Just a few photos today as we have some cleaning up to do for incoming company. 


Late Night Pottery Painting
Food, friends, and shelf after shelf of chalky white pottery in various shapes and sizes, begging to be transformed into something more colorful. 


I used self control and bypassed the unicorn banks and cat treasure boxes to settle on a simple mug–one I painted for the baby like I did a couple weeks before Nella was born.  No, his name is not Fox.  It’s just that the Native American culture got it right with all the rad animal representations, and if I can’t name him Soaring Eagle (only because there’s a casino nearby with that name and I wouldn’t want people to get mixed up), at least his motif can be a Gentle Fox.  Preceded by his sisters, Quiet Cub and Little Bunny.  Maybe the adjectives should be more fierce.  Gentle, Quiet and Little don’t exactly project the image of Tribe Not to be Messed With.  I’m going to have to think this one over.  I digress.


With unseasonably warm weather this week, it feels summery–sandals, popsicles, driveway hula hoop sessions.




Santa brought a lot of games for Christmas–simple ones that don’t require 3 hours of passing Go or stressing over landing on a Park Avenue/Boardwalk square with six hotels (Monopoly stresses me out.  Majorly).  These games are easy to say “yes” to, even when you’re busy, because every time you say yes and sit down to play, you’re so glad you did.  Old Maid and Pass the Pigs should be part of 12 Step Therapy programs–mindless enough to allow you to focus on the greater purpose of the game–the little face across from you.  She doesn’t realize yet that making the Old Maid card conspicuously stand taller than the other cards in her hand and saying “Pick this One” doesn’t fool me. 



Cookie Snatching
Enough said.


She asks for i-keem every day.  And there’s barely a sticky trace of it on her when she’s finished.



Living Room Performance Hall
We hung a sheet from the wall the other night, turned off all the lights, brought in a flood light from the garage, played Lainey’s favorite cheesy marimba music (also known as Hell’s Soundtrack) and let the girls take the stage.  My face hurt from smiling. It’s a moment I’ll hang on to and one that will be repeated often in our home.



I woke up this morning feeling like my priorities were unbalanced as January has suddenly turned more hectic, and I feel like I have too much to do.  Just writing this post, just reviewing my favorite important little moments this past week has helped me reprioritize.  Little pleasures should never ever get lost in the shuffle of big important routines.  They are what’s big and important because they fuel everything else. 

Mid week high five, hand clap, hip bump.  May the rest of your week be big and important.



Leave a Comment
  1. Nella is getting so big and grown up. It’s like she’s knows she’s about to be 3 and a big sister. I love all of these sweet moments and the performance hall idea is genius. I think I need to steal that one. High five, hip bump, sister! Try to breathe and just focus on one thing at a time. It’s been helping me keep stress at bay as of late. Keep on keeping on, enjoying! Peace, love and laughter! :)

  2. Beautiful reminder. Thank you.

  3. Perfect.
    Absolutely perfect.
    The fox.
    The theater.
    The girls : )
    I am going to give my baby some ikeem tonight because today is his 13th Birthday.
    I feel sort of sad because I miss having a little person around. Happy that we are surviving puberty though. Thank you Jesus.

    I hope your month gets a little less cray cray. Love, Becky

  4. Love the black and white ballerina! Such a big girl.

  5. Your sweet fox reminds me of some fabric I am dying to get my hands on …
    Thanks for the day-brightening post, Amy

  6. Needed this reminder today so badly. Our last few days have felt like running to put out fire after fire. Going to pick my little guy up from school now and have an afternoon of games and snacks. Thanks Kelle!

  7. Such a beautiful family! Cheers to enjoying the small things.

  8. I’ve had a few unbalanced priorities around here lately as well. Time to slow down and enjoy! :)

  9. the signs of wonderful moments. I need to put more of those types of games on my kids’ birthday lists this year. And that theater idea – LOVE. Thanks for sharing your wonderful moments with us.

  10. These pieces are amazing and those cookies look fantastic to me as well, this is such a great treat for your two wonderful children Kelle.

  11. I love that Nella is wearing the same dress while eating her “i-keem” that Lainey wore when you painted the mug for Nella. I don’t know how/why I noticed, but it made me smile. :)

  12. I love playing Old Maid. Could you tell me where you got your game? I love the illustrations on your game. Amanda

  13. “Little pleasures should never ever get lost in the shuffle of big important routines. They are what’s big and important because they fuel everything else.” YES!!! Thank you for always reminding us of this!

