something happy

These days have been hard. 

There are moments that Joel and I miss Cora so much that we can hardly bear it. We have shed a lot of tears lately, so I needed something happy to write about today.
Shopping is happy right?
Actually even shopping is hard for me now. So, my happy thought today is my mom (and a little shopping too).
My mom is great. 
“Great” is an understatement. We have always been close and I truely count her as one of my best friends. She is a rock. She spent hours at the hospital by Cora’s side. She held Cora’s hand and sang to her when I couldn’t handle watching anymore. She helped us make decisions after Cora went to be with Jesus when we could hardly even think. She has opened her home to us and hundreds of our friends and family. She has made more meals for us than I can even count. She has helped me clean my house numerous times these past few months when I couldn’t do it by myself. She is a shoulder to cry on. Not to mention she has sewed and sewed and sewed tons of dresses in Cora’s honor. Need I say more?
Yesterday was my mom’s birthday, so we decided to take a roadtrip. 
Just the girls. 
With our Starbucks in hand we headed to Lawrence. We had to stop there first because my sister couldn’t go on without her coffee. Our destination was Sarah’s Fabrics. We needed to stock up on fabric for our Cora dresses. We wanted to check out someplace new.

The fabric was beautiful. There was SO much to choose from.

Here is my sweet mom. She looks pretty great for fifty-two. Don’t you think? 
I love that flower pillow too.
When we were done at Sarah’s we of course had to stop by a few more stores. My best find of the day was this letter M. I loved it. My mom and sister assured me that it needed to come home with me. How could I resist?
Our last stop was TJ Maxx (actually it was Starbucks again). We are always on the lookout for a good deal and TJ Maxx is a family favorite. 
Ok, I take that back. It is a favorite of us girls. Joel HATES TJ Maxx. It is on his list of stores that he will not go in with me. Right along with Hobby Lobby. He just doesn’t appreciate a good store when he sees one.
I do love a good yellow purse, but this one didn’t come home with us. 
It was so nice to spend the day together. Thanks girls! 
Happy Birthday Mom!!
Oh, I forgot to mention that my sister is pretty great too. I could go on and on about how much she means to me. But, since it was not her birthday I will save that for another post…
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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:06 pm

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

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:10 pm

    The Paligos - I am so happy that you have such a great Mom! She seems like an amazing woman, and you are both lucky to have each other. :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:11 pm

    michelle - Hi Jess…(I posted earlier and deleted it, it just didn’t feel right) I just read your post and it brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful to God that He has given you such a wonderful mom. It honestly sounds like you take after her and Cora is just as blessed to have you as her mommy. I am still praying for you all.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:12 pm

    Laura Fiegel - So glad to see a post from you – I’ve been checking regularly :) It’s wonderful to hear about your relationship with your mom (and sister, too!) Keep looking for the happy in things!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:13 pm

    hoosier68 - Ironically as I thought about you today, I wondered how your mother was faring. Being a mother and grandmother I know how she loves Cora and also how she loves you. Seeing you so sad has to be difficult as well. However, your outing sounds like it was great. I received a Cora dress and burp cloth yesterday and love them both. Take care :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:16 pm

    The Veers - I think all 3 of you are AMAZING!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    HighlandGhillie - no words…
    ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:25 pm

    Julia - what a great day….I’m completely jealous about the fabric store…I have to look for fabrics like that on the internet.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:26 pm

    Anonymous - Thank you for posting…You, Joel, Cora and your families are in my thoughts daily. Grammy has to be pretty fabulous to have raised such an incredible daughter! I cannot imagine how hard life is for you all but oh so glad to read/see a little of what is going on in your life.
    Looks like Grammy had a great birthday..HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS’S MOM AND CORA’S GRAMMY!
    Always thinking and praying for you..wish I could take some of your hurt away.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Trish - so sweet. i just had a fun shopping day with my mom too.

    glad you were able to get out.

    grief is hard. God is good and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:30 pm

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - So good to see you post friend… think about you all the time. Look forward to see all the new pretty dresses and fabrics.

    Happy Birthday beautiful mom of 52 years old.

    God Bless you all.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Darby - Hey Jess! I’ve been praying for y’all and I haven’t commented lately…. your day sounds delightful! I had to laugh because I recently mentioned in one of my recent posts that my husband was in TJ Maxx with me and I also had to note that he’d die that I wrote that in my post… men, they just can’t appreciate it can they!? So glad you and your mom had such a wonderful time shopping. She is beautiful and certainly doesn’t look 52! The fabric was just delightful… the colors, the selection, the assortment… I would have gone crazy in there. I hope y’all found lots of goodies! I love the M and the yellow purse too! I think I could have easily tagged along on your trip!! Now wouldn’t that have been strange!? :) I got here through Meg months ago and I’m still here with you! May the Lord keep you safely under His wing and I find such comfort and joy in knowing that you KNOW HIM!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Whimsical Creations - Sounds like an amazing woman and a fabulous road trip. Those fabrics are beautiful!

    hugs!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Aaron and Shannon - You do have a great mom! You have a great family Jess! I’m glad that they are all there for you and to help bring you some happy times!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:36 pm

    PamperingBeki - You girls look beautiful!

    You are so blessed with such an amazing family.

    I’m still praying for you daily.

    I know someone else who wants to donate fabric to you. I’ll email you…ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:40 pm

    Amy - Of course your mom is amazing… she raised you, didn’t she? :) I am so thankful you have family nearby. Your mom is a rock, and I am so glad you can both be there for each other. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:40 pm

    jandkland - Not much is better than a good mom. I’m so glad God has given you to each other. For such a time as this, even a fantastic relationship with a parent might be stressed. That your mom has come together with so much strength, encouragement, and support is truly a testimony to the power of your family. I’m thrilled that you got to enjoy a fun outing with the girls. Cora is REMEMBERED. I hope one day I’ll get on Etsy quick enough to snag a dress or two! (:

    –Kelley in GA (queenkelley.com)ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:42 pm

    ~Kelli - Nothing like retail therapy. Glad you had a good time! Sounds like you like Starbucks just as much as me!

    Still praying and thinking about you and Cora. Glad you have a great family supportReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:43 pm

    Oakenfoldgrl - It sounds like you had a wonderful day with your mom and sister! It’s so nice to have someone to lean on and hold you up when you feel like you can’t take another step, and your mom definitely sounds like one of those people. I think about your family often and I continue to pray for you. Your story has touched my heart and I think you are an amazing woman.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:45 pm

    dg darling - Yeah, my mom’s saved me many a meltdown over the years. Thank heavens for moms! You’re right, she is very pretty and you and your sis look so much like her! Still praying daily-here in UT-for you and Joel…ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:46 pm

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - It looks like you had a wonderful time shopping and all those lurvely fabrics! What a joy! And I totally understand that Joel won’t go into certain shoppes with you…my dear hubby feels the same way about Hobby Lobby and a few other choice stores. :P

    Your mom sounds wonderful and I hope she had a wonderful birthday!

    Take care and we’re still praying for you all every day! <3

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:48 pm

    Vera - You are so precious, it is good to see you smile. Y’all continue to be in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    Anonymous - I have always known what an incredible person Kathy Beverlin is!! As someone said – she raised you with help from my Cuz Don and 3 other incredibly remarkable children!! So glad you 3 had a nice day – just wrap you all in my love and so wish I was closer.
    love from So. Cal
    SharleyReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:53 pm

    Michelle - Shoping is always fun. We don’t have a HL by me, but I have plenty of other stores that soothe my soul. It is wonderful to have supportive family around. I have a dad and a brother I am extremely close to, but sometimes I long for that girly connection. I had boys so I’m waiting for granddaughters. I’m hoping the happy days soon out number the hard ones. Still praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    Jennifer Henry - I’m so glad that you have close family to count on during this hard time. I’m still to praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:56 pm

    Erica - what a fun day and a sweet mom! made me miss my mom (she lives in CA i live in AL). you are so blessed to have such amazing people in your life. your beauty comes from her for sure!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 9:57 pm

    Allen and Debby Graber - I agree, Jess. Your mom is wonderful!! Amazing. Incredible. I love her laughter! God has truly gifted her in many ways. I still remember the first time she came to our Bible study. What a privilege to have her and we’ve really missed her this spring. Hopefully she’ll come back in the fall. Happy Birthday, Kathy, if you are reading this.

    I love Lawrence. What a fun day you had! Where is that store? I don’t remember that place when we lived there. Must not be as ancient as I am (two years older than your mom)
    DebbyReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:10 pm

    Ethansmom08 - Looks like you had a fabulous day with your amazing mom and sister…you girls are too cute! The fabrics are so beautiful and I know you will have a great time creating dresses and such, what a gift you and Grammy have! I am so blessed to have received one of your Cora dresses! Tears came to my eyes as I saw the cute package in my mailbox and as I opened it, all I could think about was your sweet angel Cora. I still think of you all daily and you and your family are included in my daily prayers.

    Love from Virginia,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:10 pm

    The Jones' - Aren’t moms and sisters just the best! I would not know what to do without mine. :) I pray that you continue to be strengthened and loved on daily. :)
    Hugs,
    LizReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    Mel Zeiger - I know you don’t know me, but every time I read your blog I cry for you. And yet, every time I read your blog I love my children that much more and can only hope that they know how much I love them. You are both amazing people and parents, and you make me want to be a better mother, wife and person. Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:38 pm

    Anonymous - This may sound strange coming from a stranger, but when I think of you and get that horrible pang in my heart, it eases when I think of the support you have from your family. I don’t know you, and I’m across the country, but your story just brought me to my knees. I can’t fathom the pain. But, as a stranger, I do find comfort in knowing you have such astrong support group. Your mom sounds amazing, especially because it must have been so very hard on her to have lost her precious granddaughter as well. Keep leaning on each other. You are ALL strong and good people.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:52 pm

    nate - i love aunt kath!ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:57 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - So nice to see you smile. What a wonderful family you have!!

    Denise

    (my hubby won’t step foot in TJ MAXX either. Like Superman & Kryptonite……it makes him weak ;) ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 11:07 pm

    Ashley - Your mom sounds absolutely wonderful… you continue to be in my prayers. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us so that we have the opportunity to grow in our faith as we pray for you. Blessings… (and I hope I can be among the lucky few this next time that is able to buy a Cora dress!).ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:02 am

    Christina - What a blessing a wonderful mom is. It seems to run in your family!
    Still praying for you all. God continually uses you to inspire me, challenge me, humble me.
    It’s wonderful that you were able to spend your mom’s birthday together.
    My mom just arrived from VA (I’m in TX), and I am so excited for this visit. I am so glad that your mom is so close, in every way. I’m praying peace and comfort for your household.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:34 am

    Amber - My heart literally aches for you. I am just so, so, so sorry for your loss. I love looking at that sweet little face in your sidebar when I come to visit.

    I am so glad that you girls were able to go and have a fun day together. You & your family seem like SUCH awesome people.

    Can I just say that you are SOO adorable!! I love your outfit. Love your style. Think you are SO beautiful!!

    Blessings to you! And I’m praying.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:45 am

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - I’m glad you had a great time!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 1:05 am

    Lacey McKay - Ha! I like the comment about Joel refusing to go into Hobby Lobby. Brian waits in the car for me every time! Happy Birthday Jess’s mom!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 1:24 am

    dawn - I’ve always wanted to see a Hobby Lobby!
    We don’t know each other — but my heart is happy that you had a good day. Cora looks so much like my own little girl — I love to see her picture and yet my heart breaks for you every time I do. The comfort truly comes from knowing there’s an amazing place called heaven.
    God bless you all — and thank you for sharing. I think you’ve made a lot of us so much more grateful for every minute we have with our babies…ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 2:33 am

    Candice - Sounds like your mom is pretty great. I’m so glad you have had her to hold your hand during the last few months (and your whole life). You’re right, she does look nifty for fifty!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 7:01 am

    Heidi - I was so happy so see you posted. Happy birthday to your mom. I have to say your family has beautiful looking women. You are adorable looking yourself. Thank you for sharing your mom’s birthday celebration. Heidi/ coral springs, floridaReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 7:22 am

    Stephanie - You mom is beautiful!!!!! You are incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful mom and sister! I’ve said it before but I have no idea how you make it through each day…I hope to one day have the faith and strength that you do. I pray for you and your family often and will always remember your sweet baby girls face.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 7:23 am

    The Eyre Family - Moms are the best, aren’t they? Your mom looks amazing…and sounds like she has been nothing short of amazing as well!
    I am so glad that you got to have this day and some happiness. My boys and I pray for your family nightly.
    And…my husband won’t go in those stores with me either..and they are my favorites as well!
    Also…I am so incredibly excited to see the new dresses from those pretty fabrics!! If only I would get on in time to buy some!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 7:24 am

    Tina - Jess -

    It is so good to see those pics of you. I am so glad you have a great support system in your Mom & sister. I think of you often and pray for you often. You will get through these really hard days.

    Take care.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 7:38 am

    Miranda @ Traveling Treasures - Happy Birthday to your mom! So glad you girls had a day out for fun!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 7:43 am

    oneordinaryday - Oh, I love those days with my mom and sisters too. They are special and don’t happen often enough for me. So glad you got to celebrate your mom in that way. Sounds fun and distracting and full of love. Good for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:03 am

    Claudia - Oh the power of family females … they can get you through anything! (OK I know God is the ultimate one but girls do pretty good, don’t they).

    My hat off to your Mom and all the wonderful things she’s doing for you!

    Yeay for girl timeReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:04 am

    Jamie from Quinter - Very cute posting yesterday. I loved it!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:09 am

    Heather - So glad to hear that you had such a great time. My mom is my best friend also, how blessed we are to call our moms “friend” :D I think of you guys often (translate-every day) and I continue to pray for you and Joel.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:18 am

    Lynn Jones - You and your mom are precious. And purse shopping at TJ Maxx is a requirement for me and my daughter at regular intervals. Sometimes shopping is just the ticket.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:42 am

    toni :O) - Such a sweet post. I lift up my yummy Java Chip Frappachino Light in your honor! Glad you could something that made you smile. The fabric store looked so fun and I’m not even that crafty. I hope your days continue to get brighter and you all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 9:16 am

    Molly - I’m so glad you have such great family members that can be there for you. Lean on them, they won’t mind.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 9:26 am

    Marsha - God has blessed you with a wonderful family to walk with you through this difficult journey. I am so glad you enjoyed a day with them. My Cora dresses arrived in the mail on Saturday and I cried as I opened them and thought of you and your family and Cora. My little girl wore her dress to church on Sunday and everyone commented on her beautiful dress. Praying for you every day! Love and prayers!

