For the Love of Grandparent

One of the gifts of having children is discovering a new identity to your own parents. By welcoming a child, you consequently also welcome a completely new character in your family’s life–the grandparent. In doing so, a wardrobe door opens up to a place you didn’t know existed until you watch your parent hold your child and see that connection. Yes, grandparenthood is a sort of Narnia–a magical place where all the things that make your mom and dad not the perfect parent dissolve, replaced by the admiration your child has for their grandparent and the affection your mother and father share toward the one you love so much.

The more my children grow, the more I connect my own childhood memories of grandparents with the ones my girls are making. They will remember certain silly things that are important in their own minds just like I remember that my grandma always whispered “Tsss, tsss, tss” when she brushed through my tangled hair or the way my grandpa looked for my “goodness glands,” tickling under arms and around kneecaps as he searched.

My dad and Gary are down from Michigan, and we let Lainey play hookie yesterday, trading school for a day with her grandpa.  Poppa took my place at Nella’s Mommy & Me ballet class…


…treated the girls to a McDonald’s breakfast…


…and Gary pointed out all the proper tree and flower names at the botanical gardens.

Silk Floss Tree

More from our adventure:







Lainey loved the way this touch-sensitive plant folded up.




The silver lining of divorced parents for both me and Brett lies in the fact that our kids have oodles of grandparents.  Looking forward to many more memories in Narnia, and thankful for the ones we have.


And finally, a video of some of Nella’s words:

The Shine Project returns in sponsorship this month, bringing new product made by American at-risk youth, working to pay their way through college.  Every purchase you make helps employ more kids, and the holidays is a great time to give these youth the opportunity that we all deserve–working to move ahead. 
The Shine Project store offers a new bracelet this month, a delicate bangle that can be engraved with your favorite quote, a child’s name, etc.


Use code “Kelle15″ to receive 15% off your order, and find out more ways The Shine Project is helping youth here.


Happy Day to you.



Leave a Comment
  1. Happy Day to you too Kelle! Love your posts!

  2. Ah! Where did you get that off the shoulder dance shirt? So cute, she makes it look even cuter!!

  3. Beautiful photos, as usual. I love the bangle! Going to order one with that exact phrase…have been thinking of that Ghandi quote a lot lately.

  4. Such a great post! I feel like it’s a gift seeing my parents as grandparents, too :) And love that sweet video of Nella! What a doll :)

  5. Nella in those leggings, leotard, and dancer tee make me SO happy. She is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!!!

  6. Lovely! We just had my Dad stay with us for post knee operation and baby girl enjoyed a TON of grandad time… It really is wonderful. I love the Narnia thing… I never realised it but yeah when I think about my parents as grandparents their flaws suddenly become loveable “kooks”. Lovely 😀 Day with Nanny tomorrow too 😀

  7. Nella is such a sweet little sunshine. Both your girls are. Everytime I see a new post by you in my dashboard it makes me smile.

    I feel like I am one of the luckiest girls in the world. At the age of 22 I still have both my grandmothers and grandfathers. Grandparents are such a wonderful thing. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

    I have such great memories from when I was younger. For example being allowed to stay up longer, cuddling with gramps on the sofa, a cup of hot chocolate in my hand. Or baking cookies just before christmas. Or that one christmas when I got this awesome house for my Barbies incuding some furniture, all handcrafted by my grandfather. And still, they are there for me whenever I need them. And I am so thankful fir that.

    Grandparents always love their grandchildren I guess. It’s a special kind of love. Every child that gets to experience this love is incredibly lucky.

  8. Happy days!! Nell’s looked so adorable in her dance outfit! I’m a dance teacher and LOVE teaching the mommy classes!

  9. This made me cry happy tears. I miss my grandparents, and as I became closer with my husband’s grandparents, I’ve been so blessed to experience their lives and their end of life celebrations. As I watch my son now experiencing the special love that Grandparents give, I get so emotional. It’s a love I cannot compete with, and it’s just so amazing! Grandparents just hold a special place in a grandchild’s heart.

