Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Jalyn was very proud to be a part of his sister's big day.
My shy little love bug.
We went out to lunch afterwards, just the four of us. We had a wonderful time until...... Two people asked what was wrong with Leila's face and I cried. I am very protective of my baby and I couldn't find the words to put them in their place. I was ashamed of myself for not speaking up and angry at them for having the nerve to ask such a thing. The world is so cruel. I'm so thankful that our inner circle is so incredibly supportive and loving. Jalyn had no problem celebrating!
Her first strawberry shake! Think she's intoxicated from the delicious cream!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
In need of some ideas? Here are a few of my favorite things. Maybe this will help you shop for that special woman in your lives!
My favorite perfume, Heavenly by Victoria Secret.
Stationary. A friend gave this to me as a gift once and I loved it. Things like this you typically wouldn't buy for yourself.
Jewelry is always a nice option, but this gals jewelry is amazing and unique! The Vintage Pearl. I would love one with my two darlings names (hint, hint Santa!)
For the woman that loves to cook/bake. This is one of my favorite cook books.
The most adorable hair pieces I've ever seen. Sophisticated yet fun! I have one and always receive comments! Bebecha.
An apron is one of the best gifts you could give this gal! Here is my favorite.
If your a grandparent, a loving auntie or a really awesome friend, the gift of babysitting so she can have a night with her hubby would be so thoughtful! Believe me, the best of gifts is giving your time.
My fav lip gloss in "You're Golden"! It's a neutral tone and looks great on everyone, even has gold flecks in it!
Well now, there you have it. If your sitting on the fence of indecision than hopefully your off it after reading this!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Today I checked in on my friend Lori's blog. She and her husband were in the process of adopting in Kyrgyzstan when a miracle happened, she became pregnant. I have followed her blog daily since. Today I was saddened and heartbroken at what I found.
Please read their story and send as many prayers as you possibly can up to heaven.
Lori, I am praying for you. I am praying for Matthew. Matthew felt more love in his short time here on earth than most children feel in a lifetime. May God be with you and your family and in time bring you peace.
Lori's Blog Here
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Good health. Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you! You healed my heart again and everyday I have with my children is a blessing from you.
Family. Whenever times get tough we are always there for each other and that's what families are all about! Plus, life wouldn't be as interesting........
Jafar, Amir and Nasser. You three bring a smile to my face always, what is life without dogs? May I have another??? And no, I'm not crazy! (I can hear you Kristy!)
Friends. We may not see each other often but when we do it's like we've never been separated.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I cherish everyday God gives me with this man.
Monday, November 16, 2009
You are hardly a week old and so very loved.
All that surround you are wrapped around those tiny little fingers.
It's been a whirlwind of a week. Peyton was stuck with the cord around her neck and brought to the world via emergency c-section. She then spent four days in the NICU, was discharged home on Friday only to return to the hospital Saturday for jaundice.
Mommy, Daddy and Peyton are all home now.
I am now an Auntie to three beautiful children, so darn lucky I am. God is good.
Leila and I leave on a jet plane in the morning, can't wait to see you daddy and Jalyn! We've missed our boys so much!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Now on with the show:
I got a call from the doc the other day. My ticker is responding to the medication! I'm not yet where I was before but super close. We now know that the medication is working and there's a good chance I'll be around for a long while. Thank God and thank you all for your prayers. It's truly a miracle to recover from this twice and I pray it never comes back. Will I be on the medications for life? Yup, most likely. They make you feel horribly tired but I'll take it.
Right after hearing the news, Tariq and I had a date night better than any other. We went out to eat at a great restaurant and then to Phantom of the Opera.
Good food, good company and a good heart.
Oh what a night.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sometimes I have a difficult time posting, I want it to be read-worthy, worthy of your time.
Then someone sends me an amazing comment on how what I've written has in someway changed their thinking to a more positive light.
Thank you for your comments and feedback, that's what keeps my fingers typing.
I'm sorry I'm not always able to respond but I would like you to know how much it means to me that you click on my little space and read what's on my mind.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Today brought cool temperatures to the desert and a crisp fall breeze, finally fall has arrived.
