The baby bump pictures are back!
Although it is more than a baby bump now.

Six months–26 weeks to be exact.
I had another appointment today.
My doctor told me that next week I would be in the third trimester.
Three months until we get to meet this little one.
My appointment today was good.
Uneventful, which we are always thankful for.
I am gaining PLENTY of weight–probably too much.
Although my doctor hasn’t said anything about that yet,
so I think I will just keep eating…
because pregnant ladies can do that right??
And we got to hear that sweet baby heart beat again.
I love that sound.
I will go in for another sonogram at 28 weeks.
Otherwise, so far so good.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family and Baby Mac!
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  • October 1, 2009 - 5:58 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - You look great-doesn’t look like you are gaining to much to me! I am so excited that things are going well for you-we in the computer world are anxious to hear whether its a boy or girl. We are praying for you all daily and never forgetting you little cora and the blessing she has been to so many with so little time on this earth.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:27 pm

    Marla Taviano - Praise the Lord! You look so beautiful!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:29 pm

    TRICIA @ The Zoo - So exciting! I wish that I had done something like this with my girls.
    You look beyond radiant!!

    Sending you all love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:32 pm

    Launa - Beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:33 pm

    Angie - You look wonderful! I am praying constantly for you!

    And yes…keep on eating!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:34 pm

    Tsquared417 - I wish I would have done that with my 3 kids!! What a great idea. You look beautiful. I’m glad everything was ok.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:38 pm

    The McIntyre Family - You look GREAT and I am glad things are going smoothly…praying for you and your family!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:39 pm

    E @ Oh! Apostrophe - You look gorgeous! I say eat all you want ;)ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:42 pm

    Amy - You look SO CUTE!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:46 pm

    Whimsical Creations - You look beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:55 pm

    Sherri - You are doing wonderful Jess! Hope you feel as good as you can right now. Still praying…ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:12 pm

    jen christians - Your beautiful!!!! I loved reading about today. I am so glad you got to hear that sweet baby heart beat. It reminds us all of the blessings God planned for you and Joel. My continued prayers daily…
    AND by ALL means.. enjoy the sweets…ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:19 pm

    ang - You look adorable! Praying for you every step of the way.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:24 pm

    Staci - I am only 2 1/2 weeks ahead of you but could probably pass for 2 months ahead of you! You look great :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Jenn@the loves of jenn - You look adorable! I’m glad you had a good appointment.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:45 pm

    Anonymous - Glad to hear about your appointment..Love the pictures..You do look radiant :) I know you are anxious to meet this new little baby..

    KimReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:49 pm

    Trasie Bressler - Glowing looks good on you! I am so happy for you and I hope these last few months go flying by for you.

    Many many blessings,
    TrasieReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:50 pm

    John and Elisa Seaba - Love the pictures! You look so cute! Can’t wait to “meet” little baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:53 pm

    Melody - You look amazing! And the sickening part is you look even better now! How is that possible? ;) Must be the glow of getting to see your little one soon!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 7:55 pm

    Sarah - You are so precious.
    Great baby bump photos!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 8:07 pm

    Erica - you look SO CUTE pregnant! absolutely beautiful! i’m so happy that everything is going well with the doctors :) praise God!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    writing4612 - Yes, you do look beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 8:13 pm

    Marla - You look great! I only wish I looked that cute pregnant. January will be here before you know it. God is so good :)!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 8:44 pm

    3LittleByrds - I love your baby bump. So cute. Your glowing and it’s so deserved.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 8:47 pm

    The Boccias - I love your monthly pictures! So happy everything is going well.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:15 pm

    Mindy M. Harris - you are adorable. are you still wearing regular jeans?? i saw some cute maternity ones at target…ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Adam and Vel - Just wanted to share this song….you may have already heard it. Makes you long for our Heavenly Home.
    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tangle.com%2Fview_video%3Fviewkey%3D84138e76e13c5c50e12c&h=b3d7d9f308fd8fb5e67cb9a87b566143
    If it doesn’t work it is Steven Curtis Chapman’s new song about Heaven.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:24 pm

    rentz - You are looking great! Keep enjoying that food.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:25 pm

    Adam and Vel - The song is called “Heaven is the Face.”ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    The Gardella's - Yay for baby Mac!! Your belly is so cute. Enjoy eating like a pregnant lady it is the best! I am still trying to stop and my little man is two months now!! You are still in my prayers daily!ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:45 pm

    Monica - You look so beautiful! Glad to hear it was an uneventful check up. I think of you all often :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 9:50 pm

    anne - Love the update; so happy you had a great appointment and could hear the heartbeat; that’s such a reassuring sound! You look wonderful! So glad to hear you had a happy day.

    Best wishes,

    AnneReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 10:33 pm

    Christina - You look fabulous! Babies in utero love chocolate!
    I love that you are taking these pictures…what a great idea!
    Still praying for you guys here in Dallas.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 10:41 pm

    k and c's mom - You look beautiful. So happy for you and hubby. Thinking of you and praying for you all.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    Miranda - Look at you! You look great! Glad to hear everything’s going well. I love how you are recording month by month with pictures.

    Definitely keep eating, it’ll go away eventually after Baby Mac is born. LoL.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 11:04 pm

    The Browns - I had my doctor’s appointment today & I’m 26 weeks also. I go back in 2 weeks for the glucose test. You look great!!!

    Bon :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 11:16 pm

    KK - You look precious :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 11:27 pm

    PamperingBeki - You are looking gorgeous!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 7:13 am

    Kristen - What a beautiful baby belly! Continued prayers for Baby Mac! :-)ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 7:16 am

    Alicia W. - What a great idea! You look amazing and I’m so happy for you. HUGS!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 7:25 am

    Toni :O) - Yay….so happy to hear all is well. You look so pretty and that glow is unmistakenable. Heck yah, keep on eating! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers! Hugs!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 7:35 am

    Shannon - You are absolutely GLOWING! You look amazing, and I’m so glad that everything went well at your appointment.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 8:02 am

    The Jones' - You look awesome!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 8:19 am

    Our Curly Girls - Jess,

    I mostly lurk, but please know your Cora has had a profound impact on my life…and your faith has been so encouraging to me as Christian woman.

