The Macs

Thursday, August 13, 2009

banff & cows

Joel and I have always wanted to go to Banff.

We almost went there on our honeymoon, but it didn't work out. So, it was perfect that we could spend our 7th anniversary there instead. My aunt and uncle let us borrow their car and we hit the road for three nights in Banff.

Just as we had heard, it was beautiful.

The first day in Banff we did a lot of driving and walking around.
There was so much to see.

This first day in Banff was also one of the hardest for me on the trip. Banff is very touristy, so there are tons of families on vacation. Tons of strollers and tons of cute little kids. Everyone is taking family pictures and taking pictures of their kids. Having so much fun TOGETHER.

I think that observing all of these families was another reality check for me. There were going to be no pictures of Cora on this trip. It was just me and Joel. And then I began thinking about how Cora would never be in our family pictures again. She will always be part of our family, but not visibly. That was hard for me to grasp. Hard for me to imagine. 

We walked through this beautiful garden. There were flowers everywhere. And while most people were taking their sweet pictures like I said. I just cried. I wanted so badly for Cora to be toddling around the gardens with us. I wanted to take a real family picture in the beautiful scenery. But instead we just walked and talked and I cried some more.

And then after I did my best to compose myself. We took our own "family" picture in the gardens. With my crying eyes and all. It was the best we could do!

After dealing with all of those emotions we decided that we needed a treat. 
That always makes you feel better right?

We spotted this ice cream place that looked very popular. 
Seriously, every night we were there there was a line going out the door. 
But that didn't stop us.

I think it was the cows that lured us in. 
It made us feel like we were back home in Kansas.
Except our cows are definitely not that cute.
And there is no ice cream.

It was worth the wait. 
The ice cream was SO good. 
In fact we went back EVERY night we stayed in Banff.

Thanks to Cows, I think my ice cream cravings have begun. 
It is for the baby though, right??


Blogger K said...

I don't remember exactly how I came across your blog, maybe Megan Duerksen via a photographer she highlighted....who knows!

I am so sorry for your loss. I have a little one that is 15 months. I can't even begin to understand your feelings...I admire your strength and perseverance in light o9f these circumstances and see God shining through you. Thank you for being a beautiful example of God's love...

Congratulations on the little blessing that you are carrying!

I had to comment because banff is one of the favorite places that I have visted! I never made it to that ice cream shop through! I missed out!

God bless you both.

August 13, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger The Boccias said...

Yes, Jess, it's time to give that baby some ice cream. :) Mine has had a lot of cookies lately. Oopsie.

We are thinking of and praying for you both daily.

August 13, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

I hope you are having the absolute time of your life! Beautiful pictures that almost cool me off in the 100 plus degree Texas weather...

August 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger purejoy said...

how beautiful to spend time together as a family. memories of cora, you and joel and you sweet little one. what a neat memory to share. and the scenery is beautiful. i'm praying that your pregnancy goes well and i can't wait until you welcome your new little baby and how he/she'll grow up hearing about the big sister.
you continue to be in my prayers, and i appreciate so much your honest grieving.

August 13, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Dina said...

You are beautiful, simply beautiful in every single way:-) A friend of mine lost a child recently and she said something that'll I'll never forget. "I miss him sooo much but I would never take heaven away." I had never quite thought of it that way and I have never experienced such grief but what she said really stuck.
You are an amazing woman...stay strong and beautiful:-)

August 13, 2009 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Elisa Seaba said...

Enjoying your trip posts! Wow, that first picture is gorgeous!!

August 13, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

What a wonderful trip for you two! You and Joel and Cora will always be a family in your hearts. And soon, you will have another little one - what a blessing.

August 13, 2009 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

That baby needs lots of chocolate ice cream. And maybe even a coffee milkshake occasionally.

Still thinking of you daily.

