Friday Quicky

Hello there, Friday.

I don’t have a long post.
Because, frankly, about an hour ago Brett walked into the kitchen and said, “So, is this going to be one of those parties where you leave everything to the last minute and then you flip out and tell us all what to do an hour before?” And I tipped my head back and laughed. “I love you” I replied. Because, when you’re guilty and you have nothing to say, “I love you” tends to work.

I love kids’ parties. I think heaven is a kids’ party. With dancing. And babies. And friends and hugs and laughing and really long Pictionary games. Maybe some pad thai and a foot massage and definitely cupcakes with buttercream frosting. With all that said, I am going to bed happy tonight, anticipating the arrival of little girls, shy smiles, clinking cups and a round of “Happy Birthday” that will remind me again that, oh boy, my kids are little gems that make life grand.

The woods are slowly transforming into a tea room.

This tea set belonged to my mom and dad. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and a great trick for getting my hands on it was throwing this decoy tea party and having my dad ship it to me. “For the party,” of course.


Good luck getting it back, Dad.

Two happies this week:

* Nella “hand walks” with any shoes she can find. Every day.


* Lainey got a clip-in Smurf extension. It’s yellow hair. When she wears it, she thinks she is the most beautiful girl in the world. I smile and say, “Your face makes me smile, Baby.”



Friday Phone Dump:

I officially declare my addiction to Instagram. It is a happy, happy place. I’m comfortable with my addiction. If you have an iPhone and you don’t have Instagram, you don’t know what you’re missing. We’ll be updating lots of birthday fun tomorrow to Instagram.


Friday Phone Dump photos are taken on the Instagram iPhone app (free) and dropped into a 12×12 collage using a photo editing software (Photoshop Elements works). I am @etst (enjoying the small things) on Instagram if you want to follow the feed.


My post yesterday? Thank you for your very thoughtful comments. I read every one. I think it’s important to say I am not angry at the person who wrote that comment. I purposely let it get me a little steamed because I think it’s good from time to time to let ourselves “feel” it–opposition, a little pain, a little fire. It reinstates our passion, puts us in touch with other perspectives, sharpens us. It felt very good to write that post and even better after I published it and moved on. But thank you for your kind words. Thank you for saddling up your unicorn beside ours.

Which reminds me. A reader sent THIS to me, and now I have to build one. Thank you, Stacy.


And since I have a little cleaning and party prep to do still tonight, it’s a good time to reintroduce my secret weapon, sponsor Jessica Clough’s Scentsy Shop. When my house smells good, I am inspired. And Jessica has been onboard for quite some time now because her customer service is amazing, and her products keep you coming back for more. My favorites? The earthy, musky scents like Hemingway and Hendrix and Weathered Leather. I like to call them “hot guy” scents, but you can call them comforting, natural, homey.


Whatever your poison, Jessica can hook you up with both scent warmers and fragrances. And she has been very generous to give many of the proceeds from our readers’ sales to Nella’s fundraisers. We are happy to have her back!


I’ve got some work to do! Happy Weekend!



Leave a Comment
  1. Saddle up that unicorn! Looking forward to pics from the tea party. Happy Weekend.

  2. Happy Birthday Nella! Have a fantastic time tomorrow.

  3. Can’t wait to see Nella’s 2 year celebration You are the best party planner EVER!

  4. Can’t wait to see pics from the party!!! Have a WONDERFUL time!

  5. Hope Nella has the best birthday party ever! With your party planning skillz I’m sure it will be :).

  6. i love your instagram addiction :) all of your photos make me smile.
    i’m starting to be addicted as well… it’s my new favorite “social network” LOL.
    can’t wait to see the pictures of sweet Nella’s party…

  7. i have been dying to see nella in her red velvet romper since you mentioned it, you know i love the vintage! did i miss any other pics of her in it? so cute!!

    now i have to check the post from earlier because i missed it but if it has to do with unicorns, i am IN :0

  8. SMACK! Big Fat Kiss! Happy party prepping…and many wishes for a fab party. Looking forward to the results. Also, kudos on the tea set…I am not above ureesessing my kids to get what I want either!

