Faith and family were at the center of a blog started by Renzi and Lee Anne Stone when their oldest son, Jackson, turned 1.
The Web log never veered from that foundation, particularly during a time of tragedy — the death of their younger son, Isaiah, last May.
The Stones' commitment to their faith and family, as evidenced by their popular blog postings, was one of the reasons they were named one of Oklahoma's Most Inspiring Couples by the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.
“The couple's family blog ministers to others about God's sovereign plan and speaks to their total reliance on Him for comfort and peace in both good times and bad,” read a passage in the letter used to nominate the Stones for the Inspiring Couples honor.
Renzi Stone said he and his wife think the blog at http://renziandleeannestone.blogspot.com is as much a part of their family history as anything else.
“The blog, the Twitter posts (from son Jackson), have been part of the healing for us,” he said.
Lee Anne said it was started as a way to connect with family and friends who live in other places.
“It was a way to keep everybody in touch,” she said.
Although the blog started about the time their oldest son turned 1, the couple's love story began long before that.
Renzi Stone, 33, said he met Lee Anne, 31, when the two were students at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He said he was a junior and an OU basketball player, and Lee Anne was a freshman. Lee Anne Stone said the two met after Lee Anne had participated in a water polo match and they had an instant connection.
The couple said they dated during the summer months after their initial meeting, but parted as friends. Lee Anne Stone said they became friends again several months after Renzi graduated from OU. They said they dated for five years with Lee Anne living in Austin and Renzi living in Oklahoma City for some of that time.
Lee Anne Stone said the couple honed their communication skills during the time when their romance was long-distance.
Lee Anne said she eventually moved back to Oklahoma and the couple married in 2006. They celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in May. Renzi Stone is CEO of Saxum, an Oklahoma City-based public relations and marketing firm, while Lee Anne Stone is youth director for Youth Leadership Oklahoma.
The Stones said their family became a trio with the birth of son Jackson, now almost 4, who was followed by his younger brother, Isaiah, born in 2009.
Lee Anne Stone said Isaiah Stone was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was about four months old.
She said the infant had several severe epileptic seizures and his medical treatment became a central part of the family's day-to-day life. He was placed in a medically induced coma for a while, she said. The blog took on a different flavor as Lee Anne began to alert family members and a growing group of community friends of baby Isaiah's medical condition.