Thursday, December 31, 2009

A look back and A look forward!

Happy New Year's Eve to all my blogging friends! Please note that there will not be any photos in this post as we are traveling. I hope today will be a day where you can reflect back on the year and see all the wonderful moments you have been given. I know I am doing this today and feeling blessed. It was in fact one of the toughest years for me, but without the trials I had I would not be the person I am. I believe that God put people in my life for so many reasons this year. I don't think I could have gotten through the months of fertility treatments without Chad, my family, and friends. I am thankful for all the new friendships and blogging friends I have met over this past year. I have become a stronger person because of the role models that surrounded me. I feel blessed that going into 2010 I have some great friends and family to be there for me for the greatest gift I recieved this year, our baby. The most important blessing I have recieved this year was my relationship with God has changed and developed into something so great and powerful that I don't want to let it go. Walking in faith and believing in his word has done such amazing things for me this past year and I hope it continues. My relationship with Chad is much better and our marriage has a strong base to bring a child into it and for this I am forever grateful. My only New Year's Resolution is to be a better Christian and focus more on God and his Glory.
I am excited to see what 2010 brings for my family and I know it will be the BEST year! I wish that 2010 will be the year for all the couples that are facing infertility will recieve the gift of a child or children. May God Bless you all this year! With BIG hugs I hope you have a great New Year's Eve!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Gifts

I had a Great Christmas and my favorite gift was getting to spend Christmas with my family.  I got some Amazing gifts from my family and Chad.  Baby Stafford got some great gifts too! 
Baby Stafford Gifts:
From My Mom
1.  Picture Frame
2.  Soft and Cozy White Gap Blanket
3.  White Onesie
4.  My favorite gift - Gift Card to Mika Beth Photography - this is where I am getting our newborn pictures taken in June 2010.  Yes I already have this booked.  You can check out her blog here!
From Amie and Brian
1.  Moby Wrap
Here is a picture of me using the Moby Wrap with Drew
My Favorite Gifts:
From My Mom:
Sony Reader and Case
From Chad:
Samsung DualView Digital Camera
I love this camera already! 
Necklace from Banana Republic

Boy Oh Boy was this Girl Spoiled!

We are off to Tennessee tonight to spend the New Years Holiday with Chad's parents.  I hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blessed to Be Friends

I love this picture of Harper and I.  She would not look at her mommy!

Today I was blessed to have lunch with this sweet girl and her mommy!  I just love this family and the friendship we have created over the past year!  Thanks Kelly and Harper for the lunch date!  I look forward to this summer when we can have play dates. 
I love all my friends and cherish each of them for different reasons.  I love when you can pick up where you left off with friends and there is no stress in the friendship.  This is my favorite type of friendship and I feel blessed to have some of these relationships here in Arkansas, as well as, South Dakota and Montana. 
Friends are Amazing!

I did a Week 19 Pregnancy Post below if you would like to see how I am doing!

Week 19

Today I am 19 Weeks and 1 day!  Sorry for not posting yesterday.  I usually take a pregnancy photo on Sunday night, but we were busy unpacking from our Christmas vacation and getting ready for the work week.  Than last night I was not looking to great to take a photo and we also took down all of our Christmas decorations. 
Next week is the BIG appointment...we find out the SEX!  I have completed all the Old Wives Tales and most of them say that we are having a Girl.  We will see!  After spending the Christmas Holiday with my sister and her boys I am so excited to know what we are having and I can't wait until May 2010.  I loved playing, snuggling, kissing, and loving on Drew and Aidan.  Amie is my twin sister (in case you didn't know) and her baby Drew (who is 7 months old) thought I was his mommy and I loved seeing his face light up every time I entered the room where he was at.  It was priceless!  It will be interesting to see how my baby reacts to Amie.  Being a twin is great and so special I would not change it for anything! 

This week Baby Stafford is the size of a mango!
I did have boots on today so please ignore my house shoes!

