Matters of the Heart

“Oh hi! It’s me, Norns! I’m inna baff.”


“You can look in here and not see anyting but deez tree (3) teef.”


“But I’ve got some secret teefs in der.”


“Dey’re way back in der. My big cheekies are hiding dem from my Mom n Dad n everybodies for right now.”


“Maybe I will send a little birdie to tell dem!”


“Dey can’t figure out why I been getting real fussied about some tings. I sure enjoy my lovings though.”


“February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. I wore my pretty heart outfit to show my support!”



On Saturday (February 8) we went over to Nana and Papa’s house to celebrate their anniversary and Aunt Em’s birthday. Norns is always excited to get out of the house!

“Buh Bye!”


We usually take the ferry to get across the Ohio River to get to Nana and Papa’s house, which is what we decided to do this particular afternoon. Nora got a little impatient while we waited for two slowpoke coal barges to pass, so we got her out of the constraints while the car was in PARK and TURNED OFF. We posed her in this picture for a text message to razz Aunt Sarah who is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. She won’t stand for this type of shenanigans from any of her peeps. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS PHOTO OUT OF CONTEXT – NO BABIES WERE HARMED OR PUT IN DANGER IN THE MAKING OF THIS PHOTOGRAPH!

“Dis is kinda fun! Am I big now?”

And then Nora drove us the rest of the way to Nana and Papa’s house.


William and Aunt Sarah with their baby boys. Awwwwwwww!!!!!


Norns gets some loves from her Oma.


Gavin and his little cousin Keira are BUDDIES. They are incredibly sweet with one another!


Nana and Mommy with an ENORMOUS baby girl.


We had such a nice time, as we always do together! Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad! We missed you, Aunt Em and Uncle Josh! We hope your birthdizzle was fabulous, Em!

And so starts another week back home.

“Oh, I thought dey said dey wanted my FOAM number. Well here. Dey can have deez anyway.”


Greta was awarded a Wildcat Award at school which recognizes her for exceptional CATS pride during the month of January! I’m so glad I got to be there for the assembly! We’re so proud of you, Greta!


Later in the day, poor Nornz had an eye appointment where they had to dilate her eyes. They had us wait out in the lobby for 20 minutes until the drops took their desired effect. Nora was NOT happy and kept arching her back. As luck would have it, I had her sunglasses still stuffed away in the diaper bag from the good old days at the pool. As soon as we put them on her, she was completely happy and arched no more! She’s such a super star, she should just wear them anyway.

“Nobuddy likes deir eyes dye lated.”


Medicine heart


Cloud heart


Sun spot heart (on carpet in front of car seat)


Sweet heart kissies from Mommy


Gavin was all dressed up for his speech assignment. He chose Woody Hayes to give his presentation on. We thought he did very well in his rehearsals at home! I have been forbidden to publish the video.


Nora gave a speech on baffs.

“Deez baffs are warm an fun an nice.”


“I get to stay nice and warm instead of going out in colds! Nah nee nah nee boo boo!”


“Wait. What? I have a very early morning cardiologiss pointment on Tursday?”


“I’m not sure how I feels about dat.”


“Yyyyeah. It’s wayyy too early and cold out, peoples.”


“I’ll be a real good girl, however!”


“An before I knowed it, I was back home.”


“An da greatest part? My heart looks real good! I got a good report at da cardiologiss!”


This baby deserved a long awaited bath for being such a good girl at the hospital. She got herself real tired and had a little baffnap.


Uh oh!!! Someone is growing a little RAT TAIL!!!


Valentine’s Day

“Aaaaaa!!!!! It’s Balentimes Day!!!!!!!! Dere’s hearts EVERRRRYYYWHERE!!!!”


“Hmmm. I guess dat means I have to choose a Balentime! Hmmmmm…. I tink I chose EVERYBODIES!”


Ohhhh, and what a nice Valentine’s present to FINALLY have her Kelly home!!! We missed you, KelKel!!


The weather outside is frightful, and apparently so are a couple of sibling’s behaviors. I think Greta had endured a few too many snowball pelts and went after her brother in a blind rage! Gavin allowed himself to get “beat up” for a bit. Greta saw me taking pictures from the window and came running inside to take on the role of poor harassed innocent little sister in an attempt to score some sympathy. “Naw, baby, naw. Mommy saw you out there smashing your brother’s face in the snow and I have pictures to prove!!” 😉



And the needling big brother was of course momentarily locked out by his vexed little sister.
(Incidentally, this picture makes a great home screen for my phone giving the appearance that he’s “stuck under the glass”)


So as it turns out, Nora has been secretly growing a couple of top molars! It’s hard to look back into her mouth without making her gaggy. We weren’t really expecting any molars yet since her front teeth hadn’t all made it in yet! She’s a tricky baby!!! And very, very, very chewy!!!


She gets herself tired!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 NIV)


My own heart flutters each time I see one of these hearts. God is so very real and so very present in every aspect of my life. Each heart sighting reminds me of that.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 ESV)




Pensive droplets cling to the glass with vague recollection of the vast ocean. Their transitory assignments on my windowpane disappear with the morning sun. Barely discernible wisps of vapor announce their ethereal departure to the sky. A nebulous journey back to the sea. Home.


