Sea Inspired

Here’s the cool thing about creative inspiration. Its headquarters are located four minutes from my house.


Unless you’re part of the very small population of people who literally live on the beach–as in you wave to dolphins while you pour your coffee–you have to drive a bit and park to view the wonder that is The Blessed Shore. And in a sea town (I’m taking the liberty to call Naples a sea town because the term “sea town” is quaint and lovely and it sounds better than “gulf town”)–where were we? Yes, if you live in a sea town and want to experience the glory of the beach that belongs to us all, you park, unbuckle kids, gather buckets and towels and bags of beachy things, and you haul it through a parking lot to a small pathway that leads to the beach. Our Naples beaches are all the same in that big parking lots lead to narrow pathway entrances that finally open up to the wide open space of sand and sea.


There’s something about that narrow pathway. It’s a drumroll, a “get ready,” a naturesque crescendo. And it never gets old, stepping off the last plank of boardwalk on that path, through the tunnel of palm trees, past the foyer of sea oats and finally into the sandy, sun-kissed auditorium.

Hello, Beach. Good to see you again, Friend.




I love how the beach makes the world seem so very big and yet still small and bonding at the same time. I made small talk with a couple vacationers whose kids walked the edge of the water with mine. A woman smiled at Nella. “She’s cute,” she said. I smiled back and said thank you. “How old is she?” the woman asked. “Two,” I answered. “She just learned how to walk.” The woman smiled a kinder gentler smile and replied, “My daughter walked very late too.” And though I haven’t done this in a while, I somehow felt the need to say it: “Well, she has Down syndrome,” although it actually came out less awkward. It seemed an appropriate addition and even more appropriate when the woman softly replied, “So does my daughter.” And she pointed far up the beach where a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl stood in the sand, chatting with family.


I wrote about letting go and chilling out at the park earlier this week, but I’ve never had that problem at the beach. I’m always relaxed there, completely aware of the fact that my kids don’t need my stimulation to be entertained. We sink into the sand, and I subconsciously gain lessons on life from my surroundings. I love that the beach is always there. That the sun will always rise and fall. And I remember after Nella was born, feeling this urgency for our family to have our first sunset together again–as if I needed to be reminded by something as eternal and dependable as the cycles of nature that life moves on. Always.


We look for symbols of continuity in life through both challenges and triumphs as they are the constant middle that keeps us grounded, happy, motivated. I smiled remembering this comfort when last night Heidi excitedly talked about bringing the new baby to the beach in a few weeks for this anticipated child’s first sunset.




Of all the places to love, the beach belongs to all of us. It’s where Brett and I first kissed. It’s where my friends have gathered to celebrate life. It’s where we’ve welcomed new babies and new journeys, and it’s where we go to be reminded that no matter what life brings, the sun will always rise and fall.


We stayed far past sunset last night. The moon was a tiny speck that graced the sky solo at first but, over time, was joined by the brightest star, and then another, until finally constellations were brilliantly distinguishable from our blanket under the theater of sky.



Cue the Silhouette Show.




We left the beach, led by the glow of our cell phones and once again, inspired by the unchanging ever present beach. This is where you say Selah, I think.




Friday Phone Dump:


Happy happy weekend. Wear something yellow. Do a cartwheel. Call your mama and tell her you love her.

And, if you care to share…what symbols of continuity in your life inspire you, keep you grounded, make you happy?


Leave a Comment
  1. Love the beach silhouettes!

  2. Happy sea town living to you!

  3. Love the sunset beach pics! Enjoy the weekend!

  4. Beautiful! I think of my beautiful CO mountains much like you and your ocean! Happy weekend…off to the slopes!

  5. That silhouetted prego shot is to die for. Just beautiful!!

  6. I am so glad you have a beach. Absolutely magic. The children look so happy there : )

  7. Look at Nella on the potty!!! Good job, baby girl!!!!

  8. I so remember when I felt that odd urge to tell anyone that complimented my newborn daughter that she had DS. Now, 8 years later, I don’t even mention it to a new babysitter — something I thought I would never forget to do. Funny how time changes us!

    Beautiful sunset pictures — absolutely gorgeous!

