The Macs » Blog

a graduation and a little reminder

This past weekend we took a little road trip. It actually was more like a big-long-thirteen-hour-each-way road trip. We drove to Ohio to celebrate and be an encouragement to my sweet sister-in-law as she graduated from college…little did I know that I would be the one who would leave feeling encouraged. So often that’s the way life works, isn’t it?

My sister in law is the best aunt to these kids. They love her. Levi kept saying, “I’m so es-ited to see Aunt Ivy!” the whole way there. She probably won the award for the most children who came to watch her pinning. And my kids won the award for the squirmiest and noisiest children during the pinning! 🙂

This is Ivy’s roommate. They were both nursing majors and worked so hard…I’m pretty sure they had a lot of fun together too! 😉 Aren’t college roommates the best? My college roommate is still one of my best friends. We’ve been through a lot together and I am so thankful for her.

Our first day there was Ivy’s nursing pinning. I’m just going to brag on my sister-in-law a little. The character award they gave her was joyfulness and that so fits her. She just overflows with God’s love everywhere she goes. She loves others well and as a result has had many opportunities to share where her true JOY comes from. I love that about her.

Ivy also won another award. I can’t even remember what the award was called but basically it meant she is an awesome nurse. As her professor talked about Ivy and why she was getting the award she shared how Ivy had felt God’s calling as a nurse…specifically as an oncology nurse…after spending time in the hospital with her niece as she battled cancer. Ivy has shared that with me before but there was just something about seeing her up there and hearing those words again that just made me weep. We don’t always get to see glimpses of God’s purposes in our pain, but I feel like God has been so gracious to give us many glimpses of how He is using Cora’s death for good. These glimpses don’t make the pain go away and they sure don’t make me miss Cora any less. I still hate cancer and death with all of my being. But glimpses like we got this weekend remind me of our God, the Redeemer. I don’t always understand His ways but I can always be confident in who He is. He is completely sovereign and infinitely loving. And He is redeeming the things that happen in our lives for our good and His glory. Until the day when He makes all things new, to see just a glimpse of that “good” is a gift. Thank you, Jesus.

The next day we got to watch Ivy get her diploma.

A few attempts at an auntie picture. My boys apparently weren’t in the mood for picture taking.

Way to go Ivy! We are so proud of you!

We stayed in a hotel for three nights while we were away. Levi thought it was awesome. He brought along his John Deere sleeping bag and set up a little bed for himself in our room. Griffin would only sleep if I was right next to him. We tried letting him cry it out in his pack-and-play but Levi kept sneaking over and saying…”What’s the matter buddy?”…”It’s ok. Don’t cry Griffin!”…”Do you want to sleep with our mommy? Mom, he wants you!” It was really helpful. 😉 The hotel also had a pool. Levi loved the water. I’ll let you guess what Griffin thought about the water. Ha!

We got to make a few fun stops for mom at Pottery Barn Outlet and IKEA. My time at IKEA was much too short…and possibly a little strenuous on my marriage. 😉 I can’t wait until the Kansas City IKEA opens! The boys got a few late night trips to McDonalds for ice cream. They thought that was pretty great too.

Levi and Griffin were such great travelers. I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea to take a thirteen hour trip with them but they did awesome!

We borrowed a DVD player from some friends and we bribed the boys with movies and sugary treats the whole way. I might not be able to stand hearing another Veggie Tales song for awhile…but it sure made the trip a whole lot more peaceful. Whatever works, right?

sharepinTweet
  • Leslie Veer - Thank you for the pictures and for bragging on Ivy. I knew she would get awards, and it was fun to hear about them. She is just such a joy. I LOVE it when she is home to do music with me at church!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Leslie-She is a joy…she deserves to be bragged about! 🙂

    • Jess - Leslie-She is a joy…she deserves to be bragged about! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jen - I was so excited to see this post! Cedarville is my alma mater and it’s the BEST! So glad you were able to be there for Ivy and her big celebration!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Jen-I loved visiting and was so impressed with Cedarville!

