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...]

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...]

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...]

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Christmas Post

Let It Go: The Song God Keeps Teaching Me - 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...]

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: Why Take a Family Vacation?

Why Take a Family Vacation? from Marty's Musings

As the warm breezes blow through my hair, I'm transported back to days of yore. Children splashing at the shore, sand seeping through toes and bathing suits. Waves chasing the wee ones as they squeal in contagious joy.  Screeecchhhhh! That was a terrific walk down the family vacation memory lane, but it's not my life … [Read more...]

Beach House Decorating Ideas

Beach House Decorating - Marty's Musings

Our family spent last week in Emerald Isle, NC enjoying some good food, family fun and as much sun as we could handle! I find the older I get the less enthralled I am with hours on the beach burning to a crisp. Since this was our second year at this specific house I took several pics so I could share some great beach house decorating with … [Read more...]

Family Fun at TGI Fridays Restaurant

Family Fun at TGI Fridays Restaurant - Marty's Musings

Our oldest son Joshua recently married his love Emmaline. They live in Raleigh, NC, about an hour and a half drive from us. As you mamas of adult children know, it's hard when your lives don't intersect as often. When our son invited us to come see him play keyboards at his church we jumped at the chance! Joshua has put his educational … [Read more...]

Gender Reveal Party Banner

Gender Reveal Party Banner - Marty's Musings

Disclosure: I received free product and compensation in exchange for creating a project using products from Consumer Crafts.com. All opinions are my own. The next few months will be exciting ones for our family. Other than normal school, work and church activities, my daughter Rachel and her husband are expecting our first grandchild … [Read more...]

Embracing New Motherhood: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known

Embracing New Motherhood 5 Things I Wish I had Known - Marty's Musings

I am walking through a season of life that is new and exciting yet also terrifying. I am no longer "merely" a stay at home mom. I am a work from home, homeschooling mom of teenagers. I am a soon to be a grandmother. A nana. A lover of a precious new gift. As much as I enjoy and embrace these days I also find myself floundering at … [Read more...]

7 Tips for Family Vacation

7 Tips for Family Vacation with Adult Children - Marty's Musings

  The years are passing even quicker now that we have adult children with spouses as well as two teenagers living at home. My oldest daughter is expecting our first grandchild and our oldest son just got married a few weeks ago. As our lives change our plans for vacation each year become more complicated! Last year … [Read more...]

Celebrating with TGI Fridays Restaurant and Some Exciting News!

Celebrating with TGI Fridays Restaurant - Marty's Musings

  When I wrote in this post that my life was definitely moving towards a new season, little did I know my daughter and son-in-law would have a little surprise for me on Memorial Day! Yep, they are expecting a little blueberry in January! We've actually known for a few weeks and Rachel managed to keep it from me for three weeks before … [Read more...]

Sara Groves “He’s Always Been Faithful to Me”: Simple Gift Sunday

Sara Groves He's Always Been Faithful

  My oldest son Joshua recently married his love Emmaline on a warm Friday evening in a beautifully tranquil outdoor park. All during the hours proceeding the wedding I was calm yet excited. I had celebrated my son's birth and life in this letter written to him the night before his wedding. I let all the emotions surrounding … [Read more...]

Matt Redman “The Father’s Song”: Simple Gift Sunday

Matt Redman "The Father's Song" video and devotion - Marty's Musings

  On this Father's Day we remember those men who are such an important part of our lives. My own father passed away in 2009 but I remember his life and rejoice that he is pain free and made new in heaven. Today I will celebrate the amazing man who is father to our children, the man who has changed and grown as a father in so many … [Read more...]

Letter To My Son on Your Wedding Day

Mother to Son on Your Wedding Day - Marty's Musings

  Letter to My Son on Your Wedding Day, My sweet Joshua, I'm fairly certain every mother says at one time or another: "I can't believe how fast the time has gone," but it's unbelievably, heartbreakingly true. On the eve of your wedding day, the most life altering day in your young life, I want you to know how grateful I am for the … [Read more...]

TobyMac “Speak Life”: Simple Gift Sunday

TobyMac Speak Life video and devotion

I'm up in the middle of the night wondering what God morsel God has for me. Do you ever do that?  Some things weigh heavy on my mind. Our oldest son Joshua is getting married in just four months. At that time his fiance will have just graduated from college, and our son will still have at least a year and a half left with seminary … [Read more...]

Raising Healthy Kids in a Busy Family

Raising Healthy Kids from Marty's Musings

I am the mom of five children, both adopted and biological, ranging in age from 14 to 24, with a son-in-law thrown into the mix! We now only have 2 dogs and 2 cats. The most we ever had squished into our 2000 sq. ft. ranch home was 5 kids, 3 dogs, 4 cats and a variety of hamsters, guinea pig and fish! We are a homeschooling … [Read more...]

Jaci Velasquez “Lay It Down”: Simple Gift Sunday

Lay it Down

Sometimes my heart just aches over my children. Not because of choices or circumstances or influences. But in the crushing reality that our earthly life is so hard. Our family knows hard. Our family knows pain. And this overwhelming sense of unrest before surrender sweeps over me. I know that you know that my heart is … [Read more...]

Music is in Me: Scrapbooking Layout

5 Ways Scrapbooking Will Make You a Better Mom - Marty's Musings

Since I went scrapbooking last weekend I thought I'd share the Music is in Me layout I created about my oldest son. As you can tell, there is nothing very complicated in my scapbooking style. I like a nice clean (usually symmetrical) combination of journaling and pictures. This layout just makes me happy. I love tracing my son's musical … [Read more...]

Steven Curtis Chapman “One Heartbeat at a Time:” Simple Gift Sunday

One Heartbeat at a Time by Marty's Musings

(My daughter Rachel on her wedding day) I posted this last year on February 23, ran across it again and wanted to post it because it's such great encouragement for moms. Being a mother is the most exhilarating and challenging call on  my life. Some days I'm up for the challenge and some days I feel like a total failure. Then I get up and do … [Read more...]

Today is a Gift

Are You Drowning? by Marty's Musings

(I am on a scrapbooking retreat but wanted to leave this post, published first in January of this year, as encouragement for today.) Do you ever feel like you are drowning? Losing yourself in your kids or your job or your home or the demands on your life? For me, since our adoption it has been losing "me" in the craziness and trials of … [Read more...]