  9. You leave me dizzy! I don’t know how you do it all. Share some energy, Kelle! I think you got all of mine. xoxo

  10. I just can’t can’t wait to see the photos of her party.

  11. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

  12. ah ok, i just read it (post from earlier). hey, none of us have guarantees in life, joy suckers get a unicorn horn to the booty. happy party nella!! hugs to all.

  13. So excited for Nella’s tea party. It’s going to be beautiful!!
    She deserves it.
    I was just looking through jinkyart’s website and I thought of you. Have you seen her work?

    I didn’t get a chance to comment on Wednesday’s post but I loved it. It inspiring when you get all fired up and write like that. Tears!!!

    Happy weekend and I will be checking instagram for all the pics. :)

  14. How about an Instagram tutorial for us iPhone owners who are clueless about it? I’ve installed it twice and deleted it both times as I have no clue :))

  15. Can’t wait to see the pictures! I love the tea party idea…
    Have a wonderful day, Nella!!

  16. Happy birthday gorgeous girl Nella all the way from Australia. You are one of the bright lights of my week reading about yours and Laineys escapades!

  17. Just finally watched your spot on ABC and I have to say, while you bring beauty and hope and joy to your readers through your beautiful words and pictures on your blog, seeing you speak about your experience made it so much more raw, more real, and it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your stories with us every day, you are truly an inspiration. :)

  18. I’ve done twitter (boring) and Facebook but instagram is my favourite. Like micro-blogging.
    I can’t wait to see it all, last minute or not! Have a wonderful day.

  19. Have a wonderful birthday and get some rest this weekend!

  20. can’t wait to see the party pic’s and words.. I have been waiting with baited breath.. LOL

  21. I have found a unicorn picture which is worthy of framing and explains why they are so powerful.

    Wishing Nella a wonderful birthday party. Can’t wait to see how the professionals throw a party.

    Saddle up!

  22. Here’s to a fabulous tea party…. Cheers!

  23. I have stumbled upon you blog and find it bright-fully candid and lovely. I have a child with ADD that effects our lives on a daily basis- so I know what being a champion for you child is all about- you do a good job. My question to you is about home schooling. I read on one of your posts that you were homeschooled. I have 4 children and am seriously considering doing it. What are your thoughts on the pros/ cons of it? thanks so much.

  24. At the risk of sounding like a crazed stalker…I just want to hug you. I work in genetics with a fabulous geneticist and I am blessed enough to be around families like yours on a daily basis. I get to love on the kids and have fun with them for the short time they’re with us and then give them back. I don’t have to listen to the rude comments or see the nudges and stares from strangers. I don’t have to worry about scheduling PT/OT, speech therapies or school IEP’s. Families like you have my admiration and respect. Children like Nella have my heart. I just wish the rest of us could be as blind as Lainey when it comes to unconditional love. Keep your head up, girl. You’re doing a fabulous job and if you’re ever in Vegas I’d like to take ya to dinner.

  25. Love that last photo. Have a happy day all of you. You deserve it.

  26. OMGosh how you make me laugh!
    Have you seen this? Instagram your sofa.

    Have a wonderful day tomorrow. I love that YOUR house of Motherhood has a tea room in the woods.

  27. That is one adorable birthday girl! I bet she will love being in the limelight tomorrow and I’m sure the tea will be scrumptious!!

  28. i teach 5th grade and used a piece of your writing to help teach my students how to draw inferences and make their writing descriptive. why not kill two birds with one stone, right? it was your line about running into the spider web “it grazed my face…” i posted the sentences and had them write on a post it note what they thought it was describing. it was a great lesson, thanks for the helping hand!

