Big City, Big World

Since Tuesday, I have toasted to whatever high-on-life sentiment I may have been feeling at the time probably more than fifty times. We’ve clinked flutes, glasses, bottles, mugs, paper cups and I swear the other night I had half a notion to hold a chunk of hot pretzel in the air and invite friends to do the same. We’d tap our salty chewed-off chunks together and proclaim in unison “Cheers to this”–this of course interpreted differently for each of us. New York, friends, cherry blossom petals being carried into the city streets by the spring breeze that’s finally arrived to winter-beaten New Yorkers. Busy streets, kind strangers, meeting new friends. Crying, laughing, having a moment of clarity where it seems things are just as they should be. Feeling challenged, feeling content, feeling like there is more to life and we’re all getting there. Having fun, caring, not caring, sucking the marrow.


Yeah. Cheers to that.

Let me go back a bit.

This New York trip has been planned for a little while now, set up with the purpose of attending the NDSS Spring Luncheon and extended to include some When-in-Rome fun and friends. But the highlight was definitely Wednesday.


I’m not sure what I was expecting. The work of the NDSS is vital in creating an enviroment that values, accepts and includes individuals with Down syndrome, and I know first hand from relationships I’ve built with the people who work for the NDSS that there is an amazing level of dedication and passion at this organization. Many of these employees have no personal connection to Down syndrome and yet they fly to Buddy Walks, raise money, promote change, fight for rights and spend their free time having friends with Down syndrome over their house for dinner because they want to. I knew all this. And yet I think I was still expecting something slightly more pomp & circumstance which was fine because that is a necessary part of fundraising and professional recognition some times.

What I didn’t expect was that it would be so emotional–for everyone there. There were people from all walks of life present and yet, with the focus on this “something extra” we were celebrating, it felt like we were all the same. Or, as Sharon Stone put it…there was no bullshit.


Sharon Stone talked of her friend Jim who has Down syndrome, and while she recalled days of babysitting him when they were younger and how they stayed friends throughout the years, Jim sat in front of her–handsome in his suit and tie–and smiled. There were moments when the room grew silent and tears spilled. Because, for a moment, we “got it.”

Sharon presented an award to another friend, the talented, kind and inspiring Jagatjoti Khalsa whose book, I’m Down with You provides a beautiful representation of the magic of the extra chromosome.



And I was honored to present the Melissa Riggio Voices Award to the beautiful young woman above, Liz Rice.

Liz is confident, accomplished and kind. She brought laughter to the room with her witty speech and inspired us all to be more. She attends college, has a job she loves, and participates in the arts. As one of Liz’s teachers says, “I really couldn’t speak more highly of a student. She’s your typical college student—going to classes, hanging out with friends during lunch in the cafeteria, flip-flops and trendy purses, getting the occasional latte while waiting to catch a ride to work or home—just another college student, albeit one who is extremely positive, motivated and happens to have Down syndrome.”

Meeting Liz made me so excited for Nella’s future.


The rest of the event followed suit–babies being passed, long hugs, lots of laughter and a room that was filled with like-minded people.






Reality is that this is an annual event–a smidgen of time amid the grander picture where we all go back to our homes, to our jobs, to the world where stereotypes and inequality exist. But those moments on Wednesday will not soon be forgotten, and the inspiration in that place is a reminder of how far we’ve come and hope for where we are going. I am so excited to be a part of change and honored to know so many of the amazing families that have joined the cause. You all have been part of it too, so thank you.

A few short clips of speeches can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

And Congratulations to the beautiful Liz Rice.

Of course it’s difficult to top a high like that event but spending the following days amid the lively energy of New York City at least prevents a disappointing let down.



My heart beats faster in this city. Everywhere you look, there is life and sights and sounds that arouse your senses. Horns beeping and buses braking, violins and trumpets on street corners and the overall collective shuffle of feet walking–people are going somewhere.


Swinging in Washington Square Park.

Thankfully I wasn’t alone. United with friends, it was thrill-to-the-power-of-many. Always game for fun, my friend Nadya joined me as well as some of my favorite New Yorkers who know the best bagel joints, how to get into the hottest restaurants and, thankfully, who lend me their strollers.





Sleepover at Meg’s:


And we had the best Pretty Woman movie montage moment at this hip little vintage store.


Thankfully, the store extended as far back as Mary Poppin’s bag is deep, so we were well hidden from the clerks who didn’t see us playing a nice game of hey-let’s-dress-up-but-not-buy-anything. For an entire hour.


Nella likes to play too.


This city is begging to be photographed. So much color, charm and culture.






And the parks? Slay me. Enchanting both by day and night.



Look. Nella’s playing the trumpet just like this guy.


My traveling little soul. She’s a very good jet-setter.



We are home today–with some rest to catch up on, but a bag of New York bagels and an “I Heart NY” mug to sip from. I’m happy to be reunited with my big girl who was elated to see her sister.


I cannot wait to go back.

My girl sported a sweet new hat in the big city.


It can be found with many other sassy stuff for kids at The Spotted Monkey, our new sponsor. Check out their awesome art supplies, creative toys and more! Use code “Enjoy” for 10% off.

A comment from this post will be randomly selected to win a free hat from The Spotted Monkey.

It’s the weekend and I need to give my city adventures something to compete with. Two girls and a sunny day await.

Cheers to that.


For more information on the NDSS and stories of people like Liz Rice, Melissa Riggio, Jim Burkhardt and more, please visit the NDSS website.


Leave a Comment
  1. Beautiful. Finding communties and societies of people who support people with disabilites even when they have no direct connection to it makes me proud to be alive, and it’s so inspiring. And Liz Rice sounds like an amazing girl, doing all of that! Even without Down Syndrome, college must be hard enough!
    Your gorgeous descriptions & photos of the Big Apple make me want to go there. It looks like the best place.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. NYC’s spirit is undeniable. I am excited to see what the future holds for Nella. Maybe a fashion designer she is always so full of style.

    So beautiful you were able to share and connect with others.
    Cheers to that…

  3. Thanks for the pick-me-up, Kelle! I was putting off a nap-time run and your energy has inspired me. I’m off!

  4. I think that people with Down syndrome are some of the most beautiful. Period. It seems to me they always have a smile on their face and a zest for life. Thank you for this post!

    And your photographs of New York are absolutely gorgeous — they make me want to catch the next flight there.

  5. What a wonderful post! It looks like you all had a blast, made me want to be there and almost felt like I was =) I love that hat, Nella looks adorable as always!!

  6. How wonderful for you and Nella!! Looks like you had a terrific time and the reception looked so touching! Sending you hugs…

  7. GReat Post!

  8. An amazing visit to the city! I have never been but seeing it through your pictures makes it sort of “come alive!”


  9. Awesome. And… I have that green stroller! Never seen anyone else with it here in England!

  10. You inspire me to relish the small things.

  11. wow! this post has my heart racing too. I have a few kiddos with extra chromosomes that are very engrained in my heart. This looks beautiful! and dude…sharon stone held Nella? Cool!
    That last photo of Nella is to.die.for!
    Great post Kelle

  12. Beautiful. Love to see you had such a wonderful time! Would love to visit ny one day:)

  13. What a great event to be a part of. And your photos make me miss NY badly. I’ve gotta find a way to get there again. Can’t wait to see what great things the future holds for little Nella. <3

  14. I love this. That Nella is a world changer and she has a lot of friends with her rooting her on and watching. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  15. this is such a lovely post. embracing where your boundary lines fall is indeed a gift – and you have it, sister.

  16. What a wonderful opportunity. Beautiful as usual!

  17. I {heart} Nella. She is such a beautiful little girl and seeing the amazing spirit of her ne friends is wonderful. She is going to have such a bright future. Yay for New York!

  18. Beautiful!

  19. Thanks for reminding me about the Big City and how photogenic it is.

  20. Beautiful, Kelle! Every bit of it! Nella is such a beautiful soul, and it really shines through in the picture. (Not to mention she is SO stinkin’ cute!)

    The NDSS Luncheon looks like it was absolutely amazing! :)

  21. Without fail your posts always brings tears to my eyes. This was no exception. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. There was an image of your girl gazing into the eyes of a fellow friend, while you and the other mother smiled at the camera. It stopped my heart. Stunning.

  22. Corky, I mean Chris Burke and the gorgeous Sharon Stone both holding beautiful Nella….wow. That city has so much energy you just can’t help to be swept along. See what the future holds for Nella. My kids are teens and a young adult and believe me the opportunities for them are great and will be even greater when Nella finishes high school. Loved all the pictures. Thanks, susan

  23. You inspire me. Your words are beautifully written and your pictures take my breath away almost as much as your beautiful daughters. Have a great weekend!

  24. LOVE IT! NYC and NDSS!!

  25. Kelle, through following your sweet little blog, you have taught me so much about down syndrome. I had no idea just how wonderful these little souls could be!

    Thank you!

  26. Beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes.

  27. Wow. So awesome that you got to be a part of that night. Nella is absolutely beautiful!

  28. Your picture of Nella in the swing is probably the most pure and sweet image captured. What a gift you can give her when she is older…photographic evidence of her happiness as a baby!

  29. As I wipe my tears away…what your doing is amazing, you’ve opened my eyes, lifted my spirits, you have a way of always making me feel stronger and more capable and I think you for that.

  30. I have tears & joy!! My heart is dancing. Kelle words can not describe how blessed Nella is to be yours. She couldn’t have happened to a nicer family.
    So many times you’ll wonder what you all ever did before she came along.

  31. Nella is a DOLL and Lainey seems like such a sweet big sis! Neat pictures from your trip!

  32. Looks like it was a great trip :)

  33. Beautiful post about your incredible experience in New York. There are so many great things in store for Nella. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  34. What a beautiful event! Ah I love NYC so much!!! Jon and I were there last year at the end of May and it is so pretty in the springtime!! Glad you had a great trip and glad that you’re home safe and sound :)

  35. I hope you read all of your comments, but I totally understand if you don’t (you get so many) but, I have to say that I’ve followed your blog for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever commented. BUT, today I MUST comment.
    Your smile in the picture of Nella being read to and you looking over brought tears to my eyes. It is such a far, far, world away from the smiles in your earlier posts. For some reason, this smile seemed so genuine, so “OK”, so…(I wish I could find the words). This smile made me “get it”.
    Thank you for letting me…us…into your little corner of life.

  36. yay!! I’ve been looking forward to this post and it was everything and MORE than I expected! I’m so glad you got this experience and were able to take Nella.
    I love the pics you took of NY!! I need to go there. I saw so many spots that I used to see in the show FRIENDS and I felt all nostalgic – because yes, I lived through that show and felt like I was looking at some long lost part of my childhood :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  37. Such an amazing event. The world needs to be enlightened. Thank you so much. Your pictures are so beautiful.

  38. Wow, what beautiful pictures, they really make your trip come to life. I’ve always wanted to go to New York, and now I want to go even more. The way you describe the vibe and the sights and sounds of the city make it sound so alive. I love the way you weaved it all together, like a tapestry of pictures and words to make the reader feel like they are really there. Thanks for that : )

  39. I haven’t been to New York in a while…at least since my daughter was born. You have inspired me to go back; I bet she will love it.

