The best thing about birthday celebrations around here is that they bring those we love and miss a little closer. Long after the recycle bin towered with crumpled wrapping paper has been dragged to the curb and discarded bandanas have been collected from the yard, there’s still the party encore, and it comes in the form of seeing my dad curled up on the couch with my girl or watching my friend torpedo Lainey out of the shallow end with a fit of laughter that’s even better than the soundtrack to our big birthday bash.



Here’s what I think about birthdays: Celebrate them. Plain and simple. Whether you are two or forty-two. It’s not a promotion. It’s not a graduation. It’s the anniversary of freaking life. And the older I get, the more I’m not okay with hearing people downplay their big day like it’s no big deal. It’s a big deal that in one year, we spent a slew of Sundays browning our babies on familiar sand or sorting good shells from broken ones while the tide receded behind us. It’s a big deal that we surveyed more sunsets, ate more grouper, shook the sand off our shins at the end of the day…again.




There may not be grand parties every year, but there will be celebrations–the confirmation that yes, I’m so glad you were born. A cupcake with a candle, a toast with paper cups, a lighter in the air floating to the chorus of a birthday anthem. I’ll make it special because it is so worth recognizing. And I’m going to try and do better at remembering others’ birthdays too. Less half-ass day-after texts. More showing up at random places with obnoxious balloon bouquets. Yes, that.

My friend Rebecca joined us for a family day at Isle of Capri Sunday.


I love that, just from visiting several times the past couple years, she has a whole scrapbook of Isle of Capri memories to draw from already. We recalled many of them as we sank our chairs into the shore–until the water swallowed our seats–and we watched as Nella slapped the glassy surface and winced at the salty water that slapped back.


I met Rebecca when I was twenty years old, when we both volunteered part of our summer at Camp Catch-a-Rainbow, a pediatric cancer camp in Western Michigan. I’ll never forget my first day of camp. I drove my teal Ford Escort wagon with the duct-taped fender into the dusty parking lot of Camp Pendalouan, parked it, and timidly walked toward the proverbial A-frame lodge for our scheduled orientation. I knew no one. My throat was tight, my stomach in knots, and I was secretly terrified I had signed up for the saddest experience of my life. Little did I know, my camp experience would become one of the greatest highlights of all my days–a magical event rich with laughter, parties, late-night pranks and lessons about life I’d need twelve years later. That is, sometimes, in the places you’d least expect to find it…happiness dwells abundantly. That and a friend for life.


We knew we hit it off when we realized we both filled our camp suitcases with crazy wigs for the kids. Our connection grew as camp progressed–dancing, stories, cabin makeovers, huddling on bunk beds listening to fourteen year olds talk about losing their eyebrows and hating the way everyone treated them different. You can’t do this kind of camp with someone and not connect in a life-long way. We returned to camp every summer for the following four years. Twelve years and two bridesmaid dresses later, we’re still kickin’.


And, this week it’s been dreamy to share coffee with her in the morning, listen to her convince Lainey to put on her pajamas at night, and toast to another Sunday at the beach while the legs of our chairs sink deeper into the sand and the water rises higher on our middles. As Rebecca said right about the time the tide was pulling back and she repositioned her chair to face the sun…”This so doesn’t suck.”




Suit from my favorite retro swimwear boutique and sponsor, Popina.

Lainey turned four and suddenly, she eats. My birdy little nibbler devoured multiple helpings of pineapple, grouper, buttered pasta…and finished it off, of course, with cake.




She thrives on salty mists and sweaty cheeks and never complains about the bottom of her feet meeting the sun-soaked patches of hot dock planks or the jagged bits of broken shell beach carpet.




We finally brushed off the sand, folded damp towels and drove forty minutes home where we rinsed naked babies in the pool, zipped up stripey jammies and continued the spring lovefest in the driveway.


This one bestows kisses freely and proudly now. I lean in, pucker up and ask nicely. “Nella, kiss?” And she smiles. Pauses. Slowly leans forward, pressing her forehead against mine and then gives the most gentle, precious little kiss–her mouth open just enough for me to smell her sweet, milky breath. But the best part is when she pulls away. She leans back, impishly smiles and waits for it. The thank you that follows. She knows she’s getting a gushy thank you and she works for it.



How’s that for an encore?

Many of you commented on questions re: birthday party details from the last post. I added an addendum at the end of Lainey’s Party Post with answers. I hope it helps!

Finally, I’m pleased to have Sweet Seat joining us as a new sponsor. Sweet Seat is a family company that designs and handcrafts beautiful booster seats on their own farm. Since we got ours, we’ve used it outside in the driveway for play, inside the house for eating, outside at the lanai table, at a restaurant and at Isle of Capri. It’s easy to transport, simple to clean, and very nice to look at.



It makes a great baby shower gift or, even better, a present for yourself. Use Code BLOGS for 10% off your order. One comment from this post will be winning a sweet seat of their choice as well!


Post sunset sky encore:


A great week awaits.


Leave a Comment
  1. Isle of Capri looks amazing right now. Have a great week! :)

  2. Such a lovely story of how you met Rebecca.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love those booster seats! So much cuter than the plastic ones from the store. My son seems to think he is too old for his highchair now days (he’s not even 2 yet), so I am thinking booster seat days are in our future!

  4. My daughter was born on Valentine’s Day this year. One of my favorite experiences so far as a mother-watching my father watch my daughter. I can actually see the love in his eyes and it chokes me up every time. Love the pictures of your dad with Nella! Nothing sweeter.

  5. Love the seat! We need one!

  6. I love that you packed your suitcase with crazy wigs! So thoughtful. And the birthday balloon idea…I am so on that!!!

  7. One day i hope to visit your Isle of Capri! Have an amazing week love.

  8. Your girls are going to have the most beautiful photo albums. I imagine them being poured over for generations to come.

  9. Oh man, that booster seat is adorable!! I think I need one. Also, I’m very upset there is no Isle of Capri here in Utah…I could really use one a those right about now :)

  10. My heart just exploded with cuteness!! I love how you described Nella giving kisses! LOVE.

  11. you all look like you had a fabulous time, thanks for sharing! loving your bathing suit and that little chair too–thanks kelle!

  12. Wow! That seat is super adorable and I think we NEED one. Love that pic of Nella after your story of her gentle kisses for the big thank you. My 19 month old Walter does the same thing.

  13. sigh. i could use some isle of capri right about now.

    i’m turning 30 this year, and you better believe i’m going to make a big deal out of it. and you can show up with obnoxious balloons if you’d like!

  14. my son’s 3rd birthday was sunday. the party was fantastic and I couldn’t stop watching him. he’s growing up too fast. he’s such a good big brother and I’m so proud of him. I adore reading about your beautiful family and have gotten such great ideas or presents from this blog…LOVING the boosters! thank you for taking the time to share your gift of words.

  15. The picture of Brett and Lainey looking at each other at the restaurant table is so sweet! I love reading about all of your fun adventures!

    Love the booster seat!

  16. Love what you said about birthdays. Such a true statement – don’t we want to celebrate a new year of life?!

    The booster seat is SO cute! I had one back in the early 80’s that looked just like this one in style (with retro fabric) I might have to go buy one if I don’t win. Would be fun to see my kids using a booster, just like Mom did :)

  17. I love the beach photos – you make a mama wanna head south! That chair is a beaut – I could use a functional and lovely thing. And Nella, sweet Nella – your descriptions and photos of her just slay me, everytime. Gorgeous.

  18. “It’s the anniversary of freaking life.”

    Um, totally LOVE that. And I love the idea of showing up with an obnoxious grouping of balloons. So, so fun and an idea I may just have to steal…

    I too instantly noticed the look of love on Brett’s face in the restaurant photo. Absolutely precious.

  19. I know it wasnt your intention but the lines about sipping coffee/Laineys Pjs and rebecca brought tears to my eyes. Being so far from home- I long for those days/visits with my best friends of 20 years! What a blessing!

  20. Beautiful post, you always tell such a full story with your words and pictures, I luv it! And the pic at the end where Nella dropped her ice cream, with her little patent leather shoes, is so adorable. It reminds me of when I was little and dropped my ice cream and cried and cried. It’s funny how a picture can elicit such a long forgotten memory.

  21. I already went to bed over an hour ago, cannot sleep. My hubby is in Boston for business for a week, here I am lonely in Texas. Got up to see if anything was worthy online to read and there you were with a new FB blog post. I cried happy tears. I love how you write, from the heart. I love that you share so much of yourself, your family, and friends. I feel blessed to “know” you from your blog. I’d take a sugary kiss from Nella right now and a big 4 year old hug from Lainey and your poppa, just some words of wisdom from him. Glad to see him in these pictures. I just admire your whole family. It is like anyone elses, we all have issues, we all have happy days, sad days, we breathe, live, learn, and wake up and do it again the next day.

    God Bless you all.


  22. So envious of your beach friendly weather. Looks like the perfect way to wind down after a party for a little lady!

    It’s great to have the go to friends from a long time- they know everything and understand without even saying anything!

  23. Such beautiful words and photographs and memories!

  24. I’m up waiting and agonizing over blood test results that might tell me if I have lupus now on top of all my other health issues. I’m watching my little miss sleep and wondering if i get to be around to watch her grow up. You reminded me there is still so much magic and love even up against crippling, life altering fear.

    Thank you, Kelle.
    Thank you.

  25. Arizona needs an Isle of Capri! What a wonderful weekend celebrating life!

  26. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    The way Brett’s t-shirt got wet, sitting in the ocean: THAT’S summer to me and it looks heavenly!
    Wonderful soft days for you.
    And I got my fix for the day – for this I thank you!

    Have a fab, fab, fab week!

  27. Gorgeous post. I can only imagine what a sweet kiss from Nella would be like.
    I love, love, love those photos of her sleeping with your dad. She’s so precious.
    Happy birthday Lainey!!!!
    Bless you for sharing your family and your thoughts with the world, Kelle. You bless so many people.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Nella and the dropped ice cream cone is just priceless. Thanks for putting into perspective what is important in life….you made my day!

  30. Btw, you made me cry when you wrote this on one of the last couple of posts…

    If there is a heaven, then someday when I cross over there, I’d like to think my moment of entrance will be experiencing again those precious minutes when I became a mother. To do it again–to transform from wanting, hoping, and trying to imagine what it’s going to be like to actually experiencing it–reaching out my arms to cradle her perfect body, pulling her in to kiss newborn skin, feeling this gutteral lurch of a new love I couldn’t quite explain–I’d go back a trillion times to feel it again if I could. I’d take the pain, the pushing, all of it just to remember again what it was like to be changed so instantly. To be overwhelmed by love in that way.

    I’d go back to that moment a trillion times too if possible. So unbelievable magical. A tiny taste of heaven. x

  31. loving the booster seat! wonderful photos as always and beautiful memories for your family!

  32. I call it *I love this green* is what I read about that booster seat….and I couldn’t agree more! Cutest seat ever! How fitting that the precious, outside the box seat would be in a post of yours. Your children, your pictures, your gift of words…all outside the box and precious. I love this green….and this blog!

  33. Most. Gorgeous. Booster. EVER!!

    Another lovely post :) Being in the Southern Hemisphere I’m a little jealous of all the sun & sand in those pics – but happy you are all enjoying it!

  34. I love that picture of Nella and the dropped ice cream cone. Too precious.

    I wish I lived near the beach so my baby could experience all of that all the time. Growing up with all those memories will be so much fun for the girls.

  35. I love the part about the sweet, milky baby kisses. Made me tear up a little bit. I miss the open mouth kisses that are freely given!

  36. Happy Birthday to your sweet little girl!

  37. I love the first photos of Nella asleep… And I SO want to go to the beach!

  38. My son-just turned 1- has started to communicate in cool ways, like Nella and her kisses. He squeezes his eyes shut, then waits for me to do the same, then laughs like crazy when we both open our eyes. And at night, he’ll just squirm over until he’s lying on our faces, then he’ll smile and fall asleep.

  39. Just wanted to say what a beautiful read your blog is. I love to see the stunning photos that you manage to capture, creating such wonderful memories.

  40. I have to plan a trip to Zisle of Capri – it looks like bliss!

    I love the pic of Nella in the booster with the ice cream. So funny!

