Since I was talking about friendship yesterday, I had to show you the new Friendship on Purpose line from DaySpring. There are so many beautiful things! The purpose of this line is to provide products to remind a friend that you are in this together. I love that! DaySpring let me pick out a few of my favorites to show you. So…here are my favorites…although it was hard to narrow it down!


Good Things Journals  +  Good Things Cosmetic Pouch


fashionABLE Indigo Scarf + Together Dessert Plates + Good Things Trinket Dish


Family & Friends Feed Our Souls Tea Towels


DaySpring is generously giving away all of my favorites to one of YOU & YOUR FRIEND!! Yay! Wouldn’t it be fun to box up everything in this picture and send it to a friend?! Here is how to enter…

Giveaway Details:

The Macs Friendship on Purpose Faves (everything pictured)

For YOU and a FRIEND

ONE winner chosen at random

ONE entry per person

Giveaway ends Friday, May 29 at 10pm (CST)

To enter visit DaySpring’s Friendship on Purpose line…

…then come back here and leave a comment telling me your favorite product or the friend that you would love to give this to.

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And just for my readers…use code Friendship25 to get 25% off the Friendship on Purpose collection. Yay! Discount code expires Friday, May 29.

disclaimer: affiliate links included

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  • May 26, 2015 - 1:52 am

    Heidi DeGroot - I would love to give the You’re Loved or Good Things art print to a good friend who is getting married very soon! Her first husband passed away from cancer three years ago and she found a great guy with 3 kids of his own (she has 2) and they are the kindest most wonderful blended family.ReplyCancel



Good friends are such a treasure. The older you get, the more of a treasure you realize a true friend is, right?! Life can be really hard and when you find a friend that sticks with you through some of your ugliest days, it is such a gift. I am so blessed to be surrounded by many friends like this. But I have one friend in particular who has walked through a lot of life with me and her friendship has been such a gift.

johnsons 2

Julie and I met in high school. We found out we were both going to be attending K-State and decided to be roommates. That was the beginning of such a precious friendship. And let me tell you, we have done a lot of life together since then. College, boyfriends, leading our first Bible study together, graduations, standing next to each other in our weddings, teaching, babies, PICU visits, NICU visits, Cora’s funeral, adoption, surgeries, BSF, cheering each other on through speaking events, leading more Bible studies together, lots of phone calls and texts, late night coffee and grocery runs, birthday parties, play dates…and so much more fun in between.


The past few years she has been the friend that lives closest to me…which is a big deal when you live in the country. During the summers we spent lots of time going back and forth between our houses for play dates. Our schedules were similar and I could call her at the last minute to hang out or if I needed someone to watch my kids. I knew she wouldn’t care if she came over and my kids were still in their pajamas or my house was a mess. And we we often would end our girl’s nights by picking up a few groceries or supplies for a birthday party because you just have to do those things when you are already in town…country problems.


The fun thing about doing life together for so long is that our kids have become really good friends. Really good friends. It has been the sweetest thing to watch. Levi is actually convinced that Julie’s kids are his cousins. Don’t try to tell him otherwise.


We have two kids that are very similar in personality. In case you need a hint, they are the littlest two. Haha. When I told the boys that the Johnsons were moving they were so sad. Almost as sad as their mama. Levi said, “But mom, I will NEVER see them!”. I know the feeling, buddy.


I had to say goodbye to Julie a few weeks ago as she left with her sweet family for a new adventure in Colorado. I had been dreading that day for weeks. This girl really knows me…and still likes me, she loves my kids like her own, she makes me laugh, and most importantly she is always challenging me to keep my eyes on Jesus. She and her family are an example to so many as they follow hard after Jesus even if it means doing something that is uncomfortable. I love that about them.

