She’s pretty popular, and pretty congested. Nora has the cold that we tried so hard to protect her from. Her oxygen requirements have increased and we had to get the dreaded suction machine out in addition to the Nose Fridas. She’s getting a couple of warm baths a day and we’ve got her feet lubed up with some essential oils (thank you for those, Katie H!!).

Sacked out early this morning ~

A relaxing menthol bubble baff ~

Today (Sunday) is Day 4 of this cold. She’s definitely on the mend and is in much better spirits, which was noticeable yesterday. She’s been very playful, but sadly her “squeaker” is broken, as Daddy put it. Her sweet little voice is hoarse!


I was frantic with worry for the first couple of days and barely slept at all Thursday night. I commented that I’m soooo good about “fixing” other people’s anxieties, and then there I was pacing the floors and stomping my feet at God. I was momentarily knocked down, but I don’t stay there for long. I got back up on my feet. I reined my thoughts back in from their savage escapade with satan, “I trust you, Jesus! I trust you, Jesus! I trust you, Jesus….” and began to breathe again.


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
(John 14:1)

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
(Psalm 56:3)

Drawing from Greta ~

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
(John 14:27)

Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
(Luke 12:26)

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:19)

The onset of the cold on Thursday overshadowed the excitement of Nora’s new pink sparkly hearing aide acquisition!


It was recommended that we try them out even though they would really only be of benefit in a classroom setting (or the like). Nora was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss when she had her tubes put in back in September. This means that she may have trouble hearing soft consonants such as F and S sounds. However, since we are always in very close range when talking to her, she likely hears them. Nora without a doubt responds to different sounds.

When the hearing aides were first put on she was very quiet and alert. As it is, she is very interested and drawn to male voices (especially that of her Papa’s – and Matlock’s). She was really absorbed by the audiologist’s voice and listened intently for a few minutes. Then she figured out how to get her little finger under the tube and out it went! “Ehhhhh… No tanks!”

We’ve been instructed to let her spend a little time in them each day, gradually building on that time as she gets used to them. So we shall see! — And Nora shall hear?

Here are some pictures from the previous week(s) before Nora got her cold ~



Pulling Mommy’s hair!!!

“I still got deez dang teef coming in! Dey hurt my mouf!!”

“I get some sister n brudder lovinz. I like dat!!”





The ice in the trees sure was pretty to look at…


But we’ll be kicked back in the warm baff, if it’s all the same.

Daddy found a jelly heart!

This is Nora’s new therapy chair on loan! It’s not the prettiest of contraptions, but it is great for getting her to sit up straight. In her Bumbo chair she has a tendency to throw her head back a lot and she kind of sinks down into it without having to use much of her abdominal muscles. The straight back of this chair keeps her sitting upright. It does have wheels on the bottom of it. I foresee some trips to the piano with her sister!


She doesn’t like this chair for too terribly long, but she is getting a little better about it!


One afternoon while I was working on the timeline video for Kelly’s Dad’s funeral and Kelly was sad in the living room, Gavin came running inside. “Come look at this rainbow!!” he yelled. I glanced out the window to confirm that it wasn’t raining. I went out on the front porch fully expecting to see one of the rainbow spots that show up to the right or the left of the sun in a patch of clouds as I used to see a lot of. Instead there was this — not a cloud in sight:


It was well above the sun – and not to the side of it. You almost had to stare directly into the sun to see it, and it was arching in the opposite direction of the sun – an “upside down” rainbow? Kelly came to see it too. Suddenly we were no longer teary from staring into the sun – but because this rainbow positioned directly above the house was recognized for what it truly was. A SMILE directly from heaven – for Kelly. I honestly have never seen anything like it in my life!

More pictures from the previous weeks ~


“Dem kids are crazy.”


“Eenen dey leave me to go to school… Pbltbplt!!!!!”


“I guess I’ll just be in da baff.”


“Eenen I’ll be in Mommy’s studio office. Is it her ‘Stu-ffice’ then?”




“SHHHHHHH!!!!! I went night-night.”


Norns had a little visitor in the baff!


“Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home…”


When Mommy was sick.


A heart from Greta’s orange ~


This cloud looked like a giant feather across the sky ~


And then I went down to the creek on another perfect afternoon ~


I saved a wasp from drowning ~


Hearts ~




Later that perfect day, Lady Baby went out on her first walk of the year!!!!



“Dear Winter. Please, please, please go away. We’ve had enough. I want to go on more walks!!!”


Looking for the sunshine ~


Onset of her cold ~



She has a little heart on her cheeky!


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

Beauty in the Broken

I added 20 pictures on this post in draft status weeks ago, but have been sidetracked with life and everything in it. Now I’m not even sure where to start in writing…

A mild cold virus made its rounds through the family, which was a bit of a challenge and an inconvenience. Kelly, Nora and I managed to evade the first round. Now something else has crept in the door and into our sinuses. My throat is annoyingly sore, and it seems that Gavin has the same symptoms now too. If Gavin weren’t sick again I would have assumed this was my turn for the first cold. This seems to be something new altogether.

