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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