  29. I officially declare my IG addiction too. Follow my fun (leeannarmitage). Enjoy tomorrow. xo

  30. I hope the party is sensational : )
    I know it will be.
    You know a lot of shy girls.
    I am so glad I know mostly crazy hyper ones…shy scares me. Hyper makes me happy.
    Love, Becky

  31. Can’t wait to see your photos on instagram!
    Have the most fabulous woodland tea party ever!
    Happy, happy!!!!

  32. aww so fun, have a happy birthday party tomorrow, nella! :)

  33. Oh my goodness, that face Nella is making in the last picture? My daughter used to make a face very similar to that. We called her “proud face.” Nella must be so proud of herself…AS SHE SHOULD BE! :)

  34. that unicorn bike made me laugh out loud for at least a minute…. actually, I’m still laughing thinking of that damn unicorn bike:) you must build this bike.

  35. I’m with you on kid parties. You mean, it’s not normal to think you will have all this time the day of to get things done? And yelling and bossing isn’t normal? Shit. I am pretty sure my husband wants to divorce me every time we have a party. I suck. I admit it. :)

  36. Oooh, I just went to my first Scentsy party this week and my favorite was Hemingway too! I got a travel tin for my husband’s car.
    Have fun at Nella’s party! Her hair looks so long and beautiful in the last few posts.

  37. Jumping in a little late, but your ABC interview was incredible. Your honesty, courage, and grace shine through everything you do.

  38. Hi Kelle,
    Thank you so much for re-posting, “My post yesterday?” because the comment section was fixed there. Thank you for that, because reading a few others’ comments for you made me smile.
    And, on today’s post, LOVE Brett’s last-minute comment…HILARIOUS! Your behavior resinates with me. My husband could relate to your husband with that one. I’ll have to try ‘I love you’ 😉
    Happy weekend…party, party, party!!!
    Love from Tejas, melissa

  39. I can’t WAIT to see how the tea party theme goes. Last year, my birthday was a tea party theme. (Lol my 17th birthday).

  40. Nella is the cutest thing and I just wanna eat her up! I’m convinced that if she lived in my house, my house would instantly become happier and more carefree. She’s just perfect.

  41. Can’t wait to see what magic you create for this party! You make me want girls so much sometimes:)

  42. Ah, my Isaac has a shoe addiction, too. Started with hand walking… progressed to emptying every last one out of the cubbies (we’re a family of 8… that’s a lot of shoes), lining them up carefully down the hallway. Lately he likes to try them on and see if he can walk in them. He would be delighted for Nella to follow in his footsteps! Happy, happy birthday!

  43. Nella is the cutest thing and I just wanna eat her up! I’m convinced that if she lived in my house, my house would instantly become happier and more carefree. She’s just perfect.

  44. I got so confused then til I remembered the time difference (its saturday lunchtime here)

    Love the entranceway, hoping to do something similar for my girls bday bird its a ‘kingdom’ and it’ll be free standing.

    Hope you all have lots and lots of fun! !

  45. Oh Kelle, that unicorn is precious. You must make one. How sweet would that be?!

  46. Totally addicted to Instagram too mama! And kid’s parties? A chance to celebrate life and love? They are the absolute best!!! :) Can’t wait to see more!!


  47. Can’t wait to see the party unfold on instagram, Sam’s late 4th birthday party is tomorrow! We are having “Sam’s ultimate dance party) I will also be instagraming it for all 40 of my followers:) too!

  48. Loves it. Loves everything about that damn unicorn bike. And Nella’s last pic with her daddy. Flippin’ adorb.

  49. That unicorn bike is hilarious! And the best part is the horn found in mom’s nightstand. Hahahaha.

    The party is going to be amazing and I love silver tea sets. I kinda collect them.

    Happy Weekend!


  50. I’m addicted to instagram as well, you can follow me at serenaabdul. I will be looking forward to the photos of nella’s birthday party.

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Me again! OMG that unicorn bike is cracking me UP! The commentary is priceless!!! xo

  53. Ahhh a new post is a wonderful ending to a day of party planning on the other coast as we prepare for firetrucks and rescue heroes instead of tea for two…for my son’s 4th. Our big day is Sunday and we are of the go big or go home mentality as well. And I love parties for all the same reasons you do, but love the way you say it. Enjoy tomorrow! I look forward to the photos and details to come!

