List Check

Give a girl a list, and she’s going to want to cross things off.

That said, I’m movin’ right along with my mini bucket list. Large paint strokes in varied shades of pale blue are staggered across one living room wall, a thin layer of sand covers the laundry room floor from our return from beach sunset Monday night, and last night, the girls and I transformed our bathroom into a spa.


This will be a weekly event now because all the sistahs in the house enjoyed it.

Lainey: Mom, we need cucumbers for our eyes.
Me: We don’t have any cucumbers.
Lainey: We can use bananas.
Me: You are brilliant, Child.


Moon River can accompany anything. I love that song.



And ballet? One week in, and Sister owns the place.


I can’t take the leotard off after class. I let her wear it all day because it makes me smile. And then at night, when I finally take it off and put it aside, I stand there for a minute, next to her dresser, staring at the small square of folded pale pink spandex next to the tiniest ballet shoes you’ve ever seen. And I have a mama moment where I connect with my twelve-year-old self. The one who spent many daydreaming hours wondering what it would be like to have little girls.


So maybe I cut a shirt. Do it. Take a little baby t-shirt and cut the neck off. Bring back the Flashdance.


Finally, the beach. Monday night was glorious–glorious, I tell you. A spontaneous text. Mamas who answered. And this wonder-twin-powers-activate moment where we put our imaginary fists together and promised that yes, we’re doing this. Many times this summer.






Lainey’s friend Lauren giggles. All the time. If you barely look at her, it starts. Belly-shaking giggling. It’s contagious.





Nella ran fearlessly, right toward the waves and right past the shells that border the water’s edge. And yet she knew to stop at shin depth, bracing herself for the few white caps that knocked her down, and then standing again, proud and smiling.


And this one?


In a book club Skype chat the other night, we were discussing sibling needs. I explained some recent feelings I had regarding how we recognize and praise Lainey’s strengths. Her attentiveness and love for Nella is, no doubt, obvious to so many, and she hears “you’re an incredible big sister” almost every day. I love that–I dreamed of that, and yet I’ve been very careful lately to recognize the other qualities that make her who she is as well–her creativity and ingenuity, her free spirit, her imagination and her constant awareness of others’ needs. Her personality is complex, and it’s important for me to continually embrace the many things that make my girls unique individuals, one of which is their incredible attentiveness to each other.


I love that these moments of recognition and readjusting how we parent just naturally evolve. We figure things out. That truth reminds me not to worry so much about the future. All those questions we have? What will their relationship look like? How will we meet their needs? How will we teach them? How will we know when they need something? I am confident that we will figure them out. And it might mean doing something one way and changing it a week later because we realize we need to readjust.


Either way, we’ll know. Mama’s intuition.



I loved reading your week mini bucket lists and made note of several new things I want to do this summer.

A few of yours:

* Pay for someone’s order behind me in the drive through line ~Maria
* Write a heartfelt letter to my daughters AMAZING kindergarten teacher’s principal about how incredibly awesome she is ~Michelle
* Learn some crazy Thriller moves and practice the hoola hoop for our last day of school teacher skit ~Kelly
* Pick pea shoots from my vegetable patch and eat them on the lawn ~Fiona
* Celebrate the end of another successful school year for my kiddos with roasted hot dogs and marshmallows ~Halie

Summer is on the horizon, and an upcoming family road trip has me excitedly dreaming.
(Chicago and Michigan book signing information to come!)


Tea Collection is returning in sponsorship this month, bringing beach essentials and vibrant prints, just in time for summer. Tea’s soft, lightweight knits are perfect for our tropical weather, and I love the global infusion their styles reflect. We love our Indonesian Batik Dress (on sale!) and wear-with-everything Sanuk sandals (also on sale).


Inspired by world travel and notorious for comfort and style, Tea Collection continues to provide unique and colorful clothing for both women and children. In addition, their company supports global efforts that benefit children. We love our Tea clothes, and we love having Tea Collection a part of Enjoying the Small Things.


