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jake bday2

Jake’s birthday party was a week after his actual birthday, so we couldn’t let the day go by without a birthday cupcake. It gave us an excuse to eat extra cupcakes with him too.



Just ignore the man on the floor in the background. My brother was working for Joel over the summer and he was at our house for lunch. And that is how farmers rest over their lunch break. πŸ˜‰


Jake didn’t show much enthusiasm over the cupcake but I think he liked it.

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He smeared frosting everywhere and we ate cupcakes while we watched him. And then it felt like he could officially be one.


Happy birthday, Baby Tiny…there is more celebrating to come!


Before I can move on to anything else, I had to go back and post Jakey’s 12 month pics. It just didn’t feel right to not post them even though it seems to be a theme with the third (or fourth) child. So, here is Jake at twelve months…

jake 1 & 12 monthsI mean, how did we go from a one month old to a one year old so fast anyway? Come back Baby Tiny!!


Dear Jake,

It seems like just yesterday we were smiling at each other in the delivery room as “BOY!” was announced and we realized God had given us THREE boys, something we would have never expected. You have filled our house with so much joy and added to the craziness that happens around here everyday. And we wouldn’t change it for anything.

You are the busiest and fastest of all the boys for sure. Playing in the toilet, emptying cupboards, climbing on the dishwasher, unrolling toilet paper, eating anything on the floor, racing up the stairs, escaping out the backdoor…these are just a few of the things that happen daily. You keep me on my toes for sure and if it starts to get a little too quiet I sprint through the house to see what trouble you are getting into this time. You pretty much run instead of walk…which means I am usually running after you. At least I am getting my exercise!

You are saying three words: dada, mama, and cat. You have two top and two bottom teeth. You are eating pretty much everything now. You have been a really good eater and you love tomatoes and cucumbers (so weird!). You are also messy…so messy.

You love your brothers. You jump right in there with them if they are wrestling. And you are so happy if you can be doing anything they are doing. If they are upstairs, you want to be upstairs. If they are outside, you want to be outside. Outside is definitely your favorite. You would stay outside and wander around all day if you could. If you can chase the cats or cover yourself in mud you are even happier. True boy, for sure.

Of course you looooove your daddy and anything that has to do with the farm. You go running when you hear dads pickup truck drive in the driveway and you jump out of my arms if there is a tractor or four wheeler you think you need to ride. Whenever daddy leaves you either cry or wave the sweetest bye-bye.

You are still a cuddle-er and you have the sweetest little grin. We sing “Praise The Name of Jesus” every night and it has become your song. Your brothers love to sing it to you too. You are sleeping through the night unless you loose your paci and I have to come find it for you. You always have to have your paci (or two or three) and your blanket. It is a good thing you started sleeping because you are turning into an early riser. We usually have a little time together in the morning before everyone else is up. I am always a little sleepy eyed but will take the extra cuddles any day.

I can’t wait to watch you grow up with your band of brothers. You are known as “Baby Tiny” or just “Tiny” by those big brothers of yours. I hope you like that name, because I’m afraid it is going to stick. Just know it means that you are very loved!

Happy birthday sweet boy! This year has been a big adjustment but such a gift. I can’t wait to see what the year ahead holds. I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mama


I’m not sure why, but I love reading blog posts that are a list of randomness. Maybe because that is how by brain is working these days. So often I think of something I want to tell you, something to blog about, but sitting down to write a whole post on the subject just never happens. Probably because I am too busy giving my boys baths (did you see Baby Tiny on Instagram Wednesday?). Haha. Anyway…I thought I would start posting my own lists every once in awhile. It will be just like I said, a list of randomness. But hopefully you can connect with some of my randomness too. So here goes my first Friday list & links…

Bible Study Fellowship | It starts Wednesday (for me at least)! Woo-hoo!!!! I am so excited to start meeting again. I neeeeeed the accountability badly. Have you started a Bible study this fall? If not, and you have been thinking about getting plugged into one, try BSF! There is probably one near you. I promise you will love it. Your kids will love it. They have the best children’s program ever. And best of all you will learn to dig deep into God’s Word. Any time spent in God’s Word is time well invested. So give it a try! And let me know what you think. If you live in the Wichita area come join me on Wednesdays! Visit the BSF website to find a daytime/evening meeting near you.

