Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Tree

I love this picture.......

and....I love Moore's Tree Farm...we have been going here since Heidi was the age Lilly is now.
They are so nice there and have thought of every detail to make the experience easy and enjoyable.

Lilly takes the "I can do it myself" attitude to a whole new level.

This tree was H.E.A.V.Y.

Time to shake the needles and wrap the tree....all included in the price of the tree.
Now that you have seen the Halloween costume and the tree search I can share Christmas Day before New Years Day.........IF I remember where I put the cord to my camera to upload the pictures.
I vow to create a system for all of the cords in my life for 2011.
This is no easy task....6 cell phones, camera, laptops, video cameras...... you hear that???
I think it is the sound of my Grandmother laughing at me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Halloween before Christmas

I have missed this blog. I have missed writing everyday. I have missed sharing my life with those I know and those I don't. I have missed taking lots of pictures. I can't go back and share every little moment since I stopped blogging regularly but I thought it was important to show off my Halloween Dragonfly before I share about our Christmas celebration. Isn't she adorable????? She is so joyful and excited about everything and it makes our lives so rich and delightful. Thank you Lilly for being perfectly you.

I am having a lightbulb moment about my life right now and it is exciting, a little shocking and incredibly comforting.

There are reasons I have been away and reasons why I am back. I may share those reasons at a later date but for now just know that......

I AM BACK AND I AM HERE TO STAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Feeling nostalgic

Nostalgia is a funny thing isn' t it? Of course I don't want to really go back because that would mean I wouldn't have had the blessing of being Lilly's mom for the past three years but sometimes I long for those precious moments and I wish I could repeat them just one more time. Flying so far from all that we know and love...including our three children, stepping off a bus and into a hotel feeling like my head would spin right off, meeting the other families who were adopting at the same time, going to such ancient places as the Forbidden City and The Great Wall......and then.......being handed THE most precious gift. Our daughter. It was a moment that took our breath away and still does when we recall that moment. It is beyond description. I find myself at a loss to describe it in a way that anyone would really understand. I am so blessed. So blessed. I know we have another daughter out there and I pray for way to be made.
Lilly wants to name her sister Daisy. My big kids think it would be weird to have all their little sisters named after flowers. I personally think it is adorable. Lilly is pretty good at getting what she wants so Daisy it is!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Uncle Tom

I miss you Uncle Tom.
So much.
When my heart can bear it I will share with you about this great man.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dear Readers.....I have missed you!

I have been busier than ever but I think about sitting down to write each and every day and then somehow that winds up at the bottom of the list each evening. I could write a lot about what I have been up to lately but I will save that for another time and the new blog......more on that later! What feels important today is to share a conversation I had with Sharlyn this morning.

The topic was listening.
Reverential listening.

Sharlyn has a friend in a deep crisis.....a serious turning point......a major life choice. The kind of choice that no person would ever want to be faced with. I can't share the details but what I can say is that this situation led her to share deeply with Sharlyn last night about her grief. Her grief is deep and on some level will be life long. I imagine that some peace will come in stops and starts but still the pain will linger deep in her heart until her very last breath. So the important lesson that I feel compelled to share is that Sharlyn and I have been talking a lot lately about reverential listening. What it is, how to be better at it, the importance of many times when others are talking we are formulating what we are going to say next and although we might be hearing we aren't truly listening. Do you know what I am talking about? Of course you do. I want people to always feel that I am deeply listening to them from a place that is not trying to respond instantly with the next clever thing to say but rather from a place that is calm, centered and sacred.

Sharlyn found that last night the only way she could really respond to her friend's grief was through this kind of listening. There was no rushing to fix it. Because she can't. There was no crafty combination of words to cheer her up or ease the pain or offer a glimmer of hope. There was just two ears allowing the words to gently float in and sit and rest.

This is not easy when we love someone and we want to ease their pain. It is hard to sit in the fire with a friend and ignore the desire to throw a bucket of water on it. It is a spiritual practice to just be with anger. Be with pain. Be with heartache. Be with grief. To sit still and let the chaos swirl around us and not rush in with word, thought or action to fix it when there truly is no fix.

Join me in this if you will........deeply listening to one another. With reverent attention. With hearts wide open. With love.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I love old things.....

