Handmade Card Ideas in Under 10 Minutes

Add the perfect touch for a gift or send encouragement and well wishes with these handmade card ideas created under 10 minutes with a Project Life kit.

This month on Crafty Hangouts we were challenged to come up with a craft that could be completed in under 10 minutes. Just my style. Quick and easy. Lickety split. In a jiffy. (Consumer Crafts sponsored this post but all opinions and ideas are my own!) I ordered some goodies from Consumer Crafts and came up with … [Read more...]

The Day I Fell in Love With my Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Struggling with body image after giving birth, a first time mom encourages women to embrace the beauty and gift in those pregnancy stretch marks.

Thank you to my daughter Rachel for sharing a precious reminder of the beauty of motherhood with "The Day I Fell in Love With my Pregnancy Stretch Marks."    When I became pregnant with our son, Aiden, I was the heaviest I had ever been. I knew it would help to lose a few pounds but my husband thought I was sexy when I was … [Read more...]

When a Heart Breaks

When a Heart Breaks - Marty's Musings

There are joyous seasons in life, days filled with sweetness and precious memories, almost to the point of taking my breath away. Then the seasons of grief arrive, days filled with inconsolable heartbreak, crushing the wind from my lungs. Blessedly I've known both seasons and every one in between. Ordinary days full of diapers … [Read more...]

A Southern Snow and Cute Puppy Pictures

Ever wondered why southerners fear of running out of bread and milk when it snows? Marty's Musings tells why and shows you cute puppy pictures, too!

(Note: I was working on this post last weekend but the news of my brother-in-law's sudden cardiac arrest changed everything. As he clings to life our family clings to hope in God and we still covet your prayers.) I'm born and bred Southern, y'all. And I actually use the word y'all in everyday language. All.the.time. But somehow … [Read more...]

3 Practical Ways to Add More Meaning to Your Life

3 practical ways to add more meaning to your life by finding and meeting the needs of others, especially the homeless people in your community.

  I am a big believer in modeling behaviors I'd like my children to imitate. I want to reach their hearts in teaching them compassion for others. But let me be honest. In the area of helping others outside of the family, I often fail. I get caught up in the minutia of everyday life and modeling these important elements of … [Read more...]

Our Family Needs Your Prayers

Our Family Needs Your Prayers - Marty's Musings

I had every intention of sharing an adorable post today full of pictures this weekend of our new puppy and, of course, our baby grandson. Unfortunately, life sometimes shocks us into reality and heartbreak. Saturday was one of those days. We got a call early in the morning that my husband's brother had a heart attack. No … [Read more...]

Elephant Themed Baby Shower

With tips and tricks on throwing a DIY Elephant Themed Baby Shower, these ideas on food and decor will thrill both the expectant mom and party guests alike.

My first grandson is now nine weeks old and I promised myself I'd share the shower I threw for my daughter before he was crawling around!  Aiden James Baldridge entered the world four weeks early and threw us all into a panic (you can read the story here). He was worth every minute of those days and was the best reason … [Read more...]

Exciting News and a Dare to Dream Big Dreams

Marty's Musings shares how to to dream big dreams and embrace the unknown when God touches your heart and changes your plans.

  A few weeks ago I was sitting at my computer working (not unusual in the least) and felt a moment when I believe God planted a dream within me (quite unusual for me!) Today I want to share just a few thoughts on how I believe God is working in my life and family. I have been working diligently on my blogging business for almost two … [Read more...]

4 AM Feelings From a Sleep Deprived Mom

Honest and transparent feelings from a first time new mom will reassure that faith and love will see you through! from Marty's Musings

Many of you longtime readers have heard all about my oldest daughter Rachel, with everything from her DIY wedding in 2011, baby gender reveal party last August and the unexpected arrival of baby Aiden early in December. From age eleven and a half and up when we adopted a sibling group of three in 2000, Rachel was so faithful in … [Read more...]

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

With just a few common ingredients, this deliciously sweet Chocolate Chip Cheeseball is an easy yet impressive dessert to share with friends and family.

  Have you ever had a silly argument over practically nothing, especially with your spouse? ~raising hand~ Me, too. In marriage it's usually the little things that drive me insane build my character. Little habits like when Tim kicks the sheets out from under the mattress or goes to the grocery for me and calls me 10 times … [Read more...]

4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues

4 Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety and the Blues - Marty's Musings

  I've been amazed at the way my recent post with my story on when to see a family therapist has resonated with so many people. For the most part I don't consider myself an anxious person, but there are definitely times that I lose sight of my blessings and only focus on the problems. My goal here is to encourage you so I thought I'd … [Read more...]

Unafraid: Why I Went to See a Therapist

Not sure when or how to ask for professional help with a personal situation? Blogger Marty's Musings shares a personal story of encouragement.

