Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve

Whether your all dolled up for a night on the town or at home having a quiet (or not-so-quiet like ours) celebration, I wish you a happy one.

I know I wasn't supposed to return until after the New Year, but things happened and we are home from our vacation. Things that taught me a lesson.

Stay tuned for my New Year's resolution(s) and announcement......big plans to come to our family in the next year.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing........have a safe night.

See you back in 2010!

Rie

Friday, December 25, 2009

See You Next Year

In my days leading up to Christmas, I was a baking fool.
Cookies, fudge, pies, marshmallows and hot cocoa. Phew! I get tired just thinking about it.

I will be taking a weeks break from blogging to fully enjoy the company of my family. I will return after the New Year with pictures of our celebrations and thoughts for the future.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas.

I will leave you with some snapshots from our "just the girls baking day".

God bless you and yours.
Rie





Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yell or Grab the Camera???

This time of year daddy brings home lots of great stuff! Chocolates from co-workers and cookies from patients fill our home every Christmas. I turned for one second and found Leila sitting on top of the table going nuts with a chocolate bar! She had chocolate all over. I paused......yell and explain how dangerous being on top of a table is or grab my camera as soon as possible. I guess you can see what I chose.........




Sunday, December 20, 2009

There Is Good In This World

I loaded Leila and presents in the car.
We were off to deliver gifts to a family in need.
A young mother of three fighting for her life, fighting for her house.
As I drove I thought of many things; how blessed I am to have a car to deliver these gifts, how blessed I am to have the resources to help another family and would someone be so kind to help my family if situations were reversed? To that question I can absolutely answer yes. I have seen far more good in this world than bad.

I pulled into the front of the house and met the social worker that suggested this family in particular. At the door I was greeting by a smiling young woman and three bouncing boys. We brought in present after present to each child's delight.

We sat on the couch and talked. In her eyes I saw fear, strength, sadness, fatigue and hope. I could have been looking in the mirror. She is my age, she had the same fear I had in my eyes not to long ago. This could be me easily, but it's not. I tell her that I care about her struggles and her fears. I pray for her daily, I pray she wins her fight as I won mine. I pray God gives her strength and energy to be the mom she needs and wants to be to her boys.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall watching her children's eyes light up on Christmas morning.
There is so much tragedy all around us. People that have lost or are loosing their loved ones, children without parents or that have lost a parent, those that have lost a child, those that have lost their health and those that are not able to provide a holiday meal.

I will close with just one thought: If you have your health and each other, you have everything. All the rest is circumstantial. Love on your babies and thank the Lord for them. On Christmas morning remember those that are suffering with grief and say a prayer that today, if only just today, God bring them peace removing the heavy weights they are carrying.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dedicated

Leila had her Dedication to the Lord this Sunday.
She felt like a princess in her new outfit up on stage.


Here she is sneaking a peak!

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!

My boys sitting across from me, I had the best view by far.

Kisses,
Rie

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tis the season for good old fashioned gift giving. Giving, the best part. There's no better feeling than making someone else happy.

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!

Happy shopping!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Please Pray

Dear Friends,

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

Cheers To That!

I came across an article the other day.
A mom talking about stress and the holidays and she offered up ideas to help. Now there were many wonderful ideas but this one in particular spoke to my very soul.

She schedules all routine medical appointments, household maintenance tune-ups, play dates and activities before the month of November.

Come November 1st, every day is for family, friends and relaxation until January 1st.

Inevitably some things cannot be helped but she's does her darnedest.

If you can't tell already by me posting this idea, let me just tell you.... I'm swiping it!

To heck with well checks, pest control, birthday parties (no offense), organizing the house, plumbers/electricians and play dates.

Next year come November 1st my calendar will be cleared.

I will use this time and get to the heart of the matter; friends, family, movie nights, date nights,
quiet moments with each child, local festivities and remembering what Christmas is all about.

Cheers to that idea mama!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh So Thankful

The past year has been a difficult one for many. Lots of families are struggling financially, lost loved ones, are in ill health and many families are in the fight of their life simply to bring their children home from overseas.

On Thanksgiving, it is important to count our blessings and recognize the positives as there are always positives if you truly search.

I am thankful for the following:
My son and the good choices he makes on a daily basis. It has been a struggle in teaching him that following others actions are not always the best choice. He has worked really hard and I'm so proud.
My daughter. It was not long ago that I wondered if she would ever come home and my heart and prayers truly go out to those families waiting. She has endured more than and child should ever have to and she's thriving. So proud of your accomplishments sissy.My husband. You are the one constant in my life and I look forward to many more years together.


