Good Feelings

A couple weeks ago, with a little urging, Lainey agreed to put her shyness aside for a bit to sing “Happy Birthday” over the phone to her grandpa. We called from the beach at Isle of Capri, and I was thrilled with how willing she was to leave her sand castle for a few minutes to make her grandpa’s day. After the last “to you,” she skipped back to her pail and shovel while I finished the call and later conveyed her grandpa’s gratitude to her.

“Did you know how happy you made Grandpa just by singing to him?” I asked. “He loved that.”

Lainey smiled, thought about it for a moment and argued, “But I didn’t give him a present.”

“Oh, but you did give him a present,” I answered. “You gave him good feelings.”

Corralled by docks beside us and the gulf before us, we sat and continued to talk about good feelings right there on the beach–how things like Mickey Mouse pancakes, Hello Kitty stickers, red popsicles and sister hugs make Lainey happy and how beach sunsets, yellow sandals, daisies and daughter smiles make me happy.

The subject shifted to what we were ordering for lunch, but right before we stood up to put the final touches on her sand castle, Lainey stopped and asked, “Mom, can we talk about good feelings again?”

Sister’s figured it out–the fact that no matter where we are or what we are going through, good feelings make us happy, and whether or not we have sunsets, daisies or Mickey Mouse pancakes, it feels good just to talk about them.

Getting the hang of Jacob’s Ladder, a treat from the Easter Bunny

And all that can be summed up into a number of post tags, including but not limited to: Why I Blog, Unicorns are Cool, Look for the Good, Pick Up Your Camera, My Glass is Half-Full, Suck the Marrow, Buy Some Flowers, I Like Happy People, Can We Talk About Good Feelings Again?.

And how’s about another Selah for good measure? Selah.

Good Feelings in Easter Form:

It’s obvious I have this thing for holidays. I dig the whole late night preparations of stuffing Easter baskets and hiding eggs. This year though, I found myself completely exhausted Saturday night after staying up to dye eggs and still mending the tail end of a cold.

Egg dying by candlelight this year

I put the girls to bed with plans to stay up, clean the house, set the table for breakfast and Mary Poppins the place into dreamy childhood conditions. And then I closed my eyes for a fraction of a second and woke up Sunday morning. No baskets, no eggs. Chim-chimmeny charoo. I shot out of bed while the girls were still sleeping and gave new meaning to The Shakedown. It was…amazing. We took the egg hunt outside because there’s a far better chance of finding them there and somehow, we managed to still light candles, sip coffee, and dust up some bunny footprints.


These melted into warped puddles in all of about three seconds


The girls were thrilled. Permagrin thrilled.


I am reminded again that so many of our expectations in motherhood are more about us than our kids.

My girls like seeing candles at the breakfast table, wearing dresses on special days and repeating annual traditions that give meaning to our family’s story. But mostly, they just want our attention. Their Easter baskets had measly grass and one had a broken handle this year, but my girls had us.




And that makes a very happy Easter.

If all else fails, hide a golden egg. It’s flashy. It distracts from broken handles.


I’ve been meaning to share details about my new camera bag. After a long search for a fashionable camera bag that holds multiple lenses, I found one close by. My friend Lola on the east coast has started Lua Handbags, a line of darling camera bags that dual function as purses. There is plenty of room and pockets for lenses, accessories, my wallet, a couple diapers, etc. and everything is well-padded and protected.


Lola is currently offering free shipping on orders. Check her out!


And another wonderful story of paying it forward. My dear friend Elizabeth (her story is a beautiful one, and this mama teaches me about strength and love every day) has a very big heart for Reece’s Rainbow orphans. She works hard to raise money to bring them home, and Elizabeth has started an eBay auction of goods where all proceeds will go to the Archer Family’s adoption fund. I will be adding some things around our home to the auction soon (there are personalized signed copies of books up for grab), so keep checking for new items added (saying goodbye to my favorite color block granny square afghan for the cause…stay tuned).

And that brings me to the socks. Elizabeth knits socks for her friends. She says there is a prayer in every stitch, and those who are lucky to receive a pair wear them on special days. When we need it. A little sock club of inspired women has sprung up, and you can be a part of it too.


More socks will be added (she’s knittin’ her heart out) to the eBay shop soon. And every penny will be saved to bring home three little boys.


Tomorrow, I’ll be headed to New York for a little adventure. Join the fun:


I’ll be back on Thursday to wrap up the week watching the stars from our driveway, taking late moon walks to put babies to sleep and settling back in to the welcoming scene of scattered toys and laundry cushions. Life is wild and interesting and full of opportunities to both be inspired and to give back.


If you’re in the Naples/Fort Myers area, I’d love to meet you Friday night at a book signing for Bloom. 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble, Waterside Shops.


Stay Cool, Lylas. And Good Feelings this week to all of you.


Leave a Comment
  1. Way to go, Lainey! Good girl! :-)

  2. I took my first shadow picture, inspired by you. It shows my big huge 30- week bump stretched down the driveway with the kids playing in the pic. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  3. Oh, we may have tv on during pt on weds to say hi to Bella’s (stupid phone, I give up) mommy!

  4. Just cracked open Bloom last night! I cannot get over Lainey’s transformation from before you had Nella until now. She looks like a little lady!

