Nora is TWO!


So here we are with a big giant 2 year old little girl. Nora’s birthday was April 17th and I am astounded at how fast the time has gone by. I look back to those scary newborn days and can hardly believe how far Nora has come; how far we have come.


One of our awesome nurses, Kate C. getting us ready to be discharged from the hospital ~ April 2012

As we left the hospital that sunny afternoon, we stepped blindly out onto the dark water as Peter did. Jesus beckoned us forth with arms outstretched. Taking a baby home from the hospital who was SUPPOSEDLY “incompatible with life” certainly made about as much sense as walking on water. “How in the world are we supposed to do this????” we pleaded. It was an outrageous proposition! We weren’t equipped with a medical background. We did not possess some sort of super-human strength necessary to steady ourselves on a surface that couldn’t possibly hold us, defying the very laws of nature.

Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
(Matthew 14:29 NIV)

Looking back over the past two years at the raging winds we have encountered along the way, I’d have to say I responded much in the same way that Peter did — with that aptly described “sinking” feeling that accompanied the earaches, the tachycardia, the tube surgery, her 2 week long hospitalization with 3 viruses all at once, the list goes on and on. Each and every time, Jesus reached out his loving hand and caught me, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Back in our “boat” the winds have ceased for now. We give thanks and praise to God, exclaiming as the apostles did, “Truly you are the son of God.”

“You’ve never failed and you won’t start now.”

Nornor woke up happy and squealy on her second birthday. She drank some milks and then headed up for a nice relaxing birthday baff.

(Sidenote: Norns and the bathtub aren’t covered in weird spots. There is some “schmootz” on the inside of my camera lens, which I assume is a direct result of my phone’s deadly frolic with the washing machine. As of yet, I haven’t built up enough courage to brave the Apple Store.)



Eggy heart

We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:19 NIV)


Norns was unimpressed with the birthday fru fru fracas that suddenly descended upon her.

“Ohhhh, Mommy!!! Get dis crap off me!!”


We had a small celebration at home. Greta invited a friend over “so Nora could have some kids at her party”. Greta is happy to share friends with her little sister! Here we are singing Happy Birthday:











A couple more friends of Greta’s stopped by with adorable hand made cards!



It was an exceptionally beautiful sunrise on Easter morning. How apropos for the day of the risen Son ~


The kids partook in a lengthy search for their Easter baskets that finally concluded when Gavin found his in the garage. In the car.

Shortly after church, we headed over the river and through the woods to Nana & Papa’s house. Nora’s second-2nd birthday celebration took place there with my extended family.

The weather was perfect for sitting outside!


… Unless you took your sunglasses off and it’s just way too bright!



Nora’s beautiful cake from Bon Bonerie!


Delectable Easter cookies that Aunt Diane made from my grandfather’s recipe of Koester’s Bakery fame!



Nornor and her Kelly ~


by Emily Perl Kingsley.

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.


For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).
(Romans 11:36 AMP)

13 thoughts on “Nora is TWO!

  1. Happy Birthday, you are such a pretty little girl! May God grant you at least 122 more beautiful and happy birthdays, Nora Rose!

  2. Ahhhhhh….beautiful post and such a GODSPOT for me!!!! When my sister was born…a newspaper clipping of “Welcome to Holland” was given to my parents!! A beautiful description of the amazing journey that is experienced by any family blessed with an extra special child!!! Nora is a true miracle changing the hearts of so many!!!! Happy Birthday sweet girl!!!!

  3. Looks like Nora had a great bday and Easter! I loved her birthday outfit. 🙂

    I want to say thanks for the Welcome to Holland article. I read this shortly before my son’s autism diagnosis and it really spoke to me. I’ve been looking for that writing for a while, but I couldn’t remember the name of it! It really put things in perspective for me. My Mason is just awesome exactly how he is. 🙂

  4. Such a beautiful little 2yr old, so adorable in the hat and other outfits…but the hat was my favorite. God bless you Nora!

  5. Beautiful girl, lovely family, and the Holland story has been one of my favorites for quite some time. I remind myself of it often when my littlest is having a hard day, week (month)…and remember how incredibly blessed we are to have the opportunity to enjoy “Holland” at all!

  6. Happy 2nd Birthday Nora!! Wow! can’t believe she is already 2! Amazing! I now see what you mean about her being developmentally behind, but that does not matter because she is still a big wonderful growing girl! Congrats Nora!

  7. I miss that little Nora so much!!! I cannot believe she is two. Thanks so much for sharing. Love and Prayers Alice

  8. Happy Birthday to that precious baby girl. May God bless your family, thank you for sharing your journey. Kisses to Nora from CA!!

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