Thursday, December 31, 2009

a Future StoryBoard

In the spirit of the traditional New Year's resolutions, I will share some tidbits about my life. Some things I will make an earnest effort to stop doing, some I promise to never stop. I am also throwing in some general observations and personal moments of clarity straight from the heart.
Smoking will be dealt with this year. I will continue to pray and plan, and plot and scheme for a doable way to quit this awful habit. I don't want to, but I want to.
I will not research any jobs in Russia for the next year. It's not doable right now. I don't want to give up my parents and sister, my work friends, my Church friends and mostly, I don't want to live without having fun with my "sistah from anotha mutha," Missi. I have a big ole new home and lots of support in my life. I won't trade that.
I am going to make an effort to open up my life to others. I keep a very small world for myself. I would like to open it up a bit. Maybe try to date, or meet someone who can share the grown up parts of me.
I am going to forgive my school district for not giving me a raise.
I am going to select a musical direction for my girlz. Piano? Violin? Guitar? Not sure which yet, but in the Spring, something will be decided.
I won't go back onto FRUA. I am glad I left it. I logged off several months ago, and haven't been back since. I got tired of reading parents blame their children's teachers for every ounce of misery in their lives. It was a joke. And honestly, a lot of folks over there seem to have a case of Munchhausen's by proxy. And if they weren't complaining about schools or how their child has this and that orphanage related malady, even though said child was adopted at less than a year old, then families were being flamed for not accepting a child who may have true disabilities. And then there were the questions. Really? Are you seriously asking what is the amount of time a child has to be on the data bank? Are you really asking if a your agency can tell you not to bring your older child overseas when you travel? Are you seriously going to ask about the 8 doctor medical, again? So, with nothing to gain but a clear head, I walked away from Frua..
I will continue to visit with old friends and new on Facebook. I Love It!!
I will find some new blogs to link to. I have found a couple of style and fashion blogs that for some reason, I keep going back to. It's not that I am tiring of any of my Russian adoption blogs, but I like feedback, and expanding who I follow might expand the entrees I make..I know people read this blog, but feedback matters and I haven't been getting it much. New ideas may bring new readers.
Somehow I will lose some weight this year. I have gained 50 pounds since Anna came home, and my body is hurting. I think it is a big reason my back can't really heal..I don't know how I will start to lose this weight, and I won't promise it all will come off this year, but some will start to come off.
I am going to do more praying about NewHope. Once again, I am feeling really disconnected from my small group and my friends there, and it aches my heart. I have some soul searching to do..
My kitchen will be remodeled this year. I want to go with an eclectic clean look. Nothing too fancy, but user friendly. I will also figure out a direction for my living room that is still empty. I am not sure I can afford to furnish it yet, but at least I will have an idea on how I will start.
Like like last summer, I will spend the whole time with my girlz. I should probably try to get a second job for the 2.5 months, but no way. I am spending the whole time relaxing. I hope to take the girlz to Disney World again, stay at my dads for month or so, and also spend some time in the Keys. We went last year for a few days and we really liked the laid back attitude. Missi's family and mine are hoping to rent a house down there. I am hoping that my sister and Marielle will come down for a few days, and of course, I gotta get my dear friend Lee and her family down there.
I have one secret dream that I want to pursue this year. I have told a million stories, and every time I do, someone in the group will inevitably say, "You should write a book." On this blog I try to be factual..I try to be honest and not so silly. But in real life, I am a silly, scary, hot mess and it may possibly make for good reading. There is a somewhat tragic "pre-story" to how I became a single mom of two Russian born daughters. A pretty sad story about how I failed myself, how others failed me, and how my body failed itself. The message of it the story is not one of hope, but one of persistence. The feeling of hope fades, but persistence is something that even a Christian Girl who smokes can practice..I don't pretend to think this book would ever be published. I just want to finish something that I have tried to start for 6 years...It only matters to me..
I am going to figure out if I think a tatoo on a 41 year old teacher is the ultimate in white trash or super fashionable. Yes, I want one on each inner wrist, reading up and down, with the words
"Комсомольский" on one wrist, and "Новосибирске" on the other..
The part of me that is organized and visual needs to map out my next year...

Happy New Year Blogger Folks...Hope you find and keep the dreams of your heart!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year, Yet Another Blog Design

If you read this blog, then you know...I love to decorate. This blog. My house is another story.
This little bit of the world can be switched around, changed up, and the cost to me...Nada.

My family and The God Family went on a trip to the Jersey Shore to visit another adoptive family. This is a family that traveled to adopt their daughter with Missi to Krasnoyarsk. Funny, while my agency was stuck in the whole mess with accreditation, I used to stare at the Russian National Data bank, and look through every region where Cradle of Hope worked. I picked out her daughter and thought she was so adorable, and decided if I went to Krasnoyarsk, I wanted her!

She is 4 now, and just precious. Our friend's hubby has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and a pretty aggressive type. Things have been pretty low for them, and Missi and I wanted to pay a little visit to brighten things up. We ended up having a great couple of days together. Being so close, we had to take the train into NYC.

Now we all know that I love Russia. and the cold. But oh my goodness, I was so cold walking around Manhattan. It was 17 degrees and windy. AugustRose had on two pairs of gloves and still cried at one point and said her hands were frozen. Even my polar bear Anna was cold.

