The Macs

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

workin' cattle

Wow! Thank you so much for your many comments yesterday. It made my day to read through them all. Really, it did. What an awesome privilege it is when God entrusts us with a child. We are praising God for this new little life and are so excited for Levi to be a big brother. Thank you for rejoicing with us! I will keep you posted along the way...of course!

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Levi has a deep love for cows. When he sees a cow, he moos. When you ask him where the cows are, he points and moos. When we read about cows, he moos at every cow picture.

Anytime we visit the farm, Levi will leap out of my arms to the first person who will take him straight to the cattle pens. The farm is this little boys dream world.

Joel got in a shipment of cattle last week and he told me to bring Levi to the farm so that he could watch them work the new calves. Basically working cattle means giving each new calf an ear tag and shots (that is a simple farmer's wife explanation).

Levi got out of the car and started mooing immediately. He loved watching the cows...and his daddy too.

He had a front row seat as each calf came out of the shoot. He thought it was pretty great...for about five minutes.

And then he spotted his daddy's four wheeler parked nearby. He left the cows and walked directly to it. I set him on the seat thinking that would keep him content for awhile.

It did until he realized that he couldn't make it go. And that his mama doesn't ride four wheelers like his daddy does. Bummer.
And then the uncontrollable tears came. A fit like I have never seem from him before.

And he never recovered. I tried to distract him with the cows, but he kept walking back to the four wheeler...pointing and crying. And we finally had to just go home. With no four wheeler ride.

Contentment is so hard...for all of us!

Monday, March 28, 2011

a new shirt

Levi wanted to show you his new shirt.

He can hardly believe what it says.

I've been trying to tell him that it is BIG news.

But he told me he already is SO BIG.

We are thrilled to announce that Levi is going to be a big brother.
Baby Mac #3 coming in September!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

the weekend & giveaway winner

Friday the weather was so nice, but such a tease for the rest of the weekend.
The rest of the weekend has been COLD.
In fact, snow is falling right now as I type this.
I thought winter was supposed to be over??
I guess it has been a good weekend to stay bundled up inside watching lots of basketball.
Levi thinks otherwise.
He prefers to be outside over watching basketball.

So, on Friday we played outside as much as we could.
Levi really likes sitting himself down on the back step now.

We got out some sand toys and he worked in the flower beds.
Such a helpful little guy.

And when he got tired he went back to resting on the step.
Oh, and he has almost outgrown those cute little Converse shoes.
How does that happen so fast?

But even with all the fun new things he is learning to do,
he still reverts to eating rocks.

At least he is polite.
He always offers one to his mama too.

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The winner of the Danielle Moss pre-made template is:

#83 Benae!!!

Congratulations Benae! Please e-mail me to claim your prize. And don't forget the discount that Danielle is still offering to the rest of my readers:

Discount is good through TONIGHT, Sunday, March 27th. Place your deposit for a custom design or order your pre-made by tonight and send Danielle an e-mail to let her know that you came from The Macs.

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I finally finished Levi's shirt. My first fabric dying project is done and it was so fun. I may be addicted now! I'll show it to you tomorrow. And I have another giveaway lined up for this week too. Hope you had a good weekend. See you in the morning!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

danielle moss {a giveaway}

The Spring cleaning is in full swing around here. The closets are mostly done...unfortunately the paper piles are mostly still here. I think the paper de-cluttering may take me a few weeks...or a few months. So, I decided to do some Spring cleaning on my blog instead. It is much more fun. Probably because I don't have to do any of the work. I just send my ideas and pictures to Danielle and she makes my blog space look beautiful. If only that would work with cleaning my house too. A girl can dream.

You can find Danielle over at Danielle Moss Graphic Design and Photography. She can't help you with cleaning your house, but she can make your blog look beautiful!

She has some great pre-made blog templates starting at just $25...

Danielle also does custom blog my blog. Did you notice the two new headers? I love the first one so much. It is such a good representation of my family. All four of us...three of us here on earth and Cora in heaven. Separated for just a little while.

Danielle also does photography, stationary & print, logos & graphic design, and digital scrapbook kits. Make sure you check out her website.

