Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

I couldn't let the most special holiday come and not wish you all a wonderful, candy coated, delicious, warm and fuzzy CHRISTMAS!
We spent last weekend at the Gaylord Hotel seeing ICE, and riding little trains, visiting Santa, and generally soaking in the wonder that is UBER Christmas at the most amazing hotel in the world. My mom and sister, the girlz and I had a great time!
Be with those you love this year, go slow and don't rush through the festivities. Make cookies and wrap prezzies together. Love your children and parents. Life goes by so fast, so get those memories implanted on your family. They won't forget them. Buy too much, eat too much, but regret very little. As I have gotten older, I appreciate the holiday more as the Big J's birthday. I find myself more and more sentimental about that poor little mother and father carrying such a heavy burden of being the parents of Christ. They had to be in such Awe of what was happening. As time goes on, I GET it more and more. The Awe of the season..

So have a wonderful holiday all around.
To Tina, and Annie, and Hillary, and Kate, Sherrie, Missi, Moscow Mom and her girlz, The Beet and her family, Marco and his dear daughter E, to all the readers who don't comment but read,
BE safe and full of love this season..See you next year and GOD BLESS YOU!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Much Needed Break...

Several readers have emailed me and asked where I have been..As I told them, I am frankly depressed by my own blog..Since it's inception, it has been a journey surrounded by, and in some ways over shadowed by, Russia.
And although I found out months ago that AAS would not hire me because of their 1dependant per teaching adult rule, I have yet to come up with a PLAN B.. Now is the time where I should confess something. I never intended Russia to be our forever home. A 2 year teaching assignment would be a much needed break from my own job, which by the way, I LOATHE..It would be a break from the person I have become. A break from feeling inadequate in my own world. Feeling so financially strapped puts a burden on me like nothing other. It puts a bitterness in my heart, and mainly against the employer who hasn't raised my salary in 3 years...
So for me, I was going to put on my adoption colored glasses and head to Russia for a chance to feel like Somebody. The somebody who can afford fun trips and neat little adventures that I can't so much afford here..

So that's where I have been, still pouting and irritable. BUT trying to put on a happy face about the world I do have...
And in the world I do have, we have SWIM TEAM! and ballet, and OH,,,,my dad went back to work. and is at the farm near Philly, so he comes down a lot and visits!!
We have school and preschool, and neighborhood play time, and yard decorations for Christmas!!
I will be back to the blog after the new year, when in one quick countdown, I will resolve to not let AAS and Russia hurt my feelings!
I'll post some pics this week, then we celebrate the halfway point of this rotten school year!!!
(see, still bitter!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 29 and 30 Wishes...and a Picture

It's tough to ponder what I really wish for..I am still, after several months, adjusting to the fact that I won't be in Russia next year..Funny, all the things I was willing to walk away from are seeming more and more important to me..Swim Team, Ballet, my home, my mom, dad, and sister, neighborhood playtime, my Church, friends, are beginning to bring me the everyday joy I have been missing..Although I haven't truly come up with a plan B, I guess my wish would be to find a job closer to home..A job that brings me satisfaction...
I am posting a picture of AugustRose from the summer at my dad's beach house.
This weekend I got a copy of our last post placement report. Our time under the control of the Russian authorities is officially over. I am sad about it. I have been either in the process of adopting or doing PPRs for the past 8 years. Weird to think that I am finished with it all..Thank you Novosibirsk and Komsomolsk for giving me the most precious gifts. A peice of my heart will always be with both cities!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 28 Something That Stresses Me Out

Lately, everything stresses me out. But the one that is causing the biggest irritation for me is my commute.
It takes over an hour to get to my job and traffic is a bear. I don't mind slowly creeping to me job, but the idiots I commute with seem VERY determined to weave in and out of the lanes in order to gain an inch from where they started! And if I happen to be in the way, Oh let the horns start to blow. Sometimes I see the really angry driver who throws his hands in the air behind me and yells in his car. Really? If I can change my commute, hopefully a lot of other things will fall in line!

Day 25 26 27

Day 25 was to put your Ipod on shuffle and press play and see what song comes up..No Ipod for me..

Day 26 is to post a pic of the family...Check out my header, that's us!

Day 27 Pets...We don't have one and don't plan on gettin' one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 23..or something. I am too ADD to remember. Something I Have Learned

Believe in God, and trust Him.

Man have I been down on my knees, beggin Him to get me through. And He does..I am a really hot mess most of the time, and need as much help as I can gather...He is there.
When I waited for court, He was there. When I waited for a referral, he was there. When I ache and cry, He is there..When I am joyful, He is there..

It's been a long time since I shared how grateful I am.Even in the storms of life, I am grateful. For everything I have and everything I am...


There are two...
Family trips to Walt Disney World to celebrate someone's birthday...
Long weekend trips to NYC, to show my girlz the city...

Monday, November 08, 2010

Day 21 Favorite City

Hands Down, no question, Khabarovsk Russia...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Day 20 Nicknames.

I have several nicknames..Jojo, Julz, And Tiger, which everyone associated to my dad STILL calls me at 42..If anyone on my dad's side of the family were asked, they would know me that way..No one has EVER called me Julie. or Ann.

As for my girlz, both have lots of nicknames.
Anna's: Annechka, the most common. Anni, Pootie, Sussie, and Ahn.
AugustRose: Auggie, Rosie, Tootsie, AugaRose, and Augalee..

Many, many, times when I call the girlz at the same time, I call them, "Hooootttiies" I don't know where hoootie came from, just sounds loving and fun to me. When I am fussing at them I use their formal names...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Day 19...Something I Miss

There are lots of little things that I miss. Things from childhood like going on vacation with my family, or finding happiness without smoking..But the things I miss most aren't really things, but people..

