With Cora not being with us now, 

there are so many times I find myself wondering.
Yesterday I thought about Cora so much as she would have been 18 months old. It is hard to even imagine her that old. It is hard to believe that much time has gone by.
I wonder what she would be doing as an 18 month old.
What new things would she be learning?
What words would she be saying?
What would be her favorite thing to eat?
Would her personality be more like her mama or daddy?
How long would her pretty brown hair be by now?
What would we be doing together during our days at home?
I wonder why Cora had to get sick.
Why did God choose to take Cora home so quickly?
Why didn’t He heal Cora?
Why did He choose to draw us and others closer to Himself through Cora’s death instead of through her healing?
I wonder what our lives would have looked like this fall if she was here and everything was still “normal”.
I wonder what it is going to be like to welcome this new little one into our lives.
Will he/she look like Cora?
Will we feel like first time parents again?
Will it be hard to use Cora’s baby things for this baby or will it be healing?
What will it be like to have our arms filled again?
Will it be easier to be around our friends kids again?
Will we always be overprotective parents because of what happened to Cora?
Today as we sang Jesus Loves Me in church. 
I wondered why I was having to wipe away my tears because my heart was aching so intensely, instead of singing this sweet song with Cora in my arms.
I think many of these things I will always wonder.
I may never understand.
I will never fully comprehend God’s ways.
But I know that when it comes to my relationship with God 
and my future with Him,
I don’t have to wonder.
I will never need to wonder about God’s love for me.
I will never need to wonder how my story will end.
A friend told me awhile back that this part of my life is like a really bad chapter in a really good book.  While I don’t know what the rest of my story will hold, I can be confident about the ending. I know that the end of my story is so incredibly sweet that I can’t even begin to imagine.
That is the TRUTH that keeps me going.  
That is the TRUTH that I will never have to wonder about.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1
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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:11 pm

    jess - it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel i’m sure, or even see any light at all! just know that there are many people praying for you right now, and whose hearts are so touched by Cora’s precious life. i know i have been, immensely.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:15 pm

    Clare - Such strength you still have. You and your family are still a huge inspiration! You are blessed.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:18 pm

    Sherryl - What a beautiful post Jess. So much coming from your heart. Your healing has already begun. Stay strong. Life is still beautiful. And your new baby is indeed another chapter in the really good book that is your life.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:19 pm

    jenjensden - I am so touched by your words and your spirit. I’m struck speechless by it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:26 pm

    Trisha Larson - Nate would have been 18 months old yesterday too. I feel the exact same way that you do. In fact, I wrote a similar post yesterday on my blog.

    I often think of God like the wind. You can’t see Him but you can feel Him. You can’t see the wind but you can see the effect that the wind has on everything it touches.

    I know that God is with me right now. I can’t see Him. But I can feel Him. And, I can feel the effects He has as He works in and through people and circumstances around me.

    Hugs!

    TrishaReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:27 pm

    tara - Bless your family, your household, and your amazing stronghold in our Lord as he gentley guides you into each new day. New blessings and happiness will unfold soon and while it doesn’t loosen the ache inside, hold tight to every essence Cora was and still is to you. It has been said before, but the number of souls she has reached in her short little life is truly a gift. I wish I could lend a hug to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Brandi - What a moving post! I can’t imagine the pain you must be going through. I think of your family all the time and pray for you daily!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:43 pm

    Courtney - You just spoke my heart when Dylan died. I wondered why on so may levels yet, I knew He was always with me. I wanted so badly for God to intervine and heal Dylan so that everyone could truly see that God does perform miracles. There were many times I was angry, hurt, every emotion you can imagine. We never put away anything of Dylan’s and when our daughter Madylan Hope was born she used it all. It was hard on some levels but healing too.
    Stay strong.
    Love Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:47 pm

    Holly - I wonder many of these same things but I know that no matter what God is good and He loves me more than I can fathom. The end of the story is one I look forward to very much.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:56 pm

    SuzSpeaks - what a great post! I don’t know that I’ve commented before but I lift your family up every day.
    This life on earth is so trying and it is so comforting to know that he is there cheering us on on holding us up. May God continue to bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:57 pm

    The Costellos - I can’t imagine that you will ever stop wondering about Cora because she will always BE your daughter (not was). Much love for you guys as you are still healing and preparing for this wonderful new baby. Praying in TN, MandyReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 7:58 pm

    ~Cherie - I pray to have faith like yours. Thank you for your continued witness.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    Trish - Thank you for sharing… the tenderness of your heart is amazing. God is using you in mighty ways!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:11 pm
  • September 6, 2009 - 8:21 pm

    Sherri - Oh Jess…you have a way with words. I can only pretend to understand and fully understand just how hard each and everyday is for you. I pray God will soon share your pain and that he will comfort you and Joel. I pray for Baby Mac….and your whole family as you try and move forward.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:21 pm

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

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:31 pm

    Anonymous - Praying for you alwaysReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:35 pm

    jandkland - I don’t know how people face such intense tragedy without knowing God. I imagine it’s quite enough of a nightmare with God at your side. What happened with Cora was terribly wrong, just as it is for hundreds of children the world over who are fighting the cancer battle. It makes no sense, and I think you’re right that we will not be able to understand or explain it. I’m sad that you don’t get to see Cora now, to experience life with your beloved child, with that precious piece of yourself who was growing into such a beautiful little person of her own. It’s not fair, and it never will be. I’m so glad, though, that you do know the hope we have in Christ. I’m glad you know that, even though we can’t possibly explain such horrible injustices as a sweet baby dying of cancer, God is good and God loves you.

    –Kelley in GAReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    Diana - God bless you and strengthen you as He lovingly holds your wondering heart, with sufficient grace. May His comfort and your confidence im Him remain strong. Blessings upon you all in Jsus’name!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 8:54 pm

    starnes family - I’m so glad you’ve kept your perspective through such a diverse time. Still praying….ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:01 pm

    Marla Taviano - Sending you hugs and prayers!! Loving Cora with you!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:19 pm

    Lacie and Stephen - I know how you feel, if not exactly, at least a little. I look at my daughter each day and wonder what my first daughter would have been like at this age. I constantly wonder if she would have been quiet and calm or if she would have been crazy like she seemed in the womb! I wonder all of the time why God would take my daughter to be with Him before I got to meet her by allowing her to have this heart defect that is the same heart defect that is keeping another baby curriently alive! I don’t wish my pain on that other baby, it just astounds me how my childs death sentence is another child’s miracle! God is always going to be a wonder to us, and that promise is what gets us through these hard time! I am sure of it! The promise that I will one day stand in heaven on streets of gold, holding my baby’s hand for the fist time is what helps me to continue on the journey God has planned for me here on Earth. Sending hugs your way from Wichita!