    • Jess - Jen-I loved visiting and was so impressed with Cedarville!ReplyCancel

  • Brittin Olson - Oh my gosh I love how Levi calmed down Griffin at night! I am sure the neighboring hotel room appreciated that Levi kept you from letting Griffin cry it out! hahaReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Brittin-Haha…so true! 🙂

  • Michelle from Australia - Indeed whatever works! Can you imagine how THRILLED our fellow passengers on the 14 hour flight from Brisbane to LAX last year were when we boarded with Miss 9 and Master 6? I smiled at them. LOTS. Their eyes glared at me saying I can’t believe I’m going to have to suffer this 14 hour flight with your kids. And thankfully our kids were angelic (very rare!!!) and a few people complimented us when we disembarked at how well behaved our kids were and how quiet they were. If only they knew how well our bribery of a trip to the Toy Section of Walmart had worked!!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Michelle-Oh my! So glad your kids were angelic…bribery does wonders sometimes!

    • Jess - Michelle-Oh my! So glad your kids were angelic…bribery does wonders sometimes!ReplyCancel

  • Mbolton - Wow! You guys were in the Ville! That’s where I grew up, graduated from, and still live! Definitely a great nursing program!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Mbolton-Yes! The nursing program seems so great. It was a fun place to visit.

    • Jess - Mbolton-Yes! The nursing program seems so great. It was a fun place to visit.ReplyCancel

  • Julie J. - Love this post!! Ivy is pretty special. 🙂 So thankful you left encouraged and reminded of God’s goodness. Also love Levi’s, “Do you want to sleep with our mommy?” comment. Your boys are so cute. (And good thing you have a friend who goes to KC all the time–once that IKEA opens you can come with me and Katee. We will teach her to love it! And it will be much better on your marriage, right?!)ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Julie-Yes! Trips to IKEA are definitely in our future.

  • Rachel - Loved this post so much!! Thank you for sharing. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - My first time commenting….I’ve been reading your blog for several years now. Total lurker! I love your blog so much. You’re so real! Anyway, I had to comment bc I’m a Cedarville girl too, & I’m
    Glad you got to take a trip there. Graduated in 03 as an elementary teacher. Love that school! Enjoy your sweet boys! 🙂ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Danielle-So many Cedarville grads!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment.

    • Jess - Danielle-So many Cedarville grads!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - I am a ’95 Cedarville grad! It is such a wonderful place! And you are right, college roommates are the best. I still keep in touch with mine too. Congratulations to Ivy.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Rebecca-Cedarville is a popular place! Loved visiting there.

    • Jess - Rebecca-Cedarville is a popular place! Loved visiting there.ReplyCancel

  • Jody - You guys were only about an hour from us. Love that Ivy wants to go into oncology. My cousin works at OSU’s The James. She’s been there forever. It’s nice when people from the area are over there for treatment. She tries to visit if she’s not too busy. She even has taught nursing classes. I’ve always been super proud of her. If Ivy ever wants to work at The James I could connect her to my cousin.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Jody-I am so thankful for oncology nurses. Thanks for the offer to connect Ivy. It sounds like she has a job lined up, but I will let her know!

    • Jess - Jody-I am so thankful for oncology nurses. Thanks for the offer to connect Ivy. It sounds like she has a job lined up, but I will let her know!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - I have been reading your blog for a few months now- I found it through another blog I think:-) Anyway, I actually saw you last Friday at CU- my husband is a Resident Director on campus so we have lived here for the last 5 years and I was on my way back from picking up our mail! I thought you looked familiar, then I saw the license plate on your car from Kansas! After a conversation with my husband, we put two and two together that I think it would be your brother-in-law James was a student when we were and my husband was his resident assistant his first year in college! Small world! We are thankful for the nurses at CU- they truly have a passion for the Lord and are known to have the best reputation at our area hospitals. Fun to see pictures of our “home” on your blog!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Alicia-So crazy that you saw me…and even crazier that your husband was James’ RA. Small world for sure!