  41. totally inspiring as usual. A friend was looking for inspiration for her daughter’s first birthday. I sent her links from birthdays past on your sight and said, “This chick does it right.” … but I think the birthday/any holiday encore is some of my favorite stuff too :)

  42. Birthdays are a huge deal at our house also…..bigger than any holiday and my kids always count down for months to their special day!!

  43. Oh I bet those Nella kisses are magic!

  44. I agree. I don’t like it very much when people say, “The older you get, the less you should celebrate your birthday.” What the heck?!? I love to celebrate life! Besides, we never know which breath could be our last. I want to cherish every moment I have with my family. Live it up! I love your photos, as always. I love that seat too! Very cute! :) Have a blessed day sweetie!

  45. I adore the way you keep the party going. It inspires me.

    Nella and her Poppa are to sweet for words, all little girls should be so blessed.

    Lainey and her daddy, oh man nothing gets to my heart more than a daddy who knows how to love his kids. Bravo Brent!

    Super cute booster!

  46. I love celebrating birthdays. Its a day to celebrate YOU. The day you were BORN! I mean come on people!! Lets party! :)

  47. That seat is adorable….

  48. I need that booster seat!

  49. those booster seats are precious! way cuter than the one i sat in 30 years ago πŸ˜‰

  50. We are having our fourth, perhAps on my own birthday. I have to continually remind myself if someone wishes to celebrate him, its no embarrassment. He is just as special as the unique baby we welcomed 6 years ago and his birth, and life is just as special. Thank you for affirming my belief.

  51. I am a new follower… love wht you said about birthdays… my son died before he was born last august… been struggling with what to do on that day, but the bottom line is that I am glad he was born, so I think I’ll take you advice. Love all of your pics… the girls are beautiful!

  52. I’m still waiting to meet my forever friend… cherished ones are so hard to come by it seems. But I’m putting myself out there again, I feel like I’m back on the dating scene but this time I’m looking for friends! HAHA.

  53. Im going to show up with more obnoxious balloon bouquets too! What a great idea!

  54. great seats and perspective on birthdays. ~mis.

  55. Another beautiful post as always – I LOVE the chalk stencils!

  56. Those kisses are to die for, no? Sweet post. My granddaughter is 11 months old now (wow) and I sure could use that booster seat. Lovely.

  57. Oh I just love this post! You are so right about birthdays and I’m inspired to make a bigger deal out of them. Thank you. And I love your beach pictures – nothing better than hanging out at the beach with friends and family – and you captured the moments so beautifully well, as always. And of course, the pics with your daughter and her grandpa sleeping are heart-melting. Love coming to your blog to read about your beautiful everyday adventures.

    And that booster seat is tooooo cute!

  58. what a great post!! and I so agree about always celebrating your birthday and others! and loving your swimsuit!!!

  59. Wow that is a “Sweet” seat. I’ve been mulling over whether or not to buy a booster seat and now I think i know my decision!

    Isle of capri looks amazing as usual. Makes me look forward to vacation even more!!

  60. Hold those memories close. They do grow up fast.

  61. This blog post was so appropriate for today……my Uncle Matt’s 38th birthday. He and I are 5 years apart and pretty much grew up together. He was in a devastating accident (a bus pulled out in front of him) 2 months ago and his future was uncertain. Miraculously, he is healthy and well and back to living his full, amazing, busy life. Words can’t express how grateful we are to celebrate his birthday today!!

  62. …and what an encore it was!

  63. I live in Virginia and we always head to the East Coast for fun in the sun, but I see a vacation at the Isle of Capri in our future! Sweet, sweet pics of Nella with her grandpa.

  64. That first photo of Nella and your dad is absolutely precious. :) I need a beach like yours that’s close enough to drive to! Have a wonderful Tuesday.

  65. It’s like a vacation every time you go to the Isle! Poor Nella & her ice cream. It made me smile!

  66. We are finally getting in some beach time here in N. Michigan… finally! (not sayin’ we’re swimmin’ yet… but never the ness… ) Love that pic of Nella and the icecream cone… priceless!

  67. I am so with you on birthdays! It drives me crazy when people don’t like to celebrate their life! I know getting older sucks sometimes but it is so much fun to rewind the last year or even years of your life and see how far you’ve come, where you have been and maybe even predict where you will be!

  68. That seat is adorable!!! Okay, first things first…thank you for changing the way that I am going to look at my birthday. A celebration. Perfect. Thanks for always inspiring.

  69. That Nella- I could just eat her up! So glad you guys are enjoying so much wonderful family time. Your posts make me wish I lived next door :)

  70. Happy Birthday to that precious girl! They are adorable!

  71. Wonderful encore. Those kinds of friends are amazing to have. And the initial meeting might not seem like much at first, but now thinking back it was a wonderful moment.

  72. Kelle, I’m loving what you said about birthdays! The Isle pics are ahhhmazin’, enjoy your week :)

  73. I love those booster seats! And love the story now Nella kisses :-)

  74. I absolutely adore your Isle of Capri posts! I can almost smell the salty air and feel the ocean breezes through your photos. *sigh*
    And oh, those sweet kisses from Nella! How I love my own kids’ kisses :)

  75. Nella’s smile is just the sweetest thing ever. Her kisses must be so precious.

    And oh my goodness, those booster seats look amazing! I am always looking for something to help my Wesley sit still, and these look like just the thing!

  76. What a great summer camp experience. I had a similar life changing summer break when I went on two seperate mission trips to work in a children’s orphanage. I still remember all of the names and faces of the children who forever have a hold on my heart!

    Love love the picture of Nella’s dropped cone!

  77. I totally agree with you on birthdays! I think people should always recognize those they love on the day they were born.

  78. Beautiful pictures!
    Counseling at a kid cancer camp is amazing and can only pray my daughter would volunteer her time for such a wonderful camp.

  79. Love love love your Isle of Capri posts.Whatever it is they are about. I also agree about the birthday thing,I was born on Leap year so I only have a birthday every 4 years, unfortunately people tend to forget b/c its not a day every year. I take that in stride and make every “birthday” that much better! Happy Tuesday!

  80. what a lovely post! Love the booster but can I say I just ADORE the first pic! how sweet is that!!

  81. Thank you for always reminding me to slow down and enjoy life, to celebrate life. You are amazing Kelle! And my, what adorable little chairs!!

  82. I love your pics from Isle of Capri! What a special place to form so many memories your little ones will cherish for years to come! Love the booster seat..how adorable!

  83. Your posts are always a joy to read! We’re working towards our adoption and we’d love a little seat for our new little girl:) Thanks you for letting us share your beautiful family.

    Brooke Annessa

  84. This post reminds me of my goal this summer- to create wonderful memories for our family. And to take pictures! Lots of them!

  85. Oh Em Gee… your bathing suit! Want!!

    Your life is beautiful.

  86. Open-mouthed kisses are the best! I am a newbie to your blog but am almost totally caught up. πŸ˜‰ I can’t stop reading. You inspire me! Thank you for that.

  87. – Love the pictures of Nella and Poppa!!!!
    – Love your story and description of your friendship with Rebecca.
    – Love the story of Nella’s kiss and how she waits/work for the thank-you.
    – The pictures of Isle of Capri are beautiful!!!!!!
    Have a great week!

  88. “celebration of freaking life” – you are so right on. This is what I am going to tell my husband when he tells me I am crazy for the big deal I will be making about our twins’s first birthday. For two babies that were miracles… we will be celebrating their freaking lives. You rock.

  89. What exciting weekend!!! Gotta say you have inspired me with your camp story…still so impressed by you.

  90. Loved this post. It is so special to have friends that can love on your babies as much as you do.

  91. Such a sweet post. Lovely pictures and words. I agree whole heartedly about celebrating life. I love love love birthdays!

  92. You really know how to throw an after party! That seat really is sweet. I have a spunky little two year who promoted herself from the high chair to the regular table. So we are needing something just like that seat

  93. I love how you celebrate your family in big and small ways. And those booster seats? To DIE for! Love, love, love.

  94. Love the beach photos….Makes me eager for our beach vaca in August!!!! Love the part about Nella’s kisses…their is nothing sweeter in life tha baby kisses :)

  95. I love best friends. And celebrating birthdays. And the beach.

  96. I almost feel like I should stand up and clap after that encore and maybe scream for another.

    My favorite part – “It’s the anniversary of freaking life.

  97. That chair would be perfect at grammy’s house!

  98. baby kisses are the best!

  99. Every time I read one of your posts I seem to cry. Your girls are going to have such amazing memories of their childhood. Sweet family.


  100. What a wonderful weekend!! Happy Birthday Lainey!
    That chair would be most perfect for my little man!

  101. Aww, love your camp story!! I have memories like that as well. :) Your girls are gorgeous, as usual!

  102. I can barely handle reading your posts—the music, the words-leave me in tears (happy tears that touch my heart) and my jaw on the floor about your amazing photos.
    Nella, ice cream cone, Sweet Seat……ADORE.
    Your story about Rebecca is so special-you are truly blessed.

  103. Your posts always make me wish I was on vacation. Love that booster seat! So much cuter than my plastic fisher price chair.

  104. Friends are one of lives best blessings! πŸ˜‰

  105. Birthdays, Best Friends, the Beach, what more could you want in a fabulous weekend!
    Sweet Seat’s are just adorable. Where have they been all my life? Thank you for always bringing something new! The B&W Houndstooth is stunning

  106. I love to check in with the Hampton family everyday! I have two little cherubs of my own and can’t get enough of them and reading your blog helps me “enjoy the small things” everyday. Thank you! And my girl loves anything girly and would LOVE a pretty booster.

  107. You make me so jealous I don’t live near Capri. But we all have out own ‘Capri’ eh?

  108. That’s it! I’m putting the Isle of Capri on my bucket list. You’ve convinced me!

  109. a. I wish I was at the beach right now. b. I’m totally going to call my best friend from way back tonight. c. super cute booster seat. d. fabulous encore!

  110. How wonderful is that! Wating to swim in the ocean with my girl and have an encore of our amazing weekend!

    How cute is that chair?! Seriously!

  111. those are adorable boosters! :) Normally I would say I didn’t have a use for one with my kids being 6 and 9 now, but we just found out we are expecting :)

  112. Your Isle of Capri posts always start my day off well! totally want to be at the beach right now…

  113. Flawless, as always! What an inspiring story of how you and your sweet friend met! Love your description of how Nella kisses! Precious. Love the way our littles begin to give back the love they’ve seen demonstrated! And Sweet Seats… OMG! SOO stinking CUTE! :) Thanks for the lipgloss info… your lips were killer! :)

  114. Ahh you make me want to move to Florida, and I don’t even like the heat! But I’m 9 months pregnant and want to swim so bad, that water looks so inviting!

  115. Oh how I crave to be near my very own Isle of Capri. The midwest just isn’t the same when the water options are chlorinated or Lake Michigan. I love the feeling of salt water and I can’t wait for my sweet baby girl to experience it for herself.

  116. I love those boosters! My 8 month old Abrielle is far too much a body in motion to use one safely now, but I love non “baby” baby things!
    As an aside, the story about your experience in the pediatric camp really touched me. When I first started working on pediatrics, there were a lot of situations and patients that I shied away from because I was a bit afraid.
    I can now say with confidence that everyone should barrel forth into what scares them, because those experiences are by and far the most rewarding.

  117. Oh no! Nella lost her ice cream cone :( Super cute seat, and beautiful photos.

  118. Your pictures are so beautiful! And I am soooo with you on the birthdays, sister!!

  119. I agree! Celebrate everything! I just celebrated “42” last week and it was fabulous!! :)

  120. Watching you all play at the beach makes me soo excited for our vacation to myrtle beach this year!

  121. I’m so glad you were born too…..
    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  122. Yes, celebrate indeed! I love birthdays. Thanks for the gentle reminder to always celebrate them!

  123. Beautiful, as always! Thanks for another lovely glimpse:)

  124. I LOVE what you said about birthday celebrations….and completely agree. I love to surprise my fiance’, my family, my friends with random gifts and fun plans for their birthday. I don’t care how old we are turning, I love to celebrate LIFE with people I love :)

  125. Those seats sure remind me of the one my grandparents had when I was a wee little one. Beautiful pictures!

  126. I agree, birthdays should always be a BIG deal! And those are the cutest boosters I’ve ever seen!

  127. I still cant get over the birthday party, i had to check back in today just to ooh and ahh over the pictures again. Ever think of being a party planner? Love the sleeping Poppa and Nella pics, can’t you just imagine her treasuring those pics when she is older? So sweet!