Not only did Danielle make my blog so lovely, but she is offering a special discount to my readers.

Discount is good through Sunday, March 27th. Place your deposit for a custom design or order your pre-made by Sunday and send Danielle an e-mail to let her know that you came from The Macs.

It gets better...

Danielle is also giving away a pre-made blog template to one lucky reader!!

Giveaway Details:

Pre-made blog template by Danielle Moss

ONE winner chosen at random

Up to three entries per person

Giveaway ends Friday, March 25th at 10pm (CST)

To enter go check out Danielle's pre-made templates and
leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite pre-made design

Want extra entries? 
Get up to two extra entries by becoming a follower of Danielle's blog 
or becoming a follower of The Macs!

Monday, March 21, 2011

not the monday i planned

Just a quick hello on Monday.
Today was full of all things I had not planned.
I had planned on getting caught any normal Monday.
Cleaning my house...
making food for company tomorrow night...
and taking time to go over what I am sharing tomorrow with a MOPS group.

Instead most of my day was spent comforting this poor baby.
He is still fighting some sickness.
So we went to the doctor today instead.
Levi has ear infections now too.
Yuck. No wonder he has been so grouchy.

I did manage to get a smile or two out of him despite the many tears.
It is hiding behind that pacifier that he is not really supposed to have.
But a sick baby needs his pacifier to get through the day.

Now Levi is sound asleep and I am taking some time to think and pray about tomorrow. As I was reading through my notes I was struck by how one of the same struggles I am sharing about, was a struggle again today. Since we welcomed Levi into our family he has brought so much joy into our lives. But along with the joys has come a whole new realm of trusting God for me. I easily could life my life as a sad, worried, and over-protective mom after losing Cora. I get a pit in my stomach every time we visit the doctor...which happened again today. Sometimes it is hard for me to even hold back the tears because I don't know if I am being a paranoid mom or if Levi is really sick. Thankfully Levi's pediatrician is so patient with me. So again today, I had to pray that I would embrace the fullness of who Jesus is - the ultimate answer to my deepest needs. He is faithful and by my side through every ear infection and doctor visit. He understands my fears and tears. May I always be faithful to trust Him.

Not the Monday I planned, but a good reminder of something God has continually been working on in my heart. And I got in some extra cuddling time with my little Levi. He is so busy these days I need to take advantage of every moment...cuddling doesn't happen very often any more. If you have time would you say a prayer for me tomorrow morning as I share? I am praying that the Lord would use His truths that I have been standing firm on to encourage the ladies who are there tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

the shelter of God's promises {giveaway winners}

Wow! How encouraging to read the promises of God that you all are standing under. It brightened my weekend! I know that many of you are facing some really hard things. I am so thankful that God's truth is an anchor for our lives even through the storms. Keep standing under the shelter of God's promises!

Here are the book winners:

A: today the promise i am standing under is based on job 42:2: I know You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. great giveaway! i hope i win ;-)

Colleen: ...that His JOY is my strength!

Jessica: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32 Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

The Schillings from Cimarron: Hi Jess, How are you? As always I am reading and smiling at your blog! You are such an inspiration to so many. You have shown me the way so many times and brought me back to what is important! Bless you for that! Give Levi and Joel a big hug for us! Still pray for you daily and wishing you lots of love from above! miss you all! God's love is forever in my heart and daily life. "Love NEVER fails" and so is God's promise to love and forgive those that are lost and in need.

Rob and Corrie: Oh! The other night I sat down and went thro' some specific things that were on my heart, and promise from Scripture that "took care of" each one of them! So tonight, I am thankful that "His divine power has granted to us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence..." {II Pt. 1:3} Love and thanks.

Congrats ladies! Please e-mail me your mailing address so that I can send you your book.

Friday, March 18, 2011

the shelter of God's promises {a giveaway}

Where do you turn for shelter in the worst storms of life?

At my Bible study a few weeks ago, our lecturer said that we turn to the phone before we turn to the throne...or texting, or blogs, or facebook, or twitter, or however we stay connected with people. So true. We often run to the first available person, looking for a quick fix. Someone to listen to our worries or sorrows. Someone to assure us that everything is going to be okay. And yet we fail to go straight to our Maker, The One who knows us best. We are swayed by our ever changing emotions and forget to stand firm on God's Truth. We forget to stand under the shelter of God's promises. And God's promises will never fail us!

