The Macs

Sunday, May 31, 2009

playground equipment

Here is the Kompan equipment that I was talking about:
This one is called the Home/Rescue Story Maker.  It is so cool.  It is a house on one side and a fire truck on the other side.

We picked the Fairy Castle just for Cora.  We thought she would have loved this one!

Elephant spring ride.


Daisy.  Doesn't that look like so much fun?

Daffodil.  Joel thought this one was kinda boring, but I know there will be some kids that will LOVE it!

We were so thankful to be able to choose all this equipment.  I have always loved early childhood stuff, so I was so excited when Hutton Construction told us about Kompan.  They have a line of playground equipment designed specifically for 2-5 year olds.  It is so bright and colorful and different from anything I have ever seen.  I love it!  We have shed many tears thinking about how much fun it would have been to take Cora to this playground.  But, we know this playground will serve so many other kids.  Maybe even some of Cora's siblings some day. We are so thankful for that!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It doesn't look like much now, but this is the future sight of Cora's Playground.

I know some of you were expecting a park with grass and trees.  This is it.  It seems small, but Hutton Construction and the guys at Kompan have plans to turn this into an amazing playground space.  They have donated so much time and energy to this project.  We are so thankful for their talents and willingness to help!

The playground is attached to our church nursery.  All the equipment was picked specifically for the little ones (ages 2-5).  Just right for all of Cora's sweet friends.

New flooring and a shade structure are part of the plan too.  Everything is going to be so bright and cheery.

We were hoping to help improve this playground a little.  Who new that because of the Cora's Playground project it would get a whole "playground makeover".  We are humbled and amazed by the overwhelming response to this project.  This playground will serve as a remembering stone to our family of our precious Cora and all the lives she continues to touch.  We can't say thank you enough!

Oh, do you want to see some of the equipment we chose?  I will work on that for the next post...

Friday, May 22, 2009

just a few

I am getting ready to post a few more Cora dresses.

I know there are not many this time. Hopefully it is enough to tide you over until next week. If you are patient there will be more...I promise! This has been a crazy/hard month.

Here is a little glimpse at what we are finishing up for next week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

cora's playground

Cora's Playground is in the works.

Over $40, 000 has been raised.

Can you believe that?

We are blown away by your kindness and generosity.  
Seriously, blown away.

Papers have been signed and the equipment is ordered.

If all goes according to schedule, 
Cora's Playground will become a reality by the end of the summer.

We have enough money to get started.  Any additional donations that come in will be used to help cover the final details: 
benches, a plaque, etc.

We don't know what else to say except thank you!

Pictures and more details coming soon...

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This weekend was full of graduations and parties.

My brother graduated from college and Joel's sister graduated from high school.

We are so proud of both of them.  They have accomplished so much and are really seeking God as they plan for their futures.  

My eyes flooded with tears at one point during the high school graduation.  The tears just kept coming and coming and they wouldn't stop.  I couldn't help but feel so sad that we would never be sitting through Cora's graduation.  I sat there wondering what Cora would have been like. What would she have accomplished during high school?  What would her talents and passions have been?  What would her character have been like?

That evening I sat and cried to Joel as I told him about all these dreams that I had for Cora that are crushed.  I would never get to see my baby grow up and graduate.  While Joel was feeling sad for the same reasons that day, he gently reminded me of something.  He reminded me that Cora already has been promoted.  Her promotion to heaven is so much more incredible than any high school graduation I could dream up for her here on earth.  She is in the best place she could be--in the arms of our Savior.

But it still stinks to be left here without Cora.  Feeling at times like we are barely surviving. While it was Cora's time to go home, it is not ours yet.  God hasn't completed His work in our lives.  So we keep pressing forward.  Resting in His sovereignty even when we don't understand. And looking to see how we can live for Him even in the midst of grief--until the day when we too receive our "heavenly promotion".  

Many are the plans in a man's heart, 
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

To man belong the plans of the heart, 
but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue...

In his heart a man plans his course, 
but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:1,9

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

so thoughtful

You Etsy ladies are so kind.  

My mail box was full with over forty Mother's Day cards this past week.  My mom was asking me if I had gotten any cards.  She asked if they were from people I knew.  Some of them were from my dear friends and family, but a lot of them I didn't recognize the names.  She smiled and said that they were from the Etsy vendors.

So thoughtful...

I looked back through the cards and recognized many of the names of people who had sold items for Cora's Playground.

Thank you for making me feel so loved during such a tough week.

You all are the best!

And of course thank you to my sweet friends and family who remembered me and prayed for us this weekend too.

Speaking of Etsy...I know we are a little behind with our shop.  We are still sewing dresses.  We have about 10 dresses ready, and 10 more that are almost done.  I'm not sure if we will post this week because it is crazy busy around here with two graduations this weekend.  I will keep you updated, but look for more dresses coming next week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother's day

Today has been a really hard day.

It is now on the list of top 10 worst days of my life (as my mom would say).

I knew it would be hard for me, but I didn't expect how hard it would be on Joel too.

We both walked through today thinking about what Mother's Day would have been like if Cora was still here. I knew that Joel would have had so much fun with Cora making this day special for me. We talked about some of the things he thought he and Cora would have done for me. It is hard to let go of those dreams.

Last Mother's Day we stood in front of our church family and dedicated our little girl to the Lord. We were so in love with Cora and we truly wanted the Lord's best for her life. We were committed to seeking His guidance as we raised her. 

As we dedicated Cora that day, we had no idea how short our time would be together. We had no idea that the Lord would call our little girl home so soon. We had no idea that He would ask us to walk this hard road without her.

