This week I have been asked to go WAY out of my comfort zone.
Last week we had been contacted by the Newton Kansan (our local paper).  They wanted to do a story about Cora’s Playground and wanted to interview us.  If you know me you will understand that this is totally outside my box.  I am a pretty private person and would rather go unnoticed than be in the spotlight. I know you are laughing…there is no going back now!
We agreed to do the interview and met with the reporter on Monday.  She was very kind, but the interview was really hard for both Joel and me.  Harder than we thought.  She wanted to know all about Cora and I started crying the first time I opened my mouth.  But, we made it through.  We felt like it was an opportunity to share what God is doing in our lives. That’s why we did it.
The article was published in today’s paper.  You can read it here.  I don’t like having my picture on the front page of the paper AT ALL.  But, it was awesome to read about Jesus in our local paper.
Today when I got home (I had just read the article), my phone started ringing.  I looked at our caller idea and it was Channel 12 News out of Wichita.  I thought there was no way that it could be a reporter.  But I was scared that it was and didn’t answer the phone.  As I listened to the message I couldn’t believe that someone would want to do a story about our little Cora.  They did! They wanted to interview us today and air the story on tonight’s news.
I just cried because I didn’t know what to do.  I just waited and thought.  Twenty minutes later she called again. I knew I needed to answer the phone.  She wanted to come to our house in two hours to talk to us.  I told her I needed to talk to Joel and I would call her back.
I am not a good decision maker.  I don’t like talking publicly, especially in front of a camera. Not to mention I didn’t think I could get through an interview without crying again.  But, I knew this was another opportunity to share the love of Jesus…with LOTS of people.
I called Joel.  I prayed that if we were supposed to do the interview that Joel would say we needed to do it.  Of course he was hesitant, but he thought we needed to say yes. After all, it is not about us. We are here to glorify God. This might be our opportunity to do just that. We prayed that He would give us the words to say.
So here we are…

A few hours after that phone call from the reporter, she was in our living room and we were telling her all about the Cora’s Playground project.

This is for all the locals.  Our story will be on the 9 o’clock news (on Fox) and the 10 o’clock (Channel 12) news after the basketball games.
Oh my!
We are praying that God would be glorified through this story!
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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:00 pm

    jen christians - I am so proud of the two of you. God on the news and Jesus in the paper. Amen! Too bad it was at such a huge cost to you. please know that I still pray daily for you and ask others to do so as well. To God be the glory.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:01 pm

    Alisha - “We are here to glorify” God….that just amazes me. You don’t know me but I am so sorry about your baby girl. I have an 11 month old daughter and I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. You are really inspirational. Take Care!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:01 pm

    Logan and Rebecca - Jesus Christ is so proud of you both, and I am too even though I don’t know you. I’ve been following your blog since you found out Cora was sick. I pray for you all often. I am so glad you are finding some comfort in our Savior’s arms.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:04 pm

    michelle - Wow…your love for God is undeniable. You are such an awesome couple!!! I honestly wished I lived closer so we could hang out. :) Thank you again for sharing your family w/ us…I continue to pray for your healing.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:07 pm

    Kathryn - I don’t think i’ve posted before, maybe i have. But largely i never feel i have words for you. What can you say when someone has lost so much? I ache for your empty arms & pray for you. I cried when Cora died, & worried about your faith.

    But you are so strong (tho i know you don’t feel that way) & hanging on so tightly to Jesus. I know he will reward you. Your testimony is so true & will touch so many people’s hearts.

    God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:08 pm

    shepherdsgrace - oh sweet sister, may your testimoney be used by our sweet Lord to touch many hearts and may they be led to salvation in Him…

    blessings on your faithfulness through the pain…

    and praise to Him, our Rock…our Comforter…closer than any brother…

    thank you,
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:11 pm

    The Moffats - Wow – when I called today and said I wondered how the interview went I certainly didn’t expect this! You guys are being so faithful to the Lord and impacting hundreds of lives. Precious Cora will live in the hearts of so many and people will be changed forever because of her and because of your testimony. Hang in there. Love you bunches and bunches.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:19 pm

    Amanda - Jess this is awesome! I’ll definitely be watching from Riverside.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:19 pm

    Cathy - Bless you…how are the contributions to Cora’s Playground coming along? That was such a wonderful idea in her honor and I so admire your faith…I can only pray that someday I’ll know what it is to experience that much faith unconditionally.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:24 pm

    Heather - So wonderful!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:27 pm

    kati - you are such a special family. my heart breaks for you, but i am so inspired. keep on keepin’ on. i wish a future of all good things for you.

    i love the wall of photos of your beautiful cora along the wall behind you…ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - You are an inspiration to all!

    Not a day goes by without my thinking of you both and praying for you daily.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    mommieof2 - That is such an awesome way to share Cora’s story and inspire other families. It is very hard for me as well to come out of my comfort zone, but there is a reason they called for these interviews. Good for you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:30 pm

    blessedmomto7 - We were in a similar situation with adopting all our drug exposed kids-but you are right! Anything to get GOD’S WORD and WORK out there :) How AWESOME that Cora & her story will be known by so many more. You guys are SUCH A GREAT witness for the kingdom-God knows what he’s doing! Hopefully it will be on line :) We don’t get Wichita only Topeka and KC-wish we could see it :)
    Through the blessing of my children God has made a once TERRIFIED public speaker (me) into a national public speaker to help STOP illegal drug use during pregnancy. God does some AMAZING things & I have a feeling he is just getting started with you :) Hugs!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:35 pm

    Samantha - I am so SO SO happy to hear that Cora’s story will be shared even further. She has touched so many lives and hearts. You all have. I commend you for putting God first and going out of your comfort zone, I know that must be hard. I am a pretty private person myself so I can understand your hesitance. I hope you can post a clip of the interview!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:36 pm

    Team Alix - I’m glad you did it – and to glorify God! Remember public speaking didn’t come easily to Moses, either. He trusted in God and let God speak through him!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Trish - your family continues to amaze me and i can see that your faith is so real and not just an act! sending you hugs and so glad you decided to step out of your comfort zone. the story was beautiful :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:42 pm

    Scarlet O'Kara - It is wonderful that Cora is helping you witness to so many people…ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:45 pm

    Anna - How wonderful that Cora’s legacy continues to live on! I know this must have been so hard to do, but I pray that by your going public, that someone will be touched – and even may come to know God because of her story! My He get glory through your tragedy. Thanks for sharing with us!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:46 pm

    Miranda @ Traveling Treasures - That is amazing! The fact that you are putting God into the newspapers and on TV! Cora had so much more to do. And you are being the best parents and sharing Christ through her with as many people as you can. AWESOME!
    It’s ok to cry on public TV and during interviews. You are human and have an undescribable amount of pain. You are both so strong, physically and spiritually.
    Keep telling about sweet, precious Cora.
    Hugs to you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:46 pm

    Julia - woohoo!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:55 pm

    Margaret - God is using you to do such great things. I am sure that lives will be changed because of your little Cora. You two are so strong.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:02 pm

    Midwest Mommy - Wonderful article. I wished I lived near you to see the news tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    Micah - What an amazing and heartwarming story. Thank you for being so open and willing to spread your Hope and Glorify God through this trial.

    “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
    Habakkuk 3:17-19ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    Tricia boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - Jess and Joel,
    As always, my prayers continue to be with you.
    I have had some of your words in my head all week, and I thought I would reiterate those words to you.

    On October 2, 2008 you said:
    “Julie is a WONDERFUL mother and is being so loving and patient through all the ups and downs. She is so faithful to trust God and has such a positive attitude even as she spends those long hours in the hospital. I only hope that I could handle a situation like this with such grace.”

    Jess you have handled your painful struggle with amazing grace. Your openness, strength, and intense faith in God are touching more and more people every day.

    May God continue to bless you.
    Thank you,
    TriciaReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:08 pm

    The Russell Family - WOW – you and Joel are amazing… Through it all you have remained steadfast honoring GOD… I’m really at a loss for words but feel led to encourage you! What a wonderful legacy Cora is leaving :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    Anonymous - You and Joel are AMAZING!
    I too love the wall showing beautiful Cora!
    Sad that I won’t be able to watch the news, but greatful that I could read the article…So proud for you that roughly 31,000 has been raised for Cora’s Playground, I so hope to get to the needed 45,000.

    Kim(alabama)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    hoosier68 - It’s okay to cry. We all are crying with you. What a testimony to your love of Cora and Jesus Christ. Praying for you each day.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - I am so proud of you two-no doubt you Love your Lord-thanks for being such a witness for Him. Iknow what you mean about being in the background and not being noticed-thats how I am. I love to do things behind the scenes-I know this must have been hard. I wish I lived in Newton so I could see it on the news. I have called my mom who lives there and she is going to watch. I have been telling her about you all non stop-she doesn’t have a computer. You have really been helping me want to draw closer to the Lord and to realize more how precious our time is with family. I am praying that you can raise the rest of the money you need. I can’t wait to see the playground. Wow-this is long-I thankyou for posting-and following our Loving God.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:16 pm

    Ethansmom08 - WOW! Amazing, I think it is fabulous what you are doing to glorify God and tell the story of your beautiful Cora’s life! And, congrats to you and Joel for stepping out of your own comfort zone to spread the word!

    I really enjoyed the article and SO wish that I was local so that I could see you both on TV! I have been wearing my Cora flower in my hair everyday and when someone comments on it, I feel priveledged to tell them about Cora. Your family and faith have had such a profound impact on my life.

    I can’t wait to buy more things too!

    Praying for you all everyday…
    Love,
    Sara (VA)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:17 pm

    Anonymous - Oh Jess. Thanks for being obedient to God’s call and sharing your story with the news and newspaper. I’m sure it was more difficult than any of us can imagine, but God is going to use it to glorify HIS name. Praying for you and Joel tonight. –Emily (a fellow K-Stater & Challenge alum)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:25 pm

    Amber - I am so proud of you guys for being so brave. That sounds a little strange to say that b/c I don’t even know you. But being a Christian, I feel a fellowship with you. And I can only imagine the pain that comes along with doing this. You could have just said no, or didn’t even answer, but you did. And that takes courage and strenth. God is using you both, and CORA in a mighty, mighty way. Her legacy & spirit will live on forever.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:31 pm

    Marlene W. - There’s not a doubt in my mind this will have a profound impact on many people who haven’t yet heard of Cora and who need to hear of the steadfastness of God’s love . . . bless you two for being so brave and available! As always, praying for you. Though I have yet to meet her, Cora will always have a special place in my heart.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:39 pm

    The Meineckes - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:41 pm

    HighlandGhillie - wow. very powerful. I’m glad you found the strength and courage to do it.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:41 pm

    The Meineckes - AMAZING!!! God is using you both in incredible ways through this. May SO MANY people hear His name for the FIRST TIME tonight!!!!

    Continued thoughts and prayers,
    Shannon
    Ft. Worth, TXReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:07 pm

    Marla Taviano - Crying. God is so good. I know that none of this can ease the pain of missing Cora, but praise God for your faithfulness in sharing the gospel of Christ through your grief.

    Bless you, bless you, bless you!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:13 pm

    ~Kelli - God will be glorified through this story!! Great article. My continued prayers for you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:14 pm

    Heather @ boy, girl, and a pug - Just watched…and cried. Thank you both for sharing your journey with us. I think about Cora and pray for your peace daily.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:15 pm

    gatheringpeeps - You both did a great job! It just aired on FOX news…
    to GOD be the glory!

    TamiReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:16 pm

    ang - Cora was amazing. Your faith is incredible and you are such an inspiration. You are in our daily thoughts and prayers. My 8-year old daughter tells people about Cora when they ask about the messy flower pin. Her picture sets in our living room as a reminder to pray for you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:16 pm

    PamperingBeki - Oh Jess!!!

    I’m in tears for you!
    I can only imagine how scary and emotional that was.

    I have the dvr set to record you. :)

    Love you guys!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Anonymous - I am so glad to hear that Cora’s story will be shared even further. She has touched so many lives and hearts.
    You are an amazing family. Especially going out of your comfort zone to spread the word of faith and hope.
    I look forward to seeing the clip.

    I pray for your family often. I am so glad you are finding comfort in Jesus arms.

    Lia from AustraliaReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:21 pm

    McKenzie - I also just watched on FOX in Winfield, KS. You were so beautiful and so brave! God’s grace is amazing and it is the most powerful that I have ever seen it as I do through your eyes. Your faith is amazing, a rock and example for all who are weary! Cora is an angel in the army of Jesus and she is the most perfect addition!
    Great job Jess and Joel!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:24 pm

    Megan - Wow. I am really amazed by your strength. God will be glorified by this!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:25 pm

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - I can’t watch over here in Iowa, but I’m hoping someone will post something sooner or later on here.

    You both are a blessing, a light, and a joy, Jess.

    <3

    Bless you all!

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    The Sweigart Family - You guys did a great job. God is definitely being glorified by you too.

    Also wanted to let you know…Maddox includes in his prayers everyday, “and please bless Cora’s parents.” I still get teary eyed every time.

    Love you guys and praying for you everyday.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    The Boccias - Nathan and I watched together, both of us crying. That must have been so hard to do but thank you for doing it. We could see Jesus in you and that is beautiful. Praying for you every day.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    The Gayden's - I watched from Wellington. I cried and cried for you and your loss but I also cried happy tears because so many people have just heard of God and were directed here, I trust that God will lead those that come here to him. You both did so wonderful…thank you for your courage, your faith and sharing Cora with us all. You are in my prayers daily…

    KristinReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:40 pm

    Lacie and Stephen - I too was asked to give an interview just 3 weeks after the death of my daughter. We did it because we knew that it would help others in our situation as well as spreading the word of Jesus Christ. We are praying for you and feel your pain with you. Keep on keeping on! What a wonderful faith you have!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:40 pm

    The Boccias - Forgot to say–loved that you were in green. :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:41 pm

    Kimberly - Wow, I’m so proud of you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:45 pm

    Gina Dreher - Just watched the news segment – you did such an awesome job of keeping Jesus as the focus! I don’t know if anyone could’ve watched it and not be touched. God is doing amazing things!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:45 pm

    Jeremy, Jennalee and Julia Ekeland - You guys did an awesome job! God sure knows what He’s doing! :-)ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    Anonymous - Great article. God is doing big things through your little girl. I am still so sorry that she is not in your arms, but through the things you are doing her legacy will live on. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.
    Blessings-
    Laura from FLReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    angie c - I just saw the Fox news, you did great! It brought tears to my eyes. My hubby saw the preview and said “where was that family from with Baby Cora?”… and I said “newton” and he said “well they are going to be on the news.” You are special people and loved by sooo many!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:57 pm

    Wehoagies - I just read about Paul in Philippians 1 this morning. I want to encourage you with your hard choices. It is obvious that you are empty and God is filling you with HIS strength and abundant grace. May you feel His peace as He works through you in mighty ways!

    12Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear …that I am in chains for Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

    …20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

    27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ….29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him…ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    ran shae - Go God!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:02 pm

    Leah - I loved that they aired your statement about Jesus :) No sweeter name….ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:08 pm

    Cristy - Wow You guys! My family just watched and you both did so wonderful. Jess, I was just in awe of how your sweet spirit came across-even on TV. I was just telling my friend the other day that I would not be surprised if this story made National Headlines.

    Bless you Jess and Joel. ((Hugs))

    Cristy HarderReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Wow! Beautiful…your willing hearts to bring glory to the Lord through sharing the story of your precious Cora…are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us…and for bravely trusting the Lord as you shared with the local news today. Continuing to lift you up in prayer…standing in awe of our mighty God as He works in and through your life.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    Melody - That’s amazing!! And what an awesome thing that you can be so far out of your comfort zone, but say “this isn’t about me”. I am going to read the article right now, and I hope you can post a link to the interview if it goes up!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:11 pm

    Anonymous - For those who aren’t local, as I am not..I just watched the news here..
    http://www.kwch.com/global/story.asp?s=10039663

    Amazing, strong, brave souls!
    Heartbreaking…THANK YOU

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:12 pm

    Sarah Furlough - God bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:14 pm

    Bambi - You remain in my prayers and I’ll be watching later tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:14 pm

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - Oh my that would be a bit scary…but WOW praise God in how he likes to keep us on our toes. What a busy day you had… but although you are spreading the word to so many people around the world…. I think God knew exactly what JESSICA “Jess” needed today also… distraction, a day to praise Cora and keep that light burning.

    I am so proud of you guys. I can’t read a post with out tears flowing down…. but I am so honored to witness this journey and get to know you guys even only through words and pictures.

    YOU are an amazing sista in christ… You both are such inspirations and I know you get told that a hundred times a day probably….

    PS: On lighter note, to bring a little smile to a girls face from a girl to a girl…GREEN is so your color, your hair looked fabulous and I LOVE seeing the smiles on both of your faces.

    Thanks for this fun post… I got all giddy and excited over this for you.

    HugsReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:16 pm

    Melody - Oh wow! (This is my 2nd comment, sorry! LOL) I just read the article. What an amazing piece!! I can’t believe they were so liberal with the name of Jesus and Scripture- what a blessing that is!! I am praying that that article reaches just who God means it for!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:40 pm

    forever folding laundry - Cora is continuing to touch lives! Praise Him. Still praying for you….ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:41 pm

    meg duerksen - SO COOL!
    i was picking up the dog at diana’s today and picked up her paper for her off the her sidewalk…and your face was peeking up at me. i smiled and opened it up. i was so proud of you both. that’s a big deal.
    it was such a nice article.
    you are so humble sweetie.
    God is using you both in amazing ways.
    it’s awesome to see so clearly God’s work.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:46 pm

    Anonymous - Your faith is amazing and inspiring. I wish I knew you IRL, because you two are the type of people that I try to surround myself with. Those you are fortunate to call you friends and family are so incredibly blessed.