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along:  19 weeks and 1 day
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  Not sure, but my belly sure has grown over the past week
Maternity Clothes:  None Yet
Sleep:  I love sleep! 
Best Moment this week:  When our friends daughter Kendall puts her ear to my belly to see if she can hear the baby... so cute!  I also really enjoyed being with my family for the Christmas Holiday!
Gender:  One more week and we will know...Yeah!
Movement:  None I am starting to get concerned as I thought that I would feel the baby by now, but nothing.  Is this normal?
Food Craving:  Honey Nut Cheerios and Dark Chocolate
What I miss:  I still miss Chocolate Milk
What I am looking forward to:  Next week when we find out what we are having, so exciting!
Weekly Wisdom:  Read Baby Wise before the baby gets here 
Symptoms:  Lower back pains and right hip hurts

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We are Home!

We made it home!  It was a scary and stressful drive from South Dakota to Missouri.  Once we arrived in Kansas City it was sunny and the interstate was dry!  I would have to say that on our nine hour drive it appears that many families had a White Christmas!  Now that the unpacking is complete Chad and I are sitting in our warm house by the fire and Bella is snuggling next to me on the couch.  I sure do miss her when we are away, but she has the best dog sitter that we have nothing to worry about.  Chad and I are home for a few days and than we are off again to Tennessee to visit Chad's parents for the New Years Holiday.  I am not looking forward to being in the car again for 8 hours, but we need to visit.  For the next few days I will be busy working, taking down our Christmas decorations, packaging, and daily household duties.  And on a side note I am sick again!  I have a horrible head cold again...

I sure do miss these boys already!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Will we get home and holiday recap!

South Dakota had record snow fall this Holiday Season!  Will we get home tomorrow?  Currently the interstates are CLOSED.  If we do leave it will be an adventure going home.  
This Christmas Season we loaded our Jeep on Tuesday December 22nd 2009 and that evening we left for the Hansen home in South Dakota.  We drove from 8PM until 5AM to bet the WINTER STORM that was heading to South Dakota.  On December 23rd 2009 with only three hours of asleep I was up playing with these two cute faces: 
Chad was not feeling well at all so he slept until 11AM and took meds all day.  That afternoon we had lunch at the best Bread Store, Great Harvest Bread Company.  I wish they had one in NWA.  It is the best!  I love this bread so much that Amie sends us bread.  That afternoon my sister and I did some shopping at Target and Walmart while Chad and Brian did some last minute Christmas shopping!  The evening was spent playing and enjoying our family. 
Than for the next two days we were SNOWED in!  We did a lot of baking and playing.  Played a game of Phase 10 and just enjoyed eachother's company.  We had a great time with Aidan making a Gingerbread House and Sugar Cookies. 
Go Check out my sister's blog post on us making a Gingerbread House and Sugar Cookies, they are too cute!
Finally Christmas was HERE and my nephew Aidan was beyond EXCITED for Christmas.  Santa came early in the morning to visit and it was too cute! 
Than after Santa left with his cookies we SKYPED with my mom, Auntie JJ, a
nd Marley in Montana and opened Christmas presents. Isn't technology GREAT!  Everyone was SPOILED this year for Christmas.  Once I finish opening my gifts from Chad (which are back at home) I will share all the great gifts I got! 

Amie made a wonderful Christmas dinner and we stayed inside were it was nice in WARM.  Until later in the evening when Chad, Brian, and Aidan went outside and played in the SNOW. 
Today we all had cabin fever so we made our way to the Mall and got a few great deals at Banana Republic and Gap.  The drive around town was a sight to see!  I don't think that I have EVER seen this much SNOW. 

So will the Stafford's make it home tomorrow?  We will see!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas From The Stafford's

The Stafford Family wants to wish you and your family a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I hope all of you receive your Christmas Wish and may 2010 be a GREAT year for all of you! 

With Love and Blessings,
Melissa, Chad, and Bella!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bella Merry Christmas and WINNER!

Bella wishes all of you a Merry Christmas!  Isn't this the cutest picture! 

So I am having to ANNOUNCE the WINNER of the Chris Tomlin Christmas CD early as our plans have changed and we have to head to South Dakota tonight. 
With the help of Random.Org the Winner is...
Comment 34
Samantha you have WON!  If I don't hear from you in the next 48 hours I will draw for another winner!  Please email your home address @ mlstafford26@yahoo.com and I will get your CD in the mail over the holiday break! 
Congrats Samantha!