When I first moved away from Florida, I moved to Capitol Hill in DC. I worked a second job waiting tables and met a guy there. We became best friends. He was my gay husband, and I was his "hag." We did everything together. Holidays, trips, 2nd jobs, and everything else in the world you could think of..He had a partner and we were close too, but not how I was with Russ. He was always there for me. He dug my car out when it snowed. He fixed anything I would break. He was a real friend..When my idiot X moved up to DC, it put a strain on our relationship. As I shared earlier, the X and I were on again off again and at the times we were off, my dear friend Russ would be there for him. It truly broke my heart.

I thought we would grow old together. When  I married then separated, Russ set my X up with a new girl. And the X dated her while we were apart..Something I didn't know until I reunited with the X after September 11th. Oddly, Russ hurt me as much as my X, but I would still forgive him if it ever happened..

I miss my dog too. Her name was Iris and she was a cairn terrier. She died the day I came home from Russia with Anna. She was 17. And the two most special "people" never got to meet...AugustRose reminds me of my little pooch so much. Fiesty and mean..But adorable and squishy too...For the longest time, I called Anna by Iris' name since I was so used to saying it..

The last thing I really miss is my small group at Church. I used to go every other Thursday night. With the girlz schedule, it's not possible to make it. My Church friendships have suffered. I am not sure how to work my way around it..

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day 18 Something I Regret

Man, I could fill a few blog posts with regrets..Most of them pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. Most of them didn't really affect the path I am still on...Some of them were truly hurtful. Some of them were not..
 I am all about honesty. All about the truth, ugly or not. Trashy or not. So here goes.
Once upon a time I was married. Like my mother used to say, "he wasn't our people."At best he was an addict, at worst a sociopath..At the time we married, he was clean and sort of sober. He drank but not really that much..I had this "broken wing" theory that I could "fix" anyone. I took it seriously and made it my mission to fix this problem of his and make our relationship work..We married in Vegas, and like the commercial says, "It shoulda stayed there.." During that trip, I got pregnant..I found out at two months and was thrilled. I had several doctor's appointments, and at 11.5 weeks had my first sonogram..It wasn't there. No heartbeat. I was wrecked. Broken..And my Xhusband was too..Shortly after we started trying again..Nothing. And it made me crazy. I went through months and months of fertility treatments since I knew there was a problem..
Shots, meds, more shots, daily doctors appointments..UGG.
And then my idiot X and I fell apart. He started using pills..I started using food. My doctor scheduled surgery since he suspected my endometriosis was the problem..Arguments, fights, nastiness and the day my surgery happened, he left. My mom and sister were with me when I came home from the hospital to an empty house..But that is not the regret. The regret came many many months later..
I had decided that I would not, could not take him back again. No.
But then September 11th happened. And like everyone in the world, I felt a sense of loss and terror, and called him..And that ONE phone call is my regret. That call led to many others, and many date nights, and us getting back together...Fast forward and we were back together..Fast forward again and we were right where we were the year before..But the last time was it..He had made some mistakes in those months apart that could not be forgiven. God knows I tried, but just couldn't.
I can put our relationship into this one short blog post, but it was many many years of heartache and pain. There was some happiness in there, but not enough to keep it going..A phone call. My biggest regret is a phone call.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day 17 Something I Am Looking Forward To...

I am a simple girl and look forward to:
the weekend.
Sleeping late on Saturday, Church on Sunday..That's about it...

But on a grander scale, I look forward to most anything that I can do with my family.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Day, My Dream House

View of house driving through tree lined driveway

Expansive deck, patio and home from back!Stamped concrete patio and sidewalk lead to barn

Barn View   

If you want the real details go to the link...

A Bible Verse Day, something or other

Anna wasn't Anna. Before the referral, the baby I would adopt would be name Mary. (After my Mother) The middle name wasn't solid yet..Then I had a dream, a dream about a child named Garland..And I kid you not, I opened my bible and here is what I read...

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. - Proverbs 1:8-9

Day ? A Picture I Love

After putting the comforter over the edges of the crib in Moscow, a sleeping Anna gave me her foot to tickle..She was sound alseep but already used to me tickling her to sleep! Not even home to America, but already used to "lovin"...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Goals..Day 13

Gosh, this one is tough. How does one actually figure out goals...Long term? Short term? Family Goals? Work Goals? Personal Goals?

So here is one wide sweeping goal. I plan to be a happy, healthy, good mother, employed, and working on myself in a variety of ways, with the help of a variety of friends and family..
Generic? Sure.
Oh, and somewhere in there, something amazing and magical will happen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day ? What I Believe...

I believe that God is with me. He gets a twisted kick out of my sense of humor..Hey, HE gave it to me..I love God and work everyday to be good FOR him. I want everyone to follow The Word of Jesus Christ, but I will love you if you aren't there yet. But I do want you to give J.C. a chance..

I believe in tolerance. In all aspects, but mostly in reference to homosexuality. My heart tells me to pray about it because I don't think God really loves the idea...But he also doesn't love anything that puts us at odds with The Word. I am happy that our world is slowly becoming more tolerant about this. Being in the DC area, I have had enough education to know its not really a choice...It's not really a huge part of my life, but my sister is. And by golly, I won't have anyone slamming her for any reason..I CAN, but no one else can!

I believe that people with money, Lot's of money, are often the people that should never be trusted with it.

I believe that being a parent should be the FIRST priority in every mother or father's life..I believe you give up your every chance at freedom, relaxation, adult time, and free time alone, when you become a parent. Anything and everything we do should be mirrored against how it will affect our children. We have to give up our secret dreams in order to be a responsible parent.

