Wednesday, August 31, 2011

4 Years Old!

Happy 4th Birthday to my precious little man Jackson James Stone!!! Here are some pics from over the years....




Here he is right after he was born....5 pounds, 5 oz...18.5 inches long...a tiny little thing. He came at 36 weeks because my amniotic fluid was low. He was absolute perfection.









The two pictures below are when Jackson was 1 and then when he was 2.
























Here's my big 3 year old! I walked into his playroom to find him giving himself tattoo sleeves. That was fun to wash off.




















And here he is at almost 4 years old this summer in France. Still has great hair.


Dear Jackson,
I love love love love love you to the moon and back. I can not imagine my life without you in it. You have truly been a gift from God to your dad and I. You have taught us so much about ourselves, but also how to be better people.

You are so kind to everyone you meet, always greeting everyone with a hug, smile and a great big "Heeeyyy!!!" You are a social butterfly and I love watching you include others in whatever it is you are doing.

You have a love for God that is so pure and joyful. You always are the first to want to say a prayer for someone when you know they are hurting and you have the sweetest and most mature prayers. It is so evident that God is working in your life and that you want to help others to know Him as well.

I think you understood more about your brother than your dad and I ever could. It's almost as if you knew he would be living with God sooner than any of us thought, because of the way you accepted and taught us about Heaven. You said to me once, "Mommy, don't be sad...Zayah is in Heaven! With Jesus! And God! He's playing basketball and wrestling and he is so so happy. God is feeding him his bottle and making him pizza. It's going to be ok." How you knew to put it in those exact words showed me just how in tune you are with God.

You make me laugh harder than I ever thought was possible. You are so quick witted, smart and thoughtful in all that you say. Most of the time I think you are smarter than I am. Which you probably are. :)

Every night I always tell you how special you are and how you can be anything that you want to be. I hope you know just how true this is. I will always support you in whatever you decide to do in your life because I know you are following your heart.

It is an HONOR, my love, to be your mommy. Thank you for being my son!!!!

Love you THHIIISSSS MMMUUUCCCCCHHHH (arms stretched out wide),
Mommy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oops I did it again...

Today, Renzi and I hosted a fundraiser for Governor Rick Perry in Tulsa.

And I would just like to say....

That I did not say anything embarrassing like I did during this visit with the Former First Lady of the United States. You can read about that awkward experience here. http://renziandleeannestone.blogspot.com/2011/04/awkward.html


Well....

Now that I think about it...maybe I did....

While sitting next to the LOVELY Anita Perry (seriously people, this lady is ridiculously wonderful) during lunch we were chatting about what has been the hardest part for her on the campaign trail so far. She mentioned that she has a hard time when things are said about her husband that are not necessarily nice and her children get upset. Then she told me a crazy story about what some crazy person did and I replied with a very loud and robust, "SHUT UP!!!!"

She actually didn't even bat an eyelash at my comment.

I knew I liked her.

At least I didn't ask her if she was tired.......I'm growing up people! :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Last week.

It was a big week last week...first day of school for Jackson (he's in 5 day at Westminster. 5 days! Gulp! Half days, but still. When did he get so big?)

And this guy was born....



Don't you just want to squeeze him??? His name is Miller and he's my newest nephew! I heart him.

And then there is this picture....



Yes, those are pants. On his head.

I just laugh at this kid all day long.

And then there is this picture...


Love my silly boy!

-Lee Anne

Monday, August 22, 2011

Remembering Our Babies-October 15th

I came across this organization the other day "Remembering Our Babies: The official site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day," http://www.october15th.com/ and it really made me think about where we have been and how far we have come. After reading about this organization, it really made me think about our grief journey and I thought it was time to write this post.

Many people have asked me to write a post about how I grieved, how I moved on, how I survived after losing Isaiah. It has taken me a while to have the courage to sit down and actually write this post, but I feel that I am in a good place to be able to share this with all of you. I, in no way shape or form, feel like I have all of the answers, but I am honestly proud of how we handled our loss. And I am proud of who I am today because of our loss.


So. What is it like to live life after losing a child?

It certainly depends on the day.

The truth is, I embraced full heartedly that God was in control. Honestly, I don't think we knew how to survive without believing that God was in control. It comes down to a daily decision that I make to live my life gratefully.

It's life after loss, and it's not going anywhere. I have learned to go easier on myself and back down off my expectations on what I should or shouldn't be feeling because if I don't I am setting myself up for failure.

I have learned that when I am sad, I need to take time to be sad. Pushing feelings and emotions to the back of my mind doesn't help me. It hurts me. Because they always seem to creep back up when you least expect it. I am a natural procrastinator and I have been known to just push things to the back of my mind if I don't want to deal with them right then. Dealing with things as they come has been part of my healing. And I think it has made me a more healthy person emotionally because of that.