    I pray for your family all the time. Sometimes I am driven to pray for you in the midst of the day…I just feel Him nudging me to lift you. You are so wrapped in prayers from everywhere. We all love you!

    I first learned about you from kellyskornerblog when sweet Cora was so sick. God is good and His almighty, sovereign plan is beyond beautiful. I will continue to lift you. You look so wonderful, Jess. Love you from afar!

    Shannon in PAReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 8:47 am

    Robin in Benton - You look terrific – and other than your tummy – you don’t look like you’re gaining anything to me. Love and prayers for all of you – can’t wait to see more sonogram pictures of sweet Baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 9:24 am

    Cameron's Mommy - Congrats for the great appt! You look ADORABLE! Eat!!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 10:02 am

    Margaret - I’ve never commented before, but have followed your blog for a while. I am right ahead of you (28 weeks) and wish you the best of luck! And keep eating, I indulge in ice cream everyday. It has calcium, right, that’s good for the baby.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 10:09 am

    Misty Rice - I love how you did the pictures like this. Makes me wish I did it. You look beautiful. Stop by and say hello sometime.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 10:30 am

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - You look beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 1:27 pm

    Anonymous - You’re pictures are SO CUTE!
    You look great!
    CarleyReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 3:33 pm

    Courtney - You look super cute! Always in our prayers.
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 3:48 pm

    Falling Around - You are SO adorable!! Can’t wait to see pics of Baby Mac.

    I enjoyed all the pictures from Cora’s Playground dedication. I’m sure it was one of those times where everyone could sense the presence of God right in that moment.

    I’m determined to see Cora’s Playground in person one day.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 5:14 pm

    Ruth - you look BEAUTIFUL! and i love the new blog buttons :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 6:07 pm

    Alison - Such a blessing! You are just a few weeks further along than I am. Praying for you all!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 8:29 pm

    PamperingBeki - Jess, I LOVE the new blog layout! Adorable.

    (not all the buttons are working correctly on the left side…) :)

    Love,
    Me.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 9:02 pm

    Micah - Jess, you look awesome – you are so cute! And I just love this idea! i’m going to do this next time.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 9:58 pm

    Anonymous - Love the new layout..You amaze me.You inspire me..You keep me coming back..everyday thinking and praying…Thank you

    KimReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 10:14 pm

    Andrea - You look beautiful! Congratulations!ReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2009 - 12:37 am

    Mommy - Congratulations!! Can’t wait to meet baby Mac! God is GOOD ALL THE TIME! I admire your courage, strength and endurance. You are so inspiring. Your pregnancy photos are super cute and so are you! Many blessings!ReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2009 - 7:06 am

    Heidi - I love your pictures showing each month in pregnancy. You look beautiful! I read that you were a city girl before getting married. What city did you grow up in? I love the changes you have made to your blog. God bless your family.ReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2009 - 7:37 am

    onlymehere - I love the series of pictures you’re doing! The fact that you’re wearing the same clothes makes it so adorable. I’m so happy things are going well! CindyReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2009 - 12:13 pm

    Lauren Kelly - Awww, your baby bump is soooo cute. Glad everything is going well!!!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2009 - 1:40 pm

    Karina - You don’t just look beautiful, you are beautiful. Thank you for continuing to share with us.

    I cried when I was catching up here. Congratulations on finishing the temporary job before going back to the one you love and do so well. And for a good appointment. And for reaching the next trimester.

    Keep on eating, it looks GREAT on you. (And it WILL come off…eventually…I’ve had three kids and always gained a TON when pregnant.)ReplyCancel

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  • October 3, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Christina - By the way, your new blog look is so great!ReplyCancel

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  • October 4, 2009 - 2:06 pm

    Sherri - Jess,

    I don’t know if you accept awards or not, but I wanted to give you one. You are such an inspiration to many parents. we are still praying for you and Joel and of course baby Mac. I have enjoyed all the videos and TV news stories. I am right there with you.I think its great you were able to talk about God on national tv.ReplyCancel

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  • October 4, 2009 - 3:39 pm

    Stephanie - Such a beautiful pregnant lady :) Love the baby bump pictures! Glad all is going well..praying for you all!ReplyCancel

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  • October 4, 2009 - 4:56 pm

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Beautiful pictures…praying for you and the little one…ReplyCancel

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  • October 4, 2009 - 6:47 pm

    Anonymous - You are looking great! Continued prayers for you and your family. Cora has touched so many of us…

    God Bless You!

    Evelyn in Newport News, VAReplyCancel

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  • October 5, 2009 - 7:32 am

    Chelsa - You look GREAT! I’m 19 weeks today and I am always hungry! I’m hoping it is the baby gaining weight and not me! haha, wishful thinking!ReplyCancel

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  • October 5, 2009 - 11:26 am

    Vincent Family - You look GREAT!!! I am glad that you had a good appointment.ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 3:49 am

    Sue - You’re looking great!! Enjoy the last bit, can’t wait to ‘meet’ the new addition. I’m sure he/she is going to be just perfect!!

    Sue xReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 8:30 am

    Jerri - Love the series of pics…you look adorable and so happy that all is well! {Prayers}ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 12:27 pm

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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In case you missed the dedication and REALLY wanted to be there…

the video is up on the Grace website.
Click here to check it out.
Thanks Adam!
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  • September 30, 2009 - 2:15 pm

    Sherryl - So happy for you Jess! What a huge accomplishment in honor of your sweet girl. God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 8:18 pm

    Rebecca - Thank you so much for sharing. God is truly amazing. I continue to be in awe of the impact your sweet Cora has had.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 9:17 pm

    The Carroll's - What a beautiful dedication. Thank you for sharing so much with us. Your faith and hope have made a lasting impression on so many. Still praying big for your family!ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 9:35 am

    Anonymous - Praying for you and your family every day. What a moving dedication. Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • October 5, 2009 - 9:14 pm

    Shawn - Hey Jess–
    Still following you and Joel through this journey. I am impressed in the most literal meaning of that word by all you have accomplished for Cora and for the world; your blog and her playground have contributed so much positivity in the midst of all you have endured.
    Lots of love
    ShawnReplyCancel

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  • October 5, 2009 - 9:15 pm

    Shawn - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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I didn’t think this day would ever come.