I believe that pride is disgusting. I know I often post happy happy love love posts here, but in order to be honest and truthful, I do admit to being lazy, messy, a smoker, fat, and dreamy...I am not perfect, nor is my life..If you aren't sharing the ugly in your life, I don't want to see the pretty.

I believe that some time soon, something amazing will happen to our family..Maybe it will not be amazing to you, but,
{Anna's first swim meet is fabulous to me}
{getting a mortgage that will lower my payment by $500.oo is awesome to me}
{a first winter snow is a small miracle to this Florida girl}
{Trick or Treating with the GodFamily}
So see, believing in small wonders can really be amazing...

Pray for  a far away friend who is struggling with many aspects of her life. She is a mom and needs support and love and just isn't getting it..

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 11, My Favorite TV Shows

I love a lot of shows, so here's a top ten...

10. Real Housewives of (any of the towns are good)
9.   Cake Boss
8.   Nancy Grace
7.  The Daily Show
6.   Chelsea Lately
5.   The New Adventures of Old Christine
4.   Project Runway
3.   Intervention
2.  Glenn Beck.....(just kidding)   Everybody Loves Raymond
1.  The Amazing Race

Day 10, What I Am Afraid Of...

There are two really big things that I am afraid of..
The first one is losing my parents..Since I am terrified, I won't even write much..

The other thing I am afraid of is being in staying in the emotional, financial, and professional place that I am right now..For very much longer. The last time I felt this way, I walked into my principals office and resigned for that next school year. I didn't have a plan, or an idea of what I would do, nor did I care. I just had to get out..I remember this sense of Dread that would wash over me as I drove into my old school...I could literally feel myself sinking into my car seat debating whether or not I should drive away to never never land...Once I resigned, I felt great!!
I can't do that now, and that makes me feel trapped. Feeling trapped, well, it ain't good..

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 9 Post A Picture of Your Friends..

I can't just put a pic up and not tell you a bit about the person you see...This is Lee. She and I have been friends since I was in the 7th grade. We both played the oboe. Since it's not a "marching instrument, we both did other things. She was a majorette, and I was a cheerleader. She is like a sister to me. Really. We have been through thick and thin together and I love her more now than I did when we went partying together..All once we reached 21 of course!!
Lee is old school. What I mean is, and this might sound crazy, but she is the wife of the 50's...She cooks everynight for her hubby. AND makes him a delicious lunch. The girl puts Jet's (her hubby) food together as if she is making it for a king. Several courses. And of course a desert. AND my girl irons his clothes. OLD SCHOOL..Maybe that's why they have been married for a thousand years. They struggled when they first had kids and thinking back on that time makes me laugh..They used to break up and he would move into their camper..And we would HATE him..and then he would do something amazing for the kids and we would fall in love with him again..And after a year or so of that, they have been just fine..They have tow amazing preteenagers and are living a great life..I am even close to Lee's siblings. Well, one of them..The other one turned into a dirtbag when Lee's mom passed away. Ahhh, Helen. Lee is doing just fine, and you would be proud of the way she is raising her children. They are right on track with their grades and their extra activities..We miss you Miss Helen.

My local BFF is Missi. She is going through a rough time...Since she has her own blog, I will send you over there to check out what is going on in her life..Pray for this girl..Life is throwing her some heavy stones, and needs us all to step up and love on her!!!!

I love you girlz..You have been such great sisters.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day Whatever, A Place I Have Visited...

You have seen a million photos of my time in Russia. But before Russia, I would travel to visit my dad overseas. My favorite trip was the one to Malaysia and Hong Kong. The first photo is from a market in Kuala Lampur. It was amazing there.

Here my dad and I  are on our way to Stanleys Market..It is a pretty famous place on the top of a mountain in the center of Hong Kong..(Funny, because I had a job interview while in there..It was late in the summer and I could have worked there, but would have had to take a "local hire" contract, which was not doable..But even in 93, I was trying to get myself overseas..

I have posted a million beach pix. BUT this one is at my dad's beach in Kuan Tan Malaysia. There was literally nothing around but the South China Sea and monkeys. While my dad worked, I sat by the sea and just enjoyed life.(Don't bring up how skinny I am here..)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baryshnikov in the movie, White Night(1985)

Favorite Movies...The Color Purple - Best Scene

I saw the Color Purple when I was a teenager. And I was moved, even then, by the powerful message for women in the dinner scene. I hadn't really been "man-handled" nor had I truly  lost my power to any man, but I got it. I was 15. I knew that at some point, something, maybe a man, a job, a relationship, would hold me like a prisoner. I could see that friendships could save me. I could see that standing up to those jailhouse keepers and putting a metaphorical knife to their throat would be next to impossible to do, but doable once you reach that level of inner strength that Miss Celie had at the end of the movie...And what gave her that strength? (her children) 

There have been lots of other movies that touched me in one way or another over the years..As a child of the eighties, 16 Candles was a biggie, and FlashDance, White Nights, and Pretty in Pink bring some strong memories.(As a kid I wanted to be a dancer!!)
As an adult, I can honestly say, I have only seen a handful of movies. In the 7 years that I have been a parent, I have only seen 2 movies. 2~ And they were both of the Sex and the City Movies..Those are guilty pleasures movies and not the kind that would make top ten lists.

I did and still love Beaches and Steele Magnolias as all time best tear jerker movies..I never watched horror flicks but did watch The Blair Witch Project since it was filmed around here. I got sucked into the hype..Dumb..

