Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I have been blogging now for over two years, never really knowing where it would take me. I have learned something new about myself throughout this journey with every type of a single letter, as I ponder my life as it stands within the moment.
Typing my life has allowed me to live moments twice, once in person and again in writing. I have learned along the way that life is not about finding ourselves, it's about creating ourselves. In the depths of our souls we carry with us our future achievement's that will one day blossom, giving us the power to release our dreams turning them into reality.
May I introduce to you, my new baby:
Starting tomorrow, Monday, July 26th, the GRAND GIVEAWAY BEGINS!
Join me in celebration as I celebrate you in return!
See you there!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I am off folks, to put my bum in the sand and my worries to the wind. Watch my kiddo's place their tootsie's in the warm sand and splash in ocean water.
Taking a blogger break for the week. You bet your day-of-the-week undies (seriously, did we all have those as kids?) that I will be back!
I have been working around the clock with my web designer and participating businesses in anticipation for the launch of the new Rie's Dialogues! We have added an amazing lady to the list, check her out here: Tina Steinberg Now go and wipe that drool off your face!
Monday the 26th is the the day (tentatively speaking, you know how these things go) that we will launch my amazing new site! I'm going to even bring a little work with me to that island getaway.......but truly, I don't consider my blog work! This is my new baby and I'm ever so proud to share it with you all.
See you back soon!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
here's to many more years together
Friday, July 2, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
and i'm not talking just the drinks
blueberry muffins, gum, mints...
it's in everything with a starbucks logo
it must be
or there would be something terribly wrong with me
i'll give myself ten more days
to deal with this addiction
after that i will break it
what are you laughing at
you don't think i can?
well i'm in school with two kids at home
what's your excuse?
i thought so....
Monday, June 21, 2010
1. laundry is piled a mile high
2. the pantry is empty
3. flowers are drooping from lack of attention
4. dogs are lonely
5. i miss my children dearly
6. the house is a wreck
7. i am a terrible blogger
8. and I cried the other day
1. my mr. cleaned, folded and put every mountain away
2. i have already planned my homemade menu for the entire month of july
3. the garden is thriving, i may just be a gardener after all
4. dogs have received some awesome treats--they love when mom feels guilty
5. my children don't give two hoot's about me--they love school and miss it on weekends
6. i have the rest of my life to care about a messy house
7. i will make it up to you beyond your imagination when the new site is launched
8. it felt so good to cry
my mr. put on our wedding song and we danced, barely moving our feet; holding one another so close
that song meant more today than it did 8 years ago
and just like that all the stress in the world disappeared
as stressful as life is today, i am so thankful for this opportunity i have been given. heck, i haven't watched tv in so long our dvr is overloaded---i spent way too much time in front of that thing anyway.
i am learning about different religions and have developed a stronger appreciation for them.
i am learning how to write better--i guess--trying real hard to be positive here
even when times are difficult, if you look around, there is always something positive happening...
Monday, June 14, 2010
Please bear with me this week as I struggle to complete my 15 page research paper and two essays.
I have been working around the clock to crank these papers out; not to mention feeding hungry mouths, bathing dirt-soaked bodies and nestling little creatures soundly in bed.
Oh! And how could I forget the best part?! Re-designing Rei's space, it's going to be great and completely Rie!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Am I proud of what I accomplished today?
Did I treat those around me as I would like to be treated?
Did I do something nice for somebody?
Did I say a prayer for some anonymous person in passing?
Sometimes, I fall short. On nights such as these, I wonder how I can do different tomorrow.
Life can become so hectic; we feel like the world is spinning when standing completely still--And then we forget to be thankful and follow the cardinal rule.
Today my life was hectic in every way possible. But tonight, when the moon rises above our home and my feet follow that familiar path, I will lay my head down and feel nothing but peace because I:
Treated everyone around me with respect and the attention they deserved.
Have done all I can to ensure that the children that want to play football, WILL.
Taught the little girl next door how to pick tomatoes and a chili pepper from my garden.
