to the park and three back. We left at prime time for the sun show, right when it was angled appropriately for the most dramatic rays-stretching-through-trees effect and large contrasting shadows of our silhouettes that rode parallel to our right. However, unbeknownst to me for the first stretch of our trip, my bike brake was malfunctioning and I pedaled three miles resisting the little brake that was half-gripping my back tire (me and bikes don’t mix). I thought I was out of shape and didn’t mention anything to Brett, embarrassed that the lowest gear setting had me laboring just to answer his questions and praying the park would suddenly appear when he seemed to be zipping through his leg rotations and effortlessly pulling two kids behind him. I started counting my pedal cycles in my head half-way through, hoping Brett would shut up so I wouldn’t have to waste breath answering him and attempting to get my mind off the fact that my heart seemed to have moved to my head as it was beating prominently between my ears. Thankfully, we arrived right as I was spinning/gasping/heaving into the six-hundred-and-seventh rotation. I’ve never loved the sight of a park so much in all my life.

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Don’t be fooled. I’m smiling but very aware that my heart is still racing and my calves are still twitching.
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Nella’s famous pout protest, ticked I swept mulch out of her mouth: Photobucket Photobucket

Thanks to an adjusted brake, the ride home was much more enjoyable.

Lest ye be concerned, photo taken pre-bike helmet, thank you.

The sun had settled for the absence of a brilliant light show for our trip back, but unicorns have a way of showing up when you’re looking for them. Hence the random peacock that strutted through a clearing where we pedaled past. WTH?

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Jelly Shoes: check. (thanks to whomever it was that suggested Old Navy) Carry on, Spring.


And, just as the ritual of trickling hot coffee into my mug this morning commenced the beginning of a promising week, our long ceremonious hot bath last night closed out all the adventures we enjoyed over the weekend.


Nella won’t sit for anything anymore, and bath time has become an entertaining adventure where my attention volleys between baby sit n’ stand repetitions and Lainey’s pleas of “Hey, Mom, watch this doll go pee-pee.”


The week awaits.


I will perfect my polka.


…I’ve had the time of my life
and I’ve never felt this way before,
and I swear
this is true,
and I owe it all to you.

Dirty Bit.


Leave a Comment
  1. This post in turn made me spit out my coffee with laughter and make totally girly noises over your unbelivably cute daughters.

  2. I haven’t left you a comment yet, but I started following this blog of yours a few weeks ago.

    I just wanted to say that you have an absolutely beautiful family.


  3. love the peacock…

  4. omg jelly shoes!! I guess a trip to Old Navy is in my near future… :)

  5. as i was reading through post, my daughter came up behind me – a picture of sweet Nella on the screen – “Who’s that baby, Momma?” “Thats Nella,” I replied. “She’s a cute baby!” My thoughts exactly. Thanx for sharing!!

  6. A peacock?! How awesome! Love all of the pictures, as usual! Those girls of yours are just so darn cute!

  7. A peacock! Definitely a unicorn! It is so wonderful to spend time outdoors now. I cannot wait to take some swing pictures in the sunshine!

  8. Jealous of: 1)hot date 2) dancing (even the polka) 3) wearing shorts and summer dresses

    Great post!

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  10. Make no mistake about it…..we Catholics can par-tay like there’s no tomorrow! Glad you enjoyed the fellowship! Great pics. Luv the superman t’s. xo

  11. Your posts always make me so happy. Thank you for that!! :)

    Also, the black and white pics of your little ones in the tub are SO cute! Makes me want to add a 2nd little sweetie to my family!


  12. Freeze frame these little faces for just yesterday, they were you and your sister to me. Life needs another speed. Slow. The frenzy of making a living really takes a toll in just…living. I want to go back and hold onto lazy afternoons. I want to savor other creeping tasks of putting buckle-up shoes on little girls, slow my pace to theirs as we venture around the block and allow them to replace my watching the evening news with yet another Dora the Explorer episode of nothingness. Enjoy this interruption of life–it is better than the real and other show. I wish I were there kissin’ up some chubby cheeks. And yes, there are some fun times to be had in the shadow of a steeple! And I love your neighbors too!


  13. love that superwoman had a hard time with the bike. i’m not a bike lover, myself. i’d rather drive, any old day of the week. :)

  14. Summer is just made for jelly shoes, gotta love them and the little piggies that are nestled inside.


  15. Thanks for supporting Kiwanis!

  16. That is the BEST tree swing I.Have.Ever.Seen….I love that there was just some random peacock waiting to say whats up lol! That is so amazing! I really cant get over how much Lainey is starting to look like you!!As usual wonderful post!!Happy Monday beauties:)

  17. Way to coordinate your super {woman} shirts with those little ladies!

  18. I think it’s ironic that while you were huffing and puffing on your bike, you had on your Superman tee, hahahaha…
    The girls are starting to get their summer tan on – SOO jealous. Freezing cold still here in MI – as you know :)
    And your hot date? Been there, done that. At least your hubby still spritzes on cologne. I get excited for the fresh scent of deodorant or body wash for that manly smell, lol. Have a great day!

