About Kelle HaptonMidwest born and raised, preacher’s kid, escapee of fundamentalism but lover of good, Kelle Hampton is today a wife, mother to three and step-mother to two. Residing in Naples, Florida with a bit of her heart still in Michigan, she is a writer, photographer, speaker and celebrant of life’s large little things. Her heartfelt blog post relating to the birth of her daughter Nella and her surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome led to the writing of Bloom, a New York Times best-selling memoir.

Kelle has contributed to “Parents,” “Parenting,” “Martha Stewart’s Whole Living,” “Good Housekeeping”, NPR’s “All Things Considered” and is a regular contributor to the tardy sign-in list up at her daughter’s school.

One time she saw Vince Vaughn on a sidewalk in Chicago and, she swears, he winked at her.

Now, come sit next to me and let me tell you who I really am.

Kelle Hampton

I like making things—paragraphs, cookies, crafts, pictures, projects, salty dogs, people happy—although I’ve learned the best way to make anyone else happy is to make yourself happy and then beam that out into the world as best as you can. Might I suggest wearing yellow, smiling, attempting a cartwheel now and then, cussing when necessary, writing love notes, saying yes to hats, creating a signature move to bust out on the dance floor, being the first to say “I love you”, appreciating your laugh lines, knowing at least one kids’ hand clap, reading poetry books, believing in something bigger than yourself, learning from those who don’t believe the same, sealing envelopes with stickers, ditching the handshake and going right for the hug, and running with your grocery cart in the parking lot and then jumping on to enjoy the ride.

I tried some minimalist things in my house once and it was a total bust. Turns out, I like color and artsy clutter, and a little bit messy is who I am. I collect earth from places where meaningful memories are made and store it in jars on my kitchen shelves. I love taking pictures. I love looking at pictures. If I came to your house, I’d ask to see your wedding album, and if you wore puffed sleeves, I’d laugh at with you but love you for it. If you came to my house, I’d hide crap in drawers and closets and pray you didn’t open them.

I love being a mom. It’s hard and funny and exhausting, and writing about the hard and funny and exhausting can be bonding and assuring and merit lots of high fives, but my most favorite thing to write about is how rewarding all of this is. Because it is. It’s a trip, and trippin’ is most fun when you do it together. Happy to share a little bit of it with you.