There is a happy summer laziness that is slowly seeping its way in our home. The boys are counting down the days for “school’s out.” I am making lists in my head of what we will pack for our road trip. The bucket of sidewalk chalk holds nothing but nubs, and we’re due for new bubbles, new chalk, new flip flops and some front yard planting.

Good night.



Leave a Comment
  1. That first picture captures everything that is wonderful about sisters. :-) Love it!

  2. Cutest ballerina’s EVER!!!

  3. Nella… oh. my. gosh. CUTE! I love seeing Lainey help :) I love the beach photos and am very envious of the sunsets you get to see! My wee little family is headed down to the pan handle soon to see one of these and relax on the beach! A spa day is a must too! xx

  4. a beautiful heartwarming feel good post!

  5. I love the banana eyes!

  6. Love Lainey’s idea with the bananas!!

  7. what pretty ballerinas! I am just starting your book Bloom here in Australia.. I love your blog and photos xx

  8. Thank for this post tonight, really needed the lift. Been struggling with acceptance lately, you are truly helping me. Thank you again my internet friend!

  9. Ahh, make the cuteness stop! Err, wait, don’t! Lainey really is genius for coming up with the bananas on the eyes bit. Can you share some detailed info on the Chicago area book signing? I will travel from MN but need to know deets! Thanks much!

  10. Love home spa days! Me and my sister and mama did them! My mama always talked us into giving her a foot rub along with it! Give it a try 😉

  11. LOVE!!!!!! Mini list for the week:
    1. Plant the basil that is sitting in my window!
    2. Sugar scrubs and coffee with my girlfriend…I think yes!
    3. Teacher gift.
    4. Bus driver gift… girl is kinda a handfull.:)
    5. Finish Bloom……I have like 10 pages!

    Love the ripped tee-shirt sooo cute!

  12. Omigosh…the eye bananas are a riot and so is the flashdance T on Miss Nella. Can’t wait to have a girl to do goofy fun things like that with 😀

  13. OMG, I laughed out loud at the bananas! Yes, that was a brilliant idea – SO cute!!!

  14. Those bucket list ideas are brilliant. Especially eating pea shoots : ) Love it.

  15. the cut t-shirt is gorgeous. xx

  16. love how they play together!

  17. Are you coming to chicago?

  18. There are so many things I love about this post.. the banana’s, Nella’s ballet outfit..(almost makes me want to try again for a little girl, almost…, spa night, and Lainey painting Nella’s nails. Those are the moments that we treasure. They end up in our memory box of wonderful moments. That sister bond is tight.
    My mini bucket list right now:
    1. get a pedicure and pick out a really awesome color.
    2. Pick out a really cute end of year present for my son’s teacher. She is also having a baby so need to find a really, really cute baby present too.
    3. Go to the park with my boys
    4. Pick out a fabulous dress for a wedding I am going to on Saturday
    5. Date night with the Hubby!!

  19. Sweetest pictures of the sisters ever! :)

  20. The thing that makes me smile other then my own peanuts and my sweet neices and newphews are your two munchkins. I was a dancer and since the moment they announced girl I have been itching for fi’s first ballet class. When they told me she had clubbed feet my first fear was that we would never have a first dance class. But we will, just a few years later then I had hoped :)

  21. What a fantastic post!

    We WILL figure it out…I like that, A LOT.

  22. My little takes a little tap/ballet combo, but seeing your girls makes me want to shove her into ballet full speed ahead. But I won’t, because she loves her tappity tap shoes :) But she can still have a little outfit more like a ballerina, methinks.

    (Also, hooray for Michigan booksigning)

  23. Oh your girls are so precious!! I love the mini makeover pics and i especially love the one of Nella in her dance gear, it looks as though she’s struttin her stuff:) LOVE!

  24. Refreshing
    Awesome pics and love the idea of weekly mini bucket lists
    Wanting to go the beach ASAP
    Can’t believe summer is here :)

  25. I had to tell you: My 3 yr old, Lexi had spent many hours sitting on my lap looking at pictures on your blog. Nella is just part of our lives; when we’re shopping – she points out clothes that she thinks Baby Nella would look cute in, for example.
    Anyways. We went on vacation to FL last week. Lexi knows Nella lives in FL, so she assumed she would be playing with her. She was so disappointed when she told me, “I’ve looked EVERYWHERE for Nella. She’s supposed to be in Florida and I can’t find her ANYWHERE!

