Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir
  • Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir
  • Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir

4.0 85
by Kelle Hampton

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Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.

That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.

From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was

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Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.

That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.

From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl.

But when her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome—a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle's fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift.

With lyrical prose and gorgeous full-color photography, Bloom takes readers on a wondrous journey through Nella's first year of life—a gripping, hilarious, and intensely poignant trip of transformation in which a mother learns that perfection comes in all different shapes. It is a story about embracing life and really living it, of being fearless and accepting difference, of going beyond constricting definitions of beauty, and of the awesome power of perspective. As Kelle writes, "There is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After her daughter was born with Down syndrome, Hampton has been an advocate for her and for all individuals with this condition. Since 2007, her award-winning blog, Enjoying the Small Things, has had more than 15.4 million page views and more than 6.8 million unique visitors from almost 200 countries. Some parents will really need this; affecting for others. With a 75,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
A mother's optimistic account of the first year of life with her daughter, Nella, who was born with Down syndrome. Photographer writer Hampton is the author of a popular blog, Enjoying the Small Things. The Florida-based mother of two has received national recognition and media attention for her blog's personal writing and, reflected in it, her perpetually glass-half-full disposition. In her debut, she provides expanded versions of stories from her blog and other details about her life, marriage and parenthood. In 2009, the 31-year-old author and her husband, Brett, already parents of a two-year-old girl, Lainey, welcomed their second daughter, Nella. Hampton describes her immediate shock and distress at Nella's diagnosis, but those feelings were quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of gratitude. "I feel there is a plan so beautiful in store…and we get to live it," she writes. "Wow." The author's positive attitude and enthusiasm remain unchanged throughout the book, which may illicit admiration in some readers and mild irritation in others--Hampton rarely reveals her own vulnerability. The author's descriptions of people and events are clear and easy to follow, but it's her beautiful photographs that bring them to life. A few of Hampton's summations--e.g., "I not only hugged Fear and Sadness that night at the computer, but I let them unpack their bags and stay awhile--come across as slightly disingenuous, if not simplistic. However, the author's mostly appealing optimism will make this book a comfort to other parents facing difficult circumstances. Sunny and inspiring.

When the pediatrician said, "I need to tell you something," Kelle Hampton began to cry hard: "I know what you're going to say." The pediatrician smiled and again and squeezed my hand a little tighter: "The first thing I'm going to tell you is that your daughter is beautiful and perfect"—and Kelle cried harder—"...but there are some features that lead me to believe that she may have Down Syndrome." This memoir by Kelle retrieves the inspiring story about how she and her family came to recognize the beauty and perfection in the young girl now sharing their lives. Editor's recommendation. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

(3 stars) - People Magazine
"A constitutionally positive person…Hampton makes a convincing argument that grief and disappointment can be transformed into compassion and joy."

“A constitutionally positive person…Hampton makes a convincing argument that grief and disappointment can be transformed into compassion and joy.”

New York Times
#11 New York Times Bestseller
USA Today
A USA Today Bestseller
“In Bloom, a searing and brave portrait of her baby’s first year, Hampton opens up about her fears…jubilation, and…‘the throbbing pain of losing what I had expected.’ Filled with personal photos from the delivery room through Nella’s first birthday, Bloom gives…new meaning to the term ‘open book.’”
Mom's Choice Awards
Winner of 2012 Mom’s Choice Silver Award, Biographies & Memoirs
Fort Myers Florida Weekly
“Bloom is not only about a particular young mother working through the place of hurt …it is about all of us…. [A] powerful meditation on loss, perspective, challenge and opportunity. Give it to anyone you know who is hurting.”
Ree Drummond
“Bloom is one of the most emotionally stirring books I’ve ever read…. This story is a reminder that perfect, when it comes to human beings, is such a relative (and irrelevant) term…and that a mother’s love for her child is a powerful, eternal, unshakable force.”
Claire Fontaine
“Kelle Hampton…reminds us that life may not always look pretty or perfect, but it is always beautiful…. She has indeed made of her life something ‘wild and precious’ and her book, like her two beautiful girls, is a bundle of joy. I finished it reluctantly and with a full heart.”
Matthew Logelin
“In her tender and genuinely beautiful memoir, Kelle Hampton encourages us to not simply accept the unexpected circumstances of our lives, but to embrace them like the things we wished for all along.”
People (3 stars)
“A constitutionally positive person…Hampton makes a convincing argument that grief and disappointment can be transformed into compassion and joy.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