My other top favorites are Spike Lee movies..Crooklyn and Do The Right Thing stand out as movies I could watch over and over.
Other guilty pleasure movies are the Fridays movies...Again, can't recommend them, I just giggle a whole lot when I watch them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 6 A Photo That Makes Me Happy

AugustRose wasn't even two and she looked 14. And look at the Hughes Babies...And my Anni..Good times at Hill Wood Mansion's Russian Dacha Exhibit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Sister

Of all the relationships I have, this one is probably the most complex. My sister and I are very different. Very. I am Christian, she is Buddhist. I am a junk food eater, she is vegetarian. I am straight, she is gay. I am pretty much a non-dater, she is in a committed relationship. I am always with my parents, she isn't. I have an independent streak that she doesn't have. I am forever early, she is always late. I don't give a shit what people think of my girlz, and she is worried if they run out of the house looking like gypsies. I have a million close girlfriends, and she is sort of a loner..
I don't mean to paint her in a negative light. Because I adore her. But  honestly, since she came out a thousand years ago, we just don't do much together anymore. I moved to DC to be near her. And we have just drifted. When we are together for more than a couple of days, one of two things happens. She gets upset because my girlz are wild and loud, and like I said before, gypsy-fied..Or, we have a silly blast, like when we are at my dad's beach house.
We don't really argue. But she gets frustrated with me and my dad. Again, the loud factor. I yell at my dad all the time about letting my girlz go Buck Wild at his house but it really bothers my sister..
My sister is an outrageously wonderful Auntie. She was the ONLY person in my life who didn't want me to go to Russia. She knew that it would be most hard for her to get over to see us..My girlz love their Aunti so much. She is caring and patient and enjoys the activities she does with my girlz.
My sister and I are working on our relationship. The problem is, I am boring. All I ever do is school stuff, kidz stuff, and Church stuff. That leaves little time for doing something fun, just the two of us..
She is struggling right now, and I am hoping that we find time to spend time together to chat about it..
I love my sister so much. She is the one person in the world that I want to get closer to!
Here's to you LDG, my cool ass sister!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 4.. My Parents

This is another easy one for me!
I grew up very  normally. Cept for the fact that we were farm people. Some people call that "country".
My parents were great. My mom was a super tyrant at times. But Thank God for that. It got my crazy out of control ass under control..She was a teacher, then principal at my school so she was always around me and my sister. She was very strict on us. Grades, behavior, our chores, all that was NO JOKE in the Green house! But my mom was very lovey too. She rode my butt like a mule, but I always knew she loved me..She was always very proud of me. I could feel it.

I was the son my dad never had. He used to take me everywhere with him. I used to go to U of F Gator games with him. (Which is how I learned to drive on the Florida Turnpike at 13) I went to work with him and played on the phones and with the typewriters..Hello, it was before computers!! We went on business trips, (which is where I drove my first Lincoln Continental across Canada at 14). I was always pretty tight with him. My dad was much more tender hearted than most dads. He went to all of our events. Never missing a thing. He has and still calls me TIGER..I can count on One hand the times I have heard him say my real name. Seriously. His coworkers, friends, and family all know me as Tiger.. My dad and I are still very close. He loves my girlz dearly, and leaves in the wee early hours of the day, since it's too hard for him to see his little ones cry when he goes back to Florida. I have always traveled to visit my dad when he lived overseas. At 42, I still don't go more than a couple of months without seeing my dad.

My parents divorced when I was 16 and it was painful and awful just like everyone else's. But the key to it was my dad never left my mom stranded. They always worked as a team, and made sure my sister and I felt like a family. They have never remarried and still spend all of the holidays and birthdays together with my sister and I, and of course my girlz.

The relationship I have with my parents was pretty much explained when I adopted Anni and Auggie..
Mom went on Trip 1 for Anna's adoption. Dad went on Trip 2.
(sister met us in Moscow)
Dad went on Trip 1 for Auggie. Mom went on Trip 2.
(sister met us in Moscow)
How many parents would drop everything, run around for last minute visa documents, then spend thousands of dollars for their child? Most wouldn't or couldn't. Mine found a way to do it. Twice.

I can't complain. My parents are rock stars.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 3-Your first love

My first love was this guy...He's the one without sunglasses...Such a dork. Evan Tullos.
We met when I was in 7th grade. I chased this guy until the night before he got married. He was the one guy who really changed me..He humbled me. You see, he never really loved me. I was the girl he turned to to make other people mad. We did have fun together, but he broke my heart on a weekly basis. I can remember one boy telling me, "Jules, he will never love you the way you love him."  This guy was a great friend, and I think he secretly had a crush on me..Thanks Paul, you did make me feel special on many many occasions.
Evan and I went through a lot together. Most of it tinged with my sadness of knowing he would never truly commit to me..We partied all the way through high school, and even college. But somewhere around that time he got his girlfriend preggers and they got married..And for me, that was it. I did and still do believe in love and marriage, so I let it go..I can still remember Evan's little sister coming to my house to get ready for his wedding..I was sad and sick all at the same time..At one point, Evan was my favorite person in the world. What I knew and still know is that Evan may be fabulous now, but at our core, he and I are too familiar with each other for him to bullshit me. I know him. The real him. The funny dorky, adorable, silly him..And he knows those same parts of me..
The two of us have emailed and phone chatted over the years but we have not been in the same room for almost 18 years. I feel weird about seeing him, considering I am about 40 pounds heavier than I should be at my age..And also, I don't drink anymore and feel like I could be a drag on the party!!
It's weird because I really don't care about my weight, except when I consider being around ET. Huh? Wonder what that means..

Anyway, Here's to Evan, the guy who I used to love. A wonderfully funny friend.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Today's entry is pretty easy..Why is my blog called what it is...
Solnichka is Russian for Sun..And this fits my girlz perfectly..Sunny..Happy...Bright...Warm and Lovely!!
The first song I sung to Anna was, "You Are My Sunshine..."
Also, I started really blogging while in Florida many years ago, and found that my girlz were such beach babies and it seemed to fit..

