Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Babies That No One Ever Hears

Do you ever have something very heavy on your heart, that try as you might, you can't stop thinking about? There are things you learn growing up with a nurse for a mother, and an obstetrician for a father that really impress a knowledge that pretty much anyone can have a baby, but not everyone has what it takes to be a real parent. There are approximately 9 million known children in the world that have been abandoned or placed in orphanages. Out of those children fewer than 1 million of them will ever have a real home and family that cares for them. I know that most couples want to have their own biological children that have their father's eyes, and their mother's nose, but is that what really matters? A shared gene pool doesn't make you more of a family. I'm not saying that people shouldn't have their own children, but I know many people who claim that they "desperately want a child", so they shell out the big bucks for all sorts of infertility treatments and procedures. Don't get me wrong, modern medicine is amazing, and if that is the way God calls you to create your family then that is awesome. I just think it would be awesome if instead of using things like IVF, more people actually looked around and said, "With so many children in need of a home, why don't we spend our money on adopting a child that already exists, and desperately needs us?"
I believe part of the reason more couples don't consider adoption is because they aren't aware of what is happening to children in other parts of the world. I know that children in many places are enduring hardship that we can't imagine, but I want to share with you some of the things I have learned about Russia while I was working on my master's degree in Interprofessional Health & Human Services, and through personal research so I can give more specific examples. Did you know that right now in Russia there are 1.5 million children that are available for adoption? In Russia the primary birth control treatment is abortion. Yeah, you read that right. Most people can't afford to pay for oral contraceptives, and condoms aren't in every 7-11 on the corner, but abortions are provided for free through their health system. It isn't uncommon for doctors to see women who have had over 20 abortions. If a woman doesn't realize she is pregnant early enough for a D&C then they carry the child to term, and leave it at the hospital. From the moment a mother abandons her child, they are automatically labeled by the government as disabled. In Moscow a new mother recently walked to the nursery to check on her newborn. Across the hall from the regular nursery was another room with at least 20 other newborns that were completely naked laying in their own waste with tape placed over their mouths so that no one would hear them cry. She had her camera phone, and was able to capture what we find unbelievable. It is actually a common practice for nurses and orphanage keepers to tape the mouths of infants and to tie toddlers down on their beds so that no one will have to see or hear them. It doesn't take more than a couple of weeks, and suddenly the child no longer cries, no longer tries crawling, or walking around. Completely healthy children are completely neglected, and allowed to become what their label indicates "Disabled." There are many kind hearted Russian people who are trying to help these children, but the problem is so enormous that there aren't enough facilities, resources, or people that can take care of them. In St. Petersburg there are currently 16 baby homes (for children under the age of 3) the smallest one houses 80 babies, and the larger ones average close to 200. In Moscow there are 25 baby homes that are the same size. This is just 2 cities, there are countless other baby homes across this vast country. This doesn't even take into consideration the orphanages for older children. Many of these children will experience some sort of sexual or physical abuse while living inside the orphanages. Right now 3 out of 10 of these children commit suicide before their 20th birthday. These aren't just statistics. These are children whose hardships we can't even begin to comprehend. As someone that is seriously considering the options of adoption, I wonder, "What if Jon & I could change life for just one of these kids" I'm reminded of one of the last scenes in the movie Schindler's List when the Jews present Schindler with a ring that is engraved in Hebrew with they Jewish saying, "He who saves one saves the whole entire!" Most people never hear about what these children live through. I can't drastically change the world, but I can write, and I can at least raise awareness. I pray that God will lead me in whatever way He wants to do something.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Early to Bed - Early to Rise

Early to bed - early to rise... starving! with a headache! & a half inch long ulcer in my mouth that is making it really hard to eat or get rid of the headache! Ok, I'm sure you weren't even remotely interested to hear why I'm up & at it this morning. While I'm typing my sweet baby Zipper Cat just crawled up in my lap, and has proceeded to "make biscuits" (kneed my leg). He's purring up a storm, and sends his kitty cat love to all of you guys this morning.

My birthday is this coming Sunday, so I've gotten a couple presents from family that live out of town already. My cousins Catherine, Andrea, & Rachel got me the coolest OU Scentsy warmer with a Cranberry Muffin wax bar, and it smells so good. I have it plugged in my kitchen, & it is strong enough that I can smell it throughout the house, but not so strong that it gives me a headache (which is very important because I'm one of those people who can't handle strong smells). When I say that, lots of people give me that, "Uh, oh you're pregnant" look, but I can assure you that is not the case. I've been this way since I was really little. I even had to leave yoga several times when I was taking it in college because the instructor would always burn this candle that made me throw up, and since I'm not a big fan of bulimia I decided I wouldn't sign up for that again. So, anyways I'm loving my OU Scentsy warmer. They have quite a few college teams to choose from, but I'm sad to tell all of my Razorback friends they don't have Arkansas. They do have Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, OSU, LSU, Alabama, & a bunch of others. If you want to get someone a nice Christmas present that they will use all the time, it's a winner.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mixed Media Madness

Welcome to my office-studio-screened in back porch!

