I know you are all enjoying the guest posts…I am grateful for the blogging community. I have met some amazingly great women and there are several more that will be sharing with you here while I am enjoying a little time off with my family. I will respond to emails around the 18th, but until then I am trying to stay unplugged. I read an entire chapter of a book today and hiked a mile with a baby strapped to my back…thank you to the inventor of the Ergo baby carrier.

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  • Yanet - An entire chapter in one day??!! I haven’t done that in over 8 years! My oldest, of theree, is 8 1/2. Does that explain anything?

    Enjoy your time.

  • Jane - Good for you for taking some time off! Yay for a great hike. I have a baby wearing addiction. My absolute favourite carrier is the Scootababy. LOVE IT! I still carry my two year old in it very comfortably.

I have been following Jess’ blog for about 2 years now. She is the mom to two precious babies – Cora & Levi. You can see hundreds of pictures of both on her blog. Levi keeps her on her toes daily and sweet Cora is in the arms of Jesus. Following Jess over the past couple years as she journeys through motherhood and the loss of a child has made me a better mom. Jess makes me a better mom. I am blown away by her grace and steady faith. Plus, her husband is a farmer and Levi gets to ride on real tractors. Awesome.  She is an inspiration and I am so excited to have her guest post today. Read her post, but go to her blog and prepare to be encouraged.
ten in ten {needing a little help}
Do you have a little helper around your house? I do. His name is Levi. Levi is nine months old and he *thinks* he can help his mama with everything. It seems he is always by my side. And if he is not by my side, he is sitting on my feet, crawling up my pant leg, or wiping Cheerio slobber on the shoulder of my clean shirt. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
*
As moms we often long for a little time to ourselves or even just an hour of quiet. I do too (because I’m only human you know). But over the past two years I have learned a lot about cherishing the everyday moments. There are amazing moments like when I first heard the words ma-ma again…this time coming out of Levi’s mouth. There are difficult moments like when my little guy decided that standing up in his crib and screaming was more fun than taking naps. And there are moments that can be exhausting, like when my helper comes along and whatever I am trying to do takes twice as long. But, these are the moments I love. The everyday moments.
*
So in sticking with Ashley’s 10 in 10 theme, I thought I’d let you peek into some of our everyday moments to see ten ways my little guy is so helpful…
He helps me wake up in the morning–sometimes a little earlier than I had planned. But, I would rather wake up to this sweet face peeking through the slats of his crib over the annoying beeping of an alarm clock any day.
He helps me get ready. No long, relaxing showers for this mama. Can you relate? My little guy is usually at my feet as I scramble to find ways to keep him busy and try to fix my desperately needing to be washed hair.
He helps me do the dishes. I think Levi is as amazed by our new dishwasher as I am. Yes, having a dishwasher is a new thing for us. I just have to be careful not to wash his toys along with the dishes!
He helps me feel like an amazing cook. This is the face I get when his bowl is empty. Apparently the way I prepare his squash is so fantastic that he wants more ALL THE TIME. Or else he is just a really hungry little big boy!
He helps me in the yard. Levi LOVES to be outside. And he loves to crawl around and pick up anything he can find. I am suddenly becoming a pro at digging things out of his mouth…and prying dirt out from under his fingernails. He is all boy.
He helps me put away his clothes. Sometimes I end up refolding the clothes three times. Sometimes we end up with a bigger mess than we started with. But we have fun doing something mundane together.
He helps keep me company in the car. I love peeking over my shoulder and seeing his eyes peering around his car seat when I am talking to him. He is a great traveling buddy.
He helps me do the grocery shopping. I’m pretty sure he likes Walmart more than I do. And usually by the time we make it back to the front of the store, he has managed to eat my grocery list. Nice.
He helps me keep his daddy entertained in the evenings. I think they are going to be good buddies. And pretty soon I am going to have to watch out because now I have two ornery boys in the house.
He helps bring me to my knees. Being a mom is one of the most challenging yet amazing jobs I have ever had. And there is nothing like a child to cause you to fall on your knees at the feet of our Heavenly Father pleading for help. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with my responsibility as a mom. It is a job that no matter how good my intentions, or how hard I try, I can’t do on my own. I will get tired. I will get frustrated. I will mess up. I need the help of my Heavenly Father. And I need it everyday.
I lift my eyes to the hills–
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Our children are an incredible gift, entrusted to us by the Lord. Will you seek His help today for whatever challenges you are facing with your little ones? And as Ashley reminded us a few weeks ago, don’t forget to celebrate the everyday mundane moments.

