Friday, April 13, 2012

BLOOM: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

 GIVEAWAY ENDED
BLOOM
Finding Beauty in the Unexpected- A Memoir
BY KELLE HAMPTON

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Bloom is an inspiring and heartfelt memoir that celebrates the beauty found in the unexpected, the strength of a mother’s love, and, ultimately, the amazing power of perspective. The author of the popular blog Enjoying the Small Things—named The Bump’s Best Special Needs Blog and The Blog You’ve Learned the Most From in the 2010 BlogLuxe Awards—Kelle Hampton interweaves lyrical prose and stunning four-color photography as she recounts the unforgettable story of the first year in the life of her daughter Nella, who has Down syndrome. Poignant, eye-opening, and heart-soaring, Hampton’s Bloom is ultimately about embracing life and really living it.

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."

PRAISE FOR BLOOM:
“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.”
— Ree Drummond, New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks
“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."— Claire Fontaine, national bestselling author of Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back“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.”— Matthew Logelin, New York Times bestselling author of Two Kisses for Maddy 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Writer and photographer Kelle Hampton chronicles the simple joys of motherhood and daily life on her popular blog, Enjoying the Small Things. She has been recognized as a Babble Top 50 Mom Blogger, and her blog was named The Best Special Needs Blog by The Bump and The Blog You've Learned the Most From in the 2010 BlogLuxe Awards. An advocate for individuals with Down syndrome, Kelle has been honored by both the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), receiving the NDSC National Media Award in 2010. She has been interviewed on CNN as a Connector of the Day and on Rosie O'Donnell's radio program, Rosie Radio. Kelle lives in Naples, Florida, with her husband, Brett; their two daughters, Lainey and Nella; and her stepsons, Austyn and Brandyn. 

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
Kelle Hampton’s book BLOOM: FINDING BEAUTY IN THE UNEXPECTED: A MEMOIR is an emotional look at a mother and her new born daughter. Not unusual perhaps by definition, but it truly illustrates how we can’t tell a book by its cover. From the outside, one might see Kelle Hampton’s second baby, Nella, as a Down syndrome baby, but as Kelle comes to find out, Nella is just a beautiful and precious child who happens to have something different than some other children. Just as some might, for example, be born deaf and learn to adjust, so will Kelle and her precious baby. But for the first two years of Nella’s life that BLOOM is about, it is Kelle who has to do the majority of adjustment internally and externally.

Not knowing about that extra chromosome before Nella is born, Kelle realizes something is wrong during that most precious moment of birth when Nella is placed in her arms for the first time. Kelle panics as nobody seems to say anything about what she observes and all her family and friends around her are toasting Nella’s birth and celebrating. When the pediatrician comes in to say that Nella is perfectly beautiful but does have Down syndrome, Kelle is almost relieved since nobody else would talk about it.

The emotional roller coaster that Kelle Hampton experiences during this baby’s first year is well documented. She strips down her own emotions to gain acceptance as well as deals with how others will accept this baby that Kelle has quickly realized she loves so very much. Ranging from joy to panic, from adulation to shame, Kelle writes about the day to day adjustment she had to make to welcome Nella into her family’s life. First daughter Lainey is two and Kelle had so many plans for the two sisters especially because of the closeness Kelle has with her own sister. She fears this is all gone and wonders how it will also affect Lainey as they grow up together. This is before Kelle realizes that Lainey loves Nella for who she is and is unaware and takes in stride whatever “differences” Nella may have. Kelle’s husband, Brett, is written so well that you can‘t help but think that Kelle must be truly blessed in having a man like that in her life. As Kelle grows to love this precious baby over the first few hours and days, she starts to understand that she has been given a gift and must have been picked for this special child. She questions, of course, her faith and how this happened, but over all comes to decide that within her mixture of fear and delight, there is the overriding sense of peace. She takes on responsibility of being supportive of others in similar circumstances and in many cases sees how much luckier she is than some of those others are.