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)

I used to find this verse depressing and foreboding, but in reality it is only pointing out how short this life is. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’ve come to realize. It is a reminder to make the best of my time here on earth’s windowpane. What really matters?

Good Ship Lollipop

I had so many pictures and tidbits from the last few weeks that the previous blog post was starting to resemble a big giant endless run-on sentence. I figured I would afford our dear readers the opportunity to take a stretch, visit the concession stand, etc.

(“Gone With the Windies”)

And now the second half ~

Last week Greta had an assignment due which required her to research a public figure in the arts or politics, past or present. She then had to give a presentation dressed as that figure. Greta chose Shirley Temple. I found out Tuesday morning that my (and now Greta’s) beloved childhood star had passed away at age 85. I was a little worried about breaking the news to her. After I told Greta that Shirley had passed away she was momentarily saddened, but her face lit up as she commented, “Yeah, but I’m SURE she’s in a much better place now.” Wise beyond her years!

In tribute to Shirley, here is Greta:


We rolled her damp hair in foam rollers the night before. Aunt Sarah’s old dirndl dress seemed “Heidi-esque” and served as the perfect costume.


The parents got to come up to see all the kids give their presentations in the “wax museum”. Greta was very nervous, but did AWESOME!! I was so proud of her!



All of the kids did such a great job! It was obvious that a lot of hard work and practice went in to their projects!

More hearts around the house ~

Cheese heart


Cinnamon toast heart


SWEET heart


The little sweet heart looks so pretty trying on some of her new outfits ~



Oh, but wait! She went and got herself all tired.


And now she’s back. Her sister loves her! She knows it too.


Green bean heart “accidentally” dropped on the table ~


“All deez hearts! We sure feel loved!”


“An my brudder loves me so much too!”


The kids and I went for a freezing cold walk along the river to expend some snow day energy after being pent up in the house for days on end. For the most part I was too cold and agitated with miscellanies to bother with pictures, but I couldn’t let this one go uncaptured ~


This past Tuesday Nora got to pay a visit to Redwood School and Rehabilitation Center to try out some new seating options. Here she is in the Ladybug chair which was especially adorable!



Unfortunately Norns neglected to bring her patience and manners with her and wasn’t very cooperative for the rest of the visit. I think we figured something out for her though!

In the mean time Nora enjoys hanging out in her Bumbo with her sister.


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)


Home Sweet Home

I was so anxious to get home from the hospital and to re-establish our routines. However, it seems as though the Big Kids have been out of school on snow days more often than they’ve been back.

Thennnn to top it all off Our Kelly ditched us for the sunny warmth of Florida for 3 weeks to visit her Mom, and to make us writhe with jealousy!!! We miss you, Kelkell!!!!!

I am excited and happy to report that Nora has been getting along fabulously since she’s been home. She’s back down to her regular flow of oxygen with only an occasional need to adjust it while she’s asleep.

“Oh, hi! I’m so sorry to have worried everyones! I’m all bettered now! An I’m excited to have my brudder n sister home wiff me all deez days!”


“Boop boop dee doop! … Mommy was trying to give me a Downton Abby hairstyle. I tink I looked like Betty Boop!”


“Wait till you see what I got coming in – in my mouf!”


Gavin went to work with his Dad, so Greta and I headed off to Color Me Mine to paint some pottery. Norns was safe and warm at home with her nurse!


We heart painting!


Can you believe all of the cardinals?! They’re so beautiful against the stark contrast of the dismal winter sky and branches.



Coffee heart


Nora loves her piggy!


Nora woke up extra early. We decided it would be best to watch the sun rise from the warmth of the baff since it was way below zero outside!


“Dis is what I lyke!!!”


We smile over spilled milk.


This baby has lost her marbles!


And she’s extraordinarily chewy!


Birds Three ~


Our indoor snow angel looking out at the cold ~


We heart cookies!



The Big Kids took advantage of a warmer day to explore the snow covered woods. I never imagined we would ever consider 38° as “warm”!! I was able to keep an occasional eye on them from the upstairs windows:


I decided to save the dirty dishes and vacuuming for later and headed out to join them. My stealthy footsteps and subpar coyote impression were met with an exasperated, “Mommmmyyyyy.”

The woods were so quiet but for the crunch of the icy snow beneath my boots and a couple of little voices conspiring on how they were going to build their snow shelter.


A frigid rivulet of water trickled through the ice.


And an undisturbed fleece of snow outfitted the slumbering branches.




Their primeval instincts of survival transmuted into play. If I didn’t have a 90 degree hill to climb back up I would have got some old blankets and some Cheez-its and bottled waters to “sustain” us! (Better planning next time!)


I don’t so much care for the cold of winter, but when I am willing and able to look past the immediate discomfort of it, I do notice the beauty of this least favorite season. The same could be said for my own seasons of life. The hearts still exist whether I bother to notice or not.




Meanwhile, back inside and on a different day altogether… Nora thinks Daddy is completely hilarious ~


Sister is pretty funny too!







“Ummmm… I have sumpteen bery important to announce.”


“TA DAAAA!!! I hereby announce the celebrated appearance of my top toof!”


“I guess dat makes me a pretty big girl!”


But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
(Romans 8:25)