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Finding Beauty in the Unexpected

By Kelle Hampton

HarperCollins Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Kelle Hampton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-06-204503-4



It was two days before Lainey's first birthday when Brett finally gave in and agreed that we could try for another baby. I had longed for one since the day Lainey grew out of the light blue cotton sleeper with the pink strawberries on it that I associated with every ounce of newborn-ness she possessed. And at that party, as we watched our little girl blow out her candle and smear white frosting all over her cheeks in celebration of that first astounding year of life, I was comforted by the fact that the sadness I felt surrounding her getting older would soon be replaced by the joy of knowing another "little" was on the way.

But it didn't happen. I had gotten pregnant with Lainey within two months, so by the fourth month of trying for my second baby, I grew impatient. I also understood how annoying it must be for women who struggle with infertility when the onslaught of sympathetic advice pours in. It'll happen. When you relax. When Brett's job stress is gone. When you're not thinking about it. When you try Clomid. When you're least expecting it.

Blah, blah, blah.

The thing was, I didn't want to wait. I could taste her then. What she looked like. What she smelled like. What the weight of her tiny body felt like in my arms. I yearned for another baby as if the survival of the human race depended on it, and if I had to pee on a stick one more time and squint my eyes searching for a line that didn't exist, I thought I'd pretty much die.

Which is why, on March 9, 2009, after quite a bit of anticipation, I jumped around the kitchen sobbing and screaming holding a pregnancy test with two pink lines. Two. After eleven and a half boxes of pregnancy tests over the previous months and all the imaginary second lines I had conjured up in my brain, I finally saw a real one. It was beautiful ... and exciting. It held the promise of another amazing journey I was already blessed to know so well.

I'm not sure when my mother heart was born, but for as long as I can remember, I've wanted kids. Forty-seven of 'em, to be exact, and I used to tell people I was going to marry my dad and raise those kids in a tree house in the backyard. That wasn't exactly feasible for a number of reasons (legality and morality chief among them), but at least I had some ambitious goals at a young age. My mom tells me I wanted a job in the church nursery when I was six and that my scrawny body could carry a tot on my hip like I had been doing it for years. Even my first kindergarten paper - an "All About Me" assignment that came home in my backpack that first day of school - bore proof of my destiny. Under where I had filled in "pizza" for my favorite food and "Buffy" for the family dog, there was a line of red Crayola chicken-scratched letters in all caps - a forceful answer to What do you want to be when you grow up? A MOM. And, at the ripe old age of eight, I spent many afternoons lying on the living room carpet of my best friend's house where we rifled through old baby photos from our family albums, pretended we were the moms, and wrote our fake kids' names in Magic Marker, along with all the activities they were involved in on the back. I recently found one of my own baby pictures and flipped it over to find my eight-year-old handwriting: "Nicole Alexandra. Ballet. Tennis. Soccer."

Life, of course, didn't turn out exactly as I'd planned it. My sister had her kids well before me, and I lived vicariously through her for many years. I skipped so many classes my first year of college to be with my nieces that I actually had to retake Psychology and Microbiology. If it wasn't for the fact that I finally moved away from her to finish school, I'd probably be living alone, attending my nieces' parent-teacher conferences today. Not to mention I'd be well versed in psychology and microbiology.

Eventually, I had to cut the cord, so to speak. I packed up my teal Ford Escort station wagon with a few pieces of clothing and a hundred framed pictures of my nieces, made my tearful good-byes, and drove the great distance of 120 miles to Spring Arbor, Michigan. I needed to finish school and find myself. Finish school, I did, but find myself, not so much.

Spring Arbor University is a small, faith-based college known for bestowing upon its graduates not only a valuable degree, but also a devoted spouse. Most of my friends met and married their fellow classmates there, planning their weddings in between taking notes in the basement of the Whiteman-Gibbs Science Building.