  19. every time i read your blog, it lifts my spirits. it is just so full of joy and love! and your girls are absolutely darling- thanks for sharing their lovely little personalities with us every week! yay for jellies and spring and swiss family robinson swings and church dance floors!

  20. I love following your blog. Our baby girls are only a month apart, and I enjoy watching Nella’s progression as much as I do my own daughter.

    I’ve been following your blog since just after Nella was born and have seen many of the same clothes I have for my girls on Lainey and Nella (like the Old Navy owl shirt). But when I saw you in a SUPER shirt today, I knew I had to comment. We all have at least 2 or 3 super shirts and we wear them as it they’re personal family logos. You can see our family photo here:


    If if Brett really loves weather so much, come visit Oakville, Ontario, Canada and I’ll arrange for a tour of The Weather Network. :)

  21. Some of my favorite posts to read are your after-the-weekend updates! You are such an amazing and uplifting writer. Thank you for sharing your story. :)

  22. “Hey, Mom Watch this doll go Pee-Pee” Seriously! Thanks for sharing that! It just turned my very drab, work it too stressful, wish I was at home holding by babies, boring Monday into a litteral…Laugh out loud moment! Thanks for that!

  23. this is one of my favorite posts so far — not sure why — but I thought I’d letcha know ;D


  24. aw looks like you had a more than fab weekend! kisses and hugs!

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  27. I LOVE a good cry face on a baby (nellas protest to eat the mulch) especially when it isn’t MY baby that is flaring attitude! :)

  28. Looks like hurricanes of happiness are movin’ into Naples….just in time for Springs new beginnings. Jelly Shoes, Check….don’t forget to throw in a Cadbury Egg or three…time is almost running out…say good-bye to them on Easter…”How do you eat yours?” he he.

  29. Can’t…stop…reading…Kelle…Hampton…. It’s becoming a bit of a problem. Stop being so darn fascinating, Kelle, you are screwing with my scholastic endeavors!!!

  30. I must say I am slightly addicted to your writing and photographs…thanks for sharing your daily story!

    I know you love quotes. Here are a few that made me think of you:

    “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” -Anonymous

    -“Wherever you are, be all there” -Ann Voskamp

    -“We are to seek for beauty and refuse to see anything else.” -Anne of Avonlea

  31. I was super excited to see a new post…they are such a nice read! Looks like a lovely weekend, Nella is looking so much bigger, i love her hair! So pretty! And Lainey making her doll pee pee is priceless!

  32. I love how you wouldn’t say anything about the hard bike ride and just suffered through, that is so something I would do :) As always, your posts bring a ray of sunshine into my day.

  33. omg, jelly sandals. I love those! and the superwoman shirts – gotta love ’em!

    Looks like an amazing time out!

  34. Hey! Where’d you get the Superman shirts??? Love them!! What fun…I don’t get along all that well with bikes, either. And if you can believe it, I haven’t got cycling with my husband – ever – and we’ve been together for six years!!! Ha! He has yet to know what an inept cyclist he’s married!! Hehehe…

  35. Loved it! Thanks for the warmth, now please send it our way!

  36. superman shirts: mine, boys section target. girls, boys section old navy.
    all around $5.

  37. ahhh.. those jelly shoes are the cutest!

  38. “I’m .. having… a .. good.. time.. with.. you! — Dirty Bit” =0P

  39. Just laughed way too loudly – thank you! Your posts make me want to go grab my kids from daycare and have adventures! So, thank you?

  40. So cool…I have to tell you that I work at a retirement community and our seniors know how to party :-)

    BTW – Digging the Superman T-shirts (comic book geek = stylin’)

    Thanks for sharing have a GREAT week.

  41. The last picture of Nella looking up at you…is sweet and pure sugar. Like she melts for her momma, as you melt for her… And it goes without saying… ‘..Now with passion in our eyes, there’s no way we could disguise it secretly…so we take each other’s hand, there’s not need to understand the urgency… Love it. Love your blog. Love it.

  42. I wish I could write as good as you, heck I would be satisfied with a small fraction. Loved your post, waited all weekend for it :)

  43. You have such a beautiful family!

  44. Oh to even go out at all! Who cares where? Good for you.

  45. what a great uplifting posting today. love teh date night, good to show support to those that doo so much. never liked jelly shoes, made my feet sweat and teh dirt found it’s way inall of those little cutouts!

  46. I just wanted to say that I love your photos and my favorites are the ones of Nella sitting b/c it always reminds me of little ones…since they both have hypotonia and sit exactly the same way…always always brings a smile to my face even when I am having a bad day!!

  47. Just what I needed tonight!
    I visited my son this weekend, to celebrate his 20:th birthday, and even though I’ve been at home for 24 hours I still mourn being so far away from him.
    This did pick me up. Thanks a bunch!

