Kayaks on the roof, luggage packed in and sweet Travel Baby buckled up, we set off on our way back south. I said a prayer of thanksgiving as I closed Cabin Number 3’s door behind us for the final time, only a little lump in my throat. The dismal weather made leaving a little easier.
Exaggerated smiles and levels of alertness! “Ten hours to go! Yay!!!” (Look at Norns in the mirror!! 😄)
The Mackinac Bridge was engulfed in a heavy blanket of fog. You can see Mackinac Island off on the horizon. Unfortunately that’s all I got to see of it this year ~
The suspension cables faded off into the atmosphere, furtively ascending to the top of each shrouded tower.
On our way up to Michigan we had planned on stopping to meet a family that follows the blog, but we were unable to coordinate in time. Fortunately on our way back we were able to get in touch with each other and pulled off for a brief meeting! It was so exciting and wonderful to meet you and your beautiful family, Lisa!!!
Nora loves meeting her fan club!!! Maybe one of these days we’ll get a tour bus and she can go out on tour and meet everyone! We’ll make sure the bus is amphibious so she can do a world tour to visit her international friends too! She did SOOOO good in the car!
Shortly before we set off on our journey, a crazy-incredible Kate R. set off on a journey of her own in the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run. While our hundreds of miles were spent in the comfortable luxury of a motor vehicle, Kate’s 100 arduous miles were traveled by foot! She was accompanied by her brother Jack, her cousin Sean and a sheet of paper with 100 reasons to keep running — 100 prayer requests from various family and friends.
Throughout the rest of our trip home I checked in on her progress through Burning River’s website and through her Operation Run 100 Facebook page. This page chronicled all of her training through all of its ups and downs. I will admit I am not the best at keeping up with my FB newsfeed, so a lot of it I had missed. I read through each post from the beginning, gaining a whole new appreciation of how hard she’d worked for this. How and why would someone want to run 100 miles? Back in April she wrote, “The pull is one that to many, cannot be explained. It is the embracing of physical fatigue, countless discomforts, and extreme boredom in training and offering it all up as a way of saying “Thank you…for this glorious gift of life and this body that can endure so much.” It is trading sleeping in and late nights out every single weekend, taking slack from friends and family who don’t run (and therefore will never understand) and doing it anyway. It is seeking Jesus and finding him during the hardest runs and feeling as though He pushes you and then runs along side you. It’s knowing that your crosses in life are light and therefore not daring to complain about what is physically difficult in the moment.”

The day’s page in Jesus Calling was so perfect:
Coincidence???!!!! No such thing.

This was so much more than just the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run. Throughout her training Kate had selflessly woven a beautiful golden cord of hope through so many hearts and united us all in prayer over each mile. It was so much more than training to reach a goal! How honored and blessed I am to have been a part of that which gave her fuel to keep going!

After we arrived safely home, we unpacked Travel Baby and all of her accessories. Travel Baby was filthy from her travels!

“Is dat baff waters I hear????”
“Ahhh! It is!!”
The washer and dryer weren’t the only things still running as we tucked in to bed for the night. Kate was the last thing on my mind as I drifted off to sleep, and the first thing on my mind as I awoke in the morning.

Here she is taking off from Mile 85 (yes, I shamelessly stole these off of FB)~
Norns and I went out for a stroll in the crisp cool air that seems to have followed us back home (minus the aroma of pine 😞)

“I need my knee muffins bundled, please!”
Nora and I were almost home when I saw on my phone that Kate had COMPLETED THE 100 MILE RUN.
I was overcome with emotion when I saw these photos ~

“No caption needed, the smile and medal says it all!!” (quoted from Operation Run 100)
“Taking time to thank the big guy!” (quoted from Operation Run 100)
Kate? You are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
(Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV)

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 6:18-20 MSG)


Day 6 of Vacation – Continued…

The day continued on just as beautifully as it had begun. Boating, swimming and porch cuddles were on the agenda.
It’s so bright out for a baby!!
We spent the first part of evening at Aunt Elaine & Uncle Allan’s beautiful place. Much of the extended family on my Mom’s side either live here, have cabins up here or are vacationing like us. There were almost 40 of us that convened for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres…

… or rock skipping and juice boxes.