  10. Your girls are so blessed to have grandparents that love them unconditionally!

    My four year old son has one living grandparent who doesn’t accept him because he is adopted from Ethiopia.

    That’s ok though, we live him more than we ever old have imagined!


  11. Your photos just made me completely tear up. I lost my father just a little over two months ago after a long and painful bout with multiple myeloma. His greatest happiness in life came from spending time with his five grandchildren. As their Pop Pop he was able to be fully present in a way that he wasn’t for my sister and I (growing up, he spent a lot of time away from home due to an intense work schedule and marital difficulties). He was especially close to my oldest, Jo Jo, who has Down Syndrome. I still have times when I want to call him to brag about her latest accomplishment and then I realize with an intense stab of pain that he is gone. Enjoy every minute your two girls spend with their Poppa. They are so lucky to have each other!

  12. It always amazes me how different are parents are when they become grandparents! Love the pics!

  13. Oh, I loved hearing Nella talk!! She is a doll! So sweet how much she loved the baby flash card. Can’t wait to see her love on her little brother! Karen

  14. OMG I am just spilling over with the amazing unbelievable cuteness that is Nella! Sorry, just had to goo.

  15. That video of Nella is so stinkin’ cute! She’s such a doll baby!! I love that she loves the baby so much. So sweet!

  16. I thought that I could not be more fulfilled by any event in my life than I was by becoming a mother to my sons and my daughter. Then I became a grandmother…!

  17. Cutest video ever. Seriously. It made me very happy to watch it. She sure loves her some babies. :)

  18. They look like they had so much fun!

  19. what a fun and special day! Grandparents truly are a gift. i LOVED the video of Nella…she is a smart cookie!

  20. When I need a dose of cute, I come to your blog. My goodness, I nearly melted when I saw Nella in her ballet outfit. And Lainey in that floppy hippy hat. The video of Nella’s words – just how amazing is she?? Just too cute!

  21. Completely agree with the grandparent love! That video was incredibly adorable! My girls, 5 & 3, watched with me and said “aww, that baby is cute!”

  22. Lainey in her floppy hat and patchwork flowered dress (looks like her Mama!) with clipboard in hand and sweet Nella in her ballet garb. Adorbs! I love it! Thanks for the smile today.

  23. We had that touch sensitive plant in my grandmother’s yard in Louisiana! We called it sleepy grass, and searching for it with my cousins is one of my favorite memories of going to her house. I’ve been looking for it to show my daughter, but there doesn’t seem to be any way up here in NYC.
    Thanks for the reminding me of such a sweet memory!

  24. Please tell Gary “hello” from Amy Stickney. My whole family has worked at Wiegands at some point. Your girls are beautiful, and you are a beautiful mamma!

  25. Screw your flashcards – BABY! So smart and sweet! I love the Lainey yoga girl and hammock full of love! Baby! Where’d the baby go?

  26. You’re so right. There’s something about the first and third generation coming together, such a strong bond between them… My mom has been here in the US for 4 months so far (she goes back to Argentina, where we’re from, right after christmas). I have observed my two toddlers attach to her like glue in the past few months. Its beautiful to see them “need” her.. for anything and everything, they will go to her and always find an ally, a friend, a refuge in her. It breaks my heart to even think they will be separated soon.. My mom and I had a few issues in our relationship, but she sure is the perfect granma for our kids, and for that I am extremely thankful and blessed.

  27. It’s funny to think of my mom as Nana… Nana was a magical person in my youth, my mom is just a regular lady. Until you see them together and you realize it’s true. It makes sense since when I was a child, my mom was a real grownup (to me) whereas I am obviously not… it’s all about perception.