The day where I could say “I made it”.
My last day of work.
Today I re-read what I wrote in my journal back in April when I started this new job:
“Today I started a new job. It is only part time, I think it will be okay. But, I HATED driving to Newton knowing that I was going back to work. I cried the whole way. I felt like my heart was being crushed into a million pieces all over again. Why can’t I be a stay-at-home mom? Why can’t I raise Cora? Why did God take Cora from me? Now, I am driving to an office to be a receptionist–to force me to get out of bed and get dressed, to make the time pass. Just for a little while. I thought my purpose was to be a mom. What is my purpose now?

Well, it did go okay. I put my brave face on and made it through the morning without crying. The people there were so kind and helpful–many of them I know already. There is so much to learn and I feel so overwhelmed. Just overwhelmed with life in general. My mind still feels “foggy”. It is hard to concentrate. Lord, please give me the strength to make it through each day. Please, allow the time to pass quickly. Please, allow us to have more kids soon!”

When I started that job we were not expecting. I didn’t know how long I would need to work before the Lord would bless us with another child and I could go back to the job I love SO much–being a mom. I was struggling with so many things. I think I literally felt like I was drowning in my grief.
A friend shared this translation of Philippians 4:13 with me last week.
I am strong for all things in the One who constantly infuses strength in me.
I loved looking back at that journal entry today. I felt like finishing work today was a little step forward. A little glimpse of light in the darkness. And as I read my words from back in April I could see how the Lord has been, and continues to, constantly infuse strength in me.
I am so thankful that I don’t have to rely on my own strength.
I couldn’t make it through this on my own.
I couldn’t.
So today I am thankful for this little step forward.
I know there are still going to be many days of missing Cora.
Many days when I still can’t stop the tears.
Many days when I feel like I am taking steps backwards again.
He will help me get through those days too.
Today I am going to just celebrate that “I made it”. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to the days of being a stay-at-home mom again. It is getting closer!
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  • September 29, 2009 - 11:54 pm

    Elle's Mom - Yes, you made it! Wow, you are so close to welcoming your new little blessing. So happy for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 12:05 am

    Erica - wow. you are such an inspiration! your faith is amazing. may God continue to bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 12:11 am

    Sarah - God has so many blessings in store for you, I faith in that for you!
    Thanks for sharing this :)ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 12:12 am

    Heather - good for you, jess :)ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 1:21 am

    Anonymous - So thrilled for you that you are one step closer to bringing home your new sweet baby!! Cora is still close to my heart and your family is always in my prayers. Continued strength, faith,and love to your family! God Bless!!

    Summer in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 2:49 am

    Candice - Yay, that’s great. I will be praying for you and precious baby Mac.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 3:06 am

    Sue - Well done!! Enjoy the time off in preparation for your new baby. I’m so glad that you have this to look forward to in your life. As you know, I lost my husband when my baby was 6 weeks old and you have no idea how many difficult moments that child has carried me through. He’s 5 now and the light of my life. Your faith is so encouraging. Hold on to that and you’ll grow stronger with each passing day!!
    Sending much love, Susan xReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 3:10 am

    Sue - Well done!! Enjoy the time off in preparation for your new baby. I’m so glad that you have this to look forward to in your life. As you know, I lost my husband when my baby was 6 weeks old and you have no idea how many difficult moments that child has carried me through. He’s 5 now and the light of my life. Your faith is so encouraging. Hold on to that and you’ll grow stronger with each passing day!!
    Sending much love, Susan xReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 5:47 am

    kristin - God Bless you, Jess!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:32 am

    SouthernGalsBoutique - I’m so happy for you, that you will be able to be a SAHM… praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:47 am

    Julie - I thought of you first thing yesterday morning, knowing that the end of one job was coming. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart and journey. Know that I am praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:53 am

    Lindsay - Still cheering you on and am continually inspired by your faith. Way to go!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:58 am

    Trasie Bressler - You are blessed beyond measure! God has so many wonderful things instore for you. I am a stay at home MOM too and I agree it is the most rewarding job I have ever had. Can’t wait to see pictures of you holding that bundle of joy!

    Many Many Blessings!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:59 am

    Mandi - It makes me so happy to hear that God is bringing you back to your heart’s desire – to be a full-time mommy. You made it with His strength and grace!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:01 am

    hoosier68 - One day at a time….that is how I got through a horrible time in my life. Nothing ever changes the past but the future holds promise so you just get there one day at a time! Thinking of you each day.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:09 am

    Leah - Bless your heart! Thank you for posting this entry. Comparing my sitution to yours is not even closer, but, if I may, I relate so much to this post. Going to work has been such a struggle for me. I feel like I am drowning in the mourning of infertility and wanting to be in my dream job of staying at home raising my kiddos. God has a plan and I am holding onto the hope of that.

    I am so happy that you will be returning to the job you love.