  40. I love the trumpet photo of Nella. It is too special. Maybe one day when Nella comes back to Nyc, we’ll bump into the streets. I live in Manhattan, and been following the blog since she was born, my daughter is only a month younger than Nella. All the best to you and your amazing family!

  41. Beautiful post and pictures!!

  42. I haven’t been the The City in over a year…this post makes me miss visiting it desperately. I don’t know if it’s just the hair, but I swear Nella is looking more like a toddler in these pictures.

  43. Wonderful! I loved the speech clips, too. :)

  44. I’d love to have Nella Cordelia’s autograph! Sheesh..Hangin’ with the Star, that Little Star of yours!

  45. thank you so so much for opening my eyes and seeing this piece of life you are living in a whole new beautiful light. :0)

  46. I heart ETST! It almost hurts my eyes that smile of that beautiful blond baby! If only we could all be so happy everyday just think of what our world would be like. Beautiful baby, beautiful mama, beautiful city.

  47. You reminded me to sign up for our own (much, much smaller) rare syndrome get-together this summer. And, after years of having an OT goal of “tolerating” a hat, my little girl is finally there! Would love to win this one.

  48. Wonderful post! Nella looks like a natural New Yorker!

  49. The blue door pictures ROCK! Almost as much as NYC and Sharon Stone holding precious Nella rocks! What an amazing trip! And do you have a stroller obsession like me? I rarely see you pushing the same stroller! :) I am on number stroller #6. Well, to be fair we’re also on baby #3! Haha!

  50. What an amazing night it must have been! I love NYC…it’s been a few years since I was last there, & I do believe your photos just inspired me to make a trip very soon :)

  51. Your pictures of Wednesday night were absolutely awesome. What a fantastic group of fantastic people! I adore Nella’s hat and my baby girl (coming in July) might look just as cute in one! 😉 Off to check out the site! Thanks for sharing!

  52. I have always wanted to meet Chris Burke. His accomplishments scream “Nothing can stop me!” I love this post. SO So so encouraging. Thank you.

  53. WONDERFUL! What an amazing event to be a part of.

  54. I am excited about Nella’s future right along with you. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

  55. Kelle~
    Such positivity in this post. What grand things people can achieve when passion for life, in all its forms, exist. What gifts Nella has brought to you. So inspiring. What a beauty! And might I say WOW, seeing “our” Nella with Sharon Stone. What an honour for her (Sharon, that is!)

  56. Welcome home. Such an inspiring trip. Thanks for sharing. xo

  57. Just started reading your blog! Thanks for the inspiration.

  58. Love your photos of New York and reading about your conference! Wow, great post. :)

  59. What a woderful opportunity for you and Nella! So glad you made it to NYC for that. It’s so inspiring to see the accomplishments made by people who don’t always have it easy in life. Cheers to that! And that hat…..SO cute! I’d love one for my baby girl!

  60. Beautiful. And inspiring. And I love that girlfriend was sleeping in Sharon Stone’s arms, like she’s just another snuggler!

  61. Beautiful photos as always. Looks like you had an amazing trip to New York and made some memories that will not soon be forgotten!

  62. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and stories with us. I LOVE looking at the world through your lense. It always touches my soul.

  63. I would love to go to NY!

  64. I remember Jim from a TV show years ago!? I think that is him. I live in NJ would love to meet you on your next trip!!

  65. Kelle, so glad you got to visit NYC with Nella. I just loved all the pictures as usual.
    My sister and I are taking our daughters and my granddaughter to NYC this summer. All the pictures made me want the summer to come faster.
    I am so happy that you were there to recognize all of the accomplishments of the honorees.
    Thanks for sharing

  66. Amazing-Both the pictures of your beautiful new friends and of New York! Nella looks adorable in her hat! I might have to get a hat for my little girl…

  67. Amazing how much goodness is really in this crazy world of ours!
    Nicole M

  68. Wow, Nella is a beauty and so is Liz. I am always inspired by your blog, and I am happy that you are willing to share the beauty of Down Syndrome with your readers.

  69. Love the hat, Love NY, Love that Liz’s beauty and drive were highlighted in such a positive way. Now, please tell me HOW do you travel with a baby…need some tips!

  70. oy. I.Must.Go.

  71. I love the picture with “Corky” from Life Goes On! Your trip was beautiful and I could look at pictures of Nella for days!

  72. It never fails. I’m teary eyed once again. <3

  73. A beautiful post. :) That picture of the trumpet player & Nella? I’m DYING. NYC is wonderful, especially when you’re there to attend such an incredible event!

  74. Oh my, I love the swing photo! :)

  75. you inspire living life to the fullest and looking good while doing it. I always look forward to your posts.

  76. You are amazing!

  77. I am so inspired for you and for Nella’s future after learning about Liz, that must have been like the universe giving you a big hug and saying, “It’s gonna be OK.” Wow!
    I was also super pumped to see some different inspiration in your photos. You take such beautiful pictures and catch things the naked, busy eye might not. It was refreshing to see some scenic pics from you!

  78. I felt it. I felt New York City, which happens to be my favoritest city in the entire world. Thanks for sharing it all with us, especially, especially the lovely peeps of the NDSS.

  79. I think I’ll pick up that book you mentioned, I’m down with you.

    New York looks so beautiful, but then again there’s beautity everywhere, you just have to see it. Glad you both had a great time. =)

  80. you look stunning in that dress! love ny!

  81. Wonderful post! Your pictures are beautiful as usual. Nella is such a doll! What an amazing time you must have had, at both the luncheon and just visiting the city. Thanks for sharing!

  82. Your posts are so inspiring! I’m so glad your trip to NYC went well. Thank God for wonderful groups such as NDSS. Oh & your pics are gorgeous! Nella is a doll! Have a great weekend!

  83. Thank you! I am so jazzed about being done grad school and starting a family, but people always hinder my excitement with sayings like “Your life will never be the same” “You can’t do that with children” and I always say that my life will be all the richer with kiddos and that I won’t stop living. This post just smacked me in the face and told me to forget about the negativity and stereotypes in the world and to just live and live good and happy! Thank you!
    I’m also really excited to experience NYC with kids now. I’ve done the single, honeymoon adventures and it’s time for some kid perspective!

  84. Amazing! So glad you had an experience to stick with you. There when we need to draw on those. And NYC? Kills it. Yes, there are other cities, other places that have a similar vibe, but none compare.

  85. Beautiful. Your blog is also so inspiring. My family is from NY and I love that city.

  86. Inspiring. Your thoughts and words really make me appreciate the little things.

    But seriously. Do you ever take a bad picture? 😉

  87. Just like my mom took me seven years ago I can’t wait to take my daughter to new York one day!

  88. Oh what a nice expierence! Life is so good. I just wonder how much we could have missed if not that extra super chromosome! Don’t you feel jealous for yourself??

    Thank you Kelle for showing that beauty!

  89. tearing up…cheers to Nella and her beautiful, bright future.

  90. Thank you! Beautiful photos as always…
    Im going to NY too.. Soon I hope! =}

  91. Love the fact that you and the apple of your eye had such a fab time in the Big Apple :) loved your post!

  92. cheers to hope for our little girls!

  93. Beautiful.. I can’t stop looking at the pics.. :)

  94. Glad to see you had so much fun =) Nella looks cuter and cuter every time you post. Have a great weekend

  95. The picture of Nella swinging with wreckless abandon slays me! I heart joy-filled, exuberant babies.

  96. Holy Crap, Sharon Stone holding Nella. !!

    And you outdid yourself with these … the green ruffle skirt (too cute! Did you buy it?), “SO big” by the big, bright blue door and WOW — the trumpeter opposite the thumb-sucker … and the five fingers … so delicate. Wonderful pics, as always.

  97. New York is simply magical.I’m surprised I ever came back home when I was there last. It can’t be replicated.

    I love when you share stories of involvement in organizations. I hope it inspires others to do the same. Cheers to You!

  98. What a fab post, thanks for sharing! Cheers :)

  99. Absolutely beautiful post! I’ve always wanted to go to NYC. Love Nella’s new hat :)

  100. I love the way Lainey is looking at Nella :) So sweet.

  101. Beautiful as always!
    I read this quote below somewhere the other day, I can’t remember where but I wanted to share it with you.
    I hope you like it. =D

    A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for

  102. You know, every post I comment, and I always try to think of something different to say. Sometimes it’s hard bc I just don’t know what to say at all. The experiences you have with Nella…it just blows me away. She is just the prettiest, sweetest little baby EVA. I love to see her pics all the time- the one where she’s swinging is awesome! I just love reading this blog. I love looking at this blog. I love the happy tears it brings, bc you know what? Not a whole lot brings happy tears. But this does, everytime. And sometimes, when life gets stressful, when I dread what’s going to happen next, I need to just come here, read a post or 57 of yours, and I feel so renewed. Thank you for that.

  103. Kelle, I loved the pictures of Nella with the other beautiful souls at the conference. Especially the one of the girl snuggling Nella, it brought tears to my eyes. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  104. Love your words about how you see Nella’s future. Bless her soul! AND I want to go back to NYC. I was only there for 4 hours. I think I spent 3.5 just looking and taking it in. Here’s to going back!

  105. Sharon Stone has a new fan! If you ever needed proof that the extra chromosome is indeed magic . . . could you ever have imagined when Nella was in your belly, that about a year and a half later Sharon Stone would be holding her in New York City???? Magic, indeed!

  106. As always, beautiful pics and beautiful writing.

  107. Dude, I want to know how Nella can just chill out while you try on clothes for an hour! My kid wouldn’t do that at SIX WEEKS! Glad you had a great trip — was that Nella with Chris Burke? I have his autograph. :)

  108. You say so much to so many. I am speechless and today, I find myself unable to pick a fave photo. Cheers to you.

  109. Driving in the passenger seat as my husband is driving, had a spare moment to chec your blog singing to the theme song of “Life goes on” and I see the photo of corky and nella, What a coincidence. Had to share. Love the post!!!!

  110. Nella and Sharon Stone! Nella IS a rockstar! :)

  111. What a beautiful trip full of BEAUTIFUL people. Love NDSS and all they do!

  112. Beautiful! Love it all and how you make me appreciate all my small things…

  113. NYC looks amazing! I have always wanted to go….but this weekend I am settling for Wilmington, NC and Piper’s first beach trip.

  114. What a wonderful trip. And how fun for you and your littlest sweetie to share all that time together. I lived in Manhattan for 3 years and am looking forward to a trip one day to show my girls (2 and 5) the city that never sleeps. And eat bagels. Oh, how I miss the bagels! :)

  115. I’m sure it warms your heart to know, not only the potential for your daughter in terms of what she can accomplish, but also the potential for the community that she will grow with. How wonderful for all of you to be part of that family!