    We love us some Nella & Lainey!!

  26. Your photos of Nella & Lainey never cease to make me smile. Thank you! :)

  27. the ballet pictures just killed me! So adorable, and I am totally cutting a tshirt for Chloe. I loved my Flashdance sweatshirts :) See you in Michigan soon!

  28. I totally get what you’re saying about motherhood evolving. And your posts make me want a little girl…almost. Okay okay. I’m desperate to braid someone’s hair!

  29. I love the way you say what you are doing without a play by play…”and then we did this, and then we went here”…it is a gift to be able to make everything seem so storytellish (I made that up I think) and poetic. I always feel energized reading your blog…like everything is to be treasured. I love Nella in her ballet outfit. If it were up to me, you would never change her! 😉

  30. Love this. I so needed that mothers intuition bit tonight. We just adopted another baby and my 4 year old loves him fiercely, but he is acting out like crazy. Did Lainey have any adjustment issues when you brought nella home?

  31. Ahh Kelle, I’ve been reading your blog every day for 2 years now and I’ve never commented! I’m trying to be better about commenting, so here I am!

    Love your mini bucket list. I think I’ll have to start that tradition for myself next Monday!

  32. a) I LOVE me some Flashdance Nella – that made me bust out laughing!!!!!

    b) Can I just say how much I admire Nella’s apparently chill but yet brave nature (running right up to the water, getting the spa treatment)? Those are things my little girl (Nella’s age) would totally refuse! Makes me wish I lived nearby and could hit you and your girls up for a playdate. :-) I’m all about the peer modeling!

    c) I think the mini-bucket list is brilliant, but especially during a week like the one I am currently having (17-hour days, crazy stress levels, uncertainty about the future, conflicts)… I can’t remember the last time I did anything that was just for me, or just for enjoyment’s sake. My mini-bucket list this week is going to look very lame compared to what I would write during a good week (let alone what I would aspire to on summer break) but it is all I can manage and will either keep me sane or temporarily amuse me:
    – rock some ridiculously high heels
    – take a 10 minute lunch break and read my Kindle
    – take the little one on a “mommy & me” date to the library (her idea of heaven!)
    – buy flowers for a couple of people who have gone out of their way to help me lately
    – schedule a mani/pedi for when things slow down!

  33. a) I LOVE me some Flashdance Nella – that made me bust out laughing!!!!!

    b) Can I just say how much I admire Nella’s apparently chill but yet brave nature (running right up to the water, getting the spa treatment)? Those are things my little girl (Nella’s age) would totally refuse! Makes me wish I lived nearby and could hit you and your girls up for a playdate. :-) I’m all about the peer modeling!

    c) I think the mini-bucket list is brilliant, but especially during a week like the one I am currently having (17-hour days, crazy stress levels, uncertainty about the future, conflicts)… I can’t remember the last time I did anything that was just for me, or just for enjoyment’s sake. My mini-bucket list this week is going to look very lame compared to what I would write during a good week (let alone what I would aspire to on summer break) but it is all I can manage and will either keep me sane or temporarily amuse me:
    – rock some ridiculously high heels
    – take a 10 minute lunch break and read my Kindle
    – take the little one on a “mommy & me” date to the library (her idea of heaven!)
    – buy flowers for a couple of people who have gone out of their way to help me lately
    – schedule a mani/pedi for when things slow down!

  34. A beach getaway is just the best! Thanks for always sharing a piece of your life, your thoughts, and beautiful photos.
    Love ya in Tejas,

  35. The bananas cracked me up.

    I love Moon River, one of my all time fave songs. And Happy Heart by Andy Williams. haha, sometimes I feel like I should be 70yrs ols

  36. nella in ballet is so adorable! totally puts me in a i-want-a-baby-girl mood!!

    making lists sounds like a good idea. thanks !

