The Macs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

levi + griffin

There are many moments that I wonder how our days would be different if there were two little kiddos running around my house as we welcomed Baby Brother into our family. I wonder how different things would be if Levi had to take on the role of little brother instead of only knowing what it is like to be the oldest child...and now big brother. I wonder how my sweet and serious little girl would have interacted with my silly and ornery little boy. And I wonder how she would have responded to a new baby coming home. I think it is okay to wonder. Cora will always be one of the siblings after all. But when I dwell on "what should have been" it makes me so sad. So sad for Levi and the relationship with his sister that he has been missing out on. So sad that our family will never be whole here on earth. So sad that all my babies aren't here...together. I have had to grieve all of those "should have been" things, but I am learning that I can't dwell there. That wasn't God's plan for my family. When I start focusing on what "should have been" I am often reminded of these words that the Lord pressed deep on my heart at the Respite Retreat: invest in the living.

Levi has been my only child here on earth for the past 20 months. And now I am the mama of two boys. I can choose to dwell on "what should have been" or I can invest in these little boys that the Lord has entrusted to me. What a gift they each are. The Lord has used Levi's little life to restore our joy in so many ways. He has brought noise and laughter to our house again. And in many ways his being our "only child" has been a gift. I treasure the time that we have had together, just us. And now the Lord is using Griffin to remind me of the life that God continues to bring to my family even in the face of death. A reminder of His continued faithfulness through both sorrow and joy.

I have only known what it is like to have one child at a time. So, this transition of going from one to two kids has brought on some big emotions for me. I have longed for the day when I could see my kids together. I dreamed that Levi would love Baby Brother the second he laid eyes on him. While I still treasure that moment when I first saw my two boys together in the same room...that is not exactly what happened. In fact, Levi was so out of sorts the first time he came to the hospital that I didn't even really think to take any pictures. I was too overwhelmed. Levi wouldn't even come see me. He started crying when they put him on my bed. I think the hospital bed and the IVs scared him. And then it was time to meet Griffin. They put Griffin in his lap and he pushed him away and said "done now". Those are words we have heard quite frequently lately. :) Levi was definitely not himself and he didn't stay at the hospital long. I knew that probably could happen, but man it is hard to see your baby not acting like himself.

Levi came back the next day and did much better. I wasn't hooked up to the IV anymore but he still didn't really want to sit with me on the bed. He preferred to look from a distance.

He was much more interested in Griffin though. Griffin often has his little fists clinched and every time Levi notices it he tries to give him a bump (fist bump). So cute.

He leans in to give him kisses, but usually doesn't actually kiss him. It is more of an air kiss. :)

We had a little gift for Levi at the hospital from Griffin. Levi loves his soccer ball and whenever you ask him who it is from he says "Baby Griffin". I love hearing him say his brother's name.

We even got Levi to sit still long enough to hold his baby brother the second day. 

He is very interested in Griffin's paci and gently pushing shoving it in his mouth whenever he can. Amazingly, he has only tried to put it in his own mouth once. He always says it is "baby's paci". Thank goodness taking away Levi's paci didn't backfire on us!

So here are my boys together. Love. It has been a hard transition for Levi to not be the only one at home anymore. And it has been a little hard on his mama's heart to see him not acting like himself and not lovin' on his mama like he usually does. But we all are transitioning. Each day has been a little better and I think Levi is almost back to himself. So glad. 

So here we are. Another transition that we made it through. Two sweet babies at home now. 

I can't wait to invest my days in raising my two boys.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

country fair {for the locals}

The weather here has been gorgeous. 
Hello fall...goodbye yucky, hot summer.
Are you looking for something fall-ish to do this weekend?
Are you local {sorry far-away blog readers}?
Do you want to help bring a sweet little boy home to his forever family?
If so, check this out...

Our friends Ryan and Christy Vogt are in the process of adopting a sweet little boy from Russia. Their family and small group have put together this great fundraiser event to help raise money to cover adoption expenses. How fun!

Here are just a few things that will be going on at the Country Fair:
*face painting
*water balloon launch
*bounce house 
*carnival games and prizes
*hay bale maze
*hay rack ride
*petting zoo
*barrel train ride
*photo booth
*silent auction 

You can even come dressed and ready for family pictures. Andrea Siebert Photography will be there to take family pictures for just $25. What a great deal! All the proceeds will go to the Vogt's adoption fund. For more information check out Andrea's blog.

