Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The God Box

I read this great article in November's Real Simple Magazine that really got me was about a mom who started a "God Box." Apparently, this mom was one of those people who people just wanted to talk to about their problems, joys or concerns. She was so openly sympathetic that just about everyone instantly confided in her. And she, in turn, cared so deeply about others, even complete strangers, and she would take all of their joys and problems to heart and mull over them for days.

That's when her friend suggested she put her list of cares into a box. And just like that, the God Box was born.

From then on, when someone shared a concern with this woman, she would say optimistcally, "I'll put in the God Box." The simple act of writing down the wish and relinquishing control to a higher power was her way to help others, and relieve her own mind.

I found this article very interesting in that these days I feel like I am trying to pray for others as I see them or think about them, but the prayer never really feels "finished, " for some reason. I am going to make my own God Box and actually write down on a scrap of paper when I think of someone I want to pray for or a specific prayer for someone. Then, I can go back through the box at a later date and think back on the prayers and check back on anyone I may have forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life.

God is so good and is constantly challenging me to find ways to get closer to him. I think the God Box will be another way for me to do just that.

Lee Anne

Monday, October 25, 2010

We made it back!

We made it back! Here are some pics from our time away....
Yes. That's a funnel cake tree.
Yes. I have more make up on than is probably allowed. I was too tired from our previous night and didn't want to do my hair or makeup myself. So I did what all of you would do. I went to the salon at our hotel and had them do it. This resulted in fake eyelashes and lots of eye make up. That night, I forgot I had them on so I woke up and thought there were spider webs in my eyes. True story.
Yes. My husband is hot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


We leave tomorrow for a Mommy-Daddy trip to Vegas with these guys (see above). The bottom pic is of Casi and I the last time we went to Vegas. The pic above that is of Renzi and I the last time we were in Vegas (same trip). Ironically, these are the only two pics we took the ENTIRE time we were there. The top pic is of JW and Renzi on their 30th birthday. Can you believe that is the ONLY pic of them I could find on my computer??? Oh and my hair is sooo short in these pics...I am currently on a mission to see just how long I can get my hair. It's pretty long right now and I am loving it. I am NOT loving the grey hairs I have found since my hair is longer, but don't worry, I have taken care of that with some highlights (shout out to Kristin Pfenninger!). OMG. This post has now become a ramble. I think I need a vacation STAT.

I told Renzi I had three goals for this trip. (1) Eat good food. (2) Drink good wine. (3) Have fun. I think we can safely say we WILL accomplish these goals before Sunday when we return home.

I will miss my baby love TERRIBLY while we are gone, but know how important it is that Renzi and I spend time together sans kiddos. Very refreshing and great for your marriage.

So....until we return from LV....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baby Momma

Oh Jackson Stone. You make me laugh out loud all day long. How absolutely blessed I am to be your "baby momma." (By the way, who taught him to say this?? Seriously? And in the right context??????)

Here are some pics of my baby love and me at the pumpkin patch in SW Missouri. We went to the lake this weekend and headed to this pumpkin patch right at the Missouri border 8 miles from Grove, OK. We actually went last year and Renzi and I remember this being one of our best days with Jackson and Isaiah, so we were eager to get back and create another good memory from this most spectacular pumpkin patch. We all had a blast and enjoyed spending time together.

Other notes from the weekend? Oh when Jackson shouted out at the top of his lungs, "Momma, you CRAZY!!!!" You can guarantee that "baby daddy" got a BIG kick out of that one!

Oh and check out the other pic of my love playing his guitar. Ladies, look out I've got a rock star on my hands!

Lee Anne

Monday, October 11, 2010

Post from Renzi

The alarm goes off most mornings at 5:24 a.m. The rest I had yearned for over the past year returned rather easily, as if nothing happened. I usually wake up a few minutes before my alarm, my body rested and my mind racing. I 'm ready for another challenging week. Today, it was 4:50 a.m. I could have arisen, but I just laid there in the silence. This is when I do my best praying, as I passively listen to the gentle sounds of Lee Anne's breathing. Actually, this morning there were the faint sounds of two as Jackson had snuck into our bed in the middle of the night. His little toes fit perfectly into the small of my back where he occasionally kicks me as he adjusts his position. I don't really mind it.

It is another Monday morning. Exactly twenty-one weeks since Isaiah died. It still hurts like you know what. Since our crazy roller coaster ended in May, we have gotten back into somewhat of a routine. Knowing what to expect is one of the things that we humans need. Lee Anne and I never knew what each day brought with Isaiah, but here we are twenty-one weeks later and I could tell you my entire day, week and remainder of month. Seriously, I know where I'll be each day and weekend until Thanksgiving. Routine. People need one. Routine gives us comfort.

Part of my morning routine is to make a caauccino from our Jura Capresso F9 coffee maker. It is a positive, daily reminder of Isaiah-the nearly four figure coffee maker that we bought so we "could have a great cup of coffee if we were going to be up all night." It is worth it. I took my first sip of the freshly ground espresso with hot steamed milk and one sweet-and-low and headed back to my home office.

Maybe I'll read Lee Anne's blog this morning, I thought. Isaiah was always on my mind on Monday mornings. As I pulled open the browser, I got a good laugh out of her "Organized Sports" post about Jackson's first soccer game. I scrolled down the page to previous posts. I knew a recent post was about Isaiah, but I had not had the stomach to read it. Until now. The "Missing Him" post had elicited quite a response from readers. It made me cry-nothing like crying before 6:00 a.m.- and inspired me to write this post. I finished my now warm-coffee and started typing.