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  • Jodi - Wow! I am sitting here crying because this has to be one of THE sweetest posts I have ever, ever read. I have followed along with your blog Jess and your story is heartfelt but also your strength and courage are truly inspirational.

  • laura - grateful for the introduction to you and your blog! and thanks for the encouragement…i’ll be looking to the hills this morning!
    p.s. i have a levi, too (13 mo.):)

  • Sadie - I am in tears. Your strength is amazing and I will for sure be following your blog from now on!

  • Melissa Barney - so adorable. Your lil guy is just so precious. He has such dark brown eyes. sooo cute.

  • Malinda - i’m glad i can type through tears. i’m a momma of 3 and it is easy to look at all the work and not the blessings. thank you for refocusing my eyes on Him today.

  • Beki - TheRustedChain - Jess, you are so sweet. I’m so proud of you!

  • Kristin Eldridge - Thank you!

    I have a little one around Levi’s age and just prayed that God would show me how to meet his needs today. Thank you for your post and remember to celebrate these moments. :)

  • amy - what a great post!!! what an encouragement exactly what i needed to read this morning….off to check out your blog and add it to my reader.

  • Kim York - So nicely put :) I too have been following the Macs since sweet Cora went into the hospital. She has been and continues to be an inspirationto me…and Levi is just adorable.

  • Stacey - This is just what I needed this morning…

    I’ve popped over to your blog and I love it already. I’m looking forward to following you over there. <3

  • Jill R - Terrific post with terrific timing. Thank you for giving me a little perspective as I start this new day with my little helpers!

  • Gevay - Thanks for the reminder that we can’t do this mom thing alone. I love Psalm 121:1-2. It’s a verse I hold on to as well.

  • Vicki - I remember when I first say the “pray for Cora” button on someone’s blog and clicked on it. I remember praying daily for a family, a beautiful little girl I have never met. I remember the day I read the post that she was in the arms of Jesus…where I was sitting, what I was wearing…and the drive to work that morning. Again, I have never met your sweet family and yet have been so touched. I just want you to know that I am a better momma to two sweet little girls because of you, because you shared your journey, because Cora was on this earth. Thank you. So good to see smiles on your faces again. Isn’t God good. Thank you. -Vicki

  • Staci - Beautiful post, as always, from Jess; and I love the pictures too! (Especially the laundry one!)

  • a pocket full of posies - simply one of the most beautiful (truth filled) posts I have ever read!!…have been so Blessed by Jess and her precious family, and the gift of following their amazing journey! Truly inspiring!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Many Blessings!
    Jill

  • Karen - I LOVE this post Jess! You have so beautifully written a way that all moms can see each situation in a different way. It is frustrating to not be able to take a two-minute shower in peace or do a quick chore that now takes three times as long because of our helpers but it definitely helps when we look at the situation from a different perspective. Your pictures of Levi are great. He is definitely all boy and I could just gobble him up. What a sweet baby!

  • Amanda - Jess, this is BEAUTIFUL!!! I am so proud of you and excited for you that you got to do this guest post!! Thank you for the reminder to go to my knees much more often than I do. Love you lots! Oh, and seriously, your photos are getting more and more amazing.

