in like a lion


Why hello there, March. And hello there, lovely readers. Thanks for clicking in! Although I’m not usually into apologizing for not writing about my cutest-kids-in-the-world and what-amazing-things-we’ve-been-doing-in-the-most-beautiful-place-in-America, snicker snicker, I am here anyway to say “sorry about all the crickets, lately, lovelies!”

It’s been busy on the work front and a bit messy meets crazy on the home front mixed with lots of snow days, a couple sick days and a couple getaway days thrown in too. And sometimes when I’m clicking away with work on my computer for my clients, one of the last things I want to do is hop back on when I have a few minutes of time. But then time and development keep racing on and I stop and think, I need to capture this, savor this, post this. And yes, I realize that savoring doesn’t equate to taking pictures and posting about it, but sometimes, well, it does for me. In a 2013 kind of way I suppose.

So enough musing, here are a few shots of our February life. Enjoy!


It’s been very wintery at 605. I love our nest blanketed in some fresh snow. And the birdies have been enjoying the snow, although Phoebe hates her boots so she doesn’t last long out in the snow.



We’ve been skiing, but not enough given how wintery it’s been. Thankful for the times we’ve been able to get out.


We enjoyed the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail near Glen Haven. I love seeing the same trail at different times of year, don’t you?


We’ve had (more than) our fair share of cocoa…


Ahh, fresh snow.

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And the biggest highlight was the Winter Fest in downtown Traverse City. An ice rink! A tubing run! A ferris wheel! All right downtown. Sorry, cars.




The biggest birdie got to try out ice skating for the first time. Ahh, the firsts!


And also her first ice cream eating contest. She didn’t care that her competitors included a very big twelve year old. Because, um, hello, free ice cream.


And lots of warm baths to warm after all this chilly winter fun.


So the sweet and lovely Phoebe Jane is climbing. Can we say “heart attack,” anyone? Or maybe “spring fever!” ? I turn around and she’s scaled something, or balanced something on top of something else to get UP. Up up up. It’s hard to get much done when there’s this kind of craziness in your midst. Aahhhh!


And how was your February? Are you ready for March?!

a family ski


We fell in love with winter all over again this weekend when we awoke to fresh snow and February’s promised blue skies. We all headed out for a long cross country ski together at our favorite local spot and were greeted with a glorious afternoon.


Wren usually skis for as long as she wants to then jumps in the Chariot with Phoebe for snacks and a tour of the north woods. Each time we go, her own ski time seems to get more enjoyable. She falls a lot, but she laughs a lot and can usually get back up on her own. Last winter there was a very high level of frustration and not a lot of fun for Wren on skis, but it’s encouraging to see her enjoying it more. Often she’ll take off ahead of us and play around on the first little hill before we catch up to her. It’s important to keep it fun and well, there’s always a promise of good snacks. Because why ski if you can’t have good snacks, right?




It started out cloudy and bitter cold. But by the time we were climbing the hill past the river crossing, the sun came out and everything sparkled. Grins all around. We were warmed up from the climbing and full of awe. One of those days when I felt so grateful for our health and opportunity to enjoy our lives together outside.




After our cocoa and (peanut butter and Nutella) sandwich break (hey, I said good snacks, right?) about three miles in, we got the girls bundled back up and kept on skiing. Eventually they both fell asleep and took good naps.



We made it back to the parking lot with the girls still asleep so Chris and I were able to sit together and enjoy each other’s company and more snacks without any whining or interrupting. A rare mini-date! The skies opened up with a fresh dusting of snow and we started to get cold again. Time to call it a day. A great day.

P.S. We all slept so soundly that night and we attribute it to that rare, bright spot in the sky. Thank you, sun!


a special visitor


We had a special afternoon last week when my Kindergarten teacher paid us a visit. We’ve been friends for 30 years now and sharing our girls and our home with her was one of the highlights of Christmas vacation.

Not only was she my first school teacher, but I knew her through our childhood church and the summer camp I went to since I was a wee one. She played the role of Mother Nature at camp and took us on nature tours of the lake via canoe and encouraged us to taste Indian Cucumber, aka tender cattail hearts. She showed us the beauty of the constellations on the dock under starry summer skies, she took us on night hikes to listen for owls and sniff around for the fragrant sassafras with its beautiful, unique leaves. The other campers and I would huddle together through the darkened woods while munching on the spicy stem. I have such vivid memories of those nights and can still clearly see the spot we hiked up to deep in the woods in order to sit still and call for owls and listen to the creatures of the night begin to stir around us.


When I graduated from high school she gave me my first books of Michigan birds and wildflowers. I thumbed through the birds book when looking for names for my children, hence the names we settled on: Wren and Phoebe.

She’s also an incredible storyteller and strong believer in the spirit world. She told some very spooky ghost stories at camp and now she is often invited to people’s homes or buildings to witness the spirits and take photographs of orbs. She is currently working on a book about ghosts in the town of Romeo where I grew up.

I’m so grateful for her presence in my life over the past 30 years and owe her so much for sharing with me such a deep and curious appreciation for nature. It was so special to spend the afternoon with her and have her read meaningful, timeless books and play thoughtfully with the girls, talk about our gardens, hear about her recent travels and spirit encounters in the areas where the Japanese Internment camps were held and see some of the orbs she’s captured with her camera. Her enthusiasm for so many different aspects of life, innate sense of adventure, and desire to share the joy and wonder of children is contagious.


Feeling so grateful and inspired and wishing I could always have my Kindergarten teacher around. So much to glean from so many years of devoted experience with wee ones! It really does take a village, no?


After a great night’s sleep, Wren woke up at 5:30 this morning. This is rare for our birdies so I almost didn’t know what to do with her so early. I pushed her in the Chariot for an early morning run and then she bopped around the house for a while after breakfast. She started whining about wanting to watch a movie, which I almost caved to, but then she started talking about wanting to go on an adventure to Sand Mountain. Again. At first I said “no, not today,” but then I thought “why not?” because we’ve got HOURS until she has to go to school. Let’s do it!

We brought some snacks and we kidnapped our good friend, Heidi, for part of the fun. It was a perfect morning. Warm sun, cool breezes, hardly a cloud in the sky. Thanks, Wren, for the great idea! And here’s to impromptu adventures, lovelies. I’m going to try and do more this fall. You?


Escape from Cherry Fest

We’re in the midst of the National Cherry Festival here in Traverse City and while I love my annual corn dog (check!) and ferris wheel ride (and elephant ear, ahem) just like the next fair-goer, the traffic and craze and dust and heat and cheese factor of it all gets to me after a few days. The girls and I were in need of a quick escape from it and I remembered there were some hosta gardens about twenty minutes away I’d heard about. People have been telling me about them for several years now, but I hadn’t made it a priority to go see them. And although it wasn’t on my summer list, it’s one of the best times I’ve had this summer.

Cedar Hedge Gardens (no hosta in the name at all!) is really a private home with four acres of Japanese-style gardens for wandering, chimes for listening, gongs for banging and ponds for gazing. It was just what we needed: calm, serene, beautiful. I wanted to take a really long, cool nap under the big trees with the elephantine hosta leaves to shade me. Aaaah.