Formed amazing new friendships.
Had an amazing conversation with someone that reminded me that life is too short to focus on what other's choose to do or rather, not do; to focus my attention on my choices--Karma Baby!
The icing on the cake??? Someone accidentally took Leila's backpack home with them from school which had her beloved "aimpies" (her blanket she has slept with every night since landing in the U.S.). The owner of the school tracked it down, picked it up from that little girls house and hand delivered it right to my doorstep. Seriously, God led us to this school. We are so blessed to be a part of their family.
"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life--happiness, freedom and peace of mind--are always attained by giving them to someone else."
Peyton Conway March
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I will share with you my first day:
On the first day of class I spoke to many of the gals next to me. Although I knew they must be younger than me, I could not only hold a conversation with them but I actually thought of them to be of a more intelligent breed than your normal teenager so they must be mid-twenties. I thought to myself "I've still got it! I can do this whole going back to school thing even though I'm old." So......I throw it out there, the question of all questions, "so how old are you guys anyway?" 17 they all replied except for maybe one or two others in their early 2o's. Are you freakin kidding me????? 17?! Come to find out they are still in high school! Something about an "ace" program.....who the heck knows. What I do know is I am nearly 15 years older than these girls! Did you get that, 15! When I told them my age, they replied "you don't look that old". Ummm, is that a compliment? I'm still trying to figure that one out. One girl says: "You're going to be like Jennifer Aniston, 40 years-old and fabulous looking". Note to self: Keep that girl around.
More on Leila's story to follow. It's just not something I want to throw together, is simply means too much.
I'm hoping to announce an update on the grand opening for my new blog very soon...........
Friday, June 4, 2010
~January 25th, 2008
Two weeks later we boarded a plane that I swore would not be able to get off the ground due to it's enormous size. This would be my first time leaving our great country and needless to say I was extremely worried yet bursting with excitement at the same time.
We landed in Bishkek where we were taken to our hotel for the rest of the day and night, we would meet "Alina" tomorrow. Spending the day away was difficult, we were so close now.
I panicked. The room began to spin and I had to sit. Everything was a blur but what I do remember is that they gave her to me, had us sit down and we took our first family picture.I thought to myself: what do you mean "first family picture?" This is not the baby we were told about. That baby had a scar and nothing more, she was healthy, she was plump. What does this mean for her? Will she survive childhood? Will she live in a wheelchair? Is there any brain function? If we were to bring this child into our lives that needed such intense care, what would that mean for Jalyn? Can we walk away at this point? We've come so far, we've spent too much money, there would not be anymore options for us after this. We are here and I can not believe we are finding this out HERE and not THERE. I can't talk to my husband in this place, they will judge us and think we are horrible people. I must look happy and we will discuss this when we get to the hotel. I'm burning up, I can't smile, I have to leave.
The drive back to the hotel was a terrible one. We didn't speak in fear of being misunderstood by our driver, or rather, judged by our driver. I quietly wept as Tariq held my hand the entire way back.
We finally arrived and upon entering the door, my knees buckled beneath me and loudly I wailed. "What? Why? Now?" I cried. "Where do we go from here?" Calmly and in a take-charge manner Tariq said "we research, we become educated in her needs and what we can do here to help her, then we fight like hell to get her home." "So you still want to go through with this given the fact she may have serious needs?" "Yup" he says. "What will become of her if we were to walk away? Who would take her and give her the life she so deserves? God has brought us to her for a reason and we can't turn our backs on that". Instantly, the stars aligned, my heart began to slow and I was able to take it all in. I laid on the bed, wept some more and fell into the deepest sleep I've ever experienced and didn't wake until morning.