So, I've been trying out a new kind of art, and I'm really enjoying it. Mixed media involves using more than one medium. It isn't as easy as you might assume just by looking. Most of the time when I start out on a picture, I have a mental picture of what it is going to look like when I'm finished. Mixed Media pictures involve a lot of spur of the moment decision & improvisions. I may have a general thematic idea when I start a mixed media picture, but I don't know what it is going to look like. I've always thought, "Gee that looks easy!" Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules involved to keep it astetically pleasing. It takes a lot of time, layers, & supplies to make it look right. There is a lot more to each picture than what you'll ever see!

This is the first Mixed Media Picture I did at a workshop here at my house with Deeann Rieves. She is a very accomplished artist from Texarkana, she attended The Memphis Art Institute & is currently a newly wed living in Atlanta, Georgia. You can check her out at

Since the workshop I've set off on my own mixed media discovery journey!

A pastel Cross

A Dark Colored Cross

It is not easy to work on a strange shape like a Fleur De Lis!

I had the background started for an abstract flower picture, but decided to make it a mixed media. I realize I may have gotten just a little bit busy-carried away on this, but it's really cool in real life! It would have been awesome in my bedroom when I was a teenager! It's everything girly & fun!

I call this one "Til There Was You"

I call these two Rest & Relaxation

I had originally done an abstract picture that I just wasn't pleased with, but I recycled it and added mixed media to it, and Voila! I'm thinking I may call it "Who Would You Love To Sit With"

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in having me doing a piece for you. This type of art can be personalized with family pictures, newspaper clippings, & other small items to create a lasting family heirloom.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Think Pink

October is a very special month, not only because my birthday is on Halloween, but it is a month that we are all reminded of a disease that has caused so much pain, suffering, and death for women of all ages & ethnic origins. I spent almost two years working full time at my father's OBGYN office, and I can't stress to all of you ladies how important it is to do self checks & go to the doctor every year. While I was working for him, he diagnosed a couple women that I'd known all my life with this disease. I can't tell you how difficult it is to be in a room with someone when they get that kind of news. Every time I'd think to myself, this could be My Mother, My Sister, My Grandmother, My Aunt, My Best Friend... this could be Me.
To all of the special ladies out there... Be on your guard. Early detection is the best way to keep from joining the list of breast cancer casualties. I recommend that you check yourself at least once a month while standing and while laying down. There are things you can feel laying down that you can't feel while standing & vise versa. It is also important that you pay attention to checking the pits of your arms because they are full of lymph nodes, and many "breast cancers" are actually found under your arms. If you have questions about whether you are doing your self-exam right, ask your doctor to take a few minutes to show you, and explain what sorts of things you are checking for. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor right away. It is always best to be safe than sorry.
On the day of Race for the Cure I took some pictures of cute pink stuff... Enjoy :)
Couldn't get a decent picture without the flash... I was in Sam's & you know how the lighting is in there.

My Wallet
Me & my fabulous pink ring!

Magenta & Hello Kitty

Pink Yankee Candles

Pink Ribbon Tea Cups

I saw this dog with the pink collar at Canton this month. It is a Micro Tea Cup Chihuahua in a snuggy bed the size of a coozy!

Hello Kitty Cupcakes

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Challenge

Everyone has so much going on in their lives these days. I think about a few words from a song sung by Lady Antebellum "I run my life... Or is it running me?" I can totally relate to that. There is so much that is wrong in our culture in the United States today, and one of the big ones is that we never stop running! Some of us spend months or years at a time going through a non-stop routine that is absolutely exhausting. We go to bed at night, and our minds are still racing so fast that we can't sleep. How many of us have beautiful homes filled with books, movies, games, magazines, and journals that we never really get to enjoy? We have yards that we only work in, but never actually sit outside to enjoy how lovely they actually look. We have so many wonderful people in our lives that we think about often, but never actually take the time to send them a word of encouragement. There have been days when I either wanted to throw my hands up in the air, or just sit down and cry.
I have been so blessed to have many wonderful people to encourage me along the way, but one person made a very big impact in my life with something very small. Bro. Bill Steeger who was our minister starting when I was in high school until after Jon and I got married (He is actually the one who married us, did our pre-marriage counseling, & also career decision counseling for us). I'm sure he is still doing this at his current church in Paragould, Arkansas... Everyday, he prays for someone in the congregation that has been put on his mind, he takes the day sheet off of his desk calendar, writes them a message on the back, & mails it to them. Over the years I was always astounded with how every time he sent me a note from the day sheet it was right when I needed encouragement them most. One time was during the first month I was away from home & feeling very homesick at college. One time I had been sick in the hospital with dehydration and a very bad virus. One time was when my puppy died from distemper. Once was on mine and Jon's wedding day. There were many more times, when I'd go to the mail box, or come home from school, and find a letter waiting on the kitchen counter for me with just a quick word of encouragement. It meant so much to me that I have kept every one of them. Just to know that in the midst of this chaotic world, there was another person out there that was thinking and praying for me, and took the time to write me a personal note put an extra burst of wind in my sails.
As Christians, God calls us to lift each other up in encouragement. So, I'd like to give you a challenge! If someone's name keeps coming up in your mind (you don't have to have seen this person for a year or two) I urge you to stop and pray for everything that you can actually think of that is going on in their life, & for God to help them with any challenges that they might be dealing with. NO, You aren't done YET... Then write them an e-mail, or send them a letter. It doesn't have to be long! I promise you, there is a reason that person has come to your mind, and although you may never know the reason or what circumstance they are in, you will have done something to give them encouragement, and the effect has no limit!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Closet Confession