    I can see why you liked that dance-thing: it looked like a whole lot of fun :-)

  48. I know what you mean about the senior citizens; every time I watch Grumpy Old Men, I think,” I am sooo going to be like Ann Margret when I get that old.” At least I hope I can be that full of life and verve. :-)

  49. Lainey looks cute in her matching piggy braids like yours.

    LOVE that sad face of Nella’s. Those little ones can be so mischevious.

    The sun poked out here and I am rejoycing in the warmth and the fact that I can open up a window and let the fresh air in.


  50. Please oh please let Old Navy have jellies big enough to fit my 14 & 11 year old baby girls.

    I have spring envy, ours is dirty and messy. I will keep stopping by for a colorful, beautiful spring fix:)

  51. Kelle you MUST tell me where you got those ridiculously sassy and adorable skull shoes on Miss Nella. I NEED them for my 13 month old!

    Love Nella’s pouty lip, and your matching super woman shirts. Totally jealous of the rockin’ tree swing, and wish it was bike riding weather ’round here… we’re still battling snow. Enough is enough, spring needs to come to southwestern Ontario!

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  53. as always i love your posts!!!!
    wonderful weekend.

  54. Hey Kelle, Always love your posts. Only you would find a peacock in the park, LOL. Wondering if you have heard the story about Tesney Davis & her attempts to adopt Kirll, a little boy who happens to have DS. I’m attaching the link here: http://oureyesopened.blogspot.com/2011/03/kirills-story.html

    Please read it. This family can use all of the prayers & support that they can get!

  55. HOLY MOLEY…i have been following your blog…and adore it and always think of naples since my family is down there..AND i go there today and My step aunt is your first PHOTO – my aunt KATHY….wow! I have to say I LOVE Your blog and look for you each time i am in town! :)

  56. Love Jelly Shoes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  57. ooh! it was me that suggested the old navy jellies! hurray!

  58. I literally was giggling so hard reading your bike riding description. Great writing as always!! When I’m over-dressed at a party I spend too much time feeling “dumb.” Most things in life I’m able to let go but for some reason that clothing comparison things is HARD for me. I want to be more like you in that respect! Thanks for challenging me.

  59. JELLY SHOES! yayay

  60. I’m seriously obsessed with you and your family!! I also want to be one of your girl, talk about style ๐Ÿ˜‰

  61. I had the time of my life reading this and I’m getting my bike back from the shop this Friday. I’ll never feel like this again.

  62. Smiled my way through this whole post. Between imagining you doing the polka and the peacock, the bike story and your girls it was the perfect beginning to my time alone while the girls nap.


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  64. I LOVE that you all have Superman shirts! A wonderful man I was blessed to know was killed in Iraq, his nickname was Superman and I rock Superman attire any chance I get. This post gets an extra smile from me today. :)

  65. OMG so funny about the bike brake. I once had the brake issue too and was standing and pedaling going DOWN a hill, but because of the brake it was like I was in slow motion. All very embarrassing, made me sweat profusely and have sore legs for days.

  66. love this post! have a GREAT week!

  67. yay for a kelle post today!

  68. and PS, you write like your Poppa – beautiful and poetic. His comment gave me tears! very sweet.

  69. I <3 dirty bit! I love to blast it and rock out with my kids who look at me like I am an old lady…it begins:) Have you tried the orange scones yet? You will love them!

  70. Hey Kelle! Here’s a toast to one year of me following your blog. To commemorate I gave you a shout out on my blog AND repurposed a gold frame into a swanky red chalkboard for my kitchen. LOVE it and thanks for the inspiration to add a popacolor and live life to the fullest. So many times I close your post with a quiet “Amen Sista!”

  71. love the jellies!

  72. hehehe “hey Mom, watch this doll go pee-pee.” 3 year olds crack me up. Mine was at Big Lots (like Ollies?) on Saturday and found a self-inflating whoopie cushion (are they all self-inflating? I don’t know.)That kid sat on it over, and over, and over cracking herself up over the EXTREME sound coming from underneath her. “hahahahah I tooted. Ooooooh scuuuuse me hahahahaha”. Sigh. It was the hardest I’ve seen her laugh, ever. The best.

  73. I love a little dirty bit at the gym. I don’t think I have ever seen your husband wear anything but Hilfiger stuff, ha. He seems like such a sweet guy.

  74. Love the pics from Saturday! Even though we (um . . . you) were the youngest ones there – we had an absolute blast! Haven’t danced like that in quite a while! Musta been the lime on the ‘rita that gave Matt that face! The swing is yours to use anytime! xo, dede

  75. That has to be one of the cutest pouty faces ever! Love the peeing doll too!

  76. Aww, looks like you guys had a great time! I should lend you my 14 year old son’s Polka Dot shirt from threadless.com (http://www.threadless.com/catalog/keyword,polka+dots) for the next time you bust out the polka. The shirt has these little people in the shape of the dots playing instruments and couples polka dancing.