I was at my mother-in-laws for dinner one night last fall and mentioned that
I would like an old rotary dial phone.
Preferrably a light blue....who knew she would walk out to the back room and hand me this exact phone.
Somebody gave it to my father-in-law and he brought it home. When I asked why he gave it to him she said she didn't know. He is a bit of a hoarder so I guess people just give him random things.
Whatever the reason I am now the proud owner of this phone and here is what I can tell you about it.
It makes me talk less and really focus on the person I am speaking with.
I can't wash dishes. I can't reach the computer. I can't take a bath or take care of other bathroom duties.
I can't take the dog out or drive the car.
It doesn't fit in my pocket.
It makes me slow down.
It makes me listen deeper.
It makes me spend less time on the phone.
You only want to be connected to that cord for so long.
It's good.
Very good.
I think our world is just too much sometimes.
Kids dying because they are reading or typing a text and get in an accident.
There is no reason for this.
Just because we can talk in the car doesn't mean we should.
I am working hard at making my car a no phone zone.
What happened to the days when we did one thing at a time.
I long to create a more simple life.
To eat vegetables I grow.
To make jam with berries I pick.
To just sit and talk on the phone for 15 minutes and really listen to the person on the other end.
How about you?

On another note:
If you wondered where I disappeared to....................
 I happened to leave my laptop in a precarious spot and it happened to take a tumble and then it had to go spend some time with the nice people at Geek Squad. Then I lost the diamond in my wedding ring - a week before our 20th wedding anniversary. Then Scott hit a deer and came about $500 shy of totaling the car. Heidi and Lilly and I were in the car and it was pretty scary. So grateful we are fine. I also found out some disturbing news about somebody that had been a lifelong friend. Then my teenager made some very bad choices. All the while I painted nearly every single day since February 12 at our new house which is getting very close to being ready for us to move in!!!!!! So that is the very short version of the very long story of why I have not shared on the blog in several weeks.
I have not forgotten you.
Not a chance.
Stay tuned for a visual tour of my dream home in progress....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Drink Pepsi

Is it possible to have decorating overload?
Is it possible to to have a newly discovered but very serious disease called decorating ADD?
Is it possible to paint your new living room for the third time?
Is it possible that spring is right around the corner?
Yes, all of this is true. I have not forgotten this little blog
 or my readers.
I have just been 6 foot up on a ladder with a roller in one hand and a cup of chai in the other.
Either that or sound asleep. Those are pretty much my two speeds right now. In between those
 two options you might be able to spot me at Lowe's.
We actually hung up the first thing at the new house yesterday.
 A vintage pepsi sign from an old cafe'/deli that I loved called Sadie D's
I use to love this sandwich she served called 'Apple of My Eye'. Multi grain bread, mustard, thinly sliced smoked turkey, Granny Smith apple and cheddar cheese with a little lettuce too.
I drooled over this old Pepsi sign many a time.
 One day the cafe' closed. I was sad.
I wondered about the Pepsi sign.
Where did it go?
I wanted it.
In time I moved on and let it go and actually forgot about it.
Until................driving to town one day there was a big yard sale with stuff everywhere.
The kind where you almost get in an accident because you are rubbernecking to
see if you should stop or not.
You know what I'm talking about.
that I spotted it..............................THE PEPSI SIGN.
I screamed so loud that I scared my husband. I stopped so quickly I nearly snapped his neck.
 Good thing he loves me.
And good thing he had $175 dollars tucked away in his wallet and parted with it so I could have this:

That was right before we started building our new house (FOUR years ago!) I had it stored out in the garage thinking it wouldn't be long until we could hang it up in our beautiful new kitchen. After about a year I hauled it into our current house and hung it up in the dining room. Partly because I wanted to look at it and partly because I wanted it to motivate me to dream that the new house really would happen.
Last night we took it off the wall, took it to the new house and
See the top of that bench below the sign? I purchased that before we even broke ground too.
I fell in love with it at a local antique store and because we had the blueprints I was able to take measurements and see that it would fit just where I had envisioned it,
I bought it and it hung out in the garage with the Pepsi sign too.
When I hauled the Pepsi sign in the bench came with it.
They just go together.
And now they are at the new house just waiting on us to finish the painting.
Install a toilet or two, create a makeshift kitchen, clean the floors and move the beds,
the dishes, the dogs, the cats, the clothes and ourselves.
It won't be long.....2-3 weeks maybe.....
Can you believe it?
It is time. It is the perfect time.
Stay tuned...
LOTS more photos coming soooooooon.
xo Kimberly
p.s. The photo is of our old house....wait till you see it in it's new home against a 50's vintage bluish/greenish/tuquoiseish color. A little darker than I usually paint but it works!
Stay tuned....I won't stay away so long this time so check back soon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm. Still. Here.

