Letters to Norah // 8 months

Letters to NorahJoanna ZuidemaComment

Hello, Norah.

As the fall gives way to winter and the grass is dusted with snow, the painful march of time grows even more undeniable.

Today, you’re 8 months old.

At 8 months you should be moving that little wiggle butt of yours all over the house, giving us a glimpse into all the inevitable trouble you'll get into (you are your daddy's daughter after all).

You should be ‘thoughtfully reordering’ the pages of all my design magazines on that one low shelf by the couch, or playing with that wrench that didn't quite make it back out to the garage.

You should've been dressed up as some oversized vegetable last night and had cheesy pictures taken as our ‘chubby little punkin’ (regardless of if you actually enjoyed it because those pictures would be golden for that graduation party we should be complaining about planning in a little over 17 years).

But your plans, God’s plans, have always been so much bigger than ours.

Norah, this month you accomplished so much more than crawling or crying in a pumpkin costume.

This month:

You taught me to keep fighting. This month I did something 100% out of my comfort zone; I went to my first-ever kickboxing class.

I am not exactly what you would call an ‘athlete.’ (Any physical ability you have is 100% from your daddy). 10 minutes into the high-intensity cardio warmup, I got up close and personal with a garbage can because my body was completely rejecting everything about what I was doing. (pacing myself is NOT a skill I have been graced with).

But rather than calling it quits and giving up, I got back on the mat. I fought through it. And you know what? It was one of the best workouts of my life. I could hardly walk for two days, but when I went back for my second class it was even better – aka no garbage hugging. Every class I go to gets better and better; the stress release alone is addicting.

Having your family exist in crisis mode for almost a full year results in a lot of pent up energy, anger, and stress. Yoga will always be my #1, but Norah, I just needed to punch something.

But you knew that better than I did.

You took me to a writing class. Last weekend, I took a writing class at the Loft Literary Center, inside Open Book in Minneapolis, taught by the awesome Nora McInerny. (Maybe I'm partial to Norah's...)


Quick sidebar here — if you don't know who Nora McInerny is, you should definitely check her out. She wrote a memoir called “IT’S OKAY TO LAUGH (CRYING IS COOL TOO)" after the death of her husband and her father. She also runs a great organization called Still Kickin' that does tons of good for the community. She's pretty much my grief hero)

Now, how can I be so certain that this class was a gift from you, Norah? Out of the 30 or so people in this class, the woman who sat next to me came in with a Children's Hospital visitor sticker, just like the ones we wore for 5 days.

Oh, and she also has an incredible son that has Trisomy 13.

You are many things, sweetheart, but subtle is not one of them.

You’re giving back. You had a hand in sending us to Faith's Lodge, and now you're helping us give back. We’re selling shirts again with an awesome new ‘Faith by Fire’ design as well as the popular 'Fierce' design (both in multiple styles and colors), and all the proceeds will go directly to Faith's Lodge. As of this writing, we've raised $315 and there's still one week left to order! (Click here to find yours!)

That's incredible, baby girl.

You continue to amaze us, Norah.

If you've done this much in only 8 months, we can't wait to see what you'll do next.

Love you forever.