Right now

Things have been a little busy around here after a quick trip, but right now I am home, comforted by a cup of chamomile in my favorite mug and the sights and sounds of my kitchen where I’m currently perched to write. 

Right now.  I am loving those two words, their importance rising above everything else–the worries, the stresses, what I have to do tomorrow, what I have to do next week.  There’s always the comfort of a quick mental note of right now–what, in this very moment, makes me happy.  Like Lainey’s haphazard “high bun” that she proudly attempted herself today, in my absence. 

(Insert imaginary picture I didn’t take of cute, messy high bun)

With the hundredth day of school approaching, Lainey’s been assigned to count 100 of something–anything–and bring it in to her classroom.  Tonight she chose peanuts, and we sat at the bar stools as she began the tedious task of counting out 100 greasy little seeds into a small bowl.  It started well.  Until that damn twenty-fourth nut.

“Twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four…”  As she dropped in the twenty-fourth peanut, a few more accidentally fell in, the impact causing a couple peanuts in the bowl to break in half.

“Let’s just say there’re twenty-seven now,” I confidently suggest, hoping my follow-the-rules girl agrees.

“No, we have to start over,” she argues.  I know not to push this any further or there will be tears.  There will be an emotional conversation where I am reminded that what her teacher thinks is so much more important than what I think.  I try to suggest another way of counting.  Perhaps separating them into groups, sorting bowls, putting fifty away and celebrating the half way point.  Nope.  She wants to do this the hard way.

So we dump the peanuts back into the can, and she starts again, licking her salty fingers before the count.

“One, two, three, four…”  I zone out for the next thirty peanuts or so until I hear Lainey stop, confused.

“I don’t know if there are forty-two or forty-three,” she says.

“Forty-two.  Definitely. For sure,” I lie.  “I was watching you.”

“No, Mommy.  You don’t know.  I have to start over.”

Oh God.

Peanuts back into the can and another clink into an empty bowl.

“One, two, three, four…”  I watch her carefully.  I memorize her count, I whisper it in my head, I stare at every peanut, careful to keep track.  I am the best Peanut Counting Supervisor that ever lived.

Until around seventy-seven.  Another peanut cracks in half and controversy begins over whether or not a partial peanut is indeed a valid whole or reason for complete disqualification.  I lobby for valid whole and assure her she’s not going to fail kindergarten over a sandwich bag full of maybe-a-hundred peanuts.  But she doesn’t buy it and wants to begin counting peanuts again because sister is accurate and concerned and very into getting smiley faces and stars on her assignments.

I smile and say that’s okay while I inwardly swear at peanuts, at the hundredth day of school, at math and counting and that stupid little spyglass and cane Mr. Peanut is wearing while he mocks me from the peanut can.

Round Four gets us maybe to eighty, but things go awry again and I have never hated anything more than peanuts.  My poor kid is tired and frustrated and so counted out, so I taught her a very important math lesson tonight. It’s called your-mom’s-gonna-bullshit-this-for-you.  I mean it’s called estimation.  She counted out twenty more peanuts–some whole, some half–and we added them to the somewhere-around-eighty already in the bag. I wrote “100” on the outside with a fat permanent marker and prayed the teacher doesn’t have time to actually confirm our peanut count.  Please, dear God, can we get a smiley face. 


Some right now moments from our week:




Brett lets Lainey label our garage bins.  She thinks this is pretty awesome.





Her new obsession: dusting.  This thrills me.

And our girl’s birthday.


We enjoyed a quiet celebration Tuesday morning with plans for a family celebration tomorrow and a little party in February. I loved our sweet moment–just me and Nella, Brett and Austyn and a snowman cupcake.  She wanted us to sing and relight the candle over and over and over.  And so we did. 

“Birtday, birtday,” she repeated, smiling.  Light the candle.  Blow out the candle.  Light the candle.  Blow out the candle. 



Three is grand. And so is the night of January 22–a night that will always leave me remembering where I was and how I felt on that same night in 2010.  This year, as I fell asleep alone on that very sacred night, I felt so at peace.  Right now, I have two girls who challenge me to be the woman I want them to become.  Right now, I have a son (ah–son!) who stretches and moves within me, telling me he will be here soon.  I have a husband whose company I enjoy and two grown big brothers who love their little sisters.

