Friday, October 31, 2008


No tricks today, only treats! I have been waiting to put Lily in this outfit since she was born! I could not stop taking pictures....had to capture the whole outfit!

She will turn into a busy bumble bee tonight.....and buzz around the neighborhood! I will be sure to share plenty of photos!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Needing Some Inspiration?

I keep a folder of quotes and inspirational stories thinking that one day they might come in handy....maybe when Lily needs a new perspective to overcome a challenge or to heal a broken heart or to take on her wildest dreams.

Truthfully, I need these bits of wisdom more often than I seek them out.

In January I am going back to school (night classes) for graphic design. I am so nervous for many reasons. I guess because I am putting myself out there to learn something I really want to be good at -- but might not be. And, I have more to loose and balance than ever before. That all being said, it feels so right!

I found this little blurb in my folder last night and it really hit home.....thought I would share:

Have You Bloomed Lately?

Be the centerpiece, not the wallflower.

Don't wait for Spring to shed the comforter of inertia that keeps you asleep in the bud,
the permafrost of habit that keeps you stuck in a no-growth zone.

Stop wishing - start working.
Quit waiting - start groundbreaking.

What's the story you're waiting to be, the super power you've been hiding, the seed you haven't watered, the calling you've put in hold, the forgiveness you've withheld, the next step you haven't taken?

There's a wild flower in you waiting to blossom.

A back-to-nature barefoot zinnia.
A Chanel camellia searching for a spotlight.
A passionflower on the prowl.
A stargazer LILY with sky-high dreams.
A rambling rose ready to pull up roots and see this world.

It's never too late in the season to grow into your true nature.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Perfect Day

A perfect day might look like this: amazing weather, Lily dressed in pink, eating double-stack burgers downtown, dancing with sunglasses on, chasing dad around the fountain and hanging out with Ba-ba and Gama. Oh - and photographing it all, priceless!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mommy Awards

Lily and Cooper at lunch.
Being a mom is a tough job (news alert!). Before you become one, you assume that motherhood is all instinct that comes naturally. And, for the most part that is true. But since entering the ranks of motherhood I have a new respect for all of the non-instinctual efforts that go in to being a great mom.

For me, fun and games come pretty easy. The mommy skill I lack most is organization. That is why my very first MOMMY AWARD goes to my friend Nicole.
On Saturday we met for lunch and I quickly emptied my supplies on to the table -- yogurt, cheese stick, cup of oranges and a fork (gently used and left in the bag from last weekend's outing).

Nicole does the same: disposable place mat, lunch for Cooper, extra snacks for Lily, extra CLEAN spoon for Lily, extra bib for Lily....... Truth be known, I am not sure if I even had a diaper in my bag!

I was so inspired by her organization that I re-supplied my diaper bag last night. New books and toys, fresh diapers, wipes that actually have moisture left in them......a zip lock of plastic utensils and a few snacks. I even threw in sunblock for the heck of it!

To Nicole -- Cooper is so lucky and will no doubt benefit from the order you keep in his life. Being prepared for him is an extra step you choose to take everyday to better his life! You are a busy mom, yet find the time to research products, pack the essentials, learn his preferences and share your supplies with those like me! It is a great lesson that will serve him well -- and me too!

Next time we get together, I'll treat to snacks and the emergency diaper:)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall: A Season Of Gratitude

Most people make resolutions on New Years, but it is Thanksgiving that gets me thinking. It is this holiday that reminds me of the importance of GRATITUDE and perpetual appreciation for my blessings. Especially now, when purchasing power for many is deflated a bit, we should find REAL reasons for joy. Not in new shoes or an expensive bag our peers will envy, but in the little surprises life gives us every day.

I decided to turn a fruit basket in our kitchen into a “thank you center”. I found these notes on clearance at Walmart (.98 cents!). They say, “I am thankful for…..”. My hope is that anyone who hangs out in the kitchen will leave a note and express what they are thankful for. Not sure what I will do with the notes…..but taking a moment to say thank you is a sure recipe for good karma!

Or, you can tell me here what you are thankful for……I will make sure that your expression of gratitude is captured!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lily is.....well how should I say this.....EXPRESSIVE

Disclaimer: I am sorry for anyone reading this whose child has been bitten....but I am here to post the other side of the story.

So this is how Lily's teacher described her to me after she bit yet another child in her class.

Many of you know that I have stressed about Lily's dirty little habit for months now. And, we have tried every trick in the book to curb this behaviour. I have wondered if she is an aggressive person at her core and worried about this being a symptom of pent up frustration that I have yet to diagnose. Perhaps she bites because I don't spend enough time with her. Or, maybe she is just teething. Up and down the emotional rollercoaster I go every time I get the dreaded call...."Hi Marcey, I am calling because we've had another incident." Yep -- it comes complete with a signed, official incident report.

Here is where I am today - For one, I am confident that my little "lovie" does not have an angry soul. I am quite sure that she is one of the most loving creatures I have ever known. I am throwing away the file of "incident reports" and all my attempts to find a trend in her biting history. I am going to trust that with time, growth and language Lily will find a better way of expressing feelings that we all have, like "bug off.....I need some space" or "get your grubby hands off my toy!"

