Seven Week Meltdown

So I just deleted an entire four paragraphs because I realized at the end of that fourth paragraph that what I was writing wasn’t really fun to write anymore.  It was all “motherhood is so hard” (said like a five-year-old throwing a dramatic fit), and you know what?  It is hard.  Saturday proved that for me, and I could write every awful thing that happened–who was crying and how I dealt–and it would be funny.  It would be relatable.  You might have even thought to leave a comment that said “thanks for keepin’ it real.”

Truth is, I write here about what feels good to write about and today, after earning my stripes in the Hot Mess Mom Club, I’m not going to write that motherhood is so hard post.  Because I’m kind of over it this morning. 

Alright, I’ll share just a little bit from Saturday’s craziness because I went to the trouble of drawing a picture for the story.

After picking up my wallet from a restaurant where I left it for the second time this week (yes, same restaurant, two separate times), Heidi and I took the kids downtown Saturday for some fun.  Let’s just say every kid was crying, I didn’t have enough arms to help, and when we finally got to an outdoor restaurant to collect our thoughts, I said to our super hot waiter when he saw all the kids, “I know what you’re thinking–table from hell.  Promise we’ll take it easy on y–.”  Except I couldn’t even finish the sentence before Nella’s stroller flipped backwards.  With her in it.  Yep, boots in the air again.  Super Hot Waiter had to save her while everything that was in the stroller including an orange juice, my purse and a wet diaper flipped out and I sat helpless, Dash crying in my lap, from the other side of the table.  Whew.

So here, a picture:

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And by the way, Heidi says this is all part of the naturally orchestrated universe because Seven Week Meltdown post third kid is a given.  She’s been telling me this for an entire year, and funny Saturday should land exactly seven weeks and two days past giving birth. 


It’s funny how trained I’ve become as a woman to think that the “I’m failing” stories make me more likeable.  I tend to be a bit of a people pleaser, so I’m easily trained on these things.  Tell them that you lost your cool, that your kids have massive fits, that you can’t lose the pregnancy weight and they’ll like you better.  You know what I say when anyone tells me I look good after having a baby?  I have it memorized.  I fire it back without even thinking:  “Oh there’s some Pillsbury skin underneath the shirt, don’t worry.”  And I breathe a sigh of relief as if suddenly I was forgiven, “let in” after being proven.

I realize there is truth to why we’re trained this way.  We naturally accept our own imperfections a little more when we find them in others too, and that’s okay.  Power in numbers, comfort in a like-minded group.  I’ve totally been guilty of saying “Thank God” when I discover my outwardly put-together friends have junk drawers, messy closets and laundry piles the size of landfills.  But I also don’t want to need to hear these things in order to be okay with my own shortcomings.  And I certainly don’t want to base my likability of someone on the presence of faults like mine.

We share our weaknesses not to be liked but because the community that’s built in the process helps create a kinder force to accept these imperfections and a stronger force to overcome them.  But we must make lots of room in between to celebrate each others’ strengths, high-five for the days well played, and recognize in our own lives where things are very good indeed.

And good Lord, one of these days I will learn that when someone tells me I seem put together, I don’t have to make sure they know my house is a mess. “You look great” doesn’t need to be followed by a description of my stomach dough, and a rave review of something I cooked does not call for “it’s the only thing I know how to make.”  Compliments don’t need to be softened by backing them up with disclaimers; sometimes you just need to own them.

With that said, this weekend had far more good moments than challenging ones.

Like Family Pool Parties

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Dash had his first experience with the pool and loved it.

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Also, I really need to wash my windows.

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Finally turning on the pool heater means late night pool dips with no shivering

Heidi and I laughed on Saturday that we had every reason to  head back home after the fate of the day proved disastrous.  But neither one of us would make the call, so we just kept pushing strollers with whiny kids. 

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We finally made it to the beach where kids were set free and we sat–surrounded by tourists, cooled by strong beach winds–and slowly reordered the memories of the day, these peaceful ones quickly taking the top spots.

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For all the times we usually can’t shut up when we’re together, we were quiet on the beach that night.  It’d be nice to say it was because we were drinking in the scene or moved by the beauty of it all, but clearly, we were shot. 

Heidi:  “You want to walk to the end of the pier?”
Me:  “Let’s not and say we did.”

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Recovery for Saturday came Sunday when, after a morning clean, our very low expectations for the afternoon were exceeded simply because we managed to paint our nails.

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This boy.  He can go from not crying to a full scale vibrato wail in all of half a second.  But he is the best cuddler ever.

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Those last two pics?  Yeah, tipped strollers have nothing on them apples.


Popina Swimsuit Giveaway Winner:

Comment #566, Katie:

I desperately need a new swimsuit and have never had one that truly made me feel special. This might do the trick for my return to NC’s Emerald Island this summer, it’s my happy place.

Congratulations, Katie.  Please e-mail me at with the subject POPINA GIVEAWAY to claim you swimsuit.

For the rest of you, if you order the red vamp Jantzen suit, use code Kelle for 15% off (already only $75 on sale)


Happy Monday. Time for an evening jog to some Macklemore.  Because the ceiling can’t hold us.

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Leave a Comment
  1. You are one of the best moms I know : ). Bad days make good days even better, right? :) Dash looks like a little wrestler in his tank top. I can’t believe how quickly he is growing. I know it happens to the best of them, right?