When I started this post several days ago I had no idea that our lives would again be filled with a new crisis with our adopted son. I just knew I needed help coping with my own feelings and hurts God had been revealing to me. As we continue to walk forward with our son, loving him and getting him help to continue the process of healing his … [Read more...]

Should You Give up Your Dreams for A Better Plan?

Should You Give Up Your Dreams for a Better Plan? - Marty's Musings

I first wrote this post in mid 2011, never imagining the progress my adopted children would make in their search for attachment. I was just clinging to God and hoping the pain wouldn't last forever.   Even with all this progress, recent days have brought more heart wrenching revelations in our parenting journey, and I am … [Read more...]

How to Teach Your Kids to Give

How to Teach Your Children to Give - Marty's Musings

  We may have just come through the most jolly season of the year and a retailer's dream, but do you feel like you've just survived the apocalypse and your family priorities are all out of focus? Let's face it. None of us were born naturally generous. I have my first grandson now and believe me, when he wants something, he … [Read more...]

Top Blog Posts of 2014

Top Blog Posts of 2014 - Marty's Musings

  Each year I try to pick a word that I feel God is pressing upon my heart. Just one word that will indicate an overarching goal or idea for the year. My word for 2014? Simplify.  Has the laughter ceased yet? What was I thinking with a word like that? It was an invitation for the insanity to commence. What did I think … [Read more...]

What No One Wants to Talk About at Christmas

What No One Wants to Talk About at Christmas - Marty's Musings

Today I went into the attic and pulled out the baby clothes I had saved from my two biological children. It's been years since I tenderly went through them. I touched them almost prayerfully, letting the memories roll over me in waves. As a new mother you can never imagine that the little infant you cradle will one day be cradling their … [Read more...]

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Christmas Post

Merry Christmas Baby - Marty's Musings

Yes, this season of Christmas joy has not been without its challenges and surprises. As many of you know my oldest daughter Rachel has been pregnant with our first grandchild. Her due date? January 13th. (You can read all about the announcement and the baby gender reveal party if you want to know more!) My … [Read more...]

5 Practical Tips to Reduce Stress at Christmas!

5 Practical Tips to Reduce Stress at Christmas - Marty's Musings

It's been an interesting week here at the Walden home. My DIY hubby had surgery on Wednesday with an overnight stay in the hospital. He's doing well but we're definitely out of our routine. Tim will also have rotator cuff surgery on the 16th and spend several months rehabbing after that. Since he's a painting contractor he won't be able to … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Funny and Practical Tips for Surviving the Holidays

Practical Tips for Surviving the Holidays - Marty's Musings

How were your Thanksgiving holidays? Are you full of stuffing and great memories?  I'm blessed to say this was one of our best Thanksgivings ever with scrumptious food, laughter around the table, the perfect Christmas tree and our favorite tradition of all, the family blessing jar. But one year our celebration wasn't so … [Read more...]

How my Adopted Daughter Inspires Me

How my Adopted Daughter Inspires Me - Marty's Musings

  My life changed when I decided in 2008 to have the courage to share our adoption story. It wasn't a pretty story all wrapped up with a bow, but a story of heartache and loss, perseverance and God's faithfulness. The lows were gut wrenchingly low and the highs were the ultimate sweetness. As I read back through some old posts … [Read more...]

31 Days: Family Blessing Jar and Instilling Gratitude

Family Blessing Jar - Marty's Musings

  Do you ever feel pulled by the demands of family, job, school, church or outside activities? Of course you do! You are probably especially feeling the pull of this busiest season of the year as we race towards Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. I will be honest and say that this year as a work at home/homeschooling mom I'm … [Read more...]

31 Days: The Day I Flunked my Homeschool Kid

The Day I Flunked My Homeschool Kid - Marty's Musings

  It was just one of "those" mornings. The type of day that had been happening over and over for several months in our homeschool life. I went to check schoolwork and either it wasn't turned in, printed or couldn't be found. One day I even had the tried and true excuse that the dog ate it and it was actually true.  Letting go of … [Read more...]

31 Days: Inspirational Home Projects

Inspirational Home Projects - Marty's Musings

  Have you ever thought about how your home appears to others? Do you think the cleanliness factor matters or is it more important that you have the latest decor and furniture? During these 31 days of October I'm sharing bits of pieces of not only my home, but my heart. To me, both of these are connected in a very real and tangible … [Read more...]

31 Days: Baby Gender Reveal Party and Free Printables

Baby Gender Reveal Party and Free Printables - Marty's Musings

   As of a few months ago I hadn't even heard of a baby gender reveal party, but today I'm here to share all the details of the fabulous way we celebrated our first grandchild on the way. The concept When our oldest daughter and son-in-law announced that they were expecting our first grandchild we were so thrilled! Rachel immediately … [Read more...]