    And a mid week high five, hand clap, hip bump to you to! :o)

  14. My Kaitlyn asks for “i keem” too! I love it!


  15. I understand the little fox thing. I don’t think I know very many families who DON’T have some kind of cute little animal “nickname” for their baby. Or sweet pea, little stinker, something like that.
    Also, I desperately want a chocolate chip cookie now. =[

  16. I have to admit- I’m addicted to your blog and IG pics, simply bc they make me happy. If I’m cranky at work, and missing my baby at daycare instead of reading the depressing news, I jump on your blog and smile. Thank you :)

  17. Love the mug!

  18. Fiercesome Fox?
    OMG me too on the Monopoly. We played it this past Christmas and I genuinely had sweaty palms and major anxiety once the houses started going on. That pink strip=shudder.
    Your ballerinas are adorable :)

  19. Thanks for the reminder to celebrate moments of; dancing in the kitchen with my hubby before dinner, brown packages from ups guy, late night giggles and game nights. All far more impt. than bills or dishes

  20. Love the fox! I have two little girls and a baby boy. His name is Trace Russell (which means “Brave Fox.”) Yay for babies with mascots! Haha….

  21. oh my god. I love you. you are very important. and right now? i’m guessing very big.

  22. oh my god. I love you. you are very important. and right now? i’m guessing very big.

  23. I went camping in New Hampshire this past October and our campsite was stalked by a fox while we were sitting around the campfire and I have to say, it was pretty scary. Foxes may be little but I agree- Fiercesome Fox all the way! (Not that you want people to fear your child of course- but foxes definitely have a “don’t mess with me” attitude.)

  24. beautiful. thanks for the reminder to remember the little things that are really what’s most important.

  25. It’s the little things in life that I need to focus on. My sister and I about once every six months used to go to “art therapy” a pottery painting studio where we could spend hours just talking and slowing down and relaxing. The end of this month were going to an open painting studio.. getting some desperately needed art therapy!! Enjoy =)

  26. I love your little fox. Fantastic Mr. Fox.

  27. Oh the piggies! My favorite game of all time.

  28. I ask for ice cream every day, too. Seriously. Love. That. Stuff.

  29. There is no such thing as a unified Native American culture and it’s incredibly demeaning to call another culture’s sacred traditions “rad.”

    I get what you mean by representative animals for your kiddos and appreciating the idea of a name signifying that, but the way you worded it was very insensitive to actual Native Americans.

  30. that mug came out so adorable… I want one of my own. And a little fox to go with… Somedaaay

  31. I recently got a new camera (Nikon D3100) and I’m slowly learning how to use it. How do you take pictures in low lighting without using the flash and still come out with clear pictures (without blurry movements)??

  32. Your tribe names are perfect :-) Cubs grow to be fierce mama bears, Bunnies are quick and smart, Foxes are clever and fast. I wouldn’t mess with ’em :-)

  33. I know what you mean about blogging and letting it recapture what was important about the previous week so you can ‘right’ things in your head and prioritize your next steps. I write a tiny little weekly blog about my daughter for friends and family afar and just sitting and thinking of all the things that happened that week calms me so. I love your little nicknames for your tribes and your adorable mug, too!

  34. Kelle– Just went back and read some old ETST posts. Having a cry at work because my heart is happy. I’m not a mama yet, but I am a nanny, and even that is enough to make my pre-mama-heart smile and ache so good at your words. Thanks for writing. Kiss your littles for me. Xoxo

  35. I recently started following your blog and I am instantly (sounds creepy) but in love with your simple but enjoyable life and it makes me reflect on the little things I need to focus more on. Thank you so much for allowing us into your life. Many blessings.

  36. LOOOOOOVE all your pictures! That fox mug is way too cute for words, and so are your girls! Their outfits just knock me over every time they’re so cute. My favorite pictures are the ones of the girls performing; I wish we did stuff like that when I was little. So jealous! Someday if I have kids I am going to re-read all of these things you write about and incorporate them into my kids’ lives. Really! You’ve totally inspired me.

  37. just strikingly beautiful photos! Nella looks like an amazing porcelein doll, just a blessing to see her life! thank you for sharing despite :)

  38. Monopoly stresses me out too, and Pass the Pigs is THE BEST. I was skeptical when my brother told me about it, but we’ve since enjoyed many hilarious games.

  39. Todd? My husband’s name is Todd and it means fox as well-any gentle fox will be a joy to add to the bunch! :)

  40. OK, I know officially now that Nella and I would totes be BFF’s; she likes Bomb Pops (those blue, white and red popsicles, in case that is only what us Minnesotans call it) and I-Keem. I could eat both of those items every day and love every minute of it. So cute!!

  41. Monopoly also drives me nuts. I hate losing money, real or imagined. :-)

  42. I love this post.
    I love reading all your posts.
    Tonight this one speaks to me about so much happiness.thank you.

  43. My 2 1/2 year old son says i-keem too. So cute!

  44. Thanks Kelle, I have had a tough few days and I always feel better after reading your posts. It reminds me of what is important in life. And I am going to steal your dance party idea.

