Hello from Beautiful Western NC

We’re wrapping up a quick trip out to the mountains, enjoying the beginning of peak foliage season. Our family home out in Brevard is a many-fold blessing: a place where we come to rest, removing any temptation to while away the weekend doing chores. We come here, mostly, to “do nothing,” which is to say, to move through time without feeling rushed.


I quip that it’s a rough life, but at this point in our lives — or perhaps, as a culture — this kind of quiet, unfettered time doesn’t happen without intention. We read actual books; Vance baked and cooked all afternoon, filling the house with the most amazing smells; we listened to the rain. When it wasn’t raining, we let Misha lead us through the park, letting go of the expectations we had for how he ought to play. Mostly, he delighted in individual chips of mulch. He discovered for himself what shovels are for. He sat in the wet grass and broke out in spontaneous laughter.

What we didn’t do was sleep in. Our boy, with his miserable eczema and mouth full of emerging teeth, struggles most with this important part of life. And so we struggle along with him. If sustained sleep deprivation is the hardest thing we do as parents, I will consider us among the lucky.

Misha has learned to walk — run even — and we’ve finally gotten around to putting locks on our kitchen cabinets. He “talks” to us in the funniest way; when he eventually stops babbling I’ll miss these rapid-fire syllables strung together by clicks and twists of the tongue. I have tried to imitate it, but this language is uniquely his. His list of recognizable words continues to grow, too: mom, momma, dada, dog (or more often, “bog”), ball, bubble, no, and “yeah!”


  • Favorite toy: balls or things that look like balls. He had a rollicking good time with a potato last night.
  • Favorite activity: Pretending to cook. Give this kid a bowl and a spoon and he’s happy for …minutes. And around here, that’s a long time.
  • Favorite books: There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, God’s Dream, In My Heart: A Book of Feelings
  • Current size: 12-18 months
  • Current struggle: Roughhousing with the dog.
  • Vance’s favorite baby gear: The BOB stroller. Never buy a used one of these if you can avoid it. Ask me why sometime.
  • Jamie’s favorite baby gear: ScratchSleeves and the Love To Dream Sleep Bag. We tried transitioning to a blanket and that was a miserable failure. So we sized up to this humongous sleeping bag that will fit him until approximately college.

Misha is running around the kitchen with a big spoon.