  • Ashley - I just got really confused when I saw the Macs on AAP blog!
    I love love love Jess & her family. What an amazing story!
    My 14 month old has a Cora dress & wore it to a wedding over the summer—she got soooo many compliments!!

  • tara - i love this! it’s just what i needed to hear this morning.

  • Becca - Love your post, Jess! I have a 13 month old “helper” and I love her to pieces! I lost my other baby girl a little less than a month ago (I was 5 months pregnant with her when she went home to be with Jesus). I’m so grateful for both my babies and how each of them has taught me in totally different ways how to be a child of God.

  • amy j. - You have been a blessing to so many people, Jess! You are amazing. And Amanda is right… your photos are becoming amazing, too! (My favorites are the car seat one and Levi’s face looking at Joel from the bathtub!) Love you! :)

  • Kristine - I stay at home with our 8mo. old baby (when did he get so big?). Many days I ask myself, “What did I do today?” Thanks for the gentle reminder to take each day as a blessing. Children truly are a blessing from the Lord. Only He knew that our “surprise” would bring so much joy.
    Looking forward to reading your blog. :)

  • Amanda - my littles have been bringing me to my knees all morning.
    Love your pictures Jess. Truely you are an amazing mama!!

  • Heather - i love jess! her strength and grace are inspiring to me every day.

  • Urska - LOVE the last picture of you and Levi. Will need to copy it with my little Olive, 8 months. You blow me away with your humility. Thank you.

  • Kate A - This was so well-said, simple and sweet. Just beautiful.

  • maryliz cawley - Thanks for your post … brightened my day and have forwarded it on to my dear friends who I know will appreciate it. xoxo

  • amy - This was beautiful and there are tears in my eyes. The pictures made me laugh and the last one made me cry. Amen to the fact that motherhood brings us to our knees asking for help and thanking for the blessing they are. Thank you for the post, I needed this reminder today!

  • Celia - She hit the nail on the head! Loved her post. And yes, our Heavenly Father has given us the greatest gift (besides salvation) and we need Him to take care of these gifts!!! Have a wonderful day!

  • amber - I love the macs. I feel like we should be real friends:). I love that her baby boy is one month younger than mine & I feel like I’m seeing my own life played out on her blog. I love that seeing sweet Cora’s face on her blog each day reminds me how precious my own first born daughter is & how I should cherish each moment with her & her baby brother. Reading her posts reminds me always what a treasure it is to walk this crazy, wonderful road with my kids. And I love her for reminding me! I love this blog for the same reason…

  • Jen - Nothing to say except this was needed today. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Ms. Ranty Pants herself - What a great reminder to appreciate the small things. Jess’ son is so adorable. Such chunky-chubbiness that makes you want to squeeze him into a big bear hug. Thank you for sharing. Wonderful, uplifting post.

  • Gabriela - I’ve been reading your blog for nearly a year, and I’ve been strongly tempted to comment before: your post about why you’re not working anymore, your post about other mothers who feel stressed and depressed because of “mommy blogs” and the post about enjoying the mundane. But I’ve never felt the pull to comment as strongly as I feel it now.
    Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time crying yesterday when I read Cora’s story. I found the post while checking your tabs, and I was undone. I live in Spain, I will never meet this brave family, and they will never met me, but I spent many minutes crying for them, and for that beautiful child. I feel jealous for their faith and for their resilience, and I can only whish them all the possible happiness. I now see they have Levi, that pretty much sums all the happiness possible.

  • chantelle - bloggng is so cool , I too have followed Jess for about 2 years! ALL Jess’s post are this sweet and she is a super Momma-nic to know mylittle boy is not the only one who eats shopping lists! And don’t worry about washing Levi’s toys in the DW, I once washed a banana peel and threw out the cloth! Mommy brains are funny!

  • BriBedell - I have been reading Jess’s blog for awhile now too. I love her ability to stay positive and faithful even through her most challenging times :) she’s a great role model for young mom’s like myself!

