{Kelle Hampton} Grocery Store Vacation

Kelle Hampton is an amazing photographer.

She’s had a blog for a while now.

With a respectable following.

But when the birth of Nella brought with it an incredible surprise…

Kelle’s words, photos and heart resonated with…

…well, the WORLD.

No lie.

If you’ve never read it, *make* the time to read Nella’s birth story.


Don’t say you’ll do it later.

Because it will change you.

In a profoundly good way.


(If you are new here, read HERE for the purpose of this site.)

*  *  *  *

Before I became a mother, my husband and I were no strangers to a good impromptu getaway.  It wasn’t uncommon come 5:00 on a Friday afternoon to suddenly pack up the car, skip across Alligator Ally and find ourselves huddled up at the Beacon in Miami’s art deco district, ready for some tan-perfecting and mojito-sipping.  And, if it wasn’t a hotel in Miami, it was a tent at a state park.  Busch Gardens in Tampa.  Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in December.  The point being…we got out, and we prided ourselves in the fact that we enjoyed our surroundings.
Fast forward five years.
The only Beacon I’ve been seeing is the glow from the girls’ night light that leads me into mid-night diaper changes without tripping over the doll stroller that just so happens to be conveniently placed right at the entrance of where I happen to repeatedly trek in the black of the night.  We lost the illustrious label of vacationers long ago and between a struggling economy, busy schedules, and the many duties that fulfill our weekends on this blessed journey of parenthood, “getaway” anymore simply means climbing in the car and leaving the driveway.

And, as absence makes the heart grow fonder, any adventure that includes the entire family and allows us to travel outside a five-mile radius of our home seems to become special in this lack-of-vacation period of our lives.  Which is why I find magic in family grocery shopping.
It doesn’t happen often…this family grocery shopping gig as one parent holding down the fort with kids while the other quickly breezes through numbered aisles without a toddler begging for the Minnie Mouse Pez dispenser at the check-out always seems to be the option of choice.  However, being the adventurous folks we are, sometimes we choose the latter.  Crazy, but fun.
I’ve come to enjoy these family trips.  The way they start with a coffee and a slow, leisurely stroll through produce stands.  It always begins well.  No pressure.  No tears.  No Nella waking up in the Baby Bjorn screaming to be fed.  No whipping a boob out in Aisle 11 while Tony the Tiger looks on from rows of Frosted Flakes.  No telling Lainey to sit down in the cart or else she’ll fall out.  No ripping open unpaid packages of donuts because, my gosh, I’ve forgotten again to bring something to entertain her and I have three more aisles to shop through.  No, they always start well and it’s pure enjoyment to watch Brett pour over prices, comparing Honey Grahams with generic crackers all the while balancing a tot on his hip and pushing a cart that happens to have a wayward wheel.  We’re blessed that way…we always get the cock-eyed cart that takes a steady grip just to keep it in a straight line.

Our family grocery trips are bonding.  We plan meals together outside the meat bins, we argue over skim or 2% in the milk aisle, and we fall sucker, together, to the pleas of big hazel eyes begging for overpriced Dora stickers on the endcaps.  And you should see us celebrate discounts.  The receipt is handed to Brett likeThe Holy Grail at the end, and I watch as he scans down to “Money Saved” at the very bottom.  And I wait for it….wait for it…the smile. Yes, Victory.  He announces the winnings with his boyish grin and we hoorah together like we just won the lottery.  Twenty-dollars and thirty-seven cents. It’s a good day.  And when our cart is finally full and we steer its crazy wheel back to our car, huddling babies and bags all the while, it feels good.  Like the end of a great vacation when we arrive back home, rested and rejuvinated…fridge full of the goodness that will sustain us until the next adventure calls.

Miami may be flashy, and Chicago has its charms.  But a family trip to the grocery store seems to be just what our family needs these days.

* * * *

Kelle has chosen to fundraise for the National Down Syndrome Society.
You can enter to win by:
1) Subscribing to my blog.  Leave a comment letting me know you did.  (1 entry)
2) DONATE to the National Down Syndrome Society by clicking on the Donate button in the widget below or by clicking HERE.
Every dollar you donate, gives you one chance to win.  If you give $8 dollars, you get 8 entries.  The more you give, the better your chances!  (unlimited entries!)
This site’s challenge is to give.  A little.  A lot.  Whatever you can.
Every. single. dollar. helps.

Believe that.
Give $1.  Give $100.
Start your week by doing a little good today.
This fundraiser and giveaway will run until Friday, April 30th.

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 51

    Great post, great pics, great charity. Thanks so much for sharing your space and allowing me the opportunity to get to know this blog.

  2. 52

    Subscribing/following your blog, love it!!!

  3. 53

    ps. I had read Nella’s story while I was pregnant with Evelyn, brought me to tears!!! serious! she is so stinkin’ gorgeous though, I want to squeeze and kiss her sweet cheeks!!!