I've opened my windows to let the cool air fill my home, let Leila stay in her cozy fleece pj's and lit a candle that fills my home with an apple-harvest smell.
My husband took care of Jalyn getting to school and let me sneak in some extra zzzz's. Somehow doing laundry today feels effortless and somewhat enjoyable.
A delicious day indeed.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
We have movie night, make popcorn, eat candy and Jalyn and I end the night with a snuggling slumber party. Not too much longer and sis will be old enough to join us!
Have a good Friday doing whatever it is you do!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Those dishes! Ugh! Get one load in the washer just in time for the pile that's overflowing the sinks turn. Though I'm here and able to load and unload over and over again. Dishes are done just in time to feed my family dinner. Again, washed with love.
My daughter won't nap. This is perhaps the most disappointing thing that can happen to a stay-at-home mother. That precious hour of me time that usually turns into what can I get done in this hour? But this day, this day, I was going to nap. Then I think, I have my daughter here with me, in my home, in my care while so many others are still waiting for their adoptions to go through. What those moms would give just to know their little ones are safe, loved and HOME.
The very best part of my day is seeing the yellow school bus roll over the hill. I watch the most adorable little man in saggy jeans and a grungy t-shirt marked with the days activities he accomplished without me, head my way. We head home for a hearty afternoon snack (honey-crisp apples with Carmel is the fav around these parts), to a home where he has clean pj's, dishes on the table for dinner and a whole lot of love to go around.
It's the simple things that we mothers do that tell our story of love. Being grateful in the fact that accomplishing these tasks rather effortlessly is an amazing gift. Sometimes these tasks can seem minimal and unimportant compared to what our spouses are accomplishing outside of the home. It's what we do during the day that shows our family that we love them. We love them enough to make sure there are clean clothes and dishes, afternoon snacks a mommy and wife that can't wait to see them when they return home.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I've been going through a very personal journey these past few years.
Having married young, mothering two young children, living a world away from your entire family and facing life threatening illnesses have each, in their own way, taken pieces of me and placed them into a bottle and sent out into the big vast ocean.
What in life is important to me?
Believe me I have some pretty good idea's of what I am, but are they what I want to be?
This weekend I was baptized.
I have just begun a new journey towards the rest of my life.
I'm so excited to share this time with you.
I will be thrilled to turn thirty and thank God for another year here on earth with my family, both near and far.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I am reflecting on my amazing voyage home.
The things I love about Michigan:
The leaves beginning to turn into the most amazing colors God created.
My family. The ones I speak to daily and the ones I only see a few times a year. I love you all so much and only wish time could stop and allow me more time with you to chat and catch up on your lives.
Elli, Marley and Rowyn. My Michigan dogs.
Cider mills, pumpkins, cornstalks (by the way, can you even buy these in AZ?), cider, warm donuts.........don't love the bee's.
The country. The homes in the country with large front porches with an old fashioned porch swing attached.
The weather. The change of seasons for each is beautifully unique.
My fashionably forward sister. She inspires me to take more risks. I purchased a pair red flats with her encouragement. They are hot in a spicy grandma sorta way. How many eight month pregnant gals do you know that would/could sport red hot four inch heels to their baby shower?!
Friends. We just pick up right where we left off as if nothings changed a bit.
The Wren in the Willow.
Enjoying a Michigan football game with folks even more passionate than I am.
Lazy Sundays (well and Saturdays for that matter) spent with some great food and great football.
Parks with amazing play equipment built right on a farm complete with animals to pet and feed.....Genius idea.
So now I'm home. Home with my boys..... I missed them terribly. I miss Michigan and all the things that go along with it terribly too. My prayers always include the obvious; health, service, appreciation, and for the past few years to show us a sign when the time is right to relocate. Oh, and then I pray for patience as He's been slow to respond to the whole relocation idea.
***My next post will include pictures from my trip***
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Yup folks, I'm the third wheel tonight.
I don't mind.
Quality time with my bro and his wife.....ahhh, my soul has been at such peace since my arrival.
From this trip alone, my heart has healed.....I betcha.
Just wait until that next scan, all is well.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I am where apples have begun their journey into cider.
I am where my daughter can play outside and feel damp grass under her tootsies.