I have Never seen the city so crowded. and I am usually there every Thanksgiving. Of course we did a quick run through American Girl, then we went to the Disney Store, then we went to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.
Anna and Sid...Lookin like a GAP ad

I think the most amazing part is that there were 5 adults and 8 children, (7 Russian, 1 home-made) 2 double strollers, and one umbrella stroller blazing through the city like commandos, daring anyone to try and break our parade of children.
For the first time, I got really cold. And I didn't like it. I didn't have the best winter clothes on, so maybe it was that. I came dangerously close to putting my dream to rest. (The one where I move to Russia for a couple of years)
The train ride into the city sucked. No seats, lots and lots of stops, and even a traffic jam of sorts..So when we got onto the train ride home, we were punch drunk from the day and had lots of room for silliness..

Anna and Sid eating some Disney Treats

BrooksieDoodle lovin' on her momma Ethan, Tati, and Jack

Fifi and Mr. Dave...It was his birthday!

We ended the night at Olive Garden celebrating Dave's birthday. It was great to be with so many people who love their kids and don't do the "party" thing. Lot's of laughs and lots of kids. I am living my dream.

We slept so well when we got the hotel! We took a quick tour of the Old Towne near our friends home and hit a sweet little consignment store and I was able to find AugustRose a couple of dresses and a few more hair bows..but as fabulous as she starts each day, she ends up like this on the way home!

Friday, December 25, 2009

All in all, it was a fabulous Christmas. I started buying for the girlz in September so I was pleasantly suprised at some of their gifts. Anna's favorite is her new pink laptop. It's an HP Mini, and just as cool as can be. That was a gift from Dadushka. AugustRose got a Leapster wireless computer type game. It hooks up to the TV and it works so perfectly for her age. Mom got both girlz guitars. Big hit.
I was sad that Church wasn't so good this year. Too much talking, and not enough singing. And we went to the children's service.
I am exhausted. The girlz have torn. my. house. to. hell. and. back!
I have to clean up tomorrow. We are heading to the Jersey Shore on Monday, and we have lots to get ready before we travel.
I hope everyone had a great holiday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is the first snow girl we have ever made. It's much more difficult to get a couple of wee ones to work together and make a snowman. Only minutes after we made our girl, the plows came and wiped her out..We were able to save...nothing.

AugustRose and I are sledding down the hill together.

This is in our front yard. Heaven right outside the door. My girlz were in and out all day.. They are true Russians. It's in their blood.

My dad and AugustRose heading down the hill. This was my dad's first time EVER sledding. It seems fitting that he would go down with his girl! They are so close. Thick as thieves as they say. Anna never wanted anyone but me, this little gal needs her Dadushka. She calls him "DADOO-MAGOOSKA."
It has already been a wonderful Christmas..

Monday, December 21, 2009

a sweet face

it's all in the eyes. the crusty sore on the mouth aside, this is one beautiful child. there may seem to be a distance or a slight vacancy there, but it's misleading. it's curiosity mixed with a slight sense of insecurity. but the girl behind this sweet face is growing more and more secure, more and more bonded, more and more settled. there is a fierceness to this child. an overall strength that is needing less reassurance, and accepting more and more love. she now saves all of her kisses for me. she doesn't physically agitate her sister anymore, now it's all about annoying her with songs and silliness. I am in love with this face, and the child who has it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

and after playing outside

So between snow runs, we came in for some hot coco and a little dancing. These are the times when I realize how truly blessed I am. When I look at my family and realize that I beat the odds. That God chose to bless me for some reason. I feel so happy today. I love my girlz so much.

I love the socks. I picked them up at the Dollar Store. They are just so cute! And BTW, what did I do before the Dollar Store opened up?
OK, just wanted to share a bit of our day. I have a big end of the year post coming soon. Enjoy your day everyone!
5 more shopping days til Christmas...

Snow Day

It's been a snowy fun day. My dad is here, so he got to enjoy the snow and the new sled that works so well.

Both girl can sit on the sled, and it's easy to pull.

It was really coming down yesterday. All day. We went out and in, and out and in..

The nesting dolls spent a little time in the snow too.

I have a photo of AugustRose from two years ago when she was about to be "sprung" from the baby home. It looks pretty similar to this.

Anna kept saying, "This is one of the best days of my life." She is forever greatful for the good times we spend together as a family.

Of course I couldn't slow them down to get a good photo of both girlz together. This is the best I got!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Still Here...

Been busy. Teaching, testing, teaching, testing.
Christmas, shopping, decorating, shopping, running around.
Going to build our gingerbread house this weekend. Just chill and try to wrap up the shopping..

best of luck to my dear sweet Ethan this weekend..
The youngest in his whole team is heading for the swim team finals!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Condo Sold..

I was afraid to post this until I saw the MONEY in my account..and it is.
I wrote a nice check to my Church, one I can be proud of.
I wrote a check to my mom, to catch me up with her.
I wrote a GIANT check to my credit card, ending my debt to them. And that is the best part.
That debt represented hard times, when I relied on credit rather than actual income...
And after writing a few more checks here and there to catch me up, I will have just enough to put a little in savings. I need about 4K to redo my kitchen, and by summer I should have enough to get that started.

Do you ever wonder why we are given the blessings we are given? That is the part of being a Christian that I still don't understand. I still wonder why God is good to me. I shouldn't, but I do..I think I am still struggling in so many areas of my walk in Christian faith, but I try everyday to be better. I have a million areas to work on~~
I have to spend my quiet time reminding myself that God is good to everyone, and that I shouldn't feel guilty..