The Key to Failure

Sitting on the edge of our bathtub this afternoon, waiting for my hair dye to calm the rapidly growing grays, I watched as Lainey skipped into the bathroom wearing her usual getup–a princess dress/pajama top/three-hair-clip ensemble.  She carried her hot pink Fisher Price camera in one hand and wore a look of determination. 

“Whatcha doin’?” I asked.

“Takin’ pictures,” she answered as she kneeled down to the floor–an inch away from a spot on the tile– pulled her bulky camera to her face and clicked.  She looked at the fuzzy image on the screen, smiled, and turned it towards me.  A blurry picture of a spot on tile. 

“Awesome,” I commended.  She continued with her photography project, dragging a stool next to the toilet and climbing higher for the perfect composition of the porcelain throne.  She even thought to shut the toilet lid before she clicked because sister knows how to frame a good shot.  Again, she reviewed her work in the tiny camera screen, smiled her approval–okay, this time she laughed–and then ran off to take more pictures. 

I found her camera later and scrolled through fifteen hundred blurry pictures which included family members, stuffed animals propped up with blankets, naked dolls, tile squares, empty walls and yes, toilets.  I had to smile.  Go on, girl.  Look for beauty.  And if you find it in toilets then sister, you really do have unicorn genes.

We scored our beauty last night in a place that didn’t require digging for it, or climbing stools to compose it.  It lavishly spills out at the orange grove, and it’s more a matter of grabbing containers (a.k.a cameras, exclamations–er, happycusswords) to scoop it up.



Oh, Nella had a fit about her boots.  And wanted to be held.  And our stroller wheels got stuck in deep sandy ant hills, forcing the stroller to come to an abrupt halt which kind of made everything inside–namely my kid–get whiplash.  Which made me whisper curse words.  And it wasn’t perfect per say, but oh that doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful.  Or that those curse-worthy moments weren’t far outshined by happy ones.  Because we drove to this lil’ ‘ol grove with that purpose, and I’ll be damned if we didn’t fulfil our mission. If you look for the good, you will find it.




We stayed longer than we should have, stretching out a normal picking session by letting the girls do most of the plucking. Which, to them means taking five minutes to pick out one perfect orange (unfortunately, ripeness has nothing to do with it), pulling at it for a very long time, falling to the ground when it snaps, hauling it over to the bucket and beginning again with the search for the next one.  Times fifty.



It was a good night. You might even call it picturesque.  I mean, rows of orange trees, golden sun flare, smiling girls, citrus scents, the gray grove cat that slithered between trees and brushed its body against Lainey’s boots, sending her giggling.  In fact, based on the photos, it looks damn near perfect. And pictures represent someone’s life 100%, of course, so we could just conclude that we have the perfect life–or at least that’s what I would like to trick everyone into believing.  I poop glitter, remember?



Sarcasm is not the most powerful tool and sometimes just the easy way out for me to deal with something, so I’ll rein in the unicorn quips and cut to the chase.

It’s a question I’m often asked, one that many bloggers or writers or artists or anyone who puts himself out there faces:  How do you deal with negative criticism, mean comments, etc.?  This topic spurred by definitely-not-the-first negative comment I received last night on Instagram, in reference to an orange grove picture that happened to include, I’m sorry to say, smiling and sunshine and cute boots in one picture.  Which is like, blasphemy, I guess.  And there I go again, letting the sarcasm creep in which is, in case you didn’t know, a little red flag we use to detour people from the hidden truth of Mean Comments Sometimes Hurt Our Feelings. And saying “we” and “our” to make that statement collective is another little red flag we I use to water down the fact that it’s personal.  That sometimes they hurt my feelings.

It was one of the usual (I can categorize them now that I’ve been doing this for a few years). Something along the lines of you-and-your-perfect-fake-life.  I think the words childish and glitter were also used–an interesting choice because kids and glitter happen to be two of my favorite things.  I don’t always have time to read every single comment, although I try.  And it’s very rare that I would respond to a negative one or even take the time to delete it because I understand people have the right to not only formulate their opinion about me or my work, but they have a right to voice it. 

I pick this particular occassion to write about this because the comment hit a lot of nerves on IG.  Over a hundred people wrote in response to this individual, and there was a lot of love shared that–I’ll be honest–felt good, even though I think it’s important to separate ourselves and our work from feedback, period.  Being praised can be just as harmful as being criticized if you’re not careful.  Your work, your voice, your words, your art, your gifts you have to give to the world–their value has nothing to do with the response you receive from them.  Social media can complicate that truth, and good feedback can trick you into thinking “I am good because people like what I put out there.”  That’s not true.  Ever. 

Validation is an interesting thing though, and no matter how strong or unphased by criticism we are, there is an undeniable human desire to have people like what we feel passionate about–our art, our words, our stories, our styles, our writing, our opinions.  It’s why we sometimes feel hesitant to publish or share.  What will people think? 

Let me answer that.  If you share, if you publish, if you write, if you speak, if you are brave and decide to put yourself out there, I promise you, someone won’t like it.  Someone won’t agree with you.  Someone will misinterpret.  Someone will think that you are silly, unqualified and that your work is crap.  That you are crap.  They might not just think it but they might tell you.  And that won’t feel good, especially not the first time you hear it.  But it is necessary.  And it’s okay.

My friend Melina is a fabulous writer.  She lives an adventurous life and writes riveting accounts of her excursions.  She is funny and witty and brave in her writing.  Sometimes I read her stories and think “I want to write like that.”  Her blog readership has understandably increased the last year and I wasn’t surprised when I recently received an e-mail from her–sister’s first really really nasty comment. Girlfriend took a punch to the gut, and I’m not going to lie–it was a doozy.  The commenter went for the jugular and beyond.  In summary, the comment wasted a lot of needless words to say “You. Are. Crap.”  And Melina’s e-mail to me went something like “I am shaking, I am pissed, I am processing this.”  And I shook my head and smiled and thought, “I get it, I get it, I get it.”  I promised her that she would grow confidence and understanding faster than a Chia Pet grows sprouts–that it was good and normal she felt this way and that this whole experience would help her own her words, her style, her work and be proud of it.  I told her that the hurtful words shared had nothing to do with Melina and everything to do with this commenter’s pain or insecurities or desire to do what Melina is doing.  Within two days, Melina was on a roll again.  Wrote a hilarious piece in response to that hurtful criticism and then moved on…fiercely.  She’s more confident in her writing–I can tell.

For me, receiving negative criticism has been an important tool in self awareness and owning my voice.  I’ve gone from believing what mean comments pointed out (I am a horrible person and I suck at writing), getting angry with the people who wrote them (You are a horrible person and you suck at leaving comments) and doubting if writing publicly was really something I wanted to do to a completely different place of understanding and compassion–both for myself and the people who are hurting enough to project it in a carefully crafted you-are-crap comment.  I have a dear friend who has helped me with this.  She talks about pain–how we are all hurting–and she helps me see nastiness in the world as the need for more love.  Does that sound unicornish?  Maybe, but it has helped me move forward and embrace cutting comments both in and outside of this little Internet, as an opportunity to initiate more kindness.  We’ve all been there–the hurting one. 

Honesty is important too.  It’s easy to snap back at nastiness with “Sorry you’re so miserable,” but it’s okay to simply acknowledge that, yep, it feels icky to hear or read bad things about ourselves. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves “Why does this bother me?” and to face the answers that awaken–maybe things that aren’t easy to face.  Growth follows…Chia Pet growth.

Where does it get you in the end? Well, there is no end. And there shouldn’t be because when we lose the ability to have our feelings hurt, we are no longer vulnerable. I love vulnerable art and writing and music and sharing. It’s what makes it good.

The risk for citicism for any endeavor we take on is guaranteed. You face it bravely. You own your voice.  You learn from the good and the bad and you use it to be better. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” I love that quote.  I’m learning to live that quote, to teach it to my kids.  Their happiness depends on it.  And it’s helped me focus on what I love to do and to navigate the path of “putting myself out there” with confidence.

Tonight, I am happy to share photos that make me smile, reminders of a world rich with things that make us come alive–people and places, sights and scents that draw us away from the other things we share–the stressful stuff.  Those things are a given and will naturally emerge.

But sometimes, perfect evenings appear among not-so-perfect lives. Cute boots, optional.





I have some beautiful toilet photos to upload from a five-year-old artist, if you’ll excuse me.

Have a wonderful night.



Leave a Comment
  1. A new post yay! Now for reading it :)

  2. Laranjas! ahahahahaha

  3. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” —love love love this quote. Beautiful post tonight and something we all need to remember.

  4. I love that you are vulnerable and real, I love your perspective on negative feedback, I loved your response on IG last night (props for staying classy…not sure if I could have), I love that you shared your wisdom with us. You inspire on several levels, including the ways that you’re not perfect. :) Thanks for sharing all of it with us!

  5. This is so so well timed, as I have just recently put myself “out there” and have already faced negative energy. But, like I wrote about on “The Change” I believe we need to meet all negativity with positivity. Have you read that children’s book about the bucket? I think it’s called “Have You Filled A Bucket Today”? Such a wonderful and simple read that explains many complex adult issues! The good always outnumbers. So glad you are at a place of peace so that one rotten orange doesn’t ruin it for the whole bunch of us. And thank you so very much for sharing that wonderful quote and your lives with us.

  6. Bravo to you for not letting a rude individual get the better of you. I am amazed at how nasty people can be from behind a computer keyboard. Keep enjoying your life, best revenge EVER!

  7. This reminds me of something you said at the Chicago book tour meet and greet…”hurting people hurt.” I never heard that before and it’s really changed my perspective these past couple months.

  8. I do believe this is my fist ime commenting, although a long time reader……just one question. How did you get so freakin smart? Seriously? This is one ofyour best post, in my opinionof course.

  9. I like that you are honest about life. I like that you focus on the good stuff, because Heaven help us, we all know there is plenty of negativity in the world. It makes me a little sad that you said you don’t read comments. I guess we all want our voices to be heard.

    Love your orange grove pictures! So funny about how they don’t always pick the ripe ones.

    Last if all, thank you for sharing. I appreciate you.

  10. “Beautiful toilet photos to upload” makes me smile ear to ear and rejoice for you. Bet you were talking about G helping you and I love that since I’m sure you’ve been helping her too. No one lives a perfect life; love more, laugh more and give grace. I’ve learned that from you. Thanks.

  11. @Life with Kaishon,
    Oh but yes I do! I try and read most of them. Always. And I’ve seen yours over the last three years and know that profile picture. :o)

  12. Beautiful pictures and beautiful words. Love it. We passed a few orange groves in our travels this past weekend and I was itching to get out of the car and pick a few…

  13. I haven’t commented in ages. Years perhaps even. But Kelle, this is one of your best posts to date!! So applicable beyond the blogosphere even. Thank you thank you! Keep on preaching sister!!

  14. What beauty you possess. I am honored to read your blog. Xoxo.

  15. I agree with your friend who states that perhaps these ‘negative people’ are in need of some love, but it doesn’t stop the sting when their words are aimed at you. I really don’t understand people’s negativity towards blogs etc portraying positivity? Surely they can understand its only a snapshot out of a life?

    What do they want to read about? How shitty your day was cause you woke up to an untidy kitchen, got your period and then cleaned out the garage! Seriously?

    I love reading about your positive outlook on life… It keeps me happy, positive and motivated!

  16. I totally adore Nella’s purple flower skirt!!! How much fun it must be to pick fresh oranges Mmm.xx

  17. What beauty you possess. I am honored to read your blog. Xoxo.

  18. For the record, these are my favorite kind of posts from you, Kelle. Your honesty makes your writing that much better and your perspective on it all is what so inspirational. My heart hopes you got just as much out of writing it all out as we did reading it. :) Have a beautifully imperfect weekend!

  19. I am so happy you posted this! I am an artist that got some negative criticism from a lady at church. After reading your beautiful post I feel like I can move on. Its been almost 6 months since I picked up a paint brush (Unless you consider applying mod podge with a brush onto some shrinky dinks as “painting”) and have been doing some fun but “safe” jewelry making since. I have a jewelry shop which is what I do for a living but painting is where I find the most joy. Where I can explore the different parts of my creativity and personality. I’m painting as soon as I wake up. I’ve been living safe and have not been myself. Your words have changed so much in my life, already; I am so thankful you have been brought into it!! I look up to you in so many ways! Thank you for being there, Kelle!!!

  20. Way to bloom in the face of negativity! Loved your response last night and love your post tonight. Keep shining- you glitter pooping unicorn you- keep shining!!

  21. Now I’ve read it, I’m sad. Nothing like a big ‘ol meanie to put a damper on things (I used poppa appropriate language, not what I really wanted to say). I just want you to know that I am touched by your words on a regular basis and I’m so sad that people are mean… It’s a grown up version of “Queen Bees and Wannabees.” It blows. I mean, really blows a big… Well never mind. I want you to know you are loved. You have taught me to shift my perception. And most of all you are NOT, and NEVER will be, crap. I realize you likely know all of these things; however, I feel compelled so –there you go. Sending you some love.

  22. Possibly my favorite post. Ever. As a blogger with a smaller readership, I’m often discouraged and I feel like I’m lacking in areas that I wish I was rocking. Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning that the response we get has nothing to do with how valuable our gifts are. We all live imperfect lives but, we sure DO deserve to create, focus and enjoy the beautiful moments!

  23. There is so much ugly in the world. But without it, would we notice the beauty? Thank you for reminding us why you do what you do and why we should do whatever it is we do: because we need to. Because it fulfills us. Not to make others happy. Or sad. But just to be ourselves. I love your glittery unicorn heart

  24. It’s funny, your blog is where I come to “get happy”. The world is filled with hate and hurt and coming here gives me hope – I don’t give a crap if its fake or not πŸ˜‰ here’s the thing – sometimes I come here and I admit it. I’m jealous. Not because your life is perfect but because you always have something positive to say. Because you have support of so many. Because you can make anything look fun and happy. My posts are usually the opposite – the craziest things happen to me broken brand new vans, brand new fridge leaks water all over, kids with night terrors, weird crazy random crap happens to me. Like every day. I post it because its funny to me. But the other day someone said they stopped following me because I was so “negative”, I never had anything good to say and they were tired of hearing about my miserable life. The irony? I love my life. I’m the happiest I have been in years. Too happy, too sad – you can’t win em all. Don’t change a thing. Keep posting happy. Keep taking is to the damn unicorn farm. We love it here that’s why we keep coming back :)

  25. Oh, gotta love the toilet pics! So glad Orange Grove Cat got a mention πŸ˜€ Have a great night yourself!

  26. Awesome. I TOTALLY needed to hear this today. Thank you. :)

  27. While I admit my first response was “oh thank god she swears!” in addition, I found this post enormously valuable for this reminder: Your work, your voice, your words, your art, your gifts you have to give to the world–their value has nothing to do with the response you receive from them.