I am where I can shop and plan for my sister-n-laws baby shower.
I am in Michigan.
I was in bed two weeks ago about to sleep. My soul ached to not be a part of a huge family celebration. My husband requested my presence in the den that night. On his computer screen was an airplane ticket straight to heaven, straight to my family.
I arrived Saturday evening, watched the Michigan game, had a bon fire, roasted marshmallows and thanked Tariq over and over for allowing me this time with my family.
Sunday was spent at the Wren, my favorite country store of all time. I had birthday money to spend and loved every minute of picking out the next item to join my collection of country decor.
Monday I drove into Milford to finalize the cake plans with the bakery. This cake has to be special, has to be unique. Leila and I spent the morning walking the quaint downtown stores, picked up something for brother back home, petting all the dogs that passed us along the way.
The one conclusion I have come to is that everything happens for a reason.
There is a purpose to my life.
My purpose, at least for now, is simply to live.
Live and enjoy the simple everyday pleasures we so often overlook.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The guys took the kids back to the cabin and Nana and I went antique shopping. I scored a large Yellow Ware bowl for cheap! Well......cheap for Yellow Ware. My first piece for my future collection.
Oh and that surprise? I'm holding out a bit longer! Soon, very soon.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I dress like I have somewhere to go.
I purchased a new grown-up perfume since I've worn the same scent since high school.
I'm volunteering at least twice weekly at J's school.
Leila and I leave the house to go somewhere everyday.
Sewing is my new hobby and I just completed my first project, an apron.
We found a new church home that we adore and attend weekly.
I'm going to be baptized for the first time on my birthday weekend.
I made a conscious decision to do the above things to help me forget that I'm sick. I found that when I'm dressed up and feel good about myself, I'm able to trick myself and the feelings of dread disappear.
I'm not letting my sick heart take over my world. In fact, most days I don't even think about it anymore. Don't get me wrong, once in a great while I still have a good cry for as long as I need, wipe my tears and move on.
I'm really proud of myself.
It's easy to feel sorry for yourself, wonder why me and dwell on the negative.
It's more difficult, in the beginning at least, to concentrate on the positives.
I chose to have faith and trust that God is by my side and in control.
I trust I'm to learn something from this, maybe I already have.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Congratulations Brea! Arriving shortly will be a Yankee Candle in my favorite fall scent. Hope you enjoy it (just burn it when Jim's not around;)
Doing this give-away was my small way of thanking you all for your unconditional support. Just the fact that you read my blog is humbling.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
My friend called to ask if we would like to join them for the first Cardinals home game (pre-season). A date night?! When? Where? What time? I'm all over that! Remember my favorite pair of heels I showed you before? I got them out of the closet (they were the perfect cardinal red), dusted them off and put them on for the first time since March, the back surgery. My girls: I've missed you. I felt my sexy coming back.....until I noticed the excruciating blisters you were causing. Check out these two hotties!
Dinner time! Some amazing things have happened this week. I pray our luck is turning around. If this week is any indication, I'd say it has.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
We ate a wonderful dinner, Tariq's favorite.
I placed the candles in the pecan pie (all 20), not an easy feat.
After desert we watched home videos. We watched Jalyn's birth for the first time. Jalyn loved seeing himself as a newborn. I mourned for those precious six months to follow that I was unable to care for him, and thanked God for the family that was.
I watched and listened as Nana and Jidu helped Jalyn with his homework. It was a beautiful sight. Homework must feel different as a grandparent when your not doing it every night. It was a joy for them to help him.
Daddy gave Leila a bath then he and Nana tucked her into bed.
After our guests left and the children were snuggled all warm in their beds, we retired to our room and talked about the evening. I had an appointment with my cardiologist this morning. I've gained five pounds, have noticed increased shortness of breath and my energy has hightailed it out of my life. An echocardiogram was repeated yesterday to check for further decline. No results as of yet. My mother-n-law brought me flowers and a card with a heartfelt message. The night meant so much to me, so much to celebrate. As long as there is breath in me I will cook Tariq's favorite meals, make him homemade pies and give thanks for another reason to celebrate.