I, on the other hand, didn't meet anyone. I graduated after four years with a diploma in one hand and a prescription for Zoloft in the other. I had gained the "freshman fifteen" plus another five or so every following year. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, I couldn't find a permanent teaching job, and living with my dad wasn't exactly the Chicago studio bachelorette pad I had dreamed of. I was dressed and ready for life but had nowhere to go.

I spent a year post college as a substitute teacher at two elementary schools, all the while watching my friends start their lives and wondering what I was going to do with mine. I was a damn good teacher and poured myself into my sub jobs, even offering to do lesson plans and grading for other teachers when I could. I felt like I had so many ideas, so much energy, so much creativity and love built up, but no outlet, nowhere to use it. So I delivered a social studies lesson to a fourth-grade class like my life depended on it. I dressed up like Christopher Columbus. I brought in samples of exotic teas to make the Boston Tea Party lesson a little more fun. Heck, I once set up an entire grocery store in a classroom with canned goods and a cash register to teach a math lesson. I even had my local grocery store make me a real name tag. But still, I didn't belong. I wanted my own classroom. My own place. My own family. My own life. I was tired of living through everyone else, and I needed a jump start to shake things up. Finally, a year later, I accepted a teaching job in Naples, Florida, on a whim after a fifteen-minute phone interview. At the time, I was doing odd jobs in the hospital Cardiology Department where my dad was a chaplain, and I'll never forget hanging up the phone in his office on my lunch break, after I got hired. My dad walked in to find me sitting there at his desk, crying in my blue scrubs. "I have a job, Dad. In Naples. And my first day of school is in eleven days."

And so I packed up and marked the beginning of my new life by saying good-bye to my teal station wagon, which had by now acquired a duct-taped fender, a dented passenger door, and a push button starter.

In its place, I bought a Chevy Malibu - splurged on a new car but scrimped on roll-down windows. It was black and sleek and represented a new start. I arrived in Naples feeling invigorated, courageous, and spontaneous. Which is why I enjoyed the span of very un-motherly behavior that followed - behavior that may or may not have included falling off a six-foot amp in a Miami club where I was dancing some very cool moves. I'll never know what happened to the guy I landed on, but I do know that I was carried out with a smile on my face and woke up six hours later in a bed with an earth-shattering headache. And if my children are reading this, I made that up.

I found a condo and decorated it with an eclectic mix of furnishings from Home Goods and Target that somehow, when put together and rearranged a few times, eventually resembled a photo spread in Home Décor, in my humble opinion. I hung framed covers of vintage Vogues on my new yellow walls (Bagel yellow, as I recall the paint chip saying) and piled up billiard balls in old vases on my coffee table. It was youthful and swanky and, combined with my new weight loss (finally lost the freshman fifteen) and newly acquired running habit, I started to feel kind of cool again - like someone I might want to be friends with. So I started having parties, spending way too much time on hand-sequined invites that said corny things like Cocktails and Cupcakes at Kelle's, and passed them out to fellow teachers who actually showed up.

And then I met Brett.

It was totally unplanned, just the way they tell you it's going to happen. Julie, my team leader, walked into my classroom one day, just weeks after I moved, and interrupted my earnest paper grading with a, "Hey, would you ever go out with an older man?"

"Does he have his own teeth and breathe on his own?" I asked. You never know what "older" means when you live in Florida or, as my grandpa called it, Heaven's Waiting Room. But Richard Gere was older. George Clooney was older. And they were hot. And, according to Julie, so was Brett. He was divorced, had two boys, and was described by her as "tall, blond, handsome, and an incredible father." She heavily emphasized the last part, dragging out incredible father like a Valley girl describing a guy who's totally hot. I had nothing to lose. There was something completely intriguing about Brett, the tall, blond, and handsome father, and I wanted to meet him.

Two weeks later, I watched from inside the window of the Mexican restaurant where we met for a group date with friends as Brett tenderly helped his boys climb out of the car and guided them toward the door. He was tall and handsome, just like Julie said, and despite the fact that I hated his shoes (a minor setback that later worked itself out when I took him to Dillard's and introduced him to a man sandal that didn't look like something Jesus would wear), I was smitten. He smiled genuinely, shook my hand, was kind and complimentary, all the while focusing most of his attention on his boys. He stroked his eldest's hair while he laughed at my stories. He cuddled his youngest on his knee as he passed out napkins to our friends and ordered me another beer. I loved that among the awkwardness of us both knowing we were here with all these people to meet each other and form a possible match, he was still an attentive father.