I clung to certain scriptures during this time. Searching for answers.


"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things."


-Ecclesiastes 11:5

We don't know why Isaiah was sick. We don't know why we were chosen to have to go through this. But like a lot of life's problems, I believe you have to "lean into" the problems instead of back away. We chose to lean into God, instead of back away from him. It's a choice.

But how do you even begin to heal after losing a child?

I began to realize that the pain was going to be a part of my new life. Its funny and humbling because the world has a way of going on all around you even when you are in the depths of sorrow. I accepted that this was my life. Acceptance has been key.

You also have to search for answers, KNOWING that you probably won't find the answers you are looking for.

"But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."


-John 11:22

We prayed and prayed for God to heal Isaiah. We prayed for answers. He did just that. He took away every bit of pain our baby was in. Of course, we did not want him to leave us, but God answered our prayer to heal our child. This took lots of praying and introspect after Isaiah died before we come to this realization and I firmly believe in this scripture. He WILL answer your prayers, it may not be in the way you want it to be done, but your prayers will always be answered.

I had so many questions for God...among the ones I found most important were, Will you tell him all about me and what I would have been for him? Will you tell him how amazing his daddy is? How wonderfully awesome his big brother is? I had to trust that God is keeping Isaiah safe and is showing him love like no other. I know he is.

People ask me all of the time how is it that I am not angry at the Lord. My honest answer is that I have been angry, disappointed and crushed in spirit. What I have not been, and what I refuse to be is disbelieving. The Lord tells me that I will see my child again, and while He stands beside me, He weeps. He cries because I can't see what He can.

I didn't want to hear the big philosophical explanations. I didn't want to hear people try to tell me that it was for the best, because, quite frankly, I didn't feel that way. I know people want to help, but there is a safe place with the Lord where we don't have to have all of the answers. I don't believe that "God needed another angel," and I honestly grew weary of hearing people try to explain it all away because they couldn't stand to hear these three words. I Don't Know.

I know it is so hard to know what to say to someone who has experienced a loss. You want to say the right thing. People are uncomfortable swimming in someone else's grief. You want to fix the situation. It's human nature. It has meant so much to me when someone just says they are sorry and don't try to explain it all away. Sometimes, the right thing to say is to say nothing at all. It's just to be there, available, willing, authentic and silent.


As a Christian, I know that I am called to glorify the Lord no matter the circumstances, but that doesn't mean it is going to make sense. He gives and He takes away. Have I had moments of genuine questioning where I blamed myself and anyone else I could? YES. But when those moments come, and they will, we must make a choice about who we will be from this day forward.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen; but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."


-2 Corinthians 4: 16-18


I still have good days and bad days. My bad days aren't so bad anymore, and I am so thankful for that. One day I start to feel like myself again, and even that can make me feel guilty sometimes (don't you just love that momma guilt!). I feel like I don't have a right to be normal.

The truth is this. I will permanently bear the mark of a woman who has lost their child. Many of us are walking all around-in the grocery store, at the playground, in the carpool line, in the office next to yours. We walk without necessarily recognizing each other, side by side and a million miles apart. If you are one of these women, I want you to know that as I write these words, I am praying for you. I am mourning what you have lost in life. I am praying that God will fill you as only He can, and that in time, you (and I!) will be with our daughters and sons again.

I believe this scripture fits best in what is going on in our lives at this very moment.


"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy."


-John 16:20

And what do you know....that is exactly what has happened to us. We are filled with joy to be expecting another baby. Our grief is still there, but in a different context. We get to have another baby. And what a privilege it is to know that God is giving us another baby. And I like to think that Isaiah is smiling down and excited to be a big brother as well.

So, to wrap this up I want to leave you all with this. I took it from my most favorite book, "I Will Carry You," By Angie Smith. No other book in my life has touched me like this one has.

"I believe that all babies who pass away (including those who do not survive outside the womb) are in heaven with our Lord. I do not believe they vanish into the ground, or that they ever endure any suffering or pain when they leave us. I cling to the fact that Audrey is in her eternal home, enjoying the favor of her Savior, completely at peace with Him as her Father. I believe it, but I can't honestly say that it always comforts me the way I wish it would. I want her to be here with me and on many nights that truth has failed to fill the void. We aren't going to feel whole in this life, and we will long for something we don't have. To love Him in spite of our pain is a gift He freely gives to those who will accept it."

Isn't that amazing? I have found such solace in reading Angie's words about the loss of her daughter. It is true though. Isaiah is in the best place. He is in Heaven!

