I had a great preface to this little story in my head this morning. It was eloquent. But now it’s late afternoon, I have to get ready for a birthday party, and I’m going to write thoughtlessly…but heartfelt.

I was in the bedroom last night for just a moment while the girls tore through a pile of toys in the playroom and Brett kept an eye on my potatoes in the oven. And in the five seconds I was out of sight, I heard a mild little crash and waited for a cry. Instead, I heard Brett excitedly call out, “Mama, we need you” followed by an urgent and escalating, “Code Red, Code RED, CODE RED!”

Of course, a mama comes running.

Except, instead of the tragic scene I was expecting, I sprinted to meet my husband, beaming. He was pointing. At Nella.

And I turned to see my girl. Standing at the coffee table.


You might think standing at the coffee table isn’t a big deal.
But it is.


My girl proudly pulled herself up, with no help, and stood. Because she is strong.

I remember the day Lainey took her first steps. And how we clapped and cried, celebrating another page turned in the epic novel of life. It was a very big deal, indeed.

And I remember the day we heard the words “delayed milestones” and how we thought that would be very, very hard.

I hardly ever think about “delayed milestones.” I like the way she skids her belly across the floor to crawl, the way her body forms like putty in my arms. And though every once in awhile, I wonder if she knows she can’t quite keep up like the other kids–and that question alone saddens me–it is fleeting, turned off with a powerful switch I control. But, you know when I think most about delayed milestones?

…when she nails them.


It is beautiful. The depth of her proud smile, the reberverating echo of clapping, the way her sister runs to pat her on the back and sweetly chirps “Good job, Nella” or that tiny little second I share with Brett…when our eyes meet and smile and blink back a tear or two because we share the fact that she is ours, and she is growing.

When they tell you your child will have delayed milestones, it means less that you will struggle and ache for those events to come but more that when they do come, your heart will leap, your soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you.

Yesterday, we celebrated standing at a coffee table like it was walking first steps. And in a way, it was. She knows she’s strong now. She’s aware of her capabilities. And we will continue to encourage that awareness, applauding and praising the ever present gifts our beloved littles possess.

And, in this moment, I am reminded of some of the best advice I’ve received this past year.

“Put the Down syndrome books away. They’ll be there when you need them. Instead, go out and buy a copy of a book you’ll find more useful. Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You Will Go.”

My sweet girls. You are capable, you are loved, you are celebrated.
And oh, the places you will go.



Leave a Comment
  1. go nella go! what a milestone…each one big and little is worth savoring and celebrating for sure!

  2. LOVED this post- it made my heart smile!

  3. Way to go Nella!!!! And, my goodness…what an amazing dress. Where did you get it?

  4. that is AMAZING!!
    and quite honestly, everytime Nella does something (like sits up, claps, waves hello) it seems to me that she was way mORE advanced than behind….I was always like “wow, she sure is doing that EARLY”!!!
    go Nella!!!!
    What a beautiful post!

  5. Good job Nella!!!

  6. High 5 Nella! Good job! you are strong :)

  7. Such a proud moment for you mama. How nice is it that you have your camera on constant standby. A perfect situation really!

  8. Tears & Cheers over here – Way to go Nella :)

    I hope she can feel the thousands of strangers from all over the world who fell in love with her through her Mama’s pictures and words. We are cheering for you, every step of the way!!

  9. Yay Nella Bean!!!
    Delayed is just a medical way of saying she’ll do it on her own time – true to any little girls… any kid for that matter!!

    I’m in your neck of the woods till Tuesday. Goin to watch a gulf coast sunset tonight!! Can’t wait!

  10. This is SOOOO exciting!!!!! congrats Nella!!!

  11. Go, Nella! I had tears in my eyes reading the end of your post. Oh, the places you will go, Nella!

  12. Go Nella! So wonderful and what an amazing milestone! ♥

  13. Vibrancy shows not only from your touching photos but from your words as well. Milestones are always milestones & should be celebrated…delayed or not.

  14. WOO HOO Nella!!!

    you know what I have to say about delayed milestones? YAY for them! My “normal” (ha!) babies hit their mile stones early or on time- and it makes them grow up that much faster. Enjoy the delayed mils tones, and let her be your little baby for that much longer!

  15. This is awesome! Everything about it. Awesome! Your blog makes me cry, smile, laugh, and feel, on a regular basis! And this.. what a special moment you let us all share with you! Congratulations beautiful Nella!

  16. Yay Nella!!! You are a big strong girl and it won’t be long before you’re cruising along that table!

  17. Congratulations to Nella! LOVE this post–and am amazed that this was “thoughtlessly composed”–very sweet post. 😉 My favorite part…”Put the Down syndrome books away. They’ll be there when you need them. Instead, go out and buy a copy of a book you’ll find more useful. Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You Will Go.” This girl’s goin’ places and we’re so lucky to be along for the ride!

  18. Yeah Nella!!! What a happy day! Oh the things you’ll get into at the places you go!!!!!

  19. Aww, congrats Nella! She’ll be walking in no time!

  20. I’ve had that Dr. Seuss book put safely away…waiting for the perfect time to read it to my girl for the 1st time!! That book means so much to me :) On her 3rd birthday….just over a month ago….I read it to her for the first time, and I think I teared up during the whole read :) I feel so proud, yet so scared. So excited, yet so protective when I think about my girl making her way out into the big ole’ world…and the places she’ll go :)
    And go Nella!! You clever little cookie!

  21. I think most parents who aren’t in a position to think about the ‘delayed milestones’ are missing out on the celebrations that can take place every day, for the smallest accomplishments! I take nothing for granted in my daughter’s development, and love her own pride mirroring my own when she reaches a goal.

    Great job, Nella!!

  22. She is so sweet! Congrats Nella :)
    I love every single one of your posts, your pictures, the words, you say everything perfectly!

  23. Woohoo! Go Nella! What a wonderful milestone, and a great start to your weekend!

  24. Well done Nella!! Big high five from England! xx

  25. Wow, what powerful words. You are an amazing writer, and your girls are just beautiful.

  26. My most favorite post since I started reading your blog!!!

    She sure is lucky to have you as her momma, but wow, how blessed you are that she is yours.:)

  27. what beautiful pictures of your girls! they are adorable.

    happy friday!
    ps i’m hosting a giveaway over at my place if you care to stop by : )

  28. Written so well that it makes me want to stand up and work and applaud or say yeaaaaahh!! Go Nella!

  29. You go, Nella!!!
    How well I remember when my 47-piece miracle did the same thing only a few weeks ago, and I can totally relate to what your saying:)
    So much love, so much joy…..I feel so lucky!

  30. I am crying! I wish I could scoop her up and indulge in her yumminess today. I am in love with your sweet girls!!!

  31. After having a ‘different’ to normal experience with a child, these precious moments become all the more sweeter and richer. It’s the little things like this that are priceless gifts.

    There will be many more proud smiles to come I bet Kelle!

    Sending a hug,
    Diana x

  32. My eyes are full of happy tears for your sweet beautiful Nella! Thank you for sharing your special journey with the world!

  33. Way to go Nella! My daughters didn’t walk until 17 and 19 months. No big deal. We all flourish in our own time:)

  34. Yay Nella. She is such a rock star…

  35. This post just brought tears to my eyes and a chill running up my back. Go Nella!

  36. This made me smile!! Go Nella go!!!

  37. How much I know this feeling! How much more intense this feeling of joy, pride and happiness… Calista was lately crawling up a little stair. First I was starring at her, I couldn’t believe my eyes, then my heart was jumping to the sky. I was so incredibly happy and proud!!
    Well done Nella, you’re a great little girl!! Go, Nella, go!! :-))

  38. Made my Friday! I <3 celebrating inchstones; They really are that much sweeter! Rock on Nella!

  39. Go NELLA! This is awesome! I bet she is so proud!

  40. Beautifully said!

  41. Kelle, thats awesome! Go Nella! Love big sis helping her, they are a great team. Youre a lucky woman, Kelle :)

  42. This definitely hit home for me! My little one also hits her milestones a little late (she was born premature). Normally I don’t think too much about it, but when she finally hits that milestone her cousins (born at the same time) hit about 3 months ago, there is all kinds of cheering and celebration! This week we’re celebrating a sweet army crawl and starting to get up on her knees!

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  44. Go Nella! She looks so proud and gorgeous in her fancy dress standing there at the table. What a wonderful moment with your sweet girl.

  45. Absolutely beautiful!!! Celebrating with you :)

  46. yeeey Nella!

  47. Kelle, SO beautiful. I have tears in my eyes! Way to go sweet Nella!

  48. I have two little boys ages 2 yrs-old and 6 months old. I think I’ve adopted Nella and Lainey as the daughters I don’t have through this computer because I check in constantly to see how they are. I laugh at their antics. Celebrate their milestones. Admire their beauty. It’s a mothers love…and those of us who have it, KNOW the feeling. You are an awesome mother and will produce amazing daughters. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  49. Yay! Nella you are fantastic! We are celebrating your milestones with you- cheering for you up north in Buffalo. When I opened your blog- my little Violet pulled on my leg to be lifted onto my lap. And, when she saw Nella’s face, she started bouncing and began to clap. It was as if she knew how special that moment was- that it needed to be celebrated :-)

  50. Good job! Congratulations!
    I love reading your blog, thanks for the thoughts you share.

  51. Sweet words to describe the milestone

  52. Oh The Places You’ll Go is probably my all time favorite childrens books! We own it and read it to our boys over and over again.

    That dress that Nella is wearing is just adorable! Love it! And Lainey is just a sweet, sweet big sister!

    What an exciting milestone. It has been such a pleasure to watch her reach these milestones. She really inspires me!

  53. Way to go Nella! Congrats baby girl!

  54. Way to go Nella. My oldest has DS and I remember the thrill of every milestone. My youngest hit every milestone on target or early and I swear they were so fast that I missed some of them.

    Keep up the good work Nella.

  55. Go Nella! And we love the book “Oh the places you will go”. My daughter received it for her HS graduation – appropriate for all milestones!

  56. Congrats, Nella! Yay, and how exciting.

  57. Congrats, Nella! Yay, and how exciting.

  58. Cheers to that!

    I’m a physiotherapist working in pediatrics and I celebrate Nella’s (and all the wonderful children I get to work with) accomplishments. We are all so unique, and with love and nurturing even those facing the greatest challenges bring so much to the people around them.

    Nella is extremely precious in this respect because of her lovely Mama who has touched so many hearts around the world. Hers is the beautiful face that launched a thousand ships!

    Yay Nella!

  59. Oh how I know your thrill. My daughter was born at 27 weeks and even more delayed than her adjusted age, related to low tone, which I have learned is common in DS babies. Nella and Abby share the same birthday or rather our shoulda coulda birthday, I have the same worries with delays but I’ve accepted them and look at as God’s way of keeping my baby, my baby, a little longer. They will get there and celebrate as if and ever more so if the word delayed was never mentioned.

  60. my heart skipped a beat when i saw those little feet standing… way to go nella bean!!! us girls are super proud for you… look out world… she’s coming for you…

    e & l

  61. Way to go, big girl! I bet you’re hearing cheers from around the world…

  62. You go Nella!!

  63. Absolutely beautiful post. GO NELLA!! We are all proud of you!!

  64. WHOO HOO!! Nella is amazing! The tears were rolling down my cheeks as I read this! I could imagine you running through your house & Brett yelling and then pure joy of the richest kind when you saw her~

    Thanks for sharing, this will be one of my favorite posts :)

  65. Thank you for writing this post…it’s just what i needed to hear.
    My daughter Macie has a speech delay and there are days that i wish i knew what she was thinking, i know that she has a hundred things she wants to tell me but just can’t….but you know what I know what she’s thinking because I’m her Mama. I think you nailed it when you said “she nails them and it’s beautiful” every word, every “up, more, uh-oh and even NO! is a milestone that we celebrate in our house.