    Hope your week is really wonderful Kelle.

  2. I have NOT been here in SO long and missing you Kelle and all here. am i really the first comment?! oh my…I adore Dash and those eyes. and..that was funny, your story but I so felt for you..oh, what us mommies go thru,huh? love you, your Littles and the pics! Love from (still?) your Blog Mama (we jsut welcomed grandbaby #4, four months ago!).

  3. That picture of the 3 of them, the boy on the floor, the girls cooing over him, that should make it to your front door wall hall of fame! Sheer perfection!

  4. Oh how many times I have come close to dumping a kid backwards in the stroller. Your weekend of memories are well worth it in the end.

  5. So…owning the compliments comes with age. I promise you.

    On another note, if you ever get the chance to snap a nice pic of the Naples pier, I’d love to see it. Almost died on that pier (doing something totally stupid and completely idiotic) when I was a sophomore in college on spring break. Seeing the pics in this post reminded me of that fateful night. (I know…totally off topic but hey…I figure you’ll get back there eventually and I’d love to see a pic of the whole length of the pier. Plus…you’d make it pretty.)

    Always happy to read your posts. You are growing, girl. By leaps and bounds.

  6. love the photos of you and Dash at the beach!
    especially love your drawing 😉


  7. Heels on the beach? Perhaps you really are superwoman!! 😉

  8. I am so grateful for this posts! I have been finding myself feeling like I don’t fit in because I don’t want to talk poorly about my marriage or focus on the 2 year old fits that ensue. Lately I find myself changing who I am to try and “fit in”. Thanks for the reminder to just stay true to me and it is okay to not follow up the positive with a negative.

  9. Ohmygoodess. Dash is so adorable. He’s starting to lose that newborn look and get the plump baby look. Those soulful eyes are killing me. I definitely see a bit of baby Nella in those close-up pics.

    I can appreciate this post. I am totally that “Thanks but …” person that puts conditions on compliments I receive.

    I’d love to be able to flip it around and tack compliments on the criticisms I get too. Like the lady who actually remarked about my son’s runny nose in the grocery line … as I was trying to pay, collect the bags and get out of HER way. Really, really? You want me to pull out a tissue with my 5th arm and wipe his nose this second.

    Thanks for the reminder to own BOTH sides of the coin.

  10. So well-written. And so relatable. Loved this post!

  11. Three is hard to juggle sometimes. I feel ya! <3

  12. Holy sh*t girl, you make me laugh out loud. I bought a candle this weekend because my cousin described it’s scent “like Ryan Gosling”…..hahah. My 3 kid melt down was in Target! Yep, left a whole damn cart of shit…..I needed there. The 7 year old was whining……3 year old walking all over but next to me…..and my Cam was screaming! Thanks for the reassurance we all have the mommy melt down.:)

  13. Such sweet and honest moments. What i love most about this crazy weekend of yours is in the end…it was one of the most exhausting/memorable/sweet/HONEST family weekends!! Love it when shit gets real :)

    ~ jillian

  14. Not gonna lie… I love your posts describing the days when shit hit the fan because these days as a mama to 3 under 3, I can relate to that more than sweet, peaceful picnics in the park – nice as those are. In fact our middle child is having a meltdown right now, but I get to play the not-it card since the baby needs fed and I am the only one with the proper equipment. Winning!

    Thanks also for the drawing – totally helped out! 😉

  15. You’re so right – we need to learn to own our compliments. Nice spin on your crazy day, and beautiful photos from the rest of your weekend. Love seeing your beautiful kids x

  16. I read your blog ALL. THE. TIME….but never leave a comment, due to the #’s of those that are left.
    But you are a lovely woman. You put together amazing photos, lifes experiences, things to laugh at, cry with, and grow from.
    From a woman who raised 5 kids and now has 10 grandkids….ha ha, OH YES, I remember THOSE days

  17. I’m having a 2 and a half year meltdown up here in PA (or should it be almost six years since that’s how long I’ve been doing the mama song and dance?!) Anyway, there is hardly a lick of clean laundry in this house that my two year old hasn’t infected with the ugly stomach bug from hell … And I’m spent. But sitting down with a chai latte and reading this made me feel like I could get up and fold another load and sanitize another icky floor. Hope you get many bright and shiny days this week, Kelle Hampton.

    This verse made me smile today, I’ll share in case it provides a smile for someone else as well …
    Daniel 12:3 says that those who are wise will “shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
    Praying you see God is all those tiny fingers and toes this week … In each unexpected kiss or peaceful, moment with those precious chillin’s (as my Daddy would say.) Thanks for sharing all you do … You keep it real, bring out extraordinary beauty in the every day and remind me on a regular basis what a GIFT this hard season with littles is. xoxo

    Lots of love, Kelle H … Lots of love.
    Rebekah in Pennsylvania.

  18. Girl, you are giving “rocking it” a whole new meaning. Parenting is tough- plain and simple. Thank god moms are so incredibly resilient and tough as hell- so we can do this. Some weeks are good, others, not so much. As a mama of four boys, I can tell you that no matter how long some days can be, the years FLY by (my #1 is 19, but I had him when I was 8… 😉 ) and I promise you that you will forget all of these tiny moments of wanting to go fetal under a table and instead wonder with all of your heart where the time went.

