Friday, January 30, 2009

Something to ponder.

Since I've been home from Michigan I've been in a funk. Probably a combination of leaving my family (again....), time change, Leila's surgery coming up on the 12th, concerns over Leila's developmental delays, my father-n-laws health and quite possibly the fact that I've been told I need back surgery.

In keeping with my resolutions (this is me reminding myself that I vowed to be a "positive" woman this year) I stumbeld upon a quote that I've been repeating to myself often today.

Life Isn't About Waiting For The Storm To Pass... It's About Learning To Dance In The Rain

So I take our life as it is. Complicated as it may be, and run with it. Afterall, the only way to get past is to go through.

This is me.......going through.


I am so proud to say that my cousin Darren and his wife Stephanie are going to have a baby boy! They live in the beautiful North Carolina, somewhere I wouldln't mind calling my home one day! I couldn't be happier for them!!! I wish you guys all the health and happiness the world has to offer.

All my love,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lost: First Tooth Gained: Pride, Courage and Trust

Well here it is folks, Jalyn lost his first tooth lastnight. We had to call Michigan to wake Mamma and Papa from their cozy slumbers to give the announcement. We had to interupt Nana and Jidu's dinner complete with guests. We had to call his cousins so he could proudly explain how he lost his first tooth and how his daddy pulled it out so gently that it didn't even hurt. Tariq's eyes lit up when Jalyn bragged about his tooth-pulling skills..........(he told me tonight that hearing Jalyn say those things about him just may be the highlight of his life:)

The toothfairy came and left five dollars with a note. He took the note to school and his teacher read it to the class, he was so proud.

This morning Jalyn requested that I not only stay in the car while he waits at the bus stop, but that I give him his kiss now and not when the bus arrives:(

Sometimes I feel as though I'm reading a book and reading it fast. One of those really good books that you just can't seem to put down. You turn the pages as fast as you can to see how it ends. Well that book is my life, and it's flying by.

Well there you have it.......This was my surprise. I'm so darn proud of the little guy.


Jafar. Our first adopted son. Lovingly referred to as "Jaffy, Boo-Didley, Boo-dine, Boo-diferous, Loo Bean" and the list goes on.

As soon as the question was popped and the ring on my finger, I didn't start planning a lavish wedding, guest list or registry. Nope, I asked for a dog.

All bright-eyed and ignorant to what we were getting ourselves into, we drove to the Tucson Humane Society. I said to the lady "I want a puppy". She took us back where we found seven 8-week-old pups just placed for adoption. All were sleeping in a pile on top of each other. Some were light colored, some darker. I picked the lightest colored pup of the pack up and cradled him in my arms. He was wet and smelled like he just romped in the sewer. The gal said to me "He was just flea dipped, his names Dopey". Rather fitting name as this pup barely opened his eyes to see who had taken hold of him. I had decided in like less than a nano second that this was my/our dog. As we proceeded to the waiting area to fill out paperwork (me still cradling our new bundle of joy) a mean stranger lady came up to me and said "This one's got worms, I wouldn't get him if I were you." I said "oh yeah? And how can you tell such a thing (defensively)?. "Well his belly is bloated and that's a sure sign he's not a good one!". Tariq gave me "the look" (this is the look I have come to know well in our years of marriage and the look I now ignore, but on this day I challenged it). "Who cares if he's got worms" I yelled! "All the more reason for us to take him and get him well!". Tariq caved (after a while) and the paper worked signed. We were told to come back in one week to pick him up as he still needed neutered.

Over the next week I shopped for all things needed to care for a pup, food, bed, chew toys, crate, bones, treats, collar and leash. I was in nesting mode preparing the house for our new What wedding?

The day came to pick him up. They brought out this dog that I swear weighed 30lbs more than the one I cradled a week ago. We put on the leash and walked him to the car. Tariq starts to drive off and the puppy starts drooling, jumping, whining, panting and going nuts....a far cry from the "dopey" we agreed to adopt. I looked at Tariq and he looked at me, I could tell we were thinking the same thing: "Is this the dog we had picked out? Was he switched on us?" Too late now, no turing back.

I named him Jafar and yes I got that name from Aladdin and yes he's the mean one and yes I knew that and still named him that.