Right now, I have peanuts.



I loved reading your business dreams on the last post. So many women already pursuing what they love and so many dreams that inspire our future. Thank you for sharing.

Congrats to The Vintage Pearl giveaway winners…

Comment #576, mamamac: mamamac said… Farm to table restaurant! I always wanted to own my own restaurant and have regulars (like in “cheers”). I hear it is not as glamorous as it sounds though.


Comment #1021 Lex Wisniewski: I love her stuff! I have a couple pieces in my Etsy Favorites … just waiting for a little extra cash. :) Business venture? My husband. He’s an amazing artist, but he struggles to find time to commit to his craft between working to support our family and volunteering at church. I’d love to see him have more time to create.

Winners, please e-mail your contact information to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net with VINTAGE PEARL GIVEAWAY in the subject line and begin shopping The Vintage Pearl site for something special.

Hey, look.



We here at Enjoying the Small Things celebrate, love and accept everyone. So Latte, you bring your impressive earspan and fly, sister.


P.S.  Our fundraiser’s still chugging.  Please consider sharing if it feels right for you!


Leave a Comment
  1. As a teacher it was enlightening to read this from a parent’s viewpoint. For future reference, count them out into 10 groups of ten. Much simpler and that is what they are ultimately teaching them anyway…100=10 groups of 10.

  2. As a teacher it was enlightening to read this from a parent’s viewpoint. For future reference, count them out into 10 groups of ten. Much simpler and that is what they are ultimately teaching them anyway…100=10 groups of 10.

  3. The birthday pics of Nella are precious. As is that picture of her ‘mooching’ the horse (we call kisses mooches here). I’m glad you’re home and settled, and hope that the next few weeks bring you innumerable small moments of joy and love. Happy birthday, Nella!

  4. Well didn’t mean to tell you twice….and also should have said Happy Birthday to sweet Nella!

  5. Good news – most schools don’t allow peanuts due to allergies so they probably won’t open the bag :-)

  6. love this…and birthdays…and polka dots. xoxo love from muskoka xoxo

  7. I finally read Bloom and I adored it as much as I adore your blog. Happy Birthday to sweet Nella! I cannot believe that it has been 3 years that I have been getting sneak peeks into your beautiful world.

  8. Love this post! I am just a tad but north of you in Cape Coral! Last week my kindergartener celebrated 100 days of school also! He chose to count out 100 leaves! Guess who burnt off the tips of her fingers with hot glue while trying to arrange all 100 leaves on a poster board! This girl!

  9. Sorry, Kelle but I HAD TO LAUGH.
    I just read and imagined you while Lainey was counting those freaking peanuts!
    love and blessings from Brazil.

  10. Yes, thankfully we got the advice like your teacher commenter so kindly gave above. And I even thought to grab a muffin tin to keep em tidy while he counted out his 100 noodles the other night. But that’s just downright cruel of us to share with you now, isn’t it?? Sorry about your peanut fiasco!

  11. Damn peanuts. Luckily, they’re not allowed in our house :) Damn food allergies. I love that Lainey is so determined to do it right, but I also love mama bullshit! xx

  12. You’d be so busted in my school! No peanuts! Too many allergies:).

  13. haha – I totally thought your story was going to end with “and then we remembered we couldn’t send peanuts to school”. :)

    Happy Birthday Nella! Gorgeous bday pics!

  14. sooo sorry, but i am sitting here laughing.

    1st – the peanut story.
    2nd – the teacher hindsight tip.
    3rd – she prob can’t even bring peanuts through the door.

    relax mama, you earned it.
    xo – heather
    p.s. the horsey pix are ADORE.

    This Life Is Yours Blog

  15. Love the sweet pictures of Nella on her Birthday!

  16. “Peanut Counting Supervisor” LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the titles mom’s hold!!! Oh how reading this made me love and appreciate all that my mother has done for us. I am also enjoying living in the “right now” with my girl!!!
    Happy Happy 3 years, Nella Bean!!!

