There is a feeling that accompanies my children’s birthdays that I have struggled to make peace with over the last eight years. While I am obviously rejoicing that they are a year older and growing up strong and happy, I am nonetheless a little saddened by how quickly the years go by. As I peruse the blog or reminisce over long-forgotten photos, it feels a bit like being sucker punched in the gut as I concede to the mounting fear that mere moments from now, they will no longer be under our roof, but instead fully grown adults who no longer need their mother. Unfortunately, there is no age that is exempt from this pervasive knowledge. So with the utmost gravity, and the happiest of sorrows, I present to you, my readership, Cormac the Five Year Old:
Cormac, you are a delight to this family. You are not only a wonderful big brother (though at times, you do play favorites!) but a fantastic companion on every job and every outing. Our lives are better for having you in them. You are such a great kid, and I can’t wait to see you grow into a man. We love you, Cormac Theodore.
All good things come to an end, and 2017 was no exception.
After a long hot summer of pregnancy, we were blessed to have our fourth child- who happens to be our first child so full of compassion that she graced us with her presence a week early. It was in that same spirit of cooperation and grace, that we all quickly realized that there can be no baby more universally adored than this sweet baby girl.
We welcomed Elizabeth Ann into our lives August 13th, weighing 7lbs and 11oz.
It was only a few weeks later that we found ourselves celebrating the 2nd birthday of a handsome fellow affectionately known as Rowdy. It’s hard to believe he’s gotten so big.
As if that weren’t enough, October came around. October used to be a wonderful month that we eagerly anticipated throughout the year. But I’m afraid that is no longer the case. To be more specific, our Samantha Bean, as she was once known, turned 8 this year. 8! I know that many of you have children who have reached ages much older than that, but I am going to ignore how young some may think 8 years old is, and enter a period of mourning due to her becoming what we call “giant.”
After three birthdays in three months, we traded in cake for candy in a Saintly Halloween celebration. We attended the trunk-or-treat at our church and a couple days later walked the neighborhood. Samantha was Mary with baby Jesus (and Snow White when we walked the neighborhood), Ronan was St. Francis of Assisi, and Cormac was St. George. Elizabeth was content to just be the cutest pumpkin in the patch.
November brought with it a new tradition which briefly turned our world upside down. Samantha was in her first production of the Nutcracker. She was a soldier and got to spend enormous amounts of time rehearsing and then performing Thanksgiving weekend. It was an unexpected delight for me to find myself in the midst of such a production. I loved every minute of being behind the scenes and getting to help other mothers as we banded together to continue the 46 year tradition of Augusta’s Nutcracker. Samantha worked so hard and did a wonderful job.
December, of course, was a blur. A birthday for Matthew and the beginning of Christmas for us all.
We enjoyed the season, but now that it’s over, I’m thrust back into that sad but so happy feeling that overtakes me at times, reminding me of how blessed I am, how wonderful my children are, and incredibly fast time goes by. As I sit here, contemplating the nature of it all, I thank God for His goodness and the gifts that He has given. I’m so glad to have so much more than I could ever have deserved.
Thank you all for the love that you have given to each of us, and I hope that everyone has a blessed and wonderful Happy New Year.
May 13th was a very exciting day around here. Samantha is our first to be able to receive the Sacrament of First Communion, and she could not have been more excited! We couldn’t wait to celebrate her special day, and we were so happy to have Grammom and Poppa here with us.
Daddy and Samantha lit a candle for Samantha on her big day.
Samantha with her dear friend Margaret
Ronan looking handsome 🙂
Samantha opening gifts. She said she was really surprised at how many “holy gifts” she received :).
Poppa’s famous cheesecake with strawberry slices arranged by Samantha in the shape of a cross.
It was a beautiful day and so touching to see Samantha’s excitement. We can’t wait for Cormac to have his turn in a few years.
P.S. For those who might be interested, I’ve written a second page on the blog about why I became Catholic. Matt and I joined the Catholic church in 2010, and for many who read this blog they’ve never heard why, so if you’d like to, you can now read all about it!
It’s April now, and the school year is winding down. We’ve hit a couple of roadblocks this month with some “summer fever” combined with some real sickness, but there’s still plenty to be excited about!
For starters, our littlest baby is a baby GIRL! Excitement abounds! Samantha said “I can’t even believe it!” and Cormac said, “Okay, Mommy. I will take care of her.” This is her at 17 weeks:
School continues! It’s tough to hang in there during this last part of the year, but we’re doing it! Samantha is learning cursive (that’s a picture of her and Matt using pay phones, she informed me), and Cormac is busy learning to read. He has learned lots of letter sounds and is learning to blend them together nicely. He also painted a picture. When I asked him what he was painting, he told me that it was a picture of people covered in paint :).
We also celebrated Cormac’s baptismal anniversary this month! It was a fun day filled with lots of things that Cormac likes best. Like Inside Out, chocolate cake, and eating in the living room!
We also got our fair share of germs this month. It wasn’t pretty, but we made it through.
Ronan went down first:
And shortly after it was Cormac. Here you see him so fevered that he thought laying down in the garage sounded like a good idea. He wanted to be outside so badly, it took some convincing to get him back to the couch.