  5. Can I possibly be the first post? Ok, I have to tell you (nothing to do with this post) but my Bella who is 4 months younger than Nella and also has DS just started saying “ya” to everything you ask her and I immediately thought of Nella when you post about how cute it was she was doing that!) It is PRECIOUS!!!! AND my big girl started walking this week! It’s been a fantabulous week in our house :-)

  6. Thanks for the tip on the camera bag…I’ve been looking for just the thing for ages! Good luck with your interview!

  7. Your are so bang on. Children want nothing but our undivided attention. Taking the time to make that happen is the best gift in the world.

    The TODAY SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!! The effing TODAY SHOW!!!!!!! Atta girl….knock their socks off, babe. I have no doubt that you will. xo
    ps. I want those brown shoes you are wearing. Please send immediately.

  8. So I’m not the only one who has fallen asleep before Easter baskets were assembled? I feel a little better now. When I was pregnant with our third daughter, I was so exhausted I don’t even remember closing my eyes. When I woke up I went into panic mode. But quick thinking saved the day. I told the girls the Easter Bunny had hidden the baskets that year. While they went on a wild goose chase, I was filling baskets at lightning speed in my closet. I stuck them on the back porch just in time. Phew!

    Loving the LYLAS. My yearbooks would’ve been empty if it wasn’t for good ol’ LYLAS.

  9. Kelle ~ I loved your book and will be tuning in to Kathy Lee and Hoda!! Your book made me think about a lot of things. One that sticks out is the mention of your net. I couldn’t get my net out of my mind so I emailed them. And I told them how much they meant to me and that they had a piece of my heart! Thank you for bringing your net out into the open and for making me think that much more about my net!

  10. I can’t wait to see you on TV. I am loving your book. I waited for a special moment to start your book. Not a good idea as I couldn’t put it down. So sweet that you dedicated it to Lainey.
    The photo of the phone faceoff made me laugh outloud.

  11. I just did a “hooray” dance when I saw you were going to be on Hoda and Kathy Lee…until I realized I’m going back to work from maternity leave!! You’re amazing and I’ll be dvring you. Bloom was INCREDIBLE! Thank you for your truly amazing story xo

  12. Happy Belated Easter!

    Kelle, your book is stunning. I DEVOURED it yesterday… starting with a three-hour feast during naptime, then finishing it in a four-hour binge after putting my babe to bed. I. Couldn’t. Stop. There’s so much more I want to say, but I’ll leave it at my most heartfelt congratulations. Best wishes for an amazing NYC adventure!!

  13. I love this post; it reminds me of one of our favorite books, “How Full is Your Bucket?”- I think you may like it.

  14. I still have to assemble baskets… I really suck at being a good mommy lately. Your Easter looked divine. The girls are ao adorable. Selah!

  15. How exciting!!!! Can’t wait to see the Today show!!

  16. Can’t wait to watch you on the Today Show! :) Also, where did you get your brown sandals? Soooo cute!

  17. When our you on the today show

  18. My children are grown and I was sad Saturday night not to be hiding eggs and filling Easter baskets. But Sunday we went to my daughter’s for Easter dinner and to see our grandbabies hunt eggs. It is such a good feeling seeing my little girl such a great mama and for her to be continuing all the tradtions I started when she was little. Grandkds are the gift you get to make up for your littles growing up and moving out. I am so lucky to have my grandbabies close by (10 minutes). I loved your girl’s Easter pictures. They are so precious, both of them.

  19. “I am reminded again that so much of our expectations in motherhood are more about us than our kids”

    you are a wise woman, Kelle. And a very fun one too! i am so enjoying that quiet time each evening before turning out the lights when I read a little of your book each night. I’m trying to savor it and make it last like good vanilla ice-cream.

  20. Next year Zayn will be old enough to hunt for Easter eggs and truly enjoy it. I cannot wait! I too, am looking forward to creating memories for him :) Have fun in NY & I’ve been donating to adoptive families on Reece’s Rainbow here and there, I just weep. I wish someone would adopt Langley!!! I’m also tempted to drive 12 hours from Atlanta to get my book signed… I can dream, right?! xx

  21. Looks like a wonderful Easter y’all had :) Looking forward to seeing your interview on the Today show on Wed! Just received your book in the mail today & can’t wait to start reading :) Happy Monday!

  22. Ohhhhhh, you are amazing!!!!! I just finished Bloom last night….Not gonna lie, I’m really freakin sad it’s over. So could you please write another book asap :) Look forward to watching you on TV tomorrow. The whole world needs to know you and all the good you bring. You have truly inspired me to want to be a better momma….

  23. Eeeeek! The Today Show! Soooo exciting! I will most definitely be watching!! :)

  24. Ohhhhhh, you are amazing!!!!! I just finished Bloom last night….Not gonna lie, I’m really freakin sad it’s over. So could you please write another book asap :) Look forward to watching you on TV tomorrow. The whole world needs to know you and all the good you bring. You have truly inspired me to want to be a better momma….

  25. As always, I love the way you create beautiful memories for your precious girls. :) Looks like they had a very happy Easter. I can’t wait to watch you on TV. I’ll have to set the timer on my phone (or record it), so I won’t miss it! Best of luck to you!

  26. exciting stuff kelle! congrats… so happy that your blog, talent and book have brought more awareness NDSS.

  27. Love, Love, Love Kathie Lee & Hoda!!! I will def be finding the link when I get home from my busy day of work/soccer practice Wednesday night! I haven’t started to read it yet, but can’t wait to dive into Bloom :)

  28. Just set my VCR to record the Today Show! Bloom was amazing and your Easter celebration with your family looked equally as amazing!!

  29. My mom is flying to Fort Myers for the week; she just might have to take a trip to B&N for me and bring the book back to VT.