    Lacie HutchinsReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Trasie Bressler - God Bless Your Heart!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Amy - I often wonder if I would be able to deal with something like this with the strength that you and Joel have. You are truly amazing, Jess. I thought that even before Cora was born, and every day since you have amazed me even more. I can’t wait to see you with your arms full again. Hugs to you. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 9:50 pm

    jennifer rogers - oh i just wish I could take some of your pain away and I don’t even know you personally! But, through your blog and sharing your tragedy of losing your precious little Cora I feel like we do know each other. My heart truly aches for you that you will never hold your precious baby girl in this life but I hope that you have the knowledge and the faith that you will see her again and you will be able to sweep her up in your arms and you will never have to let her go. I have lost a child too and that thought is the only thing that kept me going in the beginning after losing her. I hope that this new baby brings into your life healing and a new hope, I know that having my second child was filled with fears but through prayer they quickly subsided as soon as I got to hold him in my arms and realized that he was here and he was mine to have and to raise. I often think that he was sent here to heal my broken heart, my hope is that you feel the same way with your new arrival! I wish you nothing but peace and happiness Lord knows you deserve it!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:02 pm
  • September 6, 2009 - 10:10 pm

    Leah - We have never met, yet I feel like I know you. I was lead to your blog from a friend when Cora was in the hospital. SOOOO many prayers were lifted up… and I too struggle to understand why Cora was not healed on earth…I struggle with understanding why we aren’t getting pregnant and why God has not healed my mom of cancer and why can’t she be a grandma… her ultimate wish. All I know is God is good and He wipes away every tear and kisses us with the wind and I just try to hold onto that each day. I admire you for being so real and authentic. Know you are in MANY people’s prayers and so many people are celebrating this new precious life that will be here before you know it.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:17 pm

    The Sweigart Family - Sometimes I wonder, like you, how God could take such an amazing person and make her go through so much pain. You are His light. God bless you, with tears streaming down my face. I wish I could give you a big fat hug.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and soul.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    Lauren Kelly - Sweet girl, God knows all your thoughts and questions, and if they’re not answered on this side of eternity, just have hope that they will be on the other side!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:36 pm

    Gail - Woah–hard questions! I wonder about all of those for you, too. Sure love you guys and am so thankful for those glorious things you don’t have to wonder about!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    erica - Really beautiful. You are still in my prayers. Cora wasn’t mine and yet my heart aches for her to still be with you. I pray for the newest little Mac and that you will know nothing but joy.ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 11:24 pm

    Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - Jess,
    Are are far wiser than your years….your strength and your faith are incredible. I am experiencing the death of my grandma this weekend and while my cousin was their to say her final goodbyes, she developed a head ache and an MRI there showed she had a bleeding brain aneurysm! How much more tradgic could it get? My aunt is recovering from surgery to clamp the aneurysm and my grandma is in heaven! I read your post tonight and I felt such comfort….like my grandma, my final page in my book will be the eteranl life that I so long to live for. I pray for you everyday that God may bless your lives with a healthy baby again…I know that Cora is looking down and smiling because she had you as a mommy! YOU ARE AMAZING!ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 11:29 pm

    Keilani - Oh Jess.. you are so wise, and yet you manage to comfort us while yuor own pain is so great. So many of us have been given the chance to know your family, and I am truly sorry for your loss, & your aching hearts. Please know we are all praying for you. Your friend indeed captured the essence of your life right now..<3ReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Christina - Today I went to Sunday School for the first time in a really long time because of a toddler that I never put in child care of Sunday School. The lesson I sat in on was about hope, the middle child of the Bible (faith, hope, and love…). So much of what was said made me think of you all. Without hope we really have nothing. It’s all so connected, I know. But to me, hope is, well, life-giving. I think that it is more than okay that you have all those questions. And your knowing that you won’t know the answers here but still trusting God and leaning on Him, believing His word that He loves and will carry you through to the amazing end where all things will be made new…that is powerful. I pray for constant healing and for His presence in your lives to be so real that it’s tangible. Praise Him for your children!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 12:59 am

    purejoy - i love how your friend put it. . . it’s like a really bad chapter of a really good book. so true!!
    take care and press on! we’re praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:10 am

    Kathryn - I had a miscarriage fairly early. Two others as well. I focus most on the first one. She would be over 3 now & i think many of the same things you voice here. Of course, i never got to hold ours, & we have not been blessed with a successful pregnancy since then.

    It seems God is calling us to childlessness here. And that is hard.

    I rejoice for you that some of your questions will be answered in a few months. I pray that God give you peace thru this time & that coming. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 7:36 am

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Such a beautiful post from your beautiful mother-heart…

    Praying for you, still…

    And…so glad that you know the end of the story…and find comfort and peace and assurance in that beautiful truth…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 8:48 am

    Angela - That was heartbreakingly beautiful. I’m so, so sorry for your loss.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 8:51 am

    Drew, Taylor, and Caroline Clayton - beautiful passage- your new baby will love reading this blog one day!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 9:43 am

    Vera - What a beautiful post. You are such an inspiration, and so much in my prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 10:07 am

    Karina - Your heartache is very moving. I just wish life was fair. Cora is daily in my thoughts, as are you and Joel. I wish I knew why any of us had to suffer, some so much more than others…I’m glad you seem to have some of the answers, some of us are much more in the dark and couldn’t stand through the storm you are braving. I’m going to hug my daughter again now…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 10:33 am

    Taking Heart - Your words express such love, pain, and faith. Thank you for being so forthcoming of your feelings, such a witness of God’s unfailing love…
    I just blogged about an old song we sang in church yesterday, “Something Beautiful.” After reading your post, I realized that this song wasn’t just for me, but for all of us.

    Something beautiful, something good
    All my confusion He understood
    All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
    But he made something beautiful of my life

    If there ever were dreams
    That were lofty and noble
    They were my dreams at the start
    And hope for life’s best were the hopes
    That I harbor down deep in my heart
    But my dreams turned to ashes
    And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
    So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
    And laid it at the cross.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Laura - I wonder, too.

    I like the analogy of a bad chapter in a good book.
    Your book…your story…touches so many.

    I can not wait for your arms to be filled once again…
    much love and God BlessReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 12:03 pm

    Anonymous - Do you feel overwhelmed about the prospect of writing a book? As you continue on this journey and maintain and document your honest faith, it seems that a permanent record of this could be beneficial to many people. Your life experience, although incredibly sad and unique , ultimately is experienced by most people to some degree. It would be good to have a record of your story to share with friends who go through loss and who face the hard questions. Do not rule out the possibility of a project such as compiling your memoirs and thoughts into a book.

    we continue to pray for you
    some friends from KansasReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:39 pm

    Anonymous - I am so very sorry that you have to have all of these what if’s instead of your baby girl. I pray that Heavenly Father will continue to bless you with healing and comfort.

    Ummm…I’ve thought and thought about telling you about this family and I didn’t want to and kinda still don’t but finally decided if it were me I’d want to know. There’s a family at http://www.maxeyweb.com who’s first baby girl died of cancer and who’s third (also a girl) also has cancer (neuroblastoma along with another kind). The reason I tell you this is not to make you worry but because they found a genetic link between the two (chromosome 22 I think) and I figured if there was a way to test your baby it might give you comfort about the future….Please don’t hate me for telling you. Anyway, I hope this helps and in no way hurts. I still pray for your family daily and will continue to do so…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    dg darling - Praying for you…ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 3:17 pm

    Alli Unruh - Thank you for your honesty and amazing words. I think of you and Joel so often, and I am praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 3:19 pm

    meg duerksen - the wisdom through your pain this year is really incredible jess. you know more than most people twice your age….i think.
    you are a strong woman.
    in christ you are strong.ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 3:39 pm

    Anonymous - Here is the specific post about the Chromosome 22 abnormality…

    http://www.maxeyweb.com/?p=320ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    Bec - A couple years back, my brother in law passed away from his four year battle with cancer. He was 21 when diagnosed and of course we all were left to ask why. Luckily, he was old enough to voice his thoughts and let us know it was ok and when he passed on, we knew he was in a better place. We were still left to ask why? Why such a good person- why take someone who exemplified a Godly life on a daily basis when so many do not? Sitting at the hair dressers one day with my sister in law talking about our upcoming weddings, she asked if the first husband was someone we didn’t like (she’d assumed it was a divorce since my sis in law is so young) and at the moment we finally had our perfect answer- “No, but God loved him more.” So just realize as much love as you had for Cora, God loved her more (amazing to think that much love can exist).ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 6:29 pm

    Mommy2QTPies - I have been a long time reader of your blog from when Cora first got sick…haven’t commented in a while, still reading and wanted to tell you that this post was just so beautiful. I can not imagine what it feels like to feel the way you are right now…but know that so many people are praying for you and your family!