  45. Confession: I always scroll through the pictures first, and then go back and read. :) I’ve been a mommy for three weeks now, and I love this. Just as I was starting to feel like my new life is wrapped up in spit-up and dirty diapers, I needed the reminder that those are the big important things. :)

  46. Ahhhh Kelle Hampton! Mid week hip bump made me smile. Thank you for giving me a place to come where I can appreciate all the smalls things with you. Your blog helps me to be mindful of all the little moments throughout my day that I cherish and treasure the most.

  47. Nice post, thanks!

  48. Monopoly…hated it when I was a kid. Big sister was always the boss of the games…so I would hide money under my leg or slip my dad a couple thousand so I could hurry up and be DONE WITH IT!

    Nora asks for a “nack” or a “kack” every single day. I guess snacks, especially crackers, equal CRACK….haha, she’s addicted :)

    In love with the black and white dancing photos! I DIE!

  49. Thank you once again for your words of wisdom. You are an inspiration to all and your blog never fails to uplift me and keep me centered.You are a blessing:)
    Ps I have a wee 18 month old poppet who LOVES her ice cream. Every night she smiles sweetly, flutters her eyelashes, points to her flowery teacup and whispers “ice”.

  50. Pass the logs totally forgot about that awesome game.

  51. I read your blog and I often enjoy the pictures and words; however, I have to echo the comment sonja made above. I’m puzzled as to how you can be so sensitive, so passionate about making sure people living with DS are appreciated and included in their communities for so much more than simply having an extra chromosome and yet you fail to see the harm in spewing out stereotypes about Native American cultures?

    I understand the intention is good, but reading this post, your words come across as naive, drawing on historically racist stereotypes and lumping all indigenous Native north Americans into one homogenous group. Maybe it’s time to pick up some Native writing/literature/ethnography? A little Louise Erdrich, some Sherman Alexie, some Alfonso Ortiz?


  52. http://www.amazon.com/Jobar-International-Playing-Card-Holders/dp/B000V7P5FM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357784551&sr=8-2&keywords=card+holders

    You must get these. We have them, love them. I don’t usually purchase random plastic items, but when my 2 were little they were the only ones I could find.

  53. Your unseasonable warm means summer like weather, ours that we’ve been having in Montana means it hit 45-degrees today so everyone quit wearing winter jackets and exclaims how beautiful it is out! I think I’d take yours over ours! (Luckily I’ll get to enjoy some of your Florida sunshine in March when we head down to Naples and we are getting “spring” snow here!!)
    Enjoyed the post…especially the dancing performance…we have those regularly at our house with my girls and I LOVE every minute of them!!

  54. Kelle….
    I am behind at commenting on your Blog!! How did that happen….? ;-}
    I could never master the hula hoop. Never. And I tried!! Go Nella, go!! 😉
    My youngest brother with Down’s Syndrome has always loved ice cream!! Not that I blame him. Ice cream happens to be one of my “diet downfalls”!! ;-/
    “Little pleasures should never ever get lost in the shuffle of big important routines. They are what’s big and important because they fuel everything else.”. Very good!! ;-D

  55. I hate Monopoly, too. :) Have the girls tried The Cat in the Hat I Can Do That Game? It’s great for this age (we take out the “stop” cards): it’s slightly active, fun, and educational (but they don’t know it). Best of all, it’s great to watch them do their turn and be proud of themselves for what they can do. We also love Spot It, which we use in our own easier way with the kids. We take it everywhere with us (great for waiting rooms!), and the kids enjoy playing it. It works for all ages, since last night we played it with my 88 year-old grandfather!
    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the games with them. It’s sometimes hard to remember that we need to sit down more to spend those moments…..

  56. I thought I was the only other person in the universe (besides my parents, who I got the game from) who knew about that Pig Mania game! Isn’t it downright hilarious? Makes me laugh so hard every time I play it. LOVE IT!

  57. Your posts make me completely happy!!

  58. You know, the Gentle, the Quiet, and the Little are sometimes stronger and wiser than those who roar and fight…

    Also, as a dancer myself, I adore the dancing pictures. The black-and-white makes them even better.

  59. You always have the best timing with your thoughtful posts.
    “…my favorite important little moments this past week has helped me reprioritize. Little pleasures should never ever get lost in the shuffle of big important routines. They are what’s big and important because they fuel everything else.” ~But of course, this is why we enjoy the small things right along with you. I needed this reminder too 😉
    Hugs from Tejas,
    PS – It was neat to enjoy your baby bliss with your nursery sharing too. (Take care of yourself & family. We are slowly recovering from the flu.)

  60. To all the little pleasures you share with all of us…Amen!! You inspire us, oh yes you do!
    Cheers to enjoying the small things!