  116. NYC looks amazing will definitely have to visit someday.
    Your pictures are absolutely inspiring. :)

  117. Happy you had such a gorgeous time! I think I have to paint my front door bright blue now.

  118. What an awesome trip! So full of inspiring people and beautiful places. Glad you had a great time and welcome home! :)

  119. Loved it; ALL of it! Welcome home!

  120. What a beautiful group of people! Love the pictures and again, love the written words.

  121. Thanks for taking us on your journey to NYC (and beyond).

  122. My 4 year old just walked in and asked- Who’s blog is that? I said Kelle’s and her response was- Wow- I want to meet Kelle someday when she invites us over! She’s 10 year’s old! :) She makes me smile as much as your description of the event! Lovely!


  123. Looks like an amazing experience. As always you got some wonderful shots to enhance your memories. I love the picture of Nella and that little girl looking at eachother while they are being held. Completely precious!

  124. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I think DS is BEAUTIFUL! And, you brought some NY my way-thank you. It has been about 9 years since I’ve been there and boy do I miss it. One day I will take my girl there and it will be a trip to remember.

  125. Lovely stories and pictures. Your camera made me see NYC in a different light. Sharon Stone holding your girl. How about that?

  126. I can’t wait until I get home so I can watch the video clips on my computer screen! I will be linking this to some of my mama-to- be friends who have found out they will be delivering babies with a little sumthin extra as well. Can’t wait to check out the new sponsor too!

  127. NYC is sooo addicting… out you are going to find yourself craving it a couple times a year!! You go on with your badself Kelle! Keep feeding that wolf sister!

  128. Looks like you had a GREAT time. Glad you enjoyed it.

  129. What a beautiful post! I have to tell you that as a mom who hopes to have more babies, your blog and story has replaced the fears of “what if” with love and beauty. Thank you!

    The hat is adorable, too, but I would have posted anyway. :)

  130. Good for you! That’s the way you change the world and bring everyone along with you. Cheers!

  131. Love it, as always! I hope to take my girls to NY someday. Your awesome posts don’t help my traveling itch, haha.

    A friend of mine just found out her baby will have DS. I sent her a link to your beautiful blog in hopes that it will bring her encouragement. Keep up the good work! You are touching so many. :)

  132. What a great trip!

  133. Awe Kelle. . . I love NYC and I love, love, love seeing all of your beautiful pix and reading each of your blogs. I wait anxiously for each new post but this one really got me thinking. . . I teach in a private school and I wonder, I just wonder why we don’t mainstream any down’s children? I think I may have found something that is begging to be checked into! Thank you for filling my tank today!!!!

  134. Your great pictures have brightened my day. Chris Burke was at a function in my hometown this month and I was looking forward to hearing him speak. Unfortunately my son became very ill and we have now been away from home for three weeks. We are looking forward to a homecoming with his baby sister on Monday. Three weeks is a Lon time to be apart and we are all very excited.

  135. What beautiful pictures! You often see pictures of NYC, but your pictures seem new, like a side I have never seen of that city.

  136. I am so happy that you were able to be a part of that day. The dots continue to connect in such big and meaningful ways as Nella guides you along. Thanks as always for sharing the journey.

    And, that grin as she swings in the park is priceless! Love it! Hope you’re getting some much needed rest this weekend!

  137. That picture of the little girl with her eyes closed and hugging Nella melted my heart. Every picture of Nella makes me what to do that to her…she is just the sweetest!

  138. the photo of your daughter in the swing? best thing I’ve seen in a really, really long time.

  139. So awesome! Thanks for sharing your amazing trip with us.

  140. There are so many Beautiful words hidden in these photos. It seems they shout at me from the page:

    True love, laughter, awe, triumph, elation, friendship, curiosity, vibrant, fragrant, mischief, comfort, sophistication, are just a few.

  141. LOVE the photo of Nella in the swing! What a capture!

    Such lovely photos of lovely people at the NDSS luncheon.


  143. My sister-in-law’s job will be done in July, and she desperately wants to move to NY. I hope she finds it as inspiring as you do!

  144. Looks like you had a wonderful trip!! I’m so happy for you that you were able to attend such an inspirational event!! New York is magical:0) (And that little hat is precious!!)

  145. But where was the NYC oh?

  146. This post makes my heart happy! Your pictures of New York are stunning – I love them all, but especially enjoy Nella and the blue door. As always, thank you for sharing your adventures with us!

  147. looks like a beautiful trip!

  148. I love those little moments when everyone in the room “gets it” and is one. Cheers to that :)

  149. Wonderful trip – beautiful photos.

  150. I’ve only just recently begun reading your blog, but I was so excited to see this post since I live and work as a nanny in NYC! It looks like you had a wonderful trip. Nella playing the trumpet is my favorite picture.

  151. Beautiful…ALL of it!

  152. beautiful!!! my fav is the blue door pics!!!!

  153. What an amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing!

  154. Gorgeous pictures, as usual! Seriously breathtaking!

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  156. What an awesome event. Everyone is so filled with happiness:) Your baby to travel like that and be so good….wow :) !!!!!!!!!!!!

  157. Looks like a fantastic trip! you took such wonderful pictures that told your story perfectly!

  158. Cheers to this!


  159. Looks like a fantastic trip! you took such wonderful pictures that told your story perfectly!

  160. well swing high…looks like you all did. love the pic of nella capturing how you all felt. great great thing to be a part of! wow!!!

  161. I love the pictures of Nella in the swing, Nella smiling at the other little Down girl and Liz holding Nella!

  162. What a good trip :). Thank you for sharing it with us all!


  163. That is so awesome that you were able to attend and meet such wonderful people! Sharon Stone is beautiful in the pictures! Glad she took part in such a great event! I had a friend in High School that was obsessed with her.. to the point where he would sneak onto the property where they filmed Basic Instinct… This went on for a few years!

  164. sorry had to come back…still thinking about this. do you ever just pinch yourself?

  165. When I clicked “refresh” on my computer to see if you’d posted yet, I totally dropped an arm load of dirty clothes to sit and read and cry and read and cry. I am saving the video clips for a quiet moment when my littles are in bed so I can really soak it up. Nella is so beautiful, and I eagerly await continuing to see her bloom and blossom and grow. Oh, the places she’ll go! Beauty. That’s what I see is pure beauty.

  166. SHaron Stone holding Nella??? I love it! Your visit sounds inspiring from start to finish!

  167. Love your post! Really inspiring. How amazing to be able to go NYC and be included in something so wonderful. Love reading about your life! Thanks for sharing.

  168. Beautiful post!!!

  169. Nella is so adorable!!!! And totally jealous of an NYC trip…one day!

  170. SO jealous- can’t even imagine how powerful your experience was with NDSS…. We had the pleasure of meeting Chris Burke at our Buddy Walk last year, and I read his biography not long ago- truly amazing what he and his parents endured to get him where he is today. Would have loved to meet all the other amazing people there! So inspiring for our little ones- the future is SO bright!

  171. wow…..that makes me want to travel and live life to the fullest at all times…what a breathe of freshness! love it…!

  172. What a trip! That hat is amazing. Hope it comes in my size! :o)

  173. Cheers to being home with both your sweet girls. Glad you had a great time!

  174. Cheers to spring! I think it’s finally arrived for good where I am. I always love when you go to NYC.

  175. I am so glad for you that you were able to find an inspiration for Nella. When my mom thought I wouldn’t live past 9 years old, she found that in another young girl as well. She was my motivation and still is my hero even though she passed away 9 years ago. When you think a diagnosis of something is set in stone it is so miraculous to meet the ones who have conquered the odds and give us solid hope.


  176. My family joined our friends for a Buddy Walk in Houston last fall–our team got “Most Enthusiastic”! It was an awesome walk…and my girl would look great in a hat next year :)

  177. you could give sharon stone a run for her pretty money.
    you know that right!

  178. thanks for sharing this with us – looks like a great event! I am a New Yorker raisinng my 2 girls elsewhere and seeing all your photos makes me crave my old hometown to share with them (and a decent bagel please!)

  179. I love the pics!!! I have never ever been to NYC & my hubby refuses to take me. He says it’s dirty & crowded & I won’t like it. But, your pics draw me in & convince me that I WILL!!!! At least I can live vicariously through you until I find a NYC trip buddy. 😉

  180. Thanks so much for giving us an insider’s view of such a special time.

  181. So glad you were able to share and connect with others. My cousin has Down Syndrome and is the sweetest, funniest thing you’ll ever see! As always, I love the pictures of Nella!

  182. Your ability to put joy, inspiration, and adventure into words never ceases to amaze me!

    Cheers to wonderful organizations that support the people we love, for being the people that they are and dream to be.

  183. Such a special few days you had! The swing picture – love, love, love! And as always – love that you are able to share your life with us!

  184. Amazing trip! thanks for sharing!

  185. Looks like an incredible and inspiring event! I can’t believe Sharon Stone is holding Nella!! That’s crazy!

  186. What an amazing trip! I am dying to get to New York at some point in my life! Such a beautiful city!

  187. I am heading to NYC for my very first time NEXT WEEKEND! Cannot wait! Love Nella’s Pedipeds and her stylin’ hat!

  188. ~*Awesome*~ NYC has a soul all unto itself….I liked that city too and found the people SOOOO NICE!! Like beyond words NICE! The only *downside* was the everything smelled like PEE! ~BLECH~

  189. What a wonderful post! Nella is so adorable in her hat! Jealous that you’re enjoying such wonderful weather. We had snow today in Utah! Ugh!

  190. Amazing! I love it all! I want to come with you next time!

  191. I love all your
    NY pictures. The children that you meant are just adorable. Love the one of the girl holding
    Nella is jst such a sweet child, love her smiles. You dress her so cute. Glad that you had such a wonderful time.

  192. I love all your
    NY pictures. The children that you meant are just adorable. Love the one of the girl holding
    Nella is jst such a sweet child, love her smiles. You dress her so cute. Glad that you had such a wonderful time.

  193. One word: amazing!

  194. How awesome. There are no words. I hope that your life is studded with such momentous occasions of celebration and solidarity.

    And the blue door? Oh, the blue door in New York that you shot. I want to live behind a blue door like that someday. I’d never leave my front steps.


  195. I have never been to New York and it is definitely on my list!! Your pictures may have just bumped it up higher. :)

  196. Yes…Congratulations to the beautiful Liz Rice….and Nella & you!

    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  197. OH how I love NYC as well. I’ve only been there twice. Quite the trek from the W. Coast, but it has a heartbeat and an energy that I adore. Lovely shots,as usual.

  198. I love the pictures!! And Sharon Stone held Nella? Wow!!! Looks like such an exciting event and week for all of you.

  199. NYC is one of my favorite places in the world. One day I’ll make it back, I’ve promised myself.

    Nella is going places, Kelle. You’ve set an amazing example for her to follow.

  200. I think the ratio between size of Nella and space in that bed is about right for a sleeping environment, looks so comfy!

    Wonderful event and so pleased to hear about it all.

  201. Ohmygoodness – I just teared up reading this post. SO fabulous that people with challenges are being accepted and intertwined with everyday society more and more! I have severe/profound hearing impairment – as do my three sisters – and I am a nurse, mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. Not Julie-who-is-hearing-impaired. My mother faced a lot of fears when I was younger about how my life would turn out but she often says she wish she had gotten to know more examples of people with disabilities who were JUST fine. She would have worried less…I’m so glad you had such a VIBRANT trip and a good dose of encouragement, love, and hope. Yay! :-)

  202. Just beautiful!!! The people, the pictures, the city!! Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  203. Just amazing! It is so incredible how in just over a year you are such a huge part of NDSS! It’s wonderful! It looks like it was awesome! Enjoy being home!

