The Macs

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In case you missed the dedication and REALLY wanted to be there...
the video is up on the Grace website.

Click here to check it out.

Thanks Adam!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

last day

I didn't think this day would ever come.
The day where I could say "I made it".
My last day of work.

Today I re-read what I wrote in my journal back in April when I started this new job:

"Today I started a new job. It is only part time, I think it will be okay. But, I HATED driving to Newton knowing that I was going back to work. I cried the whole way. I felt like my heart was being crushed into a million pieces all over again. Why can't I be a stay-at-home mom? Why can't I raise Cora? Why did God take Cora from me? Now, I am driving to an office to be a receptionist--to force me to get out of bed and get dressed, to make the time pass. Just for a little while. I thought my purpose was to be a mom. What is my purpose now?

Well, it did go okay. I put my brave face on and made it through the morning without crying. The people there were so kind and helpful--many of them I know already. There is so much to learn and I feel so overwhelmed. Just overwhelmed with life in general. My mind still feels "foggy". It is hard to concentrate. Lord, please give me the strength to make it through each day. Please, allow the time to pass quickly. Please, allow us to have more kids soon!"

When I started that job we were not expecting. I didn't know how long I would need to work before the Lord would bless us with another child and I could go back to the job I love SO much--being a mom. I was struggling with so many things. I think I literally felt like I was drowning in my grief.

A friend shared this translation of Philippians 4:13 with me last week.
I am strong for all things in the One who constantly infuses strength in me.

I loved looking back at that journal entry today. I felt like finishing work today was a little step forward. A little glimpse of light in the darkness. And as I read my words from back in April I could see how the Lord has been, and continues to, constantly infuse strength in me.

I am so thankful that I don't have to rely on my own strength.
I couldn't make it through this on my own.
I couldn't.

So today I am thankful for this little step forward.
I know there are still going to be many days of missing Cora.
Many days when I still can't stop the tears.
Many days when I feel like I am taking steps backwards again.
He will help me get through those days too.

Today I am going to just celebrate that "I made it". I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to the days of being a stay-at-home mom again. It is getting closer!

Monday, September 28, 2009

many thanks

Wow! Where do we start? It is impossible to thank everyone who was involved in the playground project. I so wish that we could. These are a few thanks that we shared the day of the dedication...

We can’t tell you how loved and supported it makes us feel to see all of you here today. God continues to pour out His love to us through the body of Christ.

There are so many people we could thank today. It is hard to know where to start. We wanted to take time to specifically thank a few:

Ben Hutton & Hutton Construction--general contractor

Joel, Jason, Eric & PG Playgrounds

Kompan--playground equipment


House of Glass

ProFencing Co.

USA Shade

Sherwin Williams

Ian Johnson--designed Cora's Playground sign

Joe & Kasa--sign

Exquisite Gifts & their helium company--balloons and helium

Evan LaRue--sound system for dedication

Julie & Heather along with MANY Etsy vendors

(Julie started the Etsy fundraiser with her messy flower pins. Many Etsy vendors joined her in raising money for Cora's Playground. Heather stepped in to help organize the fundraising. It was so great to meet these two ladies in person! What a blessing to our family they have been.)

Sara--stickers for seed packets

Kris, Debbie, Janelle and the Grace Community Church Staff

Grace Community Church

Whether you donated your time and labor, gave to the project, or even prayed for our family, you all had a part in Cora’s Playground. Thank you.

Today is definitely bittersweet for us. Our hearts are heavy, as we would trade this playground to have Cora back with us in a second. While we don’t understand, it wasn’t part of God’s plan for Cora to be here today.

But the awesome part about today is being able to look back and see how God has worked so mightily in our lives and the lives around us through tragedy. We are so thankful to have this playground as a remembering stone for our family. Cora’s Playground will always serve as a reminder to us of our sweet Cora’s life and how purposeful her 341 days with us were. It will be a place that we can always bring our family and tell them of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

Thank you so much for being a part of that.

Most of all we just want to take time this afternoon to thank God for all He has done. Thank you for being here to join us in praising Him today.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

cora's playground dedication

On Sunday we gathered in the church parking lot to dedicate Cora's Playground.

I can't tell you how loved we felt to be surrounded by so many friends and family. Even seven months later there are so many who are still walking this hard road right beside us.
We are blessed.

We had the opportunity to thank the many people
who were a part of this project.
Our pastors shared a few thoughts.
We sang together.
It was such a special time.
Thanking and praising God for what He has done.

We watched with tears as those 341 balloons floated away.
A reminder of our sweet Cora's life.

And then we celebrated...

With cupcakes of course!

Even a few Etsy ladies were Kansas.
Heather, Megan, Julie, and Sarah were all at the dedication.
Megan was wonderful and hosted the three girls all weekend.
I LOVED meeting these ladies who have invested so much time and love into our lives.

I am so glad they are not strangers anymore.

And now this dream of having a playground is complete.
Thanks to so many people.
We would have never imagined that this beautiful playground would be the end result.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

Thank you Megan for capturing this day in pictures for us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


On Sunday we watched as 341 balloons floated up to heaven.
That is how many days Cora was here with us.
What a blessing those days were.
341 days that were so full of purpose.