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 9:38 am

    Julie - I’m so glad you had a great “girls day” with your Mom and sister! Happy Birthday to your mom! All 3 of you are amazing women who support and love each other. What a blessing.

    Holding you close at heart and in prayer. I am sorry for all the pain…ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:12 am

    meg duerksen - happy birthday kathy!!!
    seeing sarah’s fabrics makes me just want to kiss the computer screen! isn’t it the best place in kansas?!!
    did you get tons and tons?! i hope so.
    i could stay there all day and take a nap in all that loveliness.
    jess…one day at a time.
    you are so strong and sweet and precious.
    all of our hearts are broken for you. i am so glad to see you had a few moments of joy with your special girls.
    what a blessing.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:36 am

    Something In The Glass - Women who have great mom’s are blessed indeed.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Debbie K. - I checked on you everyday and my heart just breaks when I read how much you miss sweet Cora. I have been telling my family about Cora and how she has (and still is) touching people’s lives.
    Your Mom is your rock right now. She sounds so strong and is truly a beautiful lady. We almost share the same birthday (mine was 04/21) and I turned 52. But it is only a number. What truly matters is what is in your heart.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:52 am

    hopeful #1 - This looks like my kind of fun!

    That fabric flower is just beautiful and I’m so glad you had a good time! You deserve it! :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 11:27 am

    JANE - LOVE just girl road trips!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:04 pm

    Micah - You are so blessed to have someone so loving to lean on during this hard time. God has blessed you so much with such a loving, supportive family!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:39 pm

    The Twins - Jess, You inspire me every day and help me to regain my focus on the mighty God we serve – He is sufficient and thank you for being so strong – for me!
    Hugs from Portland,
    DorothyReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:43 pm

    Robin in Benton - Praying for you every day. Glad your mom is there to be such a rock for you guys – I know her heart breaks for you. Hang in there,

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 12:49 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - There is nothing like a great mom. My mom just came and stayed 12 days with me in Arkansas-she is great. Its hard though having someone non stop for 12 days though-but I love her to so much. She is almost 81, I am the age of your mom. Its so fun to seeing you have a great day together-We are still keeping your family in our prayers here in arkansas. I just took my mom back home to Newton yesterday and thought of Coras playground and wondered if you had met the goal to pay for that? I am anxiously awaiting more dresses, maybe I can get one this next time-maybe my mom could just come pick one up so I won’t keep losing out. I want one for my grandaughter! Our great God will give you strength-but I know we all know that-its still terribly hard when you miss your little Cora so much. Well this is long and rambling but we all do think of you daily!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Susan - Sounds like a great day together! I’m so hoping, really-really-hard, crossing my fingers, that I am quick enough this next time around to get a cute dress!
    Poor Joel, he just doesn’t know what he’s missing- not liking TJ Maxx OR Hobby Lobby- sounds like another man I know very well :)
    I’m so glad that you have your Mom and Sister to lean on.
    Much love and continued prayers,
    Susan in IndianaReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 3:05 pm

    beckley - still thinking about you and praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 3:10 pm

    Monica - I’m so glad you were able to have a nice trip with some fabulous ladies :)

    I received my Cora dress and it is beautiful! I look forward to seeing your new creations.

    As always, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 3:36 pm

    All Doll(ed) Up - your comment about Joel made me laugh- he is just like Adam. I can’t even finish the word “hobby…” and he has tuned me out! I Am so glad you got away for some girl time. It is good for the soul. I am sorry the days have been hard, but so happy your mom and sis are so close. Hang in there girlie- we love you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    Girl in San Diego - I don’t even know your mom, and I love her, too! I check your blog everyday, and pray for you and peace in your soul.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 4:18 pm

    Anonymous - What a great day! You are very blessed to have your Mother and Sister so close.
    MelissaReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 4:32 pm

    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - Jess, I’m so happy to hear that you got to have a little bit of fun girl time. Being so close with your mom is such a blessing. I know that Cora is just as blessed to have had you, and that you will all be together again. I knew that God had you and Joel in his hands when you were unable to post. Your strength continues to inspire me, and you both continue to be in my prayers.
    It is good to “hear your voice”.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    Marie - I don’t know what I’d do without my mom either. I’m glad you had a fun day together!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:42 pm

    Kelli - Mothers are beautiful gifts from God!!! Lifting you and Joel up in prayer!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:44 pm

    Alison V - Aww, Jess your mom looks exactly the same as I remember her! Im glad you gals had fun in my town!! (Lawrence) I love strolling down Mass. St. (and TJ Maxx, too).

    I love your M :)
    –AlisonReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 8:53 pm

    Anonymous - Hey Jess

    Where did the M end up? :)
    Always in my thoughts and prayers!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 9:14 pm

    Christine - What an amazing blessing to have your mom close by and available to lean on through this. I think of you guys often, in fact, something reminded me of you again last night. You are never far from our thoughts and remain in our prayers. God bless.

    p.s. Those fabrics looked positively delectable! What yummy fun!ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 9:31 pm

    Becky - Just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you. Such a sweet post.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 9:58 pm

    kbaitinger - So glad that you have your mom and sister to lean on. They both seem like amazing people, just like you. You are in my thoughts, and prayers (all the time!) Your family has left an imprint on my heart. My heart is still hurting for you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:10 pm

    Be My Chickadee - A very happy birthday to your mom. The 3 of you look happy & that makes your blog sisters happy.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    abbie - i was searching etsy to see different things benefitting the playground and have noticed ALLOT of people using Cora Paige/Playground in their titles but not acknowledging their contributions in their store profiles. I know its work you probably dont want to do right now but since Etsy knows your story, is it possible to come up with a list of people who are REALLY contributing? Rather than those people who are choosing to capitalize on this? I dont mind different charites but i would like to shop with folks who are actually in it to help, if they say they are going to help a charity not those benefitting off an angels name.
    thanks!
    abbieReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:13 pm

    Brittany - Your mom is so beautiful. You and Cora definitely take after her! :) Looks like you guys had a great time!

    You are still in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 22, 2009 - 10:28 pm

    Heather - Tears are rolling down my face. Just to see you typed the word “happy”, makes me happy. I’m sure it is so hard to find any happy moments right now, so it is wonderful you had a great day! My heart continues to ache for you and your husband. I check your blog daily and I can’t help but to go back to old posts looking over Cora’s pictures, imagining the hurt you have, and praying that God will grant you peace. God blessed you with a beautiful mother, He blessed Cora with a beautiful mother, too! Big Hugs from GeorgiaReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 8:18 am

    Jennifer - Jess,

    I just want you to know that I have been praying for you and Joel since I heard about Cora’s homegoing. I am so so sorry!!

    Your faith and your love for the Lord is so inspiring to me. Keep clinging to Him and His promises. Jesus loves you all so much.

    I’m looking forward to that wonderful day when there will be no more pain and no more tears…

    Love and prayers,
    JenniferReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 8:24 am

    Anonymous - Jess- I am so glad that you had a day out with your mom and sister. I can so relate to the joy of the day! It is so special to spend time together, even if you are shopping! We do a lot of shopping in our family:)) Spending time with ones who know you the best is so comforting. Continue to lean on them during these hard days.
    I just recieved another Cora dress and I just love it. Thank you to you and Grammy.
    We think of Cora everyday and continue to pray for strength for you and Joel.

    Lori Kruse RaileReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 8:37 am

    Townsend Crew - Just checking in to remind you how many prayers are being sent your way. You continue to inspire me and reaffirm my faith in God. You are a living example of God’s love for us! I am so proud of you and Joel for going on the retreat a few weeks ago and helping each other through this journey… such a difficult and uncertain one. You are an inspiration to me and my family!ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 11:41 am

    Anonymous - Praying for you. I know you don’t think you’re a strong person, but I really think you are.
    CarleyReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 1:55 pm

    Audrey - Jess, I read about you on Focus on the Family’s website!

    If there is ever still doubt in your mind about why God has chosen this path for you, then this is yet another answer. Your little family has become quite a missionary. Cora truly is one of His shepards and your story is inspiring thousands. How amazing is His Love and Glory?ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 1:59 pm

    The Burgess Family - I have just stummbled on your blog and spent the last bit reading over it and crying over the loss of your sweet Cora. My heart breaks for you two as you heal and find your new norm in life. Blessings,
    ChristyReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 2:23 pm

    Robyn - Wow-your Mom is a treasure…thank God for her.ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 2:40 pm

    daydreaming mommy - I loved this post! I have been following your blog since a friend of a friend asked for prayer for you on her blog. Your thoughts are beautiful and inspiring to me, as you chronicle your grief and your love for your husband and daughter. Your writing has regularly caused me to realize my gratitute for my own husband and daughter, here many miles from Kansas. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 3:25 pm

    Karina - Thank you to your amazing Mom for being your rock, for having and raising you, and for sewing her heart out! Losing Cora must be killing her too, and watching you suffer over Cora’s passing must be just agony. You are both in my thoughts daily.ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 7:37 pm

    Marlene W. - So happy to know you had a good day! I am thankful to know how much sunshine your mom brings to your life!ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 9:47 pm

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you and Joel tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Stewart Family - Your mom seems wonderful. Great to know you have such a fabulous family that supports you in many, many ways.

    Love all that fabric. It’s all so bright and springy! Can’t wait to see the stuff yall make with it.

    My husband will absolutely not go with me to Hobby Lobby either. I try to convince him that it is a fantastic store but it’s always a no-go. I’m okay with that though because he would probably rush me out the door and I like to be there for awhile :)

    Still thinking of you often and praying daily for you and Joel!ReplyCancel

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  • April 24, 2009 - 7:09 am

    Rebecca - Thinking of you guys today and praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 24, 2009 - 7:43 am

    Anonymous - Know that you are thought of and prayed for daily. Thinking of your sweet Cora with tears and smiles..

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 24, 2009 - 1:33 pm

    ml - Still thinking of your family and praying for you in Alabama.ReplyCancel

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  • April 24, 2009 - 5:19 pm

    PamperingBeki - Praying for peace for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • April 24, 2009 - 9:59 pm

    Vincent Family - I am so happy you had a fun girls day!! It made me what to shop!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 24, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    Emily @ Little Home - I LOVE Sarah’s Fabrics! So worth the drive to Lawrence!ReplyCancel

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  • April 25, 2009 - 8:18 pm

    Lindsay - I am so glad that you are blessed with a wonderful mother and support system. I will keep praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 25, 2009 - 11:15 pm

    Lori Danelle Wilson - I LOVE a great fabric store!! Surrounded by so many possibilities and lovely things! I get a little carried away with what I could create. I’m so glad the 3 of you were able to spend some time together. . and that Starbuck’s is such a vital part of someone else’s day besides me!!!

    InksomniaReplyCancel

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  • April 26, 2009 - 10:24 am

    Amy - Glad that you had a great day with your mama and sister. I can commiserate with you on the list of stores my husband refuses to enter…it gets longer everyday – and Hobby Lobby is at the top.
    I think of you all quite a bit and say a prayer…and I will continue. I hope you have had a great weekend.
    Amy@balmingilead.typepad.comReplyCancel

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  • April 26, 2009 - 5:32 pm

    Melanie Harper - I have read you blog for a few months now, and it takes my breath away. I lost my daughter Molly almost two years ago. She was stillborn two days before her due date. I never got to hear her cry, and never got to look in her eyes. I got to hold her precious body in my arms for just a few short hours, not the lifetime that I had hoped for. My heart breaks for you. Grief is so amazingly hard, but faith and time will get you through.

    I am praying for you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • April 26, 2009 - 10:36 pm

    The Schilling's from PICU - It was good to see you girls SMILING again! I was so happy to hear about your wonderful day! WOW the fabrics are soooooo awesome, can’t wait to see how the little dresses look. Still thinking of you daily and know you must be trying sooooo hard to smile, laugh and go on….. My heart still aches for you and wish we could do more to help. How is the part time job? And how did the playground meeting go? I am sure you were amazed at how much of an impact sweet Cora and you have made on the world when you talked about the money, prayers and donations made to such a sweet family. I am counting the days until school is OUT! My little babes are WILD and RESTLESS! and just think we have a whole month left! Love you and glad to see you post again….. Miss you all and wish you happier days ahead!
    **** TELL GRAMMY Happy Late Birthday! huggsssssss! :)
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  • April 26, 2009 - 11:36 pm

    Trudy - You are blessed to have such a wonderful Mother. I miss mine terribly. I read something Marie Breda’s Mother wrote. Marie was 5 yrs old when she choked on a bead in Church and died several days later. It was very touching and has stayed in my thoughts all day. Have you heard this story?

    ‘When a Shepherd wants his sheep to go to nice green pastures over a rocky, steep, difficult mountain, that the sheep did not want to climb, he will take one of the little lambs from their mother, put it on His shoulder and start over the mountain. The mother sheep will then naturally follow after her baby with the rest of the sheep in tow.’ Jesus, our Good Shepherd is leading you with Cora safe on His shoulders.ReplyCancel

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  • April 27, 2009 - 10:01 am

    PamperingBeki - Thinking of you today.ReplyCancel

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  • April 27, 2009 - 10:31 am

    Joan - your mom is simply the best and does look great at 52-may God grant you rest as you lean on Him…still praying for you Jess and Joel…ReplyCancel

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  • April 27, 2009 - 10:57 am

    jen christians - It has been a long time since I commented last, but I wanted to let you know that you and Joel are far from forgotten. I have Cora’s picture on my fridge. Everyday it reminds me to be a better mom and wife, and everyday (or more) I pray for your family. I tell others of Cora and your faith and strength. I don’t know your pain or struggles, I cannot even wrap my brain around it. But I look at your pictures and see your beautiful smile and know that somehow God’s hand is guiding you towards peace and understanding in the months, years and decades to come. I will continue to pray for you and Joel every time I think of you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 9:01 am

    Anonymous - Always in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping you are doing alright. Can’t begin to understand how you feel, wishing I could help, but you are in my thoughts multiple times a day.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 9:21 am

    Lauren Kelly - So glad you were able to spend some much needed time with your mom and sis :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 9:37 am

    Miranda - Your mother sounds like an amazing mom. :) I just wandered over here from Mama’s Losin’ It. I will be praying for you and your family. I’m glad you have such an awesome comfort in your mom.ReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 10:24 am

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 5:30 pm

    Ashley Cotter - I just wanted to tell you that I am glad you have an amazing mom to get through this time. My daughter passes away in Jan of this year and I wouldnt have made it without my mom! I just want to let you know I am praying for you..I know how difficult it is for me and I am sure you are going through the same thing.

    AshleyReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 5:41 pm

    Anonymous - Dear Jess
    You have so much love in your life. It’s helping you surmount the pain. It will get easier but grief is grief. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • April 29, 2009 - 5:12 am

    Rebecca - Praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • April 29, 2009 - 7:56 am

    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - Joel and Jess,
    I am writing to say that you are not alone.
    I know that sounds weird, and obviously you know that, but I guess I mean that you both and your sweet Cora are here with me in Upstate NY.
    I woke this morning with a real burden on my heart to pray for you guys. I felt like God was telling me that you needed one more person lifting you up.
    It’s funny, because although I am pretty sure we will never meet in real life, I feel like your lives are somehow intertwined into mine now.
    Your story, your family will always be written on my heart. I think of you guys every day, and I absolutely believe that God will continue to bring healing and peace to your family.

    I found this quote in a book I was reading and I would like to share it with you.

    “A mother’s love is like a circle, it has no beginning and no ending. It keeps going around and around ever expanding, touching everyone who comes in contact with it. Engulfing them like the morning’s mist, warming them like the noontime sun, and covering them like a blanket of evening stars. A mother’s love is like a circle, it has no beginning and no ending.” -Art Urban

    Please know that you are in my heart and my prayers. May God continue to bless you.
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • April 29, 2009 - 10:33 pm

    PamperingBeki - Okay Jess, I’m having a wacky Dr. Seuss moment here, but Cora has been on my mind all day – along with Dr. Seuss lines.

    The first is “A person is a person, no matter how small.”

    And the second is “Oh the place you’ll go, oh the things you’ll do.”

    She was so tiny but what an amazing little person! The place she went (besides Colorado);-) is heaven, a place we’ll get to see her some day. What an amazing place.

    And oh the things she did in her little life! Look at how many people she’s touched!

    I come back sometimes just to see her pictures and smile at those cheeks and thighs. She will never be forgotten.ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 8:13 am

    Anonymous - You are weighing heavy on my mind today. My heart continues to ache for you.
    Always in my thoughts and prayers.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 11:59 am

    Falling Around - Jess,

    I am SO glad that you were able to get away with your mom & sis for lots of shopping fun. Though I’m sure giving yourself over to having a little fun is hard, it is these times that will get you through.

    And, yes, your mom looks fab! You are so lucky to have such amazing family close by.

    Love & Prayers,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Robin in Benton - Prayers and hugs – I’m with Beki – love to see those cheeks! I know she’s watching over you and Joel from heaven.

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 2:52 pm

    Peyton's Pages - I wish there were magic words I could say to make all the pain you, Joel and your families are going through go away. Anything I could say you already know, and have written yourself on this blog. Thinking of you today, and continuing to pray.ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 3:42 pm

    hoosier68 - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    hoosier68 - I second what your blog friend from Peyton’s Pages just said. Know that we all still hold daily in our thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 4:04 pm

    Cassandra Thibault - I am new to your blog but I was lead here through another. I cried reading all of your posts about your wonderful, and beautiful precious baby girl. All I have to say is you, your husband and the rest of your family is how you have an amazing strength in your faith. You have inspired me to re-think my faith I have been lost with out it for a few years now. I pray for you and your family as I can not even begin to think of the hole you have in your heart! :o)

    Cassie*ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 8:26 pm

    PamperingBeki - Loving and praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 8:39 pm

    Ang - You are in my prayers!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 30, 2009 - 9:06 pm

    Ethansmom08 - Jess,

    I started to cry as I read Beki’s comment above…the one where she so cleverly refers to a few Dr. Seuss quotes like “oh the places you’ll go…oh the things you’ll do.” I just love the connection that Beki points out there, so beautiful! Cora is SO amazing…she has touched so many lives, she has touched my life in a profound way and the life of everyone in my family through her life and her story. I am blessed to have been touched by Cora’s story…she continues to inspire me, as do you and Joel with your faith and strength.

    Praying for you!!!
    Sara

    PS) I love all of the beautiful pictures of your Cora, she is such an angel…the video montage you put together was amazing.ReplyCancel

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easter

Honestly, I have been dreading Easter for weeks now. I knew I would miss Cora more than ever today. I knew it would make me sad to see all the other little girls in their pretty Easter dresses. I knew that I would wonder if Cora would have been toddling around looking for Easter eggs with her cousins. I knew that church would be hard. I knew that going to another family gathering without Cora would make my heart hurt.

Well here we are on Easter Sunday. My heart does hurt today and I miss my little girl. But I think that the days leading up to Easter were actually harder than today has been. We made it through another “first” without our Cora. One more little step.
I have been reading through a devotional book and was struck by something that I read recently. I thought about it again today as Joel and I were talking about how the meaning of Easter is so different for us this year:
“There is no tragedy in being ushered from this life to the next when that next life is spent in the presence of God. The only real tragedy is a life that ends without that hope. When a person rejects the free gift of eternal life God has offered through a relationship with his Son, that is a tragedy.”

Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t make the pain go away. That doesn’t make me miss Cora any less. That doesn’t make me stop wondering why God chose this path for our family.  But, this Easter I have a new perspective. This Easter I have a new reason to rejoice in a LIVING King.
Without Jesus’ death and resurrection I couldn’t have this HOPE–my faith would be useless. Jesus conquered death once and for all. He did that for you and me, even though we don’t deserve it. It is because of His resurrection that I know my Cora is in the presence of God. I can be confident, because I have trusted in Him, that one day I will meet my Savior and be with Cora again. I don’t know how Joel and I could keep moving forward without this HOPE. 
Today, though my heart is heavy, I am rejoicing in the KING!
Today I am thankful that Jesus has RISEN and CONQUERED THE GRAVE.
Today I am thankful that I serve a LIVING God.
I pray that you too are living with this same HOPE. It would be such a great tragedy to reject this gift of eternal life that Christ so freely offers us.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 
Romans 6:8-10
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  • April 12, 2009 - 9:56 pm

    Liana - What a great post. Thank you (again) for sharing with us.

    He is Risen!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 9:57 pm

    Stephanie Lane - AMEN! Thank you for the testimony! Christ is Risen indeed!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    Rebecca - Thinking of you and praying for you daily. He is risen! He is risen indeed!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:12 pm

    Lacey McKay - Your blog is such an inspiration. Thank you for writing. I think about you daily and my prayers go out to you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:13 pm

    michelle - Jess…I am sure I have said this before on your comments..but your FAITH is so inspiring. (and I missed all the dresses again!!)ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    Anonymous - You simply are amazing and I know that God and Cora must be so proud of you. May God continue to guide your path and may you always feel Feel his love. Still praying for you!

    Many, Many Blessings!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:28 pm

    Wendy - Beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:31 pm

    Marc, Sarah, and Luke - What a great post, Jess. Thanks for sharing a bit from the devotional book! Sorry I missed you guys at church this morning. Marc mentioned he had talked with you and Joel. I had gone on home after 2nd service. Hope to see you again soon.ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:32 pm

    Kimberly - Praying for you. He is still on His throne!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:34 pm

    Elizabeth, The Mommy...etc - truly your courage is inspirationalReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:35 pm

    Kristi M. - Somehow I found your blog through another blog through another…and have been reading for a while and never comment. I know that you will be with your little girl again one day. Families are eternal and not something that ends in this life. There is definately life hereafter. You will be able to be with her and have the opportunity to raise her. I am thankful in my knowledge of a living God as well. It has helped me find hope in all hard times. It does not take away the pain but it does bring assurance that things happen for a reason. That we have a Heavenly Father that loves us immensely. That he knows us individually, that he will not give us anything that we can not carry. Your little girl is with you in Spirit. She has gained the body that she needed in order to return to our Heavenly Father. I really appreciate the quote from the devotional book. I have never thought of that before. Thanks for sharing and your things on Etsy are great by the way. I am thrilled with your success in raising money for the playground.ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:42 pm

    rowdyandsarah - I have never left a comment to you before, but today I just have to. I live here in Newton, my daughter attends Slate Creek 2nd grade and I have twin girls born March 30, 2008. The only reason I’m telling you is because through the grace of God, you have changed my life. I have started attending church again and I pray for you and your husband every single day! You are an inspiration to me and I can feel your pain for the loss of Cora. God loves you!!!! Keep your eyes on him and thank you for writing!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    Anonymous - As usual with tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart YOU have inspired me! Your FAITH and GRACE continue to touch my very soul.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 11:00 pm

    A Dusty Frame - ((hugs)) praising God for you that He extended His grace to help you make it today.

    LizzieReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 11:02 pm

    Marla Taviano - Bless you, sweet Jess! I am SO glad your day was a little less rough than you thought it would be.

    Loving you and praying for you as you miss your sweet baby girl.

    Thank you for sharing your faith and hope and love with all of us.ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 11:34 pm

    Anonymous - Your blog is usually my last stop before turning in for bed… just to check in on how you both are doing :)
    Thanks for your words- so full of TRUTH and HOPE! It’s sure to make nodding off much easier feeling so safe in HIS promise.
    God Bless you guys… you have not been forgotten!

    Blessings, Nichole in TulsaReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 11:34 pm

    Stacia Howard - Thanks for such a great post. This was my first Easter without my Daddy and while that isn’t a child, a loss is a loss and those first are truly hard. Like you, today wasn’t so bad because I too know my Daddy is with Jesus. I lost my Daddy 4 weeks to the day after I gave birth to my daughter and he loved that baby girl (he had such a soft spot for lil girls) and breaks my heart knowing that she will never know her “chief”. But it does make me smile to think that he could be playing with Cora in heaven. =)
    God bless!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 11:47 pm

    Christina - Beautiful truths that are Life. I thank the Lord and praise Him for holding you up this day and every day. He is an awesome God, and He is using you to bless many. I pray that you will continue to know His great love, His unending comfort, and His tender mercies every morning (both of you). Thank you, God, for giving us Your Son, for rescuing us, and for giving us hope.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 12:03 am

    Christina - Even though I already left a comment, I wanted to add that you (although you don’t know me and I don’t know you) challenge me to be a better person, a more faithful Christian. For a myriad of reasons I am struggling through each day (wrestling with guilt along the way) and I keep coming back to you and your walk. Your faith. Your sincerity. Your submission. Your relinquishing. I admire you so much. I know it’s easy to look at someone through a blog and see “wonderful”. I’ve read your friends blogs and they all agree! At any rate, you seem like one who truly has a faith that cannot be explained outside of God’s grace, and I long for that kind of faith and relationship. Well, I just wanted to tell you that. I pray God gives you strength for each new day. ChristinaReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 12:10 am

    Lori - Thank you for sharing your heart with us. As I was holding my son in his room a few hours ago, I sat there and thought of you and Joel…and how much I wished for you that you could be holding Cora today. I am so very sorry for the hurt you feel. I sat there and prayed for you guys, and pictured your beautiful little Cora blowing kisses from heaven to you both. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your devotional with us. It is definitely a great reminder for us all. The way you so humble and courageously share your walk with Christ on this journey is such a blessing. Thinking of you and praying for you.

    God Bless You!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 12:54 am

    Kammy - I too found your blog off a blog and just wanted you to know that I check in and pray for you daily! I could not imagine the heart ache that you face every day. I once heard, on the subject of loosing a child, who better to understand the pain of loosing a child than God? He sent his son to this earth with the intention of him to be killed. Gave us a sacrifice to make right what we have wronged. There are no words that will help ease your heart, there are no “similar” situations that will make you feel . . . any less pain. But know that God knows first had the pain your experiencing and that he can bring you through this. I will continue to lift your family in my prayers!

    Your sister in Christ,

    KammyReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 6:55 am

    Anna - A wonderful, inspirational post. Thanks for continuing to share with us!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 7:20 am

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Beautiful…beautiful. Thank you for so beautifully sharing your heart. Praying God’s continued comfort for your sweet family…ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 7:36 am

    megan - Happy Easter to your family, GOD sure does have a way of pulling, draging or carying us through the storms even when they dont make sense….And I guess once again I am to slow to the store to get a dress for my daughter! Blessings to youReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 7:47 am

    PamperingBeki - Goosebumps Jess. You give me goosebumps.

    I’m so blessed to know you, even a tiny bit.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:12 am

    Anonymous - I wish there was something I could do for you. You are such a special person. God Bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:27 am

    Anonymous - Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful words of TRUTH with all of us. Your strength is amazing to see and can only come from the strength that a RISEN LORD can give.

    Our prayers continue for you and your husband.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:36 am

    mommaof4wife2r - i am so inspired and full of more HOPE each day knowing that jesus is, was and always will be…and i’m so thankful for your testimony…your revealing of your heart. many prayers for you and joel…and the whole fam and friends.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:41 am

    vintage at heart - You two are so strong in your Faith and such a Testament to us all!!!
    Blessings and Prayers for you always!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:41 am

    mandi - You were in my thoughts & prayers yesterday … and will continue to be!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:54 am

    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - Bless you both.
    Your faith continues to inspire and encourage me.
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:59 am

    nanc - What a great and timely post. We are Catholic and I have been struggling with my teenage son, trying to get him to go to mass with us (he did go for Easter). I’m continually searching for ways to explain why we go to church. This is a wonderful explanation of why I want him to have faith. Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 9:04 am

    Anonymous - I was just thinking of your family & thought I would see if you had written anything recently. Your post is beautiful. You are such an inspiration. I pray for your family all of the time. Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 9:06 am

    Anonymous - I have been reading your blog since I heard about Cora going to the hospital initially from an email sent out from KSU Christian Challenge. Your story is touching this mother’s heart!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 9:12 am

    Marsha - Praying for you. Cora is in the King’s hands and one glorious day you will all be together again. Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration. God is using you in mighty ways. Love and prayers..

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 9:16 am

    jandkland - I don’t know how anyone faces life in this world without the hope that Easter offers, much less those who face the most difficult of tragedies. I can’t imagine anything worse than losing my precious children. You have lost yours, and still you live and you find hope, even in your darkest and saddest moments. That is truly an inspiration to all of us, who also live in this world that’s as full of loss and heartache as it is of joy and love. Thank you for sharing Cora with us.

    –Kelley in GAReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 9:30 am

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - Your faith is an inspiration. You continue to be in our thoughts and prayers, too. I thought of you often yesterday. <3ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 10:04 am

    The Morris Family - Somehow I do not think we can understand the resurrection in its fullness until we have had “death” come to our hearts as in taking a child. Our 3 yr Joel and your Cora. NOW the resurrection means so much, it is in this divine work that give you and I hope of seeing and being with our little ones again. I read this quote and it is so true; Jesus does not suffer so as to
    exclude your suffering.
    He bears a cross, not that you may
    escape it, but that you may endure
    it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from
    sorrow. Remember that and
    expect to suffer
    -Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening– In this life we will have trials to bear, He did, but praise the Lord He has gone before us and by that we can endure with his grace.
    CindyReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 10:09 am
  • April 13, 2009 - 10:21 am

    Kelly - Thank you for continuing to make sure others hear the Gospel. Your faith is truly inspiring!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 11:33 am

    Jill - Your love for the Lord is so evident and your faith is such an inspiration to me! It’s inspiring to see that you choose to “praise Him in the storm”! Be blessed this week and know that many people are thinking of you and praying for you often!