Sisters Three
Dad and His Daughters
Norns opted for a Girl’s Night In with her Kelly. We wished they could have come along!

We chose this day to get together with everyone in celebration of my Grandmother’s birthday. Today she would have been 99-years-old.

Little Grandma and her Mom (my Great Grandma) – 1916
She and her young family spent many summers up here at her mother’s cottage from the 1950s and on. The cottage still exists today and is occupied in the summer months by my grandmother’s youngest sister, my Aunt Jane and her husband Jack. We visited during last year’s trip.

From left to right: Grandma (pregnant with my Mom), her sister Jane, my Uncle Roger (?), Jane’s husband Jack, and my Grandpa on the porch at the cottage – 1953

Sixty years later we traveled down the scenic M-134 to the Albany Bar (and restaurant)


An unlikely spot for a beautiful flower ~
You can guarantee a good time (and/or a nervous breakdown) at a restaurant that is outfitted with an empty carpeted stage, spacious dance floor, hula hoops, tricycles and a bouncy horse with a bunch of kids thrown in!
I had to give it a whirl ~

I heart all of my brothers in laws. Along with my hubzbind they each bring their own humorous disposition to our already silly family. It’s so fun to have everyone together! Emily’s husband brought our beers back to us from the bar.

“Hi, I’m Josh and I’ll be your waiter this evening!”
“We’re going to need to see some IDs, ladies.”


All silliness aside (with a pretty shot of Lake Huron as a buffer), I greatly miss my Grandma. I often think to myself that I wish she had gotten the opportunity to know Nora, but I feel certain that she already does. Happy birthday, sweet Grandma! 💛

Day 7 of Vacation

William went over to the big house with Nora shortly after she woke up, leaving me behind to sleep in. (Thaaaannnnk you, Wm!!!!) I woke up fairly early and quickened my pace getting ready when I overheard someone outside comment about doing something before the rain comes. 😦 “Rain???!!???” I exclaimed to myself. The sky was beginning to get a little overcast. I wanted to get one last walk in so I could get my lungs stocked up on the heavenly pine saturated air.
I made it halfway there before my hubzbind came and rescued me by car from the impending raindrops. I was excited to see my baby cuddlebug and promptly dressed her in some cozy, adorable overalls! We sat out on the porch to watch the storm clouds encroach.

The sound of the drizzling rain and the motion of the rocking chair nearly put both of us to sleep!

It was to be our last night there. Nora certainly enjoyed a whole week surrounded by so many people who love her!
The clock struck 9 and I suddenly remembered (Holy Spirit nudge) that Nora would be due for her medications soon. I had forgotten to bring them with me from our cabin and figured I’d better drive over to get them. From inside the house it would have been impossible to see that the sun had peeked out from a massive cloud deck just in time to radiate a magnificent sunset. The rain was still pouring down. I initially pulled over to look at the sunset, but as I looked across the Cedarville Bay in the opposite direction, the view literally took my breath away!!!
In my conversations with God at the beginning of our vacation, I wondered if we’d get to see another beautiful rainbow again this year. And there it was in all of its splendor literally in the last few remaining minutes of daylight (9:00 pm!!!) of our vacation! I stared at it in awe for a few minutes before I realized I was blocking the boat ramp that someone was trying to access. With tears in my eyes, I continued onward to our cabin where the view was even more spectacular! Fortunately, I remembered the panoramic feature on my phone before it was too late!

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
(Psalm 19:1 NIV)
Thank you, thank you, thank you, God for loving me like you do.

Kutless – Amazed


Day 5 of Vacation

The weather can be such a gamble. We’ve been lavishly endowed with warm sunshine today. A morning boat ride was in order. Keira aka “Bonnie” and her Papa are ready to go!
Muthr got her sunglasses ganked by a little boy with sensitive eyes.
This is Watson & Cohen’s first trip up North, as is Dustin’s. It looks like they’ll probably want to come back!