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Missi Sent Me A Blog Challenge...

I am going to do this one..Seems pretty easy. I jsut have to remember to blog everyday!!
Prayer Requests:

S, my high school cheer leading buddy is struggling with her co teacher. Not really meeting each other's needs and S ends up feeling like she is not doing a great job teaching...WHICH I KNOW SHE IS!!
And our dear E...This is not good news. On the night that my friend asked me to pray for her, E had a grand Mal seizure. And this is very concerning to her doctors. No diagnoses has been made yet, and this just makes it even more confusing!
T is my small group friend..She just found out her mom has a cancerous tumor that can't be operated on..The doctors are starting chemo ASAP..T is so upset and traumatized by this, that she had to go on "nerve pills" to help calm her down. I so relate to being worried about a family member~~


Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts
*can't seem to load a pic..but my Disney Pics are the most recent, so check those out!
I am Julianne Green, an adoptive mother of two little girlz. 15 interesting facts that I have not shared before...Hmmm,
I play the oboe
I have colored my hair pretty much every color that is sold
I cannot live without my glue gun
My mother washes my girlz' clothes
I don't think we should realize it when other people have lots of money
I don't think about anything as much as I think about my daughters
I am grateful every single day
I can actually feel other people's happiness and feed off of it
I could give up cakes and baked goods forever, IF you said chips and dip were completely healthy
I don't date, and don't think I ever will again
I pretend that I win the lottery, and make lists of what I would do with the money
I am like a man in that I will listen to problems, and then want to go fix them myself
I am messy
I am a Christian in a constant state of  "needing to do better"
When a friend or family member needs me, I will be there and move hell and earth for them..

These are the topics for the next 30 days!
Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your siblings

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-Favorite city

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-a picture

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kate Got Me Motivated...

To throw a bunch of randoms together and share a little about what's been going on over the last few weeks. And since I cleaned my memory cards from both cameras, I have some pictures to share!!

We had a wonderful visit from Anna. Anna was one of the wonderful ladies who I worked with in Khabarovsk during my lil Anna's adoption. We have kept in touch over the years, and she visits the states every so often. It feels good to chat with her, but her news about the stall in international adoptions is heartbreaking. Families waiting, families wanting to go to court, and most sad, the many children waiting..Just waiting to find forever families.

We visited with Anna before I knew I wouldn't be going to Russia. She was thrilled to possibly help me adjust..Ugg. This is when I want to throw a glass against a wall, because I had so many little ideas and offers to help...This is also when I want to drop an EFF bomb. It just irritates me that someone or some board would choose a teacher with a few years teaching, because they are cheaper. That it would really come down to money. It doesn't matter the experience, drive, determination, or dedication of the teacher with two children. What matters is that teacher is too expensive..Ok ok, no more negative nelly. Just not up for it tonight..
My dad was here and he and the girlz, and me, sort of, did some gardening. It was very surprising how strong Anna is getting. AugustRose was busy throughout the day doing anything but working. She picked up lots of rocks, and moved them around the yard. Then moved them back. And then moved them again...

We've been to the doctor's this week.Obviously the girlz had to get down to their undeeees. Of course we had to cover our "boobies" in order to get the shot..The reason for the photo was to distract the girlz about the shots they were about to get. I always tell them when they are getting shots. I tell them the truth that it will hurt for a bit, but I will hold them and love on them and when it's over, we will get a treat and take a nap together. And this is exactly what we did! Poor August had 6 shots. We had to get the final MMR, DTap, and Varicella.Then she had to get her first HEP A and a flu shot. The other shot was one that I was supposed to get 6 months after her last appointment, but didn't do it.. Anna had to get her first HEP A and a flu shot. It was 

And here is where our little family has spent the past month and a half..At the pool. Anna is getting really good at swimming, and will be in her first meet in November. August and I watch her and get to spend some time together reading stories all the while getting dizzying head rushes from the chlorine filled air at the aquatic center..It's the best exercise and although Anni is really clumsy on land, in the water she is pretty graceful. August has no desire to do it. She says she will do it next year...Hmmm. I don't believe her.
And this is why I have to get a new job. What you can't tell is that it takes me over 10 minutes to get to that little green sign at the top of the picture. Every doggone day. Lost hours of my life looking at the back of cars filled with drivers who seem hostile and irritated to be on the road...

I have decided that each time I post I want to add a prayer request section..If you want me to add a prayer for you, please just add it in the comments..These requests are coming from my Facebook page.

For my dear friend A, she would like prayer for her family's finances. It's a rough time out there, she is an adoptive mom with a house full of children, and a heart of gold...
For a childhood friend N. Like me, she has a truck driver's mouth..We both need to honor God with our words..
For my Church friend S, she is looking for Mr. Right. Hello, I know that feeling.. I know S pretty well, and her Mr. Right's gotta be a real stand up kind of guy with a heart and soul for the Lord!
For Our Sweet E This is a child who was thought to have a tragic illness...Although she does not have the disease that the doctors thought she had, a final diagnosis has not been found, and she is struggling. This is an 8 year girl...Let's all raise this baby up in prayer.
For My 2 BFF's One here in VA and one in FLA...I ask that God gives each of them peace. One in her struggle with her sibling after the death of her mother drove a wedge between them...The other is going through a painful, awful, divorce..I wish I could walk in each of your shoes when it gets too hurtful. I love you both as though you were my sisters, and I can't stand to see you hurting.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Today I told Anna and AugustRose that we wouldn't be going to Russia next year. Anna quickly yelled, "Yeahhh!!!" Then she covered her mouth as if she wanted to take it back. She looked at me, and with those amazing black eyes, let me know that she was not happy, but she has been doing so many fun things that she would miss them..I told her we may try to go for the summer, and I could get a teaching job for just that time..AugustRose then said she wasn't going. She wanted to go to Dadushka's beach house. I let her know that we could invite Dadu to Russia if we went. She was ok with that..
I am working on a lot of possible leads for summer jobs. I wish someone would just sprinkle some FAIRY dust over me, and Poof! All the details would be worked out. Just like it is when you have a good adoption agency, and the work out all the details of your "court trip" and you get to spend that month in Russia enjoying your sweet babies...