  17. LOL!!! OMGosh! The peanuts story cracked me up, and reminded me of when I also hated KIDNEY BEANS with a similar passion. Then, my youngest son made it all the better when he walked up to the counting lesson, and with one deft swoop snagged up a dried kidney bean, plopped it in his mouth, and swallowed it…whole…pill style. Yes, THAT made the lesson SOOOO much better. Keep chugging through the peanut counting, mama. This, too, shall pass!

  18. From a kindergarten teacher to a Mama….next time you encounter the damn 100th day of school, have Lainey count out and line up ten rows of ten whatevers, then scoop them into her bowl. Makes it much easier to back track if she gets off count. Cheers to you! And those dang peanuts! And trust me, the teacher will NOT check your math 😉

  19. Happy Birthday to Nella!
    Too funny, I still remember my 100th day of kindergarten! I have no idea which item I counted out 100 of, but I remember a lot of the items brought in and how excited I was about it!

  20. You know you can get those adorable little colored craft pom poms in packs of 100 and sealed. Just sayin! Happy Birthday sweet Nella:)

  21. Haha. This was awesome. My oldest son is allergic to peanuts so I’ve cursed them out myself.

  22. The whole time I kept thinking….oh please no. Not peanuts. I am praying that no one in L’s class has a nut allergy bc then she will really FREAK when her 100s day project can’t come in the classroom. Love the post and love your blog as well as your pics on instagram. XO

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  24. My now 7 year old totally reminds me of Lainey! Rule follower to the extreme. Her 100th day was today and last night she was going to count out 100 chocolate chips. I was prepared to sit down and help her (remembering a story similar to yours from kindergarten last year). I went to the table a few minutes later and there, all laid out on the table? 20 groups of 5 chocolate chips. This she had figured out and completed all by herself. Amazing the difference one year makes!

  25. As a kindergarten teacher we too did the 100th day of School celebration and if sweet Lainey was in my class, she would not only get a smiley face but a high five and 100 cheers for bringing in all those peanuts…and trust me when you have a class of 20 something littles bringing their 100 treasures, the teacher will not penalize you if you ate a peanut or two so you go girl! As for cute lil’ sista Nella, be still my heart! Happy 3rd belated birthday to you! Your posts ALWAYS make me happy and today’s now has me craving peanuts! :)

  26. I will want Lainey as my banker, my accountant, my pharmacist, my baker, my…..accuracy is important, I applaud the spark in her,the tenacity, the vigilance. I applaud that you honored itIyes, you did, like a biblical saint). And, Because you can’t smack me; peanuts in the shell next time. And, you just know your baby will affectionately be called “peanut,” you know it, yes, you do.

  27. Love this! So important to remember to stay in the present. But as a mom to a little one of a life threatening peanut allergy, please don’t send peanuts to school 😉 Many children w/ this allergy can react to peanuts airborne or just by touching an area that was previously touched by peanuts. We will be doing this same project this weekend… Counting in groups of 10 :)

  28. As a teacher, I can assure you she doesn’t have time to count the peanuts. A smiley face will come. I promise. :-)

  29. This might have been the best post of yours I have ever read. I was literally counting those darn peanuts in my head too! haha I love that those little moments you share of yours, feel so familiar to my own (or many of us for that matter) and bring the perspective of motherhood out so clearly. I could never articulate it as well as you do…so keep on. I love reading. And enjoy, RIGHT NOW.

  30. Ohhhh she probably won’t be allowed but either, eeeeeek!

  31. nice writing

  32. LMAO, this was such a funny post, I know you were done with them peanuts! You better check with her school and her bringing peanuts to school, here in Southern CA your child is not allowed to bring peanuts to school. Have a great rest of the week!

  33. LOVE THIS POST! As my 11 month old very insistently tried 1000 times over to put a straw back through the hole in his cup at dinner, I think I’ll be following in your footsteps soon. Kids and their perfectionism!