His kids came first, and I admired that.

It wasn't long before he was showing up in my classroom on Tuesdays to bring me lunch. And the deal sealer? He wanted more kids. We talked about it a lot, having kids. He said he always wanted a daughter, and pointing out little blond girls with pigtails that looked like they could be ours was becoming a favorite pastime.

His boys, Austyn and Brandyn, liked me and I liked them.

Hell, even his ex-wife and I got along. It was more than perfect.

What started as a group date at a Mexican restaurant was turning into something more. For the next three years we dated, and for the first time, I was beginning to find my place. And Hampton sounded like a damn good name to follow Kelle. Kelle Hampton. I wrote it with a calligraphy pen in my journal and stared at it. I liked it.

On July 1, 2006, we were married in a little white chapel with our friends and family by our side, and we started trying for a baby soon after. I quit my teaching job, took up photography full-time, and settled into my new life like it was a comfortable chair, just waiting for me to break it in even more. Brett's boys lived half of the week with us and half of the week with their mom, and while our blended family worked out quite swimmingly, I worried a bit when I was trying to get pregnant that my first baby would be Brett's third - a been-there-done-that milestone for him - and that consequently his excitement wouldn't rival mine. I was proven wrong the moment I saw his tears when I announced our first baby girl was on her way. Together, we celebrated at every stage of my pregnancy. We held hands the first time we heard her heartbeat, taped ultrasound pictures to the refrigerator, wandered through aisles at Babies "R" Us fighting over who got to "gun down" the bar codes for our baby registry. And we talked about everything. I felt confident that I would be a good mom. And when any fears emerged, I knew the incredible father I married would lead the way.

The day we welcomed Lainey Love into our life was nothing short of pure magic, and the next two years with her were beautiful. Don't get me wrong, motherhood is hard. It's scary and trying and demanding.

You stretch yourself, learn about yourself, and reach your breaking point, only to come back to that bond - that love that ties you to your little. Watching the culmination of your cells, your soul, your personality literally bloom before you, it's just amazing to witness.

Excerpted from Bloom by Kelle Hampton. Copyright © 2012 by Kelle Hampton. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

Ree Drummond

“Bloom is one of the most emotionally stirring books I’ve ever read…. This story is a reminder that perfect, when it comes to human beings, is such a relative (and irrelevant) term…and that a mother’s love for her child is a powerful, eternal, unshakable force.”

Matthew Logelin

“In her tender and genuinely beautiful memoir, Kelle Hampton encourages us to not simply accept the unexpected circumstances of our lives, but to embrace them like the things we wished for all along.”

Claire Fontaine

“Kelle Hampton…reminds us that life may not always look pretty or perfect, but it is always beautiful…. She has indeed made of her life something ‘wild and precious’ and her book, like her two beautiful girls, is a bundle of joy. I finished it reluctantly and with a full heart.”