Monday, August 17, 2009
It is my greatest fear to leave my children. But when I look into their innocent eyes or watch them play quietly, I am reminded that my time with them has truly been a blessing. These are God's children and He choose me to raise them on this earth. I am so blessed that He choose me in the first place.
I have had so many write and say that I have been such an inspiration to them. I have a difficult time in seeing myself as so, but am honored nonetheless. I know each and every one of you that has said those very words to me. I know your character and your strength. You would do the very same thing. You would put your children first just as I have. You would have faith that the road ahead is paved by God so that no matter where it leads, it is where you are meant to go. So I'm going to tell you the same thing a very special person said to me: When you are searching for inspiration, look in the mirror. We each have our own experiences with disappointment, being lost and overcoming the most difficult times.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I am pissed. Beyond pissed. Again? Seriously?!
I have anger inside I never knew I was capable of producing.
My poor, poor husband. He was witness to my emotional breakdown. He wasn't quite sure what to do with me. Hell, I wasn't quite sure what to do with me.
Why again? It's so rare. Nothing is "rare" to me anymore. Once something has happened to you it's not "rare". And by the way, saying what you have is "rare" to someone is not a good thing to hear. Translation: Doctors don't know what in the hell to do about it. There is no research to guide them. Your screwed.
Don't say this to someone.
For the record, I am not brave. I did not ask for this. I do not want this. I am scared as hell. What other choice does a mom have other than to pick up the pieces and move forward for her children?
I am not an inspiration, at least, I do not see myself as so. That puts pressure on me to live up to that expectation and quite frankly, I'm allowed a sh**** day every now and then. I keep my chin up for the most part, but cannot feel bad about having a good cry either. To hide those times of hurt and anger would only serve others that don't want to feel what I'm feeling.
"Your going to be just fine" is getting quite old. Unless you are God, you cannot possibly know that. I am not being negative, it's called being realistic. Something along the lines of "it sucks and I'm sorry" would be appropriate.
My intent of this post is certainly not to offend anyone. I would have said the same things to others myself. I'm moving through the stages and have to allow myself to do so. If you do not allow yourself these emotions than you may never move past the stages and reach acceptance.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Energy. Where have you gone? Are you being held for ransom by those medications in exchange for a functional heart? I can't find you and I really need you back. I need you for all the great adventures I've signed myself up for. Because you left, I had to delay my return to the work force and I was really looking forward to that new phase of my life.
In an effort to maintain my emotional well being I have searched for alternative options. I signed up for cake decorating classes and offered myself as a volunteer at our church. I mentioned to Tariq that I would like to sew. "Go for it and get yourself a machine......Happy Birthday." What a wonderful husband I have. Not only did he support this new venture, he accompanied me to a store. Not only did he accompany me, he was present as we spoke to the ladies about the machines. He asked insightful questions and gave me his full blessing in making my decision.
Even though the reality of my situation shows its ugly face once in a while, I've managed to work through the pain and move forward. But I cannot be an active participant if you do not come back to me in some way shape or form.
There are greater things yet to be done in this city, this city that I have not been so partial too. There has been good here, but I want it to be better. Not saying this is going to happen, but I could not leave this city without giving it full effort. I want to enjoy it and experience it.
Please come back to me energy and allow me these greater experiences.
Friday, July 31, 2009
A week of no cleaning, no cooking and no laundry.
Answered few e-mails, took few calls and sought permission to let prior important tasks slip.
Ate salty foods, avoided the gym and slept in.
One day spent at the pool with my children.
Was dared to take a ride on the wild water slide and accepted.
Played ring around the rosie.
Offered up my back for children to enjoy alligator rides.
Didn't watch the clock.
Retail therapy is always a great distraction.
Got crazy and let six-year-old pick entire school wardrobe.
Even crazier and let 21-month-old pick winter wardrobe.
Then down right foolish and picked myself out a nautical pair of jeans.
Handed 30% off coupon to the woman behind me in line who's face I could hardly see from the mountain of clothes she cradled for her children. Woman was beyond grateful.
Stopped in to Gymboree and handed an old lady purchasing a new pair of jeans for each and every one of her grandchildren, a 20% off coupon. "Can't you use this for your two beautiful ones dear?" "I sure could" I replied, "but I bet yours are just as beautiful". "They sure are and I appreciate this more than you could ever know."