August 13, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

My heart breaks every time I read your blog and the tears flow freely. I just want to wrap my arms around you and squeeze!! The pictures are beautiful and I think you look great!
Hugs and prayers,
Heather~On the Homefront

August 13, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Aching for you, Jess. I can't even imagine how badly it hurts.

Hugs and kisses for your tears!

August 13, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

I'm amazed that I've never seen Canada this beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pics. It's so good to see you guys taking time together. I can only imagine how hard it is without Cora, but I thank the Lord that you have each other to understand & to just be. Keep walking. You'll get somewhere better. Still praying!

August 13, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Danyele Easterhaus said...

i am in awe of how awesome you guys are! i'm gla dyou took the pics in spite of the tears, bc u look great! as for the ice cream...yummo! i want me some, right now~!

August 13, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

Banff looked beautiful! I know Cora was there with you in spirit!

You look beautiful, crying eyes and all! Jess, thank you for being such a beacon of light in a dark time. You are a true inspiration.

August 13, 2009 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Juliann said...

God bless you, sweet mommy.

August 13, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

ice cream ALWAYS makes me feel better ;)

August 13, 2009 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

I am so sorry for your broken heart. :(

Those pictures are very beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Oh, and yes, the baby needs ice cream! I bought mine a whole 1/2 gallon at the store last night! LOL

August 13, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Trasie Bressler said...

I think I say this every time I comment on your page.....But seriously, YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I love the family picture of you and Joel. Cora is with you every where you go because she is in your heart and she is in the Sunshine that you see everyday.

Many Many Blessings,
Trasie Bressler

August 13, 2009 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Todd and Courtney said...

Enjoy the ice cream :) It looks yummy. I still think of ya'll every single day...every single day. I'm so exited for you and your new little baby girl or boy

August 13, 2009 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart hurts for you..I can't imagine the emotions you are going through but it is Ok to let yourself have these emotions..It's ok to miss your sweet Cora and to acknowledge that you miss everything about her.
You look wonderful with that little baby bump :)
Love the pictures, love the look into your lives, trips etc...

You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday! as you can tell from my blog stalking :)


August 13, 2009 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Keilani said...

I am so glad to see you have some fun! The pics are beautiful. I have been following you two all along your bittersweet journey. Truth be told, you two are an inspiration to me. You make me a better person, and Thank you for letting all of us "in" on your journey with all of it's ups & downs. Bless you both!

August 13, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

You still look beautiful tears and all. I understand how you feel. ((((hugs))))

August 13, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am so sorry for this Jessica. heart aches for you. I am praying!


August 13, 2009 at 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

You should always give in to the ice cream craving when its for baby! Good source of least that's my excuse right now. :) Glad you guys had fun in Canada. Beautiful pictures!

August 13, 2009 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger portlandmortons said...

I came across your blog a few weeks ago, and have been wanting to comment. I have a niece named Cora, and she bearls a striking resemblance to your Cora...maybe that's why I kept reading. I am so glad I did! Your blog has truly blessed me. I have a 14 month old son, and I cannot imagine what you have gone through, but reading your blog has made me stop and look at all that God has provided. So thank you so much.

P.S You should really check out The Pipers blog. She has gone through losing her daughter, and she truly has some inspiring words. Thank you again, and God Bless

August 13, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I visited Banff last September. Our vacation to Banff National Park and Jasper National Park ranks as my favorite vacation. Everything there was so beautiful. I am so glad that you and Joel were able to experience such a magnificent place. While I was there I just kept thinking how incredibly creative our Creator is! What a mightly God we serve. I think about you often and pray God continues to give you hope and grace each new day.

August 13, 2009 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a beautiful family...Cora's spirit shines through you both....

August 13, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Totally for the baby!!
I love the pictures of you will be so glad that you took them. You're beautiful in all your honest glory.

August 13, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Falling Around said...

You're still beautiful with your "crying eyes" as you called them. Your strength is truly a miracle from God.

Yes, baby mac NEEDS that ice cream. You just eat away until the doc tells you to slow down... lol.

