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Every year, in mid-June, Vogel State Park in north Georgia is taken over for an entire week by 50 or 60 Burnses from all over the country. It’s the Burns Family Reunion, and this was Jackie’s first experience with Katie’s great uncles and aunts, second cousins, third cousins, sixth cousins twice removed, and so on. She had a blast.

Before we left for Georgia, I didn’t think the week with Katie’s extended family would matter much to a six-month old baby. Boy, was I wrong. Jackie clung to her parents and grandparents the first couple of days, but after being passed around, cuddled, talked to, doted on, and welcomed by every member of Katie’s family for the first forty-eight hours, the child really started to get into it. A child psychologist or developmental expert could have written a qualitative research paper on Jackie’s transformation. She metamorphosed from shy to soaking-it-all-in. By the end of the week, she didn’t care who held her as long as they gave her full attention and praise.

Thanks to Ben and Janet for paying for the Jones family cabin and to Janet for looking after Jackie every night! Thanks to the entire Burns clan for welcoming its newest member!

Here is a slew of pictures from the week:


Jackie is approaching three months, and one of the latest developments is her new-found fondness for chewing. I can’t wait to leave indie rock, electro, Russian classical, non-gangster hip-hop, jazz, slowcore, post-punk, or shoegaze credits under her pillow on behalf of the Tooth/Tune Fairy. Here’s a video of her teething a little, playing a little, and being her adorable little self.

There is other Burns family scoop — Eric proposed to Sarah recently and she accepted. We’re very excited for them. Anyone who knows them knows what a good couple they are, and what a good wife and husband combo they will make.

Congratulations you two crazy kids!


There was ice in the mountains...the picture doesn't do justice to the rocks on her finger.

The doctor decided it would be best for mother and child to do a c-section in about 30 minutes. Jackie’s arrival is imminent!

Katie hasn’t dilated more in the last hour and a half. The doctor wants to give her another hour…if there’s no change between now and then, they might decide to do a cesarean birth. That would happen sometime tonight depending on other patients who need c-sections.

Katie has dilated a little more (up to 6 now), and the contractions seem to be coming stronger (even though they are still about two minutes apart). Jackie seems to be in a traversed position, so it would be nice if she would rotate a little before she debuts. Slowly, but surely she’s getting closer. It’s hard to believe that Katie’s still not in active labor yet, but we’re still hopeful that she’ll come tonight.

Bless her heart…she just watched me eat pad thai with shrimp take-out while she sipped more ginger ale and tried to find a position that’s anywhere close to comfortable. Katie’s always cool like that. Don’t worry though…I made sure to get her permission beforehand.

All is well at the Birth Center. The contractions seem to be intensifying more and more, but Katie hasn’t had any change in the amount of pain and discomfort. No one who works here is brazen or foolhardy enough to speculate about the time of delivery. We get the feeling that it will be later than 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.

I ate a bland lunch at the Quizno’s here at the medical center and walked past one of the nurseries on my way back. There they were — little bundles of life, flushed red and pink, wrapped tight in each baby container. When I returned to our room a few minutes ago, Uncle Bob Pollard was singing,  “Happy little babies with red cheeks…you will rock them gently out of sync,” from Official Ironmen Rally Song when I returned to the room. Don’t you love it when music syncs, whether coincidentally or supernaturally, with life? If Salt-n-Pepa’s Push It comes on in a few hours, we’ll know it’s time for Katie to go to work.

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.