    By the way, I’m replacing my speech delay books with ‘Oh, the places you will go’ tomorrow!

    Love your blog!

  66. Beautifully put mama. ‘Delayed milestones.’ We all have them. Every human is on her own trajectory. I’d rather talk late and know how to be vulnerable. I’d rather be honest than smart. You know? So many of us haven’t reached ‘milestones.’

    Huh, but then I realize those are my milestones…not everyone’s. So, perhaps the greater concept to absorb is that we all get to decide what our milestones are and celebrate our achievements accordingly.

    xo to you sweet Hampton fam

  67. Congratulations, Nella! Oh, the places you’ll go – especially considering the places you already went in your first year, and that was before you were standing!

  68. go nella! i have tears in my eyes…happy tears! way to go girl!

  69. Go Nella! She rocks and this is awesome.

  70. Wiser words could not have been spoken. Those books are full of information, but the little people, they are the teachers. Congratulations to your girl! How fantastic!

  71. This post brightened my Friday. Thank you for sharing your precious milestones.

  72. I too was once in your shoes and even today, when the playing field is level, I still love when I see her do the things that we never thought she would do. Like jump with both feet off the ground or even just to walk up the steps without needing a hand. I remember all those hours spent in therapy trying to build up the core muscles and those legs. Take joy in each one as they come and never forget she is capable of anything- just like my Izzy.

  73. Yay Nella! She did it when she was good and ready :)

  74. What a beautiful post! I’m heart-happy to see how your girls are conquering obstacles and building that lifelong sister bond.

  75. My heart was just warmed and the tears are just flowing. Such amazing photos as well. What a precious precious moment!

  76. yay Nella!!!!
    My almost-15-month-old baby girl just started walking this week!! She broke her arm from a little fall at her grandparents over the weekend and decided that crawling with a cast wasn’t working- so walking it is… sad about her precious little arm, but so proud of her for realizing how big she can be!!
    and same with you for yours!! :)

  77. After raising 4 children, I’m telling you, it’s the milestones that our children with special needs achieve that is the top on the list and when she DOES take that first step and starts walking, I can assure you, you won’t just clap and say “good job”, you will call everyone you know, and all the people they know, and then you’ll want to grab the phone book and call some people you don’t know, just to let them know!!! NOT kidding, most exciting day in the world.

  78. Nella is a rockstar! Wait, make that a STANDING rockstar!

  79. Oh how exciting! I was applauding along with you! She’s going to be running all over before you know it!
    What an adorable little dress she has on also!

  80. Way to go, Nella! Such a strong and beautiful girl!!! This post brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.

  81. Brought tears to my eyes!!! Way to go Nella! And such a cute dress to record that milestone in :)

  82. thanks for reminding me what is important (for the millionth time!) but I needed a little reminder today (rough day at work doesn’t even begin to explain it) and I headed straight for your blog!!! I know that I will be immediately refocused and I love that! Have a great weekend.

  83. This is my favorite post you’ve done ever, thanks for giving me a little cry this afternoon. I was so proud of her, she is beautiful and you guys are perfect for her. I love it. Thanks for sharing a piece of your family and yourself on this blog– it spreads so much farther than you can even know. Thank you!

  84. how fantastic!!! hooray nella!!! and i love that big sister lainey was so proud of her too :)

    pretty soon she will be running after you all :)

    happy weekend!

  85. I am honestly misty eyed right now. As a life skills teacher I know how amazing of an accomplishment this is. Nella is such a strong girl. I hope she continues to enjoy her new found independence and strength.

  86. You never sease to amaze me with your posts. I think with every one I tear up. Thank you for being such a beautiful mommy.

  87. As always, inspiring. As a special needs mom I can relate to the delayed milestones and can also relate to the joy that abounds when they are met – whenever that may be. Bravo Nella!

  88. so beautiful nella. Great job!

  89. Best post ever!
    I needed this. My daughter who has been diagnosed with “delayed milestones” and we are waiting to see a specialist has not done this yet, and while I try to push this post reminded me IT WILL COME WITH TIME and how amazing it will be :) I am writing this with tears in my eyes. Thank you.

  90. Yay Nella!!! :-)

  91. Aww, that is so great!! Way to go, sweet Nella!!

  92. Yay for such a big milestone!! Such beautiful photos :)

  93. Yay Nella! What an amazing little girl! She’s going place…

  94. I find myself celebrating with your family tonight!

    p.s. where/can i still buy the nella bootie/shoes?

  95. Go Nella! :) What a great day!

  96. YAY Nella! Wow they are adorable! :)

  97. “When they tell you your child will have delayed milestones, it means less that you will struggle and ache for those events to come but more that when they do come, your heart will leap, your soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you.” These are the words I have been searching for.

    My son was born extremely premature. His birth mom didn’t know she was pregnant and delivered him between 25-28 weeks. He fought and beat the NICU only to come home with us and, on a fluke while checking out another issue, we discovered he has Muscular Dystrophy. He will have delays from the prematurity and now the MD. But he is a fighter. He is strong, just like your beautiful, precious Nella.

    Way to go sweet girl!

  98. GO NELLA! That’s so awesome.

  99. That’s so exciting! Nella, we here in the blogging world are all so proud of you!

  100. I’m a preschool inclusion teacher and I just loved this post!!! My favorite line in the whole thing was the advice a friend gave you to “Put the Down syndrome books away. They’ll be there when you need them. Instead, go out and buy a copy of a book you’ll find more useful. Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You Will Go.” If we could all remember that advice as we face our own struggles!!

  101. I simply ADORE DS-children♥ I work with them.. And I see possibilities in every one of them. They are so special, so real. And so lovingly sweet. Love the pics as usual!

  102. I’m crying happy tears here!
    YAY NELLA!!!

    Since I can’t, and you don’t know me anyway, give her a big smooch from me and tell her that all her fans are proud of her!

  103. And on her tippy toes no less!!! That girl is reaching for the stars! Be ready momma!

  104. Love it! That’s all I have to say about that! I did the same thing with the books :)

  105. Love it! Way to go Nella!

    It’s so funny, when hubby needs my help he also calls out “Mama, we need you!” – It must be Daddy speak 😉

  106. Way to go Nella! I know exactly what you mean. Delayed milestones. My daughter is 2 yrs, 3 months old and a few weeks ago she learned to scoot her butt on the floor to get around. I BEAM every time she is into something she shouldn’t be, or when I find her back in the gym when I just set her down in the living room and turned around for a second. It doesn’t matter what trouble she gets into. It’s not a bother, its a victory. Because like you said it means she is capable. She is strong. And she is nailing it!

  107. That is SO awesome! Go Nella!

  108. “When they tell you your child will have delayed milestones, it means less that you will struggle and ache for those events to come but more that when they do come, your heart will leap, your soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you.”

    We are expecting a little one with DS and these words are SO encouraging! Thanks for sharing.

    And, great job, Nella!!!

  109. These pictures definitely made me tear up! Congrats on another milestone!

  110. As a mom who’s been there with the beautiful delays, well-written. You explained so well what it means to totally not have it be a big deal when they’re doing things so much later – because we’re celebrating so much more for each little step. And really? My daughter is 4 1/2 and through our (barely more) experience, Lilly doesn’t notice that she does things later; but she is so motivated to learn and grow and accomplish to be like the other kids. And how amazing to watch other kids not notice her delays but instead be excited for her. The way other kids feel proud of Lilly, not that she’s different. It’s a beautiful rewarding journey.

  111. Can you hear us ?!? ‘Cause we’re clapping in Arizona.

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  113. As soon as I saw your title, I had a feeling. Congratulations Nella! Walking can’t be far behind and then look out!

  114. Yay Nella! Thanks for making me smile today! :)

  115. My little guy was born with spina bifida….so I remember those words “delayed milestones” and I know the joy your heart felt when you saw her stand up!

  116. i am just SO happy or Nella and you family! this is truely amazing and i can totally relate i have twin girls a year older than Nella who were born 13 weeks early at 27 weeks! they just turned 2 and started walking 2 months before they turned 2! Everything with them has been delayed but so very very celebrated! i am so lucky and blessed to be their momma :)

  117. Hooray for you little Nellabean! We are all shedding tears of happiness at your strength!

  118. Beautiful. You are blessed. Love Nella’s dress.

  119. Yay Nella! She growing so beautifully and perfectly. She, and your entire family, are such a big blessing on so many lives. Thank you for sharing!

  120. Congrats Nella! You go girl:)

  121. Kelle, this post made me cry tears of joy for you. I have worked with children with DS and know that yes, they are different but no, DS doesn’t define them. As I’ve been watching Nella grow, I always think silently to myself “wow! girlfriend doesn’t even know she’s a rockstar, nailing those milestones” and this is no exception. Love the sister pics at the end too. So happy for you :)

  122. Oh happy day! Yes, the down syndrome books will be there…enjoy this day and every day, but somehow, I don’t think I need to remind you of this. :-)

  123. As always love the positivity! Yay, Nella!

  124. Both of those gals are just plain adorable but Nella, because she brings back so many memories of my daughter, has a special place in my heart (sorry to play favs). I see those feet and I want to laugh and give them kisses. (hope that doesn’t sound weird). My girl is 11 now and I miss those days a bit!

  125. I’d bet the farm that she dances before she walks. Just watch and see if I’m right. She just seems that awesome. Could Lainey be a more perfect and wonderful big sister?!?!? Seriously, any child would be lucky and blessed to follow behind sweet Lainey, but she is an especially perfect fit for Nella. I bet your heart explodes with joy at nearly every beat.

  126. I read this through tears of joy for you and your family. GO NELLA!!!

  127. Go Nella Go!!!!!!

  128. goooo nella!!! <3 <3

  129. What a beautiful post…and what a beautiful Nella. Thank you for the refreshing reminder of just how important the small things are…

  130. Yeah for Nella! By the way, the dress she is wearing is absolutely adorable!

  131. Lordy Lordy is that little sprite inspiring! She’s going to do everything in Nella-time!!! LOVE HER!!!

  132. so very sweet! one of my favorites for sure.

  133. loved this post!

    i’m a mom to 4 preemies and my newest little one just started walking at 17 months…we haven’te stopped clapping for her yet! i hate the word “delayed” but oh my, it makes your heart jump for joy when they do what you’ve waited so long for!

    go nella!!

  134. and oh the places your girlies will go… in the cutest clothes!!!!!
    Lovin’ the dresses on the girls!

  135. Congratulations Nella!!! She is a beautiful strong girl!

    Can I ask a question? Where did you get Nella’s dress? I’d love to get something like that for my baby girl.

  136. That’s wonderful! Beautiful Post!

  137. SO INSPIRING!!! Go Nella, GO! :)

  138. Yay, Nella! This made my already fantastic day even better!

  139. My eyes welled and I laughed that little throat laugh that’s almost a cry and I smiled :) Go Nella!

    And I LOVE her dress!!! Beautiful!! Any hints on where to get one ;)??

  140. YAY Nella!!!!! Love her dress…..sooooo adorable:)

  141. What a beautiful moment! WTG Nella! Be the rockstar you KNOW you are! 😀

  142. you did it, Nella!! We are so proud of you! way to shock your Mama!

