The Birdies 29/52

A portrait of my birdies, once a week, every week, in 2014.

Where did the week go? Zoom! We were in the midst of Cherry Festival here in Traverse City and now we are enjoying a quieter summer again. Aaaahh.

Wren and I had fun visiting a new place in Traverse City – the laundromat near Tom’s 14th street. Loved the mural and the chairs. Wren enjoyed looking at everyone’s clothes going round and round. “Oh look, they’ve got a pink shirt too!” It’s easy to forget that simple things can be so novel and exciting. Reason #743 why it’s so great to have children in my life.

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Wren is now 2/3 of a hay bale high. We’ve been driving by hay bales quite a bit lately and we got to wondering how big they actually were, or how little we actually are… So we got out and had to check them out for ourselves.

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We spent one evening at the Cherry Festival and finally found a ride that tiny Phoebe could go on! Speed racer! They spent all their lemonade stand money on a ride and a sno cone. It’s our new Cherry Festival tradition!

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Happy Place: Iris Farm


One of our favorite spring traditions is a visit to the Black Iris Farm just west of Traverse City. It is one of my happy places. It’s so relaxing and inspiring out there amidst the colors and the smells. The breeze was blowing and the lombardy poplar trees were dancing. If you’re looking for the top Manhattan tree care company, Manhattan Tree Care experts are standing by 24/7 to handle your routine or emergency tree service needs, view the page for more information.

I realized as I was looking at pictures from three years ago that Phoebe wore the same little green jacket that Wren wore while running through the iris rows. Time! Easy there.

I’ve never seen the iris farm quite as vibrant and fragrant as last night. We cut some flowers to take home, had a picnic, got dusty and explored. Took a few pictures too…









See you next year, beautiful iris farm! We love you.

Punzel’s – strange and wonderful.


Punzel’s Scandinavian: Magical, delightful, enchanting, strange. Wren and I had a date on a misty early August afternoon to Punzel’s and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. It’s gotten in my (wannabe Scandinavian) blood… with its nordic elves, trolls and fairies.

It beckons us to come back. To wander the gardens, to do a tour, to eat edible flowers, to buy more lovely nordic fairy tales or maybe just to escape somewhere that’s close, but feels far away. Odd and whimsical = perfect!


This little nordic fairy land is one part overgrown magical forest with trolls and legendary creatures, one part Scandinavian handicraft lover’s dream (I love you IKEA, but Punzel’s is the real deal) and one part THE very best selection of kids books around. The only problem is that some of the kids book prices are actually marked UP from the printed price, which as you know is even higher than the online price… but I digress.

Because, um, the pink, hand-carved and hand-painted horse got our attention! This turned into Wren’s little pocket treasure…


There are a lot of things at Punzel’s I just can’t explain. But through the eyes of an imaginative four year old, it’s just heavenly. Every time you turn around there’s another path to skip down, little carved creatures to see and giant toadstools to sit in. I mean, really, where does someone even find a huge fabricated toadstool like this?


But wait, there’s a bit more. There are heart-shaped ponds, waterfalls and rivers.


Funky sculptures hidden in the grasses.


And mossy swings to enjoy.


We’ll be back for their Fika, an edible flower luncheon in the “cave.” And probably to do some Christmas shopping for some special gifts for some little birdies I know… Thanks again, Punzel’s! Thanks for keeping it strange in the greater Buckley area.



a date


I had the best afternoon in a LONG time yesterday when Wren and I had a very rare date, just the two of us. After church we had brunch at one of our favorite cafes in town. We got to have escargot (!) and Wren was incredible company: funny, open, interested, polite, charming, a great conversationalist. We wondered about snail hunters and their techniques, we whispered about how some people don’t have hair, we giggled while we played hide-and-seek with a tiny blue ball. I took my camera, but we were so immersed in our brunch together that I didn’t stop to snap any shots. I looked around and many of the other tables had families, but there were so many SCREENS. And I was just so grateful that we didn’t have screens to captivate us instead of each other.

After brunch we headed off to The Nutcracker. It was a beautiful performance and we were inspired and uplifted. And a bit wiggly and sleepy. Wiggly and sleepy, what a funny combination that seems to belong only to children. I do not get wiggly when tired, do you? I may have teared up a few times while snuggling Wren tight on my lap, so full of gratitude for her presence and our special time together.

When we left The Nutcracker we stumbled upon this misty sculpture garden, wet and a tad mucky with the remains of late autumn in northern Michigan. How could I have never seen this before?


We played for a while and Wren got some wiggles out in the mud. When we left I asked Wren what her favorite part of The Nutcracker was. “Playing in the mud!” Aha. That’s my girl.