April 17th

This year Nora’s birthday coincided with Easter. The theme of new life and resurrection that came with Easter draped beautifully onto the celebration of Nora’s birth and life. I was glad to be reminded this morning by a dear friend that Nora too has risen! She is forever healed and forever safe! That was such a sweet thought to start my day off with. Much better than how I actually started my day. For some unknown reason, the second I opened my eyes I immediately began FREAKING OUT that it was Monday and that my family had done absolutely no preparation for all that Monday holds. Just as I was about to go blasting into everyone’s bedrooms at 100 mph to harshly wake them up at 5:30am – I slowly remembered that it was Sunday (!!!!! Ohhh!!!) …….. It was Easter……. Which meant that it was my sweet baby’s birthday……. And my other kids don’t have to hate me. I can breathe… for a minute. Sweet relief faded off as it made room for the bittersweet memories and all the thoughts that would spew forth every time I looked at a clock throughout the day. “At this time 10 years ago we were on our way to the hospital… At this time 10 years ago we were all waiting patiently to meet this baby… At this time 10 years ago we were holding our precious baby girl, our perfect mighty Nora…” The aftershocks of the terrifying unknowns can still be felt all these years later, but so can the fiery ignition of pure and extraordinary LOVE. That’s what I wanted to stay focused on today.

In the weeks and days leading up to Nora’s birthday, I got some very sweet “love notes from heaven” in the form of hearts, ladybugs and trios of birds, and some others.

While driving Greta home from school a few days ago we saw an Elanor license plate!! (Nora’s full name is Elanora)
Three Birds! 💗💗💗

Late morning on Saturday, I was out in the backyard pulling some weeds. I turned my head up to investigate the sudden overhead quacking. Then stood there awestruck as I watched the THREE DUCKS circle back and forth. THREEEEEE DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran in to get my phone to grab a picture – but missed the 3 of them together! I did manage to get this video of 3 turkey vultures a little while later. While I’m certain they’re not capable of singing any melodies pure and true, they are indeed THREE BIRDS, none the less!

Then on Saturday afternoon, (the day before Nora’s birthday) – we got “wind” of a Lantern Release THAT night only a few miles from our house. The event was called “Shine the Night” sponsored by The Best Day Ever Foundation. Without going off on a total tangent – – all I have to say right now is that I am in awe at how woven together our lives REALLY are. And it is just the coolest thing ever when you find those golden threads of connectedness! It was so nice, as a family, to have something beautiful and tangible to do in memory of Nora – on this day of all days!

Up, up, and away! ⭐️

Because Sunday was Easter, everyone was off work, and there weren’t any other obligations or priorities that took precedence. This smoothly facilitated having all of the extended family together at my parents’ house. My Mom made an amazing rouladen dinner, and then we sang “Happy Birthday” to Norns SEVERAL times – just as she would have liked, accompanied by her once favorite vintage hipster baby music box. We pre-ordered a beautiful lemon torte from the Bon Bonerie, and it was just as delicious as it was beautiful!

Norns Doll sporting Nora’s birthday hat
“It’s my borned day hat!”
Birthday decorations
William wore his special cuff links
4:17 on 4/17 – caught “by chance” AGAIN!

Earlier in the day, between church and Nora’s party, we paid a visit to the cemetery. We filled “Nora’s heart” with pretty spring flowers and sang happy birthday to her… several times….

Pretty flowers on Norn’s grave

Back in August of last year I started taking a sculpting class. I knew I’d be good at it as I’ve knocked out some pretty cool sand sculptures over the years. I’d never really sculpted in clay though, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am just finishing up my 2nd clay sculpture that I started at the end of December. I have really kind of surprised myself!

And now in conclusion of this blog post, l and in sweet memory of Nora Rose, I would like to unveil my ALMOST finished sculpture of Lady Baby herself ~

I hope to someday have her cast in bronze.

Happy birthday, my sweet little love! We all miss you so much! Thanks for the pretty rainbow tonight!

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