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Kelle Hampton  writer, mother. I take a lot of pictures, with my camera and with my heart. Author of New York Times Bestselling memoir Bloom.

http://kellehampton.com/

Stayed up last night collecting photos, searching the Internet for the perfect looks-like-Sophie stuffed animals and planning her little celebration of life ceremony as Lainey requested. Back to the Earth she goes. It's amazing how someone who took up such little room in the background can suddenly leave such a gaping hole. I won't keep our dog grief on social media for long, but this one's for me. ❤️ (press ▶️, song by Kevin Kline from Beauty and the Beast)

We lost our girl tonight, and we are heartbroken. She was the best of the best. A loyal friend, a lover to all. She greeted all my babies in their car seats when we brought them home from the hospital and took turns sleeping in their rooms throughout the years. Lainey was who she clung to most these last weeks, and my girl's taking it hard. Forever in our hearts, our Sophie girl. ❤️

Rather than needing a party or company as an excuse to make things special, I've been having fun lately pulling out the festive touches for my own family. We don't need "a good reason" to use the pretty dishes or make a festive tablescape. On the blog today: an easy, inexpensive Halloween tablescape with "wow" factor ($20, and it can all be tucked away to reuse next year).

Potions lab today (and a super fun inexpensive Halloween tablescape coming to the blog tomorrow 🕷)

His obsession with flames and candles and matches makes me so nervous 😬. I have to turn my back when I light a match because he studies me too closely. In other news, I cleaned my room this past weekend, and now it feels so cozy. Why can't I keep it like this all the time? 😩

"Learn their language, know their loves, plot the latitude of their life. I’ve got Toca Boca on my iPhone and Shawn the Sheep on my Firestick, but I also know what Coachella is and can decipher the cryptic captions on my cool teen granddaughter’s Instagram feed...Tell them stories where they are the champions, the winners, the greatest around. Let them know of your life—your strengths AND your struggles, your big moments AND your bumbled mistakes...Keep their things in your home like you’re hoping they’ll come, and when they do, they’ll see—you’ve been expecting their visit, there’s room for them here. Buy a step stool to help them work beside you in the kitchen, reach the Oreos in your pantry, brush their teeth by themselves. Take their messes in stride, their fears as quite normal, and an occasional tantrum as a compliment—you’re family, you’re home..." Poppa's on the blog today, sharing his love of grandparenting and tips for maintaining close relationships. More, link in profile.

We lost Nella in Target today. She went running as soon as we walked in (she never does that). We couldn't figure out where she ran and enlisted the help of an employee who saw her running ("was your little girl holding a ribbon stick?" 😂) Nella ended up finding us 5 minutes later. She was running to our cart, smiling so huge and carrying what appeared to be a 5 gallon vat of Nutella.

Poppa's pups are back from Michigan. ❤️

Linus: "Are you here to sing pumpkin carols?" I just want to throw it out there that I'd be 💯% on board with this tradition. Don't be surprised if Ima knockin' on your door, passing out wassail and singing "Fall to the World," Naples friends.

Who needs iambic pentameter. Her smile is a sonnet. ❤️

For the record, I had nothing to do with these--they just arrived at the front door. I took one look at them and then one look at Brett: "Dear God, these have your name all over them."
Brett: 🙈
She's been running around outside smiling since she put them on. (I put the link in stories along with some background music I didn't realize was so inappropriate 🙊)

Chili in the crockpot, Halloween picture painting and almost Friday. ❤️ (and after searching Craigslist every single day for a month to find a credenza to hold my table linens, I walked in Goodwill this morning, and there she was. Crammed her in the minivan and drove 6 miles with a stack of drawers pinning me against the window, but that's how we get 'er done.)

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