  19. You make some good points. I know there are the meanies out there, who are jealous or have other issues and want to see someone like you fall on their face. But, for the rest of us (and not that I speak for all of the non-haters), I don’t think we’re waiting for others to fail, or that we’re happy that they do. But when someone shares both the good and bad, I think it makes it easier to high-five the successes, and does make them real, relatable, and human.

  20. You are SO right! I just started my own blog, I want to write about things that make me happy or at least that I want to read and talking about all the “junk” that happens at my not so fabulous job really is not a fun thing to read. I too was hitting the back space button ALOT. Thanks for the fun blog to read I look forward to it all the time. By the way, your book is great. I have been reading it to my daughter she is one and really enjoying it too.

  21. Love the drawing! Love the story. I have to admit, I too, have a hard time taking a compliment, without responding with something self deprecating. And I too, feel secretly so much better when I witness someone I admire having a keeping it real moment. For me, though, it’s typically at work, where I put a lot of pressure on myself.

    Beautiful pictures!!

  22. You’re the mother many of us wished we had as kids. Your priorities are right on the mark. Gorgeous photos as always!

  23. It’s funny. I have a 4 year old daughter and I try so hard to lead by example, to be the woman I want my girl to grow up to be. It’s a struggle, as I’m sure it is for a lot of moms, as we take shortcuts with ourselves more often than not. And this is my biggest downfall–the constant apologizing for my strengths and things I should just be happy to own, simply because it’s easier to fall into old habits instead of trying to change. Thanks for speaking on it a bit. Oh, and if you haven’t seen, please check it out. It’s a great resource from the fabulous Amy Poehler for girls of all ages…and she did a little piece on this very subject!

  24. Dash is adorable, by the way…and those sweet girlies of yours, too…I always leave your blog feeling encouraged, and wanting to be ‘better’ – I am a people-pleaser, too…and certainly resonate with your words here, and thank you for sharing them – and love the challenge to ‘own it’ when receiving a compliment…not easy, but…must feel freeing a little bit, too, I’m sure. Thanks for sharing your life, even if its only a glimpse, its beautiful to see…and makes me want to be better…so thanks.

  25. I adore you. I was laughing so hard with the stroller picture. Because lets be honest…it’s either laugh or cry. Poor Nella. I think it’s true though, we’re all human beings and we all have faults and limitations. Sometimes we just have to role with them, instead of trying to iron them out and gloss them over.

  26. sister love with baby! beautiful! he is a blessed boy

  27. Hey Kelle. I just wanted to let you know that Dash makes my uterus ache more than any other baby recently. He looks so…squishy and perfect. I just love seeing updated snaps of him!


  28. Kelle, your children are beautiful!

  29. Keep going, Mama.

  30. you have such a beautiful family. someday, these stories of tipped strollers will be told with much laughter at Christmas dinner (:

  31. I came across this post on Huffington when having a day like your Saturday

    Thought you might like it!

  32. I came across this post on Huffington when having a day like your Saturday

    Thought you might like it!

  33. In a matter of 7 days, I found out I have breast cancer-early and treatable, need new tires for the SUV-expensive but needed, and had to put our dog down to a perforated intestines because he got ahold of a towel. I am F’ing done with April.

  34. Thanks. I often feel lame because, I don’t keep it real enough. I get that it is rough for people to see only fluff and happiness. And oh how I get that there are those whose lives are full of heart ache and misery — the kind they aren’t even getting high fived and cheered on for handling because the things are too private to share, or too yuck for people to handle. But . . . I actually . . . really love being a mom to 8 billion kids. I like having a house full. I think sometimes it is hard, but it sure isn’t miserable, even if I might be more relatable if I happened to think it was. I like it being OK to have joy. I like the idea of not needing others to have weaknesses for me to be happy.

  35. Damn umbrella strollers. They get you every time. Hang to much weight on the back and the kid is bound to topple. I have had it happen more than once. Thankfully no children have been harmed. They do however just lay there with a shocked expression.

  36. I love, love, love this post. I too instinctively knock myself down in response to a compliment, which is only slightly less lame than the “oh, I got it on sale” response to a positive remark on hair/shoes (as if I am not worth full price). I so appreciate the thoughtful reflections on why this feels right at times but should not be our default mode.

  37. Pretty good drawing! I got a good chuckle out of it. 3 kids is HARD…I asked myself in the shower like three days after having a third child, “What was I thinking!!??!!”

  38. Absolutely LOVE your drawing.

    I just ordered the red vamp jantzen suit…thanks for the discount code.

    Also, bought the last two copies of Bloom at my Target on Saturday.



  39. I love every part of this post! I can totally relate on the compliments front. I’ve lost 100 pounds and will still find something negative to say about my body when people give me compliments. I’m working on it! I love that you want to focus on the good, yet still summarize the not so good. It’s great when those small, special moments can outweigh the rough ones. You are beautiful, your heart is beautiful, and so is your family. We are only human, if every day was perfect life would be so boring! And those bad days make the good ones that much better!

    I swear you’re a love preacher and I love it! Preach on sister!! Together we will change the world. :)

  40. I’ve oohed and ahhed over your pics for so long but that one of Dash & the stripes & polkadots made me actually sigh aloud. Best capture I’ve ever seen!!! Could also be he’s so ridiculously cute! & I want a 3rd looking at him (even though the 7 week out meltdown is going to be yet ANOTHER reason to add to my list of never having three! LOL!)