  30. Kelle,

    I bought your book, Bloom. Can’t put it down. I have been keeping up with your latest posts but have not read your blog from the very beginning. Confession…for the last few months, you have been a hero of mine. I got to your chapter 2, started reading about your early childhood and BAM! I was shocked and thrilled. My dad’s gay, too! You found out when you were 8, I found out when I was 10. After, that is, my older brother decided he was sick and tired and ashamed of me for showing all my friends the sweet Olan Mills picture of my dad and his partner, Larry. I was so proud of their friendship, innocent me had no idea what “gay” was. All I worried about was whether Larry knew about my dad or not. 😉 So innocent. I was worried about his feelings, not mine. My dad truly loved my mother enough to let her go and be loved by someone that could the way she deserved. Later, and to this day, I believe it wasn’t a choice he made but who he was. He wouldn’t have “chosen” to leave us. There was no other option. My parents slowly built a friendship back supporting my brother and I. Unfortunately, my dad passed 3 years ago to colon cancer at age 59. I miss his way of making us laugh with his singing, dancing and awfully loud whistling. You go and hug your daddy for me and tell him you are so proud. Your beliefs about life, happiness, and church are so in sync with my own. Thank you for sharing your heart with the world. You, Kelle, have left a large impact on the rest of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you my dear friend whom I’ve never met.

    My sincere regards,

    Dionne Woods

  31. The Today Show! How exciting! I got to shake Matt’s hand last year — he’s super nice.

  32. The Today Show, Kelle?! That’s awesome!! I’ve been having a whole day of good feelings today….looking for the good in life. :)

    One sad thing happened though, I finished the book. Thank God you blog, because when I was done reading that last acknowledgement all I wanted was more.

    I’m glad you had a nice happy Easter. Ours was a last minute throw together that turned out better than I could’ve hope for. Turns out I have a net of my own! It’s a great feeling.

    Have a great week!! :)

  33. The Today Show, Kelle?! That’s awesome!! I’ve been having a whole day of good feelings today….looking for the good in life. :)

    One sad thing happened though, I finished the book. Thank God you blog, because when I was done reading that last acknowledgement all I wanted was more.

    I’m glad you had a nice happy Easter. Ours was a last minute throw together that turned out better than I could’ve hope for. Turns out I have a net of my own! It’s a great feeling.

    Have a great week!! :)

  34. Got Bloom today and was planning to save it for an upcoming trip, but I failed miserably at waiting! I finished it in about 4 hours! It was amazing! And I will totally watch Kathie Lee and Hoda on Wednesday!

  35. are you doing any New york Book signings??? I am in the NJ area but my husband works in New York and would love to get my book signed!!

  36. *They just want our attention… true!!!! And it’s free and effortless (or should be :).

    *Nella checking out the footprints….Good Grief, I love her body language!!!

    *And could you give The Today Show a message for me?

    Put your hand up and say,

    “WHATEV, Kathy Lee & Hoda! You don’t know what “cute” is!”

    LOL!!! I entered Nora in their Cutest Baby Contest, and she didn’t win! Hahahaha! I’m SO being sarcastic right now. Really, I’m not mad. But it was a DANG cute pic :)

    Can’t wait to see you on TV!

  37. You’re coming to New York?! Where’s the book signing love for Nella’s New York Rockstars?,

  38. Happy Easter! I was very tired Saturday night too. Safe travels to NY…thanks for letting us know so we can tune in. You will be beautiful and awesome.
    I came across this the other day and thought of you:
    “Someone told me the other day I was delusional & I just about fell off my unicorn!”
    Love from Tejas,
    PS – Such a great point about good feelings. Love the egg-hunting in pjs. This past Christmas we spent the day in pjs opening gifts, just never occured to me for Easter too.

  39. How exciting!!! Love Kathie Lee and Hoda, enjoy this time! :)

    Sweet little bunny footprints, so cute!

  40. I love your leather wedge shoes! where can I get a pair???

  41. yo, i am about to google this but are you reading anywhere else for the book? if you’re in minneapolis, i will be there for sure with book in hand!

  42. I am setting my dvr right now to tape the TODAY SHOW on wednesday. share your spirit, girl! The world needs more unicorn sighters!

  43. I am so setting my DVR to tape you on Hoda & Kathie Lee! How exciting! I am loving the book too! xo

  44. I love love love your blog and although I have never commented, I had to tell you that your book arrived in the mail today and I am SO EXCITED! The photos are gorgeous and I can’t wait to read it. Your story is beautiful.

  45. I finished your book several days ago, and look forward to your posts everyday!!! I am a stepmom to 5 children, 1 being very difficult and it puts a HUGE strain on my marriage. Reading your positive posts gives me hope and a positive outlook on life.

  46. AHHH!!!! You’re famous! I mean, you’ve always been pretty famous (and pretty) in my book but now, with YOUR book, you’re going to be on the Today show! Great achievement Kelle! Blessings to you and your lovely girls and family!

  47. “Their Easter baskets had measly grass and one had a broken handle this year, but my girls had us.”

    I am a 40 year old little girl of amazing parents. There have been times in our lives when we haven’t had much, but I always had them!

    I’m new to your blog and I am so glad that it found me. :)

    PS. I’ve never in over a decade of being online, seen anyone post LYLAS anywhere.