    Keep going & never stop breaking statistics 😉

  143. I’m so happy. Smiling along side of you.

  144. We celebrate with you. I think you nailed it, somehow when you are told your child will be delayed, it makes those special “1sts” so much more special! I still remember the first time Chloe stood and walked! Nothing like it :)

  145. way to go nella bean !!!! and yes both your girls will go places !!!
    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  146. BRAVO Nella! Now that was certainly Italy wouldn’t ya say. :)

  147. love it, my son was 12 weeks early and we were told to expect delays and while he has some he is doing so much better than they thought and we celebrate his every move , we are just so proud!

    way to go Nella

  148. sweet entry!

  149. Oh, Congratulations, Nella. Clap Clap Clap! I know how it feels. Love and kisses for your wonderful girls, Kelle, from halfway across the world!

  150. Oh my! You’re blog has brought many a happy tear to my eyes, but for the first time I have proud, happy, overjoyed tears streaming down both sides of my face. WAY TO GO NELLA BEAN!!!! With my Sarah being just a few weeks younger than Nella, we’re right on your heels, working on the crawling, and loving pulling up (just not on her own yet). And the way you described the ache of the “possible” delays, and the joys of those milestones reached, well, it’s like you just pulled those words right out of my heart. Oh how I understand. The beauty of having a child with special needs is that you don’t take anything for granted.
    Watching Nella grow and learn and reach these milestones on time just continues to fuel my desire to continue working hard with Sarah and continue seeing her hit these milestones on time as well. Thank you so much for continuing to share your journey Kelle. Having you as a companion makes this road so much easier to travel. (((((HUGS))))

  151. Yay! Go Nella! How exciting!

  152. Yay! big, strong, beautiful Nella :)

    Cheryl in MI

  153. Go Nella!!!!!

  154. whoo hoo way to go Nella!

    Beautiful post xx

  155. So sweet and so beautiful! Both of your little ones are going places in life without a doubt, but isn’t it nice that they are enjoying the here and now with you and Brett at the moment? Time flies by so quickly when it comes to kids and these sweet times are to be treasured for sure. The special moments will surely continue when they are grown- they’ll just be different types of special moments. (-: I am sure that your heart is soaring. Mine is and I don’t even know your precious crew in “real life”! Have a beautiful weekend.

  156. Oh little Nella! How mighty are you?!?! Amazing! My heart leapt when I saw her little feet standing next to the table. My girlie’s SO close. She wants it bad and I’m waiting for our own “Code Red”. Way to go Nella!!

  157. ,,,way to go nella!,,,

  158. So exciting… I am a special education teachers, and these accomplishment never stop being so wonderful. I love calling a parent to tell them that he has read a list, she wrote her name, that he has met a math goal or that she tied her shoes.
    GO NELLA!!!

  159. I read your words about ” delayed milestones” and think about my daughter Abigail. Today was yet another school conference for my 11 year old. We talked about her math and her reading and I am amazing at how well she is doing and never once do I think about ” delayed milestones” but I do think about how far we have come in these 11 years and thank god for these years! Enjoy!

  160. Code red, code red, too funny for you to go and see the great strides that Nella is making that must have been awesome.

  161. that is awesome! way to go nella! she is strong. and beautiful! and loved!

  162. Awwww! I am tearing up and so proud of your little girl! Have a fabulous weekend!

  163. Way to go Nella! That is very exciting and we are cheering for you from here!

  164. GO NELLA!!!!

    my truman was a LATE talker and i felt the same way, all the worry and heartache turned QUICKLY into joy i never thought possible with every sign and then word he uttered! He just recently began professing his love for me and does it all day long and i swear, the shy opens and angels sing each and every time :) ha!!

    love watching your journey! with both girls!

  165. WOO HOO Nella!!!! I am sitting with tears running down my face, yet I have the BIGGEST smile on my face!!! I don’t “know” you personally, but I am glad that you shared this milestone with us!!! XOXOXOXO

  166. YAY!!! :) I’m currently in grad school for speech therapy and I love reading your blog! I spend so much time reading textbook after textbook about “typically” developing or “atypically” developing children but reading about all of your experiences mean so much more! And they remind me why I’m going to school :) Thank you! And happy day for you guys!

  167. I read every post you put up, but comment seldom.

    The thing that struck me with this post?

    How kind your Lainey is to Nella. In the photos where she is helping her sister.

    Kindness matters, but wait….you already knew that.

    Good job to the whole family.

  168. i am rejoicing with you all over here! Nella truly is a rockstar! keep defying those odds, precious girl!!

  169. YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! You go Nella! So sweet xoxo

  170. Wahoo Nella! You go girl, you go…

  171. y”our soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you.”

    What a beautiful sentence.

    I’m sitting here in Seattle, in my pink bathrobe, beaming for Nella.


  172. I’m so happy reading this.

  173. celebrating with you, cuz I know how good it feels. sooo happy:)

  174. AWESOME!
    And not a bit surprised!

  175. Yay, Nella!!! :)

  176. Congratulations, Nella! Today is the start of many new adventures for you! Those legs of ours are so darn useful once we figure out how to use them!!! 😀

  177. Way to go Nella, I can see in your little almond eyes that you really want to keep up with Lainy…I love the picture of her with her thumb on the stand and she is concentrating so hard, I would love to know what she is thinking…Every step you take will be precious..Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  178. Woohoo! She is a rockstar, bet those other babies don’t have strangers celebrating their milestones (delayed or not) all over the world.

    My daughter’s teacher gave each of them a copy of Oh The Places You Will Go as a high school graduation present, it is so valuable.

  179. Your writing is so beautiful and how you make the reader feel. I’m so happy for your little Nella and for you and your family. What a beautiful moment. Thank you so much for opening up your heart and sharing it with everyone.

  180. Wow….I follow your blog, but rarely comment. This made me drop a tear (a happy tear, of course) and my heart smile. I used to be an Early Interventionist (before having triplets :) and worked with all kinds of little ones with all kinds of abilities. This post reminded me of all of those kids that I loved working with and rooted for week after week. GO NELLA!!! :)

  181. Amen! Oh Nella girl, you are going to show them how you are more like them than you are different! Wooo Hooo! How empowering this milestone will prove to be… I remember it will with Hannah. Celebrate the moment, Kelle!

  182. Rock it out, Nella! Plus, super super cute dress!

  183. it’s as if i’m reliving those precious moments for myself, with my own son, clapping and happy and tearful!

    you are spot on with all of it.

    and again, i’m reminded of just how much my world–and my heart–changed when my ben was born.

    life is never, ever the same is it?

    congratulations nella! way to go girl!

  184. Eloquent & heartfelt- as always. Congrats Nella! You go girl!!!

  185. Shed a tear or two myself! She never stops amazing me!! Neither do you! You are all such sweet Girls, you 3!!!! Proud of Nella!!!

  186. Woot Woot!! Go Nella Go!!! So awesome to see her hitting her milestones too….What an awesome big sister Lainey is too! To make sure she pats her on the back is so wonderful!! Love their sisterly love!!

  187. Love this post!! My son has low muscle tone and our therapist suggested putting his toys up where he’d have to stand to play with them. We did (using a train table) and he was standing and walking in no time (not that she needs to be rushed!!).

  188. This post brought tears to my eyes. You nailed the same back-and-forth my husband and I go through all the time with our little William. He’s 17 months and wants to walk so badly, but his hip muscles are too loose and he can’t stand or walk without holding on to something. Will’s cousin, 3 months older, started walking at 11 months. It’s been a struggle to not compare the two boys, and realize Will will do what he can, when he can. I’ve recently devoted myself to a proud, “No, he’s not walking yet” when friends and co-workers ask if he’s walking. I don’t need to defend his extra chromosome…it’s what I love so much about him.

    I’m so proud of Nella. She’s going to see a whole new view of the world standing on those two feet at the coffee table!!

  189. Yeah! Great job, Nella.

  190. I just found your blog today, though after reading for a few minutes and then starting to read NElla’s birth story, I remmeber reading it in Parents magazine last year. Amazing story, I was crying and I was proud of your honesty and was celebrating the arrival of such an amazing blessing.

    After reading this post I am concerned that I will be forced to always have tissues with me when reading. My heart wanted to burst with joy for little Nella and for you. Fantastic moment and beautifully written.

    Thanks for sharing.

  191. Well go Nella go! Look at how sweet she looks in that dress and big sis too. Love peeking in on this major milestone:)

  192. Atta girl Nella!! She’s so lucky to have such a proud, supportive family cheering her on.

  193. Of course she is strong…she is just like her momma! Thank you Kelle for reminding all of us to always enjoy the small things and savor them! You have inspired me to be a better mom and to be more present. I have enjoyed your blog since shortly after Nella’s birth and you have made me cry, laugh and love a little bit more. For that I am grateful!

  194. This made me cry. Sookie stood at the park today by herself and didn’t freak out when she realized she was indeed doing it alone. Oh my heart caught fire!


  195. She is so darling!! Yay!!! My little one is getting close too.

  196. oh you know how to make a girl cry.. with a smile at the same time! Go, Nella, go! And the proud big sister is remarkable.

  197. That is so freaking awesome! Not only for Nella, but for you! Look what you’ve created, look what you support; an amazing, bright, lovely spirited girl! And Laney helping her stand, that is the solid sister bond that will never be broken. My heat sings for you all!

  198. I am weeping.. Tears of joy for Nella, for you and your family. You have an “eloquent” way of telling your story..

  199. Oh my! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and your post today brought tears to my eyes. I feel as though we were allowed to celebrate in that special moment with you too and in my home we clapped for Nella today. My son, Bennett, is almost the same age as Nella, 16 months. My husband and I struggled with infertility and finally had our miracle. I love the way that you embrace life with your little ones. Go Nella!!

  200. WHoo Hoo Go Nella!! That is fantastic news – as no doubt you have heard and experienced – when milestones are reached – it is a cause for great celebration because everyone has literally been there helping and cheering Nella on so in a small way when she reaches the milestone the celebration belongs to all her family and friends. It is an exhilerating feeling isn’t it?
    BTW – believe it or not but once they start walking, in my experience we forget to time the milestones like we did in the first two years…they become so much less important….which is quite liberating.

  201. So beautiful! Love those two sisters…and those feet at the coffee table are precious!! I could eat them up all day!!

  202. Amen.

    I worked with kiddos that had down syndrome for 4 years. I loved them all amazingly.

    They make you smile everyday and love SO unconditionally.

    You have two very beautiful girls.

    And yes, Oh the places they will go.

    Good job momma and daddy.

  203. as a mom who has also been told “delayed milestones” this just brought back such happy memories… go Nella go!!! and love the quote about all the places you’ll go :O)

  204. Way to Go Nella!!!
    I just wanted to say to you that I totally agree. My son is on the spectrum. NOTHING has come easy for him. He was a late crawler, walker, talker, etc. I know he will take his time getting there, but it makes me want it even more!

  205. YAYYYY NELLA!!!!

    this post touched me. and now i can’t stop crying. happy tears.
    altho i know you already know, you are such a great mom!

    Nella is growing way too fast, and while barely any of us that comment know her in real life… we’ve watched her grow and i truly feel blessed to be able to share in your excitement for this milestone!

  206. Way to go Nella. So proud. What an incredible accomplishment.

    And, what a cute dress she is wearing. Your girlies sure do have style :)

  207. Way to go Nella. So proud. What an incredible accomplishment.

    And, what a cute dress she is wearing. Your girlies sure do have style :)

  208. Congrats to Nella!!! Another beautiful post! :0)

  209. Yay Nella!!! She just melts my heart! I laughed with a smile when I thought back about Brett yelling “Code Red”! So funny!

  210. Celebrating with you and for you and the beautiful hampton family.
    “Oh the Places You’ll Go” Beautiful Nella”

  211. Yay Nella! This post is perfect and beautiful. Smiles and happy tears. And a lovely family. =)

  212. I nannied a sweet baby girl named Shelby Kate with Down syndrome. I was there when she took her first steps. Reading this post brought tears to my eyes. What a joy for you!