  • Elisabeth - I need to hear that every single day. The one thing I’m sure of since becoming a mom is that I can’t do it on my own strength–I need Jesus to work through me to love my little guys and to give me patience and just to remember that parenting is about loving and teaching them, not about getting through the day. Thank you for a wonderful post! Also, I thought my youngest was the old child in the world who would repeatedly eat grocery lists. It’s reassuring that other little men share his goat-like appetite:)

  • Alice H - He is adorable. Great post! How old is Levi?

  • Amber - so true Jess! i first found your blog/story from meg d’s WHATEVER blog. :) love seeing photos of your “little helper”! what a sweet heart! i have my own crew of helpers and can relate to your post today on so many levels. what an inspiration you are!! great post thanks for sharing.

  • Lauren - Jess, I too have been reading your blog for about 2 years now. I just wanted to say thank you for your inspiration to be a good parent and try our best to enjoy each moment. They go by so fast!!

  • Megan Sanders - What a beautiful post. I so needed to be reminded of the fact that even the mundane is beautiful with these babies in our lives. I cant wait to go check out your blog, your writing is stunning!

  • emily anderson - i so needed to read this today…well, everyday.

    thanks for that.

  • Bridget Spruill - This is a MUST read for all Mom’s. Thank you for this today:)

  • Becca G - Thanks Jess for refocusing my attention today. I’m a Mom to one spitfire of a girl who is constantly sending me running to Jesus(some days I simply want to run away!).

  • Shanalea - I am learning how to enjoy the mundane and enjoy the kids without putting on them my expectation for things to look nice and pretty. I have 4 boys and life is going to be messy. I am learning how to enjoy the messiness.

  • Stoich91 - What a sweet post! 😉

  • meg duerksen - love you jess.

  • Tricia - A more inspirational mother is hard to find. Thank you for your 10 in 10, Jess.
    Thank you for continuing to share with us.

    ? xo*tricia

  • tamara - Such a sweet post. Makes us treasure the gifts we all have. Thanks for your inspiration.

  • Rachel - Wonderful post, Jess! Love reading all about Levi :-)
    My sweet boy was born in January, too! Boys are somethin’ else!

  • Rachael - Lovely Post!

  • CharlaL - that is so sweet!!!!! Thanks for sharing, reminding and inspiring!

  • Danielle - Beautiful! I definitely needed to hear this!

  • Lori - You are such an inspiration to me daily, thank you for being you. And Levi is absoltely adorable!

  • Amber - Love this post and your heart to cherish even the simple things with your little man. (Who, I might add, is absolutely adorable!) Your “everyday” photos are a sweet reminder of His blessings, and something I know you’ll cherish even more someday when Levi is bigger than his momma and he’s the one scooping you up in a hug.

  • jessica h - thanks! great to be encouraged by another Mom who is looking up to the hills for strength, too…your little guy is too cute!!

  • Nicole - I follow you on your blog as well but this post is just beautiful. I have 3 little ones and you just reminded me why I love being a mom so much. Your Levi has GOT to be one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen…the squash pic is just priceless! Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  • Carolyn - Thank you. I was so encouraged when reading this (and Emily’s entry from the other day). I appreciate the honesty and sense of humour used when talking about motherhood. Even though I live half a world away, it is such a beautiful reminder that mothers all over the world have many of the same issues. I love being a mum, but sometimes the isolation and ‘sameness’ really gets me down. So THANK YOU Ashley, Emily, & Jess for the lovely reminder to appreciate the everyday and unlovely moments too. By the way, I read Cora’s story and cried (and cried). I then went and hugged my 20 month old daughter. God is really using you ladies as a light for His goodness. Thank you again.
    – Carolyn (in Australia)

  • Susan Caing - very inspiring! specially the last part, indeed being in our knees in the feet of our Heavenly Father makes all mother stronger.