    I think to keep Cora’s memory alive, you will always ‘wonder’ year after year…I think its totally normal! I know my aunt lost a child at 3 years old to neuroblastoma and that’s been over 16 years and she still talks about her like she was still alive and how she would be going off to college right now…so continue to always wonder about your sweet girl… ((HUGS!!))
    Mommy from IndianaReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 8:50 pm

    Mary - My heart just aches for you. It aches and aches and aches. I don’t know you, probably will never meet you, but I just hurt for you. At the same time, I am positively awed by you… that you are able to conduct yourself with such grace and optimism and perseverence. Your new little one is so lucky to have such a strong mommy. You all are in my prayers.
    MaryReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 9:15 pm

    sassy studio - your words have so much love for all.
    my heart aches with you…..
    love and prayers from our home in Canada to yours!ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Anonymous - Everything you’ve said, SO true. I am praying all the time for you and your family. I hope that when you hold little Baby Mac your heart is just filled with joy.
    On a side note, I bought a burp cloth from you on Etsy. I recently brought it with me to my husband’s cousin’s baby shower. No one in his family is a believer. They were all really impressed with the burp cloth (Lemon and polka dots!) and wanted to know where I got it. It gave me such a wonderful opportunity to witness to them, using Cora’s story. I am a shy person, and I was so very grateful for the opportunity to speak to them so openly about our Savior’s love. Cora continues to bring people to Jesus, even as we speak! God bless you.
    Ashley in PhoenixReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 11:32 pm

    Ashley Ann - thank you for sharing…ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 12:03 am

    Amber - Thanks for sharing this. I love how you shared the thought of this being a really bad chapter in a good book that you know will have a sweet ending. We all have hard chapters, to differing degrees or experiences, and that is a sweet way to see them in the bigger picture of God’s story. I can only imagine how much you still long for Cora. Thank you for being real about your journey. Your family has touched so many lives, even though this ending to Cora’s story wasn’t the one you had hoped and prayed for.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 6:29 am

    denise - There is a song by Geoff Moore that talks about the ultimate healing being heaven. We prayed for our first born for 7 years to be healed. She was “ultimately healed” at age 7 1/2.

    I thought we should have prayed more for ourselves to cope! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May God continue to use you in mighty ways.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 7:33 am

    BEK - “I will praise you in the storm” – you are truly a testimony to this! Thank you for being so honest-when I read your posts there are times I cannot believe you are writing what you are writing- it just seems so painful. But then I remember that this is a healing place or at least a place of comfort. You have such a support network here and you are truly an inspiration to all of us! I am so grateful that you have such a great family of believers near you at your church to give you “real” hugs- since I am far away I am sending you a virtual hug! {{{hug}}}- Grace and peace to you and your family!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:33 am

    The Mershawn's - Jess, I wish I knew you, so I could give you a big hug today. I’m sad that we still cry for the 2 of you, but I know that you are completely right. Your story is not over & the sweetest & best is yet to come. You will know who God made Cora to be, just not yet. I know how hard that would be for me to swallow, but I believe one day, that sweet baby will be yours to raise again…in perfection. Keep hanging on. You will find more healing, you will…. still praying for you all!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:34 am

    the breedens (Jamie from Quinter) - Your postings and your faith are amazing. You are such an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 8:57 am

    Misty Rice - beautiful and heartfelt post….

    (((hugs))))ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 9:48 am

    Robin in Benton - Your post is so moving and such a testimony to your faith. I’ve looked at pictures of your sweet Cora and wondered why God had to choose to take her – or any other child – why children have to go through disease or even worse abuse. I know from reading your blog and the comments that Cora’s life has touched so many and that your shining faith has been an example for all of us to follow. I am glad that God has blessed you with the new life that is growing inside you and am praying that the remaining chapters in the book in your life are really really good ones. Bless youReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:30 am

    House of Collinsworth - I’ve been wondering about some similar questions about my sweet Noah. I just try to imagine him playing with all the other children in Heaven…perhaps he has met your sweet Cora! :o) Our hearts will ache for only a blink of an eye compared to the joy we will know for eternity.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:35 am

    Gale - You are strangers to me and my family, but I found your dresses and then your story. I know you get so weary (only because I have watched my twin sister lose her daughter and granddaughter in a horrible car crash), and I have heard her say that she can be doing pretty well and then a comment, song, flower, piece of clothing, rerun on TV, etc., can reopen the floodgates. I do know that she has completely lean upon God and her faith are you both are.
    I checked in today to see if there were any dresses posted (yes, I am still in pursuit!) and when I sensed your pain felt rather foolish for being disappointed in no listing. What a small disappointment compared to what you are feeling. Prayers for your continued healing, and I still believe that much healing will come through the little one you now carry …Blessings, GaleReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Jen - its rough to not know. I see girls my daughter’s age and it kills me..but it wasn’t meant for us to know on this earth..It seems as though you have made a huge impact by sharing your “story” with so many..I know its helped me to know that others are trusting God who have gone through the loss of their children.. Because for me it is so hard sometimes to just “be still”.. beautiful post!ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 2:49 pm

    The Perfect Trio - your strength is SO inspiring!!!!

    you’re in my prayers!

    melissaReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 10:59 pm

    Liana - You are AMAZING and have wisdom beyond your years. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart and your unwavering faith. I continue to shed tears for your sweet Cora every time I read your blog. I don’t know how you keep going and stay so positive, but know that you are an inspiration and such a good example of what a mother, wife and Christian should strive to be. You are in my heart and in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 11:42 pm

    Jenifer - This post make me want to cry I know how bad yall wish she was with y’all and so do we but like you said god has his waysReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 12:33 pm

    Anonymous - I found your blog awhile ago and have commented before. My little girl was born on the same day as your sweet Cora and I have often thought how hard it would be to walk in your shoes. I wish I’d found this blog and could see pictures of her growing and learning. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can only say that I truly believe you will see her again in Heaven, and that God doesn’t want you all to be sad and to suffer. I never think that our sadness and pain is part of God’s plan, rather that the healing and love that Heaven will bring is. Cora is safe and healed with Jesus, you’ll see her again and there will not be the pain of loss!ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 3:15 pm

    Tammie - THAT is amazingly Wonder-FULL! Thank you for sharing that… i love it, absolutely LOVE IT! God is WONDERFUL!ReplyCancel

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  • September 9, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Jerri - Well said! There are no words for me except what strength and courage you continue to show to us all!ReplyCancel

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  • September 11, 2009 - 10:17 am

    Robyn - I know you must grow tired of being an inspriation or hearing about it but you really are. I can’t imagine aching any more than I do reading about Cora. I am always touched by your posts and hug my girls tighter.ReplyCancel

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  • September 11, 2009 - 11:58 pm

    Anonymous - I’ve been following your journey for some time now, but this is the first time I’ve posted anything. I actually live close to Banff, Alberta. I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty and openness as you continue to go through such a difficult time. I really loved this last post and your surety in our Savior. Sometimes we hit rock bottom, but we hit the Rock. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. PamelaReplyCancel