    Many, many blessings to you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:22 am

    Toni :O) - Each and every day is a little bit of progress…slow and steady, stay the course…glad you are able to stop working again and have a beautiful baby to rest in your arms again to look forward to. Take some special time for yourself and get pampered…you deserve it. Continuing to pray for you…hang in there. Hugs!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:30 am

    Anonymous - You are a warrior.. One step closer to holding baby Mac in your arms. Thinking of you everday.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:36 am

    Beckypdj - Congratulations on this milestone!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:59 am

    leel - you are a total warrior! keep the faith. congratulations!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 8:14 am

    Kristi REDISKE - What a Godly example you have been and I know it is because you He has given you the strength. Congratulations on being able to quit the job and get back home to prepare for the new arrival. I know you will still have alot of good and bad days-I cannot imagine what you have been through but I will keep praying for you and your husband.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 8:28 am

    Robin in Benton - So happy for you! You get to be doing the “job” that you wanted again! Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 8:52 am

    Shannon - Congratulations! You are an amazing mom, and I’m glad that you get to spend time again at home in preparation for your newest blessing!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 9:13 am

    Audrey - I haven’t been commenting, but I am still here reading! How wonderful God is! The playground is complete and how cute is your little baby belly? :)

    I truly love that verse. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It was the verse that got me through basic training…always popping up in places when I least expected it…and was most down in the dumps. I don’t see it much anymore but He knows our hearts and minds and every so often, I still see that verse pop up out of the blue like He is reminding me that He is still there and always will be.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 10:04 am

    Miss Em - Yeah!!! Praising Him along with you! I loved seeing your baby belly in your recent pictures.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 10:14 am

    Lisa - You don’t know me but I wanted you to know how much your strength and faith inspire me. Little Cora has touched thousands of lives in her short time here on earth. I can’t imagine the pain and heartache you must feel. Your faith in Jesus makes me work harded at my own relationship with him. Thanks for putting yourself out there and letting me personally see what God can do in your life.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 10:58 am

    Tara - that’s awesome! i pray that God continues to bless you!!! you’re such an inspiration to so many! =)ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 12:22 pm

    Tabitha@Afiveoh4uplifting.org - Many blessings to you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 1:09 pm

    dawn - Isn’t it great to look back and be able to see how far you’ve come?? Not that it isn’t still hard…but He has carried you through. Today our family marks 10 years since our little boy, Aidan went to be with Jesus. As you can imagine, we have lots to reflect on. God is faithful.

    Thanks for posting that encouragement. You are a woman of faith!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 1:25 pm

    Whimsical Creations - YAY you made it.

    hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:17 pm

    meg duerksen - i love you jess.

    one week closer to new baby.
    one stage closer to new baby.
    it is just going to be here before you know it!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 7:22 pm

    Rebecca - We are celebrating this time with you and praising God for the “little step forward”.
    Hugs and prayers to you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 9:23 pm

    KK - You did it!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 10:44 pm

    Melissa - Yay!! So glad you are done with your job and are just counting down and preparing for your baby!! How exciting.ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 11:41 pm

    Ashley - Praying tonight for God’s blessings to pour out on you. You have such a sweet spirit, and my heart breaks for the grief you continue to carry with you. I’m so sorry that Cora is not in your arms, but rejoice with you that she is safe with Jesus. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us so that we might be encouraged by your faith.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 6:41 am

    Amy Bell - i am so encouraged by your blog…i am amazed at the strength and grace the Lord has given to you..thank you for sharing your journey. it is truly an inspiration to me.ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 3:40 pm

    Lynn Jones - It is getting closer!! I was having a tough day and thinking of that really perked me up! Tender love will be a moment-by-moment experience before you know it.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 4:35 pm

Wow! Where do we start? It is impossible to thank everyone who was involved in the playground project. I so wish that we could. These are a few thanks that we shared the day of the dedication…

We can’t tell you how loved and supported it makes us feel to see all of you here today. God continues to pour out His love to us through the body of Christ.

There are so many people we could thank today. It is hard to know where to start. We wanted to take time to specifically thank a few:

Ben Hutton & Hutton Construction–general contractor

Joel, Jason, Eric & PG Playgrounds


Kompan–playground equipment

DuraPlay–flooring

House of Glass

ProFencing Co.

USA Shade

Sherwin Williams

Ian Johnson–designed Cora’s Playground sign

Joe & Kasa–sign

Exquisite Gifts & their helium company–balloons and helium

Evan LaRue–sound system for dedication

Julie & Heather along with MANY Etsy vendors


(Julie started the Etsy fundraiser with her messy flower pins. Many Etsy vendors joined her in raising money for Cora’s Playground. Heather stepped in to help organize the fundraising. It was so great to meet these two ladies in person! What a blessing to our family they have been.)

Sara–stickers for seed packets


Kris, Debbie, Janelle and the Grace Community Church Staff

Grace Community Church

Whether you donated your time and labor, gave to the project, or even prayed for our family, you all had a part in Cora’s Playground. Thank you.

Today is definitely bittersweet for us. Our hearts are heavy, as we would trade this playground to have Cora back with us in a second. While we don’t understand, it wasn’t part of God’s plan for Cora to be here today.

But the awesome part about today is being able to look back and see how God has worked so mightily in our lives and the lives around us through tragedy. We are so thankful to have this playground as a remembering stone for our family. Cora’s Playground will always serve as a reminder to us of our sweet Cora’s life and how purposeful her 341 days with us were. It will be a place that we can always bring our family and tell them of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

Thank you so much for being a part of that.

Most of all we just want to take time this afternoon to thank God for all He has done. Thank you for being here to join us in praising Him today.

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  • September 29, 2009 - 12:04 am

    k and c's mom - God is faithful. We are grateful. Thank you for this post.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 12:52 am

    forever folding laundry - Thank you for sharing this. Your beautiful girl’s 341 days will not be forgotten, nor will her impact on others be slight. Continuing to keep you in prayer!

    ~KeriReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 12:56 am

    The Perfect Trio - you are a very special family!!

    you are on my mind almost daily…i’m still praying for yoU!

    melissaReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 1:01 am

    Carrie @ Cottage Cozy - How inspiring to witness people coming together in love in such a special way!

    CarrieReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 1:24 am

    Anonymous - Thanks for sharing your special day with us Cora will never be forgotten and your faith and strength continue to inspre me everyday! Will continue to keep you all in my prayers!
    Summer & family in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 2:30 am

    KK - Praising Him for all He does, even through our heartaches and tradgedies.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 5:09 am

    purejoy - and thank you for your willingness to share this confusing, painful, yet redemptive story with us. yours is a gift so treasured in my heart. always remembering cora. . .
    kimberlyReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 7:05 am

    Paula - Jess, thanks for sharing the pictures of the dedication. I had to be in Oklahoma with my parents that week-end but thought of you all while I was gone.

    Love you so much!

    Paula UReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 7:26 am

    Beckypdj - I love it when you say “sweet Cora”. Thank you for the postReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 7:43 am

    Kristin Stegent - The dedication looks like it was so sweet. I love that you released 341 balloons. The playground is the cutest I’ve ever seen. I can only imagine the bittersweet you must feel though!ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 7:57 am

    Marla Taviano - So, so, so awesome. God is amazing. Continuing to pray for you as you miss beautiful Cora!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 8:33 am

    Toni :O) - Love this post and thank you, as I’m sure it was incredibly difficult to share this. We will never forget sweet Cora…ever. May God continue to bless all three of you and I will always be praying for you. Hugs to you all.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 8:47 am

    Christine - the playground is beautiful,
    just like Cora.
    You are one special mommy.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 9:18 am

    beckley - still weeping with you.
    grace and peace be yours through the pain.

    beautiful playground.
    shalom.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 9:34 am

    Anonymous - Great job Mom and Dad.Cora’s Playground is beautiful..you took your heartbreaking tragedy and inspired so many of us, to be better, to look at our faith..

    Thank you for continueing to share.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 9:44 am

    Anonymous - Oh how you touch my soul with your love and faith in our devine Heavenly Father’s plan. I hurt for you each and everyday. I hurt for Cora not able to be here with you. I know she is safe, but I too often question why she didn’t get to stay here alive with you to be safe? I hope one day all will be answered to those of us who were faithful in contining our journey through the heartache and pain. May God continue to bless you as your serve him without any doubts. May your Sweet Cora always watch over you and be near you. I know Angels are on this earth. I have felt them in my life. May your sweet Angel be allowed to hold your hand during your life, that you may be guided back into her presence. That day will be Glorious!!!
    All my love,
    Jill(Kansas)ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 9:53 am
  • September 29, 2009 - 9:56 am

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you today. :)ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    Baylee and Blair's page - God is so giving! Even though you might never understand why he took her so early on. You have a beautiful angel looking down on you and your family from heaven.

    Big Hugs and prayers – TiffanyReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 3:24 pm

    The Mershawn's - Wonderful words for a wonderfully sweet baby. I’m so glad God’s hand has moved so mightily for you guys & Cora. He is great. Praying many blessed & joyful days to come full of sweet memories. And that you’ll feel the gentle guiding of God’s hand as you continue on this terribly hard journey. Hang in there…ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 4:12 pm

    Kelly - Thank you for sharing Cora’s playground dedication with us, Jess. May many children be blessed and come to know Jesus through the sweet seed of Cora’s legacy your love for your daughter….ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 4:12 pm

    Andolicious - I love the Cora’s Playground sign. What a cute sign for such a beautiful angel. I hope God continues to comfort you and your husband.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 4:48 pm

    Monica Serrano - Joel & Jessica-
    I have never met you, and to spare me seeming like some crazy person randomly sending you a message I tried to see if you site would let me send a private msg. And as it wont I am going to chance looking crazy! :-) I heard about your daughter through Shannon Kirtley’s Facebook page when Cora first became ill, and have read your blogs every couple of months since she passed. And I just want you to know that your princess has touched my heart in more ways than you can imagine( as well as many others I am certain) My Mother passed away last August from cancer, leaving behind a loving husband 8 of us children and 3 grandchildren. Her name was Paige! We also experienced a very quick time period from diagnosis to sending her to heaven. She told my dad once while staying in Houston for treatment that she will never once feel sorry for herself or let anyone hurt for what was happening to her. Because everyday that they were in Houston they had to walk through the childrens ward and see all of the innocent young people who were receiving the same treatments as she was. She said that she would never feel sad for her own illness because she knew that she had lived and saw things that those babies would never be able to experience. I think of your Cora every time I become angry and sad about losing my mother, because she hurt more for those little children that were sick than she hurt for herself. And when I do Im not so sad anymore, because she didnt want us to be, because she had lived. Obviously this is more difficult some days than others, but Cora and your family always comes to my mind when I miss my mother. You and your husbands strength is the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed, you may not feel like it somedays but it truely is! Some days I struggle with the fact that God choses the most beautiful creatures to call home too quickly. Knowing my mother Paige as well as I do, I know that she is enjoying your Cora Paige in heaven! I hope I dont seem to “crazy stalker” like because in fact we have never met, but my heart was dying to tell you how special your little girl is to me!ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 6:39 pm

    Angie - Such a wonderful post. Cora will never be forgotten. The playground is just beautiful.

    Thinking and praying for you always!ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 6:56 pm

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - Jess,
    I read your post with tears rolling down my face….. What a tribute to Cora and to you both. It seems just like yesterday we met in the hospital…. I still think of you daily and find myself checking your blog often, just to feel close to you and your family again…. I know that had to be a very hard day for you all, and bittersweet does about sum it up…. 341 days filled with love, laughter, and hugs from sweet baby Cora will NEVER be forgotten for any of us.

    love to you all!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 7:47 pm

    F.Y - I accidentally stumbled upon your blog and spent hours going through it. Your story is an inspiration to anyone who suffers great loss.
    I am a muslim,and in our religion we believe children who die go straight to heaven and they are looked upon by a prophet and angels. We also believe a mother who loses a child has a home built for her in heaven straight away for all the pain she has endured.
    What you have done to overcome your loss is admirable, and I wish you happiness in your coming days with your upcoming birth! :) Best of luck and wishes.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 9:11 pm

