Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Time to Reflect and Give Thanks

This is a year in which I truly have a lot for which to be thankful--and my family and friends are very high on my list. I have truly been blessed with wonderful people in both categories. None of could be the wonderful people that we all are, however, without the freedoms and the opportunities which we all sometimes take for granted. No, our lives aren't perfect, but they are so much better than they might be if we had been born elsewhere.

A thought has been playing through my head these last few days--a memory from the court hearing for Alivia's adoption. The judge was reading through the papers and suddenly stopped and asked why I needed such a big house. My house isn't all that big--in fact, by US standards, it's rather small and I would love to have a MUCH bigger place--yet the judge felt it was more than adequate for my needs. How much does one person or one family really need? And is it wrong to want more when there are so many in the world who don't even have their basic needs met?

Greater minds than mine have pondered these questions and, inevitably, my mind will soon tire of them and wander back to happier thoughts. But as we broach a day that our country has set aside as a day for giving thanks for what we have, it does seem appropriate to at least acknowledge the battle even if I choose not to fight it. And so among many other things...

I am thankful to have been born an American and to have been able to bring my daughter out of the poverty of Russia to be raised as an American. I am thankful that I am not an inmate in a Serbian asylum for the disabled. I am thankful that I have friends throughout the world that I can keep in touch with on this board. I am thankful that I have a job that pays well and a beautiful, albeit small, home. I am thankful that my parents are still with me and are able to enjoy spending time with their granddaughter. I am thankful that I am able to obtain medical services for me and my daughter when needed and that we can afford to travel and have a few "luxuries" in our lives. And mostly I am thankful to have her--something I never could have imagined just a few years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

~ Jeana

Thursday, November 08, 2007

8 Random Things About Me...

Uh oh! I've been tagged.

So, here are the rules of the 8 Random Things tag game:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

(I think the hardest part of this will be coming up with 8 other people to tag!)

Okay--so 8 random things...

1. When I was 12 years old I appeared in television commercials for Hardy's restaurants. It was my first acting gig. Somehow my acting career never did take off, though. Rats...

2. When I was 4 years old my family moved to Guam. My grandmother had just given me a new cowgirl outfit complete with a beautiful red hat. Unfortunately in the rush to board the plane with two small children, my mother forgot the hat under our seats at the airport. I cried for days... I still sometimes wonder who ended up with my beautiful red cowboy hat.

3. One of my favorite places in the whole world is a tiny little church in Paris, France, called Sainte Chappelle. The first time I visited there it was late afternoon and the sun was hitting all of the stained glass windows just so while monks chant played softly in the background. I was overcome with this incredible sense of peace and serenity that's never been matched anywhere else in my experience. The church claims to have the true Crown of Thorns as one of it's relics.

4. I hate eggplant. 'Nuff said.

5. I love Byzantine and Renaissance art. I'm not sure if it's because of the vivid jewel-tone colors that are so pervasive in both periods or the story-like renderings of the religious subject matter, but something in both of those eras speaks to my soul.

6. I once wandered through the Catacombs beneath Paris all by myself--yep, just me and a few trillion bones. Very "atmospheric", to say the least.

7. My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon. She writes a very hard to catagorize series of books (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, etc.) about a time-travelling family. Set largely in 18th century Scotland and America, the books have enthralled me since I accidently stumbled on the first one in a grocery store many years ago. What I like about her writing is her character and story development--you truly feel like you know these people in her books and their adventures are phenomenally well written. And their "romantic encounters" aren't too badly done, either... Seriously, though, it's a rare book that can make me laugh and cry at the same time, but Diana's books always do.

8. I have never in my life had a cavity. Never. Thank God, because I'm terrified of the dentist!

Whew! Now who am I going to tag... Christy and Kelly come to mind first of all. And Cyndi, of course. Hmmm... I'm going to have to think a bit to come up with some more.

~ Jeana

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Final Surgery Date!

We received the date for Alivia's final surgery this week. It will be on December 12th. They'll take out all the hardware during that one and she should only have to spend one night in the hospital. Then we'll be done! Hurray!!!!

We had some other good news, as well--both of my biopsies were negative. I was rather nervous about the second one, but it turned out to be just a fibrous cyst. Thank God! I have to go back in 6 months to follow up on the one they couldn't biopsy, but they don't expect any problems, so I'm not going to worry about it until then.

Livi is having another growth spurt, I think--she's up to 32 inches in height and 20 lbs in weight. She's still very much below the charts, but catching up bit by bit. She's also becoming quite the chatterbox! I love it!

Oh--if anyone's interested, I've found another great price on a cruise and have requested a group of cabins. This one is on the Carnival Glory, October 4-11, 2008. It departs from Port Canaveral (Orlando) goes to Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, and Freeport. The fares start at just $469 per person and each cabin will receive a $100 ship's credit. If you'd like information, please email me at and I'll send you the e-flyer.

~ Jeana