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  • September 12, 2009 - 2:27 pm

    laney - …something wonderful and precious happened in this broken world because of cora…i do not know what that is…i will never know on this earth…but there is someone whose soul was saved by this sweet child…and by your blog…and by your faith…someone believes today…because cora lived…and because her parents still believed when she died …may God fill your hearts…as He fills your arms once more..ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 8:29 am

    Wendy McDonagh-Valentine - My heart aches for you when I read your words sometimes. I can’t ever imagine the pain that you must go thru on a daily basis and I hope to God I never have to. Everything is still so new. It’s been such a short time since Cora’s passing. I had a friend whose baby died in-utero, unexplicably, right before her due date. They went on to have another baby right away and then two more after that. The pain never goes away but it kind of gets tucked away a little bit as time passes. Time is the only thing that eases pain. There are no words or actions to make pain heal any quicker. I’ve learned thru lots of major losses in the last six years that our loved ones who have passed are always here with us and that there is such an incredibly thin veil that seperates us from them. That is what I find to be the most comforting. Take care and God bless. : )

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

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  • September 14, 2009 - 7:44 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - i know i don’t know you guys, but i just love your love for god and how you choose to glorify him in all things…praise god for cora’s life and how she has soooo touched so mahy lives. praying for strength and peace and joy for you in this new life and new journey.ReplyCancel

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  • October 2, 2009 - 2:42 pm

    Melissa - Just found your blog through another blog… I am so so incredibly sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine that pain and I am just so sad for you and your family that you had to go through it. Praise God for that precious baby on the way. :) May God continue to bless you and heal you during this time. :) You have amazing strength and courage…ReplyCancel

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While we were in Banff, Joel had to try this.

Poutine.
The french fries, not the hotdog.
We do have hotdogs in Kansas.
Poutine is french fries 
with cheese curds
covered in beef gravy.
That sounded awful to me,
but Joel said we had to try it.
He LOVED it.
And I have to admit…
it wasn’t that bad.
I liked the french fries and gravy.
The cheese curds, not so much.
Now Joel is convinced that I need to learn how to make poutine.
We’ll see.

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  • September 2, 2009 - 8:21 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - WOW-that looks kind of disgusting to me. You were brave for trying that-i must admit that i think the gravy might be acceptable but those cheese things looked bad. I will just take my french fries with catsup-thank you very much. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 8:53 pm

    Kimberly - Um, ewww. I guess you have to try it once, right?ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:11 pm

    Anonymous - Yuck looking to me too :) Let us know how yours turns out..maybe just the fries and gravy ok but the other I can do without..

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:27 pm

    Courtney e - that is one thing i could never get myself to try when i went to college in alberta… perogies are petty nasty too…ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Beckypdj - We have something similar in Arkansas (maybe the South?) They are called “Wets”. French fries with white gravy. Yum!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:33 pm

    Marc, Sarah, and Luke - Jess — I’m sure Marc would gladly make poutine with Joel. So, perhaps they could make it. Or, we could be nice and learn together :) Our guys and their food — I’ll never understand.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Cristy - Fries with gravy? Yummy. So bad for you, but yummy none the less! However, I must agree, when mixed with the cheese….gag. ;) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:36 pm

    Cathy - Yuck. I’m half Canadian and I’ve never tried that. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    Jennifer - We used to live near a dairy farm in Northern Colorado and they had the BEST cheese curds. It’s just the name that sounds gross. :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:41 pm

    Julie - I think it looks pretty appetizing myself. I like fries and I like gravy. Not sure about cheese curds, but I might like them too. :-) Pair it with some “big meat” and you have a meal! Let me know if you learn how to make it. hehe. Love you!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 10:14 pm

    Ginger - Yuck… except I love cheese curds! :) They are one of the many reasons I love going to Wisconsin :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Jane In The Jungle - Ooooo I’m with you…just don’t think so! Just the word..curd…ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    Courtney - YUCK! You are a good wife for trying it. Me I doubt it! I’m really not even sure WHAT cheese curds are?. I’m guessing this will not be a pregnancy craving for you!!
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 11:08 pm
  • September 2, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Amanda - how about you and I just stick to the cheese fries at Texas Roadhouse…sound like a deal???ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:19 am

    Christina - Curds. I just can’t get over how that sounds. I was not made for life on the frontier-it’s a good thing I don’t have to butcher my own meat and make my own cheese!
    Why mess with perfectly good french fries? :) You guys are brave!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:33 am

    Chris - LOL . I am Canadian and now live in Nh but I need to say that there is nothing better than a poutine. This is always the first thing that I will go eat when I cross the borber. DELICIOUS. Joel is so right ;) ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:51 am

    Keilani - Oh my! I am from Minnesota, home of cheese curds. They looked delicious!
    It is a tradition here to eat cheese curds at the fair! My husband is from Hawaii & they eat their french fries and macaroni salad with gravy on it!
    Now THAT is delicious!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 6:28 am

    kristin - my family is all in manitoba (and i am actually canadian)…and french fries with brown gravy is what we couldn’t wait for when visiting.

    my husband caught on and used to order it at newell’s. : )

    thinking of you these days more than ever…ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 8:33 am

    shepherdsgrace - hahahahahahaReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 8:34 am

    Kate - Not sure about that, but I’ll try it. Heading to Calgary on 9/12!!! Can’t wait. Had to order a lunch ahead of time for a fieldtrip and I chose the “morning glory muffin” as dessert. No idea what it is, but when in Canada, do as the Cunucks. Any other crazy Canadian food I should keep an eye out to try?ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 8:47 am

    Heather - Ok sorry but BLAH!! Cheese curds! Good for you for trying it! But I agree with PP Kristi, I’ll take my french fries with catsup!! Lol!
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:23 am

    PamperingBeki - Ohmyword, that sounds disgusting!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:28 am

    CourtneyC - I do not think that is something I could get myself to try. I prefer my fries with just salt/ketcup.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:49 am

    Savanna - Well, I am a good ol’ southern girl living in Canada, and poutine is now a fav of mine! They call the cheese curds “squeaky cheese”. Vinegar is good on it too! Some people will use mozzarella instead, but it’s just not the same. I used to think it was gross too, but now I definitely have my poutine cravings! My family in Tennessee are hooked on it too!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:49 am

    Savanna - Well, I am a good ol’ southern girl living in Canada, and poutine is now a fav of mine! They call the cheese curds “squeaky cheese”. Vinegar is good on it too! Some people will use mozzarella instead, but it’s just not the same. I used to think it was gross too, but now I definitely have my poutine cravings! My family in Tennessee are hooked on it too!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 9:51 am

    Lauren Kelly - I have never in my life heard of such a thing! Looks interesting, haha!!! :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 10:04 am

    Garrett Family - I’m a Canadian living in San Diego. My husband and I crave poutine! There’s just nothing like it here. That particular portion looks amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 10:18 am
  • September 3, 2009 - 10:28 am

    Katie Spinks - as a Canadian it is true people here love them myself not such a big fan but most guys I know love them… i think its all the gravy but who knows… glad Joel enjoyed a little taste of Canadian food!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 12:41 pm

    Anonymous - We live in western Canada and my family loves poutine! We prefer shredded mozzarella to the cheese curds though….ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    Kelly - Another Canadian weighing in on the poutine topic – And definitely 2 thumbs up here. I live in Michigan now and whenever I go home I hope there are curds at my parents. And I have to admit Poutine cravings do come and go here… just thinking about it makes me want some.. yummy…ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 2:34 pm

    sassy studio - you could use mozza cheese instead of curds…..they even sell it at costoc! good for you for trying it, i’d eat it but I like to see my feet…
    canada friend,
    sassy
    (we are next door to alberta in saskatchewan-next time you visit we’ll meet you at the icecream store!)ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 3:33 pm

    Alexa - oh oh oh oh oh I LOVE poutine! And while I am a down home 100% AMERICAN girl.. I totally have convereted since moving to canada when it comes to the poutine thing!