So the past few weeks we’ve all been pretty sad. I think the hardest thing is letting go of the fact that we won’t be “doing life” together anymore. I know Julie and I will always be friends but knowing that your kids will no longer be growing up together is hard. Honestly I’ve wanted to just sit around and pout about the whole thing. And some days I have. But I was thinking about what a gift even these past five years of being moms together have been. I’ve loved having a friend who lives so close and is in the same stage of life as me. I’ve loved the play dates and coffee dates. I’ve loved doing Bible studies together and leading Bible studies together. I’ve loved that we’ve been able to be there for each other through some really hard things and cheer each other on through some really great things. We have both grown and changed a lot. Our time together has been a really good gift. And for that, I am so grateful. God has filled my life with good things and one of those good things is my friendship with Julie. Our friendship will continue but life is going to look a little different now…but I can be confident that HE will keep filling me up!

He fills my life with good things!

Psalm 103:5

Come back tomorrow for a DaySpring giveaway and discount code!

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  • May 25, 2015 - 4:05 pm

    Leiah - Nearly crying here. I feel for you! I moved 7 years ago to a new continent. It is very hard to make new friends. You know your friends are still your friends, but in daily life, you really miss them. *hugs*ReplyCancel


  • May 25, 2015 - 7:29 pm

    Michelle from Australia - Jess, you ‘introduced’ me to Julie when you asked for prayers for yet to be born Calla. And I feel Blessed to have been able to follow Julie’s journey since. I even once called on her to bake a cake for you :)

    My best friend and her husband moved to San Francisco 3 years ago. Which is a long way considering I live in Australia! But I’ve been to visit 3 times, she’s been here a few times and we make it work.

    I’m sorry you are missing your wonderful friend. But I hope and pray that Julie’s family will love their time in Colorado.

    God Bless both The Macs and The Johnsons xxReplyCancel


Since I posted Jake’s six month photos I had to go back and look at all of my babies at six months…just for fun.



Cora :: 6 months

photos by Megan Duerksen


Levi :: 6 months

photos by Megan Duerksen


Griffin :: 6 months

photos by Megan Duerksen jake6months

Jake :: 6 months

photos by me

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There were a few photos I took of Jake that reminded me so much of his big sister…

coraandjake2 coraandjake


Practically twins. I love that.

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  • May 18, 2015 - 6:23 am

    Michelle from Australia - Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. Each one of them so very, very precious. Thank you for sharing Jess xxReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 7:11 am

    andrea - So sweet…it’s beautiful to see the similarities and differences in each of them. :)ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 9:14 am

    ranee - Wow! Crazy how much they look alike…sweet sweet babies. :)ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 11:49 am

    Toni :0) - The similarities are uncanny. Beautiful children!ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 1:17 pm

    Laura - Oh my goodness, what a blessing to see the similarities! All of those Mac babies are so beautiful. Hope you aren’t done having them. ;)ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 3:52 pm

    Adrienne - I’ve followed your’s and Meg’s blogs for a long time. I even have two pillows made by Meg for Cora’s Playground. And I thought the same thing about Jake looking like Cora when you posted the other day. So special! You are a sweet mama with a precious family. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 6:00 pm

    chrissi - such beautiful babies♥ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 6:59 pm

    Jessica - Beautiful babies. Practically twins is right! I so look forward to your posts. :)ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 7:39 pm

    Kimberly Dial - Oh the preciousness. Jake & Cora definitely look the most a like. Thanks for sharing your sweet babies.ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    Deborah Pruden - There is so my joy in those little faces! Blessings to your beautiful family.