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.

What are you thankful for?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.




Kisses,

Rie

Friday, November 20, 2009

Romance Redefined


In the earlier years of my life romance appeared in the forms of diamonds, candle light, extravagant date nights and babysitters.

Maybe what someone views as "romantic" changes with age, or perhaps, changes with life.

My husband is the most romantic man I know.

It's what he does out of selflessness that gets my motor running!

Coffee is always prepared the night before for when I wake.
Breakfast is usually made to ensure I get some protein into my hectic day.
Lunch dates at home in between visits with patients.
Laundry, the man does laundry. Folds, hangs and irons.
Music is added to my MP3 and placed in my car for my listening pleasure during errands.
My car was filled with gas and newly cleaned when I arrived home from Michigan.
His eyes fill with love when giving the children his full attention.
Bath time, bedtime, homework, whatever the need he jumps right in to help.

I cherish everyday God gives me with this man.


May all women be as fulfilled romantically as I am.

Monday, November 16, 2009

One More Makes Three!

Welcome to the world my darling Peyton Jaymes!
7lbs 11oz 21in born at 5:00


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

The News

OK OK folks, I'm sorry. I know I left you hanging with the good news. Leila and I are in good ol' Michigan, again. This time to meet my new niece or nephew and her cousin hopefully real soon, in fact were getting ready to go for a walk to expedite the process.

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

Just Need To Say...

Thank you.
Even though I'm not always able to say it, I really appreciate you.

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.

~Thank you Melissa for your voicemail the other day, you inspire me to keep it up.~

Today is a great day, find out why tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life Is Good Today...

I don't have my toes in the water or my bum in the sand as the famous Kenny Chesney song goes, but life is good today anyways.

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

Today and Six Years Ago


I arrived at the doctors office bright and early.

My daughter by my side, my ever-present angel.

"Kelli?" I heard the nurse call from the door.

My turn.

I lie on the table as she asks "you look so young, why are you here and is this your first echocardiogram?"

"First thank you for the young comment (since being diagnosed with heart failure....again, I have felt like a 90-year-old, or at least what I think a 90-year-old would feel like). Second, I'm here to find out if there's been any changes in my heart function and third gosh I wish".

I replayed her question in my head. Have I had this test before? My mind wondered as I wait for her to prepare the machine. I went back to the hospital room where I was admitted for shortness of breath and fluid on my lungs three short days after the birth of my son. I could hear the echo tech in the hallway discuss a case with the nurse. The nurse said to him "you know what were looking for right?" "Yes, postpartum cardiomyopathy" he replied.

My heart sank, I knew what this was, I knew it was me they were talking about.

I called Tariq, he was taking our newborn son to his first pediatrician's appointment. "You know what they think I have?" I said to my husband. "Their not talking about you babe". He believed I had a pneumonia or something. None of us wanted to believe the worst case scenario.

In the hospital room I am alone while they run a probe covered in cold jelly over my heart. I look at the screen, looks oddly similar to the ultrasounds I was used to receiving having just been pregnant. Only this image was squeezing and a funny whooshing noise was present. Then red and blue went from one side to the other.

From this point on it's a super fast blur of memories:

I remember my parents visiting the hospital. I remember the doctor coming in. They say something along the lines of we are very sorry, you are in heart failure. We have a cardiologist coming in right away. I call my husband, I cannot speak for I'm crying from the depth of my soul. My husband arrives and never leaves my side. Cardiologist arrives and says it's even worse than we expected. I'm told I may get better with time, may never recover, may require a heart transplant. Then another doctor arrives to tell me I can never have anymore children. I've just delivered my first child whom I cannot even be with, whom I cannot breast feed, whom I will not be able to take care of for six long months.

"Are you ready for the cold jelly" asks the nurse. "You bet" I replied.

Fast forward to the present and however many echo's I've had. The screen that appeared so foreign to me at one point is now just a part of my life.

I'm filled with such gratitude that my life here on earth was spared to enjoy my husband, my kids and even the constant medical trips. My biggest fear that plagued me since recovery the first time was a relapse. Now that my fear has come true, I'm left with the choice to face it head on and then move on. I feel as though my heart has healed and I've shared those thoughts with you. Now that I know it's possible to decline a part of me will always wonder what's around the corner. I am so incredibly blessed with a husband that gets it, that gets that I don't always feel spunky and great and knows when I need a breather. I'm blessed that he has promised to walk with me no matter what. My two children are happy, healthy and beautiful. What else can you ask out of life?