    Making it is so EASY! (it wont be as good as some places, but still, it’s yummy!) Just used a packet of gravy mix & mozza cheese! I promise he’ll love it all the same! :)

    Have a great long weekend!ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 3:35 pm

    Karina - Hilarious! I am Canadian, so I do understand. I personally love cheese curds, but I’m not wild about the gravy. But I happen to know those who are addicted to poutine stay REALLY addicted. As another person pointed out, Joel might not be able to see his feet for long if you give in to that particular fancy…But what the heck, he could join you as you grow with baby! (Only problem is, he wouldn’t necessarily be able to see his feet again after the nine months are up!)ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:01 pm

    RLG - that looks like a tummy ache to me! xoxoReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:12 pm

    Miss G - We went to Montreal for New Years. It was COLD!!! We ate poutine and I can say that after walking around all day out in the cold, it was a very welcome, warm treat. I enjoy reading your blog so much, Jess. Kelly

    p.s. do you have a Culver’s near you? We have said that since they sell fries, cheese curds and things with gravy that you could probably get them to make you (or rather Joel) a poutine. Just a thought.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:28 pm

    The Mershawn's - Ha! That sounds just like a silly man I know:)…my husband. He’s always wanting to try weird things & then loves them & wants to make them. They make me laugh…ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 5:08 pm

    The Schilling's from Cimarron - Hi… Long time no talk uh??? My computer has been on the brink…. LOVE the playground! Miss you guys lots! Several of my friends told me about your interview on TV…. sorry we missed it! THings here are good, just crazzzyyy busy with school, and three kids….. Kali’s first VB game will be next week, so from there we are somewhere different every week!

    Hope you are all doing well! enjoyed reading and looking at all of the posts! keep in touch! I am still amazed and honored to be a part of your strong faith…. I still feel myself drawn to your words of wisdom and it seems to humble me and remind me of what is truely important! Thank you for that!

    Tell your families hello for us!
    love you!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 5:12 pm

    bikim - Dear Jess,
    don’t really know if i should do this, but you’ve so great and courageous… you’ve been there and done that… this family in norway is now going through terrible times. can you in any way help them?
    http://mali-mo.blogspot.com/
    If you think it’s not the time (do not want to bring pain in any way), nor the place or just don’t want to do it i do understand.
    Thanks and just be happy,
    RosaReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 5:37 pm

    Suzanne - cheese, fries, and gravy…count me in! Um I mean, I’ll have a salad..dressing on the side.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 7:08 pm

    Anonymous - My hubby would love that but it does not look to tasty to me. Your trip sounded so wonderful though. COntinue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Summer & family in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Kimberly - Poutine is so Canadian, that you can even get it at Burger King. Just make sure if you go to Montreal, don’t try to be “french” and call it Pootan….its just like it sounds…POOOOTEEEEEEN. And I love me some poutine!!! However, cheese curds, beef gravy and french fries are one of those foods that you say a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 4, 2009 - 5:21 pm

    Nan in Can - I finally tried it after living here for like 5 years. Not that great. Cheese curds are rubbery.ReplyCancel

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  • September 4, 2009 - 5:29 pm

    Rebecca - Joel seems to be quite the adventurous guy! I think I would pass on the poutine. Cheese curds just don’t seem like they would hit any hunger spots for me.

    I was taking some extra time I had today to once again read back on your blog and look at some pictures of Cora. While reading I realized that your b-day was just recently. Happy (belated) Birthday to you. I hope that you were able to find some happiness on a day that I am sure came with many difficult moments. You are in our hearts and prayers everyday.
    Love and Hugs to you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • September 4, 2009 - 9:07 pm

    Chris - Oh I love poutine , it is frech canadian you know , you really need to wait for the cheese to melt , quite amazing , I know it looks dreadful but it is a real treat , actually I turned it down today a little bit much when your trying to lose weight like I am .
    EH!
    Chris from CanadaReplyCancel

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  • September 6, 2009 - 6:39 pm

    Jessica - hey who does you template for your blog? I really need someone to edit mine b/c I have no clue how to do it? Will you help?ReplyCancel

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  • September 7, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Lucie - Poutine is sold even in school cafeterias here in Ottawa-Canada.
    I don’t like it myself, but love fries and gravy- Don’t Americans eat fries and gravy?ReplyCancel

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  • September 8, 2009 - 1:03 pm

    dealightfulsavings - Hmmm… I’m not so sure about that gravy either :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 28, 2009 - 1:15 pm

    Mom of 3 and bride-to-be! - As a canadian girl, I had to laugh at this post. Poutine…foreign to people??? WHAT??

    I had it for lunch today…well..the baby wanted that for lunch :D

    Poutine is great..if you don’t abuse it. It’s quite the artery blocker! LOL!!
    Enjoy!!ReplyCancel

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I know I said we would stock Cora’s at the end of August.
I know today is September 1st.
Where are the Cora dresses?
The serger is out of the box.
We are sewing LOTS of dresses.
But, obviously they won’t be posted until September.
Sorry.
We have lots of burpies cut out too.
We are trying out a few new ones.
Chenille burpies.
And because you have so patiently been waiting.
I think we will have a giveaway soon.
Keep checking back.
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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:16 pm

    michelle - yay!! looking forward to all the new items…ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:23 pm

    Sarah - I want so badly to buy one…but haven’t had a chance too. I certainly look forward to the new dresses and HOPE to be one of the lucky ones that gets to purchase a new dress for my daughter!!! Can’t wait to see the new items!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Zingo Tots - Awesome! I’ve been checking like a wild woman several times a day! Can’t wait to see!ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:28 pm

    Marla Taviano - That fabric is eye candy.
    You guys are amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:50 pm

    Missy - i love the green print :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 11:19 pm

    Angie - Oh cannot wait! So adorable, looking forward it!ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 11:23 pm

    Erica - where do you find such adorable fabric???ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 4:35 am

    Shauna - Cannot wait! I was lucky to have caught a 4th of July t-shirt at Cora’s and will have a watchful eye on the dresses! I love them and think they are adorable!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 6:55 am

    Marsha - Can’t wait. I have 2 dresses for my 18 month old and now I need some for the new baby set to arrive any day:):) Hopefully, I won’t miss them!

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 7:07 am

    Trasie Bressler - OH I so hope that I get a dress this time for my little lady. Can’t wait!!!

    Many Many Blessings!
    TrasieReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 7:44 am

    purejoy - adorable fabrics!! can’t wait to see the finished products!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 8:49 am

    Ashley - i can’t wait! i have never ordered anything, but i’m going to this time!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 8:56 am

    ml - Ok, somehow I always miss them. I REALLY hope to get one this time! Still thinking of you and praying for you in Alabama!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:03 am

    Robin in Benton - That’s OK – now I have two granddaughters to buy for – and wouldn’t they look cute in matching Cora dresses! I love the material you guys are using – it’s so bright!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:09 am

    Anonymous - Yay…but maybe could we those something in there for the boys :)

    Thinking of you!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:57 am

    jennifer rogers - oh i’m so excited! I just found out I am having a little girl and I cannot wait to snag one of your cora dresses! They are beautiful! I never get to the shop on time to buy anything but now I really have a reason to buy one so I’m very excited!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Tiffany Lockette - Wonderful, I am super excited to see the new stuff.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 2:36 pm

    PamperingBeki - Yay! Can’t wait to see what you girls make.