Katygirl Designs Calendar | If you follow me on Instagram you saw that my KGD Calendar came this week. It is so cute. These calendars never disappoint and the 2016 calendar is no different. Did you know Katy hand drew all the illustrations?! That girl has talent! For November, Katy drew the cutest turquoise kitchen and now I’m dreaming of turkey, cooler weather, family gatherings and pumpkin everything. Calendars are now in Katy’s shop. Hurry over there to get yours…they usually go fast!

Shark Party | Griffin is turning four in less than two weeks and he has requested a shark party. I love that my boys are old enough to come up with their own themes now. It makes it so much more fun to dream up a party that they will love. This blue ombre party is my inspiration. So many cute details! You can check out my Pinterest board to see more shark party ideas.

Revive ’15 | This women’s conference looks so good. My sister-in-law is going and I am a little jealous. I’m hoping Joel will surprise me and put me on a plane to Indianapolis that weekend. Haha. Probably not, but if you live nearby you should go! And then make sure you tell me all about it. I did hear that you can register and listen to the live stream for free. Yay! I can’t wait to listen in.

The GO Exchange | You need to check out this global boutique dedicated to orphan prevention. I am hosting a giveaway over on Instagram right now, so make sure to enter sometime this weekend! This bracelet and this bracelet are my favorite (they are part of the giveaway!). I wear mine all the time. And I just noticed their new fall line is out. I might need this necklace to go with my bracelets.

Happy Friday!


  • Lindsay H - My 4 year old requested a shark party for his 4th birthday! He started talking about it right around Christmas (and is an August babe!)!! It was so much fun! And gummy sharks were a huge hit with kids and adults! Cannot wait to see pictures!ReplyCancel


  • Emily - BSF starts tonight for me in Ohio! The leadership team is expecting so many new people for this study that we are having to park at a Walmart down the street and they’re going to shuttle us to the church! Such a good problem to have! Enjoy your class.ReplyCancel


  • kimberly oyler - you always have the CUTEST parties so i am excited to see how griffin’s shark party turns out. how is he four!??ReplyCancel


  • Ranee - love the shark party idea! i love seeing your party planning posts–so many cute ideas you have. πŸ™‚ And I agree..list blog posts are fun! so yay!ReplyCancel


  • Kara - That Go Exchange looks awesome! Have you heard of Noonday Collection? I’ve just learned about them in the past year and it looks like a very similar company and I actually hosted a trunk show a few weeks ago. I LOVE that companies like this seem to be getting really popular! So awesome!ReplyCancel


  • Kallie B - I love lists – and now I love the GO Exchange! What an amazing outreach and focus.ReplyCancel


I’m hoping as fall sweeps in, it will also bring with it a new season of more frequent blogging around here. But if not, I will still pop in to chat every once in awhile…okay? I wanted to let you know about a few changes that happened on the blog over the summer. My sweet friend, Heather of Life Made Lovely Design Studio, was the designer behind all this loveliness and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. So, let me show you around…

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The new logo is my favorite. It sums up my hope for this little blog about my family. Through all the grief, joy, stories, photos, parties, Bible studies, farming adventures, projects, and everything in between…I hope that most of all you see Jesus. My life looks totally different than I had hoped or planned. But through the joys and sorrows one thing is certain, He is always good. I have this hope as an anchor for my soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19). blog headerAt the top of the blog you can find…

Home – Obvious.

About Jess – Go here if you are new around here and wanting to find out more about me.

Cora’s Story – I can’t handle the adorable pink balloon. So cute! Go here to read about my sweet Cora.