  9. The picture of the gator trying to eat the baby belly about killed me! And the potty picture…Go Nella! We are headed down the potty path with our 2 year old too. Fun times ahead! :)

  10. “…to be reminded that no matter what life brings, the sun will always rise and fall.” Words to live by if ever there were. I heart your blog #justsaying x

  11. Life is always better at the beach!! And I love your description of walking the pathway to the water.

  12. The picture of Nella sitting on the beach looking out at the ocean is so peaceful and moving. She is one lucky little girl to have such a loving family. Thank-you for your beautiful stories.

  13. What keeps me grounded…..knitting!

    BTW-love the beach pics and Nella on the potty!! How exciting!!!!

  14. We love our beach, too. My parents have a cottage nestled near a bay 40 minutes away from our home. It has served as a celebration ground, a place of refuge from storms and failed relationships. A few years ago we had a freak ice and snow storm in October. Everything in the city was shut down, the trees fell to the ground- the world around us looked to be utterly destroyed. My parents gave us use of their cottage to stay at for a week while we waited for our power to be restored. Where there was 2 feet of snow in the city, the cottage, the bay was still golden with fall colors. It was off season, so it was peaceful and the air still warm. My favorite memory was taking the kids (we only had three of them back then) and the dogs for the longest walk to a break wall. The world seemed so open yet so safe.

  15. These are my favorite of all your beach shots so far!! Love this hazy, glowy, misty day — looks like images from a lovely dream….

  16. The beach! Oh I can’t wait to step in that water with you.

    You know I feel the same grounding, peaceful connection to my landscape. My whole family is at its best in the Montana mountains.


  17. What keeps me grounded and happy? Reading. No matter what is going on in my life at that moment, I am always able to be swept away in that story and forget all the things that are stressful. Your blog is one of my weekly treats :)

    I love all the beach pictures, I am here in Iowa looking out the window to snow so I love to see pictures of your girls enjoying the sunset! Have a great weekend!

  18. I feel so lucky to live close to the water too. Some times we go to the bay and park our car and roll down the windows and just breathe and take it all in. It’s wonderful. P.S. So cute the you & Lainey were dressed alike!

  19. Definitely the sunrise. Seeing Mt. Rainier “out” on a sunny day (if have ever been to Seattle you know). The water rushing by me in a moss lined river. Your post brought tears to my eyes today, it was lovely, thank you!

  20. on the boat out in the water- its so big, all you see for miles is water…grounded

  21. I love the story of the mother of the 17 year old. It made me want to see a picture of her.

    The marshmallow peeps shot made me smile; I’ve always loved that part of the Easter tradition!

    Wishing for a Florida beach visit in this year that we will not be able to make it down.

    Excited for Heidi:)

  22. I love the picture of heidi and her little girl kissing. Just gorgeous!

  23. Kelle, you seriously have the greatest “run ins” with people. How do you do that?? You must have some electric aura going on 😉 Those silhouette pictures are precious & that picture of the croc “biting” Heidi’s baby bump is priceless! Made me LOL!! Happy weekend!xo

  24. I think you are correct, I like Sea Town much better. You are truly blessed to live just 4 minutes from God’s awesome creation. To be able to hear the sound of this mighty ocean and smell the air would rejuvenate ones soul.

    God bless you and yours.

  25. Oh how I yearn for the warmth of your ocean now, the wind howled and it snowed last night………My sleepy little Western town is like a modern day western. Yes the men wear wranglers and in our little community everyone know everyone. I love that our Boys basketball team is headed to state and on Thursday night the crowd was full. Folks show up who don’t have kids even at our school anymore. We support each other around here……and I enjoy that. Love the photo of the alligator and your bestie……hahaha.

  26. All great pictures. So nice to be able to go to the beach often like you do.
    Love the story about talking to the other lady.
    Thanks for making me smile.

  27. Living on Cape Cod I am just 5 minutes from the beach and I could not of summed it up better!
    The beach grounds me, just opening the car door and smelling the salty air brings peace.
    I am blessed to have my girls growing up on the beach, I would not want it any other way!

  28. The beach is where my soul lives. That is the best way I can sum up my feeling about the sea. Its a shame because I live about two hours away. But as soon as I step into that gritty warm sand and see the rolling waves moving in the sun I feel whole again.Very grounding.

  29. I am so jealous of you and that beach! I’m from LI, NY and miss the beach so much. I’m now a desert rat! We go home every summer and hit the beach enjoying every nanosecond of it! I think the beach is the single most relaxing place in the world to be – the sound of the waves, seagulls and the feel of the sand…heaven!
    I could use a heavenly beach trip right now!!

