Birthday Reflections

Years ago I read an adage that said, “do not begrudge getting older…it is a privilege denied to many.” I’ve tried to always keep that in mind and stop looking at birthdays as an unavoidable march to old age. I’m 37 years old. Thank God, I am 37!

Each year brings new blessings and as other adages proclaim: wisdom, patience and appreciation.  Continue reading


Miss Connie had her first taste of sledding this past weekend at the Schluter cabin. We arrived late and missed many of the guests, but we made it in time to catch the remaining light in the day.

Connied tucked away in one arm, sled in the other, Cody made his way to the top of the hill. I stayed at the bottom of the hill to record the ride. I had no concerns… until the started down the hill. They picked up speed quickly and traveled faster than I anticipated. Cody attempted to slow down by putting his feet out, that just threw snow into her face. Mere seconds later, they were safely stopped at the bottom. Connied didn’t seem scared or upset, nor did she seem to love the experience. I think she was trying to just take it all in.  Continue reading

January Photo Dump

We are started a new home improvement project! Before Connie was born, we were busy preparing for her and creating additional space. We carved out a brand new living room area and storage space, updated the spare bedroom, and got her nursery in order. That was nearly a year ago, so it’s time to get back at it. A face-lift is underway for the dining room, bathroom, kitchen and hallway. Small enhancements here and there but all combined should make a good impact and give us a much needed update.  Continue reading


For the past many years I have taken my birthday off from work. This year my birthday fell on a Sunday so I took Friday off and took an extended weekend. There was nothing special planned but I was looking forward to a day with Miss Connie, just she and I. We ran to Reedsburg to run some errands which included finding her first Christmas tree ornament and a wreath for the front door. It was so nice to just walk and browse and hold her. And she was extra loveable that morning, giving snuggles and kisses as we shopped.

That evening we watched the light parade in Spring Green. Saturday morning we checked on the animals and went for a short hike. It was low-key weekend, but it was spent with the loves of my life which made it absolutely wonderful.

My gift came early this year. She arrived in April and I have been celebrating every day since. My gift for every occasion is her. Now I am a mother and have experienced the awesome bounty of love and pride and happiness. An amazing gift indeed.



We started ‘sleep training’ last month. I’ll share more on that in a separate post. During this process, and by means of her natural development, she has learned to pull herself up and stand.

First she pulled herself up to her knees, but soon discovered the ability to stand tall. Now granted, she has been standing with assistance for many months, but this is a new milestone in that she is pulling herself up and holding weight while moving. She quickly took this new skill from the crib and has been applying it to every object in the house in which she might pull herself up on or climb: sofa, coffee table, high chair, dog seat, etc. AND the stairs! Just the other night we witnessed her attempt to climb steps. I love watching her discover her abilities.

This has been the new view of her in the crib. I must say, it is fun to hear her wake not by a cry but by the sound of her rocking the crib gate. 🙂 This mama tends to worry a bit about my sweet child, so to ensure this grand advancement doesn’t result in injury, the mattress has now been lower not once, but twice!



For the past couple of weeks, our baby girl has been working on “crawling,” becoming more independent and discovering her ability to move toward objects. While not yet crawling on her hands and knees, she does so well to drag herself along and push with her toes. It’s so fun to watch her make new discoveries. A couple videos and proof that she does get up on her hands and knees. She does this often. All too soon she will be tearing around this house!


First Summer with an Infant

This certainly was not my typical summer. Modifications were made, priorities shifted, and activities were limited—the result of having an infant.

I only managed to get to the lake a few times and this is the first summer since I was 7 that I wasn’t on water skis. Just typing that is sad—I love to waterski. A mid-week personal day away from work to kayak with my mama never happened either.

My garden suffered. A mix of the season and my new circumstance no doubt. All of the vine plants were destroyed by a very unattractive garden beetle of sorts. No squash or melons this year. The eggplant never created fruit. Of the 10 bell pepper plants, only one produced. The tomatoes look good, if they would just turn red. While I won a couple battles, the weeds won the war.

I am not sporting my usual deep-set tan. Time in the direct sun was limited.

It was more difficult to embrace the heat. I am a lover of summer, but we had some hot days. If I did not nurse, I likely wouldn’t have noticed too much. Breastfeeding on those days proved to show me that all areas of the body are capable of sweat. Our combined heat could have sparked a wild fire! I’d put receiving blankets between us to absorb the moisture, sit in front of a fan, and watch the beads of sweat appear on her little head. She never seemed to mind.

