Friday, November 29, 2013

Halloween and Thanksgiving 2013

Since it has been a little while since my last post, I have some catching up to do. We have had a wonderful fall in the Stidham house so far and we definitely have so much to be thankful for this year.
Here are some Halloween and Thanksgiving pictures of our #1 blessing.

A little baby doll with Daddy

on the big slide with Harrison

Happy Thanksgiving

And here is our #2 blessing, due May 31, 2014!

Belly shot 9 weeks!

Belly shot 11 weeks!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Day at Busch Gardens

This post is super late since we went to Busch Gardens about 7 weeks ago. I'll just try to play catch up over the next several posts.

Back in August, Blakely and her cousins Eli and Lexie Kate went to Busch Gardens for the day. The kids had so much fun! It was our second trip of the summer but Blakely wasn't really into the rides the first time. This time, she was a little more fearless.

 Our first stop was to see the horse. Blakely enjoyed seeing it but didn't want to pet its head. Next, we let the kids ride the horses. I think this was Blakely's favorite ride of the day.

Blakely was really afraid of the ladybug ride at first and stayed as close to Lexie Kate as possible.
But it didn't take too long for her to enjoy it more.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun at the Beach

I know this post is a little late, but better late than never (which seems to be my motto with most things in life)!

A few weeks ago, we rented a beach house in Nags Head, NC with 4 other couples. Between all of us, there were 10 adults and 6 children four years old and younger. It was such a fun week but definitely a lot of work with so many little ones.

We pretty much spent our days relaxing on the beach and our nights either eating out or cooking for everyone.

The kids had a great time playing together and Blakey still talks about her friends everyday. In fact, as I type this, she's in her crib (not napping) saying all of their names over and over again.

Going out to eat!

We had a wonderful time, but like all vacations it definitely wasn't long enough. But I guess the sooner I get this school year started, the sooner I can start planning my next beach vacation!

The best night! The girls went out and the guys stayed home with the kids!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Big Shoes and An Even Bigger Responsibility

As a little girl, I remember going into my mother's closet and trying on her high heels. I remember thinking how fun it would be when I grew up and could wear fun and fancy shoes, put on make-up, and do all the things that big girls did. I even remember buying my first pair of high heels (of course they just had a teeny little heel) and really feeling big and grown.

I now watch my own daughter (even as little as she is) doing those same things that I used to do. She LOVES playing with mommy's make-up, wearing "listick", and walking around in my shoes. I catch her at least once a day coming out of my closet with different pairs of high heels and clomping through the house saying "Mommy, look at me!"
As I get ready every morning, she comes to my vanity, pulls out all my make-up and brushes her face and eyelids. She'll hand me certain items and say, "Here Mommy. Put on. I pretty."

Watching her do all those big girl things reminds me of what an awesome but also daunting task I have before me. In today's culture, she will be told at every turn that she's not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, talented enough, and the list goes on and on. She won't be able to look through a magazine or watch a television show without someone promoting a product that will inevitably make her feel like she doesn't quite measure up.

As her mother, of course I want her to feel beautiful, teach her how to wear make-up, buy her first pair of high heels, and encourage her in all her princess fantasies. But I also want to instill in her a self-confidence that can withstand any criticism she may face. I want her to know that she is already beautiful and perfect just the way she is because she is unique and wonderfully made.

I have the awesome task of raising her to be a confident and self-assured woman who knows how valuable she is. But I must remember that the best way to do that is not through my words, but through my actions. I, like most women, make critical comments about my own body. I occasionally look in the mirror and criticize what's staring back at me. I buy the latest products that promise to make me more beautiful and I usually hop on the bandwagon of the latest weight loss craze that is featured on Pinterest or other media outlet.

Now I'm not saying that wanting to be beautiful or skinny is a bad thing. But as a mother to a little girl, I just need to be careful about how I react to my own body because that will affect how she reacts to hers. I want her to have a healthy attitude towards beauty and know that what she sees in the magazines is not a realistic version of beauty.

More than anything, I want her to know that she is beautiful, loved and treasured not because of the size she wears but simply because she is my daughter.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Blakely

Yes, this post is a day late. But better late than never I suppose!

Yesterday, my girl celebrated her 2nd birthday. I cannot believe she is 2 already! In some ways, the past two years have flown by and in another way, I cannot imagine a time in my life without her. She brings so much joy to her daddy and me.
For her birthday, we celebrated last Saturday with a big cookout at my in-laws house with lots of family and friends. I only took one picture (I'm going to blame it on the busyness) so I'm hoping to do a post on her party when I can round up some pictures from other people.
So for now, I just want to say a BIG Happy Birthday to the sweetest girl I know. Blakely, mommy loves you so much! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

As I celebrate Mother's Day today, I am reminded of how God has blessed me with some truly amazing women. These women truly embody the Proverbs 31 woman that God calls us to be. I am blessed beyond measure to have them in my life and today I want them to know how loved and treasured they are.

To my mother
Mom, I don't even know where to begin. You are the most amazing woman and have been such an inspiration to me in my own journey of motherhood. Growing up, you were the person I knew was always in my corner no matter what. You taught me to be kind, loving, forgiving, and to find my self-worth in Christ. You have encouraged me to be independent and have supported me through all my decisions.
As a child, you were my mother; as an adult, you are my best friend. Living so far from you is truly one of the most difficult things I have had to face but I'm thankful you're never more than a phone call (or Skype call) away. Words will never be enough and I'll never be able to thank you for all you have done. I love you so very much and thank God every day that he chose you to be my mother!

To my Granny
Granny, you are one amazing woman! You are one of the most selfless people I have ever met. You love your 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren with a love that never ceases. You are giving, patient, and always think of others before you ever think of yourself. I am so thankful that I have you as my grandmother. I hope today you know how loved, treasured, and cherished you are!

To my Grandma
I miss her everyday. The legacy she created and left in this world is something that is treasured by so many. She touched thousands of lives in her countless years of teaching and I really believe that it was her example that sparked in me a passion for teaching. She may have only been a biological mother to 2 boys but was a mother in so many other ways to the children she taught.
Although I wish I still had her here on Earth, I am thankful for the 26 years I had with her and I celebrate the life she led on this Mother's Day.

To my mother-in-law
Sharon, before I married your son, I prayed daily not only for my future husband but also for his family. I prayed that God would grant me with a mother-in-law who would welcome me into her family and love me like a daughter. I prayed that she would be someone who loved the Lord and would encourage us in our marriage. Sharon I want you to know that God answered and exceeded every one of my prayers. From the moment we met, you showered me with love and made me feel like one of your own children. You are an amazing woman, wife, and mother and have set such a wonderful example for your children.
Thank you for everything thing you do for me, Kevin, and Blakely. Thank you for loving her and taking care of her everyday while Kevin and I are at work.  I want you to know how appreciated and loved you are. Thank you for being my mother-in-law!

To Blakely
Blakely, being your mommy is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am so thankful that you have some amazing women in your life who love you just as much as I do. I hope that I can be the kind of mother to you that they have been to me. Thank you for making me a mommy. I am able to celebrate today because of you!