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...]

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...]

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...]

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: 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...]

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 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...]