  41. yeah for a Good Will Hunting reference…I like those apples very much thank you :)

    way to keep it real :)

  42. 1. Picture is freaking hilarious!

    2. “But I also don’t want to need to hear these things in order to be okay with my own shortcomings.”–I kid you not,I just had that exact same conversation with my husband and then my mother this weekend. I am in the middle of an “I need to get out a a rut” meltdown and it hasn’t been pretty.

    Being likeable for being real isn’t the same as being likeable for showcasing flaws rather than accomplishments. As I read that part of your post I wondered if that’s something that we as women could work on. One of my all-time favorite quote is super popular and often gets passed around like candy but it’s that quote by Marrianne Williamson that says, “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    I think I’m so attracted to your blog, Kelle because you are relatable. You do “keep it real.” But you SHINE and that makes me want to shine. Thank you for that. And for the laugh.

  43. LOVE your drawing! Nellas feet and hands in the air made me laugh. I’m sure it didn’t feel so funny at the time, but it is very funny the way you tell it.

    Keep lovin’ your crew and telling us about it.


  44. Great writing tonight.

  45. I’m going to skip all my deep thoughts on the actual content of your post (which is spot-on, as usual) and get to the really important stuff, which is: thank you for having such awesome sponsors and offering such killer discount codes on your site. I just ordered the red bathing suit, and I’m totally going to wear it IN PUBLIC this summer, in defiance of all the haters (the haters mostly live in my head). Cheers!

  46. I too have started to write a post about a hard day when I realized… you know what? I’m over it! Rehashing it isn’t always for our best interest even though someone else might relate.

    And I totally use to be that person who couldn’t take a compliment. You need to own it when someone gives it. You deserve kindness. Take it! :)

    Hope you’re enjoying your week, minus any tipped strollers!
    (Why can’t they put some weight in the front to help with that?)


  47. well that was plain out truth. i do that self deprecating thing all the time! i’m usually the first person to point out a flaw…like it wins me brownie points or something. the fact is i want people to know that i know that i’m not perfect. if they know it after i point it out i feel just a little better about myself. how messed up is that;)

    and speaking of perfect i have to compliment…you DO look really amazing. i mean 7 weeks! girl!!! that airy, beachy, under the pier pic…wowza. bask in it…it’s okay. i promise i could never hate you;)

  48. oh girl, i always love reading your posts. they put a smile on my face. it’s so nice to hear other mother’s daily stories, and hear that yes, they are in fact like yours. fallen strollers, forgotten wallets, spilt oj, and at the end of the day smiles, hugs and love.


  49. The Revlon mint nail polish is the current fave for my 7-yr-old and me. We have it on all 40 fingers and toes:)

  50. Great observation about us all needing to own our compliments. Loved this post. Dash is amazing. What a gorgeous little guy!

  51. The Revlon mint nail polish is the current fave for my 7-yr-old and me. We have it on all 40 fingers and toes:)

  52. Beautiful pics! :) Love that drawing, too! Awesome! I love that you share happy things on your blog! It makes me feel happy and I like that! Happy week to you!! :)

  53. I just deleted a post I wrote because it was all mom-fail and I just wasn’t in the mood, because you’re right. I was over it and I get tired of always putting myself down to make others feel better.

  54. Carry on Warrior!! :)

  55. Wow, I really enjoyed this post. I do enjoy the “keep it real” stuff, but I like the viewpoint you took here. Thank you! I did not KNOW the 7 week meltdown is a “thing”, but after 3 boys of my own, ok….yes, I remember it all too well! And the pic of your girls loving all over Dash on his playmat looks all too familiar. My boys LOOOOVE loving on their baby.

  56. Beautiful and true essay. Sometimes the most difficult thing to say when we have been admired is to say a simple “thank you.” I will work harder on being the woman who helps others see their own amazingness without making it feel like it lessens my own worth. Thanks for writing.

  57. I loved reading this tonight. Thank you again for your honesty and beautiful words!

  58. Kelle, remember me? Grill cover mishap girl? Well today, a bird pooped on my head while I was walking AND an owl got stuck (and either escaped or died) in our chimney. I could have really used that swimsuit! I was like “ohhh yeah! I got it! Oh wait, that’s not what I wrote.” Shoot.

    My birthday is the 16th. Maybe things will turn around then. Actually, this past week has been pretty entertaining ;). Enjoy the craziness of life. I’ve learned that having a good belly laugh at one’s own expense can be so freeing. I’m a huge perfectionist/people-pleaser and that can be so exhausting. I have really made a change since my early 20’s and said I am going to set aside my desire to be the most perfect person ever because if I’m too busy doing that, I’m going to miss out on the beautiful stuff happening all around me that might not be perfect but is so much more worthy of my time and energy. It’s not an easy thing to change because this perfect person syndrome that I (we) seem to have is deeply rooted in me. However, when I wake up and my feet hit the ground, I want to make sure I’m really living.

