Friday, May 1, 2009

Gratitude - Day 10

Today I am grateful that Hania is adjusting to the play room at the gym. Seriously. I thought I was going to lose my mind, continually dropping her off so she could cry pitifully for 45 minutes, while I did a half-hearted workout feeling extremely guilty. Do most parents cry on the treadmill? No? Um, okay.

Somehow, it clicked this week and she is good to go! No tears! Not even one! I'm grateful that my last excuse for not working out has been stripped away. The pool will be open soon and running after a toddler near water doesn't leave you much time or opportunity to obsess over cellulite or jiggly parts, thankfully. But just in case, I'll hit the gym!

I'm signing off for a week or so due to computer issues, but by the time I'm back online I will have:
had a visit from my parents
driven Keira to her new home, and met her lovely new family
successfully (I hope) driven 11 hrs with Hania by myself
given thanks to God for portable DVD players & Laurie Berkner cds
purged the house of all rummage for a big sale
reorganized all of our pics on the computer
spent more time at the library story time, Gymboree, and local parks than I care to add up

Wishing you a fabulous week filled with opportunities for gratitude!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gratitude - Day 9

Grateful for friends and neighbors that are willing to listen without judgment. I am always hesitant to reach out, but usually find that people are more understanding that you would imagine. I wish that everyone could have the experience of such wonderful neighbors, b0th past and present.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gratitude - Day 8

Hania - 2009

Missy - 1977

Today I am grateful that I can see a bit of myself in my daughter. She is a more perfect version of her parents, who are quite imperfect. I cannot wait to see how her personality develops. She is a strong-willed but quiet child, who prefers to sit back and observe a scenario before she rushes into anything. We often stay for 2 story times at the library because she uses the entire first one to settle into her surroundings. Once she is comfortable in her environment she is ON! Talkative, boisterous, verging on bossy, focused and not easily distracted when she sets her mind on something.
And do you see the crazy bruises on her legs? Yep. Just like Mama, all throughout childhood and even today!

Gratitude - Day 7

Grateful that every day is a new chance to start over with a fresh perspective.
Grateful for the warm weather and a chance to spend time outdoors this weekend in the sun. A little color in your cheeks makes anything better.
Grateful for the simple pleasure of digging tons of stuff out of my closets and basement for a garage sale!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gratitude - Day 7

I am simply grateful to have made it through this day. It was challenging, to say the least. Hania was awesome and entertained herself quite easily with the U-haul ramp and dandelions in the yard. Grateful that I can be true to myself, even during times when I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. The sense of calm is still here. I wonder how long that will last...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gratitude - Day 6

I am grateful - no, ELATED!!!! - that we found a great home for Keira! In Texarkana! With someone who knows everything about Shepherds and has raised them her entire life! And she will still be able to be an indoor dog and sleep on their bed! These folks don't freak out over her high energy, they embrace it as a Shepherd trait, and they are willing to work with any of her behavioral issues! They do not have cats and Keira will be able to live the rest of her life without irritated eyes and itchy feet! Plus, they live very close to my parents and we will be able to check on her a visit her! A very difficult, but responsible, decision to make. Can you tell I'm thrilled? What, did the exclaimation points give it away? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gratitude - Day 5

Just a gratuitous picture of the cutie-pie at the horse races - Keeneland on 4/5.
Today I am grateful for an open window. As in, God opens windows when he seems to be slamming a door. Yep, he is surely slamming that door and unfortunately it is swinging shut so quickly that both my hand AND a random cat got caught in the middle! Ouch.

My first meeting as a board member at Fern Creek Highview United Ministries was exactly the window that I did not realize that I needed.
I was asked to be the volunteer church representative because it was a good fit, given my work experience and interest in local social services. My initial reaction was "oh great, another activity that I'll have to juggle, arrange childcare for, why can't I learn to say no, etc." So off I go to the first meeting and I am NOT in the right frame of mind to work on fundraisers and answer personal questions from all of the other representatives, who are older than me by at least two decades and giving me disapproving looks because I accidentally sat in the chair where the director normally sits! Blasphemy!

Then the agency director walked in and I immediately realized that I knew him from somewhere. Then it hit me - this man was the individual that told me about our current church and the ministries back in summer 2005. I was attending a job fair to represent the foster care agency, in the hopes of recruiting foster parents. No one told me that it was a job fair for teens. So... I wandered around the room to familiarize myself with the local agencies and happened upon Fern Creek Highview Ministries. The director was extremely friendly and warm, and we began talking about our family's decision to find a church that would meet all of our needs - me being Presby-catholic and going to a Catholic college, and my husband being a lifelong Lutheran. He suggested St. Stephen's and I tabled that information for later.

Fast forward to January 2007, when we decided to drop in to St. Stephen's one Sunday morning. We had been ignoring the church, despite the fact that it was the obvious choice based on location and we drove past it at least 3 times per day. The welcoming spirit of the folks there simply drew us in. It is not a pretentious place, and does not have a large number in attendance each week, but everyone there is deeply committed to their faith and they were so very nice. Eventually I put it all together that THIS was the church that the agency director had spoken about, and two years later, here we were.

Fast forward to April 2009 when I feel like everything is falling apart around me, but I'm lead to volunteer exactly where I am supposed to be. The director was thrilled when he heard about the result of our conversation back in 2005, and remembered my story and face. This agency does precisely the type of work that lead me to pursue a career in social services, and it was energizing to see the many people that they assist on a daily basis in this economy.

As we prayed before beginning the meeting, I simply told God "I give it up". I'm giving up control. Giving up trying to change the minds that are not open. I will wait patiently and use this time to grow. Apparently the seeds are planted at the right time, but sometimes they take a while to germinate.