    As always, your family is just beautiful! Happy Monday :-)

  77. Oh Kelle! Such a cute post! I loved it. Jellies were THE THING when I was little. My Aunt June once sent me a box of 10 pairs, all different colors. I was in heaven!

  78. Just wanted to say that I love the way Nella’s left leg is always perched downward like she may spring up at any moment. Also….where are the “ohhhh” pics? :)

  79. I just hit one one of the “you might also like” links and I didn’t know you were blonde!! OMG! I think I have some Kelle catching up to do some rainy afternoon!

    The girls are such dolls. Love the jelly shoes!

  80. Jellie shoes and superman T’s! What a blissful weekend!
    Where’s the video Kelle of you doing the polka? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Can’t wait… Happy Week! Enjoy!!

  81. an 80 something friends Mom still goes down the slide at the park and the water slide at the pool – I want to be HER when I join the oldies club!
    Love the park pics and had to crack up at the bike break story – I’ve been there!
    The Polka is awesome!

  82. So exciting that Nella is standing so much! Soon it will be walking and she will be getting into far more than toilet paper…. but the best part is you really won’t mind!
    Also on a side note I think maybe my bike has a brake problem b/c I have had the same feeling of “Oh no I’m going to die, my muscles are burning” while my husband just pedals along… thought I was just out of shape… this is my new excuse

  83. Jelly sandals!! Childhood is so wonderful! :)

  84. My kids and I are all over the Dirty Bit song….love it! Love the jellies and as mean as it is to say, Nella has one adorable pout!

  85. Those jelly shoes are so sweet! I recall my own, many years ago. . . I needed this post on a Monday – thank you for that! I loved your Poppa’s post too – way to sweet! Enjoy your week.

  86. spring bliss.
    and cheers to hot dates!

  87. I love dirty bit! my go to song if want shake some stress off…pure happiness.

  88. Awesome. This post made me laugh out loud! Glad you had such a great time!

    And love the jellies – so freakin’ adorable!

  89. Her pout is precious!! Sometimes I stick my tongue out at my 1 year old (I know thats aweful) just to hear her say “no mommy” and and make a poutty face bc its so darn cute :) And a peacock WTF?

  90. Kellle,
    I just want to thank you for your blog. I got pregnant just a few short weeks after getting married — which was a few years too soon for me. Reading your blog makes motherhood less daunting and more inviting, and I cannot wait to meet my little one! I am so encouraged by your and your sweet girls!

  91. How mean is it of me to say I LOVE pictures of Nella crying??? Soooo sweet, that face! Just want to scoop her up and squeeze her…..sigh….maybe some day I’ll get my hands on her (& Lainey, too…lookin’ so pretty like her mama :)

    Happy thoughts,

  92. look at that super family! where is Brett’s shirt? i really just wanted an excuse to see if my new boring empty blog idea works!<<formerly rubyredladybug@ lj

  93. LOVE the first bathtub picture. Nella’s beautiful smile and expression made my day. Thanks for sharing!

  94. I never knew what dirty bit meant.
    I love your date night!
    So super fun : )

  95. Your little Nella reminds me so much of my Lily. She too loves toilet paper, mulch, q-tips, pretty much anything she can get her little hands on. At almost five, I still have to watch her like a hawk to make sure she isn’t making too much of a mess. Once Nella can walk and open up the fridge, keep your eggs up high (and hidden). Don’t say I didn’t warn you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  96. Oh my those girls are so beautiful. And this week on the way to the pediatrician a turkey was walking along the sidewalk…wah?

  97. Oh how I love my little girlies in their bath! And oh how I love HOT DATES. Video of the polka is needed, please! xo

  98. 1. Can you teach me some new dance moves to Dirty Bit?
    2. If you feel like you look hott, then it doesn’t matter if you screw up the polka.
    3. So glad I’m not the only one who gets her butt kicked by her husband on (what’s supposed to be) a casual evening bike ride even when SHE’S the one who works out regularly!
    4. Thank you for lending your perspective. It blesses mine.

  99. Got a pretty good laugh out of the pouty face, and the dolly going pee-pee! :)

  100. finally the jelly shoes make an appearance!! the girls look adorable. can’t wait to send some pics of my babe owen for the photo contest!

  101. 1. the oversized swing
    2. the pout
    3. all of the superman shirts


  102. sounds like so much fun!
    and good for you on the bike ride! wowzers~
    ps: cutest jellies ever, you sold me!

  103. I have been blogging since January…daily. I am challenging myself to do something new each and every day and then I write about it. It’s to make up for a horrible 2010. I just needed to tell you that YOUR BLOG is my dessert at the end of the day. I sit tucked in my bed and eagerly click upon your link. You’ve made me laugh and cry and inspired me on so many levels. Thank you, truly, THANK YOU.

