What I Love About Being a Mama: Sibling Friendships

Undoubtedly, one of my favorite things about being a mama is when I get to witness how much my kids truly like one another.  Not just "we-love-because-we-have-to", but actual friendship.  Snuggling, tickling, laughing, playing because-they-want-to friendship.  It warms my heart to no end to see these sibling friendships developing and growing.

Stacey Woods photos of sibling friendships

I was folding laundry on Lila's bed yesterday, and Lila climbed into Charlotte's crib to play with her, like she so often does. They just began snuggling under the covers and tickling each other and giggling like little girls do. My heart melted into a puddle when I saw them being so loving toward each other, all on their own.

My camera was in my office, but my iPhone was nearby, so that is what I used here. After all, "the best camera is the one that's with you."  ~Chase Jarvis

I actually texted this photo to my two sisters immediately afterward, because it made me think of them. We're still best friends to this day, even as mamas ourselves.

Parents, never underestimate the importance of fostering real friendship between your children! I'm so very grateful for my sisters... the way we have always helped each other through different stages of life, having all of those inside jokes that no one else thinks is significant, much less funny. How we support each other even if we don't agree, how we can call or text in the middle of the night if we need a listening ear or a bit of advice about a sick baby.  How we've comforted and encouraged one another through breakups and boyfriends, marriages and babies, through life and death and sickness in between, through prosperity and heart-breaking loss, through cross-country moves and changes that cannot be reversed. I am sp grateful for our undying friendship and our unconditional acceptance and support of each other.  I know that my sisters always have my back, even though we are scattered across the country.

Our parents gave us these most wonderful gifts: each other.

It is my intention to guide all three of my children to not only love each other, but to truly like each other now and forever.  To give them what I have with my sisters.  And it's a beautiful thing to witness this unfolding before my eyes.

So what about you?  Are your children also friends? Let's talk!  I'd love to know your tips and ideas on how to develop sibling friendship in the comments below!

I'll go first!  :)  There were three of us girls, but only two bedrooms upstairs. So the two who were arguing the most would have to share a room until we learned to get along. We didn't like it at first, but it worked like a charm.  Mom was pretty brilliant like that.

Now it's your turn!


Today is the first day of my new blog series entitled, "What I Love About Being a Mama".  Stay tuned for the next few weeks as we celebrate mothers all over the world.  I'll be featuring interviews with other mamas, special gifts, and giveaways just for my readers!  Be sure and subscribe so that you don't miss a single post!


I also hope you'll join me this Friday and Saturday, April 11th and 12th, for Mother's Day mini-sessions at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin!  I'd love to melt YOUR Mama-heart into a puddle when you see images of your children loving on each other, and loving on YOU.  Register now by emailing me through this website (contact link above) or by calling me at 727-698-0344.  It would be my honor to celebrate you and your children, even if they're grown up and not-so-little anymore.  They'll always be your babies, after all, right?

xo, Stacey


And their Daddy's too.  I was out of town last weekend, the first time I'd ever left my babies for more than a single night.  I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see their sweet (funny) faces again when I returned!! I could just kiss his cheeks off.  :)

Tampa Child Photographer

I missed this sweet face too. . .  cowboy disguise and all.  Shh, don't tell her that you can still recognize that pouty face as hers.  Let's not spoil it for her, okay?  ;)

clearwater childrens photography

I'll have details of my trip shortly.  Don't go too far away. . . hope you all had a fantastic Mother's Day!!

counting to six | clearwater child photographer

I'd shopped and ran errands all day.  The backache nagged me.  Went home, made a pot of vegetable beef soup (Chris's favorite), still with the backache.  Swollen feet, tired legs.  So much to do.  Too tired to finish any more of it.  I made Chris and myself bowls of soup and I followed him to living room.  I took my spot on the floor, legs tucked under the coffee table, back leaning against the couch, and we settled in to watch the Reds play the Braves.  That was almost 9:30pm on April 20, 2004.  My due date was April 22, 2004, just two days away.  I felt the baby kick once, and then again.  Hard. By 8am the next morning, this is what I looked like:

parker's birthday

Yep, ready for our baby boy to enter the world!  Notice the makeup?  The brushed hair?  Yeah.  That didn't last long.  Soon the makeup melted off from sweat and exhaustion from trying to deliver a baby for two hours.  The freshly-applied lipstick disappeared due to the obsessive consumption of of ice chips, which I begged Chris to spoonfeed me nonstop between contractions.

Finally, at 10:11 am on April 21, 2004, our little baby boy took his first breath.  He let out his first wail.  And seconds later, sobbing, I held 7 pounds and 14 ounces of my heart right there in my hands.  Parker made me a Mama.  He made Chris a Daddy.  We were officially a Family.


