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Archive for June, 2010

Turning One

The littlest H turned 1 today!

In true Stone-fashion, we kept things low-key. When Hannah turned one, we took her to the zoo. And there, she decided to take her first steps. I thought it would be fun to do the same for Hailey, even though she began walking a few weeks back.

Since we were feeling a bit on the wild side we even offered her up a cupcake this evening. We didn’t go that far with Hannah. While I’d like to blame that decision on her dairy allergy, I think it had more to do with the fact that I just wasn’t ready to give my child that much sugar at one time. So, I guess I’ve loosened up a little over the  past six years…even if the cupcake I fed Hailey was a unfrosted vegan one 🙂

Here’s some pictures from our day.

  

Littlest trying out her new personalized binks that Hannah bought for her with her own money. Hannah purchased, boiled (with help from GJ) and wrapped it three weeks ago.

No one makes Hailey laugh like Hannah does. This was taken at the zoo.

My big girl

Both little ladies have a strong inclination to chew their clothes often. I’m trusting they outgrow this before junior high.

Happy Birthday Hailey! 

We’re so thankful that you joined our family as the littlest Stone.

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A Favorite Friend

This was taken on Hannah and Austin’s first day of 3 year-old preschool. They’d already known each other three years and were sticking close as they prepared to leave their Mommies for the first time.

This picture was taken at their Kindergarten graduation. They were fortunate enough to be in the same class again this year. Our families carpooled – which was a life saver on my end! I wished many times that I recorded the conversations these two had to and from school. They pretended to be astronauts, talked through playground happenings, surf conditions, potential playdates and library books. 

On more than one occasion, they passed the car time by talking through the countless details of their impending wedding. At this point they’ve settled in on the idea that it will take place in September once they’ve both graduated from college and Austin has secured Phil’s blessing (you think I’m kidding). 

 

 

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Hannah finished Kindergarten this week. All three classes had their graduation on Wednesday morning. It was a sweet  program. We were sure to grab a picture with her two beloved teachers before we headed home. We’re thankful for a good year and for summer break!

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The Sisterhood

Last weekend was another busy one for the Stone household. The Jones family returned from their coastal camping trip. Janna and I promptly ushered our children and husbands over to GJs for the weekend just moments before the ladies arrived. This would be our last time together before Krista and the rest of the Frohs head to Argentina.

Our thirty-six hours were filled with important conversations and not so important ones. We dined well and drank sufficiently in one form or another. We laughed a lot. And in the end we walked away with several images burned in our minds. To divulge more just doesn’t seem appropriate.    

More than ever, our weekend felt sacred – in its timing I suppose. For a day and a half we stepped out of our normal lives with the intention of connecting with each other in meaningful ways (not ruling out that karaoke might play a part in this). We always find our way back to our Westmont days. The stories about meatballs, hairballs, boyfriends, blue dogs and citrus smashing up against cinderblock walls will forever carry us to great places. 

Still, what I’m most thankful for is that we’ve continued to live life alongside each other for the fifteen years following our descent from Montecito. It looks different now of course. Gone are the days of bunk beds and prepaid meal cards. I’m pretty sure that we’re all glad about that. College life was good. It was really good. But it wasn’t the pinnacle.

As of last November, we’re all married women now. Our offspring span from preadolescent boys all the way down to a newly weaned baby girl. Some of us have jobs, others don’t. Some of us like living at 5,000 feet while others prefer sea-level. We’re very different ladies. Even within the group, our attachments to each other have quite a range. 

Still, at the end of the day when the seven of us sit down together and take the time to intentionally ask each other how life has been treating us something happens. Every time we do this, I am reminded once more why I love each one of these women. To hear again what makes them tick, what sends them spinning and what nudges them one step further down the road – I’m left inspired. There within this mix I find creativity, vulnerability, pain and hilarity all mashed together into this sacred space we call life. 

