building on the journey

building on the journey
Our family...just waiting to add our sweet smiling little girls!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

tmi

I'm a classic over sharer.

I don't do it for shock value...well, not always... I do it because as I matured I realized that all of the terrifying things about adolescence and young adulthood are shared by EVERYBODY!!

I'm not crass... well, not usually... just honest.

I share this with you because I have recently discovered that when you are an over sharer, or perhaps I should call it "down to earth," people will also share stuff with you that you wish you didn't know, or in the least didn't fully expect or fully realize was a secret.

I don't necessarily mean personal information, although, they do that also. I mean they share things they just shouldn't tell you. It has taken me until the past few weeks to really get this or even realize that this actually isn't true of everyone. Once in a while I will say, "hey, did you talk to _____, isn't that crazy?" Only to find out that I just shared a secret that I didn't know was a secret.  It also means that you know information you are unsure whether you are happy to know. Listen, I'm all about having inside information, for the most part, but sometimes that just puts you in a terribly awkward position.

Part of it is that I'm sort of intuitive, so I have an uncanny ability to put two and two together, but for the most part it is because people just tell me too much.

Listen, I don't judge, which is part of the reason they over share to begin with, but just keep in mind that just because I'm a good listener, doesn't ALWAYS mean I want to know what you are about to share...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

every step you take

We all say, "Now, don't take this personally..." all the time, right before we make a really assinine remark. Yes, assinine. Think about it. When you KNOW you are about to ping on something that is precisely that, personal, you say, "now, please, don't take this personally." That doesn't excuse it. It really doesn't.

With that said, I often have to have really hard conversations with people about their children and I've learned that honesty is always better than being wishy washy. It's never easy, but when I know that honesty will help put a family and a child in the best position to experience success, it is the right thing and I can do it, but I also always want to make sure I truly understand exactly what "success" means to that family. The definition of "success" is very different for every family, but especially for a special needs family. I also often have to have conversations to explain my viewpoint as a parent of a child with special needs. I try to maintain a level of perspective to remember that while all children are special, not everyone can truly understand my, or any, special needs child or family. They don't really know what it's like to have therapy after therapy, week after week. Or, what it's like to worry about crazy nonsense on the internet about vaccinations and to worry about your child's heart condition and the nut down the street who is afraid of thimerisol and canary pox so didn't vaccinate her child for influenza, whooping cough, chicken pox or measles, mumps and rubella. They don't know what its like to go into sessions with professionals that are pretty much 100% centered around all the things your child CAN'T do and not all the great things she CAN. They just don't really know. They sort of know, but not really.

But, it hit me tonight what had really been bothering me all day... well, for months, actually... A conversation has been bouncing around for months and I really, REALLY try to separate my job from my Mom job... but, the true value I bring to my job, is my Mom job. (at least from my perspective, I'm sure my peers disagree, since I pull out the soapbox and jump up and down on it, on a regular basis) But, I get it. I get the "thing" that our athletes and parents need from sport... I get why what I do for my "job" is so essentially important. It's really not about the medals, or, sorry work, the sport itself, it's about the tiny, everyday victories that led to that medal and to being on that field.

You see, I know what it's like to work for months on end on the most basic skill with my daughter and to see her "fail" over and over and over and over and over, but within each "failure," there is success. RayLee walked at 21 months of age... months after most "typical" children and slightly before the average age of walking for most kiddos with Down Syndrome. It was 21 hard-fought months, filled with tedium and therapies, and "baby pilates," as we called them, and hour upon grueling hour of teaching her to brace, to pull-up to place her feet and to let go.... just to fall one more time, or even to refuse to even try it because she too was afraid of one more "failure." Then, to add salt to the wound, we watched the "typical" children of our peers walk with barely any coaxing. Shoot, Sophie, our youngest, walked at 8 months and we didn't work with her one time... she naturally learned to walk... it was, quite literally, the next step of her development. With RayLee it was hard-won and worth every single second. That is how RayLee learns every single little skill. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

So, when we have a competition and the athlete tosses the ball in the air 20 times and doesn't make contact once, I get it. I understand why that tedium that others see as a waste of their time is so valuable. There is a mother and/or father waiting somewhere in the stands or along the sidelines who is so absolutely beside themselves that she is out there holding a racquet, standing on her own on the court, grasping that ball, tossing that ball... The victory is in being there. The victory is in the grip. Do you know how long some individuals have to work to even be able to grip the ball? Have you ever tried to teach someone to grip a ball? Have you ever known the frustration, the fear, the victory of watching someone try to learn something as basic as gripping the ball? The victory is in the toss. If you think the grip sounds hard, try the toss... The victory is in every single time she misses, yet tosses again without ever giving up. The victory has very, very little to do with her place of finish or whether she gets to go on to a higher level of competiton. The victory was the walk out into the spot light, the stance, the grip and the toss... who cares about the hit, the victory was in the being there.

