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Sweet Baby Judson and the Wonder of Christmas

It truly is the most wonderful time of year and I love everything about the Christmas spirit – from getting to decorate our house with all the twinkly lights, to continuing special Christmas traditions, to spending cozy nights with my boys (Wes, Red, and now baby Judson on the way, too!) in front of the beautiful Christmas tree.

And it has been even more special and sentimental being pregnant this time of year and dreaming about this time next year when sweet Baby Judson will be with us, too!

But most importantly, I love this time of year because of how near the presence of God is to us all – because this season is the beautiful reminder of how God so lovingly and graciously sent us His Son to give us eternal life. Truly truly, the greatest gift of all.

“May the glory of the best gift ever recapture our hearts so that we really do come to adore him and so that we all live with a renewed appreciation for the grace that we have found in him.” - Paul David Tripp

And in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago…Wes and I found out that Baby Mabry is a BOY and could not be more overjoyed! Throughout this blog post, I will be covering all the fun December things from our gender reveal announcement, to our annual Christmas trip to the Biltmore House, to the heartbeat behind sweet baby Judson’s name, and more! I always love doing my monthly blog posts – sometimes to go really deep with what the Lord has been teaching me, and sometimes to recap our adventures from the month, and sometimes (like this month), a little bit of both! :)

To start things off, I want to recap our story behind finding out Baby Mabry’s gender as well as His precious name, and share some special photos from this exciting weekend, too!

About 2 weeks ago, we got to see sweet Baby Mabry again on the ultrasound and also got to find out the gender (just the two of us - so special) and man, getting to see and hear that healthy little heartbeat again made this momma so so happy! Due to the pandemic, Wes has unfortunately not been able to come to any of my OB appointments with me – which has honestly been kind of hard. So this was truly our favorite baby memory yet because Wes actually got to COME IN and see the baby on the big ultrasound screen for the first time, too!

I even got to get a little stuffed animal that the ultrasound lady recorded the heartbeat and put in it! So it’ll be the baby’s first animal that he will get to squeeze and hold to hear his little heartbeat when he was inside mommy’s belly! How stinkin’ precious!!

Before announcing that Baby Mabry was a boy, I decided to do a little “poll” with friends and family to see everyone’s guesses – and I even gave 2 little clues pertaining to my cravings of salty foods (aka allll the Ramen Noodle and Mac n’ Cheese) and how I really haven’t had any morning sickness (trust me, I know I have had a very blessed pregnancy and do not take that for granted). It was so fun to see everyone’s predictions and even MORE fun to announce a day or so later that sweet Baby Mabry is a BOY!

My dear friend and amazing photographer, Hannah Kerr, captured these precious gender reveal photos for us at the cutest local Christmas tree farm! We are so thankful for her friendship and loved getting to share these special memories of our growing family with her!

We are so excited to welcome Judson Carpenter Mabry this coming May 2021 – and we know he is so very loved and prayed for already! And he must be pretty excited too because we both felt his kicks for the very first time just a couple of hours after we took our gender reveal photos too, too!

As I mentioned in our gender reveal announcement, the Lord made it very clear from the beginning that I was carrying a boy - in ways I can’t explain or fathom - but I truly “just knew.” Obviously I didn’t want to really tell people that until we got the “official results” (it was our little secret), but it really was so sweet and special to find out that Baby Mabry was, indeed, a BOY - and another “godwink moment” I will truly never forget!

“For this child we have prayed.” // 1 Samuel 1:27

We know that the Lord has a mighty mighty plan for this little boy’s life and it is so special to be able to call sweet little Judson Carpenter by NAME, now! I truly believe in the power of a name and there is so much about this little name that both Wes and I love and so much meaning and history behind it, too. We decided on this “boy name” pretty much as soon as we found out we were pregnant and it has stuck ever since!

Wes studied and loved learning about a famous missionary in Seminary named Adoniram Judson and we both have loved the unique name “Judson” ever since! So there you have it!

And “Carpenter” is my maiden name and so so special to me - & a way to honor my grandparents, parents and wonderful family that raised me to be who I am today!

And more importantly, I believe that the LORD sees power in our names, too! As it says in one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” // Isaiah 43:1

All this to say, we are so excited to welcome this little baby boy into the world and have had so much fun dreaming about him ever since! And it is so special being able to pray for him by name now and imagine all that God may have in store ahead for this little miracle growing inside of me!

Wes even went ahead and put together our crib in the nursery and it is such a sweet daily reminder for me of this little life that the Lord has blessed us with!

And on another note, last weekend, Wes took me up to the Biltmore Estate for the day - one of our very favorite Christmas traditions of all!

This little day trip always gets me in the Christmas spirit and it is WILD that this was our fourth year going! It was so fun to look back at photos from our past three years going there - dating, engaged, married, and now, this time, pregnant! And it is even crazier to think that baby Judson will be 6-7 months old this time next year!

Another thing that has been bringing me such JOY this Christmas season is getting to help spread love, light, and cheer through this sweet lettering art business!

I am so excited because all of my Christmas orders and commissions have officially been shipped and sent out and I can’t WAIT for all of my sweet customers to give them to their loved ones on Christmas morning!

I truly can’t say this enough, but I am so thankful for all of you who continue to #shopsmall this Christmas and support this small business that means the absolute world to our growing little family – especially with sweet Baby Judson on the way! I am so thankful for your orders, love, “word of mouth” referrals, social media shoutouts/shares, and constant support! None of this would be possible without each and every one of YOU!

And in the spirit of gratitude, a dear loved one gave me the sweetest pregnancy/Christmas gift the other weekend of the most beautiful painting of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem - and the symbolism of being pregnant this Christmas time is so real and has made me appreciate the story of Jesus’ humble birth even more.

I can’t even imagine what Mary must have felt like, but it is so beautiful to know the character and humility of our Lord and how He willingly came down to earth to walk with man and save us all! He loves you and me THAT much that He came to be born in a manger in the meekest setting, and yet, is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. Praise be to God for the most indescribable gift!

During one of my Christmas advent readings in Luke, the following verse really struck me and was such an encouragement to the character and nature of our Heavenly Father – who we are called to obey and follow because no word from Him will EVER fail! Amen, glory be to God!

“For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:37-38

It has been so special getting to rest and enjoy these few days leading up to Christmas and I have been so overwhelmed with love and adoration for My King - Jesus Christ. It truly amazes me that He chose to come in human form as a precious little baby boy and is probably hitting me differently this year since I am pregnant with a baby boy, too!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." // Psalm 139:14

Our dear neighbors surprised us a day or so after our gender reveal announcement with Baby Judson’s very first present – a precious hand painted Christmas ornament with the words “May the Lord bless you and keep you.”

I may or may not have teared up a bit because these are the lyrics to the song “The Blessing” that has been such a powerful message for me throughout my pregnancy so far (and I wrote about this in my most recent blog post – if you wanted to go read that).

I love this time of year because of the sense of awe it creates in children and adults alike, as we prepare to celebrate the greatest gift this world has ever been given - the birth of our one and only King - Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the light - and when we journey through life in His Presence, His glory brightens the world around us. And I believe this year, more than ever, this world needs the light and love of Jesus to shine like never before!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” // James 1:17

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift.” // 2 Corinthians 9:15

“Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” // Psalm 117

Jesus, born in a little manger, was and is the greatest gift of all - both now and forevermore! Praise be to God for the most indescribable gift!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” // Isaiah 9:6

Praying that you are getting to soak in the true meaning of Christmas this year, too, and getting to spend time with those you love! This is my very favorite time of year, and though things may look a little different, the beautiful simplicity of Jesus’ humble birth is just as glorious and His light is shining more than ever before on and within this dark world!

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him.” // John 1:9-10

Thank you ALL for the love, prayers, and joy that you have shared and rejoiced with us in awaiting sweet Baby Judson and I pray that you and your loved ones have a merry and blessed Christmas!

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