  54. I just totally adore you, your family, and your amazing blog! Keep up the good work and be the most wonderful, stylin’, baby-loving Joan of Arc there ever was!

  55. Hi, my name is Claire & I am an Instagram Addict.
    Phew…there I said it :)))
    Love your pics on instagram Kelle :) They always make me smile.
    Can’t wait to see the tea party post :) And I too use the “I love You” distraction strategy. When prepping for our daughter’s recent 4th birthday party, as I was listing off weird & random things that my Husband needed to go & get and I saw his “holy-shit-what-the-hell-is-my-crazy-wife-planning-for-this-party-now” look…I pulled out a quick “don’t forget you love me :)”

  56. Have a great party! :)

  57. Okay – let’s be honest – you’re my hero. I really, truly think you’re wonderful…love your outlook…think your photos are lovely (& your writing)…could squeeze your babies… Thank you for putting so much LOVE into life.

    I wish you the fullest!

  58. I cannot wait to see the Photos from Nella’s party! I’ve just downloaded the Instagram App!

    Enjoy your weekend! xx

  59. Yep, Instagram rocks so hard with all those gems of moments from all over the world, at one tiny place!
    Happy moments, beautiful scenery and pep talks :-)
    I love it too.

    Looks like it is going to be a fab party – can’t wait to see!!!!

  60. haha love the unicorn bike, lol. Can’t wait to see pictures from the big birthday bash!

  61. 1) LOVE the hand walk. And the extensions. And your kids in general.

    2) Live it up and enjoy the party, and yep, will be checking instagram. Because I’m an addict, too.

    3) Good snag on the tea set.

  62. I am so excited to see the tea party photos but most importantly I hope Nella has a fabulous time!!! love this theme!!!

  63. Dear Kelle,
    Yesterday I watched your ABC interview. I cried through the whole thing. What I realized about a quarter way through, though, was that I was crying for you as a human being and not about the story, Down syndrome, or even Nella. Your honesty about the reality of where you stood emotionally when Nella was first born made my heart spill open for you.
    I have always read your blog since first introduced in 2009. We had just adopted our first son who has Down syndrome. I was drawn A. to your beautiful pictures and B. to your flawless writing. But to be honest I have always had a hard time relating, not only to you, but a lot of Down syndrome moms who went through this “grieving” process. Having chose Down syndrome twice now (I have never felt like a saint, I have never felt better than anyone, but I also didn’t have any grieving process. The only process we had was, ”Halleluiah we finally got our baby! “ (adoption is long and arduous). So, with that I don’t think I had any judgment but simply I could not relate to that piece.
    What kept me coming back to you was your zest for life. I found myself searching for your humor, looking for your little gems that made me feel that all is well in my world too…..and of course the pictures of your girls. I have always felt oddly voyeuristic gawking at your family, yet the way you capture joy seemed to override my insecurities.
    The ABC piece, for me, made you a human being. I did not expect my reaction at all. It was so (the word beautiful is so cliché and overused)…uncommon, I guess, to witness someone in their truth. When that occurs I believe it is a gift and so I want to thank you for that. Rarely do we get to be with someone while they are being honest, no walls, no hidden agenda, no trying to protect everyone from my “stuff”….and it was simply beautiful.
    I get it, Kelle and I didn’t before. I have a lot of respect for you. You are sucking the sap out of life and I admire that kind of living. There is no point in living in anticipation of may never occur. If a curve ball comes your way it seems to me you have what you need to catch it and throw it back. Be well….you’re a great mom. Thank you. Nykki Poole

  64. Unicorns, glitter, rainbows, tea parties, grinning girls, and all that jazz! Have a blast with the cutest 2 year old!

  65. I cannot wait to see you riding a unicorn bicycle! Love it!

    Happy party to Nella!!!

  66. happy partying! you and your hubby are too cute!