I just started reading The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh. As I read the first chapter I was struck by these words:

I would not have made it this far without the promises of God.

As I began thinking about the promises of God and what they have meant to me in my life, I could so relate to those words. I would not have made it to where I am today without the promises of God. When Cora died I was forced to ask myself if I really believed God's promises. Did I really believe what I had always said I believe? I had to choose to hold onto God's promises when everything around me was falling apart. And I am so thankful I did. God's promises are true. God's promises are dependable. God's promises give us hope and a future even when everything else comes crashing down. There is no way I would have made it this far without the promises of God.

I am excited to read more and join Sheila on her journey of searching Scripture to find what God has promised us and what His promises mean.

Would you like to read along too? Thomas Nelson Publishers has given me five books to giveaway to my readers. Yeah! Oh, and did I mention that this book includes an in-depth Bible study? So, you can grab a group of friends to read along with you and do the study together.

Giveaway Details:

The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh

FIVE winners chosen at random

One entry per person

Giveaway ends Sunday, March 20th at 10pm (CST)

To enter leave a comment in today's post
(bonus: tell me one of God's promises that you are standing under today)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My sister heard this song on the radio last week and told me that I had to listen to it. You have to listen to it too. The words made me cry. SO good. 

-Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

The words to this song really spoke to me as I often struggle with that word "blessing". We prayed and prayed for Cora's healing and then when she died wondered if God had heard our cries. And not only did we wonder if He had heard our cries but also the cries of many others who were so faithfully praying along with us. We were begging the Lord to heal our daughter and yet Cora was not healed her on earth. Where was the blessing in that? Cora's death felt like a curse not a blessing. And again this week as I hear about the suffering and heartache going on around the world I wonder how God can be working amidst such huge tragedy.

Are God's ways so hard to understand? Yes. Do I still have so many questions? Yes. But I am reminded that I serve a God who loves me way too much to give me lesser things. He always gives me exactly what I need. He gives me the best. I may not understand His ways, but He has given me so many promises in His Word and I have to choose to trust Him.

Life is full of disappointments. But one thing we can be sure of is that when we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. What an amazing promise. The disappointment and pain are reminders that this world can't satisfy us. It reminds this heart that this is not our home.

Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
Isaiah 49:23

Monday, March 14, 2011

monday morning

Good morning. We are spending yet another day hanging out in our jammies. Levi is still sick. But at least he is sleeping through the night again. Unfortunately Joel is sick now too. I guess he felt left out! I feel like I need to open all my windows and clorox every surface in my house. But it is too cold to do that. There was a little snow on the ground this morning. Craziness. Go away sickness and snow!

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On Saturday I worked all day on my closets in between taking care of sick Levi. I am almost done. All the clothes have been sorted and boxed up for either garage sale or consignment. I still have to work on Levi's closet but it shouldn't take as long. Yeah for clean closets!

This morning I clicked over to Simple Mom to find out what hot spot #2 is. I prayed as the page loaded that this week's project would have nothing to do with paper clutter. NOOOOOO!! Of course, this week's hotspot is paper clutter. This is the worst area of clutter in my home. I keep way too much paper...thinking I may need it someday...and I am not good at organizing the papers I keep. I would be embarrassed to show you the many baskets that are hiding around my house full of unorganized papers. I laughed when she said to gather all of your paper clutter in one box. I'm pretty sure it will take a dump truck to hold all of my paper clutter! may take me longer than a week, but this week I am tackling my paper clutter. If you have any great organizational tips let me know!

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I'm pretty sure I will go crazy from sorting through papers so I am hoping to find time to make Levi a new shirt too. I was inspired by the one Ashley made for her son. I have never dyed fabric before, so we will see how it turns out! :)

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

hooray for the weekend

It has been a long week.
Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty crummy.
There wasn't much getting done around here.
Wednesday I felt so much better and then BOOM,
Wednesday night Levi decided it was his turn to be sick.
He was up all night which meant nobody slept very good.
Thursday was a long day with a very sad, sick baby.
We went to the doctor and thankfully it is just a really bad cold.
We are back to breathing treatments because he was starting to wheeze again.
There hasn't been much happening around here,
or many pictures being taken,
or much sleeping for that matter.
But each day I think we are getting a little better.
Which is why we are so glad it is the weekend.