  104. Oh dear. I love Nella’s little pouty face!
    I think it’s great that your family just…DOES. park trips, bike rides, going to the fair. LIVING LIFE.

    Keep on, keepin on!!

  105. Where did the great S t-shirts come from? Yours and theirs?

  106. A friend of mine was riding a bike and was so tired by the end of the ride she just kept chanting to herself that she made it through childbirth and she could make it through the bike ride! And she didn’t have a brake issue!

  107. I have quietly become addicted to your blog, not so much what you write but how you write it so inspires me to try a bit harder to make one special moment each day. And wish I had a camera like yours :)

  108. Precious!! Love this post and your love of LIFE!!

  109. I love Nella’s skull & crossbones shoes and yall’s Superman shirts!

  110. My husband loves singing ‘dirty bit’ over and over, lol. Me and bikes don’t mix well, either. I almost always fall off, but I’m a champ when it comes to catching myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOVE jellies!! i remember my dad wouldn’t let me wear them for very long when i was little (he’s a podiatrist) but gosh i loved them so much! might just have to go get me and the little one some of our own :)

  111. Love, love, love the peacock – in all its random glory. Don’t you love random beauty? Of course you do…

  112. Could you share where you got Nella’s leg warmers? Preparing for a baby girl in the fall, absolutely love them :)

  113. And a peacock FTW!! Yes!! Made me smile :)

  114. Erin those are target socks cutoff for the leg warmers…I have the same ones ๐Ÿ˜‰

  115. Ah, genius! Thank you :)

  116. Love your blog and how you celebrate all of the small things.
    Your baby girl makes me want to have another baby and I already have four little ones!!
    She is so gorgeous and makes me crave that one year old stage, even though my youngest is only two.
    Cute, cute, cute!!

  117. Beautiful…Your posts always make me smile.

  118. I’d pick Kathleen, too. She’s a beautiful woman. Why can’t everyone just age gracefully like that anymore?

    Nella looks so proud of herself in the tub picture! I’ll bet she’ll be walking before you know it.

  119. Must know where you found those skull shoes Nella is rocking! Sookie has a bunch of skull stuff in honor of my sister, who was quite the punk rock princess and passed away 5 years ago today.


  120. Love it…all of it! Sutter refuses to sit in the tub too…it’s a constant battle of wills…he usually wins!

  121. LOVE the shirts Kelle!!
    So adorable!
    And that swing is the best ever!
    Love that you guys were the youngest couple at the shin-dig. those are some of the best times aren’t they?

  122. Nella is getting so big! Great post as always. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve just started a blog and I added your URL to my list of fave blogs. Come check me out at http://bloggerbid.blogspot.com

  123. (screams) OMG! i love it! i love it all! i love how you have grown to embrace every bit of your beautiful life because it is indeed beautiful. Im in texas and you have no idea how a complete stranger (you) have touched my heart. YOu have a beautiful life and two amazing girls! nella is so cool!!!! you are doing a great job at being a wonderful mommy! (and photographer/blogger btw)

  124. It never fails. Every.single.time I read your posts I just get soaked up in whatever new adventure you all are on. And your girls. Your girls could not be more precious and make this mama of all boys thankful that I can live out my dress up fantasies vicariously through your pictures!

  125. I have had the desire to go somewhere and JUST DANCE!! My home will have to do for now. Love your Superman Tees for you and the girls. I want one for me and my daughters :)

  126. hahah I love love love this post! The picture of the girls in the tub is so cute! Have a great week.

  127. I love the jellies! I remember waiting to get a pair each spring. However, I swear they’re not as cool looking in adult sizes and they pinch! Figures. Miss Nella’s pout face made me smile. My son has a very similar pout – always makes us laugh, which in turn makes us feel guilty for laughing. Oh well. Enjoy your week!

  128. There are wild peacocks in Florida?? All we get are roadrunners, in our backyard no less!

    I smiled big at Nella’s face in the first tub picture and then laughed when I read your caption about the doll peeing – sweet + hilarious in one.

    Love how you and Lainey are both rocking the super tees. I bought a WonderWoman one a year or two ago when my son pointed it out and said, “mom, you need that!” How could I argue??

  129. Aww Nella’s sad face is soo adorable! Thank you for another great post.

    ‘I’ve had the time of me life….”

  130. ok!!! off to get JELLIES for my girl! DARLING!!!!

  131. The one photo of Lainey in the swing makes her look so tiny. Its adorable and I am cracking up at the tub because my little man is the same way. He won’t sit for anything!!! Gotta love toddler tub time! Have a great week Hampton Family!

  132. That swing looks amazing! I want one in my back garden! x

  133. random question Kelle??
    from a mom to a mom.
    how many hours of sleep do you get a night?? i’m asking everyone : )
    i now want to learn the polka and go get a bike : )
    your blog is still my #1

  134. I’m one of your ninja followers. You know, the kind that doesn’t let you know they’ve visited. Well today I’m lettin’ ya know.