“This is even better than sticking my head out of the car window!”
Joe & Dustin, Watson & Cohen, and Emily & Josh went over to Mackinac Island today with our cousin Allie and fiancé Zach. W & C enjoyed a bike ride around the island from their trailer. Very cute!! They were reportedly very well behaved…

… but not refined enough to partake in high tea at the Grand Hotel!!

We weren’t brave enough to take the trip with Nora just yet. We were happy just to lay low back at the big house.

Damselfly rescued from a spiderweb ~
Island construction traffic ~




It was Take Your Nephew/Grandson to Bar Night







Vacation Day 6

Nornor woke up with the birds. I threw a sweatshirt on over my pajamas, wrapped up the baby and we walked out to a wooden swing on the dock. The edge of the eastern sky caught flame and slowly smoldered at the seams of the placid blue. The smell of pine lingered in the crisp air, a shrieking gull lamented over a lost meal. I could have sat there till midday absorbing the beauty of this place. Nora — not so much. The lulling motion of the swing had become commonplace after only a few minutes. I reluctantly ventured back inside with her as a courtesy to the neighboring cabins.




Day 6 to be continued…

He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
(Acts 1:7, 8 MSG)


Day 3 of Vacation

Happy baby reigns supreme!


I tried to lay Parker and Nora together, but Parker got all grabby and Norns didn’t know what to make of him!

“Dat kid’s crazy!!!”
The weather was in the low 80s and we spent most of our time outside.






Do you see it??? This was in the sky while I was on the phone with another t18 Mom who is due in August! We had just finished talking about God winks!
We enjoyed the mild evening air until the mosquitos got wind of us!!

Take Your Son to the Bar Night! 😮

Day 4 of Vacation

We woke up to very chilly windy weather and even had to shut the windows in our little cabin!
Nornor didn’t have the best night of sleep the night before, which meant that Our Kelly didn’t either. We packed up early and went over to the big house so she could get some sleep!

Morning cuddles ~
It was not a good day for swimming with the high being only in the 60’s. It was much too windy to even sit outside. We paid a visit to Uncle Roger and Aunt Maryann’s beautiful cabin and said hello!





Today is a special day in and of itself. For the past couple of years we have been away up here in Michigan, but my firstborn is always close in heart. Twenty years ago today I set my eyes on her for the very first time. She announced her arrival with a hearty cry that emanated the impassioned room. Minutes old, I held her close and looked into her sapphire eyes wishing I could freeze time. Although I had to let her go, I’ve held tightly onto those memories over the past twenty years; and carried an infallible confidence that I did the right thing by choosing life for her. I am beyond blessed to have watched her grow up in photographs, and now to have a relationship with her. I wish you all the love, all the joy and happiness in the world, S! I hope you have a fantastic birthday! ❤

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
(1 Corinthians 13:3-7 MSG)

Pure Michigan!!!

Day 1 of Vacation

And here we are again in this treasured, timeless, beautiful corner of the world – Les Cheneaux Islands, Cedarville, Michigan! Travel Baby weathered the 9 hour journey exceptionally well!

This is the magnificent Mackinac Bridge, the bridge that connects regular everyday life to a place and time filled with precious memories of vacations past, and the “pining”🌲 for memories of vacations future (pun intended). A week out of the summer for just about every year of my life since I was 3 months old has generated an anthology of memories that now include a whole different cast of characters — my husband, my children, brothers-in-laws, nieces and nephew.


This year also includes Our Kelly who graciously accepted the invitation to come along and help us with Nora! We have our own cozy little cabin about 2 miles down the road from the rest of the extended family.
“Dat afghan is really kinda neat!!!!!!”

“Nora, your knee muffins are really kinda delicious!!!!!”
We fluffed our little nest and sat down for a minute before heading over to the big house.
Gavin rode up with Papa, Uncle Joe, Uncle Dustin and doggies, so we hadn’t seen him in awhile. Nora was happy to be reunited with her brudder!!
This is Nora’s SECOND trip up here. She’s so much more aware of her surroundings and is really, really enjoying all of the new scenery and extra lovings! She’ll tell her Papa things!
Nora thinks her Daddy is extra funny!
The weather started off a little chilly which was a very nice break from the sweltering heat back home!

