…about Lionel’s hands, my cheeks, and autumn.

Yesterday, for the very first time, you studied my face with your hands. Your adorable, pudgy little hands reached up to my cheeks, and your tiny little fingers cradled my face so sweetly, just like I cradled your newborn body nearly five months ago, on the day that we first met.

Before yesterday, any contact that you would make with my face would be accidental, a result of your energetic bursts that send your limbs a-swinging. Your legs love to kick, and your hands love to make themselves at home inside your drooly, teething mouth, but your little fingers have never, not once, moved in such a tender way, little boy.

As you moved your fingers about, touching this cheek and that, brushing against the crinkle of my lips that form my toothy grin, your green (yes, green – oh, how I wished for your eyes to be green, just like your Daddy’s) pools for eyes grew serious, studious. For the first time, you really looked at me – you saw me.

I hope you saw, first, the way that my smile is the biggest when I’m looking at, or even thinking about, your sweet presence in my life.

I hope that you noticed the little, barely noticeable laugh lines that have burrowed their way into the skin right beside the corners of my mouth – I feel so thankful to have laughed often these past few years, since meeting and marrying your Daddy, since welcoming you into our lives and cradling you in my arms for the very first time.

I hope that you witnessed the sparkle in my eyes that twinkles every time your face breaks into a smile, every time your little eyes crinkle shut, just halfway, when you are delighted by something.

But most of all, I hope that you felt – and that you continue to feel – my absolute adoration for you, little man, because it only grows deeper and wider with each passing day.


We’ve completed our family’s list of fall to-do items for the season.


This past weekend, we took a family trip to an apple orchard near our hometown. The temperatures on this South Dakota Sunday climbed into the 60s by mid-afternoon, and we heartily chased the last bits of summer across the pumpkin patches and orchards of the Country Apple Orchard in Harrisburg, SD.

L experienced his first official hay ride (he was not a fan of the bumps and sways of the tractor-pulled trailer), met his first John Deere tractor (Great-Grandpa Vince would have been proud), and “picked out” a tall and skinny pumpkin, just like his Uncle Brian.



When we arrived back at my childhood home, L’s grandparents in tow, we raked up a big pile of leaves and laid our dear, sweet boy into the pile to experience his first – hopefully of many – jaunt in a pile of leaves. He loved it.


The approaching holiday season has me in stitches even more so this year, now that I am a Mama. Having a little makes inventing and cementing traditions seem so much more necessary. I’m sure that our own parents felt much of the same excitement, a bit of the same pressure, because what’s really happening here is more than trips to an apple orchard or moments of play in piles of leaves: it’s memory-making. We, as parents, are the crafters and the creators of our children’s memories, and like any parent, I want L’s memories to be great ones. So we practice the art of memory-making, now, when his head is too unwieldy to permit him to sit up by himself, when his brain can’t quite figure out how to make his hands do what he wants them to, when his right foot goes a-kicking as his excitement builds.

What kind of memories are you making – for yourself, for your family, for your children?

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