    I heart your Nella! I can’t tell you how much I heart her. Every post you put up, she makes me smile. No matter what sort of day I’m having or what mood I’m in, she makes me smile.

  135. L.O.V.I.N.G the pout! Oh, and the Jelly shoes! (Shame we are speeding towards winter in Australia :( )

  136. The “pout” melts my heart. I’m heading to Old Navy today. My girl has to have a pair of jellies.

  137. Love love love :)

  138. LOL!!! Love the bike story…..
    And the polka dancing.
    Happy Monday!

  139. Hey! Great post. I went to two Catholic church dinners during the month of February and they were the highlights of the month..still can’t get over it.

    You make me want to ride a bike again. My friends and I used to ride bikes all over the streets of Newport RI during our high school years. It was the main form of transport and it was so fun in various conditions of sobriety or sunstroke. I forget about those days. Thanks for reminding me.

    BEP “The Time (Dirty Bit)” great tune. It samples the Dirty Dancing soundtrack hit song circa 1987, I’ve Had The Time of My Life, maybe that’s why BEP call their song Dirty Bit? Anyway, for me, nothing beats Bill Medley’s sexy vocal !! Now there’s one sexy crooning senior for ya!

  140. bathtub pictures rock.. and black and white no less..
    You and I have the same taste in music.. I love your playlist and dirt bit…

  141. I grew up in a small town so all social events were like this one you describe. Although I moved away to bigger towns/cities, I still loved to come home and attend something at the Legion, or at the Ag Hall (Agricultural Hall at the fairground). And I still do! People of all ages, dancing and laughing and sharing stories–what could be better?
    Looks like you had a blast!

  142. I just found your blog a couple weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since! You’re inspirational both through your words and your photographs. You’re family is beautiful! :)

  143. Smiled all the way through! Loved the bath comment. You crack me up. Have a happy week!
    And now I’m singing Dirty Bit in my head and I have a very long day at work. May have to download that one…

  144. Those daughters of yours sure are adorable.

  145. What a fun date night! I have to get to Old Navy for the Jellies! Dang those are cute!

  146. Polka? Oh yea baby. I have been blessed to live in a small town where Polka is King. There’s nothing better than hearing a herd of teenage kids squeal when the band begins to blast out a little Johnny Mensik Polka time!! You’ll never find that in the big city!!
    Polka? Oh yea.

  147. I just want to thank you for sharing your lives with us!! I look forward to your posts – they just make my day! :)

  148. funny post… the key to good polka-ing is to stay on your toes and to keep the side steps close so you move fast… hope that helps the next time you roll out the barrel of fun (beer barrel polka… should be Wisconsin’s state song…)
    your pics are getting me excited for my trip with my baby down to your neck of the woods for easter…
    take care and thanks again for sharing your pictures/stories with us

  149. Jelly shoes! Oh how I loved my jelly shoes.
    Loved this whole post. Made me smile so big. Seriously, a peacock?
    And those shirts on the girls. Precious!

  150. I learn something from every single one of your posts. Every. single. one.
    How do you do this????
    Now Im on a MISSION to find my future self. GREAT IDEA.

  151. I remember jelly shoes when I was a kid!

  152. This is my first time commenting but I have been reading your amazing blog for months (ever since I was newly pregnant with my now 8-month-old son). Your words inspire me, they truly get into my heart and change the feel of my entire day. You have a gift, and I am so happy that you share it with us.

    It is still freezing up here in the Northeast, but this morning your photo’s made me literally feel the sun’s warmth, and I am optimistic that spring will come.

    Your daughters are beautiful, but you know that already :) Just my jumbled thanks for being so entertaining and so real.


    Oh and my son has a pouty face very similar to Nella’s- it breaks my heart and makes me smile at the same time :)

  153. Nella’s pout face is adorable!

  154. Love the pout protest and the jellies!

  155. LOVED this post….mainly because this mama CAN polka! I can still hear my Grandpa Cub singing “roll out the barrel” as he danced the polka with me…to this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sshhb5ISHvI

    xoxo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  156. Nella has the most kissable looking cheeks!

    I now has the undeniable urge to swing and swing!

  157. okay,……i told my husband we’re moving to florida!! weather and lighting looks perfect every day!!! little gloomy here in Oklahoma today. May I ask what ever happened to the bunny?

  158. I love your blog so so so much! When I read your blog I am completely captured by your love for life and how fervently you pass that on to your children. Thank you so much for providing a small break from my hectic life to remember why I’m working so hard in the first place :)

  159. you’re hilarious and i love your blog. the end.

  160. Seriously some of the cutest pics of your girls yet! I love love love Nella’s pouty face. I wanted to jump through the screen and pick her up in my arms. I also love all the “Super” t-shirts!