No matter what the results show, I know nothing can stop me from fighting anything in the present or the future. I've got too much to live for.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

All in a Days Work.

Jalyn and I went shopping today. We filled three boxes for the Food Bank and provided a Thanksgiving meal for three families. What a great feeling.
This is what else I did today. I love to bake and apple pie is definitely my favorite!
Jalyn and Leila going for a ride.
While my parents were here we visited the biggest hole in the world.
Can you guess what we watched for movie night last night? Wolverine. Daddy made Jalyn his own metal claws! What a lucky boy eh?!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Love Fridays

I love Friday nights with my family.

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

Ahhhh, Pure Simplicity

Today I find myself appreciative of the simple things in life.
Darn those eight loads of laundry that never end, yet thankful that I'm here to make sure my family has clean clothes stocked in their drawers when they need them. The smell of fabric softener cuddles them with the love I feel, load after load after load.

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

Under the Weather

This weekend I sent my parents home on a jet plane.
I am not feeling so hot, flu I suppose. Swine? Seasonal? Cold? Who knows?!
I have lots to tell you and no energy to type.
Hopefully I'll be back to normal soon........

Monday, September 28, 2009

29 And Holding

I turned twenty-nine.
My whole twenties I've spent warding off the big 3-0 not wanting any part of it.
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.

This weekend I climbed upon a boat in search of Kelli.
Who am I?
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.


***A great big thank you to all my friends and family that supported and encouraged me, I love you all!***

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reflection

I am back home.
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.

Friendly folks.

Faygo Pop.

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.

Lakes.

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

Date Night Michigan Style

I'm off on a date.
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... Here.

I am where the sweet autumn breeze blows through my hair and sends little shivers up my spine.
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.

My soul needed this trip.
I have been reflecting on my path and the bumpy roads I have been on lately.
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.

What a wonderful life I have.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's Talk Football Shall We?

So I realize this is a very girly blog, but I am a girl that loves her football.
The best time of year is upon us and I'm more ready than I've ever been.
Last year was a total disappointment and I believe we are going to totally make up for it this year!

Tomorrow Michigan plays a huge family rival......should I even mention their name......hmmmm...well we'll just refer to them as plain old ND. My sister-n-laws all time favorite team for whatever reason she cannot seem to explain, other than she is Irish......so what? I'm Irish! Guess I was born into a smarter Irish family (if that's possible:)! Before I go any further, this is all in good fun. Good ol' family trash talk, happens this time every year. I love the girl, but I question her decision making skills every fall. Slowly she's turning towards the maize and blue, she'll come to her senses sooner than later, I'm sure of it. Here is my beautiful sister making a smart decision!
I want to take a moment and thank the University of Oregon for making the decision of suspending LeGarratte Blount for the disgraceful performance after the first game of the season against Boise State. It is a blessing for each of these men to make it to this level in their football career, and to throw it all away due to wounded pride is a terrible waste. I realize he was their star player and I'm sure it wasn't easy to let him go given this season will likely be done and over now, but it was the right decision. My son watches football with me and what a great lesson of how not to act this was. I'm thankful I didn't have to explain to my son that they let him get away with it, I was able to explain the severe punishment he received thus unsportsmanlike behavior gets you nowhere fast. Only if the NFL held the same moral standard as Oregon. If you've been under a rock and wish to see for yourself, here you go: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/09/oregon-suspends-legarrette-blount-for-rest-of-the-season.html

Just my opinion.

GO BLUE!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time Away

Where have we been? Gone, gone I say! Had to escape the scorching sunrays!
We packed up the mama-mobile. Filled it with clothes for cold weather, a boy and his DS, a girl and her doll, a husband and his electronic trinkets and a wife with a good book and camera.
Oh and a dog that filled the car on his own with hair balls.
This weekend we got away for a little R&R as a family. We arrived at Nana and Jidu's cabin in Prescott Friday evening.