  213. Go, Nella, GO!
    This is something to celebrate.

    I always forget that she has down syndrome when I come here. She just seems like every other adorable baby in the world. PERFECT.

  214. Yay Nella! Go Nella Go! I am so glad to celebrate this milestone with you guys! It also brought tears to my eyes!

  215. Great job, Nella!!! :)

  216. rock on, sweet nella.

  217. YAAAAY NELLA!!!

  218. From the dictionary: “A milestone is the end of a stage that marks the completion of a phase, typically marked by a high level event.”

    Note the definition does not include any sort of “right or wrong” around WHEN those milestones occur – I LOVE that!

    In the big picture, WHEN a child sits, stands, and walks will seem small in comparision to WHO they become as a person as they grow older. I am certain that Nella will be one who inspires, dreams, loves, and is happy. THAT is what really matters.

    I had tears of joy reading this…so happy that Nella has reached this milestone on her terms. She will always be a Rockstar!

    -Hugs from Jenny in Iowa

  219. Nella is blooming ever so perfectly! I love her dress!


  220. I don’t always get around to leaving you comments though i always adore visiting your blog but, today was extra special to me. I felt my chest tighten with overwhelming emotion as I saw your sweet little Nella overcoming another hurdle and doing it all on her own in her perfect timing. I don’t have to know her to be SO proud of her. What a little doll she is. I’m melting with you today!!

  221. Awe…you made me cry. Yea Nella!

  222. Yay Nella! And congrats mommy and daddy! Thank you for sharing

  223. it makes my heart happy to celebrate nella’s milestones “with” you all. thanks for sharing!

  224. Couldn’t have said it better myself…
    love, abby’s mom / a fellow DS mama

  225. Couldn’t have said it better myself…
    love, abby’s mom / a fellow DS mama

  226. Congratulations, Nella. And congratulations Kelle and Brett. And I love that Nella’s feet in the last pic look like miniature versions of Laney’s. Sister love. Marissa

  227. Awesome! And I agree! My middle child does not have DS, but was born with low muscle tone…very similar to Downs. He didn’t sit up until about 9 1/2 months and walked at 2. He scooted on his back to get around and then his butt. So funny. I swear we celebrated each little thing he did SO MUCH. It was such fun. We were excited for all of our kids milestones, but there was something extra special about Nathan’s. (:

  228. Yay Nella! :)

  229. Congratulations Nella!
    I love that quote about the books – I would have to second that one!
    And Nella’s dress – I LOVE IT!

  230. I don’t know why, but I never think of delayed milestones when it comes to Nella. Prayers work.
    She has touched so many of us & we watch & cheer right along with you as she reaches her precious milestones. Both of your girls are amazing. Lucky you, lucky them.
    P.S. Missing Poppa’s beautiful posts

  231. Milestones are baby driven, not doctor driven! And each and every single one is amazing and beautiful! What an accomplishment, Nella!

  232. I love the way you think.

    And YEE HAW for Nella!!!!!!!!!!

  233. You go little lady! Beautiful post, brought tears to my eyes. Go on with your bad self Nella, the world is cheering you on :)

  234. WooHOO! She’s rockin’ it! Go Nella! :)

  235. That was beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes:) and what a dress Nella has on! I am in LOVE with it!

  236. My heart leaped with joy and I gasped “yay!” so loudly that my kiddos asked me what was up. I told them that little Nella pulled up to standing and showed them the pictures. They all beamed!!! Y’all are part of our family! You go, Nella!!! You rock!!

  237. Go baby Nella Go! You have thousands of cheerleaders all over the world!

  238. Way to go Nella! This made me cry, what a strong lady!

  239. That’s amazing! My son was delayed in walking (he took his first steps at 15 months). Now he’s delayed with speech at 31 months. But I love him so much. Charts, numbers, milestones, averages…I stopped paying attention a while ago. Instead I focus on all the love my son gives us and his beautiful smile.

    Before he started walking he started to stand on by the coffee table too. I thought he would never walk but he did, and Nella will take those first steps too! She looks like she’s very close!

  240. Woo hoo!

    Looks like from the tippy toes, she might following in the dainty footsteps of your ballerina girl!

  241. beautifully said. so excited for you all & i know you are oozing joy over that little one! i loved how you said her body forms like putty. i’ve been trying to describe what makes levi’s hugs extra special & someone the other day said that levi “melts into you” which was perfect. congrats on one of many fabulous milestones!!

  242. Oh, you get it. I’ve been bogged down by the pressure I feel from therapists (whether they mean it or not) to get my Patrick to meet the next (delayed) milestone. I forget to celebrate the ones that he has met – which are many! Thanks. Thanks for getting it. PS – we love Oh The Places You Go. My BIL was hesitant to give it to us after we found out about Patrick’s conditions, but I’m so glad he did. We read it all the time. And mean every word.

  243. Good for Nella! My son is one month younger than her (almost exactly) and he doesn’t crawl or even pull himself up. You have an amazing girl!

  244. I know so well the sheer joy of watching your baby meet those “delayed milestones”. My son has undiagnosed developmental delays and every single time he meets one of those milestones, we celebrate like crazy emotional teenagers. HECK YEAH NELLA!! Thanks for posting this and letting us share in your joy.

  245. Way to go Nella!!! You are such a ROCKSTAR!!!! Whoohooo!

  246. I am crying because of Nella and her strength.

    I am crying because I needed to read your words tonight.

    I am crying because our 3 year old said his first word this week, “go”.

    You are right on about the milestones and my heart is leaping for our kiddos. Way to go Nella!

  247. YAY GO NELLA :)

  248. Oh Lord, I cried like a baby! Yay Nella! Ok, tears still flowing….must get off computer…hahaha…

  249. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. That is the most precious thing I have ever read! Go Nella!!!

  250. look at her go!! so wonderful 😀

  251. I’m so proud of her. I can’t wait for when I can share such special moments with the ones I love. Congrats, sweet mama and baby Nella!

  252. Go, Nella!

    My son was given a very bleak outlook when he was born. Totally dependent ‘vegetable’ baby, they told us. No talking, seeing, hearing, eating (hello, GI tubes…) etc.

    He’s 3 1/2 and walking, talking, seeing and hearing just fine. And every single milestone (no matter the delay) makes my heart hurt with pride.

  253. Go Nella!

    The first time my youngest daughter pulled up in her crib was the day the coordinator from Early Intervention was coming.

    It’s a huge deal and a huge accomplishment!

  254. Yay, Nella!

  255. Kelle, I’ve been following your blog for about two months. The long and short of it is that I love it. My mommy-heart seems to find the kindred in yours. Good stuff.

    I heard this song from my high school days on the radio tonight. When I got home and read your post, I couldn’t not send it, even at the risk of winning the title, “longest.comment.ever”. Sorry about that.

    But way to go, Nella; one of the wonders.

    Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me
    Stand over my bed
    Disbelieving what they’re seeing

    They say I must be one of the wonders of God’s own creation
    And as far as they can see they can offer no explanation . . .

    O, I believe
    Fate smiled and destiny
    Laughed as she came to my cradle
    Know this child will be able
    Laughed as my body she lifted
    Know this child will be gifted
    With love, with patience and with faith she’ll make her way

    People see me
    I’m a challenge to your balance
    I’m over your heads
    How I confound you and astound you to know I must be one of the wonders of God’s own creation
    And as far as you can see you can offer me no explanation

    O, I believe
    Fate smiled and destiny
    Laughed as she came to my cradle
    Know this child will be able
    Laughed as she came to my mother
    Know this child will not suffer
    Laughed as my body she lifted
    Know this child will be gifted
    With love, with patience and with faith she’ll make her way

    (Wonder) Natalie Merchant

  256. Yay Nella!

    What a wonderful moment you shared with us today. Thank you.

  257. Yay Nella!! SO proud of this accomplishment. Crying tears of joy in Salt Lake City.

  258. Hooray Nella!!! I read this post with tears of happiness for you all. And Nella’s dress is absolutely adorable.

  259. Oh Congratulations Nella! You truly are a Rockstar!!! I SO love that advice you got about DS books. Dr Seuss always says it best, that’s one of life’s rare truths :)

  260. No preface needed – this story still brought tears, cheers, & the biggest smile. So much strength&joy in your little beauties. Go Nella!!

  261. Congratulations Nella! There’s no stopping you little one…

    What a deeply touching, heartwarming post. Thank you for sharing this very special milestone.

  262. Having kind of a rough evening, so I decided to come back and see Nella’s BIG milestone again. I love how nonchalant she is about it . . . like, “Yep, this is me. Standing up. On my own. What? You’re surprised?” :)

  263. You rocked it Nella!! And girls, your mama is right…Oh The Places You’ll Go!!!!

  264. way to go beautiful Nella…your life holds such posibilities…you are a miracle…

  265. Congrats mama and papa what a wonderful day for you both.

  266. Big girl Nella!! Great job!

  267. that is awesome! I have such a smile on my face! What a strong, beautiful little girl you have in Nella, and Lainey is such a sweet big sister…you can see how proud she is of her little sister!

  268. Way to go Nella!!

  269. yay! Absolutely awesome :)
    Her stance is like my 1st daughter’s. The very flat footed, pronated, oh what does the PT call it…Ah, it works, she’s doing it, and it’s great!
    WTG Nella!

  270. Oh how proud you must be! I had tears in my eyes while reading this, and if I had been there I would have been clapping and cheering too.

    Nella is such a special little girl- not because of the down syndrome, but because she is simply Nella and that means she is unique, beautiful and so very capable of doing anything and everything. Before you know it she’ll be walking, because she knows what she can do now and she sees the encouragement she gets. She is so very loved.

    Your little girl is growing up, Mama!!

  271. Kelle, I read this hours ago & of course wanted to comment immediately but my lil men had a different idea!! Yay for Nella!! *tears* the perfect moment to think of milestones is when they nail them. Love it! Good working Nella:)xo

  272. Yeah!! GO Nella! Such an exciting moment. Our daughter has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus so we are very familiar with “delayed milestones”. We actually call them meterstones around here :-)

    We are both very lucky that we have the opportunity to really cherish and celebrate each and every accomplishment our daughters make.

    Congratulations again. Oh, and BTW – thanks for the tip on the flash cards last month. I bought them for my little sweetie and they are helping a ton.

    All the best,

  273. Way to go, Nella! There are thousands of people all over the world celebrating this milestone!!!

  274. I saw on my blog you posted and was able to take a deep breath. I knew inspiration would be waiting for me over here and I needed it.

    Yay Nella and Yay for Mom and dad getting to have a grand moment today.

  275. So much joy and beauty in the small things, which can be huge things.
    Gorgeous girls, gorgeous milestone and gorgeously captured photo’s as always.
    Your blog is my new fav for the way your write and your photography.

  276. YAY for Nella!!! What a special day! So happy for your family!

  277. This made my heart sing.

  278. YAY NELLA!!!!!!! I was crying through this whole post! Kelle you put into words so beautifully what all of us are feeling. It is hard to explain to others just what these accomplishments mean to us but you do it brilliantly!

  279. From another momma of a child with delayed milestones …

    Laughing. Crying. Smiling for Nella.
    Smiling, too, for you and Brett and that smile you shared. Me and hubby know that smile well and it is quite possibly one of the best, most bonding things to share with your lifetime love.

    To milestones ….

  280. I love your blog, Kelly. A friend introduced me to it and I find myself tapping into it at late hours of the night after pumping for my 11 week old daughter who has been in the hospital for almost 8 of those weeks. It gives me hope, it gives me faith that we will find love and beauty once again as spring rolls around and this diagnosis of Down’s syndrome and all its related health concerns takes a back seat for awhile. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us!