Moms of biters -- join me in letting go of the guilt! Our little chompers are just more - expressive! This act is no better or worse than any other developmental habit they will pick up along their journey -- spitting, pushing, pinching, hitting. So, mine bites. She will grow out of it, I am sure.

To sum it all up, I am glad that I have a spit-fire daughter who makes waves from time to time. If ever life stands in her way, I hope she bites the heck out of it:)

Deck the Walls!

I am so in love with this idea. I wish I could take credit for it, but I can't. I found the idea on the blog - Simply Lovely- and then went the the manufacturer's website. What a great way to add fun, whimsy and a personal touch to any room! Loving the bathroom photo -- how fun to pop-a-squat on the John and look at your favorite photos! Hmmm....maybe that is gross? I'll let you decide.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Off To The Market

Thanks SL, K and girls for a beautiful morning at the market. For anyone in the Bay area, you must make a trip to the Farmers Market in downtown St. Pete. It has grown larger and larger every year and I was super impressed with the vendors and entertainment this weekend! If you love fresh produce, flowers, herbs, spices, oils and cheese, artisan bread, orchids, desserts, homemade goods and cold treats - you will love the market. Not to mention, they hire live entertainment every weekend. Perfect Fall fun!

I can't wait to dig into the fresh pasta I bought.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slow Down This Train (Or Plane)

I am not a big fan of air travel. I love getting to the destination, but there is something about traveling by airplane that rattles me. For one, it is a rush from start to finish. The speed and altitude of the plane freak me out. And, I can't control the outcome or ensure that the ride will be smooth. I know all of this applies to the old-fashioned road trip, but I appreciate a long slow ride with many rest stops along the way.

Last night, I felt like I was on the Toddler Express! Lily is now "twirling" in circles. She reads to herself (not real words, but her own secret language). And, she initiated a game of "dress up".

Oh heavens, how did all of this happen so fast? Don't grow up too fast Lily Bean! I don't want this experience to be like a hurried trip through the airport. Lets take a road trip my love....just us....with a cooler full of treats in the back seat, fun tunes on the radio and LOTS of stops a long the way.

Before I know it, she will be walking alone through the terminal ready to set out on her own adventures -- those I cannot steer or direct! Her independence from me is already showing. For now, I am hoping I can slow this train (or plane) down and enjoy the ride......the kind I like -- long and slow -- all back roads, of course!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Girls Are Made of Sugar and Spice

Being a girl is the best! While I hardly ever make the time to do it for myself, I always take a few extra moments every day to make sure Lily is enjoying the highlights of being a girl! Even without any direction from me, she gravitates to her bows, jewelry, purses and shoes. But beyond the obvious, she is also forgiving, generous, emotional, strong, sensitive, opinionated, thoughtful, witty and charming -- all of the things that girls are made of (in addition to sugar and spice!).

This in mind, I have been disappointed in my own girliness and domestic skills. I feel like home making is uniquely feminine, but I seem to be struggling with it. I have great ideas for crafts, recipes, home decorating and even sewing projects. But more than not, my efforts flop or I can't commit the time needed to do it right. So while I should give myself a pat on the back for trying, I am secretly (not anymore) frustrated with my domesticity (is that a word?).

I am feeling like to be a WHOLE girlie-girl, you should know how to make a pot roast without pulling out the cook book. You should know how to sew on a button without hoping you get it right. You should be able to start, finish and put away a load of laundry...not leave it folded in the hallway for your family to rummage through! And, you should have shaved legs, clean hair and a scent of sugar on your skin.

So, what to do! How to be a good role model for a girlie girl?

1. Learn and master a few dishes that are fab and use less than 5 ingredients. And, use your china more can make take-out feel more special.

2. Do not fear the sewing machine.

3. Commit to one load of laundry a night. Start it. Finish it and put it away. The rest can stay in the basket.

4. Take the extra time to do hair, make up, and pick out the perfect accessories. When you are in a rush, stick with the basics -- simple pony tail and pearls.

5. Use that FRESH perfume you love so much! Splurge on yourself, girlfriend!

Note to Lily -- YOU ARE PERFECT just as you are. Don't fret on what you can't do -- use it as motivation. Or just let it go. Instead find your passion and go, go, go!

Note to SELF -- read note above!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Buzz - Read All About It!

For years many friends have called me to ask, "I know I don't know MJ, but could you ask her.....?" MJ is my very best friend and doctor-extraordinaire! She is a pediatrician and mom of nothing surprises her (well maybe some of the stuff I come up with!). She's agreed to be the "official" doctor of Happy Stones! Send in your questions. The most entertaining will be answered first. And, be a good sport -- don't sue Doctor Mom if her advice doesn't work out! This is all in good fun:) Use the comment button below to send a question for Doctor Mom!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The New Girl In The Room.