    I needed to hear that. Thank you.

  28. I wanted to blast that woman when I read her comment…to staunchly defend unicorns and glitter and beach sunsets and all that is right and magical in the world. I commented, but held back because everyone has a right to their opinion, and I figure she must have something going on in her life that made her lash out at you. And as expected, you handled your response with perfect grace. Yay Kelle!!

  29. And that is why I love you! Keep doing you, sister! I love your writting and your blog has lead me on a wonderful path filled with love and happiness! Seek the good and you will find it!! :)

  30. Once again you show your grace. Shall one forget the title of your blog. You are living your life true to who YOU are and for that I ( and many many others) applaud you.

    I do not have this issue..being criticized by those who do not know me and the totality of my world. But I do know my own expectations of things. Which can really dampen being able to “enjoy” the little things in life. I am curious about your thoughts about how you handle your own expectations of how things “should” be and what actually happens. (Ie, the orange grove) I’m not naive. I have 2 littles and understand and accept there are more times than not when things just turn out the way you hoped. Acceptance. Patience. Faith. Would love other perspectives.

  31. So well written. So wise!

  32. I think my favorite (okay, second favorite) part of this post is the idea that compliments can be just as dangerous as criticism. That leaves me a lot to think about. This new years eve, I literally thought “what should i do that I can write about that will be as cool as maybe people expect it to be?” WOAH. it was my first solid ‘image’ over ‘authentic’ thought. So i combatted it: new years alone, eating a chicken sandwhich from subway because that’s what i wanted, darn it, reading a book about how positive thoughts manifest real shit (yes, THAT book) and visiting with one good friend earlier on in the evening. (that I- shocker!- slept next to that night. because, you know, i had to work.)

    love this. love glitter. love boots. love you.

  33. I think my favorite (okay, second favorite) part of this post is the idea that compliments can be just as dangerous as criticism. That leaves me a lot to think about. This new years eve, I literally thought “what should i do that I can write about that will be as cool as maybe people expect it to be?” WOAH. it was my first solid ‘image’ over ‘authentic’ thought. So i combatted it: new years alone, eating a chicken sandwhich from subway because that’s what i wanted, darn it, reading a book about how positive thoughts manifest real shit (yes, THAT book) and visiting with one good friend earlier on in the evening. (that I- shocker!- slept next to that night. because, you know, i had to work.)

    love this. love glitter. love boots. love you.

  34. It is SO awesome of you to post this: “Good feedback can trick you into thinking ‘I am good because people like what I put out there.’ That’s not true. Ever.”

    The fact that you understand this makes your lifestyle blog, with all its unicorns and glitter, stand out. And for the record, I don’t think it’s fake. I know many, many people in real life that do the whole 9 yards with matching pajamas, photographs, and theme parties…not because they want to show off, but because it is FUN!!

    And so are you.

  35. I don’t want to compliment you too much, Kelle, but this was brilliant. :-) Seriously, so wise. I learned something from this too, and I love your perspective on it.

  36. Thank you for your words! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and I wanted you to know how inspirational you are and how much you have helped me grow as a human being. Crazy to say to someone I have never met, but I only speak the truth :)
    Ps. It’s nice to know there is someone else in the world who loves unicorns just as much as me!

  37. “Your work, your voice, your words, your art, your gifts you have to give to the world–their value has nothing to do with the response you receive from them.”

    Love this. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing such gut level good truth!

  38. So well said!

    I read different bloggers for different reasons. You, I read for inspiration and beauty and your obvious love of life. I love that even the small things become fabulous in front of your lens.

    Of course we know life is not picture perfect. Nobody’s is. But I love to dream and imagine and find the ways life is beautiful each and every day. Your blog helps.

    Much love to you!

  39. I loved this Kelle! Well said, for a girl who’s name in google search pulls up Kelle Hampton is Annoying, you own your voice, and I am proud of you for it. Because for every Kelle hater out there there are ten that love you! Me being one :)

  40. My pastor says ” Hurt people, hurt people.” It always seems to clear things up a little for me. Kelle.. Go forth and continue being your awesome dang self!

  41. I saw said IG comments and for a moment thought I would respond. In the end I decided that “hurt people, hurt people”. Obviously there are people in the world who don’t like you or me or the blog next door. Nothing we say, do, share or give will change that.
    I did however venture over to her tumblr site and saw that she herself had had a bad week.
    The saying is true that no one knows the battle we each face, kindness should always rule. But when it doesnt and mean comments come along the best I know to do is think about what terrible times the commentor must be having to have such nastiness inside them.
    I hope that she finds some peace and happiness in her life.
    Im proud of how you handle yourself in these situations…so many just get angry and before you know it comment world war 3 has broken out.
    Chin up lady, you are living the dream…bad words, fussy babies, sleepless night and of course unicorns pooping glitter…and that is perfect. The world could use more glitter pooping unicorns! :-)

  42. It is always so strange to me, that people feel their opinions should be shouted from rooftops. Even the good ones could be watered down sometimes, but especially the negative and/or hurtful ones. I’ve said it so, so many times and will always say it I guess… but why can’t we all just be nice?!
    Why not just channel that energy into doing something GOOD and promoting whatever it is you’re promoting. Be the change you wish the see, and such.
    Well-spoken Kelle. So very glad to have found your blog recently!

  43. Your blog is like a fresh citrus smell in my life. Can’t wait to see the little dude in cute footwear, too!

  44. Kelle, I met you very briefly in San Diego. I thought you were lovely, and when you spoke you seemed so real and authentic. It meant a lot to me watching you speak in person. I have to admit, it does sometimes seem like your life is all unicorns and fairy gardens, hell,I even envy the great relationship you have with your dad…but as with anybody, you choose what you choose to share. And we all know that your life isn’t perfect. And if it were me, of course I’d share the best stuff too…its the same on instagram,I mean honestly, who wants to see a picture of my toilet? Keep on doing what you’re doing.You seem great…Really. πŸ˜‰

  45. I’ve been reading your blog forever and finished your book in 4 days and I’m pretty sure we are best friends even though we’ve never met. :) Love how you write, love your sarcasm and then you pointing out the sarcasm. Ha. Love every word of every post!

  46. You know, I follow you on IG, and I have read some things people say. I just don’t get it? WHY? Why waste the energy being a tool to bring someone else down when they could just click that button to unfollow you?

    It seems so simple!

    Sometimes life gets crap and it makes sense not to project it out to people. I mean people like the good and the happy. Something they can dream is perfect.

    Anyway, I don’t get why someone would think hanging out with your children is childish. I mean. They’re kids. Are you supposed to make them act like mini adults?

    You. Are. NOT. Crap.

    You are wonderful and inspirational!

  47. yes.

  48. I’m sorry you were hurt! I witness comments often and am always left with the thoughts “if they don’t like me why do they care enough to ____.” The truth for me is that if I don’t care about someone I wouldn’t bother looking at their photo/page/post, but if I am jealous I might stalk and get emotional. I know that I’d never use words to put someone down, though.

    Just keep being kelle. I’d love anything you posted -unicorns aside πŸ˜‰ You could post all pictures of the girls, your coffee, etc and I wouldn’t get tired of you being “just a mom” like me :)

  49. you’re awesome … so.not.crap.

    words hurt so very badly. i’m still trying to recover from a very long, complicated relationship in which words became the weapon of choice and i don’t care who ever quotes that ‘sticks and stones’ nonsense because that? that is crap.

    keep spreading the good news about unicorns and glitter. there are a good number of us that appreciate it (and need it) more than you’ll ever know.

  50. I haven’t commented on a post in years. But tonight I just wanted to tell you what your blog has meant to me. I learn by watching what others do. It’s how I have to learn everything. I did not learn how to be a great mom; I think my mom didn’t know how to be. The idea of fairies and unicorns, parties and glitter is very foreign to me. But I see so much joy, love and happiness in those things. It inspires me to find out what kind of mom I really want to be. Are your passions for those things mine as well? No, but I love to bake. And baking with my daughter is how I spread happiness and love. Do I think your life is perfect? No way. But this is your blog and if you want to show the world how you give love and see love then so be it. The world is full of enough negativity; we all have enough to share but finding enjoyment in the small things, well for some of us we need as much of that as we can get.

  51. Your daughter are so beautiful!!

  52. You know, we aren’t all perfect and we don’t all lead a perfect life, that’s what makes us unique. I’m 30 and I’m single and I thought I’d have been married and be leading that perfect life by now. It took me quite a long time to actually come to terms with that not being the case and I’ve come to see that right now the life I lead is as perfect as I can make it.

    Last night I was talking to my mum about my degree in photography and how I don’t work in that field anymore, how I’ve seen another friend pick up where I left off and how I feel that I really had no talent after all. Mum reminded me of many things(namely to do with my training after I graduated) that helped me realise again that we can’t all be perfect.

    I first started reading your blog because of your photography. I continue to read because of this but also because of the things that you do, with your family the fact that you show your faults and that you seem to be genuinely lovely. I look forward to your new posts and I wish you all the best for the future.


  53. Kelle – I loved reading this. Probably because I’ve OFTEN struggled with this. The most hurtful ones for me have come from close family who have pointed out that my life just looks too damn perfect and would I just please tonethejoydown for lords sake.
    Then I remember the hurt that these people have in their lives. The pain that they live. And my anger and hurt turns to sorrow and compassion. For them.
    I love your work and enjoy watching your beautiful (and perfect lol!) family. Keep it up.

  54. I love your positive outlook and how your blog always showcases so much beauty. You are so right, the stressful things will always be there, we don’t need to focus on them any more than we have to. The reason I read your blog is to escape those stressful things for a little bit. Not sure if that’s bad lol. Keep on shining!

  55. Loved it Kelle! It reminded me of the quote by Dita Von Teese –

    “You can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

    Thanks for always keepin it real.

    P.S. I found a picture that reminds me so much of Lainey! I will message it to you.

  56. Kelle- thank you. I needed this. I have been inspired to “own my truth” this year, and this post fed the deepest parts of my soul. I am committing to writing what is in my heart on my blog, regardless of the consequences.
    You are my hero.

  57. I love reading your blog :)

  58. I, like so many others, stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and the story of Nella’s birth. I found your writing to have so much emotion and soul. I was instantly hooked! I have spent many breaks at work catching up on older posts….now follow you on IG. I adore your positive posts in a sea of negativity. You and your girls and your gorgeous Florida sunlight are a small shiny spot in my day. I am a mother of a nearly 7 month old boy…and I can’t help but want a world full of joy and love for him. Your blog and your photos inspire me, and clearly countless others, on a daily basis. Inspire me to be a better friend, a better mother, a better wife. A better human! Thank you for doing what you do, and for sharing your life so openly, even after receiving not so nice words from people. Just makes you glitter even brighter in that amazing Florida light! :)

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  60. Thanks for this Kelle. Such a great post for me to read as I’m new to this whole blogging thing.. and I definitely struggle sometimes with what to put ‘out there’. And for the record, I love that you poop glitter πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, I had been reading your blog for 2 years before I welcomed my son into the world last December (he was born, surprisingly, with a rare genetic condition, a form of dwarfism). It was a shock, to say the least. Reading about you and your family for those 2 years before I had him, well you inadvertently gave me so much perspective about welcoming a child into this world who was not exactly what I was expecting. My son is amazing, I freaking love my life (as far from ‘perfect’ as it is). You have changed and shaped how I see so many things. All that to say…just know that you and your blog are such positive things in this whole world wide web thing. Don’t ever stop what you’re doing!

  61. Thank you for knowing that beauty comes with individuality!

    Much Aussie love to your family. x

  62. hurting people hurt people. blessed people bless people. keep being the blessing you are.

  63. You are an amazing light in this world Kelle. You uplift me and thousands of others with your view of life and I am a thankful reader. Thank you for not allowing a negative person to take away what you share with us all. The Bill Cosby quote was very enlightening for me…thank you.

  64. I’ve been reading your blog for long time now, and have never commented until now. I just have to say that I literally laughed out loud and almost woke my family up because I use very similar sarcasm :) Keep on pooping glitter because the rest of us love it! Does that make me a unicorn too? OMG, we need Team Unicorn shirts! Too far?

  65. So proud of you, so love you!!!

  66. What a good read! Such food for thought. I was just thinking today about my little ol’ blog post from the day before and how magical things had felt and how I wrote to hold onto the feelings because sure enough today had its moments that were not so beautiful. I love reading your posts and seeing your photos. They help me remember to keep those magical moments present. I tend to write about the good stuff, too. I don’t feel the need, desire to write the bad stuff. I have had friends comment to me about feeling bad about some stressful parenting moment. I will share a similar stressful story and they say, “Oh good. That makes me feel better. I imagine you doing all these great things.” I am sorry, but anyone with kids cannot be magic every moment.

    Sometimes we need to highlight the beauty so when the opposite occurs we know how to find our way out. Thanks for the reminder about even the good comments aren’t what make you valuable. I think this is truly divine! It is my wish for my kids that they may be intrinsically motivated to be who they are because it is good to them. As I think of wanting it for them, it is a good reminder to want it for myself, too. Happy New Year!

  67. Seriously?! SERIOUSLY? as if you haven’t talked about all life’s difficulties to know that you haven’t had your fair share of challenges? Wow…I can’t believe people would still feel that you view your life as perfect. Maybe I’m feeling unicornish at the moment too…but hey…its either that…or being a negative nelly. You do receive some weird comments every now and then…I’m glad you have people who can support you through those discouraging moments. You are strong…I’m mostly too scared to blog because I’m too scared of criticism. I think there is a large part of me that isn’t comfortable in who I am yet and I don’t want to be judged on my forming and ever-evolving identity. I am proud of you too…and why don’t people remember what their mum told them?? If you don’t have anything nice to say…DON’T say it.