This would have been day 13 of painting at the new house...IF I had actually gone there to paint.
Can you say meltdown?
I just couldn't get it together today to do anything. I can't seem to write three checks
and put them in envelopes with stamps and drive to the post office. I can't seem to tackle the dishes,
the laundry, the vacuum, the dinner. I can't seem to get the laptop off my lap.
I can't seem to stop drinking hot organic chai with creamy 1/2 and 1/2.
I can't seem to clear my mind.
Can you say overwhelm?

I am trying to be okay with just being still but this house is a mess and the new house isn't done and dreams are coming true very quickly. I didn't know that it was going to this hard.
It is tempting to think that you will suddenly be a different person when you are living your dreams.
But, are still just you.
I haven't forgotten about the happiness report...but today is not the day.
Stick with me tho, okay?
I'll be back with happy thoughts and pictures too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happiness Report coming SOON!!!

I'm here.
I'm happy.
I'm hopeful.
I can feel the magic brewing.
I have decided to share my full happiness report after 48 hours instead of 24.
That would be tomorrow....sometime....who knows I might just shoot for a full 72 hours of happiness.
Watch out people, she's on a roll.....
But for right now I am knee deep in paint samples.
Maybe some people want a blue kitchen and they just go to the store and
choose 3 or 4 samples and pick from those.
Not a chance. I have to pick around 50 (at least).
Then I have to see them in the day light, the natural light, candle light, night light.
Then I have to buy a small sample and paint it
on the wall to be sure.
You have to be sure.
It's a feeling I'm going for.
In this case I have painted huge leftover pieces of sheetrock and put them in the rooms
that may be painted that color.
It may be a sickness. I'm not sure but I KNOW I am not alone.
I find that comforting.
I have so much to say about happiness so please come back
very soon and I will tell you everything.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Going for the Happy

Today I am going for happiness.
I have had so much to do, so much stress...for soooooo long.
 I see the dreams coming true.
I should be ecstatic but I have been missing it because
I am overwhelmed/scared.
Believe it or not it is scary to have your dreams coming true.
Who knew?
After a long heart to heart with my soul sister last night we decided to just go for the happy.
I will report back later today about where I found happiness (hopefully with photos)
In the meantime I hope you follow happiness
wherever it leads you.
Think about this too:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Used by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just a Blip

This is my dog, Jack. Some breaking news about him at the end of this post. Keep Reading!

I was driving home last night and thinking about what makes me feel so connected to certain blogs and not so much to others. I guess this would be different for everyone but for me it is variety. I love a blog where sometimes I see what someone made for dinner, where they went for the day, something funny, something inspirational, a story about how they met their husband or how they decorated their child's bedroom. I like it when I feel like I really know this person and could meet up with them at the local cafe' and chat away like old friends. That is how I want people to feel about my blog and sometimes I'm not sure what my 'style' is. I am often shocked when I visit Google Analytics and see that people actually read my blog everyday. I feel insecure sometimes like what in the world do I really have to say that could be of any interest and what is the real purpose of a blog. I love to write but when I feel the pressure of it I sometimes stop liking it so much. When I write because I just need to get the thoughts and words out of my brain it feels really good. Of course my blog is for me in that way but the fact that it is not a journal on my nightstand makes me ask: What is the purpose of making my life so public. This then leads me back to the blogs of others and why I like them. What makes me return there day after day? This is what I realized: I like to know there are other woman that love what I love. I love that they live all over the country/world because it makes the world feel smaller and more connected. I like to know that others struggle and rejoice over the same things that I do. I love to see how each person puts their personal stamp on their blog and their life. Blogs make me feel less alone so that made me see that if my blog makes anyone feel less alone, makes them laugh, makes them think, inspires them to redecorate their bathroom or go so far as to adopt a child because they are moved by Lilly's story then it is worth spilling my guts on any topic that compells me a few times each week.