    How Great Is Our God!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 11:39 am

    Clare Z. - Tears.Tears for your pain, tears for your stregth. Tears for your selflessness and tears for the truth you proclaimed.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 11:40 am

    Micah - AMEN!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 12:02 pm

    Lindsey - HE has risen, INDEED! Still praying for your heavy heart!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 12:24 pm

    Julie - Jess, you have a great way with words. As many others have commented, thank you for being so open and honest with us. That is not an easy thing to do. You and Joel are a beautiful picture of faith in the One True God. Thank you for allowing Jesus’ love to shine through to all that are around you or read this blog. I think so many are drawn to (and mesmerized by) your words because God’s voice and presence are flooding out of you. We all love you so much!
    Julie F.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 12:57 pm

    Leslie - Thank you, Jess, for your insights into Resurrection Day and for sharing your unique perspective. I so appreciate how you live out the grace of God in your life. Thank you for the challenge to those of us who believe and for your compassion for those who are yet without Hope.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 1:42 pm

    Suzie - Thank you for sharing!! Yes, HE is risen!! I needed this message more than ever today..we just got home from the funeral of our friends’ 4 mo. old baby girl that passed away suddenly last Thursday. My heart breaks for you both!! I think about you daily and today,(everyday), Baby Cora was in my mind and heart. Sending all kinds of love from a stranger in Iowa.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 2:34 pm

    The Schilling's from PICU - Jess,

    My heart hurt for you yesterday. I spent a lot of the trip home crying and trying to find the good in what God’s plan is right now or was with this.
    You always find a way to bring me back to the positive in the Lord. For that I will forever be greatful. It was so good to see all of you yesterday, but honestly I was a bit worried about coming. I wanted to be strong in the fact that I didn’t want to cry again, and was worried about Jaylee being there with us when she reminds everyone of the times in the hospital and times with Cora. I didn’t want your heart to hurt more by us being there. I will cherish our friendship ALWAYS! When my friends ask about you which is very often, I always say I consider you all to be part of our family now. We are so honored to be in your lives. Thank you for letting us be a part of your Easter and your family. And thank you for showing us the way and light of Jesus. I often wonder and think about why we crossed eachothers paths and I thank God every day that we did. You have shown us how to over come so much and how to trust in Gods path and truth. Please know that we think of you daily and pray for peace in your hearts! Take care and enjoy your new part time job. It will be good for you to see others and to keep busy on those days. We will call you when we come to Wichita. Love you all and hope to see you again soon!

    love,

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 4:37 pm

    Deborah - I think of you often, and wondered how this first Easter would be. I’m encouraged by your words. God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 4:52 pm

    Jessica - you are such an inspiration! i don’t know if i would have the same outlook as you if i lost my daughter. god bless you. i miss cora too and i didn’t even know her! praying for you today!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 5:19 pm

    Brooke - Wowsers! Do you think it is even possible to keep Cora’s stocked for very long? Not that that is a bad thing I just need to not be so slow!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 6:20 pm

    Heather, Stan and the kids - hey:) I was reading something beth moore wrote the other day and just really thought about you a lot (which was pretty random since I don’t know you!) :) SO I took that to mean God placed you on my heart. I wanted to share with you what I read but couldn’t find a way to email you. So here is the link…just scroll down to her april 10th entry-it is called Thinking about Death and Healing. And it was written in relation to it being Good Friday…and a good friend of hers. Any way-as usual she spoke of some powerful things…here is the link.
    http://livingproofministries.blogspot.com/…then scroll to April 10th
    May God continue to show Himself to you through it all.
    In HIm,
    HeatherReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 6:28 pm

    shepherdsgrace - amen and amen….and HE…IS…COMING…SOON…

    whoot, whoot…our Champion…

    blessings,
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 6:55 pm

    Falling Around - Jess,

    Praise the Father for giving you & Joel the strength you needed for another first without Cora… but then, we knew He would.

    He’s not done with you guys yet. Your story continues to touch and transform.

    Hugs,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:22 pm

    Hoover Family - I just get touched everytime I read your blog, your faith is such an inspiration, although I can only imagine how hard it must be. Praying for your family always…in SCReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 8:53 pm

    Vera - You are amazing!! ♥ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 10:29 pm

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 11:48 pm

    rentz - Beautiful testimony and challenge, Jess. Great verses. Victory in Jesus!ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 12:14 am

    Elizabeth-Plain and Simple - Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing it.

    Blessings,
    ElizabethReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 8:01 am

    Anonymous - Thinking of you, Joel and Cora today.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 9:43 am

    April, Mom to Heavenly and Earthly Angels - I share your heartache and Blessing among you through the hoildays.Praying for you and all of us whom share this greif..ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 10:00 am

    Lauren Kelly - I’m continuing to pray for you and your family and with God I would imagine that each first will get a little bit easier and easier!!! We love you1!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 11:36 am

    Macalla - beautifully written.ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 1:53 pm

    Karina - I’m sorry Cora couldn’t be here for Easter with her mom and dad. Once again I find myself crying for your loss and marveling at your faith. I wish I could understand and share that conviction and succor. I continue to read your posts for inspiration…ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 2:16 pm

    purejoy - such a sweet reminder. remembering you and cora this easter. may God give you strength and comfort. Christ has risen, indeed!ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 2:25 pm

    heather - Thank you for the well-spoken and beautiful testimony. He lives!ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 2:36 pm

    Jane Anne - This is a beautiful post. You shared beautiful words and an amazing testimony of your faith. I know everyone that reads this is touched. You are being used by God. Thank you for your faith and your hope. It’s incredibly encouraging.ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 3:01 pm

    The Dey Family - Thank you for sharing your story..May you have peace and comfort.God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 3:18 pm

    The Carroll's - He IS alive! Praying always!ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 4:18 pm

    Heather C - Amen! I so appreciate your willingness to open yourself up and be real with all of us. I’m praising the Lord for your steadfastness in Him. What a testimony to His power and mercy! Truly inspiring.ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 4:20 pm

    KatieJ - Like so many others, I appreciate you sharing your faith and testimony of Christ through your tragety- your family is in my prayers, particularly at this Easter time.ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 7:10 pm

    gatornic - I have tears in my eyes as I type this. Not because I am so sad for your family (although I am…I have kept up with your journey) but because I too am so grateful..so unbelievably thankful to Jesus for doing what I could not do. Live a life in honor to the Living God…perfect, pure and holy and then pay my penalty of a life of sin…sins He Himself did not commit. It is mind-boggling. I rejoice with you and know I will get to meet your Cora and you on that great Day… Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 8:58 pm

    kbaitinger - Your words are beautiful. I have read them over and over and over, and it is true, you are being used by God. I am so thankful that I found you, for you have helped me find Him! Thinking of you all the time, and praying that you will find peace.ReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    Al's World - since i am dealing with this first Easter without my mom, I was feeling the same way. I blogged about how I was missing her, because she wasn’t with me, but it was because SHE WAS PRAISING THE RESSURECTION IN PERSON!! Wow! So even though i miss her because she is not here, I stand in God’s promises that He won’t leave me, that His will is perfect, even though it doesn’t make sense sometimes, and that He knows better than me.

    Thank you as always for sharing your amazing faith and for shining God’s light over and over again!ReplyCancel

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  • April 15, 2009 - 3:42 am

    winecat - I came to your blog via another I can’t remember which one. I am a cradle Catholic, don’t attend church any more but know there is something much bigger than us out there.

    Your journey is heartbreaking and amazing all at the same time. Cora’s life was not in wasted in any sense of the word. She makes us all remember that life is precious and we should savor everyday. I’m a breast cancer survivor so that’s really apparent to me.

    No other child will ever replace Cora in you hearts or minds but you are such wonderful, amazing people I hope you are brave enough to take the chance again. The world needs more people like you and raised by you. All my blessing and prayers upon you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 15, 2009 - 3:46 am

    The Red One - You are one strong woman. Thank you for sharing. He is good n it shows all over you. Your lil cora is so beautiful. MY prayers for you n your hubby. YOU are an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • April 15, 2009 - 8:49 am

    PamperingBeki - I’m praying you have a good hearty laugh today. A hysterical silly belly laugh with friends or family that warms your heart.

    If not today, then soon.ReplyCancel

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  • April 15, 2009 - 4:24 pm

    Anonymous - Thank you for sharing your amazing testimony. God is using you in so many ways! We continue to lift you all up in our prayers.
    God Bless,
    Rachel James
    PS I keep missing all your amazing dresses!ReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 8:57 am

    Beckypdj - My sixteen year old son went to Heaven Jan 12, 2008. For several weeks all my mind could handle was the fact that God loved me and I would see Peyton again. There were times I thought I would lose my mind wanting to know what he was doing in Heaven. That is a mom’s job, knowing what her child is doing and taking care of them. As you wrote about Cora….I miss him so much, but because we serve a living God, we have hope.

    We have been through all the “firsts” and it is better. I stay focused on the present, thanking God for what I do have and not dwelling on what we have missed out on. I am sure you have found that writing on your blog helps you do that too.

    Much love to you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 10:41 am

    seabafive - Just wanted to let you that i think of you often and pray for you! You are such an inspiration…through all of your grief you have clung to God’s Word and that is just so awesome! Always thinking of Cora…ReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 11:13 am

    Anonymous - I am yet another stranger following your story. It’s been said by so many others, but my heart also just breaks for you and Joel. I’ve shed many tears for your sweet Cora and cannot imagine your pain. Your amazing faith encourages and inspires me SO much! Cora truly is changing lives! Prayers from Cedarburg, Wisconsin…

    KaraReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 4:29 pm

    Jan - Thank you for your beautiful, gracious message.ReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 9:27 pm

    Christina - hi there, i saw the article on etsy about your family and have ended up reading through your posts of the last few months. my heart breaks for you, but your unshakeable faith in the Lord is truly amazing. i’ve been listening to a band called waterdeep who have a song called good good end. the main lyric is “it’s a long hard road with a good good end”. amen. you’re walking the hard road, but thank God for His good and perfect end.ReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 11:20 pm

    beth - Beautifully written. I continue to be called back to your page… to see how you are coping & also to gain strength from your journey. I also continue to lift you up in prayer!ReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 10:22 am

    Anonymous - Jess, I believe that was the best presentation of the gospel I have ever heard. Thanks! You continue to amaze me. You are a rock. Thanks for being so vulnerable and real with everyone on your blog You are so genuine with us all. I continue to be amazed how you follow every negative with a postive. You are precious! I strive to be more like you. We continue to pray and ache for you guys. Tell your hubby hello. AndiReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 4:34 pm

    Michelle - Just thinking of you as I often do…. Hoping the days are getting easier.ReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 5:31 pm

    Laressa - Thank you for sharing your story, though I am sure it was initially intended for a much smaller audience and with a plot with much less sorrow. Thank you also for your witness. Reading through your experience and the scriptures that you were able to recall as God’s reminders of his love and care has inspired me all the more to not only memorize them for myself but to instill them in my young daughter (21 months) so that God can use them to speak into her life in the hard times she is sure to face. I also just wanted to share that as I read the message of Cora’s and your journey in your time at the hospital and especially as I came to the message of her going to heaven, I shared in your grief and cried along side you. I know that you have received so many messages from others, and this one is extremely long, but I felt led to let you know that you and Cora’s life had also touched my life. I will be checking back often as a reminder to pray for you and your husband, for both your sorrow and your strength to make Jesus known, and as a reminder of the work your story so far has brought me to.ReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 8:52 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you, Joel and Cora today, everyday, multiple times a day. Thank you so much for continueing to share with us. Your are such an inspiration to me..

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 9:10 pm

    rhemashope - You are amazing. What an incredible witness you and your precious Cora are for Jesus. You challenge and inspire me.ReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 9:59 pm

    Stephanie - You are remarkable! I’m praying for your family.ReplyCancel

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  • April 17, 2009 - 11:20 pm

    Mandy - I thought so much about you on Easter morning. My heart ached as I got our little girl dressed for church, and knew that at the same time, you would be sitting in your chapel with empty arms. I appreciate your faith and courage as you maneuver through this experience! Your still in my daily prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • April 18, 2009 - 3:08 pm

    Avily Jerome - I just clicked over from a link from my friend who follows your blog.

    I’m so sorry for the pain your family has suffered, but rejoice with you in the hope that you have!

    You are in my prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • April 19, 2009 - 10:10 am

    Holli - I came across your blog through a follow blogger…. I have been so touched and have prayed for you over the last couple days of reading over your story……
    may God heal your heart and know that your daughters life will touch many lifes and bring HIM all the GLORY!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 19, 2009 - 2:50 pm

    Amy - I come over here and check on you from time to time…I am praying for you and Joel and am touched by your story. Will continue to hold you up in prayer.
    Amy@balmingilead.typepad.comReplyCancel

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  • April 19, 2009 - 6:56 pm

    texasinafrica - Paul Tillich says that the central message of Christianity is that love is stronger than death. I continue to pray that will be true for you, because if your love is stronger than her death, how much more so is God’s!ReplyCancel

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  • April 20, 2009 - 3:09 pm

    The little things - Thinking of you today & thinking of Sweet Cora… Hope your having a great day…ReplyCancel

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  • April 20, 2009 - 7:48 pm

    Rebecca - Joel and Jess,
    Thinking of you and praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 7:27 am

    Anonymous - Thinking of you.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 8:04 am

    Robin in Benton - Thinking of you and praying for you this morning.

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 10:35 am

    PamperingBeki - Thinking of you and praying for you this morning.ReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 1:03 pm

    James' Full House - Praying and thinking of you. That was beautiful…..

    BrandiReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 3:11 pm

    The Carroll's - Praying for joyReplyCancel

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  • April 21, 2009 - 7:47 pm

    Lynn Jones - You are on my mind and in my heart as well as my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 29, 2009 - 3:39 am

    Anonymous - I have followed your post for some time .. I am a grammy to an 18 month old and you have touched the depth of my soul with your story. Your devotion to Jesus and your trust, honesty, openness to sharing, and your transparency is such an encouragement. I want to be your mom’s friend! I am 52 also :) and tell your mom she looks great! And if all that isn’t enough, you continue to honor Cora with a playground and raising funds thru your Etsy shop. Y’all are just awesome… I know Jesus and Cora are smiling down on you!!! Maybe Cora’s dresses can keep on doing wonderful things even after the playground is finished! Y’all have been such an inspiration to someone who has been in a hole… God uses all things. Praise our Father. Debbie in TNReplyCancel

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hurry to etsy…

Cora’s is stocked!