  281. Whoa, Nella! What a big girl!! Sneaky thing, doing it so quietly and quickly while Mama wasn’t looking. Love to the Hamptons.

  282. AWE-SOME!!

  283. I love milestones! And I hate the comparison of milestones!! This brought tears to my eyes! I love how Daddy alerted you! I love Lainey encouraging her sister! I love how you have it all captured with love and excitement! Beautiful, beautiful!!

  284. yay nella!
    i love your view of celebrating each and every achieved milestone just that. much. more.

    and the perspective that you are giving me day after day is priceless.
    thank you for that.

  285. Can I just tell you, this is my favorite of all your posts EVER! You do us all a favor by reminding us to love our children more and celebrate milestones, whatever they might be. Thank you! And that dress that sweet Nella has on is “the bomb.”

  286. This is one of my favorite posts–ever–of yours. Nice work Nella!

  287. Good job, Nella! I know that joy so well. My son has a gross motor delay, and I appreciate each milestone, each inchstone, that he achieves so much more. Because he works so hard, it is that much sweeter. He has taken one, and only one, unassisted step. It was all about forward momentum and completely by accident, but it was a step. And I have to admit that I cried when he did it, and couldn’t sleep that night I was so excited! I also baked him some celebratory muffins with sprinkles because I was so proud.

  288. Yay!!! Good job sweet Nella!!!! :) So happy for you all! Love how Brett communicated the urgency for you to get in there to see the milestone… cute! And loved when you said, “Put the Down Syndrome books away, they’ll be there when you need them.” Such a good truth. I often read your blog and completely forget and think nothing of the fact that D.S. is a part of your life. She just comes across as completely beautiful and normal! Congrats to the Hamptons!

  289. Congrats!!! My son has spina bifida and they told us he would never walk, but that never stopped him from climbing onto chairs and tables and cabinets. He’s 13 now and I am still in awe of his “milestones”. Your girls are beautiful!!!

  290. “When they tell you your child will have delayed milestones, it means less that you will struggle and ache for those events to come but more that when they do come, your heart will leap, your soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you.”

    You nailed it perfectly. We need a Kelle Hampton book of quotes. The wait makes it all the sweeter!


  291. hip, hip hooray Nella!!

  292. Yay Nella!!! So proud of you.
    It’s amazing to see any child reach a milestone, but when you know that your little one worked that much harder to get to that point, your heart just beams with happiness.
    My nephew is Autistic and every milestone, every new step that he took, every word he learned to say, we celebrated to the max.
    Congrats to you all!!!

  293. you sure do know how to make me cry,oh that lovely little one of yours how i don’t even know her but find myself cheering her on and loving her like family,i’m so happy for you mama and sweet little Nella girly “oh the places you will go!”

  294. Wow wow wow!!! Such happy news!
    Congratulations to Nella’s big great first step of walking!


  295. Oh Kelle…you nailed it with this post…this is EXACTLY why I feel BLESSED and HONORED to have not only one but two children that remind me everyday to celebrate…Oh how I loved this post. LOVED it. Tears in my eyes. xo

  296. Congratulations baby Nella! My Jaxson is experiencing delays, for different reasons… and regressions. And I can certainly understand the frustrations. I celebrated tonight the sound of “Uh oh” not even a real word as if he’d spoken full sentences… because it’s all he will say at 20 months. Hang in there!

  297. Great job Momma and Daddy! This truely made my heart and soul tear up with joy! Soak up all the joy from this moment as you can, it’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this precious, sweet moment with us. She is an absolute doll! <3!

  298. oh yeah, and of course, a big great job to sweet little Nella! She’s a such a hard worker! :)

  299. What a great and celebration worthy milestone!
    Good job indeed, Nella!

  300. Congrats Nella !! I actually shed some happy tears reading this, you show them Nella you ARE strong!
    Today is your day.
    You’re off to Great Places!
    You’re off and away!”

  301. YAY, Nella. You go, little sister!! I love Brett’s “Code Red”. Too cute. I think we all share you pride, Kelle. Love the post and the pics. How funny; one of my tiny grandbabies (9 mos) is just now standing and it so makes me smile. To beth (feas..): You’re finally there. ENJOY!! Love from the Blog Mama…P.S. Where is Poppa Rik? Havent seen his comments lately , or else I have just overlooked. I always love his comments.

  302. Whoo Hoo!! And a “Yee Haw!” (as they say in this town)

    YAY for Nella. So cool! Here’s to many more milestones.

  303. Great job!!!

  304. Good for you all, but you know what I liked most about this post, hearing Brett call you mama. I love it when Chris calls me mama.

  305. Way to go Nella! I teach special needs kindergartners and have a wide range of abilities in my class- everything from students on the autism spectrum to self-mutes to kids with cp. One thing I’ve learned in working with these incredible individuals is that you can never set a bar for a child for what they will achieve. The child sets the bar. When someone gives me an expectation for a child I say NO thanks. We’re going bigger than that. We’re gonna knock your socks off. Children are remarkable and will rise to meet the highest challenge if we provide the support and belief in their abilities, not their disabilities. I’m toasting Nella this morning with my oj!

  306. Eloquent it is. Incredibly so.

    I get the delayed milestones, and what you said about putting the downs syndrome books away and get out “Oh the places you’ll go” was a very powerful statement to me. I just read that to my 8 year old son, Caleb, who has CP. Good stuff! :)

  307. Sounds like the best advice EVER!
    Nella is Nella, not “D.S.”

    I do know h ow significant this is to you… my nephew has cerebral palsy and we were initially told he might never walk.

    I vividly remember his first “Field Day” in Kindergarten, and I bawled my eyes out the entire time he was RUNNING with his classmates.

    He’s now a high school honor student, by the way, asking for my help in his college search.


    Congrats, mama!

  308. WOO-WOO Nella!!!!! You go baby girl!!!

    And Kelle- you nailed it too- your words here touched a place in my heart the same way your birth story of Nella did. So elequent, so right on. It’s how you think about it. You don’t have to think about it the way others do or others tell you to. That’s the brave act. Oh and your puddy comment- Missy from babycenter referred to it as “kittening” there’s nothing scary about that- who doesn’t wanna cuddle a kitten!

  309. Cheering! Just cheering… <3

  310. Just shed a few happy tears for Little Nella. You go girl! x

  311. GO, NELLA, GO, NELLA!! We are all on a continuum, making milestones in our own way. But, you all, you are celebrating daily, living in the moment, everything is a cause for cheers!!

  312. Go Nella!

  313. Go Nella! I got tears in my eyes at the first photo of those chubby feet gripping the floor. Many more good moments to come!!!

  314. So exciting! Congratulations. All the more sweet for the wait.

  315. I sit wrong that while I am so excited for Nella’s milestone, I was extremely distracted by her GORGEOUS DRESS?? lol Congratulations Mama and baby!

  316. Go Nella!

    I was a nanny for a little girl with Downs for the first three years of her life. Nella reminds me of so many precious moments with the little treasure I got to hold for a few years. And this is yet another reminder of the wonderful world that is Downs. They tell Moms and Dads that their precious child will be “delayed” but they never tell the child. I can’t tell you how many times I looked a little Caroline and thought “she didn’t get the memo” as she nailed yet another milestone or showed off how her unique personality was NOT going to hold her back.

    Nella clearly hasn’t gotten the memo either. :)

  317. oh yea for nella- oh the places she will go- how extra special!!

  318. Hooray for Nella! I am so proud of her. She is strong in more ways than one.

  319. Is is strange that when I see you have a new post on Facebook, I insist on closing that tab and opening your actual blog? Like somehow that makes it more real, or something? But…when I saw the post on facebook and the picture, I knew EXACTLY what it was about and had tears flowing before even opening your blog post! Way to go, Nella! Prove those “statistics” wrong as frequently as your strong heart desires!!!

  320. I think tulips just bloomed in Holland…

    Yeah, Nella! What a great moment, and so awesome how Brett brought you into it…brilliant.

    Thanks for making a pretty grey “not yet spring” day, very bright.

  321. So that whole “keep blinking to hold back the tears” I did that when reading this. WAY TO GO NELLA! I don’t know you in person, but to read about this is FANTASTIC! You are right….oh the places they will go. Happy Saturday!

  322. Beautiful. Speaks right to my heart. We know a thing or two about waiting for milestones – and when they come it is oh so precious. More precious than they would have been had we not been aware of their possible “tardiness”. 😉 I love this post – when “enjoying the small things” is simultaneously “enjoying the really big things”. <3

  323. tears, tears oh happy tears!! What a sweet moment…they are such sweet times. Thank you for sharing. Now my 6 month old is calling out for me…here’s to enjoying every smile and giggle and milestone.

  324. Aww! Way to go Nella! :)

  325. Awesome awesomeness!! I feel the exact same way about the developmental delays, so fun to watch. As the momma I find that I enjoy Briella’s slow pace on things, I get to enjoy each stage for longer then I did with my boys, and oh the looks of accomplishment when she masters a new skill just melt my heart every time.

  326. Hooray! That’s awesome.

    And BTW…I’m always amazed that you talk about Nella’s delayed milestones because my son who turned 1 in January and has the expected number of chromosomes is sometimes behind her. I’m totally jealous that he doesn’t play with shadows the cute way she does. She always, always strikes me as a beautiful and exceptionally smart little girl which I know is in part because of the greatly loving, supportive home she was born into.

    God bless you!

  327. This post made my heart ache with it’s beauty.

    God has blessed you abundantly, Kelle.

  328. Yeay for your milestone! The reason I love working with children and families of children who have developmental delays and disabilities is because of this post exactly. The little things are such a big deal.

  329. I am in love with this post.

  330. I needed a smile. Thanks. I’m so thrilled for Nella. She’s definitely going places.

  331. What a post. Way to go Nella. I still cherish each little milestone my Emma reaches and she is 5. Your little Nella is amazing and strong and beautiful. And I love the book “Oh the Places you’ll go”. It should be the DS motto in my opinion!!!

    Happy weekend.


  332. Kelle – Tears of joy. Hope for Ellie, Nella, and all of these little ones with DS to change the world for the better. And one of Ellie’s gifts at her shower was “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” with notes signed by all of our friends. I can’t get through reading it to her without crying!

  333. Nella, can you see your standing ovation here in Ottawa, Canada?

    Way to go, Beautiful Girl!!!♥

  334. What a way to start the weekend! And seriously, what are delayed milestones? It means girlfriend is gonna get there ON HER OWN TIME, which is even sweeter if you ask me. And I think that’s pretty evident from the “code red” to the camera grabbing, quick please let me get the shot, moment. Great job, Nella…you just keep on doing it your way.

  335. Yay Nella! I did a little cheer as I read her accomplishment. She’s well on her way to so many places!

  336. Oh my. How frequently I tear up at the love in your blog. Its amazing how one can fall in love with children without even knowing them. Thanks, Kelle.

  337. hooray for sweet nella! <3

  338. Yeah!!! Way to go Nella!

  339. So beautiful. I just about cried when I saw this. Good job, Nella!

  340. Oh Nella! You are getting so strong. WOW! What a milestone to celebrate. My little guy is 3 1/2 and not walking independantly yet….but every day he is getting stronger and stronger and when he does start walking on his own…oh boy the celebration will be so very good b/c he has worked harder than anyone I know. In fact, whenever I see a child or adult w Ds walking, I always go back to the WOW…they are walking and what a big deal it is and was for them to achieve. Keep on truckin’ Nella! xo

  341. Tears Oh happy Tears… You know the bond that we have all talked about that Mom’s of special blessings feel instantly well it is the same thing when we see their babies reach milestones. I SO get the eyes locking with your Husband and tears behind your eyes. There is nothing better than that look. But when she takes those first steps you will let the water works fly. You can not hold back. Pulling up is a BIG thing! WAY TO GO NELLA We are so happy for you. Your number 1 Rockford, Michigan fans.