    You are a beautiful witness to our heavenly Father and to the beauty of Christ’s love, comfort, and strength.

    I find myself thinking of you throughout each day, and I pray for you each time that you come into my mind. May God bless you both beyond all comprehension. You are amazing!

    AmyReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:59 pm

    Anonymous - You cry all you need to no matter what you are doing. I do not know you, but have come to know something so much bigger because of you and your baby girl. I am a mommy of 3 and because of you I hug them a little tighter, kiss them a little sweeter, hug them a little longer and thank God for them awhole lot more. I know that Jesus Christ is so proud of you and I know that he will guide the rest of your days.

    Keep the faith and keep on keeping on. Step by Step!

    Many BlessingReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:05 pm

    Diane - Oh…AWESOME for you to be able to put GOD on the FRONT PAGE!! WAY TO GO! Please be strong..you are doing an amazing thing…I am praying for you and Joel. I am so sorry for you loss…the pain must be unbearable.
    You are making a huge difference in the world by giving birth to your amazing daughter. God is so powerful…
    Still praying for your comfort…
    Diane
    in so. californiaReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:14 pm

    Enos Family - How is it I can get goosebumps every single time I read your blog? You are amazing. Simply amazing…are you getting tired of hearing that? You deserve so much good, and I know that you will get it. You have been through so much but you will make it through and you will be even more amazing because of it…the world is learning from YOU.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:24 pm

    Anonymous - Thank you so much for your sharing your story. I have followed your blog since Cora went into the hospital. My faith has grown tremendously b/c of Cora and your journey. Thank you for being great role models. You are never far from my thoughts and even though we have never met I am your sister in Christ. God Bless you both!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:24 pm

    Stephanie Lane - Praise God! He is continuing to use you in the lives of so many. He and little Cora are cuddling as they beam with pride over your faithfulness and hope and perseverance. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. May God continue to pour out his peace and blessings upon you!!!
    In Him,
    StephanieReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:57 pm

    Michelle - I can’t imagine how hard that would be. It’s one thing to blog about something so painful and personal, but quite another to be on tv, which scary in itself. I bet your angel is proud, watching you spread your wings.ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 12:07 am

    The Wildings - My husband and I were talking tonight about why sad, bad, and horrible things happen to good people. After witnessing your example, we know why.

    Way to go guys! I know that is must have been so hard to do what you have done, but the good that has come from this is amazing. The avenues that have opened up for people to hear, and re-hear about Christ, truly is nothing short of a miracle!

    You have a Father in Heaven that is so proud of his son and daughter! And I know that Cora must be beaming with happiness because of the faith of her parents!

    Still in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 5:37 am

    Whimsical Creations - WOW!! You guys did a great job. Cora is touching so many more lives. Very inspirational.ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 9:16 am

    Molly - That’s amazing! I’m so glad word is spreading about your precious little girl! Your story is helping other people, I’m sure.ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 9:35 am

    Marsha - You all are amazing! I know that God is so proud of you! Continuing to pray for you each and every day! Love and prayers.

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    mallorykt - I am currently going to school for education at Ferris State University and a part of our community service is Relay for Life– In remembrance of your sweet Cora I donated $$ under her name and wanted to thank you for sharing on your blog the joy of her life!

    Stay strong – God will lead Cora in Heaven!ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 3:44 pm

    Mandy Rose - Your story continues to give me strength. I have been following your blog since Cora was first diagnosed and I could not imagine your pain. However, you might be one of the strongest set of parents I know…and for that…you are amazing! I recently had a miscarriage and even though it is not even near what you felt by losing Cora, it was hard. I immediately remembered your story and the strength that you had and somehow knowing what you had been through gave me strength! Thank you for sharing your story and for glorifying Jesus!ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 3:58 pm

    Judy - I just read the newspaper article! It was beautiful! You glorified God and honored Cora with your words! I also love the picture in this post. The pictures of Cora in the background are just beautiful! I know this isn’t a platform you would ever ask for. Just like Moses did NOT ask to go back to Egypt to speak before Pharaoh! In Exodus chapter 3 & 4 he questioned God and basically begged him not to send him, but the Lord said (Exodus 3:12) “I am with you.” So keep honoring the Lord with your testimony – HE is with you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 10:35 pm

    sarahross - WOW! WOW! WOW! Did you once wonder about the possibility to impact the world from Newton, KS?!ReplyCancel

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My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 119:28
I haven’t blogged this past week because this is how I feel…”weary with sorrow”. Wondering how long I will feel like my heart is crushed. Wondering if life will ever feel “normal” again. Wondering why God allows us to go through such painful things. Just sad.
You might remember me mentioning a boy named Tony. He lost his fight with cancer just a few days before Cora did while we were in PICU. On Friday I got a call with the news that Tony’s dad had been killed in a farming accident. Joel and I feel such heartache for this family. We can’t even imagine dealing with the loss of another loved one on top of losing Cora.  Please pray for Tony’s mom, Olivia, and his four siblings who are facing such hard days.
I was thinking back to our days in the hospital.  I remember writing on our blog that God’s Word had been so alive and relevant to what we were facing during those horrible days. It was.
That is still so true today. God’s Word is the only thing that is getting me through these days. People’s kind words and time with dear friends and family helps so much, but it can’t sustain me.  My relationship with Christ and the HOPE that I have in Him–that is what is getting me through these hard, lonely days.  I long to read the Word each day because it comforts me in a way that only HE can.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18
I am so thankful that I serve a God who is so close to me and my family on this journey. 
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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:39 pm

    Anonymous - Jess,

    You don’t know me, but every night I pray for you and Joel. Not an hour goes by during the day that I don’t think of you and pray for you. I will continue to pray for you for years to come. Your sweet Cora will live on in the memories of countless friends, family, and strangers. We love you and are praying for you.

    Love,
    EmilyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:39 pm

    Michelle - I hope that time will help heal your heart. I was really depressed years ago and had to remind my self it was temporary even tough at the time it felt permanent and like I was neer going to move on. I’m glad you posted, I’ve been wondering about you ~ always. I am so sad for Tony’s family too. I was wondering if you kept in touch with them. Praying for both of you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:39 pm

    Sarah Joy - my heart is so, so broken for you guys and I sit here crying as I read your words… so transparent and honest to us, many of us strangers. I am lifting you before your heavenly Father tonight and praying for you, as I have been over the past weeks. May his word continue to strengthen you and sustain you as you walk your journey. Blessings,
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Alisha - I am so sorry for your loss. Your ability to stay so focused is amazing…God bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Julie - Jess and Joel–
    I am reading this and crying with you right now. Thank you for sharing your hearts and the HOPE that you find in our Father and through His Word. Praying for you constantly . . .ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:41 pm

    Frugal Jen - You are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Many people around this country are praying for you daily. Sending more prayers :)

    JenReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:42 pm

    Tiffany White - You’re not crying alone.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:43 pm

    mrosev14 - I am so heartbroken for you and Tony’s family. Your relationship with God is incredible, I hope to have a relationship like yours one day.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:47 pm

    blessedmomto7 - Jess,
    YOU ARE SO STRONG! I am so sad for Tony’s family. In cases like this its SO HARD to understand WHY? Just like your sweet baby Cora-those of us who “traveled the journey with you” via blog land will never forget Cora or your family-prayers to you tonight friend.

    JenReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:51 pm

    Aaron and Shannon - It was good to see you today and spend time with you. I hope that a little bit of time with friends was good for you. I am still praying for you and Joel all the time.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:54 pm

    Rebecca - Hugs and prayers for both you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:55 pm

    Devon - praying for you…

    step by step. moment by moment.

    thats how you do it…its not easy but you just keep going. praying god will continue to lavish his grace upon you…ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:55 pm

    purejoy - awwww, such a sweet post. you speak such truth, and i’m so glad that you’ve got the Rock to stand on.
    press on, sister. we are praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:56 pm

    Grayson and Finley - “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:57 pm

    angie c - I’ve been thinking of you a lot this last week…you will surely go thru lots of ups and downs thru all this-I’m so glad you are focusing on Jesus. He is the only rock we have! hugs to you–ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 7:59 pm

    Courtney - I really have no words for the pain that Tony’s family is feeling right now. I do know that Tony and his Daddy are rejoicing in Heaven together right now. I will continue to pray for his family and as always your too. Stay focused on the Lord and know that He is always with you and Olivia and her children.
    Love In Christ
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:00 pm

    Marla Taviano - Loving you. Praying for you. And for Olivia and her family.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:03 pm

    Elizabeth - oh my…i wish i had some words of comfort…but you have them already in your hand as you hold your Bible. you are so precious to God and He will not leave you. While we are not there with you can’t truly carry your burden, know that you are loved and prayed for by strangers. your story touches me constantly…keep looking up to Christ and you will get the strength you need for the moment, then the next…ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:05 pm

    The Carroll's - For You will light my lamp;
    The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
    Psalm 18:28

    The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
    Nahum 1:7

    Thanks for sharing how we can pray specifically for you guys. Praying that God will get all the glory and trusting that He WILL sustain you for He is near the brokenhearted. Please God- be near.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    PamperingBeki - Ohmygoodness. What a horrible loss for Tony’s family.

    Prayers for them.

    I had a good visit with you today and when I’m nervous I chatter a lot, but don’t really “say” anything which is what happened, I’m afraid. After you left I thought of so many other things I’d wanted to tell you that I didn’t say.

    I hope this bond you’ve developed with Tony’s family can help you both. It’s a horrible situation that no one should ever have to endure, but having God and friends who relate might make it a tiny bit more tolerable.

    Praying for you daily.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:07 pm

    Phoenix's Mom - Your strength and faith continue to amaze me. Thank you for sharing your story. Please know that you are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:13 pm

    Cathy - My heart aches for you…I feel so inadequate…I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. I guess all I can say as another reader said, you don’t cry alone!ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:15 pm

    Julie - Time is such a hard thing…it’s hard when it passes and takes us farther from the one we love and miss so much. And it’s a hard thing to wait for it to pass so we can feel something different…relief, hope, joy…all those things.

    I wish I had great words of wisdom to help your hurting heart. I know from experience that time is a great healer…one day you will just feel “different.” Not better…not over it…but different.

    Remember there is always hope, even in the darkest of days and nights. I know it is hard.

    “If I’m afraid, doesn’t mean that I’m not brave.
    If I doubt, doesn’t mean that I’ve lost faith.
    If I fall, doesn’t mean I can’t go on.
    If I cry, doesn’t mean that I’m not strong.”

    Those are some of my favorite lyrics from a song by Jana Stanfield. Remember…you are so brave, trust your faith, it’s okay to fall and cry – you will go on, and you are so very strong.

    Praying for you tonight…and every night.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:16 pm

    Tricia boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com - May God continue to bless you and Joel.
    He will continue to lift you up.
    Your lives and your strength have been such a blessing to others. I hope that others can be a blessing to you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:18 pm

    ~kris~ - I think of you and Sweet Cora often. I bought a necklace off of Etsy to support the playground fundraiser. I wear it in honor of my healthy baby girl who is 19 months old and for your baby girl who is cradled in the arms of Jesus.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:19 pm

    Carole - Jess,

    While I know you are fighting for the strength to get through each moment, each day, please know that you have given me so much hope and faith through your journey. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in your shoes, but I do know that you have touched the hearts of many. My own relationship with God has grown significantly since I have begun reading your blog, and I am grateful for the each and every day.

    Know that you are in the hearts and prayers of many.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:21 pm

    Trisha - Jess-

    I’ve been following your blog and know what you are going through. We lost our baby, Nate (born the same day as Cora 3/5/08) after 25 days to a heart defect. I’ve been walking this difficult road for almost a year. I feel like the Lord has taught me so much and I want to share it. I don’t want anyone to feel lonely — like no one else understands. Phil. 4 is the lesson that God has repeatedly put in my face. At first, I didn’t understand how it applied. So…he kept giving it back to me. I finally get it and it’s really helped me deal with the loss of my baby boy. I know that at this stage it’s hard to reach out for help. But, please email me. Hugs, Trisha trisha_larson@yahoo.comReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:28 pm

    Whimsical Creations - HUgs!

    That is so tragic and sad about Tony and his dad. I couldn’t even imagine loosing one family member let alone two.

    Hugs!ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:29 pm

    Jill - I think about you always and pray for you daily. I know that God is putting his arms around you and holding you tight.

    I am so sadden by the news of Tony’s dad. I will be praying for you both.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:33 pm

    Jessica - I can hardly read your blog without crying! I just cannot even imagine what you are feeling and going thru. Please know that you have so many people supporting you and praying for you. From one mother to another….God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:33 pm

    The Jones' - Jess,
    You are an amazing women. I pray for you, Joel, and your families daily. Sending you hugs!
    LizReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:33 pm

    hoosier68 - Still thinking of and praying for you daily.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:39 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - Thankyou for posting-I have been praying for strength for your family-I cannot imagine your loneliness without your daughter Cora. I know you must long for her and miss her terribly-God is the only one you can find some comfort in but its still terrible for you. Thankyou for still loving God-I pray that he will feel your heart with Joy. How are the grandparents doing-I am a grandparent and it must be hard for them and also to watch their children so sad. I will keep praying. we all love you in the Lord.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:41 pm

    Anonymous - THANK YOU FOR POSTING! Not that you owe us anything but we worry so much about you and Joel. You are so STRONG to continue sharing your life with us. Oh How I wish that I could take some of your pain. I don’t know what it is like to stand in your shoes but oh how I grieve for your loss. My heart is broken for you, Joel and your families. I can’t imagine how you get through the days, my tears flow daily thinking of you and sweet Cora. You strong faith and grace continue to be inspiring. You are an incredible person to be able to think of another families needs when you are going through such heartache..I will say prayers for Olivia and her children.
    Thank you for thinking of us and continueing to blog.
    I continue to check on you, think of you, cry for your loss and pray for you multiple multiple times a day. If I can do more PLEASE let us know.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:54 pm

    Laura - I love you so much.

    Cousin LauraReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:57 pm

    The Sieberts - you inspire me so much to deepen my relationship with Christ. You are so loved and are prayed for everyday. We don’t see you much-but know that you are always on our hearts!ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 8:58 pm

    Allen and Debby Graber - Yes, Phil 4 is great, just like Trisha said. I love the Word!
    You are right, Jess, the Word is just what we need to strengthen us. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” Ps. 19:7

    “I will call on you, O God, for You will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer…Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psl 17:6&8

    Psalm 16 has been a favorite of mine for years. “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing…You will fill me with joy in Your presence.” I keep a bottle of Joy dish soap by my kitchen sink to remind me that my joy is in Him, not in circumstances beyond my control.

    You are ever in my prayers, Jess. And we need to pray for Tony’s family too. What heartache. I have heard of 3 others just this week who also have died or are dying. We must keep the eternal perspective at hand and look at the big picture. This life is just a pin point compared to all eternity. Without thinking of that, and of God’s absolute love and plan for us, life would just be too depressing! How can people live without the HOPE that Christ offers? DebbyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:00 pm

    The Russell Family - I have been following your story for awhile and my heart truly breaks for you and your family… What faith you have ~ it’s so easy to have faith and trust in “him” when things are easy I’m so proud of you for keeping the faith… Look at what little Cora’s life has already done to spread the word of GOD… I know you will be forever changed by what you are going through and I pray that GOD will continue to use you and your story for HIS glory… May you wake daily to feel the arms of our everlasting father wrapped around you and may you find HOPE in HIM daily…. You are being prayed for by so many… In Him, WendyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:12 pm

    Becky - I’m so sorry that you are in such pain. We are just strangers, but are praying for you, and will pray for Joel’s family as well. May God comfort you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:22 pm

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - Jess –
    I was so relieved to see your post this evening. I, too, am thinking of you, Joel, and Cora often. Even though our families don’t know each other, you and yours are continually in our prayers as like so many others who’ve left their thoughts here, too.

    My friend lost her mom this week. I had given her a necklace that I had purchased on etsy that had been made up with “cora’s playground” on it. I, of course, had told her your story and she told me last nite how much having that necklace has helped ease her pain this week. She holds it close when it feels like too much and then takes a deep breath and knows she can go on for just another minute.

