Welcome, Colleen Jennifer Rees!


My sister, Katy, and her husband, Tom, welcomed the most perfect, beautiful baby girl into their family March 31 at 5:25pm. She weighed 10lbs., 15oz. and was 24″ long at birth. And no, Katy did not have a c-section. And yes, she is a total rock star.

Katy and Tom live in Winston-Salem, NC. March 31 was a Thursday. I had to wait until late Friday afternoon to start my eight-hour drive to meet her. The thing I remember most, though, about the few hours immediately following Colleen’s birth was talking to Katy on the phone and asking her how she felt. While many new moms would respond with “sore,” “nervous” or “tired,” Katy said, “excited.” And I don’t think I’ve heard her sound that excited since the time we convinced Patty Griffin‘s manager to let us into our favorite singer’s sold-out concert many summers ago.



Welcome home, Colleen and New Mom!


I could have taken a hundred pictures like this one—this is the look Colleen gave Katy and Tom almost always (OK, except when she was crying). 🙂


my parents


Tom’s mom, Andrea


Katy and Tom’s very good friend, Steve


tummy time


proud papa


I’m an aunt! (Although, here, Colleen doesn’t seem too excited about that.)


Katy, Colleen and Mom


a beautiful family


Luke (the cat) watching over her

Before I had babies I was awkward with them. I was stiff-armed when holding them, never knew what to say to them, was terrified of dropping them. Katy, though—I will never forget the first time she held my daughter, Sophie, and how comfortably she picked her up, calmed her, cuddled her, knew exactly how to love her. Then, I thought, she’s going to be an amazing mother.

And she is.

And Tom! At one point, during my visit, he came out of the bedroom (where Katy was nursing) and said how anxious he was for Katy to be able to do the nursing all her own (without that oh-so-vital-initial help of setting up pillows, etc.). Not to relax, though. But to clean! And cook! And, as he put it, do whatever he could to help make her life easier when she was done nursing.

Colleen, you are so lucky. You have parents who loved you, immensely, from Day One. Everything they’ve done—the house, the nursery, the classes, work, preparation, sleepless nights, everything, has been out of love for you. Planning for you. Excitement for you.

I’m older than Katy. And was the stereotypical older, bossy sister. When we played school, I was the teacher. When we played playset-was-actually-a-huge-ship-and-the-grass-was-shark-infested-water, I was the captain. When we played house, I was the mom.

And now, finally, she gets to be the mom. And I get this really cool role as aunt. Tom gets to be a dad (a role seemingly invented with him in mind), my parents and Tom’s parents get to be grandparents all over again and Baby Colleen, you get to be daughter—a role Katy and I can attest to as being one of the greatest of all.

Congratulations, Katy and Tom. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look for cheap flights to NC—daily.

“If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.” —Vincent van Gogh