  128. i love the seriousness of lainey in the chalk shot. is that chalk paint? so cool! and how do you get nella not to eat the chalk. my 15mo son eats everything artistic.

  129. What a beautiful family you have!

  130. I love that you think that all birthdays need to be celebrated..I agree. I can’t stand when my 20 something friends say “we are too old for birthdays!” I love that seat!

  131. the pictures of Nella with your dad are so precious! i have a feeling you and Nella will both treasure them for a long time! :)
    and that booster seat is ADORABLE! much better than the tattered, old brown ones they provide us at resturants. i think i may have to get my daughter one of the fancy ones! speaking of which, i LOVE that picture of Nella with the fallen ice cream cone! poor girl! but too funny! :)

  132. Glad the weekend continued with great friends and fun! Love the story behind meeting your friend at a camp years ago

  133. Beautiful post & pics as always!!


  134. The beach looks amazing since we’re still experiencing temps in the 50s up here! Someday soon it will be summer for us too.

  135. Love the one of your Dad and Nella.. So sweet and so special.

  136. Yay, you shared your lipcolor :) see, it is the small things that make me happy. I just have to say that your family is so lucky to have you. I really wish I had a mom who was as loving and accepting…and as positive and happy as you are. That is going to make a world of difference to your girls. So I guess I’m asking you to adopt me πŸ˜‰ Have a fantastic day Kelle – I just know you will!

  137. You all have the cutest swimming suits! I looooove that seat!!

  138. The pics of your poppa and Nella sleeping stole.my.heart!!!! I always enjoy reading….and those boosters ARE TOO CUTE!!!! Perfection.

  139. Sweet Nella kisses! We need a picture of that. Love the boosters. Like it, love it, want it!

  140. I love the way you talk about Isle of Capri… sounds so… um, perfect!!

  141. YOU. ARE. MY. FAVORITE. MOMMA…. I have learned so much from you. I love your zest for life and your creativity… it really, really, really helps me stop and enjoy my kids… to make moments special and not feel guilty for just being a momma… ENCORE to you!

  142. My favorite part of big celebrations and family get togethers is after the food is put away and everyone is just sitting around and talking b/c the hype of the day is over and we can relax and be ourselves. Thanks for such a great givewaway! :)

  143. Hey Kelle! So many beautiful sentences swimming in this post:

    “…and we watched as Nella slapped the glassy surface and winced at the salty water that slapped back.”

    “ten years and two bridesmaid dresses later…”

    And my favorite photo? The one of Lainey and Brett sitting behind the screen eating, and Lainey’s face is in the foreground and she’ looking up to the right….it has a beautiful just…essence to it.

    Awesome post.


  144. That booster seat is absolutely adorable!

  145. Still dying to make it to Capri :) The sweet seats are amazing! What a cute idea!

  146. Poor Nella’s ice cream:( Hope there were no tears. I love the chairs!

  147. Looks like the perfect ending to the week! Have a good week.

  148. The camp story was beautifully written. Nella is getting so big!! It’s good to know that when my little hits 4, that maybe, just maybe she might eat better.

  149. Those booster seats are ADORABLE!!!

    WHERE is Nella’s sun bonnet hat from????!!!! It is so amazing!

  150. The pictures of Nella and your dad are precious.

  151. Love all your photos! I feel like your words are an extra bonus because your photos already speak so much!! That chair is to die for! Supper cute, I think I will have to get one…if the hubs will let me πŸ˜‰

  152. i wish i had an isle of capri here.. or we were anywhere close to a beach! i absolutely love the picture of your daddy with nella. so sweet. i love seeing my daddy with my son.

  153. Oh I would love to live somewhere so gloriously warm and sunny. It’s sunny in Scotland just now, but it’s also blowing a gale! The beach looks so beautiful.

  154. “there will be celebrations–the confirmation that yes, I’m so glad you were born”

    I love that! I’m going to do that better.

  155. I love little Nella’s waiting-for- a-thank-you face. She’s beautiful.

  156. Mmmmm, I’m loving this! My husbands birthday is July 1st so we’ll be getting our party-selves going celebrating Daddy and then 4th of July! So much fun this Summer in Michigan!

  157. love everything about this post. friendships, sweet babies, birthdays, and those too-cute booster seats. love watching your baby girls grow!

  158. What a wonderfully inspirational post! I love Lainey’s swimming suit! WHERE is it from?!?

  159. One of my favorite things about expecting the unexpected baby #5: all of the fun new baby things out there! LOVE that booster seat! : )

  160. Gorgeous post as always! The photo of Nella and the dropped cone made me think of my emotions over the past few days – a big messy mess! BUT, you are so right -life does go on and we should always celebrate another day! Love, love, love the beach photos!

  161. I love sweet encores :). What a happy thing life is.

  162. When I entered my 20’s, I realized the older you get the less people seem to care about your birthday. It’s sad that we’ve become that way.

    But lately I’ve had this desire in my heart to really start celebrating birthdays for what their are, a celebration of life. My husband tries to play his b-day off like it’s just another day, but I tell him, “I’m glad you were born. I want to celebrate it.” And it just so happens his b-day is this Friday. My brain is storming up ideas on how to celebrate him.

  163. Happy birthday to Lainey! I just sat here reading your post with my little Emmy and she just loves Nella!! She points and says Baby over and over! Thank you for the beautiful Post!

  164. I just have to say that I LOVE your blog. Everything about it.

  165. Ah, I just love reading your blog. I used to live in Florida…and watching (more like reading) your sentiments on sand and the waves makes me a little homesick ;^) You have such a beautiful family, Kellie!

  166. love those Capri photos! I have drooled over your island of capri photos for so long. It’s definatly on my bucket list to visit! Thanks for sharing!!

  167. I just love your blog. Definitely one of my top favorites. That chair is adorable! Would make a a great photo prop. I want one!

  168. Your Isle of Capri trips look so fun! The booster seat is super stylish and cute!!!!

  169. You have the best sponsors. I need that seat!

  170. My little ladies are still too small for a booster seat, but they could have something so sweet looking to look forward too :)
    Your Family Sundays make me strive to bring in simple family traditions here in my own home. The ladies are just now turning 6 months, its time to begin :)

  171. love the love in your family!
    you have a way of spinning words into stories that i’ve never seen before.

  172. Standing “O”!! Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore! Kelle!

  173. I just love you all!!! Love those booster seats too!

  174. I love what you said about loving birthdays…I have a super huge fear of turning 30…and I’m only 24. I need to work on that, and loving birthdays more. I used to LOVE my birthday and would drag it out as long as I could…now, not so much. I think I need to start that again!

  175. My heart swelled reading of your amazing friendship with Rebecca…..sometimes friends are found in the most unsuspecting places. And what a blessing that is…..I want to come to Isle of Capri with you. That’s my dream. πŸ˜‰

  176. I LOVE that you celebrate your girls so much! And, those are way cute sweet seats :)

  177. Looks like another great beach trip! LOVE those booster seats. Oh, and since I live in the Portland area, a trip to Popina is a must!

  178. The Isle of Capri looks beautiful. And I love your philosophy towards birthdays. It’s lovely.

  179. Because of your Isle of Capri posts, I swear, this Rocky Mountain girl has a move to somewhere near a beach in her future. Grew up in California and so want my girls to experience those long days at the beach with mom!

    Love love love that booster seat and hope I am the lucky draw!

  180. I love the sweet milky kisses!

  181. you are very good at summer livin!

    and i looooove that booster seat! hope i get to see one in person! :)

  182. 9 times out of 10 your posts bring me to tears and that was BEFORE I found out I was pregnant!! I have such a deep appreciation for your love for your family because it reminds me so much of mine! I talk to my husband often about Nella and Lainey and show him pictures. He finds your story remarkable. I love your pictures of the aisle of Capri! I am envious as I sit here in a chilly house in San Diego. We have our beach escapes every now and then! Check out my blog to see some of our fun times! <3 happy late birthday to Miss Lainey!

  183. on a small side note The Promise is one of my favorite songs of all time…whenever I used to visit my mom when I was a kid (i lived in Italy with my dad) she used to go on the longest drives in her old Honda. I can almost smell the inside of her car when I hear that song. Thank you for the trip down memory lane…i miss my mommy =D

  184. It is such a joy to watch other people enjoy our kids as much as we do, isn’t it? I’m so glad that Lainey had a wonderful 4th birthday.

  185. I (big, pink puffy heart) encores!

  186. Oh, I adore the booster seat! It looks like an updated version of the ones my Grandma used to have at her house.

  187. I love it. I love it all. Your blog, your pictures, your stories, that lovely chair. I’m sure I’ve embarrassed my husband by my absolute love of birthdays. But you’re right, celebrating LIFE is so important.

  188. The time at the beach with family and friends just seems delightful. I fully agree how important it is to celebrate each and every birthday!

  189. Nella in Poppa’s arms – so sweet!! What a great capture.

  190. Thank you for another inspiring post. I LURV that sweet seat! I have a sweet little bum (not mine πŸ˜‰ ) that could use that up to perfection!

  191. I want to live with you. Gorgeous sun, beautiful beaches. Thanks for sharing your photos.

    I *adore* that seat and had to come out of lurkdom to enter.

  192. What a wonderful encore! :-)

  193. I would love a little Nella kiss! Kid kisses are the best!!
    Great weekend you guys had!

  194. what beautiful photos! and that sweet seat is so genius. i would love to have one for my little boy! xoxo

  195. That was a fabulous post! Oh how I wish I were there, I would love a Nella kiss and the seat of my chair in the water, listening to Lainey laugh. PARadise. Its pretty stinkin great over here in Cali, too. The weatehr is still pretty cool here in Pismo Beach, but its nice, and the house is getting clean and the baby is getting bigger. Life is just super super good.

  196. I have to admit, I am a bit jealous of Isle of Capri these days given the gloomy, no where near beach worthy, weather we’ve been having in New England!

  197. I just wanted to tell you that my son (21 months) saw pictures of Lainey in this post, pointed at her and said, “Oh, wow!” He thinks she’s cute.

  198. Beautiful pictures! Some of my favorites are of my father and daughter.

    I love the booster seat. Very stylish. We need one of those instead of the plastic ugly one we currently have.

  199. Oh how I wish I could have a day at the beach. It looks so warm and relaxing – here we are back to rainy and cool.
    It is amazing how they grow and change. My three year old daughter snacks a lot – she just seems to eat so little but I am sure that will change.
    I can’t wait to read the addendum – I want to make my kids parties great and now that I have two I have twice the fun to create – just wish we had warmer weather in January and March when my kids birthdays are, I need some create indoor party ideas.

  200. The photo of Nella with the upended ice cream cone is too cute. Love your blog :)

  201. Kelle,

    I just had to pop over and share this link:


    Another blogger pointed me to it … she herself adopted a son from Russia and this new (to me)blog belongs to a family that set out to adopt a Russian child with DS — turns out he would be the ~first DS adoption EVER~ from his region. Except (drama!) that back in March when they went to finalize and bring their son home, the first judge denied their petition — not because they werent’ qualified (far from it), but because she deemed the boy “better off” in an institution. (!) The prospective parents appealed the decision and they got their answer ~today!~ Thought the story might capture your interest and your heart.

    Much Love,


  202. Those booster seats are adorable! :) And man, I need to see Capri for myself one of these days.

  203. love the part about Nella’s sweet kisses…because everyone should get a rousing “Thank You” after a good one!

  204. I’ve lived in Washington my whole life and have loved it…but you make me want to move to Florida. I love reading your blog. Thank you!

  205. Oh how we could use one of those for the baby we will soon be blessed with (via adoption)! Thanks for filling readers in about this company. (-:

  206. You’re never going to be poor, with friends like that.

    I love Nella’s top too!