  161. Those polka – they are serious stuff! I am Catholic, and originally from the Pittsburgh/Johnstown area of PA. The Polka is tradition here – still danced at every Polish, and many non Polish weddings – and tons of fun, because the older folks all join in, and the littles dance and it’s wonderful. I’m glad you had a good time!

  162. Those polka – they are serious stuff! I am Catholic, and originally from the Pittsburgh/Johnstown area of PA. The Polka is tradition here – still danced at every Polish, and many non Polish weddings – and tons of fun, because the older folks all join in, and the littles dance and it’s wonderful. I’m glad you had a good time!

  163. Kiwanis Club…Love it! I am a member and Treasurer of the Mecklenburg Kiwanis CLub in Charlotte, NC and yes, we can rock it!! (for the record I am the youngest member of our club, 33) lol. We’ve got oldies…but they’re goodies! Glad you had a great time!

  164. I love, love, love that pout face!

  165. Fantastic! It really does look like a great time! I enjoy checking your blog out! It always adds sunshine to my day!

  166. I feel your pain kelly. We went to the beach last week and someone put he brake on the stroller and I lugged it all the way back through the sand to the boardwalk before realizing that the back wheels weren’t spinnig. That was a workout to say the least.

  167. SO. MUCH. FUN.

  168. I seriously want to leave you a comment every single day…either about some fabulously witty description you provide, some gorgeous picture you show us, or simply the way you find the beauty in relishing the little things that really matter.

    Thank you for reminding me of all that I adore about life, and treasure with my own family.

    Keep it rockin’, sassy lady. :)

  169. What the WHAT? You have peacocks? Along with old school Dairy Queens, Orange groves and Old Navy? I could not be more convinced to check out your town!

  170. the nella pout is adorable! almost as good as the o face!

    oh and you do look a bit um, flushed from your bike ride. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  171. OMG….Girl, you’re tellin ME about the toilet paper obsession….lmao Nella and Brynn must be one in the same!!! lol

  172. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to your share your life and story here. I click on Enjoying the Small Things every morning and usually leave it pulled up so I can listen to the music during the day. I’ve been following your blog for about a year and I love your thoughts and pictures. I’ve had a pretty “polka” day myself. I moved from Chattanooga, TN to Sarasota, FL in February and it makes me smile to know I’m sharing the same state as you! Have a great week.

  173. Polkas & peacocks & a perfect pouty face on miss nella… thanks for the smiles!
    My first polka experience was when I was 19 & went to a cousin’s wedding… I loved watching my great aunties spin around & around the dance floor polka-ing their hearts out. Those ladies were polka-pros & taught me a few moves. Makes me smile again just thinking of it. Even the word is fun to say… polka… just can’t help but feel happy.

  174. hahah – bath time photos make me laugh. i used to be obsessed with dolls that eat and pee pee when i was a little girl. i never did get that Polly Potty…*pout*

  175. LOVE this story about the party and the polka!

    I’ve so enjoyed your blog and beautiful photography over the past several months. My husband and I are adopting two little girls born with Down syndrome, and your blog has been such a bright spot for me! Thank you!

  176. There’s just so much FUN and FUNNY stuff in this post, I can barely stand it! As usual, after reading, I’m inspired to live life to the fullest.

  177. Can’t go thru all the comments…little boys to chase…but a little girl on the way, so I have to ask – where did you get Nella’s awesome little pink skully shoes?? Beautiful post, as usual!

  178. Nella’s hair is getting long! She is just adorable. And I love those skull shoes!

  179. where did you get the kids Superman tee shirts? My son would love one!

  180. To OHSOBLESSED – LOVE the quotes!! Especially, “WHEREVER you ARE…” Thanks. KELLE!! Love the polka and that SWING. To repeat what others have asked, WHERE, please oh WHERE didja get the superman t-shirts for YOU and kids? I would love to get! RIK- so good to hear from you here. I think it was Feas–(Beth) who echoed me some time back that we hadnt seen you here for a while or else we had both just overlooked (?). Love from the blog mama

  181. that pout is the cutest thing i’ve ever seen! precious!

  182. Now you did it…I am in the mood to polka! I havent in YEARS but it is such fun.

    Denise Wi

  183. Sometimes, like now I go to your blog and leave it up while I click and open another window on the computer. Just for the music. Love it.

  184. Nella cracks me up!! I love her BIG bright and happy spirit that you capture in each photo!! Especially the one of her in the tub-having a laughter party all on her own while her big sis tends to her peeing dolls :) Love it!!!

    And the new pout lip…too precious!!

    And Kelle, just for the record…because you love the way you do, you are the most beautiful, vivacious, high-on-life THIRTY-something-year-old we here in blogland have the pleasure of knowing ( what your family and friends experience each day with you)…thanks again for sharing your beautiful-vivacious moments. I so truly enjoy them-it brings me a sense of peace and pure-simple happiness!

    As they say..you ROCK it girlfriend, you ROCK it!!