You can get more information and a sneak peek of some things going on at the fair over at 

Monday, September 26, 2011

griffin's birthday

Thank you for your many sweet comments as we welcomed Griffin into our family. We loved reading through them all. I noticed some of you mentioned that it was a good thing that I took that 40 week picture when I did...well...I just might have known that I was going to need to take that picture a few days early. I scheduled that post knowing that we would be heading to the hospital Tuesday morning to finally meet baby brother. A blogging girl has to keep a few things secret, right?

I am not big on sharing every detail of my birthing stories. For some that is great...for me it is too much information. I am kind of a private gal...which is a little hard to believe when so many of you know so much about me. :) With each of my pregnancies I have had Joel keep a little journal of what happened the day each of our babies was born. My dad kept a journal the day I was born and I love having a record from his perspective of my birthday. So, here is just a little peek {without all the details} of the day Griffin was born...

10:45 - check in
11:30 - IV is in, monitors going, baby sounds good
11:40 - dilated to a 3
11:45 - start pitocin
12:15 - Joel goes to hospital cafeteria and eats a disgusting cheeseburger 
{Jess is starving}
1:45 - contractions every 2-3 minutes, starting to hurt
2:30 - epidural
3:15 - water breaks, dilated to a 4
3:30 - dilated to a 9
4:00 - feeling ready to push...waiting on doctor
4:13 - Griffin James born after one push

Griffin must have been ready to meet his mama and daddy because he came fast! We of course fell in love with him the instant he arrived. He is such a sweet, laid back baby. We think he looks a lot like his big sissy which is bittersweet...but I love that he has some of her features. Here are a few more pictures from the hospital:

All ready to go home in his new stripey outfit. We were so excited to get home and finally be together. My blogging will probably be a little sporadic for the next few weeks. I might be a little busy snuggling with my sweet baby boy and lovin' on my big boy too! I'm sure I won't be able to resist sharing a few pictures though.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

baby brother is here

Baby Brother arrived on Tuesday afternoon and we are all in love...well...Levi isn't so sure about the whole baby brother thing, but he will be in love soon too. We hope.


Griffin James
September 20, 2011
8 pounds 7 ounces
21 inches

We got home from the hospital this afternoon and are doing great. More pictures to come...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

40 weeks

Saturday will mark 40 weeks this picture is a few days early. Man, I am feeling every bit of nine months pregnant. It is definitely time for this little guy to be kicked out! While I love the comfort of feeling those kicks, I am ready to hold Baby Brother in my arms...or at least I think I'm ready. :)

At 40 weeks...

Baby Brother's room is not done. I told you that would probably happen. It is clean that is an accomplishment, right? Once we finish spraying the furniture it should come together pretty quickly. I promise I won't wait until Baby Brother is 15 months old to finish it! Joel told me that next time I should buy furniture that is already painted. :)

Baby Brother has a name. Woo-hoo! I still waver back and forth (that is totally my personality), but Joel is pretty confident (that is totally his personality). So, I am going to rely on his confidence and go with it...unless I change my mind in the hospital. :)

We are crossing off the days on our calendar. We have had a few arrows added since the first one. Lots of people think they know when Baby Brother is coming...or they are wishing Baby Brother would come on their birthday?! Either way, he will be here soon!

Levi and I talk about his baby brother all the time. He knows where his brother's room is, where he will be sleeping, what chair we will rock him in, and of course we have his new blanket all wrapped up and ready to go. We can't wait to meet him...and we can hardly believe we will be meeting him so soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

everything is about to change...

This week things are going to be changing around here.

I have been spending as much time with this little man as I can...and cleaning and getting ready for Baby Brother in my spare minutes. While I can hardly wait to see Levi and his brother TOGETHER, my heart is aching a little at the thought of not being able to give Levi my undivided attention. Baby Brother will be my third child, but I have never been mama to more than one child at a time here on earth. Cora had me to herself and Levi has had me to himself until now. I know it will be such a good thing and we will adjust. I know I will love being mama to two boys. But it is a change.

I never used to struggle with change like I do now. I think I have told you before that I moved around my whole growing up. My life was constantly full of new places, new houses, new schools and new friends. While every move was hard, I grew to embrace change in many ways. And I learned to see how good change was for me because it forced me to rely not on my surroundings, but on the One who never changes...Jesus.

When Cora died I faced a new kind of change. A change that was painful. A change that would change my family forever. A change that would change me forever. And ever since then I have struggled with change. I think the hardest thing is that I know with each new change {good or bad} it means we are moving on again without Cora. My family is about to change in an awesome way...a new precious life...but that means my family is changing again without Cora. And that is hard for me. I long for her to be a part of these changes too.

