Happy Birthday, Moon Boy!

July 19, 2018 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

You're still my favorite brother. Have a super day!

Happy Birthday

June 09, 2015 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

My computer informs me that it's your birthday today, and I've yet to automate personalized birthday greetings to my family members.  My plan is to get all of that set up before I slip into senility so that no one notices.  Anyway, I'll have to go with a handcrafted, free-range, birthday greeting:

Happy birthday, Sadie.  I see so much of you in Emma, compulsively drawing on every scrap of paper that crosses her path.  Thanks for being awesome.

Birth Plan [Updated]

February 13, 2015 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

One thing I realized after agonizing over my birth plan was what I missed entirely because I'd never been in labor before. Often birth plans are templates on the internet, and thus so bland or broad that a medical team wouldn't be able to remember or identify a woman's unique desires for labor. 

These are mine, updated after the fact to reflect what I should have handed to the midwives and nurses.

Sadie Miller and Gregory Caswell’s Birth Plan

First, thank you so much for being a part of what will certainly be a life-changing experience for us! We chose the Midwives at Mount Auburn because we don't have to ask you to change routines to get infrequent vaginal exams, skin-to-skin contact after delivery, delayed cord-clamping, and all of that good evidence-based stuff.

We think you're pros, and we're going to do our best to do you proud.

Pain Relief and Induction

  • We've prepared guided relaxation scripts, practiced massage, and learned alternative laboring positions. That's because, despite problems with an old tailbone injury and pubic symphysis pain, Sadie would like to do this without medication. Please don’t offer unless Sadie asks.
  • Don’t worry, the labor support team is ready to apply fierce amounts of pressure and count out every contraction for twelve hours. You basically get a night off.
  • If things are taking longer than expected, we're happy to go home before moving on to the hard stuff.
  • Sadie can get easily overwhelmed, so we’ll try a darkened, quiet space first if labor is stalled.
  • Thanks for offering an alternative to an IV for fluids and anti-nausea medication, even if trying to drink two quarts of liquid in ice chip form sounds ridiculous. It makes getting an IV feel like a choice.

Second Stage Labor

  • If a room with a birthing tub is available, we'll take it!
  • We're also excited to try the birthing ball, squatting bar, and stool to coax this baby into position.
  • Sadie can't see a damn thing and would like to keep her contacts or glasses on unless she’s unconscious.


  • In addition to her desire to have an unmedicated birth, Sadie would like her perineum treated like a prize race horse - hot compresses, massage, oil, and guided gentle pushing are all welcome.
  • We'll try any position that feels right, and have practiced squatting, hands-and-knees, and side lying positions.
  • Although my mother will be desperate to hear about your extended family in Oregon, please look at the woman who is literally pooping from exertion on the bed in front of you and take the chit-chat outside.
  • If, during the final push, you notice that Sadie’s labor support team is staring silently at her body as it turns intermittently beet red and a clammy yellow, please ask Sadie to nod when a contraction is coming on. Then unleash the varsity cheerleader.
  • If a cesarean is necessary, please make it as much like a regular birth as you can with your hands inside Sadie's abdomen. Sadie would like to hold and nurse the baby and have that miserable catheter and IV removed as quickly as possible.

Newborn Procedures

  • Please take care of routine drops and pokes after Sadie and baby have some bonding time.
  • Sadie plans to breastfeed exclusively, and is looking forward to meeting the lactation consultants four times a day.
  • Please do not circumcise the baby until he's 14 and ready to part with his foreskin on his own terms.
  • If the baby needs special attention away from Sadie, please let Greg stay with him.
  • We welcome all other routine tests and immunizations.
  • Sadie would like to pre-order the mac and cheese for after delivery.

Family Vacation Destination

November 20, 2014 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

In anticipation of the final family vacation survey results, which will be available this weekend: What I learned from designing a Family Vacation Destination survey:

1. Everyone is unique, but decision-making requires simplification.
I received as many direct email responses from my first survey as survey responses, detailing the financial and logistical nuances of family vacation planning. Closed-ended questions were left blank and open-ended questions were used to communicate preferences and expected issues in vacation destination selection.  This, along with repeat survey responses from single users, made the results of the first survey unreliable at best.