    Anne in California - First read your blog several months ago when I began clicking links on a friend’s blog. One lead to another and then to yours. My heart resonates with your story and grieves silently for you and your husband. Thirty-eight years ago we walked in your shoes. Our seemingly healthy and precious first child–Matthew–developed undiagnoseable symptoms. A one-week hospitalization (pre- CATscans, MRI, etc.) uncovered nothing but anemia. Eight weeks later we buried him. An autopsy listed neuroblastoma as cause of death. Our world turned upside-down and inside-out in such a short time. The years have passed and the Lord blessed us with four more sons, and already five grandchildren. Christ is the Healer of broken hearts. Continue to cling to Him. The pain will not always feel so intense, though you will never forget. Recently in a conversation with a pastor I shed tears thinking of all those who don’t know Christ and will not spend eternity with Him, will not be reunited with loved ones who have gone to heaven before us. I said, “There but for the grace of God, go I. I don’t understand why I’m so blessed.” He repeated some of my words back to me: “the grace of God,” and told me that we must stop there because we can’t understand God’s grace.

    I Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    Praying that God will continue to comfort you through His Word and the messengers of His peace who surround you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 10:36 pm

    Jerri - Thank you for sharing your “sweet” Cora with all of us! You are truly a blessing and it is amazing how the playground turned out! May God give you sweet peace!ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 11:17 pm

    Christina - May the Lord be praised for his faithfulness, and for yours!ReplyCancel

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  • September 30, 2009 - 6:15 am

    The Morris Family - His Word is so rich to our hurting hearts……I read this scripture and would like to share how God spoke to my own heart and hope it encourages yours too!!

    Praying for you daily!!

    who is left among you that saw this house
    in her first glory? and how do ye
    see it now? is it not in your
    own eyes in comparison
    of it as nothing?

    Haggai 2:3

    You see, sometimes I think back to the “former” and “think” to myself that what we had was so right, so good, we were all together in our house, on our little farm, it was all “perfect.” I think back to the former and remember our house in all of her first glory, like the verse says. What I do is compare the former to the now. If I “think,” so to speak lower, I am thinking in my mind that I will not find now with equal delight and pleasure of what I thought we had. It seems like I am thinking, “God messed up, this is nothing compared to what I use to have.” But what I need to do is think “higher,” thoughts. I need to see the now as, even better and if for no other reason, it is because God himself has worked this plan for our family, for our house. There is no answer to the question above in the verses, I guess those people could not “think higher” either about the temple that once was and now needed finishing and they were weary, they were comparing the glory that use to be and so longed for that same glory. It is as if the Lord knows we will question and compare the former and the now. He is Omniscient, He discerns our thoughts. So in verse, 4- 5, He tells us to be strong, to work, He is with us, His Spirit remains among us. I need to “think” that the Lord is fully able to grant and give a “glory” even now. That He can give me delight and joys and pleasures even though Joel is not here with us. In verse 9, it says, the glory for this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. I can not answer if our house, the former, was not giving God all the glory it could have, but I am confident that in the now, God will get the glory, not because of anything of us or about us, but its because His plans are being carried out in and through a death. That is what He desires, for His glory to be manifested and our good comes from all His workings and plans. So, I want to “think higher” for the now and rest peacefully that it is better than the former. It will be an exercise of my spirit, heart and mind for sure!! Do you see how through scriptures, He is our Counselor?ReplyCancel

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  • October 1, 2009 - 4:00 pm

    Christy - I just found this blog through Stellan’s blog. God bless you all as you welcome your new little one! Are the dresses available yet? I would like to purchase one but did not see them on the etsy site link. Don’t want to miss out! :)ReplyCancel

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On Sunday we gathered in the church parking lot to dedicate Cora’s Playground.

I can’t tell you how loved we felt to be surrounded by so many friends and family. Even seven months later there are so many who are still walking this hard road right beside us.

We are blessed.
We had the opportunity to thank the many people
who were a part of this project.
Our pastors shared a few thoughts.
We sang together.
It was such a special time.
Thanking and praising God for what He has done.






We watched with tears as those 341 balloons floated away.
A reminder of our sweet Cora’s life.
And then we celebrated…
With cupcakes of course!



Even a few Etsy ladies were here…in Kansas.
Heather, Megan, Julie, and Sarah were all at the dedication.
Megan was wonderful and hosted the three girls all weekend.
I LOVED meeting these ladies who have invested so much time and love into our lives.
I am so glad they are not strangers anymore.



And now this dream of having a playground is complete.
Thanks to so many people.
We would have never imagined that this beautiful playground would be the end result.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3
Thank you Megan for capturing this day in pictures for us.
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  • September 26, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Anonymous - I am always so encouraged by your blog. Praise God that He holds us through the difficult times in this life, and there seem to be so many! I wish that I could give you a big ol’ hug…many prayers and love to you from Georgia!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Anonymous - The playground is beyond gorgeous – just like Cora. Look how many smiles she is bringing to all of the happy children on the playground.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Miss G - I love, love, love the “Cora’s Playground” sign. Wow! What a legacy your sweet little girl is carrying on. KellyReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 9:39 pm

    Amy - A sweet playground in honor of a sweet, precious girl. What a blessing you, Joel, and especially Cora Paige have been to myself and so many others.

    Our family still remembers you in prayer, and we cannot wait to meet the newest member of your family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 9:43 pm

    JD - What a beautiful celebration, Cora must be so proud of you both…

    Our prayers continue!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 9:56 pm

    Kat - I am so glad you were surrounded by love and uplifted by prayer on such a bittersweet day. Still praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:01 pm

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - Hi Jess and Joel.

    My spirit has been lifted by your beautiful post. The playground is enchanting, and I am sure that children will use and abuse it with absolute joy, for years to come. God is doing great things through your family.

    Thank you for sharing these moments, heartbreaking and joyful, with all of us. God’s love is far -reaching. He’s reaching the world through your family.