Here is what felt compelling to me last night. Making a list. A list of random facts about me and my life at this current moment.
* 3 out of my six family members have puked in the last 24 hours. Multiple times. *Edit: make that 4 out of 6
* My father makes me so sad with his lack of joy for simply being alive
* I am learning a lot about boundaries...where I can step away knowing I have done all that I can but still staying loving and compassionate. I find it is a fine art to balance things that feel opposite. Detached but connected.
* I can see the light at the end of the tunnel after 3 years of a financial crisis. I am not actually at the light and sometimes I still lay awake wondering how to keep my chin up just one more day. Then I look at my kids.
* Sometimes I wonder who I will be after this financial storm is over. I love to pay my bills and I love to pay them early. It has been very humbling to not be able to meet all of my obligations. It has made my husband consider suicide.
* It has threatened our marriage and our sanity
* I miss my Uncle Dick every single day. I can't believe he is gone and have to remind myself of this everytime I see his picture on the table by my couch. I can still hear his laugh like he is sitting right here reading over my shoulder.
* I had to borrow money (a lot) from people that I did not want to borrow it from. If you would have asked me prior to that moment I would have told you it was the last thing in the world I ever wanted to do. I did it for my kids.
* It makes me feel like my life will be under a microscope forever and even getting a pizza or seeing a movie will make me feel guilty.
* An opportunity to follow a life long dream has presented itself and of course the one thing I need I don't I find myself having to approach these people with an alternate solution. I have no idea what they will say and when I think about going to talk to them I feel really nervous. Nervous that they will say yes and nervous that they will say no. And knowing my life will really change if they say yes.
* I feel disonnected from my body a lot lately but the minute I go for a walk in nature I feel 'plugged in' again
* I miss Arizona. A LOT. Every.  Single.  Day.
* I feel such gratitude for my friends and family
* I want to turn the heat up right now but I don't feel like getting up from the couch.
* I love how I feel when I eat the Vegan diet. I find it hard to eat that way with three male meat eaters living in the same house. Eating animals sometimes tastes good to me but always makes me feel sad. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so 'awake'.
* I love summertime. Winter, not so much.
* I went to a memorial service the other day and realized that our life is just a blip on the radar screen of life. We can make it extraordinary but we don't have to. God gives us the raw material the rest is totally up to us.
* I hate sweet potatoes.
* I love to travel.
* I want to adopt more children. This time from Ethiopia. Haiti would be a possibility if that door opened up for us. My husband wants to adopt too. He is worried what his family will think. That doesn't even cross my mind. It's not the money he is worried about, it is the skin color. That makes me sad. And mad.  *Just to clarify: it is not him that is worried about race/skin color, he is worried what others will think. I think: WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK??? I am ebarrassed to be that close to ignorance and racism.
* I did a fundraiser to raise money for us and for others who are in the process of an adoption. I think there are some who might see me as crazy or unrealistic. They don't understand. They don't feel with my heart or think with my mind. That's fine with me. I am willing to look crazy for the sake of orphaned children. I don't lose a wink of sleep over that one.
* I have always have more laundry then I want to.
* I can't believe people expect the President to undo 8 years of a mess in 1 year.
* Haiti breaks my heart multiple times each day.
* Sometimes I think I could just drive away from everything I have ever known, taking my husband, my kids and my pets and letting the rest go and starting a while new life somewhere else.
* This list is getting kind of long.

So that's it for now. I just felt like putting the real me out there in blog land. It was fun to just write without any real censor or trying to make the different thoughts all connect. It was also freeing to not really know who is really reading this and what they might think about what I say. Turning 40 has been very liberating. I care about others more but care about what they think much less. Love that.

Remeber the breaking news about Jack the Dog??? Here it is: The most pressing thing I have to do today is renew Jack's dog license. I got a notice in the mail that they would issue a warrant if he wasn't licensed. A license to be a dog??? Are you Kidding? Really? Seriously? Welcome to my life folks.

Would you go to jail for this face?

So...what are you doing with your blip on the radar screen of life? Is it what you want to be doing? Tell me what it is you really, really, really want. I really, really, really want to know. Really.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I wrote this almost two years ago and was going through old files on the computer this morning and found this one. I think it is worth sharing. The women in the story are real. They are not people I know personally but women that I have interacted with or seen out in the world. Take a moment today and read this and REMEMBER who you really are, unearth an old dream. Dust off an idea that just won't let go. Be brave. Be bold. Life is rather ordinary so much of the time....but we can make it extraordinary.

