Ann Crews Melton
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When Owen and Katie Fitzsimmons learned they were expecting their first child, they decided to keep the baby's sex a surprise. So rather than planning a gender-neutral nursery in typical green and gray, the Bismarck couple began to explore more unique themes.

"Owen was pushing for Catholic martyrs," Katie says, laughing. "I was going for more bears or penguins and arctic animals, or Alaska. But I've always been very enamored with Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, so we decided to go with a North Dakota-specific theme."

Their journey began with a trip to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn, where they picked up two Charles Fritz prints that set the color scheme for the room. Family members and friends soon offered gifts and assistance in getting the nursery ready.

"Trying to find a buffalo-and-canoe-and-eagle-themed baby mobile is a lot harder than you might think," Katie says. But with eBay purchases, rummage sale finds and a little elbow grease, the Lewis and Clark nursery came together.

The one area friends and family are not allowed to help? Picking the baby's name.

"Lewis and Clark are not on the list. People are voting for Sakakawea, or Charbonneau," Katie says. "I guess they'll just have to wait and see."

Ann Crews Melton is a writer and editor who lives in Bismarck. Reach her at