A few months ago Katherine of Katherine Bach Photography asked if she could take some maternity/family photos of us. She just sent me a sneak peek of our session so I thought I’d share it with you too. We kept having conflicts but finally made it work just in time before Baby Mac arrives. Of course we picked one of the hottest days we’ve had so far this summer. Somehow Katherine managed to make these photos look beautiful…but just so you know the reality was lots of bugs, sweat, and two super whiney children.:)

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Cute boys and a big belly. I am so thankful for this precious family the Lord has given me. Thank you Katherine for capturing these moments before we welcome our newest Mac to the family. It is hard to believe that change is just around the corner. I can’t wait to see what God is about to do in our family.

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  • July 9, 2014 - 7:46 am

    babykatesmom - Beautiful family! Can’t wait for the newest babes arrival :)
    Hugs & prayers from Florida!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Karina - These are stunning photographs! You make me want to book a professional photo session for my family. Everyone looks so good and so happy – you would never know it was hot, buggy, sweaty and whiney! I am eagerly waiting on the arrival of your latest baby and holding you all in my thoughts…ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:21 am

    Mary Ann - The pictures are beautiful and your family is so adorable. I don’t think it all the photographer….I think you and your family exude love and happiness and that’s not too hard to capture in photos. Those boys…well they are just the bomb. Precious indeed!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:26 am

    Sarah Macon - Aren’t ya’ll precious! Love these! Prayers with you guys as you prepare to welcome another Mac to your bunch! :) ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:29 am

    Toni :0) - Gorgeous photos and beautiful family. Cannot wait for Baby Mac arrival news. Blessings on a smooth delivery!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 10:49 am

    amy jupin - LOVE these pics, Jess! you look gorgeous!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 10:57 am

    Brady W. - Saying prayers for a safe delivery of a healthy baby….but SO also praying it’s a girl!! Beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    Kristin - Absolutely beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 7:15 pm

    Roma - These are beautiful pictures of an amazing and wonderful family. Thank you for sharing them with us. Sending you lots of prayers as you prepare to meet Baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    kimberly oyler - that picture of the boys!! so cute!!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:44 pm

    CheyAnne - Oh my! Could you all be any more adorable?!?ReplyCancel

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  • July 17, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    elma - Such beautiful pictures all before your newest little boy..ReplyCancel

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  • July 19, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    Stefanie - Those pictures are beautiful!ReplyCancel

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Well, obviously there hasn’t been much time for blogging around here. But I thought I’d better get some California pictures up before baby arrives or it will never happen!

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Our first beach day was spent at Coronado beach. It was overcast and too cold to really get in the water…but still so beautiful. My favorite part of California is definitely spending time on the beach. I could stay all day.

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The boys could fill up buckets with water all day. My mom patiently filled up bucket after bucket after bucket.

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The boys would take the water back to the holes they were digging and then head back for more.

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And then Levi got brave and decided he could fill up his bucket by himself.

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Griffin wanted no part in going into the water. So he stayed behind and worked on digging.

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It was a great first day at the beach…with sweet memories being made with Grammy.

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I was there too. I just let me mom do all the bucket filling.;)

 

 

 

 

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  • July 2, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Mary Ann - Looks way fun…I can’t wait to take my grandson, age 4, to the beach. In Utah we have lots of lakes and there are sandy beaches but it’s nothing like being by the ocean. Fun times for sure and lots of good memories. I’m sure I speak for all your family, friends, and blogger friends…we are all anxious to hear about your new little one – boy or girl!! Very very exciting!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 2, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    Lea - What a beautiful beach! And, what sweet memories made with your Mom. A happy 4th of July to you and yours!ReplyCancel

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  • July 3, 2014 - 9:30 am

    creole wisdom - How fun. Your beach photos are just gorgeous, Jess. Really, like they could be an advertisement for beach travel!ReplyCancel

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  • July 8, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Stefanie - Love the pictures! You have a beautiful family!ReplyCancel

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The Bible and the God of the Bible offer us a story meant to tell us who we are and why we are here and what our lives are about…This is the story. It is the story that the Bible offers to you. Inviting you to make this story the story of your life. 