I saw you today. I was in line behind you at the convenience store. Your hair was bleached, you were wearing too much of the wrong kind of makeup, you were at least 100 pounds overweight, you were wearing cheap rings on every finger and a short top that revealed all of your excess weight and your belly ring, your clothes were stained and you kept tugging at your shirt as if you suddenly realized it may have not been the best fashion choice. You were buying 3 king size Butterfingers, a super-mega soda and a bag of Cheetos. You also purchased several dollars worth of scratch off tickets. My car was parked next to yours and I watched you get into your car which was old and dirty with several dents in the doors. The back seat had a car seat that was surrounded by garbage - old McDonalds bags, clothes, toys and a laundry basket filled with dirty laundry. I wanted to scoop you up and bring you to my home where we would immediately throw your clothes, your soda, your candy bars and your lotto tickets into the trash. You would soak for hours in my antique claw foot tub, surrounded by candles listening to Michael Buble’ sing ‘Everything’ while the full moon sparkled through the trees. When you emerged from your bath there would be a beautiful, soft pink towel waiting for you and a pair of comfortable cotton yet feminine pajamas. I would show you to the porch where a bowl of soup and fresh salad was waiting for you. The vegetables all organic, the ice water with a slice of fresh lemon and the warm bread just out of the oven. All prepared just for you. I would sit next to you and ask you about your dreams and what you wanted to be when you were a little girl. If you say you don’t know or can’t remember I will sit with you until you do. When it was time for bed I would show you the guest room where you would fall into 700 thread count sheets, layered with a down comforter and lots of scrumptious pillows. The windows would be open and a slight breeze would flutter the curtains. You will see the porch light from the window and you will hear the stillness of the woods and you will begin to remember who you really are.

I saw you today. You were at the school picking up your children. The epitome of a PTA mom. You were wearing the Mom clothes, you hair perfectly done, you lipstick on just right. You stepped out of your mini-van with your day planner in hand. Your children came running to greet and you knelt down to hug them. They were dressed perfectly with their hair neatly trimmed and smiling from ear to ear. I can tell they are loved. You are really listening to them tell you about their day asking each of them to wait there turn and not interrupt. You are patient and kind and loving. A good mother. But why can I feel a sense of quiet desperation seeping out of every cell of your body? Could it be that you too have forgotten who you are?

I saw you today. I was taking my daughter to the movies and you were there with your boyfriend. He was joking with you and saying things that were kind of funny but not respectful. When you were trying to tell him about your day he interrupted you. When you were telling him about an idea you had for an upcoming project at school he started yelling to his friends who were sitting on the other side of the theatre. He is handsome in the ‘I play football, everyone has a crush on me’ kind of way. You are pretty and obviously smart and well spoken. So tell me why if you are so smart you are willing to let someone treat you this way? Don’t tell me that you too have forgotten who you are. I am beginning to think it is an epidemic.

I saw you today. You were walking at the park with what looked to be your husband. You appear to have been married many years. I would guess by looking at the two of you that you are approaching 50 years of being married. You have on your jeans and sweatshirt, with your squeaky clean white sneakers. You are pulling a camper behind a very nice looking Chevy pick-up. I find myself making up a story about your life. You were a stay at home Mom, lived in the same house that you bought when you got married in 1958. Your husband worked for the electric company and you have a son and a daughter. You are grandparents now and really enjoy spending time with your grandchildren. You struggled with money when you were young but managed to build a nice little retirement account over the years. Your social security checks along with your savings allows you to meet your bills and of course your house is paid for. You purchased the camper and have set off across the United States. The two of you are feeding the ducks and sharing an ice cream cone. You seem happy enough. But why are you wearing a t-shirt that says I survived breast cancer? What is it in your life that isn’t working, what part of yourself have you neglected for so long that your body had to get your attention with cancer? Did you too forget who you are?

I saw you today. I went to Subway for a quick lunch. I had my baby with me and you were admiring her while you made my sandwich. You said you daughter was a year old and you were also 7 months pregnant with your third child. Your oldest is only 3. You look to be about 23 or 24. You are pretty with sandy brown hair and a full smile. You look tired. I wonder how in the world you meet all of you financial needs by working at subway. I wonder if the father of your children loves you. I wonder if he takes care of not only your home but your heart and your dreams. I wonder what you dreamed about when you were 5 years old. I thank you for making my lunch and say goodbye. I get into my car and see you coming out the side of the building. Your pregnant belly emerges before you do. The next thing I see is a cigarette hanging from your mouth. Let me guess…………you have forgotten who you are.

I saw you today……………I saw myself.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Guess What?