    Happy Monday! Here’s to a hott mess week! Or not, maybe that bird was aiming for someone else…

  59. Yep. You never disappoint, gal. I like how you wrote 4 therapy paragraphs and worked out your mama angst while doing something you love.
    I can honestly say that I don’t always love that mamas feed off of eachother’s complaining although it does feel nice to be consoled on some of the darker parts of parenting, to not feel alone. But that’s what close friends and sisters are for :). I find that beyond wanting to feel validated for the hard stuff and praised for my victories, I desire Authenticity from my human interactions. It is very difficult to jive with amped up versions of what a person thinks they should be like for others. I don’t think Keeping it Real has to be qualified by sharing difficulties. Real is what Real…ly matters. Your photos and your enjoyments have never seemed not real because it seems like you truly Enjoy creating this blog as a place to share and collect memories for your family. Of course there are hard parts of parenting. I see your instagrams and read this blog and I can read in between the lines. You are not farting cotton candy clouds. We can all do the math- 3 kids, one mom, budding writing career, massive blog following, emails, business meetings with brief case and glasses… You are a lady with an adorable family who chooses to share the happy because even in your struggles you let out a laugh, and that’s how I relate. Ramble ramble ramble : I like you

  60. i love reading your blog, it’s such a reminder to slow down and soak up the little moments that make life so good. As an aussie, I was excited to see a Bonds singlet on Dash- didn’t know you could get Bonds anywhere else!

  61. Love! We have all had our share of hot messes! Mine are probably daily!
    Just had to post and say Love love your drawing!!!!

  62. Your timing is perfect! As a fellow people pleaser who carries around a lot of guilt for not being able to “do it all, all the time” I have been wrestling with and reflecting on very similar thoughts lately. I actually freeze when people compliment me, I can’t take it…it is almost painful! I think you explained the “why” for this in a really simple, yet complicated (because so many of us struggle with this) way! Thank you friend!

  63. kudos for this one, just kudos…

  64. In 23 years of mothering, one piece of advise has always stuck with me “When all else fails, just add water!” A bath, the beach, a dance in the rain, hot cocoa, cookie baking, paint with watercolors, fingerpaint, and splash in a sudsy sink while cleaning up. Yup, the worst of days can be cured by making them the best of days!

  65. I love this post. I have had those times when I write a post full of “motherhood is soooo hard” and then delete it. It is sometimes fun to post it though, and get some laughs from the other moms who’ve been there.

    I always reading about your moments, the good, the bad, and the rest. Thanks for “keeping it real.” :) – Amy

  66. Oh, I like this so much. It did feel like many were suddenly coming out in great cheer to read about the struggles. And although I’m sure it was all pure and good in solidarity, it just didn’t feel like your style. You carry a sweet song in your spirit….with quiet echos and deep bass, alternating with your life’s pace. When all chaos breaks out, that’s when the quiet echos are singing….when the day brings gentle breezes, that’s the deep bass. Your song elevates us all and I love hearing it. ♥

  67. Hey kelle, I watched this documentary on Netflix the other night and thought I’d share it with you. If you have Netflix you should definitely check it out. It’s called “David and Monica”. A beautiful story about a young couple with Down’s syndrome that gets married and start their life together.. Thought this would be an optimistic and encouraging love story and something for you to look forward to for Nella! Truly beautiful!.. If you don’t have a Netflix maybe you could find it on google or something:)
    — kaitlyn

  68. Love love the illustration! So funny…and that baby boy of yours is gorgeous! I like that you remind us women “Compliments don’t need to be softened by backing them up with disclaimers; sometimes you just need to own them.”

  69. That baby is soooo gorgeous!!! Loved the drawing and the girls with the baby pic is precious.

  70. I feel exactly the same-like everyone wants you to be miserable and not excel at anything in case they feel inferior. It’s ridiculous.

  71. oh my god. can you pat yourself any more on the back, kelle?

    really, you are so unauthentic. i would prefer to read about REAL life, not the fabricated fluffy pooping rainbow unicorn schtick that this post is.

  72. I spy an Aussie Bonds singlet in there! Love that!

  73. Beautiful photos and I can relate….
    I have written so many posts and then deleted them not wanting to sound “wrong”. The people pleaser in me is ever present and I am learning after many years of fighting it that it truly is the authentic me and I need to embrace and love her. Truly love your authenticity.
    What a great drawing.
    The waiter is quite a hunk!
    Best wishes!

  74. Hi! I love reading your blogs!
    I love the photography and the thought that comes behind your posts. Your blog and SoulPancake on Youtube are pretty much my go-tos for inspiration and insight. SoulPancake recently posted this story, and it really just touched my heart. I thought of you and your blog when I came across it.

    Here is the link:


  75. Kelle, your children are beautiful!

  76. I had a similar incident with a stroller and my then three year old son at the check out of the Supermarket on a busy Saturday afternoon last year.

    I learnt that day not to put too many shopping bags on the back of a stroller and if you do, don’t let go of the handles, especially if there is a glass vase in one of the shopping bags! Needless to say, the vase smashed, my son had a complete meltdown and I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me :)

    Hope you have a great week!

  77. Dash is so gorgeous. So adorable having his first swim. Beautiful baby and beautiful family.

  78. I am not good at so much in this life…but one thing I’m good at is not needing to hear someone is not perfect. No matter who or what they bring to the table no matter how perfect they seem, I know they have big piles of laundry. I know they have stretch marks. I know they fight with their husband. Because that is just life. And we all live it. And there’s tough pieces of life for every single person. You just gotta accept that their struggle has nothing to do with you and your struggles are your own.