There is a big back porch that overlooks one of the channels with a rocking chair on it — perfect for rocking babies especially in this heavenly climate!

Greta heading out for an evening boat ride.
This is the exquisite guest house that Greta is staying in with her cousin Gracie.
Aunt Em and Uncle Josh sleep upstairs in the loft. They have their own full bath and a TV. I was commenting to Greta how it’s like a life size little dollhouse, and wouldn’t it be neat to have something like this back home… Guess what Greta has decided she wants for her birthday!? Haha, Veruca Salt!!!
It is cozy and fun hanging out with Greta in her little hermitage!

Day 2 of Vacation

It’s so so stinking cute watching Nora wake up in an unfamiliar environment!!

“Wh… What time is it? Where are we???”
We assembled the stroller, geared up and Nora and I ran/walked the 2 miles over to the big house. William went on ahead in the car and Our Kelly stayed behind to catch up on sleep.
My brother Joe brought up 15 lbs. of goetta!! (Which if you aren’t from Cincinnati, you probably and tragically have no idea what that is. 😔) We feasted for breakfast and enjoyed the rest of our day with the family.

After Norns was settled in, I accompanied the big kids, their cousins and their Uncle Dan on a boat ride.

“White Sugar” and “Brown Sugar” (Greta is starting to look really ethnic after all if this sun!!! No amount of sunscreen seems to help!)
“Refined Sugar” and “Raw Sugar” (they needed sugar names too!!)
Let the fun begin!!!



The only thing we are missing up here is a bathtub!! This baby can’t be expected to go without a baff for a whole week!!!! So we rounded up a storage bin and filled it on up with warm water and a stinky baby!

“Disss is what I liiike!!!”
All clean and refreshed! Nora loves sitting outside on the porch!
And so does the Little Big Guy, Parker with his Aunt Em!
Soaking up the sun down by the boat house ~
Kelly joined us when she woke up. Nornor was so happy to see her!
“… an’nen I took a baff…”
I accompanied my Mom & Dad to look at possible future vacationing accommodations. We indulged ourselves in some gaudy lawn ornament shenanigans.

“On a steel concrete horse I ride… I’m wanted… Dead or Aliiiiiiive…”
A pretty little hat made by Aunt Elaine came in quite handy for the chilly evening!
Perfect weather for a campfire, even “the boys” agree!
Nora held court before retiring for the evening. She certainly is a little princess!

I am so happy, so excited to be up here! Nora loves it too!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:17)

Coming and Going

It’s been a crazy busy month and I’ve been remiss in my postings! I apologize profusely! Our visitors from Texas departed on Tuesday. We were very sad to see them go after a fun filled week:

Morning cuddles with Meemee
Cuddles with Aunt Jill
And more cuddles with the girls
Lindsey did such a good job feeding her baby cousin!
After the cousins were gone the kids only had each other — and the computer for entertainment. Norns enjoyed a Minecraft lesson



Meanwhile Daddy sends us unsettling pictures from work!! (in the red harness)“Be careful, Daddy!!!!”
“Woahhh, Daddy!! I gotchya!!”

I spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday making a list, checking it twice, trying to find out what we need to bring on our vacation to the U.P.!!!!

“Time to start packing, Mommy!!”

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
(Psalm 121:7, 8 NIV)

Blue Skies


If Nora was awake, she was crying or groaning. The fear and anxiety was boiling up inside me, pressurizing my tempestuous thoughts into the future where they didn’t belong. What was likely teething pains or the usual gas pains began corroding into thoughts of hospital stays, surgeries, etc. It’s so easy to be thankful and joyous when everything is going well, but shouldn’t I have the same level of trust and faith when they’re not? If only it were that easy! Who am I to second guess GOD — the Creator of the Universe? But there I am AGAIN wallowing in a stagnant pit of self-pity, aching for some sort of “normal”, deceived into thinking I know a better way.