  37. Ahh my mid-week Kelle fix, with a dollop of beach sunset.
    Today has been manic and it’s not done yet.
    Hmm my list of 5 hasn’t decreased by much although most of them will be ticked off on the weekend (not sure if that was the point!)
    My text have been going well though.

    But you are flying through your list!
    I’m looking forward to a weekend of birthday celebrations (Maisy is 1!) and then some quiet hut time.

  38. Yes! Let’s bring back flashdance! Woo!

  39. Ok, seriously? Bananas on the eyes…truly truly brilliant. And Nella is the sweetest, most fashionable 2-year-old I have ever seen. I can’t wait to have babies and dress them in leggings and leg-warmers!

  40. Okay.
    If we ever have a sleepover, we MUST make it an Audrey movie marathon. Moon River makes me cry and I own Breakfast at Tiffany’s :)

    *Lainey…..such a pretty little willow!

    *Love the little sweetie babe getting her toes painted…..SO much. And her bobby pin…..I use them for Nora once in a while :)

    *Get a hoola hoop with water in it! It makes you feel like you’ve got some mad skills! WAIT! Is it hoola or hula? Poop….hate those kinds of mistakes 😉

    *And NOT kiddin’….I just made a Flashdance sweatshirt for myself YESTERDAY!!! More moves I have to learn for our skit….I’ve already injured myself in practice whipping my head around like Jennifer Beals….hahahahaha!

    Can’t wait to see your paint choices!
    Lots o’ love,

  41. Your photos are so beautiful, you should consider hosting an exhibition!

  42. If your road trip has you passing through the Omaha area, let me know. I’d love to meet in person, have lunch and let the kids splash at the brand new splash park in our area!

  43. Absolutely gorgeous post. I could feel all the joy through each special memory captured in your pictures. Happy Summer. I’m trying to find cozy Winter activities for me and my girls to keep warm and busy with.

  44. Nella in her ballet outfit is the most adorable thing ever!
    I finally received Bloom in the mail yesterday morning. I read all day and into the night. I am so inspired by you. Oh and I’m jealous of ‘The Net’ I need one of those! xx

  45. when i was little i did do ballet! love the pics of them wearing the flashdance outfit!

  46. Makeovers with bananas and ballet.. I love the girly-ness of your littles, they are both so tough but girly through and through!

  47. Your kids are the most adorable wee fashionistas!!!

  48. I love reading your blog so much!
    I think it’s great how you give equal attention to both of your girls :)

  49. I’ve been concentrating on giving Adam compliments that don’t relate to being a great brother, too. Yesterday, out of the blue, he looked at me and told me, “I’m a pretty good boy!”

  50. Eric just said “when will we ever get to see Lainey again”? So for my bucket list i would like to see Lainey and Nella in the near future!!! Let me know when you all go to beach and we will come down!

  51. I love this post. I’m hesitant about making a mini bucket list because there never seems to be enough hours in the day anymore.

  52. Store bubble juice stuff in a large water bottle dispenser thingy—! ; ) of course keep the little bottles to fill it from-but make a huge batch of the homemade stuff-fill that big jug up and have fun! Blessings Sharon

  53. Your photos are beautiful and so is your family!! The ballerina photos are adorable…

    Love your blog!! Thanks for posting!

  54. Oh my goodness …. soooo beautiful!!!
    I am totally smiling at the bananas on the eyes ~ super cuteness!!

  55. I hope I have girls someday…I just all all of their adorable outfits :).

  56. Where in Michigan will you be? I am going to be moving to Menominee Michigan (U.P. near WI) next week!
    I grew up in upper MI!

  57. This post made me smile! Thank you for a sunshiney start to my morning!

  58. LOL! The banana eyes…what a HOOT! Love it! While I’m sitting here waiting for my 4 littles to wake up, working on the ever so BORING tast of quoting work uniforms for a (I hope) future client, Lainey made me smile. And laugh. A lot. And I just can’t get over the cuteness of Nella in her leotard and toe-shoes! Maybe Hail-bug will want to take up the art of ballet. Do I hope so? I think YES!