Over the next few weeks Jafar proceeded to chew everything in site. Linoleum, check! Carpet, check! Find toilet paper end and roll it out into kitchen, check! Dig holes in dirt and get filthy so owners will have to give me a bath once a day so I can play in the bath tub and run around like a freak of nature while I'm drying, check! I came home from lunch one day to find all the linoleum chewed up in the kitchen, now we lived in an apartment and we would be leaving soon and couldn't afford to pay for this to be fixed. BIG PROBLEM. We called daddy to explain but it didn't go so well. "We have to take him back!"........"What?"......."NO WAY" I said. "We have to, we can't afford to fix the things he keeps chewing!" "Please give him one more chance" I begged......."PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!"

I cradled Jafar in my arms and sobbed my eyes out. I begged him not to chew anything else or daddy would be taking him back. From that day on Jafar has not destroyed one thing, not even his stuffed animals. That's when I realized, this dog wasn't just a dog, he was human. He understands what he's being told and listens. He's one special boy. He's my boy. I picked him even when I thought he had worms.

One year later Jafar fell in the pool and I realized he was having trouble seeing. He required cataract surgery to both eyes.

Five years later he began limping and after tests ruled out valley fever we were told he likely had bone cancer based on his x-rays. He was given six weeks at best to live. They said if we didn't do something sooner rather than later his leg would eventually become so brittle it would break and we would have to put him down. We were faced with a few options, put him to sleep, amputate the leg or have a bone biopsy to confirm this diagnosis. At a cost of $1200, the bone biopsy was a very difficult decision for us. Tariq had just started his own practice and all of our savings was wrapped up in this new adventure. To make matters worse, we were without income for one year while waiting for his billings to come in. I just couldn't put him to sleep without truly knowing. That $1200 was worth every bit for my piece of mind. This wasn't just any dog were talking about. We did the biopsy and it came back NOT CANCEROUS. Bone infection, treatment? Antibiotics. The power of prayer is amazing sometimes isn't it?

So two furry brothers, one human brother and a human sister later, Jafar is now seven and plays the role of father to the other two dogs. He has advanced arthritis and is getting up there in age for the "super breeds". I know the inevitable will come and it aches my very soul to think about it. God blessed us with a one-of-a-kind dog that some folks never get to experience in their entire life, and for that I'm grateful.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Check out this blog that I read, very inspiring.

Staying true to one of my many resolutions, I bought this adorable knit hat for Leila from Cite Fuze on Etsy. Hello, my name is Kelli and I'm addicted to Etsy.

I know what you must be thinking......does it even get cold enough in Arizona for a hat like that? Come on people! A girl can use her imagination!!!

Jalyn and I made it back home safely from our trip to Michigan. While I was cooking and taking care of my mom, Jalyn went sledding, skating and built five snowmen! I don't think that kid would have a problem living in snow, he had a blast.

This week I will be featuring our three dogs. I will write a piece on each of them and their unique personalities. I talk so much about my human children that I have neglected my furry ones.

Oh, and if you haven't read Marley and Me do so.........and grab the Kleenex. If Marley was the "Worlds Worst Dog", than I've got the worlds second, third and fourth:)

If you haven't read The Shack, I highly recommend it. What a great read. Gave me much to think about. I will be posting some quotes from the book and my own personal thoughts on them in the future.

Stay tuned.............

Update on mom: She is doing wonderfully and everyday gets a little better. She plans to return to work next week. Thank you for all your prayers as I'm certain they were heard.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Country Way of Life