  28. Beautiful photos – I especially love the one of your dad and daughter at ballet class, so sweet!
    My parents are divorced as well but for me it means they have younger children, so I find that they don’t seem to embrace the grandparent role as much as other because they’re still rearing children of their own. A bit sad, but my kids have the joy of their uncles and aunt who are still kids themselves! On the other side, my mother in law always wanted to have more children, so she would kidnap my babies and keep them as her own if given the opportunity. There’s no happy medium unfortunately!
    Lovely post x

  29. Swapping school for a day with granddaddy is an awesome thing, I miss my grandfather so much and cherish every single day I had the pleasure of spending with him, love this post, it seems like you guys had so much fun.

  30. Love how Nella says Quack Quack for the duck. My son used to do the same and I miss it now that he says Duck. Sweet girls you have!

  31. As much as I love seeing all of your beautiful photos, I become especially excited when I see a video posted! Something about hearing the voices (yours included) makes the reader feel even more connected to you and your posts. So thank you for sharing that little bit of your world with us. Also, my husby and I have recently begun committing to ‘Date Night’. But I have also been in love with the idea of ‘alone night’ or alone time in general. Always a priority to work on your marriage, but I feel it’s equally important to spend uninterrupted time with yourself so that you’re rested and the bestest you that you can be.

  32. I love Nella’s little voice. She is so sweet about how she just wants to drop everything and love on that baby :) Keep up the good work Mama! :)

  33. Holy CUTENESS her little raspy voice slays me!! Love love love the video!

  34. I love how Nella loves that baby card. And the kitty looks like it’s been loved, too. 😉

  35. Love grandparent days! Yes, it’s like a whole new world for everyone.
    Just watched Nella’s sweet video with my 2 yr old and we talked about all of Nella’s smart words! She wanted to watch it again :)
    Thank you for sharing her with us!

  36. My four year old boy LOVED watching that video of Nella! He looked at me in the middle and said, “Wow! She really knows her words.”

  37. The video is so true to form. She loves her babies!

  38. Oh my gosh that video!!! I love hearing her little voice. :-) Also, I love seeing my parents as grandparents. I already loved them as parents but seeing them as grandparents is amazing.

  39. I love hearing her voice (and yours – it’s different than I thought it would be! lol). And I can’t wait to see how excited Nella is when the new baby arrives.

  40. Omg, she is too cute for words. So smart. Love that girl. Thank you for sharing :)

  41. Love all of this…and especially the pic of Lainey meditating. Thanks for sharing, and reminding us of all the small things, Kelle!

  42. Love all of this…and especially the pic of Lainey meditating. Thanks for sharing, and reminding us of all the small things, Kelle!

  43. Love all of this…and especially the pic of Lainey meditating. Thanks for sharing, and reminding us of all the small things, Kelle!

  44. I love your girls’ outfits, especially Lainey’s, in these photos. And Nella’s dance outfit is adorable. The video of her talking made me melt; the way she kept saying “baby” made me smile. :)

  45. what sweet pictures. :)

  46. oh my gosh, she is adorable!! Can’t get over her cute faces. And Lainey might have played hookie on school, but something tells me she did A LOT of adventuring and learning on her day “off” :)

  47. I stumbled across your blog about two weeks ago and i’m completely hooked. I’ve been reading your blog backwards, from the present to the beginning, and seeing anytime that you post something new, it floors me! It’s like unwrapping a present on Christmas day! Love the book, read it cover to cover over the weekend. I haven’t watched many of the videos yet, so this is my first time hearing Nella’s sweet little voice and it just warms my heart. Thank you so much for opening her beautiful little world up for those of us who have come to adore this sweet little angel and gift to you and your family! Blessings to you all! Happy Holidays Kelle!

  48. Your photos are always so beautiful and your girls are gorgeous!!

  49. So cute! Where are Nella’s flashcards from? Love them (and her reciting them!)

  50. How cute is Nella in her dance outfit!?!? OH my gosh!

  51. Such a touching post. Both of my parents passed away before I became a mama. My little one is 18 months and my heart aches that I cannot witness my parents love her up and see them in the capacity of grandparents. Such a true blessing. Grateful though that their legacy lives on in her.