  34. My son chose something we had on hand for the 100 day celebration: Cheerios. My goodness, it’s annoying that Cheerios break so easily. We counted and recounted Cheerios a few times, poured them into a plastic bag, dropped a few, had to recount again, and then they were all pretty much dust by the time he got to school that day. Sigh.

  35. Had the EXACT same thing with soy nuts in our house today. EXACT same thing. I am a teacher and trust me….I now will see these projects I assign a little differently !!!!

  36. 1. That peanut story had me laughing and shaking my head at the same time – because if it had been me in your place, I, too, would have been inwardly cursing at those little nuts.

    2. Love the pics! Especially Nella smooching the horsey. Total heart melt on that one.

    3. Your puppy’s name is Latte? The dog and its name are too cute! Bat-dog has officially won my heart.

  37. That first photo of nella under the happy birthday sign – that’s a kelle smile. Sister smiles like her mama!

  38. I have so much trouble being patient with my kids in stuff like this, too!

    And please don’t take this the wrong way, but as a mom with a severely peanut-allergic kid, I slightly hyperventilated when I read your post. Are you sure there are no kids with peanut allergies in her class? :)

    Happy birthday to Nella! Her grin brings a smile to my face. What a cute blessing you have!

  39. Such a sweet story about the counting and celebrating of Nella’s birthday. I too am a mama to a little kindergartener girl. She has a severe peanut allergy and epi-pens are carried everywhere she goes. The paranoid mama in me cringed at the thought of peanuts going into a classroom, so I’m going to jump on the band wagon of suggesting that you run it past her teacher before she brings them in. Just in case there is a classmate with a peanut allergy. It’s the most terrifying feeling in the word to have your child to go into anaphylactic shock.

  40. I love the peanut story! You’ll have to tell her that when she’s older :)


  41. Oh nuts!!! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Happy Birthday Nella!! Adorable pics. .

  42. happy birthday nella! she looks so delighted with her cake :)

  43. Scoot ‘N Zoom ~ best $21 I ever spent at Walmart! We have a couple inside for 20 below zero days. Happy birthday to Nella; I’ve blog-watched her and your family since the birth story!

  44. Jasper has been assigned to bring in 100 of something as well to celebrate their 100th day of kindergarten in a couple of weeks. He wants to bring in little pieces of candy, I think he’s hoping he will get to eat it! Are they allowed to bring peanuts in?

  45. I too have had kids celebrate the cursed 100th day of school. We couldn’t just put ours in baggies though. Ours had to go on a poster. Not only did they have to go on a poster, but we had to put them in 10 groups of ten and circle each group! Lucky for me my now 2nd grader didn’t want 10 groups of 10 of the same item. Nope, we got to scour the cupboards for 10 different somethings to make 10 groups of! I feel your pain! :)

  46. Ah yes, the first child/accuracy bound, seriously lovely, rule follower, bean counter. We need and love them. Sorry too that I’m a day late with the muffin tin separator clue. Love the blog always, you make us laugh at our selves too.

  47. Happy 3rd Birthday Nella for Tuesday! Have lots of fun being Three! <3 <3 <3

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  49. The whole peanut thing had me cracking up.. couldnt stop laughing. ahhh, Happy birthday sweet Nella. :)

  50. I could totally picture you both sat there counting out peanuts and your frustration!

    I needed this reminder today to enjoy the “right now”.. I’m always worrying about what’s happening later or tomorrow or even next month.. Guess that goes part and parcel with having a type a personality :)

    Nella’s birthday photos are adorable! x

  51. Happy Birthday Nella Bean : )

  52. I love how very REAL the peanut story is! Moms everywhere can relate! Happy birthday to a baby girl who has changed my outlook on people…for real.

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  54. This is awesome. Seriously…I do this ALL the time with my kids…mostly the lower elementary age because it gets hard to fake it later on, but I SO much loved the whole peanut thing!

  55. Happy birthday to Nella! My youngest loved to light, blow, light the candle until there was only a nub. We patiently sang and lit and sang and lit. I have parts of it on video and wouldn’t take a million bucks for it. “Do gin.” -Do it again.