  204. I love reading our blog and looking at the pictures.

    I think it’s great you met people who have Down Syndrome and people who dont but help support the cause. Gives you hope about Nella’s future. She’s such a cutie!

  205. What a great trip for you and your girl. Loved the pictures of Nella in front of the blue door!

  206. Choking back big drippy tears. I must go… New York, for one, but especially an NDSS event! Some day, some day….

    Kelly & Nora

    p.s. The swinging in the park picture…..LOVE HER!

  207. I don’t know which I want to see more.. New york in the spring or in the fall. Glad you had a great time and left feeling encouraged and inspired.

  208. What an inspiring trip! Congrats to Liz Rice.
    NYC is such an awesome place, you and Nella look like you fit right in. :)

  209. I love the picture of Nella in the green frothy dress! Move over Carrie Bradshaw!
    Kelle, Thanks for sharing with us this inspiring event and the beautiful people involved in it.

  210. Love NYC so much it makes my heart ache to see it. I love the pictures from the vintage shop and oh so jealous you got to meet Chris Burke! Fantastic photos from your trip, makes me feel the need to go back. Going to watch the speech clips now! Thank you for always representing parents like myself of precious kids with Down Syndrome that know there is more out there for them!

  211. oh how i miss big cities! my husband is fro chicago and i cant wait to go there in july….and to your very own Michigan! I cant wait!! i love your pics, as always!

  212. A-Maz-Ing! pictures, the descriptions, the event, the attitude, and of course the people! all of it! So glad you enjoyed it and so glad that you are part of this wonderful community too!


  213. Oh my gosh! Just kill me now! First of all, I am So Cali girl, BUT I HEART NY too! The energy just can’t be beat and you captured it so beautifully. You made me remember all my visits and trips there. Nella looks just precious in Sharon Stone’s arms. LOVE THIS POST!! Thank you!

  214. Love love LOVE it! That luncheon must have been so very inspiring. And NYC is so alive… getting swept into the pulse of things such a fun adventure.
    Welcome home & enjoy one of those “real” bagels for me!

  215. Loved it. Nella is beautifull. I read you from Portugal and I like to come here to find lovelly photos and news.

  216. What an amazing, wonderful trip! Nella is so precious and always looks so very happy! I love your red dress :)

  217. love nyc! so happy that you found more hope for nella’s future. she’s going to move mountains!

  218. Love this post and all the gorgeous photos, but my favorite is of Nella in the swing laughing…absolutely priceless!

  219. Love the picture of Nella on the bench in Rockerfeller center. Weren’t the lilts, tulips and cherry trees just beautiful this week.

  220. I’m so inspired by the obvious beauty of all of the people at this conference. And by Nella, who has just the sweetest little girl smile I’ve ever seen…

  221. So glad you had such a wonderful visit!

  222. How exciting for you to share in such an awesome gathering. Thanks for sharing with us.

  223. love NYC, and adorable hat! Kayla

  224. One word:


    Love it…the photos are priceless and speak volumes. Congrats Kelle!

  225. Seeing the photos of Liz and reading what you said about her brought tears to my eyes. Amazing!! And to think sweet little Nella is gonna be a grown up college girl one day!

  226. Is that man Corky? I love Corky.

  227. One of my Favorite Posts ever.

  228. your beautiful pictures remind me of how bad i want to visit the city, and how much fun it would be for my little boy.

  229. I am so glad you have the people and moments of NDSS to give you inspiration and hope. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

  230. I’ve never been to NYC, but it looks just lovely this time of the year! Loved this post and really makes me feel empowered by the lovely Liz Rice…will be wonderful for you to watch Nella succeed and achieve as well!

  231. wow, what an amazing trip for you girls! Glad you had such a great memorable experience. I love your blog so much xo

  232. I always love reading your blog & looking at your photography :) My favorite picture today is Nella swinging.. She is having SOOO much fun! :) Love it! And her new hat is adorable!!

  233. You write so beautifully about things you care about…so beautifully that it makes others care, too. Beautiful photographs, beautiful words.

  234. Aw, what a sweet hat :) Your trip looks pretty sweet as well! :)

  235. Love your pictures of the city! I cried . . . as usual when reading your blog!

  236. oooohh… I love NYC and I haven’t been back since my #2 was born. Want to get up there for a Buddy Walk one year. Thanks for all you do with the NDSS!!

  237. looks like a great time was had by all! i loved seeing chris burke hold nella! his show “life goes on” was my fave when i was young. glad to see that he’s doing well.

    also, i have to say that it’s so good to see you giving nella exposure to role models who are like her. it’s SO important for children to embrace their identity, whether it be having DS or being Deaf (like i am). that identity is important to accepting who we are and building up our self-esteem in order to do great things. too often parents want their child to be like the “mainstream” and it really causes identity issues, feeling like they don’t fit in, self-esteem issues, etc. keep up the good work, kelle! =D

  238. amazing pictures! you can see the love and warmth in everyone’s eyes.

  239. What an enchanting time it seems you had. Cute hat and beautiful pictures as usual. You blog always inspires me to get up and take a picture of my littles. Thank-you for all you do. And I can so see Nella as a latte-drinking college student one day :-)

  240. Aww, I love your pictures! I have been to Lake George, NY…but not the ‘Big City’. I would love to visit someday. Nella is stunning. As are you. :) It looks like you both had an amazing time! I love the little Yellow Taxi Cab! 😉

  241. Um you look amazing in red. What a great trip and for an even greater event! You should be one proud momma. You’re doing it right.

  242. Beautiful post! You always seem to get me teary-eyed and always in a good way :)

    I’m glad you and Nella had such a wonderful time!

  243. So many things I love about this post! Thank you so much for bringing all these events and thoughts to us! You’re passion for it is infectious and makes me want to join in. Would love the New York part sounds so fun and fantastic too! Can’t wait to go someday!

  244. The picture of Nella in the swing might be one of the best you have posted! That smile is just gorgeous!

  245. Nella has such a bright future ahead of her! Thank you for sharing this event with us!


  246. Nella is so gorgeous… Your words are always inspiring and the hat is just to cute!

  247. Beautiful. I love it.

  248. Love Nella’s outfits… You guys are so stylin’!

    Looks like a fab trip… And Nella held by Sharon Stone, awesome!! Safe travels home, you two!

  249. What a beautiful post (as they all are)! I spent a few days in NYC this summer, but somehow my pictures didn’t look like yours.

  250. i’m dying to take my 2 year old to NYC. am i nuts?!

    cheers to your gorgeous weekend!

  251. You look like you had an amazing time:)

  252. Wow, what an inspirational weekend!! Thank you for sharing it with us. I have yet to go to NY, but it is definitely on my bucket list of places to go.

  253. great post! I love the pic of you and the other mom at the ndss conference looking at the camera and your two little girls looking at each it was so cute and they were looking at one another like hey i get you :) I also loved sharon stone holding her (makes me want to bust out my red lip stick and rock her look). I also love the pic of her on the swing and the ones at the blue door- you took some fab pics on this trip! I love love babies and when I look at them I get sad that they dont stay babies forever- my husband though would disagree :)

  254. My daughter laughed out loud at the picture of Nella in the swing. So much beauty everywhere!
    Thanks for reminding me.

  255. What a wonderful time in NYC! never give up on the promise of Nella’s future, she has you to bring her forth! great photos. love the trumpet shot! my little monkey would look adorable in that hat too.
    much love

  256. FABULOUS pictures and looks like such an amazing experience!!
    love it

  257. I’m so glad you had such an awesome time, and such an awesome conference! :) It makes my heart glad to know that there is an organization that is bound and determined to make sure everyone knows that children with DS are not “deficient” by ANY means!

    I get you on the city life. I feel the same way about the city of London. I live in a small town in the south, but I’m a London girl at heart, and I can’t wait to take my daughters there so they can soak up all of the energy there! :)

  258. This really makes me want to visit NYC! I watched the clip of your speech, and Kelle – you had me crying! Your (and Nella’s) story is so touching. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    Anyway, I’m stopping by to let you know that I gave your blog an award! No, this isn’t spam – I really do love your blog! Read about the award here:

  259. OMG! Is that Sharon Stone holding Nella? I would have struggled to pick my jaw up off the floor while grabbing my camera. It seems like an amazing trip with some amazing friends. The future really is bright for Nella and I have no doubts that she will conquer the world in true rock star fashion.

  260. So touching. Kelle you say that you don’t consider yourself a spokesperson for down syndrome, but when you write about the hope and happiness you find in the face of DS that’s when you speak to me the loudest. I started reading this blog more than a year ago with very little knowledge about down syndrome or the people who have that one little extra magic chromosome. You have changed completely my perception of it, and I won’t ever be the same. I, too, am excited for Nella’s future, excited for all the wonderful ways in which she’ll touch people’s lives, just like her momma.

  261. Such a beautiful post with beautiful faces. LOVE IT. Thank you.

  262. I heart NYC, BIG TIME!!! I miss living so close since we moved to SWFL. Great pics of a great trip!

  263. I was so looking forward to this post. Amazing! Bella looked like she had a great time and I love the hat. Too cute.

  264. I just really enjoyed this post and seeing the NDSS banquet pictures. That extra chromosome adds some extra beauty, I think–and you could tell that Nella made new friends who loved her and will be there to encourage her, too. How awesome!

  265. So beautiful in so many ways. I’m smiling from ear to ear! What a great adventure.

  266. Love the post…and love NYC…so full of energy and life! Sounds like the event was wonderful!

  267. dude! Sharon Stone was holding your baby!!

  268. Love, love, love your blog. Thanks for always raising my spirits and for teaching us all how to suck the marrow. As always, today’s NY memories blew me away and made me cry tears of happiness. Love to you and your beautiful family from Kyle’s Grandy in VA.

  269. I’ve been to NYC a half dozen times and never had such a glorious time. I guess it’s because I’m from Boston and I’m biased 😉 Thanks for giving the city a new look for me

  270. touching hearts wherever you go….what a gift….
    finally in Michigan…Spring has sprung!

  271. how inspiring to know that Nellas future is bright and to see such accomplished and beautiful people who bring so much to the world! So happy for you and Nella that you got to experience such a wonderful gathering of people!

  272. What an amazing trip. Lovely pictures. I never thought that NYC could look so gorgeous.

  273. the very first photo in this post is the most beautiful ever.

  274. I meant the second photo. The first one is beautiful as well :)

  275. Beautiful beautiful beautiful- all of it. And I absolutely love the last pic with the toy taxi cab. I just got an e-mail announcing the birth of a little Grace Elizabeth, born on Tuesday, who has Down Syndrome. I’m so happy I could forward her the address of your blog as she begins this journey esp. since I think this post is so very inspiring.

  276. Nella is just a doll. She certainly looks at one with the big city.

    Cute babies and New York? Doesn’t get much better than that!