  207. I am also a former Michigander – grew up in West Michigan a stones throw from Camp Pendalouan on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan. Your Isle of Capri images evoke some of the sense of our summers spent on my beloved beach there. Your family is beautiful and your blog is inspiring.
    We would love the beautiful booster seat! I also have a Lainey (15 mos year old) who is rebelling against her high chair because she wants to be a big girl like her big (3 year old) sister. My girls would both love it. I may have to buy two!

  208. Always such beautiful pics of your beautiful babies! Love that seat too!! Matches my kitchen-I have the same fabric on my bar stools, curtain on my window and place mats for the kids!

  209. I too believe that birthdays are definitely worth celebrating. Go big or go home! :) Lovely thoughts, as always!

  210. Awww…Nella gives kisses? Precious.

    I love seeing you celebrate life to the fullest.

  211. I love the Encore, we were blessed to see our family three months in a row, which was amazing since we live 1300 miles away from them. I wish everyday was an Encore, but I will treasure it when it’s upon us like that!

    PS- those seats are so cute!

  212. Oh that suit is divine. Such a beautiful story.

  213. A fabulous way to end a busy weekend–relaxing by the water. Beautiful sunset picture. Happy belated birthday to Lainey!
    What sweet seats–great name! I need one for my girl.

  214. Beautiful pictures! I can’t wait to introduce my little one to the ocean at the end of June! Enjoy!

  215. My little one just started kissing just as Nella does- the gentle leaning in of the head (forehead touching forehead). It is awesome and melts me each time. You are right- birthday parties are a celebration of life- of living. And your family celebrates so well- it is a talent:-)

  216. Thanks for teaching us all how to more fully embarce life! Hugs!

  217. I so want to go to the Isle of Capri…
    Anyway, you are lucky your baby willingly kisses you. My little 18 month old stinker, when asked for a kiss, yells “NOOOOOO” and runs off giggling!

  218. Gotta say it- Your hubbs is so handsome!! You guys wear each other so well!

  219. Love the story about the kisses from Nella! Thanks for sharing.

  220. love that sweet little booster seat~I’ve been looking for something like that. Looks like spring is treating you all well! :)

  221. i agree…birthdays are to be CELEBRATED.
    {i am trying to remember that for “everydays” too though!}

  222. While I read all the time, this is my first comment. It seems fateful that the morning I watch my naked two year old stand on his seat eating breakfast, with his boy bits in view for all to see, you have a booster seat give away. It’s time for this little man to sit DOWN!

  223. good, so there is hope that my boys wont be bird eaters for to much longer! But, then again, that means a bigger grocery bill so maybe there is not need to rush :) Beautiful pics as always, Kelle.

  224. Love your take on birthdays. I so agree they are something to celebrate and hate that sometimes I find myself trying to downplay/ rationalize why it IS a big deal when someone has a birthday and we choose to treat it that way! What better reason to gather all our favorite people together?

  225. Love those kind of friends. And love that your girl can swim like a fish! :)

    Very cute seats—love.

  226. Those seats are so cool. Love them. I always down play my birthday and now I think, maybe this year I will celebrate.

  227. I’m 39, and I’m, totally, guilty of saying about my birthdays…”Oh, at this point in my life, it’s just another year”. But you have changed my mind! Every birthday should be celebrated – you are so right! Thank you for opening my eyes!

  228. That booster seat is adorable…but not as adorable as the little bottom sitting on it!

  229. I just became a follower of your lovely blog!!!

  230. I’m loving the Fish House pictures … I want to go back! :) It’s juuuuust getting warm enough here in DFW for swimming … can’t wait to take my littlest for their first swim!

  231. Oooh… the sunset. We are going to Florida this summer and I can’t wait to wash the Texas dust off in the ocean! CAN’T FRIGGIN’ WAIT!
    As for the BOOOOOOster – it should be called a CUTE-ster. It’s precious! My 17 month old would dig that! (As would I dig glancing at it sitting at our kitchen table.)I hope I win – if I don’t – you can bet I will be buying one after the summer vacation indicates our financial state! πŸ˜‰ Wink!

  232. It look you had a grea trip to the beach, The birthday party was so beutiful & so is your photography. I’ve followed your blog for a while now & love it!

  233. When I read your blog there is such a peace in my life. I feel like I am with my family. We live at the beach all summer and it is amazing. I am looking forward to our lazy days together.

  234. Could a booster seat get any cuter?!

    As if I didn’t already want to live in Florida, your blog makes me want to live there even more. We are headed there in June and I can’t wait!!

  235. You always have the cutest suits.

    That seat would be awesome for my baby. She wears a hip brace and I think she would be able to seat in that with her brace on.

  236. I love the encore :-)

  237. I heart that seat! It reminds me of one my grandma had for all of us. On my way to check them out!

  238. I want to live by the beach! Your writing brightens up my day each time I read your blog. A warm thanks for that!

  239. So sweet…looks like a grand time! πŸ˜‰

  240. I love that seat!! I couldn’t agree more about birthdays. Planning my baby’s 2nd one right now, and I love every little detail of trying to make a special day that my children will have memories of. Loved Lainey’s party theme!

  241. So true Kelle. All of it. Note to self. Celebrate. Always. As always, your family is precious and beautiful.

  242. Beautiful post, once again! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  243. Great words and pics as usual…I love how you got a picture of Nella’s cone falling:) HA! I totally want one of those seats and am holding off on ordering in case I win):

  244. Love. The Booster Seats + this blog! Thanks :)

  245. I love encores, birthdays, and sweet little girls (I have 2 also!)…we are celebrating a little girl with a purple party this weekend…yeay!

  246. Love the picture you caught of your husband looking at Lainey, so precious! And, love those seats!

  247. I have a difficult time with birthdays, thanks for giving me another perspective. I love our life, it is just going so quickly, I wish it would SLOW down and birthdays wouldn’t come so quickly.

  248. SWEET! That seat looks perfect for my 20 month-old son! Hope your week continues to be great!

  249. I love this! I’m turning 29 on Thursday and no matter how old I get I love birthdays.
    I love baby/toddler kisses too!
    Whenever I read your blog I walk away feeling cheerful. Thank you :)

  250. Our Silas kisses the same way…melts my heart. Headed to the FL beaches in 2 weeks for 2 weeks. We are counting the hours!!

  251. love your retro swim suit! look forward to seeing the latest posts on your blog, sunshine for our rainy day!

  252. These weekend posts are really making me think I need to move to Florida. We plan to leave Utah next summer for my husband to begin his residency, and I need some sunshine!!!

  253. I really love your Isle of Capri posts. We always go to the beach for our summer vacations, usually Orange Beach, Alabama or Destin, Florida. I wish we could go to Naples, but it is a bit too far to drive with a bunch of kids lol There is nothing more relaxing than kicking back in the white sand and enjoying the sun and water. If we lived near Isle of Capri, I have no doubt we would visit often as well.

    I love the booster seat, it reminds me of the old fashioned ones from the 70’s, so much cuter than the plastic things they have now.

  254. Loving the sunset picture. I have been playing with my camera trying to capture the true colors of a sunset. No success yet but I am not giving up.

    Denise WI

  255. I always enjoy your Capri posts. AND your photos of your sweet girlies! xo

  256. I love your zest for life and your always positive attitude! Of course pictures of your beautiful girls don’t hurt either… :-)

  257. Great friends last a lifetime. I love the story of how you and Rebecca met and hit it off right away. Also lovin the Isle of Capri. I hope one day I’ll have my own little Isle to retreat to as well.

  258. Love that little seat! Reminds me of one that I had when I was little.

  259. Nella has the same teething necklace as Jenna – I totally think they work. Gorgeous kids!! x

  260. I love the picture of your dad and nella snuggling and napping. Looks like you had a great birthday weekend indeed! My son is learning how to kiss too…he puckers up and makes a great smacking sound! And yes, he waits for the gushy thank you afterwards too.

  261. I absolutely LOVE the look of adoration on Brent’s face as he is looking at Lainey. You can feel the love.

    And Papa asleep with Nella…precious.

    Your girls are so blessed to have so much love surrounding them.

  262. While I love celebrating my kids’ birthdays, I’m one of those people who downplays my own. You’ve got me thinking I need to change this! Thank you for sharing yourself through your blog. It is always so enjoyable to read.

  263. Love the boosters seats!! Hope Nella got her book!

  264. Happy celebration after the celebration!
    I love birthdays—well, I really love celebrating my monkeys. And, this past year I turned 30 and for the first time in years I felt truly celebrated and it was amazing.

  265. Isle of Capri is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  266. Looks like summer is here! I LOVE the seat and as baby #3 is due any day!

  267. What a lovely end to a weekend.
    I would LOVE to buy a sun bonnet for my baby like Nella’s where can i buy one?

  268. Gah! The shot of Nella with dropped ice cream cone is to die for. So, so cute! I’m always so very jealous of your Isle of Capri posts. Lucky duck!

  269. What an amazing time it looks like you had! I absolutely LOVE birthday parties…we are gearing up for my little boys 2nd birthday party in 3 weeks! I can’t imagine my life without him in it, I mean, what did we do before we had children?? Seriously…love the blog!

  270. Your love of life is contagious! Love reading your blog.

    The booster seat…darling!!!

  271. Thank you so much for your posts! Again and again I love reading about your family. Poor Nella and her ice cream, but such a great keeper picture!

  272. Encores for birthday parties are a wonderful idea!

  273. Love the description of Nella’s kisses…but the best part is the pic of her little smile. Adorable.

  274. I would love one of those booster seats. Right now we are attempting to use our Bumbo, in which are chubby little thighs can barely squeeze into.

  275. I love all the sponsors you have, I recently ordered from Bambaroos Boutique and can’t wait to get my order. Now I am shamelessly in love with these chairs!

  276. I love that you spent the after-day at the Isle of Capri…looks like Lainey had a wonderful birthday weekend!! I am so jealous that you live so close to somewhere so beautiful, beachy and warm!!
    Also, I enjoyed the story of the summer camp you worked at…what an amazing experience!! I often wish I had done something special when I was in my teens or twenties…you definitely come away with lifelong memories, and lifelong friends!!

    My 2 year old daughter loves looking at the pictures on your blog…she knows your babies names, and will point and say “What’s Nella doin’?” or “Look at Lainey!!” It’s really cute. Thanks again for sharing the beauty of your family with all of us :)

  277. Your outlook on life completely inspires me! I am so glad I found your blog & I can’t wait for my next birthday!! My baby turns 1 today, party this weekend!! (I have decided to go BIG and CELEBRATE!) Thank you for sharing!!

  278. Cute seat, still trying to find one that works for our lil guy.

  279. I want to go to the isle of capri! beautiful

  280. Loving all your suits you’ve been wearing! I’m going to have to get myself one of those before the summer’s over!! so retro yet figure flattering!

    Also loving the chair. my little would like it too, im sure. those hard ones aren’t the most comfy.

  281. Totally inspiring! As usual :) I love the photos of your Dad & Nella..

    That booster seat looks awesome xx

  282. Those seats are so cute! I love the one with the bicycle fabric! Swoon!

  283. I completely agree … birthdays–every year–MUST be celebrated! Wish those hold-outs out there would get on board with the “I’m happy you were born so let’s celebrate the year” thing. Thanks for always making me smile!

  284. You make me want to move to FL :) I’m a MI girl who just recently moved to NC, although I think my heart still wants me to be in FL, my oldest three children disagree though!! Love your blog11

  285. I want a sweet seat! They are almost adorable as Lainey and Nella! :)

  286. The Isle of Capri looks so great. I would love to win a booster seat. Thanks!

  287. The pictue of Nella with her ice cream cone is priceless…I’m going to guess she is sitting there thinking, “Mama do something like you always do!” I hope you called the 5 second rule, licked off the dirt and she ate the rest!

  288. Isle of Capri….now added to my list of places I just have to visit one day! And as for ‘sweet seats’, how fabulous…..do they do them in grown up sizes?!!!!
    Nic x

  289. Love your blog and how you roll, girl!

  290. Amazing! I always feel like I’m right there with you when I read your posts. I had a good time, as per usual.

  291. I would love to get out of this midwest Tornado weather and spend some time at Isle of Capri! So jealous! Hope you are enjoying all your precious family time!

  292. Yes! I’m loving the sand, sun and swimsuits. We are just reaching spring here in the Canadian North, with ice floes still atop the lakes, however, I am dreaming of all the things to come in a warm summer that awaits!