Just to update you, I am still very disappointed at my job. Still overwhelmed with my finances...But I give thanks to God for my little girlz. They can be terrors sometimes, they can be spoiled, they make epic messes, and they drive me nuts sometimes, but they are just what I wanted when I begged the Big Guy for children, so I'll take it.
Anna is continuing to go to swim team 4 nights per week, and she starts back to ballet tomorrow. AugustRose is starting ballet and tap..Homework is much more intense in 2nd grade, so needless to say, I don't have much time to feel sorry for myself.. Thank goodness my dad is her for a couple of weeks. Just having another adult in the house gives me a break. PLUS he is a great cook! and the girlz love him soooo!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Awww the Memories...

It's been a rainy few days around here, and I am waxing sentimental about summer...So here is a tiny bit of the first part of our summer, the trip to Walt Disney with my mom and sister. It was much hotter than it appears. And it was doubly magical! Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010


I share a lot about myself and my life, but these will be NEW things that I have never shared. Nothing too outrageous, just new.

*1. For a long time I was the "rotten spoiled bitter" child in my family It was clear that my only sister was the Favorite..My sister is a lesbian, and NOW I think I am the favorite!! Hee, Hee, my sister will get a kick out of that!
*2. I only eat with plastic cutlery when I am at home..I hate metal/silver forks and spoons.
*3. I drop plenty of EFF bombs...(but never in front of my kiddies)
*4. I love expensive purses, and buy one a year for myself. Poor or not.
*5. We have lived in our new house for over a year, and we still have no living room furniture. I am starting to think I am going to leave it empty.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Without a Plan B...
Still broken hearted. I drive through my neighborhood and think, Bleckkkkk....So familiar, easy to navigate. Boring.

I cried to my dad for a good hour about the whole thing..I think he and Missi understand it most. And of course Annie! My dad is a gypsy at heart and will go anywhere! Because of our shared history, Missi understands the desire the most. So I cry to her.  I think my dad was actually looking forward to us going somewhere in Russia. He was thinking of getting a job somewhere near there like the Ukraine, and he could visit a lot...
This year, my job is going to be challenging to say the least. On a lot of levels. And I still have no money left by the second week after payday. (We get paid once a month)...
See, I told you there was lots of negativity around here..

I am trying to find some tutoring work to help make ends meet. And I am getting a mortgage on my house so I can pay my parents back..Hopefully, that will make my payment go down...

I am reaching out to anyone and everyone I know to help me find a lead on a job..Yes, a job outside of teaching. What I DO know is that I cannot teach at my school anymore. I need to get closer to home. It takes an hour to get to school and a little over that to get home..Thats about 12 hours a week that I lose with my girlz..I want that back. And the gas it takes to travel is killing me.
Transferring schools scares me. You know the saying, "The devil you know is better than the one you don't."
I love my teammates. I love them. I could cry just thinking about working with other teachers. My team has been with me through my marriage, infertility, divorce and adoptions.I have been with them through marriage, (Anna was a flower girl for one teammate) one baby girl for one, and just last week a baby boy for the other.
I taught with my principal, we have known each other for 17 years. I know those hallways and class rooms like the back of my hand..I know the families. I am teaching 4 little siblings of former students this year. But the extras are really weighing me down!
So if I just left teaching and took some kind of government job, maybe I wouldn't feel so guilty and sad..

Anna started school, AugustRose started preschool, both have started ballet, and Anna started swim team.
And she is good. Really good. I love every teacher they have. And they are loved back.
I am back to teaching every other week at Church and going to sink into those families! I am praying a lot to help me cope with not getting the Thing I wanted.
I should share that I do have the TWO things that I needed and that complete my heart. My girlz daily life is enough to keep my soul at ease, but it's that part of my heart that wanted to go to Russia that is still a little banged up.
Through prayer, I am trying to hear what I should do long term. I have to be honest and say that we are so busy with swim team that I have to make time to pray. Given that, I am sure God is giving me the same in return. Ya know, He's so busy that He will make time to help me with my little problems!!
Until I can figure my life out, I am just going to drive back and forth to the pool for swim team and dream of the Russian Far East, and Novosibirsk, and hope that someone out there has a lead for me...

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's A No...

Now I know.
I can’t go to St. Petersburg to teach. It was handled with care, but AAS simply cannot afford to pay for both of my girlz to attend gratis. All I can say is that I was being serious when I said, “There is no Plan B…”

I am going to lay low for a while on my blog..I don’t feel like sharing anything lately. It’s all boring, and negative around here…

My heart is broken that I can’t give my girlz the experiences I wanted to. That we can’t be together at school. That I can’t give them their heritage back. That I can’t strategically place them among other children who are going places..That we can’t go on this type of magical mystery trip together. That I can’t show them by doing..It’s so much more than just a job. There is something deep within that pulls me there. I guess you’d have to know my history, and how Russia changed my life in the most amazingly delightful ways to understand…

I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I am paralyzed/
I never felt like I had too much. But I guess I do.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Aren't We The Happy Family?

