Lady J is 2 months old!

This little lady is truly loved by all of her family.  We all feel blessed to know and love her and watch her grow. As cliche as it sounds, none of us can now imagine our family without her as an integral part of it!

Here are a few pics and a video from the past couple of weeks.  Nothing like a baby video to remind me how ridiculous I sound! Please ignore my chattering in the background – I was just trying to get her to look at the camera.

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<p><a href=”″>P1040861</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Carrie Schwarz</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


The newest member of the family: Josephine Linnea, born 12/12/12. I am way behind in posting this one, she is now over two weeks old! We have all been enjoying her presence and settling in to life with little Josephine.  The kiddos have been incredibly loving, and look forward to every chance they have to hold her, burp her, even help change a diaper!!


She has changes so much in these two short weeks and become so much more alert and interactive.  One of her favorite things to focus on is this wall cutout I made of the Musicians of Bremen. I suppose the sharp contrast between it and the wall is easy enough for her eyes to see and ponder.


Josephine has received quite a welcome into the world, including the sweetest welcome I think any baby could get:  Christian’s entire class wrote a welcome letter to baby Josephine, and compiled all the letters and pictures they made into a single book for her! Big brother proudly read each one of them to Josephine on her second day in the world. Here is his letter to her:

Josephine, you sure are our “bundle of joy”! We love you so very much!

On Turning Eleven


DSC_0196It seems just yesterday that you were the little one with head resting on my shoulder, so new to the world, but with those eyes of yours that seemed so ancient and wise.  You, my little bundle, are eleven today. Happy Birthday! I so very much hope that eleven is better than you are expecting it to be.  I know that 10 was so scary for you.  You dreaded turning a double digit, and felt incredibly emotional about the looming event for months before it happened. I remember finding the poem below, “On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins, and it seemed to sum up all that you were feeling about that new number.  Too bad one does not seem to exist to describe the age of 11. Perhaps you will be the one to author that poem; I look forward to reading it if you do! Klara, we are so lucky to have you in our lives.     Buddy, I know how tough things can seem in these years, and how much of an emotional rollercoaster life becomes now, especially for someone like you who feels everything with the deepest of senses.  This may feel like a curse to you sometimes, but believe me, it is also a blessing! You feel the good as intensely as you feel the bad, and that is a beautiful thing to behold.  Your emotional awareness makes you who you are, and it reflects in your talents.  I hope you will always remember that, and also that it is ok to feel – it is so very normal! It is even normal to experience emotions which you cannot explain or put a name on – that is so very normal too.  I look so very much forward to watching you blossom as an eleven year old!! Ten surprised you, and I have a feeling that eleven will too – I have a feeling that you will come into your own more fully than ever this year, and I predict that you are going to love you! I know I do! Love, mama

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Billy Collins


Of all the splendid names given to large numbers of birds, my favorite is no doubt an “Improbability” of sooty shearwaters.  The past two summers that we have camped in the Olympics we have had the great pleasure of witnessing an improbability of these incredible birds.  This procession on the horizon extended in space beyond our field of view, and in time over days.  We spent long stretches of time as a family sitting on the sand, admiring these long distance travelers.  That word, improbability became a favorite for us all, and in many ways the word resonated and stuck with us.  Now a few months later, I still often think of the sight of the shearwaters and the improbabilities of life that somehow seem to become probable.


a hat to boot!

These past few weeks I have been slowly making my way through the pile of unfinished sewing projects that have accumulated over the years.  I am trying to keep myself from starting any new projects until I have wrapped these ones up.  Starting with the easiest in the pile, I have finished some table cloths and table runners as well as a new set of cloth napkins!! This may seem like no big deal, but to me it feels almost earth shattering because up until this point, if you were a guest at my house for a meal, there was a high probability that that item you used to wipe your hands on was not really a napkin, but rather a kitchen towel disguising itself as a napkin!  Kind of embarrassing and something I have been meaning to remedy for ages.

I also wrapped up a hat for K.  I based it on a sweater hat I sewed up a few years ago, but changed it up from a two-panel to a four panel hat.  The inspiration to finally finish this had is this book! This is such an inspirational book for me right now and I am itching to get to projects in it once I get through the darned pile of unfinished projects!

I had a blast making the hat. It did not turn out exactly the way I had envisioned it, but hey, that happens when you just try to wing it, and I am happy that the wearer of said hat seems to love it!

Something Fishy

This past Monday the kids and I got a chance to meet up with our friend Suann.  We have not seen her in so long, and it was wonderful to have the chance to catch up.  Luckily her sister now works not too far away from where we live, so hopefully we will get a chance to see her a bit more often!

We joined her and her sister, as well as a multitude of volunteers for an annual fish identification and count. The kids had a spectacular time measuring and identifying the fish that were gathered from the three seining expeditions.  The time flew by, and before we knew it, the experience was behind us.  We piled into the car for our drive back north, looking forward to being part of such fantastic experiences again in the not too distant future!





the bird claymation

Back from Germany and settling back into our home time zone…taking longer than expected, but well worth it. Will be sure to add more details about the trip soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share the latest kid and company claymation that we put together at the end of May before leaving for our trip.  I wish we had had some more time to put this together before it needed to be done for the annual Bio “talent show” potluck, but it is what it is! With little time to edit or redo pictures that were too dark, or did not include everything that should have been in the scene, we pulled it off and had a fun time!

The main theme came of course from our bird enthusiast, Christian, and then we all developed substorylines within the theme. Klara did her best David Attenborough possible and I simultaneously laugh and tear up a bit each time I hear it. That girl keeps me smiling.


<p><a href=”″>BirdFilm</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Carrie Schwarz</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>