  • May 18, 2015 - 11:10 pm

    Jennifer Minor - Such cute, chunky babies!! LOVE it!! Thank you for sharing the comparison pics!! I can’t get over how much Jake looks like Cora. I agree, practically twins!!ReplyCancel


  • May 19, 2015 - 10:30 am

    Rachel - Oh my goodness, they look so much alike! Both such beautiful babies. I’m so glad that you get to see a bit of Cora in your Jake. Such a wonderful reminder of your girl.
    You are one blessed mama!!ReplyCancel


  • May 19, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    Melissa Joy - Oh Jess, I love this. It brought immediate tears to my eyes, seeing all four of your sweet babies together at the top.
    And seeing pieces of Cora in her brothers is SO marvelous. I love how Griffin’s cheeks and eyes and hair and expressions give me chills, because that’s exactly what Cora looked like when I first started following your blog and praying for your family.
    Thank you for sharing your precious sweethearts with us today!ReplyCancel


  • May 21, 2015 - 7:03 am

    kelli - wow. thank you Jesus!ReplyCancel


  • May 21, 2015 - 3:03 pm

    Jenni - Wow! All of your children looks like siblings! But Jake and Cora, my goodness they look so much a like. What a sweet little blessing!ReplyCancel


  • May 21, 2015 - 6:43 pm

    Megan - When you posted his first post of his 6mo pics I thought that bottom one looked SO much like Cora too. It makes my heart so happy that you can love and appreciate how similar they look. I imagine it must be heartbreaking on some level too but my goodness gracious … Those are four of the cutest faces ever!!!ReplyCancel


All of my babies have had six month photos taken. I love having them to compare…especially since I have six month photos of Cora too. They are treasures. Well life was a little crazy when six months rolled around for Jakey. I asked a few people about taking photos…and debated…and then it was just easier to take some myself. So, these definitely aren’t professional and Jake was actually more like seven months, but they will still be a treasure. Let’s pretend Jake isn’t ten months old and almost walking already. You can remember back a few months with me to that time when he was six months old and just sat still and smiled at us.:)


IMG_4374new IMG_4392new1 IMG_4400new

IMG_4405new IMG_4404newb&w IMG_4406new IMG_4419new IMG_4421newb&w IMG_4423new

IMG_4461new IMG_4432newb&w IMG_4434new IMG_4439new IMG_4442new IMG_4443newb&w

I had to take a few with all three boys. They were being so silly (because their crazy dad was behind me making them laugh). You can tell how much they love their little brother though…I love that!

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  • May 15, 2015 - 11:45 pm

    Ashley - oh be still my heart! He is just simply adorable! I just want to cuddle with him! And I see so much of cora in him! Love these pictures, and they are fantastic, I’d never guess they weren’t professional ;)ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 6:50 am

    Micah - They look professional to me! You always do a great job, Jess! I would love to see all your kids at 6 months. I too see so much of Cora in Jake. What a gift from God!ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 4:15 pm

    Michaela - You got some great shots! They are so precious!ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 4:44 pm

    Bethany - I’m sorry but you can’t do that…talk about all your babies’ 6 month pictures and then not show them!!! I (kindly) demand a comparison of your four babies at 6 months:)ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 6:23 pm

    Joanie - Love these … He looks so much like his daddy! Very cute boys!ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 7:10 pm

    Lea - Oh, I could just squeeze him, love those bare feet. Sweet, sweet little boys!ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 7:55 pm

    JennySue - These photos are gorgeous! I don’t care if you don’t consider them professional- I would hire you any day to take photos for my family. Your little Jake is SOOOO cute and I love the ones of all the boys together- precious.ReplyCancel


  • May 16, 2015 - 9:48 pm

    andrea - those look pretty professional to me!! :) love them!ReplyCancel


  • May 17, 2015 - 11:44 am

    Joyce - They could be professional! You have a lovely family.ReplyCancel


  • May 17, 2015 - 2:40 pm

    Leiah - Love the photos of “tiny.” He’s so loveable!ReplyCancel


  • May 17, 2015 - 4:48 pm

    Sarah Joy - Wow what a chubby baby. I always want a chubby baby :( My first was a 34 week preemie. My middle full term not chunbby. Last 32week preemie. And emergency c section andReplyCancel


  • May 17, 2015 - 11:00 pm

    Jennifer Minor - Please, please, please show us comparison pics of all 4!! :) Please. :)ReplyCancel


  • May 18, 2015 - 11:43 am

    Toni :0) - Nothing but adorable and I see sooo much of Cora in him! Just a doll!ReplyCancel



Every spring we take a day trip to the Flint Hills with Joel’s family. It is a day we all look forward to.


