The Macs

Saturday, October 31, 2009

missing her

I couldn't help but pull out these pictures today...

I am missing my sweet little cuddly cow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

a new family

Joel and I have been involved in small groups ever since we were married.
And it seems like it is always the same with every group.
It takes about a year for everyone to feel really comfortable with each other.
It takes that long for people to be open and real and vulnerable.
It takes that long for those people to become more like family.

But it is amazing how this time it was so different.
In one weekend we gained a new family.
In one weekend we were vulnerable with each other, there was no avoiding it.
We shared our deepest hurts and struggles.
We shared our grief.

These are the eleven couples we spent the weekend with.
Eleven amazing couples. Each and every one of them.
Starting the first night together we shared our stories.
We sat in that big living room and told all about our sweet child.
We told about the tragedies and nightmares that we each had lived through.
Each story was different, but equally horrific.
We cried together.
And although listening to all those stories was really heavy,
there was something so neat about it.
We could relate.
We understood each other. And we felt instantly connected.

We loved being able to meet Bob and Lauren.
They too lost their first child, Robbie.
Shortly after Cora went to heaven, they sent us Nancy Guthrie's books.
Lauren has encouraged me so much.
She is so willing to share her story and answer my questions.
She is the one who e-mailed me and told me about the Respite Retreat.
And the best part was they were going to be there too!
Joel and I spent lots of time talking to them.
Their love for the Lord and dependence on Him is so evident.
We are learning so much from them.

We are so thankful for David and Nancy
and their willingness to share their lives.
The Lord is using their story to reach so many, including us.
Joel and I feel blessed to have met and shared our lives
with these eleven couples.
If we were honest, we would do anything to not be a part of this "club".
But this is our life now and these people really get us.
That was refreshing.
We are so thankful to have some new friends to travel this road with us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

still processing

This past weekend Joel and I headed to Nashville, Tennessee for a Respite Retreat. This retreat is hosted by David and Nancy Guthrie for couples who have faced the death of a child. Nancy is the author of The One Year Book of Hope that I told you has been so helpful to us.

We joked on our way there about what we were going to say to people who asked us what we were doing in Tennessee. You know, the well meaning flight attendant who wants to know if you are on vacation or visiting family. What would be their reaction when we told them we weren't actually in Nashville to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame?? Instead, we were coming for a weekend retreat for grieving parents. It would be just another of the many awkward moments we face these days. Thankfully, no one asked.

We picked up another couple from the airport and drove an hour outside of Nashville to this big, beautiful house. It is called The Hiding Place. Such a fitting name.

You (God) are my hiding place.
Psalm 32:7

There were eleven other couples, including Nancy and her husband, who joined us for this weekend. We each had our own little room in the house.

The majority of the weekend we spent in this living room. Sharing our stories, grieving together, learning how to move forward with the Lord's strength, and just getting to know each other.

It was a hard weekend. A weekend filled with many tears. There is so much that I am still processing. But, we are SO glad we went. We needed this time to grieve together. We needed this time to lean on and learn from so many others who are walking in our shoes. We needed this time to be reminded that Jesus himself speaks into our sorrows. There are no easy answers, but we can rest in the fact that we are grieving with HOPE.

We came back emotionally exhausted. Not quite ready to face the busy week ahead. Yet, at the same time feeling like we had some new tools to help us keep moving forward. I have so much more that I will share with you soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009


When Cora went to heaven we were given SO many books.
Lots of books on grief and grieving.
Many of them have been helpful to us now,
but at the time we were so overwhelmed we didn't even know where to start.
We knew we needed something.
But, reading book after book about grieving just didn't sound that great.

But when we received this book in the mail, something jumped out at us.
I think it was the word HOPE.
That is what we were so desperately needing.
HOPE in the midst of our despair.
A friend's sister sent this book to us.
She and her husband had been in our shoes.
They knew exactly what it was like to face such great tragedy.
They too had lost their first child and were left to face an empty house.
And Nancy Guthrie, the author of this book, has been in our shoes too.
God is using her story to reach so many people.
Isn't it amazing how God can use something so horrible for such glory?
I love that about the God we serve!

This book has been a lifeline for both of us.
It has guided us as we seek to understand true HOPE.
It has directed us to some amazing truths in the Word--
truths that we really needed to be reminded of.
And it has helped us remember that there is real HOPE,
even when our hearts are hurting so deeply.

I love this definition of HOPE that Nancy shares in her book:


the expectation of a favorable future under God's direction.

And Joel and I are actually going to have the opportunity to meet Nancy and her husband. We are so excited to learn more from them. I will tell you more about that soon...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

my small town post office...

...LOVES me!

This is what I hauled into the post office today.
All the Etsy orders are mailed. PHEW!
You girls are awesome!
Thanks for keeping Cora's in business.
Now we have a bunch of empty hangers, so it is back to sewing.
And thanks to you, business is booming at our local post office!

My sweet sister came over last night and helped me package everything.
I couldn't have done it without her.
Thanks Anne!

Five hours later, my floor was covered in Cora's packages.
If you placed a Cora's order it should be arriving soon.
If you missed what you were hoping to get, keep checking back.
We are working on more dresses already!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I love this.

I wonder about heaven so much more than I ever have before.
It is hard to even imagine what it will be like.
I know it is something I will never be able to grasp with my finite mind.
Heaven can only be grasped by faith.

