The cat is out of the bag; Dustin and I are expecting a new addition to the family in early June.  This new addition is not the four legged-canine variety, but a real human baby boy.  Whoa!  To say this was unexpected and a surprise, is quite an understatement.  I never planned to be a parent.  I guess what they say is true about the best laid plans…

The adventures of Dustin and I will never be the same.  In fact, nothing in our lives will be the same.  Due to this new reality, Antlers & Gills took a bit of a hiatus.  In fact, I took a bit of hiatus from online life.  Adjusting to our new family status has proven difficult.  I’ve needed a period to grieve the life that I lost and accept the new life ahead of us.  It has been a process; a process I continue to endure.  To be honest, the motivation and inspiration to write has ran short lately. 

The baby is healthy and growing.  For this we are thankful.  Dustin is bursting at the seams with joy.  I do believe he is excited enough for the both of us!  He will be a fantastic dad.    

Antlers and Gills will be back soon, hopefully, with a gear review.  It is a review I have meant to post for quite some time. 

I hope everyone is well.


Written by Stephanie Mullins


Colorado Angler

That's great – congratulations, you two. Yes, your life is going to change – for the better. And you'll still find a way to enjoy all of the wonderful stuff you two loved…the only difference being, you get to introduce a little one to all of it, as well.

Howard Levett

Congratulations to you and Dustin. What better people to raise a healthy kid in an environment that so desperately needs more folks like you. p.s. I don't babysit.

Jim Browning

Stephanie and Dustin ~ Having a family to share life with is such an extreme joy. I have no doubt that you will be outstanding, loving, and caring parents.

Text or email anytime … Jim

T. Brook Smith

Congratulations! I'm glad the hiatus from the blog was time well spent!

Not sure it's safe to cast a fly rod with a baby on your back, but I've sure done it with spinning tackle. Hoping to see some pictures of this on Antlers and Gills soon! Tim.


I've been gone from the blog following world for a few months too. I come back to find out 2 of my people – Lunker Hunt and EcoRover – are either in China or going there. And you guys are expanding your family! Congrats to both of you. Life will never be the same, but it will never be as fulfilling, either.



I understand completely what you and Dustin are going through. My wife and I hadn't really planned on becoming parents – in fact we had, at one point, been of the idea that we didn't want children at all.

But then in August of 2010, we found out that we were going to be parents. There was discussion about lots of subjects – but "change" was the main theme. No longer was it just her and I, it was going to be baby and we.

Excitement eventually set in as fear and disillusionment set in. I'm sure had we been actively trying and hoping for a baby, the fear and disillusionment wouldn't have been so bad at first. It took my wife a bit of adjustment – and thankfully she didn't go through the big mood swings most women claim to have during the baby-growing process.

Food cravings weren't so bad either – thankfully for *me* 🙂

She didn't even give in strongly to the maternity clothing scam – she just stole my shirts and bought stretchy yoga pants.

Our little boy is fast approaching his 1st birthday (April 13 – Friday the 13th…) and I can't wait. He's walking with assistance, chatters up a storm – and is absolutely crazy about his parents. He is the center of our world – just as your little one will become the center of yours. It's amazing how quickly you can love someone – love them before you meet them. It's also amazing to me how quickly they grow. We take pix of our little guy almost daily – and sometimes I just sit and look at the pictures – from the first time I held him – to current, and it's like he's transformed in the blink of an eye.

And I can't wait to get my little guy out and fish with him – he's been out to our local lake half a dozen times on family outings – and we have 2 of the chest carriers. I've fished with him – but he was just a few months old and probably didn't really understand what daddy was doing. He was good luck though – I caught one of the prettiest, largest cutthroats of the year last year on my first casts with him on my chest. He got to see a trout up close, giggle about it, and see Daddy release the fish.

Now we sit together on Sunday mornings and watch Trout TV together – and he laughs and giggles whenever he sees the fishies. He also enjoys swinging the butt section of a fly rod I'd built (the rest of the rod is broken) – it's like the boy naturally knows what to do with it. I've already got his first fishing rods waiting for him – for when he's just a bit bigger. My dad started me out when I wasn't even 2 years old.

I can honestly say that even though we never planned on having this little guy – I wouldn't give him up for a minute, and I wouldn't trade my experience with him for anything in the world. Even on my crappiest day – he's excited to see me walk through the door and shouts "Da da!" over and over until I pick him up. He does the same with Mommy when she's been out, or when I've been out with him on a Daddy & Bubby trip.

Good luck and congrats to you both.


The baby is healthy and growing. For this we are thankful. Dustin is bursting at the seams with joy. I do believe he is excited enough for the both of us! He will be a fantastic dad.


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