Scenic Drive

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We got tired of laying around the living room on such a beautiful day. We took baffs, packed up and headed out for a scenic drive!

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Ready to go, Mommy!

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We even stopped for a little while at a beautiful secluded park along the river!

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Nora seems to tolerate the car better and better with each trip. There were some minor fussing incidents, but nothing that warranted a pull over. She got herself sleepy and fights so hard to stay awake. She didn’t want to miss any of the pretty trees!

Once back home Nora stayed asleep for a long while and I worked on putting together her NURSERY! 🙂

The Lord  God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
(Genesis 2:9 NIV)

Filled

This morning I decided to get out in the car with Nora, even if it was just to drop a package off at the post office mailbox. Sometimes just getting out of the house for a change of scenery can make all the difference in the world. With the leaves changing the scenery around here is breathtaking. On my way back home I noticed my gas tank was a little low, so I extended our away time by stopping to get gas. Who ever thought filling the car up with gas would be something fun to do?? I entered my rewards card, entered my credit card, entered zip code, and selected gas type. Do I want a car wash? No. Do I want a receipt? No. “SEE CASHIER,” blinks up on the screen.  In exasperation I hung up the nozzle and proceeded to hastily re-enter all of the aforementioned information. I did NOT want to go inside to wait in line for 20 minutes while “everyone and their uncle” purchased hot dogs, cigarettes, singing Elvis clocks, and lotto tickets. “SEE CASHIER,” popped up again. I slammed the nozzle back onto the pump and quickly stormed inside. “Slow to anger. Slow to anger. Slow to anger. Slow to anger,” I repeated over and over again to myself. It wasn’t the cashier’s fault, no need to scream at her. The cashier reset the pump and suggested I try it again. I went back out and tried the whole thing again. It worked. “Amazing!” I muttered under my breath, “Had I known it was going to be so (dang) difficult I never would have stopped!!!” Just as the tank had filled up and I was about to set off on my merry way, a soft spoken girl came from around the back of my car. “Excuse me,” she said nervously,”I’m so sorry, I’m on my way to a doctor’s appointment and I don’t have enough money for gas…”

“Yes, I’ll help you,” I responded and reached into the car to get my purse. She was only asking for a couple of dollars, but a couple dollars might have gotten her to the other side of the parking lot. I had no cash on me anyway. I walked with her over to the next pump, swiped my credit card, and told her she could fill her tank up. As I stood there talking to her, she shared with me that she’s pregnant and that’s what the doctor’s visit was about. A beautiful blonde haired little girl smiled at me from the back seat. Her husband had lost his job a few months back and hasn’t been able to find work. On top of that her doctors are fearful that her baby might have something wrong. An extra chromosome, she explained. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized EXACTLY why my credit card transaction hadn’t initiated a few moments ago. I told her about Nora and what a treasured gift she is. I told her how my faith in God is what has pulled me through all of this, no doubt He is there for her too. She said she knows that full well, but she’s very confused as to why God would add a complicated pregnancy to an already trying situation. “He didn’t cause this. These are the things that draw us closer to him,” I told her. The gas pump shut off indicating that her tank was full. “Thank you so much,” she said with tears in her eyes. I hugged her and promised I would be praying for her, her family and her precious unborn baby. I got back in the car and the tears just started streaming. God’s ways are really, really, really OBVIOUS sometimes!!!!!!!!!!!

As I started the car, “Fall Apart” by Josh Wilson started playing on the radio. The words to the song confirmed what I’d just told her:

Why in the world did I think I could
Only get to know you when my life was good
When everything just falls in place
The easiest thing is to give You praise

Now it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel You now more than I did then How can I come to the end of me
And somehow still have all I need
God, I want to know You more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find You when I fall apart

Blessed are the ones who understand We’ve got nothing to bring but empty hands
Nothing to hide and nothing to prove Our heartbreak brings us back to You

And it all seems upside down

‘Cause my whole world is caving in
But I feel You now more than I did then How can I come to the end of me
And somehow still have all I need
God, I want to know You more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find You when I fall apart