  30. For us, It’s our lakes and mountain paths. I seriously drink in nature where we live on a daily basis. I absolutely adored this post and the AMAZING silhouette pictures. Nella makes me so proud to see her growth. Her autism is something I completely forget about because of your positivity towards it and also her joyous smile…and carefree attitude. She’s beautiful.

  31. The beach for us is a little over an hour away, I wish that we ventured up there more often but our weather is always dreary and rainy on the west coast.

    Gorgeous pictures, thanks for sharing!

  32. Nella on the toilet – such a funny and sweet picture. Best wishes from England.

  33. Kelle – your posts always, always get me. You know what? I WILL wear yellow and call my mama this weekend. Keep inspirin’!

    La Petite Gigi
    La Petite Gigi

  34. The sea is the heartbeat of life and all seems to be stilled and brought into perspective when in its presence.

  35. One of my girls has spina bifida and I have added, “Well, she has spina bifida,” into many conversations with strangers or other parents at gymnastics or ballet. I know exactly how that feels.

  36. Sea town? SEA town?
    Brett, as a Florida boy, had no issue with that??!!!
    No, Dear. “Sea town” only makes you sound like Someone Who’s Not From Florida.
    Gulfcoast town. No harder on the ears than “sucking the marrow”.;-)

  37. Best Friday Photo Dump ever!! Amazing pictures on this whole post Kelle – you really are one talented lady. All the best to Heidi during these final days – so exciting.

  38. Love this

  39. Wish we lived closer to the beach too. Just hearing and watching the waves always make me feel calm and relaxed, and helps to put things into perspective. Love all the beautiful photos that you post!

  40. love this post! the pictures are gorgeous and the words even more beautiful. you truly do inspire me.

    what keeps me grounded and happy…
    a text from my dad every morning before i go to class. sometimes its a funny joke, other times just my three favorite words…i love you.
    never fails to brighten my morning. :)

  41. every night, the dam near my house lets out a loud ring..kind of like a fog horn, as it releases water into the lake and it warms my heart. some people probably hate it, but it comforts me to the core :)

    i love little girl bun piggy tails, they make me smile!

  42. P.S.

    I dreamt we met in Costco last night and I couldn’t believe it. Then I woke up and reality set in.

    sigh :)

  43. The sea makes me feel this way too. It’s my favorite spot to be to feel “small” and re-set that the world is bigger than whatever problems might be happening that day. Unlike you lucky girl (!), we get to see the ocean once a year, maybe. We live in Washington so the coast is near but still a drive. The pacific if much different from the atlantic (or so I’ve heard). It’s dark, and rocky and COLD…! Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

  44. Your blog & photos, my husband’s home-cooked meals, my sweet precious children, and praying…are symbols of continuous inspiration in keeping me grounded and/or happy. (Appreciation)

  45. Running into someone on the beach who so peacefully, quietly and casually mentioned the fact that she too has a daughter with Down syndrome really gets me. Beside the internet, I still feel kind of alone in that journey- not in a bad way- just not in a “you run into people everyday with a kid like yours” way. As for the symbol of continuity in my life? Dance. I have always been a dancer and when I walk into dance class, I am restored, re-energized, and for that hour and a half (or however long) everything except moving my body ceases to exist.

  46. Not only do I have 207 miles between myself and the beach… there’s even a country. Greetings from Switzerland from someone who found your blog because she has 38 cousins and her favourite of them all is the one with DS. Looking forward to your book, I’m going to *%&/ my local bookstore if they can’t order it for me over here! Hehe. Take care!!
    xx, Claudia

  47. love, love, LOVE the beach silhouettes!!
    It would be great if you posted somewhere on your blog a tutorial (or at least the settings you use) to get great sunset silhouettes.

  48. The silhouettes are lovely as is your family. Go Nella with potty training! (your hat in that photo is too adorable!)

    Soak up some sun for those of us without any…

  49. Kelle,
    You have a great sense of fashion. I always love all of your outfits. :) You should have a fashion blog on the side. Lovely beach shoot. I would love to be there right now…pieces of our house keep flying away in the Idaho wind and snow.