Part of my "be intentional" goal this year involves organization.
I am not an organized person.
I wish I sister is extremely organized.
But I don't think I I was blessed with that gene.
At the beginning of the year I started reading Organized Simplicity.
It is such a good book.
Just what an unorganized mama like me needs.
But it is overwhelming too.
So, when I saw Project Simplify over at Simple Mom I was excited.
She is focusing on one hotspot in your house each week for five weeks.
That seemed much more doable to me.
This week I was planning on joining her and tackling my closets.
Then we all got sick instead.
So, I started my closet project yesterday when Levi finally fell asleep.
Nothing like starting a huge project on Friday, right?

We have two little closets besides Levi's closet.
One in our bedroom and one in the guest room/craft room.
I love old houses except for the lack of closet space.
And if you are already unorganized it is an even bigger problem.
What you can't see is that the closets overflow into the rest of the rooms. :)

I made some major progress yesterday.
Joel's closet is done.
Shelves wiped off, vacuumed and everything.
And it feels so nice.
I have to finish my closet today and then start on Levi's.
I may have to finish next week, but at least it is getting done.
I even have a friend doing this along with me.
When you are unorganized you need accountability,
otherwise I would probably give up!!

When Levi woke up from his nap we snuck the sick boy outside for some fresh air.
It was beautiful yesterday afternoon.
As he was walking around the yard he noticed his swing.
He wanted to swing so badly but it was all tangled up in the tree.
We tried and tried to get it down...he was getting so frustrated with me.

But then dad came home and rescued the tangled swing.
And Levi was so happy.
He loves to swing.

I have to go tackle my closet now...while Levi is asleep.
He is not much help with the whole organizing thing. :)
Hope you have a good weekend.
I have some great giveaways lined up for the rest of March.
And some fun news to share with you next week.
I know it has been quiet around here, but keep checking back!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This is what Levi and dad have been doing on dad's bath nights. Levi thinks it is pretty great to hang upside down. He was giggling until I pulled out the camera. I guess I was ruining his fun. Dads always make things more fun than moms, right? Or at least that is how it usually works around here. Gotta love a fun lovin' dad!

It always takes me a few days to recover after an emotional day like Saturday. I feel relief to have another hard day behind us but the emotions just wear me thin. I kind of feel like I have been hanging upside down like Levi and now I have to straighten everything back out and get on with "normal" life.

So, we are still here. Just hanging out. Thankful that these hard months are behind us and ready for the warmer days of Spring to come. Thanks again for your sweet comments and many prayers.

Hope you are having a good week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

three pink balloons

Thank you so much for your sweet words and many prayers.
I can't tell you how much it means to us.
Once again, on a very emotional day, we felt so loved.

We started Cora's birthday off with a trip to the donut shop.
We ate lots of donuts in her honor.
Levi thought it was great.
The rest of the day was very low key.
Nothing special, just spending time together as a family.
But we did take a trip to the cemetery...
and released three pink balloons for Cora's third birthday.

Levi helped me.

But he was getting impatient because I couldn't get the balloons untied.

And then I just about lost my balloon releasing partner.

But I managed to get his attention again.

And we let go of the balloons one by one.

Then we watched them float away.
Three pink balloons for sissy's birthday.

Friday, March 4, 2011

march fifth

Three years ago tonight I was getting my tired, pregnant self ready for bed, totally unaware that in just a few hours my life would forever change. A few hours later, after falling asleep, I awoke to my water breaking. I hardly even knew what was happening. It was five days before my due date. Everyone had insisted to me that your first baby never comes early. But five days early or not, our first born was ready to make an appearance. I think I was pretty much in shock as we drove to the hospital very early that morning. Could it really be that easy? My water breaks and then we have a baby? I remember talking to Joel on the way to the hospital about the names we had chosen. I still wasn't sure about the boy name. I'm sure Joel thought that I was a crazy lady as I once again started to debate about boys names in the middle of the night, on our way to the hospital, as my contractions were starting. I didn't have to debate with him about the girl name. I loved the name Cora Paige. I was feeling all of the conflicting emotions of a first time mama--excited, scared, nervous, and overjoyed that maybe my swollen feet would return to their normal size in the near future. Of course meeting Miss Cora Paige wasn't that know, like my water broke and boom we had a baby. There was a lot of pushing involved. I mean a lot.

