Monday, January 31, 2011


Kaylee celebrating with her friends for birthday #5 (2009)
 Seven is a big number in life in general. God created the the earth in seven days for those of us who believe in creation. For all of us who enjoy color, there are seven colors of the rainbow. For those of us who enjoy science there are seven base units for measuring and if you get three sevens while playing a slot machine you win the jackpot. This year though, the number seven is very special to me.

Seven years ago today I had been up all night sitting in a hospital bed doing what women know best. A bit of yelling, laughing, watching cooking shows, trying not to get annoyed from people and oh ya...HAVING A BABY!! Today, seven years ago I became a mom. One thing that no one can ever take away from me. I pushed every 2 minutes for 2.5 hours straight to be able to hold a five pound four ounce baby girl in my arms for the first time. I will never forget that night for as long as I will live. I couldn't believe what had happened, as if it was a dream. I do then remember looking up at this baby girl's adoptive mom and saying, "well mom what is her name?" She said, "How about Kaylee Rae?" And so be it...I was holding the cutest little Kaylee Rae in my arms. No one could even start to prepare me for the emotions that I would have with seeing her for the first time. You can read all the books and try to be prepared, but it is something that every woman who has given birth can only understand with out words.

I try to do something special each year when Kaylee's birthday comes around. Last year I blogged about how I was going to spend the day and so forth. Since I am doing the Daily Joys each day, I figured my blog should be something centered around that since Miss Kaylee's birthday is a joyous occasion!!

1. I cherish her hand drawn pictures, craft projects, and school photographs that are sent to me a couple times a year.
2. I see her on a yearly basis when I head home to Oregon.
3. I am loving how she gives me a call every so often to either wish me a good day or to tell me about her loosing a tooth at recess.
4. I can not ask 2 better people to raise my child!
5. I try and tell people in a positive way how adoption has affected my life
6. I have been blessed with some of the most amazing women who all share the same emotions I deal with on a yearly basis
7. I look forward to the many years to come and developing a close relationship with Kaylee as she gets older.

I am sure I could go on and on about mindless things...but I truly am loving her birthday this year. I hope that each birthday gets better!!!

Happy birthday my Lil Miss Kaylee!! 
I hope that you had a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Women, Drama, and Meetup

Why is it that anytime there is a group full of women there is always drama?? I really do hate this aspect of being a woman. It is as if every woman is competing with each other to be bigger, better, and more successful than the person she is sitting next to at a dinner table. This year I made a pact that I would try my best to eliminate the drama in my life. I get tired of the drama as it tends to affect my relationship with my husband and other family members. I get negative and just want to sit and bicker and pick at everything that is going on. I didn't want to be like that for 2011. I wanted to look a the best possible outcome for each aspect in my life.

Just shortly after I moved to Cleveland, I found a Tea Society group on and loved it!! I loved the women who were in the group as we all shared a common interest. The group owner stepped down due to life activities that prevented her to attending the events that she herself had planned. She handed the group over to another member in the group. This new leader, we will call her M. I gave M the benefit of the doubt as she took over the tea society and tried to keep it running as the original owner had planned. I would attend the events, but something just didn't seem right. I tried to ignore the drama that M was creating in the group among members who were just asking simple basic questions that would then be blown out of proportion. I stayed out of it as much as possible, but did notice that either people were dropping out of the group like flies or something was up as not many people were showing up to each event. M claimed that she was British and wanted everyone to wear hats to each Afternoon Tea that was planned. I had explained to M that I didn't own any hats that would be appropriate for tea. I attended an event in November with no hat and was scolded as if I was a child. I was so upset but tried to not let it ruin my time there at the tea house. Later that day I was sent a very rude email from M who told me that she didn't think that I was best suited for the group as I am not complying to the group standards and continued to bring "negative" energy. I tried to ignore it everything, but then had to fight back. She then removed me from the group as I was correcting her on semantics because each event she expected people to wear hats even if it was not posted in the event details. Oh well...such is life. About a month after being removed from the group, I started my own Tea group. Since M is such a control freak she was very agitated to say the least that I outsmarted her and beat her at her own game. I felt like I got justice, as she couldn't do anything about it as everyone is entitled to have their own public group. Since creating my own group I have close to even in numbers as her for members AND my events are always packed full. I know members who are in the other group who are members of mine and have told me that my group is better as it is drama free.

