The Macs

Friday, December 18, 2009

craft retreat

This week has been crazy and emotional (that seems to be a trend lately).
My heart has been heavy for many reasons.
So, on a lighter note, I thought I would show you what I did this past weekend.

I spent the weekend in this lovely house.
With eleven other lovely ladies.
It was my first craft retreat and it was well, lovely!

I packed up all my crafty stuff.
Joel thought I was moving out, but I couldn't leave anything behind.
I had several projects in mind to work on.

My main goal for the weekend was to work on Cora's scrapbook.
I never started one for her.
I have wanted to finish her book before Baby Macs arrival.
But every time I would start looking at pictures, it was too hard.
I couldn't do it.
I would just cry.
This weekend forced me to print of pictures and get started.
I know that I will be so thankful to have this.
I was reminded of how many precious memories we have with our sweet Cora.

 I was a little worried about going on this retreat.
I hadn't been away from Joel since Cora died.
I didn't know if it would be too emotional to work on Cora's book all weekend.
And not to mention I was nine-months pregnant.
Joel had just pointed out to me how loudly I had started snoring at night.
I was a little worried about that too!
But my friends graciously let me have the one-person room.
That way I wouldn't have to bother anyone!!

While I was scrapbooking, the other girls were working on so many fun things.
Like these coasters.

And these drawing notebooks.

Wrapping presents and listening to Christmas music.

And even working on blog books and Christmas cards.

I worked on a few other projects too, like this one.
I'll tell you more about it soon.
And Cora's book...
It isn't done, but I got a good start on it.
Maybe I will share that with you sometime too.


Blogger Kat said...

May God Bless you. I know her book will be precious and wonderful when it's finished and bring you many sweet and wonderful memories of your time together. Best of luck with the arrival of Baby Mac.

December 18, 2009 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

It looks like you gals had an awesome weekend - what a fantastic idea!! I saw Meg post about it on her blog (and saw your super-cute little baby bump!). Good for you for working on Cora's album :) It will be something you will treasure and will mean so much to Baby Mac.

With love & prayers :)

December 18, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What an awesome idea to have a craft retreat! I would love to see Cora's book when you are ready to share it.

December 18, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

jess...that book is amazing. not only so very special and sacred to you but girl...YOU are one awesome scrapbooker! really good. it is such a beautiful book . i hope you do share it with your blog support group.
we love you.
and i am still disappointed i didn't get to deliver baby mac at maple memories! or at least bring you ice chips! i like excitement. :)

December 18, 2009 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Todd and Courtney said...

oooo Jess, I have been working on Lauren's scrapbook all day. She's 13 months and I never did start until recently. I so wish I could find a fun retreat to go on like that. I can't wait to see your finished project!

December 18, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Utecht Family said...

It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad that you were there!!! We all felt pretty accomplished I think, the fellowship was great, and the food - well it was awesome, right? :-) Hopefully when little Baby Mac isn't so little anymore, we can all do it again!

December 18, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You continue to amaze and inspire me. You are a beautiful person, inside and outside! Thank you for continueing to share with us.

December 18, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

That looks and sounds like an amazing weekend!! Praying for you!!

December 18, 2009 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I'm so glad you went! Sometimes it's these things we need the most! :)

December 18, 2009 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Carpenter's said...

I remember doing Graycee's baby book and it was hard but very rewarding. I love to show her off every chance I get. You will too. I am thinking and praying for you and baby Mac!

December 18, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger The Carroll's said...

What a special weekend with good friends. Praying for you guys as you go through so many emotions. Thank you for continuing to share your heart with us.

December 18, 2009 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Shana Putnam said...

I know that was hard for you but i hope it was healing also. I pray for you guys daily.

December 18, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous DIana said...

Good for you! And Meg there wrapping her gifts, that was just cute LOL!

I cannot for one minute say I can imagine trying to make a scrapbook for Cora... I get bleary-eyed making a single scrap page for my Mama who has been gone for 39 years now! But you and Joel will have a treasure when you finish that book. It will certainly be filled with all the love you and God put into it!


December 18, 2009 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

How awesome! I wish I had some gals in my area I knew that I could do something like this with. I am glad you had a good time. You deserve it!

December 18, 2009 at 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Jess, you take the most wonderful pictures! I have been reading your blog since Jan. when I saw Nancy (a friend of Joel's relative, Andi) had posted a prayer request. I have never stopped. I also read (that is the past tense) some of your friends' blogs...I don't know why, but I was trying to wrap my mind around what had happened. Some of them I continue to read as well today. I saw that Meg had been on this retreat...I think it's great that you were there, too. I hope that it was a time for some healing, and some sweet moments with girlfriends. A time to realize that in spite of your weaknesses (I hope this comes across the right way, I mean it like "our weaknesses" as humans) that His strength will prevail. I hope your homecoming was wonderful as well.
It is heartbreaking to read about these things, but encouraging as well. As you move forward, holding on to all that the Lord has given you and has promised, you continue to see and believe and pass on His goodness. Thank you for being such a light. He shines in and through you.

December 18, 2009 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger Anderson Family said...

It sounds like a lovely weekend and a wonderful idea. I am sure Cora's book will be a blessing...Rachel

December 19, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger L ~ S said...

I have never heard of a craft retreat, but it sound like a fantastic idea!