    Please, take care and know that we’re thinking of you. <3

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    The Parker's - As many who have commented, you have no idea who I am. I check on you daily and think of you always. I cry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl. But, I pray that the God of all comfort will wrap you in his loving arms.
    I am so very sorry.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - bless your hearts…and i so appreciate the reminder. many prayers for you and joel…and i’m saddened by the loss in tony’s fam…ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:38 pm

    Lacie and Stephen - The constant weariness does subside after a short time, but it will never fully go away. Even a year and a half after losing my daughter, I just have days where it will hit me like a ton of bricks. I am sure by now you have heard that there is no normal anymore. Only new normal. Things won’t ever feel the same, but you will be able to breath again. Keep imersing yourself in God’s Word! Lean on your friends when you can. This blog is great if you need words of encouragement.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:38 pm

    The Morris Family - This morning I was reading Ps. 71. Throughout this Ps are these words. Thou art my rock and my fortress, thou art my hope, thou art my trust, thou art he that took, thou art my strong refuge. I brought all these words to the Lord as a way to praise Him, it drives my fleshy reasoning’s away and replaces it with His person, His ways and His comforts to my heart. Thou art He that took our 3yr Joel to neuroblastoma as well, but Thou art he who will be my hope and trust. Thou art he who will be my refuge when I feel so weak with tears, thou art he that will be my rock when I feel like I am sinking in the emotions, thou art he that will be my fortress where I can hide from the enemy’s darts of “God wasn’t fair.”
    Only the Word can get us through this!!
    CindyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:39 pm

    ran shae - you have been on my heart, and i continue to lift you up. i’m so sorry for what you’re going through. that’s all else i can really say.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 9:59 pm

    Miss G - I ache for Tony’s family. Thank you so much for sharing what you did about relying on God’s word. I have been a Christian all my life but this touched a chord with me in some way that I haven’t quite thought of the Word before. Thank you. KellyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:03 pm

    Judy - I was really thinking about you guys yesterday and praying for you and Joel and a particular verse came to mind that I wanted to share with you. It’s a little random, so bare with me as I explain why I thought of it. In Exodus 17 the Israelites were fighting the Amalekites and Joshua was leading the battle. Moses went and stood on a hill and as long as he held his staff up in the air the Israelites were winning. When he put it down they would loose. But after awhile he was tired and he just couldn’t do what the Lord had commanded him to do anymore. And this is what verse 12 says: “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” I know that you are weary with grief right now. I’m sure some mornings you feel like you can’t go on. But I want you to know even in your weariness, even when you feel like you cannot possibly handle life as you know it now, there are hundreds of people who have come along side of you to “hold your hands steady.” Hundreds of people who want to come along side you and lift you up! Hundreds of people lifting your names up to our father. The Israelites won the battle and then they built an alter to the Lord saying “The LORD is our banner.” It is my prayer that when you look back on these days of incredible sorrow that you will see how God brought you through. That you will see how the LORD is your banner! I pray that the word of God will continue to bring you comfort, that he will continue to be close to you! I think of you guys all the time and was even talking to a friend about Cora today. Thanks for taking the time to check in with all of us out here in blogland! You are greatly loved by so many! I’m praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:08 pm

    Rachael - Jess,

    We have never met but I have been following your blog for some time. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been and will continue to pray for you, Joel and your family.

    I cannot pretend to imagine what you are going through, but I can tell you that I went through a devastating divorce a few years ago, and I can totally relate to how you are clinging to Christ during this time. I literally didn’t want to do anything besides read my Bible, pray and write in my prayer journal. I am so thrilled to hear that you too are clinging to Christ during this time of grief.

    For me, my veil of grief started coming up very slowly, and now, two and a half years later, I am SO GRATEFUL for that time with my Savior. This totally sucks for you, but the Lord will comfort you and sustain you… and that is something, unfortunately, you usually only receive in dark times!

    Your baby girl was absolutely gorgeous!

    Praying for you. :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:13 pm

    mommyof2sons - I was glad to see your post tonight. My heart just breaks for you. I am praying for you. And will be praying for Tony’s family too. How horrible! :(ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:15 pm

    Susan - You have not been far from my thoughts since I first came upon your blog. I absolutely can not imagine your pain. And now, yet another family experiencing another very tragic loss so soon after losing a son and brother. We will be praying for Tony’s family. Please know that you are prayed for, thought of often, and your sweet Cora is remembered. I pray that if I’m ever faced with anything comparable to what you’ve gone through, that I could have the strong faith to get me through…I’m just not sure I’m strong enough. Much love and prayers for you.

    Susan in IndianaReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:22 pm

    The Nebrigs - Praying for you all.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:32 pm

    Paula - Jess, I think of you several times a day. I have always felt that when God brings someone to mind, I’m to pray. I see the importance of that with what you wrote today.

    Your openness and honesty amazes me. I don’t think I could share with the world what I’m feeling. But at the same time, I’m glad you do because it gives us more insight on what to pray for you and Joel.

    It seems the Lord is allowing so much heartache and grief in these times to grow us into His image. I am so sorry for the news of Tony’s dad. We will be praying for that dear family.

    My cousin’s niece had a baby girl that died of a head injury three weeks after Cora died. I told my cousin about your blog so I’m hoping her niece can take the time to look you up. Even in your sorrow, you are showing others how to deal with such unbearable loss. Thank you for sharing.

    God’s Word indeed is our only source of comfort. We love you dearly.

    Paula UnruhReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:38 pm

    dg darling - Praying for you and for Tony’s family. I think of you daily and pray for your comfort and peace. The following song reminded me of Cora and I thought I would share it with you…

    I am a child of God and He has called me home.
    My earthly journey’s through but still, I do not walk alone.
    He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
    He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.

    I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
    My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
    You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay.
    You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.

    I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
    Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
    I’ll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
    Help you find the way.
    I’ll welcome you with open arms
    One bright Celestial day.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Anonymous - Jess, Life will never be normal again and it is totally normal to feel the way you feel, probably you don’t even know how strong you are but you are. I do pray for you every day I pray a lot but I think that it is not fear, I’m nobody to judge God but I wish if soon all the pain is gone for all the families. some times I don’t understand why all this things happen to innocents I hope God can give me some understanding. but thank you for share and for those bible verses. few years ago I lost my cousin to cancer she was only 21 years old she was also an only child and till today my aunt has never been the same. We missed her a lot specially her baby who was only 2 years old when she pass away. but hopefully one day we will understand why.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Marie - I’ve been reading about your precious family, but never know what to say except that I stop to pray for you every time I do. Your life will minister deeply to so many who look to the world to fulfill a void in their lives. I have never experienced a loss like you and your husband have so I can’t say I know how you feel, but I don’t think anything will ever heal something like that…not time or anything else. BUT the word of God and our hope and promise in Him and the eternal life we will have with Him one day very soon WILL sustain us no matter what we face. We don’t understand why things happen and why babies have to go home to be with our Master so soon, but I do know that one day you will be reunited with your daughter and there will be no more tears. Just joy. Keep pressing into Him because the enemy is always seeking to devour us, especially during the deepest darkest moments of our lives…your words bring glory to our precious Jesus and I will keep praying that you and your family will remain in the center of His will so that He can show Himself strong on your behalf.
    2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 11:03 pm

    Anonymous - I want to answer the questions you present…according to my own grieving process in the loss of my loved one two and a half years ago…and another 17 years ago.

    NO.

    You will NEVER not feel the pain of your loss.

    NO.

    You will NEVER feel “normal” again.

    You will experience highs and lows. You will move thru life, cuz that’s what we do. But you will NEVER let go of the pain.

    What you WILL do is learn to live with the agony.

    Does this mean you become bitter?

    NO!

    You will keep your faith. You will praise your God. But you will also carry the deep emptiness. Even though HE used Cora in ways even you will never undersatnd…you will ALWAYS wonder WHY???

    And you may NEVER get those answers.

    But you will still hold fast to your faith. You will still look to HIM for comfort. And you will still be thankful for the many other blessings HE will bestow upon you, that are sometimes hard to focus on because they pale in comparison to what you are going thru now.

    As time moves forward there will be days when you will realize, “I didn’t think about her for the last hour…and I was okay.” And that will turn into longer time periods. YOU WILL NEVER FORGET HER, but you WILL graciously allow life to slowly creep back in.

    That, my friend, is MY reality. There are days, and sometimes several of them during one “mourning” period that I STILL stuggle to make it through. There are nights I cry myself to sleep, STILL. And I don’t forsee the pain lightening any time soon.

    The pain eventually becomes managable, but it never goes away. You just learn how to deal.

    I remember in the beginning my sister told me, “Time. Time will take away the pain…” But it doesn’t. At that time, I couldn’t think about even an hour later, or a day…let alone my next breath.

    Surely, I thought, the heartache alone would destroy me.

    I admire your faith, for mine is not so strong any longer. But I KNOW there is a reason I have found your site. YOU give me hope that maybe ONE day my faith in God will be restored. Not today…I am still too hurt. I don’t understand WHY.

    For me, it’s not about WHY he took this person from me…it’s about WHY will HE NOT relieve me from my devastation. I have asked. I have begged. I have been on my knees sobbing. I have given this to HIM…and still I have no relief.

    So I just move on as best I can. You will learn to do the same…in time.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 11:25 pm

    Anonymous - The fact that your faith is as strong as ever moves me to tears. From following your blog I have learned so much about how it is more important to praise and glorify God during the dark times. I pray and will continue to pray that God comfort you and give you the peace which passes all understanding. His mercies are new each morning.
    AshleyReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 11:47 pm

    Tessa - my heart goes to that family, so sad, praying for them and you guys are also in my prayersReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:02 am

    heidi - Your faith AMAZES me. I didn’t lose my children or child…but when something terrible happened I questioned God and his mercy & love. I stand in awe of you, even on your darkest days.

    Someone in Montana is praying for you and sending you love.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:08 am

    Samantha - My heart is heavy too. It breaks my heart that a mother can’t hold her baby… I pray for you every single day. You and Baby Cora are always in my thoughts…. Love and prayers…ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:31 am

    Ryan's Mama - My heart aches for your family and for Tony’s. Daily. I have a little girl about Cora’s age, and I cannot even imagine what you guys are going through. A friend linked to your blog, and I’ve been following your story from Dallas since January. Thank you for sharing your pain and your faith so openly. You really don’t know how many lives you’re touching. God is doing amazing things through you story. I know that doesn’t make up for the loss of Cora. But I hope that it is a comfort on some level to know that her life has had such a deep and profound meaning for so many.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 2:05 am

    Steve & Nancy - Hi Jess,

    You don’t know me, but I follow your blog. My heart aches for your and your family. I pray that God will continue to carry you through. I pray for peace, love, comfort and healing. He is faithful. He loves you and feels your pain. Keep looking up. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 4:02 am

    Netta - Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
    46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
    46:3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
    46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
    46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”

    The mountains are shaking for you now — but He is in the midst. Glad that you guys know that. You are all in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 6:50 am

    Sarah Furlough - That Psalm was the thing that sustained me after my son passed away. It gave me hope that I was not alone, that He was always with me.

    I pray for you often, and remember your sweet Cora. What a great and faithful servant you are!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 6:57 am

    Robin - You dont know me either but I want you to know that I pray for you and Joel often. I have Cora’s picture on my fridge , it was sent to me by the sweet lady who made my pin. My daughter is going through a heartbreaking divorce and is in so much pain and I too have asked why does God allow us to hurt so bad. Just like you the only way that I can get through all of this pain is to turn to his word daily. It is the only way I can go on , by leaning on his word. We have no answers to this pain but when we cross over into the Glory Land it will all become clear. The Lord promises to bring good out of pain. I will continue to pray for you and Joel. You both are precious to me! love, robinReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:14 am

    Joanne (The Simple Wife) - You are in my family’s prayers each and every day. In fact, both of my children pray for you every time they pray–in the car on the way to school, at school in their classrooms, at dinner time, at bedtime.

    Audrey (10) has specifically been praying for God to wrap his arms around you and hold you close.

    Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability and your witness of running to God with all your feeling. He is YOUR rock, YOUR strong tower, YOUR refuge, YOUR strength.

    With love and hugs from Colorado,

    JoanneReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:22 am

    Michelle - I am so glad you posted, I’ve been checking a couple of times a day to see if you had. I’ve been praying for you. I don’t believe a mom’s heart ever “heals”, but I think you find peace. I think that sweet little angel of yours in heaven will have it no other way. I found your blog after Cora was ill and I always smiled when I saw her pics, she reminds me of my 10 year old at that age. I think every day you get out of bed and face another sunrise you have reason to be proud, I can’t imagine the heartache.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:23 am

    Anonymous - It is ok to let yourself grieve. Will you ever be “normal” no..your life is forever changed after being allowed to have your beautiful Cora and then to have her taken away. It is ok to get mad, scream, cry, question why. Your faith is AMAZING but it is ok not to always be strong..I don’t understand why and never will..but I am drawn to your blog multiple multiple times a day since your Cora was diagnoised. I have questioned my faith in God, I have learned to cherish my loved ones more. What keeps me coming back? Your Cora’s legacy. Jess let yourself grieve, it is ok…You don’t have to show only your strong side to the world..Grieve for your loss and your sweet Cora!
    Always thinking of you and praying for you!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:32 am

    Jeff & Aleigh - Does Tony’s family have a blog? If so, I’d love to follow it! Thanks!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:34 am

    Anonymous - you have amazing faith. I am a Christian but I really don’t know if I could be as faithful and strong as you have been and continue to be. You show so much grace and even though you pour out your heart, it never comes across in a poor manner. Simply Amazing! I pray that you will feel continued strength and comfort. Your story is difficult to fathom but you are an awesome testament of God’s love.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:36 am

    Anonymous - Your words break my heart.
    Still praying for you.
    CarlyReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:41 am

    The Hopkins Home - You inspire me. Thank you for sharing your faith so openly and honestly, as I read your post I want to go immerse myself in the word as well. Praying for you and Tony’s family.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:43 am

    Christina (aka - Tina) - I am so glad that you have such a close relationship with our Lord because if you didn’t, you would never heal. What a blessing that is. Continue to cling to Him in these trying times and know that there are so many people praying for you and thinking of you everyday.

    Take good care -

    Your blog friendReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:51 am

    Tsquared417 - I’m a stranger to you, but check in on you daily. I am thinking of you constantly and wishing peace for your heart.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:53 am

    Miranda @ Traveling Treasures - I am so, so sorry. I am sorry for Tony’s family’s loss also. How awful.
    May God keep giving you strength.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:01 am

    Stephanie - I honestly have no idea how you do it. I am just in awe of you! I pray for you and your husband every day and you are always in my thoughts and prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:10 am

    Micah - I am so sorry this has been such a hard week. It is so encouraging, though, that you know where True Comfort comes from! You are hungering and thirsting for the Word of God! That is so wonderful!

    I felt so sick when I read about Tony’s family. I just can’t imagine that kind of heartbreak. We will pray fervantly for them, just like we are for you. Every, single, day.

    I miss Cora, and I didn’t even know her. I can’t imagine the pain that you’re experiencing. There is so much comfort in knowing that she is with Jesus. She is safe and happy. She will never experience pain or sadness or tears ever again!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 8:17 am

    Anonymous - Oh Jess,
    This journey is so hard, I am so glad that your faith is so strong and that you find comfort in the Lord’s words. I am praying for peace and healing for all of your family…you inspire me so!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:12 am

    Jamie from Quinter, KS - I just posted your blog site on a Circle of Moms discussion board (through Facebook) for a mom that just lost her little one. So now your story and testimony are getting out even more!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:20 am

    Ethansmom08 - I can’t even imagine what you are going through…I have been following your blog for about a month and a half now and have been so touched by Cora’s life, your testimony and faith. I am so sorry this has been a hard week for you, please know that I am thinking of you always and praying for you and your family daily.

    I am so sad to hear about the tragic loss Tony’s family is now experiencing…I will be praying for them as well.

    Love,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:28 am

    Audrey - Hello, Jess. I keep thinking about you every day. God is such a wonderful God and it’s so comforting to know that you can feel His presence through all of this. It gives us all hope.

    In May I will be hosting a table for a ladies’ social that benefits the Relay for Life. I will be hosting it in memory of my grandma, who passed away from cancer in 2000. I will make sure to host it in honor of Cora as well.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:35 am

    Marsha - It was good to see a post from you. I cannot imagine the depth of sorrow that you are experiencing now. All I know is that God will carry you through this. He will be your refuge, your strong tower. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13
    I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Even when it seems like we cannot carry on, God will carry us through. Continuing to pray for you and Joel.

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:57 am

    amyflew - Jess, I am sad to hear you are having such a difficult time. My heart overflows with thoughts and prayers for you and your whole family that God provide you with peace and understanding. Every night my daughter and I remember you and your family in our prayers before we put her to bed. Keep staying strong!!

    AmyReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 9:58 am

    Laura - You are in my thoughts and Cora in my heart – I have purchased a few items from Etsy sellers who support Cora’s Playground – I hope it helps!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:30 am

    Lori - As I was sitting in the ER with my little girl (who will be one on the 29th), I thought of you. As hard as injuries and seeing our babies get hurt, all I could think of was how unfair for me to be so overwhelmed with an injury when some people have just lost their babies. I cried just sitting here now and catching up on your blog. My heart aches for you and I can’t imagine losing my baby and being able to keep busy like you are and to read His Word daily. You are definitely shining bright for Christ and you are living out his promises that He will carry you through heartbreak and tragedy. You may not feel strong, but you are such a testimony. Thank you and may God continue to uphold you and use you for His glory. I’m praying for you now and also Tony’s family. My heart is heavy for so many people right now. I can’t imagine getting thru these hard times without Christ. May God bless you both as you continue to grieve for your little Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:49 am

    Abner & Jennie - Crying and praying for you still.
    Thinking about you often even though you don’t know me. May He keep comforting you like no other.

    -Jennie in CAReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 10:57 am

    The Mumaw's - I have been thinking of you a lot lately. I was hoping that you guys were doing better. I pray for you each night!
    Please keep clinging to God’s word.
    Amy Marinello MumawReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:01 am

    HighlandGhillie - I always want to say something. I sit here looking at a little white box trying to think of what words would be most comforting to people I do not know. In truth there are no words that I could say (type) that could take away any of your pain. I hope you are able to find those right words in the bible.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:03 am

    Mrs. MK - I have really had to come to grips with the fact that I will never be normal or healed from this pain completely until heaven. Which really seems like a terrible thing….I want to be better NOW!

    I understand your not blogging. I go through huge gaps of time where there is just nothing to say. I try to live every day, be IN that day, but often, time goes by and I am just barely surviving. Not much to blog about.

    You are in my prayers, and I only share where I am in hopes that it will encourage you that there are others who are completely and utterly weary with sorrow. And that the only hope for the weary is hope of heaven, where there will be no more weeping. All will be right.