2. Desire can be simple, but motivation is complex.
Often, direct emails came with recommended destinations based not on preference, but on what appeared to be best for the group. Actual preference as determined by voting was not aligned with respondent's destination recommendations.

3. Question structure can facilitate or impede accurate information gathering.

Respondents were split on vacation dates. Those who had no preferences for time were unable to provide a first or second choice for a vacation week, because they didn't care. Those who had other summer plans were only able to only report on possible unavailability. If I could create the survey again, I would change vacation dates to be a single multi-select question with any blocker weeks, as respondents generally view dates as “available” and “not available.”

4. Stakeholders need to understand the process to trust the process.
Several respondents were dismayed by the results of the first survey because they had not selected the top vacation destination. A run-off survey was developed in order to:
1. Narrow and simplify destination decision-making
2. Add an "anytime" option for vacation week preferences
3. Create a respondent summary view after submission, so stakeholders could see survey progress.

5. The total of group preference can inform, not decide, the group's final choice.
Lots of people want to go to Hawaii, which is a great vacation destination. Unfortunately, it’s not a feasible destination for whose of us who would have to take a 15+-hour flight with a one-year old. Even if the popular majority decides on Hawaii, the family vacation won't be in Hawaii.

Sorry, kids.

That's because the missing assumption in the survey is that a family vacation includes as many members of the family as possible. In an environment where the most people have to be able to participate in order for something to occur, we are limited by the deviant cases as much as by the majority choice.

Great surveys can weigh many voices equally, provide a space for information collection, and hone in on key indicators to inform smarter decisions. However, good decision-making is still a required part of the picture. However exciting as it is to provide all members of the family with an avenue to share a “vote,” more complex financial and logistical dynamics are always at play in group choices (as the initial direct email respondents implicitly knew, using their voices to circumvent the survey, recognizing that would be a minimal part of the final decision-making process)

Should you still vote for Hawaii? Good question. It will certainly decide where the next family sub-group vacation goes. And like all election coverage, this information will likely influence voting behavior. But you still have a vote, and you should still use it, albeit within the realities of vacation destinations.

In short, the Democrats are NOT the same as the Republicans, no matter what Nader says.

Level Zero Human

August 04, 2014 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

I was looking through the Curated Simon photostream and found a picture of the onsie I made for him last year.  Let's hope Sadie and Greg start getting that kid on adventures and leveling him up.

Hi Simon!

June 06, 2014 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

Sadie and Greg gave birth to Simon Miller Caswell at 11:31 a.m.  He's 8 lbs, 1oz.  Everyone is happy, healthy, and tired.


March 06, 2014 by Adam in Sadie & Greg

Time to move on

September 01, 2013 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Tomorrow, we move to my twelfth apartment in the last ten years (South, Hoxsey, Spring, Linden, twice on Hall St, Dexter, Appleton, Oak, Daniel Shays, High, and finally Churchill). We're both looking forward to staying put for a bit. Greg's job is fantastic,  and I'm looking forward to spending more time in HQ. Here's to a new year!

Second First Anniversary

May 27, 2013 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

Today is the second anniversary of our civil marriage. We ate a huge, beautiful meal at Hope & Olive last night, drank too much, and walked home in our fancy clothes. This morning, Greg made dutch babies and brandied fruit. 

After a long winter, we're looking forward to the return of our farm share, summer weddings and one long weekend on the San Juan islands in August. Greg is student teaching until late June, but gets to bike across Iowa in July!

Scottish Sweets

September 14, 2012 by Sadie in Sadie & Greg

My favorite Scotland experience in one of the magical sweets shops:


It rained so much in Edinburgh, people would do anything to keep dry: 

Older Posts


E-mail me

My LinkedIn Profile