    And yes mama. Learn to love the compliment. And accept it. For one month challenge yourself to just say thank you. Sincerely. And pay it forward to the next person you cross paths with that impresses you.

    Peace out!!!

  79. Sorry momma, but Heidi looks great in that picture!!! Not the Kelle artwork original :) lol.

    We’ve all been there. My kids still plan their meltdowns together. No worries.

  80. Yes on that whole trained thing. I didn’t use to be good at all to just simply accept a compliment. On anything. I would talk all around a compliment, and then I would realize later that I never did use my basic manners and just say thank you. Also, I used to apologize for whatever.
    I learned a good way back though, to just say thank you. And to not apologize.
    It really does seem to take some of the likability away. Not often, but every now and again. When you just say thank you and you don’t jump on the bullshit chatter train, some act like, where did this chick come from? Not often. We women have had that weird stuff pushed down our throats since forever, but we are throwing it back up and out.
    High Five and a Fist Bump on that!


  81. Great pictures!

  82. I just adore you and your posts. Beautiful kids, beautiful thoughts.

    For anyone who’s interested there is a new post on my own blog today about the cherry blossoms in d.c.! They’re in full bloom and they were gorgeous.

  83. I love that Heidi called it. Knew you didn’t believe her. Was there for when it happened.

    Excellent friend, that one!

    LOVE the drawings!

  84. Kelle Hampton can’t accept a compliment? That’s complete and utter BS, Dear. You live for them.

  85. Another great post! I had a melt down after baby #4, I don’t remember the week but I remember it was bad! It illicited the whole “What the hell were we thinking having another one!?!?!” response. But once we were out of whatever the situation was and I was snuggling that sweet baby I realized we got this! We experienced the total crazy as a family of 6 and survived. Boots in the air baby! Life is all about the crazy at this point in time…before we know it it will be quite again and all this will be over. Boots in the air! Oh, and my response when someone I am close to comments on how great I look post baby “Thanks (smiling sweetly), but you haven’t seen me naked!” ;-P

  86. that sweet dash is seriously one handsome boy :)

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. I do love knowing my friends, and fellow moms in the universe, all have struggles and those meltdown days.

    But I love even more that you remind us that there is beauty in every day, prompting me to reflect on my own. Thank you.

    Oh, and I think you’re my new hero for heels on the beach with a newborn to boot?! My ankles and knees barely tolerate heels in the office for important meetings, I dream of heels that make my legs look long and lean being worn everwhere. Sigh.


  89. You should check out Macklemore’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert. It is AMAZING.

  90. Bbay in the pool and baby in striped shirt! Swoon!

    “Compliments don’t need to be softened by backing them up with disclaimers; sometimes you just need to own them.” That is a great lesson to take with me for… ever. Thanks.

  91. I loved your drawing. It made my day and gave me a good laugh. Laughing with you. All of us mamas have had those kind of moments in one way or another and it’s always more fun to laugh at them in the end rather than stress about how miserable it was at the moment. On top of it, of course the waiter was hot. These things never happen with a caring motherly type near by to run to the rescue. Thank you for the great post, the real story with a positive outlook. It was a true pleasure to read.

  92. You had me crying I was laughing so hard! Thank you! Your drawing was priceless! Great message to all of us at any age/stage. Enjoy the cuddles!

  93. Somewhere along the way, I realized that when I compliment someone, it’s because I want them to feel good, and when they deflect my love, it doesn’t feel good to me. With that in mind, I realized that when I make excuses for someone saying something kind to me, I’m not just putting myself down, but I’m dissing their kindness to. I’ve been trying to undo all these years of deflecting training by instead looking someone in the eyes and saying something to the effect of, “aren’t you kind to say that”, or “it’s so sweet of you to say something kind to me”. This way, we both get to share in the good feelings of looking out for each other. I still fall back on those old ways (to wit, someone has already said today that they like my dress and I immediately babbled about my luxury tarJEE closet instead of practicing what I’m preaching here. Fail.) but I’m trying, and your thoughts really helped me to remember this. And also, that picture? Hi-larious. Sorry that it sucked mama, but on the bright side, we’re all right here with you!

  94. One of my favorite posts, ever!

  95. I love this post.

    There are so many wonderful bloggers these days talking about the whole “be real! motherhood is hard! own it!” thing, and that’s really important, but nobody ever talks about this part–that owning your strengths is important too. And even harder, I think–because, like you said, you risk a “who does she think she is” response instead of “yay, she’s one of us, i don’t have to be intimidated!” response.

    Reminds me of this quote:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

    Keep letting that light shine, girl. Stroller spills and all.

  96. ohhh thank you for this lovely post. though it has nothing to do with parenting, i have been having a rough couple of days. like you, i prefer to keep my blog a place to focus on the positive things in life, but sometimes you have to dig deeper to find them and you question if you’re really being authentic when you blog happy but feel rotten. i can see you are an incredible mother and we’re all here rooting for your sanity! best of luck!


  97. You. Just. Rock. That’s all. And that baby? Simply gorgeous.

  98. What a great “issue” to bring to woman’s minds. If you sit and think, it is true how common it is for woman to subconsiously do that. I will definetly think more on this subject, and try and own my accomplishments without a disclaimer. Thanks for this post.