  342. You have two amazingly beautiful girls. So proud of Nella!

  343. yay nella!! and yay lainey for being so proud & supportive of your sister!
    those pictures absolutely brought tears to my eyes :)

  344. That’s so wonderful! Way to go Nella!

  345. All I can think to say is JOY! Nella brings joy and all the “possibles” to the forefront. Go baby girl go!!!

  346. Linda – I’ve been wondering where Poppa’s been too… Come back Poppa! We miss you!!!
    I’m in Naples until Wednesday am – working Wednesday thru Sunday and apartment hunting Monday and Tuesday for the big move =) Can’t wait!!

  347. Yay Nella!! Go big girl :) <3

  348. on one hand, i shout “YIPPEE!”

    on the other hand, i sigh. because milestones–however and whenever they arrive–always mark the moment when the clock has ticked forward a bit on these finite days. so yippee for knocking this stone down, Nella. but baby, dang! you’re growing up so fast….

    “Kid, you’ll move mountains.” ~
    Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Place You’ll Go!

    milestones or mountains, Nella babe, you’re gonna own ’em all.

    big love to you all on this big day.

  349. Simply and wonderfully beautiful. Go Nella!

  350. Hooray for Nella!!!!

  351. Yay Nella!!
    That is such a gorgeous dress-maybe since she knew you would take pictures she was just waiting for a great outfit :)

  352. so heartfelt and amazing. go nella, go!

  353. Your posts make my heart happy. You will never even know me, yet I feel connected. My daughter Carlee is a Little Person. She is already 3 1/2 and she also reaches her milestones and it’s a phenomenal moment, every. single. time. We just conquered potty training even though her little legs are too short to be able to just sit on the little potty’s! Who else has the nerve to just fling their leg out and jump to get on a potty? LOL :)
    I really love your blog and your journey! Thanks for sharing it! Your girls are darling!

  354. Oh my word, I teared up like it was my own baby pulling up for the first time. Good job, Nella and good job, mommy. :-)

  355. She is amazing and beautiful and just absolutely perfect! Go Nella Go!! You not only have your wonderful, amazing family behind you, but thousands of us mommies and daddies and their families, cheering you on! Because not only can you do it…you ARE doing it! Delayed milestones, my butt! :) Delayed or behind the milestones only shows that you are not ordinary…and who wants to be ordinary?? Extraordinary is where it’s at!! That’s what I tell all my babies and we embrace it! I am a proud mama to one boy, and 3 little girls, none of whom ever met the ‘ordinary milestones’ and I LOVE that! My 10 month old currently enjoys waving, not saying mama, and sitting…no crawling here. But when she does, we will celebrate that just as much as we celebrate the waving! Now, must go, as my babe is calling me…’nnnnaa! na!’ That’s me! 😉

  356. Go Nella, go!
    *cheering from southwest colorado*

  357. *Tears welling up in my eyes* Way to go Nella! You are awesome!!! I could look at these pictures all day! Keep up the great work!

  358. I am in tears but they are happy tears:) I am clapping and cheering for not only Nella but for you, Lainey and Brett b/c it is a celebration for all of those involved:)

  359. Way to go, Nella!!!!! Love Brett yelling Code Red, Code Red, CODE RED!!!! Too funny lol

  360. YeAH ! Nella! I am still crying tears of joy! OH how those milestones in my life with my daughter have been so wonderful and you put them into words that I could have never thought of!

    OH the places you will go!

  361. Kelle, I am soooo excited for you! I will never forget the day my little stood up for the first time on his own…it was at the coffee table too but he was going after a can of Coke! So, I had to give him a little taste as a reward. 😉

    I love this quote of yours: “When they tell you your child will have delayed milestones, it means less that you will struggle and ache for those events to come but more that when they do come, your heart will leap, your soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you.”

    This so so right on the money! You cherish the milestones so deeply and so richly, it really is a different way of living. Congrats!!! ~Beth and Patrick ( who every time he reads to me, tears come into my eyes)

  362. Beautiful!! Amazing!! Awesome!!

  363. Love this! You go Nella girl!!!

  364. Yay, Nella! This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m an infant/toddler special education teacher, and every morning after I drop my own (now 6 and 8) babies off at school I head out to cheer on kids just like Nella. This post brought tears to my eyes, because just yesterday I stood hand in hand with a mom whose two year old was taking his first, halting steps. She looked like her heart might burst.

  365. Yay for Nella!!! This whole post made me smile. I read it while my kiddos danced to the music from your site. My son had delayed milestones as well. But oh how we rejoiced when he reached them! :)

  366. yay nella! My god that girl gets cuter every day…

  367. How fantastic!! Go Nella Go!!

  368. YAY NELLA!!!! Way to go, girl! What fantastic news, and I can only imagine the excitement in the house at the time!
    You have such a beautiful family! And can I just say – love love loooooove the dress Nella is wearing!!!!

  369. Way to go, Nella! Who knew a little girl’s standing up for the first time would cause joy around the world!

  370. Good work Nella, I knew she could do it, and so did she… Soon you won’t be able to keep up with her!

  371. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t be prouder of Nella if she were my own. Go sweet girl, go!!

  372. Smiling through my tears….

    xoxo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  373. Kelle!!!!

    “I know it’s a big deal, I know it’s a big deal! I really, really, KNOW it’s a big deal!”, I shout at my computer screen. We celebrated a milestone yesterday, too! Nora rolled over completely on her own without getting her arms stuck underneath her!!!!

    Tears as I see Nella, her adorable, kissable, strong self, standing….so excited for the future :)

    It’s a big deal,
    Kelly & Nora

  374. Due to a crazy work week, I haven’t been reading. And I gotta say, I was missing you, Mrs. Hampton–you and your beautiful family and your unicornish comments and your breathtaking pictures.

    I had three posts to read, but it was like opening up a present when I typed in your web address and saw all the reading and loving and smiling I got to do.

    Thanks, again, for the beautiful words.

  375. She’s doing great!! I just love when you post her milestones.

  376. I have tears! I am a proud Momma for you..for her!

  377. Blinking back tears over here…!

    Great work, Nella! :)

  378. To BETH (feas..).. YES! DOnt we so miss “our” Poppa?! heee…Oh, good luck on the apartment hunting! I am sure you just cant wait til the final move. How exciting! Keep us posted here..Love from the blog mama

  379. Congrats Nella! My daughter, Delilah, (who has Prader-Willi Syndrome) also has delayed development. Those tiny little accomplishments that others may overlook, we take great joy in. She is currently 20months old, and during a recent photo shoot she used her “pointer” finger, for the first time, to point at the pictures on the camera. Isolating that one finger is such a huge accomplishment in my eyes, as well as the OT’s. She does amazing things each day, as will Nella!

  380. WOOHOOO – Great job Nella!! How exciting, I love the milestones. We are getting close to the potty training Milestone – hopefully it will happen before the baby comes in a few weeks!
    What a happy time for you! Hope you have a great weekend!

  381. YAY NELLA!! Love the end pics with Lainey holding her for support- so sweet!

  382. What a very special day! How exciting! & you captured it so beautifully.

  383. Absolutely perfect. That’s all I can say. Thank u. My heart needed to read this.

  384. wow, I just stumbled upon this lovely blog, your girls are beautiful. I am in love with that dress!

  385. So, this may seem weird, but…my daughter is about 2 months younger than Nella, and I find myself getting so excited when Nella is hitting milestones because so far Nella and Lia on pretty much on the same track. I makes me smile to think my sweet Lia may be standing on her own in a couple short months. Thanks for sharing!!!

  386. I love the way you wrote about her standing. It made my heart melt a bit. Way to go, Nella!

  387. 1 word: Love! Love this post, Nella’s accomplishment, her dress, her big sister’s cheers and mom and dads tears :)

  388. SO SO true!!!! It is amazing how proud we are of any little milestone we may have taken for granted with our “typical” kids. It has made me appreciate ALL of kids milestones even more!!!

  389. SO SO true!!!! It is amazing how proud we are of any little milestone we may have taken for granted with our “typical” kids. It has made me appreciate ALL of kids milestones even more!!!

  390. I remember that day with my oldest child, it was so wonderful!

  391. This post made me squeal and clap with happiness:)

  392. What a beautiful and amazing little girl!

  393. Go Nella Go!! XOXO

  394. thank you for this. it makes my heart happy to read your blog. and helps me to remember to slow down and enjoy.

  395. Go Nella! Yay Nella!!!
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful moment with us Kelle.

  396. Bravo Nella! Go girlie!

  397. fantastic. simply fantastic! go nella!!

  398. Rejoicing with you! Happy tears. xo

  399. Oh Kelly! I’m just a wee bit jealous of the journey upon which Nella and you have embarked, but I’m ecstatically over-the-rainbow happy that you are sharing that journey with all of us. I must admit your “thoughtlessly heartfelt writings” are my absolute favorite. I am eagerly awaiting all the adventures that are ahead for you and girls. I want to see all of the windmills, tulips and Rembrandts that you guys create. Hope this wasn’t too corny. Hey Mt. Rushmore, look out for Nella!!

  400. love that advice :) and nella’s hair clip
    congrats to her proud family on her sweet achievement

  401. This post made my heart smile. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  402. Yay for Nella! Just reading your post on a hot humid morning in Melbourne (AUS) with a cloudy head after a wedding last night…the reading at the wedding…oh the places you’ll go! Must fly…my 9mnth swiper has just conquered the alphabet poster on the fridge x

  403. beautiful post!

  404. YAY NELLA!! Congrats baby.

  405. Go Nella! That’s our girl!

  406. Happy tears…Goooooooo Nella!!! I am celebrating with you…Love this post and the way you feel about milestones…Nella knows she has many abilities…and she will continue to show you all she is capable of… :))). xox

    “Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world.” ~Jean Houston

  407. yay nella!! :-)

  408. Today is a very tough day for me, and I have to tell you this post made me smile from ear to ear. I am so proud for all of you. Nella is such a strong little lady, I shed happy tears for you all. Thank you for the smile and enjoy that milestone!

  409. Ah, love the feeling of a heart bursting with joy… a milestone achieved on nella’s own timeline… hooray!

  410. Give me a N! N!! Give me a E! E!! Give me a LL! LL! Give me an A! A!! What does it spell? Nella!!!! Go! Nella Go!!
    Congratulations Super Girl Nella!!!
    We are all Cheering for you!!

  411. LOVE!!! And Nella’s dress is amazingly adorable!!

  412. so excited for Nella – and her mama and daddy!

    my son Jack is stroke survivor and he’s 18 months old…this morning, after 16 months of early intervention therapies, he stood up all by himself in the middle of the room. just pushed up off the floor, like he’s been trying to do for months. and when he actually did it today, he was so surprised and then so proud…and my husband and I traded that same look. every milestone is a blessing when you’re not sure if your child would ever get there. we hardly notice the delays, just celebrate like hell when he gets there.

    enjoy your sweet, strong girl. we’re all celebrating right along with her!

  413. Yaa Nella and watch out Lainy and Mama and Daddy, Little Nella is now on the move and nothing will be the same. It is an amazing step for your little angel. Congrats to you all…

  414. We were told by her pediatrician, geneticist, and therapist that “is doubtful she’ll walk before she’s two.” At 20 months Sami is not only walking, but RUNNING and JUMPING! Take that chromosomes! You go Nella!