Every Labor Day Weekend we also celebrate Kyrgyzstan's Independence Day in which I attempt culinary Kyrgyz treats. This year..ummm..not so good. Barely edible if you ask me. (Note to self: try it first BEFORE serving it to others!) I hope that Leila appreciates the effort and thought behind the food. We all were wearing the traditional red and yellow colors however, God had other plans for our clothing. While in Walmart that morning shopping for the ingredients, a large storm decided to roll in......and I'm talking LARGE! Hail the size of golf balls and a down pour that could flood an ocean. We were stuck. Only when the hail stopped did we attempt to make it to the car....soaked. Anyway, here is me by the dish, blissfully unaware of how horrible it would taste.
It rained and rained for most of the day. It was a beautiful site. Leila was a little sick, but what the heck?! These kids don't even know what rain is. By the look on her face, I made the right decision........She kept running and saying WATER!!! Yes my darling, this is water, and not in the bathtub.
Sunday it cleared up and was a beautiful day. Had a great day down at the square and purchased this for my beauty. She was not feeling so hot as you can see.
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

Movin On

I put on some amount of make-up daily, some day's more than others.
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

I'm Blown Away

I just received the most amazing surprise from my husband. This is quite possibly the best gift EV-AR! Mums the word for now, watch for a later post revealing why MY husband is the best.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I can say this as I am not only announcing the winner of my small little give-away, but I am also making my favorite homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner.

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.


Rie

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Change of Seasons....Change of Luck?

Fall has begun in the our household.
It is cold (90 degrees), rainy (drizzling) and cloudy (partly), but it's the closest to fall in Arizona gets. I've spent most the morning placing things here and there, absolutely my favorite time of year.

My annual "Yahooo! Fall is here" gift is on it's way to my mom. I hope you enjoy it mom!
Some amazing things took place this week. The first being that the doctor finally called with some good news. He said, your ejection fraction has come up 2% since starting the medications! Now I know that's not much, but it's not much in the right direction. Certainly something to celebrate.


I woke up Friday to find that I won something, and not just something, but a gift certificate to Single Stone Studios! Yahoooooo! Already have ideas of what I would like. I know it must have killed Shelly to post my anti Ohio State comment on her blog, but she did, and I'm proud of her. That's the first step to realizing she has been brain washed by her husband (he's brain washed too). Michigan kicks off the season on September 5th ya'll! Mark it on your calender.
This is one possibility:

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.
In celebration of the beginning of my favorite time of year and returning heart function, I'm holding a give-away! Here's the deal: I love the holidays; fall, Christmas, New Years etc.... Share with me your family traditions, big or small. I'm always looking to add new traditions to our holidays. So, send me your favorite family traditions! I will choose one that I want to add to our families traditions........And what will you get in exchange? The winner will receive a large jar candle from Yankee in my new favoirte fall scent!
Leave me a comment here on the blog or e-mail me at: waterford@cox.net
You have until Friday 5pm EST.
Good Luck!
Can't wait to read your ideas!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday My Love

The Occasion: Tariq's (20th) Birthday

The Guests: Us and his Parents


The Menu:
~Broiled Mustard and Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon Fillets with Dill
~American Baked Potato's with the Works
~Balsamic Asparagus
~Homemade Pecan Pie




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.

The evening ended with this. I wish for more evenings like last night.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Appreciation

I look into Leila's eyes and wonder if she would even remember me.
I am thankful that I was healthy enough at one time to experience the joy in saving a child's life.
No matter what happens, she is far better off here with only a daddy than in Kyrgyzstan, alone.
I can only hope that the love I have given her thus far could last her a lifetime.


I watch Jalyn play and I'm thankful he's old enough to know his mommy loves him.
He understands what is going on even though we've told him very little.
He is Mommy's Boy. He holds me and comforts me and brings me such joy.

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.

Look in the mirror and recognize that you yourself are an inspiration. That you are brave.
I'm finally able to do this myself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Second Stage: Anger

WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the following post. I'm allowing myself one pissed off post and then movin on. Feel free to disregard as I get a few things off my chest and relieve this weight.

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.

Disclaimer:
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.

Right now I'm mad as hell and have every right to be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

There are greater things yet to be done in this city.


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

One Week

One week was all that was needed.

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".

A week to keep moving and find the positive road.
A week to let loose with no restraints, no appointments and no expectations.
Now I'm ready.
Thank you honey.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Scent of Life

It's amazing how a scent can take you somewhere.
Somewhere back in time.
Somewhere towards the future.

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:
P.S. I love you.
I believe this was no coincidence. I was being told by God that even though I was hurting and wondering why, He loved me and there is a plan. Have faith.
This scent is Hope.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Here We Go Again

Ding Ding! Rouuunnnnd Twwwoooo!
Yes
I am back in heart failure.

The Diagnosis:
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.

What Next:
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.

And Me?
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.

The Outlook:
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.

My Team:
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.