And here you seem him carrying around his throw up bucket:
Cormac carrying around his throw up bucket
Fortunately for her brothers, Samantha is an ever ready nurturer. In this picture, she’s reading Cormac his Easter card from Grammom and Poppa:
By the time Easter came, Samantha was down for the count (probably due to all that nurturing!). Fortunately, Cormac was well enough to get to accompany Daddy to church:
And here is a random conglomeration of cuteness just for fun:
(I recently learned that if I can’t find Ronan upstairs, there’s a good chance he’s sitting in his new favorite spot- in the bathroom- looking out the window)
So here’s hoping that we finish this school year strong and hopefully stay healthy too, but no matter the circumstances, we certainly are blessed :).
Well, it’s been a while. As often happens, time has gotten away from me, and the blog has been forsaken. But while the blog has remained stagnant, our lives certainly have not. It wasn’t long after Thanksgiving, in fact, that we were surprised to learn of a new little family blessing:
It didn’t take long at all for the sickness to set in, but thanks be to God, I am now past the worst of it! I am 15 weeks as of writing this, and our newest little bundle is due August 18th. It is with such great joy that we are preparing to welcome another child into our home!!
In other news, Cormac has turned four…
Samantha has lost her front two teeth…
and Ronan is busy getting into trouble:
Of course, he learned from the best. The boys play together more and more, although it’s often a rather contentious relationship. In fact, Cormac has informed us that if we have a girl baby, he can take care of her, but if it’s a boy Samantha can take care of him. He’s also let us know that he doesn’t want a baby that bites. When I tried to gently remind him that Ronan didn’t start biting him until he started playing rough with him and frustrating him, he told me, “Mommy, I don’t want to talk about that.”
And just for fun, here’s a few more of Ronan being cute:
October was a busy month in the Stone household. Rather than separating out each of the main events of the month into separate posts, I am saving time and energy with a bigger-than-normal update on the latest happenings!
On October 8th, our Samantha Bean turned 7 years old. We celebrated, just as she requested, by going to Carowinds. Of course, we were so busy having a blast at Carowinds, that I have zero pictures of the event. But I do have some other keepers of our precious girl opening presents at Grammom and Poppa’s and enjoying the Hello Kitty, Cinderella, and Pink balloons and streamers she requested (Thank you Grammom!) and a delicious cheesecake that only Poppa knows how to make exactly right (thank you, Poppa!!). She had such a wonderful time, and in all the busyness, I got to forget for a little while how much my heart aches that these times go by so fast. 7 !!!
(Click a picture to see it full screen)
Another main event of the month was this wonderful treat called Parents’ Observation Week at the Ballet School. When we signed Samantha up for ballet, we thought, for some reason, that we’d be able to see her do ballet any ol’ time we wanted! As it turns out, things are pretty serious, and when they get started, the door is shut, there is no window in said door, and we simply hope for the best! Needless to say, after a month and a half of weekly ballet classes and little to no information from our tired ballerina, we were SO excited to learn that we were being invited to stay for a whole class and watch everything they had learned so far. To try to accurately describe the amount of joy we got from this experience would do little justice to its true nature. Suffice it to say, we were proud beyond measure and moved beyond words. We loved every second of it.
And to wrap up a very exciting month we had All Hallow’s Eve, when we celebrate the evening before All Saint’s Day. This year we went to our church’s Trunk or Treat, and then on the 31st, walked the neighborhood. The kids were very specific in their costume requests, and I did my best to produce. We all had lots of fun this year!
Here is St. George:
And our Littlest Priest:
Fr. Ingram was quite proud of our little man:
And here is a little taste of the delightful chaos of Halloween wherein we had a ghost, Spiderman, and the Brave Lion (brave enough to run into traffic as often as possible):
And just for fun, here is a smattering of photos that I just didn’t want to leave out:
Only a couple weeks after his birthday and little Ronan is ready to show off a new skill! He was cautious in the beginning, just a step or two between furniture, but within just a few days, he was walking across the room! Then a few days after that, he said goodbye to crawling. There’s just nothing cuter than seeing a baby walking around!
(He looks so much like Matt in this picture below!)
Just in case this wasn’t a big enough milestone, we added his first big boy haircut into the mix. It’s not a dramatic difference, but his little curls are gone.
Here he is with his handsome new look:
And just for fun, here’s a video of our new walker! (as always, ignore the messy house :))
When sweet Samantha was 9 months old, she decided she was tired of just crawling around all the time. She was ready for something bigger and better. So she started walking. But this wasn’t enough– not for Samantha! So she started dancing. It wasn’t elaborate at first. Nothing too fancy- just a bob of the bottom up and down to the beat. But it didn’t matter the song, any one would do; as soon as that music started playing, she started dancing. She couldn’t even help it! Well, the dancing never stopped. Any time the music is on, even to this day, she loves to dance to it. It didn’t take much for us to realize that dance classes were in her future, and as a lover of all things ballet, I couldn’t wait for the day when she could start ballet classes. At four years old, she wanted to grow her hair nice and long and get rid of her bangs so that she could put her hair in a bun for ballet, and it’s been since then that she has known that she is waiting. Samantha has a knack for patience, and she has shown a peaceful sort of patience throughout. But when that day finally came, when the hour finally struck, it was pure, unadulterated excitement. And at that final moment, right before we opened that studio door, nothing could have made me happier than to hear Samantha gasp “I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment!”
There’s nothing better than seeing a child discover their passion. I’m so happy to get to be part of the joy. We love you, Samantha Bean!