In all that I gave up this summer, I gained bounties more. I woke to a smiling face every morning, had a sidekick for every hike, inhaled the sweet smell of a newborn, served as her hero, watched my very own creation grow before my eyes, shared conversation that only a mama and her babe can decipher, and experienced love and awe that is immeasurable and unexplainable. And I got to share this amazing little soul with our family and friends and watch that they too were smitten by her ways. She is absolutely precious. She owns my heart. I long only for her health and happiness.

I cannot describe the amazing feeling I get when she gazes at me while nursing, when her hand reaches up to touch my face or play with my necklace or hair. How selfish I feel when she is sad and only I can provide comfort. How my heart skips when I walk into the room and she lights up. Or how I hear music when she smiles, giggles, coos, and babbles. Every day I tell myself that Cody is the best thing that ever happened to me, and she is the best thing we have ever done.

We did have a great summer—a summer filled with blessings and the joy that only a child can bring. Though trips to the lake were few, they were quality time with my folks and Connie appears to love the water as much as I do. Family visits were plentiful and our babe has had so many experiences in her short life.

God, thank you for her. Thank you for this summer and the many to come.

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August 2015 Photo Dump

It was a busy and exciting month for Miss Connie. She turned 4 months old this month. Aunt DeDe and the girls came back for a visit, we had gatherings with family and friends, there were many hikes through the fields, and she was separated from her Mama for the first time. This meant quality time with daddy, Grandma and Papa Lettman, and the Ferguson’s. Work took me to Chicago for a few days and it was hard to be away from her. She was resilient!

She really began noticing the dogs this month and taking to them.

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19 weeks from the day I birthed my daughter into this world, I had to be separated from her. Duty called and I was needed in Chicago for work. I would be away from her for three nights. The good news is it was just to Chicago which meant I was close to home considering I’m typically jumping time zones when on the road. It also meant no additional days needed to be padded for flying. And big bonus, Rachel would be there too and we could drive down together.

I was dreading the week leading up to the trip. Not for the work aspect, that would be great. But being away from my sweet girl, whom I felt relied so heavily on me, riddled me with guilt. The day before and of my departure I spent time thawing breast milk and packing bags with clothes and diapers and the needs of a 4 month old.

I rolled out on Tuesday evening with tears in my eyes. Once I got here I thought of her every other moment and worried for her and the caregivers. Would she be fussy without me? Would she sleep well? Would they be able to soothe her? Could she possibly understand and forgive me, or would she forget me?

Tuesday night, it was her and daddy. She went down around 9:30 pm, woke at 2:30 am ish. It took Cody about 40 minutes to feed her and put her back down. She was still sleeping after he left for work that morning! Night one was a success. Wednesday morning welcomed her nanny who reported that she took a two-hour nap in the morning and a one hour nap in the afternoon and played contently between. ….so far so good. Wednesday afternoon my folks picked her up for an overnight with them. I know they were pretty excited to have her all to themselves. But how would she do away from home? Amazingly. She went down for bed at 9:30 pm. She fussed around 2:30 am. Mom went to make a bottle and when she returned, baby girl was back asleep and stayed that way until 5:30 am. She again took a long morning nap and was sweet, talkative, playful and content all day. Tonight (Thursday) she returned home to her daddy who again, put her down at 9:30 pm without issue. Wow.

It is bittersweet. I am relieved that she did so well, that her caregivers were not challenged to soothe her in my absence, and that she bonded and found comfort with those that love her (almost) as much as I do. On the other hand…. did she have to do so well without me!? She is a blessing and a really good baby. I thought some of that might be her confidence with her primary caregiver–me–but she is simply calm and happy, genuinely. And that makes me one very proud mama.

I am so thankful for the updates and photos taken and shared with me to keep me going. As everyone said, “it will be harder on you than on her, ” and it appears so. I have missed her and longed to hold her close and witness that gummy smiled first-hand.

I am also thankful for Rachel. She kept me distracted. Without her, I may have holed up in my hotel room and cried my time away. Instead, we ventured around the city, took photos, jogged, saw the sights, and some how she even managed to get me on the Navy Pier ferris wheel. I’m not a fan of heights so that was a small feat on her part.