A friend of mine that seems to be very receptive to Holy Spirit nudges reminded me in a text, “Nora DID just have 3 consecutive days of shots!! Of course she’s crabby! Give her a couple days and she’ll be back to herself!” I was calmed and reassured by her sound voice of reason, but my anxiety returned with each moan and groan. If only Nora could talk!

Despite the melancholy cloud that hung over the living room, we had already made plans to attend my niece’s birthday party. Nora obviously would not have weathered the 45 minute journey or enjoyed the new scenery with the way she was feeling. As much as I hated to leave her, I had to take a break. We arranged for a nurse to stay with her while we were away.

Wandering thoughts, tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I went through the motions of driving there. There is no better medicine for me than being close with my family. Nature comes in at a close second. To have the two together is heavenly.

I hadn’t been there long before I ventured off on a walk out onto my sister and her husband’s beautiful property. I had intended to go out alone, but my sweet Greta spotted me and wanted to walk with me. I was happy to have her company, but she broke away to run off with the herd of little girl cousins that came running across the field moments later.
In my bit of time alone I was reminded of God’s infinite glory. I watched in wonder at the variety of dragonflies skimming across the ponds. An orange one, perched on top of a cattail looked like a beautiful flower.
I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. (Psalm 50:11 NIV)

As I encountered these wild flowers tucked away in secret at the edge of the yard, a hummingbird and I met face to face.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
(Matthew 6:26 NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
(John 15:5 NIV)

I was invited out on a second walk by my Buddy Boy. He had some exploring to do and I was so touched that he wanted to have his Muthr along. He can be really “tough and cool” at times, but at the end of the day, he still loves his mom.



And speaking of Buddy Boys… This young baby man sure is a sweet addition to the family.

Papa and his Buddies ~
The Baby Buddy with his Nana ~
Sleepy Baby Buddy with his Grandma ~
I received periodic texts from the nurse while we were away that Nora was doing good – no reason to worry. That enabled me to enjoy the rest of the beautiful day.




William graciously allowed me to sleep in and went down first to dismiss the night nurse. He texted me that Nora had a GREAT night. I climbed right out of bed, got down on my knees and THANKED God!!! What an answer to prayer! I felt like I was taking a breath of fresh air after having been underwater for too long.

True to text I was greeted with happy noises and smiles when I went down to see her.
We’ve sometimes wondered what the little pockets are actually for in baby clothing. Norns uses her pockets for lip gloss and teething gel.
Just hanging out in Greta’s room with Aunt Jill, Uncle Chris and Lindsey!
Nornor had a nice relaxing baff…
… then spent the rest of the day with her Kelly while the rest of us ventured off to go swimming. Again, I hated to leave Nora, but this time it was because she was being so happy and sweet!!





Meanwhile back at home, Nornor and Kelly were playing dress up! Look how PRETTTTYY!!



Another really good night and another fabulous day. Lots of happy squeals and smiles!
She was actually cooperative and happy for a physical therapy session for once — until she stunk up her diaper. Happy Baby returned once that was all over though!
If they start a band, this could be their album cover ~


It is easy to love Him when the blue is in the sky,
When the summer winds are blowing, and we smell
the roses nigh;
There is little effort needed to obey His precious will
When it leads through flower-decked valley, or over
sun-kissed hill.

It is when the rain is falling, or the mist hangs in the air,
When the road is dark and rugged, and the wind no longer fair,
When the rosy dawn has settled in a shadowland of gray,
That we find it hard to trust Him, and are slower to obey.

It is easy to trust Him when the singing birds have come,
And their songs of praise are echoed in our heart and
in our home;
But it’s when we miss the music, and the days are dull and drear,
That we need a faith triumphant over every doubt and fear.

And our blessed Lord will give it; what we lack He will supply;
Let us ask in faith believing—on His promises rely;
He will ever be our Leader, whether smooth or rough the way,
And will prove Himself sufficient for the needs of every day.

(from Streams in the Desert)


Tuesday (continued)

“Ooooo! Check out my fancy shoes!

“An my fancy hair!”
“My Aunt, Uncle and cousins are visiting from Austin, Texas! They just arrived this evening! I’m so happy to see them!”

