In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Signing Off Until the New Year

I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. ~David Grayson
I imagine y'all are as busy as I am.
My dining room is a colorful disarray of wrapping paper and the ingredients for my homemade hot chocolate mix. Christa's handmade ornaments sit on my kitchen counter. Most of my Christmas cards are addressed and stamped, ready to go to the post office.
'Tis the season--and I love every minute of it.
It looks like I may have that white Christmas Bing Crosby sings about too.
And my son his coming home and will be here for Christa's sixth birthday on Christmas Eve.
It's all good.
2007 awaits with 365 unused days. I hope that I fill each one with a healthy dose of gratitude for the many blessings in my life--my husband and my children and my family and friends, those near and far.
May the rest of your days in 2006 be anchored in gratefulness.
I'll be blogging again the first week of January 2007.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

You Know You're a Late-in-Life Mom When

You know you're a late-in-life mom when:

You're standing with other much-younger mommies watching your child sing Christmas programs with her kindergarten class.

And there I was this morning, taking pictures of Christa in her snowflake top with handmade, construction paper reindeer antlers on top of her head. I started talking with another mom--and discovered she's a repeater Mommy-come-lately like me. Her children are 20, 10 and 5-going-on-6.

We shared that instant "You, too?" bond of being surprised by pregnancies at 41.

"You know, I keep running into more and more moms like you and me," she said.

Don't I know it! I felt all alone during my late-in-life pregnancy--and then I found out that the biggest trend in birth rate in the last decade is more and more women in their mid-30s and 40s having babies.

One of my favorite parts of writing my book BABY CHANGES EVERYTHING: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35 (Revell, July 2007) was hearing so many other Mommies-come-lately's stories.

Another great resource for late-in-life mom stories is at InSeason Mom, a web site for first-time moms age 35 and older. Check out her Featured Mom page.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Essay Contest for Mommies-Come-Lately

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) publishes a magazine for late-in-life moms. It's called PLUM--as in something especially prized. PLUM is the first-ever pregnancy magazine for women 35 years and older.

PLUM is sponsoring an essay contest where you can share a moment about your late-in-life pregnancy or about being a late-in-life mom. Rules and guidelines for writing a 500 word essay are located on the PLUM web site.

I'm already mulling over all my special Mommy-come-lately moments I could write about.
What about you?

Friday, December 08, 2006

"There must be more to life than having everything." ~ Maurice Sendak (children's book author)

The morning isn't going the way I planned. That's my life more often than not. Your life too, I'm sure.
But I'm going to step out of the unexpected shifts in my Got-To-Do list and be intentional about being grateful.
I have a lot of people in my life that I am so, so thankful for. Family. Friends. Mentors. Writing Comrades.
A lot of the things I've earned/bought/been given during my life--all 47 years of it--have worn out, faded, broken, or been thrown away.
But the people I've known and loved and learned from--each one is still precious to me. I know how friendships--even family relationships--go through seasons of closeness and distance. But the instrinsic value of a friend isn't measured by whether I feel close to them this very moment.
It's the sum of all our conversations, our times together, our loving one another.
Today I am most grateful for the many wonderful, one-of-a-kind people in my life.

May your day be anchored in gratefulness.

I found the quote at the top of this blog at
Other favorite quote sites:

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New Moms Need Privacy

Tell me something I don't already know!

A study in the recent issue of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing says that new moms need more privacy. Maternity units recognize that a lack of privacy can lead to
  • a rocky start with breastfeeding
  • a lack of sleep that may play a role in postpartum depression
The complete article is available on (December 3, 2006).

Online Parenting Community

You'd think my life was busy enough without getting involved in an online community.
Yeah--but I did it anyways.
I joined Minti ( and I'm glad I did.

I set up a group for late-in-life moms and I joined one for bloggers. I've posted articles and offered advice to other moms. And I'm meeting moms from all over the world! It's a parenting community, so dads are involved too! Not surprisingly, the moms seem to do most of the chatting! Consider checking it out.

Monday, December 04, 2006

To Everything There is a Season

I faced a lot of challenges as a late-in-life mom. My 41 year old body wasn't too thrilled about being pregnant again. Labor and delivery required pitocin and an epidural--after I'd had no medication for my first three labors. My body didn't bounce back once Christa was born--and it took me quite a few months to mentally accept that I had a baby.

Now I'm watching Christa face her own challenges as a caboose kid. Her challenges aren't physical. No, instead Christa wrestles with the reality of how much older her brother and sisters are. She has an uncanny sense of time for an almost 6 year old and she is oh-so aware that she is much, much younger than Josh, Katie Beth and Amy.

And she wants things to be different.

She wants to grow up faster so she can catch up with them.

She wishes she was in college like her older siblings.

She is afraid Josh is going to die before she has a chance to grow up.

I know I can't give Christa any promises about what the future holds for her or for her siblings. I tell her there is no fast-forward button for life--no way she can grow up faster. I remind her that Josh, Katie Beth and Amy were once little kids too.

I realize that I must assure my daughter that "To everything thing there is a season." I'm still learning how to do that. Sometimes it's as simple as saying, "Christa, enjoy being six! You'll grow up soon enough."

This is her season of childhood--and I don't want her to wish it away.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Continuing to be Grateful

All the Thankgiving hustle and bustle and feasting and time with friends and family went by to quickly! It seemed like there were only a few short minutes between sticking the turkey in the oven and tucking the leftovers away in my fridge. (The truth is , my turkey once again took too long to cook!)
In some ways, this Thanksgiving was just another day among all the days of 2007 where I chose to be thankful. Last January, I ditched the traditional long list of New Year's resolutions. Instead, I chose to focus on the word gratitude.
For that choice, I am grateful.
It's changed me. I am now so much more intentional about being thankful. When I glance back at the last 12 months, I don't see a pile of abandoned resolutions. Instead, I see all the reasons I am thankful. I can open the small box that has sat beside my rocking chair for those past 12 months and read through my notes--dated pieces of paper that I jotted down why I was thankful--and who I was thankful for.
So, today I am thankful that I made that one small decision last year.
I am thankful for my husband and for all four of my children. They are truly my most treasured blessings.
I am thankful for all my family--parents, siblings, nieces and nephews--who will always mean "home" to me.
I am thankful for my precious friends who encourage me to pursue my dreams--and allow me to cheer them on as they pursue their dreams.

May your day--may your year--be anchored in gratefulness.


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