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Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
JMcGregor More than 1 year ago
Bloom is a beautiful, emotional, and powerfully honest journey through Kelle Hampton's first year with her daughter Nella, who is unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. Kelle is a skilled writer, and she has a keen ability to make you cry your eyes out or laugh hysterically with the turn of a sentence. I walked away from this book with a newfound, positive perspective on handling life's challenges, along with an urge to make a difference in the lives of those who are labeled "different" by our society. And while the book is a great read, it's also full-color throughout with stunning photos and one of the most gorgeous designs I've ever seen. This is definitely an object you'll want to have on your coffee table--you'll continue looking through the photographs days after you've finished the book and will want to share them with others. I noticed that the book has received some 1-star reviews here, which seemed unbelievable until I actually read them. If you're not a follower of Kelle's blog, you're probably not aware that her optimism and zest for life--coupled with her success in the blogosphere--has sadly earned her a small following of "haters." I imagine that they're the ones lurking here, and I do hope that Barnes and Noble monitors their website reviews. Personal rants about Kelle and her blog do not constitute book reviews and I doubt that those people even read the book. If they did, they would find themselves moved to be kinder people who are more accepting of others.
gmanGB More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for everyone. It chronicles the first year of Kelle's life with daughter Nella , but anyone dealing with something unexpected can take something from the well written text and beautiful pictures. Kelle's words and pictures make you feel like you are right their experiencing everything right along with her. I do not understand how the majority of review are very favorable and just a few ( all anonymous) are so low. Were these low reviewers reading the same book!! Read the book , you will not be disappointed!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing in this book is stunning. So emotional and vulnerable. I could not put it down. Kelle is a controversial blogger because people are constantly attacking her for painting the picture of a "perfect" family. What they are missing is that Kelle's whole philosophy is to "look for the good." This is what she does, and it is inspirational, not fake or forced. The negative commenters are completely missing the point. She makes me want to be a better mother and a better person. Thank you Kelle.
IMtheBookLady More than 1 year ago
Kelle Hampton had me captivated from the very first page and I could not put this book (and my box of Kleenex!) down. I can't remember the last time I was actually sad to get to the end of a book because it meant that the experience was over. An inspiring debut and a must-read for anyone in need of some encouragement. Thank you, Kelle, for sharing your beautiful story.
CheryllFochtmann More than 1 year ago
I am 20 years older than Kelle Hampton with grown children and young grandchildren. I have learned more from reading Kelle's blog and book Bloom about what is important in life, raising and loving children, expressing emotions and standing up for the things that are important to me regardless of the perceptions of the world at large than I ever expected to experience. Bloom is an incredible, brutally honest and beautiful story of life. It has changed the way that I look at people with special abilities. Don't miss this life changing journey!
LindsayE More than 1 year ago
beautiful story of heartache, love, transformation, and friendship. Couldn't put it down. Kelle is such a beautiful writer. Favorite book Ive ever read.
JPA30 More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written memoir about the power love and acceptance. The writing is honest, vulnerable and raw. I felt an immediate connection with Kelle's emotions and cried and laughed with her story. One of the things that I loved more about Bloom is that shows society with its gorgeous photography that raising a child with Down syndrome is a beautiful and enriching experience, that "finding beauty in the unexpected" is possible. After reading this book, I'm feeling inspired to accept all individuals for who they are and to be more kind and compassionate towards others.
llively More than 1 year ago
I could not put the book down. I commend Kelle for having the humility and courage to step out and share her heartache with millions. Not many of us would do this! Thank you Kelle, for your honesty and how you have changed your image of outward perfection to inward perfection. In a media world that is so ugly, thank you for being a light
graceesmommy More than 1 year ago
I have followed Kelle's blog for 2 years and have been waiting patiently for this book to be released. The wait was well worth it. I know that on her blog she has a few people who are very hard on her because come on let's face it...she is beautiful (inside and out), she lives a good life and she is extremely talented..and I can see from some reviews that these people have left reviews. At this point I have purchased 10 Bloom books intended for a reading club I am hosting in the summer. In the meantime I have given out 6 books as gifts...they have been given to a wide spectrum of people..ages are all different..some follow the blog and some do not. The thing that I am most wanting to share is that every. single. person that I have shared this book with comes to the same conclusion...Kelle can write a book that we connect with. Life is not perfect, unexpected and sometimes just plain painful but if you face your reality (if it be infertily, DS, cancer) and be determined you will find will find will find peace. So to the unkind anonymous reviewers..well maybe you need to find the beauty in this book and in life. The fact is this book is a good. good. book and I am hoping that anyone using these reviews as a gauge to buying it will not be swayed to miss out on this beautiful story by a few who have always been jealous and cruel when in fact the woman they are attacking would give them the shirt off of her back and probably a hug..because you need it. Sincerely, Joy ( I think Anonymous is a cowardly way of attacking so I put my name here..proudly)
ThePaperMidwife More than 1 year ago