  48. Oh yes, a big juicy cheers to GOOD FEELINGS! Lainey is such a doll!

    “”But mostly, they just want our attention.”” I love those words Kelle…so SO true! I discovered this truth this past Christmas. I didn’t get to do half of the pre-Christmas activities we normally do, or I had planned, because I’d just given birth to baby number 2 & I was exhausted…and blissfully content with just chillin’ at home with my babies. I felt like I had let down my 4 year old though….until I saw her on Christmas Eve & Xmas Day and as we were surrounded by family & love & laughter…she was beaming with happiness. Coz we were there! She had our attention…and that’s all that mattered then & there, really.

    New York BABY!!! Yahooooo!
    Safe travels, have fun!

  49. Just set the DVR for Today :) Pauly D is gonna be on that day too!! Give him a fist pump for me! Lol.

  50. Kelle, what a huge week for you! I hope you recover from that pesky cold, and that when the whole Bloom thing settles down you can have a holiday with Brett, Lainey and Nella, even if it’s at home!!

  51. My girls are 21 and 17, and we STILL do easter baskets. Even if my 17 year old didn’t have Down Syndrome and still believe in everything utterly magical we would still do Easter baskets. But it sure makes it fun!
    p.s. can’t wait to see the today show with you on it!!!!!!!!

  52. Love seeing Reece’s Rainbow up on the blog again! Keep up the good work!!! What a great platform you have! Have fun in New York!

  53. Finished Bloom tonight. It’s incredible, Kelle, so inspiring and invaluable to all walks of life. I’m in awe and ready to face all life’s challenges head on, from here on out.

    I CAN’T WAIT for Wednesday! I screamed when I read you blog, called my mom, and set the DVR immediately. Good luck and wear cute shoes :) They always show the shoes :)


    Jorgensen Better Together

  54. WOW!! The Today Show!! The Freaking TODAY SHOW!! You ROCK!! Knew you were going places the day I read Nella’s Birth Story!! (still waiting for my copy of Bloom…) You are amazing!!
    I’m just so thrilled for you Kelle…you are showing the world that celebrating the little and BIG moments with our children is the greatest gift of all…you are so right-all they really want is our attention!
    All the best in New York!!

  55. a tender, beautiful post. so glad to have found you through flowerpatch farmgirl. e.

  56. Loving the “Good Feelings”. Lainey is looking like such a little lady. So grown up compared to the days of “Cubby”. Can’t wait to catch you on the Today Show! I know you’ll rock it!

  57. Almost 6 years later and I’m still struggling to find the “right” traditions for our family and now that we moved 800 miles away from everyone we’ve ever celebrated with, it’s like starting all over. I wasn’t about to color eggs with my boys this year. Last year, Ethan cried because it was “stupid” and my 2 year old would do nothing than throw dye across the room and color my floors. Sunday morning I decided we were going to church. I wasn’t sure what church, but thought of one I’ve been driving by since we came down here. And at 8:30 I told the boys (hubby included) we are going to church – because it’s Easter. Oh..and it starts at 9 :) We made it. The service was beautiful and something we all needed. We missed the subdivision egg hunt, so we resorted to just eating the candy we were going to contribute. And it was good :) We just got home from Disney for their first trip on Saturday or I would totally drive to Ft Myers to meet you!

  58. My goodness…I can’t believe I don’t have your book yet! I need to go get it! Lovely post, as always. Thanks for the faithful blogging! :)Always inspiring and gives me “happy thoughts” :)

  59. I’m beyond excited that you’re coming to NY this week! I received my copy of “Bloom” the other day and have been reading it (and bawling) nonstop. Can’t wait to catch you on the Today Show!

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter :)

  60. GOT MY BOOK TODAY! excited!!!
    Hope you have a GREAT trip to NY…
    i’ll be in class at the time of your session…will have to watch a rerun

  61. Way to go Kelle! Glad to hear about all the opportunities opening up for you because it means more people being blessed by your contagious optimism! I soooo admire that quality in you! I ordered my copy of bloom via target with the little code and can’t wait to be more inspired! I love love love that you invite us to find beauty in diversity, adversity and every other kind of versity there is!
    Ps my 3 year old loves to dance to your playlist! You rock!

  62. Oh Kelle,
    Come to Austin and sign my book pretty please :). haha!
    I read straight through page 180 last night when my husband walked in from his man cave for the twentieth time to ask me… “are you gonna read that whole thing today?” Had I not been so “eastered out” I probably would have. I will say, I woke up to puffy eyes this morning thanks to the cry fest, but it’s beautiful, inspiring, refreshing, and renewing. Thank you for this little piece of magic you have brought into my life. The ETST magic. The moment I met your blog, I was changed…forever.
    Can’t wait to see you on the today show. How exciting!

  63. Kelly, best wishes! Have a wonderful and blessed day.

  64. Lainey might like the book by Carol McCloud, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

  65. yay for Elizabeth, RR, the Archers and our sock club! Praying that wonderful things happen because of this post :)

  66. DVR will be set for Wednesday morning! SO exciting!

  67. Love anyone who gives to Reece’s Rainbow. Such an amazing cause!

    I hear you on the Easter sickness. I’ve had a sore throat for 2 weeks and it was at it’s worse this weekend. Hard to get much done when Momma isn’t feeling well.

    Can’t wait for Wednesday! Sending you healthy vibes!


  68. Please say you’ll link us up with the video footage of your appearance on the Today Show? There’s no way for me to watch it across the ocean, but really want to!

    Also – traditions and Easter. Such a good reminder that they don’t need the fanfare or the hurrah — they just need us. I struggle a LOT with continuing traditions that I took for granted before we moved … and I think I will still continue going forward – but I appreciate the reminder.