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(2 Corinthians 13:14)


Nora and I were watching Creflo Dollar on TV this morning. He was talking about putting yourself in the position to receive the gift of God’s blessings. This baby took that literally and reached out to grab her some blessings, amen! She knows what she wants!
Besides blessings, she always wants love and attention from her big sister!
* Yes, Nora often sleeps in her clothes, yes, that’s the same outfit from yesterday.

A baff solves everything!
“Sister can hardly hold me anymore I’m getting so stinkin big!!”
“Here’s me in my pretty dress from Auntie Jo!”
I took Nora to get her second shot today all by myself. She did wonderful in the car without anyone back there to entertain her. Although I’m pretty sure her entourage of angels made themselves known!

After the shot she cried for the typical 5 minutes as she did the day before. 😢
Mommy rescued her up off of the crinkly papered table and held her close. We rocked and sang those sad tears away and then she told me all about it.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-7)


“Good moooorning!”
“Looks like it’s baff time already!”
“My sweet feet were filthy with kisses!”
It was the last day of shots. All said and done, I am SO GLAD we opted to take that route. Of course I hated to see Nora cry like that, but she got extra loves and kisses. It was way better than torturing her for hours trying to get her to swallow something she obviously hates. Before she knew it we were right back home again and all was right with her world!
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
(Matthew 28:19 NIV)


Nornor woke up sweet this morning, but gradually dwindled into a state of persistent fussiness. Her follow-up appointment to check on her ears went well. From what Dr. B could see of her ears they did not appear to be inflamed at all. We’re guessing that her fussiness is on account of her painfully swollen bottom gums. There are definitely teeth on their way through there!
Earlier this morning we made it to the mailbox before Nora started vehemently protesting. Apparently a walk was not on her itinerary and I did not get the edited version. We rushed back home just in time for baff time. She has been very interested in the bubbles lately!
“Deez are kinda neat!!!”
“Where’d all doze bubbles go??”
Our attentions were briefly drawn to a traveling box turtle that happened through the yard. He was very bold and curious, no stranger to humans.
Gavin, Greta and the cousins watched inquisitively as he devoured the strawberry and grapes we jacked from Kelly’s shelf in the refrigerator! 😮
“Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom! Thanks, Kelly!!”


It was a magnificently beautiful day today and I feel like I wasted much of it being tired and worried. My anxieties are always amplified and exacerbated by lack of sleep. I’m relieved that it is probably teething related fussiness, but the evil poison of, “What if it’s something else?” seeped in under the door and choked the joy out of my day. I just want her to be happy all the time and when she’s not, I worry. I REALLY REALLY need to refocus my trust in God and to remind myself of each and every time He’s revealed Himself through every trial we’ve ever been through. I’m praying for a little girl who just had brain surgery and then here I am fretting about teething grumbles??!!?? Really??!!?? I definitely need more sleep.

The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
(Psalm 116:6, 7 NIV)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
(Matthew 11:28-29)

Later that evening…

Happy Baby actually made an appearance!!

She soon became Tired Baby and drifted off to sleep for the night around 8:45.

Meanwhile outside, it turns out we have quite a few sidewalk artists staying under our roof! The cousins are having so much fun together. It’s so sweet to watch them all play together!







Real pretty Nornor hung out with her Kelly for the evening while the rest of us went to a surprise birthday party for a friend of ours. I was busy taking pictures on the big camera and neglected to take any with my phone, unfortunately! But we did see the THREE birds on the way there! It was so so nice to see friends that we hadn’t seen in a very long time, and the sketchy weather even held out for us!
Wardrobe change!
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
– C.S. Lewis


Greta had a very busy weekend! Friday night she lost the remaining top front tooth just before bed time. The tooth fairy brought a $2 bill and left a sweet note. She even left a picture of herself with (get this!!!) … 3 birds!!!

Sunday we met up with Greta’s cousins Gracie, Keira and Aunt Sarah at a mall. Sarah and I decided right there and then that the girls were old enough now to get their ears pierced!!!! 😉 Kelly came with us and went first to exemplify expert bravery.

Both girls did awesome!!
Aren’t they beautiful??!!