  • Susan Caing - very%20inspiring!%20specially%20the%20last%20part%2C%20indeed%20being%20in%20our%20knees%20in%20the%20feet%20of%20our%20Heavenly%20Father%20makes%20all%20mother%20stronger.

  • Kelly - I truly believe that *both* of you, Ashley and Jess are inspiring me and being examples to me in how to be a great mama as I navigate these uncharted waters. Thank you for letting God use you to be examples that those of us reading can see and emulate. None of us have it all together but when we can all realize that we’re not alone in our struggles and need to get on our knees as you said, Jess and when we can copy each other in our strengths, what a blessing and a force! Jess, the pic of Levi looking around the car seat is breathtaking. I too agree that a baby waking up even early is soooo much better than an alarm clock! And I love the bath picture so much because my little guy makes that same little expression and I dearly love it! Kelly

  • k&c's mom - Following you over here, Jess. LOVED the pictures. My favorite was Levi in the tub with your husband looking at him. Prayed for your “talk” this morning.

  • Nakesha Morgan - I just cried for the last hour reading about Cora. Thanking Jesus for my precious babies sleeping soundly right now!

  • Marla Taviano - What a BEAUTIFUL post, Jess!! Love it!

  • Andrea - Jess, I’ve followed your blog for nearly two years… you continue to inspire me with every entry, thank you!

  • Ruth - This was beautiful and such an encouragement. I need every reminder that I can get to treasure every moment, even the mundane ones. Thanks!

  • Toni :O) - This has to be one of my favorite posts by Jess. I’ve been following her for quite a while now and her strength and faith just amaze me. I heart her family so very much! Great, great, GREAT post!

  • Lori - The Mac’s blog is one of my must-reads. Thoughtful, kind, humble. What a woman. :)

  • Natalie - My 8 month old son cries every time his bowl is empty too! I made up a song I start singing when there’s just a few bites left as sort of a warning. It’s entitled “good things sometimes come to an end…” I’ve read some of your blog and really appreciate your eternal perspective. 2 Corinthians 4 has always encouraged me through life.

  • Joy Andrews - Thanks so much!

  • purejoy - dang. as if i didn’t love you enough already, jess!! such fantastic photos. i’m in awe of your beauty as a mom. what a lovely post!

  • Lauren - Jess just beautiful! I have followed your blog for over a year and I visit daily. You truly lift me up and remind me who is in control. I lost my son’s father and have been going back to school to finish my Special Education degree as a single mother to a 4 year old. Through all the hard times I have kept my eyes on the Lord and he has led me to where we are and gave me strength along the way. I am almost finished! Thank you Jess for your beautiful light that shines through on your posts. You have two beautiful children…what blessings Cora and Levi are. I know you miss her every second….I pray for you daily! One sweet day we will all be together again! 😉

  • Sarah Wallis - I have read Jess’ blog since sweet Cora was healed in Heaven and I just love her perspective on things. This post was beautifully written and I just kept thinking of the Little Critter books. It reminded me of those stories that are Oh So Sweet!!! :)

  • Chris - Lovely post. And Levi is just a doll. Thank you!

Here is a super easy diy project. I purchased a basic candle from Target, but wasn’t crazy about the cupcake graphic. This entire project (including making the 5 different versions) took about 10 minutes. I purchased the woodgrain contact paper for a different project, but it didn’t work. Now it has found a home on my candle. It will easily peel off when I decide I don’t like it or I turn the jar into something else when the candle is gone. All the other materials were things I already had on hand.

As you can see you could come up with tons of versions to fit your particular style. Contact paper also works with dry erase markers, so you could even write on your candle.

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  • Christine - Great ideas!

  • allison - Very cool transformation! And I have a Target trip planned this weekend…

  • amanda torres - Too bad this isn’t a scratch and sniff post. I want to smell the candle!

  • Megan - I love this. My favorite is the last one.