    That last picture, second fabric from the left… red and while funky flowers.. that’s one of my favorite fabrics ever.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 2:44 pm

    Ginger - The fabrics look wonderful! I’m excited – hope to get one this time! :) I’m sure you’re overwhelmed keeping up with supply & demand! Hope you’re feeling well – can’t wait to meet baby Mac! :) ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 2:57 pm

    CourtneyC - Cannot wait to see the new set of dressed and burp cloths.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    Karina - I absolutely MUST get a dress for my daughter – I’ve never been fast enough up to now! I will be haunting your blog and Etsy…as usual!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 5:16 pm

    Paula Aspacher - your fabrics are awesome!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 6:00 pm

    Rebecca - Oh WOW!! Look at all that beautiful fabric. I can’t wait to see the finished products.ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:24 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - serger! now that sounds fun! i still use the old sewing machine! love the sample of fabrics though!!!ReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Jennifer - Those fabrics look adorable! Can’t wait to see the finished product!ReplyCancel

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  • September 5, 2009 - 8:43 pm

    Ethansmom08 - Can’t wait to see the new dresses!!! So excited! :) ReplyCancel

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Our sweet little Cora was on the news again last night. We love how, even now, people are still talking about her. She is famous!

Channel 12 did a follow up story on the progress of Cora’s Playground. We are so thankful for how the reporter, Megan Strader, has portrayed our story each time we have been interviewed. Thanks Megan!
While I HATE being on TV (somehow Joel got out of talking on this one), it is our prayer that through our story the Lord’s name would be famous.
You can check out the news segment here.
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  • August 30, 2009 - 11:14 pm

    Summer - That brought tears to my eyes Cora has touched so many lives I still think of her and pray for you all on a regular basis.
    Summer in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • August 30, 2009 - 11:58 pm

    Kimberly - Such a blessing God is still using her amazing life!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 12:26 am

    Cathy - You did great!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 12:32 am

    Falling Around - You did beautifully, Jess! I would not have been able to hold it together but you are so strong.

    XOXOReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 4:30 am

    Taking Heart - Loving the legacy of that whimsical place… God is good.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 7:15 am

    Anonymous - Good job Mom. You continue to amaze me!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 7:24 am

    Trasie Bressler - As I sit and wipe away the tears you better believe she is still famous! God is using your story to touch so many lives and I am one of those people. I am a better Mommy because of you and I look at my children in awhole different way.

    You are one amazing family and that is one truly amazing playground. I hope the memories you make there are many!

    Many Many Blessings to you!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 7:41 am

    Sherryl - You did a GREAT job on that interview! It makes me happy to think of your children playing in that playground that was made in their sister’s honor!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 7:41 am

    Marla Taviano - You did GREAT!! I know Cora’s so proud of her mommy and daddy!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:09 am

    PamperingBeki - It was just on again this morning on channel 5. :)

    You did a great job on the interview! I love that Cora will be talked about and remembered for years and years, along with your faith in God.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:19 am

    Robin in Benton - I love that 10 years from now people will still hear her story when they ask about who the playground is named for. What a special place in memory of a sweet special little girl – and put in place by her very special parents. You guys are awesomReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:34 am

    Anna - How wonderful Jess and Joel!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:35 am

    purejoy - what a sweet and lasting tribute. i can’t wait to see pictures of the dedication! won’t it be fun for your new little mac to come and play on his/her sister’s playground. that she would be remembered for the laughter she is sure to inspire.
    such a great interview!! you were awesome!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:55 am

    Anonymous - That was great guys! I so wish that there was no need to have a playground in Cora’s name, but I continue to be a amazed at how God is being glorified through it all. It really is amazing!!! Nice Joel, how you let your lovely wife do all the talking:) You trying to portray the strong silent type?:) Love you guys, AndiReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 9:08 am

    Cristy - So awesome Jess!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 9:08 am

    mommyof2 - Aww…Jess you did great! I love the playground and can’t wait for the ceremony!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 9:31 am

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - It’s such a blessing to have your sweet Cora’s story and the message of God’s love spread in such a mainsteam way.
    I’m quite sure NO ONE would notice if you did say something silly, btw. ;)

    Love and prayers,
    XO*TriciaReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 9:32 am

    Missy - thinking of you!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 10:09 am

    dundee - Jess–You don’t know me. I am David & Sara Weber’s neighbor. My daughter Adrianne originally told me about Cora back in January–and I prayed for her. I read your blog after the first channel 12 story. I continue to pray for you & Joel and the baby to be. Your writings are inspirational. May God’s richest blessings be on you. Cora’s story has touched many. If you every put you blog writings in book form, I am sure many, many people would buy it for themselves and friends. God Bless you both. Judy McDiffettReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 10:18 am

    Lauren Kelly - Cora is by no means gone, her name will forever live on through that playground and her purpose that she fulfilled her short time in this world!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 11:44 am

    Angela - Oh, that was so sweet and so sad. Your baby bump looks so cute!

    Thank you for being humble and down-to-earth and for loving God above all.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 12:08 pm

    Courtney - You guys were wonderful. My friend called me and said Cora’s going to be on the news! I love the playground.
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 12:13 pm

    Lacey McKay - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFOdA52sjFA

    Have you heard this song yet? I found it on another blog this morning and thought of you guys.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - i love love love that little cora is still blessing peeps everywhere…and i love that you didn’t have to do the spot!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 3:53 pm

    Kristin - Hi, my name is Kristin – I saw a prayer request button on Hollie’s page (Drama Mama) and have been following your blog ever since. I just have to say that you give me strength every time I read a post and you give me a serious push to appreciate every day I have with my daughter and to love her as much as I possibly could. Thank you for being so strong to share your story, you are always in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 3:54 pm

    Drama Mama 2 B - Hi, my name is Kristin – I saw a prayer request button on Hollie’s page (Drama Mama) and have been following your blog ever since. I just have to say that you give me strength every time I read a post and you give me a serious push to appreciate every day I have with my daughter and to love her as much as I possibly could. Thank you for being so strong to share your story, you are always in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 4:18 pm

    Petit Coterie - I had a giveaway on my blog and a very nice lady who has never met you entered your name and felt that you should win. She is in Portugal and your story touched her heart. You did win the giveaway and now I need an address where to send it. Please visit my blog and you will see what the giveaway is.

    MichelleReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 4:38 pm

    debbie - I dont know how you do it…how you have carried on through this awful tradegy.I can honestly say I wept when I read your blog but you both show such strength.
    Congratulations on your new baby as well and its so nice to see the playground etc……she is never forgotten by you and thats wonderful.
    Best wishes to you both.
    Debbie.xReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 7:58 pm

    JEN - Thank you for having the courage to continue to glorify God through your story. You are an amazing example of His grace and love. You have touched so many with your story and have become such an inspiration! :-) ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:13 pm

    Rebecca - The playground looks wonderful!
    Praying for you everyday!
    Love and hugs to you both.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Lori - No big surprise…that made me cry. May God continue to bless you both with peace and healing!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 11:56 pm

    me and my boys - she will always be famous :)
    playground looks beautiful !ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 9:43 am

    ryanandlindsay - hey i love the new look of the blog! great job by the way. i know how much you love it. :) i am excited for our kiddos someday to use the playground!ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:14 am

    A - What a beautiful story! You look so cute, by the way!ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 10:27 am

    The Moffats - So neat, Jess. Thanks for sharing this. Big hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 4:17 pm

    bikim - Dear Jess,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment.Hope you do like the pillow. may you have great joys with this baby! Take care,
    RosaReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 4:43 pm

    Brooke - I have not left a comment in a few months, but wanted you to know how I think you are such wonderful parents. I am sure that Cora is smiling down from Heaven with that sweet baby grin just so glad for what you do to remember her. She will never be forgotten. I have said it before, but I do not know how people get through losing a child. I can not imagine the feelings that go with it. God bless your familyReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 6:19 pm

    writing4612 - How awesome is that?ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 6:59 pm

    Jennifer in Nashville - That was a beautiful piece. It brings tears to my eyes. I pray for your growing family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 8:10 pm

    Bambi - I got to see the story when it aired! You did great! And Cora’s playground is beautiful. So many children will enjoy it including new baby Mac.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 11:22 am

    The Horton's - Hi, my name is Kirsten Horton, my family is a newer addition at Grace CC. I heard about your blog through my sis-in-law Shana Schmidt last year. We have been following your ups & downs and pray for you all often. I believe that I will finally get to meet you for Judgement house volunteering this fall. But I just wanted to say hello, and that your strength has been a miracle in it our for me and my family.ReplyCancel

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  • September 3, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    Anonymous - This is my first time commenting on your blog. This post was especially touching in my opinion. I am also due in January with my first baby and I pray I will be as good of a mom as you are!! Praying for you, your husband, your baby, and of course, Cora.ReplyCancel

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Sweet Baby Mac.

Even with all these mixed emotions, we love him/her so much already.
Seeing these pictures at our sono last week definitely made me want to hold our baby.
I think we are both ready for our arms to not feel so empty.
This little one was moving all over the place the day of the sono.
The technician was having trouble getting the pictures she needed.
Which is funny because they had to push all over my stomach to get Cora to move around.
She was a very calm baby and didn’t move that much.
We might have our hands full with this one.
But that is ok with us.
We could use a little excitement around here.
And we are anxious to know this little one that God has created just for us.
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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    Kimberly - Just precious!ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    wicker0407 - The baby is so cute already I am so happy for you and Joel!
    God Bless!! Summer in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Sarah - What a great picture!!! My kids were the opposite as well…and still seem to be that way! Can’t wait to see your belly pictures again!!

    Always praying in Nebraska,
    Sarah

    P.S. I still need to get a thank you and a picture sent out to you of my daughter in her Cora dress!! Sorry it’s taken me so long! Hope to get that out to you sooooon!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Anonymous - How sweet, I think you may want to buy blue. What a blessing.ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    Anonymous - I think it’s going to be a boy!! At least that’s what it looks like anyways!!! ;) ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:56 pm

    The Morris Family - So many intricate details! We can rest in His wisdom as He fashioned your Cora and our little Joel that His purposes were and are being fulfilled.

    What a wonder it is to see them in inside!

    Pray for you often….

    Cindy
    (Joel’s mommy)ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:58 pm

    Allen and Debby Graber - That was the same with me – Josh wouldn’t move for nothing! But Jill rolled and rolled around my tummy. Can’t wait to hold this precious little one!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 10:59 pm

    The Moffats - I love love love that pictures! So sweet. Lovin’ & missing you all. Can’t wait to meet this little blessing.ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 11:07 pm

    Sarah - Wow!! Thank you Lord!!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Todd and Courtney - I can’t even tell you how excited I am for you. I check your blog ALL the time for updates. :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 27, 2009 - 11:15 pm

    Michelle - Cute picture! I am so excited for you and the play ground is adorable.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:20 am

    Kelley - so excited for your sweet family. praise God for this sweet baby. and praise God for your sweet Cora, who’s story has touched so many. i still pray for your family and thank you for sharing your story on this blog.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:21 am

    Christine - I’m teary-eyed reading this – what a blessing! I can’t wait to “meet” this precious child!

    Hope you’re feeling well & that pregnancy is treating you kindly. Our prayers & thoughts are with you always.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:27 am

    Missy - your baby is beautiful! ummmmmmm with all that activity it may be a boy :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:28 am

    The Boccias - That picture made me smile SO BIG.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:41 am

    Heather - I am SO excited for you!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 1:20 am

    Christina - Oh, there is nothing like that picture! How awesome.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 2:29 am

    Candice - Awww…congrats again! BTW, my son was extremely hyper for every ultrasound, but he is super laid back, so you never know. :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 4:27 am

    Holly - So precious!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 5:16 am

    Lauren - So excited for you! This little one has been designed just for you and just for this moment. He/She is perfect and I know you can’t wait to meet.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 5:29 am

    Allison - I love sonogram pictures!! Congrats:-)ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 6:39 am

    Chris - AWWWW precious baby . I can’t wait for you to hold him/her :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:05 am

    A - Beautiful!!!! I am so happy for you- He will certainly turn your tears into dancing!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:22 am

    Amanda - So beautiful!! I’m thinking it’s a boy!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:30 am

    Kristen - God bless Baby Mac! :-) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:34 am

    Misty Rice - Takes my breath away and makes me to excited for you. I say BLUE, also…I think an active little boy will be perfect for you guys.

    Oh how exciting, sweet and wonderful.

    Praise GOD…. I love the LEGACY Cora is leaving, and watching you guys smile again through all the still very raw pain.

    God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:35 am

    Toni :O) - A true miracle and such a beautiful picture…I couldn’t help but saw awwwwww….I’m so thrilled for you both and I continue to pray for your sweet family always. Have a blessed weekend!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:42 am

    Beckypdj - So truly happy for you!!! I can’t wait for the pictures of this new child playing on Cora’s PlaygroundReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:43 am

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - Hi Jess and Joel.
    What a precious little bean you have there. It will probably feel like the rest of your pregnancy is dragging now that you got to sneak a peek. It felt that way for me. I just wanted to hold my girls.
    What a great photo. Perfect profile. I’m so excited for you both, and looking forward to the day that we can all “meet” new baby Mac.
    Prayers and love,
    XO*Tricia

    P.S. I saw the pics of the playground on Meg’s blog. It’s just amazing! I’m sure it will be a blessing to your family and community for years to come.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:03 am

    Angela - Oh, that is just precious! I am only nine weeks, so right now my ultrasound pictures look like blobs.

    I can imagine that this pregnancy has been bittersweet in the light of the loss of your sweet Cora. I am so sorry that she was so suddenly taken from you. Thank you for holding strong to the Lord, even amidst the gut-wrenching heartache.

    This baby is so blessed to be brought into your family.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:11 am

    tami - So thrilled for your family! What a beautiful precious little blessing you have!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:15 am

    The Drama Mama - What a BLESSING! Sending prayers, love & hugs your way!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:20 am

    Jennifer - i could probably guess the sex of the baby on that one for sure..and I have hard time making out anything on those things:))

    and we can’t wait to meet that little one! any names yet?ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:29 am

    Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - Praise God! He/She is a gift that God made especially for you and your hearts will be a little more full! Prayers for a continued pregnancy!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:32 am

    Amy - Precious, beautiful gift! I cannot wait to “meet” Baby Mac #2 :) I know you cannot wait, either.