  68. Kelle I find it almost weird that you wrote this today. All this week the criticism of blogs has been on my mind. Early in the week the feminist breeder mentioned a website called get off my internets and its a whole website used to talk badly about popular blogs. I read and read amazed at how much time these people took to be mean to someone they don’t know at all. It really bummed me out because all the blogs I love were being beat to a pulp over and over again and it hurt me. 1. One because its just plain mean and 2. Because I felt judged for liking what I like. It made me even wonder if I like reading pure crap. They bash the followers just as much as the writers.I even found a comment of mine being used as an example with a little pukey face next to it. It hurt :( and its weird how much all of this was buzzing in my head and buzzing around me and it felt so good to see u write about it and know u r trying to rise above it. I’m glad for that
    None of us should be treated like that and maybe one day no one will be. In my life I get made fun of for how much unicorns and rainbows come out of my butt, buts its really who I am and their ain’t nothing perfect about my life. 3 blogs in 1 week talking about this its for a reason.I’m just not sure what yet. But something good is going to come from this I know it I feel it in my bones. Sorry this post is so random I have a hard time writing from my phone.

  69. “I poop glitter” – Love love love this!

    It amazes me sometimes how mean someone can be from the comfort of behind their computer screen. They are obviously very unhappy in their own life and don’t like that fact that you can take Lemons and turn them into Lemonade.

    I happen to admire you positive outlook. Since I started reading your blog nearly three years ago you have inspired me to become and better Wife, Mother, friend and person. I take your words and learn from them. You have a talent Kelle and I hope that you never let the few people that leave negative comments deter you from what you were obviously meant to do!

    Have a great weekend :)xx

  70. Kelle- first off, I am so happy that you took your girls to the orange groves. I just came back from working in Florida from March to November and I was so mad that I came in the end of orange season and left before the start. I still can’t get the taste of fresh squeezed orange juice out of my head, now that I’m back in Upstate NY.

    I found your blog through my Mom and I was so awestruck at your life. You seem so kind and genuine. Don’t let anyone bring you down about it- I don’t know you but from what I see you’re a terrific mom who is going somewhere in this life. My last job assignment (I work in the political field) put me under a lot of scrutiny. When people found out what I was doing in Florida, even those who knew me for years (which is what hurt the most), they were so quick to throw me under the bus. As if I wasn’t even human just because I worked for someone who didn’t align with their politics. It got to the point where I found myself putting disclaimers on my Facebook that if they don’t like what I’m doing, just unfriend me. Then I realized “why am I doing this?” The truth is, the people who love and care about you will be your biggest cheerleaders and will not question you. To those who bring you down, they are truly insecure people who only look at the surface and forget that you are a human being and have feelings too. It’s too bad for them, because honestly their constant attention shouldn’t be focused on your every move. Instead why don’t they care about the people who truly need direction in their lives and help them out?

    Keep on shining Kelle. You’re on the right track.

  71. I love this…I’m an artist too…one too often struck down by criticism & negativity. I’ve heard everything you’ve said in some form before but just now I felt it stick in that deep place where all change finally happens. I’ve been waiting a long time. So I actually wish I could thank that miserable commenter…cause they made you react…and in turn, I think it might open the door for me. And isn’t that what really is the balance and beauty of our life? The amazing way that negativity creates inspiration… And in turn creates more negative and positive ripples that create the rich, dynamic, flowing thing that is existence. Thank you.

  72. geez – didn’t you actually gain popularity by writing candidly and honestly about the pain of something that wasn’t glittery and pefect?! obviously someone forgot to read the “start here if you’re new” link on your blog. they should at least do their homework before throwing stones! πŸ˜›

    …and at the same time probably the most important topic in that post was for us to really take a (eyes-open-brave) look at why criticism hurts so much and why we want to please so badly…..and to somehow let some of that go so we can go on being daringly creative!


  73. Very well handled Kelle!
    Cynical as I am as a person about a lot of things, I am a big fan of happiness and admire people like you who squeeze it out of life.

  74. Kelle,
    Sorry to hear that someone would make a sweeping statement that’s not true. It’s a privilege for your readers that you write so eloquently, realistically and with humor about life. You are very honest and articulate about the challenges and triumphs in living. Love your blog. Thank you for sharing and encouraging so many people through your writing and photography.

  75. “say what you mean, mean what you say, but don`t say it mean” is a quote I try to live by every day. There will always be a rotten apple in the fruitbasket, haters gonna hate and it is often that we can`t change that, no matter what we say or do… But hey! That is actually their problem and not ours :) You are amazing Kelle! And a great rolemodel- you see the possibility instead of challenge and you manage to make a helluva party out of it too! Keep inspiring us with your writing and beautiful pictures Kelle. We LOVE it! Big hug from Lillian. HAPPY NEW YEAR! :) :)

  76. Perfectly said.
    That is all.

  77. What a lovely post. I like that Bill Cosby quote a lot – I hope you don’t mind if I instil it mantra-like to myself and my boys! And may I just say you are so lucky to poop glitter!

  78. I’ve been reading your blog for a little while but never commented until now- but this post really hit home for me. At 28, i am only just now beginning to ‘put myself out there’ and the fear of what people will think or worse still, say about me feels very real. My partner told me the other day that i should only ever write for myself, not for other people, and then today i read this post of yours and between the two of you i think i am finally feeling brave enough to begin. So thank you.

  79. Thanks for this; I love when I encounter multiple things on the same topic at the same time; means someone above is trying to tell me something.

  80. Awesome! :) I always tell my kiddos, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” I wish more people would live like that! :)

  81. dude, this post is freaking awesome. so well written, as always :) I love every word of this!

    Also, you were the first person I followed when I joined instagram, and I still love reading about and looking at all the happy rainbows and glittery unicorns that you choose to share with us (even my boyfriend follows you on instagram :) because he kind of loves all the shiny unicorns too)

    You are partially responsible for helping me find my own rainbows and unicorns :) so thank you for being you and sharing your life with us and not letting the haters win! xo

  82. So you post mostly the happy good photos…don’t most of us?
    My friends are always commenting that my 2.5 year old is always smiling and happy and ask “Does he ever cry?”. Ha! If you only know him through pictures he is! I’m not exactly pulling out my camera when he is mid-fit, hands and feet flailing becauuse I said “No, you can’t have a 3rd cookie”.
    If only we could all poop glitter!

  83. Kelle, this is spectacular. Thank you. I admit that I still don’t understand – and am honestly appalled that these naysayers exist – because I’d much rather everyone at least be civil to each other! – but everyone has to deal with this somewhere in life, online and off/ blogger and not. While I am winding down even more with my own online presence this was an unexpected encouragement to me.


  84. People that openly want to criticize have too much time on their hand and perhaps they should be looking for unicorns instead of trying to bring another being down to their unhappy level. If you are creating wonderful memories for yourself, your children and family, who is anyone else to complain–how are you hurting them? Ignore the negative and keep pooping glitter because life is too short, our kids grow too fast, and in the end all you have are the memories and love.

  85. Keep on “pooping glitter” my friend! Like everything else, you do it so incredibly well! It’s the red, the green, the gold and silver mixed with shades of brown that keeps me coming back for more. Your blog is an inspiration to so many – including me. Like a breath of fresh air, it’s something I “need”. What would the world be without an “Enjoying the Small Things” blog? Why I just can’t imagine. . . it’s a horrible thought! You just keep on keeping on sista. Your lil blog? Why, it’s a beautiful thing!

  86. I understand that criticism hurts, but at the end of the day, you are running a business. You are going to get criticism. If someone stumbled upon your personal blog, written for friends and family, and said “wow,you suck” then I think that would be much different. This stopped being a personal blog a long time ago! You have chosen to make your life (and your children’s lives) a business. My husband and I own a restaurant, and it sucks getting a negative review, or someone says they didn’t love something, but it comes with the territory.

  87. Thank you for sharing this! I feel more aware and understanding. It makes me want to hug people who aren’t nice! They just need more love.

  88. You rock.

    When I got my first hater comment, I was all – I got my first hater comment!

    Totally weird that I was stoked, at first. But then it sucked. And then I deleted it. I wish I would have left it there now, but I’m new at this and learning things as I go.

    I guess I thought it something like this…
    If I don’t clean up the rat droppings (mean comment), then others will see that a rat (mean person) was/is here.

    I was trying to keep it all in the land of unicorns until I started keeping it all in the land of real. Which is much better… for me. rat shit and all.


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  90. You have an amazing voice, my dear. Keep using it…and keep those awesome pictures coming!

  91. My mother always taught me “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.” A good friend of mine also taught me that when people make negative comments, they are fighting some internal issue, like jealousy, but they are aiming it at you. I’ve learned that when I’m nitpicking someone, it’s because I have something inside that I’m not happy about. I’m jealous of something they have. Everyone has a right to their opinions and they can express them however they feel the need, but at least try to do it nicely. Always treat people the way you want to be treated. That’s the motto I’m teaching my kids. This world is small and you never know who you’ll run into later in life. That person you were mean too my remember that and guess what….karma’s a bitch! Preach on sister. We know your life isn’t all glitter and unicorns. No one’s is. This blog is your public diary of the good in your life. If people don’t like it, they shouldn’t read it.


  92. Sticks and stones… Sticks and stones.
    (Trying to rein in my sarcasm, which tends to be my glitter sometimes ;))

  93. I love all your beautiful photos! Do I post the ones on my facebook page of my kids being hellions, trashing our house and me screaming at them, LOL?? People need to worry about their own reasons behind their negativity. We post photos of what we think is beautiful. I don’t get it, do they think you do it for the attention? Like you are that insecure that you need strangers’ praise. You would not put so much time into this if it wasn’t something that makes you happy and maybe, just maybe you are trying to put some of that happy energy out into the universe! I wish the haters would consider, would I say this to someone’s face?? No worries, Kelle! Love your blog!

  94. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would publish negative comments after something they have read. I mean, sharing your opinion in a discussion is one thing. Totally being rude and negative about the poster? Uncalled for. If they don’t like your writing or pictures, they can stop clicking on your blog and IG. :) Its as simple as that!

  95. One thing I love about reading your work is seeing how you do always try to see the good, the beautiful in things. And that you’re trying to teach your girls to do the same thing. You’re teaching them to be happy where they are; not to become complacent by any means, but to be happy along their journey to where ever life may take them. You encourage Lainey to take pictures of tiles and toilets, and allow them to pick bad oranges; all while snapping adorable photos of the process. Bravo to you, Kelle.
    The world needs a little more positivity in it. We’d live in a totally different place if more people saw things with unicorn genes. :-)

  96. This is beautiful, Kelle! But in all honesty, don’t some people just need to be punched in the face when they say crappy stuff?! Some people are so absolutely miserable and they try to pull people down to their level. I am SO GLAD you posted this and showed that moron (yes, I said it because frankly, if they didn’t like you or what you stand for, WHY are they following you on IG?! That makes them a Moron with a capital M) that negative only inspires you. You go girl!!

  97. Love! This post was exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  98. Kelle..this was one of your best blogs ever. And it has nothing to do with orange groves. I’ve often thought about blogging but know I’m way too sensitive to handle so much negative criticism..yes even from strangers who should not matter. No matter what you write, photograph, share there are always going to be people who get satisfaction from criticizing others. That is how they deal with life’s disappointments. Jealousy is always going to rear its ugly head. And Bill Cosby was so right. Just keep doing what you do. It is always a breath of fresh air to connect with someone who can find happiness enjoying the small things.

  99. This was beautifully written. I want to thank you for putting yourself out there, for teaching others it’s OK, rock out with who you are. We need to hear it!

    I started my own blog a few months ago, mainly because I wanted to feel the release, I wanted it out there. Your writing inspired me to do this. Keep doing what you do :)


  100. i’ve been racking my brain how how to comment on this post.

    well, i decided to just be honest. this is so well written. glittery, unicorny kinda perfect (inside large smile). you have such a way of taking the emotion you feel, that emotion rooted deep in your heart, and bundling it up with the appropriate words.

    i am so glad that marissa introduced me to you. i can’t believe i didn’t find you before.

    i just added you to my daily blog roll on my blog πŸ˜‰

    cheers my friend! here’s to fairy tale lives and vulnerability because we all have toddlers with tantrums, strollers that get stuck and soft curse words that we sometimes whisper.


  101. Kelle, I think you’re fantastic. I so look forward to your posts and can’t tell you how any times I’ve been inspired to find unicorns in my own life and with my own child (soon to be children) because of what you’ve written. I also can’t tell you how any times I’ve read my husband or my mom one of your posts crying through it because it was so touching. I truly feel like we are going through this journey of motherhood together even though we’ve never met. Never stop doing what you’re doing!

  102. Ha ha! I love this post and love you too! Trolls will be trolls, you just have to pity them.

  103. Your blog and Instagram photos are the best part of the World Wide Web, if you ask me. Keep on truckin’. Truly, you always give a boost to my day — and I have a darn good life already!

  104. Your blog and pictures are some of the most enjoyable things in my life. Blessings to you for shining through the vitriol of an unhappy person.

  105. I have dealt with some negative comments at Katherines Corner on occasion. Not sure why I let them sting so much. I respond with kindness as it is the only way I can not let the negative in any way overshadow all of the positive. Hoping you will share this at the Thursday Hop ( it’s still open) Hugs P.S. the new giveaway started today too

  106. well, here i am, one of your mindless, drones who love you πŸ˜‰ but seriously, your blog is called “ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS” and if people don’t like the concept then JUST MOVE ON! in my own life i have a tendency to get really pissed off over little things when they pile up so reading your blog is a breath of fresh air for me. what brought me to your blog was the vulnerability, the journey. i think that is the key, the difference between writing about the mundane negative details of life (which yeah, we all have plenty) or writing about the vulnerabilities of life. i recently picked up BLOOM again for one of those quick drive by reads and i re-read a passage where i thought “this is why i love kelle hampton.” it was about your choice to embrace the positive. can i remember exactly which passage? no i cannot, why? because i have 3 kids, one is nude and i think may be peeing on the floor right now……does this make sense? am i using capital letters? no i am not πŸ˜‰ rambler!!! my point is, i don’t read your blog and send lainey fur coats because i am a mindless kelle wannabe craving attention from you (we’re a breed dontcha know) i do it because i feel a connection to the journey, to the strive for something kick ass, the desire to make my kids lives not perfect but special.