  293. I agree. Birthday.. Celebrate them. “My” birthday song is “O happy day.” Whether you’re 6 or 60, it TOTALLY IS, or should be, a celebration of your life (and not so much about getting older).

    Cute booster seats? I’ll take one. or three. πŸ˜€

  294. I love all these pictures. Such a cute post! I would love to win a little Sweet seat too!!!

  295. I love all these pictures. Such a cute post! I would love to win a little Sweet seat too!!!

  296. I love the details of how she is giving you kisses now! My little one is 9 1/2 months old now and just starting to get the hang of it although she just leans in w/ her mouth wide open and puts it against my cheek leaving slobbery goodness all over me. It’s so sweet though.

  297. What a super cute seat! And yay for birthdays!!!

  298. Aww, sad Nella with her spilled ice cream come! I so love the aftermath of Lainey’s party!

  299. I have visited Naples once. Loved it, and said I would return. Now after seeing all the Isle of capri photos and writings, I know I must visit this place too! Long time friends are the best!

  300. Love the balloons! And I am always envious of your trips to the Isle of Capri. I wish we lived closer to the beach, because my daughter is a fish!

    That booster is the prettiest little seat I’ve ever seen :).

  301. Your posts make me increasingly want to move to Florida. Or at least visit.

    Gotta ask — where did you get Nella’s bonnet in the beach photos? So very ADORABLE!

  302. You have such a lovely family. I love how you make the simplest things so beautiful and artistic; it’s inspired me to learn how to use my husbands Cannon and capture every moment of our 6 month old’s life. You’re on my top sites page right alongside my families’ blogs and I get excited every time I see that star in the corner of your page notifying me that you’ve posted something new.

  303. My favorite line today…
    “It’s the anniversary of freaking life.” Ummmm….I love that! Thanks for reminding me what birthday’s symbolize.

    Love the pic of Nella with the patent leather shoes and the expression with her ice cream on the ground. Just precious!

  304. Kelle – I remember reading nella’s birth story and then being so deeply touched by the pictures of your dad with you and the girls at the park. I sobbed, loving your dad for being there for you and loving unconditionally. I know nothing of him, but oh how i know he is a good man. And now seeing your opening pictures of him sleeping with Nella broke my heart to pieces again. And tears came. For a man to love his grandchildren the way your dad clearly loves his is something so special. You and your girls are very blessed.

  305. I’m totally jealous of everyone’s beautiful sunkissed skin in your pictures! We have had so much rain here in the upper midwest I am beginnig to forget what the sun and summer looks like!
    When my “cup of life” is getting empty, I can always count on a “refill” from reading your blog!

  306. LOVE when you have posts from Isle of Capri!!!

  307. I love birthdays too Kelle! I love to plan parties for my children and friends and I love to celebrate my own…from a big thing to a little one where I purpose to enjoy my kids’ kisses and homemade cards just a little more as a little family of 4. Life should be celebrated!!

  308. Loved looking at the birthday pics!

  309. I wholeheartedly agree with you on birthdays! I have always loved them and celebrating them. This year I threw myself a huge 32 yr birthday bash and it was SO MUCH FUN! :)

  310. Such an awesome place to have so close to you- how fun!
    Love your blog :)

  311. That seat is just too adorable!

  312. First baby on the way…would love this adorable booster!! Just my style!!

  313. Ha! My son (2) and daughter (1) actually EAT the booster seat I have…this would make a wonderful replacement! It looks like you are having so much fun…I’ve enjoyed following your blog the last couple of months!

  314. My firstborn is turning five in a few weeks. Five! You bet your bippy we will be doing some celebrating to mark that milestone. His entrance into this world was the beginning of this amazing adventure…. in parenthood, in down syndrome, in learning about the incredible capacity of the human heart.
    Love the story of how you met Rebecca! And oh how delicious your isle looks… we seem to be missing summer out here & I am craving some of your sunshine.
    p.s. Love the stylin’ booster seat … so cute!

  315. what an adorable seat! i love all of the products you’ve featured on this awesome blog! :-)

  316. Simply Georgous.

  317. That Sweet Seat is darling! My husband was a volunteer for the Northwest Burn Foundation summer camp. He has the strongest connection to some of the kids and his peers, the experience was very important to him.

  318. Hi Kelle! I have been a huge fan of your blog since discovering it on a local Photographer’s website. Rialee Photography in Fargo, ND. It was around the time of Nella’s first birthday. Anyway, my family and I are planning are first trip to Florida ever in a couple of weeks. My children are 8 and 4. After this looong winter and sping we are VERY much looking forward to experiencing a little of what you post on your Isle of Capri trips. We will be at The Pink Shell Resort which I don’t think is too far from where you are. Do you have any suggestions of “MUST DO” things for us while we are there. Yummy restaurants etc. Thanks!

  319. Spectacular encore! Summer camp has been an every-summer memory for me. I was a camper ages 5-17; junior staff at age 14; senior staff at 18; and a dean of a week of camp at 21 (still going strong at 33). The memories that come out of camp last a lifetime and the friendships are among my most cherished!

  320. Those booster seats are adorable!! Also, every time I see pictures of one of your favorite suits, I get closer and closer to buying one…keep posting pictures so I can get one. πŸ˜‰
    I so wish I had an island to escape to with the fam every weekend. I supposed we’ll settle with beer in the back yard on the 3 days a year of sun we get. πŸ˜‰

  321. I always love a good encore and this is great!
    And those seats….they are sweet. My boys would love them.

  322. As usual, so many amazing pics!!! I took my one-year olds to the zoo today (their first trip) and thought of you as I tried to capture the experience with my camera. :) Love your blog and always look forward to new posts!

  323. LOVE the pictures of Brett looking at Lainey!! His big girl – he is SO proud! Your dad is amazing too! I’m sure you appreciate the men in your life.

  324. I love this post!! i am all about making a big deal of everybondy’s birthday- love them so much!! My husband and I also met each other and several lifelong firends at a camp for kids with cancer out here on the west coast- seriously some of the best experiences of my life!!! Those seats are pretty cool too- my little one loves to sit on anything mini…whether it is a curb, a box, etc.!:)

  325. Awesome blog! Love that booster seat!

  326. dear Celebrating LIFE,

    I just turned 50, and the best part of my birthday…was having my husband, 6 kids, 1 son-in-law, 1daughter’s boyfriend, and my 3 grandkids….My 12 favorite people… around my birthday table with me. Ah, my heart was bursting with happiness.

    I love your blog, and always look forward to seeing pix and reading about your precious family.

    The Lucky Birthday Girl

  327. How incredibly awesome of you to work at a pediatric cancer camp!! Must have been such an enriching, life changing experience for you :) And I love the pick of Nella with the ice cream cone on the ground…so classic!

  328. I’m moving to California in about a month and I hope my husband and I can find our own little “Isle of Capri”.

  329. I have told myself that someday I wll visit your Isle of Capri and will secretly hope that we run into you and your cute family. I just might get the nerve up to intoduce myself to you, but not before I watch to learn how to really enjoy your sweet Capri.

  330. I love your description of how you met Rebecca and how you have kept your friendship over these years!

  331. I’m new to your blog as of today. It takes my breath away. I’ve already shared it with my husband, mom and girlfriends. I love it. Thanks for sharing so honestly and so beautifully.

    We have two boys (4 and 2) and our last baby on the way. A seat would be neat!

  332. Those are incredibly adorable. Love them and the sweet little girls that are sitting in them!

  333. You have the most magical stories of how you and your friends became. You are so blessed with such a tight group. Lovin’ your water babies!

  334. That is an awesome booster seat! Totally agree with a previous poster – it’s way better than the plastic crap I have now!

    It’s still rainy and cold here in Utah. SOOOO jealous of your sun and beach.

  335. I am so jealous you can jump right to the beach. The closest thing we have is the Ohio River and I am NOT going in there. Those seats are adorable! I love Nella and her ice cream cone.

  336. your blog makes me happy. your girls are adorable and I cannot wait until your book comes out!

  337. Thanks for making me smile. Gorgeous photos for a gorgeous family.

  338. Love the story of how you met Rebecca! Not many people are lucky to have friends that are there through pretty much everything. :)

  339. Love the encore! my little boy is at the stage where he knows that kiss is coming and cue the little grin as his momma’s lips get closer…I am waiting for the day where he leans forwards and smacks a big one on my lips! :-)

  340. Oh how I love stripey jammies!

    Just wondering how the amber teething necklace is working for Nella…

  341. Thanks for inspiring me, yet again, to get out of the house with my babies and enjoy the sun and take beautiful pictures!

  342. Love that little booster seat! So cute :)

  343. I love to read your blog, whenever you post pictures from your island all I can hear are Jimmy Buffet songs in my head. Your girls are so pretty and your pictures are amazing. I hope I can be a fun loving, creative mother like you some day.

  344. Celebrate indeed!

  345. So jealous you live close to such a wonderful place!

  346. oh hurray for camp friends! I spent 7 summers working at a camp, and still count the people I met there among my very best friends. Sigh… my heart misses camp this time of year.

    and those booster seats are GREAT! love it!

  347. There’s nothing better than long-time friends. Gotta have one of those Sweet Seats for my grandson. And the sunset picture…gorgeous!

  348. The Isle of Capri looks like such a wonderful way to spend the day! Beautiful pictures!

  349. I love those friendships that keep going over the years :)

  350. I could not agree with you more regarding your thought on Birthday’s! Everyone should celebrate (its one day out of the whole year). I am planning my one year old’s birthday and I cant wait to show her how happy we are to have her in our lives! You continue to remind me about the important things in life everyday!

  351. I so want to visit Isle of Capri! looks like Heaven on Earth! Sweet seat is the coolest thing ever and doesn’t look babyish!

  352. Oh, you chose the Green Damask! And, your Girlie looks so sweet sitting in it!

  353. What an amazing family…close and extended!

  354. love the pics of your dad and nella sleeping!

  355. Your encore gave me goosebumps that hurt:
    *your dad & Nella sleeping
    *the way you met Rebecca
    *Lainey & her daddy
    *Celebrating birthdays because it’s “the anniversary of freaking life”.
    *And Nella’s kisses…..be still my heart. I think mine will explode when Nora gives me her first kiss.

    Beautiful post!

  356. Love love love the pictures. Makes me remember a year or so ago, when my husband, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and niece all went on vacation to Ft. Myers. It was great! And TODAY, my new niece was born!! πŸ˜€

  357. Birthdays are huge in our family. We don’t necessarily do big parties since we are spread far apart but we have week-long celebrations. From sending flowers to work places to phone calls made at the exact time of day we were born. This weekend we are actually all getting together to celebrate mom’s birthday that was 2 weeks ago… so she got a 2 week birthday. Lucky duck

  358. Its only about 45 degrees here in Nova Scotia and I would drive 40 days to feel that warm sand! haha

  359. what a beautiful place to have so close to your home…blessed you are πŸ˜‰
    I would love this chair for my 18 month old…so cute.

  360. Loved Lainey’s party. You showed us Texas folk up. I just love when your kids have a bday party…you’re definitely the hostess with the mostess!

  361. Love the booster seat! And I love friendships that endure the test of time!

  362. I hope your sweet Nella observed the 5 second rule with that fallen ice cream cone.

  363. Thanks for the reminder that birthdays are a BIG deal. Happy birthday, Lainey!

  364. Brett and Lainey at the table is so sweet! and Nella in those jammies waiting for her thank you made my heart melt!
    love how you capture life!

  365. I wish I could take my little one to Isle of Capri.. gonna have to settle for some Carlsbad or San Diego instead!

  366. I think that little seat would be the perfect surprise just-because-i-love-you gift from my nephew’s favorite Aunt Becky :)

  367. I’m an oncology nurse. You have further won my heart for your volunteer work!! Good friends are very special.

  368. So many emotions in this post that I adore! Your dad cuddling with Nella and then the look on her face with the dropped ice cream cone. You amaze me at how you are able to capture all that you do with such awesome pictures. Thank you for being such an incredible inspiration.

  369. Love your blog. Your girls are beautiful.

  370. not much to say besides, you are awesome and I love that booster!