  67. I hope Nella has the best birthday yet! I can’t wait to see pictures from her magical tea party!! The curtains alone against the woods look beautiful…dreamy and mystical :)

    I love the look of those instagram photos – they look worn and old…kinda like my phone – my husband is so stuck in the times, I’ll never have a cool phone – I can’t even text!

  68. Don’t just make a unicorn. Make unicorn poop!

  69. Growing up we had a tea set just like yours (also in Michigan:). As a little girl I would occasionally polish it, a chore I always enjoyed. Did you know you can effectively polish silver with a toothbrush and toothpaste?

  70. Hi Kelle–I’ll tell you what makes me smile..Your blog!! And, Lainey holding that puppy the way she does. And, Miss Nella! I can hardly wait to see the pictures of the Tea Party. What a great idea. I hope you all have a blast. Happy Birthday to the cutest little 2 yr. old in this world. My teenage daughter loves looking at pictures of Nella. Lainey is so precious. She is such a great big sister and I’m sure you hear this a lot, but she looks more and more like you all the time. Hurry and get those pictures on here:)

  71. re: the comment from the sour naysayer/joy zapper that things are good now but won’t be.
    I came across recently an old video of my son when he was on the news in 1984. THis was a time before social networks, blogs, internet info, etc. THe news clip first shows a support group I was in. I am seen on the video stating that it is possible to be both realistic and hopeful at the same time. I want you to know that 28 years later I still feel the same way. There is great joy is living in a family that sees the core of a family member in the light of unconditional love . Keeps me rooted in the love of God . Here’s the video if anyone is interested. Dustin has severe cerebral palsy, was diagnosed at birth with severe microcephaly( a birth day surprise as this was a time before prenatal ultrasounds).

    Good recent article on the blog from Sacramento bee about Dustin and his dad.

  72. I just watched your video on ABC and was brought to tears. Through the interview, you showed us another side of yourself. Your honest words will help others feel less alone, and your positive spirit will help them move forward. I have a 7-year-old nephew with Angelman Syndrome and the emotions you spoke about are things my family has experienced. Things we still continue to experience sometimes but try to push past and focus on the good. You are an incredible mother; your girls are so lucky to have you.

  73. I just came across this quote from Albert Einstein and thought you would like it:
    Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.

  74. Can’t wait to see the party pictures.
    The last picture of Nella and her Daddy brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful. So much love.

  75. You may want to rethink that unicorn bike link. The bike is cute, but the opinion below is a little nasty.

  76. I did not see the comment that, appears as though, was negative. I respectfully say to you that it outrages me that someone could find any fault and say something discouraging. Shame on them. I LOVE YOU GUYS. Squeeze Nella for me pleeeeaaase. And so many good thoughts of hope and health and happiness to you and your beautiful family. As always, you make my world a better place.

  77. Hi!
    Do you know the history of your teapot?
    While not sure of the mark on your teapot, it might be a set that was earned by saving Betty Crocker points. You know the ones on top of cake mixes? No kidding! They gave away good stuff back in the days of my grandparents!
    However, yours might be an exquisite mark and I hope I just didn’t insult you. My tea set is one of my most treasured pieces from my family.
    Your set looks stunning! Have a wonderful tea party!

  78. okay. i pass through here way too much and never comment. so…

    i love you! the end. 😉

    wishing you all a grand tea time this weekend {said in british accent w/ pinky in the air!}.

    can’t wait to see the shots captured of the day~

    and i guess i lied. that wasn’t quite the end. 😉 though it does sum up what i feel when i come here!

  79. I missed yesterday’s zinger comment. I’m not a fan of joy suckers either. They must be very unhappy people…that’s really the only thing that makes sense. The reason I come here is because you CHOOSE to find the lovely in life. Those are the people I want to surround myself with. Now off to watch that interview.

  80. Keep on keeping on. you are an amazing example to me. My prayers are with you and your family, you are all so amazing!