The say you can learn a lot about people simply from their portraits..You know,
people naturally move and conform in a moment and the camera lense captures the "trueness" of the family...Well, for us, its a lie..We are happy there, yes. But this is not how I have felt this week. Overwelmed with the millions of school things I have to do, overwhelmed at the millions of things I need to do at my house...And on top of it, I have to get myself and the girlz to a dentist appointment, eye doctor for the girlz, yearly appointment for the girlz, which means I have to take a day off of work at least a couple of times this month..(this is when I wish I didn't go to Florida for so long)
I am not being a very good mother lately. I cannot get my girlz to clean up their messes. And what I want to do is throw out about 1/2 of what they own..BECAUSE they have too much. Too many different little sets of things. Too many times they have eaten in their room leaving crumbs..Too many times I let them convince me that they will do it in the morning. (And they don't)

Sorry. No happy happy today.
Today I am just OVER, being a single mom. Right about now I wish I could say,
"You two better clean up, or WAIT TIL YOUR FATHER GET'S HOME"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

THE email I have dreaded sending...

Today at Church, Rusty's message seemed written just for me. It was about grattitude. I am gr8ful for a million things. Mostly for my little family. At the end of the message I was left with the urge to send an email that will either open or close a door for our future. One way or the other, I will have to accept what path God chooses for me. And one way or the other, I will have to move on. The dreams and hopes for my girlz and I are not clearly defined right now..By tomorrow or so, I will know.
I don't ask that you pray that God will give me what I want, but that I can accept what HE wants for our little family.
I have never dreaded sending an email like the one I sent today. I am a little sad and blue lately. Coming home from a paradise vacation is very hard. Tomorrow I go to school and start another year with my teammates. I have missed them..

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's A Charlie Brown Kind of Day...

We are riding out our last week in Florida. It's been another lovely, wonderful, awesome, delicious time. My dad has gotten to really "rotten up" my girlz, and I will be spending the next couple of weeks debriefing them and trying to explain that MOMMA doesn't jump for them like their grandpa does..
Our friends from home just left after a week. My girlz are sad to be here without constant playmates, so it's good that they visited at the end of our time here..
I am sadly dreading going back to school. This will be my 20th year. And my dear Margaret has gone onto bigger and better opportunities so I will be working with a brand new assistant.. We got an email about our schedules and it seems that our day has been planned for us down to the hour..Hmmm. After 20 years, you would think I would be able to manage creating my own daily schedule... But oh well, some people need that type of control over things.
And it seems that my HOA is charging me 900.oo because I didn't let them know when I replaced a light bulb on my lamp in my yard..Another "AAUGH" to deal with. Remember when Charlie Brown would tip his head backwards and yell because Lucy would yank the ball away when he went to kick it..Well, that's what I am doing alot of lately...Head tipping and Screaming!

We are leaving our little bit of paradise on Wednesday, and making the hellish drive back to DC...5 States and a million hours...
insert "Aaugh" here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Whadya Do...

When you've got no Plan B?
I mean really. When there is nothing on the back burner?

I know God will open and close the appropriate doors. But I wish I knew a little in advance where I will be in a year.
I know where I wish I was, but is it really All About What I Want??

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

For Now...

I get asked by my family and friends "Why do you want to go to Russia?"
I am working on a more comprehensive post about this..Maybe by the summer's end I will post it. It is so much more than as the clip states..But it's a start!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Goodbye Girl

What it is about a child that is devastated when she says goodbye? What does that mean?
Too Sensitive?

I don't know what it is about Anna that when she says goodbye to a family member or close family friend, her little heart breaks. She has always been so empathetic, but it is sad to see her little tears fall when we bid a fond fair well to those who we have visited this summer.

Any ideas on how to heal her broken heart? My sister is leaving today and we will see her when we come home in a few weeks...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

My Montage 8/5/10 at

At the end of a wonderful birthday, I had to post this and share what it's like on a GreenGirlz day!!

My Birthday in Naples. A Happy 42nd to ME!!

It's sandy bubble blowing.
Gopher turltes near the sidewalk.
It's feathers, that make us thing of Aunt Lee,
Little girlz walking and singing together.

silvery toes, feeling the water beneath them...
It's Lefthanded sandy autographs.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just Some Bits...

This is all I am going to post of Disney for now..There is so much to tell about our time with the Mouse, but I want to share what is happening here at the beach, so that is where we will start!
First and foremost, the oil spill has in no way affected the shore/coastline in Naples. That is not to say it won't, but for now we are safe.
It seems like as soon as we got here, Anna's ear started to ache..This is not new and every year we end up in an Urgent Care where ever we are for antibiotics. This time, the doctor in Florida gave up drops for her ear, and with the advice to stay out of the water until the ache goes away..Two days later, we found this cap and with the help of some ear plugs, her ear healed. She looked like a little Olympic swimmer with it on.
For the first part of the trip, the girlz did a great job of managing our gypsy vacation, (always moving) but there were tons of break downs from each of them..It has been great to be in one spot for days now. Anni even mentioned that she was glad that we didn't have to wear clothes out of the suitcase.
So far we have seen dolphins and only one sting ray, and it was a flying ray that came flying out of the water. For the past couple of times, the dolphins are so close to the shore that you could touch them, if they would have allowed. It was fun! The girlz have been doing a lot of playing together while at the beach. But Lordy, let them get back to the house and AugustRose has a real fit when she doesn't get her way. I have almost eliminated the high pitch scream she does, now I am working on the jealousy. She is so concerned, that when I address Anni about anything/or nothing in particular AugustRose will say, "what about me?" If I had a dollar for how many times a day she says that...But with all the activity we do in a day, I am glad to see that the girlz have fun together..Anni will meet friends on the beach, but August, boy she doesn't want to know anyone new..She can't stand for me to address other children, especially toddlers. And she will say out loud,
"that baby is not cute!" I mean really, what is that?? I am going to reassure her the whole summer that she is the only one I want to call "baby" and not to worry about other children...Jeez!!