Monday, December 21, 2009

18 Weeks

Today I am 18 weeks!  My little Lilypie link at the start of my blog is not updating correctly and I am not sure why...so if you have any ideas please let me know.  Chad and I had a great weekend with friends and we are both extremely excited for Christmas!  I feel blessed to be pregnant this year and it is the BEST Christmas Gift I will receive.  God has blessed us and he is one AMAZING person. 
Baby Stafford is the size of a sweet potato!  Yeah!  We are only a few weeks away from the BIG DAY!  I can hardly wait to find out what we are having.  Than the planning begins! 
Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along:  18 weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  Not sure I should weigh myself and find out, but I don't and I don't know why just don't want to get into the habit of feeling concerned about my weight.  I will just wait until my appointment in January 2010.
Marternity Clothes:  None yet, but I am thinking that in a few weeks I will have to try out my belly band. 
Sleep:  I am sleeping good and feel blessed that I am able to sleep in each morning.  However I am still extremely tired, but I hope that changes soon!
Best Moment this week:  Just joining being pregnant and reading as much as I can about our baby!
Gender:  Not Sure Yet...we find out in January 2010
Movement:  None Yet, but I have read that this week I should feel movement so we will see.  I am looking forward to the first feeling. 
Food Craving:  Honey Nut Cheerios
What I miss:  Chocolate Milk and my Pilates Reformer class @ the Fitness Center
What I am looking forward to:  The first movement in my belly and my ultrasound in January 2010.
Weekly Wisdom:  Boys are great!  I think everyone knows that I want a girl, but I will be extremely happy with a boy too.  I feel blessed to be pregnant and I will be so excited for a boy or a girl. 
Symptoms:  Lower back pains and still tired!  Baby Stafford is growing and I will take these symptoms any day knowing that he/she is growing each and every day! 

Don't forget to enter my 1st Blog Giveaway - see details on this post!
Contest Ends Tomorrow @ 6PM Central!

Christmas Light Fun!

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is go and look at Christmas Lights.  My favorite spot in NWA is the Fayetteville Square.  Chad and I spent Saturday night with wonderful friends enjoying all things Christmas.  It was cold, but we had a great time with our friends.  I am so excited for Christmas at the Hansen Home we leave in two days...YEAH!  I truly hope that we have a WHITE and SNOWY Christmas!  That would be the best gift!
Avery all bundled up in the Cold!

Don't forget to ENTER my 1st Giveaway see this post for all the AMAZING details!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Glory in the Highest and Giveaway


CONTEST IS CLOSED!!!!
The Glory in The Highest Christmas Tour Concert was AMAZING and a wonderful night of worship. Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, and Louie Giglio are amazing people and I was blessed to get to spend a few hours with them. All I can say is if you get a chance to go to this concert you should go you won't be disappointed.

The Amazing SOLD OUT crowd at The Church at Pinnacle Hills

Ashley and I before the concert started!

The above pictures were taken with my iPhone

Chad and I were also blessed to get a chance to spend time with our great friends Chad and Ashley. Before the concert we went to Fish City Grill for dinner and than we headed over to the church for the SOLD OUT concert. After the concert we had planned to go home and play cards, but Miss Avery was missing her mommy and daddy so Chad and Ashley headed home.
Christmas has so much meaning, but the most important gift we have all been given is the Birth of Jesus Christ. We need to remember this during the Christmas Season and praise God for all that he has given us. It was TRULY an AMAZING night and I want to share the wonderful music with all of you so I am doing my FIRST giveaway. I am SO EXCITED and I hope you will be too! The giveaway is this...
I am going to give away ONE Chris Tomlin CD. You have until Tuesday, December 22nd @ 6 PM Central Time to enter to WIN!  I will post the winner and contact you on Wednesday, December 23rd 2009. Just leave me a comment on this post and tell me which Chris Tomlin song you like the best and you will be entered into the giveaway! Best of Luck and I am so excited to share this CD with one of you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Baking

This evening I am spending time baking treats for Chad's coworkers and I just love Christmas Baking.  Don't you?  I am making homemade chocolate fudge and the best ever sugar cookies.  I am really looking forward to going to my sister Amie's house for the holidays we are already planning on making a Gingerbread House with Aidan and maybe we will make cookies too!  So if you are interested in my recipes I am going to list them below and if you have any easy recipes or best practices for making Gingerbread House that you would like to share please do. 
Happy Christmas Baking! 