I don’t know how long this will last
I’m praying for the pain to pass
But maybe this is the best thing that
Has ever happened to me

My whole world is caving in
But I feel You now more than I did then How can I come to the end of me
And somehow still have all I need
God, I want to know You more
Maybe this is how it starts
I find You when You will find me when
I fall apart

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She flashed her brights at me before turning onto the highway, each of us heading our separate ways. I’ll probably never see her again, but I love how God orchestrated our “chance” meeting. I was blessed by the opportunity to be God’s hands and feet.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
(Luke 6:38 NIV)

Pictures of Nora today:

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Sweet Love

I am so fiercely in love with this little girl, sometimes it almost physically hurts!! What in the world did we ever do without her!!??

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Chilling out with Daddy in the early morning hours

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I woke up to this sweet sight

Remember the American Girl doll shoes that Nora used to wear when she was first born?

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She’s really come such a long way! It’s hard to imagine she was less than half her size now when we brought her home!

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Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
(Psalm 62:1 NIV)

Reminisce

I was intrigued by the poetic contrast of the past to the present as I drove past the vacant building that used to be my place of employment. The years seem to have passed by as quickly as my car traveled the block, the building becoming just a glimmer in my rearview mirror.

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I loved that job. It’s hard to believe those days are over when there was a time that I imagined I’d be working there “forever”. I miss that time of my life. My heart ached as I passed by, remembering how I used to walk in that door each morning with my sweet bird Ava in her cage, not much of anything to worry about. I reflected on other aspects of my life, namely that as my role of a mother. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count, “Someday you’ll miss these days!” At which point I’d promptly roll my eyes. But it’s so true. Just in the course of a year (SIX MONTHS even!) so much changes. Nora has enabled me to reassess what really matters in life, to treasure each and every day and each precious moment at hand. All too quickly today will become a speck in the rearview mirror.

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Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
(James 4:14 NIV)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 NIV)

A special thank you to everyone who was a part of Team Nora today at the Walk for Kids, to benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. You’re awesome!

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Nora and I wish we could have been there, but we had lots of baffs to take! William and the big kids had a great time! Thank you, again!

Noah & Lane

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Morning cuddler

I haven’t been on Facebook at all today. Nora had her 6 month appointment this afternoon to get caught up on her shots. We were thrilled to find that we now have a 10 lb. 1 oz. baby girl, which is a far cry from the 4 lb. 10 oz. little thing we brought home! The rest of the day was spent with her in the baffs and then I cuddled her while she slept for her afternoon nap.

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I clicked on to Facebook this evening for a quick peek at things. There was a little boy who was mentioned on Nora’s page awhile back named Noah Alexander. I, along with many others, have been following his story and praying for him. I was absolutely broken-hearted to learn that he sprouted his little angel wings today. We just can’t figure these things out from our limited perspective and it hurts badly. I know that God is right there with Noah’s family holding them. I pray that they feel His presence and His Peace during this awful, difficult and unimaginable time. Please join me in praying for the Helton family as they embark on this difficult journey of healing.

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And now this morning I just learned of Lane Goodwin’s passing. Please also pray for the Goodwin family in the same way — for comfort and peace as well as the promise of eternity where they will all be reunited again. No family should ever have to endure the loss of a precious child. My heart hurts for these families.

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I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
(Romans 8:18 NIV)

SIX MONTHS OLD!!!

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I'm SIX MONTHS old already??


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Yayyyyyyy!

It’s so hard to believe 6 months have gone by, but what an absolute joy. We celebrated Nora’a ½ birthday at Nana and Papa’s – and so we could pick up bins of baby girl clothes from Aunt Sarah. Seems as though the Little Miss has outgrown much of her clothes and needed the next size up! It was so nice to get out to one of our “safe places”.

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3 ducks in the river

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“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV)

Here is a video of a rambunctious baby who should have been sleeping a couple hours ago:

Nora finally sleeps now and I must too! Goodnight!