    With love and prayers,
    XO*Tricia

    P.S. Jess, you are positively gorgeous!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:02 pm

    Trish - Megan did such a great job capturing the moments of the day! Watching those balloons float away, brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for staying strong in your faith through your journey!!! Your lives speak loudly for Christ! Sending you hugs xoxoReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:04 pm

    Toni :O) - Looked like a beautiful day and I’m proud that I helped in some small way by purchasing something that helped build that amazing playground. So much goodness will come of sweet Cora’s life. You are both so amazing to me and I think of you both so very, very often and pray for you both and sweet baby Mac. I wish I could have been there to share in the special day but you were not far from my thoughts on that day. May God continue to bless you and give you the strength and support you need. I love that you have such wonderful friends to lean on…you are all quite a group. Thanks for lifting them up like you do! Hugs to you all!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:19 pm

    Melissa - Thats so wonderful the playground is finnished – it looks great. Looks like the kids already love it. The balloons were beautiful, I love the colors. You look great as well…love your belly bump.
    I think of your Cora and say a prayer for you and your husband everytime I see the burpcloths I bought from you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Trasie Bressler - Simply lovely!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:42 pm

    Stacey - What an amazing way to celebrate Cora’s life! Your post brought tears to my eyes. May Cora’s playground bring great happiness, while creating new memories. Thank you for sharing this special day. Hugs!

    Stacey from CAReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    3LittleByrds - What a beautiful dedication that I’m sure sweet Cora was looking down on. Everytime I look at your blog I smile at Cora’s sweet face. Such a beautiful angel she is.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    k and c's mom - What a long road you have/are traveling. So thankful for this bright stop on your path. Bless you all.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 10:53 pm

    Anonymous - I too am always encouraged and inspired by your post. Tears stream down my face at what the 341
    balloons represent..what a truely bittersweet time. Love the “Cora’s Playground” sign..I am so very sorry for your pain. Thank you for continueing to share with us, your journey.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:01 pm

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - The pictures are so beautiful and touching! What a special day. That is an amazing tribute to Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:07 pm

    Erica - what a beautiful, encouraging post. you guys are so uplifting even through your hurt. what a beautiful playground. you are so blessed with family, friends, and a wonderful church family. and you look so fabulous pregnant!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:11 pm

    Yankee Mama - The playground is beautiful. I think of y’all all the time. Still praying here in Texas.

    Much Love,
    SuziReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:27 pm

    All Doll(ed) Up - amazing! it is absolutely amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:27 pm

    purejoy - what a sweet day and i know it will give you continued joy every time you see children enjoying themselves on cora’s playground. what a lasting tribute, and it looked like a wonderful day!! (and you look precious!)ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:32 pm

    Shana - This is an unbelievable and amazing thing.ReplyCancel

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  • September 26, 2009 - 11:37 pm

    Sarah - Thank you for sharing this day with me. You have been in my thoughts and prayer. I bet Cora and Jesus are smiling down at you.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 12:51 am

    Heather - it was an amazing day! so great to honor cora with your family last weekend. the trip was truly a blessing, and i’m so glad we’re no longer strangers, too!

    xx heather :)ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 1:13 am

    Jenifer - Love the playground Cora is so proud yallReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 1:15 am

    Sarah - I was blessed by the weekend in Kansas for the playground dedication. Cora’s life and your faith and strength continue to be an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 1:48 am

    starnes family - I’m so happy to see the final product. Lots of hard work….lots of love.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 6:19 am

    Mum2twopreciousgifts - Dear Jess

    The playground is WONDERFUL. BUT, I loved the photos of Joel’s arm protectively on your shoulder and to see Baby Mac making his/her presence known in your tummy bulge. You look so healthy.

    Your beautiful girl may have only been here on earth for 341 days but she changed the world.

    God Bless and prayers for your happiness, peace and comfort.

    Good night from Australia.

    Michelle xReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 7:16 am

    Beckypdj - What a a special time of celebration. Congratulations on everything. You looked radiant and I liked seeing your baby bump. I know you miss Cora so much. You will have joyous times again especially playing on Cora’s playground with her new sibling.

    Hugs to you and your familyReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 9:07 am

    PamperingBeki - It was a beautiful day, Jess.

    You are beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 9:44 am

    Misty Rice - So many tears flowing right now down my face this Sunday morning…..

    as tears flow and I see the pictures…. I am again reminded how sweet life is. How important to LOVE is.

    The playground is beautiful…. I LOVED seeing all the children with bright eyes and smiles playing on it…. they do not know what brought on that playground, but we do and it is just beautiful.

    Today I will be attending a Edna Mae’s Foundation even. I will be photographing it again also. She is the 19 month old of a friend of mine that just passed last month from a pool exercise.

    Today is such a bittersweet day.

    Please pray for Edna Mae’s family as I continue to pray for your family.

    And I love the BELLY!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 9:48 am

    Sara - That sign is so cool! The playground is perfect!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 10:06 am

    nennermommy - AMAZING!!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 10:30 am

    Whimsical Creations - What a beautiful dedication! You look beautiful with your baby bump.

    Hugs from Buffalo!
    =D melanieReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 11:17 am

    A - What a beautiful testament to Cora’s life! You look so beautiful, too. I love the pictures of Joel standing behind you with his hands on your shoulders!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 11:52 am

    Anonymous - Congrats on the completion of the playground. What a sad, but joyous occasion for you all. It looks wonderful and you will have it to share with others for years. Cora’s siblings will share it too when they grow with families of their own.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 11:52 am

    Wendy - Thank you for sharing! Still think of you and Cora everyday! And I’m lovin the baby bump!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 1:25 pm

    Team Martins - It is so beautiful.

    So very, very beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 1:59 pm

    Erin - The playground looks beautiful!