    Also, saw the video of Nella talking. Adore! We have the same flashcards and I love them!

    Lainey meditating and the girls on the hammock…I die. Perfection!

  52. Nella is so smart! And perfectly cute!

  53. Such special memories :)

    And Nella’s words – LOVE HER!! She is so smart and sweet. I can tell she adores babies :)

  54. So many things to love about this post…grandparents, playing hooky from school, Nella’s sweet ballet outfit and precious voice, drawing rainbows. So what are those plants that fold up when you touch them called? I discovered them in Hawaii years ago and have been known to touch similar looking plants just to see if they’ll move in the same way (they never have!) I bet Lainey will start doing the same thing. Enjoy your evening!

  55. I love Nella’s little American accent….I just want to bundle her up and cover her in love xoxoxo

  56. Oh my goodness– I love Nella’s husky little voice! And how neat to see her face light up for teddy bear and baby! Thanks for sharing. :)

  57. Such a cute video! I was a daycare teacher, and I remember doing flash cards with my kids (yes I call them my kids!) all the time, and those were their favorite times of the day. So great to see Nella in action, she’s so adorable!

  58. Awe how cute. I love seeing your pictures and videos. Nella is soo cute. I should make a video of Soren and the way he says words so different than us.

  59. Oh my freaking gosh. Nella is SO precious! My youngest sister has Down’s Syndrome and I vividly remember her being that age. Same facial expressions and beautiful eyes. Aww… My sister is 14 years old now and she was skyping with us earlier today. My 1 and 3 yr old girls loved listening to Aunt Gracie read to them. Nella will also be reading before you know it!

  60. I love so many things about this post, not the least of which are grandparents, dance outfits, that floppy hat and dress combo in the garden, and oh my GOD, Nella’s video. Her little voice is so dang cute!!

  61. Love the pics and video! So, so sweet!!! :)

  62. Goodness, that picture of Nella laughing is amazing! Lovely little ladies.

  63. Nella’s love for babies is amazing.
    You are right that Grandparents open up a whole new world. I have 3 of them and they all have very special places in my heart. I can’t wait to make my parents one :)

  64. OH MY HEART. That video is precious. :) I actually purchased those same flash cards way back when you first posted about them & my daughter has loved them!

  65. Kelle you have a soothing voice. I want to just come over and listen to you talk lol :) I also love the video!! Nella loves babies!!! I am also having my first boy this February. Exciting stuff!

  66. Awww, I love how Nella loves the baby card!

  67. nella is doing amazing with words! Love that she was stuck on the baby card, what a nurturer! And the pick of zen lainey is too much..what a ham! Looks like a great excuse to play hookie. I wish I had a girl just to dress her up in that ballet outfit!!!

  68. Love that you let her play hookie for a day with her Poppa!! So important!

  69. Ohh Nella…how she loves that baby card! She’s too cute for words. Love the photo of Lainey meditating…awesome :) And Nella’s ballet attire? Perfect!

  70. Oh that video is precious!!


  71. I don’t have an grandparents for various reasons, mainly because of poor choices on their parts that made keeping contact with them not possible. I always wished I did though, and would sort of adopt my friend’s – but it was never the same. I am so glad my son will not have this problem and have grandparents who love him and care for him!

  72. OMG the way your girls look in their ballet clothes makes me crazy–I have 2 boys :)
    And, oh, the video–to die for. Love/hate how they get locked in on one thing when you’re trying to call their attention to something else lol. And it’s always on video, us moms going, “No, look at this…this one, yeah that’s nice–but what about THIS one…hellooooo???” hahaha

  73. Kelle, Nella is just soo precious. I want to just eat her up. I love her little raspy voice.

  74. Kelle,

    I am losing a grandparent to COPD this week, my sweet Nanny. I would give anything to walk into her kitchen to help her make homemade tomato gravy and hear her famous phrases like, “I declare!” and “Great day in the mornin’!” I am so thankful for the time I had with one of the women who made me who I am today. Good for you for allowing Lainey a skip school day to spend with her Poppa. They are memories she will cherish one day. <3

  75. So fun to hear Nella’s voice. I swear I heard her say “baby is coming” toward the end, when you guys were holding the baby card–did you hear it?

