Sonya Stone is an on location photographer in Western North Carolina specializing in portraits of all kinds, especially children and families. You can see more of her work and find information about booking a session at her web

Saturday, January 18, 2014

We'll Weather the Weather Together

Let me get this out of the way now, prepare to see a lot of photos of my children.  I plan to post about my life for the next year and with 5 kids age 11 to 1, they are my life. They are my greatest source of joy and my biggest trigger for frustration!

This is my baby. He loves being outside even in this cold wintery weather we are having. Me? Not a fan of the cold so we have to work together. Sometimes that leads to him standing at the storm door looking all pitiful, sometimes he resorts to shrieking. So I bundle him up and out we go. Thankfully, I have these big girls to assist with the outdoor supervision when I'm being a wimp.

I love how simple life is for him right now. He is happy connecting with his family and nature. He doesn't think he needs lots of stuff. He loves nursing and eating food. He likes to nap...ahhh! He is excited to learn new things. He loves to make us laugh. He is present to each and everything in his experience. He's not worried that he's growing too fast or too slow. He's not afraid that there's not enough food, money, love...whatever. He isn't asking himself what his life's purpose is. He is just here, now, soaking it all in. Freely open to giving all that he is.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I said I have been giving energy to the intentions/values that I want to expand, right? Yes, well, I have. Last night I listened to this amazing guy, Dr. Joe Dispenza on a call as part of a free week of webinars at Check it will thank me. He talked about making change stick and gave some simple yet profound suggestions for creating the life you want.

There are 7 steps and I haven't done them all, but I was excited to apply what I could immediately. So as I went to sleep I gave attention to being a calm and compassionate communicator. It doesn't take long in a household of 7 to have an opportunity to practice my communication. As we headed out to a play date, I gave myself some appreciation for holding it together pretty well. Then the play date had a few challenges and we ran later than I realized so lunch was late. But still I felt like I did okay.

Then she does it. My daughter who sometimes feels stressed by sensory stuff (picky eater, picky dresser, things have to be just "so") started to come undone. It started with a change in our seating arrangement for the ride back from the park, then the seat was dirty, then I had the nerve to insist she buckle her seat belt. By the time we pulled out of our friends' driveway, she was screaming, kicking the seat, and wrestling with the seat belt like a wild monkey.

Now I'm driving on the highway with total craziness in my van. I told her, "I'm going to pull over. You are going to get out of the van and take a breath. When you can calmly sit in the car, we will go home."

I pulled into a parking lot. I got out and helped her out. She was wrestling like the wild monkey still. And we did it. I stayed calm. I reassured her. I held my boundary with love. She got back in, buckled up and we left.

Whew! This may sound like no big deal, but for me, lately, this is an accomplishment. I am so grateful for the change, for the commitment. No surprise here that the true test comes with this child. I feel like I have a "sacred" contract with this girl. I said this on Facebook on her birthday, "She brought out a calm strength I didn't know I had. She still calls that strength out in me..."

Thank you, sweet girl, for pushing me to keep my commitment.

oh, what's that? the twins got into the paints again? grrreaat! Ok, gotta go!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rock and Roll Baby

When you have kids, funny things happen ALL.the.time! I am speculating that having five kids exponentially increases my chances of daily hilarity. FYI, it also increases my chances of daily insanity so it's not for the faint of heart!

This is my youngest, who my older children have nicknamed, Un Chubs. His is the king of all cuteness and this day they made him a throne of sorts. Then they all dressed in costume and put on a rock and roll show. This is Un Chubs enjoying the concert.

All hail the King!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 The Year of Gratitude

I have been rolling over in my head that New Year's theme of resolutions, commitments, improvements. I am not the most disciplined in keeping those so instead I am resolving to set intentions. A few select values that are meaningful to me that I want to expand in this year. Right at the top of that list is Gratitude. For me awareness and appreciation of the circumstances of life are essential to my happiness. I am blessed in many ways and I hope that sharing my blessings with you will remind you to take a moment to give thanks for yours.

I took this yesterday...only a few hours before this boy teamed with his twin sister to create one of the most disastrous messes of my parenting career. I was so mad. And when I think about it, I am still pretty upset. But when I look at this, at him, I see that beautiful boy who is curious and wondering. He is seeking and providing excitement! He is giving and calling for love no matter the messes. And I will give it.