Lots of burpies.

And thirty-five new dresses.  

Grammy has been working REALLY hard!
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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:03 pm

    Ashley - Hi! I’m one of Andi’s friends and ordered two CUTE shirt for my son (he’s wearing it on my latest blog). Anywho, he gets compliments all the time. Love your stuff!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:07 pm

    PamperingBeki - You girls have THE BEST taste in fabrics! Love the Amy Butler, etc.

    Great job.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    Anonymous - I’m honored to have been able to snatch up a dress before they were all gone! I pray for your family everyday.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:33 pm

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - I really love the patterns you girls pick out. They just feel so HAPPY and cheerful, and colorful. Brings good and happy feelings just looking at all of them.

    God Bless and Happy Easter Weekend….ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:37 pm

    Anonymous - I just purchased 5 of the dresses! I have been watching your blog for a while waiting to snatch some up for our girls! I know that every time they wear them, we will think of your sweet Cora! I am so glad we were able to do a small part in helping her playground out! Thanks again for your faith and sharing it with us!
    Susan WilkeReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:41 pm

    mommyof2 - Thank you Jess for all your dedication. I really apprecaited you posting about your weekend get away. I want to have a clsoe relationship with our God like you have. And I want to be a better wife. Thank you isn’t enough to say, but that is all I can muster up. Thank you for having such wonderful friends whom I also know. I love how God uses our friends just in the right time and form. So thank you for loving our God so sweetly. You are a wonderful person…inside and out.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:50 pm

    hoosier68 - So excited. I have been checking often and finally was fortunate to secure a Cora dress and some burpies. Your ideas are adorable and the sentiment behind it all is beautiful. Praying for you daily.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 5:19 pm

    Jennie - Bummer, I missed her size…ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 5:44 pm

    Debbie K. - With a granddaughter due in May, I have been checking Cora’s everyday, many times a day. Finally, I was able to purchase two dresses and 4 burp cloths. I have told a lot of people about Cora and the playground. I am honor to be able to help and will think of sweet little Cora every time we use one of our purchases. God Bless You for your determination and time. We have fallen in love with little Cora and have been blessed by her and your faith.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 5:45 pm

    lori in connecticut - Finally I got one!!! Yeah, they are so beautiful. I have been checking at least 4 times a day all week. I almost missed them, only 2 left when i looked. Now i just need one more for the other twin.

    you and your family and in my thoughts and prayers…..ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 5:46 pm
  • April 10, 2009 - 5:53 pm

    Whimsical Creations - WOW!!! I just went over there and there is only 2 items left. HOLEY COW!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 6:03 pm

    Courtney - I NEVER make it in time! haha .. I’d love to have a dress for my baby girl on the way but I’m always too late. All the fabrics I have seen are so precious! :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 6:15 pm

    Midwest Mommy - Um there are two things left, lol! Holy cow!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 6:21 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - I can’t believe I missed it again-I have checked the sight everyday several times and I was gone today and now the dresses are gone-oh well-I am sure glad other people are able to purchase and help with the playground. I will just have to wait some more. I am still praying for you all and for Gods blessing on you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 7:12 pm

    Anonymous - What a great tribute to you, Joel, Cora and Grammy that your etsy store sells out so quickly! You continue to be an inspiration to me and oh so many more…

    Always in my thoughts and prayers

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 7:18 pm

    angie c - Darn! Missed them again! Make lots of 12month dresses next time! :) Still thinking of you all the time. Would love to see you post more tidbits about your couples weekend… discussion questions or something that I can share with hubby. Hugs to you and still thinking of our sweet angel Cora.
    Love-Angie CReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 7:29 pm

    kbaitinger - Oh! I am so sad that I missed them!!! I have been checking constantly, hoping I would be able to get one…I hope that you will continue to make them, I would feel honored to have my daughter wearing one. You all are in my thoughts and prayers all the time. I love to see you and your relationship with God, you have opened my eyes and heart to him as well. So, thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 7:35 pm

    Mandi - It seems I’m always too late to get my hands on one of Cora’s precious dresses! Maybe I’ll eventually be able to buy one!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 7:55 pm

    Julie - I really like all the new combinations of fabrics you used for the burp cloths. They are so fun and cute–great job, Designer! :-)

    See you soon!
    JuReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 8:01 pm

    Paula Aspacher - where do you get your fabrics? I live in nashville Tn area and love your choices… could you write about where you get them. (sidenote) i forwarded your blog to a friend who had lost her daughter in a car accident about 9 years ago, thought she could maybe send you a note from a mom who understands, she was driving,(someone ran a red light), then i saw your video of the funeral and you played the steven curtis chapman song. he wrote that for families he knew who lost a child, her child was one of them he wrote it for. erin would have been 18 this past january. they had a daughter (5) who lived and have a son and have adopted 2 little girls from china through steven’s shaohannah’s hope.. God has been good to them. They feel tremendously blessed, but miss their Erin. I am so sorry for your loss of Cora and think of you often. You and your husband are amazing.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 8:03 pm

    Savanna - Hi! I follow your blog daily, and have been keeping you in my prayers. I love the fabrics you ladies choose….but I was SO unlucky; have been checking the store front a million times this week, and then I was busy with our girls this afternoon and I missed out!!!!! When will the next dresses be available? Will you PLEASE take an order? I REALLY want to order a dress for a baby present as well as two for my daughters. I have tried to write you several times on Etsy, but haven’t heard back.
    As a sister in Christ, I am deeply moved by your sharing and honesty is all you are going through. I will be honored to meet you one day in eternity…..

    Hope to hear back from you on Etsy,
    SavannaReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 8:10 pm

    Wendy - i’m so sad i missed it again! i’ve been checking in everyday, but i was too late today. do more soon! lots of love and prayers. wendyReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 8:27 pm

    Jessica - Dang…I better be quicker next time…I need to snatch up some of those dresses for my daughter.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 8:40 pm

    Ethansmom08 - I GOT ONE!!!! I am SO excited! I have been checking like a million times a day! Everything is just so beautiful! You and Grammy are amazing!

    Love and Prayers,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:17 pm

    James' Full House - I’m late yet again……. They were so cute too. I love the Trip T’s

    Praying…..

    brandiReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:32 pm

    meg duerksen - UGH! i missed it all again!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:33 pm

    The Carroll's - I’m so glad that your store is so popular! I get LOTS of compliments on my daughter Rowan’s Cora dress and it is a gift to share your story. Are you still accepting donations for Cora’s Playground? I was wondering if you had met your goal yet. I hope that your store is bringing you some joy- keep it up as long as it is fun for you! With all those great fabrics it makes me want to learn how to sew!! Praying always!
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    Elle's Mom - Oh my goodness, I missed it again!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Erin - darn it…missed them AGAIN. :( keep ‘em coming!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 10:12 pm

    Kelli - ONE day I am going to see it at the right time! Keep the dresses coming ladies! I can’t wait to finally get one! :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Kendra - Oh no I missed it again. And after checking back all week too! LOL!ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 11:04 pm

    Todd and Courtney - I think of you all every day. Your beautiful work is such a wonderful way to honor Cora. I’m always too late on ordering as you are always sold out but what a gift that is! Thinking of you in TN!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 2:06 am

    Staci - I, of course, was too late again. And I desperately want one of those dresses. For many reasons. One because I think my daughter would looks so stinkin’ cute in it. Two, I want to make a contribution to Cora’s playground. And three, to honor her memory. I hope I am faster when they come around again!

    Thinking of you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 7:35 am

    Lesli - Oh my… I have been checking your blog everyday waiting for these dresses and I can not BELIEVE that I somehow missed this posting yesterday. They must have been gone in minutes!! I am so sad :( I loved the retro polka dot dress and was glad to see there were several 2t’s… so cute!! You and grammy are doing an awesome job. Your family is in my prayers daily.ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 8:56 am

    the*4*of*us - good grief I can never get there fast enough!!!! I’m so glad you’re selling out!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 9:56 am

    Anonymous - As soon as my friend had her baby girl I just KNEW I had to get one of these dresses for her. And I was able to purchase the last dress. I cannot wait to give it to her and tell her the story about Cora and her amazing parents. God Bless you and your family!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 10:06 am

    Anonymous - I have been following your blog since your sweet Cora went into the hospital – I found your site through little Kayleigh’s site. I pray for your family very often and check in to see how you are doing.

    I love your Cora dresses and I hope to get one if I’m lucky! I’m too late this time, but maybe the next time. I would love to purchase one for my daughter and everytime she wears it we will think of precious Cora. She has touched my heart.

    The dresses are some of the most precious I have ever seen — I love the style and patterns. You just can’t find them anywhere else. So, hopefully next time I will get lucky and log on at just the right time! :)

    God Bless you and I can’t wait to see pictures of the finished playground one day.

    Thank you for sharing your most precious little girl with the world.

    Karen Andwan
    cincymomof4ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 10:24 am

    Shelly Primm - I am so disappointed that I didn’t get to order a dress less than 24 hours of your posting..ugh! I will try again!

    Still praying for you both!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 10:24 am

    Fab Fabrics - You’re family is amazing! You’re products are adorable! Keep it up and the playground will be built before we know it!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 10:28 am

    Lindsay Day - AGHHHHHH!!! I check your blog daily, between yesterday morning and this morning you are already sold out! I am jealous because I want one of those adorable dresses, but I am thrilled that they sell out so quick to support Cora’s playground!!! I will keep waiting and watching!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 11:04 am

    Anonymous - I need 2 size 5 and a onecie size 12 month I just visit the store and there is no more.

    Thanks

    EldaReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 12:32 pm

    Stephanie - I tell ya I can’t find you when you’re actually stocked!!!! I need better luck!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 2:11 pm

    Tami in Rochester, mN - You ladies have fabulous taste in fabrics!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 3:19 pm

    Karina - Wow, 35 dresses gone in the blink of my eye! I’ll have to be much faster if I want to get one…poor Grammy will have to sew her fingers to the bone! I guess you know you’ll be busy with Cora’s for a while!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 3:42 pm

    amy - I am sad that I missed the dresses again! But, happy that you guys are so popular! I am a pediatric hem/onc nurse, and I stumbled upon your blog a couple of months ago. I work with beautiful, precious ones like your Cora, and am praying that the Lord continues to pour out His abundant grace and peace in your lives as you continue to grieve and heal.ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 4:21 pm

    Ashley - Horray for you for selling out of your beautiful creations on your Etsy site… boo for me for checking in too late and missing out! I can’t wait to have the chance to buy a Cora dress for my little girl, due this summer. Blessings to you and your family… we continue to pray for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 4:39 pm

    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - Darn’t!
    I am never on top of it enough to catch your shop updates on time!
    I guess that’s ’cause everyone’s so excited about your fantastic stuff, and of course helping to support the playground.
    I’ll keep watching.
    Have a blessed Easter.
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 6:12 pm

    The Gardners - I’m so happy you keep selling out so fast!!! On the other hand, I can’t wait until I can FINALLY get a cute little dress!!!

    Still praying for you, Jess!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 7:57 pm

    mandi - Just dropping in to say you’ve been in my thoughts & will continue to be in my prayers this Easter Weekend!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 9:05 pm

    Anonymous - Praying for you as you celebrate Easter this year. Because He is risen we can have hope. May you find joy in celebrating our Savior rising from the dead and comfort in knowing you will celebrate with Jesus and your sweet Cora again soon!ReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 10:16 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you today and everyday.
    Praying for you as you celebrate Easter this year. Because He is risen we can have hope. May you find joy in celebrating our Savior rising from the dead and comfort in knowing you will celebrate with Jesus and your sweet Cora again soon! ( My thoughts for you exactly!)

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 11:30 pm

    Judy - I just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you guys this weekend! I know you’re missing Cora. Holidays are hard. I just wanted to share a verse with you. Matthew 28:6 says “He is not here, he has risen, just as he said.” Jesus foretold the fact that he will die and come back to life. He fulfilled that promise already. But he also promised the “in the twinkling of an eye” He is going to return. I’m praying that the promise of His return will comfort your hearts and bring peace to your weary souls this weekend. I’m longing for His return too! What a glorious day that will be!
    P.S. The dresses sold out too quickly again! I hope Grammy feels like making some more :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 11:55 am

    PamperingBeki - Praying you feel a special hug from God this Easter Sunday.

    Love to you guys!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 2:26 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you, Joel and your Cora today.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 4:16 pm

    Falling Around - Jess,

    You guys are on my heart & mind this Easter Sunday. I wish I could give you a great big hug today.

    May He bless you today.

    Love & Prayers,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 5:12 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you on this Easter Sunday. Glad you have great friends and family to be with.
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 8:18 pm

    Kelli - Thank you Grammy. Sending a hug and a prayer your way!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 9:23 pm

    The Koehns - Dang! Sold out again! I need to be quicker! They must have been pretty cute dresses. Let me know if you ever start taking orders – I’ll have my sister-in-law, Sarah Friesen, reserve a couple for me!

    Hope you all had a wonderful Holy Week and Easter Sunday celebrating our Lord.

    Thinking of you and praying hard,
    AmberReplyCancel

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  • April 13, 2009 - 1:15 pm

    Julie - DANG IT! I missed it AGAIN!

    I check back often…and always miss the updates and then they’re gone before I get any! I’m expecting my little girl in August…and those little onesie dresses are too cute! I WANT ONE!!!!

    They’re in high-demand….so I must keep trying! ;) ReplyCancel

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  • April 18, 2009 - 3:24 pm

    Anonymous - man, every time i go to buy dresses, they are all gone! maybe next time. :P)ReplyCancel

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  • April 23, 2009 - 9:42 am

    Rose - Hi! Will the store be restocked soon or are there any other donating merchants? Thanks! I would be honored to shop for Cora.ReplyCancel

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two months

It has been two months since our little Cora went to meet Jesus. 

How could two months have gone by already? It seems like we just left the hospital. The things that happened in the hospital replay in my mind like it was just yesterday. 
But, it seems like forever since I got to hold my baby. Forever since we were laughing and playing together. It is hard to even describe. Time is moving forward and yet the ache in our hearts is so intense and new.  Somedays seem a little better, but some days it seems like the pain is getting worse.
I listened to the Watermark song that was sung at Cora’s celebration service several times today. The words are so true to how I am feeling.  I miss Cora in EVERY way.
Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you 
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
’til mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do
And today I am longing for that day when my tears will be wiped away.
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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:14 pm

    Heather - Joel and Jess,

    I was just thinking about you guys and praying for you. I was reading through this blog and your post just came up! I am lifting you up right now to Jesus.