Right now, we are working on a million and one skills at once as RayLee approaches turning 4 years old in 6 days. We spend the evening working on the enunciation of everything because while she is at least starting to really try saying more words, it is a challenge to get her to speak around anyone other than our immediate family and her closest teachers because she is so frustrated when she is not understood. We also focus on holding her pencil correctly, as her tiny little hands barely have enough muscle tone to hold her pencil in a toddler grip, much less the true strength to master the appropriate penmanship grip that designates she has advanced to meet age level expectations. At the same time, she has yet to really master climbing up and down stairs, so at the age of 4 years old we take every opportunity to practice the stairs on her own. The other night at a ballgame with very small attendance a guy said, just loudly enough to be, well, assinine, "why don't they just pick her up?" You want to know why? Because, guess what, this little girl has worked so hard to walk up and down the steps by herself that as she takes each step she quietly giggles and says, quite proudly, just barely loud enough to hear, "step." with the biggest damn smile you've ever seen. That's victory.

And, while a part of me wants to knock the guy's teeth out, another part of me is silently celebrating with my own ginormous smile because every little RayLee victory teaches me more and more about what is important in life. It isn't the smartass 3 people back, it's the two people right behind her that are also smiling with every step and intentionally blocking the jerk. It isn't the bad thing that happened at work or the friends who let you down or the pants that are a little tighter (or a lot) than you'd like, the important thing is every step she takes. Every smile. Every little, tiny, taken for granted success that other families don't even notice that we celebrate with applause, laughter and a lot of hugs and kisses.

So, someday when someone questions why my kid plays a sport in which she can't even hit the ball, I'm going to remember that little giggle, that ginornous smile, and that proudly said proclamation and I'm going to support every step you take, my beautiful little RayLee girl.

Keep teaching me, I still have much to learn.

Friday, January 11, 2013

a day of down

You expect a roller coaster to have ups and downs and twists and turns, but this is insanity...


Straight up yesterday; straight back down today. Uuuuuuu....that was the drop of my stomach as this ride took a major dive today....uuuuuuuuu...still waiting for this drop to stop.... you know the feeling, you are terrified, but excited. For us, this ride, when it takes a down is only a feeling of terror. I am terrified. And, I mean TeRRiFieD that the drop won't be that exhilarating swoop and feeling of actual physical, screaming joy that is a roller coaster ride, but an actual thud. An end. A stop predicated by a solid brick wall. WHAM! Joy over.


Here is where we are: ANALYSIS PARALYSIS! Stop for a moment and riddle me this, what is your definition of "in process?" What? Not something you've spent a lot of time thinking about?? Me neither, not until today at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. Eastern. Look, I'm not being picky, I'm being black and white. Read it yourself...
            proc·ess 1  n. pl. proc·ess·es 1. A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result

...did you catch it? Are ya with me? "bringing about a result." Hmmm, you mean a result like bringing home a little girl with Down Syndrome who if left in her current situation will be great for the next 2 years and will then be sent to an adult institution where she will most likely not live to the age of 10 years old. Heck, if she makes it past the first year it would be a flipping miracle... a miracle!

10 years old!! 10 years old. Do you know what the current life expectancy is for individuals with Down Syndrome? 60s, plus. Here in the United States individuals with Down Syndrome are driving, running their own businesses, marrying, leading a long, fruitful, fulfilling life. Leaving her there is literally a death sentence. She will be drugged and kept immobile for easier "management." She will suffer malnutrition and eventually starvation. Her heart and kidney issues will be exacerbated by the drugs, the malnutrition, the stress, the abuse. I'm heart sick. She will go in as this beautiful little 4 or 5 year old girl with Down Syndrome and she will literally experience hell on earth. Her crime? Being born with an extra chromosome.