  76. Nella has so many words – she is quite simply put, Amazing! My nephew is her age and it floors me to see how they pick up language. My favorite from Nella’s set is “quack quack”. It reminds me of when my girls were her age.
    I have to agree that so many grandparents is a great silver lining of divorce and remarriage. My kids have 3 grandmas, 1 grandpa and 2 great grandmas living and 2 grandpas that passed – but they knew and loved their grandpas immensely and we still talk about them weekly (my girls are twin 4 y/os and 8). Your family is so beautiful and I am so excited for you to be growing a little son. Peace.

  77. I’m sure you’ve heard this, but your little sweetie in her dance get-up was sooooo Flash Dance. I’m still singing, ‘She’s a maniac, maniac……’ Seriously, super cute!

  78. Oh, and my grandpa used to check me out of school to go play golf with him and his old golfing buddies. I was all of 7 years old and he would let me drive the golf cart! You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen 5 or 6 grumpy old mean swearing at each other and throwing golf clubs around. Some of my best memories!

  79. Saw this on FB but had to watch the video again. My goodness she is such a sweetie! Love the morning raspy voice and love love love the obsession with the baby. What a sweet girl!!! Keep posting more videos!


  80. OMG… these photos are seriously the cutest of all your pics. Nella at dance class with Poppa….Lainey in her dress and hat. Too Cute!! Glad y’all enjoyed your time :)

  81. You totally touched me on this one – as a newlywed with divorced & remarried parents (who don’t always get along), I fight through awkward moments with the knowledge that one day, when a baby comes, a lot will be transformed. I love that my baby will get lots of sets of grandparents (like I did), and that I will make some non-parents grandparents.

  82. My mom called last night. She was in town (she lives about 45 minutes from me) and wanted to know if she could take 2 of my 4 children home with her for a couple of days. YES!! She went to Goodwill and got them clothes and a stuffed animal because I was at a meeting with them and wasn’t home to get them a bag packed. They were thrilled with the surprise and I get a much needed few days with my 2 oldest where we can do “big kid things”. Grandparents are DA BOMB

  83. We totally have the same apple/tomato dilemma with those flashcards!

    (Wait…this is the first time I’ve commented on your blog after reading for 2.5 years and it’s about similar-looking red foods? Oh my.)

  84. Gave a big old “Awwww” when Nella gently petted the baby flashcard. So sweet! She’s going to be SUCH a good big sister!

  85. This post hit home to me. My wonderful sweet dad who is grandpa to my boys was just diagnosed with stage 4 primary brain cancer. We are all crushed. However, the memories me and my boys have of the growing up years are priceless and will be cherished. So glad to read a post that talks about the importance of grandparents.

  86. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. It was a huge dose of happiness and beauty. I loved it all, every bit.

  87. Nella’s video was so amazingly cute! Her voice is adorable and she loves babies like her mother. She is a very bright little girl and you should be so proud.

  88. your girls are so adorable! LOVE the video of Nella…she’s so precious! :)

  89. Who DOESN’T love those plants that fold up when you touch them?! I actually didn’t know they grew in the states. My husband and I found them on our walks through the country side in Nigeria years ago. The ones there have more of a reddish tint to them, but look very similar.

    LOVED hearing Nella’s sweet, raspy voice. She is doing so well! :)

  90. What a sweet post and what joy your girls have at such attention and devotion from Poppa and Gary.

    ‘Goodness spots’, that’s a really sweet memory!