    I am so sorry.

    Heather MReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:28 pm

    The Moffats - Thought about you ALL day…wish I was there to give you a big hug. Love you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    MidnightMom - I prayed for you last night as I went to sleep, and was wondering how things are going. I was glad to read of your weekend together; one more step towards healing and towards a different kind of future.

    From one Mom to another, I wish words could ease your pain; I wish I had a way to take away the ache you have in your heart.

    I will hold you up in prayer tonight, and tomorrow. God be with you as you walk this road.
    ~DanielleReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Phoenix's Mom - I can’t say I know what you are going through, but please know that we pray for you both.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:32 pm

    Marla Taviano - My heart aches, aches, aches for you. I love that song–can’t wait to meet Cora in heaven!

    Loving and praying for you!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:33 pm

    Adam and Vel - I stumbled upon your blog when your baby was diagnosed with cancer. I have followed it since. I have a baby Cora’s age, so it struck me hard when she got sick. I don’t know you, but my heart aches for you and your family. I cannot imagine how terribly sad you are and how you must miss Cora. I find myself reading old posts and am in disbelief how quickly things happened and how 2 months have now passed. I just want you to know that a stranger (sister in Christ) is praying in McAllen, TX. I pray that the Lord will dry your tears and heal your broken heart as only He can. I read a blog you wrote where you said you hoped you would handle a tough situation with grace and you have. I admire your strength and witness in such a time as this.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:37 pm

    Anonymous - I’ve been thinking about you guys all day. I pray that one day you will smile more and cry less. It has to be so hard. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about your family and sweet Cora. She has forever changed me as a mother and as a christian woman. God bless you.

    Love, AshleyReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:44 pm

    Amy - Here is another SIC (sister in Christ) praying for you both. I have no words. I can only say that with the way that so many in our country have turned their back to our Lord, it is beautiful to see you clinging to Him.

    May God bless you both.

    AmyReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:44 pm

    Kim, Aaron, Jake and Jack - My heart still breaks every time I read one of your posts. I am sure I will never know you here on earth, but I can’t wait for the day I get to meet you and your sweet Cora with Jesus one day. Blessings on you and Joel.
    Kim – Abilene, TXReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:45 pm

    purejoy - oh, i think about you all the time. two months. my heart aches for you. and i wish there was something that would make it better.
    you all are grieving with such strength and openness and dignity. honoring God with each step.
    and i love that watermark song and i remember when they first sang it. it broke my heart then and it’s breaking all over again. thank you so much for faithfully sharing.
    i am certainly praying for you.
    and i would still like a cora’s playground button for my blog. do you have the link/code?
    have a sweet, blessed Easter.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:52 pm

    Christina - Oh, how I long for that day for you…I don’t have anything else to say. I continue to think of and pray for you both. From your previous post, your smiling faces bring me to tears…and this does too. I wrote this a while back but didn’t share it. I hope it’s okay to do so now…
    http://www.fivewalkers.com/?p=1546
    I’ll keep praying.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:54 pm

    Erica - i can’t believe it’s been 2 months. my heart still aches for you as it did 2 months ago today. my prayers are with you that you will be strengthened with the strength only Christ can give. you are such an inspiration. little cora was so blessed to have you as her momma!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:58 pm

    Jessica - Ohhh…bless your hearts.
    I cannot imagine your pain. You are thought of every day.

    Blessings from CAReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:00 am

    Kimberly - praying from Texas.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:19 am

    kate - I am so inspired by your faith. I am encouraged by your hope in the Lord and your steadiness in the comfort that only He can provide.
    I am so sorry for your pain and loss.
    I pray the Lord is always by your side as you walk through this incredibly difficult time and that you continue to feel His peace. Many hugs to you and your husband.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:39 am

    Anonymous - Praying for you, I read this the other day and I cry, but is so beautiful.Guess what mommy & daddy,
    Heaven is great.
    Just like you said,
    There’s not much longer to wait.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    I have a guardian angel who comes at night.
    I told him I wanted to go,
    But the times not right.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    My angel came this morning.
    While you were still in bed,
    He came with a warning.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    When I left with June.
    So you could rest some more,
    I knew my time was soon.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    When you were finally out of sight,
    I told my angel,
    The time is just right.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    When you still didn’t know I was gone,
    My angel put his hand in mine,
    And I was no longer stiff or sick,I felt so happy & fine.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    When the hospital called,I saw you crying from above.
    I saw daddy & how scared he was,
    And I knew how much I was loved.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    On the way to the hospital I heard you pray,
    Don’t let them bring me back,
    I know you don’t want God to take me away.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    I saw you walk into the ER,and ask is he gone.
    I saw the look on your face when the nurse said yes!
    It looked like you’d never go on.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    I seen you holding me tight.
    I kissed you good-bye with my love,
    And tried to tell you I was alright.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    There’s no more pain,
    You can go on with your life,
    And not feel so drained.

    Guess what mommy & daddy,
    I’ll watch you all your days through.
    And be like your guardian angel,
    Just because, I LOVE YOU!!

    EldaReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:42 am

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - Thinking about you. You and your family are still in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:45 am

    Lori - May the Lord wrap His arms around you and hold you tight. Thinking of you and praying for you!!!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 5:48 am

    Chris - My heart aches for you . Thinking about you several times a day .
    Cora has change me forever and I didn’t know her.
    Someday you will be together again.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 5:54 am

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - Sometimes I hate leaving comments, because I often find myself with no words and then when I try I feel I come off rambling….

    But my heart always wants to comment, if you read them all or not… but I have to let it be known to you and your family, that although your pain is still very new and very very painful, and the world is just flying on by. I have not forgotten.

    In fact yesterday it didn’t come to mind that it was Two Months already…but there was a long pause period out of no where in which I felt the urge to stop what I was doing and just stare and hold, smile and play with Morgan. It really came out of nowhere. And every time I do that, the first name that comes to mind is Cora. Then a list of others like Isaac, Sage etc. As I look at Morgan I realize how the pain I feel knowing this is what others moms are hurting and missing from right this very moment.

    It hurts.

    I love that song and its so true…as I sit with tears rolling down my face early in the morning and still dark outside… I pray, pray, pray that God continues to hold you and protect you only the way HE can.

    You may feel alone in all of this but there are so many that lift you up in prayers and shed tears with you… although our pain cant even compare to your pain, our heartache and tears are very real for you and your family and your loss of that beautiful little sweet girl Cora Paige.

    Cora Paige!
    Cora Paige!

    We love you and miss you, Cora Paige.

    God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 6:30 am

    hoosier68 - Holding you & yours in my daily thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 6:46 am

    Miranda @ Traveling Treasures - You are in my thoughts, prayers and heart. Thinking of you and sweet Cora always. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:24 am

    Courtney Kay - Praying for you… I love that songReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:34 am

    Anonymous - My heart hurts so much for you! I too cannot believe that it has been 2 months..Let yourself shed your tears and miss your sweet baby girl. I imagine time will heal but I am sure that you always miss your Cora.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:35 am

    Stephanie Lane - Amazing song…..Joel and Jessica, I’ve never met you, but you are so often on my mind and in my prayers. I know that my heart aches for you; how much greater is the love the Father lavishes upon you!

    Praying for you.
    StephanieReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:43 am

    Tina - Jess -

    I am still praying and thinking of you. I bought a little burp cloth from Etsy before Cora’s birthday and I haven’t been able to put it up quite yet. It is going to go in my “hope” dresser drawer in what would have been my baby’s room when I feel like putting it in. I think of Cora & our baby every time I see it.

    Your blog friend -

    Tina (from Missouri)ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:47 am

    Megan (mommyesquire) - I think about Cora and your family all of the time. I am continuing to lift you in prayer.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:55 am

    Julia - Just wanted to let you know that there’s someone else that doesn’t know you but thinks of you and prays for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:03 am

    Toni :O) - Continuing to pray for you from Michigan. I’m still waiting on my Etsy bag that helped to support Cora’s playground. I can’t wait to have that daily reminder of your beautiful little cherub. I know words aren’t always enough, but I wish I could somehow ease your enormous amount of pain. We all are continuing to lift you up in prayer.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:05 am

    Anonymous - Praying for you.
    CarleyReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:06 am

    Robin in Benton - No words just tears and prayers for you

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:19 am

    Micah - May God bless you and give you peace this very day.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:32 am

    Whimsical Creations - I think about you and your family often. I wish I could take the pain away. No one should have to experience the loss of a child! My heart aches for you.

    I am so sorry!
    *hugs*
    melanieReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:35 am

    Audrey - Jess, my very being aches for you. I hope that you can find some comfort in the new life that was promised this Easter and everyday, even for your little girl.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:49 am

    mommyof2sons - My heart aches for you. I can’t even imagine your pain. I am praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:51 am

    amanda wintersteen - I found your post today through another blog and my heart broke when I read it. It is really hard to lose a baby. I lost mine at 5 months old almost a year ago due to a failed kidney. She was my life and I know how you must be feeling. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you peace to make it through. I know I’m a stranger but my name is Amanda and if you just need to vent or talk I will listen. My email is amanda200888@aol.com God Bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:05 am

    mandi - Continuing to pray for you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:27 am

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - There are no words I can say to take away what you are going through, just know that we are here for you and we’re praying for you and Joel. <3

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:32 am

    Anna - Bless your heart…((hugs)) to you as you miss your sweet Cora! Jesus, hold Joel and Jess in the palm of your hands…give them peace.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:36 am

    Kelsey - I am now crying after reading the lyrics from the song…so sorry aobut what you are going through, I couldn’t imagine. Your faith is an inspiration!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:43 am

    Beth Ann - I think of you and your family often – my heart aches for you. I have no words, only tears. I could never be strong enough to continue on.

    Praying for you in Iowa.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:46 am

    Emilie - Praying for you both… its hard to believe its been 2 months. Just wanted you to know that you are in my heart and in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:53 am

    Ethansmom08 - I was praying for you last night for quite a while and will continue to do so. I wish I had something more comforting to say, but I can’t think of anything that could even begin to ease your pain. All I know to do is pray, I think about your family and Cora everyday and always will.

    Love,
    Sara

    That song makes me cry everytime I hear it, so beautiful and filled with hope.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:08 am

    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - Prayers and love are continuing to be sent your way.
    Strength is wonderful, but tears and sadness are okay too.
    You both are an inspiration to so many of us.
    God is doing amazing things through your willing spirits.

    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:31 am

    Kelly - I know that song was written after a lot of heartbreak for the Nockels but I think it sings the words of so many mommies hearts just perfectly. Thank you for sharing it!
    I’m praying for you still.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:36 am

    Jessatsea - I don’t really know what to say except that your story has truly touched my heart and I wish that (not even knowing you) I could wrap my arms around you and take some of your pain away.

    I am praying for you and for Joel and just hope that God can give you some peace in time to face the new reality that you live with.

    I ache for you and I cry for you.
    Jessica in Fort Worth, TXReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:42 am

    The Carroll's - Still prayingReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:48 am

    Melissa - I can’t believe it’s been two months already.

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss and the pain that you are feeling.

    I’m praying for you as the tears are streaming down my face.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:52 am

    sarahross - These pictures popped into my mind as soon as I read your sweet post…

    http://www.keatonprints.com/prints_love.htm

    I have the one of Jesus walking with the toddler and holding the baby in our home. I just love the joy on the babies faces…ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:53 am

    Dawn - Out of all the wonderful blogs I follow, yours always touches me the most. Like I said before, I feel that what happened to you guys can happen to any of us.
    I know it feels like life just keeps going and everyone just goes about their daily lives but you’re never far from my thoughts.
    Dawn from OregonReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:18 am

    Yankee Mama - I am still praying and thinking of you often. I am inspired and encouraged by your trust and faith in our Lord. You’re such a huge blessing to me!

    “Come quickly Lord Jesus!”

    Love,
    SuziReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:20 am

    Oh well, hey! - Prayers are lifted for you. May God bring you comfort and peace. You are a beautiful Mommy – your angel is watching over you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:50 am

    Emily - Sending hugs and prayers for strength to get through the hard days.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:01 pm

    i love plum - my thoughts are with you always…xoReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:02 pm

    The Jones' - I pray for you everyday and think of you so very often…ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:18 pm

    tami - My heart aches as i read your words. I continue to check your blog daily. You continue to be in our prayers on a daily basis! You and your family are continuing to minister to me. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 12:22 pm

    Karina - Crying for you still…I wish you could stop suffering, it seems so unfair. I am reading the bible for the first time because of you…it is very confusing, but I am reading it. You and Cora are an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 1:16 pm

    Beck - Jess, praying for you right now and asking the Lord if I can carry the pain for you for just a few moments. Like so many others have said, He brings you to mind over and over. I’ve never thought about and prayed for someone I’ve never met the way that I have for you & Joel. Every time I go back & look at pics of Cora, I begin to weep and can only imagine your grief.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 1:24 pm

    Kate - I sit here as tears flood my face. My heart feels like it is completely shattered. For you, and Joel, for me and my now sleeping children who I just lost my patience with. I’d give anything for them. ANYTHING. I can’t imagine not being able to do that. So when they get up we are going to decorate easter eggs and of course one for Cora. Yes, I will neglect my dirty house, laundry and dishes b/c I know that every moment God allows me to be with them is more of a blessing than I could ever ask for. Thank you for putting my priorities straight today. I feel such heavy pain for you but you have made my husband and I appreciate God and our children so much more.

    May God Give you the Strength and Courage to walk through all the tears. We’ll be praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 1:25 pm

    Laura - My prayers are with you as you seek to bear the broken hearts and loss of your sweet and precious daughter.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 1:32 pm

    Monica - I’m always thinking of you both and sending my love your way. I just don’t know what to say.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 1:52 pm

    Courtney - Jess, I’m glad you guys had a nice weekend away. I still pray for you always and wish that I could make things easier. When our son passed away I really could not stand when people told me that time would heal, time does not heal you, you just learn to live with a different you. Just know that it is okay to laugh, cry, scream or whatever YOU feel the need to do. As always thank you for keeping us informed about you guys, I have you on my mind everyday. I hope someday we can meet (I’m only 45 min away) and I can’t wait to hear that Cora’s playground is finished, so we can bring the kids to play on it.
    Love In Christ,
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:12 pm

    Marlene W. - I’m still here and still praying for you, Jess and Joel. My women’s Bible study that I attend has also been in prayer for you (it is comprised of me, a couple other young women, but mostly old ladies :). They have been through a lot, and one lady that lost her own son had tears in her eyes when I shared your story. We are all praying for you!!
    sending encouragement from Delaware,
    MarleneReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:22 pm

    Brittany - Praying for you…..still.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:23 pm

    The Mershawn's - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:27 pm

    The Mershawn's - My heart longs with yours for you to see her. Wish there were words to make it easier. Praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:30 pm

    Liz Bracken - Your support system of friends and family is absolutely incredible. I read your blog again start to finish last night and was stunned to see that over 1600 people left messages on the day that Cora left you and Joel. (Except part of her will always be with you.) This morning I read your post from last night and tears welled up. Fear not that you are not moving “forward.” I imagine that the numbness that offered some protection for the past two months is slowly wearing off and you are feeling the sharper edge of grief. You have so many good people to lean on. And isn’t it amazing to think how many people whom you’ve never met are thinking about you and Cora every single day. There is a power in this healing process that can come only from God.

