Motherhood: Rewarding and Heartbreaking Journey

Blogger Marty Walden shares the joy of motherhood from parenting adopted children with wounded hearts, even when the story is unexpected and heartbreaking.

As I watched my oldest daughter's journey to motherhood I was grateful to play an active part in her life and now in my precious grandson's life. From the very beginning Rachel was full of questions and transparency. Did it take you long to get pregnant? Did you have morning sickness when you were pregnant with me? When did you get over … [Read more...]

First Birthday Ideas and a Letter from Nana

A touching letter from a first time grandmother to the precious grandson with encouragement and affirmation in God's plan for his young life and blessings on his future.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGDeal #CollectiveBias. There's just something so incredibly unique about a child's first birthday. Is there any one year in life where more change and growth is experienced? From a helpless newborn infant to a mostly walking, … [Read more...]

Is Your Baby 6 to 12 Months? What You Need to Know!

Parenting tips on surviving the second 6 months of baby's life with helpful ideas on setting a daily routine, how to avoid comparisons with other babies, the necessity for setting apart time for mom and dad and the value of exercise in a healthy life!

Ah, how things change in such a short time when you're a new parent! It's been so much fun being involved in the life of our first grandchild as these first few months have flown by. My daughter Rachel and her husband Donny are here to share some parenting tips on the second six months of Aiden's first year. It's been several months … [Read more...]

Rustic Cabin with Western Theme Decor

Tour this rustic cabin in the NC mountains with western theme decor, a visual delight with beautiful pine wood throughout and delightful, one of a kind furnishings and accessories.

Most years our family goes on vacation to the beach but just a few weeks ago we headed to an amazing rustic cabin owned by friends of ours. Located in the mountains of North Carolina, this jewel of a cabin barely had room for all of us. Okay, I'm totally kidding because this getaway has three levels and  is … [Read more...]

New Puppy Checklist and Tips for the Early Months

What do you need to know when adopting a new puppy? This new puppy checklist will give you advice in deciding if you're prepared for the responsibility!

Our lives have been way too crazy since last December and filled with a whole bunch of crises and one beautiful life changing event thrown in.  In the midst of all this madness my kids and husband tried to convince me to get a new puppy. Can you believe it? Our boxer Annabelle passed away last July and my hubby would send … [Read more...]

The Call No One Wants to Receive

Diabetes Monitoring Supplies - Marty's Musings

"Hi, I'm calling from Costco. Your husband is here with us now. He's fallen out and had a seizure. We have EMT here with him now. He is not fully conscious but he is breathing." And with those words heard on a voice mail the direction of our lives changed. Several weeks ago my husband Tim had just returned to his job as a painting contractor … [Read more...]

Easy Family Scrapbook Ideas: Print Those Pictures!

Using pocket pages and precut cards you can simplify your family memory keeping with these easy family scrapbook ideas using Jen Hadfield's Home+Made Kit.

I was away scrapbooking this weekend, trying to catch up on my Project Life album. These weekends usually consist of a little blogging, some extra sleep, a few delicious meals and some easy family scrapbook ideas. When I started scrapbooking 18 years ago I labored over the pages (and cut many a kid's head with patterned scissors. Can anyone … [Read more...]

5 Things Every New Mom Should Know About Cloth Diapers

Every new mom should know the 5 things about cloth diapers including how much money they will save over the years and how easy they are to use. A first time mom shares all the details!

I remember when I was pregnant with our now 22-year-old son Joshua. I was planning on quitting my job and staying home which would require cutting corners everywhere possible. To help our budget I took the plunge into the wild, unknown world of cloth diapers and got a real education. I loved it. Okay, I loved the fact I was saving us money. I … [Read more...]

Stretching Exercises for the Heart

God often uses stretching exercises to challenge and change us for a new season of life. Join blogger Marty Walden as she shares how God is working in her.

Recently I've been learning how to stretch in many different ways. In the foods that will keep me healthy. In stretching exercises for the body that will keep me active for my grandson Aiden and (hopefully) many more to come. In the challenges of juggling work and life at home after concentrating on my family for over 20 years. As I … [Read more...]

3 Keys for Healthy Snack Ideas

These 3 easy tips to help you change your snacking habits will encourage you to take charge of your life, make some changes and begin a journey towards wellness and health. You can do this!

There's a little secret I've been hiding from my readers.  Come a little closer, my dears. Are y'all envisioning the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz? You better not! This is good stuff! Since I hit the dreaded "50" (plus a couple or three more) there have been a few obstacles in my path to staying healthy and vital. Other … [Read more...]

What Happened to the Duggar Family?

What should be our response when the Duggar family news and scandal reveals a pornography addiction and infidelity? How do we lift the veil of perfection? WE ARE ALL BROKEN. Our families are broken. Our lives are messy and nothing like the Facebook posts you read about everyday. #Truth and you know it. I know it. We all know it. No one should be held to a standard of perfection.

I am not one to dive into the realm of public opinion but I DO have opinions on most topics (and my husband would definitely agree!) I just choose not to air them on the blog where my desire is always to encourage, inspire and empower others. I have been a huge fan of the Duggar family and their show 19 Kids and Counting. We don't have cable so … [Read more...]

Summer Memories in a Pop Up Camper circa 1970’s

Some of life's best memories come from summer days spent with family grilling hot dogs with Ball Park Park's Finest. Enjoy them with your favorite sides!