BLOOM is so exquisitely written that the words are as awe inspiring as the gorgeous photographs that photographer Kelle Hampton has included. One can follow Nella’s first year journey by looking just at the gorgeous photographs but then they would miss all the wonder that the lyrical narrative bestows upon the readers. BLOOM by Kelle Hampton is an extraordinary story that is a perfect read for everyone; from a grandmother like me, to a mother-to-be, everyone will come away from this a better person with a greater appreciation for life and for a mother’s love.
 GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO THE WILLIAM MORROW TEAM FOR
THIS AMAZINGLY STUNNING BOOK THAT I
HAVE ONE COPY OF FOR A LUCKY FOLLOWER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:


+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU FOUND ABOVE ABOUT BLOOM THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK... DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT KELLE HAMPTON'S BLOG, "ENJOYING THE SMALL THINGS",  BY GOING HERE; (YOU MIGHT WANT TO START ON THE SECTION CALLED START HERE IF YOU'RE NEW )

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR KELLE HAMPTON ON THE "FUN STUFF" PAGE ON THE HARPER COLLINS WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 25
GOOD LUCK!

109 comments:

debbie said...

As a parent with a special needs son, I can understand what I can understand what she went through.
I would like to read the book.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

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lag123 said...

I work with a nurse who has a dtr. With Down's Syndrome. I would love to read this.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Pat L. said...

I saw a piece on this the other day on The Today Show and it touched my heart - would love to read the story.

patoct@yahoo.com

Pat L. said...

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Pat L. said...

I loved the touching conversation about Lainey's birthday call to her grandpa.

patoct@yahoo.com

Pat L. said...

I am a gfc follower.
patoct@yahoo.com

Pat L. said...

From the fun page: Author's greatest accomplishment: growth. More confidence, more understanding, more strength, more love.

patoct@yahoo.com

bermudaonion said...

I flipped through this book when it came in the mail and it was all I could do to keep from sitting down right then to read it. I can't wait to get to it! No need to enter me.

rubynreba said...

This is a beautiful book about a mother's love. I would love to read it.
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Anonymous said...

i have a relative in the same situation and would like to read about this author's experience
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Carol N Wong said...

I totally agree with you that you cannot tell a book by its cover. Every single one of the children and adults that I have met who have Down's syndrome are so loving and affectionate. I met a lot of them when I went to some of the programs that my brother went to. He has autism and I really think that they have helped him express emotions!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

On her site, I looked at the pictures of her new baby's birth and love the black and white one the best.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I see that she loves baba ganoush. I love that too!

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traveler said...

This beautiful book would be interesting. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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The photos are wonderful, the family and girls precious. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

Being at the beach on the Isle of Capri is her favorite thing with the family. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Renee said...

as a special ed teacher, I would love to hear a mom's perspective

reneesuz82(at)gmail.com

Renee said...

I find it interesting that I just stsarted following the author's blog a few days ago.

reneesuz82(at)gmail.com

Renee said...

Not picking up after herself is her worst habit?
she's doing fine then

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Renee said...

I also entered the giveawy for Wishes and Stitches


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Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...
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Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...
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Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...
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Linda Kish said...

Wow, that video was very moving. I could feel her emotions in it. I would love to read this book and will have to buy it if I don't get lucky.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I loved the entire birth story. It was beautiful. And Nella is a beautiful baby.

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Linda Kish said...

She dreams about living in the country. (I dream about living in a small town.)

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Nancye said...

This book sounds amazing! Kelle Hampton is someone whom I really admire to be so open and honest about all of her feelings and emotions after she had Nella. Wow! This is a book I HAVE to read!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Thank you SO much for the link to Kelle's website that included a link to her blog! I almost forgot about the giveaway for this book as I was so entranced with her blog, her story, her beautiful girls, and the fabulous photos she takes. This is a blog I will definitely return to. Often!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

On the "Fun Stuff" section on Kelle's website, I found it interesting that she hates mushrooms (I do too!) and that if she wasn't a writer she would want to be a teacher (I was a teacher!) It's neat to have a few things in common! Not in the fun stuff section, but on her blog, she talks about her family spending time on the Isles of Capri, Florida. Not many people have even heard of it, but my family vacationed there 2 years in a row! (It's between Naples and Marco Island, FL). Cool!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I Tweeted!
@NancyeDavis

https://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/191702370701422593

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