Ohhhh, and I found these while at my friend Lee's. They are measuring cups! You open them up and can use either the top or the bottom. For the kitchen challenged, like me, if I never use them I won't feel bad because they are deliciously cute, huh?


As I try my best to figure how my blog randomly faded to black, then has the most difficult PHOTOBUCKET error in the middle of the post section....I have no idea where this came from nor why it is there...And what's up with COMPATIBILITY mode...HUH? why is Blogger running that way on my poooter......I have so much to share...And now, this holy hot mess...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We visited with my grandmother through the 4th of July. Each day, we would pick up my Aunt Carolyn first then head out to the center where my Grandma is. One the way back one day, we found this great little spot on the river and pulled in. It was the 4th and there was live music, and raw oysters that my mom and aunt love. Eww. They grew up on them.

Auntie Carolyn, Poppy, Anni, and AugustRose, celebrating on the river!

I left my mom at my grans and drove an hour to visit with my bestie from junior high. Lee, yes one of the Lee's (along with my sister) who is AugustRose's namesake. We have been through thick and thin the two of us. This has been a hard couple of years for her. She lost her dad, and then a year and half later, she lost her mom. It was devastating for her. The worst part was that I was told by my agency that I would be getting a court date any day and I couldn't be there with her for her mom's funeral. I won't forgive myself for that. I should have just taken a chance. Turns out I did get a court date while I was to be at the funeral, but still. I should have been there.

Lee and I had a blast at one of Florida's old attractions called Silver Springs.

Lot's of movies have been filmed there, including all the Tarzan movies. And it has stood the test of time. Our visit was great. Her children are really growing up and I know that her oldest daughter is going to set the world on fire! She is a cheerleader/dancer and just as beautiful as any of these young starlets on tv.
(Lee and her beautiful daughter Allie)
When we left to get my mom and head for Disney, Anna cried for
one hour. Her heart is so tender. She knows Lee is like family, and reacts to leaving her just like one would when leaving a favorite Auntie! No worries though, Lee and fam will be visiting my dad's beach house in just a few more days!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Started Out Visiting Family

We hit the road two weeks ago. The Girlz had their Tag Readers, movies, computers, water bottles, blankets, and every other imaginable trinket in the back seat with them. And we drove. And drove. My dad was at our house before we left and drove up to Maryland, so when we got on the highway, we set up a meeting spot and he followed along with us. My mom let me do all the driving since I tend to get car sick. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. We stopped at South of the Border and spent the night and then my dad drove onto Florida since he didn't want to "linger" the way my girlz and I tend to do...
Driving into Florida got me very sentimental. It hasn't been my home for 18 years but my family is still there..As in uncles, aunts, and my grandmother. Many people think of Florida as two things, Disney World and the beach...But it is so much more. I was born in Northern Florida in a town called Gainesville. Just south of there is BIG TIME horse country. So when I think of my childhood home, I tend to remember it as horse country.
I have never seen such green grass. And the shiny coats on the horses made me wonder if there isn't something to that mane and tail horse shampoo you see every now and then. There is an easy comfort to this part of Florida. Nothing too fancy, yet full of million dollar estates that have trained many a Preakness or Belmont winner.

And then there are these. Old school stores. I don't know if every state has these, but in Florida, they have many.
Something very "white trash" about them, but also something very historical. Signs that haven't been repainted, soda coolers with the bottle openers on the outside. On a good day, you can go in and purchase boiled peanuts, spicy or plain. We are plain girlz in this house.

My uncle had a tobacco farm not too far from here. He also grew watermelon and cantaloupe. For years and years, high schoolers would come out and work for him cutting tobacco. After you did your time in the field a few years, you could come into the barns and sew the leaves together. My sister worked it for several summers. Me? I opted out. I preferred being broke even as a youngster.
We arrived at my Grandmothers house after a few days on the road. Because of a couple of health problems she was placed in a rehab, and now she is in assisted living, but at 90, she still plans to come home. If she could find someone or a program that would work with her at her house, she could do it..She and her sister on working on it..She hates the place she is in right now. She told us there were too many old people there..

Being in her home without her there was sad. So many memories. The pictures on the walls, the hundred year old microwave, little nick nax I remember from my childhood almost haunted the place. Things I had forgotten about, like the fact that my grandmother wore a fancy nightgown, and a matching robe over it. And all of her nightgowns were hung up after being washed. Rows of hangers filled with nightgowns. And the Daniel Green slippers in every color. I had also forgotten that my dear grandmother loved jewelry. Some costume, some not. But not the costume jewelry we have now. She has an entire wall cabinet full of the really great, detailed jewelry from 50 years ago..My girlz had fun with that under my mom's watchful eye..
Part of seeing her in her "old folk's home" was fine. Part of it was sad. And the other part was just miserable. Seeing so many people just laying/lying around waiting for their end to come. And most of those people are alone. Sort of heartbreaking in a lot of ways.
While in Northern Florida we drove some of the same roads, saw some of the same places that I have seen since I was a child. And mixing it in with seeing my grandmother and my aunt who is also in rehab for a stroke, made the beginning of our trip mildly depressing. But as grown ups we have to do these things. It was important to show my girlz how we treat our family. And adding a few days into our vacation in order to see family was not such a big deal...We knew while making those visits that we had Disney to look forward to. So we visited.
And then I left my mom there to continue visiting and I drove down to see my dearest high school friend. We have been besties since we were in junior high school when we started cheering together..But that will be another post. Needless to say, we had lots of laughs!