"This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine.” My family didn't have a lot material possessions during my growing up years but some of my best memories are of camping in our little pop up trailer at the beach. My mom spent a lot of time making sure we had … [Read more...]

No Longer a Slave to Fear

From Bethel Music, the video No Longer a Slave to Fear beautifully shows how we've been liberated from the bondage of fear because we're children of God.

We have just concluded 21 days of prayer and fasting with our church (Daystar Church) and it has been both a wonderful and challenging experience. The goal of this period is for our church family to refocus our attention on God and His purpose for us as a church and as individuals without earthly distractions. As best I … [Read more...]

Are Your Kids Preparing for School and Life?

Parenting Children with Attachment Disorder - Marty's Musings

How many of you heard it said when you were little, usually accompanied by a pat on your head, "You're just growing up so fast!"  Or something along the lines of, "You can't possibly be old enough to go to school!" Seriously, it's a theme among well meaning relatives everywhere. I think they come in the door of every family … [Read more...]

Glass Half Full of Half Empty?

By implementing sound financial advice you can plan for sunny days in the life of your family, whether it's having kids, buying a house or even a vacation.

Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? I struggle to look at my life and blessings as a glass half full sometimes because life can be hard. Honestly? It's easier just to look at the negative side of life. Have you listened to the news lately? Did I mention life is hard? Can I get an amen? But my life is also an … [Read more...]

The Truth I’m Afraid to Share

An adopted teenager struggles with his identity and chooses to live in a group home rather than with the family who raised him in this poignant essay as his adopted family struggles with grief and in learning how to heal their broken hearts and support their son.

I'm afraid to even put these words to paper. Fear. Shame. Guilt. Confession. I used to be THAT mom. I had it all together. The one with the clean house, the kids that seemed to mostly get along and usually had on clean clothes with their hair brushed. (Still asking for forgiveness for the years with the bowl cut. Sorry, … [Read more...]

5 Ingredient Peach Cobbler Recipe

Do you want your guests to go crazy over your baking skills? Then this dessert is for you! This 5 ingredient Peach Cobbler recipe is to die for and so easy!

Yes, I'm a good Southern belle. No I don't like warm weather.  Some people live for summer. The tropical breezes, the longer days and sun kissed tan. Me? I get migraines from the sun. I do not perspire. I sweat. I want my air conditioning and I'm perfectly fine if my tan comes from a bottle. Yet one of my fondest childhood memories … [Read more...]

Encouragement Notes for Homesick Kids at Camp

You can help prevent homesickness by sending encouragement notes to camp or sleepovers. Simply write love notes for your kids to read when they're gone.

Some of the best family traditions are often those that happen by accident, like our family blessing jar. What started out as a way to teach our children gratitude is now a deeply held celebration of thanksgiving every year. It's even incorporated into the marriage contract between our children and their spouses! (No, not really, but Thanksgiving … [Read more...]

Picture Frame Front Door Wreath

Create a warm welcome for guests with this easy and inexpensive front door wreath using a repurposed yard sale picture frame, silk flowers and wooden sign.

I love to craft and DIY while I turn yardsale and curbside junk into beautiful treasures for my home. But I do have a confession to make. Since blogging is now also my job being creative is sometimes a necessity, not a luxury. That can sometimes put extra pressure and stress on me to come up with the "latest and greatest." I believe God … [Read more...]

No Fake Happy Face, Just My Usual Transparency

Hillsong I Surrender devotion and video

As Christians we sometimes paste on a happy face and gloss over our wounds and struggles. After all, we're supposed to have it all together, aren't we? If we don't have the answers then who does? I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't. I hurt. I cry. I ask the Comforter to intercede when I can't even form the … [Read more...]

What Happens When You’re at the End of Your Rope?

Ever feel like you're at the end of your rope? Know that the sweetest and most profound dreams are often born in the tiniest slivers of leftover life.

Bible study teacher Beth Moore (Living Proof Ministries) and I have a long history. I have taken several of her studies through the years and her words have spoken life into me at critical moments in my life journey. I am so grateful for the way God has used her to teach me His truths. One little detail you may not know about her is that she and … [Read more...]

Let It Go: The Song God Keeps Teaching Me

Marty Walden shares her faith and how God helped her release her anxiety and pain when her husband faced surgeries, unemployment, a teenaged son runaway and a family death, all within a six month period.

I started this post last Christmas because I knew my husband and I were headed into a season of uncertainty. The single lyric of Let It Go was stuck in my head and for good reason.  Tim was scheduled for hernia surgery followed by rotator cuff surgery in early December. As a painting contractor that meant a six month recovery and … [Read more...]

Advice for New Dads: Cliff Notes Version

Great advice for new dads from a first time father, with everything you need to know to make it through those sleepless, scary and adjustment filled days!

Welcome back my daughter Rachel and an especially big welcome to her husband Donny!  Let me tell you about my son-in-law. Throughout the courtship/dating process he and Rachel spent a lot of time in our home. We got to know Donny so well we considered him as just another fixture in the house! He loves to tease me and I try to give as … [Read more...]

9 Tools to Survive a Crisis

Marty's Musings shares her personal story and 9 tools to survive a crisis. From taking care of yourself to knowing when to ask for help, there is hope!

  Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day?  Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is set to cover the yearly emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn't predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Right … [Read more...]