  50. Waking up on a Saturday morning, opening the shades up for the sun to brighten the room, turning on some music and dancing with my daughter all morning!! This grounds me and makes me extremely happy!!! :)

  51. Love the picture of HEIDI with her belly in the alligators mouth. And Nella on the potty.

  52. The silhouette of You and Nella is my favorite. Her tiny pointed foot? uugh man. 😉 I love this entry. Thank you. Have you heard the “Selah” song of Lauren Hill?

  53. What keeps me grounded, keeps me going, is that no matter how bad life is at “home”, no matter how little food we have, how much my family argues and screams at each other, I have the choir room. The choir room IS my home. It is where I have made my life for the past four years, where I feel welcome, where I belong. Where I am loved.

  54. LINDAS!

  55. Very beautiful post! I knew when the mom said her daughter walked late too that she had a daaughter with Ds. It is always so nice to meet another Ds mom, there is just an understanding you have with them without even speaking.

    Wish we were on the west coast too. The water here in Melbourne, FL is just so rough most of the time. All if your pictures show the Gulf of my childhood memories. My husband calls it a big bathtub. I love the Gulf!

  56. Your family and your pictures are great! Ciao from Italy.

  57. Selah ~ haha!

  58. oh how I love the photos of your girls in this post, those white dresses in that IG photo, perfect!
    the b/w of you with them, LOVE IT!
    you make me happy with your love of life, your zest to make the best of it all, you inspire me.

  59. Mountains inspire me in much the same way that the beach inspires you. On Thursday, I was having a tough day and so I climbed Pinnacle Mountain (the tallest mountain in Little Rock). It was cathartic. When I hiked back down the mountain, I felt changed–like my load was lighter.

  60. Thanks for reminding me how much I need to see the sea!

  61. Hey Kelle,
    The silhouette beach pictures, what are your camera settings for them? I haven’t tried to shoot any yet, but I was just wondering how to get the shadows so crisp and also have them so black.


  62. Divine pictures, as always. My gorgeous 18 month old daughter keeps me grounded in the NOW, and of course the beautiful Indian Ocean… best lifestyle decision we ever made was to buy a house 2 minutes from the beach, utter bliss!.

  63. I imagine that my feelings towards the mountains that surround me are the same you have for your beach. They are rock solid and never waver. The scenery on them changes every month but underneath it all they are still my same lovely mountains.

  64. Soooo gorgeous! Happy weekend!

  65. It’s hot here for us poor Tasmanians, 38degC. So we’re hiding out in the hut with the air con on. So we’ll probably head to the beach later.
    Although we live close to the beach too, and I do like visiting, especially if we get to watch the puppies run like crazy things. But I think when we are in the bush I feel grounded, I think it’s being a botanist, and that it’s something we share, Rob and I. The mountain behind Hobart is easily to drive to, and has lots of walking tracks, past waterfalls, rocky outcrops, bushranger caves and peculiar trees that are growing on top of a large boulder so that it’s roots have grown down like octopus tentacles. There are ferns and mosses, tall rainforest trees and majestic eucalypts. Small bushes with pretty bell shaped flowers. I think a visit might be in order this week.

  66. Your blog is such an inspiration to me in so many ways. There is a huge debate going on in Norway these days, on increased abortion of downs babies… so sad. When I see your beautiful daughters and how lovely they are in their own ways, it really breaks my heart whats going on in my country.
    Beautiful pictures – happy weekend!

  67. This came at such approtpiate timing. I am am currently packing up stuff to take two littles to the beach. In Hawaii. I only have about a week left here, and I want to spend every moment on the beach I can. I LOVE that place.

    I love the moment between you and that other lady. So sweet :)

  68. This is not a symbol of continuity, but I just found a chocolate unicorn pop, and I had to send you the link.

    They also had chocolate doll pops. I have food-allergic children, and I will be able to get fun-shaped chocolate for their Easter baskets: that makes me happy.

    The beach pictures were gorgeous. So jealous–it’s cold here.

  69. beautiful photos. beautiful story about the woman on the beach.

  70. My 2, almost 3-year-old, stared over my shoulder the entire time I read this post. Every time a picture of Nella came on the screen she asked, “Mom, is that me?” “Mom, is that Norah?” “Can you click on me? Guess she doesn’t remember that in our world, it just snowed a few foot!