Now here I am laying in bed at 3 am worrying. Worrying. As if that were going to help anything. Hospital flashbacks scratch through my thoughts and I’m wondering if the surgical mask I’ve been wearing around Nora is enough. “What if she gets this???????” satan whispers in my ear, “What if she doesn’t make it to her second birthday???? She was so close!!!! What if this kills her??????” and on and on and on. So I pause. And I breathe. There are no “what ifs” with my God. You can taunt me and whisper all you want, but I will not budge from my faith and all that I KNOW to be true.

I am particularly fragile in my thoughts because We’ve recently (again) been reminded of the fragile balance of life and death. Our Kelly’s father passed away suddenly in his sleep 12 days ago. He was only 48 years old. My heart is so broken for her. According to OUR plans, people are “not supposed to” leave this earth so soon and so suddenly. But from time to time they do and the pain is unbearable when measured by our earthly standards. I find myself feeling sorry for the departed loved one and everything I imagine they will now be “missing out on” here on this earth with the rest of us.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

The indescribable / inconceivable REALITY of eternity is an irresistible and natural progression for the fully developed soul. There is nothing left here on this earth that could possibly be preferable.

I might not be able to fully grasp the promise of new life in Eternity, but I believe and hold onto that promise, literally as if my (new) life depended on it. I know that it will make perfect sense someday and none of this will matter any more. I never had the pleasure of meeting Kelly’s Dad, but if he can somehow read this from his indescribable paradise I want him to know that his daughter will always have a place in our family. We love you, Kel!

Nora has been doing awesome. I think she is officially “giant” now. She weighs 22 lbs. and has been cultivating quite the collection of teeth! She has 3 front teeth still and 3 big molars that have popped through! She’s Mommy’s big giant lump of sugar and it is absolute TORTURE not to be able to sniff her and kiss her sweet, sweet skin through this surgical mask.


Pictures from the past few weeks ~

“I’m inna baff. Big surprise, right? I still love my baffs!”


Happy Lady Baby!


Blowing kisses ~


She’ll just sit up on the table during dinner time. She don’t care none! That’s what she likes!


Greta finds hearts all over the place!


“I got hearts in my eyes!”


“An I’m real pretty girl too! Soooooo…..”


If anyone has any beans that they need thrashed, this baby might be able to help you out. Here’s her demo(lition) video:

“Hey look! Der’s me up der!”


Hearts on the sidewalk ~



Sweetheart in the baff.
“Aaaaahhhhhh. An someone argued dat I might not have quality of life??? To dat I say HA HA HA!!!”


Greasy heart? Sure! Why not!?


“Um… Dat’s kinda diff’rint!”


Here is Nornor playing with her Magic Fingers app. It’s no chain mirror, but it peaks her interest for a few minutes!


Three weekends ago the snow storms and I had some downtime. I used the opportunity to go for a walk by myself in the woods and down to the creek. The weather was perfect.



As I stood in the middle of the creek, the wintry water coursed and eddied over my thick rubber boots. It’s chill tampered with the warmth of my dry socks on the other side in an exhilarating way.




I bent down to pick up a shard of china out of the water and was momentarily surprised by what I discovered on the other side. The smooth stark white of the porcelain against the bed of gray creek rock is what caught my eye. It was only after I picked it up and turned it over that I discovered the true beauty of it.


I was reminded in that moment of the beauty in the broken. I looked all around me for more pieces of this plate and saw nothing. Just because I couldn’t see them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. The beautiful piece that I held in my hand was obviously part of a bigger picture, part of other pieces that fit together to create the whole. Isn’t that just like life? Some of the pieces like this one show glimpses of the “big picture”, other pieces are plain white. Without the other pieces it would be impossible to figure out what purpose the blank ones serve, but they are no less important. Perhaps others have sharp, painful edges, but they too serve a purpose as part of a greater whole.

As it just so happens, there is a song called “Beauty in the Broken” by Hyland. These are the lyrics:

Looking at your pain an inch away
It’s hard to see the plot
You wonder if your story’s gonna change
You don’t know you’re
Too close to find the hope the light
Don’t know just why, you are breaking
I know that you want to let go but…

Let me hold you through it
Let me carry you
I know if feels you’re at the end
But here your story’s just beginning
I know your tomorrow
I know where you are
Though you can’t see past the moment
I see beauty in the broken
I see beauty in the broken

Looking at your life from where I am
I promise you that
All your dreams and all your greatest plans
They don’t compare to
My hope for you my love can do
Way more than you can imagine
I know that you want to let go…

Let me hold you through it
Let me carry you
I know if feels you’re at the end
But here your story’s just beginning
I know your tomorrow
I know where you are
Though you can’t see past the moment
I see beauty in the broken

So let the pieces of your heart fall into my arms
I wanna be your hope, so won’t you let me
So let the pieces of your heart fall into my arms
I wanna be your hope, so won’t you

Let me hold you through it
Let me carry you
I know if feels you’re at the end
But here your story’s just beginning
I know your tomorrow
I know where you are
Though you can’t see past the moment
I see beauty in the broken