  69. Our kids just need us. What a great reminder. Sometimes its easy to get lost in what we think they need but what’s important are those happy memories with us:) I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and I must say, you give me inspiration to look on the bright side of things. If I’m having a particularly crappy day, this blog just lifts my spirits — makes me appreciate the little things like messy counters, crafts strewn about, Nutella covered faces, because that’s all part of this crazy ride called Motherhood. Started Bloom and I love it — can’t put it down.

  70. All this is pretty exciting for you! I’m hearing your name everywhere. Which is a big deal in my little florida city. It feels so good to say things like, “I know her!!” and then mumble things like, “I mean I stalk her blog”. Yay!



  71. Please, pretty please come to Michigan for a book signing!!! Can’t wait to watch you on Today!

  72. The DVR is set for tomorrow! I am loving reading your book. I haven’t read anything since my first born was about a year old. I am so happy to be reading again and thrilled that it is your book that is getting me moving again! Have a safe wonderful trip and cherish your time away from the girls and the gift of missing them Cherish even more your return and the details of their faces and manorisms that you may not have noticed before the separation. xoxo

  73. I’m half way through reading bloom. It’s such a touching memoir. And I picked it up again this morning, thinking that I could sneak another chapter in before the “house” woke up/work and life started to roll. Little did I think that I would be crying again! Oh Kelle, it’s such a touching story. You’re such an inspiration. And you’re right – growth stretches us, challenges us.

    Today show? Holy. God had a plan for you – knew it before you were born. Amazing.

    Here’s wishing you health and happiness through another busy but-oh-so-exciting-week.


  74. Are you on a lainey is a big sis kick right now or do you have something you need to share?

  75. You are so inspiring! Have a great time in New York.. I don’t have TV so I’ll have to watch it online! Much love! (Still waiting for my copy of Bloom to come… can’t wait to read it!)

  76. On Sunday, I opened up and Easter card from my parents. It is a card with a pop-up of Peter Rabbit, and it says “Happy Easter Meghan, 1988.” I have been enjoying the same card every year from my Mom and Dad since they first gave it to me when I was an 8 year old. You have it so right about so many things in this post, and the one that resonates with me for today is how your girls have you, and that makes for a great Easter. I am so grateful for my Mom and Dad making Easters special for 31 years and counting. I am so amazed at Bloom. What a beautiful book! It was another Easter gift waiting on my doorstep when I returned home from visiting my parents for the weekend. I am going to savor the reading of it. Thank you.

  77. Good feelings are a gift, indeed. The BEST kind of gift.

  78. Kelle, I am going to be in Bonita Springs for a little sunshine vacay next week — do you have any signings going on nearby? I’d love to meet you!

    Also — any recommendations on places to go, eat, etc? Where is Isle of Capri? :)

  79. I am so glad you had a beautiful Easter, Kelle! I want you to know that I tagged you in my blog post awarding blogs I follow with the Blogger Appreciation Award! :]

  80. this is good stuff Kelle. Can’t wait to watch you on the Today show. good things are popping up everywhere…blooming if you will!

  81. Sad…we don’t get Hoda and Kathie Lee! It get’s bumped off by Live with Kelly!

  82. Patiently waiting for Bloom to arrive. Should be tomorrow. Then my family may not see me for a few days while I read read read! :)

  83. Hi Kelle,
    I am sitting on the beach with tears streaming down my face, sitting next to a corona light with extra lime and Bloom.
    I just finished yor book and feel very uplifted and inspired. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel like my story and yours are very similar, and through your book many of my friends and family can understand my grief and healing process, (my son James, 2 years old has DS). I am looking forward to our Skype session and chatting with you then. Thanks again, your words are beautiful.

  84. Kelle,

    I have been reading your blog since sometime before Nella’s first birthday and couldn’t help but pick up a copy of Bloom the day that it came out. I read it over the weekend as my family drove to our huge annual three day Easter reunion blow-out (I only add all of that because I’m pretty sure that you would approve :)). I was, of course, incredibly touched by your story and also thankful that I read it when I did. My husband and I are trying for our second child right now and I have been weirdly overcome with paranoia about all of the what-ifs that come along with creating life. I didn’t have any genetic testing with my first and won’t with our second, but I found so much emboldened peace in your words and story that I just kind of let all of my fears go. I am so excited about any blessing that will be coming our way and more than that, I know that we are always going to have our rose colored glasses firmly on. I know that over the years you have caught flack for being an eternal optimist, but as someone who has had to stand in front of that silly fire myself from time to time, I just wanted to cast another vote for letting that glass stay half full and say thank you for creating such a positive space.
    You’re doing good work, not necessarily easy work, but certainly work for the betterment of people, and it is a joy to be able to watch it all unfold. Thank you!

  85. Hi Kelle! I just got my copy of Bloom in the mail (preordered in Jan!!) and I’ve been wearing a permagrin myself all day over here in germany! My grandparents and parents live in Naples so I’m going to BEG BEG BEG for them to go get an autograph from you that I can tape in my book!!! I think you and my stepmom would get along SO well!

  86. Thank you for drawing attention to the work of Reece’s Rainbow. I have a good friend who has adopted 5 children with special needs (rescued them, really!) and have been so touched by the work that organization is doing.

    Looks like y’all had a lovely Easter. “So many of our expectations in motherhood are more about us than our kids.”… SO true!

  87. Kelle,

    Just finished my copy of Bloom this past weekend while working at my job as a student nurse (in all places – a postpartum unit). What a wonderful journey – and you tell it so very beautifully. I was laughing one minute and brought to tears the next.