The event that brought us here this week has been successful, and while the time has not “flown” by, it hasn’t dragged on at a snail’s pace either. Tomorrow I return to the loving arms of my husband, fall in love all over with my daughter when she smiles at me, and will be greeted by three very excited pups who probably missed me the most. Life is grand.

One more day. Tomorrow, Miss Connie will be shuffled to yet another caregiver, and I am sure the trend of contentment and happiness will continue. Rachel and I will attemp to beat the traffic out of Chicago and will not be able to get home soon enough. I can’t wait to hold you, my little one!

Here’s to continued success, loving family, and safe travels!


I captured this Tuesday morning, the day I was leaving. Her tiny pinky finger held by her other hand…it was so precious.


Enjoying time with Grandma and Papa


Sent to me by her nanny, here she is styling on Wednesday.


DW4A5911 Photo credit: Rachel


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July Photo Dump

A busy and fun month. Our little girl is getting out and about and gaining new experiences all while growing far too quickly. This past month she seemed to develop overnight. She is “talking” with frequency and replies to songs and words. She rolls from back to tummy with ease and has even rolled from tummy to back a few times. She pushes the buttons on her walker and started grabbing items. She is still working to master the full roll, figure out the tremendous capabilities that her hands will one day realize, and rolling to the left is not as preferred as the right, but in all that she does, she amazes us.

We shared posts from the 4th of July, her first boat ride, our trip to San Diego—here is what the rest of July looked like. Morning smiles, hikes, and visits with family.

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3 Months

Three months have flown by and with the anticipation of the next I tell myself I am not going to rush through the photos, but here again, another rush job. Oh well. It’s not the quality but rather the on purpose act of capturing her changes from month to month. Not to mention she looks sweet and beautiful in every image. (no bias!)

Connie Elizabeth turned 3 months while in San Diego! My company hosts an annual Symposium for estate and elder law planning attorneys in which I manage our vendors. 13 weeks was too soon to be separated from my angel, so Cody took a week of PTO time and the two of them joined me. I’ll do a post about that adventure as well. Since we were out of our environment and mama was tied up with work, photos had to wait until we returned. These were captured six days following her official 3 month birthday.

Month Three

  • Weight: Not officially captured, but guessing approx. 13 lbs.
  • Height: Approximately 25+”. Last measured at 2 month check up.
  • Eyes: Still baffle us. I don’t know what color to call them. Grey, blue, green, and brown hues show through.
  • Hair: Still a Brunette! She has not lost any of her hair and it is beginning to get longer and fill in.
  • Changes:
    • She rolls over with ease from back to tummy. Also loves to stand up (with assistance of course).
    • “Talking” more and more. It’s the sweetest.
    • “Giggles” during tummy tickles
    • Mimicking expressions and noises
  • New Discoveries and Milestones:
    • Getting better control of neck/head each day
    • Hands! Discovering her hands can grab things and wants them in her mouth often, as the pictures reflect.
  • Eats: Continues to nurse well and often.
  • Sleeps: Waking more through the evening than last month, but still sleeping pretty well. Wakes, eats, and goes back to bed. Some nights she does great, other nights she is up several times. All in all, she is doing well and mama is getting rest so no complaints.

She is a happy, sweet baby. I am still is awe that she is all ours!

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Independence Day 2015

A low-key 4th of July celebration. Day started with the 5k Water run/walk with Shae, the Lone Rock parade, then volleyball tournament for Daddy (Bear Vale team took 3rd). Headed to the Schluter cabin for great company and good eats, but departed before the fireworks. Miss Connie ensure we get to bed early these days.

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Grandpa x2

An impromptu trip home for Carl gave us the opportunity to have a short visit with him and great grandpa Harry. It was fun to witness these two men with Miss Connie and the smiles she brought to their faces. Grandpa Harry said he had never seen a baby smile so much for so long.

It is fun for me to sit back and watch the interactions of our parents with our child. There is something magical in witnessing the bond and love across generations within a family. I asked my dad recently what it was like seeing his children with children of their own. Granted, he’s been a grandfather for 25 years now, and I am the last child of his to give him a grandchild, but it only struck me when becoming a parent myself. He said, “there’s nothing like it. Being a grandparent is the best.”

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