Cora's Playground dedication was horribly heartbreaking
and wonderful all at the same time.
I couldn't stop the tears as I desperately wanted Cora to be there with us.
But I was amazed once again by God's love and faithfulness.
We were surrounded by so many people.
Dear friends and family.
And some amazing new friends.
So supported and loved.

I am still trying to process it all.
I will share more soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

everlasting joy

"Sorrow is one of the things lent, not given.
Joy is given; sorrow is lent.
Sorrow is lent to us for just a little while 
that we may use it for eternal purposes.
Then it will be taken away and everlasting joy
will be our Father's gift to us, and the Lord God
will wipe away all tears..."
-Amy Carmichael

A sweet reminder from a sweet friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

a reminder

It was several weeks after Cora went to heaven that Joel told me about this song.

I had heard it many times, but didn't realize how much meaning it would come to have for our family.

It was the song that was playing as we drove to the hospital with our sweet Cora. We didn't talk the whole way there. We were in shock and just cried as we wondered if our perfect baby could really have cancer. I don't even remember hearing the radio as my mind was desperately trying to make sense of what was happening to our family. But Joel remembers. God You Reign.

It was the song that played late that same night as Joel drove home from the hospital by himself. He was going to pack a bag for us as we found out we would be staying for awhile. We were anticipating Cora having surgery the next day. We were so scared. God You Reign.

And it has been the song that we have heard over and over as we try to continue forward as a family without Cora. It might be an overplayed song on the radio. But to us it is a constant reminder that no matter what we are feeling emotionally, the truth is still the same. God You Reign.

We both love that little voice at the very end of the song. Even though our little Cora was barely saying a few words when she left us, it is like she is whispering down a reminder to her mama and daddy.  A reminder that we are going to be okay. God You Reign.

I love how Lincoln Brewster explains the meaning behind this song.

I wrote this post at the beginning of last week. I was planning on finishing it and posting the next day. But then my week just seemed to fall apart. It was a hard week for both of us. I'm not sure what exactly it was. Maybe it is the seasons changing. Another reminder of "firsts" that we are missing out on with Cora. Maybe it is the playground dedication that is coming up, bringing with it so many emotions. Or maybe it is simply that we miss our baby girl and our hearts continue to hurt. It was just one of those weeks.

So today as I look ahead at a new week.  I think I need to be reminded again.

God You Reign.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Thank you Sara for making this sweet invitation for us!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

sometimes i wonder...

With Cora not being with us now, 
there are so many times I find myself wondering.

Yesterday I thought about Cora so much as she would have been 18 months old. It is hard to even imagine her that old. It is hard to believe that much time has gone by.

I wonder what she would be doing as an 18 month old.
What new things would she be learning?
What words would she be saying?
What would be her favorite thing to eat?
Would her personality be more like her mama or daddy?
How long would her pretty brown hair be by now?
What would we be doing together during our days at home?

I wonder why Cora had to get sick.
Why did God choose to take Cora home so quickly?
Why didn't He heal Cora?
Why did He choose to draw us and others closer to Himself through Cora's death instead of through her healing?

I wonder what our lives would have looked like this fall if she was here and everything was still "normal".

I wonder what it is going to be like to welcome this new little one into our lives.
Will he/she look like Cora?
Will we feel like first time parents again?
Will it be hard to use Cora's baby things for this baby or will it be healing?
What will it be like to have our arms filled again?
Will it be easier to be around our friends kids again?
Will we always be overprotective parents because of what happened to Cora?

Today as we sang Jesus Loves Me in church. 
I wondered why I was having to wipe away my tears because my heart was aching so intensely, instead of singing this sweet song with Cora in my arms.

I think many of these things I will always wonder.
I may never understand.
I will never fully comprehend God's ways.

But I know that when it comes to my relationship with God 
and my future with Him,
I don't have to wonder.

I will never need to wonder about God's love for me.
I will never need to wonder how my story will end.

A friend told me awhile back that this part of my life is like a really bad chapter in a really good book.  While I don't know what the rest of my story will hold, I can be confident about the ending. I know that the end of my story is so incredibly sweet that I can't even begin to imagine.

That is the TRUTH that keeps me going.  
That is the TRUTH that I will never have to wonder about.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

canadian cusine

While we were in Banff, Joel had to try this.


The french fries, not the hotdog.
We do have hotdogs in Kansas.

Poutine is french fries 
with cheese curds
covered in beef gravy.

That sounded awful to me,
but Joel said we had to try it.
He LOVED it.

And I have to admit...
it wasn't that bad.
I liked the french fries and gravy.
The cheese curds, not so much.

Now Joel is convinced that I need to learn how to make poutine.
We'll see.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

cora dresses?

I know I said we would stock Cora's at the end of August.
I know today is September 1st.
Where are the Cora dresses?

The serger is out of the box.
We are sewing LOTS of dresses.

But, obviously they won't be posted until September.

We have lots of burpies cut out too.
We are trying out a few new ones.
Chenille burpies.

And because you have so patiently been waiting.
I think we will have a giveaway soon.
Keep checking back.