Sunday, January 3, 2016


As I looked out the airplane window on my descent into Idaho Falls yesterday, I couldn't help wondering if the new baby would be born by the time my cell phone could receive messages again.

He wasn't.

I also couldn't help looking back on the first time I took this grandmothering journey almost five years ago. How awkward the whole thing was. How unready I was. In all honesty, how much I was dreading it.  I wrote this emotional post as I pulled into Rexburg that evening, and it remains one of the rawest and most honest posts I've ever published.

I'll never forget how that all disappeared the first time I held one of my own grandchildren.

Birthing and holding your own miracles is indescribable--the hormones, the joy, the relief, the fear, the exhaustion, the newfound love all explode in one moment in a sterile hospital room that is forever seared into memory. Holding your child's miracle is also indescribable--the lack of hormones and exhaustion this time, but still joy, fear, relief and newfound love.

I arrived at Heidi's and Sam's house straight from the airport, ready to feed their three kids macaroni, baked potatoes, and salad prepared by Grandpa Brubaker. And for dessert--golden juicy goodness brought all the way from Arizona and picked from familiar citrus trees. Kids were bedded, kissed, read to, and prayed with. We all hoped he would be here when we awoke.

By 9 am this morning, all four of us were bathed, dressed, once again fed, and more than a dozen times kissed--and at the hospital ready to meet the new baby.

Thomas Bennett Brubaker
January 3, 2016
7 lbs. 11 oz., 21"

I spent the entire day at the hospital, smelling him and changing him and swaddling him and rocking him and loving him. The first daylight hours of his life we spent together, sent directly from heaven to our family. Eight precious hours alone with him and my amazing daughter--a memory of spun gold and downy baby hair. There was nowhere else on this earth I would have traded places to be today.

Some transitions are hard. We dig in our heels and dread where time is taking us, fighting with Botox or gym memberships or fancy sports cars. That fear of the unknown can really bog us down, if we let it. Five years ago, I feared elastic-waisted pants, pill bottles, and gray hair. While a few grays have peeked their way into my hair, I'm still successfully avoiding the other two. Who would have known you can be Gran and still feel young?

I am filled with gratitude at his safe arrival, at Heidi's strength, and for the blessings that make it possible for me to spend this first week of Thomas's life here in the frigid Idaho winter.

God is good.


  1. Congratulations to Sam and Heidi and welcom Thomas. So pleased to see everything went well and although I am yet to start in this grandmothering journey, and no indication it will start soon, I love reading about your enjoyment looking after these treasures. Enjoy your time in Idaho. C

  2. He's beautiful, Jen. Much love and good wishes to all.


  3. I hope everyone stays healthy.

  4. What a beautiful boy and a beautiful post. Congratulations! You have 5 grandchildren already!! Wow!

  5. Congratulations. What a sweet baby. Love the name. My husband's name is Thomas.