This weekend  held a gravity beyond years past. We had to say goodbye to one of our own – Krista. While we know it is not forever, we also know it is for a long while. Our kids will grow. Our thoughts will evolve. We’ll all make big and small decisions and our life circumstances will continue to unfold all while she and her family are thousands of miles away living out their own stories. I find myself wanting to know what this will look like. How she and I will remain very present in each others lives with so many miles between us. I know we will. I just don’t have all the pieces in place quite yet.

Krista’s spicy presence will be missed entirely too much for me to think about in actual terms. There never has been, nor will there ever be someone in my life who makes me laugh like she does. I was reminded this past weekend through red bathing suits and polka-dotted cover ups how irreplaceable this lady is in my life (and the life of so many other people for that matter). I sometimes marvel at God’s creativity when I look at this friend of mine. She’s beautiful, a total math nerd, hilarious, contemplative, dramatic, sincere, a speed-reading extraordinaire, thoughtful, provocative and entirely human in the best of ways. 

Knowing this would be goodbye, I asked each of the ladies a few months back to provide me with their favorite color – no questions asked. The emails were classic. Some sent J Crew catalogue colors and Benjamin Moore paint swatches with names like Jalapeno and Caribbean Blue. Another  initially popped-off telling me of her new love for the color black. Still another shared her selection (green) with the addendum that it could not under any circumstance be paired with red unless it was Christmas. Duly noted.

From there I solicited the help of my neighbor turned confidant Samara who happens to make jewelery. I asked her if she could create a piece that represented us all. I suppose it was my attempt at the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Samara more than rose to the occasion and generously gifted me with the result.          

As it turns out, Krista had been preparing her own set of treasures. As we sat together on Saturday morning, she presented each of us with a set of books out of her home library compiled with our intricacies in mind. Mine included I Am Neurotic and So Are You, some Anne Lammott fiction and Pottery Barn design books. Fitting. On top of our stack of books she attached a necklace from her own jewelry box – one that suited each of our styles. They were perfect.

I recently finished a book that I think might change my life. I simultaneously discovered Post-It Tabs which I’m sure has brought new meaning to my world. The book is Donald Miller’s latest work. It is called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Presently it is flagged with an obnoxious amount of blue and yellow Post-It Tabs because there are just that many powerful statements that I felt needed to be taken into account.

Toward the beginning of the book Miller reflects, “I wanted it to be an easy story. But nobody really remembers easy stories. Characters have to face their greatest fears with courage. That’s what makes a story good. If you think about the stories that you like most, they probably have lots of conflict. There is probably death at stake, inner death or actual death, you know. These polar changes, these happy and sad things in life, are like colors God uses to draw the world.”

Undoubtably, the next chapter in the lives of these women will have lots of color. I’m grieving the loss of my friend’s literal presence in the coming years. Yet I know that her courage, her faithfulness will carry she and her family to places they’ve never been before. Others in the group will learn more about letting go. Still others will be called to dig deep as they discover  more of what it means to hold on. And when we meet again (with or without our tallest lady present)  it will be rich and sweet and peppered with new and brilliant hues that most often unravel through the everyday drum of the mundane. I can hardly wait.

    

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Jones and Stones

House guests.

We’d like to think that we always welcome whomever with open arms. Still, there are some visitors that fit into our lives with such ease and the Jones family members are among them. When they show up, our household immediately doubles. Come morning, that amounts to six bowls of oatmeal with fresh fruit on top, a full pot of coffee and various other breakfast items for the grown men. Throughout the day, my house takes on the uncommon characteristics of disorder and liveliness. And honestly, it’s a welcome change.

When the Jones family is here we play really hard, we laugh more than usual, we take lots of pictures and we spend at least one evening attempting to tackle the problems of the world. I’m grateful for these friends and am so glad they could come our way again.

 The weather was unseasonably warm last weekend with no fog in sight.

I envision pulling this photo out when Paxton is in high school. Those Elmo undies were too much!

We spontaneously formed a family band on Saturday afternoon

Three sunscreened hikers ready to hit the trail Sunday morning

I gave this hike mixed reviews. Loved the creek, the frog-catching and the company. Could have done without the incessant bugs buzzing around my head and the poison oak that landed on the littlest one’s leg 😦

  

Blueberry picking

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