Today one of my Facebook friends posted a link to Bethenny Frankel's Youtube video called Closet Confessions. I couldn't help but laugh, it was so funny! Anyone who can say "Forget a kitchen pantry- this is where my shoes and accessories will live!" is, let's face it... totally Awesome! Ok, I know some of you people who don't have the problem of limited closet space don't understand. Jon and I have a nice large walk in closet that would be ideal for one of us, since we both hate folding clothes, and would hang up everything we own to wear if we could. However, marriage is about compromise so we split it 40/60 his and mine.
These are a few of my closet confessions.
#1 High Heeled Shoes I could write a book about high heeled shoes. Practicality has nothing to do with high heels. They make me think of Alfred Hitchcock movies where the dame trying to escape from the bad guy is always wearing ice pick heels. Grace Kelly climbing up the latter on the side of that building in Rear Window would have never dreamed of doing it in anything other than her favorite pair of Chanel heels. Fabulous shoes can make even the most simple outfit look smashing. I also recommend practicing how you walk in them. While your shoes my look great, not knowing how to walk in them makes a person look like they are completely out of place. When I was 13 & 14 in cotillion I learned that a lady should appear to effortlessly drift across a room. Stomping and marching is for soldiers and horses. If your shoes are uncomfortable, then plan how far you have to walk in them, and take breaks along the way, only don't let people know that is what you're doing. The amount of discomfort is equal to the level of hotness! These are my 7 favorite pairs of heels.
Every woman should have a pair of red high heels, I'm thinking it has something to do with Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz, or maybe it's because red heels are hotter than a chili pepper. Mine are Isaac Mizrahi for Target. (Never underestimate the shoe selection at Target!)

These Coach shoes with the pink roses on the back just made me happy, especially since they were on the super clearance rack at TJMaxx 80% off the original price, I'm lucky that most people don't wear a 5 1/2, because I'm usually able to get some really good deals. (Brands are OK, but it is NOT OK to pay full price for them. Trust me when I tell you this.... They will go on sale!)

These are my Nine West black patent leather power shoes. The heel is outrageous. You better know I'm suffering if I have these bad girls on, but I'm also pretty sure I would be able to take over the world with these shoes.

#2 Light & Fancy Jackets

I love this Red Jacket! It is my all time favorite. My Mom got it for me for my 20th Birthday, and I still love it. Yes, my 27th birthday is just a few weeks away. 7 years! Can you believe that! Just goes to show you if you get something nice that is well made, it can last for years.

Jon got me this short little soft black and slightly sparkly opera jacket around our 1st anniversary for me to wear to the Mistletoe Fair Preview party. Wow this one's turning 5 already! But, it's classic. Usually I don't keep stuff forever, only when it is amongst my favorites! It is so soft it's like being bundled up in a cozy blanket.

#3 Sentimental Dresses

I wouldn't be a girl if I didn't have a few sentimental dresses.

My 1st birthday dress bought for me by May-May.

My favorite dress to play dress-up in as a little girl because the skirt would go all the way out when I twirled. The picture doesn't really show the color well, but it is a really bright Barney purple. I loved playing American Girl Dolls in this thing. I would pretend to be Molly or Samantha. I can't tell you how many miles I put on this thing!

The dress I was wearing when Jon proposed.

The dress I wore for our engagement pictures in Destin, Fl. You would probably assume that I would have taken a picture of my wedding dress next, but that thing is way in the back behind stuff, and too heavy to try to mess with pulling out, but it's in there too... along with our college graduation robes, my masters graduation gown, and a bridesmaid dress or two.

#4 OMG!

Just thought I'd see if you're paying attention. I found this baby while cleaning out some stuff in my parent's attic. Mom & I died out laughing about this. What was she thinking? Was this ever acceptable even if it was 1993? Was it a joke? This thing is AWFUL!!! So, what did I do??? I snatched it up and brought it home. Something this bad deserves to be at the next Tacky Dress-up Party I go to, or I'm just going to use it as a reminder of What NOT to Wear!

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