  277. I had to squeal a little when I saw the picture of Nella with Corky from Life Goes On!! Most people are probably going nuts over the fact that Sharon Stone held your baby but I just loved that show growing up:)
    Sounds like an amazing experience you had…thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!

  278. Sounds like an amazing trip. Liz Rice is a wonderful inspiration. What a wonderful opportunity! Glad to hear you had a good time {grin}

  279. love.

  280. Hummmmm hello, Sharon Stone holding Nella. The event looks fantastic and NYC a song/site I miss.

    Love the trumped playing Nella and Lainey’s look of love on reuniting with her sis.

  281. Does Nella realize Sharon Stone was holding her??? How cool is that? Liz Rice seems like an amazing young lady. I wonder what Nella will grow up to be. Hmm? So many choices :).

  282. Wow. What a trip! How awesome it is, though we miss the other(s), to have special time with just one of our babies like that.

  283. Oh goodness, Nella is just too cute for words!!

  284. Nella is such a fashionista! What a wonderful event to be a part of!

  285. Once again you’ve blown me away with one of your posts, thank you!

  286. Seriously? Was that Sharon Stone holding your baby?? That is BANANAS.

    You tell of New York in a way that makes me actually want to leave my ho-dunk ‘big’ city (‘big’ for the Canadian Prairies anyway…) and visit it… First time for everything eh?

    Beautiful post, beautiful, beautiful.

  287. Just amazing. Such an inspiration. I know Nella will do great things in her life and she will speak at that banquet someday about her mama and all she did for her!

  288. Just amazing. Such an inspiration. I know Nella will do great things in her life and she will speak at that banquet someday about her mama and all she did for her!

  289. hooray for you, all!
    spectacular pictures


  290. What a neat event to be able to attend. It was very touching to read your adventure. Thank you for sharing.

  291. When I was shown to your blog by a friend, I was made to start at Nella’s story. I couldn’t help but put myself in your shoes, as I just had a baby in November. I hate to admit it, but It made me scared to think that I could someday be in your situation. And I keep reading your blog, and I keep seeing the joy and the love that exudes from that little face. And I see the amazing love that is shared in your family. And I read about amazing people like you spent time with at the NDSS event. And I’m blessed to be able to peek into your world. Thank you for what you do. You’re changing the world one reader at a time.

  292. Oh! I was excited to see photos and read words from this important trip.

    Thanks for posting the speech clips. I love that speech clips include Kelle Hampton and Sharon effing Stone.

    You look beautiful in these photos. Radiant, glowing, content.

    I miss New York and plan to go one day with you.

    Lastly, June 20? A coupla Missoula chickens coming your way?


  293. As a high school special education teacher, my mom is a fierce advocate for her students! Tonight I was so beyond proud of her as I watched her students join their classmates at the senior prom. It was such a special moment seeing the parents of these kids watch them be accepted by their peers and fulfill a dream that they thought had died years ago! :)

  294. Well, most of your pics are blurry today, Kelle…

    No wait, that’s because I’m crying while reading your post! Gah, you get me every time!

    The picture of Nella on the swing in Washington Square Park is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

  295. I had the great fortune to spend a summer in NYC for a college internship. One the absolute best experiences of my life. There’s no other place like it.

    Love that you and Nella got to be a part of such a special group and special night. Her face in the shots where someone else is holding her are priceless.

    She looks like she is making sure her mama is not TOO far away!

  296. What beautiful memories and what beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

  297. What an exciting event! My husband and I are going to try and make it to New York within the next few years. =)

  298. I’ve never been to NYC… until now.
    Thanks for taking us.

  299. Wonderful event to attend. I have never beento NY, but plan on going this summer. Love the pictures! especially the one in the bed-and the hat. I am a special education teacher and the struggles some children face are worth the smile on their face when they accomplish it-is so amazing no words could ever capture. Enjoy your post.

  300. Seeing sweet Nella just puts a smile on my face!! I find myself smiling a lot throughout your posts, and thank you very much for sharing!

  301. You are so positive! Everything, every adventure is captured so well as always. What a great trip it looks like you guys had! :)

  302. OMG!!! I love love love the picture of Nella swinging…that laugh showed the pure joy she was experiencing and it brought a smile to my face! I love the pic of her new hat too!!!

  303. A beautifully, touching post….I’m praying for a world free of judgement and cruelty for your daughter….

  304. Whoa! Cuteness overload!!

  305. Oh, Kelle, i live vicariously thru you. I’m not a traveler but just LOVE your tales of your travels. You and Nella look beautiful and look at the two of you, with Sharon Stone, the ‘stars’. But I think you and NELLA Bean are the brightest stars, and all those with that xtra chromosome. Never been to NYC but it looks electric! Lucky you, having Poppa for nanny. I know all were glad to be back home together in Naples. Love Nella’s hat! Love from the Blog Mama ~

  306. Every day that I get to read a post from you is a joyous day. I remember reading Nella’s birth story just months after my daughter was born and, with hormones still raging on, I bawled my eyes out, called my husband and watched as the familiar expression of recognition, sadness and acceptance wash over his face and tears began to spill from his eyes.

    Your words are so incredibly beautiful and bring so much light into this world of blogs that can be so negative at times (I’m guilty, as well, I’ll admit). And your photographs inspire me to capture more moments with my family, not just the highlights of holidays and special occasions. Who cares if I can’t remember the exact day – the photograph remembers and that’s what’s important. :)

  307. Hooray for Liz! She sounds like a fantastic young woman.

    I feel that buzzing “alive” sensation every time I step foot in my home city (Chicago). LA had the weather, but Chicago has my heart. If only they’d hurry up and invent that teleporter I need. *sigh*

  308. Lovely pictures:) Especially the one of Nella sleeping in Sharon Stone’s lap! To cute:)

  309. Oh gosh! I love that last photo of Nella with the NY Taxi. That made me smile.

    You are all an inspiration to so many.

    Esther Dush

  310. Loved the trumpet pic, Nella in the big bed and her adorable hat!!! So glad she was such a great travel companion!

  311. I heart NYC also, and am lucky enough to live just 15 mins from the city. Well 15 miles, could take 15 mins or 90 mins, because that’s NYC for you!

  312. Beautiful trip full of beautiful people and beautiful moments. Thanks for sharing!

  313. I am so glad you got to experiance that, and that nella, even so young, got to experiance that. She is going to grow up in such an accepting home, surround by people who love her, and anyone’s opinions who differ from that can just be ignored… Stick and stones, baby. I may not have that extra chrom of special but I’ve been bigger all my life and you need to learn that when people don’t see you for what is shining inside, that deep spark, then they just arent worth your time or worry or hurt over.

    I would love to go to something like that, just from those clips of those speeches I could tell I missed an amazing moment. It seemed so loving, so genuine, so REAL. And I love that people can come together to celebrate something that so long ago people mourned. Being different is not bad any longer- it is a chance to show that we are alike, that anyone different can be who they want to be and are never defined by what they have, who they are, what they look like, etc. We are all people who want to love, achieve our dreams and be special. Each one of us are, extra something or not!

  314. NYC looks aaaamazing and I hope to visit there one day.
    Mind you it is a far cry from living by the beach in Tasmania, Australia with 4 young children!
    One can dream though!!
    Looks like you had a wonderful time and met some inspiring people with Down Syndrome.
    Wow Sharon Stone is ageing very well!
    Your sweet Nella is just starting to look a little older and less of a baby. Such a beautiful little girl.

  315. I love your red dress! Very beautiful. Nellas picture on the swing is the best. I could also go for a bagel right now. Or a NY hot dog.

  316. you hit the nail on the head with your description of NYC!

  317. what a special trip! what a blessing to have such a neat organization to be a part of. Nella is so adorable and seems like she traveled great! hope you guys get some rest & enjoy your weekend!!

  318. wiping tears away…you are such an inspiration Kelle! what an amazing group of people to share a beautiful event with! and NYC…the spirit of that city is contagious and inspiring in itself!

    ps. the blue door and nella….super fun!!! :)

  319. What an amazing trip! You and Nella looked so stylish cruising the streets of NY! How fun, like a fairytale!

  320. Wow, I’ve always wanted to go to NYC—and you sure know how to do it! Is that one picture of Chris Burke? I *loved* the show Life Goes On!

  321. What a wonderful trip to celebrate life and all the magnificent people in it. I visited the NDSS site the other day and took a look at the book “I’m Down with You” and was so moved by what he said about how he was told not to stare and just look away, and how all his life this is what he had been missing. Tears.

    If we could all be so lucky as to not have any bullshit in our personalities and to be truly genuine. Go Sharon Stone!

    Having you as her mother Nella will go far.

    I’ve never been to NY but your photos make me heart it too.


  322. Reading your blog just fills me with such joy and hope! I have been at the NICU now for 5 weeks with my new little baby boy! He is really sick, but slowly improving. I have met some amazing parents here, and have shared your amazing blog with a couple of families who have new littles with Down Syndrome:) I hope that this little slice of heaven I read daily can spread some joy and hope to them! Thank you Kelle!

  323. what an amazing journey you are on…in life I mean!
    Love all of your NYC photos, it is truly a magical place isn’t it?

  324. I spent three summers in NYC working with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. I love that place. It’s full of adventure and great memories.

  325. I LOVE NEW YORK! What a great weekend you had! So so special!

  326. Thanks for taking us to NY with you!

  327. Your post just goes to show the importance of support when you are parenting. All parents need support but the majority can do this with family and friends alone but for those of us who need just a little more it’s great to know there are organisations out there who can offer this vital support but also more importantly put you in touch with families like your own!! I parent my two gorgeous girls with my same-sex partner in a world which can be welcoming of our family but also can be very hostile, scared or just down right biggoted towards families like ours. It is so affirming and just magical when you meet other families like yours and you can just revel in the normality of it all!! Glad you had chance to do this on a grand scale in NY and thank you for sharing a glimpse into your time and how rewarding it was for you and Nella (who as usual looked just adorable, especially that hat!!). Was also fab to be reminded of how I so must return to visit NY one day (just a matter of a few thousand miles between us!!). Happy May!!
    Nic x

  328. “You’re walking on sunshine..and don’t it feel good!?” Walking in NY and yet sunshine to be had with your family!! Glad you had a grand time. Enjoy your weekend! I feel like you prepared me for my recent birth. I was pretty anxiety ridden with this pregnancy…but surprisingly, not with what many others were pre-occupied with and that was my age. Your posts, for most of 2010, gave me a sense of calmness. If I were to have a baby with down syndrome, I would be okay. I cannot thank you enough for that sense of calmness I felt reading your posts and the reminder of whatever would be, would be. Thank you for rocking out 2010, and for continuing your swagger in 2011! You were destined to inspire so many!!!
    Love from Texas!

  329. So much warmth in the photos, it warms my heart seeing it.
    I love the fact there are so many dedicated people all over the world, even though I work right in the middle of people like that, it’s still a good reminder that there are a whole lot of good deeds going on out in the world.
    The headlines almost always scream out about war and horror and you easily forget all that strength, all the goodness and the love.