  56. So funny. I can totally relate to the peanut thing.

  57. Up high for dealing with a by the rules kid! My Logan is the same way! I’m knee deep in school projects and we are spending this weekend doing them! Sylvie picked 100 cupcakes so we are buying stickers. Maybe I should buy a few extras just in case….

  58. Speaking as a former kindergarten teacher I can assure you I always trusted the count from home : ) happy birthday to your lovely daughter!

  59. Too funny! Although I have to admit that my first reaction was “oh no! Not peanuts!” my little one is allergic so they aren’t allowed in school and especially not in her classroom. You guys are lucky if you don’t have any allergy sufferers. It can be hard :(

  60. Ditto Kimberly – I immediately thought, ACK! PEANUTS. I thought that almost every school prohibited them. My little guy is extremely allergic – it’s scary. However, this scene was so sweetly and hysterically written than I just mentally substituted “beans” and enjoyed. Wonderful post as always :)

  61. Like so many other commenters so surprised your school will allow peanuts ( at least hopefully for Lainey’s sake they will- funny story). Peanuts in a classroom could actually kill my daughter. She goes to Kindergarten in the fall and I’m scared to death to send her.

  62. The peanut scene is so awesome! Sweet Lainey who wants everything to be perfect.

    Nella’s birthday was lovely.
    Happy weekend

    A 17-year-old girl who’s going to enjoy a tan afternoon :)

  63. aha! this Peanut story cracked — no pun intended – me up, but my fear the whole time was OMG all this work and the teachers won’t even open them due to allergies… Good luck, Lainey! Hoping for a smiley face :)

  64. Happy Birthday, Nella!
    You are so beautiful!

  65. Aw – happy day to Nella! The peanuts are too funny. Gabe is a rule follower, too. Thankfully, his kindergarten teacher required 100 pieces of cereal, which doesn’t break in the same way peanuts do. They each dumped their 100 pieces of cereal into a big bowl, mixed them together, and each ate a cupful. Totally skeeved me out to think of them eating cereal where EVERY piece had been touched!

  66. omg What is up with all the peanut allergies? My two sons are also deathly allergic to peanuts. They seemed to be the only ones in their class who were,
    as they were growing up. When I was little, I knew no one with a peanut allergy. What changed, I wonder?

  67. Happy Birthday! My first baby girl just turned two, and we did lots of candle lighting and blowing out too! How precious they are and how quickly time flies!

  68. You can send peanuts? I’m shocked. Most schools in our area have stopped allowing them in schools (which, GREAT since I have a child very allergic to peanuts!).

  69. I miss reading your blog regularly. My life has taken a turn, for the better but that means less time for reading about you and your lovely family. I noticed Nella got her hair cut a while back. She is so adorable. And Lainey, she may be on track for being an accountant (I might be the same way). Congrats to you for having the patience to count out the peanuts. I don’t think I would have lasted that long. I have been praying for more patience but that is such a double edged sword. Perhaps that is why it seems challenged so much . . . Anyway, I miss reading about you guys. I can’t wait to meet the little man and hear about your new adventures. It’s going to be awesome. Take care of yourself. Thanks, as always for sharing.

  70. As a family who also just celebrated a 3rd birthday, your images melted my heart…

  71. Beautiful “right now” moments. I absolutely love your style of photography…you capture the moment each time!! They have so much emotions and movement…like you can actually hear Nella giggling with her pony and Lainey’s bear feet going in circles as she peddles.
    Your not so love affair with peanuts…great story! Had me laughing out loud from the Mama’s perspective “inwardly swear at peanuts…at that stupid little spyglass and cane Mr. Peanut is wearing…” but see it from Lainey’s perspective too. I have survived 6 100 days of school with my two boys…lots of counting and re-counting. My favourite was last year when my youngest was in Grd2 and in love with his teacher. He came up with the idea of collecting 100 Mrs. Sapieha’s hugs. I took a picture of him giving her a hug then made 100 copies of if (2×3). It melted this Mama’s heart…and his teacher’s.
    Thanks for sharing your stories and having a place for us to share ours.