How do we possibly move forward while she is just stuck there? I know we are not defeated, it is not over, but that call today... well, depressing as hell. Listen, I don't want anyone to blow sunshine at me, but come on, really??? 

It hurts too much to think about the reality of just what the future might be for this beautiful little girl who I have been dreaming of rocking and teaching to sign and walk and run and throw and play and hug and giggle and what it's like to have a family and all the wonderful, joyful, crazy that comes along with it. I try not to think about that, but it sneaks up on me. It wheedles its way into thoughts when I least expect it. All I can think about is how these children must constantly wonder why this is what they have to endure, why no one cared or came for them. We all deserve to be loved and cared for. We all deserve a Mommy.

My 3 year old daughter, almost 4, with Down Syndrome, says Mommy like this, in a soft little whisper, with that look of me being this most amazing creature, she says, "MuMmiiee," like she's British. It's adorable and beautiful. It brings this warmth to my world every single time she says it. I want that for "Tabitha." I want that for every child that is being left in an orphanage because of politics. I want that for EVERY child.

Don't get me wrong, we are not beat, just a little bruised. Bruised and afraid, but not done fighting.

That little girl is going to be our daughter. Some how, some way. We will get her out of there.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

fools and children

I adopted my dog, Lily, from the shelter in Humboldt County, California on Christmas Eve after receiving a call from a vet friend that this amazing dog was going to be put to sleep the next day...on Christmas...because the shelter was just too full.

...it was Christmas Eve...the shelter was a couple of hours away on the other side of the mountain pass. But, here I was on the West Coast, away from my family, anyway, and I really, really did want a dog. And, an expert opinion that she was phenomenal... So, off I set. I met Lily, we were soul mates immediately, and she became mine. I spent that night in a rather seedy hotel in Humboldt County, because EVERYTHING else was full, with this new dog that seemed lovely, but that I really knew nothing about. I remember thinking as I fell asleep, "well, I hope she doesn't eat my face..." I woke up Christmas morning, with my face intact, and this beautiful dog who the night before still cringed in fear everytime I moved my arm higher than my hip, curled up against me. The bond was sealed.

Two weeks later my company was hosting a women's conference in St. Helena, CA at this beautiful vineyard there. The night before the event I was carrying my stuff into the vineyard hotel, too much in my hands, an extendable dog leash handle with Lily in tow, and the only hotel in the continental U.S. that still used real keys... Lily was still so skiddish, but we were making progress, I loved her. Then, it happened. My stack shifted. My stuff was slipping. I tripped over Lily, and that damn metal key clanged off of the metal plate of my hotel room, and she was GONE!!! That hard plastic handle of the leash clanging behind her as she ran, making her run faster, and she was GONE, GONE, GONE!! Top that off with the fact that immediately in front of the vineyard was highway 128, at rush hour, and a train going by on the tracks directly across the highway from the vineyard. Behind us, acres and acres of grapes and then, the foothills...and mountain lions and coyotes.

I searched for 3 days straight. The people of St. Helena, saints in themselves, hung fliers for me and searched and searched and searched.

Every weekend for the next month I would go back and stay in St. Helena and search and call and search. Always on the vineyard side because I just felt sure there was no way that do had made it across the highway and the train tracks, she had to be in the vineyard or the foothills.

I prayed. I searched. I never, not once, really lost hope. I would be sad. I had moments of logic when I thought there was no way that a dog, still wearing an extendable leash, would survive in those foothills. It was crazy. But, I was still hopeful.

My Mom, who never wanted me to get a dog, actually finally got to the point of wanting to buy me a puppy...I'm pretty sure she thought I'd lost my gourd.

People started to do that pity thing where they say, "so, I heard about your dog." or "any new news on Lily?" with that look of pity and the sad arm rub and the tilted head and the, my-God-she's-lost-it...so-sad look.

My landlord at the time loved to say to me, "that dogs not coming back... only fools and children are that stupid..." He was a jackass sometimes, but also one of those people you sort of adore for their blatant jerkiness... I know, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Then, 28 days after I lost her, I got a call from a woman who said that my dog was in her yard in St. Helena and off I went. I searched for 6 hours around her area, on the opposite side of the highway from the vineyard, then had to get back up North for an equestrian event.... I hated to leave, but I was so hopeful because that meant she was still alive... and, on the other side of the highway. There were two vineyards,  two residental areas and more foothills on that side... more people, more buildings, more places to hide, but also, those damn hills and those damn preditors. I had just arrived home to clean-up and change for the event when I received a call that these people HAD my dog!!! They had her. In their house. Off I went. Event be damned.