    Wonderful photage. Love NY.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  330. I live in FL too but NY is my hometown (or state, I should say).
    FL definitely has its perks, but my heart truly lies in NYC!!! Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  331. Amazing. Everything just sounds amazing!

  332. Your city photos are stunning and little Nella in the green tutu is precious! Another great, inspiring post. You are my favorite blog!!

  333. I’ve always wanted to go to NYC; one of my bucket list to-do’s for sure. I wanna heart NYC too :)

  334. I enjoyed the fb pictures shared almost daily! What an awesome experience you all had.

    I am touched and my heart is warm from such a positive event that caters to these awesome, beautiful people who have an extra chromosome.


  335. I am new to your blog and I cannot begin to tell you how much I absolutely love laughing, crying, listening and just enjoying your posts so very much. Many evening I sit and just read your blog and I am in awe of your courage and love you show those wonderful angels you have the privilege of sharing your life with Kelly! Thanks for another great inspiring post!

  336. The whole trip sounds like it was wonderful. I must know what kind of stroller that is! Love the green!

  337. Beautiful post…I heart NY and all the adorable pics of Nella being a city girl :)

  338. Your girls are just so beautiful!

  339. To Sonja – YES< i recognized him, too, Chris Burke from the old show “Life Goes On”. He played Corky and I just loved that show. Where are ANY family-friendly dramas like that on TV these days? Someone, please bring them back. Too much “reality” shows that have nothing to do with reality. And too many cop/law/crime violent shows. We hardly watch TV anymore.

  340. NYC is where my husband and I went on our honeymoon. Some of the best memories of my life. Favorite: paddling a boat together in Central Park Lake.

    Reading about Liz gives me hope for all the babies with Down Syndrome I care for in the hospital as a Pediatric nurse.

    I am completely eyeing a pink and brown Giraffe growth chart at the Spotted Monkey site:)

  341. what an inspiring trip. besides nella being so cute, I’m continually amazed at how each photo you capture is so amazing…I wish that I could do that. I take two hundred and get one that is “Kelle worthy”. But I’ll keep trying.

    Cheers to that!

  342. I am glad that Nella wasn’t star struck, she seems really concerned about Sharon Stone! *wink*

  343. You inspire me! And there are just not enough words to even describe how you’re changing the face of something others don’t understand….and thank you for that!

  344. How awesome to read about your trip and the NDSS event. Your pictures are amazing and Nella looks beautiful!

    Very inspiring – the seminar AND your attitude. Thank you!

  345. What a wonderful trip. What a wonderful gift and group. Enjoy reconnecting.

  346. Looks like y’all had a great time. Thank you for sharing and passing along the links!!!

    I LOVE the picture of you, another mom, and the two girls looking at each other. It touches my soul and urges me to know more!… Many Blessings from Virginia!

  347. What a beautiful trip! Congrats to you on bringing your lovely message to a wider audience! I love the pic of you and Nella with another mom and her daughter where Nella and the little girl are smiling at each other. A sweet friendship!

  348. I love your pics! I wish I could jump in a plane and visit NYC right now. Also, that hat is sooo perfect. I’m 17 weeks pregnant and if I’m having girl I want my first purchase to be a sweet hat like that.

  349. Sounds like an amazing event! You must be so honoured to have been part of it.

    Great NYC photos–I wannna go baaaaaaaaack! Love, love, LOVE that crazy, lights-all-night, charm-in-every-nook-and-cranny city!

  350. wow, such amazing pictures. don’t you just LOVE NYC?
    and your little Nella? she is one big bundle of sweet yumminess!!!!!!

  351. As a B&T New Yorker, I love that you “get it”! :) You really get it!

  352. What a wonderful event and experience for you and Nella to attend!

  353. That was beautiful. I’ve never been to NY but I want to go so bad. Your pictures are gorgeous of course!

  354. How beautiful, Kelle! Looks like you had a wonderful time! NYC is amazing, everytime we visit there is something else to see and do. Glad you are home with your family now!

  355. I went to New York once. It was a blast.

  356. What a trip! As I have said many times, you are so inspiring. Your photos, your attitude, your soul. YOU are amazing, and there is nothing Nella won’t be able to do with a mama like you on her side.

  357. I LOVE that Nella!! Looks like a fabulous trip. :)

  358. what gorgeous pictures of the city! Makes me want to take my girls there and let them experience all that it brings!

  359. My great-aunt Theresa grew up in a world where being born with an extra chromosome was a shame. She never went to school, and almost never even left the house until my great-grandmother’s (her mother’s) death when she was in her 40s. She didn’t receive therapy, didn’t have social opportunities, never even learned to have a conversation. Most of our family members didn’t even meet her until after my great-grandmother’s death when it became my grandparents’ responsibility to care for her, including myself. What a dark, sad, lonely life.

    Thank you for being our eyes into a community that’s changing the world for everyone with DS. I can’t help but want everyone I know to be a part of it. I’ve shared the link to your blog several times with practically everyone I know, and I pitched in and watched that Wonderfund ticker count up with glee when it was going. I came to your blog for the photos, I stayed for the connection with motherhood and the world of raising daughters, I share it for the good it does to raise our awareness every day.

  360. beautiful post kelle…. i found myself a little let down when i got to the bottom…. such beautiful kids…. with beautiful hearts…. thanks to you tons of people will be aware of this wonderful organization….cheers…


  361. What a magical experience!

  362. Such an exciting post. Thank you for reminding me of the spirit of New York. I, a jaded New Yorker, sometimes find myself more frustrated by the city than inspired by its hidden beauty. I yearn for my days in Santa Barbara where life was slow, beach jaunts were the norm, and the sun shone on the majority of days. But, New York does have a certain unmistakable charm. Thanks for playing it up for me :).
    It’s funny, I see your pictures and think, maybe sometime I’ll run into you and your littles in the streets or parks of NY. It would definitely qualify as one of my normal “celebrity citing”.
    Next time: best chocolate chip cookies in the city–Levain Bakery. 74th and Amsterdam. Won the “throwdown” with Bobby Flay. Yum.
    Cheers mama! xxoo

  363. Swinging in Washington Square Park…I just adore this photo of Nella. It simply screams ejoyment, love, excitment, a life full of wonder and amazement will this beautiful girl of yours have. Welcome home!

  364. What a very special post! The luncheon sounded wonderful, touching and so inspiring. What a bright future little Nella holds!

    I miss my hometown! Don’t know how I ever left it!! Beautiful pictures!

  365. Amazing. Absolutely LOVE the post…as usual!

  366. Which lens did you use on this trip??

  367. From that glorious blue door to the picture of the sisters reunited, this post makes my heart happy. Thanks to you and your blog for reminding me to seize every opportunity, cherish each moment, and love all of those around me.

  368. What a wonderful post. I heart NY and hope to go back for a visit sometime soon. Your photography is beautiful and your words are inspiring.

  369. Nella’s adorable little rosebud outfit completely slays me! She is just so precious :)

  370. I love it! Nella is getting so big!
    I have always wanted to go to NYC and take pictures. Every time I see pictures from there it reignites the desire.
    I love the hat too. I was wondering where you got it until you mentioned it. If I don’t win I will have to buy it because I don’t think I can live without it 😉

  371. Beautiful post! Loved it! Cheers 😉

  372. touching post, as usual!

    nella is looking more and more like lainey with every pic!

  373. I can’t get enough of that picture of Nella and her new friend looking at each other while you and your new friend smile for the camera! What a beautiful event, but what more, what beautiful people. Thank you for sharing!

  374. I love the black and white picture where the girls are looking past their mommas and giving each other the “i see you” look, while the proud mommas are steady smilin’ at the camera!

  375. Wow amazing blog, and the pictures are so beautiful AGAIN!!!

  376. Oh how you make me want to go back to NYC to experience that wonderful city again … I was there once, years ago and loved every moment. What an inspiring trip and amazing stories!!

  377. Liz Rice is such an inspirational young lady! After I finish with this comment I’m going to visit the website to read more about her and the others you mention.

    New York seems to be the perfect place to host this wonderful event. Is it held there every year? It should be!

  378. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I look forward to taking my girls to NY one day soon. I was there for one whirlwind day about 10 years ago and managed to pack two-days worth of sightseeing into 12 hours. So much life and charm. As it looks like the conference was as well. Thank you for sharing.

  379. Thank you for this post. Paloma and i are just at the start of our journey and you always show me that we can do this!

  380. a group you can feel at ease and at home with is rare.. hold on and don’t let go… Your photography is as beautiful as your words.. it’s like a magazine… I saved to buy.. and I don’t want to end…

  381. That last picture is ADORABLE!
    And all of your New York pictures make me want to hop on the train and head north with my girl to spend a weekend in the city. What fun!

    You have made a fabulous difference in the lives of those with Down Syndrome. Many people are more informed because of your experience and the fact that you blog honestly about your fears, successes, highs and lows.

    Thank you for all that you do.

  382. Thanks for all of the great pictures. Glad you had fun!

  383. Wow what a wonderful trip. I love NYC

  384. The event looks like it must have been absolutely amazing! And Nella can say she met Sharon Stone?! Lucky girl! Cheers to that! It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to travel and be a party to so much, I am sincerely jealous!

  385. Beautiful reason for a trip to NY and lovely pics. Makes me want to visit NY even more now.

  386. You could SO be a New Yorker.

  387. Hooray for adventures in places that stretch our souls!

  388. Stunning pictures…as usual and Nella is as cute as ever. I love the little top with the flowers across the top. :)

    Denise WI

  389. I love NY, it looks like you had an incredible, inspiring time!
    I thought of you and Nella on friday, I was at a garden party for the Royal Wedding and my friend Molly, who is 9 and has the magic extra chromosome, was telling me how handsome she thought Prince Harry was. It was adorable.

  390. What a beautiful post and pictures. I makes me want to hop on a plane and fly to NY. It also makes me want to go help – I Love to help and now that I have time I am trying to figure out what I can do. Thanks for the inspiration. Hope you are having a great weekend – I am enjoying the sunshine and celebrating 6 year of wedded bliss.

  391. Great post – very inspiring. Gorgeous photos of NYC, little Nella and the event. Love Chris Burke!

  392. This:
    “Meeting Liz made me so excited for Nella’s future.”
    This, brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.

  393. looks like a truly wonderful time was had with lots of love and inspriation everywhere :) and glad you could enjoy the fabulous NYC with your favorite little peeps!

  394. I’m very happy for you! It seemed to be a great and inspiring trip!

  395. My son is about the same age as your Nella. He “reads” your blog with me all the time. That picture of Nella with her foot in the air has brought many giggles. Thank you for your sweet writings and thank you for the sweet smiles and giggles that your pictures inspire.

  396. I love the city! The convention looks inspirational. I would like to get involved.

  397. I love following your blog & the story of your amazing daughters. Your photographs are really beautiful. what settings do you normally use? We have the same camera, but my pictures don’t seem to be as crisp as yours.

    I know higher ISO’s make the pix more grainy, but I’m I’m taking a picture of someone moving, don’t I need to be at a high ISO?

    When I bump my ISO down, my indoor pictures are too dark. :(

  398. would love to win something fun ! thanks for the chance.