-The Lamb of God, Nancy Guthrie

I just started going through Nancy Guthrie’s Bible Study, The Lamb of God, with some ladies in my community and I am loving it. As I have been reading through Exodus I am seeing the Old Testament in a whole new way once again. Up until the last few years the OT hasn’t been much more than Sunday school stories and Bible history to me. I know the stories but I’ve been totally missing WHO it is all about…WHO the OT is pointing to…a great Savior.

I always wish I could see “behind the scenes” in my own life and this is exactly what we get a peek into as we read about the enslaved Israelites and the life of Moses as he went from living in the great Egyptian palace to the lowly job of shepherding his father-in-law’s flock. Forty years. Forty years of nothing happening. What was God doing? And really, where was God? There was a lot of suffering going on and a lot of waiting without hearing anything from God. And while my waiting and suffering hasn’t even come close to this forty year scene we read about in Exodus, I feel like I can totally relate to the wondering…

God where are you?

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel-and God knew. Exodus 2:24-25

God heard.

God remembered.

God saw.

God knew.

Sometimes we think God doesn’t hear us, or that he doesn’t care, or that he has even forgotten about us. But he knows our every thought and hears our every word. He loves us more than we can imagine. And he never abandons His children. We might not “see” or “feel” God working out His plan in our lives, but He’s always there and He’s always faithful to His promises. He might just be waiting for the right time…which is often so different from our ideas and timing, right?!

And then, after forty years of shepherding, we read that God calls Moses, who had definitely screwed up in the past and seems to have been forgotten, by name.

…God called to him out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:4

Can you imagine what that was like? The God of the universe calling you by name? God knew exactly where Moses was and was seeking him out. We think maybe Moses has been disqualified or forgotten because of taking matters into his own hands and killing the Egyptian (Exodus 2:12), but God still has plans to use Moses to accomplish His purposes and deliver His people. He tells Moses of His plan and reminds Moses of who He is…I AM (Exodus 3:13-14).

I think that is exactly the reminder I need too. My story is so much more about God and so much less about me. As we get closer to meeting this new little one I find myself wondering what my story is going to look like in this next chapter of my life. What is God about to do in our family. Familiar questions and anxiety start creeping in. And while I am confident that He is going to prepare me for what is ahead, I am reminded that the important thing is that I keep my eyes on I AM. He is the one who will fill my story with meaning no matter what my abilities or circumstances look like.

The more your story is about this rescue from bondage, this Savior God sent, this God who has come down and revealed himself, the less your story will be about you and your failures or achievements, your abilities or inadequacies, your circumstances, opinions or questions. This is the story that enables you to make sense of your suffering and make much of your Savior. It is this story, and only this story, that can fill your story with meaning that will last forever.

-The Lamb of God, Nancy Guthrie

* * * * *

My Everyday IG LOGO

I forgot to mention that last week I was featured in the My Everyday series over on Kelli and Vanessa’s blog. I am praying that this little peek into my story will point others to WHO my story is really all about. You can read the interview here.

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  • June 23, 2014 - 7:53 am

    babykatesmom - What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing it with us!ReplyCancel

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  • June 23, 2014 - 8:47 am

    Jody - I just finished the Pentateuch and from Exodus on it’s constant sacrificing and blood on the altar. It all screams Jesus. It all points to the cross. And as God is setting up this system of sacrifice he knows what is coming. He knows the Son is going to be required as the ultimate sacrifice. I can’t even imagine.ReplyCancel

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  • June 24, 2014 - 5:56 am

    Mary - Wonderful post and great interview. God can really be involved in our lives if we let him. I love your blog and they way you teach about your faith and trust in the Lord. I enjoy your updates about your family and will be excited to hear about new little baby mac!!ReplyCancel

