Gracelyn enjoys the “big snow”

We just got a “big” snow — for our area that can mean anything over a few inches. Our yard averaged 7″ and it was perfect for snow angels, building, and snowballs! Gracelyn thoroughly enjoyed herself, especially now that she has a warm coat and snow boots. Here are some photos as well as a brief video of some of her explorations.


At the end of the video, Gracelyn says “Mama, I’m making the neighborhood of make believe. Will you help me?” Yep, she watches some Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood just like her mama.


Bandana peep eye

Gracelyn is the champion of “peep eye” or “peek a boo” and found a way to play it with extra flair one recent afternoon. Personally this video of the game cracks me up every time I watch it. We hope you enjoy it as much.

Gracelyn’s first birthday

Gracelyn celebrated her first birthday on September 7, and it was a special day for all of us.

Lots of friends and relatives sent Gracelyn birthday greetings via phone, Facebook, email and good old snail mail. And a number of y’all gave her sweet gifts that she seemed to enjoy almost as much as the wrapping paper they came in.

Ready to hikeThe three of us stayed around home during the morning enjoying one another’s company and playing with some of Gracelyn’s new toys. Then that afternoon, we packed up and headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craggy Pinnacle.

We hiked up to the peak (just over 6000 feet in elevation), and while there is usually a 360 degree view of the Southern Appalachians, on this day we were in the clouds with a temperature somewhere in the 50s.

While on top, we hung out while Gracelyn climbed around on the rocks, explored the flora and fauna and dug in the gravel and dirt. As part of the ritual of the day, we read Gracelyn the commitments we made to her shortly after her birth.

That night we topped off the celebration with home-made birthday cake (a la Momma Shonnie) and ice cream. Do not believe it when someone tells you that sugar has no effect on a child’s activity! Well, OK, it may have just been the excitement of the moment.

We continue to be blessed by the presence of Gracelyn in our lives. She teaches us so much about ourselves, about how to parent consciously, about how to love without conditions and more than we’ll ever be able to put into words.

Oh, and Gracelyn started to walk just a few days before she turned one. Here’s a video of her chasing Bruce to get her hands on the video camera.

P.S. Check the new photos too.

Gracelyn goes vertical

To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity.
~Georg Simmel

On May 11, just days after her 8 month birthday, Gracelyn decided she needed to add a new skill to her repertoire — stair climbing. She scaled the 14 steps of our home staircase with determination and strength. Since then she’s gotten faster and is climbing with as much joy as grit. Below is a video of her third climb.