  59. Thank you for the inspiration for the mini list. Just what I needed this week :) And as always, the beach photos are just what I needed, too!

  60. I cannot get enough of your blog and your book. I’m almost done with the book and I have cried every night reading it. I love the pictures of the girls! How hilarious Lainey putting banana slices on her eyes! Nella is so beautiful. The pictures of her warm my heart!

  61. Great pics! I love the idea for bananas instead of cucumber!!!! and omg …little girls in leotard=precious!

  62. I dreamed of having little girls one day, too. And now I have three- although the littlest is already 10. I look at them sleep and could just weep with the joy of being their mother. It’s an overwhelmingly awesome feeling.

  63. Love, love, love, love, love Nella in the leotard, especially with the flashdance shirt

  64. Read the book and can NOT stop recommending it to everyone I know–you are so real and it captured so many raw emotions and drew me into your world yet made me identify the things in my own life that have turned out different than I expected; yet, nonetheless beautiful.

    Also, y two-year old loves stretching the necks of her shirt–so cutting them? Great idea!

    May blessings abound!

  65. Kelle, it was an awesome feeling paying for the lady’s meal behind me the other day! The mini bucket list has really enhanced my week! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR THE INSPIRATION!!! Can’t wait to Skype with you soon along with my other MI book club ladies!!!

  66. The home spa, bananas on the eyes, Moonriver, oh love! Wait…shh..I think I hear unicorns. :)

  67. You’re doing a Chicago book signing?! Soooo excited!!!

    Love, love, love Nella in her tiny ballet outfit.. too cute!!

  68. so stinking adoreable! I especially love the bananas on the eyes!

  69. I’m pretty sure spa day is the sweetest thing that ever happened.

  70. seriously a flashdancin’ ballerina! too much…I can’t take it! :) xo

  71. “I’ve been very careful lately to recognize the other qualities that make her who she is as well. . . Her personality is complex, and it’s important for me to continually embrace the many things that make my girls unique individuals, one of which is their incredible attentiveness to each other.”

    Ummm, do you have a spy chip in my phone? I just had a conversation with my BF about feeling this way. She shared that her daughter, same age as mine, swam the width of a pool on her own. And shared how that made me a little jealous (we’ve had our daughter in swim classes for a few years, but she’s very timid, around the water and just in general). And the discussion went on with how sometimes we wish our children would be different, for me I often wish my daughter wasn’t so timid, and I have to remind myself that her timid personality is so wonderful in so many ways, and it’s ok she isn’t more like other kids.

  72. Just finished Bloom last night. Thanks for writing it! I love the way you embrace life and move on, “enjoying the small things”. And you’re right, we all have moments that shape us into who we are today, like when our first child was stillborn, and then our next one ended up in the neonatal ICU. As undesirable as they are, these hard times truely are what make us grow, make us Bloom. Blessings, Teresa

  73. OMG, love it! I immediately thought ‘Flashdance’ and ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ when I saw the cut up t-shirt! H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S:)

  74. Again….I have a smile on my face when I read your blog.

    Cute ~ cute pics:

    Lainey with the bananas on her eyes and mask on her face…adorable.

    Lainey painting Nella’s toes…too cute!

    Love love ~ all the pics with your girls in hats.

    And I don’t blame you….I wouldn’t take off Nella’s ballet outfit either. LOVE the Flashdance shirt :)

  75. I read your blog religiously but I have never been moved to comment . . . you have a way with words that can touch a woman’s heart!

    Thank you for opening the window into your families lives and for giving us all a little “happy place” to stay and visit for a while!

  76. Nella is the cutest ballerina I have EVER seen!!!

  77. Oh, a daughter spa! I would love love love to be able to do that one day!

    Love Nella’s Dig skirt!

    So excited that you’ll be coming to Chicago! Happy to help in any way!