    I’ve loved following your blog – my boys are so close to Lainey and Nella’s age, and having you express so eloquently thoughts that I often think myself….well, it’s like therapy to me! Especially when our schedules get a bit hairy and I’m feeling overwhelmed….

    Congrats to you – and have a wonderful time in NYC! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, fears, triumphs, and laughter with all of us!


  88. Looks like your family had a lovely Easter. Love your new camera bag. Your new book arrived on my doorstep yesterday evening and I’m loving it!! Such a tender, beautiful and touching story. You are an inspiration!

  89. Hi Kelle, I received my book tonight, can’t wait to start it. Glad you had a good Easter.

  90. Reece’s Rainbow is an amazing organization!! Thank you for bringing attention to them. Elizabeth’s socks look pretty and comfy. I am half way through Bloom, it is wonderful. Have a great week! ~Kimmy

  91. Kelle,

    I picked up my copy of Bloom yesterday, and am already almost finished. Your story is amazing (although I’m not surprised. I’ve been addicted to reading your words since I started a little over a month ago.) I wanted to tell you about my favorite part thus far.

    The merger of Old Life and New Life. Wow, you hit the nail right on the head! I am three months away from leaving Old Life behind when I marry my best friend. New Life is an adventure I’m SOOOO looking forward to.

    I wrote about the book in my blog today. I wanted to share that piece with you as well.

    I know you’re busy, but maybe when life calms down, you can read it.

    I can’t wait to watch Today in the morning! I wish you lots of luck, am sending you good thoughts and vibes, praying for you, and whatever other good karma you may need tomorrow!

    <3 Nikki

  92. Kelle you are amazing! I am almost finished with Bloom and am sad it’s almost over. Not only are you doing a fabulous job of inspiring everyone to appreciate all that life offers to us, but you are just so cool and fun!

    Off to set my dvr…I’m so proud of you!

  93. Book tour book tour book tour!! Denver is a great little vacay spot :)

  94. Is this your first tv appearance?? How exciting! I will set my DVR now since thats during the kids preschool time. Cant wait to watch!

  95. SO excited to see you tomorrow morning on the Today Show! I devoured BLOOM in one foul swoop and was so sad when I reached the end. I wanted to keep reading! I`ve noticed something interesting about our Easter traditions this year. The small little details that I though were never noticed by the kids were the ones they were begging for come Easter Sunday. I guess my small silly details have done their job and found their way into their holiday memories!

  96. i also bought bloom and had it read in 1 day! couldn’t put it down. i loved it. i’m sending it to my sister to read, she will love it too!
    can’t wait to see you tommorow on today! congratulations!

  97. Kelle, so excited to see you on the today show! I read your post just minutes after I finished Bloom. It was amazing. And wonderful. As I set up the dvr my husband told me I was obsessed and asked if he needed to worry about stalking.:) but your posts are so real and touching I can’t help but want to know what is going on in the life of the Hamptons. I love reading about your girls who are just a couple of months older than my own, and although my Buggy wasn’t gifted with an extra 21st chromosome, 2 year olds are 2 year olds and much the same. My girls love seeing the pictures of your, and my 4 year old asked if they could have a playdate. I had to tell her that Iowa and Florida are not close enough for that. Thank you for all the uplifting posts. They often make me smile after a long day. And I too am waiting for Bloom’s sequel. My title pick: Kelle Hampton, Rockstar. Because you certainly areN

  98. What a lovely blog and a wonderful love story! I am a new follower and will be reading Bloom as part of Katherine’s Corner Book club. I can’t wait. Blessings to you and your family!
    Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

  99. New York? Today Show? This is all too much. So much excitement! Huge congrats to you! I’ve got the DVR set — can’t wait!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  100. Loads of good feeling, right back at ya! For you give me so much of that!!! No matter what mood I’m in, how hectic/worried/annoyed (but mostly totally happy!) I am – I always feel even better after being so lifted here.

    A huge *THANKS* 😀

    Good luck doing the show – wish I could see it here!!

  101. Setting my DVR for the Today show…

    I ♥ the Easter Bunny footprints, what an AWESOME idea!

  102. I am anxiously awaiting to see you on TV,
    I am reading your book. Of course, I pre-ordered it. I am not rushing through it as I want to enjoy every chapter. The love you have for your children is so amazing. I have always thought that Lainey was special. She is such a loving child. Your Hubby is just wonderful with all his children and has so much love for you. And that Nella…….when she smiles, I melt.
    Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.

  103. The Today Show…get the heck out! Love watching your blessings BLOOM…the best part is those of us who have loved your family and become invested in some way (either near or from afar) are blooming right along with you.♥

  104. oh man i wish i could attend one of your book signings! you are soooo inspiring to me dear Kelli! xo

  105. How fantastic is it that on the eBay auction your signed books are going for over $80 & $100 already?!? And a pair of purple socks are $300?!!! I am stoked to see this amazing support for such a beautiful, vital, & worthy cause. Kudos, sister, for stoking the flame a little hotter & brighter. I’m just overflowin’ with all kinds of good feelings, now! Bless you!

