what did mary think?

This morning, I ran across some old Christmas postcards I’d had made a few years back with this scripture on them: “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

It got me to thinking about how Mary must have felt as a first time new mom…in a barn of animals…in the cold…

Earlier this year, I gave birth to my first son in a nice, clean, temperature controlled hospital and it was still a hard experience for me. I studied up on labor and delivery and bought this great helpful set of DVD’s so I would be ready to have this baby. Just think of how much educational material exists today and how readily available it is.

So, here we have Mary, getting ready to give birth not only to her first son, but to the savior of the entire world. No pressure there! They traveled a long way (I should look up and see how many miles it was), probably in the cold only to discover they couldn’t even stay in the hotels there. I bet the hotels were even bare bones compare to what we have today.

Can you imagine giving birth in a cold barn with just your husband there to deliver the baby? I just rolled my eyes, because as much as I love my husband, we would have had a disaster if it would have been the two of us in a barn.

Every mom wants the best for their baby. When my son was born, the doctors and nurses whisked him up to make sure he was healthy and cleaned him up a bit. Later that night, he got his first bath. Poor Mary could just wrap him up in whatever was available and pray that he didn’t catch a cold.

Maybe she didn’t worry to much, because she knew he was holy and would be fine. But, the mom in me still says she would be concerned about his well being. Really, if you think about it, all of us moms are in a similar boat as Mary. My son is not my own – he’s just lended to me to raise. He belongs fully to God, but I just get to enjoy him for a time, and I’m still worried about him on a daily basis. There’s a selfish part of me that is very thankful that I didn’t have to give birth to the One that would end up dying a horrible death on a cross to save humanity.

So, this Christmas season, take a minute to thank God for sending that baby boy down from heaven for us. Also, take a minute to thank Mary and Joseph for being so strong and brave. Most of all, thank Jesus for choosing to make the journey.

special times with my son

I’ve had some really special moments with my son these past few days. He just makes me so happy and spending time with him is the highlight of my day. Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out the bassinet he’d slept in when he was a newborn and we played train in the living room. He had the best time rolling around in that thing and I had so much fun pushing him around.

Then, the other night, he was having trouble sleeping (which is very rare), so I just held him and we looked at the Christmas tree for a bit. He was so still that I thought he’d fallen asleep. As I looked at his little blond head and eyelashes, nose and chin, it made me cry because of how much I love him and how perfect he seems. I just can’t believe he’s real sometimes.

I am so thankful I have the time to spend with him when we can just goof off and enjoy ourselves. And, I’ve thought that if I love my son as much as I do, how much God must love us as his children. The thought just blows my mind.

oh christmas tree

My son’s first experience with Christmas lights

We got our first family Christmas tree this evening after I got home from work. It was fun walking around in the field picking out the perfect one. Our son was nervous when my husband fired up the chainsaw and cut it down – I don’t think he liked the noise. It’s a small tree and we’ve placed it on top of a wooden box my dad made for me when I was young. At first, it was my toy box and then it turned into my hope chest. Now, it houses keepsakes like old photographs and sentimental items. We decided to put it on the box so the baby doesn’t tear it down this Christmas. I actually got the Santa cap on him and snapped a picture before he ripped his hat off.

I love having a Christmas tree up. When we were little, we didn’t get a tree until a week or two before Christmas, so when we got married, I told my husband we had to get one right after Thanksgiving and he’s always been obliging. His family’s tradition was to have it up by his birthday on December 3. I love leaving it up after Christmas because it breaks my heart to take it down. I get used to the way it lights up the house and the darkness in January leaves me sad.

In elementary school, I remember the teachers showing us this filmstrip (do you remember those) of this Christmas tree that’s sad and gets burned up in the end. Do you remember that? It was honestly very disturbing and I hope they don’t show things like that in school anymore.

I think my son’s very first Christmas tree is very nice indeed.

kids scared of santa

A few years back, a co-worker of mine sent me the funniest darn photos of kids that were terrified when getting their pictures made with Santa. Just Google it and you’ll find all kinds of laughs.

This came to mind because someone informed me the other day that I have to take my son to see Santa on his first Christmas. Maybe I’m a bad mom, but I hadn’t even thought of it! I realized I also need to get him a stocking and I really want a baby’s first Christmas ornament. It’s funny, because my husband and I get to be Santa this year! Granted, our then 11 month old son will not really care about gifts (I hear he’ll like the boxes, ribbon and paper the most), but it sure will be fun for us grown ups.

shopping and family

Shopping and family really aren’t that much related, but those are the two topics on my mind at present. Yesterday, my sister and I finally got to go to Trader Joe’s – we’d been looking forward to that for a few months until this new store opened recently.  I’d been a couple of times, but now there is one closer to home so we went. I’m always in awe of their wide variety of sweets and chocolates! My sister enjoyed it. My other sister in California has been sending me the neatest greeting cards from Trader Joe’s but this store didn’t have a very good selection. I guess I’ll just have to stay on the receiving end of the cards and find neat stationary elsewhere.

Before we made it to TJ’s, we hit the mall and went out to eat. Let me tell you, I feel like an 80 year old woman sometimes! I am so frugal that all I bought was $15 worth of baby socks and a thermal shirt at Old Navy. Everything else seems so ridiculous – like the $119 throw blankets at Pottery Barn. Are you kidding me?! Yes, they were very soft, but I cannot imagine justifying spending money like that on a blanket.

I’m starting to realize that there’s not much more that I value in life than spending time with the ones I love. Maybe that sounds cliche, especially on Thanksgiving week, but I’m really serious. Spending time with my husband and son just walking around in our yard seems so much more valuable to me than spending all of my time hopping from store to store and blowing my paycheck. I’m really glad I see there’s more to life than that, but I feel sad for those folks (and there are MANY of them) that only see the value in material possessions.

On a lighter note, check out this article I ran across about cooking gadgets, including the smallest microwave that plugs into your USB drive!

walking wings & the breastfeeding diet

My father in law has taken to purchasing items online – most specifically, amazon.com. He’s been at it for a while now and today he surprised us with this new gadget that I didn’t even know existed – they are called “Walking Wings”. I can see how these suckers really are going to help our baby learn how to walk without breaking our backs!

Walking Wings teach your baby how to walk (I was hoping they would teach him how to fly)

On another note, I am down to 151 pounds! I was 160 when I got pregnant, so I am 10 pounds lighter than before and I can’t believe it. I really have to credit it to breast feeding our son. I try to watch what I eat and exercise a few times a week, but I’ve been eating sweets and everything. My fear is that when I quit nursing him, I’m going to gain weight quickly. So, here’s my diet plan…I’m going to continue to pump even after he quits nursing! It burns about 500 calories per day, I’ve read. Or, I could continue nursing him until I get pregnant again. You know, I’m only kidding but it is really tempting to continue to keep the weight off.

random wednesday thoughts

I felt like Mr. Rogers this afternoon… I came to work wearing a pair of shoes that were too tight, so I changed into my other shoes. It was Mr. Rogers all the way.

On my way to get my hair cut today, I fell in behind a pickup truck that had a crazy bumper sticker that said something like “Women can come and go but trucks are dependable.” Really? That’s pretty dumb to me – especially when on a FORD truck. Don’t know they know the acronym for FORD? Found On Roadside Dead. Ha ha.

My sister emailed a video of herself from where she lives in Los Altos Hills California. She was in a field wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat petting horses. She looked beautiful and seeing her face made me want to cry. I haven’t seen her in person in over a year and I don’t know when she’ll be home again. I hope it’s soon because I really miss her. I’m blessed to have my other immediate family members within driving distance, but I really do miss her. And, I didn’t know that’s what the California mountains look like.

emotionally thankful

I must be under the spell of PMS because I’ve been a sap today. Every sentimental thing I’ve experienced has brought me close to tears. Here are some of the things I’m talking about…

  • In the “Parade” magazine today, there was an article about this person who grew up in an atheist home and always wanted to grace over his/her meals (not sure if it was a man or woman writing the article). It was a moving little story. [sidenote: It’s a she and you can read the article here.]
  • Then, I was reminiscing about having a newborn baby since my friend just gave birth earlier this week. I remember how emotional I was those first couple of weeks. I think a lot of that emotion came from exhaustion!
  • During church service, I discovered a note my mom had written me in my Bible. She told me how proud she was that I was raising my child in a Christ centered home and what a difference it was going to make. It was so sweet. I was kind of ashamed because she wrote it back in September and I just found it. :/
  • Then, I got to watch my sister and dad play in the floor with my son today. They got down on all fours and chased him around while he rode his little green tractor. I took videos of them so he can look back one day and know his family members and see how he was when he was little.
  • This morning and evening were spent with just the three of us – husband, son and myself – enjoying a beautiful Sunday of family time.

On my drive home from my dad’s today, I just thanked God for the blessings he’s given me. I am not a millionaire, but sometimes I feel like the richest gal in the whole, wide world. I scratch my head in wonder of why I have it so good when there are lots of folks out there that have it so much worse than I do.

I thought about the single mom who works two jobs, picks up the kids from the sitter and takes them home. She arrives to a dark house on a cold dark night, with both kids asleep in the back seat. She wrangles them both into her arms and prays she makes it into the house without breaking her neck and dropping her precious cargo.

As I type these words, my eyes fill with tears. Is God placing these images in my head to make me aware of the hurting people out there? Is this an actual scene from someone’s life???

If you’re reading this and that is a similar scene from your world, then please know that I am saying a special prayer for you tonight.

Let us all be thankful and grateful of the innumerable blessings we have.

My husband and son on a recent hike

great idea for common household items

I got the following images in a forwarded email and couldn’t resist sharing. Who thinks up these things?! I wish I would have…

my farewell party

Folks show kindness in many different ways…some people wrap your desk in plastic & bubble wrap and put bright green sticky notes all over with sayings like “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice” and “Don’t stop!” and “I am the great Cornholio!”. Others buy you cupcakes and bring you balloons.

My last full time day at my old job was really great and everyone was nice. Thought I’d share pictures of how folks showed me love. 🙂

My co workers thought my desk might spoil or break so they wrapped it up for me.

My favorite…cupcakes and cake!


Good luck, Mandy! You’re 8 years old.