  78. I have to say that you capture a lot with your photos, not only the spirit of childhood but Lainey’s grace and Nella’s concentration to name just a couple. LOVE you guys, squeeeeeeeze those girls for me. Happy Spring and Summer lovin!

  79. Oh sweet Nella. I love those ballet pictures! The spa pictures are just LOVELY as well. <3 <3

    Allison @ Well-Read Reviews

  80. I die every time you post of picture of Nella in her ballet clothes on Instagram. She is to.die.for!!!

  81. I am DYING at the Flashdance shirt pics! Too.freekin.cute. And the pictures of Lainey doing Nella’s nails and makeup has me totally hoping this baby in my belly that is due next month is a girl to give my 3 year old a sister :)

  82. Oh my goodness…. Nella the ballerina just made my day. Fills my heart!
    There is only one thing on my bucket list this week… recover from strep throat. It knocked me down hard on Sunday & I am only now coming up a bit. Love the inspiration for next week’s list to be a heck of a lot more fun!

  83. You inspire me to be a better mama. Thanks.

  84. You inspired me (as you do so often) to do a mini-makeover with my daughter yesterday after her last day of kindergarten yesterday! We made a mask of avocado, banana and yogurt, and we did have cucumbers to slice…we put on some “smooth jazz” and my daughter fell asleep on the couch :) Thanks for the idea. It was a lot of fun and something we will definitely do again!

  85. Everyone have yourself a great memorial day weekend, and the kids are really cute! Richard

  86. Love it all! Ahh, sisters – yep, the best! And the cutest ballerina here. Moon River – LOVE it! One of my top fave songs, as well as my youngest dtr’s. I have sang it to my girls, when babies, and have sang it to my grandbabies! Love from your Blog Mama~

  87. Kelle –

    I stumbled upon your blog sometime last winter while I was waddling through the third trimester with my little girl. I am slowly adjusting to life as a mom of two little ones (big brother Jack is 2 1/2).

    Your blog has been such an treat for me. I love reading your posts and looking at your pictures. A copy of your book is on its way to my house from Amazon! When I see there is a new post, it feels like a little present, just for me! I love reading about your family and cried real, sloppy, wipe your nose tears when reading Nella’s birth story post.

    I will probably never meet you or your girls but you have changed my life in such a good way. You are a amazing woman and wonderful mother. Your example is such a great one for me to follow. I have become a better mommy from reading your blog and for that I thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart.

    Keep doing what you do. You are awesome!

    With love,
    Katie from Minneapolis

  88. AWESOME!

  89. If you don’t already own the Innocence Mission “Now The Day is Over” you should. It’ll make you cry. And her version of Moon River is dreamy. xo

  90. Sweetness those two. Love Nella’s buns. We are taking the train to DC is weekend. Do you think I be impressed with all the presidensts that have walked before me…no I’m gonna be thinking about YOU there just weeks before…ha!

  91. Hate that my iPad won’t let me edit. Sorry;)

  92. Lainey is getting SO BIG!!! And Nella is cuter and cuter! Struttin’ her stuff in that outfit. OMGOSH!

  93. I can’t get over the awesome Flashdance pictures, adorable! I always look forward to your posts and seeing such sweet pictures of your girls.

  94. Oh praise… who’d have thought it could be tricky?!?! My oldest also gets praise for being “the best big sister”, but we want to make sure she knows we appreciate her for HER. She gets told she’s beautiful multiple times a day, but we want to be sure she knows value isn’t in external beauty. We tell her how smart she is, but don’t want her to be afraid of failure because we love her for her intelligence… It’s such a crazy balance. I do like that trying to find new things to tell her that I love about her makes me consciously think about all of the ways that I love her!

    I ADORE Nella’s ballet outfit – I’d never take it off either.

  95. Nella looks so serious on your last picture. haha, so cute. Also, she is absolutely adorable and you can just tell how happy she is to be your little ballerina! Love the pics, thanks for sharing.