As my growing family is about to change, I am thankful for the One who never changes. I am thankful for God's truth that is an anchor in my life even when I am feeling emotional and uncertain about the future. I don't quite know what to expect with this new sweet baby, but I am confident that I can trust Him to be faithful no matter what the upcoming days look like. Although I hate facing change, I am learning that change is often the window through which God shows his faithfulness in my life.

This week I have been thinking on this:

Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

Lamentations 3:21-24

We taste God's faithfulness when we begin to trust him with our tomorrows and then watch to see what he does. Every morning presents us with an opportunity to experience a brand new creation, beyond the unique design of the day itself, unlike any other in history. Jeremiah learned to greet each day with an assurance that the Lord was his "portion"--that God is the one solid, unmovable, reliable part of any day. No one else delivers like he does.
- Chip Ingram

So, here we is time for a change.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Happy Friday!

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that this might be my last week of having just one little boy around the house. Crazy. No baby yet...hopefully soon. In the meantime, we are busy trying to get lots of little things done around here before Baby Brother arrives.

It was so fun to read all of your comments and stories from my last post. Levi is still doing great without his paci. Nights have been no big deal at all. Amazing. He is still crying himself to sleep at nap time, but it is getting better each day. And he still loves Ally. We are praying that the transition to having a baby brother around goes just as smoothly! :)

To answer a few of your questions...

You can get your own Ally the Alligator here. There are lots of other cute animals too. And after reading your suggestions I might be ordering myself a second Ally...just in case.

Levi uses GumDrop pacifiers. You can get them here. They are the same ones that they give the babies at my hospital.

A couple people have asked me about the layout on my InstaFriday posts. There are no big secrets. All I do is load my photos directly into blogger and then change them to the small size so that two will fit side by side. That's it!

Here are a few pictures from our week:

1. No trip to Target is complete without sitting on a big red ball. He asks EVERY time.
2. Goodbye pacis...hello Ally the Alligator. First morning without a paci. All smiles.
3. BSF started this week. We are studying Acts this year. I am so glad to be back.
4. After a trip to JoAnns I left with some cute boy fabric. Maybe something for baby?
5. Haircut #2...this time from Grammy.
6. Another thing finished on my huge to-do list. Clean baby clothes and blankets. Check.
7. A trip to the Vintage Soiree today. Tomorrow is the craft fair...I hope I am feeling up to going.
8. Trying out the new chair. Slipcover is almost finished {thanks to Grammy}. Yay!

Have a great weekend!

I'm linking up with Life Rearranged.

life rearranged

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

goodbye pacis

Levi's pediatrician told us that we should take Levi's pacifiers away by the end of the summer...especially before Baby Brother arrives. Levi's pacis stay in his crib for the most part. He only uses them to sleep. But he loves them. And it is hard to take away something that your baby loves...maybe I am just too much of a pushover. We have been talking about it for weeks now, but putting it off. Mostly because we really like to sleep and a baby crying for his pacis at night didn't sound too appealing. Finally this weekend we decided that if we were going to take them away we had better do it now. We weren't sure if that was a good decision with the baby coming so soon, but we decided to give it a shot.

 We went around the house and collected all the pacis we could find. He usually has three in his bed. One in his mouth and one in each hand. We put them all in a box. Levi had fun packing them all up and then dumping them out again. 

 A few sweet moments with his beloved pacis. The orange one is his favorite.

 We packed them all up one last time. 

 We told Levi that we were going to mail his pacis away because he was a big boy now. When daddy came home from feeding the cows I snuck out to the mailbox and put a box for Levi in it.

 Joel and Levi walked out to the mailbox with the box of pacis.

 He loves getting the mail, so we were just crossing our fingers that this would work.

 Really we had no idea what we were doing. What would we do if he wouldn't leave the pacis in the mailbox? What if he couldn't sleep without them? Parenting is such hard work. 

 Levi got out the box that was in the mailbox and put his box of pacis in.

 Goodbye pacis. So far so tears.

 Daddy helped Levi open his "paci replacement". Again, we had no idea if this would work.

 Thankfully, when he opened the box he loved his little alligator. He thought it was great. We went to Wichita and the alligator came too. That night when we got home he went to bed with the alligator and his blanket. He didn't even ask about his pacis. No tears. Nothing. It was a miracle! I was ready to give myself parent of the year award...just kidding...I know it had nothing to do with my parenting skills.

 In the morning when I went in his room he was holding his alligator and all smiles. It is his new bedtime buddy.

 Levi has been doing awesome at night. I really can hardly believe it. Now, naps have been a different story. I have had to let him cry himself to sleep most days. Sad. But he is already getting better. Yay! We are just praying that this doesn't all backfire on us when Baby Brother arrives.

Goodbye pacis...hello Ally the Alligator.