  415. This post brought tears to my eyes! Who am I kidding – all of your posts bring tears to my eyes! You have such a way of putting emotions into words that I feel as if I’m there, experiencing your ups and downs with you.

    And right now, I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, clapping and cheering for little Miss Nella. Way to go you beautiful girl!

  416. Such a sweet post <3

  417. Hooray! This is fantastic!!

  418. Hooray Nella!!!! That is so awesome!!!

    Love love love her dress in the photos too. She is way too cute for words.

  419. Beautiful, just beautiful! I am a pediatric PT and this is exactly why I love my job. I love to encourage children to get to those places Dr. Seuss speaks of! You are such a proud mama and I love reading about it!

  420. That is so awesome about Nella Those moments are so special and even better when shared with you spouse. Congratulations Nella!!!! yea!!!!

  421. Beautiful Kelle! Just Beautiful! When i saw the photo of Nella’s little legs standing there I had tears in my eyes! You and Brett…and Lainey too… must be so proud :) Way to go NELLA!!!

  422. YEAH NELLA!!! I know how proud you must be mama. Enjoy :)

  423. YAY NELLA! Check that one off your list baby :) Where on earth did you get that dress? Just precious!

  424. Way to go Nella! My baby girl is just about 3 months older then Nella, and she is off running now! I bet Nella will be there too before you know it!

  425. Way to go Nella ~ you are amazing! Congrats on your awesome standing! :)

    And you’re right Kelle, don’t ever, EVER let anyone pre-determine what your child will or will not be able to do according to any growth chart. Every child is different and will do things at their OWN pace.

    My Ryan was VERY delayed as an infant/toddler and it broke my heart to see everyone else’s children (both with DS & without) hitting these milestones so early. I even wrote a blog about it 2 years ago, in hopes of helping others whose children weren’t that far advanced as their peers ~

    Life is so full of curveballs and surprises, you just never know when it’s your childs turn to shine. But I assure you, when they do, it will be like no other pride you have ever felt! :)

    My Ryan has since far exceeded any and ALL expectations I ever thought were possible for him after the information we were given almost 12 years ago when he was born.

    Times, they are a’changing, and I’m glad to see it happen! :)

    Hugs and major high fives from us!
    Laura & Ryan

  426. Yay Nella! That’s so great! I loooove her cute little dress too!

  427. Oh Nella, YAAAAAAAAAY!!!! I’m so proud and beaming from my computer screen and celebrating YOU and your strength and every ounce of fabulous-ness you carry within you and exude! And YAAAAAAAY for Lainey for being such a super-fabulous BIG sister. Clapping and cheering and so excited!!! What precious girls.

  428. Go Nella!!!

    She is one beautifully strong little girl!!

  429. Loved this quote in the post today:

    “Put the Down syndrome books away. They’ll be there when you need them. Instead, go out and buy a copy of a book you’ll find more useful. Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You Will Go.”

    Awesome advice :) GO NELLA and Go Big Sis Lainey for helping Nella practice her walking :)

  430. thank you so much for sharing nella’s milestones. so proud of her. GO NELLA GO. your girls are so lovely, and please pat yourselves on the back for being such wonderful parents. the love just radiates.
    we had a milestone with our 15 month old today. she walked in a public place for the first time today (playing with other kids at a train table at Chapters). so proud of her. nothing like it.

    please know how much I love your blog and your sharing of your family. you inspire me everyday to be more connected to my family.

  431. LOVE IT! Way to go Nella! (and what a cute dress to wear while hitting that big milestone!)

  432. Beautiful! Good job, Nella!

  433. LOVE those steady feet!

    Esther Dush

  434. Congratulations to all of you!

    Cutest dresses ever on your girls, btw. Love the last photos of them together.

    I am a firm believer in each child having his/her own unique timeline re: milestones, whether they are “typically developing” or not!

    PS. Our Lilit, at 9.5 months old, doesn’t crawl and can’t pull herself up to stand. She sits like a pro and has a mean pincer grasp so whatevs. Avi was a late crawler and when his first preschool eval arrived with discussion about where he is behind I cringed a little. During our recent move, I tossed all my old development assessments into the recycling bin because the only assessment tool I need is my own intuition.

  435. Until I am so blessed to have little ones of my own, I’ve been watching this one in particular grow up.
    She’s turning 1 next week and her smiles and laughs make my day whenever I’m so lucky as to see her.
    Today, I squealed when I saw her pull herself up and use a chair to scoot herself around the room.
    There’s absolutely nothing like it.

  436. This was a good one!! Way to go Nellagirl! What’s “delayed milestones”?? She’s getting there.. when she’s ready!!! Love!<3

  437. What an AMAZING and EXCITING milestone!! WAY TO GO NELLA!!! :) Thank you so much for your beautiful pictures and inspiring blog. My favorite days are the ones when you post a new blog. Your insight to the small things is so encouraging. Congratulations on this GREAT milestone for your precious daughter.

  438. I have delayed milestones and I am 31…it’s just being a human. We all time our time getting through them and when we reach them it is INCREDIBLE.

    So proud of Nella :)

  439. thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment with us all <3 i am studying to be an early childhood teacher and stories like this make me all squishy and happy in my heart!! Congratulations to your beautiful little girl and your family!

  440. Thanks for sharing. What a great way to start my day! What you ‘think’ is how you live. The body follows where the brain leads! Your vision for your Nella will inspire her to thrive!

  441. Amazing.

  442. Yay Nella!

  443. Yeah, Nella!! That a girl! We are so proud of you.

  444. wohoooo! good job, nella. also, a little tear here in germany because of how beautiful (yet again) this post is! <3

  445. Way to go Nella Bean!! I’m so proud of you! Thank you for taking us to all the places these sweet.s girls are going!! Keep chugging along sweet pea!

  446. I am always touched by your posts! The photo of sisters together looking in the same direction touched my heart big time – I am the sister of a very special boy with DS. I know the depth of love a sibling has – and the proud moments!

  447. I am so happy that someone recommended your blog to me. It is such a treasure! Your posts are beautiful. Thank you for making me smile with every update.

  448. Awww, sweet Nella, yay! Love that dress she’s wearing but love that she’s standing even more. :)

  449. I am new to your blog. I have a DS Daughter named Addyson. She will be 3 in May. She started walking in December. I remeber the first time she stood I cheered so loud that she fell down. I scooped her up and cried. I have never read a book related to her nor do I plan on it. I think I will be a long time follower. Thank you for sharing.


    I love the way you expressed the feeling of success when those milestones are eventually met. I see that every day with the kids I work with. What a joy to be a part of!

  451. Nella rocks! As does her loving big sis, Lainey! (Our big brother is not the loving type – more of the mean, take her down type!) And oh, there are so many places you all will go ; )

  452. hooray nella!

    what a little inspiration you are for us all to never let ANYONE tell us, “you can’t!”

    here’s to celebrating all the future milestones you’ll make~

  453. I smiled at those 2 girls of yours. Good job Nella. Good job Lainey as the big sister. Good job Kelly for catching that picture, posting it and encouraging others. susan

  454. Way to go, Nella…

  455. SO SO SO cool, and the advice about the books is awesome – I LOVE that.

  456. So awesome! Keep up the good work Nella (and parents!)

  457. This made me cry. Congratulations.

  458. Oh Nella, you just made my heart flip! Well done you!

  459. yay nella!! thanks for sharing your beautiful life with all of us…your posts are a blessing to the world. :)

  460. Congrats Nella! What a huge accomplishment. I still remember when my son started pulling himself up at 14 months old, it felt so good :-)

  461. I have been following your blogs for awhile now, the first blog post I read was the birth story of Nella about 3 month ago and have been creeping ever since 😉 I just started my own photography business last year and you are truly an inspiration!
    This post is amazing, I had tears streaming down my face (of course happy tears). Go Nella go!

  462. And will she succeed, yes 97 3/4% guaranteed. Nella will move mountains!

    Your post made me cry! CONGRATS on the milestone!

  463. this is one of my favorite posts! i feel like i was right there watching you all experience this moment. what a beautiful post and amazing photos!

    ~ Heather


  465. I have been following every post, every step of your journey through your words and today, reading this…my heart swelled. As a Mama, I know that never is more pride felt than watching your littles do exactly what we know they can…grow in themselves and grow in their world. What a world you have created for your beautiful girls to blossom and grow! Happy day! Go Nella, Grow Nella!!!

  466. yay for Nella!!! This post made my heart jump, brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. She is so incredibly sweet and adorable Kelle. We love coming to your blog to see the pictures of her…and I just thought the other day about how she seems so be doing SO EXTREMELY well. You are one good momma!

  467. I so appreciate the words that you so eloquently stated when describing the joy our hearts feel when our special babies hit these ‘milestones’. You hit the nail on the head.

    Enjoy these moments! And I know you are!

    Angela from Dallas

  468. made me cry, i understood so well every word, we are living every word and celebrating every delayed milestone here as well. much love and keep sharing xxxx

  469. Yeah, Nella!!! Soooo happy for all of you! That is awesome! Now we know walking is next! She is a smart cookie!!


  471. CONGRATULATIONS BABY GIRL!!! There’s no such thing as a delayed milestone…it all happens in God’s time :-)

  472. So touching! Great job Nella! Nothing is greater than these moments.

  473. Aw Kelle, this post made me cry. What a little miracle Nella is. You tell your stories so beautifully, and I’m blessed every time I read them. Go Nella!! :)

  474. Yes, that’s it exactly!!!!! You have already gained so much wisdom in the short time that Nella has been in your life…how lucky for her that you write it all down so eloquently!

  475. go girlie go!


  476. Yay! Way to go sweet Nella!

  477. *Sniff.* Darn these pregnancy hormones. But I might’ve gotten teary-eyed, anyway – such a great post.

    Hooray, Nella! You are one smart cookie!

    And yes, that dress is adorable!

  478. Oh I was just cheering for Nella! I know it is not nearly the same, but I have three cats, and one of them is handicapped. He looks kind of drunk when he walks, and he cannot jump onto furniture like the other cats. But he has found ways to use his powerful legs to pull himself on top of the “kitty condo” that the other cats would usually jump onto. The first time he did it, I was so proud of him. He’s my own special baby! (PS I hope my story is not interpreted as offensive.)

  479. Great Job Nella!

  480. Over here crying…I am so happy, so touched by this. GO NELLA GO! She is the most amazing, beautiful, little girl, and you are SO blessed. Her smile melts my heart through the computer screen! I can only imagine how you must feel!

  481. brought tears to my eyes and i’m not even pregnant. i know your triumphant tears all too well and i say let them flow. nella’s one strong cookie!

  482. This post swelled my heart all the way up into my throat. Congrats to you and your family, but most of all congrats to Nella!

    Nella is a rockstar, and I can’t wait to continue to watch her fly from afar! Thanks for sharing.


  483. kelle-i’m a new reader and love your writing and especially the joy you have found. thanks for sharing with all of us and taking us on the journey of life and motherhood with you.

  484. Huge! This is a huge milestone! Way to go, Nella!

  485. Jes, you have every right to be proud of your sweet fur baby! He’s your own special baby, and he’s rock’n his kitty climbing skills, nothings going to keep him down. 😉
    I just keep coming back to see those precious, strong, capable Nella legs standing there all alone! Oh, the places you’ll go baby!

  486. Way to go Nella girl!! Tears of joy for you!

  487. Yaaaaay Nella!

    And I love that book. Another recommended read (if you haven’t already) is On The Night You Were Born. The message- that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I read it to my girls every year on their birthdays. :)

  488. All right Nella! You little rockstar you! And Lainey is such a great big sister! I have to admit, the mama in me came out and I cried a little over this. :) And, I so need that dress for my little? What cute little etsy shop did that one come from?