    I cannot tell you how much my desire for a true relationship with God has grown from this. I want to be His, I want to love him, not for what he has done or not done for me, but for who he is. I want heaven and him so badly that it is a physical pain. We are groaning, waiting for our adoption as sons….

    I will stop rambling now, just know that you are always in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:15 am

    Mike, Chelsea and Co. - Joel and Jess-

    We want you to know that our little family continues to pray for you and we think of you and your sweet Cora multiple times a day. We don’t know you personally but we pray for you and are grateful for the knowledge that the time will come when you will be reunited with Cora again. Though we wish she were still here in your arms healthy and happy.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:24 am

    Hollie - I was going to email you, but I don’t see an email address listed on your blog…could you email me? I had a question for your…cheers2Him {at} verizon {dot} net.

    Still praying for you guys!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:31 am

    Karina - My heart still breaks for you; I cannot even imagine the loss that Tony’s family is experiencing. It all seems so utterly unfair.

    I wish I could have the faith you have. I can only say that if I were in your shoes I would not be able to go on. It must be small comfort indeed, but I want you to know that you continue to be an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:34 am

    Anonymous - I praise God for the strength He is giving you, I cry out to Him for the comfort you so desperately need… Great is Thy Faithfulness.

    Love you,
    Angela LeavertonReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 11:50 am

    megan - I pray for your heart to heal and for some of the pain you feel to lessen though you will always miss Cora I pray the fog will lift. I am lifting Olivia’s family up in prayers. BlessingsReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:07 pm

    Micah - Is there anything physically that we can do for Tony’s family? I know you’re probably not comfortable passing out their names and addresses, but if there is anything at all that we could do for them, money, notes of encouragement, whatever, let us know. We will for sure be praying.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:26 pm

    Anonymous - I just finished the book The Shack and thought of your family. It’s such an inspirational book in the midst of tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are always with your family. I’ll include Tony’s family as well.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:39 pm

    Kelly - What an incredible thing you do – being so open and vulnerable with lots of us whom you don’t know. Your testimony – even when it’s hard – is touching the hearts of so many! Thank you for sharing your heart.
    How sad for the family of Tony. Thank you for letting us know that too. Now we can all pray for them as well.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 12:52 pm

    Anonymous - I have been reading your blog for a while and this is my first post. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Cora was a beautiful little girl.

    I think about you daily and I am so saddened for you, but so happy for you too. Happy you were the parents that Cora had. Happy that you had 11 months of being the loves of her life and happy that you have a sweet angel looking over you and helping you get through every day.

    People are over are hurting with you and have you in their thoughts, only wanting the very best for you. I know there is nothing anyone can say, but I felt I just needed to say…something.

    I am thinking of you from Manitoba, Canada.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 1:23 pm

    Anonymous - Your faith AMAZES me! I too lost my son and only wish that my faith could be as strong. Praying for you and your family.

    LaurieReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 1:31 pm

    Anonymous - Jess, I can’t fathom how you (or Joel) feel. I can’t imagine losing my daughter. I admire you guys for your strength in Jesus. I don’t think I could be as faithful to Jesus when going through what you are going through. Your faith is an INSPIRATION to so many!!!! Everytime I check your blog I seem to learn something about faith. I am a Christian just not as strong as you are!! I pray for you guys every night and will continue. Thank you for sharing your faith will all us strangers.
    Ashley-TennesseeReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 2:00 pm

    Anonymous - Jess-
    I have commented on your blog a time or two. I am friends with Rhonda Rush, she and I live in Arkansas. You are friends with her sister I believe.
    I wanted to let you know that I too lost my daughter. Hannah died a little over 3 months ago with a rhabdoid tumor (crazy, rare, cancer). I feel a lot of the same emotions and feeling that you are.
    I know that you have a super amount of support with all your family and friends but if you ever want to talk or need someone to listen to you that has been through something similar. I am here.
    Blessings to you.
    Keep the Faith!
    Tiffany
    (hutchens_tiffany@yahoo.com)
    Hannah’s website
    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahbolesReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 2:09 pm

    Sonya @ Balentine Bliss - I am so blessed everytime I read your blog. I just know God is going to bless you and your husband so abundantly for your precious faithfulness to Him and for your submission to His plan for your lives. You guys are amazing people and your little Cora’s life has drawn so many to the feet of Jesus.

    Even though I only know you from what I read on your blog, you are a blessing to me and I will continue to pray for you guys. Thank you for standing up and calling HIM blessed in a time that many would fall and crumble.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 4:03 pm

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Praying God’s continued comfort for all of you…your grief is still very fresh.

    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God; The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
    ~Isaiah 43:2-3a

    He is with you…even now…ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 4:10 pm

    Beav's Wife - i think of you guys all the time. we don’t know each other but i often wonder how you are. when i first came across your blog, i immediately took notice of cora’s name…that was my great grandmother’s name and she was a triplet. she was born in the 1880’s so obviously it was natural. her sisters were zora and dora and they all lived to be in their late 70’s and 80’s. my g’grandma was strong and a fighter, just like your sweet cora. must be something with that name. now two cora’s have left a mark on my life. thank you for that…your cora is changing lives.ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 5:06 pm

    Hey Rachie Kae - I will be praying for Tonys family and yours. Please continue on sweetheart. God is using you in so many lives. You may not see the difference you are making in the world but I promise you God will reveal His glory that was able to touch so many lives because of you heartache and loss. All my love!ReplyCancel

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  • March 19, 2009 - 7:17 pm

    Anonymous - Joel and Jess

    Just saw the article on you two on several of your following bloggers, can I just say FANTASTIC job MOMMY AND DADDY! What a great Legacy Cora’s Playground is to your sweet baby girl.
    You have and continue to inspire me beyond words with your FAITH and grace. How proud you should be of yourselves!
    Always in my thoughts and prayers!

    Kim(alabama)ReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 8:15 pm

    Maria - I am praying for you every day. I am so so sorry for your loss.ReplyCancel

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  • March 21, 2009 - 9:07 am

    Vernon and Grace K. - Life is so hard, but God is good. You show us many glimpses of your belief in His goodness and sovereignty. We just saw the television interview last night, in which you gave testimony of Jesus. That was well done and very touching; we were glad they let you speak freely.

    I know there must be doubts and times of grief that nothing seems to ease, but then a verse of Scripture comes to your minds. His Spirit is your Comforter.

    Just last week I heard someone say that heaven is not so far away. We are separated but by a veil, not billions of miles. This has comforted me. We cannot see our loved ones there, but they are very aware and awake in God’s presence, perhaps able to see us at times. I know Jesus is taking wonderful care of Cora. And like King David said when his baby died. “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Someday, you and your family who know the Lord as Savior will also go to see Cora in heaven. What a reunion that will be!

    You share honestly the good and the bad…this is life. Thank you for expressing the hope you know in Jesus Christ–The Resurrection and the Life.

    I heard from your mom about the boy named Tony and his family. His family will be in our prayers, too.ReplyCancel

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  • March 22, 2009 - 1:07 am

    Anonymous - Praying for you and hurting with you. I’m so sorry for the road you are walking. Thank you for sharing about Tony’s family as well.

    Praying that you feel us Aarons and Hurs holding you up the best we can. We know the Lord records every tear and sees every heartache. He sees you, dear ones.

    Holding you up in Texas,

    JenReplyCancel

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  • March 26, 2009 - 9:04 am

    Brittany - Praying for you always and thinking of you often. We are still remembering you on our knees.

    Hope in Him,
    BrittanyReplyCancel

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  • March 27, 2009 - 4:05 am

    Heather Agee - Jess,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and life with the rest of the world. Last year a dear friend of mine lost her baby when he was 23 hours old. I found myself reading your posts, and just crying. My heart aches for your loss. I am encouraged by your faith and dedication to glorifying God in the midst of your loss. I pray that God’s Word and Spirit would continue to comfort and center you.
    HeatherReplyCancel

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  • January 18, 2010 - 7:44 pm

    Anonymous - Jess,
    You don’t know me, either; I found you through Barb (mommylife) – I think (I get lost sometimes) but I kept going when I read about your loss; my son and daughter-in-law lost their little girl about the same time you did (I think; I haven’t quite gotten there yet) but I stopped when I read about Tony – I wanted to ask how his mom is doing after losing her husband as well. (My DIL also lost her mother last year as well) Hope you do well as the anniversary comes up. Hugs,
    DonnaReplyCancel

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Joel and I went to a small Christian high school here in Kansas.  Joel grew up here.  I moved here when I was a sophomore.  We were high school sweethearts.
This school has loved us so well through Cora’s time in the hospital and after she went to be with Jesus.  Even the basketball teams have found a way to show their love.  
Ivy (Joel’s sister) is a senior at Berean.  Owen (my brother) also goes to school there and is a junior.  They are both on the varsity basketball teams.  

After Cora went to be with Jesus they all started wearing pink shoelaces in their basketball shoes.  They are still wearing them.

Even the boys!  It makes me smile to see all those pink shoelaces just for our sweet Cora. 

Both teams just won sub-state and are heading to state this week.  I sent my friend Laura after the boys to try to grab a picture after the game.  They all got their shoes in and then decided they wanted the trophy in the picture too.  They said that this win was for Cora!  That will make you teary eyed.
Thank you for remembering our little angel.  Thank you for showing so much love and support to our families!
Go Warriors–TAKE STATE!
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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Anonymous - LOVE THIS. I have 3 HS aged boys who are ball players. They play tough, but inside they can be so sweet and thoughtful. Very cool. I salute these student athletes–they are excellent representatives of their school, their families and your community. This picture makes me smile…ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:39 pm

    Marla Taviano - That is priceless. What a precious tribute!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:41 pm

    hoosier68 - I think this is great. I’ve been following your blog and have commented every so often. Being a mother, grandmother, teacher, and wife of a long time high school principal, I am moved to tears each time I read, especially this post. Still praying daily for you and yours in SW Indiana.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:41 pm

    Brianna - What a great idea. It is such a blessing to see how your daughter has been such an inspiration to so many people.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:42 pm

    by: Brian and Lacey McKay - This made me cry. To picture teenage boys putting pink shoelaces in their basketball shoes for Cora…that just made my day! Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:42 pm

    Anonymous - You can’t get any sweeter than that! It’s so nice to see how people pull together in difficult times. And even nicer to see young boys and girls doing so. These days young kids get a bad rap for being wild and crazy! This just proves that there is hope for the future generations. Go state!
    Thinking and praying for you daily!
    JulieReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:48 pm

    Micah - What a heartwarming story. You all are so loved and have touched so many hearts.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:51 pm

    Anonymous - Amazing the lives your Cora has touched! Thanks for continueing to share with us. Just finally watched the Celebration..broke my heart all over againg..I can’t seem to find peace with this..but then I check your blog and this is what is posted…made me smile through my tears. You are remarkable Momma!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:54 pm

    Hair Bows & Guitar Picks - That is just awesome! This sure made my day :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:56 pm

    Dawn - Jess you need to go over to the below blog and send them those pics. This is all about feet and those pics would be awesome.
    http://the-gypsy-feet.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:58 pm

    Anonymous - You are so very loved! Your family is still in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:01 pm

    Momma_Hug - That is AWESOME!! And you were right, tears, and goosebumps!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    michelle - made me teary eyed and gave me goosebumps…that is awesome!! i hope they win state too..all for precious Cora!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - WOW-that is so neat. So many things happening because of your sweet baby. I am sure the witness you all have because of this tragedy will reach so many. I know it must be so hard for you and I pray that each day you will do better, I know there will be lots of hard days ahead but it must be neat to see how many people care for you and support you. Our God is good-sometimes we don’t know the reason for things that happen but we know that in eternity we will understand. Thanks for sharing about the shoelaces!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    Greg Nickel - Jess,

    Cora’s benefit concert at Pages is this Friday, March 13th at 8pm. Meg has the flier on her blog:http://megduerksen.typepad.com/whatever/2009/03/more-goodness.html#comments.

    much love,
    Holly and LouisaReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:09 pm

    Anonymous - what a touching gesture.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:11 pm

    Rendi - I don’t know you all, but am a wife and mother around your age in Louisiana. My heart aches for you and I cry as I read your blog each day. I continue to read your blog because it reminds me each day to pray for you. Daily I pray for you for peace that passes all understanding, for rest, etc. I will continue to lift you up in prayer. Cling to God and to your spouse.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:14 pm

    Wendy - Thanks for sharing…that made me smile! lots of love and prayers for you always!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:21 pm

    mushroommeadows - That is just so sweet.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:23 pm

    Hollie - That is just awesome…how precious are they?! I am sure they are all so proud to be wearing them too! So sweet!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:24 pm

    Samantha - Now I’m all teary eyed. What a sweet gesture… Your little Cora has been such an inspiration….ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:24 pm

    Judy - Amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:25 pm

    Rendi - I am not a blogger but one of my close friends here in Louisiana is. We were just talking about your family last weekend and the grief you are experiencing, along with others. If you have time, her blogpost for March 9, 2009, is excellent.

    http://www.chaneylife.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:26 pm

    Brandi - that is so cool!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Jenny - So sweet!! This makes you feel all warm inside that these highschool students can show such warmth and compassion. Thanks for sharing the many ways that Cora has touched lives.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:36 pm

    Hollymark - That is awesome, even the boys!!! Very sweet of them to do.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:37 pm

    The Carrolls - What a wonderful tribute to a precious baby! It is amazing how many people she touched! I admire the teens also for such a selfless action!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:43 pm

    Amber - That is so sweet! I got a little teary reading your post and thinking about these big & strong basketball players wearing pink shoelaces in their basketball shoes in memory of your little Cora! What a special way to encourage you and remember your girl. They obviously have kind hearts and I really hope they bring the state championship victory!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:46 pm

    La Familia Garcia - That is so cool! How great that they can lift you guys up like that!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:54 pm

    Christina (aka - Tina) - Jessica -

    That is so sweet. How awesome and how touching.

    Thinking of you and praying for you in Missouri,

    TinaReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:02 pm

    Candice - That is so special.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:04 pm

    forever folding laundry - I love it! A sweet tribute to a sweet baby. The list of people Cora has touched surely reaches from here all the way to her in heaven!

    ~KeriReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:08 pm

    Kelsey - Teary eyed…how about sobbing! What a neat things for the boys and girls to do. Your sweet little Cora is touching more and more people everyday!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:09 pm

    Mandy - What a great community you live in! I was once told that you can tell how much someone loves you by how they treat and show affection for your kids. Those highschoolers sure love that little girl of yours, and that speaks volumes about her parents!

    PS… it sounds like those kids had a pretty special angel on their team. Who knew Cora was such a good ball player?! I’m sure she and the rest of the angels were cheering on those pink laces!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:27 pm

    Lori - I went to a small high school in Kansas, too – my graduating class had a whopping 26 kids. :-) It made me cry to see those kids wearing pink for Cora. God bless them.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:38 pm

    Brian and Staci - So awesome! I hope they win it all! So sweet to hear of teenagers doing something so dear :) Love those boys with their pink laces :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:41 pm

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Oh…this touches my heart. How beautiful. And, yes…teary-eyed, I sit. Your Cora’s life has impacted so, so many lives. Thank you for sharing just one more way, her legacy lives on. Beautiful…ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:54 pm

    kat - Aw, this made me cry! What a precious tribute to your sweet baby Cora!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:57 pm

    oneordinaryday - You guys are so blessed to live in such a loving community.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:13 pm

    mandi - That is so great!!! And all for Cora – how precious! Your family & Cora must be pretty special:)ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:22 pm

    Anonymous - How cute I was Crying of happiness to know that there is people with good harts out there.

    EldaReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:24 pm

    Megan - I just found your blog. What a touching story! I have a 16 month old daughter. I can’t imagine the pain that you are feeling. I am so glad that you and your family have faith! What a blessing your sweet Cora was in your lives. I can’t believe how many lives she has effected! What an angel. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. Hope you don’t mind to stopping by to check on you.

    PS I love her name. Cora was my great grandma’s name… it’s always been a favorite of mineReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:31 pm

    Monica - That is awesome!! And definitely made me tear upReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:34 pm

    Courtney - How sweet is that?! Everything seems better with a little bit of pink! GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE PLAYERS AND GOD BLESS YOU!
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:39 pm

    Jennjilla - Wow, what a great group of kids! :) I hope they win State!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:46 pm

    Anonymous - how adorable!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:47 pm

    ShoozieShoes - What a wonderful thing to be part of such a community.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 5:17 pm

    Trasie Bressler - I love it!!! What a remarkable story and I’m pretty sure that Cora will be cheering them on from Heaven as her Aunt and Uncle take State. God Bless each and everyone of you! You my dear lady are an amazing woman and mother.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 5:20 pm

    beckley - still praying.
    grace and peace to you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 5:27 pm

    mommyof2sons - That is wonderful! It gave me cold chills!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 5:29 pm

    The Sweigart Family - yup…teary-eyed indeed. very sweet.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 5:44 pm

    sarahross - Wow! what a testament to the love that surrounds you…ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 6:02 pm

    Anonymous - How sweet! This really made me smile! Cora continues to touch so many lives. I continue to pray for your family multiple times each day.You are such a special family and Cora is such a special little girl.

    Ashley in PhoenixReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 6:31 pm

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - SO COOL!!!! I love it.

    Yes, it brings a smile along with many tears now strolling down my cheek….

    Sending you one big fat blog ((((hug))))!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 6:42 pm

    Anonymous - what a beautiful gesture!!!

