Baby Girl Christmas Dresses

Baby Girl Christmas Dresses


I often call Magnolia my real life baby doll! Getting her all dressed up for the holidays is so much fun. Magnolia & I went to Janie & Jack to shop for her Christmas dress [side note: before I was a mom I used to go into this clothing store & adore all their stuff, wishing for a baby of my own]. When I saw the pink & red roses with bright green leaves I knew it was the one for our little flower baby. Its not the traditional Christmas print, but I'm all about finding something just a bit different. And floral prints are always our go-to. I showed it to Magnolia to get her permission 😉 & she gave me the biggest smile! 
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Wendy Correen Smith
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The Pink Church

The Pink Church


When Magnolia & I are out shopping I always have to stop to shake up the snow globes for her. Her face lights up with excitement & to see the wonder in her eyes is such a blessing. 


Yesterday we stopped to look at all the snow globes on the end cap of a Target Christmas aisle. First I grabbed the ballerina and played the Nutcracker Waltz for her, then I shook up the carousel and watched her gaze at all the falling snow.




Then I showed her one with a blue chapel and pastel pink & mint trees. The song it played was O Holy Night. She laughed a sweet laugh and wrinkled up her nose as she squinted her eyes. I could tell this one was her favorite.





As I was looking at her, my sweet daughter, memories of my prayers for her in a pastel pink church in Santa Barbara came flooding back. Here she was in a Target grocery cart holding this snow globe with a baby blue church & time stood still for a moment. I was taken back to that day, it was my 35th birthday. I knew our IVF transfer was the next month, and that we only had one embryo frozen waiting for us. The faith I had in my heart was richly running through my soul, despite the fact that odds for success were very much against us. I believed with every part of me that God was going to send us a child. Not to say I didn't have fear, oh I certainly did. I somehow washed it away over & over again with my faith. There she was, straight from Heaven, answered prayers.




The holiday season is about joy & wonder, and yet, I know there are so many out there hurting. I have friends that have recently lost parents, others that have been diagnosed with cancer, & some that have children & babies fighting illnesses.

My story of faith was preceded by a Christmas season that was full of fear & pain, both physical & emotional. My greatest blessings, Ryan & Magnolia, the two that gave me the family that I always dreamed of, were preceded by a painful divorce & a surgery that led us to IVF. The year before I had lost my grandma & the holiday season would never be the same without her.





While I am in this season of delight & making everything I can merry & joyful, I must stop for a moment to pray for the ones that are hurting. I realize that there is a silent pressure to be happy despite the real life events that may be taking place during the months of November & December. I know that sadness & heartache don't just disappear because it's the holiday season. It's not always like the Hallmark movie, although I do know that God's love is always present & there is purpose to the pain.

In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God. - Elisabeth Elliot


I read this the other day & thought how appropriate it is for the holiday season. I am all about finding the silver lining in life & I want to find the festive in everything. I want Magnolia's memories of the holiday season to be full of family traditions that evoke all things merry. On the same note, this moved me & got me thinking about life and the pressures to always be happy.

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that – I don’t mind people being happy – but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position – it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.” – Hugh Mackay

No matter where you are in life, may the light of this Christmas season fill your heart with peace.

Merry Christmas xo

A few of our favorite snow globes are linked below.

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Wendy Correen Smith
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It's a Gift to Find the Festive in Everything

It's a Gift to Find the Festive in Everything


Here we are exactly two weeks away from Christmas Day. Just like everything else this year, it feels like the month of December has already flown by. We did all we could to make this weekend a festive one. Our big event was going to see Santa Claus and doing whatever it took to make sure Magnolia didn't cry out in fear when she saw the jolly old man. And so we did a peek-a-boo session with him & it worked out wonderfully. I mailed out our merry cards, we read Christmas books by the sparkling tree, I made (and ate way too many) festive rice crispy treats, and we had Santa Paws II & Home Alone playing on repeat. We put on our comfy clothes & Magnolia had on the cutest jammies, we loaded up the car headed to Christmas in the Park, and we had to turn around before we even left our town. Magnolia wasn't in the mood for a night time drive, she never really is, but we thought we'd give it a whirl. We came home & she took a bubble bath and we hopped into bed. There was a dance session with daddy somewhere in the mix!

There are so many things I still want to do in the kitchen before Christmas Day, but I'm holding off because I want Ryan to be home to enjoy all the sweet treats with me. After one more work trip he'll be home until the New Year & we cannot wait! I wish I had the artistic talent to decorate sugar cookies like Yeh. These have to be the sweetest things I've ever seen. 


This cake explosion by Lauren Conrad is something to be seen. And another cake that is all things Christmas with eggnog, caramel, gingerbread, cookies, & chocolate - will someone please make this one for me?


I keep telling Ryan how badly I want it to snow. The weather here has been unusually warm & all I can imagine is a layer of glittering white snow for Magnolia's first Christmas. Have you seen all the Gigi Pip beanies? Love them. I ordered one for my niece & got one for myself [half off] during their 12 Days of Christmas sale. Now I need to find one for Magnolia, I have a few in mind with two poms on top! 

I've already got Magnolia's Christmas Eve jammies and she's going to be a total doll in them & mine are currently on sale. 

We just recently signed up for Amazon music, and I really have no idea why we hadn't done it a long time ago. It is the best thing ever. We can listen to almost anything we want anywhere we go. I've been playing A Johnnyswim Christmas quite a bit, and it's a beautiful album. 

Have a merry Monday xo 
Wendy
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Wendy Correen Smith
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We Believe in Santa Claus

We Believe in Santa Claus


Or I should say we are working on our belief in Santa Claus! I don't think we could have watched Santa Paws II enough to make this little girl like the sight of him. My sister and I, took Magnolia and her cousin Addy, to Bass Pro one day last week to see their Santa. I was sure that if Magnolia saw Addy happily sitting on his lap that she would feel comfortable with him too, and I was very wrong. She took one long serious look at him and was crying the biggest tears. I know some people think it's cute, but it just breaks my heart so I snatched her up as fast as I could. Her daddy & I made a new plan for her visit with Santa this weekend. We'd stay in the photo with her!


She did much better being close to us, but she still kept a very close & skeptical eye on the white bearded man in the bright red suit! She started to get a little uncomfortable being near him & we wrapped up the photo session as fast as we could. We got two tearless photos with Santa, and so we are calling it a success. 

-photos by Jordan Photography

I have a feeling next year this jolly old man will be getting an earful about all her Christmas wishes. 

Merry Christmas to you & yours xo 
Wendy, Ryan, Magnolia and Santa

Shop Magnolia's Christmas outfit below. 


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Wendy Correen Smith
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Ruffling Feathers & Saying NO To Cry It Out

Ruffling Feathers & Saying NO To Cry It Out


A few months ago I shared this disturbing article on Facebook, and I described Sleeping Training or Cry It Out (CIO) as neglectful & abusive. The article detailed a story of an infant that cried alone in its crib for so long it vomited. In my FB post I also stated a time I witnessed CIO in person. The crying baby & the neglect of the parents as they tended to their house party has never ever left my mind.
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Wendy Correen Smith
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