A new day. My daughter. I want nothing more than to go have the meeting we deserved to have the first time. She is mine and I am hers. Even when we as parents are blessed to have children naturally, we are not given the privilege of choosing their level of health. Whatever lies ahead for her future didn't really matter from this point on. She would have anything she needed medically speaking and I had a supportive husband and family back home. All was OK. Now all I want is to feed her, stare into those eyes and tell her I am mommy. But first, since we were Americans and in the medical field, a big day had been planned for us. We were taken to a neurological hospital where a team of doctors had breakfast waiting. We witnessed surgeries, met with patients and very quickly realized just how fortunate we are to live where we do. While I was grateful for the privilege of being given a private tour, I wanted nothing more than to be at that orphanage.
And this is where the story truly begins, the fight to bring you home.
To be continued......
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
We celebrated life and family, cried over home videos and had open discussions on how life's tragedies have shaped each of us as individuals.
We dipped ourselves in pool water warmed by the desert sun as the sun set below the horizon. While music softly played and children giggled in the background, I did what I do best, prepared a delicious menu for my loved ones to enjoy.
Once children were bathed and snuggled tight in their beds, the adults enjoyed libations and uninterrupted conversations. Warm soft breezes blew through my hair while dogs peacefully slept scattered in the cool grass.
Today I left that rest stop and returned to my journey on the freeway. Although the pace is faster than I'd prefer, it is still my journey and one that I've chosen for myself.
I will close my eyes and remember the cool nights, grateful hearts, content children and full bellies when my speedometer is a little to far to the right. Those are the sacred moments we hold dear.
Mom and Dad, I had the best day with you.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Rie's Dialogues is currently being redesigned and moving to it's very own website to allow for more creativity and freedom on my part.
The most wonderful part of all is that I get to thank you, my delicious readers whom I adore, by having a GRAND GIVEAWAY! I appreciate the fact that you tune in to my little space to read what I have to say, it just totally melts my heart.
Here is just a taste of the wonderful ladies in my life willing to gift you, just for being you!!!
*Blue Lily Photography
*Crystal B Handcrafted Jewelry
*Single Stone Studios
*The Vintage Pearl
*Atomic Creative Designs (The lady responsible for creating my new design!)
Stay tuned for all of the details and updates as to when the launch of the new Rie's Dialogues will take place!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
So why not me?
The children enjoyed playing in the dirt and helping mama.
And here, you see? The fruits of my labor.
A perfect green pepper.
And delicious cherry tomatoes that taste like sugar and "real tomatoes" as my family puts it.
Just like everything in life, there is no perfect moment, no perfect conditions to try something new. Simply, our fears should not guide our actions. Sure I've pulled out a few
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Not only that, but some super exciting things are happening here at Rie's Dialogues.
Some super big changes, and some SUPER BIG GIVE-AWAYS that I promise YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS!!!
It's going to be so amazing.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Actually a BIG piece of home is here with me now and I am gobbling up every bit of it. If I couldn't go to that dock, by gosh the man responsible for building that dock came to me. After reading my post about that "little old dock", my dad said when mowing the lawn yesterday he looked at the dock and began to cry (sorry dad for exposing your sensitive side). I don't think he knew how special that small piece of earth is to me. How I appreciate the effort and work it took to build it. I love it all, everything my mom and he created, because all the little things have made me the woman I am today. I hope they realize that.
I spent the afternoon preparing my homemade chicken pot pie because there is nothing better than coming off a long flight to a home cooked meal. After one bite my dad said "this reminds me of my grandma's". WOW, I was speechless. There is no greater compliment I could have received.
(An apron I made for my sister-n-law)
Simply put, they are EXACTLY what I needed right now.
I'm going to be taking a small blogger break to celebrate my beautiful girl (more to come on that soon), and to prepare for the difficult days that are to follow (more on that to come as well).
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Turns out that what doctors thought was post-partum cardiomyopathy (heart failure brought on by pregnancy) may not be what I have/had at all. The Mr and I had our suspicions since day one that my immune system was to blame and we told everyone so. However, there was neither a person that took us seriously or the research to guide them so my diagnosis stood.
It turns out that I may very well have an immune system disorder in which your antibodies will attack your heart/lungs if a foreign body (fetus) is presented. This would also explain why my heart failure returned because with PPCM heart failure NEVER returns unless you were to get pregnant again.