The Mac Boys – “Coming soon”. I’m thinking this section will have some photos of the boys and also some links to some of their favorite things…which may lead you to the John Deere website. Haha.

Grief – Also “coming soon”. I would love to know what you would like to see in this section. Grief resources? Past blog posts? Ideas of how to encourage other grieving mamas? Tell me all your ideas.

Contact – Go here if you want to chat with me. Although I am the worst at email. I appreciate your emails so much and will do my best to respond if possible. πŸ™‚

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Ok, let’s talk about the sidebar. I love these so much. You can click on the photo to see blog posts from a few of the main categories I write about here on The Macs. If you click on “we like to party” it will take you to this page…

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…and you can check out some of the fun parties we have had. Because we definitely like to party around here. If you click on “life on the farm” it will take you here…

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…and you can see photos of my little farmers working with their daddy. They think the farm is the best.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.52.39 PMCheck out these links to some of my social media feeds. Click on the heart icon to follow me on Bloglovin’. I just recently started using Bloglovin’ to read the blogs that I follow and I love it! Did you know you can even categorize and save your favorite posts? I love that because I am always trying to remember where I read something at and this makes it so easy to save and find again when I need it. You can check out my Pinterest boards, follow me on Instagram and email me if you have a question. You can even subscribe to The Macs and get my new posts delivered right to your inbox!

widget_custom_image_12_1436499247I have to show you one more thing. Heather redesigned the Cora’s Playground button so it went with the rest of the blog design. It is so great…and the pink balloon again! Click here to see what God did through the building of Cora’s Playground. It still amazes me!

There are a few other things you will find like archives, categories, a search tool, and a few companies that I partner with on this blog. Otherwise I think that is about it! So as I finish updating, let me know if there is anything else you would like to see on here. I would be so helpful to know!

And if you are ever looking for a design service, go check out Life Made Lovely Design Studio! Heather is the sweetest and so talented too. I know you will love whatever she designs for you!


  • Mary Ann - I love everything about your new blog design. I thought about doing a blog too just so that I don’t inundate facebook with all my stuff. If you have any ideas on how to best get started, let me know. I’d love to hear how you went about your start up process. I love your posts…I know all you young mama’s get so busy with your children but your blog is such a bright spot in my day. When I found your blog about 5 years ago or so (through my niece Kendra Webster’s blog), I read most of the posts from the beginning and through all the post and followed your trail of tears regarding your beautiful Cory. I love seeing the photos and posts of your life and your darling boys. But most of all, I love seeing your strength, faith and trust in our Beloved Savior. Your words always bring me strength to try to do better. Keep posting Jess and thanks for being an inspiration to many of us.ReplyCancel


  • Mary Ann - I apologize….my typing is so lame. I spelled CORA’s name wrong and probably other words too.ReplyCancel


  • Sarah D. - Looks great, my friend! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel


August 18, 2015. The day I turned thirty-four and the day my baby boy started kindergarten. Talk about feeling all the feelings on my birthday last week. I’ve never been one to really think much about getting older. Thirty was no big deal and thirty-four is no different. I mean really, the thirties have been pretty great. Days filled with welcoming babies and cute little boys running around my feet. Maybe in a few years I will feel differently, but for now…bring on another year.

Now if we are talking about Levi going to kindergarten, that’s a different story. My sweet friend described the struggle perfectly. Each stage is completely heartbreaking and totally amazing all at the same time. It is so weird and so hard to explain. You see, I should have been sending Cora to kindergarten two years ago. I remember what “should have been” her first day of school so vividly. I started seeing the cute little photos of her friends with their new backpacks coming through my feeds as I sat at home wondering what that day would have been like…what she would have been like. This week should have been my second go around with this whole kindergarten mom thing. As Levi marched so confidently into his new class on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but grieve a little over what should have been. I miss that sweet little girl so darn much. Each new milestone we hit with the boys breaks my heart all over again that she isn’t here growing up right along with them.

A little sadness? Yes. Grieving? A little. It seems to always surprise me as grief unexpectedly resurfaces again. Missing my girl? Always. But I would miss out on so much if I only lived in light of what should have been. After Cora died I remember the Guthries encouraging us to invest in the living. That has always stuck with me and helped change my perspective so many times. God has taught me through Cora’s life that each day and each milestone is a precious gift. I am not guaranteed a certain number of days with my kids. But I can invest fully into the lives of these little boys he has entrusted to me right now.

So, I did it. I sent Levi off to kindergarten yesterday. He was so ready. A small part of me wanted to hang on to him and never let go. Despite my feelings, he walked into his cute kindergarten classroom and now his first week of school is in the books. He loved it. He is so ready to go back tomorrow. And I can rejoice this week that the Lord has given us the gift of sending our healthy baby boy to kindergarten. I get to send Levi to kindergarten. It makes me cry just typing that out. Another year and another new milestone. Each a precious gift.


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Β He was the cutest kindergartner I’ve ever seen. He was most excited about his new backpack and new shoes. And I couldn’t leave out this last photo. Brotherly love at its best. I’m not the only one who isn’t quite sure what to do without Levi around!

  • Paige - Levi is so handsome. I can’t imagine the struggle you deal with in the milestones. You seem to handle things with such grace and I am so thankful you have your 3 boys to help you see the joy in the milestones as they come. I know Cora must be looking down on your family and be rejoicing in your joy.ReplyCancel


  • Christi {Jealous Hands} - Levi is such a handsome big boy! So glad his first day was great for him AND for mama! xoReplyCancel


  • Toni :0) - Goodness he looks so grown up!!! Best wishes for a fabulous school year with your little man.ReplyCancel


  • Micah - Wow! You have the cutest kids. And your “baby” isn’t so little anymore .ReplyCancel


  • Sarah Johnson - LOVE this post. You summed it up so beautifully. Last year it was so hard sending Marleigh to Kindergarten when I should have been taking two little girls to kindergarten. So many mixed emotions. I think there will always be waves of grief that rock us, but so glad to be anchored in Him, and the blessings of our other babies.

    Love all the pictures. Levi looks so grown up! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel


  • Mary Ann - That Levi….what a darling big boy he is. My little grandson starts Kindergarten on Wednesday. I’m just amazed that the time has come for those 5 year olds to be in school. I remember well the day my own son went to school the first time…I was a working mom so I dropped him off, gave him a hug, told him to be good, and walked to my car. I cried and cried…all the way to work thinking about my baby boy being in school. Today was again a first day of school for my son but now it’s at University of Utah getting his engineering degree. I’m glad I read your blog today. It is a good lesson to learn to live life in the moment and not wonder to much about the what if’s. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about these precious little boys growing up and being out in the world. I hope the world is kind to them and that they grow up remembering just how much they are loved and how precious they are to their parents (and in my case, grandmother). You posts always bring me hope and I love love love your photos and your words. You are a treasure Jess.ReplyCancel


  • Allison - What an absolute doll! I know exactly what you mean when you say that watching your kids grow is both heartbreaking & amazing at the same time!ReplyCancel


  • nee - So sweet. Always enjoy checking in on you Macs!
    Happy Birthday too!ReplyCancel


  • Jill - Your comments are so inspirational. Thank you for sharing your journey.ReplyCancel


  • Becca - Joy, that is the word that comes to mind when I see photos of Levi. Your boy exudes happiness. He seems to greet each day with pure joy, that is a good thing. You must be so proud of him and all of your children.ReplyCancel


  • Amie - This post made me teary!❀️
    Each as we hit milestones with Jaylee I always think of Cora! She is still such a big part of my heart! you all are still in our hearts and prayers!???
    Love and miss u!?ReplyCancel


  • EricaG - How did he get so big? Levi is such a handsome fellow. I just can’t believe how fast time passes.ReplyCancel