Next on the list, late in 2010 a new ladies club was created on Meetup. I was very excited about this as I was really looking for a group where I could meet some women my own age to hopefully have a friendship with. I tend to have the personality that gets along better with men. I always have and probably always will. I though still miss having a set of girlfriends who can relate to just being a girl. I started going to the new club and met some awesome women. The organizer was yet another control freak who only really wanted to talk to the "stylish" "skinny" girls of the group. I attempted to make conversations with her and we just didn't click. I though did find a small group of women who I am going to miss seeing on a weekly basis if Rob and I move come this summer. I though yet again found that an all women's club or group had high drama. The organizer didn't like people suggesting things of what to do even though she had asked people to do so. I guess once she found "her group" of women she didn't really care about the rest. I just realized that the group was not for me as I didn't want to feel resentful at every event because the leader doesn't know how to interact with people who do not live up to her own standards or who may have a disability. Since I have left the group, I just feel a lot better about myself. Now do I miss getting together on a weekly basis with the women that I truly connected with? For sure I do! The women who enjoy having me around, we tend to do things every couple of weeks. Not much drama with my little small group.

What have I learned from both of these groups? I have learned that I have to find a small group of women to put myself around that accept me for me. I have also learned that I tend to have problems with leaders who tend to be control freaks. I am a leader of a new tea group like I said earlier, and I am trying a new approach to the thinking. I am just going with the flow and trying to keep the drama out. So far, so good!! I try not to imprint my own beliefs and thinking on others and most people become a bit weird or it makes them feel uncomfortable. I fully believe that we live in a society where we all are human and can believe what we want, even if the women sitting next to you at dinner doesn't believe that. Just accept that everyone is different and enjoy the moment while it lasts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Joy Project 2011

A friend of mine from high school started a Daily Joy Project last year. It was so inspiring that I thought I would try it this year. Basically what she did was posted five positive things on her Facebook status near the end of the day about her day. It was something that I and other people looked forward to reading each evening. Since it is the new year, I figured I would try and do the same thing. I am hoping to post something each night, and there have been a few times that I have not posted anything only because I forgot!! You know, life happens and tends to get in the way.

To catch you all up on how I have are the past several days just so that you can see what I am doing.
Sunday: Jan 23rd 
"Today's Joys: relaxing Sunday with not much going on, went grocery shopping before the after-church rush started, bought a new camera to replace the one that I broke last year, and picking the winning teams for both NFL playoff games tonight!!"

Saturday: Jan 22nd 
"Today's Joys: Another successful tea event, oil change for my car finally got done, the sun was out today despite the bitter cold temps, and ending the evening having dinner with some girl friends!" 

Thursday: Jan 21st 
"Today's Joys: My first call today ended up being around 20 minutes with the sweetest ladies who just needed her medication changed down to a tier 2, a tea house that i have been trying to get a hold of FINALLY got back to me, had amazing service when I went out to dinner with the husband, and TOMORROW'S FRIDAY!"

Now you get the idea of what I am doing. Since I have been posting these, my mom has noticed that I have a better outlook on life when she and I talk on the phone. I will admit that I was and can be a pretty negative person. I figured this would help fix the attitude and force me to think of at least a couple good things on a day that could be such a crappy one!! 

Now for today's joys! 

Monday: Jan 24th
"Had a quiet day at home even though I really felt yucky, I put a whole chicken in the slow cooker before going back to bed this morning and it turned out awesome, and in just once week until a special little girl in my life turns 7 years old!!"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

East side vs West side

Living in any large city there is a debate: Which side is better? East Side or West Side?? You see this in NYC, Cleveland, and even Portland. I find it comical now when people make statements of "I will only go to functions on the west side of town." or "I have lived here all my life and have never been to the other side of town!"