December 19, 2009 at 3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a neat lil place and a great weekend! Girl time always helps when I am feeling blue. Continuing to pray for your family. Love and Hugs!

December 19, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

Hello sweet Jess,

How are you? It was an awesome idea to go on this crafty retreat... good times with the girls, tears of rememberance, and the last outing for a while since baby Mac is coming soon! I miss you and am so proud of you continuing Cora's scrapbook.... I am sure that is a sweet but bitter challenge for you! You are soooo strong in so many ways! The new baby will love learning about and seeing the big sister that is watching of him or her! We miss you all so much and am thinking about you even more during the holidays. It is hard to believe it has been almost a year since we were at Wichita together.... It is one experience that changed our lives forever..... You have brought so much to our hearts and minds! Wishing you all the excitement and joy of this new baby! Yes I am still late on the x-mas cards so I am assuming it will be a NEW YEAR card and pictures! tell your families hello and give lots of hugs from us! Take care and enjoy the last few weeks of sleep.... love you!


December 19, 2009 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Miranda said...

It looks like so much fun! So many crafy ideas! Hope you enjoyed your time.

December 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Miranda said...

It looks like so much fun! So many crafy ideas! Hope you enjoyed your time.

December 19, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Corinne Doughan said...

Please do share all of your projects. You are very talented and creative and I love looking at your work.

December 19, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Look at you crafty girls!

Glad you had such a good time.

December 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Alaina said... glad you had a great weekend. I keep checking your blog, praying for a safe and happy delivery! Blessings. Oh...and thanks for posting your most recent pregnant pics. You are so stinkin cute! Merry Christmas to you and Joel!!!!!

December 19, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger MyLinda said...

A craft retreat sounds SO fun!! Seems like you had a good time and accomplished a lot even through your fears and pain :-)

December 19, 2009 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Jane In The Jungle said...

Isn't it great just to get away with the girls! A group of bloggy buddies went on what we called Estrogen Extravaganza in Nov.
Just fun....and there will be more!

December 19, 2009 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger momofgirls said...

I just want you to know that the Lord has really put it on my heart to pray for you during this time. I can't even begin to imagine the mix of emotions you must be experiencing....I am committing to pray for you and Joel every day until precious Baby Mac is born (and probably long after that as well). I know that I've never met you but you truly are in my thoughts and prayers every day!!

December 20, 2009 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

What a wonderful opportunity to be with some incredibly talented women. I love the idea of this. Nothing else to distract from your creative endeavor, and loads of friends to make it fun. I'm so glad that you were able to work on a book for Cora. I'm sure that book will be a blessing to be able to look back at with Joel and your sweet baby Mac. Big sister Cora's photos will surely be a blessing to you all.

May the Lord's peace continue to be with you in this most precious season.

With love and prayers,

December 20, 2009 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

This sounds SO fun! I would absolutely love to go on a crafting retreat and have all that time set aside to create. I like that it was a general crafting retreat instead of just a scrapbooking retreat. How inspiring to see all of the different crafts that people were working on! I'm glad that you had a sweet, encouraging environment to start working on Cora's scrapbook in. Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2009 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Jon and Katie Evans said...

I love this idea...a craft retreat...sounds like so much fun! Do you or any of your friends use a particular website for the blog book? I have been wanting to make one!

December 20, 2009 at 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fun weekend. The scrapbook will be a wonderful treasure for you. I am intrigued by the are they made?

December 20, 2009 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger jbreeden said...

Cora's book will be amazing! You are such a good photographer and have the most awesome photo of her!! What a great memory book it will be.

December 20, 2009 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

You went with Meg! So fun! I remember my first craft retreat. I have probably been on 11 or so no. Such a nice time.

I am so glad that you worked on Cora's scrapbook. I am sure it was not the easiest thing but I think you are right that you will be so glad to have it. I also find scrapbooking to often be so theraputic. To go back and look through things and process . . . good stuff. And to be around ladies you supported you (and gave you the one person room, that's huge!) is precious.

I hope this weekend has been good for you and that this coming week is filled with just exactly what God intends, perhaps some joy, laughter, reflection, a few tears, settling into His arms over and over again, family (even if it's not quite all the family members you'd like) and that He will walk right beside you through all of it and hold you up and see you through and bring you joy and peace! That's why He came afterall.

God's richest blessings on you, Jess and Joel and Baby Mac! Kelly

December 20, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger onlymehere said...

What a wonderful thing for friends to do together! It sounds like it was just the ticket for you. There were some dang cute things going on at this retreat!

December 20, 2009 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

What an awesome idea - and how terrific to have some concentrated time in a warm loving environment to work on Cora's scrapbook and remember all the special times you had with her. Praying for you always.... and looking forward to seeing Baby Mac!

December 21, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Lil Mama said...

I love the handmade notebook cover that you have pictured in your blogpost. DO you know where I can find the pattern or directions on how to make it. I have a 5 yr old and she would love this! Thansk:)

December 21, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Good for you! It is so hard to take the first steps sometimes. You are so brave and strong even though you may not feel that way. I made a scrapbook for my little angel as well and I cried through the whole thing. I am so grateful that I did it though. I go back through it once and awhile and still cry through it. God has granted us such burdens but so much love too. Sending you SO much love and we are all so excited to meet baby Mac.

December 21, 2009 at 9:15 AM  

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