  106. My sister adopted a sweet girl from Reese’s Rainbow, her name is Nadia and my sister’s blog is “Seeing the Upside of Down” and her friend’s blog is “No Greater Joy Mom” and she has adopted 2 from Reese’s Rainbow and is currently awaiting the adoption of a 14 yr old that weighs only 14 pounds, yes that is not a typo, 14 pounds. So very sad. You can check out her blog “No Greater Joy Mom” to get the details. I applaud you for bringing Reese’s Rainbow to so many people since your blog is followed by millions of people! You are truly a sweet, amazing woman, using your God given gifts to better us all! Thanks!! (:

  107. Oh Kelle! I just received your book yesterday and as soon as I opened it I was rivoited at the first words. You are amazing! I have been following for 2 years and you are such an inspiration for me as a stay at home mom to make so much out of the ordinary days.

    Good Luck in NYC and keep on blogging and sharing your story. You have such a way with words and your candid thoughts capture me from the beginning to the end. Love Love Love!!
    You are such an inspiration to this momma.

  108. Kelle –You are about to appear on the Today show…I am watching right now and am so thrilled for you! I feel like a proud parent. I have the chills. I sat down and read the prologue of Bloom last night and sobbed. It was so theraputic for me –although my story is slightly different, I felt many of the same emotions when my son was born with Cystic Fibrosis one year ago. May God bless you and your family. Good people deserve good things –and you so deserve all of your success.
    Much love,

  109. Saw you on the Today Show and was so proud of you. Lainey is a special little girl with so much love to give her little sister and she has such a kind heart. You truly are blessed.

  110. Just watched you on the Today Show. My two year old son was so excited to see Nella’s pictures on the TV and kept saying, “Look at that sweet baby!”

  111. Oh, you did so good with Hoda and Kathie Lee!!! And you looked beautiful!! I am so proud that you got to be on the Today Show; I was happy to “hear” your voice, and to see your sweet girls’ pictures!

    Thank you for your inspiration… can’t wait to hear from you again soon!

    Safe travels back to FL.


  112. I saw you on the Today Show this AM, I too felt like a proud Mama watching you shine on TV! My 16 year old daughter has CP, it’s amazing to me to watch what she can do now, things I only imagined that she’d be able to do. So proud of all you do! Your daughters are amazing:)

  113. Nice job on the show Kelle – you must be so proud of all you have accomplished in only 2 short years! Congratulations!! I started reading your book yesterday on my daughter’s 16th birthday and I cannot even tell you how fast the years go……enjoy EVERY minute!!!

  114. Her father will need to have the sunroof open for my ride home today as my head has swelled with pride! I too felt she was poised, articulate and gracious. I didn’t really worry, but sat there tight and tense like parents at their child’s piano recital. And to see my little angels’ photographs on the screen behind them made my throat burn and eyes tear up. But all with the good emotions you just want to squeeze and hold. Thank you, dear extended family, for watching and supporting–you have made this journey brighter and better! Mmmmwahhh to you all!

  115. Kelle you were awesome on the Today show! I watch it every morning and it was so fun and exciting to feel like “I knew” the person on TV… you! I too was so proud and happy for you and your amazing accomplishments, right down to you just simply being a great mom. We all just want our children to be happy, well said! :) They even said it on the show today, oh only 3 million people are watching!!! Congrats Congrats Congrats!

  116. I. WANT. THAT. BAG!!! Going now to check it out–thanks! :)

  117. Saw you on the Today show! You looked amazing and the segment was great! Congrats!

  118. My mom and I are making the drive from St Pete on Friday to meet you! We are planning on reading Bloom on the way, and are so excited to share it together as Mother and Daughter! Your words have always inspired me Kelle, you are the reason I will keep writing and someday I want to be half the mother you are!! <3 <3 Cannot wait to shake your hand!!!!!

  119. Love the Reece’s Rainbow shout out! It’s definitely changed OUR life!!

    Trying to talk my grandma, in Naples, into getting a book signed for this sad Wisconsin girl :)

  120. You were AMAZING on the Today show!! So proud of you for representing us special mommies and showing that life isnt over when we have special children– it’s just begun!! Trying to work on my hubby and make a weekend-getaway from O-town to Naples for your book signing. It’s hard for us to travel with our special needs, but I may just do it! Congrats on your latest achievement!! :)

  121. you were great on TODAY!! so calm like a pro!!! Way to go!!! So happy for you!

  122. I finally got to see you on the Today show and you rocked it!! So proud of you. Thanks for representing.

  123. I happened to be in Anthropoligie at Rockefeller Center this morning with my 11 year old daughter when I recognized you. I didn’t realize you were on the Today show until just now. I didn’t want to bother you and it was fun seeing you.

  124. Kelle, I just went and bought your book yesterday and I’m so excited to read it. Ever since I found out you were writing a book I was excited to get my hands on it. You are amazing and truly an inspiration. I found your blog after my daughter was born last year, and many a times she slept in my arms as i read your beautiful words. The way you mother your girls you remind me of my mom, thank you for inspiring us every day! Love to you and your darling girls!

  125. Kelle – I just finished your book and it was so beautiful. I am about to turn 23, with no children or husband of my own, but that did not stop me from connecting so deeply with your story. I can feel the love you have for your children, your husband, and for life in general in everything that you write and your writing blesses me! Thank you for sharing and for making me feel okay about my deepest desire of someday being a mamma.

  126. My copy of Bloom arrived in the mail yesterday from Amazon and I think I actually clapped I was so excited! Can not wait to get into it!

  127. “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
    ― J.D. Salinger

    Kelle, I just finished your book tonight and I LOVED it. I loved that it while it was about DS, it was also about becoming okay with who you are, who you were, and who you will eventually become. There are so many lines and passages that stuck with me… Thank you. Thank you for writing just what I needed to hear… Or read. :)

  128. Great reminder of holding on to those good feelings each day. Also, LOVED the interview on the Today show. Proud of you for bringing awareness to all AND for reminding all of us that life can involve unicorns and rainbows. We just have to capture those moments for ourselves.