We always eat lunch first but it never fails that the kids go straight from the car to the creek. They can hardly wait.


We round them all up again…and lunch is served. Joel and I looked at Levi and Griffin and laughed because we could imagine them as two old men sitting in their camping chairs. I hope they still invite us to come along even when they are old!


The kids look forward to the swimming and fishing. I look forward to my mother-in-law’s fried chicken. It is well worth the trip for the fried chicken alone.


It seems like we have about five minutes (if that!) to eat and then the kids are running back into the water…and the dads are chasing after them.




Joel’s dad brought Jake over to where everyone was swimming. He tried to let him stand in the water but he kept folding his legs because he wanted to be IN the water. Dipping his toes in the water just wasn’t cutting it for him.


So into the water he went. I think he thought it was the best day of his life.


He would have sat there all day watching the kids play. I tried to put his pacifier in his mouth because he kept eating rocks. It didn’t work because every time I looked the other way he pulled his pacifier out and put a rock in his mouth again. Sneaky Baby Tiny.


Besides the rock eating, I think splashing in the water was his favorite.:)


Everyone was impressed by Uncle Ben’s rock skipping abilities. IMG_4966new

There was lots of swimming and laughing and fun until…


…a snake was spotted in the water.

Yes. A snake.

If you ever encounter a poisonous snake you would want my brother-in-law, Bill, around. He found the snake, shot it, and scooped it out of the water to make sure it was dead. Don’t worry. Everyone was very safe…except the snake, obviously.


When the snake was pronounced dead everyone had to gather around to check it out. It was a copperhead snake. Isn’t that crazy? And scarey? We were so thankful we saw it before any of the kids did. Or before it saw the kids. So thankful. Each year something memorable happens at the Flint Hills. This year will always be remembered as the year of the snake.


Everyone was a little nervous to be swimming in the snake water so we all moved to the very shallow water for the rest of the day.


The kids spent the rest of the time catching minnows and tiny frogs.



Baby Tiny did a little more splashing. IMG_5031new

And then we said goodbye to the Flint Hills until next year.


Such a fun day!

I had to go back and look at the posts from years past. So cute. They grow too fast!

 2011  I  2012  I  2013  I  2014

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  • May 14, 2015 - 6:57 pm

    Mary Ann - I love your posts about Flint Hills. Yes, the kids grow and grow and there’s more of them each year. The photos are missing your beautiful girl but she’s there in the wind and sky, the beauty of the earth and the sounds of laughter. What a lovely tradition that is to go their each Spring. I know those children will continue to do this trip their entire lives…it is part of them and they will treasure those memories for years and years to come and will take their own children there someday. Yup….they’ll probably invite Grandma Jess and Grandpa Joel!! LOLReplyCancel


  • May 15, 2015 - 5:50 am

    Christi {Jealous Hands} - What a fun tradition!ReplyCancel


  • May 15, 2015 - 7:52 am

    Toni :0) - Loved all the photos! Looks like a wonderful time was had by all. Baby Tiny sitting in the water is so adorable! Very scary about the snake but way to go Bill-big bad snake hunter!! HahaReplyCancel


  • May 15, 2015 - 2:31 pm

    Brady - Ahhhh…….snakes. One of the few things I don’t like about Kansas. And I didn’t even know we had copper heads! That IS scary! Glad you guys got it before it got you! The Flint Hills are SO wonderful. My grandparents lived in that area for several years and I remember many days crawling around creek beds on their farm. Such good memories for you and your kiddos!ReplyCancel


  • May 17, 2015 - 2:43 pm

    Leiah - How is it already this time of the year? It seems like it was just a few months ago that you posted about this. I love this tradition!ReplyCancel