    Liz–another Cora’s grandmotherReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:30 pm

    kbaitinger - How I found your blog, I’m not sure. But I am so thankful that I did. My heart is heavy for you both, and I think of you constantly. I have wanted to leave you a comment before, but can’t quite express what I would like to say…I think that Misty has said it best…
    Please know I am thinking, crying, and praying for you and your family. You have forever touched my heart, and my relationship with God. I will continue to read, learn and grow from you.
    -Kristina (Lee’s Summit, MO)ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:42 pm

    Melinda - I came across your blog through a link on etsy a couple of weeks ago. You and your family are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    heather - Thinking of you today.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 3:16 pm

    Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - As I celebrated my daughters birthday yesterday, I also said a prayer for yet another milestone of your lives. You two are always in my prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 3:26 pm

    ran shae - oh, my mama’s heart aches for yours. i am so, so sorry.

    praying for you everyday,
    ~randiReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 3:32 pm

    Nic - I have never met you but found have followed your journey with Cora since January. I live in Utah but have family in Henderson, NE and Hillsboro and Wichita, KS – my husband and I attended Tabor college. I also follow Meg Durkeson’s blog. ANyways, through these connections I’ve been readying your entries and have prayed for you and cried with you each time I visit your blog. I pray for an abundance of God’s peace over you today. Your family and Cora’s life have impacted and encouraged so many for Christ. THanks for sharing your raw feelings with the world.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 3:52 pm

    Trisha - Jess-

    It’s been just over one year since my Nate died (also born 3/5/08). I know how the hospital images playback through your mind. Our wonderful counselor explained that to us as our brains don’t understand our reality. They are trying to make sense and sort out things that are just unimaginable. I do know that it will stop. The bad images will move to the back of your mind and the happy memories will fill your heart. It just takes time. You will find that time is your friend. It’s hard to believe that the pain will ever lessen but it will. I don’t believe that it will ever go away but the joy and happiness will start to multiply and the sadness will diminish. Focus on Phil 4. It took me many months but it really did allow me to have the joy back in my life. I still miss my son like crazy and would do anything to hold him again. I’m just tired of being sad. As much as was taken from us, God has given us so much more. Just take it 1 day (or sometimes 1 hour) at a time and when the hospital images come, ask God to help you focus on the happy times. He is close to the brokenhearted and will not fail you. I know that you don’t want this (and frankly neither do I) but this loss will make you a different person. A better person. The bible will have an entirely different meaning, praise songs will feel like you got punched in the stomach and your real relationships (because some people will bail out) will be much deeper than you could have ever imagined. Just hang in there. It will be better a year from now.

    Hugs from a Mommy who gets it!

    TrishaReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 4:43 pm

    meg duerksen - it does seem like yesterday.

    so hard to know you hurt so much jess.
    that song was one of the most beautiful i have ever heard.

    praying for you all the time.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 5:24 pm

    Maria - I am praying for you. May God continue to hold you and your husband in the palm of his hand.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 5:31 pm

    deyoungsters - I started following your blog after Cora was diagnosed… my heart breaks for you. Your honesty and faith are so amazing. Praying, praying for you as you walk this hard road.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 5:42 pm

    Anonymous - i think you guys often and pray for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 6:03 pm

    Lundstrom Family - I think of you so often. I wish there was something I could do. You are a wonderful person and I wish you were not going through all of this. Please know that you have changed me forever. I am a better wife, sister, daughter, and most importantly mom. I have you, your faith, and your strength to thank for that!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 6:21 pm

    Kristi - May God comfort you both during this time.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 6:40 pm

    Caitty - I’m a lady from southern California and I check in on you every day. Please know that I pray for your family. Your beautiful Cora has touched so many. There is such strength and love in each and every post.
    CaittyReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:47 pm

    leahneer - Joel and Jess,

    I am a far away friend who has followed you through the blogging of Cora’s ordeal. We don’t know each other but I am one who has been so touched by you both and by Cora’s story. I can only imagine what sense of loss you are experiencing every day. I am sorry you have to endure this but know many around the world surround you with love. Jesus is with you always and will see you through each day. I am thinking of you daily and praying for your well being during this time. Thank you for being such a inspiration in your love for the lord and your faith. It has given me mine more than ever. May god be with you always. Hugs from far away:)
    LeahReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 7:48 pm

    leahneer - Joel and Jess,

    I am a far away friend who has followed you through the blogging of Cora’s ordeal. We don’t know each other but I am one who has been so touched by you both and by Cora’s story. I can only imagine what sense of loss you are experiencing every day. I am sorry you have to endure this but know many around the world surround you with love. Jesus is with you always and will see you through each day. I am thinking of you daily and praying for your well being during this time. Thank you for being such a inspiration in your love for the lord and your faith. It has given me mine more than ever. May god be with you always. Hugs from far away:)
    LeahReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 8:00 pm

    CinderellaMommy - Praying that God will heal your hearts as only He can and for comfort and peace to surrond you as you heal.

    SW WI MOMMYReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:12 pm

    Anonymous - Joel and Jess,
    You are so often in my thoughts and my prayers. My heart continues to ache for and with you. I pray you continue to feel the nearness of God.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:16 pm

    Susan - Hurting and praying for you today… I can’t imagine.

    I’m so sorry that you have to feel this sadness. No parent should have to endure this, But, if anyone understands the loss of a child, it is our Lord. May you feel his comfort as you walk this road. You are not alone.

    Susan in IndianaReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:27 pm

    Anonymous - I check your blog every day and I cannot begin to imagine the deepness of your sadness. I pray each day for God to give you an extra measure of His grace and peace. Eleanor in SCReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:32 pm

    Heather - While I have no idea the pain you feel, I can only imagine having a son myself. It is hard to even imagine your pain… I wish I could take some of your hurt away. I pray for your sweet family every night before bed. I pray that God will grant you peace. Please know Cora’s life has touched so many. Big Hugs from GA.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 9:53 pm

    Robin - We keep Cora’s picture on our fridge and we pray for all of you often . think about you all the time . My heart aches for you . Be strong and allow the Lord to cradle you in his arms and lean on him when you feel you cant stand the pain one more second. I will be praying . love you !!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:01 pm

    James' Full House - Praying for you…Sweet Jesus be near.

    brandiReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:19 pm

    maryboys - i am sure that your pain does seem worse some days, and in different ways…still thinking of you and your painful loss.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Cristy - Hi Jess…

    I am praying for you. I wish I could say something that would make everything okay. Just know that I, like so many others, are praying for you.

    CristyReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:27 pm

    Anonymous - Im in Ohio, heard about little Cora, and have been following your blog ever since. Its so hard to understand why God chooses to take those we love away from us when he does..when we’re not ready. But, you are so lucky because you know where she is, and that she’ll always be your little girl there forever. This passage brought and still brings me comfort on the loss of my Father..I hope it does the same for you. I may not know you, but I am always praying for you. God Bless..

    *Phil. 1:3 – “I thank my God every time I remember you.”ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:09 pm

    The Jones' - I am prayin for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:12 pm

    Suzie(Iowa) - I’m not often at a loss for words, but today, I stand in awe of you and Joel and your awesome faith!! I think of you often(just as thousands of others do) and pray for strength for you both!! Your sweet baby girl has touched so many!! Today…I have a feeling she is coloring Easter eggs in Heaven and is beaming with pride to call you her mommy and daddy!! God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:28 pm

    Jess - oh miss jess (& beloved)! i am so sorry. i keep thinking of these verses isaiah 61:1-3 when i think of you. praying the Lord would bring much beauty from the ashes of your sorrow and knowing He is making you both into ‘oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.’ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 11:40 pm

    PamperingBeki - I cry for you daily. Not a day has gone by in these past two months that I’ve not teared up and gotten a lump in my throat just thinking of the pain you and Joel are enduring.

    I was talking to a mutual friend of ours recently and said, as strange as it seems, in many ways I feel maternal toward you. As a mom, you know that feeling. You’re just so precious and innocent and I want to protect you. I’m only 4 or 5 years older, but there have been so many times, even during Cora’s hospital stay, that I just wanted to hold you and tell you that it was all going to be okay. The reality is, it’s not okay. You’re still left with empty arms and a broken heart, and facing the rest of your life with that. It’s something I can’t imagine.

    Continue to lean on God because only He can give you that comfort, that peace that passes all understanding. (And I know you have an amazing real mom and dad who can hold you.) :)

    I wish I could make it better.

    We’re still praying for you daily. God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 12:00 am

    number17cherrytreelane - i can’t believe it has been that long. I feel like it was yesterday, and I have no idea how it must feel for you. I have you in my prayer journal and think of you almost daily. My prayers are with you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 8:05 am

    Courtney Cloud - My heart still breaks for you and your family. I am just a random reader who came upon your blog. I know that there is a special purpose for you. Listen to “Your Love Is Strong” by Jon Foreman. It has such a powerful message. God’s love is Strong enough for you…even in this tragic time.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:38 am

    Anonymous - Hope you find some peace in his very hard time. You are amazing people, and deserve happiness…which will come someday. Bless you both and keep hugging and loving each other. You are wonderful people.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 9:53 am

    Anonymous - I’m so very sorry for your loss of your little Cora. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but my prayers are with you as you go through this time of grief.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Anonymous - Oh, Jess,

    You are so precious. Your honesty and transparency in your blog move me to tears. I must tell you that you and your story have encouraged and changed me (for the better) as a mom, wife, and christian woman. Oh, my dear, keep going. You are so loved.

    AmyReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 4:22 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - I thought of you so much that day………..sending loving prayers for you both.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 6:03 pm

    Connie W - May God continue to bless and keep you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 10, 2009 - 11:00 pm

    Falling Around - Jess,

    I love that Watermark song… it must be bittersweet to listen to, though.

    I have been thinking of you guys a lot as we near Easter Sunday. I cannot imagine how painful holidays will be without your precious Cora.

    Praying God will fill you with His sweet peace & comfort.

    Love & Prayers,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • April 11, 2009 - 12:14 pm

    Anonymous - Praying for you guys!ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 3:13 pm

    Anonymous - I happened upon your blog when your baby girl was first diagnosed with cancer and have been following ever since. I’m an oncology nurse and my daughter is a month younger then Cora so I can’t even imagine the pain you must be going through. I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this trying time. You are truly an inspiration to all.

    God BlessReplyCancel

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  • April 16, 2009 - 10:17 am

    Miss Em - Jess,

    This was played at the memorial service for my little one as well. However, I can not listen to it with out crying so it has been a long time since I have. Just reading the words brings me to tears. I pray for you and Joel daily and am in awe of your strength and faith. God bless.

    EmilyReplyCancel

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weekend to remember

FamilyLife presents weekend to remember...love like you mean it
A weekend away.
Time together.
Focusing on us.
Talking.
Date night.
SO needed!
If you ever have a chance to attend FamilyLife‘s Weekend to Remember, you should. That is what Joel and I did this weekend. The speakers were so real and challenging.  We had time to talk through some things that we normally wouldn’t take the time to talk about. We were challenged to make each other and our marriage a priority. We came away from the conference feeling more connected and united than we ever have before.
On Sunday we had a breakout session with women only.  
“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of a woman. For I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am, and all that He wants me to be.” -Elisabeth Elliot
I loved how the speaker reminded us to embrace how God designed us as women.  She talked about how Biblical priorities are at the heart of becoming the wife and mother God intents us to be. I cried through the part of this session about our role as moms. It made me miss Cora SO much. I wished I could go home and apply all that I was learning about being a mom as I spent time with Cora. I cried a lot throughout the weekend, but I think that was good.  I think I just needed to cry.
My favorite part was spending time with my hubby. I needed time to talk about things I was struggling with and how I was feeling as we move forward without Cora.  He we such a good listener. I was able to better understand how he was feeling too. I am so thankful that God is allowing us to walk through this storm together.

We could see God working throughout the whole weekend. From allowing us to go in the first place at the last minute, to the speakers and people we met. Thank you Allen and Tammye for making it possible for us to go.  And thank you to all our dear friends who helped pay for our expenses.  We are so grateful.
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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:02 pm

    Anna - That sounds like a great opportunity! Still thinking of you all…ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:06 pm

    Melody - What an amazing blessing. I am so happy you guys could go! Every couple needs to take time for things like that- even if it’s not for a whole weekend. The fact that your lives have changed so much in the past few months is only more reason for you guys to reconnect and focus on each other! I’m glad you had a great time!ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    beckley - much love.
    grace and peace to you-ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:18 pm

    The Sieberts - I love seeing the smiles on you and Joel’s faces. i know you’re still hurting deeply. Know that we are continuously praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:19 pm

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - I have been wanting to do one of these weekend events for the last 2 years. I looked it up tonight and going to REALLY look into booking it tomorrow.

    Thanks for sharing and so glad you had a getaway together.

    God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:23 pm

    PamperingBeki - You guys are so blessed to have each other.

    There is no doubt that God chose each of you to be the other’s spouse, and both of you to be parents to Cora. No one else could do this.

    When Camryn was a baby, she was a HORRIBLE baby. For real, she was. I mean, just plain awful – screamed for hours on end, never slept through a night until she was a year old… Just really hard. I remember her doctor telling me that no one else could be her mom. God had chosen me specifically for that job. That was a thought that had really never crossed my mind, but thinking of it put things into perspective. (And she turned out wonderful, of course…) :)

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend! Every couple should take time to refocus on their marriage.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    The Jones' - What an awesome getaway! My husband and I love attending things like that. I still pray for you often and hope all is well. What a beautiful picture!
    Hugs,
    LizReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Marc, Sarah, and Luke - I’m so glad you guys got so much out of it. We did as well last year! We hope to go again someday! Know that we’re still praying for you guys each and every day…Hope to see you again soon.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:01 pm

    Kristi - I am glad you had the weekend together. You are still in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:06 pm

    Susan - Awesome for you! You totally deserve it!
    I’d love to go sometime and I think we will…this year or next. It’s in June in Indianapolis this year…perhaps I can talk my hubby into it!
    Still praying for you, thinking of you often, and knowing that God is using you for His purpose.