  107. When I was first starting to write my own music, I asked a young friend about the music he was writing (which I loved) – I said, “How do you know that it’s a good song?” and he said the best most simplest answer, “I guess I just write what I like, and I figure that if I like it, there are gonna be some people out there who like it too.” Since then I realized how poor my first question was — it was a bad question, and his answer was good, but it eventually led me to a better answer: You don’t know something is good because anybody else likes it, you know it’s good because YOU like it. And the music that simply everyone likes is sometimes pablum – the really cool stuff often has a very select audience. Anyway, this post is such a great way to explain the process of coming to terms with criticism – I like that you noted it’s a process that never really ends – and it’s not just about growing a thick skin, it’s about becoming so strong that we can extend empathy. Or maybe extending empathy makes us strong. Anyway, I tell that to my kids – don’t give away your power. Be kind. Love u.

  108. i just devoured half of ‘daring greatly’ tonight and it was mostly about this — vulnerability and shame — attaching our self worth to the response we get from others. i thought of you immediately because i can remember how you’ve handled it with such grace and how much you’ve grown since it first started happening. you’re right, haters gon’ hate (hahaha, sorry, had to), but what’s most important is that you’re a lover and you speak from your heart and show the importance of vulnerability and true connection. unicorns unite!

  109. Go Kelle :-)

  110. Thank you for this post. Your words show depth, understanding and maturity. All of us can benefit from listening to the wisdom you have gained over time. And we can apply it in so many different ways in each of our lives. Mostly, thank you for being humble to see the one with a sharp tongue as one also worthy of and in need of love, and for being thoughtful and patient in your response. Honestly, this makes me love reading about you and your life even more. I know you don’t need to hear this but I appreciate your voice in this world, Kelle. Blessings to you and your beautiful, sweet, imperfect family.

  111. Kelle

    You are woman full of grace and compassion. I am so glad that you took the time to respond to this IG post and to the criticism; which is intended to be destructive. It’s a reality that crappy people are out there and feel the need to dismember others. It doesn’t matter if the content is on the web or within our daily lives. I think of them as the joy crushers, and it’s our job to push forward.

    I remember reading Melina’s post earlier in December, and then a week later dealing with an amazingly negative situation in my own life. A (married into our) family member who always is demeaning and critical decided to make me her next victim. And weeks later, I feel that God gave me the perspective from this last experience to I know that it’s who she is. She treated my mother poorly, her own family poorly, me, and I know that eventually the pattern will transfer to my child. And I might not be happy to know that she will not change, but I feel wiser; and I still chose to be joyful and grateful.

    Thank you Kelle. Our lives are not perfect or without stress, but we can chose our perspective. I so appreciate your creativity, your perspective, your ability to share with so many of us.


  112. While I loved the orange grove pictures and even saw the picture on instagram before the rude comment and thought it was cute (love the tunic top! I’m pregnant as well and can’t find anything cute to wear) I’m surprised you would even mention the comment. Why indulge the person who wrote it? There are always going to be trolls out there who will slam your life, mostly because they are unhappy with their own. I do understand your underlying message.

  113. Such an adorable family you have. Love your style of photography.

  114. I think this is my favorite post that you have ever written. I’ve been struggling something along these line recently, and it’s amazing to see how you have processed the negative and let it just make you stronger and more confident. Thank you as always for sharing with us all.

  115. Spot on. Really really well said and lots of nuggets to take with me into my day and my life.

  116. Brava! I love this so much!

  117. Keep on living, Kelle. The people that are negative in this world are upset with their own lives and are just jealous. Jealous of what? Of your perfect (fake to them) life? No, it is not perfect. No one has a perfect life. And if this person truly reads your blog for any period of time, they would know that. You keep it real. You embrace life and love your family. The mean people in this world don’t have that. If that is what defines you being perfect, let them think that. They are L o s e r s πŸ˜‰ Happy Day~

  118. Kelle – I am just going to praise you, I love your blog. It does look like you live a perfect life, but I am a hobby photographer and I also have pictures that look just the same and know that I have those days when my life looks way better in the pictures. I appreciate your writing and that you realize the negative comments are just words on a page and that person doesn’t know you. I don’t know you, except for the words you write, but I can tell you are trying keep a tight hold on the happiness in life and with your family and I think you have a great mind to keep the negative out of your life and see beyond to happiness. That’s all. :) Take care and I look forward to more posts with your adorable little girls.

  119. Great post- am going to forward to my sisters who both blog. As one of my sister’s said in a post once- “just because I post pictures of me crafting with my kids in perfectly unmatching homemade summer dresses with perfectly messy hair does not mean that earlier in the day I wasn’t screaming at them to turn the tv down after I’d stubbed my toe and dropped my coffee all over the floor.” What we all see are SNIPPETS of a busy life.
    If YOU posted all of the not-so-unicorny moments in your life, then you would have to change the name of your blog. You are posting about ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS and sharing personal thoughts about your rough times and joyful times but mostly doing it all in an uplifting way. Good on you!!

  120. I think negative comments are a good sign. If everyone agrees with you, I’m not sure you stand for anything. I’d much prefer having real friends and real enemies over having a bunch of cordial acquaintances.

  121. :-)

  122. I teach high school English and have received, over the course of years, a few really hateful e-mails from parents. When I was younger, they really stung, but as I’ve grown older I realize that it’s never about what it’s about…I read your blog every day, and I believe it helps me to have a more positive influence on my kids at school. Thank you!

  123. Bravo, Kelle. And I’m glad that your community of loyal readers (the best, best BEST sorts of people!) are all here to lift you up, and drown out the noise of that one nasty comment.


  124. Rock on girl! I was (and always am) in complete shock that some people take the time to share their negative thoughts, especially on a personal blog. It’s bugs me. Oh well. Blehhhh to them. Happy Friday! Have a great weekend.

  125. Love it. Love your words!! :-)

  126. Heart u always!!! Xo

  127. You are so “growed-up”. I would have just cussed, and be done with it.

  128. Jealousy is a disease! I hope they get well soon.

  129. Oh and I stopped commenting a while back because I didnt think it possible you could read them all…..glad to know you do. I should leave one more like I used to

  130. You go, Kelle! Your blog makes my day and though I’m naturally cynical I’ve read your words and they make me want to be more…unicornish, myself.

    On another note, Nella’s outfit…in the words of Rachel Zoe, “I die.”


  131. Nice post, Kelle. I haven’t commented in a long time because you get so many commnents I feel mine justs gets lost among the others, but I check your blog every day and truly love your writing, your pictures and your view on life. Anyone who has been following you for any amount of time knows, Kelle, that your life is not perfect nor do you lead us to believe that it is. But seriously, who wants to read about the “crap” goings on in every day life, every single day? Alot of us, I believe, escape to blog world for insipiration and sometimes hope and I love that you mix it up. You show us that, yes, sometimes life hands you bad/terrible moments, but that there is a choice to look at things positively and work through them. I have never understood people’s negative comments on a blog post. I read several blogs and I don’t always agree with or like what the writer is saying, but I keep my opinion to myself because IT’S THEIR BLOG and I am not being forced to read it!
    Thank you so much for taking us on all of your journey’s. I for one love your blog and thankful to be able to read it!

  132. This is why I love you. You just take what is thrown at you good or bad and turn into something productive and beneficial. I love the fact that you can turn poop into glitter! Keep on being positive and making the other99.9% of us smile and feel good!

  133. Thank you for this! I waste a lot of time trying to please people and I needed this.

  134. Well, you are not the first blogger to be hurt by criticism and won’t be the last. I don’t mean to sound cold…I understand. But the problem with the medium of blogging is it does at times, have a tendency to come off a little one-dimensional. After all, we are not going to post the ugliest photos of you and your children. We are not going to share the ugliest bits and yes, they are there as we are all human. So, we tend to blog and share the goodness in life. Sometimes, yes…it can come off a little “syrupy sweet” like the decaying fruit in the Langston Hughes poem, “Dreams.” I have often thought about not reading blogs anymore for that reason. It is like throwing one’s self into a fantasy land that is built intentionally to only show one side of life. We must face it realistically. But yes, it hurts and we get insulted. I know of several bloggers who actually got “it” and changed there style of blogging because the criticism and hatred being directed at them was so great and they just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. And maybe that is a good thing…to acknowledge that not everyone has a perfect life no…some far from perfect…and in recording only the fantastic moments and presenting “perfect” may come off as phoney or gloating to some. It’s about sensitivity. I get both sides. Peace to you. Just my humble opinion.

  135. This is exactly in line with what I have been contemplating over the last few days. I feel that social media, with all of its connecting and positive attributes, can often be detrimental because it becomes difficult for us to hear our own voice over the cacophony of opinions and negativity that tries to smother our original thoughts. I have come to the point where I feel like I cannot share or post anything that I stand for in fear of offending someone or starting a debate on FB or on my blog, so I don’t. But by doing that, I feel like I cannot be true to myself. I have done a lot of deep thinking lately, and this blog helped bring some of that into focus. My goal this year is to be true to myself, to express myself when it is necessary and to not be afraid of repercussions. Thank you and keep on being brave!

  136. Incredible. If someone is so nasty as to leave a comment like that, they must lead a very unhappy life and that’s sad. Their problem, not yours (easy for me to say, I know). It’s YOUR blog/IG feed, you put whatever you want! If they don’t like it “change the channel”. I just found your blog yesterday through Nella’s birth story and after I was done crying because of the beauty and raw honesty, I spent a long time going through the archives and then made sure to put your blog in my reader. While I am new, I can tell you that I never found your writing to be one of presenting a perfect life. Rather you have a limited space and choose to focus on the positive with a healthy amount of humility and honesty. We all need to commiserate from time to time but reading blogs for me is about learning (sewing, cooking, about other’s lives). I’ve quit reading blogs for being preachy and for being too negative. We all have shit in our life. No one wants to read about more of it. It’s a balance. I look forward to reading more.

  137. Optimism allows us to help make the world (IncludIng our own little worlds) a happier place. I say keep on focusing on the good things because that’s what helps us get through the crappy stuff in life.

  138. In the world of today, to many people speak before they think. Act before they think and sadly many just do not care about anyone but themselves!

    Personally, I get great joy from reading your blog. No One makes me sign on and come to Enjoying the Small Things!! I come because sometimes on a sad day, you cheer me up, some day’s you are down too and I just feel better knowing I am not alone.

    You are who you are, happy, sad, bored, relaxed, overworked, overstressed…you are just YOU!

    Keep On…Keepin On and thank you for allowing those of us who choose to, to follow your journey!

  139. Optimism allows us to help make the world (IncludIng our own little worlds) a happier place. I say keep on focusing on the good things because that’s what helps us get through the crappy stuff in life.

  140. Obviously, so well said! (And thought through, mulled over, and emotionally processed, I’m sure!). My favorite part is Lainey with the pink camera. My 4 year old does the same thing (with a pink camera too, of course!), and while she’s finding beauty in things like the dog’s collar, I sometimes catch myself watching and learning from her. My internal self-critic would probably prevent me from even considering looking at the things she focuses so intently on. I’m so glad we have our children to teach us how to see the world differently. Maybe I need to pull out her pink camera while she’s at school today and get to work?!

  141. All I have to say this morning is this: this post completely inspires me and I think you rock. SO HARD. I love everything about you and your unicorn loving ways, sprinkled with glitter. My daughter is in first grade and in Kindergarten her teacher always said “be a brave writer.” I’m on it! : )

  142. hey there,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but I’ve never commented. I didn’t see the instagram thing and honestly I’ll never understand why people feel the need to leave nasty comments, but that’s another story. What made me want to reply to you today was that as I started to read this blog entry, my first thought was, wow, she’s actually talking about some not so great things that happened today.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I know you’ve shared lots of not great things, but often times you show your life through rose-colored glasses. I get it, I do, that’s why we all love your blog. You choose to view and highlight the beautiful moments and not dwell on the less enjoyable stuff. I admire your optimism and I find it inspirational. That’s why I read your blog – to try to help myself see more of the beauty in day to day life with my own kids.

    However, as I read the beginning of tonight’s post (not knowing where you were going with it) I really appreciated your honesty. I liked that you shared the normal, everyday mom stuff – kids that don’t want to wear their shoes or who insist on being carried even when your back is killing you. I’m not ignorant, I realize that these moments happen everyday for you, just as they do for moms all over, but it was nice to hear about it. I think it helps the rest of us, your readers who don’t know you in real life, to relate better. To be able to say, hey, look at her, she’s finding the beauty in life despite the fact that her life isn’t perfect, not because it is. We know this, but sometimes it’s nice to have it spelled out for us again.

    Thank you.

  143. Sometimes I feel to fragile to be a blogger, so I tuck in my world and hug my children and keep all the good (and the bad) to myself.
    Thanks for writing this.

  144. Not much I can say…it’s already been stated. This is your life and you write about it. Life for some is never unicorns, rainbows & cute boots because they simply don’t allow the door to be opened for them to come into their lives. Keep writing from the heart – you have lots of readers that enjoy it!!

  145. Well said!

  146. I totally second Kate’s comment above.

    And I wish you could have written this last June 20th. I was the race director of a local charity 5k/10k to raise money for an awesome mama/baby program in 3rd-world countries (Compassion International’s Child Survival Program). I worked thousands of hours for more than a year on this baby, all from home while raising my babies. I poured my heart into it.

    And no, the race didn’t turn out perfectly, but we raised $6,000 (I know that sounds miniscule compared to your awesome readership and Nella’s ONEder fund, but I was really happy about the amount). And raised awareness for a really awesome cause. However, that night all the post-race surveys started rolling in.

    And there was a criticism about EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE RACE. Even the perfectly sunny weather! (Apparently I have control over that). There was lots of positive comments, but the negatives cut me deep. And I spent the next 3 days sobbing my brains out. It hurt, so so so badly.

    So thank you for writing this. I needed it. My best friend told me as I was crying into the phone, “Crystal, those people would never have dreamed of putting themselves out there like that. YOU were the one who had a passion and went out and did something about it….not just leave anonymous internet whinings about how you wish someone would do it better.”

    Much love to you and yours, Kelle.