  371. Ahhh, KELLE!!! You have such a way with words that just dance across the screen. You made me think this time, as this past March I turned 30, and for the first time, let it sheepishly pass by despite the celebration of life I had lived the previous year, and the new life growing inside me. I shall never again down-play such a celebration (mine or anyone else’s).

    I walked through the Dollar Store today and grew excited as I envisioned our kiddo’s birthdays next year and every year after that- pure excitement! Lainey’s party looked so adorable this past weekend, GREAT job and use of resources. :)

    I would L-O-V-E to win the sweet seat even though our little one isn’t due until October 30th this year and won’t get put to use right away…it is sooo lovely!

  372. The picture of Lainey and Brett-taken from far away-sitting in the restaurant together is beautiful. It actually brought tears to my eyes. And can I just say…you have a really hot husband! Hope you are not offended, I mean it in the nicest of ways.

  373. Great seat! So cute!

  374. Oh Kelle~

    My heart simply swells at the knowledge that you volunteered at Camp Catch-A-Rainbow. What an amazing gift you gave and received. Yes…… “happiness dwells abundantly” in that world. Not all the time, but when it’s happy it’s flippin’ glorious.

    Thanking The Universe for the teenagers that you and Rebecca were. Also, the teenagers that you are creating to reside on this world, amongst my loved ones.

    Fiercely loving you! Basking in the light you project and bring to all that it shines on. Thank you.

  375. I must say I am jealous of all your beach time–especially after a week of constant rain up here in New England!! soak in some sun and sand for me!

    My ray of sunshine has been giving those same open mouth toddler kisses. I love every slobbery one!

  376. Isle of capri seems beautiful, i am going to have to put that on my “bucket list”. Visit Isle of capri, maybe a beautiful place for a honeymoon!!!!!

  377. Here’s to friends and totally cool seats!

  378. Loved hearing about how you and Rebecca met.

    Loved the picture of Brett & Lainey eating. And Poppa & Nella sleeping.

    Why can’t we be neighbors?!?!

    Happy Tuesday, friend.

    Angie from Ohio

  379. Love the picture of your Dad and Nella. So very sweet. Love the booster seat too.

  380. So cute! I love birthday encores!

    Those seats are to die for, I may just have to go order one!

  381. I love seeing wee ones with their ‘poppa’s’, too cute! I used to volunteer at camp for people with special needs (almost 7 years in a row!) and have become very good friends with a handful of people. It’s amazing that we’re still in touch! We’ve had some fabulous times at camp and not at camp! Think Alterra coffee and chocolate covered espresso beans! I just wish we lived closer! Those chairs are adorable!

  382. To Angie, I wanna be her neighbor too. Yay for birthday encores! I SO agree that BD’s should NOT be downplayed. LOVE the pic of Poppa Rik asleep with Nella. I love that you volunteered at that camp. If I dont win that booster seat, i may just have to order one! Love from the Blog Mama~

  383. Whenever the clouds look like that I like to imagine they are cotton candy. Silly. Love the seat, such a good idea to take an every day blah item and make it special. :)

  384. “It’s the anniversary of freaking life” and “This so doesn’t suck” made me smile today!! Thanks!

  385. Dearest Hampton Fam, Keep on rocking the Love♥

  386. I love birthdays! I also really appreciate what you have to say about them, celebrating life and what not. Maybe I can convince my husband that birthdays aren’t so bad after all.

  387. Ooh, I love the pretty booster! Much easier on the eyes than what we have, and I love that your kids sit in it inside and outside! Looks like fun :)

  388. Oh my goodness. Nella and that ice cream cone. Prec.ious!!!

  389. Cute seat! As soon as my boy decides to sit still for more than 5 minutes, we could use one of those. Love your post and cheers for life long friends. <3

  390. What a beautiful weekend you had! I love the picture of Lainey and Brett at the restaurant at Isle of Capri; beautiful daddy and daughter moment. You can see just how much he loves her. My girls and I love looking at and reading your blog! My baby girl (20 months) will crawl up on my lap and say “baby!” and my 4 year old daughter is very intrigued by Lainey and wants to know all about her! Thanks for letting us into your life!

  391. Blog Mama,

    C’mon, let’s get packin’!! You google directions for Isle of Capri and I will locate all the best stops from here to Naples!! We can be there by the weekend :)

    Angie from Ohio

  392. Your girls are so lucky to have such beautiful documentation of their early years…you can actually feel the love surrounding them in each set of photos.

  393. My grandma had a booster seat similar to that when I was a child! Brings back memories!

  394. Love, love the picture of Brett and Lainey having lunch looking at one another!! So very sweet.

  395. You make me want to make the 3 hour drive over there to check out the Isle of Capri, it looks so amazing. So awesome that you have found such an amazing “happy place”. Enjoy all your posts and watching your littles grow up. I have a special place in my heart for sweet Nella, I have a low tone baby too, that shares her “shoulda coulda birthday” with Nella.
    Thanks for your inspiration…

  396. Oooh i’m in need of a nice beach weekend too! Beautiful pictures as always, loved the nella kisses anecdote.
    Those sweet seats are the cutest!

  397. I always love all of your sweet posts and beautiful pictures. You are such an inspiration!

  398. Looks like the birthday party was a success- as was the post birthday party! Beautiful photos- I don’t know how to find the time to do all you do, all the while clicking away. Amazing.

  399. I love that booster seat. So cute, I’ll have to check out their site. Looks like you guys are having some great weather.

  400. Oh, how you make me cry. Your writing is like poetry. Thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts with all of us.

  401. My guy just turned 4 and has started eating like crazy too! His new fav? Pineapple. Hooray for good eaters, good friends, and Daddy’s who look at their daughters with pure adoration.

  402. WOW! Your blog is by far my favorite! It makes me feel like I’m right there with you basking in the sun. I’ve been reading it from the beginning and you really are such an inspiration. Your photography, your zest for life..you really do make me want to do more, be more. thank you. you go girl!

  403. Adorable boosters! I’d love to have a couple!

  404. Love this post – the days following a grand celebration are sometimes sweeter than the big day itself!

  405. beautiful, simply beautiful…you are a blessed soul


  406. Being a mountain girl, I love hearing about your sandy, salty-sweet beach life.

  407. I would love to know where you got Nella’s darling sun hat in the early pictures! I think it would be perfect for my little Bella, who also has Down syndrome and is 4 months younger than your little sweets :-)

  408. One of my favorite posts of late. The photography is just touching! And the chair is perfect. Love those jammies, my son has the same pair!

    mara wolff (at) mac (dot) com

  409. Kelle – what you said about birthdays – AMEN! I totally agree with you! Birthday are SPECIAL and meant to be CELEBRATED! Happy birthday to your beautiful Laney! What a fun party and such a special memory for your darling girl!

  410. Ooooh….I need to get 2of those cute boosters for my best friends twins about to be born!

  411. Love your blog, just discovered it! I am sad that it took me so long! Those booster seats are awesome! I have 5 kids so I know I need at least 1!

  412. I too love when my far away friends visit and get to be apart of my everyday life…making their own memories of the things that I love and cherish.

  413. I always look forward to reading your blog, Kelle. As a new mother of a 5 month old baby girl, you inspire me to be present and enjoy each little moment with my baby. Even though I have never met you, seeing your girls grow up has been such a joy. They grow so fast! Thanks for sharing.

  414. What a special way to spend time with friends and family.

    My cousin actually went to Camp Catch a Rainbow, so thank you for your time there. I know you made it very special for all of those children.

  415. Oooh Brett sure looks handsome on that photo of him :)

  416. I long to experience your isle of capri!! :)

  417. I have never, EVAH, wanted anything as much as this seat! PUH-LEASE!??

  418. you, your girls, your family are awesome and….I would really, really love to win that cool seat! (=

  419. That is one sweet seat indeed!

  420. I never tire of reading your stories. Since following your blog I find myself daydreaming of moving south to enjoy the sand and surf more often!

  421. Love the Isle of Capri photos!

  422. First of all – Rebecca is totally right. That does not look like it sucks:0) I’m very jealous of your sun and beach as I’m sitting here listening to hail, thunder, rain and knowing we’re under a tornado watch… Fun..

    Next, the picture of Brett and Lainey sitting at the table is ridiculously precious! Print that and blow that puppy up!! That’s a contender for a “daddy and me” favorite:0) Am also in love with that booster chair! How fancy!! That would look amazing at our favorite restaurant haunts in Hilton Head, SC:0) (That’s a PICK ME, if you missed it. Hahaha!)

  423. Beautiful birthday! Looks like many more memories were made :)

  424. Lovin the booster seat! and your blog! You are very inspiring!

  425. I need one. Seriously, I do. Not for me but for the 5th baby boy who wants to do everything. his. brothers. do! And this includes sitting at the table in a big boy chair….even though he can barely reach it. I love my boys :)

  426. I agree about birthdays being an anniversary worth celebrating! That’s why I liberally sprinkle everyone I know with fabulous birthday cakes :) I can’t wait till Reagan gives me those kind of kisses…the best!

  427. Those seats are amazing, beautiful, and fun! But more importantly, your blog is inpsiring…the way you word your stories, share your life, allow us in on your sweet intimate and sacred moments with your littles, and through your blog teach us how to enjoy the little things. I’ve followed your blog since the begining of Nella’s adventure and I never leave unsatisfied, but always fullfilled. Thank you for sharing your memories with the world.

  428. It’s so sweet to see dear friends love on your children, isn’t it? :)

  429. Yes, we have a whole kissing routine here too also followed by a “thank you.”
    And have you ever heard of “kissing sandwiches??” I invented them and they are the best!

  430. You just reminded me that I need to drive over to Popina to get a new suit before I leave on vacation! Love their suits!

  431. You just reminded me that I need to drive over to Popina to get a new suit before I leave on vacation! Love their suits!

  432. Love these sweet seats!!!!

  433. My little one just sat i her first booster seat today… of course it was not nearly as pretty! Love the color!

  434. I love this blog! And I love that booster seat!

  435. This is going to sound so cheesy but every time I read your blog, I feel a rush of overwhelming emotion. Your words are real and encouraging. You inspire me…Your girls are beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us…thank you for being you.

  436. my baby boy has started giving me those sweet baby kisses and i want to sponge the moment up. store it in my vault of moments i’ll need later!!

    as always, thanks for the beautiful words and photos!

  437. I so need to find my little Isle of Capri – it’s the booster seat that I need right now. :() Your posts always seem to come at the right time and be right on topic for me. You remind me to slow it down and realize what’s really important. Booster seat is super cute and would look great at my kitchen table for my 20 month old who loves to give kisses and could be my most favorite moment between my son & I.

  438. I am so addicted to your blog, I get on to my dashboard everyday hoping you wrote a new one! I can honestly say you inspire me! I love Lainey’s swimsuit! and the picture of Nella on the chair with her ice cream on the ground is adorable!

  439. Very cute booster seats! Love the one you have :)

  440. Family is the best and being surrounded by both family and close friends is even better–Lainey must have felt so celebrated! Seeing the Naples sunset makes me so excited to get down to Bonita Springs this weekend!

  441. I love the picture of Nella on her sweet seat with her ice cream on the ground. Her expression is so sweet. I just love her!

  442. The Sweet Seats are adorable. Gives me hope that your girl started eating at 4…my 3.5 year old is still eating like a bird. Maybe her birthday will help the stars align over our dinner table too!

  443. I would love a cute seat like that for my Ella!! :)

  444. Ahhhh Summer. Happy sighs. Cute suit, Kelly. The pictures of happiness on the Isle of Capri…My oh My! I want to go to there!

  445. I read your blog all.the.time. It’s inspiring and refreshing. Thank you for sharing!

  446. Love the photo of Brett and Lainey lookiing at each other at Capri! Priceless!

    Have a good week Kelli! :)

  447. Ummm…coolest booster seat EVER!

  448. What fun! Reading about Rebecca, made my heart ache for my life long friend. When my husband got home tonight, I asked him how he would feel about our girls and I taking off for a week to see her. He thought it was a great idea! We leave June 27 :) Thanks again for the inspiration! (as always)

  449. Great post!!!! I love that booster…would be great for my almost 2 year old :)

  450. Your blog is awesome, your girls are beautiful and there is something about sleeping babies that melts my heart. Every time. I LOVE the first few shots of your dad with Nella babe.