    Em
    from AustraliaReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 6:51 pm

    Lori from TN - Such a beautiful tribute to a very special little angel!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 7:14 pm

    momof3darlings - Oh what a BEAUTIFUL sight! That just touches my heart!

    I’m still so sorry for your loss! God has such a way sometimes of comforting us in our sadness.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 7:17 pm

    THE SPIVEY"S - That is so cool. I just wanted to say that my son, Christian, and I sent our pink balloons up to Cora today. We took some pictures and you can check them our on Christian’s blog…

    christianspivey.blogspot.comReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 7:41 pm

    The Carroll's - This is awesome! What a legacy your girl is leaving!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:05 pm

    Michelle - One of the things that touched me the most when Baby James went home to be with The Lord was a troubled teen from our community came to the memorial service and his mom later told me he said he had to come because it was the right thing to do, he is a father now and has his life together, teenagers can be amazing can’t they?ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    KristiJ - How awesome is that! What a great bunch of kids!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:27 pm

    Lauren Kelly - How INCREDIBLY sweet!!!!!! :o)ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:42 pm

    Courtney and the Boys - Precious. Just precious. That picture just brings a smile to my face!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:50 pm

    Kristin Stegent - Awww…that’s awesome! Love the pink shoe laces! And the Cora love coming your way! So sweet!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:58 pm

    ang from ne - Very Cool. That daughter of yours has touched so many lives and will continue to do so. I know you miss her dearly. She’s cheering in Heaven!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Mandi - LOVE IT!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:33 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - How wonderful to live in a community with so much love and support!

    Go Warriors!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    PamperingBeki - “Thank you for remembering our little angel. Thank you for showing so much love and support to our families!”

    You guys are so loved. I’m so happy that they did this.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:38 pm

    Anonymous - That is awesomeReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:47 pm

    Tammie Maddy - This makes me sad that I had to leave Berean after my sophomore year and didn’t get to know you better. I have always treasured my memories of friends and teachers there. I tried to convince Jesse that we should move back just to let the girls go to school there!!! We are still praying for you all. What a wonderful “family.” We can’t make it to the game this year like we did last year, but we will be cheering from here. WARRIORS – TAKE STATE!!!

    Tammie McDonald MaddyReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 10:12 pm

    Shannon - How wonderful is that? This is officially my first comment, but I have followed your blog for a few weeks now. First-I have no brilliant words to say to you although my heart has ached for you and your family in the last few weeks. I am so sorry. I am also so inspired by your faith and the outpouring of love from others you are experiencing. God is working-and it shows. If I ever had the opportunity to just give you and your hubby a huge hug-please know I would-so I am sending them from afar. Can’t wait to order some items from Cora’s etsy store to support her playground. Keep your chins up-and I will continue to keep your family in my prayers. -ShannonReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 1:18 am

    Lexie Loo & Dylan Too - Wow, that is incredibly sweet! Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 6:20 am

    Connie W - Friends who show their love and support are wonderful. Cute photos of the laces.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 6:55 am

    Marsha Hinkle - Cora is so loved…by so many. What a great tribute to a sweet little girl. Continuing to pray for you each day! Love and prayers!

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 7:31 am

    Toni :O) - What a lovely gesture…how incredibly sweet. It moves me beyond tears the impact one sweet baby girl had on so many people around the country. He is so glorious in how He works in His ways. Still praying for you and sending hugs from Michigan! :O)ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 7:44 am

    kristin - joel and jess,
    We think of you and pray for you often. Thought you might want to check out the website where one of Ivy’s teammates explains the shoelaces to a reporter.
    http://www.eldoradotimes.com/sports/x594736279/Lady-Warriors-beat-Spearville

    Coach KReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 8:20 am

    Sarah - I LOVE this!! So special!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 8:44 am

    Anonymous - WOW that is SOOO Awesome i pray that they win state. it is so awesome for them to do that. We all know cora is up in the lords arms watching them play! god bless each and everyone of them!
    Laura Jeffcoat
    Lamesa, TX
    jeffcoat.laura@yahoo.comReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 8:59 am

    Anonymous - What a great way to honor Cora!
    CarlyReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:03 am

    Anonymous - You take the time to thank “us”. How wonderful is that, when it is you, Joel, Grammy and your Cora that have inspired us so much. Your grace and Faith have been awe inspiring..Thank you for sharing your Cora with us…

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:10 am

    65 Roses for Marcia - Awesome!!I hope they win the state title!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:28 am

    Margaret - That is so sweet. Your little girl is touching so many.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:39 am

    Karina - Just when I thought I couldn’t cry anymore…

    I am so so glad to hear about the love that surrounds you in all its many forms. You are in the best place under the worst circumstances.

    Continuing to send you love…ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 11:56 am

    Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen - Wow! Even guys can wear pink and STILL be cool…what a great tribute to a great family! You are all still in my thoughts and prayers everyday! I am going to order something off of etsy even though I did not know Cora, her story has changed my heart! Hope they win state for Cora…she has got to be loving this from heaven!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 12:40 pm

    The Kellys - That is wonderful! Your website has changed the way that I handle many things. I find myself much more patient with my son. I’ve always enjoyed him but I am treasuring the moments more. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for making my time with my son so much sweeter.

    I bought some pink shoelaces today. I am positive that someone will ask me about then and when they do I will send them here to read Cora’s story.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 12:41 pm

    Anonymous - Priceless…=)ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Anonymous - Hi. My name is Mindy Hanke. I am a friend of Nate Peregoy. I have read your blog start to finish and have been so touched by the life of your sweet Cora. Thanks for sharing your difficult journey with us. Your unwavering Faith is inspiring. God has used you and your sweet daughter to touch the lives of SO many-including me! Your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 1:34 pm

    writing4612 - That was so thoughful. It’s not easy for guys to sport pink!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 1:46 pm

    writing4612 - I’ve visted your Etsy site twice, and each time, I can’t view any of your items?

    I clicked on one of the sold items, and then I could see the description of the item, price, etc. I can’t see everything you hsve for sale like I can on other Etsy sites.

    Is something wrong with the site?ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 5:38 pm

    Kathy - You should forward your feet pictures to
    http://the-gypsy-feet.blogspot.com/
    they will post them for you, if you’d like. That is a beautiful gesture.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 7:34 pm

    Kelli - A beautiful example of serving others!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:05 pm

    Julie - That is sooooo cool. Glad to see POSITIVE things about kids. I think of you often and hope you all are doing OK.
    Julie ShanerReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:09 pm

    Soon to be Mrs. P - Your right – that made me teary eyed.

    Sweet, sweet boys…ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 10:43 pm

    Bambi - What a wonderful tribute to Cora from these great kids. I saw the Berean game highlights on the tv sports segment tonight and I looked for those pink laces! Was sorry for their games losses but they are certainly winners in other ways.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 11:23 pm

    Anonymous - Sweet angels dance with Cora in heaven. I am praying for you and yours.ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 1:39 am

    Falling Around - Yep… crying.

    That is so cool. I’m just so impressed that even the boys are wearing them. And winning for Cora… just doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

    Love You Guys,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 8:17 am

    KKJD1 - So sweet!ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 9:26 am

    The Schilling's from PICU - That is toooooo cool! See how loved you are! Hope they do well at state! Miss you and still praying!

    love ya!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 11:56 am

    Brooke - That is so awesome!!! What guys to where pink! :) You are an amazing women, let me just say that! I have had issues trying to find your Etsy site. Can you post a link or else just tell me what I need to type in to find you?? I found you once but have not been able to again. I am sure I am just struggling! :) Thanks!ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 6:38 pm

    Anonymous - Hey Jess and Joel
    Received my Cora blocks today. What cute packaging. Matt did a fantastic job!
    I was so excited to know that they were here and oh so sad at the same time.
    Still thinking, praying for you daily..Can’t wait to buy more from the Cora shop..What a great tribute the Cora Playground will be.

    Kim(alabama)ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 6:42 pm

    Anonymous - Hey guys here is a link to the etsy Cora shop. I saved it in my favorites to keep checking on….They sell out really quick right now but I am sure if we are patient more will come.

    Kim(alabama)

    http://www.coras.etsy.comReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 7:36 pm

    The Welch Family - How sweet! I continue to think of you and pray for you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    PamperingBeki - Popping in here tonight to tell you that I thought of and prayed for you on this cold dreary day.

    When it’s dreary out I wonder if that affects how you’re doing. Then when it’s sunny out, I wonder of those days are tough for you.

    Basically you’re always in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 9:39 pm

    Sarah - Amazing!!! What an awsome bunch of boys!! (And girls!!;) How special for them to remember such a sweet angel in such a creative way! Good luck at state boys!! Play hard and win for sweet Cora!!!!

    –still praying in NebraskaReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 11:07 pm

    JANE - Just makes my heart sing!ReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 5:36 am

    Lipstick - Very cool.ReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 7:57 am

    Anonymous - The photo of the boys legs, shoes and the trophy is one of THE best photos I’ve seen in my nearly 39 years of life. Bravo to everyone involved.

    Praying for you all.

    Good night from Australia.

    M xReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 7:04 pm

    Anonymous - Always thinking, praying for you! What a great community you guys live in..

    Kim(alabama)ReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 9:38 pm

    cancersucks - There is good in this world. Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 15, 2009 - 3:21 am

    kymberli q. - Came across your blog tonight and cried my eyes out. God bless your family and I know He has little Cora up there with him and she is probably having the time of her life. I will say a prayer for your family. God bless you all.ReplyCancel

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  • March 15, 2009 - 8:48 am

    The Carroll's - My pediatricians office sponsored a race yesterday to raise money for children’s cancer charities. I thought of your precious Cora and prayed for you and Joel during the race… and even managed to run the whole time! This was a quite a feat if you know me :) but I got so much strength when I thought of how hard your girl fought and the unwavering faith you continue to show. Still thinking of you and praying for you each day!
    Sarah in AtlantaReplyCancel

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  • March 15, 2009 - 3:01 pm

    PamperingBeki - Thinking of you, loving you, and praying for you today as another Sunday passes.ReplyCancel

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  • March 15, 2009 - 7:26 pm

    Anonymous - Hoping that you feel my thoughts, prayers and support everyday multiple times a day!

    Kim(alabama)ReplyCancel

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  • March 15, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Monica and Madison - It is SO amazing how YOUR Cora has impacted literally hundreds (maybe even thousands) of lives!.. She was heaven on Earth and so beautiful.. you must be indescribably proud!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 15, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Michelle - Just thinking about you again.ReplyCancel

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  • March 16, 2009 - 9:26 am

    Anonymous - Always thinking of you and praying for you. Hope you are finding the strength to get through your days.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 16, 2009 - 5:45 pm

    PamperingBeki - Thinking of you today, thinking of Cora today, praying you’re doing okay.ReplyCancel

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  • March 16, 2009 - 6:40 pm

    Elizabeth - Said prayers for you both today…just wanted to let you know.ReplyCancel

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  • March 16, 2009 - 7:02 pm

    The Carroll's - Still praying for peace that surpasses all understanding and for all of your friends and family to know just how to love you both right now. Thinking if you often.
    -Sarah in ATLReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 9:43 am

    Anonymous - Sending thoughts and prayers to you both.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 11:47 am

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - Just stopping by to say that I was thinking of you guys today. Even when its quiet, you are still surrounded by prayer worriers and support….

    God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 2:10 pm

    Robin in Benton - Just thinking of you guys and Cora today and praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 3:20 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - I check your blog everyday and pray for you each day-you are not forgotten. May the Lord Bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 8:49 pm

    kate - just stumbled upon your story. your strength amazes me and your story breaks my heart.
    we have a little cora who is 14 months old. we will think of your family often.ReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 11:12 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you and praying. Please know that you aren’t ever far from my thoughts, or anyone who has read your story. You are loved and I hope you can find some comfort in that.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:46 am

    Anonymous - Sending thoughts and prayers. Always thinking of you.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 10:59 am

    Heather - Just wanted to let you know that I am still thinking of you and praying for you every day. You guys are not forgotten and neither is Cora. I hold you in my thoughts and prayers constantly.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 11:35 am

    Maria - I found your blog through a friend of a friends blog and I couldn’t stop reading it. I am so sorry for your loss. You have amazing strength to be able to go on and I admire that.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 1:47 pm

    The Carroll's - Don’t know if you’ve ever heard the song Divine Romance by Phil Wickham… I’ve been really listening to the words and singing it a lot lately and each time I think of and pray for you. Hope you’re finding small glimpses of joy in your “new normal”.ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 2:22 pm

    Dawn - Hi, you didn’t have your email address listed but I wanted to ask you where all of you girls got your scrabble tile pendants. I was trying to look at one close up, I’m assuming they had attachment to Cora?

    Also I keep checking your Etsy store. Im anxious to buy a 3T dress for my daughter and a block for my desk at work. I’m sure you’re busy with orders. The stuff is so cute.

    Hope you’re doing well. I think about you 3 often. My co-worker is from Salina Kansas originally so she recognized your hometown.

    And Mackenzie hasn’t been found wandering the nieghborhood since that day. We’ve learned!ReplyCancel

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  • March 18, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    PamperingBeki - I’m so glad I got to see you.

    But you could’ve picked a day when I’d at least showered or fixed my hair. I was a bit embarrassed about how I looked (and probably smelled). haha!

    I held it together until you left and then I bawled.

    God bless you!ReplyCancel

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All eighty-eight packages are mailed.

It felt so good to have that done.  If you ordered from our shop you should be getting your Cora package soon.  Yeah! 

Our little small town post office had a booming business today thanks to all of your orders.
I just added some new things to our store.  Not much, but a little to tide you over until we get back to work.
We are stocked up with beautiful fabrics just waiting to be turned into Cora dresses.  We hope to add more dresses to our store soon.  Keep checking back with us.  Thanks for being patient!
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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:40 pm

    Laura - that fabric is beautiful and I can not wait to see what they look like as dresses.

    Thinking of you, and Joel and Cora each and every day, and praying for you all…

    you continue to inspire and amazeReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:17 pm

    starnes family - Continued prayers and good thoughts coming your way from Colorado. Lovely fabric….ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:22 pm

    A FiveOh4 Uplifting - Continued prayers and positivity. The fabrics are truly beautiful. :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:35 pm

    Anonymous - Thank you! Hopefully you aren’t stressing over getting our stuff mailed out..What a WONDERFUL woman you are to think to keep US updated. How hard it must be to share your life with so many strangers. We thank you..I know I check your blog multiple times a day(sorry for the stalking :)just to see if there is an update. Although my heart still aches for you and I still shed many tears, it makes the ache a little less intense after you update. I will continue to check, think, cry and pray for you and Joel daily. Of course I will continue to buy for the Cora Playground as well!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:10 pm

    macalla - love the fabrics. can’t wait to get my hands on one of your dresses!

    hope you’re having a good day.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:26 pm

    The Carroll's - Wow! Busy day! So excited to get my Cora dress… and to purchase some more :) Your friend Beki wrote the coolest blog post about you today. What a wonderful teacher you were! I was looking back on some of your previous posts and saw the pics of your classroom- It was awesome! Decorating the classroom was my favorite part of teaching. Praying for hope!
    Blessings,
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:29 pm

    hoosier68 - Fabulous colors and patterns! I am so anxious to order Cora dresses. You continue to be in my daily thoughts and prayers in rural SW Indiana.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:35 pm

    Whimsical Creations - You go girl!!! Wow, that is a lot of packages to take to the po!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:58 pm

    Anonymous - Beautiful fabrics! I can’t wait to order dresses. Your family continues to be in my families prayers on a daily basis. God Bless you and your precious Cora!

    Krissy, Batavia IL.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:08 pm

    Midwest Mommy - Awesome! I love the envelopes.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - How wonderful! I hope to be able to catch one of your dresses soon! I’m always too late.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:36 pm

    Courtney - These are super cute love the fabrics you used on your dresses. Keep up the good work. Thinking and praying for your family all the time.
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:37 pm

    nate - jess – hey i saw your pictures of the packages and had an idea. i wonder if it might be cool to include with the mailing, a small card that tells the story of your etsy shop, the story behind the name, and the hope you have in the resurrection of Jesus because of it. it might be a cool way to not only keep you busy, but be a ministry to a lot of people. if i can help in anyway let me know. love ya from florida,
    cousin nateReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:48 pm

    Phoenix's Mom - Hello! I have been following your blog for awhile and just wanted to let you know how amazing I think you and your husband are. The playground project is an amazing idea and will turn out to be spectacular! The projects you guys are doing are stunning! You and your mom have talent! I’m not sure I could figure out how to turn the machine on!!
    We are from a little town in Northeastern Kansas! :)
    Take care.
    AngelaReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:57 pm

    Princess Martha - Ooh, those parcels and fabrics look so so good…wish I was getting one!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:17 pm

    mommaof4wife2r - that looks like sooo much fun! i got 3 this week already…all from cora’s etsy project! i’m so excited…and some are bday gifts and i can’t give them yet and i hate that. but i’ll be fine.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:24 pm

    Kelli - One of these days I am going to catch your store when you have dresses to order! The new fabrics are beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:27 pm

    Rainbow - The fabrics are beautiful. I can’t wait to order a couple dresses.

    Thinking of you often and sending healing wishes and prayers your way.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    Christine - Oh, I just love that pic of the many packages ready to be sent. You are so kind and thoughtful to take pics to share with us – thank you! I read back over some of the posts here & saw the suggestion by Nate to include Cora’s story along with your packages. It got me to thinking – – I do a bit of freelance graphic design and if you have any needs whatsoever, I would be happy to help, free of charge, of course. Just let me know :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:01 pm

    41wray - You and Grammy, my dear friend, never cease to amaze – what precious packaging, I won’t want to open it to ruin the package!! Oh Jess how I wish I could just hug you right now like when you were that little adorable bundle!! Just wrap you and Joel with all our love from Manhattan Beach
    Sharley and BobReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:03 pm

    mrosev14 - You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:07 pm

    Cristy - Beautiful Jess! I am so happy for you that you have found a comfort in sewing. It is so special that you and your mom can do this together.