    I LOVED hearing Nella’s words!

  91. Love Lainey’s yoga pose. I saw your book, Bloom, and some of your pictures on Pinterest. I pinned you onto some of my boards. How cool are you to be on Pinterest!!!!

  92. Laineys meditating pose? so hilarious and awesome!

  93. Love the flash dance shirt on nella! What a riot.. We have an extra set of grandparents on my side too… More to love on my kids!!

  94. What a great post. I had no idea there were plants that closed when you touched them. Nella is doing fantastic with her words, and I hear another one…so definitely said diaper when she was pointing at the baby. So awesome.

  95. Nella is so beautiful in her ballet attire and it is lovely that Poppa could share in the class with her. xx

  96. Aw,what a great post. I love seeing my parents with our daughter, too. So many special moments. It’s great that your dad and Gary were able to come and visit.

    Love the dance studio pics :)

  97. Kelle who makes those flash cards? My little dude is 2 1/2 with DS and we are struggling with speech. I’m looking for some good, interactive cards! :)

  98. Kelle, Can I buy from Dashing Bee from Vermont? What a joy hearing Nella’s voice as well as yours. It makes it so much more real to hear a voice and watch a video. I have to say Lainy’s picture on the wicker stool just brought tears to my eyes. Precious, I thought maybe she was meditating?? No matter what she was doing it has to be one of my favorite pictures of her and that is hard because she takes so many great pictures.

  99. We are getting set for overlapping grandparent visits, too.
    Prayers appreciated. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to your precious family.

  100. OK..the meditating picture with Lainey absolutely cracked me up! What a funny, funny girl!! I totally know the feeling with watching your parents become grandparent. We are blessed to have my mom live with us (my parents divorced when I was 14 and my dad and his partner Charles live about 45 minutes away) and I adore watching the relationship that is developing between my kids and my mom, who they call Nina. My kids are richly blessed because my husbands parents are also divorced and both remarried, so our kids have 3 grandmas, 4 grandpas, 5 great grandmas and 2 great grandpas that are still alive! It gets crazy around the holidays, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  101. Oh I just LOVED hearing Nella’s perfect little voice! and I was so happy to hear yours too, to finally put a voice to a face! Your family is just amazing. So beautiful all around. Thank you for your blog, it makes me want to be a better person!

  102. Love the video, Nella is such a smart little girl! Love how she wanted nothing to do with your words once she got her hands on that baby card, she is going to be an awesome big sister!

  103. Nella’s dance pictures are TOO cute! I also love the girls in the hammock together. Happy weekend.

  104. Seeing & hearing little Nella talk just made my day. She is the cutest, most cozy looking little angel. Thank you for sharing. :-)

  105. You capture the most beautiful everyday pictures. Your girls are going to treasure those someday!

  106. Beautiful happy girls 😉

  107. Oh man, Nella in her dancewear is THE CUTEST THING i have ever seen! The off the shoulder Flashdance thing- SO ridiculously adorable. I want to squeeze her!

  108. I can’t even take that picture of Nella at dance class- too cute for WORDS. Smooches to her.

  109. Nella’s little voice is adorable.

  110. kelle~your posts ALWAYS put a smile on my face!!!! happy sunday! xoxo

  111. The video of Nella is so adorable! I have similar cards I purchased for Wyatt. But right now, all he wants to do is chew on them ; )

  112. So, I’ve been a stalker for a long time…okay….let me rephrase that…I’ve read your blog for a long time…I just don’t post much, or ever. But I just had to after such a cute video of Nella’s words…SO cute! Reminds me of when my kids were little…such a fun time!!!
    I love to be inspired by your patience, love and care of your children…I read often!!

  113. I love it all, especially the bare feet.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  114. omg, seriously, nella is AMAZING with her speech!!! wow!!! and, um–are you kidding me with her cuteness with the baby card?!? how she kept trying to touch the baby, too! *heart melts*

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