Most of you know this by now, but Lee Anne is a special gal. She is incredibly strong, but we both still have our moments of pain, like yesterday on the way back from the lake when we got into a heated discussion about whether Isaiah's condition was "extremely complicated." No doctor had ever used that word and she wanted to know "why," especially since it ended they way it did. Our docs did a great job and were all positive with us the entire time, even when we asked for "worst case" scenarios. I told her that I did not think "why" was a good question for us anymore. "Why" is elusive-and unfair- and unanswerable. "Why" sucks.

My head began to clear as the caffeine did its job. I though about Isaiah's life, our life, Jackson and whether we would have other children. I thought about grace. I thought about our priorities. I thought about the progress we have made since May. I thought about the pain and then I focused on the positives. The empty-feeling heartaches are never far away from me, but I'm putting distance between them every day.

The key is to pull the good moments even closer. I need another cappuccino.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Isaiah Lee Stone Scholarship Award

I have the greatest job in the world. Seriously. I do.

For those of you who don't know, I am the Youth Coordinator for Leadership Oklahoma. Leadership Oklahoma began in 1986 and was created to build a statewide leadership development program designed to identify, teach and challenge the leaders of our state. Youth Leadership Oklahoma (YLOK) was created in 2001 and is a program provided, free of charge to upcoming high school seniors, designed to develop in our state's young leaders a hope, pride and responsibility for Oklahoma's future.

Each year, 50 high school juniors are selected from across the state to make up YLOK and to be a part of this one of a kind leadership opportunity. The students take a week long journey in June to learn more about Oklahoma's resources and its people. By learning about Oklahoma's history, culture, issues and leaders, hopefully YLOK participants begin to develop a greater understanding and an immense appreciation of our great state.

In 2007, I was given the opportunity to join the Leadership Oklahoma team and was the interim YLOK Coordinator. I was pregnant with Jackson at the time and worked full time getting up to speed on the job and planning the program. I was six months pregnant and hopped on a bus with 50 high school upcoming seniors and we traveled around the state for a week.

I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom when I had babies, but I didn't realize just how much it means to truely love your job...and want to be a stay at home mom too. Enter...the solution....I was so fortunate that LOK took me up on the idea of having me be a "contract" worker and still run YLOK, but do it on a limited amount of in the office hours with office hours at my house as well. I am happy to report that I will be traveling with my 5th YLOK class this summer. What a joy it is to have a job you are passionate about but also be able to stay at home and watch my babies grow as well. I do realize I am one of the lucky ones and I truely feel blessed by my situation daily.

With that 2009 I traveled the state with YLOK Class IX while I was 39 weeks pregnant with Isaiah. So, now, both of my kiddos are a huge part of my job as well. When Isaiah died, it was natural for Renzi and I to ask that all donations be made to Youth Leadership Oklahoma so that this wonderful organziation could be blessed as much as it has blessed us.

After many long talks, Renzi and I decided that with this money that was donated to YLOK and with LOK we wanted to start the ISAIAH LEE STONE SCHOLARSHIP. We presented our criteria to this year's class. Here it is in detail:

The Isaiah Lee Stone Youth Leadership Oklahoma Scholarship Award

Who was Isaiah Lee Stone?
Isaiah Lee Stone was the infant son of YLOK Coordinator, Lee Anne Stone and Class XVIII's C. Renzi Stone. Lee Anne traveled around the state with Class IX in the summer of 2009 at 39 weeks pregnant with Isaiah. The program concluded on a Friday and Lee Anne gave birth to Isaiah the following Monday morning-June 15, 2009. Isaiah was diagnosed with epilepsy later that year and after exhaustive medical treatments, passed away on May 17, 2010-just short of his first birthday. Isaiah taught the Stones and anyone else who came into contact with him how to smile, laugh and live every day to the fullest.

Who is worthy of being the Isaiah Lee Stone Youth Leadership Oklahoma Scholarship recipient?

The class is encouraged to nominate individuals who best exemplfiy the type of leader Oklahoma needs for its future. This is not intended to be the person who wants to run for political office or the most popular among you. The Isaiah Lee Stone YLOK Scholar is someone who has made a lasting impression on each classmate. They are someone who asks thoughtful questions of speakers, who invests time in getting to know everyone and who professes a love for the state of Oklahoma. Classmates know for certain that this person is going to do great things in thier future. Nominees know with clear intentions today that they will make their home in the great state of Oklahoma after college.

Each YLOK class will select the recipient of the Isaiah Lee Stone Youth Leadership Oklahoma Scholarship with the honoree being announced at YLOK Graduation. Scholarship money, $1,500, will be distributed August 1st teh follwing year prior to college via check to each recipient.

This year YLOK Class X nominated Thomas Owens from Edmond Memorial High School for the first Isaiah Lee Stone Scholarship Award winner. I had the chance to get to know Thomas a little better at a Youth Council meeting I held a few weeks back and let me tell you. This kid is amazing! I know he will do amazing things for our state and will be a leader in whatever he chooses to do in his future.

I just wanted to share with you all about this award and to let those of you who don't know what I am talking about when I say, "I was at work, " or , "my job," etc.
I am so happy to be able to have such a great work-home balance and feel like working on a contract basis helps make me a better mom and wife. I get to still be "Lee Anne" and I get to still be "Mom" too.

I hope that all of can and have found what you are passionate about and can make that work for your life as well!
Lee Anne

P.S. I also just opened up the application process for YLOK Class XI. If you know of a current junior in high school in Oklahoma encourage them to apply! You can download an application at Deadline is Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.!