  72. I am a HUGE dog lover so I just wanted to say that Batdog made my day! I love reading your blog and seeing pictures of your beautiful family and it’s always a bonus when you throw in a pic or two of your adorable doggies. Thank you. :-) Also, Happy Birthday to your sweet and beautiful Nella.

  73. I laughed HARD, getting a visual of the counting of the separating peanuts….may I suggest Dixie cups!

    xoxo, Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  74. I love the way you tell these “simple” stories…and I was chuckling at the many times the peanuts had to be recounted. Thanks for the “right now” reminder.

  75. The counting of peanuts cracked me up! I remember those days… teacher knows everything,, I knew nothing. :) The perfectionist child requires patience of steel. My daughter wouldn’t put her shoes on until the toe line on her socks was perfectly straight. Ugggghhh!

  76. your photography is inspiring, and your girls are just darling. happy three years to you both!

  77. The peanuts, OMG! That sounds just like my 6YO son. He’s not done until everything has dissolved into tears and frustration! Thankfully we only had to bring two bags of gummy bears for his 100 days of school. Haha.

  78. I laughed and laughed at your peanut story. Because I lived the same story on Tuesday evening with my sweet little kindergartener girl, Ayla. We were counting yogurt covered blueberries and 10 groups of 10 did NOT work for her. She NEEDED to count them individually to 100. Sigh. I’m hoping first grade’s 100 day project goes a tad smoother 😉

  79. I well remember the 100th day of school activities!! We went out and bought 100 cheap barretts and hair bows and I spent the early morning hours of that day putting them all in her hair! 100 pieces of flair. I love looking at pictures of her before she left for school and remembering the things that were important to my daughter at that time in her life… and knowing I took the time to make them happen with her! Kudos to you and your 100 peanut memories with your precious daughter :)

  80. I can totally relate to the counting debacle…and bursted into random happy tears at your last line about peanuts (my little ones are about the same age). So good!

  81. lovely…

  82. I can so relate to what you are working on with Laney. My son is also in kindergarten in Naples and the 100th day celebration seems to be a big deal. Also, I love the pictures of Nella’s birthday (which my son, Stevie shares with her). She is so cute!

  83. I think I’m still rolling around and laughing on the floor from this post. Love it Kelle, you’re an awesome mom. I hope to be half as awesome as a mother you are when I grow up!

    unicorn on sister,


  84. Where did you get that high chair? I am pretty much in love with it. :)

  85. Oh my gosh! I had no idea you were pregnant! I haven’t been able to read much, I’m going to have to go do some back-reading.
    Congratulations, mama! How awesome!
    Lol, you and Annie both. You both have two beautiful girls, about the same age apart, and now you’re both pregnant with boys, lol. So awesome.

  86. Loved and giggled at the peanut story!

  87. a son! that’s gonna be weird. good weird, but different. i gotta tell you i loveyour girls. thanks for letting me be a part of your celebrations…your right nows.

  88. Happy Birthday Nella!

    And I am impressed that you were so patient with the peanut counting. And just as a response to the others with the peanut free schools, at my daughter’s school I think it is divided by classroom, so my daughter does not have any peanut allergies kindergarten friends in her classroom and can even bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to school. I think they have the kids with the allergies at different tables.

  89. I teach first grade and hate the 100th day project just as much as you. My grade level continues to win the battle of keeping it. I can assure you, the teacher will not count them. If she does, she has WAY too much time on her hands. :) You are the patience queen too, by the way!

    Love Nella’s birthday pictures too!

  90. I love reading your blog! It always brings a smile to my face and takes me back to remembering what is most important!! Being a mommy is an amazing thing!!

    Candles, pom poms, or gold coins are a few things we have done for 100 day;)

  91. Oh goodness, our dog that we call Puppy has ears just like that. Same color poodle. She is teeny, although 9 years old. Her ‘given’ name was Batgirl, but I just couldn’t call her that. So, Puppy it was, and she still looks like a puppy, she never got that old poodle look. :)
    Of all things you write about, this is what I comment on. Whatever. hahaha…

  92. Oh, the peanuts! You most definitely have more patience than I do. I almost don’t want to ever see another peanut just reading about it! And I just adore Latte!