  71. Heidi is so beautiful! Wishing her the best as she awaits her new baby’s arrival!

  72. those silhouettes are just unfair–so breathtaking! what fabulous captures! you must have been doing a happy dance after each snap because you knew you were getting such great shots! well done, as always!

    happy weekend!

  73. and p.s., Entertainment Weekly has a nice spread on actors with DS this week!! Go find a CVS or Rev-Co (do those even exist anymore?) and turn to page 48 on this week’s Entertainment Weekly (March 2, 2012). It’s an inspiring, well written, fun story!
    Cheers to you all!

  74. The silhouette picture of you and Nella is simply breathtaking. It makes me so jealous that I don’t have anyone to take sure a picture of my daughter and me.

    As for continuity…I don’t have anywhere like the beach. But here I am on a Saturday night, laying on the couch, husband on the loveseat, dog sleeping on my leg, baby peaceful in her crib, mindless tv and computer, and I am happy and at peace. I was thinking about an hour ago, before I read your post, how very content I am in this moment.

  75. fantastic! this was an absolute delight. i know i don’t have to tell you a thing about Lake Michigan, lol; i’m quite sure you’re familiar with it’s location. i’m on the Wisconsin side of it and recently moved 6 blocks from the shoreline/have been this close to this side of the lake now for 6 months.

    and there is no keeping a person away from the beach, even in winter!

    i have some healing to do, and maybe it’s because i’m a Pisces, but i’ve always loved me some water!!!!!

    Lake Michigan was a saving grace in my childhood, and to have a little house very near the lakeshore now… well … you said it so well, what it can do for a person/persons/family/friends. i have so many past memories from this shoreline (my childhood/with my own children/and now i’m building new ones with the grand girls, etc…)

    as per usual, your blogs always leave a person wanting to say, “thank you for this” … and that “can’t wait for the next one…” feeling as well.


  76. The beach makes an appearance in nearly every post, yet I never grow tired of it. Love, love, LOVE the silhouette pictures!

  77. Weekend adventures with my family keep me grounded and inspired. Today it was a trip on the sky train to Science World. Eating our picnic lunch on an empty space near a T-Rex model. I love every minute.

  78. i called my mama, and ended an argument.

    thanks for the nudge toward kindness & forgiveness. the ocean has that effect, i think :)

  79. Lovely. Simply lovely.

    The Chesapeake bay – the water, the sailing, the beaches, and our house tucked away at the end of a point of land – keeps us all centered. I swear that it’s better than a bottle of the best wine shared with the best chocolate.

    So excited for Heidi and her family. So excited for her that you have each other. Friendships are one of the best parts of life. :)



  80. My kids……….they always need me………..they always love me. That grounds me.

  81. I didn’t call my mom – yet – but I did give her dog (who I am caring for this weekend) an extra treat and promised not to grumble so much about his accidents. LOL

    The ocean pics are incredible. . .Heidi is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see pics of her little one!

  82. Amazing. You have a gift, Kelle. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  83. To say it simply: Coming home.

    To say it like me: We literally pulled in just minutes ago from our family vacation, so I JUST had a conversation with my husband in the car about this very topic….or close to it. We had an amazing “cross it off the bucket list” kind of time at Disneyland, but we both agreed it is soooo good to come home and realize we love where we live (even though our trek down the alley to our garage is ugly and our closed up house of 7 days smells like STINK). It is SO grounding to come home to the familiar and simple. We love our get-aways, but love our comfortable, easy pace even better. We don’t have a lot of bells & whistles where we live, but we have a beautifully landscaped & SAFE valley and LOTS of opportunity to just hang out with our kids. Some might call it boring. I call it mine. And I love how it makes me feel.

    Sorry so long winded. It was just so fresh on my mind.

    And btw, I asked my Eli what his favorite part of vacation was (fully expecting him to name one of the rides) and he said, “getting shells on the beach.” It was totally free and slow paced… happy for him and so in love with that boy :). Needless to say, your beach pictures completely captured my heart and defined my mood right now. So thankful. So thankful for you.

  84. You are the most amazing person I have never met. unfortunately. So what keeps me grounded is trying to appreciate the small things. I had a realization tonight that maybe more isn’t what is going to make me happy. But it’s learning to appreciate what I have already and I totally think that is why I am in love with your blog because you seem to have it down to an art. I’m getting there slowly but surely.

