The Macs » Blog

August 18, 2015. The day I turned thirty-four and the day my baby boy started kindergarten. Talk about feeling all the feelings on my birthday last week. I’ve never been one to really think much about getting older. Thirty was no big deal and thirty-four is no different. I mean really, the thirties have been pretty great. Days filled with welcoming babies and cute little boys running around my feet. Maybe in a few years I will feel differently, but for now…bring on another year.

Now if we are talking about Levi going to kindergarten, that’s a different story. My sweet friend described the struggle perfectly. Each stage is completely heartbreaking and totally amazing all at the same time. It is so weird and so hard to explain. You see, I should have been sending Cora to kindergarten two years ago. I remember what “should have been” her first day of school so vividly. I started seeing the cute little photos of her friends with their new backpacks coming through my feeds as I sat at home wondering what that day would have been like…what she would have been like. This week should have been my second go around with this whole kindergarten mom thing. As Levi marched so confidently into his new class on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but grieve a little over what should have been. I miss that sweet little girl so darn much. Each new milestone we hit with the boys breaks my heart all over again that she isn’t here growing up right along with them.

A little sadness? Yes. Grieving? A little. It seems to always surprise me as grief unexpectedly resurfaces again. Missing my girl? Always. But I would miss out on so much if I only lived in light of what should have been. After Cora died I remember the Guthries encouraging us to invest in the living. That has always stuck with me and helped change my perspective so many times. God has taught me through Cora’s life that each day and each milestone is a precious gift. I am not guaranteed a certain number of days with my kids. But I can invest fully into the lives of these little boys he has entrusted to me right now.

So, I did it. I sent Levi off to kindergarten yesterday. He was so ready. A small part of me wanted to hang on to him and never let go. Despite my feelings, he walked into his cute kindergarten classroom and now his first week of school is in the books. He loved it. He is so ready to go back tomorrow. And I can rejoice this week that the Lord has given us the gift of sending our healthy baby boy to kindergarten. I get to send Levi to kindergarten. It makes me cry just typing that out. Another year and another new milestone. Each a precious gift.

IMG_6241new

levi kindergarten3 IMG_6253new

levi kindergarten1 IMG_6260new

levi kindergarten2 IMG_6284new IMG_6286new IMG_6291new

 He was the cutest kindergartner I’ve ever seen. He was most excited about his new backpack and new shoes. And I couldn’t leave out this last photo. Brotherly love at its best. I’m not the only one who isn’t quite sure what to do without Levi around!

sharepinTweet
  • Paige - Levi is so handsome. I can’t imagine the struggle you deal with in the milestones. You seem to handle things with such grace and I am so thankful you have your 3 boys to help you see the joy in the milestones as they come. I know Cora must be looking down on your family and be rejoicing in your joy.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Christi {Jealous Hands} - Levi is such a handsome big boy! So glad his first day was great for him AND for mama! xoReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Toni :0) - Goodness he looks so grown up!!! Best wishes for a fabulous school year with your little man.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Micah - Wow! You have the cutest kids. And your “baby” isn’t so little anymore .ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Sarah Johnson - LOVE this post. You summed it up so beautifully. Last year it was so hard sending Marleigh to Kindergarten when I should have been taking two little girls to kindergarten. So many mixed emotions. I think there will always be waves of grief that rock us, but so glad to be anchored in Him, and the blessings of our other babies.

    Love all the pictures. Levi looks so grown up! :)ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Mary Ann - That Levi….what a darling big boy he is. My little grandson starts Kindergarten on Wednesday. I’m just amazed that the time has come for those 5 year olds to be in school. I remember well the day my own son went to school the first time…I was a working mom so I dropped him off, gave him a hug, told him to be good, and walked to my car. I cried and cried…all the way to work thinking about my baby boy being in school. Today was again a first day of school for my son but now it’s at University of Utah getting his engineering degree. I’m glad I read your blog today. It is a good lesson to learn to live life in the moment and not wonder to much about the what if’s. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about these precious little boys growing up and being out in the world. I hope the world is kind to them and that they grow up remembering just how much they are loved and how precious they are to their parents (and in my case, grandmother). You posts always bring me hope and I love love love your photos and your words. You are a treasure Jess.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Allison - What an absolute doll! I know exactly what you mean when you say that watching your kids grow is both heartbreaking & amazing at the same time!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • nee - So sweet. Always enjoy checking in on you Macs!
    Happy Birthday too!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Jill - Your comments are so inspirational. Thank you for sharing your journey.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

Since I was talking about farming yesterday, I had to share this awesome video with you! Our friend, Derek Lowrey, rode with Joel during harvest and shot some video footage on his drone. I love seeing harvest from this perspective and thought you might like a peek into what wheat harvest looks like here in Kansas. You’ll even get to see an old favorite pic of my boys (they were just babies!) during wheat harvest at the end. So fun! Thanks, Derek. You are super talented!

