Michigan couple with 14 sons welcome their first daughter
LAKEVIEW, Mich. — A Michigan couple whose large family attracted attention by growing to include 14 sons has welcomed their first daughter nearly three decades after the birth of their first child.
Kateri Schwandt gave birth Nov. 5 to Maggie Jayne, who weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and entered a world filled with 14 older brothers.
Jay Schwandt said he and his wife, both 45, “are overjoyed and beyond excited to add Maggie Jayne to our family.”
“This year has been memorable in so many ways, for so many reasons, but Maggie is the greatest gift we could ever imagine,” he told the Detroit Free Press following his daughter’s birth.
The Schwandts have been featured in local and national news as their family has grown. The couple have a livestreaming program called “14 Outdoorsmen” that may now need a name change.
Their oldest child, Tyler Schwandt, 28, said his parents thought they would never have a daughter after 14 sons. He said there’s likely nothing pink in the family’s home in Lakeview, about 30 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.
“I don’t even know if my mom owns any pink clothing — or anything,” said Tyler, who is engaged to be married and recently bought a home 20 minutes away from his parents’ 200-acre farm.
The Schwandts started dating as freshmen, attending Gaylord High School and Gaylord St. Mary’s, respectively. They wed in 1993, before they attended Ferris State University, and before they graduated the couple had three sons.
Both earned advanced degrees, even as their family grew. Kateri holds a master’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University, and Jay, who is a lawyer and owner of a land surveying business, holds a law degree from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Border closure can’t keep grandparents from Canadian wedding
ST. STEPHEN, New Brunswick — With the border closed, a Canadian couple still found a way for their grandparents from Maine to see their waterfront wedding.
It involved a boat used for hauling lobster traps, naturally.
Alex Leckie and Lindsay Clowes were married on a wharf in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, while the bride’s grandparents and a few other relatives from Calais, Maine, watched from a boat in the St. Croix river that divides the countries. Other families and friends watched from Maine.
“It was happy and emotional and overwhelming,” Clowes said of seeing family and friends on both sides of the border.
The idea for the wedding was hatched after the couple had to cancel a summer wedding in Nova Scotia because of the closed border and travel restrictions. The St. Stephen wedding allowed families on both sides of the border to participate. Clowes grew up in Calais, Maine, and attended school in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.
“To sum it up, my wife came up with the hashtag, #loveisnotcancelled,” said Chris Bernardini, whose wife, Leslie, is mother of the bride.
Bernardini and his wife, from Calais, were able to cross the border and quarantine in Canada before the wedding because both hold dual citizenships.
But it took some Maine ingenuity for other family members to be able to see the wedding. That involved using the 19-foot skiff used for hauling lobster traps that belonged to Bernardini’s father.
The bride’s grandparents, a great-aunt, and an aunt and uncle were in the boat, while other Mainers watched from shore.
For a honeymoon, the couple has purchased a camper that they’ve using for day trips in the Canadian Maritimes.
— Associated Press