  85. Oh, yeah! And almost forgot….
    I sat next to a woman and her 15 year old daughter (who was diagnosd at two with NF (wishing I could remember what it stands for!!!!) on our flight home today—her 1st time at Disneyland, too :) I’m sure you could have seen it in our eyes that we both noticed something about the other’s daughter. So eventually I said that phrase…..”Well, she has Down syndrome, so……..” And the conversation busted wide open. But now it’s getting to the point where I almost feel like I’m bragging. I wonder how she feels when she says, “Well, she has NF, so……”

    That sweet mama. I’m going to look up the meaning. I’ll let you know :)

  86. symbol of continuity…the smell of my mom. its on her jacket. in her car. and if you hug her. and go home… it stays on you. for a good while. Its a safe smell. like a warm kitchen and freshly cleaned everything.. like giant clean bath towels and a just-changed bed…. sometimes i go to her house just to refuel. also as a side note.i loved the story of you connecting with the momma on the beach. sometimes you know when you need to share information. you just feel it. i totally can see that mommas expression when she was talking to you. i dig that.

  87. I have been reading your blog for some time now, just never thought of being a follower till just now (I had it saved in “favorites”) I cannot wait to read your book and am going to preorder it. Thank you for sharing your life and loves by the way of this blog and pictures.
    Enjoy the writing and reading !
    Glinda Majors

  88. Oh! How such posts make me want to live nearer to the beach! It’s a 40 minute drive and just too hard most of the time :(
    I guess we can compensate with the beautiful bushland and green spaces around us.
    But still!! I wish my boy could enjoy the sand and sea between his toes MUCH more often than he does.

  89. I live by the beach in NJ so at this time of the year it can be pretty cold, but that doesn’t stop me from heading down there just to clear my head. It is such a constant in my life. A calmness and source of inner peace. No matter if its the middle of summer or the dead of winter, the sound of the waves rolling over the sand and the salty smell in the air are enough to cure any situation or complete an already perfect day. I’m so glad to read about how mcu you and your family enjoy it was well :)

  90. I need a beach day to clear my head, I love it! In lieu of the beach these days, I run. Also wonderful and life giving, but way less beautiful!

  91. Hmmm…what keeps me grounded? I honestly got a little nervous when you asked this because I expected an answer to pop up quickly, in my head, but nothing happened. So I thought okay now you have to leave a comment and answer the question because there has to be something. So I’m thinking, but I’m sad that I have to think so hard. Give me a minute… know I think it’s the people in my life. Knowing that my husband will come home and we will all feel a little bit happier. Spending Thursday nights with my lovely Rita friend and sometimes Vanessa tags along. Play dates once a week and Misty and Luna, going for walks, getting sweet bread and having fun watching the kids play. Yup I think that’s what keeps me going more than anything else. I love people, I love socializing. I love to watch others, it’s pure joy to me. I’m glad I came up with something! I’m really happy I answered, I feel in my heart it’s correct and that makes my heart hurt in a good way. Thank you :)

  92. The picture of Heidi and her daughter kissing…. LOVE!

  93. so beautiful kelle. my sister and i grew up, if you will, in naples. we spent spring breaks and summers there with my grandparents. some of my happiest memories happened on the very beaches you write abouut- and each time i read your beach posts, i go back to that happy place :)

  94. i always love the photos you take at the beach. so gorgeous. the sunsets are amazing!! love it!! (:

  95. ahhhhh…I get 2nd-hand inspired by your beach photos.
    Inspiring to me is growing things, namely plants, but also children.

  96. Wonderfull pictures as always!

    I`ve been away for a while and you daughters seem so much bigger since the last time I visit the blog!!!

    I was reading your blog with my 3 year old princess on my lap. When she saw a picture of your little one she said WAIT! And then, she passed her hand through your daughter´s beautiful face, caressing her…

    Greetings from Portugal!

  97. Long for salt in my hair….

  98. I just started reading your fabulous blog! I’m always full of good feelings after reading your writing. Thank you for sharing your time and inspirational perspectives with us readers.

    Your last entry, Sea Inspired, reminded me of a book our family enjoys, All the World by Liz Scanlon. If you don’t have it yet, I’m sure you and yours will enjoy it too.