  129. Just had to let you know that I just saw Bloom featured on today – yay for you! I already have a copy or I would be ordering it there…

  130. I just wanted to let you know that I read your book and I loved it. You have an amazing gift for writing. I never wanted to put it down and I when I read your blog I feel the same way.

  131. I honestly don’t know how to start this comment! There are many things running thru my head that all seem to be coming out at once! I guess I will start with the fact that I am in the middle of reading Bloom. It’s just amazing! And I want to thank you for all of the incredible pictures you added. Also wanted to add that I am a mean phlebotomist that poke at baby feet 😉 it’s a hard job with a bad rap! Lol but it’s also rewarding. Anyway, I thought of Nella at work a few weeks ago. I was in the oncology unit drawing blood on a patient. She was older very weak and had her daughter and grandson with her. I proceeded to start in on cleaning her arm off with the alcohol pad, and before I knew it her grandson was right beside her kneeling down and held her hand tight, then said ” it’s ok Grandma.” it was an amazing gesture of pure compassion for his grandmother. You see this boy has a gift of pure greatness and compassion for others. He has down syndrome. It was beautiful and heart wrenching to see. And right then I thought of Nella and what a beautiful gift she is. I just wanted to share my little story with you. :)

  132. I honestly don’t know how to start this comment! There are many things running thru my head that all seem to be coming out at once! I guess I will start with the fact that I am in the middle of reading Bloom. It’s just amazing! And I want to thank you for all of the incredible pictures you added. Also wanted to add that I am a mean phlebotomist that poke at baby feet 😉 it’s a hard job with a bad rap! Lol but it’s also rewarding. Anyway, I thought of Nella at work a few weeks ago. I was in the oncology unit drawing blood on a patient. She was older very weak and had her daughter and grandson with her. I proceeded to start in on cleaning her arm off with the alcohol pad, and before I knew it her grandson was right beside her kneeling down and held her hand tight, then said ” it’s ok Grandma.” it was an amazing gesture of pure compassion for his grandmother. You see this boy has a gift of pure greatness and compassion for others. He has down syndrome. It was beautiful and heart wrenching to see. And right then I thought of Nella and what a beautiful gift she is. I just wanted to share my little story with you. :)

  133. Saw you on Tv yesterday and you were great!! Very awesome! I had a daycare parent come to my house yesterday afternoon and she came in and saw my book on the counter and goes “oh I just saw her on tv is it a good book?” YES it is for sure!!

  134. Kelle, you are amazing. I love reading your blog and I just finished Bloom earlier this week. I admire you and your spirit. I laughed out loud numerous times reading Bloom about numerous random things and just think you’re inspirational and a breath of fresh air. I was trying to find a clip of your visit on the Today show from yesterday and ran into a hater review page … I couldn’t even keep going b/c what these people were writing felt so stupid and overly sensitive and hateful … possibly jealous. It bothered me seeing those comments and I’m sure you’re used to negative feedback by now but I just wanted to tell you there are so many who appreciate you and your spirit and I hope that helps with the haters. Thanks for being honest and sharing your story while being positive and inspirational.

  135. Love your candid words!! Great reminder that our little ones don’t need perfect Easter baskets and all the sweet details…they just need us and our attention.

  136. saw the today show – you did a great job!!

  137. Speaking of good feelings have you seen this floating around Pinterest?

  138. Feeling the good vibes in Philadelphia PA!!!! Hope you do a book tour!! Philadelphia has a lot of love for you!!!

    ~Simply Shelley

  139. I saw a placement for your book in an unexpected place today. I visit almost daily to look for good deals on cute stuff. Today, there’s a promotion for Harper Collins books for mom, and the photo they use is of Bloom and The Pioneer Woman cookbook. Very cool!

  140. The candies are too cute!

  141. I would love to come to your book signing, but it is a little far from Norway – unfortunately, but if I am ever in the area I might just have to look you up.

    I love your camera bag and think one might end up here in Norway soon.

    Thank you again for sharing your passion, finds and love of life!

    Kristin .-)

  142. Great job on the today show! Would have loved to hear mores from you and less kathi lee and hoda! Thanks for turning me on to Matilda Jane clothing, my daughter is going to be thrilled with her dresses!!

  143. I started reading your book last night and I just can’t put it down!! I think you and your family are amazing, and wonderful, and strong!! I think the life lessons you are teaching through your book can be applied everywhere! Your girls are absolutely beautiful. So so precious.

  144. I just finished Bloom. What a marvelous book!
    I found it inspiring and honest. Although the link is not direct, I lost my father almost a year ago and the grief has been terrible. Your book delves into grief and then keeps on going…. through to the other side. And that’s just what I attempting to do and for the first time in a year, I am feeling significant process. Thank you for being a part of my own healing!


    ~ Meredith From A Mother Seeking

    A Mother Seeking…

  145. Coming all the way from Canada to see you at Barnes and Nobles tonight! I’ve been reading your blog since Nella was born. I had a sister that died from Trisomy 18 when I was 10 years old. Many times I’ve cried as I’ve read your blog and thought of my Erin. When I saw that you were doing a book signing tonight and I happened to be in Naples I was thrilled! Can’t wait to meet you. The only problem is that I flew here on Spirit Air and there was no room in my bag for cute shoes – I might be wearing flip-flops :)

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