Chocolate Fudge Recipe
3 Cups of Sugar
3/4 cup of Margarine
2/3 cups evaporated milk
1 - 12 oz package of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 - 7 oz jar Kraft Marshmellow Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, margarine, and milk in heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to boil for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring.  Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until melted.  Add marshmellow cream and vanilla beat until blended.  Pour into greased 13X9 inch baking pan.  Let cool and cut into 1 inch squares.
Best Ever Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup powered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp of cream of tarter
1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of powdered sugar combined

Cream sugars, butter, and oil.  Add eggs and mix.  Add dry ingredients, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Mix well!  Form dough into balls and roll in sugar mixture.  Flatten the cookie with a fork.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

ENJOY THE SWEET TREATS!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

17 Weeks

I am a day late doing this post, but I have a great reason.  I was in LA this past weekend and I was busy catching up with household duties and a full day of work.  Plus yesterday I finished my Christmas Shopping.  I do not want to be out shopping with everyone in NWA this weekend.  Finally I wanted to participate in the Nester Christmas Hour Tour so that was my post for Monday.  If you haven't seen my home check it out here!

I am 17 weeks and 1 day!  Yeah!  I have to admit that being pregnant is not what I thought it would be I just thought that your belly grows and no pains will be involved.  Let me tell you I was wrong.  I have for the past two weeks been in so much pain by the end of the day.  My hips and my lower back are killing me.  I had no idea I would have these kinds of pains I just thought your belly grows and all is great.  Oh well, I am blessed to have the pains as I know my little one is growing which means I need to grow too!  A few things that are helping are baths, heating pad, walking, and stretching.  I am thinking that I am just around the corner where my jeans are no longer going to fit and I am going to have to go out and purchase a belly band.  I am thankful that I am still fitting in my normal clothes at 17 weeks.  I don't have a belly yet I just think that I am thick and if you didn't know me you wouldn't even know I was pregnant.  Now onto the weekly highlights!

Here is my 17 Week picture of Baby Stafford!  He/She is the size of an turnip.  This picture was taken last night and I did have cute boots on today, but when we took this picture I had my ballet slippers on and it doesn't look that great, but oh well I was at home!
Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along:  17 weeks
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  Not sure as I don't weigh myself at home we will see at my next appointment in January 2010
Maternity Clothes:  None
Sleep:  I am sleeping better just a few aches and pains in my hip and lower back
Best Moment this week:  Feeling better just a few aches and pains!
Gender: Not Sure Yet...we will find out in January 2010
Movement:  None - I hope soon :)
Food Craving:  Breakfast I love cereal and currently I am loving Honey Nut Cheerios. I love to have apples and crackers for a snack. For lunch and dinner I still like bland food such as grilled cheese.
What I miss:  Chocolate Milk - why do I not drink chocolate milk anymore?  It does not taste good at the moment I hope I will like it soon!
What I am looking forward to:  My appointment in January and Christmas with my family!
Weekly Wisdom:  If you are tired and your body hurts it is good because your baby is growing!
Symptoms:  Still tired and my hip and lower back ache at night!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Nester Christmas Tour of Homes



Hello!  Welcome to the Stafford Christmas Home!  I am excited to share our home with all of you.  I love the Christmas season and all the decorations I have in our home.  We only have one tree, but I do have Christmas decor throughout our home.  Our color theme is Red and Orange and I just LOVE IT!  So step inside our front door and take a look...

From our Front Door looking into our Living Room
Our 2009 Christmas Tree - click the picture to see all the detail!
Close Up of Our Tree
I just love the larger christmas balls on the tree!
Our Christmas Topper
Our fireplace mantal with stockings from Ballard Designs
Above three pictures are of our decor in the kitchen area!
Formal Dining Area!  Don't you just love the stockings hanging from the chairs?
Our Buffet Table with our Let Snow Decor!
Glass Christmas Balls on Formal Dining Table
Peacock Feather Trees
Three Glass Trees by the Front Door



I have had a few questions on where I got our Christmas Decorations throughout our home and most of our decor came from local boutiques in NWA.  If you live here or plan to visit some day here are the stores:
Perfect Choice
Sign Sealed and Delivered
Purple Armadillo
Hobby Lobby
Pottery Barn



I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Tour!  Don't forget to stop by the rest of the homes at The Nester Christmas Tour!
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