    You and Joel are always in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:41 am
  • August 28, 2009 - 8:50 am

    Anonymous - How great is our God! Love getting a sneak peak at Baby Mac..My two babies were just like that as well. My girl(who is 20 years old) was not so active but my baby boy(who is 1 year old) was and STILL IS very very active. Just a little bit of age difference :)
    How wonderful and hard for you at the same time.
    In my thoughts and prayers!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:52 am

    Erica - what a sweet sweet baby! you guys are so blessed with this new life coming into your home. i have two kids and they are opposites as well… sean never moved when i was prego but is SUPER busy now; nolan moved ALL the time when i was prego but is very chill. it’s so fun to see their different personalities.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:53 am

    Miss Em - He/she is beautiful. I can’t wait to meet this little one either (via your blog of course, ha ha) The playground is truely awesome! Sending hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:59 am

    The Carroll's - Praising God for this sweet baby! So excited for you both!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 9:05 am

    hoosier68 - I just want to second what everyone else has said. What a marvelous holiday gift you are going to get. One of my children was born on December 20 and it is so wonderful to have a new baby at that time of the year. Still praying for you and yours each day.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 9:11 am

    Claudia - I love how you phrase it … “We are ready to have our arms full again”

    So excited for you.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 9:11 am

    Hailey - Precious!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 9:44 am

    Falling Around - Kinda making me want to have another…

    Blessings to you and sweet baby mac!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 9:51 am

    Anonymous - I am happy for you guys. Ever since I started reading your blog I have prayed for you that not only will God comfort you & your family but that He will bring JOY to your lives again.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 10:20 am

    capperson - This is just precious. I am so happy for yall. Congrats. Oh yeah and I’m thinking so blue is very much needed. I may be wrong but thats my bet :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 10:42 am

    PamperingBeki - Just seeing that sono picture made me burst into tears. (hello, hormones…)

    I could NOT be more excited for you guys!

    And I’m a firm believer that you can start to see the baby’s personality in the womb. I didn’t realize it with my first pregnancy, but with the subsequent ones, I could really tell.

    And those kids turned out just as I’d expected!

    So prepare yourself for a fun and feisty one. :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 11:49 am

    RLG - Congratulations and thank you for sharing your wonderful picture with us. All the best, ReneeReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 11:57 am

    Karina - Wow, what a clear ultrasound picture! S/he is adorable already. I can’t wait for your arms to be less empty either.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:17 pm

    Trasie Bressler - Boy or girl, pink or blue one
    things for sure, that bundle of joy will be loved beyond measure.

    Many many blessings,
    Trasie BresslerReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 12:48 pm

    Marsha - How sweet! Isn’t is amazing what God creates and to know this baby was created just for you and Joel!

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 1:47 pm

    Bri!!! - Wow, looks like you might be getting a boy.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    meg duerksen - i can already tell it looks just like you. :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 3:32 pm
  • August 28, 2009 - 5:52 pm

    Courtney - Love, Love, Love the pics. He/She is so sweet! Do you have names picked out yet. I think your next contest should be how people came up with the kiddos names.
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 6:37 pm

    Kathy - Precious! I haven’t visited for a while and I didn’t know you are expecting again. I can’t tell you how happy I am for you both! God bless you both and your little one.
    xo…KathyReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:21 pm

    Shannon - How sweet! You have been blessed by *such* a beautiful baby again!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 7:43 pm

    Heidi - Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful photo of the baby. It brought tears to my eyes. I prayed looking at the photo that this baby is blessed with good health. You seem like such a kindhearted soul, I am very happy god is blessing you both with this baby.ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    Jane In The Jungle - I’m sooo excited for y’all!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 9:00 pm

    Miss G - oh my! This is sooo exciting! KellyReplyCancel

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  • August 28, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    gwswenson - There is so much love, already. And THAT is SO good. xoReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 12:03 am

    Sandys2girls - So happy for you guys!!
    Tickled blue!! I think you are having a baby boy!! Just precious!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 8:35 am

    Lynn Jones - You are so going to fall in love in a few months–and that is a truly wonderful thing! Jess, thank you for sharing with your readers. If you only knew how often I think of you during each day and send up a little prayer. This baby is already so blessed to have such dear parents–it’s hard waiting, isn’t it?ReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 11:39 am

    Shari - Ohh I bet it’s a boy! My girls wouldn’t MOVE so the tech could get ultrasound pics and my boy wouldn’t QUIT moving so she could get pics! ;o) Congratulations, so exciting.ReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 1:26 pm

    Jan - Absolutely beautiful – this made my day.ReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 5:05 pm

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - Beautiful sonogram picture!!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Anonymous - Dear Macs,
    I just read through your blog after watching channel twelve tonight. When they said your daughter died of cancer I instantly wondered if it was neuroblastoma. After reading your blog I realized that it was. My son Dylan, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 16 years ago and I can relate to your story so much. He started with repeated ear infections and then his stomach was excessively hard,a doctors appointment, ct scan and then the terrible diagnosis. I still remember the disbelief. I am so sorry for your loss. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this. It is a terrible, terrible disease. I am so lucky that Dylan survived. But I still grieve for every family that has to go through watching their baby suffer. You are very special people. When I got pregnant for the second time, I too was nervous. They did a sonogram and checked the babies adrenal glands to make sure there were no signs of neuroblastoma. My second child was born healthy and is healthy to this day. You were blessed with Cora and she with you. Good luck and God Bless.
    TracyReplyCancel

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  • August 29, 2009 - 11:54 pm

    Anonymous - So excited for you and joel!! Have read your blog over the months–God is doing an amazing thing through your lives and story.

    Great news story on Channel 12 tonight–LOVE Cora’s playground!! I am so very glad they (channel 12)are following this story through. The playground is absolutely gorgeous–what kid wouldn’t want to play there?? :)

    jeannineReplyCancel

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  • August 30, 2009 - 6:43 am

    Stephanie - What a miracle! I’m so excited for you both!ReplyCancel

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  • August 30, 2009 - 8:19 am

    Anonymous - Looks like a boy :o)ReplyCancel

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  • August 30, 2009 - 11:09 am

    Alexa - ♥♥♥ReplyCancel

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  • August 30, 2009 - 5:10 pm

    Andrea - How sweet! Our boy was VERY busy in utero. I felt him early on and he moved like crazy till the day he was born. Turns out he has never stopped moving! He keeps us very busy. Maybe this baby will be the same. Running around Cora’s playground in a few years!ReplyCancel

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  • August 30, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    Marla Taviano - He’s beautiful!!ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 4:45 am

    middleagedmom - So precious! God bless you and your little one.ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 10:15 am

    Lauren Kelly - Awww, so sweet!!!!!! :) ReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 8:23 pm

    Paula Aspacher - I THINK IT IS A BOYReplyCancel

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  • August 31, 2009 - 11:43 pm

    number17cherrytreelane - Praise the Lord for this child.ReplyCancel

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  • September 1, 2009 - 3:24 pm

    Anonymous - Loved seeing this “sono” pic of your precious baby! I am praying for you both!
    Also, I LOVE the new set up of your website – it is beautiful seeing all the variety of pictures of gorgeous Cora adorning the top of your postings of what is going on in your life.
    The new playground looks awesome!!
    I am praying daily for you!
    Luann in WAReplyCancel

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  • September 2, 2009 - 4:17 pm

    Alison - I ached for you (and still do) as our son isn’t much older than Cora. I am also pregnant now and celebrating new life with you! Congrats!! Still praying for you guys.

    -AlisonReplyCancel

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