  147. Like many in the chain above, I’ve never left a comment before, but I just wanted to say that this blog, you, your book, have single-handedly shifted my perspective in life. It was never a gloomy perspective, but your writing has helped me see everything through “joy-colored” glasses. And your honesty, has been the catalyst for my being honest with other mommy friends who have needed a little “you’re not alone and it’ll all be awesome in the end” compassion over the last few years. So, while compliments may not be the sole validator of your incredibleness, I do think small chain reactions of love certainly are.
    thank you for everything.

  148. We all come here for your beautiful photography, eloquent writing, and inspiring optimism. I love every single thing about your HAPPY blog and your cute little family!! No ones life is perfect, we know that, but i come here for smiles and i always get them :) Also, I think some people forget what brought most of us here. Reading your story about Nella’s birth was painful and raw and real and of course, in the end- INSPIRING. Years later, we are still here, because we LOVE it here :)

    Where are the orange groves you go to?! I have a place in Bonita Springs and would love to take my kids!!

  149. I have been reading your blog for over a year now, best freakin post ever! As I have said before in a comment, I feel so motivated about life after I read your blog and that is due to your pure honesty in your wrting. Keep it up!

  150. You are amazing. That is all.

  151. Well said! Some people!
    I found this on pinterest today and thought of you Enjoy!

  152. “I poop glitter”. I cannot stop laughing. I love this. I have loved reading your blog – you bring happiness and joy to my day by speaking the honest truth!

  153. One reason I read your blog, and your book, is because of your honesty. :). Not a fan of the perfect, fake lives. I do not get negative commenters. There are so many blogs out there~ just keep scrolling til you find one you do like. Don’t read the pnes you don’t. It’s not that hard to be nice and encouraging…or say nothing at all. :)

  154. I have been following this blog off and on for a few weeks now and I have to tell you that you are SUCH an inspiration. I love that you are all unicorn-y and glitterish! I love that your stuff is positive. You have given me so many ideas for spending more quality time with my son…I mean hello? We just bought a new camera on Tuesday (that had been on the to do list for a while…but still)! It’s mind boggling that anyone would have something negative to say about you. I think you do a great job of balancing the good with the bad in your posts…to me, it’s YOUR real…it’s Lainey’s real…it’s Nella’s real…etc. I don’t know I just think you are a wonderful mother, a wonderful person and you have made a lasting impression on me. Thank you and please…NEVER STOP BLOGGING!

  155. The timing of this post couldn’t be more perfect, personally. First of all, I am sorry it happened to you. I know it is inevitable, but it’s also just annoying. I have thought long and hard about rude, negative comments before I recently started out on my blog because my topic is somewhat controversial to some people. At the end of the day, my intentions are good, your intentions are good and those whose intentions are not so good will eventually become tired from their own negativity. As usual, thank you for the inspiration on my new, scary path. ~Brooke

  156. “I told her that the hurtful words shared had nothing to do with Melina and everything to do with this commenter’s pain or insecurities or desire to do what Melina is doing.”

    Well said, Kelle. I wanted to e-mail you about this very topic and this post really hit home for me. I have received a nasty comment that was so hurtful that I didn’t even allow it to be published. More recently, I’ve been told about some things that a relative has been saying about me that are completely untrue and shook me to my core. Being reminded that “hurting people hurt” is exactly what I needed. Your perspective is amazing.

    Blog on, sister, because YOU are awesome. I come here for your stories, your photos, the smiles that you give to be and for incredible take on things. I can’t get your North Pole party out of my head (one of the many things I’d love to try that you’ve posted. The Pioneer Woman used to be my favorite. I still love me some Ree, but you are officially my blog crush.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  157. As always, you use words to inspire the thousands of us reading to become better people. I needed to hear this especially:

    “Social media can complicate that truth, and good feedback can trick you into thinking “I am good because people like what I put out there.” That’s not true. Ever. “


  158. Kelle,

    What a beautiful post! I was reading the IG craziness before I saw this post and had been wondering how you handle the negative that comes with putting yourself out there. One of my favorite quotes about this very thing has helped me a lot as I deal with insecurity and hurtful feelings!

    “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    Please keep on doing what you so!


  159. Hi Kelle, Timely post for me. Our story is about to be broadcast on Dateline this upcoming Sunday. Every time we get national exposure the haters come out which literally took my breath away in the beginning. I guess after doing what I did, I was stunned that I’d get criticized for it. I know I’m “in for it” over the next week or so, but this time I feel better equipped for many of the same reasons you’ve highlighted in this post.

    Anyways, thanks for reminding me. I feel a little better armed for reading this!

  160. It bothers me so that people use your happiness as a weapon and then take their negativity and use it as a blogging opportunity. There are many people like this out there, and its almost as if they just don’t get what this whole life is about. We have a limited time on this earth and why spend it telling people why their beautiful words are annoying? Your blog has been an inspiration to many. Time and time again for myself. It is a daily reminder to look for the good things. Even the green oranges are stunning, even it not useful right now.

    I wrote about the Bloom party that I threw this Summer. It seemed just too important not to take the opportunity to share your book with others and have them share their experiences.

    Maybe people don’t like you. But you have changed my life and I will try to change others as a result of that. Thank you for making me more aware of what the wod has to offer and more grateful for what it has given me.

  161. i’m feeling bad. I’m re-reading my blog post now, to see if I should edit it, because what I said could be misconstrued as criticism, and I didn’t mean it that way.

    I have been reading your blog since October, when you posted your Pumpkin Carving Party, and I thought it was fabulous.

    I’ve always felt like your life “looked perfect” but anything and everyone can look “perfect” in pictures. SO many of your photos look like they just leaped from the pages of a magazine, and that’s not a criticism, but I said as much in my blog, and I hinted that it’s almost unbelievable at how perfect your life seems, even having said “No one really lives this way, do they?” And again, i didn’t mean it as a criticism, more of an awe stemmed from jealousy of your big open spaces in your house. Regardless, I love your blog, and the only reason I mentioned you on my blog, was to give you credit for the North Pole Party, since we tried to create our own and used your ideas as a base to run off from.

    So now I’m going to go browse my blog, and determine if I am sounding critical and need to change some wording.

  162. People are mean…obviously everyone has their ups and downs and I have to say, I really like reading your blog and seeing how you mostly focus on the positive aspects of your own life. It helps me focus on the positives in my life of raising a special needs child. You have the creative license to post what you want to – and if it’s about glitter and rainbows and beautiful pictures – I say bring it on.

    I was reading this blog last night at 3:00am with my little guy who resting his head on my shoulder and his criticism was, “I like dat pick-tah, but dey need s-no Mommy.”

    Much love from snowy, cold New England! :)

  163. Kelle – don’t stop inspiring the rest of us, just because a few people have anger issues. Please don’t stop! You are making a difference in this world.

  164. I haven’t commented in *ages* but I saw that Instagram comment, and it really angered me. Pretty freaking nervy to do that, to think that you wouldn’t read it or be affected by it. I always told myself I’d be able to handle any kind of negative comments that come across my blog or my FB page, but on the few occasions they’ve come, I can honestly say it feels like being hit by a bus and it definitely makes me curb what I write or post sometimes. I appreciate your honesty. Thank you for that.

  165. Thrilled to have discovered you today. I love your way with putting your real self to paper. It’s so not rehearsed and that’s something I can engage with.

    I’ll definitely be back for more!


  166. As always, thank you for this post. As I was reading, I felt my lips pursing in a bit and my chin quivering a bit — seems I’m still holding on to some hurt from some unnecessary negatives words that were spoken to me that I can’t seem to shake. Looks like it’s time to deal with that some more. :o)

  167. Love this post, love your honesty, love the photos and especially the boots.
    You are incredibly inspiring and while putting yourself out there can’t be easy at times, I love that you do it because I have enjoyed reading every single post of yours.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  168. It is a shame that more people don’t take the time to capture the beauty of their children’s lives on film. My daughter will have albums of simple, amazing memories from her childhood. Our life is far from perfect, but she is magical to me. Thanks for sharing your beautiful moments with us, Kelle. Especially the hard ones. Lots of love from San Diego, Danielle

  169. Kelle, Thank you for this post. I’m new to the public world (blogging, thoughts of a book), and I know that there is a LOT of this ahead, and it scares me sometimes. But what you said is exactly the point – what I give to the world, I do because I want, and often, need to create it. It’s not perfect, it’s not what someone else might like, but it’s mine. My creation. My expression. And someone else’s opinion of it, good or bad, is irrelevant in the end.
    Thank you. As always, your words touch a special place in my soul that needed a hug.
    Thanks for the pictures – your girls (and your bump) always make me smile πŸ˜‰

  170. Kelle, you have always spoken to my heart. I so wish that more people could see my writing. It’s really hard and embarrassing to admit that I would like more people to read my blog. But then I think about the negativity that could come with popularity. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to deal with it. So I stay cozy comfy in my own little blog land.

    Last year I did my very first vlog and I was so proud of it. Until I got an anonymous comment telling me I was ugly. It hurt like hell and I don’t even know who it was. I doubt I’m cut out for fame.

    And this is coming from someone who is writing a novel!

  171. Oh sister you KNOW I get this! I love and value our long chats on this subject. Also love and value your friendship.


  172. “The jealous are troublesome to others, but torment themselves the most.”

  173. You are an amazing writer Kelle…great post. You inspire me so much on how I want to raise my future children!

  174. LOVE the Bill Cosby quote. In fact, in my unicorn filled, confetti farting, bubble burbing world this quote is now hanging from a post-it on my bathroom mirror. It will be joining me in the classroom in three days time. Thank you for reminding me to Enjoy the Small Things.


  175. Thanks for posting this, Kelle.

    I can relate! I have three boys with autism and I blog about the bad times, but mostly I choose to see the beautiful and the good every day in my life. I had another blogger begin with the criticism and ultimately posted a shockingly nasty poem on her own blog about ‘you think you’re so perfect with your perfect boys…’ kind of thing. Yeah, it hurt…and felt weird.

    I supppose they are miserable and it is jealousy. And I hope those kind of people can ultimately choose to find the beautiful and the good in their own lives, too! And it IS a choice!

  176. I love the idea that there is beauty in every situation, and I try hard to find it. It is what keeps me coming back to your blog. I love that you put yourself out there, and I have learned so much from you. Keep pushing forward….your work is amazing!

  177. that was wonderful. I also believe (and I think you said it in different words) that as mom’s, sometimes we feel like failures or that we drop the ball too often, atleast I do. But when I can look back on my “unicorn” pictures and realize that my kids did enjoy the outing, in the memory….. they can forget the yelling and the imperfectness too. So together, my kids and I can share their happy childhood.
    Love you Kelle.

  178. Great post! I get those “your fake happy life” comments because I choose to keep my blog a positive place. I think it makes people feel good to say that. They are unhappy and they want to believe everyone else is too. Anyone who appears happy must just be putting on a show.

    Thanks for always putting yourself out there, despite the cristism!

  179. Thank you so much for this. I needed to read it!!!!

  180. I am a journalist, so when I read this recent post I had to get to the bottom of it – figure out what happened because I missed it. I read the tumblr of the gal who made the comment, and she seems smart and her writing voice is clear and … good. She gave some pretty exhaustive reasons behind why she decided to be so mean, in the course of doing so only being that much more awful. I would suggest steering clear of the blog if you can stand it. The thing that struck me though, is that she was a reader and an enjoyer – and a lover of the small things. She’s probably a mom and a professional and a woman doing the best she can in a difficult world, just like we are. Despite her best efforts to convince me that her one very nasty comment was justified, and that she didn’t deserve the wrath of the people that were standing up to her on your behalf, going so far as to insult THEM in the process; despite that, I’m left only wondering why. Why did she feel like cutting you down a notch? She certainly doesn’t seem unconfident or jealous, outwardly anyway. It just comes down to the fact that some people are just. Plain. Mean. And frankly, as someone attempting to raise two thoughtful and kind people – this interests me greatly. And it’s why I read your blog – and dig’s blog – and a few others. I need all the help I can get. I DO need inspiration to facilitate kindness in my babies. It’s worth the effort. And I recognize that we’re not all perfect, Goodness knows I am NOT. And I don’t think ONE person has all the answers. But I find the way you guys operate to be something worth paying attention to – I like the vibe and I learn from it. Which is good. If I EVER find out my kid left a mean note in someone’s locker, or on Facebook, or in a blog comment post, I will feel like a failure. Be inspired by kindness. Teach it. Learn it. If not, unsubscribe.

  181. Kelle, I hate that people are mean to you. It reminds me of when my little boy was being bullied at school. I told him the standard “use his words” in response. Later, I checked in with my husband to make sure his advice had been the same. “You told him to use his words, right?” I asked. “Absolutely,” he replied. “I told him to say, ‘F*ck You, A**hole.” Next time you read something negative, just remember those three little words. You can just say them in your head; you don’t have to type them.

  182. I don’t think you write your blog for the haters. I think you write it for me — a mom who yesterday had to sit through the particular kind of torture moms of kids with learning disabilities have to sit through every 3 years — the dreaded “results of the neurospych tests.” This can be a heart-wrenching ordeal, especially for moms like me, who are “glass is half empty” kind of folks. I look to your blog for help in reframing how I view my kid, the world, and myself. I’m not pooping glitter or flying on unicorns quite yet, but there’s hope for me. So thanks for that.

  183. Thanks for the reminders. Not just in this post but in many of your posts. Thank you.

    P.S. I stole your Barbara Brown Taylor quote from your last post – love that one!

  184. I will keep this post to my heart as if you wrote it for me…Thank you Kelle!!!Kisses from far away…I love your pictures and you…writting your words…

  185. I loved this. You are a class act, Kelle

  186. A perfect post, from a perfect person, just at the perfect time! No sarcasm included!! Ha Ha. I think you are very brave to share your family with us.

  187. I am sorry someone said something mean and hurt your feelings. I know you don’t need anyone to say that, but just as I would say that to a friend who had been hurt I’ll say it to you :) I rarely comment on blogs but I just wanted you to know that I love your life and the way you choose to share it with others. It inspires me to be a good mom and to make and find beauty and good in my own life. Anytime I see something cute and wonderful on your blog (which is all the time :) I quietly celebrate with you. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  188. I appreciate this post of yours, addressing the criticism. However, I do feel that a greater point was lost. Criticism is a big impetus for introspection, or at least it should be. To reduce someone to being jealous, hurting, or insecure because they criticized you or criticized a friend, is to lose (or ignore) an opportunity to explore whether any of their points had validity. I think it’s oversimplifying and dismissive.