  81. WIN, if you are referring to me as the one that is saying something discouraging, you’d better think again. The commenter on the link that Kelle Hampton provided was the one who said the negative comment, not I. I was actually very surprised that Kelle would post something that had a negative message, especially something that would label a child in such a way. Shame on you for criticizing that! I hope you realize that life is not all rainbows and unicorns, as much as we’d like it to be. Oh, fine, let’s look at this adorable, creative bike, but ignore the person who delivered the message. Where is the encouragement in that?

  82. Ok….your Dad cannot possibly take his puppy back from Lainey. She is totally in LOVE with that pup….and vice versa. So cute the way she carriers him/her.

    Can’t wait to see all the pics from the tea party. And….once again ~ I LOVE all your photos :)

  83. Hope the party is great and that you have so much fun!!!


  84. Congratulations on a stunning little family and your outlook on life. I stumbled over your blog about 18 months ago.
    Nella is a credit to you, she is DIVINE!
    My mum fostered new born babies, here in Australia for 20 years who mostly had Down Syndrome and some babies had other syndromes, the PURE LOVE and JOY and acceptance of others and lessons in life they have brought to me I will be eternally grateful for.
    Nella truly is a gift to you and your family.
    I just finished watching the ABC documentary and I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps, may your life be fully blessed with love, happiness, laughter and fun.

  85. that unicorn bike rocks! cannot wait to read all about miss nella’s tea party! hope you enjoyed the day like no other.

    and boo-hiss on joy suckers. totally.


  86. Not gonna lie, the ABC video totally made me cry. When you talked about how Lainey loved Nella from the start made me cry… kids are so pure and such great teachers.

    It was a beautiful story, and I’m sorry you had to read such a hurtful comment.

    Stay strong, us Mama’s gotta stick together :)
    Can’t wait to see the tea party photos!

  87. That tea set! My days, what a beauty!

  88. I missed the drama concerning the comments but I’ve followed your blog for a year now and I watched your ABC interview. Let me just say that the way you parent is inspiring. Your positive outlook is what is going to get you through.

    Yes, there will be challenges and it will get harder; but you know what, it gets like that with all kids. Ask anyone with teenagers. Every child presents there own challenges and their own joys.

    Our baby, who will be four this month has been diagnosed with Central Core Disease and it has required therapy, a neurologist and the like. So far the hardest part has been the surgery to remove a cyst from his face…had nothing to do with the disease at all. Just a normal kid thing.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep loving life and keep cherishing your sweet girls. You’re going to be just fine.

  89. No wonder your children chose you to be their Mum (oh and Dad too!). You are amazing Kelle Hampton!
    A very big Birthday hug and lots of Birthday kisses for Nella..I can feel her spirit in those beautiful photos you take – ooh and the tea party sounds magical – just quietly I don’t think I would be parting with that stunning tea set either!
    You inspire me…
    Love Robyn Lee xo

  90. What a wonderful setting for a party.
    Hope it was as magical as you had hoped. The INST photos were priceless. Thanks for sharing! Congrats on 2for2!!

  91. Tea for two…and me for you… a magical weekend, Enjoy!!

  92. Will you please post a picture of nella hand walking in shoes in every post? Please. That is about the cutest thing along with her “o” face and pig tails.

    Could we maybe look into pink or red clip in extensions for Lainey? Or RAINBOW with sparkles??, I mean, if you’re gonna clip in extensions you should just go all out. She is so precious

    Can’t wait for party pics and props to you for snagging that tea set! Smoooooth.

  93. I am here first time. While surfing the net, stumble with this blog. Felt very homely. Nella is one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen… Happy Birthday…. God bless her…

  94. I love, love, love that sweet Nella-face! Can’t wait to hear how the party went.

  95. Just came across your blog…amazing! Loved all of the pictures in this post :) Looks like a wonderful party!

  96. My name is Jazzmine and I too am an Instagramaholic. haha!
    I love following your feed! You have a bajillion followers I know, and I’m not sure if you follow your reader’s feeds, but my username is supermilf :)

  97. Can’t wait to see the pictures!

    teapot cozy

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