    More hugs and prayers…

    CristyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:29 pm

    Yankee Mama - I can’t wait to buy a dress! They’re always sold out when I check…that is a good thing!:)ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:55 pm

    Michelle - I hope all that sewing is theraputic rather than stressful.I worry about you still. I wish I could sew like that. I saw some totals floating around on other Etsy sites, do you know how much has been raised and a tentative date for the playground to be started. It would be wonderful to have a scheduled open house.
    I liked the comment from a reader named Kim early, ’bout sums it up for me too.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:44 pm

    Christina - I wondered if you were going to continue selling items. I’m so glad you are, and plan to purchase something, if I can be fast enough. I am still thinking of and praying for you all. ChristinaReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 7:14 am

    Anonymous - wow – look at those happy fabrics!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 7:41 am

    Kristi REDISKE - Can’t wait for the dresses-I will be patient. Will there be any more blocks-no pressure. We are praying for you without ceasing.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:28 am

    Sabrina - Hi, I just found you blog last night-though a heart baby’s blog (perhaps a commenter on Anderson Avenue-another mommy who recently lost her baby).
    I read through a lot of your blog-I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your sweet baby girl and I have been praying and thinking of your family. My own baby girl Luna-who has a rare heart defect-is one year old today-and I am humbled by reading your story and reminded what a miracle life is (especially for medically changed babies like ours).
    Your work is simply beautiful too. I work as a publicist and specialize in offering media placement for those in the creative industries. Your work and story would make for an amazing feature-please feel free to contact me if/when you are ready:
    Sabrina Velandry
    svelandry@comcast.net
    Continued prayers to you and your family~ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:10 am

    Donna - I read your blog every day. You are inspiring beyond belief. I don’t have a little girl but love those fabrics. Would you consider making something else for those of us who don’t have little girls? I can see napkins remembering your sweet Cora on my summer table. Just a thought. Your courage and faith are amazing!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:20 am

    kristin - I have ordered 3 things thus far from the Cora’s projects and would love to order a dress from you but
    you sell so fast! I think most must sit up during the wee hours to be able to purchase!

    I am praying for you & Joel. I cannot imagine the heartache that
    you all are feeling, but so thankful to the Lord that you all are keeping busy.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:55 am

    Anonymous - Hi
    Just stopping in to let you know I am thinking of you and Joel. Your faith and grace continue to amaze me.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 10:12 am

    Anonymous - You definately have a talent for making those dresses, they are adorable! With all your mailings, consider printing postage online & requesting your letter carrier pick up the packages & save you the trip to town. I’m a (substitute)rural letter carrier & it’s something we regularly do (especially for the ebay sellers). Your birthday memorial party was beautiful, you guys take incredible photos, both of you must have a artistic nack. How’s the plans for Cora’s Playground?

    Lisa
    NewtonReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 10:29 am

    Anna Kristina - Those fabrics are beautiful! It reminded me, I’m not sure where you get them, but you can design your own fabric and have it printed at Spoonflower, online, if you’re interested! I’m praying for you guys.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 10:46 am

    sarahross - WOW! I can’t even get myself to the post office to mail the TWO things I need to get out. You are amazing! Can’t wait to see those FABULOUS fabrics as Cora dresses.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 11:48 am

    Robin in Benton - I come to your blog every day and continue to think of and pray for all of you. God bless you for the inspiration you are to all of us with your continuing faith.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:32 pm

    Cottage Mommy - So touched and amazed by your story. I will definitely do my part to support Cora’s playground! I keep checking in for dresses but I’m always too late! No pressure on your part though….love, love, love the fabrics! What a beautiful time it looks like you had for Cora’s birthday. I can’t imagine the heartache and loss you are going through but know you are an inspiration to many and a testimony to God’s love and power!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:47 pm

    Sara from VA - I am waiting on my first Cora package from Beki and I am SOOOO excited!!! I can’t wait to order more things from your wonderful shop Cora’s when you are all stocked up again and am anxiously awaiting a super cute Tripp tee for my 1 year old son! I know I’ll get one at some point…congrats on your amazing success – all while sharing Cora’s precious story!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your strength, faith, and courage with all of us! We are still praying for you everyday…

    Love,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:23 pm

    Judy - Can’t wait to see your shop filled again! I hope that God is using this project to bring healing to your heart and to show you just how many people came to love your little girl!
    I was thinking about you guys the other night wishing I could have a Cora’s playground near me!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 3:42 pm

    meg duerksen - you are amazing jess.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:12 pm

    mandi - Those fabrics are great! I can’t wait to get my hands on one:) BUT PLEASE don’t overload yourself … I know all of us will wait until you’re ready!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 7:39 pm

    Sherryl - Can’t wait for more dresses – I keep missing out on them!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 8:11 pm

    Anonymous - You are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 3:29 am

    Dana - I received my pretty dressy today! I loved the little tag you put on the dress. I am going to keep it to remind me of Cora everyday! The dress is beautiful. I can’t wait to try it on my little girl. Would it be ok if I sent a picture of her wearing it? I don’t want to upset you, but it is so gorgeous, I know it will look so pretty on her. I check your blog everyday, waiting to see how you are doing. How is the playground planning going? Continuing to pray for youReplyCancel

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  • March 20, 2009 - 6:42 pm

    Brooke - just found out about Cora’s Etsy shop. I can not wait to be able to buy a dress in her honor for my daughter. What a great way to remember your angel.ReplyCancel

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  • March 30, 2009 - 8:24 pm

    Anonymous - I just found your blog and my heart is just broken. You are the most amazing parents Cora could ever have. God bless you and your family and your Etsy store. I know Cora is safe in His arms. God Bless you, All my love.ReplyCancel

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We made it through Cora’s birthday.  The weather was just beautiful. We celebrated Cora’s precious life, but our hearts ached to have her there with us.

It was so amazing to picture the many pink balloons that floated towards heaven that morning. Even Joel’s brother in China sent up a pink balloon. Thank you for remembering our sweet Cora and for lifting us up in prayer on Thursday.





The mama in me just had to do something for Cora’s birthday.  We were too sad to have a party, but I just had to do something birthday-ish for my little girl.  I thought we at least needed some cupcakes.  I even tried out Megan’s homemade icing.  It was yummy!
I thought Cora would like pink and green sprinkles on her cupcake.  My sister thought she needed some stars too.
These ladies helped me decorate.  I am so blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing family. Did you notice our flower pins?  We wore them all day in honor of Cora.  Thanks Julie and Beki!
I just cried as we ate our cupcakes. We were supposed to be watching Cora in her highchair eating her first cupcake and making a huge mess. We were supposed to be laughing and sharing in the joy of my sweet little girl’s first birthday.  
Cora never even got to taste cake.  But my mom reminded me that there were so many things Cora DID get to do.  She and my dad even made a list of all the “firsts” Cora had with us.  All the things we did together.  We have so many precious, joyful memories. That is what I have to remember. Not what we didn’t get to do with Cora, but all the things we DID get to do together. 
I would do anything to spend more time with my baby, but I am so thankful for the eleven months she was here. I am so thankful that God chose me to be here mama for those eleven months. Happy Birthday sweet Cora!
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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:38 pm
  • March 9, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Lacey - So glad you got to let you baby girl know how much you love and miss her. I bet she was playing in heaven and just loving those cupcakes! I can just picture her face full of stars and sprinkles :) How precious.
    LaceyReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Mike, Chelsea and Co. - What a sweet tribute. She is greatly loved and missed my many. You are a perfect mom and dad for little Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Sheryl - That takes my breath away. Literally!

    I must tell you that when I look at you in that picture surrounded by friends and family – your smile is so genuine. It reaches your eyes. You still have joy and it shines through. God has a mighty work for you. I am just so sorry that it comes with such incredible pain.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:41 pm

    Sa-Sea Boutique - Such an amazing tribute! You are truely an amazing mom!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:41 pm

    dg darling - What a beautiful birthday celebration for your sweet baby girl. Although we have never met I think of you and your sweet Cora daily and each time I do I send up a prayer of comfort on your behalf. Love from Utah…ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:42 pm

    Marla Taviano - Thank you soooo much for sharing Cora’s day with us. So beautiful. Achingly beautiful.

    That first picture is just incredible. That blue sky and those pink balloons just say heaven to me.

    Praying for you!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:43 pm

    Stephanie - I cannot express to you how much admiration I have for you – for someone I have never met!
    Your faith in Heavenly Father and your incredible strength are such an example.
    My heart aches for you and reminds me daily of how we need to grasp each moment with those we love and cherish the good timmes and bad times.
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:44 pm

    Keep Your Eyes on the Stars - Such a beautiful celebration for a beautiful little girl and family. You do not know me, but I continue to pray for you in Texas. You are such an inspiration! I think of you often!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Michelle - It’s nice to hear from you again! I am so glad you celebrated with friends and family. I’m sure Cora loved seeing all the ballons floating up to her. And your mom sounds very wise.

    sending love and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:45 pm

    Hey Rachie Kae - Sweetheart, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts as you walk through your valley. You are being used by God and touching so many. I know he is using this terrible, terrible loss to help others.
    All my love and prayers, RachaelReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:47 pm

    Elaine at Matters of the Heart) - What a beautiful post. We continue to lift your family in prayer…I am so glad you have a loving support group of family and friends.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Hollie - I can just imagine the birthday celebration Cora had in Jesus’ arms! Thank you guys for sharing her sweet life with us. What a special tribute you guys had for her! Sending many prayers and hugs your way!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:54 pm

    Christina - I don’t know if it is bad or okay for me to write something like this, but as I scrolled down your post, tears were pouring down my face. I’m so, so sorry that she’s not there with you. Your pictures are amazing, they’re beautiful. You are beautiful. What special ladies, and what a sweet, precious time together, even if it wasn’t quite “right”. Thank you, God, for Jess’ wise mom, who can be with her and love her so well. I pray for all of the strength you have for Jess and Joel to continue to hold them up, each day. May they continue to cling to you, for,”The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:54 pm

    My name is Megan... - what a beautiful day in honor of Cora! You are so strong! God has a plan for you all and I will continue praying for your family!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:56 pm

    Misty - I am SURE the angels made her cupcakes. You are such a strong person and I admire your strength and relationship with God. It is so amazing that God has connected so many people (strangers) to you through your blog. I think of you often.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:57 pm

    Anonymous - I have been checking every day to see how Cora’s special day went for you. I’m so thankful that you have shared it with us. Blessings to you and your family. What a beautiful tribute to your baby girl! She was so blessed with parents like the two of you. I continue to pray for your healing and strength.

    ChasityReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:57 pm

    audrey enloe - Oh my. I am literally crying right now! My heart aches so terribly for you. I cannot imagine what it is that you are going through, but we can seek comfort that we know exactly where she is right at this moment. I personally cannot wait to meet her when I go to Heaven! What a wonderful presence she is among, as are they. Bless you! Praying for you…Happy Birthday Cora!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 10:57 pm

    The Jones' - You are an awesome mother and alway will be. Cora’s celebration looked beautiful..the sky was just amazing! The cupcakes and cookies were so pretty. Sending you hugs and prayers!
    LizReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:00 pm

    Brian and Staci - Everything…the balloons, the cupcakes, the flowers…sooo beautiful. Just like your precious Cora. I have written your family’s name on my bathroom mirror (with a dry erase marker!) It will stay there for a very, very, long time :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:01 pm

    Yankee Mama - You have been on my mind ’round the clock. Glad to hear He got you through that day. You’re precious…such an amazing testimony! I know the Lord is using you and will continue to use you in a huge way. He loves you so much. I just can’t get over this…praying for you always and crying out…it’s just not right. I probably won’t meet you here on earth but I can’t wait to see you and Cora in heaven and hug your necks.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:02 pm

    PamperingBeki - Oh Jess, you sweet thing.

    I’m just in tears.

    I can only imagine how hard that day was.

    She was singing and dancing with the angels as they blew on their horns.

    I’m sure your cakes were good, but I’ll bet the ones in heaven were even better. ;-)

    God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:06 pm

    MidnightMom - So beautiful…it was a gorgeous day; I thought of your family all day long. Thank you for sharing the pictures with us; they are precious. I can only imagine how difficult the day was, but I’m thankful you made it through, and that it was a special day in its own way. If Cora could see down from Heaven, I know she loved those balloons floating up to her! Please know, you’re still in my prayers every day…God be with you, and hold you close.
    ~DanielleReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Linkis Family Love - No matter what ever happens, that day will always be Cora’s birthday, and I was really happy to see you celebrate it! (beautiful butterfly cookies-wow!)Thank you again, so much for sharing your life with us all. You have no idea of what a light you are to so many!
    Kelli <>< <ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Enos Family - All those pink balloons against that beautiful blue sky…so completely moving. I continue to think about you and pray for you. You are amazing. I am so glad you have an amazing group of friends and family. Hang in there.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Trasie Bressler - You are so amazing and I don’t even know you. God must be so proud of you!!! May God continue to bless you and give you peace.

    God Bless!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:11 pm

    lilfella - I’m one of those people you don’t know, and although I haven’t commented I’ve been reading your blog and praying fervently for you for many weeks. I wanted you to know that you haven’t been forgotten, and that we will keep praying. Cora really was beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:11 pm

    The Veers - I thought of all of you all day! What a sweet way to send your love up to Cora! I’m so glad you got to make cupcakes! I have felt incredible guilt making all of the plans for Ella’s party, but I just tried to pray, and remember and honor Cora in everything I did. I thought of you often, and would give anything for you to have shared birthday memories with Cora. I have no way of expressing my love for you, but I want you to know that we love you all so much, and think and pray for you often!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:13 pm

    Kelly - You sweet, genuine spirit comes through in each word. Thank you for sharing Cora’s birthday celebration! Thank you for continuing to share your story! God is doing something big through you & precious baby Cora!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:14 pm

    Amber - I come back to your blog several times a day and it is always a reminder to pray for you and Joel to get through this difficult time. I am just so sorry and my heart aches for you everyday. I do smile at seeing those beautiful pictures of her birthday celebration and I know Cora was there in spirit riding the wind with all of the beautiful pink balloons. There were so many that were joining in with releasing balloons I am sure it was an amazing party in Heaven that day for your precious angel. Your strength and faith in our Heavenly Father is just so inspiring Cora was so blessed to have you as a mother and Joel as a father. If I were closer I would do anything to help but all I can do is pray and continue to buy these great remembrances from Etsy (I think I have found my new hobby!!!!) Cora is precious and her legacy will live on forever.

    AmberReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:16 pm

    angela - What big hearts and strong souls you all have. I have shed many tears over your beautiful baby girl. She was truly a lucky little girl to have been blessed with you two amazing parents to share her firsts with. You all are an inspiration.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:16 pm

    Kimberly - I’m so glad you celebrated, what a neat idea. I bet she has had cake in Heaven!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:17 pm

    Jennifer W. - I just want to wrap you up in a huge hug and cry. Just keep remembering that beautiful, amazing baby girl. Hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:23 pm

    meg duerksen - oh i love the pink ballons!! LOVE.
    and cupcakes?! cupcakes get you through.
    for what it had to be…this day looked lovely. time with your loved ones. those who love you most and loved cora most…all together.
    i love the list.
    how special that your parents did that.
    i got to meet some of your good friends at the jewelry party and hear how much they love you guys. they were so sweet.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:26 pm

    Anonymous - “Pink balloons” from Norco CAReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:28 pm

    Kelly - I sit here reading this through tear stained eyes. I too have an eleven month old daughter, Ann Elise, and as I opened up her box of birthday invitations and plates and all the goodies that go along with her first birthday I can’t help but ache for you and what you must be feeling. I truly believe Cora was the one blessed to have parents like you. Your faith throughout this unthinkable ordeal is such a blessing to all us bloggers, aka stalkers, :) who have happened upon your story. I often get wrapped up in all the things going on around me that I find myself getting easily frustrated with my kids and then I think of Cora and how I am truly blessed to have three healthy children right now at this moment and how all of that can change at the blink of an eye. So I say Thank You for being such wonderful CHRISTIAN parents to Cora and for the blessing your faith and family are not only to her but to me. We will be releasing a pink balloon for Cora on my sweet Ann Elise’s first birthday, March 26th, so she can join in on more birthday fun.
    In Christ we give all the glory!
    Kelly in MississippiReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:28 pm

    Jessica - What a wonderful way to honor Miss Cora. Such a great Mommy!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:29 pm

    Mandy - I have been checking your blog several times a day to hear how Cora’s Birthday Celebration went. I am so glad that you were able to post such beautiful pictures and share in your day with us. I am so sorry that you didn’t get to hold your little one on that day, but I am glad that your mom was wise enough to remember all of the things that you were able to do. Mom’s are wonderful, and Cora is so lucky to have you as hers! You guys are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:33 pm

    seabafive - The picture of the balloons is absolutely beautiful! I’m so glad it was such a beautiful day for such a beautiful little girl, how very fitting! I’m so sorry you had to celebrate without Cora there with you! I continue to pray for you often! Your family has really touched my life like it has SO many others!ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:37 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - A heartfelt tribute to your beautiful baby girl from her amazing family.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:38 pm

    Kristi - Thank you for sharing your photos and your journey with us. You are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:39 pm

    Amy - I wear my pink Cora flower on a chain around my neck or clipped to my purse. I love when someone asks me about it and I get to share yours and Cora’s story with them.