As I was driving to my favorite place of all time to visit when I'm in Michigan, I got to thinking. We passed modest homes sitting on large pieces of land, untouched, raw beauty of things left alone. Trees that seem to touch the sky with piles of snow gently hanging off each branch. Porches that stretch around the entire home with porch swings blowing gently in the cold breeze. I can imagine how toasty warm these homes are as the smoke bellows out of their chimneys.
My husband tries to stop me when he knows I'm taking a trip to the Wren in the Willow........Inside this modest little home resides country goodies just waiting to decorate our home.
I'm not sure what took place one day in Arizona, but it was nothing short of a miracle. My husband said to me "Honey, I now see why you like to decorate our home with a touch of country. It's because country is a way of life." I couldn't have said it better myself. How insightful of him.
As I was driving down the snow covered roads with my bubby (Jalyn) in tote and my mom in the passenger seat, I was pondering this whole country thing.
My resolutions for the New Year are all about bringing the country way of life into our home in the desert. If I can't be in the country, the country will come to us.
Someday I will have a modest home on a nice chunk of land complete with a wrap around porch, a pitcher of my grandmas sweet tea, a porch swing and my animals of course.
Until then, Arizona is my "country" and I will continue the country way of living for my children to feel warmth that comes from a homemade pie and the simple life.
***Update on mom: She is doing well and I'm excited to say she is home. We had a few days that scared us, but her strength and faith pulled her (and us) through. We've had a few visitors that brought some goodies and activities for Jalyn (thank you so very much!!!). Your prayers, phone calls and offers of help have been very much appreciated.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane
(with this handsome fella)
Thursday morning Jalyn and I will board a plane to what just may be the coldest place on earth right now........Michigan.
My father-n-law was admitted to the hospital and should be released shortly. Needless to say, it became evident that one of the children would need to tag along. Jalyn happily volunteered himself; what an unselfish little guy I have:)
Since then, we have been scouring the desert for snow pants, mittens, hats, scarves, and long you know how impossible this task was??? The desert is just not prepared for a major snowstorm!
I have to admit that I am more than happy to have a travel buddy! It's no secret how afraid I am of flying. Jalyn will help take my mind off the fact that I'm high up in the air trusting a bunch of metal, fuel and two people I know nothing about to keep us safe!!
Anyhow, thank goodness for Aunt Jese and Uncle Jay who plan on keeping Jalyn fully entertained with sledding, skating and a trip to watch their youngest graduate from preschool (and yes I'm talking about a dog:)

Friday, January 9, 2009

With a Broken Wing
Do you ever have days where the world just seems so cruel?
Do you ever have days where you wonder why God gave you a load you feel you cannot bear?
I do.
I felt that way when we were struggling to bring our daughter home from a far away country.
I feel that way when doctors tell me there is cause for concern over her health.
I will feel that way when Leila has her surgery.
I will feel that way as I place my daughter on tables in cold, white offices to be poked and prodded at when she has just learned to trust me to keep her safe.
And yet through all of this I am reminded of one day when I received all the inspiration I'll need for a lifetime.
It was the day in the orphanage when I had to say goodbye to my daughter until we could return to take her home.
I whispered these words to a fragile, lifeless baby who had lost her will to survive.
I softly whispered into her ear......
Fight, fight for your life.
There is good in this world and I will show you.
I will be back for you, I promise.
I love you.
And fight she did.
And fight she will.
And fight I will.
I will continue to fight for her well-being, her safety, her comfort, her health.
And when I'm feeling as though this load is too large, I look at the load she carries effortlessly.
How she loves without holding back.
How even with a broken wing she still sings.
And in that I find all the inspiration I need.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


My other New Year's resolution was a pledge to buy and make more homemade.
What better place than to start with these adorable shoes for Leila?
I found them on Esty from a company called Small Beans.
Only I went with Cherry Red........
There is something about a feeling you get from an item that was made with someone's two hands, no machines.
Something about the feeling you get when you've put hard work into cooking from scratch.
Something about a vintage apron and a glass of wine.
Homemade = Love, = good intent, = attention to detail.
Tariq said to me the other night "whatcha think about going organic?"
To that I promptly replied "maybe next year honey."
A gal has a hard enough time being positive.......

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome to my Humble Abode

If you are reading this blog....welcome!
First things first, the name. My middle name is Marie, and I was lovingly referred to as Kelli-Rie when I was a wee one. Somehow it was eventually shortened to Rie, which I'm still called today. I love this name. It reminds me of a far away place I call home.
I hope you enjoy and feel comfortable in my new "humble abode" may be small, messy and at times a little crazy.............but this is my life, my spot to say what is on my mind and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I'll enjoy posting.
I am a wife and a mother to two children and three furry children. We live in the state of sun......and more sun......Arizona. I have to stop myself for a minute. My New Year's resolution in to be positive, so this is me being positive. Arizona is a wonderful place to live. There is sun.......(this is me thinking really hard).....warm weather in the winter, and my husband's side of the family. And even though I say I would like to move, I'm not sure I could move without my husbands sister Shannon. Every woman needs someone in their life like Shannon. I married Tariq for really, I did! The purpose of this blog is to keep friends and family informed on what's going on in our life as many live far away. But I intend to also have some fun with this! I'm excited to have my very own spot to say whatever the heck is on my mind........the good, bad and ugly (but staying positive of course:)
Happy New Year and may all of your resolutions stick longer than mine!