We prayed that God would use Cora's life to glorify Him. He did. I am still amazed that God could use a sweet 11 month old little girl to impact so many people. He had a plan for her life. A BIG one!

I am so thankful that the Lord chose me to be Cora's mama. I wouldn't trade those precious 11 months we had together for anything. And even though I don't really feel like a mom today, I am so thankful that I am Cora's mom.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, May 1, 2009

the best job EVER

Being a mom is by far the best "job" I have ever had. 

Before Cora was born I was a kindergarten teacher. I taught for four years. I loved being a teacher. I loved working with kids everyday. But, when I became a mom there was just no job like it.

I resigned from teaching in May. I went back to work for three weeks to finish out the school year. I knew I could do it for only three weeks. But even for such a short time I hated being away from my baby.

I LOVED being a stay-at-home mom. I have always wanted to stay home with my kids. Joel and I had planned on making it work so that I could stay home when we had kids. It was something that was important to us.  I loved being with Cora and experiencing all the daily routines together. I loved watching her grow and learning new things. I loved being there for all of her "firsts". It was amazing! I loved telling Joel about our day--no matter how uneventful it really was. I loved being a part of a mom's group at church and joining a Bible study with other young moms. Of course I had my days and moments when I needed to get out of the house or needed a break. After all, I am human. But really, I loved it!

I think that is why I am having such a hard time transitioning to this "new job". 

I had thought about teaching again or working with kids in some way. I loved it before. But, I just wasn't ready to make that commitment yet. I wasn't sure I was even ready to be around kids all the time. I prayed a lot about it. I prayed that the Lord would make it really clear to me if I was supposed to work again.  I didn't really want to work, but I wondered if it would be good for me. About two weeks after I started praying about it an opportunity pretty much fell into my lap. It wasn't working with kids or like any other job I had ever had.  I was so hesitant, but Joel and I felt like that was what I was supposed to do--for now. So, four weeks ago I started working part time. This is my fourth week to be back to work. I am working three half-days doing receptionist type stuff. I work with wonderful people. I know a lot of them which is so nice. They know that my life is not "normal".

Even after praying through this and taking the job I REALLY wrestled with God. Especially the first week. I started questioning. Why? Why would God want me to work in an office instead of be a stay-at-home mom? Why would God take my daughter away from me? Why? 

You know that job that I described earlier? Being a stay-at-home mom. THAT is the job that I want to be doing. Being Cora's mom and staying home was part of my plan. Losing her and going back to work was not part of my plan.

Sometime I get to the point when I am so frustrated with my emotions. The point when my heart fills so full of despair because of what has happened. The point when I struggle to understand how such a horrible thing could be part of God's loving plan for my life. That is when I have to fall back on what I know about my Lord. Who He is and what I know to be true about Him and His character. He does love me--more than I could ever comprehend (Romans 5:8). Losing Cora was part of his plan for my life, even though I don't understand. And He promises in all things to work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He promises to make ALL things new (Revelation 21:5). He promises me a HOPE and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And he promises to walk beside me and comfort me along the way (Psalm 23:4). How great is our God! (2 Samuel 7:22)

I am trying to take this new job, just like everything else, day-by-day. I am praying that the Lord will help me to be content with where I am at. To take this time to grow closer to Him and listen to His voice. And I am praying that He will bless us with more kids some day... that I can go back to that job that I love so much.

You can't beat being a mom! 

a visit from...

fairy princess.

My little niece Ellie came to stay with me for two days last week.  She even spent the night. She is so sweet. I really enjoyed having her around. She would just follow me around and help me do things. She talked a lot too. I loved having someone to talk to. Oh, and she ALWAYS wanted to wear her princess outfit. ALL DAY. She actually brought along two. It was fun. It made me miss Cora so much though. All the things that I did with Ellie--those were the things that I had dreamed about doing with Cora this spring and summer. Just hanging out. Together. I miss the noise and joy that a child brings to your house. I miss that so much.

Ellie called everything in our house Cora's. I LOVED  that. I loved how Cora was still such a part of our family to her.  She wanted to go in Cora's room, read Cora's books, play with Cora's toys, take a bath in Cora's bathtub, and blow Cora's bubbles.

She told me that she was going to blow some bubbles to baby Cora up in heaven. With tears in my eyes I told her that I thought that baby Cora would love to get bubbles from her. She blew them as high as she could.

The day was filled with lots of tears, but good tears. Tears because of all the wonderful memories I have with Cora. Tears because I miss her smiles and noises filling our home. Tears because I miss feeling like a mom. Tears because Cora wasn't there to have a sleepover and play princess with her cousin Ellie. And tears because Cora wasn't here to meet her newest cousin, Esther Marie.

My sister-in-law had a little girl last week. Ellie stayed with us because her parents were in the hospital with her new baby sister. The emotions we were feeling when we heard about Esther and saw her for the first time were so hard to deal with. We were feeling such joy that Bill and Olivia were blessed with a healthy little girl.  Truly a precious gift from the Lord.  But we were filled with such sadness as we remembered the joy that overwhelmed us when Cora was born. The reality that she is not here for us to hold and love hit again. Bill and Olivia were so sweet and understanding. They told us we didn't need to come to the hospital because they knew it would be too hard. It was the same hospital where Cora was born. It is so hard to balance such a joyful thing with the deep sadness that our hearts are still feeling.

Thanks Bill and Olivia for letting us spend time with Ellie. Thank you for being so understanding and crying with us even during this joyful time in your lives. Esther is precious. She is so blessed to be a part of your family. We love you!