    I see that the IG commenter has blogged about this as well. And I found it interesting that not only is she a long-time follower and fan of ETST (someone who even emailed you personally to tell you she was touched by a post), but she does not seem in any way to be jealous, insecure, or a hater. She calmly articulated on her blog why she felt the way she feels, which is a longer version of why she unfollowed you on IG. And honestly, I do not think she was bullying when she made that comment. I don’t think her flounce was necessary, but she has as much a right to comment as anyone else, I guess. This is what troubles me, though… I DO think it is bullying for the ETST fans to call this woman a troll, a moron who should be punched in the face, a hater, “just jealous”, etc. Because then, who is acting like the real bully here? Someone referenced “Queen Bees and Wannabes” in an earlier comment. They were talking about the IG commenter, but I find it ironic in light of some of the rude comments here and on IG. I don’t think it’s you bullying, Kelle, but I do think you allow your fans to gang up on people, which creates a culture of being afraid to disagree with you. Hell, even I am afraid to disagree with you, because I know I’ll probably be called a mean nasty troll. But I’m not. I’ve been enjoying your blog for years. I just cringe when I see this lynch mob mentality, anywhere. And it seems to be happening a lot more frequently with your readers. You said that there were over 100 comments in regards to that one IG commenter. That feels a lot more like bullying than the one commenter’s post. Also, you said you felt the “love” from those comments. But most of them were extremely negative and rude in nature. Where’s the love in that? It’s validating, sure. But that is not love. There was anger, spitefulness, and defensiveness, and a whole lot of it. I guess I question why that makes you happy, when you seem to want to encourage people to put positivity into the world?

    I know you can’t control what your fans say. But I do think that you have a responsibility to steer the conversation away from them ganging up on anyone who says anything critical. I have seen this happen on several IG photos, including the Goodwill picture. There seems to be a crowd mentality amongst your fans that criticism, no matter how constructive or polite = hating. Or can be dismissed as jealousy. Or trolls. And I really don’t think that’s the case. I do think last night’s IG commenter was rude. The response by your readers was far ruder, though. And I have seen several other polite and informed people disagree with you and get lambasted. That’s really not fair. And a blog post that encourages that kind of behavior (by saying you feel the love) definitely turns me off as a reader.

    Anyway. That’s just my two cents, and regardless, I think this is an important dialogue to have.

  189. Go Kelle!

    As an avid reader of your blog and someone who is a sucker for pictures of your girls, I can honestly say I would be devastated if you stopped writing and sharing your life with all of us. It’s an incredible thing that we’re all able to see how the Hampton’s live, and so many lives have been touched and inspired. To let one crappy comment ruin the unbelievable thing you have going would be crazy. When YOU personally decide you’ve had enough with writing, then that’s YOUR call and an outsider should never have a say in that. (God help us all when you stop writing!)

    Negativity sucks, but you handle it amazingly. Power to you, and tell the miserable people who think they have a say to get the hell out.

  190. @Sky,

    You’ve made very relevant points, and unfortunately I can’t control other people’s response. When kind and constructive criticism is brought, as you have here, I will validate it (if I see it!). Several photos on IG have been removed for that very reason (including the one from the orange grove). It got out of hand. It’s not a matter of insecurity and jealousy (in Melina’s case, it clearly was) as it is hurt. Pain. Which we ALL have, including commenters and people who respond to commenters with matching attitudes.
    These are certainly not the comments I feel love from. And out of over a hundred comments in reference to that particular IG photo, perhaps you missed the many I saw–highlighting kindness and reacting with grace. I don’t use the term haters or trolls because it’s not a fair term. Hurting people? Yes. We all are hurting in some way, friend.

  191. I think all the time of that scene from Mona Lisa smile where Kirsten Dunst’s character is saying really, really mean things to Maggie Gylennhall’s character. Then Maggie’s character, instead of getting mad or yelling back, just pulls her into a hug. Maggie knows that Kirsten’s husband is cheating on her and she is hurt, and that is where the negativity is coming from. I so wish I could see past the meanness and hug people or at least not take things personally, but that is so hard to do. I don’t know why blogs and instagram, etc. are a place people argue and criticize, but I’m glad you keep writing and taking photos. Keep being an inspiration and keep supporting Lainey’s toilet photos. That’s just pretty awesome.

  192. girl i’ve often wondered what you thought and how you dealt with the negative. when you look around, anyone with a big “following” on ig or in blog world they all get the crazies. hurtful…nasty…mean things are everywhere in their feed. i’m so glad you addressed it. and what you said about the positive comments was just as truthful. we share ourselves and we have to just live our lives and not let the bad or good affect who we are…unless of course it’s to become better…constructive. on that note i love ya…big hugs. hope you read this;)

  193. girl i’ve often wondered what you thought and how you dealt with the negative. when you look around, anyone with a big “following” on ig or in blog world they all get the crazies. hurtful…nasty…mean things are everywhere in their feed. i’m so glad you addressed it. and what you said about the positive comments was just as truthful. we share ourselves and we have to just live our lives and not let the bad or good affect who we are…unless of course it’s to become better…constructive. on that note i love ya…big hugs. hope you read this;)

  194. I have long wondered if or when you might ever address the criticisms you sometimes get – i know it’s out there and you’ve always kept silent about it. I can not tell you how poised and perfect your response was and, more importantly, it felt like such a genuine response that gave me more insight into YOU the person – not just the blogger. I am impressed with your response and your willingness to share it in a ‘non-nasty, non-defensive’ way. Totally in awe. You are grace personified.

  195. “Your blog is where I come to get happy” one of your other readers said– couldn’t agree more!

    Your writing has been a comfort to me through some tough days and nights this year. I watched your family adventures through this internet filter and the happiness you shared gave me hope and motivated me to *make* things better. :)

    You’re an inspiration! Keep writing, Kelle!

  196. I must say one of the things I admire most about you, is the way you gracefully deal with negative criticism. I don’t know how well I would do, and I would probably be an emotional mess if someone said the things to me that they say to you. You are a strong mama! Just know, that these ugly things are so far from the truth. I don’t know how they get this idea that you only portray your life as perfect. One of the things I enjoy, is when you talk about the not so perfect things that go on. Maybe “they” have a problem because you do it with humor? I guess they want you on here moaning and bitching, but really who wants to read that?! My father recently was diagnosed with liver cancer and died within 2 1/2 months. My family dealt with this devastation with humor, no one more than my Dad. Life is hard, we can either choose to be positive or negative when times get tough. I am so glad you choose positive!

  197. It’s like people that tell you “just wait”…wait until you have a kid, then you will see how bad it really is…wait until you have two kids, then you will see how bad it really is…wait until your kids are older, then you will see how bad it is…

    I’m tired of the “just wait” for the bad mentality… What if it is just that? A mentality. If we could move on from that, wouldn’t we all have a little more glitter in our poop?

  198. Saw this today and thought of you. Which is kind of awkward because I don’t know you. But nonetheless…

    Have a nice day!

  199. Thank you for writing this. I have a small blog, that I mostly just do for fun. I stopped writing it because I felt that I was not being taken seriously. When it comes down to it, I do it for me. I take pictures and edit them and share them because it’s something I love. My resolution this year should be to write once a week for ME! Keep on keepin’ on. You do so much good, and I admire all of your honesty and kindness.

  200. There is nothing wrong with focusing on the positive, and everyone has the freedom to put out there what they choose to the world. That being said, the coin falls both ways. You have many people who love your blog and outlook on life. But, as everyone is different, there will be others who disagree on views.

    I understand when people feel the need to stick up for someone they feel is being “attacked”, but often times I am disappointed when people who disagree are called “jealous”, “haters”, “negative”, etc. for is it not possible for people to share their honest opinions (while being respectful, of course) without being attacked themselves? More often than not the answer is no. So people feel frustrated and annoyed. By putting one’s life out there, not everyone is going to feel the same towards a representation as others. Everyone is free to do and say as they please. But sometimes a read comments by people simply trying to voice their own opinions and views about someone, and why a particular blog may not be what they once loved anymore, and they are attacked by fellow followers.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this. It’s more of a constructive criticism towards your followers instead of you. We need to accept that everyone is different, everyone will have their own outlook. If someone on Instagram is simply stating why he or she cannot relate to you anymore, then they are valid in their own reasons. If people disagree, then they disagree. But this whole “you’re a jealous hater” is crap. Just because someone has a different opinion, does mean they are trying to be negative or petty.

  201. Thanks Kelle! Such an inspiration. I love to write but have been afraid of what people will think of me. If they saw my heart, maybe they would not like me. This posts encourages me.


  202. “But sometimes, perfect evenings appear among not-so-perfect lives.”

    You hit the nail on the head. I love reading blogs and I’ve got enough self-esteem to know that no one’s life is perfect. But sometimes I do tire at the endless praise poured on bloggers for any little thing– People fawning over a recipe that someone used, as if they can’t find their own pumpkin bar recipe and absolutely need the one this blogger used.

    All of this is to say that we all should only take a blogger’s posts for what they are. You had a beautiful evening with your adorable daughters and were fortunate enough to document it. You took beautiful photos. Do these few hours at the orange grove equate a perfect life? No! And why any adult would think that is beyond me.

    I am such a lover of the small things. And really, a small pleasure after a long, gong-show-of-a-day at work can make things feel perfect. Even for just a moment. It’s a wonderful feeling to stop and embrace that moment. It makes me feel as though all is right with the world… even though we all know it isn’t.

    We all need these moments of peace and beauty and feeling content. You can find them anywhere, in anything.

    Blogs can be uplifting and inspiring. I hope more people can take a deep breathe and remember that a blog is not a mirror of a person’s life. It’s fun to read posts that inspire and encourage. I don’t think we need to know all of your faults to appreciate your posts.

    Thanks for writing and sharing so well, Kelle.

  203. and one more thing, why do people feel the need to say when they don’t like something. I read a particular blog, and while I usually enjoy it, I don’t agree with this person’s religious views. However, I keep that to myself. It is her blog, and if it bothers me that much I can just choose not to read her anymore. I would never even think of voicing my thoughts to her. That is just rude! If I wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, I don’t say it on social media. It is a rule we should all live by!

  204. Am I the only one who really wants to see Lainey’s bog-art? loo-fest? lav-stagram?

    There will always be people out there who want to bring you down Kelle. I wonder if people hurt badly if they need to comment in a nasty way towards others?

    Now, please can we have a few loo pics?

  205. I do not use instagram (gasp I am living under a rock, I know I know), so I didn’t see the comment that inspired this and this is not a comment for that. This is just to say that I think this post was beautifully written and is great for anyone to read. I don’t need to know the back story to appreciate the words written. They can apply to us all. Thanks for sharing your heart on this one because that is what you did. It’s not easy to do, but you did it and you did it in a way that made me take a moment to take it in. This was really a beautiful post. You should be proud of it. Thanks for letting us in your head and heart some, and thank you for inspiring me today. You are appreciated!

  206. Can we just one of the toilet pictures?

  207. Loved loved loved this post. I think it is those of us who find and cherish the moments of perfection in our not-so-perfect lives who appreciate your blog, and more specifically your outlook on life, even more.

  208. Hi Kelle, I read your book last year and started reading your blog after finishing the book. This is my first time commenting, and thought it was time to let you know that yours is one of the most well-written, thoughtful, inspirational blogs I read.

    I have a teeny tiny family blog that nobody been reads, so I’ve never received a negative comment, but I’m grateful for your advice, because the absence of comments from the ones I love hurts in a different, but similar way. Thanks for sharing your talents and experiences. Carry on, warrior!

  209. Sometimes people seem to write negative things just to be different.I’ve noticed this lately on some of my favorite blog. It’s like oh the blogger just got 50 nice comments- let me knock her/him down a notch and write you suck/your dog is ugly/ your kids are annoying etc. It’s a power trip for some. Not all of course. Some people just flat out disagree and want you to know it. Haters are gonna hate.

  210. And the more I think about it, this post is severely disappointing. It seems you yourself have adopted that same mindset of “if they don’t like me, it’s because of an issue with themselves and not me.” Why can’t you take constructive criticism like a mature, grown woman? You obviously did not truly sit and reflect on these views.

    I used to love this blog, but this post is a perfect example of why people are becoming frustrated with it. You deny anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Because you know what? Some people (a lot, actually) have issues with mothers who deny their children privacy. Who make their living off of photos of them. Who are so, so privileged, yet get rid of their plans to help out a family in need around Christmas time. THAT was when I had had it with this blog. You could have done great, wonderful things for the needy. Donating, getting sponsors involved, getting your followers involved. But instead you chose to “shine your inner flashlight”. Which helps no one. How would you feel if you asked people to donate to a DS community and was met with responses of “we won’t give anything, but we will shine our inner flashlight for you!”?

    You could do great things with your Internet fame, but really you just sit back and let your daughters and sponsors do the work for you. Am I jealous of you? He’ll no. I find this all despicable. But keep living in your bubble. It’s obviously the only way you can exist.

  211. @amberbarnesblog
    I’m sorry but you must be mistaken that we “got rid of plans” to help a family in need at Christmas time. It’s something we do every year and if I didn’t post it here, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The rest of your comment is certainly an opinion you have a right to. I guess that I’d ask why are you still reading and coming here if a while ago, you were fed up?

  212. For anyone who might think that Kelle isn’t genuine- I’ve seen her in public with her children and she’s just as real in person as she is on the blog! I saw her at the beach with her family and was too shy to talk to her (well that, and my husband said I would seem like a stalker if I told her I read her blog). She was in every way the same person that she portrays on her blog!

    Kelle, you are an inspiration to me as a mom and I’m so happy that you do what you do! I admire you for how family oriented you are and I have become a better mother since reading your blog in the past three years. Keep ’em coming!

  213. Thank you for this. I’m a new blogger, and your words are very meaningful to me. You inspire me as both a blogger and a mother. Keep up the good work!

  214. I recently commented on an article on NPR that showed kids who committed random acts of kindness were more popular among their peers. My boys and I have been doing random acts of kindness and blogging about it for the last year. I wrote that I thought it also boosted my sons’ self-confidence and that it had been a wonderful experiment in our house and invited people to come visit our blog. I was taken aback by one snarky comment. Really, who has something against kindness? My friend reminded me that 3 percent of people you meet will never like you so we should all focus on the other 97 percent. That sounded like great advice to me. I did stew for a few days then threw him in the 3 percent. Great post! Love visiting your blog!