  451. I want so badly to visit Isle of Capri…it looks like a dream. My little has yet to go to the beach and we live in FL, how wrong is that?

  452. You do it every single post, make me laugh, make me cry, make me look back on all of the beautiful moments of my day. Thank you.

  453. Loved the sweet daddy-daughter pics that filled this post!

  454. I’ve never commented here before. I come here everyday though – I’m in love with your pictures and your story… I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging lately – but there’s about 3 blogs I make a point to visit daily – and yours is one of them. :) The booster seat is GORGEOUS!

  455. I just have to say that I love your blog!

  456. I just LOVE reading your posts! I hope you are making a printed off journal/book of all your writing because it is beautiful!
    Those booster seats are so neat.. I’m definately looking into one of those. Does it stay in place? My ugly old plastic one has buckles which is good for my busy almost two year old boy.

  457. I need an isle of Capri on my bday! :)

  458. I love the picture of Nella with the dropped ice cream cone. It’s like she’s thinking “Now what?” Sooooo cute!

  459. I was only recently introduced to kellehampton.com – when my daughter was born in March. I get SO excited to see a new blog post when I am up in the wee hours nursing my sweet Lia. Your blog is so inspiring! I love your writig style – the vivacity, the vintage vendors, and the veracity. How’s thay for alliteration?? Thank you for sharing your life, your beautiful family, your photos, and your world.

  460. After a weekend in hospital with my little girl :o( I’ve just caught up with your weekend’s celebrations! What an amazing party!! Hope I can rustle up something half as exciting for my son’s 4th birthday later in the year!

    Happy birthday beautiful Lainey!

    Andie x

  461. I love summer camps. I went to one as a teen mom and even voulnteered later in life. I miss it. My son is working on the sitting up the seat would be amazing.

  462. Love, love, love your way with words-so much so, that I’m having contractions with my first on the way, and I just HAD to read your blog this morning!

  463. What a wonderful birthday !

    PS: I love the photo of your daughter just after she dropped the ice cream cone – that is so priceless!

  464. i can’t wait to get our summer officially started with my six children. they are looking forward to our beach weekends and family travels.

    that seat is too cute. i have never seen anything like it.

  465. I’m 13 weeks pregnant with my first child. I can’t wait to create cherished memories with me child like you do with your girls!

  466. Ohhh the first pics of nella with your dad are so adorable!!

  467. How cute is that frappin’ booster seat?!?!?!?! Happy belated birthday to Miss Lainey Love. I know she’s had a fabulous birthday week!

  468. Love this post! You always write such wonderful things and share such beautiful pictures. I always am inspired by your blog! I very much agree with you on the importance of birthdays too! I always want my kids to feel so especially loved and cherished on their special day! :)

  469. I love the photo of your dad sleeping on the couch with Nella….so adorable. Why is it that Grandpa’s are always good at getting the kiddos to nap?

  470. Your post was just what I needed for having dealt with some existential worries and “what ifs” about losing my girl some day. The story of how you celebrate birthdays and your friend Rebecca were so touching.

  471. I love the picture of your dad with Nella. You can see the love even when they are asleep.

  472. Your post made my morning. I would love to visit the Isle of Capri someday – it looks incredible.
    Beautiful girls, as always.

  473. Beautiful friendship story!! Those boosters rock!

  474. Amazing! Beautiful family and friends. You are blessed!

  475. You have a very inspirational way of writing your story. I find peace while roaming your blog…and those seats are super cute!

  476. Celebrating another year of life is so true. It’s all those normal moments that should annually be raised up, most importantly, with cake.

  477. Thanks for sharing, great pics as always!

  478. Lainey is SO SWEET I love her!! I thought the Isle of Capri was right down the road from you – wow – 40 minutes – it MUST be bliss (although we live outside a big city and it takes about that long to get anywhere!)! I’m glad to see Lainey still lets you hold her at age 4. I have a 2 1/2 year old and I worry about her not letting me pick her up and snuggle her as she gets older…=)

  479. I *just* found a pattern for a booster! These are way cooler. So glad your celebration lasted all weekend…I too love that about birthdays.

  480. the picture of brett and lainey eating at isle of capri, will be cherished 20 years from now!

  481. love your family. love your friends. you rock, kelle.

  482. Wow I don’t even know you but am drawn to your blog. I’ve been following you since the birth of my daughter, Morgan in August 2009. I keep coming back for more. Kelle, you truly inspire me. I was never big on having huge birthday parties for Mo expect her first birthday and a few milestones…but you said it exactly….It’s a celebration of LIFE! It looks like I need to get busy and plan a party. Thank you for that wakeup call! As always I love all your stunning photos. Oh, have you gotten Lainey’s latest Birthday book yet? I was hoping I didn’t miss it. It reminds me that I need to get busy on mine.

  483. I would love one of those seats! My son is just at the age to start needing one!

  484. Thank you for thinking each and every birthday should be celebrated! I am of the same thought and love making a big deal out of birthdays for others. My parents raised me as you are raising your girls with fun, creative birthdays surrounded by family and friends. And likewise, the encore is always the best part. Oh, happy day!

  485. Love the little chair, so cute!! I can’t wait for our baby to arrive!

  486. Beautiful pictures as always – love the shot of Nella looking down at her ice cream, she seems to be handling the loss of her treat better than I would have! :)

  487. So jealous of Capri! Makes me want to throw kids in the car and drive to the beach! NOW. πŸ˜‰

  488. you know, sometimes I pull your blog up just to have background music for my day :)

  489. love that seat! and as always, love your words and photos.

  490. I get to enjoy those same sweet kisses from my 16 month old little girl. :o) What a perfect weekend to continute celebrating the love in your family.

  491. I love the way you describe Nella’s kisses!! I’m trying to get my daughter, who just turned 11 months, to give kisses. She has no idea what’s going on, but she does that open mouth thing too, and it cracks me up everytime! Can’t wait till she gives me all the kisses I request!

  492. That first picture is priceless. Nella and your dad. Nella and her beautiful, sleeping self! Great memories :)

  493. I love the booster seats! Much better than the regular plastic primary colored ones.

  494. That seat is the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!! Along with your girls sitting in it!!!! πŸ˜‰

  495. As I read this blog, I envied how you can take “mini day vacations” to the the beach! We just want a day of no rain! Oh, and I love the sweet baby kisses and the booster chairs are adorable.

  496. “It’s the anniversary of freaking life.” Those words inspire me. My family has always downplayed big occassions. We’re not big on celebration but that’s all about to change. When my boy turns one we will TAKE NOTICE.

  497. LOVE your pics! I also would love one of those booster seats:)

  498. The little booster seat is adorable!!

  499. That’s cute how Nella gives kisses! My 15 month old started to give us kisses lately before we put her to sleep. We came a long way to get here! Aren’t these soft kisses the best?

  500. 1. those seats are adorable
    2. the beach always makes me smile
    3. love it, love it, love it

    I’m forever indebted to you for sharing your life, your picutres, and your positive outlook on life.


  501. love the pics … and the booster seat! Perfect for my 18 month old who won’t sit in the high chair anymore!

  502. one day i’m going to go to the isle of capri! your pictures make it look so awesome!

  503. I love your style. And I want to eat ice cream in that seat!

  504. I can’t wait to be a mom someday, and when I do, I want to be just like you.


    Love LOVE your blog

  505. The pic of sandy toes makes me crave a day at Lake Michigan (it’s not the ocean, but it’s pretty damn awesome). I agree that birthdays must be celebrated!

  506. I love that sunset. looks like our sunsets here in Arizona. Wonderful!!
    Those chairs look amazing. I’m off to check them out!
    Peace. a great week too.

  507. Love your blog! Feels like I know you and your fam =)

  508. i too worked at a camp where i made lifelong friends. in fact, i met my husband there!! 12 years later and we are still best friends. :)

  509. I am new to your blog and absolutely love your photos! Thanks for sharing your wonderful life with us all!

  510. I love how you describe sweet baby kisses! They are the best. :)

  511. I love that booster seat! I also love Nella’s sweet face while sleeping with your dad. Precious. I usually hide my b-day from others– it’s in 2 weeks. I just might invite my girlfriends over for these watermelon margaritas I’ve been eyeing. :)

  512. I LOVE that seat! Hope to win one, but if not, we’ll definitely invest in one for our girl:)

  513. I love, LOVE the picture of Nella in her swing and then with her fallen ice cream cone! What a little doll-girl! :) Here’s to swings and ice cream cones all summer long!

  514. What an encore indeed! Happy B-day to your little girl! The sweet seats are too precious. We are in the market for a booster as we speak!

  515. What an encore indeed! Happy b-day to your little girl! And the sweet seats are too precious. We are in the market for a booster as we speak!

  516. LOVE me one of those sweet seats! your blog ROCKS!

  517. Love little baby kisses!! Priceless. Looks like Lainey had a great time and felt on top of the world!

  518. I just love the photo of your friend and Nella sitting in the water! Nellas tongue is just melting for a little sip of that sweet drink!

  519. Oh wow, what I wouldn’t give to let my Hawaiian roots show and live closer to the ocean! All the amazing memories I could give my daughters! Beautiful pictures!

  520. Our fingers are pruning up from all the rain here in Washington, so I’ve been stalking your blog for all the sunny beach pictures. The awesome inspiration I get from you helps a bit too. πŸ˜‰

  521. what.a.breath.of.fresh.air!!!
    love your accounts of daily life & the way your pics record the special everyday moments that might otherwise be forgotten :) thanks for sharing it with us!
    also . . . LOVE the Sweet Seats . . . i’m thinking my little Sweet Pea might be needing one of those :) so fun!

  522. There’s nothing better than spending time with a friend who knows your heart and has been to those places with you that have changed your life. Thanks for sharing!

  523. Love that booster seat and love to celebrate a birthday…another year of unbelievable memories.

  524. Love that seat!! And Capri looks as beautiful as always.

  525. The picture of Nella dropping her ice cream is to cute! You rock at sucking the marrow out of life, I am slowly learning :)

  526. I love your blog, it is seriously one of my faves since I’ve found it…your Isle of Capri days have me envious. πŸ˜‰

  527. What a magical place the Isle of Capri sounds…perfect for making family memories! What sweet friendships and a fun celebration week!

  528. I love that seat! And I love the fact that you help create so many memories for your beautiful girls.

  529. Every time I read about the Isle of Capri I wish I was there!! Love the fact that you know how to celebrate birthdays well too!!

  530. What beautiful photographs! The SweetSeat giveaway is so exciting. I just love the soft quality about them. Thanks!

  531. That sweet seat is pretty neat. It would make for a great photography prop as well :)

  532. OH! My 15 mos old Charlie needs that seat! He loves to read books and that little seat would be perfect to drag all over when he needs to plop down and read 5 Little Ladybugs for the millionth time!

  533. My nine month old would much rather kiss the dog than either of her parents! Love your blog. :)

  534. Thanks as always for sharing your stories!

  535. when is your book coming out – I love the way you wrote – I feel the same way about kissing my kids but I could never come up with those words to describe it. Love yours!

  536. HA! I love the photo of Nella and her ice cream cone! Perfect!

  537. Sweet seat indeed! Loved the encore! Pics are so fun! Ha, that is a funny about your lipstick and people wanting to know what it was … I had to go back and check out your pucker. Ha! Hopefully, you get some rest after planning such a Fab party!

  538. Fabulous shots, as always! I love love love those baby kisses. Our little Cohen does the same (he’s a few weeks younger than Nella) and he looks SO proud of himself for sharing in something that makes his Mama so happy!

    It’s nice to see you enjoying the small things in so many ways.

  539. one of the best quotes ever…”anniversary of a freakin’ life”. I think I might add that to my son’s 5th birthday party invite in July. So great!

  540. You brighten my day with every post you write. Thank you so much for that, Kelle!
    I’m weepy today (and pmsing) and i cried and grinned all the way through this post.
    I’m so excited to celebrate my first daughters FIRST birthday in just a week!

  541. I do usually love your photos but these ones specifically are amazing! I love them! Thank you for share with us.



  542. Hah I was going to comment, “Where’d you find that sweet booster?” and then I saw they are new sponsors! Precious girls and wonderful photos!

