We thought we would be ready by the end of August…
then September…
but it is looking like October is going to be the month.
Since I am finished working, my mom and I have been sewing like crazy.
Trying to catch up.
We are getting so close to being ready to post everything.
I am not going to give you a date though.
I don’t want to be wrong again.
And I hate not following through on my promises.
So, keep checking back.
We will be posting very soon.





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  • October 6, 2009 - 1:12 pm

    Mark and Mandi - Oh I can’t wait…maybe we’ll get a Cora dress this time:) And I can’t believe I was first to comment either!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 1:26 pm

    Erica - your stuff is so cute! i can’t wait to see everything you’re making this time!!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 1:31 pm

    meg duerksen - i LOVE these pics!!
    your new look is so cute jess!
    your dresses and your whole shop make people so happy.
    hope you are having a great tuesday!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Ash - Beautiful colors!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Trasie Bressler - Oh I can’t wait…..Cute Stuff!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 2:01 pm

    The Mershawn's - I love the turtle pin cushion:). They make me smile. Holding out hope… :)Ha!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 2:01 pm

    Robin in ABenton - Hope you are having a terrific day! Hoping that this time I can get my two granddaughters Cora dresses!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 2:37 pm

    Kristen - Can’t wait to see if I can get a dress for my little girl! And I love the new blog layout! :-)ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - oh the colors just make me wanna smile. super fun. love the fabrics!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 3:13 pm

    purejoy - oooooh. it all looks good (and so do you, by the way) can’t wait for the unveling, and love the new blog buttons!! fun looking blog. and cora looks so cute.ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 3:22 pm

    Amanda Whybrew - You make me want to learn how to sew!! I love the happy colors you have chosen –they make me more anxious to compulsively check Cora’s shop :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 3:30 pm

    Anonymous - Can’t wait to see :) although I don’t have a little girl to buy for love to see them.they are all so adorable..however I am in on catching something for a little boy :)

    KimReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 3:40 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - oh-now I am nervous-I want to be one of the lucky ones to get a cora dress and maybe a tripp t-shirt-i will keep checking. Maybe this is my lucky month-i did win at our bunko last night so things are looking up-ha! Thanks to you and your mom for working hard. Praying for you all still.ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 5:43 pm

    Carla, Ireland - Ohhhhhh so excited, have been looking forward to the restock since I happened across your blog. Happy sewing :-)ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 5:51 pm

    Princess Martha - Wow, I wish I had some little people to buy some dresses for, they are so gorgeous. I think this everytime I see your dresses.ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 6:03 pm

    Micah - Girl, I know what you mean. It takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to post stuff on Etsy!!! I’ve been doing just that all day and i feel like i have accomplished nothing! But posting 10 items! woohoo! Can’t wait to see what you and your mom have been working on!

    btw, LOVE the new blog look!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 6:25 pm

    Lindsay - Oh I’m so hoping to get a Cora dress this time around! Love the new blog look.ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 6:31 pm
  • October 6, 2009 - 7:15 pm

    Ethansmom08 - YAY! Couldn’t be more excited about the new Cora dresses! Wow, they all look SO beautiful! :)

    Love and Prayers for you, Joel, Cora & Baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 7:31 pm

    SouthernGalsBoutique - I love the colors in the fabric!! I can’t wait to see them all…ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 8:10 pm

    Whimsical Creations - Ohhhh…i can not wait!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 8:59 pm

    Shauna - Oh my gosh!! The suspense is killing me–I can’t hardly wait!!!! I’m going to try my best to snag me a dress for spring!!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 9:54 pm

    The Moffats - I am guessing that you will be sold out within a half hour of your listings :) It all looks like so much fun! I also love the finished blog look. I read everything “new” and wept reading Cora’s Story – what a wave of emotion and memories that came FLOODING back. Love you guys and hope you’re having a good week! Hopefully we can catch each other soon…ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    The Moffats - I am guessing that you will be sold out within a half hour of your listings :) It all looks like so much fun! I also love the finished blog look. I read everything “new” and wept reading Cora’s Story – what a wave of emotion and memories that came FLOODING back. Love you guys and hope you’re having a good week! Hopefully we can catch each other soon…ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 9:59 pm

    Jenni - Your Cora Dresses are super cute and made with such love.. I love the bright colors. In hopes of having my own little girl someday – I may just have to buy one.. :0)ReplyCancel

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  • October 6, 2009 - 10:02 pm

    Maureen - Beautiful!!! I too LOVE the look of your blog!!! Know that I think and pray for you often.ReplyCancel

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  • October 7, 2009 - 12:16 am

    Christina - Wonderful photographs!ReplyCancel

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  • October 7, 2009 - 2:09 am

    Sue - Good luck!! Such beautiful clothing, I am wishing I had a little princess to dress up…ReplyCancel

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  • October 7, 2009 - 3:43 am

    judith - Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh excitment mounting! It looks as though you’ve been real busy stitching and creating beautiful things. Hoping that I can be one of the fortunate ones and dress my wee girl in one of your creations bringing a little bit of Cora magic over to Bonnie Scotland! xReplyCancel

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  • October 7, 2009 - 7:33 am

    Rachael - Don’t feel bad! Jess- you are so talented, God has given you such a wonderful gift. Thank you for blessing us with it.ReplyCancel

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  • October 7, 2009 - 12:47 pm

    jennifer rogers - oh i’m so excited! I’ve been checking everyday to see if you’ve put anything in the shop! I will be so excited if I get a cora dress!ReplyCancel

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  • October 7, 2009 - 2:06 pm

    athans' family - Love the new layout of the website…very cute! I hope that I can get a Cora dress. They are so cute and what a tribute to your sweet little girl. I think about you and pray for you often. May God continue to work through as you touch so many lives through your story.
    Love, NicoleReplyCancel

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  • October 8, 2009 - 8:31 am

    Rebecca - Thinking of you and praying for you right now, as “Mighty to Save” is playing on our local radio station.

    My 7 year old knows what this song means to me in relation to your family. He runs to tell me it is on the radio if I am out of ear shot at the time. Then he quick runs to the radio, turns it up and sings along. You are in his thoughts and prayers as well.

    Love and Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

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  • October 8, 2009 - 10:18 am

    Misty - its such a small world~ i follow meg’s blog & saw the dedication~ clicked her link and found your blog… only to realize that i’ve seen it before… a photographer here in tulsa also had your link on her blog MONTHS ago asking for people to pray for your family… and we did, and our church did, and our community did… and still do. i cannot WAiT to buy dresses from your shop! your new blog is great! You inspire me and give me strength when things tend to get overwhelming~ isn’t that crazy that someone in blogland and help get you thru life trials and they don’t even know it?! lol God Bless You and Your Family.ReplyCancel

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  • October 8, 2009 - 5:49 pm

    The Shepherd Family - Oh I am sooo excited! I hope to actually grab one or two dresses for my girls!!ReplyCancel

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  • October 9, 2009 - 9:50 am

    Jaclyn @ Love, Laughter, and Complete Chaos - Love your blog…you story inspires me. You look fantastic~ can’t wait to “meet” the new little Mac. :)ReplyCancel

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  • October 13, 2009 - 12:12 pm

    Anonymous - Love everything you guys make and would love some. Would you ever consider shipping to Canada?
    Take care! JenelleReplyCancel

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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!

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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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