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  • June 24, 2014 - 7:40 am

    Nancy Guthrie - So happy you’re doing The Lamb of God this summer. I am teaching through it here in Nashville and having such a great time! Wish you were headed to Orlando with me this week for The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference. It will be streamed live so look for me on Saturday morning at 9:30 Central. Love you!ReplyCancel

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    • July 2, 2014 - 7:43 am

      Jess - Nancy-Our group is learning so much through this study! Such a blessing to grow and see Jesus through these OT passages together. Wish I could be in your class too!ReplyCancel

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  • June 25, 2014 - 9:29 am

    creole wisdom - Loved your interview! And you are right, it would be neat to “see” God’s work behind the scenes. I love that we can look at scripture and get a glimpse of that, and also look forward to heaven when we’ll have full perspective.ReplyCancel

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  • June 25, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Stefany Bowers - This sounds like a really great study. I would love to do it with my mother and sister. Are you also using the video downloads or DVD? I am sure they enrich the study, but didn’t necessarily want to spend that much money. ReplyCancel

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    • July 2, 2014 - 7:40 am

      Jess - Stefany-It has been such a good study so far! We used the DVDs last year and they were awesome. We decided not to use them this year because of time though. The DVDs are basically exactly the same as the teaching chapter. So this year we are just reading the teaching chapter before each meeting. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

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  • June 26, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Lisa Kirkes - Thank you for the insightful post, Jess. It was just the encouragement I needed. I feel like my husband and I have been in a desert for many years as we pastor a church. Sometimes it feels like God has forgotten about us. But we will keep our eyes on Him and be ready when He speaks. Praying for your new baby to be healthy and for your delivery to go well and without any trouble.ReplyCancel

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    • July 2, 2014 - 7:46 am

      Jess - Lisa-So sorry about these hard years of being in the desert. It is so easy to be swayed by our circumstances and feelings. Keep trusting in WHO God is…He never changes. And yes, keep your eyes on Him…He is walking through the desert with you. Thanks for your prayers for our sweet baby!ReplyCancel

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to cali

We had to leave Daddy behind on our trip to Califronia. None of us were very excited about that. I hate that he had to miss out on this trip and the boys experiencing California. But that is life sometimes. It was just too hard for him to get away and we knew I couldn’t wait much longer with the baby coming to make this trip. So off to California without Joel we went. The great news was that my mom was with us on this end of the trip. It was so wonderful having her help between juggling the boys and luggage and my huge stomach that bumped into everything. Airplanes were not made for pregnant mamas with two toddler boys. Griffin was my airplane buddy and Levi was Grammy’s airplane buddy. At one point Griffin looked back and decided Levi and Grammy were having more fun…so he climbed over the seats and joined them. And for a few minutes it was quiet and I had two seats to myself…and then Griffin was done and climbed back over.:) We made it with no problems and our California fun began.

going home

We were on our own on the way home. Luckily I had learned a few things about what I could and could not handle and made sure my hands were a little more free on the way home. We sent the top left picture to Joel to tell him his crazies were finally coming home. We were all pretty excited to see him again. The boys did great on the plane. When we got to Denver we found out our plane had been delayed two hours which meant we had three hours to kill instead of one. It was nap time and we were all tired so that was interesting. There were lots of airport shenanigans happening. Entertainment for all who saw us that day.

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They did great anytime we were walking around but the second I tried sitting down…let’s just say it wasn’t good. Our gate was packed as there were several delayed flights and everyone was waiting to depart from the same place. Thankfully there was a moving walkway right in front of the gate. The boys thought it was the best thing ever…and it did the walking for me which I thought was the best thing ever. So we rode the moving walkway about 100 times as we waited for our flight. The boys made lots of friends along the way. I received a lot of sympathetic smiles…I must have looked weary. And everyone kept asking the boys if they were having another brother. We were so glad to finally get on the plane and know that daddy would be waiting for us at the other end.

sleeping

We were on one of those little tiny planes on the way back to Wichita. The boys were on one side of the aisle and I was on the other…until Griffin crawled into my lap. And then they both fell asleep.