I am so proud of Lily. While she amazes me everyday, I am sure today was a tough one.....she moved from the infant room at school to the toddler room. She has been in the care of two amazing teachers for 11 months, and today was the day she stepped away from one-on-one care, rocking before naps and hand-fed breakfasts and snacks. In the toddler room there are nine new friends, many more toys and play stations, a playground with big slides, cots for naps, cubbie holes for their belongings and several tables for their meals. I don't have to bring labeled bottles because they drink out of sippy cups, and blankets for naptime have replaced crib linens.

She was such a brave girl as she walked into her new classroom. She took it all in, shed a few tears (as did I) and went on with her new day and routine. At the end of the day, she was dancing with her new friends and showed me some of her favorite toys!

This significant transition made me think of how brave our little ones are! Think of being in a similar situation as an adult. You walk into a conference center filled with people you do not know, and moderators whom you've never met. I can tell you my first thought would be, ugh, maybe I can sneak away to the bathroom and not have to talk to anyone. And, I am not sure how quickly I would buy into my new would take a while to build that trust. So how is it that a 14-m0nth-old can walk into a whole new world, and find happiness and comfort in it in just a few short hours!

Here is my take on it: They are still excited by anything new and undiscovered. They like the challenge. They TRUST in everyone and everything. They do not know failure. The find the fun in everything. They love their friends and teachers - without condition. They do not make assessments based on race, class or vanity. They don't care what the others are wearing or how smart they are or what school they went to, or how much money their parents make. They just want to know if you will be their friend.....and that decision is usually made over a toy exchange or giggles on the playground! That is how I met my life-long best friends, MJ.

I bet if I approached life more like I did on the playground, I would want to go to more conferences!

Lil - Mommy looks up to you! You are such a great role model!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

33 God Winks

I have long believed that triple digit numbers are a sign that God is checking in with me, just to say "Hey Marc, everything is going to be alright." So, when the clock reads 12:12 or I get off exit 222, I feel a special sense that someone is looking over me.
I will give you a couple memorable God winks: I was driving home to help my parents after my father's recent surgery and at 3:33 pm I turned the radio dial and heard the song that my father and I danced to at my wedding -- My Girl. I knew then that my dad would have a full recovery - and he did.

Another memorable wink came on Jan 11 (1/11) when I opened an email that contained matthew 7:7 (pretty close to a triple digit). I finished reading the scripture at 1:11 p.m. I AM NOT KIDDING. I printed out the email and have it posted to my computer because I am certain that God was speaking loud and clear to me in the moment.

I really needed these winks over the past year....I wont go on too long, but I did go through some serious post pardum crud after Lily's birth and the God winks, support, laughter and friendships helped me through it.

Well, today is my 33 birthday. Not quite a triple digit number, but close enough. Considering that I might not make it to 111, I'll go with it! I know it is going to be a great year. Lily is an amazing gift everyday. Buck is my heart. And, my wonderful friends and family are daily blessings. I have complete faith that all of the wishes I made while blowing out my candles will come true -- or God will wink me into new directions!

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Pumkin in the Pumkin Patch

Lily enjoyed the pumpkin patch at the St. Pete Women's Club festival. And, she found several puppies -- woof, woofs -- that she could not resist! Ahhhhh, Fall is here!

My First Race

The Stones were up early today to run the Komen Race for the Cure. It was my first 5K and today was a perfect day! The weather was amazing. And, we were so moved by the thousands of runners who were out there in support or in memory of a loved one. Komen is an amazing organization and I am so glad we were there today to support a great cause!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Martha Stewart I Am Not!

How amazing are these pumpkins? I loved them and was inspired to give it a try myself. My hubby would agree that my recent craft attempts have not really worked out so well -- see reference to crock pot cake below. And, once again my craftiness fell short! My glitter did not stick to the glue and I was left with three little pumpkins with nary a sparkle! And, what did stick has been licked off by the dog..........oh well, it was fun trying! (Guess which one is mine:))

When The Crock Pot Cake Flops.....

Ladies baking cake #2

Paige is in charge of the icing!

Chocolate from head to toe!

Decorating pumpkins

There is always a reason to celebrate. We recently "partied" with the Waite family. After my crock pot cake flopped we made cake #2, decorated pumpkins and had a great time destroying the house. All of this fun while both dads sobered up after the Rays first playoff victory! Go Rays!

The Lady With a Flower in Her Hair

Now that Lily and I both have short hair, we have been shopping for hair accessories! We found this wonderfully sweet pink rose clip at Dalybird on Etsy. It is so cute on Lily and mom likes it too! It looks so real you can almost smell it! Reminds us to stop and smell the roses - even when they are in your hair!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vintage Style

There is something about the quality and timelessness of vintage goods -- linens, cookware and even clothes. Buck and I have become interested in collecting some of these oldies but goodies. Here are some pics of our current favorites.....pyrex (currently crazy about the blue Amish pattern), tablecloths (love the workmanship and bright colors) and crates (they make fun and unique storage pieces). So although we have not an inch of space in our townhouse, we are having fun shopping on line and browsing flea markets. In fact, we are taking Miss Lily to the farmers market in Sumterville on Monday. A new adventure for the whole fam! We'll see what treasures we find.....after all one mans trash is another person's treasure!

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