  61. I love the last photo… so sweet!

  62. I love the last photo… so sweet!

  63. I have been feeling overwhelmed as well kelle. Gotta remember to relax. Thanks for posting! Yummy popcycles, it’s hot coca here. A balmy 9 degrees forecast for tomorrow.

  64. You always make me smile kelle. I had to comment today as my little, similar but different genetic issue to Nella’s, also loves ice cream and I am so proud when she eats it all with barely a trace on her as you describe Nella here :)

  65. You’re such a wonderful photographer! Your girls (and little one on the way) are going to love looking back at them!

  66. Kelle, I realize that I don’t comment here on your blog nearly enough and that’s only because I’m always left speechless (in a good way!) after reading your blog. I just wanted to say thanks for always sharing what’s on your heart so beautifully and boldly. You are such an inspiration to me and you remind me to never back down and to live life to the fullest. Thank you, thank you.

    I can’t wait to see your little fox someday soon! :)

  67. “Hell’s Soundtrack” ~ BAHAHAHA! Too funny. (Gonna add Lila’s entire Bridget Mendler cd to that soundtrack. Stat. Oddly, though, I’ll keep AJ’s One Direction cd for myself…)
    Confessing that I played the marimba (and chimes, vibraphone, xylophone) in marching band, stage band, orchestra, and wind ensemble in HS. Sooo… I’ll bet you never knew how cool I was. 😉

  68. HEE HEE about Lainey putting the Old Maid card up high, totally remember doing that as a child too. Can’t wait to start playing all my old faves with my 3 year old. We just got her Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, classics are always the best. The profile picture of Nella eating her ikeem is simply beautiful. thanks for such a sweet post today! :)

  69. Every time I see this title, I read it as, “Late Night Potty Training”. :)

  70. Another great quicky card game is Wig Out… so fun and so quick! Enjoy!

  71. Kelle,
    Such a great idea giving each of your children their own animal motif.
    I love the Living Room Performance Hall photos. So lovely the way you create magical, memorable experiences with your girls.

  72. wow the glass with painting is cute. creative

  73. Kelle, I don’t have children yet, but when I was young, my mom almost always took the time to play games with my sibs and I when we asked. She says, even now, that she’s so glad she did, even though our house wasn’t always clean and laundry wasn’t always done, but we grew up knowing how much she loved us and that we were so important to her. Those are some of my best memories from growing up as an adult, and I plan to do the same with my children one day. So keep up the great work, momma. They’ll appreciate it forever.

  74. Stumbled across Nella’s birth story. Cried my eyes out but fell in love. Read some of your current blogs. Your daughters are both amazing & beautiful. Nella is a little lady now. My only child, a daughter, is about to turn 2. We are about to start trying for another. Your birth story just reminds me what I already knew about myself. I would love my child no matter what. If I found out anything was wrong or different I would still have unconditional love for my baby. So much <3 for you all. Thank you for sharing your story. It melted my heart! Sending <3 from South Alabama.

  75. I love reading your blog, enjoying the photos and focusing on the important small things. So sweet. Thanks for sharing!

    Carly from http://thenextrightchoice.blogspot.com (I’m a big thing trying to become a small thing lololol)

  76. I just want to say that I just found your blog while I was searching and want that what an enjoyable time to look through to this post thanks for all the effort which you did for us.

    Luxury Villa Rentals

  77. I’ve always loved card games, that seems so funny. My sister and I used to perform for our parents like your girls do, and it becomes a custom into my family: now every summer the little ones in our country house performs a dance, a song or a story and they even make everyone pay the ticket for the “cousins’ cash” (a box full of money destinated to unfortunate babies). It’s so funny.

    Happy Warm Monday
    A 17-year-old girl just came back from a long weekend in Rome, Italy, and just passed from the “keep your jacket open” weather to the “it’s snowing A LOT” one.

  78. As a firm believer that we are the creators of our lives, may I say, you are a master creator!

  79. Love your posts, as always. Please feel free to check my blog out as I am doing a giveaway!

  80. What a great idea with the sheet and spotlight! Can’t wait to try it with the kids.

  81. I just want to say this post is really superb thanks for the sharing and keep up the good work.

    Luxury Villas Italy

  82. Where did you get the Chevron hair clip in Nella’s hair? Great post. I love to see people raising money for good causes like this. I have a brother with CP and I know it takes a lot of money to take good care of him.

  83. That is the happiest looking little girl I have ever seen!!! The photo with her looking at the pink flowers warms my heart.

  84. That is the happiest looking little girl I have ever seen!!! The photo with her looking at the pink flowers warms my heart.

  85. Hello, new follower here and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/01/clever-chicks-blog-hop-17-and-secret.html

    I hope you can make it!


    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  86. Wow, Great blog! You obviously have it all together. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>