Had a chat with another old lady in line at McDonald's. Discussed marriage, kids and a trait we had in common: Lack of breasts. She enjoyed her hot fudge sundae, I made sure to check before we left.
Enjoyed a day with a friend registering for her little miracle.
Laughed, gossiped and ate at the "OG".
Thursday, July 30, 2009
This scent takes me home. I am reminded of leaves crunching under my feet, the crisp air, wearing my favorite sweaters, no doubt surrounded by family. I can hear the water wheel turn around and around and the buzz of bees that simply want a taste. Picking the perfect pumpkin and wagon rides.
This scent is freshly made apple cider and warm donuts.
The scent of autumn.
This scent always means something good is coming out of the kitchen. My husband is working hard and pouring his heart into a meal to feed his family. I hear the dishes clang as he is loud and anticipate the mess as he is messy. A masterpiece is upon us. I love my husband and the delicious food he feeds me. His food feeds my soul.
This scent is garlic and onions; my two favorite additives and his two kitchen staples.
The scent of love.
This scent is warm and cozy. I feel at piece as though nothing in the world matters. There are no expectations, no discussions and no other love exists like it. It's not always the greatest scent but it is the greatest feeling.
This scent is the love of my boys, my dogs; Jafar, Amir and Nasser.
The scent of fulfillment.
The day I received word that I am back in the battle of my life, I was blissfully shopping a sale at Bath and Body Works. As I was checking out the gal said: "Would you like to try our new sample coming out in September?" "Sure" I say. So I slathered it all over, I just loved this new scent.
The call came and I was devastated but had to keep calm and collected for my children. I had no time to process this news. My husband booked a massage for me to have some time to myself and escape from reality for just an hour. However, I chose not to escape. I chose to think about how I will move forward from here regardless of my health. Regardless if I decline or recover.
While the lady was gently massaging my soul and trying to put me to sleep for a while, I was thinking:
This scent I will remember forever. The scent of the lotion I slathered all over before my life was changed forever.
This scent is called:
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I received the call today. The reason it took so long is because there is subjectivity in reading Echo results. My Nurse Practitioner had three specialists review my echo at different times only knowing my history and current symptoms. All agreed unanimously that my new EF is closer to 40%, a definite decline. Tariq explained what's going on to me in layman's terms (even us nurses need that sometimes:). My heart is not pumping efficiently from the bottom and it's placing increase demand on my septum (wall that separates the ventricles of the heart) causing stress on my valves therefore causing regurgitation of the mitral and pulmonic valves.
I was asked to come in today to have a "King of Hearts" placed on my chest, a monitor for one month. I think that name is cute! They drew a slug of labs to try and figure out the why behind all of this and gave me scripts for the heart medications.
So how am I doing? Well I haven't had time to think of that really. Jalyn has been with me and I'm trying (and doing a rather good job if I don't say so myself!) to stay positive and not cry in front of him. I limited my phone conversations to my hubby and nanny to coordinate care for Leila so that Jalyn wouldn't have to hear this over and over and realize something is very wrong here. He knows that mommy's heart is sick again, and it will get better again. That's all his little heart needs to know.
A repeat echo in 3 months so see if medications improved heart function. If not, well let's just say we'll cross that bridge if it comes shall we? The first gal to decline after successful recovery did so after six months of obtaining a normal EF. She then went on to receive a heart transplant and is doing well. If you get on-line and read (I don't advise this, but need to take my own advice) you will find a rather grim outcome predicted. HOWEVER, much of the research is talking about women who had subsequent babies not about women like me. I refuse to think this way. I have total faith that with proper medications my heart will once again recover.
The team that helped me through once is there and ready again. None of us thought we would ever deal with this again so it's definitely a surprise, but were all in for another fight. There is not one person that surrounds me that this doesn't effect in one way or another. Everyone is being so strong, not breaking down or freaking out (at least in front of me) and I thank you so much for that. I need your strength (I pull from it), I need your battle gear on and I need your love more than anything. I feel lifted up in the Lord's hands and I KNOW He will pull me through. There was a reason the first time and I trust there is a reason now.