  489. YAY! I’m so excited for you and for sweet Nella. I can only imagine how exciting it is when she accomplishes things like this.

  490. Oh man, this made me cry. My son has some delayed skills that we are working with him on…and you are SO right! We don’t agonize over the milestones that he should have met by now, but instead marvel, celebrate, and feel an overwhelming sense of pride when he does it. We accepted that our son is going to be who he is going to be and all we can do is use the resources available to us for him to be his very best…but just accepting him as is freed us to enjoy every thing he accomplishes regardless of when it happens.

  491. So touching. I can remember the first time I stopped by this blog, you had just told your birth story.I sat pregnant, reading and crying my eyes out. Now I lie in bed with three sleeping boys and cry again, touched again.

  492. hooray nella!

    delayed milestones my foot. she is often beating my son, who is the same age. she’s walking with lainey like a pro- my son won’t even walk assisted! she is absolutely amazing!

    and will you succeed, yes you will, indeed, 98 3/4 percent guaranteed… baby, you’ll move mountains

    (from oh baby, go baby- the “baby” version of oh the places you’ll go)

  493. Go Nella! You are such a cutie and your dress is gorgeous xxx

  494. Man I love ‘oh the places you’ll go’!! Brings a tear to my eye every time I read it to my girls. Go Nella Go!

  495. Great post. WTG Nella, you just brought me the happiest tears this morning. Oh the places you will go, watch out future!

  496. Woot! Way to go Nella!!

  497. oh wow! Super excited for you and Nella, and Lainey, and Brett and the boys and Papa…. and ohhhh I am excited to because Leo is army crawling and he is one month younger than Nella, so MAYBE, just MAybe he will pull up in the months to come. When he does I know his dad and I, his 4 siblings and his extended “tribe” will party like it’s the 4th of July! I know it. Love the post!

  498. I have tears….this made my day! :)

  499. That made my heart happy & tears fill my eyes! Yea Nella!!!!

  500. So happy for you and your family, and SO in love with this post. My beloved niece, my sister’s daughter, experienced brain trauma at birth and will never do most of what ‘normal’ children will do. It took 9 months for her to smile, and 2 years until we heard her first laugh. And did we celebrate!!
    You are so right, you put the ‘delayed milestones’ thing away, and when the milestones do come, you celebrate. She does them on her own time. And that is just FINE.

  501. beautifully written, proud mama!
    so darn excited for Nella!!!

  502. Your little girl has ALREADY done so much in opening my heart. Excited to see the places they will go, because with the genetics they have, they WILL go places! All the best, Tracy.

  503. Oh my heart leapt in celebration! Those strong little legs will be running before you know it. WOO HOO!!!

  504. YES!!!!!!! Go baby girl, no stopping you!

  505. milestones are determined by averages – their the big bulge in the middle of the bell curve. They ignore the fact that their are beautiful people living on the fringes who did things at the time and place that is perfect for them.

  506. love this post… nella’s smile is the sweetest thing!

  507. Go Nella ♥ Go Nella ♥ Go Nella

  508. This makes my heart sing!

    Karen in Hammond

  509. LOVE!

  510. Congratulations Nella! This post brought happy tears as I read it. Way to go little one. :)

  511. Yay! Go Nella! I had tears in my eyes reading this – I am pregnant, so that happens more often then it should. This is wonderful!!!

  512. Beautiful post and way to go Nella! It brought tears to my eyes, not only for your moment but also my own. My twins were born over 13 wks early and those milestones met were, and still are, the sweetest memories I have.

  513. Woohoo Nella!!! Awesome! You know, I hate the milestones concept (I know it’s necessary), but damn, that is a lot of pressure to be just like everyone else. Our bean (a day younger than Nella) has good fine motor skills, but has been “lagging” (hate that word) on her gross ones. So she just learned to crawl and is not walking yet. And I’m so sick of “is she walking yet?”. I don’t care. Really. It’s not like kids who start walking 4 months before her are going to be much better walkers througout their lives, and my child is going to miss out on that fantastic walking scholarship to Yale or won’t have friends in junior high because she’s not quite a good enough walker (or talker or crawler or roller)! My girl’s hilarious and sweet and kind and infinitely interesting – she’s met those milestones, and those are the biggies in life.

  514. :)
    Only in your house do these milestones coincide with the wearing of a beautiful dress, a freshly polished face and wonderfully placed locks.
    Let’s also admire being ready for life’s very random milestones!
    Well done lovely Nella!

  515. Awesome!

  516. Go Nella!

  517. oh this post was heartfelt indeed! way to go Nella!! way to NAIL that milestone :) here’s to many more in the future.

  518. Go Nella!!! Love posts like these!

  519. awww. way to go Nella!!!!

  520. My eyes welled up when I read this post. I remember how I felt when Ry first pulled up…I was so proud of my girl, and so in awe at how she grows and develops. I LOVE how Nella is leaning over the coffee table as if it were already old hat to her. That girl is not about to be told that she can’t accomplish something, that’s for sure!

  521. Love Nella’s dress! Yay for her BIG achievement! The firsts are so special!

  522. I read this post after learning about the death of another little girl in CA from a brain tumor. It made me think about all the good things we have around us if we just look for them. Delayed or not, your precious girl is hitting those milestones and will for years to come! Go sweet girl!

  523. Yayy!! GO NELLA GO!!!

  524. Hooray for Nella!

  525. Just so wonderful!! It brings tears to my eyes! So happy for you and Nella!

  526. This made me so happy. Because in the same boat, with delayed milestones and mixed prognoses (original ones were horrible, until we found the right doctor), the best advice was the one about Dr. Seuss. And to laugh. And celebrate. And realize that has blessed us beyond belief. :)

  527. Your words moved me to tears again! I am so happy for Nella and her big achievement! What lucky girls to have such loving parents!

  528. I have read your blog in silence over the last 7 1/2 months. 7 1/2 months ago, I recieved that nauseating punch in the gut that my Lilly too would have delayed milestones. My world was turned upside down. Since then, I have learned and grown and the world is right again. I have grown more in the last half year then the previous 28.

    Nella, you have inspired me. You are beautiful. Lainey, you too have inspired me. You define unconditional love and complete lack of prejudice.

    I have not cried as much as I did reading this post since probably 7 months ago. Not tears of sadness this time, but tears of joy and UNDERSTANDING. Kelle, you could not have written it better. The feeling is absolutely indescribable. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Mari Jones

  529. Way to go, Nella! I’m a new follower of your blog but have already cried over many of your posts. Happy tears!

  530. This, “When they tell you your child will have delayed milestones, it means less that you will struggle and ache for those events to come but more that when they do come, your heart will leap, your soul will celebrate and your arms will stretch to hold and kiss the growing one that forever surprises you…” is so true. My 19 month old daughter has CHARGe Syndrome and she has recently started to get up on all fours and its amazing. Simply amazing. So glad you were able to capture it with your camera! Go Nella Go!

  531. Hoorah!! Oh, it just makes me smile! Way to go sweet Nella! Oh, my heart! {and I don’t even know y’all! Just get to see that little love in pictures–oh, how precious!}

  532. Such a sweet post, as are all of our posts.

    In all your spare time, can you post where you got Nella’s pink and black floral/lace dress above? SO CUTE!

    PS. I actually put on my blog a picture of our baby girl (15 months) the other day, and I called it “Jolee Kate aka, Nella Cordelia!” because I tried to find the most “Nella” looking outfit in her closet, and took a bunch of pictures. I had a ball, and my friends (your fellow readers!) thought I did quite well. Nella sure is a beautiful girl! Love your blog!


  533. Congratulations, bella Nella!

  534. Love this (I love all your posts). Your girls are so beautiful. You are all so happy, all of the time. Your blog makes me heart happy!!

  535. Go Nella! yay :)

  536. Hooray Nella!
    I feel proud for her and excited for your family : )
    The advice on which book to pull out…I like that a lot. Hooray to whomever gave that.

  537. Yeeeey Nella:)
    Congratulations to you guys!
    The dress she is wearing is totally AWESOME BTW!
    Where did you get it? On Etsy?
    I would looove to know!:)

    Lots of love from Norway.

  538. I literally burst into tears at seeing the picture of Nella standing. The other benefit to being told you’ll have delayed milestones, is that rejoice in everyone else’s master of them too! Nella IS strong. My little guy is taking it slow at his gross motor skills, but we cheer, we applaud and we savor his sense of pride when he does do something.
    Big cheer for Nella coming from me and my boys on the other coast!

  539. Before I begin I need to preface by saying that I love your blog. I have always loved it ever since I was introduced to it after the birth of our son, Andrew (who also has that extra piece of love in him). I have read every post for the last 18 months and have even gone back to read older posts that you had written before I was got on board.

    The thing is, I never thought you and I really had anything in common (I mean..besides were both way cool…)besides the fact we both have babies with Down Syndrome. Other than that there’s not much, yet I felt like I was connecting to you each post I dove into. But, how can that be? We live in a small house in CT that is sweet, but not picture worthy like yours, we adopted Andrew and chose a Down Syndrome son so we never had the grieving period that our other DS mamas have suffered, we are a same sex couple (and Brett is definitely a dude!)…and so on. But then I see this post on Nella pulling up and I realize that in fact you and I are very much the same. I realized that the same things in life manipulate our hearts to remain open and whole. Andrew, who is now 19 months, pulled himself up in his crib for the first time last week. I knew it was coming, but I definitely don’t sit around waiting for these things to occur because as you know you can’t (and oddly most of the time I dont even realize that my almost 2 year old doesn’t even crawl…usually its when I see other typical kids his age that Im like “Huh, wow”)
    When he pulled up I was cleaning his room so I put him in his croib and next thing I knew he was watching ABOVE the bars instead of through them! It was awesome!!!!! and I cried. Im not sure why I cried, but I knew I was celebrating him..and I knew that he had been successful in his pursuit and that alone made my heart so full. My son is a beautiful little boy, who is sweet and funny and VERY fresh. I love everything about him. He has taught me to stay present and suck all of life up that I can. So, I think that you and I have more in common than I realized and I appreciate your blog and allowing some of my emotions to be provoked (that when youre “in it” you can cut them off and not realzie they exist)…thank you and God bless your family. Nykki

  540. So proud of Nella! Where did you get her dress? I have to have it.

  541. GO NELLA GO!!! I cried tears of joy for your new milestone! Those sweet little feet and strong legs are going to take you great places and touch many lives Sweet Girl.

    Something good is in the works, I promise!

  542. Congratulations, Nella! My sweet baby girl Gabi also has “delayed milestones.” She started walking about two weeks after her second birthday, and now she can destroy things and move at the same time, trashing doctor’s office waiting rooms with extreme efficiency and a gleeful smile that totally prevents me from saying “No, don’t do that.” Nella has grown into a beautiful, lively, thriving toddler, and it delights my heart to see it.

  543. This put into beautiful words something I’ve been trying to say for a long time. Our little girl has mild CP and every milestone has been HUGE. Thank you for this post and your beautiful words.

  544. YAHOOOOO Nella! That is fantastic! Such a cute dress she is rockin’ too!

  545. YAHOOOOO Nella! That is fantastic! Such a cute dress she is rockin’ too!

  546. Hooray Nella!!! This post brought tears to my eyes…must be those darn pregnancy hormones! :) So precious and I LOVE her dress.

  547. This post gives me goosebumps, and hope that our little Lily will do amazing things as well!! Well done Nella, what a beautiful and courageous little girl and family!


  549. I am also the proud mommy of a sweet lil man with Ds. He’s 16 months old now. These priceless and precious moments become all the more sweeter and richer, and we discover that we celebrate them even more with Isaac! I LOVE your photography!!

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