I was told to have another child would be fatal therefore doctors recommended a hysterectomy. Now, if this new diagnosis is correct, I could have had more children biologically.
A firm believer in everything that's meant to be will happen, I know if anything had been different, we wouldn't have our little Kyrgyz princess and I simply can not imagine a life without her in it.
With that being said though, the choice was taken away from me. If I wanted today to have another biological child, well, I can't.
The one place that could ease this pain is home. Home in Michigan, 2000 miles away, where in the backyard lies a humble little dock extending over a pond. I want nothing more than to dangle my feet over it's edge and watch the movement of the water distort images of trees and birds.
All of my problems growing up were pondered on that dock. Oh those problems seemed so big at the time; boys, mean girls, bad grades. I needed nothing more than a little time on that dock and I would have a certain inner peace about life. It is a magical little place.
My life reflects the life of that little dock. I've faced the harsh elements and they've left their scars and splinters. The elements may rock and weaken it's boards but because it was built with care and purpose, it will withstand the test of time.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
"HA HA!!! You just tasted my burp!" he yells loud and proud as he swiftly runs away.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
We celebrate each others strengths and bridge the gap of our weaknesses.
Had my life ended, these women would have carried on my legacy through my children. There is no greater gift in the world.
You four women have moved heaven and earth for me at some point during my life. Our lives will always be linked as women who came to be family by circumstance but stand together by choice.XOXO,
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
There she was all neatly seated for her morning snack surrounded by new friends. Visions ran through my head of all the memories she will make here. Then I thought of the memories we made together the past two years. I hope she remembers those moments I thought to myself.
I crouched down next to her and looked her straight in the eyes, just the way I did when leaving her behind in the orphanage. When I begged her to fight for her life and told her of all the love she has waiting for her. How far we have come. I cleared my throat and bravely said "look at all these new friends you have, you are going to have an amazing day! Mommy's going to leave now but I will be back in a few hours, have a wonderful day my beauty". To which she bravely replied "bye mommy".
I told the teacher that I was home and to call me if she wasn't adjusting well. I turned to wave goodbye but she didn't need to see me leave. She felt so comfortable and she was so trusting. A true testament to a child's ability to overcome a tragic start and thrive.
I picked her up a few hours later. She didn't nap but she did amazing! She was even given an award ON HER FIRST DAY! An award the teacher hands out once every few months. (I can see we have an over-achiever on our hands). After giving her teacher a big hug and waving bye to all of her friends we headed home, gave her dinner and found her asleep in the highchair at 4:30. She didn't move a muscle until 8:00 this morning.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Today is so wonderfully beautiful for it's very own reason, though we may not always see it.
I have every reason to think about tomorrow. I almost died after my son was born. There was more than a possibility he would be raised by his father and without a mother. I went into a deep depression. I can still hear the echo's of well-intentioned people saying "stay positive", "there have been studies showing that negative things happen to negative people", "where is your faith?" and the ever-SO-not-helpful "everything will be just fine". I did not raise my son for six months, therefore we did not bond until much later. I did not even feel like a mother. I had no energy to fix a bottle, change a diaper or feed my handsome boy.
The years ahead were filled with challenges; hysterectomy, cancer scare (twice), meningitis, gall bladder removal and eventually the return of my heart failure. And throughout I would continually ask "why me?"
When my daughter was burned and then left to die on someones front door step in the middle of an incredibly harsh winter, I wondered, where is God in all of this?
Science is science. Our anatomy is fragile, things go terribly wrong. Physics are physics. When tragedy strikes it's Christian nature to ask "where is God in all of this"?
Where was God when I was fighting for my life and not able to be the mother he had blessed me to be? Where was God when my daughter was left to die? Where is God when an innocent child's life is taken? Where is God when children are orphaned and fighting for their lives just waiting for a family to adopt them?
I now know for myself exactly where He is.