    Great job momma : )ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 3:09 pm

    Roberta Rollins (Kerri Price) - It is hard to say goodbye to a butterfly,
    especially a small one.
    We want to hold and keep butterflies for our own.
    But sometimes a butterfly cannot stay
    in the garden we have made for it,
    to live among our roses,
    no matter how hard we have tried.
    Butterfly wings are made of light.
    When we say goodbye to a butterfly,
    it is only for a moment.
    We place our butterfly in the palm of a gardener
    who knew in Gethsemane,
    that eternity would also break our hearts.
    A butterfly teaches us the meaning of life
    and the power of love.
    Saying goodbye to a butterfly is hard
    …but when a butterfly closes its eyes,
    it has always only gone to sleep.
    Sweet dreams, my little butterfly.
    I will rock you in my heart.
    —Heather Jorgensen

    This says it better than I could.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 3:21 pm

    jennifer - Blessings to you and your family!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 4:38 pm

    Marla Taviano - Beautiful post. Beautiful playground. Missing Cora. Praising Jesus!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 7:52 pm

    Tsquared417 - Perfect dedication just like your perfect little girl.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 8:16 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - I am so glad you posted about the dedication-I knew it would be very hard but it sure looks like God had all the Glory. I wanted to be there so bad-I was in Newton on Friday and Saturday but had to be back in Arkansas at my own church Sunday morning. I did drive by Coras Playground-it is so neat. I am still praying for you all.ReplyCancel

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  • September 27, 2009 - 11:40 pm

    Jerri - The playground is awesome! I can’t imagine how much you miss sweet Cora but God grant you peace and strength! You are an amazing couple!ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 3:21 am

    Sue - You guys are amazing, the day must’ve been such a tough one. I’m sure you’re very proud of how Cora’s playground has turned out and I’m sure it’s going to be loved by so many young children.

    Sue x

    PS. Your bump is looking great, you’re looking fabulous!ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 6:09 am

    SouthernGalsBoutique - I LOVE the playground, all of the bright vibrant colors!!! What a great dedication.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 6:43 am

    Lauren Thomas - Hi there! I have been following your blog for a while now, and I just don’t even know any words that could possibly comfort you. But, today in my devotion, the power verse made me think of you. Have a great week!

    1 Peter 4:12-13, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (NIV).ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 7:13 am

    Emma and Company - What a beautiful dedication. I am so glad you were able to do something so wonderful for you sweet Cora and so many people were there to support you and celebrate beautiful Cora’s life. God Bless you both, you are continually in our prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 7:27 am

    Tina - Amazing. I don’t have the words to express what is in my heart.

    Thanks for posting this.

    God Bless you, Joel, and the new baby and my God take special care of Cora.

    Love,

    TinaReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 8:13 am

    Robin in Benton - Awesome post Jess. It was a beautiful dedication in memory of a beautiful baby girl.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 8:53 am

    Colleen - I have followed Cora’s story and although not the ending we hoped for, we know so much good has come out of this. God did not give Cora cancer, but He was there to get you through. We are on a cancer journey with our daughter Ellie and as hard as it can be on some days, I am so grateful for all the good.

    God Bless and all the best with the new baby

    Colleen
    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ellie1ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 9:46 am

    Karina - I, too, am proud to have contributed even a teensy bit to this project by buying Cora products on Etsy. It feels good to be able to do something, however small, in face of a sad and unpreventable loss like yours. Many hugs to you, Joel, and the new baby-to-be.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 12:41 pm

    Mandi @ It's come to this - Your family has been such an encouragement & now this is just a permanent testimony of that! I absolutely LOVE the “Cora’s Playground” sign & that you sent balloons off & ate cupcakes. What were the envelopes/packets in the buckets? Your family continues to be in my thoughts & prayers. Can’t wait to see pictures of Cora’s big brother/sister playing on her playground one day soon!ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 1:05 pm

    michele - what a beautiful celebration of your little girl’s life. it warms my heart to see the body of Christ embrace one another like this.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 1:23 pm

    Mandy - Jess,
    You don’t know me. I, of course came across your blog shortly after Cora was diagnosed with cancer. I check your blog all the time and think about you and your family often. I don’t think there is anything more heartbreaking than the loss of a child, especially someone as young as little Cora. I know you hear this all the time, but you are in my prayers. God bless you, your husband, and that sweet, precious baby on the way.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 2:16 pm

    sassy studio - what a beautiful day, i can see and feel the love all the way here in Canada!
    You look wonderful and glowing.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 2:23 pm

    run26.2mom - I am a new commenter on your blog but have followed your story for a few months. Although I have not commented, I do pray for you and your family. I find your strength and faith to be amazing! You have made me look inward a little harder and make some changes. The pictures you have shared of beautiful Cora always shout out “joy” to me. To an outsider looking in Cora lived her life here with a big smile and joy in her heart. What amazing parents you are and will continue to be!
    The playground is a perfect place to let Cora’s joy and love be passed on to other little ones. May joy and peace continue to return in your life.
    Peace, SusanReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 10:06 pm

    Happiness Is... - What a beautiful celebration for a beautiful life. I know it was bittersweet, but I cannot conceptualize a prettier or more perfect playground and day to honor sweet Cora’s life.ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 11:21 pm

    Lindsey - beautiful. so, so beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 1:24 am

    Princess Martha - Wow! The day looked like a huge sucess, you & your helpers have done so well with the playground. What a gorgeous honour for your precious Cora. Ps You look great!ReplyCancel

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  • September 29, 2009 - 4:04 pm

    Jessatsea - it is a beautiful playground for a beautiful family!
    I”m so glad you had such a great dedication. God BlessReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 10:49 am

    Laura - As a contributor to Cora’s playground, I wanted to thank you for sharing the pictures and description of the dedication. I don’t comprehend the whys of children being taken from their families and the devastation that is left in that wake. I deeply admire you for the memories you have cherished and the productive way you have given back to your community in Cora’s honor and memory. May you always feel her presence in your hearts and may her spirit lighten your feet as you walk this road till you are once again reunited with your beautiful daughter.ReplyCancel

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  • December 28, 2011 - 12:38 am

    Alyssa Hollis - I am so inspired to read your blog. Its just amazing. your family is beautiful.ReplyCancel

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