So, 28 and a half days after she was lost in a beautiful, yet dangerous, area, full of ticks and mud and filth, my dog was being hand fed tri-tip by the fireplace on the white silk rug in the living of the vineyard owner's home....

It took me a bit to realize that it was really her... it seemed so surreal. I had never lost faith. Not really. But, even I had started to doubt my sanity.



Fast forward 9 years....

Let's be honest, I've been on a pity party break!!

One day into my holiday vacation in which I planned to get a to do list 8 pages long cut through, this whole adoption ban fiasco hit and instead of thinking holiday cheer, I was stuck in fear. I've been stuck in a paralysis. I have always thought we would get "Tabitha" home but I had no idea how... I was confident, but also a bit at a loss on how to fix it. I'm a fixer. I couldn't do anything but wait. When people would ask, I would say, "We're getting her out of there. Somehow, some way." And, there it was, that look... the, oh,-she's-nuts look....

When the news broke today that the 1 year notice on breaking the adoption agreement between Russia and the United States was going to be honored, I realized that I'd been holding my breath since December 28th. And, I knew that I was really going to be her Mommy.

Fools and children, huh? Works for me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

little houses made of ticky tacky

It was late in the NICU with RayLee, just 24 hours after she had been born. Our world had been flipped upside down, and that same world was now asleep, except for me, it was a feeling I would learn to embrace, that feeling of late night solitude and planning, it was to become my hour. On that night, I had this fear, this emotional fear and hurt that was physical. What could I do?? What could I do?? What could I do??

Chris was sleeping, our primary doctors were gone for the night and it was quiet. That calm quiet, full of activity that was, quite literally, life-saving and life-sustaining, but quiet like only the NICU can be. There were so many babies. So many ghost-eyed mothers and fathers, but not quite enough to match the infinite number of babies. So many interns pulling their never-ending all-nighters. New babies coming in. Babies with too many visitors; babies with none. Nurses working, saving, loving around every turn. Loss. Confusion. Sadness. Joy. And yet, still, quiet.

I just stood and let the still lay about on top of everything, on top of me, while I stared in that numb way you can only stare when you have wrung out every tear, asked every question you can think of and you have been awake, for the most part, for the better of 56 hours. I'd bathed, I think, but I was hardly kempt. I remember using an old hotel bar of soap to wash my hair because that was all I had and it just didn't matter, I just needed to be clean and catch a shower to help me feel something soothing. I couldn't really sleep. I thought my milk had come in, because I was starting to get real volume when I pumped and that made me feel like I was doing something. In fact, I couldn't keep up with the milk, it would saturate my shirts in seconds, and I thought, that's okay, I'll pump again. I can't help that little girl right now, but by God, I can make milk... and, I did. And then, I started to sing to her in that quiet, when no one else would hear. This is where that moment of "mother earthiness" was supposed to kick in, with a beautiful lullaby, but, well, I can't carry a tune in a bucket and the only song even close to resembling a lullaby that would come to mind was Little Boxes, the theme song to the show Weeds... and, having watched an entire season the week before I went into labor, that song was stuck, tight, in my head, but sadly, only one verse... so I sat and rocked, stood and swayed, paced and hovered; on and on for hours, rocking and holding RayLee's hand. The whole time, singing, "little houses on a hillside, little houses made of ticky tacky, little houses on a hillside, little houses all the same..." and, repeat... it was a dark place of helplessness, it was the first time in my life that I was afraid I might not be able to fix it.... and the whole time, the rest of the world just went on...