    What a great Mommy you are. The balloon tribute and cupcakes was a wonderful idea.

    We are still praying for you all.

    The Nortons in OklahomaReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:46 pm

    Macalla - The photos captured such a beautiful celebration. I thought of you and your family the entire day. I couldn’t but shed some tears and pray for comfort and peace to surround you.

    Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • March 9, 2009 - 11:56 pm

    Marie - You’re such a wonderful mother. What beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:06 am

    Anonymous - We had a cake to celebrate here in Perth Western AustraliaReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:15 am

    lgraves - jess, your heart is so amazing. thank you for sharing so much.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:38 am
  • March 10, 2009 - 12:38 am

    Avianca Wong Photography - To Cora and her Mommy and Daddy
    you such sweet little girl have left your little hand print upon my heart and my life. may you give your mommy and daddy little signs here and there to know that you watch over them, and remember big memories of you. your little face will always be in my mind I thank God for you BIG life and all the amazing people you have brought into your little baby world.
    may you have fun with Jesus and i hope that you enjoyed your party.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:50 am

    Amber - Oh Lord, my heart physically aches for you tonight. I am just so sorry. I pray that you find comfort in knowing that your little one lived a life full of amazing love, and wonderful memories. May your hearts be comforted by Jesus.

    Saying some prayers for you tonight…

    AMberReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:56 am

    Samantha - What beautiful photos… My girls and I went to the park on Cora’s birthday, sat in the middle of a field, sang her happy birthday and sent her some pink balloons.

    I noticed all the Cora’s Playgrounds necklaces. I wear mine every day and often get the chance to tell someone about the little girl I never met but has touched my life in such a profound way.

    You are constantly prayed for and loved. I hope you can feel it.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:04 am

    Kerri - Today I heard something that made me think of you. I was listening to a CD and on it they said that our spirits are extremely resilient. Our spirits have the ability to rebound and recover no matter what life brings. Of course we still get sad and it takes a while, but our spirits are made to be strong enough to get through life’s sorrows. May you continue to feel the comfort that the Lord sends your way. I will never forget this story of Cora’s life that you have shared with me.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:10 am

    Staci - I just want to say that my heart breaks for you. Being a mom of a 2 year old baby girl I understand how one tiny little being creeps into your heart in such a short time.You look at it and think how somebody so small, who you have not known that long could steal so much of your heart. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers and pray that you will find a little peace. Your baby girl was beautiful and she was so lucky to have such amazing parents for her short time on this earth.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:12 am

    momofgirls - My heart just breaks for you and your family. You have been in my prayers every day since I’ve heard your story. I will continue to pray for healing and revealed blessings through this very difficult time!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:22 am

    Anonymous - you are such a picture of true beauty and strength. thank you for sharing yourself with those of us who don’t know you. you inspire me to truly grasp the goodness of God, despite the circumstances. you make me want to hug my kids longer, watch a little less tv and spend a little more time cuddling, and to just enjoy life and all that is a part of it… especially the little things. i know that God has used your life in great ways, and He is going to continue to use you in more ways than you realize. may He bless you and joel greatly, more then you ever imagined. i know you two have got to be two of His favorites :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:23 am

    Dinee - I came across your blog today for the first time. I was in tears as I read what has happened. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Know that I am praying for your family, that you may have strength and comfort at this time. You touched my heart here in Utah.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:49 am

    Candice - You are so amazing. I’m sure you have your moments, I don’t doubt that. However, you outlook on life is inspiring. So brave.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:53 am

    Sally's World - we just did this in honor of the day my son passed away, its what we did instead of flowers at his funeral,

    with love xxxReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:59 am

    my Beautiful Little Bird - I came across your blog through Kelly’s Korner. She had posted about what was happening with little Cora and I started praying for her (and you guys) right away. I was so incredibly sad when I checked again a day later and learned of Cora’s Homecoming.

    I’m a stranger and I know this probably won’t mean much in the scheme of things but God put it in my heart to tell you anyway. Cora impacted me greatly. We lost our daughter in December of 2008 at 21 weeks and 6 days.

    I couldn’t envision her in the arms of Jesus even though I believe that is where she is. And then I learned about sweet Cora and for the first time I could grasp that my Samantha was in heaven with Cora and that they were playing together at Jesus’ feet.

    Again, I know I’m just a stranger but I was so changed by just seeing God in her eyes. I can’t explain it but there is so much of Jesus in her soul. Clearly I could see, just in the picture you posted of her on here, that Jesus rejoiced in her and that she delighted in her King.

    The faith and hope you have in Jesus encouraged me to do the same.

    After much prayer we are going to name one of our future children (if God wills it so) Cora. I hope and pray this is alright with you and your husband. In the same way one would name their child after Sara or Hannah in the Bible, we want to name a future daughter Cora because of just how much Christ used her life to change mine.

    Thank you so much for raising such a God honoring little girl.

    Because He is good,
    celesteReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:07 am

    Pamela - What beautiful people — to share your day with you.

    God Bless them.
    God comfort you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:19 am

    Kelley - I’ve thought of you and your husband and your sweet Cora often since reading your story on Etsy. Your faith through this difficult, difficult time is touching people and changing lives. Praying for you and your family everytime I think of you- He is holding you close…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:31 am

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

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:34 am

    carri z. - what a beautiful day
    and wonderful way
    to celebrate
    such a beautiful life.
    pink balloons,
    flower pins and
    cupcakes.

    and i am sure a few of
    the balloons made it
    all the way to heaven.

    what a blessing
    that little girl was.

    praying for you.

    lovelove
    carri z.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:50 am

    Anonymous - My heart is heavy for you and your family.
    Have you ever heard the song “With Hope” by Steven Curtis Chapman? It is beautiful…

    So we can cry with hope
    And say goodbye with hope

    We wait with hope
    And we ache with hope
    We hold on with hope
    We let go with hopeReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:05 am

    Anonymous - Dear Jess

    Thank you for posting about Cora’s birthday. The photo of you and the girls is just precious – what beautiful smiles. The photo just oozes love.

    With a big hug and prayers from our family to yours. Good night from Australia.

    MichelleReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:17 am

    patentguy - You don’t me, but I have been praying for you, and crying with you now after reading your posts. I am so thankful you know Jesus! No one can even begin to imagine the grief you are feeling but him. I wish I had the words to comfort you but don’t so I will continue to pray for you especiallly at night after reading your posts. I can’t wait to see the playground.Keep us posted on how to pray for you. Love and prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:23 am

    kelly Tucker - I am a child of God and He has called me home.
    My earthly journey’s through but still, I do not walk alone.
    He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
    He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.

    I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
    My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
    You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay.
    You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.

    I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
    Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
    I’ll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
    Help you find the way.
    I’ll welcome you with open arms
    One bright Celestial day.

    I hope this may lift you just a little..ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:26 am

    hoosier68 - You have to be the most amazing family! I am in awe of your strength and courage. You are an inspiration to more people than you can imagine. You are on my mind and in my daily prayers. Your littlest angel, Cora, is smiling down on all of you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:35 am

    Sarah Furlough - What a sweet celebration of Cora’s birthday! I know she must be so proud of you all.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:50 am

    Angie - You continue to astound and amaze me w/your strength. I pray each day for God’s faithful blessings for you and Joel.

    AngieReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:12 am

    Monica - What a lovely way to celebrate your baby girl. The pictures were beautiful! I loved the flower pins. Love and hugs to you all.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:14 am

    Christina (aka - Tina) - You continue to be so inspiring and I know that for me personally – my relationship with God is stronger now because of you, Joel, and Cora.

    Thinking of you and praying for you -

    TinaReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:14 am

    ~Cherie - I’m so happy to see such a lovely tribute to precious Cora. It makes my heart happy to see you smiling with such loving family around you. I’m continuing to pray that your tears are fewer and your happy memories are abundant. God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:17 am

    Laura - My heart still breaks for your loss. We released a balloon for Cora along the shores of Lake Michigan and watched it blow around above the lake until it was too high to see — it was on it’s way up to Cora. We’re keeping you in our prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:17 am

    Anonymous - You don’t know me, but I have been following your blog. I have to say that you are an inspiration to me. I sit here and cry each time I read a new entry. It breaks my heart. I honestly don’t know how you keep breathing. I’m not a mother yet, but I hope to be someday. I can only wish that I will have your strength. I think about your family often and keep you in my prayers. Your sweet Cora is truly and angel and although her time here on earth was too brief, her legacy will live on for years to come. That is something to be proud of. All I can wish for you now is peace. Take care.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:31 am

    Megan (mommyesquire) - I pray that those precious memories will be a part of your comfort. I am so glad that you have them.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:34 am

    Amanda - Oh Jess. How badly I wish I could be there with you! To sit with you, pray with you, cook for you. Just help you out! Cora was a beautiful, special child of our wonderful creator and we all were blessed to know her. Know we are praying for you. Love you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:35 am

    Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! - The gratefulness you’re showing right now just blows me away.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:37 am

    Margaret - Thank you for sharing with us. You are very brave and strong. I will keep you in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:38 am

    Misty Rice-Baniewicz - I was so anxious to read your next post…. for whatever reason the moment you are quiet my hearts stops and prays more…. I pray every single night for you…and I can’t explain this… but I think God has a special place for your family and this story to be in my story… because I think of you all the time, even in the middle of the night.

    I have read several post and so many celebrated with balloons. It made me smile so much…

    Not sure if you got to see my post on it…. but wanted to share here just in case you didnt. My little girl and I also did a celebration.

    http://theytakemybreathaway.blogspot.com/2009/03/today-is-coras-birthday.html

    What a FUN, glorious and still sad celebration you and your family had. You are so blessed to live near all your friends and loved one…. because I have no family that live near me and the thought of this happening here when both my husband and I live away from all our family frightens me…. I wouldn’t have that support group so close by. I thank GOD for that for you. That is a HUGE blessing.

    You continue to amaze me with your strength… I am honored to know you even only through words and pictures on your blog.

    You are my sister through christ…. and Cora is like my niece …(smiling) through Christ. I like the idea of being an aunt to her. heheh.

    If I ever see you or run into you… don’t be surprised if I just walk up and give you a big hug.

    Thank you for writing today….

    It brought tears to me, and yet peace and smiles…..

    God Bless you….ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:47 am

    THE SPIVEY"S - What a tearful and joyful moment. I just cried when I saw all those pink balloon. My son and I want to send one up today for her. I know we are a little late, but better late than never. She is in a beautiful place and I know that Jesus gave her a beautiful cake for her on her first birthday. You and your family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers and I think about you all daily. I know that God is going to help you though this tough time as he is helping me though it as well. I feel like I have known Cora and your family forever. Blessed be…
    XOXO Cora.

    christianspivey.blogspot.com

    Donna SpiveyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:01 am

    Anonymous - I have been praying for you and will continue to do so.

    all the bests.

    reader in txReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:04 am

    Momma_Hug - We all wish that she could have been there to get messy with cake and sprinkles with you. Thank you for sharing. She had more balloons than any other 1 year old on their birthday, from all over! It’s good to see that you celebrated her life on her birthday. The butterfly cookies are very creative and the cupcakes looked yummy!
    Your pictures are beautiful. The sky was perfect with all the pink balloons. All the Cora pins are beautiful!
    I saw something the other day that is very similar to what your mom had said. It was a sign that said, “Don’t cry because of what wasn’t, Smile because of what was.” I thought of you and all the precious moments you must have had with Cora.
    Hugs, MirandaReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:08 am

    Anonymous - Thank you for sharing your day with us. I think how very hard it must have been for you, Joel and your families. Thanks for the photos that show you are doing”alright”. You are inspiring. Your faith so very very strong. There just are not words to do you guys justice. Will continue to shed tears, think of you and pray daily.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:10 am

    Robin in Benton - What a wonderful celebration of your baby girls life. And what an awesome thing for your parents to do – giving you something tangible to look at and remember all the fun you had with your baby. God couldn’t have picked a better family or Mom for sweet Cora. Bless all of you….ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:17 am

    Jennifer - Such a beautifully written tribute to Cora. You’re both in my prayers as is Cora that she’s able to make her presence known to her mommy and daddy! God Bless you both.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:18 am

    Anonymous - Kansas sure looks good from here – how wonderful to have so many people who love you so much around you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:23 am

    Julie - What a beautiful way to celebrate your sweet daughter. I have been thinking of you so much even though we have never met. My heart just hurts for you and the pain you are feeling. It’s so hard to trust the “Plan” when it’s not what we want. (Hugs)

    I love the fact that your parents made a list of all of Cora’s first so you can celebrate all you did get to do with her. What a blessing!!

    Hugs and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:25 am

    The Carroll's - What a special day to celebrate your precious Cora. Your hope and faith in the midst of such uncertainty and heartbreak is a beautiful testimony of the love of our Heavenly Father. I pray for you and your family many times each day. Cling to the list of all of your great memories with your girl. God perfectly chose you to be her Mommy. Thank you for continuing to share with us.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:26 am

    Emily - What a beautiful tribute. Brings tears to my eyes again.
    Your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Olathe, KSReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:35 am

    Kristin Stegent - I cried reading this post. My daughter is almost 10 months and I just can’t stand the thought of having her 1st birthday without her. I ache for you!

    The balloons, cupcakes and everything was beautiful. I wish I were looking at Cora in her highchair with cake all over her face though!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:35 am

    purejoy - many sweet comments that i hope will ease your heart. i too loved the special tribute you gave for your sweet cora, and i know she enjoyed her party with Jesus right beside her.
    may God continue to give you strength. blessings to you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:40 am

    Micah - Sweet Cora is safe in the arms of Jesus. I still cry everytime I think about you all, and we still pray for you constantly. In fact, I can tell by looking on here there are THOUSANDS of people praying for you. I know that is comforting, but there must be times that you feel all alone, too. May God fill your hearts with peace and joy.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:53 am

    La Familia Garcia - God is using her precious life to touch so many people, even though she is not “here.” I’m so glad you were able to rejoice the moments spent with her!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:54 am

    Anonymous - What adorable cookies! I hope that next year you will be able to look upon that day last week with more smiles than tears.

    I wish I could offer more comforting words to you. God knows you are struggling and He is there lifting you up.

    AudreyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:01 am

    Megan Barber - Your continued strength amazes me…and has provided such strength for me, encouraging me to give my all to my daughter and husband. You are in my continued prayers and your story truly has helped me to stop…and cherish all the wonderful moments I have with my daughter.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:08 am

    Karina - So glad to see a post from you – I, too, have been thinking about you continually and worrying for you in the loneliness of your grief, even though you are surrounded by love. It must be very weird for you to know that so many strangers are thinking about you!

    But it is Cora’s face that sticks in my mind’s eye, and I can assure you she has changed me for the better. I am a mother already; I will now strive to be a better mother. Cora has done that for my family. I only wish it wasn’t at such a terrible price.

    Sending you love…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:13 am

    The Carrolls - What a great celebration in Cora’s honor! Praying for you and yours.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:18 am

    Courtney Kay - happy birthday cora… my prayers are with your familyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:26 am

    Tammie - I cry every time I read your blog and am so amazed at your strength. I just want to thank you for your posts and the wonderful message of love and enjoying the time and blessing that we do have.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:32 am

    Cristy - We thought about and prayed for you all day. The cupcakes are beautiful and those butterfly cookies look perfect. You are blessed to have such a strong network of friends and family who love you.

    Hugs and prayers today and each day…

    CristyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:36 am

    Molly - What a wonderful and colorful celebration of LIFE! God bless you and your family!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:36 am

    Gina - (hugs)
    what else can be said?
    My heart is broken for you…..
    ….she was lucky to have you too…..ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:50 am

    Anonymous - i don’t know you , but have been following. god bless you all. beautiful tribute to sweet cora. she surely is an angel and i bet she was smiling down on her birthday. hugs to you all.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:00 am

    amy - my heart aches for you…and I will certainly be keeping you in my prayers. I pray that the Lord will comfort your hearts as only He can. Your sweet Cora was blessed to have such a special mommy who loved her and continues to love her so much. I bet Cora would have loved her yummy cupcakes, but can you imagine the celebration she had in heaven?!?! :) One day you’ll be celebrating for an enternity together! Thankyou LORD for the promise of heaven!!!

    Lovingly,
    Amy B.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:08 am

    Heather - Just beautiful. My heart aches for you, but it looks like youhad a beautiful day. There was a reason it was 83 degrees and sunny here last Thurday!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:22 am

    Anonymous - Your celebration for Cora’s birthday was just beautiful! You and your family continue to amaze me with your continued faith and strength! I am so glad that I found your blog and was able to be touched by Cora’s story. I continue to pray for you several times a day and I will proudly wear my Cora flower!

    Love,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:31 am

    Michele - What beautiful pictures…what a beautiful way to honor your daughter on her birthday! It certainly was not a coincidence that the weather was that perfect that day. Thank you, once again, for sharing your heart with us–many of us being complete strangers. It actually feels a bit strange how much I check your blog to see how you guys are doing. Thought it might seem better if I at least introduce myself. I’m Michele, 31 years old. I’m a wife and a stay at home mommy. I call Metro Detroit, MI home but I’m currently living in Cologne Germany. I found your blog from Kelly’s Korner from Bring the Rain from Celebrity Baby Blog. Really. I guess I like blogs. It’s like reading an inspiration book, but way better because it’s more real (I guess). It’s not a coincidence that I’ve found each of them. I am a christian but I’ll be honest and say that your story–Cora’s story and everything that has come of it has definitely made me evaluate my relationship with Christ. I’m inspired. I’m changed. I’m seeking to grow my relationship with HIM. With everyone in my life. Thank you again, I will be forever praying for you guys and can’t wait to see what he has planned for you…for all of us. MicheleReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 10:36 am

    forever folding laundry - Such a lovely way to celebrate Cora’s birthday. I love the idea of the list – she was a blessed little girl to have the love that she does! Still praying for you all….