Is it hard to believe that my baby is in heaven? Yes. I can't see it, so I am trusting that my faith is real. I do believe it, but no I don't think its easy when you have empty arms and your baby in an unreachable place. That's why they call it faith, I guess.

So...on October 15th at 7 p.m. my household will be lighting a candle in remembrance of our sweet Isaiah. And together, as a family, we will remember the good times and embrace what is to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There's a Baby in my Belly!

Pregnant.

Yup.

That's me!!!!!

Holy crap. :)

We are so happy to announce that I am pregnant and am due in March with our third precious little one.

We have prayed and prayed about this for awhile now and truly feel at peace with the thought of having another baby. God is good. And he has his hands on this precious babe already. We trust in God and trust that this will be good.

Not to say that we are not a little bit anxious...because who wouldn't be.....but, we have Faith in knowing that we can handle this. That God will not give us more than we can handle. He showed us that with Isaiah, so we feel confident knowing that we can face whatever comes our way.

Jackson is beyond excited and he continues to make me cry happy tears daily. He told me he can't wait to teach the babies (ahem...there is only one!) how to walk and talk, how to throw a ball and how to dance to Justin Bieber.

He has also asked if this baby's body is going to work and if we get to keep him or if he is going to live in Heaven too. We have prayed together, asking for God to watch over Mommy's baby in her belly and help the baby to grow big and strong. He asks God in his prayers every night to bless the new baby. I am so proud of the little man with a strong desire and heart for God that he has become!

So...I can't believe that I am actually pregnant for a third time. I already look like I am 6 months pregnant. Not a joke. It's crazy how your belly just pops back out each time you are pregnant.

This pregnancy has been totally different from the boys because I am not feeling so hot. I am usually nauseous between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. EVERY SINGLE DAY. It's pretty awesome. Oh, and I go to bed at 8:45 p.m. and am so thankful that my almost four year old still takes a nap every day because that means, mommy gets to take a nap too. I am literally sleeping my booty off.

We are pumped. We are excited. We are blessed.
We love you all!!!!
The Stone's



video

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Paid!

I interrupt this blog to document something I received in the mail just now.

I PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boom.

So proud....if I do say so myself.

My favorite part of the letters is the last line, "It has been a pleasure doing business with you."

Below are pics of two of the four letters I received from the four different loans I took out to pay for college.

Sorry to bore everyone with this post, but I just felt like this day should be documented. :)

Much love!





-Lee Anne

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Picture Post

I take so many pictures throughout our days that I never really look at again....Today, I got a notice on my phone that I needed to delete some pictures and videos to create more space. I looked back through some of my pics from this summer(while downloading them to Dropbox on my laptop for safe keeping) and decided I just had to post some of them because they are so fun!

Jackson and his buddy Calen Furnish in their basketball gear. These boys are the cutest! Jackson is wearing Calen's Cleveland Lebron jersey. Vintage! :)


This water mat may be the greatest invention ever! Two of our friends at the lake each have one and it is always a fun time when they bring it out on the lake. Kids (and adults!) slipping and sliding all over the place.



Renzi was reading a bedtime story to Jackson and Jack Regan at our lake house. I thought it was so cute I just had to take a picture. After I took the picture I realized that Jack was wearing an Iron Man mask. Hilarious.

My little guy is quite the golfer! One night a few weeks ago he putted on the green for an hour and a half while Renzi and I enjoyed time on the patio at The Greens. Jackson has freakishly good hand eye coordination.



Me and my sweet boys on the 4th of July! I just love them to pieces.

Jackson likes to sit outside on our deck at the lake house and "look at the water." He likes to go out there in the mornings with a coffee mug full of milk. On this particular day he brought his DVD player and watched a little Justin Bieber.



Jackson and all of Addie's nephews having a ball while we were in the Mercy waiting room anxiously awaiting the arrival of Beckett Burke! These kids had more fun together and we sure made that waiting room a lot more interesting!


Jackson loved loved loved getting to hold Beckett (or as he calls him Bucket. Ha!). He seriously sat so still and held Beckett for 20 minutes! He kept whispering to Beckett that he was going to teach him how to walk and talk and shoot some hoops. Then he sang one of the lullaby's we used to sing to him when he was little, "Miracle," By Renee and Jeremy. I was a flipping mess and just cried and cried. Love this boy.

Amanda and Chloe came up to OKC to visit us and we went swimming one evening at The Greens. As we were leaving we snapped this picture of the two of them. So ADORABLE!



And then they held hands. LOVE!

Yesterday, I was mopping the floor and Jackson said, "Mom, let me mop the floor. You go sit down on the couch and watch Disney channel." Don't think I didn't take him up on that offer. :)

Hope you all are having a great week!