August 14, 2009 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger Aaron and Shannon said...

Uh-oh....I had the ice cream cravings too! It was really bad for a eating it almost every day! It's gone away, but I still like it!!! You look great Jess. Glad you had a good time!

August 14, 2009 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Princess Martha said...

I so believe little Cora's spirit was playing in the garden while keeping a close eye on you both.

The ice cream looks divine...a little far away from Austalia though :(

August 14, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

What a beautiful place -- neighborhood too. It makes me want to go to Cananda. I hope you two had a nice "get away" and that you're feeling well. We look forward to seeing you in a few months, right? (did you get an email?)

Still in our prayers!

August 14, 2009 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Karina said...

I have your blog bookmarked in a file called "Inspiration."

Your crying eyes are still beautiful, especially since they are windows on such an honest and caring soul. You convey your loss so well, and Cora herself has touched your readers profoundly - she is an inspiration in photographs, the perfect embodiment of what we think of when we say "angel."

I must go to Banff one day, too, and get myself some Cow ice cream!

August 14, 2009 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

Praying for you daily - my heart aches for you - and has joy for you and the new blessing that you are carrying at the same time. Seeing the pictures I now know where I want to go

And yes - those babies need LOTS of ice cream!

August 14, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger i love plum said...

how fun! you are too cute with your little belly :) xo

August 14, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Girl, I can't even begin to imagine the emotions you go through day to day, but I'd think it's all part of the healing process, as hard as those moments are!

Ya'll look like you had such a GREAT time!!! :)

August 14, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

beautiful photos :) it's so green and lush there. you and your husband are adorable. thanks for sharing little pieces of you.


August 14, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

you are the sweetest, most beautiful thing ever. Even with those crying eyes.

August 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You bring tears to my eyes as I imagine your feelings of loss and deep longing for Cora.

August 14, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Kelly | Fabulous K said...

hi there! I tried emailing your mom, via Julie @ Joy's Hope, but never heard back from her. I love your blog and would love to give you a free blog design makeover!. Please email me at fabulousk {at} ymail {dot} com.

I look forward to hearing from you!

thank you,

August 14, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

Just a quick note to tell you that we are still praying for you in IL. The process of understanding this new life is long... we will pray you through.

August 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Biggs said...

Praying for you guys...glad that you got away a little bit...what beautiful pictures

August 14, 2009 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger jandkland said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and stories about your wonderful trip. I'm glad you and your husband were able to go, to get away, to focus on each other, to remember and grieve together, and to have fun with each other.


August 14, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Hi Jess and Joel.
It looks like Banff was wonderful! What a beautiful place! I am so happy that you got to share this time together.
I think that baby definitely needs ice cream! ;)
Love and prayer for all of you.


August 14, 2009 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Furious Mom said...

I havn't commented in a long time. I am glad you had a fun trip. I live in Calgary which is about 1 hr from Banff, I have never tried that ice cream though! Thinking of you often!

August 18, 2009 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How beautiful to spend time together as a cream ALWAYS makes me feel better...i think baby needs more ice cream..great trip lots of fun...thanks..
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August 20, 2009 at 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that I've never seen Canada this beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pics!!!!
I imagine how hard it is without Cora, but I thank the Lord that you have each other to understand ...
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August 21, 2009 at 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you want your little one with you during these times. I am crying with you right now. Knowing that the yearning in your heart will not go away....I am so sorry.
All my love. If I was there, I would hug you tight.

August 23, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, great to see you raving about Cow's Ice cream. I am from Prince Edward Island (that is a province in Canada)and that is where the Cow's company came from!!!! I remember having Cow's ice cream many years ago on our summer trips to a popular tourist spot close to my home. Glad to see you had a great trip despite the ache that lingers in your heart! Love the ultrasound picture, my babies are big now (7 and 9) and they did not do pictures when I was pregnant with mine, i always wished I had some to look at! Prayers to you and your new baby.

September 6, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

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