These things

Noah showed me a picture of us at the beach. He said, “This is my flamly. I love my flamly. This is daddy, mommy, me and Louise. My flamly.”

Louise learned that you can splash in the bathtub. This is hysterical. Her laughter is infectious.

Noah goes down the slide on his belly. Six months ago he was afraid to go down it any way.

Louise likes to play “ghost” with Noah. It’s like peekaboo, but Noah is a ghost. There might be more to it, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

Noah is so happy that we have been going on family walks again.

Louise discovered that the outside swing is fun to be in.

Noah does yoga with us. Correction–Noah does five minutes of yoga and then climbs on us the rest of the time. There is a lot of laughing.

Louise sits and reaches for toys. If she would stay on her belly for any length of time, I think she’d be scooting.

Search Our Collection!

New post for the museum. Seriously, try searching for birds.

The Pink Palace Family of Museums


The Memphis Pink Palace Museum has roughly 84,000 objects in our collection, of which 10-15% are on display. That means that there are tens of thousands of objects that regular visitors could not access. Tammy Braithwaite, our collections registrar, is in charge of keeping track of all of these artifacts. Over the past year, she has worked to get our collections database available online so that all our visitors can view the objects that we preserve. You can visit our website to look through our collection. New items are frequently being added as we continue photographing the collection. If you click on a specific record, you will be able to see other pictures of many of the objects.

Here’s some ideas to get you started:

In the cultural history collection, try searching for sports, World War II, Cotton Carnival or silk.

For the natural history collection, look for birds.


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A look at my recent conversations:
Put your toys in the box please.


Because I keep tripping on them. 


Because I can’t see them when I’m holding Louise. 


Because I said so. 

We always say hi to our neighbors. 


Because it lets them know that we care 


Because those are the rules of human social interaction. 


Because I said so. 

Don’t step on your sister. 



Our Panel Boot Victoria

I wrote this post for the Pink Palace’s blog as an excuse to get one of my favorite old photographs of the museum released onto the internet.

The Pink Palace Family of Museums

Pink Palace carriage 1970 (3)In 1967, Patterson Transfer Co. donated the panel boot Victoria carriage displayed at the exit of the Memphis history gallery. The Brewster Carriage Company built the vehicle in 1902, and sold it new for $1,300 ( roughly $30,000 in today’s currency). Our panel boot Victoria was owned by Robert E. Galloway, the president of Patterson Transfer.

Don Berkebile from the Smithsonian Institution came to Memphis in November 1967 to examine the Victoria and the wagonette and stagecoach that Patterson Transfer Co. also donated. He noted that the panel boot Victoria was “an excellent example of its type in sound condition and certainly worth of restoration.” Gordon Elston, the museum preparator, directed the restoration, which included stripping the paint, applying original type finish, reupholstering the broadcloth, replacing the leather convertible top, replacing the patent leather dash, seat railing and trim, and constructing new fenders. In total, it took over two…

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The Golf Courses of Clarence Saunders

A new post for the museum’s blog based on some research I’ve been doing for a historical marker.

The Pink Palace Family of Museums

lnc golfClarence Saunders was a golf enthusiast. When he made his first fortune by founding the Piggly Wiggly self-service grocery store, Saunders joined the Memphis Country Club. He would bet on games and tip his caddies well. Part of the plans for his palatial Cla-Le-Clare (Pink Palace) estate included an eighteen-hole golf course with a curving lake. One of the holes was to be on an island that required players to take a boat across the water. Of course, Saunders lost the property in his battle with Wall Street speculators which left him bankrupt. His golf course eventually became Chickasaw Gardens subdivision with the lake as a public park.

Never one to be out for long, Saunders made a second fortune with his “Clarence Saunders, Sole Owner of My Name” grocery stores. With his new money in hand, he set out to build a second millionaire’s playground. He purchased three hundred…

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It doesn’t feel like ten years. But how else could we have fit in a first dance under the stars, a first kiss in a dorm room, a first trip to Nashville to meet your parents, a first hike in Gatlinburg where we were going to walk until the end before we realized we were on the Appalacian Trail, a first Broadway play that left us singing Abba years later, a first Mardi Gras in NOLA where you caught me a little green frog, a first graduation together, a first intimidating vegetable (artichokes) cooked, a first time making pickles, a first time saying vows in front of a crowd, a first time leaving the country together, a first dog, a first garden, a first house, a first kid to whom I gave that little green frog? Or how could we have had a second trip to Nashville, a second hike through the Arkansas wilderness where we at least realized we were on a super long trail, a second garden, a second kid? How else can you account for the wonderful parameters that mark our life together? 

A decade just doesn’t seem long enough. 

Not a contest

I’m a competitive person. With myself. With others. When other people know there’s a competition. When they don’t.

This personality trait makes it difficult to remember that not everything needs to be contested.

So here is my daily reminder to myself that we can both be tired. There is no “more actually tired,” no “more deserving of being tired.” There is only tired. And the hope that there is a light at the end. And the thankfulness that we can be tired together.

Memphis’ Most Versatile Art Collector

I finally wrote something new for the museum’s blog.

The Pink Palace Family of Museums

Louis Phillip Wulff has the honor of being the Memphis Museum’s (Pink Palace’s) most frequent donor. Wulff was a professional interior designer and a world traveler. He was also a painter who served on the museum’s Advisory Board from 1934-5 and 1950-6. His broad interests led him to collect documents, fighting equipment, stamps and natural history specimen. Additionally, Wulff was an amateur archaeologist who collected hundreds of Native American artifacts from the Mid-South.

Wulff was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and moved to a farm in Nebraska when he was 6. According to a newspaper biography, he went to sea as a cabin boy when he was 12 and returned home two years later. He was known for taking off on trains or horseback to go on collecting expeditions. His collecting habit got substantially broader when he received an inheritance from his mother. At 22, he took his new bride on…

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Toddler Walk

This evening I took a toddler walk. The pace was slow, and the company was perfection. We picked clovers and hit orange signs. We talked about the lack of water truck and the presence of a crane. There were flowers to color code and cracks to jump over. We touched every brick wall and discussed being two and a half. The space between trash cans were tunnels and light poles were for playing peekaboo.

For twenty minutes I saw the world through my son’s eyes. It looked like an adventure.


Today our nanny was “late.” She was at our house about ten minutes later than normal, which still left me with plenty of time to get to work. You know what I did in those extra minutes? I held my daughter and read my son a book. Then my son read the book to me. It was simple. It was extraordinary.

Sometimes being a few minutes behind your self-imposed schedule can be the best part of your day. My kids are teaching me that.