Although redundant at times, it was a great read that brought out a lot of feelings for my in many different areas of my life. I could see myself in the story as well as certain aspects of others around me. Even though the situation Kelle and her family faced and the challenges may be different, I recommend this book to anyone who may be having self doubt and need just a bit of healing in their soul. I read this book straight through and it was well worth the time. The author has a very enjoyable writing style that worked well for me.
SaraSmile82 More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing story of Kelle's journey as a mom learning to love unconditionally and find beauty in all sorts of circumstances. It is inspiring. It is encouraging to watch her take even what could be considered "nitty gritty" and not only remain positive, but thrive. A truly, amazing read for any glass-half-full kind of person. Bitter people, beware: this book is NOT for you! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I came across Kelle's blog when I was pregnant with my daughter. My daughter was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, and although it's not the same thing as down sydrome, I was so very grateful for her words. The emotions that she described are, in my opinion, pretty universal when it comes to children with special needs. The pain and the loss that you feel at first, and then to realize that you truly are blessed. I loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Touching and uplifting for everyone
Mamalovesbooks1 More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader of memoirs and also the mother of a child with Down Syndrome. While I could identify with some of the basic tenets of what the author experienced with regard to her grieving process and could appreciate the amount of soul-bearing involved to share some of that, to a large extent it felt over the top. I don't know if it was the fact that the writing was just so bad or if it was some sort of reflection on the author and where she is at on a maturity level. There was way too much drama, way too many long-winded introductions of various friends who were part of her "net", too little in the way making any sort of real spiritual or emotional conclusions as to how this child changed her, too many beer and "dude" references... and way to much of what another reviewer aptly called "The Kelle Show." It just felt narcissistic to me. I was looking for what I found in "Roadmap to Holland" and "Expecting Adam." It just wasn't there. I think this author has much growing up to do in terms of life living, emotional maturity and thinking outside of herself before she can write a decent memoir that draws the reader in, leaves them with some piece of insight. This read like the diary of a 9th grade girl, which was disappointing, particularly given what was supposed to be the subject matter. It was long winded, redundant, sophomoric and clearly terribly edited. The photography is spectacular. I will say that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful words paired with beautiful pictures. A must read, especially for anyone touched by Down syndrome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! I couldn't put it down. I loved that she was so real with her feelings. I'm sure almost anyone would have felt the exact same way but not not a lot of people would be brave enough to share it like Kelle did. I don't know if i would have had the courage to admit my feelings like she did if i was in that situation. I really admire her. I wish nothing but happiness for kelle and her beautiful family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She has quite the interesting set up when she Gives birth but she is a Girl who knows what she wants that for sure haha, almost to prefect a life if you ask me but I am only 2 chapters in. SHe has more friends then anyone I know :P But so far I am enjoying it and have cried once only a few pages in. I would recommend it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not what i expected but very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Without the photos, its just pretty generic. Have read MUCH better memoirs about raising a special needs child. Doesn't have enough depth, truth, realness and seasoned writer with more years of experience in the trenches. She's a marketers dream because she and her family have the "right look" which is why she's so popular with the "mainstream public" but with the special needs parents public? She's not really relatable. If you like looking at photos and being "inspired a la Hallmark" this is totally your thing. I wish her all the best, but it just doesn't do it for me. I actually live in the "real world" and it resembles nothing of hers. God bless, but I'm so "over" society's obsession with appearing perfect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Nella and the Hampton family after discovering their blog a year ago. I longed to find THAT family and THAT story in this book. They were honest, vulnerable, and raw. They were beautiful and relatable. However, like the blog of late, this book has taken a different and unfortunate path. It feels like cotton candy -- full of gorgeous photography, but saccharin sweet in content. It was fun for the moment, but I don't walk away with much substance. Further, Hampton's writing is frustrating at times; even with an editor, it can read like an overly poetic stream of consciousness. I still adore Nella and her family, but I feel like the depth of the story has been lost. Their experience is now a business, and that "image marketing" comes across clearly in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kaitlynlenhart More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book int he .25 cent bin at the pack'n'save.  Was this a story about a woman coming to terms with her disabled daughter or a sly way for Kelle to show off her privileged life? The pictures were nice but after you've seen a few they all become repetitive. Final verdict - it was "ok" would not buy again. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading Kelle's so I of course was really looking forward to reading her book when it came out. I couldn't even finish it. All I kept thinking was it was over the top. She acted as I would imagine a parent would when a child passes. Nella didn't pass away, she was born special. I cant imagine what it is like to have a DS child but I think Kelle took it over the top and that ruined it for me. It was almost like she wasn't even greatful that she had a baby to take home when so many people don't even have that. Each child is special, even if they have DS. What will her other children think when they are older and read this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago