The Macs

Monday, March 9, 2009

pink balloons

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!


Blogger kati said...


March 9, 2009 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Mike, Chelsea and Co. said...

What a sweet tribute. She is greatly loved and missed my many. You are a perfect mom and dad for little Cora.

March 9, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Lacey said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger ........ said...

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...

March 9, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Sa-Sea said...

Such an amazing tribute! You are truely an amazing mom!!!

March 9, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

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!!

March 9, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Keep Your Eyes on the Stars said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Teaching by Mom said...

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, Rachael

March 9, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger The Drama Mama said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger In This Wonderful Life said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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."

March 9, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger The Jones' said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.


March 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Brian and Staci said...

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 :)

March 9, 2009 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Suzi K said...

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'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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger MidnightMom said...

So 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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Linkis Family Love said...

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 <><<

March 9, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger e family said...

All those pink balloons against that beautiful blue 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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Trasie Bressler said...

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!!!

March 9, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger The Veers said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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.


March 9, 2009 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger angela said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger KK said...

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

March 9, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer W said...

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

March 9, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pink balloons" from Norco CA

March 9, 2009 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

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

March 9, 2009 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Kelly @ Life As A Martin said...

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 Mississippi

March 9, 2009 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Elisa Seaba said...

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!

March 9, 2009 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Polka Dot Moon said...

A heartfelt tribute to your beautiful baby girl from her amazing family.

March 9, 2009 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

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

March 9, 2009 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

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 Oklahoma

March 9, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 9, 2009 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

You're such a wonderful mother. What beautiful pictures.

March 9, 2009 at 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a cake to celebrate here in Perth Western Australia

March 10, 2009 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger lgraves said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger madelyn said...

March 10, 2009 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Birdcage Designs said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Amber Filkins said...

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...


March 10, 2009 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Kerri said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger Staci said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger momofgirls said...

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!!

March 10, 2009 at 1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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 :)

March 10, 2009 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger Dinee said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger Candice said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 1:49 AM  
Blogger Sally's World said...

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 xxx

March 10, 2009 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger my Beautiful Little Bird said...

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,

March 10, 2009 at 1:59 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

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

God Bless them.
God comfort you.

March 10, 2009 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger littlemissmk said...

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...

March 10, 2009 at 2:19 AM  
Blogger sos said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 10, 2009 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger carri z. said...

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

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.

carri z.

March 10, 2009 at 2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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 hope

March 10, 2009 at 2:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.


March 10, 2009 at 5:05 AM  
Blogger patentguy said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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..

March 10, 2009 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger hoosier68 said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger Sarah Furlough said...

What a sweet celebration of Cora's birthday! I know she must be so proud of you all.

March 10, 2009 at 6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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


March 10, 2009 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Monica said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

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 -


March 10, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger ~Cherie said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray that those precious memories will be a part of your comfort. I am so glad that you have them.

March 10, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

The gratefulness you're showing right now just blows me away.

March 10, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Misty Rice said...

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.

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....

March 10, 2009 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger THE SPIVEY"S said...

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.

Donna Spivey

March 10, 2009 at 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

all the bests.

reader in tx

March 10, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Miranda said...

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, Miranda

March 10, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.


March 10, 2009 at 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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....

March 10, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger The Carroll's said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

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

Olathe, KS

March 10, 2009 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Kristin Stegent said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger purejoy said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Micah said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger La Familia Garcia said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.


March 10, 2009 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Megan Barber said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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...

March 10, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

What a great celebration in Cora's honor! Praying for you and yours.

March 10, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Courtney Kay said...

happy birthday cora... my prayers are with your family

March 10, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Tammie said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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...


March 10, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

what else can be said?
My heart is broken for you.....
....she was lucky to have you too.....

March 10, 2009 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger amy said...

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!!!

Amy B.

March 10, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!


March 10, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger said...

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. Michele

March 10, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger forever folding laundry said...

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....


March 10, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

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, Christine

March 10, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger 2 Babes in Boyland said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger  My Trendy Tykes said...



March 10, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

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...

March 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

hugs! What a wonderful tribute to such a special little girl! =D

March 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Laura Marchant said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Thank you for sharing... Your family has touched my heart.

March 10, 2009 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger sarahross said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Falling Around said...

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 Klein

March 10, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger leahneer said...

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. xoxoxoxoxo

March 10, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger michelle said...

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:

March 10, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

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 Homefront

March 10, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

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!


March 10, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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..

March 10, 2009 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

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..

March 10, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Mrs. MK said...

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....

March 10, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger angie c said...

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. oxoxo

March 10, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Vanessa and Company said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure you add that "Cora knew love" to your list.

March 10, 2009 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

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 :-)

March 10, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Amanda Burkett said...

Happy Birthday Cora-angel. All of our love.

March 10, 2009 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger The Gardners said...

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...

March 10, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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 CT

March 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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...

March 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Happy Birthday, Sweet beautiful. I cannot imagine the glory of the celebration in Heaven.
Praying His continued comfort for all of you...

March 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger The Mommy said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Al's World said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

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

March 10, 2009 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Clare Therese said...

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.


March 10, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger texasinafrica said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi REDISKE said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Scarlet O'Kara said...


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

March 10, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

you are an amazing, amazing, mother.
much love and many prayers

March 10, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

March 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

It sounds like the perfect celebration for Cora. Blessings on you all.

March 10, 2009 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Sarah Furlough said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 10, 2009 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Hollymark said...

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 Kentucky

March 10, 2009 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Lemon Lollipop LLC said...

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. :)

March 11, 2009 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

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, Laura

March 11, 2009 at 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

March 11, 2009 at 2:11 AM  
Blogger Immeasurably More Mama said...

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.

March 11, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

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 VA

March 11, 2009 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger i love plum said...


March 11, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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 Virginia

March 11, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

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.

March 11, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Lacie and Stephen said...

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!

March 11, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!!

March 11, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely, lovely celebration. Happy birthday to Cora.

March 11, 2009 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

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!


March 11, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

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!

March 11, 2009 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Angela Yosten said...

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

March 12, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Madison Sanders said...

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!

March 12, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Bethany said...

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.

March 12, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Marlene said...

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.

March 12, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

You are so strong. I am continually thinking of you and your family. *huge hugs*

March 13, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Lipstick said...

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

March 14, 2009 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely day with us.

How beautiful!!!!!!!

March 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger cancersucks said...

sweet, sweet angel, Cora!

March 14, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger BabyD said...

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.

March 16, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 16, 2009 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read posts like this, I just want to envelope you in a hug and tell you how much I wish I could bring her back for you too. I am so glad that you have so much love and support in your life and that you had an opportunity to focus on the many, many memories you DID have together. Happy birthday, momma. And happy belated, sweet Cora.

March 16, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

March 17, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

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