So God Made a Farmer from Derek Lowrey on Vimeo.

Excerpts from a poem by Paul Harvey, “So God Made a Farmer” delivered November 1978 to the F.F.A., Kansas City, MO. Shot on a DJI Inspire 1.

sharepinTweet
  • Mary Ann - Oh my….what a wonderful video. I love Paul Harvey…he says stuff about a topic that is just spot on. Your boys will always look up to their dad and whether or not they become farmers too, they will always treasure the moments they have with their daddy.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • MurdocksMama - So I never comment, but this video is too awesome! Derek needs to connect with the Marketing Department at John Deere {I used to work there – I’m from Waterloo, IA}ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Emily - Love this video! Farmers are special people. So are their families. :)ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Kim - That is awesome!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Molly - this is just awesome!! I grew up on a family farm and while the memories are strong I love looking at pictures and would love to have a video keepsake like this of my dad and uncle farming. Love it!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Deborah Martin - Amazing. Touching. Moving. I absolutely adore this mini-film.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Michelle from Australia - Two thumbs up from this City Chick. How marvellous!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • April - Oh my goodness, love this! I teared up at the end when I saw the pics of Joel and the boys. Just beautiful!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Liz Lowrey - Didn’t he do a great job! I think it turned out great! Gave me goosebumps the first time I watched it! He had the most fun out with Joel that day. So glad he made this! Thanks for posting it jess!!!! :)ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Meggie - I love this! So thankful for farmers and their families!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Melissa Roseberry - Love it!!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Melissa Joy - Oh Jess, I love that.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Toni :0) - Super awesome video!! I’m always so thankful for our farmers in this country. Hardest job ever and Joel always has a smile on his face, prolly where Baby Tiny gets his whole face smile from….his incredible Daddy. Thank you Joel for all you and your family do, our country never appreciates our farmers enough but I know I sure do! God bless you all! xoReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Kristy - What an awesome treasure to have! And I love the audio of Paul Harvey which accompanies the video so beautifully. Great job Derek!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Lacie Hutchins - That was fantastic! My granpa was a farmer. My husband’ grandpa wasa farmer. It’s in our blood, but we are city slickers. It still feels like home and something we identify with when we see the wavy golden wheat each summer. Thank you for sharing! This is great!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Loretta wiebe - Awesome! Think I can ride in that combine. Beautiful ly done.i miss listening to Paul Harvey .i loved hearing his voice again.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Carrie Burnett - Beautiful. Just beautiful. Gave me chills. My grandpa was a farmer.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

Since Jake has arrived I feel like I can barely keep up with my boys. Don’t get my wrong, it is the best kind of busy I could dream up. I love it. Then spring came and life on the farm started getting busy too. Between farming and the boys, life is full. Really full. I am so tired some days but so is everyone else in the world, right?! Anyway, I thought it was time for a little farm update. Since I am obviously not keeping up with this blog either. And who doesn’t want to see pics of little boys with their daddy on the farm?

IMG_4612new

Back in March Joel brought the four wheeler over to our house one evening to spread grass seed around our yard. The boys had an excuse to ride the four wheeler and they thought spreading grass seed was awesome. They are trying to convince their daddy that we need a four wheeler to live permanently at our house. I am okay with that not happening for awhile. 😉

IMG_4621new

Jake talked his brothers into getting off for a minute so that he could have a turn too. Which translates to, he sat in the grass and cried because he was getting left out again. The tears worked. It was his first four wheeler ride. I love how he is looking at his daddy.

IMG_4622new IMG_4623new

Don’t worry they are going verrrrry slow.

IMG_4626new IMG_4630new

Jake smiles with his whole face. I think he liked his ride.:)

And a few more farm pics from Instagram…

planting02

feeding cattle – “driving” the four wheeler

hanging out in the feed mill – working cattle

planting01

baby corn plant – planting corn

working on the planter – digging for corn seeds

IMG_5469new

These were all from corn planting this past spring. The boys always love when the action starts back up on the farm in the spring.

planting03

And then we all look forward to the fun of wheat harvest in June. Except this year we all got the flu during harvest. The boys each managed to feel better for long enough to have a turn riding in the truck. But that was the extent of our harvest fun this year. Such a bummer. Thankfully Joel was the last one to get the flu, the last day of harvest. It’s about as bad when a farmer gets sick as when a mom gets sick. There is just no time for that. 😉

I am @jessmcclenahan on Instagram if you want to follow along!