SORRY PEOPLE, BUT YOU WILL NOT SEE THE AFTER PHOTO OF ME!!!  :)  I must retain a little bit of my dignity, thankyouverymuch.  I was so unbelievably swollen that my own mother nearly cried when she walked into the recovery room and saw me.  Thank goodness I had no idea how horrific I looked at the time.  I was just glad the pushing was over and that he was here and healthy!  (Yes, actually this is the best I looked, from the very-pregnant moment you saw above until Parker was several days old.  I know.  Still scary.)


A year passed in what seemed like mere days.  At least I'm not swollen anymore in this next picture though!  This photo was taken on Parker's first birthday.  The crib bedding behind him is now on Lila's bed (yep, same crib) and I still love it to pieces.  If you hadn't noticed, we're a wee bit sentimental around here.  ;)



He was just about to turn two in the above image.  And this is likely the shortest you'll ever see Parker's hair on this blog.  We started letting his "surfer hair" grow when he was about 18 months old.  I'm so thankful he still likes it.

And this one?  Well I'm just kicking myself for not having found it sooner.....  he was three and a half.  His hair was light golden, it was long, and it was glorious.  I loved it.  And his squinty laugh still makes me smile!


He had just woken up from a nap in the below-right image, and he was snuggling with his "Best Buddy" in the whole world.  His Daddy.  I didn't dare edit out the sweet sleep marks on his right cheek.  Precious.


Four. I think this is when he started looking incredibly more grown up to me.  (Maybe it's just that I had another tiny person to compare him to at this point!)  After all that loud crying from this itty bitty baby who was just minutes old, Parker still decided that she was okay and that we could indeed take her home with us.  Today, he is the one who sings, "You Are My Sunshine" to his fussy sister in the car, and substitutes, "please don't take my Lila away," in the chorus.  The sweet innocence of his voice.  Lila stops crying two notes (two notes!) into his song, every time.  But he keeps singing anyway.  I love that.


Five. Now a preschooler.  Ohhh how I adore this boy who calls me "Mah-muh" in that sweet, lispy voice that belongs to none other in this world.


And finally, six.  Oh be still my heart.  He's just grown up faster than I ever could have dreamed.


Dear Parker Scott, I hope that someday you read your Mama's blog and that you can see how much I loved simply being your Mama.  You are an amazing little person and your Daddy and I are honored to have been given this wonderful gift of raising you, Son.  You make us happy beyond our wildest dreams, and we are so proud of you and the big boy you're growing up to be.  We love everything that makes you uniquely YOU ~ the way you still crumple your blankie to sleep at night, the way you roll your eyes and curl your lip when you are thinking of something funny to say, the delight you take in going to "Guy's Lunch" with your Daddy, your contented smile when I'm scratching your back at bedtime.  How every occasion calls for a light-saber in tow.  Your funny bedhead each morning, and how you always come to our room every single morning when you wake up.  How you'd rather read a comic book than eat when you're hungry.  Your honest, can't-contain-it giggle when you're tickled.  How you call Daddy your Best Buddy, and how you charged everyone $1 to join the Best Buddies Club (including Papa Donnie and Popaw Pat) when you were three.  That perfect freckle on your cheek.  How you still go along with Mama's photography projects and ideas, even when you could be watching SuperHero Squad or building something amazing with your Legos.  How you were my most gorgeous and available subject during the very long time that I was learning photography ~ I hope you know how thankful I am that you don't despise me after all of the constant modeling I asked of you.  ;)  We love how sweet you are to your sister, even though she dumps out all your toys and takes your Bakugans without asking.  How snuggly and affectionate you still are, and how much you value simply our "being happy with you".  Parker, your Daddy and I are very, very happy with you.  With your kind heart and your creative mind for building and inventing, you will certainly make a difference in this world someday, Son.  We believe in you.  And we hope you have the most amazing birthday ever today!  We love you so. ~Love, Mama and Daddy 4/21/10

Mini-session reminder!

Just a quick reminder, the first day of Mini-Sessions is THIS SATURDAY, September 27, and a reservation IS required to hold your spot!  (This is the ONLY Saturday our Mini's will be offered!)  There are so many amazing places to shoot at our first location:  a small beach, wide open fields, wooded areas, and lots of graceful old live oaks -- with their signature Spanish moss hanging from the limbs.  You have a couple more days to sign up, but ya gotta be QUICK!!  Email me at stacey@staceywoodsphoto.com to book your Holiday Mini-Session today! Here is a small sampling of the Christmas card line for this year.... 


If you'd like to take a look at more, go to http://www.staceywoodsphoto.com , click on "client proofing" and use the password cards.  Most of the Stacey Woods Photography holiday cards are flat/memo-style and have a matching reverse with completely customizable text.  They measure 5x5 or 5x7, and include envelopes as well.  I'm also offering folded cards again this year, and they promise to be absolutely gorgeous... sure to make an impression on your lucky card recipients this year!

See you soon!  :)