    • Jess - Alicia-So crazy that you saw me…and even crazier that your husband was James’ RA. Small world for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Dana - It was good to see all of you! Thanks for letting us invade on family time to see Leah and her family. 🙂 So excited for Ivy! She’s going to make an awesome nurse! 🙂ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Dana-So good to see you too! Glad you got to hang out with Leah and her family.

    • Jess - Dana-So good to see you too! Glad you got to hang out with Leah and her family.ReplyCancel

  • creole wisdom - Oh, that story about Ivy warms my heart. She will be one incredible nurse 🙂 It’s amazing what our God can do! That story about Levi cracks me up- trying so hard to be helpful at night, bless him!

    I had no idea that PB had outlets… that could be a dangerous place for me. Love that you love IKEA so much 🙂 One of the few perks about being single is that I can go and get lost there for a few hours.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Creole-Yes! You need to find a PB outlet…and it sounds like I need to go to IKEA with you! 🙂

    • Jess - Creole-Yes! You need to find a PB outlet…and it sounds like I need to go to IKEA with you! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • leiah - It is so nice you were able to be there for your SIL’s pinning and grad. I was unable to attend my sister’s and I think I will always feel a little sad about it.

    I am glad the boys behaved for you on the drive. We are flying this month overseas with little man and I am pretty scared about it!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Lelah-Hopefully your little one will do better than you think. You need lots of fruit snacks! 🙂

    • Jess - Lelah-Hopefully your little one will do better than you think. You need lots of fruit snacks! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • LauraC - Hey! Another Cedarville grad here (’97) and my sister was a nursing major at the ‘ville too. Good times. Congrats to Ivy! I don’t comment here, but I love every one of your posts and love reading your blog. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Laura-Thanks for your sweet words. So many Cedarville grads!

    • Jess - Laura-Thanks for your sweet words. So many Cedarville grads!ReplyCancel

  • Sian @ elisgeorge.com - Your boys always look so adorable in their smart shirts. And well done for keeping them occupied on that long trip. Living in the UK – I can’t even begin to imagine such a long car ride!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Sian-Thanks!

  • K. Anne - I have been reading your blog for a few years now and appreciate it greatly! I have never been to Kansas, but my grandparents met in Manhattan, Kansas, and my dad was born there 65 years ago!

    Thrilled to see pictures from the ‘ville. I graduated from there 20 years ago (yikes!). They have such a strong nursing program there. My brother graduated with a nursing degree from there several years after me and LOVED it.

    Blessings to your family!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    K. Anne-Thanks! You need to visit Kansas someday! 🙂

  • Sarah - How fun to see these pictures! I graduated from Cedarville’s nursing program in 1998. Words can’t describe how much Cedarville means to me. Congrats to your sister-in-law on a job well done. I know it was not easy! She will be an awesome nurse. 🙂ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Sarah-Thanks. Yes, I think she will be an awesome nurse too!

    • Jess - Sarah-Thanks. Yes, I think she will be an awesome nurse too!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah@ This Farm Family's Life - Congrats to Ivy!!! I also have one who loves the water and one who hates it. It makes for an interesting summer, especially when you choose to vacation at a water park!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Sarah-He loves splashing in puddles so I am hoping the swimming thing grows on him! 🙂

    • Jess - Sarah-He loves splashing in puddles so I am hoping the swimming thing grows on him! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • emily - you were just down the road from me in columbus!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Emily-So close!

  • Cassie Monson - So many of your posts bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for your touching, inspiring writing and your heart for the Lord. I also love the stories about your boys, they are so funny and are so much like my two little ones. Blessings to you and your family.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Cassie-Thank you so much for your sweet words!

  • JoAnne - I love your blog, and I love seeing pics of your sweet family at Cedarville – my alma mater!ReplyCancel

  • elizabeth - cannot get enough of those boys and that bronco shirt!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sierra - Sounds like a great trip! I love the picture of Levi asleep in the car with his leg crossed. 🙂 So cute!ReplyCancel