Norns was happy to see us when we got home. She’d had a nice afternoon with her Dad and her brudder!

Here is a video that WordPress and/or YouTube will no longer allow me to embed: Nora Fixing Her Hair

She’s a kicky little gal!
The evening came to a close and Nora made her rounds to say goodnight to her people.

“G’night, brudder! I love you!”
“G’night, sister! I love you!

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:8 NIV)


We had a nice morning walk all the way to the top end of the neighborhood. How DARE Mommy stop to take pictures??!!

“Go, Mommy!!!! Go!!!!”
Brudder and Sister were awake when we got home. Lots of sweet cuddling and rolling around ensued. This baby loves her little people! It’s as if she knows she’s one of them!
And then it was baff time!

“Oh, hi! I’m in da baffs!”
“I’m a little bit stinky…”
“…and a whole lot of silly-sweet!”
Nora had an ENT appointment this afternoon to check in on her little tiny ear canals. We’d made the appointment back when her fevers were happening, but we were not able to be seen until now. We almost canceled a couple days before, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to have her ears looked at even if (in our opinion) there was no longer anything going on. Well, turns out we were once again in the right place at the right time! Much to our surprise, Nora’s ears both had fluid and inflammation inside! The anatomy of her ears are especially prone to infection. It is almost certain that her previous fevers were ear related. The doctor cleaned out some gunk and vacuumed out some fluid. She definitely seems to be responding more alertly to sounds and has been squealing more! Poor thing!!!

She was absolutely worn out after all of that chaos!
So now what? We were sent home with a prescription for an antibiotic (omnicef) that we are to give her once a day. This, however, has proven to be no easy task. Her largest medicine dosage is 1.1 mL, the other is .3 mL. The antibiotic dosage measures in at a hefty 4.5 mL. That is a LOT of volume to expect to get into a gaggy baby’s belly, especially when it is flavored with an intense strawberry syrup that literally smells up the room when the lid is off. There was no disguising that stuff in her milks so William went back up to the pharmacy to see about an unflavored option. In the future we will need to go to a compounding pharmacy, but the pharmacist was able to rig something up for us. Something that instead of thermonuclear strawberry now smelled like motor oil. 😁 With extraordinary painstaking care and utmost concentration William and our night nurse administered the 4.5 mL to her in teeny tiny little increments over the course of an hour and a half. Barnum & Bailey had NOTHING on the distraction efforts. “You got trapeze artists and flaming motorcycles on tightropes? Well we’ve got a spinning rattle wheel and a nubby worm friend that lights up!!! Bam!!!”

“Um… I think you’re all trying to pull something over on me, so I’m just going to go on ahead and puke this all up then.”
“I know what you people are up to!!! I’m watching you!!!”

All efforts were futile. She puked it right back up.


We traded emails with Dr. B. this morning to try and figure out what our other options were as far as the antibiotic was concerned. Our choices were a higher concentration which would mean less volume or a series of three shots. We weighed our pros and cons and eventually concluded that 3 days of quick pain were way better than 10 days of long drawn out gagging sessions. Three separate trips to the pediatrician’s office sounded like an all inclusive dream vacation!

“Um wait a minute here. What?”
Nornor has been in great spirits considering the state of her sweet ears. She’s eating fine, and she’s happy!
She had a quick walk this morning, a nice baff….
… and watched Phineas & Ferb with her big sister.
We just got back from the first of three shots and she tolerated it quite well! She cried for about 5 minutes and then quickly forgave everyone. She’s been in a great mood since! Poor sweet little thing!!!

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
(Matthew 6:14 NIV)

Fourth of July

The evening of William’s birthday he wanted to take Nora on a run accompanied by Gavin on his bike. As Greta and I were seeing them off from the driveway THREE of the many chimney swifts that live in our chimney swooped down low almost right in front of Nora in her stroller. We were at first surprised that birds had come so close, but then realized there were THREE of them and it made perfect sense! We can hear the birds chittering and chattering through the fireplace at night, which means they can probably hear us too. They must know that a really special, sweet, sweet baby lives here!

I worked on the yard a little bit while the boys n’ baby were gone and the trio of birds continued to circle around together.