    Peace and blessings,

  99. Every time I see you with Heidi these days I think about what a beautiful friend you must be. You see, a few years ago I lost a pregnancy (twins) and was surrounded by friends who were due when I would’ve been. I didn’t completely remove myself, but I admit that more often than not it was hard to be around them, their glowing pregnant skin, their big, beautiful bellies. And I see you, delightedly rubbing your best friend’s belly, even while likely missing what could’ve been in your own. So bravo to you for hanging in there, pulling through and being there wholeheartedly for your friend. But I also want you to know that it’s ok if some part of you feels wistful (and even sad), knowing what she’s about to go through and knowing that this time you’re missing out. Thinking about you (whether you need me to or not).

  100. I love the music on your playlist here!! I wore yellow AND did a cartwheel today! How about that! The conversation you had with the mother of the 17 year old on the beach gave me chills! Playing “Chutes and Ladders” is currently the most grounding force in my life.

  101. I just got back from a long weakend in Naples for the first time ever and now I want to move there… you live in a beautiful place! We stayed at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf club and it was so gorgeous. We drove down to Marco Island for an afternoon also, and it’s just as fabulous. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you around town sometime, because I plan to go back! :) You’re one lucky gal!

  102. I’d love a tutorial on these amazing silhouettes…they are gorgeous! I teared up reading the conversation between you and the woman you had never met. isn’t it amazing how people just float into your life that way.
    Doing keeps me grounded. Trying not to become stagnant in my life. I feel the urge to push forward, to continue to grow as a mother, person, wife. My girls….they keep me happy, young, alive :)

  103. Lake Michigan inspires and grounds me. I grew up in Northern Michigan, a small town right on the lake. I have lived outside of Michigan for years now, but a couple of times a year I go back to visit. I am reminded what is important, who I am and why.

  104. Seriously girl you just draw me in every time. Love the silhouettes! You are so good with capturing the every day. Loved the glow of cell phone. I’m still pinching myself that we only live 2 hours from the coast. That’s a big deal for a Midwest girl.

  105. Wow, that brought instant tears when I read the exchange with the woman. I don’t have a child with DS but it touched me very deeply. About landscapes… I feel connected and peaceful and whole when I run in the country, out in the woods. I struggle with body image and it reminds me how small I am in this big beautiful world. Would love to know how to do those silouettes!

  106. The silhouettes are amazing… but i also love the phone dump pic of you with Nella on the potty.

    Have a beautiful week.

  107. Love those silhouettes! I grew up near the beach (East coast of Australia) and while we spent a lot of time at the beach, we’ve never seen the sun set over the water – sun rise yes, but one day I hope to go someplace where I can watch the sun set over the ocean – just amazing!

  108. loved your silhouette pics..especially the one with Nella..and that incident with the lady on the beach…beautiful…you write awesome

  109. Stunning photos and gorgeous happy faces. :) Really nice post


  110. Oh Kelle there is so much to love, love, love about this post. Nella on the potty, Nella sitting on the beach, Lainey running on the edge of the water with that excited smile, the pictures of you and Nella, the silhouette photos and the picture of Heidi and Peyton where Peyton is cradling Heidi’s belly with her hands and they are sharing a mother / daughter kiss … OMG it is to die for and Heidi so needs to blow that photo up for display.

    I am here in your home state and oh how I wish I had a beach like yours to share with my littles. Camping season is coming so we will be spending lots of time on the beach, cooking smores and just enjoying time as a family in God’s nature. I am so excited and your posts make it even more exciting.

    God Bless you Kelle Hampton and your entire family. Thanks for sharing your life!

  111. beautiful photos!!!
    Love the beach silhouettes!

  112. I’m in Central Texas, so no beaches, but the nature we have here does the same for inspiration. All it takes is a drive down a highway that doesn’t get much traffic (we stop and everyone gets a milk shake at the beginning of such drives), or a walk at one of the nature trails. It’s the smell of the ash junipers that does it for me. And sunsets are beautiful over the rolling hills, too.

  113. Dude, those sunset silhouette photos are awesome. And I love the new banner. XO Jenna

  114. I live in Switzerland so beaches are far away, but we do have a man-made pond nearby with these cool reeds on one side and sand on the other (and if you are facing the reeds you don’t even see the big ugly apartment buildings behind you). That is our favorite place to go. And we even went last week just after the snow had melted enough to ride there on our bikes. The pond was still frozen but the kids (7, 10 and 12) always find something fun to do there. And I took pictures :).

    We are going to visit my parents in the US this summer and I will get your book! Yay!