  399. Great pics, I found myself crying at the one of Liz holding Nella. I could feel a glimpse of what you as her mother must have felt. The amazing posibilities for her future. She is beautiful.

  400. That blue door ROCKED!! I want to rush out and buy paint to make my front door look like that :) How refreshing to see good things for children with Down Syndrome! College, huh? Reach for the stars Nella!

  401. I only spent one night in New York for a business trip last fall and loved it! The people and the hustle of it all. Such an inspiring post! Nella is destined for greatness!

  402. Wow, I have always wanted to visit NYC and seeing all your wonderful pictures just make me want to be there more. Looked like an amazing trip all around. How blessed you are! I love that you never take that for granted.

  403. I have spent one day in NY…your photos and view makes me want to go back!

  404. NDSS dinner looked amazing!! What a great opportunity for you, Nella and so many others.

    I am in love with the picture of Nella swinging. Her *pure* joy reminds me so much of my little sister. I swear that extra chromosome has something to do with the purity in which people with DS live life.



  405. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of your beautiful pictures and eloquent, yet real, stories. Thank you for sharing :)

  406. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  407. NYC suits you! The event looks like it was magical.

    My nephew NEEDS one of these sweet hats!

  408. Your little girl is adorable!

  409. I am in love with the photo of Nella on the swing!Beautiful!

  410. What a beautiful weekend…You make me want to jump on a plane and fly away to a far off place:)

  411. beautiful group of folks!!!


  412. OMG! A picture with Sharon Stone & everything!

  413. I love love love your girls! I am amazed with Nella. She is absolutely a doll. I hope you had a blast in New York!

  414. Nella is such a gorgeous girl. I am sure she will do amazing things. :)

  415. What a wonderful trip!!! Thank you as always for sharing such beauty with us.

  416. I am new to your site – ever since I met you at the NDSS luncheon on Wednesday! Forget Sharon Stone, YOU were the highlight of the event… your speech, like your posts, was so heartfelt and inspirational. And that dress! My family’s friend with down syndrome has accomplished more than many people without down syndrome! I am grateful for how she has enriched our lives. I wish that for Nella!

  417. Beautiful pictures as always!

  418. You are beautiful, inside and out! Love reading your blog!

  419. I can.not stop from smiling when I see pictures of your little Nella smiling so big…the one in the swing kills me. I can’t imagine how contagious her smile and laughter is in real life!!

  420. Oh how you make me want to jump in the car and go into the city! Love the pictures- love Nella playing the trumpet like the guy, and love how you were able to meet the speakers. Very cool for Nella to see that in the future. She will be so proud!

    Off to read more about NDSS and the people at the luncheon. :)

  421. Love Love Love it! Thanks so much for sharing your NDSS luncheon experience. I feel so honored and blessed with such a special little one. Thanks again for being the voice of other parents like you!

  422. Everything about this post is beautiful. Nella. The Luncheon. You. The City. But especially Nella :)


  423. I was just in NY back in Jan. Loved it!

  424. Your adventure looks amazing! I love the picture of Nella on the swing – i laughed out loud.

  425. Looks like you had an amazing experience. I visited NYC once and my dream is to one day hopefully be able to get back there. Keep up the wonderful blog

  426. That last shot is awesome. I love the cliche I *heart* NY shirt and taxi! You HAVE to get that stuff, you know?

  427. I <3 NYC! :)

  428. Glad to know I’m not the only one who likes to grab a friend and try on clothes to pose for pictures with no intentions to purchase anything. Dig stores are great, but prom season is always a hoot, too.

    Love the shot with the dogwood!

    Fantastic post-

  429. The picture of Nella playing the trumpet is THE BEST! She is just so stinking precious. :0)

  430. beautiful!

  431. Wow. What an amazing experience. Your writing makes me wish I was there. Gorgeous photos as always.

    Love that sweet little hat. Nella makes it just perfect.

  432. I can’t wait until the day when another young mother presents the Melissa Riggio Voices Award to Nella Hampton and is excited about her own child’s future because of Nella…Nella is the amazing soul she is because of you…And she will do amazing things!

  433. I hope you brought some of that Florida sun and warmth up to the East Coast! We are ready for summer!

  434. Some of my most favorite people have D.S. You made me miss NY like CRAZY!

  435. Kelle I love all of your posts… this was extra special. I’m so in love with your little girls!

  436. Reading this I can see so much more potential for the adults I work with who happen to have Downs. Your photography is spectacular. Thank-you for helping to educate me.

  437. What a wonderful event and your pictures are so beautiful! I love the one of the guests of honour with Nella being the littlest one – and the one where’s she’s fast asleep! I love NYC – the 2 visits we had gave us just a little taste of some of the good times, places and people. And the hat – oh, my! I have a 2 week old new granddaughter who needs one just like it! Thanks for sharing and always making your blog fun to read!

  438. What a lovely weekend! The energy can be seen through your pictures :)

  439. Beautiful pictures. I was lucky enough to spend the first few months of this year in Manhattan and completely fell in love with the city as well. And how wonderful for you to be pulled there by an amazing cause.

  440. Your photos are gorgeous and your adventures in NY sound exciting and inspiring!

  441. What a delightful experience I had visiting your site- a beautiful inspiring child and mom, gorgeous pictures of more inspiring people and places, uplifting music, and important themes.

    Thank you so much for a lovely few moments.

  442. The picture of Nella swinging in the park is…AWESOME! Love that little face!

  443. Another amazing adventure…. ty for sharing.

  444. Yet another inspiring post! I wonder if a day will ever come when in some way, your posts don’t cause me to tear up. And lucky Nella! She’s met more famous people than I ever will and was so unimpressed, she was sleeping! Such a sweet lil girl!

  445. OMG. I want to go to New York SO BAD!! Love your pics, as usual!

  446. Alright, so did Sharon Stone put Nella to sleep?? Seriously!? Awesome.

    Your community rocks. So happy there are so many great communities in this amazing world!

  447. I have fallen in love with your beautiful family, your huge heart and your zest for life. I know that every time I visit your blog I am going to cry and I cannot wait. I cry because I am overwhelmed with how beautiful you are; you are all LOVE! Thank you for teaching me so much and loving your family and friends the way you do. I am so inspired.

  448. I so can’t wait to take my girls to NYC! Your photos capture the spirit of the city so well!

  449. of all those great pictures, my favorite is the one of Nella playing the trumpet opposite the musician. :)

  450. LOVE LOVE LOVE the pics!! Especially Nella at the event with the girl holding her w/her eyes closed. Pure love. And Nella playing the trumpet- too cute!

  451. Very inspirational, so amazing when people can get together and not only bring awareness, fund-raise, etc but to celebrate life and the possibilities of the future!

  452. I just love everything about this post, soo much beauty! From the big night hanging out with all the stars;) to the pigeons in the park. This post REALLY made me want to go to NY, NOW! 😀

  453. what a wonderdul post and such an inspiring event.

    glad you had safe travels!

  454. So loved this post! First trip to NYC ever two weeks today! Any tips?

  455. These people certainly sound inspiring! and I love the hat!

  456. Looks like a wonderful trip!

  457. Such a soul filling trip! Thanks for sharing.

  458. Your photography and your spirit inspire me! Thanks for sharing!

  459. planning our trip to the city now… thanks :)

  460. What an amazing weekend for you! I’m amazed at how easy going Nella looks in every photo. You’re doing amazing things!

  461. What a fantastic event!

    I can not wait for the day when I get to share the all the is wonderful and magnificent about NYC with my own daughter.

  462. as always, thank you for sharing.
    it’s helping me right now to see the world beyond my world’s current confines.

  463. Wow! What an amazing trip! More people with differently abled children should have access to events such as these, it might do them a world of good. Now especially, no doors need to be closed for children with DS the world is their oyster. Liz is a shining example of that! Nella will be too, I am certain of that!
    As always, your pictures are stunning!

  464. Wonderful pictures of NY. I’ve never been but I definitely love your pictures and description of it. You also make me what to be a part of something more, bigger than me and my world that I’m surrounded in. Thank you.

  465. Descobri sem querer o seu blog…
    As fotos são lindas… A Nella é linda!
    Beijinhos de Portugal

  466. Thanks for your willingness to connect and to share the wonderful successes. And, oh, I’m totally jealous of your few days in NYC…I think I need a vacation :)

  467. Wow. So happy for you and thank you for sharing these experiences with us because not all of us have the ability for one reason or another to see all that is being done for our little ones. Many of might not experience all the positives you get to see first hand_ so thank you. It strengthens my resolve and hope for my daughter.

  468. OMG . . . I want to go sooo bad! Glad you had such a good time!

  469. Love, love, love the pictures! The photo montage reminds me of that scene in ‘The Sweetest Thing’ – looks like you had so much fun!

  470. Thank you for sharing the photos, video clips and your thoughts from the conference. Wonderful to know the great things NDSS is doing.

  471. A friend introduced me to this website and I am so glad she shared it with me…it’s always so positive and uplifting, something we all need more of!

  472. Kelle your posts beautiful, always inspiring. I really enjoyed starting my day off with this one in particular and sitting back watching the videos of the speeches. Nella is truly blessed to have you in her life! I need to make a trip to that big city, looks stunning!

  473. wow, looks like such a fabulous trip and so inspiring!! little nella looks like she slipped into city life perfectly!! xoxo

  474. So beautiful. And the city’s nice too 😉

  475. I heart you for letting little Nella bean go barefoot in the city! Love the picture of Lainey loving on her sister!

  476. Love it! You’re making me want to take a trip to NYC as soon as possible. It looks like a blast.

    I love the dress up sequence and the event looked inspiring, uplifting and simply sweet.

    I love the sister reunion though. So beautiful to see her excited to see her little sister.

  477. Cheers to you and Nella and everyone involved with NDSS!!!!

  478. On some level, we all hope to inspire, to be part of something greater than ourselves, so that we can feel our heart swell and find peace knowing we made a difference in the life of another (or lives of others.) You were chosen to be Nella’s mama, thus making a ginormous difference with every word you write, every picture you take, every day you are present. Well done, you. Thank you for letting the rest of us walk alongside you on this unforgettable journey.

  479. A life you never could even dare to dream of….beautiful!!! Tears and love to you and yours.

  480. What a sweet trip!! Amazing pictures!

  481. Great post! The swinging in Washington Square picture is a perfect moment of childhood!

  482. Oh what a beautiful and hat and a life changing wonderful experience. I love how you have taken this new road and ran with it in almost every way.

  483. What an amazing post…. NYC has a special place in my heart as well. There is just something about that place that makes all my senses wake up.
    Nella is destined to do GREAT things… The future is hers…

  484. My wife and I are expecting our first child in September. We recently found out that we will be having a little girl, Brayleigh Dawn. We were extremely excited and nervous! I think mommy was more excited about playing dress up and daddy was more nervous about boyfriends but hopefully he can spend the next 16 years perfecting his speech for potential suitors.