Also while they were gone I received great news from Nora’s nutritionist:
I try to remind myself daily what a huge huge miracle it is that Nora eats on her own! My eyes well up with tears of gratitude when people are surprised at how chunky and healthy she looks! And now to hear that she’s actually above 10th percentile is just crazy awesome!! She has come such a long way from the tiny little “chicken wing” we brought home – and all on her own!

We’ve had some setbacks with solid foods recently, perhaps because of the gritty antibiotic she had been on during her fevers–that’s the only thing we can think of. She absolutely HATED that stuff! Developmentally it is awesome that she can correlate the sight of her spoon with feedings, but not good from a nutritional standpoint. She starts gagging as soon as she sees the spoon nearing her lips! She’s a very smart girl! In the mean time we are giving her oral stimulation by massaging around her cheeks and lips and letting her play with the spoon without food on it. We’re also hoping that by bringing her to the dinner table with us that she will become familiar with new smells and sights associated with eating.


Nora’s sweet little hand strokes my arm while she drinks her milkies. Makes me want to melt!
Nora is the first one everyone comes to see when they wake up. She loves being loved!!!
She got her morning walk and her morning baff…

… and then Gavin and I headed off to drum lessons. After that we paid a visit to William at work where we found some discarded sign parts in the scrap lot. We ventured off to go do something with them:
We could create our own episodes of Sesame Street over here! “This blog post was brought to you by the letter H!”

I bought William a pile of mulch for his birthday. (I know! REALLY EXCITING!! Right??) When Gavin and I arrived back home I saw that it had been delivered! I couldn’t exactly expect WILLIAM to do the dirty work of spreading it, otherwise that would have been a horrible gift! So Gavin and I rolled up our sleeves, got out the wheel barrow, a pitch fork and went to work! Gavin petered out mid-pile claiming that it was “half time”. His reassurances that he would be right back out never came to fruition and half time became “game over”! He did help a ton and I was able to finish off the rest by myself. William arrived home a few hours later to a beautiful yard and a bedraggled housewife! He would have “loved” to stay and help 😜 but he and Gavin had a Reds game to get to!

Thursday – 4th of July!

“HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, EVERYONE!!!” says our sweet little sparkler!
We had a nice relaxing morning! Nornor slept in till almost 8:00 after a very good night!
She got a big scoop of brudderly love when she woke up!

“Is… Is… Is dat my BRUDDER!!!???!!??!!!”
Papa stopped by to collect the big kids to partake in early celebratory festivities that involved swimming. I love this picture that Uncle Joe sent:
Looks like Gavin just fell out of the sky, no big deal!

Meanwhile back at home, I was standing at the sink washing bottles and I see these THREE peeking up from the window sill. Three birds on the inside sill and three on the outside! Their melody was pure and true, “Every little thing’s gonna be all right!” 😊
Later on in the afternoon William and I met up with everyone else. This year I was able to squeeze into my Mom’s authentic retro red white and blue bell bottoms that she wore back in the 60s! They’re slightly short on me, but there very well could have been a flood with all this rain we got. So they were perfect!

(Oh! I just happened to be walking through!)
We searched high and low for a picture of my Mom wearing the same pants back in the day, but we were unsuccessful. We weren’t sure if any exist, in which case we’ll need to hop in the Delorian with cameras in tow. We did find a few other fun pictures of my Mom (on left) from that era:

I used to ride to preschool in this car!
Turns out my Uncle G was ALSO a proud owner of this particular style and pattern! It was quickly mentioned that my Mom and her brother did NOT ever coordinate outfits!! Not even on the Fourth of July?!?

Me posing with the original owner!
Lots of good food with lots of good company!

And of course lots of good games! Slam DUNK!
Thumbs up for fashion!
Gavin is such a trend setter. Ferragamos? Hardly. Try FischePöndé.
Speed Pitch Champions

Despite the dour weather we had a wonderful time with the peoples we love!!

Saying goodnight to the big kids who spent the night at Nana & Papa’s house!
We hope you all had a safe and happy 4th! 🗽🇺🇸💥

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV)