Simple Burlap Christmas Mantel {and a baby story}

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See that #4 on the mantel? And that fourth Christmas stocking on the right? The one with the sweet monogram with the initials SGN? Let me tell you a little story about them …

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a mommy one day. I loved baby dolls and have passed on that love to my almost 4-year-old daughter, Miss A. The other day she said, “I want all the baby dolls for Christmas!” Ha!! Hopefully a new American Girl doll will suffice. #shehasalongChristmaslist

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

I didn’t get married until I was 28, which seemed like an ancient age at the time. Although I look back at pictures and realize now how young I really was. Coach and I both wanted to start a family pretty quickly after we got married and were expecting Miss A by our first anniversary.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

I was so naive as to how miraculous an easy, full-term pregnancy is. I never for once worried about a miscarriage or complications. I did have high blood pressure towards the end and had to be put on bed rest for 5 weeks until Miss A was born at 35 weeks. But even with that drama we brought home a healthy baby girl the week after Christmas four years ago.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

Since it seemed so easy for us to have Miss A, we just assumed it would be easy to have another baby. I always wanted to have kids 2 – 2.5 years apart.

But that wasn’t the case.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

Only three months after I wrote this post on my journey with secondary fertility, I underwent a surgery to clean up scar tissue that developed after my c-section with Miss A. In the words of my fertility specialist it was the “worse he’d ever seen.”

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

And he believed that once he had taken care of the scar tissue, we’d have no trouble getting pregnant on our own. Wow! What an amazing thing to hear after two years of trying and two miscarriages.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

A few short weeks later we got the wonderful news that we were expecting!!! I struggled with fear of miscarriage and loss, because I had been down that road twice in the previous year and a half. But God protected our little baby and she’s now 35 weeks and ready to meet the world in two short weeks! (I’ll have another c-section due to more scar tissue that couldn’t be taken care of in the first surgery.)

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

Oh and can I just say that having a baby in the middle of Christmas is not my idea of a relaxing, peaceful Christmas or birth experience! But, at the same time it makes this season all the more special and helps me to remember what this season is truly about. A Baby who came to earth at an unexpected and “inconvenient” time.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

I feel connected to His mother who wasn’t racing around trying to buy presents, get her home decorated or make Christmas cookies. But instead she was in the middle of a census, in a crowded town.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

The conditions weren’t perfect, not even close as she surely smelled the stench of a barn as she delivered Baby Jesus. And while I’ll be in a sterile operating room, the circumstances and situation melts away as I receive the blessing of a new baby girl.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

So that fourth stocking on my mantel is not just a cute little thing I picked up at the store. But it’s a reminder that my God is faithful, gives good gifts to his children and gives me more than I could ever expect or imagine. And that we’ll be welcoming a precious new baby to our family in two short weeks! #somuchtodosolittletime

UPDATE: she’s here!!

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

Now let’s talk a little about the decorating… My Christmas mantel style has changed a bit over the last three Christmases. You can see my former mantels here: 2012 and 2013. I’ve tried to move away from so much red and introduce more greenery and neutrals. I used a lot of what I had on hand around the house this year.

Simple Rustic (and a little glam) Christmas Mantel |

I did buy the wreath elements for about $15 at Hobby Lobby and Target and threw it together in about 10 minutes. I love how it turned out and so cheap! I bought the new stockings and a couple of the pillows, ornaments and greenery laying across the mantel. Well, gosh, that sounds like a lot. Ha! But I did use a bunch of stuff I already had. I love it and plan on keeping most of it up through winter! With a new baby around, I imagine my home will look like this for a few months.

Snowflake pillow – Target
“Joy” pillow – Target
Blanket basket – Target
Burlap monogrammed stockings – Mint Julep Monograms
Red Christmas Beetle – Craftberry Bush
Ice skates ornament – Target
Vintage camper ornament – Target
Greenery – Hobby Lobby
Wreath components (except for glitter jingle bells) – Hobby Lobby
Glitter jingle bells – Target
Vintage Santa – travels in Asia many years ago

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story, your faith, and your beautiful mantle. Blessings to you and the newest addition to your family!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on your upcoming arrival! Little babies are such miracles 🙂 I love your Christmas mantel – very festive without being overdone. I love how you incorporated the natural elements. Will be sharing on Pinterest.

  3. I LOVE your Christmas Mantel! I’m so crazy for burlap! Thanks for sharing on the Monday Funday Party! Pinning to our group board!

  4. Thanks so much for this post Laura, I needed it today. 🙂 I am so very, very happy for you and your family, and hope that all goes well with the delivery. Can’t wait to see your new little one. Blessings and hugs to you!

  5. What a sweet post! I love your decorations and your sweet attitude about life. God is good! Can’t wait to hear about the baby when she gets here.

  6. I loved this post! Love how you decorated! Really love that you get to have another baby girl!! We had secondary infertility as well some years ago. Same story as you. I did get pregnant but lost the baby. I will see him again one day. But I am very happy for your family. Have the most wonderful Christmas!! Blessings, Diane

    1. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, Diane. Between my two sisters-in-law and myself we’ve lost 6 babies in the past 2.5 years. At this point we have more babies in heaven than here on earth. The reunion will be sweet someday! Thank you for being excited with me! Merry Christmas blessings to you, too!!

  7. How exciting that you get to welcome a new baby girl, especially after such heartbreak. I had a difficult first pregnancy, and we only just recently started trying for #2. My son is already 10 years old! I’m definitely more nervous this time around. Congratulations to you and your family, it really will be a wonderful Christmas!

    P.S. your mantel is gorgeous! Love the neutral colors. Pinned! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Ashley! Blessings on your journey for baby #2. Children are such a blessing (and yet lots of hard work) and I pray your pregnancy #2 will be much easier than your first. I will say that this pregnancy has been a walk in the park compared to my first. I now can see why people have lots of kiddos. 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing your story. What a blessing God has given you and what a great reminder of the real reason for the Christmas season! Your mantel loves wonderful too!

  9. Your mantle is lovely! Wishing you and your family all the best for a smooth delivery…and a Merry Christmas too!!

  10. Your mantel looks beautifully decorated. Wishing you only the best as your delivery date approaches and try to sneak in a bit of rest (with a little one at home too lol.)

    1. Thanks Lindsay! My 3-year-old daughter insisted that we put that ornament on the mantel. I bought it to put on the tree, but she insisted that it looked better on the mantel. She’s always trying to help me decorate. LOL!

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