    ~KeriReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:01 am

    Christine - Thank you for sharing this special day with us. I have thought about you guys often and prayed each time. Not just on Thursday – we’re praying for you every day. We released a pink balloon here in Texas for Cora last Thursday. My daughter is absolutely certain that God and Cora were dancing in the clouds and that He would catch it for her when we sent it up to Heaven. I pray for peace and comfort for you & Joel. Much love, ChristineReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:08 am

    Mom to 4 Sweeties - I am so so sorry for you great loss, but so blessed to have “known” Cora through your website. Please know my family continues to pray for yours.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:20 am

    Anonymous - I have been following your blog since Cora got sick. We prayed and continue to pray for you and your family. Your blog about Cora’s birthday touched my heart, your words at the end about wanting more time with Cora. It convicted me that I need to cherish my blessings more and use my time wisely with them focusing on the important things. THANK YOU! I also know I am not promised tomorrow and trust God each day with our 7 blessings.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:24 am
  • March 10, 2009 - 11:31 am

    Candace - my heart aches for you. Your sweet Cora has touched me so. I have been thinking about you for the last few days and hope that you can feel my prayers for your family. Much love…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:41 am

    Lundstrom Family - Everything about you and your family absolutely amazes me. Nothing could be more perfect then what you did for Cora. Your strength and faith continues to amaze me. You are all in my thoughts and prayers continously. Hugs from Manhattan!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:44 am

    Whimsical Creations - hugs! What a wonderful tribute to such a special little girl! =DReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:44 am

    Midwest Mommy - I have been touched beyond words by your story. I can’t imagine how hard that day must have been but you did an awesome job of honoring her.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:46 am

    Becky - Thank you for sharing… Your family has touched my heart.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:55 am

    sarahross - Thank you for sharing these very bittersweet, special moments. I know you guys must be worn out. I’m praying for rest, peace, & joy…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:11 pm

    Anonymous - I have never posted before but I want you to know that you inspire me in my faith. I can never imagine your pain but I can pray for you to find peace in all of this. Cora was a very lucky baby to have you as her parents. I keep you in prayer.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:14 pm

    Falling Around - Another beautiful post… I’m in tears in California.

    I am so glad you were surrounded with loving family members on Cora’s birthday. It looked like a beautiful celebration. Still… I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been.

    I can’t believe I didn’t think to wear my pink flower made be Beki… I’m slow like that.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your days with us. I feel blessed just to be able to pray for you.

    Big Hugs,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:24 pm

    Angela - Beautifully touching. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for being real. Hugs and prayers, AngelaReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:35 pm

    leahneer - What a beautiful tribute to a little girl who has touched millions of lives. You and your family are amazing, what strength, and love you have in this tragedy. Cora could not have asked for more wonderful parents than you. Remember, when you all were celebrating, Cora was running amongst the clouds in her party dress with all the other angels and loved ones lost. She was with you, eating her cupcakes and smiling her beautiful smile with cake on her face:) May god continue to see you through this and may memories of Cora and the times you had, keep you going each day. xoxoxoxoxoReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    Anonymous - You are truly a beautiful family! The tragedy you went through is God’s way of painting you even prettier than before! Keep up the faith and Cora will continue to see you for the wonderful people you are! God Bless!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 12:58 pm

    Anonymous - you sound like you have a wonderful, supportive family that is helping you thru this. what a blessing!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:09 pm

    michelle - It looked beautiful! You seem like such a great “mama!” Cora is blessed to have you 2 as her parents. I feel blessed just to have “gotten to know you” a little through your blog. Your faith is inspiring. May the Lord continue to give you strength…I am praying for you. (I have a random question for you…what kind of camera do you use? Your photos are so good.) if you get a chance to answer or feel like it my email is: mikala4463@aol.comReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:19 pm

    Heather - I’m so glad that you had such a great time celebrating. She is such a beautiful little girl. I prayed for you all day on Thurs. I couldn’t get you guys off my mind. Well I pray for you everyday, but thurs. was different. My heart ached for you and rejoiced at the same time. I thought about sweet Cora and what an impact she had on so many people at such a young age. She truly is an amazing little girl, and you guys are the best parents she could have ever had. I pray that the Lord will continue to hold you in his arms and bring comfort to your broken hearts.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:24 pm

    Anonymous - Thank you for sharing Cora’s special day with us. Those pictures are beautiful. I love the pink colors. She’ll always be missed. Sending lots of hugs to you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:29 pm

    The Schilling's from PICU - Oh Jess, what can I even say to make things better? I cried all day Thursday too, thinking of the pain you were feeling….. Please try to stay positive and I was so glad to hear that you made a list of the good times and memories you shared with her!
    Love you and hope to talk to you soon! Loved the butterfly cookies! TOTALLY GIRLLLLYYYY just like she would like it!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:45 pm

    Paula from NY - thanks so much for posting.. Cora’s birthday celebration was so beautiful and full of love, reaching everyone.. it is like everyone across the world is reaching out their arms to form a circle around you and surround you with love.. thank you for bringing out the love and beauty in our hearts..ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 1:46 pm

    Kelly - Thank you so much for sharing Cora’s birthday party with all of us…the pictures of the pink balloons and the cupcakes and everyone with their flower pins make us feel like we are there with you, and we are in spirit!
    My eyes fill with tears for you but they are also tears of joy that you got to be a mom to such a sweet girl and you do have all the ‘firsts’ to remember.
    Keeping you and your family in prayer..ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:15 pm

    Mrs. MK - That looks like a wonderful birthday party! I am so thankful for all your family and friends helping you through this time! And I love the “firsts” list….what a wonderful, helpful idea.

    I am praying for your peace….ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:16 pm

    Julie - Wow, I don’t even know you and I am moved to tears. As a mother I can not imagine going through what you have gone through. Thank you for your inspiring faith and service. We will keep your family in our prayers.

    My husband is a medical student and we don’t have money to donate but I have an online design business and would love to offer my services to you for free. If you would like a blog makeover for any of your blogs please let me know. Mylife.Xpressed(at)gmail(dot)com website http://mylifexpressed.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    angie c - we have a little helium tank in our garage for past birthday parties, I hauled it outside at 10a.m. that morning and sent off some pink balloons too. Your pic is gorgeous. oxoxoReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:31 pm

    Vanessa Sanchez - I do not know you, but have followed your story, first on Beki’s blog, and then here, on your own.

    I have visited your blog several times, but have never left a comment.

    I just wanted to say how wholeheartedly sorry I am for your loss. Your strength is amazing.

    May the Good Lord continue to give you strength, hope and many blessings.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 2:42 pm

    Mindee - Make sure you add that “Cora knew love” to your list.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:05 pm

    Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm - what a lovely party :-) It must have been really hard,but I honestly am proud of you for not just shutting yourself away for the day trying to forget what day it was. A lot of people would have done that in this same situation. You and your family are very special and wonderful people. big hugs to you all!!! xoxo!!!! Britt :-)ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:06 pm

    The Sweigart Family - Love your pictures. What a wonderful family you have surrounding you. What wonderful ideas of celebrating Cora’s life. You are continuosly in our thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:07 pm

    Courtney - I love how you celebrated Cora’s precious day. I’m sure she is in Heaven smiling so proud that you guys are her mama and daddy.
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:28 pm

    Unmistakably BLESSED - Happy Birthday Cora-angel. All of our love.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:36 pm

    The Gardners - I thought about you all day on Thursday. I’m sure Cora had a beautiful 1st birthday celebration in Heaven! And yes, you may have only had 11 months with her, but keep thinking about how remarkable those 11 months were. Cora was blessed with wonderful parents!

    Still praying for you everyday…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:52 pm

    The Faulk Family - Your joy, even through this heartache, is such a testimony. What a beautiful way to honor Cora and celebrate her life. We continue to pray for you…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 3:52 pm

    Anonymous - Wow, I am so amazed at your strength, and so happy your family and friends are there to support you. I thank Cora for blessing my life, she helps me to be a little more patient with my kids, she helps me to savor the good times, and forget the rough patches. I am sure you will forever remember what she has taught you, as you continue to grow in your life here on earth. How proud she’ll be of you! Thanks for sharing your beautiful daughter with strangers, she warms my heart—forever in prayer for your family, Leslie in CTReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 4:00 pm

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Happy Birthday, Sweet Cora…so beautiful. I cannot imagine the glory of the celebration in Heaven.
    Praying His continued comfort for all of you…ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 4:26 pm

    The Mommy - I’ve been popping in and out over the past few weeks to keep tabs on you and your family since Cora’s passing. I am in tears again at how beautifully you are handling this difficult situation, knowing if I were in your shoes I wouldn’t have the same gumption you do to make it out of bed in the morning.

    That you can celebrate Cora’s first birthday and be surrounded by family and friends who share in keeping you positive is a blessing in itself.

    I’m sure Cora is holding her balloons in one hand and Jesus’ hand in the other. :) Hugs to you from one mommy to another.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 4:42 pm

    Al's World - What a precious, precious day..what a precious, precious girl. There is nothing more in life to look forward to than a child’s first birthday, but just think of the PARTY she was having in heaven…I mean of course you want her with you, but what an honor to be with her creator! Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 4:48 pm

    Jennifer - Cora was blessed to have you as her mom! Praying for peace for your family!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 4:57 pm

    Clare Z. - Your stregnth is abundant. I can’t imagine all you’ve gone through but I continue to pray for the both of you every night wiht my children that God provides all the stregnth and comfort your need and also desire.

    Blessings to you.

    ClareReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:00 pm

    texasinafrica - What a great idea your parents had to write down everything you got to do with precious Cora. I got out of a doctor’s appointment at 10:02 on Thursday and God reminded me to pray right then. I’m glad that your celebration of her life was a time of being surrounded by so much love.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:01 pm

    Kristi REDISKE - You are really a special family. I am amazed that in all you have been through that you think enough of others to keep us updated on what you are thinking and what you are doing. You don’t even know alot of us, I do not think I would have the strenght you have had. I know the Lord is giving you that strength-He is an awesome God. Thanks so much for trusting in Him. I pray for you all daily-Thanks for staying faithful.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:12 pm

    Miss G - I so wish you still had her and time with her but I think your mom and dad are so right too in celebrating all the things you DID get to do with her.

    God, please continue to take care of Joel and Jess and everyone else who loves Cora. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:17 pm

    Scarlet O'Kara - Beautiful…

    I just know that your beautiful Angel Cora is so very proud of her parents.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:22 pm

    Matt, Rachel, Ellie Renee, and Tripp - oh Jess…even though I was there, it still makes me cry to read what you wrote. I’m missing Cora a little extra today and thought I’d just say hi and that we love you and Joel so much–we can’t wait to see you and spend time with you again soon. Thank you for writing about how you’re feeling too. I wish I knew more how to help and what you were feeling, but reading this helps me understand a lot more, so thank you for sharing with me! Love you, sister.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 5:38 pm

    Laura - you are an amazing, amazing, mother.
    much love and many prayersReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 6:24 pm

    Anonymous - What a wonderful tribute to your little angel, Jess. To praise God in good times is easy, to praise God in hard times is true faith. I do not know you, but send the love of God to you, Jess and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:30 pm

    Becky - There are tears in my eyes. But it is so sweet to see the wonderful family and friends that you have to stand by you in support and love.

    Thanks for sharing the special day that you had to celebrate Cora’s life. Wishing you love and peace.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 7:52 pm

    Anonymous - Though I don’t know you, I’m so glad to hear from you! I think we’ve all been checking back often to hear how this day went. Thank you for sharing it all, precious girl!ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 8:21 pm

    k and c's mom - It sounds like the perfect celebration for Cora. Blessings on you all.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:21 pm

    Sarah Furlough - I am so blown away by the sweet list your Mom & Dad out together of Cora’s firsts. What a precious gift to you, I’m sure it took a little of the sting away on her birthday.

    I also lost my son too soon. He was 5 months old. I can’t tell you the pain ever goes away, but the memories become sweeter, and that helps.

    What a testimony you are sharing of your faith, and what a legacy your sweet, sweet Cora leaves behind.

    Psalm 34:18 has gotten me through some very dark days.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 9:35 pm

    Anonymous - You are a great mommy for Cora! Your pain is so real and God’s overflowing love, purpose and joy still shines out of you. You are a blessing to many.ReplyCancel

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  • March 10, 2009 - 11:12 pm

    Hollymark - What a perfect little celebration for her life :) The pink balloons are beautiful floating up to her. It’s good to see that you all have such great friends and family to be there and support you through all of this. You’re still in my thoughts,
    Lots of love from KentuckyReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:25 am

    Lemon Lollipop LLC - I celebrated with you.

    The photos are gorgeous.

    SO glad you have a great support system.

    Continuing to pray for you when I think of you, which is daily. :)ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:42 am

    SavedLaura - I can’t read your blog without crying. You are amazing and the best part is, I know you give all the glory to God almighty. Your sweet Cora may not have eaten cake but she is most definitely in the arms of her loving Savior. I pray that the Lord continue to strengthen you and keep you.

    With so much love, LauraReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:11 am

    tifRN - happy birthday, sweet cora. all of us here at wesley wish you and your wonderful family well, and we miss you.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 6:19 am

    Mandi - I’m so glad you got to celebrate the life of your precious baby girl with friends and family. The picture of the pink balloons against the blue sky is beautiful. You come to mind often and many prayers are lifted up for you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 6:54 am

    Marsha - What a wonderful celebration for a special little girl. Such a wonderful celebration of the life she lived. I continue to pray for your family. You are an awesome testimony of God’s love and grace.

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:38 am
  • March 11, 2009 - 11:57 am

    KristiJ - What a glorious day it appears from the picture of the sky, and the balloons are beautiful and vibrant, just like sweet Cora. I’m so glad to see your loved ones surrounding you, and I know Cora was pleased with the outpouring of love on her special day. You are in my daily prayers.

    Kristi in VirginiaReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 1:44 pm

    Alison - I don’t even have the words….just sitting here bawling. I love your sweet family and your precious Cora. Your graceful faith is beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Lacie and Stephen - I cry for you and ache for you each time I read your site. I can feel your pain. I think it is a great idea to hold on to the firsts that you DID get with Cora. It is the only way to get through! In my greif, I cried about the firsts that I never got with my daughter (stillborn at 37 weeks). But I am the ONLY one who got to experience her movement and her personality. Everyone else had to take me at my word! We are still out here thinking of you and your family! May God bless you! Go Warriors!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:10 pm

    mandi - I’ve thought about you often since your last post (knowing her birthday was here). It sounds like a sweet day & a beautiful tribute to your sweet daughter. It’s obvious that Cora was as lucky to have you & your husband as you were to have her!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 4:58 pm

    liz r. - What a lovely, lovely celebration. Happy birthday to Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 8:40 pm

    Brittany - What a sweet tribute to such a beautiful and sweet little life. I am touched by your strength. I admire you and your faith in God more than you know. Cora was blessed to have such wonderful parents…
    Sending prayers from KY!

    BrittanyReplyCancel

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  • March 11, 2009 - 9:59 pm

    Stephanie - I sit here with tears in my eyes thinking of you and your sweet Cora! My heart breaks for you. I’m thinking of you!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 8:40 am

    Angela - What a beautiful birthday. I know she was enjoying every minute watching you from heaven.ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 1:33 pm

    writing4612 - Such a beautiful post.

    Your mom was right to remind you of all the things you shared with Cora.

    Still praying for strength for you both!ReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 3:11 pm

    Bethany - Precious Jess,
    I don’t know you but I am aching for you as the mother of an 11 month old myself. Thank you for sharing Cora’s life with us and her precious birthday party. The way you have shared both your pain and your hope in Jesus with us all is amazing. Praying for you now.
    BethanyReplyCancel

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  • March 12, 2009 - 9:24 pm

    Marlene W. - As always, I am praying for you and Joel. I praise God for the strength he gave you to celebrate dear Cora’s birthday . . . Words can’t express what’s truly in my heart . . . please know I am just thinking of you both.
    ~MarleneReplyCancel

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  • March 13, 2009 - 3:27 pm

    Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting - You are so strong. I am continually thinking of you and your family. *huge hugs*ReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 5:34 am

    Lipstick - Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I am praying for your family.ReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 4:41 pm

    wife.mom.nurse - Thank you for sharing this lovely day with us.

    How beautiful!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • March 14, 2009 - 9:39 pm

    cancersucks - sweet, sweet angel, Cora!ReplyCancel

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  • March 16, 2009 - 11:04 am

    BabyD - What a sweet way to celebrate Cora’s birthday. My heart breaks for you and your husband, but I am so inspired by your strength. The way you honor Cora’s sweet life. Lots of thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • March 16, 2009 - 3:27 pm

    cameana/atlanta,ga - I am so touched by your story. I will continue to lift you and husband up in prayer. God bless you both. Although I’ve never met you I know God has a purpose and a plan for your life.ReplyCancel

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  • March 17, 2009 - 10:54 am

    Carmeana - I noticed a female wearing a flower nicely displayed on her shirt. I complemented her on the flower and she told me about your story.

    I live in Atlanta, Ga. She sent me the link to make a donation for Cora’s playground.

    Just know that God is using Cora in a mighty way. I will keep you guys in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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