Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Stop and Listen


Last night before we had a picnic with friends on the Biltmore Estate, they gave us a parenting tip that a wise nurse told them after their daughter was born:
“Listen to your child.”

This seems simple, but in our speedy culture, many people forget to do this; the child usually knows what he or she needs, and there will be much more peace  if we just stop and listen and help meet that need. 

I’m going to remember this to use with our Baby!

Have a peaceful evening.

-Mary Hope


Copyright 2017


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Finding Out We Are Pregnant!


After realizing that I might be pregnant, we waited for a night of the week that we were both free so we could both be there when I took the pregnancy test! I pulled out the white test that we had received as a wedding gift, followed the directions, and then we went down to our new aqua blue couch and waited. We had three minutes to wait; on our aqua blue couch, we held each other a talked about “What if!?” we were pregnant.

After the timer went off, we walked up to the bathroom and looked at the test. Would there be a pink cross? Or would it just be the pink line of normalness?

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Baby Schuh is Due to Arrive in November!

Stephen and I want you to know that we are having a baby in early November! I am almost 17 weeks along, and this morning I felt the baby move for the first time!! While still in bed, I was laying there quietly with my hand on my belly; I could feel my heartbeat, but then I felt more than my heartbeat—a quick dart of movement, like the jumping of a fish, a flash of swimming, and then peace again. Baby Schuh let me feel him or her for the first time, and I got goosebumps and a rush of joy.

Stephen and I are so thankful for this baby! At 9 weeks along we got to see our baby for the first time through an ultrasound, and we could see the baby’s heart pulsing. Baby’s heart chugged away, and Stephen is great at copying the sound (which is like our own heartbeat, but much faster.) Having the picture of the baby has been meaningful and fun to show other people, and so many people are already so excited about this baby!

This is Baby Schuh at 9 weeks old; you can see his or her tiny head, arms, and body. We like to call Baby Schuh “Peanut.”

Last Thursday, I told my students about the baby like this: After they took their last vocabulary test, I said, “We have had another student in our class for the last three months…” Then they started guessing, and then a girl said quietly, “Pregnant?” I pointed at her, and asked her to say it louder, which she did. Then I said, “Yes, I am pregnant!!” Then the whole room let loose with claps, cheers (a dramatic student let out a few screams of joy), and we talked for the rest of class. My students have had a lot of ideas about names, advice, and a few girls said, “I thought you might be pregnant.” My favorite silly name from one guy student, who loves to goof around, is “Bless Schuh”—so it sounds like “Bless you!” Haha.

We are SO excited and thankful for this child. Thanks for sharing our joy with us!

~Mary & Stephen

Copyright 2017


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Unintentional Matching

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I love marching with people. (Colors make me happy and when we have on the same colors, it just makes more happiness.) It happened today with my nephew, so we had to get a photo together at the park!
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He Calls Me “Mare-Me”

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Getting fired from my job sucked, but so much good has happened since then that I could gratefully say, “Thank you,” to those old bosses if I ever saw them again. Because of the flexibility of job hunting, I visited my brother, sister-in-law, and one year old nephew, Jack, about five times this fall. Since I’ve been around more, Jack recognizes me!

My sister-in-law told me, “He even recognizes you in photos! I showed him photos of family in a picture calendar, and when he saw your photo he said, ‘Mare-me!’ ” I even got to hear him quietly say it (he’s all boy, but sometimes he says his words very gently). This made my heart happy!

Seeing Jack’s smiles after he wakes up from a nap and having snugly time for a while is priceless. Seeing how he started talking and can say, “yes, no, ball, Mama, and Dada” so clearly now is amazing! He has been growing up, and I’ve been able to be around for parts of it. I got to be there during sleep training and going to all milk and no formula.

My sister-in-law is one of my heros–by how she delights in her job as a Mom, even though she is talented and could do other things, she chooses to nurture Jack, and can make some of the parts of motherhood that are very slow and hard, quite fun. She tickles her boy, loves him no matter what, and Jack is just blossoming!

I love seeing how my brother has so much fun with his boy, and Jack has great basketball skills for a one year old.

I can not put a price on these experiences–taking Jack to the apple orchard, celebrating Halloween with him, and making hand-print dough ornaments. The little guy that calls me “Mare-me” is such a gift.

By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014

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The Little Girl Arrived!

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I sent off this crocheted baby blanket to a friend the day the baby girl arrived!
I crocheted a chain stitch the length I wanted, counted four stitches in, then did seven triple crochet stitches in that hole. I anchored it, counted four stitches, and did it on both sides of the crocheted chain. Next I started doing only five triple crocheted stitches in all the rest of the rows back and forth until it was long enough. This is a great way to make blankets!

By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014


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Big Kids Do It Too

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The toddler kept dropping leaf by leaf over the cement wall into the pond–ginkgo yellow on the gray water.

Minutes later high school boys in PE garb goofing off threw up an armful of brown oak leaves which cascaded gently around them as they laughed.

Big kids do it too. I’m so glad.

Copyright 2014 by M. H. Campbell

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