Growing up, I didn't really know about this debate as I lived in a Southern Suburb of Portland, Oregon, I went to church on the NE side of town, but yet my family would also go to the west side of town for dinner. I never really gave it a thought which side of Portland was better. I just knew that I preferred the mall on the east side of town, but only because it was a larger mall that had a movie theater attached to it. I also knew that some of the nicer neighborhoods were on the west side of Portland. Now days though each side has its amenities with nice and rough areas. As an adult, there was a time where I lived on the east side of Portland but worked on the far west side, so I was still breaking the rules. 

I have found that this "East vs West" mentality is very prominent in Cleveland. I live on the west side of town, but work on the east side. No big deal right?? Well to some people this is a huge deal and do not understand why I would drive back and forth everyday. I first explain to them that I did look for a job closer to my home and the only thing I could find was out n the east side and then I explain to them that I have always driven quite a ways to and from work even when I lived in Oregon. I have met people here in Cleveland who have lived on one side of town their entire life and have never went to the other side. I just am in shock at this!!! People in Cleveland treat Interstate 77 like the Berlin Wall. It is what could be the divider between each side. People even joke about how one needs to have a passport to get to either side. What people do not understand is that there are great things on both sides of town!!! I just wish people would suck it up and drive to the other side and try the different restaurants, parks, and outside markets.

I fully believe, though, that if one lives in a large city, one must experience ALL of the city and not just a 7-10 mile radius from one's house. If people only went only 7-10 miles from their home they would never fully experience what the whole city has to offer. Now granted, there are spots in each large city (in any area) that may not be the safest, but you get that. So you have to know the good and bad spots and which spots are ok to go to in day and night. I know that here in Cleveland there are places that are acceptable to go in only the daylight and not have to really worry about anything, but if I am in that area of town after dark I tend to be a bit more on guard. There were parts of Portland where I would rarely ever go because it just was not really that safe any time of the day! 

I know I can not make one get out of their comfort but when someone asks me how I know about the cool little tea house way out on the east side of town, I will smile and tell them that I am not afraid to drive an hour to an hour and a half experience something new.

My challenge to you this year, break out of your comfort zone and explore the opposite side of town that you live on at least once a month. You might be surprised in what you will find!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I love reading the first blogs of each new year that people post to their page. Most are either reflection of the past year and or goals that they want to accomplish for the new year that has just started. I thought that I would join the crowd and post a blog before the first day of the year comes to a final close.

What a year 2010 was for me!! Lots of changes that is for sure, and 2011 will be possibly even more changes!! I do see quite a few things that 2010 and 2011 have in common. I moved in 2010 from one state to another and I will do the same this year in 2011. I found close friends in 2010 and found three women here in Cleveland that I can see calling good close friends by the time I move later this year. Lastly, 2010 I ended a job in one state and found a new one (even if it took me awhile) and I will do that yet again this year.

I am glad though 2010 is over for me. It was a rough year and the month of December was especially rough for me. My paternal grandfather lost his battle with lung cancer mid-month and it took a toll on my emotions in one of the busy months at work. I was glad though that I saw him one last time in November, full well knowing that he would probably not make it to Christmastime.

For 2011 I am going give more personal time to myself this year, and take care of myself. I tend to get so busy that I forget to do things for myself and allow myself to sit and just breath. I want to try some new things like Zumba at least once this year, just to see what all the talk is! I am going to stand up for myself and not be around negative people this year. I will spend my energy getting to know people who actually want to know who I am, not because of how I look, dress, or speak. I will go out of my way and speak to people who may have a disability even if it is uncomfortable to me at first.

So here is to 2011...may it be better than last year...and I can walk away feeling good that I have accomplished some new things!
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