I'm back at that place right now. Lost in this moment of inability to make anything happen. Stuck in this feeling of hurt and fear and loss, although the battle is not over, and of someone I never really had. And the world goes on. Continuing to turn. How do I fight strangers to get this little girl home when people I call friend would beat up and question my battle, this very personal battle that they obviously don't understand. How do I show you that I will not give up because I love this little girl as my own daughter, already. How do I show you that it has nothing to do with the country she was born into or the cost to get her here, that it only has to do with a child, who could so easily have been my RayLee, born into a country that doesn't yet understand that Down Syndrome is not a sentence of inadequacy, it is just an invitation to see life from a different perspective. How do I show you that no child deserves to be abandoned, isolated, left to quietly take up as few resoures and time as possible. How do I show you that this life is worth saving, worth letting go of some political grandstanding to bring into a family. Everyday I watch my RayLee thrive and I have to wonder if "Tabitha" will ever get that chance.Will she get to know the hugs, the love, the fun of a family? Will that little smile get to continue to radiate or will it be snuffed out by a drugged state of quiet and isolation? Will she ever know the security of holding her Mommy's hand in the middle of the night when the dark quiet scares her with a bad dream?

I will not quit on this little girl. We will continue to pray, write letters, fundraise and advocate until she has a home and a family. We are not done.

So tonight, I sit and I think about that sad night, so lonely, and I remember how the fear crept up and haunted me, ate at me, worked to beat me, but it didn't. I will look back at this night some night in the future with my baby girls all home and all snug asleep upstairs and I will hum along to Little Boxes with the knowledge that these houses aren't just little boxes and those of us in them aren't all just the same. We each have our own battles. We each have our own wins and our own losses. The world will continue to turn but I will never forget that at any given moment, there are so many for which the world is stopped for a while, frozen in a place of hurt. I will be a friend...that's an action verb, by the way, when used this way. I will not leave "Tabitha" frozen. She will know what it is like to have her hand held when she is afraid. Every 2 year old deserves nothing less, and we will work to bring her so very much more.

"...there were red ones, there were green ones, there were blue ones, there were yellow ones. Little houses on a hillside, little houses just the same...,"       ....oh, if they only knew!!!

Smile my friends, I will share a funny one soon. Today was just a little hard, tomorrow will be better.

Friday, November 30, 2012

hold my hand

Tonight as we drove and the traffic thinned and the car got darker with the night, my girls both wanted to hold our hands. Now, have you ever sat in the front passenger seat and tried holding the hands of two toddlers in carseats on opposite sides of the car? Gumby would find it challenging, and 7 feet of stretchy I am not.

BUT, then this little sob would escape RayLee and Sophie's tiny voice would speak for them both to say, "hold my hand, Mommy?" with a hopeful, willing ask. And, well, car yoga it was.

So, with my left arm jacked under and back, a thumb held by RayLee and a pinky by Sophie, I giggled in a pinch of pain with my husband about how life has changed.

Then, as I tried to sneak my hand away when I was sure they were "over it," the cycle would start again.

When the girls finally fell asleep, I snuck my hand back and Chris and I rode along and talked. As we talked about the adoption, things we've read, when we might travel and all we need to do next, it hit me...She hasn't had anyone to hold her hand when the night scared her. She hasn't been rocked to sleep, read to day and night, cuddled endlessly on lazy days. She hasn't had anyone there to reach out when she cried, "hold my hand."

But she will now!!!





Wednesday, November 21, 2012

make good choices

Have you ever really stopped to consider the surreal nature of watching your friends parent???

This week, the son of one of my college girlfriends turned 9... 9!! Now, I know this means little to most of you, but please understand that I met this woman about 18 years ago, just moments before she went "stair surfing" down the steep basement steps of a fraternity house, cackling her crazy laugh, and giving herself floor burn on most of her body, including her face, the night before parents' weekend... Just months later, now good friends, she would yell/scream/rasp in a way only she could do, "Make good choices!!!," as girls in our sorority house would leave the house on dates... THIS crazy, fun woman has a 9 year old!! In my mind, she is still this cackling, crazy, platinum blonde haired girl who slammed a mysterious concoction and screamed, "see ya at the bottom!," and I am still the overly eager to please, body conscience, BEANPOLE girl who watched her carefree exuberance with envy.... we've both come a long way.

BUT, tonight, as my husband and I sat through a home study review of our autobiography questionnaires with a clinical psychologist, I kept thinking, "don't think I'm crazy!! Like me! Like me! Pleeeaaasssse!!!" I really only hoped that she wouldn't judge me. That she'd think my humor funny and not compensating. That she'd find my husband and my relationship very "opposites attract," and not, "how'd she get him?!?!" That she'd find my breakdown of my ex boyfriends witty, self-deprecating, funny, and not sad, pathetic, or, God forbid, revealing!!