  115. this was an especially great post, especially the part about finding another mom of a downs syndrome kid on the beach. i love when stuff like that happens, when you realize you have a connection to a complete stranger, it makes the world seem like a much more navigable place.

  116. I love the tulip header…tulips are our little trumpets, heralding the entrance of spring. I long to hear the call. It is faith that tells me they are there. Under the snow and frozen sod. They have never skipped a spring. They are on their way. As for the energy of the beach, I like to think that wave subsiding has launched its surge for distant shores, for faroff lands where others walk their beaches and only wonder where these waves have been.
    To see my granddaughters play in the surf is to remind me they are woven into this world…they are taking their place.

    –Poppa Rik

  117. this makes me miss Hawaii SO much. Only been home five days, but it seems like years…I miss the waves, the sunsets, but loved seeing your photos. Wish I could call my mama..that would be nice.

  118. i read your blog all the time. i love how personal you are and how words just flow from you. i read the sentences about the woman on the beach 3 times and got chills every time. beautiful.

  119. Pregnant Mama kissing her big girl!! LOVE IT! Captures perfectly how a mother’s love and family love expands when a new baby arrives. I think this will be a very special picture for Big Sister will cherish when she is all grown up.

  120. I don’t know if your playlist is a new addition to this place, but oh my goodness. I’ve had your blog open in another tab for about 30 minutes now, just swaying to your Jonsi and OneRepublic tunes. Maybe I’ve just been reading your blog through Google Reader for too long, but I am definitely going to actually stop by more often.

    Also, this post was magnificent. Jagged mountains packed with evergreens are to me like the seaside is to you. I love your description of how wide open the world feels as you stand with your toes in the ocean. Absolutely beautiful.

    Your blog is a newfound favorite of mine. Happy day!

  121. Though I envy your beach on some days, I find my inspiration in the woods. Few things settle me quite like spreading out a quilt on the slightly damp earth and staring up into a canopy of trees. If I could bottle and wear the smell of pine and oak trees in the fall, I’d be a happy girl.

  122. I am so in love with the picture of Nella on the potty and you sitting in front of her for support. Such a precious mommy moment!

  123. I am so in love with the picture of Nella on the potty and you sitting in front of her for support. Such a precious mommy moment!

  124. The picture of Heidi and her daughter on the beach is so beautiful! Beautiful family, beautiful friends, beautiful life! Cheers!

  125. Keep doing these beach posts…I love them! I can just picture myself there…warm and salty air…watching my kids play in the water, on the edge, and sand everywhere, as it should be. Thanks ~

  126. I love Naples. People have said to me that it is “old”. Hubby and I love it. Maybe one day. . .

  127. I absolutely LOVED this pos. The beach is healing. It is everything. And what could be better than having your family and best friends there to share it with you? I am currently living in Idaho going to school. I am from a town in California that runs completely on the power and love of the ocean. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about home and how much I miss it. I am not that same person without the beach. You are such an amazing writer and have a gift for giving people an amazing view of what you see. Thank you so much!!

  128. gorgeous post, gorgeous photos, gorgeous words, as always<3

  129. I don’t remember if I took time to comment on this one, or not?!
    I’ve been totally absorbed with my firstborn and his sweet girlfriend when they were here for five fab and utterly wonderful days!

    I love the photos, really love them and think they have an air of love around them. Love and happiness!

    We’re fighting kinda hard here in our new hometown, to make friends, and here people are not interested in new friendships, it seems – so I use your photos as inspiration and motivation, to not give in….!

    Thanks, as always, for all you are!

  130. Ha una famiglia bellissima Kelle! E Nella è un angelo!
    Vi auguro tanta felcità e che l’amore vi accompagni sempre! Saluti dall’Italia! ^_^

  131. WOW! Those silhouette captures are simply breathtaking!!!

  132. The mountains are my beach. We live in Colorado Springs, the base of Pikes Peak. Although mountain hikes don’t happen as often as i like there is never a day that i don’t look over my city to that beautiful mountain and find peace. Whether it is during a run, a sunrise, a sunset, or a tired drive to work. it refreshes my core. And the best? the best is when i hear my 2 year old say from the back seat “oh mommy. pikes peak is BEAUTIFUL!” yes, baby. it is!

  133. Yay Florida! I’m from Tampa, I love finding florida bloggers!

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