“Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden.”

We’ve had such a fun, cousin-filled summer overflowing with quintessential childhood memory snapshots. It’s so nice now that Wren’s a bit older and she can really play with all her cousins on both sides of the family and develop relationships and boss people around and share bad habits. I don’t really know my own cousins very well, but I can’t imagine my girls growing up and not knowing their cousins. I know we just get busier and busier and schedules fill up and soon enough too much time goes by and you don’t see each other… until there’s a wedding or a funeral. Boo. I hope we always make an effort to get these wonderful little ones together so they can have lifelong cousin friends.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget Wren and Griffin on the Hydroslide. I was back on the dock and I could hear Wren yelling, “go faster, Grandpa!!!” One of those “where did my baby go?” moments.

And when did sharing become fun? I’m so glad these kiddos are (mostly) over the everythingismine stage. For now!

The days are getting a bit shorter and as the sun sets on most of our cousin-filled fun, we are feeling extra grateful for our families. It takes a lot of effort to travel and take time away from work and normal life activities, but it’s worth it. Thank you!

Love where you live – Glen Haven

In May we spent a beautiful afternoon flying kites and playing in the sand at the top of a dune near Glen Haven, one of our favorite close-but-feel-like-you’re-far-away kind of places. We drove home and asked each other, “we get to live here?” Grateful to call this “home.” Thank you, Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Happy Mother’s Day!

So blessed and grateful to mother these two lovely, full-of-wonder little ladies. My little loves. It truly is the most simultaneously difficult and gratifying work I’ve done. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mamas out there. Keep on, keepin’ on making the world go ’round. XO


“If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

~ Musharish-Ud-Din Sadi

My father-in-law rescued me today. He took Wren out to their house for the day and he brought me a beautiful hyacinth, to “feed thy soul.” Feeling very blessed and grateful. Bonus: I got to have lunch out with my husband today. And the hives are retreating. Things are looking up. Happy weekend, lovelies. XO

two weeks

Our sweet Phoebe Jane is now two weeks old. She’s doing really well and we’re all (slowly) adjusting to our new life of FOUR. Four piles of clean–but wrinkled–clothes. Four mouths to feed. Four people to keep happy, healthy, rested and entertained. But other parts of life are more exponential: there are a lot more than four “beautiful” messes around the house, sets of dirty dishes, leaves left to rake and rotting pumpkins to do something with, phone calls and e-mails to return and thank-you notes to write (sorry!). Like a friend and I were discussing today, it’s not that things really get that much easier as you adjust to life with a new baby, but you eventually adjust to a new version of “normal.” Eventually

In this transition time, we’ve been blessed with lots of wonderful meals. Really, this is a huge help because the witching hour of 6 rolls around and just when you think you’ve got everything under control, the baby spits up all over you and her, your two year old is melting down because her blood sugar is low and you won’t let her watch another minute of Dora (is it just me, or is Dora incredibly annoying?) and she wants to nurse TOO and just then, your tired and hungry husband walks in from a long day of work to this scene. Oof. Thank goodness there is a meal in the oven that a thoughtful friend made or else the wheels really would fly off! All FOUR.

But looking at that sweet baby puts it all into perspective, one mountain of clothes at a time. And lots of deep breathing and strong coffee…

Welcome, Phoebe Jane!

We are so grateful and over-the-moon happy to welcome our new little birdie, Phoebe Jane!

After a false alarm and a long week of early laboring, our sweet Phoebe made a very dramatic and thoughtful Halloween entrance into the world. I think Phoebe knew that I really wanted to be home for Halloween because her big sister was really excited about all things Halloween, including dressing up as a strawberry, trick-or-treating and eating more than her fair share of candy. So she let Chris and I take Wren trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. I even got into the spirit of it and turned my belly into a pumpkin. At this point in the evening, I was having some contractions, but they weren’t too close together yet. Plus I had just seen my OB for my regular check-up about 45 minutes earlier. I told him I was “ready to burst” and he chuckled, checked me and said, “well, you’re still a loose 3.” Arrgghh. Just 3 cm?! After a week of contractions off and on? Would this baby ever come out?

So we trick-or-treated for a bit around the neighborhood and the contractions got stronger, longer and closer together. I decided that we ought to round the block for home. Plus, Wren’s candy bucket was already getting heavy because it contained a juice box and a full-size Snickers bar, in addition to the usual favorites. Seriously, someone in our neighborhood gives out full-size candy bars to an estimated 800 trick-or-treaters!?

We arrived home around 6 and I started timing the contractions. They were about 60 seconds long and only a couple minutes apart… I told Chris he better quickly eat some of that chili I made for dinner and get us over to the hospital. Thankfully, we only live a few blocks away and “Dampa and Damma” were already here with us!

Here they are, aren’t they cute?

We got checked in, they monitored me and I got checked into my room around 7 p.m. I told Chris to speed on ahead and fill up the deep tub for me. I labored in a deep tub with Wren and I don’t know how I could’ve achieved my goal of having a low-intervention, natural hospital birth without it. So I climbed on in and within fifteen minutes of laboring with the jets, my water broke. And the pain got so strong and all I could think was, there is no way I can do this, thinking I’d have to labor like that for at least another six hours, or days, there’s no way to know for sure. I let the nurse know what had happened and she said I could continue to stay in, but right away I started to feel Phoebe coming out already so I let the nurse know and she told me I needed to get out. I told her I didn’t think I could because the baby was here and she helped Chris hoist me out of the tub. I walked the short distance to the bed and my OB just arrived and told me to get up into the bed and I said, no I can’t, the baby was here. He checked and sure enough, the baby was here. He had just enough time to get his second glove on and catch our new little birdie like a football and pass her up to me! Just like that. Crazy stuff. Our Phoebe Jane was here!

On October 31, 2011 at 7:19 p.m. Phoebe Jane Walter was born! She’s a tall, thin birdie: 6 lb, 12 oz and 21 inches. And I know I’m biased, lovelies, but she is really an incredibly beautiful little lady and we’re so very glad that she is here with us in our nest.