  • rachel - Such a cute idea!! Where can you get the woodgrain contact paper?

  • Shannon{photos by shannon} - Cute! My favorite is the doily and yarn…I need to get some doilies! I’ve never noticed them on stores though, would it be more of a valentines day thing or can you get them anytime?

  • ashley jensen - That decorative duct tape is the cutest thing ever! Ah, to imagine the look on my husband’s face if he were to ask for some duct tape and I handed him that!!

  • Cate O'Malley - Love the one with the yarn and doily. Shannon – Dollar stores are a great source for doilies.

  • ashlee - you are so creative:)

  • Heather - i’ve been wanting to get that contact paper for so long, but couldn’t think of what to do with it. yippee! so excited i have a project for it now. i’m getting some today.

  • Jaimie - very cute! i would never think to do that!

  • tasha roe - i am so in love with that Eckert’s basket.
    super fun diy. love the first one – doilies are so much fun!

  • Ms. Ranty Pants herself - I love this idea. The orange ribbon one I am stealing for sure.

  • Jen - STUNNING! I never thought I would want to buy wiid grain contact paper! I do now!! Thanks…

  • meg duerksen - i love the first one! those are awesome.

  • Cherish Stockdale - cute idea. hard to choose which one is my favorite! they are all adorable!

  • purejoy - dude. they make duct tape that cute?? who knew!!?
    love the idea. agreed. the cupcake graphic=LAME. seriously, Target, you’re better than that!

  • KaraM - wonderful idea, as alwasy!

  • amy - Very cute idea – thanks for sharing!

  • Kristin - Haha! I have that exact candle scent and everything. :) I got it as part of my diet before I got pregnant. It didn’t work! It just made me want sweets more. :) Thanks for the cute idea to beautify it. I may make some of these for Christmas Gifts too. :)

  • Dana Moran - I Love coming here! You are amazing…. i don’t know how you do it with 4 kiddos running around. I only have two & I can’t get anything done!

  • jamie - SWEET!
    diggin’ the simply sweet creativity.
    thanks!
    ~j

  • Jenny B. - 10 minutes? Really? It would take me 10 minutes (or longer) just to gather the supplies. Then it would take me another 10 minutes to measure and cut the contact paper. You are truly amazing! :)

  • Kelly - Brilliant! I usually just turn the graphic around to face the wall but this is much cuter!

  • Leanne - Ha Ha that’s great! thanks!

  • Brooke - Genius…sheer genius. I’m so copying this idea! love it. xo

  • Becca - Awesome!!!

  • a pocket full of posies - JUST got home from Target…getting back-in-the-car-right-now! Too cute!!!
    Blessings!
    Jill

  • Meaghan - I’ll have to make sure to find these candles at Target. Vanilla cupcake sounds so good! This could prove to be a super useful project. I love Yankee Candle, but don’t really care for their jars. Glad to have a new way to decorate!

  • Caroline E. - I have been reading your blog for months and love seeing all of your creative ideas! More than that, I love the encouragement and fresh perspective that I get about being a godly woman, mother, and wife. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Jamie - I luv the orange ribbon candle — such an easy thing to do but so cute!

  • jeannie - I would love to know how you are putting the fruit crat to use, I see some dishes and that’s about it ,I have 2 of these that I have found no use for yet except to put magazines in,thank you so much for a reply,J

  • kristen m - terrific! what a great idea!

  • natasha - so cute! I just made one with brown and green yarn. Tomorrow I’m going to hto glue on some buttons as well. Thanks for the idea!!

  • natasha - So cute! I just made one with brown and green yarn. tomorrow I’m going to add buttons as well. Thanks for the idea!

  • {DIY} Target Candle Makeover » A Beautiful View - […] decided to go with a candle. But I wanted to make it extra special. Then, I remembered seeing this project and decided to try it out for […]

  • caroline @ c.w.frosting - love that the wood print is stick-on! great transformations!

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