But I do know that Cora is going to be waiting there for me.
To me, heaven is now the face of my little girl.
And it is going to be SO much more.

I love these words:
"But in my mind's eye I can see a place,
Where Your glory fills every empty space"
How awesome that will be!

However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

Thursday, October 15, 2009

sono #2

Baby Mac is 28 weeks.
That meant it was time for our second sono.
On Monday we headed to Wichita for another trip to the specialist.

We were so nervous.
That drive to Wichita, almost in total silence, seemed all too familiar.
The same trip we took to the hospital over eight months ago.
Except this time Cora wasn't in the back seat.
It is times like these where Cora's absence seems to be screaming at me.
The memories, fears, and pain come rushing back.

Although the waiting and anticipation of that appointment was scary and uncomfortable, I think sometimes I need those times of quiet.
Time to just think and pray.
Time to remember that God has brought us this far
and He is not going to abandon us now.
Time to rely on Him and His strength to get me through another hard thing.
Time to remember that I need to continue to trust.

We walked back into the specialist's office,
having to face Cora's hospital again right across the street.
I tried not to even look.
It is amazing how just being there--not even in the hospital--causes so many pictures, memories, and emotions to start flashing through my mind.
I hate that!

We had the sonogram first.
Baby Mac was moving around again like crazy.
I think we have a wiggly one {and maybe ornery one like daddy} on the way.
The technician talked to us through the whole thing,
and from our perspective it seemed like everything was looking good.

They were going to specifically look at the baby's adrenal glands at this appointment.
That is where Cora's tumor started.
When the doctor walked into the room she flashed a big smile and said,
"Aren't those the most beautiful adrenal glands you have ever seen?"
I think I was still too nervous to respond much,
but it was so wonderful to hear her excitement.
She reassured us that everything was looking great.
Baby Mac looked perfect, adrenal glands and all.
She even gave us a hug when we left.
We are so blessed to have such kind people taking care of us.

And so we are past one more hurdle.
It is hard to believe in a little over 10 weeks
we will be meeting this new little one.

And we even got away with another picture.
Want to see?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

we're ready

We're finally ready...

Cora's is stocked.
Lots of new stuff.
Cora dresses, burpies, tees and more.

Go check it out.

Oh, and make sure you check out My Charming Kids too.
MckMama is hosting a Cora dress giveaway sometime today.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

are you ready for your makeover?

And the winner is...
#158 Kelly
I visited the Polka Dot Plum and my favorite kit is Sweetcheeks!

Congratulations Kelly! You can contact Danielle to get started on your new look.

And if you didn't win, don't forget that Danielle is still offering some great discounts for EVERYONE else!

$10 off a pre-made template
$10 off your deposit for a blog makeover
(Just mention that you came from The Macs when you contact her.)


25% off a digital scrapbook order from Danielle's shop
Use coupon code: themacs25off

Both of these offers end Wednesday, October 14th.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

blog makeover

Have you noticed my new look?
I know you have because you have left so many nice comments.
Isn't it fabulous?

When Cora was in the hospital Judy contacted me about Danielle giving my blog a makeover. At the time I was too overwhelmed to even think about changing my blog. But several months later after many people suggesting that I should get a blog makeover, {hint, hint} I decided to see if Danielle was still interested in helping me.
Danielle is the very talented lady who is responsible for my new look. My favorite part is the rotating photo header. Love it!
Not only does Danielle do blog makeovers, but she also has a new shop at Polka Dot Plum. She has some great digital kits for all the scrapbookers out there.

And not only has she been so kind to me...
but she also wants to share the love with one of my readers.

So, it is time for a giveaway!
Today, I am giving away a standard blog makeover. If your blog is needing a new look, now is your chance to win one for FREE!

To enter, simply leave me a comment.

For extra entries:
1. Grab my new button.
2. Become a follower of Danielle's design blog.
3. Visit Danielle's shop at Polka Dot Plum and share your favorite kit.

Please be sure to leave one comment for EVERY entry.

And if that isn't enough, Danielle is offering some great discounts for EVERYONE else!
$10 off a pre-made template
$10 off your deposit for a blog makeover
(Just mention that you came from The Macs when you contact her. Offer ends Wednesday, October 14th)


25% off a digital scrapbook order from Danielle's shop now through Wednesday, October 14th
Use coupon code: themacs25off

Comments will close on Saturday at 8:00pm.

Thanks Judy and Danielle for making my blog makeover possible!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

so close

We thought we would be ready by the end of August...
then September...
but it is looking like October is going to be the month.

Since I am finished working, my mom and I have been sewing like crazy.
Trying to catch up.
We are getting so close to being ready to post everything.

I am not going to give you a date though.
I don't want to be wrong again.
And I hate not following through on my promises.

So, keep checking back.
We will be posting very soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

still growing

The baby bump pictures are back!
Although it is more than a baby bump now.
Six months--26 weeks to be exact.
I had another appointment today.
My doctor told me that next week I would be in the third trimester.
Three months until we get to meet this little one.

My appointment today was good.
Uneventful, which we are always thankful for.
I am gaining PLENTY of weight--probably too much.
Although my doctor hasn't said anything about that yet,
so I think I will just keep eating...
because pregnant ladies can do that right??
And we got to hear that sweet baby heart beat again.
I love that sound.
I will go in for another sonogram at 28 weeks.
Otherwise, so far so good.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family and Baby Mac!