hello angel!

Dang its already the end of October!!!  Man oh man do these months FLY by.  October has been so, so good.  I’m sitting here realizing how full this month has been, how busy, how full, how life-giving it came to be!

I always love sitting and writing this post to you because when I reflect, I realize my favorite moments normally always have you woven into them!  Mama, Kimmy, and I travelled to Chicago at the beginning of the month and I know you would have just LOVED the city!  I completely adored it.  It was beautiful and open and massive all at the same time.  We got crazy weather but it was so fun to be together and explore somewhere new.  I love these girls weekends we have the privilege of having every few months because these women have become my biggest encouragers and fans, just like they were yours.

Two things you would have absolutely loved: Eataly and the Second City comedy show.  I’d never been into an Eataly before and wow Jessie!!!  Carbs galore!  You and I could live off pasta and bread growing up and this place was the mecca for both.  It was overwhelming with all the choices and places to pick from, but so delicious too!  We had this incredible focaccia bread, beautiful meat and cheese board, and to die for pasta dishes!!!  And then after that meal, we went and watched Second City perform.

I can picture how hard you would have laughed at their show.  You loved Jeff Dunham and his stand up so much and these comedians were hysterical!  I was crying from laughing so hard and you left with a sore tummy from all the laughter!  They didn’t have puppets like Jeff, but their little scenes and skits were so clever 🙂

It feels like each month, I’m having more and more opportunities to grow.  I’m growing as your sister, I’m growing in who I want to be, and I’m really growing in my role at the foundation.  Allie and I had the honor of speaking to three first grade classes about you Jess!  Their little faces were so cute.  They are going to help spread your NEGU motto and make a big difference by collecting change, writing notes, and collecting toys for your JoyJars!  I loved sharing about you, hearing all their funny and serious questions, and my favorite moment was always asking them how many JoyJars they think we’ve been able to make.  These kiddos were such big dreamers!  It was humbling to hear them guess that we’ve made millions or billions of JoyJars!  I would giggle and smile and tell them we haven’t made that many yet, but I now have new goals!!!  I hope the cure people have put us out of business though before we reach one million JoyJars because cancer sucks and I hope we have a cure before then.

You need to give Devin and Carter big hugs from all of us down here left on earth!  These two fighters joined you this month and after celebrating Carter’s life on Sunday, I know you two are probably having the biggest dance party ever up there with Jesus 🙂

Having two more courageous kids join you is always a reminder of how precious this life is.  Two little ones within about two weeks was a huge hit for me and really made me miss you.  I was able to end the month though with encouragement as I drove to Arizona and met with two incredible ladies at a children’s hospital in Tucson!  They were so excited I was bringing you their JoyJars and were honored to have me there.  They knew that I got it.  I understood how important and precious all the kids inside their hospital were and how they each have a story.  When you walk onto the floor that has oncology and the PICU, you are greeted by a wall of incredibly vibrant photographs.  They are all kiddos this hospital has treated, some no longer with us and some all healed, but the stories they all share and have are remarkable.  I could have stood at that wall all day long, listening to BJ and Lori from the hospital sit and share their stories!  I love how BJ kept telling me that these kids all have a story like you Jessie, and she even said they have powerful stories like me.  It really took me back to hear someone from the hospital say my story, one you play the biggest role in, is powerful and moving like these brave and strong and courageous faces hung on the wall.

I can’t wait to see what November holds for me!  I know you already are going to make a huge impact sweet girl!  In just two short weeks, we will have all 15,000 of our holiday jars stuffed and I can’t wait to see how many hearts you touch and change as they learn about you and your JoyJars!

I love you to heaven and back.

xoxoxo,

your proud big sister