Letters to Norah // 21 Months

Letters to Norah, Our StoryJoanna Zuidema2 Comments

Hello, Norah.

How was Thanksgiving in heaven, baby girl? 

Did your grandma trace your ten tiny fingers, transforming each precious hand into colorful feathers atop a gobbling turkey? Is heaven’s fridge door covered with your creations? 

Did the savory aroma of that decadent meal being prepared persuade you sneak a couple before-dinner bites? 

What’s the table situation in heaven? I imagine a long farmhouse table – one straight out of Joanna Gaines’ dreams. If your grandma (and Great Grandma Lamb) had anything to do with it, all of the napkins were folded just so, plates and table linens were coordinated, and there were absolutely separate dessert plates for everyone. (On mom’s side of the family, sharing the same plate for dinner and dessert is one of the seven deadly sins).

Speaking of dessert, your Grandpa Green will want to know: do they use cool whip on pies in heaven? And does Jesus prefer pumpkin or pecan?


This year we spent Thanksgiving day with your grandma’s side of the family. She would’ve loved watching your daddy have that long conversation with her brother and brother-in-law about tractors and the best way to manage shop mice (#lifeinthewoods). I guarantee that if she has a camera in heaven, she was stealthily capturing all of it. 

My favorite detail of the day came in the form of a small table holding five candles. Each candle represented an empty chair, a memorial to the members of our family feasting in heaven. Norah, seeing your life and your grandma’s life remembered and honored in that simple yet beautiful way was incredibly powerful. Your presence was tangible, and love – that just about made my heart burst. 


November was full of things to be grateful for: family and food, surprise gifts honoring you, your lil’ sis continuing to grow bigger and stronger, getting to go to our first football game at the new stadium (with you we went to a hockey game late in my pregnancy, so it’s only fair to keep the tradition of me waddling through a pro stadium for your sister too).

But how are we already into December?

We have just under seven weeks until your little sister is due to make her arrival, and only 3 short months before you turn 2.

All at once I want to turn back time, slow it down, and speed it up.

This time of year, we often get caught in the frosting without even baking the cake — we focus on creating a picturesque Thanksgiving dinner, scoring the hottest Black Friday deals, piling up presents, or finding that one special piece that will finally propel our homes into cozy Pinterest perfection.

But there is so much to be said for slowing down during this season, for pausing in gratitude and appreciating the beauty hidden in plain sight.

Norah Mae, we’re eternally grateful that God chose us to be your parents. We’re grateful for everything you’ve done and continue to do with your short, sweet life. We’re grateful for all you’ve inspired and taught not only us but those around us. 

Sweetheart, we love you to heaven and back.

And Mama, thank you for taking care of my baby girl.