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I could barely wake up the boys when we landed. I was wondering how in the world I was going to carry them both off the plane. Haha. And then the sweet stewardess looked at me and asked what she could do to help me get off the plane. Such a blessing. So I got the boys off and to the stroller and she carried my bags. And then we were finally reunited with daddy. Blurry but so sweet.

I was so thankful for a mostly uneventful trip and the funny but sweet memories that I will have of traveling with my two boys.

And now for lots of beach pictures….

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  • June 16, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Lea - Well, I think you get “Mom of the year award” for such an adventure in your condition. I know it was a special time for you and your boys to spend with your family. Happy new week!!!ReplyCancel

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  • June 16, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    kimberly oyler - traveling is such a piece of cake for me, i’ve worked out the perfect system. but i cannot imagine doing it with two toddlers!ReplyCancel

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  • June 16, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Alyssa - Loving all your “catch up” posts Jes! I love the adventure in a challenge like traveling with my littles, looks like you did awesome! Our new things is playing “i Spy” when we have to wait at the doctor or at a restaurant or just longer that two minutes for anything ;) So glad you were able to make these special memories with them before your next sweet one comes!ReplyCancel

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  • June 16, 2014 - 6:16 pm

    Michelle from Australia - I’m glad you made it Jess. In the past 10-1/2 years, our Not So Little anymore Miss G has done 47 flights. And quite a lot of those between Brisbane and the USA on our trips backwards and forwards to America. Not a bad effort for a kid with MAJOR lack of attention issues. I can say it gets easier with practise. I can also say that although I endeavour to be extraordinarily considerate to all those around me, kids will be kids and no matter how hard I try, if she’s not going to co-operate, me stressing is not going to make the flight easier on any of us. Be proud that you made the trip and for getting home solo. Hooray!ReplyCancel

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  • June 18, 2014 - 9:00 am

    Mary Ann - I agree…you are brave to get on a plane with 2 boys and being pregnant. So glad some people were so kind and helped you. I have a hard time just getting me on a plane, let alone do it with children. But as moms and grandmothers, we do what we have to and I’m sure even though it was exhausting, you would do it all over again in order to spend time with your family. It is so fun to go on trips but even more fun to return home to open arms. I’m sure your husband missed you all terribly but I can tell he was sure happy to have you home. Good times…good memories. Can’t wait to see your new little one…I’m as excited as if I knew you personally or was family. Take care and get some rest!! (LOL – cuz I’ll bet that is hard to do.)ReplyCancel

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  • June 18, 2014 - 6:11 pm

    Amanda - They are so stinking cute.ReplyCancel

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  • June 19, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    creole wisdom - So fun! And it does sound exhausting… no doubt you handled it well, that’s just the kind of lady you are :) Next time I’m on a plane I’m going to climb over the seats instead of use the aisle… makes sense to me!ReplyCancel

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  • June 22, 2014 - 4:56 pm

    Leiah - Oh wow! I want to go next year to my parents (in America, me coming from Europe) with my then 1 and 4 year old. I’m scared! You are brave! Glad the moving walkway was there. My son loves those or escalators. Last time we rode escalators for a while while waiting for our luggage.ReplyCancel

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They have the best daddy. So thankful for how he leads our family, loves us well, works so hard, and always makes us laugh. We all adore him.

kittens

We celebrated Father’s Day tonight with Joel’s family at his sister’s house. They had some kittens running around the farm and my boys were in love. I don’t know if the kittens liked it so much, but they sure loved holding them. I’m not really a cat person, but I think my boys might need some kittens on our farm someday. They were way too cute.

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  • June 16, 2014 - 6:18 am

    amanda - So cute! I tried to comment on a previous post for name suggestions..I love the names Eden, Iris, Sienna, Madelyn, Haizel, Dillon, Tristan, Espen…boy names are harder I think!ReplyCancel

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