  93. Happy Birthday Nella!

    Happy Birth Day to you. Amazing the perspective that time and experience provide.

    May I make an unsolicited piece-of-advice commentary? Perfectionism, when tempered, is not all bad. Were it not for perfectionism planes would never land, surgery wouldn’t even be an option and electrical supply would be spotty. There is a perfectionist behind a host of luxuries we often accept as commonplace. Granted, perfectionism can squelch creativity and even be a crippling pressure. I’m sure you will find a way around that and help Lainey channel this tendency in a productive way.

    a heavily criticized perfectionist

  94. Nella looks so much like you in the photo where she is blowing out her candle!

  95. I just laughed out loud reading: “It’s called your-mom’s-gonna-bullshit-this-for-you”. This is exactly why I have been reading and enjoying your writing for 3 years now; for the instant human/mother connection. Thank you.

  96. I just had to laugh about getting ready for the 100th day of.school. I am a kindergarten teacher and our 100th day is Tuesday and my kids also have to bring in a collection of 100. I did suggest in the letter home that the kids count out sets of 10 and then count by 10’s to 100. Love your blog. Have been following for years. Happy birthday Nella!

  97. Glad that she started over and over and over again. Accuracy and honesty are important at any age!

  98. You are so blessed with two gorgeous girls, but son? A little boy just STEALS your heart. We didn’t find out the sex of our second, and for the longest time I really didn’t care…until I was in labor. Then I wanted another girl, a sister for my Ava. And we were oh so lucky to have a little boy. He absolutely stole my heart. I cannot wait to “meet” your boy! :) (and the peanuts…counting…I can definitely relate to the wanting to be RIGHT mindset)

  99. I’ve just realized that my niece, Kaylee Madeline, was born on Nella’s third birthday. I’m so happy to learn that she and Nella are birthday buddies, and I hope that she brings as much joy to my brother and his wife as your girl has brought to you.

  100. If that teacher actually counts the 100 items for any of the students she deserves a sticker that says “I have no life” if she/he counts the 100 items for all of the students it is time for an intervention – I reckon you are the woman for the job too!
    Lovely pics of Nella’s birthday, happy birthday to her.

  101. Happy Birthday Nella! Three years ago on New Years day I gave birth to our son and found out he had designer genes. He had a long NICU stay because he was born early and while he was in the NICU one of the nurses told me about your blog. I have been a fan ever since. Thank you for sharing. I have been following your journet and you have given me much strength and happiness. Thank you!! Here is to many more happy years!!

  102. happy birthday to nella :)! btw, could totally relate to the peanut story. laughing out loud at that one…

  103. Funny, I had to laugh at this. After 10 years of teaching I am there too. I JUST wrote a newsletter to my parents (I also teach Kindergarten) giving suggestions on 100 items. I explicitly said NO peanuts and recommended items that would not break, roll, etc. In class it is devastating to the kids to have the situation you explained above play out! And, FYI, we do count them: by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. If she doesn’t have 100, what a great teachable moment on being flexible and adapting, the best life skill ever!

  104. I just came across your blog and am so thrilled to have found it. We are adopting a baby girl with Down syndrome and I’m so excited to see such a supportive community being gathered! I cried all the way through the little video – good cry. :) Looking forward to following along and learning from you.

  105. smiley sticker heck no, Gold star for Laney!! One for Mama too
    Happy b day to sweet Nella

  106. Love this. We counted 100 of those little conversation hearts, and had to glue them onto poster board (in the shape of a heart, of course). I made my son count groups of 10. Those little buggers are really hard to stick, so guess who burned the living daylights out of her fingers with the glue gun. That would be me.

  107. That picture of Nella blowing out the candle on her cupcake is so adorable! Happy Birthday Nella!!!!

  108. Happy Birthday to your sweet little angel! I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to follow along with her first three years – and look forward to continuing to see her grow into such a beautiful little lady!!!