  96. love your beautiful post. so so lovely…

  97. Love the pictures of Nella at ballet and the flashdance look is so cute! Love the little ballet slipper>
    We are crossing things off our list.
    Take a walk in the rain
    Go on a spontaeous trip somewhere ( we love this little local place that has a playground, stores and ducks and chickens running around)
    paint our toenails with my daughter
    Make something fun for breakfast ( we made donuts)
    Take time to relax and read

    Hope the rest of the week is great for you!

  98. love the spa night photos and more of the cutest ballerina ever!!

    oh man i am so excited you coming to chicago,my hometown!! i can’t wait :)

    happy long weekend!

  99. When are you coming to Chicago???!!! We’re all dying to meet you here in the Windy City!

  100. I completely agree. Mama’s intuition will get us through.

  101. I just have to let you know…that I love your blog! you’re girls are so sweet (and fashionable) and the wonderful things you have to say about them and life in general brings tears to my eyes every time. I can’t help but think of them looking back and reading this blog when they’re teenagers or young women and being very proud of their mama and touched by the sweet words she shared!

    You are an inspiration! :)


  102. oh my goodness…those ballet pictures could melt a heart of stone…so precious! A beautiful post as usual! ~ Barefoot Mama

  103. i have to tell you that i have never read a book as fast as i am reading Bloom. 2 days is a new record for me. i love it. every single page. i only have a few pages left and i don’t really want it to end. i feel as if i am one of your friends going through it all right beside you. i feel so connected to you somehow. that is how amazing of a writer you are. you have such a gift. so many gifts. thanks for sharing them with the world.

    p.s. you’ve got mail is my favorite movie too. : )

  104. My little heart exploded at the photo with the lip gloss. Just makes me very happy. Thank you for skyping with our book club the may 23rd! We were the 8 pm time slot. Very nice to meet you!

  105. First, LOVE the bananas :)
    Second, look at that little sister in her cute dance outfit! I keep thinking Flash Dance!! Priceless!

  106. Awww, Kelle…Moon River?!?!? Like a soundtrack from my heart. You just rock it, girl. Those two sweethearts of yours melt my heart in photos and you do the same with your words. Keep it up. And the bucket list? LOVE!! We’ve been rockin’ our own since a couple of weeks ago when we found out our first baby, our doggy, Baxter, has lymphoma and will grace our presence for only a short while longer. He made a fantastical, poocherific list we’ve been sharing on our own little blog and we’ve only one left to capture this week…but we’ve found quite a few undesigned little list items along the way, and I think this little list thing has inspired even our perfecto puppy to live life longer and lovelier than anyone thought…and something tells me you do the same every day. Love your blog, love your spirit. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring always.

  107. I love her Flash Dance look, and I love your ‘bring back the Flash Dance’ quote.
    I brought back the Flash Dance two weeks ago, remembering dancing hard to the soundtrack cassette with my cousin over 25 years ago. I ordered the DVD on Ebay (and watched it twice), put Maniac on my mp3 and made it my new Strong Mama running song.

  108. I am in love with the flashdance tee. You are brilliant. :)

  109. Your girls are so beautiful! I’m loving the banana slices on the eyes and the mini Flashdance tee shirt! Genius! I also love Moon River. It was one of the songs that played while the guests were being seated at our wedding and the instrumental version from Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my current ring tone. I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you!

  110. I laughed out loud to the picture of the bananas on the eyes.

    And I LOVE “Moon River”. One of my favorite songs ever. It can make any moment seem so much more magical.

  111. Of course Nella owns the place! She’s a superstar.

    Lainey is so cool. So so cool. I want to be her friend.

    It’s been a really hard few weeks, but I’m gonna get to my bucket list…right after I feel like I’m not just surviving! Looking forward to it and to using some of these ideas.

    Thanks for your continued positivity and inspiration and encouragement. I love peeking into the Hampton’s family delight.

  112. I don’t know how old your daughters are. My daughter turns two on Saturday. And you have officially inspired me to look into signing her up for dance class sooner than I thought she’d be ready. And I’ll be looking through her drawers for a t-shirt to cut sometime soon :)

  113. Flashdance Nella. Too cute for words.

  114. Lainey’s solution to replace cucumbers with bananas was brilliantly hilarious. And then to my wonder and surprise the next picture showed you trying out the bananas!! I love everything about this. And Nella’s ballet: no words. She’s a doll!