Revealing of what? I have no idea... (well, other than the fact that it is no great mystery why I needed to be set-up on a blind date to find a husband... God love 'em, but few of my previous "loves" were good husband material!!! Fun? Oh my, yes! But, as a husband... oh man!!! No way! Thank God some prayers are, well, redirected!) Anyway, as the interview progressed, I found myself obsessing over the alphabet soup after her name on her desk placard, an article in Cosmo I had read about 20 years ago about nonverbal body language, and what that may mean she was inferring from the fact that for the first twenty minutes I had sat with my leg crossed AWAY from my husband and the fact that Chris, while amazing, can look sort of like he's being paper-cut to death, even at his happiest!! (I love you honey!) ;)

Why was I so anxious? For the most part, people like us. We try to be kind, like able people... we are, I think?? THEN, it hit me, it's that Reece's Rainbow family page!! Have you read it? It reads like a canonization nomination roster!!! These people are saints! A who's who of deeply religious and righteous folks. Everyone's story is different, their journey to this place filled with any number of twists and turns, but all are these amazing, sort of conservative to ultra conservative families. In their facebook posts and family stories they speak so freely of Christ's guidance in this endeavor. They hand sew EVERYTHING. They wear their faith on their sleeve. And, while I consider myself very faith filled, and a Christian devoted to worship via service of my fellow man, I'm pretty sure none of them ever, shortly after coveting a strangers crazy bravado, tossed one back and let loose a half war cry, half plain ol' cry and "stair surfed" down into a waiting, welcoming, dirty basement, filled with the throbbing tones of Nine Inch Nails and debauchery... THAT was me! That was us. My husband lives his life in the most Godly way of any human being I've ever really known, at least in terms of what he does for this world, but he's also human. He used to be sort of a punk. A long-haired, hippy rocker. Now, the bald, stoic, principal in a tie, you'd never know it, but trust me, that punk is still in there!!! Yes, neither of us were nearly as "bad" as we thought we were. We were actually each really good kids, but not perfect. And, massive sinners if you are a Bible literalist... How can I be me in this light of inspection and be expected to pass? But, I have to be me. We have to be.

At the end of the day, we are not perfect. In any way. But man, can we love. We love God. We love each other. We love our kids. We love our family. And, we love our ginormous, diverse, circle of friends who are, in reality, amazingly good people who know how to have one hell of a good time.

So, this is me... imperfect me: I cuss too much; I guffaw too loud; I love a dirty joke; I occasionally over imbibe; I overuse exclamation points, run-on sentences and ellipses; I've got a temper like no other if you lie to me, hurt or mistreat someone just because you can, or, you catch me on a bad day (just being honest); and I have a really hard time forgetting when someone lets me down. I'm a sinner. I'm human. I'm just like you.

Why am I telling you my flaws when this whole process is about hiding them? Because I know those people on Reece's Rainbow are also human. I know you are human. I know that if we make it seem like only "perfect" people can do this, only perfect people will. And, well, I don't know any perfect people. Well, at least not any that I like. (I had a "perfect" boss once... She was actually the most heinous human being I've ever known, but she portrays herself as perfect. Ack!) See, we don't need perfect people. We need perfectly imperfect people with a desire to create and be change....we need perfectly imperfect people who believe that to truly spread the word of God, you need not speak or write a word. Just DO and BE God's vehicle to peace and a loving home for these abandoned children. Stop comparing yourself to those bios, I'm going to, and just DO!!

Moral of the story: if you are reading this blog expecting a wholesome story of a do-gooder...well, oops!! This is a blog about a human journey to help bring home a child who needs a home with loving, imperfect people. A home with dog hair tumble weeds, sippy spill stained couches, dishes in the sink and "homemade" dinners from Stouffers. A home with too much on the calendar, but more tickle time than timeouts. A home.

Tonight's happy ending...the meeting ended with our caseworker saying, "You are the perfect couple to do this. You get it. God bless your journey." ...now, isn't it ironic that my fears were of being compared to perfect and she called us perfect. I do believe she's right...while we're not perfect, we are perfect for this journey!

Happy Thanksgiving!!! In the words of my friend, B, "...MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!!!!!"




(Thanks B, your laughter will forever inspire my ornery nature. Much love!)