From a Saturday on Blake's brother's boat, the entire extended family in tow. We bundled the babies and packed a cooler full of snacks and set out to sea. And I can't think of a better way to spend an evening in July.


Maisie Austen, 3 months.

*Ticklish, especially on the sides of her belly.
*Full of smiles in the morning.
*Has recently started responding to us with sounds, coos.
*Grew out of newborn clothing, just this week.
*Sleeps 6 hour stretches at night.
*Charms us daily, hourly, by the minute.


Gus turns seven.

Our pup turned seven about a week ago, and we celebrated over ice cream and snuggles. I took him to the groomer a few days after; they labelled him a "senior" dog, which nearly broke my heart. There's still so much puppy left in him (the energy when we get home!), and we love him so. Happy birthday, Gusington Churchill!

From his first, second (or close to it?), third, fourth, fifth and sixth birthdays.



We readied for church, only to decide that a drive to the ocean was more of what we needed. It was sticky, syruppy hot - a day for shade and slow walks in search of ice cream. We found both: the shade a perfect spot to nurse, the ice cream a perfect excuse to pause and watch the sailboats at the pier.

This is a chapel of sorts. A kneeling in awe. A beat of the waves chanting amen, amen, amen.



Hugo had his first day of preschool camp yesterday, and while his first *official* day of school isn't until September, I still got a little teary when I drove away.

He is so big these days - so confident, funny, smart, full of enthusiasm for life. I hope that school will grow these things in him. That he will love learning about the world the way I've loved learning about him.


The 4th.

We rummaged closets for our best red, white and blue, and headed to the parade. For the first time, Hugo joined my parents in my dad's Model T - a tradition we carried through my childhood. And to top it off, a barbecue with family, tiki torches, flag cake.

It's never, ever lost on us that we could have been born anywhere else. That our obstacles could have been many, our dreams bigger than possibility, our fortunes grim. That we were born in the United States of America is a privilege, and we can and will continue to find ways to share what we have, and make it count.


To remember.

*Maisie's eyes following raindrops as they chase down the screen in her bedroom.
*Hugo, eyes lighting at the sight of his dad in a matching shirt, his sister's yawns.
*A boy and bulldog, fast asleep beside me upon waking from a power nap.
*The heat of July, sweaty toddler playing with the hose.
*The almost holy silence of motherhood, newborn fast asleep in your arms.