  543. My first comment on your marvelous blog …. I am a daily visitor and LOVE the life you share with us …

    My birthday is saturday, and I was going to keep is a secret, but your post reminded me – it is good to celebrate! And i will!

    My 3 granddaughters would love the booster seat you showed on 5/23

  544. I love your description of Nella kisses. My godson is 4 months old. And when I say “You wanna kiss?!” and start the “mmmm” sound he gets a big smile then I finish with a big old smooch and he giggles. Baby kisses make my heart happy.

  545. We’re looking forward to beach days coming up. Thanks for giving us a teaser to get us excited!

  546. Kelle– I love love love to read your blog..its that breath of fresh air i need at times during the week…the sweet seat is very neat :)

  547. I love your joie de vivre and full-life living. I have girls the same ages as yours, so it makes your blog particularly relevant!

  548. Thank you for another lovely post about celebrating life. I was having a rough day and your words along with dreamy pictures have calmed me… I have been searching for booster seats lately for my twins and these are by far the most gorgeous ones I have seen! Hope your week is going well. Thanks again for writing a positive story (blog) about your life. We need more optimistic people like us in the world :)

  549. Love the Isle pics. Cannot wait to visit my own little Isle this summer…Booster is also beautiful!

  550. That booster is too cute. Much better than the plastic ones. Owen always complains they hurt his “bunnies.” I can’t agree more. They are hard. :) Such beautiful pictures. :)

  551. That seat is simply adorable. However, I think it’s an unfair advantage because Nella makes everything look adorable :)

  552. love your party throwing skills! my baby turns one in a few months, and im hoping to throw a creative party.. hope i can come up with some great ideas like you have! love the booster seat, so pretty:)–Kayla

  553. i love your party throwing skills! i’m hoping to be able to throw a great party for my baby in a few months. and the booster seat; so pretty!!-Kayla

  554. Okay- that chair is just adorable! But my heart sank for poor little Nella’s ice cream on the ground :)

  555. I shed many tears with every post. You are an amazing mom and have inspired me in many ways. Thank you!

  556. Posts like this make me want to be at the beach! You have a lot of great party ideas to offer, thanks for the addendum to the previous post!!

  557. Beautiful post. Beautiful pictures…

  558. Birthday balloon bouquets–yes, we adults need more of those! I always make a big to-do for the girls’ birthdays, but I never really bother to celebrate my own. This year–no excuses. There will be dinners, there will be cocktails, there will birthday dresses and heels!

    Cancer kids are special, aren’t they? πŸ˜‰

  559. First of all, I am totally jealous of your Isle of Capri Sundays. Second of all, I love the Sweet Seats. I would get a Houndstooth one for my boy and the Brown with Pink Polka Dots for my girl. They are so cute!

  560. Love the sweet seat….almost as much as Nella’s sweet kissy face…she is so stinkin cute!!

  561. Love the new photos and memories!! Oh and just so you know my hubby just asked me if you were married to Kevin Costner! lol

  562. Love the cute seat!! I would LOVE to have one for my sweet nephew!
    Love the blog, love the girls, love you’re always up beat, even when your sad, always sunny disposition!
    Thank you for always adding a bit of sunshine to my day!

  563. We’ve just celebrated our daughter Emma’s 4th birthday as well, and it was a grand celebration! Pink bouncy castle and a surprise visit from Princess Ariel. After seeing your fabulous pictures, we might have to do a cowgirl party next year too!

  564. Love Brett’s Florida shirt – Nella and Lainey need them some Gator shirts!!!! ;0)

  565. I want to win that seat! My 8 month old has recently started sitting on my legs like they’re a chair. She needs her OWN chair to sit on. :)

  566. pretty amazing encore…

  567. Love the story of how you met Rebecca! We will have to look into that camp for Chloe! The pictures of Nella and your Dad are breathtaking!


  568. I really need to plan a trip to Isle of Capri, with my little.

    I’m hosting my sister’s baby shower in June, this sweet-seat would rock her world!

  569. this post made me totally excited for summer! that close-up of nella might be my all time fave pic of her!

  570. ENCORE just beautiful!

  571. Love Nella’s hat!
    And those booster seats are a AMAZING idea!

  572. Oh I just love reading everything you wrote! It never gets old :-)
    I neeeeeeeeed the booster <3

  573. Oh my gosh sunny warm beach time sounds so good I can almost feel and taste it. So Jealous!
    And the picture of Nella’s kiss face? Heart melting. Love it!

  574. Perfect! It’s all just perfect!

  575. Umm, can I have your lentil soup recipe? I have been dreaming of eating it and i’ve never tried it. LOL! The power of suggestion (even MONTHS AGO!)

  576. I LOVE the bonnet at the beach…too cute. I have two amazing boys, but I miss out on all of the adorable girl clothes.

  577. oh my goodness, what a gorgeous booster seat. it looks like a workhorse that a good booster is, with some style that is FAR advanced from the horrible hard cracked plastic booster i remember from my childhood :-) we would lovingly wear one out around here!

  578. Gotta love weekends like that. We too, had a great weekend filled with family, love and SUN!

  579. Love the seat!

  580. Gorgeous photos, as always. πŸ˜‰ the photos of nella and your dad…. *sigh* she looks sooooooo adorable, all sweet little chubby baby.. So nuzzable. πŸ˜‰ and those booster seats are to die for! I had one just like it as a child (my mom still has it)…and it looks just as good as it did 25 years ago.

  581. Love the last picture of Nella and the ice cream on the ground… priceless moment captured!

  582. Thank you, Kelle, for the sentence “Celebrate them. Plain and simple. whether you’re two or forty-two.” It’s 2:14 a.m. on my 42nd birthday, and was pretty blue until I read that. The Universe Speaks! <3 <3 <3

  583. Your girls are as cute as ever :). Love the Nella kisses!

  584. Your kids are just so incredibly cute. I love how you seem to always capture all the right moments.

  585. Nella is such a sweetie. I adore baby kisses (my Sammy gives them too).

    What a beautiful encore! Love the pictures of your girls, as always. We hope to get lucky — we sure would put that sweet seat to good use!

  586. What a sweet, sweet encore! How great is it to see our dad’s snuggle up with their grandbabies! Would love to know where you found the wet chalk/sidewalk paint?

  587. Thank you so much for your blog – it is a highlight of my day. I love the booster seats. They would be perfect for the grandchildren that visit my home on the weekends! I will be the grandmother of 7 grands by the end of this year! They bless my life just as your littles bless their grandparents lives.

  588. I love your Isle of Capri posts. Makes me want to create those type of memories for my family.

  589. So cute! Love the fabric of that chair! And very cute girls!

  590. Beautiful … as always.

  591. Um, these booster seats kick the crap out of my blue plastic one from Walmart. The one you have would match my kitchen perfectly! :) Pick Me!

  592. I got sucked into your blog several months ago and just keep coming back – beautiful family, photos and sentiments! Love it – and today loved hearing Tracy Chapman, love this song! Totally cute seats too! – Sarah

  593. Those skies are incredible. As are your girls! Love, LOVE the seat too.

  594. This comment has been removed by the author.

  595. I hope one day I can take my family to Isle of Capri to make memories as your family has. It’s a beautiful place and you are blessed to have stumbled upon it and gotten to raise your babies there. :)

  596. What an awesome post. I love celebrating birthdays….this week I’m celebrating three very important males in my life, my Dad, Hubby and my sweet little baby boy. I love when you wrote birthdays are for celebrating we’re happy your were born. So true. Love the picture of Nella and your Dad sleeping. Couldn’t be more precious.

  597. I also have to tell you that my girls, Anna (9) and Amy (6), like your blog, too. It’s not uncommon anymore for them to ask me if they can see what Lainey and Nella are up to:)

  598. love the boosters! was just thinking we needed something in this department…
    and I totally agree about the celebrating of life and birthdays!!

  599. Yay for Birthdays and that awesome booster seat…I’m totally drooling!

  600. Love the new sweet seats! I’m definitely going to check out their website

  601. Beautiful!!!

  602. nella is amazing

  603. How cute is that Sweet Seat! I love the picture of Nella looking down at her ice cream cone! :)

  604. I always enjoy looking at your pictures, you’re a very talented photographer. That booster seat is adorable. I went to their site and love all of them!

    Samanths D.

  605. The lost ice cream cone shot… priceless!! Beautiful.

  606. Kelle, Thanks for sharing your life with us. We have our first child on the way, and with so many things to worry about, your blog is a great reminder that all we really need to worry about is remembering all the little things that can so easily be forgotten. And to celebrate all of the “little” things in life. Thanks for all the smiles you bring to my face! Your girls are beautiful!

  607. OMG…LOVE the seat!

  608. When life hands you lemons…..stuff them in your bra and make your boobs bigger! Haha! Thought you might enjoy a favorite twist on an old saying. I love your blog. It’s always a reminder to slow down and take time to enjoy life :)

  609. You posted your thoughts on birthdays in the nick of time. Just last night I was telling my hubs that I didn’t want to do anything for my birthday on Tuesday.
    You’ve reminded me that it doesn’t matter that I’m turning 33….it matters that I’m turning 33. I put in another damn good year and I’m going to celebrate it.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  610. crossing my fingers for a sweet seat! love your pictures as usual, and those sweet precious little ones make my heart melt!

  611. Where did you get the girls swimsuits? I esp. love Nella’s blue one!

  612. You are such a great photographer, writer, and mama! You have a beautiful family. Question- where do you buy the girls’ swimsuits and Nella’s sun hats?

  613. Your family is beautiful. I am only 23, still in school to eventually become a psychologist (to provide therapy) but all I really want to do is be a mama. So bad. I truly can’t wait. I just read Nella’s birth story last night and my eyes are still puffy because I cried so much reading it. You’re amazing.

  614. once again, your pics are fabulous. love reading about your family adventures:) thank you for putting a smile on my face this morning.

  615. Don’t usually comment, but after the last few posts I have to say – Nella is growing up to be one gorgeous little girl.

  616. Your photos continue to inspire me and give me a bit of joy each day. Thank you.

  617. Absolutely love the little Sweet Seat. Just darling!!!! I’m going to be a grandma for the first time and think one of these little seats would be a very “Sweet” addition to the baby furniture – heck, maybe even two of them – one for mommy & daddy’s house and one for grandma & grandpa’s house.

  618. Love your post, as always. Those beachy pictures remind me that summer is coming up and I can take my boy to the beach soon!

  619. That green Sweet Seat may be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! LOVE it!

  620. I’m loving the bonnet that Nella is wearing, will you share where you bought it?

  621. Okay, so you don’t have the cutest blog EVER. WOW. I am truly inspired! You have a BEAUTIFUL family, you take beautiful pictures, I am just SO GLAD I found your blog! End of story :-)

    I have a new blog too, but yours puts mine to shame…I just started. Maybe, just maybe mine can grow into something like yours :-)

    P.S. Vacays are always so NICE!


  622. A Big Thank You from Perth, Western Australia.
    Love, love, love reading about your gorgeous family and your everyday adventures.
    Kim <3

  623. Wow…the mag and chair look awesome but $30 subscriptions for 4 issues and $84 chairs! Yowzas!

  624. My name is Lisa and I create boutique clothing, Heavenly Things for Angels on Earth. I would love to sew some sister sets for your beautiful girls for free in exchange for photographs of them wearing the sets. I use them on my website: heavenlythingsforangels.com, I also have a blog, as well as Etsy. I would love to send you some designs, I am even open to you chosing fabrics if you please. I would love to work with you.
    lisa wertz

  625. i have admired your blog for quite some time after a friend suggested (or rather emphatically stated) that i would love your words and your photography. and yes, it took the incentive to win the sweet seat to finally leave you a comment : ) thanks for sharing your life and family!!

  626. Seriously my favorite quote of the year… I’m going to steal your words for my own blog (crediting you, of course) because they are so fabulously true.

    “Can I get an “amen” for how good it feels to watch your friends love your babies? These kids are my heart and when you love them, you consequently just found yourself a deeper place in my own heart. Likewise, to let my friends know I love them…sometimes loving their kids is the best place to start.”

    Thank you for being such a great inspiration to all Moms and especially me. :)

  627. I must have this booster seat! So nice to have something transportable and much cleaner than what we use at restaurants. Can’t wait to order mine!

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