Today I actually have to pick out paint samples. Emphasis on the word have! I met with the sheetrocker yesterday and in just a few short days he will be done with the first coat of primer upstairs and I will be able to start painting colors. My children's new bedrooms! I have dreamed about this day for so long, the four years since we started building this house and every year that came before that - if math is hard for you that would be 20 years - 10 x 2, two decades, 10 x 4.....a long damn time!!!
Somebody pinch me!
For those of you who don't know I LOVE to decorate. I think about it with my most of my spare thinking time, I fall asleep decorating my new house in my mind, I adore paint samples and at any given time will usually have a random assortment in my purse..hey you never know when you need to have a paint sample handy! When I was in middle school my friend Michelle and I use to go through magazines for hours on end. We had lots of pocket folders labled living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, kids rooms, bathrooms, exterior etc. We would cut and sort and file appropriately all the design ideas we would come across. We drew floor plans and dreamed of the lives we would someday have inside these houses we would create in our minds. I am embarrassed to say we even named our children and picked our future husband's professions....let's just let that thought alone. :)

 Many of the wonderful things and all of the terrible things that have happened over the last twenty years I never really dreamed of. I didn't know adopting a baby would be one of the greatest joys of my life and completely change me from the inside out. I didn't know we would live through 3 years of a financial storm that threatened my husbands life, our marriage and everything I thought I understood about life. I didn't know that traveling to Arizona with my spiritual soul sister would peel back a layer of myself that I didn't even know existed. I always thought the desert would be dry, dusty and boring...who knew I would find God there. I didn't know that my parents would divorce and leave my family in shambles. I didn't know that even though you never really get used to divorced parents it does get easier as time goes by. I didn't know that my mom would eventually meet a man that we now can't imagine not having as part of our family. I didn't know that going to massage school was really God's way of leading me to one of my dearest friends. I didn't know that the best dog I have ever had would live to be 14 and be hit and killed by a car and die alone on the side of the road without me holding her and telling her how much I loved her. I didn't know that I would lose a friend to an anuerysm with no warning just twelve hours after I made lunch plans with her. I didn't know that when I went on a giant road trip for my 40th birthday that I would stumble upon my some of my original dreams from almost 20 years ago. I also didn't know that while 'killing time' one day on that same road trip I would follow a sign to a cafe' that actually led me to an art gallery where I would find a friend I didn't even know was missing from my life. I didn't know that I would have three biological children and then 15 years later want to start a whole new family through adoption. I didn't know when I stood before the Grand Canyon that it would take my breath away. I didn''t know that my Uncle Dick, one of my favorite people in the world, would get a sudden cancer diagnosis and leave us all baffled and lost when he died just five months later. I didn't know when we went to China to adopt our daughter that we were about to become part of a whole new family that we love so much. I didn't know I would eat dinner at the top of the World Trade Center at Windows on the World and six months later it would crumble to the ground. I didn't know that when I held my sister's first baby for the first time that the baby would already have passed away. I didn't know that my first boyfriend would lead me to a lifelong friendship that has endured every up and down you can imagine and we would still be laughing together all these years later. I didn't know that my dream house would pose so many challenges and heartaches and JOY. Thank God I didn't know all the joy or all the heartache that lay before me or I might have found it hard to participate in life. I remember hearing a quote by Arthur Ash (the great tennis player) before he went something like this "If I ask why me about my sorrows, then I would have to ask why me about my joys."

So I think I will just say thank you, put on my warm scarf and winter coat and brave the single digit temperature all in the name of paint samples. And joy.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wise Words

"What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love,
and together we can do something wonderful." -Mother Teresa

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Still Here....

See me?....I'm in the shadow.......
Just a quick note to say I will be back soon to update you on Lilly's 3rd Birthday celebration.
It was wonderful and I took tons of pictures on my Mom's camera. Now I have to get her
camera connected to my laptop to share those
 photos with all of you.

It has been a busy couple of weeks as we were preparing for the sheetrockers to start this morning at the new house. There is so much to be done and first so many details to organize. When I go into a super productive mode my cousin calls it my jackhammer. I will tell her all that I am doing and
she will say "Time to get your superwoman cape and
your jackhammer out of your purse".
She cracks me up.
To be totally honest the other reason why I haven't been here to jabber about my life
or all the exciting things in it is because my heart is completely broken for the orphans in Haiti.

 I am not the same person I use to be.