    Susan in IndianaReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:10 pm

    Michelle - I’m glad you had this opportunity together. My parents have some friends that lost two of their children in an accident and they almost ended up get a divorce because they grieve so different. I’m sorry you are goign through this, but I hope you have a stronger, closer marriage because of it. Cora has brought so many wonderful lessons to people who never met her, hopefully a stronger marriage is a present she is giving to you. You are both still in my prayers, it’s good to see you smiling!ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:14 pm

    Jennifer W. - BEAUTIFUL picture! You’re in my heart.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:20 pm

    The Moffats - LOVE the picture of you guys. Glad you were able to go and get a little refreshment. Much love.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:21 pm

    Merryheart - So wonderful that you had this special time with your husband. This is the first time that I have posted here but I have been reading it since right after you lost Cora. I know your grief is heavy and you miss your little girl so very much. God was good to give you this time to be together, shed tears and heal. Blessings to your sweet family. Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:24 pm

    Marla Taviano - So happy for you. (you two are so cute!) So thankful for God’s blessings on your marriage.

    I continue to pray for your hurting hearts!!ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:30 pm

    meg duerksen - this is so hopeful.
    you are such an example of hope. and god’s design for marriage. wow jess.
    thanks for telling us so much of your story. i love it.
    i am so glad you got to go….so cool.ReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:36 pm

    number17cherrytreelane - I am so happy that you were able to go and be together. You are right–it is so important and I am so glad you both had that time together. I continue to think about you both and the daily struggles you are having to deal with.
    The Lord is continuing to use you.
    All my love,
    RachelReplyCancel

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  • April 7, 2009 - 11:48 pm

    blessedmomto7 - What a blessing to be with your hubby! And grow together in the LORD. God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 1:04 am

    Falling Around - Jess,

    My husband and I went to a Weekend To Remember several years back, and you’re right, they are amazing and life changing. We had a great time, but more than that, it really opened us up to just talk. It was wonderful. In fact, I was just telling him that we need to do it again.

    I am so glad that you guys were able to go. I’m sure the “mom” discussions were difficult, and for that I am deeply sorry. But I am glad you and Joel got to spend some time away and grow closer to each other.

    Love,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 1:40 am

    Lori - What a blessing! Still think of you and your family every day. You will always be in our prayers. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 3:45 am

    Aaron and Shannon - So glad you got to go! I would like to go sometime! I prayed for you both this weekend as I knew you were there. See you soon!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 7:04 am

    Anonymous - You and Joel are amazing. Love the picture. So glad you are working through your grief together. I can only imagine how very hard it continues to be. Thank you and Joel for continueing to share your lives with us.

    Thoughts and prayers everyday.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 7:34 am

    Marsha - You continue to amaze me with your grace and faith. I am so happy that you were able to go and be together. I am continuing to pray for you all daily! Love and prayers.

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 7:39 am

    Erin - That Elisabeth Elliot quote is AMAZING!!! What a living testimony you are becoming. What an amazing mother you are to Cora, and to her legacy. So many people are going to be changed because of your little girl. Blessings to you, sweet sister in Christ. :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 7:46 am

    Judy - It’s so great to see your smiling faces! I’m so glad you guys had that special time away to connect. Sometimes you need those purposeful times away to build your marriage even though you live under the same roof :) Still praying for you guys and I’m so happy to see you working through all of this TOGETHER! God continues to be glorified through your lives!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 7:51 am

    KKJD1 - Sounds like a great weekend. Glad you were able to talk to each other and listen too. I have always been a good listener but never have been able to talk things out. I would love to go to a Family Life’s conferance. Ill check that out. Blessings,KarenReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 8:17 am

    hoosier68 - Having worked through post traumatic stress, I know what a strain is placed on a marriage. I have posted before that I am in awe of your strength and faith and have no doubt you both are on the right path. Praying for you daily in Indiana :) ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 8:23 am

    Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - What a great opportunity at a great time for you two…I am currently doing the Love Dare book with my husband and even though we have a good relationship, it is reminding us daily how lucky we are to have someone to walk the storms with! I pray for you two daily and I hope God continues to heal your hearts!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 8:43 am

    Robin in Benton - What a blessing you are to each other as you continue on through this storm that life has thrown at you. And what an inspiration you are to all of us with your dedication to each other and to God. Still praying for you and thinking of you daily.

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:03 am

    The Boyds - I am so glad you were able to go to the conference. It sounds like there were many blessings for you! I pray for you and Joel each day. May the Lord continue to strengthen and comfort you. May he place a hedge of protection around you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:05 am

    Anonymous - Just thought you would love this amazing poem…

    I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

    I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

    I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
    I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

    I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

    ~ e.e. cummingsReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:09 am

    Anonymous - There is happiness in your eyes in that picture and it made me smile. So nice to see that after the terrible loss that you suffered. Still thinking of you often and continuing to wish you peace :-) ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:34 am

    The Carroll's - I love what Beki said about God choosing you and Joel to be Cora’s parents. He created you and Joel uniquely, and perfectly ordained that you would be the best compliment to one another in marriage. He knew that only YOU could love and care for Cora and be the best parents for her. He knew that YOU would bring Him glory even in the midst of unthinkable heartache. There is no one who could have loved her better or taught her more than you and Joel.
    What a gift to get away with one another. I imagine there are so many layers to your grief and though there are probably many similarities in the way you’re grieving, there are probably also so many differences between your hurt and Joel’s.
    Praying this scripture for you today- I know this will be a tough one:
    “May your unfailing love be with us Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:22ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:41 am

    Mindee - Those conferences are amazing, I’m so glad you had the opportunity to go.

    The truth of the matter is that our spouses are the only people God truly “gives” us. The kids are just on loan. It’s important to prioritize that relationship.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:20 am

    Polka Dot Moon - A wonderful opportunity for the both of you!

    It’s good to see the two of you smile :) even though your hearts are heavy and missing your sweet Cora so much!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:29 am

    Micah - Every couple needs time to re-focus on their marriage and making it what God wants it to be. I’m so glad you were able to have a much needed get-away!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:39 am

    Anonymous - I have known people whose marriage didn’t survive after the loss of a child. I often wonder if my husband and I would survive, since we don’t have a common ground like you do with each other. Your faith and strength is so amazing to me. I remember after I found your blog and I just felt so awful for you. But when I realized you had the faith that you do, I felt immediately better, still so hard and awful, but I knew that you would be okay because of your strength for Him. May your journey continue to inspire others and strengthen you both.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:44 am

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - So glad you guys go to have date nite! We get so few of those around here and to get out of town and reassess what makes you two such a great couple! <3 I'm very sure all of the mom discussions were very hard, but I agree with Beki that you and Joel were chosen to be Cora's mom and dad. What a joy and blessing. Thanks for the lovely picture and update!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:51 am

    Kylie, Jesse and Asher - Thanks for sharing about your powerful weekend. It’s awesome how God is strenghtening your marriage in this time of great sadness. He cares about you….I’m encouraged by your testimony.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:13 am

    Alison - What a great conference! I am so happy to hear that you were so blessed through your time there. Your family is on my heart often and I will continue to keep you all in prayer.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:20 am

    Anonymous - still no words… only ♥ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:58 am

    Christine - I love your picture. I am so happy that you both got to get away. Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 12:12 pm

    James' Full House - That is wonderful. I feel so energized after things like that. Like I can face the world just a bit longer. Glad you two had time to talk and cry together. It was great to see a picture of you smiling. Ya’ll make a cute couple.
    Still praying everyday.

    BrandiReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 12:44 pm

    Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend - Sounds like a great conference. So happy that I found your blog.

    Hope you will stop by my blog. I am a new blogger. This is my second month in the world of BLOG. I am great give away this month. This drawing will be the last day of April.
    Every comment you leave throughout the month will enter your name in the drawing. This NEW blogger was so touched by all the comments I got on the Blog Party Give Away,(over 300) that I decided to make this a monthly GIFT…
    Also, if you mention blog telling about the monthly giveaway, you will have your name entered 10 extra times…Just be sure and let me know that you did. How is that for an incentive?
    I was so blown away by all the responses that I wanted to email each person personally… I did love reading all of them..I am continuing to introduce my family members. In May, there will be some fun blogs coming from Disney World with the grandkids. I hope to blog every night, in case you like a good trip report. And there will also be a great Disney giveaway.
    I am so thankful for all my new friends.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 1:34 pm

    The Christys - Thank you SO much for sharing your journey with us. Both of you are truly amazing people. Your love for the Lord is AWESOME!! I have been thinking about both of you and Cora LOTS today and continue to pray for your family everyday.
    Love & Prayers~
    Kara ChristyReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Anonymous - God Bless the two of you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 1:52 pm

    Liana - I’m so glad you got to go. My husband and I went for our anniversary last year and plan on making it a yearly activity. I too highly recommend it to all my friends. I really felt that it hits you where you are…it speaks to people in all situations, as you said. Did you get the couple with 13 kids? They too lost a child before a year (in an accident), and the stories they shared about how they were able to grow together instead of apart after their son’s death were really powerful.

    Thank you for you continued witness and for sharing your walk with your “friends”. I think of you often and pray for you and Joel daily.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 2:44 pm

    Audrey - Oh Jess, that is so awesome you got to attend the conference. Unfortunatley, we missed it when it stopped by our city. Though when we first got married, Family Life had a different couples’ conference they don’t do anymore that we attended that was just as inspiring and really touched our marriage. We even got to see Steven Curtis Chapman there. It was awesome.

    When I read that you had someone sponsor your trip, it reminded me that when the conference was here, our local Christian station was giving away tickets and they recalled giving away tickets to a couple that also just lost their baby. So inspiring in teaching us to love our neighbors and support them through their struggles too.

    Still praying for you both.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 3:09 pm

    Greg - Thanks for letting me weep with you. You are the best and I love YOU! Greg SpeckReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 5:12 pm

    Anonymous - I’m so glad for you and your husband that you got to spend this weekend together. My husband and I went to Weekend to Remember on our 10th wedding anniversary. I wish we had gone sooner, and I recommend it to newlyweds and engaged couples. It really is a wonderful time to focus on your marriage, even when everything’s just peachy.

    In your situation, I’m especially glad you took this opportunity. A family in our church lost a child to an accident in the home several years ago (I think he was about 18 months old). This family didn’t take the time to really dig in and work through all that they were going through, and years later they had to deal with it in a much more painful way, including marital problems. God is so gracious, and He walked with this family through the marital trial and now they are working as missionaries with a strong marriage.

    Just keep holding on to your hubby and seeking God in this terrible trial in your life. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

    We will be praying for you as you approach Easter this weekend.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 7:21 pm

    Anonymous - I am so happy that you have each other to lean on, and had the opportunity to try to understand each other on an even deeper level. I still think of you every day, and pray for your family, and sweet Cora every day, Leslie in CTReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    All Doll(ed) Up - I am so proud of you guys- putting your marriage first is the foundation to get through many more obstacles ahead. Your story is and will continue to be an inspiration to all who know you! We think and pray for you often-ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:10 pm

    kristin - Still thinking of you on a daily
    basis and praying that God will lift & carry you through each day.
    So glad you all had a great time.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:14 pm

    Jessatsea - awhhh… so glad you two had such a wonderful and blessed weekend.

    this stranger continues to pray for you.ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    TRICIA boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - I’m so glad you two got to get away and spend some real quality time together talking and crying together.
    You are still in my prayers daily.
    Thank you for being so open with all of us out here through your very difficult journey.
    God is good.
    May he continue to bless you as your strength, faith, and love have blessed me.
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:17 pm

    Lauren Kelly - WOW, sounds like a time much needed and so glad you and your hubby got to experience this time together!!!! :o)ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    Angela - Sounds like you guys had an amazing weekend! I’m so glad you were able to go!! I LOVE the picture of you two, such sweet smiles and your eyes are so blue!!

    Still praying for you… we love you so much!

    Angela LeavertonReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:38 pm

    Cristy - Hi Jess…

    How wonderful it is to see yuor smiling faces! Praying for you….

    CristyReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 10:38 pm

    Allen and Debby Graber - We were praying for you this weekend while you were there. We went to the one in Denver a few years ago and learned a lot – even though we had been married around 30 years then.

    Farming hours will keep Joel busy these next few months so it was good for you to have this time together!

    “Encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thess.5:11ReplyCancel

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  • April 8, 2009 - 11:04 pm

    Misty - I know I have said it before, but you inspire me daily.ReplyCancel

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  • April 9, 2009 - 10:41 am

    Ashlie - We have not met, but a friend suggested I read your blogs in hopes that I would find strength in your faith as I find my “new” normal. I lost my 15 year old daughter a month ago in an accident. As a single mother she was my life. It has been very hard, but I have put my trust in the Lord. I know that He has a plan and He was ready for my daughter. It doesn’t lessen the saddness or how much I miss her. She is my first thought when I wake, my constant thought throughout the day, and my last thought as I close my weary eyes. The hardest part is not knowing “why”. But, I know I must live until I am with her again. I would love to connect with you and your husband as we each travel this journey that has been chosen for us.ReplyCancel

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  • April 12, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Miss G - That is so wonderful! I am so glad for you. I just wanted to stop by and say that God put you on my heart a couple different times this weekend, Friday afternoon standing in Target looking at Easter candy and then again today in church to pray for you guys that He would carry you through this holiday weekend without Cora. I hope you have a good week this week. KellyReplyCancel

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  • April 14, 2009 - 8:58 am

    Anonymous - Hi dear! You don’t know me but I have been following your blogs for months. My daughter was born on March 3rd so she was just a few days apart from Cora! I think that has made me feel so connected to you & your blogs.
    I just wanted you to know that we also attend the WTR in Wichita… I am so grateful that you were able to attend. It really put some things into perspective & was rekindling. I wish I would have seen you so I may have had the opportunity to introduce myself & thank you. Your faith has made me a better mother, wife and follower of Christ.
    I just wanted you to know that my family thinks of Cora often and prays for you & your husband.
    With many prayer & lots of love to our family in Christ… The Harshmans; Cedar Point ~Tiffany~ReplyCancel

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  • April 28, 2009 - 9:40 am

    Miranda - My husband and I have been to the weekend to remember conferences twice. They’re amazing! I’m glad you guys got to go because it’s a great experience and you learn so much. I love the picture of the two of you together. You’re a beautiful couple.ReplyCancel

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