  215. Thank you for sharing this!! It is something that I try to teach my children everyday. Mainly because it is so much easier to understand people & go through life when you understand that most of the time people’s critism of you (esp if they don’t know you!) is just a reflection of how they feel about themselves. So thank you for writing about something in a realistic fashion that is helpful & possibly healing for others! You are a blessing!

  216. Being praised can be just as harmful as being criticized if you’re not careful. Your work, your voice, your words, your art, your gifts you have to give to the world–their value has nothing to do with the response you receive from them.

    Man, did I need to hear this. Thank you!!

  217. Thank you for sharing your perfectly imperfect, unicorn and glitter filled life with us! In this world filled with so many awful things, your blog filled with cute kids, fun projects, stripey clothes, Hunter boots and trips to the orange grove (which I am insanely jealous of, as I sit here freezing my butt off in PA!) is a little piece of happy that never fails to make me smile and reminds me to enjoy the small things!

  218. Ditto Sky.

    I also think one could argue that excessive adulation for a blogger/public figure could be born out of the same issues (sadness, insecurity, emptiness, etc.) It’s just as unhealthy as mean spirited criticism, imo.

  219. One thing you said in this post struck me in particular: that people have the right to voice their opinion about you and your work.

    It reminded me of something I read on Captain Awesome today (she’s . . . awesome): “Freedom of speech means the government can’t lock you up for voicing opinion, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get kicked out of a party for peeing on the carpet.” People have the right to HAVE an opinion about you, but you are well within your rights to delete ANY comment you deem rude, hateful, etc. towards yourself or anyone else. Don’t leave the hate there to fester, whether it’s a comment directed at you or at another commenter in your “defense.”

    Just leave the love. There’s plenty of that here!

  220. I LOVE this post and I love your reaction/response to the criticism. I’ll never understand one person’s need to make themselves feel better by trying to destroy another one’s happiness. Sadly you are probably dead on about their unhappiness with their own life. Praying for them is all you can do…..keep writing and sharing!

  221. I must admit I’m shocked about the criticism. I’ve been a fan of yours Kelles Bells for 6 months now and have never found you fluffy or laced with too much faerie dust! My old school punk self wants to tell the negative person aka douche to “suck it” which of course is immature. You’re honest and forthright and I hope you’ve let this attack go. They aren’t worth your time.

  222. I find it quite funny,that if people really do not like what someone says/does/is they just write hurtful mean comments freely as if that does not have consequences… I guess the online world gives them the anonymity protection… anyway, my point is: if they really hated you, they would not see your instagram pics, they would not read your posts or books or whatever… but they care, and they react negatively and that is just a reflection of what they are missing in their lives. We all feel miserable once in a while, and it is true that sometimes we take it against the world to try to feel better, but that is notan excuse… Bullies: mean people, they are not entitled to hurt others physically or verbally…

  223. This discussion could go on forever… if I do not believe in certain religion I do not go into their church while in their service to tell them how wrong and stupid I think they are for believing in what they believe, right? I just walk by, go away and move on with my beliefs… online world should be the same, you do not like or agree with something or someone, then move on, look for what you share and love. there is plenty for all of us! Thank God we all do not like the same!!! this would be a boring world!

  224. You are a beautiful, strong woman with the prettiest little girls in the world. I love that you wrote this with such honesty. This world needs more honesty. You are one of the most honest bloggers out there, and I admire it. You’re lovely, your girls are lovely and so are your words. Keep going.

  225. As a Community Manager for a blogging platform, I deal with negativity on the Internet day in, day out. As a blogger, I deal with it in my off time, too. I absolutely love your approach. Thank you for sharing it!

  226. I just want you to know that I often turn to your words when I need that “I can be a better mama” oomph. None of us are even close to perfect, but providing inspiration to be better, and to do more, is nothing to sneeze at.

  227. Nicely done, Kelle. Have a great weekend.

  228. While 99% of the viewers love your blog and truly admire you, I wouldn’t waste my time and energy on the 1% who don’t. Everyone is not going to love us all the time.
    Like an old song said “See you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.”

  229. My dear, sweet, beautiful ( inside and out) Kelle: being subtle is a criticism I’ve never been accused of, so here goes: some people are just friggin’ crap. Hence they exude crap unto undeserving others. You, my friend, are not. You are amazing, and are to commended for the good and beauty that you share, and the inspiration you provide to others. Glitter, unicorn poop, and all. Love u to pieces. Keep on keepin on girlfriend. And good lord, when is that little boy gonna grace us with his amazing prescense? I CANNOT wait to blog meet him!!!!

    Much love,

  230. I just wanted to say that I love, love, love the way your girls dress. It’s obvious that you let them express their own sense of style and they look absolutely adorable doing it! The boots/floral skirt/striped shirt combo is beyond adorable. I wish I could pull of that look and look as cute as your little one does! :)

  231. YOU GO GIRL!!! And for those that are so negative…stop reading!!! *Hampton Power*

  232. Ok, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading every single post your write. You put into BEAUTIFUL words, thoughts I have about my son & life in general. You are AMAZING….and DO NOT think for one second that you are not!! I know criticism hurts though. I now follow you on instagram and when a new picture pops up, it always makes me smile! Keep doing what you do!! You are fantastic at it!! Xx

  233. The Instagram troll does realize that your blog is called ENJOYING the Small Things, right? Just sayin’.

  234. Kelle, I was able to meet you at your book signing in Monroe, MI. I only spoke with you briefly, but I could tell you are a kind and beautiful person, inside and out. Your blog encompasses this and I appreciate your positivity. I don’t come to your blog to read about stress or negativity…we all have enough of that in our life! Life can be downright hard, we are all aware. We all have our hardships, but I appreciate your ability to see light through these hardships. You see the good in life and in people.

    I think some people want so badly to be validated, they’re willing to hurt others to get the validation they desire. That negative comment stood out like a sore thumb in a sea of comments filled with positive praises and love. Though negative, this commenter received undeserved recognition. Perhaps this person had a bad day and they’re having a hard time seeing the good in life right now. Regardless, there is no excuse for the hurtful words said. Like the old saying goes, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. There is a huge difference between constructive criticism and just being plain mean and hurtful.

    You are loved. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart.

    “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” ― Kathryn Stockett, The Help πŸ˜‰

  235. Kelle,

    You’re a very popular blogger/writer/photographer/crafter for a reason – women and men love to see your creativity through your words, photos and crafts — because you found your nitche and rock at it. You shouldn’t feel like you have to defend yourself. I do think people who critisise goodness has awefulness in their life, and it seeps out in a nasty-gram like puss from a blister. You find the good in life and you’re teaching us to be the change we want to see in the world. How can that be criticized?

  236. Thank you for writing this. Thank you. Thank you. I write a small blog about my family and have had one person say some horrible things….that yes, boil down to ‘you are crap’. This post is lovely, important and full of honesty and I am so thankful you were brave enough to write it. Thanks again.

  237. i am always grateful that you put yourself out there for all of us to read. i have a blog, too, that i have edited down to a few scarce entries… ones that i am okay with others reading. i want to start another… start fresh… but i’m also not sure that i want to start another… start fresh.

    there is a delicate balance of what to put “out there” and you should know that i appreciate you. i always love looking at your photos and take much inspiration away from each post. :)

    thank you!!

  238. This is a great post!!!

  239. I have a small blog that gets a comment or two per post.

    I pour my heart into it, and on NYE I even posted a drunk, half-assed, poor me- blog post. Ha! That nobody commented on thank God!

    It was a bit embarrassing but it’s me. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be you and get all these crazy comments… and I know my heart might not be able to take it.

    I’m not good at always seeing the glass half full, but I think you are.

    I think it’s a strength you have.

    Something I admire.

    Write for you, and you’ll never go wrong.

    But it does suck balls that one negative comment can stick out like a sore thumb among the positive. I believe the term it called, “trolls.” lol

    Keep it classy πŸ˜‰ <— sarcasm. I cuss like a sailor.

  240. Kelle….
    I did a snorting laugh at “happycusswords”. Too funny!! πŸ˜‰
    “It wasn’t perfect per say, but oh that doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful. Or that those curse-worthy moments weren’t far outshined by happy ones. If you look for the good, you will find it.”. I so needed that tonight!! I experienced a short-lived mood swing earlier this afternoon. My Mom, aka “support” helped be crawl out of it. So I am better now…. ;-D
    I’m sorry that you have had to deal with nasty comments…. :-(

  241. Kelle,

    I haven’t commented in a while….but this post really got to me. The world is filled with so much anger, pettiness and negativity, and I’m sorry that some of that got you. I read your blog because I know you poop glitter, and that’s just an awesome little trick! πŸ˜€ Seriously, I read your blog because you parent in a way I admire and can relate to, your photography is out of this world and I like your positive way of looking at the world. I see that people project so much stuff on you and I think it has much more to do with them than it does with you…anyway, that’s my two cents, mi hermana. Keep on keeping on, girlfriend. I’ll keep reading and enjoying the unicorns, glitter-shite, and those beautiful pics. :)

    Carmen in Boston

  242. My mother use to tell me that people who feel the need to criticize other people are jealous of the life they possess. Sometimes, while it may hurt, we get hit hard by a random thing said. Rise above and keep smiling, they hate that.

  243. Thank you Kelle for reminding us all how no matter what life brings our way and who we become, we can’t please everyone. Because of you and your blog, I am inspired every day to see the beauty in the everything no matter how big or small and to be happy to be me! Thank you Kelle and I wish you all the best with your little bundle of joy to come!

  244. You have such a way with words! Well said!

  245. Kelle, loved this post. Also love all the love shown on IG. Ditto to everything said! Love the sarcasm. My little girl with DS is 1 year now, cute boots… Not optional. So fun to look ahead to see the beauty that will be in my future when my lil one is exploring her world. Thanks!

  246. thank you for writing this! you are so insightful and inspiring to others. thank you for braving the criticism. i know i love hearing about your day, seeing your photos! wish i knew you personally! you seem like such a good friend and person! would be such a blessing in anyone’s life. :)

  247. I have been quietly reading your blog for several years now and rarely comment. But tonight, after your last post, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate that you dwell on the positive, while still being real. So many bloggers are fake and phony or they dwell on the negative, esp in regards to their kids. I love your beautiful photos and that you journal what your children will want to read when they’re older. They want to hear their mom speaking like they’re almost perfect…I have our family blog and before I ever post anything, I think: “what will my kids want and appreciate reading when they’re older and have these journals (I turn my blog into a book each year)?” You’re amazing–as a person, as a writer, as a photographer, and as a wife and mother. Keep it up!

  248. Wow. I saw the IG comment and seriously, your rabid fans overreacted (just as they did on these comments). Everyone who criticizes a blogger is not a “hater” or a “moron” or jealous of said blogger. Not everyone wants be a “famous” blogger. No amount of money in the world would convince me to expose my children to the masses ala Kelle Hampton. I used to enjoy this blog. Now it is all about the sponsor, and the next giant overwhelming party, and where Kelle bought what and OMG can I get one of those?!?!? I’ve lost any affinity I had for this blog, and I can understand why the person posted what they did on IG.

  249. i’m one of those who can react to the whole, “my life is wonderful and yes i wake up looking like a super model” kind of bloggers but to me, it’s more of a SPIRIT about someone, their attitude, then even their writing and pictures – and for what it’s worth, YOU ARE SO NOT THAT!

    it’s why i keep coming back!


  250. .. and can i ask those who don’t like kelle’s blog, WHY are you still reading?

    move on already! i’m sure there’s lots of other blogs you could spend your time on.

  251. I never comment…but had to say thank you for your post, your insights in dealing with the difficult. Your writing brings me joy and help

  252. Orange you glad you have saved the grove memories with your beautiful photography? Orange you glad you make me smile with your daily life stories? Orange you glad the you have support of a greater community of friends than enemies? Orange you glad?

  253. Kelle: you have such a joy in everything you do! Love your little family and looove to read your posts … and your photos… awww… you are my inspiration! Thank you for all you are.

  254. “Over a hundred people wrote in response to this individual, and there was a lot of love shared that–I’ll be honest–felt good”

    Seems like what you crave the most is attention, Kelle. Those posts that were written in response to the person who “criticised” you were nasty and mean. You could stop the bullying but didn’t. Maybe you allow it to continue because you love hearing how perfect you are?

  255. Hello I love reading your blog because it is so positive and happy. You are inspiring because you put positivity out there. No one has a perfect life but you always help us see the good. And that is so nice to read daily on your blog. Thanks. Monica

  256. Great post. Really love the way you think. Thanks! M

  257. You are so right, the negative usually comes from the misery in the life of the giver and we shouldn’t take it personally. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we hurt others, it’s important to remember! And did I say you are SO lucky to live in Florida, my dream-life state? Off to the Keys in a week and can’t wait!

  258. You always manage to bring a little happy tear to me , your voice is so real and I loved seeing you in person in San Diego at Barnes and Noble.

  259. I can’t tell you all the times your words have picked me up. I know you are not perfect, who is?? I don’t think you portray “a perfect life” in your blog, if anything you help illustrate that life isn’t perfect, but you can find joy in other ways. I can’t help but want to kick their butt, whoever it is that would leave a mean comment. LOL You are the best, Kelle! We all love your pictures and beautiful words.

  260. Love it all – ok I really love that my little girl is not the only one who takes pictures of everything – mine likes to take up close pictures of our faces etc or we the crotch shot – nice that is just what I wanted a picture of – ha ha.I really do love that my daughter loves taking pictures as much as I do. A few weeks a go she had a session with her little brother and was directing him where to sit/ stand it was cute.



  263. I really really do not understand why someone would comment on someone’s picture or blog post something mean. I mean, i have definitely disagreed with bloggers before & when that is the case i usually just x out of it & keep my thoughts to myself – but even then, i don’t think the writer is a horrible person; i just disagree with whatever they said.