    Happy days to you

  185. Agh, again, those sweet girls are just KILLIN me with those eyes!

    I adore the Nella shaped spot in my heart that she (and her lovely mama) warmed up just in time for the arrival of my Amos – it was just about one year ago now that I learned I was expecting my precious man with the extra special magic inside.

    What a year it’s been. You are a gem. Thank you for blessing me.

    little feet in my house

  186. Kelle I love your blog, as does my two year old daughter Willow. She runs over to look at all the pictures of “baby Nella” and now every baby we see is Baby Nella! I also wanted to let you know that I love love love Lainey’s jelly shoes! Do they have those for Mama’s? -Kellie-

  187. Hi! I just wanted to say that even thought my blog is in Finnish, I gave you ‘The Gorgeous Blogger -Award ‘. I love your Blog!


  188. Looks like you had a great night!
    I love Nella’s colorful leg warmers.

  189. beautiful random peacock!

  190. Kelle,
    I have been following your blog for almost a year now and it is seriously takes me to my happy place! I love love love reading your blog and keeping up to date with your beautiful family. Nella and Lainey are absolutely precious and you are so blessed!
    Thank you for keeping me sane (I’m currently finishing my masters which tends to drive me insane!) with your heartfelt writing and exquisite photos. You are such an inspiration!
    With much love all the way from Australia,

  191. Anyone have any extra prayers send them over here – http://oureyesopened.blogspot.com/p/kirills-story.html heart wrenching!

  192. oh.em.gee. nella’s “pout protest” has to be the cutest thing evah!

  193. Your kids are so adorable! Love their precious outfits and shoes! And the superman t-shirts! I so want one now!! You have a beautiful family.

  194. This comment has been removed by the author.

  195. Catherine, praying for Kirill here…praying him home to this family whose hearts are already stretched for him.

  196. nella is just the most precious being. both girls are adorable, but i have a soft spot for children with DS. one of my younger brothers shares the extra chromosome that nella has! just perfect :)

  197. You have a beautiful family and a lovely blog. It is a pleasure to follow you and view your fantastic photography.

  198. Old Navy, here I come!

    (Sure hope they have infant sizes for my 7 month old-obsessed with jellies, I am!!!)

    Ps-B-E-A-UTIFUL family & I say it all the time, but your daughters are just stunning!

  199. This post made me chuckle. Especially Lainey’s request at watching her doll go pee.

    On a side note, I hate that Blacked Eyed Peas song. They ruined a classic. ;o)

  200. LOVE this. The first one of the girls in the bath is one of my favorites of Nella. Random parenting question: do you get on her for standing up or do you just let her do her up/down routine? Our daughter is not far ahead of Nella and we go back and forth between correcting her and letting her enjoy herself :) We are rookies.

  201. How sweet is Nella’s smile? Even her “angry pout”!

  202. Oh I so want to join you on the dance floor for some polka. I have no idea what I’d be doing, but it looked so exhilirating and fun. Thank you for sharing.

    Also, very impressed with the bike riding. We keep putting off purchasing bikes for fear of all the work pedaling the kids around. :)

    Thanks again for sharing your fun!

  203. Thanks to your last few posts, I declared last weekend that we were going to the beach. Although the forecast was not promising in Charleston, SC and I had three crabby children, and we could only do a day trip, 4.5 hours each way…we did it. We got outta Dodge. We saw warmer weather (I think it hit 83 degrees for about 2 minutes) and we saw palm trees, and we saw the ocean and smelled the air. My daughter pranced in the waves like a unicorn and my son with DS/autism ate the sand and pooped on the beach. (We thought it was a sea sponge.)

    It was awesome.

    Thanks for the inspiration to just GO and do memory-making things even though you know it might be difficult. Love those girls of yours…

  204. Saw this and thought of you…. hope you haven’t seen it yet! SMILE!

  205. Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are (Cover by MattyBRaps ft. Tyler Ward)

    Forgot to add this…SMILE

  206. I want to be a high-on-life sixty-something-year-old, seventy-something-year-old, eighty-something-year-old…! Kathleen seems amazing! :)

  207. I have been following your blog for year now.I love it! I think the picture of Nella laughing at Lainey in the bathtub is my most favorite pic of them ever!

  208. Totally random question…where did you find a bike helmet for nella? My sweet son is 14 mo and my hubby is itching to use the bike trailer but we can’t find a helmet small enough?? please, do share where you found one…it would tickle him to no end!

  209. As usual, your posts have me crying and laughing! Love it all!

  210. Polka! Yes my father in law attempted to teach me as well. What a tricky, sneaky little dance. Good luck :)

  211. what precious little lambs! :)

  212. Where did you get the earrings you were wearing at the park? The flowers? They are beautiful!!

  213. I stinkin’ love your blog and your photography!

  214. I apologise if I have double posted, my internet connection was playing up….What I love most about mornings is waking up to bright sunlight coming through my open windows and knowing that the day ahead will bring fun and lots of promise!

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