He is in the doctors and nurses. He is in the selfless orphanage staff that does their very best to bring life back into these children. He is in the people that show up when we can't show up for ourselves. He is, simply put, the love that surrounds us when our world is falling apart, holding it all together. God doesn't cause these terrible things to happen. Bad things happen to good people and bad people, tragedy does not discriminate.
I've had to work very hard not to worry about the future. Everyday a thought will creep into my head wondering what's around the corner. When you've been through the worst, you realize the worst does happen. "Rare" is no longer rare. You take no comfort in any ones advice or medical statistics. And this is completely normal, completely realistic and completely OK. I no longer feel badly about expecting the worse.
But what I do know, is that no matter what lies ahead for me, God will show up. I think about today only and cherish what I have in the here and now. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Jeremiah 29:11. I place my worries in His hands and focus on living the life He has planned for me.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Then there is the other range in my emotions. I'm terribly sad. She, very likely, will be our last and only. She came into this family by unusual circumstances and we had to fight like hell for her. I have her now and I don't want to let go.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
A story that touched my heart deeply.
Upon entering a tiny dark-green shack locals called an orphanage, my whole world changed. My circumstances and everything I believed was turned upside down.
What my heart couldn't accept in the moment, other's hearts accepted for me.
I am so touched by Kelle's ability to share such raw emotion.
A child is a gift no matter the circumstances.
Read Kelle and Nella's story here
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Leila is reading her new book from the bunny to her ill bro.
There was one highlight of the whole Easter weekend before the chaos began. Saturday night we had my Mr's parents over for dinner. My Mr's mom made delicious bbq ribs and I was in charge of sides and desert. I ripped out a recipe from my Cook's Country magazine, the one I love so dearly. I tried "Chantilly Potatoes", truly a recipe that came from Heaven.
Try them and you will see what I'm talking about!
3lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (I used Russet), peeled and cut into 2inch cubes
Salt and Pepper
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 1/2 cups (about 3 ounces) grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese (I used Parmesan. Use fresh grated cheese, do not cheat on this step (BEANIE), you will be rewarded for your work).
1. Microwave potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic. Microwave until tender, 8-12 minutes, shaking bowl halfway through. Use either ricer or mash potatoes. Cover tightly again and microwave mashed or riced potatoes 3-5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Adjust oven rack to upper-third position and heat broiler. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gently fold two-thirds of whipped cream into potatoes with rubber spatula until absorbed. Dollop potatoes in broiler-safe-2-quart baking dish.
3. With rubber spatula, fold 1 1/4 cups cheese into remaining cream. Spread over potatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil until top is golden, 2-3minutes. ***Let rest 4 minutes.*** Serve.
I watched Julie and Julia the other day and became super inspired to try new recipes. Perhaps one of the most important lessons I learned was that you need not a super kitchen, bells and whistles. One simply needs an organized work space and the heart. So, I took on the major project of organizing the heart of my home, my workspace, my kitchen. I have received amazing tips from a dear friend and will post pictures and share the changes I've made with you along the way.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Jafar is not in kidney failure, the initial test at the vet was wrong! No protein in his urine says a lab with "much better equipment". Uh, yeah I'd say so. To go from extreme amounts of protein to none, well, maybe the vet should just chuck their equipment out that fancy window I just paid for!
Nasser is healthy as a mule except he has high cholesterol. Go figure, only my dogs!
This weekend we had a friend of J's over for a slumber party. During the chaos, I managed to whip up a delicious three-layer coconut cream cake. Yummm. I also tried a recipe for mashed pataters, only with a twist. Definitely going to post that recipe here very soon. I promise it is easy (for my open-a-box-stir-add-water=done!-readers....you know who you are).
Tomorrow the Easter bunny will bring a little white basket and a little brown basket for a good little boy and girl, over flowing with scrumptious treats.
What will the Easter bunny bring mommy? Hopefully some extra time added to the day for a guilt-free nap...........it's been a busy weekend and this mama's tired.