  115. Only one word: wonderful! ^_^

  116. I love the fun things you do with Lainey and Nella!
    The beach looks beautiful.

  117. I am absolutely in LOVE with your blog! You are such a talented writer & photographer and you have an absolute beautiful family. Keep writing :) you are inspiring.

  118. OMG!!! I love, love, LOVE!!!, Nella in her ballet outfit! PRECIOUS! And even though that is one of the most precious things that I have ever seen I think that Laney doing Nella’s makeup wins my heart! I remember reading in your book how you felt bad for Laney when Nella was first born because you thought that she was loosing the sisterly bond that you had dreamed for her. Isn’t it funny how our minds and hearts can make us worry about things that we don’t need to? That sisterly bond is as clear as day itself– Beautiful!

  119. Kelle- I love my boys. Love love love them. But. The “spa” pictures at the beginning and the ballet pics make me yearn for girls. Wow.

    Happy holiday weekend!

  120. That first picture makes me so sad that my little girl doesn’t have a sister. She has two awesome older brothers.. but I don’t think they are going to paint her toes. Guess that’s what a mama’s for!! And, yes, I’m totally gonna cut one of my little girl’s shirts. 9 months isn’t too early for the Flashdance look, is it?

  121. Hi Kelle, I am a new reader and fan of your sweet blog and you have inspired me to finally get off the fence and start a blog of my own and also to buy a decent danged camera! But I have found a kindred soul in you and love the way you put words to your photos without using too many (words).
    Some of the things we have in common, love of babies, love of shoes and great clothes for mom and kids. Love of old things, well loved and new fangled things to enjoy. Love of Etsy, Ebay and Once Upon a Child! I have discovered some great Etsy shops from your blog too. I have read your blog from the day Nella was born post, till now, in just a month. I just could not stop till I was caught up. I grew up in CA and now live in CT and can’t tell you how much I miss just running to the beach! I’m living vicariously through your photos and blogging about it. Keep em coming, even though it makes me crave the beach, it still puts that beauty back into my mind and heart. Keep loving those babies up and posting all about it. You are positively amazing and amazingly positive! Love that! Thanks for sharing with us, Sue.
    P.S. Where do you get the little Angel shoes I keep seeing on Nella, I used to get them for my babies but then had no babies for 11 yrs and now, suddenly I have baby Stella! She needs those wonderful, yummy little shoes like nobody’s business, but where can I find them??? Online I only seem to find the bigger t- strap style. Thanks!

  122. your girls are so cute! nella in that ballet outfit is priceless! do you watch glee? i know it’s a show but the relationship that the crusty sue sylvester had with her sister with down syndrom was the cutest thing i have seen on tv! i’m sure lainey will always be protective of nella and they will be the best of friends but it is good to acknowledge her other wonderful qualities too!

  123. love the photo of lainey painting nella’s toe nails and nella watching closely. you captured such a precious moment (and maybe one of many weekly sistah moments). and the banana slices on her eyelids …… such a special mommy/daughter time!

  124. I die. The pic of Lainey painting Nella’s toe nails may be my favorite of all time. I love you. I love your girls.

  125. Your lil’ ballerina is so frickin’ adorable!

  126. i love moon river too. so good.

    and i also love that the more i read your blog, when i look at pictures of nella i don’t see someone who has down syndrome. i see nella.

  127. I have never seen anything as cute as your little ballerina. I can’t wait for my daughter to start ballet.


  128. I love the flashdance Nella. Made me smile real big. Thanks for making my day.

  129. Nella’s dance outfit is THE cutest thing I’ve ever seen. She is so precious.

    Flying through your book by the way! It’s so inspiring…we should all write about our birth experiences and the emotions tied to them. Just to remember how totally incredible they are and the flood of emotions involved. Not to be all “link to me” but I thought I’d share my birth story …so we’re even :).

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