When I woke up this morning there was a very different feeling that came over me. Not the typical dread that I experience as I wake up and realize that this is serious, and damnit I just can't do anything about it, so I need to think harder, make a better plan, I WILL CHANGE IT, and on and on. It was unexplainable. It was peaceful. It blew my mind.

Today, I'm thankful for the ability to give up control to God.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gratitude - Day 4

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to experience holidays and daily activities through the eyes of my daughter. Everything is new to her, which causes you to pause and wonder exactly what she is thinking about. I wonder what she thinks when she sees our funky little handmade egg chandelier (which I plan to leave up for while, thankyouverymuch, because it is fun, and yes I realize Easter is over). Taking the time to slow down and WONDER has been good for the soul. Forcing myself to actually celebrate holidays instead of merely seeing them as "oh crud, this means I'll be receiving more emergency calls because the office is closed and obviously every child is going to have a mental health meltdown at 2am". Thanks, Hania! You are apparently a good influence on your Mama!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gratitude - Day 3

Today I am grateful for some small, effortless things that are scattered into our complicated lives. Like bulbs. Bulbs don't ask much of you. You don't have to ask much of them (unless you live in the deep South, and then you have to contend with the little shits in your fridge over the winter to trick them into thinking it is freezing, and sometimes you might confuse them with shallots and accidentally put one into your crock pot, but anyway...not that I would ever make that mistake.) Here in Louisville, they are easy. Johnny and I planted these several years ago and they have been a beautiful surprise every spring. Easy. Sometimes we all need a little easy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gratitude - Day 2

I am grateful that I am going to come out of this situation with my integrity intact. If nothing else, integrity will give you peace of mind at the end of a painful journey. Integrity is what will allow me to look at my daughter and tell her that Mommy did the absolute best that she could, despite what her pride was telling her to do. I am grateful for friends and family members who have also conducted themselves with integrity, who can act as a compass on the rough seas.

Gratitude - Day 1

Today, I am grateful for this little pig-tailed girl that has changed my life. I am grateful that she has shown me how to slow down a bit, forced me to lower my standards in areas that aren't so important, and raise my standards in the areas that are most important. So grateful.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Week!

Yes, that's right. Happy Valentine's WEEK. As in, we have been doing Valentine's Day-related activities all week. Thank you, Hania, for the excuse to celebrate each and every holiday to the fullest extent! Just a quick recap of the activities:

Photo shoot for homemade Valentine's Day cards.
Hania was extremely agreeable to this form of torture.

Hand made Valentine's Day card for Daddy. We had to email pictures of the card to him, since he has run off to central Mexico for 3 weeks. Supposedly he is there for work, but my guess is that he is laying on a beach in Cancun.

One night we braved the new world of arts and crafts with a 16 month old, and it went shockingly well. Hania loved having paint all over her hands, and was happy to wait for me to give her one piece of paper after another to slap her little hand on!

Lovely flowers that Johnny sent to us.

Gift from Mommy & Daddy - her first crayons, markers that only write on a specific type of paper (genius, Crayola!), and two little books.
Oh wow, they actually work!

She picked these two balloons out at the grocery store. The square one is her favorite because it has a bee on it, and she knows that a bee says "buzz". I'm pretty clear on this, as she has told me what a bee says at least 36 times today.

Cutting out heart shapes from jello. Did you know that it is really difficult to eat jello with your hands? I had no idea. Fun, though.
No pictures of the heart shaped coconut cakes with cream cheese icing and heart sprinkles.... but trust me, they were a hit!

A cute video to wrap up our Valentine's Week extravaganza!
My parents sent Hania a package and she ripped through it in record time. She was especially happy to find a stuffed cat in her bag. The cats were especially happy that she can show her affection to this cat instead of to them!
(please excuse the weird narration, I'm on the phone w/ my folks during the video)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Big bang theory

I have a new haircut. This was sort of what I was going for: Kenley from Project Runway Season 5. (Nevermind that she was horrible to my precious Tim Gunn, stay focused on the hair, friends.)

This what I got: My bangs may possibly resemble those of Lloyd from the movie Dumb and Dumber. But at least no one is walking around behind me poking my ears out. (way to be positive, right?)
The girl that cut my hair was very nice, and I think we can chalk this up to a communication error on my part. However, it has been decreed: no photos shall be taken of this mama until they have a little time to recover from the trauma.

Frighteningly enough, they are growing on me. No pun intended. The line between fashion forward and fashion victim is quite tenuous. Or perhaps I'm simply embracing the beautifully imperfect. Sounds good to me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The baby's baby

Hania has changed so much since the last pictures on the beach at Thanksgiving!
I have some catching up to do, but this video was too funny NOT to post immediately!

She will be 16 months next week, and is picking up words and phrases rapidly. Last weekend she gave me a hug (yes!!! The wild child is learning to be affectionate!) and said "baby baby baby". This is possibly the cutest thing EVER, and most likely she is trying to mimic me because I call her "my baby" when I hug her.

Apparently this now extends to her cat, Crusoe. He is her very tolerant baby. You can hear her say it when she lays her head on him, and at the end she says "bye cat". Do I detect a country accent? How did this happen? Is it a birthright that comes with being born in Kentucky?

We've started saving for his kitty therapy bills. "Cat" was her first word, and it was obvious she was referring to them, although it sounded more like "cock". Which is real cute, until she is screaming "cock" at the top of her lungs at a restaurant and people are snickering. Which encouraged her to yell with even more gusto! Yeah. Good times! How exactly do I put that in her baby book?


For the moment, my blog has turned into a gratitude journal!

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