  99. Girl, you can write, photpgraph and DRAW. Thanks for the funny story.

  100. I DO THIS! I tooooootally do this! I once told someone I was wearing tummy control knickers when I wasn’t just because i thought it would make them like me more!!!! I use cloth nappies and whenever someone mentions it and says a comment like “you’re good doing that” I HAVE to tell that I’m really crap at keeping my house tidy!?!?!?! WHat?!?! Great post. As usual xxx

  101. Maybe I’m ovulating but that photo of Dash in the striped shirt and those EYES. My god those eyes. He is so stunning. You make me want one! All of your babies do!!! Those beach photos of you and Dash and so beautiful. You look amazing. And you are awesome. Also, thanks for keepin’ it real? 😉

  102. “Its these moments you write about that will last forever, dont forget that” – Your whole blog is a tribute to being NORMAL and awesome, and being a mom and a writer and all around Macklemore loving human being who is capturing all sorts of real memories!!! Thats what we love about you! Thanks for such an honest post full of lovely photos as per usual <3

    Elizabeth Kathryn

  103. Both my mom and sister called me this morning to tell me to read your blog today. So I did.. Actually. I’m always glad when I read your blog. Your words are like little cheerleaders in my days. Thank you for inspiring me, even when you have the sorts of days when joy doesn’t come easily. There is always joy to be found. :)

  104. Kelle….
    Thanks for keepin’ it real. There. I said it!! Because I am a pain in the ass like that!! Hee, hee, hee…. ;-D
    Wow, it is ironic that I am reading these words on your Blog right now, Kelle. Because, so far, I have had a less-than-perfect morning. I’ve felt overwhelmed, possessed a foul attitude, been emotional, and downright impatient toward those who I’m in close proximity to. And it is before noon!! Hmmm. Perhaps God is trying to tell me something? I am hopelessly flawed and need work. Tons. 😉

  105. O. M. Gosh! That drawing is the best! I want more!! I have to say…I am TOTALLY guilty of other people’s short-comings making me feel better. Not because I want to think badly of them or want others to have bad things in their lives but EVERYONE seems more put together than myself and it does make me feel better. A LOT better. Like, a bit of an obsession for me. Sad but true. That’s where I am right now I guess. I don’t need it to feel valuable or worth something. I just need it for a little bit of sanity I guess. I don’t want to just sit around and try to top each others “I had the WORST DAY EVER stories”…that would be depressing. I REALLY want to hear other people’s victories and celebrations too. But, if they could throw me a bone with something crazy that happened too, all the better.

  106. p.s. I totally have to follow up compliments with something “bad” like you do. Not sure why….I need to work on saying “thank you!”

  107. I love Dash’s little Hanna booties! Also, love how he poses with one perfect little up arm and one perfect little arm at his side… so sweet!

  108. Oh. My. Word. Ryan Gossling as the Hot Waiter??? That killed!! I found myself laughing out loud! The story-teller in me enjoys rehashing even a harrowing tale, but if I found myself doing it because I felt that people thought I needed to be taken down a peg? Meh. Tell your story for the joy of telling, not to meet a need!

  109. Someone once told me (after I blew off their compliment and followed up with a disclaimer), “Just say ‘Thank you’. It’s a compliment, not a race to perfection.”

    Those wise words have stuck…
    And it helps to know your worth.

  110. Hi Kelle, I don’t comment often, but I just have to tell you that Dash is extra extra handsome! He really is. You have beautiful children!!

  111. I seriously laughed out loud at your picture. Funniest and truest thing ever. We’ve all been there! Love your blog. Truth in every single post.

  112. Oh my goodness yes. The meltdown with three – my third is now 9 months and somehow I *think* I might be slightly beyond the ‘hanging’ in there stage.
    Beautiful photos. Evokes such wonderful memories (even though he is 9 months old, the 7 week old stage feels like ages ago).
    I really like your perspective of owning compliments. I think that can be a hard thing to learn, but it is such an important example I want to teach myself and my kids.
    Your children are so very blessed to have you for their mama!

  113. I’m sure I had a meltdown at 7 weeks after the birth of my third child too. I probably had more after that too. But I can’t remember. It’s all a blur now. A big happy memory blur.

  114. Omg the last two pix are priceless. I am totally the compliment disclaimer mom!!! I need to stop it.

  115. I’m totally with you – I write to capture what feels good but feel a need to keep it real at the same time. I delete post after post of whiny mama-hood-is-tough stuff and then find a way of sumarising my struggles for authenticities sake and moving forward, learning that real is also picking myself up and dusting off to find some beauty in something else quick. Highs and lows, ebbs and flows, ‘s what its all about x

  116. Thank you for postig this! I have a 6 week old and this made me feel better. :)

  117. Yes.

  118. Failing stories don’t make people more likeable, they make them more human and relatable. Motherhood is hard and there is no shame in taking a moment, or 4 paragraphs, to talk about, own, and feel that. Everyone can relate to that. A jaunt to the beach after a hard day feels alien to those of us still up to our knees in snow.