I was always compassionate but it wasn't until I held Lilly for the first time and then stepped
inside her orphanage two days later that something inside me was rearranged.
I see things so differently.
I am glad about that but it means living with a heavy heart at times. I have gotten used to the fact
 that I have to make peace with doing what I can do knowing that I can't change the world by myself.
But nothing could have prepared my heart for the tragedy in Haiti.
I feel helpless.
We would take in as many children as would fit into our new house if it was allowed. I know many people who are willing to do the same. We can't. Our hands are tied. Red tape. Laws. Governments. People not even being sure which kids are truly orphaned or just seperated from families. Meanwhile sex traffickers are already there scooping up those precious girls. Again...I feel HELPLESS.
 Yes, I do that every single day many times but I want to do so much more than that.
I want to help God move that mountain between the children and the families who would take
them in for a day, a week, a month or a lifetime but I don't even know where to begin.

So, my day to day life stuff seems so trivial and it seems almost
to gush about my blessings and yet I am so blessed. I see my dreams coming true all
around me. Please join me in giving thanks for all that we have and giving what we can
to anyone who comes into our awareness that needs help. Sometimes those
people are right next door and sometimes they are in another country.

Let us not get hung up on
'us' or 'them' or 'here' or 'there' ....
 let us see humanity in all of it's forms and let us rise up and give what
we can whenever we can to whoever we can.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

To the people of Haiti and those trying to help them:

kenbe fem

Creole for 'Stand Firm'

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Please Do This For the Children of Haiti

Take three minutes and do this.
Go to this page on the Haitian Embassy site and send an email that says:

“We appeal to you to ask the US government to provide immediate humanitarian parole to all orphans in danger in Haiti.

We represent a group who will care for your children as long as necessary or until such a time as repatriation is feasible. We have planes, doctors, care givers and housing."

Copy and paste. It's easy and if we make enough noise then these children will be brought to safety.
It is unacceptable that they survive a massive earthquake only to die because we didn't get to them fast enough. If your house was on fire would you sit and assess the situation for a week before you went into save them OR would you rescue them even if that meant they had only the clothes on their back and make plan B once they were safe? duh

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I count 8 babies in that crib

Eight babies, eight innocent children, eight sweet spirits.
Eight children who may not live through the week if we don't press our senators and representatives to pressure the right people to grant these children refugee status.
There were approximately 300,000 children orphaned BEFORE the earthquake...
the numbers have at least doubled.
I am open to doing whatever I am called to do.
This photo is REAL.
Really look at it and REALLY  SEE IT.
See those children.
They could be yours.
I will be imagining along with this guy planes being emptied of their supplies and then filled with children.
Do you have room for one more in your heart AND in your home?
We sure do.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How can we....

get some huge airplanes and fly to Haiti and fill the planes with ophaned children and bring them back to the states and place them in families????? There has got to be a way.
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Please send thoughts and ideas my way.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This is the road to my new house. It makes winter look so pretty....which it is.....if you are inside making soup with a roaring fire. I am not a big fan of being cold and this weather really makes me feel all disconnected and funky. I love opening up the door and being able to go out in bare feet. I love sundresses, I love flip flops and painted toes, I love picnics and outdoor concerts, I love lightening bugs and the 4th of July, I love hot summer nights with the fan on full blast. I love that low steady hum of the
crickets and I love to be warm.

Now refer back to the picture above....does that look warm????

We could move I suppose but I love it here May though December and our family is here.
I am glad my mom is just across town and when I need help with a sewing project I can just drop it off at my mother-in-laws house and she will do it for me. I like that we can walk across the lawn for dinner with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and nephew. I like that my Dad has a workshop on our property and even if I don't see him in person everyday I see his truck and I can keep track of his comings and goings and I know he does the same for me. I love that I can forget my wallet at the grocery store and still take my groceries with me and they trust me to come right back. I love that when Agway (owned by my Uncle) is out of something that I am picking up for the new house there is an old friend in line and he is on his way to another store and offers to pick it up for us and drop it back off and pay for it too (it was only $1.20). I love that I can drive down almost any road and name who lives in many of the houses.
Those are just some of the reasons why I choose to stay in my hometown despite that horrid white stuff.
Do you live in your hometown? If not, are you homesick for it or was moving the best thing you ever did?

Tell me...I want to know!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Look what two years and a whole lotta love can do.....

Lilly Grace KeXiu after being with us for 2 days ...still in China...December 2007

Lilly Grace KeXiu after being with us for two years....December 2009

I can't give away the dreams and secrets of others but let me just say that little miss Lilly's story is changing the hearts of more people than I realized. It looks like there will be one more child coming to a loving family because Lilly worked in the hearts of others with her sweet smile and moving story of her brave journey from one family to another, from one country to another, from one life to another.
It gives me goosebumps, it makes me cry, it makes me jump for joy, it is the answer to a prayer.
I can't share at this time but let me just say it has made my YEAR and we are only 10 days in!!!
I told you 2010 was gonna be great!!!!!
Stay tuned............