    Our excitement was turned to fear and worry when we found out our little girl is at high risk for Down Syndrome. We went to a specialist and were told that the only way for us to know for sure is if he stuck a big needle into my wife’s belly and drew some fluid to test. He had a lot of proper names for this procedure but all I really heard was the part about a big needle and for some reason pictured a giant balloon being popped. Anyways, I was cruelly ripped back into reality from Balloonland when the doctor began to talk about miscarriage and abortion. Those words really got my mind (and heart) racing. Miscarriage? Abortion? Do we want to know if our daughter has down syndrome? Yes. But do we want to know so badly that we are willing to raise our risk for a miscarriage? Absolutely not!

    From that moment on, we knew, without a shadow of a doubt, we would love Brayleigh no matter what! Are the worries still there? Of course. Is there still fear? Oh yes! But we WILL NOT raise the risk of losing our baby because we are worried she may have Down Syndrome. We will not end our daughter’s life just because she doesn’t fit into the mental pictures that we have had of our little one. We will love…unconditionally…always.

    With all of that being said in this really long comment (sorry), we want to thank you for this blog. We stumbled upon it one day while researching Down Syndrome and we have been reading it ever since. Your words and pictures inspire us and bring back to our lives the excitement of having a child. Thank you. Your family and you have impacted our lives more than you will ever know.

  485. One of my favorite places in the world. Nella could not be more perfect.

  486. What a wonderful event, and it’s so great that you were able to go!
    Must have been amazing. And New York! I really have to visit that city some day.
    Nella looks so cute in everything she wore!! Loved her little outfits.
    And dressing up in a store? Awesome. AND, why not?

  487. It looks like such an uplifting experience for you and Nella! Enjoy the soaring!!! :)

  488. What a beautiful event. So glad you loved NYC, I wish I could visit with the kind of excitement you do, I always find trips stressful!

  489. You have such a beautiful way with words. It is truly inspirational…I find myself reading a post and flipping to mine, keen to express my thoughts.
    You bring such strength and hope to women, children, writers, and women everywhere..simply by sharing your words. Bravo.

  490. I love the picture where you and the other mom are smiling big for the camera, but Nella and the other little girl are oblivious to it, enchanted with each other. :-)


  491. I am blessed with 3 people in my life with an extra special something … my uncle, my brand new baby niece and a good friend’s daughter. They bring light to my world, and the bigger world, and I feel honoured to share is with them. I also heart NY.

  492. What a beautiful event. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful outpouring of love.

    Glad you and Nella had a wonderful time in NYC. She is seriously the most beautiful little girl!

  493. I love your writing and photos! What kind of stroller is that? It looks perfect for babies!

  494. You always know how to write. I love that. Even though I have been to NYC before the way you tell the story of it makes me wanna go back! I want to have an adventure there like you! and You always capture the best pictures!

  495. Between the blue door, Sharon’s red lips, and the green tutu, this blog post just screamed “LIFE!” You are truly sucking the marrow of each day….

  496. What a great weekend – the event sounds wonderful and I’m so glad you got to go enjoy it with Nella! And fantastic pictures of my favorite city – makes me long to go back!

  497. I can’t even imagine how beautiful it was to be surrounded by such a wonderful and supportive group. I got teary just reading your description! Beautiful pics of NYC!

  498. Love that hat!

  499. Liz Rice is an inspiration… I wonder how many young people with Down Syndrome have not reached their potential because they were framed in by other people’s expectations. Thanks for sharing, because you are helping get the word out that all of our young people are amazing!!! Great job!!

  500. I have to admit that my first thought when I saw your post was… “What?!?!?! Kelle didn’t tell me she was coming to NYC?”

    And them I remembered, you don’t know me!!!! When I read your blog (which I do religiously) I feel like we’re old friends catching up. I’m glad you had such a great trip.

  501. I love NYC and your post makes me want to go back so bad. Someday soon I hope.

  502. Awesome pictures and awesome story! LOVE IT!

  503. What a sweet jet-setter! I had a 4 adults to 1 baby ratio for our 2.5 hour flight last weekend and it was STRESSFUL! 😉

  504. Love the post and hearing about the NDSS. Thanks for sharing! And love Nella’s cute new hat!

  505. Love, lowe, LOVE the NDSS photos!!! My daughter is autistic and there is definitely a bond, unspoken, between other parents of children on the spectrum and myself… I’m glad you felt so at home!!! :)

  506. LOVE, LOVE the picture of Nella in the swing! Thanks for “taking” me on your trip to NYC!

  507. Love your posts! A friend and I are planning are very first trip to NY this fall! Your pictures make me so excited! I am a bit apprehensive leaving my 2 babes with their daddy for 3 days but so excited about my first girls’ trip! Glad you had a wonderful time and thanks for showing us to open our eyes.

  508. Beautiful! Some day, me and my girl will jump on a plane to visit New York. One of the many places on the bucket list!

  509. Sounds like an amazing trip! And what I really want to say … that picture of Nella on the swing? Made my day. Pure joy.

  510. Your NYC trip sounded and looked amazing! Part of the sterotype and discrimination toward people with Down Syndrome comes from people just not knowing more about it. Your blog is reaching so many with how amazing those with that extra chromosome really are.

  511. Wonderful post! Loved seeing the pictures from the conference! And Sharon Stone holding Nella, how cool is that?! Loved the picture of Nella swinging in the park. Thanks for sharing.

  512. Thanks for sharing! What a day brightener this post was.

  513. what inspiring people to be surrounded by! I cannot wait to visit NYC…your pictures make me want to visit that much more :)

  514. Uhhh, that’s SHARON STONE. That’s rad. I totally just got sucked into the NDSS website. The stories are amazing!

  515. I need to plan an NYC trip soon! Love the pics and Nella is adorable, big things in her future!

  516. Breathtaking. That is all!

  517. Love this post! Makes me wish I could have been there. Next year…

  518. I am glad you guys had a great time at NYC. The pictures as always beautiful, and Nella is breathtaking. :) It is so inspiring to know about older kids and knowing what they can do, so I thank you!

  519. Love this post. The pics are beautiful and the whole event sounds inspiring. Cheers!

  520. Awesome post. Thanks for sharing your life with us in such an honest way!

  521. always so much inspiration here!

    liz is beautiful~

    loved this post

  522. Goodness. I don’t comment often, but I loved this post. And I love that pic of Nella in the swing, so awesome! Such an adorable girl!

  523. Looks you had a great stay i NY.
    I have to say: my fav photo so far this year is the one of Nella having such fun in the swing!!

  524. All your photos are amazing but the one with your older daughter loving on her sister while in Daddy’s arms is BEYOND precious!

  525. A lovely post , beautiful beautiful pictures too – oh so makes me want to go there. thanks for sharing it.

  526. Awesome post. Its amazing what the future holds. My brother, born with hydrocephaly, is finally able to talk, walk and laugh this Easter–we will miss him but enjoyed him for 38 years here on earth.

    Would love a hat for one of my little girls.

  527. awesome, you make me want to see NY. Yay for Liz!

  528. Thank you for sending us a glimpse of your wonderful Wednesday!!!

  529. Cutest had EVER! I love it!

  530. Lainey’s Fourth Year book is BEAUTIFUL!

    Loved hanging out with Nella, your Dad, Nadya and you :))).

    So happy you had a great time at the NDSS luncheon and had the opportunity of meeting Liz Rice and spending time with so many wonderful people…

    Our beautiful J is a wise soul and I wish everybody can see her the same way I see her. I “get it” and I want others to “get it”. Whenever I meet and spend time with people with the magical extra chromosome, I just look at them for who they are, with the same loving eyes I see my J. Their pure hearts are such an inspiration and their spirits are love magnets. I want to thank you, again, for showing the world, how amazing Individuals with Down syndrome are. Thank you so much!

    Your speech moved me to tears…And, I’m with Sharon Stone…People with Ds are the most genuine people you can ever meet…they just see you for who you are…they don’t care if you are famous or not…they don’t care if you are rich or not…they accept and love you for who you really are.

    xox. Sending lots of love your way~

    “Human experiencing is a rich, complex tapestry, consisting of many interwoven strands of feeling, sensing, and knowing. At every moment we are processing much more information, sensing many more levels of meaning and deeper qualities of existence than we are explicitly aware of at the time…Because we thus know, in subtle, nonverbal ways, much more than we can ever articulate at any one time, new meanings -new ways of seeing and new things seen- continually emerge into awareness.” ~John Welwood

  531. I got to visit NY City when I was pregnant with my second child. It was a dream… and it was Christmas time… I got to see the lights, trees… the chilly air, warm coffee… I walked and walked until my feet were about to fall off! Ah – it will always be a memory I will cherish! (loved seeing your spring pictures…. truly magical!)

  532. What an amazing trip! Nella is getting so big!

  533. Hey not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but on page 72-73 of your sweet daughter’s book it says January 2012 instead of 2011! Just thought you show know! x

  534. I love your blog.

  535. I love your blog.

  536. LOVE the photo book….. Lainey and Nella will treasure those! What is the font that you used to write “day trip” on the Miami page? I noticed it throughout the book and loved it!

  537. There’s no other place in this world like NYC. Nella looks like she fits right in with the atmosphere of The City life.

  538. New York is a magical city, one that I loved visiting!!!! I hope to one day be able to take my kids there and let them witness firsthand how spectacular New York is!!!!

  539. I’m from NY and I know the feeling! Thank you for sharing!

  540. This was such an amazingly beautiful post!

  541. Firstly I when I saw the pics I was like WOW Sharon STone holding Nella and Chris Burke(AWESOME). Kelle you are a real inspiration, God could not have chosen a better Mom for Nella, I too am excited for Nella’s future. Thank you for showing us that having Down Syndrome doesn’t mean you can’t live a normal life. I am speechless WOWL, ABSOLUTELY AWESOME POST!!!! Romaine(South Africa)

  542. haven’t checked your blog in a while…Nella is a BIG girl now!!!!

  543. I can never just choose one pictures I love from your posts. I love them all. I would love to win a hat for my little guy

  544. Your story and photographs are breathtaking. NYC looks so beautiful through Nella’s and your eyes.

  545. I hate cleaning the bathroom…I will run ALL of my errands and make sure the rest of my apartment is spotless before I can bring myself to go in there and start scrubbing…

  546. I absolutely hate putting away laundry. Throwing it in the wash? No problem! Switching it to the dryer? Even better! But taking it out of the dryer and doing the whole folding/putting away thing? Absolutely stinky. So instead, you’ll usually see me knitting away on the couch while my clothes are in a wrinkled heap downstairs.

  547. Hi Kelle, I just discovered your blog today from a link in another blog I read. I have never added a comment to a blog before but I found was really moved by a lot of your material. Your photos and family are really beautiful. I found some of your experiences especially with your daughter Nella really touching and inspiring. All the best for the future.

  548. Those pictures melted my heart…gives me hope for my baby. I’m so afraid for her future but this is definitely inspiring. Thank you for sharing and helping me know things are going to be just fine.

  549. You know what would be the ultimate giveaway? Getting to tag along there next year. Because having the opportunity to be there with all those magical, God-touched people is something that gives me chills to imagine.

  550. Indeed – cheers to THAT!

  551. Your gorgeous descriptions & photos of the Big Apple make me want to go there. It looks like the best place.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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