  119. Three cheers for that post. Not because of talking of any unfun, but because I feel the same. When all is said in done, I don’t want to remember the bad and I don’t want those memories to be the ones that are dragged up and brought back to me in my rocking chair. The good ones are just as real as the bad ones. Why let the bad ones control my mind. Document the good. There are plenty of others lined up to document the bad.

  120. Oh, how I know that seven week melt-down. It comes right after that six week crying peak. And because of that I see it as ‘the hump week’. You know, like hump day. It’s hard to balance that with trying to soak it all in and help little people keep doing the things that keep little people happy.
    I am impressed by your choice to keep getting out and doing things. You should be proud of you.
    And oh, a little boy…isn’t that a new love all over again. What a blessing.
    Wishing you clear days and happy times.

  121. This post is so beautiful and funny, and honest. I’m glad you deleted those paragraphs and shared this instead :) I am pretty good at documenting and sharing some of the harder parts of being a mama but not as good at giving credit to the wonderful parts and I’m trying to achieve more balance, so that when my kids are grown I won’t only have the hard days of tears and tantrums and sleepless nights to look back on. Thank you for sharing.

  122. Having a third is definitely a leap of faith (with a bit of fear) for me. We are not building our family in the traditional sense though. I wonder when the meltdown will occur for us?

    Thanks for keeping it real!

  123. LOVE it!! Own those compliments!

  124. While I believe that there is a time for everything and every emotion, I love to see people find the good. I don’t think we need to equate “real” with sharing all the bad stuff. We all know life is hard and that there is no perfect trouble free life. There is a place for acknowledging challenges and bad days, but seriously I think people get stuck in that speed, and forget to notice their blessings. Counting our blessings is real, too. I love coming here because you inspire me to find beauty, to notice the amazing things God has given me. I find it rare and admirable to find people who focus on the good, and sometimes it is a sacrifice to put the good into words when we want to complain. Anyway, this blog is called Enjoying the Small Things…so that’s what I come here for.

  125. I am currently pregnant with my third with my youngest being only 19 months. I will remember about the 7 week meltdown and hopefully I will enlist my best friend to help me through!
    During my last pregnancy I began to lose my hearing to the point of needing hearing aids. I am only 36. With this pregnancy I am unfortunately once again experiencing more of a loss. This post is a good reminder that we are all human and all have trials. Life is not meant to be simple and especially with regards to raising children. I believe that is because in the struggles of life our strongest bonds are forged.

    On a Nella related note:
    Today I met a beautiful couple who were eating in my restaurant. They had a 6 month old baby girl who had down syndrome and was Chinese. I add the last part only because the couple themselves were both Caucasian. Immediately as I approached them they offered up that she was adopted and that she had only been with them for two weeks. They went on to say how they felt the calling to care for a down syndrome child. They actively chose this baby prior to birth knowing exactly what was coming. They told me how the birth mother lovingly nursed her baby girl for six months to ensure the best start in life for her and then she gave her to the couple that had been waiting patiently. And even though they have a healthy biological three year old girl they knew what their purpose was. I was amazed by them.
    Of course I asked if they had read your book and she said she followed this blog. :)

  126. I feel the pain of your meltdown! I only have one little but he was enough to push me over the edge on wednesday. I created a blog post similar to yours just to confess… it feels good!

    Happy weekend to you and your beautiful family! x

  127. Your instagram feed and posts HELP me to delight in the beauty of raising up little lives. I never feel intimidated or inadequate…just LOVED by your honest passion to pour out and onto the ones you love. All of us moms know it’s tough…we need more moms joining in your chorus that sings “slow down and drink it in”, not because that negates the challenges but because that’s how we honor the gift of life! Thanks for the inspiration, Kelle!

  128. I can’t believe you can even make it to a restaurant with 3 kids and a newborn! I’m totally impressed. I don’t go anywhere with all of them unless I absolutely have to!

  129. I don’t read your blog because you write “I’m failing storys” and I can relate, I read your blog because you write real life stories and that is what I enjoy. Life is messy and stinky and gross, and wonderful and beautiful and filled with love and joy and hot messy mommas that end up with babies in upended strollers…If you were plastic barbie momma that was totally perfect, I would think wow, she is either lying or her life is really boring.

    Take this advice from my southern momma- when someone gives you a compliment, it’s like giving you a gift. When you then say something negative about yourself in return it’s the same as saying something rude about their gift. Smile and say thank you and mean it.

    Write on sister and I LOVE the boots.

  130. Dash is just the most precious little boy! I love how he just looks like a little man! Congrats again

    xo Katie

  131. Just found your page, when I should be doing chores. oops! :) I Love it! Its nice to read something real, funny and inspirational all at the same time. I look forward to reading more. You have a beautiful family!

  132. I’m a little late reading this post, but it really resonated with me and I just want to commend and thank you for it. I totally agree with you. The complaining and writing about how horrible we are as mothers and never owning our successes…it’s getting old. It’s like, aren’t we past that by now? I like to write about the joys in my life….the blessings…the things I’ve overcome. And I’ve found that that’s what I like reading too. I don’t need to read about how you can’t cook and your kids only get chicken nuggets in the microwave every night. How about talk about how your kid can draw better than any adult you know or knows all the names of the dinosaurs. It’s okay to brag a little. It’s okay to celebrate life. I love to read your blog, because you truly celebrate yours and I aspire to be like that. Thank you for a great post.

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