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bloom and Company

This chair will be for sale soon on my Etsy shop...Bloom and Company!!!
I am so happy and excited to be tapping into my creativity.
It makes me feel so ALIVE.
I was very happy to say goodbye to 2009 and thrilled to ring in the New Year!
I can feel that 2010 will be infinitely better in so many ways.
I now want to find a local person who can use this chair as a pattern and make more for me to paint.
My head is swimming with ideas....and colors.....ladybugs....polka dots....frogs......
I need to sew a little cushion to make the chair more comfy and hope to do that by tomorrow
and then it's up for grabs! I would like to see a matching set like this with a little black table.
Now I'm thinking tea party and I'm out of my favorite tea!
Hope your year is off to a great start!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Year in Photos

Inspired by another blogger, I have decided to take on the challenge of a picture a day for the next 365 days (5 down, 360 to go!) I can already feel my creative juices flowing and I think it will be a great project. Words are easy for me and I think it will be a great experience to have a place to just express myself with images. As they say....a picture is worth a thousand words.....
Enjoy and follow this new endeavor at
Happy New Year!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Shower Curtains....

I bought a new shower curtain! Even though we are moving soon I just could not stand my bathroom another minute. Can you believe I have had a bathtub without a shower for 10 years??? TEN YEARS!!! I love to take a bath every night but for me a bath is the ultimate in relaxtion. I do NOT like to use it to get clean.
I read that the Japanese people will shower before a bath because they are looking for the spiritual benefits of soaking in water and already being 'cleansed'.
 I agree!
We use to have a little hand held shower like thing and then that broke, and then we were going to remodel, and then we were going to move to Florida, and then we were going to buy a house, and then we were going to build one. So..... we just never got around to turning the tub into a shower. We did decide to build and that has been a FOUR year project so for all that time we just kept saying, 'well, we are going to move soon so why bother now'....and so here we are still taking a bath. When I find myself grumbling I have learned to focus on how blessed we are to have clean, warm, running water. I have learned a lot in this past decade. You could say I have built a lot of character because the road has been very steep at times. You could also say that I am happy with my character right now and could really use a break from all this personal growth. Somedays I just want to take a shower. There are so many things about this house that are less than what I dream of but at the same time I love this little place that I have raised my family in. These walls are full of good memories. I want to honor that so I have decided to share with you the things that make me happy here. I am not sure if it will take days or weeks but I will post photos and memories here as a way to honor the past decade. Enjoy!

A $19.99 shower curtain has the power to thrill me.
I had the bench, the cupboard, the picture frame.
I painted the canvas with the colors from the shower curtain.

I LOVE matching towels.
Just say no to using beach towels as bath towels.
If you are on a budget, (who isn't) then just buy one towel a week and in just a couple of months you will have matching set! You start your day in the bathroom so you need to make it one or your happy places.

It's all about the love.
I may add more to this painting. I may not.
It took me about 15 minutes.
Buy cheap canvases at the art store and have your kids go to town.
Cheap, meaningful art.
Make sure to paint the base a color that you want and then when the kids paint there is unifying color under it all that is part of your color palette. Make sure to buy the canvases that are stapled to the back, NOT the edge...makes it look so much better.

I have had this for years and I LOVE it! It says 'Mind Your Spirit' at the top and I often need that reminder.
Are you minding your spirit?

I am so glad to have bath toys back in my life.
Thanks Lilly Grace.

My new favorite hand soap. found at Target on the clearance because it is a Christmas scent.
I think pine is a winter scent so plan to smell like a Christmas tree if you wash your hands
at my house in the next 6 months.

See that photo? Those precious faces are now 19, 16 and 15.
My babies are growing up. It goes so fast.
I am so glad to be starting family #2! I never dreamed I would be one
of 'those' people but so grateful that I am!

I found this at a gift shop next to my friend Michele's art gallery.
It cracks me up everytime I read it. No matter how evolved we become there are just some things that women do that men will never get and vica versa. It is supposed to be that way.

I just have to show my 'babies' one more time.
I miss them sometimes.

A little flower just because.
This little remodel cost $19.99 and about two hours of time.
Pretty cute don't you think?
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