Wednesday, June 23, 2010

my name is rie

and i'm an addict
starbucks addict that is
i swear they put crack in that stuff

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
ya know
to deal with this addiction

after that i will break it
i will

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

june june go away

this month has been so difficult---
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


buckle your seat belts--it's about to get bumpy.

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

Reflections of One Crazy Day

When the sun has set and the moon rises into the warm summer sky I-- apply my chap stick, mist my pillow with lavender vanilla, climb into bed pulling the covers up around my shoulders, kiss my husband and reflect upon the day in which I have just had the pleasure of living.

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

Ramblings of a Busy Woman

Please bear with me while my think-tank is overflowing.
I am in the midst of writing a 15 page research paper that is due in 2 1/2 weeks! EEEKKK! Summer school is for the birds, or at least those with less commitments than myself.

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

Leila's Story

In honor of Leila's Gotcha Day, here is her story.

~January 25th, 2008
We had given up on adopting. Guatemala shut down and just as we approached the top of the list for Vietnam, they closed too. Perhaps it was a sign of visions not meant to be. On this day, God told us otherwise. We received an e-mail from our adoption agency of a baby needing a home in a place we had never heard of. Tid bits of her circumstances were provided but sketchy at best, with one statement contradicting the other. She had scars from a burn of unknown origin but none of this even mattered. Those eyes told us, and our families, that this baby was meant to be ours.
We officially "accepted" the referral and made plans to travel and meet our beauty two weeks later. I sent out a mass e-mail to friends and family announcing the big news.

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.
Morning came and we were taken to the orphanage. I should have paid attention to the scenery and beauty of this country as we drove for hours, yet only visions ran through my head; parents holding their children for the first time, feeling her heart next to mine, looking in her eyes and telling her "I"m mommy!", checking all ten fingers and toes just as any "new parent" would do. My heart raced as we entered the gates of the orphanage. We walked up what must have been 6 steps but felt like 30. Through the doors, now I could hear the children......we were so close, so close so that no one could take this moment away from me now, or so I thought.
There was a woman holding a baby that was so tiny she looked ill. This baby looked Kyrgyz but too small and frail to be the baby we saw in the referral picture, "not her" I told myself. So I began to examine the small room for my baby. The woman holding the frail baby motions for us to come over. She speaks in Russian so our driver attempts translation: "Baby very sick, very weak, no oxygen to brain, encephalopathy, she cannot do x, y and z" then they hand her to me.

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.

Our daughter, our baby girl. She was a daddy's girl from the very beginning.

We spent the next few days getting to know her and the staff. We arranged for one-on-one care until we could be back to take her home.

And this is where the story truly begins, the fight to bring you home.

To be continued......

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Best Day

It's as though I stopped off at a rest stop for two weeks. It was a scenic place where adequate time was taken to stop and smell the desert blooms, in fact, we built entire gardens.

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.