  109. i love the ‘right now’
    the appreciation of peanuts and birthdays all rolled into one.
    happy birthday nella!
    you should be able to relight and blow out your candle as many times as you wish :)

  110. Thank you for this post! My kindergartener, Nadia, also had her 100 day project this week. I’ll make sure there are no peanuts anywhere in the house! Lainey is amazing at handling her frustration, I know we would never get to the third or fourth recount. Now, off to find a nice solid little item we can count !

  111. Thank you for this post! My kindergartener, Nadia, also had her 100 day project this week. I’ll make sure there are no peanuts anywhere in the house! Lainey is amazing at handling her frustration, I know we would never get to the third or fourth recount. Now, off to find a nice solid little item we can count !

  112. Kelle….
    I just finished leaving a comment to some Blogger whose friend lost her baby girl, which, as you can imagine, was depressing. But this. Your story about the peanuts? CRACK me up!! Every pun intended!! Thanks for the feel-good laughs tonight!! 😉

  113. Love the picture of Nella with the horses!

    When she has finished dusting your place, send her round. I’m hiring!!!!

  114. Aw, Lainey. That’s so much pressure for a little girl. Especially a perfectionist, little girl.
    Top marks for being so patient, Kelle!

  115. I loooooooved the peanut story. Loved it! Made me laugh so much that my seven-year old asked if everything was allright?

  116. Kelle,
    You’re “real” and I love that! Every mother alive has had a frustrating / funny “peanut type story” to tell, but you have a talent for telling it best!

    The girls are adorable — love that Lainey gets to decorate the storage containers, and Nella’s birthday smiles are precious!

    Take care during this countdown to meeting baby brother!

  117. Your blog and the pictures of these girls seriously makes me smile every single day. But oh what I would do to never see a peanut again if I were in your shoes. Haha…how sweet is little Lainey! You’ve got to love them at that age. Have a great weekend dear!

  118. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your darling Nella!!!Her and I share a Birthday!!!
    Right Now…I hope your days and weeks ahead will be Magical!!

  119. I stopped by your blog after someone mentioned your birth story in one of their posts.. Like probably everyone else who read your story, my eyes filled with tears as I read your words with such honesty and such heart. Your daughters are both beautiful!

  120. Hi there! I stumbled upon your blog by accident today, and I just want you to know that I have been staring at it all day! Your kids are gorgeous, and you are such a great mom! I don’t have any kids myself, but I hope that when I do I can be half as great a mom as you are. Keep up the good work. Congrats on the new baby!

  121. dear kelle,
    I think you’d much enjoy this news story about a young musician in central va ~


  122. As I was reading about your sweet little girl’s counting her peanuts to the very last hundredth, I imagined my son (6 y.o.) doing exactly the same, should he find himself in the same situation. Think about him just in case you are seeking for an Italian husband for Lainey (!) but wait at least until he can count to a hundred in English (we’re at *twelve* right now, but he’s improving…).
    Happy birthday to Nella!
    Greetings form Italy,

  123. I love this story of peanuts. I felt like I was sitting at your kitchen table with you, feeling both the humor and frustration of this situation. And of course, in true fashion, you brought it all so perfectly together in the end, stating you’re so happy because you have all of your peanuts. It’s perfection. Happy Birthday to beautiful Nella! It sounds like you’re savoring this last month of pregnancy. Enjoy all your precious moments.

  124. Never laughed harder in my life. Having a kindergartner currently, I heard and felt this experience more than you could know, thanks for the brilliant laugh tonight. Enjoy your peanuts!!


  125. An individual made some nice items there. Used to do any look up the subject along with identified most people will go along with together with your web site. Embroidered shirts

  126. So here’s my question. Why does Lainey’s teacher hate you and the other parents? Counting 100 of anything? My son’s in pre-K, and god help me if his wonderful teacher gives him an assignment to find 100 things. That might have to be one of those assignments I accidentally lose.

    Happy birthday to sweet Nella. Mine was on the 24th. You tell Nella that around these parts, we do birthday MONTH because birthdays are awesome.

  127. I LOVED the birthday pictures!! And I loved remembering 100’s day. When you do it the last time, I promise it will be sad!

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