March fifth is a day that I will never forget. A day that came as a total surprise. A day full of anticipation as I waited to hold my first born. A day when I found out that I had a daughter...a little girl. A day when I felt like my heart couldn't be any fuller...ever. It was an amazing day. A day that forever changed my life. March fifth is the day I became a mama.

Tomorrow we once again face Cora's birthday. This will be the third birthday that we have celebrated without our sweet girl. My baby girl would have been three. is that possible? Oh how my heart longs to know Cora as a three year old. The past few days as the sadness has been creeping in on me again I have wondered how different my life would look right now if we were preparing to celebrate my little girl turning three. I wish I knew what Cora would have been like as a three year old. What would she sound like as a jabbering toddler? What would her favorite color be? Would she have been a girly-girl or a farm girl helping her daddy? What kind of birthday party would she have begged for? What presents would we be wrapping up for her? What would I be saying to my little girl as I greeted her on the morning of her birthday?

Instead of a fun birthday party with all of our friends and family we are wondering once again how to mingle the celebration of the day our daughter was born with the deep grief that our hearts are filled with. Instead of filling our house with balloons and presents and cupcakes we are planning when to take flowers to our sweet little girl's grave. It all seems so wrong. So wrong in every way. And if I let myself dwell on what tomorrow will look like in "reality" instead of what my heart longs for it to look like, I so easily can slip into despair.

So tomorrow, on March fifth, I know that I need to choose to remember that I am one blessed mama rather than dwell in my sadness. On March fifth my life was forever changed. When I saw Cora Paige and realized that the Lord had chosen me to be her mama, I felt like my heart was going to explode. It was love at first sight. An instant bond between mama and daughter. And then to see Joel fall head-over-heals in love with his little words can describe what that was like. And I wouldn't change anything about that day.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

Just like all of the other days that the Lord ordained for our sweet Cora, March fifth wasn't a surprise to Him. On March fifth He already knew that the fearfully and wonderfully made little girl that I was holding in my arms wouldn't live to see her third birthday, or even her first. He had created sweet Cora to fulfill a big mission in the short eleven months that she would live on earth. The Lord knew that the days written in His book for Cora would look so different from the days we would have chosen for our daughter. And yet he chose us to be Cora's parents. He chose us to be part of His plan for her life. He chose me to be Cora's mama.

Tomorrow, on Cora's birthday, I want to remember the blessing that March fifth marks in my life. I want to remember the incredible privilege it is to be Cora's mama. I want to praise the Lord for the day my daughter was born. His works are so wonderful, I know that full well! Of course along with my praises there will be many tears because the reality is that I miss Cora more than words could even describe. But I think that is okay. He understands. And just like March 5th, 2008 wasn't a surprise to my Lord, March 5th, 2011 won't be either. Happy birthday to my sweet Cora Paige.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

his first picnic

The weather was beautiful again today.
So, after Levi's nap I decided it was the perfect day for his first picnic.

We loaded up in the car and headed to the park.
We found a sunshine-y spot and spread out our blanket.

I think Levi thought it was pretty awesome to eat his lunch outside.
And I loved hangin' out with my little guy in the sunshine.

I had torn off some pieces of Levi's sandwich for him to eat...
because that's what I always do.

But today he decided he could handle the whole sandwich.
He looked like such a big boy eating his big sandwich.

After we finished eating Levi had to check out the whole park.
He loves exploring and being outside.

I'm pretty sure he thought he was in heaven.
And he loved watching the other kids playing.

He could have stayed there all day.
I think there will be many more picnics and park dates in our future.

But before we went home someone thought he needed a snack.
It makes you really hungry when you play so hard! :)