sharepinTweet
  • Brady W. - We LOVE harvest! We aren’t fortunate enough to get to participate in it, but we have some land in the middle of a bunch of fields and my kiddos love to watch it! We just got a few 4-wheelers at our house and they are SO fun. Looks like your boys are living the ‘boy’ dream!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • andrea - love the new blog look!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Kathy - Your boys are precious and you take the most beautiful pics.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Melanie Martini - Jess, I love your blog. Thank you so much for ‘bringing us along’ on your adventures and keeping us updated on your beautiful family. <3ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Mary Ann - I always look forward to your updates so yes I love seeing photos of your family. The farm photos are so interesting and amazing. I live where there are farms but they are not too close to the city. Our view is always of our big huge mountains in SLC Utah. Yup..Jake smiles with his whole entire face. Your boys are really beautiful and I can only imagine how tiring it is for you. My grandson is 5 and he wears me out and I only have to tend him or take him “fun” places (as he calls it) once in a while and there is only one of him!! By the way, I love the look and feel of your blog. Nice changes to the header.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • kimberly oyler - jess, i have been sooooo out of the blog loop lately, so i am just now seeing your new blog design. it. is. gorgeous.!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Laurie - Love your new look on the blog! I’m wondering how Griffin is doing with his seizure control. Still praying!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Stefanie (@LexieLooDylan2) - Your boys are adorable!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Sue - Farm life is so much fun! We’re bailing hay in Ohio….a favorite with our kids! Thanks for sharing a view of farm life with your family. Wonderful blessings!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Erica - Beautiful photos! Such a gift for your boys! I would love to hear what you do with them as far as albums/memory keeping for your family! I’m in the process of trying to decide what to do for my two little boys.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

IMG_5832new

Trying to catch up again…Jake at 11 months.

jake11months.1

I had a hard time getting him to sit in my arms this time. He is so big and wiggly that I could hardly hold onto him.

jake11months

But then his daddy made him laugh and I managed to hang onto him for a few seconds. Good thing we are almost done with these photos, Baby Tiny!

Jake,

Your little personality is starting to shine through. You are content and laid back most of the time but then I see this side of you that is determined and feisty at other times too. You love just hanging out with your brothers and are happy as long as your belly is full. But if your brothers get to go outside and you don’t, you definitely let me know how unfair it is! You also can put up quite the protest in the middle of the night! Mostly you are just super sweet, very cuddly and your wrinkly-nose smile makes everyone else smile too.

You took your first steps on Memorial Day and are slowly trying to walk more and more. I bet you will be walking by your first birthday for sure! You finally said “mama” and I just love hearing those sweet words coming out of your mouth. You wave at everyone, you are eating all table food, you have two top teeth (which made for lots of sleepless nights for both of us!), you learned how to crawl up the stairs which you think is really awesome, and you love to read books now. Everyday you are seeming more and more like one of the big boys.

It’s hard to believe you are almost one. Where did the past year go?! I love you so much, sweet boy!

Mama

sharepinTweet
  • Julia - I love how much he looks like his big sister!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Melinda - He is absolutely adorable!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • EricaG - Hi! Jake is such a cutie. I love the new look of your blog. I use the anchor as a personal symbol of my faith, and I was excited to see it here.ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Lisa - Oh my goodness, what a sweet, sweet boy!!! :-)ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

Trying to play catch-up again. So, here is ten months…even though he is really eleven months…almost ONE!

jake 1-10b&w-ten

Dear Jakey,

You are ten months old and with each passing day you are seeming more and more like a little boy and less and less like a baby. You want to do everything your big brothers are doing. You are happiest when you are playing with them. They like you a lot too but they don’t like that you can easily mess up all their stuff now. Sometimes they have to set up a barrier to keep you out and you are not a fan of that. You love to be outside and if they run out the door without you it makes you so sad. Maybe when you stop putting every single rock in your mouth I’ll let you go out more. Haha! Except if mama makes you stay inside or your brothers won’t let you play with them, you are so happy and content most of the time. You have started giving high fives, clapping, and you stand on your own now too. You might end up being my earliest walker! You have started eating table food and you are always up for eating something. Always. I have to work hard to keep you out of the pantry now! I think you are working on some top teeth coming in too. You still aren’t the best sleeper but you are the best snuggler. I’m trying to soak up each moment and remember that these days of baby snuggles will soon pass. I love that I have a house full of boys. And I love that you are one of them. Love you so much, Baby Tiny.

Love, Mama

IMG_5392new

 

sharepinTweet
  • Toni :0) - I’m not sure he could be ANY cuter!! Happy babies are the best!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Maria Postma - Love following your blog and watching your little guys growing up. Adorable baby!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Debby Graber - He is just about to walk isn’t he!! I was in the bunnies room this morning for awhile and then moved to the ladybugs, but watched how he would walk just holding on to Tony’s finger! Tony’s been gone a couple of weeks and he said “Does he walk?” He held onto his finger just in case. Then I got moved to the other room, but it was so neat to see your sweet little guy. Growing soooo big!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • Lara - He is just the CUTEST thing! Love all his chunk-ness!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]

  • ranee - LOVE the new blog design! Looks so great!!ReplyCancel

    [Reply]