    I love reading your blog & your pictures are fabulous! :) I did feel myself get a bit jealous of someone’s perfect life recently – someone i only know through IG & her blog- and i knew exactly what it stemmed from. The fact that i am still childless after two years trying to conceive. And it hurts sometimes to see such happy kid pictures. I still wouldn’t ever write something ugly to her b/c it’s not HER fault she has kids and i don’t! But it was just a thought that crossed my mind while looking at her 100th pic of her precious babies. I think that is normal, and i’m just glad i recognize that it’s ME, not her! i usually DON’T feel that way when looking at pics of other people’s kids – it was just a rough day. So i know you’re right about it being about the commenter’s own insecurities and fears.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. Obviously you are very loved by a lot of people! :)

  264. Keep posting exactly what you want to post. Anybody who really thinks that your life is perfect, or who resents you for it, is not worth paying attention to. Your focus on positivity is one of the reasons you have such a following. Of course, if you were having a rough time and posted sad things, we would still keep reading, because we have grown to love you…the point is, write what you want to write, focus on what you want to focus on, and forget the haters.

  265. Haven’t commented in a while, but I read EVERY single post. I check often to see if a new one is up – oh how I look forward to them.

    Had to take a minute to tell you “YOU GO GIRL”. Love this post, love your honesty, heard a tone I don’t remember ever hearing before? It’s easy to hide behind negative words on a comment on a blog. It’s actually sad to imagine what life is like for a person who could write mean words.

    Stay true to you and what you do and keep the unicorn-glitter pictures and posts coming! I for one, love and need them and oh how they make me smile. My photography has improved 10x since I started reading your blog years ago and I always tell people you were and are my inspiration.

    Hugs! -Jenny in Iowa

  266. Hey Beautiful!
    I am so proud of you for keep on keeping on. I KNEW this would happen to you. I warned you about it & you have handled it beautifully. It is jealousy because why on earth would someone even want to come over to your world and hate? WHY keep coming back if you hate it?? “I was merely pointing out, or I am afraid to disagree”…why go there when Kelle is NOT invading your space? As the general saying goes, your enemies know more about your life (or are experts) than your friends half the time…who knew (and why) is beyond me? LOVE the Bill Cosby quote! I don’t comment as much, but LOVE you just the same.
    Many blessings to you in 2013 and take care of yourself.
    Heartfelt hugs from Tejas,

  267. I concur with what Sky said. I really don’t know Kelle or any of the commenters so I have nothing to say about the little incident. Reminds me of the school yard where all the girls would get in a pet about something minor and spend weeks disecting it. Exhausting. I think I’ll get my daughter into sports (not that I am L)). I take from ETST what I find to be interesting and that’s all…it’s not my job to review/critique or get involved in complicated family business. Having said that and seeing Poppa’s instagram Kelle perhaps tell him to stop being such a mischevious imp ‘cos its making trouble for you & you’re busy!:)

  268. Kelle, this jives SO MUCH with what I have been thinking lately, that I actually wrote a blog post about my thoughts and quoted this blog, with a link to it. Is that OK? Thanks!

  269. You are a beautiful mom and I am so glad that I am one of your many blog readers. I could go on and on about the happiness that your blog brings me. TRY not to let other people’s bad days, harsh words and/or jealous get to you. What are are giving to your children everyday is very special, and you know that! We are lucky to be able to see it!

  270. @Kelle –

    Thanks for responding to my comment. I am happy you took it in the spirit that it was intended.

    I do think it’s a fallacy though, to assume that someone making a rude comment is **necessarily** doing it because they are somehow hurt, wounded, unhappy, or anything along those lines. Sometimes people just disagree, or get frustrated with us, and say it in a less than elegant way. While it’s true that all humans have hurt and wounds, it is not true that all criticism is borne out of those wounds. Having read that IG comment, and her blog post, I don’t think she was speaking from her own personal hurt. I think she was speaking from a place of being frustrated and fed up with someone. And that is just part of life. We have all experienced having someone snap at us, and realizing, “OMG – I really upset her without knowing it.”

    When we are children or young adults, it is easy to justify that snippiness as THEIR character shortcoming, not ours. But I believe that as we age and grow, we naturally should look within ourselves, and not within others, to explain people getting angry or rude with us. Yes, sometimes people ARE just crazy asses. Occasionally their words come from a deep personal hurt or jealousy. But other times, they are very valid points that are just wrapped up in unpleasant packaging. I don’t think it’s wise to automatically assume that the reason people dole out criticism is because they are hurting. That is not using the opportunity to look in the mirror, it’s turning the mirror back on them. Which, as adults who want to (hopefully) grow and change for the better, is not productive. From a psychological standpoint, thinking that people who criticize you must be lacking something is a defense mechanism, a wall meant to guard us from honest and pure self-evaluation and introspection. It’s dismissive. It’s also much easier. True introspection is painful and messy…and in the midst of it, it is a lot easier to flip the mirror on others. But the most personal growth comes when we keep it on ourselves.

  271. Mean people suck, but girl, you keep on doing YOU! I love reading your blog and feeling that I am peeking in on the magical life you create for your girls! I know your life has its ups and downs but your girls’ world seems so doggone happy! I borrow (okay, I steal them) ideas from your parties and traditions that you share with your readers to make childhood magical for my little guy! Keep on with the puppies and unicorns… Those things matter and help with the tough not so fun stuff!

  272. I LOVED your honesty here. That it is just as dangerous to accept all of the compliments as it is to take on the negatives. And yet, that thought deserves compliment. You have taken a risk all of these years, and we don’t all have to see eye to eye to appreciate it. Thanks for sharing, for making a commitment to your craft and a commitment to your readers. It is appreciated! oxox

  273. You are one amazing woman! So glad you wrote this. I needed a reminder too :0)

    – jen

  274. Well my goodness. I don’t understand why anyone thinks that leaving criticism on another person’s blog is acceptable. It is not. It’s mean, unkind and quite immature. If we don’t like what’s written then we have the great power to simply move on. And in the words of the greatest mothers out there, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Hugs to you.

  275. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean that you are weak, it means that you are real. Where is the room for growth if we are not honest with ourselves? If everyone walked on eggshells, we’d have a slippery (yoke-covered) floor. No, we need to put ourselves out there.

    We need to take chances, make mistake, get messy! (& have fun / learn, laugh, love and grow from these experiences)

    Also, so much more joy in sharing I find, keep sharing lady!

  276. Kelle…while I agree with you that people have a right to voice their opinions, I also think you have the right to utilize the block button when commenters are downright rude or abusive. Some people just suck and don’t deserve to be heard.

  277. I feel the same way as so many many others. Your photos and your gift with words inspire me, make me smile (and sometimes cry), help me watch for the joy in the everyday moments in my own life. Your blog, and your Instagram feed, brighten my days, and I love your enthusiasm, creativity, style, and most especially, what a good mama you are to those beautiful children of yours. Thank you for sharing with us. Hope your week is fabulous, and full of glitter and stripes and giggly girls!

  278. Have you read “the four agreements”? It may be helpful to you and bloggers everywhere. It is wonderful AND short. Which is helpful for us mommies πŸ˜‰

  279. Just catching up in blogs… somehow missed all the IG drama. I have always admired your response to negative comments. I recently received my first one on our business blog… itl hit me right in the gut. It never feels good but is just a part of living in public I suppose. Personally I live by the “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” philosophy. Wish the Internet did too.
    Stay classy lady!

  280. Kelle, I just want to sincerely thank you for being so real and honest. This post spoke straight to my heart and is exactly what I needed to hear. Again thank you
    Many thoughts and prayers to you and your family,

  281. Well said.
    I blog too and I know the feeling of owning what I write.
    I don’t need to apologize! I teach my kids that hurtful comments is not your truth! Just because someone says something (out of jelousy, lack of self esteem, plain rudeness)does not make it true! They might not even believe it themselves!! But they know it will hurt you and it might make themselves feel superior. But!! Remember, they have to sleep with themselves EVERY night!! While I can brush off their dirt, they are living and breathing it until they decide to change their lives, because they sure won’t change mine! xoxo

  282. I was refering to straight out rudeness! Not someone not sharing my opinion! Very different.

  283. Good for you for having not only the courage to write, but to eloquently defend yourself. My mom sent me to your blog, because although I doubt you remember, I was blessed to have your family in my life many many years ago. I started reading your book last night, and the reference to Horseshoe Drive… was surreal. I grew up on Forge and your family was a big part of our lives for many years.
    Someone in a previous comment asked how you were so smart? Your Dad too had a profound way with words.
    So I once again commend you for being so vulnerable. It’s nice to see little Kelle Cryderman all grown up.

  284. Have you run into these wonderful prints on Etsy by Katie Daisy at The Wheatfield… they remind me of you so!×7-greeting-card

  285. Kelle this is YOUR can write whatever you want and post all the photos you want to share. I’m sure you did not start blogging to deal with people who are looking to argue, complain and criticize. It’s YOUR life and you can write whatever you want about it without having to worry about what others will think. Those of us who follow your blog enjoy doing do. We enjoy your posts and beautiful photos and love to follow the development of your beautiful girls Lainey and Nella. We are honored guests here and don’t want to overstep our stay. This is not a political forum open for debate. The handful of readers who whine, complain, lecture and are confrontational are not only disrespectful to you but are very annoying to us as well! If they don’t like what you have to say why do they continue to read your blog? We come here to hear about YOU and your kids and enjoy all the beautiful photos. If I were you I would just delete/block anyone who come here to stir trouble! Keep doing what you do…this blog is always a breath of fresh air and don’t let a handful of miserable complainers spoil that!

  286. When you put your self out there, you have to expect some critics. Some of those may be good and others, well, seeing from this post, not so good. How you deal with those critics and the criticism is entirely up to you. Learn, grow and continue to move.

  287. Kelle, you have such a beautiful soul. And you are freaking funny. I’ve followed your blog for a long while now and have never commented. You inspire me and have influenced my outlook on life on so many levels. Thank you for sharing, you make the world a much brighter place! Cheers to you!

  288. Keep on writing your wonderful blog. Surely people get the fact your life is not perfect if they read your blog or even bother to read your book? You chose a path of positivity, as opposed to so many who are negative. There is so much that is wrong with the world today. You blogs always cheer me & make me stop & think. Ignore those haters & keep on writing. We love you down here in Australia x

  289. Keep on writing your wonderful blog. Surely people get the fact your life is not perfect if they read your blog or even bother to read your book? You chose a path of positivity, as opposed to so many who are negative. There is so much that is wrong with the world today. You blogs always cheer me & make me stop & think. Ignore those haters & keep on writing. We love you down here in Australia x

  290. Keep on writing your wonderful blog. Surely people get the fact your life is not perfect if they read your blog or even bother to read your book? You chose a path of positivity, as opposed to so many who are negative. There is so much that is wrong with the world today. You blogs always cheer me & make me stop & think. Ignore those haters & keep on writing. We love you down here in Australia x

  291. Just one more thing.
    Melina is not a good writer. Don’t write like her, K Dude?

  292. Beautiful.
    Tonight you inspired me. Touched a nerve in my own heart. Helped me face a fear in the face – and punch it.

    Thank you.
    and I love unicorns.

  293. I love this post and wanted to share one of my Mother in Laws favorite sayings – “Sometimes perfect isn’t perfect.”

  294. Wonderfully written and, even better, wonderful content. Thank you for sharing. (Also, your kids are gorgeous!)

  295. Kelle, I’ve been following your blog for almost a couple years now. I don’t comment much, but I think this is a great post to let you know how much I appreciate your writing. So I hope it doesn’t get too lost among all the other comments πŸ˜‰

    In 2011 we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. We had 6 weeks of new baby bliss and teaching our other son how to be a big brother before we found out that our little baby has an uncommon combination of heart defects. And then they told us his heart defects told them he probably has Williams Syndrome. Told us to read up on it before our genetics appointment and sent us on our way.

    In my frantic search to find anything online that would tell me my new baby would grow up just like his brother, I stumbled across your blog. Nella’s birth story moves me to tears to this day whenever I read it because it was the same way I felt. I’m sure you hear that a lot. But I felt like I didn’t have the same baby I took home from the hospital. Reading current posts about every day life helped me to cope and gave me hope that life wasn’t going to be as hard as I thought it would be.

    So anyway, I wanted to say thank you for you and your writing :)

    Kristen Barron

  296. Kelle, great post on how all of us bloggers feel about the ‘cuts’ we get being out here. I stepped even further out of my comfort zone and published my first children’s book – perhaps the hardest was silence from those in my circle.
    Perhaps for one day you should consider changing your blog name to ‘Enjoying the Yuck of Things – for they make me stronger’. Congrats on your upcoming bundle!

  297. Such wonderful, inspiring, encouraging words! Thank you for sharing :)

  298. thanks for an honest and also glittery post. the bill cosby quote is great and came JUST when i needed to read it. i’m so glad that you continue to share your journey with us (us being random strangers!). it’s so brave and so generous. this blog is a little treat everytime i read it.

  299. This is EXCELLENT.

  300. You. CAN. Write. And photograph…and love. And you are damn good at all three.

    Marilyn (who is posting under the guise of our dog blog…)

    Loved, loved and loved your book!

  301. i never cease to be baffled when people choose to follow someone on IG that they don’t even like. good for you for not letting the haters get you down =)

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  303. Kelle, thanks for this. It is so applicable to life, not just blogging. I don’t know how you bloggers do it and put up with the negativity that can come. But I am glad you do! You and E Tells Tales got me through pregnancy insomnia and sleepless nights nursing my little baby. I am definitely a grateful reader and just wanted to write an encouragement to try to keep outnumbering any rudeness you might encounter. πŸ˜‰

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  305. I so needed to hear these words tonight!! Thank you!!

  306. I so needed to hear these words tonight!! Thank you!!

  307. This post inspired me so when I was nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award and asked to nominate 15 other noteworthy blogs, I nominated yours. To learn more, please visit, the 2.8.13 post.

  308. I stumbled on your blog through, what started out with me reading a birth story has ended in me reading post after post for a couple hours. You’ve officially been added to my blog list! I love your written expression and zest for life. Thank you for taking that leap and sharing your life for all to see. I personally love it.

  309. Beautiful, Kelle! And if you really do poop glitter – more power to you! The world needs more glitter.

  310. You’re brave.
    You’re smart.
    You’re beautiful.
    You’re honest.

    I rarely EVER comment, but I just had to tell you that you are so not crap. I’m learning from you…to take the negative and let it grow you is no small thing.

    I truly believe it’s a supernatural work being done in your heart and mind….and it’s amazing.

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